VIDEO: Community Leaders Surprise Jimmy Smith By Naming Boat Launch After Him

Ryan Burns / Yesterday @ 2:17 p.m. / Good News , Government

Beloved former First District Humboldt County Supervisor Jimmy Smith looked surprised and a bit bewildered this morning as he climbed out of Supervisor Rex Bohn’s truck in Fields Landing to find a crowd of roughly 100 people there waiting for him.

Fishermen, officials and even a U.S. congressman — Mike Thompson, who represented the North Coast from 1999 through 2013 — had gathered to rechristen the Fields Landing boat launch facility in Smith’s name. All five Humboldt County supervisors were in attendance along with current and former county employees, members of the Eureka City Council and various other family and friends from Smith’s 11-plus years as a county supervisor.

As Bohn and others mention in the video above, the renaming won’t be official until the Board of Supervisors approve the decision next Tuesday. If the move seems presumptuous, well, you’re probably underestimating the community’s love for Jimmy.

Here’s a press release from the county:

Former 1st District Supervisor Jimmy Smith was honored today for his work on the Fields Landing boat launching facility, and pending an official action next week by the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors, will have the facility named after him.

Smith, who served as a Humboldt County supervisor from January 2001 to August 2012, was instrumental over the last 20 years in building partnerships and securing funding for improvement projects at the launching facility, which serves as the primary boating access to the southern portion of Humboldt Bay. Some of the improvements include a new boat ramp, improved lighting, a tsunami siren, increased parking and new floating docks. The facility is open to the public and benefits a variety of users including sport fishermen, clammers, crabbers, waterfowl hunters, canoeists, kayakers and birdwatchers.

A former commercial fisherman and wildlife biologist, Smith was dedicated during his career to the conservation of natural resources and the public’s use and enjoyment of those resources. Smith championed many large projects and initiatives for the benefit of natural areas, working landscapes, and fish and wildlife. He performed significant work on Humboldt Bay, Salt River, Eel River, Trinity River, Klamath River and marine fisheries.

One of Smith’s major accomplishments during his career was anchoring the diverse County, State, and Federal team that achieved the clean-up, public acquisition, re-opening, enhanced protection, and ongoing effective management of the land located directly across the bay from Fields Landing, now known as the Mike Thompson Wildlife Area, South Spit Humboldt Bay.

Known for his unique ability to bring people together to build trust and goodwill, bridge differences and solve problems, Smith was a primary visionary and co-founder of the seven-county North Coast Integrated Regional Water Management Plan (now the North Coast Resource Partnership) and the Five-Counties Salmonid Conservation Program.

The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors will take up an item during their meeting on Nov. 4 to officially name the facility as the Jimmy Smith Fields Landing Boat Launching Facility.


Autopsy Performed on Deceased in Shelter Cove Homicide

Andrew Goff / Yesterday @ 1:52 p.m. /

On Sunday, Oct. 19, the Outpost reported on the shooting death of 32-year-old Ethan Stroud at a house in Shelter Cove. Readers will recall that, allegedly, Stroud assaulted two women at a residence on Olson Road and was shot by one of the women in self-defense.

Yesterday, LoCO spoke with Humboldt County Deputy Coroner Trevor Enright who said an autopsy performed on Ethan Stroud showed that the man did in fact die of gunshot wounds to the chest and left leg. Lt. Steve Knight of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that the autopsy report was consistent with the witnesses’ description of the situation. No charges have been filed in the case.


Garberville Gunshot Homicide Victim Identified

Kym Kemp / Yesterday @ 11:49 a.m. / Crime

Humboldt County Coroner’s Office press release:

On October 14, 2014 at approximately 1149 hours, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office located a partially skeletonized deceased person in a Garberville transient encampment in close proximity of southbound US Highway 101, east of mile marker 12.

On October 18, 2014, Coroner forensic pathologist determined the cause of death to be gunshot wounds. Manner of death is believed to be homicide.

The remains have been positively identified as 30 year old, Robert James Flaherty, hailing from Sugarcreek, Ohio.

Assm. Wes Chesbro Endorses Humboldt County GMO Ban

Hank Sims / Yesterday @ 11:45 a.m. / Elections

Press release from the Yes on P campaign:

Arcata resident Wesley Chesbro, who represents Humboldt County in the State Assembly, has endorsed Humboldt County’s Measure P.

“I am voting in favor of Measure P because it will send a message that Humboldt County, along with our neighbors in Mendocino and Trinity counties, is committed to sustainable agriculture and we are opposed to uncontrolled, unregulated release of GMO organisms into our environment,” Chesbro said.

In the Legislature this year Chesbro authored successful legislation that protects California’s wild salmon fisheries by banning the commercial production of genetically modified salmon throughout the state. The bill, AB 504, was signed by the governor last month and becomes law Jan. 1.

“GMOs are not compatible with our North Coast commitment to restoring and using our natural resources in a sustainable way,” Chesbro said.

If Measure P is approved, Humboldt County will join neighboring Mendocino and Trinity Counties in prohibiting the cultivation of genetically engineered crops, often called GMOs. Coming on the heels of similar actions by the Yurok Tribe and the Sierra Club, Chesbro’s endorsement shows broad and growing support for Measure P as election day approaches.

“Measure P is about promoting our local agricultural economy and protecting our local environment,” said Bill Schaser, spokesperson for the Measure P campaign. “Forward-thinking elected officials know that this measure will be good for the future of Humboldt County, and we’re happy that many of them have publicly stepped up to support it.” Other elected officials who have endorsed Measure P include Trinidad Mayor Julie Fulkerson, Arcata City Councilmembers Susan Ornelas and Michael Winkler, McKinleyville Community Services District Director George Wheeler, and Third District Supervisor Mark Lovelace. A number of current candidates for local office have also expressed their support in recent statements and interviews.

GMOs are produced by manipulating DNA in a laboratory to overcome natural reproductive barriers. The resulting organisms contain genetic codes which could not have been created through natural processes. The most widespread GMOs today are crop plants engineered to resist the effects of certain herbicides or to produce their own insecticides.

For more information about Measure P, visit For more information about Assemblymember Chesbro, visit

If You’ve Had Your Car Broken Into Recently, You Might Want to Contact Arcata Police

Andrew Goff / Yesterday @ 11:37 a.m. / Crime

Arcata Police Department press release:

On Tuesday, October 28th at approximately 10:00 am, Arcata Police Officers conducted a traffic stop in the Valley West area of Arcata. The officers contacted the driver of the vehicle, who was identified as 25 year old Vincent Charles McKenny of Mckinleyville. McKenny, who is currently on probation for numerous theft related offenses, was searched per the terms of his probation. During the search of McKenny and his vehicle, officers located several items of suspected stolen property. Further investigation revealed McKenny was on his way to a nearby storage unit. A search of the storage unit uncovered more suspected stolen property along with butane and tools consistent with the chemical manufacture of concentrated cannabis (hash).

In reviewing recent vehicle burglaries, officers were able to quickly locate property taken during six separate burglaries that had occurred over the past weeks. At the time of his arrest McKenny was determined to be wearing a jacket belonging to one of the victims.

McKenny was booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility on the following charges:

  • 466 PC, Possession of Burglary Tools
  • 496 PC, Possession of Stolen Property
  • 1203.2 PC, Violation of Probation
  • 11364.1 H&S, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Investigators are continuing to sort through a plethora of stolen property in an attempt to locate the rightful owners.

Anyone with information on this case is encouraged to call the Arcata Police Department at 822-2428

Do Not Be Alarmed By This Morning’s Blaring Nuclear Plant Alarm

Andrew Goff / Yesterday @ 11:21 a.m. / Non-Emergencies

Just a drill, people!

A tad after 8:30 a.m. this morning, LoCO received several reports of a loud, “woo”-ing siren issuing from the Humboldt Bay Nuclear Power Plant in King Salmon (we actually heard it too). That is an above-average alarming alarm to hear blasting, right?

Well, according to Lt. Steve Knight with the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office there is not a nuclear meltdown in progress. This morning’s siren blare was part of a plant drill. 

You can emerge from your bunker now.


Jen Kalt, Bombastic Orator, Not Furious About Being Nixed Out Of Low-Level Committee

Mike Dronkers / Yesterday @ 11:07 a.m. /

According to the Mad River Union, Jen Kalt’s nomination for a McKinleyville community advisory group was withdrawn after “grumblings from conservative individuals” to Supervisor Ryan Sundberg. 

Kalt, of Humboldt Baykeeper and a regular guest on KHUM’s Coastal Currents, was thought to be too polarizing. 

Mad River Union:

Kalt’s opponents, Sundberg said, might cause problems by attending McKMAC meetings and working to undermine the committee. Or, he said, “they can do things behind the scenes.”

Speaking on KHUM earlier today about her burning quest for vengeance, Kalt seethed:

“I’m not mad at all. I’m grateful Craig Tucker’s gonna do it, he’ll do a great job. I think it’s great that Ryan is looking to listen to people from a wide range of community interests.”

Then Kalt didn’t slam the phone down angrily. 

“It’s not about him or me, it’s about the committee doing a good job for the community as a whole.”

Kalt Audio