The 29th annual Arcata Bay Oyster Festival managed to pack the Arcata Plaza with thousands of attendees on Saturday, despite some unusual drama in the days before the event. First there was the local beer controversy and then the last-minute health crisis — oops, a math error, no crisis — regarding the safety of the 130,000+plus local oysters from Humboldt Bay to be eaten at the event, which is organized by Arcata Main Street as its primary fundraiser.
The early morning foggy overcast burned off in early afternoon for the usual event line up of live music, an oyster-calling contest for children and adults, and the Shuck & Swallow oyster-eating contest, as well as the food and beer venues. See more about winners of the Best Oyster contest here, and a slideshow of the day's highlights below. …
These are getting harder to write. We’re a baker’s dozen games into the season, still three games under .500 at 5-8, and looking poised to remain so. “This is the slowest start the Crabs have had since I can remember,” said Hugh Scanion, Crab Grass Band founder and unofficial team historian.
It isn’t that they’re bad per se, they just aren’t on the same page. We’ve got as many Crabs batting over .300 as are hitting under .200. Our pitching rotation and bullpen are evenly split above and below 3.00 ERA. The Crabs are suffering from intermittent bouts of what I call “Giants Syndrome.” When we’re hitting, we aren’t pitching, and when we’re pitching, we aren’t hitting.
Friday’s game was one I’d just as soon not talk about, but the extracurriculars necessitate it, so I’ll get through the game quick. The Crabs lost their first game of the weekend to the San Luis Obispo Blues 13-1. It was a shellacking, an unmitigated rout, a blow-out of 1980's prom proportions. They buried us in runs and laughed at our interring.
A woman caught a foul ball to the head and had to leave the ballpark with an icepack the size of her head on her head. She was bleeding and everything. Gotta watch out for those errant flies, folks. They are no joke. I hope she’s all right.
And then there was perhaps the worst Crabs fan I’ve encountered at any game. He’s up there with the B52s guy from the last year who gave the whole stadium the finger as he cursed our names. I can’t be certain, but he appeared to spawn from the dried beer on the bleachers in the second inning. Drunk already, to be sure. He wasn’t so much heckling as he was just shouting at Blues players. Cussing them up and down despite the numerous reminders and boos he got from the crowd that that isn’t how we do things. During the middle of a Blues rally, he stood up, literally (and I mean that literally and not as a synonym for figuratively) tore his shirt off, threw it in the air, and played radio dials on his nipples. I wish I was joking. Thankfully, security did their job and escorted him out, but this Grendel would not be so easily deterred. He attempted to sneak…
Before dawn this morning, four protesters were arrested after they allegedly blocked off the entry gate to Humboldt Redwood Co. property on Monument Road in Rio Dell.
According to a Humboldt County Sheriff's press release, when deputies arrived around 3:45 a.m. they found 15 protestors and a 24-foot ladder attached to the company’s gate and tied to several neighboring trees with one protester, Isabel Osheroff, having climbed to the top.
The logging company began timber harvesting plans along Rainbow Ridge, which lies in the Mattole River watershed west of Redcrest, earlier this month. Protests in this area first began July of 2018, when HRC initiated its logging activities on the ridge. Protesters then said they were trying to protect 1,100 acres of “pristine” forest (which they defined as trees that have not been logged) that mostly consisted of old-growth Douglas fir.
Michael John Gammariello, Brittany Krystal Soohoo and Georgia Hanrahan Doremus were arrested and booked into the Humboldt County jail on suspicion of trespassing, resisting arrest and impeding traffic. Sheriff's deputies, with the help of county public works employees, were able to safely take Osheroff down from the ladder, according to the release. She was also arrested on suspicion of trespassing.
An earlier press release sent by the Bay Area Coalition for Headwaters said protesters began demonstrating June 8, when a tree sitter climbed a centuries-old tree that he or she continues to occupy the tree. “The demonstration this morning is, in part, in solidarity and support of the tree-sitter, who goes by the name Rook,” the release stated.
From the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office:
Four arrested for trespassing during logging protest Deputy attempts to safely remove protester from ladder while in a boom truck On June 17, 2019, at about 3:42 a.m., Humboldt County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to Monument Road, in the county's jurisdiction of Rio Dell, for the report of protesters blocking an access gate to Humboldt Redwood Company property. …
The accolades keep coming. We were proud to report last month that the Journal took home a dozen awards from the California Newspaper Publishers Association’s annual statewide contest, and we’re prouder today to announce that we’ve been named a finalist in two categories in the esteemed national Association of Alternative Newsmedia’s annual throwdown.
The association, which counts dozens of alternative weeklies, including the Journal, as its members, with a combined print and online circulation of more than 38 million, hosts the annual contest, which sees papers from throughout the country compete in an array of categories. And while most newspaper contests break their entries into circulation categories — meaning papers compete against others roughly their size, AAN’s contest has no such distinctions, which leaves the plucky Journal to compete against behemoths like the Chicago Reader, Philadelphia Weekly and Baltimore City Paper. This makes the awards all the more coveted and all the more elusive.
So it’s with great pride that we report that the Journal was chosen as a finalist from dozens of entries in the categories of Best Column and Best Special Section.
In the Best Column category, our own arts and features editor Jennifer Fumiko Cahill is a finalist for her periodic “Seriously?” satire column. Here’s a brief excerpt from each of the three pieces that made up the entry:
I’m hearing that you’re feeling “attacked” when your bare ankle has been slashed from under the bed and, well, I’m a little taken aback. It’s never happened to me and I walk by there all the time. The parakeet hasn’t mentioned anything like that and we spend a lot of time just staring at one another. I’m not saying I don’t believe you, but there’s got to be more to the story. Again, not that I’m saying you’re making it up but did anyone else see it? Might it have been your perception? Could you have scraped against the ab machine I’ve never seen you take out from under the bed?
The drama. From the local beer debacle to the math error in a bacteria count that led health officials to temporarily close Humboldt Bay's oyster fisheries two days before the festival, the lead-up to the 2019 Arcata Bay Oyster Festival was a lot. Head Oystress Sydney Morrone said she hadn't heard of any oysters actually dumped in the pre-festival panic but this was a close enough call for everyone. In fact, before the oysters were tested and declared safe on Friday, organizers were already working on shipping in alternate oysters from out of town. Happily, it wasn't necessary and the oysters on the plaza — and up for judging — were homegrown.
This year the 14 judges, myself included, were glamping out in a tent where SeaQuake beer and Cook's sparkling wine — once forbidden during judging — flowed freely as "oystresses" glided in and out with paper trays and platters of oysters. The number of entries is still shrinking but the competition was still stiff. (See the slideshow below for a full perusal of the contestants.)
The competition for Best Raw Oyster came down to a mere four entries. Notable was the total absence of shooters — are shooters over? Discuss. In any case, first-timers Fregoso's Comida Mexicana came away victorious with an "al pastor" marinated Kumamoto with grilled pineapple salsa. Well, sort of first-timers — much of the same team was in place at Savory when it won in 2017. Best Cooked Oyster was a broader field with eight contenders. The entries ran the gamut from thick, bubbling sauces to fruity vinaigrettes and yes, a little butter and lemon. In the end, Blue Lake Casino and Hotel repeated its 2018 win, this time with a sweet and spicy barbecue sauce, a little miso, wasabi and dancing bonito flakes.
Perhaps because it doesn't carry the same cachet as the oyster prizes, Best Non-Oyster only found three entrants. But the winner was a standout. Again, Blue Lake Casino and Hotel scored with a fried wonton "tostada" with spicy tuna, jalapeño, avocado, aioli and eel sauce. Best in Show once again went to the high-scoring Sushi Spot, which won over palates with a raw Goose Point in sesame-lime vinaigrette with peppered avocado puree, cilantro oil, crushed Himalayan salt, lime zest and sambal, as well as its cooked oyster in creamy garlic-kimchee sauce with pineapple, cilantro, sesame, scallion,…
An 18-year-old Fortuna man was arrested this morning after allegedly making criminal threats against a church group that planned to visit Humboldt State University, with the threats making reference to a pair of mass shootings.
University Police Chief Donn Peterson told the Journal that Sean Allman made the threats via text messages to church members, with some of the messages referencing mass shootings at a New Zealand mosque and Columbine High School.
“The congregants communicated through through their network, their church, and a person there reached out to authorities here in Humboldt County that included UPD and Fortuna PD,” Peterson said, adding that local police learned of the threats yesterday afternoon.
Peterson said it’s still unclear why Allman allegedly directed these threats at this particular church group. According to a UPD press release, Allman lives in Fortuna with his family and is not an HSU student.
While Allman is currently in custody, UPD is asking the campus community to remain vigilant in the event he is released. UPD is distributing a flier asking anyone who sees Allman on campus to contact UPD immediately.
Asked if Allman had the means to carry out an attack or to follow through on his threats, Peterson said it’s not immediately clear, though he said it is incumbent upon UPD to take all threats seriously.
“If you’re going to make threats toward campus, idle or otherwise, and you’re going to invoke the memories of other mass killings to do it, we’re going to take those things very, very seriously,” he said.
See the full press release from UPD below.
MEDIA ADVISORY Campus Safety Bulletin: Suspicious Individual The University Police Department is advising the Humboldt State University community to be on the alert for an individual alleged to have sent threats to campus visitors. Sean Allman (pdf of police flier), 18, who is not an HSU student and resides with family in Fortuna, has made specific threats of violence to a group scheduled to visit campus. Allman was arrested early in the morning of June 15. Criminal charges are being evaluated, and possible threat to the campus only exists if he is released. UPD advises to remain vigilant. Allman’s threats referred to the New Zealand Mosque shooting, as well as the shooting at Columbine High School. Allman is described…
The San Francisco Seals flippered their way into town Tuesday and split a two-game series in almost perfect symmetry.
Tuesday night the Seals got on the board first, second and fourth, and sauntered into a 6-2 victory. Though the Crabs outhit the Seals 8-7, a dearth of extra base hits and a few costly errors put the game out of reach in the fifth inning. It was, to be diplomatic, a major bummer. Damian Henderson continues to hit well, and parked a two-run shot in the sixth inning (his second of the year), so that was cool.
Thankfully, Wednesday evening our boys showed the kind of exoskeletal fortitude for which they are known. The Seals put up a 1-0 lead right out of the gate and the crowd was preparing themselves to endure another whooping.
One of the best things in baseball is when a batter crushes the first pitch he sees and that’s exactly what Bryce Kirk did when he put a languid curve ball onto the roof of the Police Department. This dude is a hitting machine. He hasn’t batted under .350 once this season and he leads the team in both home runs, hits and extra-base hits. And so began the first honest to goodness Crabs game of the season. They put runners in scoring position with no outs, they forced errors, they hit into the gaps and they tallied up a big lead and kept their foot on the Seals’ throat. Dawson Bacho, Koko Figueiredo and Kyle Knell all tallied multiple hits, and six different Crabs crossed home plate in their Wednesday evening 7-2 victory.
Kudos also due to Riley Clearly, who, in his second start, pitched five strong innings and allowed only one run, and Nick Tabura for coming in for his first relief duty and striking out 10 batters. Our pitching lineup has filled out and, though we have one player sporting a stratospheric 59.4 ERA (remember what I said about early season stats?), is beginning to look rather formidable.
Guys, it felt so good to win. I mean really win. We’re two games under .500, sure, but that’s way better than being three games under .500 and the boys have some momentum heading into The Big Weekend (aka the Oysterfest-Father’s Day Extravaganza aka The 29th annual 48-Hour Arcata Blackout) against the…
U.S. Army Sgt. Elden C. Justus, of Eureka, was 23 years old when killed during the Korean war. Almost 70 years later, his remains are coming home.
The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced today that Justus was accounted for April 16 and will be laid to rest in Arcata next month.
According to a press release, Justus was a member of the Headquarters Battery, 57th Field Artillery Battalion of the Seventh Infantry Division and was one of approximately 2,500 U.S. soldiers deployed in late November of 1950 east of the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea. The combat team was engaged by overwhelming numbers of Chinese forces, according to a press release, and by Dec. 6 the Army had pulled out approximately 1,500 wounded service members. The remaining soldiers had either been captured or killed in enemy territory.
Justus could not be accounted for and was recorded as missing in action as of Dec. 6, 1950.
For several weeks in 2004, the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, a predecessor to the DPAA, conducted joint recovery operations with the North Korean People’s Army in the areas around the Chosin River and recovered the remains of at least five people.
North Korea then unilaterally turned over the remains to the United Nations Command Military Armistice Commission, which accessioned them to a laboratory, according to the release. Scientists then used dental and anthropological analysis to identify Justus’ remains.
The press release notes that more than 7,500 American soldiers still remain unaccounted for from the Korean War.
“Justus’ name is recorded on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, in Honolulu, along with the others who are missing from the Korean War,” the press release states. “A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.”
See the full press release copied below:
Fulfilling Our Nation’s Promise Soldier Accounted For From Korean War
June 14, 2019
WASHINGTON— The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that Army Sgt. 1st Class Elden C. Justus, 23, of Eureka, California, killed during the Korean War, was accounted for on April 16, 2019.
In late November 1950, Justus was a member of Headquarters Battery, 57th Field Artillery Battalion, 7th Infantry Division. Approximately 2,500 U.S. and 700 South Korean…
A detective with the Fortuna Police Department uncovered 2 pounds of methamphetamine Wednesday during a routine traffic stop on Riverwalk Drive, according to a press release.
Detective Brian Taylor was on patrol when he watched a driver commit a traffic violation and pulled him over, at which time he “noticed the smell of marijuana coming from inside the vehicle,” the release states.
Since a Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office canine unit was already nearby, Taylor requested its assistance and the dog “immediately signaled that it sensed the presence of illegal narcotic,” according to the FPD.
During a search of the vehicle, “two packages were located in a duffle bag in the back seat area of the car which was determined to contain methamphetamine,” the release states.
The driver was interviewed and release while the passenger, 23-year-old Fortuna resident Miguel Carrillo Villalobos, was arrested on suspicion of transporting drugs for sale.
Read the full Fortuna Police Department release below:
On Wednesday June 12th, a Fortuna detective recovered 2 pounds of methamphetamine during a routine traffic stop on Riverwalk Drive in Fortuna.
While on patrol, Detective Brian Taylor observed the driver of a Honda Accord make a traffic violation. Upon making initial contact with the driver, he noticed the smell of marijuana coming from inside the vehicle.
While he was speaking with the driver and passenger, an investigator from the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office Canine Unit was in the immediate area for another assignment. Because the officer smelled marijuana during the traffic stop, the canine was requested and immediately signaled that it sensed the presence of illegal narcotics.
During a subsequent search two packages were located in a duffle bag in the back seat area of the car which was determined to contain methamphetamine.
The driver, 18 year old, Angelica Carrillo Villalobos of Fortuna was interviewed and released at the scene.
Her passenger, 23 year old, Miguel Carrillo Villalobos of Fortuna was arrested for Transportation for Sale of a Controlled Substance; HS Code 11379 (a), which is a felony. He was transported and booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility.
The two current Fortuna Police Department Detective positions are fully funded by the Measure E tax approved by Fortuna voters in November 2016.