Politics

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Photos from Saturday's March for Our Lives

Posted By on Sun, Mar 24, 2019 at 12:52 PM

Sunny Brae Middle School Student Nova Vaur held a sign asking, "Who's next?" at Saturday's March for Our Lives in Arcata. - PHOTO BY MARK MCKENNA
  • Photo by Mark McKenna
  • Sunny Brae Middle School Student Nova Vaur held a sign asking, "Who's next?" at Saturday's March for Our Lives in Arcata.

Yesterday some 100 marchers gathered at the Arcata Playhouse to hear students and local leaders speak before setting out on the second March for Our Lives. The local iteration of the national student-based protest march against gun violence started last year as part of the grassroots movement launched by survivors of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. See the slideshow below for photographer Mark McKenna's images of the event.

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Sunday, March 10, 2019

Original Women's March Organizers Host Conference Honoring International Women’s Day

Posted By on Sun, Mar 10, 2019 at 11:36 AM

The Raging Grannies lead a sing-along with the crowd. - PHOTO BY MEGAN BENDER
  • Photo by Megan Bender
  • The Raging Grannies lead a sing-along with the crowd.

When, citing the lack of diversity among its organizers, the original group planning the 2019 Women’s March decided to postpone the event, which ultimately went forward under new leadership, they decided to take a different approach and plan for International Women’s Day.

In spite of backlash, they expanded their group, kept making plans and hosted a conference at the Labor Temple on March 9. An estimated 60 people were in attendance.

The Womxn Building Community Power group wanted to create a space for members of the community to educate each other on women’s issues in a more direct format as an an alternative to just a march.

Committee member Jennifer Be said this was a decision made not necessarily instead of the march, but as more of a kick-off for future events.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2019

California, 15 Other States Sue Trump Over 'Manufactured' Crisis

Posted By on Tue, Feb 19, 2019 at 12:20 PM

gavel.jpg
Sixteen states, including California, are suing the Trump administration over the border national emergency declaration, filing a complaint Monday in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

The states are alleging that Trump’s move is “unlawful and unconstitutional” and based on a “manufactured ‘crisis’” despite evidence that unlawful border entries are at a 20-year low, immigrants are less likely than to commit crime and illegal drugs are usually smuggled via official ports of entry.

“He is willing to manipulate the Office of the Presidency to engage in unconstitutional theatre performed to convince his audience that he is committed to his ‘beautiful’ border wall,” said California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a Feb. 18 press release.

“Today, on Presidents Day, we take President Trump to court to block his misuse of presidential power. We’re suing President Trump to stop him from unilaterally robbing taxpayer funds lawfully set aside by Congress for the people of our states. For most of us, the Office of the Presidency is not a place for theatre.” he continued.


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Saturday, February 16, 2019

Arcata Poised to OK Relocating McKinley. The Question is, Where?

Posted By on Sat, Feb 16, 2019 at 10:33 AM

Arcata City Council poised to OK McKinley relocation Wednesday. - FILE
  • File
  • Arcata City Council poised to OK McKinley relocation Wednesday.
The Arcata City Council is poised Wednesday to take a big step toward ridding the the city’s center of the statue of President William McKinley, where it has stood for more than a century.

Earlier this week, the city’s planning commission voted unanimously to recommend that the council certify an environmental impact report on the removal project, make necessary general plan amendments and find that there are “social concerns” that override the need to maintain the Arcata Plaza’s historic nature. On Wednesday, staff is recommending the city council approve the environmental review, approve the relocation and give some guidance as to just where McKinley will go.

There appear to be a number of options for the statue, which was unveiled on the plaza in 1906 but has become — in the eyes of some — a symbol of American imperialism and the suffering inflicted on native people throughout the world, prompting the council to vote last year to remove it. The environmental review document proposes the statue be moved to a city storage facility but the council can choose to modify that.

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Friday, February 8, 2019

What California’s ‘Nonbinary’ Gender Designation Will Cost Teen Drivers

Posted By on Fri, Feb 8, 2019 at 10:38 AM

Nonbinary legislation has little-noticed impact on teen drivers. - CALMATTERS
  • CALmatters
  • Nonbinary legislation has little-noticed impact on teen drivers.
In a little-noticed side impact of California’s 2018 law granting drivers the option of listing their gender as nonbinary, California’s Department of Insurance has decreed that auto insurance companies can no longer grant breaks in insurance rates to teen drivers who are female or charge young men more.

Outgoing Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, in one of his final acts in office, issued a regulation last month prohibiting the use of gender in automobile insurance rating, similar to regulations in six other states.

Jones’ replacement, Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, supports that policy, saying in a statement: “Gender, race, ethnicity or sexual orientation are beyond your control, and it is not a fair or even an effective way to predict risk.”

Jones’ regulatory action received coverage in The New York Times and elsewhere. But the genesis of Jones’ decision received far less attention—and had nothing to do with car insurance.

It was, at least in part, legislation by Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins granting motorists the option of listing their gender as male, female or nonbinary. As the bill wended its way through the Legislature, Atkins and other backers said it would be a blow for equality.

“Mindful of all the people I know who are gender-nonconforming, and the families I know with transgender children, I wanted to make sure that California continued to be a leader in gender-identity equality,” Atkins said after Gov. Jerry Brown signed it into law in October.

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Thursday, February 7, 2019

Huffman Appointed to New Congressional Climate Crisis Committee

Posted By on Thu, Feb 7, 2019 at 10:27 AM

Jared Huffman. - CONGRESS
  • Congress
  • Jared Huffman.
North Coast Representative Jared Huffman has been appointed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi to serve on a new Congressional committee formed to address the devastating effects of climate change.

“Communities in my district on the North Coast of California are already feeling the impacts of climate change, including warming and acidifying oceans, drought, and devastating wildfires,” Huffman said in a release about his seat on the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. “The House of Representatives has been injected with a new sense of urgency on conservation and climate change, and I’m honored to serve on this committee under the leadership of Chair Kathy Castor to help translate this enthusiasm into action. It’s clear that we must act to address the greatest moral, economic, and environmental imperative of our time.”

Read more in the Journal's Jan. 17 story "Officials Brace for Sea Level Rise" and view the photo slideshow "King Tides Preview Sea Level Rise."

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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

UPDATE: GoFundMe Effort for Local Coasties Surpasses $10K Goal

Posted By on Tue, Jan 22, 2019 at 4:15 PM

A rescue swimmer is lowered down 250 feet to a stranded hiker in this file photo. - U.S. COAST GUARD
  • U.S. Coast Guard
  • A rescue swimmer is lowered down 250 feet to a stranded hiker in this file photo.
UPDATE:
Humboldt County made clear how the local community feels about its Coasties with a GoFundMe account surpassing the $10,000 fundraising goal to reach more than $12,000.

Over the course of the last five days, 130 people pitched in on the effort, with many leaving message about what the U.S. Coast Guard means to them and others condemning that these local service members and their families are being held “hostage” in the president’s bid for a border wall.

PREVIOUS:

Humboldt County residents are stepping up to help local Coast Guard members and their families who are facing financial uncertainty amid the government shutdown.

Just 24 hours after going live, a GoFundMe account set up by the city of Eureka — one of a select 21 Coast Guard Cities in the nation — was closing in on $7,000 of the $10,000 goal.

Many of the donors left comments about their deep appreciation for the men and women who serve here, noting their bravery and "selfless commitment" to protecting the North Coast community.

About 250 Coast Guard service members live in the local area, all of whom are working without pay as President Donald Trump and Congressional Democrats continue to be deadlocked for a 28th day over nearly $6 billion in funding Trump wants for a highly controversial border wall.

Meanwhile, service members were told in a since deleted tip sheet by the Coast Guard Support Services, which was reported on by multiple media outlets, to inquire about getting short-term loans, forbearing mortgage payments and even having garage sales to make ends meet until the government re-opens.

Christine Tyson, the city’s executive assistant, says the community response to calls for donations of nonperishable good, cash and gift cards has been tremendous.

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Friday, January 4, 2019

Eureka Women's March Back on for Jan. 19, with New Organizers

Posted By on Fri, Jan 4, 2019 at 3:47 PM

January – The second-annual Women's March in Eureka again drew large crowds protesting national politics and politicians on Saturday, Jan. 20. - MARK LARSON
  • Mark Larson
  • January – The second-annual Women's March in Eureka again drew large crowds protesting national politics and politicians on Saturday, Jan. 20.
As a catalyst for change, Women’s Marches across the nation provided a stepping stone that helped propel women’s issues to a forefront these last two years. But, this year’s march in Eureka was cancelled December 28 after organizers released a statement saying their committee was “overwhelmingly white” and needed more diversity.

This brought national attention with a variety of media outlets ranging from Breitbart to Ebony covering the story.

But, the Women’s March is now back on for January 19 with speeches beginning at noon at the Madaket Plaza. Linda Atkins, former Eureka City Council member decided yesterday to apply for a permit and have the third Annual Women’s March in spite of the earlier cancellation.

“I was so excited when I went to the march last year and saw all the different people,” she told us in a phone interview this afternoon. “I liked the march part because I got to talk to people I didn’t know. It was very uplifting. People from all different parts of the community…I was upset when it was cancelled…I called a couple of friends and asked if they were willing to help.”

They were and Atkins applied to the City of Eureka for a permit.


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Wheeler Steps Down in McKinleyville, Creating MCSD Vacancy

Posted By on Fri, Jan 4, 2019 at 8:59 AM

Wheeler - MCSD
  • MCSD
  • Wheeler
In 2011, George Wheeler, a McKinleyville resident and Vietnam veteran was horrified to see a neighbor spraying a potent herbicide on the hayfields near his home. As a victim of Agent Orange poisoning, Wheeler did not want his five children exposed to anything that might endanger their health. He quickly found other neighbors were just as concerned and a little research revealed that the property belonged to the McKinleyville Community Services District (MCSD), which leased it to a dairy farmer.

The neighborhood organized and began attending the district board meetings, demanding that spraying of herbicides cease. Board members — as well as some members of the public —wondered how the hundreds of acres of open space that the district manages could be maintained without pesticides.

Wheeler introduced the board to the concept of integrated pest management, which has been described as "an intermediary between organic and conventional methods." It is often used by agencies or cities, such as Arcata, which must manage large areas of open space. Maintenance staff emphasize prevention, using materials and designs that discourage pests, using organic practices like mulching and encouraging grazing where appropriate. Weeds are hand-pulled, mowed or burned. Insect egg-masses are removed by hand. If that is not enough, biological controls can be used. But chemical pesticides may only be used as a last resort and those least harmful to human health and the environment must be tried first.

Wheeler was elected to the district board of directors in 2013 and has served since then, winning re-election to another four-year term in November. During his term of office, integrated pest management was adopted as an official policy of the district.

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Sunday, December 30, 2018

Cancellation of Eureka's Women's March Goes National

Posted By on Sun, Dec 30, 2018 at 6:06 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.

News that organizers of Eureka’s Women’s March have canceled this year’s event amid concerns that past incarnations have been “overwhelmingly white” have gained national attention.

Today, The Washington Post, Fox News, Newsweek, Slate, The Hill, Breitbart and other media outlets have all published stories about local organizers’ decision.

The 2017 Women’s March in Eureka drew as many as 8,000 people and is believed to have been the largest march or rally in Eureka history. Last year’s event wasn’t as well attended, but still drew as many as 5,000 to Old Town, Eureka, to hear a handful of speeches and march through the streets to protest Trump, promote the #MeToo movement, advocate women’s rights and other issues of the day.

News that this year’s event was being canceled came as a shock to most in the community. The march’s organizing committee sent out a press release Friday announcing the move, saying it made the decision “after many conversations between local social-change organizations and supporters of the march.”

“The local organizers are continuing to meet and discuss how to broaden representation in the organizing committee to create an event that represents and supports peoples who live here in Humboldt,” the press release stated. “UP to this point, participants have been overwhelmingly white, lacking representation from several perspectives in our community. Instead of pushing forward with crucial voices absent, the organizing team will take time for more outreach. Our goal is that planning will continue and we will be successful in creating an event that will build power and community engagement through connection between women that seek to improve the lives of all in our community.”


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