Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Humboldt to Implement New Statewide COVID-19 Closures by Friday

Posted By on Tue, Jul 14, 2020 at 3:20 PM

Gavin Newsom - WIKIPEDIA
  • Wikipedia
  • Gavin Newsom
New statewide restrictions ordered by Gov. Gavin Newsom yesterday in the wake of a surge in COVID-19 cases across the state will go into effect locally by Friday, according to county’s joint information center.

All bars without permits to serve food will be closed while restaurants, wineries, tasting rooms, family entertainment centers, zoos, museums and cardrooms will only be able to operate outdoors with safety measures in place.

In a news release following Newsom’s announcement, County Health Officer Teresa Frankovich and Sheriff William Honsal had said they were waiting for more information before taking steps to comply.

Today, Frankovich noted that individual counties cannot take their own course on certain aspects of the statewide order, even if, like Humboldt County, the area is doing relatively well in terms of case counts and hospitalizations. Some parts of the state are under greater restrictions.

More than 30 California counties are seeing “concerning” increases in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and ICU admissions, she said in the release.

“We have talked since the beginning about the possibility for pauses or steps back to manage the pandemic,” Frankovich said. “I know this is challenging. At this time we need to use all of our prevention strategies so that we can reopen as soon and as safely as possible.”

She stated earlier this month that Humboldt County’s recent spike in cases was largely driven by "residents gathering and visiting between households both locally and while traveling, as well as by illness occurring in the cannabis industry workforce."

Read the full county release below: 
California Governor Gavin Newsom announced a statewide order to close bars and transition six industry sectors to outdoor-only operations to limit spread of COVID-19. Local implementation has begun and will take full effect Friday.

The state is requiring all bars that do not have a permit to serve food to close, and these businesses should cease operations no later than Friday.

Businesses in the following affected sectors should offer only outdoor services with safety precautions in place:
Restaurants
Wineries and Tasting Rooms
Movie Theaters
Family Entertainment Centers
Zoos and Museums
Cardrooms.

Outdoor dining, carry out, curbside pickup and delivery are still allowed with physical distancing and other safety precautions in place.

Humboldt County Health Officer Dr. Teresa Frankovich said she is hopeful that these actions will help the state avoid a move into stricter shelter-in-place measures.

“We have talked since the beginning about the possibility for pauses or steps back to manage the pandemic,” she said. “I know this is challenging. At this time we need to use all of our prevention strategies so that we can reopen as soon and as safely as possible.”

Dr. Frankovich noted that this statewide action does not permit counties to take independent action on reopenings even though our county is “doing well” in terms of case counts and hospitalizations right now.

“The governor is implementing this order to address the concerning increase in cases, hospitalizations and ICU admissions across more than 30 counties, which represent 80 percent of our state’s population,” she said.

Those businesses that already received certification to reopen from the Emergency Operations Center will not need to resubmit a Business Reopening Plan to offer outdoor services or to reopen once the state again allows these sectors to operate. Humboldt County is not currently on the state’s County Monitoring List and will not be required by the state at this time to fully close additional sectors.

To read the California Department of Public Health’s news release about the state’s actions, go to cdph.ca.gov/Programs/OPA/Pages/NR20-158.aspx. To read the full Statewide Public Health Officer Order, visit cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/CDPH%20Document%20Library/COVID-19/SHO%20Order%20Dimming%20Entire%20State%207-13-2020.pdf.

To read the Governor’s Executive Order granting the authority to issue health orders, go to gov.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/5.4.20-EO-N-60-20-text.pdf. For the most recent COVID-19 information, visit cdc.gov or cdph.ca.gov.

Local information is available at humboldtgov.org or during business hours by contacting covidinfo@co.humboldt.ca.us or calling 707-441-5000.
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Fire at the Flamingo Motel in Eureka

Posted By on Tue, Jul 14, 2020 at 1:27 PM

Damage at the room at the Flamingo Motel. - HUMBOLDT BAY FIRE
  • Humboldt Bay Fire
  • Damage at the room at the Flamingo Motel.
Humboldt Bay Fire reports the Flamingo Motel on Broadway Street sustained minimum damage to one room today after an individual apparently intentionally set a pile of clothes on fire.

The Eureka Police Department detained one person who fled the scene. The call to Humboldt Bay Fire came in just before 11 a.m. and reported a person may be stuck inside of the room, according to a news release.

“Due to a quick response time and entry to the room, the fire was controlled within minutes and damage to the room is minimal, estimated to be around $2,000,” the release states.

Read the full Humboldt Bay Fire release below: 
On Tuesday, July 14th at 10:59 a.m. Humboldt Bay Fire was dispatched to report of a structure fire at the Flamingo Motel on the 4200 block of Broadway St. in Eureka.

The caller reported flames inside of a room, and the possibility that a man was stuck inside. Crews responded to the scene and found smoke showing from a single room of the motel.

Inside the room, crews extinguished a pile of clothes they later determined were intentionally set on fire.

The report of the fire being intentionally set was conveyed to Eureka Police Department law enforcement officers, who detained the individual who had fled the scene.

Due to a quick response time and entry to the room, the fire was controlled within minutes and damage to the room is minimal, estimated to be around $2,000.

Humboldt Bay Fire would like to remind the public that if you see or smell smoke, or hear an alarm, do not hesitate to call us at 9-1-1. 
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PG&E: Future Power Shutoffs to be Shorter, Smaller, Smarter

Posted By on Tue, Jul 14, 2020 at 1:00 PM

The line for gas at Costco in Eureka stretched out of the parking lot and around the block during last year's power shutoff. - MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
  • The line for gas at Costco in Eureka stretched out of the parking lot and around the block during last year's power shutoff.
PG&E is rolling out a multi-tiered plan the company says will translate into shorter, more localized Public Safety Power Shutoffs and better communication with the public before, during and after an event.

Prompted by dangerous wildfire conditions, including high winds and low humidity, last year’s massive shutoffs left millions without power for days, putting the medically fragile at risk and wreaking economic havoc across wide swaths of California.

In episodes marked by confusion amid inaccurate information from PG&E, including the possibility of a third shutoff in the region, Humboldt County was plunged into darkness twice in October of 2019 — the first time with just a few hours’ notice.

In reports to the California Public Utilities Commission following the outages, the company acknowledged “falling short in several areas of execution” and stated “communication remains a key area that PG&E is focused on improving.”

“PG&E understands that customers, external partners and communities need consistent, timely and accurate information relating to potential PSPS events,” a report about the late October shutoff states. “PG&E is working to ensure that critical information is available to customers and agencies when they need it and will continue to focus on reducing the cycle time in providing updates to customers, the state and impacted communities, counties and tribes.”
To that end, company representatives outlined a series of efforts aimed at better predicting and mitigating future PSPS incidents during a webinar earlier this month for residents in Humboldt, Siskiyou and Trinity counties.

For the North Coast, a major component is the new ability to separate the Humboldt Bay Power Plant (known as “islanding”) from the main grid, which affords PG&E the option to shield 20 cities and towns in the region from an outage, including Eureka, Arcata, McKinleyville and Fortuna, as well as some tribal communities, areas of northern Mendocino County and parts of Trinity County — depending on weather conditions.

“We have maximized the size of the island that we can safely energize and, although none of the areas within the island were in scope for PSPS events in 2019, we may need to turn power off to some of the areas … if high fire-threat conditions exist locally during future events,” said Carl Schoenhofer, senior manager of PG&E’s Humboldt division.

Weather risks in the counties of Shasta and Mendocino prompted PG&E to shut down the grid that feeds Humboldt last year, which caused the whole county to go dark despite the lack of a localized wildfire threat.
Transmission lines like these carry power into Humboldt County along state routes 36 and 299. - MAIA CHELI
  • Maia Cheli
  • Transmission lines like these carry power into Humboldt County along state routes 36 and 299.
To further reduce the footprint of any future PSPS events, PG&E has also installed 19 “sectionalizing devices” in Humboldt County — which split up the grid into smaller parts and create more flexibility to redirect power. And, the company is looking to install two temporary microgrids — one in the Hoopa area and another in Willow Creek — to power local substations.

All of those efforts will “help keep the lights on for customers in a PSPS event,” PG&E public safety specialist Mike Weaver said. Another part of the program is the installation of advanced meteorological stations to collect weather data on the “granular” level and a new customer communication system.


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In-N-Out is Opening, T-S reports

Posted By on Tue, Jul 14, 2020 at 11:42 AM

in-n-out.jpg
In-N-Out is opening tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. for take-out and drive-thru orders, according to the Times-Standard.

The long-planned burger and shake joint is the latest addition to a sequence of new restaurant chains to take up residence on Broadway Street in Eureka.

Read more here.
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Monday, July 13, 2020

Two Heroin Busts in Southern Humboldt

Posted By on Mon, Jul 13, 2020 at 9:20 PM

Law enforcement searching a vehicle in the Benbow area. - COURTESY OF BRITNEY HARRISON
  • Courtesy of Britney Harrison
  • Law enforcement searching a vehicle in the Benbow area.
The Humboldt County Drug Task Force pulled over two vehicles in Southern Humboldt this evening. In one, they located 6 pounds of heroin, and in the other, 2.5 pounds of heroin.

At approximately 5:10 p.m., law enforcement pulled over a silver vehicle in the area of Benbow. The trunk of the vehicle was opened and searched.

Humboldt County Sheriff's Sgt. Jesse Taylor confirmed that the Drug Task Force (DTF) stopped the vehicle, and said approximately 6 pounds of heroin were located inside.

Around the same time, the DTF stopped another vehicle, a gold four-door sedan, near the Miranda Bridge, Taylor said. In that vehicle, the task force located a large amount of narcotics.

"Roughly 2.5 pounds of heroin seized thus far," Taylor said. According to a witness, one woman was arrested at the Miranda bridge.

The Miranda bridge location has seen a number of vehicles stopped for various criminal activities. Just over a month ago, a stolen Corvette containing a ghillie suit was pulled over in the vicinity.

Taylor said the DTF would issue a press release with more details tomorrow.
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CDFW: Online Cannabis Permitting Workshop Happens July 22

Posted By on Mon, Jul 13, 2020 at 6:10 PM

FILE
  • File
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), CalCannabis and the State Water Board will host a free online cannabis permitting workshop on July 22 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., according to a CDFW press release.

"The free workshop is ideal for new and existing commercial cannabis cultivators and consultants," the press release states. For more information, see the full press release below:

Free Online Commercial Cannabis Permitting Workshop July 22

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), California Department of Food and Agriculture’s CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing Division (CalCannabis) and State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) are hosting a free online commercial cannabis cultivation permitting workshop.

The free workshop is ideal for new and existing commercial cannabis cultivators and consultants. Those interested in attending can use the link below to watch the webcast – no registration is required. Closed captions will be provided. 

Questions can be submitted in advance of and during the event by sending an email to askcannabis@wildlife.ca.gov with “Cannabis Webcast” as the subject line. Questions not answered during the webcast will be forwarded to the appropriate agency for a response.

Workshop Details:

Wednesday, July 22 from 9 to 11:00 a.m.

Webcast link: https://video.calepa.ca.gov/


CalCannabis will provide an overview of the state’s cannabis cultivation licensing program and review their requirements for commercial cannabis farming. CDFW will cover permitting, using the online notification system (EPIMS) and how to reduce environmental impacts. The State Water Board will review the cannabis policy, permitting process and other important information. Other regulatory agencies will also present. 

For more information about becoming a licensed commercial cannabis farmer and for an overview of the California Cannabis Track-and-Trace METRC System, visit the CalCannabis website at calcannabis.cdfa.ca.gov, call 1‑833-CALGROW (1-833-225-4769) or send an email to calcannabis@cdfa.ca.gov. To report suspected illegal cannabis cultivation or related complaints, call the CalCannabis toll-free hotline: 1-833-WEED-TIP (1-833-933-3847).

To learn more about CDFW’s cannabis program, visit wildlife.ca.gov/cannabis or send an email to askcannabis@wildlife.ca.gov. To report environmental crimes, such as pollution, water diversions and poaching, please call the CalTIP hotline at (888) 334-2258 or text information to “TIP411” (847411).

 

To learn more about the State Water Board’s role in cannabis cultivation permitting, visitwaterboards.ca.gov/cannabis. For permitting and compliance assistance, send an email to dwq.cannabis@waterboards.ca.gov or call (916) 341-5580 (Cannabis Cultivation General Order), or send an email to cannabisreg@waterboards.ca.gov or call (916) 319-9427 (cannabis cultivation water rights).

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Sen. McGuire: Indoor Dining to Close in Humboldt, Along with Zoos, Museums and More

Posted By on Mon, Jul 13, 2020 at 5:33 PM

Senator Mike McGuire - SUBMITTED
  • Submitted
  • Senator Mike McGuire
State Sen. Mike McGuire has clarified on Facebook what the new state health order means for Humboldt County. The region will face fewer restrictions than Marin and Sonoma counties, where ICU beds are nearing capacity, McGuire states.

Essentially, indoor dining in restaurants and indoor service at wineries must close, along with all bars and pubs, movie theaters, zoos, museums and card rooms, according to McGuire's post.

Worship centers, gyms, fitness centers and personal care businesses (i.e. nail salons, hair salons and barber shops) may remain open locally, the post states.

Read the sections of the senator's Facebook post relevant to Humboldt County below:


For Lake, Mendocino, Humboldt, Del Norte and Trinity Counties: Here are the services and business sectors impacted by the new state restrictions on indoor activities. Indoor activities and services will be closed to:

- Indoor dining at restaurants (patio dining and take out still allowed)
- Indoor services at Wineries/Tasting Rooms (outdoor tasting is still allowed)
- Bars and Pubs (all closed)
- Movie theaters
- Zoos/museums
- Cardrooms

Services that remain open in Lake, Mendocino, Humboldt, Del Norte and Trinity Counties (different than Marin & Sonoma Counties):

- Indoor worship services in the five counties above remain open
- Gyms and fitness centers remain open
- Personal care services such nail salons, hair salons and barbershops remain open

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Public Health Announces No New COVID-19 Cases for the First Time in Two Weeks

Posted By on Mon, Jul 13, 2020 at 5:11 PM

For the first time in two weeks and just the second since June 18, Humboldt County Public Health announced no new confirmed cases of COVID-19 today, leaving the countywide total at 165.

The news comes after Humboldt County saw 21 cases confirmed last week amid a streak that had seen 57 confirmed since June 18, and just hours after Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered statewide step-backs from the reopening of certain business sectors. Most notably, Newsom is ordering all bars to shutter entirely and restaurants to cease allowing indoor dining.
Today's results come after an additional 379 tests were processed.

Of the cases recorded to date, 103 were acquired through contact with a known case, 37 through travel and 23 through community transmission, meaning they caught the virus from an unknown source in the local community. The means of transmission in two other cases remain under investigation.

And these are just the numbers for local residents who have caught the virus and don't include tests that came back positive locally for out-of-area residents, including six last week from people who had traveled into Humboldt County to visit friends and family.

To date, 16 local residents have been hospitalized with COVID-19 at some point in their care, including four people who died of the disease, all residents of Alder Bay Assisted Living.

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County Officials Awaiting Further Instructions on Statewide COVID-19 Rollbacks

Posted By on Mon, Jul 13, 2020 at 4:34 PM

Humboldt County Public Health Officer Teresa Frankovich and Sheriff William Honsal talk COVID-19 at a previous virtual town hall meeting. - COURTESY OF DHHS
  • Courtesy of DHHS
  • Humboldt County Public Health Officer Teresa Frankovich and Sheriff William Honsal talk COVID-19 at a previous virtual town hall meeting.
Following Gov. Gavin Newsom's announcements today about new statewide and county-specific measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, local officials said they're waiting for more information before taking steps to comply.

The Humboldt County Emergency Operations Center (EOC), Humboldt County Sheriff William Honsal and Humboldt County Health Officer Teresa Frankovich are aware but have not yet seen the written guidance on these changes, a press release from Humboldt County Joint Information Center stated.

“The governor made clear the state’s concerns about the rapid increase in COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and ICU admissions in California,” Frankovich said. “Our understanding is that there will be a statewide order to close bars and to move some sectors such as dining, family entertainment centers, office spaces for non-critical services, museums and zoos and card rooms to outdoor operations only.”

The intent, Frankovich added, is to focus on strategies that reduce mixing of people outside their household in spaces where it is more challenging to ensure safety precautions are in place and to move those activities outdoors where possible. “The state is clearly stepping back but not returning to full shelter-in-place restrictions,” she said.

Honsal added that the county would not act on the verbal announcement, but will instead wait for written instructions.

“In light of the governor’s recent announcement regarding business sector closures and the current COVID-19 situation in California, I believe it is prudent to wait for further written directive from the governor prior to making any sweeping decisions that will impact our business community," he said. "In a small community like ours, one business closure can have a ripple effect felt throughout the county. I’ve heard and seen the impacts that COVID-19 and the initial closures had on our local business owners and their families, and I do not take the decision to close sectors of our local economy lightly.”

The EOC will provide additional information Tuesday, the press release stated. Read the whole thing below: 
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T-S: Candidate Filing Period Now Open for Humboldt County’s November Election

Posted By on Mon, Jul 13, 2020 at 4:06 PM

Kelly Erben casts her ballot at a local precinct. - MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
  • Kelly Erben casts her ballot at a local precinct.
Anyone planning to run for office in Humboldt County's November election can now file for candidacy, the Times-Standard has reported.

Multiple seats will be open on city councils in both Arcata and Eureka, and the filing period lasts through Aug. 7. Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, candidates must schedule appointments with the Humboldt County Elections Office to retrieve their filing papers, according to the T-S
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