Mountain Lion Spotted at Arcata Bus Stop, Says APD

LoCO Staff / Monday, Oct. 1 @ 11:47 a.m. / wildlife

Beware the bus stop mountain lion, says the Arcata Police Department!:


APD has received reports of mountain lion sightings near lower California Avenue.

The mountain lion has been seen at the bus stop at California and L.K. Wood (unknown what time of day) and on the porch of a nearby resident.

If you encounter the mountain lion, make as much noise as possible and make yourself look big. Do not run away!


HSU President Lisa Rossbacher Announces Retirement

Andrew Goff / Monday, Oct. 1 @ 10:31 a.m. / Education

Humboldt State University press release:


Lisa A. Rossbacher, who has served as President of Humboldt State University since 2014, announced today that she will retire from the California State University system after the 2018-19 academic year.

In a message to the HSU community, President Rossbacher said that she had enjoyed serving as president, but the timing was right to move to the next stage of her career. She had discussed her plans over the summer with CSU Chancellor Timothy White.

“This was not an easy decision, as I very much enjoy being part of this campus community,” she wrote. “I am inspired each day by our amazing students and by the commitment of our faculty and staff.”

President Rossbacher also used her message to highlight some areas of recent success for the University, including: a sustainable budget, improved graduation rates, investment in student support programs, efforts related to diversity and equity, and additional tenure-line faculty positions.

CSU Chancellor Timothy White praised President Rossbacher for her commitment and achievements at HSU.

“While working in one of the CSU’s most unique environments, President Rossbacher’s long-standing commitment to improving student success was always apparent,” White said. “She has led the campus to steady growth in graduation rates, and I am pleased to say that Humboldt State is graduating students at record numbers. Her leadership of a campus-wide collaborative effort also resulted in recent reaccreditation from the WASC Senior College and University Commission. To eliminate a persistent structural deficit in the campus budget, she made difficult but necessary decisions in order to put HSU on a solid path. I commend and thank President Rossbacher for her leadership at HSU, her previous service as a member of the faculty and administration at Cal Poly Pomona, and her dedication to the CSU mission.”

The CSU will soon launch a national search for President Rossbacher’s successor. Under university policy, the chairman of the CSU Trustees, Adam Day, and Chancellor Timothy White will select a committee made up of various campus stakeholders who will be publicly announced at a later date. Campus and community input will be sought in an open forum held on campus.

During the remainder of 2018-19, President Rossbacher says she will focus on goals she outlined during her Fall Welcome. These include the ongoing initiatives related to student success, strengthening a welcoming and supportive community for HSU’s growing diversity, achieving a balanced budget, and addressing the recommendations from the recent review by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

During her time at HSU, President Rossbacher has focused on promoting student success, developing a sustainable budget, and aligning programs with the core mission of the University. She led development of the 2015-20 strategic plan, which includes four overriding goals: (1) supporting student success, (2) developing a welcoming and safe environment for diverse populations, (3) expanding partnerships with local communities, and (4) being a good steward of resources, including fiscal, physical, and intellectual resources.

President Rossbacher has been actively engaged in the Equity Alliance of the North Coast and Equity Arcata, both of which bring together multiple stakeholders to create a community that is welcoming and supportive of diversity and inclusion. She also re-instituted the University’s Native American Advisory Council and this year began serving as the presidential liaison to the CSU’s Native American Initiative.

Some successes during her presidency include:

  • Four-year graduation rates at HSU reached an all-time high of 21 percent, while six-year graduation rates increased to 52 percent.
  • HSU’s accreditation was reaffirmed for an eight-year period by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.
  • A sustainable budget plan was developed and the University is on track to have a balanced budget for the 2019-20 academic year. This is a reversal from four years ago, when the University had been running deficits and was on the verge of exhausting its operating reserve fund. A modest operating reserve fund and capital reserve fund have now been created. Under new CSU guidelines, campuses are expected to build capital reserves so that they can contribute funds to build new facilities.
  • Significant investments were made in new tenure-line faculty, and the student-to-faculty ratio has gone from 22:1 to 20:1.
  • Important investments were made in student support programs, including the Cultural Centers for Academic Excellence, the RAMP student mentor program, advising, and mental health programs.
    New place-based learning communities were created to support students in the sciences and natural resources. Based on initial success in persistence and other factors, new learning communities have recently launched for other students, including those who are undecided on a major.
  • New grants for research and sponsored programs reached over $23 million annually. HSU researchers are currently leading hundreds of grant-funded projects with a total value of more than $86 million.
  • HSU earned a gold rating for its sustainability efforts from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, highlighting the University’s role as a higher education leader in sustainability.
  • Faculty and students from HSU provided statewide leadership in conducting research, making policy recommendations, and implementing local programs to address student food and housing insecurity.

President Rossbacher is the seventh president of Humboldt State University. She came to HSU after serving as president of Southern Polytechnic State University in Georgia, and had previously served as a faculty member and administrator at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, Whittier College, and Dickinson College. She was the first woman geologist to become a university president in North America.

President Rossbacher graduated from Dickinson College with a degree in Geology, received master’s degrees from the State University of New York at Binghamton (now Binghamton University) and Princeton University, and earned her Ph.D. in Geological and Geophysical Sciences at Princeton University. She has authored books on geology, science, and the media. Her research interests focus on the role of water and water ice on the planet Mars, and in 1984, she was a finalist in NASA’s astronaut selection process.

HARDIN: Cannabis is Not Wine

John Hardin / Monday, Oct. 1 @ 7:35 a.m. / Op-Ed

I hear a lot of people talk about marketing cannabis in the same way they market wine. They talk about this idea very seriously, and seem bent on betting their futures on this dream of turning Humboldt County into something like Napa County Wine Country for upscale, connoisseur grade, cannabis. This strikes me as a very foolhardy gamble. It makes me wonder “How do people who grow this good of weed not get high enough to realize how stupid of an idea this is?” There is a big difference between cannabis and fine wine. The only thing they share, really, is the inflated price tag.

First, you need to remind yourself what wine is. At its root, wine is what happens when ripe fruit turns sour. You don’t have wine unless you have more fruit than you can eat before it goes bad, so wine is an intoxicating byproduct of great abundance. That kind of abundance does not occur often naturally. Some hunter-gatherer cultures enjoy wine as part of an annual festival at the end of summer, if they have a native species that produces an abundance of fermentable fruit. They may drink heavily and stumble around in drunken song for a week, celebrating the abundance of nature, if the bounty of nature allows it, but they will not try to save or bottle the wine and they will not drink at all for the rest of the year. That’s native culture, not wine culture.

Wine still celebrates abundance, but not natural abundance. Wine celebrates the abundance of tamed land, where the community of life has been evicted, to make way for armies of vines which serve only their human master. Wine celebrates the abundance that comes from conquering the land and enslaving it. Wine celebrates property, mastery and dominion over the land, and it symbolizes the abundance they produce.

The aristocracy in France elevated the expression of this kind of abundance to a high art, making French wine and French food the envy of the world. The French aristocracy took tremendous pride in their cuisine and their wine, and developed very high standards for all of it. The peasants who produced all of this abundance by their hard work, however — tending to those vines and working the farms — often went hungry. Eventually, the peasants got sick of it. They formed angry mobs and they cut all of the aristocrats’ heads off. Today, France is a democratic nation and the French people enjoy a high standard of living. They still make excellent wine and produce many delicacies which hearken back to those extravagant days of unbridled indulgence.

Before we start trying to become the new Napa, we shouldn’t forget that Napa is trying to become the new Bordeaux, France. That’s why they work so hard at the whole gourmet food thing, along with the wine, and the elegant manor lifestyle. In Napa, they celebrate the abundance of capitalism in this newly conquered and enslaved land. In a sense, they compete with King Louis the XIV in the field of self-indulgent opulence. I do not really see that as a worthy goal. To me, as a pot smoker, it sounds abhorrent, and I identify more with the angry mobs of peasants.

Now smoke a joint and remember what cannabis is. Cannabis is a natural herb that contains a revolutionary psychedelic — like LSD, only much milder. Cannabis alters our consciousness in a way that allows us to feel a connection to the whole of life. Cannabis changes how we see the world and how we perceive our place in it. Cannabis consciousness is about love, creativity, equality and the connection between all living things. Cannabis consciousness allows us to share the burden, the joy and the wonder of life, with all of life, through a kind of communion with the plant world.

Cannabis consciousness celebrates life in the power of a river and the strength of a bear. Cannabis consciousness respects diversity and demands equality. Cannabis consciousness respects nature and understands ecology implicitly. Cannabis consciousness inspires creativity and the impulse to play. Cannabis consciousness inspires an appreciation for food, not an extravagant palette, but a humble appreciation for all food, and the pleasure of eating. Cannabis consciousness encourages communication and helps resolve differences.

Cannabis consciousness looks for ways to reduce stress and minimize work through equality and cooperation. Cannabis consciousness has no use for hierarchies, authority figures or empires. Cannabis consciousness looks for quality in expressions of insight and ecstatic emotion through music and art. Cannabis consciousness sees abundance in the forest, but cannabis consciousness has no desire to conquer or enslave it, because cannabis consciousness knows that the natural world is family, and that we are all one.

Cannabis consciousness looks at a vineyard and sees poverty, slavery, toil and ugliness, not abundance. Cannabis consciousness sees right through all of the fancy packaging and bullshit hype. Cannabis consciousness sees right through it all and recognizes this upscale marketing ploy as just another ripoff, and just another attempt to conquer and enslave nature. Cannabis consciousness inspires revolutionaries and gives them the strength to fight. Cannabis is the people’s herb! It is not some frivolous indulgence for the bourgeois.

Cannabis culture is nothing like wine culture. The ideals of cannabis culture are different. The aesthetics of cannabis culture are different and the social dynamics of cannabis culture are different. Cannabis culture and wine culture are as different as night and day and cannabis consciousness recognizes that alcohol culture, wine culture, is a death cult.

Any bright future for humanity belongs to cannabis culture and depends on cannabis consciousness. Cannabis will not remain our slave any longer. Forget the wine model and the dead end culture of alcohol. Follow cannabis consciousness to a new ideal, a new aesthetic, and a new culture that’s not based on conquest and slavery, but instead based on love and respect for the whole of life. Regardless of how frightening and economically uncertain the future appears right now, that’s the only future worth betting your life on, really.


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

(VIDEO) Cass Bell Predicts Win, Defeats Opponent With Second-Round Armbar

John Ross Ferrara / Sunday, Sept. 30 @ 11:09 a.m. / Sports

Local pro MMA fighter Cass Bell remains undefeated after submitting his opponent Ty Costa last night at Bellator 206.

Bell previously predicted that he would beat Costa in round two and that’s exactly what happened.

For a moment it looked like the fight could go either way, as Costa pinned Bell to the mat in the first minute of the second round. But inch by inch, Bell began to masterfully maneuver himself out from under the takedown by locking his legs around Costa’s left arm.

Bell as seen on the jumbotron after the win. Photo shared by Bell on social media.

Despite Costa’s numerous attempts to shake Bell’s grip by lifting him up and slamming him to the canvas, Bell remained wrapped around Costa’s arm like a neon green bear trap.

By the three-minute mark, Bell wriggled himself into position and yanked Costa’s arm backwards, forcing him to immediately tap out of the excruciating hold. And that was it.

Bell now has a professional record of 2-0. He has yet to go the distance in a professional match, submitting both his opponents in round two. Watch the fight in its entirety below.

Victory | Photo by Julianne Colella.

Two Killed in Big Rig Crash North of Willits Yesterday

LoCO Staff / Sunday, Sept. 30 @ 7:44 a.m. / Traffic



From the California Highway Patrol:

On September 29, 2018, at approximately 1338 hours, a 2008 Dodge Ram 1500 pick-up, with two female occupants, was being driven northbound on US-101, near Reynolds Highway, north of Willits, CA. at an unknown rate of speed. Robert Maffia, of Ukiah, CA., was driving his 1997 Peterbilt tractor/trailer combination, southbound on US-101, near Reynolds Highway, at approximately 55 MPH.

For reasons still under investigation, the driver of the Dodge lost control of her vehicle and it crossed into the southbound lanes, directly into the path of the Peterbilt. Mr. Maffia took evasive actions; however, despite his efforts, the Peterbilt collided with the driver’s side of the Dodge. The Dodge spun out of the roadway and came to rest on the west shoulder of US-101. The Peterbilt came to rest in the northbound lanes of US-101. The load of lumber being hauled by the Peterbilt, spilled off the trailer and into the roadway, blocking both directions of traffic on US-101.

The driver and passenger of the Dodge were pronounced deceased at the scene. Their names are currently being withheld pending notification of the next of kin. It is unknown at this time if drugs or alcohol were a factor in this collision.

Mr. Maffia was treated at the scene for minor injuries. He was determined not to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Due to the recovery of the vehicles, scene clean up, and the collision investigation, the northbound and southbound lanes of US-101 were closed for approximately two-hours. One-way traffic control was then established for continued collision scene investigation and clean up efforts.

The California Highway Patrol Garberville Area is investigating this collision.


Barry Evans / Sunday, Sept. 30 @ 7 a.m. / Growing Old Ungracefully

“…our normal waking consciousness…is but one special type of consciousness, whilst all about it, parted from it by the filmiest of screens, there lie potential forms of consciousness entirely different.”

William James, Varieties of Religious Experience, 1902


And without so much as a by-your-leave, you lost yourself. You were tripping on acid or DMT or mushrooms. You took the red pill. You were lying on your back on a summer’s day making clouds disappear. On a winter’s night breathing in a million stars. Making love. A forest walk. You nearly died. Meditating, praying, chanting. You were on a train to nowhere. You heard your name spoken aloud in an empty room.

You went away. No self. Void. The abyss. Nothing and everything. Alone. Connected to everything. Lost. Found. Home.

It lasted for a second. An hour. A month.

“I’m enlightened and you’re not.” (Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka. Barry Evans)

Back in the world (not-quite-as-real world). What was that? What happened? You find words, but they’re empty, inadequate. The immensity remains. You’re gobsmacked by the unlikeliness of your existence, of any existence. You’re humbled. You’re exalted.

You interpret, according to your faith, upbringing, life experience: anoxia; Jesus spoke; you were God; you awoke to your Buddha nature; you tasted enlightenment; the veil parted; your neurons fired in synchrony; you had a mini-stroke; you grokked eternity; it was only dust in the wind.

You’re terrified, neurotic. You’re going mad. You’re saner than you’ve ever been. You’re elated, enraptured by the glimpse of reality. You speak of it to no one. You tell everyone. You deny it. You forget about it. You write a book, give a TED talk. You’re greedy for more. You devote your life to The Quest. You stop searching. You embellish in the retelling. You minimize. Life is meaningful. Life is worthless.

You read William James, Jill Bolte Taylor, Jiddu Krishnamurti, Ramana Maharshi, Ram Das, Saint Teresa, Mark Eppstein, Toni Packer, Peter Matthiessen, Little Flower, Joan Tollifson, Eckhart Tolle. You research the Marsh Chapel (Good Friday) Experiment. You re-watch The Matrix, Inception, Fight Club, Brazil. You check out the local zendo, church, temple, bar.

Death is no longer terrifying. Death now haunts you, closer with each breath. You’re numbed into inaction. You live in the Now. Life is no longer “a drag from numbered stone to numbered stone.” You’re electrified into making every moment count, no more squandering. You drink, you fast, you binge, you pop pills, you quit your job. Money is just green paper. You’re greedy for wealth. You resolve to be kinder, to cut people slack, to give thanks.

Nothing is ever the same.

OBITUARY: Darrel Kenneth ‘Kenny’ Elliot, 1944-2018

LoCO Staff / Sunday, Sept. 30 @ 6:45 a.m. / Obits

Darrel Kenneth ‘Kenny’ Elliot was born on July 30, 1944 and passed away at his home on the morning of September 19, 2018 of a heart attack.  He was born in Hanford, California to William and Cora Elliott, he was the third of five children.  The family moved to Humboldt County when he was six years old. 

Kenny attended Fortuna high school and quickly became a well-loved member of the town.  He eventually settled down to raise a family in Hydesville, CA where he married his wife of 42 years, Beatrice Marlene Elliott. For over 20 years they owned and operated the Loleta service station where he was able to do what he loved, helping others and working on all sorts of cars. 

Kenny was always hustling and never liked sitting still, he loved bowling, westerns, fixing up classic cars, going to storage unit auctions and having big rummage sales where he got to talk to all sorts of people. 

Kenny was a wonderful, kind, funny and generous man, father and husband who will be missed dearly.  He is survived by his loving wife Marlene, his 4 siblings Katherine, Floyd, Corrine and Sandy, his children, Danny, Suzie and Willie and his 4 grandchildren, Connor, Paige, Ethan & Dorothy. 

No service will be held at this time, in lieu of flowers we ask for donations to be made to the Sequoia Humane Society in Eureka.


The obituary above was submitted on behalf of Kenny Elliot’s family. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here.