In Which We Blush and Bumble

Kym Kemp feature from an image by Debbie Greene

For a person who deals with words I’m in the awkward position of not knowing how to express how very touched I am to be honored tonight with the title of 2016 Southern Humboldt Citizen of the Year.

The first thing you should know is the Southern Humboldt Chamber of Commerce and Visitor’s Center invited you all to a dinner party and silent auction at the Mateel Community Center to celebrate. The price for tickets and what’s included is posted below in the invitation.

The second thing you should know is that KMUD posted a lovely interview with me and since I don’t know what to write, I’ll let Izzy Vanderheiden help me use my voice instead.

The third and final thing you should know is that without my family’s support (they are mostly good-humored as I work through birthday parties, burn dinners, leave the dishes in the sink and show up late for everything), without my incredible crew who work long hours for way too little, and without the photos, tips, and trust as well as the kind words of so many community members, there would be no Redheaded Blackbelt. I hope we get to bring you the news for many, many years to come.

Here’s your invitation to join my family and friends tonight.

The Southern Humboldt Chamber of Commerce and Visitor’s Center would like to announce a very special evening on September 7th at The Mateel Community Center.

In Recognition of the 2016 Southern Humboldt citizen of the year Kym Kemp!

We have a very special evening planned honoring Kym for all that she brings to our community. Kym has graciously allowed us to relay a bit of her history and her most momentous stories. We are blessed to have Kym in our Southern Humboldt community! It is time to celebrate and thank Kym for all that she does!

*Dinner buffet by Moses, Barbeque To You, no host bar
*Silent auction with ALL proceeds going to Heart of the Redwoods Community Hospice per Kym Kemp’s request.
*Tickets $35 for Chamber members $45 for prospective Chamber members
*Chamber member business table purchase of 8 guests $350

***Space is limited -email Chamber with ticket reservation request and Chamber conformation of payment receipt is required.
Visit our website for more details

***Save the date of September 7th! Celebrate with the Southern Humboldt Chamber of Commerce and Kym Kemp!



  • Congratulations!

  • Congratulations, Kym! 💐💐💐

  • Well deserved congrats.

  • Yes Kim you are a Rock Star for all that you do …Thank You…..

  • Congratulations! We are so fortunate to have you!

  • A well-deserved acknowledgment by your community, Kym. First thing I do in the morning when I awake is to pick up my iPad and check out Red Headed Black Belt because I’m confident that you’ll be on top of anything that happened during the night. Of course, I check RHBB out several times during the day to see what else you’ve dug up and I’m always up to date on what’s happenin’ in SoHum.

    You provide a wonderful community service and I thank you! Kudos!

  • Super happy for you. Thank you for all you do.

  • Congratulations Kym Kemp!! Well deserved for sure!! Thank you for all you do keeping us all informed on all that’s going on not only in just Humbolt County, but also on the news you report for us over here in Trinity County also. And for everything else you do!! Again, Very Well Deserved!!!

  • Congratulations Kym! I loved listening to the interview! I could really sense the passion you have for your work!

  • Yahoo! Be sure to wear a bib, you don’t want to stain those pretty parrots with finger licking BBQ.
    The Best Always Thanks for everything.

  • I cannot think of a more deserving award. If I were asked to nominate someone, you would be at the top of the list. You are a woman of great integrity and kindness. Our community shines with your example. Thank you Kym.

  • Congrats to you Kym!!! You are so deserving of this award!!! Thanks so so much for what you do!!! 🙂

  • Congrats Kym on the award, you really truly deserve it. Your work has only come to fruition the last few years, but it really serves our community, and for that I cannot thank you enough!

  • Congrats Kym! It’s about time.

  • Phineas Homestone

    Congratulations Kym! Well deserved honor; happy to see it! I start my day checking RHBB, and continue to refresh during the day to stay on top of happenings back in the world.

  • Congrats Kym. Your love for your community and beyond shines thru. What a service you provide. I don’t know how many times a day I check RHBB to get the latest. Thank you so much.

  • Congratulations Kym!
    The thing that comes to my mind when I think of Kym is roots. She was here, and her family was here, when everything happened in recorded history. A person has a completely different, and far more accurate take on what this area is all about when you have soaked in it. She knows all of the subtleties of where we came, from where we are going, and what may go wrong, and she is willing to share her knowledge with us. Kym is one of SoHum’s most valuable assets, more precious than diamonds.

  • Listening to the interview I discovered that you are as lovely a person as I had imagined. Congratulations on the award Kym!

  • Mary Lou Lorensen

    I, too, depend on you… for breaking news and follow-ups. I brag to my friends outside of our area that, sometimes within 15 minutes of a “happening”, you are reporting the facts to us.

    • …and i’ve been here listening to the scanner and following kym’s live step-by-step reporting as it comes to her over her scanner. i really do admire everything i’ve come to know about kym.
      we’re fortunate.
      thanks kym!

  • the misadventures of bunjee

    Congrats Kym!

  • Thanks for doing what you do and being who you are.

  • Congratulations Kym!!I get my news and what not ‘ s from RHBB.thanks for being the kind human you are and keeping us informed on our part of the world!!!

  • Kym after becoming aquainted with you and reading RHBBB for many years this is AWESOME! Well deserved! Much love on this special day <3

  • Congrats indeed VERY well deserved!!!!!! :oD

  • Congratulations…you have set an wonderful example of excellent journalism and with humor and compassion….may your special evening fill you with some much deserved love….

  • I’m proud to be related to you, Kym, and I agree with the other commenters. Great interview, too. See you tonight!

  • Congratulations and very well deserved Kym!

  • Richly deserved, from where I’m sitting. Congrats.

  • Congratulations! I’m honored to know you, my faraway friend.

  • Kym u rock! You are the only news source that returns emails as well, you take the extra time to care on top of all the other amazing things you do!!!
    We are so very truly blessed to have you. It’s beyond words how incredible it is to have someone who ‘gets’ our community reporting everyday.
    And have to say it’s not just our community, I know many grateful folks in Lake county who valued your fire reports so much, both last and this year.
    Many blessings&thanks to you and your family kym!!!

  • It’s your day in the spotlight!
    I too start my day with a check of your site. I have learned much and benefitted from the info you work so hard to share!! I am so very pleased that your contributions have been recognized! You are so deserving!! And, having known you for years before RHBB, I know the quality of your caring character. Even in your home community of relatively good people, you have distinguished yourself as a fair, compassionate, positive and loving human being.

  • So proud of you and happy that you are getting this well deserved award. Congratulations Kim!!

  • Fantastic honor! Congratulations for being recognized for your sincere and effective efforts to improve communication and sense of community. We love you.

  • Thank goodness we have folks like Kym .Freedom is not free

  • Very cool, for a very deserving person!

  • So very happy for you miss Kym!! Best wishes from my wife and I, with a warm hug!

  • gratz Kym,Thanks for haveing this site and keeping it going.

  • I couldn’t be prouder.

    • hey mom, thanks to you too for your contributions in rearing her, and for being there so kym can continue accomplish what she does.
      it was nice to read how glad she is that you can be proud of her.

      are y’all some weird nuclear family or something??
      a reversion to earlier ancestral characteristics?

  • Well deserved, Kym. Thank you for your integrity and hard work in making your site and keeping us all informed.

  • Thank You is inadequate, but the best I can offer. “You appeared when you were needed, and we could not have asked for more, than to hear your iMac tapping behind your study’s door.” (Apologies for the plagiarism.) RB is the glue we need to keep us together. Thank You! af

  • Ernie branscomb said it best without RHBB I read it every day ,and I enjoy commenting on yor righteous news .right on kym your biggest fan .you look great kym do you ever change.

  • It is well deserved! Thank you for your never ending dedication to our community.

  • Lost Croat Outburst

    Very cool. Congratulations. Ernie B. said it best. Ditto.

  • Well deserved for a great public service.

  • You sooooo deserve this, Kym.. Congratulations..!!
    Not a troll in the string.. 🙂

  • Mazeltov, Kym! Although I can’t make it to your event, here’s a big Mendonesian muah! from yours truly. Make sure to really soak up all the love around you today , you’ve earned every last bit.

  • Congrats! Thank you so much for your hard work. You deserve it!!!

  • A well-deserved honor for someone who does an incredible job for the community–solely for the love of what she does. Such dedication to purpose and service deserves the highest praise.

  • It is so refreshing to have someone who keeps the rest of us informed as to what’s happening here in Humboldt.
    Kym and her crew surely deserve kudos for all their hard work and dedication.
    Keep up the good work, Kym. You’ve earned your place in the spotlight.

  • Congratulations. Well deserved. You are a lot younger than I thought! 😜 You bring the news to us without being malicious, hateful or serving an agenda. I can count on your site for truthfulness. Thank you for providing the only means in this county of getting the news quickly and with consideration to all members of the community. You da bomb Kym!

  • Very nice Kym. I know you don’t do it for the money.

  • Wonderful to be acknowledged during your lifetime! Betcha lots of work to merit it, though! Thank you for all you do!

  • I am so happy for you Kym! Having known you for over 30 years, I always knew you were someone special. When my 15 year old daughter ran away from home to you you were able to show her in a very constructive way “there’s no place like home” and she returned a more mature young person. You showed her how to stay herself while giving so much of herself to everyone around her. As RedHeadedBlackBelt you have really bloomed. When we see smoke, I know to check your page because the answer will be there. I’m always thankful you’re my neighbor. I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for you.

  • I just got home from the Citizen of the Year Tribute to Kym. The Mateel was packed with a wide variety of folks and much admiration was bestowed on Kym. When she spoke her message to us was to be more forgiving and less judgmental when writing about perpetrators and also victims. She wants us to remember it could be any one of us at any time when something bad happens. We could cause an accident, that doesn’t make us bad people. Other folks have issues that sometimes cause problems but we need to be kinder. I think that sums up what I heard. It was a fun night, good food and good community friendship. Thank you to the Chamber of Commerce. And Kym.

  • Bless you Kym! I am so happy for you to soak up the love. As the fabric of our community is getting nicked, torn, and a bit tattered during this time of accelerated change, this hardworking news service you gift us with is a strong thread that helps strengthen the cloth. There is so much that divides us, your compassionate message is a reminder to stay heartfull and keep repairing the cloth with our service to each other. Thanks for all you do!

  • Congratulations!! Your site is my favorite for local news. I’m so glad you are there for us. Thank you!!

  • The tributes and awards tonight were wonderful. And Bunny, I’m with you…I thought her message to all her readers about being kinder and non-judgmental because the next time she might be writing about one of us, was a great one. Now I need to google “The Golden Resolution” and find out just what sort of award the state senator gave her!

  • Congratulations, you are the best.

  • Dyerville Loop is Not Alderpoint

    Kim, God bless you and your family. We pray you continue to appreciate the beautiful surroundings we all call our home .What a blessing to have so many friends. You deserve every bit of it.We hope that you take at least a few moments to bask in the glow of your award.Take a ride out to Shelter Cove? Fish and chips? Watch the sunset with your family?We hear the abalone are running.Go for the good-life in Humboldt..Stay strong.

  • excellent!….well deserved Kym, and thanks to you and your crew and the people here who support what you do, thanks for all of it.

  • Great job Kym.

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