Politics

Friday, April 20, 2018

Board of Supervisors Prepares for Auditor Controller Do-Over, Public Defender Appointment

Posted By on Fri, Apr 20, 2018 at 4:55 PM

Jeffrey Blanck - COUNTY OF HUMBOLDT
  • County of Humboldt
  • Jeffrey Blanck
UPDATE:

On April 24 the board voted unanimously to appoint Dillingham to the postion.

Previously:

The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors will consider Tuesday appointing Cheryl Dillingham as interim auditor-controller. Again.

The board voted unanimously at its April 3 meeting to appoint Dillingham to the post. But the item on the board's agenda that day was to accept the resignation of outgoing Auditor Controller Joe Mellett and to consider launching a recruitment process for an interim replacement, leading one expert to opine that the board had violated state open meeting laws by appointing Dillingham without giving the public advance notice.

In addition to Dillingham's appointment, the board is also set to meet in closed session to discuss the appointment of a new public defender, a role that's currently being filled in an interim capacity by Marek Reavis (the office has been without a permanent leader since the resignation of David Marcus last year). In addition to the two appointments, the board is set to consider a slate of topics, including a presentation on Measure Z funding and a list of county road repairs funded by the recently-passed gas tax (The Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017.) The full agenda can be found here.

If approved, Dillingham's appointment as interim auditor-controller will last up until the newly-elected auditor controller takes the oath of office next year. Current Auditor-Controller Joe Mellett recently decided to resign early in the wake of ongoing complaints in the embattled office, where Assistant Auditor-Controller Karen Paz Dominguez allegedly filed a sexual harassment complaint against Mellett. Paz Dominguez said in an interview that she too had been the subject of a hostile work environment complaint by her coworkers in the office. (See past coverage here.)

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Sunday, March 25, 2018

Hundreds Join Arcata March for Our Lives

Posted By on Sun, Mar 25, 2018 at 12:26 PM

Angela Owen marches with her 7-year-old son Liam Yder. - MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
  • Angela Owen marches with her 7-year-old son Liam Yder.
Hundreds of people — young and old — took to the streets of Arcata yesterday as a part of the nationwide March for Our Lives event to demand gun control and school safety measures.

The local march — which drew as many as 1,000 people by some estimates — was organized by students at Arcata High School and North Coast Preparatory Academy. It began at the Creamery Building, where attendees heard a number of speeches from local high school students, as well as one by Arcata Mayor Sofia Pereira, before marching to the plaza and back.

Local photographer Mark McKenna was there to document the gathering and the march, which drew the large turnout despite cold, rainy weather. Check out his slideshow below. And to read a variety of student perspectives on gun violence, school shootings and what can be done to stop them, check out this week's Journal cover story here, which features a variety of opinion pieces penned by local high school students. (If you want to take a deep dive, click here to find the full, unabridged version.)


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Monday, February 5, 2018

How to Get Involved 101

Posted By on Mon, Feb 5, 2018 at 3:18 PM

ncpalogo.png
“How do we get rid of the ‘old boys club?” was the first question posed at Sunday’s Run, Serve, Lead! conference hosted by North Coast People’s Alliance to educate residents about becoming involved in the political landscape.

The alliance grew out of the local efforts to elect Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sander to office.

The event’s panel included College of the Redwoods Trustee Danny Kelley, Arcata Mayor Sofia Pereira, Ferndale City Councilman Patrick O’Rourke, former Supervisor Clif Clendenen and immigration rights activist Renee Saucedo, who each shared their unique experiences and thoughts on local government.

“Forget about the good old boys,” advised Kelley, who defeated a nearly two-decade incumbent in November to take a seat on the college board. “Do what you think is right.”

Pereira gave the keynote speech at the event, which focused on how to prepare for mounting an election campaign or working on one, noting that everyone has “different experiences that are valuable to local government.”

“What’s that fire in your belly? What brought you here?” she asked the crowd of more than 100 gathered in the Multi-Generational Center in Fortuna.

Echoing a similar sentiment, Saucedo urged those in attendance to take the responsibility of governance into their own hands.

“The most meaningful change happens in this country when everyday people organize around issues they deeply care about,” she said.

O’Rourke agreed, saying involvement in local government starts with figuring out what talents and capabilities one has that can be useful to their community.

“It’s something you do from the heart,” he said.

Clendenen, meanwhile, also noted that the lack of depth many people have about the workings of their local government can be shocking.

“It’s a steep learning curve,” he said. “It makes for a better democracy when people understand their government.”

The alliance distributed information packets about how to become more involved, which are available online at northcoastpeoplesalliance.org.

NCPA Vice Chair and event coordinator Carrie Peyton-Dahlberg said the main aim was to encourage Humboldt residents to get involved, whether that means a full-fledged bid for office, a part-time role on a campaign or a couple hours a week of phone banking.

“If you have an hour or two, whatever time you’ve got, there’s something you can do,” she said.
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Thursday, January 25, 2018

Memorial Planned for Famed Pollster Jim Moore

Posted By on Thu, Jan 25, 2018 at 4:28 PM

Jim Moore
  • Jim Moore
Friends and relatives will gather tomorrow evening to celebrate the life of Jim Moore, an Arcata native who became one of California’s must trusted political pollsters.

Moore, who had been in declining health, died unexpectedly in his El Dorado County home Jan. 1. He was 66.

Born March 28, 1951, the son of Herb and Mary Moore, he made a local impact long before arriving in Sacramento, where he went on to work with Gov. Jerry Brown, former Assembly Speaker Willie Brown, former Senator and Assemblymember Wesley Chesbro and former Senate President and Democratic Party Chair John Burton. He was involved in the fight against the Butler Valley Dam on Maple Creek, numerous local elections and crafting a sustainable management plan for the Arcata Community Forest.

Once in Sacramento, Moore founded J Moore Methods polling firm in 1983, which became one of Democrats' most trusted polling firms.

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Huff to Bring Transgender Veteran to State of the Union in Protest of Military Ban

Posted By on Thu, Jan 25, 2018 at 12:36 PM

Congressman Huffman at a town hall in Arcata. - BEAU SAUNDERS
  • Beau Saunders
  • Congressman Huffman at a town hall in Arcata.
North Coast Congressman Jared Huffman will bring transgender Marine Corps veteran and Fort Bragg resident Lynda Bengtsson-Davis to the State of the Union on Tuesday in an effort to send a message.

“As President Trump delivers his first State of the Union address, my message to him, to my constituents, and to America as whole is going to be: love trumps hate,” said Rep. Huffman. “President Trump clearly needs to hear this message.  From his anti-Muslim travel bans, to his slurs about other nations, the first year of the Trump presidency has been an unrelenting attack on core values — equality, tolerance, diversity and unity — that have helped make our country great. When our President tries to take us backward by turning Americans against each other and stoking culture wars, he must be confronted.”

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Saturday, January 20, 2018

Back in Pink

Posted By on Sat, Jan 20, 2018 at 8:58 PM

A group of young girls carries the Women's March banner at the head of the procession. - PHOTO BY MARK MCKENNA
  • Photo by Mark McKenna
  • A group of young girls carries the Women's March banner at the head of the procession.

On Saturday, Jan. 20, Madaket Plaza at the foot of C Street was packed with participants for Eureka's second Women's March. Last year, the multi-city protest following the inauguration of Donald Trump drew between 6,000 and 7,000 people, the largest crowd of marchers in Eureka's history. This year's event, which was a somewhat last-minute affair, also coincided with marches across the country and brought out between 4,000 and 5,000, according to Eureka Police Chief Steve Watson. Photographer Mark McKenna captured the crowd as it looped through Old Town in the slideshow below.


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Thursday, January 18, 2018

Women's March is Taking to the Streets of Eureka

Posted By on Thu, Jan 18, 2018 at 11:44 AM

Women's March on Eureka route map. - SUBMITTED
  • Submitted
  • Women's March on Eureka route map.
The Women’s March of Eureka will the hit the streets between 2 and 4 p.m. on Saturday and, while streets won’t be closed, expect some delays near Second and Third streets between H and M streets and on First Street between C and H streets.

Last year’s event, held in conjunction with hundreds across the nation and around the world, was the largest in the city’s history. The march kicks off at Madaket Plaza (formerly C Street Plaza) with a rally at 1 p.m.

The National Weather Service forecast is calling for a chance of showers before 4 p.m. with a high temperature of 51.
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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

New California Proposal: A More Perfect Union?

Posted By on Wed, Jan 17, 2018 at 10:37 AM

The "New California" and the just plain "California" proposed by New California. - MAP BY NEW CALIFORNIA
  • Map by New California
  • The "New California" and the just plain "California" proposed by New California.
Another move is underway to divide the Golden State, this time with a movement called “New California” issuing a “declaration of independence” this week, garnering news coverage across the country.

A map on the movement’s website (which has the theme: A more perfect union) shows the proposed “new” state as including most of California’s counties, except those along the coast from Sonoma County south to Los Angeles — or basically all the places with big money.

It also appears like New California's lines were drawn so as to create a staunchly conservative state, which would give Republicans a couple of more senators and increased representation in the House. Just take a look at this recent Public Policy Institute of California map, which has some striking similarities to the New California proposal:


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Monday, January 15, 2018

Eureka Women's March 2018 Hits Streets Saturday

Posted By on Mon, Jan 15, 2018 at 4:48 PM

Last year's Women's March in Eureka. - PHOTO BY MARK MCKENNA
  • Photo by Mark McKenna
  • Last year's Women's March in Eureka.

One year ago and one day after the inauguration of admitted sexual assaulter Donald Trump, the streets of Washington, D.C., cities across the United States and beyond filled with sign-carrying, pink pussy-ear hatted protesters taking part in the Women's March. Eureka's march was the largest in the city's history, with organizers reporting some 7,000 to 8,000 attendees, or roughly 6 percent of Humboldt County. For those not feeling like America is being made great again, it's time to fluff up those pussy hats and start making signs for the Eureka Women's March on Saturday, Jan. 20, at 1 p.m.

The march will start at Eureka's Madaket Plaza (formerly C Street Plaza) with a rally at 1 p.m. before setting off down the street at 2 p.m. As of today, organizers say the city of Eureka has approved the permit, the police have approved the march route, which is a slightly different path than last year. Streets won't be closed but traffic will be slowed for the march. Humboldt-Del Norte Counties Central Labor Council is covering liability insurance and the last major concern to nail down is the portable toilets. So far the rally lineup includes speakers from the council and from North Coast Rape Crisis Center, a to-be-named representative from the Yurok Tribe and a speaker from the Humboldt State University's Office of Diversity, but more are promised and updates will appear on the Women's March on Eureka 2018 Facebook page.


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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Huffman Votes to Push Impeachment

Posted By on Wed, Dec 6, 2017 at 3:49 PM

Jared Huffman. - CONGRESS
  • Congress
  • Jared Huffman.
North Coast Congressman Jared Huffman joined 57 of his colleagues today in a failed vote to allow consideration of articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.

The measure pushed forward by Rep. Al Green faced an overwhelming defeat when a motion to sideline it was approved 364-58, with four Democrats voting "present."

In a statement, Huffman defended his vote to move the articles forward.

"The magnitude and breadth of President Trump’s actions to undermine his office and the public trust — those that have been illegal, corrupt, or have caused deep damage to our country — is stunning and most of the facts are indisputable," Huffman said. "For these reasons, I’ve stated for months that I believe President Trump should be, and eventually will be, impeached. And for the same reasons, if I am presented with a vote on this subject, I’ll vote my conscience and support impeachment."

Read the full statement copied below:


Rep. Huffman Statement on Impeachment Vote

Washington, D.C.- Congressman Jared Huffman (D-CA) today released the following statement today after voting to allow consideration of articles of impeachment introduced by Rep. Al Green (D-TX):

“Impeachment is an extraordinary measure, but it should be clear to anyone who examines the facts that President Trump’s actions justify his impeachment, including his efforts to obstruct justice, his self-enrichment and serial violations of the Emoluments Clause, and his involvement in a cover-up stemming from his campaign’s very likely collusion with Russian interests to undermine the 2016 presidential election.

The magnitude and breadth of President Trump’s actions to undermine his office and the public trust – those that have been illegal, corrupt, or have caused deep damage to our country — is stunning and most of the facts are indisputable.

For these reasons, I’ve stated for months that I believe President Trump should be, and eventually will be, impeached. And for the same reasons, if I am presented with a vote on this subject, I’ll vote my conscience and support impeachment.

It is vital, however, that we distinguish impeachable offenses from offensive behavior, divisive political instincts, ineptitude, and poor judgment. These are all frustrating but in my view do not rise to the level of impeachable offenses. I understand why many of my Democratic colleagues, including many who believe President Trump should ultimately be impeached, voted no on today’s resolution.

We are a long way from having the votes in Congress to impeach, a vote that must happen on a bipartisan basis. We need to work in a bipartisan way to bring accountability and transparency to a White House that is doing great damage, including through ongoing Congressional oversight, a new independent commission on Russian election interference, and the ongoing work of Special Prosecutor Bob Mueller.”

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