Kym Kemp / Friday, June 21 @ 11:47 a.m. / Activism
Press Release from protest group (Little Lake Defenders):
Work was disrupted yesterday (6/20) at the Willits Bypass construction site when a protester unfurled a banner reading, “NO BYPASS” from the top of a 150 foot crane used to drain the Little Lake Valley wetlands.
Yesterday’s banner drop from the crane is the latest in a series of direct actions organized by the group “Save Our Little Lake Valley“. Past actions have included road-side rallies, multiple tree-sits, lock-downs to construction equipment, and general civil disobedience at the construction site. Go to Forestdefender’s blog for a timeline and more photos of Willits Bypass protests.
At today’s action and on June 12th, activists disrupted installation of wicks used to drain the wetlands. CalTrans plans to drain Little Lake Valley’s wetlands with over 55,000 wicks as part of their plan to re-route Highway 101 around Willits.
Willits residents list a number of reasons they are taking direct action to stop the construction of the Willits Bypass. Many residents are certain the re-routing of the 101 will not only destroy the wetland ecosystem of Little Lake Valley, but also fail to alleviate traffic congestion while damaging local businesses who depend on business from through-traffic.
The crane banner action happened one day before a lawsuit against CalTrans for violations of NEPA and the Clean Water Act will be heard in federal court in San Francisco. Save Our Little Lake Valley has asked for opponents of the Bypass to meet outside the Federal Courthouse in San Francisco on Friday June 21st.
Kym Kemp / Sunday, March 24 @ 11:44 a.m. / Activism
Water Day II
The third annual Water Day community forum will be held on Saturday March 30 starting at 9 AM and running all day at the Mattel Mateel Community Center in Redway.
The subject of the meeting is the health of the Eel River and how people can change their land and water use practices to allow it to recover. The program will feature brief presentations and more lengthy panel discussions that are aimed at answering community questions and giving people enough information so they can take action to implement water conservation and reduce pollution.
The day will begin with presentations on the health of the Eel River. Keith Bouma-Gregson is pursuing a doctorate at UC Berkeley and assisting the Eel River Recovery Project (ERRP) with 2013 algae monitoring. He will talk about why the river has become susceptible to toxic algae and how we might be able to combat it. ERRP Volunteer Coordinator Patrick Higgins will summarize 2012 water quality, flow and Chinook salmon population assessment results and then he and Keith will join a panel of other experts and volunteers to field audience questions.
Water conservation is going to be central to getting the Eel River back in good health and the presentation and panel on this topic in the late morning will discuss technology transfer of the successful water conservation project in the upper Mattole River to the Eel River basin.
Humboldt State University graduate student Sara Shremmer will frame the issues and then join a panel that includes water conservation experts, a hydrologist and someone with knowledge of California water law.
Kristin Nevedal of the Emerald Growers Association will chair a session on sustainable agricultural practices with the aim of reducing water pollution. Science now is confirming what many observers have noticed: forest and watershed health profoundly impact water yield.
During a forest and watershed health session, those in attendance can ask experts how they can help increase water yield, reduce erosion and decrease fire risk through improved management.
Getting shade back on Eel River tributaries would help to cool water, which improves habitat for salmon, but also reduces algae blooms. A panel of riparian restoration experts will talk about how people get stream-side trees back and possibly acquire grant funds for large scale projects.
The Eel River Recovery Project is the primary sponsor of Water Day III. Co-sponsors include the Trees Foundation, Mateel Community Center, Sanctuary Forest, Redwood Forest Foundation, Friends of Van Duzen River, EPIC, Friends of Eel, Institute for Sustainable Forestry, Salmonid Restoration Federation, CalTrout and KMUD Radio. Chautauqua Natural Foods, Pacific Watershed Associates, Bioengineering Associates and the Emerald Growers Association are underwriting the forum. Los Bagels, Eureka Natural Foods and the Lost Coast Brewery are supporting Water Day with donations.
Doors will open with coffee and bagels at 8:30 AM and the program begins at 9 AM. There is no charge for admission, but donations for lunch will be accepted. For more information or to volunteer to help on Water Day, call the Eel River Recovery Project at 223-7200.
The County has offered its idea of what a medical marijuana ordinace might be like but what does the community think? Hezikiah Allen, President of the Mattole Restoration Council, as well as Emerald Growers Association Chair, Kristin Nevedal, and Robert “Woods” Sutherland, community activist, want to know.
Two meetings are being held in the Southern Humboldt region to gather input from community members on what ideas could work. Nevedal says that the meetings are intended to gather ideas and bring back the results to the county.
She says that the plan is to steer this community meeting towards ideas and away from complaining about the draft ordinance. “People can bring their concerns but it would be nice if they could offer their solutions,” said Kristin Nevedal. “What we want to do is not necessarily discuss the county’s proposal.”
Nevedal says the group is hoping to find out what kind of ordinance would be needed to bring growers to participate in regulation. “Let’s talk about solutions,” she said.
These meetings, she says, should be about what medical cannabis regulation should look like. “We’re going to collect as much information as we can,” Nevedal says and then take the information gathered to the County.
The first meeting is Wednesday night at the Vet’s Hall at 6 P.M. The second is Saturday Sunday at Beginnings at 2 P.M.
Kym Kemp / Sunday, Jan. 13 @ 4:54 p.m. / Activism
Freezing temperatures last night and predicted freezing temperatures tonight have Debra Carey unable sleep—not because she doesn’t have enough blankets but because other folks don’t. “I can’t sleep at night thinking I’m warm and people are freezing and there is a big church there and people could sleep and be warm.”
She is going to open up the New Wine Fellowship Church at 1180 Evergreen Rd. between Redway and Garberville tonight at 6 P.M. She says, “We’re going to open it up tonight so no one dies out there.” Temperatures dipped into the twenties last night and will continue there tonight. The National Weather Service says the rest of the week should have freezing or near freezing temperatures every night.
“If anyone wants to bring food that would be great,” Carey added. Those interested can call her at 223 3607 or just bring it by the Church.
“In 23 degree weather that is tough to live,” she explains. “I was out today and it was 40 degrees and it was cold.”
Kym Kemp / Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012 @ 8:19 p.m. / Activism
CHP Press Release:
A tired driver is a dangerous and potentially deadly driver. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) joins the National Sleep Foundation in a weeklong campaign to educate motorists during “Drowsy Driving Prevention Week,” November 12-18, 2012.
“Fatigued drivers are a safety risk on our roadways,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. “If you are tired, reaction time and judgment can become impaired. Tired drivers behave similarly to those who are intoxicated.”