Politics

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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Sunday, December 23, 2018

A Hostage For 5 Years, Former HSU Professor Alann Steen Dies

Posted By on Sun, Dec 23, 2018 at 1:26 PM

Alann Steen (left) in 1992 at HSU as a Hadley Lecture speaker, following his release from captivity, with Mark Larson (center) and Howard Seemann of the journalism department. - COURTESY OF MICHAEL HARMON
  • Courtesy of Michael Harmon
  • Alann Steen (left) in 1992 at HSU as a Hadley Lecture speaker, following his release from captivity, with Mark Larson (center) and Howard Seemann of the journalism department.
Alann Steen, a former Humboldt State University journalism professor who was catapulted into the international spotlight when he was held hostage in Beirut for nearly five years, has died. He was 79.

Steen, who also earned double master’s degrees at HSU after a six-year stint in the U.S. Marines Corps, which included being briefly deployed outside of Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis, was living in Washington state at the time of his death.

According to an obituary by his family, Steen was surrounded by “his girls” who “loved him more than words can express” when he succumbed to cancer after a “short but heroic battle” on Dec. 13.

Steen departed HSU to teach at Chico State University before leaving to become a journalism professor at Beirut University College in 1983. He was kidnapped from the campus Jan. 24, 1987, with three of his colleagues before being released Dec. 3, 1991.

The father of three and grandfather of four was the “eighth longest-held Western hostage freed” in Lebanon at the time of his release, which was the result of “complex negotiations” done by United Nations that also included exchanges of prisoners held by Israel for Israeli servicemen missing in Lebanon, according to a New York Times article.

In a December 1991 interview with the Journal, Steen said he never gave up hope during his captivity.


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Friday, December 7, 2018

McGuire Re-introduces Trump Tax Return Legislation

Posted By on Fri, Dec 7, 2018 at 10:41 AM

Mike McGuire
  • Mike McGuire
North Coast State Sen. Mike McGuire has followed through on his promise to re-introduce legislation that would require presidential candidates to release their tax returns in order to make it onto the primary ballot in California.

McGuire vowed to reintroduce the legislation — a prior version of which was vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown last year — in July, after watching President Donald Trump’s widely criticized joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland. In a press release this morning, McGuire referenced Trump’s refusal to implicate Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammad bin Salman, in the brutal murder of Washington Post journalist and U.S. resident Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey.

“Voters not only deserve full disclosure of their leader’s tax returns, they should be entitled to them,” said McGuire. “If President Trump had released his tax returns we would know why he’s ignoring intelligence agencies and snuggling up to the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, who has been linked to the brutal killing of Jamal Khashoggi. Transparency is a nonpartisan issue and it’s time to put the speculation to bed and bring to light any conflicts of interest that could drive an American president into the arms of a foreign power. It’s time to make President Trump’s tax returns public.”

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Thursday, October 18, 2018

MCSD Candidates Square Off at Forum

Posted By on Thu, Oct 18, 2018 at 5:51 PM

logo.jpg
Candidates for three open seats on the McKinleyville Community Services District Board of Directors met at an Oct. 16 forum at Azalea Hall sponsored by the McKinleyville Chamber of Commerce and the League of Women Voters. Candidates answered questions asked by the members of the public who were present, or who phoned in their concerns.

The forum saw incumbents David Couch, Dennis Mayo and George Wheeler square off with a single challenger, Eric Rydberg.

Although it is the third largest community in Humboldt County, McKinleyville is not an incorporated city and therefore does not have a city council. However, many of the basic functions of a city government are handled by the community services district board of directors. The district’s mission statement is to provide McKinleyville with safe and reliable water, wastewater, lighting, open space, parks and recreation, and library services in an environmentally and fiscally responsible manner. The chamber of commerce restricted questions from the community to these topics.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Photos from the Lantern Floating Ceremony

Posted By on Tue, Aug 14, 2018 at 5:52 PM

Volunteer Tony Wallin, of Arcata, helped move the lighted lanterns away from the shore into the gentle breeze blowing across Klopp Lake. - PHOTO BY MARK LARSON
  • Photo by Mark Larson
  • Volunteer Tony Wallin, of Arcata, helped move the lighted lanterns away from the shore into the gentle breeze blowing across Klopp Lake.

The Saturday morning lantern-making workshop on the Arcata Plaza was busy with people of all ages making lanterns with personalized remembrances or social commentary for that evening’s 36th annual Lantern Floating Ceremony at Klopp Lake in the Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary.

The Lantern Floating Ceremony is based on the Japanese Obon tradition of honoring the departed. Our local event was first organized by the city’s Nuclear Free Zone Committee as a memorial for those affected by the WWII bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and to increase awareness about the dangers of nuclear proliferation. See the slideshow below for photos of the ceremony.


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Thursday, July 19, 2018

North Coast Lawmakers Question Trump's Motives with Russia, Introduce Candidate Vetting Legislation

Posted By on Thu, Jul 19, 2018 at 9:42 AM

Jared Huffman. - CONGRESS
  • Congress
  • Jared Huffman.
North Coast lawmakers announced this morning a pair of efforts in direct response to President Donald Trump’s widely criticized remarks in Helsinki, Finland, Monday during a press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin, in which he refrained from criticizing the Russian dictator and cast doubt on whether the country interfered in the 2016 presidential election.

First, on the House floor, Congressman Jared Huffman called what he saw in Helsinki a “stunning betrayal” and openly questioned whether Trump is being blackmailed.

“What does Putin have on President Trump? Is he literally being blackmailed? Do we have a Manchurian candidate as our president? It’s hard to imagine any other explanation for Trump’s constant bowing and scraping at the feet of the Russian dictator or of his refusal to hold Putin accountable for his election interference, even after numerous indictments, including 12 Russian military officials, and even after the arrest of a Russian national who was caught trying to use the NRA as a tool to change U.S. policy toward Russia. …

“Now on Monday, our security interests of this country demanded that our president speak out and seek accountability from the foreign adversary who attacked it. But instead the American people witnessed a Manchurian moment exposing that President Trump is so deeply compromised on Russia that he’s willing to alienate our European allies, to blame our country for the strains in the relationship with Russia and to betray our intelligence and law enforcement communities by casting doubt on their conclusions and accepting Putin’s self-serving denials. And so the world wonders, what does Putin have over Trump?”


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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Supreme Court Pulls 'Three Californias' Measure From November Ballot

Posted By on Wed, Jul 18, 2018 at 1:45 PM

State Supreme Court pulls three-state ballot measure. - BALLOTPEDIA
  • Ballotpedia
  • State Supreme Court pulls three-state ballot measure.
Well, it looks like voters won't get to decide whether California should be severed into three separate states — at least not this year.

The California Supreme Court ruled today, according to multiple news reports, to remove the measure that the California Secretary of State's Office  had already approved for the November ballot.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the court's brief order indicates it took action "because significant questions have been raised regarding the proposition's validity and because we conclude that the potential harm in permitting the measure to remain on the ballot outweighs the potential harm in delaying the proposition to a future election."


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Friday, July 6, 2018

Sundberg Concedes Fifth to Madrone

Posted By on Fri, Jul 6, 2018 at 12:14 PM

Ryan Sundberg (left) and Steve Madrone - SUBMITTED
  • submitted
  • Ryan Sundberg (left) and Steve Madrone
Supervisor Ryan Sundberg today conceded the race for the Fifth District seat to Steve “Sungnome” Madrone, who won by a narrow 118-vote margin, according to final election results released this week.

In a post to his Facebook page, Sundberg says he believes he left the sprawling district — which includes McKinleyville north to the county line, and the eastern stretches of the county, including Hoopa, Willow Creek and Weitchpec — in “better shape” and that he put his "heart and soul into the job.”

Sundberg said he will not be pursuing a recount because he doesn’t believe it will change the outcome, but feels like he “let a lot of people down.” The two-time incumbent said he will miss his fellow supervisors and coastal commissioners, and thanked county staff, his supporters, friends and family.

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