Two Women Battle In Front of Hydesville Mobile Home, Gun Discharged, One Arrested

Kym Kemp / Monday, June 16 @ 10:41 p.m. /  Crime

UPDATE: 6/17, 9:31 a.m.: Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office press release:

On 06-16-2014, at approximately 7:40 p.m., the Humboldt County Sheriff’s received a 911 call regarding a verbal argument and three shots being heard coming from the intersection of Johnson Road and Hugh Lane, Hydesville. While deputies and California Highway Patrol Officers (C.H.P.) were responding to the scene, the reporting party said they could still hear an argument occurring near a single wide mobile home at the corner of Johnson Road and Hugh Lane, Hydesville. A second citizen called 911 and reported they saw a female drag another female to the ground and beat the female up with her fists.   That citizen reported during the fight, one of the females fired a handgun into the air.

When deputies and California Highway Patrol Officers arrived on scene, they determined there had been a physical fight between two females. Neither adult female wanted to pursue charges regarding the assault. During the fight, one of the combatants, Marilyn Jane Mayer, 28 years old from Scotia, brandished and fired a handgun into the air. Deputies recovered a loaded .40 caliber semi-auto handgun at the scene, along with spent shell casings. The handgun was determined to be reported stolen out of Irvine, California.

The other female involved in the assault did not wish to pursue charges. Mayer was arrested for possession of stolen property and negligently discharging a firearm. She was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where she was booked. Her bail was set at $25,000.00.

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

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Original Post: Scanner traffic indicates that a gunshots were fired in the Hydesville area about 7:45 p.m. There appears to have some sort of altercation.  Scanner traffic reports a woman being assaulted. A yellow truck was found empty, disabled, and blocking the road near Johnson Road and Hugh Lane. 

Humboldt County Sheriff deputies have responded. We’ll update as soon as we have more information.

Full Closure of Hwy 101 Tonight at Klamath River Bridge

Kym Kemp / Sunday, June 15 @ 12:42 p.m. /  News


[Photo provided by Caltrans]


Caltrans Press Release:

Traffic Advisory: US Highway 101 in Humboldt County - A nighttime closure will be in effect *tonight* from 10PM through 4AM, Monday, June 16. If required, there will be a second full closure from 10PM, Monday, June 16 through 4AM, Tuesday, June 17. A temporary traffic signal has been installed at the Klamath River Bridge, and will remain in place until late October. One-way traffic control will be in effect 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, and motorists should anticipate 10 minute delays. Wide load restrictions may apply. Please drive carefully.

Wasting Disease Is Attacking Sea Stars: Learn About This and More

Kym Kemp / Saturday, June 14 @ noon /  Nature



Bureau of Land Management Press Release:

The fascinating life in tidepools will be featured in a free interpretive outing Tuesday, June 17, from 9 to 11 a.m., at Mal Coombs Park in Shelter Cove. The outing is part of a summer hikes series offered by the Bureau of Land Management and the Lost Coast Interpretive Association.

Participants should meet at the Mal Coombs Park near the Cape Mendocino lighthouse.

BLM Interpretive Specialist Rachel Sowards Thompson said participants should be prepared to get wet as they learn about the hardy forms of life that exist in tidepools.

There will also be an opportunity to meet with researchers from the University of California, Santa Cruz who are monitoring tidepool biodiversity and sea star wasting syndrome.

Sea stars along much of the North American Pacific coast are dying in great numbers from a mysterious wasting syndrome. The cause is unidentified, and it is not clear whether the syndrome is due to an environmental change, disease or something else, according to the Multi-Agency Rocky Intertidal Network.

During the outing, participants will learn about the BLM California Coastal National Monument, the rocks and islands off the California coast that have special recognition and protection as part of the BLM’s National Landscape Conservation System. The monument includes more than 20,000 rocks, islands, pinnacles and exposed reefs stretching the length of the coast from the mean high tide line and out 12 nautical miles, and about 1,600 acres of shoreline and prairies at Point Arena.

For more information or to register, call the BLM King Range Project Office, (707) 986-5400, or email

What We Need Are Homes, Dammit:’ The Low Income Housing Shortage in Humboldt County

Kym Kemp / Saturday, June 14 @ 9:37 a.m. /  Humboldt

Terry Hogan and Jackie Pantaleo on the left, Marc Patterson second from the right with friends who pitch in to help the trio.

There is a severe shortage of low income housing in Humboldt—particularly in Southern Humboldt. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, for every 100 low income families looking for places to rent in the United States, there are only 30 units that meet their needs. Though no one we spoke to was able to quantify the number of these units available in the county, many agreed that the situation in the southern half was probably quite a bit worse than the national average.

Brian Elie, owner of a realty in Garberville, calls the entire rental market in Southern Humboldt a “dire situation.” Eli said, “People literally rent chicken coops and convert them into something livable.”

Terry Hogan, known as Coco, unfortunately, understands the situation better than most. This coming Monday, the popular community member and long time Mateel volunteer along with his partner Jackie Pantaleo (a KMUD and Mateel volunteer) and their roommate, Marc Patterson (one time KMUD board president) will be without a home. The three, along with Pantaleo’s 10-year-old granddaughter who lives with them part time, have been struggling to find a place to move into for over a year.

Hogan explained that they must move. “We’re being evicted Monday…we’re not sure where to go…someone donated an RV and [there is] someone who will donate a bus.” But Hogan doesn’t know where the RV or bus can be parked. 

Finding a home for the group isn’t easy. Hogan, Pantaleo, and Patterson all have health issues. “Cousin Marc,” Hogan said, “has Parkinson’s Disease and Lymphoma. He’s 72 [and has been] living with us for seven years.”

When Patterson lost his home, Pantaleo explained, they took him in to live with them. “We brought him in thinking something would come along somewhere,” she said, “but instead he had a litany things go wrong.”

So,” she said, “We folded him like whipping cream into berries. He’s part of our family now.”

Also part of their family are six rescue cats. “One has three legs,” Pantaleo said. “Three are over 12.” She worries what will happen to them when they are forced to move. “I befriended this old tom cat,” she said. “I’ve been feeding him for a couple years now. It kills me to think of him coming here to get his food but we’re not here. What if the people who come here treat him badly?”

Pantaleo also has part time custody of her 10-year-old granddaughter.

According to several in the real estate market, even those with solid jobs and simpler families—teachers, officers working for the California Highway Patrol, etc.—often live up north and commute to the southern half of the county because finding rentals in the Garberville area can be impossible.

Realtor, Brian Elie, said that finding any kind of housing, low income or not, in the bottom part of the county is hard. “The rental thing in So Hum is really difficult. Most rentals are word of mouth,” he explained. He noted, there are a few new teachers coming to the area this year and finding homes for them is tough. “It is difficult for almost anyone whether they are well employed or not,” he said.

Elie said, some people rent places in Rio Dell or Fortuna and drive down to Garberville or Redway in order to work.

As a Realtor,” Eli said, “someone comes in 3 or 4 days a week looking for a rental.” But he rarely has one. Most, he said, can only be found by word of mouth. “I tell people looking, to talk to everyone they know.”

Kathy Epling, a business owner in Garberville, said, “It is a big issue for any one trying to work in the area.” As part of her participation in Southern Humboldt Working Together, she has paid attention to the situation. There aren’t many affordable housing units in the area, she said, “[and] there aren’t many places to build houses/apartments” because of zoning issues.

The problem in Southern Humboldt is severe, she said, and people are often placed in untenable positions. Some residents, she said, have lived in the area a long time but now can’t find housing. “You don’t want people to have to leave the community but there are more rentals [in the northern part of the county.] However, that means people detaching from the community in which they have been very, very active.”

Jackie Pantaleo said moving away from the area would be almost unimaginable. She and Hogan are still very involved in volunteering for the community, she needs to be near her granddaughter’s school and not far from medical care because of Patterson. “I need to be in reasonable distance from the emergency room,” she said. “Cousin Marc had to be taken to the emergency room six times in the last three months.” Patterson has also been receiving chemotherapy for his lymphoma.

In addition, Hogan explained, “We have a small community of people that depend on this house.” There’s Babette, he says, “who cooks the Mateel meal. She lives in Fortuna but she stays here when she does the meal three days a week.”

There are others who help the community and help Pantaleo, Patterson, and Hogan in return for a place to stay sometimes.

A friend, Hogan said, has offered them a $50,000 loan to help them buy a place but there aren’t many places that would accept $50,000 and payments every month with the income he and Pantaleo have.

Hogan said, “If we could just find a [mobile home] now, then we would buy some time through the end of the summer, but we got to have water. We got offered a place with no water and no electrical—that’s just too much of a hardship.”

I had cancer. I’ve been on disability for…getting run over by a truck in ‘72,” Hogan said. With the health issues faced by the three seniors, he pointed out, they need to have some amenities. 

For elders and the disabled being unable to find housing can be a death sentence. As Epling explained, recent research into low income issues shows “if [people] have no place to sleep, then medical problems get worse.” 

There has been some low income housing built in the area in recent years. There was senior housing built in Garberville and low income housing built in Redway. Christina Huff, Coordinator at the Southern Humboldt Family Resource Center, said that these have “made a big difference…been a godsend. [However,] there could be many more of these.”

Huff explained that the Eureka Housing Authority, which despite its name, works to provide housing for low and moderate income families countywide, has a “four to five year waiting list” of people needing help. The housing situation is so bad, she said, “We frequently encourage people to move.”

Lois Cordova is a senior who is currently homeless. (See her story here.) She has often stayed with Pantaleo and Hogan and is now helping them pack their household goods for storage.

She said that there are multiple seniors in the area that have been forced into homelessness. She doesn’t want to see the same happen to her friends, Pantaleo, Hogan and Patterson. She wrote on her Facebook page a few days ago, 

We’ve helped build our community…. [W]e’ve brought news, education and music to your radios; we’ve volunteered thousands and thousands of hours… . What we need are homes we can afford in our own community where we have the support of friends and family, activities and jobs that mean something to us, where we can keep our pets and grow our food and take care of one another, where life is familiar. What we need are homes, DAMMIT! Affordable, real HOMES.”

Accident Blocking One Lane of Alderpoint Road

Kym Kemp / Friday, June 13 @ 8:21 p.m. /

According to CHP dispatch, there is an accident on Alderpoint Road about two miles east of Garberville. One vehicle is overturned blocking one lane. An ambulance is on its way.


Local Musician Sings About Humboldt on NPR

Kym Kemp / Friday, June 13 @ 6:54 p.m. / Humboldt ,  Music

Jenny Scheinman in concert. [Photo also from NPR found here.]

A Humboldt singer was featured today on NPR.  Jenny Scheinman, a local musician, sang homegrown lyrics (like “veer off the highway forty miles from Ferndale”) and described being raised in a remote part of our area to a nationwide audience.

According to the interviewer, Scheinman “likes to say she grew up in the westernmost house in the continental United States—a rural homestead up on a bluff in far northern California—Humboldt County.”

We were sort of feral, I guess, as children,” Scheinman explains at one point.

Scheinman not only sings about our remote area but she explores her complicated relationship with her father in this delightful interview: Jenny Scheinman Reaches Out To Her Father In Song

Whooping Cough Epidemic Declared

Kym Kemp / Friday, June 13 @ 5:29 p.m. /  News

Today, the California Department of Public Health declared a whooping cough epidemic in our state. Humboldt has the 5th highest rate of whooping cough of all the counties—coming in behind only Sonoma, Napa, Marin, and Tehama.

One two-month-old has died in the state so far this year and 119 individuals have been hospitalized. Below is the California Department of Public Health’s Press Release:

The number of pertussis (whooping cough) cases in the state has reached epidemic proportions it was reported today by Dr. Ron Chapman, director of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and state health officer.

As of June 10, there have been 3,458 cases of pertussis reported to CDPH in 2014, more than were reported in all of 2013. Over 800 new cases have been reported in the past two weeks.

Pertussis is cyclical and peaks every 3-5 years. The last peak in California occurred in 2010, so it is likely another peak is underway.

Preventing severe disease and death in infants is our highest priority,” says Dr. Chapman. “We urge all pregnant women to get vaccinated. We also urge parents to vaccinate infants as soon as possible.”

Infants too young to be fully immunized remain most vulnerable to severe and fatal cases of pertussis. Two-thirds of pertussis hospitalizations have been in children four months or younger. Two infant deaths have been reported.

The Tdap vaccination for pregnant women is the best way to protect infants who are too young to be vaccinated. All pregnant women should be vaccinated with Tdap in the third trimester of each pregnancy, regardless of previous Tdap vaccination. In addition, infants should be vaccinated as soon as possible. The first dose of pertussis vaccine can be given as early as 6 weeks of age.

Older children, pre-adolescents, and adults should also be vaccinated against pertussis according to current recommendations. It is particularly important that persons who will be around newborns also be vaccinated.

“Unlike some other vaccine-preventable diseases, like measles, neither vaccination nor illness from pertussis offers lifetime immunity,” says Dr. Ron Chapman. “However, vaccination is still the best defense against this potentially fatal disease.”

The symptoms of pertussis vary by age. For children, a typical case of pertussis starts with a cough and runny nose for one to two weeks. The cough then worsens and children may have rapid coughing spells that end with a “whooping” sound. Young infants may not have typical pertussis symptoms and may have no apparent cough. Parents may describe episodes in which the infant’s face turns red or purple. For adults, pertussis may simply be a cough that persists for several weeks.

CDPH is working closely with local health departments, schools, media outlets and other partners to inform the general public about the importance of vaccination against pertussis. 

Pertussis data, including the number of cases in each county, can be found on the CDPH website, and is updated regularly.