GROWING OLD UNGRACEFULLY: Blackout

Barry Evans / Yesterday @ 7:13 a.m. / Growing Old Ungracefully

“Ignorance is far easier than I thought…Five months into my [news] blackout, I’m happier than I ever was back in the days when I was informed. My fingernails are growing back. The sleeping pills remain in the bottle. I’m getting more work done.”

— Christopher Herbert, “My Year of Living Ignorantly” (Guardian 1/1/18)

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The extended quote is from a worthy article — with even worthier comments, pro and con — from an English prof (U. of Tennessee) and novelist who went on a news blackout the night Trump was elected. “I no longer live in a constant state of alarm,” he claims. The decision for him was “about sanity and self-preservation.” As I read the article, I felt my own semi-blackout decision made on November 9, 2016 to be both reinforced and challenged, trying personally to find the balance between sanity/joy/gratitude and Edmund Burke’s dictum, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

But is avoiding the news, as I do, doing nothing? It’s not like I’m totally ignorant of what’s going on — how can anyone be, absent living in a cave or going into hibernation? I gloated over Roy Moore’s defeat, still wake up in the night worrying about an accidental or deliberate nuclear strike (as I’ve been doing since about 1960), try to imagine what it’s like to be a Dreamer these days. I glance briefly at the Guardian headlines every morning online (avoiding other print or online news sources — getting my news from the UK somehow gives perspective to what’s happening in the U.S., where the plight of the Muslim Rohingyar in Myanmar, or Emmanuel Macron’s inspiring tightrope walk through EU politics, is virtually ignored). So I kinda-sorta keep up without wallowing in the daily “if it bleeds, it leads” news cycle. As I used to.

It helps that we don’t have a TV, don’t listen to the radio, have stopped subscribing to The Week, don’t buy the Sunday NYT anymore. I’m not on Twitter but still check Facebook for news of friends and family, quickly scrolling through the “Read this! You need to act now!” political posts. Being out of the country, as we have for much of the last 14 months, has certainly helped mute the impact of the latest denial, absurdity or shithole comment from the White House. We don’t speak His Name at home; I wander off when politics comes up in company; don’t touch the newspapers that somehow accumulate at home (I didn’t say my wife shares my blackout proclivities); meditate most days. When I crave entertainment, I lose myself in the NYT crossword or a graphic novel or the daily comics, rather than — as I used to — turn to the news to be titillated. I salve my conscience by supporting Doctors Without Borders, Room to Read, the ACLU (nothing like owning a Bitcoin, which I wrote about it here last December 10, to awaken latent generosity in a soul!). That is, I leave it to others to do the heavy lifting. “I did mine back in Nuclear Freeze days,” I tell myself.

Nothing lasts forever, I understand, but for now I’ll stick to my blackout-lite routine, still worrying (but not as much), often feeling stupid about my ignorance (per usual), finding solace in gravity waves, the possibility of life on Mars, the story of ancient civilizations, the optimism of Mexicans, the call of the grackles at sunset, the taste of spaghetti pesto. Getting out of this culture and this century. Do I have to spoil it all by turning on the news???


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(PHOTOS) The Many, Many, Many Signs of the 2018 Women’s March on Eureka (Like, Sooo Many!)

Andrew Goff / Saturday, Jan. 20 @ 6:30 p.m. / :) , Activism

They came. They saw. They women’s marched. 

On the one year anniversary of Donald Trump’s inauguration disdain for the President remains strong. So, like many other communities across the country, denizens of Humboldt took to their paved places en masse to protest the White House’s current occupant during the Women’s March on Eureka.

Your Lost Coast Outpost was on scene to witness history (again) and snapped more photos of signs than you’re likely to need. (Look at them anyway, below.)

For the record, it felt like the crowd was a tad bit thinner this year than during last year’s record setting event but, geez, not by much. Eureka Police Chief Steve Watson was on hand assisting with crowd control and hazarded an estimate of near 5,000 people in attendance for today’s event but conceded that it was impossible to know for sure. 

Lots. There were lots of people. Anyway, on to the signs! 





Stray Humboldt County Mutt Goes on to Become Disaster Search Dog; Assists With Recent Montecito Mudslide Rescue Efforts

John Ross Ferrara / Saturday, Jan. 20 @ 4:32 p.m. / Animals , Emergencies

About five years ago, a mixed Plott Hound puppy named “Java” was awaiting an uncertain future at the Humboldt County Animal Shelter in McKinleyville.

Today “Java” is traveling the country assisting with disaster relief efforts.

The National Disaster Search Dog Foundation , a nonprofit organization dedicated to recruiting rescue dogs to search for people buried alive in large-scale disasters, gave “Java” a shoutout on their Facebook page earlier this month.

“During a routine visit to this shelter to help save canine lives, staff from Bones Pet Rescue of Covelo, adopted Java in an attempt to find her a great home before her time was up,” the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation wrote on Facebook. “It was at Bones Pet Rescue that Java was discovered by SDF supporters Laura and Wayne Rathe and identified as a potential search and rescue candidate.”

After six months of search dog boot camp, “Java” was paired up with firefighter Eric Ingstad of the Lost Angeles Fire Department. 

Since then, the duo has reportedly responded to several major U.S. disasters, including Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma and most recently the Montecito mud slides.



(UPDATING) Women’s March on Eureka 2018: Humboldt Takes to the Streets

John Ross Ferrara / Saturday, Jan. 20 @ 1:29 p.m. / Activism


Last Year’s turnout of about 5,000 people | drone stills by Thomas Dunklin.

UPDATE, 4:40 p.m.:

It was another huge turnout at this year’s Women’s March. Thousands of people took to Eureka’s streets this afternoon, bearing clever signs and chanting anti-Trump sentiments. 

Here are a couple of photos from the event. More photos of the march will be posted later today.

Photos by Andrew Goff.

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One year ago, thousands of protesters flooded Eureka’s streets for what what was likely the largest march in Humboldt County history. 

The procession was part of the larger Women’s March movement — a demonstration to promote women’s rights and a national protest against the values of President Donald Trump. It is believed to be the largest single-day protest in U.S. history.

Today, activists across the country have taken to the streets once again, for what will be the nation’s second annual Women’s March.

In Humboldt County, hundreds, maybe thousands, of people have begun to gather at the C Street Market Square where event organizer Allison Edrington told the Outpost speakers will address the crowd until 2 p.m. Shortly after that, the march will begin (see the route below).

“I’m glad people are showing up,” Edrington said. “It’s a beautiful day.”

Check back to this post for consistent updates throughout the march.

The official Women’s March route.

Photos of today’s march by John Ferrara.



Huffman Slams Republicans Over Government ‘Sh*tdown’

Hank Sims / Saturday, Jan. 20 @ 8:47 a.m. / D.C.

From the office of Rep. Jared Huffman:

Rep. Huffman Statement on President Trump’s Government Sh*tdown

Congressman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) issued the following statement after the United States Congress failed to pass a bill to fund the government, resulting in a shutdown of the federal government:

“Today, I am disgusted and dismayed that Republican congressional ‘leaders’ and President Trump have brought us to a government shutdown — the very outcome President Trump said he wanted a few months ago.  In our country’s long history, this has never happened when one party controlled both branches of Congress and the Presidency.  But we’ve never before seen the toxic combination of a dysfunctional, incompetent majority in Congress, and a President that is completely uninformed, unprincipled, and uninterested in the hard work of governing.  

“President Trump is wrong in claiming we need a ‘good shutdown.’ There is no such thing.  While the impacts of this lapse in funding are hard to quantify at this point, they will certainly not be ‘good.’  Not only will it directly impact federal employees, it will harm millions of people who depend on government services, families who want to visit National Parks, small business owners seeking SBA assistance, homebuyers applying for FHA or VA loans, food producers working with the FDA, and more. 

“When Republicans shutdown government in 2013 as part of their obsession with repealing the Affordable Care Act, it cost our economy billions of dollars.  Now they are stubbornly taking us down the same path because of their hardline anti-immigrant agenda and their unwillingness to work with Democrats on a compromise.  

“Despite controlling every branch of government, Republicans have been unable to do the most basic part of their job:  pass legislation that funds the government.  We have already had three short-term “continuing resolutions” in this fiscal year, and now they are seeking a fourth CR.  This chaos and uncertainty is hurting our country — undermining our national security, frustrating those who are trying to build infrastructure projects, and leaving states and local health clinics in limbo as to how they are going to provide healthcare to millions of vulnerable children, among other things. 

“Enough is enough.  Governing by chaos, crisis, insults and hyperpartisan posturing doesn’t work.  And no country ever became great by operating under endless short-term government funding deals.  

“There is a bipartisan path forward here.  A majority of both houses in Congress would support a compromise that funds defense and non-defense programs for the rest of the year, protects the Dreamers while enhancing border security, funds children’s health insurance and community clinics, provides critical disaster relief for communities reeling from the recent wildfires and hurricanes, and helps fight the opioid epidemic.  Let’s bring this bipartisan solution to the floor and vote, instead of continuing the reckless partisanship that has brought us another shameful government shutdown.

“I won’t be flying off to Mar-a-Lago for a swanky black tie fundraiser tonight, or jetting off to Davos while our government shuts down.  I’m going to stay ready to work, and I call on Republican leaders in Congress to stay in Washington, start working with Democrats, and do their jobs.”

A factsheet on the effects of the government shutdown may be found HERE.



LIVELY TRIAL, DAY SEVEN: Jurors Hear About That Other Time Eric Lively Was Arrested For Attempting to Run Someone Over With His Truck

Rhonda Parker / Saturday, Jan. 20 @ 8:23 a.m. / Courts

The testimony was familiar, with Eric Lively being accused of making death threats and hitting a man with his silver Toyota pickup truck. But this time the alleged victim was alive and on the witness stand.

On Friday, former Shelter Cove resident Trampus Danhaur testified that in November 2013, Lively arrived at his Fawn Drive home screaming that he was going to kill him. Then, Danhaur said under questioning by Deputy District Attorney Adrian Kamada, Lively accelerated and drove right at him.

“There were several threats along the lines of ‘I caught you on camera; I know what you did; I’m going to come back over and kill you guys,’ ” Danhaur said.

Then, he testified, Lively drove away like he was going to leave, but instead he whipped his truck around.

“He turned around and just came right at me with his truck,” Danhaur said. When the pickup truck reached him, he placed his hands on the hood and sprang sideways into the yard. He was not hurt, but his girlfriend called 911.

Lively is on trial for the alleged May 3 murder of his neighbor Jesse Simpson, who died shortly after the same Toyota truck hit him in the intersection of Debbie Lane and Eileen Road in Shelter Cove. Prior to the fatal collision, Lively had told co-workers he was going to kill his neighbor. He was convinced Jesse Simpson and his brother were stealing from him.

Before Danhaur took the stand, Judge Christopher Wilson told jurors his testimony was to be considered for “a limited purpose.” He said that purpose would be explained to them later.

Under cross-examination by defense attorney Russ Clanton, Danhaur said he had hit Lively’s truck with a bamboo stick as he drove by him again. He admitted he hadn’t told sheriff’s officers about that when he first spoke with them.

Also, Danhaur acknowledged that in 2015, he pleaded guilty to assault with a deadly weapon after he tried to run over his girlfriend’s brother. Danhaur was driving a truck and the brother was on a motorcycle.

Finally, Danhaur said it was true he once went to the Shelter Cove Volunteer Fire Department claiming people were trying to kill him, and as a result he was involuntarily committed to a mental-health facility.

After the 2013 incident between Lively and Danhaur, Lively was arrested but never charged.

Clanton told Danhaur that was because “they didn’t believe a word you said.”

But in earlier court hearings, the prosecutor said the deputy district attorney doing the charging had decided the incident was a case of “mutual combat.”

Also on Friday, sheriff’s Cpl. David Diemers, who responded to that incident, testified Lively told him Danhaur still owed him $1,200 for some marijuana he sold him.

The testimony capped a strange day in which one juror, a middle-aged man, was kicked off the panel. First all 12 jurors and three alternates were called one-by-one into the courtroom and questioned. Afterward the apparently errant juror was called back in, then left the courthouse abruptly without speaking to other jurors. One of the alternates took his place.

The courtroom was closed to the public during all the questioning.

Testimony was expected to continue Monday afternoon.

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OBITUARY: Violet Wilma ‘Vi’ Painter, 1928-2018

LoCO Staff / Saturday, Jan. 20 @ 6:45 a.m. / Obits

Violet Wilma “Vi” Frost was born May 2, 1928 in Napa to Wilbur and Mirian (Vanoni), both native Californians. She passed away peacefully with family by her side on January 8, 2018.

She attended elementary andhigh school in Napa, graduating Napa High School in 1946 and Napa Junior College in 1948. After graduation she enrolled at Children’s Hospital School of Nursing in San Francisco and graduated in 1952.

While attending nursing school she married her highschool sweetheart, the late Ray Painter at Fort Ord, in Monterey. Violet and Ray were married 60 years and had four children — Greg, Steven, Susan and Alex.

She was employed by Children’s Hospital in San Francisco before moving back to Napa and working at the Napa State Hospital.

Violet and Ray moved to Humboldt County in 1957. She continued her nursing profession at St. Joseph Hospital before taking a job with Dr. John B. Slater, where she worked for over 20 years before retiring in 1985.

Her life changed after the birth of her son Alex in 1963. Alex was diagnosed with autism. She devoted countless hours to ensure that the developmentally disabled were afforded the same rights and privileges as all citizens, serving on the Area I Developmental Disabilities Board in the 1970s. She was instrumental in developing programs in Eureka for the developmentally disabled and was actively involved with Alex’s education until late in life.

Aside from caring for Alex, she loved to travel and be in the company of her family and friends. She was a wonderful mother and grandmother. Violet and Ray took their young family on many camping trips over the years.

After retirement they began to travel in earnest: RVing the United States, houseboating on lakes and the Delta, riding narrow gauge railroads, swimming with the dolphins, viewing the aurora borealis, polar bears in their Arctic habitat, and tropical sunsets. She enjoyed her travels immensely.

Violet is predeceased by her parents; husband Ray Painter; and siblings Daniel Frost, Jean Poali, Kenneth Frost and Bertram Frost. She is survived by her children — Greg Painter (Greta) of Willow Creek, Steven Painter (Donna) of Eureka, Susan Lewis (Dean) of Fortuna and Alex Painter of Eureka — her grandchildren, Tara Lewis, Nicholas Painter, Erin Painter, Stephanie Frimond, Kevin Lewis; and great-granddaughter, Violet. She is also survived by her brother, Wesley Frost, of Napa.

The family would like to extend a special thank you to the staff at Brookdale Fortuna for the care they provided to our mother over the past three years, and Hospice of Humboldt for the comfort and care they provided during her last month.

A private graveside memorial will be held for the family on Monday, Jan. 22.. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Hospice of Humboldt or your favorite charity.

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