Far North

“Pervasive Failure to Investigate:” Report Finds Lack of Scrutiny in Cases of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

For generations, order and cleanliness had been Christina Lastra’s family’s way of fighting off poverty. But the day in July 1991 when her mother’s mysterious death was ruled an accident marked the end of the orderly life Lastra had been leading in Humboldt County. “We didn’t get peace. No one ever even thought of looking further into the death of a Native woman, of my mom,” said Lastra, who identifies as Indigenous and Chicana. “Until now.” A new report by the Sovereign Bodies Institute, a data-driven nonprofit based in Humboldt, details for the first time the lack of scrutiny and data surrounding the cases of 105 missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls across northern California, from the Bay Area to the Oregon border. Using state and federal data, other research, police reports and community-based information, the institute found more than 2,300 cases in the United States. Of the California cases classified as murders, law enforcement solved 9 percent, researchers found. The statewide clearance rate is more than 60 percent in the past decade, according to the state Department of Justice, meaning that murders of…

Kneeland Road Blocked After Logging Truck Crash

Just before 2 p.m., a logging truck flipped over on its side near mile marker 37 on Kneeland Rd. The driver was stuck inside the vehicle and Kneeland Rd was blocked as of 3:45 p.m. According to Humboldt Bay Fire, “Fortunately, crews were able to extricate the driver who was pinned during the crash, sustaining only minor injuries.” Kneeland Volunteer Fire Protection District, Humboldt Bay Fire, the CHP, and Arcata Fire District assisted at the scene. Humboldt Bay Fire offered thanks to Samoa Peninsula Fire District and Loleta Volunteer Fire Department “for helping to cover HBF jurisdiction while several crews remained committed to this scene.”…

UPDATE: Red Salmon Complex Remains at Zero Containment

The Red Salmon Complex — which includes the Red and Salmon fires — has grown to 2,643 acres and remains at zero containment, according to this morning’s fire update. Both fires are burning in steep, rugged terrain within the Six Rivers and Shasta Trinity national forest, a news release states. Today, crews on the ground will continue their attempts to suppress the blaze as air operations continue in support. “An air quality monitoring specialist will continue to provide daily smoke forecasts and air quality information for the surrounding communities,” the news release states. For safety reasons, officials have also closed Big Rock River Access, which is being used as a “dip site” for helicopter operations. Find updates here. Read the full release below: The Red Salmon Complex burning in the Six Rivers and Shasta Trinity national forest is 2,643 acres and 0% contained. Both fires are burning in steep, rugged terrain, with limited access. Air operations will continue to support crews on the ground with as visibility and smoke conditions allow. Today, crews will continue strengthening indirect line utilizing existing trail systems, roads, and ridgelines using…

Sheriff’s Office Investigating Shooting Near Bridgeville

One person was injured in a shooting this morning. According to a dispatcher relaying information to emergency personnel over the scanner about 3:55 a.m., the victim was “shot at in vehicle” and the shooting occurred in the Mad River area. However, emergency personnel were sent to Loop Road in Carlotta to find the victim. The victim had two gunshot wounds, according to emergency personnel. The dispatcher said that, according to the victim, he was sleeping alongside the road in the Mad River area when he was shot by a person in a white Jeep Grand Cherokee driving westbound. UPDATE 9:52 a.m.: Press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office: Humboldt County Sheriff’s Deputies are investigating an early morning shooting near Bridgeville which left one person injured. On August 3, 2020, at about 3:50 a.m., Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to a residence in the Carlotta area for the report of a male victim with a gunshot wound. Deputies arrived on scene and located the 56-year-old victim with non-life-threatening gunshot injuries. The victim was transported to a local hospital for treatment. The victim told deputies that he…

Humboldt Branch of WILPF Awards 2020 Peace Grants

The Humboldt Branch of Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) awarded its 2020 Edilith Eckart Peace Scholarship to several Humboldt organizations earlier this year. Through a public service announcement, Carol Woods, Secretary/Treasurer for Humboldt WILPF, named the recipients, which include the local branch of the GI Rights Hotline, the Humboldt County Branch of Black Music and Arts Association and KMUD Community Radio, among others. The Edilith Eckart Peace Scholarship is named for one of the group’s founding members who was a lifelong advocate for peace, and is awarded to organizations in Humboldt County working to achieve peace and social justice. For a full list of this year’s recipients, read the announcement below. 2020 Humboldt Branch of Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom Edilith Eckart Peace Scholarship Earlier this year, the Humboldt Branch of WILPF, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, awarded several Edillith Eckart Memorial Peace Grants to organizations in Humboldt County working to achieve peace and social justice. Edilith Eckart was one of our founding members and a lifelong advocate for peace. We hope our grants help to continue her work making connections between people across…

Coast Guard Rescues Two People from Sinking Vessel Near Whitesboro, Calif.

The Coast Guard rescued two people after their sailing vessel began taking on water one nautical mile offshore from Albion River near Whitesboro, Calif., Sunday. The boatcrew arrived on scene at 1:45 a.m. and recovered both people from the vessel. The survivors were transported by the boatcrew to Fort Bragg, Calif., in good condition. Read the full press release here: MCKINLEYVILLE, Calif. — The Coast Guard rescued two people after their sailing vessel began taking on water one nautical mile offshore from Albion River near Whitesboro, Calif., Sunday. Coast Guard Sector Humboldt Bay command center watchstanders received a notification just after midnight of the sailing vessel Playtime reportedly hitting a submerged object in heavy fog. The vessel began taking on water with two people onboard who only had their cell phones and emergency flares available. At approximately 1 a.m. watchstanders directed the launch of a Coast Guard Station Noyo River 47-foot Motor Life Boat crew and a Coast Guard Air Station Humboldt Bay MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew. The boatcrew arrived on scene at 1:45 a.m. and recovered both people from the vessel. The survivors were transported…

Red Salmon Complex Remains at Zero Containment

The Red Salmon Complex — which includes the Red and Salmon fires — has grown to 1,877 acres and remains at zero containment, according to this morning’s fire update. An inversion layer hanging over the area burning in the Six Rivers and the Shasta Trinity national forests is causing the smoke to settle, which could potentially impact surrounding communities and interfere with air operations. “An air quality monitoring specialist is assigned and will provide smoke forecasts and air quality information for the surrounding communities,” a news release states. For safety reasons, officials have also closed Big Rock River Access, which is being used as a “dip site” for helicopter operations. Find updates here. Read the full release below:  The Red Salmon Complex continues to burn in the Six Rivers and Shasta Trinity national forests. The complex is currently at 1,877 acres and 0% contained. Fire growth for each fire has been mostly terrain driven with some short, uphill runs. Crews today are focusing on reinforcing indirect control lines on both fires utilizing minimum impact suppression tactics in the wilderness. An inversion layer is sitting over…

Ag Officials: Don’t Plant the Mystery Seeds

Mysterious packages of seeds are popping up in local mailboxes — sometimes labeled as jewelry or beads — and the Humboldt County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office is urging anyone who’s received the unsolicited bundles not to plant them. So far, about 20 local residents have reported being on the receiving end of the deliveries that appear to be from China, Agricultural Commissioner Jeff Dolf said in an email to the Journal. “At this point we have collected six seed shipments and are still encouraging members of the public who have received seeds to contact the Agricultural Commissioner’s Office so we can make arrangements to secure the seed,” he wrote. Humboldt County is by no means the only place this is happening. The packets have arrived in at least 22 states as well as Canada, countries in the European Union and Australia, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Officials are asking residents not to open the packages but instead turn them over for testing. It’s also not a new problem, per se. Dolf states in his email that “the U.S. Customs and Border Protection estimates that…

Flames from Truck on Fire Spreading into Wildlands

Flames are spreading from a Dodge Ram pickup to the wildland off of Bald Mountain Road just east of Maple Creek Road, after the truck caught on fire about 1:50 p.m., according to a report made by the pickup’s owner to 911. CalFire sent multiple engines, Copter 102, an air attack, and other resources to the scene. The pilot in the air attack told dispatch, “Got a potential for about 15 acres.” He also said there were no structures threatened but there were power lines in the area. Please remember that information gathered from initial reports is subject to revision as more facts become available.…

Red Salmon Complex Remains at 1,060 Acres

The Red Salmon Complex — which includes the Red Fire and the Salmon Fire — remains at 1,060 acres with zero containment, according to this morning’s update. The lightning-caused fires burning in the Six Rivers and Shasta Trinity National Forests are being fought by air and on the ground. A helibase has been set up in Willow Creek to assist the effort. “Additional firefighters and resources continue to arrive to assist with suppressing both the Red and Salmon Fires,” a news release states. “Helicopter operations continue to assist ground crews in fire attack operations.” For updates, click here. Read the full release below: The Red Salmon Complex continues to burn in the Six Rivers and Shasta Trinity National Forests. The Complex is currently at 1,060 acres and 0% contained. Additional firefighters and resources continue to arrive to assist with suppressing both the Red and Salmon Fires. Helicopter operations continue to assist ground crews in fire attack operations. The Red Fire continues to grow in size by backing downslope to the west towards the Middle Fork of Red Cap Creek and expanding to the north towards…

Temporary COVID-19 Testing Site Coming to Arcata

A temporary mobile COVID-19 testing site is coming to the Arcata Community on Aug. 3 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., just after Humboldt County hit a grim milestone in July, reaching 100 confirmed cases, the highest of any month to date. To make an appointment in Arcata, call 268-2503. Free testing for those without symptoms is also available at the testing site at Redwood Acres Fairgrounds in Eureka. With a high demand for testing sometimes impacting the availability of appointments, members of the public are encouraged to continue checking back with Optumserve by visiting https://Lhi.care/covidtesting or calling (888) 634-1123. Delayed results are also being experienced in Humboldt County and across the nation. Individuals with symptoms or who have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 are asked to call their health care provider or call the Joint Information Center at 441-5000. …

Alder Bay Administrator Did Not Know Possible Source of Facility’s COVID Cases Before Bloomberg Column, T-S reports

The administrator of Alder Bay Assisted Living did not know how the COVID-19 virus might have been brought into the facility, leading to the deaths of four residents, before reading about a Bloomberg column on a local news site, according to a Times-Standard story.  The column “Confessions of a California COVID Nurse” by well-known author Michael Lewis quotes Humboldt County Public Health nurse Erica Dykehouse, who was conducting contact tracing, reportedly tying the Alder Bay infections back to a methamphetamine dealer who refused to isolate himself and spread the virus, among other observations about the local situation. Read more about the column here and the full Times-Standard story here. …

Public Health Reports 2 New COVID-19 Cases Bringing July’s Total to 100

Public health reported two new confirmed COVID-19 cases today, bringing the county’s total to 233, with 100 of those in July alone. “The good news is that we are in a good position to substantially slow transmission of this virus in our community by avoiding contact with those who aren’t a part of our household and limiting non-essential travel as much as possible,” County Health Officer Teresa Frankovich said in a release. “If we all commit to taking these actions together, we can make a huge difference in health outcomes for Humboldt County.” The county raised its overall COVID alert level — which runs on a scale of 1 to 4 — to 3 last week, where it remains. Level 3 is described as: “High risk — many cases with conditions for community spread, with many undetected cases likely. Limit everyday activities to increase safety.” To date, the county has seen 17 hospitalizations and four fatalities, all of them residents at Alder Bay Assisted Living. One hundred and eight-four of the cases are considered recovered, while the rest remain active. Humboldt County Public Health is…

EPD Takes Battle of the Badges Blood Drive Title

With 62 donors, the Eureka Police Department bested 17 other local agencies to take the trophy for the third annual Battle of the Badges Blood Drive. During the drive, a total of 184 people — some employees of participating agency and others community members donating to the Northern California Community Blood Bank on their behalf — stepped up to lie back and give between July 20 to July 24. “I would like to thank everyone who came out and donated on behalf of our agency,” EPD Capt. Brian Stephens said in a news release. “I would also like to thank everyone who donated throughout the event and supported the various Public Safety agencies. I was there off and on throughout the event and the support was overwhelming.” He also noted the donations have the potential to save the lives of more than 550 people. Read the full EPD release below:  July 20 – 24, 2020, the Northern California Community Blood Bank (NCCBB) held the 3rd Annual Battle of the Badges Blood Drive. We had 18 different agencies represented either as donors or by having a…

Red Salmon Complex Fire Continues to Grow

The Red Salmon Complex — which includes the Red Fire and Salmon Fire — has grown to 1,060 acres with zero containment, according to today’s update. A news release states fire crews are working on the ground to contain the lightning-caused wildfire complex burning in rugged terrain in portions of Humboldt, Trinity and Siskiyou counties and a base has been set up in Willow Creek for the multiple helicopters conducting water drops. As of this morning, the Red Fire stands at 516 acres and the Salmon Fire at 544 acres. Updates can be found here. Read the full release below: The Red Salmon Complex continues to burn in remote wilderness areas of the Six Rivers and Shasta Trinity National Forests. This Complex includes both the Salmon Fire and the Red Fire which currently are a combined total of 1,060 acres and 0% containment. Firefighters are using a full suppression strategy and utilizing indirect fire attack methods to gain control of both fires. A combination of both ground crews and air resources are being used due to the rugged terrain and challenging access. Multiple helicopters with…

Court Bans “Abusive” Spiking, but Sticks with Pension Protections

For 65 years, the California Supreme Court has taken a rigid line on pensions for public employees: Any retirement benefits promised to a worker at the outset of a job can only be reduced if they are replaced with something of equal value. That iron-clad precedent has been dubbed “the California Rule.” Today the state’s high court carved a little wiggle room into that rule. In a case filed by the Alameda County Deputy Sheriff’s Association, the court found that the county was within its rights to exclude certain forms of bonus pay and overtime when determining the future pension calculations of current employees. Pension hawks have long derided “pension spiking” — artificially boosting retirement benefits by evoking sick leave or running up overtime just before retirement — as abusive. The court agreed. But the Supreme Court stopped short of out-and-out nixing the California Rule. In the 90-page opinion written by Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, the court found that “closing loopholes and preventing abuse of the pension system” was consistent with state law that otherwise makes it exceedingly difficult to renege on promised pension benefits…

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