Far North

Eureka City Schools Shifts to Distance Learning, T-S Reports

The Times-Standard is reporting that the Eureka City Schools Board of Trustees has voted to shift entirely to distance learning for the remainder of the year following a recommendation from the Humboldt County Office of Education and the public health officer in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. The report quotes Superintendent Fred Van Vleck calling the shift an “absolute tragedy” that will be “felt for generations to come.” Read Andrew Butler’s full report here. The Times-Standard’s Shomik Mukherjee, meanwhile, reports that St. Joseph Hospital is confident it has enough beds in its birthing center for expecting mothers, but will be limiting their visitors in the coming weeks. Read his full report here. And the paper’s Sonia Waraich confirms that it’s not just your imagination, our internet is moving slower as providers deal with what used to be peak usage levels becoming the new normal. Read her report here.…

Redwood Acres Fair Canceled

Like so many annual events, the Redwood Acres Fair and Junior Livestock Auction is not to be this year due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19. The fair’s board and organizers are working out whether an online livestock sale is possible for the 4-H and FFA students who’ve worked hard to raise their animals. In a press release, CEO Ben Brown says they’re disappointed, “but together we will pull through and as our collective health heals, we can start working on the 2021 Fair and Junior Livestock Auction.” Read the full press release below: Redwood Acres Fair Press Release: April 1, 2020 The Ninth Agricultural District, Board of Directors, must sadly announce the cancellation of the June 2020, Redwood Acres Fair, and Junior Livestock Auction. This was a very difficult decision, but in light of the Department of Health and Human Services notice on March 30th, which suspended all public events, and provided no estimate of when the order might be lifted, the Board felt this was the best course of action. The Fair is an annual tradition, and its cancellation is a blow…

HCOE Recommends Schools Remain Closed for the Term

According to a press release, the Humboldt County Office of Education plans to follow the advice of Public Health Officer Teresa Frankovich and the recommendation of Gov. Newsom and advise local school facilities to remain closed through the end of the school year. Distance learning implemented to slow the spread of COVID-19 will continue. The individual district closures and status of graduations and other end-of-year events are to be determined and announced by each district. Read the full press release below: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Humboldt County School Closures Yesterday in a press conference, Governor Gavin Newsom, with the backing of Superintendent of Schools, Tony Thurmond, shared the expectation that all school districts and charters in California continue to provide distance learning opportunities for students and their families for the remainder of the school year. Humboldt County Office of Education (HCOE) and local school districts, have consulted with Public Health Officer, Dr. Teresa Frankovich, who advises all school districts in Humboldt County follow the Governor’s recommendation and plan for continued closure of facilities through the end of the school year. According to Dr. Frankovich, “The situation…

The 200th Victim

Humboldt County’s response to the 1918-1919 and what it teaches us a century later In 1918 my dad, part of the U. S. Army’s First Division, was on a troop ship bound for France. The soldiers on board slept in bunk beds. My dad had a lower bunk, and each morning he would kick the bunk above him to wake up the soldier sleeping there. One morning he kicked — and almost broke his foot. His friend had died in the night from the raging influenza epidemic and his body was hard as a rock. The illness swept through the ship. My dad was detailed to take the victims’ soiled bedding to the ship’s laundry. He couldn’t get any closer to the illness than that so he took another soldier’s advice and started chewing tobacco to stifle the contagion. My dad never chewed tobacco again but, 40 years later, he still credited it with saving his life. Other soldiers were not as fortunate. On Aug. 25, “somewhere in France,” Clyde Hemphill, a soldier from Blue Lake, died from the influenza. He was the first person…

Disequilibrium

Breath in, breath out. On the Adirondack bench beneath the kiwi arbor late afternoon sun beneath bluest of sky, stilling my mind, emptying thoughts: focus on the cool air traversing nostrils, filling belly sending calming goodness throughout my body. Just breathe. Just be. Here in this moment. But the words I didn’t know I’d have to know coronavirus       social distancing      shelter in place come unbidden, bringing a worm of anxiety hitching my breath, derailing my bliss with an endless loop of troubling questions I can’t answer (and maybe don’t want to find out the answers). Breathe in! Breathe out! Come back to the moment! So .  .  .  this rich soil and awakened kiwi vine, this cluster of daffodils which wondrously appears each spring this ant struggling to drag his bounty home, the quiet street in front of me in my quirky little neighborhood, with a peak of the bay and forested hills beyond. There is no place better than this one moment right now. Keep breathing.…

Upward Trajectory

As Humboldt’s numbers spike, officials take stronger action In a flurry of activity over the late afternoon and evening hours of March 30, Humboldt County officials announced that the local spread of COVID-19 was growing more serious, with two community transmission cases, and took more drastic actions to contain the virus. Humboldt County Sheriff William Honsal declared a local emergency, putting his Office of Emergency Services in charge of directing a countywide, multi-agency response to the pandemic and paving the way for state and federal disaster reimbursements. Public Health Officer Teresa Frankovich, meanwhile, announced that she was broadening the shelter-in-place order she’d instituted 10 days earlier — a time span that saw the county’s case count spike from two to 21. The day after Frankovich’s announcement, the case tally jumped again to 27. Here’s a brief rundown of the latest developments as the Journal went to press March 31. The Curve Perhaps the biggest news to hit Humboldt County was word that public health investigators had been unable to find evidence that two patients had been in contact with any other people confirmed to have…

Switching up the Recipe

Local distillers turn to making hand sanitizer Barbara and Michael Jewell are still selling Jewell Distillery’s moonshine, vodka, gin and local blackberry liqueur out of their Blue Lake shop, but they’ve added a new item to their stock: hand sanitizer. As California residents shelter in place to slow the spread of COVID-19, “We wanna make sure you’re internally and externally sanitized,” says Michael over the phone. “Obviously, we like everyone else heard there was a shortage of hand sanitizer and we considered making it, but we weren’t allowed to do so,” he continues. But when the Food and Drug Administration and the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau temporarily relaxed their restrictions on who can produce the sprays and gels two weeks ago in the face of a national COVID-19-driven shortage, the Jewells jumped on it. They started by hunting down the ingredients, including glycerine, isopropyl and ethanol alcohols, and hydrogen peroxide. “Every day [they’re] getting harder and harder to find,” says Michael, as more people are making sanitizer. Barbara adds that sale-approved bottles (8-ounce and smaller, HDP or PET plastic) are growing scarce,…

Fires and Masks

I used to love to visit the Fire Museum in Tokyo. There you could see the traditional irezumi tattoos of firefighters along with models of the tight rows of wooden houses that made up towns in Edo Japan. Woodblock prints and dioramas showed how the firefighters, roving bands of tough guys, would, instead of throwing water on a burning building, work like a demolition pit crew to tear down the structures on either side of the blaze and stop its spread. It was a marvel to me, a wild solution that could only work in a community that prioritized the group over the individual. Not that I recommend the method. After all, Japan switched to firetrucks and hoses long ago. But it still moves me to think of the accepted sacrifice. Outside, in offices and schools, on the buses and subways, lots of people in Japan, like other Asian countries, wear masuku, surgical masks. I did, too. It’s not a practice born of fear, but consideration, priotizing the community over yourself. If you have a cold, you put on the masuku before leaving the house…

Public Health Announces County’s 28th COVID-19 Case, Releases Limited Demographic Information

Humboldt County Public Health has confirmed another positive case of COVID-19 locally, bringing the total to 28, and released limited demographic information about the infected population. See the full press release below. April 1, 2020 – One New Case of COVID-19 Confirmed; Limited Demographic Information Now Available The number of COVID-19 cases in Humboldt County now totals 28, following confirmation of one additional positive case today. Of those 28 people, eight had traveled internationally, 13 had contact with a known case and three are believed to have contracted the virus through community transmission. Four additional cases are under investigation. Three quarters of Humboldt County’s cases are located around areas with the largest populations—Eureka, Arcata, Fortuna and McKinleyville. The average age of those infected is 41. Males represent 54 percent of cases, while 46 percent are female. County Health Officer Dr. Teresa Frankovich warned against reading too much into these statistics. “It should be expected that larger population centers will have larger numbers of cases,” she said. “No area of the county is considered to be low risk because we have community transmission occurring.” For the…

‘Warm Hearted City’ Lends a Hand

A volunteer group in Rio Dell is living up to the riverside hamlet’s motto of “Warm Hearted City” by putting out word that support for residents is available during the COVID-19 shelter-in-place order, as well as making home deliveries — with precautions, of course. When it became clear a few weeks ago that some of Rio Dell’s nearly 4.000 residents would be self-isolating, a group of city leaders — including Mayor Debra Garnes, City Manager Kyle Knopp, chamber President Nick Angeloff and Sara Faught of the Community Resource Center — realized a response team would be needed and began seeking out potential members. Cue the creation of the Rio Dell Volunteer Corps. “We’re really thinking of it in a holistic manner. People 65 and older are self-isolating and sometimes they are alone and they might need someone to talk to, to reach out to,” said Garnes said, who is also one of the volunteers. “We’re building it as we go. The bottom line is that we’re trying to do everything we can to help our seniors in any way.” As of March 26, Knopp said…

Public Health Announces Six New Positive Cases of COVID-19, Bringing the Total to 27

Public Health announced today that it has recorded six new positive COVID-19 cases. Humboldt County’s number of COVID-19 cases continued to climb yesterday, as Public Health announced three new positive cases. Today’s announcement brings the county-wide total to 27. All but one of those have been reported in the last 11 days, including news last week of Humboldt County’s first COVID-19 related hospitalization. (Officials have declined to release any information about the hospitalized patient or their condition.) Humboldt County Public Health workers are conducting extensive contact investigations to determine when and how they became infected. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Humboldt County has spiked sharply since the second positive test was reported March 20 in someone who had recently returned from traveling in a “high-risk” country. (The county’s first positive test was announced Feb. 20 in someone who’d just returned from China and has since recovered.) On March 24, the county announced three additional cases, including positive tests from two members of a group that had recently returned from international travel. The following day, it announced five additional positives, all related to the…

Kinetic Grand Championship Goes the Social Distance

Hang your heads, for the Kinetic Grand Championship Race as we know it will not take place this year with an Arcata Plaza kickoff and all its attending fanfare. Instead, as Queen Professor President Kati Texas stated in a press release, a three-day Kinetic Sculpture in Place event will take place online, with teams completing challenges on video with their human-powered art mobiles from May 23-25. “Artists, engineers, athletes, and Glory hogs of all ages will compete in the traditional categories of Art, Speed, Engineering, and Pageantry plus some online exclusive awards just for this year (we all hope.),” the release reads. Whether shelter-in-place orders would mean teams would have to be restricted to household members is yet to be seen. The Memorial Day weekend will also include a Kinetic Kids Challenge, a Remote-abaga Ball Live and viewing documentary and other footage from the Kinetic Museum Eureka. Enjoy Mark McKenna’s slideshow of kinetic madness from last year and let it buoy you like a giant floating dragon/horse/crab thing full of exhausted, sunburned people pedaling and paddling as fast as they can. Read the full press…

Arcata Fire District Will Close One of its Fire Stations April 1

The Arcata Fire District is closing one of the three fire stations in its area of service tomorrow as a result of the voters defeating Measure R, a special property tax that would have increased the district’s budget by $2.2 million and allowed for maintaining current staffing levels and rebuilding depleted reserve funds. “The failure of Measure R comes with layoffs and demotions to critical frontline personnel of the fire district,” reads the press release from AFD. The Arcata Fire District Board of Directors will rotate station closures weekly to evaluate which station will permanently close. “Unfortunately, due to station closures and the rise in overlapping calls for service, we may be delayed getting to your emergency. With our District covering 62 square miles, this means potentially waiting significantly longer to receive our services when you are in need. Please, when you need our service, call 911 EARLY,” the release states. However, the department is emphasizing that the safety of the community is its top priority.  Read the full release below: Arcata Fire Station Closure On April 1st Arcata Fire District to close a fire…

Blue Lake Rancheria Delivers Meals to Tribal Elders During COVID-19 Pandemic

The Blue Lake Rancheria Tribe’s Elder Nutrition Program is delivering three weeks’ worth of meals to the 70 tribe elders enrolled in the meal program amid the COVID-19 outbreak. “We know coronavirus poses a greater threat to the elderly,” Jason Ramos, Blue Lake Rancheria tribal council member, said in a press release. “So we are determined to safely deliver food to elders, so they can shelter-in-place at home and not worry about their next meal.” According to the release, more than 12,000 meals have been prepared and stored for delivery later this week. The tribe is delivering meals from Rio Dell to Weaverville. The food program is also seeing an increase in demand as members of other organizations and tribes in the area can be added to the list of food deliveries. “We are really pulling together our resources to take care of the elderly, who especially depend on us right now,” Arla Ramsey, the tribe’s vice-chairperson said in a press release. Read the full release below: Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE

Humboldt County COVID-19 Cases Now at 21

Public Health announced this evening that it has recorded three new positive COVID-19 cases. Humboldt County’s spike in COVID-19 cases continued Saturday, with Public Health announcing four new positive cases. Today’s announcement brings the county-wide total to 21. All but one of those have been reported in the last 10 days, including news last week of Humboldt County’s first COVID-19 related hospitalization. (Officials have declined to release any information about the hospitalized patient or their condition.) Investigations remain ongoing into how the latest patients contracted the virus, with Public Health workers conducting extensive contact investigations to determine when and how they became infected. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Humboldt County has spiked sharply since the second positive test was reported March 20 in someone who had recently returned from traveling in a “high-risk” country. (The county’s first positive test was announced Feb. 20 in someone who’d just returned from China and has since recovered.) On March 24, the county announced three additional cases, including positive tests from two members of a group that had recently returned from international travel. The following day, it announced…

Public Health Announces Two Community Transmission COVID-19 Cases (VIDEO)

Humboldt County has recorded its first cases of community transmission of the COVID-19 virus, Humboldt County Public Health Officer Teresa Frankovich announced at a virtual town hall meeting moderated by the Journal last night. Frankovich said contact investigations in two recent positive cases failed to find the patients had any contacts with other people confirmed to have the virus or that they had traveled outside the local area, leading investigators to believe they contracted COVID-19 from an unknown source within the community. “We must all acknowledge the fact that while case counts are incredibly important for monitoring this pandemic, everyone must assume that COVID is circulating within their own city or town, and act accordingly,” Frankovich said. “The measures we have been advocating remain critically important: staying at home unless you must go out for an essential need; staying at home when you’re ill until you have been without fever for three days without use of [fever reducing medicine], have had improvement in your symptoms and have had at least seven days since the onset of your symptoms; wash your hands frequently and well; use…

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!