(PHOTOS) The Young Zombies of Sunny BRAAAIIINS Middle School ‘Thrill’ the Arcata Plaza

Andrew Goff / Today @ 5:20 p.m. / :)

It was a gloomy Wednesday…

The zombie hordes overwhelmed the Arcata Plaza. The square’s usual slothful denizens were no match for the dead-but-youthful Sunny Brae Middle School students, freshly expired after being assigned an ungodly homework load. 

Unrelenting, they would terrorize the town folk with a devilish dance set to the sounds of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” The following photographs are the last known photos of Arcata still standing before it was shaken to its foundations by very familiar choreography.

It was a gloomy Wednesday… 


Two Protests, Same Place, Same Time, Will Target Different Agencies For Pending Nursing Home Closures

Ryan Burns / Today @ 5:20 p.m. / Health Care

Protesters stand outside Pacific Rehabilitation & Wellness Center in Eureka on Oct. 13. | Photo by Andrew Goff.



There’s another protest scheduled in Eureka Thursday afternoon over Rockport Healthcare Services’ plans to close three skilled nursing facilities in Humboldt County, though unlike the Oct. 13 gathering the target won’t be Rockport or its billionaire owner, Shlomo Rechnitz. Indeed, this protest was organized by Rockport employees.

And according to a local activist group, that gathering will be met with a simultaneous protest over the same issue — but with a different target. 

The Rockport-organized protest hopes to shift the public’s ire over the pending closures to Partnership HealthPlan of California. Partnership is the nonprofit care provider for Medi-Cal patients in the region. As such, it reimburses Rockport for eligible patient care. So the Rockport-organized protest, scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Thursday, will be held outside Partnership’s Eureka office at 1036 5th Street.

Meanwhile, members of North Coast People’s Alliance (NCPA), the local activist group born from the ashes of Northern Humboldt for Bernie, plan to show up with their own supporters and keep the focus on Rockport and Rechnitz.

This afternoon NCPA sent out a press release announcing the counter-protest. In it the group says that in recent days Rockport employees have been calling relatives of the elderly residents of Pacific Rehabilitation & Wellness Center, encouraging them to attend the protest. Pacific Rehabilitation & Wellness is one of the three skilled nursing facilities slated for closure.

In the press release, which you can read in full below, union member and brief candidate for Eureka City Council Allen McCloskey called Rockport’s efforts “a blatant attempt to pit the community against one another, and to pervert the public perception of what’s actually happening here.”

Another member of National Union of Healthcare Workers, Justin DeFreitas, emailed the Outpost over the issue. “An astroturf protest is cynical enough,” he wrote, “but to use employees to do it amid an alleged worker shortage would be especially shameless.”

The Outpost reached out to Rockport for comment, and spokesman Stefan Friedman confirmed that tomorrow’s protest was organized by company employees. But he said that fact is irrelevant. The point, he said, is that “there will be families, patients, people who are extremely upset at what this agency doing,” which he characterized as “stonewalling.” “Rockport is under-reimbursed for the services they provide,” Friedman said.

He vehemently denied the charge of astroturfing and said the NCPA’s claims are “outrageous” and “a complete manipulation.”

“We obviously have employees who are involved tomorrow,” he said. “We’re not trying to hide anything.”

Here’s the press release from North Coast People’s Alliance:

On Tuesday, family members of residents of Pacific Rehabilitation & Wellness Center were contacted by a representative from Rockport Healthcare Group named Anthony who asked them to attend a protest this Thursday at the local office of Partnership Healthcare Plan, the nonprofit Medical distributor for Humboldt County.
Multiple local residents have reported being contacted by the Rockport representative. One woman, who declines to give her name for fear of negative impacts for her mother, a resident of a Rockport operated facility, reports that upon further questioning, Anthony stated that the purpose of the protest was “to encourage Partnership to pay more.” He told her that the protest would be on Thursday at 1:30, in front of Partnership’s local office at 1036 5th Street in Eureka.
Rockport is controlled by LA-based billionaire Shlomo Rechnitz. Rockport has been locked in a contentious fight with Partnership for months now, with many in the community categorizing Rechnitz’s tactics as extortion. Allen McCloskey, a National Union of Healthcare Workers member, calls this latest development “A blatant attempt to pit the community against one another, and to pervert the public perception of what’s actually happening here.”

In response to the Rockport-initiated protest planned for Thursday, members of the North Coast People’s Alliance have announced their own action – one that calls on Rockport and Rechnitz to take responsibility for the situation by providing fair wages to their workers, increasing quality of care for their vulnerable residents, and keeping as many facilities open as possible locally.
NCPA member Tamara McFarland invites interested parties to join: “Please stand with us to call out the true source of this catastrophe – Shlomo Rechnitz’s greed and unwillingness to work cooperatively with any of the legislators and community activists who have worked tirelessly in an attempt to solve this problem with him over these past months. Join us to demand fair wages for workers in these facilities and humane conditions for patients. We will not take this abuse fueled by corporate greed lying down – we must stand together to say enough is enough.”
For more information, go to BriusWatch.org or find BriusWatch on Facebook.

Fugitive From 24-Year-Old Federal Case Apprehended After Scuffle With Fortuna Police Officers

Hank Sims / Today @ 3:47 p.m. / Crime


From the Fortuna Police Department:

On October 25, 2016 at about 3 pm Fortuna Police were dispatched to a report of a male subject, with a child on his shoulders, walking through a parking lot in the 3300 block of Renner Dr., pulling on numerous parked vehicle door handles attempting to gain entry. 

A Fortuna Police Officer responded and arrived in the area along with Cal Fire Peace Officers who responded to the call to assist. The officers located the subject in the parking lot area of the 3300 block of Renner Dr. Upon contact the subject refused to provide officers with his identity and cooperate with their investigation. The subject began to walk away from the officers and refused to listen to commands. The subject partially complied, stopping and sitting on a bench but he continued to not provide his identity and remove the child from his shoulders. The subject made comment that his wife was in a nearby doctor’s office. Officers located the subject’s reported wife who was also uncooperative and refused to identify the subject. The subject’s reported wife took control of the child.   

After many attempts to gain the identity of the male subject or ascertain why he was attempting to gain entry to several vehicles; and for safety reasons, the officers informed the subject that he was being detained. 
As officers went to place the subject in handcuffs, the subject attempted to flee and became aggressive and physically resistive with officers. The officers were able to secure the subject in handcuffs and take him into custody for his actions.   

The subject had no identification with him and refused and continued to refuse to identify himself. 

Due to the subject’s aggressive actions the Fortuna Police Officer received an abrasion to his forehead, a cut to his left hand and his uniform was torn, while attempting to take the subject into custody. 
The subject was transported and booked as a “John Doe” into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility for Resisting Arrest and Causing injury to a Peace Officer. The subject was fingerprinted to ascertain his identity. 

The subject was identified as George Louis Scavelli, age 49. Scavelli had an outstanding arrest warrant from the US Postal Inspector’s Office. Scavelli had escaped police custody in San Francisco in March 1992 to avoid prosecution for the distribution of dangerous drugs.

Look Out, Garberville! There’s A New Deputy in Town

Hank Sims / Today @ 1:29 p.m. / Local Government

From the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office:

Sheriff Downey is pleased to announce a new Measure Z deputy position assigned to the Garberville Station! This new deputy position is in addition to the regular assigned deputies for the Garberville Station, and is not filling a vacancy. The deputy assigned to this position is Foy Melendy.

Deputy Melendy was hired using Measure Z funding in December 2015 as a Deputy Recruit. The Sheriff’s Office sponsored him to attend the 117th College of the Redwoods Police Academy, where he graduated on June 16, 2016.

Deputy Melendy was promoted to Deputy Sheriff on June 19th and began the 18 week Field Training Program. Deputy Melendy successfully completed the FTO program on October 19th. He began his first day as a solo deputy on October 24th, where he was assigned to the Garberville Station. Deputy Melendy works from 12:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., supplementing the deputies currently on duty.

When you see Deputy Melendy patrolling, please take a moment to introduce yourself and say hello.

(VIDEO) What’s Going On at Standing Rock? Some People Passing Through Town Tell Us About Their Protest Experiences

Sierra Jenkins / Today @ 7 a.m. / LoCO Video Reports

Click video to play.

While Humboldt County is seeing hundreds of people come here to find work trimming cannabis, thousands of people are gathering in Standing Rock, North Dakota for a higher purpose. They’re protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline. During our recent trip to Willow Creek to speak with trimmigrants, LoCO got the opportunity to hear from two women who attended the protest.

Mercedes Bennett and Celestina Fisher were headed to Junction City after a cross-country road trip from Michigan when they stopped at Happy Bear Gifts along Highway 299 in Willow Creek. We asked if they were in the area for “trimming season,” but the conversation immediately took a turn when the duo starting talking about their recent experience at the Dakota Access Pipeline Protest. 

If you’re not familiar, the Dakota Access Pipeline is a project by the Fortune 500 company Energy Transfer Partners. It would run more than 1,100 miles from North Dakota to Illinois, transporting around half a million barrels of crude oil per day. It would run within a half mile of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Reservation and under the Missouri River. Concerns have sparked a massive protest to halt construction.

“There’s nothing more important right now honestly than that in life,” said Bennett.


Suspicious Fire on Eureka’s Union Street Early This Morning

Hank Sims / Today @ 6:57 a.m. / Fire

Click video to play. Photo and video by Danae Kirtley.

From Humboldt Bay Fire:

On October 26, 2016 at approximately 0150 AM Humboldt Bay Fire responded to a residential structure fire in the 2200 block of Union Street. Three fire engines, one ladder truck and two chief officers responded. Upon arrival first arriving crews reported heavy flames coming from the front of the single story residential structure. As engines and the truck company arrived units were assigned to extinguish the fire, ventilate, and search for any trapped occupants. No occupants were located The fire was knocked down in approximately 10 minutes, with full extinguishment and overhaul taking approximately one hour.

The preliminary fire investigation indicates this is a suspicious fire and that the residence appears to be uninhabited. A full investigation will be done later today.

This will be the only press release until after the investigation concludes.

Arcata Fire Protection provided coverage for Humboldt Bay jurisdiction.

OBITUARY: Sherry Carpenter, 1949-2016

Andrew Goff / Today @ 6:50 a.m. / Obits

Sherry Carpenter

Sherry Carpenter peacefully entered into the arms of Jesus on Thursday, October 20, 2016, surrounded by her family.

Sherry was born to Lewis and Virginia Caldwell on April 26, 1949, in Eureka, California. Sherry spent her childhood in Eureka, moving around to the different houses her father built. She and her brothers made lots of memories in those homes. She attended Cutten Elementary, Eureka Junior High and Eureka High School.

Sherry met her husband, Franklin, while she was working at Mike’s Drive Up in 1970. On July 29, 1972, they were married in Reno, Nevada. Sherry and Frank were blessed by their children James and Jennifer.

Sherry and Frank had many business endeavors together, starting with Little Joe’s and ending with Mike’s Drive Up where they worked side by side for 27 years. Throughout the years she held many titles – her favorite being Grammie!

Sherry was a devout Christian; her faith in Jesus was infectious to all who were in her presence. She had a tenacious spirit most people only dream about. She was fiercely dedicated to her family, friends and God. She could often be found doing quiet acts of kindness. Of course, this was when she was not cracking a joke or sharing a special moment. She was an incredible memory maker.

Sherry loved being a child of God. She could be found most Sundays at the Eureka Nazarene Church in the second pew! If she wasn’t there, she was praising and worshipping at Blue Slide Camp which was her favorite place to be with her husband and grandson, Calvin.

Calvin was the light of her life. No child has ever brought so much joy. The two of them had an unbreakable bond. She conquered fears to do the things he enjoyed – like swimming!

Sherry is survived by her beloved husband, Franklin – otherwise known as Babe, her mother, Virginia Caldwell, her children and their spouses, James and Anne Carpenter and Jennifer and Keith Blackburn, and her most favorite person in the world, Calvin. She is also survived by her brother dear, David Caldwell, and special cousin Chet Jarboe and his wife Karen, her grandchildren Beau and Shae’le Blackburn and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, great-grandchildren, and friends.

Family and friends are invited to attend a celebration of life service Thursday, October 27, 2016, at noon at the Eureka Nazarene Church at 2039 E St. in Eureka. A reception will be held following the graveside service at Redwood Teen Challenge Club 5:17 located at 2212 2 nd St in Eureka. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Redwood Teen Challenge as this was a cause near and dear to Sherry’s heart.

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The obituary above was submitted by Sherry’s familyThe Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here. Email news@lostcoastoutpost.com.