Humboldt County Deputy Coroner Retires

Andrew Goff / Tuesday, Jan. 17 @ 11:58 a.m. / Government

Horton with Sheriff Mike Downey

Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office press release: 

Sheriff Mike Downey and the members of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank Deputy Coroner Roy Horton for his 20 years of service to the citizens of Humboldt County.  Roy began his career with the City of Arcata in 1993 as a reserve Police Officer and was hired by the Humboldt County Coroner’s Office as a Deputy Coroner in 1996.  During his time with the Coroner’s Office, Roy became a field training officer, a lifetime member of the California State Coroner’s Association, and member of the Humboldt County Child Death Review Team.  Roy was an educator as well, teaching drug and alcohol education classes at local high schools and elementary schools, and Coroner Investigations at the College of the Redwoods Police Academy, which he will continue to do after retirement. 

Sheriff Mike Downey, the Humboldt County Supervisors, and the staff of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office wish Roy and his family a long, productive, well deserved retirement. 

Horton and Supevisor Estelle Fennell


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BE ON THE LOOKOUT: Convicted Felon Disappears From Eel River Conservation Camp Overnight

Hank Sims / Tuesday, Jan. 17 @ 9:23 a.m. / Crime

From the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation:

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) officials are searching for a minimum-security inmate who walked away from the California Correctional Center (CCC) Eel River Conservation Camp (CC #31) in Humboldt County on Jan. 17, 2017.

Inmate John Campbell, 38, was reported missing during an inmate count Tuesday, Jan. 17. He was last seen at 2:30 a.m. Tuesday in his assigned housing unit. Campbell was assigned as a kitchen worker at the camp, which houses approximately 100 minimum-custody inmates.
CDCR, CAL FIRE, law enforcement personnel, the California Highway Patrol and local law enforcement agencies have been notified and are assisting in the search for Campbell.

Campbell is a white male, 5 feet, 9 inches tall, weighing 200 pounds with brown eyes and brown hair. He was committed to CDCR on May 13, 2016, from Butte County to serve a seven-year, four month sentence for vehicle theft and evading a peace officer while driving recklessly. He was scheduled to parole in 2021.

Anyone who sees inmate Campbell should contact 911 or law enforcement authorities immediately. Anyone having information about or knowledge of the location of Campbell should contact the CCC Watch Commander at (530) 257-2181, extension 4173.



(VIDEO) Community Collaboration Brings Bunk Beds to the Growing Number of Homeless Sleeping at The Eureka Rescue Mission

Sierra Jenkins / Tuesday, Jan. 17 @ 6:52 a.m. / LoCO Video Reports

Click video to play. Problems on iPhone? Turn your phone sideways.    

Dozens of men who used to sleep on floor mats at the Eureka Rescue Mission are now getting a better night’s sleep in brand new pine bunk beds.

Over the past six months the number of homeless people sleeping at the mission has more than doubled, going from around 60 to 150 this past Monday night. That includes men, women and children — however men make up two-thirds of those served and were the ones without beds. The mission’s Executive Director Bryan Hall Sr. says the space was getting cramped and it was time for a change.

Hall noticed that bunk beds were donated to Betty Chinn’s family center, which is right down the street, and assembled by the Rotary Club of Eureka. So he thought, “Hey, this is actually possible,” and began to reach out.

With the help of Fourth District Supervisor Virginia Bass, her husband and president of the Rotary Club of Eureka Matthew Owen, Eureka’s Parks and Recreation director Miles Slattery, the city of Eureka, and the Eureka First Church of the Nazarene, the dream of acquiring 27 bunk beds and 54 mattresses came true, despite the $20,000 price tag.

“This is just a huge blessing for the homeless people to come in off of the street and actually get into a bed,” said Hall. “I mean there’s a lot of things we take for granted in life. And it’s things like this that makes a huge difference in the lives of the people that we serve.” 

Vern’s Furniture also worked hard to get the beds and have them assembled. And the rotary along with the non-profit Pay-It-Forward Humboldt are working to collect 100 new sets of twin sheets and pillows.

“That’s the best thing about this community. They care about what’s going on and they want to help,” said Bass.

It was with community collaboration, understanding and never forgetting about those who are less fortunate, that these homeless men now not only have a clean and comfortable place to sleep, but a crucial element in providing the dignity they need to persevere through tough times.  

“If we all work together, we can get a lot more done,” said Owen. “ And hopefully various community people can come forward with an idea like this, for what other charity or non-profit needs some help, what can we do to pitch in together to make things better.”



OBITUARY: Arnold Lee Moore, 1948-2017

Andrew Goff / Tuesday, Jan. 17 @ 6:45 a.m. / Obits

-Arnold Lee Moore-

Arnold Lee Moore was born on June 10,1948. He entered into eternal life on January 14, 2017. He was a proud member of the Yurok Tribe. He enjoyed traditional foods, such as smoked salmon, eels, sturgeon and especially fry bread. He touched numerous lives with his optimism and infectious smile. Even though Arnold lived with Cerebral Palsy, never once did you hear him complain. Bowling was one of his life’s passions and he would not hesitate to show off his score card. He participated weekly at HCAR, (Humboldt Community Access Resource) looking forward to cooking classes, swimming and all other community events. Arnold participated in the Special Olympics, from which he had a large collection of medals and trophies. Earlier in life Arnold took pride in delivering Tri City papers and enjoyed his paychecks. Arnold might be remembered for riding his 3 wheeled bicycle around Hoopa collecting cans, another one of his passions. Arnold Lee Moore will forever be remembered as a special, kind and loving soul. 

Arnold was preceded in death by his parents  Awok Haynes and Awok Violet Moore, Baby Brother  Awok Bennett Moore, and sister  Awok Carol DeLaRosa. 

He is survived by his sisters, Barbara Orcutt, Betty Jackson, Vivian and Burt Snyder, and Joanne Moore. Nephews and their spouses, Jeff and Yvonne Guido, Jonny DeLaRosa, Carl Snyder, Pliny “Jack” Jackson III, Patrick Jackson, Edward and Jeanie “Pooh” Moore. Nieces and their spouses, Joice Moore, Annette Moore, Annie and Legion Krupp, Vickie and Verl Moon, Janice and John Greene, Lynn Abarr and Bonnie Jackson. Great Nephews and their spouses, Nicholas Davis, Hayden and Koda Krupp, Johnathan DelaRosa, Neil and Jordy Harris, Verl Moon Jr., Elisha Moon, Robert Hunsucker Jr., Burt Snyder, Summer Fox Jackson, Michael Jackson, Jax Jackson, Paul Daniel Abarr, and Bill Abarr. Great Nieces and their spouses, Isabella “Bella” Violet Davis, Tara Harris, Verissa Moon, Ashley DeLaRosa, Karley and Brian Crawford, Linnea Jackson, Kikta Curry, Tashina Jackson, Penny and Dan Nordstrom, Naomi and John Nelson, Jennifer and Anthony Piatti, Laurel Hunsucker & Shekky Bowen, Betsy and Bill Denny, Bonnie Abarr, Amber and David Brooks, Trinity Newsom & Patrick Holt. And numerous more generations and extended family, far to many to list. (We apologize if we left anyone out, it was not intentional.) Our family would also like to thank the caregivers Bill Kelso and Marianne Williams.

Paul Bearers: Jeff Guido, Jonny DeLaRosa, Carl Snyder, Patrick Jackson, Robert Hunsucker Jr., Paul Abarr, Bill Abarr, Legion Krupp, Dan Nordstrom, Allen Nordstrom, Curtis Cane

Honorary Paul Bearers: Edward Moore, Melvin Stokes, Pliny “Jack” Jackson III, Bert Snyder, John Greene, Glenn Moore II, Mike Stapp, Robert Hunsucker Sr., Richard Myers Sr., Shelly Bowen, Curtis Dempenwolf.

Viewing will be held in Arcata at Paul’s Chapel on Wednesday, January 18th from 5-7, Service are to be on Thursday, January 19th at Wauteck Church at noon, burial will follow at Pecwan cemetery, immediately after reception to be held at Morek Won.

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The obituary above was submitted by Arnold’ family. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residentsat no charge. See guidelines here. Email news@lostcoastoutpost.com.



Humboldt Rains Part Deux: The Refloodening

John Ross Ferrara / Monday, Jan. 16 @ 3:52 p.m. / How ‘Bout That Weather


NWS.

Another series of storms is headed for Humboldt County.

Light rain and breezy winds are predicted for tomorrow night, while heavier rain and snow is expected to hit Humboldt County on Wednesday.

There’s also a chance of thunderstorms on Thursday, which will be followed up by two additional storms that should continue to moisten our area throughout the weekend.

Read more in the National Weather Service alert below:

A series of storms will bring periods of rain, gusty winds and high elevation snow Wednesday through the weekend.

Light rain and breezy conditions will start Tuesday night. Heavier rain will develop Wednesday and Wednesday night as a vigorous cold front passes across the region. An inch or two of rain is expected.

Snow levels will fall to around 3500 feet on Thursday as the rain changes to showers and possible thunderstorms. A second storm will follow Thursday night and Friday.

Yet a third storm is expected to bring more wet and unsettled weather for the weekend. In addition, large and hazardous surf will be possible on Friday. Stay tuned.



Controversial County Planning Commissioner Lee Ulansey Up For Reappointment Tuesday

Ryan Burns / Monday, Jan. 16 @ 3:18 p.m. / Government

Ulansey on the dais. | Screenshot from video courtesy Humboldt County.

It’s been nearly four years since the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors appointed HumCPR co-founder and local government antagonist Lee Ulansey to the Planning Commission, which means his term is about to expire. First District Supervisor Rex Bohn, one of several supervisors who have received substantial financial and political support from Ulansey, is recommending he be reappointed at Tuesday’s Supervisors’ meeting. But political opponents say Ulansey is an ideological extremest whose tenure on the commission has been divisive, and they’re calling for a change.

His reappointment could ultimately be decided by the vote of Fourth District Supervisor Virginia Bass, who’s up for re-election next year.

Ulansey, a Kneeland resident and woodworker, rose to local prominence via the Humboldt Coalition for Property Rights, the private corporation he cofounded that brought together real estate developers and pot farmers with a shared disdain for government regulations on rural land. With a membership some 4,000 strong, HumCPR became a powerful activist group, publishing propaganda-filled newsletters as it worked to loosen environmental restrictions in the county’s general plan update. 

The group also filed two lawsuits against the county, one of which concerned Ulansey’s personal battles over zoning regulations on his vast property holdings. HumCPR reached a $100,000 settlement with the county over that suit and the county was ordered to pay nearly $238,000 in legal fees from the other.

Before being appointed to the Planning Commission, Ulansey personally donated thousands of dollars to the campaigns of Supervisors Rex Bohn, Ryan Sundberg, Virginia Bass and Estelle Fennell (who served nearly three years as HumCPR’s executive director). And together with Rob McBeth of Arcata-based industrial fabrication company O & M Industries, Ulansey worked behind the scenes as a political operative of sorts, urging local candidates to support the HumCPR agenda or face the consequences.

For more background, see this 2013 story in the North Coast Journal.

In February 2013, shortly after Fennell joined the Board of Supervisors, Ulansey was appointed to an at-large position on the Planning Commission via a 3-1-1 vote, with Third District Supervisor Mark Lovelace dissenting and Fifth District Supervisor Ryan Sundberg abstaining. (Sundberg explained at the time that he would have preferred a representative from McKinleyville.)

Ulansey’s time on the Planning Commission has been characterized by confusion, disputes and power struggles. Following the elections of Fennell, Sundberg and Bohn that commission was filled with new, more developer-friendly members including Ulansey, former HumCPR treasurer Bob Morris and local contractors Kevin McKenny and Alan Bongio.

In 2014, long after the Planning Commission had finished its initial review of the general plan update, this new commission lineup asked the Board of Supervisors to return the Conservation and Open Spaces element to its purview, arguing that it had been changed so much it needed to be re-reviewed for consistency and errors.

In response, supervisors provided the commission with a “short list” of policies to reconsider, but the commissioners had more ambitious plans. They held a long series of meetings — sometimes as many as three per week — going over the element policy-by-policy. 

In the process the commission voted to eliminate setbacks for wetlands, reduce stream-side management setbacks and, with a 4-2 vote, eliminate language supporting a countywide trail system. An outraged Lovelace took to Facebook to accuse the “stacked Planning Commission” of “completely corrupt[ing] the General Plan Update process.”

Irate trail advocates flooded subsequent meetings, where things got testy between Ulansey and his fellow commissioners as well as Ulansey and members of the public. Ulansey also had a heated email exchange with Lovelace appointee Noah Levy.

Things seemed to settle down for a while. But early last year the Planning Commission lashed out at county staff over a report regarding cannabis regulations. In that report, senior planning staff argued that a number of policies that had been proposed by the commission were so permissive that they wouldn’t pass legal muster with state regulatory agencies. At a subsequent meeting Chair Morris said he was “completely outraged” by the report and Ulansey accused staff of having “a deliberate bias.”

The commission tried to hold a vote of “no-confidence” in Planning Department staff, but they were reminded that such a vote is not allowed under the state’s public meetings laws. In subsequent meetings the Planning Commission continued to pick fights and act independently, calling for ad hoc committee reports, ordering staff to make a presentation on traffic impact fees and considering a moratorium on cannabis manufacturing facilities.

The power struggle eventually bubbled up to the Board of Supervisors. Concerned that the commission was overreaching its authority, the board voted 4-1 last May, with Bohn dissenting, to rein them in. Supervisor Sundberg crafted a letter reminding commissioners that they’re not to place items on their own agenda unless those items are specifically required by statute. Beyond that, the commission should only consider what the Board asks it to consider.

Since then, the Board has debated changing the entire makeup of the Planning Commission (along with the Human Rights Commission). Sundberg seemed to be leading the charge to shake up the commission structure, suggesting an expansion of its membership to get better representation for rural districts. Bohn vehemently opposed such a shakeup, saying the commission works well as is.

Ulansey’s name may not have been invoked in that debate but his actions on the commission were almost certainly behind it.

It’s hard to predict how tomorrow’s vote might turn out. Fennell and Bohn have the tightest political allegiances with Ulansey. For one thing, Ulansey and his wife helped launch Bohn’s 2016 re-election campaign with an invitation-only fundraising dinner where couples donated $1,000 apiece

Sundberg seems to be leading the effort to rein in Ulansey & Co., while newly elected Third District Supervisor Mike Wilson — like his predecessor, Lovelace — has a political agenda that’s roughly opposite that of Ulansey. All of which means the decision might come down to Fourth District Supervisor Virginia Bass. 

The Fourth District is comprised primarily of the City of Eureka, which in recent years has seen an insurgent progressive movement. Young political newcomer Austin Allison recently defeated formidable conservative candidate John Fullerton for a seat on the Eureka City Council thanks in no small part to the efforts of campaign manager Tamara McFarland and her Bernie-supporting political group the North Coast People’s Alliance.

On Monday McFarland said she has her eye on Tuesday’s vote. 

“This decision could certainly be seen as a litmus test of sorts,” she said. She’s hoping the board will choose someone with a stronger commitment to inclusiveness and environmental protections.

“Ulansey’s legacy thus far on the commission has been one of divisiveness and ideological extremism, and it has cost our community greatly,” she said. “I am confident that we can find an alternate candidate who will fairly represent all of Humboldt County’s residents, and make environmental stewardship the priority it needs to be.”

A voicemail left for Bass Monday morning had not been returned by the time this post went up. We’ll update if we hear back before tomorrow’s meeting, which starts at 9 a.m. in Supervisors’ chambers at the Humboldt County courthouse.

Note: This post was corrected from an earlier version to clarify the legal settlements with the county.



Hundreds Gather for Possibly the Largest Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration Turnout in Humboldt History

John Ross Ferrara / Monday, Jan. 16 @ 2:21 p.m. / Activism , Celebration , Community

Photos: Andrew Goff

EPD Chief Mills gathers the marchers

A little after 11 a.m., Eureka Police Chief Andy Mills ascended the bumper of a police cruiser, cupped his hands over his mouth, and shouted to a crowd of roughly 500.

“I can’t thank [you] enough, this is Humboldt’s finest,” Mills said to the crowd. “Let’s show the world what it means to be one community.”

Taking up more than two city blocks, the crowd began to march West on C Street for what may have been Humboldt’s largest Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration turnout in recent memory.

The Eureka Police Department and Eureka Branch of the NAACP co-sponsored the annual event, using the opportunity to unite Humboldt citizens amidst a modern America’s that is bitterly divided.

“We face a time in our nation unlike any in recent memory,” the event flyer reads. “Numerous groups have taken Dr. King’s message around peaceful protest to promote the issues nearest and dearest to them. Whether the concerns surround faith, freedom, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, poverty, environment or educational reform; we stand together, united as one Eureka and one Humboldt County.”

Marchers sang hymns and proudly held up signs bearing messages of peace as they made their way through the streets of Old Town Eureka toward the Adorni Center.

Local community members, politicians, poets, musicians, emergency personnel and scholars addressed the Adorni Center congregation for more than an hour. 

Local NAACP Chaplain Wallace Boveland said it was the largest MLK Day celebration he’s ever seen in Humboldt County.

“It’s such a blessing to see this place packed,” Boveland said. “I’ve been here 43 years and it’s never been packed.” 

Emcee Lorna Bryant noted several times that she was fighting back her emotions just to get through the event. She was touched by the size of the crowd and hoped that the love felt throughout the gathering could extend beyond.   

“Let this day be a starting point for justice in our beloved community,” Bryant said. 

New President of the Eureka chapter of the NAACP Liz Smith

Arcata Interfaith Gospel Choir performs