Public Health Confirms New COVID-19 Cases, No New Hospitalizations

Humboldt County Public Health reported nine new COVID-19 cases today — making 65 so far this week — after laboratories processed 56 samples with a test-positivity rate of 16 percent. For the first time this week, no new deaths or hospitalizations were reported. According to a state database, seven people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 locally, including two under intensive care. Over the past week, local officials have been warning that residents age 19 and younger are increasingly accounting for case spread locally amid an upwelling in cases of the Delta variant, which now accounts for one in four infections nationally. The Delta variant is believed to be more contagious than other COVID-19 varieties and to result in more severe illness. On the vaccination front, the county reported Tuesday that roughly 55 percent of the eligible local population is are now fully vaccinated. Sixty-two percent of eligible residents have now received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to a press release. All of the Public Health vaccinations clinics scheduled this week will include the one-shot Johnson & Johnson and the Pfizer vaccine, the only one…

Small Plane Crash Near Dinsmore Sparks Fire, Multiple Agencies Responding

Multiple agencies are responding to a small plane crash near Dinsmore on State Route 36 and a related fire. The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office reports the number of passengers and injuries are unknown at this time and that the highway is temporarily closed to traffic near the airport. A U.S. Forest Service crew is battling the small fire, with CalFire reportedly responding as well. We’ll update this post as we get additional information.…

‘Now There Is Momentum’: Former Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs Applauds California’s Guaranteed Income Plan

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — In what would be the first state-funded guaranteed income plan in the US, California lawmakers on Thursday approved $35 million for monthly cash payments to qualifying pregnant people and young adults previously in foster care. Both votes in the California Senate and Assembly were unanimous with some abstentions (36-0 and 64-0, respectively), but the plan did get some bipartisan support. “If you look at the stats for our foster youth, they are devastating,” Senate Republican Leader Scott Wilk said. “We should be doing all we can to lift these young people up.” The plan could possibly spur other states to follow. “Now there is momentum, things are moving quickly,” said former Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, now an advisor to Gov. Gavin Newsom. The guaranteed income program that was instituted in Stockton during Tubb’s time as mayor catapulted him to national recognition. That program gave dozens of people living in lower-income neighborhoods $500 a month with no strings attached. Stockton’s plan was funded by donors, however. California’s guaranteed income plan is taxpayer funded. “The next stop is the federal government,” Tubbs said. In…

‘I Was Blown Away’: James Hinchcliffe On Chase Elliott Joining SRX Series For Final Race Of Season At Nashville

(CBS Local)- For the final race of its inaugural season, the Camping World SRX Series has brought in a ringer well known in the motorsports world: reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion Chase Elliott. For the 25-year-old Elliott, the series offers him an opportunity to do something that he’s only done once before, race against his father Bill. The pair shared the track back in 2013 in the Alabama Pro 125 Late Model race at South Alabama Speedway. Now, eight years later, they’ll get to race again on a track they’re both familiar with: Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway. “The whole thing is like going to your local go kart track on the biggest stage, you’re going to have some fun,” CBS SRX series pit reporter Matt Yocum said. “And that’s what it is for Chase and Bill to have that opportunity, maybe one final time, of getting a chance, two champions in NASCAR, to have that special moment of racing against each other. And I’m glad that SRX was there to provide the opportunity. What better place than one of, if not the most, historical racetracks in…

Sacramento County Recommends That Fully Vaccinated People Mask Up Again As Cases And Delta Variant Surge

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Sacramento residents are once again being asked to mask up indoors as the county’s COVID-19 case rate increases and the Delta variant surges. On Thursday, the Sacramento County Public Health Officer recommended that fully vaccinated people should once again start wearing a face mask indoors in settings where vaccination verification is not required. This means that masks are strongly recommended in such public settings as a grocery store or restaurant, but not in a workplace where employers ask for self-attestation of vaccination status. County officials say the increase in daily COVID-19 cases appears to be due, in part, to the Delta variant. “The drastic increase in cases is concerning – as is the number of people choosing not to get vaccinated,” said Sacramento County Public Health Officer Olivia Kasirye in a statement. Sacramento County leads the state in COVID infection rates. Health leaders are urging people to get vaccinated. Only 47 percent of Sacramento County’s population has gotten the vaccine. Sacramento County is the second area in the region to urge people to wear masks again. On Wednesday, Yolo County public health…

DROUGHT

In my garden buds go limp before they bloom– wishful thinking on a tired stalk. My hose snakes out but we can’t bring the real relief they crave. Down deep and dry the rich earth sleeps under a tightfisted sky. Carolyn Lehman…

The Logger Bar Comes Back to Life

A Blue Lake institution readies to turn the lights back on Kate Martin, owner of Blue Lake’s Logger Bar, didn’t hibernate during the pandemic. She’d shut down the bar in accordance with shelter in place in March of 2020 and put the historic bar up for sale three months later. (She admits a bar you can’t open is a tough sell in a pandemic.) She might have taken a well-earned break but an illness in her family called the New York native back to the East Coast. When it was time to come home, she decided to return to Humboldt by bicycle. In September, she started a trek that would take her three months and five days, cycling from Maine to Florida, across the country to San Diego and up U.S. Highway 1 toward home. “When I left Maine, the country was yellow; it hadn’t gotten so dark yet,” says Martin, who at first spent nights camping and staying with family. By the time she got to New Mexico, however, the spread of the virus was “scarier” and she switched to motels. She didn’t keep…

Across Miles and Borders: A Friendship, Vaccination and Worry

Coming from a long line of people who leave the towns and countries where we were born, I’ve always been comfortable with separation (the exception being my husband, without whom, across an ocean for months, I was a goddamn wreck). I don’t mean estrangement, though my family has those chops, too, but distant affection. Mostly I’m content to go months, even years, apart from people I love. As long as everyone is alive and safe, it’s enough. It’s even pleasing in the way seeing the lights of a plane at night is — distant and familiar, soothing to think of people busy on their way to something. The pandemic has made that more difficult. For the past year and a half, I’ve read harrowing reports about the places my people are scattered — New York, Austin, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Maryland — my worry pulling in all directions. That pull lessens as the vaccines roll out to those of age to receive them. I shocked myself with a sob of relief watching my son get his first shot, unaware of the tension I’d pushed to the…

Don’t Make Me Tap the Sign

I’ll cop to it: I view the world materially and holistically. Things are connected. And I don’t just write about music for a living, I also build things. I come from carpenters and I can recognize designs and patterns. So when live music goes away for more than a year because of a disastrously unprepared pandemic response, that’s in my wheelhouse. When 93 percent of the west is in a drought and my hometown’s real estate is suddenly massively outpricing the locals, I understand that’s going to affect the music scene quite a bit. I don’t know how to break it to some of you but musicians are not the most financially stable people. When I am in the bookstore and I hear an elderly retired lady talking with genuine fear in her voice about being on a fixed income and not having rent control or security so she’s not sure if she can afford the books she wants, I listen to her and I report back to you, dear reader. Why? Because as a fellow Humboldtshevik and media consumer, she is my constituency. I…

Across Miles and Borders: Ripple Effect

By Iridian Casarez We had just finished eating our plates of mole Poblano and rice when my abuelita began telling us of her recent month-long trip to Mexico. She began by showing us videos of her house, freshly remodeled and furnished. She told us about the chiles ahogadas and the feast she and three of her siblings ate the night before she left. Then, she told us about how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted our family. She said our family in Mexico didn’t trust the vaccine, didn’t want to get them, believing in all of the conspiracy theories circulating through social media. I rolled my eyes, annoyed. How could anyone believe such irrational things? But then my abuelita said she told her family that she had received her vaccine (something she was also extremely hesitant to do) and they were shocked and surprised. She then explained it to them like this: “It’s as if the doctors inject you with a spider without legs and it enters your body to tell your body to be ready. So that when and if the virus enters your body, it’s…

Salmon Smolts Being Shuffled Between Klamath Hatcheries

Due to extremely poor water conditions and high risks of fish disease on the Klamath River, California Department of Fish and Wildlife hatchery managers were recently forced to truck more than 1 million smolts out of Iron Gate Hatchery into two other hatcheries in the Klamath watershed. This is the first time in its 55-year history, Iron Gate Fish Hatchery will not release young salmon early in the summer. Citing lethal water temps, CDFW trucked more than 170,000 smolts to the Fall Creek Hatchery and 1 million to the Trinity Hatchery. Another million smolts will remain at Iron Gate. Once water conditions improve on the Klamath and the threat of disease wanes, the young salmon will be returned to Iron Gate and spend a few weeks re-acclimating before being released along with the smolts that remained there. The young salmon will have an added advantage, as they’ll be a little older and tougher, which should produce a better survival rate. The hope is that October will see some storms that will cool the water and reduce chances of disease. Until then, more than 1 million…

Drought Gardening

It’s no secret by now that Humboldt County (along with all of California and many other western states) is in trouble when it comes to general lack of rainfall. While the entire county is in a moderate drought, portions are in severe drought and some are even experiencing extreme drought. To find out drought conditions for the entire county, you can visit www.drought.gov. So, what can gardeners do to help their landscapes/gardens out? I’m glad you asked. Water. But water is precious and if you’re in a municipal area, it’s not cheap. There are ways to keep your garden and landscape plants alive without being a water hog or paying through the nose for your hydration. For starters, don’t water in the middle of the day, when it’s warmest (even on the coast where it’s often foggy all day long). If you’re using sprinklers or other overhead watering methods, don’t water when it’s windy, either. Sprinklers lose 30-50 percent of their water through evaporation and other means, so it’s the least efficient way of watering. Watering first thing in the morning is usually the most…

Behind the Music

Summer of Soul and The Sparks Brothers SUMMER OF SOUL (… OR, WHEN THE REVOLUTION COULD NOT BE TELEVISED). Intimates might wonder (fairly) at my desire to watch and ramble on about a concert movie. I’ve shared freely my general discomfort and occasional disappointment at the live music experience with those unfortunate enough to have to listen, for years beyond counting. It’s a product of my own paranoia and insecurity. I can appreciate the spectacle and coming-together-ness of a live show; I’d just usually prefer not to be there in person. This attitude remains subject to change — I’ve had some mildly debauched, uncharacteristically liberated moments at concerts — and maybe the prospect of a lightening of our collective viral load, both biological and metaphorical, will mean an attitude adjustment. Probably not, though. As uplifting and transcendent as the performances (and sense of community they engender) depicted in Summer of Soul are, as artfully curated and engagingly edited as the movie is, it is still marked by a distinct undertone of suppression, selective memory and erasure. So maybe it’s appropriate that I observed the joyous,…

Rodeo Thrills this Weekend in Fortuna

Clear your calendars, rodeo fans — two of Fortuna Rodeo’s most popular events are raring to go this weekend.  First out of the gate is the crowd pleasing Bullfighters Only/Quadiators show on Friday, July 16 at the Fortuna Rodeo Grounds ($25, $15 under 12, $40 VIP arena seating). Gates open at 5:30 p.m. to see these professional athletes take on some burly bulls. Saturday, July 17, it’s big time action with bull and bronc riding, plus mutton bustin’ and steer ridin’ for the kids at Bulls, Broncs, Bands & Brews ($10, $5 children 12 and under). Live music by Lone Star Junction will get your spurs jangling and the good folks at Eel River Brewing and Humboldt Beer Distributors will make sure your whistle’s wet. Gates are at 6 p.m. Tickets for both nights are available at www.fortunarodeo.com.…

Across Dueling Realities

To many of us, it feels like spring in Humboldt, like almost overnight everything has come to feel brighter and warmer. But instead of emerging from winter into a world that feels new, we’re emerging from a pandemic-induced isolation into a world of old habits, in which we can once again hug our friends, host a dinner party or sit down in a restaurant. But unlike a shift in the season, it’s also very clear this isn’t a communal experience. In recent weeks, as many of us have been dipping a toe — or cannon balling directly — into the waters of our renewed senses of security and freedom, Humboldt County Public Health has continued to report new COVID-19 cases every day and the county lurched past another grim milestone, recording its 50th, 51st and 52nd deaths from the disease. Two of the latest local residents to die with COVID-19 were in their 80s and the third was in their 70s, according to public health. We note their ages not to diminish the impact of the loss of life, but to highlight the fact that…

California Lawmakers To Vote On Guaranteed Income Grants

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP/CBS13) — The California Legislature is scheduled to vote Thursday on a bill that would help pay for guaranteed income programs across the state. It would be the first state-funded program of its kind in the country, a major step for supporters whose goal is to take guaranteed income nationally. “The next stop is the federal government,” said former Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs. Tubbs is an advisor to Gov. Gavin Newsom and ran a high-profile guaranteed income program while he was mayor. Same thing happened when we launched @stocktondemo our guaranteed income pilot. “socialism” “dumb” “will never happen” “young Mayor is crazy.”. Now tomorrow the child tax credit starts- a guaranteed income for 90% of families. — Michael Tubbs (@MichaelDTubbs) July 14, 2021 For decades, most government assistance programs have had strict rules about how the money should be spent, usually limiting benefits to things like food or housing. But a guaranteed income program gives money to people with no rules on how to spend it. The idea is to reduce the stresses of poverty that cause health problems and make it harder…

Judge Denies Prosecutor’s Attempt To Add Rape Charges In Kristin Smart Case

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (AP/CBS13) — A judge has denied a prosecutor’s bid to file rape charges against Paul Flores, the man accused of killing Cal Poly student Kristin Smart, who went missing 25 years ago. The San Luis Obispo district attorney’s office had sought to add two rape charges — for offenses they say were committed in Los Angeles County after Smart, of Stockton, disappeared — to the complaint filed against Paul Flores in Smart’s death. Prosecutors on Wednesday revealed they found video of an alleged LA County rape, but a judge refused to add sexual assault charges saying evidence of an assault in the Smart case was too weak. The judge ruled against the DA’s motion and scheduled a preliminary hearing in the murder case for Aug. 2. Paul Flores, now 44, was the last person seen with Smart on May 25, 1996, at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, where they were both freshmen. Prosecutors said he killed Smart while trying to rape her in his dorm room after he had agreed to walk her home from a party, where…

Napa Doctor First Person To Face Federal Charges For Allegedly Falsifying COVID Vaccine Cards

NAPA (CBS13) — A Northern California doctor is the first person to face federal charges for allegedly giving out fake coronavirus vaccine cards. Dr. Julie Mazi, 41, of Napa, is accused of giving patients oral immunization pellets that she said contained small amounts of COVID and would offer life-long protection. Prosecutors say she then gave patients fake vaccine cards showing they received the Moderna shot. Mazi was charged with one count of wire fraud and one count of false statements related to health care matters. “This defendant allegedly defrauded and endangered the public by preying on fears and spreading misinformation about FDA-authorized vaccinations, while also peddling fake treatments that put people’s lives at risk,” said Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, in April 2021, an individual submitted a complaint to the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) claiming family members had bought COVID-19 homeoprophylaxis immunization pellets from Mazi. Mazi allegedly then told the family to mark their vaccination cards to falsely state that they received the Moderna vaccine on the same date that…

California Dolphin