Saturday, April 15, 2017

HSU Student Fatally Stabbed Amid House Party Fist Fight

Posted By on Sat, Apr 15, 2017 at 1:30 PM

FILE
  • File
A stabbing in Arcata early this morning left a 19-year-old Humboldt State University student dead.

Details are scant at this point, but the university issued a press release this morning reporting that the stabbing occurred off campus and is being investigated by the Arcata Police Department, which has a suspect in custody but is still actively investigating.

According to APD Chief Tom Chapman, the stabbing occurred at about 3 a.m. during a fist fight that broke out at a house party. Chapman said in a text message to the Journal that the suspect is not an HSU student but stressed that detectives are still working to track down and interview witnesses.

The victim's name is being withheld until his or her family can be notified and Chapman said APD isn't releasing the suspect's name until additional witnesses can be interviewed.

The university is providing counseling and support services to grieving students (more info, including phone numbers, in the press release copied below). HSU President Lisa Rossbacher also sent out a campuswide email notifying students, faculty and staff of the killing.

“I have no words to adequately describe the sorrow of this loss,” she wrote. “This tragedy is heartbreaking for all of us, and most especially the family and friends of the victim. Our thoughts are with them and we extend our condolences.”

The killing is Humboldt County's fourth homicide of 2017. The county tallied a record 22 last year.

From APD:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ONE DEAD AFTER FIGHT AT ARCATA HOUSE PARTY
On April 15th, 2017 at approximately 3:00 am, officers from the Arcata Police Department responded to the 1100 Block of Spear Ave on the report of a stabbing.

When officers arrived, they found a male victim bleeding from multiple stab wounds. Officers immediately began life saving efforts. The man was eventually transported to Mad River Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

The assault occurred as the result of an argument at the party.

The identity of the deceased, a 19-year-old male HSU student, will not be released until appropriate notifications have been made.

A 23 year old McKinleyville resident, has been taken into custody related to the incident.

The APD is actively investigating and asks for anyone with information about this incident to call the Arcata Police Department at 822-2428.

From HSU:

A 19-year-old Humboldt State University student was stabbed and killed last night, and Arcata Police have detained a suspect.

The name of the student is being withheld while family is being notified.

The incident occurred at an off-campus location. The investigation is being led by Arcata Police Department, with support from the University Police Department.

HSU officials are reaching out to the family of the student, and will be offering counseling and other support for friends, faculty, and others on campus who knew him.

Students who are in need of support during this time are encouraged to contact the Dean of Students office at 707.826.3504 or visit that office in Siemens Hall 211. For assistance any time, students can contact Counseling & Psychological services at 707.826.3236. Staff or faculty seeking additional support may utilize the Employee Assistance Program at 707.443.7358.

Letter from Rossbacher:

Dear University Community:

I am deeply saddened to share news with you that one of our students has died after a stabbing last night. I have no words to adequately describe the sorrow of this loss. This tragedy is heartbreaking for all of us, and most especially the family and friends of the victim. Our thoughts are with them and we extend our condolences.

We are reaching out to provide support and counseling to members of our University community. We will also be in contact and offering support to family members.

The student’s name is currently confidential while his family is being notified. Because the incident occurred off campus, the investigation is being led by the Arcata Police Department with significant assistance from University Police.

For assistance any time, students can contact Counseling & Psychological Services at 707.826.3236. Staff or faculty seeking additional support may utilize the Employee Assistance Program at 707.443.7358.

Sincerely,
Lisa A. Rossbacher, Ph.D.
President


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Friday, April 14, 2017

Brett Watson Selected as New Arcata Councilmember

Posted By on Fri, Apr 14, 2017 at 4:46 PM

Brett Watson - COURTESY OF THE CITY OF ARCATA
  • Courtesy of the city of Arcata
  • Brett Watson
Small business owner Brett Watson will join the Arcata City Council on April 19 after being unanimously selected by the other councilmembers following last night's candidate forum.

He will serve out the remainder of Mark Wheetley’s term, which ends in December of 2018. After 12 years of public service, Wheetley stepped down in March to take over as Fortuna’s city manager.

Watson was one of seven hopefuls who applied to be appointed to the seat.

“I’m truly honored to get this opportunity to serve the city of Arcata,” he says in a city press release. “I think Arcata is a great place and I’m really looking forward to helping the community in any way that I can."

Read the full press release below:

Brett Watson will be sworn-in as the Arcata City Council’s fifth member on Wednesday, April 19 at the beginning of a regularly scheduled City Council meeting at 6 p.m. The Council voted unanimously to appoint Watson at a special candidate forum meeting at City Hall last night.

The appointment followed three hours of questions and answers directed by the Council to six candidates. The well-attended public forum was the first Facebook Live event produced by a Humboldt County municipality. Forum video could also be seen live on the City website, www.cityofarcata.org, and on Access Humboldt/Suddenlink Cable Channel 10. Members of the public submitted questions at City Hall and through Facebook.

Questions and answers were followed by public comment from community members supporting the different candidates and Council discussion.

Brett Watson’s term on the Council expires in December 2018. Vice mayor Sofia Pereira’s term also expires at the same time.

“We are excited to have Brett Watson join the Council,” says Mayor Susan Ornelas. “He has demonstrated interest in the workings of the City and a strong community spirit since he moved to Arcata seven years ago. It will be good to have five Council members again.”

“I’m truly honored to get this opportunity to serve the City of Arcata,” says Watson. “I think Arcata is a great place and I’m really looking forward to helping the community in any way that I can."

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Dinsmore Homesteader's Artwork Featured at deYoung

Posted By on Fri, Apr 14, 2017 at 10:59 AM

Museum-quality trippy '60s art. - DOTTIE SIMMONS
  • Dottie Simmons
  • Museum-quality trippy '60s art.
From Haight Street to a Humboldt County homestead: It's a familiar story for many back-to-the-landers who arrived in our region in the late ’60s and early ’70s, fresh from the 1967 Summer of Love. Dottie Simmons, who settled down in Humboldt County in 1968, made her homestead near Dinsmore, raising kids, canning preserves and starting a successful small business. But this year a small piece of her former life came back to prominence. A poster illustrated by Simmons in 1968, for a four-day show at San Francisco’s Avalon Ballroom, is being featured at the deYoung Museum as part of its Summer of Love exhibit, which runs through August 20.

Simmons, who recently attended the exhibit’s opening, said she was honored to be part of the show. Simmons drew the poster, which features an Alice in Wonderland figures and a frame of bright flowers, in one night using pen and ink. It was so long ago that Simmons says she doesn’t remember exactly where she did it, only that she worked on someone’s floor.

The show itself featured Iron Butterfly (“In-A-Gadda-De-Vida”) and a trio of other psychedelic rock bands. Simmons, then a teenager, said she was a “puppy” at the Avalon, a short-lived music venue in San Francisco’s Polk Gulch that managed to cram most of the era’s headliners onto its stage between 1966 and 1969, including The Doors, Janis Joplin and the Grateful Dead. (The Dead played there 29 times). Against this backdrop, Simmons ran messages, cleaned up after shows and worked the coat check.

“That era, poster included, pops into my consciousness now and then,” she told the Journal. “Usually when I’m reminiscing with friends or going through my art stuff.”

If you want to reminisce yourself, or get an idea of what turned Simmons’ generation on 50 years ago, more information about The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion, and Rock & Roll, can be found on the deYoung’s website.

Simmons, a master preserver, was a staff pick for "Best of Humboldt" in 2016. - FILE
  • FILE
  • Simmons, a master preserver, was a staff pick for "Best of Humboldt" in 2016.

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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Employee Calls Police After Alleged Dispute with Public Defender

Posted By on Wed, Apr 12, 2017 at 3:08 PM

Public Defender staff gathered with now retired Public Defender Kevin Robinson (center).
  • Public Defender staff gathered with now retired Public Defender Kevin Robinson (center).
One of Humboldt County Public Defender David Marcus’ employees filed a report with the Eureka Police Department yesterday alleging that he verbally assaulted her in the office after learning that office employees had sent a letter to the Board of Supervisors alleging he is unfit for the position.

EPD Capt. Brian Stephens said officer Abraham Jansen and the employee both agreed that, even if proven, the allegations didn’t rise to a criminal level. Nonetheless, Stephens said Jansen took the report at the employee’s request to document the incident in the event that Marcus engages in similar conduct in the future.

The employee contacted EPD at about 3:35 p.m. yesterday and reported that the altercation took place at about 9:20 that morning.

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Arcata Council Hopefuls to Take Questions at Forum

Posted By on Wed, Apr 12, 2017 at 1:13 PM

arcata.jpg
The seven hopefuls seeking to fill the remainder of Mark Wheetley’s term on the Arcata City Council are set to take questions at a candidate forum tomorrow at city hall.

Three Arcata planning commissioners — Jason Akana, Robin Baker and Judith Mayer — as well as educator Michael J. Hart, Minor Theatre owner Joshua Neff, former Councilmember Alexandra Stillman and small business owner Brett Watson have applied for the post.

Wheetley stepped down from his seat in March to accept a job as Fortuna’s city manager. His term ends in 2018.

Residents can submit questions for consideration via Facebook Live on the city’s page or at the 6 p.m. forum, which will be streamed live at www.cityofarcata.org and on Access Humboldt/Suddenlink Cable Channel 10.


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Huffman Talks Last Chance Grade in Crescent City Town Hall

Posted By on Wed, Apr 12, 2017 at 8:44 AM

Huffman listens to a question at last night's town hall. - TONY REED
  • Tony Reed
  • Huffman listens to a question at last night's town hall.
About 75 percent of the seats in Crescent Elk Auditorium in Crescent City were full for a town hall style meeting with North Coast Congressman Jared Huffman Monday night.

In his opening comments, Huffman touched on many local, state and federal issues of concern to residents.
He said he is hopeful Congress can soon work together on a bold U.S. infrastructure package.

“If we do that, I know one piece of infrastructure that’s on everyone’s mind in Del Norte and here in Crescent City,” he said, inciting a chuckle in the audience, “and that’s Last Chance Grade. I know that because I can’t come to visit you without driving over it.”

Huffman said he just returned from a meeting of the Last Chance Grade Stakeholders group where Caltrans representatives shared some interesting data. (For more on Last Chance Grade, see last week's cover story here.)

“Since the summer of 2012, since I became your representative in Congress, the roadway has moved 11 feet,” he said. “It just keeps moving and it's not going to stop.”


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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Claim Seeks $1.44M From County in Right-to-Die Case

Posted By on Tue, Apr 11, 2017 at 4:42 PM

Dick and Judy Magney around the time they met in 1992. - PHOTO COURTESY OF JUDY MAGNEY
  • Photo courtesy of Judy Magney
  • Dick and Judy Magney around the time they met in 1992.
Years before Dick Magney was admitted to St. Joseph Hospital suffering from a series of life-threatening conditions, he had spent time at a local nursing home while recovering from leg surgery.

That experience left the former truck driver who for decades battled constant pain and chronic illness determined to never again find himself in the same situation. With his health declining, Dick Magney and his wife Judy had an attorney draw up an advanced directive outlining his final instructions.

Those included being allowed to die with “dignity” and “without prolonging my death with medical treatment ... that will not benefit me.” Dick Magney did not get his wish.

Soon after he was admitted to the hospital in February of 2015, the county obtained a court order that forced him to receive antibiotics for a heart infection even though he had already refused surgery. That temporarily reversed the palliative care choices made by the Magneys with the support of his attending physician, who had determined further treatment would be futile.

While he lived long enough to see the county’s intervention overturned, the self-described “stubborn Swede” died a few months later in the same nursing home he had tried so hard to avoid. He was 74.

“It’s so sad. … It’s tragic that he had to pass away that way,” says attorney Allison Jackson, who represented the couple in their months-long legal battle with the county. “It’s tragic that the family had to go through what they went through.”


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Supes Evaluate Public Defender as His Office Sends Another Blistering Letter

Posted By on Tue, Apr 11, 2017 at 11:01 AM

Public Defender staff gathered with now retired Public Defender Kevin Robinson (center).
  • Public Defender staff gathered with now retired Public Defender Kevin Robinson (center).

UPDATE:
The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors issued a press release after emerging from closed session today, reaffirming its support for embattled Public Defender David Marcus.

"During this meeting, Mr. Marcus reaffirmed his commitment to carrying out the mission of the Public Defender's Office, which is to provide aggressive, competent and ethical representation to indigent persons facing deprivation of liberty or other civil rights in a cost-effective manner," the press release stated. See it copied in full below our original post.

PREVIOUSLY:
The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors is scheduled to meet in closed session today to evaluate the job performance of David Marcus, the county’s embattled new public defender.

The supervisors’ conversation comes a day after eight members of the non-attorney staff of the public defender’s office sent the board a scathing letter, a copy of which was obtained by the Journal, alleging that Marcus has “crippled” the office, has given clients “completely inaccurate” legal advice and “literally attempts to have non-lawyer support staff provide him with answers to legal questions.” The letter comes just about two weeks after all nine of the office’s deputy public defenders sent the board a similar missive, alleging Marcus is unqualified and unfit for his position.

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Monday, April 10, 2017

Karuk Tribe Restricts Fishing

Posted By on Mon, Apr 10, 2017 at 12:09 PM

Klamath River at Hopkins Creek, close to Weitchpec. - FILE
  • File
  • Klamath River at Hopkins Creek, close to Weitchpec.
The Karuk Tribe announced today that it is restricting subsistence fishing on the Klamath River, a reaction to predictions that this year's run of Klamath Chinook salmon will be the smallest in history. On March 25, the Yurok Tribe announced it would suspend commercial fishing for the second year in a row. The Yurok Tribe cited the ill health of the river and ocean as factors in poor salmon returns, and both tribes added their hopes for the future removal of the Klamath dams.

According to a press release sent out by Craig Tucker, a natural resources policy advocate with the
Karuk Tribe, the tribe will allow the harvest of only 200 Chinook salmon for "subsistence and ceremonial purposes."

Reached by phone today, Tucker explained that traditionally Karuk tribal members who host a dance are obligated to feed those who show up, and have relationships with fishermen who supply them with salmon. This, and subsistence fishing, will be the only permitted harvest of the áama (Áama is the Karuk term for Chinook salmon).

Tucker added that the Pacific District Fisheries Management Committee would also probably release its recommendations for the Klamath today, but as the Karuk Tribe does not have a federally recognized fishing right, it would likely not be included in that announcement. The tribe regulates itself in relation to fishing, and the traditional method of harvesting the salmon below Ishi Pishi falls allows many of the fish to spawn upstream. Tribal members say the act of fishing is an important cultural touchstone for Karuk youth.

"Ishi Pishi is more than a fishery, it's a place where elders teach the youth how to feed their families, how to work hard, and to be thankful for the gifts the creator has bestowed upon us. Losing this opportunity is a cultural tragedy,” said Leaf Hillman, the tribe's natural resources director, in the press release.

This year the Pacific Fisheries Management Council released its predicted Chinook salmon returns for 2017 at 11,000 fish — the lowest on record.


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Sunday, April 9, 2017

HumBug: The Birth of a Giant

Posted By on Sun, Apr 9, 2017 at 3:00 PM

California Giant exuvia. - ANTHONY WESTKAMPER
  • Anthony Westkamper
  • California Giant exuvia.
Today, near the end of my walk along the Van Duzen River, a little tangle near the tip of a naked willow sprig caught my eye. At first I thought it was a bit of storm deposited flotsam tangled on the end of the branch, but there was a “legginess” to it. Experience told me it was most likely a dragonfly exuvia, the empty husk left behind when the insect abandons its aquatic larval form, climbs out of the water, casts off its juvenile shell and takes to the sky, an air breathing aerialist for the rest of its days.

It was a cast off shuck all right. And although the size was right, long antennae indicated it was something else. Both dragonflies and their smaller cousins damselflies have millimeter length antennae, while this creature's had been at least 10 millimeters long.
California giant stonefly, about 70 millimeters. - ANTHONY WESTAMPER
  • Anthony Westamper
  • California giant stonefly, about 70 millimeters.
Although I'd never before seen this kind of exuvia, I had a suspicion as to what it might be. A few years back I got a picture of a California giant stonefly, or salmonfly (Pteronarcys californica).

A bit of careful scanning of the nearby willows revealed an adult, about 7 centimeters long. Its size, dark wings folded flat over its back and distinct red markings confirmed I had the right species. The largest member of order Plecoptera in our area, it is an indicator that the watershed and river are healthy as the larvae don't just live in the water but actually breathe it through gills.
A smaller stonefly, about 15 millimeters. - ANTHONY WESTKAMPER
  • Anthony Westkamper
  • A smaller stonefly, about 15 millimeters.
Stoneflies along with mayflies and caddisflies might be considered the “Holy Trinity of fly fishermen,” as they are the primary food for many species of game fish. Most artificial flies are tied to simulate one of them. I imagine the giant must be a tempting prize for a fish as it's one of the largest insect foods they are likely to encounter. 
Very large mayfly, about 20 millimeters. - ANTHONY WESTKAMPER
  • Anthony Westkamper
  • Very large mayfly, about 20 millimeters.



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