HUMBOLDT APPROVED: Who Makes Humboldt’s Best French Fries?

Andrew Goff / Tuesday, July 15 @ 1:32 p.m. / Humboldt Approved

You want fries with that, Humboldt? Yes you do. 

How is is that your Lost Coast Outpost has subjected y’all to Humboldt Approved categories as lame “Best Neighboring County” and “Best Swimming Pool” but has never allowed you to weigh in on greasy taters? That is sinful. 

This week we pay penance. So tell us, of all of Humboldt’s fry providers, who most deftly makes you not mind the extra burpies? We’re looking for two winners this week. Remind yourself how to ensure your vote counts below:

To vote, look through the comments of this Humboldt Approved poll. If someone has already nominated the answer you would give for that week’s category, click the upvote arrow. If you don’t see your desired Humboldt Approved answer nominate it in a comment for others to upvote. (Please be careful to not duplicate answers; redundant answers will be deleted and potential associated upvotes will be lost.) Feel free to make your case by replying to/cheering on the answer you love most, but again the number by the arrows is what counts.

Of course, you can vote for as many nominees as you deem worthy, but of course the more you do that the more watered down your initial vote becomes. That’s math.

We reserve the right to delete superfluous comments that make the voting/comment section hard to sift through. Please try not to get offended when your comment battle reply is deleted. We’re trying to do something here.

We are looking for two winners — one winner from the metropolises of Eureka and Arcata, and one from Humboldt’s smaller communities. Voting closes next Friday at noon and soon after a winner will be declared. (Tip: Sort comments by “BEST” to get a better grasp of how voting is trending.)

OK, go.


Fire at Sequoia Gas Storage Building in Fortuna Squelched This Evening

Kym Kemp / Monday, July 14 @ 9:16 p.m. / Fire!

Readers are reporting there was a fire at a Sequoia Gas Company building on Pond Street in Fortuna about 8 p.m. A spokesperson at Fortuna Fire was able to confirm that the fire was out but did not have details about the incident.

According to scanner traffic, a single story metal storage building with tanks inside had smoke coming from the roof. 

Scanner talk indicated that traffic was temporarily blocked on Newburg Road at Randolph Way and for northbound traffic at the 12th Street offramp from Hwy 101. The overpass at 12th Street was temporarily shut down also.

Skeletal Remains Probably From This Year, Said Deputy Coroner

Kym Kemp / Monday, July 14 @ 8:39 p.m. / News

The skeletal remains found near Burr Valley Road this Saturday are most likely from a person who died no earlier than “a few months after the first of the year,” Humboldt County Deputy Coroner Roy Horton stated today. Horton said he has done only a preliminary examination and an anthropologist will be brought in to examine the remains later this week.

As of this point, even the sex of the skeleton has not yet been confirmed so attempts to identify the individual could take some time. Right now, Horton said, the Coroner’s Office is gathering descriptions of people missing who may have been in the area in order to be prepared, hopefully, to match the description with the information about the remains that the anthropologist is able to provide.

Horton said family members of several missing persons have already been in touch with his office.

The intact skeleton which, according to Horton was wearing only a few “unidentifiable scraps of clothing” was found by two hikers on the Little Van Duzen River. The river, Horton said, was low due to the drought. Horton described the two hikers as “fairly young individuals” that liked to explore.  He said that during the course of their exploration the hikers observed the remains of a human body and reported the situation. The remains, he said, were in a difficult area to reach.

On Sunday, Horton said, a little before noon, the remains were secured in a body bag, placed in a Stokes basket and helicoptered out of where they had been found by the California Highway Patrol. The Humboldt County Coroner’s Office retrieved them from the Dinsmore airport and brought them to Eureka where they will be examined.




UPDATED: Planning Commissioner Noah Levy Arrested on Suspicion of DUI

Ryan Burns / Monday, July 14 @ 1:06 p.m. / Government

UPDATE, Tuesday 8:30 a.m.:

The Garberville CHP office issued the following press release:

On 7/12/2014 at approximately 0215 hours, Garberville CHP Officers were on patrol on Briceland Road, just west of Redway. The officers’ attention was drawn to a silver Honda Fit traveling westbound on Briceland Road, ahead of their patrol vehicle. The officers observed the Honda exceeding the posted speed limit and failing to stop a stop sign. An enforcement stop was conducted on the vehicle near the area of Ruby Valley. They contacted the driver of the Honda and he was identified as Noah Levy, of Arcata. While at the vehicle the officers smelled a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage emitting from within the vehicle. Levy was asked to exit his vehicle and subsequently was asked to perform a series of Field Sobriety Tests. Based upon his performance and observations made by the officers, Levy was placed under arrest for suspicion of Driving Under the Influence of Alchol (DUI). He was taken and booked into the Humboldt County Jail at approximately 0535 hours.


Original post:

Humboldt County Planning Commissioner Noah Levy was arrested in the wee hours of Saturday morning on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. 

Matt Harvey, a public information officer with the California Highway Patrol, confirmed that Levy was arrested near Garberville. He was booked into the Humboldt County jail shortly thereafter.

Levy was appointed to the commission in January. He represents the 3rd district. A call to Levy this morning was not immediately returned. 

LoCO on the Pot: Should Pot Farmers Get the Water?

Emily Hobelmann / Sunday, July 13 @ 3:24 p.m. / On the Pot

We are deep into 2014 and the drought ain’t about to quit. Already, we’ve had some barn-burners this summer — you can fry a bass on the side of Ukiah most days. Reservoirs are low, creeks are dry. The South Fork Eel is looking thin and sickly, like a piece of dark dental floss with big bits of yellow algae all caught up in it.

Most of us use water, lots of water, to flush our toilets, to water our landscapes, to wash our dishes and to water our pets; we use water to shower, to brush our teeth, to bathe our concrete, to fill our pools, to fill our bongs and rigs, to wash our clothes, to make our ice cubes; we use water to drink, to make our coffee and to brew our beer.

Water from these parts is diverted to points south for agriculture, and it’s diverted in order to lubricate urban sprawls. This is nothing unusual: Water is piped and diverted all over this massive state. Californians have lots of infrastructure and a history of loosey goosey water use.

But the water supply in the American West is on shaky ground — the drought has no end in sight. Our water systems are strained and poorly managed. The supplies are polluted and abused. And with climate change and the prospect of bigger and more complicated water diversion projects in the mix… The tension just builds and builds.

On the North Coast, the agricultural scene isn’t as gigantaur as it is in the Central Valley or other parts of SoCal; the population isn’t so huge. Yes, the local crops of grape vines and cannabis plants require water. Local residents require it too. The rivers seem to do better with water. There is demand here. But with the drought and these regional needs, plus the fact that part of the local supply is diverted elsewhere, well… Things are officially getting tight, as one would expect.

On June 30, there was a curtailment notice issued by the State Water Board to “those with post-1914 water rights diverting water in the North Fork Eel River, the Mainstem Eel River and the Van Duzen Tributary.” The notice says that “the State Water Board has determined that the existing water supply in the North Fork Eel River, Main Stem Eel River, and the Van Duzen tributary is insufficient to meet the needs of senior water rights holders.” Those found to be diverting water beyond what is legally available may be subject to fines of $1,000 per day of violation and $2,500 for each acre-foot diverted or used in excess of a valid water right. Violations of State Water Board-issued Cease and Desist Orders against unauthorized diversions can result in fines of $10,000 per day.

This notice went to 129 junior water rights holders, people that actually have water rights. Maybe the South Fork Eel was excluded from this notice because so few people have actually gone through the process of claiming water rights in this watershed?

The city of Rio Dell relies exclusively on the Eel for its water supply; it has junior water rights. Rio Dell did receive a curtailment notice, and now the city is enforcing pretty serious water restrictions. City officials want people to keep water usage to no more than 50 gallons per person per day in addition to other water-saving measures. Listen to this report for details on the city’s declared “State 3” water emergency, or you can read about it here on the city website.

Scotia and Fortuna received curtailment notices too, yet there’s no dramatic rationing or restrictions to speak of yet. Here is July 10 Times-Standard coverage of what’s going down in our area. The story features commentary from a local rancher that received a curtailment notice. The rancher is not stoked.

Back in May, about 650 curtailment notices were issued in the Russian River watershed. People in that region, farmers, are not stoked either.

The state just adopted emergency regulations in order to beef up enforcement because lots of people aren’t complying with these curtailment notices. The State Water Board is stepping up its game. This July 2nd Press Democrat coverage on the curtailment notices that says that “70 percent of the 7,910 curtailment orders already issued statewide in the past two months have been ignored.” So the state is wielding a weaponry of fines to get diverters in line.

Some local municipalities have been cracking down on water usage on their own accord, like the Redwood Valley County Water District in Mendo. They shut off the main water supply to 200 farmers back in April. Grape growers are impacted.

There is the possibility of shortages in the Clearlake area. It’s not so much about the volume of available water in this case; rather, it’s the extreme algae blooms in parts of the lake that are messing with the Konocti County Water District’s treatment system. This water district is also facing a higher than usual water demand; the manager of the district cites the bounty of marijuana gardens as a factor.

Yes, yes. Marijuana gardens. We see so many pics from rural pot grow busts that feature unsavory practices — illegal water diversions, improperly engineered ponds, trash, fertilizers and pesticides/rodenticides. The eyes of law enforcement supply pictures and evidence of the grow-tons-of-weed-and-fuck-the-land mindset.

But it is illogical to only blame pot growers for these serious water shortages and for ecological devastation — there’s a long history of bad eco-juju when it comes to people doing what they have to do to make money. Ray Raphael’s book, Two Peoples, One Place: Humboldt History, Volume 1, has abundant historical accounts of land-rape-for-profit. Between the mining and the logging, the precedent for land abuse was set well before the tsunami wave of cannabis farming washed ashore, long before dope growers became scapegoats.

There certainly are cannabis farmers who trash the land they grow on, who therefore embody heartless imperialism to a T. But there are conscious cannabis farmers out there too, those with sound water practices and ideas for a sustainable cannabis-farming-friendly future. They just don’t get as much press. Listen to Mendocino cannabis farmer Casey O’Neil’s spoken word piece, which he put together for the KMUD Cannabis-themed pledge drive. He’s all about doing it right and he shares his palatable vision against a backdrop of groovy music. Kudos.

The Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District is one district that is doing alright with its water supply. In fact, it has an “excess” of water that it needs to reallocate. The pulp mills that used to buy large volumes of water from the Mad River are no longer operational. Now that water has to go somewhere else, to some customers, or the district will lose its right. Kym Kemp’s coverage from February has all the deets about how the HBMWD is talking about building a pipeline to send the water elsewhere, like maybe even out of the county.

Should that water be allocated to cannabis farmers? I know at least one local industry insider that thinks so. He thinks cannabis farmers “deserve” this “excess” water in the Mad River. What do you think? With dry times probably here to stay, how do you think modern Californians can resolve this water crisis?

Flatmo’d: New Perspectives

Andrew Goff / Sunday, July 13 @ 2:56 p.m. / Flatmo’d!

In the latest edition of Flatmo’d — the Lost Coast Outpost‘s weekly barroom drawing lesson from local scribbler Duane Flatmo — our kinetic hero ponders Pablo Picasso’s peepers.  



[UPDATE] Skeletal Remains Found in River Near Burr Valley Road

Kym Kemp / Sunday, July 13 @ 8:16 a.m. / News

UPDATE 8 pm Sunday: Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Press Release:

On 07/12/2014 at approximately 4:25 PM, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office was contacted by a citizen who reported that they had discovered human remains in the middle of a waterway. The remains were discovered by two citizens while hiking in an area west of Dinsmore off of HWY 36. Detectives from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office along with the Humboldt County Coroner’s Office are currently on scene and efforts to recover the body are underway. The age, sex, and identity of the body are unknown at this time along with the cause of death. 

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.


Original Post: Scanner traffic on Saturday evening indicated that skeletal remains were found in a waterway near Burr Valley Road. The exact details were difficult to determine and the Lost Coast Outpost has a request into the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office for more information.

However, we can tell from the scanner that the remains, as of yesterday evening, were in the middle of a river or stream and couldn’t be easily accessed.

According to the scanner, about 6:56 p.m. what appears to be a Humboldt County deputy described the scene he says is only ten feet away. He stated, “The river is very narrow, shallow. And it’s a very steep canyon. It is skeletal remains. It appears the whole body snagged. There possibly could be undergarments on the body still, with some skin off the back and down one leg.”

The deputy’s first idea was to use a helicopter to recover the body. However, this was unable to happen yesterday. In the end, more deputies were sent out to secure the scene. Presumably the body will be removed sometime today and taken to the coroner’s office.