All four corners of the intersection of Fifth and K streets in Eureka were occupied with clashing, sign-waving activists Tuesday afternoon. The issue worth sparring over? The practices employed by the Humboldt Area Center for Harm Reduction (HACHR), a local needle exchange program that in recent months has been at the center of the debate surrounding discarded needles. HACHR’s detractors place blame on the program for the increase of hazardous waste in the city. Its supporters praise it for saving lives.

Of course, the demonstrations were conveniently located right in front of Eureka City Hall and scheduled just before the start of tonight’s City Council meeting. As rush hour traffic subsided, many folks from both sides shuffled inside for what’s sure to be yet another colorful public comment period. LoCO will update as needed.

One demonstration attendee wanted the Outpost to see the needle he’d spotted a few yards away from the gathering