Ryan Burns / Today @ 5:12 p.m. / Government
A California State Parks ranger has been stripped of his peace officer status and placed on administrative leave after he was arrested for allegedly driving his state-issued vehicle under the influence of alcohol. A source snapped the above photo of the ranger, whose name is Tyson Young, after trying and failing to wake him and then calling 911, he told the Outpost.
This source, who asked to remain anonymous, said that on the afternoon of Aug. 15 he spotted a State Parks vehicle parked irregularly along State Route 254, aka the “Avenue of the Giants” in Humboldt Redwoods State Park. When he stopped to investigate he noticed that the park ranger’s head was leaned against the inside doorjamb.
Worried that the ranger might be hurt, the man tried to wake him, calling out “sir! sir!” and banging on the front and back of the vehicle, he said. Then he reached through the open window. “I shook him, really shook him,” the man said. “And then I saw the beer between legs.”
The man said he called 911 and then snapped a photo of Young while waiting for officers to respond. Before they arrived, however, Young woke up and started driving northbound.
Officers responding from the California Highway Patrol’s Garberville office spotted Young’s vehicle heading north near Myers Flat and pulled him over.
“Young displayed objective symptoms of intoxication and was detained for a DUI investigation,” said CHP Officer Patrick Bourassa.
Young was then taken to the Garberville CHP office where we was evaluated and subsequently arrested for driving under the influence, Bourassa said. “He was cited and released to a State Parks supervisor with a notice to appear in court,” Bourassa said, adding that the Garberville CHP office is conducting an investigation which it will soon forward to the District Attorney with a request that DUI charges be filed.
Young is also facing an investigation from California State Parks. “We do not tolerate the use of alcohol in workplace,” said State Parks Spokesperson Vicky Waters. “We take matters like this very seriously.” Young has been placed on administrative leave pending the results of the investigation.
Humboldt County Superior Court Calendar: Today
3238 Mm199 (Crescent City office): Trfc Collision-1141 Enrt
Times-Standard News: State Parks ranger suspected of DUI
Times-Standard Breaking: Ranger arrested for alleged DUI
KINS: PM News 082814
Andrew Goff / Today @ 3 p.m. / Elections
Eureka City Councilman Chet Albin officially launched his campaign to secure Eureka’s fifth ward council seat at a gathering of friends and colleagues in front of the Fisherman’s Terminal on Eureka’s C Street Market Square today. LoCO was there and grabbed some iPhone video of Albin’s brief statements, as well as his introduction provided by Eureka Mayor Frank Jager.
Albin was appointed to the council late last year to serve out the term of late councilman Lance Madsen. He will challenge already announced candidate Natalie Arroyo for the seat this November.
Kym Kemp / Today @ 2:52 p.m. / marijuana
For the last several days, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office has been assisted by CAMP (Campaign Against Marijuana Planting) while conducting raids in Southern Humboldt. On Tuesday, they were in Blocksburg where they eradicated over 10,000 plants. On Wednesday, they were in Whitethorn where they took out 1366 plants.
Today, according to Lt. Steve Knight of the Sheriff’s Office, the two law enforcement agencies are back in Blocksburg. A reader reports they have their helicopter with them.
Lt Knight said there have been over 1000 plants counted already. And more are expected to be taken. It will be a long day in the field for all the officers, Knight said. He promised photos and a press release tomorrow.
Mike Dronkers / Today @ 12:45 p.m. / Community
Photo: Amy Bohner
Some curious KHUM listeners asked why water trucks were lined up at 7th and K in Arcata. PG & E’s Brittany McKanney said it’s because they’re testing their natural gas lines.
“We’re going to be filling the gas transmission lines up with water, and what that means is that we actually need to bring in the water for the test to take place. So those blue tanks are what we call ‘baker tanks’ and they’re actually holding the water for us.
There are quite a few of them, because we will be testing the line at a much higher pressure than it would usually run.”
McKanney said local governments have been notified, and that the testing will continue in our area for about a month. She asked that customers who smell natural gas call 1-800-PGE-5000.
Hear the full KHUM interview below.
Kym Kemp / Today @ 9:17 a.m. / Crime
Here’s the latest post in our “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.
A charcoal gray, yellow, and white Scott bicycle with fenders/fins over the back tire and under the bottle holder was taken from Eureka. (See photo below.)
Anyone with any information please contact the Eureka Police Department at (707) 441-4060.
- [Found!] Be On the Lookout: Suspected Supercreep Stole A Bunch of Gear From the Humboldt Bay Sea Scouts
- Be on the Lookout: 27-Speed Bicycle Taken
- [Recovered/ Stolen Again/ Recovered Again!!!] Be On The Lookout: 1995 Two-Door Red Honda Stolen
- [REPLACED!—Great Story!] Be On the Lookout: iPad Stolen From Boy With Down Syndrome
- Be On the Lookout: Two Kids Had Bikes Stolen From Eureka High School
- Be On the Lookout: Butterflied Bike Bagged by Burglar
- [Car and Surfboard RECOVERED—Officer Went Above and Beyond Says Victim] Be On the Lookout: [Especially You Surfers] 2003 Explorer with Snazzy Surfboard Stolen
- Be On the Lookout: Suspect Smashed Car Window Stole Laptop—Photo of Theft
- [Found!] Be On the Lookout: Kid’s Moped Snatched from Backyard
- Be On the Lookout: Two Bikes Taken From Eureka Backyard
- [FOUND] Be On the Lookout: Bobcat Stolen From Construction Site
- [FOUND] Be On the Lookout: ‘86 Brown Toyota Taken Thursday
- [Found] Be On the Lookout: White 1998 Dodge Stratus Taken From Redway
- Be On the Lookout: School’s Picnic Table Stolen—Do You Recognize the Thief?
- Be On The Lookout: Sentimental Project Bike Stolen, 1969 Honda Trail 90
Hank Sims / Today @ 9:07 a.m. / Two Makes it True
The stunned and sleepy inquiries started pouring into LoCO inboxes shortly after the event, and they show no sign of slowing: At around 5:50 a.m., a huge explosion woke up half the town of McKinleyville far, far earlier than residents had hoped to get out of bed.
Says one Friend O’ the LoCO:
Was wondering if you guys got any other messages about the explosion in mck this morning at 550am….sounded like a thundering explosion followed by a crackling …my wife and I both woke up and she thought it was part of a dream… no dogs barked or anything but it was really loud. We live over by central and Sutter …any follow up would be awesome !
Could you find out about the explosion in McKinleyville at 5:45 this morning? It was crazy big!
Says a third:
Just got woken up by an explosion in Mckinleyville….any other reports? I live in the park ave neighborhood off sutter….it was a good one shook the house a little.
We have calls into the relevant authorities to see if they have any intel. This post will be updated if/when we find out anything at all.
You can’t see the ocean from Sacramento, but much of California’s coastal fate is decided there.
Under most conditions, it’s budget that dominates any and all Sacramento strategy discussions. Constraints of. Debates about. Wednesday’s Ocean Protection Council and Ocean Science Trust workshop, “Sharing Your Perspective on Envisioning California’s Ocean Health,” deviated from the theme as Natural Resources Agency Secretary (and OPC chair) John Laird made clear from the beginning. “Today we’re going to talk about priorities without regard to funding,” he explained. And talk they did. The topic at hand: How should the state of California define a “healthy ocean”?
The effort to do so is more progressive than it might seem to those uninitiated in the ways of bureaucracy. Bringing together scientists, policymakers, tribal representatives and constituents from across the state to share perspectives on legislation, regulations and enforcement represents a shift from the default of agencies working independently, sometimes redundantly and sometimes at odds. The long-term vision shared by those at the workshop includes not only a healthy ocean – definition to be determined – but also a simplified, collaborative relationship between those charged with making rules and the various people charged with carrying them out.
To that end, the workshop featured a panel boasting North Coast ocean issues leaders such as Smith River Rancheria Self Governance Director Briannon Fraley, Yurok Tribe Senior Attorney John Corbett, and Tom Weseloh, consultant for the Joint Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture from Assemblymember Wesley Chesbro‘s office. The panel also included Louise Bedsworth, deputy director of the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, Brendan Kelly, director of conservation and chief scientist for the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Linda Sheehan, executive director or the Earth Law Center.
Ocean Protection Council Executive Director Catherine Kuhlman noted in her introduction that for Californians, the ocean is the resource that “defines us as who we are.” The question at hand, she continued, is how to impel stewardship and foster resiliency.
Part of the answer involves conveying science to “decisionmakers” – elected officials and others charged with telling the population how things should be done – in such a way that the threats facing the ocean can be dealt with swiftly and effectively. Or, failing swift and effective action (as in the case of climate change), agreeing on the best remaining course possible.
Sheehan, a longtime rock star of the environmental scene, illustrated current ocean protection difficulties by comparing how the visible problem of her childhood, sewage on the beaches, to the chronic, creeping problems of ocean acidification and other impacts of climate change, depletion of predators, disappearing flows in our natural waterways and other threats that build up less obviously.
She pointed to the Marine Life Protection Act’s emphasis on intrinsic well-being as a potential model for success. “We’re seeing a lot of really great work being done by scientists right now to start to think across different variables, different metrics – water quality, fish populations, habitat, etc. – and try to integrate these into single signals that allow us to assess the health and well-being [of the ocean].”
Corbett emphasized the role of California tribes in creating and maintaining a healthy ocean. “Tribal management is key to achieving the goal of a healthy ocean,” he said. He brought up specific challenges for the tribes when trying to work with the state on ocean regulations.
There are nine separate agencies that have primary responsibility, then you move on to the regional groups,” he said. “It is an overwhelming task to present and give you the time.” Nonetheless, inclusion is appreciated. Another sticking point is the terminology debate, Corbett added. “Our number one fear is a fight over the science definitions of what is a ‘healty ocean’ will delay progress.”
“My presentation is going to be a little bit different,” Fraley began, “spoken from the heart, not specific to California policy.” She spoke of the “two worlds” the tribes must live in, the one they’ve inhabited since time immemorial and the newer one full of regulations at odds with the traditional way of life.
Progress has been made, Fraley said. “The MLPA gave us the opportunity to interact with several people in the room who are now friends.” For her, the key to a healthy ocean lies in education, teaching the youth the proper way to interact with the ocean. “Ocean health will fall into place,” she said, “when we’re taught to care for the ocean as individuals.”
Kelly, who served as assistant director for polar sciences in the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy prior to his position at the aquarium, also warned of potential conflicts. Creating a “completely satisfying definition of ‘ocean health’ isn’t possible,” he said – what makes sense is to speak about the living organisms, communities and ecosystems. A danger exists in neglecting the intrinsic value, he finished, but we can’t get away from the importance of human uses.
“Who wants an unhealthy ocean?” Weseloh asked. “Raise your hand.” He paused a beat before observing the unanimous support for a healthy ocean. “It’s kind of a no-brainer… Then we really get into the question, what is it?” Familiarity with the various uses and traditions can help, but a big question – perhaps the biggest – is defining “where the ocean starts and where it stops.” A lot of the problems in the ocean stem from on-the-land issues, he said. “We have to include the health of everything.”
Additionally, Americans are importing 90 percent of our seafood. “Do we want our neck of the woods to help produce that food base or transfer those effects to elsewhere?” Weseloh discerned the lack of fishermen in attendance, suggesting that engaging people who tend to be independent and often out fishing will be helped by streamlining the multiple-agency approach to issues.
Bedworth wrapped up the presentations by explaining that a common definition can help the state meet stewardship goals.
Zeke Grader, executive director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations, disagreed during public input, however. “Fishermen are not interested in discussion,” he said, but “want to see something done.” Enough laws exist, Grader continued. The problem is lack of enforcement. As far as defining a healthy ocean, “I would not get too hung up about it.” Much like the famous definition of pornography, he continued, “I know it when I see it. … Let’s get something done.”
Environmental activists in the room applauded the conversation but pressed for concrete action. California Coastkeeper Alliance Executive Director Sara Aminzadeh noted the running theme of climate change concern among panelists and how similar conversations are taking place in other state meetings and emphasized the importance – and opportunity – to integrate those discussions.
“People view the ocean as a luxury,” said Sarah Sikich, science and policy director of Coastal Resources, Heal the Bay. “If we can’t shift that thinking, we’re going to have a difficult time.”
MPA Collaborative Implementation Project Community Coordinator Paul Hobi brought up the ongoing benefits marine protected area monitoring can provide through utilizing “folks on the ground” as communicators for providing information about what’s happening in and around the ocean to the agency staff responsible for knowing it. For example, he shared, a kayak business operator on the North Coast noticed invasive snails in the lagoons long before any state wildlife employees did –- but her efforts to share that fact fell through bureaucratic cracks.
The anecdote summed up the ultimate goals of the workshop: improving connection, collaboration, shared understanding and specific actions to ensure California has a healthy ocean, whatever that turns out to mean.
The conversation is expected to continue. Add your voice to it.
Jennifer Savage is the Northcoast Environmental Center’s Coastal Programs Director.