Far North

Eureka, County Seek Info on Impacts of Shutdown While Newsom Wants PG&E to Pay

The city of Eureka and the county of Humboldt are asking residents to help officials assess the economic damages and impacts to families as a result of PG&E’s Oct. 9 shutdown of the power grid. The blackout was what is known as a “public safety power shutoff,” a mechanism enacted by PG&E when certain weather outlooks arise — in last week’s case dry conditions and strong winds — that substantially increase the risk of a devastating wildfire. According to a release from Eureka, the city is seeking the information via email reports because it is “pursuing a State Emergency Declaration that may in turn offer assistance to those businesses that incurred a loss.” “Even if Eureka is not successful in securing the Emergency Declaration, we would like to know what this loss of power cost each of our businesses,” the city’s release states. The county’s survey, which is available online (click here), is more extensive and looks to measure not just economic losses, but also how residents found out about the shutdown and how prepared they were, as well as how they were able to…

UPDATE: Officials: The ‘Outage’ Letter Circulating on Social Media is Fake

UPDATE: It’s official. The Humboldt County Office of Emergency Services says the letter is a fake. PREVIOUS: The Humboldt County Office of Emergency Services says a letter that purports to PG&E about planned outages for Oct. 16-Oct.19 making the rounds on social media “appears to be a fake.” In a Facebook post, the agency says the letter, which was apparently sent to someone in Fortuna, is modeled after the real maintenance outage sent before shorter scheduled outages in a specific area. HCOES says it has contacted PG&E. Residents of Humboldt are, of course, just coming off the massive power outage that darkened the entire county last week. Read the letter OES Emergency Services Manager Dorie Lanni sent to partner agencies and institutions: We are aware that letters are being received by some Humboldt County residents ambiguously notifying three counties of a power outage scheduled for three days, October 16-19. This is a fake letter modeled after the real letters that PG&E sends to customers when there is a scheduled outage in their area. I asked PG&E to confirm all scheduled outages in Humboldt County, when…

Eureka Announces New City Manager

The city of Eureka announced today that Dean Lotter of New Brighton, Minnesota, will be the next city manager. Lotter’s official employment agreement will be coming before the city council at its Nov. 5 meeting, with an official start date coming at the end of the year after current City Manager Greg Sparks retires, according to a release. “I am truly honored to be selected as the next city manager of Eureka,” Lotter says in the release. “My wife, Wendy, and I are very much looking forward to moving to Eureka and embracing the area and all of its people, opportunities and challenges.” Lotter adds that he and his wife enjoy hiking, camping and walking their rescue dog Queso. Mayor Susan Seaman says in the release that she is expecting a “smooth transition.” Read the full city of Eureka release below: The Mayor and Council are pleased to announce that Dean Lotter of New Brighton, Minnesota has accepted the position of City Manager with the City of Eureka. Dean comes to the City of Eureka with 23 years of experience and knowledge as a City Manager.…

HumBug: Fall along the River

There are next to no flowers blooming now. Most adult insects have lived out their lives, their eggs and larvae sequestered in anticipation of winter. The showiest life is along the river. The large body of moving water moderates the temperatures and many species employ this time of reduced predator numbers to complete their lifecycles unmolested. Yesterday I did see a monarch butterfly, presumably migrating South toward Mexico. Their miraculous lifecycle having been disrupted in many ways so there is a movement to plant Milkweed in gardens and plots along their known migratory lanes. Theirs is a multi generational journey and their young depend on milkweed as food. Their bodies not only tolerate the plant toxins, but concentrate them in their tissues which makes them toxic to many predators. Cryptically colored Carolina grasshoppers (Dissosteira carolina) are still with us. They leap forth and fly on white edged black wings, occasionally startling us as we walk along the river bar. Sitting in my favorite place to see shadow darner dragonflies (Aeshna umbrosa), I don’t have long to wait. They follow a predictable route that takes them…

Eureka Schedules Ceremony for Return of Duluwat Island to the Wiyot Tribe

After 160 years — and some unforeseen delays — it looks like the city of Eureka is prepared to finally and officially return Duluwat Island to the Wiyot Tribe later this month. While details are still being worked out, the city of Eureka is planning a special council meeting to formally approve the island’s return and “a public ceremony to return sacred Duluwat Island (referred to locally as Indian Island), to the Wiyot people,” according to an event posted to the city’s Facebook page titled “Return of Tuluwat,” a reference to a sacred village site on the island. The event is scheduled to take place from 10 a.m. to noon on Oct. 21 at the Adorni Center, 1011 Waterfront Drive. Eureka City Manager Greg Sparks said in an  email to the Journal that the special city council meeting will be followed by a celebration. “We are really looking forward to the return of Tuluwat,” he said. The city and the tribe have been working to facilitate the return of sacred Wiyot land since the Eureka City Council’s unanimous and historic Dec. 4 vote to direct City…

Assault Investigation Now a Homicide

An Indiana man who had just moved to Eureka was assaulted Sept. 26 has died as a result of the injuries received, according to a press release sent out by the Eureka Police Department. The case is now an active homicide investigation and an autopsy is scheduled for today. On Sept. 26, a sergeant with EPD found 55 year-old Brett Keiling with injuries suffered during an assault as the officer was patrolling the Third Street area. Keiling was transported to a local hospital for emergency care. Anyone who has information about the crime is asked to contact detective Ron Harpham at 441-4305 or rharpham@ci.eureka.ca.gov. Read the full press release below:  Update: The victim of the September 26, 2019 assault near the 400 block of Third Street has passed away as a result of the injuries received during the assault. This is now an active homicide investigation. The next of kin has been notified and the victim has been identified as Brett Keiling (55 of Indiana). An autopsy is scheduled for October 11, 2019. This is an active investigation and further information will be released as appropriate. Anyone…

UPDATE: Humboldt County is Fully Re-Powered

FOURTH UPDATE: The power may be back on but the outage took its toll on perishable food in refrigerators across the region. The county Department of Health and Human Services wants CalFresh recipients to know they can apply to have those losses replaced by phoning the call center at (877) 410-8809 or going into the office at 929 Koster St. in Eureka to start the process. THIRD UPDATE: Pacific Gas and Electric restored power to the eastern stretches of Humboldt County yesterday afternoon, with Willow Creek, Hoopa and Orleans all seeing the return of electric service by 4 p.m. According to Deputy County Administrative Officer Sean Quincey, it now appears power has been restored to the entirety of the county. SECOND UPDATE: The Humboldt County Office of Emergency Services says PG&E has notified local officials that repairs on the two major transmission lines that power Humboldt have been completed and “they are currently working to re-energize all Humboldt County customers as quickly as possible today.” UPDATE: For those looking for PG&E’s community resource center at Redwood Acres Fairgrounds this morning, you might need a little…

Huffman Gets Bleak Input on Fisheries

Congressman’s national tour starts in Arcata with grim discussion Long before the first refugees from the city planted cannabis seeds in the hills of Southern Humboldt, fishermen braved the seas in summer and winter to bring back crab, salmon, rockfish, lingcod and a variety of other seafood. It was always considered a reliable — if dangerous — way to make a living. Things have changed. A hodgepodge of rising costs, shrinking fish stocks, impossible bureaucratic requirements and crumbling on-shore infrastructure is gradually driving people out of Humboldt’s oldest occupation. On Oct. 5, North Coast Congressman Jared Huffman held a public meeting in Arcata to discuss updating the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA), the federal legislation that governs ocean fishing. Huffman brought together a roundtable of regional and local officials, a Humboldt State University professor and a few representatives of the local fishing industry to offer feedback on the failings — and successes — of the MSA. Later in the meeting, he also took comments from the 35 or so members of the general public attending the meeting at the D Street Community Center.…

‘Robbed’

Editor: As British investigative journalist George Monbiot remarked, calling our planet’s temperature increase “climate change” is like describing an invading army as “unexpected guests.” The children striking on the Arcata Plaza last Friday (NCJ Daily, Sept. 26) have awakened to the fact that they are an oppressed minority being robbed of their right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Emissions increase yearly, and you quote Kate McKinnon’s understatement, “Congress remains inactive,” reminiscent of governments’ reaction to the Parkland children’s outcry. “If there is hope, it lies in the plebes,” to quote a different George. Ellen Taylor, Petrolia…

Through the Eyes of Native Activists

Kevin McKiernan’s From Wounded Knee to Standing Rock I started my review of From Wounded Knee to Standing Rock: A reporter’s journey, screening at the Eureka Theater on Oct. 19, with some trepidation because of its local connection. Journalist and director Kevin McKiernan’s documentary looks at Indian actions at two different points in history. It focuses partly on the American Indian Movement, the grassroots movement founded in Minneapolis in 1968 that radicalized Natives agitating to improve conditions for impoverished urban Indians. Seeking to hide leaders who were being pursued by the FBI, members of AIM came to Northern California Indian Country looking for sanctuary. Their reception was not a warm one, as they brought with them the notion that to be a true Native you had to do the Sun Dance and sweats in the tradition of plains tribes. Local American Indians, connected with our own cultural ceremonies and ways of doing things, had little tolerance for this kind of “my way or the highway” attitude and AIM moved along into Oregon seeking asylum in friendlier territories. Personally, this, along with a college confrontation with…

The Cookies

A forgotten treasure from the recipe pile My answer for any emotional extreme — sadness, joy, stress — is food. Recently my partner, who works in the production department at the Journal, was under a tight deadline. Naturally, the voice in my head was screaming: Must. Make. Cookies. But here’s the thing. Even though (or maybe because) I have a culinary background, my recipe files are a disaster. You know how you get a great recipe from a friend that you just loved from that potluck a month ago and then you find an intriguing recipe in a magazine so you cut it out, and then you have your favorite go-to recipes that are covered in years of flour, butter and God only knows what else, and they just never make it into one common place? Not the recipe box my sister gave me for Christmas (thanks Sis, but I loathe recipe boxes) or the beautiful suede-covered recipe journal from my friend Anna (I couldn’t possibly use it around food). Nope. On a good day, my printed recipes might make it into a three-ring binder,…

‘Jolting and Surprising’

UPD officers air grievances with no-confidence vote in chief Humboldt State University Chief of Police Donn Peterson was with Vice President of Administration and Finance Douglas Dawes on Sept. 30 when he first learned of his officer’s no-confidence vote in his leadership through a press release from their union. Speaking to the Journal, Peterson said he was so shocked at the news that he asked Dawes to finish reading the press release for him. He said that while it’s clear his officers have strong feelings about him, he’s grateful this is out in the open and he’s now focused on working toward solutions. “I’m clearly disappointed with the news but I have a great deal of respect for the seriousness of the matter. It deserves to be taken seriously, investigated thoroughly, and that should be a transparent process. The public deserves to know and I’m committed to being open and candid,” Peterson said. “To find out like this (in a press release) was jolting and surprising, but my first thought was, ‘Fantastic, let’s talk about it in a transparent and clear way; let’s get it…

‘A Public Service’

Editor: I hope the list of newspapers (“Endangered,” Oct. 3) Marcy Burstiner subscribes to had an omission, because the Times-Standard was not listed. Obviously, it needs all the help it can get (“Insurmountable,” Oct. 3). I know the cost is outrageous but can you imagine our area without a daily paper? Think about that. I soften the money blow by regarding it as a public service. I hope it lasts.   David Callow, Glendale…

Tiananmen, LLC

People’s Liberation Army             soldiers             corrected             turbulence on June 4, 1989 at the Square of Heavenly Peace                                     rewarded with                                     commemorative                                     wristwatches from the emperor. The chum                         under treads on red pavement too much taste to scrape the marmite off the toast.…

UPDATE: Lights On: PG&E Returns Power to Much of Humboldt, More on the Way

SECOND UPDATE: The Humboldt County Office of Emergency Services says PG&E has notified local officials that repairs on the two major transmission lines that power Humboldt have been completed and “they are currently working to re-energize all Humboldt County customers as quickly as possible today.” UPDATE: For those looking for PG&E’s community resource center at Redwood Acres Fairgrounds this morning, you might need a little help finding it, as it’s tucked in the back with nary a sign to help guide the way. The center, which opened at 8 a.m., a handful of hours after power was restored to the vast majority of the county, consists of a trailer and a tent tucked on the eastern edge of the property, between the BMX track and the raceway (see the area circled in red on the map below). As of about 9:30 a.m., the only folks there were a few PG&E employees and a pair of private security guards milling about the center, which is offering water and electronic device charging to anyone who needs it. Meanwhile, power remained out in the eastern stretches of the…

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