4-H Leader Who Taught Lost Benbow Girls Outdoor Skills Being Flown to Washington, DC for Recognition

Misty Carrico and her daughters Caroline, left, and Leia, right, who were lost for 44 hours in the woods of Northern California before being located early Sunday, listened intently to a survival skills presentation by Justin Lehnert, their 4-H project leader on Tuesday in Miranda. Caroline and Leia survived their mishap by using some of the skills Lehnert taught them in classes over the last two year. [All photos by Mark McKenna unless otherwise noted]

When Leia Carrico, age 8, and her sister, Caroline, age 5, disappeared into the woods around their home near Benbow on March 1, the whole nation held its breath for the next 44 hours until they were found. But, though their 4-H leaders were worried, too, they say they also knew the girls had something many other children don’t–they had survival skills from a class taught by their Outdoor Adventures 4-H project leader, Justin Lehnert.

Lehnert is being honored in Washington, DC, on Tuesday for his role in teaching Leia and Caroline outdoor skills.

Last Tuesday, Lehnert, who also owns a nearby business, Redwood Adventures Sports, providing kayaking, paddle-boarding, and hiking tours as well as teaching survival skills, gave a presentation on basic strategies to implement if lost in the wilderness to the regular monthly meeting of the Miranda 4-H.

Justin Lehnert holds up a survival blanket during the Miranda 4-H meeting.

At the meeting he was given a certificate of achievement from the regional 4-H leadership for his role in helping the girls survive.

Dorina Espinoza presented Justin Lehnert with a certificate of achievement at the Miranda 4-H meeting on Tuesday.

This recognition is in addition to that coming from the National 4-H organization which is flying him and his wife, all expenses paid, to their Legacy Award gala dinner where the group honors “those who make life-changing experiences possible” for youth.

Dorina Espinoz, 4-H Advisor for Humboldt and Del Norte Counties, explained that at this time “they are not sure what form the recognition will take place but he will be receiving something.”

Miranda 4-H Club leader, Shanna Archibold, said, “I’m really proud that Justin is receiving the recognition he deserves by the National 4-H.” She added that when she learned that Caroline and Leia were missing late Friday, she was worried but not frantic.

“I did know they had been taking the Outdoor Adventures Skills Project so I knew they would be okay, but it was cold and raining,” she explained.

Yana Valachovic, County Director of the University of California Cooperative Extension, presented the leader of Miranda 4-H, Shanna Archibold, left, a certificate for outstanding 4-H leadership and support of 

Her main concern she said was that she knew the two girls were “really fast hikers.”

She noted that she and her now 18-year-old son had been with the girls in their survival classes for the last two years.  “In Outdoor Adventures, [Leia and Caroline] keep up with the older high school boys no problem.” And, Archibold knew from the girls’ mother that authorities were starting with a small circle of search. “I just hoped the girls realized they were lost soon enough and remembered to stay put,” she said. Still, she believed the girls would likely be alright. “Even though it got so cold the first night and was raining,” she said she comforted herself with the knowledge that the girls are “fully capable, independent young women” with the information they needed to make it through this difficult experience.

Once the girls had been found, Archibold made arrangements for their project leader, Justin Lehnert to give a presentation on survival skills to their local 4-H monthly meeting which was only two days after the girls had been located. 

As between 40 to 50 people crowded into the room Tuesday night, Leia and Caroline scampered around playing with their friends. The girls seemed remarkably normal and happy after their nearly two day ordeal.

Thank you cards were passed out for the youth and their leaders to sign for the dozens of agencies and volunteer groups that assisted in the search.

Annika Hogan, 4-H parent and Cooking project leader, holds several 4-H thank you cards she was signing. Kids and leaders prepared the cards for as many of organizations and agencies involved as could be identified.

The room initially hushed as Lehnert began speaking on survival. He laid out a simple list of ways to be safe even when on relatively minor excursions like going to the mall.

Tell someone where you are going, he advised. Then the search area can be narrowed down. You can be found more quickly if someone knows the general area you were headed and how long you planned to be there.

Carrying a cell phone to communicate often is the quickest way to coordinate with others, he said.

If you do get lost, try to stay calm, he suggested. Stay positive. Panic can cause you to get hurt and make the situation worse. He suggested that singing, reading anything even a driver’s license, and telling stories can all help.

Shanna Archibold spoke about the upcoming basic survival training being offered by Justin Lehnert, owner of Redwood Adventure Sports in Miranda.

While lost, Leia and Caroline, had followed that suggestion. Leia told us that she and Caroline had chanted nursery rhymes loudly partly in hopes searchers would hear them and she told her sister stories to calm her when Caroline was frightened in the dark.

Lehnert also pointed out that staying put can be key to helping searchers locate you. “Only move if the situation is becoming worse or unsafe,” he said. Once the girls had accepted they were lost, they did stop trying to get home and settled in one place (about 1.4 miles from their house as the crow flies but more like six miles of up and down ravines and around obstacles, their father estimates).

If you can’t stay put, he said, create signs for the searchers. “If you have to move, drag your feet,” he said demonstrating for the club members. Scuff marks accidentally left by the girls helped searchers locate them. Or, he said you can break branches. The girls had done this while trying to make a fire and their bundle had also helped searchers narrow down an area to search.

He suggested making stick arrows to point the direction of travel.

Justin Lehnert pointed out how anyone lost in the wilderness without specialized gear could still help searchers by using sticks to make an arrow to show their direction of travel.

Make it easy for searchers to find you, he advised. When preparing for wilderness excursions consider wearing bright clothing and carrying a reflective emergency blanket (see photo above.) He suggested spreading these over a bush. The girls were wearing bright colored boots which were the first things seen by the men who found them.

While lighting a fire is ideal to signal for help, he said, that task can be difficult for all but the most experienced woodsmen. He suggested carrying a flashlight or a mirror or even a metal first aid box with a shiny surface that could be used to signal aircraft or far away searchers that might not be able to hear you call.

Justin Lehnert explained that shiny objects could be used to reflect light and make a lost person more visible.

Carry a whistle, Lehnert suggested. They can be heard over rivers and creeks. Leia and Caroline both said that while they could hear searchers at times, the searchers couldn’t hear them. A whistle might have helped attract attention.

Justin Lehnert gave a presentation on basic survival skills and talked about having a small emergency kit in his vehicle at all times.

Justin Lehnert carries a small emergency kit in his vehicle at all times. The kit has fire starter, a compass and a whistle among other things.

Finding water can be crucial, Lehnert pointed out. Three to five days can be the limit of most people’s ability to function without it. “You can go three weeks or more without food,” he said. “But you must have water.

He suggested several ways for collecting clean water including sealing leaves in ziplock bags and using a rock in a reflecting emergency blanket to collect condensation.

4-H youth leaders, Shade Hughston and Oscar LeClair, watch intently, as Lehnert demonstrates how a survival blanket with a rock in it can be used to catch rainwater or pool condensation.

Lehnert also suggested licking condensation off of non-poisonous leaves. Lea and Caroline had licked water off of the huckleberry bush they were using as shelter. And even though they were lost over 44 hours, they were only slightly dehydrated.

Even though the amount collected might be small, Lehnert said, “any water is better than none.”

Then he addressed finding shelter. He talked about finding areas protected from the rain including under a log or under a sheltering tree or bush with thick branches. Leia and Caroline had used both techniques to keep dry which helped keep them from hypothermia.

Leia Carrico with Shelter building advice. [Photo by Kym Kemp]

Leia Carrico, one of the two sisters who were lost last weekend, holds a set of flashcards with shelter building advice given to her by her instructor, Jason Lehnert. [Photo by Kym Kemp]

After the talk, Lehnert passed out survival blankets, emergency kits, and other useful survival items to the youth.

Brylee Mullany shows her mother, Bonnie, the outdoor survival blanket Lehnert gave her.

Lehnert will be offering a class on basic survival training on March 16 and on March 30  where he will be discussing topics like what to do when lost, shelter building, finding safe water, and other survival skills.

A flyer for two upcoming classes offered by Justin Lehnert.

A flyer for two upcoming classes offered by Justin Lehnert. [Download a copy by clicking: Basic survival training.]

“I asked him to start teaching these workshops [beyond 4-H] so the skills will be more available in out community,” Archibold said.”

She added that she was extremely proud of Lehnert who has been teaching the Outdoor Adventure’s project for two years, but she said, “As much as he is receiving all the recognition right now, I also want to recognize and thank all the 4-H leaders and other youth organization volunteers who give kids life skills and confidence.”

Contact your local 4-H for more information on programs available in your area. For more information on 4-H and its programs, click here.

Long interview with the Carrico family and Delbert Chumley, one of the men who found the two sisters, below:

Earlier Chapters:

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76 comments

  • Bravo!!
    So touching when someone is just doing what they do, without concern for recognition or hefty compensation and truly makes an impact in another person .. you never know.

    • He so much deserves this. He puts so much into the kids.

    • Got another estimate on the road. It’s looking like it’s gonna be $1,000,000 guys. Please forward this massage, and thanks to those who have donated.

      • g beezy why would you lie about that

      • I have watched the figure for damaged driveways/roads grow from 10,000$ to now a fricking million dollars! One Million Dollars!

        I am calling B.S. and saying this is a totally inappropriate gofundme page. They have gone to missing daughters found to we need a million bucks in about 3 minutes of time. First it was 10,000$. Then when they achieved that in a day, they upped it to 50,000$. Then they raised it to 150,000$. Now it is one MILLION DOLLARS and growing by the day!

        This is nothing but a scam. I believe this is a hoax. I hope the local and district police do their jobs with this family because this, in my opinion is nothing but a hoax to get you and me to pay for their 6 miles long driveway.

        I have contacted the local police and will be contacting the district and state police and the National Guard to look into this, IMO, obviously staged event, to use their daughters in order to gain sympathy for their gofundme page to fix their stupid driveway.

        The police need to get a search warrant for their phone records. And treat these people as Chicago Police treated Jussie Smollett and his personal hate crime and hoax….

        Jussie is charged with enough hate crimes and charges to land him 48 years of prison time, and this is BEFORE he is charged with Federal charges of mail fraud and terrorism.

        These people when exposed need to pay the time for their crime, just like Jussie Smollett!

        Cheers-
        phil 🙂

          • Wow that road doesn’t look bad at all looks like it’s been raining and a few trucks drove through.. you want 50k from others after we just spent what like 200k at least to find your daughters with our taxes but you want them to fix your road. They weren’t complaining when the searchers were using it the time of them missing. Using your daughters for personal gain. Low life. Go get some gravel and do it your self for a weekend ask community members to help.. not for 10k then ask for 50 after you hit the mark. Greed. Hope the go fund me is shut down. Be happy you have your daughters you scum mother.

            • If you just went Sunday to look at the road, there have been people working on it for 5 days.

              • Still the fact she’s asking for more when she just got the world back. Sad to see. If those were my children lost I would do whatever it took to fix the road ask for community members to help not ask for 10k then 50k to pay someone to fix a damn dirt road. Since she wants us to pay for the road why don’t we make her pay for the resources used to find her daughters. That’s the fact I’m not agreeing with do you agree the community should pay for the road Kym? We all live in the hills it snows rains and roads get ruined. Welcome to Humboldt were a grower family wants others who work full time to help hahah the greed.

                • I agree that people who feel compassion and understanding for the situation can donate if they want. No one else is required to do anything. I agree with helping so I did.

                  You don’t, so you think others shouldn’t? That’s the part I don’t get.

                  No one is making anyone do a dang thing. You can help if you feel moved to do so. And not if you don’t. But why try and smear the folks involved. Has a person who knows them well complained to you about this? Not one of the many community members I know who know them have expressed any doubt about helping.

                  Many of those who searched for the girls are donating trucks, gravel, time and more to help with the road. If you don’t want to, don’t for heaven’s sakes. But for those of us who do want to and who know the people involved, it is hard to understand why you are smearing the family who is known for being hard working and who volunteer to help others.

                • There is nothing wrong with not donating. Choose to give or not to give. Why chastise those that volunteer their resources to someone else? It’s their choice. That goes for a lot of the search and rescue teams that helped. Most are volunteers and they choose to give their time. It’s their choice for their resources.

                  As for the paid searchers, that is why we pay taxes… to have those resources available for those that need them.

              • Making the community feel some type of way then get donations. It’s my opinion and my free speech to put these bad parents on blast. I work my ass off to get nice things they want 50k to fix the road? Is the trip to Cancun involved? Or the new grow dozer? Making money of your children’s story remember that. Can’t argue with biased people look at what the community already did for them and they are asking for 50k it’s the go fund me and donation thing that is out of hand. I could care less what we spent to get the girls back obviously it was worth it but to ask for more on the top. Wow didn’t you just get ur daughters back? And you want 10k the next day to fix it then 50k I hope go fund me shuts that down

                • to believe they planned this to get their road fixed is considered a symptom of a very serious illness. there is help out there for you and if you can’t afford it, you can always setup a GoFundMe to help offset the cost.

                • Just like you can have your opinion about the parents…Some of us are going to form opinions about an anonymous person who attacks people s/he doesn’t know.

                  We’re all free to have opinions.

                  Some of our opinions are kinder than others.

    • These kids were so brave. Takes a lot of skill to survive 100 yards from the highway, drinking water from huckleberry bushes. Responsible parenting definitely played its roll in this. Unfortunate mom was cleaning up brush outside, or was it taking out the trash? I don’t know, her story kept changing.

      • I know, I have some questions of why is there a go fund me.

        • One of the folks working on putting together community volunteers to fix the road (Remember there needs to be fuel and rock also plus other expenses) told me the GoFund me was to help with that.

        • Me too. We are here to fix their freaking driveway. WHY? Because their kids got lost. I think it was hoax. What about you?

      • Where to start with your comment? They were more than 100 yards from the freeway. In other cases children along freeways have definitely not survived. The most dangerous predator of children is people.

        This article is about the 4-H leader being recognized for his volunteering. I guess you didn’t get all of your negativity out of your system on other articles, so you had to cast shade on this one too? If you lived under really tall trees, you might understand how moving branches, cleaning the yard, and preparing a dump run are all the same thing. And yes, there is excellent parenting through out the entire article. And gratitude.

      • Piercy VFD member Delbert Chumley who was part of the team that found the girls told me that they had hiked for several hours out the road before finding the girls in huckleberry brush–that doesn’t sound like 100 yards too me.

        And I never heard the cleaning up brush response. She described getting a dump run together to me.

        • Considering she’s a mom of two youngin’s she was probably doing 20 different things. (Edit : sorry, 3 little ones)

          The insistence of folks pushing uninformed opinions is petty, at best.

  • Muddy Black Dodge

    Country girls can survive! Tears in my eyes. This is great… I prayed to a God I don’t know, when the girls were lost. 👍

  • Excellent.. glad to hear this back story. Really helpful.
    Great on teaching these skills!

  • I can’t think of anybody else more deserving of the Be Best awards than these two. They did great! https://www.whitehouse.gov/bebest/

    Great tips for us all by the 4-H leader. Thanks so much for this!
    I wish there was a tip for knowing that we are lost before we realize we are lost, so we can leave trail signs sooner. I guess the best thing to do is pay strict attention to any hmmm’s that cross our mind? What do the pro’s do when they get a hmmm?

  • I’ve wondered if survival blankets that reflect all heat could make one invisible to thermal imaging.
    That might make someone harder to spot.
    Great article.

  • I am so happy that Justin is getting the recognition he deserves! Those two girls are our granddaughters and we cannot thank him and all of the people who dropped everything to come running and help search for our girls! THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!! We are forever grateful to all of you!!

    • I was wondering about grandparents. I have grandchildren and I do not know how I would have responded. I held all of you in my positive energy and golden light. But there were sneaking dark thoughts. You and your family and all of So Hum are blessed with this outcome!❤️🌈

  • Jonny Civilized

    Some one needs to point out that if you are just kids you shouldn’t be running around in the wild anyway. Why should little ones worry about such a thing. The parents need to be taking care of them and not exposing kids to such dangers. Survival skills as a badge of honor? This is not colonial America. Little girls should be reading books and playing with friends in the neighborhood, not fending off feral critters. This mountain man stuff is two hundred years out of date.

    • As a teacher and a parent, I’ve read about this extensively and science says kids need outside adventures. https://www.theguardian.com/education/2008/aug/03/schools.children

      My kid has been in the class for several years. I encourage him to get off the computer and explore the land around us.

      • My own backyard is the forest & from what I can tell so were these girls. My own grandchildren play in the forest/creek that runs in front & behind my house / it’s my backyard. It is real easy as a parent to tell a child, yes we are getting ready to leave & then remember you left you purse inside your friends house, only to come back outside to find your little one is no where to be found; only later to find that they had started walking home on the back dirt road to the house. So, really if one is not a parent, they really have no room to speak.

    • you are wrong jonny civilized
      not everyone grows up in the middle of housing development . some of us are grown in the hills where mountain tests people .
      we dont always have roads with blacktop to show the way
      we dont always have street lights leading the way
      without some kind of training like that or like i got as a boy scout , then thousands others would be lost and anther statistic .
      what your saying is fine for inner city kreeps that never leave their hood but thats not what the other 99.9 % of humans do

    • Stay in the suburbs where you belong. You’re safer there.

    • You clearly are out touch with our environment here in southern Humboldt. And have never visited here. Are roads are steep muddy and an hour or more from any police or help. The community is what we have and we rely on it in times of need. There are no fences at our school and the woods surround us in all directions. It is some of the largest old growth redwoods in the world. And, 100’s of thousands of acres. If you want to live in a sheltered box do so, but dont push your city ideas in these hills it doesnt work. Just Try relying on your gps here and you will end up lost. O yeah and cell service is hard to find in most places so good luck trying to get help

      • This all happened right by the freeway. Not all of SoHum is super remote.

        • The freeway passes through some pretty remote country here. They were headed towards Richardson Grove State Park, large swaths of private timber land and eventually (heading way further west) the Sanctuary Forest and Sinkyone Wilderness. They were way safer sheltering in place away from the freeway.

    • 👎👎👎👎👎👎 don’t be stupid, all skills should be learned by any one who will listen, it’s the difference between being victim and a survivor,

    • The stability of modern industrialized society is quite mesmerizing. Good luck with that.

    • some peoples children

      jonny civilized,
      you should get out from behind your computer. this is humboldt county. the seperation from the natural world that you hold in such high regard is what allows the raping of our natural resources for profit. life does not happen if front of a screen.

    • You’d rather have them playing video games or noodling around on social media?

  • all the training in the world dont help , unless someone listens
    and it appears they listened
    great training , great listening girls
    your here for another reason besides statistics and will be famous later in life

  • Made me cry all over again! Thank you, thank you Justin. Your award is so well deserved. I hope more parents take their kids to one of your classes.

  • Fully competent young women. Childhood ends at 4, I guess.

    ????

  • jerry Gianinnie

    i don’t understand, what skills did these young girls even learn? i heard they drunk water off plant leafs and couldn’t start a fire, also they walked in the wrong direction and got themselves lost while not waiting for there mother and not listening to adults. It sounds like these girls in fact did not learn anything at all.

    • First, the girls realized they were lost and chose to stay put. Likely the BEST thing a lost person can do. Second, they used distraction as a technique to stave off panic, which can lead to poor decisions. Third, they drank available water. Fourth, they kept their heads and made the right decisions that led to their being found. These are little girls we are talking about, not grown adults. Holy cow!
      Not everyone in a situation like this, responds likes these girls did. Panic sets in and poor decisions can be made. Especially when it gets dark. There have been several people who have been lost this last year in our wild north coast communities, and perished. These children DO deserve to be celebrated, as do the people that taught them survival skills. I’m so saddened to see some of these negative comments, but understand they aren’t likely coming from our local Humboldt community. We are family here, and strive to build each other up, not tear down. There has been so much loss of human life this last year, for our local searchers, but they keep giving and they keep going out, donating their time, often in dangerous places in miserable conditions. I’m so proud of our local rescuers, and all those from other communities that dropped everything to come help. Thank you isnt enough. And no, I dont personally know this family or any of the people involved. But I did grow up in Humboldt and know the dangers of our big forests. And I know that so many in this community are wonderful people. My heart broke for these people, as the girls had been missing so long. I was ecstatic when they were found. What kind of people are you that come on this local news site and spew your hurtful words and dislike and hatred? Why cant we celebrate this miraculous event? Mom and dad of these girls, I say, “GREAT job.” I’m so happy for you and your family. You keep on keeping on and ignore the trolls. I will, now that I’ve said my piece. 😀

      • jerry Gianinnie

        this guy Justin is just taking advantage of the situation, he is charging money for a class and trying to create a buzz for his service. Lets not forget that his wife if friends with Kym and they are both on 4h together, if you ask me they worked together to take advantage of this situation to promote Justins business. This is really just a cheap way to make money.

        • My lord, do you wake up in the morning in that mood?

          I know Justin. My kid is in his Outdoor Adventure class. I do want to promote what he does/did because
          a) it’s news: The guy is being flown all expenses paid to Washington, DC
          b) the community could use some knowledge of survival skills
          c) I know him and like him and am grateful for the huge amount of time he VOLUNTEERED over the years taking this community’s kids (including mine) out and teaching them well enough that two little girls were able to survive.

          Justin has a skill to teach. If people want to pay him money to teach that skill, how is that “advantage of the situation”?

          God forbid that anyone with four kids try to financially survive by teaching what they do well rather than sit on their butt and complain on the internet under a fake name. The bravery that takes astounds me (astounds me that you can even look at yourself in the mirror.)

          Do you really think that we hid the girls outside, coached them in a story, and risked arrest and the girls’ death in order to get Justin a little publicity?

          And I get what out of it? No sleep, late gathering my tax info, and…a good feeling. It is a pretty damn good feeling to see a nice guy get a lucky break because he’s been doing the right thing for awhile.

          Take a breath. And, if you get a chance in that busy fulfilled life of yours take a look in the mirror and see if your mother would be proud of you.

          • I think people are just trying to cash in off this situation. Why shouldn’t Justin cash in off this. I mean he taught the girls some great skills. How to get lost, how to pile up sticks, and drink water off huckle berry leaves. Shoot when I was 6 I had to walk 2 miles to school and back. Spent plenty of time out in the woods exploring. I guess they just don’t make them how they use to. I wonder why you’d want to wait there by the by legend of Bigfoot. Should’ve known where you were at by then.

            • They weren’t right beside Bigfoot Burl…That’s where the rescuers brought them by quad.

              If you are from Piercy, why don’t you ask Delbert where the girls were? He told me that he, a very healthy adult male, took two hours to hike to where the girls were from 101. Seems like you are looking to find problems where there aren’t any.

            • I have never used bad language on social site, but you Piercy PD so deserve to be called an Ass. That’s for you Kim.

          • wow, kym sure got her feeling hurt, i guess you must really trust this guy that you do not know anything about. Yes my mother is proud of me, and this is my real name. so have fun getting all in a hissy fit, your blog is nothing more than you pretending to be in charge of the community and pushing your weight around.

            News flash kym, salmon creek is super lame, your community is full of rich privileged spoiled brats.

            No one insinuated this event was staged!

            Have fun looking in the mirror at night!

            • Jerry, why would you chose to type such a rude personal attack of Kym & her whole community in the comment section of her news blog? We all can see that you respect her enough to read her articles. If you really feel the words you typed, then why don’t you get your news some where else?

        • Shanna Archibold

          Jerry G. And Piercy PD. Justin is teaching these workshops for only $10/person. He could charge much more. I know that it is hard to believe that there are genuinely kind nice people in the world, but both Justin & the parents of the girls are genuinely nice people. They have all three volunteered countless hours to provide activities for youth in our community. It is percisely because the family is NOT capitalizing financially on their temporary fame, that the community is running a Go Fund Me campaign and volunteering to fix their road. Please reconsider your view point. It is untrue.

    • Why all these negative thoughts. Most are just grateful for4- H leader, God for protecting them and young women remaining calm🙏😁, and all the wonderful volunteers who helped in the search😍😊

    • The fact that they were found alive and unharmed after 44 hours in the cold rain has to be some tribute to the skills they learned.

  • They learned a lot at a very young age and now they will never forget about getting lost and it becoming a near death experience it can be pretty easy to get lost in the woods for a third grader and a pre-schooler and very scary especially for someone that is that age.

  • I get that the roads out there are a mess due to the overwhelming amount of vehicles using them for all the search teams. But since the California Taxpayer will already get a huge forthcoming bill to cover these rescue agencies (I know some were volunteers) why does the Carrico family feel entitled to ADDITIONAL assistance to cover road damage??

    I know GoFundMe acts. are run on volunteer donations, so no one is holding a gun to the head of the person donating, but the optics from where I stand look like pure greed coming from this family. I guess if the donators choose to spend their own hard earned money on other people’s smooth roads, it’s their prerogative. I personally resent having to contribute even a penny (through taxes) to assist situations caused by human error (vs. acts of God, ie. fires and floods).

    I work hard for my money and have exorbitant expenses but I don’t ask for handouts. I get the impression that this family feels entitled to the extra donations. Since I live in SF, the homeless and/or street addicts are already bleeding Taxpayers dry, but that is the fault of our local corrupt politicians. Now we have to contribute to careless activity happening in other counties.

    Just doesn’t seem fair.

    • Don’t worry. Those of us in the community who want to can handle it. You don’t have to. Nor do you need to feel resentful or frustrated. It’s a gift from those of us who want to do it to the Carricos and their neighbors. It’s really okay for you not to give. It’s okay for us to do it and its okay for you not to.

    • As a homeowner with a shared private road (1.6 miles) with 9 separate families using it, I understood the problem right off. Especially in the winter. I can also see where the request could seem tacky to people who don’t have to maintain their own road.

  • That’s not what I would have said to you Karen. There are so many things I would have said. But Kym’s right, I hope life gets better for you too.

  • Language is Real(I and I)ty

    Language is realty because it is for sale, add an I and it’s your whole world. See how easy that was?

    Empathy should be easy for people that are overly worried about themselves. Imagine yourself in the situation. It’s called a disaster/emergency because it’s not easily predictable or prevent-able. There’s no way to foresee which “I’s” will be affected so multiple “I’s” pitch in.

    So now, when worried about yourself or others, just remember that it takes two to tango, and we’re all in this together bud!

  • I would like to apologize to anyone that read my original comment. While we all have different perspectives on things, me venting my opinion was uneccesary and added nothing to the situation. It’s actually not even my business, since no one had asked me for a donation.

    I wish the best for all involved in your community.

    • Karen, no worries. Thanks for the apology that’s more than most do when they make a mistake. It made me feel good to know that you cared enough to do that.

    • Takes integrity to apologize. Your opinion isn’t necessarily wrong, anyway, since it’s your opinion and not fact. It’s not my opinion but your apology shows you are a very caring person. Thanks and good luck to you.

  • Kim, I just wanted to let you know that I’ve “educated” myself a tiny bit in the past several days, about Humboldt County. One reason being that your “kill ‘em with kindness” responses to my original rant made me realize that your community seems to choose to live a peaceful and harmonious lifstyle, where everyone tries to be “their brother’s keeper”. I guess that’s very alien to me, always having resided in large cities like Manhattan and San Francisco.

    I’ve skimmed through your website (this one) and am amazed how well you (and your staff), with the cooperation of the local residents, keep up with so much detail about daily happenings — positive and negative. Traffic accidents, death notices, happy celebration events, local politics, crime, lost pets, etc…kind of like a major newspaper but on a much more personal level.

    Since I have Netflix I plan to watch “Murder Mountain” in the next few days. I’ve already read about the controversy of how your Sheriff was not happy about how Humboldt County is portrayed in the mini series, that the producers altered the final script from what they had first agreed upon. Anyway, I won’t let other reviewers alter my impression of the show, especially since I have no “insider” knowledge of the real truth behind the murder of the main character. Maybe no one else does either.

    Sorry to ramble so long, but I know that you enjoy communicating, so I wanted to update you on an “outsider’s” curiosity about your neck of the woods, that you and your community have so much pride in. : ]

    • Karen, thank you. Most of us love this community. I will say that I don’t think Murder Mountain is very descriptive of what I know of the area but the photography is gorgeous and shows the landscape beautifully.

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