Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Walking the Walk: Photos for HSU Graduation

Posted By on Tue, May 21, 2019 at 9:19 PM

Creative mortarboard caps worn by graduating seniors at Friday and Saturday ceremonies at HSU. - PHOTO BY MARK LARSON
  • Photo by Mark Larson
  • Creative mortarboard caps worn by graduating seniors at Friday and Saturday ceremonies at HSU.

More than 1,800 Humboldt State University students sat through three graduation ceremonies in Redwood Bowl during Saturday's rainy skies. In addition, the campus hosted the Black Heritage Graduation Celebration on late Friday afternoon in the Kate Buchanan Room, followed in the evening by the Latinx Graduation Ceremony (the largest in HSU's history) at the Lumberjack Arena.

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Reward Offered in Poaching of Roosevelt Elk

Posted By on Tue, May 21, 2019 at 5:39 PM

A reward is being offered for information about a December elk poaching case. - FILE
  • File
  • A reward is being offered for information about a December elk poaching case.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife announced this week a reward of up to $2,500 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone responsible for the December shooting deaths of four Roosevelt elk, including a pregnant cow.

In a release, CDFW states the investigation is continuing, “including processing evidence left at the crime scene. The department also thanks the four organizations — California Bowmen Hunters, California Houndsmen for Conservation, the Oranco Bowmen from Ontario and the Orange Belt Field Archers — for pledging the reward money."

Wildlife officers responding to a poaching report found the slain animals Dec. 9 in the Maple Creek area, southeast of Blue Lake.

“This poacher shot these animals and left them for dead,” said CDFW Law Enforcement Division District Capt. AJ Bolton. “The vast majority of hunters are ethical and law-abiding citizens, but this is poaching, plain and simple.”

Read the CDWF release below:

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Earthquake Strikes Near Pine Hills

Posted By on Tue, May 21, 2019 at 10:34 AM

USGS
  • USGS
A preliminary magnitude-3.8 earthquake struck near the Eureka enclave of Pine Hills this morning, with reports of ground shaking spanning from  Hydesville to McKinleyville, according to USGS.

The 10:19 a.m. quake struck at a depth of almost 13 miles.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.
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Monday, May 20, 2019

Arrest Made in Fatal McKinleyville Hit and Run

Posted By on Mon, May 20, 2019 at 2:36 PM

chp.jpg
A 47-year-old McKinleyville man was killed Saturday morning by a hit-and-run driver who was later arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, according to a CHP release.

The release states Clinton Eugene Deckert II was walking north on the east shoulder of Central Avenue, south of Bella Vista Road, when he was struck just before 7:30 a.m. by a car driven by Shala Marie Bianco, 25, who also lives in McKinleyville.

The California Highway Patrol reports that Bianco reportedly fled the crash “at a high rate of speed.” Deckert died at the scene.

“Within less than an hour time, Bianco called Humboldt Communications Center and stated she was the driver of the Toyota,” the CHP report states. “Bianco was contacted and arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs." 

The CHP states that the investigation is continuing and anyone with information is asked to call 822-5981 or to send an email to humboldt_area.humboldt_area@chp.ca.gov.

Read the CHP release below:


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The New Yorker Does Humboldt

Posted By on Mon, May 20, 2019 at 12:42 PM

SCREENSHOT
  • Screenshot
Humboldt County just got The New Yorker treatment.

The lead story on the magazine’s website today, “How Legalization Changed Humboldt County Marijuana,” takes a deep dive into Humboldt County’s cannabis industry, its roots and its future. Spoiler alert: The piece isn’t entirely optimistic.

“Before legalization, people grew cannabis however they could and developed methods to avoid getting caught by law enforcement,” writes Emily Witt. “Regulation demands a different set of skills. Instead of loading their crop into duffel bags and sending it out of state, they have to learn branding and marketing. Legalization brings with it the costs of taxes, permitting, compliance and new competitors. It has also occasioned a rapid drop in price. Now Humboldt County is experiencing not only an economic crisis but also an existential one. What happens to a group of people whose anti-government ethos was sustained by an illegal plant that is now the most regulated crop in California?”
It’s a good question.

It’s always interesting when a national heavyweight reports on Humboldt County, allowing us to see our issues and ourselves through an outsider’s eyes.

Take Witt’s description of Garberville:

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Sunday, May 19, 2019

Town Hall Focuses on Need for Transitional Housing

Posted By on Sun, May 19, 2019 at 2:33 PM

Reverend Daniel London opens the Town Hall event at the Christ Episcopal Church with an acknowledgment of Jesus Christ and his alignment with homeless struggles. - FREDDY BREWSTER
  • Freddy Brewster
  • Reverend Daniel London opens the Town Hall event at the Christ Episcopal Church with an acknowledgment of Jesus Christ and his alignment with homeless struggles.
Gathered in the Christ Episcopal Church on a windy and wet Saturday afternoon, nearly 40 people talked about homelessness and the need for transitional housing in Humboldt County.

Under the stained-glass windows and vaulted ceiling of the nearly 150-year-old church, Reverend Daniel London and his wife Ashley London Bacchi helped facilitate conversations with a panel that included Betty Chinn, Eureka Police Department Sgt. Leonard La France, Eureka City Councilmember Kim Bergel and others who are on the front lines of addressing the area's homeless people and their impacts. The event was put on by True North Organizing Network, a faith-based nonprofit that focuses on community issues and providing every person with “the opportunity to be heard and respected.”

“We are really excited to hear stories in our community about this issue and to bring a face to housing needs,” said Eve Robinson, a facilitator and leader with True North. “If we could change even one mind about housing in our area, then that was our goal.”

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Brazen Gun Theft Suspect Pleads Guilty, Most Weapons Still Unaccounted for

Posted By on Sun, May 19, 2019 at 8:25 AM

One of the stolen guns was used in the shooting of a University Police Department officer in 2017. - FILE
  • File
  • One of the stolen guns was used in the shooting of a University Police Department officer in 2017.
The Eureka man with an outlaw name who was behind a brazen gun theft at Pacific Outfitters nearly four years ago was recently sentenced to 33 months in prison after pleading guilty to the crime in federal court.

Jesse James Marquez was 19 when he cut power lines to the sporting goods store in August of 2015 to dismantle the alarm before breaking in through a skylight and proceeding to make off with the trove of 55 handguns that had been stored in a cabinet. Two weeks, later he took off to Oregon.

Since then, only 17 of the weapons have been recovered, according to the Eureka Police Department, with most found during criminal investigations — several drug-related from Southern Humboldt to Oregon and even out east in Georgia.

One was brandished by Ervin Eugene Sweat Jr. when he nearly killed University Police Department officer Louis Altic, who was shot in the leg in September of 2017 after responding to the Arcata Plaza on reports of a fight involving an armed suspect. Sweat was killed when Altic and another officer returned fire.

“In addition to the prison term, Judge Breyer sentenced Marquez to a three-year term of supervised release and ordered Marquez to pay restitution to Pacific Outfitters in the amount of $56,600,” a Department of Justice press release states.

The brash crime was one of the main reasons then Eureka Police Chief Andrew Mills proposed an ordinance — which he withdrew days later amid a public backlash — that would require gun owners and sellers within city limits to lock up their weapons when they weren’t home or a business was closed.

“People have the right to bear arms but that’s just the point — to bear arms. Not to leave them lying around unprotected,” Mills said at the time. “[The ordinance was] written specifically so if someone is home or at their business, they can have all the guns they want lying about, because they're in control of their firearms. It has nothing to do with ‘when somebody goes to bed at night, can they have a gun on their nightstand?’ Of course they can. This is America.”


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Saturday, May 18, 2019

'Today is Your Day:' Charmaine Lawson Accepts Son's Degree in Emotional Ceremony

Posted By on Sat, May 18, 2019 at 2:32 PM

MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
Ponchos, umbrellas and rain jackets surrounded Humboldt State University’s Redwood Bowl this morning as graduates celebrated their commencement. Among them, in a full cap, gown and graduation stole, was Charmaine Lawson, sitting in place of her son, David Josiah Lawson.

David Josiah Lawson, who was a 19-year-old sophomore when he was fatally stabbed at an off-campus party two years ago in the early morning hours of April 15, 2017, would have spent this weekend celebrating his graduation from HSU. Instead, his mother accepted an honorary posthumous degree on his behalf.

After all graduates in the criminology and justice studies major were named, professor Michihiro Clark Sugata announced the presentation of the posthumous degree.

“The degree will be accepted by his mother, Charmaine Lawson,” Clark Sugata told the crowd. Cheering, applause and a standing ovation followed, as Lawson continued her walk onto the stage. “David. Josiah. Lawson,” the professor continued. Raising both her hands and the HSU diploma, Lawson stayed on stage to celebrate her son’s degree.


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Friday, May 17, 2019

Town Hall Aims to Bridge 'Empathy Gap' on Transitional Housing

Posted By on Fri, May 17, 2019 at 3:40 PM

Eureka has more homeless people than shelter beds. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Eureka has more homeless people than shelter beds.

True North Organizing Network will host a town hall meeting tomorrow afternoon on the need for transitional housing locally.

The meeting — scheduled from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. at Christ Episcopal Church at 625 15th St. in Eureka — is intended to bridge the “empathy gap” organizers feel exists in conversations about finding shelter for those currently living without. To that end, the meeting will feature “testimonials” from people who have benefitted from transitional housing.

There’s an acute need for additional shelter and transitional housing in Humboldt County, where nearly 1,500 people were living homeless and without shelter earlier this year, according to the biennial point in time count directed by the Humboldt Housing and Homeless Coalition. That puts Humboldt County’s per-capita rate of homelessness at nearly three times the state average.

In addition to there being a shortage of shelter beds locally, there are also few options for transitional housing — or housing arrangements that get people off the streets and out of shelters, allowing them to build rental histories before transitioning into more traditional housing arrangements. A number of proposed transitional housing projects — including one from local philanthropist Betty Chinn, who wanted to use 11 donated construction trailers to house a few dozen people — have stalled in the face of neighborhood concerns.

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Congressman Jared Huffman Votes to Pass the Equality Act for LGBTQ Americans

Posted By on Fri, May 17, 2019 at 1:16 PM

FILE
  • File
With the help of North Coast Congressman Jared Huffman, the U.S. House of Representatives today passed the Equality Act, which aims to extend protections of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and other civil rights laws by specifically prohibiting any form of discrimination on the basis of sex, gender identity and sexual orientation.

“It’s 2019: how can federal law still allow Americans to be fired from their jobs, or denied service at a restaurant, simply because of their sexual orientation or who they love?” Huffman said in a press release. “The Constitution promises equality under the law for all, and Congress has a duty to uphold these fundamental rights.”

The Equality Act establishes guaranteed full protections of federal and civil rights laws for LGBTQ Americans and extends anti-discrimination protections in federal laws “covering employment, education, access to credit, jury service, federal funding, housing and public accommodations.”

The act, which Huffman co-sponsored with almost every House Democrat, was first introduced in 2015 and reintroduced earlier this month by Representative David Cicilline (D-Rhode Island). It passed the House on a 236-173 vote and will now head to the Republican-controlled Senate for consideration.

According to the press release from Huffman's office, “In nearly 30 states, it is still legal to terminate someone’s employment or to deny housing, mortgages, routine business services, or emergency medical care to individuals if they or a family member identify as LGBTQ.”

“I’m glad today to vote for the Equality Act to protect LGBTQ Americans from legal discrimination and to continue to build on the civil rights protections that are so fundamental to our country’s values,” Huffman said.


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