Archives November 2007
Eureka resident Andrew Butts made a daring rescue attempt during an apartment fire Wednesday night on Avalon Drive around 5:30 p.m.
Firemen on the scene extinguished the blaze in about 10 minutes, then discovered an indoor marijuana growing operation inside the apartment where the fire occurred.
Humboldt Fire District No. 1 Chief Glenn Ziemer told the Times-Standard that the indoor marijuana growing operation they discovered "doesn't appear to [be] the origin of the fire."
Unfortunately the dog was not rescued, and it is currently not known if the animal escaped the blaze.
Butts was later treated at a hospital for first and second degree burns he received while he was inside the burning structure looking for his dog. It is not known if Butts was the owner of the pot garden or if he was just a neighbor trying to save a pot grower's dog.
Tuesday night also saw some house fire action in Cutten where a duplex burned due to an apparent furnace malfunction.
Agents and police officers following up the heroin arrest of Benjamin Foster in Arcata last weekend found more than 100 pounds of marijuana and 400 live pot plants while serving search warrants.
The Humboldt County Drug Task Force said the first warrant was served at a home on the 2100 block of Frederick Avenue in Arcata and an indoor grow with 214 mature plants and 205 immature plants were found on Monday.
Firefighters were called to the scene due to hazardous wiring conditions at the grow and while they were there a ballast began to smoke and catch fire. It was immediately extinguished.
The task force said agents also found a scale, 100 grams of processed pot, paperwork, hash-making utensils and 6 pounds of "shake" marijuana.
During a search of the suspect's self-storage unit, agents located and seized approximately 111.2 pounds of marijuana bud packaged in half-pound and 1-pound bags.
A John Deere Quad-runner was also located and seized from the storage unit, an indication that the large amount of finished pot may have been the result of a large-scale outdoor marijuana growing operation Foster was in charge of.
Foster, who was released on bail on Saturday after his heroin bust, was not located during the search warrant operations, but you can bet there is an arrest warrant out for him now, and that he will not be cashing in on those 100 pounds this season.
Overall vandalism expenses down since 2006.
ARCATA â€“ A $7,000 share of last monthâ€™s $8,540 vandalism bill resulted from one incident â€“ the theft of an emergency generator cable from the Community Center.
The 100-foot cable was a special, four-conductor bundle of copper wire two inches in diameter, with the capability of handling enough amperage to power the Community Center. Its plug alone cost $1,200.
The cable was stolen and sold to a non-Arcata recycling business for its copper value. The thief got less than $200 for it. Arcata Police located the recycler, identified the alleged thief and, almost miraculously, recovered the cable on its way to Oakland for processing. Though stripped, there was enough of the cable left for the Parks Division to re-order parts for it.
Marijuana growing and the burgeoning backlash against the marijuana industry that is taking over Mendocino County are going to be under discussion again both at the county and city levels in the coming couple of weeks.
On Dec. 5 the Ukiah City Council plans to make growing pot outdoors a criminal offense. Already the council has by ordinance required that all pot be grown indoors or inside locked garden sheds and limited growing to 12 plants per parcel.
The problem is that since this ordinance isn't much more than a zoning code, it's being widely ignored by the pot growers and city zoning enforcers don't want to deal with the vicious dogs and handy weapons the growers harbor at their city addresses and who can blame them? So making it a criminal offense gives the Ukiah Police something to hang onto legally in order to go in and take illegal outdoor plants.
There are two ballot measures moving forward to reverse Measure G in Mendocino County - that's the measure passed by voters several years ago to protect mom and pop growers in the county from being prosecuted by local sheriff's and police by allowing anyone to grow up to 25 pot plants in their back yard.
However, it is also the measure by which the marijuana industry has gained hold here and from which supervisors David Colfax, Kendall Smith and John Pinches are hanging their argument that 25 plants per patient is the right amount for medical marijuana and 25 pounds of dried pot would be OK to transport - that part at least they withdrew when they realized how ludicrous it was.
Security National LLC, owned by Robin Arkley, Humboldt's very own big-cheese uber-republican, has big plans for an industrial development in Plympton, Mass.
The preliminary plan calls for 800,000 square feet of warehouse and distribution space, 200,000 square feet for general business use, a 200-seat restaurant, and a 120-room hotel.
Arkley's Security National Commercial LLC only completed the purchase of the last 3 acres on the fringe of the industrial park last week which was owned by the state of Massachusetts.
"We've had a lot of discussion for a great variety of possibilities," said Richard Gauley, a longtime town official who is now a real estate consultant.
"Now people are going to see a lot of grading and tree clearing," Gauley said.
In 1995, Security National bought 130 acres on Spring Street for $650,000. The property features 3,500 feet of frontage along Route 44 for businesses looking for visibility. And its location makes it attractive to warehouse and distribution operations, since 44 connects Interstate 495 and Route 24 to Route 3.
Potomac Realty Capital, LLC, a full service commercial capital provider out of Needham, Mass., originated and closed a $5.1 million bridge loan for the acquisition and renovation of a recently converted Days Inn hotel, located in Arcata, California near the Guintoli exit off Highway 101.
The borrowing developer for this renovation selected the Arcata Days Inn Hotel for its full amenity package and desirable location in a strong hospitality market. The Hotel will benefit from Days Innâ€™s strong name recognition as well as their reservation system and rewards program designed by parent company, Wyndham Worldwide.
The developer remains unnamed, it has been described as a seasoned West Coast hospitality operator, specializing in re-positioning assets in this sector. And Arcata slowly grows, despite strong opposition from many residents.
Kenneth Deardeuff, 53 of Redway, who was on probation with a search clause, was stopped Monday night while a pick-up truck for an equipment violation. Humboldt County Sheriffâ€™s Deputy Dennis Gagnon detained Deardeuff and searched his vehicle. Inside Deardeuffâ€™s truck Deputy Gagnon found just over twenty-four grams of heroin. Deputy Gagnon searched Deardeuff and found 2.1 grams of methamphetamine in his sock.
Meanwhile, in Fairhaven, Humboldt County Sheriffâ€™s Deputy Joshua McCall was on patrol when he saw a vehicle fail to yield at a stop sign at the intersection of Bendixon Street and Lincoln Avenue. The driver of the vehicle, later identified at Richard Burns, 51 of Eureka, turned west on a Simpson private road and then north onto New Navy Base Road.
Deputy McCall initiated a traffic enforcement stop on New Navy Base Road but Burns failed to pull over even after Deputy McCall sounded his siren. Additional deputies responded to assist. As the vehicles neared Highway 255, Deputy Michael Coonfield maneuvered his patrol car in front of Burnsâ€™ vehicle, ending the chase.
Burns was detained and Deputy McCall learned that Burns was on probation with a search clause. Inside Burnsâ€™ vehicle deputies found an SKS semi-automatic rifle, a shotgun, and seventy grams of marijuana.
Both suspects were booked into the Humboldt County Jail.
The feds and the local newspaper are saying that prices for marijuana will fall this year due to a supposed doubling of statewide pot production in California.
We have different news. Sources from behind the scenes of the marijuana-growing counterculture indicate that prices are on the rise this year due to an early rain late in the harvest season which invited botrytis (aka "bud rot") into thousands of outdoor and greenhouse marijuana farms just days before the final harvest.
Mendocino County, widely known as the Pot Capital of the World because 90% of its residents either grow marijuana or work for someone who grows marijuana, was headed for a bumper crop county-wide after an excellent growing season. When the rains came early, it raised the humidity and deposited moisture into millions of late-season colas, making conditions perfect for the botrytis to grow.
Clark C. Cliffton, a 25-year veteran outdoor marijuana grower living a few miles outside of Willits, explained that while most growers had planted many more plants this year than ever before, that gain was more than offset by the bud rot before the final harvest. Cliffton was expecting a 300 pound harvest this year, but thanks to the botrytis only harvested 180 pounds or less. He sent a team of 20 trimmers home 3 weeks early.
The feds think prices will fall because they confiscated more plants this year than ever before, which they think means that more plants were grown this year than ever before. That is probably true, about there being more plants, but they haven't accounted for the affects of that late rain, and the amount of rotted bud that was tossed out as a result, not to mention the ever-increasing demand for California-grown marijuana.
The market will likely be flooded with outdoor bud for a short while as is normal during the fall season, but will quickly give way to increased demand for indoor marijuana shortly after the end of the year. Expect bulk prices of $3600 or more per pound of chronic in the state of California throughout 2008. That might even mean $60 and $70 eighths on the streets of some U.S. cities outside of California during the summer months of 2008, when demand is highest and supply is low.
In Eureka fire and rescue crews responded to a single car accident near Myrtletown in which there were no serious injuries.
Meanwhile, in Arcata, decomposing hay caught fire on the Collenburg Dairy Farm in the Arcata bottoms and burned into the evening as fire crews worked to extinguish the smoldering remains. No injuries were reported, but the farm suffered much damage and some property losses.
A Humboldt County sheriffâ€™s deputy on patrol early Monday in Garberville arrested a man allegedly carrying more than 39 grams of cocaine and almost 6 pounds of marijuana.
Majadi Scruggs, 35, of Sacramento, who was spotted by the deputy while walking along Redwood Drive, reportedly made a run for it upon noticing the deputy. For some reason, criminals around here just like to run when they see cops,a nd that almost always leads to an arrest. Scruggs's attempt ended in the usual way.
The Deputy determined Scruggs had a felony warrant out of Lake County. Additionally, Scruggs was on formal probation with a search clause. Scruggs was arrested and searched. On the ground where Scruggs had been arrested, Deputies found a clear plastic bag containing more than thirty-nine grams of cocaine. They also found a tote-tub containing three pounds of marijuana.
After finding a motel room key on Scruggs, Deputies searched his room. Inside his motel room they found almost three more pounds of marijuana, and two scales.
He's been around for years. Maybe you caught a show at the harvest fest five years ago, the Urban Street Bike Tour at the Samoa Dragstrip two years ago, or somewhere in between.
But have you seen this video? One of Humboldt County's premiere ganja-smoking hip-hop artists, Garth Vader prefers to be photographed smoking weed, holding fresh nugs, or kneeling in an indoor marijuana grow room. A Garth Vader music video popped up on YouTube recently, perhaps signaling the artist's intent to break back into the local music scene.
The Humboldt Film Fest is the oldest student-run film festival in the world, showcasing innovative cinema since 1967, the Summer of Love. The fest celebrates films that express fresh ideas and test cinematic boundaries. Films that show heart and purpose hold a greater value to this festival than attributes related to production value. The Humboldt Film Fest exists so that excellent independent films are seen and filmmakers are supported in their art, so as to perpetuate the creation of more exceptional films.
The Early Entry Deadline for festival submissions is November 18, 2007.
SACRAMENTO -- Law enforcement officials said today that the annual campaign to remove illegal marijuana from rural areas, mainly on public land, wiped out a crop with an eye-popping estimated street value of $11.6 billion.
That's more than twice the value of California's top agricultural commodity, milk and cream $5.2 billion, and three times the top crop, grapes $3.2 billion, according to a state Department of Food and Agriculture report for 2005.
The $11.6 billion estimate created some semi-serious buzz about a potential revenue source at the Capitol, where the forecast of a growing state budget shortfall reportedly has reached roughly $10 billion.
In 472 raids the most marijuana plants, 482,775, were seized in Lake County north of the San Francisco Bay. Next were Humboldt County 271,056 plants, Shasta 270,728, Mendocino 220,436 and Tulare 160,591.
Students living at the Humboldt State University dorms are perpetually confused about the recycling program. As a result, much recyclable material is simply thrown in the trash bins.
The situation may change by the end of the school year when the university implements an altered collection program.
Footage taken by "Ryan Dexter" shows two men jumping from the SR-255 Samoa Bridge and plummeting into the Humboldt Bay.
While the two men, identified only by their first names, Ryan and Ken, appear to survive the fall, it should be noted that jumping from a bridge is illegal and also considered a suicide attempt.
GARBERVILLE, Calif. -- A pilot and two executives from a Northern California construction company are dead after their plane crashed in Humboldt County.
The head of Redding-based Ladd Construction says the company's senior vice president - Mark Christopher - and a partner in the company - Tom Capener - were killed when the twin-engine Cessna 340 crashed near the community of Garberville Tuesday morning.
"The plane was trying to land at a small airport in the fog and it ended up hitting some trees," said Humboldt County Deputy Coroner Charles Comer.
The twin-engine plane was reported down and on fire about 9 a.m. Tuesday, Comer said. He said the private plane is thought to be connected to a Redding construction company that was doing road work near Garberville.
At a live performance in Eureka, California nearly two weeks ago, Snoop Dogg was filmed on stage exclaiming "Humboldt County got the best weed in the muthaf***in' world!"
The world-famous pot-smoking rapper made this statement multiple times while on stage and holding up a branch of freshly grown Humboldt County marijuana.
This, of course, adds fuel to the rumors that Snoop only visited Humboldt County to score some of that world-class marijuana. That rumor was also help up by reports of a concert promoter's large-scale marijuana bust near Benbow in southern Humboldt County the night before Snoop's performance, in which 10 pounds of bud, 549 plants, and $12,000 were confiscated.
Arcata, California - Volunteer organization Green Wheels undertook a large brush-clearing project on the sidewalks of Arcata last weekend, hauling the waste away in trailers attached to their bicycles.
Green Wheels noticed that some of Arcata's sidewalks were overgrown with vegetation, making it more difficult and less pleasant to walk in some areas, so we decided to do something about it. On Saturday, 3 November 2007, Green Wheels volunteers took to the streets to clear overgrown sidewalks and remind property owners and residents to help keep sidewalks clear.
Volunteers were Chris Rall, Chad Johnson, Sara Dykman, Aaron Antrim and Adam Jamin.
Would-be robbers were armed with assault rifle, shotgun, duct tape, and ski masks
Yesterday at about noon Humboldt County Sheriffâ€™s Deputies were on patrol on Briceland Road near Redway. They saw a vehicle stopped at the side of the road with two people standing near the vehicleâ€™s opened trunk. The deputies made contact with the two individuals and inquired if they needed assistance. The two were male, one a teenage juvenile and the other was an adult, Rafael Miguel Melendez. They stated they were fine but were waiting for two friends to return from a stop in the woods. Both individuals appeared nervous and deputies detected the odor of marijuana coming from their vehicle. While deputies were talking to the pair, two more men, Christopher Barkley and Jack Dye approached from the trees. One of the men, Barkley, started to walk away with his hands in his pockets. The deputies told him to take his hands out of his pockets and walk back to them; he complied. The deputies noticed that Barkleyâ€™s sweatshirt was unusually bulky and conducted a pat-search for officer safety reasons.
As Deputies started to search Barkley he told them he had a loaded handgun in his pocket. A warrants check of Barkley revealed he was a wanted parolee. Deputies arrested Barkley.
The remaining three individuals were detained and the vehicle was searched incident to Barkleyâ€™s arrest. In the trunk of the car deputies found an assault rifle, a shotgun, duct tape, ammunition, and ski masks.
A State Park Ranger arrived to assist and searched the trail area from where Barkley and Dye had returned. The Park Ranger found two large plastic bags containing marijuana. Further investigation revealed that the four individuals had arrived in Humboldt County with the intention of stealing marijuana from a home.
The three adults were transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility:
Rafael Miguel Martinez, 21 of Thousand Palms, was booked for conspiracy, burglary, unlawful possession of an assault rifle, attempted robbery, and possession of a shotgun in a State Park. His bail has been set at $50,000.
Jack Daniel Dye, 23 of Cathedral City, was booked for conspiracy, burglary, unlawful possession of an assault rifle, attempted robbery, and possession of a shotgun in a State Park. His bail has been set at $50,000.
Christopher Elmer Barkley, 21 of Thousand Palms, was booked for conspiracy, conspiracy to commit a gang related felony, being a felon in possession of a firearm, burglary, unlawful possession of an assault rifle, attempted robbery, possession of a shotgun in a State Park, and a parole violation. He is not eligible to post bail due to his parole status.
Several developments have changed the focus of the Arcata Bike Library facility, according to a news release from Arcata Library Bikes.
A marijuana-growing operation moving into the old library bike shop has forced the bike operation to move.
Library Bikes has been invited to participate in a request-for-proposal process in Portland, Ore., to provide a fleet of rental bicycles.
Arcata Library Bikes is recommending all bike users continue to use their library bikes until a new shop is found.
KMUD, a radio station out of Garberville, Calif., reported Friday that the principal of South Fork High School in Miranda, Calif., declared a lock-down when an adult acting strangely entered the campus, refused to identify himself, and ran into the woods when questioned.
The students and teachers were asked to stay in their classrooms with the doors and windows shut until the principal determined the safety of the campus. The lock-down lasted approximately 45 minutes.
Footage taken by Humboldt State University journalist John C. Osborn in San Diego after fires burned through many parts of San Diego County.