Far North

County to Begin Reviewing Applications for Outdoor Live Performances

The state of California has released limited guidance that could allow live performances to resume in a limited capacity outdoors on the North Coast in the near future. The interim rules — which the state is expected to followed up with more thorough guidance soon — allow two types of live performances in counties in the “minimal” risk tier, like Humboldt. The first essentially just dovetails with the social gathering guidelines the state released earlier this month, which allow no more than three households to gather for physically distanced or masked outdoor get-togethers. The state has now clarified that if those groups want to play music, do something theatrical or otherwise perform together or for each other, that’s allowed, so long as no more than three households are involved. But the guidance also allows live outdoor performances for audiences of up to 100 people, if the specific event is approved by the local health officer. “During approved performances, all audience members and others not performing must wear masks, and audience members from different households must be spaced at least 6 feet apart when seated or…

Increased Risk of Sneaker Waves Sunday night to Monday

The National Weather Service Eureka has issued a warning to beachgoers as a swell will bring sneaker waves on the coast Sunday night into Monday. According to NWS, periods of smaller waves will be accompanied by sudden larger waves that have the potential to sweep beachgoers into the water. NWS advises residents to not be caught off guard by otherwise good weather and to avoid steep beaches, rocks, and jetties. “Remember to never turn your back on the ocean,” the warning reads.  …

Suspect Arrested for Illegal Burn That Caused Church Fire

The Church Fire, which began earlier this week near Highway 169, has been determined to be caused by an escaped illegal debris burn at the residency of Louie Meyers, who has been arrested for alleged reckless burning, reckless burning during a declared state of emergency and burning during a burn suspension. The vegetation fire was contained at 1 1/2 acres with two structures and one commercial vehicle destroyed. “The CAL FIRE Humboldt – Del Norte Unit would like to remind the public the burn suspension is still in effect. While cooler temperatures have become more prevalent, heavier vegetative fuels remain critically dry and will continue to carry fire. Burn permits are required year-round by the North Coast Unified Air Quality Management District, and, depending on the time of year and pile size, may also be required by CAL FIRE,” the release states. Read the full press release below. [pdf-1]…

Preparing to Fall Back, Huffman Touts Daylight Saving Bill

With Californians staring down the reality of moving their clocks back an hour at 2 a.m. Sunday, North Coast Representative Jared Huffman is touting a bill he’s co-sponsoring that would allow states the option of staying on daylight savings time all year. When the clocks fall back Sunday morning, we’ll gain an hour of sleep but lose an hour of daylight. Huffman isn’t too bullish on the tradeoff, and remains hopeful the bill he’s co-sponsored with Rep. Bob Bishop (R-Utah) will get some traction before the end of the year. “I don’t want to extend the year 2020 by a single minute, much less a full hour!” Huffman quipped on Twitter. In 2018, California voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition 7 to switch permanently over to daylight saving time but the measure needs to be ratified by a two-thirds vote in the state Senate, which hasn’t happened yet. And even if it did, California would simply join the ranks of a dozen states waiting for required Congressional approval to make the switch — that is, unless the bill co-sponsored by Huffman passes and is signed into law, giving…

Cash Blitz: A Look at Who’s Spending to Influence Your Vote for California’s Legislature

State law caps the amount donors can give to a legislator’s campaign — but these special interests can spend as much as they like mounting their own campaigns to praise or trash candidates. And the money interest groups are pouring into these “independent expenditure committees” has reached dizzying heights. So far more than $31 million of this unrestricted political spending has been pumped into California’s Assembly and Senate races. “The spending is focused down on just a handful of competitive races but the numbers are enormous,” said Doug Morrow, who tracks spending with his political research group DSM Analytics. Independent expenditure committees also tend to play hardball. If candidates go too negative, they risk turning off voters. But a committee with a nebulous name — say, the “Coalition to Restore California’s Middle Class” or “Keeping Californians Working” — can afford to offend whomever they like. Here’s an exploration of the most lucrative spenders on these committees — and what they want out of the Capitol. Oil and gas Who they are: As major employers in California with a unionized workforce and huge budgets to spend…

All Ghouled Up

Humboldt County brought its A-game to the Halloween scene this year, with some spooky offerings to send chills down your spine. So beware out there and enjoy this slideshow of hauntedly inspired homes, if you dare. Want to show us what you’ve got going? Send a photo with a brief description to editor@northcoastjournal.come. Happy Halloween! …

HCDTF Seize One-Fourth Pound of Meth and 1,300 Oxycodone Pills

The Humboldt County Drug Task Force seized one-fourth pound of methamphetamine and about 1,300 Oxycodone pills after serving several warrants in unincorporated areas of Eureka. The warrants were in response to “a seizure by customs agents in Peru who intercepted multiple packages containing large quantities of Oxycodone that were being shipped” to the Eureka addresses where the warrants were served. According to the release, agents located financial documents of the suspects allegedly wiring large amounts of money back to Peru and they were in possession of packaging materials showing they have received multiple packages from Peru in the past year. Law enforcement arrested Major Neil Gutierrez Flores, 41 years old from Peru, and John Alberto Gutierrez Flores, 37 years old from Peru, for alleged possession of controlled substances for sale and possession of methamphetamine for sale. Read the full press release below.  [pdf-1] …

Voter Assistance Centers Open Saturday

All nine of Humboldt County’s Voter Assistance Centers will open this Saturday, Oct. 31, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The centers will be open to all voters for in-person voting, vote-by-mail ballot drop off, replacement ballots and same-day registration voting beginning Saturday (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.) through Election Day on Tuesday (7 a.m. to 8 p.m.). You can find the nearest voter assistance center here or at the bottom of the post. Read the full press release below.  Voter Assistance Centers to Open Saturday Saturday, October 31, 2020, marks the opening of the nine Voter Assistance Centers in Humboldt County. The centers offer in-person voting, vote-by-mail ballot turn in, replacement ballots, and same-day registration and voting. The Voter Assistance Centers will be open from 8AM until 4PM on Saturday October 31, Sunday November 1, and Monday November 2. On Election Day, November 3, they will open at 7AM and close at 8PM. Many polling locations are NOT open for this election. Humboldt County voters are encouraged to go to their assigned Voter Assistance Center. To find out where yours is, go to https://co.humboldt.ca.us/election/polling-place. Provide…

Humboldt’s COVID Case Count at 569

Public Health reported one new COVID-19 case  today, setting the county’s total case count at 569. Today’s results include 214 tests. To date, Humboldt County has seen 37 hospitalizations and 10 COVID-related deaths. Humboldt County continues its stay in the “minimal” risk tier under the state’s “Blueprint for a Safer Economy,” according to California Department of Public Health data released Tuesday, with a positivity rate of 1.5 percent and an adjusted case rate of 2.8 per 100,000. Earlier this week, health officials reminded residents that “two consecutive weeks of a case rate greater than 2.0 would move the county fully into the orange tier.” Meanwhile, the state has an overall positivity rate of 3.2 and case rate of 7.2. Right now, under the lower risk category, most indoor businesses — including bars — can reopen but the county can put further restrictions in place, according to the state. Read more about what it means here. The Humboldt County Data Dashboard was recently updated to include hospitalization rates by age group, death rates by age group and case totals by ZIP code, the latter of which…

Crash at Henderson and H Street in Eureka

A multi-car collision happened about 11:10 a.m. at the intersection of Henderson and H Streets in Eureka. One woman has facial injuries. An ambulance is responding to a Code 3 (with lights and siren). H is closed at Henderson. UPDATE 11:50 a.m.: Video from Melinda Riley According to our reporter Mark McKenna who spoke to witnesses, “They said it appears initial collision was two vehicles in the intersection of H and Henderson. One of those vehicles hit a parked car on H Street and the parked car appears to have been spun into H street. The parked vehicle was then apparently struck by a 4th car but they are still talking to witnesses. …

Stabbing in Arcata Last Night

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a stabbing in Arcata last night. According to the report, a 28-year-old man was stabbed while riding his skateboard by two unknown suspects on Upper Bay Road. He was transported to a local hospital by a friend and is expected to survive his injuries. The stabbing is under investigation. Read the full release from HCSO spokesperson Samantha Karges below. On Oct. 28, 2020, at about 11:50 p.m., Humboldt County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to a local hospital for the report of a stabbing victim. Deputies made contact with a 28-year-old male victim, who told deputies that he was stabbed by two unknown subjects while riding his skateboard on Upper Bay Road in Arcata. The victim was then reportedly transported to a local hospital by a friend. The victim is expected to survive his injuries. This case is still under investigation and we have no further details to release at this time. …

Nerds and Curds

The hosts of the North Coast Co-op’s Cheese the Day podcast If you’ve already burned through your standing queue of true-crime podcasts, you might consider one that’s both lighter and heavier: Cheese the Day. In its most recent episode “Cheese Crimes,” the sixth produced by the North Coast Co-op, hosts Thomas Wehland and Veronica Rudolph, the respective heads of the Eureka and Arcata stores’ cheese departments, dive into what Wehland calls “the dark, criminal underbelly of the cheese world.” Specifically, they discuss a series of Italian heists totaling $875,000 worth of stolen Parmigiana Reggiano — 2,039 wheels of cheese. Self-proclaimed “cheese nerds,” Wehland and Rudolph say they are loath to “glorify” such crimes but, on some level, they get it. If they didn’t understand how important, how valuable cheese was, they probably wouldn’t have become cheese mongers themselves or bonded over cheese, or spent their off hours eating and talking about cheese. And they wouldn’t have a bi-weekly podcast about cheese. Rudolph, who hails from Nevada City, came to the county in 2000 to attend Humboldt State University. A cashier job at the North Coast…

California Halibut Still Biting

The lack of rain isn’t doing the run of late-fall kings any favors but it is keeping the California halibut fishery alive. Without an influx of freshwater from the rains and with enough food to keep them happy, there’s no reason for the halibut to leave. Though the effort has dwindled, there are still enough halibut in the bay to make for a great day. The few boats still targeting them are finding success using artificial baits, with swimbaits being the top producer. Most of the live bait left the bay toward the end of September but enough halibut have hung around to make it worth your while. And the smaller tide swings we’ve had lately also play a role, as the halibut seem to bite better when there’s less water moving in and out. If you haven’t had your fill of halibut, there are still plenty left to catch. The north channel above the bridge, near the Coast Guard station and South Bay have been some of the best spots. The recreational fishery for California halibut is open year-round. The daily bag and possession…

Climate Refugees Cometh

Editor: Humboldt is beginning to take in our first climate refugees (“Cold Comfort,” Oct. 22). These are not folks from far-flung lands but from communities like Paradise and Happy Camp, scattered by climate-exacerbated fires. The climate crisis is going to make large areas of California virtually unlivable. By 2099, Sacramento is anticipated to have 24 days a year above 103.9 degrees, up from only four on average. By contrast, Eureka is projected to have just eight days above 76.6 degrees, up from four or so per year. Humboldt’s mild weather will beckon the next generation of people to call this place home. How do we accept more people into our community without accompanying sprawl? How can we grow and still retain our bucolic identity? We need to plan to build more housing, preferably in our already developed urban centers. The city of Eureka is doing its part, turning under-utilized city-owned parking lots into affordable housing. The county, however, is failing at its charge. It has both made infill development too difficult — burdening developers with excessive parking standards and lot restrictions that make building in…

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