(UPDATED) County Supervisors to Consider Resolution Supporting Diversity and Civil Rights for All Residents, Immigrants Included

Ryan Burns / Monday, March 20 @ 4:01 p.m. / Government

UPDATE, Tuesday, March 21:

After some discussion and public input, the Board of Supervisors elected to wait for the county’s Human Rights Commission to bring its own resolution to the April 11 board meeting for consideration. 

First District Supervisor Rex Bohn, who expressed some doubts about the need for such a resolution, urged the commission to “keep it as simple as possible.” And he said the resolution certainly won’t shield anyone from prosecution. “If you’re gonna break the law … you’re gonna suffer the consequences,” he said. 

Third District Supervisor Mike Wilson was more supportive of the effort, saying it’s important to acknowledge the anxiety in the community around immigration enforcement. “And not just among the Latino community,” Wilson said. People from Mexico, the Middle East and Europe all face immigration issues and fear, he said, adding that he’s grateful for the work of the Human Rights Commission.

Fourth District Supervisor Virginia Bass reiterated that she sees this action as a starting point and agreed with Bohn that the commission should “start simple.”

The board voted unanimously to direct the Human Rights Commission to bring the item back, with a draft resolution, on April 11.

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Original post:

Since Trump took office, many local jurisdictions have been inspired to pass resolutions opposing his rhetoric and policies. | Photo by Flickr user Gage Skidmore.

At tomorrow’s regularly scheduled meeting, the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors will consider a resolution “recognizing the value of all citizens who live, work, and make valuable contributions” here, regardless of their legal status.

That may sound like a pretty anodyne sentiment, but in the Age of Trump local jurisdictions across the country have been motivated to go on the record with statements of principle, whether it’s declaring themselves “sanctuary cities,” where local law enforcement refuses to cooperate with federal immigration officials, or just expressing disagreement with Trump’s anti-Muslim, anti-Mexican rhetoric and policies.

The City of Eureka, for example, recently passed a wide-ranging human rights resolution that touched on everything from health care to climate change, LGBT rights and religious freedom, and while it didn’t mention Trump by name, it may as well have. (“We will continue to build bridges, not walls,” it read. WINK.)

Before casting the lone vote against the resolution (on the grounds that she found it “unnecessary” and “distasteful”), Eureka City Councilmember Marian Brady dropped the pretense: “We know who we’re talking about,” she announced, according to the North Coast Journal. “You might as well just say Trump. You have to hide it between fluffy words.”

Fourth District Supervisor Virginia Bass is initiating the discussion at the county level, bringing forward a recently passed Sonoma County resolution as a possible model for a local one.

Bass said Immigration reform was a hot topic at the National Association of Counties conference in Washington, D.C., last year, and she sees good reasons to address the issue locally.

“There’s a real fear in the community,” she said, referring to the threat of arrests and deportation, “and even if it’s not happening here now it is starting to happen in other areas.”

She looked at various resolutions passed in other jurisdictions, and in searching for a model she wanted to avoid politically divisive terminology such as “sanctuary city.”

“I’d really like to see something come forward that all [board members] could support,” she said.

In addition to the Sonoma County resolution, Tuesday’s agenda item includes Sheriff Mike Downey’s recent written statement regarding immigration enforcement, wherein he said immigration law is not his agency’s domain.

Bass argued that this issue isn’t about law breakers. “If you commit a crime, no matter where you come from, that’s a different thing,” she said, “but when you’re living here and you have family here, I don’t think it’s in the best interest for people to be afraid.”

The Sonoma County resolution vows to provide “essential services to all County residents regardless of immigration status.” Does Bass want to see Humboldt County take a similar stand?

It depends on what’s included in “essential services,” she said: “Police and fire is one thing; county services might be a different discussion.” She’s just hoping to put the issues on the table.

The board won’t pass a resolution Tuesday, Bass said. Instead she hopes to get a sense of whether or not there’s support in concept from a majority of the board. Meanwhile, the county’s Human Rights Commission has been working on its own to develop language for a civil rights ordinance, soo even if the board can’t arrive at a resolution all members agree on, the HRC can still bring its own version forward for consideration down the line.

For Bass, the specific words don’t matter as much as the underlying principle.

“What it really comes down to is respecting people who are part of your community [and who] haven’t done anything wrong,” she said.


Del Norte Sheriff’s Office IDs Homicide Suspect Arrested in Fatal Klamath Glen Stabbing; Second Victim Taken to Emergency Room

Andrew Goff / Monday, March 20 @ 3:52 p.m. / Crime

Del Norte County Sheriff’s Office press release: 


On Monday, March 20th, the Del Norte County Sheriff’s Office initiated a homicide investigation in the Klamath Glen.

At about 2:30 a.m. at Crivielli’s Bar and Grill in the Klamath Glen a male subject, later identified as 55-year-old David Soldano, is alleged to have stabbed two male victims. One of the victims succumbed to his injuries, while the other was taken to the emergency room for treatment.

Soldano was taken into custody and booked at the Del Norte County Jail for homicide and assault with a deadly weapon. The Incident remains under investigation by the Del Norte County Sheriff’s Office.  

ALSO TODAY IN KLAMATH: Four Arrested in Humboldt After Early Morning Shooting in Klamath Leaves Woman Dead

Soldano | DNCSO

Humboldt’s Tuesday Could Get a Bit Thundery

Andrew Goff / Monday, March 20 @ 12:34 p.m. / How ‘Bout That Weather

Humboldt’s wet reality continues this week.


Our local weather watchers from the National Weather Service tell us that raincoats may be in order for the next couple of days as a low pressure system ushers rains and gusty winds towards us coastal dwellers. Expect rains Monday and Tuesday with a l’il less wet stuff Wednesday.

Additionally, please try not to get struck by lightning on Tuesday when NWS says there’s a possibility thunderstorms and hail may pay us a visit, ah owa ah owa ah. Remember, “when thunder roars, go indoors” because “things that rhyme are true most of the time.” Probably. 

YOUR WEEK IN OCEAN: Ocean Day Comes to Sacramento!

Delia Bense-Kang / Monday, March 20 @ 10:18 a.m. / Ocean

Surfrider chapter members spent a day far from the ocean | Photos: DBK

The California State Capitol is far from the coast, but decisions and laws forged there have large impacts on the future of the coast and ocean. That is why Ocean Day has been bringing advocates to the State Capitol to discuss important ocean issues with state legislators since 2005. This event continues to educate legislators on the most up-to-date issues and events concerning our oceans and how they keep California beautiful.

Tuesday, March 14 was the twelfth and by far the largest Ocean Day to date. Nearly 100 attendees from all over the state participated and held over 90 meetings with legislators. Participants and organizers represented a variety of groups such as AZUL, Environment California, Surfrider Foundation, California Coastkeeper Alliance, CSU COAST, Ocean Conservancy, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Natural Resources Defense Council, Heal the Bay, 7th Generation Advisors, California Coastal Coalition, Clean Seas Coalition, Unite Here, COARE, Blue Frontier. This year advocates focused on ensuring the success of our marine protected areas, making our ocean accessible for all Californians, as well as helping to protect the coast from the harmful effects of industrialization. 

CCC Executive Director Jack Ainsworth welcomes ocean enthusiasts

The day started with a welcome ceremony featuring opening remarks by new Executive Director of the Coastal Commission Jack Ainsworth. Ainsworth expressed his support and dedication to the coast stating, “I am going to be there to fight for coastal protection. Keep up the good fight.” 

Throughout the day, advocates held meetings with members of the California State Senate and Assembly, and their staff, to discuss current ocean issues and urge the members’ direct action on upcoming bills. 

“Ocean day is an event that I look forward to each year and believe is vital to help protect California’s coastline,” said Madison Peters, Coastal Programs Coordinator for the Northcoast Environmental Center. “Not only is it a wonderful day where we get to meet up with our fellow environmentalists from all over the state, it’s a chance to try and make a difference and get our voices heard with our representatives,” said Peters.

Secretary John Laird speaks

To celebrate the day, the Monterey Bay Aquarium hosted a reception featuring sustainable seafood and honoring those who have helped to advance ocean health in our state. Secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency John Laird gave the opening speech, expressing his gratitude for everyone who dedicates their career to protecting the future of our oceans. 

Not able to make it to Ocean Day? There are many chances be an ocean advocate and make your voice heard! 

Support for critical funding for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is needed so these agencies can fulfill their mandates related to clean water, public health, and management of our nation’s ocean and coast. Presidents Trump’s first federal budget proposal for fiscal year 2018 was recently released, and includes a 31% reduction to the EPA’s budget and the elimination of 3,200 staff positions, and a 16% reduction to the Department of Commerce, much of that targeted at NOAA. These proposed cuts would undermine the ability of both agencies to protect vital public resources that support our nation’s coastal communities and economies.

Several programs that are not included in the President’s budget and need your support are; 

  • EPA’s BEACH Grants Program provides federal assistance to coastal states and territories to monitor water quality at beaches and to notify the public when bacteria levels exceed health standards. Elimination of EPA’s BEACH Grant Program will not only leave beachgoers at risk, but also threaten our nation’s coastal recreation and tourism sector valued at over $100 billion by the National Ocean and Economics Program.
  • NOAA’s Coastal Zone Management Program authorized by the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA). The program achieves multiple goals for states and coastal communities including economic development, enhancement of public access and recreation, and protection of coastal resources. The program provides the basis for protecting, restoring, and responsibly developing our nation’s diverse coastal communities and resources. Moreover, the CZMA requires a dollar-for- dollar state match for almost all federal funding, with states matching over $59 million FY2016.
  • NOAA’s Coastal Resilience Program, which provides tools and resources for communities to address the impacts of extreme weather and climate-related hazards. This includes support for projects that protect life and property, safeguard people and infrastructure, strengthen the economy, and conserve and restore coastal and marine resources. The program has also supported regional ocean planning to ensure a coordinated approach to the development and conservation of our marine ecosystems.
  • NOAA’s Sea Grant Program, which encompasses a network of 33 programs located in US States and territories. These programs engage over 300 institutions involving more than 3,000 scientists, engineers, educators, students and outreach experts to to provide integrated research, communication, education, extension and legal programs to coastal communities that lead to the responsible use of the nation’s ocean, coastal and Great Lakes resources.  

What can you do? 

Call or email your Congressional Representatives in DC and remind them that its their responsibility to ensure that the EPA and NOAA are empowered, through adequate funding, staffing and authority, to continue to meet each mission. 

Find your member’s phone numbers here: Senate and House.

HARDIN: Listen to Neighbors on KMUD

John Hardin / Monday, March 20 @ 7 a.m. / Op-Ed

I spend a lot of time in this column talking about what’s wrong with Humboldt County. I write about what’s wrong with Humboldt County, because that’s where we should focus our attention, but today I want to tell you about something really cool going on around here that you ought to know about: Neighbors. Not my neighbors, or your neighbors, or even The Neighbors, as I have been informed, but Neighbors.

Neighbors are a really tight little band in Arcata playing some remarkably original music. They’ve been playing together since they were teenagers, and have incubated their own unique sound over almost two decades. Classically trained piano and organ player Peter Lisle dreams up these delightfully witty, complex, sophisticated, unpretentious psuedo-pop songs, which he also sings. The rhythm section of Dan Boburg on drums and Sierra Martin on bass bring this extremely challenging material to life and makes it dance.

Neighbors don’t rely on any of the latest high-tech gadgets to make their high-energy pop music — instead they turn strong composition, intelligent lyrics and old fashioned musicianship into something new and different that you really should check out. Musically, they remind me of Frank Zappa’s Orchestral Favorites-Studio Tan phase. Peter’s vocals reminds me of They Might Be Giants, only more so. Neighbors are not a bar band, and they don’t make background music. Their music demands to be listened to and deserves your full attention. I’m afraid I don’t hear this kind of creativity in music nearly often enough, and I think people should listen to Neighbors, just to be reminded of what human beings are capable of when they work together.

Peter writes charmingly accessible lyrics, often about literary themes. “Enkidu Must Die” is Peter’s musical interpretation of the Epic of Gilgamesh. The “Winded Mare” recounts a famous scene in Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, and “Earth Abides” is based on a science fiction book of the same name. Peter has also written some more personal songs. “Helicopter” tells the story of Peter’s challenging love affair with the aircraft of his dreams, and “Mountain Road” tells the true story of a camping trip too harrowing to remember, with consequences too severe to forget.

I heard Neighbors play live at the Bird Ally X appreciation benefit last December, and they blew me away, so I arranged to interview them for my occasional KMUD radio series, The Adventurous Ear. During the interview, Peter told me the story of what happened on that fateful camping trip in the Trinity Alps, and what he told me made my jaw drop. I’d tell about it, but you really should hear it in Peter’s own words, and you should hear the song he wrote about it. You’ll have a chance to do that, this Thursday, March 23 at 5 p.m. when KMUD will air a brand new edition of The Adventurous Ear featuring: Neighbors. You can listen live at 5pm on Thursday, or anytime thereafter on the archive, at www.kmud.org

The show also features most of the music from Neighbors eponymous 10” red vinyl record, which you can find at People’s Records in Arcata. It’s the best new record I’ve heard in quite a while, and I recommend it to everyone. I know that not everyone will like it, but I recommend it to those people even more. Take the time to appreciate what these young men have done. It’ll make you feel better about being human.


John Hardin writes at Like You’ve Got Something Better to Do.


Barry Evans / Sunday, March 19 @ 7:43 a.m. / Growing Old Ungracefully

Everyone hates Daylight Saving Time, even those who incorrectly call it daylight savings time. Or those who think it’s got something to do with helping farmers (cows, I’m told, have the hardest time telling the big hand from the little hand). It’s time we fixed time.

If you’re looking for someone to point the finger at, blame Kaiser Bill, Queen Victoria’s eldest grandson and leader of Germany during the First World War. The Germans unleashed their secret weapon on April 30, 1916 when they moved their clocks forward by one hour to save fuel for the war effort. Didn’t work. And anyway a bunch of other countries promptly (and foolishly) followed suit.

Our last go-round, last Sunday, seems to have brought out the worst for DST sufferers — I’m still hearing complaints nearly a week later. Not sure if it’s the weather (actual or political), but this switcheroo sure upset a lot of folks.

Me, I’ve always hated the whole notion, but at least where I come from (I was a war baby in Britain, born during Double Summer Time, with the clocks magically having sprung forward not one, but two hours), they have the honesty to call it “Summer Time.” Over here, the “savings” part is sheer BS of course (sounds like something the Republicans would throw in to sweeten some daft notion of theirs, whether it’s a health plan or a wall or whatever). Fiddling around with clocks saves exactly nothing. It just feels that way when you get to sleep in an extra hour in November. Not so much in March.

Places that don’t switch twice a year in black. (The closer to the equator you are, the less of a difference DST makes.)

The problems with DST, other than everything, are manifold:

  • It’s inconsistent. States have their own jurisdiction over DST, so while Hawaii and Arizona (other than some, but not all, tribal lands) sensibly skip it, the rest of us suffer.
  • Countries change on different dates, e.g. British Summer Time starts on March 26 this year; Mexico’s clocks go forward an hour on April 2.
  • Depending on who’s doing the measuring, it’s inefficient. University of California researchers measured electrical usage in different parts of Indiana pre-2006, when the state had three time zones (before the State legislature unsportingly ended that mashup — it now only has two). Those parts of the State with DST used more power than those that without, savings in electric lights presumably being overshadowed by Hoosiers using fans and air conditioners during extended summer evenings.
  • Traffic accidents, strokes and heart attacks spike the week after the switch to summer hours. Judges sentence more harshly.
  • If we all take 10 minutes changing our clocks and watches twice a year, that’s costing two billion dollars annually (using the current average hourly wage of about $26).

So what’s the answer? For Californians, we’re probably going to have a chance to vote to abolish the whole spring-forward-fall-back debacle next year. And we may be joined by Massachusetts, which is talking about going on permanent Atlantic Standard Time.

Which is a start, but far too timid, imho. If we really want to bring some sense to time, we should do away with time zones entirely; we should, planet-wide, adopt the system used by airlines and military services: Zulu time (phonetic “Z”) — what most of us still call Greenwich Mean Time, more properly UTC for Universal Time Coordinated.

To be clear: we’d all be in the same time zone, anywhere on Earth, summer and winter. As I write (late Thursday afternoon), the time here, in Tokyo, Sidney, London, New York, everywhere is 01:10 UTC. No resetting watches when you fly, for instance, from SFO to LHR (London Heathrow). No resetting clocks twice a year.

01:10 Zulu time (6.10 pm Thursday afternoon PDT)

Trivia: Here in the Eureka/Arcata area of Humboldt, our longitude is about 124 degrees west of the Greenwich “prime meridian” of zero degrees. Why Greenwich? Because of Greenwich Observatory on the south bank of the Thames, a few miles downstream from London, England. The International Meridian Conference adopted Greenwich as the prime meridian in 1884, at a time when Britain was the world’s leading maritime power. (Hard to believe now.)

Zero degrees longitude: the prime meridian (line in pavement) at Royal Greenwich Observatory.

Actually, here in downtown Eureka, we’re so used to our twin clocks on Second Street showing the wrong time(s) that calling noon “twenty-one-hundred Zulu” wouldn’t really be much of a stretch. What do we want? Time! When do we want it? Now!

The time in Eureka is, um, 6:02? 5:50? (It was 4:30 Thursday afternoon.)

Notable HSU Alumnus Who Created ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’ Diagnosed With Lou Gehrig’s Disease

John Ross Ferrara / Saturday, March 18 @ 5:05 p.m. / HSU

Stephen Hillenburg in 2011. Photo credit: Wikimedia.

Humboldt State University alumnus Stephen Hillenburg, best known as the creator of the Nickelodeon cartoon series ‘SpongeBob SquarePants,’ announced he has been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Hillenburg made the announcement in a statement sent to Variety earlier this week.

“I wanted people to hear directly from me that I have been diagnosed with ALS,” the statement reads. “Anyone who knows me knows that I will continue to work on ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’ and my other passions for as long as I am able. My family and I are grateful for the outpouring of love and support. We ask that our sincere request for privacy be honored during this time.”

According to the Variety article, the 55-year-old animator is in the early stages of the disease, which is also known as ALS, a terminal illness that causes muscles weakness and inhibits body movement.

Before his stardom, Hillenburg studied biology at HSU — graduating with an emphasis in marine resources in 1984.