Safety and Public Awareness

Safety and Public Awareness

News reporting arrests, weather warnings, product recalls, and other important information relating to safety and public awareness, are found in this category.

According to a press release from Congressman Mike Thompson's Office, dated Feb. 23, 2012:
Congressman Mike Thompson (CA-1) today demanded that service members who were subjected to the Department of Defense’s (DOD) chemical weapon testing be able to receive full medical care and disability compensation for their service-connected medical conditions. In late 2002, the DOD revealed for the first time that between 1962 and 1974 it had tested harmful chemical and biological agents by spraying them on ships and sailors. These tests – known as Project 112, which included Project Shipboard Hazard and Defense (SHAD), exposed at least 6,000 service members without their knowledge to harmful chemical and biological weapons and included some of the most deadly chemicals on Earth: Vx Nerve Gas, Sarin Nerve Gas and E. coli.
Many veterans who were subjected to chemical tests as part of Project 112/SHAD have developed serious medical issues but do not currently receive priority care from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) or disability benefits because the VA does not officially recognize any long-term health consequences from exposure to the chemical agents from these specific tests. In 2010, Congress passed a law requiring the VA to contract with the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to consider the health impact on veterans that were part of Project 112/SHAD. The IOM Study committee charged with investigating these potential health impacts today held a field hearing in Sacramento. If the scientific study by the IOM finds a connection between the chemical testing and long-term health consequences, the VA will likely be compelled to provide all service members exposed to this testing priority medical care and full disability compensation. Thompson today submitted testimony to the committee. “Our country must ensure that any service member who has become sick or developed a disability because of these tests is provided with the treatment they deserve and benefits they’ve earned,” said Thompson. “We cannot wait any longer. Many brave men who served our country are now sick or have passed away because of Project 112’s chemical and biological testing. It is our duty to right this wrong and get our service members the care they need.”
In 2002, Congress directed the IOM to conduct a study of the health effects associated with the chemicals used during Project 112/SHAD.  Numerous reports by other agencies and departments within the U.S. government, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, say exposure to these substances have long-term health consequences.  However, after five years of research the IOM study found no connection existed between the substances tested and the health problems now widely seen among known SHAD veterans.  As a result, the VA does not recognize any long-term health consequences from the Project 112/SHAD tests. The IOM has since conceded that the first study did not adequately sample the full universe of Project 112/SHAD veterans, and that the study panel could not obtain sufficient information to assess levels of exposure to specific agents. The initial study also failed to account for the job and duty assignments of various personnel on board all the ships and tugs involved in the chemical testing. Because of this, the first study failed to take into account the different levels of exposure.  For instance, some personnel were exposed during training and testing to multiple weapons, experimental vaccines, trace elements, stimulants, and decontamination agents, whereas other personnel would have had limited exposure because of where they were stationed. For these reasons, Congress passed a 2010 law requiring a second study.
Thompson provided testimony along with former Senior Navy Officer and Humboldt County resident Jack Alderson today at the committee. Alderson was in charge of five different light tug operations from 1964 to 1967. As a senior officer, Alderson was notified of some military chemical tests performed on animals on his ship while he was in service.  Once he started getting sick, he asked Thompson to investigate whether or not there could be a link between his health problems and Project 112/SHAD. It was found that the DOD performed experimental tests by spraying live chemical and biological agents on ships and sailors to test the Navy’s vulnerability to toxic warfare. Alderson commanded some of the ships used in these experiments. He has since been diagnosed with malignant Melanoma, several types of skin cancers, prostate cancer and doctors have found four occurrences of Asbestos in his lungs. “Jack, and all the people who served with him, deserve to know the truth,” said Thompson. “If we don’t get these service members the care they need, then how can we ask our current service members to put their lives on the line knowing that harm from the enemy may not be the only danger they encounter? It is imperative for us to right our governments past wrongs and help these brave veterans who were unknowingly subjected to these tests.”
Click here for more information on the IOM study.

According to a press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office, dated Feb. 15, 2012:

On Feb. 15, 2012, at approximately 11:00 a.m. the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office Community Response Unit conducted a probation search in the 200 Block of Alder Grove Road, Arcata.  When deputies arrived at the residence they met with probationer Colin Baldridge, 31 years, along with Paul Cohen, 56 years and Jimi Suma 37 years. All three of the men lived in the residence.

Deputies searched the residence and located 171 growing marijuana plants, 200 pounds of processed marijuana bud worth an estimated $400,000, along with half a gram of cocaine, 1.5 grams of methamphetamine and 451 grams of Hash estimated to be worth $3000. Deputies also located packaging materials, scales, pay and owe sheets and over $3,000 of cash which is consistent with sales of marijuana and illegal drugs.
While conducting their investigation deputies learned Baldridge had another residence located in the 2400 block of Eye Street, Arcata. Deputies responded to that residence and located another 20 pounds of processed marijuana bud worth approximately $40,000. They also located three large garbage bags full of marijuana leaves, and two handguns, one which was reported stolen.
Baldridge was arrested and booked into the Humboldt County Correctional facility for being a felon in possession of a firearm, possession of marijuana for sale, cultivation of marijuana, possession of a switchblade knife, possession of concentrated cannabis, possession of stolen property, maintaining a drug house and possession of a narcotic. Suma was arrested and booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility for an outstanding felony warrant for violation of probation issued by Mendocino County Superior Court. Cohen was arrested for possession of methamphetamine.
Anyone with information for the Sheriffs Office regarding this case or criminal related activity is encouraged to call the Sheriffs Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriffs Office Crime Tip line 707-268-2539. If you live in the City Limits of Eureka the Eureka Police Problem Oriented Policing Unit can be reached at 707-441-4373

Monday, February 13, 2012

Attempted Home Invasion Robbery in Orick

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According to a press rlease from the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office, Dated Feb. 12, 2012:
On Feb. 12, 2012, approximately 7:00 a.m. the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office was notified of an attempted Home Invasion Robbery which just occurred in the 100 block of Robinson Road, Orick. Deputies responded to the scene and met with two victims, a 26 year old female and a 35 year old  male, both who reside in the residence. The victims told the deputies they were asleep with their three year old child, when two adult male suspects wearing all black, both around 5’ 10” tall forced their way into their residence and bedroom. The suspects were armed with possibly a rifle or shot gun, and a handgun.

The suspects demanded money and the keys to the victims’ car, and then fired off two rounds from a weapon. The male victim was able to obtain a handgun during the robbery attempt, which he fired several times at the suspects. The suspects immediately fled in an unknown direction and did not appear to take anything from the home. The victims and child were uninjured during the robbery attempt, and do not believe the suspects were injured. The victims were unable to provide any further suspect information to the deputies. Deputies found spent shell casings and damage to the residence, including bullet holes consistent with the victims account as to what occurred.

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

According to a press release from Congressman Mike Thompson's Office, dated Feb. 10, 2012:
Congressman Mike Thompson (CA-1) today announced that Humboldt Harbor and Bay would receive an additional $450,000 for dredging. The funds come from the Army Corps of Engineers’ discretionary account, and were awarded in order to address the operation and maintenance needs of Humboldt Bay.
“Humboldt Bay is a lynchpin of the North Coast economy, serving as hub for trade and commerce within the U.S. and internationally,” said Thompson. “With these funds the waterways at Humboldt Bay will continue functioning at the depth level necessary for the only deep water port on the North Coast of California. It is important that we continue to maintain and improve this economic engine.” “The Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District very much appreciates the commitment, hard work and advocacy that Congressman Thompson and his staff have done to help keep our harbor infrastructure maintained” said Mike Wilson, President of the Board of Commissioners of the Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District.
On an annual basis, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers determines the amount of funds required to maintain harbors and navigable waterways throughout the United States.  The $450,000 is in addition to the $2.74 million previously requested by the Corps and appropriated by Congress last December for Fiscal Year 2012. Annual harbor channel dredging is critical to maintaining harbor entrance safety for our shipping and fishing feet as well as enhancing environmental protection such as the prevention of fuel barge accidents. This dredging effort is also essential in preserving Humboldt Bay as an important part of the north coast economy and transportation system and maintains our area’s competiveness for exports to Asia.

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