Archive | Eureka

Marijuana Search Leads To Two Arrests

Eurekans Austin Koren and Melissa Elkin jailed

Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel

 

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Community Response Unit deputies served a Humboldt County Superior Court Search Warrant on a residence in the 4000 block of Little Fairfield Street, Eureka, on July 4, 2012, shortly before noon.

When deputies served the search warrant they located two people in the residence, Austin Taylor Koren, 24 years old, and Melissa Nichole Elkin, 22 years old, both from Eureka.

Deputies located and seized approximately 9 pounds of processed marijuana, packaging material and scales in the residence, according to the HCSO press release.

Two bedrooms in the home were being utilized to grow the marijuana, along with a grow area in a detached shed in the backyard.  In the bedrooms, deputies located 147 growing marijuana plants ranging from 3” to 18” in height.

Deputies arrested Koren and Elkin for cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale and conspiracy to commit a felony.  They were transported and booked into the Humboldt County Sheriff Correctional Facility with bail set at $75,000 each.

* * * * * * * * *

Looks like the HCSO didn’t take the holiday off after all.  Normally celebrating liberty, freedom and fireworks for Independence Day, the unfortunate couple was unceremoniously seized and ignomiously tossed into the local pokey, instead.

Unlike other busts, this one didn’t involve weapons or cash as far as we can tell.

Posted in Crime, Eureka6 Comments

Three Nameless Faces; More Questions Than Facts

Who are we?

 

By Gabriele Fellows
Humboldt Sentinel

 

The Eureka Police Department is asking the public to identify the individuals pictured in the above surveillance photograph. However, for “investigative security reasons” additional information cannot be released to the public. They are persons of interest in an investigation and might be witnesses, victims or suspects.

Sergeant Steve Watson was asked by Detective Todd Wilcox to distribute these photos to the local media. “He has reason to believe someone locally may recognize them,” Sgt. Watson told the Humboldt Sentinel. But the EPD will not disclose why they want these people identified.

Posted in Crime, Eureka3 Comments

EPD’s Goodale Recognized For Fighting Drunk Driving

Mothers Against Drunk Driving presents award in Sacramento

 

Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel

 

A traffic cop from Eureka was among the honorees at a recent banquet celebrating the statewide efforts to eliminate drunk driving.

Officer Drake Goodale was given the MADD California Hero Award by the Mothers Against Drunk Driving of California at their 14th annual community recognition dinner on June 2 at the Hyatt Regency in Sacramento. He was among other law enforcement officials, government agencies and community advocates who “have gone beyond the call of duty to combat drunk driving, educate the public on the effects of this violent crime and who have done their part in maintaining safer roadways and communities,” according to MADD spokesperson Silas Miers.

“The officers recognized at this event have made huge sacrifices in their lives to become the top in the field of traffic safety and enforcement,” Miers stated in a release. “These are the top officers in the state for DUI Enforcement and many have additional duties within the department.  Some of them have personal stories; perhaps victims themselves.  They have seen first-hand the tragedies and devastation that drunk driving crashes have caused and they have set out to help protect the community from that devastation.  For that, we honor them today.”

Goodale in particular was recognized for making 69 of the 336 driving under the influence arrests made by the Eureka Police Department last year.

Funding for the event was provided by a state-administered federal grant — namely the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration via the California Office of Traffic Safety.

Posted in Crime, Eureka1 Comment

Eurekan Carjacked While Holding Child

Eli Aubrey arrested after wild high speed chase up 101 & 299

 

Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel

 

A drunk and possibly drugged Eureka parolee allegedly threatened the safety of a man and his 6-month-old child this morning before jacking the man’s automobile and leading local law enforcement on a multi-agency, high speed pursuit which ended in his arrest.

At about 11:58 a.m. Tuesday, the Eureka Police Department received word of a car jacking at a home on the 2600 block of Union Street. Their investigation led them to believe that a victim, who had just arrived at the driveway of his residence and unloaded his baby and car seat from the back of his vehicle, was accosted by a suspect who demanded his car keys.

According to a press statement by EPD  Sergeant Brian Stephens, the victim initially told the suspect “no” and backed away, after which the suspect moved towards the victim (who was holding his child) and told the victim he better give him the keys; the victim surrendered the keys as he feared for the safety of his child. The man proceeded to take the vehicle and drove away from the residence. Upon compiling this testimony, EPD sent word of the suspect and vehicle description to all of its officers and all other local law enforcement agencies.

About 20 minutes later, an unnamed EPD patrol positioned near the northbound lanes of the Eureka Slough Bridge spotted the car travelling north on Highway 101, and upon catching up with the vehicle as it approached Murray Field, its description was confirmed. As the officer attempted to conduct an enforcement stop, the vehicle fled further up Highway 101 at speeds approaching 80 to 100 miles per hour; given the speed and what the cop described as erratic driving, close pursuit was discontinued near the Bracut exit approaching the city limits of Arcata, although the patrol continued to follow at a substantial distance to update the suspect’s location to other agencies up until the Sunset Avenue exit in Arcata.

California Highway Patrol troopers took up the pursuit from there, staging at the interchange between Highways 101 and 299. As the suspect drove off 101 onto the eastbound 299, CHP officers pursued at speeds exceeding 100 mph, driving him into the trap set by a CHP sergeant who established a spike strip at the Mad River Bridge, which popped the stolen vehicle’s tires. The suspect took the Essex Road exit at excessive speed, struck a street sign and eventually stopped in the Glendale area; the man’s attempt to flee on foot was cut short and CHP troopers detained him a short distance from the vehicle.

The alleged assailant was identified as 38-year-old Eli Aubrey, and according to the arresting officer, he was exhibiting signs of intoxication from alcohol and possibly drugs. He was positively identified by the carjacking victim after a field “show-up” and arrested on the spot. Aubrey complained of pain in one of his knees and was later examined at the hospital without further note of injury; no law enforcement personnel or members of the public were injured in the incident, although the victim’s vehicle sustained moderate damage and was towed from the scene.

Aubrey was booked at county jail on a litany of charges, including:

  • Suspicion of car jacking
  • Robbery
  • Felony evading a peace officer
  • Possession of stolen property
  • Resisting arrest
  • Driving under the influence
  • Driving while unlicensed
  • Hit and run
  • Violating parole

As he was booked on active parole, Aubrey is being held at the Humboldt County Correctional Facility without bail.

Posted in Crime, Eureka0 Comments

Pseudo-Masseur Goes Down On Felony Counts

Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel

 

After several hours of deliberation, a Humboldt County jury returned verdicts of guilty in the matter of People v. Darrell Ravan Slape, the District Attorney’s office announced yesterday.  Slape was charged with one count of felony sexual penetration with a foreign object, and two counts of felony sexual battery by fraud.  Each count alleged that Slape fraudulently represented that the sexual conduct which he was accused of served a professional purpose, when it did not.

The jury found Slape guilty of the count charging sexual penetration with a foreign object and one count of felony sexual battery by fraud, and guilty of a lesser-included offense of battery, with respect to the other count of sexual battery by fraud.

The case involved two victims, referred to in the proceedings as Jane Doe #1 and Jane Doe #2, who were assaulted by the defendant during massages by him at his business, Healthy Life Alternatives, at the Back In Action building at 612 G Street in Eureka.

The incident with Jane Doe #1 occurred on November 12, 2007, while the incident with Jane Doe #2 occurred on January 17, 2009.

Both women were suffering from severe back pain, and testified that they were referred to Slape’s business because he offers a muscle strengthening training program on specialized exercise equipment known as MedX.  Both women saw him on a single occasion, at which time he gave them each massages in private massage rooms, where the assaults took place.

Slape took the stand in his own defense, completely denying any wrongdoing.  His attorney, Jerold Schultz from Encino, California, argued, among other things, that Jane Doe #1 mistook “referred sensation” experienced as a result of receiving trigger point therapy for digital penetration of her vagina.

“Obviously, the jury saw through the defendant’s untruths and reached a just decision in this case,” stated Christa K. McKimmy, the Deputy District Attorney who prosecuted the case for the People.

“I am extremely satisfied with this outcome,” said Ms. McKimmy.  “This will hopefully achieve some closure for the victims in this case, who had to endure years of anticipating the unpleasant task of testifying about their experiences at the hands of the defendant, and who suffered uncertainty about what the outcome would be.”

Both victims testified that they were motivated to report the incidents by the desire to prevent others from becoming victims of Slape.  “This conviction will achieve that goal,” McKimmy said.

Slape faces up to nine years in state prison and will be required to register as a sex offender.

The Honorable W. Bruce Watson, who presided over the trial, will sentence Slape on August 3, 2012.

* * * * * * * *

We wonder why the jury took only hours deliberating the case– and the District Attorney’s office spent years bringing it to a conclusion.  Humboldt County Superior Court judges have postponed the trial multiple times since the first complaint was filed in 2008.  Requests for continuances have come from both District Attorney prosecutors and defense attorneys.

According to records obtained from the Humboldt County Superior Court, Slape settled a 2006 lawsuit out of court with a former employee who accused him of sexual harassment and wrongful termination.  In 2008, Slape settled a citation with the Physical Therapy Board of California for the unlawful practice of physical therapy, according to the board’s website.

To note, the state of California offers a voluntary licensing program that allows massage practice in counties with licensing requirements.  In Humboldt County, however, there is no licensing requirement to practice massage– other than a business license.

 

(posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Crime, Eureka, Local1 Comment

Food for People and Letter Carriers Food Drive Saturday

Your Help is Needed for Our Community

 

Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel

 

Please tell me you’re not sitting in front of your computer or lying on the couch today.   That would be a waste of a beautiful day.  There’s only so much time, you know.

Citizens of Humboldt County are being asked to “Stamp out Hunger” today during the 20th annual Letter Carriers Food Drive taking place now. Postal employees in Humboldt County are picking up donations of nonperishable foods and delivering it to our local Food Bank headquarters in Eureka, Saturday, May 12.

This is no easy task.  Postal employees are shouldering and hoisting the food from your doorstep, putting it in boxes, and delivering it to the Food for People location today.  About 20 tons worth.  In addition to completing their postal routes on time.  That’s a long day for our carriers.  Thank you, USPS employees.

You can help.  Yes, you can!  It’s easy to participate and your help is greatly needed and appreciated.  Deep down inside you know it’s the right thing to do. 

 

Here’s What You Can Do:

Show up today at the Food for People Food Bank– and simply volunteer for an hour or two.  The event will run until 8 p.m. tonight, at 307 W. 14th St. in Eureka.

Volunteers help unload the incoming postal carrier trucks, sort food, and package it properly for storage.   It’s easy to be involved and there’s different things for everyone to do depending upon what you like and want.  It’s a well-oiled operation of helping hands of all ages and abilities working side-by-side for our folks, families, children and seniors needing food stability and assistance in our community. 

It’s a fun gathering– with a good purpose and mission.  Over 100 folks, civic organizations, churches, families and students will be there today, Saturday, getting it done.  Come join them, meet your community, and help us work together.

It’s not too late.

The weather calls for a beautiful day to be outdoors in the sunshine.  Refreshments, food, pizza, and other goodies will be freely available for all the volunteers.  They put out a nice spread.

In Humboldt County, the food drive has collected an average of 40,000 pounds of food countywide for the past four years.  The food collected is used to supplement food boxes for low-income households. With both our local and national economies still facing significant challenges, major cuts looming at the state level and increasing numbers of people out of work or unable to earn enough to pay the bills, the success of this year’s drive is even more important.

 

Food Donations– Accepted Now or Later– Every Can Counts

Community members can also help through donations of nutritious food. Just leave a donation of nonperishable food by your mailbox on Saturday (or even afterwards) and your letter carrier will pick it up and take it to our local food bank or the neighborhood pantries located throughout Humboldt County.  If for some reason you miss your letter carrier, donations may be dropped off Monday through Friday at Food for People, 307 W. 14th St. in Eureka, or at a food pantry in your community.

The foods most needed include protein items (canned meats, tuna and beans), canned fruits and vegetables, low-sugar cereals, pasta, soup, chili, stew, peanut butter, juice and the like. These items are among some of the essentials needed for a well-balanced diet and are often the most difficult for food insecure families to afford.

Items that can’t be accepted include rusty or bulging cans and home-canned items, which have to be disposed of for health reasons. Also, please avoid donations in glass jars as they can easily break.

All food collected stays in the community in which it was donated to help local individuals and families in need. Many of the pantries have already used up donations gathered over the holidays, and the food collected during the Letter Carriers Drive is critical.  Every can counts.

 

Volunteering your Time and Service

Volunteers are also needed throughout the year.  Yes, everyone is welcome, it’s very flexible, and there’s a place and nearby location for you.  Please call Food for People’s Volunteer Coordinator Laura Hughes at 445-3166, ext. 310, for more information, or visit www.foodforpeople.org.

 

Produce needed from Gardens and Orchards

Do you have extra produce from your garden or fruit trees?  The Food for People Food Bank can certainly use your nutritious and fresh extras.

 

Money

Yes, cash is golden, too, and always helpful.  Monetary donations are put to good use leveraging large discounted food purchases bought in bulk.

 

Questions and Answers

Questions?  Contact the Food for People Food Bank at #445-3166, or come on by to their location at 307 W. 14th Street, Eureka.

 

Why?

It’s the right thing to do.

 

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Eureka, Local0 Comments

Friday’s Ceremony To Honor Humboldt Bay’s Newest Firefighters

Badge Pinning and Promotions Set For Firefighters and Volunteers Today

 

Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel

 

Humboldt Bay Fire is holding badge a pinning ceremony Friday, May 11 at 2:00 p.m. to acknowledge new career firefighters and volunteers and recognize promotions occurring over the past 10 months.

This will be held at the Eureka Fire Department headquarters:  533 C Street, Eureka, at the Apparatus Floor. 

The public is invited to attend.

 

Career Firefighters

Firefighter Ryan Booth was born and raised in the Oregon countryside where he learned a wide variety of trade skills from his family. Over the last eight years, he has worked as a carpenter for a residential construction company in San Clemente, volunteered as a firefighter, and received a thorough education in fire technology.

Ryan’s hobbies include working on construction projects, surfing, and mountain biking. He looks forward to starting his career and learning the role of a Humboldt Bay Firefighter.

Firefighter Brett Egbert is originally from West Covina, where his parents still reside. His father, Jeff Egbert, is a Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff of 27 years, and his mom, Shelly, is an Accounting Manager at Mt. San Antonio College. His older sister Roshel recently finished medical school at Keck School of Medicine – USC and will begin her first year of residency.

Brett made the goal to become a firefighter when he was fourteen years old after interviewing his Uncle Steve Egbert, an Engineer with the City of Glendale Fire Department, for a class project. When Brett was eighteen he moved to San Luis Obispo where he attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Forestry and Natural Resources with a concentration in Wildland Fire and Fuels Management. While living in San Luis Obispo he gained firefighter experience working as a Paid Call Firefighter for Cal Fire/San Luis Obispo County Fire Department.  An outdoors person enjoying hiking, fishing, and hunting, Brett is thrilled to have been hired with the Humboldt Bay Fire Department and looks forward to taking advantage of the many outdoor activities the area has to offer.

Firefighter Matt Dennis was born in Sacramento and raised in Eureka. He also attended the Sierra College Fire Academy, graduating in May of 2008. Matt worked at City Ambulance for three years and eight months, and earned his Paramedic license in August of 2010. He has garnered a reputation as an excellent Paramedic who exhibits true compassion to those he treats.

Matt joined HFD as a Volunteer Firefighter in August of 2008 and has served continuously in that role with a short leave of absence to concentrate on Medic school. With the Volunteers, he developed a reputation as a leader and mentor to younger personnel with a terrific attitude. Prior to joining the career staff, Matt was voted in as the President of the Humboldt Bay Fire Volunteers.

 

Volunteers

Volunteer Firefighter Brandon Amis is 24 years old and has been married for one year to his wife Paula. Brandon and Paula have a 14 month old daughter, Kaitlyn. He works at St. Joseph Hospital as the Lead Monitor Technician. Brandon thanks his wife and family for supporting his choice to pursue the fire service and standing by him during the academy.

Volunteer Firefighter Taylor Kennon was born and raised in Eureka. He works as an in-home care provider and is a college student at College of the Redwoods. Taylor will be transferring to HSU next year to pursue a degree in business. He is a nationally registered EMT. Taylor’s parents are Darcie Barone and Tim Kennon, both of whom work as nurses. His two older brothers, Thomas and Tim Kennon, are both college students. Taylor’s interests include working out, fishing, and doing his homework.

Volunteer Firefighter Eric Morris is 20 years old and married to Kimberly Morris. Growing up in South Carolina, Eric moved to California to fight fires. He works at John’s Auto Wreckers dismantling cars. Eventually, he plans to fight fires for Humboldt Bay Fire.

Volunteer Firefighter Eric Snipes is 19 years old and was born and raised in Eureka. His Grandfather, Retired Eureka Fire Department Captain Ralph Snipes, introduced him to the fire service. He attended the Shasta College Firefighter I Academy and is enrolled in the EMT class at College of the Redwoods. Eric serves as the Assistant Wrestling Coach for Eureka High School.

Volunteer Firefighter Jared Wattle was born and raised in Eureka, graduating from Eureka High School in 2005. Jared was first exposed to the municipal side of the fire service when he was a Eureka Fire Explorer from 2002 to 2005, later attending Butte College and receiving his degree in Fire Technology, studying for his EMT, and completing the California State Fire Marshal accredited firefighter career program. Jared currently works at Pacific Outfitters in Eureka. Known as the “Jack of all Trades” by family, friends, and co-workers, Jared’s hobbies are hunting, fishing, and firearms. Jared’s future goals are to have a long healthy and successful career in the Humboldt Bay Fire organization, become a licensed hunting and fishing guide, and sharing many adventures with his future wife Ashley.

Volunteer Firefighter Keith White works as a meat cutter at Ray’s Food Place. Keith is working on his fire technology degree at College of the Redwoods as well as working towards his EMT.

Fire Prevention and Education Volunteer Jenny Williamson comes to Humboldt Bay Fire Department with over 16 years of fire service experience. She started as a volunteer fire fighter with Wilton Volunteer Fire Protection District while going to California State University, Sacramento, receiving her Bachelor’s degree in Fire Service Management. After graduation Jenny became a Fire Prevention Officer with the Sacramento City Fire Department before moving on to the Eugene Fire & EMS and Redmond Fire and Rescue in Oregon as a Deputy Fire Marshal. Jenny currently works full time for her brother as a Client Associate at Williamson Financial Group. In her free time she enjoys teaching, spending time with her niece Lily, nephew Grant, and her bulldog Aerial– and learning how to fly fish.

 

Promotions – Fire Captain

Patrick Beyer, Jon Chambers, and Mitchell Mills received their promotions to the rank of Fire Captain, July 1, 2011.

Nick Launius received his promotion to the rank of Fire Captain, September 16, 2011.

 

Promotions – Fire Engineer

Chris Mitchell received his promotion to the rank of Fire Engineer, July 1, 2011

Tony Freeman and Kevin Stokes received their promotions to the rank of Fire Engineer, September 16, 2011

Russell Boham and Neil Butler received their promotions to the rank of Fire Engineer, March 1, 2012.

John Goodman receives his promotion as Fire Engineer, effective May 15, 2012

* * * * * * *

H/T to Anita Scarfia and the Lost Coast News

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Eureka, Local0 Comments

Former EPD Chief Garr Nielsen Vies for Lebanon’s Top Cop Job

Reason for Leaving Eureka: “He wanted a change”

 

Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel

 

Seven finalists want to be the next Chief of Police in Lebanon, Oregon—and one of the candidates is former Eureka Police Chief Garr Nielsen.

Nielsen, now a resident of Beaverton, Oregon, was in Lebanon last week for a tour, a meet and greet with community officials, and oral interviews for the city’s top cop position.

Nielsen was selected from a field of more than 25 applicants.  City leaders planned to narrow the field to two finalists early this week for the five and a half square mile city northwest of Salem pleasantly bearing the nickname “Land of Love” and the motto “It’s Easier From Here.”

Supervising 35 employees and serving a city of 16,400 residents, Lebanon’s Chief of Police position pays $6,000 to $7,900 per month, or $72,000 to $94,800 annually.  Lebanon Police Captain Mike Schulte has been filling in as Acting Chief for nearly a year until a permanent replacement is found.

Lebanon is also seeking to fill its vacant City Manager position, as well.

Nielsen holds a bachelor’s degree in criminology and is an FBI National Academy graduate.  Before coming to head Eureka’s police department, Nielsen was previously employed at the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Department for 21 years, ending his employment there with the rank of Captain.

The Lebanon Express News reported on Nielsen’s recent interview:

His most recent job was as chief of police in Eureka, Calif., a city of 25,000 residents. He worked there from 2007 to 2011, leaving because he wanted a change, and he and his family wanted to return to Oregon.

Nielsen said he applied for the position in Lebanon because he is looking for a community to provide livability for the long term. He appreciates that the city and LPD are forward-looking.

Asked how he would approach a need for budget cuts, if that should be necessary, Nielsen said he would look first at administration and materials and supplies — areas without a direct impact on level of service. He also would seek out more efficient uses of technology.

Asked how he would handle a situation in which an officer was seriously injured and off the job for several months, Nielsen said he would support the officer and his or her family and encourage the City Council to hold the job open until a decision could be made about whether the officer could return to work.

Nielsen is married. He and his wife have a 20-year-old daughter.

 

Nielsen was abruptly terminated from Eureka’s Chief of Police position by Eureka City Manager David Tyson in June, 2011. At the time, Tyson said firing Nielsen was his own decision and that he wouldn’t discuss any details or identify the reasons saying it was “a personnel matter.”  The reason for Nielsen’s dismissal other than citing ‘different management styles’ still hasn’t been disclosed to the public. 

Tyson’s controversial decision for Nielsen’s termination was later upheld by the Eureka City Council.

“It’s completely out of the blue.  It caught me completely off guard,” Nielsen told the Times-Standard following his dismissal.

In September of 2011, Nielsen filed a claim against the City of Eureka for damages in excess of $10,000, saying the City breached its employment agreement with him by failing to evaluate his performance consistent with City personnel policies before terminating him, failing to grant his annual merit pay increase of 5% per year, failing to review his annual compensation pursuant to his contract, and not affording other benefits accorded to management employees.

The City of Eureka currently remains without a permanent Chief of Police.  50-year EPD veteran Murl Harpham has been acting interim chief until the City finds a replacement through its ongoing recruitment, a  process that was expected to be completed within six months of Nielsen’s termination under City Manager Tyson’s direction.

Eureka City Manager David Tyson, meanwhile, announced he will be resigning December 31, 2012, after working for the city for 23 years.  Mr. Tyson has been city manager since 2000.

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Eureka, Local4 Comments

Masonic Ritual To Rededicate Eureka City Hall Cornerstone

Commemoration to recognize cornerstone from original 1904 building

 

Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel

 

The Worshipful Master is conducting a a Mystery for Eureka City Hall — with the full blessings of local government.

The official reason isn’t much of a mystery; the cornerstone of Eureka City Hall is being commemorated as part of a new monument to the legacy of the old Eureka City Hall building, which used to stand at the southwest corner of Third and G Street in Old Town.

The cornerstone bears the marking “A.D. 1904″ to memorialize the original dedication on Nov. 26, 1904 at the northeast corner of the building, which according to Masonic ritual is the proper place to begin the building of the “spiritual superstructure.”

Back then, as now, the ceremony was conducted by the local Masonic Lodge in a full ritual; the event coming up will be conducted by the Grand Lodge of California and its Grand Master, the “Most Worshipful” Frank Loui.

According to Eureka Mainstreet assistant director Amanda Robbins, the cornerstone of the now-torn down 1904 City Hall was only saved at the insistence of the Masons, and was preserved in the collection of the Clarke Historical Museum.

“This stone is Madera county granite, 30 inches square and 9 1/2 inches thick, bearing on one of its two dresses faces, cut deeply into the stone, the simply inscription ‘A.D., 1904.’” — Humboldt Standard, November 25, 1904.

Mainstreet is teaming up with the Eureka Heritage Society, the City of Eureka and the Masons to throw the rededication ceremony on Saturday, May 19 at 11:00 a.m. at the corner of Third and G Street, where the groups also hope to install a historic landmark plaque.

Posted in Eureka0 Comments

Eureka Approves Chamber Funding, Balks On Mainstreet

Vice Mayor questions whether Mainstreet can feed on General Fund teet

 

By Charles Douglas
Humboldt Sentinel

 

The Eureka Chamber of Commerce will continue to be subsidized by the City of Eureka — but not necessarily so for Eureka Mainstreet.

In another in a long line of split decisions with Second Ward Councilmember Linda Atkins casting the lone ‘no,’ the City Council passed on a 4-1 vote the approximately $135,000 subsidy for the Greater Eureka Chamber of Commerce. Third Ward Councilmember Mike Newman, who made the prevailing motion, was the chair of the CoC when he ran for office in 2010.

The amount is equivalent to 7.5% of the transient occupancy tax charged on hotel room bills in Eureka — a standard level of funding, according to CoC executive director Jay Hockaday.

“Our primary function is to attract and engage visitors from our of the area and convince them to stay that one day longer,” he said.

Jeff Lamoree of the Sequoia Park Zoo Foundation also spoke up for the Chamber’s work, but Atkins remained unconvinced due to conflict of interest concerns.

“I won’t be able to support this because of the political nature of the Chamber of Commerce, and I don’t believe public money should be used to support their programs,” she said.

When it came to the concept of subsidizing Eureka Mainstreet directly out of the General Fund, the Council sang a different tune — led once more by Vice Mayor and Fourth Ward Councilmember Melinda Ciarabellini, who cast the deciding vote to kill the Waterfront Drive extension project last month.

She said it made sense to fund the tourism and business improvement program for Old Town and Downtown out of Redevelopment funds; but with the state-mandated dissolution of the agency earlier this year, Ciarabellini suggested increasing the Mainstreet assessment on businesses within its district as a more appropriate funding source.

“Without Redevelopment funding, this program is now competing for General Fund dollars, and we have to pay for essential services,” she said. “I don’t think we should in our discussions just assume that we’re going to assume the full cost.”

Eureka Mainstreet sought the same $90,600 from the General Fund as used to be provided by the former Eureka Redevelopment Agency, which covers about 60% of their operating budget. While the Council technically voted 5-0 to allow their request to enter the 2012-13 budget cycle, the motion by Ciarabellini and Fifth Ward Councilmember Lance Madsen mandated that city staff and Mainstreet explore other funding sources such as grants and a hike in the Business Improvement District assessment. They also requested that Mainstreet executive director Charlotte McDonald submit a detailed budget for the program, which she promptly agreed to do.

“I think this is the finest program that we have ever had,” Eureka Mainstreet president Barbara Maxon said. “This would be a terrible thing that this would not be able to continue.”

First Ward Councilmember Marian Brady took exception to any attempt to restrict city funding to McDonald, who’s “almost doing five jobs,” and said Mainstreet was always on top of problems in Old Town.

“What’s going into the General Fund is millions of dollars in transient occupancy taxes…it’s kind of disingenuous to say we’re just taking it out of the General Fund,” Brady said.

Atkins retorted by recalling the days before the Measure O sales tax hike passed when the Council was cutting basic services.

“$90,000 is a huge amount of money when you don’t have any,” she said just before the vote.

 

Posted in Eureka, Politics2 Comments

Girl Found Naked, Beaten In Highland Park

Outraged mother: “I don’t think anybody’s youth is safe here”

 

Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel

 

An emotionally distraught mother is outraged after she says her 16-year old daughter was beaten, stripped of her clothes, and tormented by a group of teens at Eureka’s Highland Park on Sunday night, according to KIEM-NEWS TV.

The victim’s mother called 911 Sunday night, April 29, to report that her teenage daughter was missing.  Later that night she received a frantic call from her daughter who said she had been assaulted and stripped naked.

The daughter said she was carried by the teen youths after an underage drinking party and forcibly brought ‘around the corner’ from Highland Park to an adjacent children’s playground area where she was allegedly assaulted.

The victim had her clothes demanded of her and reportedly refused to do so.   She was told that unless she took off her clothes she “would be beaten to death,” according to her mother.

The victim said a group of juvenile girls assaulted and ultimately stripped her of clothing– while a larger group of 14-15 teen boys watched nearby.

The victim reportedly was beaten about the face, suffered swelling and bruises, and had her hand broken during the violent incident.

“My baby was found up here, naked and beaten,” the mother tearfully told KIEM-News TV reporter Kelly May on Monday, breaking into sobs.  “She doesn’t look the same.”

Clothes from the victim were retrieved at the park Monday morning.

Police said the victim is refusing to identify the teens involved because she is afraid and in ‘fear for her life.’

“She was too scared.  She had to give them her pants, so she gave them her pants and they took her shirt, too,” the mother said.

The victim’s mother believes an adult was hosting the underage drinking party.  She said that she wants to press charges against the unidentified juveniles who assaulted her daughter and the unnamed adult involved.

“It’s not safe here.  I don’t think anybody’s youth is safe here,” the victim’s mother tearfully added.

The Eureka Police Department has not commented on the alleged assault nor released any further details about the incident to the public.

(Note: Names have been omitted for privacy concerns.)

Posted by Skippy Massey

Posted in Crime, Eureka3 Comments

EPD Seeks Man Attempting To Abduct 13-Year-Old

Zane Junior High School student approached on two different occasions

 

Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel

 

Eureka police are on the lookout for an unidentified male who allegedly tried twice last week to lure a 13-year-old girl into his vehicle.

It started on Tuesday, Apr. 24 at about 4:45 p.m. when the juvenile was walking home from Zane Junior High; just up S Street from the school at the intersection with Buhne, the suspect was parked in his vehicle. According to the testimony of the girl, the man began circling the juvenile with his car and followed her to the vicinity of Harris and K Street where he asked her to get into his car.

The scenario re-occured on Friday at about 7:15 a.m. near S and Buhne Street while the girl was walking to school; the suspect was parked in his vehicle there again and asked the juvenile to get into his car. According to the story given to the Eureka Police Department, the male motioned and “smiled” for her to get into his vehicle on both occasions; the man was not known by the girl.

Police describe the suspect as a Hispanic male adult in his early 20s with short black hair and a light complexion, shorter with a small build and without any visible tattoos or facial hair. He was last seen wearing a black tank top and driving a compact, black 4-door sedan. The vehicle was described as “newer and curvier” with a small dent near the passenger side headlight, but otherwise “very clean.” The girl also told police that the car had California license plates on Tuesday, but had no plates visible on Friday.

Extra patrol checks in the vicinity have been deployed, and the EPD school resource officer is investigating the incidents — members of the public with information about this incident are asked to call officer Chris Jenkins at (707) 476-1600.

The Eureka Police Department advises parents to talk to their children about stranger safety.  EPD offers the following safety tips for parents and children in regards to this incident:

“Children should be advised to NEVER approach or get into a vehicle with grownups they don’t know or only “kind of” know. They should never go anywhere with anyone unless they ask their parent/caretaker first.

Children should also not give out any personal information (name, age, school, address etc.) about him or herself without their parents’ permission

EPD also encourages all young children to be accompanied by a responsible adult when walking to school or to a friend’s house etc. Older youth not accompanied by adults should walk in pairs and/or small groups for added safety.

Children who are alone or isolated are more vulnerable to someone who means them harm.

Children should report any suspicious persons following or attempting to communicate with them to their teachers, parents, and local law enforcement agency.”

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Crime, Eureka, Local3 Comments

Wild Car Chase Lands Probationer In County Pokey

Bayside resident Ryan Engebretson a repeated DUI offender

 

Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel

 

A local man on probation for repeated driving under the influence convictions was apparently up to his old tricks again in a multi-car collision on Broadway last Tuesday.

On Tuesday, April 24 at about 3:15 p.m. EPD Officers were dispatched to a hit and run collision that just occurred in the vicinity of the 4200 block of Broadway. It was reported that a red station wagon collided with two cars, then fled the scene. The suspect and vehicle were last reported to be in the parking lot at the Bayshore Mall.

It was later determined that while the suspect vehicle was at the Bayshore Mall it collided into two more vehicles and ran over a parked motorcycle. The suspect, later identified as Ryan Engebretson, 34, of Bayside, left the mall and headed northbound on Broadway.

An officer saw a red station wagon with a left front flat tire traveling at about 70 MPH northbound on Broadway at Del Norte. The officer turned around and attempted to make a traffic stop on the vehicle. The vehicle slowed briefly but then accelerated away northbound on Broadway passing Wabash. Engebretson swerved in and out of traffic and eventually collided with a vehicle that was stopped in traffic southbound on Broadway near Grant Street.

Engebretson immediately got out of his vehicle with an open beer in hand. He refused to comply with officers’ commands and began approaching two District Attorney Office investigators who stopped to assist. While approaching the investigators, Engebretson dropped the beer and began to produce a pocket knife.

The investigators and officers tackled Engebretson in an attempt to disarm him and take him into custody. Engebretson actively resisted while making several bizarre statements. After an extensive struggle officers took Engebretson into custody. An ambulance was summoned to transport Engebretson to the hospital to be medically cleared before booking.

Engebretson was found to be driving with a suspended driver’s license (suspended for DUI), and on probation for DUI with the stipulation that he obey all laws, violate no criminal statutes, not drive after consuming alcohol, and not drive without a valid license and insurance. In total Engebretson collided into six vehicles.

Engebretson was cleared by the hospital and booked into jail on the following charges:

-Felony evading a peace officer

-Assault on a peace officer

-Threats to a peace officer

-Resisting arrest

-Possession of concentrated cannabis

-Driving under the influence of alcohol / drugs

-Hit and run (five counts)

-Driving while suspended

-Probation violation

Posted in Crime, Eureka0 Comments

Domestic Ax Attack Sends Husband To Jail

Ted Lewis, in need of his keys, instead held on $50k bail

 

Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel

 

A Eureka man was sent to jail yesterday after reportedly chasing his wife with an ax.

At about 4 p.m. Tuesday, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office was notified of a domestic disturbance in progress occurring in the 3600 block of Union Street.

When deputies arrived on scene the suspect, identified as 76-year-old Ted Lewis, met with them at the driveway to the residence; deputies detained him without incident. The cops spoke with the victim and a witness who told them Lewis and his wife got into an argument over keys. Lewis pushed the wife to the ground twice, and then picked up a double bladed ax. He told the victim he was going to use it on her if she failed to give him keys and swung it at the victim towards the torso area nearly striking her. The victim was able to step back to avoid being struck by the ax.

Lewis then began striking the victims car parked in the driveway with the ax causing significant damage to the vehicle.

At one point during the assault the witness intervened and was punched by Lewis in the chest. The victim and witness were uninjured during the assault.

Deputies arrested Lewis for assault with a deadly weapon and domestic violence. He was booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility. His bail was set at $50,000.00.

Posted in Crime, Eureka1 Comment

Third Street Heroin House Raided

Four addicts arrested, 3-year-old girl rescued

 

Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel

 

The troubled neighborhood just east of the Humboldt County Library saw another drug house go down after Eureka Police Department personnel conducted a raid today.

At about 11:30 a.m. today, investigators with the EPD Problem Oriented Policing unit served a narcotic sales-related warrant at a house on the 1700 block of Third Street — according to sergeant Steve Watson in a press statement, POP was tipped off by reports of heroin dealing around the residence and at the nearby Patriot gas station.

Finding residents refusing to open the front door, the cops forced it open and detained four adults inside; additionally, the found a 3-year-old girl. Their search uncovered several grams of tar heroin along with the usual assortment of drug use paraphernalia and materials indicating drug sales such as multiple gram scales, packaging, hypodermic syringes and cooker spoons.

According to the reporting officers, several local persons called the house during their investigation, allegedly seeking to purchase heroin from the residents.

The primary tenant, 33-year-old Kiranseet Singh Saini of Mumbai, India (mistakenly called by its former name of “Bombay” by the EPD), was arrested and sent to county jail on drug house charges; he was also booked on child endangerment as it was his daughter in the home. The unnamed juvenile was placed with Child Welfare Services.

Also arrested and sent to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility were two unnamed adult females staying in the home, who were busted on a prior warrant and on possession of drug paraphernalia.

The fourth arrest, 47-year-old Larry Seminoff, was arrested on possession of heroin for sale, possession of paraphernalia and unlawful possession of a deadly weapon — an improvised slingshot.

The property owner was contacted and provided with the EPD version of events — eviction proceedings are expected to immediately follow.

Posted in Crime, Eureka0 Comments

Drunks Kicked Out Of Cab And Arrested

Lawrence Olson, Jennifer McClaren hauled for jail after getting in fight

 

Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel

 

A late-night cab fight led to the arrest of a Eureka couple too deep in their drinks.

At about 3 a.m. this morning, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office got word from a local cab company that one of their drivers kicked a man and a woman out of a company vehicle near Hoover and Myrtle Avenue; allegedly the cab had picked them up from a nearby bar (presumably the Myrtlewood Lounge), after which they had begun fighting in the back of the cab.

When HCSO personnel arrived, they located a man matching the description provided by the cabbie, who was identified as 26-year-old Lawrence Jay Olson of Eureka. The suspect appeared intoxicated, according to a press statement by lieutenant Steve Knight, but the man denied being in an altercation with a female, who wasn’t present during the initial encounter.

When the HCSO deputy offered Olson a ride and the man accepted, the cop patted down Olson for weapons prior to putting him in his patrol car — Olson then admitted that he had a .380 caliber semi-automatic handgun in his back pocket.

After the weapon was seized and Olson placed in the back of the patrol car, a female arrived and began yelling at Olson. A second HCSO unit arrived and the female, also allegedly intoxicated, was instructed to step back. Instead, she stood in front of the patrol car as the first deputy attempted to drive Olson to jail.

At this point the woman, identified as 25-year-old Jennifer Cheri McClaren of Eureka, was arrested for public intoxication and interfering with a police officer. She was taken to jail in a separate patrol car, and after sobering up, she was booked and released on her own recognizance.

While Olson was on his way to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility, he allegedly kicked out the back window of the patrol car; a charge of felony vandalism was tacked on to charges of carrying a concealed firearm and public intoxication. His bail was set at $25,000.

Posted in Crime, Eureka0 Comments

Jefferson Park Awarded Over $3 Million

Celebration set for Friday at Eureka’s Jefferson School

 

Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel

 

From the Westside Community Improvement Association press release:

In August 2010 the Eureka City Council voted unanimously to pursue the conversion of Jefferson School into a Public Park and Community Recreation Facility as a Redevelopment project.  With the future of State Redevelopment Agencies so unsure, the City was not able to risk continuing with the plan.

In April of 2011, Westside Community Improvement Association, formally, the City’s Jefferson Committee became the successful bidder for the School site.

In June of 2011, Bill Rodstrom, Senior Planner for Redwood Community Action Agency contacted Heidi Benzonelli, President of WCIA and said “look at this funding opportunity, it looks like it was written for your project, I think we can write this.”  With less than 3 weeks ‘til deadline, Bill, Heidi and Richard Evans, Vice President of WCIA, pulled out all the stops and were able to utilize the City’s investment in planning, engineering, community scoping meetings, and develop the community’s wishes for this site into a proposal for the Jefferson Park and Community Recreation Facility.

In July 2011, escrow closed and Westside Community Improvement Association (formally the City’s Jefferson Committee) was able to secure the land.

Redwood Community Action Agency agreed to partner with the budding non-profit and help pursue the goals of preserving this 2 acre site for public use, revitalizing a neighborhood in blight and restoring common ground to the Westside.

A series of site visits and complicated grant and budget revisions ensued and once again the community came together. Songmi Sweet of Umpqua Bank, Praj White of Manhard Consulting, Marco Luna from the Humboldt County Sherriff office, Linda Atkins of Eureka City Council and actually, everyone who was asked, came to the school to show their support and offer their expertise to see this project to success. “Senator Noreen Evans and Assemblyman Wesly Chesbro both wrote letters supporting our efforts. The Office of Grants and Local Services was clearly  impressed and agreed with Bill Rodstrom, this funding was meant for projects just like this.”

And on March 28th, 2012 Statewide Park Development and Community Revitalization Program awarded Westside Community Improvement Association $3,305,560 to create the new Jefferson Park and Community Center in the City of Eureka through the acquisition and development of the 2 acre parcel. Plans include a playground, garden, walking paths, basketball courts, bocce courts, a public park, restrooms and parking and renovate the existing north building and portables for a community resource library, multi-purpose room, infant/toddler center, community recreation room, kitchen and restrooms.

The grant application states “parks are unique places where children can play, people can exercise, families can bond, seniors can socialize, youth can be mentored, cultures can share and celebrate their differences, and everyone can connect with nature. For these reasons, vibrant parks funded by this program will be a cost-effective means of creating humane, livable communities.”

We can not agree more!

Please join us for a press conference and community celebration beginning at 12:00 noon on Friday April 13th at Jefferson School, 1000 B Street, Eureka.

* * * * * * * *

History of the Jefferson School Project and the Westside Community Improvement Association

In 2005 due to declining citywide enrollment, Eureka City Schools closed Jefferson School, the heart of the Westside of Eureka.  Eureka’s Westside is the lowest income and highest ethnically diverse section of our city.  The Jefferson playground for over 70 years served as a place for the children to play, for families to meet, where cultural differences were shared, where conflicts were resolved and social development occurred.  When the school was closed the playground was locked. The school building fell into a state of disrepair and often vandalized. Without a park or play round the children of the Westside have only the streets and allies to play in.

The Westside holds an estimated 3,848 citizens within a half mile of Jefferson School. The number of youth is estimated at 860. It is the most densely populated neighborhood in Eureka.  Without Jefferson School and playground  there are no recreational activities or places to encourage healthy socializing. The lack of any common space can affect the heath and well-being of every resident from parents seeking a safe place to stroll with infants, young people craving recreation, to seniors and the handicapped needing exercise and companionship.

For 6 years, a group of concerned Westside residents now known as the Westside Community Improvement Association (WCIA) has held meetings and planning sessions to revitalize this neighborhood facility and convert the abandoned asphalt schoolyard into a project known as the Jefferson Park and Community Center. The  Redwood Community Action Agency ( RCAA) has supported this endeavor from the outset and the Department of Public Health has used our project as a model to present how health impact assessments can improve a projects design to benefit the community In 2011 our  group was able to raise enough money and secure financing to purchase the site.

The Westside Community Improvement Association  (WCIA) is  now in the phase of revitalizing the site, conducting  clean up parties , planning  meetings, and fundraising events. WCIA has been awarded several planning and scoping grants from local agencies and we are seeking support from California’s Pop 84 Grants for the creation of new parks.

We on the Westside are excited to be moving  forward with many committed community partners, and a well developed plan. The sense of community is growing as the realization of just how transformative a park, playground, and community center  will be to the children, elders, and families of this long neglected neighborhood.

To find out how you can help, please go to our How You Can Help page.

* * * * * * * *

Local community comments regarding the recent $3.3 million Jefferson Park and Community Center award can be found here.

(posted by Skippy Massey for the Humboldt Sentinel)

Posted in Eureka1 Comment

Harris Street Drug House Goes Down

POP rakes in nearly $7k, two adults to jail and one girl to juvie

 

Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel

 

Another day, another big drug bust by the Problem Oriented Policing unit.

At 10:30 a.m. this morning, the Eureka Police Department raided a home on the 100 block of Harris Street just west of Henderson Center, forcing open the door and detaining three adults and one juvenile, a 17-year-old girl. Inside the home was a cornucopia of drugs, paraphernalia and cash.

Taken in the warrant search were nine grams of tar heroin, a digital gram scale and drug packaging materials, aluminum foil used to smoke heroin, about three ounces of bud and $6,933 in cash, the later of which was turned over to the Humboldt County Drug Task Force for asset forfeiture proceedings.

According to EPD sergeant Steve Watson in a release, the 17-year-old female admitted to having contraband on her person, and investigators recovered 4.5 grams of crystal meth and a dozen non-prescribed Suboxone pills. The girl was arrested on a charge of possession of controlled substance for sale and transported to Humboldt County Juvenile Hall. Her name was not released due to being a minor.

Also arrested was 19-year-old Tyler William Abbott, who was booked into county jail on drug possession for sale, possession of drug paraphernalia and contributing to the delinquency of a minor charges. He was also booked on a previous outstanding warrant. Evidently Abbot had been dating the girl for over two years, and they co-habitated the Harris Street residence, leading EPD to request an additional charge of child endangerment be considered by the District Attorney.

Although not a resident, 20-year-old Markis Caprice Dewayne Shirley was arrested and transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility on two outstanding felony drug sales warrants; jail staff found a small quantity of heroin, marijuana, and several Suboxone pills concealed in Shirley’s undergarments, which will likely result in an additional felony charge of bringing a controlled substance into a correctional facility.

The fourth detainee, an adult female on active parole, was released after she was not found to be in possession of any contraband.

Posted in Crime, Eureka1 Comment

Two Men Caught Aiding Kids’ Boozing

ABC, EPD team up to entrap random patrons with decoys

Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel

The scourge of alcohol in the hands of the under-21 set was yet again combated by the Eureka Police Department last week.

In conjunction with the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, two local men were cited on Friday for furnishing alcoholic beverages to minors.

EPD and ABC once more utilized the controversial and possibly entrapping tactic of the ‘decoy shoulder tap’ where they set up random liquor or convenience store patrons for the fall, using a minor under police surveillance  to ask for the wicked booze.

“The minor indicates in some way that he or she is underage and cannot purchase the alcohol,” EPD patrolman Ed Wilson stated in a release.

Nabbed in the sting were 39-year-old Damon Reed Stockton and 33-year-old Joshua Kurt Ward, both of Eureka. They face a minimum penalty of $1000 and 24 hours of community service.

The decoy ploy is part of a federally-funded program routed through the California Office of Traffic Safety by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration — in other words, your gas tax at work.

Posted in Crime, Eureka2 Comments

Eureka Police Target Arts Alive!

‘Zero tolerance’ of open containers at city’s most popular event

Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel

 

According to Eureka Police Department sergeant Patrick O’Neill, Arts Alive! is a nuisance to be cracked down on.

Late last night, EPD put out word that a new policy would be inflicted on the city’s most successful public arts and music event, held the first Saturday of every month in Old Town — and the impetus was a couple of juvenile delinquents who were caught in an intoxicated state.

At about 8:38 p.m. last night, the cops were sweeping the Boardwalk when they came upon several juveniles, two of whom were taken into custody due to their apparent intoxication and possession of booze and pot. They were taken to EPD and cited before being released to related adults.

EPD claims there are rising complaints of such ‘nuisance complaints’ during Arts Alive! including vandalism and physical fights. Although they didn’t point to any direct evidence of this from prior events, the police claim that a single fight broken up Saturday night justified this characterization. At about 9:07 p.m., cops once more on the Boardwalk found several subjects brawling in front of a crowd of about 20 spectators — with zero arrests made.

“In an attempt to curb this increasing problem, the Eureka Police Department will be continuing its enforcement efforts and also taking a zero tolerance stance for alcohol related offences [sic] (open containers, possession of alcohol by juveniles, public intoxication, etc),” O’Neill stated in a release.

EPD also made sure to note that parents ought to know where their children are, what they’re doing, and why they shouldn’t drink.

Posted in Crime, Eureka, Scene5 Comments

UPDATED: Stakeout Uncovers Meth, Coke And Guns

Israel Bazan popped by Eureka’s POP unit

 

Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel

 

UPDATE: An earlier version of this story quoted an incorrect statement from the Eureka Police Department alleging that Nathan David Stancliff was booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility. Stancliff was detained, posted bond, and was never incarcerated and is now free on his own recognizance. We apologize for the error.

A Mexican national is behind bars after a Eureka Police Department investigation led to a raid in a local trailer park.

It all started with a Problem Oriented Policing unit stakeout on a mobile home on the 700 block of Sea Avenue yesterday. According to EPD sergeant Steve Watson in a release, this was part of an on-going surveillance of 39-year-old Israel Chavez Bazan, originally of Michaocan, Mexico.

The POP detective said he saw a black 4-door Kia sedan leave the trailer, and upon following it, he conducted a traffic stop on the 3300 block of Broadway, supposedly due to a vehicle code violation.

According to the cop, he smelled the odor of processed pot while speaking with the driver, 35-year-old Nathan David Stancliff. Upon a search, police allegedly located about seven pounds of processed pot in individual one-pound bags. The driver was detained and later released on a posted bond without being incarcerated.

Using their amassed evidence, the EPD obtained a search warrant for Bazan’s trailer, and served it in tandem with deputies from the Community Response Unit of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office. First securing the residence while Bazan was away, the cops later on Wednesday stopped and detained him when he drove up.

The police search of Bazan’s bedroom turned up 39 grams of methamphetamine, 12 grams of rock cocaine, five pounds of bud and other drug sales evidence such as drug packaging materials, a digital gram scale and two large MSM tubs — which the cops allege is a common meth cutting agent used to increase profits. They also found a nine millimeter Ruger semi-automatic pistol, along with ammunition and two magazines, hidden inside a stereo speaker in a storage shed. Approximately $1,600 in cash was taken from Bazan’s person and residence.

Bazan was booked into the HCCF on possession of controlled substances for sale, and being armed in the process, with bail set at $50,000.

 

Posted in Crime, Eureka0 Comments

Green Light For New Brewery Site

Eureka Council votes 5-0 to rezone cemetery-side “weed-filled lot”

 

By Thomas Bradshaw
Humboldt Sentinel

 

Lost Coast Brewery may well continue brewing their craft ales in Eureka after all.

A packed house at Eureka City Hall tonight encouraged a unanimous vote by Councilmembers to approve a zoning change in LCBs favor.

The property on the south side of a cemetery along Highway 101 was zoned public, and a few of the neighbors wished to keep it that way — along with the ocean views they enjoyed over the fallow parcel.

Their views were overwhelmed by in-person appearances from a who’s who of local business people, economic development gurus and even a letter from Humboldt County Supervisors Jimmy Smith and Virginia Bass, all of whom were enthusiastic about the proposal.

“The cemetery properties have been in discussion for years,” Peter Oringer, Marketing Committee chair for the Humboldt County Convention and Visitors Bureau, told the Council. “Most of us know Barbara and know how much she invests her time and efforts in the community.”

Oringer was referring to Barbara Groom, the owner of LCB and applicant for the zone reclassification and General Plan amendment. She was in the audience for the vote, but let her project managers and numerous supporters do the talking; LACO Associates, the consulting firm leading the design for the project along with architect Julian Berg, re-drafted their plans after an earlier version was shot down by the Eureka Planning Commission last year.

While the LCB brewpup downtown will be unaffected by the project, the actual brewing facility on the west end of Third Street has outgrown its facility, and bureaucratic opposition from the Coastal Commission has precluded any expansion there. The new spot will grow from a simple industrial brewing plant to also include tours, a gift shop and a tasting room designed to appeal to out-of-county visitors.

Tim and Donna Dougherty pleaded with the Council to make the LCB move to the northern part of the parcel, which would dramatically increase the site design expenses due to the steep and hilly nature of the area. Tim Dougherty said he’d developed nearby affordable housing and would see “devastating” losses to his property values, even threatening legal action against the developer if the city moved forward.

“We are the ones who are totally affected by this,” he said. “They are getting the benefit and we are paying the entire cost.”

Yet this point was parried by Larry Doss, who is a neighboring land owner to the LCB parcel. He claimed that property values would stay level or even increase due to the infrastructure improvements brought about by the project, including increased connectivity to the sewer system.

“I am concerned about a few choices, but I’m more concerned about the jobs,” Doss said.

The new project promises to create 30 jobs directly, which would translate into the indirect creation of 100 more according to Humboldt County Economic Development Coordinator Jacqueline Debets. This point alone tipped the balance for most of the elected representatives on the dias.

“I’m convinced that the staff has done a tremendous and thorough job in reviewing his project,” Vice Mayor Melinda Ciarabellini said.

Councilmember Marian Brady went further, dismissing the complaints of neighbors having a view of a “weed-filled lot” taken away.

“I think some of those claims get a little bit exaggerated,” she said.

The Council voted 5-0 in favor of a motion made by Mike Newman and seconded by Linda Atkins to rezone the property, formerly belonging to the Catholic Church, from Public to Service Commercial.

The Planning Commission’s approval of a Conditional Use Permit for the actual construction of the brewery will not come to the Council unless appealed by a local resident. The LCB building will also have to undergo Design Review Commission hearings on the site specifics.

Posted in Eureka, Politics1 Comment

First Arrest Made Under Anti-Occupy Ordinance

Patricia Kanzler busted for hanging a sign

 

Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel

 

Hang a sign, get booked into jail!

That’s the new law at the Humboldt County Courthouse, as enforced by Sheriff Mike Downey yesterday.

According to a release from his office, he met with protestors from Occupy Eureka in front of the courthouse at 10 a.m. on Mar. 28 to notify them of their peril if they continued to spread their message via sheets and cardboard affixed to the chain link fence — the same one cordoning off the long-since repaired vegetation of the courthouse lawn after the Occupy encampment was expelled late last year.

Downey’s actions were based on the now officially numbered Urgency Ordinance #2477, passed by a 4-1 vote of the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday with only three days of public notice and without a second reading. A new section of county code makes it a crime “to secure any object to county property…including use of any weighted or self-stabilized object.” Not only would this appear to make camera tripods used by the media illegal, but this also specifically targets the use of signs at the moment that they aren’t being held up by a person.

After passing out copies of the ordinance Wednesday, Downey gave Occupy Eureka until 4 p.m. to remove their belongings from courthouse property, including the signs on the fence. After the deadline passed, HCSO deputies and investigators from the Humboldt County District Attorney’s office descended on the protestors.

When they arrived, however, they found a group of protestors who had mostly adjusted to the new rules by moving their table and chairs to the sidewalk, which is technically off of the courthouse property and thus not covered by Ordinance #2477. The signs, however, were still on the fence, and some tarps and other personal property items were still over the line. The cops proceeded to tell the group that the property would be confiscated as abandoned if left unclaimed.

Once the deputies started to remove signs, 59-year-old Patricia Ann Kanzler of Eureka (pictured at right, courtesy James Decker) allegedly put a sign back on the fence. After being told to remove the sign and refusing to do so, she was arrested and booked into county jail for violating the ordinance, a misdemeanor offense carrying a $5,000 bail levy. She was released later that evening.

Ordinance #2477 also bans camping at the courthouse and prohibits the storage of personal property on the grounds, including camp facilities and camp paraphernalia, construction materials, tools, lumber, paint, tarps, tables, luggage and clothing. Occupy Eureka participants and other demonstrators are also not allowed to have any awning or windbreak no matter what the weather conditions.

Posted in Crime, Eureka, Politics1 Comment

Eureka City Schools Announces New Superintendent

Humboldt County native Fred Van Vleck to be appointed Mar. 21

 

Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel

 

After nearly a year without a permanent leader, Eureka City Schools is set to bring in a new superintendent for Humboldt County’s largest school district.

Dr. Fred Van Vleck, the assistant superintendent of business services for Ceres Unified School District in Stanislaus County, has been identified as the finalist in a statement today by ECS school board president John Fullerton. Negotiations for a final contract are in progress and Fullerton anticipates that the appointment will be made at the next regular Eureka School Board meeting on Mar 21.

“I am honored that the Board of Trustees has selected me to be Superintendent, and I am excited to move my family of five back home,” Van Vleck stated in a release. “I am especially proud to be part of this district that has maintained a high quality of education for all students.”

As a Humboldt County native, Van Vleck is excited at the prospect of returning to his roots — and school board members were particularly interested in choosing a candidate who is familiar with the mission, vision and core values of ECS. In a split decision late last year, the board voted 3-2 to hire Leadership Associates to conduct a full search for Superintendent candidates; consultants Jim Brown and Don Iglesias worked with elected representatives, parents, staff and community members to garner input as to the qualities sought in the person who would succeed Gregg Haulk, who served for over four years in the position before leaving last summer for a new superintendent gig in Huntington Beach.

The release did not mention what would become of Lee Ann Lanning, who served as interim superintendent since Haulk’s departure. She was obviously considered as a candidate, along with other internal and external contenders, although the choice became clearer after a team from ECS visited Van Vleck in Ceres.

“Dr. Van Vleck is an innovative leader and a proven team builder who honors all members of the educational community,” screening team member and music teacher David Demant said in a release. “When making the tough decisions that the future will surely present, we can count on him to hold our children’s best interests as his compass. The teachers in Eureka are thrilled to welcome him into our educational family.”

In his time at Ceres, Van Vleck also served as the founding principal of a new high school and the director of curriculum and instruction; prior to that, he served as an assistant principal and a teacher.

“I look forward to working with Eureka City Schools’ students, staff, and community as we strive to provide a high level of instruction where each child can learn and achieve his or her fullest potential,” Van Vleck stated.

As part of it’s continuing series entering its second year next month, the Sentinel produced gavel-to-gavel coverage of the Eureka School Board meeting on Nov. 2 when the Board decided to enter into the superintendent search process.

Posted in Eureka, Politics0 Comments

Parolee Wanted In Connection With Crash

Suspect allegedly made high speed getaway near Eureka Zoo

Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel

 

The Eureka Police Department is on the lookout for a felony parolee at large who may be connected with a chase ‘n crash on the east side of town today.

On Monday near the intersection of Hodgson Street and G Street, EPD personnel responded to a reported collision between a stolen Honda Civic and a parked car. It was discovered that the unknown driver fled from California Highway Patrol troopers at high speed near the Eureka Zoo, a pursuit which was discontinued by CHP for safety reasons. Just a little later, the Honda crashed into an occupied parked car on G Street.


According to witnesses at the scene, the unknown driver fled on foot, and police were unable to determine his whereabouts. Upon searching the stole car, several items of interest were discovered, including a cell phone; forensic analysis of the phone led law enforcement to connect the incident with 28-year-old Arlen Troy Brown.

So far, no luck for the cops — Brown is not in contact with his supervising agent (as he is on active felony-supervised county parole) and is wanted on a felony warrant for absconding. He is described as a Native American male, 5’11 and 190 pounds.

Members of the public with information on Brown’s whereabouts are asked to call EPD senior traffic officer Gary Whitmer at (707) 441-4232 or the Problem Oriented Policing unit at (707) 441-4373.

Posted in Crime, Eureka0 Comments

Special Operation Rescues Imperiled Shopping Carts

 Six arrested and 46 consumer conveyances liberated

 

Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel

 

Several dozen shopping carts will be sleeping safely back in their parking lot racks, thanks to a “citywide special operation” conducted by the Eureka Police Department today.

Various businesses, presumably of the supermarket and big box store variety, have complained about the continual theft of their carts. Multiple officers swept across town in an attempt to recover them, according to a press statement by EPD detective Terry Liles.


Their efforts netted 46 shopping carts which were allegedly purloined, and six subjects were taken into custody on possession of stolen property charges. The estimated value of the catch topped $9,200.

“The Eureka Police Department would like to remind citizens that the shopping carts are the property of the business providing them for their customers use and they should not be taken off the private property of the business, without the managements consent,” Liles stated.

Posted in Crime, Eureka8 Comments

Bacon Factor: Pot-Motorcycle Trade Leads To Meth Bust

Alleged swap deal leads to 300-pound & 49 gram find at home

 

Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel

 

Two men spent a short time in county jail today after their attempt to buy a motorcycle with pounds of marijuana bud led to a big methamphetamine find at their home.

It all started at about 9:30 a.m. this morning, when a deputy sheriff working undercover met with two suspects at the corner of F Street and Harris Street in Eureka. In line with his duties as part of the Community Response Unit of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, the deputy arranged the meeting after 41-year-old Eureka resident Jason Cecil Bacon called an online ad for a used motorcycle.


It turned out that the seller, who was asked to accept $8,000 worth of cannabis bud for the motorcycle, was a non-sworn employee of the HCSO. The seller turned the case over to the CRU and they set up the exchange.

When the undercover cop met Jason Bacon in the parking lot, he was taken to a pickup truck driven by the suspect’s father, 57-year-old Raymond Edison Bacon. There he was allegedly shown approximately one-and-a-half pounds of bud, according to a press statement by HCSO lieutenant Steve Knight. Upon seeing the pot, the deputy signaled other law enforcement nearby, including the Eureka Police Department’s Problem Oriented Policing unit, who drove into the parking lot and arrested the suspects.

After they were popped by POP, deputies obtained a Humboldt County Superior Court search warrant for the Bacon home, located on the 3600 block of Williams Street in Eureka. The CRU and POP coordinated a raid on the residence, where they found over 300 pounds of dried marijuana, 11 firearms (one of which was allegedly stolen), 49 grams of methamphetamine, two-and-a-half pounds of hash and a stolen quadrunner.

The father and son were booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility without further incident, and charged with cultivation and possession of marijuana for sale. Their bail was set at $25,000 — which they paid off, leaving the jail before additional charges could be filed in relation to the raid on their home. The case was sent to the District Attorney with a request to file additional charges of possession of concentrated cannabis, possession of methamphetamine for sale and possession of stolen property.

Members of the public with information for the HCSO regarding this case or related criminal activity are encouraged to call them at (707) 445-7251 or their Crime Tip line at (707) 268-2539.

Posted in Crime, Eureka0 Comments

Motorcyclist Popped For DUI; Passenger Injured

Michael Campbell arrested, Cara Banducci life-flighted out

 

Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel

 

A late night motorcycle ride along the bay ended in tragedy for both rider and passenger just as the new month began.

At about 1 a.m. this morning, Eureka Police Department, Eureka Fire Department and City Ambulance personnel responded to a reported solo motorcycle collision on Waterfront Drive near the public marina. They found two occupants down in the roadway.

Both the driver, 41-year-old Michael Campbell of Eureka, and his passenger, 30-year-old Cara Banducci of Eureka, were sent to a local hospital. The later’s injuries were life threatening and required a fly-out for further treatment at a larger medical facility; her condition is unknown as of press time.

According to a press statement by Gary Whitmer,  EPDs senior traffic officer, Campbell was treated for his injuries at the hospital, then hauled off to county jail and booked on felony drunk driving and unlicensed driving charges.

Members of the public who may have witnessed the collision are asked to call either Whitmer at (707) 441-4232 or EPD traffic officer Tim Jones at (707) 441-4109.

Posted in Crime, Eureka3 Comments

Ferndale Man Arrested After High-Speed Chase

 Morgan Wright accused of endangering underage girlfriend

 

Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel

 

A young man from Ferndale is in the slammer after his attempt to evade a traffic stop went arye.

At about 9 p.m. last night, a Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office patrol was headed north on Highway 101 near Thompkins Hill Road when he spotted a purple 2010 Hyundai Accent traveling at great speed. When the deputy caught up and activated his overhead lights, the sedan allegedly accelerated to over 100 miles per hour and exited the freeway at Herrick Road, skidding through the stop sign and back onto Broadway Avenue, entering the city limits of Eureka.


With sirens blaring, the patrolman pursued the vehicle north on Broadway, where they ran through several traffic lights before the driver headed up Harris Street and onto Central Avenue before skidding to a stop on a curb at the intersection of Soule Street and Allard Avenue.

According to a press statement by lieutenant Steve Knight, the driver, 20-year-old Morgan Donald Wright, jumped out of the car and ran on foot from the deputy, who caught up with him when he tripped and fell. Wright was taken into custody, and when his vehicle was searched, a 16-year-old girl was found, along with 11 grams of hash.

Wright was booked into county jail without further incident, and charged with felony evasion, resisting arrest, child endangerment, transportation of marijuana and possession of concentrated cannabis. His bail is $50,000.

The Eureka Police Department arrived on scene and contacted the passenger, who was eventually released to her mother.

Members of the public with information regarding this case or related criminal related activity are encouraged to call the HCSO at (707) 445-7251 or their Crime Tip line at (707) 268-2539.

Posted in Crime, Eureka1 Comment

Ragg’s Rack Room Busted

Bartender, Five Patrons Taken Down

Decoys Pop Two Other Establishments

 

Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel

 

A local pool hall drawing complaints of disorderly conduct, fights and assaults received a visit from undercover cops this weekend.

At about 1:17 a.m. early Saturday, the Eureka Police Department teamed up with the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to deploy “plain clothes enforcement” personnel to Ragg’s Rack Room on Fifth Street. Not surprisingly, the investigators saw drunk people — however in this case, the patrons were being served even while having difficulty navigating the barroom itself, a violation of state law.

After sitting around through last call to observe the “numerous extremely intoxicated individuals in and about the business,” EPD arrested five patrons for public intoxication. They also charged the bartender, Eureka resident Stormy Marinella, with suspicion of serving an obviously intoxicated individual, a violation of California Business and Professions Code 25602(a). During her arrest search, the cops found Marinella to be in possession of prescription narcotics which did not belong to her.

With all six arrestees transported to county jail, the administrative investigation into Ragg’s by ABC is ongoing, according to the EPDs Ed Wilson.

This late-night bust came on the heels of an ABC sweep on Friday where 29 local businesses were subjected to undercover stings; the “minor decoy” tested whether store clerks would sell to an underage customer, while the “shoulder tap” sought adults who purchased alcohol for a minor upon request. The sweep was funded by a grant project from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Only one “shoulder tap” turned up an arrest, where a Eureka resident was popped for furnishing the decoy with an alcoholic beverage after being approached outside an area establishment. The suspect was cited and released with a notice to appear in Superior Court.

At the Patriot Gasoline station on Highway 101 near the south end of Eureka, as well as at Babetta’s Restaurant on Myrtle Avenue, minors were able to purchase alcohol, leading to the citation of those businesses’ employees. They face a maximum of a $250 fine and/or 24-32 hours of community service, while the establishments may face administrative action against their liquor license from ABC.

These 27 businesses passed the test– and did NOT furnish the decoy minor with alcohol:

1). Performance Fuels (1125 4th Street)
2). Shell Gasoline (1310 5th Street)
3). N&S Liquors (1505 5th Street)
4). Chevron (2806 Broadway)
5). Texaco (3505 Broadway)
6). Broadway Gas-N-Deli (4050 Broadway)
7). Performance Fuels (1007 Broadway)
8). Patriot Gasoline (1723 Broadway)
9). Stop and Shop Market (39 Wabash)
10). C&V Market (1634 F Street)
11). Handee Market (3500 F Street)
12). Harris and K Market (3103 K Street)
13). Harris Street Market (411 West Harris)
14). Shell Gasoline (1434 Myrtle Ave)
15). Gas-N-Go (1711 4th Street)
16). Courthouse Market (905 4th Street)
17). Fourth Street Shell (2111 4th Street)
18). Plaza 76 / Circle K (2480 6th Street)
19). 14th Street 76 (1411 Broadway)
20). California Market (2100 California)
21). Safeway (2555 Harris Street)
22). Walgreens (2525 Harris Street)
23). United Gas (1679 Myrtle Ave)
24). Three Corners Grocery (5945 Myrtle Ave)
25). Harris Street Shell (111 West Harris)
26). Round Table Pizza (2810 E Street)
27). Winco Foods (636 West Harris)

Posted in Crime, Eureka4 Comments

NOP Targets Old Town Ne’er-Do-Wells

Five arrested, nearly 1,000 pounds of garbage removed

 

Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel

 

Old Town got a bit cleaner today with the new Neighborhood Oriented Policing unit already swinging into action.

In cooperation with the Eureka Police Department’s Old Town Foot Patrol officer and others, NOP swept the greater business district in response to numerous complaints from residents and business owners. Primary targets on the hit list were public intoxication, prostitution, illegal dumping and unlawful camping.


Donavan Powers

By the end of the day, 15 suspects were cited on various code violations, with five arrests made, including one against a repeat offender that’s been arrested for causing mischief in Old Town before — Donavan Powers, 42, a Eureka transient whose prior convictions include child molestation. He also goes by the aliases of Donavan Anderson and Donavan Adairs.

Also arrested were 3o-year-old Robert Moon on an outstanding arrest warrant for resisting arrest and 34-year-old Jillian Burke on outstanding drug possession charges; 27-year-old Hamzah “Adam” Garay and 39-year-old Christopher Morgan were popped for violating the terms of their probation.

Just about 1,000 pounds of garbage were removed from an illegal campsite as well, according to a press statement by EPD sergeant Adam Laird.

Jillian Burke

Adam Garay

Christopher Morgan

Robert Moon

Posted in Crime, Eureka0 Comments

From POP To NOP

EPD position to focus on ‘quality of life’ complaints about growers, squatters and partiers

 

Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel

 

Taking down meth dealers and escaped parolees apparently isn’t enough for one Problem Oriented Policing officer.

The Eureka Police Department announced today that they’ve kicked off a new Neighborhood Oriented Policing program to compliment the POP unit — a force which has landed a number of high-profile busts across the city leading to the arrest of over a dozen suspects charged with serious or violent felonies. Interim Police Chief Murl Harpham stated in a release that the expansion was made possible by the transfer of a POP-assigned officer to become the new NOP investigator, along with a reserve officer also reassigned from POP to NOP.


Yet unlike the POP, the NOP doesn’t seem quite as interested in hard-core criminals.

POP served a search warrant on an Elizabeth Street house in 2010. Property was subsequently cleaned up with "problem tenants removed," according to EPD.

“Their primary focus will be on solving neighborhood nuisance, crime, and quality of life problems not sufficiently being addressed by standard patrol-based responses,” Harpham stated in a release today. “It is anticipated NOP will focus much of its attention on Eureka’s West Side, which has been the origin of many such complaints.”

Although complaints about Eureka’s “tweaker” problem, lack of pedestrian safety and a recent rash of robberies are ongoing, the NOP apparently looks to go after nonviolent, low-level violations such as loud parties with excessive noise, squatters in abandoned buildings, transient camps and “homeless issues,” not to mention the ubiquitous references to grow houses and medical cannabis.

Harpam also says the NOP will work as the enforcement arm of the City’s Community Improvement Team (which includes the City Attorney’s office and a building inspector from the Community Development Department), and will tackle all sorts of general “nuisance and quality of life problems.” They’ll even hold community-based meetings to “improve neighborhood health.”

The return of three EPD cops from overseas military deployment by the California Army National Guard was credited for freeing up the manpower needed for the NOP — as one of the returned officers has resumed his EPD duty as a POP unit member.

A NOP/POP investigator investigates a homeless camp behind the mall in December 2011.

Harpham anticipates that, given sufficient funding for increased staffing levels, the department will hire a full-time NOP investigator, and return the current NOP officer to his original duties in POP.

Posted in Crime, Eureka0 Comments

Coast Central Credit Union Robbed

Bayshore Mall branch’s cash grabbed by allegedly armed man

 

Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel

 

The Criminal Investigative Services unit of the Eureka Police Department is on the lookout for a suspect who robbed a local credit union at the Bayshore Mall today.

At about 3:33 p.m. today, a suspect approached a teller at the Coast Central Credit Union branch with a note stating that he was armed — although the exact words used are being withheld from the public for investigative purposes, according to a press statement by detective Ron Harpham.

Despite the fact that no weapon was seen, the teller complied with the note’s instructions and the suspect fled with an unknown amount of cash north in the Bayshore Mall interior towards Sears, then east through the exit hallway between Sears and the bank.

Witnesses describe the suspect as a 30-year-old white male, 150 pounds and about 5’5″ in height. He was also described as clean shaven with medium-length brown hair and black rimmed, square glasses. He was wearing a black ball cap, black leather dress jacket, a bluish button up shirt with a black tie, dark slacks and dark running shoes.

Members of the public who know the suspect or witnessed him, either at the mall or around town, are asked to contact Harpham at (707) 441-4305.

Posted in Crime, Eureka2 Comments

Couple Arrested By POP Unit

Suspect Nu Yang’s meth and $3,000 cash seized, along with his girlfriend

 

Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel

 

The Problem Oriented Policing unit of the Eureka Police Department rounded out January with another drug sales bust today.

During one of their narcotic sales investigations, POP detectives were tipped off concerning suspected methamphetamine sales by a 33-year-old Hmong male named Nu Yang. When contacted by phone by an undercover cop earlier today, Yang, a Eureka resident, expressed his willingness to meet up to sell meth, according to a press statement by sergeant Steve Watson.

Yang was found at about 3:30 p.m. outside a business on the 1600 block of Myrtle Avenue, dutifully arriving on-time with the presumed drug buyer. Arriving to meet him instead were a team of POP investigators, who located the suspect seated in his car. Yang was detained on suspicion of attempted controlled substance sales.

Yang’s girlfriend, 22-year-old Sierra Lee Camilli, was inside the business when detectives arrived and tried (but failed) to hied in the bathroom. She was arrested on an outstanding felony warrant, namely the revocation of her post-release community supervision agreement.

To handle the drug detection duties, EPD called in a K-9 handler with Maggie, the narcotic detection dog on duty. As the canine proceeded to sniff the exterior of Yang’s car, she suddenly diverted to where Yang was seated in the backseat of an EPD cruiser, alerting upon his person. The cops subsequently searched the suspect, locating a large plastic baggie containing 1.65 ounces of meth under Yang’s clothing. The drugs were seized, along with over $3,000 in cash as evidence of suspected illicit drug sales.

Both Camilli and Yang were transported to county jail; the later was booked on possession of a controlled substance for sale, transportation and attempted sale of a controlled substance, and felony conspiracy charges.

Members of the public with information concerning suspected drug sales activity occurring in Eureka are encouraged to call the POP unit at (707) 441-4373 or the Humboldt County Drug Task Force at (707) 444-8095.

Posted in Crime, Eureka2 Comments

Strong Arm Robber Tracked Down

Suspect Scott Boudreaux currently held on $100,000 bail

 

Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel

 

An assailant accused of robbing a woman at a local business is in county jail after Eureka Police Department personnel hunted him down.

Police got the call at about 6:37 p.m. on Friday, responding to a laundromat on the 2900 block of E Street, where the found a female victim who said a suspect had approached her and ripped her wallet out of her hands. The victim told EPD investigators that she attempted to follow the man, who fled out the back door of the business, but lost sight of him in the area of Henderson and D Street while she was on her cell phone with EPD dispatch.

The cops searched the area and a suspect closely matching the assailant’s description, 21-year-old Scott Darrell Boudreaux of Eureka, was found and detained without incident. According to a release from sergeant Patrick O’Neill, the victim was brought to Boudreaux’s location, where she positively identified him as the man who robbed her. The EPD search also turned up the victim’s wallet in the back yard of a residence near to where the victim had originally lost track of Boudreaux.

The suspect was booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility on robbery charges, with his bail set at $100,000.

Posted in Crime, Eureka0 Comments

Third HSU Dorm Robbery Suspect Arrested

EPD catches up with Jules Dawson; Miles Sharp still eludes capture

 

Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel

 

A third suspect in last year’s notorious strong-arm robbery in the Humboldt State University dorms was arrested yesterday.

Late Monday, the Eureka Police Department apprehended 23-year-old Jules Aubrey Dawson, also known as “Jay Doss,” and booked him into county jail. While Dawson is not a college student, the other three suspects are, and 20-year-old Miles B. Sharp remains at large on a $100,000 warrant.

The University Police Department caught up with the other two suspects shortly after the Dec. 2 incident, which took place in Sunset Hall. Eric Schneekluth, an HSU sophomore from San Diego, was taken into custody on Dec. 13 and is still sitting in the Humboldt County Correctional Facility. Benjamin Beilin, an HSU freshman from Valencia, was picked up on Dec. 9, booked and subsequently bailed out of jail.


Members of the public with information on the whereabouts of Sharp are asked to contact the Anonymous Tip and Crime Report section of UPD at www.humboldt.edu/police/ or (707) 826-5555.

Posted in Crime, Eureka, Humboldt State1 Comment

Local Child Pornographer Sentenced To 27 Years

Cole Machado was a prominent figure in local politics prior to scandal

 

Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel

 

It’s the end of the line for a local gay rights activist ensnared in a multi-state federal crackdown on producers of sexually explicit materials that exploit children.

Cole Machado, 25 of Eureka, was sentenced on Friday to 327 months (27 and one-third years) in federal prison and lifetime supervised released due to his conviction last year on charges of producing child pornography. This was handed down by Rebecca Beach Smith, the Chief United States District Judge in the Eastern District of Virginia.

The case moved from California to Virginia due to the original crime being tacked back to Norfolk resident Jakob Benjamin Lee, who was previously convicted on child porn charges and sent in 2011 to federal prison for a 30-year stay. Some of the pornographic images possessed by Lee were tracked back to Machado, who produced them himself by exploiting minors in California in late 2009.


An ongoing campaign to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual abuse, Project Safe Childhood was launched in 2006 by the U.S. Department of Justice and lead by the U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section. The Machado case was investigated by the FBI and the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, and prosecuted by Assistant US Attorney Elizabeth Yusi.

“Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims,” Neil MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, stated in a release.

Machado had been prominent in political circles as an organizer on gay rights issues, particularly opposition to the Proposition 8 initiative that (temporarily) banned gay marriage, and was a supporter of various politicians (including both Bonnie Neely and Virginia Bass in 2006, who would later become opponents in 2010). He even tried to become an elected representative himself in a half-hearted attempt to run for a Trustee seat for the Redwoods Community College District in 2007. All this came to a crashing end on July 20, 2010 when the HCSO raided his Quaker Street home and discovered a computer with multiple images of child pornography.

Posted in Crime, Eureka3 Comments

Trespassers Break Into Another Vacant Rental

EPD claims property was “trashed” in a similar fashion to O Street residence

 

By Gabriele Fellows
Humboldt Sentinel

 

Another property manager found his vacant rental home broken into and vandalized early Saturday morning on the 3000 block of I Street.

Significant damage to the doorframe was found along with piles of trash harboring junk food and alcohol. The bathroom and heater had been used along with electricity.

Personal belongings were discovered in the home indicating the return of its owners. “The gear had been left in the house as if someone was planning on staying a while,” EPD sergeant Adam Laird said in an interview with the Sentinel today.


 

Although the actual “squatters” of the empty dwelling are unknown, the EPD thinks they were members of the Occupy movement because of anarchistic graffiti found on the walls similar to the spray painted images found at the O Street home.

“The graffiti also included anti ‘Nazi’ graffiti, which could be a reference to law enforcement,” Laird said.

There was no other evidence of the latest break-in’s connection to Occupy Eureka aside from the similarity of the graffiti.

Six individuals associated with Occupy Eureka were arrested at their O Street squat earlier this week, although they’ve all been released pending further court proceedings – with the exception of Martin Katz.

Members of the Occupy movement are being suspected as culprits because other house squatting episodes are “dissimilar.”  Trespassers rarely damage anything other than doorways into a home and don’t spray paint on walls. They also rarely leave belongings behind: “In general, the people who break into houses and sleep in them leave the next day and take their gear with them,” Laird claimed.

Laura Cutler, a local attorney and member of the Occupy Humboldt movement, proposed a resolution for tomorrow night’s countywide General Assembly (to take place at 6 p.m. in the Green and Gold Room at Humboldt State University) that dissociates the group from participants’ actions at O Street:

“We, the members of the Occupy Humboldt County General Assembly do proclaim that the afore-mentioned events were never considered, nor ever approved in any way, by the Occupy Humboldt County General Assembly.”

Occupy Eureka activist Talvi Fried thought tensions might be exacerbated by the resolution, but also didn’t want the public image of her cause tarnished by these incidents.

“[It is] just dim acting and obviously against Occupy Humboldt as a whole since it’s only caused a lot of bad press and hurts the good that is trying to be done elsewhere within the movement,” she stated in a post on the Facebook page of Occupy Humboldt.

 

Posted in Crime, Eureka, Politics1 Comment

Weekly Roundup For January 20, 2012

For the Curiously Aware of Humboldt County…

 

By Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

RAIL FEASIBILITY STUDY GATHERS STEAM AFTER EUREKA CITY COUNCIL APPROVAL

Hank Sims correctly predicted Eureka’s Fantasy Pacific railroad proposal would be off and running after the Humboldt Bay Alternative Rail Route Feasibility Study was endorsed by the Eureka City Council Tuesday.

The Council not only approved the feasibility proposal after the 4-0 vote (Councilmember Lance Madsen was absent) but directed city staff to locate funding sources and technical support. Attorney and rail advocate Bill Barnum pointed out it’s a preliminary request looking at connecting Humboldt Bay’s shipping to a proposed rail corridor reaching Red Bluff.

The Sentinel will report more of Tuesday’s Council actions with the back story here.

Mr. Barnum believes the idea of a rail corridor should not be discredited before all the facts are in and given a fair consideration. He indicated there’s been misinformation circulating in the community.  The idea, as bold as it seems, requires careful evaluation, vision, and leadership.

Responding to Hank Sims at the Lost Coast Outpost last week, Mr. Barnum clarified a few points for readers:

Hi Hank,

I am curious why you feel a need to disparage this idea? Really, it sort of mystifies me.

To be helpful about a few details:

1. Nobody is ready to break ground just yet. The request is to investigate alternatives. This is what CEQA is all about. The map you copied above is merely to depict the route proposed in 1909 by local surveyor Jess Lentell. It may not be the route that is built – indeed a railroad may never be built.

2. The railroad is not proposed for public ownership and operation. No one is suggesting a publicly-owned-and-operated rail line. If rail is developed, the rail would be privately owned. The City of Eureka owns substantial land that could be developed and leased to the public’s benefit. I guess that is why the City may be interested in at least studying the matter.

3. I am certain the private railroad will not be financed by you. We will take you off the list of potential investors. If you should change your mind, let us know. To be clear, I will not be an owner either, so I guess we have that in common, Hank.

4. Most (but certainly not all) people living in Humboldt County would like to see some new source of employment sometime in our lifetimes. The government job hey-day is over. The state grant gravy-train (a different sort of train), is off the tracks and not likely to return. The State of California has resorted to eating its own by disallowing Redevelopment Agencies. The hand-writing is on the wall. Before Humboldt County becomes another Greece, it might be prudent to search out some private employment possibilities, huh?

5. Some people disparage the idea, other people have their hair on fire. I just don’t get that.

So, Hank, have your fun. Hell, you might be the smartest guy around. But if you don’t mind, when it comes to railroad engineering, I would rather get a feasibility study out of a railroad engineering firm. They do exist.
The beat goes on. It will be interesting to see who shows up Tuesday night to fight the idea of a feasibility study. See you then, Hank?

Mr. Barnum replied to another post:

In reply to Guest above, you are incorrect. I do not want to sell the future railroad any land, and none of its possible course would run through property I own. You are not the first person to suggest this; but you should stop it. It is not true.

My interest in this idea of rail to the valley goes back more than 20 years when I helped found the Humboldt Bay Alliance for Economic Development. My hope is to see a rail connection that helps with goods movement using Humboldt Bay as a connector between ships and the National Rail System. We are closest to Asia and a rail connection in the valley makes sense for bridging rail outside the busy San Francisco Bay Area transportation bottle-neck. Some of the freight stream could be opened here and value added, then re-packaged into containers for shipment. A modern railroad would include double-decked containers and could operate so that trains could transit from Red Bluff to Eureka in about 3 hours. This avoids congested ports and makes sense to people in that industry.

I know that many people are dedicated to seeing no or little economic change here, and many opposing posters resort to mockery and insults. My suggestion is that if the idea is feasible we should promote it. Many will disagree. That’s politics. Fine with me.

Tonight the Eureka City Council voted 4-0 (with Lance Madsen absent) to support
the idea and promote a feasibility study for an eastern rail route from
Humboldt Bay to Red Bluff. Thanks!

Readers weighed in with their comments, too. Here were a few by the proponents of rail optimism:

“This is a feasibility concept. People on both sides are saying it can or cannot be done. Why not get a definitive answer and find out? What will it haul? Who will pay for it, if it can be built? I would think that would be part of the study. Why taxpayer funding? Why not? We study and build roads to promote commerce. Is this that different? Without taxpayer dollars to maintain highways into Humboldt, we would be isolated in less than a year.”

“This is great news. Mocking research into railroad development is just stupid and short-sighted. A rail connection to the central valley is a major infrastructure improvement, the kind that makes your region more economically viable. And a railroad is FAR preferable to increased road access. …The niche for a Humboldt Bay port is not to compete against Oakland, LA and Long Beach, obviously. Those are enormous operations that serve a different purpose. The idea is to have a smaller port where a different type of shipping can predominate. The railroad provides an outlet for goods that arrive via Humboldt Bay, but equally important it provides an outlet for goods that are produced in Humboldt County. There is really no good reason to oppose researching an Eastern rail link, which is far more promising than the Southern route.”

“Gentlepersons, unless there is a major upgrade for accessibility, we will continue to be a backwater. …All costs are high to be here. Primarily, it is the isolation from the rest of the US that is the problem…”

“Will there be a direct connection to the China-Chunnel?”

Some naysaying nabobs of doubt offered their two cents:

“Is it crazier to imagine opening the line south and fighting the terrain and washouts for a longer stretch, or to create a new line east? I think most of us would drool at the prospect of a train connecting us to Amtrak, and for shipping, but it’s hard to imagine it could really be economically feasible in this part of the state.”

“I don’t have a problem with the idea of a rail line to the East. Problem is, what would it haul? I can’t think of any cargo that would be significant enough to make it worthwhile.”

“I suggest taking a look at the NCRA file at the Regional Water Board office in Santa Rosa. One of the things you will see are decades worth of business feasibility studies, all nicely bound and printed in multiple colors. These studies look into all the myriad ways a railroad south could be made to pay… These studies were not cheap and none of them was ever acted upon. At their most innocent, they were public dollars spent on trying to provide rationale… held by people of influence in the Humboldt Bay Area.  …But at a more fundamentally corrupt level, these “studies” were just money being handed out to make work for favored consulting companies. They may have been favors to politicians or lobbyists that have connections to the consultants. They may have been a way to keep the party going at public expense for a favored segment of the community. The one thing the studies were not was a serious attempt to actually get the railroad running.”

“Is the council seriously suggesting we spend staff time and our hard-to-come-by revenues on this sort of craziness?”

While one post curiously stood out unto its own:

“I already did this “study” for you… I will repeat it (again) for free.

There is this geographic feature of the North American continent called the “Great Salt Lake” which is approximately 600 miles due east of Eureka. All east-west transcontinental rail traffic must split east of the Great Salt Lake, and the northern route proceeds to Boise and then Seattle, while the southern route goes to Reno and then Oakland. The truth is that Redding is just as far from markets as Eureka is. So even if it is true that Eureka is a half day’s sea travel closer to Asia, it is at least a day farther from markets by rail. A half day or more would actually be lost by using the Port of Eureka, even supposing that a rail car could make it from Eureka to Redding to Oakland in one day. Most likely it will be two or three days.

There is nothing that we can do about this. So there you go, by accident of geography Eureka will never be a competitive deepwater West Coast port. … Then there are other issues. Could the railway to Redding actually be built? Yes, if you want to spend enough money. …You might be able to lay a new rail line across flat prairie or desert for $5 million a mile but not through those mountains. A half dozen tunnels and a half dozen bridges will cost $500 million all on their own.

This project, technically feasible will cost anywhere from $3 to $5 billion, minimum. The line would have to be heavily taxpayer subsidized or it could not exist and it will never be profitable, because of the geographical facts above.

If in some fantasy world this line was actually completed what would it haul? Although no Asian shipper of manufactured goods would use the port (because of the geographical facts above) shippers of dangerous, explosive or hazardous materials would like to have a lightly populated port to ship through. So we would get the nuclear waste, the caustic industrial chemicals and industrial acids, petroleum distillates, and military munitions. That’s your upside…

There’s your study.”

Granted, there are many questions concerning the rail proposal.  Can it be built?  What will it cost?  What will it haul?  Where will the route traverse?  Is it economically viable?  The proposal does have merit for consideration.  It deserves further discussion.  Free from speculation, conjecture, and opinion, a feasibility study would provide accurate and forthcoming answers to these questions, and we trust, be made available to the public.

More of the 260 comments about Eureka’s East-West railroad proposal can be found at:

The Lost Coast Outpost
The Humboldt Herald

The Eureka City Council Agenda Summary on the Humboldt Bay Alternative Rail Route Feasibility Study can be found here, courtesy of Mr. Sims.

Meanwhile, far, far away from the Redwood Curtain, China recently completed a 30-story building in only 15 days.  How were they able to accomplish this so quickly?  Able to withstand a 9.0 earthquake and 5 times more energy efficient than its counterparts, China’s new skyscraper is a testament to ingenuity, speed, and planning.  With labor standards, regulations, bureaucracy and unions pushed aside, we hope they used a higher quality drywall than usual.

Joel Mielke’s ‘Feasibility Studies’

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

SNIPPETS, RUMORS, HEARSAY MURMURS, AND THE LINKS:  “Building Community”

MUMS THE WORD:  No word has been received by Supervisor Clendenen offering an explanation here or at Ernie’s Place about the giveaway of STIP (State Transportation Improvement Program) monies to the Highway 101 Safety Corridor instead of repairing Garberville’s roads, as mentioned in last week’s Sentinel Roundup . As we previously said, it’s a sticky sore point stuck between State monies, County road repairs, and 2nd District constituents. Perhaps Supervisor Clendenen feels silence is golden and doesn’t need to explain such decisions to his district’s residents or shameless blogs requesting answers. Who needs pesky voters anyway?

GIVE US YOUR POOR, YOUR SICK, YOUR HUDDLED MASSES:  St. Joseph Hospital is opening the doors and inviting the community to see its new $140 million, 100,000 square foot Northeast Tower addition. At $1,400 per square foot, that’s one heck of an improvement. The open house tours are Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 9.a.m. to 3 p.m. The open house is free; however, donations have always been readily accepted for their past, present, and future needs.  And you thought they only wanted your blood.

SHELTER HELTER SKELTER:  Heidi Walters’ article and photos in The Journal, ‘New Direction’, explains what happened regarding the North Coast Resource Center closure and former Executive Director John Shelter’s future plans. After his sudden fall, will Mr. Shelter rise from the NCRC ashes like a legendary phoenix? You can bet on it.

MORE SHELTER:  Kym Kemp kindly reminds us the Eureka Extreme Weather Shelter has opened. She reports Shelter Coordinator Steve Bell said they’ve helped a lot of different people since the shelter has been available. “We’ve had new faces and about 2 new people a day. It’s a really positive situation here,” Bell said. “I’m hoping that we provide a model of what can be done.” Mr. Bell asked everyone to please direct people to go to the Mission, 110 2nd Street in Eureka, where they will go through intake and receive food, hot showers and clean clothes. Very pleased with how the new shelter is working out, Mr. Bell thanked those who helped, including the Eureka Main St. Organization, the Chamber (of Commerce), the North Coast Veteran’s Resource Center, the Eureka Rescue Mission, and the people at Teen Challenge. Mr. Bell can be rung at (707) 498-9611.  Thank you, Mr. Bell.  You, too, are helping build a sense of community.

GREED AND WEED:  Kevin Hoover and the Arcata Eye fill us in on the 6 quick marijuana busts made over a two-day period while the Two Rivers Tribune reports related pot problems. Humboldt County Supervisors, meanwhile, discussed their environmental concerns caused by weed cultivation and unpermitted grading in the county, comparing the damage to the ‘worst of the timber industry.’

HEALTH AND WELLNESS IS BIG BUSINESS:   Arcata’s Mad River Community Hospital has big plans and an even bigger complex waiting in the wings.

REAL DEAL:   The Rio Dell City Council met in a special closed session discussing a $975,000 contract offered to the property’s owner for a proposed business plaza development.  Rio Dell’s plans call for a new supermarket, strip mall, two motels, restaurants, a gas station and retail space sitting on the 20 acre site adjacent to Highway 101.  If the contract is accepted by the property owner, the next step is for the city to get a commitment from four or five businesses to participate in the development.  (UPDATE):  Unable to reach agreement between the City Of Rio Dell and the property owner, the Rio Dell Business Plaza has stalled. Here’s the counteroffer deal breaking letter.

BUS FUSS:  Virginia Graziani of the Redwood Times reports, “The Southern Humboldt Unified School District is calling all interested students, parents, and community members to join a caravan to Sacramento next Tuesday, Jan. 24, to let our state legislators and Governor Jerry Brown know how important school bus transportation is to rural communities.” Get on the bus, Gus. Make a new plan, Stan. Ms. Graziani also reports on the lesser important ho-hum SoHum school news, too. The Times-Standard’s Jessica Cejnar reported more on Sohum’s Bus Party to Sacto, as well.

EASTERN COMMUNITY SHOP TALK: Two Rivers Tribune’s Allie Hostler and Malcolm Terence talk access, degradation, and protection of Hoopa tribal land , tanoak mushroom picking, and Willow Creek’s new playschool.

COMMUNITY ORGANIZER HEIDI BENZONELLI and the Westside Community Improvement Association invite neighbors, friends, and community partners to a BBQ and community workday this Saturday, January 21. Whether it rains or shines, it’s happening. Bring your tools if you have them. Ms. B. requests your presence “joining the community while we build our future, 10 am ‘til around 3, BBQ somewhere around noon. We’ll be at the future home of the Jefferson Community Park Gardens and Community Center, 1000 B street Eureka. It looks like rain so we will plan most activities for indoors.” This event is hosted by Westside Community Improvement Association and sponsored by First Five Better Together, Humboldt Area Foundation and Eureka First United Methodist Church. That’s quite a collaboration.  Questions? Call 498-5764.

COMMUNITY BLOG FRIENDS ODDS ‘N ENDS:  So John’s up to his old tricks and Jo-Jo’s in the can now that Kristabel’s happily hitched and Tom’s eyeing orbs again.

RAINING CATS AND DOGS:  When will it stop?  Not for awhile.  Don’t complain, you’ll see a glimpse of the sun next Wednesday.  Then hunker down for a solid week or two of rain.  You asked for it.  Maybe it’s a good time to visit your local library and settle down with a good book.

SOMEBODY THAT YOU USED TO KNOW:  32 million viral views and counting. We didn’t know a community of 5 friends could play one guitar at the same time and perform such a hauntingly beautiful melody together.

 

THE WEEKEND CALENDAR:

SLAMMIN’ SALMON:  ACCESS HUMBOLDT is presenting an environmental documentary by Thomas Dunklin Friday, January 27 at 7 p.m. Dunklin is a fisheries geo-videologist and producer of documentary videos surrounding salmon, restoration, and salmon culture. His work encompasses underwater views from the Smith and Klamath Rivers, watershed restorations projects, Klamath dam and other amazing underwater wildlife footage. Questions and answers will follow Dunklin’s selected work. Movie trivia, prizes, and a reception will follow at the adjacent Access Humboldt Community Media Center.

The cost is $5 and all are welcome to attend. Folks, the seats are comfortable, the people and food good, and the price is right supporting independent community media. What isn’t there to like?

Friday, January 20

Saturday, January 21

Sunday, January 22

Movies, times, trailers, and IMDb reviews are here.

 

WORD

When Gandhi was asked what he thought of Western civilization, he said, “It would be nice.”

Posted in Eureka, Politics11 Comments

Third Striker Gets 25 To Life In Domestic Violence Conviction

Jamil Muhammad, who held a woman captive, had five prior prison terms

 

Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel

 

A 58-year-old Eureka man will be spending all or most of his remaining lifespan behind bars after his conviction on multiple violent crimes.

Superior Court Judge Christopher Wilson handed down sentencing on Jamil Najm Muhammad today; the prison terms will stretch from 25 years to life due to his third “strike” offense (actually his fourth and fifth strike on serious and violent crimes), plus eight additional years due to multiple incidents of domestic violence.

On Oct. 3 of last year, a Humboldt County jury found Muhammad guilty on two felony counts of criminal threats, one felony count of false imprisonment and one felony count of corporal injury to a spouse or cohabitant.


The counts stemmed from two separate incidents earlier in 2011 where Muhammad held a woman captive in his motor home and threatened to hurt her if she attempted to leave. The victim was able to place a 911 call, leading officers to her location on Feb. 23, 2011;  on Mar. 14, 2011, Muhammad repeated the imprisonment and also inflicted multiple injuries.

“I commend Prosecutor Elan Firpo and the agencies that assisted in this case,” Humboldt County District Attorney Paul Gallegos stated in a release. “Domestic Violence cases are seldom simple and it is important to persevere and bring perpetrators to justice.”

Posted in Crime, Eureka0 Comments

Occupy Eureka Protesters Busted For Trespassing

Suspects told EPD they were protesting foreclosures, yet home was a vacant rental

 

Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel

 

Several Occupy Movement protesters were busted Wednesday morning after Eureka Police officers answered a complaint from property managers that trespassers were squatting in a house on the on the 3500 block of O Street.

A graffiti 'anarchy' symbol was sprayed on the home's wall.

One of the protesters had already left at the property managers’ request, but others refused and likewise refused to follow officers’ orders to leave. As officers entered, two women later identified as Amanda Tierney, 24, and Shayanne Clark, 21, both of Eureka tried to leave through the front door and were taken into custody.

Four other protesters tried to barricade the front and back doors with their bodies or furniture as officers entered. After repeated tries officers were able to force their way in to arrest Martin Katz, 23, Ann Rian, 21 and Keelan McWayne, 21, all of Eureka; also Stanton Wood, 25, of Florida.

 


 

The group told officers that they were “occupying” the house because of homelessness issues and foreclosures, although the house is a vacant rental unit, not a foreclosed home.

After the protesters were in police cars, officers walked through the residence with the property managers and found graffiti on the walls, including anarchist symbols, as well as a small amount of marijuana. The protesters had also removed several locks and replaced them with their own. Property damage was estimated at several thousand dollars by the managers.

The protesters have been jailed in Humboldt County Correctional Facility for vandalism, forcible trespassing, conspiracy and obstructing a police officer.

 

The O Street rental home.

Graffiti sign on the floor of the squat.

Conditions inside the squatted home.

Inside the squatted home.

Scattered parts of a lockset used to illegally change the locks on the O Street home.

Amanda Tierney

Ann Rian

Keelan McWayne

Martin Katz

Shyanne Clark

Stanton Wood

Posted in Crime, Eureka, Politics16 Comments

POP Unit Pops 8-Ball Slinger

Gabe Talamantes caught up in undercover sting at south Broadway motel

 

Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel

 

Eureka’s Problem Oriented Policing unit scored yet another drug bust thanks to the work of undercover cops.

Eureka Police Department personnel converged yesterday evening at a south Broadway motel after an officer who concealed his identity arranged a drug sale over the phone. EPD had been tipped off that a male subject named “Gabe” was selling cocaine, and the undercover agent agreed to buy an “eight ball” or one-eighth ounce quantity of cocaine.

Gabriel Talamantes, 33, arrived at the unnamed motel at about 5:50 p.m. yesterday, according to a press statement by EPD sergeant Steve Watson. He had arranged to meet the undercover cop to sell cocaine to him, and when investigators opened the door, they took Talamantes into custody without incident.


Upon conducting a search, EPD personnel say they located a sealed plastic baggie containing the 8-ball of cocaine in Talamantes’ pants pocket. Inside a plastic Pelican case the suspect was carrying, investigators found a digital gram scale and two more sealed baggies of cocaine, totaling one ounce or 25.7 grams of gross weight.

Gabriel Talamantes

Gabriel Talamantes

Talamantes was booked at Humboldt County jail for transportation and possession of cocaine for sale, and for violation of the conditions of probation, meaning he is ineligible for bail.

Members of the public with information concerning drug sales in Eureka are asked to call the POP unit at (707) 441-4373 or the Humboldt County Drug Task Force at (707) 444-8095.

Posted in Crime, Eureka0 Comments

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