Sunday, February 18, 2018

Hoopa Man Held on Murder Charges after Saturday Shooting

Posted By on Sun, Feb 18, 2018 at 10:48 AM

Antone Aubrey - SUBMITTED
  • Submitted
  • Antone Aubrey
Officers from the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office and Hoopa Tribal Police Department responded to a disturbance call yesterday afternoon behind the Hoopa Gas Station. According to a Humboldt County Sheriff's press release, officers found a woman who had been shot; she succumbed to her injuries on the scene. A suspect, Antone Aubrey, was arrested the same day and is being held on murder charges. See the full press release below.

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Saturday, February 17, 2018

One Billion Rising and Rising

Posted By on Sat, Feb 17, 2018 at 4:45 PM

Sunny Brae Middle School teacher Anne Youmans led a last minute review of her choreography coaching prior to the 1:45 p.m. performance on the Arcata Plaza. - PHOTO BY MARK LARSON
  • Photo by Mark Larson
  • Sunny Brae Middle School teacher Anne Youmans led a last minute review of her choreography coaching prior to the 1:45 p.m. performance on the Arcata Plaza.
More than 100 Arcata Elementary School and Sunny Brae Middle School students sang and danced to "Home We'll Go" at the sixth annual One Billion Rising event on the Arcata Plaza on Friday afternoon. "We're making a statement through dance to rise, resist and unite to make change happen so our homes and workplaces are safer for all of us," said event organizer Jessie Hobba. See a slideshow of photos from the event below.

Hobba and others from the local V-Day Humboldt movement started the local One Billion Rising dance event in 2012 as part of their activities on ending violence against women and girls. In her introduction, Hobba explained the origins of the "One Billion Rising" term by citing the United Nations statistic that one out of three women worldwide will be beaten or raped. That works out to about 1 billion women worldwide.

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Thursday, February 15, 2018

Wiyot Tribe Votes to Remove McKinley Statue

Posted By on Thu, Feb 15, 2018 at 4:00 PM

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Referring to U.S. President William McKinley's legacy of annexing indigenous lands within the continental United States and Hawaii, the Wiyot Tribe sent out a press release today in support of removing the McKinley statue from the Arcata Plaza. According to the release, the Wiyot Tribal Council voted unanimously Feb. 12 to support its removal, as well as that of a plaque on the nearby Jacoby Storehouse that refers euphemistically to "Indian trouble." The vote came in response to a request from the Arcata City Council, the Seventh Generation Fund and private citizens to weigh in on the issue.

The issue is set to go before the Arcata City Council again Feb. 21, following months of debate over whether or not to remove the landmark, which was placed on the plaza in 1906. Critics, citing McKinley's colonialist ambitions in the Spanish American War, have suggested a number of alternatives to the statue, which was erected during a period of national mourning after the 25th president's assassination. Suggestions have included a statue of the Virgin Mary, a Kinetic Sculpture and a statue-less gazebo or music pavilion. The Wiyot Tribe voted "to support replacement of the statue and plaque with something that represents Wiyot culture and/history."

You can read last year's cover story on the issue here.

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Agreement Reached in Attorney General's HumCo Child Abuse Reporting Inquiry

Posted By on Thu, Feb 15, 2018 at 11:24 AM

A Humboldt County Superior Court judge has accepted a stipulated judgement negotiated between the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services, the Sheriff's Office and the California Attorney General stemming from the AG's civil investigation into whether the county was in compliance with the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act, the county announced this morning.

In 2016, the state subpoenaed copious records from the county, requesting documentation of every report of child abuse or neglect received between 2011 and 2015. According to today's press release, "the inquiry was launched in 2015 after concerns were raised by local tribes and other community partners regarding inefficiencies and barriers to service in the CWS Emergency Response function, primarily dealing with screening practices and cross-reporting between agencies." This would account for why the original subpoena request, as reported by the Journal in 2016, seemed to focus on DHHS's interactions with local law enforcement and mandated reporting policies, especially as related to foster kids and native youth. (You can read our 2016 story here.)

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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

A Stranger's Kindness Restores Pilfered Scout Funds

Posted By on Tue, Feb 13, 2018 at 3:09 PM

Noah and his mom, Megan Tyler. - SUBMITTED
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  • Noah and his mom, Megan Tyler.
Eight-year-old Eureka Cub Scout Noah Coulombe loves participating in his pack’s annual popcorn sales project. He enjoys both making the sales and carefully tracking of his progress toward his goals. He also enjoys supporting his pack in their fundraising efforts.

Noah was one of his pack’s top salesmen in 2016, when he pulled in $1,175, and was well on his way to the top spot in 2017, so far ahead in his sales efforts that he increased his goal to $3,000. Noah spent his days and evenings making sales and carefully keeping track of his receipts and his progress when the unexpected happened.

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Bekah on the Hill

Posted By on Tue, Feb 13, 2018 at 8:09 AM

A screenshot of Rebekah Martinez's Feb. 2 Instagram post (right) makes light of her once missing status, which was reported by news outlets throughout the country.
  • A screenshot of Rebekah Martinez's Feb. 2 Instagram post (right) makes light of her once missing status, which was reported by news outlets throughout the country.
Hours after her elimination from the show shocked Bachelor nation, Rebekah Martinez did an interview with Jimmy Kimmel last night and “set the record” straight as to how she wound up on the California Attorney General’s missing persons database.

Martinez grabbed international headlines earlier this month after the Journal, with the help of a careful reader, recognized Martinez in a slideshow of missing persons as being the burgeoning reality television star who has been captivating audiences since she began vying for Arie’s love when this season premiered Jan. 1.

In the brief interview with Kimmel, Martinez explained that after her elimination from the show during filming last year that — despite the speculation — she had not lied to her mother when she told her on Nov. 12 she was headed to work on a marijuana farm near Eureka.

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Friday, February 9, 2018

Man Found in Van Duzen ID'd as Missing Spaniard

Posted By on Fri, Feb 9, 2018 at 3:49 PM

Ivan Linan Cano - SUBMITTED
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  • Ivan Linan Cano
The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office has identified the man whose body was found on Van Duzen River bar last week as Spaniard Iván Liñan Cano, who went missing  in late November while suffering from a mental health crisis. He was 31.

The professional mountain climber had leaped out of a car on Nov. 28 after attacking the driver while on State Route 36 near Carlotta and ran into the woods. Law enforcement initiated a four-day search for Liñan Cano and had followed up on several leads.

His family then enlisted the help of the private investigation firm Cook & Associates, which the sheriff’s office credited for helping to identify Liñan Cano’s body. He is one of several people featured in this week’s Journal, which includes a list of every person listed as missing from Humboldt County in the California Attorney General's missing persons database.

According to Liñan Cano’s family, he had been working at a Trinity County cannabis farm near Mad River but had a ticket to return home to Spain.

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Trail Lovers Invited to Chime In About Bay Trail Progress

Posted By on Fri, Feb 9, 2018 at 2:17 PM

It's shaping up to be quite a month for trail advocates. If you're a biker, a hiker, a dog walker or stroller-pusher, you've probably already gotten out and enjoyed the completed portions of the Waterfront Trail, which currently stretches (in Eureka) from the Hikshari' Trail all the way along the waterfront to down behind Target, looping to meet the Open Door Community Health Center on Tydd Street.

A formal ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Eureka portion of the trail was held on Tuesday and Eureka Community Services (formerly Parks and Recreation) will be screening a documentary at the Wharfinger Building about the challenging and controversial process of putting a trail through the PalCo Marsh on Saturday evening. For some long read reporting on that process, check out last year's two-part coverage, found here and here.

And if you're hitting the trail from the north, you may have biked through the Arcata Marsh and along the west side of the Highway 101 safety corridor only to come face to face with a sign that says "End of Trail" just a little north of Bracut. For the time being, you'll have to fall back on hitting the shoulder of the Safety Corridor, which is nobody's idea of fun. For some backstory on the challenges of (safely) sharing the road, we recommend this 2015 series by Journal contributor and reluctant bike commuter Jennifer Savage.

How long will Eureka and Arcata remain unlinked? Well, that's a good question. The county is asking folks to get together at the end of the month to look at its current plans to pave the final 4.2 miles between the two trail systems. This meeting will satisfy the need for public comment on the plan's compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act. According to a press release, this will also be a chance for attendees to learn about "challenges and constraints" to the trail's completion, which might include the relatively narrow land on which they have to build the trail adjacent to the current railroad tracks, and accounting for the issue of sea level rise.

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Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Crisis Delayed

A committee pileup as the Board of Supervisors contemplates declaring a shelter crisis

Posted By on Wed, Feb 7, 2018 at 9:52 AM

On Monday night, Bryan Hall, executive director of the Eureka Rescue Mission, received a call from the house manager of the men's shelter.

"There was a man dropped off in a wheelchair with one leg, no hands and a colostomy bag with nowhere to go," Hall wrote on Facebook. "Needless to say, we brought him in and took care of him and tended to his needs. I met him this morning and he is a very nice man and has had a very rough life. Hopefully, we will be able to connect him with services that will suit his needs."

That man is just one of hundreds of homeless people in Humboldt County whom service providers are struggling to get warm, safe and sheltered. According to the most recent point-in-time count, there are 364 fewer shelter beds than there are homeless men, women and children in Humboldt County. One of the suggested methods of addressing this, brought before the Board of Supervisors on Jan. 9, is to declare a shelter crisis and/or form a task force addressing homelessness.

Supervisor Mike Wilson expressed concern about a lack of concrete solutions in proposal language.
  • Supervisor Mike Wilson expressed concern about a lack of concrete solutions in proposal language.

After a very long and spirited discussion with copious public comment, the board agreed to form an ad hoc committee consisting of First District Supervisor Rex Bohn and Second District Supervisor Estelle Fennell to explore and present on these options. On Feb. 6, Bohn and Fennell returned to the forum with a rather anticlimactic recommendation: Form another committee, this one focused on affordable housing trust fund expenditures. (A draft version of a shelter crisis declaration was also put forward but Bohn and Fennell were lukewarm on the idea.) It will be several weeks before the board sees and votes on a finalized draft of either the declaration or the committee. In the meantime, local homeless and housing advocates continue to work on a problem that has stymied cities up and down the West Coast.

The discussion of how to address the immediate need of the homeless and vulnerable in Humboldt County seemed to be gaining ground in November, when Sally Hewitt, senior program manager for the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services and co-chair of the Humboldt Housing and Homeless Coalition (HHHC), announced that there was a small pool of money to help create a 24-7, low-barrier emergency shelter, setting a goal start date of Dec. 1. Committee members from a wide spectrum of fields, including faith groups, law enforcement and various nonprofits pitched in to suggest potential sites and services. But the plan ran aground as one site after another was vetoed due to lack of accessibility, rejection from landlords or expense. As the Journal went to print, Hewitt responded to a request for comment by saying that a new, promising location had been identified and was being evaluated. A shelter crisis declaration could potentially free up land previously off-limits due to zoning restrictions, although its usefulness in this matter is dependent on what language the board may opt to include if it passes the declaration.

"People are saying, 'declare a crisis,' but what does that really mean?" Fourth District Supervisor Virginia Bass mused at the Jan. 9 meeting. "There's a lot that needs to be considered."

Hewitt, responding to questions from the board, said the declaration of a crisis could, at the very least, underscore what's evident to the naked eye of everyone living in or driving through the county.

"The reality is, everywhere you look there are homeless people," she told the board, adding that 58 percent of all homeless people in the county had "no shelter at all" and 47 percent were chronically homeless, meaning they had been continuously homeless for more than a year.

Darlene Spoor, executive director of Arcata House, added that a great deal of those seeking services are in grave physical health.

"We get at least two calls a week [from hospitals or care providers] saying, 'We cannot release this person to the streets or they will die,'" she told the board.

In the most recent meeting of the HHHC on Feb. 1, which was dedicated to updating the Department of Health and Human Services' "10 Year Plan to End Homelessness" so it would qualify for state funding, committee members discussed the challenges of housing our large and diverse population of homeless people. There is, they agreed "no one-size-fits-all," solution. Some clients are legally blind, in wheelchairs or struggling with chronic health conditions. Some have partners. Others have pets. Many have addiction issues. Of the clients who qualify for some sort of assistance, almost none qualify for enough to pay market-rate rent. Of those who can afford a place to live, many have eviction histories that make rental companies pass them by.

Screenshot from the Feb. 6 Board of Supervisors meeting.
  • Screenshot from the Feb. 6 Board of Supervisors meeting.

At the Feb. 6 meeting of the Board of Supervisors, Lynette Mullen, homeless services manager for the Eureka Police Department, spoke during public comment to say that wraparound strategies for those housed were essential.

"Housing First is absolutely the strategy but it will need more than that," she said.

Fennell, rolling out the idea of a committee that would investigate funding sources for affordable housing, emphasized that the county had already committed to a Housing First strategy as recommended by Focus Strategies, and there were sufficient state tools in place for such a committee to implement creative solutions.

"I have concerns about shelter crisis declaration," Fennell said, adding that, "the majority of the homeless are within the Eureka city limits and the city of Eureka has already declared a crisis."

Bohn said he was concerned that an ersatz shelter on public land, one of the potential outcomes of a shelter crisis declaration, might put the county into conflict with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The county has already come under fire for its non-compliance with ADA restrictions. Bohn emphasized the importance of private citizens, faith groups and non-governmental organizations working to address homelessness.

"I got a lot done before I got elected," he said, calling the rules and regulations associated with government work an "anchor on your butt."

"I think the only way we're going to do it is by working with the private sector," Bohn went on. "We might have to work with the big nasty developers. That's who gets it done, the DANCOs and the Strombecks. Nobody came in here with the tool belt today. We're looking to Sacramento for help but they have 30 to 40 people camping on the Capitol lawn every night."

Public comment on the issue lasted approximately a half hour, with 12 people speaking. Several charged the ad hoc committee with being un-responsive to the original request, which was to declare a shelter crisis and authorize a task force.

Bass and Third District Supervisor Mike Wilson expressed some support for both the suggestion of a committee and a shelter crisis declaration, although they asked that the final version of the shelter crisis declaration come back before them with a modified timeframe, as the original draft scheduled the crisis declaration to expire June 1. Wilson also asked for some specific language to be added to the committee draft resolution that would go beyond seeking funding and into more specific efforts. He said he may have to vote no because the language, as written, "did not go far enough."

Fifth District Supervisor and board Chair Ryan Sundberg referenced a recent incident in his district in which a woman and a barefoot child were found sleeping on top of a "pile of trash" in a parked vehicle.

"I hope people realize we care about this issue," he said.

Bohn said he understood the passion for a shelter crisis declaration but he "wasn't there yet," saying that he was concerned about sound implementation.

"I know we've got a housing problem," he told those assembled. "We've got an opioid problem. We've got a marijuana problem. We got problems up our ass. We've got to have people willing to step up."

Hewitt and others, however, seem optimistic. While the board did not endorse a shelter crisis or present an immediate solution, there are still options on the table.

"I believe we are on track to having multiple solutions available to end homelessness in Humboldt County," Hewitt told the Journal.

Linda Stansberry is a staff writer at the  Journal. Reach her at 442-1400, extension 317, or Follow her on Twitter @LCStansberry.

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Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Coast Guard Rescues Another Boat Today (With Video)

Posted By on Tue, Feb 6, 2018 at 6:18 PM

The Comet gets a tow back to port. - COURTESY OF THE COAST GUARD
  • Courtesy of the Coast Guard
  • The Comet gets a tow back to port.
Yet another crab fishing vessel with two onboard was escorted back to port today, the fourth Coast Guard rescue mission in as many days.

The call came in around 10:30 a.m. and the Comet was back at Woodley Island by 1:30 p.m. after a prop failed. No injuries were reported.

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