Thursday, August 13, 2020

Warmer Weather is On Its Way

Posted By on Thu, Aug 13, 2020 at 12:35 PM

The National Weather Service map of potential heat risk coming this weekend. - NWS EUREKA
  • NWS Eureka
  • The National Weather Service map of potential heat risk coming this weekend.
Drink lots of water, stay in air-conditioned buildings and avoid going outside for long periods of time as the National Weather Service is forecasting a potential heat risk for the county on Friday and Saturday.

"Heat is on the way, but you can get prepared and #BeatTheHeat," a NWS Eureka Facebook post reads. "Heat-sensitive groups (e.g. elderly and very young) may need assistance to avoid heat-related illness. And as always, never, ever leave a child or pet in an enclosed automobile."

See if you are in a yellow area (low risk for those extremely sensitive to heat), an orange area (moderate risk) or red area (high risk) area below.

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California Geological Survey Issues New Tsunami Maps for Humboldt County

Posted By on Thu, Aug 13, 2020 at 11:28 AM

Tsunami warning sign. - FILE
  • File
  • Tsunami warning sign.
The California Geological Survey has issued new tsunami hazard and evacuation zone maps for Humboldt County.

“We have new scientific information and better computer modeling which has resulted in better forecasts about whether or not an earthquake will create a tsunami, and the path one would take. This new information can help local governments and emergency response providers update their community evacuation plans," acting state Geologist Steve Bohlen said in the release.
The inundation map shows how far inland a surge of ​seawater might go during a worst-case scenario event. The evacuation map shows where people evacuating a tsunami can go to ensure their safety.

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Lane Closure at Slough Bridge on Highway 101

Posted By on Thu, Aug 13, 2020 at 11:24 AM

eureka.jpg
The city of Eureka Public Works is reporting that the number two northbound lane of  U.S. Highway 101 at the Slough Bridge will be closed until mid-afternoon as crews are working to repair a water main break.

Drivers should expect delays and are encouraged to take alternate routes if possible.
"The patience and cooperation of motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians in the vicinity of the work zone is greatly appreciated," the release states.

Read the full press release below.
Lane Closure at Slough Bridge on Highway 101

The number two northbound lane of Highway 101 will be closed until mid-afternoon while Public Works crews work to repair a water main break. Motorists should expect delays, and are encouraged to use alternate routes if possible.

The patience and cooperation of motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians in the vicinity of the work zone is greatly appreciated.
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Wednesday, August 12, 2020

HACHR Denies Allegations as City Opposes Needle Program

Posted By on Wed, Aug 12, 2020 at 7:37 PM

THINKSTOCK
  • Thinkstock
The city of Eureka announced today it is opposing reauthorization of the Humboldt Area Center for Harm Reduction’s syringe exchange program due to “ongoing concerns” about operations at the nonprofit's Third Street location.

The California Department of Public Health authorized HACHR to run the harm reduction program for a two-year period in October of 2018 and had sought the city’s input as the state decides whether to do so again, according to a news release.

An Aug. 7 city memorandum sent to CDPH outlines a series of allegations about the center's workings based on undercover law enforcement operations in recent months, including that HACHR is “complicit in the sale and on-site use of drugs” and has supplied “methamphetamine kits” at the facility.

“Years of effort by the city and the community to work with HACHR have been ineffective,” the city’s new release states. “It is the city’s stance that HACHR has not, in good faith, responded to the community’s legitimate concerns about HACHR’s operations, and that HACHR’s (syringe exchange program) is not operating in compliance with state and local law.”

In response, HATCHR Executive Director Lasara Firefox Allen and board members sent out a release denying allegations in the city’s memorandum, stating they are “disappointed” and “look forward to speaking with city officials about their concerns.”

“HACHR is committed to the entirety our amazing community, including people who use drugs, people experiencing houselessness and other marginalized people,” the release states. “To this end, we keep an open door policy, welcoming anyone who needs services or wants to learn more about us. We continue to proactively reach out to address community concerns and are committed to engaging in productive dialogue.”

HACHR has long had a tumultuous relationship with the community, with many frustrated Eureka residents and business owners pointing to its needle exchange program as a major contributor to the proliferation of used syringes and other drug paraphernalia littering city parks, streets and playgrounds. But the nonprofit and supporters have maintained it lives up to its name and reduces harm.

Eureka’s memorandum states the city is not against exchange programs “in theory,” but is opposed to a program run by an organization that has “not lived up to its promises to the city and its citizens.”

It’s no secret Eureka, like many other communities across the nation, has serious opioid issues, among other addiction problems, and advocates point to the potential life-saving interventions harm reduction programs can offer, including decreased disease transmission by providing clean needles and referrals for treatment services.

Eureka Councilmember Kim Bergel, who has work for years to smooth tensions around harm reduction services, said she feels betrayed by HACHR.

Bergel added that many council members, herself included, paid a high price for their efforts to reach out to HACHR to address community concerns but she still believes harm reduction programs are important to public safety.

“I feel like we really tried to work with HACHR on so many levels,” Bergel said, noting she is grateful for the work the Eureka Police Department did “to investigate, verify and solidify some of the things we were hearing” and which HACHR officials had assured her were not occurring. “I feel disappointed at best and I feel lied to. It’s not a good feeling.”

Read the full city of Eureka release below: 

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Public Health Confirms Six New COVID-19 Cases

Posted By on Wed, Aug 12, 2020 at 4:33 PM

Humboldt County Public Health confirmed six new COVID-19 cases today, bringing the county's total to date to 299.

Today's tally makes 66 cases recorded locally so far this month and continues a spike that saw a total of 100 new cases confirmed in July after just 32 in June. Two new hospitalizations were reported Monday, bringing the total to date to 19.

In a press release, Humboldt County Health Officer Teresa Frankovich said it can be difficult for a person who contracts the virus to remember every person or place they came in contact with in the last 10 days, how long their interaction lasted, at what distance and whether masks were worn the whole time.

“All of this is important information to have in investigations so that we can work to limit spread of COVID in our community,” she said. “Staying home as much as possible, avoiding gathering with those who live outside of your household, distancing and using facial coverings continue to be important ways to limit spread of COVID.”

A rapid rise in cases this month prompted public health to raise the "Effectiveness of Disease Control" to level three on the county’s Alert Level Assessment Tool but the county's overall COVID alert level — which runs on a scale of 1 to 4 — remains at 3. Level 3 is described as: "High risk — many cases with conditions for community spread, with many undetected cases likely. Limit everyday activities to increase safety."

To date, the county has seen 19 hospitalizations and four fatalities, all of them residents at Alder Bay Assisted Living. With today's results — which come after 187 samples were tested — the county reported that 233 of local cases are classified as recovered, which means 62 remain active.

Nationally, more than 5 million cases have been officially confirmed as of yesterday, with 162,407 fatalities, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Those included 561,911 cases and 10,359 deaths in California, according to the Department of Public Health.

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Tractor Crashes into Creek

Posted By on Wed, Aug 12, 2020 at 12:37 PM

The tractor in Redwood Creek. - CHP
  • CHP
  • The tractor in Redwood Creek.
The quick action of Briceland Road area residents yesterday evening helped contain a hydraulic fluid leak in Redwood Creek after a tractor ended up in the waters following an unloading incident.

According to a CHP release, the incident happened around 5:30 p.m. as the tractor was being removed from tilt deck trailer attached to a truck, which was parked on a slope. The shift in weight lifted the truck to come up off the ground and the truck and trailer wen over the tire chock, sliding toward the south. The man on the tractor was able to jump off as the truck and trailer it was on continued backward on Briceland Road and went over an embankment, coming to rest against a tree.

The tractor then dislodged from the trailer and rolled down into the creek.

“As a result of the collision, 2-3 gallons of hydraulic fluid leaked into Redwood Creek from the John Deere tractor,” the CHP news release states. “Due to the swift action of local residents who placed straw in the creek to absorb the hydraulic fluid, the spill was minimized to the area in close proximity of the John Deere tractor. “

Humboldt County Environmental Health responded to oversee the clean-up.

Briceland Road was closed for more than three hours while the vehicles were retrieved. The incident remains under investigation.

Read the full CHP release below:
On 8/11/20 at approximately 1730 hours, Dan Watson parked a 2017 Ford F250, towing a 2019 TowMaster tilt deck trailer on Alapok Lane at Briceland Road. The combination of vehicles was parked facing northbound on an uphill slope when Watson began to unload his John Deere tractor from the Towmaster.

The weight from the tractor on the rear of the trailer caused the rear tires of the F250 to lift up off the driveway. The Ford and trailer tires traveled over the tire chocks and slid in a southerly direction as Watson jumped off the tractor to the ground. The Ford and trailer continued backwards across Briceland Road, in a southerly direction and over the descending embankment. The Ford and trailer collided with a tree and came to rest on the embankment, south of Briceland Road. T

he John Deere tractor became detached from the trailer, rolled down the steep embankment, and came to rest in the creek bed, south of Briceland Road. As a result of the collision, 2-3 gallons of hydraulic fluid leaked into Redwood Creek from the John Deere tractor.

Due to the swift action of local residents who placed straw in the creek to absorb the hydraulic fluid, the spill was minimized to the area in close proximity of the John Deere tractor.

Due to the necessity to close Briceland Road for the recovery of the Ford, trailer, and tractor, traffic was diverted onto Old Briceland Road. Briceland Road was closed for approximately 3.5 hours.

Humboldt County Environmental Health responded due to the Hazardous Materials spill and is overseeing the cleanup of the hydraulic fluid from the creek bed. Humboldt County Roads Department responded and assisted with traffic control. This collision remains under investigation by the California Highway Patrol Garberville Area.
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Office of Ed Lists Schools' Status for Instruction

Posted By on Wed, Aug 12, 2020 at 11:19 AM

SHUTTERSTOCK
  • Shutterstock
The Humboldt County Office of Education has set up a website for parents seeking information on what their children’s school district is planning for at least the beginning of the school year.

According to the office, the information is updated as often as possible to keep up with the fluid situation, but the current list shows the vast majority of Humboldt County schools have opted for distance learning. For more information on school reopenings and to find the school status list, click here.

For more information on school reopenings and to find the school status list, click here.
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Tuesday, August 11, 2020

EPD Officers Complete More De-escalation Training

Posted By on Tue, Aug 11, 2020 at 5:19 PM

Eureka Police officers at the scene of a July 23 standoff with a reportedly suicidal man. - MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
  • Eureka Police officers at the scene of a July 23 standoff with a reportedly suicidal man.
The Eureka Police Department announced that it held its fourth in a series of de-escalation and tactical communications courses today, with 19 officers participating.

The 10-hour training was offered by "senior" EPD officers who attended a "nationally recognized train-the-trainer course" last year, according to a press release. The training is modeled after the nonprofit Police Executive Research Forum's "Integrating Communications, Assessment and Tactics" (ICAT) program.

“One of the core values of the Eureka Police Department is our respect for the sanctity and value of all human life," EPD Chief Steve Watson said in a press release. "While not every incident can be successfully resolved without use of force, these important de-escalation skills and tactics can assist officers in defusing situations involving persons who may be experiencing a mental health or other crisis.”

Nationally, the ICAT program has been praised in some circles. It is currently being implemented in Philadelphia and is credited with profound reductions in the use of police force and overall crime in Volusia County, Florida, according to a deep-dive report by the Philadelphia Citizen, which can be found here.

Today's training comes after four EPD officers — including three with prior crisis intervention training — fatally shot John Karl Sieger, 51, who had reportedly made suicidal statements before allegedly raising a handgun at officers during a tense standoff on Lowell Street on July 23.

For more information on the ICAT program, find the Police Executive Research Forum's report on it here. A nonprofit, the forum was founded in 1976 with the goal of fostering debate with an openness to challenging traditional police practices. Since 2014, the membership organization of police executives has reportedly focused on policies and training programs to minimize officers' use of lethal force.

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Public Health Confirms Seven New COVID-19 Cases

Posted By on Tue, Aug 11, 2020 at 4:44 PM

Humboldt County Public Health confirmed another seven new COVID-19 cases today, bringing the county's total to date to 293.

Today's tally makes 60 cases recorded locally so far this month and continues a spike that saw a total of 100 new cases confirmed in July after just 32 in June. Two new hospitalizations were reported yesterday, bringing the total to date to 19.

In a press release, Humboldt County Health Officer Teresa Frankovich took the opportunity to remind the community that a stocked emergency kit can be an important tool to prepare for the COVID-19 pandemic, which can force people to quarantine or self-isolate with little notice.

“Many of the supplies that are recommended to keep on hand for unexpected emergencies, such as earthquakes and power outages, can be just as useful during a pandemic,” Frankovich said in the release. “Keeping a store of non-perishable food and extra prescription medications can come in handy if someone in your home becomes ill with COVID-19 and everyone needs to stay put during quarantine.”

A rapid rise in cases this month prompted public health to raise the "Effectiveness of Disease Control" to level three on the county’s Alert Level Assessment Tool but the county's overall COVID alert level — which runs on a scale of 1 to 4 — remains at 3. Level 3 is described as: "High risk — many cases with conditions for community spread, with many undetected cases likely. Limit everyday activities to increase safety."

To date, the county has seen 19 hospitalizations and four fatalities, all of them residents at Alder Bay Assisted Living. Today's results include 347 new test and 233 of county's the cases are considered recovered. Fifty-six cases remain classified as active.

Nationally, more than 5 million cases have been officially confirmed to date with 162,407 fatalities, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Those include 561,911 cases — up 7,751 from yesterday — and 10,359 deaths in California, according to the Department of Public Health.

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What California Knows About Kamala Harris

Posted By on Tue, Aug 11, 2020 at 3:51 PM

U.S. Senator and former California Attorney General Kamala Harris, has been tapped to be Joe Biden's vice presidential candidate. - PHOTO BY GAGE SKIMORE VIA FLICKR
  • Photo by Gage Skimore via Flickr
  • U.S. Senator and former California Attorney General Kamala Harris, has been tapped to be Joe Biden's vice presidential candidate.

More than any other vice presidential contender in a generation, Kamala Harris’ biography is singularly Californian.

Born and bussed to school in Berkeley, tested by San Francisco’s cut-throat municipal politics and propelled onto the national stage as the state’s top law enforcement officer and then its first female senator of color, Harris’ approach to politics and policymaking were honed here.

Although most Americans are now focusing on Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s ticket pick — her political pedigree, her record on criminal justice, her reputation as (depending on your point of view) a pragmatic or an over-cautious political figure — we’ve seen it here in California for decades.

Here are eight ways that California shaped Kamala Harris and that Harris has shaped California.

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