City Council Set to Discuss New Plans for Eureka Waterfront Property; More Shops, Homes and a Park Possibly in Old Town’s Future

Stephanie McGeary / Friday, June 15 @ 12:08 p.m. / Community , Local Government

View of the Eureka Waterfront site from First and C streets

Imagine for a moment that you’re in Eureka in the late 19th century. You’re strolling along the waterfront, amidst a lively scenery of fishing boats and shops and whatever else was going on in Eureka in the 1800s. Somehow, you encounter a time machine and travel to 2018. Would you be shocked when you encountered what is now Old Town Eureka?

The Eureka City Staff certainly thinks so. Which is why they are doing everything they can to come up with a successful development of the vacant waterfront property on First street between C and F streets. The most recent development plan for the C-to-F site includes retail and residential buildings and a community park. The Eureka City Council has a special meeting set for Tuesday June 19, to discuss the development strategy.

A city staff report prepared in advance provides some flowery background on the site, stating:

The vacant area located on Eureka’s waterfront between C and F streets is one of the community’s greatest development opportunities. Approximately three city blocks in size, for most of the city’s history it served as Eureka’s front door. People and goods embarked and disembarked along its chaotic wharf. All manner of commerce and industry sprang up in the strategic location. It would come as quite a shock for a time-traveling Eurekan from the 19th century to see the sleepy, dusty expanse that is there today.

What the waterfront from C to F street used to look like, according to city staff. Image — actually of Liverpool, England — from staff report, via a stock photo website.

The “dusty expanse” that is there today.

The city really wants to build something that Eureka citizens can be proud of. Back in 2015 the city hosted a multi-day design charette featuring  tours, workshops and events to gather the community’s feedback on this project. Probably most thrilling was the design workshop which allowed local folks an opportunity to work with an architect and sketch their dream developments.

Following the charette, the city compiled a list of the most common desires to consider during the planning process. City staff drafted a plan it feels fit the criteria, presented by Eureka Development Services Director Rob Holmlund during a City Council Study Session on December 19, 2017. They decided that the development must have parking, a green space and buildings with both residential and retail uses.

Overview of plan from the city staff report.

Some challenges with the plan are the city development standards and Coastal Commission zoning. Also, the city questions how much need there is for retail spaces. Holmlund told the Outpost that the most interest he’s received from developers has been to build a waterfront hotel on the site.

But Holmlund and the city staff believe they have found a way around these issues. For one thing, the city is adopting a new General Plan Update soon. Holmlund told the Outpost this means the city can adjust some of the development standards in place, which could help expedite this process.

Holmlund said the Coastal Commission zoning can be slightly more difficult to navigate. “That’s the biggest most frustrating part of this project,” Holmlund told the Outpost. “Even if the council approves [the plans], it would probably take the Coastal Commission 18 months to certify them.”

With the new, adjusted plan, the city staff was able to work around this issue too.

“That’s the magic of this plan,” Holmlund told the Outpost. “We’ve come up with something that fits the coastal commission rules but also meets the vision of the community.”

Concept draft from the City Staff report.

You’re probably wondering: How will the city pay for all this? Well, they thought of that too. Assuming the City Council eventually gives the thumbs up on this new plan, the city would get to work on preparing the permits. Then they plan to auction off the land to private developers.

Holmlund told the Outpost that having the permits already in place will be a big incentive for potential bidders.

“I don’t have any doubt people will want to build, with a property that’s already been approved for development,” Holmlund said. He believes, realistically, that development could start as soon as 2020.

The C-to-F Street Development Strategy will be discussed at the Eureka City Council Special meeting on Tuesday June 19 at 4:00 pm at Eureka City Hall, 531 K Street.

A draft concept from the Eureka City Staff


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(UPDATED With Response from St. Joe’s) Housekeepers at St. Joe’s and Redwood Memorial Say Cleaning Solution is Making Them Sick; Protest Planned Monday

Ryan Burns / Friday, June 15 @ 11:12 a.m. / Activism , Labor

UPDATE, 3 p.m.: 

Below is a response from St. Joseph Health:

We are committed to maintaining an environment of safety, respect and dignity for our caregivers. Recently, we have met with leaders of our represented workforce to proactively discuss the use of Oxycide at our ministries and together we will continue to ensure a safe work environment for all.

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Original post:

St. Joseph Hospital Eureka | Wikimedia.

Press release from local members of the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW):

Sick of being forced to work with cleaning chemicals that make them ill, St. Joseph Eureka and Redwood Memorial housekeepers are staging a demonstration outside St. Joseph Hospital, 2700 Dolbeer St., Eureka.

For the last two years, housekeepers at both hospitals have been required to use OxyCide, a relatively new one-step cleaner, disinfectant, and deodorizer product, which they say has caused them respiratory problems, burning noses, burning eyes, rashes and severe headaches.

They are not alone. Acting on a worker complaint, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health conducted a 2015 survey of housekeepers at a Pennsylvania hospital that used the same cleaning product, which includes the chemicals hydrogen peroxide and peroxyacetic acid. The survey found that out of 68 housekeepers who reported using the product, 29 percent complained of watery eyes, 22 percent complained of nasal problems and 15 percent complained of asthma-like symptoms.

“Every time I use this cleaner, I get headaches and feel a burning sensation in my eyes, nose and throat,” said Andrea Bernardi, a housekeeper at St. Joseph Eureka. “We’re suffering every day, and the hospital is refusing to do anything about it.”

The author of the NIOSH study recommended that hospitals take measures to reduce employee exposure to OxyCide if they report respiratory, skin or eye problems. The University of Vermont Medical Center stopped using OxyCide after nurses complained, and the hospital was cited by Vermont OHSA for failing to properly assess the hazards posed by the product.

Yet, despite months of formal complaints from workers, St. Joseph, which also operates Redwood Memorial Hospital, is still refusing to address their concerns. St. Joseph’s intransigence led the housekeepers, represented by the National Union of Healthcare Workers, to demand that the matter go to arbitration.

“We must be treated as human beings,” said Candelaria Ramos, a St. Joseph housekeeper and NUHW shop steward.  “Now we get sick because we work at St. Joseph Hospital.  All we want is for the hospital to change its cleaning fluid to one that doesn’t hurt us.”

OxyCide is produced by the firm Ecolab. It hit the market in 2013, billed as an effective agent for killing bacteria on hospital surfaces.

The housekeepers will be joined Monday supportive colleagues, including nurses local labor unions, and community members.

“It’s unacceptable that our housekeepers are being made to use chemicals that make them sick,” said Lesley Ester, a registered nurse at St. Joseph Eureka. “St. Joseph needs to take their concerns seriously and consider alternative cleaning products that won’t harm hospital workers.”

WHAT: Housekeeper Demonstration
WHEN: 4 p.m. Monday June 18 (Demonstration will last about 30 minutes)
WHERE: On the sidewalk outside St. Joseph Hospital, 2700 Dolbeer St., Eureka



McKinleyville Man Wanted on Felony Warrant Arrested with Meth, Loaded Firearm, Says HCSO

Andrew Goff / Friday, June 15 @ 10:05 a.m. / Crime

Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office press release: 

On June 14, 2018, at about 9 p.m., a Humboldt County Sheriff’s deputy on routine patrol in McKinleyville observed a vehicle associated with a wanted felony warrant subject traveling east on School Road.

 

The deputy followed the vehicle and conducted a traffic stop on the 1000 block of Murray Road. The driver, felony warrant subject Christopher Andrew Simpson, 35, of McKinleyville, was arrested on his felony warrant. Two other occupants of the vehicle were detained.

During a search of the vehicle, deputies located an unregistered firearm with a loaded high capacity magazine, Xanax pills, methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. Simpson was booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility on his no-bail felony warrant for the following charges: felon in possession of a firearm, reckless driving and use of a controlled substance.

 

Simpson was also booked on fresh charges of: convicted felon in possession of a firearm, possession of a high-capacity magazine, carrying a concealed weapon in a vehicle, possession of a controlled substance while armed, possession of a controlled substance, prohibited person in possession of ammunition and violation of probation.

The two other occupants of the vehicle were released at the scene.
Anyone with information about this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at (707) 445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at (707) 268-2539.




Insanity Hearing Next Week for Ferndale Woman Who Will Admit to Attempted Murder of 11-Year-Old Daughter at Centerville Beach

Rhonda Parker / Friday, June 15 @ 10:05 a.m. / Courts

A Ferndale woman who will admit trying to murder her 11-year-old daughter will have a court trial next week to determine whether she was insane at the time of the attack.

This morning Kimberly Ann Felder entered pleas of not guilty to attempted second-degree murder with the special allegation of personally inflicting great bodily injury. But Felder’s attorney, Public Defender Marek Reavis, told Judge Christopher Wilson she will plead no contest to the charges on Wednesday. Then Wilson, most likely after hearing testimony from doctors who evaluated Felder,  will rule on whether she was legally insane when she attacked the girl on Centerville Beach.

Felder.

Outside of court, Reavis said both doctors who examined Felder determined she was insane. Provided Wilson agrees and makes that ruling, Felder will be sent to Napa State Hospital for a minimum of six months.

When doctors at Napa determine Felder’s sanity has been fully restored, Reavis said, she will be returned to Humboldt County to undergo outpatient treatment for a year. During that time she will be out of custody, and provided the treatment goes well she will stay out.

Felder, 46, brutally attacked her daughter on June 16, 2017, by stripping her naked and then hitting, kicking and biting her while shoving sand in her mouth. She claimed to be casting demons out of the girl. A witness stopped the assault.

The girl suffered multiple injuries, including serious damage to her right ear.

Felder has spent the past year in Humboldt County Correctional Facility. Reavis said she has been in contact with her family and they are “very supportive.”

If the judge were to rule she was sane at the time of the attempted murder, Felder would face a maximum term of 12 years in state prison. Attempted second-degree murder carries a top term of 9 years, and inflicting great bodily injury could add three more years.

Deputy District Attorney Stacey Eads is prosecuting the case.

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Fresno Man Arrested, Over 5,000 Plants Eradicated in Raid of Unpermitted Hyampom Grow With Environmental Damange

Hank Sims / Friday, June 15 @ 8:49 a.m. / Crime

From the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office:

On June 13, 2018, deputies with the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU) served two search warrants to investigate the illegal cultivation of marijuana in the area of U.S. Forest Service Route 1 near Hyampom. The following agencies assisted the DEU: wardens and environmental scientists with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, specialists from the Humboldt County Environmental Health and HAZMAT Unit, inspectors from the Humboldt County Planning and Building Department and CAL Fire law enforcement officers and personnel.

Two parcels were investigated during the service of the search warrants. Neither parcels possessed or were in the process of obtaining a commercial cannabis permit with the County of Humboldt. During the service of the warrants, DEU deputies located five greenhouses and eight outdoor marijuana cultivation gardens. Deputies eradicated a total of 5,387 marijuana plants and seized three firearms.

On both properties, assisting agencies also located several water diversion violations (up to $8,000 per day fine), stream pollution violations (up to $20,000 per day fine), multiple grading violations (up to $10,000 per day fine) and improper disposal of garbage. Additional violations with civil fines are expected to be filed by the assisting agencies. Nou Kia Vang, 35, of Fresno, was arrested and booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility on charges of unauthorized cultivation of marijuana, carrying a concealed firearm in a vehicle, streambed alteration without a permit and water pollution.

Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at (707) 445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at (707) 268-2539.




OBITUARY: Collin Roy Pole, 1930-2018

LoCO Staff / Friday, June 15 @ 6:45 a.m. / Obits

Collin Roy Pole passed away on June 11, 2018 at home in Hoopa, with his family by his side, at the age of 87.

He was born in Idabel, Oklahoma on July 1, 1930 to Roy and Leola Adel (Watson) Pole. He came to California with his parents and brothers in 1945, and moved to Hoopa in 1947.

He began working at 17 as a sawmill carriage rider. He quickly worked his way up to head sawyer, the position he held for the rest of his career. When his mill was washed away by the flood in 1964, he left home with nothing but a few changes of clothes and no idea where to go. He said he would call when he found work. He found it 150 miles away, and worked there camped under a redwood tree away from home, until a job was available at another mill in Hoopa. Later, after all the mills in Hoopa had closed, he found work in Arcata. For 18 years he made the long drive over the hill to the coast and only missed work twice. Both times, he had gotten into a car accident and wasn’t physically able to be there. He did these things not because he was a workaholic, but because taking care of his family was absolutely his number one priority. That’s the man he was . Family first.

He was drafted into the Army in 1955 and served as a mechanic until 1957.

Collin married Cheryl K. Cushman in 1959. They remained married for 58 years until his passing.

In the 1960s he raced motorcycles on the local flat track and TT circuits. A fierce competitor, he either won the race, or he crashed trying to win. He brought home more trophies than the house had room for.

At home he was an avid gardener, hot rodder, and DIY engineer. He was always designing, building, or fixing something. There was nothing he couldn’t fix or build himself. And if he didn’t have the right tool for the job, he would build that too. Over the years he built and customized several cars. His last was his 1934 Dodge Bros. pickup. He restored it all in his own shop, with his own skills, including several custom one of a kind parts. He loved going to the local Rod Runs, and talking about or doing pretty much anything to do with cars.

Most of all he loved spending time with and playing with all his little grandbabies. And they adored him too.

Collin was a member of the Landmark Missionary Baptist Church in Hoopa. He loved singing hymns and had a beautiful baritone voice. He also taught Sunday school as long as he was physically able to do so.

Collin was preceded in death by his father Roy Pole, mother Leola Adel Pole; brothers, Clifford Pole, Miron Pole, and Marshall Pole; and sister Mary Ellen Pole.

He is survived by his wife Cheryl and,

6 children,

Virgil Pole, Colleen Goff, Delbert Pole, Lori Pole, Tina Pole, and Ethan Pole Sr.;

24 grandchildren,

Virgil Jr., Aaron, Amos, Nathan, Stevie, Oscar, Farren, Mykel, Spencer, Shannon, Maxwell, Halli, Levi, Zach, Samantha, Randi, Tee, Collin, Clinton, Cassidy, Marcos Jr., Kagan, Shinobi, and Ethan Jr.;

31 great-grandchildren,

Stephanie, Julianna, Virgil, Johnnie, Margret, Carmen, Ariana, Lelencia, Aaron, Sequoia, Natia, Syliss, Damien, Makailee, Makenzie, Elizabeth, Cleora, Minnie, Sloan, Isabell, Kahlil, Jake, Terra, Kaydence, KayLee, Madisyn, Melia, Emily, Naiya, Sophia, Charlie;

4 great-great-grandchildren,

Avi, Jake Jr., Analicia, and Darrell.

Collin was a loving and devout husband and father. He will be deeply missed.

Funeral services will be held at the Landmark Missionary Baptist Church in Hoopa on Monday, June 18th at 10:00 a.m. with Pastor Tom Counts officiating. Interment will take place at the V.F.W. Willow Creek Cemetery. Reception following at Landmark Missionary Baptist Church in Hoopa.

Casketbearers will be Virgil Pole Jr., Aaron Pole, Amos Pole, Nathan Pole, Maxwell Pole, Levi Pole, Zach Pole, Collin Lane, Clinton Lane, Ethan Pole Jr., and Jake Gayton.

Honorary bearers will be Virgil Pole Sr., Delbert Pole, and Ethan Pole Sr.

Flowers may be sent to Paul’s Chapel in Arcata.

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The obituary above was submitted on behalf of Collin Pole’s family. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here.



(VIDEO) Sara Bareilles Skypes With EHS Students, Helps Secure New Gear for Music Department

Andrew Goff / Thursday, June 14 @ 2:14 p.m. / :) , Music , Our Culture

Hi, Sara!

Gah! When is she going to stop being the best?

Fresh off her her George Costanza-acclaimed turn hosting the 2018 Tony Awards — which included a Humboldt County name drop, thank you very much — the North Coast’s best famous person Sara Bareilles took to the social medias today to post up a little video chronicling her recent adorable interaction with Eureka High School students. Watch below! Do it, do it, do it

Why the face-to-face? As mentioned in the clip, Bareilles — an EHS alum, if you were somehow unaware — got wind that her alma mater’s music department needed a little “TLC.” So she worked with Shure, Yamaha, Eastman Strings and Mantova’s Two Street Music to secure some brand new instruments and microphones for the school so that the students can “thrive and shine the way they’re meant to.” D’aww.

“I had such an amazing experience getting to utilize all the resources of the music department growing up going to Eureka High and I hope that you guys get to enjoy what we sent,” Bareilles said during her Skype session with EHS students. “I just want you to know that I am just so in love with Eureka High and all the wonderful programming that’s there. Anyway I can support you guys and encourage you to keep the arts alive — it’s so important for the health of our world.”

Hooray x10! Video now.

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