Politics

Monday, April 8, 2019

McCloskey Out of First District Supes Race

Posted By on Mon, Apr 8, 2019 at 2:19 PM

Allen McCloskey - MCCLOSKEY FOR SUPERVISOR, FACEBOOK
  • McCloskey for Supervisor, Facebook
  • Allen McCloskey
Allen McCloskey has withdrawn his candidacy to become Humboldt County’s next First District supervisor in the face of fraud and perjury allegations reported last week by the Lost Coast Outpost.

“The last two months (and more notably the last two weeks) have been incredibly difficult for me as an individual, for my immediate and extended family, for the campaign team, for our friends and for so many people who I love and admire,” McCloskey wrote in a 2,400-word statement posted to his campaign Facebook page yesterday. “This ordeal has been designed to cause an incredible amount of strain. The blog hit piece, the bias and one-sided reporting, endless personal attacks, have caused untold damage to family, friends and political supporters. … As a result, and after much reflection and careful consideration, I cannot in good conscience allow these forces to continue to damage my family, friends and colleagues. … For the time being, we will walk away from this particular campaign with our heads held high and our commitment to our collective vision intact.”

The Outpost’s Ryan Burns penned a lengthy and thorough investigative report last week, much of which focused on perjury and fraud allegations from 16 years ago. When Burns confronted McCloskey with the allegations during an interview, McCloskey responded that he’d been the victim of identity theft.

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Thursday, April 4, 2019

Fisticuffs in First District Supes Race

Posted By on Thu, Apr 4, 2019 at 4:40 PM

unknown.jpg
It’s been a bare-knuckle week in the upstart campaign to become Humboldt County’s next First District supervisor.

First, Tuesday afternoon, the Lost Coast Outpost’s Ryan Burns published an impressive piece of investigative journalism detailing allegations of fraud and perjury in challenger Allen McCloskey’s past and the candidate’s seeming inability to offer a clear explanation for them. Anyone who hasn’t read the piece should check it out here. But the Cliff’s Notes version is as follows: In 2004, McCloskey was working as a consultant for Kleen Environmental Technologies, which was seeking a biomedical waste disposal permit from the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission. According to transcripts of commission hearings, it appears McCloskey forged a letter in support of Kleen’s application then lied about it. When called on those lies, he either suffered a medical emergency or feigned one, after which he allegedly fled the state. When questioned about all this by Burns, McCloskey said it wasn’t him but a doppleganger ex-boyfriend who stole his identity and committed the fraudulent acts and perjury in an effort to make big money off of Kleen.

McCloskey didn’t return a Journal call seeking comment for this story but told the Times-Standard’s Shomik Mukherjee that his attorneys and campaign committee are crafting a “very stern response” to Burns’ report, that he has no intention of dropping out of the supervisorial race but that he “didn’t specifically deny any of the Outpost’s reported claims.” He also seemingly blamed incumbent Rex Bohn’s campaign for the Outpost story, saying, “This is the kind of campaign Rex always runs.”

It’s unclear if the information from McCloskey’s past surfaced as a result of opposition campaign research. The Journal received copies of the transcripts of the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission hearings referenced in the Outpost’s reporting but the source who provided them is not affiliated with either campaign. No matter how they surfaced in Humboldt County, the transcripts are all available through the commission’s website.

Less than 24 hours following the Outpost’s bombshell report, local political organizer and McCloskey supporter Renee Saucedo sent out an open letter to local media calling on Bohn to resign and relaying allegations of a racist remark made at a recent nonprofit fundraiser. Apparently word had been quietly spreading about the comments since the March 9 fundraiser for Ferndale Repertory Theatre at the Carson Mansion but Saucedo chose the morning after the McCloskey report to blast it out to local press.

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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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