Apex Drilling President Releases Statement Regarding Martin Slough Project Breakthrough

Ryan Burns / Thursday, Aug. 21 @ 11:30 a.m. / Government

Earlier this week we reported that local contractor Wahlund Construction, along with Sacramento Valley company HDD Co. Inc., had completed a drilling project for the City of Eureka. Now, the president of the company that walked off the project over a contract dispute with the City has issued a statement. Mike Lachner, president of Apex Directional Drilling, again asserts that Eureka officials misrepresented the job and failed to reimburse the company for unanticipated costs.

Here’s his statement:

No one at Apex Directional Drilling ever said it would be impossible to complete the drilling and pipe work needed for Eureka’s Martin Slough interceptor project. Instead, Apex asserted the truth: The project was impossible to complete as described in our contract, and it would cost more than the city initially estimated because soil conditions were completely different than what we were told they’d be, requiring changes to the job.

Nonetheless, we were on board to complete the work –- so long as we were compensated fairly for our costs.

The company even offered to forego making any profit in order to complete the project –- likely for millions less than it appears the city ultimately paid.

We outlined the potential costs in great detail for trying to solve the problems encountered and finish the project. However, the city never agreed to pay them – or to compensate us for work already conducted beyond the scope of our initial contract.

The work conducted by Wahlund was very similar to what we’d outlined, and those proposed techniques did indeed work – plus, unlike our crews, Wahlund had the advantage of knowing the actual ground conditions, as we’d already encountered them, and the benefit of using our drill steel, which we had already drilled clear through the hill and left for whichever contractor the city hired to complete the project. Wahlund finished the work using a drill three times as big as the one the city specified for us to use on the job in our contract.

I don’t know why the city would spend more to hire Wahlund than to compensate us for work we had performed so far and for the additional work needed to finish the project. But as you can see from the city’s expenditures to hire a new contractor for this job, it did indeed cost more to complete this phase of the project. The city spent almost $4 million to bring Wahlund Construction in to do work we had already started.


Today: 11 felonies, 15 misdemeanors, 0 infractions


Humboldt County Superior Court Calendar: Today


Shelter Cove Rd / Beach Rd (Garberville office): Traffic Hazard

0 Us101 N (Garberville office): Assist with Construction

Mm101 / Wilson Creek Rd (Crescent City office): Assist with Construction


CHIV’D: Murder, robbery, mutilation and sexual penetration of human remains

Times-Standard Breaking: Fatal motorcycle crash near Willow Creek

Times-Standard News: Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary: Pulling double duty

Times-Standard Breaking: July Complex fires remain steady, warm weather expected to dry fuels


Marijuana Grow-Related Sites in Bridgeville, Tompkins Hill and Ferndale Raided by Sheriff’s Deputies

Andrew Goff / Thursday, Aug. 21 @ 11:17 a.m. / marijuana

Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office press release:

On 08-20-2014, at approximately 9:00 a.m. Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office deputies served a Humboldt County Superior Court search warrant in the 27000 block of Highway 36, Bridgeville. When deputies served the search warrant they located six greenhouses and an outdoor marijuana garden containing 2188 growing marijuana plants ranging in size from 2 to 6 feet tall. They also located a barn type structure with 340 pounds of dried marijuana bud in it. Deputies located two men living on the property. Both men were detained, interviewed and released at the scene. The men told deputies they were from Fresno, California and admitted to working on the marijuana grows.

Deputies then drove to a residence in the 1600 block of Tompkins Hill Road, Eureka where they served another Humboldt County Superior Court search warrant.  No one was at the residence when the search warrant was served, however; deputies located $23,000 in cash, 18 pounds of dried loose marijuana, two semi-automatic weapons, a drum magazine for an assault weapon, a shotgun, a tactical raid vest with body armor and paperwork indicating sales of marijuana, and ownership of the Tompkins Hill Road Property and Highway 36 Property.

Deputies then drove to the 200 block of Price Creek Road, Ferndale, where they served another Humboldt County Superior Court search warrant. The deputies located two men on the property who were detained. Deputies located a greenhouse where marijuana plants had been recently ripped up and removed, besides a greenhouse which contained 522 growing marijuana plants that were still in the ground, those plants ranged from 2 to 4 feet tall.

Deputies arrested Timothy Douglas Chez, 32 years old who resides in the Price Creek residence. Chez was arrested for cultivation and possession for sale of marijuana. He was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked. His bail was set at $50,000.

Deputies identified, interviewed and released the other man located at the Price Creek residence after determining he had only been there a short period of time.

Deputies will be submitting a case to the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office against the men located at the Highway 36 property, and the property owners of the Tompkins Hill Road property, seeking charges of cultivation and possession for sale of marijuana. Deputies will also be seeking additional charges against the homeowner of the Tompkins Hill Road property for firearms violations.

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.


Suspected Eureka Serial Burglar Drops Wallet, Gets Nabbed

Hank Sims / Thursday, Aug. 21 @ 8:20 a.m. / Crime

From the Eureka Police Department:

On 08/20/14 at about 11:40 p.m., officers responded to the 300 3300 block of Gross Street for a report of a subject trying to force entry into a residence. Officers checked the area, but were unable to locate the suspect. Officers found a wallet outside the residence with an identification card belonging to David Mako.

On 08/21/14 at about 12:14 a.m., officers responded to the 1200 block of Gross Street for a report of a woman heard screaming. Upon arrival, the victim told officers that she had interrupted a male burglarizing her attached garage. The victim said the male ran out of the garage after a brief verbal confrontation.

Officers checked the area and located David Mako (59) of Eureka, in the alley behind the victim’s residence. The victim positively identified Mako as being the male in her garage. Mako was arrested for burglary and taken to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility. Mako is on probation for previous theft related offenses. 


111 Ways to Enjoy Humboldt—Bet You Can Come Up With More

Kym Kemp / Wednesday, Aug. 20 @ 7:51 p.m. / Humboldt

Those Humboldt Made Folk have come up with a list (with the help of LoCO’s Facebook friends) of 111 Ways to Enjoy Humboldt. 

If you’re not smiling a little and remembering some good times when you finish reading it, we’ll be surprised.

Here’s selection out of the middle:

77. Investigate the tide pools at Patrick’s Point.

78. Pay a visit to Chapman’s Gem & Mineral Shop & Museum.

79. See a live show at the Ferndale Repertory TheatreNorthcoast Repertory Theatre or Redwood Curtain Theatre.

80. Stopping in at Kneeland Glen Farmstand on Old Arcata Rd. It is a local delight!

81. Walk barefoot on Mad River Beach.

82. The great Aleutian Geese Fly Off at the Humboldt Bay Wildlife Refuge.

83. Take a tour of Fire and Light Glassware!

84. Enjoy a performance of the Humboldt Calypso Band. (Greg Vanderlaan writes: “Music so exciting that I forgot about my chronic pain and danced!”)

85. Run (or volunteer at) the Avenue of the Giants Marathon, the Foggy Bottom Milk Run or the Clam Beach Run.

To read the rest and smile a lot, go here. And, tell us about some of the things they missed. LoCO needs its own list.

Sheriff’s Office Convoy on Price Creek Rd. Now

Kym Kemp / Wednesday, Aug. 20 @ 5:44 p.m. / News

At approximately 5:30 p.m., the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office began executing a search warrant in the Price Creek Road area west of the Eel River between Ferndale and Rio Dell. Eight sheriff’s vehicles are at a property on that road. Two of the vehicles are reportedly trucks pulling trailers.

We don’t know details yet. We’ll update when we get more information.

[Now With Photos] Fire Erupting to the East of the Avenue of the Giants

Kym Kemp / Wednesday, Aug. 20 @ 4:47 p.m. / Fire!

UPDATE 5:23 p.m.: Fire contained. Exercise caution on the Avenue in that area for the next couple hours as emergency equipment will still be on scene. It is estimated that it will take three hours for mop-up.

UPDATE 5:04 p.m.: Photos provided by Morgan Bryant.

UPDATE 4:53 p.m.: Dispatch is releasing resources which is a good sign. 


Original post:

According to George Monroe, spokesperson for the Southern Humboldt Fire Chiefs Association, a fire just blew up east of the Chimney Tree restaurant. Powerlines are reported to be down. The blaze is said to be burning near the Avenue and near the restaurant. Scanner traffic reports it to be already an acre in size.

A witness says that two retardant drops have been made and a helicopter is getting water from the Eel.

Reportedly Cal Fire, Redway Fire, Miranda Fire and Phillipsville Fire are all responding.

We will be following this and update when more information becomes available.

Large Police Response to Alleged Domestic Violence Incident in Garberville

Hank Sims / Wednesday, Aug. 20 @ 4:19 p.m. / Crime

From the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office:

On 08-20-2014, at approximately 9:00 a.m., the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call regarding a domestic violence in progress on Sawmill Road, Garberville. The female caller told the dispatcher her husband had attacked her and was armed with a shotgun and was now trying to shoot her. While on the 911 call the dispatcher could hear the victim telling her husband to put down the shotgun. The dispatcher then heard a shot and the victim told the dispatcher her husband, Neptaly Martinez- Castillo, 32 years old, may have shot himself.

A Humboldt County Sheriff’s deputy and three California Highway Patrol (C.H.P.) Officers responded to the scene, while medical personnel staged nearby. The deputy and C.H.P. Officers located Castillo in the rear of the residence without a shotgun. He was taken into custody without incident.

The investigating deputy spoke with the victim, who told the deputy just prior to calling 911 Castillo grabbed her by the neck, choked her and slammed her on the ground. He also slammed her head into a China cabinet, causing the glass to break, and then pointed a 12 gauge shotgun at her while threatening to shoot her. During the argument he also put the shotgun in his mouth. When he put the shotgun in his mouth she ran into the house and called 911, at which time she heard the gun shot go off.

When she exited a bathroom where she had been hiding she saw he had put the shotgun on the bed in their bedroom and was outside the residence. The deputies could see injuries to the victim consistent with what she told the deputy. The deputy also recovered the shotgun in the bedroom.

Castillo was arrested for assault with a firearm, discharging a firearm in a reckless manner, terrorist threats, false imprisonment and damaging a communications device. He was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked. His bail is set at $100,000.00

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.