16September2014

Update: Thurs., Sept. 5, 2013 - Penalties for water theft clarified

An interview, aired by KMUD correspondent Christina Aanestad with Lieutenant Steve Knight of the Humboldt County sheriff's Office, indicated that criminal as well as civil penalties could be sought against individuals caught stealing water.

Hear more using the player below to listen to the interview which was aired on the KMUD Local News on Thurs., Sept. 5, 2013.

Update: Wed., Sept. 4, 2013 - Bridgeville Elementary School closed because of water theft leaving school's water tank empty.

Last Tues., Sept. 3, in the morning before school started, a maintenance worker at the Bridgeville Elementary School in Bridgeville, Calif. found there to be no running water at the school. When he checked the school's 20,000 gal water tank the maintenance worker found it to be completely drained.  A Humboldt County Sheriff's investigation revealed tire tracks that may have indicated a water truck or large truck and trailer with water tanks was used to steal the water from the school's water tank. The HCSO press release appears below.

Use the player below to hear more on this story, including an interview with Bridgeville School Superintendent and Principal, Beth Anderson. This piece was submitted and aired on the KMUD Local News on Wed., Sept. 4, 2013 by KMUD News Anchor
Eileen Russell.

  

HCSO press release, dated 09-04-2013:

On 09-03-2013, approximately 12:20 p.m., the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a call from the superintendent of Bridgeville Elementary School reporting a water theft. The superintendent reported that about 5:00 a.m. on Tuesday, September 3, 2013, a maintenance worker went to the school and noticed there was no running water. When the maintenance worker checked the onsite 20,000 gallon water tank which stores water for the school, the worker discovered there was no water in the tank, it was completely drained. The school had to be closed due to no running water.

Further investigation into the incident revealed tire tracks in the field on the south side of the school. School staff believes someone climbed the fence surrounding the enclosed school grounds and took a garden hose from the school which they used to drain the water tank.  It is believed the suspect(s) had a water truck or large truck and trailer with water tanks which allowed them to steal the water from the schools water tank.

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

The original post on local water thefts appears below.

"Whiskey’s for drinkin’ and water’s for fightin", a quote often attributed to Mark Twain, could just as well be changed to: "Whiskey’s for drinking and water’s for stealing", as evidenced by the recent news of suspected water thefts in our North Coast region. Areas hit by suspected water thieves include Redway and Myers Flat, Ukiah, and recently Weott.

The first Weott incident occurred around July 26 and resulted in a loss of approximately 10,000 gallons. A few days later a second Weott episode left some families without water, and emergency efforts to rebuild the water storage resulted in leaks in the system causing more water loss. The worsening series of events prompted the Weott Community Services District to call on the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors to approve a resolution proclaiming the Existence of a Local Emergency to the Weott Water Delivery System. According to KMUD News Correspondent Daniel Mintz, (audio report below) repair of the leaks in the system may require closure of the Avenue of the Giants for a period of two weeks.

Use the player below to hear more about this Emergency Resolution in a piece submitted by Daniel Mintz and aired on the KMUD Local News Tues., Aug. 13, 2013.


The audio player below contains more information on the water theft in Weott and clarifies the issues related to bulk water sales. This story was aired by Christina Aanestad on the KMUD Local News on Tues., Aug. 6, 2013.

More information about the suspected water thefts in Ukiah can be heard using the player below. This story was submitted by Dan Young and aired on the KMUD Local News Wednesday, August 7, 2013.

Additional Resources:

 

Last Thurs., Aug. 8, 2013, after a truck was reported stolen, a Eureka Police officer spotted the vehicle and allegedly identified the driver as 29 year-old Paul Bareilles (see photo above).  According to a press release from the Eureka Police Department, the officer gave chase but lost the vehicle as it turned onto the Sequoia Park Duck Pond Road. Reportedly, Bareilles drove the wrong way down this one-way road, crashed through a gate, and subsequently into a redwood tree and fled the scene.

The press release indicates that the suspect, Bareilles, has a history of prior auto theft and possession of stolen vehicle convictions. EPD is asking for the public's help in locating the suspect. The full press release appears below.

 

Press Release from the Eureka Police Department:
On 8-8-2013, at about 0547 hours, a citizen reported that his 1994 Ford F250 work truck was stolen from the 3300 block of H Street in Eureka.  A short time after Sergeant Reyna-Sanchez finished approving the stolen auto report, at about 1047 hours, he saw the stolen pick up being driven by 29 year old Paul Bareilles at Glatt and W Street. Upon making eye contact with Sgt Reyna-Sanchez, Bareilles accelerated west/bound on Glatt Street at a high rate of speed.  Sgt Reyna-Sanchez lost sight of the stolen truck as it turned onto the Sequoia Park Duck Pond Road.  This roadway is a winding single lane, one way roadway that is the exit point for duck pond users. Bareilles drove the Ford F250 the wrong way, down to the duck pond. At the bottom of the hill, Bareilles turned onto a pedestrian pathway, crashing through the vehicle barrier gate. Bareilles drove on the path until he crashed into a redwood tree, causing major damage to the truck.  Although his speeds were not witnessed, the destroyed gate and truck speak to speeds that were too dangerous for the conditions. EPD patrol officers set up a perimeter and conducted a search to no avail. The Eureka Police Department is working with the DA’s office to expedite an arrest warrant for Bareilles.

Paul Bareilles has a long history with auto theft and has convictions for auto theft and the possession of stolen vehicles. He was currently out on bail for another auto theft charge that is pending. Bareilles has either been arrested or named as a suspect in about 10 separate investigations since 2005 with the Eureka Police Department.  In lieu of an arrest warrant, the Eureka Police Department has issued a Penal Code 836 arrest authorization. PC 836 allows state law enforcement officers to make an arrest for a felony offense based on probable cause.

Anyone with information of his whereabouts should counsel Bareilles to turn himself in or advise law enforcement of his location. Anyone with information can call EPD dispatch at 441-4044.  

 

Commenting on the Humboldt County General Plan Update (GPU) is now easier than ever, according to a press release from the Humboldt County Administrative Office. Michael Richardson, currently the lead staff person involved in the GPU process, clarified the change by saying, “We are trying to make participation in the General Plan Update as simple and easy as possible to encourage public involvement.”

Here's how it works:

  • Click here to go to the GPU Home Page.
  • On that page, click on the "Submit a Public Comment" Button which then opens your e-mail program preaddressed to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the subject line "Public Comment on the GPU", or you can just bypass this and address your own e-mail using the same e-mail address and subject.

According to the press release, "Once comments are submitted, they will go to the Board of Supervisors, be placed in the web-based meeting record, and be displayed on the GPU website under the ‘Public Comments’ web page. The process has been streamlined to remove layers of information that were between the website and users trying to submit comments."

Listen to our live stream as KMUD broadcasts the 29th Annual Reggae On The River™ Festival from French’s Camp held in the Cook’s Valley area of Humboldt County, CA

Click here to hear the live stream of music and interviews from ROTR.

ROTR Broadcast Schedule: Fri. Aug. 2 from 1 pm-5:30 pm and from 7 pm-1 am / Sat.,from noon-1 am / Sun. from 11 am-8 pm - View ROTR photos here.

A press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff''s Office describes three investigations conducted this week which netted a total of 16,370 growing marijuana plants, large quantities of fertilizer and 2nd generation anticoagulant rodenticide bait, as well as other toxic substances. The sites were located in Brushy Mountain Lookout on Friday Ridge-Willow Creek, the Supply Creek Watershed on the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation, and in Le-Terron Flat, Orleans.

Agents also found a recently deceased Fisher at one of the sites. Fishers are presently under review by the State and Federal agencies as candidates for listing as endangered species. Investigators will conduct a necropsy on the fisher to determine the cause of death. The complete press release appears below.

Use the player below to hear more on this story in a piece aired by KMUD News Correspondent, Christina Aanestad, on the KMUD Local News Thurs., Aug. 1, 2013.

 

 

HCSO press release, dated 08-01-2013:

On 07-29-2013, at approximately 7:00 a.m. Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Deputies, United States Forest Service (U.S.F.S.) Agents , Hoopa Valley Tribal Police ( H.V.T.P.) Officers and the Cannabis Eradication and Reclamation Team (C.E.R.T.) conducted an open field investigation and eradication of a large marijuana cultivation site below the Brushy Mountain Lookout on Friday Ridge, Willow Creek. Three civilian scientific researchers with a background in wildlife, toxicology and ecology were with the officers when they entered the marijuana site. The officers eradicated 7521 growing marijuana plants ranging in size from 4’ tall to 6’ tall. All the marijuana was being cultivated on United States Forest Service Land. While conducting the investigation the researchers and deputies located the following:

•    1230 lbs. dry fertilizer
•    28 lbs. liquid concentrated fertilizer
•    14 lbs. 2nd generation anticoagulant rodenticide bait
o    enough to kill 2,246 woodrats or gray squirrels
o    OR 12 fishers
o    OR at least 4 spotted owls
•    32 oz. Carbaryl insecticide
•    32 oz. Carbofuran (banned chemical in United States due to its toxicity to people and wildlife)
o    a 1/4 to 1/8 teaspoon is enough to kill a 300-400 black bear.

Deputies also located fresh hot dogs strung from a tree on treble fish hooks, along with two dead deer carcasses and a bird, a Hermit thrush. Officers also witnessed environmental damage to the watershed.


On 07-31-2013, at approximately 7:00 a.m., Humboldt County Sheriff’s Deputies, USFS Agents, H.V.T.P.  Officers and C.E.R.T. Officers conducted a marijuana investigation and eradication at another cultivation site located in the Supply Creek Watershed on the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation. The three researchers again accompanied the officers. The officers located and eradicated 8,473 growing marijuana plants ranging in size from 3’ to 6’ tall.  Agents also found a recently deceased Fisher in the garden site. Fishers are currently under review by the State and Federal Government to be listed as an endangered species. The officers and researchers again found environmental damage to the area. The researchers took custody of the deceased Fisher and intend to conduct a necropsy on it to determine the exact cause of death. There was no obvious signs as to what killed it.

On 8-1-2013, at approximately 9:00 a.m. the same team listed above with the researchers went to a third marijuana cultivation site located at Le-Terron Flat, Orleans , which is USFS property. The officers located and eradicated 376 growing marijuana plants ranging in size from 3’ to 4’ tall.

A total of 1942 lbs of dry fertilizer, 58 lbs of liquid concentrate fertilizer, 17 pounds of second generation anticoagulant rodenticide bait were removed in total from the three sites. The rodenticide by itself had the potential to kill 2,753 wood rats, 14 fishers and 5 spotted owls per the researchers.   Many of these toxicants were near creeks.

The investigation into those responsible for these marijuana grows is continuing.

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

Canine parvovirus is a contagious virus which does not infect humans but if left untreated, in unvaccinated dogs, can have a mortality rate of over 90%. Puppies that have not been vaccinated or protected by maternal antibodies are especially vulnerable to infection by the virus. There is both an intestinal form of infection and a cardiac form. Common symptoms of the intestinal form are severe vomiting and dysentery, while the cardiac form causes respiratory or cardiovascular failure in young puppies.

Use the player below to hear more about parvovirus in a piece submitted by KMUD Community Journalist Monique Kemper. This story aired on the KMUD Local News on Thurs., July 25, 2013 and includes an interview with Kim McPherson, manager of the Garberville Redway Veterinary Group and others having experience with canine parvovirus.

Additional Resources:

Click on the following links for more information on parvovirus: (webmd) (Wikipedia)
View or download: (parvovirus brochure) (parvovirus flyer) (parvovirus poster)



This photo was taken from Sprowel Creek Road looking down near the junction of Sprowel Creek with the South Fork Eel River.

Severe smoky conditions on the North Coast are continuing as smoke drifts southward from several fires in Oregon. The fires coincided with numerous lightning strikes in various parts of Oregon. The biggest fire in this cluster (the Sunnyside Turnoff Fire ), located just north of Warm Springs Oregon, has currently burned 51,340 acres and is reported to be 90% contained, according to the Incident Information system (InciWeb), as of Sun., July 28, 2013 at 8 am. The Sunnyside Turnoff Fire began Saturday July 20th, 2013 and was reported to involve 798 firefighting personnel.

Click here for InciWeb information about the current fires in Oregon.

Additional Resources:

 

At least 11 dog deaths from suspected blue-green algae poisoning have occurred in the last dozen years, according to the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). A recent press release from DHHS warns that low flows in local rivers, along with sustained high temperatures, have led to ideal conditions for accelerated blooms of potentially toxic blue-green algae. The algae can occur in any freshwater body and appears as a scum, foam or mats having colors ranging from green, blue-green, white to brown.

Human beings can also be in danger from this type of toxin, especially small children, but dogs are especially vulnerable because they are more apt to swallow the toxin when licking their fur. According to the press release, "Potential symptoms in dogs following exposure to blue-green algae toxins can include lethargy, difficulty breathing, salivation, excessive urination, vomiting, diarrhea or convulsions."  The full press release appears below.

 

Full press release from the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services, dated July 25, 2013:

Officials with the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) are warning recreational users of the South Fork Eel, Van Duzen, Klamath and Mattole rivers, Big Lagoon, Freshwater Lagoon and all other freshwater bodies to avoid contact with algae this summer.

Low flows along the South Fork of the Eel River as well as the Van Duzen, coupled with sustained high temperatures in the inland areas, have created the ideal conditions for rapid blooming of blue-green algae.

DHHS is aware of 11 dog deaths that may have been caused by blue-green algae poisoning since 2001. The dogs died shortly after swimming in Big Lagoon, the South Fork Eel River and the Van Duzen River.

A nerve toxin associated with blue-green algae was found in the stomachs of the dogs that died on the South Fork Eel River in 2002. The same toxin was found in water samples from the South Fork Eel and Van Duzen rivers in 2009 just after two dogs died. This poison is the most likely cause of the dog deaths on these rivers. Dogs are more vulnerable than people because they may swallow the toxin when they lick their fur. The onset of symptoms can be rapid; dogs have died within 30 minutes to one hour after leaving the water.

Blue-green algae blooms that produce a liver toxin have been documented in Klamath River reservoirs and the Klamath River this year. The current status of this river may be found at the Klamath Basin Monitoring Program website: http://www.kbmp.net/blue-green-algae-tracker.

Blue-green algae can be present in any freshwater body. It looks like green, blue-green, white or brown scum, foam or mats floating on the water. Usually, it does not affect animals or people. However, warm water and abundant nutrients can cause blue-green algae to grow more rapidly than usual. These floating algal masses, or “blooms,” can produce natural toxins that are very potent. Dogs and children are most likely to be affected because of their smaller body size and tendency to stay in the water for longer periods.

Potential symptoms in dogs following exposure to blue-green algae toxins can include lethargy, difficulty breathing, salivation, excessive urination, vomiting, diarrhea or convulsions. People can experience eye irritation, skin rash, mouth ulcers, vomiting, diarrhea and cold- or flu-like symptoms.  

DHHS officials recommend the following guidelines for recreational users of all freshwater areas in Humboldt County:

•    Keep children, pets and livestock from swimming in or drinking water containing algal scums or mats.
•    Adults should also avoid wading and swimming in water containing algal blooms. Try not to swallow or inhale water spray in an algal bloom area.
•    If no algal scums or mats are visible, you should still carefully watch young children and warn them not to swallow any water.
•    Fish should be consumed only after removing the guts and liver and rinsing fillets in tap water.
•    Never drink, cook with or wash dishes with water from rivers, streams or lakes.
•    Get medical attention immediately if you think that you, your pet or livestock might have been poisoned by blue-green algae toxins. Be sure to tell the doctor about possible contact with blue-green algae.

Human activities can have a big effect on nutrient and water flows in rivers, streams or lakes. Phosphorous and nitrogen found in fertilizers, animal waste and human waste can stimulate blooms. Excessive water diversions can increase water temperatures and reduce flows. People can take the following measures to prevent algal blooms in local waters:

•    Be very conservative with the use of water, fertilizers and pesticides on your lawn, garden or agricultural operation.
•    Recycle any “spent” soil that has been used for intensive growing by tilling it back into gardens, or protect it from rainfall to avoid nutrient runoff.
•    Plant or maintain native plants around banks. These plants help filter water and don’t require fertilizers.
•    Pump and maintain your septic system every three to four years.
•    Prevent surface water runoff from agricultural and livestock areas.
•    Prevent erosion around construction and logging operations.

For more information, contact the DHHS Division of Environmental Health at 707-445-6215 or 1-800-963-9241. People may report unusual blooms or conditions, including photographs, to Environmental Health by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . The California Department of Public Health website also has more details at www.cdph.ca.gov/healthinfo/environhealth/water/Pages/bluegreenalgae.aspx.

On May 14, 2013, the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a resolution of opposition to the use of anticoagulant rodenticides (click here to see that story) and now the state of California has proposed regulations focusing on that class of rodenticides. The proposal would require that the Agricultural Commissions Office regulate and provide oversight for the use of these rodenticides and would also eliminate their availability in the retail marketplace.

Hear more on this important issue, using the player below, including comments made by Jeff Dolf, Humboldt County Agriculture Commissioner, during a presentation to the County Board of Supervisors, clarifing that these rodenticides would not be legal in marijuana grows. This piece was submitted by KMUD News Correspondent Daniel Mintz and aired on the KMUD Local News Tues., July 23, 2013.


Previous related KMUD News Posts:
"Southern Humboldt businesses take rat poison off shelves"
"New lawsuit targets rat poison regulation"
"See Biologist Mourad Gabriel- Pot and Endangered Wildlife-Sept. 27 Arcata"
"Groups call for ban on rat poisons"


The biotechnology, broadly called genetic engineering or "GE", has been enthusiastically embraced by some while being vehemently opposed by others. Proponents see GE, also referred to GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms), as a critical technology to meet future food supply needs on a planet faced with global weather changes and over-population, while opponents question the safety of the technology and point out associated side effects such as unwanted contamination of non-GMO seed stock by cross-pollination with GMO crops.

Opposition to GMO crops was the focus of a meeting Wednesday, July 10, 2013 at the Bayside Grange in Bayside, where the topic was how to create an initiative to ban GMO's in Humboldt County.  Click here for a Redwood Times article describing the meeting.

Hear more about the issues surrounding the GMO controversy using the player below. This piece was aired by KMUD News Anchor Eileen Russell on the KMUD Local News on July 10, 2013. The piece includes interviews with UC Riverside Professor Alan McHughen, a Biotechnology Specialist and Geneticist; Jeff Dolf, Humboldt County Agriculture Commissioner as well as comments from organic farmers, environmentalists, and anti-GMO activists.

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