OBITUARY: Shirley Bardella, 1929-2016

LoCO Staff / Yesterday @ 6:53 a.m. / Obits

Shirley Bardella passed away December 4, 2016 in Eureka.

Born in 1929 in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, she was one of Pacific Bell’s first telephone operators. A prolific writer, Shirley published her novel “A Lonely Lady” in 1996. She was a member of many writer’s groups and started a Senior Center in Willcox, Arizona. Along with her love of writing, she shared a great love of travel and went on many adventures with her husband of 57 years, Don, to Australia, Mexico, Hawaii, San Diego and other destinations.

With all of these interests, her greatest love was her family. Her four children and her husband were the focus of her life. Shirley moved to the North Coast last year to be with her daughter, Kathy, and made many new friends along the way.

She is survived by her children, Don Bardella of Glendale, Arizona, Mary Bardella and Judy Bailey of Willcox, Arizona, Kathleen Essa of Bayside and her husband Emran. She is also survived by her three special grandchildren, Tara Bardella, Joseph Bailey and Nabil Essa. She was preceded in death by her husband, Don, in 2008.

Shirley was the center of her family and can not be replaced. We are comforted to know she will now be reunited with the love of her life, the man she spotted on a dance floor and married six months later and who she called the “handsomest man she had ever seen.”

A rosary is scheduled for Friday, December 9 at 7 pm at St. Bernard’s Church in Eureka with a memorial mass on Saturday, December 10 at 11 am at St. Bernard’s Church with reception to follow. All who knew and loved Shirley are welcome to attend.


The obituary above was submitted by Shirley Bardella’s familyThe Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here. Email


(UPDATING) SHOTS FIRED DOWNTOWN: One Person Down After Eureka Police Engage in Firefight on Fifth Street; Highway Closed

Hank Sims / Tuesday, Dec. 6 @ 5:07 p.m. / Crime

Photos: Andrew Goff.

UPDATE, 7:50 p.m.Chief Andy Mills held a press conference moments ago. He describes the events that led up to the shooting, and told reporters that the victim is undergoing surgery. They don’t have any current word on his condition.

The incident began when the Eureka Police Department received a call from a CHP officer asking for assistance with a subject who had taken “footbail” from a traffic stop. This was at about 4:45 p.m. Witnesses pointed out the direction the man had run, telling officers that he had a gun.

A foot pursuit ensued, “over fences” and through yards. Officers confirmed that he had a gun. A some point soon after, they received calls to the effect that the man was attempting to steal another car — the red Mazda, below — at gunpoint. He failed to get it. The foot pursuit continued. Gunfire was exchanged. 

No officers or civilians were injured.

They’re still at the scene, still actively investigating. Watch video of Mills’ brief press conference below and video of officers approaching the suspect below that. More updates to follow.


UPDATE, 6:08 p.m.: Capt. Steve Watson of the Eureka Police Department tells the Outpost that as far as he knows, no officers suffered any sort of injury this evening.


UPDATE, 5:51 p.m.: More reports are coming in from people who witnessed some part of this, and many of them are saying that there were more shots fired than the “five or ten” we mention some eyewitnesses hearing below. 

Says one person:

We were 2 blocks down when it happened, we had cop cars coming at us from the wrong direction on one ways. By the time we got to the stop sign I looked over and all the cops were stopped and right when I rolled down my window about 20-25 gunshots started. And by the time we got to like California and cedar I was still hearing single gunshots.


UPDATE, 5:45 p.m.: A recording of scanner traffic indicates that this started at about 4:50 p.m., near the back of Roy’s Auto Center (on Sixth). There was a foot chase that followed — at times, officers indicate that the suspect was headed up toward Seventh Street, then to the back lot of the police station at Sixth and B (where shots were fired), and finally toward Fifth Street.

The full 4 p.m.-5 p.m. hour of scanner audio is below. Fast foward to about 47 minutes in to hear what becomes a very tense, dramatic recording, as officers report shots fired and continue the chase.

4 p.m. - 5 p.m.

The report of “one detained” comes in at 4:57, along with a request for medical personnel to move up. The whole thing took less than 10 minutes.


UPDATE, 5:26 p.m.: Brittany Powell, spokesperson for the EPD, just spoke with the Outpost’s Andrew Goff, at the scene. But Powell could only say, at this point, that this is an “active investigation.”


UPDATE, 5:15 p.m.: Witnesses say they heard between five and ten shots fired. At least some of those shots, judging from scanner traffic, were fired at the police station itself, which is just a few blocks away at the corner of Sixth and C.

Sixth Street is also closed between A and C, says the Outpost’s Andrew Goff, who is at the scene. There’s a red car parked in the middle of the road there with its hazards on.

A few moments ago, a Eureka Police Department commander ask dispatchers to put out the word for basically any and all available law enforcement officers in the county.


One person was downed in the street and taken away in an ambulance after a brief, intense firefight with the Eureka Police Department on the streets of downtown Eureka, near intersection of Fifth and B streets, moments ago.

Fifth Street is currently closed. The Eureka Police Department is calling in all available personnel, and asking for assistance from the Sheriff’s Office, Arcata Police and basically whoever else can send personnel. This is going to be a long night.

We will update when we know more.

Two Once-Busted Humboldters Get Healthy Settlement From State of Iowa, Which Promptly Disbands its Drug Interdiction Unit

Hank Sims / Tuesday, Dec. 6 @ 4:41 p.m. / Crime

Iowa state troopers took this cash — $100,020 in total — off a couple of Humboldt fellows traveling through the Midwest in 2013. Now our guys are getting it back with interest.



Back in the spring of 2013, a couple of Humboldt County dudes — William Barton Davis of Eureka and John Newmer­zhycky of McKinleyville — were driving down Interstate 80 through the state of Iowa when a state patrol car started shadowing them. After about 15 miles, the trooper pulled them over. He said they hadn’t used their turn signal when passing an SUV.

While there on the side of the road, the police brought in a drug-sniffing dog to sniff out the Humboldters’ rental vehicle — a red Nissan Altima with Nevada plates. Lo and behold, the dog alerted. When officers searched the car, they found a cool $100,000 cash (and a tiny bit of the demon weed). The Iowans didn’t arrest Davis and Newmer­zhycky — they merely confiscated their cash and sent them on their way.

But Iowa sent word back to Humboldt County, and a raid on the men’s homes ensued. Local sheriff’s deputies found hundreds of plants and over 50 pounds of processed weed, along with sundries. 

You know what happened then, though? The men turned around and sued the pants off of the state of Iowa and demanded their money back. And yesterday they won. Not only did they get their money back — or 90 percent of it, anyway — they get an extra $60,000 for their trouble. Not only that, but the state of Iowa completely disbanded the state asset forfeiture unit. (That last bit is just a, uh, coincidence? That’s the state’s official position on the matter.)

What the hell, you say? Well, it turned out that the trooper’s dashboard cam proved that our folks did, in fact, use their turn signal when passing that fateful SUV, contrary to what the officer said was his reason for making the stop. Also: The men happened to be on a poker-playing road trip at the time — they had been traveling between World Series of Poker qualifying events — and they said the confiscated cash had been their bankroll.

The case came just before a wave of outcry — from both the left and the right — against civil asset forfeiture practices in law enforcement nationwide, and the incident got quite a bit of national press. Then, last year, a Supreme Court decision put the hammer down on cops who make detained citizens wait around forever so’s they can get a drug-sniffing dog to the scene. Which the cops in this particular case did.

So that’s that! Humboldt rules, Iowa drools. See the links below for yet more detail.



Jon Goldberg, Suspect in Fortuna Murder, Appears in Court; Victim’s Wife Testifies

Rhonda Parker / Tuesday, Dec. 6 @ 4:06 p.m. / Courts

At the scene in Fortuna, Sept. 26, 2016 | Photo: Andrew Goff


# # #

The Bridgeville man accused of gunning down his wife’s lover must stand trial on murder and firearms charges.

Jon David Goldberg

Today Judge Timothy Cissna, after hearing dramatic testimony from Timothy Smith’s bereaved widow and son, ruled there was enough evidence to warrant a trial for Jon David Goldberg, 36. He allegedly shot Smith to death outside the Smith family home on Rohnerville Road on Sept. 26.

During Goldberg’s preliminary hearing today, Smith’s wife Jessica Springer testified she was in the house with the door open and her husband was outside cleaning his truck. He had been walking in and out of the house with armloads of clothing and gear from a recent hunting trip. Then she heard the familiar voice of Jon Goldberg, saying something like “I thought you were my friend, man.”

Then gunshots.

“I panicked,” Springer testified under questioning by Deputy District Attorney Luke Bernthal. “I ran to the front door to see what was going on. That’s when I saw Jon Goldberg standing there. He was turning. And then I saw Tim laying on the ground …. I saw (Goldberg) turn to walk away.  He was holding a gun.”

Springer said she tried to scream but couldn’t catch her breath. What she wanted to yell was “Did you fuckin’ shoot him?”

Goldberg got into his white van and drove away. She rushed to her fallen husband and turned him over. Then she saw her son,  who “just saw his father murdered.”

Timothy Smith

“I realized my whole life had just gone away,” Springer said.  “Over something so fucking stupid.”

That “something stupid” was the affair between Tim Smith and Jon Goldberg’s wife Rachel Goldberg. Just hours before, shortly after the Smiths had returned home from having dinner out with the Goldbergs, Springer had discovered naked pictures of Rachel on her husband’s cellphone. While Tim Smith slept, Springer had picked up his phone to peruse other pictures: those of his fishing trip that day with Jon and Rachel Goldberg and their son David Goldberg.

At the bottom of the phone was the icon “Deleted Pictures,” and she clicked on that icon. She found “maybe five” nude photos of her friend Rachel.

Springer awakened her husband, and they proceeded to fight and argue “all night,” she said. The fight ended with her kicking him out of their home.

“I called him lots of bad names and said horrible things to him,” she testified under cross-examination by Deputy Public Defender Casey Russo. She told him to “get the hell out of my house, because I wasn’t going to live with somebody who was doing that.”

She also texted Rachel Goldberg, saying “I found pictures and she’d better tell her husband.”  Later the two women spoke by phone, “and that was when I got a response that she had told her husband.”

A few hours later the 42-year-old Smith, a well-known volunteer fire captain in Fortuna, was dead in his front yard.

Rachel Goldberg did not testify today, although her husband also is accused of battering her and assaulting her with a firearm. Because no evidence was presented on those charges Judge Cissna refused to hold Jon Goldberg to answer.  Prosecutor Bernthal said after the hearing that he could not comment on why he didn’t present a basis for crimes against Rachel Goldberg.

Spouses of a defendant can refuse to testify, though it’s unclear whether that is the case.

“He gave him about as many bullets as he did words,” the son testified.

The other eyewitness today was Timothy Smith Jr., wearing a blue T-shirt memorializing his dead father. He spent much of his time on the witness stand glaring at Goldberg, identifying him as “the guy who shot my dad.”

On Sept. 26 Smith Jr. was inside his trailer parked in the driveway of the family home. He also heard Goldberg say something like “I thought we were friends, man,” and then gunfire.

“He gave him about as many bullets as he did words,” the son testified. He said he dropped to the floor and hid, realizing there was a man on the property killing people. When he heard Goldberg’s van peel out, he came out to check on his father and comfort his mother.

“I held my mom and told her ‘There’s nothing we can do now,’ ” he said.

Fortuna police Officer Ryan Richardson, the first officer on the scene, said he checked Smith and he was obviously dead. An autopsy revealed one gunshot to the upper right chest and four to the left torso and back area.

During the questioning Russo raised two points that could indicate a possible defense. First, Jon Goldberg came to the Smiths’ house planning to speak with Jessica Springer. They had arranged the meeting to discuss the affair. He wasn’t expecting to see Tim Smith, because Jessica had told him she kicked him out. In the meantime Tim Smith had returned home to talk more with his wife, but Goldberg didn’t know that. It would have been a surprise to encounter Smith.

Secondly, there may have been guns in the truck that Smith was unloading. Jessica Springer says no, that she saw the guns in the house later that same day.  But Smith’s son wasn’t sure, and Officer Richardson said police did not search the vehicle.

Goldberg, who had shoulder-length hair when arrested at his home in Bridgeville, now has dark hair cropped short.  He sat silently throughout the hearing, wearing the traditional orange jumpsuit and sandals. The bailiff handcuffed him before he was led back to jail. Walking out, he glanced briefly at the group of Smith’s family members seated in the courtroom.

He is scheduled to be arraigned on the charges on Dec. 20.

Guns, Drugs and Cash! Eureka Police Department Served a Search Warrant Today

Andrew Goff / Tuesday, Dec. 6 @ 1:10 p.m. / Crime

Is Eureka Police Department is tweeting out photos of props from a low-budget gangster movie they’re filming? They are not!

No, the above haul — two guns (one stolen), 112 grams of heroin and cash from suspected drug sales — is the result of a search warrant served around 8:30 a.m. this morning at a house on the 2500 block of C Street. Hokti Cleveland, 32, of Eureka, was arrested and booked in to jail on the following charges: Felon in possession of a firearm, possession of heroin for sales, possession of stolen property, and probation violation.

EPD’s Brittany Powell tells LoCO that the operation was part of a followup investigation to a robbery — not any of the recent commercial robberies, though, she says. 

HSU Offering Students Free Pancakes to Help Them Cope with Finals Stress

Andrew Goff / Tuesday, Dec. 6 @ 11:22 a.m. / Education

Thinking of ‘cakes | HSU

Studying giving you the blues, HSU students? Pour some syrup on those woes! HSU lays out Mental Health Week activities — including free freakin’ pancakes — in the press release below: 

With final exams coming next week, students can bone up on studies, grab a free dinner in the J Cafeteria, and study alongside tutors as the fall semester winds to a close.

HSU’s Peer Health Educators host Mental Health Week in the lead up to finals. Under the theme of “Creature Comforts,” students can learn about self-care, reducing stress, make DIY tea blends and much more. All workshops are held in the Rec and Wellness Center drop-in lounge unless noted otherwise. Download a full schedule here (PDF).

Finals week kicks off with movies and stress relief. On-campus residents are invited to a Movie Screening De-stresser on Saturday, Dec. 10 from 1 to 3:30 p.m. in the College Creek Community Center. The event will also include refreshments and small activities to help students unwind ahead of finals week. Students are encouraged to bring their own cups and plates to help minimize waste.

Campus residents can also drop by the Redwood Lounge on Sunday, Dec. 11, from 7 to 9 p.m. for a finals study session.

Grab free refreshments and join study sessions at the AS Study Lounge on Sunday through Tuesday, Dec. 11-13. from 5 to 9 p.m. in the UC South Lounge. Tutors will be on hand to lead study sessions in Business Administration, Biology, Botany, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Geography, Geology, GSP, Math, Physics, Statistics, and Zoology. Download a full schedule here (PDF).

Brain food

On Monday, Dec. 12, students eat free from 8 to 10 p.m. at the 24th annual Pancake Dinner hosted by HSU faculty and staff.

As always, the University Library offers extended hours beginning Wednesday, Dec. 7. Check the website for a full schedule, including hours for the Research Help Desk, periodicals, and more.

Get the full schedule of Final Evaluation Week here (PDF).

Search Warrant on Humboldt Hill Home and Related Traffic Stop Uncovers Heroin, Meth, Pipes, Weed; Three Arrested

Andrew Goff / Tuesday, Dec. 6 @ 10:41 a.m. / Crime

Above: Meth

Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office press release: 

On 12-05-16 at about 1545 hours a Humboldt County Sheriff’s Deputy conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle at the intersection of Herrick Avenue and Elk River Road in Eureka.  During the traffic stop the deputy could see what he believed to be a one pound package of processed marijuana bud on the passenger side floor board.  A search of the area revealed another package containing 380 grams of suspected methamphetamine, 616 grams of packaged marijuana bud, 50 clear glass pipes commonly used for smoking methamphetamine and additional packaging material.

Agents with the Humboldt County Drug Task Force responded to assist in the investigation.  The passenger in the vehicle was identified as 42 year old Christopher Stacy.  He was subsequently arrested for possession of a controlled substance for sale, transportation of a controlled substance, and being under the influence of a controlled substance.

A Humboldt County Superior Court search warrant was obtained for Mr. Stacy’s residence in the 6100 block of Humboldt Hill Road.  When agents arrived at the residence two additional persons were located and identified as 38 year old Brandy Cyphers and 55 year old Richard Taylor.

Inside the residence, Agents located 4,498 grams of packaged marijuana for sales, 22 grams of concentrated cannabis packaged for sales, 114 1mg Lorazepam pills packaged for sales, 1 gram of heroin, over 400 clear glass pipes commonly used to smoke methamphetamine, digital scales and packaging materials.  In addition Agents seized $4,900.00 in U.S. Currency subject to asset forfeiture.
Brandy was arrested for possession of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance for sale and maintaining a residence for the purposes of distributing a controlled substance. Richard was arrested for an outstanding warrant.

This investigation is ongoing.

Anyone with information related to this investigation or other narcotics related crimes are encouraged to call the Humboldt County Drug Task Force at 707-444-8095 or the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Tip Line at 707-268-2539.