Author Archive

EiC meets EPD

February 28, 2013 107 comments

penWhen I was growing up, I remember someone explaining to me why assaulting a police officer was more significant than someone assaulting a plain-old-citizen. “If someone’s going to assault someone who carries a gun and has police authority,” the person said, “imagine what they’d do to someone without those things. They’re doubly dangerous.”

In the North Coast Journal this week, editor in chief Carrie Peyton Dahlberg describes her treatment when she attempted to observe and document police activity in the main library’s parking lot. It’s important reading for anyone who lives, works, or shops in Eureka.

If the police act like this to someone who has already identified themselves as an employee of a local newsweekly, what do they do to regular folk? And what do you think the police must think of the local press’ willingness to report what they observe?

Brava, Carrie Peyton Dahlberg. Brava! In my opinion, Eureka should honor you as citizen of the year.

(Posted by Mitch. Contact the Herald:

Quote of the Day

February 27, 2013 13 comments


“I am sympathetic to the myriad challenges that public officials and administrators face, but I also expect our leaders to work diligently to find solutions. I expect them to negotiate in good faith, to seek compromise, and when there is funding available, I expect them to do the right thing. In this case, an impartial fact finder has already stated, and the county has acknowledged, that resources are available to pay the modest increase sought [by local home care workers].”

Peter LaVallee

(Posted by Kathy. Herald email:

Got News? Got Feedback?

February 25, 2013 15 comments

operatorsFor what seems like years, there’s been nobody able to respond to the official Herald contact addresses.  So some of us have decided to set up a temporary address.  You can write the Herald at

Operators are standing by.

If you have press releases, feedback, complaints, tips, etc., you can share them at that email, which we will try to mention in new posts.  This address will be deleted when Heraldo returns.

Pledge-a-Picketer Campaign Raises Over $8,000

February 22, 2013 14 comments

Posted by Kathy

In response to the vigil by 40 Days for Life Planned Parenthood’s Pledge-a-picketer

campaign has reached $8,354.

More info about how to pledge-a-picket here:

To support 40 Days for Life:

Invitation from Six Rivers Planned Parenthood

Join Humboldt County Clergy for Choice and Six Rivers Planned Parenthood to show your support for Planned Parenthood at a rally in front of the Eureka Courthouse next Wednesday evening!

We’ve been so inspired by your incredible response to our Pledge-a-Picket campaign and all of your supportive comments on our facebook page regarding the recent 40 Days of Life protest. This rally is an opportunity to show the community that Humboldt County cares about reproductive rights and social justice.

Stand up for access to high quality reproductive health care for ALL including contraception, STD testing & treatment and cancer screenings!

Stand up to support the 1 in 3 women who will have an abortion in her lifetime and show that you trust in her ability to make her own decisions!

To pledge:

Stand up for medically accurate sex education in local schools so that our youth have the knowledge and tools they need to protect themselves and make educated decisions about their sexuality!

Stand with Planned Parenthood! We’ll provide some signs but feel free to make your own. Thank you for your support and we’ll see you there!

A Worthy Comment / A Definite Problem

February 21, 2013 70 comments



From Quick Notes:

“X is contributing to the destruction of the conversation here far more effectively than any “devil’s advocate ” can. I am being kind but whoever is running this blog does not have a firm grip on the concept of what a troll does. A trolls goal is not to win debate. A trolls goal is to destroy the conversation. X does that. X is a troll because X is constantly diverting the conversation away from local Humboldt issues. X  doesn’t care if he wins the debate or not. X just wants to destroy or divert the most popular left discussion in Humboldt. That’s his goal.”

Thank you JJ.  Whoever is running this blog is well aware of comments that ruin the conversation and discourage others from posting.  The question is what to do about it.  Should disparaging comments be deleted?  Should constantly rude and negative posters be banned?  These actions have been considered and could be taken.

Aside from banning and deleting comments, and believe me ugly nasty comments are deleted, it is helpful if thoughtful civil readers post more especially after a troll has made a deposit on the thread.

What say you?


Arcata meeting on inclusionary zoning TONITE 6:30 PM.

February 21, 2013 8 comments

(Message sent out by Arcata Mayor and City Council member Shane Brinton.)

I want to make sure you are all aware of the upcoming Arcata City Council Study Session on Inclusionary Zoning. It’s this Thursday, February 21 at 6:30 pm in the Council Chambers. Here’s the agenda:

The demise or Redevelopment has left a huge funding void, making it more difficult for local governments to financially assist with the development of inclusionary units. The City Council has discussed removing inclusionary requirements from certain projects and some people have even suggested doing away with Inclusionary Zoning entirely.

As a supporter of our current policy requiring the inclusion of affordable units in new developments, I am deeply concerned. We need to have an in-depth conversation and consider all of the possible ramifications before we make any changes in policy.

This meeting could be pivotal in determining the future of affordable housing development in Arcata, so please try to attend if you can. I also encourage you to inform others who may be interested.

Annual Indian Island Vigil of Remembrance and Healing, Sat. 2/23 5pm

February 19, 2013 7 comments

candles(Guest post by Ellin Beltz, Ferndale)

Everyone is welcome at the annual Indian Island Candlelight Vigil of Remembrance and Healing, Saturday 23rd February from 5 to 7 p.m. at the west end of Woodley Island, Eureka.  Please bring your own candle. The vigil has been held rain or shine on the last Saturday of February for the past 22 years. From a central fire, a Wiyot elder will light a candle from which all the other candles will be lit.  As in past years, a moment of silence will be observed for the victims of violence –  prayers, songs and poems will be shared as the spirit inspires.

Directions: West end of Woodley Island which is the island with the marina on it in Humboldt Bay between Eureka and Samoa. From Samoa Bridge (Highway 255) exit at Woodley Island. Drive carefully to the west end and park.  Walk north towards the the Fisherman’s Memorial Statue.

Sponsored by the Table Bluff Reservation-Wiyot Tribe, please contact “” or 707-733-5055 for more information.

Some history behind the event:

Indian Island has been the center of the Wiyot world since it was given by the Creator to the Wiyot people when time began.  Groups of Wiyot lived in very familiar areas: around the Eel River on or near present day Fortuna, Loleta and Ferndale; around the southern end of Humboldt Bay on or near South Spit, Hookton, King Salmon and Bucksport; and around the northern end of Humboldt Bay from in Samoa, Manila, Arcata, Jacoby Creek, Freshwater and Eureka.  Every year, the Wiyot held dances at the center of the world on Indian Island to which all were welcome.

While Wiyot people may have met individual white people from the visits of the Spanish and the Russians, nothing prepared them for arrival of the American white settlers in 1850.

When Humboldt Bay was settled in 1850, there were between 1,500 and 2,000 Wiyot in the area and thousands more native Americans in other groups in the vast relatively unexplored territory north of Fort Ross.(1)

Native peoples in this part of California traditionally had a cycle of ceremonies and dances to maintain and bring about world renewal. One of these, the seven to ten day long World Renewal ceremony had been held at the village of Tuluwat on Indian Island since time immemorial.

The Wiyot had no way to know that 1860 would be any different than the previous ten years of American settlement.  Yes, the local press was on the usual rampage against Indian problems and yes there had been harsh words from locals, but no warning was given to the Indians, no presentiment of disaster felt as the 1860s ceremonies continued on 26 February 1860.(2)

As was customary, the men left the island at night to return the next day with supplies.  But this night broke with all tradition when a group of as few as four white American men rowed over from Eureka, shot the few Wiyot men left on the island and murdered between forty and sixty children, women and elders as they slept.(2)  Within two days hundreds more Wiyot were dead as whites continued the slaughter at the South Spit, and near Fortuna, Hydesville and Rio Dell (collectively referred to as “Eel River” sites).(3)(4)

And as responsible people, including Robert Gunther who had purchased Indian Island only three days before saw what had happened in the night,(4) some were moved to write about it, including Bret Harte (quoted in (2)), and a U.S. Treasury agent named J. Ross Browne: “Children climbed upon their mothers breasts, and sought nourishment from the fountains that death had drained; girls and boys lay here and there with their throats cut from ear to ear; men and women, clinging to each other in their terror, were found perforated with bullets or cut to pieces with knives all were cruelly murdered!” (3)

One of the few survivors, Jerry James, Captain Jim’s Son, was found covered in his dead mother’s blood.  Other survivors had hidden in the sloughs and bay; two girls were hidden in a barrel by their pregnant mother Lucy.  The violence didn’t stop with the named massacres.  Lucy was later  murdered by James Brown, one of the named Indian Island murderers.(5) And the violence continued.  Jose Romero, a Spaniard who lived with the Indians was father of two of Lucy’s children was killed by Indians who suspected him of complicity in the massacre.  Lucy and Jose’s orphaned children Annie (later Preston) and Charles (later Muhlberg) were raised by white families.(6) Orphaned children who survived the massacres were often sold into slavery by the same men who murdered their parents.(1)

“Some stories told of only one baby surviving the massacre, others of two or three but actually there were several survivors who stayed hid for fear of also being killed. The three children that were known about were two sisters and a brother.”  Additionally Mad River Billy survived, he “jumped into the bay and swam across to Eureka, and walked around the bay, arriving at the Nixon ranch just after my grandmother had gotten up. He knocked and as she opened the door, fell through in a faint. She brought him to and his first words upon regaining consciousness were, “Bad white men. He murdered my mother, my brothers, sisters and all my children. Just butcher them.”(6)

Whites were also threatened and at risk from the violence.  The metaphysics of Indian hatred ran deep in frontier communities.(7)  A contemporary wrote: “Society is completely demoralized on Eel river and the Thugs are largely in the majority, led on by Wiley of the Humboldt Times, and by Van Nest the Sheriff. Young men talk and think of nothing else but hanging and killing young Diggers and their mothers. The pulpit is silent, and the preachers say not a word. In fact, they dare not. …Two or three men who were on the last Grand Jury which sat at Eureka, were Thugs.”(8)

Years later, settler Dorcas J. Spencer wrote “My father’s home was probably the only one south of Eel River that was not notified and its *men invited to take part in the massacre* on Indian Island and two others near the coast on the same night, Feb. 26, 1860.”(3)

By 1862, less than 200 Wiyot survived massacres, forced movements to various reservations, starvation, privation and disease.(1)  The world was broken.

Even contemporaries of the murderers recognized that the California Indians posed no real threat to the whites: “I am satisfied, from an acquaintance of eleven years with the Indians of California, that, had the least care been taken of them, these disgraceful massacres would never have occurred. A more inoffensive and harmless race of beings does not exist on the face of the earth; but, wherever they attempted to procure a subsistence, they were hunted down; driven from the reservations by the instinct of self-preservation; shot down by the settlers upon the most frivolous pretexts; and abandoned to their fate by the only power that could have afforded them protection [the U.S. Government].”(3)

A hundred years pass… then forty-four more.  In May 2004, the Eureka City Council made history by unanimously voting to return 40 acres of Indian Island to the Wiyot Tribe.(9) Clean up of environmental toxins from nearly a century of industrial use continues before the site can be safely accessed.(10)

The world renewal dance from 1860 is unfinished.  Perhaps we will live to see it finished on a cleaned Indian Island in our lifetimes.  Until then, join us each last Saturday night in February this year and Februaries yet to come for the vigil.  Speak with the ghosts of our past as they warn us against the irrational hatreds and violence of our present.

— References —

*(1): Joan Crandell, The Indian Island Massacre: An investigation of the events that precipitated the Wiyot Murders,  Masters Thesis, Humboldt State University, May 2005

*(2): Jerry Rohde “Genocide and Extortion: 150 years later, the hidden motive behind the Indian Island Massacre”, North Coast Journal 25 February 2010.

*(3): J. Ross Browne, California’s Indians: A Clever Satire on the Governments dealings with its Indian Wards, Published by Harper Brothers in 1864, reprint with note by Spencer printed on rear cover.

*(4): Lynette’s NorCal History Blog: Gunther’s memory of the massacre

*(5): Lynette’s NorCal History Blog:  She was known by the name of Lucy

*(6): Rosaline Preston & Carol Huber, Preston-Lindsey Trail, start around page 98

*(7): Herman Melville, The Confidence Man: His Masquerade.  New York: Dix, Edwards & Co., 1857

*(8): The San Francisco Bulletin, June 1, 1860

*(9): Indian Island Candlelight Vigil

*(10): Jessica Cejnar, Indian Island cleanup nearly finished; Wiyot Tribe searching for additional project funding, June 13, 2012

Additional reading:
Articles about Indian Island on this blog.

Pun Crimes

February 18, 2013 6 comments

Police were called to a daycare where a three-year-old was resisting a rest.

Reports of a guy who got hit in the head with a can of soda. He was lucky it was a soft drink.

Over worked burglar tells police: I relish the fact that you’ve mustard the strength to ketchup to me.

A thief  was arrested after therapist suggests he take something for his kleptomania.

Despite Popular Demand, It’s back! The Pun-off – a benefit for Making Headway’s Brain Injury Prevention and Care programs.

Watch heavywits square off in a competition of amazing unpopularity.

Laugh, help others and enjoy the Pun-off – March 2nd at the Arcata

Theater Lounge. Doors open -7:30 . Pun-off begins at 8PM.

Tickets – $16 at the door so get there early. The Pun-off always

sells out. The Pun-off – March 2nd, Arcata Theater Lounge.
Disappointment guaranteed. Your actual smileage may vary.

Make you plans now because while time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.

Posted by Kathy


February 17, 2013 8 comments

imagesGardening can have radical political potential.  I am starting with this statement because this tends to be a political blog and not one of backyard DIY hints and advice.  However I do have onion starts that I need to get into the ground so I am not going to spend a lot of time writing this.  It’s Sunday and it’s sunny out.

Gardening can create community, grow healthy food, relieve stress, and imporve ones satisfaction with life.

Chickens?  Bees?  Worm bins?






Tiny Homes Can Be a Big Solution

February 14, 2013 26 comments

A high school student is building a tiny house to enable him to go to collage without accumulating unmanageable debt.  With his tiny house on wheels he can rent space in someone’s yard.  The 130-square-foot home on wheels will include a shower, eco-friendly composting toilet, kitchenette, and even a guest bed.

There are a few tiny house businesses in Northern California.  I wouldn’t be surprised if a few don’t pop up in Humboldt.