27August2014

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.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Blue-green algae warning issued

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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.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Community Disability Resource Guide

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tricountyindependentlivingDisabilities can be temporary or permanent; they can happen instantly or gradually. There are a variety of services and programs available for persons with disabilities, and a new Community Disability Resource Guide has been developed by Tri-County independent Living with up to date contact information.

"Our staff developed this booklet partially based on information and questions we receive from people who call our office," Tri-County Independent Living Executive Director Chris Jones said. "Now the contact information to get answers to many disability-related questions can be found in one place," she added, referring to the new Community Disability Resource Guide.
The 12-page Guide provides contact information for a variety of disability-related services and programs, including sections about caregivers, children with disabilities, educational opportunities, equipment to help with mobility, legal services, medical care, service/companion animals, transportation, and veterans services. It is written in 14-point font making it accessible for the vision-impaired.

"The alphabetical guide to services, programs, and resources is designed to assist persons who have disability-related questions about what is available," Jones said. These questions may come from the person with a disability, a caregiver, family member, or friend.

Hard copies of the Community Disability Resource Guide are available at the Tri-County Independent Living office, 2822 Harris Street in Eureka. The Guide can also be downloaded in PDF format from the Tri-County Independent Living website www.tilinet.org. Click the information tab on the home page, then look under the download section on the right hand side of the page.

Call (707) 445-8404 for more information.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Library offers e-books, audio books

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Humboldt County Library, EurekaThe Humboldt County Library has expanded its services by providing downloadable e-books and audiobooks through Overdrive: Library To Go. Library cardholders can check out and download digital media anytime, anywhere by going to the Library website at www.humlib.org and clicking on eBooks or by going directly to downloads.northnetlibs.org
The Humboldt County Library, in partnership with other Northern California public libraries, shares the Overdrive: Library To Gowebsite to provide a varied selection of digital resources accessible with a public library card. Thousands of titles are available for checkout to all member libraries but once logged into this site with a Humboldt County Library card number, patrons are provided with an additional selection of e-books available only to Humboldt County residents.

"I have been an advocate for digital resource sharing among our library consortium for many years and it was finally made possible through collaboration and an agreement to share the costs among the membership" said Library Director Victor Zazueta. "The greatest thing about Overdrive is that it is available 24/7 and suitable for today's mobile devices."

The Humboldt County Library has many other free programs, databases and services available. For more information regarding Overdrive or other Library services please visit the website at www.humlib.org or contact the Reference Desk at 707-269-1905.

 

image from http://norbag.blogspot.com/

Brian Elie and Eric Kirk were recipients of the first-ever recognition for exceptional volunteerism and professional pro-bono work to KMUD for their assistance in handling the legal and real estate issues involved in two estates bequeathed to KMUD.

Brian Elie, the broker and owner of the Madrone Reality in Garberville and longtime KMUD programmer (Brian's World- Fridays 10 am - noon), was warmly applauded as he received a lifetime membership award and KMUD sweatshirt at the KMUD 2013 Annual KMUD Membership Meeting held last Tues., June 25 at the Healy Senior Center in Redway.

Eric Kirk, Attorney at Law with offices at 864 Locust St # A, Garberville, does a talk show on KMUD called "All Things Reconsidered" airing on the third Thurs. of each month from 7-8 pm. Kirk was not able to attend the membership meeting for the presentation.

According to Board Treasurer, Julia Minton, "In addition to their years of volunteer service to KMUD, both Brian Elie and Eric Kirk worked very diligently and selflessly on KMUD's two bequests.  We are eternally grateful for their dedication and volunteer service."

Other highlights of the annual meeting included a final call for Member Representative Nominations for the Board and a "Strategic Planning Input Process" that gave those attending the meeting an opportunity to write answers to several questions, including questions about what KMUD does well and what would be the perfect KMUD programming? These responses will be taken into consideration as the Board continues developing its strategic plan.

Click here for a copy of the Agenda for the meeting.

The Photo below shows KMUD Board President Suzanne Beers presenting the Life Time Membership Award and KMUD Sweatshirt to Brian Elie. Photos on this page by Terri Klemetson.

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