A Storm Approaches, Humboldt, So Remember to Drive Better

Andrew Goff / Monday, Nov. 23 @ 10:58 a.m. / Weather

When you gather round the Thanksgiving table on Thursday be sure to give thanks to the National Weather Service’s Eureka branch for keeping you alive enough to stuffing stuff yourself. Heed their warnings, Humboldt! It’s gonna be yucky out this week. You must drive better.

The rains are expected to begin dumping on Humboldt Monday night and snow levels could drop as low as 1,500 feet by Tuesday night, according to NWS. We may also get some small hail.

This, of course, means that piloting your automobile is going to require more of your brain cells than usual due to slick roads. So stop reading LoCO on your phone while zooming down the highway and focus. Make it to turkey.


Monday Morning Multi-Car Accident in Central Eureka

Andrew Goff / Monday, Nov. 23 @ 10:06 a.m. / Traffic

Sometime in the 8 o’clock hour Monday morning, three vehicles were involved in a smashup near the intersection of F and Trinity streets in Eureka. Outpost reader Sirrena Harvey chronicles the damage in the accompanying photos. No word yet on if there were any injuries. 


CHP IDs Driver in Last Night’s Fatal Highway 101 Collision

Andrew Goff / Monday, Nov. 23 @ 7:47 a.m. / Traffic

California Highway Patrol press release: 

On the evening of Sunday, November 22, a 2009 Chevy Malibu was traveling on US-101 Northbound, north of Giuntoli Lane, when it struck a pedestrian who was walking within the traffic lanes. 

Just before 9:00 p.m., CHP officers responded to a call of a pedestrian who was standing in the roadway on US-101 Northbound, north of Giuntoli Lane.  Moments later, a 2009 Chevy Malibu, driven by 80 year old Dorvin Valgene Phillips of McKinleyville, collided with the pedestrian.  Due to heavy fog and the pedestrian wearing dark clothing, Phillips did not have time to react and was unable to avoid a collision with the pedestrian.  The right front of the Chevy struck the pedestrian.  As a result of this collision, the pedestrian sustained fatal injuries.  Phillips was transported by ground ambulance to Mad River Community Hospital as a precautionary.  Alcohol or drugs are not suspected to be a factor in this collision.  The California Highway Patrol Humboldt Area is investigating this traffic collision.

The California Highway Patrol would like to take this unfortunate opportunity to remind motorist if you’re driving in fog to keep the headlights on low beam, don’t stop on the roadway (except in emergency), move away from a stalled or disabled vehicle and watch for CHP pace vehicles which may be guiding traffic through the fog.  Consider turning off the road and waiting until the fog eases.

PREVIOUSLY: Pedestrian Struck and Killed in Arcata

HARDIN: I Give Thanks

John Hardin / Monday, Nov. 23 @ 6:57 a.m. / Op-Ed

This week we celebrate Thanksgiving, and of course, I’m very thankful to live here in Southern Humboldt. I’m thankful for my partner Amy with whom I’ve shared the past 19 years, and for our modest home in the woods. I’m thankful for the firs and the redwoods, the madrones and the tan oaks, the manzanitas and the huckleberries, and all the myriad wildlife who inhabit them. I’m thankful for the rivers, the salmon, the sturgeon and the lamprey and I’m thankful to live in a community that values them.

I give thanks for every day I live to enjoy this marvelous place, which I’m sure you can easily understand, but in the time that I’ve lived here, I’ve learned to appreciate another side to life in Southern Humboldt that I never thought I’d be thankful for. Let’s call them “acquired tastes.” For instance:

I’m thankful to Estelle Fennell for making me miss Roger Rodoni.

I’m thankful to CCVH for turning SoHum’s criminal low-lifes into corporate sleaze-balls.

I’m thankful for hash-lab explosions because I like it when the bass goes BOOM.

I’m thankful to dope yuppies for giving me so much to write about.

I’m thankful for bankers and real estate agents for reminding me that there are less ethical ways to make a living than by dealing drugs.

I’m thankful that there remain a few businesses in the greater Garberville/Redway area that Steve Dazey does not own.

I’m thankful for the Garberville-Redway Chamber of Commerce and the Town Patrol for reminding me that there are uglier things in this world than poverty, homelessness and drug addiction, like intolerance, bigotry and vigilantism, for instance.

I’m thankful for our local tweakers because they act as urban scarecrows, scaring tourists, and because they provide local youth with a cautionary example of what can happen to you if you use meth. If our tweakers don’t scare them straight, nothing will.

I’m thankful that my friends, who lack adequate housing, remain here, year after year, despite inclement weather, open hostility and police harassment, because without them, this town has far too few likable people.

I’m thankful for my friends who have adequate housing for the same reason.

I’m thankful for the prices at Shop Smart in Redway and Ray’s in Garberville because they make it worth the drive to Eureka, to shop somewhere else.

I’m thankful for the Humane Society Thrift Store in Garberville because I like knowing that the money I blow on stupid second-hand electronic toys gets used to rip the genitals off of small furry animals.

I’m thankful for our local non-profits like KMUD, the Mateel, Sanctuary Forest, Friends of the Eel and Bird Ally X because without their T-shirts, I’d have nothing to wear.

I’m thankful that the local workforce isn’t more ambitious or competent, and that those eager-beavers from Fortuna have to drive so far to get here, because if I have to take a shitty job, the last thing I want is competition.

I’m thankful for ALL of the people of Southern Humboldt, if for no other reason, than at least for the fact that there are so few of us per square mile.

Finally, most of all, I’m thankful for you, dear reader, for taking the time to read these words, regardless of how they make you feel. I appreciate your time, and hope you find the experience rewarding in some way. On behalf of Amy and I, I wish you and yours a happy Thanksgiving.


John Hardin writes at Like You’ve Got Something Better to Do.


(PHOTOS) Bud, Edibles and Concentrate! I Was a Judge at the Humboldt County Cup

Talon Trujillo / Sunday, Nov. 22 @ 11:21 a.m. / marijuana

It’s a sunny fall day in Arcata, early afternoon, and I’m on my way to pick up my sample packet. I’m going to be a judge in the Humboldt County Cup, a brand-new local cannabis competition put on by Humboldt NORML and a handful of local and state sponsors.

I arrive and the sample packets are laid out in a row on a table. They look like gift bags from an upscale event. Posters, products and little bags of buds peak out of the top. I think there’s a vape pen in there. I fill out some quick paperwork. Copies are made of 215 recommendations. You actually have to join a collective set up for this purpose before you can take possession of the samples. It’s as above-board as it can be. I meet one of the other judges, a reggae artist from Jamaica and I’m out of there feeling like I just robbed a dispensary.

I get the sample packet home and dump it out on my kitchen table. There are about 100 different items. The majority is bud, separated by indoor indica, outdoor indica, indoor sativa, outdoor sativa, CBD, both CBD and THC concentrates, a handful of edibles, candy, baked goods, gum and three topicals. The bud is mostly hybrid and is categorized by indica or sativa based on the dominant gene. No strain names. It’s a little overwhelming. I have a week to try it all and rate it. I feel like a little girl in a pet store. The bag also has some swag, like the previously mentioned vape pen. It’s a promo item from Emerald Genetics, one of the sponsors of the cup.

The official judging rubric is a simple spreadsheet: To the left are the categories and to the right are five boxes. The samples are rated from 0-5 in each category: sight, smell, touch, taste and effect. I decide to try my first sample. I load a small bowl of an outdoor sativa, labeled OFS4, into a new glass pipe bought just for the occasion. I take a couple puffs and write down my impressions. Fifteen minutes later I’m laughing. It’s strong. I’m going to need to be systematic about this, and also to try smaller samples. After all, this is only one of nearly 100. I organize some of the samples and come up with a plan. I’ll methodically go through them this week and end with a marathon session Thursday night to wrap things up. I decide to bring in some other experts from the Humboldt Underground staff to help out with specifics like concentrates, CBD strains and edibles that I don’t know as much about. My wife has a muscle injury so she volunteers to try the topicals.

Right about now there are probably a few of you wondering how I landed this gig. Or alternately, how can you get it. I met the organizer at a Humboldt NORML meeting, expressed interest in writing a story about the event and a couple days later was asked if I’d like to be a judge. It is probably only fair to mention my credentials at this point. I first tried cannabis 12 years ago in my early 20s, perhaps later than most. I immediately loved it. I was the first person I knew to get a 215 recommendation. In college I attended the Emerald Triangle Seminar and wrote my master’s thesis at Humboldt State University on cannabis policy. I presented my research at one of the first meetings of the Humboldt Institute for Interdisciplinary Marijuana Research. I’ve lived and worked in the community for eight years and I cofounded the Humboldt Underground, a site about Humboldt cannabis culture and politics.

In addition to the Humboldt Underground crew there are 11 other judges, and they’re pretty diverse. There are a few reggae artists, both local and from Jamaica, and a local DJ. Two of Humboldt’s dispensaries are represented, including the Humboldt Patient Resource Center as well as a local delivery service. The Emerald Magazine is providing a judge and there are also local farmers, connoisseurs and a breeder from Mendocino. All of the judges are encouraged to bring in their own crew of experts. One of the farmers has a sample in the competition but he is barred from rating his own sample. Event organizer Matt Smith-Caggiano tells me, “We wanted the judging to be as diverse as possible, I didn’t want people thinking it was just Matt and his buddies sitting around rating this thing.” He says the first person to buy a ticket to the event was also offered a position as a judge, but declined.

As the week goes on I try a handful of samples every night after work. The second night my brother stops by to find me sprawled on my couch. “I’ve been trying outdoor indica samples all night,” I tell him. A lot of this stuff is really strong and you need time between samples to give everything a fair shake. I watch movies and go for walks during the gaps. It’s fun but also a surprisingly difficult task to get through. I drop and spill more things than usual. I laugh a lot. I’m really blown away by the quality. Almost everything is really good. After all, Humboldt is not known for producing lousy cannabis. It’s the best in the world.

Thursday I get a text that the lab tests have come back and six samples have been disqualified: two flower samples and four concentrates. The test results showed contamination. Usually this means pesticides, mold or nutrients that weren’t properly flushed out before harvest. Thursday night arrives and my crew comes over to finish the job. It’s really fun. We joke around a lot and talk shop about the specifics of judging a sample. We order pizza. I have just one guy trying all 12 concentrate samples, a local grower who recently visited the Colorado scene. He does it methodically and with the calm of a Buddhist monk. “I’ve been preparing all week smoking lots of oil,” he says “Some of these I even have to taste two times.” Everyone laughs. We get through all the samples, many of them are rated by more than one person, and we average the ratings on an Excel spreadsheet. When it’s all done I say I’m going to take a week off but I’m back puffing the next night. After all, I have all these leftover samples to tempt me.


Talon Trujillo has an MA in Sociology from Humboldt State University and is a staff writer for humboldtunderground.com.


Tipsters Help Sheriff’s Office Nab Two Fugitives, One a SoHum Most Wanted

John Ross Ferrara / Sunday, Nov. 22 @ 10:48 a.m. / Crime

(Above: Hicks and Brooks)

Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office press release:

On 11-19-2015, at approximately 9:10 a.m., the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received an anonymous tip for one of the fugitive listed on the “Southern Humboldt’s Most Wanted Poster”.

The tipster reported that Gretchen Brooks (age 38) was seen walking in the 900 block of Redwood Drive, Garberville. Sheriff’s Deputies assigned to the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Garberville Station responded to the area. Deputies were able to locate Brooks and took her into custody without incident.

On 11-21-2015, at approximately 9:35 a.m., Sheriff’s Deputies were following up on a tip where an anonymous caller reported seeing Dennis Hicks (age 37) driving a green SUV type vehicle in the Miranda area.

Deputies located the vehicle parked near a residence in the 10 0block of Gibney Road, Miranda. Deputies located Hicks on the property and took him into custody without incident. Both Hicks and Brooks were transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where they were booked for various warrants.

These arrests were based solely on information provided by anonymous tips. Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding the whereabouts of fugitives listed on the wanted poster, or related criminal activity, is encouraged to call the Sheriffs Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Garberville Station at 707-923-2761.

DEAD RECKONING: Gratitude in the Age of More

James Faulk / Sunday, Nov. 22 @ 10:28 a.m. / Dead Reckoning

I’m grateful for windshields, wind socks and wine cozies. I don’t drink wine but it’s nice to know the wife’s bottle of red is warm and comfortable before taking its dive down her gullet.

Guard rails, duck tails, and tube socks — I had a friend, in the 1980s, and his duck tail was long enough to tuck into the back of his jeans. He wore tube socks, too, and chances are he’d seen a guard rail.


I’m grateful for feather dusters. With a proboscis I can stretch to ridiculous lengths for tickling my kids. Laundry baskets, yard sale art, and any portraits of Jesus that seem sort of ridiculous.

My wife is also grateful for silly Jesus.

Foot powder deserves my gratitude, trust me. Yours too. No, really. Throwing darts, porch furniture and the modern beer can. Civilization in a few short words.

Back-bead seat cushions, improvised funnels when you run out of gas, aluminum foil antennas, stained welcome mats, slick doorknobs that can only be turned with a sleeve-covered hand.

Society is much better off for daredevil ceiling fans, the kind that jerk back and forth violently as they spin, threatening at any moment to fall out of the ceiling.

And bathtub tread. You lose a full yard of glide along the bottom to keep your feet while toweling off. Tradeoffs, am I right?

Garish wind chimes made of poorly assembled natural materials. Seashells. Driftwood. Mushrooms.

I’m grateful for hot sauce, though I don’t like spicy food. Some people just love it so much.

I’m grateful for light switches that glow, Christmas lights left up all year, eyeglasses on rainy days and all the bald spots in my beard.

I’m grateful for food. Yeah, that’s a good one. And coffee, while it’s in the cup and hasn’t yet splashed all over the interior of my car.

I’m grateful for dogs that eat car-seat crumbs, and wives that pretend to let you install said car seat, then do it again — the right way — behind your back.

I grateful for gratitude, for being finally able to recognize that almost everything in life is a gift at one time or another, if for nothing else than making a good story somehow better.

Did I mention soft toilet seats? Grateful for those, too, even when they leak like a Whoopee Cushion and get your in-laws in the next room to exchange that disapproving look of theirs.

Doilies. Dollies. Dames. Daft Punk. Doorstops. Anything with rhubarb. Out-of-tune calliopes and the revelers who sing along.

Moms, wives, and cranky cooks for the holidays. Love you, Amy! Happy Thanksgiving.


James Faulk is a writer living in Eureka. He can be reached at faulk.james@yahoo.com.