North Coast Journal 09-05-13 Edition
In this week's cover story, Ryan Burns tells you all you need to know about the future of the Highway 101 safety corridor. Also: good ballet and the best gluten-free sushi, as well as Klamath salmon and killer whales. And as always, calendar, music and Arts Alive! listings.
north coast - thursday sept. 5, 2013 vol XXIV issue 36 • humboldt county, calif. FREE .... ·en ca ~ 6 Salmon madness 8 Oh goody, a memo. We’re so reassured 17 Sex, violence and elk 19 Sneaky sushi gluten 20 LINES dancing 34 Whales gone wild = -= .... .. = = 2 North Coast Journal • Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013 • northcoastjournal.com table of 5 Mailbox 5 Poem fall light 22 Art Beat between the black and white 23 Arts Alive! saturday, sept. 7, 6-9 p.m. 6 News fish on! 25 Fortuna’s First Friday Friday, sept. 6, 6-9 p.m. 8 The Week in Weed Just Cuz you’re paranoid ... 26 Trinidad Arts Night Friday, sept. 6, 6-9 p.m. 9 Blog Jammin’ 10 On The Cover building a better corridor 27 The Hum shows big and small 14 Home & Garden Service Directory 17 Field Notes elk in the surf 28 Music & More! 30 Calendar 34 Filmland cut bait Honor yourself. Balance your mind and body. 19 Table Talk sushi for the gluten-challenged 20 Gotta Dance! lines ballet 21 Stage Matters states of plays 35 Workshops 42 Crossword & Sudoku 43 Marketplace 46 Body, Mind & Spirit 47 Real Estate This Week 15% OFF student discount Online booking available. SPA • WELLNESS • YOGA w w w. e s s e n t i a l e l e m e n t s s p a . c o m 707-839-7772 • 1639 Central Ave., Ste A. • McKinleyville northcoastjournal.com • North Coast Journal • Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013 3 Meet our staff ! Daniel Kalmanson, Sunny Brae staff Not many people can say this... but Daniel can, “I came to Humboldt for the weather!” He has been with Murphy’s for just a few months and is happy with the people he gets to work with and the friendly customers. Daniel plays bass guitar and synthesizer with friends. He records on cassettes and multi-track to over “dub” and make his own unique music. Inspiration may come from the concerts he frequents in San Francisco. Author Cormac McCarthy’s writing has also interested Daniel. McCarthy has authored many books, several of which have been made into movies; The Road, No Country for Old Men and All the Pretty Horses. Born and raised in hot Sacramento, Daniel worked in the summer between semesters so he could move here and attend Humboldt State University as a history major. He is in his junior year. He plans to teach English in the Czech Republic and then come back to Humboldt for his teaching credential via TESOL - Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages. Their Mission Statement: To advance professional expertise in English language teaching and learning for speakers of other languages worldwide. You never know the dreams of the students who are helping you with your groceries at Murphy’s. Each member of the staff has a story just as unique as their customers. And that is one of the many reasons Murphy’s is such a special place to shop. By Colleen Hole, Advertising, North Coast Journal Sunny Brae • Glendale • Trinidad • Cutten • Westwood 4 North Coast Journal • Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013 • northcoastjournal.com Sept. 5, 2013 Volume XXIV No. 36 North Coast Journal Inc. www.northcoastjournal.com ISSN 1099-7571 © Copyright 2013 CIRCULATION VERIFICATION C O U N C I L Editor: So ... a man’s brother dies, leaving three dogs adrift (“Dog Fail,” Aug. 29). The man takes the dogs in and cares for them for six months, then has to move to the East Coast. Driving 3,000 miles across the United States in the heat of summer with three dogs in a packed truck is not an option. He turns to the local shelters. They are not full, yet they turn him down because the dogs are not “strays.” These are not his dogs. He can’t take them with him. The shelters only accept “strays.” He makes strays of them. For this he is excoriated in the press and charged as a criminal by our District Attorney. Really!? What you have rather he had done? Cut their throats? Really. Steve Parr, Eureka Dog Pickle The North Coast Journal is a weekly newspaper serving Humboldt County. Circulation: 21,000 copies distributed FREE at more than 350 locations. Mail subscriptions: $39 / 52 issues. Single back issues mailed / $2.50. Entire contents of the North Coast Journal are copyrighted. No article may be reprinted without publisher’s written permission. Printed on recycled paper with soy-based ink. Cartoon by joel mielke Editor: Giving advice to the lovelorn and others is a great newspaper tradition, and I thought the new feature was a fun addition to your paper, until I read one Bad Advice Fall Light The light is bending With the last rush of Warm summer winds Brushing up riverbed, Rippling gentle current, Lifting gorged shorebirds Braced for winter. Leaves rustle nervously Knowing their time has come, In a co-evolutionary signaling That dwarfs the printed word. On a rare coastal day Without a cloud in the sky Change becomes us. — by Kirk Gothier of the replies (“Hey McGuinty!,” Aug. 29). mouse traps, are widely used at grows and The writer complaining about cell phone has a similar effect of driving down local issues received poorly worded advice on prey populations. This lack of available how to deal with unwanted interruptions: prey is a tremendous problem for top “Make that phone your bitch and only use predators, who must increase their range, it when you need it.” sometimes overlapping with neighboring Huh? Haven’t we had enough of the competitors, to locate prey. Imagine if mindset that reinforces degradation of suddenly all the grocery stores and restauwomen? rants in HumIf it was boldt County Robin disappeared Thicke (non-farmer, writraise-your-owning the food people exresponse, cluded). Would “Legalization would end the illegal industrial grows, I get it. you want to go and Phillip Morris can take over to legally suck the Maybe one-on-one with water out of our rivers, streams and aquifers, while a bit of our neighbors legally leaching phosphates and nitrogen.” editing in Del Norte when a or Mendocino — Gerry Farber, ever-so-excited on the columnist counties in order NCJ website about the strays to find food? Jared Huffman-Dan Rather helicopter pot tour. too far (No offense to over the folks in either not-socounty.) blurredIf you see line is in order? someone checking out of the hardware Language matters, it conveys ideas, and store with more than 200 Victor® rat the idea behind this particularly bad traps, it is unlikely they are headed to advice hurts all of us. Old Town to rid the waterfront of the rat Sheila Evans, Eureka population. Giving this person a ration of stink-eye is warranted. The sum total of all of these actions related to growing marijuana is further environmental degradation. If you are going to grow weed, then please do so responsiEditor: bly and without impacting native wildlife. I’ve read repeatedly about the use of MJ Mazurek, Tamuning, Guam rodenticides on marijuana grows (most re(formerly Arcata) cently Ryan Burns’ “Weirder and Weirder,” Aug. 22) and the effects to the forest food web by the poisoning of prey species that ultimately impact top predators (e.g. spotted owls and Pacific fishers). In Please try to make your letter no more addition to chemical applications, other than 300 words and include your full methods are used by growers to rid grows name, place of residence and phone numof native wood rats and other mammals ber (we won’t print your number). Send it that can clip, chew on or otherwise affect to email@example.com. l growing plants. Snap traps, both rat and Comment of the Week publisher Judy Hodgson firstname.lastname@example.org editor Carrie Peyton Dahlberg email@example.com art director Holly Harvey production manager Carolyn Fernandez staff writer/a&e editor Bob Doran firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com staff writer Heidi Walters firstname.lastname@example.org staff writer/news editor Ryan Burns email@example.com staff writer/assistant editor Grant Scott-Goforth firstname.lastname@example.org staff writer Jennifer Fumiko Cahill email@example.com calendar editor Dev Richards firstname.lastname@example.org contributing writers John J. Bennett, Simona Carini, Barry Evans, William S. Kowinski, Mark Shikuma, Amy Stewart graphic design/production Miles Eggleston, Lynn Jones general manager Chuck Leishman email@example.com advertising Mike Herring firstname.lastname@example.org Colleen Hole email@example.com Shane Mizer firstname.lastname@example.org Kimberly Hodges email@example.com marketing & promotions manager Drew Hyland office manager Carmen England bookkeeper/receptionist Meadow Gorman mail/office: Hey! Grower! Leave Those Rats Alone Write a letter! firstname.lastname@example.org press releases email@example.com letters to the editor firstname.lastname@example.org events/a&e email@example.com music firstname.lastname@example.org production email@example.com classified/workshops firstname.lastname@example.org 310 F St., Eureka, CA 95501 PHONE: 707 442-1400 FAX: 707 442-1401 CalTrans photo-simulation of proposed interchange at Indianola Road. on the cover: • northcoastjournal.com • North Coast Journal • Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013 5 Fish On! By Heidi Walters It’s madness at the mouth of the Klamath, where record runs are drawing record crowds T email@example.com he young fisherman stood, stunned, on the wet, soft sand cliff above the churning blue-andgreen river channel. His fishing pole strained before him in a got-a-big-lunker bow. His friend hopped on the sand beside him, chattering excitedly: “I almost fell in! I almost fell in!” An older fisherman walking by, gear in hand, smiled. “You got a big one!” he said cheerily. Then he looked over the edge — and shook his head. The young guy’s lunker wasn’t a fat Klamath River salmon, but a whopping pile of freshly collapsed sand bank that had whooshed from underfoot, burying his line and nearly his friend. But up and down the Klamath River’s south spit on this hot, sunny Wednesday last week, other people were running along the edge of the treacherous sand cliff yelling “Fish on! Fish on! Fish on!” and then willingly plunging down it to retrieve the ocean-dashing, tired-out fish caught on their lines. The huge fish whipped about, the river pulled, and the sparkling ocean tumbled nearby. Across the channel on the parallel north spit, where there was no cliff, more people held tight to lines and wallowed in racing river and crashing surf to wrestle their catch. It’s a wonder no one was swept to sea. “It’s crazy down there,” agreed Sara Borok, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist in charge of the crew doing creel counts on the lower Klamath. “It’s called ‘combat fishing.’” Hundreds of sport fishers — men, women and children — have trekked daily over the past couple of weeks to stand side by side and cast their lines into the stampede of incoming fall-run Chinook. The fish are big — even some 35-pounders. The run is large — 272,000 are predicted to swim up the Klamath (the average run is 121,000). But those aren’t the only reasons the Klamath Soua Vang, of Fresno, caught this Chinook while fishing with Crescent City friends at the mouth of the Klamath River last week. Photo by Heidi Walters AUTHORIZED WASTE TIRE DROP OFF 822-7909 437 ‘G’ ST. ARCATA mouth is a fevered fishing paradise this year. “Because of the warm water and low flows, fish weren’t entering in a trickle like they usually do in the first week of August,” Borok explained on the phone last week. Chinook won’t migrate into the river if it’s above 73 degrees. The temperature at the mouth had gotten up to 77 degrees, so the salmon waited out in the ocean. Then came some cooler nights, and the river mouth temperature dropped to 70. It likely helped that more water was released into the Trinity River, a tributary to the Klamath. “Now they are just pouring in,” Borok said. “But another reason it’s absolutely nuts out there is this is the first time in 10 years the mouth has run south.” Instead of emptying straight into the ocean close to the north shore, near Requa, the river now hooks sharply south and cuts a channel through the north and south spits parallel to the ocean. The salmon have to swim this long, narrow passage to migrate upriver, making them easy pickings. Since the sportfishing season opened Aug. 15, more than 3,000 salmon have been harvested at the mouth, most within just one week, between Aug. 20 and Aug. 26. The limit is three fish per person per day. “I looked at all the data back to 1986, for that same week, and we have not had 3,000 fish caught at the mouth this early in the season,” Borok said. “The most caught was about 600.” People come with plastic buckets strapped to two-wheeled carts, with burlap bags, with tarps, with bits of rope and sometimes with nothing at all to drag their heavy catch through the sand from the mouth back up to the road and then past an exhausting line of parked trucks to their own rigs. All those fish. All those people. All the barking, scarfing sea lions at the ocean entrance, and all the wheeling gulls. The tumult is stirring up mad joy — and anger. Last Wednesday, as Xu Chang from Cres- cent City skittered down the steep sand bank to grapple a flailing salmon hooked in the mouth, his uncle Siavu Chang, holding the fishing pole, laughed and shouted, “First time I fished!” A few yards north of him, Michael Simmons, from Gold Beach, Ore., also laughed. He shouted at Chang, “Good job, got a fish!” There were many first-timers like Chang. Many fishermen like Simmons who’d never fished the Klamath mouth before. And a few old-timers who’d seen this river mouth configuration in years’ past. A group of dudes from Santa Rosa sat in the sand, smoking and listening to their boombox. One of their friends, Aaron Lujan, started running downstream shouting “Fish on!” Most people leaped back to let him pass, raising their poles to keep their lines from tangling. When the fish tired, Lujan shooshed down the bank to grab it. Emina Lekovic, from San Diego, was fishing nearby. She grabbed Lujan’s pole and helped drag his fish up, then gave him a hand back up the disintegrating cliff. “Whooo!” Lujan cried. Lekovic had been out here all week. Mostly, people were being friendly. But a few got too excited. Rude. One day, she said, she cast her line and it got tangled in the channel with the line of a man fishing on the other spit. He insisted she let go of her line so he could cut it. She did. The next time this happened to her, she refused. “I said, ‘No, I’m not letting go,’” she said. “So I pulled this way, they pulled that way. It’s happened to other people than me. You’re supposed to untangle it, like a normal person.” Borok said there’d been fistfights, people yelling at each other. But on Wednesday, everyone seemed filled with sunshine, intoxicated by such easy fishing. How could you be unhappy fishing, wondered Dan Alexander from McKinleyville. He’s got two boys in college, and enough 6 North Coast Journal • Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013 • northcoastjournal.com the crowds over Labor day weekend were even thicker. Photo by Jerry england salmon now to fill his freezer. “This is a pure day,” he said. “I’m out here fishing with my son — it can’t be better.” There was a gloomy lining to the sunshine. The spit was littered with abandoned, dead fish. Many of the keepers seemed hastily stashed, lying on the sand beside fishing gear, under poor shade or no shade, without ice. Some fishermen were burying their catch to keep it cool. Few had coolers on the beach. Away from the commotion, Catherine Oliver, a Yurok, was kneeling in the estuary washing sand off half a dozen salmon her cousin had hauled on a tarp from the mouth of the river. She was angry. These were fish, she said, that sportfishers had hooked — and sometimes snagged — and released. (Many salmon are getting snagged in the crowded channel — hooked on their backs, sides, tails — and it’s illegal to keep a fish that didn’t willingly swallow the hook.) “The fish are tired from fighting the reel,” she said. “They’re hurt. And they swim right into the sea lions’ mouths. It’s wasteful. I’m rescuing them so my family can eat.” People shouldn’t be allowed to catch and release, she said. She also said the sport season shouldn’t coincide with the Yurok commercial season. Even some sportfishers complained about the excess and said the sport season at the river’s mouth should have closed after the 3,000th fish was caught. Each year, based on the projected run, officials put an overall quota on how many fish can be sport harvested from the river and divvy it among four sections. Fifty percent of the quota can be caught between the Highway 101 bridge and the mouth — 20,003 salmon this season. A subquota for the mouth itself is lifted at times like this, when the run is huge, said Borok, so the entire 20,003 could legally be caught at the mouth. That’s not likely, Borok said, but the prospect upsets tribal fishermen; the Yurok’s fall commercial quota for the lower river is 76,362, but their area begins upstream of the mobbed mouth. Usually it’s the other way around, she said, sportfishers bitching about Yurok fishers and their nets. “And bitching is recreation down on the lower Klamath,” she said. l northcoastjournal.com • North Coast Journal • Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013 7 the week in WEed Just Cuz You’re Paranoid ... By Ryan Burns m.northcoastjournal.com RESTAURANTS, MUSIC, EVENTS, MOVIE TIMES, ARTS LISTINGS, BLOGS RIGHT ON YOUR PHONE “T his is the beginning of the end of marijuana prohibition.” That’s what a Denver dispensary owner told the New York Times last week in response to what’s being called (by some) a historic memo from Attorney General Eric Holder. In his long-awaited response to the legalization of weed-for-fun in Colorado and Washington, Holder said the U.S. Department of Justice won’t sue to stop the laws, and he told federal prosecutors not to mess with marijuana users or businesses as long as they comply with state laws and don’t run afoul of eight federal enforcement priorities (keep it away from kids and cartels, no toking and driving, no growing on public land, etc.). Many hailed the memo as the dawn of a new day, one in which regulation will replace prohibition. But here in California, industry insiders were less sanguine. After all, they remember the Obama administration saying something very similar back in March 2009. That’s when Holder announced that the Bush-era raids on medical marijuana dispensaries would end. They didn’t, obviously. The Justice Department has since shut down (or intimidated into closure) hundreds of state-legal dispensaries in California. Arcata’s Humboldt Medical Supply, for example, closed last year after being notified by U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag that it was within 1,000 feet of a playground. That “playground” was the Arcata Ball Park, site of much drunken revelry and zero playground equipment. Haag, who oversees California’s Northern District, is also responsible for dismantling Mendocino County’s zip-tie registration program, and she’s currently trying to seize the assets and property of several Bay Area dispensaries, including Oakland’s Harborside Health Center. Obama’s periodic head-fakes toward Drug War pragmatism haven’t done a thing to slow Haag’s ham-fisted crusade against the devil weed. And it doesn’t look like Holder’s “historic” memo will have much effect either. On Friday, a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office Northern District told the East Bay Express, “[F]or the most part it appears that the cases that have been brought in this district are already in compliance [with the new guidelines]. Therefore, we do not expect a significant change.” Other tidbits from the week in weed: • Marijuana is the most popular illegal drug on the planet. That completely unsurprising finding came from the first-ever global survey of illicit drug use, published last week by the University of Washington. Meanwhile, legal painkillers were found to be the most lethal addiction. • The Rim Fire that’s currently eating up Yosemite may have been sparked by an illegal marijuana grow. That’s what a local fire official told a community meeting on Aug. 23. A YouTube video of his talk only recently came to the attention of media outlets. • In Monday’s Times-Standard, Thadeus Greenson reported on five local men facing federal prison sentences of up to 20 years and a fine of up to $1 million for allegedly supplying a multistate drug ring with local homegrown. Court documents suggest that three of the men may be informing on their partners in Montana. • A marijuana grower in upstate New York accidentally killed himself with his own booby trap on Saturday. Police said the 50-year-old man was nearly decapitated when he drunk-drove his four-wheeler through a nearly invisible line of piano wire, which he’d strung up to protect his crop. • Pot blog Smell the Truth published a list of the best marijuana strains for treating depression, as reported by patients. Among the choices: “Juicy Fruit,” “Sweet Island Skunk” and “Trainwreck,” which is described as “a mythic sativa from Arcata, Calif. ... Use it to clean your house.” • 8 North Coast Journal • Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013 • northcoastjournal.com Blog Jammin’ COMMUNITY / BY GRANT SCOTTGOFORTH / TUESDAY, SEPT. 3 AT 11:12 A.M. One of three dogs found abandoned on Samoa beach last month died Friday. A veterinarian euthanized “Becky,” a black Labrador retriever, after discovering she was bleeding internally from invasive nasal cancer, the Sheriff’s Ofﬁce reported. Veterinary records gathered by Animal Control indicate Becky had been experiencing symptoms since at least May 2012. “Angel” and “Ginger” — the other two dogs found near Fairhaven on Aug. 21, are healthy and awaiting adoption. Visit www.northcoastjournal.com/blogjammin for details on how to donate to the Friends for Life Emergency Medical Fund, which supplemented vet costs for Becky and other shelter dogs. ● EDUCATION / BY CARRIE PEYTON DAHLBERG / MONDAY, SEPT. 2 AT 12:05 P.M. Dog Abandoned on Samoa Beach Dies enough board members to constitute “a virtual quorum,” Hoover wrote, which could run afoul of the Brown Act’s ban on most secret meetings by school boards and other public bodies. Through the entire affair, school board members emailed a lot about damage control but nothing about what Hoover called “the glaring double standard in the way Johnson has been coddled and excused for his plagiarism, undermining teachers’ ability to credibly teach students that cheating is unacceptable and punishable.” ● GOVERNMENT / BY GRANT SCOTTGOFORTH / FRIDAY, AUG. 30 AT 5:08 P.M. Freedom to enjoy your favorite beer — that’s Wes Chesbro’s (D — North Coast) vision of California. He’s calling for Gov. Jerry Brown to end the persecution against owners of growlers — those 64-ounce beer bottles — who just want a reﬁll. Growlers are an increasingly popular way to get fresh-brewed craft beer home. Even in the North Coast’s burgeoning brewery market, some beermakers decline to bottle their specialty beers (or any of it), meaning the only way to enjoy it is in a glass, on the town. Resealable growlers give tipplers the ability to bring those suds home, or to the neighbor’s barbecue. Growlers have been around, but confusing alcohol laws prohibited a brewery from ﬁlling a growler unless it was permanently branded with that brewery’s label. The legislation Chesbro is championing (beer, apparently, is a unifying force, as the bill was co-authored by Republican State Senator Steve Knight) would make it OK for brewers to ﬁll any growler, as long as the now-laden vessel was properly labeled and showed no signs of its former contents. ● COMMUNITY / BY GRANT SCOTTGOFORTH / FRIDAY, AUG. 30 AT 11:16 A.M. Crews from Humboldt Bay Fire evacuated the courthouse this morning when an elevator motor apparently started spewing smoke into the building. A few Sheriff’s Ofﬁce deputies waiting outside said they smelled strong smoke on the ﬁrst ﬂoor of the courthouse before the building was emptied. Fireﬁghters found the source of the smoke and were preparing to use fans and the building’s exhaust system to clear the elevator shaft around 10:45 a.m. ● HAY STOP. PHOTO BY JAMIE ASHDON FRIVOLITY / BY GRANT SCOTT-GOFORTH / TUESDAY, AUG. 27 AT 6:53 P.M. Friend of the Journal Jamie Ashdon snapped this photo of two urban ungulates chillin’ near Ampt Skate Shop in Arcata today. Jamie succinctly captioned the scene on his own Facebook page: “Umm...” Not sure how the fuel economy stacks up against Arcata’s bevy of alterna-transport like buses, electric cars, bikes and skateboards — or if it’s worth facing that slew of trafﬁc on horseback. Emissions are a whole ’nother story. ● COMMUNITY / BY EMILY HAMANN / WEDNESDAY, AUG. 28 AT 12:11 P.M. Class was cancelled from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the main campus of College of the Redwoods today, due to an electrical problem that occurred this morning. Power went out in several buildings, and in order to correct the problem, power was turned off throughout the campus. The power went back on at 1:45 p.m. ● ENVIRONMENT / NATURAL RESOURCES / POSTED BY GRANT SCOTT-GOFORTH / WEDNESDAY, AUG. 28 AT 4:47 P.M. Following on the heels of the somewhat high-proﬁle report this week that poisonlaced hot dogs killed a ﬁsher at a Humboldt County grow in July, the Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC) says it’s campaigning to get rat poison off of local shelves. EPIC says it’s trying to convince retailers to voluntarily ban the sale of “second generation anticoagulant rodenticides” like d-CON. County supes passed a resolution in May urging the same, to the consternation of one poison-industrial-complex rep. It’s not just irresponsible growers using these toxins that put people at risk, EPIC says, though it cites a study in its press release that says 80 percent of ﬁshers found dead by researchers between 2006 and 2011 had been exposed to rodenticides. (The July ﬁsher — the ﬁrst conﬁrmed intentional Have Horse, Will Travel poisoning of a ﬁsher — was determined to have died from insecticides, though rodenticides were also found in its system.) Residences and businesses should also seek alternatives, EPIC says. “We don’t have to poison our families and wildlife to live and work in rural Northwest California.” Read the full release at www.northcoastjournal.com/blogjammin. ● MARIJUANA / BY GRANT SCOTTGOFORTH / WEDNESDAY, AUG. 28 AT 11:47 A.M. Liberate Your Growler School district trustees may have broken the state’s public meeting law by exchanging emails about how to handle a plagiarized graduation speech by one of their own, the Arcata Eye and McKinleyville Press reported last week. The emails reveal a group of school board members eager to make the problem go away as quickly as possible, and some who suggested that fellow board member Dan Johnson’s speech at Arcata High wasn’t really all that bad, even though it lifted passages from a well-known speech that some students sitting in his audience had studied. The article by the Eye’s Kevin Hoover, based on public records requests for the emails, is full of fascinating nuggets and raises more questions about how the Northern Humboldt Union High School District conducts its business. References are made to Johnson consulting a lawyer and to communications that were not released. Interestingly, the trustees’ long silence during public complaints about Johnson’s speech appears to have been endorsed or encouraged by Humboldt County Superintendent of Schools Garry Eagles. When board member Colleen Toste wrote him on June 28 asking how to handle media coverage, he replied that “absolutely no statement from anyone is appropriate under the circumstances” except from Johnson, if he chooses. Some of the exchanges included enough board members or were passed along to READ FULL POSTS AND SEE PHOTOS AT Illegal, Secret e-Meetings by School Trustees? Power Outage at CR EPIC Pooh-poohs Poisons Un-occupy the Courthouse www.northcoastjournal.com/blogjammin Two busts east of Garberville yesterday turned up just the kind of ecological havoc that’s been infuriating environmentalists and getting the attention of our Congressman. Along with the usual guns, greenhouses and greenbacks ($198,000 at one property) Fish and Wildlife say they found pumps draining Mattole Canyon Creek, sucking up salmon and steelhead smolt, and leaking oil on the riverbed. When ofﬁcers arrived at one bust, on the 1800 block of Dutyville Road, “they located two people at the residence, Bruce Wayne Turner, 63 years old and his 56-year-old girlfriend. Ofﬁcers located a pump in Mattole Canyon Creek which was being used to pump water to the marijuana plants the couple was growing,” the Sheriff’s Ofﬁce reported. “Ofﬁcers located 877 growing marijuana plants located in two greenhouses on the property. The plants ranged in size from approximately 8 inches to 6 feet. They also located approximately $198,000 in cash, scales and evidence the marijuana was being sold for proﬁt. Turner was arrested for cultivation and possession for sale of marijuana, allowing a place for drugs to be stored (all felonies) and Fish and Wildlife code violations for altering a streambed without a permit and polluting a streambed (both misdemeanors). He was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked and his bail was set at $50,000. Turner’s girlfriend was not arrested due to health issues. Charges are being sought against her through the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Ofﬁce.” Read the full press release at www.northcoastjournal.com/blogjammin. ● Stream-sucking Grows Busted northcoastjournal.com • NORTH COAST JOURNAL • THURSDAY, SEPT. 5, 2013 9 Building a Better Corridor After tragic accidents and years of delays, the road by the bay needs an upgrade. But what kind? By Ryan Burns N Detail of Eureka to Arcata Route 101 Corridor Improvement Project. Courtesy of CalTrans ewcomers to Humboldt County, especially those arriving from more urban areas, are often amused when locals complain that driving from Arcata to Eureka, or vice-versa, is just “too far.” And they have a point. That four-lane stretch of U.S. Route 101 is barely six miles long. Seems longer, right? Maybe that’s due, at least in part, to the road’s history of tragedies and the signposts that remind us of them. The big signs with flashing lights, the reduced speed limit, the daytime headlight requirement and those radar readouts clocking your speed — it’s ominous. One visitor said it felt like she was entering Area 51. But those flashing, blinking gizmos speak of dangers embedded in the design of the roadway. Scattered along the corridor at irregular intervals are six Tintersections where two-way streets meet the expressway. Every hour of every day, drivers face a challenging and potentially deadly game of Frogger. They’re forced to judge the speed of oncoming cars and wait for a gap big enough to shoot across two lanes of traffic. Periodically someone misjudges, often with gruesome results. For cyclists, it’s even scarier. This is the “safety corridor,” an 11-year-old, 50 mph twilight zone that always was intended to be a temporary fix. Safety zones just don’t work long term, says the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), because people start ignoring them. Before May 2002, when the safety corridor was created, the prevailing speed on this stretch was nearly 70 miles per hour, despite a speed limit of 60. Also, there were seven intersections, not six. In the five years before the safety measures were installed, collisions at four of the seven intersections happened more frequently than the state average at similar intersections, according to Caltrans reports. Two of the junctures — at MidCity Motor World and Indianola Boulevard — had more than double the average rate of serious collisions (those resulting in serious injury or death), Caltrans found. “We even had people renting billboards identifying it as ‘Blood Alley,’” said Ralph Martinelli, chief traffic safety officer for Caltrans District 1, which includes Humboldt, Del Norte, Mendocino and Lake counties. Public outrage over the unsafe conditions reached a fever pitch after a brutal T-bone collision on Jan. 23, 2002. A car had turned left from southbound 101 toward Indianola Boulevard and was crossing northbound 101 when it was plowed into. Four people, including a mom, her son and her father, were killed. The safety corridor was born. When Caltrans looked back in 2007, comparing the five years before and after the safety corridor’s installation, it found that conditions had improved a bit. Though collision rates remained high (and in fact went up) at Mid-City and Indianola, the rate of serious accidents went down at all six intersections. And while there have been fatalities on that stretch in the last decade (including a CR student who fell asleep at the wheel, a cyclist who suffered a heart attack and a driver who inexplicably entered the freeway going the wrong direction), none of the deaths were related to the design of the dangerous intersections. Regardless, the measures weren’t meant to stay. According to a Caltrans study of 29 safety corridors around the state, their effectiveness starts to wear off after a while. People start going faster, enhanced enforcement money runs out and accident rates creep back up. Indeed, both total collision rates and serious collision rates remain well above average 10 North Coast Journal • Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013 • northcoastjournal.com CARS. TRUCKS. SUVs. ATVs. Tires, Wheels, Batteries, Wipers, Rubber Mats and More Local Family Owned Since 1939. (707) 822-5191 1265 Giuntoli Lane Arcata, CA 95521 Left Existing view westbound at Indianola Road. above Photo-simulation (looking westward) of proposed grade separation at Indianola road. Courtesy of CalTrans on 101 between Arcata and Eureka. “The severity has gone down but the number is climbing back up,” said Martinelli, “and we’re concerned that at some point it’s going to break down completely.” Caltrans has been chipping away at a more permanent solution for more than a dozen years. And as the region’s transportation planning agency, the Humboldt County Association of Governments (HCAOG) also plays a major role: It holds decision-making authority for 75 percent of the f