Plane Wreckage Lifted From Eel River; Dr. Doug Pleatman Remembered

Andrew Goff / Yesterday @ 3:35 p.m. / News

The wreckage of the small, single-engine plane that crashed near Garberville on Friday was pulled from the bed of the Eel River by helicopter Sunday. The photos and video above and below were provided by LoCO reader Tori Miclette.

Meanwhile, the victim in Friday’s crash, 59-year-old Dr. Douglas Pleatman, has been the subject of several profiles by media outlets closer to his primary home. According to the below report produced by ABC News10 out of Sacramento, Pleatman made a monthly aerial commute from his home in El Dorado County to work in the ER at Garberville’s Jerold Phelps Community Hospital. It is also noted that Friday’s was Pleatman’s second plane crash.

The brief bio below comes from the website of the Urgent Care Center of Folsom where Pleatman also worked as an ER doc:

Douglas Pleatman, MD graduated with honors from St. George’s University School of Medicine. He is board certified in both Family Medicine and Emergency Medicine. Having worked in both specialties he feels that Urgent Care is a great combination of both disciplines.

Dr. Pleatman is an instrument-rated private pilot, flies a Piper Comanche and is a member of the Sheriff’s Air Squadron. He is also a national champion skydiver and a former member of a professional air show team. He has been scuba diving in the South Pacific, Asia, the Caribbean and enjoys travel.


PASTOR BETHANY: Religion on the Fringe — Or, Give More Than Thanks

Bethany Cseh / Yesterday @ 8:28 a.m. / Faith-y

Our American history began as a fresh start, with the Pilgrims arriving on soil as visitors, unsure of what New World could mean. They arrived hopeful and hesitant, immigrants on sea legs wanting to create a new name for themselves and praying for peace from the expansive distance of England. They arrived with their progressive religion and settler mindset, but after a harsh winter and too many deaths they received help and care from indigenous people. This first Thanksgiving on hopeful shared soil was born out of compassion and collaboration from the native communities.

Tragically, as history tells, peace was broken, land taken, men, women and children massacred. Greed-forced evacuations of indigenous people have brought us to the present day. To this Thursday. Where many families will gather in warm homes, with smells of turkey and pie and delightfully gluttonous indulgence trumping the reality that we live on stolen land. Land stolen in the name of religious superiority, greed and by seeming right.

It’s uncomfortable, isn’t it? Thinking about the painful atrocities our tainted history has? We live in a culture of American exceptionalism and triumphalism. This culture can create a sort of amnesia toward the shameful history of America and her past religious influences. When churches should have been preaching and living out grace, equality, non-violence and love for all people, they were often on the forefront with movements of violence, hate, injustice, fear of “the other” and apathy. Because, admittedly, the Christian Church, or those who represent the Church, has been a leader in many of those painful atrocities.

Christians — myself included, as you see — are quick to point out all the good that organized religion has done in the world. Like building hospitals, being some of the first on the ground when disease breaks out, beginning organized movements of orphan care, strategically combating traffickers and providing safe houses for victims. The Church does and has done incredible works of justice and compassion to help repair and heal this earth in the name of Jesus Christ.

But the Church has also caused great harm in the world in the name of Jesus Christ. Our history is bursting and swollen with evil, un-Christlike atrocities. The Crusades. The Inquisitions. The justification of slavery. The labels and accusations of heresy resulting in torture, imprisonment and death. Truly, the list is seemingly endless.

Yes, it is true. We have a sordid past. These evils done in the name of Christ make me groan and cry out from the depth because, as a Christian, this past is my past. I want to scream out, “That’s not me! I would never do anything like that!” I want to forget it all and blissfully ignore it while still claiming all the good that organized religion has done. But if I ignore the evils of our past it could cause me to ignore the evils of our present. Because as much as I claim I would never allow such evil to exist in the Church, I am capable.

I am dreadfully sorry for the hurt and pain, past and current, where the Bible has been used as a bludgeoning tool causing you and other human beings harm. I lament. And we, as the Church, must lament. We must confess our broken and evil past lest we forget or ignore. We must cry out and lament the tragedies of our past so we can see the evil that we, in the Church, still commit today in the name of Jesus Christ. Where human beings, created in the image of God, are left out, pushed out, despised, ignored, seen as less than, because of sexual orientation, because of gender, because of current or past addictions. Where we become fat in greed while ignoring the poor and oppressed. The Church must continue to corporately lament, prayerfully cry out, confess, and seek forgiveness for our past and our present.

There’s hope, though. There were always groups, or churches, of Christians on the fringe, on the outskirts, living out Jesus Christ’s message of hope, love and peace. These radically faithful few kept the true message of hopeful healing and loving repair alive. Their voices rang true and many of them are documented throughout history. Unfortunately, their voices and actions were most often swallowed up and silenced by the louder, more powerfully religious.

Jesus was also on the fringe, bringing compassion and peace and God’s message of inclusive love for all people when the highly religious wanted to keep people out. His voice, too, was swallowed up, drowned out and silenced by the louder, more powerfully religious. But only for a moment. Those groups, or churches, on the fringe have picked up and carried the truth of God’s love for all.

I want to be on the fringe, where I don’t ignorantly believe I am not capable of hate but, instead, fight hate with love. I want to be on the fringe where compassion and equality is abundant. I want to be on the fringe where, together, our myriad of differences pull us together instead of dividing us. Because together, within our differences, we can bring repair and healing to our broken world. I hope you’ll join me on the fringe.


Bethany Cseh is co-pastor of Catalyst Church in Arcata.

DEAD RECKONING: The Little Black Book of Hate

James Faulk / Yesterday @ 8:07 a.m. / Dead Reckoning

I had just turned 15 when my dad died, and I remember walking along the red and yellow curbs of St. Joseph Hospital feeling as if a bolt of lightning had just struck off the top of my head and splattered the boiling remnants of my brain onto my new denim jacket (it had leather shoulder pads). And despite the wounds, I felt like I could walk through fire.

I repeated the facts over and over in my head: Dad was dead. Jerry had ceased to be. Pops had gone the way of the weasel.

It was one of those moments in your life when you understand: Despite your usual heady conviction that you know just about everything, you really don’t know shit.

But I did at least know that something massive and permanent had just blinked off for me, and the rest of my life — perhaps — might be spent trying to piece through how all of those scenes and explosions, the expletives and clobbered feather pillows over the past several years, were to permanently affect me.

It took place over a series of nights.

Two nights before, one of my aunts has arranged things so that it was just her and me out for a meal. I don’t remember where, although I do remember none of it seemed appetizing — I speared something here, mashed something there, made it all appear as if I was making some kind of modest overall progress in feeding myself so that when my aunt finished her food, she’d let it be done. Primarily, I was trying avoid The Subject. Those few weeks after Dad’s cancer had gone seriously haywire, I remember every adult I knew suddenly wanted to plumb the deep depths of me. To ask how I felt. How I was sleeping. Had I had a chance to make peace with the old man in these last few fleeting days? I’d sputter this or that non sequitur in response, shake my head, avoid eye contact, and hope they’d get the message: I’d rather rip all my fingernails off with a camp knife than figure out how I actually felt, much less communicate those feelings.

I don’t think much else was said that night as we drove around town, until we got to her confession.

“James, I hope this doesn’t bother you, and I understand how it might, but your mom and I have been worried about you these last few weeks as your dad has gotten sicker and sicker,” she started. Immediately alarms bells were clanging in my head like a washing machine with a brick thrown in for explosive effect. “We found it taped to the underside of your sock drawer and your mom wouldn’t look at it. I did.”

The contraband of which she spoke probably took an almost an hour to peel free from the drawer above, and I knew what it contained by heart. By now, as I realized had always been the plan, we were pulling into the hospital lot. She had slipped into the first available parking spot off the entrance.

The little black book of hate, as I’d taken to calling it, was a collection of suitably dark teenage rants, diatribes about my parents, early attempts at erotica, and that was mostly it. The last few pages, however, were a barely legible declaration of the rights of a teenage man. I had just found out that my dad’s cancer was terminal, that I’d soon be without a father, that my mother and I would have to brave the world alone, and I was jubilant.

At the time, it wasn’t something I wanted a lot of people to read.

If a young man could have hopped and down, pumped his fists, clicked his heels and waved his Tricorne hat at the fleeing British Army — all in barely legible print, mind you — that was my mission in the final pages of that journal.

To be real, even as I wrote them, I knew that these feelings didn’t express the entirety of my emotional reaction, and that even setting them down on paper presented a danger that they might somehow be read and misconstrued by nosey old Polish ladies, or others, as the first psychotic meanderings of a full-bore maniacal manifesto.

But they were, at the moment they were written, absolutely true. I’d lived for decades under the thumb of a man with paranoid schizophrenia, whose behaviors could be random, violent, chaotic and bizarre. It was especially bad when he drank, and he drank several times a week. I remember spending nights hidden under the covers in my dark bedroom with a flashlight reading some Stephen King novel to get away from the all-too-real monster who paced aggressively back and forth between the living and dining rooms of our small house.

As I stomped away from my aunt that night, she shouted to me, “Talk to him, James, Just talk to him.”

That seemed like the last place I’d end up. I had four quarters and there was a vending machine on the bottom floor with my name on it. But sometimes gravity works in ways I don’t understand. A few short minutes later I pushed open the hospital room door, and the clicks and buzzes and huffing machinery wafted out after me and disappeared again as the door closed.

Here he was, half propped up on a pillow watching “Bonanza,” his favorite television show. But all sensory awareness had left his eyes. There was a cup of ice on the table next to him, the only thing he’d been allowed to eat or drink for several days, and that only at other people’s whim.

I opened my eyes and just tried to let as much light in as possible. The sky-blue gown, the curtain that made his half of the room somehow more intimate than otherwise, the empty bed next door, the vacant stare on his face and the sheen that formed on his eyeballs, presumably because his body had forgotten to blink. I felt nauseous, cold, lonely, but not afraid. I knew that this man on this bed in the room in this moment couldn’t hurt me.

And that this would be the last time I could say something to my living father in a way he might hear it.

I remember talking about our last fishing trip. Planned months in advance, we stowed everything we could into a yellow Ford Pinto — including our dog Rusty and my pregnant sister — and drove hundreds of miles into the mountains and trees on a barely recollected route from my dad’s childhood. Even now, it’s one of my favorite vacations. After we’d arrived, unpacked our tent, rambled about the landscape a bit, and got our lines wet, it was clear the Rusty wasn’t happy. He’d limp a few feet, smell the air, whine piteously, then bury his head in the first available lap he could find. Dad, befuddled at the dog’s lack of energy, finally crumbled under family pressure. He sent the dog, the car, the sister — all the niceties, he said — home early.

We went on to have a fantastic trip. The dog, meanwhile, keep up the rouse only until they arrived back at home. Once the car door opened in our driveway, he took off for the hills.

I said, I love you.

Leaving my half-full can of warm Dr. Pepper on the otherwise empty table, I walked out of the room, down the hall, out into the parking lot and back into my aunt’s truck. She took me home without saying another word.

The next day in class, as all the kids got ready to hit the exits for their snack-time hangouts, I suddenly lost interest. It’s been so long since that day, it’s hard to describe the feeling I had. But suddenly, I knew I wanted to be home, with people who knew me, and loved me, and with whom I had some kind of real investment.

The attendance office was well aware of how things were unfolding for my family, so they called my aunt right away. I sat out on the brick stoop for no less than a minute before the blaring, muffler-less howl of her Ford Ranger pulled up.

“Was in the neighborhood,” she said, and that was all. She took the straight route down J Street to Fifth Street, and then out over the Sequoia Bridge to Manila, where we were living at the time. No birds had shown up for this matinee crossing of the arches, but down below, in a dinghy, there was a man in a yellow slicker fighting hard to get his crab gear in proper order.

We pulled up in front of our house. Only my mother’s car was there, which is pretty much what I’d expected. My aunt came in with me, and the thin plastic door of the trailer banged once, and then had to be slammed tight.

There was a beat of silence. No one said a word. The phone rang. Dad was dead.


James Faulk is a writer, family man, and cemetery worker. You can reach him at


James Tressler / Yesterday @ 7:46 a.m. / Letter From Istanbul

We live in a grand city. It is as simple as that. There is all the majesty of the ages here, from Byzantium to Constantinople, from the time of Justinian I to Mehmet the Conqueror to Ataturk – millennia, all told.

And it’s not just a city of memories and ruins either. Even today, at a population of nearly 15 million souls, Istanbul continues to march forward and grow. In the five years I have lived here, we have seen the opening of a new metro that runs beneath the Bosphorous, the only metro in the world that connects two continents. We have seen the beginning of a third Bosphorous bridge, and a third airport. Housing and office buildings are forever under construction, dotting the ever-expanding horizons of the city.

“There seems to be a construction mania here,” observed one of my colleagues recently, as we waited for our driver to take us to an evening in-company lesson. The traffic was especially thick that evening, and part of the reason was because cement trucks were clogging the lanes.  

Not that we should complain: Foreign companies are a big part of that growth, and  demand for English is what keeps people like us employed.

What is fascinating, too, is how all this 21st Century expansion co-exists, blends nearly seamlessly with the city’s ancient heritage. You can still see remnants of the Roman-built walls that protected Constantinople for centuries, until it was finally conquered in 1453 by the Turks. The Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque, as well as Galata Tower, share the skyline along with steel-and-glass skyscrapers.

In the busy Bosphorous, cargo container ships from China, as well as from Europe – not to mention the occasional American or Russian warship – dwarf tiny rowboats, while over along the shore Anatolian fisherman cast their lines by the dozen, hoping to catch dinner to take home to their families.

Such contrasts manifest in the people as well.

Coming out of the metro station, you pass an old man playing a traditional song on a saz, while the multitudes pass wearing earphones, listening to pop music downloaded from iTunes onto their smart phones. And while credit cards and debit cards are as much the currency here as anywhere else, you can, especially in the neighborhoods, find shop keepers who still rely on the verisiye defter, keeping track of locals’ tabs on a sheet of paper, as was done for many centuries.  In the street markets, haggling for goods is also still commonly practiced, while others prefer the non-negotiable, made-in-China, homogenous world of the shopping malls that are endlessly cropping up around the city.

It is a city of horizons, of contrasts, of ever-changing moods. With the Black Sea to the north, and the Marmara Sea to the south, it is a cauldron of strange and shifting weather patterns. “Don’t trust Istanbul weather or women,” so the local saying goes. You see a lot of these changes in yourself as well, your energy and spirits rising and falling at the different stages of the day, of the week, of the season. One minute you’re stuck in traffic, ready to boil over, crushed under the weight of a 12-hour work day; the next you’re feeling as light as air, sitting on the terrace of a pleasant café, sipping a tea or a pint of cold Efes beer.


Again, having been a witness to the city’s continuous growth and changes the past five years, I feel I have become part of the city too. It’s an odd feeling when, say, on a random afternoon walk in my neighborhood in Kadikoy, I come upon a building that has been torn down, or a shop replaced with a café. There is a certain nostalgia, for something passing, that would seem  more suitable if felt by a local rather than by an American yabanci.

But then, melancholy, longing – these  are emotions frequently attributed to the city; one could even say they are defining emotions, as opposed to say, New York, a city one associates with exuberance and panache; or Paris, the city of romance. The Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk, in his novel, “Istanbul: Memories of the City,” suggests that this melancholy derives from a longing for the city’s past glories, which are symbolized today by the sad remnants of wooden Ottoman mansions, many of which were later burned down.

Pamuk probably has a point (hell, he would know – he grew up here). Personally, I find the melancholy a product of the city’s ever-changing moods. Poets have always compared Istanbul to a woman; the nature, or aesthetic, of the city is feminine – very similar in fact to San Francisco, with the city spread over shapely hills that evoke the contours of a woman’s body, and with the waterways serving as almost a metaphor for the menstrual cycle, giving life to the city and yet also adding that essential ingredient of constant change. Often we feel melancholy when we have exhausted all of our other emotions.


Anyway, the point of this missive, I suppose, was to reflect on the five years I have spent in this great city. Looking back over what I have written, I realize how difficult it is to express anything truly original, especially when so much has already been written by countless others, from Andre Gide, to Hemingway, to Nazim Hikmet to even Agatha Christie. As I said before, it is a city of contrasts, and – as a result, a city of superlatives, extremes. One does not say, “It’s a nice place,” the way one might describe, oh, Sacramento or Cincinnati. I think that’s why, for better or worse, I continue to find inspiration here. I hope that, if anything at all, these Letters the past few years, have managed to get any of these feelings and ideas across to readers back home. Next week, my girlfriend and I are leaving the city. Not for good – just a much-needed holiday. We are headed to Rome. Isn’t it ironic? We are headed for the Eternal City that gave birth to this great city. After all, at one point, Constantinople was the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire. Hard to believe that nowadays, Rome is the smaller of the two.

Oh well: Times change.

James Tressler is a writer, journalist and teacher. His books, including “Conversations in Prague,” and “Letters from Istanbul, Vol. 1,” can be found at He lives in Istanbul.

Be On the Lookout: Guitar Stolen from Green Room at the Mateel

Kym Kemp / Yesterday @ 7:14 a.m. / Crime

Here’s the latest post in LoCO‘s “Be On the Lookout” series, where we highlight stolen items and ask you to help by reporting any sighting to the appropriate law enforcement agency.

Not cool! 

6:15pm on Saturday, November 15, an unknown person removed a Taylor 714CE Grand Auditorium, Sunburst colored, 6-string acoustic/electric guitar in a brown Taylor hardshell case from the green room of the Mateel Community Center.

The serial number 1110172036.If anyone has any info on the guitar,  please contact the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at (707) 445-7251.

Previous BOLO:

Bicyclist Busted With Baggies

Kym Kemp / Yesterday @ 6:48 a.m. / Crime

Arcata Police Department press release:


On 11/22/2014 at about 10:40pm, an officer with the Arcata Police Department conducted a traffic stop on a bicyclist in the 1800 block of Alliance Rd that did not have necessary lighting on his bicycle.

The bicyclist, Eureka resident Andreas Sala McDaniel (age 54), was found to have several felony level warrants for his arrest.  The officer was also advised that McDaniel is currently on Post Release Community Supervision (PRCS) for H&S 11379 - Transportation of a Controlled Substance, H&S 11377 - Possession of a Controlled Substance and H&S 11350 - Possession of a Narcotic.

McDaniel was placed under arrest for the outstanding warrants and a search of his person was conducted prior to his being transported to jail.

Five separate baggies containing equal amounts of methamphetamine were located on his person.

McDaniel was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional facility where he was additionally booked for H&S 11378 - Possession of a Controlled Substance for Sales and H&S 11379 - Transportation of a Controlled Substance.

Water Main Bursts Off Broadway, Shutting Down Service to Some

Hank Sims / Saturday, Nov. 22 @ 7:58 p.m. /

KHUM deejay Amy Berkowitz tells us that there’s a bit of a hectic scene on West Fifteenth Street, near Eureka Natural Foods and the AAA Insurance office. A water main has burst, and the fire department and Eureka Public Works are there struggling to shut it down and get it back online.

Mike Menza, a shift supervisor at Eureka Natural Foods, says that they’ve lost all water to the store, but a city worker told him that they hoped to have it back up by tomorrow. With Thanksgiving around the corner and a lot of business expected … that’d be nice, Menza said.

UPDATE, 8:22 p.m.: Menza calls the Outpost back to say that it doesn’t look like Public Works is going to have the main repaired soon, but that they’ve run a special line to the store so that it’ll have water tomorrow.