Archive | Arcata

Double Homicide in Arcata


28-Year Old Bodhi Tree Taken Into Custody



Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


Two people, a male and a female, were killed in a house on Eye Street in Arcata early this morning.

Mr. B TreePeople staying at the house said that a suspect, another houseguest, shot the two with a revolver.  Police have one individual in custody, identified as Bodhi Tree, 28-years old, and transient,” according to sources.

The victims have not been identified.  The houseguests at the scene said the female was an 18-year-old high school student.

The female was pronounced dead at the scene, according  to Arcata Police Department Lt. Ryan Peterson.  The male died shortly thereafter at Mad River Community Hospital. 

The names have not yet been released.  The shootings occurred early this morning in close proximity to the Arcata Skate Park, community tennis courts, and Humboldt State University.

This is the official APD statement:

Obadge arcn May 18, 2013, at about 2:00 am, the Arcata Police Department received a 911 telephone call from a residence in the 2400 block of Eye Street.  The caller reported hearing multiple gunshots within the residence.  Upon investigating, the resident found two acquaintances in another room suffering from gunshot wounds.

APD responded along with fire and medical.  A female adult was pronounced dead at the scene. A male adult was transported by ambulance to the Mad River Community Hospital.
He was pronounced dead a short time later.
The Arcata Police Department is actively investigating and is asking anyone with information to immediately call APD at 822-2424.  At this time, no suspect(s) have been arrested.
The identities of the victims are being withheld pending the investigation and notification of victim relatives.


Additional links for this fast-moving incident can be found here:

DOUBLE HOMICIDE ON EYE STREET (Update 2)  (Kevin Hoover/Arcata Eye)

Update: Police searching for Arcata double homicide suspect  (Times-Standard)

Suspected Double Homicide in Arcata This Morning (UPDATING)  (Hank Sims/Lost Coast Outpost)

Bodhi Tree, 28, arrested in connection with this morning’s double homicide  (Kevin Hoover/Arcata Eye)

Video of arrest of suspect Bodhi Tree (Andrew Goff)


UPDATE:  From the Arcata Police Department, May 18, 2013:

The Arcata Police Department conducted an extensive investigation with a suspect being developed.  The investigation led officers to a residence located in the 200 block of Marilyn Avenue, located in the Sunny Brae area of Arcata.
Upon initial contact with the occupants of the residence, the suspect was not located.   A short time later, citizens in the area notified police of a suspicious subject in the 1700 block of Shirley Blvd, a short distance away from the Marilyn Avenue residence.
Officers responded and located  Bodhi Tree, 28 years old of Arcata.  Tree was the homicide suspect sought by the police department and he was arrested.
Tree was transported to the Humboldt County Jail and booked for two counts of PC 187–Murder.
Alan MarcetFrom the Humboldt County Coroner’s Office, May 20–  Victims Identified:

The Coroner’s Office identified the two people killed in the double homicide Saturday morning in Arcata.  They are:

  • Alan Marcet 27-years old, from Oak Park, Michigan
  • Christina Schwarz 18-years old from Eureka, student at Eureka High SchooChristina Schwarzl

Autopsies pending scheduling of forensic pathologist for analysis.



UPDATE:  from the Times-Standard, May 24:

BodhiEPD Now Looking at Bodhi Tree as a ‘Person of Interest’ in separate Eureka High School Shooting Last Week

* * * * * * * *

(Our appreciation goes to Rose of the Watchpaul Blog for her updated links.  Thank you, Rose)


Posted in Arcata, Crime, Local7 Comments

The Most Interesting Man Alive is in Humboldt


Kevin Hoover’s Arcata Eye Expose on John Post


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


We like colorful characters.  We also enjoy reading about colorful characters.

In last week’s Arcata Eye, Kevin Hoover brings to light– much light– the lives, loves, and lies of John Post, also known as John Berrypicker.

Mr. Post is arguably the most interesting man in Arcata.  The world, even.

Alternately painting his story with facts, sympathy, and a keenly acerbic cynical eye, Mr. Hoover digs at the truth behind the mystery and intrigue of a person seemingly larger than life and truth itself.

Here’s a teaser:

(flying manJohn Post is) a high-powered author commanding six-figure fees, and a former Secret Service agent and U.S. Marshal with deep connections inside the federal government.  An experienced Navy fighter pilot who survived dogfights with MiGs over the Atlantic Ocean, he had retired to Humboldt, where he continued to act as a federal operative, known to and well-respected in local law enforcement circles…

…Until last week, Post’s Facebook profile listed his educational history as including a doctorate in Politics and International Relations from U.C. Berkeley, where he also studied cultural anthropology.  This on top of his double Master’s in anthropology and cultural anthropology from the University of Notre Dame, plus …a Bachelor of Science degree in Theology/Philosophy from the University of New Mexico.

His Facebook profile also stated that he speaks French, Spanish, Old English, Old Norse, Scythian and ‘Proto-Indo European’...

There’s more.  Far more.

dos equis manThis is the Sentinel’s best read of the week that we’ve seen so far.

You can read Kevin Hoover’s Arcata Eye story,The Lives, Loves and Lies of John Post, aka Johnny Berrypicker“  and judge for yourself where the pathological boundaries of fact, fiction, victims– and where Mr. Post, lies.

Posted in Arcata, Local, Media1 Comment

A Life of Drugs and Crime and in Humboldt


Multiple Busts in Arcata and Eureka Over Several Days


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel



On Wednesday, 2/20/2013, police officers from the Arcata
Police Department conducted a probation search of a
motel room at Motel 6 on Valley West Blvd.   The person
registered to the room was Barton Gonzalez, age 25.

Gonzalez, who is on felony searchable probation, was also wanted on a felony charge for forgery.

Officers knocked on the motel room door and observed several subjects inside the room when Gonzalez answered the door. Upon identifying the persons in the room, the officers learned that one subject, Benjamin Crowder, age 32, had an outstanding felony warrant for a parole violation.

Both Gonzalez and Crowder were arrested on the outstanding felony warrants.

A third subject, Kevin Casey, age 29, was found to be in possession of prescription medication not prescribed to him, heroin, packaging for the sale of heroin and $4200 in cash.  Casey was arrested for possession of a controlled substance and possession of heroin for sales. 

All three subjects– Gonzalez, Crowder, and Casey– were booked into the Humboldt County Jail on their related charges.

* * * * * * *


JohnsonOn Tuesday, 02/19/13, detectives from the Eureka Police Department’s Problem Oriented Policing Unit (POP) contacted Michael Gordon Johnson, age 53, in the 2500 block of ‘C’ Street.  During a search of Johnson, who is on active parole, officers discovered 38.7 grams, or approximately 1.4 ounces of heroin on his person.   

Johnson was taken into custody and booked into the Humboldt County Correctional facility for possession of heroin.

* * * * * * *


GarciaHardyOn Monday, 02/18/13, detectives from the Eureka Police Department’s Problem Oriented Policing Unit (POP), responded to an apartment complex in the 1600 block of ‘C’ Street to investigate alleged narcotic activity.

As a result of their investigation, Tessa Lynn Garcia, age 22, was taken into custody for Maintaining a Residence for Narcotic Activity and Probation Violations.


Daniel Scott Hardy, age 24, was also taken into custody in the same apartment for Possession of Burglary Tools and Probation Violations.

* * * * * * *


On Monday, 02/18/13, detectives with the Eureka Police Department’s
ortizProblem Oriented Policing Unit (POP) conducted a narcotics enforcement at an apartment complex in the 800 block of ‘H’ Street.

During their investigation, detective’s contacted Joel Renaldo Ortiz, age 32, in the alley at the north side of the complex.

Ortiz, who is on probation several times over, displayed symptoms of being under the influence of a controlled substance.  During a search of Ortiz, officers discovered a syringe and 12.9 grams, or approximately ½ ounce, of Methamphetamine in his sock.   

Ortiz was taken into custody and booked into the Humboldt County Correctional facility for Possession of Methamphetamine and Probation Violations.

* * * * * * *

big nose judgeAnyone with information concerning suspected drug activity, or other nuisances occurring in the City of Eureka is encouraged to call the Problem Oriented Policing Unit at (707) 441-4373.

In the City of Arcata, call the Arcata Police Department at (707) 822-2428.

In the County of Humboldt, call the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at (707) 445-7521.


* * * * * * *

AWOLWhat do the the above multiple busts have in common?  Heroin and meth?

No.  Their Parole and Probation Officers were AWOL– and nowhere to be found assisting law enforcement.

(Posted by Skippy Massey)







Posted in Arcata, Crime, Eureka, Local0 Comments

Shed Those Pounds Away Without Dieting


Weed Suspects Sought in Arcata Armed Robbery


Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel


Today, January 27, at about 1:40 p.m., the Arcata Police Department received information that an armed robbery
had just occurred in the 400 block of E Street, according
to the APD release.

go runDuring the investigation, officers learned that the male victim was attempting to sell a pound of marijuana for $1,000 to several male subjects.  A handgun was produced and the suspects forcibly robbed the victim of his marijuana, cell phone, wallet and car keys. 

The suspects were described by the victim as black male adults in their early 20′s.   The suspects were last seen fleeing the scene in a black-colored Chevrolet Impala with a broken windshield and a pound of weed.

 Anyone with information leading to the identity of the suspects is urged to call the Arcata Police Department at 822-2424.
* * * * * * *

“I wouldn’t recommend sex, drugs or insanity for everyone, but they’ve always worked for me.  When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.

You can turn your back on a person, but never turn your back on a drug, especially when it’s waving a razor-sharp hunting knife in your eye:  Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride.”

-Hunter S. Thompson

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Arcata, Crime1 Comment

Party’s Over, Time to Go to Jail


Unruly Guest and Excessive Ecstasy Begets Bad Behavior


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


From the Arcata Police Department:

On January 24 just before midnight, the Arcata Police Department
received a call from the Motel 6 located at 4755 Valley West Blvd
in Arcata.

cistlerThe management was requesting assistance in removing a disruptive guest from the property.  The disruptive guest was reported to be highly intoxicated and making threats to other guests in the motel.

Upon the officer’s arrival, they located James T. Cisler, 31, of Eureka walking in front of rooms yelling and banging on doors.

Mr. Cisler was placed under arrest for public intoxication.

Mr. Cisler was found to be in possession of a large amount of a white powdery substance, which later was determined to be about 3.8 ounces of Ecstasy. 

Further investigation revealed that Mr. Cisler also was in possession
of one pound of marijuana and a small amount of concentrated cannabis.

Mr. Cisler was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility
where he was booked and lodged for:

  • Possession of a controlled substance,ecstasy
  • Possession of over an ounce of marijuana,
  • And possession of concentrated cannabis

Mr. Cisler was also booked for his public intoxication.

The seized drugs had an estimated street value of approximately $9000, APD reported.

* * * * * * *

Simply keeping a low profile has its advantages.

lawn passed out






Posted in Arcata, Crime1 Comment

Arcata Bust Yields Plants, Bud, Guns, and Cash


Quiet Westwood Neighborhood Harbors Large Grow-Op


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


From the Arcata Police Department:

Officers from the Arcata Police Department served a search
warrant at a residence in the 1700 block of Roberts Way on
Wednesday morning, January 23.

arc badgeUpon entering the residence, officers located a marijuana growing operation utilizing  several rooms in the home.

Officers seized:

  • Over 550 growing marijuana plants
  • Approximately 4 pounds of processed marijuana bud
  • Six firearms
  • And over $61,000 in cash

mj momAlso seized was a 2010 Toyota Tundra truck with an estimated value of $38,000.

The growing operation that was being conducted inside the home was utilizing nearly eight times the electricity of a typical Arcata family home.
Justin Dion Decarolis, 32 of Arcata, was arrested and booked into the Humboldt County Jail on the following charges:
  • 11358 Health & Safety (H&S)- Cultivation of Marijuana
  • 11359 H&S- Possession of Marijuana for Sale

City of Arcata building inspectors discovered numerous building code violations at the residence which necessitated the immediate disconnection
of electrical service.

If you suspect illegal drug activity in your neighborhood, please contact the
Arcata Police Department at (707) 822-2428.

* * * * * * * * *

happy cowPics over at the Arcata Eye.






(Posted by Skippy Massey)


Posted in Arcata, Crime, Local0 Comments

Arcata’s Newest Fiscal Cliff


Bad News, Bad Moves, and Bad Money May Spell Insolvency


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


Is it even remotely possible the City of Arcata could go bankrupt by tomorrow?

Kevin Hoover of the Arcata Eye has the stunning story of the
day, and perhaps week, in his feature article, “Arcata Ordered
to Pay Back $2.4 Million by Friday– December 20, 2012

And however the fiscal chips may fall, Arcata’s affordable housing program is kaput– and the State wants their money back, pronto.

Mr. Hoover writes:

Imagine the City of Arcata bankrupt and its top staff, plus the City Council, all in jail.

Those dire consequences could result from a decision made last week by the state’s Department of Finance (DOF).  More immediately, the City has to pay an unexpected bill in the millions of dollars…

arc eye2The Golden State isn’t looking so golden anymore.  For the rest of the story, we suggest you pick up a copy of the Arcata Eye.

If you can’t wait, you can find the details in Mr. Hoover’s article here.

* * * * * *

arc eyeThank you for your fine reporting, Kevin.









(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Arcata, Local, Media5 Comments

Shacked Up Stop and Rob at Valley West Motel


Suspects Sought by APD


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


On December 19th, at approximately 3:00 pm, officers from the Arcata Police Department responded to the report of a vehicle collision at Days Inn Motel, 4701 Valley West Blvd, according to an APD release.

Upon the officers arrival, they discovered a black Toyota
Tacoma truck had slammed into the rear of a parked Chevy Tahoe.
The driver of the Toyota advised officers that he was the victim of a
robbery and kidnapping.

roomThe victim had been staying at the motel with a female acquaintance for the past couple of days.  A few minutes prior to the collision, the female accompanied by two men who were unknown to the victim, barged into the motel room brandishing knives.

The trio demanded the victim take them to his storage unit where they believed he had money.  The victim and the female got into his Toyota truck where the female demanded he drive to the storage unit.  The two male accomplices were to follow them in another

Upon leaving the parking lot of the motel, the victim rapidly accelerated the Toyota truck and purposely collided with the parked Tahoe in the hopes the collision would foil the robbery and bring the police. 

Immediately after the collision the two male accomplices fled on foot.  The victim struggled with the female until she was able to break free and run to her vehicle which was still in the parking lot. The female then fled the scene in her vehicle.

stop n robThe female suspect has been identified as twenty-nine year old Patrice Denise Denham of Dallas, Texas.  Denham’s vehicle is a 2009 red Honda Civic.  The vehicle has a Texas temporary plate number of 64R4424.

The first male accomplice is described as a white male adult in his twenties wearing a red hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans.

The second male accomplice is described as a white male adult in his twenties wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and black jeans.

Anyone having information on this robbery, the whereabouts of Denham, or the identity of her male accomplices, is encouraged
to call the Arcata Police Department at (707)822-2424– or leave an
anonymous tip at the Arcata Police Department’s Crime Tip Line at

* * * * * * * *

Be careful of the company you keep.  Birds of a feather do flock together– and opposites do attract.

(Posted by Skippy Massey)


Posted in Arcata, Crime, Local0 Comments

Transient Camp Suspected of Fire in Community Forest


Old-Growth Redwood Tree Flaming, Smoking 70 Feet High


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


On Saturday, December 15 at about 10:30 in the morning, officers from the Arcata Police Department and two engine crews from the Arcata Fire Department were
dispatched to the Arcata Community Forest on a report of

a tree on fire, APD reported.

On arrival, firefighters and officers discovered an old-growth
redwood tree with active fire extending about 70 feet up the tree.

burning redwood2The tree, estimated to be about 15 feet in diameter at the base, had likely been on fire for up to 24 hours, based on the extension of fire throughout the tree.

Firefighters used 2500 gallons of water in battling the blaze– but due to the height of the active fire in the tree, were not able to fully extinguish the fire.

Due to the extensive damage to the tree the precise cause of the fire is undetermined.  Based on the high moisture level of the surrounding area and recent weather patterns it’s believed this was not a naturally occurring fire.  The “goosepen” area of this tree, an interior area of the tree hollowed out by prior naturally occurring fires, has been the site ofburning redwood illegal campers in the past.  It’s believed that this fire was caused by an illegal warming fire started by campers seeking shelter.

In the interest of public safety, Trail 15 is closed until further notice.  Staff from the City of Arcata Department of Environmental Services will monitor the tree and surrounding area and determine when the area is again safe for the public.

The Arcata Police Department reminds all residents and visitors that the Arcata Community Forest is a resource preserved for the enjoyment of all.  Fire is always a danger, even in wet weather.

For the protection of the forest, fires and camping are strictly prohibited.  If you observe any campers or fires in the Arcata Community Forest,
Sunnybrae Forest, Jacoby Creek Forest, the Arcata Marsh, or any other
natural areas in Arcata, please contact the Arcata Police Department.

From the Facebook posts:

We have a lot of homeless in Humboldt , many travel to Humboldt , many get stuck.  The redwoods hide and shelter many of them.  Be safe out there.”

* * *

“ It’s on now…  I run/bike through here all the time and I will be calling the police for every campsite I see.  Don’t mess with the trees!”

* * *

“I am sure the people were cold and wet last night.  They were probably trying to stay warm.  I don’t think they meant to light it on fire like that.  They should of at least contacted the someone when they realized it got out of control.

It’s almost Christmas and some sleep outside by choice.  But many do not :(

* * *

“That large old growth redwood off of the power line trail has been a popular transient campsite for awhile now.  It is ironic and unfortunate how many people adversely impact the forest by leaving their trash and other waste, not to mention the makeshift campfires.

A few years ago two park rangers were hired to patrol the forest, but I rarely saw them out there.”

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Arcata, Environment, Local1 Comment

Whopping Pounds of Meth Found in Simple Arcata Traffic Stop


Saturday’s Bust Was One of the Largest in City’s History, but…


Sunday’s Bust Now Pushes Total to 3.5 Pounds

–Updated Below–


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


A traffic stop led to a search that led to a large seizure– one pound–  of methamphetamine and a felony narcotics arrest for an unlucky individual by the Arcata Police Department Saturday.

After the traffic stop at about 3:30 in the afternoon on Samoa Boulevard, 28-year-old Eureka man was booked on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance with the intent to sell.

Officials said an Arcata police officer pulled the man’s vehicle over and the driver did not have a license.  The identity of the man and the reason for the traffic stop were not released by Arcata police.

The officer noticed the man was acting very nervous.  With assistance from the Humboldt County Drug Task Force Narcotics K-9 team, a vehicle search was conducted.

The K-9 was attracted to a concealed compartment in the dash of the vehicle, and, after a hand search, officers found four ounces of suspected methamphetamine.  But that wasn’t all they found.

Officers learned the subject was renting a mini-storage unit in Arcata, and more narcotics were being kept there, officials added.  How they came to that conclusion is unknown, unless the culprit sang like a canary squealing himself off and chatting away in a tweaker-induced haze with flittingly incoherent thoughts and his jibs flapping amok.

However the case, astute and sober police officers obtained a search warrant for the storage unit.

Lo and behold, officers and task force agents found what they came for:  four more ounces of methamphetamine in the storage unit.  Hot on the tweaker’s trail, they continued to poke around until they discovered another half pound of meth.

In addition to the whopping amount of speed, officers also found and seized more than $1,700 in cash, they said.

Officials estimate the street value of the seized suspected narcotics—a full pound of crystal meth– at $18,000.

The unnamed suspect was hauled off to the Humboldt County slammer and lodged into a cell without much information or details given.  One of the largest seizures of methamphetamine made in Arcata, the  investigation is ongoing, APD said.

 But… wait!  Hold the presses.  We have an update:

KIEM-TV News reported this appears to be a separate bust altogether that happened on Sunday but following Saturday’s mini-storage bust above.  They reported:

Over $50K– 3.5 Pounds–  of Meth Seized by Arcata Police

“Arcata police seized over $50,000 dollars worth of meth after they obtained a search warrant on a storage unit located in Arcata.

“On Sunday around 1:45 a.m., officers found 3.5 lbs of methamphetamine having an estimated street value of $50,000 to $60,000 dollars, along with scales and packaging materials.

“This is part of a 2-year investigation into a methamphetamine trafficking organization.

“One arrest has been made, but no names have been released.  Officers say the investigation is ongoing.”

 The whodunnit mystery and meth amounts continue…

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Arcata, Crime0 Comments

Memorial Service for Navy Seal Killed in Action


A Memorial Gathering Sunday to Pay Tribute to Fallen Soldier Kevin Ebbert


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

The life of Kevin Ebbert will be honored Sunday, December 9th from 12:00 -2:00 p.m in the Humboldt State University Kate Buchanan room, with a reception to follow until 4 p.m.
Petty Officer 1st-class Kevin Ebbert was an Arcata High Graduate, husband of Ursula Jansson Ebbert, son of Charlie Jordan, brother of Samantha Martinez, Amy Funk, and Kate Renner, and a Navy SEAL.
He was killed in action in Afghanistan on Saturday November 24, 2012,

Kevin’s family invites the Arcata community to join them in celebrating Kevin’s life and service to our country.

For more information please contact  A “Kevin Ebbert Memorial Fund” has been established through the Humboldt Area Foundation.  To donate, please visit

* * * * * * * * *

The following is  from Jim Ebert, Kevin’s uncle and  former Navy SEAL, that appeared in the Coronado Common Sense:

Kevin was killed in action on 24 November 2012 while supporting combat operations as a combat corpman/medic in Southern Afghanistan.  Kevin was attached to SEAL Team Four.

The service for Kevin was held at the base chapel and was extremely well attended.  Estimates were that up to 1,000 people may have attended.
The chapel seats 750 people and the place was overflowing with standing room only.  I would estimate that at least 250 to 300 people were standing along the back, sides and front of the chapel.  It was very moving to see and also to attend.
Following are notes I used as a guide when it was my turn to speak.  Several of Kevin’s teammates and childhood friends got up to speak too.
Two days ago I received a text from Kevin’s stepfather Mark Ritz asking if I would be able to get up and speak at this memorial service.  I texted back that I would try.  Within a few minutes I texted back to Mark saying that it would be my honor and privilege to do so.  So here I am today, standing before you, and in doing so I am very honored and privileged to be here to talk a little bit about Kevin.
So today I will briefly talk about Kevin Ebbert, my nephew. The son of a former SEAL, the nephew of a former SEAL, and a warrior and SEAL in his own right.  He is also a husband, a son, a brother, a cousin, an uncle, a very special human being, a friend to many, and last but not least . . .  a warrior.

I’ll tell you first about Kevin Ebbert the non-warrior.

Something many of you may not know is that Kevin was an extremely accomplished musician.  Kevin could read, write and often composed music.  The music you are listening to today was composed and played by Kevin for a college recital.  He seemed to be as comfortable with the piano as he was the guitar, but his true love was the guitar.
Kevin would play for his family at many family gatherings.  Normally urged & prodded to do so by his Aunt Mary.  Most memorable for me though was when he played for his grandmother Pat, my mother.  She loved Kevin so much you could see the pride bursting out of every pore she had.

Kevin loved classical music and light jazz.  He would listen to it and play it often.  He received bis bachelors degree in music from UC Santa Cruz prior to joining the Navy.

Kevin was also an accomplished artist.  At our home in Scottsdale I noticed that if there was a piece of paper, and a pen or pencil laying around, Kevin would be doodling or sketching.  What . . . I don’t specifically recall, but I wish I had a few of those doodles now.  He also always took time to draw with his younger cousin Georgia who now is just 6 years old, going on 7.
I think what I may remember most about Kevin though is that he was an avid reader, and most importantly a thinker.  He never spoke before thinking about what he was going to say.

One evening at our home I walked into Kevin’s room to say good night.  He was staying with us on the weekends while he was training in Marana, Arizona, about an hour south of our home. I noticed 3 books on his bedside table.  One was written by Voltaire, one by Chaucer, and one was poetry.  As I walked in he took his I-Pod ear plugs out and I could make out the sound of classical music.  If I recall correctly, I think it was Vivaldi playing.  That’s the Kevin I will always remember…

What many of you may not know is that on Thanksgiving day many in our family were fortunate in that we got to speak with Kevin via FaceTime.  We all heard the news that evening that Kevin had been accepted into medical school.  Kevin then informed us that he would be released from the Navy early so he could start school on time.

It appeared that Kevin was on his way to much bigger and better things that would help not only himself and his family, but many more people that he would come into contact with in the future as medical patients. 

In this building are many of you that loved and knew Kevin the most, and those that cared about him the most; his wife Ursula, his mother Charlie, his sister Samantha, his step father Mark and many other family members . . .me included.  And what I do know is that Kevin was many things to many people, kind, gentle, quiet, never obtrusive, never over bearing, never sarcastic, always polite,and always a gentleman to anyone that he knew, loved, cared about, or came in contact with on a day to day basis…

In ending let me read what I received in recent e-mails from family members and friends.
Kevin’s uncle, Joel Rice, in Sacramento California said,

“I pray for a world where there is no need for war, as it is so damaging and the damages are so far reaching. It goes without saying that we are all forever in Kevin’s debt, but I for one will look forward to the day when such sacrifice will not be be necessary”.

My friend, Scott Knauer, in Phoenix Arizona said,

“Make no mistake Kevin was a warrior, and as a Navy SEAL, distinguished himself in battle, but Kevin’s real dream was not to take lives, but to save them. This is exemplified in his duties as a corpsman and his acceptance into medical school at Old Dominion University just one day before his passing. This was to be his last deployment.

Unfortunately his life was taken before he could pursue his true passion . . . healing others. My thoughts and prayers are with Kevin, Ursula, Charlie, Samantha, Mark and the rest of your family and friends.”

And another:

I would ask that each of you remember that every statistic, every young man and woman killed in action, is someone’s husband, son, grandson, brother, sister, niece, nephew, cousin, neighbor and friend. The world is a better place because Kevin lived, and it is a lessor place with him gone. Kevin loved his country and his family, and he was loved by all who knew him, he will be sorely missed and live in my, and others. hearts forever.”

And finally, another friend of mine, John Seger, of Phoenix Arizona, a combat wounded Army veteran of the Vietnam war, had this to say,

“Let me ask that tomorrow all of us take a minute out of our day and ask that Kevin be welcomed into a place where there will be no more war or death, or tears, or pain, and where Kevin will be welcomed as the selfless hero that he is.  We are free because of men like Kevin.”













Kevin’s local obituary in the Times-Standard news is here

Our kind acknowledgment goes to Jim Ebbert for his words we shared allowing others to know more about Kevin.  Thank you.  We offer our sincere sympathy and condolences to the Ebbert family for their loss of a loved son and husband, an Arcata native with many, many  friends.

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Arcata, Local0 Comments

1960s Throwback Party in Arcata Tonight


New Riders of the Purple Sage– and the Adventures of Panama Red


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


In the summer of 1969, John Dawson was looking to showcase his songs while Jerry Garcia was looking to practice his brand new pedal steel guitar.  The two played in coffeehouses and small clubs initially, and the music they made became the nucleus for a band—the New Riders of the Purple Sage.

That same year, David Nelson, expert in both country and rock guitar, joined the group on electric lead guitar.  Filling out the rhythm section in those early days were Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart and engineer Bob Matthews on bass, later replaced by Phil Lesh.  In 1970, Dave Torbert took over on bass and the New Riders played every chance they got.  Soon enough, smoky clubs all over the San Francisco bay area were filling up with whooping crowds as their music got tighter and more dynamic.

They began to tour extensively with the Dead, and in December of 1970, Spencer Dryden, who had previously showed his impeccable drumming style with the Jefferson Airplane, had stepped in on drums.

One of the many gigs with the Dead included the Trans-Canadian Festival Express with Janis Joplin, The Band, and other American and Canadian artists like Ian and Sylvia, who had with them a brilliant, innovative pedal steel player named Buddy Cage.  When Garcia’s busy schedule made it increasingly difficult for him to play with the New Riders, the talented Cage was the perfect choice to fill the pedal steel spot.  With the addition of Cage, the New Riders emerged as a fully independent band with a special brand of music—sweet country harmonies mixed with pulsing rock rhythms.

The New Riders were signed to Columbia Records in 1971 by Clive Davis and their first album, New Riders of the Purple Sage, was released in September to widespread acclaim.  In December, 1971 they played a live radio broadcast with the Dead over WNEW-FM in New York to an audience of millions.

In 1972 the pattern of their success continued to grow, with their first European tour followed in June by the release of their second album, Powerglide.  They toured the United States extensively in response to increasing demand, and in November, 1972 released their third album Gypsy CowboyThese first three New Riders albums were all produced by Stephen Barncard, who worked with Crosby, Stills and Nash and co-produced the Dead’s American Beauty.

New Riders of the Purple Sage is quite the flashback and classic jam band of old times past– and we were surprised to hear they’re still around and kicking for those who remember.  Panama Red and those seedy $10 lids disappeared long ago.

They’re playing at Humboldt Brews tonight at 856 10th Street in Arcata.

With pleasant reminiscing of the Panama Red days, good beer, and a ticket price of $25, it sounds good for a Friday night.  Drive safely, drink and smoke responsibly, and enjoy the show.

The show starts at 8:30 p.m.  For more information, call 826-2739.

* * * * * * * * *

(Posted by Skippy Massey)



Posted in Arcata, Local, Music, Scene1 Comment

All Eyes on Arcata’s Measure I


Some Believe Marijuana Industry is Off the Hook


Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel


The Associated Press just released their story on Arcata’s burgeoning marijuana industry minutes ago.

Arcata Police Department Chief Tom Chapman, Councilmember Shane Brinton,
Arcata Eye’s Kevin Hoover, and Mark Sailors all got into the act with their
opinions of what is either right or wrong in the Arcata universe of cannabis
cultivation and Measure I– Arcata heavy use electrical utility tax.

In his article “Pot Town Pushes Back Against Industrial Growers” reporter Jeff Barnard had this to say:

“ARCATA, Calif. – Happily isolated on California’s remote Humboldt County coast, Arcata has long made room in its heart for marijuana, whether grown illegally in the back woods by refugees of the Summer of Love, or legally in the back rooms of homes by medical pot patients.

“But the mellow days are coming to an end.  Even Arcata residents who support legalization of marijuana have become fed up with high-volume indoor growing operations that take over much-needed housing and take advantage of the state’s loosely written medical marijuana law.

“The neighbors of these clandestine pot farms– operated behind curtains, shutters and alarm systems– complain of the skunk-like stink of cannabis, fire hazards, rising rents, vicious guard dogs, caches of guns, illegal pesticides, roadside dumping of unwanted growing gear, and late-night visits from shady characters.

“Rather than throw more cops at the problem, the City Council is fighting back in a way befitting this liberal outpost that would rather be known for its pioneering community forest and sewage treatment marsh than marijuana…”

You can continue reading the rest of the story here.

* * * * * * * *

All the problems and all the perks of the changing North Coast paradise we call home.

Toto, this doesn’t look like Kansas anymore.


(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Arcata, Local0 Comments

Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride

Driver Arrested After Causing Multiple Accidents in Downtown Arcata


Mr. Brugger’s Bugger


Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel


It’s a rare day when APD puts out a release on Sunday.
Maybe it’s because the incident was a confusing whopper
riling up a lot of folks.

From what we can determine from the succinct release and a rambling citizen report, here’s what happened:

On Sunday, October 21, at approximately 3 in the afternoon, the Arcata Police Department Dispatch Center began to receive multiple 911 calls.  The calls were regarding a ‘crazy white traveler-type’ in a white van causing multiple vehicle collisions in the area of the Arcata Plaza.

Officers responded to attempt to stop the van.

While Officers were responding, they were notified that the driver had stopped behind a business at 11th and F Streets near the Arcata Speedwash.  He was reported to be fighting with people who were attempting to restrain and hold him for the police following his insanely wild getaway chase. 

The suspect was able to escape the inital grasp of concerned citizens, though.

Fleeing before officers could arrive and citizens could retrieve him again, he was seized in the 1000 block of G Street, near the Arcata Theater. 

He was arrested and taken into custody following a lengthy struggle and fight with APD officers, assisted by Humboldt State University Police Department officers and deputies from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office.

An investigation determined that the driver had become involved in a domestic dispute at a bar near the Arcata Plaza.  According to one witness, he got into an argument with another ‘traveler-type’, also in a van, and rashly charged off in his live-in motor caboose, fuming, with a transient girl’s belongings inside.  The transient gal, however, was left behind much to her furious protest and howling. 

“He proceeded to back out of his parking slot full speed with tires squealing and smoke billowing, then promptly rearended a car innocently parked in front of Belle Starr,” the witness said.

APD reported there was an injured female pedestrian victim in the 800 block of H Street, who was hurt when her vehicle was struck by the psycho-crazy driver.  Fortunately, she was on the sidewalk removing some belongings from her car.  Unfortunately, her vehicle, after being hit from behind, struck and threw her to the ground.  The 55-year-old female Arcata resident sustained a minor leg injury.  She was treated and released from the scene by Arcata Ambulance.

In fleeing the scene of that accident, Mr. Toad’s wild van immediately collided with a number of vehicles, witnesses and APD said.

He sped the wrong way down H Street, slamming into a car that was parked behind the above unfortunate woman’s car.

He then blasted the wrong way down Ninth Street, tires still smoking and squealing.

He hit another traveler’s purple striped van.

He then blew through the Ninth and G interesection, ignoring stop signs, pedestrians, bicyclists, and anything else nearby with wanton disregard for life and limb, and headed past the Arcata Fire Station.  There, he was stopped, and grabbed, and escaped… and grabbed again.

Yes, alcohol is believed to be a significant factor.  Maybe that’s just the beginning of possibly significant factors judging from the whole nimwitted escapade.

The driver, identified as 26-year-old Gabriel Brugger of Capitola, was transported to Mad River Hospital by ambulance for evaluation prior to booking.  He’s pictured above, a little banged up.

Mr. Brugger was then booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility for:

  • Reckless Driving
  • Fleeing The Scene of a Vehicle Accident
  • Fleeing The Scene of an Injury Accident.

Mr. Brugger was held in custody.  We hope his drivers license was held in custody, too.   It was a bad day for vans, vehicles, and innocent pedestrians.

After his arrest, the Plaza returned back to its normally bucolic and balmy state.

For all it’s worth, the witness to the mad scene of events said afterwards to the Arcata Eye:

“A cadre of Arcata Plaza layabouts took off chasing and yelling at the van.  The Plaza came alive with them!

The thing that surprised me most about all of this was the little network of indigents, they were running around in small groups all talking to each other and on cell phones, just jacked up.”

It’s good to know you can still count on layabout folks when a genuine crisis happens.

APD advises that people with information regarding this investigation are encouraged to contact the Arcata Police Department at (707) 822-2428.


(Posted by Skippy Massey)


Posted in Arcata, Crime0 Comments

K9 and Canine Predicaments

Trapped Between the Dog Maws of Good and Evil:  Two Very Different Reports


Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel


Humboldt County:

The Arcata Police Department had some excitement on Friday.

It would have been a far more exciting day had a K-9 not
intervened before someone got themselves shot:

On Friday, October 12th at approximately 5:08 p.m., the Arcata Police Department received a report of a possibly intoxicated male subject brandishing a knife at people on the Arcata Plaza.

Several citizens, with cell phones, followed the subject as he walked on H Street from the Plaza and onto 10th Street.

The downtown bike patrol officer located the subject at the corner of 10th Street and G St.

The subject, identified as Alioune Thiam, 32, from Berkeley, CA, was still holding the knife at his side when the officer located him.

The officer pointed his duty handgun at Thiam and ordered him to stop and drop the knife.

Thiam stopped, but he didn’t respond to the order to drop the knife. 

Thiam continued to hold the knife at his side, the APD release said.

Several other officers arrived at the scene and Thiam was repeatedly ordered to drop the knife.

Thiam repeatedly continued to ignore the orders he was given.

A police K-9, who was on-scene, was brought forward and given a bark alert command.

We’re not entirely sure what a ‘bark alert command’ is, but we can surmise it’s something between simple barking and a serious posturing, snarling and furious teeth-baring display commanding your complete attention and cooperation on multiple levels.

Once the barking K-9 was present, Thiam began responding to orders– and dropped the knife.

Wise choice.

When in doubt cooperate with the dog.  It makes things so much easier no matter how thickheaded or unconscious you are.

Officers were then able to detain Thiam in handcuffs without further incident.

No one was injured in the incident and the Police K-9 deployment was limited to the bark alert.

Thiam was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility for 417(a)(1) PC, brandishing a knife, and booked.

* * * * * * * * *

Mendocino County:

The Ukiah Police Department, however, dealt with a slightly different situation concerning a canine:  a transient assaulted by a transient duo using a deadly weapon.  What was the deadly weapon?  Hands and feet– and a vicious Pit Bull.

From the Ukiah Police Department’s release:

On October 11 at about 7:40 p.m., the Ukiah Police Department responded to the intersection of Talmage Road and Highway 101 for a concerned citizen standing in the roadway and yelling for police assistance.

Officers responded, and the citizen directed the officers to a field just south of the intersection.

There, they found a male and female transient. The female transient, from Colorado Springs, Co., was crying and kneeling over the male transient, hometown unknown. The male transient appeared to have been violently assaulted.

The male transient was breathing but unconscious. His head and hair were completely covered in blood. The male had large wounds to his face, and large, deep dog bites and lacerations to his arm.

The male was treated by Ukiah Fire Paramedics and transported to the Ukiah Valley Medical Center.  The male is currently awaiting surgery to repair significant damage to his face and arm.  

Near the scene, UPD officers located suspects, transient William Leonard, 38, from New Orleans, La., and transient Cynthia Rattey, 30, from Montana.  Both suspects were intoxicated at the time of their arrest.

Based on evidence at the scene, including bloody clothing and boots and witness statements, both Leonard and Rattey were arrested for:

  • Assault with a Deadly Weapon (245a1 PC),
  • Assault Inflicting Serious Bodily Injury (243d PC) and
  • Criminal Conspiracy (182a1 PC).

 Both were booked into the Mendocino County Jail.

Through investigation, Ukiah Police Officers determined that the male victim had been repeatedly hit and kicked in the face, and was attacked on the arm by a dog.

Later, officers were able to locate the Pit Bull dog involved in the attack, and the dog was taken to the Animal Shelter.

Posted in Arcata, Crime, Local0 Comments

Arcata Girls just Wanna Have Fun

On Someone Else’s Stolen Dime

–APD Requests Your Help Identifying Them–


Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel


These two 20′s-something fun-loving gals went on a little shopping spree at Fourth Street Market in Arcata, purchasing the basic necessities everyone enjoys:  Mike’s Hard Lemonade, a pack of smokes, minty fresh schnapps,
and curiously enough, a small carton of chocolate milk
for healthy growing bodies.

The problem is, they were using a stolen debit card that was taken from an unlocked Golf Course vehicle in Bayside on September 2 in the afternoon, along with credit cards and the keys to two residences.

They used the card both at the Fourth Street Market pictured in the screenshot here (which some will remember was Dal Porto’s Market and Delicatessen back in the day;  home of too much liquor, porn, rolling papers, cheap sandwiches and munchies, and other sundry items readily available for students at all hours of the day and night)– and also at a Eureka business.

The Arcata Police is seeking these two women connected to the incidents.  They’re asking that if you know, recognize, or have information about these two frisky gals, to call Det. Sgt. Todd Dokkweiler or the APD at (707) 822-2428.

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Arcata, Crime0 Comments

UPDATED: Fatal Hit and Run on Myrtle Avenue

Driver Flees After Striking Bayside Joggers; One Killed, Two Injured


Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel


SECOND UPDATE: The memorial jog event was subsequently cancelled at the request of the family.

UPDATE: An event has been organized on Facebook to commemorate this tragedy, coming up this Saturday, Sept. 29 at 8 a.m. at Three Corners Market in Freshwater. According to organizer Melissa L Tafoya: “This is going to be an informal gathering of runners, joggers and walkers to honor the three women who were hit in this morning’s hit and run accident on Myrtle Avenue and to remind all of us to share the road.”

California Highway Patrol officers were dispatched around 5:45 a.m. this morning following a call of three joggers injured by a vehicle, one of them suffering major injuries.

Deputy Coroner Ariel Gruenthal indicated later this morning that one individual was killed.  Two others were transported to the hospital with serious trauma following the hit-and-run traffic accident on Myrtle Avenue.  The name of the woman killed in the accident and pronounced deceased at the scene has yet to be released, pending notification of her next of kin.  All three joggers involved in the accident were female.

The two women brought to St. Joseph Hospital with possibly compound fractures and other injuries were Eureka residents Jessica Hunt, 41, and Terri Vroman-Little, 50, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The three joggers were running northbound on the west shoulder of Myrtle Avenue, south of Ole Hansen Road, at about 5:40 a.m. when a 2005 Kia Spectra driven by an unidentified suspect hit all three women, the CHP said.  For unknown reasons the vehicle left its lane of travel and struck all three of the female joggers.  A dog belonging to one of the joggers was also killed.

The driver of the vehicle fled the scene. The vehicle was later found abandoned by the Eureka Police Department on California Street, in Eureka.  Myrtle Avenue was closed between 3 Corners Market and Indianola Road for four hours following the accident.

Several possible leads are being followed up on as to the identity of the hit and run driver.  The accident– and locating the missing driver– remain under investigation, the CHP said.

* * * * * * *

KIEM-TV has their video report here.

The Times-Standard News has been posting updates here.

Readers will want to see our updated Sentinel article regarding the possible connection between this incident and the deceased woman found by the CHP in Hoopa hours later, taken from a timeline of the CHP incident log.

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Arcata, Crime, Eureka2 Comments

Sewer Line Emerging In SunnyBrae

Construction starts today on replacement of main line


Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel


Traffic, not to mention odor, are likely to be issues in SunnyBrae over the next several weeks as excavation begins on two-thirds of a mile of the main sewer line.

Although it’s remarkably late in the year, and close to the rainy season, to undertake such a major dig, the sewer line in question is remarkably undersized and has contributed to major sewage overflows in recent years, according to Morgan Kessler, Arcata’s deputy director of public works.

“The construction methods will include open-cut trenching and in-situ bursting/lining,” Kessler stated in a release. “The City apologizes for any inconvenience this work may cause, and thanks the people of Arcata for their cooperation and understanding while we work to improve our community’s valuable wastewater infrastructure.”

The Public Works Department is administering the contract with Wahlund Construction to replace and rehabilitate approximately 3,300 feet of sewer line stretching right through the heart of Arcata’s SunnyBrae neighborhood. The big dig will cross sections of Crescent Way, Beverly Drive, Grotzman Lane and the parking lot of Sunny Brae Center, the miniature commercial district across the street from Murphy’s Market.

City staff claim that they will individually notify affected residents, property owners and businesses, especially concerning the removal of parked vehicles and the blocking of driveways. They state emphatically, however, that all local businesses will be open and accessible during construction.

Construction is expected to take place Monday thru Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Members of the public with further questions are asked to call Public Works at (707) 822-5957.

Posted in Arcata0 Comments

Marijuana, Moo-shrooms, and Moo-lah

Arcata and McKinleyville Locations Operated by Same Individual


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


These guys are good.  Very good.

After coffee, the Humboldt County Drug Task Force was assisted by the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, the Arcata Police Department, and the United States Marshall’s Office in serving two search warrants associated with each other today, September 17, at 7:45 in the morning.

OK, we made the coffee bit up.  But it’s a pretty good bet.  They were up and at ‘em far later than, say, Kym Kemp.  Kym rolls out of bed by 5 a.m.  She hits the day running full throttle on whole grain donuts by 6.  After the family chores are done.  But we digress.

So they had it all planned and mapped out fairly well.   First, they served a search warrant at a residence located in the 1900 block of Upper Bay Road in Arcata.  That’s near the cow fields of the Arcata Bottoms, if you didn’t know.  But there was a whole lot more going on than cows, milk, and manure, if you get the drift and smell our dairy-aire.  Oh yeah.

Officers located a commercial indoor marijuana growing operation inside of the residence.  Officers seized 771 growing marijuana plants ranging in size from 4 inches to 4 feet.

Officers also seized 3 pounds of processed marijuana, along with $2,300 dollars in cash for possible asset forfeiture from inside of the residence.  Surprise, surprise.  Small potatoes, though, for the DTF.  And no suspect.  Yet.

It appeared no one lived at the residence and it was used only to commercially cultivate marijuana.

Outwitted?  Hardly.  They went to Plan B– and the second part of this story.

The second associated search warrant was served at the same time as the Upper Bay Road location.  It was served at a residence located in the 2500 block of Kelly Avenue in McKinleyville.

There, officers located a subject at that residence they identified as Hugh Alan Liles, age 57.

And another not-so-surprising surprise?  Officers located an indoor marijuana growing operation in the unattached garage next to the residence there, too, and seized another 145 growing marijuana plants that were all about 4 feet in height.  The trail thickened as the plants grew larger.

Officers then located a pint glass jar in the residence appearing to contain Psilocybin Mushrooms.  If you don’t know what those are, they’re psychedelic mushrooms, magic mushrooms, outta-your-Shaman-headed funny fungi.  And we claim not to know a thing about them.  Or why the HCSO capitalized the letter ‘P’ in the word  ’Psilocybin’ above.  And the M in mushrooms.  But they did.  And we digress.

But that wasn’t all they found.

Cash.  Yeah, baby.  Cold, cool, hard currency.  Lots of it.  When it comes to finding cash, these DTF guys are like bloodhounds.  Or hot blooded Guernseys.

How much?  They uncovered $57,000 of hidden loot in the attic of the residence– and seized the presumed drug dough for forfeiture.

Officers learned in their investigation that Mr. Liles was responsible for both the indoor marijuana cultivation at the residence located on Upper Bay Road along with his residence located on Kelly Avenue.  Well, that’s what they said, as much of a coincidence as it seems to be.  As much of a coincidence, as say, finding $57-thousand of Benjamins stashed in the attic?

What do you suppose the odds are of that?  Better than hitting triple Sevens on the bosomy I Dream of Jeannie slots at the Blue Lake Casino?  Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes’ deceased Ed McMahon knocking on your door?  An African swallow carrying a coconut?  Oops.  Sorry, dearest Reader.  We did it again.  We digress.  We bad.

Wrapping up this pulpy yet true narrative, Mr. Liles was arrested for cultivation and possession for sales of marijuana and for possession of Psilocybin Mushrooms.  (The HCSO capitalized it again; they must know something we don’t.)  Mr. Liles was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility and his bail was set at $ 25,000.

Officers noticed a possible fire hazard with the electrical wiring from the indoor marijuana growing operation at both locations and contacted the Humboldt County Building and Planning Department– who responded to the two residences.

After inspecting the electrical wiring, Humboldt County Building and Planning Department determined that there was a fire hazard and contacted PG&E to have the electrical service turned off to the residences.

Apparently no innocent children were found warranting removal.

This case is still under investigation by the Humboldt County Drug Task Force, the HCSO said.


~So, let’s go through our textbook-bust checklist again:

  • Do we have a Name, Address, and Search Warrant?   Check.
  • Is it a dollar amount worthy of hauling in?  Double check.  Wait… Why, oh myYesMove it to the top of the list, please.
  • Did we contact the County about ‘Fire Hazard’?   You betcha.
  • Did the County contact PG&E to disconnect services?  Yup.
  • Bail Set?  Sure as the sun rises tomorrow.
  • ‘Still under Investigation’ and ‘Press Release’ Issued?  You’re catching on quick, aren’t you?

Kym Kemp has a mug pic of Mr. Liles here being the astute observer and early moo-ving riser that she is.


Posted in Arcata, Crime0 Comments

Dollar Store Drive-Thru Hit and Miss

“Attention all Checkers: Clean up on Aisles 1, 2, 3, and 4″


Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel


A woman drove through the Dollar Tree store in Arcata’s Valley West Shopping Center today, even though no drive-thru service was open.

In other words, she plowed her car through the store’s front entrance.

Apparently the elderly woman accidentally put her blue BMW sedan in forward gear and, with her wheels braced against the parking curb, hit the gas a bit more heavily than usual to make it go – rather than using reverse and lightly sipping on the gas as is customarily done.  Go it went.

Jumping nimbly over the curb, the finely engineered German dragon wagon roared through the store’s front window and half of the double-locking front doors before the surprised driver hit the brakes and high-ended the vehicle.  She brought the runaway coach to a screeching halt just in time and just in front of the more surprised employees and customers at the checkout counter.

The impact shattered the front glass window and scattered Dollar Tree’s buck-a-throw merchandise everywhere in silly willy-nilly fashion.

Fortunately, no one inside the store was hurt.  Just a little shaken up from too much excitement and the near run-in and miss of bad-car karma.

The unidentified driver, however, didn’t fare as well and was brought to the hospital for minor injuries.  The nice 77-year-old lady reportedly ‘had a medical episode’ and was a bit rattled, but was in good enough shape to walk on her own and be assisted into the waiting ambulance.

Responding to the scene, an Arcata Police officer, KIEM-TV reporter, and tow truck driver glumly assessed the scene alongside fellow gawkers.

“It’s pretty amazing that no one got hurt,” Arcata Police Department Sgt. Bob Martinez said.  “She would’ve gone through the store, but she high-centered the middle of the car.”

The woman’s car was towed from the store’s entrance leaving a portion of her front bumper behind– and a whole lot of twisted heavy metal and imported hinky-dink wares strewn in its wake.


 (Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Arcata, Local0 Comments

Oregon Kidnapping Suspect Nabbed in Arcata Redwood Park

Suspect Fleeing to Mexico with 1-year-old Child


Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel


The actions of a quick thinking and observant CHP Officer has led to the arrest of an Oregon kidnapper– and the safe recovery of a small child.

On Saturday, September 1 at approximately 11:19 am, Eugene Police Department broadcast information of an Amber Alert issued in Oregon.

The Amber Alert information detailed a parental kidnapping that had taken place from the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) facility in Eugene, Oregon.

The subject, Angelo Luis Muniz, 47, of Lebanon, Ore., was suspected of abducting his 1-year-old daughter, Perfection Angelas, while on a supervised visit.  The information specified that Mr. Muniz suffered from mental disorders and substance abuse.

Oregon authorities suspected Mr. Muniz was enroute to Mexico and traveling down the redwood coast on Highway 101 in a 1991 Mazda pickup.

Humboldt Area California Highway Patrol Officer J. Bowen monitored these broadcasts and set up observation on southbound US-101 at Bracut, midway between Arcata and Eureka.

At 1:35 pm, Officer Bowen observed the suspect vehicle pass his location and he began to follow it.  CHP Officer P. Craft also responded nearby to assist.  They followed the suspect vehicle into Eureka on Highway 101.

Officer Bowen conducted an enforcement stop at the Target store parking lot in Eureka; however, the suspect and victim were not in the vehicle. The vehicle was occupied by two adult females: Lorie Garza Ramirez and Julie Christina Raas.

After obtaining information from the two females in the vehicle, Officer Bowen responded to Arcata.  After an investigation and search, Officer Bowen located Mr. Muniz and the abducted 1-year-old child, Perfection Angelas, at Redwood Park in Arcata.

Mr. Muniz was arrested on a warrant issued for the kidnapping.  Police also recovered the pickup Muniz was driving.

Julie Raas, one of the original suspected vehicle occupants, was also taken into custody on charges of delaying and obstructing officers during the investigation.

Perfection Angelas was taken into protective custody.  She appeared to be unharmed and in good health upon Officer Bowen locating her and is again in the protective custody of the Oregon Department of Human Services, the CHP release noted.

* * * * * * * *

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Arcata, Crime, Local1 Comment

Brazen Heist at Bureau of Land Management

Thieves Break into BLM Secured Yard on Heindon Road in Arcata


UPDATED BELOW: Two Arrested; Two Others Sought


Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel


This weekend saw the brazen theft of several vehicles taken from behind a locked gate in Arcata by some determined scoundrels.

On Sunday, August 26, The Arcata Police Department was summoned to investigate a theft that occurred at the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) office on Heindon Road in Arcata near the Highway 101 and 299 interchange, according to the APD release today.

According to BLM representatives, two privately owned vehicles and a BLM all-terrain vehicle (ATV) were stolen from a secured yard behind their headquarters.  The ATV was on a BLM trailer, which is also reported as stolen. 
The stolen vehicles are privately owned by wildland firefighters, one of whom is currently deployed at a wildland fire in the Eastern Sierras.
The stolen vehicles were described as:
  •  A black 1999 Toyota Tacoma (CA license number  6JYK204)
  • A red 1989 Toyota pickup (CA license number 5V83905)
  • And a green 2006 Yamaha Rhino ATV.
  • The stolen trailer has a US Department of the Interior license plate (number L1423348).

In addition, several power tools were also stolen from BLM vehicles that were parked in the lot.



Anyone with information about this incident is requested to contact the Arcata Police Department at 707-822-2428.
APD says they have surveillance video from the area and are now trying to find the suspects.  A $2,500 reward is being offered for anyone with information regarding the thefts.
On Monday, August 27, 2012, investigators received information that property matching the description of that stolen from the BLM office had been seen in the possession of a man in the 600 block of Scenic Drive in Trinidad.
On Tuesday, August 28, officers from the Arcata Police Department, Special Agents from the BLM Law Enforcement division, and Humboldt County Sheriff’s Deputies, conducted a probation search at the residence of 41-year-old David Mathew Silva.
Upon entering the property officers observed numerous components lying about the yard that matched components of the stolen ATV.  Officers also located a number of tools at the residence that matched the description of those taken during the burglary.  A loaded .44 magnum handgun was located in the bedroom occupied by Silva.
Silva was taken into custody for the following violations:
  • 1203.2(a) PC, Violation of Probation
  • 496(a) PC, Possession of Stolen Property
  • 12021(a) PC, Felon in Possession of a Firearm

Lee Kelly Hawkins, 27 of Arcata, was also taken into custody at the residence for a violation of 496(a) PC, Possession of Stolen Property.

During the course of the investigation additional information was discovered that one of the vehicles stolen during the burglary may have been in the Blue Lake area.  Arcata Police Department officers utilized an automated license plate reader recently purchased with the assistance of a grant from Coast Central Credit Union to locate the red 1989 Toyota truck, abandoned in the 1400 block of Glendale Drive in Blue Lake. 

Surveillance was obtained from a nearby business of a white female and a white male adult parking the stolen Toyota truck on Saturday, August 25th at around 4:30 pm.  The two subjects drove away in a black, late model Ford F-150 crew cab truck.

The Arcata Police Department is seeking assistance in identifying the two subjects.  If you have any information regarding the identity of the two subjects or the whereabouts of the black Ford truck, please contact the Arcata Police Department at 822-2424 or leave an anonymous tip at the Arcata Police Department’s Crime Tip Line at 825-2588. 


For additional information, please contact: Acting Sgt. Bob Martinez
Or the On-Duty Watch Commander
Arcata Police Department
(707) 822-2428
Case #12-2376


(Pictures are approximate representations only.  Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Arcata, Crime, Local3 Comments

Arcata’s Double Take On Verizon Tower Plan

Special Council meeting on Monday to consider telecom giant’s scheme


Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel


The self-styled progressive leaders of Arcata are going into round two of their discussions with a multinational telecommunications behemoth over their proposal to erect cell phone communication facilities on top of the Humboldt Crabs home field.

A special City Council meeting will be held bright and early at 9 a.m. on Monday morning to debate the original plan by Verizon, which would cast mere chicken feed at municipal coffers — only $1,000 a month rent for the right to build huge towers looming over the Arcata Ball Park.

Councilmembers voted 4-1, with Vice Mayor Shane Brinton dissenting, to continue negotiations with Verizon and include other wireless cellular communications firms to see about the possibility of co-locating facilities. Before voting no, Brinton had successfully amended the motion to include public access television non-profit Access Humboldt in the communications loop to see if public facilities and management could also play a role.

The City’s Parks and Recreation Commission also chimed in ahead of Monday’s hearing; they met two weeks ago to lay out a laundry list of their concerns with the various drafts of where Verizon’s equipment might land.

“Who has identified the coverage needs for this area and how is it determined that this is the best location to serve these needs,” asked Commission chair Nancy Starck in her letter to the Council. “Is the coverage provided by this location already serviced by other locations or can this eliminate other locations by providing better coverage?”

In one of their seven recommendations, the Parks and Recreation Commission echoed the call for a significant public benefit project such as those promoted by Access Humboldt — whether this would be a free wireless Internet connection for the downtown area or access to the Verizon network for government, educational and public access media has yet to be specified.

Lisa Brown, who testified to the Council that no more cell phone towers should be built anywhere in the city due to electromagnetic frequency pollution concerns, is expected to return with other techno-critics in force to demand that the Council follow their own General Plan, which mandates that no towers are built within 1,000 feet of a residence or historic district.

Posted in Arcata, Media, Politics2 Comments

Busted Twice in the Same Night

Arcata Arrests Net Three– and an Ounce of Meth


Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel

On Sunday, August 5th, 2012 at approximately 6:58 p.m., officers of the Arcata Police Department (APD) conducted a traffic stop for a vehicle code violation on northbound Highway 101 across from Giuntoli Lane.
The traffic stop yielded one ounce of methamphetamine packaged for sales, scales, extra packaging material and a hypodermic needle, according to the APD release.
26-year-old Aaron Riley was taken into custody for possession of methamphetamine for sales and a parole violation.  28-year-old Derlyn Riley was taken into custody for possession of drug paraphernalia and a violation of her probation.
While conducting a follow-up investigation at the Arcata Motel 6 at approximately 11:26 p.m., officers contacted Derlyn Riley in one of the rooms after she had been booked and released from the Humboldt County Jail.  During the contact, Officers located methamphetamine and hypodermic needles in the room.  Riley was taken into custody for possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia– as well as another violation of her probation.
36-year-old Tommy Horton was also contacted and taken into custody for possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.   
All suspects were booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility, Arcata Police reported.

Posted in Arcata, Crime0 Comments

Another Arcata Grow and Arrest

Search Warrant Served on Windsong Home


Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel


Officers from the Arcata Police Department served a search warrant at a residence in the 2200 block of Aerial Way in Arcata on Wednesday morning, July 25, the Arcata Police reported in their press release.

Officers located an indoor marijuana growing operation at the residence.  The operation consisted of nearly 800 growing marijuana plants utilizing ten 1000 watt grow lights.
The home was consuming nearly 5000 kilowatt hours of electricity per month, which is nearly 10 times– or 1000%– above the 500 kilowatt hours used by an average California home.
Approximately 10 pounds of processed marijuana and one pound of concentrated cannabis were also found in the home.

Kathleen Marie Richardson, 32, of Arcata was arrested and booked into the Humboldt County Jail on the following charges: 

  •           11358 Health & Safety (H&S)- Cultivation of Marijuana
  •           11359 H&S- Possession of Marijuana for Sale
  •           11366.5 H&S- Maintaining a Residence for Manufacture
  •           11357(a) H&S- Possession of Concentrated Cannabis
City of Arcata building inspectors discovered numerous building code violations at the residence which necessitated the immediate disconnection of electrical service, APD reported.  Arcata Fire Protection District Investigators also responded to the scene to assess potential fire hazards.
APD would like you to know that if you suspect illegal drug activity is in your Arcata neighborhood, please contact the Arcata Police Department at (707) 822-2428– or leave a tip on the Arcata Police Department’s Crime Tip Line at (707)825-2587.
(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Arcata, Crime0 Comments

Arcata Crime Ring Broken

Three arrested, over $25,000 in stolen property recovered


Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel


An alleged burglary and auto theft gang plaguing Arcata was broken up by a trio of arrests Wednesday.

Kicking off a busy day for the Arcata Police Department was the arrest of 28-year-old Paul Lester Bareilles and his 33-year old wife Barbara Ranae Palmer, both of Eureka, during a traffic stop. In their vehicle, according to a press statement by APD lieutenant Ryan Peterson, law enforcement recovered stolen property. Two children, a 6-year-old and a 9-year-old, were also in the car, and were later released to family members.

Just a bit later in the day, cops contacted and arrested 33-year-old Zachariah Scott Friedland near his residence on the 1400 block of Buttermilk Lane. He was connected by investigators, along with Bareilles and Palmer, to a dramatic rise in burglaries and auto thefts over the last three months where vehicles were stolen and either stripped for parts or used for joy rides, with items of value stolen from inside the vehicle.

Two search warrants were subsequently obtained for Friedland’s residence and for a nearby storage unit associated with him. There, cops found a “substantial amount” of stolen property linked to the boosted cars, including auto parts, computers, musical instruments, digital cameras, spotting scopes, survey equipment, clothing and electronics; estimates of the total value range between $25,000 and $30,000.

All three arrestees were booked into county jail:

Bareilles was charged with possession of stolen property and violation of the terms of his probation;

Palmer was charged with possession of stolen property;

Friedland was charged with possession of stolen property, possession of burglary tools and driving on a suspended license.


Posted in Arcata, Crime0 Comments

Arcata Tar Pharm Busted

Arrests Made in Heroin Sales Investigation

Staff Report

Humboldt Sentinel


On June 22, 2012, at approximately 11:00 p.m., Officers from the Arcata Police Department contacted two individuals at the Uniontown Shopping Center who appeared to be under the influence of a controlled substance.  The two were the subject of an on-going investigation by the Arcata Police Department into possible drug sales and had been contacted and arrested with a third individual in relation to unlawful drug possession on June 21, 2012 in Arcata.

As a result of the contact at the shopping center, approximately one gram of heroin and several illegally possessed prescription medications were located in their vehicle.  A subsequent Probation Search of their residence in the 2400 block of Eye Street in Arcata located more controlled substances.

Between the two contacts and during the investigation, Officers located and seized over one ounce of Heroin, over 15 grams of Psilocybin Mushrooms, Prescription Medications and over two grams of Methamphetamine.  Officers also located records of drug sales, scales and packaging materials, indicating that the two possessed the drugs for sale.

The individuals, who were taken into custody, were Arcata residents.  All were arrested for Possession of Heroin and Possession of Heroin for sale.  They were additionally charged with Unlawful Possession of Prescription Medication, Owner or Agent Allowing Place for Manufacture, Storage or Distribution of Controlled Substance, and Violation of Probation.

The investigation into the drug sales is ongoing.  The residence is located within a short distance of Arcata Elementary School.  Enhancements for drug sales within a school zone will be requested as charges are pursued through the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office.

* * * * * * * *

It begs the question:  Yet another county probationer going unsupervised and without usage of of  his court-ordered drug testing clause until the illicit pseudo-pharmacy and drug-ridden behavior have gotten so far out of hand that another agency has to step in to investigate and clear the air?

We’re frequently seeing this trend happening lately– individuals on probation running amok without supervision.  It must be a coincidence.  We all know an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  Or in this case, brown tar heroin and a host of other goodies for sale.

(Posted by Skippy Massey)


Posted in Arcata, Crime0 Comments

Upscale Drug House Busted In Arcata

Jennifer Upton popped for 150-plus grow scene


By Staff
Humboldt Sentinel


Another illicit drug operation was taken down in Arcata’s newer Windsong housing development this morning.

Acting on an anonymous tip, Arcata Police Department personnel served the search warrant Thursday at a home on the 2300 block of Sherri Court. They found a sophisticated marijuana growing operation consisting of over 150 growing cannabis plants underneath twelve 1000-watt lights; the home was consuming nearly 5000 kilowatt hours per month, nearly 1000% above the average California home, according to a statement by APD sergeant Todd Dokweiler.

Arrested at the scene was Jennifer Marie Upton, 21, on charges of marijuana cultivation and possession for sale. She was transported and booked at the Humboldt County Correctional Facility.

As usual, City building inspectors found fault with the grow operation’s wiring, and they called in the power company to disconnect electricity to the home. Investigators from the Arcata Fire Protection District also came out to look for potential fire hazards.

Posted in Arcata, Crime2 Comments

Probationer Arrested For Arcata Burglary In Progress

Eureka Police Department K9 Assists Following Foot Chase


Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel


On May 11, 2012, at approximately Midnight, Officers from the Arcata Police Department were dispatched to the Healthsport facility at 300 Community Park Way, on the report of a burglary alarm sounding. 

The responding Officers checked the facility and located an unsecured door.  Additional Officers helped secure the exterior of the building and the interior was checked. 

A person could be heard inside.  An Arcata Police K9 Officer was not on duty and the Eureka Police Department was contacted to assist.

Before the EPD K9 Officer could arrive, a male was seen fleeing the rear of the building.  Officers chased him.  Following a short foot pursuit, 39 year old James Burke of Galt California was detained.

The building was searched with the EPD K9 Officer and no other suspects were located.  The investigation into the incident discovered that a theft was attempted in the business.  Interior video security camera images were reviewed and Burke was determined to be the suspect in that attempted theft.

Burke was arrested for Burglary and Probation Violation.  He was booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility and held in custody.

Links between Burke and other burglaries in the Arcata area are unknown.  The Arcata Police Department was assisted in this incident by the Humboldt State University Police Department and the Eureka Police Department.

For additional information, please contact: Sergeant Dave Brown
Or the On-Duty Watch Commander
Arcata Police Department
(707) 822-2428
Case #12-1297


(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Arcata, Crime1 Comment

Mountain Lion Again Sighted in Arcata

Third Sighting of Big Cats in Two Weeks 

Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel


The Arcata Police Department was notified that a mountain lion had been seen in the area of Lower Fickle Hill Road and Hill Street on Thursday, May 3rd, at approximately 10:00pm.  Officers responded to the area, but were unable to locate the animal.  The mountain lion was last seen walking on a driveway into the forest.

This is the third incident of a mountain lion sighted in Arcata in the past two weeks.

Two prior sightings occurred in the area of West End Road and Spear Avenue on April 23.  Officers were unable to locate the animal on these occasions, as well.

In the previous incidents, Humboldt State University wildlife student Zack Yates notified police after he and friends saw a mountain lion cross the traffic circle at Spear Avenue and West End Road about 10:30 p.m. on April 23. The mountain lion was about the size of a golden retriever or a German shepherd and was carrying a black and white dog about the size of a Jack Russell terrier in its mouth, the Times-Standard news reported.

”It crossed the road right in front of us, stopped and dropped the dog,” Yates said, adding that it was on the side of the traffic circle closest to U.S. Highway 101. “There’s this metal fence that opened up to a big field. It just scaled the fence with the dog effortlessly.”

Speaking to Jessica Cejnar of the Times-Standard, HSU wildlife Professor Richard Golightly said the big cats have large home-ranges and while they do show up in local neighborhoods, it’s usually the young lions that have just left their mother that find their way close to people.  Golightly said these mountain lions often prey on raccoons which are attracted to trash bins and trash cans.

“Juvenile lions will show up if there’s an attraction, like a dumpster. If folks are feeding raccoons, it should be removed right away,” Golightly said.  If a mountain lion becomes a threat to people, dealing with the problem cat could include removing what it is attracted to or, in rare cases, having to kill it, he said.

Arcata police warn mountain lions may be attracted to pet foods left out– or the pets themselves.  They are also often attracted to domestic animals such as chickens and goats.

Arcata Police Officer Richard Bergstresser added that there are a number of sightings every year in the urban interface with the forest.  Many sightings occur near Redwood Park and the Arcata Community Forest.

The last mountain lion attack in Humboldt County occurred in 2007.  Fortuna residents Jim and Nell Hamm were hiking in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park when a young lion jumped Jim Hamm from behind. Nell Hamm was able to fight the lion off by stabbing the big cat in the eye with a pen and hitting it on the snout with a branch, leaving her husband with serious injuries to his scalp, neck, face and hands and requiring his hospitalization for weeks.

Also known as cougars, panthers or pumas, mountain lions are tawny colored with black tipped ears and tail. Generally smaller than the jaguar, it is one of North America’s largest cats.  Powerful animals that normally prey upon large game such as deer, sheep and elk, mountain lions will also survive by preying on small animals as well.  Usually hunting alone at night and preferring to ambush their prey from behind, a generally secretive, elusive, and solitary nature causes mountain lions to be rarely seen by humans– even as an adult male’s home range can often span over 100 square miles. Females, however, generally use smaller areas of about 20 to 60 square miles. Their natural life span is approximately 12 years in the wild.

The Arcata Police Department is warning residents of these repeated sightings and asking citizens to notify police at #822-2428 if a mountain lion is seen near its populated areas.

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Arcata, Local0 Comments

Another 4/20 Bust In Arcata

One arrest and little else to do for over a dozen cops


By Gabriele Fellows
Humboldt Sentinel


Clouds of smoke, whimsical drumbeats and the echo of playful laughter was absent this year at Redwood Park in Arcata.

In years past, the 4/20 celebration has regularly taken place in this spot. The annual celebration usually draws large crowds to the grassy knoll tucked between the trees in the Arcata Community Forest. But this year, the party was a bust.

“When it was sunny, there was like…the whole field was people, and they had like little barbeque pits,” one local woman said. “That was nice.”

A few people hung out underneath the trees, and some parents brought their children to play, but there was no one to pass the bowl to.

Despite the minimal stoner turnout, police officers were on hand, ready to make arrests if a crime was committed.

“Oppression” was one man’s reply when asked about the police presence.

The City of Arcata issued a press release four days prior informing the community that agencies would be increasing their enforcement of laws governing the park — especially pertaining to the ban on smoking.

Arcata Police Chief Tom Chapman stated that previous gatherings had damaged the park, and that they intended to protect citizens and public property this year.

Although the turnout was skimpy at best, a minor was arrested for smoking pot just after 4:20 p.m. For this lone arrest, multiple agencies deployed over a dozen officers, along with roadblocks, traffic signs and even a mobile command center.

The Critical Incident Response Vehicle cost $370,000. The vehicle is to be used for public safety during natural disasters, emergencies and critical incidents — how the events at Redwood Park could be classified as a critical incident remain unclear (Chapman refused to answer questions from Sentinel).

Posted in Arcata, Crime, Politics9 Comments

Arcata Council Contemplates Toilets

Increased bed tax might fund installation of facility near the Plaza


By Eric Black
Humboldt Sentinel


A public toilet could be coming to downtown Arcata in the near future. City staff is currently conducting a cost and logistic analysis for construction of the restroom.

At a city council meeting on March 24th, the council directed staff to perform the analysis for a number of locations, all within a block of the plaza. Rough estimates for toilet construction run between $100,000 and $125,000. The primary proposed location, 8th street between F and G, already hosts temporary ‘B and B’ toilets Saturday mornings during the Farmers’ Market season.

“We came to the conclusion that it’s for everyone,” said Arcata Vice Mayor Shane Brinton, who served on the public restroom subcommittee along with Council Member Susan Orenlas. “It needs to meet the needs of tourists in the downtown, visiting parents, and there will be homeless folks using it.”

The city council won’t vote on whether to go ahead with the project until it receives the report from city staff.

Posted in Arcata, Politics0 Comments

Utah Bust Leads To Arcata Arrests

Jeffrey Dugan pulled over near Salt Lake City with 49 pounds of bud; Steele at home with 40 more


Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel


Two Arcata cohabitants in different states were popped for industrial-scale cannabis distribution over the last few weeks.

On Feb. 2, the Utah Highway Patrol made a traffic stop in the Salt Lake City area and arrested 41-year-old Arcata resident Jeffrey Roland Dugan, who was accused of transporting 49 pounds of marijuana bud and two pounds of hash. The car he was driving was registered to 40-year-old Brian Wayne Steele, who lives with Dugan in Arcata.

When the Humboldt County Drug Task Force was notified by Utah law enforcement, they obtained a Humboldt County Superior Court search warrant on their residence, located on the 1400 block of West End Road in Arcata. Upon raiding the home yesterday at 12 p.m., the cops found Steele with 40 pounds of bud, two ounces of hash, 40 pounds of marijuana leaves, 19 growing plants approximately 4 feet high — as well as $33,780 in cash and the scales and paperwork consistent with drug sales.

Dugan and Steele were booked into county jail on felony charges of possession of marijuana for sale, with bail set at $75,000. A female suspect, Ashley Burkart, was issued a notice to appear in court on possession charges, but was not sent to jail so that she could care for her five-year-old daughter.

Members of the public with information for the Humboldt County Drug Task Force may call them at (707) 444-8095.

Posted in Arcata, Crime3 Comments

Another Arcata Hash Factory Busted

Lance Lorenzen allegedly ran operation out of Foster Avenue apartment

Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel


In the latest in a string of pot busts in Arcata, an apartment running what police called a “concentrated cannabis ‘has’ manufacturing operation” was taken down yesterday.

According to Arcata Police Department sergeant Todd Dokweiler’s press statement, law enforcement had received information over the past month about the home in question, located on the 1600 block of Foster Avenue. After a lengthy investigation, APD obtained a search warrant.

Upon their arrival, the cops located about two-and-a-half pounds of hash and six-and-a-half pounds of processed bud. They arrested resident Lance Christian Lorenzen, 27, on charges of hash possession, marijuana possession and marijuana sales. He was booked into county jail without incident.

Members of the public who want to snitch out their neighbors in Arcata are asked to call APD at (707) 822-2428.

Posted in Arcata, Crime3 Comments

Arcata Drug Houses Busted

Sheriff’s probation search hits jackpot of pot, meth, coke. weapons and more

Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel


Three Arcata men are in the local lockup after a probation search on one of them turned up pounds of pot.

At about 11 a.m. today, the Community Response Unit of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office descended on a house on the 200 block of Alder Grove Road in Arcata. The man on probation, 31-year-old Colin Baldridge, was at home, along with cohabitants Paul Cohen, 56, and Jimi Suma, 37.

Upon conducting their warrantless search, deputies found 171 growing marijuana plants and 200 pounds of processed marijuana bud, which they valuated (improbably) at $400,000. The cops also found a half gram of cocaine, one-and-a-half grams of methamphetamine and 451 grams of hash, which they (more probably) estimated to be worth $3,000. Packaging materials, scales, pay and owe sheets and over $3,000 in cash were all found, suggesting a drug sales business.

In the process of their search, HCSO personnel discovered that Baldridge had another home on the 2400 block of Eye Street in the Sunset neighborhood of Arcata. Upon arriving at the house, the cops found another 20 pounds of processed bud, again improbably estimated at $40,000. Three large garbage bags of pot leaves and two handguns were also discovered — with one of those guns reported stolen, according to a press statement by HCSO lieutenant Steve Knight.

Charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm, cultivation and possession for sale of pot, drug house and narcotics possession were all leveled on Baldridge; Suma was booked on an outstanding felony warrant for violating a probation issued by the Superior Court in Mendocino County; Cohen was popped for possession of meth. All three were transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility without incident.

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

Posted in Arcata, Crime0 Comments

Arcata Meth Dealer Nabbed

Wallace Egger popped in routine traffic stop on Valley West


Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel


An Arcata Police Department traffic cop sent an alleged meth dealer in jail earlier this week.

At about 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday, the policeman observed an equipment violation on a vehicle traveling along the 5000 block of Valley West Boulevard. Upon contacting the driver, 46-year-old Arcata resident Wallace Egger, the cop discovered the driver had an expired license; he also noticed that Wallace was displaying symptoms consistent with being under the influence of methamphetamine.

“Upon further investigation the officer saw that Egger had a white powdery substance on his fingers,” sergeant Todd Dokweiler stated in a release.

Egger was then arrested for being under the influence of a controlled substance, and a search of his vehicle revealed nearly two ounces of meth along with scales and other items related to drug sales. He was further charged with possession of a controlled substance for sale, transportation of a controlled substance and driving while unlicensed.

Posted in Arcata, Crime0 Comments

Arcata Rejects Union Preference Scheme

Local contractors fill City Hall to condemn ‘anti-competitive’ proposal


By Charles Douglas
Humboldt Sentinel


Local union rep Sid Berg may have bitten off more than he could chew in trying to push a re-write of Arcata city policy to favor apprenticeship training run primarily by organized labor.

An overflow crowd in Council Chambers tonight held back little in expressing their anger at the potential loss of city public works contracts for local building firms, most of whom would not qualify under the draft regulations.

“This proposal will tip the scales heavily in favor of union contractors,” Humboldt Builders Exchange spokesperson Rob McBeth said. “It’s very discriminatory to small sole proprietor businesses…in this time of tight budgets and scarce resources, why would you want to reduce competition?”

A staff report by city manager Randy Mendosa essentially concurred with this analysis, stating that the proposed Project Labor Agreement would take local firms out of the process to bid on City construction contracts, opening the door to out-of-area companies large enough to maintain a cadre of union-approved apprentices.

Berg, the business representative for Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 290, took issue right off the bat with the tone of Mendosa’s report, claiming it wasn’t a union issue, but one of job training. He claimed to have taken 90% of the proposal from boilerplate language available on the California Division of Apprenticeship Standards’ website.

“The state’s broke, they don’t have the money for enforcement, that’s why very few contractors are using apprentices,” Berg said. “That’s why we’re bringing this to the city, for local enforcement.”

Under the proposal, 60% of the workforce on any City building contract would have to be graduates from a state certified apprenticeship program. Thing is, for a program to be state certified, it goes through a cumbersome process that critics claim to be discriminatory against non-union shops. That, and the prospect of Arcata adding another layer of bureaucratic oversight over contractors by burdening with new reporting requirements, effectively killed the idea.

“It’s not the city’s responsibility to get that stuff, it’s the responsibility of the contractor to notify the apprenticeship programs that they need people for their jobs,” city purchasing agent Harold Miller said. “We don’t want to get in between the contractor and the apprenticeship program.”

Heavy hitters from Mercer-Fraser, Wendt Construction, Danco Builders, Kernan Construction, and more turned out to hammer the same pro-local, anti-paperwork message home; they were even joined by Sue Long from the Fortuna City Council.

Les Charter of Arcata-based O & M Industries, which had the greatest turnout of the evening, summed up the feelings of many: “One of the things that makes Humboldt County unique is coming up with a small contractor, you learn how to do everything…if you mandate that workers have to go through a union-accredited or state-accredited union program, they can’t do more than one thing…I’m not anti-union but I’m pro-choice.”

Councilmember Shane Brinton, possibly due to participating via teleconference from a vacation in his girlfriend’s home state of New Mexico, was the only one apparently deaf to the public outcry, insisting that the Council move forward on the scheme.

He made no fewer than five motions, albeit as a disembodied voice through a black speaker box in front of his normal seat at the Council dais, attempting to direct a rehearing of Berg’s original proposal after some retooling. Brinton’s first motion, to form a committee with Berg, city staff and local builders to revise the policy language, was seconded by Mayor Michael Winkler, but failed 2-2, with Councilmembers Susan Ornelas and Alex Stillman opposed and Councilmember Mark Wheetley absent.

Brinton’s next few motions, all variations on the original, all failed for lack of a second, and the Council eventually moved forward 4-0 on a “feel good” statement which supported the training of apprentices to state and federal standards, while ditching Berg’s entire plan.

Posted in Arcata, Politics0 Comments

Karen Brooks Announces Supe Candidacy

Still unknown whether incumbent Third District Supervisor will run again


By Charles Douglas
Humboldt Sentinel


With face-offs already guaranteed for the other two Humboldt County Supervisor seats up for grabs in 2012, the Third District will now be a political battleground as well.

Arcata environmental activist Mark Lovelace, who has yet to decide whether he’ll run for a second term after his landslide victory in June 2008, has an extra factor to consider — Bayside businesswoman Karen Brooks, who made public this week her intention to run for the job.

“This mom, this business woman, this concerned citizen has decided that we can do better for the people of Humboldt County and I’m standing up to make your voice heard,” she wrote on her Facebook wall yesterday. “If you live in Manila, Arcata, Blue Lake, Kneeland, Bayside, Freshwater, northern Eureka and all points in-between I would represent you with no nonsense, real world leadership. I have a vision to bring our future back to our children and grandchildren…stay tuned!”


Brooks previously ran for State Assembly on the Republican ballot line as the only alternative to incumbent Wes Chesbro on the November 2010 ballot, scoring just over 38% against the entrenched Arcata Democrat who previously served as 3rd District Supervisor, as well as an Arcata City Councilmember and a twice-elected State Senator for the North Coast.

Humboldt County’s other two Supervisorial seats will also be contended in the June 2012 election — with a November run-off if no candidate scores above 50%. Incumbent Jimmy Smith’s First District Supervisor seat will see retired schoolteacher Annette De Modena face former Eureka City Council candidate Rex Bohn, while Second District Supervisor Clif Clendenen will once again share the ballot with former KMUD news director Estelle Fennel. More candidates may step forward, as the filing period won’t close for several weeks.

While never having served in elected office, Brooks was the Marketing Director for the North Coast Co-Op, and also is an active member of the Humboldt Tea Party Patriots; she even wrote a guest opinion column entitled “Patriots and prejudice — irrational hatred of the Tea Party” for the Times-Standard earlier this year. She’s a Humboldt State University alumnus and an active equestrian.

Her first campaign event will be a Pancake Breakfast meet and greet at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 7 at the D Street Neighborhood Center, just south of Humboldt State University in Arcata. While the breakfast is free, Brooks is asking attendees to bring two cans of food per person to help the local food bank — and she’s also asking for people to bring their own dishware to make it a zero waste event.

Brooks characterized the event as part of a “listening tour” in a press release earlier today, and says she intends to sound out issues and concerns from local residents in order to find sustainable solutions. For more information on her campaign, e-mail Brooks at

Here’s an excerpt from Planet Humboldt (produced by the Sentinel) of Brooks delivering comments at the 9/11 Commemoration held in Fortuna earlier this year:

Posted in Arcata, Politics0 Comments

Arcata’s New Year’s Resolution: Get Mean

Great Wall of McKinley promised, along with more “uncomfortable” policing

Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel


Arcata will not be a welcoming place to celebrate the birth of the year 2012.

This much was clear from a somewhat vague press release issued from City Hall this afternoon, where the Arcata Police Department will be encouraging a “safe and happy New Year” by cracking down on any display of excessive celebratory cheer in and around the Arcata Plaza.

Among the extraordinary measures, taken without any specific resolution of the City Council, is a gigantic cordon walling off the center of the Plaza, traditionally a point of public gathering, speechifying and protest for decades — especially pre-1990s when a dias of steps surrounded the statue of U.S. President William McKinley, now covered up by planter boxes installed for crowd control purposes. APD chief Tom Chapman promises that entry into the central area of the Plaza will be strictly prohibited and any who approach the statue of McKinley — a President widely condemned for launching an imperialist war which led to the deaths of over 200,000 Filipinos — will be subject to immediate arrest.


“The destruction that occurred on Halloween cannot be tolerated,” Chapman stated, referring to an unruly crowd of Humboldt State University students who vandalized the Plaza area two months ago — an event unlikely to occur when students are away on winter break.

APD promises to step up its presence on the Plaza, and call in other local law enforcement agencies — at great expense to the City — to perform additional patrols and interrogate local residents as to the contents of their bags, purses and backpacks to ensure that no alcohol, glass containers or fireworks are present.

“While some people may be uncomfortable with the increased police presence, the safety of the citizens and officers and the protection of property certainly will require more stringent enforcement,” Chapman stated.

Police promise to arrest anyone discharging fireworks, consuming alcohol or carrying glass containers, emphasizing that all laws will be strictly enforced.

Posted in Arcata, Crime0 Comments

Three Arrested In Arcata On Drug Charges


Final suspect found locked inside Valley West motel room


Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel


Three local men were popped in quick succession by the Arcata Police Department starting on Christmas Day for various drug charges.

On Sunday at about 11:20 p.m., APD personnel contacted, then arrested Arcata resident James Bauer, 35, on felony parole violation.

This arrest first led to the detention of Bauer’s associate, 21-year-old Jarame Johnson of McKinleyville; these contacts also led to a room at a motel on Valley West Boulevard, where APD suspected Bauer and two associates were renting a room where drug sales were underway.

What followed was a coordinated strike by APD, the Parole Office in Eureka and the California Department of Corrections against the motel room in question.

When APD arrived, however, the room was locked from within, and the occupant did not cooperate when the cops announced their presence and asked him to open the door.  APD proceeded to instruct motel staff to assist them to force the door open, and upon entry, public servants arrested 22-year-old Michael Loughry of McKinleyville without further incident.

A thorough search of the room revealed several pounds of processed cannabis, along with packaging and materials alleged to be consistent with marijuana sales, according to a press statement by APD sergeant Dave Brown.

An illegal weapon and an unstated amount of meth were also found, and all three men were arrested and booked into Humboldt County jail on charges of conspiracy, possession of marijuana for sale and possession of methamphetamine.

Mr. Bauer was also booked on the illegal weapon possession charge; as he was an escaped parolee, he will n0t be eligible for bail.

Posted in Arcata, Crime1 Comment

Accused Stabber Arrested

David Liebe of McKinleyville arrested in Arcata stabbing case

Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel


A McKinleyville resident is spending this weekend in the clink after his arrest earlier today on felony charges.

At about 9:04 p.m. last night, Arcata Police Department personnel were dispatched to a fight in progress at the 700 block of Tenth Street, where they found a male victim bleeding with three stab wounds. The unidentified victim was transported to Mad River hospital for treatment for his critical injuries; meanwhile, APD obtained a description of the suspect during the course of their investigation and began checking the area.

Upon further checking, a subject matching the description was located on the 1000 block of G Street and detained, then arrested for assault with a deadly weapon. He was identified as David Liebe, 41 of McKinleyville, and the alleged attacker was transported to Humboldt County jail.

The case is still open for further investigation, and APD invites witnesses to contact them to provide further information — call detective Bob Martinez at (707) 822-2428.

Posted in Arcata, Crime0 Comments

NCRC To Temporarily Shut Down

Financial difficulties, interference by Arcata officials contribute to collapse


By Charles Douglas
Humboldt Sentinel


After nearly a decade of struggle with City of Arcata elected officials, police and bureaucrats over how best to handle issues of homelessness, the North Coast Resource Center may have reached the end of its rope.

A notice plastered on the door of the NCRC office at the Arcata Service Center informed the public that all services will be suspended as of Dec. 31.

“We are working on setting up an alternate food pantry that will serve Arcata in January,” the notice read. “We will have more information available soon. We at NCRC are making every effort to resume services as quickly as possible.”

Their Executive Director, John Shelter, did not respond to inquiries as of 11 p.m. tonight, but the Sentinel was able to reach Anne Holcomb, executive director of Food For People, which runs Humboldt County’s largest food pantry in midtown Eureka. She said FFP was informed by NCRC that they were dealing with financial difficulties and would close temporarily, for a month or more, to deal with them.

“We’re trying to develop alternative options for the people they’re serving so they don’t go without — we’re in the process right now of trying to find temporary alternative locations in Arcata,” Holcomb said in an interview this evening. “We know the cost of gas to drive from Arcata to Eureka or even bus fare can be prohibitive…we’re committed to assuring people that food pantry services continue for Arcata residents.”

She didn’t want to speculate on the reasons behind the collapse of NCRCs finances, but sympathized with the situation of humanitarian non-profit charities in general as giving has declined in an environment of economic crisis.

“It’s really unfortunate,” Holcomb said. “I’m not sure exactly what the problems are in Arcata. I think there needs to be a collaborative organization that needs to spearhead that and I gather the North Coast Resource Center just does not have the staffing resources to do that.”

NCRC evolved from the Arcata Endeavor, which has served homeless and poor people in the greater Arcata area since the 1990s with food, showers, laundry, job referral help and case management services.

The NCRCs federal grant funding dried up a few years ago due to the lack of “site control” when a newly elected Arcata City Council refused to extend their lease on the Arcata Service Center, located in between the Intermodal Transit Facility and the Arcata Ballpark in the densely populated downtown area. This led to a tense series of public hearings and lawsuits, and while the NCRC eventually got its lease extension, the damage had been done in terms of undermining its ability to operate fully staffed.

Most recently, the longstanding project of an Extreme Weather Shelter for Arcata was ended after City Hall bureaucrats threw up roadblocks against the use of area churches to house homeless people during nightime conditions with sub-freezing temperatures and/or heavy storms. Ironically, this same project has been launched in Eureka with widespread support from city officials and the business community there; similarly, the NCRC New Directions program of providing non-violent clean-up services directed towards homeless encampments has garnered Eureka’s support at the same time as Arcata has slammed the door on working with the NCRC.

All these controversies have taken their toll on NCRC volunteers, too; their Board of Directors has several long-standing vacancies, and most staff had already been laid off. Shelter himself served for several months last year as Executive Director without compensation.

Shelter sat down for an hour-long episode of Sentinel Interviews on Jan. 12 to discuss the work of the NCRC in local communities.

Posted in Arcata, Politics6 Comments

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