* = © Scott Greacen

Yesterday we tripped the light fantastic with nos. 11-15 on your Lost Coast Outpost most-trafficked stories of the year. Today, we get all the way into the Top 10 proper! Excitement! Tune back tomorrow for the most server-melting posts of 2012.

Now, before we get going, here’s a riddle: What’s purple and green and smoked all over? Take a guess: It features heavily in some of the following stories.

Do you have your answer locked in? Let’s go!

10. Humboldt, Google Earth Updated (Some of) Your Images

Hotcha mama! You wouldn’t think it was that big of a deal, would you? A quite large Internet service updates it aerial imagery of our region. Snore. Save it for a trade journal or something.

But hey, what’s this? Not only does everyone click straight through, the comments light the eff up! Turns out that we have inadvertently spawned a new hobby: People using this imagery to spot a strange proliferation of large, white, rectangular objects throughout our bioscape. These mega-fungi seem to often be accompanied by small clearcuts and cat work. Some commenters spot scores and scores of these things and present their findings to the readership.


9. Four Men Allegedly Try to Kidnap and Pepper Spray Children and Adults in Fortuna

home invasion suspects

Four men arrested for forcing their way into a Fortuna apartment, accusing the residents therein of ripping off their weed. They blast industrial-strength pepper spray everywhere, which later sends children in the apartment to the hospital. They fail in their attempt to kidnap their ripoff suspect. They’re all arrested.

Yes, all that makes for a hot crime story. But then it turns out that one of the suspects is an organic Loleta dairyman who had previously taken loans from local government, and that another was the son of the recently-elected supervisor from the First District.


The comments kept coming and coming, with supporters and detractors of the Bear Spray 4 battling each other for … something. Eventually it all got to be too much, and 345 comments later we shut down the thread permanently for the first and so far only time.

The suspects are scheduled to appear in court again on Jan. 9, according to a recent Times-Standard story.


8. An Aerial Tour of Grow City

Oh, so that’s what that was all about!

This post was a direct spinoff of #10, above. A growspotter posted a link to a zoomed-out view of some kind of mass weeddivision just over the line from us in Trinity County. The spotter said those now-infamous words: “Zoom in on any clearing.”

View Larger Map

… and that, dear reader, is how most of us on this side of the hill first came to hear the words “Trinity Pines.”

7. Three Joggers Down/Coroner Called/Accident in North Eureka

Let’s pause to remember how horrible this was. The story, as it was eventually told by law enforcement: A person who had been sentenced to prison for violent assault, but who was allowed by the district attorney and the court to roam free before his incarceration date, murdered a woman in her Hoopa home and stole her car. Then, in the early hours of the next morning, he drove the car to the coast and intentionally plowed into three women jogging along Old Arcata Road, killing one and severely injuring two others. 

It took months for all that information to be released. But for days the crash, which was captured by our then-new CHP Watch page, there was only the slow-dawning sense that this was more tragic than we had thought. And more tragic than that. And senseless. And hateful. And infuriating. And so, so sad. So stupid and sad. 

The suspect, Jason Anthony Warren, was quickly arrested and returned to prison on the original assault charge. Law enforcement agencies investigating the Hoopa homicide and the Old Arcata Road hit-and-run have both recommended murder charges to the district attorney’s office, which has not yet announced what it will do.


6. Supervisor Mark Lovelace’s Aerial Tour of Humboldt Supergrows (With Photos!)


Future researchers will credit Lovelace with the discovery that the giant white rectangular fungi sometimes sprout oblong yellow ovals without. Akin to the telltale chemical reaction that indicts kids who pee in a pool.