Recalled Potentially Salmonella-Infused Garlic Powder Removed From Humboldt Stores

Andrew Goff / Today @ 9:13 a.m. / Health

Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services press release: 

Five local stores have removed products manufactured with organic garlic powder from their shelves, following a voluntary recall from Frontier Co-op due to concerns of potential Salmonella contamination.

To date no illnesses have been associated with the products, according to a company news release posted on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s website.

All products were sold under the Frontier, Simply Organic and the Whole Foods Market brands.

Most persons infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most people recover without treatment. However, in some cases diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. Elderly, infants and those with impaired immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness.

“Garlic powder seasoning is an ingredient of many products, from soup broth to ranch dip” said Melissa Martel, director of the Department of Health & Human Services, Division of Environmental Health. “We want to make sure that the word gets out about this recall so that people can check their cupboards. If you have this, dispose of it immediately or return the listed products to the store from where they were purchased.”

Recalled products were sold in all 50 states and in some parts of Canada to distributors, retailers and consumers. For a complete list of recalled items, visit the California Department of Public Health’s website.

Consumer calls can be made to the company at 800-669-3275. For updated information, visit the FDA’s website.



Arrests Continue at Blue Heron Motel, Even After Everyone Was Evicted

Hank Sims / Today @ 9:05 a.m. / Crime

From left: Armstrong, Case, Cardoza, Idler.


INSTAUPDATE: The owner of the bike, which was indeed stolen, has been identified.


From the Eureka Police Department

On 03/25/15 at about 2:15 p.m., a Detective from the Eureka Police Department Problem Oriented Policing Unit (POP) spotted a person behind the vacant Blue Heron Motel at the 2200 block of Broadway.

The detective stopped and made contact with six subjects who had forced entry into a few rooms. Officers responded to assist and located 9 grams of methamphetamine and a high-end Cannondale bicycle. None of the subjects could prove ownership of the bicycle, so it was taken for safekeeping.

Four of the six subjects were arrested and transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility. Anthony Armstrong, 27, and Lindsey Idler, 26, were booked on drug related warrants. Phenicia Case, 21, was booked on Eureka Municipal Code violation warrants. Jordan Cardoza, 20, was booked on fresh charges of possession of methamphetamine. All four subjects are of Eureka.

Attached is a picture of the Cannondale bicycle. If you believe this bicycle is yours, please call (707) 441-4373. You must have your police report number for the theft report and be able to prove ownership. Ownership can be proved by providing the serial number, receipt, or picture.



Congressman Huffman Urges Postmaster General Not to Close Eureka Processing Center

Ryan Burns / Yesterday @ 3:31 p.m. / Government , Politics

On Feb. 1, Megan Brennan became the 74th postmaster general in U.S. history, and the first woman to hold that position. She has taken the helm of the U.S. Postal Service during a difficult time, as the steady decline in first class letters has been costing the agency billions of dollars.

Rural post offices have been shuttered across the country, and Eureka’s processing center is also on the chopping block. Congressman Jared Huffman hopes to earn a reprieve for our local sorting center, along with one down in Petaluma. 

Here’s a press release from his office:

Congressman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) today sent a letter to the new Postmaster General reiterating his strong opposition to the United States Postal Service’s (USPS) plan to close both the North Bay Processing and Distribution Center in Petaluma and the Eureka Customer Service Mail Processing Center.

Huffman has routinely opposed the USPS’ plan and strongly criticized them for their lack of transparency throughout this process, disregard for public input, and ambivalence to the impacts reduced service standards will have on local communities. Huffman previously opposed the consolidation plan when it was first proposed in 2011, citing that this plan would cause disruption of mail delivery, cause job loss, and damage local economies.

“I continue to be frustrated with the USPS’s refusal to provide my office with requested information and the lack of interest in fully explaining these changes to the public,” Huffman wrote. “I do not believe it is wise to move forward with a plan to consolidate operations without knowing the full financial and service impact of such a change, and I ask that you halt this change until your analysis is complete and the public has had time to review the new data and provide comments.”

Huffman also noted that “The road connecting Eureka and Medford is frequently closed due to inclement weather, which could effectively isolate my constituents on the north coast of California from vital services.”

The full text of the letter can be found HERE or below:


March 25, 2015


Megan J. Brennan

Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer

United States Postal Service

475 L’Enfant Plaza, SW

Washington, DC 20260


Dear Postmaster General Brennan:

Congratulations on your recent appointment as Postmaster General. I look forward to working with you as the United States Postal Service (USPS) modernizes operations to remain a global competitor in the 21st Century.

I write today to reiterate my strong opposition to the Postal Service’s plan to consolidate mail processing operations from both the North Bay Processing and Distribution Center (P&DC) in Petaluma, CA, and the Eureka Customer Service Mail Processing Center (CSMPC) in Eureka, CA, both of which are in my congressional district. I continue to be frustrated with the USPS’s refusal to provide my office with requested information and the lack of interest in fully explaining these changes to the public.

While I appreciate the letter that Deputy Postmaster General Ronald Stroman sent me on November 10, 2014, the response left several issues unresolved. I understand that your projected cost savings are based on 2012 data from the North Bay and Eureka area mail processing (AMP) workbooks, and understand that you believe that you already have the requisite public comment on the matter. However, as Deputy Postmaster General Stroman acknowledged, the Postal Service is in the process of changing consolidation plans for the North Bay facility to San Francisco instead of Oakland. This change involves different travel distances and facility capacity issues, and has not been subject to public review. In addition, the 2012 AMP workbooks are now several years old and do not accurately reflect the status of mail operations. I do not believe it is wise to move forward with a plan to consolidate operations without knowing the full financial and service impact of such a change, and I ask that you halt this change until your analysis is complete and the public has had time to review the new data and provide comments.

More generally, the Postal Service has stated that there will be only slight changes in national average mail delivery service standards, while ignoring my constituents’ concerns about significant local decreases in service standards. National averages do not reflect the individual impacts of consolidating operations from the Eureka, CA facility to a facility in Medford, Oregon. The road connecting Eureka and Medford is frequently closed due to inclement weather, which could effectively isolate my constituents on the north coast of California from vital services.

Since I remain increasingly skeptical that your reported national averages accurately depict the situation on the ground, and since my constituents in rural communities need to receive postal services in a timely manner like medications and mail-in ballots, I ask the Postal Service to provide my office with a data map and analysis of the change in mail delivery service standards for both mail facilities from fiscal year 2008 compared to fiscal year 2014, documenting the change in scope from 1 day, 2 day, and 3 day delivery. It is my understanding that this information is tracked by the USPS and has already been provided to other members of Congress for their congressional districts.

In addition, I am concerned that recent Postal Service decisions regarding delivery service standards will exacerbate the impacts to my rural constituents. Through 2014, rural communities already tended to see longer delivery times under the 1-3 day standard, so the changes implemented in January 2015 to a 2-3 day standard will likely increase mail delivery times for my constituents. Further, I understand the new rules to mean that any mail not received by a post office before 8:00am will not be counted until the next day, potentially meaning well over 3 days could elapse for rural First Class Mail delivery. As I have mentioned to your predecessor, decreasing service is not the answer to ensuring the Postal Service remains competitive. While I applaud the USPS for thinking creatively on ways to improve your business model and innovate, the proposed “Network Rationalization” is a deeply flawed plan, and from your responses to me thus far it appears to lack sufficient financial or service data to move forward.

By this letter, I request that the Postal Service:

1) Suspend this misguided proposal to consolidate mail processing facilities on California’s North Coast.

2) Provide my office with a change in delivery standards for First Class Mail, in map format, for fiscal years 2008 and 2014 for zip codes (see attached list) within my congressional district.

3) Provide my office and the public the new AMP workbook for the North Bay facility that accounts for moving processing operations to San Francisco, prior to removing operations from the Petaluma facility.

I look forward to your timely response.



Member of Congress

Dinsmore Hatchet Assault Suspect Arrested, Says Sheriff’s Office

Hank Sims / Yesterday @ 2:23 p.m. / Crime

PREVIOUS POST: Sheriff Seeks Man Who Allegedly Assaulted Buddy With a Hatchet


From the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office:

On 03-24-2015, Harry Robert Schultz was taken into custody by the Trinity County Sheriff’s Office. Schultz is currently in custody at the Trinity County jail located in Weaverville, California. Schultz’s bail has been set at $100,000 dollars. Schultz will be transported back to Humboldt County in the next few days and is being charged with assault with a deadly weapon.


On 03-18-2015 at about 5:00 p.m. a Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office deputy spoke to a 35 year old male victim at the Sheriff’s Office in Eureka. The victim wanted to report that he had been assaulted by 60 year old Harry Robert Schultz on 03-17-2015 at about 9:00 a.m. at a cabin located off Bear Creek Road, Dinsmore.

The victim reported to the deputy he has been friends with Schultz for about 5 years. The victim said he works in construction so Schultz hired him to build a two story cabin on his property off Bear Creek Road. The victim said on 03-17-2015 at about 9:00 a.m. while he was cooking breakfast for both of them Schultz struck him on the back of the head with the blunt end of a hatchet. The victim said Schultz struck him a total of (3) time in the head with the blunt end of a hatchet. The victim said he was able to wrestle the hatchet out of Shultz’s hand after the third strike to his head.

The victim said Schultz did not say anything to him during the assault and the victim had no idea why he was attacked by Schultz. The victim said after the assault Schultz sat down calmly in a chair. The victim said he called a friend, who came to the cabin and gave him a ride to the Southern Trinity Health Clinic located in Trinity County. The victim said he received a wound to the back of his head which required staples to close. The victim further reported he has been suffering problems to his vision. The victim sated Schultz is no longer on the property in Dinsmore.

The Sheriff’s Office has issued a Be On the Look Out (BOL) for Harry Schultz to other law enforcement agencies to arrest Schultz for assault with a deadly weapon if he is located. Schultz is described as a white, male adult, 6 foot tall, 190 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes.

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.

Vincent Ortiz Taken Into Custody in Willow Creek This Afternoon

Hank Sims / Yesterday @ 1:45 p.m. / Crime

UPDATE, 5:50 p.m.: First he was a murder suspect, then he wasn’t, then he was again? Lt. Wayne Hanson of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office tells the Outpost that his agency developed new information last night — after the Red Lion standoff and stand-down — that implicated Vincent Ortiz more directly in Saturday’s shootings in Hoopa.


Last we heard, Vincent Ortiz was no longer wanted in connection with Saturday’s homicide in Hoopa. But there were outstanding parole violations, and it has been a high-profile case, so…

From the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office:

On 03-25-2015 at about 12:10 p.m. a Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Deputy on patrol in the Willow Creek area spotted, Vincent Rudy Ortiz at the Patriot Gas Station with a 44 year old female companion. Ortiz was fueling a silver, Chevrolet, pickup truck. The deputy immediately took Ortiz into custody without incident.

Vincent Ortiz was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility in Eureka where he was booked for accessory to homicide and his bail was set at $500,000 dollars. Ortiz was also booked on a felony, no bail warrant for a parole violation. The 44 female companion of Ortiz was transported to the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office in Eureka to be interviewed by detectives.


Eureka’s Horn-Blaring Bulldog Goes Viral

Ryan Burns / Yesterday @ 1:08 p.m. / News

Proving beyond a doubt the profound social and geopolitical significance of a dog honking a car horn, a video posted Monday on your Lost Coast Outpost has since gone viral, racking up more than a quarter million views on YouTube and getting featured by such esteemed institutions as Time, the New York Daily News and Britain’s Mirror Online, among dozens of other sites.

As the Mashable Velocity Graph creeps upward, feel free to relive the historic occasion by watching the video again (below). Oh, and for anyone concerned about the dog’s wellbeing, his name is Wolfie, his owner left him inside for only a few minutes, and she reports that, in general, he’s spoiled rotten. Perhaps that’s because he knows how to demand what he wants.

Your Outpost correspondent got contacted by a number of licensing companies asking for rights to the video. We signed with one that gives us (meaning me) a 70-30 profit split, meaning I get 70 percent of all revenue generated by the vid.

A company representative said that, for every thousand people who view it on YouTube, I’ll get somewhere between 25 cents to a dollar, so chances are my days here at the Outpost are numbered. Got my eyes on a nice palace in Dubai.

Also, a woman from ABC World News Tonight interviewed me yesterday and said the video would “probably” be featured on that evening’s broadcast. Alas, the coveted “and finally tonight” segment instead featured this story about an airman hoping to reunite with a girl he saved during Hurricane Katrina. Whatever, am I right?

Rancheria Violated Civil Codes With Electronic Billboard Near Bear River Casino, Says CHP

Ryan Burns / Yesterday @ 11:53 a.m. / Business , Government

The Bear River Band of Rohnerville Rancheria violated a handful of civil government codes but no criminal codes in the process of erecting a large digital billboard along Highway 101 near the Bear River Casino, according to investigators with the California Highway Patrol. The violations include improper removal of trees and vegetation as well as encroachment on state-controlled air space. Penalties for these infractions could cost the rancheria as much as $10,000 for each felled tree and $1,000 per shrub — but only if the agencies involved pursue charges.

As previously reported, local officials with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) had asked the CHP to investigate after noticing that trees and bushes had been removed near the base of the electronic sign, which lies within the agency’s right of way. 

In an Oct. 23 internal email, obtained by the Outpost through a California Public Records Act request, Caltrans District 1 Permit Chief James Van Bonn said that trees within the agency’s right of way had been “illegally and willfully cut down without a valid encroachment permit.”

Photo taken by Caltrans employee documenting the vegetation removal.

The official investigation found that Bear River Rancheria violated four state civil codes:

The investigation also found that the rancheria violated Humboldt County code 313-64.1.4, which holds that major vegetation removal in the Coastal Zone is considered development and therefore requires a permit. Steven Santos, Humboldt County’s development assistance manager, said enforcement of such violations is complaint-driven, and so far the county has received no complaints about this issue. Ultimately, he said, the property owner — Caltrans, in this case — is responsible for paying any fines. After-the-fact planning permits cost double the usual fee; building permits are triple, Santos said.

It’s not clear whether any of the agencies involved will pursue fines in the matter. A Caltrans spokesman said the decision will ultimately be made by the agency’s legal department. And, again, the county hasn’t received any complaints about the issue, though Santos said, “If [the vegetation clearance] poses an imminent threat, we may act on it independently.”

Matthew Mattson, executive director of tribal government operations at Bear River Rancheria, said he has yet to see any of the findings from the CHP’s investigation.

“I do know that we have been working with Caltrans and are trying to work through a resolution,” Mattson said. The rancheria was unaware of the boundary line, he added. “We’re collaborating and cooperating to the maximum extent and will continue to do so.”