Commercial Crab Season Delayed

The commercial Dungeness crab season has been delayed until at least Dec. 31 in Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte counties due to poor meat quality, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. The opening date is pending another round of testing, a news release states. “If results indicate good quality, the fishery will open and be preceded by a 64-hour gear setting period that will begin at 8:01 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2022,” the release states.  Read the CDFW release below: The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is continuing the temporary recreational crab trap restriction in Fishing Zones 3, 4, 5 and 6 due to presence of humpback whales and the potential for entanglement from trap gear. The recreational crab trap restriction for Fishing Zones 1 and 2 was lifted on Nov. 28, 2022. CDFW reminds recreational crabbers that take of Dungeness crab by other methods, including hoop nets and crab snares, is allowed during a temporary trap restriction. The commercial Dungeness crab fishery in Fishing Zones 3-6 will also remain delayed due to the presence of high numbers of

Karuk Sacred Lands Legislation Moves Forward

A little more than one year after being introduced by North Coast Rep. Jared Huffman, the Katimiîn and Ameekyáaraam Sacred Lands Act has passed out of the House Natural Resources Committee, bringing a nearly decade-long effort by the Karuk Tribe to once again care for these lands one step closer to fruition. The 1,200 acres of U.S. Forest Service land that would be transferred to the tribe under the legislation includes a mountain known as á›uuyich to the Karuk people, for whom it is the center of the world, that sits at the confluence of the Klamath and Salmon rivers as well as the nearby historic village of Katimiîn, where the tribe’s annual world renewal ceremony to restore balance to the universe takes place, and Ameekyáaraam, site of the Jump Dance and First Salmon Ceremony. “Natural resource stewardship of land, wildlife, plants, and water is at the core of the Karuk people’s culture and identity,” Huffman said in the announcement. “Yet 95 percent of their aboriginal territory is currently under federal management, undermining the tribe’s ability to exercise traditional practices that have been passed down

Holiday Parades Set to Roll

Humboldt, you don’t have to put on the red (and green) lights, but when you do, it’s a beautiful thing! This weekend, folks, bundle up, grab your cocoa and kids, and get ready to holler, “Happy holidays!” to the passing cars, trucks, trailers and boats all lit up for Christmas. First up, it’s the Al Gray Electric Lighted Parade happening Friday, Dec. 9, at 6:30 p.m. starting at Redwood Village Shopping Center in Fortuna during Fortuna’s Holiday Open House event from 5 to 8 p.m. Then it’s the annual holiday honkfest, Rex and Friends Truckers’ Christmas Parade, chugging along the streets of Eureka on Saturday, Dec. 10, leaving Redwood Acres Fairgrounds at 6 p.m. On Sunday, Dec. 11, cast your net to catch the Trinidad Lighted Boat Parade at 6 p.m. in Trinidad; lighted fishing boats on trailers make their way through town while Santa and his elves hand out candy canes, and Bandemonium and the Cal Poly Humboldt Marching Lumberjacks bring the festive tunes. Don’t get strung out if you can’t make it to any of this weekend’s parades. Ferndale’s Lighted Tractor Parade is next Sunday, Dec.

Arcata Playhouse Holiday Show Opens Next Week

Sidelined for its original opening weekend (Dec. 9-11) by that dastardly virus, Arcata Playhouse’s holiday show, The Ballad of Flint Westward and the Five Who Made Their Way, added an extra date to its original second weekend run and opens now on Thursday, Dec. 15 and runs through Sunday, Dec. 18. The Thursday, Friday and Saturday shows are at 7:30 p.m. and the Sunday matinee is at 2 p.m. In true Playhouse holiday show fashion, Flint is filled with song, dance, magical animals, guest artists, audience participation and fun for the whole family. A note from the Playhouse:  Masking Policy Update: Just when it looks like everything is back to normal….The Holiday Panto is BACK!! But so is covid. There has been a massive uptick in cases and we do not want to spread this through the show and make the holidays miserably worrying. We also have to consider cast members who are immuno-compromised. So, in order to have no masks onstage we are requiring masks for the audience. Performers will be unmasked, but masked backstage. We hope having the audience masked will help limit exposure

Harvard Announces Return of Native Hair Samples

Cutting hair symbolized the beginning of assimilation for boarding school students Tucked in hundreds of envelopes is the hair cut from Native children as they arrived at boarding schools. Hidden away for nearly 100 years in the recesses of the Peabody Museum at Harvard University, the collection of hair samples offers tangible evidence of the trauma of assimilation. According to the hygiene practices of the day, cropping hair was the surest way to avoid lice among the crowded populations of children coerced or forced to attend the nation’s Indian boarding schools. For boarding school survivors, however, the haircuts came to symbolize the harsh introduction to the process of assimilation that disregarded their culture and families’ wishes. Denise Lajimodiere, Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, wept as she described her reaction to hearing about the museum’s findings. “I began to shake and weep, especially thinking of how deeply boarding school survivors may take this news,” said Lajimodiere, co-founder of the Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition and author of Stringing Rosaries: The History, the Unforgivable and the Healing of Northern Plains American Indian Boarding School Survivors. Some

By the Numbers:

California’s Mild 2022 Wildfire Season As California emerges from its “peak” wildfire season, the state has managed to avoid its recent plague of catastrophic wildfires. So far in 2022, the fewest acres have burned since 2019. State Emergency Services Director Mark Ghilarducci said California had “a bit of luck” with weather this summer. Although enduring yet another drought year, much of the state was spared the worst of the heat and dryness that can spark fires. And in some instances, timely rain came to the rescue.  CalFire officials also attribute some of the mild wildfire season to their emphasis on clearing away vegetation that fuels fires. CalFire Chief Joe Tyler said the $2.8 billion spent in the last two years on forest management made a difference, with the work “moderat(ing) fires approaching communities.” Mindful that wildfires can spark at any time in an environment driven by climate change, California officials have their fingers crossed after Gov. Gavin Newsom pronounced “the end of peak fire season” in mid-November. While California has entered an age of year-round fire seasons, the bulk of its fires occur from April through October.

Alive and Kicking

I’ve been thinking about the stage a lot lately, and live music in general. The last time I played a live show (before this year) was Sept. 11, 2017, when I played guitar for a krautrock-influenced jazz group that my friends and I threw together to open for my buddy Mike Dillon’s band. It was fun but at the time I felt like things had come to a correct end, and my muse had, in the words of my friend Bell, moved into another room. I was writing again and enjoying that more. Lately though, I have been missing playing. I spent my 20s in New Orleans jamming live, touring and recording. I do miss it, although that seems like a lifetime ago and the current economic conditions are harsh for anyone trying to become a road dog. Every week I write about people who, despite every outward pressure, manage to pull off the unthinkable and take their music on the road. The margins are so thin these days that when you go out to see a touring band, you know that they are in

Arts! Arcata

Friday, Dec. 94 to 8 p.m. Celebrate the visual and performing arts in Downtown Arcata during Second Friday Arts! Arcata. Enjoy a lively night market of local art displayed in downtown stores. This month, local art vendors will be set up in the center of the plaza, which will also be a beer garden featuring live music. Thank you for supporting the arts and a vibrant downtown Arcata. More information at ARCATA ARTISANS 883 H St.Annual group show featuring new works. ARCATA GALLERY 1063 H St.Art. Music TBA. ARCATA HEALING ARTS CENTER 940 Ninth St. Laura Phelan Shahin, artwork. Music by Chela Boss. CORCORAN GLOBAL LIVING 791 Eighth St., Jacoby’s Storehouse. Kenneth Fletcher, illustrations. CREATIVE SANCTUARY 1301 J St. Bill Lacy, artwork; music by Julio Perdido; reception 6 to 9 p.m. ECO GROOVY DEALS 813 H St. Open late for Arts! Arcata. EXIT THEATRE 890 G St., upstairs Open House with music, food and drinks, featuring saxophone artist Stan Fleming Jr. from 4 to 8 p.m. FIRE ARTS CENTER GALLERY 520 South G St. Alder Gustafson, David Jordan, Elaine Y. Shore, Elizabeth P. Johnson

Buddha’s Fists in Chicken Coops

Fried rice-flour chayote and pork dumplings Chayote, or Buddha’s fists squash as we call it in Chinese, is a thin-skinned squash. Some are smooth and others are prickly. I’m ecstatic to share some of my harvest this year and have given over a dozen of the sprouted squash for friends to plant next year. Chayote is a prolific producer in Humboldt. A sunny spot, a large space for them to reach out and you are set. It is a food security blanket for me for the winter. For the last 10 years, my husband has trimmed the plant to minimal size since l wasn’t a big fan. This year, he built a large overhead bamboo trellis and let it grow wild. We love sitting under the chayote shed during warm summer days, watching them flowering, counting how many of these cute, tiny fists are sprouting. A couple vines even reached our pear tree, hinting at chayote’s other name: vegetable pears. I remember my parents often stir-fried chayote with dried shrimp, made them into soup with pork bones and braised them with rice. I have recently

The Elf on the Shelf is Begging You Not to Put Him Out This Year

That time of year already? Ha, seems like only yesterday you stuffed me in here with the Christmas stockings. Not that I mind! In fact, if I’m totally honest, by the end of the first week on display, I’m praying for the oblivion of the bottom of the decoration tub, buried under layers of suffocating red felt. Sweet sugar cookies, it’s a relief. Anyway, here we are ready to do it all over again, hiding me all over the house to be discovered in ever-more amusing and semi-humiliating vignettes! Every night. For a whole month. But, like, what if you didn’t? What if this year you just left me in here with the cracked macaroni garland and the lights you’re never going to fix? You could pretend I got lost or promoted to Santa’s workshop. We could both finally be free of this nightmare. Once the kids are finally asleep do you actually want to spend your only free time — those precious minutes after the dishes and before the half episode of 90-day Fiancé you can barely stay awake through — posing my skinny

Bids for Humboldt’s Two Offshore Wind Lease Sites Hit $331M

The two lease sites for the development of wind farms off the Humboldt County coast went for $331.5 million in yesterday’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management auction, the first ever held for areas on the West Coast. The highest bidders were RWE Offshore Wind Holdings at $157.7 million for 63,338 acres and  California North Floating, LLC at $173.8 million for 69,031acres, according to a release from the federal Department of the Interior. Three sites off of Morro Bay were also in play, with a total of $757. 1 million in bids coming in for the five leases. “The Biden-Harris administration believes that to address the climate crisis head on, we must unleash a new era of clean, reliable energy that serves every household in America. (Tuesday’s) lease sale is further proof that industry momentum – including for floating offshore wind development – is undeniable,” Secretary Deb Haaland said in the release. “A sustainable, clean energy future is within our grasp and the Interior Department is doing everything we can to ensure that American communities nationwide benefit.” All together, the five sites area estimated to have

Public Health Reports Another COVID Death

Humboldt County Public Health reported today that the county has confirmed one new COVID-19 death, a resident in their 70s, since its last report Nov. 30. Nine new hospitalizations were reported and, according to a state database, 18 people are currently hospitalized with the virus locally, including two receiving intensive care. The death reported today is Humboldt County’s 162nd since the pandemic began. Find the full public health press release, which includes a schedule of upcoming vaccination clinics, including for booster shots that now combative Omicron sub variants BA.4 and BA.5, click here. …

Snow, Rain, Wind Set to Start Hitting Humboldt

Enjoy the sun while it lasts. Up to 7 inches of snow is expected, mostly above 2,500 feet, in the interior areas of Humboldt County starting Thursday, prompting the Eureka office of the National Weather Service to issue a winter weather advisory that will be in effect from 4 a.m. to 10 p.m. “Travel could be very difficult to impossible,” the advisory states. “The hazardous conditions could impact the morning or evening commute.” In addition, the coast is set to be lashed by strong winds and heavy rain Friday into Saturday, which will create hazardous marine conditions in waters across the North Coast, according to the NWS. Find localized forecasts here. …

Big Island Kine on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives

Guy Fieri fans and poké enthusiasts, you’ll want to tune in for this week’s episode of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, when the Humboldt-raised host features local food truck Big Island Kine. The episode “Burgers, Bowls and Bangers” airs Friday, Dec. 9, at 6 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 10, Saturday, Dec. 24. “Guy Fieri pops into a poke truck he found at the Ferndale County Fair for some island-inspired flavors,” according to the teaser for the episode on the Food Network website, which also features recipes for the truck’s popular California Dreamin’ and Sweet Heat bowls. We know, it’s the Humboldt County Fair. Owner Isaiah Yamamoto says, “I was nervous when we were filming and now I’m nervous again.” Filming the Big Island Kine segment on the last Saturday of the Humboldt County Fair took about an hour and a half, and he only got word the business would be included a few days earlier. “It’s all kind of a blur.” Yamamoto and his family haven’t seen the show yet but they’ll be tuning in together Friday. As for having his recipes online for all to see

New Blood, Big Oil: California Legislature Starts Special Session

California regulators would cap the profit margin for oil refiners and could fine companies that exceed that limit under a proposal announced Monday by Gov. Gavin Newsom, the latest escalation in his battle with the oil industry over a summer of record gas prices. Newsom unveiled the measure, which does not yet include key details such as how much profit oil refiners would be allowed or the size of possible fines, on the same day that newly-elected legislators arrived in Sacramento to be sworn in — and to declare a special session to consider the plan that the governor has dubbed a “price gouging penalty.” In brief remarks to reporters at the state Capitol, Newsom said the fines would act as a deterrent to future price spikes. He said he would take the next month or more to fill in the blanks of the bill, in consultation with lawmakers, who are set to reconvene Jan. 4 to begin the new session in earnest. “I believe in free enterprise, I just don’t believe in greed,” Newsom said. “These guys have been gaming the system for decades.

Music Tonight: Wednesday, Dec. 7

Hawaii’s Jake Shimabukuro is about as close as one can get to complete mastery of the island’s famously understated instrument, the ukulele. In his hands, the diminutive, four-stringed campfire and beach accessory becomes a thing of wonder, as his fingers pick and strum away at chord voicings and melodic passages that seem out of this world. He’s the real deal, folks. Tonight, he’ll be presenting his Christmas in Hawaii program, along with a bit of help from some musical friends at Arcata Theatre Lounge at 7 p.m. ($29). I have a feeling this family-friendly event will probably sell out, so bear that in mind when you consider the timing of your ticket acquisition. …

Going, Going, Gone: Feds Hold First-Ever Auction for California Offshore Wind Leases

Federal officials today will auction off leases for 583 square miles of ocean waters off California that could lead to the nation’s first massive floating wind farms. The auction — the first on the West Coast — includes five sites in deep ocean waters about 20 miles off Morro Bay and Humboldt County. The leases are the first step in a years-long regulatory process that could culminate in the first commercial-scale floating wind turbines off California’s coast. Offshore wind projects are considered critical to meeting California’s goals to provide a new source of carbon-free electricity, end reliance on fossil fuels and battle climate change. “Today’s auction is great news for California’s offshore wind industry, workers, and electricity ratepayers,” said Adam Stern, executive director of Offshore Wind California, a trade group for industry developers and technology companies. “It’s the most consequential milestone yet for the Golden State’s efforts to make offshore wind a key part of its diverse clean energy future.” The results of the auction, which began at 7 a.m., will offer the first key signs for gauging how strong the market is for producing

Humboldt County Fair General Manager Resigns

Rich Silacci, general manager of the Humboldt County Fair Association, announced to the HCFA Executive Committee last night that he has submitted his resignation letter to board President Andy Titus. Silacci began work at the job Jan. 3 and will officially exit the position Jan. 31. In his remarks to the committee, Silacci underscored that his departure was unrelated to recent events. In November, the Ferndale Police Department arrested the fair’s bookkeeper, Nina Tafarella, on suspicion of embezzlement from a different nonprofit. The fair’s books are currently being audited for evidence of embezzlement. Three long-time directors with the fair association have also stepped down in the last few weeks, leaving four open board positions. Silacci said he decided to leave his role prior to any of this happening. “This role has taken a toll on me,” he said. “This is not the position for me. I feel like I have to make this announcement so we can get moving with a new personnel.” Silacci, originally from Petaluma, took the position after retiring as a professor from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. He said he plans