Archive | Eureka

Léon Berliner Passes

  

A Gentleman and Giant Among Men

Founder of Redwoods United and Berliner’s Cornucopia

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

One thing at least is certain — This Life flies;
One thing is certain and the rest is Lies;
The Flower that once has blown forever dies.

 

Léon Berliner died on December 15, 2013.  His death was caused as a consequence of issues related to cancer of the lungs.

He was born on February 1, 1935, in Antwerp, Belgium.  He came to America in 1948 with his sister, Ellie Levin.  Their mother, Golda Chariton, was killed in Auschwitz’s gas chambers in 1944.

Ellie lives in Connecticut. Her two sons, Gary and Daniel, reside on the East Coast.  The limitations of language and Léon’s insufficient vocabulary failed to give him the words he needed to express his emotions in leaving his wonderful wife, Diana, whom he wedded in 1960.  

Their two children, Gwen and Larry, had the admirable good taste to take after their mother and thus became wonders as well.  They each chose their spouses well; Michael Williams by Gwen and Tania Fleischer by Larry.

Among Léon’s greatest regrets were leaving his four grand children without getting to know them as adults;  Adrian, Oliver, Cobi, and Isabel.  Watching them grow up was an indescribable pleasure and joy. Léon wrote a 128-page biographical essay that he titled “Some Pages about Grandpa Léon’s Life” for his descendants.

Léon loved classical music, books and he was an avid fan of the San Francisco Giants and the 49ers.

In 1971, Léon brought his young family to Humboldt County to initiate a new service agency that would be called Redwoods United, Inc.  The community had raised $6,000.00 to open its doors in Manila.  

Prior to this employment, Léon had worked with mentally and physically challenged adults in vocational training facilities for twelve years and had been Executive Director of a facility in Fontana, California.

Grants and community support added to income derived from manufactured products.  This allowed the agency to prosper and grow to an annual budget of more than two million dollars in the late 70′s.  The agency continued to provide services for thirty years.

In 1985, after 25 years of experience in the field of vocational rehabilitation, Léon ignored his various scholastic degrees (A.A.S., B.S., M.S. and many credits towards a Ph.D.), and opened a retail store.  He surrounded himself with products that he felt most passionate about:  books, music, and brain games. Léon named his store “Berliner’s Cornucopia.”

Léon spent almost three decades sharing his love and knowledge of classical music with any willing ears.  He taught classes in music appreciation and thus gathered a fan base that helped keep the store open.  He loved his little “nest” and the people who appreciated its ambiance and purpose.

For almost forty years, Léon looked forward to a gathering of friends on Thursdays for friendly games of poker.  These were a source of great pleasure.  He is certain that the games will continue in the same good spirit as in the past when we lost players. “I’m sorry guys, I can’t host next week! ‘

Léon wanted to express his gratitude to Dr. Kessler and his staff for their kindness and competence.  His family is greatly comforted by the support, assistance, and expressions of love from friends and neighbors.

We thank the Visiting Angels for their kind and compassionate assistance during Léon’s last days.

At his request there will be no funeral or memorial.  If someone has a need for “closure” Léon recommends a listen to Brahms’ German Requiem, Faure’s Requiem, Gounod’s St. Cecilia Mass (Diana’s Favorite) or any piece of music of your choice that communicates the beauty of life.

For most of his adult life Léon ascribed to Omar Khayyam’s beautiful phrase from his Rubaiyat:

“One thing is certain, and the rest is lies, The flower that once has blown forever dies.”

 

 

What a pleasant surprise it would be if this were to be contradicted!  

If readers of this obituary are inspired to donate in Léon’s memory, Food for People, Hospice, or any local charity of your choice would be appropriate.

Posted in Eureka, Local0 Comments

Dear Thief…

 

Ripping Off Those Who Need It Most

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

To the thief who stole tools from 4635 Broadway, Eureka;

Let me first explain to you who you actually stole the tools from: 

A man with autism who after many years has a job and a paycheck because he can use those tools to create.  A woman who has had a great deal of loss in her life who now has an outlet in creating and growing vegetables and flowers.  A man with Down Syndrome whose face lit up with pride when he cut his first board for a flower bed with the circular saw you stole.

These are just a few of the many you stole from.

On Monday they arrived at work (the Carole Sund Center) expecting another full week of preparing the grounds for the grand opening.  They thought they had a week of lawn care ahead of them, sanding and staining the new fence material and making more vegetable garden beds.

Sadly, instead they were informed that many of these tasks would be remain unaccomplished because their tools were gone.

I can’t begin to know your story or why you would do such an awful thing, I only know the affect and impact your actions have had on the people of the Butler Valley Carole Sund Center.

I assume you stole sanders, saws, a tool box, a garden cart, and paintbrushes to make a quick couple of dollars but in doing so you took away opportunity from individuals who have very little.  This program is focused on teaching agricultural skills and creating community involvement through the selling of produce and assisting in the beautifying of the southern end of Eureka.

These tools gave people independence, freedom, and allowed them to actively participate in their life.  As angry as I am about this theft, I hope that it was ignorance on your part and that you just didn’t understand what these tools meant.

I hope that if you understand you will return everything that was stolen so that these people can resume their work.

You can return them at any time to 4635 Broadway, Eureka, no questions asked.

-Alicia Durham

* * * * * * *

The above open letter by Alicia Durham appeared in the Lost Coast Outpost and posted here with permission.  Ms. Durham works with local nonprofit Butler Valley, Inc.

Suzette Ott, Butler Valley Executive Director, adds about the outpouring of support following the theft:

Thank you so much, this community has been so supportive.

If you would like to send a donation you can send it to the Carole Sund Center at our 4635 Broadway address or send it to Redwood Capitol Bank c/o Carole Sund Center’s account.

From the Butler Valley website:

Butler Valley.org is located in the Humboldt Bay Area and is a nonprofit agency that provides residential services and day care to individuals with developmental disabilities.

Our facilities in Arcata and Eureka employ caring people to teach life skills & provide care and supervision for adults with developmental disabilities. 

Full and part time employment is available for people who are compassionate, capable and reliable. Butler Valley offers on-going supervision, consultation and training to its employees to help them grow into highly qualified para-professionals in this field.

 

Posted in Eureka, Local0 Comments

Eureka City Council Special Meeting Banning Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Canceled

 

Putting City Priorities in their Proper Place?

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

 

Tom Sebourn carried the following about the Eureka City
Council’s proposed meeting that was to be held tonight
banning medical marijuana dispensaries in the city limits. 

The meeting has since been canceled, we’re told.  At least for now.

Here’s what Tom said:

The City Council of Eureka will hold a special meeting today, Thursday, September 26, at 5 pm.

What’s on the agenda for the special meeting?  A ban on medical marijuana dispensaries within Eureka.

This is from Eureka Councilwoman Linda Atkins Facebook page:

Please come and let your views be known.

For those of you who don’t get the paper (a few, I think), I wanted to let you know that the Eureka City Council has a Medical Cannabis Dispensary Ban on our agenda for a Special Meeting tomorrow, Thursday, September 26 at 5 pm.

We spent many months drafting and refining an ordinance that would allow people to purchase medical cannabis from legal sources in our town.

Now, even after the California Supreme Court ruled that cities have the right to regulate medical cannabis and the DOJ has specifically mentioned local ordinances regulating medical cannabis as being a step in the right direction in keeping criminals from profiting from the sale of medical cannabis, the City of Eureka has a ban on a Special Meeting Agenda.

How does this happen? We had not one negative testimony from the public during our consideration of the ordinance.

Please come and let your Council know how you feel about this.

* * * * * * *

We wonder who initially called the meeting in the first place with little notice– and who put the item into full rollback reverse before canceling it altogether. 

It represents a large waste of city resources and time.

We hope the City Council will instead attend to the basic priorities that they should be focusing on.

The shuttered and deteriorating downtown business corridor, the crime wave and criminal element currently sacking the City, and the dilapidated and unsafe condition of Eureka’s streets– as well as retaining critical employees such as a City Manager and Chief of Police– are all matters of a more pressing concern.

Eureka is fast becoming an unliveable and incompetent basketcase, an embarrasing laughingstock of municipal ill-mentality running horribly amuck in Northern California.

If you have an opinion on the matter, you can contact the Eureka City Council here:

Council phone: (707) 441-4144
Mayor’s phone no: (707) 441-4200

 Or you can Email the City Council here.  

To the Eureka City Council, we kindly suggest you get back to what you should be doing:  concentrating on the basics of properly running a safe and efficient city rather than gawking as a not-so-innocent bystander at the sight of a runaway train skidding off the rails.

 

Thank you for following us
on Twitter and Facebook and
sharing the Humboldt Sentinel 
with others

Posted in Eureka, Local, Politics1 Comment

Humboldt Hill Home Rocked By Gunfire

 

Family Safe After Early Morning Shooting

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

 

It was certainly a wake-up call.

Gunfire targeting a Humboldt Hill home early this morning awakened the sleeping residents and sent them diving for cover, as bullets randomly splattered their house and vehicle in either a vengeful act of payback or a case of mistaken identity.

Today, at approximately 5:00 a.m., the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call from a 24-year-old Eureka woman who reported her residence in the 2200 block of Hillcrest Drive in Eureka had just been shot at, the HCSO said in their release.

Deputies responded to the residence and met with the woman, along with another 48-year-old woman and a 50-year-old man who resided in the residence.

The woman told the deputies at approximately 12:30 a.m. this morning, she let her dog outside into their fenced yard.  When she was outside with the dog she saw a large, full-sized pickup truck parked at the base of their driveway with five Asian adult males standing outside the truck.

They asked her if a man lived in her home.  She told him the man they were asking for did not live at her residence.

They then asked if her adult son was home and then they all walked up to the woman’s gate.  She told them to leave or she would call law enforcement.  They all left, with one of the men brazenly telling her they could care less if she called
law enforcement.

At approximately 4:50 a.m., the woman and her other family members were in bed asleep when they heard several gunshots.

Several of the rounds struck the bedroom window where the 24-year-old woman (daughter of the 48 year old woman) was sleeping.  Other rounds struck vehicles in front of their home.  Altogether at least six rounds were shot at the home and vehicles.

The victims believe the Asian men who were at their home earlier may be involved.  The truck was described as a white, full-sized Ford F350.  The men were described as being in their 20s; no further description was provided.

No one was injured in the shooting.

Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.

Posted in Crime, Eureka, Local0 Comments

Details Emerge of Shooting Near Eureka High School

 

Man Shot As He Opens Door

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

On May 15, at 10:23 pm, The Eureka Police Department received several calls reporting approximately four gun-
shots in the vicinity of the 1900 block of J Street in the City
of Eureka. 

The shots occurred across the street from Eureka High School.  The shooting was not involved with the school and the scene is considered safe, EPD said in yesterday’s release.

Officers responded and attempted to locate evidence of a shooting.  At about 10:34 pm while officers were still on scene, the Eureka Police Department was notified by the St Joseph Hospital Emergency room that they were giving care to a male with a gunshot wound. 

guncontrol1Eureka Police Officers were able to connect the “shots fired” call to the wounded male at the hospital.  The Eureka Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division responded to assume the investigation.

The wounded man was 24-year old Eureka native Rhett August.  August’s official medical status is unknown but he was able to give detectives a statement this morning after recovering from surgery.

August suffered a single gunshot wound to the upper abdomen.  A
friend in August’s home drove him to the hospital. 

Detectives learned that August received a knock on his door.  August went downstairs to answer the door, stepped out into the alley, and was shot at by someone.  He was hit by one of four bullets fired.

Other than his wound, evidence of several other bullet strikes was located.

“We are looking at this case as an attempted homicide,” EPD Detective Harpham told the Times-Standard.  “We were able to locate evidence that there was a shooting there, other than the bullet into the victim.”

Around 9:30 hours this Friday morning, EPD Investigators, POP Detectives, Parole Officers and Patrol Officers conducted a parole search at a home at the 2100 block of Spring Street.

Several subjects were arrested for outstanding warrants.  A 30-year old person of interest in the investigation was detained, interviewed, and eventually booked into jail for minor parole violations.

“At this point, we’re focused on only one person,” Harpham noted.  “He gave us a statement which included an alibi, and we’ll work on proving or disproving that alibi.”

revengeA motive for the shooting has not been established, EPD said, but we would suggest looking in the filing drawer under ‘R’ for revenge.

This investigation is ongoing and EPD Detectives are still seeking information about the shooting, their release said today.

Anyone with information regarding this shooting should contact lead Detective Pete Cress or Senior Detective Ron Harpham:

Detective Pete Cress
pcress@ci.eureka.ca.gov or 707-441-4390

Sr. Detective Ron Harpham
rharpham@ci.eureka.ca.gov or 707-441-4305

Posted in Crime, Eureka, Local1 Comment

Eurekan Takes City Pension Obligation Bonds to Trial

 

Bill Holmes Believes Voters Should Have Had Their Say

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

This came to us by way of Tom Sebourn’s blog.  We thought you ought to be aware of it.

 

From Bill Holmes of Eureka–

For my fellow Eurekans who treasure their right to vote.

The Constitution of the State of California has guaranteed since 1879 the voters the right to approve by 2/3 majority the sale of long term obligations (Bonds).

city councilIn the dark of election night last November, the Eureka City Council passed a resolution that in effect filed a lawsuit against “All Persons Interested.”

In effect every citizen of Eureka was sued, but more importantly the 14,000 voters of Eureka were sued to strip them of their right to vote on an $8.5 million bond issue – and ALL PENSION BOND ISSUES IN THE FUTURE.

We have (less than) one week to fix this.

Trial is next Monday, April 8th, and I have asked for a jury trial.

I am not a lawyer and the best defense I will be able to mount will be a few simple constitutional arguments– and hope that the jury rules in our favor.

If you want the details go to my blog:  http://highboldtage.wordpress.com/

proud pastThis is a bizarre reverse class action lawsuit and I was the only one to answer it.  Am I the only one in Eureka that cares about the right to vote?  I don’t think so, but where are you?

This issue cuts across party and left/right lines.  My issue is that I am a small “d” democrat who wants to protect democracy.  I think the bonds are crappy junk bonds but the city has the right to issue crappy junk bonds – if the voters approve.  That’s my issue.

Call the City Council and demand that they end this farce NOW!  Demand that they WITHDRAW THE LAWSUIT AGAINST YOU AND PUT THE BOND ISSUE ON THE BALLOT.

have a peaceful day,
Bill

* * * * * * *

don't laugh at the nativesWe think Bill has a point and we appreciate his bringing the pension bond issue to court.  A bond obligation was made without consent of the voters and they got sideswiped in the deal.  It should have gone to ballot.

Of course, we have our own take of Eureka’s continual efforts towards gilding its finances and payroll for its own benefit while something as basic as its streets– a function of City government and your taxes– remain in miserable disrepair.

The City Council would rather fork over money and paid staff time for a private fantasy railroad than actually doing anything remotely resembling something beneficial for its public citizens.  Or slipping a smooth $100 grand to the Eureka Chamber of Commerce every year just because they can. Or paying oodles of dough defending, and losing, costly lawsuits.

We were also none too pleased about Grant Scott-Goforth’s Time-Standard article reporting “Eureka paid $16 million in wages — the 10th highest total out of more than 100 cities with populations between 10,000 and 30,000.”

The pension bond issue is just more frosting on the self-serving cake.  Their cake.

We wish you the best of luck, Bill.  We’ll be curious what the court has to say.

 

Posted in Eureka, Local2 Comments

Twelve Bucks Must Wait Twenty Months

 

Council punts on Eureka Fair Wage Act; voters to decide on November 4, 2014

 

By Charles Douglas
Humboldt Sentinel 

 

Not worth passing, and not worth studying.

The value of a $12-per-hour minimum wage in the City of Eureka was lost on the Council’s conservative majority, which rejected the citizen petition to immediately adopt the increase, and also rejected the option of ordering a 30-day study period to allow City Hall to research the matter.

“I’m not convinced at all we need a 30 day report,” Councilmember Melinda Ciarabellini said. “I’m also not convinced that the City of Eureka should take responsibility for a full and complete report assessment.”

Aside from the cost of a report — Ciarabellini cited a San Jose study, brought up by initiative proponents, as a $50,000 expenditure — the elected reps seemed predisposed in their decision. There was no amount of inquiry which appeared to interest them in creating the first municipal minimum wage in Humboldt County was advisable.

“We don’t have an option to alter the ordinance, so basically the interim study-type thing wouldn’t be complete, it wouldn’t change the outcome,” Councilmember Marian Brady said. “People will hopefully get educated on what the unintended consequences are.”

The 4-1 vote sends the Eureka Fair Wage Act to the next regularly scheduled municipal election, to be held on November 4, 2014. Proponents had hoped to gather the signatures of 15% of Eureka’s registered voters, which would have forced a special election this summer. About a fifth of the submitted signatures, however, were determined to be invalid, leaving them with 1,635 which counted; this still meant they were well ahead the 10% mark needed to qualify for a spot in the next general election. This will put the $12 wage question on the same ballot where the Mayor and three out of five members of the City Council will appear.

As ever, Councilmember Linda Atkins dissented from her colleagues, arguing strongly that the city need not wait nearly two years to alleviate the suffering of poverty-wage workers.

“I hope we can discuss this in kind of an unbiased way because I think in the last 30 years we’ve been inundated with a mindset that hasn’t worked…starting somewhere in the 80s, there’s been a concentrated effort to think of working people as the enemy,” she said. “We’ve been told that to raise people’s wages, we’re going to hurt businesses, when the San Jose study has showed that putting money in working people’s pockets helps the economy.”

Atkins pointed to figures provided by the California Budget Project, which show that it would cost a single adult $13.32-per-hour to skip any assistance from the government and pay for their own food, health care, transportation and housing — assuming a remarkably low rate of $569-per-month for an apartment.

“We’re not even talking about raising this wage to the point that people could actually live on,” she said. “I think we should just vote to pass this, and tell the people of Eureka we support you…our poverty level is hideous and I think this could help.”

A majority of public comments at tonight’s meeting made the same case on poverty, as Humboldt continues to rank as the third-poorest county in California.

“Many of Eureka’s problems are inseparable from our income being half the state average,” retired restauranteur George Clark said. “Sub-poverty wages require enormous public subsidies…a cycle that turns the poor into the destitute.”

Clark also called out the Councilmembers — namely Brady, Ciarabellini and Atkins — who form a majority of registered Democrats on the Council. He said they should honor their party’s platform to legislate on behalf of the working majority, a point also made by initiative proponent James Decker, who cited President Barack Obama’s call for a smaller federal minimum wage increase in this year’s State of the Union address.

“The critical variable in all the statistics is poverty,” Eureka retiree Lorraine Dunaway said. “Poverty is the number one risk factor for kids, for families, for females who make up far too much of the minimum wage work force. We would have a whole lot less dependence on social services if people could make a decent living.”

Neither party loyalty nor poverty appeared to motivate Brady and Ciarabellini; more apparent is the lasting impact of their cross-endorsement in their respective political campaigns with each other and with Mayor Frank Jager, a leading local Republican figure who served as County Coroner, and Councilmember Mike Newman, the former Chair of the Greater Eureka Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber has come out swinging against the $12 wage proposal, even though it wouldn’t directly affect a majority of its members, as the act excludes businesses with 24 or fewer employees.

Heavy hitters like Liana Simpson, owner of Sequoia Personnel Services, one of the largest temp agencies in the region, suggested people would drive from Eureka to Trinidad for the same meal if higher wages led to a four dollar increase in price.

“Employers of 25 or more who have minimum wage [workers] are less than 5% of the population,” she said. “These are the same employers who provide retirement benefits, education benefits and other incentives to our community.”

The “San Jose study” cited by both sides of the debate was produced by The Center on Wage and Employment Dynamics, part of The Institute for Research on Labor and Employment at the University of California, Berkeley. The author, economics professor Michael Reich, concluded that San Jose’s Measure D, which raises that city’s minimum wage to $10 (without any exemption for small businesses), would pump $190 million into the regional economy without hurting employment levels.

“Measure D will increase operating costs of the average business by less than 0.25 percent,” Reich states. “These costs will be partly offset by cost savings to employers, such as more workers applying for jobs, lower employee turnover costs and higher worker productivity.”

“Prices in low-wage industries such as restaurants will increase by less than 0.71 percent, which translates into less than twenty-five cents on a $30 meal. Price increases of this magnitude do not measurably hurt sales.”

Although he doesn’t vote on such matters except to break a tie, the Mayor did attempt to strike one conciliatory note with the initiative’s backers, many of whom were involved in the Occupy Eureka activist group. The local version of the ‘Occupy Movement’ had encamped on the Courthouse lawn in late 2011 in a weeks-long protest before being raided and forcibly removed by the Eureka Police Department (the results of which are still being played out in court).

“I appreciate you going through this process than the process we just went through in the courthouse,” Jager said. “So thank you for this.”

He had previously accused Occupy Eureka of trashing the courthouse and wasting public resources, and advised them to “go home and use a different tactic.”

Apparently they have, and this time the voters, not the police, shall decide the outcome.

Posted in Eureka, Features, Politics0 Comments

Suicide Death at the Humboldt County Jail

 

Inmate Dies After Strangulating Self

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

On Friday, March 8th, at 7:00 p.m., a Humboldt County Correctional Officer on a routine security check within the jail’s housing unit found inmate Jose Fernandez-
Moreno
, a 46-year-old male, unconscious with a bed sheet
tied
around his neck, the HCSO reported.

jailCorrectional Officers and facility medical staff immediately began life saving efforts which resulted in successfully regaining a pulse.

Personnel from the Eureka Fire Department and City Ambulance responded and assisted in transporting Fernandez-Moreno to St. Joseph’s Hospital where he was admitted.  Fernandez-Moreno was placed on life support after his condition worsened.

On Monday, March 11 at 6:23 p.m.,Fernandez-Moreno died as a result of his suicide attempt.

Humboldt County Sheriff’s Detectives are continuing their involvement in the investigation which has been turned over to the Humboldt County Coroner’s Office.  An autopsy date is pending.

Fernando-Moreno was in custody on charges of:

  • Assault with Intent to Commit Rape
  • Rape by Force/Violence/Duress
  • Penetration by Foreign Object

His bail was set at $250,000. Fernandez-Moreno was also being held on a detainer issued by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the HCSO reported.

* * * * * * * *

suicide jailThis is the second successful jail suicide to happen in the last month or two. 

We’re hearing cell checks by jail staff occur once or twice an hour.  That is woefully insufficient given the myriad of mental health problems that prevail in this select population.

Perhaps it’s time to increase the frequency of cell checks to prevent further fatal incidents from occurring in the future, because what’s happening now isn’t working.

 

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Eureka, Local1 Comment

Someone Stole Hakim’s Dad’s Trailer Yesterday

 

And Hakim Wants It Back (PIC)

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

Some nefarious scoundrels made off with Hakim Wyllie’s father’s trailer from the streets of Eureka yesterday.

They strolled on in, hitched it up, and drove away sometime Tuesday.  We have a photo of it here.

One report indicates a dark green Jeep Cherokee pulled off with the trailer.  Another person in a Mercury Sable may have helped in stealing it.

We were told:

This is the trailer that was stolen in Eureka.  If you have any information call 707-616-5218.

Pay attention to detail of the photo.  You’ll notice the rear of the trailer has a custom receiver hitch slot.  There are very few trailers that have this.

 People can paint it differently, change the tires, etc., but that hitch on the end– or a trailer towing a trailer– is a dead give away.

If you see it…  dial 911 and follow that trailer!

Hakim would like his dad’s rig back.  From what we can see, it looks like it’s used for a small wood cutting business.  And it has a distinctive slip-groove receiving hitch on the rear.

We spoke with Hakim.  He is a very kind, courteous, and hardworking gentleman looking out for his family.

Should you spot it please call #616-5218.  You can also follow Hakim Wyllie’s timeline link here for further information and any late-breaking news:  https://www.facebook.com/hakim.wyllie

Hakim Wyllie's Dad's trailer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

 

Posted in Crime, Eureka1 Comment

Eureka Weed Entrepreneur Goes Up in Smoke

 

Robbery Investigation Leads to Hash Slinging Haberdashery

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

On March 8, officers from the Eureka Police Department were dispatched to an attempted robbery report in the 3400
block of Summer Street in Eureka.

Their investigation led them to a residence rented by David Cory Lyman.  While speaking to Mr. Lyman, officers observed indications of an indoor marijuana growing operation.

LymanBased on information gathered, a search warrant was written and served on Lyman’s residence.  Officers located and seized nearly an ounce of hashish, over 700 marijuana plants, and 60 pounds of leafy marijuana shake” used in the hash-making process.

Lyman, age 37 of Eureka, was taken into custody and transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility.  He was booked for:

  • Cultivation of Marijuana
  • Possession of Marijuana for Sales
  • Maintaining a Residence for Sales and Distribution of a Controlled Substance

 
An investigation into the original report of an attempted robbery was conducted, but it was determined no crime had been committed.
 
Anyone 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, EPD added.

reefer madenssdevils harvest

 

Posted in Crime, Eureka0 Comments

Carson Park Wipeout

 

Mystery Driver of Destruction Not Determined 

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

From the Eureka Police Department, mas y menos:

Early Sunday morning, March 10, at 5 a.m., EPD
officers were dispatched to the intersection of
Buhne and “I” streets on the report of a traffic
collision.

Ucarson park accidentpon arrival, officers discovered three lanes of “I” street were blocked with debris strewn about.  The roadside flotsam and jetsam included a large overturned traffic signal light pole, exposed signal light wires, a smashed wooden picket fence of a nearby residence, and various vehicle pieces, parts, and nuts and bolts.

Officers also saw that the vehicle ran over a chain link fence across the street, then entered the grassy field at Carson Park and collided with a large tree at high impact, nearly shearing it in two and knocking it over in a seemingly wanton blaze of road rage fury.

The suspected destruction derby driver and mysterious carnage carriage fled the scene,
but left behind a trail of leaky internal fluids
heading westbound on Buhne like a trail of
breadcrumbs leading back to the source of Mr.
Toad’s Wild Ride.

Inspecting the debris at the scenevillage driver idiot suggested the suspected vehicle was more than likely a Dodge truck missing a few pieces and heavily dinged up due to the errant escapade.

While EPD officers were following the fluid trail back to its origin, a female called the Eureka Police Department.  Lo and behold, she innocently implored that she was driving through the intersection when “another vehicle ran a red light” which caused her “to swerve and crash into the pole.” 

She said that she followed this unknown vehicle to Wabash and “E” streets where her vehicle stalled.  Officers responded to Wabash and “E” streets where they contacted the suspected driver.  They also found the heavily damaged Dodge truck, presumably leaking.

hooking hoes2Based on her “numerous inconsistent statements” (like, she was lying), the officers believed she wasn’t being truly forthcoming and truthful.

When confronted with her inconsistencies and Pinocchio nose, she told officers that it really was her boyfriend, and not her, driving at the time of the collision(s).

Officers were unable to locate the boyfriend, but did determine that his driver’s license had been suspended.  He has yet to be contacted for questioning at the time of this EPD release.  As of this writing, the whodunnit mystery of Carson Park continues.

* * * * * * * *

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Crime, Eureka, Local0 Comments

Pedestrian Safety in Eureka

 

Is it Time for a Change?

–Sign Alexandra’s Petition–

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

The following comes from the Causes.com website and was posted by local resident Alexandra Silva on March 1.

Alexandra wants to bring awareness and a petition concerning pedestrian safety– or the woeful lack of it– to Eureka citizens.  We’d like to share it with you because it’s a timely issue.

 

To the Citizens of EurekaPedestrian Safety on H and I Streets in Eureka

safety2We hear about pedestrians getting hit because of drivers either going too fast or not paying attention.

H and I streets are two of the busiest streets in Eureka and it’s our job as citizens to make sure that they are safe for us.

H and I streets in Eureka run pass Eureka Senior High School. Most students’ morning routine is walking to school and almost getting hit by the morning 8 a.m. traffic.  It’s the same with the lunch rush; then when school gets out, it’s time for the 3 p.m. traffic.

There are “Slow School X-ing” signs and crosswalks everywhere but most drivers disregard them.

Along with the high school, these streets are where Carson Park is located.  It’s also a residential area.

 

SOLUTIONS

Solution 1:  Put In a Divider

medianPutting a divider down the middle of H and I Streets making each into a two-way street would cut down on pedestrian-related accidents by adding a safe place for them to stand on while traffic is refusing to stop for the cross walk.

The median would make it impossible for immature drivers to race.  It would not only be a safe change but also be an esthetically pleasing change by planting trees and plants in the divider.

Adding this median would make it easier for students of Eureka Senior High School to cross as well as citizens using the Eureka Transit Bus System. 

Making H and I streets 2-way will make it impossible for drivers to switch lanes, pass already stopped cars, and hitting a pedestrian, like what happened on Friday, March 1. (And we might add, the recent death of a 14-year-old pedestrian boy in the vicinity on March 9.)

This won’t “congest traffic” like many people think it would.  There will still be 2 lanes going either way. Eventually people will get used to the change.  H and I streets will be as safe and efficient as E and J streets. 

Now the money issue.  How much is a human life worth?  This year it is expected that 12 pedestrians are going to die in Humboldt from trying to cross the street.  Why can’t our city redistribute some money into a fund to make our streets safer? 

Sstop signolution 2:  Strategically Place Stop Signs Along H and I Streets

This would help drivers from reaching high speeds of a long distance.  This will also help pedestrians cross the street. These stop signs can go hand in hand with the new blinking cross walks seen by the Teen Center and the Sequoia Park Zoo.  Adding a few of those on cross streets that are most often used and where the bus stops would give pedestrians trying to cross the attention and right-of-way. 

Solution 3:  Increase Police Patrol on H and I Streets

Years ago, there used to be a police car randomly placed along these streets forcing drivers to slow down and pay attention.  This worked very well for the time being– until one day the cop stopped showing up giving drivers the freedom to drive how they pleased.

 

Please Comment  Because We Can Update the Ideas.  Any and All Suggestions are Helpful.

 If one of these ideas pass, people can cross the street easier and live their daily lives with less of a fear of having to cross the street.

~Alexandra Silva

* * * * * * *

sigh2You can sign Alexandra’s petition here.

Alexandra also said, “Sign the petition and send it around.  Share it.  The first step to solving this problem is raising awareness.”

If you scroll down her page, you can view the outstanding comments Alexandra and others have given.  We like this gal’s chutzpah. Eureka should be a safer and more walkable community.  It’s a jungle and a speedway out there.

 

 

Posted in Eureka, Local0 Comments

Teen Killed in Eureka Collision

 

Saturday Night Accident Takes Life of Young Boy

 

–UPDATED BELOW–

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

Coming across the accident scene Saturday night we saw Eureka Police had cordoned off six blocks of the area with patrol cars, flares, and barricades.

The screaming red, white, and blue lights of their cars brilliantly illuminated and flashed at every intersection of Carson, J, and Buhne streets near Eureka High School.  Two members of the EPD’s volunteer patrol moved along the outside perimeter in precise order, slowly laying out cones and portable warning lights and blocking the streets from entry.

We entered nonetheless.  A stream of broken
flashing lightsglass and debris littered the immediate scene and curb.

In the center of Carson and J Street a lone pair of black high-top tennis shoes, one upright, the other on its side, lay three feet apart.  These were the pedestrian victim’s shoes, released or jettisoned by the force of the accident’s impact.  Two small painted circles surrounded them, guarded by the larger circle of three officers casually making some small talk between themselves and observing all directions
up and down the empty streets.

One of the EPD officers broke from the circle and stopped us from approaching.  He called us to a halt, putting out his hand as we came near.

Asking what happened, the officer, a young recruit sporting a military buzz cut and new to the force, was unsure how to respond.  He didn’t know whether he should reply or send us on our way.

“It was a pedestrian accident– about an hour ago,” he brusquely said when questioned further.  “A very bad one.”

“Those shoes are evidence,” he explained reluctantly after we pointed them out lying in the middle of the street.  The remaining two officers kept up their lookout.

ped xing“The victim was brought to the hospital.  He’s a young kid.  We’re doing an investigation now.  It’s going to be a long night for us,” he sighed.

The officer said eight EPD officers in total responded—half of the force on duty that night—because of the accident’s seriousness.  “We should be elsewhere tonight but we all have to respond when something like this happens.”

Staying mum on the details pending the department’s official comment, he warily added, “We don’t know if it’s related to a teenage party on Huntoon Street or not.  Do you know?  We’re looking into that.”

“You’ll read about it in the paper when the details are released.  Other than that, that’s it,” he finished by saying.

Indeed.  The EPD press release about the boy’s tragic death and accident came out today.

ped walkingOn the morning of Saturday’s fatality, the Times-Standard had just reported that Eureka garnered some of the worst statistics for traffic accidents and injuries statewide.  In fact, Eureka ranked #2 out of 93 similarly-sized California cities for total fatal and injury collisions, and #3 for pedestrian collisions.

Two weeks ago a collision occurred involving a Eureka High School student who was thrown the distance of a crosswalk while walking at the intersection of Del Norte and I streets toward Eureka High School.

Following Saturday night’s deadly accident, a car driven by an unlicensed driver plowed into a resident’s yard in the same area of Buhne and I Street near Carson Park, taking out a tree, some of their lawn, a stoplight, and a white picket fence the next day.

Having nothing more to say and not really wanting us there, the young EPD officer shooed us back and away into the eerily quiet night.

We have since heard the young victim was 14-years-old and in the 8th grade at Jacoby Creek School.  He may have been leaving a birthday party nearby.  He was due to attend a math competition at Stanford next week.

Today the EPD press release reported:

investigate accidentOn Saturday, March 9th at approximately 10:16 p.m., the Eureka Police Department received a report of a vehicle versus pedestrian collision at the intersection of Carson St and J St.

Upon arrival, EPD officers located a young teenage male in the roadway who had been hit by a passing vehicle.  The juvenile pedestrian suffered life threatening injuries during the collision.

Medical aid was summoned and Humboldt Bay Firefighters and City Ambulance personnel arrived shortly after.  The pedestrian was quickly transported to St. Joseph Hospital for treatment of his injuries. Due to the extent of his injuries, he was flown out of the area for a higher level of care shortly thereafter.

On the morning of March 10th, EPD was notified that the juvenile succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead.

It was reported by witnesses that the juvenile was standing stationary in the intersection, in the southbound lane of J St (outside a crosswalk) and was looking down at his cellular phone when he was hit.  There was no immediate indication of intoxication or impairment on the part of either the driver or the pedestrian.

The Eureka Police Department would like to remind the public that cell phone distraction is not confined to only motorists, but applies to everyone.  Inattention appears to have played a major role in this horribly tragic collision that resulted in the loss of a very young life.

red handThis tragedy not only affects those close to the juvenile but the motorist as well.  It also has affected those that responded to the scene and those that are investigating it.

The names of the involved parties are being withheld for investigation purposes.

Any witnesses to the collision are asked to call Traffic Officers Greg Hill at 441-4342 or Tim Jones at 441-4109.

UPDATE:

KIEM-TV News Dana Griffin reported that 14-year-old David Pickart-Jain was identified as the boy struck by a vehicle on Saturday night near “J” and Carson streets.

Senior EPD Traffic Officer Gary Whitmer said when police arrived on scene the victim was in the road way.  It’s still unsure if he was initially in a crosswalk or not.  Witnesses are still being interviewed.
 
“There seems to be no foul play, no type of gross negligence, and no signs of drugs or alcohol were immediately recognized,” Whitmer said.
 
Jain was transported to the hospital, but had to be flown out of the area due to the severity of his injuries.  He died a day later.
 
lily darkJacoby Creek School Superintendent and Principal Catherine Stone had crisis team members come in to help the students cope.  “We’re all just deeply saddened by this loss.  We wish we could back up time and get a do-over,” she said.
 
Stone says the eighth grader was best known for his kindness and his math expertise.  “He had earned his way to Stanford for a competition and we all kind of thought it was foretelling that he would end up there for college some day.  He had such a bright career ahead of him.”
 
A memorial for David Jain will be held in the coming weeks, but a date has not yet been decided, KIEM-TV News reported.

Posted in Eureka, Local2 Comments

Naked Woman Needles EPD Officer

 

Nude, Drunk, and Combative, Old Habits Die Hard

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

On March 7th at about 7:13 pm, officers with the Eureka Police Department were dispatched to the intersection
of 3rd and M Street for an indecent exposure call.  Officers
Carlsonwere advised that a female was at this location wearing
only a bra.

While officers were responding, they were updated that the
female was now nude.
 
Upon arrival, an officer located the nude female in the roadway.  The female, later identified as Marissa Nichole Carlson, 23-years-old of Eureka, was standing in a rigid manner and displayed objective signs consistent with drug influence.

carlsonThe officer attempted to speak with Carlson, in an attempt to evaluate her medical and mental condition.  Carlson refused to speak and clenched her fists.

Due to Carlson’s aggressive and irrational behavior, combined with the safety hazard of her standing in the roadway, the officer attempted to detain Carlson.

Carlson struggled with the officer, but was soon detained,
with the assistance of other responding officers.
 
eureka dormant geneWhile Carlson was being handcuffed, officers located a hypodermic syringe in her hand. It was later determined that Carlson had the syringe in her fist at the time she was contacted and she had assaulted the officer with it during the struggle.  The officer sustained a needle scratch across his upper shoulder.
 
Carlson was not injured during the struggle; however City Ambulance was summoned to the scene to check for medical issues regarding her drug influence.

She was transported to the St. Joseph Emergency Room for medical clearance for booking into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility (HCCF).  Carlson was later booked into the HCCF on charges of:

  • Assault on a police officer
  • Resisting
  • Under the influence in public
  • And having an active felony warrant for her arrest

Carlson is being held on $100,000 bail.
 
This wasn’t her first time around the block, either.  Ms. Carlson had a remarkably similar run-in previously with the Eureka Police Department about 6 months ago on which the Sentinel reported.  The EPD release at the time stated:

totally wastedOn 9-13-2012 at about 10:56 am, an officer with the Eureka Police Department was traveling eastbound on 5th Street at the 1100 block, when he observed a naked female subject standing on the north curb acting irrationally.

The officer attempted to contact the female to evaluate her medical and mental condition.  The female exhibited objective signs consistent with drug influence.  Other officers responded to assist.

During this contact with the female, she became combative and attempted to assault officers with items covered in bodily fluids.  Officers were able to restrain the female on the ground and City Ambulance was requested to the scene to further assist in evaluating the female’s condition.

While awaiting City Ambulances arrival, the female attempted to thrust her head into the pavement.  Further restraint became required.

Upon the ambulance personnel’s arrival, the female began spitting at the officers and ambulance staff.  One officer and one ambulance staff member were hit by the spit.

rulesOnce the female was restrained on a gurney, the female was transported to St. Joseph ER for evaluation and also treatment for minor abrasions from her thrashing about on the pavement.

This is an open case and charges of assault on emergency personnel and resisting arrest will be sought.

Judge JudyDouble-Sigh and mercy me.  This young girl needs some intervention in a serious way.

Long familiar to law enforcement over the years, we hope she gets the message, the help, and the rehab counselor she so sorely needs.

Posted in Crime, Eureka, Local1 Comment

All in the Family

 

Mushrooms, Weed, Hash, and Two Pounds of Meth Seized in Family Bust

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

On March 7th at approximately 9:40 p.m., the Humboldt County Drug Task Force assisted by the Humboldt County
Sheriff’s Office, the California Highway Patrol, and the Eureka
Police Department arrested John Arthur Moreno, age 37 and
from Eureka, for transporting over 2 whopping pounds of crystal
methamphetamine in his vehicle.

crystal meth1After a two month long methamphetamine investigation by the Humboldt County Drug Task Force, officers obtained a Humboldt County Superior Court search warrant for Moreno’s vehicle and residence.

Moreno was located traveling southbound US Highway 101 near McKinleyville in his vehicle. Officers conducted a traffic stop and detained Moreno and his 21-year-old daughter, Amanda Brooke Cranston, the driver of the vehicle.

Officers also served a search warrant at Moreno’s residence, located in the 1800 block West Avenue in Eureka.  Officers located Moreno’s 16-year-old son in the residence by himself.

When officers searched Moreno’s vehicle they located over two pounds of crystal meth concealed in a television in the rear of the vehicle.

The street value of the meth is approximately $80,000 dollars.

When officers searched Moreno’s residence, they found and seized 326 growing marijuana plants ranging in size from 10 inches to 3 feet in height.  Officers seized approximately 3 pounds of dried marijuana and a small amount of marijuana hash.

mentosOfficers also located evidence of a butane hash lab in the house.  In addition to the weed and hash, officers seized about ½ of a pound of Psilocybin mushrooms as well as a loaded handgun from the residence.

During their investigation, officers learned that Moreno’s 16-year-old son was making marijuana hash in the residence.  Officers arrested Moreno’s son for cultivation and possession for sales of marijuana.  Mr. Moreno Jr. was transported to the Humboldt County Juvenile Hall.

dirty riding and jesusJohn Moreno was arrested and booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility for:

  • Possession for sales and transportation of methamphetamine
  • Felony child endangerment
  • Being armed in commission of a felony
  • Manufacturing of a butane hash lab

Mr. Moreno’s bail was set at $500,000.

family drugsMs. Cranston, his daughter, was arrested and booked into the Humboldt County Jail for Possession for Sales and Transportation of Methamphetamine. Her bail was set at $75,000 dollars.

This investigation is being sent to Humboldt County Child Welfare Services, the HCDTF said in their release, and the case is still under investigation.

* * * * * * * * *

clean houseWe don’t know where Ms. Moreno was during all this family hoopla.

Posted in Crime, Eureka, Local0 Comments

Local Reporter Nearly Arrested by EPD for… Investigating News!

 

Intimidation and Harassment Under Color of Authority?

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

Newspapers across the country look for stories that will bring them news, but Carrie Peyton Dahlberg, an editor
for the North Coast Journal, may have gotten more than
she bargained for.

criminalaShe was threatened with arrest for taking pictures of Eureka Police Department Officers conducting an investigation in a public place—the Humboldt County library.  This happened after identifying herself as a journalist.

When she asked for the officer’s names, they refused to identify themselves and Ms. Peyton Dahlberg was again told she’d be arrested.  They eventually did identify themselves– but only reluctantly after her husband, an attorney, showed up and she pursued the matter looking at badges and demanding their names as public officers.

The Humboldt Herald reported:

“In the North Coast Journal this week, editor in chief Carrie Peyton Dahlberg describes her treatment when she attempted to observe and document police activity in the main library’s parking lot.  It’s important reading for anyone who lives, works, or shops in Eureka.

“If the police act like this to someone who has already identified themselves as an employee of a local newsweekly, what do they do to regular folk?”

You can read Carrie Peyton Dahlberg’s brief article, Good Cops Aren’t Afraid of Cameras” to find out what transpired.

 

Some of the many, many comments readers posted after reading the story:

Imartin cotton signf memory serves me a citizen had their camera out and was taking photos at the time Martin Cotton was being arrested and beaten by the Mission.  The police confiscated the camera and threatened the citizen with arrest.  The video could have made short work of the cover up that followed.  Citizens need to know, in fact be assured, that they have the right to use their cameras.  Thank you Carrie Peyton Dahlberg.”

“Thank you for this reporting Carrie. I know that speaking out with your name attached in a small town requires some chutzpah.  Just remember that suppression of your 1st Amendment rights under color of authority is a felony and proceed.  Have a peaceful day, and enjoy it, Bill.”

“Perhaps the cops were rude and/or perhaps this lady was getting in the way and had an entitlement attitude.”

“The NCJ article goes to great lengths to make clear how all involved behaved.  You are free to not believe the article, and to believe instead that a newsweekly’s editor in her 50s went out of her way to disrupt police activity, just because she felt like it. You are even free to believe that the newsweekly’s editor had an ‘entitlement attitude.’  You’re fairly revealing of your values, however, when you declare an American reporter’s Constitutionally-protected attempt to document public police activity might involve an ‘entitlement attitude.’  I confess I myself have an ‘entitlement attitude’ to my first amendment rights.  That’s because, like all Americans, I’m entitled to them.”

mail 13“Well done. Nicely written.  An honest and moral police officer should have nothing to hide from, and should not fear the camera!”

“If the behavior you describe occurred, the police officers should lose their jobs.  Period.  ‘Not OK’ doesn’t begin to cover it.”

“1 out of every 3 cops chooses the profession because they want the power the position beholds.”

copsOutta sight!  Sounds like you are a perfect mix of unbiased outsider (or newbie) and objective reporter.  You’ve kept track of all those pesky facts, in an orderly and measured manner.  You know, cops like to present a confident image, and with the increasing militarization of police and fire units in the post 911 Homeland Security arena, the people often find themselves policed by overbearing thugs.  I laud your real reporting here, and welcome more of it.”

“Sad to say, the question that came to my mind on reading this was not “I wonder if this really happened.”  The question that came to my mind was, ‘Will Murl promote Goodale immediately, or wait a bit?’  Murl’s been chief for a long time now, is the Eureka City Council any closer to hiring a new chief to replace him?”

“This is the same officer who came to my home in response to a burglary, and was completely indifferent to the crime I was reporting. To my requests for more police presence in my neighborhood, which had endured about 6 burglaries in recent days, he mumbled some bull-shit no-response.  I pay your salary, jackass!”

“I know you’re relatively new to Humboldt but, anyone who has lived in Arcata for any amount of time knows the name Drake Goodale.”

“Firing this officer is not enough.  He should do time.  An example must be made.  Remove Murl Harpham IMMEDIATELY.”

“Know your rights – or you may end up being abused by those sworn to serve and protect.”

“He used to be such a nice guy and a good cop and then about 10 years ago it’s like a switch was flipped. I’m not sure he should be working with the public any longer.  The good news is that he is not discriminatory in his dislike for everyone, he seems to truly just be rude and nasty to everyone equally.”

EPD badge“Drake is a good cop and anyone who has lived here a long time like myself (20yrs) knows him.  He used to be an Arcata cop for 15 years.  Sometimes they can’t have people around getting in the way when they are trying to solve a case, apprehend a suspect.  Why do you care about a few bags of pot anyways?  Sorry you feel dissed, but I have always felt it better to stay away from police work, its none of your business.  If you are so interested maybe you should become one yourself.  Damn reporters.”

hooking hoes3The cynical self that I am has known for years that the good, law abiding citizen usually gets the bad end of the stick.  We are usually too polite to retort in a disrespectful or forceful manner, to maybe even intimidate a cop now and then.  Instead we take the abuse thinking that maybe we did something wrong, kicking ourselves repeatedly in our behind for days after because deep down we know we should have reacted differently.  So, yes, well written and kudos to the way you behaved.”

“I understand that threatening with arrest was a little harsh, but doesn’t everyone have the right to say they don’t want their pictures taken?  Isn’t it a personal right to refuse that?  And they were obviously in the middle of an investigation and were being distracted by this woman.  I can understand how that would be a little frustrating and irritating.  There are better ways they could have asked her to stand back, but she should also respect their wishes.”

“And now you know how the rest of us feel.  I am a little sorry to say that many of us have had similar experiences.”

“So far, I’ve never been asked to stop photographing accident or arrest scenes; for the most part, I take the photos from a good distance, to make sure I’m not in anyone’s way.  After the arrest has been made or the victims of a crash/vandal have been taken to the hospital or go home, I will ask one of the cops further away from the scene what went on.  I wouldn’t claim… that Carrie was in the way here, but I definitely utilize the zoom function of a camera most when near a police/fire/ambulance scene.”

old motorcycle copI’ve seen videos of police encounters of late where the person with the camera was being a jerk and trying to provoke an incident. That doesn’t seem to be the case here.  But police officers are different.  They are government officials with a great deal of power and authority.  They are legally able to inflict serious bodily harm or death to citizens under some circumstances.  It is important that their actions be transparent and observable to all in order to keep their power in check and both them and us safe.”

“Sometimes lookie-loos are part of the team of those being arrested.  Sometimes the sweet lady is carrying a gun.  Saying you are a reporter could not protect you if this scene went bad.  The cops are not always the good guys; he should have given you his name and asked you nicely to stay back.  Agreed.  But did it occur to you that the person involved could have been far more dangerous than the cops, and that the situation was more dangerous than you realized?”

“No glee here. I wish all cops were as honest and professional as the guys on Adam-12.  But I was working at Fifth and F when the Cheri Moore shooting took place at Fifth and G.  When I left for lunch, a colleague with a radio scanner told me she’d agreed to come down for a sandwich or a candy bar or cigarette or something similar.  When I came back, she was dead.”

“Obviously, the cops in this story aren’t “honest cops”.  Except no one has heard their side of the story.  Other than that, I live in the fantasy world of Adam-12.”

stooges“A person has a legal right to take photographs in a public place while standing on public property.  No permission required.  If a cop is refocusing his attention on a law abiding citizen, then the cop needs a refresher in the laws he’s sworn to uphold.”

 

helpWhatever happened to To Protect and to Serve?”

Whatever happened to plain basic common sense?

Posted in Eureka, Local6 Comments

Attempted Murder Suspect Sought by EPD

 

Darren Silva Wanted for Crashing Truck into Victim on Sidewalk (PICTURED)

 

UPDATED BELOW: Silva in Custody, EPD Says

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

On Friday, January 11th, 2013 at about 11:50 a.m., Margaret Contreras, a 50-year-old female from Eureka, was walking eastbound on the north sidewalk of Buhne Street in Eureka and approaching Pine Street.

A white 1987 Toyota pickup was stopped on
truck on sidewalkPine Street, facing south, at the intersection with Buhne Street.  The truck made a hard right turn and drove up onto the sidewalk, intentionally running over Contreras and knocking down a fence.

Contreras barely survived her injuries.  She was airlifted immediately to Santa Rosa Memorial in critical condition.

Her injuries can be described as crushing injuries with many broken bones, bruised and lacerated organs.  Contreras did survive however, and is out of the hospital recovering
although she is still in significant pain.

Contreras named 50-year-old Darren Silva as her attacker.  Silva is a Eureka native.

The investigation turned up surveillance video that shows Silva’s 1987 white Toyota pickup driving on the sidewalk at the location of the incident at the same date and time.

The EPD investigation also discovered witnesses who heard Silva threaten to kill Contreras twice within an hour before the attack.

SilvaAn arrest warrant for attempted murder has been issued for Darren Silva.

The Eureka Police Department is requesting friends and family of Silva to counsel him into surrendering on the warrant.

Anyone with information as to his whereabouts should call the Eureka Police Department at 441-4044 or Senior Detective Ron Harpham at 441-4305.

The Eureka Police Department Criminal Investigative Division wants to thank the many citizens who came forward with information in regards to this crime, EPD said in their release.

 

UPDATE: Silva Taken into Custody; Nature of Dispute was over Stolen Gun

From the Eureka Police Department, Thursday, February 28, 2013:

“Darren Silva was arrested on his warrant last night by the HCSO.  He has not posted bail and is currently in the Humboldt County Correctional Facility.

At this time I do not know the details of his arrest.  All further inquires involving this investigation should be made to the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office.”

Apparently there was a dispute and falling out between the victim Margaret Contreras and suspect Darren Silva over a stolen gun prior to the hit-and-run incident, EPD Chief Murl Harpham said today and reported by the Times-Standard news.

* * * * * * *

Posted in Crime, Eureka0 Comments

18 Pounds of Bud Trimmed at Broadway Motel

 

Gang Member Jonas Semore Popped

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

From the Eureka Police Department:

On 02/26/13, detectives from the Eureka Police Department
Problem Oriented Policing Unit (POP) conducted a probation
search at a motel in the 2400 block of Broadway in Eureka.

During a search of the room, detectives located approximately 18 ½ lbs of processed and partially processed marijuana bud and over $9,000 in cash.

semoreAs a result of the investigation, Jonas (Randall) Semore was arrested and transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked for:

  • Possession of Marijuana for Sale, and
  • Maintaining a Space for Narcotic Activity

Additionally, Semore, age 40, is a validated member of a street gang and has multiple prior contacts with EPD over the years.

Anyone 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, EPD noted.

* * * * * * *

We wonder why his Probation Officer wasn’t conducting the probation search?

His girlfriend, Rachael Squire-Hardy, was busted on FridayPerhaps she sang like a canary.

Sheesh.

Posted in Crime, Eureka3 Comments

Mother Says Daughter Nearly Abducted in Eureka

 

–Description of Driver and Vehicle Made–

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

The following came to us via a Facebook post and
we’re reprinting it here, per request.

We’ve chosen to omit the names of the mother and daughter
that were
originally provided for safety and privacy reasons
and we cleaned up some of the wording for clarity:

 

**ALERT EUREKA**

On Sunday February 24, 2013, my daughter (name omitted) was walking from Eureka High School to a friend’s home on J Street.

minivanWhen she reached Buhne & J Street, a (Hispanic) male driving an older, faded-red van pulled up next to her as she was walking and told her to get in the van.

She told him “NO!” and took off running.  He began to chase her.  When she reached the white church on J Street she ran around the side of the church and hid until her friend down the street, and her boyfriend, came and took her to a friend’s home.

She was then brought to me and we contacted the Eureka Police Department and made a report. EPD
released the information to surrounding law enforcement
and said they would contact me if they found the suspect.

(My daughter) was not injured, other than being very scared and crying for some time from the fear that creep made her feel.  She is OK.  I thank the Lord for keeping her safe and am so proud of her for doing what I taught her to do.  I’m also very proud of her for being able to remember so much detail about the van and driver.

If anyone should happen to see the van and/or driver described PLEASE call EPD (#441-4060; or, 911) and give them the location.  I want this creep found!

I have told all my girls no more walking alone, ever.  How sad it is a person cannot walk a few blocks on a sunny Sunday afternoon without trying to be abducted.  I thank you for any and all help.  Please share this if you want.  The more who read it, the better the chances are of him being found.

The description is as follows:

  • Hispanic male with greasy, slicked black hair down to his ears;
  • Wearing a white tank top;
  • Wearing a cross around his neck;
  • Bearing a tattoo of something written in Spanish on his right arm;
  • Driving a faded-red, older Minivan (pretty close in style as a Plymouth Voyager)
  • The Minivan has a cross hanging from the rear view mirror, a sticker on the back window, and a dent on the driver side door.

* * * * * * * *

To note and for what it’s worth, there are a few vague similarities between this incident and two others allegedly occurring near the same area about a year ago.

The Eureka Police Department finally put out an alert on the above for citizens– 5 days afterwards.

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Crime, Eureka4 Comments

Bake Sale for Kirstyn Wilwerding Today

 

Fresh Goodies by ‘TeamKirstyn’ on Sale Now

2822 F Street, Eureka

 

TeamKirstyn.org
Humboldt Sentinel 

 

We’re helping Kirstyn Wilwerding and her family offset the personal and costly medical expenses of her cancer treatment
and we’re having a bake sale for her this Thursday, February  21.

We’ll be in front of Bev’s Real Kids, 2822 F Street, in Eureka.

KirstynIn fact, it’s happening right now!

Come on by, say hello, and pick up some fresh and sweetly baked tasties for you, your family, or your office.  Please donate and buy baked items to help Kirstyn because it’s really needed.

We need your help– and we’re doing everything we can do to help her.

We can do it together.  Goodies can be dropped off and bought anytime starting at 10:00 and throughout the day.

The kids will stay to sell as long as there are goodies on the table so keep ‘em coming!!!

Here is a link to Kirstyn’s FB page telling you more, and our flyer is below.  Please like it!!

https://www.facebook.com/TeamKirstyn?fref=ts

Thank-you, everyone.

 

 

 

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Eureka, Local0 Comments

A Life of Drugs and Crime and in Humboldt

 

Multiple Busts in Arcata and Eureka Over Several Days

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

Arcata

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.

* * * * * * *

Eureka

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.

* * * * * * *

Eureka

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.

* * * * * * *

Eureka

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

Firebomb Found in Eureka Front Yard

 

Deadly Device Detonated in Place

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

On Sunday, February 17 at about 8:15 a.m., officers with the Eureka Police Department (EPD) were dispatched to the report of a suspicious bag in the front yard of a residence
located near the intersection of Hodgson and ‘F’ Streets.

A resident homeowner reported they’d just found a duffle bag
with wires and a battery visible protruding from it.  The bag was
partially hidden by some shrubbery in their yard, Eureka Police
Sgt. Steve Watson said.
 
bombResponding officers quickly ascertained the bag could hold an explosive device of some kind.  As a precautionary measure, officers blocked off the surrounding streets, set-up a wide perimeter around the suspected device, and notified and evacuated residents in the vicinity.

Assistance from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office’s Bomb Squad was requested.  The Eureka Volunteer Patrol (EVP) responded to the scene to assist with traffic control.

After examining the bag, Sheriff’s bomb technicians determined it was an actual working firebomb device.

At approximately 10:55 a.m., bomb technicians rendered the device safe, in place, under controlled conditions.  This resulted in a small explosion and fire which was quickly extinguished.  There was some minor damage to the yard but no other property was damaged, and there were no injuries.

Had the duffle bag device detonated as designed and intended, it could have resulted in great bodily injury to anyone in close proximity to it, EPD said.

bomb2Once the device was neutralized, EPD evidence technicians began processing the scene and collecting evidence.  The firebomb contained wiring, a battery, a working circuit, and flammable liquid.

“We respond to these kinds of things often,” Watson said.

The investigation is continuing as to the intended target, motive, and suspect behind the placement of the firebomb.  There are no further details at this time, EPD noted.

The residents were smart not to touch or move the bag.  Anyone discovering a suspected explosive device is cautioned to stay away
from it, not to manipulate or move it in any fashion, and to call their
local law enforcement agency for further assessment, EPD said.

* * * * * * * * *

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Crime, Eureka, Local0 Comments

Stabbing at the Bayshore Mall

 

William Whipple in Custody; Other Wanted

 

–Suspects’ Car Pictured Below–

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

On Monday, February 11 at about 3 p.m., a male adult was delivered to the Saint Joseph Hospital Emergency room after suffering multiple sharp-force stabbing injuries and requiring emergency medical treatment, the Eureka Police Department reported today.

EPD released a picture of the suspects’ vehicle, asking for the public’s help in locating it or the occupants.

whippleThe victim was delivered to the hospital by a friend.  The injuries reportedly resulted from an incident that occurred in the parking lot of the Bayshore Mall.  The victim was stabbed multiple times and went to St. Joseph Hospital in critical condition, EPD said.

Eureka Police are unsure why the fight started between the suspect, William Whipple, and his unidentified male victim as they didn’t know one another.  It’s reported the victim is currently in stable condition and recovering after surgery.  Police are continuing their investigation by obtaining search warrants and questioning witnesses involved in the incident.

At this time, robbery does not appear to have been a motive and there is no suggestion that the victim was engaged in any kind of criminal activity with the suspects (like suggesting it was a drug rip-off), EPD said.

Based on information received from witnesses, William Whipple, age 23, was arrested and booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility for attempted murder in connection with this investigation.

The vehicle depicted in the attached parking lot surveillance image, below, is believed to be related to the suspects.

EPD asks that anyone with information about who may have been in this vehicle on February 11 to contact Eureka Police Detective Wilcox at 707-441-4315.

The Lost Coast Outpost has more about Mr. Whipple here.

car suspect

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Crime, Eureka0 Comments

Putting Out Fires

Blue Heron Burns Today; Bien Padre Fryer Fire Yesterday

 

–Saving People and Chips–

 

Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel

 

Humboldt Bay Fire was called out to the Blue Heron Lodge located at 2245 Broadway Street in Eureka
just before 8 am
this morning for a 2-alarm structure fire.

Blue Heron FireFire investigators said the moderate blaze started in a back storage shop area where it quickly spread to two rooms, sending coils of thick smoke through the early morning commute traffic on Broadway.

Because the blaze affected electricity throughout the Blue Heron building, all occupants of the fourteen-room motel reportedly were displaced as a result of the fire.

The Red Cross was called out and will assist those who were made temporarily homeless because of the fire. 
 
Investigators have not yet given a cause for the fire.Blue Heron Fire2

Officials detained one person who was reportedly a suspect for further questioning but said the person wasn’t arrested at the time.  They stressed the origin of the blaze is pending investigation. 
 
Firefighters say most of the fire damage was limited to two rooms.

It took firefighters about 10 minutes to get the fire under control.  A smoke-filled Broadway was restricted to one lane as officials worked to clean up the scene.    

 
* * * * * * * *

On Thursday, January 31st, at 6 a.m. in the morning, three Fire Engines, one ladder truck, and two chief officers from Humboldt Bay Fire were dispatched to a reported commercial structure fire at 1459 Railroad Ave housing the Bien Padre Foods business.

Upon arrival, the first due engine reported a single story metal building with nothing of a fire showing.

Bien Padre employees on scene reported to fire crews that one of the tortilla chip frying machines was on fire.

Bien Padre fireCrews entered the building and noted light to moderate smoke within and were able to locate the machine in question.  The machine did have a small amount of fire showing from within, which the crews were able to extinguish with a dry chemical fire extinguisher.

Crews remained on scene for approximately an hour to ventilate the structure and ensure that the fire was completely out.

The fire was originally discovered by the production manager who had arrived at work earlier that morning.  Upon entering the building, she stated she smelled the smoke and began to investigate.

She located the fire and initially attempted to fight the fire with
extinguishers from the business.  When she was unable to
bien chipssuppress the fire, she phoned 911.

Damage was confined to the frying machine of origin, causing approximately $30,000 in damage.

No one was injured in this incident.  The cause of the fire is under investigation but is not suspicious and likely was caused by a mechanical failure of the machine.

It is unknown if any tortilla chips were burned.

* * * * * * * *

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Eureka, Local0 Comments

EPD Hot on the Trail of KIEM-TV Burglary Suspect

 

Camera Recovered; Search for Parolee Edward Vercoe Continues

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

On the afternoon of January 28, detectives from the Eureka Police Department’s Problem Oriented Policing Unit (POP)
responded to a neighborhood complaint in the 2500 block
of Union Street in Eureka.

The complaint alleged excessive foot and vehicle traffic coming from an apartment located in the alley.

Detectives contacted a female living in the apartment, who advised them one of the subjects living with her was Edward Charles Vercoe (Date of Birth: 12/28/69).  Vercoe is in on active PRCS Parole and is subject to search and seizure at anytime.

vercoeDuring a subsequent search, detectives located ½ gram of heroin and a Sony HD video camera they believed was related to a weekend burglary of News Channel 3.

Employees from Channel 3 were contacted and responded to the scene where they positively identified the Sony camera and related cables.  The employees from Channel 3 stated there are additional cameras and equipment outstanding.

Vercoe was not on scene at the time the search was conducted and is currently wanted for being in Possession of a Controlled Substance and Possession of Stolen Property.

Anyone with information regarding Vercoe’s whereabouts can contact the Eureka Police Department, at (707) 441-4060, or call the Problem Oriented Policing Unit at (707) 441-4373, EPD said.

* * * * * *

Another parolee/probationer on the loose without supervision or drug testing.

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Crime, Eureka0 Comments

KIEM-TV News Burgled

 

$10,000 of Equipment Lost to Thieves (PICS)

 

Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel

 

On Sunday, January 27, at approximately 12:00 noon the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a call from the station manager of KIEM News reporting a burglary to the
station.

camera1A deputy responded to 5650 South Broadway Avenue in Eureka and met with the station manager. 

He reported that someone stole four news video cameras and a scanner from a single wide trailer located behind the building.  There were no signs of forced entry.

The stolen items were last seen in the trailer at 8:30 p.m. Saturday night, January 26, and were discovered missing on Sunday, January 27, at approximately 11:00 a.m.

The news station and the Humboldt County Sheriff’s office is requesting the public be on the lookout for:

  • Three stolen Sony camerascamera2
  • A Panasonic camera
  • A  Radio Shack scanner

The estimated loss is $10,000.00, the HCSO said.

Anyone with information for the Sheriffs Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.

camera3camera4camera5camera6

 

 

 

 

 

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Crime, Eureka1 Comment

Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places

 

Beating Feet to a Climactic Finish

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

A “Good Relations” employee chased a young parolee through Old Town today after he attempted to purloin a spanking brand new sex toy.

Eureka Police Officers say Kevin Gillespie went into the
“Good Relations Lovers Boutique” on 2nd Street and tried
to steal a sex toy, KIEM-TV News’ Kelly May reported.

beating feetApparently Mr. Gillespie decided to use sticky fingers rather than employ the cash needed to purchase the preciously too-tempting self-gratification device.  An employee caught him red-handed doing the nakedly dirty deed of bold thievery.

Good Relations staff chased Mr. Gillespie through the Old Town area to G Street, where EPD officers caught up with him.  Without beating around the bush, Mr. Gillespie was promptly arrested
for theft.

Witnesses say the employee who chased Mr. Gillespie couldn’t help but titter and giggle as she related to responding officers what happened– and what he took.  A description of the tantalizing toy was not disclosed.  It was reportedly recovered intact.

A frustrated and embarrassingly flaccid Mr. Gillespie was booked into the Humboldt County Jail, sans toy and batteries.

* * * * * * * * * *

banannaNot exactly the brightest cookie in the crayon box, he’s obviously a few watts shy of a very dim bulb.

Body by God, mind by Mattel.

 

Article and photo sourced from KIEM-TV

 

 

 

Posted in Crime, Eureka, Local1 Comment

Speedball Seizure and Bust in Manila

 

Nicholas Grant Robinson, Eureka, Arrested for Heroin and Meth

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

On January 22 at about 6:30 p.m., a Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant on routine patrol noticed a
suspicious vehicle parked on Vance Avenue near
Highway 255 in Manila.

robinsonThe Sergeant contacted the sole occupant of the vehicle who he identified as Nicholas Grant Robinson, age 28, from Eureka.

The Sergeant checked Robinson’s name through his dispatch for any possible arrest warrants.  The dispatcher advised that Robinson was on probation for a narcotics violation and had a search and seizure clause.

The Sergeant then advised Robinson that he was going to search his person and his vehicle.  The Sergeant then located what appeared to be about ¼ of a pound of heroin hidden in the fuse box underneath the dash board in the vehicle.  The Sergeant also located about a 1/8 of gram of methamphetamine in the vehicle.

Robinson was then placed under arrest.  The Humboldt County Drug
Task Force was contacted to take over the investigation.

robinson2Humboldt County Drug Task Agent later arrived on scene with their narcotics detection trained dog.  No more narcotics were located in the vehicle.

Robinson was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked for:

  • Possession for sales of heroin
  • Possession of methamphetamine
  • Possession of a pipe used to smoke controlled substances
  • Violation of probation

Robinson’s bail was set at $50,000 dollars.

Drug Task Force Agents and the Eureka Police Department then searched Robinson’s residence located in the 1600 block of “L” Street in Eureka.  Officers located numerous smoking pipes for controlled substances, and syringes in the residence.

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

* * * * * * * *

pied piper heroin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Crime, Eureka1 Comment

The Surprising Sums of Eureka City Hall

 

Crushed Under Salary and Pensions, Eureka is Broke

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

Where did the money go?

Only nine months ago, Eureka Finance Director Paul
Rodrigues painted a rosy picture.  Eureka was doing
fine, fiscally speaking, he said.

Hank Sims of the Lost Coast Outpost gave us surprisingly different news on Wednesday.  Eureka is broke.

Not only that, we’re in debt.  The City is $7.8 million behind in its pension debt for employees.  The City– and specifically City Manager David Tyson and Finance Director Paul Rodrigues– want to adopt a bond issue covering the multi-million amount.

Even more surprising is that they want to make an end run around the normally required 2/3 ballot vote by having the bond issue remain off the ballot by seeking court approval instead of having taxpaying voters decide upon the measure.  The bond issue looks to have a whole cabal of
embedded toxic and arcane financing instruments worthy of the winged
monkeys in the Wizard of Oz.

This news comes on the heels of recent revelations that the McKinleyville School District and its trustees bought a high interest loan package of CABS– Capital Appreciation Bonds– and spent $72 million dollars to borrow $7-14 million and heaping the monstrous burden of debt onto unsuspecting McKinleyville property owners.

 

City Hall:  Who’s Minding the Store?

Long before these events occurred we had an inkling of the City’s runaway debt expenses.  Things just didn’t add up.

We were wondering, for example, why the five Eureka Ford police vehicles newly purchased by the City of Eureka at a cost of over $100,000 two years ago were still sitting unused and mothballed at the Eureka Corporation yard, exposed to the elements and seemingly rotting away without being put into service.  One has since been sold for a loss at auction.

The Eureka Police Department decided put the Fords aside in favor of purchasing some newer sexier Dodge Chargers to use instead.  We were given several explanations:  The Ford cruisers were awaiting light bars; they would be rotated into service soon; they were awaiting the start of next fiscal year’s budget.  None have happened.  The Fords are still sitting there, untouched, unmoved, and seemingly resting in a state of arrested decomposition like empty caskets awaiting cadavers.

Councilmember Marian Brady did bring the subject up, popping the question to our City Finance Man in a Eureka City Hall meeting nine months back.  Eureka’s Finance Director—a dapper panjandrum– gingerly skirted the issue.  He didn’t even attempt to give a cogent or congruent response.  Surprisingly, none of Eureka’s Councilmembers followed up on his blatantly non sequitur explanation that was dished out to them. 

They sat in dumbfounded silence, waiting for a few pregnant moments as the pea was adeptly shuffled under a different shell, and, resuscitated from their paused hesitation and obvious discomfort, moved onto the next item appearing on the agenda.  After all, they knew it was a waste of money– and they wouldn’t have to pay for it.  The taxpayers would.  Shuffle the pea, move on, and hope no one notices the difference.

We also took notice that City Manager David Tyson will be retiring with a percentage of his yearly retirement pay of $157,000.  Eureka’s incoming City Manager, William Panos, will be receiving a bit more, at $158,000.  Someone has to pay and pad those salaries.  That someone is you.

So we wondered: how much do these these municipal folks typically get paid per year?  Here’s a few numbers we came up with, taken from the California State Controller 2010 figures:

  • City Manager David Tyson:  $150,339 (His Assistant City Manager rakes in another $111,000)
  • City Attorney:  $135,960
  • City Engineer:  $121,739
  • Redevelopment and Housing Director:  $101,166
  • Public Works Director:  $98,495
  • Personnel Director:  $93,464
  • Finance Director:  $89,640

That’s just for starters.  There’s a lot more.  And remember, they all have additional staff and assistants on the payroll, too.

The City has 491 employees for an area of 9.4 square miles and 26,066 residents.  That’s one City employee for every 53 citizens.  The total City wage payroll comes to a whopping $16 million per year, or about $614 for every man, woman, and child in the city limits.  The average per capita household income in Eureka is $29,000.

 

The Police Department

Then we heard word that the Eureka Chief of Police, before Measure O was passed bolstering safety needs in our fair City, was paid roughly $133,000 in 2010– but his total wage compensation package bumped up to nearly $156,000, according to the California State Controller.

But there’s more.  The EPD Chief’s wages were followed by:

His Captain annually topping out at $112,500;

Two Lieutenants making approximately $107,000 each;

Nine sergeants pulling in $71,831 to $103,462 each;

And 89 other employees– ranging from 37 police officers to dispatchers to records specialists to an animal control technician, at different salary levels.  In all, there are nearly 100 EPD personnel fighting crime in various capacities in Eureka.

Perhaps we need it and this isn’t unusual given the complexity of police work nowadays.  Eureka, indeed, does have a fairly significant crime problem.  EPD deals with the unseemly ne’er-do-wells, scoundrels, rogues, vagabonds, and bugaboos infesting the City with skullduggeries that more genteel folks would prefer not to embrace.

So it shouldn’t surprise you that EPD officers can enjoy early retirement at age 50 with 90% of their salary for life.  A 3% @ 50 CalPers safety compensation package is standard issue for peace officers along with their weapons.  It’s a costly proposition.  Every officer may very well be worth his/her shiny badge of value as are those Ford patrol cruisers the City wastefully
put on ice.

 

The Fire Department:  Gold Plated Brass

So it didn’t surprise us, either, looking at some of the more shocking figures for
the Eureka Fire Department (since reorganized as Humboldt Bay Fire).

According to the State Controller’s Office 2010 figures, the Fire Chief took home a tidy sum of $166,666.  Nice.

His two Assistant Chiefs hauled in nearly $108,723 and $119,643, respectively.  Very nice!

More surprising was the addition of even more shiny brass.  The above administrative positions were followed by– get this– a gaggle of 18 Fire Captains I/II– at salaries ranging from $56,088 to $104,195 each.   Those were followed by 11 Fire Engineers with salary levels of between $48,456 to $70,359.

Of course, every fire department needs basic firefighters towing the line and putting out fires.  We only have six of those, ranging in price from $43,932 to $61,951.  A bargain!

Altogether, the Eureka Fire Department had 40 employees in 2010– with nearly all having the same 3% @50 retirement package as police officers.

There aren’t so many fires these days as there were back in the days of yore.  Buildings just don’t burn down like they used to, given the current building codes, safety standards, and new materials for construction.  Nowadays, our fire department performs first responder/ambulance calls, conducts fire inspections, and instructs first aid classes when they’re not going to schools teaching kids about fire safety.  Like EPD, the EFD/Humboldt Bay Fire also has a dangerous job to do; perhaps they, too, deserve safety pensions and retirement at the highest salary levels by age 50– even those hapless
bureaucratic souls who push paper at a desk.  After all, they may trip
over a chair getting up.

One can argue there are far too many chiefs and fat-cat administrators than there are troops in the trenches.  By retiring early, they’re set fairly well for life while the next round of recruits are to be similarly compensated. 

Because California has had a spiralling upward trend of government salaries– while it, too, goes broke– one can argue salary levels in Eureka are merely commensurate with the rest of the State.  And so the problem continues unabated.

 

Public Works and Recreation

But, surprisingly enough, it wasn’t EPD or EFD’s figures that
gave us cause for pause.  Here’s the sum that truly amazed us:
the number of allocated positions in one area of the City’s
enchanted 9.4 mile realm:  Public Works.

Public Works has a staggering 162 positions dedicated to…  recreation workers!  Seven pages worth in 2010, the State Controller reports, with salaries ranging between mostly paltry levels on the low end to a maximum $60,636 Recreation and Facilities Manager on the other.  The latter position carries a retirement package at age 57.  Another position we saw was entitled Men’s Basketball Official, paying $46,101.   Now that’s what we call a good gig.  Looking up the position again for this column several months later, it appears to have been since removed.

But due to the whopping number of recreation workers—162—we feel there must be some mistake.  Perhaps the majority of these positions are temporary, part time, vacant, frozen, or simply redundant in some way–a Twilight Zone of anomalies.  The City spent $512,847 per year on these wages in 2010 but the total budgetary allotment of the recreation positions comes in at a staggering $3 million.  Heavens to Betsy.  That can’t possibly be true, can it?  Read the figures and weep, folks.

Of course, Eureka does have its share of crumbling, decaying, and downright miserable roads that the City Council members discussed recently, mutually wringing their hands and nodding their heads in unison and dismay over the given plight of our potholed thoroughfares.

Fortunately we’re pleased to report, and you’ll be overjoyed to know, Eureka has been working on that.  They have nine positions—9!– set aside for maintaining our streets.  True, it’s not as many as our safety officers– or our recreation workers– but it
works.  And few of those roadworkers make as much as
our noted basketball official.

But don’t take our word on this fiasco.  See the figures from the State Controller’s Office for yourself, and tell us what you think and come up with.

 

Feeding the Beast, Gouging theTaxpayer

However, you may want to know who are the lowest paid employees.  Surprisingly enough, the City Council.  They receive roughly $6,000 per year, plus health benefits, for their civic servitude.  And the Mayor?  He pulls in $7,500 and doesn’t have to vote unless it’s a tie.  He does have to remember to raise or lower the podium and turn on the microphone.

We won’t even venture to guess how those City pensions will be paid off in the future.  Measure O helped fill part of the fiscal gap, at least temporarily.

That is, until City Manager David Tyson, who doesn’t reside in the City limits, told us they now need more money, and before his own hefty retirement comes due.  How much more? $7.8 million in arrears, apparently, to cover employees pension costs, we were told.  We ask:  why weren’t the pension obligations budgeted, tracked, and paid for in the first place?

Where did the money go?  We would venture to guess that,
like the rest of California,  Eureka has become a runaway
fiscal train, a lucrative Ponzi scheme for its own employees,
waste of moneyenriching its base at the expense of taxpayers.

Then, of course, there have been the many costly lawsuits the City either settled or lost over the past several years.  But that’s another story altogether.

Maybe it’s time to draw in the reigns and finally say enough is
enough– to debt, bonds, runaway pensions, and government
servants gouging its citizens unmercifully.

 * * * * * * * * *

When we first looked into the salary levels for Eureka we were astounded.  The Humboldt Sentinel has been the only media outlet initially reporting on these surprising sums from the State Controller’s Office.

stoogesOn April 1, 2013, Grant Scott-Goforth’s Time-Standard article, “State Website Shows Local Government Wages“  later confirmed our suspicions.  It reportedEureka paid $16 million in wages — the 10th highest total out of more than 100 cities with populations between 10,000 and 30,000.

The Eureka City Council will approve the pension bond issue– and thereby sideswiping voters from a ballot vote– at their
next meeting Tuesday, December 18 at 6 p.m.
at the Eureka City Hall.

Concerned residents should call or contact their Eureka Councilmembers.  At the very least, request the item be pulled from the agenda/consent calendar for public discussion.  Otherwise, it receives immediate blanket consent.  Send or share with them this article.

You can reach Councilmembers by phone, e-mail, or fax using the links below:

Mayor Frank Jager, #441-4200

Marian Brady, Ward 1, #441-4169

Linda Atkins, Ward 2, #441-4168

Mike Newman, Ward 3, #441-4170

Melida Ciarabellini, Ward 4, #441-4167

Lance Madsen, Ward 5, #441-4171

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Posted in Eureka, Local, Politics21 Comments

High Risk Missing Person Sought

 

Myra Sheek, 61, Missing for Past Four Days

–Updated Below–

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

From the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office:

On Friday, January 18 at approximately 11:30 a.m., the
Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office was notified by the owner of
Aguilar Manor Assisted Living Facility located at 6433 Eggert
Road, Eureka, that resident Myra Sheek was missing.

The resident went for a walk at 11:00 a.m. that day and did not return.  Normally Sheek never walks more than a block away from the home and returns within a short period of time.

The owner told the investigating deputy that the missing female has some medical issues which raised the concern for her welfare.

HCSO Deputies and Sheriff’s Citizens on Patrol (S.C.O.P.) searched the area for Sheek, but could not find her.  Several neighbors were contacted but also had not seen her.

The Sheriff’s Office is requesting the publics help in locating her.

sheekMyra Sheek is described as follows:

  • 61 years old
  • White Female
  • Height 5-6 and weight 200 lbs
  • Brown hair and brown eyes

She was last seen wearing a denim jacket, yellow sweat pants.  She wears glasses.

Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this
case is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251.

UPDATE:  On Wednesday, January 23 at 9:30 a.m., the Sheriff’s Office reported that 61 year-old Myra Sheek was  found in the woods off of Eggert Road.  Medical personnel were called to the scene but there was no confirmation of her condition given.

* * * * * * * * *

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Eureka, Local0 Comments

Crimes, Crooks, and Collisions

 

Officers Investigate High Profile Burglary, Fatal Collision, and Child Pornography

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

Friendly City Burglary

Fortuna– HCSO:  On 12-28-2012, at approximately 6:30 p.m.
the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office was notified of a burglary
which has occurred in the 6100 block of Rohnerville Road, Fortuna.

burg1When the deputy arrived he met with the home owners.  They told the deputy they left their residence at approximately 9:30 a.m. on that date.

At approximately 4:00 p.m. that same day the husband was called by Umpqua Bank and informed someone had tried to use his debit card at the Bear River Casino Pump and Play.

When the husband returned home at approximately 6:00 p.m., he discovered the front door to their residence was wide open.  When he checked burg2 burg3the residence he discovered the suspect(s) had entered through an unlocked front window.

Examining his residence he saw it was ransacked and numerous items including computers, cameras, jewelry and other high value items had been stolen from the residence.  The loss was estimated to be over $10,000.00.

After taking the report and conducting an on scene investigation, the investigating deputy spoke with Bear River Casino.  The Bear River Casino located and furnished a video tape and still photographs of the suspect and another male using the victim’s stolen debit card to the deputy.

The Sheriff’s Office is requesting the public’s assistance with identifying the suspect and the other male who was with him at the Bear River Pump and Play at the time the debit card was used.  They are pictured here.

Anyone with information for the Sheriffs Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriffs Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriffs Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.

 

* * * * * * * *

Fatal Vehicle Collision 

bridgeHydesville- CHP:  A Hydesville woman was killed in a fatal car crash on Highway 36 yesterday.

Rita E. Boling, 44-years-old, died following a head-on collision around 6:49 p.m., according to the California Highway Patrol.

Thomas G. Adkisson, 74, of Laytonville, was driving a Dodge pickup truck westbound on State Route 36 at an unknown speed when he allowed his vehicle to leave the roadway edge, swerved left to get back on the roadway, crossed the center line and collided with Boling’s vehicle, according to a press release.

Both vehicles came to rest in the roadway.  Boling was transported to Redwood Memorial Hospital where she later died from her injuries, according to a press release.  Adkisson was also transported to Redwood Memorial Hospital where he was treated and later released.

CHP reports that drug or alcohol impairment does not appear to be a factor in the crash.  The press release indicates that both drivers were using seatbelts.

CHP continues to investigate the crash, according to their release.

 

* * * * * * * *

Child Pornography Arrest 

jokerEureka– HCSO:  In December, the Humboldt County Sheriffs Office was contacted by the Eureka Police Department of an ongoing multi-agency investigation into child pornography.

The Eureka Police Department had been advised by a Santa Clara Police Department Detective of a subject downloading child pornography in the Eureka area based upon an IP address that the Santa Clara PD had discovered through their investigation.

A Eureka Police detective wrote a search warrant for the subscriber information of the IP address.  It was learned
that the IP address returned to a residence in the 4300 block of Roberts Drive in Eureka.

The Eureka Police Detective contacted Humboldt County Sheriff’s Detectives and provided the information he learned.  A Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Detective wrote and obtained a Humboldt County Superior Court search warrant for the residence.

On Jaunuary 3, at approximately 8:45 a.m., Humboldt County Sheriffs Detectives served the search warrant and seized the computer and other electronics from the home.  After interviewing Christopher Jansen, 21-years-old, who resided in the home, detectives arrested him for felony possession of child pornography.

Jansen was booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility and his bail was set at $25,000.

* * * * * * * *

HCSO badge(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Crime, Eureka, Fortuna0 Comments

Jefferson School Community Center Events

 

Community and Classes Come Together This Month

 

Heidi Benzonelli

 

We have January happenings at  Jefferson School Community Center!

While  operating on only small grants,  community
donations, volunteer service and organizational
partnerships, the Westside Community Improvement
Association (WCIA) is proud to announce the following
opportunities at Jefferson in January:

Our Youth Cooking Class is on Friday, January 4, 2013 from 11 am–2 pm.  Youth from 7-13 are welcome.  Please contact Hannah Cory for more information (hcory at umich dot edu).

The NorCaliente Dance Fitness is on Wednesday nights beginning January 16 at 6 pm.
Please contact Adeen McBurney for more information (adoona at gmail dot com).

FJefferson school 10undamentals of Community Drum begins Thursday nights starting January 17  at 6 pm contact.
Please contact Bob Wolofson for more information (rwolofson at sbcglobal dot net).

Parent Voices Parenting Support Group meets January 18 at 5:30 pm.
Please contact Brandy Asher for more information (BAsher at changingtidesfs dot org).

Senior Action Coalition meets Wednesday, January 16, at 11:30 am–2 pm. 
Please contact Yvonne Doble  for more information (doble at a1aa dot org).

 

Other Events:

We’re having our Martin Luther King Day Community Clean-Up Day on January 21 from 10 am–2 pm.

Please come out and help and join in on the activities!  Please contact Heidi for more information at:   lets.buy.jefferson at gmail dot com.

 

Our Appreciation:sun

We have a beautiful new ADA bathroom thanks to:
 
  • Timothy and Alexander Salvos fund for youth
  • Piersons Building Center
  • OBD Plumbing
  • TI Smith Electric
  • …And generous donations from (Y)OUR community!
 We are chipping away at other necessities on a shoestring, too.
 
 
Some of our real SuperStars this year were:
 
  • PplaygroundG&E and Kaboom for the  playground
  • Darrell at OBD Plumbing for our building maintenance, security as well as plumbing
  • Pierson’s Building Center for donations and great pricing
  • Eureka Natural Foods – for the AWESOME opportunities to provide healthy nutritious organic locally produced produce at all WCIA community events
  • Vellutini Baking Company
  • Bien Padre
  • New Moon Cafe for help with food for our events.
 
A big huge list of donors is on our webpage.  Of course, a big appreciation is in order for our 700+ volunteers that have shown up and helped out in 2012!
 
Please take the time to thank and patronize our kind supporters.  We couldn’t have done it without you!
 
If you are in the position to make a small donation, we’d love to have you know that all money is used frugally and responsibly to provide direct service to the community.  It is is 100% tax deductible.
 
Jefferson School IVThank You Eureka…  What a great year we had in 2012– and looking forward to 2013! 
 
In Service,
 
Heidi Benzonelli
President, Westside Community Improvement Association
PO Box 5315
Eureka, CA 95502
 
* * * * * * * *
 
(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Eureka, Local0 Comments

Drag Racing Juveniles Leave Destruction in Their Wake

 

Crash and Injuries Result

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

On Saturday, December 15th at approximately 6:43 p.m., the Eureka Police Department and Humboldt Bay Firefighters responded to the intersection of Del Norte and I St for a report of an injury traffic collision, the EPD
reported in a release.

Upon arriving at the scene emergency personnel found a 2007 Chevy Malibu and 2001 Toyota Tacoma that were involved in the collision.

Parties from both vehicles were transported to the hospital for treatment of injuries.  A passenger from the Chevy Malibu was listed as being in critical condition, due to severe injuries sustained in the collision.

Witnesses to the collision reported that the male juvenile driver of the Toyota Tacoma was engaged in an illegal drag race with the female juvenile driver of a red Toyota Corolla just before the collision.

crashWitnesses estimated the speeds of the vehicles to be between 50 and 70 mph northbound on I St.  The Chevy Malibu was traveling westbound on Del Norte across I St and was broadsided by the Toyota Tacoma at what appeared to be a high rate of speed.  The collision caused the Tacoma to roll over as it continued north on I St and caused the Malibu to collide with a retaining wall at the intersection.

It appears that dangerous speeds (racing) were a major factor in this collision, however alcohol and/or drug influence on the part of the racers has not been ruled out.

The investigation into this collision is ongoing.  Any witnesses to the collision are asked to call Traffic Officer Tim Jones at (707) 441-4109.

It’s reported there is 1 patient with moderate injuries, 3 patients with minor injuries.

From Facebook posts regarding the accident:

Our thoughts and prayers go out to three important people to our Fortuna Boys Basketball program.  Justin Claus, Varsity player; Ally Seher, Varsity Cheerleader, and Grandma Pat Seher, Super Fan.

They were involved in a car accident last night after the game in Eureka.  Kids racing on H Street T-boned our loved ones!

Ally & Justin are okay.  Justin has been released from the hospital but Grandma Pat is still in ICU.  How fast your life goes from wonderful to fearful.

Send your thoughts and prayers to these families.  Hug your family and friends and let them know you love them.”

* * * *

“There was a tournament @ the high school, Fortuna vs Eureka. The red sedan and white Tacoma were racing down I st and hit the Chevy sedan who was crossing on Del Norte.  The Tacoma ended on to its top after rolling a couple times (I live a block away).  My neighbor said she watched it happen… they were going very fast down I St.

The passengers of the Chevy are OK which is VERY surprising given the condition of the car.”

* * * *

“The car that got hit was not racing because it was a high school student driving her grandma around.  The grandma is in the hospital and I guess it is’t looking good.

The red sedan left the scene.”

* * * * * * * *

The Times-Standard’s article by Kaci Poor, Suspected Street Racers leave 73-Year-Old Critical Condition,” is here.

Slow down and think, kids.  Fast Carma will kill you– and others.

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

 

 

Posted in Eureka, Local1 Comment

Burglars Bungle Residence Twice

 

Trio of Crooks Arrested

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

Yesterday, December 13 about 4 p.m., officers of the Eureka Police Department were dispatched to the 1600 block of Harrison Avenue for a burglary in progress.

Mr. Dare

Dispatch advised that the victim had phoned earlier to report that his residence had been broken into and items of property were missing.  Minutes later, the victim re-phoned and stated that he believed the suspects had returned and were back inside his residence, the EPD release said.

While officers were responding, the victim advised that the suspects had exited his residence and were leaving northbound on Harrison Avenue. The victim followed the suspects and kept dispatch updated with the suspect’s description and whereabouts.

Upon the officers arrival, they located two suspects running southbound on Dean Street, towards 18th Street.  After a short foot pursuit, officers were able to stop and detain one suspect on 18th Street.  The second suspect was apprehended about a block south of this location.

Mr. Haslam

The victim was brought to both locations and positively identified both suspects. The two suspects were identified as Eric Thomas Dare, 32-years-old, Eureka, and Joe Alonzo Haslam, 34-years-old, of Eureka.

A search of the area located property that had been determined to have been discarded by the suspects during their flight.  The property included ski masks and gloves.

While the suspects were being interviewed, a search warrant was sought and issued for the suspect’s residence located in the 2400 block of 18th Street.  A search of the residence resulted in not only the recovery of most of the victim’s stolen property, but numerous firearms and a large amount of processed and unprocessed marijuana, and illegally possessed prescription medications.

Mr. Rogers

A third suspect was soon identified in the incident.  He was discovered to be Kevin Lee Rogers, 18-years-old, of Eureka.  Rogers was soon located and taken into custody in Blue Lake.  Rogers admitted to his involvement in the burglary and indicated that he had sold some of the stolen property at a local business.

As a result of the investigation, it’s believed that the victim’s residence had been burglarized earlier in the day– and that the suspects had returned a short time later to steal additional property.  At that time they were witnessed in the residence by the victim.

All three suspects were booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility of charges of burglary and possession of stolen property.

Mr. Dare and Mr. Haslam were also charged with resisting arrest.  Additional charges regarding the located controlled substances will be added upon completion of the investigation.  All three suspects are being held on $50,000 bail each.

This is an open investigation and further details will be released as they become available.  Anyone with information concerning this case is urged to contact Officer Aubuchon at 707-441-4044, EPD said.

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Crime, Eureka2 Comments

The Graffiti Ruins of Eureka

 

 

Behind the Bayshore Mall, Beauty and Tagging is in the Eye of the Beholder

(VIDEO)

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

The concrete ruins behind the Bayshore Mall are a canvass of sorts for artists.  They paint and spray and tag the concrete in a variety of forms for an unknown audience.

The area has long been known for it’s homeless encampments, supposed Satanic rituals, and being a junkie haven over the past three decades.  It’s a No-Man’s land, a spooky and apocalyptic place, especially come night time after the sun sets.

We found this 7-minute video posted today giving a tour of the place.  The description only read:

Somewhere in Humboldt County, California, on the bay in the city of Eureka, lies this hidden derelict of a graffiti collection.  Crazy walk to, get to, and crazies along the way – the good homeless kind!

All photos by Snaps Provolone in July 2012.  Music by J Starr: “Interstellar Mode.”

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

 

Posted in Eureka, Local1 Comment

Eureka Hires New City Manager

 

Sacramento Port Director To Replace David Tyson January 1

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

From the City of Eureka press release just issued:

 

The Eureka City Council is pleased to announce it has appointed William T. Panos to serve as City Manager.  Mr. Panos brings over three decades experience to the position.

Most recently, he was the director of public works for the City of West Sacramento, responsible for overseeing community infrastructure, engineering, public utilities and the Port of West Sacramento.  As a member of the city’s executive and budget teams, Panos directed city financial strategies, government relations and regional partnerships.

Mr. Panos was previously the school construction executive for the State of Washington where he directed capital finance, land use policy and local school construction throughout the state.  He was responsible for creating a $600 million annual capital program and oversaw 2.9 million acres of state trust lands.

Mr. Panos has also served with local government in Northern Idaho and Los Angeles, as special advisor to the chancellor of the California State University System and as toxics director for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Mr. Panos’ public sector experience came after a successful career with the TRW Corporation in its defense, space and automotive business operations in the Americas, Europe and Asia.  He was an advisor to President’s Council on Sustainable Development under the Clinton Administration and his work received the TRW Chairman’s Award for Innovation and the prestigious Harvard University-Ford Foundation Award for Innovations in American Government.

”After a comprehensive search, I am very pleased that we have found an outstanding candidate to serve as our city manager.  His experience in key positions with industry and public agencies is a strong asset to our city.  I look forward to working with him,” said Mayor Jäger.

Mr. Panos is scheduled to start January 1, 2013.

* * * * * * *

Time to get the Port of Humboldt, Marina Center, and the East-West Rail Corridor moving along?

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Eureka, Local3 Comments

Another Bust on ‘Uh-Oh’ Street

 

Upscale Eureka Neighborhood Sees Yet Another Raid

 

Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel

 

Here’s the short story:

A home in the 3600 block of “O” Street in Eureka was raided yesterday by EPD’s POP unit and the DA’s Office
after they were both tipped off about marijuana growing activity.

The joint raid happened just before 9 yesterday morning.  In the basement of the home officers found 299 growing marijuana plants;  in another room, 136 pounds of harvested drying marijuana.  Half of the house was dedicated to cannabis cultivation.

Police said the commercial grow was operating in a rental home being occupied by 38-year-old Robert Brian Barfield.  EPD said Barfield told them he moved here from Georgia specifically to grow weed.  EPD and neighbors were not amused by the long-haired and scraggly looking interloper agriculturist.

“This is well outside the provisions of 215,” said EPD Sergeant Steve Watson, “and well outside the provisions of the City of Eureka’s medical cannabis ordinance.”

“It’s a for profit grow involving basically half of the entire basement area involving about a half dozen rooms,” Watson said.

Police also found Mr. Barfield in possession of a loaded rifle.  He was arrested for possession and cultivation of pot as well as maintaining a place for drug sales.

And here’s the official Eureka Police Department release:

On 11/20/12, at about 9:30 a.m., investigators with the Eureka Police Department’s Problem Oriented Policing Unit (POP) and the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office served a search warrant at a residence on the 3600 block of ‘O’ Street, Eureka.

This was a joint operation conducted by investigators from both agencies.  The warrant was obtained by DA Investigators after both units received independent citizen complaints about a possible indoor marijuana grow at the home.

Investigators detained the sole resident, Robert Brian Barfield, 38, of Atlanta, Georgia, at the front door.

During a subsequent search of the spacious two-story residence, investigators discovered nearly all of the entire bottom-level (7-8 rooms) had been converted into a large-scale sophisticated indoor marijuana cultivation operation.  This included 4 dedicated grow rooms and a dedicated drying/trimming room.

Investigators located and seized 299 growing marijuana plants of varying sizes and 136 ½ pounds of already harvested, drying marijuana.

A loaded lever-action .30-.30 Winchester rifle was also located in Barfield’s bedroom.

During questioning, Barfield admitted he’d moved to Eureka from Georgia around 3 months ago for the specific purpose of growing marijuana.  He added this was “because it’s legal” here.

Investigators observed a potential electrical fire hazard associated with the indoor marijuana growing operation due to a substantial amount of unpermitted wiring etc.  Officials with the City of Eureka’s Building Department responded to inspect the wiring and PG&E was subsequently contacted to disconnect the electrical service to the residence.

Additionally, the unemployed Barfield was renting the residence from its out-of-state owners for $3,000.00 a month.  EPD will be contacting the owners so that they remedy the criminal activity and the unauthorized modifications made to their property.

During the search of Barfield’s residence, investigators learned he also rented a storage unit at a mini-storage facility located on Indianola Cutoff midway between Eureka and Arcata.  DA investigators obtained and served a second search warrant for the storage unit.  Numerous grow pots were found in the unit.

Barfield was arrested by POP investigators and transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked for:

  • Unauthorized planting/cultivating/harvesting/processing of marijuana
  • Possession of marijuana for sale
  • Maintaining a place for unlawfully selling/providing a controlled substance.

Anyone with information concerning suspected drug activity occurring in the City of Eureka is encouraged to call:

  • The Problem Oriented Policing Unit at (707) 441-4373
  • The Humboldt County Drug Task Force at (707) 444-8095
  • Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding criminal activity, including drug activity, is encouraged to call the Sheriffs Office at (707) 445-7251 or
  • The Sheriffs Office Crime Tip line (707) 268-2539

* * * * * * * * *

The KIEM-TV report with pictures of the grow and the suspect, Mr. Barfield, is here.

This is the second major raid of an O Street residence in the tony ‘hood in little than a month.  The other raid was 9 blocks down the street.

If this keeps up, there goes the neighborhood.

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Crime, Eureka0 Comments

Weed Arrests, Search Warrants, and Children

 

Drug Task Force Makes Intervention with Multiple Charges

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

Yesterday at approximately 2 in the afternoon, the Humboldt County Drug Task Force (HCDTF) served a Humboldt County Superior Court search warrant in the 6200
block of London Drive in Eureka.

During service of the search warrant agents located Jomra Choy Kan, 36-years-old, and Rose Channy Khun, 30-years-old, in the residence along with Khun’s two children:  a five-year-old and a one-year-old.

HCDTF Agents searched the residence and located an indoor marijuana grow with:

  • 422 marijuana plants
  • 40 pounds of dried marijuana bud (the estimated value is $80,000)
  • Approximately 86 pounds of dried marijuana leaves
  • a scale and packaging materials
  • and $8,310.00 in US currency

Child Welfare Services were contacted along with the Humboldt County Building Inspector.

The Building Inspector determined the electrical work performed on the residence was without permits and inspections, and that safety issues were present.

Ms. Kan and Ms. Khun were arrested for:

  • Possession for cultivation
  • Possession for sale
  • Child endangerment
  • Maintaining a residence for the use/sale of drugs

They were transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility.  Their bail was set at $75,00o.

Anyone with information for the Humboldt County Drug Task Force regarding this case or related drug activity is encouraged to call them at 707-444-8095, the HCSO said.

* * * * * * *

Word to the wise:  this is the fourth bust on Humboldt Hill in as many weeks.  It’s been a real hot spot lately. 

And keep it away from the kids.

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Crime, Eureka0 Comments

Another Eureka Grow-Op Razed

 

Up in Smoke and Totally Blazed 

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

Another one bites the dust.

On November 2 at 10 in the morning the Humboldt County Drug Task Force served a search warrant at a residence located in the 2600 block of Manzanita Avenue, Eureka.  No one was at home when the search warrant was served, according
to the HCSO release.

Agents located a commercial marijuana growing operation in the garage which is attached to the residence.  Agents seized 267 growing marijuana plants that ranged in size from 3 foot to 4 foot in height.

Agents also seized $ 3,700 dollars in cash from inside the residence.

When agents were at the residence they noticed a possible electrical fire hazard with the indoor marijuana cultivation that was occurring in the garage.  They contacted the Humboldt County Building and Planning Department.

After inspecting the electrical wiring associated with the indoor marijuana growing operation, the Humboldt County Building and Planning Department determined there was a possible fire hazard.  The Humboldt County Building and Planning Department then contacted PG&E to have the electrical power turned off to the residence.

In searching the residence, Agents learned that Jennifer Brook Koopman, age 38, lives in the residence along with her 7- year old daughter.

Agents learned that Koopman was at work in Arcata. Agents  located Koopman at her place of work and placed her under arrest for cultivation and possession for sales of marijuana, and for maintaining a residence for the manufacturing of a controlled substance.

Koopman was also arrested for child endangerment because of the electrical fire hazard associated with the indoor marijuana growing operation.

Koopman’s 7-year old daughter was placed into custody of a local relative.  Humboldt County Child Welfare Services was contacted and will investigate the living conditions of the child.

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

* * * * * * * * *

Sigh.  We find it hard to believe.

Perhaps it’s all a mistake.

Please tell Ward and June and us it ain’t so.

Posted in Crime, Eureka1 Comment

EPD Update on Barricade Suspect

 

Eureka Police Department Release Search Warrant Results of Jeffrey Wood

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

The Eureka Police Department gave an update on the arrest and search warrant of Jeffrey Wood.  Mr. Wood, after arming and barricading himself, held law enforcement
at bay in a seven-hour standoff in Eureka yesterday before
surrendering, as reported in the Humboldt Sentinel:

The Eureka Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division followed up on the arrest of Jeffrey Wood, at 328 Cooper Lane in Eureka, by serving a search warrant on the apartment.

Detectives recovered several large caliber handguns, a shotgun and a small caliber rifle.

Four expended 40 caliber cartridges, and one expended 38 caliber cartridge, were located inside the apartment.

Five bullet holes were also found in the walls, ceiling and doors of the house.  This evidence, along with other previously known facts, supports the allegation that Wood discharged a firearm in a grossly negligent manner.

One of the bullets passed through the front door, from inside to outside, with the bullet impact location and the bullet debris, spread in the direction of officers on scene.  This evidence, along with other previously known facts, supports the allegation that Wood resisted arrest by violence or threats of death to officers.

Detectives also located a hydroponic marijuana grow and other marijuana growing paraphernalia, along with three devices and the necessary chemicals, to process marijuana into hash oil.  Based on these findings, the allegation of manufacturing controlled substances has been added to Wood’s charges.

* * * * * * * *

Another case of arrested development and epic fail in the Big City.
 

KMUD’s radio interview with Humboldt County Sheriff Mike Downey speaking about this incident is here.

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Crime, Eureka0 Comments

Someone’s Been Sitting in My Chair

 

And Watching my TV!

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

At 1 o’clock this afternoon the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a call from a perturbed citizen who reported an unknown man was lounging in his residence.

Apparently the stranger had made himself quite comfortable
in the humble adobe of another located in the 6300 block of Loma Drive in
Eureka– and was settling into the new digs rather nicely.

The citizen told the dispatcher he confronted the man who was casually sitting in his chair in his living room.  Like any good homeowner who pays his taxes, keeps the yard up, and routinely takes out the trash, he asked the suspect to leave.

The suspect told the citizen, no, it was his home.  And just like home, the squatter then turned on the citizen’s television set as if all was right in the universe and no one would notice.

Besides, Judge Judy was on.

We don’t know whether or not the transient tramp helped himself to the Cool Ranch Doritos in the host’s kitchen, the frosty libations and cold chicken chow mein sitting in the fridge, or simply enjoyed a hot shower and a little nappy-poo on the goose down duvet.

What we do know, however, is the homeowner, the real one that is, was irked and annoyed and kinda pissed over the newly found tweaker-in-residence.  The citizen did what any outraged person would do.

No, he didn’t shoot him.  He took Judge Judy’s advice yelling from the TV.

Why didn’t you just pick up the phone and simply file a police report, Sir?  That would have been much easier, don’t you think!?  Listen to ME!” Judge Judy blared.

So the good citizen considered the options and called 911.  Judy was right.  She’s always right.  She’s like a truth machine.  If you live to be a hundred, you’ll never be as smart as Judge Judy.  Even on your best day you’re not as smart she is on her WORST day.  The people are real, the cases are real, the rulings are final.  This is Judge Judy– and she’s scary.

The suspected hobo fled on fastly fleeting feet as the call went through and Judge Judy glared and slower officers responded.

Deputies found the suspect on Longview Drive in Eureka.  The victim came to the scene and fingered him, too.  In fact, they all confirmed the Goldilocks suspect, identified as Michael Barchus, 21-years-old and from Fortuna, was the right wiseguy.

Mr. Barchus  was arrested and booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility for:

  • Violation of probation
  • Providing false information to a police officer and
  • Residential burglary

Deputies later determined that Barchus gained entry into the victim’s residence via a back bedroom window.  His bail was set at $50,000.

Mr. Barchus has a place to stay at the Humboldt Hilton.  He’s going to have to share the TV channels.  The mattress isn’t comfortable.  The food is OK, the dominoes are good.  But at least it’s all his for now.  Until he’s released.  What then?  Beauty fades.  Dumb is forever.

Another probationer familiar to law enforcement, tweaking out of his gourd, running around without supervision.  We wonder not only if anyone is benefiting from probation services, but whether they’re actually getting any.

Cases seem tossed into a forgotten file drawer only to grow moss.  They don’t see the light of day or an ounce of oversight until someone else comes by to tidy up the mess.  Judge Judy is not amused.

Don’t pee on her leg and tell her it’s raining.  She’s hella smart.

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Crime, Eureka2 Comments

Eureka Armed Standoff Comes to an End

 

Law Enforcement in 7-Hour Long Confrontation

–Updated Below–

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

There was more controlled chaos in our Fair City this morning when a barricaded man held law enforcement
at bay four blocks south of Harris Street in Eureka.

It began with a call to EPD around 2 this morning and that shots were fired inside a residence located off the 3000 block of E Street on Cooper Lane.

Eureka Police, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, a SWAT team, an Arcata mobile command unit, and hostage negotiators responded to the incident scene, setting up a command and observation post nearby on Hodgson and Orchard streets.

Officers with bulletproof vests were seen taking cover behind a vehicle with pointed weapons directed at the residence.

The armed man initially refused to cooperate with the multiple agencies outside his door demanding his surrender.  Refusing their directives, he held the lawmen at a lengthy distance for nearly seven hours before the standoff ended shortly after 10 a.m. this morning.

“I heard him fire four or five shots, all of them,” one witness said. “He was doing all the shooting and he threatened to kill them twice.”

Eureka Police later identified the individual as Jeffrey Wood, 36-years-old, of Eureka.

Exactly what precipitated the incident or how it ended is unknown.  Details were not available by the agencies that responded.

Following the incident, E Street, and nearby streets, remained blocked off.

Law enforcement is in the process of serving a search warrant of the residence where the man had himself holed up.

 

UPDATE:  The HCSO has released the following information about the incident:

 

On 11-1-2012, at approximately 2:00 a.m., the Eureka Police Department received a call from a resident on Cooper Lane in Eureka regarding a possible prowler in his residence.

The resident told the Eureka Police Dispatcher he heard people in his basement and he had now armed himself.  Eureka Police officers responded to the residence.

When they arrived, they attempted to contact the resident and asked him to step outside without the firearm.

After making that request they heard several shots and yelling inside the residence.

The officers surrounded the residence and announced their presence while again asking the resident to come outside unarmed.

Eureka Police had a crisis negotiator respond to the residence while continuing to attempt to talk to the resident.  The resident continued to yell at the officers and refused to exit the home.  Eureka Police then set up a perimeter around the residence and evacuated several homes.

Eureka Police requested the Humboldt County Sheriff’s S.W.A.T. and Crisis Negotiations Team respond to the scene.  The Sheriff’s S.W.A.T. team has members of the Eureka Police Department as part of the regional SWAT team.

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s SWAT Team and Sheriff’s Office Crisis Negotiators responded to the scene.  The Humboldt County Mental Health Crisis Unit was notified and two members responded to the scene to advise and assist law enforcement negotiators.

Several times during the standoff the resident was seen with a handgun in his hand in and outside of the residence.

At approximately 10:00 a.m., the 46-year-old male resident, identified as Jeffery Morgan Wood, exited the residence without any firearms and surrendered to law enforcement.

No one was injured during the standoff.

Wood was arrested by Eureka Police Department for discharging a firearm in a grossly negligent manner.  Eureka Police is obtaining a Humboldt County Superior Court Search Warrant for the residence.

Additional charges may be added by Eureka Police who will be releasing a follow up press release if warranted.

 KMUD’s radio interview with Humboldt County Sheriff Mike Downey speaking about this incident is here.

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Crime, Eureka1 Comment

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