Monthly Archives: February 2013

Central Ave. median, McK Visitor’s Guide and a new website

From now on news and stuff will be posted on the new and improved McKinleyville Press website. Click here and make sure you bookmark this.

There’s a short report about last night’s McKMAC meeting and the proposed median on Central Avenue. Click here.

The website also includes a McKinleyville Visitor’s Guide. There are a lot of great sites out there for Humboldt County tourism, but I doubt you’ll find anything this good relating to McKinleyville.

Some tourism guides will tell you that the McKinleyville Totem Pole is the “World’s Tallest Totem Pole.” That’s baloney. It’s the “World’s Largest Totem Pole.” They need to get with the program. Also, unlike other websites, the McK Press actually tells you the accurate height of this grand work of art. We’re within a quarter inch of accuracy!

If you own a business, you should advertise. We have ads to fit ANY budget.

Oh, and you really should subscribe. Seriously. Click here and get ‘er done.

Also, why don’t you “like” us on Facebook?


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New McKinleyville Press website packed full of news!

The new and improved McKinleyville Press website is now up and running and packed full of news!

The new site replaces this blog. So click here and bookmark it. That’s where articles and commentary will be posted from now on.

For a limited time, we’re going to put most of the newspaper’s content up on the site and let you read it for free. In the near future, we’ll offer online subscriptions.  You’ll be able to read the entire newspaper online using your computer, tablet or mobile device. We’ll offer access to the site as a free bonus to subscribers of the dead tree version of the newspaper.

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SHERIFF’S LOG: Thief gets tackled after exiting store

From the 2.20.13 issue


Sunday, Feb. 10

2:29 p.m. – David Liebe walked into McKinleyville Ace Hardware, allegedly helped himself to some merchandise then walked out without paying. An Ace employee chased sheriffslogboxMr. Liebe and tackled him in a nearby field. Deputies were called to the scene and arrested Mr. Liebe on suspicion of burglary and violation of his probation.

4:19 p.m. – John Kofi got into an argument with his wife on Fritz Road. The argument escalated and Mr. Kofy allegedly slapped his wife. He was arrested on suspicion of spousal battery and booked into the county jail.

Monday, Feb. 11

10:24 a.m. – A residential burglary which had occurred three weeks before was reported by a resident on Sawdust Trail Road.

4:49 p.m. – Tires were slashed on Sutter Road.

Tuesday, Feb. 12

7:19 a.m. – A resident on the 700 block of Eucalyptus Road, located west of U.S. Highway 101 near Knox Cove, awoke to discover that his or her car was burglarized during the night. A window was smashed. Later, some of the stolen items were discovered scattered on the Hammond Trail.

2:36 p.m. – A vehicle was burglarized in the 1700 block of Fischer Road.

Wednesday, Feb. 13

4:01 p.m. – Deputies investigated a dog bite case on Scenic Drive in the Trinidad area.

8:18 p.m. – James Manes got drunk. Then he became agitated and started yelling at cars in the 1600 block of Central Avenue. Deputies arrested him on suspicion of being drunk in public and for a probation violation. He was booked into the county jail.


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OPINION: Does a mistake merit a trashed reputation?

My Side of the Street column by Elizabeth Alves from 2.20.13 edition

Several years ago, the Book of the Year at Humboldt State University and College of the Redwoods was “Three Cups of Tea” by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin. MYSIDEOFSTREETMortenson made appearances at both schools and delivered a talk to the public in Eureka, which was extremely popular. Many Humboldt residents greatly admired his work to build schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

In the interests of full disclosure, I should tell you I hate being lied to. So if anyone was going to be turned off by allegations that Mortenson had lied and cheated his way to fame, it would be me. In April of 2011, writer Jon Krakauer appeared on “60 Minutes” to accuse Mortenson of lying in “Three Cups of ????????????????????Tea” and his second book, “Stones into Schools,” to sell more books, and of financial transgressions in connection with his charity, the Central Asia Institute.

His ebook, “Three Cups of Deceit,” was published online the next day. In it, he claimed to have traveled to Central Asia to fact check the books, and alleged to have “proved” some details were false. In particular, he stated, the incident in which Mortenson described being held briefly by a group of Taliban fighters couldn’t have happened, because Krakauer was told that the Taliban was not active in that place at that time.

11151351If he was as smart as he thinks he is, or as experienced as he claims to be, Krakauer would know that an American blowing into rural areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan to fact check anything is simply silly. Locals are not going to tell him what the Taliban may or may not have been up to; they’d have to be crazy to even admit they’ve heard of the group. It’s important to know that Krakauer built himself into a international brand by never having a good word to say about anyone.

It’s puzzling that he feels such a need to discredit this particular story. Mortenson was held for a short time by men he believed were with the Taliban, but who released him unharmed. If they had turned on him, would it have been any less serious if they were wannabes and weren’t sanctioned by the “real” Taliban?

The rural areas of Central Asia are controlled – to the extent they are controlled at all – by local tribal leaders. Some welcome the Taliban, others resist its influence, still others try to walk a careful line of Swiss-like neutrality. The whole situation is constantly shifting, and even Mortenson, who lives in it for months at a time, doesn’t claim to understand it.

With regard to the CAI, Krakauer alleged that the money collected wasn’t all spent on building schools, and that some of the schools mentioned in the second book weren’t ever built or weren’t being used as schools when he was there. Others, who spent more time in the area, refute the charges about the existence and use of the buildings.

Running a charity in the Third World is not the same as it is here. The government officials and materials supply middlemen don’t think of the additional money they extract as bribes or corruption; it’s how they feed their families. And they doesn’t issue receipts.

Not that Mortenson would have kept receipts. Anyone who has read either book, or heard him speak, knows he is massively disorganized. He openly admits he is chronically late and regularly misses flights.

So it’s no surprise that the bookkeeping and financial controls at CAI were a mess. The bad publicity created by Krakauer’s hit piece prompted an investigation in Montana, where the charity is based, which found the organization needed to be put on a businesslike footing. The group agreed to broaden the board, bring in experienced officers and reallocate some funds among accounts.

Despite Karkauer’s claims, there was no finding that Mortenson had personally profited from the CAI. Scott Darsney, who knows both men, wrote “(I)f Greg is misappropriating funds, then show me the luxury cars, fancy boats, and closets full of shoes. This is not a ‘ministry’ or a business gone corrupt.” Darsney also stated Krakauer had misrepresented some of his comments in an interview.

Darsney concluded that while there might have been some minor mistakes made, that claims of outright fraud and deception were completely off the mark. It felt to me as if, having found a few minor flaws, Krakauer felt compelled to try to convict Mortenson of much, much worse. I wasn’t alone in that.

Writing for The Daily Beast, Nick Summers noted that Krakauer was used to taking on big targets, such as the Mormon Church and the US Army. “Used to elephant hunting, Krakauer brings the same gun to the smaller task, obliterating Mortenson in the process.” Indeed, it seems as if this is really more about Krakauer than it is Mortenson.

Next time: Truth, lies, deception and bananas.

(Elizabeth Alves remains unconvinced that Mortenson deserved to attract Krakauer’s attention. Comments and suggestions are welcome, care of the Press or to 

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Banker to discuss what might happen to local economy if price of pot plummets

From the 2.20.13 edition


By Paul Mann 

Humboldt State


Redwood Capital Bank Vice President and Regional Area Manager Jennifer Budwig will discuss how Humboldt County’s economy would be affected by low-cost, legalized marijuana in a talk on Tuesday, Feb. 26, at 5:30 p.m. in the Native American Forum adjoining Humboldt State University’s Behavioral and Social Sciences Building.

Budwig, an HSU alum (’89, Business Administration) and active in the local banking industry for more than 20 years, will examine the potential economic impact if marijuana were legalized, generating a major increase in supply and greatly reduced prices. The probability of legalization appears to be rising, she notes, and if it led to mass production, profits to local producers might plummet.

Budwig’s research confirms that marijuana has increasingly filled the economic gap in Humboldt County left by the steep decline in the timber and fishing industries. The scope and scale of the county’s underground economy are powerful enough to affect “all local businesses and individuals,” she says. Once again the county finds itself overly dependent on a single resource, continuing an historical pattern that has stunted the county’s economic diversification and imperiled its environment for decades.

In her research, Budwig estimates the annual gross dollar impact of county-grown marijuana, how much of the money is spent in the county and how much it contributes to the county’s economy relative to the amount exported from it. She will also analyze other variables believed likely to influence the short- and long-term impacts on Humboldt County if legalization transpires.

A member of the Redwood Regional Economic Development Committee, the McLean Foundation Board and the Fortuna Sunrise Rotary Club, Budwig graduated with honors in 2011 from the Pacific Coast Banking School. She joined Redwood Capital Bank in mid-2006, following more than a decade with Umpqua Bank and four years at US Bank.

Budwig’s Feb. 26 presentation at Humboldt State is the fifth in a series sponsored by the university’s Humboldt Institute for Interdisciplinary Marijuana Research.


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Open seats on MCSD and local school boards this November

The McKinleyville Community Services District Board of Directors, along with two local school boards, will have seats up for grabs this November. it’s only February. Why worry about this now? Because if you want to run, now is the time to start doing your homework. You should read everything you can about the districts. You should attend the monthly board meetings. If you do so, you’ll have a grasp of the issues when you run for office.

Here are the openings:

McKinleyville Community Services District Board of Directors – Three seats now held by Dennis Mayo, Dr. Bill Wennerholm and David Couch are open. Each is a four-year term.

McKinleyville Union School District Board of Trustees – Three seats held by Tim Hooven, Donald Rosebrook and Justin Zabel are open. All are four-year terms.

Northern Humboldt Union School District Board of Trustees – Three seats held by Dana Silvernale, Mike Pigg and Colleen Toste are open. All are four year terms.

To be eligible to run for office you need to be a registered voter residing within the district boundaries. That’s it. You don’t need to gather signatures or pass a test.

But you do need to sign up. You’ll need to find your way to the county Elections Office. You’ll have from July 15 to Aug. 9 to file your papers. If an incumbent in a race doesn’t file to run, then the deadline will be extended to Aug. 14 for that particular race. Election Day is Nov. 5.

MCSD email addresses

Sometimes they get inquiries from mysterious Russian women who want to date them, or Nigerian businessmen who want to share their wealth, but board members of the McKinleyville Community Services District rarely get emails from local residents.

The problem is simple – although former MCSD Manager Norman Shopay set each director up with an email address, hardly anybody knew about THEM. So most of their email boxes don’t receive anything but spam.

You can help change that. Send the directors an email. Tell them what you think about what’s happening in town. While you’re at it, why don’t you tell us what you think? Here are the email addresses:

McKinleyville Press:

MCSD President Dennis Mayo:

MCSD VP David Couch:

MCSD Director John Corbett:

MCSD Director Helen Edwards:

MCSD Director Bill Wennerholm:



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Special MCSD meeting Tuesday

The McKinleyville Community Services District (MCSD) will hold a Special Meeting of the Board of Directors on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 6:00 pm in the MCSD Conference Room (1656 Sutter Road, McKinleyville).

 The agenda will be posted on Monday, February 25, 2013 no later than 5:00 pm.


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