Monday, May 14, 2018

Caps and Gowns

Posted By on Mon, May 14, 2018 at 5:31 PM

There's cap flair, and there's cap flair. - SAM ARMANINO
  • Sam Armanino
  • There's cap flair, and there's cap flair.

More than 2,600 HSU students were expected to earn degrees in the 2017-18 academic year, and over 1,900 participated in the 2018 commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 12, according to Humboldt State University's marketing and communications department.

Thousands of students, families and friends packed HSU's Redwood Bowl to watch students walk the walk, often with some extra flair to their personalized caps and gowns. The ceremony began with the College of Arts and Humanities in the morning, followed by the College of Natural Resources and Sciences, and the College of Professional Studies. Check out the slideshow below for highlights from the day.

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Saturday, May 12, 2018

Cannabis-Related Lights Polluting SoHum Skies

Posted By on Sat, May 12, 2018 at 4:37 PM

A greenhouse glowing in Southern Humboldt in late April.
  • A greenhouse glowing in Southern Humboldt in late April.

Editor's note: This story first appeared on www.kymkemp.com and is reposted here with permission.

Once again spring brings light to the hills of the Emerald Counties — large industrial lights that flood valleys, glow into neighbors’ windows and possibly confuse wildlife, disrupting natural cycles. Rural communities complain that greenhouses constructed specifically for growing marijuana bring unwanted light into rural areas usually only lit by the stars, the moon and an occasional pinpoint of light from a distant cabin.

Concerns about the lights vary. Many rural residents are worried about environmental issues, ranging from the light creating problems for animals that are nocturnal hunters to the it impacting the night skies, making it more difficult to view the stars. Others are concerned about lights shining in their homes and the generators that power them disturbing quiet neighborhoods.

Many greenhouses lighting up the night in Southern Humboldt this month.
  • Many greenhouses lighting up the night in Southern Humboldt this month.
According to Kyle Keegan, a local resident who has studied the issue, “[A]n increasing body of scientific knowledge tells us that altering the day/night cycles of environments can have a profound effect on the physiology of human and nonhuman species, as well as ecological systems.”

Keegan said, “The whole phenomenon of light pollution was not taken seriously until the last decade.” But, he said, scientist have become increasingly concerned as they’ve looked into the situation.

Keegan particularly worries that the large number of greenhouses lighting up the dark will affect nighttime pollinators, such as moths. He worries that the glow will attract moths and other insects. “If they are out there chasing that light, they are not being pollinators,” Keegan explained. This can disrupt natural processes and possibly change our local ecology.

Keegan says the number of uncovered greenhouses appears to have slightly decreased in his neighborhood this year. However, in March 2013, as the following light map shows, there were few lights showing beyond those found in towns.

Light map from March 2013 for Southern Humboldt. - LIGHTPOLLUTIONMAP.INFO
  • lightpollutionmap.info
  • Light map from March 2013 for Southern Humboldt.

By last year, light pollution had exploded.

Light map from March 2017 for Southern Humboldt. - LIGHTPOLLUTIONMAP.INFO
  • lightpollutionmap.info
  • Light map from March 2017 for Southern Humboldt.

One side effect of the uncovered greenhouse lights is that they are frequently confused with wildfires. Firefighters, most of them volunteers, are then roused from their beds and sent chasing the false fires wasting their time and their resources.

When low-flying fog hangs over a greenhouse, water droplets amplify the light. This can look like wildfire to observers and even trigger calls to bring firefighters and inmate crews. - SUBMITTED
  • Submitted
  • When low-flying fog hangs over a greenhouse, water droplets amplify the light. This can look like wildfire to observers and even trigger calls to bring firefighters and inmate crews.

Possibly of the most importance to the actual grower is that having a light source provides a beacon to the greenhouse and the light itself is illegal. According to Humboldt County regulations, “Cultivators using artificial lighting for mixed-light cultivation shall shield greenhouses so that little to no light escapes. Light shall not escape at a level that is visible from neighboring properties between sunset and sunrise.”

According to a spokesperson for the Humboldt County Planning Department, “The Planning and Building Department line is the best contact for light complaints…”

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Many, if not most, greenhouse owners cover their lights but, the glow from the ones who don’t continues to frustrate rural neighborhoods.
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Friday, May 11, 2018

Four Years Later, Spring Preview Bus Crash Survivors Set to Graduate

Posted By on Fri, May 11, 2018 at 5:49 PM

Rosibeth Cuevas, 21, sits on a bench that was dedicated to those who died in a 2014 bus crash in Orland. A survivor of the crash, Cuevas is now graduating from Humboldt State University. - COURTESY OF SOFIA TAM
  • Courtesy of Sofia Tam
  • Rosibeth Cuevas, 21, sits on a bench that was dedicated to those who died in a 2014 bus crash in Orland. A survivor of the crash, Cuevas is now graduating from Humboldt State University.
Saturday will mark an unlikely right of passage for Humboldt State University senior Rosibeth Cuevas.

It’s not just that she will be the first in her family to graduate from college when she walks across the Redwood Bowl stage to get her degree in criminology and justice studies. It’s also that she is one of six HSU graduates who survived the the fiery Spring Preview bus crash near Orland four years ago that took the lives of 10 people, including five prospective high school students traveling from Los Angeles to Arcata to visit HSU.


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What Is Going On With the Beer at Oyster Fest?

Posted By on Fri, May 11, 2018 at 12:47 PM

A busy Oyster Festival Day in 2017. - FILE
  • FILE
  • A busy Oyster Festival Day in 2017.
The Arcata Bay Oyster Festival, a notoriously big and boozy annual celebration of all things bivalve, has been the subject of a rumor mill in the hops-and-barley  set lately. Several local brewery owners told the Journal that the event — which in the past has seen its organizers dogged by controversy about their choices to fence the Plaza or charge admission — will not feature any local beer this year, but is instead going with an out-of-town corporate brewer, Lagunitas.

Arcata Main Street Executive Director Jeanette Todd soundly rejects this rumor, saying that local brewery Redwood Curtain Brewing Co. and Crescent City-based Sea Quake Brewing will both be pouring, not Lagunitas. But things are tense, largely due to a March meeting between Todd and several local brewery owners, a meeting from which participants came away with widely different perceptions.

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Fundraiser for the Haysmers: Longtime Local Couple Lost Home, Collections to Kilauea Eruption

Posted By on Fri, May 11, 2018 at 6:37 AM


A GoFundMe account has been set up to help Phil and Lunel Haysmer, former longtime Humboldt County residents who founded Eureka’s Many Hands Gallery, after their home and nearly everything they own was destroyed when a lava fission opened on their street in the Leilani Estates on the Big Island.

Astra Burke, who worked for the couple for 12 years before buying their Old Town gallery when they retired in 2012 to move to Hawaii, is helping organize the online effort, which can be found here. Burke also has a collection box at Many Hands where people can donate.

“Literally, they have their car and their dogs and the clothes they were wearing,” she said.

Complicating matters, Lunel Haysmer was in the hospital due to a health emergency when the evacuation orders came.

Gone amid the lava flows were many personal items, including a lifetime-worth of art that was both created and collected by the couple and numerous priceless artifacts acquired during their decades together.

“Losing the art we have both made and collected along with journals, photographs, books and tools will be the hardest,” a May 6 posting on the couple’s blog reads.  “In the meantime, we have each other and our dog-kids and an awesome community of neighbors and friends.”

According to news reports, the fission that opened near the couple’s home was spraying lava fountains 230 feet in the air.

Burke said the Haysmers are still waiting to hear whether insurance will cover any of their losses and she hopes the GoFundMe account will at least help the couple, which was so involved with their adopted Humboldt home for more than 20 years, get back on their feet.

For the time being, the couple is staying with people who have opened their home to evacuees from the Kilauea eruptions while they prepare to start over.

“We have spent our entire 32 years together creating — we don't plan to stop now — it may just take a while and we may go at a slower pace,” the Haysmers’ blog reads. “We also thought this would be our last big adventure — but now that we own a one-acre lot of pahoehoe, looks like we are due for yet another one.”
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Thursday, May 10, 2018

Multi-Candidate, Multi-Group Supervisor Rumble at Labor Temple Tonight

Posted By on Thu, May 10, 2018 at 10:46 AM

logos.jpg
Five candidates. Nine community groups. Two hours of questions. This is the format for a forum at Eureka's Labor Temple, scheduled to be held tonight from 6 to 8 p.m.

The candidates include contenders for two supervisor's seats, with Fifth District incumbent Ryan Sundberg facing off against challenger Steve Madrone, and the three-way race between Fourth District incumbent Virginia Bass and challengers Dani Burkhart and Mary Ann Lyons. You can find previous coverage of the races here and here.

The candidates will be quizzed by representatives from a spectrum of community groups, which includes  The Humboldt Del Norte Central Labor Council, North Coast People’s Alliance, Cooperation Humboldt, Health Care for All Humboldt, Northcoast Environmental Center, Centro del Pueblo, Move to Amend, Affordable Homeless Housing Alternatives and True North. These groups represent a variety of issues effecting the local community, including immigration, health care, homelessness and the environment.

The forum will be streamed live on Facebook and available at a later date on Access Humboldt.


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Wednesday, May 9, 2018

SoHum Pot Raid: $3 Million Seized, 8.5K Plants Destroyed

Posted By on Wed, May 9, 2018 at 4:18 PM

sheriff.png
A joint operation by the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife at four Southern Humboldt locations last week resulted in the eradication of nearly 8,500 plants, the destruction of about 1,500 pounds of processed pot and the seizure of more than $3 million in cash.

According to a news release, the agencies issued citations for more than 50 environmental violations, including streambed alteration, illegal water diversion and water pollution that impacted watersheds critical to three federally listed salmonid species. Pending criminal charges include illegal cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale and conspiring to commit a crime.

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Police: Slain Fortuna Woman Was Intervening in Kidnapping

Posted By on Wed, May 9, 2018 at 1:28 PM

Officers at the scene of the shooting Sunday. - MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
  • Officers at the scene of the shooting Sunday.
A Fortuna woman who was killed Sunday was shot while trying to stop Ronald Allen Crossland, a convicted felon with a long criminal history that included domestic violence, from kidnapping another woman, police said today.

According to a brief follow-up statement from the Eureka Police Department, Sharral “Sherry” McDonald had “no prior association” with Crossland and met him through the second woman, who was unharmed. She has not been named and EPD public information officer Brittany Powell has not responded to requests to clarify her relationship to Crossland. Read previous coverage here.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to raise money for McDonald’s memorial service and to help her family. The 60-year-old Fortuna High School graduate leaves behind a husband, children and grandchildren, according to the account, which can be found here.

“Sherry worked constantly and was always there to help someone in need,” the posting reads. “Sherry was the type of person who always did whatever she could to help someone and was a kind, giving soul. Help us honor her memory by coming together for her family to raise money for funeral expenses and other financial hardships that her family should not have to endure in the wake of their tragic loss.”


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Tuesday, May 8, 2018

UPDATE: Health Officials: New HIV Cases Cause of Concern

Posted By on Tue, May 8, 2018 at 4:57 PM

27e58a86d6b9d0c90432dc79eb784355_400x400.jpg
UPDATE: County health officials released additional information today about a spike in new locally acquired HIV cases that appear to be related.

Of the eight people diagnosed so far this year, five are believed to be linked. The public health investigation is ongoing and that number is expected to change. Another 13 cases that came to public health’s attention in 2018 were acquired outside of Humboldt County.

PREVIOUS: County health officials are alerting the public after finding an apparent link between two locally-acquired HIV cases identified last month as they continue to await lab results on other possible cases that may also be related.

Hava Phillips, a public health nurse in the county’s Department of Health and Human Services Communicable Disease Program, says the diagnoses not only raise the potential for ongoing transmission of the virus that causes AIDS but also the possibility that additional infections have already taken place in the community.

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Supes Pass Cannabis Ordinance 2.0

Posted By on Tue, May 8, 2018 at 4:46 PM

SHUTTERSTOCK
  • Shutterstock
After hours of discussion, the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors voted this afternoon to pass its new commercial cannabis land use ordinance.

The ordinance got four “yes” votes but Third District Supervisor Mike Wilson didn’t support it, though it’s unclear if he voted against it or abstained. (It seemed like he said he abstained from the vote, but board Chair Ryan Sundberg announced the vote as “4-1.”) In any event, the new ordinance is aimed at bringing county regulations in-line with statewide rules, mitigating some unintended consequences of the county’s old ordinance and, potentially, giving local farmers an opportunity to capitalize on canna-tourism.

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