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 Humboldt County Sheriff's Office Press Release, dated Jan. 24, 2012:
The Sheriff’s Office is continuing to receive reports of telephone scams from the public.  One citizen received a call from someone who identified himself as her grandson. The caller told the citizen he had been involved in a drunk driving accident with a family from Lebanon, and he needed the citizen to wire him money to pay for the damage he did to their rental car. He could not get out of jail until this was done. The caller had a British accent.  The deputy who was investigating the report assisted the citizen in determining the grandson was fine and the call was a scam.

In the second case the citizen reported receiving a call from a  “John Stone”  who told her she won the lottery and a car. The caller told the victim he needed $200 to pay for the processing of the victim's winnings. The caller asked the citizen to go to a local store and obtain a prepaid credit card which the victim did. The caller then asked the victim for the card number over the telephone which the victim provided and the money was then removed from the prepaid credit card by the suspect. 

The Sheriff’s Office would like to continue to remind callers to not send money, money orders, provide credit card information, checking account information or any other personal information to people over the phone or on line. Go to your local bank and see them in person if they claim to be with your bank.  The lottery will not ask you to send them money to obtain your prize.

If you have any questions call your local law enforcement agency.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Eureka Extreme Weather Shelter now open

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According to a Release from the Humboldt County District Attorney's Office, dated Jan. 18, 2012:
The Eureka Extreme Weather Shelter opened its doors for the first time last weekend when temperatures were predicted to drop into the twenties.  “This is what we were working toward,” noted Lynette Mullen, project coordinator and Community Outreach and Education Coordinator for the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office. “This is what all the hard work was all about.”

The Extreme Weather Shelter is operated out of the St. Vincent’s Dining Facility on West 3rd Street in Eureka and will open its doors when temperatures are expected to drop to 32 degrees, 34 degrees if rains are expected, if over an inch of rain is forecasted or winds in excess of 40 mph.

According to Shelter Site Coordinator Steven Bell, organizers were poised to conduct a test opening of the shelter Tuesday night, but a forecast of frigid temperatures prompted an early opening.  Bell was ready to accept guests Sunday night, but the Eureka Rescue Mission was able to handle the demand.  “Actually it gave us a great opportunity to conduct that test run and make sure everything worked smoothly,” Bell noted.

Monday night temperatures were predicted to drop again and the Extreme Weather Shelter welcomed five guests in from out of the cold. When the shelter opens, the Mission will conduct the initial intake, provide food, showers and clean clothing, and then escort guests to the St. Vincent’s facility, where cots donated by the Red Cross are delivered and set up by Redwood Teen Challenge staff.  “The level of cooperation between the difference agencies, service providers and people involved has been nothing short of amazing,” noted Eureka City Councilman Mike Newman. “This community identified a very important need and with a lot of effort and dedication to the cause, we have been able to successfully address it.” 

According to a press release from the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Public Affairs, dated Jan. 17, 2012:
While the majority of boaters in colder parts of the country have winterized their boats or put them into storage until spring, many still rely on their vessels for hunting, fishing or necessary transportation in cold weather, substantially increasing their risk of a deadly accident. Extra caution and preparation should be taken before heading out on the water in winter.

The U.S Coast Guard Auxiliary says the importance of wearing a life jacket becomes even more critical when the danger of hypothermia is added to other concerns.  Sudden immersion in cold water can have severe physiological consequences, such as cardiac arrest, fast loss of body heat (the body loses heat 25 times faster in cold water than in cold air) and involuntary inhalation of water (gasping) that results in drowning.  Most Coast Guard-approved life jackets when worn are designed to keep the user’s head above water while awaiting rescue. In addition to wearing a life jacket, wearing the right clothing also can contribute to a more enjoyable and safer cold weather boating experience.  Consider layering clothing, including a wet suit or dry suit, to help ward off the effects of hypothermia.

Below are some additional tips for safe winter boating:

  • Assess the risks – envision what can go wrong and be fully equipped and prepared.
  • Leave a float plan with a responsible individual who knows your intentions, location, and who to call if you fail to return as scheduled.
  • Carry a VHF radio or EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon), signal flares and other means to draw attention to your location.
  • Be aware of and prepared for the shock of sudden immersion and incapacitating effects of cold water – dress to get wet and carry a change of clothing in a waterproof container.
  • Maintain situational awareness on the water – be aware of activity around your vessel and potential for fast-changing weather conditions.
  • Boat safe and sober – save the alcohol for when you’ve safely returned.
  • Be sure your vessel is in good operating condition and has the necessary safety equipment on board before you leave the dock.
  • Refresh your seamanship skills…take a boating safety course offered by your local Coast Guard Auxiliary flotilla.

According to KMUD News:
In the 2012-2013 California State Budget the Governor, Jerry Brown, proposes a complete elimination of funding for the School Transportation Program. For the Southern Humboldt Unified School District (SHUSD), which on average buses 650 of its 780 students every day, this cut will be disastrous. In response to the state funding cuts, at a special meeting on January 3 about the transportation issues,  the SHUSD Board voted to send layoff notices to all 14 of its transportation employees, including 11 bus drivers.  The threat of loss of school bus service has caused frustration and anger and mobilized residents in rural Southern Humboldt to find ways to restore bus service.

For more background on this issue follow the links below:
Click here for California Watch
Click here for Redwood Times Article: "Sacramento payback led to transportation cuts"
Click here for Redwood Times Article: "School board votes to send layoff notices to transportation workers"
Click here for "The Bus Stop to Nowhere, Southern Humboldt Chapter"
Click here to get parent sample letter protesting transportation cuts.
Click here to get community member letter protesting transportation cuts.
Click here for the Agenda for the Special SHUSD Board meeting Jan. 20, 2012.
Click here for a flyer giving information about "Field Trip" to Sacramento to advocate for reestablishing transportation funds.

To track this crucial community issue, KMUD News has done a series of interviews which can be heard and downloaded using the players below.

  • Use the player below to hear KMUD News Cordinator, Terri Klemetson, interview SHUSD Superintendent, Jim Stewart, as he discusses the details of loss of state funding for school bus transportation and describes the special open-to the- public meeting on transportation issues to be held at 3:30 pm January 3, 2012 at the Redway Elementary School. The piece was aired on the January 2- 6pm KMUD Local News, the night before the special meeting .

  • Bonus Feature- The player below can be used to hear coverage by KMUD Community Journalist, Serena Wells, of the Special Transportation Meeting which took place January 3 at Redway Elementary School. This piece has not been previously aired. During the meeting the SHUSD board voted to send layoff notices to all 14 of its transportation employees, including 11 bus drivers. The photo to the right shows Jackie Carlson, from Miranda, at the January 3 special meeting, giving her views and ideas about what needs to be done about the school bus crisis.

  • KMUD News Coordinator Cynthia Elkins interviews Humboldt County Office of Education Superintendent Dr. Garry Eagles who discusses how several factors unique to Southern Humboldt make the state budget cuts in school transportation especially severe in the Southern Humboldt Unified School District.  Also, SHUSD Board Member, Susan Thompson, discusses the details of the SHUSD budget, including problems with using reserves to make up for the state funding cuts. This story aired on KMUD News Jan. 6, 2012.

  • In the interview below, conducted by Terri Klemetson and aired on KMUD Local News on Friday, Jan. 13, 2012, SHUSD Board President Dennis O'Sullivan discusses the highlights of the Board Meeting the night before and discusses the details of a rally around school transportation funding which will take place on January 24 in Sacramento.  All concerned community members are invited to participate. In discussing the upcoming rally he said,"I do believe that Southern Humboldt is leading the charge in protecting the rights of children in rural California."  O'Sullivan reminded parents that because of the involvement of buses and drivers that day (Jan 24) there will be no bus service in the district.  A Special Board Meeting will take place Friday, January 20, 2012 from 3:30 to 4:30 pm in Room 7, Redway Elementary School. The purpose of the meeting is to establish an alternative transportation plan in the event that Home to School Transportation is not restored by Sacramento.


  • Use the player below to hear and download a news piece which aired on Jan. 18, 2012 on KMUD News. Implications of the state school transportation budget cuts and strategies for mitigating the effects of state budget cuts are discussed in interviews with California State Assembly Member Wesley Chesbro and Humboldt County Office of Education Superintendent Dr. Garry Eagles - Cynthia Elkins reporting.

  • Use the player below to hear a news piece by Cynthia Elkins discussing testimony before the Assmebly Budget Committee regarding SB 81, a bill designed to restore some funding for the Home-to-School Transportation Fund. This piece aired on KMUD on Tues. Jan 31. and begins with testimony by Steve Henderson, a representative from the California School Employees Association.

The photos below were taken by Serena Wells at the January 3 meeting at the Redway Elementary School.


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