Preparing for the World Renewal Ceremony

Kym Kemp / Saturday, March 22 @ 3:47 p.m. /  Humboldt

REMINDERRespectfully, the World Renewal Ceremony is Not a Party.


Yesterday, to prepare for the World Renewal Ceremony, Wiyot men paddled an old growth redwood canoe from the city of Eureka to Indian Island (see map at the bottom.) On the day of the ceremony, a boat will be used to transport the dancers, their families, and Wiyot tribal citizens to the site where the ceremony will be held.

Traditionally, the Wiyot people held a multi-day World Renewal Ceremony on the flat marshy land next to the Samoa Bridge now called Indian or Dulawat Island. In February of 1860, when the tribe gathered to hold their sacred rites, a group of white men attacked at night killing most of those gathered there—many of them women and children.  The tribe was nearly destroyed. The ceremony remained unfinished. In 1992, people began gathering on the island in remembrance of those killed there on the last Saturday of February. The tribe has since regained ownership of some of the island, cleaned up large amounts of trash and this year the World Renewal Ceremony will begin again on March 28th.

Mo Hollis, Media Director of the Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples, was invited along to yesterday’s trip and brought back these photos. He says he’s “not sure how much will be released from the ceremony, if any… .” These photos allow us to glimpse in part the mix of modern and ancient worlds that the Wiyot’s will be part of as perform their ceremony for the first time in over a 150 years.

Out on the water, the winds were blowing about 25 mph yesterday, Hollis said, which made the rowing difficult.

The beautiful redwood canoe used for the day was borrowed from the Yurok people. “Many of the world renewal dances include a boat dance,” Hollis explained.

The Wiyots and Yuroks are kin tribes that have similar customs and dances. 


“It took a good hour and a half to 2 hours to from Eureka under the bridge around the marina to get to the island,” Hollis explained.


 Landing on the home of the World Renewal Ceremony. The Ceremony will take place March 28-30 near here and other areas in the Humboldt Bay region.

The photos tell a great story,” Hollis wrote, ” … of bringing something amazing back to life… Quite a feat… Historic.”

This Is Only a Test: Tsunami Warning Communications Test This Wednesday

Kym Kemp / Saturday, March 22 @ 3:13 p.m. /  PSA

Graphic from the US National Weather Service.

Press Release:

The annual tsunami warning test will take place in Humboldt County on Wednesday, March 26, between 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 Noon.  The purpose of this test is to ensure the tsunami warning system works properly in the event of a real emergency. 

If you are watching television between 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 Noon on Wednesday morning, expect to see a crawler at the bottom of the screen indicating that a tsunami warning has been issued and hear a voice indicating that it is only a test. If you don’t hear the TV audio, please remember that this is only a test and you do not need to take any action.

If you are listening to the radio you will hear alerting tones followed by a voice announcing that the test is occurring. If you have a NOAA weather radio with the Public Alert feature the radio will automatically turn on and you will hear the same message as broadcast on radios.

In some areas, you may also hear the sounding of a tsunami siren, or you may hear an airplane testing its public address system.

Note that monthly testing of all outdoor sirens in NW California will begin in May 2014.

Memorial Service Planned for Slain Mendocino Deputy

Kym Kemp / Friday, March 21 @ 9:39 p.m. /  News

Deputy Sheriff Ricky Del Fiorentino. Photo from the Mendocino Sheriff’s Office’s Facebook page.

Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Press Release:

The public memorial service for fallen Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Ricky Del Fiorentino will be held on Wednesday March 26, 2014 beginning at 10:00 AM at the Cotton Auditorium located at 500 North Harold Street in Fort Bragg, California.

A reception will immediately follow the memorial service at the Fort Bragg Middle School located adjacent to the Cotton Auditorium.

Law Enforcement agencies wishing to participate in a marked patrol vehicle procession are asked to arrive at the Redwood Empire Fair & Event Center (1055 North State Street Ukiah, Ca) on Wednesday March 26, 2014 at 6:00 AM.

The procession will depart at 7:00 AM and will travel approximately 60 miles along the routes of Highway 101, Highway 20 and Highway 1 before reaching the Georgia Pacific Mill Site (100 West Cypress Street) in Fort Bragg, California.

This procession will utilize the Nalemars radio frequency for communications.

A secondary Law Enforcement procession will depart the Georgia Pacific Mill Site to travel to the Cotton Auditorium after the first procession arrives at the mill site.

The Georgia Pacific Mill Site has been established as the main parking area for the memorial service and buses will be at the location to shuttle attendees to/from the Cotton Auditorium.

Parking near the Cotton Auditorium will be reserved for family, law enforcement and special guests.  Carpooling to the memorial service is highly recommended.

The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office will be attempting to establish a video broadcast of the memorial service accessible via the internet for those who are unable to attend.

Anyone wishing to make monetary donations to the Ricky Del Fiorentino Memorial Fund can do so by contacting or visiting any of the Savings Bank of Mendocino County locations or by mail to PO Box 3600 Ukiah, Ca 95482 (707-462-6613).

Deputy Del Fiorentio is survived by his wife, children (ages 21, 19, 18, 6), step-son (age 29), grandson (age 5 months), step-grandchildren (ages 6, 3), parents and siblings.

UPDATE 3/22 Second Press Release: CANDLELIGHT VIGIL

On Tuesday March 25, 2014 at 8:00 PM a Candle Light Vigil will be held in front of the Fort Bragg Justice Center located at 700 South Franklin Street in Fort Bragg, California.

The vigil is open to anyone wishing to pay respect to fallen Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputy Ricky Del Fiorentino.

Information about the vigil can be found on the “Candle Light Vigil in Honor of Ricky Del Fiorentino” Facebook page.

Deputy Del Fiorentino was a 26-year law enforcement veteran who served the Mendocino County coastal communities his entire career.

Anyone wishing to make monetary donations to the Ricky Del Fiorentino Memorial Fund can do so by contacting or visiting any of the Savings Bank of Mendocino County locations or by mail to PO Box 3600 Ukiah, Ca 95482 (707-462-6613).

Deputy Del Fiorentino is survived by his wife, children (ages 21, 19, 18, 6), step-son (age 29), grandson (age 5 months), step-grandchildren (ages 6, 3), parents and siblings.


Be On the Lookout: Stolen White 2002 Dodge PU with Nevada Plates [FOUND]

Kym Kemp / Friday, March 21 @ 8:22 p.m. /  Crime

Here’s the latest post in our “Be On the Lookout” series, where we highlight stolen items and ask you, our readers, to help your neighbors by passing on any helpful information to the appropriate law enforcement agency.

UPDATE 4/4: The owner is listing this as found.

A 2002 white Dodge 1500 pickup Nevada plate number 753 LKM was stolen from Franklin Auto Repair near Giuntoli Lane in Arcata between 1 p.m. and 2:15 p.m.

The new owner had just purchased it and was having it smogged. 

Below is an image of a vehicle similar to the one taken.

The Arcata Police have confirmed the vehicle as being stolen. Please contact them at 822-2428 or 822-2424 if you have any information about its whereabouts.


Previous BOLO:

Watering Hope-A Guest Essay

Kym Kemp / Friday, March 21 @ 7:22 p.m. /  Nature

A guest photo essay on hope and Nature by Charley Custer, a Southern Humboldt resident. 

As Mark Twain almost said, “Everyone talks about the drought, but no one does anything about it.”

Take this, Mark Twain:

After the first real winter rains came a few weeks ago, our regular driveway seep finally started filling its dry puddle-hole below our cabin. As usual, chorus frogs found in it a romantic getaway—to get away from the bullfrogs in real ponds, that is, who think choruses are for chowing down. After the rains there were scores of little egg sacs in our seep puddle, and not a bullfrog in sight.

With our aquifers and amphibians so challenged and parched this year, my wife and I closed off the driveway to give these not-yet babies their fair shot at fulfillment.

But the seep dried up. Our normal perma-puddle in this winter of drought had become a lousy vernal spring! Luckily, the web-weather showed our latest storm system just a few days away. And our main spring wasn’t dry. I stretched our hose out to the puddle, aimed it at a tuft of grass to scatter its flow, and we watered that puddle full of frog egg sacs in our driveway for two days, until the rains returned.

It’s easy to feel hopeless and overpowered by uncertainties and climate change. I wish I could do something for endangered coho, for cutthroat salmon and green sturgeon, something less abstract than conserving water. But at home I can actually give a hand to our native frog neighbors who are harried by big fat immigrant bullfrogs sweeping across our ridge—I can even take comfort that our bully bullfrogs are themselves fodder for a family of minks feeding from our pond up by the cabin, to judge by the pond’s eerie silence this winter, and a baby mink-tail our cat dragged in. It’s as if everything works out.

The new rains are inspiring new romance in my driveway puddle, while the first tadpoles from the last orgies burrow into the silt of our protected wetland. All this makes me feel like a high-achieving prince, or at least a well-functioning government.

Our puddle’s intermittent seep puts our main spring in perspective, too. Its flows typically rise to a flood in January, after 14 inches of rainfall. This year we didn’t get that much rain until March—and nothing happened. Finally, with 20 inches of local rain for the rain-year, our spring started rising, and I laid in our winter hydropower, which we share with a couple of neighbors. But not for long. The ground was so dry our spring needed more rain than usual to rise at all, and then its pulse of power rose less than normal, and died back rapidly. But this last round of rains is jazzing up our juice once more, no doubt not for as long I’d like. I can’t take for granted the miracle of waters gushing from its long gully-gash of rock.

Yet I don’t feel powerless. Implacable forces of chance, greed and folly smack us with despair at stopping increasing drought, fire and ocean floods—and their likely driver, climate change—yet even while we worry, the world spins through its ups and downs, possibly equally implacably. Records from the last 150 years show rainfall in California getting strikingly more extreme in yearly variance, yet on average, the same sum of rain falls. The problem is how few years are still average. But as I stand over the squiggly little sperms I’ve foster-fathered on our ex-driveway, I feel happy to be Mr Averaging Guy. My homestead actions have finger-tipped Creation toward a sweet spot for teeming handfuls of tadpoles between famine and flood, a balance achieved by sharing water as well as storing it.

Doing both, and doing more, isn’t just essential, it satisfies the soul. The truth is, our little driveway mud puddle brings me joy. What we’re really watering—besides my tadpoles, who do me proud, growing up so fast!—is hope. Which springs vernal at least, maybe even eternal.


I wasn’t planning to water our frog sanctuary all spring, but with the drought continuing, the seep dried again and I started transporting our more than 1000 tadpoles, the wee sprats about a fifth the size of their big siblings, into our pond a couple hundred feet away. I did this over several days, using a dustpan and a dishpan. Here’s what was left of the pond this morning when I came for the last stragglers:

And this was the murderous scene I’d abandoned my foster frogs to. Can you see the footprints of feeding birds? Oddly, though sparrows and chicadees bathed in the puddle before it filled with teeming tadpoles, now their bigger kin only feed from the banks. 

Was it all worthwhile? Can’t say until the fat froggies sing—but what else is there?  

Mendocino Sheriff’s Office Releases Detailed Account of Events Leading to Deputy’s Death

Kym Kemp / Friday, March 21 @ 11:56 a.m. /  Crime

Colleagues mourn the death of Deputy Sheriff Ricky Del Fiorentino. (The Facebook page of the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office.)

Mendocino County Sheriff Press Release:

On 03-19-2014 at 1034 hours Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to the Confusion Hill business located at 75001 North Highway 1 [near] Piercy, California regarding an attempted murder.

Responding Deputies were notified the suspect, described as a white male adult, shot at the business owner with a double barrel shotgun before fleeing southbound on Highway 101 in a vehicle.  The vehicle was described as being a black Mazda or BMW 4-door sedan with tinted windows.

Deputies responded northbound on Highway 101 from Leggett and Willits while Deputies responded northbound on Highway 1 from Fort Bragg.

As Deputies were searching for the suspect’s vehicle a Deputy was able to interview the business owner as to the circumstances of the shooting.

It was determined the business owner witnessed the suspect urinating outside the back of the business which prompted a verbal confrontation.  The suspect was told he needed to leave the property because of his actions and the business owner entered the business.

Shortly thereafter the business owner saw the suspect walking towards the business in possession of something in his hand, causing the business owner to fear for his safety.

The suspect entered the business and the business owner struck him with an expandable baton causing the suspect to discharge a double barrel shotgun, he was holding, into the floor.

The business owner fled to a nearby room as the suspect discharged the shotgun at him, causing minor injuries from broken glass, and then he fled to a black BMW sedan parked outside the business.

As the suspect was leaving, the business owner exited the business and shot one time at the suspect’s vehicle with a pistol he obtained from inside the business.

At 1135 hours Sheriff’s Deputy Ricky Del Fiorentino and Sheriff’s Lieutenant Greg Stefani, observed a black BMW sedan traveling southbound near mile post marker 72 on Highway 1.

The BMW suddenly accelerated to a high rate of speed and was observed driving in a reckless manner in an obvious attempt to flee from Lieutenant Stefani who was behind the BMW at that time.  A pursuit ensued with Lieutenant Stefani losing sight of the BMW several times.

Officers from the Fort Bragg Police Department staged at mile post marker 63.5 and prepared to deploy a spike-strip to disable the BMW.


Tim Olsen, Briceland Fire Chief: A Southern Humboldt Leader Passed Away Yesterday

Kym Kemp / Friday, March 21 @ 8:44 a.m. /  News

Tim Olsen as most of us knew him—Chief, EMT and community member extraordinary. (Photo from Tim Olsen’s Facebook page.)

This morning a Briceland Fire Department member contacted LoCO to confirm that Tim Olsen, the fire chief for that community, had died suddenly yesterday afternoon. “On the behalf of the Briceland Fire Department, we give our condolences to the family and the community,” the member stated.

Olsen has been the fire and Emergency Medical Services Chief at Briceland since 1997. He was also a Command Officer for Shelter Cove Fire Department for twelve years. 

Olsen who would have been 72 on his birthday this August was known for his energetic work for the community. In his capacity as EMT, Olsen attended multiple school sporting events, dances and fundraisers. Olsen’s raspy voice (his throat was affected by a cancer which he beat) was often heard on KMUD explaining fire issues to Southern Humboldt listeners. He was known as a mediator who stayed calm and positive when helping different factions reach understanding.

He gave so much of himself. With his death, this community has lost a leader and a force for good. May all of us take lessons from the Chief’s passion for helping and reach out to honor him by giving a little of ourselves.

Photo provided by community member.

UPDATE 10:06 p.m.: A memorial to Tim Olsen sprung up this morning in front of the Briceland Fire Department. The Chief’s vehicle has been decorated with flowers and the lights are burning for those who want to stop by and remember him.