Facts and differing views on Arcata stabbing; Humboldt’s last week of news

In the latest episode of Humboldt Last Week: HSU student David Josiah Lawson tragically lost his life after he was stabbed to death at an off-campus house party. 23 year old Kyle Zoellner was arrested for the crime and plead not guilty to murder with bail set at $1 million. The story begins at 8:00.

“There was definitely an argument that occurred involving several people, Zoellner included,” said Arcata Police Chief Tom Chapman. “...The knife that was recovered at the scene is being processed for evidence. It was submitted to the (forensic lab)… If there are fingerprints, it’s something that would be brought up in the court process.”

The Times Standard reported the suspect admitted to fighting with the victim.

Zoellner has a preliminary hearing tentatively set for May 1 at the Humboldt County Courthouse.

Unproven speculation

A friend of the victim told North Coast News he believes the crime was racially motivated -- the victim was black and the suspect is white. He also said a friend of the victim disarmed the suspect.

A friend of the suspect told his family he was knocked out at the time of the stabbing and there’s no way he could have committed to crime. They say the suspect is not racist and they hope the real murderer is found.

People can’t seem to agree on how the fighting started, when and why mace was used, the words that were exchanged, whether the suspect had a knife, and whether or not the suspect was conscious at the time of the stabbing.

The friend of the victim also accused police and medical responders of not helping as much due to racism. The top public comment on that Mad River Union article post reads “... I get his friend was murdered and I feel for him and everyone else (affected) by this tragedy however his accusations that (everyone) is racist shows his own vision is clouded.” Another top comment referring to a first-hand experience outside of Arcata partially reads “don't doubt for a second that these first responders react to people (of) color differently than white people.”

In the podcast, comments made by an Arcata City Councilwoman, another friend of the suspect, and the father of the victim are also shared.

“...The focus is justice and the focus is the criminal investigation,” Chapman said. “A lot of rocks are being thrown at the APD but at the end of the day there’s a mom that is mourning the loss of her son. There’s a 19 year old who’s been murdered and we have to stay committed to them.”

Remember David Josiah Lawson

KHSU host Lorna Bryant sat down with those close to the victim, including his mother.

“...Growing up DJ played soccer, tee-ball, he was just energetic -- he was full of life, he didn’t like staying inside,” said Charmaine Lawson. “...One of the brothers from Brothers United (his fraternity) said you know you lost your son, but you just gained 15 more sons. And right there I was just overjoyed when they said that. It made me feel really good that he spent time with these young men and they were doing positive things. I cannot tell you I’m not sad and broken… I love you guys so very much and I appreciate everything you’ve done for DJ -- for Josiah like you guys call him.”

Also covered

Humboldt’s unemployment rate versus neighbors, a minivan with the bear necessities, a question about transporting weed by air, the “Finding Bigfoot” finale, tsunami preparedness, a guide for Arcata students on the move looking donate or recycle, an airborne car, a movie-star ship, a workplace tragedy, and more.

David Josiah Lawson and Kyle Zoellner

‘80s comedy director talks national reviews, local screenings; Humboldt’s last week of news

In the latest episode of Humboldt Last Week: Ferndale native Jacob Cooney directed a new ‘80s comedy called “Pitching Tents” which has been garnering national reviews and local screenings.

The film’s cast includes Michael Grant (“Brooklyn 99”), Jonathan Lipnicki (“Jerry Maguire”), Jim Norton (“Louie”), Booboo Stewart (“Twilight”), Eric Allan Kramer (“Two and a Half Men”), Richard Riehle (“Office Space”), Vincent Pastore (“Goodfellas”), Victoria’s Secret model Samantha Basalari, a couple of Chris Farley’s brothers -- Kevin and John, and many others.

Here’s this synopsis: “In a working-class town in 1984, a high school senior's future creates a tug-of-war between his no-nonsense father and his crackpot guidance counselor until an encounter with a goddess helps him uncover his true destiny.”

“The film is about following your dreams -- it’s set in a small town,” Cooney said. “In some ways it kind of parallels my life and following my dreams to become a filmmaker. Ferndale was a big part of pushing me to do that, they brought me in with open arms and tried to foster the arts for me all through my life...”

The coming-of-age film that one reviewer compared to “Dazed and Confused” incited screenings April 22 at the Old Steeple in Ferndale and April 26 at the Mill Creek in McKinleyville.

While Variety and LA Times critics were not exactly the intended audience, they did note “nostalgia is a hell of a drug” and the film “swam in the waters of the naughty, the taboo, the decidedly not politically correct.”

“They best way to watch any movie is in a theater with a group of people, and you feel the energy and hear the reactions,” Cooney said. “(Or) within a group setting. If you’re alone in your house hunched over a laptop, you might get a different experience.”

The story and interview with Cooney begins at 5:38. Totally makes sense -- he worked on Jim Carrey's Ferndale-shot film "The Majestic" when his was in college.

Also covered: More on the alleged murder of an HSU student, cartoonish clouds, an organization is looking for guys than can be a positive influence on kids that need it, arson, cheap Portland flights this summer, viral funnies by Fortunans, cat skinning, a TV shakeup, and more.

No charges for homeowner who pistol-whipped alleged thief, shot gun twice; Humboldt’s last week of news

In the latest episode of Humboldt Last Week: Late last year an elderly homeowner in Eureka allegedly caught a man stealing things in his backyard. So the homeowner took out a gun, headed outside, and repeatedly pistol-whipped the alleged thief bloody. The homeowner’s gun accidentally went off twice and fortunately nobody was hit by a bullet. The thief was then arrested and the homeowner was also cited for assault and discharging the firearm, his gun taken as evidence. After that the case was forwarded to the District Attorney’s office.

“After review of the investigation, I did not file any charges (against the homeowner) and notified (him) of that decision,” said Humboldt County District Attorney Maggie Fleming.

When word got out of this case of course there were different viewpoints in the community. From one perspective there was applause for the homeowner for protecting his property and teaching this alleged thief a lesson. On the other side there was no applause noting the homeowner’s neighbors could have been hit by one of his stray bullets -- that you can shoot a gun to defend your life, but not to defend your property.

When reached for comment, the Eureka Police Department put questions in the hands of Captain Brian Stephens. There was no reply by the release of the podcast but if that changes this post will be updated.

Also covered: EPD says the five-block trail of blood in Old Town was due to a guy who apparently decided to punch a window, dumb criminals, more Public Defender drama, construction where that building burned down in Fortuna, Ferndale's’ new celebrity at a historic music venue, satellite images of the Eel River six months apart, weed behind K-Mart, tablets at the jail, tow-truck trouble, proposed illegal-drug safe-zones, an HSU alum’s NFL update, Hugh Jackman, tragedy surrounding an HSU student, Gonsea’s reopens, and more.

Locally-raised guy helping Disney win a bunch of Oscars; Humboldt’s last week of news

A guy from Humboldt has worked as a lighting artist on a bunch of Oscar-winning movies. Most recently you can see Logan Gloor holding an Academy Award for “Zootopia.” He’s also helped Disney win Oscars for “Life of Pi,” “Frozen,” and “Big Hero 6.”

"Don't drop it," he said when asked what goes through his mind every time he’s held one of the gold-plated awards. “They are heavy and easily scratched.”

According to the Times Standard Gloor was born in Eureka and graduated from McKinleyville High School in 2003. His parents still live here.

For the podcast the lighting artist shares a bit about how he landing his job with Disney, how Humboldt influenced him, and how the director of “The Little Mermaid” and “Aladdin” created a caricature of him.

Before working for Disney, Gloor contributed his expertise to films such as “Alvin and the Chipmunks,” “The Incredible Hulk,” and “The A-Team.”

The story begins at 7:11.

Also covered: A guy just waltzes in and out of a burning house, free dreadlocks, frightening hammer time on the Arcata plaza, free vendor booth space for the “Finding Bigfoot” series finale, a new Sheriff in town soon, an eye on crime, rehab possibilities, sex crimes, health code violations at a Chinese food place, a new bowling alley owner, a tasty sauce, and more.

Holding the Oscar for "Zootopia," submitted
Caricature of Logan Gloor by John Musker, submitted

Likely NFL Hall-of-Famer Jared Allen was hanging out in Fortuna

Likely NFL Hall-of-Famer Jared Allen was recently visiting family in Humboldt. The defensive end who spent most of his career with the Minnesota Vikings was a repeat customer at Pepper’s in Fortuna last week.

Ashley Valdovinos has been waiting on Jared's grandparents at the restaurant for years. The second time he came into Pepper’s she mustered up the courage to ask him about his appearance in the movie “Jackass 3D" -- that’s when they took the photo below.

"(When) I popped back in Pepper's to sign my time card he was sweet enough to sign a few little footballs for us and as he was leaving I watched the mail man chase him down to talk to him," she said.

Jared Allen was able to retire last year after playing in the Super Bowl as a Carolina Panther. Valdovinos also called the athlete "tall" and "down to earth."

The story begins at 6:37.

Disney's "A Wrinkle In Time" spent almost $1.5 million in Humboldt; Humboldt's last week of news

Last week our Humboldt-Del Norte Film Commissioner Cassandra Hesseltine spoke at the State Capitol in Sacramento as part of a panel on new film and TV tax incentives in California. Those incentives are why Disney’s “A Wrinkle in Time” came to Humboldt to film. The commission’s estimate was that the Disney production’s cast and crew spent almost $1.5 million dollars shooting in Humboldt County. The story begins at 4:20.

Also covered: New food options at Redwood Acres in Eureka, a potential big mosquito season coming, Humboldt’s first homicide of 2017 not involving a vehicle, HSU weed studies reportedly influencing lawmakers, lawyers say their new boss isn’t qualified, a future Hall of Fame football player, we can help a Deputy Sheriff who was diagnosed with cancer, and much more.

New food options at Redwood Acres? Big mosquito season coming? Humboldt’s last week of news

In the latest episode of Humboldt Last Week: Redwood Acres Fairgrounds in Eureka will soon host a variety of food trucks in addition to a new wine, cheese, and cured meat tasting room. According to Sierra Jenkins of the Lost Coast Outpost, the site has been putting on more than 830 events a year a year and currently host 15 businesses.

“The kitchen (remodel) should be done by April 17,” said Redwood Acres CEO Cindy Bedingfield. “We have one food truck here now I will start reaching out to them when I know exactly when the kitchen will be completed. I estimate The Board Room (tasting room) will open the first of May at the latest."

The story begins at 8:27.

Switching gears, could a big mosquito season be on the way for Humboldt County? NBC Sacramento recently did a story about how a drought followed by heavy rains could mean a significant season for West Nile Virus in Northern California.

Amanda Ruddy is the Supervising Environmental Health Specialist with the Humboldt County Department of Health & Human Services. She says since 2007 eight birds have tested positive for West Nile Virus but there have been no human cases. They will start this year’s testing for West Nile in the middle of the month.

“People are encouraged to mosquito-proof their homes, Ruddy said. “The CDC suggests people install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes outside. Also, help reduce the number of mosquitoes by emptying standing water from flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pet water dishes, discarded tires and birdbaths.”

She also suggested covering up at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active and also using EPA-registered insect repellents. The story begins at 7:18.

If you come in contact with high concentrations of mosquitoes you’re encouraged to contact the Division of Environmental Health at 707-445-6215 or toll-free at 800-963-9241.

Also covered: Humboldt’s first homicide of 2017 not involving a vehicle, HSU weed studies reportedly influencing lawmakers, lawyers say their new boss isn’t qualified, Disney dollars, a future Hall of Fame football player, we can help a Deputy Sheriff who was diagnosed with cancer, and much more.

Humboldt Last Week rebranding as ‘Humboldt Next Week,’ will predict future

After 28 episodes and tens of thousands of streams, Humboldt Last Week has taken a bold step forward and will re-brand as “Humboldt Next Week,” a podcast predicting Humboldt’s next week of news.

“I’m so glad that I’ve finally gotten enough sponsor support to be able to start the next chapter,” said the host. “I’ve purchased three state-of-the-art crystal balls in various aura colors and I’ve also gotten many locals of prominence to send me photocopies of their palms. Have you seen the lifeline on Rex Bohn’s hands?”

When calling to secure a subscription to a psychic hotline the voice on the other end said “...We’ve been expecting you.” That was the moment their legitimacy was confirmed.

Aiming to begin predictions with a bang, the psychic was asked what the recreational marijuana industry will do to Humboldt’s economy. You won’t believe what she said.