Sports

Monday, November 13, 2017

NoHum Trustee Faces Censure Over Conduct

Posted By on Mon, Nov 13, 2017 at 5:02 PM

Arcata High School - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Arcata High School
He’s a popular Arcata High basketball coach lauded for setting high standards on and off the court. She’s a social worker and mother of four who volunteered to serve on a Northern Humboldt Union High School District athletic committee. Both became the target of a single trustee who questioned whether they were qualified for those roles during a school board meeting last month.

The reasons appear to circle back to a complaint filed by Trustee Jennifer Knight’s sister after her son failed to make the Arcata High School varsity basketball team last year.

Now Knight is facing a formal reprimand by her fellow board members for what a five-page resolution of censure describes — at times in detail — as an extensive pattern of unacceptable conduct, which includes being disrespectful to parents and staff and using her position to push her sister’s grievance.

Knight canceled a scheduled interview with the Journal last week, noting she believed it was “best to first engage with the Board resolution process,” adding later via email that she was looking to move forward and continue her work with the district.

“In my effort to provide a safe place for all to be heard, I regret that I may have inadvertently gotten overheated and my demeanor was not deemed appropriate,” said Knight, a student development advisor at College of the Redwoods, before the board agenda came out.

Meanwhile, the district is taking rumors of a recall effort seriously enough that staff asked the elections office for a cost estimate, which came back at $7,500 to $9,000 if it was held in conjunction with the June primary.

Registrar of Voters Kelly Sanders said no recall paperwork had been filed as of Monday afternoon.

According to the resolution, Knight is said to have violated 10 board bylaws and policies that require trustees to act in an ethical manner, make decisions in the best interest of the district and the public and to abstain from voting when a conflict of interest arises.

The resolution states that the board “wishes to condemn Ms. Knight’s actions in the strongest possible terms available to it as a governing body” and specifically directs Knight “to abstain from voting on any and all matters which pertain to her personal or familial interests, including matters which relate to her sister’s complaint filed in December 2016, and to conduct herself in a manner becoming a representative of this community.”

While the issue has reportedly been ongoing for about two years, Knight’s conduct came to a head Oct. 10, when she attempted to block the reappointment of popular Arcata High varsity basketball Coach Ryan Bisio as well as JV Coach Graham Johnson by pulling their names from a routine list of hires.

Knight then stunned the room by publicly excoriating parent volunteer Carolyn Perkins at length, calling her “unfit” to serve on a school committee, distributing as “evidence” a nearly year-old personal email from Perkins that Knight somehow obtained that references concerns about her sister’s complaint.

“I hope you never have to experience something comparable in your life, because it was wretched,” Perkins told the board that night in an emotional statement.

She was later appointed to the committee after a second vote because the board failed to take public comment amid the confusion.

Superintendent Roger MacDonald also had some strong words at the meeting, saying he was “concerned about what’s going to happen tomorrow after we have disparaged people in the community that have chosen to come forward and support our schools.” He also noted Perkins and a fellow parent whose appointment’s Knight tried to block were the first to volunteer for the athletics board in six years.

In fact, the athletics committee almost failed to materialize after two trustees — Brian Lovell and Dana Silvernale — abstained with Knight dissenting on the first vote until the point was raised that the board had failed to follow policy and conducted a second round.

Both coaches were also later approved after a special meeting on Oct. 16, when dozens of speakers lined up to support them amid calls for Knight’s resignation or for the board to at least gain a grip on her behavior.

Trustee Brian Gerving, who brought the discussion of a censure to his fellow board members at the Oct. 16 meeting, said he has concerns about what the coaches were put through, regardless of how the situation turned out.

He said Knight’s actions are not only eroding public trust in the district and the board, but set a bad example for students and staff, noting other incidents have “bubbled up over time” involving her and the Arcata basketball program.

“This was definitely the most egregious case,” Gerving said.

In a later interview, MacDonald added that “this is not a surprise and did not come out of the blue," noting that he, past superintendents and other board members have all tried to intervene with Knight without success.

“It’s a distraction from educating our kids,” the superintendent said. “It causes our staff members to wonder. It’s been said, ‘Who’s next?’ I’ve heard that from teachers, from coaches. I’ve heard that from administrators, ‘Who’s next? Who’s going to be the next person there a perceived problem with.’”

The 6 p.m. board meeting takes place Tuesday at the McKinleyville High School library, 1300 Murray Road.
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Saturday, September 9, 2017

McKinleyvile Marksman

Posted By on Sat, Sep 9, 2017 at 2:49 PM

Dan Jones takes aim. - JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • Dan Jones takes aim.

Turns out skeet shooting isn't necessarily a young person's game, at least according to Dan Jones. He ought to know — the 45-year-old McKinleyville native has just climbed to No. 1 in the national rankings by the National Skeet Shooting Association and he's on his way to compete against some 400 to 500 shooters at the U.S. Open in Chicago this week and another 1,000 or so at the World Championship (which he won in 2014) in San Antonio right after that.

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Saturday, August 19, 2017

Making Time: More Moments from the Hoopa Rodeo

Posted By on Sat, Aug 19, 2017 at 10:01 AM

Jerry Parrish with Barker and Kitty. - LINDA STANSBERRY
  • Linda Stansberry
  • Jerry Parrish with Barker and Kitty.
We hope you enjoyed this week's cover story "Holding On: A Day at the Hoopa Rodeo." Below you'll find a chunk of missing time from our hour-by-hour account of Saturday, Aug. 5, an interview that was cut for length from the cover, and a slideshow of photos taken during the day.


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Monday, July 31, 2017

Study of NFL Brains 'Reinforcing' for Local Concussion Awareness Efforts

Posted By on Mon, Jul 31, 2017 at 11:18 AM

Trainers attend to an injured Augustana University football player in the round one playoff game at Redwood Bowl in 2015. Researchers are beginning to equate playing — and studying — with a concussion to running on a sprained ankle, and are recommending immediate rest upon signs of a brain injury. - FILE
  • File
  • Trainers attend to an injured Augustana University football player in the round one playoff game at Redwood Bowl in 2015. Researchers are beginning to equate playing — and studying — with a concussion to running on a sprained ankle, and are recommending immediate rest upon signs of a brain injury.

North Coast Concussion Program Coordinator Beth Larson said she wasn’t particularly surprised to see the groundbreaking study released last week in the Journal of the American Medical Association finding that 110 out of 111 brains of deceased NFL players were found to have chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the degenerative disease believed to be caused by repeated blows to the head.

The study is groundbreaking in its breadth but Larson said there’s nothing terribly surprising about the results.

North Coast Concussion Program Coordinator Beth Larson. - FILE
  • File
  • North Coast Concussion Program Coordinator Beth Larson.
“It’s reinforcing,” she said. “It’s just more evidence to what we basically already expected.”

The study dissected the brains of the deceased NFL players to look for signs of CTE and an article in the New York Times concedes there is an inherent selection bias in the study. Because CTE is only detectable through brain dissections, the study only looked at brains from players and families that wanted them studied, often because they’d noted CTE symptoms.

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Saturday, July 15, 2017

Rodeo Bucks Along

Posted By on Sat, Jul 15, 2017 at 2:55 PM

Danny Fales, of Eureka. - THOMAS HARDY
  • Thomas Hardy
  • Danny Fales, of Eureka.
The Fortuna Rodeo is hitting full stride, with busy days planned today and tomorrow, when the adults will take center stage. But Thursday was all about the juniors, and local photographer Thomas Hardy was there to catch the little ones in action.

For a full schedule or rodeo festivities, including the famous rodeo BBQ hitting plates tomorrow, click here.


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Friday, June 9, 2017

HSU Axes Pepsi Contract

Posted By on Fri, Jun 9, 2017 at 5:00 PM

The athletics department gets about $58,000 in sponsorship funds from HSU's contract with PepsiCo, which give the multi-billion-dollar company "pouring rights" on campus.
  • The athletics department gets about $58,000 in sponsorship funds from HSU's contract with PepsiCo, which give the multi-billion-dollar company "pouring rights" on campus.

Humboldt State University President Lisa Rossbacher has decided to sever the school’s ties with PepsiCo after some students came forward opposing its ongoing 40-year relationship with the multi-billion-dollar company.

Under the contract, PepsiCo gave HSU about $58,000 in sponsorship funds for athletic scholarships and scoreboard maintenance in exchange for “pouring rights” guaranteeing Pepsi 80 percent of on-campus food and beverage retail space. With the five-year contract slated to expire June 30 and up for renewal, students urged administrators end the school’s relationship with the soft drink giant — which owns a host of multi-billion-dollar subsidiaries, including Quaker, Cheetos, Doritos, Gatorade and Tropicana.

Specifically, students argued that partnering with PepsiCo wasn’t in line with the school’s stated commitment to promoting social and environmental justice. Additionally, they said the contract denies local businesses the opportunity to sell their products on campus.

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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Milk Run in the Sun

Posted By on Thu, Mar 16, 2017 at 9:39 AM

Runners take off on the Foggy Bottom Milk Run on Sunday. - JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • Runners take off on the Foggy Bottom Milk Run on Sunday.
There wasn't much in the way of fog in Ferndale when runners of all ages pounded the Victorian Village's pavement during the Foggy Bottom Milk Run on Sunday. In fact, the 4-mile, 10-mile and 2-mile loops began and ended under blue sky on Main Street, which was lined on both sides with clusters of cheering onlookers.

The day's winners included Michael Guerrero for the men's 4-mile with a time of 23:22 and Lanore Bergenske for the women's 4-mile at 29:16. First over the finish line for the 10-mile were Aaron Campbell at 56:44 and Tami Beal at 1:10:15. August Garcinero finished the 2-mile in 10:27 and Elsa Nolan covered it in 13:05. Complete results will be posted on the Six Rivers Running Club website
Michael Guerrero, winner of the 4-mile, still had enough energy for this move. - JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • Michael Guerrero, winner of the 4-mile, still had enough energy for this move.

Lanore Bergenske was the first woman of the day to cross the finish line in the 4-mile. - JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • Lanore Bergenske was the first woman of the day to cross the finish line in the 4-mile.
At 2 p.m. the street was packed for the shortest of the day's races, the 2-mile. Instead of lightly bouncing pros with sinewy calves and hi-tech shoes, the starting line was packed with kids of all ages. They jostled and chatted, hooting and clapping for the last runners from the 10-mile. Mike Pigg announced to the crowd that this year's goal was to not have anyone fall down, then led the countdown to the start.

The 2-mile race was a younger crowd overall. - JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • The 2-mile race was a younger crowd overall.
Serious runners wove their way to the front of the pack and the crowd spread out. Once over the finish line, participants big and small (a few in strollers) headed for the tent stalls for orange wedges and cartons of chocolate milk, taking photos with their medals in the sunshine.

Mike Pigg informs the kids up front that this year's goal is to have nobody fall down at the start. - JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • Mike Pigg informs the kids up front that this year's goal is to have nobody fall down at the start.

Post-race cool down in the afternoon sun. - JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • Post-race cool down in the afternoon sun.


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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Wavesgiving

Posted By and on Tue, Nov 22, 2016 at 12:26 PM

Organizer Chris Johnson catching a wave. - SEAN JANSEN
  • Sean Jansen
  • Organizer Chris Johnson catching a wave.

On Saturday, Nov. 19, while some of us huddled inside and watched the rain, Humboldt surfers woke before dawn and headed out to Trinidad State Beach for the second annual Wavesgiving Surf Contest. Some 20 contestants zipped into their wetsuits and hit the water to compete for cash and salty glory. Photographer Sean Jansen was in the splash zone capturing highlights. Check out the action in the sea-battered slideshow below.

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Sunday, May 22, 2016

HSU Softball Stopped One Win Shy of National Title

Posted By on Sun, May 22, 2016 at 2:22 PM

The Lions celebrate their national championship with the ice bath of victory. - FACEBOOK/UNIVERSITY OF NORTH ALABAMA
  • Facebook/University of North Alabama
  • The Lions celebrate their national championship with the ice bath of victory.
The Lumberjacks entered Saturday needing just one win to become national champions. It wasn’t meant to be.

The Humboldt State University softball team dropped both its games Saturday to lose the best of three NCAA Division II national championship series in Denver to the University of North Alabama. HSU got off to a good start in the series Friday against North Alabama, which boasts the nation’s third best offense, thanks to a 5-0 shutout from ace pitcher Madison Williams.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Our Assemblyman Golfed Pebble Beach Last Year for Free

Posted By on Wed, Apr 27, 2016 at 5:16 PM

Fore! - GRANT SCOTT-GOFORTH
  • Grant Scott-Goforth
  • Fore!
Politicians are just like us. Who hasn’t been given $460 tickets to a Warriors or Giants game from a powerful state union or private corporation?

The LA Times just released an article detailing the sports-related gifts handed to California lawmakers and there was our very own 2nd District Assemblyman Jim Wood, leading the state in single gift value.

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