Green Rivers Headed Our Way

After a solid week of rainy weather that turned all the coastal rivers big and brown, it looks like we’re headed toward a green water convergence. Some rain is in the forecast for Wednesday but after that we should begin to see some sunshine and dropping water levels. The Smith will be the first to clear and should be in great shape to drift by Friday. The Chetco will be right behind it and should fish by the weekend. The South Fork Eel will also come into play over the weekend, especially in the higher reaches. The main stem will probably need another week to clear, as will the Van Duzen. The Mad is predicted to be high and off color through the weekend, but should start to green up by midweek. By this time next week, all the rivers should be some shade of green and hopefully loaded with steelhead. The weather ahead Following an impressive week of rain, it looks like we’re moving toward a drier weather pattern. “Rain is predicted to fall overnight Tuesday and into Wednesday, but after that, it looks…

Husky Pride

Editor: I want to thank the school board at Fortuna for putting education first (“‘Staff Challenges’ Amid Quarantines Has Fortuna High School District Classes Going Virtual,” posted Jan. 16.). They gave families the choice of attending class or learning online. My student has been in class since August, is being educated and is loving it. My student will not be one of the countless students who may never recover from being denied an education or not being in class. Fortuna should be very proud of their school leaders. Go Huskies! Eric Cortez, Eureka…

About Those Ads

In letters to the editor the past few weeks and in personal messages to me, readers have blasted our decision to accept tobacco advertising — those Lucky Strike ads you’ve been seeing. We have been accused of either completely losing our moral integrity or being financially desperate and on the brink of bankruptcy. I assure you, neither is the case. There has been a change in policy but it didn’t just occur this past month or even this past year. (We’ve carried ads from John’s Fine Cigars since 2014.) Still, readers deserve an explanation of how our tobacco advertising policy change came about or, more precisely, how it evolved. In the early and mid-1990s, the Journal was a monthly news magazine owned, run and staffed by me and my business partner Carolyn Fernandez (now retired). We had some freelance writers and a few part-timers in those days. For eight years we struggled to keep afloat for another month. During those times, others like us, alternative newspapers that published weekly or monthly, thrived on classified ads and tobacco advertisers. When the tobacco guys came knocking, I…

Huffman Town Hall Dives Deep Into COVID Vaccine Rollout

North Coast Rep. Jared Huffman held a virtual town discussing the roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine in Humboldt and Mendocino counties featuring  Assemblymember Jim Wood, Humboldt County Public Health Officer Ian Hoffman, Mendocino County Public Health Officer Andy Coren and Associate Chief of Medicine at the San Francisco VA Medical Center Heather Nye. The panel discussed the new and upcoming COVID-19 federal response, ramping up the COVID-19 vaccine rollout and supply chain, the status of the vaccine distribution programs locally, partnerships with local clinics for vaccine distribution, local veteran vaccination efforts, vaccine effectiveness, life after the vaccine, concerns of those who are hesitant to get a vaccine and addressed misinformation of those who oppose getting vaccinated. Watch the full town hall below. …

Public Health Reports 13 New COVID-19 Cases, the Lowest Tally Since December

Humboldt County Public Health reported 13 new COVID-19 cases today, the lowest daily tally in more than a month, as well as a new hospitalization. This week has now seen 100 case recorded, one death and six hospitalizations, after five deaths and 258 cases were confirmed last week, for a record 990 cases reported in January. Today’s results came after 299 tests were processed with a test positivity rate of 4.3 percent. Yesterday’s county test report included the results of antigen tests for the first time. Antigen tests look for the presence of a specific viral antigen, basically a foreign substance that triggers the immune system to produce antibodies,  can produce results in as little as 15 minutes but are generally considered less sensitive, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The other test used is a polymerase chain reaction (PCR), test that requires laboratory processing. “Antigen tests are most reliable when used for people who are experiencing symptoms,” a news release from the county’s Joint Information Center. “Public Health recently began distributing thousands of rapid antigen tests to local health care providers to assist them…

Two Polls Give Gov. Newsom Bad News … and Worse News

Two fresh polls indicate that California voters may be falling out of love with a governor who just three years ago was elected by a record-breaking margin, and who early in the pandemic ranked as one of the country’s most popular state leaders. How worrisome is this for the governor facing a burgeoning recall effort? It depends on which pollster you ask. According to the survey from the Public Policy Institute of California, the era of bipartisan good feelings now appears to be over for the governor. That’s the bad news. About 52% of likely voters gave Newsom high marks, compared to 43% who disapproved of his performance. That still puts Newsom above water with the public, but it marks a significant and consistent decline in popular support from past polls. In October, Newsom’s approval came in at 57%; in May, it was an even higher 63%. Institute president Mark Baldassare said the governor’s stratospheric approval during the summer — in which Democrats, independents and even some Republicans applauded the governor for his handling of the pandemic — was the aberration. In this new poll,…

Californians Ask: Where Are Our COVID Vaccines?

With Californians growing desperate to protect themselves from COVID-19 and put the pandemic behind them, many want to know: where a re their vaccines? State officials have mostly pointed to insufficient federal supply as the culprit for a slower than expected vaccine rollout. About 4.7 million doses have been sent to the state, not including what’s sent for long-term care facilities via a federal pharmacy partnership. But as of Jan. 28, 1.8 million doses, or about 40 percent, had not yet been administered, according to a state vaccine dashboard has been among the slowest in the country and state officials can’t say where unused doses are, whether they are reserved for upcoming appointments or whether they are sitting in freezers unnecessarily. The state announced last week that locally controlled distribution of the vaccine isn’t working. Instead, it will contract with Blue Shield to coordinate delivery statewide and speed the process. “We understand that vaccine supply is limited. But we also need to address that the supply we have now needs to get administered as quickly as possible, so we’re developing an approach that allows us…

THIRD UPDATE: SWAT Called to Westhaven Drive; Suspect Arrested

THIRD UPDATE: Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office reports the suspect has been detained on Dows Prairie Road. SECOND UPDATE: The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office states a call came in at 10 a.m. reporting a domestic disturbance at the residence on the 800 block of Westhaven Drive with shots fired. “According to one victim, a 35-year-old male suspect reportedly fired multiple shots outside the residence,” the HCSO Facebook post states. “A male victim arrived on scene during the disturbance, at which time, the suspect reportedly threatened the victim with a firearm and shot at the victim’s vehicle. The victim was not injured. ” HCSO states the possibly armed suspect is described as a white male adult, 5 feet 11 inches tall, approximately 125 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes and may have left on a mountain bike wearing a yellow and green jacket. UPDATE: The SWAT team has arrived at the scene in Westhaven, where the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office reports occupants of a home where a possible shooting may have occurred “remain uncooperative to deputy requests to exit.” According to a HCSO tweet, three individuals…

Man in Critical Condition After Eureka Shooting

The Eureka Police Department is investigating after a 56-year-old man was found shot on the 700 block of 10th Street just before midnight yesterday. He is reported to be in critical condition. “Based on the investigation, it was determined the shooting occurred near a residence on 1000 block of I Street,” a news release from EPD states. “Deputies with the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) and Officers with the California Highway Patrol (CHP) responded and assisted EPD with a perimeter and protective sweep of a residence and outbuildings on the property. No additional victims or suspects were located.” No suspects have been identified and the investigation is ongoing, the EPD states. Read the EPD release below: On January 31, 2021, at about 11:42 p.m., officers with the Eureka Police Department responded to the 700 block of 10th Street for the report of a male yelling that he had been shot. Upon arrival, officers located a 56-year-old male gunshot victim. Humboldt Bay Fire and City Ambulance responded to the scene and provided emergency medical care and transport to the hospital. Based on the investigation, it was…

Slide Shuts SR 96 Near Happy Camp

Slide activity has prompted the closure of State Route 96 about 8 miles west of Happy Camp. “Due to the speed at which the debris is entering the roadway and inclement weather possible for the area, the highway is anticipated to remain closed through today (February 1) and will be reassessed Tuesday morning (February 2) when weather conditions may improve,” a Caltrans Facebook post states. The roadway was closed last month due to a slide as well and another active area about 4 miles west of Happy Camp is under 24/7 traffic control with one lane open. “There is no detour in the area. Motorists are advised to choose alternate routes for travel. Please abide by regulatory signs, law enforcement, and Caltrans officials in the area,” the Caltrans post states. “This closure is necessary for the safety of our crews and for the traveling public.: Meanwhile, much of the region is under a Flood Watch as another storm rolls through. Read more here. …

Chalet House of Omelettes Closes after 45 Years

On Jan. 22, Chalet House of Omelettes announced via Facebook the 45-year-old restaurant on Eureka’s Fifth Street would be closed permanently. Over the phone from the Chalet’s Cutten location, owner Bill Tuttle told the Journal his mother, Vera Johnson, opened the restaurant March 1, 1975 in the former Mr. Swiss ice cream parlor after having worked as a server at a number of places, including Ben Chin’s Canton Cafe (the first Chinese restaurant in Eureka since the expulsion of Chinese residents in 1885) and the storied Lazio’s. It closed March 15, 2020 after shelter in place was declared.  “It needed remodeling, new carpeting and the walls done … nothing real big and major — it just had to be shut down for a while and when it shut down I didn’t have the money for it,” said Tuttle. While the Cutten Chalet has a patio and tent for outdoor dining, he didn’t feel the lot at the old restaurant on Fifth Street could work for outdoor seating, nor did he have confidence it would get enough takeout traffic to sustain it. Staffing, Tuttle says, has…

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