Public Health Confirms Seven New COVID-19 Cases

Humboldt County Public Health confirmed seven new COVID-19 cases today, making 42 so far this week and bringing the county’s cumulative case count to 3,560. The cases were confirmed after laboratories processed 196 samples with a test-positivity rate of 3.6 percent. Last week, the county announced it is opening vaccine eligibility to all local residents age 16 and over almost a week in advance of the state’s planned expansion and that the county was slated to receive 11,000 vaccine doses this week, a record to date. Anyone wanting to get vaccinated is encouraged to sign up on the state’s My Turn vaccine registry. Earlier today, Public Health announced it was following federal guidance and “pausing” administration of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine after six women in other areas of the country reported getting blood clots within weeks of receiving the vaccine. Humboldt County was due to receive 650 doses of the single-dose vaccine this week. The state of California also updated its COVID-19 risk tiers today, keeping Humboldt County in the orange “moderate” tier it entered last week, which allowed businesses such as restaurants,…

UPDATE: Feds Pause Administration of Johnson & Johnson Vaccine, HumCo Follows Suit

UPDATE: Humboldt County Public Health has announced that it will follow federal recommendations and immediately pause administration of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. Further, Public Health urges anyone experiencing severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain or shortness of breath within three weeks of getting the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to contact their health care provider. See the full press release from the county copied below our original post. PREVIOUSLY: Federal health agencies called for a pause on injections of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine this morning after reports of a rare blood clotting in six women within weeks of their receiving the single-dose vaccine. The women were between the ages of 18 and 48 and all developed the illness seven to 21 days after receiving the vaccination. According to the New York Times, one of the women died and another has been hospitalized in critical condition. To date, more than 6.8 million people have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the United States, including hundreds in Humboldt County. Food and Drug Administration Center for Biological Evaluation and Research Director Peter Marks said the…

Feds Pause Administration of Johnson & Johnson Vaccine, Local Impacts Unclear

Federal health agencies called for a pause on injections of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine this morning after reports of a rare blood clotting in six women within weeks of their receiving the single-dose vaccine. The women were between the ages of 18 and 48 and all developed the illness seven to 21 days after receiving the vaccination. According to the New York Times, one of the women died and another has been hospitalized in critical condition. To date, more than 6.8 million people have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the United States, including hundreds in Humboldt County. Food and Drug Administration Center for Biological Evaluation and Research Director Peter Marks said the agency was recommending a pause in vaccine administration out of an “abundance of caution” and that the “adverse events appear to be extremely rare.” The “pause” directly affects any federal allocation and administration of the vaccine and serves as a recommendation to state and local health officials, some of which have already followed suit. It’s unclear at this point if the state or Humboldt County health officials will do…

HumCo Fentanyl Overdoses Coming at “Staggering” Rate in 2021

Humboldt County is in the midst of a surge of fentanyl-related overdose deaths, alarming local officials who have long braced for the powerful opioid’s impact on the North Coast. Fentanyl has accounted for nearly 50 percent of Humboldt County’s alcohol and other drug (AOD) deaths so far this year, with five overdose deaths logged in March alone, according to data provided by the Coroner’s Office. And through the first three months of the year, 2021 had already matched the number of fentanyl overdose deaths recorded in Humboldt County in all of 2019 and was on pace to more than triple last year’s tally. “The 2021 overdose rate of fentanyl here in the county is staggering,” said Humboldt County Sheriff William Honsal in an email to the Journal. “Our County Drug Task Force has responded swiftly to this sudden onslaught of dangerous fentanyl into our community.” After being found in one overdose victim locally in each of 2016, 2017 and 2018, fentanyl was found in seven of Humboldt County’s 71 (9.7 percent) AOD deaths in 2019, and nine of the 63 (14.7 percent) recorded in 2020,…

Public Health Confirms 35 New COVID-19 Cases

Humboldt County Public Health reported today that it has confirmed 35 new COVID-19 cases since Friday — more than were confirmed all of last week — bringing the county’s cumulative case count to 3,553. The cases were confirmed after laboratories processed 644 samples with a test-positivity rate of 5.4 percent. Last week, Public Health confirmed a total of 32 cases — the lowest weekly case tally since October — while also reporting that the county is slated to receive more than 11,000 vaccine doses next week, by far the largest weekly allocation to date. Last week, the county announced it is opening vaccine eligibility to all local residents age 16 and over almost a week in advance of the state’s planned expansion and that the county was slated to receive 11,000 vaccine doses this week, a record to date. Anyone wanting to get vaccinated is encouraged to sign up on the state’s My Turn vaccine registry. Last Tuesday, the state of California updated its COVID-19 risk tiers, moving Humboldt County into its orange “moderate” tier, which allows businesses such as restaurants, gyms and movie theaters to…

Free Will Astrology

Week of April 8, 2021 ARIES (March 21-April 19): Author Susan Sontag defined “mad people” as those who “stand alone and burn.” She said she was drawn to them because they inspired her to do the same. What do you think she meant by the descriptor “stand alone and burn”? I suspect she was referring to strong-willed people devoted to cultivating the most passionate version of themselves, always in alignment with their deepest longings. She meant those who are willing to accept the consequences of such devotion, even if it means being misunderstood or alone. The coming weeks will be an interesting and educational time for you to experiment with being such a person. TAURUS (April 20-May 20): In the 1930s, Taurus-born Rita Levi-Montalcini was a promising researcher in neurobiology at the University of Turin in Italy. But when fascist dictator Benito Mussolini imposed new laws that forbade Jews from holding university jobs, she was fired. Undaunted, she created a laboratory in her bedroom and continued her work. There she laid the foundations for discoveries that ultimately led to her winning the Nobel Prize in…

Hoopa and Karuk Tribes Get Millions in Affordable Housing Grants

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has granted more than $90 million to 24 Native American Tribes and Tribally Designated Housing Entities (TDHEs) across the nation, including the North Coast’s Hoopa and Karuk tribes, to support new housing construction, housing rehabilitation and critical infrastructure projects. The Hoopa Valley Tribe received $5 million, while the Karuk Tribe was awarded $2 million. “This past year was a stark reminder of just how important access to safe, stable housing is — especially in Tribal communities disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Secretary Marcia L. Fudge. “The funding HUD is awarding today will support much needed affordable housing investments in Indian Country.” According to the release,  it is projected that this funding will support the construction of approximately 350 new housing units, which will help spur economic opportunities in these communities. Read the full press release below: HUD Awards More Than $90 Million for Affordable Housing in Tribal Communities 24 Tribes receive funds that will support the construction of approximately 350 new housing units. WASHINGTON—The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today announced over $90 million in grant…

‘He’s Not Forgotten’: Vigil Planned for David Josiah Lawson

David Josiah Lawson’s mother is intent on both making sure Humboldt County never forgets his name and giving back to the community that has embraced her, echoing her calls for justice. Lawson, a 19-year-old Humboldt State University sophomore, was fatally stabbed at an off-campus party April 15, 2017, in a case that remains unsolved with charges dismissed against its only named suspect. To mark the fourth anniversary of her son’s death, Charmaine Lawson has planned a day of events in the Arcata Plaza on Saturday, April 17. Because her son ran track and loved the outdoors, Charmaine Lawson said she’s been training to run the Los Angeles Marathon in his honor and decided to hold a 4-mile run/walk to mark the four-year anniversary. “You can run, you can walk, you can skateboard — bring pets, kids in strollers — it’s going to be a fun event,” she told the Journal. “It’s about being outside, exercising, making sure people are staying healthy.” The run/walk will begin at noon at Arcata City Hall before heading to the Humboldt Bay Trail and the Arcata Marsh. Then, at 2:30…

Art Share April Activities with CNPS

The North Coast Chapter of the California Native Plant Society’s 2021 Wildflower Show goes virtual this year, hosting creative, interactive and informational opportunities to appreciate wildflowers all month long during April. On now, enjoy activities such as viewing Little Free Wildflower Art Galleries that will pop up at businesses and homes around the county, leaving miniature works of your own art in any of the Take-One- Leave-One galleries (map and details online) or Zooming into online wildflower presentations every Friday night in April. Find out more about all of these fun activities at www.northcoastcnps.org.…

NCJ Preview: Back in Orange, a Grim Anniversary and Taiwanese Treats

We’re going over what Humboldt’s move back into the orange COVID-19 risk tier means and how the local vaccination effort is going. And as we approach the fourth anniversary of David Josiah Lawson’s stabbing death, we look at its reverberating impacts. Finally, we’re eagerly anticipating a couple of restaurants set to open with Taiwanese specialties. Hit subscribe for weekly updates on stories from around our county.

Muddy and Metal Mashup

Local coffee purveyor Muddy Waters Coffee Co. has a fan. Last year Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett’s people reached out to say he’s been ordering the coffee online and wanted to collaborate. Muddy Waters owner Chris Nicholas, who’s been running the business on his own since the pandemic started, was up for it. Enter brand-man. Hammett’s team came up with the name Greeny’s Blues, after his Greeny guitar, purchased from Peter Green of Fleetwood Mac. Nichols sent seven samples from which Hammett chose one. “It was a long process because he’s traveling all over the world,” he said. So far, some 2,500 of the $20 12-ounce bags have been produced, 100 of which were presold with autographs. Hammet’s plan, according to Nichols, is to donate a portion of his share of proceeds to Crew Nation, which provides financial help to folks who work live events and have been unemployed due to the pandemic. According to the Muddy Waters website, Greeny Blues is “a dark roast that’s 100 percent organic, fair trade certified and so damn good you’ll drink it black.” Nichols says he’s looking into a supermarket…

County Records Lowest Weekly COVID Total in Months, Reports 11K Vax Doses Coming Next Week

Humboldt County Public Health confirmed 10 new COVID-19 cases today, making 32 this week — the lowest weekly case tally since October — while also reporting that the county is slated to receive more than 11,000 vaccine doses next week, by far the largest weekly allocation to date. Today’s cases were reported after laboratories processed 297 samples with a test-positivity rate of 3.4, bringing the county’s cumulative case count to 3,518. Earlier today, the county announced it is opening vaccine eligibility to all local residents age 16 and over almost a week in advance of the state’s planned expansion. Anyone wanting to get vaccinated is encouraged to sign up on the state’s My Turn vaccine registry. Yesterday, the county announced that hundreds of vaccination appointments remained open for this weekend. Tuesday, the state of California updated its COVID-19 risk tiers, moving Humboldt County into its orange “moderate” tier, which allows businesses such as restaurants, gyms and movie theaters to increase indoor operations, while allowing others — including bowling alleys and family fun centers — to open. The change came after Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that the…

Stinky Corpse Flower Blooms at Humboldt State

Things are getting a bit stinky at the Humboldt State University greenhouse, where a corpse flower — with a bouquet like rotting flesh — is in bloom. While the odor may be off-putting, the aroma does its job in attracting the plant’s pollenators: dung beetles, carrion flies, and other scavenger insects. But don’t get your hopes up on getting a glance at the Amorphophallus konjac. The university is closed to all visitors due to COVID-19 and the public is not allowed in the greenhouse at this time, according to a HSU news release. “This plant requires specific and consistent environmental conditions to flower, which can happen every year around early spring in the HSU campus greenhouse,” greenhouse manager Brianne Lee said in the release. A native of tropical and subtropical areas of eastern Asia, the corpse flower bloom is a stock made up of many flowers that can grow to up to 36 inches wide and 72 inches long. According to the release, the plant is “commonly grown in research greenhouses and seduces both botanists and gardeners with its botanical complexity.” Read more about the…

Crabs to Play Ball for Limited Crowd with Locals on the Roster

The Humboldt Crabs have announced their return to the field June 4, with three local players on the roster. Willamette University infielder Ethan Fischel, Bethel University utility man Aidan Morris and Umpqua Community College pitcher Caleb Ruiz, who all hail from Eureka, will among those taking to the field this summer. As for how many spectators can take themselves out to the ballgame, there’s no hard number yet. Crabs President David Sharp responded to an email from the Journal, saying  the stands will welcome “somewhere between 20-33 percent capacity, so somewhere in the range of 350-450 fans.” For now, entry won’t require proof of vaccination, though visitors will have to wear masks and practice social distancing. Sharp says, “Seating will be arranged in 1-4 person pods, all socially distanced throughout the bleachers and outfield grass areas. Tickets must be purchased in advance through our website.” Not ready to join the crowd? Don’t sweat it. Sharp adds that the games will be live streamed so nobody misses a swing. …

Weekly Zoom Series About the Eel River Watershed Starts This Week

The Eel River Recovery Project is hosting weekly Zoom meetings about the Eel River Watershed from April 9 through May 28. “Eel Zoom” is a new, happy-hour-timed presentation (bring your own beverage) on topics of interest about the Eel River watershed. Presentation topics include fish population trends, Sacramento pikeminnow management, flow, salmon parks, forest health, salmon run trends, how watersheds work, toxic cyanobacteria and more. On Friday, April 9, catch the first of these presentations, The Secret Lives of Eel River Fishes Revealed, with Patrick Higgins at 5 p.m. (free). About this week’s lecture: ERRP Managing Director Pat Higgins is also a fisheries biologist and has been underwater all over the Eel River basin photo and video documenting fish since 2010. He is a fun presenter and he wants to share the good, the bad and the ugly. Videos of hundreds of Chinook salmon schooling at the mouth of the Middle Fork, swarms of coho juveniles in upper South Fork refugia, huge pikeminnow lying in wait to ambush native fish juveniles, territorial green sunfish dancing, and even balling catfish. Along the way, Pat will address the status and…

COVID-19 Vaccine Doses Currently Available, SoHum Health has Extras Today for Walk-ins

Need a COVID-19 vaccine appointment? According to the county’s Joint Information Center, there are currently hundreds of doses available Friday through Sunday for those who are eligible by signing up on the state’s My Turn site. The option does not apply to those who have already received a first dose and are awaiting their second one. “Those who are due or nearly due for their second dose should call the Humboldt County Joint Information Center at 707-441-5000 for more information about scheduling, the JIC news release states. Meanwhile, SoHum Health reports its walk-in clinic is taking any person 16 or older today, April 8, at 286 Sprowel Creek Road in Garberville until 4 p.m.. Those who go will need to return there for a second dose.  Humboldt County residents are encouraged to sign up for a COVID-19 vaccination appointment on My Turn. There are currently hundreds of doses available Friday through Sunday. Humboldt County is inviting anyone in the following groups or workforces to sign up for an appointment: Anyone age 50 and over Anyone age 16 to 64 at higher risk Emergency services workers…

Flights to Hollywood Burbank Airport Coming this May

Humboldt County’s regional airport, the California Redwood Coast Humboldt County Airport (ACV), in McKinleyville will now be offering flights to the Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR) through Avelo Airlines beginning May 19. “Avelo’s announcement is further evidence of the recovery of the airline industry and, more importantly, the desirability of the Redwood Coast as a destination,”  the press release from the county’s aviation department and Fly Humboldt states. Initial flight offering start at $19 one-way for a limited time, according to an announcement from the airline. Flights to Phoenix, Arizona, from ACV were also announced earlier this year that non-stop flights to Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport (PHX). Read the full press release below. The County of Humboldt Aviation Department and Fly Humboldt are pleased to announce that Avelo Airlines will begin service from Humboldt County to the Hollywood Burbank Airport starting May 19, 2021.  Avelo’s announcement is further evidence of the recovery of the airline industry and, more importantly, the desirability of the Redwood Coast as a destination.  We look forward to welcoming Avelo to ACV and look forward to a long and productive working relationship with…

Fun Fungi

When hiking on a forest trail if duff is wet, and light is pale, late fall and winter, early spring, then comes the fruit that fungi bring. They pop from snags and fallen trees through dung and duff, new forms are teased, and inside each, protected there grow spores that someday take to air. Some look like Turkey tails and Rabbit’s ears, or Lion’s mane hung chandeliers, Pink-pimple crusts, or Witch’s jelly, Earth fans, rotten-cabbage-smelly. Black velvet tongues and Eyelash cups or Bleeding blue tooth may erupt. Capped mushroom shapes, you’ll find them, too, so many kinds make their debut, just watch for oddballs interspersed, for fungi’s kingdom is diverse. Mary Thibodeaux Lentz…

California Dolphin