State Bill Aims to Address Cyberbullying Off Campus

In response to his daughter receiving a swastika on social media, a California Jewish lawmaker is pushing for a bill that would give school administrators authority to suspend or expel students if they cyberbully fellow students away from school and outside of school hours. But Long Beach Assemblymember Josh Lowenthal’s Assembly Bill 2351 is coming into conflict with California’s recent reforms intended to prevent students of color from being expelled and suspended at disproportionate rates. The ACLU and other social justice organizations oppose Lowenthal’s bill. The bill’s critics told the Assembly Education Committee earlier this month at the bill’s first hearing that giving school administrators authority to punish students for behavior that occurs off campus could result in the return of “racially biased and disparate” punishment that puts students on a “school-to-prison pipeline.”  Lowenthal told the committee that as a socially-conscious Democrat, he previously couldn’t “imagine a scenario where I’m on a different side” from the ACLU, but he said his daughter’s experience highlighted why the law needs to change. “Only a decade ago, school bullying ended once you got home and were safe,” he

California Salmon Fishing Banned for Second Year in Row

In a devastating blow to California’s fishing industry, federal fishery managers unanimously voted to cancel all commercial and recreational salmon fishing off the coast of California for the second year in a row.  The April 10 decision is designed to protect California’s dwindling salmon populations after drought and water diversions left river flows too warm and sluggish for the state’s iconic Chinook salmon to thrive.  Salmon abundance forecasts for the year “are just too low,” Marci Yaremko, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s appointee to the Pacific Fishery Management Council, said last week. “While the rainfall and the snowpacks have improved, the stocks and their habitats just need another year to recover.” State and federal agencies are now expected to implement the closures for ocean fishing. Had the season not been in question again this year, recreational boats would likely already be fishing off the coast of California, while the commercial season typically runs from May through October.  In addition, the California Fish and Game Commission will decide next month whether to cancel inland salmon fishing in California rivers this summer and fall. The

Music Tonight: Monday, April 15

The Logger Bar hits us with a rare Monday night show at 7:30 p.m. and this one looks like a rip-snortin’, garage-rockin’ deal with our local lovelies Clean Girl and the Dirty Dishes cranking the amp alongside SUX from Seattle, featuring a lady named Lolli from the infamous mean-ass punk band Mommy Long Legs. The $5 is pocket change for a chance to jam out on this one with some high-nitro tunes. …

Music Tonight: Sunday, April 14

Minnesota bluesman, picker, and singer-songwriter Charlie Parr is the real deal, by which I mean an artist who has sublimated the nerve-ending feedback signals of his life and the lives of those around him into a sound that captures the true essence of storytelling, that elusive place where fiction creates truth. I’m not the only one to recognize this, either. The guy has a career traveling the world with his guitar, no easy feat in the year of Our Lord 2024. He’s parked over at Humbrews tonight at 8 p.m., where he will be joined by banjo-playing singers Kendl Winter and Palmer T. Lee, also known as The Lowest Pair, an indie-grass duo minted in Olympia, Washington, a decade ago, and rolling on down the road ever since ($25, $20 advance). …

Music Tonight: Saturday, April 13

Two free shows tonight at great local venues with some of the best and offbeat bands around. Rooster McClintock brings the fine country jams alongside Heaven’s Taint (lol), which I am told has a surf rock vibe, to the Logger Bar at 8 p.m. An hour later over at the Shanty, you can  enjoy a more jangly and pulsing psychedelic deal with Widdershins, who have united for the evening with the excellent odd-rockers Silver & Nails for what I’ll call a perfect lineup for the joint…

UPDATE: Artillery Shell Deemed Safe in Ferndale

UPDATE: Ferndale Police Sgt. Robert Lindgren says the artillery shell that prompted the evacuation of a building and the partial closure of Main Street this morning while the county bomb squad responded was empty. Lindgren also corrected some inaccurate information initially disseminated to the Journal by police amid the dynamic events of the morning. Lindgren says police were notified this morning of a possible explosive ordnance at a book store on Main Street and he responded, taking some pictures of the device to send to the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office bomb squad, which then asked him to evacuate the building and cordon off the area while it responded. The device was ultimately removed using the bomb squad’s robot and then determined to be empty. Lindgren says it was subsequently determined the book store’s owners acquired several boxes of what they thought were books about a month ago from some kind of estate sale. When they began going through the boxes today, Lindgren says they came across the antique artillery shell, were concerned and contacted Fortuna Police Chief Casey Day. The device was then reported to

Ferndale’s Main Street Blocked off Due to Artillery Shell Scare

Part of Ferndale’s Main Street has been cordoned off and a building evacuated due to fears that an antique artillery shell on display at a book store may be live, according to Police Chief Ron Sligh. Sligh said the store, Butterfat Books, put the shell out on display some time back and concerns began to circulate yesterday. “Someone saw it and thought, ‘Those things can be dangerous if they’re live,'” Sligh said, adding that police then contacted the store’s owner to inquire about it and they reported they’d obtained the shell at an estate sale. Police took a picture of the shell and sent it to the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office bomb squad, which decided to “err on the side of caution” and send bomb technicians to come look at the device and asked Ferndale police to evacuate the building and block the surrounding area, Sligh said. Sligh said the store’s owners recently went to an estate sale in Crescent City, where they bought some boxes of books and found the shell inside one of them. As such, Sligh said, they were unable to speak

Eco Cemeteries, Flags, Impacts and Foods

For our annual Green Issue, we’re looking into all things eco. First, there’s green burial in the works in our county. We’ve also got updates on the Earth flag legal conundrum and Measure S. Finally, we’re looking into Sunken Seaweed’s quest to help reestablish bull kelp and grow sustainable seaweed for consumers, too. Hit subscribe for weekly updates on Humboldt stories. …

Music Tonight: Friday, April 12

I really don’t want to write about the pandemic, so I’ll just say that 2021 was a heavy time for this beat, and the only real moment of grace came when the fever broke a bit in November and I was able to slink out of hiding to catch and review my first live show in ages. What luck it was that the one I landed at was the work of fiddler, singer and songwriter Sara Milonovich and her guitar accompanist Greg Anderson, a duo whose music I was completely unfamiliar with prior to that gig. What followed was a night of folk and bluegrass rapture with the beauty of a Hudson River Valley sunset, all tethered to the earth by Milonovich’s fun stage banter about casual things like gentrification, murder ballads, and the perils of river log riding. Every so often you walk into one of these mystery shows and get treated to the business end of a great time. This was one of those shows. The duo is returning to the scene of the action at the Arcata Playhouse tonight at 8 p.m.

Music Tonight: Thursday, April 11

The Basement continues its hit parade of steady weekly shows featuring killer local acts. Tonight’s feature is the jazz fusion group RLAD, which, when I saw them last in 2023 was composed of Tim Randles on keyboard, Ken Lawrence on bass, Mike LaBolle on drums and Doug Marcum on drums. Skilled players, all of them, and creators of a heady brew when assembled as such. It’s at 8 p.m., no cover…

How to Survive This

I won’t check the news right now   if you won’t. Instead, let’s think about   summer peaches so ripe   we’ll eat them leaning over the kitchen sink,   or the crunching sound of walking on snow,   and that dusty smell of the first rain, Let’s imagine how it would feel   to put on warm socks right out of the dryer,   fold a king-sized bottom sheet on the first try,   and find those lost keys in a pocket. In place of updates, alerts, and daily round-ups,   bulletins, flashes, and re-reviews, Why not sharpen a fistful of #2 yellow pencils   and write thank-you’s to our favorite teachers   in cursive. Or stroll alongside a playground   listening for ear-piercing squeals   only happy children make. Or go bird-watching, lying on our backs   waiting for fly-overs,   while eating popcorn. Of course, we could always just pause between headlines to come up for air, suspended between thoughts, and practice the dying art of   exhaling   very   very   slowly before diving back in. Diana Lynn…

Dust to Dust

The green burial movement looks to set down roots in Humboldt County Arcata resident Michael Furniss traces his aspiration for a natural burial back to a rainy afternoon four decades ago when he was a graduate student at the University of California at Berkeley studying soil science and forestry. Watching swirls of water from the downpour absorb into the ground while sitting near a creek on campus, Furniss says he found himself thinking, “When my time comes, I’d like to be buried in the root zone of a giant Sequoia,” allowing his remains to enrich the soil and “ascend into a tree.” In his 20s at the time, Furniss says he began exploring the idea of what he later trademarked as “entreement” — rather than an internment — but couldn’t find any options available that fit his vision. Time passed and life marched forward, with Furniss going on to a career as a woodland soil scientist and international expert in climate vulnerability infrastructure assessments. Still, he says, that epiphany, “stuck with me and it’s been there ever since.” After entering semi-retirement, the Cal Poly Humboldt

A Brief History of Dildos

“Thou … madest to thyself images of men, and didst commit whoredom with them.” — Ezekiel 16:17, KJV Along with notable human achievements such as the invention of the plow and the wheel, we should also celebrate a much older innovation, by tens of thousands of years: the dildo. In 2005, a team of researchers from Tübingen University, in southwest Germany, unearthed a foot-long, 4 inches circumference, polished siltstone phallus from the Hohle Fels cave near Ulm. Dated to 28,000 years ago, it’s now exhibited in the Blaubeuren Museum of Prehistory, labeled “Ice Art – Clearly Male.” If you’re bothered by the vision of someone pleasuring themself with a length of hard cold stone (a far cry from today’s silicon devices), you can take heart from this recently re-classified wooden object (see photo) from the Vindolanda Roman fort a mile south of Hadrian’s Wall in northern England. The wall was built around AD 125 by the order of Emperor Hadrian to solidify Roman control of most of present-day England and Wales, while acknowledging that pacifying the tribes living in today’s Scotland was impracticable, given the

Turning the Titanic

Cal Poly Humboldt recognized for leadership in addressing global plastics crisis In May of 1911, the Titanic became the biggest object ever moved by humans at the time, weighing 23,587 metric tons. We start there to put this next number into some perspective: Since plastic was introduced in the 1950s, more than 8.3 billion metric tons of it have been produced across the globe, according to a recent study out of the University of California at Santa Barbara. That’s the equivalent of 351,888 Titanics. But unlike the Titanic, which now sits decomposing 12,500 feet beneath the ocean’s surface about 370 miles off the coast of Newfoundland, plastics don’t break down on their own. Instead, they break up into microplastics, tiny plastic particles that have now been documented to be everywhere, including water, dirt, food, wildlife and our bodies. Amid this backdrop — with the world continuing to produce about 300 million tons of plastic annually, according to the United Nations Environment Programme, less than 10 percent of which is recycled — little Cal Poly Humboldt recently became one of only two universities in the nation to

‘Subject to Charges’

Editor: I read the April 5 article (“Judge Rules Arcata Can’t Put Earth Flag on Top”) about the court ruling in weekly newsletter, Vexi-News, I receive from the North American Vexillological Association. While the court ruled based on California state law, the act of flying any flag above or higher than the flag of these United States is a violation under federal law. Title 4 U.S. Code Chapter 1, Section 7, Sub-section C states: “(c) No other flag or pennant should be placed above or, if on the same level, to the right of the flag of the United States of America, except during church services conducted by naval chaplains at sea, when the church pennant may be flown above the flag during church services for the personnel of the Navy. No person shall display the flag of the United Nations or any other national or international flag equal, above, or in a position of superior prominence or honor to, or in place of, the flag of the United States at any place within the United States or any territory or possession thereof: Provided, that

Our Last Best Chance

Four years ago, we took a stand in these pages that still keeps us up at night from time to time. It was November of 2019 and the Humboldt County Planning Commission was poised to decide whether to permit a company called Terra-Gen’s plans to construct 47 wind turbines along Monument and Bear River ridges overlooking Rio Dell. There was plenty to dislike about the project. Environmentalists warned of the potentially dire impacts it could have on bird populations and other wildlife, that newly cut and expanded service roads would silt rivers and that the project would clear carbon-sequestering forests and prairies. But the strongest voice of opposition came from the Wiyot Tribe, which considers Bear River Ridge — known as Tsakiyuwit in Wiyot — a sacred high prayer site from which the Wiyot could see a large expanse of the tribe’s ancestral territory. Noting the attempted genocide of the Wiyot and all Native people in California, as well as the fact that Tsakiyuwit was stolen by notorious militiaman and murderer Seth Kinman, bringing it into white hands, we wrote that we could not support

Music Tonight: Wednesday, April 10

Regular readers know all about the beloved Metal Mondays at Savage Henry Comedy Club — and now the venue is expanding that general concept with Music Wednesday. Today’s offering is advertised as a post-industrial gig, with Mnemonic Pulse (and others) providing the tunes. As with the Monday slot, music starts at 7 p.m., and it’s a sliding scale $5-$10 to get inside.  …

County Preps Measure S Enforcement Action on Hundreds of Cannabis Farms

The Humboldt County Planning Department will soon be suspending the permits of hundreds of cannabis farmers who failed to enter into a payment agreement for owed Measure S taxes by the March 31 deadline, Planning Director John Ford told the Journal. The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors voted in October to give cannabis farmers until March 31 to enter into payment plans for a total of $14.1 million in unpaid excise taxes, and until March 31, 2025 to pay their bills in full. Ford said his department is awaiting a list from the Humboldt County Treasurer-Tax Collector’s Office of farmers who have owed taxes but failed to enter into a payment plan. According to Whitney Morgan, the county’s revenue and tax manager, 318 cannabis farmers have agreed to payment plans with the county that, if paid in full, would make good on a combined $4.2 million in taxes owed. But Morgan says farmers associated with another 401 accounts with balances due totaling $6.1 million failed to reach payment plans with the county by the deadline. The numbers Morgan provided total $10.3 million — $3.8 million

Tacos, Food Trucks and Mystery Deals

We’re grabbing napkins for NCJ Taco Week, while also checking out a couple new eateries. And if you’re still wondering about the Eureka City Schools property sale, so are we. Hit subscribe for weekly updates on Humboldt stories.  …

Music Tonight: Monday, April 8

Well, it’s another total eclipse day, though essentially just a partial at best for those of us on the West Coast and therefore outside of the path of totality. Not sure how you want to celebrate, I will probably lean into my own personal tradition of forgetting that it was going to happen at all and spending a few moments wondering why the sky looks weird. For those of you looking for some kind of event, the Circus Italia that has been set up at the Bayshore Mall is giving its final performance at 7:30 p.m., with tickets starting at $20. Called Paranormal Cirque, I was intrigued enough to watch the YouTube trailer on the circus website before deciding even though this isn’t really for me, it looks like a good mix of horror ambience with carny vibrations, so there’s probably truth in advertising that this is an adult’s event (unless accompanied by a guardian) and I respect the hustle. …

Music Tonight: Sunday, April 7

Christ Episcopal Church in Eureka lends its church organ to the talents of Hungarian organist Sándor Balatoni, who will be joined by Hungarian American violinist Philip Ficsor, to play a series of solo and duet pieces, including works by their homeland hero Béla Bartok, along with French composer Jules Massenet and Josef Rheinberger from the 19th century courts of Liechtenstein. This looks like a great program and a lot of talent in exactly the right venue, so consider my endorsement made in full. The suggested donation is $20 and the music begins at 4 p.m.…