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The Great Freshwater $5 Sunday Breakfast


Cakes ‘n Eggs ‘n Maple Syrup For Sunday:


May 3, 8-11 am


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel



Wake up and smell the coffee.

The Freshwater Grange volunteers are hosting their fresh hot pancakes and real scrambled egg breakfast with all the fixin’s again this Sunday.

There’s breakfast, conversation and all the local flavor served up fresh.  They welcome, delight, and would like having you share the syrupy love in beautiful Freshwater Valley.  Every time they do it, everyone shows up for good reason and the ‘pancake family’ just grows bigger.  Thank you!

There’s delicious buttermilk and whole grain pancakes, ham, sausage, scrambled eggs, fresh homemade salsa, mini-cinnamon rolls, grated cheese, apple compote, orange juice, tea, and Wanda’s bottomless French roast coffee.  Hungry?  Come back for more.  It’s all good.

James cracks all the fresh eggs in the morning and pixie pancake makers Sue and Shirley make up the fresh batter for a perfect cake. Patrick and Laura are stirring up the eggs and fixing hot sausage and ham. Wanda and Mary make sure your coffee is brewed fresh and hot for your cup. Tamara, Jen, Gail, Art, Nancy, Tisa and a gaggle of others will be there to help.

It all comes together like a magical surprise with everyone’s fine help.  Well, most of the time it does.

What’s great is the rock bottom price:
$5 for adults, and only $3 for the kids!

The price hasn’t been raised in nine years.  Heck, for that kind of deal you can bring the whole family and not wash a dirty pan or scrub a sticky dish.  And the money goes to the good cause of fun-raising: fixing up and restoring the old Freshwater Grange, built in 1879.

We hope to see you there– and fill your plate with some happy down-home Wrangletown lumberjack cooking on a sunny and pleasant Sunday

When: First Sunday of every month, 8-11 a.m.
Phone: 442-7107
Price: $5 adults; $3 kids
The Place: Freshwater Grange, 29 Grange Road, Downtown Freshwater
Directions: Take Old Arcata Road/Myrtle Avenue to 3 Corners Market and turn onto Freshwater Road. Drive east towards the hills for 2.2 miles. At the Little Red Schoolhouse, turn right onto Grange Road.  It’s the big building on your left.  You can’t miss it

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Humboldt Made

A Bumbling Report




Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel



Anchorman’ Rick St. Charles bumbles his way through this special report on Humboldt Made, the organization founded to help promote products which– you guessed it– are made in Humboldt County.

Humboldt Made’s mission is to pitch the local economy by helping local businesses expand beyond the so-called “Redwood Curtain” and promoting all the things Humboldt.  They’ve made a number of well done spots including this little spoof of a special report.

We all know Humboldt is more than a county.  It’s closer to a state– a state of mind.  Our laid-back lifestyle, our breathtaking rural beauty, and the well-made number of artisan products crafted by local entrepreneurs make it a special place near and dear to our hearts and homes.  We’re blessed to live in such a unique and beautiful place with so much to offer.

“Whether you’re one of our neighbors or from far away, welcome!  And don’t worry, we’ve made enough for everyone to share,” Humboldt Made Executive Director T. Aaron Carter proudly says.  And he means it.  And so do we.  Humboldt is a very friendly place with wonderful peeps and healthy products, driven by a strong moral and environmental conscience.

Produced by Rick St. Charles with Matthew St. Charles and Lisa Monet, this cute little film features local personalities Emily Jacobs, Mark Lovelace, Rex Bohn, Cassandra Hesseltine and Malcolm DeSoto as themselves, and the lovely Jennifer Savage as Angie Schwab.

We hope you like it.  And if you don’t live in Humboldt, swing on by for a visit sometime.  You’ll like it as much as we do.


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Porking Out at the Humboldt County Public Trough



Measure Z ‘Safety’ Monies At Risk for Misuse




Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel



Humboldt County officials called Measure Z — the countywide half-percent general sales tax on the November ballot — crucial to improving public safety services.

Measure Z, also known as the Humboldt County Public Safety and Essential Services Measure, will generate $6 million annually until it sunsets in 2020. 

The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously last year in to place the measure on the ballot after an outcry from the public concerning the lack of law enforcement presence and an increase in crime in the county’s outlying areas.

The tax was proposed to raise funds for a broad spectrum of public safety services such as fire departments, the county sheriff’s office, probation department and district attorney’s office.  Spending was proposed to be overseen by a citizen’s advisory committee, which would also include annual independent audits.

Along with the money comes a long line of recipients now asking for an easy handout outside of Measure Z’s ‘safety’ guidelines– with Humboldt County first in line for stretching the limits of how to take the money for itself.

From the Times-Standard’s editorial page this morning:


“Measure Z — Humboldt County’s half-percent general sales tax hike passed in November by voters — took effect at the start of April.  The trough’s already drawn a crowd.

Although its backers sold Measure Z to the public as a means to boost public safety services following an outcry in several communities in southern and northern Humboldt County over crime and a lack of deputies on patrol, the Board of Supervisors
put it on the ballot as a general tax.

Which means that the doling out of the expected $8.9 million in annual revenue, although ultimately controlled by the supervisors, has already attracted about $18 million in funding requests from every corner of county government and beyond, according to 2nd District Supervisor and board Chairwoman Estelle Fennell.

Some of the requests are quite in line with the spirit of Measure Z’s campaign.  

For example:

• The Sheriff’s Office wants $3.5 million to fill 30 frozen or unfunded positions.

• The District Attorney’s Office wants $1.5 million to fill nine frozen positions, including two deputy district attorneys, two district attorney investigators, a senior legal office assistant, a new deputy district attorney and a Victim Witness program coordinator.

• The County Administrative Office wants $1.4 million to be placed in the General Reserve for additional jail and juvenile hall staffing.  The CAO is also requesting $548,491 — roughly split into four parts one-time expense and one part ongoing expenses — for an IT systems upgrade spanning several county departments that handle public safety.

• The Eureka Police Department wants $483,000 for two full-time police officers to work with the county Department of Health and Human Services to work on reducing homelessness with the Mobile Intervention Support Team, a team effort.

• The county Probation Department wants $607,047 to restore six deputy probation officer positions.

Other requests, well — we’ll leave you to imagine what relation some of them have to the intent of the voters who passed Measure Z:

• The CAO, for example, is also requesting $78,000 for a feasibility study for a food-packing export facility, $18,500 for a team to produce online profiles of former mill sites for economic development, $18,000 for “Go Local” economic development workshops, a cool $1 million to help pay down the county’s accrued unfunded pension liability, and, to cap it off, an additional total of $2.75 million over five years — $550,000 a year — to build up the county’s General Reserve.  

~That’s nearly $2 million of requests that have very little to do with public safety.

• The county’s Aviation Division wants $84,060 to trim trees to Federal Aviation Administration standards near the Arcata-Eureka Airport, and another $85,000 to help pay for airport security that the feds mandated but didn’t bother to fund.

• The Humboldt County Department of Public Works wants $250,000 for upgrades to the infrastructure of five veterans’ buildings in Arcata, Eureka, Fortuna, Ferndale and Garberville.

• The city of Rio Dell is asking for $25,000 to help fund an “Avenue of the Sculptures” — and an additional $20,000 to contract an economic development coordinator.

Admittedly, we’re cherry-picking.  You can find each of the 47 funding requests online and see for yourself.

What’s evident is that a few of the applications have very little to do with what Measure Z proponents were selling to the public:  More funding for emergency services.

We hope that the Board of Supervisors — the ultimate arbiter of how Measure Z revenue will be spent — agrees.”

* * * * * * * * *

    ~Via the Times-Standard, Yes on Measure Z, and Vimeo


The public needs to keep up on this shell game.  There’s not a tax public officials don’t like, and one they don’t like spending.

If the Board of Supervisors dare misdirect and misuse Measure Z monies contrary to its intended purpose, the Grand Jury and the voters should be made aware of the swindle– and those specific supervisors held accountable and voted out as a rule of measure. 

If they misuse the monies en masse and en blanc, they must be recalled wholly– as a measure of taxing propriety.

It’s a popular misconception that government wastes a large amount of money through inefficiency and sheer sloppiness.  Quite contraire, mon frère.  It takes an enormous amount of effort and a great deal of elaborate planning and guile to pull it off.




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The Eureka Theater Needs Your Help


Many Hands Make Light Work 
  …and a Great Theater!


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel





We Need You!


Love the Eureka Theater?

Interested in Volunteering?


The Eureka Theater is holding a volunteer mixer:

Saturday, April 18th from 2 – 4 pm


Stop by the theater to learn about volunteer opportunities.  
Tours and popcorn will be provided.  

Please feel free to spread the word!

Contact Carly at for more information


Our address is:
612 F Street
Eureka, California 95501
Interact with the community while working the concessions or bar.
Dress up, have fun, and meet new people while volunteering at the theater.  
Like to paint?  Love to renovate?  Lots of volunteer opportunities to fix up the theater.

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The Face of Altruism



Perfect Strangers, Perfect Kindness


Award-Winning **Video Trailer**


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel



Perfect Strangers is a documentary telling the very real and touching story of two unique and engaging people who care.  

One is Ellie Edwards, who embarks on an unpredictably altruistic journey of twists and turns, determined to give away one of her kidneys.

A massage therapist and single mother living on the central coast of California, she met a young woman at a local community college in the early stages of kidney disease in 2007.  This intrigued her in a profoundly unique and compassionate way.  After spending time on the matching donors website where potential donors and recipients can meet, the free-spirited Ellie decided to find someone who was in need of the greatest gift she could ever possibly give:  her “spare” kidney. 

Five hundred miles away in Humboldt County, Kathy Wheeler, a hospice nurse, endured nightly dialysis lasting for hours at a time with the help of her caregiving husband, Jim. 

Learning that she has Polycystic Kidney Disease, Kathy began to look for an altruistic donor after several friends who volunteered their kidneys were found to be a mismatch.  

Wishing to speed up the seven years that she would spend on the national wait list for a kidney from a deceased donor and nearly giving up all hope, she posted her profile on the same website where Ellie had been looking.

Everything changed when Ellie read Kathy’s profile on the online website. 

Ellie decided to donate her kidney to a complete stranger because she felt a need to help others and had the ability to do something about it.  Kathy, facing an imminent life or death situation, wished for more time to be with her family and grandchild.  Both women faced unexpected challenges as their parallel stories unfolded together over the next four years.  

More than 98,000 people in the United States are waiting for a new kidney. Tragically, one-third of them will die before a kidney from a deceased donor becomes available.  

Altruistic organ donation is the new frontier that could significantly increase the supply of organs, yet many people are uncomfortable by the idea.  In the United States, the buying and selling of organs is illegal, and many transplant centers are reluctant to accept kidneys from an altruistic donor like Ellie.

Altruism is the most fundamentally good social characteristic that defines us; doing things for others and not expecting anything in return is at the very core of what makes us human.

Perfect Strangers is about perfect kindness.  It raises questions about what motivates an individual towards such an extreme act of compassion, and exposes the philosophical questions about those acts of compassion, and ultimately, who deserves a second chance at life. 

Dispelling stereotypes and raising awareness of the physical and emotional terrain of organ donation, it’s an intimate portrayal of the process and a study of the human condition, specifically focusing on what motivates an individual towards an act of compassion translated into action.

~Via Perfect Strangers, Jan Krawitz, and Vimeo 

  If you would like to purchase Perfect Strangers on DVD or show a screening, please go here.

  * * * * * * * * * * *


Director Jan Krawitz has been independently producing documentary films for 35 years.  A Professor at Stanford University and director of the M.F.A. Program in Documentary Film and Video, her work has been exhibited at film festivals in the United States and abroad, including Sundance, the New York Film Festival, and scores of others. 

A collaboration between Krawitz and her Stanford graduate students to raise awareness of organ donations, Perfect Strangers has received eight awards at juried film festivals across the nation.



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California Farmers Selling Water Instead of Crops



Southern Californians Thirsty– and Buying– Water at Record Rates


Get Ready, Humboldt




Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel



Cash is king.  And so is the water.

California farmers plan to sell water instead of crops– because they can get more money for it.

The rice industry in the Sacramento Valley is taking a hard hit with the searing drought.  Some farmers are skipping out on their fields this year, because they are cashing in on their water rights instead.

Many fields will stay dry because farmers will be doing what was once considered unthinkable: selling their water to dry Southern California.

“I will probably make more money doing the transfer than I will by actually growing a crop,” said Jim Morris, communications manager for the California Rice Commission, a group representing the state’s farmers.  Morris said it was too soon to say how many would end up participating in water transfers.  Last year, when the drought was slightly less severe, rice production declined 25 percent.

“It’s something we’re watching,” he said.  “It’s a reflection of four years of drought… there’s just an insufficient amount of water for all needs in the state.”

“In the long term, if we don’t make it available we’re afraid they’ll just take it,” said Charlie Mathews, a fourth generation rice farmer with senior rights to Yuba River water.

He and his fellow growers have agreed to sell 20 percent of their water allotment to Los Angeles’s Metropolitan Water District as it desperately searches to add to its dwindling supply.  They are also afraid that if they don’t sell it, Southern California will simply abscond with it, through legislative or voter referendum.  If one doesn’t think that could happen, take a look at the example of nearby Mono County; a small and powerless county that lost its rights to the vast majority of its water to its ever-growing and thirsty neighbor to the south.

It’s not really surprising that Southern California is looking for a place to buy water.  But what is making news is how much they’ve agreed to pay for it: a record $700 per acre foot of water.

In 2010 the going price for water was $244 per acre foot.  Just last year, rice farmers were amazed when they were offered $500 for the same amount.  This new $700 price is a gamechanger and means growers will earn a lot more money on the fields they don’t plant, making water itself the real cash crop in California.  The price of water has already risen 30 percent in 12 months.

“It’s much more than we ever expected to get.  But at the same time, it just shows the desperation of the people that need it,” Mathews said.

The ripple effect of this will be felt around the entire state.  If a Bay Area water district needs to buy more water, it will now be competing with the Los Angeles Metropolitan Water District to do it, a district that stretches from Los Angeles to San Diego County.

“They have to pay whatever is the last price, and the highest price, that people will pay,” Mathews said.

“We’re going to make a lot more selling the water than planting the rice,” Lance Tennis, whose family owns about 900 acres of farmland in southern Butte County, about 80 miles north of Sacramento, said on Tuesday.  ”This is a huge deal.”

And the trend of buying water may extend to Northern California and Humboldt before much longer as the fourth year of record drought continues.  Desperate for water, county and city municipalities are getting nervous– but haven’t hit the panic button quite yet.

Recent data released by NASA satellites have shown that the total amount of water stored in the state’s reservoirs leaves thirsty consumers with only a year’s worth of supply.  Groundwater— another key resource for Californians— has also been rapidly drying up.

And Los Angeles would rather use the water than have to conserve it.  Last summer, California water regulators passed statewide restrictions against water-wasting practices like excessive lawn watering and driveway hosing.  The restrictions included a provision that allowed local communities to practice enforcement via warning letters and, in the worst cases, a fine up to $500.

Unfortunately, the measure has been a real drought of enforcement, with municipalities ignoring the restrictions.  A survey by the Associated Press discovered that few localities are doing much, if anything, at all.

Los Angeles has only issued two $200 fines– and it services some 4 million people.  The desert city of Coachella in Riverside County hasn’t sent out a single warning letter— while homes in the city’s many gated communities continue to sport deep green lawns.

Get yourself ready and prepare thyself, Humboldt County. 

The new water carpetbaggers, with their desire for ever more water, will be heading North to Humboldt to purchase— or steal— the most precious liquid resource we have available in abundance.



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‘What the Hell Did You Do With All That Money?’


California Administrative Office of the Courts Bleeding Counties and Courts Dry


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel



“What the hell did you do with all that money?” a California
legislator asked.

That’s a good question.  It vanished.

California legislators laid into the administrative bureaucracy of California’s courts at a hearing in the capitol on Wednesday, where State Auditor Elaine Howle presented a highly critical audit documenting the bureaucracy’s waste of hundreds of millions of dollars that should have gone to keeping the courts running during the state’s long-running budget crisis.

“There’s probably close to $2 billion that have been pushed into the courts.  So the real question is, ‘What the hell did you do with that money?’” Assembly Member Reginald Jones-Sawyer said, the audit’s legislative sponsor.

At the hearing’s outset, Jones-Sawyer said that when he joined the State Assembly two years ago, the Legislature and the governor had already begun to pour a cumulative total of $2 billion back into the judiciary’s coffers as the California economy began to turn around, and he has not seen any fundamental change in the judicial bureaucracy.

 ”I’m not comfortable that there’s been any accountability,” said Jones-Sawyer.  ”There seems to be relatively no oversight, and there’s no transparency.”

The hearing is the result of years of criticism from judges and legislators over the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) spendthrift ways during a period of severe cuts to the courts, as California’s economy and its budget constricted.  Thousands of trial court employees were laid off and courthouses shuttered up and down the state, while the massive bureaucracy at the top of the court system cut little from its budget while pouring $500 million into a failed controversial statewide IT project.

Legislators, judges and union members hoped that things would change.  Service Employees International Union representative Michelle Castro said the bloated court bureaucracy has “a very entrenched culture of poor decision-making and hubris.”

Howle’s audit, released in January, pointed to an excessive $30 million spent over a four-year period on salaries for employees of the judicial bureaucracy, the Administrative Office of the Courts, as well as $386 million spent by the AOC over four years on statewide services that nearly half of California’s 58 trial courts don’t use, including $186 million on private contractors and consultants.

“Despite budget shortfalls and budget cuts, the AOC continued to provide its employees with unreasonably high salaries and generous benefits.  There is a disconnect about what the AOC is doing and what the courts need,” Howle said, testifying Wednesday before a panel of state lawmakers.  She added, “There has not been much progress in key areas.  Reforms never got off the ground.”

“Here we are in March 2015, almost 3 years later,” she continued.  “There needs to be fundamental change at the AOC.  There’s some cultural change that needs to happen at the executive level.  They talk the talk, but they don’t walk the walk.”

Jones-Sawyer’s budget committee is set to hold its own hearing on the audit.  On Wednesday, he hinted at increased legislative control, saying, “Maybe we can even do some budget language to institutionalize this so we can ensure accountability and access to justice and transparency, all of those things.”

Nonetheless, the AOC keeps wantonly bleeding the taxpayer’s money, the courts, and the counties dry. 

In a searing report on California’s court bureaucracy in January, the state auditor singled out the financial accountability committee for failing in its mission.  Last month, the same committee approved another multi-million-dollar request for a statewide technology project, inviting a fresh blast of criticism from trial judges who said it looked to be yet another waste of money.

The new tech project would cost $5.6 million to build data exchanges between the courts, law enforcement agencies and the Judicial Branch Statistical Information System.  The project would rely almost entirely on private contractors making up the bulk of the cost, requiring eight new contract workers and costing $3.2 million of the total.

The idea has a poor track record behind it.  It’s the same type of exchange that was a heavily-promoted feature of the earlier statewide tech project, the Court Case Management System, which also relied heavily on outside contractors and spending $500 million– before it was abandoned altogether as a total waste.

“The AOC’s use of contractors, temporary workers, and consultants has resulted in significantly higher costs than the AOC would have incurred had it hired state employees to perform this work,” auditor Howle said.  She estimated that if state employees were used rather than contractors, the savings over three years would total $21 million.

“It’s an awful lot of money when they couldn’t spare $72,000 for Siskiyou County,” said Judge Greg Dohi of Los Angeles.

Dohi was referring to the hat-in-hand visit to San Francisco by judges from Siskiyou Superior Court in the far north of California.  In addition to rejecting their very modest request, the council voted unanimously against $82,000 for Mono County and $300,000 for Del Norte County, all courts trying to avoid firing their employees.

In the end, the committee regardless voted 11-2 to approve the additional and controversial $5.6 million funding request. 

Before casting her vote, Humboldt County Superior Court Judge Joyce Hinrichs said, “In how the money will be spent, there are multiple committees specialized in this that will be better able to direct staff about what needs to happen.  We may not even get the money in the first place.”




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The Great Freshwater Sunday Breakfast

Cakes ’n Eggs ’n Maple Syrup For Sunday:

February 1, 8-11 am


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

Wake up and smell the coffee.
The Freshwater Grange volunteers are hosting their fresh hot pancakes and real scrambled egg breakfast with all the fixin’s again this Superbowl Sunday.
There’s breakfast, conversation and all the local flavor served up fresh.  They welcome, delight, and would like having you share the syrupy love in beautiful Freshwater Valley.
Every time they do it, everyone shows up for good reason and the ’pancake family’ just grows bigger.  Thank you!
There’s delicious buttermilk and whole grain pancakes, ham, sausage, scrambled eggs, fresh homemade salsa, mini-cinnamon rolls, apple compote, orange juice, tea, and Wanda’s bottomless French roast coffee.  Hungry?  Come back for more.  It’s all good.
James cracks all the fresh eggs in the morning and pixie pancake makers Sue and Shirley make up the fresh batter for a perfect cake. Patrick and Laura are stirring up the eggs and fixing hot sausage and ham. Wanda and Mary make sure your coffee is brewed fresh and hot for your cup.  Tamara, Jen, Gail, Art, Nancy, Tissa and a gaggle of others will be there to help.
It all comes together like a magical surprise with everyone’s fine help. Well, most of the time.
What’s great is the rock bottom price:
$5 for adults, and only $3 for the kids!
The price hasn’t been raised in eight years.  Heck, for that kind of deal you can bring the whole family and not have to scrub a dirty pan or wash a sticky dish.  And the money goes to the good cause of fun-raising: fixing up and restoring the old Freshwater Grange.
We hope to see you there– and fill your plate with some happy down-home Wrangletown lumberjack cooking just before the big game between the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots at 3:30.
When: First Sunday of every month, 8-11 a.m.
Phone: 442-7107
Price: $5 adults; $3 kids
The Place: Freshwater Grange, 29 Grange Road, Downtown Freshwater
Directions:  Take Old Arcata Road/Myrtle Avenue to 3 Corners Market and turn onto Freshwater Road.  Drive east towards the hills for 2.2 miles.  At the Little Red Schoolhouse, turn right onto Grange Road.  It’s the big building on your left.  You can’t miss it

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A Signpost for Humboldt County


Crime, Humboldt, and New York City: 1981


Award-Winning Short Film


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel



NYC, 1981 is Austin Peters’ captivating six minute documentary
about a particularly dark and intense period in New York City.

A companion piece for the drama A Most Violent Year currently in theaters, Peters relates the dark truth about 1981, the year in which the film is set. 

We can only wonder if Humboldt County and Eureka could ever get so bad as 1981’s Gotham, given the crime we’re witnessing everyday on the streets and in the pages of the Times-Standard

Murders, robberies, physical assaults, criminals and drugs seem to be a daily occurrence here, running amok in our Fair City while no one seems to give a damn—from Supervisors to Councilmen, police to prosecutors, welfare workers to probation officers. 

We shovel more money into their burgeoning local budgets with nothing to show for it as a result.  It’s just more of the same crime, day in, day out.  They talk a big line of fiscal woes and promises, but nothing ever really happens for good.  It’s no wonder we have one of the highest per capita crime rates in the state and nation.

Like Eureka, death, assault, burglaries, rape, criminals running rampant, and an influx of drugs made New York City into a living nightmare with more than 2,100 murders in 1981.  That number went steadily into remission, shrinking down to 648 in 2013 after citizens demanded change.

The short film features the people who lived through those heady nitty gritty dirty days, when one could actually be caught dead in Times Square for different reasons.  Or Eureka, for that matter.

If the NYC, 1981 has a gritty ’80s feel, it’s because it was shot on 16mm film and processed at Film Lab, the only company that still developed film stock in New York City.  That company closed its doors for good in December, like many of the shuttered businesses still littering Eureka’s 5th Street.

Speaking in the film are Curtis Sliwa, who spearheaded the Guardian Angels;  Johnnie Mae, an actress who moved to New York from the South;  Dapper Dan, a Harlem street legend and fur salesman;  Penny Arcade (real name Susana Ventura), a fixture in the downtown arts scene; Nick Rosello, a Puerto Rican immigrant and auto body shop owner; and Wayne Walsh, a delivery trucker since he was 18.

NYC made amends after sinking under its own weight into a deep dark dismal abyss.  The Mob is long gone from power; the East Side has seen an arts and business revival; slums and run down areas have been torn down to make way for new development and housing.  The cops and probation officers are doing their jobs.  The Big Apple’s murder rate has dropped 70%, crime is at historic lows, and tourists are flocking back to Times Square.  Gotham’s citizens feel better; proud of their community, their neighborhoods, and the self-made accomplishments to get it done.

Humboldt County should take and learn from NYC’s example. 

Consider it a signpost for our future.  An example that Eureka citizens can and should demand better from our leaders and take back their community, too– especially when the fat-cat bureaucrats, asking for more tax monies without future promise, seem unable and unwilling to do so.

It is up to the people to lead where their “leaders” have failed.

* * * * * * * * * *

For all of those who are striving to make Eureka and Humboldt County a better place to live, thank you.  You know who you are.  And a special shout-out goes out to Charlotte McDonald and Eureka Main Street.


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Growing is Forever


A Redwood’s Muse:

Trinidad and Patrick’s Point Park

Humboldt County, Northern California


**Award-Winning VIDEO**


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel



“A very long time ago, there were no groves– because everywhere was a grove with no roads to bisect and no people to erect stones and fences and bridges.

The trees were very, very young and had much living ahead of them.  The enormity of their lifespan loomed in wooly mists around them, so they stretched out their root fingers and wrapped them around each others’, intertwining and holding very tight.

The ferns found pockets of root fingers where they could nestle in and the moss stretched itself out over the soil and everything became very soft.  The trees grew and made patterns of light and dark on the ground and the vines swirled in to trace the patterns.

Spotted spiders moved back and forth and up and down, making nets to catch the mist, and the mist would linger on the nets in drops that cupped the light.

It was very quiet all the time because the trees needed to focus on their lives. It is not easy to grow so much, for so long.  Some trees became tired and lay down on the soft ground; others leaned and rested their tops on another.

And when one tree had to stop, another would grow out of it and reach very high into the grey and gold sky.

Growing is forever, they whispered.

* * * * * * * *

~Via Jesse Rosten, Kallie Markle, and Vimeo



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Follow The Rules For Growing Weed, Or Else…



District Attorney Relies on a Different Tactic: Civil Lawsuits




Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel



Do greedy growers who flaunt the law get what they deserve– and does crime really pay?

Humboldt County is at the forefront of an almost-legal, agribusiness weed-growing industry.  It’s an economic staple, an ever-prevasive and copiously prevalent culture with the District Attorney giving it the wink and a nod of an almost-legal permissiveness. 

However, cannabis farmers aren’t completely immune.  They need to follow the rules.  Even the small players.

One pot farmer found the regulations a real bummer– and found out the hard way that he may have to pay up.

A Humboldt County marijuana farmer found with 99 lbs. of buds and 1,039 plants has been civilly sued by the DA– for breaking environmental, fish and game and zoning regulations.

Courtney Fleming has been sued by the Humboldt County District Attorney for unfair competition and violations of numerous regulations. 

Fleming, according to District Attorney Paul Gallegos, allegedly cleared timberland, built greenhouses, filled in streams, dug a large hole in the ground for a toilet, and stored diesel fuel and motor oil, all without the proper permits.  He also failed to provide workers’ compensation insurance for his employees.

While law enforcement typically issues criminal complaints bringing the matter before the courts, the Humboldt County District Attorney has relied on something altogether different.  They sued Courtney Fleming on Dec. 9, alleging unfair competition and violations of health, labor and environmental laws on his 1.25-acre marijuana farm.

It’s not the marijuana he grew outside of compliance of Proposition 215–  it’s the way he did it.

The unfair competition charge stems from Fleming’s alleged failure to seek permits.

First, Fleming cleared about 1.25 acres of timberland without a Timberland Conversion Permit or a license to engage in timber operations, according to the complaint in Humboldt County Superior Court.

He then built 15 greenhouses and other structures, including drying sheds and residential structures.  He set up two 1,028-gallon fuel containers to power a 45 KW generator, a 5-gallon tank for waste oil, 1,700 gallons of liquid fertilizer and four 2,400-gallon water tanks with an electric system to mix in the water with
the fertilizer, the DA says.

Then, allegedly without permits again, Fleming pumped water out of the Mad River to water his crops, endangering fish and other living things, and he built a toilet by digging a large hole in the ground, according to the complaint.

Fleming filled a seasonal creek with soil and cut vegetation and pushed materials cleared off the property, into creeks, without following waste discharge requirements.  He had no hazardous materials business plan, nor a permit for the use of red dye diesel and liquid fertilizer, nor a Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure Plan for its fuel tanks, according to the complaint.

Fleming also failed to get a permit and an Environmental Protection Agency identification number for storing used motor oil, the DA prosecutor says.

None of his employees were covered by workers’ compensation insurance, and no waste permit was pulled for the portable toilets, according to the complaint.

District Attorney Paul Gallegos and the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office seeks a permanent injunction, and a civil penalty of $2,500 for the many violations.

It’s been big money for the growers who have cashed in on the new Green Rush.  Marijuana is an economic staple, particularly in Humboldt. 

Jennifer Budwig, a banking and economic  analyst, estimated that marijuana infused more than $415 million into the county’s annual economic activity in 2012, one-quarter of the total amount.  Others believe it is a much larger figure now— perhaps a billion dollar industry.

In Humboldt, epicenter of the Emerald Triangle trade, the booming business of marijuana has threatened the vibrant ecosystems of the area, critics insist.

Environmentalists have awakened to the fact that hilltops have been leveled to make room for the crop.  Bulldozers start landslides on erosion-prone mountainsides.  Road and dam construction clog some streams with dislodged soil; others are bled dry by diversions.  Little water is left for salmon whose populations have been decimated by logging.  Pesticides and rodenticides have been killing off the
local wildlife.

The environmental damage may not be as extensive as that caused by the 19th-century diking of Humboldt Bay or the advent of 20th-century clear-cut logging practices, but the romantic outlaw culture has become a destructive juggernaut thrashing the environment, many believe.

And local and state jurisdictions’ ability to deal with the problem has been hobbled by, among other things, the drug’s murky legal status.  Some growers ethically operate within state medicinal marijuana guidelines; others clandestinely operate totally outside the law without regard.

A local group, the Emerald Growers Association, recently produced a handbook on sustainable practices.

“There is an identity crisis going on right now,” said Gary Graham Hughes, executive director of the Environmental Protection Information Center in Arcata.

“The people who are really involved with this industry are trying to understand what their responsibilities are,” Hughes said.

~Via Courthouse News, Times-Standard, Kym Kemp,
  NYT, CBS-San Francisco



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Humboldt County Animal Shelter Crisis


SOS Emergency:  Overcrowding Means Euthanasia Come Monday



Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel



From Matt Owen, via the County of Humboldt and Fred’s Humboldt Blog:


Please pass the word about the following crisis situation:

The Humboldt County Animal Shelter is at critical mass.  They will euthanize adoptable dogs for space on Monday if the dogs are not adopted or rescued!

I just learned that there are no kennels available. 

On Monday, December 22, adoptable dogs will have to be euthanized for space. 

We would not want a family putting off adopting a shelter dog until after the holidays to learn that the dog they were interested in was euthanized to make room for more incoming dogs.  

Usually there are non-adoptable dogs off their ‘hold’ that are placed first on the euthanized list, but there’s only one or two such dogs– so the adoptable dogs are at risk!

Available dogs are listed and grouped by breed.

For more information about how to adopt, please call the animal shelter at (707) 840-9132.  They are open at 10 am on Monday.

Before then, if people want to voice their commitment to adopt a particular shelter dog– or if you hear of any sort term dog-fosters who are willing to house a dog for the short term and save a life– please have them email or and include what dog they are interested in, as well as their contact information.

Thank you again for supporting shelter dogs. 

Sorry for the short notice, but these dogs were not redeemed and they keep coming into the shelter.  The hoped for miracle hasn’t yet happened.

Please help us save Humboldt County Animal Shelter dogs by passing the word about their plight!

Thank you,


* * * * * * * * * *  

Update– Tuesday December 23:   

The County had enough adoptions that they didn’t need to put any adoptable animals down.  Good News for a change! 

Happy holidays, all.  Thank you.



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Stormy Weather Ahead



Love Rain Over Me


**Pearl Jam VIDEO**


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel



A ferocious storm is forecast to batter California with drenching
rain, heavy snow, pounding surf and howling winds until Friday.

The National Weather Service said the storm is “expected to be one of the strongest storms in terms of wind and rain intensity” since ones in October 2009 and January 2008.

An atmospheric river — known as the “Pineapple Express” — will deliver a steady stream of moisture directly from Hawaii to the West Coast starting today.  Meteorologists use the term to describe a long, narrow plume that pipes warm moisture from
the tropics into the USA.

An average of 3-6 inches of rain is possible in parts of northern California, AccuWeather predicts. That includes much
of Humboldt County, the San Francisco Bay Area and drought-
stricken Sacramento.  Some spots could see as much as nine

“We’re looking at widespread rain in the Humboldt area, and it will be pretty heavy at times,” National Weather Service meteorologist Ryan Aylward said.  “It’s the worst weather we’ve seen in several years.”

Both high wind and high surf advisories are also in effect throughout the next few days, with waves of up to 23 feet and wind gusts of up to 60 miles per hour expected in some places.

The rain could overwhelm waterways and roadway drainage systems, possibly leading to flash flooding.  Locally, the Eel river at Fernbridge and the Van Duzen rivers are predicted to reach monitor stage, not quite flood stage.  

“It’s going to be some of the higher flows we’ve seen in a year and a half.  Last year, we didn’t get much rain at all,” Aylward said.


In the Northern California area, the strong winds expected with the Pineapple Express — with gusts as high as 60 mph — could take down outdoor holiday decorations.

“I’m not putting any of it up until after the storm because even though it’s pretty durable, it will just blow over,” Sacramento resident Tim Adams said.

Experts are advising people take down their holiday lights, especially inflatable decorations, if they are not anchored properly.

Winds of 15 to 30 miles per hour are expected in the coastal region with gusts of 45 mph throughout the area.

On local ridges, gusts are expected to get up to 60 mph, posing driving hazards to vehicles.  The strongest winds will occur in places like Trinidad, Fickle Hill, Kneeland and Crescent City.

Mark Ghilarducci, the director of the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, issued a warning that the storm will present a risk of flash flooding and debris slides particularly in areas that saw wildfires earlier this year in northern and southern California.

“Burned areas are especially at risk for debris slides.  Even regions that don’t experience regular seasonal flooding could see flash flooding during this intense storm system,” he said in a statement.

More rain than what this storm will deliver is needed to end the region’s drought.  Still, this rainfall will be a major step in the right direction, AccuWeather meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said.

Runoff from the storm will cause water levels to surge rapidly in streams, eventually emptying into lakes and reservoirs.


Snow totals could soar to four feet in the Sierras and Trinity Alps.  A blizzard warning has been posted for portions of the northern Sierra, where winds could rage to 80 mph with heavy, swirling snow likely.  A winter storm warning is also in effect for the southern Sierra. 

The weather service warns travel will be “extremely dangerous” due to the blizzard conditions:  ”Do not travel.  If you must travel, have a winter survival kit with you.  If you get stranded … stay with your vehicle.”

The storm is expected to dump enough snow on California’s mountains that the state’s snowpack — currently only 35% of average for this time of year — could be 75% or higher by this weekend.

Oregon and Washington will be the first to see the storm’s effects on Wednesday, with flooding and landslides possible in western Washington State.

There is some respite:  the NWS forecasts a lull in the stormy weather come the weekend. They’re predicting dry conditions for Humboldt on Saturday and Sunday– until another storm system comes barreling through
next week.

~Via National Weather Service, USA Today, Tom Sebourn and the Times-Standard
   “Love Reign Over Me” written by The Who and performed by Pearl Jam; artwork by
   Leonid Afremov


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The Great Freshwater Sunday Breakfast


Sunday Morning, December 7 from 8- 11 am


  At the Freshwater Grange

  –Still Only $5–


  Music and Dutch Lottery, Too!





Breakfast… the most important meal of the day.

And nothing quite compares like a delicious hot pancake breakfast with your friends and family on a Sunday morning.

It’s an awesome time when the Freshwater Grange #499 volunteers come together and prepare their lumberjack-style famous hot cakes ‘n eggs, ham and sausage, freshly made salsa, apple compote, mini-cinnamon rolls, juice, milk, and hot French roast coffee for you. 

It’s been a widely received hit throughout Humboldt County– and our friendly pancake family only grows larger.

Think of it as a breakfast delight, where you get to try a big warm inviting bite of everything along with the maple syrup– and you don’t have to wash a single dirty dish or pan.  Trust us, Mom will love it.

It all comes together like a magical surprise with everyone’s fine help.  Well, most of the time it does anyway.

What’s great is the rock bottom price:

$5 for adults, and only $3 for the kids!



Jacoby Creek and Garfield Schools’ music teacher Laura Arrington will be leading our upper elementary students upstairs in holiday singing starting at 10:00 am, followed by Kathy Lyth and the Redwood Coast Children and Adult Chorus.  Come see our kids and encourage their talents along.  It’s free!

Dutch Lottery!

The Freshwater Grange is holding a Dutch Lottery fun-raiser during the breakfast and will donate all proceeds to the Garfield School Booster Club.  You’ll have a chance to win some wonderful services, goods, gift certificates, and new and gently used items.

We’d love to see you and everyone there.  Bring friends and get some tickets for a chance to win some awesome gifts, have a nice breakfast, and listen to Humboldt’s finest young men and women sing it up for the start of our season.

All in all it’s a perfect way to spend a fine Sunday morning.  Just beware that a nap will be necessary following the impending food coma and the more than pleasant melodic music.

When: December 7, 8-11 am, and the first Sunday of every month.
Where: Freshwater Grange, 29 Grange Road, Downtown Freshwater

…Just follow the signs on Myrtle Avenue/Old Arcata Road.  At 3 Corners Market turn east onto Freshwater Road and drive 2.2 miles to the Garfield Little Red School House, and onto Grange Road.

It’s a really big building.  You can’t miss it.

Our appreciation goes to the Ahrens’ family for letting us in on their fine breakfast and love of family.  It sure feels good to be alive.



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Life and Love in the Redwood Forest


A Very Odd Love Story




Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel



Shot in the heart of the Redwood forest of Humboldt County,
right about where home is, we have a different sort of love story.

Inspired by Where The Wild Things Are, the video for Metronomy’s latest single, The Upsetter, tells the story of two unconventional lovers.  Featuring a feral bearded lady and her beau– a creature companion she makes of sticks and dirt– the video follows their first flickers of romance deep in the dense, natural, unflinching redwood forest.  As her loneliness overcomes her, she brings the grass creature to life. 

The level of vision and ambition making the film is good, and the physical development of the characters are extraordinary.  There’s a level of warmth and poignancy and hope shining throughout.

Encyclopedia Pictura, makers of The Upsetter, is the loosely strung company of Isaiah Saxon, Sean Hellfritsch and Daren Rabinovitch, a Northern California directing team working in film, art, community building, and agriculture.

The collective is known for their extraordinary nature-based surrealism and made the video with Rabinovitch at the helm, taking three years to create the astonishing costumes in the video.  We see the creation of one character, a sort of human sloth, take to the transformation of the other, as our bearded feral forest woman starts to incorporate the forest as part of her own.

Using an unorthodox, hands-on working style for all aspects of film production – writing, designing, painting, sculpting, animating, photographing, directing, editing, compositing, and scoring, EP has won numerous awards for their music videos.  Esquire called them “The Directors of the Future.”

From 2008-2011, EP led an effort to build a unique back-to-the-land hillside neighborhood and farm called Trout Gulch, communally living and working there along with 15 others.  In 2012, they co-founded in San Francisco.

They are passionate about gardening, farming, construction, villages, augmented reality, science visualization, social ecology, technological empowerment, adventure, and country living. 

And we would venture to guess dirt, sticks, moss, and leaves.

Below is their brief behind-the-scenes making of The Upsetter.


Behind the Scenes of the Upsetter from Encyclopedia Pictura on Vimeo.



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The Columbus Example of Doing Things Right


A Model for Eureka and Humboldt County


Award-Winning **VIDEO**


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel



Fix the Middle East?  We can’t even fix Detroit.

Fix Eureka?  You would think we’d be able to do so.  It’s our own backyard and a much smaller place.

But not with our current money-hungry do-nothing City Council and Humboldt County leaders in charge, taxing yet again an already-taxed citizenry with little results to show for it. 

Amazingly enough, out of 492 municipalities, Eureka ranks in at an astounding #20 on the list for its risk of default.  Even the Humboldt Taxpayers League took issue with the alarming tax measures taking place on all sides, urging voters to finally say ‘No’ rather than deplete the local economy of $12 million of purchasing power.

But let’s take an example from Columbus’ playbook.  They put taxation towards some hard work and planning.   Citizens and city government performed a grassroots effort by taking things into their own hands, resuscitating and revitalizing their economy and outlook.

They were in bad shape.  Nearly a quarter of the homes in the Franklinton neighborhood of Columbus, Ohio are vacant; it is the city’s oldest and poorest neighborhood. 

In 2011, an arts group moved into an abandoned factory in the area to create 400 West Rich Street, a community that now leases space to woodworkers, performance artists, a coffee shop, painters, sculptors, and others.  The short documentary above considers the artists who work in 400 West Rich Street, why the space attracted them, and what it means for revitalization of the neighborhood.

The revitalization is gaining successful momentum because of the coordinated efforts of the city government, private-sector organizations, and a group of citizens who, through the sustained work of the Franklinton Development Association (FDA), have been working for more than 20 years to figure out how to do it right.

The strategy that has gained real traction is an effort to “rebrand” the eastern part of the area as the “Franklinton Arts District.

The plan to make East Franklinton into a Creative Community District has been awarded the 2014 National Planning Excellence Award for Innovation in Economic Development & Planning by the American Planning Association, which created the overview video, below, explaining their efforts.

Eureka and Humboldt County could gain from following Columbus’ example.  That is, if they cared enough to do so by weaning themselves off of the never-ending public trough and actually getting something accomplished, rather than feeding the beast of personal salaries, burgeoning pension obligations, cronyism and lawsuits.

For more detailed information of how Columbus did it, you can catch John Tierney’s excellent Atlantic Monthly article here and here.




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Enough Already. Vote No New Taxes.



Humboldt Taxpayers League Speaks Out



Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


The Humboldt County Taxpayers League (HTL) Board of Directors issues the following position statement in regard to the many tax proposals and School Bond measures facing the voters of Humboldt County on the November 4, 2014 ballot:


“Taxation in California, near the highest in the Nation, has reached a crippling level and increased Taxes and Fees will further depress the already stressed economy of our rural cities and county. 

Consequently the HTL, in general, opposes any new local taxes at this time. 

The HTL remains unconvinced that most local government agencies have exhausted all avenues to “live within their means.” 

If passed, the proposed Sales Tax Measures along with already existing Tax overrides in the cities of Arcata and Trinidad, would take over $12 million from the purchasing power of Humboldt County Shoppers and result in a 9% sales tax in some cities.”


Humboldt County voters are faced with a myriad of potential tax increases in Eureka, Fortuna, Rio Dell, Blue Lake and an overriding tax proposed by the County which, if passed, would apply to all sales within Humboldt County including those in incorporated cities. 

Eureka voters are also faced with a $50 million school bond and Fortuna voters are being asked to approve a $9.5 million school bond.

The Humboldt Taxpayers League specifically opposes Measure Z, a ½ % countywide sales tax increase sponsored by the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors.  It is the opinion of the HTL Board of Directors that this is a redundant tax that takes over $6 million out of the local economy mostly from the incorporated cities with little return benefit to those cities that also have their own revenue concerns. 

The HTL Board feels the County needs to re-evaluate its priorities and make cuts and redirect services in order to come up with a more balanced spending plan.   One only needs to look at the average salary and benefits of county employees (Transparent California) to get an idea of where they should start.

While the ultimate decision to raise taxes lies with the individual voter and their assessment of the need of the jurisdiction in which they reside, the HTL Board urges each voter to carefully consider what each entity has done to reduce payroll, cut costs and streamline bureaucratic processes when making up their mind on whether to support or oppose all tax initiatives. 

Voters should closely look at where the money has gone particularly in the area of public payroll, retirement and health benefits.   

The Board also urges voters to consider the potential effects that increasing the sales tax rate to 9 percent in some jurisdictions will have on the local economy and their own personal spending power.

The HTL Board has serious concern about Measure Q, the continuation of the ½ % Transaction and Use Tax in the City of Eureka.   A review of the history of the use of these funds, purportedly to be used to enhance public safety, calls into question where the money went or will go.

The HTL Board also has serious concerns about Measure V,
a similar 1% tax increase in the City of Fortuna. 

The voters of Fortuna would be well served to question where the reserves have gone over the past decade and how the new revenues would be used if this measure is passed.

The HTL Board questions the need for Measure S, a Eureka City Schools $50 million bond issue that will assess Eureka property owners (and indirectly renters) $60 per $100,000 assessed valuation over a 30 year period.   

This being the second 30 year Eureka City Schools bond in the past 12 years, the previous Measure S passed by the voters was for $32.5 million.

The Board also questions the need for Measure W, a $9.0 million Fortuna Elementary School District bond which, if passed, would be the fourth Fortuna schools bond issue passed in the past eight years.  One only needs to take a look at ones property tax bill and where the money went from the last bond measures in both Eureka and Fortuna to figure this one out.

Finally, the Humboldt County Taxpayers League Board of Directors again urges everyone to become informed on the issues.

Consider the economic effects on yourself and the community as a whole that the passage of these measures would bring before casting your ballot.


~Via the Humboldt Taxpayers League 
 Images and links by the Humboldt Sentinel.
 Hat tip to the Tulawat Examiner


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The Value of Work


The Minimum Wage Debate




Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel



Why is the minimum wage important?

In 2013, Seattle became ground zero for the heated national debate about increasing the minimum wage to $15 per hour.

Director Steve James’ The Value of Work gives a fair voice to supporters and the opponents, including the mayor, an activist city councilwoman, small business owners, and workers affected by the unprecedented minimum wage legislation.

James had this to say about making his film:

“Not everyone working in minimum wage is embarrassed by the work.  But many these days are embarrassed that they can’t make ends meet — even with full-time jobs.  Because so much of our self-worth as Americans is wrapped up in our work and ability to pull our own weight, it’s particularly tough to be a minimum-wage worker these days.

Looking up from the bottom of the workforce, it seems the harder one works, the less one gets paid.  American society is rigged for the wealthier among us — tax breaks on our mortgage, company-provided health care, paid vacations, and regular raises or incentives.

For so many of us who once worked minimum-wage jobs, this phase of our life was temporary.  We knew we’d move on to more prosperous careers.  When looking at the minimum-wage debate today, too many of us think that workers want security from jobs that were designed to be stepping-stones to “real jobs.”

I was struck in so many ways by the minimum-wage workers we interviewed for the film.  I was amazed at their work ethic despite low wages.  I was saddened by the stories of older workers like Ernie and William who never thought they’d be cleaning houses and hauling furniture at their age, struggling to get by.  And I was moved by the resiliency of workers like Elizabeth and Keila who still dare to dream of a better life for themselves and their children.

I think we owe them the opportunity to try to make those dreams happen.  Not a free ride, but a real fighting chance.”

* * * * * * * * * *

Steve James, best known as the Oscar-nominated director of Hoop Dreams, has become one of the most acclaimed documentary makers of his generation with many films to his credit.  He’s currently working on Generation Food, a film about solutions to fixing the broken global food system.



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Monopolizing Beer



Big Box Beer Dresses Up in Crafty Clothing


** Local Brew VIDEOS**


Jim Hightower



It’s bad enough that the goliaths of Big Beer are consuming each other in a new round of mega-mergers, meaning fewer choices and higher prices for consumers.

But the really bad news is that they’re also going after the one bright spot on tap in bars all across the country:  Craft beers.

These are not merely beers, but jewels of the brewers art – yeasty, hoppy, and malty local delights with unique, deep flavors that put the “fizzy yellow” suds of Budweiser, Miller, and Coors to shame.  And, not surprisingly, while the sales of Big Beer’s fizz are declining, the craft brewers are up by 17 percent last year alone.  And the number of craft brewers has nearly doubled since 2010.

The giants have noticed… and are responding.  By making better beer? 

Don’t be silly.

Instead, they’re trying to co-opt the good name of local beer makers and dupe consumers by pretending that the likes of Bud and Miller are “craft” brewers, too.  How?

Two ways.

First, they’ve created false fronts like Blue Moon Brewing Company, Tenth & Blake, and Green Valley Brewery, pretending to be upstart independents.  You won’t see the name of Miller, Coors, or Anheuser-Busch on the labels – but those are the macro-brewers that own and make such ersatz micro-brews as Blue Moon, Killian’s, and Shock Top.

Second, the deep-pocketed beer behemoths are simply buying up small craft brewers, including Goose Island (Anheuser-Busch) and Leinenkugel (MillerCoors).  Again, they’re co-opting the imagery of cool independents, but – shhhh – it’s the same old Big Beer hiding behind the small guy labels.

When all else fails, the giants get thuggish, using their marketing muscle and political punch to knock the craft beers out of bars and off the shelves.  But the independents are scrappy – and it’s up to us quaffers of real beer to stand (and drink) with them.


Monopolizing Beer,” The New York Times, October 8, 2014.

“Pay-to-play infects Chicago beer market, Crain’s investigation find,”, November 22, 2010.

“Big Beer dresses up in craft brewer’s clothing,”, November 15, 2012.

“Bud and Miller Are Trying to Hijack Craft Beer – an It’s Totally Backfiring,”, July 30, 2014.


* * * * * * * * * *

Egads.  We were shocked when Pabst Blue Ribbon—the iconic American label simply known as PBR—was bought by the… Russians?!  As were Milwaukee, Schlitz, Lone Star, Colt 45 and Ranier. 

And now Big Box beer wants to thrust their quick-brew crappiness onto us and our communities further by disguising themselves in crafty sheep’s clothing.  Is there no shame in their game?

Well, we have a solution.  Don’t piss away your money.  Buy local.

The good news is that our local Humboldt breweries, such as the Lost Coast Brewery above, and Mad River Brewing Company below, are in good health and standing strong.  Good, delicious, healthy American craft beer made the right and wholesome way like it always has been.  These companies are outstanding in their own right, and Humboldt brewers Barbara Groom and Dylan Schatz won’t let you down.




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To Dam or Not to Dam?


Californians to Vote on Water
 and North Coast Relics




Will Parrish
Anderson Valley Advertiser



In roughly three weeks, the relatively slim percentage of Californians who vote in the Nov. 2014 election will decide on a politically contentious $7.5 billion state general obligation bond, Proposition 1, entitled “The State Water Bond.”

A creature of the dominant political response to California’s panic-strickening drought, the bond issue would provide a greater level of financing for new water projects than any in the state’s recent history.

Although the bond includes funding for everything from bike trails to water recycling to wetlands restoration, its most pivotal line item is $2.7 billion that would be allocated for expanded water storage.

That likely means dams, and construction of the Sites Reservoir, a vast new facility just east of the Mendocino National Forest, about 10 miles west of the town of Maxwell.  The bond singles it out for special mention.

Sites Reservoir would involve two large dams on the main stem of the Sacramento River, each around 310 feet high.  The water would be ferried through the Tehama-Colusa and Glen-Colusa canals, as well as a third canal that would be built specifically for the project and originate north of Colusa.  All of this liquid gold would thereby be plumbed into the Antelope Valley, drowning an estimated 14,000 acres of grassland, oak woodland, chaparral, riparian habitat, vernal pools, and wetlands– including 19 acres of rare alkali wetlands.

The water bond, it should be noted, would only cover part of the cost of constructing these enormous new installations.  Sites Reservoir would be California’s first massive water infrastructure project since the 1982 completion of Lake Sonoma, a huge reservoir less than one-fifth as large.

As of this writing, the state water bond enjoys strong support, especially from the state’s political leaders:  Only one state legislator voted against placing the bond on the ballot.

For their part, California water infrastructure planners have long envisioned capturing virtually every single drop of free-flowing water in this state behind a dam, enabling them to control exactly where water goes and who receives it.


The Plan of 1964

I have a PDF of a 1964 California Department of Water Resources document entitled “Possible Additional Facilities to the State Water Resources Development System in the North Coastal Area and West Side Sacramento Valley.”  The document is compelling exactly because of how shocking it is to the sensibilities of most people who would view it today: an era in which unlimited exploitation of the natural world is a death sentence for the planet.  The document is the product of an era in which California’s highways, dams, canals, electrical grid, suburban housing, and industrial manufacturing capacity grew recklessly and without restraint.

For perspective here, consider that the largest reservoir currently existing today in California, the Shasta Reservoir, holds 3.5 million acre-feet of water, and consider further that California has altered its natural watersheds to a greater extent than any area of equivalent size in the world.  This 1964 map features at least four reservoirs that would be considerably larger than Shasta Reservoir. 

The largest of the reservoirs this document envisions, the so-called Humboldt Reservoir– which appears on the 50-year plan– would span much of Humboldt County’s interior, including an enormous swath of the Six Rivers National Forest.

It would capture water from the Eel and Klamath Rivers via a dam on the lower Klamath, for the purpose of shunting that water via a network of tunnels and canals into the so-called Helena Reservoir — a huge add-on to the existing Trinity Reservoir.  From there, it would be on to Whiskeytown Reservoir and thence to the Sacramento River, which would virtually pipe it down to the main beneficiaries of this unparalleled plumbing system: San Joaquin Valley agribusiness and the water districts that provide Southern California’s megalopolises.


Mendocino County Plans

What did state water infrastructure planners have in mind for Mendocino County?

Well, if you like Lake Mendocino now, you may just learn to love the so-called “Enlarged Coyote Valley Reservoir,” which would expand the current reservoir by a factor of five.  Five!

But there’s so much more.

A new dam on the Eel River would expand the present-day Van Arsdale Reservoir and Lake Pillsbury Reservoir above Potter Valley — currently separated by a distance of more than 12 river miles — into one continuous reservoir known as English Ridge Reservoir.  The reservoir would extend even further than that, though, encompassing a significant expanse north of Potter Valley.

English Ridge, in turn, would drain into Clear Lake via the Garrett Tunnel, which would be bored through the mountains that comprise the southern portion of the Mendocino National Forest.  Dos Rios Reservoir would feature a second outlet, providing a more direct route to the Central Valley, a tunnel feeding into another massive new reservoir also envisioned on this map called the Glenn Reservoir Complex in Glenn County.  This enormous reservoir, far larger than Shasta Reservoir, would be just west of the actually-existing Black Butte Reservoir, which is roughly due east of Chico.

And that’s still not enough water for the good people of Glenn County to have on hand, either.  Spencer Reservoir would capture the waters of the North Fork Eel River channel (remember, the Eel has four major forks — all slated for new dams here), shunting it off into the Glenn Reservoir Complex as well.

And those are just some of the projects our state’s water planners envisioned as possibilities worth considering in the ensuing 25 years.

The 50-year plan would involve development of the Bell Springs Reservoir and the Sequoia Reservoir, which would flood most of the remainder of the mainstem Eel River’s 192-mile channel.

Part of the reason these projects never came to pass is that when the Army Corps of Engineers and the State Division of Water Resources pursued construction of the Dos Rios Reservoir in the late-1960s, they were thwarted by vigorous grassroots opposition and Republican Governor Ronald Reagan, who vetoed state funding for the facility.

The social upheavals of the time compelled Reagan and other leading politicians of the era to grant many of the demands of the burgeoning environmental movement leading to passage of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act several years later.


Ancient History

There are other interesting parallels in California’s history.  

In 1906, the conflagrations that consumed San Francisco following the 1906 earthquake provided renewed impetus for the Hetch Hetchy Dam project, which San Francisco-based engineers first developed in detail in 1864, exactly 100 years before the Division of Water Rights developed its master plan for transferring North Coast water to the Central Valley and Southern California.  If water tunneled into The City from the Sierra Nevadas had been available, project boosters asserted with little foundation, then the fires of 1906 would have been extinguished before they grew out of control.

In December 1964, the largest flood in the modern history of the Eel River caused what biologists refer to as a “mass wasting event.”  It was another case of North Coast ecosystems’ sacrifice on the altar of reckless expansion elsewhere in the state.

Clear-cut logging throughout the Eel River system had fueled the suburban construction boom in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area.  The reckless logging had left deforested soils to run off into the river channel, with hundreds of miles of temporary roads also contributing to the problem.

The moral of the story: natural disasters create huge new political openings.  Nowadays, California’s water infrastructure boosters are saying this new set of proposals is the answer to the state’s water supply problem.

Of course, California’s existing reservoirs sit empty in large part due to the loss of snow melt, not capacity problems; climate change is a huge new factor in all of this.  Of course, the odds that any of the abandoned projects I’ve mentioned in this piece will be revived any time soon are slim.

But if dams become a popularly supported political solution to the state’s water woes, it remains to be seen which seeming relics from the past the water boosters will dust off.

~An abridged excerpt, you can read Will Parrish’s
full Oct. 15 article in the best little provocatively
independent newspaper still left standing:  
Mendocino’s Anderson Valley Advertiser .





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Humboldt’s Bad Cinema Weekend


The Eureka Theater

This Friday and Saturday Night


Doors Open at 6:30 pm
Movies at 7


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


It looks like rain in Humboldt.

Have some fun indoors tonight.  Grab a bite to eat and head on over to see the newly-restored gem of a 1939 Streamline Modern theater:  The Eureka Theater, located at 612 F Street in downtown Eureka.

You think you know what Bad Cinema is?  You’ll forget that blockbuster movie within weeks.  Bad Cinema is with you for the rest of your life. 

Bad Cinema is compelling.  Bad Cinema stars no one you’ve ever heard of.  The hilarious B-grade campy productions cost less than your last kitchen remodel.

Yet you cannot turn away, and you will find yourself watching Bad Cinema over and over again.  Bad Cinema simply endures.

Friday’s double feature for the kid-friendly and whole family event kicks off with Edward D. Wood Jr.’s magnum opus, PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE, and continues with the modern masterpiece BIRDEMIC:  SHOCK AND TERROR, written and directed by James Nguyen (Master of Romantic Thrillers™).

The delicious wretchedness continues Saturday with the baffling ROBOT MONSTER (in glorious 2-D!), and concludes with the Eureka big-screen debut of Mystery Science Theater 3000– cleanse your Bad Cinema palate with Joel & the ‘Bots riffing on the sublimely rancid 1960s caveman romance musical.

Egads.  Suffice it to say you’ll be thankful for the full bar of drinks available.  For the kids, there’s refreshments, candy, popcorn and other treats close at hand.

The single admission, helping support the restoration of the theateris only $5.00 each night!



Bad Cinema Weekend


October 17th & 18th, 2014
Doors 6:30 PM | Showtime 7:00 PM

 The Eureka Theater – along with our generous sponsors CityBarberShopLittle Shop of HersL & M Photography, and Cool 105.5 – is deeply ashamed to present the first-ever Bad Cinema Weekend.

Two nights.  Four terrible movies.

Suffice it to say you’ll be thankful for our full bar. (21+ be prepared to show I.D.)

Single admission $5.00 each night


Friday, October 17th
Doors 6:30 pm  | Showtime 7 pm
Friday’s double feature kicks off with Edward D. Wood, Jr.’s magnum opus, PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE, and continues with the modern masterpiece BIRDEMIC: SHOCK AND TERROR, written and directed by James Nguyen (Master of Romantic Thrillers™).
Saturday, October 18th
Doors 6:30 pm  | Showtime 7 pm
The wretchedness continues Saturday with the baffling ROBOT MONSTER (in glorious 2-D!), and concludes with the Eureka big-screen debut of MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000–cleanse your Bad Cinema palate with Joel & the ‘bots riffing on the sublimely rancid 1960s caveman musical romance EEGAH! 



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Hooked on Humboldt County



Changing the Times:

Ideas from Around the Web




Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


It’s about time Humboldt leaders start leading the way with innovative ideas for the future of our beautiful North Coast. 

Instead of beating the tired old path of tax increases and asking for more, more, and still more, while threatening to reduce services unless they get their lazy fat-cat bureaucratic way, maybe they should consider the hard work of leading the progressive road forward for business and consumers to prosper alike– offering new and inventive ideas for growth and change.

The North Coast should be a leader of all things good.  Period.

Here’s a few token ideas from around the web of what other communities are doing with their effective leadership.


Bayshore Mall Affordable Housing?

America’s Oldest Enclosed Mall Converted to Tiny Housing


Take Part -  The bustling stores that used to grace the oldest enclosed mall in America, the Arcade Providence in Providence, R.I., have been transformed into mixed-use housing: shops on the ground floor and micro-apartments on the top two levels.

The Arcade was built in 1828, and like many malls struggling after the recent economic crash, the building, which is in Providence’s downtown, closed in 2008.

No new enclosed malls have been constructed in America since 2006, and nearly half of the nation’s existing malls are expected to go out of business within 10 years.

Gutting the Rhode Island property wasn’t an option—the building was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1976.  Enter developer Evan Granoff, who has spearheaded micro-housing projects in space-cramped cities such as Boston and San Francisco with city leaders.

Granoff bought the mall, set aside the ground floor for retail, and set about transforming the top two floors. 

Each of the new 38 micro-apartments, which began welcoming tenants in early 2014, is 225 to 300 square feet—they take their design inspiration from shipping containers.  Despite their minuscule size, the spaces come with the basics: a bathroom, a bedroom, storage, and a tiny kitchen (a mini-fridge and microwave are included, but there’s no oven or stove).

A handful of 900-square-foot apartments are available for folks who want a bit more breathing room.  The building also comes with amenities, including a game room and laundry facilities.


Beating the High Cost of Renner Gas

Kentucky Town Creates Its Own Gas Station


Nation of Change -  Earlier this month, the small city of Somerset, Kentucky, opened a municipally owned and operated fuel center in an effort to drive down gas prices for local residents.  

As a result of its proximity to Lake Cumberland, a popular tourist destination, the city of 11,000 residents has long struggled with high fuel prices– especially during the summer months between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

Under the leadership of Republican Mayor Eddie Girdler, the conservative-leaning city purchased a fuel storage facility for $200,000.

The city spent another $75,000 building the infrastructure to distribute gasoline to the public– including the installation of 10 pumps.  

The city now purchases gas from a local supplier (Continental Refining Company) and uses city employees who rotate in from other departments to operate the station.

In a city where gas prices at private stations can spike 20 to 30 cents a gallon on weekends, the public station will not aim to turn a profit.  Rather the mayor’s office intends to set prices in a way that the city breaks even on the cost of fuel plus operating expenses.

However, an additional goal is to provide an incentive for motorists on their way to Lake Cumberland to stop in Somerset to refuel, thus generating additional business for—and greater tax revenues from—the city’s restaurants, shops, and other small businesses.


Slashing Health Care Insurance Expenses

Maine Healthcare Cooperative Proving a Model Success


Portland Press Herald, ME -    Maine Community Health Options will offer insurance through the federal marketplace to people throughout New Hampshire next year, a move made possible by a major federal loan and local success that has surprised industry experts and allowed the company to dominate the Maine market.

Cooperatives are an often-overlooked component of the Affordable Care Act and were designed as an alternative to traditional insurance companies, especially in states where there might be limited choices.  In the co-op model, the governing board is ruled by its members, and any profits are plowed back into operations.  In a traditional insurance company, profits can be distributed to shareholders.

Co-ops exist in 26 states, according to the National Alliance of State Health Co-Ops.  Through the health insurance marketplaces created by the federal law, where people can apply for subsidized benefits on, the cooperatives offer competitive plans against the big players in the industry, such as
Aetna, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield and State Farm.

Nationwide, the co-ops have had varying levels of success, but health experts rated the co-op in Maine an overwhelming success.

Despite being a start up competing against longtime insurer Anthem, Maine Community Health Options captured 83 percent of the 44,000 Mainers who signed up for insurance on the marketplace in 2014, surprising state health care experts.

The co-op and Anthem offered similarly priced plans, and yet most chose the new nonprofit over the established company.

“Maine was hungry for an alternative,” said Mitchell Stein, a Cumberland-based independent health policy analyst.

* * * * * * * *

~ Via Undernews, Take Part, Nation of Change, Portland Press Herald
Our appreciation goes out to Rick and Matt St. Charles and HCCVB


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Companion Animal Foundation Dream Comes True


Art and Wine Benefit Tonight
To Celebrate New 18-Acre Petopia


When:   Saturday, Sept 27 at 6:30 pm

Where:  Bayside Grange
              2297 Jacoby Creek Road



As you may have heard, Companion Animal Foundation recently bought land in McKinleyville to create a humane education center.

We are hosting an Art Auction for the Animals on Saturday, September 27th at 6:30 p.m. at the Bayside Grange, 2297 Jacoby Creek Road.  

Help us make our goals a reality! 

Support us by bidding on unique and original artwork, which was graciously donated by the community.

CAF is still accepting donations of art, so please stop by the store or call 826-7387 for more information.  We are stilll recruiting volunteers, so please contact us if you would like to help.

We look forward to seeing you there! 

~Kim Class, CAF Executive Director


 Their dream is coming true.

The Companion Animal Foundation has purchased 18.5 acres from Cara and Jerry Brockhoff with the goal of creating a future Animal and Humane Education Center, as well as summer camps for children.

The Brockhoffs recently bid a fond farewell to their home, their friends and their beloved “Schroeder’s Swamp” to make a move down south to be closer to their children and grandchildren.

What they left behind wasn’t the end of something, but rather a beginning.

“When we purchased this property in 1994″ said Cara Brockhoff, “the Realtor told us, ‘You don’t want this troubled property, it will be difficult to build on.”

But building on the property was not the Brockhoffs’ priority.  They were excited at the thought of having private and fenced acreage where their many rescued greyhounds could run safely off lead.  

They enjoyed the property for 20 years with a total of 35 greyhounds enjoying their freedom and one mixed breed, Schroeder, a large rescued shepherd-chow mix with a heart of gold, for whom the property was named.

Approximately 20 years ago, the Brockhoffs began Northcoast Greyhounds, often traveling great distances to pick up elderly or retired racing greyhounds and bringing them back to their home in McKinleyville.  Every day, “the greyhound bus” could be seen traveling back and forth from their home to Schroeder’s Swamp for the daily “swamp romp.”

Over time, they watched as it reclaimed its natural state, growing from the scraped and drained condition created by the previous owner to the natural wonderland it was meant to be.  With trails meandering throughout the entire property, Mill Creek flowing west and some of the oldest and tallest trees in McKinleyville, the property holds special magic, they felt.  

This natural beauty will now be safely in the hands of a group dedicated to preserving its natural state.

On Aug. 8, escrow closed and the property officially came into the hands of the Companion Animal Foundation.

“I could feel something good was on the horizon for us” said Executive Director Kim Class.  ”The way this all came about could be almost a fairy story in itself. The Brockhoffs were very generous and instrumental in helping us to move forward with our goal of a future Animal and Humane Education Sanctuary and a safe place where we could hold summer camps for our youth.”

With a generous discount on the land as well as an additional private $50,000 donation, the foundation almost completely owns the land with the exception of a short-term, interest-free loan from a longtime CAF board member.

“I met the Brockhoffs about 22 years ago and was their pet sitter for Schroeder, a wonderful dog they adopted from Sequoia Humane Society” said Class.  ”I had been on their property walking many of their rescued greyhounds.  It’s quite simply the most beautiful piece of property I have ever been on.  To be the caretaker and guardian of something so magnificent, well, I believe we are up to the task at CAF!  I’m so excited to share this with our community and for many people and their canines to come out and walk the many trails.”

CAF’s goal is to work with the community to build a very thoughtful Animal and Humane Education Center.  

“We have saved over the last 12 years since CAF started,” said Class.  ”We have persistently held this vision for the future for the children and our community.  The Brockhoffs were very generous in their offer on the land and they made us an offer we simply couldn’t refuse!

“The first FUNdraiser is our ‘Art Auction for the Animals’ at the Bayside Grange this Saturday starting at 6:30 p.m.  We have so much donated original and print art, unique and very special jewelry, a wide variety of pottery, glassware and more.  A $10 donation will also get you delicious appetizers and a ticket for a glass of wine or a non-alcoholic drink.  Come early for the many ‘buy it now’ options.

“When people hear our story and can taste our vision for the future, they are moved to donate art or jewelry or something special for this big gala event.  Volunteers are also needed and encouraged to help the evening run smoothly.”

Class said her new motto is “A donation to Companion Animal Foundation is a donation for you, your children, our community and our beloved animals.”

For more information about the above upcoming events, the land project or any of CAF’s programs, call 826-PETS (7387).


~Every animal needs a good home.  We thank the Brockhoff family and the Companion Animal Foundation for making the dream come true and allowing the Sentinel to reprint this article for the Humboldt community.

Photos by Cara and Jerry Brockhoff, Companion Animal Foundation, and Kevin Hoover/Arcata Eye


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Free History Night in Freshwater


Jerry Rohde: The Infamous 1964 Flood

A Unique Perspective of Disaster


Friday, September 19: Freshwater Grange

Potluck at 6 pm

Presentation at 7 pm


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel



There will be good times in Wrangletown tonight. 

Jerry’s back by popular demand for another free potluck and history presentation at the Freshwater Grange.

Pierson Building Center in Eureka is funding a free series of historical lectures as part of their celebration of the business’s 52nd anniversary.

Celebrating Life in Humboldt County is a series of 10 PowerPoint presentations being held at Grange halls, town halls and community centers throughout the county.

Jerry Rohde, local author and premier historian, will give an hour-long talk tonight on “The 1964 Flood,” highlighting different aspects of Humboldt’s infamous and catastrophic natural diasaster.

With over 60 images and interesting anecdotes, stories, and facts about Humboldt’s infamous 1964 Flood, Jerry may amaze and mesmerize the audience yet again like he did before.

Yes, as bridges were swept away, the National Guard was called in, entire communities were washed away down the rivers, and Humboldters rallied to help one another.

Jerry will tell us how history repeats itself: only 11 years earlier, the 1955 ‘Hundred-Year’ flood provided a warning of what was to come; while way back in the winter of 1861-62, the North Coast was hit with what may have been the biggest flood of all.

Come to the free presentation and Jerry will fill you in on the exciting history and take your questions.  Everyone is welcome and we’d love to see you.  And your family and friends!

There’s a community potluck at 6 pm, so bring a dish to share.

Jerry’s presentation starts at 7 pm.

Thank you Pierson Building Center for sponsoring Jerry’s gig.  Last time, it was fun for everyone– in a history sort of way.  Who knew history could be that fun?

To get there, take Myrtle Avenue/Old Arcata Road. At 3 Corners Market, turn east onto Freshwater Road and drive 2.2 miles to the Garfield Little Red School House, and turn right onto Grange Road.  You can’t miss it: it’s the big, big building at 29 Grange Road.

If you know Jerry, it ought to be a great presentation in Wrangletown,
a very friendly and beautiful community just outside of Eureka.

Admission is free.  For more information, you can contact Rohde at 445-3844 or .


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This Sunday in Freshwater



A Big Day of Haps in the Little Sunny Valley


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


The end of summer is near. 

The trees are starting to turn, the leaves beginning to drop, the sun edging closer to the horizon.  Soon it will be a distant memory as we head towards colder days stoking the homefires and actually wishing for cool, cool rain to come.

But we still have a summer weekend– a day left of California Dreaming.  Without the Los Angeles part.

Freshwater has some delightful things to do this Sunday.  The weather looks good, Freshwater Park is open for a pleasant stroll, and as always, the folks are happy and content and friendly to a rule.



The Great Freshwater Grange Sunday Breakfast

Sunday, September 7, 8-11 am


Mom does this.  Mom does that.  Mom does everything! 

Isn’t it time we give Mom a break for once and let someone else wash all the dirty dishes? 

We think so!

Bring Mom and the family and come enjoy the full Sunday breakfast at the Grange of hotcakes, scrambled eggs, ham, sausage, orange juice, milk, and French roast coffee.  Top it off with Laura’s homemade salsa and cheese. 

There will be a quilt raffle, too, and 12-year-old Kieran is excited about playing the Celtic harp for everyone to hear. 

It’s all for a good cause.  All monies raised goes toward the non-profit building fund helping restore the Grange Hall to its former glory.

And it’s still the best bargain in the county: only $5 for adults and $3 for kids!



Kathy’s Farmstand and the Regional Land Trust Open House & Potluck

Sunday, September 7, 12-6 pm

5851 Myrtle Avenue in Freshwater


You’re in for a real treat and now’s the perfect time to see it for yourself.

If you haven’t visited Humboldt’s little gem of a Farmstand– or tried one of Granny-Be-Jammin’s pies, you’ve been missing out.  They’re hands down the best little plumpest $6 pie in all of Humboldt– and the Farmstand beats all others in its downhome country charm. 

Join in for a special educational tour of the 74-acre property managed by the Northcoast Regional Land Trust and visit Kathy Mullen’s completely-adorable Kneeland Glen Farmstand, all on the same Freshwater Farms property located near Three Corners Market.

Starting at the historic Graham Long Dairy Barn at 2 pm, you can traverse the wild and working landscapes along Freshwater Creek that make the place a true community resource.  And the Land Trust will be seeking your opinion for the long-term vision of the property, too.

All afternoon there will be locally produced food, crafts, vendors and live music.  We’re talking fresh barbecued Pepperwood corn on the cob, homegrown delights of many flavors, local honey, udderly bubbly goat soaps and creams, spices, meats, cookies, and lots of other things you simply won’t find elsewhere.

The Open House is free.  Everyone is encouraged to bring a potluck item to share with their neighbors, with a focus on using locally grown and produced ingredients.

Come on by and see it for yourself.  It may be the best thing to happen to you all day.  Next to the pancake breakfast, of course.

* * * * * * * *

Oh.  And there’s something else coming up– later on.  Mark your calendars.  It’s free, too:


‘The 1964 Flood’—A Free Presentation by Historian Jerry Rohde

Friday, September 19, 6-8 pm

Freshwater Grange


Jerry’s back by popular demand for another free history presentation at the Grange.

With over 60 images and interesting anecdotes, stories, and facts about Humboldt’s infamous 1964 Flood, Jerry may amaze and mesmerize the audience yet again.

Yes, as bridges were swept away, the National Guard was called in, and entire communities were washed away down the rivers, Humboldters rallied to help one another. 

Jerry will tell us how history repeats itself:  only 11 years earlier, the 1955 ‘Hundred-Year’ flood provided a warning of what was to come, while way back in the winter of 1861-62, the North Coast was hit with what may have been the biggest flood of all.

Come to the free presentation and Jerry will fill us in on all the exciting history and take your questions, too.

There’s a community potluck at 6 pm, so bring a dish to share if you’d like to partake.

Jerry’s presentation starts at 7 pm.

Last time, it was mildly fun for everyone– in a history sort of way.  We didn’t know history could be that fun.

Thank you Pierson Building Center for sponsoring Jerry’s gig.


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Humboldt Bay Coast Guard Open House Today


Saturday, Aug. 30, from 10 am to 3 pm

A Rare Once-a-Year Peek Inside




Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


It’s a once-in-a-year opportunity to see some really cool things.

Coast Guard Station Humboldt Bay welcomes the public to its annual Open House Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014 from 10 am to 3 pm in Samoa.

Everyone is invited to visit the station and meet the local Coast Guard crew.  Guests will be able to tour the historic building and the rescue boats. 

The Coast Guard Station Humboldt Bay station covers 250 miles of rugged coastline from the Mendocino-Sonoma County line north to the California-Oregon border.

Cold Pacific currents, powerful Alaskan winter storms, towering offshore rocks, fog, and dangerous harbor entrance bars consistently threaten commercial and recreational vessels operating in the area.  The local Coast Guard facility monitors for distress 24 hours a day and directs boats and aircraft to respond to maritime emergencies along the coast, offshore, and inland.  

The group includes the Air Station, Small Boat Stations Humboldt Bay and Noyo River, two 87 foot cutters, and an Aids to Navigation Team.   The cutter USCGC Barracuda is homeported in Eureka; the cutter USCGC Dorado in Crescent City.

We suggest you gander up to the cupola of the grand old building and take a peek through their mounted high-powered binoculars.  It is truly amazing to see the individual blades of dune grass fluttering away across the harbor entrance from a distance of several miles using the precision one-of-a-kind optics.  The unsinkable cigar-shaped rescue lifeboats are also a highlight, housed inside the wooden bays of the  old boathouse.

Boat crews will be available to discuss their missions, general boating safety, and how the Coast Guard renders assistance to mariners operating off the dangerous north coast of California.  Personnel and vehicles from partner agencies will also be available from the Eureka Flotilla of the Coast Guard Auxiliary, local police and fire departments, and the Department of Fish and Wildlife.

“Food For People” will be accepting donations of non-perishable food to aid the local community.

“The Coast Guard has been located on the North Spit since the 1800′s providing assistance to the maritime community,” said Master Chief Petty Officer Jon Gagnon, officer in charge of Station Humboldt Bay.

“The open house provides the public an excellent opportunity to come out to the North Jetty, see inside the historic building, and meet the fine young men and women of our Coast Guard,” Gagnon said.

Just head out to Samoa on Highway 255 and follow Navy Base Road to the end of the bay. 
Take in the beautiful views and don’t fall in the water.




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Free Humboldt History Presentation in Freshwater


Jerry Rohde Offers a Historical Perspective
of Humboldt’s ‘Unique and Useful Products’


Friday, August 22 at 7pm at the Freshwater Grange


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel



There will be hot times in Wrangletown tonight.

Pierson Building Center in Eureka is funding a free series of historical lectures as part of their celebration of the business’s 52nd anniversary.

Celebrating Life in Humboldt County is a series of 10 PowerPoint presentations being held at Grange halls, town halls and community centers throughout the county.

Jerry Rohde, local author and premier historian, will give an hour-long talk on “Unique and Useful Products of Humboldt County,” highlighting different aspects of our life here in this beautiful corner of the world.

For over 60 years, Humboldt County was isolated from the rest of the state with no connecting railroad or highway.  It had its challenges.

But we were a self-sufficient bunch. 

Humboldters made their own bricks and beer, caught their own fish, and built their towns from the nearby redwoods.  Later, the Redwood Highway and the Northwestern Pacific Railroad brought in both merchandise and tourists, the latter attracted by sights not to be seen anywhere else.

Jerry’s presentation looks at our more exciting products and places, and includes at least 60 unique images with interesting facts and stories about each topic.

And, if we didn’t say it before, all of Jerry’s presentations are free.  Everyone is welcome and we’d love to see you.  And all of your family and friends!

It starts at 7pm Friday, August 22, at the Freshwater Grange in Freshwater.  And if you’d like to make it, there’s a small potluck beforehand at 6pm, too.

To get there, take Myrtle Avenue/Old Arcata Road.  At 3 Corners Market, turn east onto Freshwater Road and drive 2.2 miles to the Garfield Little Red School House, and turn right onto Grange Road.

You can’t miss it: it’s the big building at 54 Grange Road.

If you know Jerry, it ought to be a great presentation in Wrangletown, a very friendly and beautiful community just outside of Eureka.

Thank you, Pierson Building Center and Jerry Rohde, for making this happen in Humboldt.

Admission is free. For more information, contact Rohde at 445-3844 or .



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A Shredding Good Time Road Trip


Shred ‘Til You’re Dead With the Homies




Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


Skate ’til you drop.

Five of the world’s best shred skaters, such as Chris Haffey, Erik Bailey, Jeff Stockwell, Victor Arias and Brandon Smith shared a two-week, 3,000-mile summer tour of skate parks in Northern California, Oregon and Idaho.

Ivan Narez joined those guys and made a video based on the footage he stacked up from the camping and shredding road trip.  You’ll catch them working Eureka’s Cooper Gulch Skate Park at the 5:17 mark.

Spending two weeks shredding, camping, playing Wiffle ball, riding motorcycles, fighting off aliens, swimming in the river, drinking brews and doing all the other things you like to do with homies on the road sounds hella fun to us.

They also burned through 200 pairs of socks, slept in tent cities, ate out of cans, got mighty stinky and kept a vigilant eye out for Bigfoot.

Life is one tough concrete jungle.  The rest of us have to work.


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Black Lightning Moto Envy Show and Bike Raffle Today


Be There & Show the Love:

  Saturday, August 16, 12-7 pm

  440 F Street, Eureka


Black Lightning Motorcycle Café


This project started 7 months ago after I got a wild
idea in my head.

I had been working at the Black Lightning Moto Cafe in downtown Eureka, which meant I spent most of my mornings talking with gear heads and motorcycle fanatics.  Simultaneously I was moving into my new screen printing shop and starting my own business, also in downtown Eureka.

As we moved our screen printing equipment into our new shop the church behind our shop was being roped off with crime scene tape.  A local priest had been brutally, randomly, unnecessarily murdered
the night before.

What came out of that tragedy was a large community meeting, called together by local doctors and nurses who had, for a long time, been seeing a surge in methamphetamine abuse, as well as a decrease in funding for mental health.  The purpose of that meeting was to discuss what anyone in Eureka could plainly see: we have big problems that need addressing.

I came out of that meeting wanting to do something.  I had been following a couple motorcycle rebuild projects online and came up with the idea for the Phoenix Project to raise money for people already involved in combating meth use, and as a way to learn more about something I love:  motorcycles.

The project has relied heavily on local volunteers, some more than others.  I have been blown away with the amount of support I have received from people who I had never met before this project started.  

One of the great things about this project is that it has exposed me to many new people, some of whom I consider new friends, and many of them have inspired me to keep going with this project even when things got frustrating.  

We had an initial $1,000 dollars that I raised on a kick-starter-type website (indie-a-go-go) and non-running motorcycle was gifted to us by a local man.  Since then we have received sponsorship, in the form of parts and encouragement by Biltwell Inc., Barnett, and Bell.

So here we are and we’re raffling off the project bike.

The raffle is today.  There are lots of bikes on display, food, drinks, vendors, and things to see.

The Phoenix will have a new owner, and myself and the rest of the volunteers will have to watch her roar away.

We will pick the winning raffle ticket at the Moto Envy Show at Black Lightning Moto Cafe, 440 F Street in Eureka, on Saturday August 16th.  There are still tickets left for the bike, though we will only sell 400 of them, so the odds are good! Our phone number is #442-2562.

Please help me spread the word about the raffle as this project wraps up!  

ALL of the proceeds from ticket sales are donated to the nonprofit HMAAP (the Humboldt Meth Abuse Awareness Project.)  Anyone interested in buying a raffle ticket from out of the area can contact me directly at my email address

THANK YOU and keep the shiny side up!


~Via BLMC/Hinterland

  Thank you for helping our Humboldt community, Jeff & Trinia


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Lookin’ Out My Backdoor


Tambourines & Elephants
 Playing in the Band 


Old School **VIDEO**


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel



I love being here, looking out my back door.

Seeing mountains and green trees and beautiful skies every day.  Feeling the cool coastal breeze pass on through on a fine summer’s day.  The birds and dragonflies humming about, the deer and bears eating dandelions in the meadow, the blackberries and apples ripening on the vine as they have always done.

Happy Hum-people going about their day in an easygoing lazy way, a casual wave of the hand, a friendly smile and hello.

There’s a peace and rhythm in Humboldt filling our minds with calm and cheer.  We see the bright green emerald grass emerging under our feet and hear the ocean’s distant terrifying roar;  it brings a sense of  life to the vibrant fore.

We enjoy the last of the epic summer sunsets and tall white cumulus clouds while relishing the start of a season full of foggy mornings.  We love spending summer dreaming of winter storms, and then the opposite. 

I love that everyone here loves Humboldt so much.  I love being home on the North Coast.

There’s a gentle ache for Humboldt that lives in all of us.  It’s our own little world that we live in, but that’s OK;  they happen to know us here.  It’s a safe place where we can go and not be questioned for who we are.  It has its own sense of comfort, goodness, and a special warmth;  the touch of a friendly hand and a talk beside the fire.  We know the next best thing to being cared for is caring for someone else.  And we all do; whether rich or poor or something in between.

I used to dream about escaping my ordinary life, but life was never really ordinary.  I had simply failed to notice how extraordinary it was.  Likewise, I never imagined that Humboldt might be something I’d miss– like tambourines and elephants playing in the band.

Yeah, it’s all here, everything one wants and hopes and dreams for.  Life used to be so damn hard.  It’s not so much anymore.  It’s the same for anyone, I suppose, no matter where it is they hang their hat. 

Maybe that’s why we call it home.  Home is the nicest word there is.

It just took me awhile to realize that, lookin’ out my back door.


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Love, Humboldt




A Staff Pick *Hum-VIDEO*


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel



We love Humboldt. 

Everyone does.  It’s our people and community; our place and our home.

Head north along the coast to where most people think California ends. Then keep going.  You’ll eventually reach the redwood forests, pristine beaches, and the six rivers of Humboldt.

You’re in for a treat– and more than the outdoor adventure kind.  That’s because the same natural abundance we enjoy has inspired generations of family farmers, small businesses and artisans.  They handcraft products with care that’s hard to come by anymore– and with an approach that says, “Hey, Let’s be nice to the Earth.”

It’s something we’re really proud of. 

For you, that means seriously treats like local beer and wine, milk, cheeses and grass-fed beef.  Fresh-off-the-dock oysters, salmon, halibut, albacore and crab.  An abundance and variety of heirloom-quality foods, crafts and jewelry.

The best part of Humboldt, though, is the people.  Giving, loving, genuine.  Independent.  Content, happy, and satisfied.  Always a smile and a kind word for one another. 

That’s just the way we are. 

The second best part of Humboldt is the summer weather:  cool and comfortable and far removed from the withering heat felt elsewhere by most throughout the nation.  Many locals stay put for the summer; it’s simply the nicest and best place to be.

If you visit, start with some serious outdoor fun.  Go on a hike, or set out in a kayak. Canoe one the gorgeous rivers or explore our pristine coastline.  

Walk through the glorious forests and smell the fresh air sifting through the redwood needles and bay laurel trees.  Gaze meditatively at our ancient old-growth majesties glowing like cathedrals in the dappled soft sunshine.  Take a long walk on the isolated beaches that stretch for miles.  Delve into the area’s deep and rich history.

You can start at a farmer’s market, perhaps the famous Arcata Farmer’s Market on Saturdays.  Or maybe search the Arcata Plaza, Victorian Ferndale or Old Town Eureka for locally made crafts and jewelry.  Try some wine-tasting in Trinidad or call ahead and visit one of our small wineries.

Say hello.  Don’t be shy about stopping at the boat docks or fruit stands.  During summer you can find festivals and handfuls of events underway.  There’s plenty of gaming around.  Sample the restaurants and eateries; they serve up local and delightful delicacies.

For a community that’s as uniquely independent as we are, we still know how to take care of one another.  Take the time to chat.  Look after your elders by bringing them treats and firewood.  Drop off some fresh-picked blackberries for friends.  Help your neighbor find their chickens.  Pack up the neighborhood kids for a carefree barbecue and a swim at the river.

…And have a happy summer and more fun from all of us in Humboldt.

* * * * * * * * *

For our Hum-friends and family. 
~Via and Vimeo/Runaway Kite


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The Hunt for Shane Miller is Over



Murderer’s Remains Found in Petrolia




Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


From the Times-Standard news this morning:

The hunt for Shane Miller is over.

The Humboldt County’s Coroner’s Office confirmed Sunday the human remains recovered near Petrolia on Friday night belong to Humboldt County native Shane Miller, who was wanted in connection with the shooting deaths of his wife and two young daughters. 

A loaded handgun was found near his remains.

Miller, 45, was the subject of a massive manhunt in the Mattole Valley last May.

Authorities say he gunned down his wife Sandy and daughters Shelby Miller, 8, and Shasta Miller, 4, in their Shingletown home in Shasta County on May 7, 2013, before fleeing 200 miles to the Humboldt County, where he abandoned his truck and the family dog.

“Using dental records the remains have been positively identified as Shane Franklin Miller, age 46 of Shingletown, California,” a release from the office states.  ”Additional examination of Mr. Miller’s remains will be conducted this week.”…

An excerpt, the full Times-Standard article is here.


From NBC News:

Humboldt County and the rest of California’s “Lost Coast,” where the green mountains of the King Range plunge down to the sea, is the most undeveloped section of the state’s shoreline.  Its dense forests have few roads, towns or people and are little known to outsiders.

But Miller knew the area.

He grew up in Humboldt County, and was a sometime participant in one of the area’s major industries — growing marijuana.  He was convicted of felony cultivation in 1996.  He also racked up arrests for a hit and run, DUI, money laundering, marijuana cultivation, and illegal possession of a machine gun, before spending nearly four years in federal prison on a gun charge.  He was released in 2007.

People who knew Miller told local media that he had survival skills.  The Marshals described him as an “avid outdoorsman,” and the affidavit described him as “a survivalist, who frequently uses cash for purchases.”

A day after the killings, Miller’s truck was found in a remote area near the tiny town of Petrolia, California, less than five miles from the Pacific.  A week later, hikers found Miller’s dog wandering along the Lost Coast Trail, which winds through the redwoods and Douglas firs high above the ocean.  Hundreds of law enforcement personnel combed through the rugged area in an extensive manhunt for Miller.

In June, authorities found a homemade underground fortress on property that Miller owned.  An elaborate, prefabricated bunker was buried on one of the properties, with vent pipes hidden by wood and other debris, according to the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office.  Inside, investigators say, was an arsenal of rifles, shotguns and handguns — but no sign of Shane Miller.

Late Friday night, someone anonymously reported possible human remains on the banks of the Mattole River in Petrolia.

Once authorities had confirmed the remains were human, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office contacted the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office, “as the body’s location was within an area where Shane Miller had previously fled from law enforcement.”

On Saturday, according to a press release from the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office, law enforcement officers from both counties and the Department of Justice collected the remains and other evidence from the scene.  

The remains were positively identified on Sunday through dental records as Shane Miller’s.

The Shasta County Sheriff’s Office didn’t say how long the body had been at the site or how Miller died, but announced plans for a press conference about the find at a later date due to personnel currently being assigned to several large fires within Shasta County.

* * * * * * * *

~Via Times-Standard, Google News/NBC/CNN,
Lost Coast Interpretive Association


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A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Eureka City Hall


Who’s in Charge? 
Who’s on First?
What’s on Second?


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


The money’s gone and there’s no telling where it went.
The fiasco will end up costing Eureka taxpayers more
once the lawyers get their say in court.  Meanwhile,
there’s nothing– and no one– to show for it.

First off, we have this lovely excerpt by Lorna Rodriguez
gracing the Times-Standard today about Eureka’s Martin
Slough Interceptor Project:

Apex Directional Drilling, the company once hired by the city of Eureka to provide drilling services for the Martin Slough Force Main project, filed a claim against the city on Wednesday seeking nearly $6.3 million in damages.

Apex walked off the job in April, and the Eureka City Council earlier this month authorized the Public Works Department to negotiate a contract with Wahlund Construction, Inc. to complete the project.

“In the case of the Martin Slough Force Main, we bent over backward to make this project work,” Apex President Mike Lachner wrote in a statement to the Times-Standard.

“Frankly, we are puzzled and troubled by the city’s unresponsiveness and refusal to acknowledge ground conditions that were vastly different than advertised when hiring for the project.  We filed this complaint because Eureka officials need to step up and be accountable for the damages caused by the city’s negligence, misrepresentations and breach of contract.”


Second, and to follow up on some recent Martin Slough history, we have this charming excerpt taken previously from the Tuluwat Examiner:

On Tuesday, the Eureka City Council held a special meeting regarding the recent troubles with the Martin Slough Interceptor. 

The meeting was to decide whether to award a $3.9 million dollar contract to Wahlund Construction to complete the work which Apex Drilling had pulled out of. 

That was the same amount originally awarded to Apex last year.  Watching the meeting, it was easy to see that the diligent and hardworking Council took this huge expenditure of public funds seriously.  Not.

The meeting lasted about 5 minutes and none of the Council members asked any questions of city staff.  $3.9 million dollars and no questions asked.  WTF? 

In looking at the agenda documents, Examiner staff saw numerous areas that demanded clarification.  The Council didn’t care or didn’t want to know any more information, though.

First off, in the documents Apex Drilling claims that the project they bid on had a flawed soil analysis by SHN Consulting.  Instead of “Hookton Formation” soil, there was supposedly just gray sand.  They described the soil as “just like beach sand.” 

Apex stated that a third party company conducted daily analysis of the soil, and gave those soil analysis reports to SHN on a daily basis.  SHN supposedly refused to accept those reports or engineer changes to the plan to account for putting a pipe into the sand (as opposed to stable dirt).  

To date, Apex has been paid $2.7 million dollars for the project.

That’s right; Apex has been paid $2.7 million.  And now Wahlund has been awarded the same contract as Apex– which brings this Boondoggle to $5.6 million dollars. 

Has the city analyzed the soil to check Apex’s claims?  Is the city still using SHN’s plans and analysis in their contract with Wahlund?  

None of that is clear in the agenda documents, and certainly weren’t touched on in the meeting. 

We ask the question, is the same City Engineer that oversaw this disaster still in charge?

Also in the agenda documents, were references to the Cincinnati Insurance Company, who issued bonds regarding the work to be done under the contract. 

The City had made a claim to the insurance company, but the insurance company hasn’t accepted the claim.  So, does that mean that the $2.7 million dollars paid to Apex might not be recovered? 

We don’t know, because the Council never saw fit to ask.

The Examiner has to wonder whether it’s a lack of intelligence, complete hubris, or just not caring about spending the public’s money that causes this Council to vote on spending huge amounts of cash without asking questions or apparently really knowing what’s going on.

Or, maybe they have the answers to all of the above questions because they discussed them already outside of the public’s view. 

Given the repeated Brown Act violations by this Council, it wouldn’t surprise us.

* * * * * * * * *

We wonder what’s going on too.  It stinks to high heaven.  The original $3.9 million dollar project could potentially mushroom to $11.9 million, and may go higher.  All for a project– a mile of pipeline under Pine Hill– that is outside of the City limits and doesn’t benefit Eureka.

We wonder who’s in charge and who’s on first base because this is appearing like some bad Abbot and Costello number with all the bumbling and fumbling going on and no explanation and no one held accountable.

Then, of course, there’s also the little problem of Measure O lining the coffers of a bumbling Eureka City Hall to contend with, too.

We can only hope that someday the City of Eureka will actually spend the millions of dollars they take for fixing our poor and dilapidated roads and policing the streets rather than lining developer’s pockets. 

Until that happens, we’ll bleed away more money until City Hall, like the town of Bell, can get itself into fiscal rehab before it’s too late.


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The Laid-Back Arcata Farmers Market


Good Food, Good Vibes



Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


Just another Saturday morning at the Farmers Market on the Plaza in downtown Arcata, California.

Over the years, folks have become loyal groupies of the Farmers Market.  

They wait for the seasons of harvest like anticipating the arrival of Christmas.  Why?  It’s a fun place to walk around, buy and eat good food, and meet friends.

The Arcata Farmer’s Market is more than a farmer’s market.  It’s a destination spot.  There’s a lot to see here:  a celebratory lovefest hub of entertainment, vendors, local flavor and some great people watching. You can easily be occupied for several hours taking it all in.

One of the biggest and best farmers market around, there’s a fairly large selection of stuff:  eggs, plants, juices, mushrooms, soaps, seafood, garlic, flowers, herbs, cacti, regular produce fruits and vegetables, and a gazillion other groovy things.

You can pick up all sorts of goodies here.  There is honey fresh from the hive.  Locally fished and smoked salmon.  Tamales and fried things.  Coffee from Los Bagels, the best darkest sweetest French Roast you’ll ever have in del todo mundo.  Candles, crafts, olives, and sweets.

Even beanies spun out of some lady’s bunnies’ hair.

Many of the growers know exactly what they’re talking about and will be straight up with you on how their food is grown and whether or not a plant will survive where you plan on taking it. They love what they’re doing and like showing the passion for their mission.

The prices vary depending on what you’re looking for and what stand you buy from, so it helps to look around and barter a bit– but understand that some things are only available at one stand.

Oh, to frolic amongst the wannabe hippies, yuppies, jugglers, lumberjacks and potheads. Take our word for it, where else can you see a menagerie of people like this?  And where might you find excellent food, crafts, music, and stories to go along with it?

With an atmosphere that’s way laid back and all unto its own, locals bring their own bags or baskets to bring home their fresh, organically-grown produce.  Those that are less than local end up purchasing a bag or basket so they can look cool, too.  It’s all good.  Everyone takes part in the pleasant scene and the overall vibe happening.

And no, there are no weed vendors here… well, none that are legal and part of the Farmer’s Market.

With the smell of marijuana and patchouli and fresh onions in the air, you know you are in Humboldt County– and the Farmer’s Market is the highlight of Humboldt’s quintessential laid-back culture.

Peace and love, vegetables and broccoli, do still abound.



Kinetic Grand Championship Plaza Start 2008 from Kimberly Perkins on Vimeo.

Videos courtesy of Michael LM Joyce and Kimberly Perkins. 
Photos by Ben G.


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Sunday Pancakes Made Easy


Freshwater Grange Pancakes and Eggs 

Sunday Morning, May 4 from 8-11 am




Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel



Breakfast… the most important meal of the day.

And there is nothing quite like a hot pancake breakfast with your friends and family on a Sunday morning.

It’s an awesome meal when the Freshwater Grange is preparing and passing out their hot cake ‘n egg and ham and sausage and French roast coffee dishes for you to sample.  It’s been a hit and the pancake family grows larger.

Think of it as a breakfast delight, where you get to try a bite of a little bit of everything along with the maple syrup– and not have to wash a dirty pan or dish.

It all comes together like a magical surprise with everyone’s fine help.  Well, most of the time it does anyway.

What’s great is the rock bottom price:

$5 for adults, and only $3 for the kids!


Wrangletown would love to have you.  All in all a perfect way to spend a Sunday morning.  Just beware that a nap will be necessary following the impending food coma.

When: First Sunday of every month, 8-11 a.m.
Where: Freshwater Grange, 49 Grange Road

…Just follow the smiley balloons and sign on Myrtle Avenue/Old Arcata Road.  At 3 Corners Market turn east onto Freshwater Road and drive 2.2 miles to the Garfield Little Red School House, and onto Grange Road. 

You can’t miss it.

Our appreciation goes to the Ahrens’ family for letting us in on their fine breakfast and love of family. 
It sure feels good to be alive.

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The Amazing New Humboldt Bay Eagle Cam


They’re Back

And So is a New Higher-Def Camera



Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


They’re back.  And they’re beautiful.

We’re excited our namesake mascots are back.  We watched these eagles all last summer and were kind of sad when they all left.  Talk about having an ‘empty nest syndrome’.

Welcome to the nesting pair of bald eagles in Humboldt Bay, Arcata.

Constructed on top of a Douglas fir tree near Bayside, this famous and rare nest has a well recorded breeding history going back to 2006.

In the 2013 breeding season two nest cameras were installed by the Institute for Wildlife Studies who monitor a number of active nests in the area.  The Humboldt Bay Eagles nest is quite different from other nests because the nest is monitored by multiple tilt-zoom cameras and can relay information from different angles.

Bald eagles breed once a year and remain with one mate as long as they are alive and successful at breeding.  The nest has created quite the buzz and offspring in Humboldt and the newly installed higher-definition camera seen at the top, above, has been a hit for viewing better quality images of the breeding pair. 

Just press the blue  ’Play’ button above and give the site a few seconds to upload itself.  You can also watch both camera views at and see reports of nesting activities at the Humboldt Bay Eagles Forum.

Shhh.  The exact location of the nest, however, is a closely guarded secret.

To note, this nest is also unique because it harbors activity of other animals besides the eagles.  It turns out the nest is very actively used by Northern Pacific Chorus frogs living in the tree.  The frogs generally come out when the evening weather warms above a certain temperature.

During the camera installation, the person in charge left the camera lying in the
nest.  When he returned the next day to finish, there was a frog hiding in the mounting housing.  As a canopy ecologist, he knew right away that this was significant– it’s the second highest known location for a Pacific Chorus Frog.

With infrared lighting, observers are able to see the frogs at night and knowing there is no data about chorus frog behaviors at this “elevation” in trees, a citizen science project was started.

But the raptors are the fascinating star of the show.  Come back to this site again and again– day or night– to see what our eagles have been up to during different times of the day and season. 

A word to the wise:  the family is growing– and the hatching is happening.

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Thank you for being beautiful birds too: 
JEH, Humboldt Bay Birds,
and Lithuanian Princess!

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HSU Bus Crash Remembrance Today


Remembrance and Vigil to be Held Thursday

Students and Public Welcome to Attend



Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


A memorial and candlelight ceremony will be held today at
Humboldt State University to remember those affected by last
week’s deadly bus crash near Orland.

The memorial takes place at 12:30 pm in the university campus quad.  A candlelight vigil will also be held later, at 5 pm in the quad. 

Both ceremonies are open to the public, HSU spokesman Jarad Petroske said. 

In a released statement,  HSU President Rollin Richmond said:

“Humboldt State University continues to grieve over last week’s I-5 bus accident that took the lives of 10, a group of young people filled with hope and promise.  This was a tragedy we will never forget, and one that affects people throughout California.”

* * * * * * * *

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Feeding The World


The Food Crisis Paradox

Award-Winning Film


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel



“People are not hungry because they are ignorant… The issues are more fundamental. 

The fish are there.  The people know how to fish.  Yet, there is barbed wire around the pond– literally and figuratively.”


Why buy local?  This is why:  Food security.

It’s baffling that in some parts of the world, there’s an oversupply of food, while elsewhere people are suffering from malnourishment.

This infotainment film, How to Feed the World, was directed by Denis van Waerebeke for kids age 9 to 14 in an effort to explain resource disparity, malnutrition and the food crisis in an eye-catching and accessible way.

Waerebeke lays it all out, showing that it all boils down to food dependency.  He describes how a system of imports and exports complicate a process that could be simplified and sustainable if it focused on the local paradigm instead.

Of course it’s a little more convoluted than that, but the video explains it in a way that manages to be both digestible and informative.

The moral of the story? 

Work hard, think and buy and local, and thank your lucky stars if you’re fortunate enough to feed your family today.

* * * * * * * * *

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It’s Cakes ‘N Eggs Time Again


Freshwater Pancakes and Eggs and Maple Syrup Sunday Morning:

April 6, 8-11 am



Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

Wake up and smell the coffee– and the cakes.  Eating them is even better!
The Freshwater Grange Friends and Volunteers are hosting their fresh hot pancakes and real scrambled egg breakfast– with all the fixin’s– this Sunday.
There’s breakfast, conversation and all the fine local flavor served up fresh.  We welcome, delight, and would love to have you come enjoy it with us in the beautiful Freshwater Valley.  Every time it happens more and more of you show up and our ‘pancake family’ grows bigger.   Thank you!
The menu features delicious buttermilk and whole grain pancakes, plus ham, sausage, scrambled eggs, orange juice, tea, and Wanda’s bottomless French Roast coffee.  Hungry?  Come back for more.  It’s all included.
James cracks all the fresh eggs early in the morning and our pixie pancake makers– Sue and Shirley– are mixing up the fresh batter to the right proportions for the griddle.  Patrick and Laura, the dynamic duo, are stirring the eggs and fixing up the sausage and ham. 
Wanda and Mary will be sure your coffee is hot and brewed fresh for your cup.  Jen and Clay and Tissa will be there helping, too.  Dr. Dick is up to something, Janice did the Easter decorations, and Nancy made the quilts!
The aroma of fresh pancakes and sausage– just like
you remember at home– is happening all morning.
It all comes together like a magical surprise with everyone’s fine help. Well, most of the time it does anyway.
What’s great is the rock bottom price:
$5 for adults, and only $3 for the kids.
The price hasn’t been raised in eight years.  Heck, for that kind of convenient deal you can bring the whole family. Why not?
The money goes to the good cause of fun-raising: fixing up and restoring the old Freshwater Grange. So far you’ve helped put on a new roof, repair the drainage and walkway, install a new heater, and help spiff up the historical place.  It is over a 100 years old after all, and every little bit helps. It needs our community help and care. And you help us put the word fun back into funky!
We hope to see you there– and fill your plate with some happy, happy, happy down-home Wrangletown lumberjack cooking.
When: First Sunday of every month, 8-11 a.m.
Phone: 442-7107
Price: $5 adults; $3 kids
The Place: Freshwater Grange, 49 Grange Road
…Just follow the smiley balloons and signs: up Freshwater Road, about 2.2 miles east of 3 Corners market and then turn right past Garfield’s Little Red School
House onto Grange Road.
You can’t miss it. If you do happen to miss it, just ask anyone standing nearby.  They’re all friendly, they’re on Aloha Time, and they have no worries.
You may be the highlight of their otherwise slow and bucolic day.
* * * * * * * * * *

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Freshwater Country Store Dream Come True


The Kneeland Glen Farm Stand


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


It’s a happy, friendly, and delightful kind of business place.

Kathy Mullen has started a farm stand in Freshwater that is
unique for Humboldt:  a farm-based cottage industry cooperative.

Members of the Kneeland Glen Farm Stand take turns working the small indoor shop, and sell their fresh organic produce, handmade items– like Kathy’s Kneeland Glen Soap, a handmade goat’s milk soap, and also skin lotions– and cottage-made food items and crafts.

There’s fruit and vegetables, jams and jellies, honey, eggs, olives, breads and pastries, beautiful and colorful children’s clothing, and a wide range of other things to numerous to mention.  For such a small place, the variety and vibe is amazing.  The community came together helping Kathy’s humble dream come true– and vice-versa.  It’s a match made in heaven.

She’s working on bringing in new partners and so far the farm stand is a success. The small and adorable country store is a pleasant and friendly oasis, a place that feels more like a warm and loving home than your typical store.

Almost out of time, the place harkens back to the way things used to be so many years ago: a Humboldt-based farm and cottage industry cooperative, as well as a community gathering place.

Kathy is a warm, welcoming and thoughtful person, a real pleasure to be with.  She, like her business, are Humboldt gems.  And she loves to chat about anything under the sun.

When we were there, Kathy picked fresh basil for us even though she’d just closed up shop and on her way home for dinner.  That’s the kind of person she is.

Not a problem at all, she said, taking us kindly inside. We sat down and talked, having the most pleasant conversation we’ve had in quite awhile.

Open, genuine and wearing her heart on her sleeve, she told us about herself and getting walloped in the face recently by her horse, her long-time ranching family, our mutual friends in common, her milk goats, and her inspiration for starting the store.  Our conversation was sweet and beautiful and timeless.

See it for yourself.  We’re sure you’ll like it, finding something delightful in this little oasis. 

It’s open everyday from 12-6 and located close to the 3 Corners store at 5851 Myrtle Avenue and her phone is #496-0459 should you need it.

Stop by and say hi to Kathy and her daughter, Jenny, working there.  And don’t be surprised if you’re treated like an old friend.


KHSU’s Food For Thought audio post has Kathy explaining more about her mission and how others can be involved. You can listen to it here.

You may be amazed and perhaps inspired and transformed of how some dreams—great or small– can come true.











Some nice fresh produce, farm fresh eggs, and Granny Be Jammin’ Fresh Pastries and Blackberry Cobbler


Fresh herbs, soap, farmers, and more!

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Humboldt Weed: ‘One Good Year’


Feature Film Documentary Premiers April 14



Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel



“In Humboldt County, everyone has sticky stuff on their fingers…Every business in this county relies on the marijuana business.”
~Grower, One Good Year


One Good Year is all about the Humboldt weed.

While “Humboldt” has become synonymous the world over with high-grade marijuana for both the medical and black markets, the outside world knows little about the farmers themselves and their lives, history, dreams, and hopes for the future.

A feature length documentary in post production relating the inside story of Humboldt’s legendary pot-growing culture, One Good Year follows the everyday lives of four medical marijuana growers and their unique community.

Directed by local author, nursery owner, author, and volunteer firefighter Mikal Jakubal, the film is set in the remotely familiar hills where “Humboldt Grown” is well known.  Why did he do it?

As Jakubal explains:

“Humboldt pot farmers maintain one of the last remaining small farming economies in the country, the last of a tradition where people working the land with their hands could still sustain themselves and their families.

This is why we have to show the world the real face of pot farming.  Otherwise, when the inevitable regulation or legalization happens, we’ll be excluded by laws based on the paranoid public perception of pot farming as a dangerous,
gangster activity.

As the marijuana economy moves mainstream, we need to keep it democratic and accessible to farmers at any scale.

I think my film will go a long way toward that end by influencing public perception in a positive way.”


The outside world knows little about the marijuana growing culture.  One Good Year offers us a peak into it. 

You can expect the premier opening happening next month, on April 14.  We expect it to come closer to home soon for a showing.  Mikal won’t let us down.



Film and Photo CreditOne Good Year, Mikal Jakubal, Vimeo

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Bare-Faced Messiah


Book About Scientology Founder Finally Allowed To Be Published



Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


We believe in transparency of information being accessible
for all, even if others don’t want you to have it.

A book Scientologists have kept off the shelves of American book stores for 27 years that alleges church founder L. Ron Hubbard was a fantasist with a predilection for bizarre sexual rituals, is finally set to be published.

Written by British journalist Russell Miller in 1986, ‘Bare-Faced Messiah’ cuts a swath through the many myths the Scientologist chief built up around himself and exposes him as a charismatic charmer, and one who targeted celebrity devotees.

Miller alleges that Hubbard lied about his service in World War II, and that instead of the millions of members the church claims to have, it only counts around 25,000 people as followers.  And there’s much more than that.

‘Bare-Faced Messiah: The True Story of L. Ron Hubbard’ was published around the globe, but two years of litigation and censorship from Scientologists have held up the book’s publication in the United States.

Now finally, it has been printed by Silvertail Books with a newly written introduction from Miller, a prize-winning journalist, researcher, and the author of eight previous books.

The biography goes right back to the start of Hubbard’s life in Montana, where Hubbard said he grew up breaking wild horses on his grandfather’s ranch.

However, Miller claims that Hubbard’s grandfather was a ‘small-time veterinarian who supplemented his income renting out horses and buggies from a livery barn.’

Hubbard also claimed to have traveled Asia intensively, where he developed
his love of philosophy and mysticism after spending time with holy men who thought him to be wildly precocious.  However, all Miller could find was evidence of two trips to Asia as a teenager while his father was stationed in Guam.

Hubbard’s early writings with Scientology– after his mediocre stint at writing science fiction– claimed that he was one of the United States’ first nuclear physicists and also held a medical degree.

Miller discovered during the course of his biography that Hubbard failed the one class he took in nuclear physics– and dropped out of George Washington University after his sophomore year and never got a degree.

 But not all of Miller’s research was to debunk the man behind the legend…


An excerpt, you can read the full article in the UK Mail here.

* * * * * * * * * *

Humboldt is an area of rugged independence and individualism.  We look after each other, our families, and our community.  We do good, work hard, and  believe in our free mutual well-being.

Coins and crosses never know their fruitless worth.  Believe in yourself– and ourselves.  Beware of those groups taking your time and money for their own personal gain; ‘Clear’, Anonymous, secret bunkers in Humboldt, Printelligent and otherwise.


SeaArrrgh II – Protesting the Cult of scientology – June 13 & 20, 2009 – from TheDonzerlyLight on Vimeo.

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