Monday, September 1, 2014

NCJ On One Of Humboldt's Unsung Success Stories

Mike Dronkers / Tuesday, July 22 @ 12:46 p.m. / Eureka Rising



Over at the Jefferson Project in Eureka, people are getting. stuff. done. 

Heidi Benzonelli and a team of community organizers are quietly turning a blighted eyesore, the old Jefferson school, into a bustling neighborhood resource. Free lunch programs, a new playground, a produce giveaway, a DIY bike repair 'kitchen'' and other programs are breathing new life into one of Humboldt's most-populated 'hoods. 

Via the Northcoast Journal:

To hear it from Benzonelli, the center's momentum is nearly unstoppable. "We're a multi-million-dollar organization overnight," she said. Three years after negotiating the purchase of the Jefferson School with a $3.3 million grant, the property is paid off, bills are paid on time and the Westside Community Improvement Association has no debt, Benzonelli said.

Grant Scott-Goforth of the North Coast Journal strolled the Jefferson Project grounds with Benzonelli, and spoke with KHUM earlier today about how things are going over there. 



SD Coastal Rail Trail & Red Shoulders

Cliff Berkowitz / Tuesday, July 22 @ 10:10 a.m. / Trails

Cliff and Emily talk with Chris Carterette of the San Diego Association of Governments about the Coast Rail Trail, funding and other projects in their community. Carterette also used to be the City Planner for Fort Bragg and compares trails work in Northern vs Southern California. We also discuss the current repaving project on the Safety Corridor between Eureka and Arcata in which the shoulders are being laid down with a brick red pigmentation. 


Tonight's Cocktail - Buffy Mary

Larry Trask / Monday, July 21 @ 10:39 p.m. / Cocktail




Tonight during The Cocktail Hour (6pm), we'll be enjoying a delicious variation of the classic bloody mary. The variation is the inclusion of a tablespoon or so of spicy Buffalo wing sauce. Sounds crazy, I know, but it adds a delightful tangy flavor and I like the extra bite. You can use mild sauce if your not a fan of heat.


Here's how I make mine. Use your own favorite preparation:

  • In a pint glass full of ice, add vodka
  • Add a couple of shakes of cayenne pepper and granulated garlic
  • Add three or four shakes of Worcestershire sauce
  • Stir
  • Squeeze half of one lemon and half of one lime
  • Stir
  • Add two or so tablespoons of wing sauce, spicy for mine please
  • Pour bloody mary mix into glass and stir
  • Squeeze one quarter lemon and one quarter lime on top
  • Garnish with olvies
  • ENJOY!

Supes To Discuss Wildlife Services Contract

Mike Dronkers / Monday, July 21 @ 2:51 p.m. / Animals

Campaign image from the Center for Biological Diversity.

At Tuesday's meeting the board of supes will revisit the county's relationship with Wildlife Services, a branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture charged with killing animals that inconvenience humans. Wildlife Services was borne of a frontier era, in which ranchers needed support in keeping the coyotes out of their ranchland. 

"Wherever you are on the political spectrum, there's a reason to hate Wildlife Services."- Amy Atwood, Center For Biological Diversity

Today, says the Center For Biological Diversity's Amy Atwood, Wildlife Services is low on oversight and transparency. The agency has come under fire lately: Read this harsh piece in the Sacramento Bee or this one in the Washington Post. Skeptics accuse Wildlife Services of a lack of transparency, systemic subterfuge, animal cruelty, and generally worsening the problem they were once tasked with solving while using taxpayer dollars to do so.

In short, wildlife management is a complicated problem, and some say Wildlife Services is downright terrible at their job.

So why is the CBD sending an expensive lawyer hundreds of miles from her home office? The Center For Biological Diversity, along with Bird Ally X, feel that the County should terminate its relationship with Wildlife Services. Both Sonoma County and Marin County have already severed ties with the agency.

In the audio clip below, Atwood addresses the importance of addressing invasive species.

Atwood on biodiversity 

Via the Times-Standard:

Originally on the board's July 1 consent calendar, the agreement would set up a four-year contract with the agency to help protect residents, property, livestock, crops and natural resources from damage caused by predators and other wildlife. The item was pulled for future discussion in response to a letter submitted by Monte Merrick of Bird Ally X and the Humboldt Wildlife Care Center regarding the federal agency's practices.

In the letter, Merrick alleges that Wildlife Services has committed a number of illegal acts, has unintentionally trapped and killed endangered and threatened species, and has had a "systematic lack of accountability."

While Wildlife Services does combat invasive species, Atwood told KHUM they use cruel and outdated techniques on predators, techniques that merely serve to kick the nuisance-animal ball down the field. 

Amy Atwood on removing apex predators

"We just don't think it's appropriate in this day and age for taxpayer dollars to be going toward this when there are better options, nonlethal methods, that can do a better job, are cheaper, and don't result in this kind of suffering."

Got an opinion on this? Go to the meeting. They're also slated to discuss a single-use plastic bag ban.

Supervisor Meetings

  • 9 a.m.
  • Tuesday
  • Humboldt County Courthouse
    825 5th St.
    Room 111
    Eureka, CA 95501

Hear Atwood's KHUM interview below. 

 Amy Atwood on KHUM

And here's a press release via


For Immediate Release, July 2, 2014

Humboldt County Board of Supervisors Puts Contract Renewal With Wildlife Services on Hold

EUREKA, Calif.— One day after a broad coalition of national animal and conservation groups urged the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors to terminate its contract with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services, the board assented to a citizen request to delay consideration of contract renewal for at least a month in order to reevaluate the issues.

At its meeting on Tuesday, the board had scheduled a vote on the county’s annual renewal of its contract with Wildlife Services, a federal program that kills tens of thousands of native wild animals in California every year. But on a citizens’ request submitted by local wildlife rehabilitator Monte Merrick, the board decided to remove the renewal item from its consent calendar, delaying it at least another month as the county considers the issues raised by Merrick and the coalition.

“I am elated that the board has agreed to consider whether to renew its contract with Wildlife Services,” said Merrick. “Wildlife Services is increasingly controversial and there are better options to address wildlife conflicts.”

The coalition groups sent a formal letter asking the county to undertake an environmental review and ensure proper protections — as required under California state law — prior to hiring Wildlife Services to kill any additional wildlife. Last year, in response to a similar letter from the Animal Legal Defense Fund, Sonoma County’s Board of Supervisors opted not to renew the county’s contract with Wildlife Services and is now conducting a review of its wildlife policies. Marin County cancelled its contract with Wildlife Services 14 years ago and implemented a nonlethal predator-control program. As a result the county has seen a 62 percent decrease in livestock predation at one-third of the former cost.

Since 2000 Wildlife Services has spent a billion taxpayer dollars to kill a million coyotes and other predators across the nation. The excessive killing continues unchecked despite extensive peer-reviewed science showing that reckless destruction of native predators leads to broad ecological devastation. The indiscriminate methods used by Wildlife Services have killed more than 50,000 “nontarget” animals in the past decade, including endangered condors and bald eagles. The program recently released data showing that it killed over 4 million animals during fiscal year 2013 using a variety of methods, including steel-jaw leghold and body-crushing traps and wire snares. These devices maim and trap animals, who then may take several days to die. In 1998 California voters banned several of these methods, including leghold traps.

“Humboldt County has a chance to be a leader in California wildlife management by eliminating their contract with Wildlife Services,” said Stephen Wells, executive director of the Animal Legal Defense Fund. “Nonlethal predator control has proven to be more humane, more cost-efficient, and more effective — it’s simply the right thing to do for the county.”

“We are glad to see that Humboldt County is pushing the ‘pause’ button on its relationship with Wildlife Services,” said Tim Ream of the Center for Biological Diversity. “We hope that the county will do the wise thing and terminate its relationship with Wildlife Services altogether.”

“Humboldt County has an opportunity to do what’s right here by reviewing their contract with Wildlife Services and shifting towards a nonlethal program that is ecologically, economically and ethically justifiable,” said Camilla Fox, Project Coyote founder and executive director, who helped develop Marin’s nonlethal program. “We pledge our assistance to the county toward this end and urge the Board of Supervisors to emulate the successful Marin County Livestock and Wildlife Protection Program that provides non-lethal assistance to ranchers.”

“The last thing the county that is home to such special places as the Lost Coast and Redwood National Park should be doing is allowing Wildlife Services to trap and kill its native wildlife,” said Elly Pepper, an NRDC wildlife advocate. “Using nonlethal methods to balance its incomparable natural beauty with its critters is a much better use of county residents’ money.”

“It is time to put aside the unchecked assumption that wildlife conflicts can only be solved via Wildlife Services’ draconian, outdated killing methods,” said Tara Zuardo, wildlife attorney at the Animal Welfare Institute. “We salute Humboldt County for stepping back to reevaluate its options — a move that will hopefully lead to more humane, less costly and more effective methods of wildlife management.”


Last Day To Register for Dune Summer Camp!

Mike Dronkers / Monday, July 21 @ 10:57 a.m. /

Friends of the Dunes is excited to offer a Drop-in Dune Detectives Summer Camp at the Humboldt Coastal Nature Center. This week long day camp program for ages 5-8 will connect participants to the diverse coastal habitats of the Samoa Peninsula. The Nature Center is located in Manila between the Humboldt Bay and Pacific Ocean, an ideal location for exploring a diverse array of coastal habitats by foot.

Participants will visit beaches, dunes, wetlands, and coastal forests while learning about nature and history through inquiry based learning and creative expression. While exploring diverse coastal habitats, participants will learn about the animals and plants that live there through games, songs, and hands-on exploration.

The cost of this half day program is $25 a day ($20 for members) or, register your child for the whole week of camp for $95 ($80 for members). Space is limited, and scholarships are available, please call (707) 444-1397 or email for more information or to register.

Welcome To Heaven, The Ramones

Mike Dronkers / Monday, July 21 @ 9:41 a.m. /

Dave Foley (Kids In the Hall, Newradio) and Traci Lords (maybe don't Google her) welcome The Ramones to Heaven. Written by Jake Fogelnest.

(Via A/V Club)

Tonight On The South Side: Blues Series + Remembering Johnny Winter

Mike Dronkers / Friday, July 18 @ 2:09 p.m. /

In the first hour of my show tonight, I'm scheduled to hook up by phone with both Chris 'Kid' Andersen, playing the first of the Blue Lake Casino Blues Series shows tonight, and with Tommy Castro, who's playing tonight at Humbrews.

They are both Johnny Winter fans, so that will likely be one of the
things we talk about.



Click here to see the playlist for this show.

Thanks to Precision Intermedia for their great work on this site.