Still No Trial Date for Accused Killer of Fortuna Fireman; Goldberg’s Attorney Says He Needs More Time

Rhonda Parker / Today @ 1:54 p.m. / Courts

Jon David Goldberg.

There’s no hurry for a jury in the case of Bridgeville resident Jon David Goldberg, charged with murdering a good friend who turned out to be having an affair with his wife.

“We’re not quite ready to take this matter to trial,” Public Defender Casey Russo told visiting Judge Douglas C. Phimister during a brief hearing this morning. Goldberg’s next court appearance will be Feb. 23, when a trial date could be set.

If a jury convicts him of murder and personal use of a firearm, the 37-year-old Goldberg faces life in prison.

Goldberg is accused of shooting Timothy Smith to death Sept. 26 in Smith’s front yard in Fortuna. Smith, 42,  was struck by five bullets and died at the scene. Smith’s wife Jessica Springer says she heard shots and came out of the house to find her husband lying on the ground. She saw Goldberg holding a gun and watched him drive away.

The principal facts in the case came out during Goldberg’s preliminary hearing in December. According to testimony presented then,  Springer found naked pictures of Rachel Goldberg on her husband’s cellphone. Springer called Rachel Goldberg and demanded she tell her husband about the affair. She did.

The next day Smith was outside unloading items from his pickup truck when Goldberg allegedly drove up, got out of his van, said “I thought you were my friend” and opened fire.

He was arrested later that day at his home  on state Highway 36. Goldberg is being held on $1 million bail.




Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Provides Further Details on Yesterday’s Bracut Standoff

Andrew Goff / Today @ 1:46 p.m. /

PREVIOUSLY: Police Stationed Near the Bracut KOA Campground, Attempting to Deal With Suicidal Subject

# # #

Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office press release:

On Wednesday, January 18, 2017 at approximately 9:45 a.m. Humboldt County Deputy Sheriffs responded to the 4000 block of Hwy 101 in Bayside to a welfare check request of a possible suicidal subject armed with a handgun.  Deputies received information that a 58 year old male adult was going to kill himself if law enforcement officers came to the door of his residence.  Deputies set up a perimeter around the residence and began to evacuate nearby residents.  Mental Health and the Sheriff’s Crisis Negotiations Team responded to assist. 

Crisis negotiators were soon able to make phone contact with the subject and convince him to exit the residence unarmed.  The subject was taken into custody without further incident and transported to a local hospital for a mental health evaluation.

No members of law enforcement or the public was injured during this incident.    

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.

They’re Planning to Bring the California Condor Back to Humboldt! Your Input Welcomed at Meetings Next Week

Hank Sims / Today @ 1:39 p.m. / wildlife

Photo: Gavin Emmons, via the National Parks Service.

This is pretty great, is it not? 

You can find the full, prettily formatted and informative National Parks Services flyer for the upcoming meetings in Eureka, Klamath and elsewhere here.

Press release from the National Parks Service below:

The National Park Service (NPS), the Yurok Tribe (tribe), and the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) will be holding five public meetings to present a plan to reintroduce California condors into Redwood National Park in northwestern California. The project would continue efforts to restore condors in California and would further the goal of returning the condor into its historical range by expanding the geographic scope of recovery efforts already in progress in southern and central California, the Southwest, and Baja California, Mexico.

The NPS, Yurok Tribe, and the USFWS are among 16 partners teaming up in this effort to return the largest land bird in North America into its historical range in Yurok Ancestral Territory. The partners signed an agreement to cooperate in support of conservation of this iconic species. The agreement can be found here.

Due to a number of factors, including lead poisoning, the California condor was on the verge of extinction in the 1980s. Over the last several decades, conservationists and scientists have committed to saving condors from extinction and reintroducing birds into the wild.

The number of condors in captivity and in the wild has increased from a low of 22 birds to over 400. Since 2003, the Yurok Tribe has spearheaded efforts to reintroduce condors into the Pacific Northwest, where the bird has not been seen for more than a century.

Reintroduction into Redwood National Park would contribute to the recovery of this species through reestablishing a breeding population within its historical range.

“The park is excited to work with the Yurok Tribe and our partners to return the California condor to its historic range along the north coast of California,” said Redwood National Park superintendent Steven Prokop. “This cooperative effort to expand the current range of condors is critical to the long-term survival of California condors. Condors are a key factor in the ecological and cultural vitality of the redwood ecosystem.”

“Partnering with Redwood National Park at this point makes sense for the successful restoration of this sacred bird in our Yurok ancestral territory,” said Thomas P. O’Rourke Sr., Chairman of the Yurok Tribe. “The Yurok Tribe has been working diligently to make the condor re-introduction a reality and we are very close to completing our goal of seeing prey-go-neesh fly over Yurok skies.”

Despite a century-long absence from the Pacific Northwest, the bird has continued to play an important role in Yurok tribal ceremonies. In support of condor recovery, the tribe has undertaken the scientific groundwork needed to determine if the region still has the ecological capacity to support this large vulture. Results of the work indicate that the sparsely populated redwood coast contains ample nesting, foraging, and breeding habitat. This habitat is quite different from other recovery areas in central and southern California, the Southwest, and Baja California, Mexico. Reintroduction along the northern California coast would greatly diversify resources available to the species.

“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is excited about the potential to bring back California condors to the Pacific Northwest,” said Amedee Brickey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service California condor coordinator. “This effort should improve our ability to recover this iconic species by having multiple populations of condors throughout their historical range.”

The proposed reintroduction program includes establishing a release facility and monitoring program in Redwood National Park. The NPS, USFWS, and Yurok Tribe are preparing a plan to examine impacts of condor reintroduction on the natural and human environment in the park and the region.

The public meeting schedule and locations in northern California and Oregon in January 2017 to receive input on the California Condor Restoration Plan/Environmental Assessment are

Monday, January 23, 2017
6:00 pm-8:00 pm
US Fish and Wildlife Offices
2800 Cottage Way
Sacramento CA 95825 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017
6:00 pm-8:00 pm
Wharfinger Bldg.
1 Marina Way
Eureka CA 95501 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017
10:00 am–12:00 pm
Yurok Tribe Headquarters
190 Klamath Blvd
Klamath CA 95548

Wednesday, January 25, 2017
6:00 pm-8:00 pm
Jackson County Auditorium
7520 Table Rock Road
Central Point OR 97502 

Thursday, January 26, 2017
6:00 pm-8:00 pm
Oregon Zoo
4001 SW Canyon RdPortland OR 97221

The public is urged to look at the project website for information on the project and how to comment. Comments will be accepted at the meetings or through the website through February 28, 2017.

Comments will be used to develop the plan which will be available for additional public review and comment. A decision on the reintroduction program is scheduled for October 2017.

For more information, contact Redwood National Park deputy superintendent Dave Roemer at 707-465-7700, Yurok Tribe Wildlife Program Manager Matt Mais at 707-954-0976, or US Fish and Wildlife Service California condor coordinator Amedee Brickey at 916-414-6480.

Jury Awards $5 Million In Case of Elder Abuse and Wrongful Death at Timber Ridge Senior Home

Ryan Burns / Today @ 12:17 p.m. / Courts

Timber Ridge Assisted Living in MicKinleyville. | Image from company website.

Press release from Janssen Malloy LLP:

On January 18, 2017 a Humboldt County Jury returned a verdict of 5 Million Dollars against Timber Ridge Assisted Living of McKinleyville LLC and Western Living Concepts, Inc.

The case was brought by the daughters of Marjorie Fitzpatrick. Ms. Fitzpatrick was a 90 year old resident of the dementia unit in Timber Ridge McKinleyville. Ms. Fitzpatrick escaped through a supposedly locked door into an internal courtyard at Timber Ridge. She suffered a fall, sustained broken facial bones, a broken wrist and a brain bleed. She was outside in the courtyard for 45 minutes before she was discovered and eventually died from her injuries.

Plaintiffs contended that Ms. Fitzpatrick should never have been in the facility because of the level of her dementia and that her admission was in violation of the law. Plaintiffs further claimed that defendants failed to provide Ms. Fitzpatrick anti-anxiety medication, which would have prevented her from escaping and that defendants had a custom and practice of violating the law regarding medications.

Plaintiffs also claimed that the defendants’ staff were poorly trained and incapable of taking care of someone with the level of dementia of Marjorie Fitzpatrik. Plaintiff alleged a cover-up by the defendants to prevent evidence of what had actually occurred to Marjorie Fitzpatrick, including destruction of a video of the fall and multiple eyewitness reports. Plaintiffs were represented by W. Timothy Needham of the firm of Janssen Malloy LLP and Michael Thamer.

The jury returned a verdict of 2.1 Million Dollars for the action for wrongful death, $400,000 for elder abuse, and 2.5 Million Dollars in punitive damages.

“On behalf of the family and ourselves, we are extremely grateful for the verdict” Mr. Needham said. “Hopefully this verdict will send a message to Timber Ridge and other assisted living facilities that they need to comply with the safety regulations they are mandated by the state to follow and can’t try to hide how residents are injured at their facilities from their families and the state.”

HSU DAY OF SOLIDARITY: If Trump is Bumming You Out, You Can Get a Free Massage in the Kate Buchanan Room on Inauguration Day

Hank Sims / Today @ 12:09 p.m. / Activism , HSU

A specter hangs over Humboldt State.

From Humboldt State University:

Humboldt State University hosts a Day of Solidarity on Friday, Jan. 20 to offer a way to join together as a community, heal, express, and plan for the future.

Beginning at 1 p.m. in the Kate Buchanan Room, the day includes several events, with topics ranging from self-care strategies to community building and self-expression through writing.

A full schedule of events:

Caring For Ourselves, Caring for Others

Time: 1 to 3 p.m.
Venue: Kate Buchanan Room

Come learn about self-care strategies, including:

  • Free Massage
  • Stretching
  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Free Food
  • Art & Much more
A Pledge to You is a Commitment to Us

Time: 1 to 3 p.m.
Venue: UC South Lounge

Use this space to make a tangible pledge to communities at risk, or to express your hopes, fears, and solidarity through writing.

Express Yourself, Share Yourself

Time: 3 p.m.
Venue: The Great Hall

A speak out to verbally express hopes, fears, and solidarity, and listen to the stories of others. 

Free Food! - Dinner

Time: 5:30 p.m.
Venue: The Great Hall 

Helping others is Helping Ourselves

Time: 6 p.m.
Venue: The Great Hall

A space to reflect on the day and create tangible tools for systematic change. Including:

  • How to be an Effective Ally
  • Bystander Intervention
  • Intentional Activism

YOUR WEEK IN OCEAN: Great Big Waves! Why is the Surf So Hugeous in Humboldt County?

Delia Bense-Kang / Today @ 11:14 a.m. / Ocean

File photo by Neva Swenson.

Admire the ocean’s magnificence this week Humboldt, but admire from a distance! According to the National Weather Service Marine Forecast, waves are expected to reach up to 27 ft by Friday night, and continue to be in the 20ft range through Monday. 

While watching or even hearing these big booming waves, you might wonder, how are waves formed and where are they coming from?  Here’s a little “waves 101” question and answer with NOAA Meteorologist Brian Garcia, and Meteorologist in Charge at NOAA’s National Weather Service, Eureka office, Troy Nicolini, to bolster your wave IQ. 


Q: How is a wave formed? 

GARCIA: Waves we experience in the ocean are most commonly created by wind. As wind travels across the water surface,the continual disturbance creates a wave crest. Any sort of displacement such as underwater landslides, earthquakes, or volcanic eruptions will also generate waves.

Q: What are the primary properties of a wave?

GARCIA: Two main properties of waves are height and period. Height or amplitude is measured by the vertical distance from the wave trough (bottom) to crest (top). Period measure by the horizontal distance from one wave crest to the next. Both are a function of wind and also how a wave travels due to the wind. As waves move away from the source region, where all the wind is, the period starts to elongate, but the waves still have all their energy.

Q: Why are waves in Humboldt so huge?  

GARCIA: The North Coast is much closer to the storm source region of the Gulf of Alaska and the Pacific Northwest than Southern California. In Humboldt, we end up with more “storm surf,” or short period, chaotic, junky surf. Since waves separate overtime, Southern California receives longer period swell, after short period junk has been filtered out. Our coastal orientation in Humboldt is North/South which means our arms are wide open to receive all swell directions.

Q: Do swells vary by season? 

GARCIATo understand seasonal variations in waves, one first needs to understand basics of weather. Something called the “Jet Stream” exists to bring earth into equilibrium temperature. It moves cold air south towards the equator, and warm air north towards the poles. In the winter time, it’s much colder in the north, so the jet stream is intensified which generates storms. In the summertime it’s reversed. 

Q: Why are the waves exceptionally big this week? 

NICOLINI: Waves get biggest when the wind is strong and it blows over a large area for a long time.  We have a storm that is south of the Aleutian Islands of Alaska, about 2000 miles from NW California, that is producing high winds over a large area. This storm also happens to be moving towards NW California along the same path that is traveled by the waves that it generates.  This allows the storm to effectively continue to push against the growing waves for much longer, and this results in exceptionally large waves.  

Q: How are swells predicted? 

NICOLINI: We run atmospheric models all over the entire world that predict the wind that will result from any storm, such as the one we are watching now.  We then use that wind information to drive a wave model to predict how big the waves will be and how they will travel after they leave the storm that generated them. We then apply local knowledge and experience to create the final swell forecast.  For example, we know from experience that the model may be predicting that these waves will travel along the same path that the storm is taking, but if the storm ends up deviating slightly from that path, which they often do, then wave will come in small than the model is predicting.


Want to learn more? Listen to the full KHUM “Coastal Currents” interview with Brian Garcia below:

Coastal Currents with Brian Garcia, Jan. 11.


Delia Bense-Kang serves as the Northcoast Environmental Center’s Marine Protected Area Outreach Coordinator and chairs Surfrider Foundation’s Humboldt Chapter.

Did Your Stuff Get Ruined In the Latest Flood? There May Be Some Money for You, County Says

Hank Sims / Today @ 9:15 a.m. / Emergencies

Photo: Humboldt County OES.



From the County of Humboldt:

Last week a large storm hit Humboldt County and on Jan. 9 the Office of Emergency Services issued a notice to citizens warning that several local rivers may reach and exceed flood stage. Many local roads were closed or damaged as a result of the storm, as well as public and private facilities, and agricultural producers.

If you, your business or public agency was affected by this storm, please report it to the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services (OES) and/or the Agricultural Commissioner’s Office. You can submit a report online.

If you are reporting crop damages you can fill out the form or call the Ag Commissioner at 707-441-2560.

On Tuesday, Jan. 17 the Board of Supervisors declared a local disaster for this incident, so there may be a direct line to submitting claims for potential funding or reimbursement. In addition, the information gathered may be used for various post-incident reports, future emergency planning and even legislative advocacy efforts.

Submit a damage report