election cycle has been pretty quiet so far, but the most
exciting thing about it is the emergence of a whole new generation of
leaders rising up to make their voices heard in the city of Arcata.
These new influencers may sound familiar – in fact, they all share at least part of their name with well-known women who have served on the City Council in recent years, or who work for City Hall – but that seems to be just a really weird coincidence.
One thing’s for sure: These women aren’t waiting around to see their city go straight to hell. Nope – they’re squadding up and taking it to the Internet in support of embattled Arcata City Councilmember Brett Watson, who in their eyes is a really upstanding citizen who has accomplished a lot for the city and has filled out his financial disclosure forms correctly.
Let’s meet these social media movers and shakers who have burst onto the Arcata scene!
Don’t confuse her with Arcata Enviromental Services Director Emily Sinkhorn! Amelia Sinkhorn, according to her bio, is a photographer living in Bayside but originally from Breckenridge, Colorado. Not much else is known about her, except that she is a big fan of Councilmember Brett Watson and she uses Protonmail.
On Aug. 12, after the Outpost published a story about the final candidates who had qualified for the Arcata City Council race, Amelia created a new Disqus account — @Sinkhorn — to post a comment. At 10:49 p.m., she wrote:
Brett Watson is an outstanding council member and a really good person. There are MANY people in Arcata who never believed any of this nonsense investigation. Anyone who has dealt with the city staff over any significant project will tell you they can be real shysters. Youve got people there making 100K a year with absloultely no qualifications for their jobs. The council trys to trust them and they abuse their power.
It’s not clear whether the comment was deleted or whether the post was in “premoderation” status for the time being. In any case, nearly an hour later, at 11:47 p.m., an email signed “Amelia Sinkhorn” arrived in our inboxes demanding to know the reason why the comment wasn’t appearing on our site.
Now, that happens any number of times a day, but what doesn’t usually happen immediately after that? An email from an elected official demanding answers on behalf of one of his constituents! A few minutes later, just after midnight, Councilmember Brett Watson wrote the LoCO:
I received two complaints this evening from supporters who said they had their comments deleted when they spoke out in favor of me. Is this true? I’d appreciate it if you looked into it. I didn’t know the comments sections were moderated at all.
Always happy to answer any questions.
Amelia Sinkhorn got instant action from one of her elected representatives within minutes, at a time when most people are asleep. That’s what makes her a girlboss!
Sinkhorn is pretty new to Facebook, with her first post dated September 16. She has only three friends: Delilah Goldstein, Brett Watson and Brett Watson. Despite owning a business called “Sinkhorn Photography,” she has posted only two pictures.
Her profile pic, swiped from Shutterstock.com, is an image of a golden retriever wearing earphones that she has captioned “Henry in the park.” Brett Watson gave it a like. The other photo, for whatever reason, is an Associated Press picture of a dude shoveling snow in Virginia. Watson gave that a like too.
Amelia’s non-Watson Facebook friend, Delilah Goldstein – no relation to Arcata City Councilmember Emily Grace Goldstein, so far as we are aware – is probably the most ambitious of the three social media power users (and counting?) who we celebrate today.
If you recognize Delilah Goldstein from her Facebook profile pic, that’s probably because you spend a lot of time on the American Girls Whatsapp Phone Numbers for Friendship website. She’s a dead ringer for “Aadhira.”
As a trendsetter, Delilah jumped on the Facebook train well before her friend Amelia, with her first post dated Sept. 1. Her hobbies include skateboarding, hip-hop dance and cosplay. She grew up in Bellevue, Washington (though, confusingly, her high school was in Bellevue, Kentucky) and has family in Austin, Texas. Side note: She really approves of “Women for Watson,” a group of ladies supporting the candidacy of Kirk Watson for Mayor in that city!
Delilah is new to town, but she really wants to try out journalism. On October 9, she pitched the Outpost a story about the financial disclosure forms filed by candidates for Arcata City Office. She had done some research and discovered Brett Watson was the only candidate to submit the Fair Political Practices Commission’s Form 460, which is required of candidates who raise over $2,000, and she managed to get Watson on the phone to talk about that with her. An excerpt:
What interested me the most was a donation Watson made to his campaign of $705.00 worth of “bottles of wine”. Watson said he no longer consumes alcohol and hasn’t for almost a year, so it was an easy donation to make to his campaign. He then auctioned off the bottles and sold glasses of wine at a fundraiser he held in early September. He said his collection was very modest and he had 40 bottles of wine he estimated to be valued between $10 and $25 dollars a bottle, if you were going to buy them at the store.
“People were really generous with their donations and I raised four times what the bottles were worth. I was so grateful,” he said.
We finally got around to replying to Goldstein’s pitch to the Outpost yesterday, and unfortunately have not heard back yet.
But in the journalism game: You snooze, you lose, and one mistake can be fatal! Goldstein has since gone on to create her own website, ArcataTruth.com, in which she exposes the truth about Arcata. As of this writing, it consists of a couple of LoCO articles that seem to have been plugged into Google Translate, rendered in Swahili and then sent back to English, along with a couple of other similarly repurposed pieces. But just you wait! The Outpost will undoubtedly go bankrupt in six months’ time, and we will rue the day we first heard the name “Delilah Goldstein”!
When you think “Sofia P” and “Arcata,” who do you think of? Former mayor Sofia Pereira? Well, maybe not for long, because there’s a new Sofia P on the Arcata political scene – and she’s a big supporter of Arcata City Councilmember Brett Watson!
Remember, back when we were talking about Amelia Sinkhorn, that Watson wrote with concerns about the Outpost deleting comments from two of his supporters? Amelia Sinkhorn was one. The other was Sofia P.
Now, “Sofia,” as she was known on Disqus, had lots of things to say about any number of topics. But cross Brett Watson and her hackles rise! When Scott Greacen of Friends of the Eel commented to say that he’d run his dog against Brett Watson should Brett Watson decide to run again, Sofia retorted: “You’re that fake environmentalist guy, huh?”
When “Phyllobates terribilis” wrote, upon learning that Watson had decided to run for re-election,
I guess we get to find out how large is the sexual predator constituency in Arcata.
Sofia clapped back thusly:
Why, did you throw your name in the hat?
When a different commenter voiced support for incumbent candidate Meredith Matthews, Sofia wasn’t having it. “Why would you vote for Meredith?” she asked. “It seems like she falls in line with the other council members and just does whatever the staff tells her do.”
The Outpost didn’t learn “Sofia”s surname – “P” – until she wrote to ask why her comments were being deleted, a few hours after Watson did so on her behalf.
Sofia P hasn’t been much on the scene since the Outpost banned her, but expect a comeback anytime. You can’t keep sass like that bottled up for long!
Wait, Are These People Brett Watson?
Definitely not. We know for certain these people are not Brett, because as Brett said at the City Council meeting last night:
As far as he can recall, he doesn’t remember having created a fake profile, ever. Case closed!
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