Hi, you landed on Redheaded Blackbelt. I own it. That’s me to the left, Kym Kemp. I do everything from photography to selling ads to writing stories.

I’m totally in love with the Emerald Counties, that incredible place south of the Oregon border and east of the Pacific Ocean that is home to redwoods, rolling hills, Victorian mansions, hippie homesteads, wildflowers, and wildlife.

Yes, I really did get my black belt (in Tang Soo Do) and I used to have red hair before I became a news reporter. (Putting this colorful world in black and white made my hair gray.) I live about 45 minutes from the nearest town and spend way too much time on my computer getting the latest information to my readers. (For something I’m really proud of click here.)

I also received the 2018 Unsung Hero award from the Society of Professional Journalists in Northern California.

You can contact me or my staff at redheadedblackbelt.com.

Here’s someone else you should know. This is Oliver Cory. He began working for Redheaded Blackbelt when we first started out.

He is one of the finest, young photographers in northwestern California. He also has a knack for technology. If we’ve got a fancy graphic, Oliver is likely the person who created it. If there’s a quick way to get a photo from the scene to the person writing the story, he’ll come up with it.

He also writes quite a few stories but his real love is the camera. He’s mostly in Eureka but he can also be found throughout the Humboldt Bay region.

Frequent Contributors


Now, let me introduce you to Bobby Kroeker. Bobby is a wayward Canadian who has been living in the area for many years. He’s out and about in northern Humboldt picking up stories for us.

He is also an artist.

Stormy Taylor is often out and about collecting information and taking photos of breaking news in the Humboldt Bay area. She’s got an eye for composing images quickly–a must when the story is erupting around her.

She grew up in Trinidad and spent her entire life in Humboldt County. A mother of two, she’s also a  member of the confederated tribes of Siletz Indians of Oregon.

Mark McKenna’s first real photojournalism experience came when he photographed a child pedestrian hit in front of his school and he sold the image. He honed his skills as a photojournalist by attending San Francisco State University as a journalism major graduating in 2000.

In addition to teaching photojournalism at Humboldt State University, Mark is represented by a photo agency you have probably never heard of, Zuma Press, and he operates a photo and graphic design studio in Old Town Eureka. He’s always looking for the unusual while photographing the routine.

Huge Help


Bobbi Wisby

And here’s our behind the scene person Bobbi Wisby. She’s our website developer and computer wrangler–she makes us look pretty. We tell her what we want and she makes it happen. (Go here for more of her stuff.)

Contact us

Drop me an email and let us know what you’re thinking about at mskymkemp@gmail.com or you can send a message to anyone here by putting their name in the subject heading and sending it to RedheadedBlackbelt@gmail.com.


  • In other words, a well rounded and grounded human being.
    anita marie

    • I had heard something about CBD oils and Trump. Kept looking, and I found it. it is on ProBrewer.com .
      Mr. Mark Silva posted it. He and his wife want to use CBD in their beer, as well as THC.
      It says that Trump would support a congressional effort to remove the federal govts ban on cannabis. Trump, speaking to a group of reporters, on or around June 20th, 2018, said that he would support Senator Gardner, one of the lead sponsors of a bipartisan effort to allow states to legalize cannabis without federal intervention. This is from the LA Times. I am hoping I got this right, that’s why I sent it to you. If I have it wrong, please don’t hurt me, lol. But I do want to be right on this, it’s a big deal

  • i want to say thank you for you kind word you relly liked the last 5 lines well it is a start for me i ben racking my braine to come up with somthing new but im goin to get of of hear and go to bed for the night

    thanks agan

  • Ha, happened upon a link here at UniversalHD’s Firefly board. Did a triple-take when I saw the name of the blog. What a coinkidink. Just saying hey.

  • Redheaded and a Firefly fan–obviously a very fine fellow!

    • hi Kym, a huge convoy went out road 502, heading south and going past the Kettenpom store, 8 to 10 rigs. They could be going out towards Long Ridge, or towards Covelo. Lots of chopper activity Wednesday. I have been told they have chipper and everything, I find out more, will update right away.

  • Thank you for your blog on John’s clean up efforts. We really appreciate it. Can you send me an e-mail so that I may talk to you some more. I wasn’t able to find any contact info on you off of here. We’d like it if you could put down that people can make donations through paypal from our site, and a few other things.

    Thank you again!!!
    Eel River Clean Up Crew Webmistress

  • Hello Redhead. I hope you’ll visit my blog based in Willits, here to the south. Your photography and poetic view of life is lovely. How do we find more bloggers in the redwoods?


    • I’m a blogger in Humboldt 🙂

    • hi, I accidendtlly (I guess0 founndbyou as a kindred spirit,.. sorry abit pissed, been ill and killing the remains, h3ehe . Dont usually do mech internetting but im lacking ener4gy so needed something simple, just want to say your cool, love you sister! xxx

  • Well done with today’s coverage. You managed to keep pretty good tabs on BOTH of the local crises. The whole thing is very impressive.

    Did you just happen to be in the right place at the right time, with the photos of the IRS raid? I’ve been trying to follow the “out of towners” on my scanner, but I think they’re using a secure frequency.

    Any suggestions on catching up with these guys?


  • Dave, I’m a long time local and people call me or send me photos. I didn’t take those pics (I wish I would have they are beautiful.

    What works for me is to keep on the phone but, if I could, I would be following the feds when they leave this morning. (Hmm, maybe not, I’m not much for conflict and I can’t see them being too happy about that but, if I were brave that is what I would do.)

  • Hi Kym, thanks for the inspiration! My name is Eric Sligh, I am 29 years old from Ukiah. I have a degree in French from HSU and recently completed the single subject credential program there as well. I did my student teaching at Eureka High School during the past year. I have also put together a print publication called Humboldt Grow. I asm still trying to figure out what the magazine is supposed to be. It kind of looks like a comic book to me sometimes. I have a website, http://www.humboldtgrow.com where you can view pdfs of the magazine. I am really excited about being finished with school so that I can become completely enveloped in the local social/political scene. I really hope that I can join the ranks of all of the quality independent news sources we have been blessed with. – Eric

  • I like what I see and what I read.
    Far off from the normal bits I read and maybe that is why I like it so much. As Anita said before – A well rounded and properly grounded human being.

  • Kym,

    I so very much appreciate your blog. I’t connects me back to so many of the indelible, intimiate things about salmon creek i love. Thank you very much.


  • Hi, Kim!

    I got a chance to check out your site – I love it. You’ve done an a-musing/amazing job.

    I sent an email to Chip. I’m hoping to hear from him.

    And, I hope I’ll hear from you again some day soon. It was really nice to reconnect with you. Let’s stay in touch!

    Sydney Lou

  • Very nice blog you have here.

    I’d like to invite you to visit mine – AS IT STANDS (davesblogcentral.com)

    I’m another Humboldt blog, still fairly new. Started in July 2008.

  • Thanks for the link! I get traffic almost every day from you. Finally got around to seeing who kymk was. Nice.

  • I popped over to your site originally because you were a local blogger, Now I’m hooked on your art and the Mongolian info. I suspect a few of my readers are finding out how lovely your site is also.

  • Kym, I don’t know what is wrong with my brain (or maybe it’s my salt-encrusted contacts affecting my vision), but I can’t find your email address and I have a very important question for you:

    What movies would you recommend to fans of Firefly/Serenity?

    Thank you! 🙂

  • For a Guy who hates blogs I sure like yours. Lots of good stuff, good people.

    Love your area, love your photos, love your hobbies.

    Keep up the good fight, you may have inspired me to blog.
    Oh, No!
    Hope to make it to the Emerald Cup next year, do you know if you have to be local? I’m in Sac.

  • Go for it, Lokes. As far as I know you don’t but go to the Area 101 links and contact the organizers.

  • NIce to know you,ma’am…
    nice photos you’ve posted…:)

    Keep it up!

    From Indonesia with Love, 🙂


  • Hi Kym!

    I deleted Auntie Mayme’s blog, so feel free to take it off your blog roll.

    Thank you for your support!


    Auntie Mayme/ Hunny

  • I knew you were gone (see boy’s post or ask the turtle) I was just too sad to take you down. But I’ll do it now.

  • You know Kym….there are days when I simply do not want to visit your site. Your gorgeous pictures. Your beautiful words, elegantly arranged. Your thoughtfulness. It’s really quite annoying.

    The grace exhibited by your site, which must clearly be only a modicum of the grace in which you live your life, enriches me in ways so few other things do.

    I’m not a person who believes in the soul or subscribes to the idea of the spirit, but if I did I believe your site would be like a temple in which I would visit.

    Thank you.

  • Hey Kym, what do you know about the feds raiding Apex North and AEE Solar in the Meadows Business Park last Friday? There has been no mention of it in any of the news. Hopefully Kmud will have something tonight. Do you anything about it?

  • I’ve got a call in to Brenda Godsey at the Sheriff’s Dept. to see if there has been any such activity. I do know the one of the owners had a personal raid on his home several weeks ago.

  • Kym, what’s the best way to reach you? I just sent you an e-mail at the address listed above, but it got kicked back.


  • you can contact me at mskymkemp @ gmail.com though the other one should still work.

  • Just saying hi, Kym. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and your family. Keep up the great work! I’m still a frequent reader of your blog and love to keep up with your work.


  • Hi there!

    Lovely photographs! Very nice stuff. We might like to talk to you about publishing some of them in one of our books.

    Can you please email me at jack@greencandypress.com to discuss?

    Thanks so much!


    Jack, Green Candy Press

  • Kym,

    This east coaster is dying to come tour Humboldt County, and your blog is a big reason why. Great work. Hope I make it out there someday.


  • Hi Kym… I like the new format after being a bit shocked… Didn’t get the comment balloon for awhile but I finally figured it out. Thanks for all your work… Look out! You’ve become a primary news source, must be a lot of work!

  • Hey Kym, I don’t know when you changed your blog (I always read it in RSS) but it looks great! Way easier to read and nice design. You are really doing a great job keeping us informed of Humboldt County issues – and your photography is beautiful!

  • Dear Kim,
    I am a writer from Brazil researching for a book on drug culture, the future of drug policy and especially marijuana. I am in the middle of a trip to several countries to understand how humanity’s approach to cannabis is changing. I am planning to go to Northern CA next week – I am in SF right now. Do you think I could meet you there?

  • I sent you an email. Let’s see what we can do.

  • Supreme Court allows warrantless exigent-circumstance search despite Fourth Amendment expectation of unreasonable searches and seizures:

  • Kym, I am a relative of people in your area and was concerned of this practice in your area with PG&E putting in smart meters. You should see this post on youtube. You may want to post something about this to your fellow Humbolt County residents. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8JNFr_j6kdI
    You can request that this not be done to a residence.

  • me and my wife are trying to relocate to humbolt or any surrounding area, i am 26 and she is 23, we are very hard workers and very respectable, if any one can help us with some work or housing let me know. my name is justin 765-225-7617

  • I him looking to come down to Humbolt and see if I gin find a job. It will be my first faraway trip. I would like to go to ensure damn but can not afford it so I guess California Humbolt is my best option. I him self efficient with my tenant and I was thinking just to bring my electric bike so I will be traveling cheaply. I him also looking for somewhere to camp why I look for a trimming job my e-mail is insanityinventions@yahoo.com
    check out the site http://www.insanityinventions.com/ I him a renewable energy designer using solar panels and other devices I him sort of a mad scientist.

  • Hi Kym,
    I have been so inspired by your blog, and SoHumBorn’s stories, that I have started my own blog. I’m writing about my happy memories of being the child of hippies lucky enough to be raised in the mountains. Thought I’d remind everyone that it isn’t all fear and money . . . Anyway, if you have a minute, please check it out. It’s harmonyinthehills.wordpress.com
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts, you come across as wiser than your years. 🙂

  • I kept having deva vue all over again as I read the comments. I don’ t know about everyone’s computer, but mine showed me each comment twice.


  • Kym, I just wanted to say that I for one am delighted that you chose to leave the Lost Coast Outpost and return here to your own blog. As my Mom taught me if you don’t have anything good to say about someone don’t say anything at all so Ill leave it at that for my feelings about the LCO. Keep up the good work here!

  • Hi kym how are u this is your class mate mark olsen luv your paper I read it everyday you report things that outpost doesn’t I hope all is well with you and yours

  • Thank you Kym for all your awesome work!!! I have a friend who lives up at 4-corners right above the Lassics fire, so far she is still OK!! Between the wonderful work of all the firecrews, and the winds have been blowing the other way!!! I look forward to your updates twice a day, thank you so much!! You are awesome!!!

  • Thank you Kym!

    • I retired from Navy Civil Service (30 years) after spending six comfortable years in the USAF avionics/autopilot field. Spent my twenties in Garberville area. Don’t like wasting time on politics nor pot, but love any Redwood park. So, I thank a Navy guy for posting a great picture of the greatest Naval Service on planet Earth.

  • Your site is going great guns, keep up the good work! And thank you for everything you’ve done for me and my writing career. I appreciate you.

  • Glad the guy from Canada deiced to stick it out here lol..appreciate all that the RedHeaded Black Belt Team does 😛

  • Hi Kym ! How are you ?

    First of all, I want to thank you for all your work !

    It´s been a real pleasured to discover your blog as I´m looking for local news. I can see you put a lovely effort in all of it.

    I´ve just wrote you an email with my account: octoman17@gmail.com
    I hope you can read it ! (just in case it landed in your spam folder…)

    Best regards !

    Octavio Rodríguez
    Independent Filmmaker

  • Report on Humboldt County being exposed by EcoWatch as environmentally hypocritical for protecting the redwoods against logging but not against marijuana cultivation.

    • Minsheng, I missed this earlier. I’ll go check it out now.

      • Kym Kemp as Citizen of the Year!

        congratulations kym. i see your ears burn often as you have the whole neighborhood talking about you!

        this is a well earned & truly deserved recognition.

        i wish i knew you well enough to write an article about this award what it means, what it says about you and how you were able to take this top honor this year.

        i feel like a proud mom, but also like an envious sister…lol…

        good going kym, and thank you for it all!

  • you look like miss. jesscia V an EMT i met

  • Hi Kym, we are new to the area. Retiring from the Santa Cruz Mountains to Shelter Cove. We love it here. Googled the 101 closure and your site came up near the top. Well done (and sustained I see for over 8 years!) Please let me know if you are interested in including local news from the Cove. Cheers, Cynthia

  • Kym do you have any updates on the burn victims from the Rio Dell drug lab explosion? Haven’t seen any names or updates on their conditions. Hope they are going to be ok. Thanks for all the great coverage you do on all communities in the area.

  • Kym, in case you haven’t seen it yet, here’s a story of interest from yesterday’s SR Press Democrat.

    ‘Marijuana’s ‘trimmigrant’ labor force poses conflicts for some North Coast towns ‘


    There’s an article linked in a ‘related stories’ sidebar on Giggles Fitzgerald turning himself in, with booking photos.

  • Thanks for your accurate and heart felt coverage about the loss of Liz Palmer and her babes. Tough duty for all concerned. Carry on Captain

  • p.s your beautiful, and im not gay,.. well actually i am cause im born on a sunday which makes me blyth (hahaha) and gay (hahahaha) oh and bonny, but in the eye of jesus and the rest who love me i am, fact!!!
    onlky mediocre pretty though…

  • Wow. I just noticed the date on that 1st comment, Kym.

    So for over 10 years! now, you have been THE source of news for Humboldt and surrounding counties!

    That is quite an accomplishment. You have done this on your time, your dime, put up with lunatics, and kept honesty and integrity in your articles.

    Just wanted to point that out to people!

    Keep Rockin Kym. Thank you for all you do.

    • It will be 10 years this October. I love it. Also, since about 2012 I’ve gotten some pay. I think I get about $10 per hour according to my latest calculations. I have put up with some crazies but I also get very nice compliments like this one. Thank you.

      • Congrats! And cool too see you pushing through your ailment, you are still scooping the guys making more than $10 an hour!

  • Cheri Porter-Kesiner

    Kym, our local ISP-ASIS was hacked. Cannot even bring up their web page. Those of us who have email accounts with them are affected. Sally Then said ASIS would be back on line last night, but still no go. Their server is down. Not sure if their being hacked means all of us who were their customers have had our data compromised. When they were hacked before Sally told me it was a former disgruntled employee who was now in Europe. Now she is is still trying evaluate this crisis. Nothing in the media for those of us thinking our equipment is the problem.

  • My guess is that you do not run your blog honestly. I am saddened to see that you choose to moderate your site to the extent of actually leaving lies in the replies. You know I left several comments that you did not post. Do better, be better, and you’ll feel better and be a better person. My friend SideCar Jonny is rolling in his grave knowing the lack of respect you show to your (NOT REALLY YOURS) public viewers. You can edit all you want. But you KNOW that you lie.

    • Why you didn’t continue your conversation where it started, I don’t know but linked below are all the comments you’ve made recently using the IP address you used here.

      The top comment is the most recent. The last the oldest that I am going to refer to.

      The Top one in the image below is this one on RHBB’s ABOUT page.

      The second and similar one is in the trash though you originally posted it on the 70-Year-Old Eureka Man post.

      The third is the one in which you first allege I deleted comments.

      The fourth was posted April 12.

      There are no other recent comments on my website using that IP address. I don’t want to bring up earlier comments because you use another alias that is recognizable to others.

      If I wanted to delete your comments, why wouldn’t I delete this one?

  • shawn the fisherman

    I like how balanced you are Kym, The voice of reason sometimes. I have a hard time controlling my filter sometimes I am also from Alaska and do not always know whats appropriate to say, Just speak my mind. I will try not to offend. Sorry in advance.

    • Shawn, I like how you don’t hold my responses against me. Having a good dialogue between folks of different opinions is one of the most important parts of this website for me.

  • Kym, do you have a paypal button here or can you receive them at mskymkemp@gmail.com ?

  • All I have to say is I’ve been following Kym for some time now and her and her crew are awesome, she’s right on it, tells it like it is with no bullshit, RHBB is my favorite blog its one of the first places I check on first thing in the morning, I was born and raised in Trinity county, lived in Fortuna for about 10yrs its my 2nd home and Kyms blog keeps me up-dated and in touch with good old Humboldt county..I just want to say Thank You to you Kym and your crew for all your input and dedication, keep up the good work your all awesome and we love it..

  • Dear Kym and staff,
    As another year shoves its way towards us, I would like us to stop and tell those that we love and appreciate how we feel. Thank you for all you do for all of us. I know it’s a tuff job and I couldn’t do it.
    I appreciate you and your family for allowing you to do what you do. So many times in life things happen, people move on, leave earth, change jobs and they are no longer in our lives, and I didn’t get the chance to tell them how much I cared for them and all they do. I learned that you have to make those opportunities happen. So I’m thanking you and your staff for all the hard work you have put into 2017! I look forward to 2018 and what that will look like in stories.
    I pray for Peace, health and Love for you and your family and friends! May this new year be the best year!
    We love ya! We claim you as one of us that loves and sticks up for this crazy, beautiful beloved Community of southern Humboldt. We are like no other little place on the map, and that is why our families settled her. Thanks for making is a better place.
    I look forward to 2018!
    Know that we love ya and appricate you more than you’ll ever know!

  • I am a business to business journalist who scours North America to see what people are saying about the energy industry. I like your approach to community journalism.

  • unbridled philistine

    I was in Mexico awhile back and they were selling Donkey meat as well as horse for people to eat! I did not realize my comment was in such poor taste you had to remove it? Sorry Kym.

  • Bluehaired Hillbetty

    Hey Kym,
    After reading one of your articles today I was asked to do a survey. Is this ligit?

  • John North Willys

    remember when we would race souped up WILLYS on clam beach circa 1969 ? those were days my friend , I thought they would never end ? well they did and today you cant race WILLYS on clam beach and if you do , some acne-face renta-ranger will make you feel HIS POLICE TRUNCHEON !!!

  • Just a great big thank for all the work you do. I’m (trying to be) retired these days after many years of volunteer work with Beginnings board and the Fire Department and other stuff (homesteading and raising a family and like that), and enough computer work and weekly and monthly column work to understand that your hobby and passion has become your life (and probably sometimes your ball and chain).

    Always the first place I go if it is local and important to get as close to the unbiased truth as is possible at the time. One of the things I admire the most about you is how quick you are to admit you got it wrong first time around – always a possibility on fast-breaking stuff – and how quick you are to get it as right as it can be got – which is way harder than it looks to them that ain’t never tried it.

    My hat is way off to you.


    PS A big hi to Stormy – have not seen the word ‘Siletz’ for a long time- my dad graduated from Siletz High in 1929 – spent a summer working on my grandparents dairy farm on the Siletz river in 1950 – learned I never wanted to be a farmer…

  • anonforrest@gmail.com

    The MENDOCINO COMPLEX FIRE PHOTOS are awesome, scary, and much appreciated. Thanks. (That’s the understatement of the year.) af

  • Hi, Is your site for online news only? Do you publish in a hard copy newspaper too? I am creating a libguide at the College of the Redwood on local resources and was looking for an good description in several sentences of what you do.


    Terri Bonow

    • Online only.

      We’re news about Humboldt, Mendocino, Trinity and Del Norte Counties. We cover everything from crime to good news. And, of course, since this is the Emerald Triangle, we carry the latest information important to cannabis farmers.

  • Kym did I get banned?

  • Oh good,

Leave a Reply to Peter Tittmann Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *