Disney’s ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ Filming in Eureka This Week

Andrew Goff / Monday, Nov. 28 @ 11:51 a.m. / MOVIED!

Eureka is (almost) ready for its closeup! This morning the gate to the road that leads down to the Sequoia Park duck pond is closed and bears a sign reading, “Commercial Filming in Progress — Thanks For Your Patience!” On Glatt Street, around on the other side of the park, numerous trucks are unloading heavy equipment one might associate with major motion picture shoots. Thick cables snake into the woods. Giant fans stand at the ready to blow … something. Big rigs sport custom decals reading “Buena Vista Studios, Burbank, CA” alongside a very familiar castle logo. 

Yup! We’re making another movie, Humboldt! 

As is usually the case in these situations, Cassandra Hesseltine, film commissioner for Humboldt and Del Norte counties, remained mostly mum on the production at this early stage even though *cough, cough*.

“I can tell you that there is a shoot happening. At this time I can’t tell you the title,” Hesseltine said. “We are always very excited when these productions come as they have a positive economic impact on the area. We just hope that the community allows them to get their work done and shows that we are a film-friendly community.”

Over at Sequoia Park this morning, crews and security were much less tight-lipped about the massive unloading operations underway right in front of them and several crew members casually confirmed to us that shooting here will begin this week for Disney’s Ava DuVernay-directed adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s beloved science fantasy novel A Wrinkle in Time. One person told us as many as 200 people would be on set later this week. 

Patti Stammer, a local independent film scout with Scout Humboldt!, told us that Sequoia Park and Glatt Street would remain in their current state of partial closure until Dec. 5th or 6th. 

“This is the biggest production that’s ever been in Humboldt,” Stammer told us, noting that, while Sequoia Park is closed to vehicles, hikers and dog walkers are free to go about their forest jaunts. (Stammer called us later in the day to clarify that this is the biggest production she’s ever seen filmed in this location.)

According to IMDb, A Wrinkle in Time began shooting in Los Angeles earlier this month (as this mannequin challenge video confirms) and is scheduled to be released in April of 2018. It will star Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Chris Pine, Michael Peña and Zach Galifianakis among others.

(UPDATE: After this post went up, Hesseltine sent us a message to note that none of the larger stars attached to this project will be in the scenes filmed in Humboldt. “The production is super excited to be here in town. However, the talent mentioned in your piece are not here,” she said.)

The Outpost will update when we know more about the scale of the A Wrinkle in Time shoot and the various ways it could potentially affect your day. 


High Surf Advisory: 20 to 24-Foot-Waves Will Whomp Humboldt, Del Norte and Mendo Beaches

John Ross Ferrara / Monday, Nov. 28 @ 11:16 a.m. / How ‘Bout That Weather


Giant 20 to 24-foot-waves will hit Humboldt, Del Norte and Mendocino County shores this evening, and should continue throughout tomorrow morning.

The National Weather Service of Eureka forecasts that northerly and westerly beaches will see the largest waves. The NWS also advises beachgoers to avoid the jetties and enjoy the surf from a safe distance.

NWS of Eureka:

High surf returns to the coast of California tonight with 20 to 24 foot breakers forecast for the Del Norte, Humboldt, and Mendocino coasts.

Breaker heights will increase late this evening and then continue through Tuesday morning with northerly and westerly beaches seeing the largest waves.

Large surf is turbulent and dangerous so beachgoers should stay farther back from the surf and off of jetties or rocks. Enjoy from a distance!

Commercial Crab Season Opens Today From North Jetty to Oregon Border

Ryan Burns / Monday, Nov. 28 @ 10:04 a.m. / Business

Offloading crab on Trinidad Pier. | File photo: Ted Pease

Press release from the Humboldt Fishermen’s Marketing Association:

Dungeness Crab fishermen in District 6 (North Jetty Humboldt Bay to Oregon Border) can begin setting crab pots today, but many local fishermen may stay tied up. Rough ocean conditions and a very large northwesterly swell forecast by the National Weather Service is expected to produce unsafe conditions on the ocean and Humboldt Bay Bar. Meanwhile, boats out of Trinidad and Crescent City will also begin setting pots.

Dungeness crabs in District 6 have tested free of domoic acid (a naturally occurring compound) and are reported to be of exceptional quality with high meat recovery. District 6 is the only area north of Point Reyes, San Francisco open to crab fishing in California. Oregon could open as soon as December 15, and Washington State sometime later.

Because of limited fishing area and high crab quality, the three local fishermen’s associations (Humboldt, Trinidad, and Crescent City) discussed the possibility of waiting to begin fishing in order to negotiate with crab buyers for a higher price. Unable to achieve consensus on the issue of price, the crab fleet will start fishing with an ex-vessel price of $3 per pound. The first local crabs of the season will be delivered to our ports on December 1st.

Arcata Man is Second Arrested for Murder of Laytonville Grower Jeffrey Quinn Settler, Five Suspects Still at Large

John Ross Ferrara / Sunday, Nov. 27 @ 5:08 p.m. / Crime

Photos provided by the MCSO.

Amanda Weist is no longer a suspect.

Arcata man Gary “Giggles” Fitzgerald was arrested for the murder of Jeffrey Quinn Settler on Wednesday.

This is the latest arrest in an ongoing investigation regarding the death of Settler, a marijuana grower who officers believe was robbed and murdered by seven trimmers at his Laytonville property on November 11.

Lt. Shannon Barney of the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office told the Outpost in a phone interview this morning, that Fitzgerald turned himself in.

Initial reports listed the 23-year-old as a resident of Roanoke, Illinois. However, the MCSO booking log, which is currently offline, links Fitzgerald to an address in Arcata.

Fitzgerald is the second suspect to be charged with Settler’s murder. Zachary Ryan Wuester was arrested in connection to the murder on November 14, in Willits.

Barney also told the Outpost that the Sheriff’s Office has contacted Amanda Weist since the initial BOLO report, and that she is no longer a suspect.

Five other suspects remain at large.


  • Zachary Wuester, 24 year old white male, Haskell, New Jersey **In Custody**
  • Frederick Gaestel, 27 year old white male, Clifton, New Jersey
  • Gary Blank III, 34 year old white male, Elgin, Illinois
  • Gary Fitzgerald, 23 year old white male, Roanoke, Illinois **In Custody**
  • Jesse Wells, 32 year old white male, Binghamton, New York
  • Mochael Kane, 25 year old white male, Pleasantville, New York
  • “Richie” last name unknown, approx 25 year old black male, possibly from San Diego, California  **No Photo**
  • Amanda Weist, 26 year old white female, Fairfax, Virginia  **Not a Suspect**

Missing Mushroom Picker Wanders Into Rescue Camp After Three Chilling Nights, Burnt Shoes to Stay Warm

John Ross Ferrara / Sunday, Nov. 27 @ 12:10 p.m. / News

Mary Dow. Photos provided by the Mendo Sheriff’s Office.

Mary Dow, the mushroom picker who went missing on Wednesday evening after separating from her nephew in the thick timber off of Branscomb Road, has been found alive.

Lt. Shannon Barney of the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office told the Outpost in a phone interview this morning, that Dow wandered into the rescue camp yesterday afternoon, almost too cold to speak.

“She was so hypothermic we couldn’t interview her,” Barney said. “She came wandering in to the command post, I don’t know if she heard the noise of our vehicles or what. She was originally thought to be 50 yards from there, but I think she went much further than that and came back.”

Despite suffering from a serious case of hypothermia, Barney said the 58-year-old was able to explain that she fell into a nearby river.

“She fell into a river and said she burnt her shoes one night to say warm,” Barney said. “She had a few bumps and bruises, but she was doing pretty good considering the circumstances.”

Dow is recovering at a local hospital after spending three nights, including Thanksgiving, braving the wilderness.

“She was in bad shape cold wise,” Barney said. “After we got her into camp, it started hailing, so she lucked out.”


Barry Evans / Sunday, Nov. 27 @ 8:50 a.m. / Growing Old Ungracefully

It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.

— Mark Twain


  • Your chance of being shot by another American are 5,000 times greater than being shot by an Islamic terrorist. (see table)

  • Also, when we declare war on Islam, perhaps we’re taking on more than we realize, since Moslems account for 23% of the global population, i.e. 1.6 billion people.
  • Mass shootings are way over-reported. Of the 325,000 firearm deaths recorded by the FBI from 1983 to 2012, just 547 people died in incidents involving four or more deaths (0.17%).
  • I thought Humboldt County was fairly representative of the whole state. Turns out, (1) minorities make up 19% of our population, as opposed to 50% for the state as a whole; and (2) average per capita income 2010 in Humboldt was $23,496, 80% of the $29,020 state average.
  • I used to think papers published in peer-reviewed scientific journals could be trusted. Science reported last year that only 39% of results published in the top three psychology journals could be replicated, with similar results for nutrition, genetics and oncology (cancer treatment).
  • Speaking of which, less than half — 42% — of cancers result from bad lifestyle choices (of which smoking accounts for 19%). Most cancers are attributable to bad luck — genetics, DNA copying errors and random mutations.
  • Annual global emissions of carbon dioxide nearly doubled in the last two decades, from 6 billion tons in the early ‘90s to over 10 billion tons today.
  • You’d have to walk 90 minutes a day every day to lose one pound in a week.
  • As the consumption of violent video games does up, youth violence goes down. (see graph)

  • Despite only 50% in ticket sales being paid out as prizes, we spent $70 billion on lottery in 43 states (in 2014) = $300 per adult—more than combined sports tickets, books, video games, movie tickets and recorded music.
  • The scientific revolution is 500 years old (starting with Copernicus), yet 49% of us say natural disasters are a sign of “the end times” per the Book of Revelations.
  • Lost Coast Outpost readers are twice as intelligent as some other people.


Barry Evans gave the best years of his life to civil engineering, and what thanks did he get? In his dotage, he travels, kayaks, meditates and writes for the Journal and the Humboldt Historian. He sucks at 8 Ball. Buy his Field Notes anthologies at any local bookstore. Please.


James Tressler / Sunday, Nov. 27 @ 8:32 a.m. / Letter From Istanbul

In our faith there’s a concept. We surrender ourselves to death. If you are the leader, you have to communicate the message of immortality to your people. Because I believe if a leader hides behind a rock, his people will hide behind a mountain.”

— Excerpt from “60 Minutes” interview with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan



We don’t hear, or use, that word much nowadays. Back in America you might hear it in an episode of “Game of Thrones.” Here, we don’t hear it much either – the fast-food, myopic Internet culture has taken hold as much as it has anywhere else.

Let’s face it: here on Earth, folks, immortality doesn’t mean anything, except maybe in the Cistine Chapel. But even that doesn’t amount to much. I remember my wife and I passing through the Cistine Chapel, after a two or three-hour tour of the Vatican. Remembering our dear Robin Williams, and his “Good Will Hunting” speech, I struggled vainly to ascertain the smell of the interior. I’ll be honest: I didn’t smell a thing, except the need to step outside to have a cigarette.

Here in Istanbul, you are surrounded, crammed, with antiquity. You can’t escape it. But antiquity doesn’t mean immortality. Check the dictionary, but I am sure the words are quite different. “Very old” doesn’t mean “everlasting.”

Of course, President Erdogan was not referring to old buildings or the back pages of history books when he dropped the ‘I’ bomb. He was talking about a leader’s role, especially in times of crisis.

Watching the “60 Minutes” interview with my wife the other night, this word, for whatever reason, rang out. It bothered me, or set off a series of thoughts, emotions, something.


Who the hell uses that word nowadays?


Although the sound of Erdogan’s stern, cunning voice is a daily fixture in our lives – every day you hear it on the radio, on TV – this was the first time I’d really listened to him speak so directly about his personal motivations, or the philosophy of his controversial leadership style. Maybe the only immortality is in this electronic stratosphere that we have constructed. Cut the wires, knock out a couple of satellites, send in an asteroid, and all bets are off.

Back to “60 Minutes,” (tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-)

We see a montage of nationalists, religious conservatives – a sea of red and white flags, paying homage to Erdogan, while the voice-over tells us that “disillusionment” is wide-spread in Turkey. Much of the growing anti-Americanism, Kroft says, stems from the events of the past July. (Really?Just from this past July?) We see a gripping montage of the failed coup attempt, in which 241 people were killed. Tanks storming bridges, jets streaking over Istanbul, the bombing of the Parliament building in Ankara, soldiers firing on citizens.

Steve Kroft: Were you afraid for your life, and for your family members?

Erdogan (sighs): Steve, in our faith there is a concept. We surrender ourselves to death. If you’re the leader, you have to communicate the message of immortality. Because I believe if a leader hides behind a rock, his people will hide behind a mountain.

(My translation: Oh, Stevie, Stevie, Stevie. Stevie, Stevie, Ste-vie! My darling boy! (You don’t mind if I call you ‘Stevie,’ do you? You obviously have never ruled a country before, especially not one in the Middle East.)

Actually, “Steve” is spot on, most of the time. He wastes no time reminding American viewers of the crackdown since the failed coup – the 30,000 arrests, the 100,000-plus firings and dismissals, ranging from the military, to the police, to the courts, teachers and journalists, even members of Parliament, all of whom were suspected of either supporting the coup, or at the very least being supporters of Fetullah Gulen, the exiled cleric accused by Erdogan of orchestrating the takeover attempt. We see the impressive Gulen complex in Pennsylvania, while the voice-over reminds us of Turkey’s repeated requests that the United States government to extradite Gulen, so that he may face prosecution here.

Again, we’ve been over this in my letters, so we can move on, and return to the interview.

Erdogan: This man (Gulen) is the leader of a terrorist organization that has bombed my Parliament. We have extradited terrorists to the United States in the past, and we expect the same thing to be done by the United States.

(My translation: Stevie, Stevie, my dear Stevie. Spare me the Western hypocrisy and crocodile tears. OK, it makes for great television. But we are two men talking sincerely about business. We are not getting personal. BTW, Might I recommend Edward Said’s, “Orientalism?” It’s not bad reading.)

(Aside: Steve, why didn’t you ask Erdogan why he and Gulen, who used to be allies, suddenly become enemies? You might have asked about the events of December 2013, in which several members of Erdogan’s party were arrested on accusations of bribery – which he would have claimed to have been ‘trumped up’ charges by the Gulen-infiltrated police and judiciary. I don’t know who’s right, but you could have at least raised the question.)


The sit-down version of Erdogan who spoke to Steve Kroft on “60 Minutes” was quite an experience. It was a big contrast to the man who presides over modern Turkey, the man, the powerhouse, the dictator, or the savior, depending on who you ask.

Of course, Erdogan was on his home court, sitting in the recently completed 1,100-room palace in Ankara.

I imagined the interview airing back in America. Sunday evening and millions of Americans sitting down to dinner, Thanksgiving just a few days away, while this calm, even august figure holds forth on immortality. Maybe those who attended Sunday services would nod knowingly, but I’m guessing it must have sounded baffling to all the rest of my compratiots.

I don’t know, maybe not.

After all, the past couple of weeks have already had their share of shocks. And in comparison with some of President-elect Donald Trump’s tweets, perhaps Erdogan’s remarks seem rather mild, even bland, sanguine.

“If you are the leader, you have to communicate the message of immortality to your people …”

That quote just sticks with me, for some reason.

Perhaps it explains to me something about President Erdogan. Perhaps it accounts, in part, for his enormous popularity among the conservative Islamic masses in central and eastern Anatolia – not to mention is cult of personality in much of the Middle East. I’ve seen him, over the years, give speeches to adoring crowds from Ankara to Cairo. I’ve seen him withstand internal strife, from the Taksim Square protests to last July’s failed military coup, in which some 241 people reportedly died, and even the Parliament building in Ankara was bombed. Erdogan himself reportedly escaped assassination by the skin of his teeth, with his security team getting wind of the coup in the nick of time.

The night of the coup attempt, my wife and I, like the rest of the stunned and anxious nation, were glued to the news. We watched as Erdogan addressed the nation, using Face chat on a borrowed mobile phone, urging citizens to stand up to the “traitors.” An hour or so later, he was on the ground in Istanbul, looking very much composed (or mostly, given the circumstances), and calmly talking to reporters.


Looking over what I’ve written, I’m scratching my head a bit about where this letter is going. Was I going to offer some insights on his leadership style, what makes him tick – his thoughts on the hereafter?

Immortality – or the projection of it – is a tricky business. I’ve never tried it myself. At times, I have managed to communicate a message of sincerity while lying through my teeth; on occasion I have mimicked sobriety better than the soundest judge, notwithstanding the protests of the half-dozen pints stirring in the blood, and once at disco, I even convinced a very naive female that I was from Australia (Yeah, mate!). But I have never been confronted with the task of persuading the masses that I was not now, nor would ever be, within a lick of breathing my last breath.

But then, I suppose I’ve never had to deal with the issues on Erdogan’s plate: a civil war just over the border, ongoing terrorism in the east, the spectre of ISIS, the chess game between East and West powers, the balancing act of religious belief and secularism, not to mention the Kurdish question.

It would seem that Erdogan, in his 13 years of rule, has never known anything but conflict, crises.

“If a leader hides behind a rock, then the people will hide behind a mountain.” Erdogan hasn’t had the luxury of hiding, not in this part of the world. Right now, it’s arguably the powder keg for the next world conflict, or the center of the world’s desire, as it has been so often throughout the ages.


Perhaps I’ve written this just to have a clearer picture of Erdogan in my own mind, to sort of assemble the simulacra – bits and pieces, flashes from the media, from Turkish friends and associates, from my own impressions – into something concrete and – wait for it … relatable (I hope that’s a word that will soon fall out of fashion).

I understand now a little better the controlled exasperation with which Erdogan answered the “60 Minutes” reporter’s seemingly innocuous question. Time and again, it seems, the West seems to naively, or willfully, misinterpret both Erdogan the leader and his ambitions. It is not personal security in fact that Erdogan seeks. I believe him when he says he does not worry much about his personal safety. He may in fact believe he is bullet-proof. Ultimately, he is after something much bigger.

The immortality Erdogan refers to, and that which he seeks, is that rarest of blends, one that is reserved for only a few, such as his predecessors, from Osman to Mehmet III, from Suleyman the Magnificent to Ataturk. His aim is to restore Turkey to its glorious past, and in doing so, secure his place in the ages, his name permanently etched in stone, alongside the many others already here in this storied corner of the world.

Maybe up until now, Western leaders have failed to grasp this key aspect of Erdogan. The incoming Trump administration has indicated that Turkey will be a top priority. What they really mean by Turkey, of course, is President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. For he is right about one thing: he is the face, and voice, of this nation now, and most likely for a long time to come.


James Tressler, a former Lost Coast resident, is a writer and teacher living in Istanbul.