[UPDATE] [Audio] ‘Violence imposed on volunteers’ halts community cleanups; Humboldt’s last week of news

Episode partners: Bongo Boy Studio / John Hammond in Ferndale Sept. 21

Update: “In an effort to continue (cleanups) without putting more volunteers in harm’s way, HACHR Board Members have volunteered to dedicate every Sunday to clean up our community,” according to a social media post.

In the latest episode of Humboldt Last Week (11:31): A Eureka-based nonprofit says they’re axing their regular community cleanups after violence was imposed on their volunteers. The Humboldt Area Center for Harm Reduction (or HACHR) has been cleaning up local streets since 2015 in addition to other efforts such as reducing homelessness and overdoses. They believe the violence stems from misinformation about their organization.

“I hear that syringe exchange is… enabling and coddling, (when) in fact that is the opposite of all evidence and scientific research of the forty years of (it),” said Brandie Wilson, HACHR’s Executive Director. “Another (thing I hear) is that harm reduction enables people who use substances… It does enable people. It enables people to finally take action and pay attention to their own health… It gives people a connection to a meaningful type of work that then begins to fill them with purpose, and through that purpose people begin to reduce their drug use, enter into treatment, and enter into many different types of support that they may need.”

In the podcast Wilson discusses the violent incidents, the criticism HACHR has endured as one of four places in Humboldt that does CDC-approved syringe exchanges, why she believes the fight should continue for the Senator-McGuire-backed safe injection sites that recently failed in the state senate, what it would take for HACHR to resume community cleanups, and much more.

The interview begins at 11:31.

Also covered

The first person shot and killed by Arcata police in 37 years, a murderer tries to be a smartass at the courthouse, an Occupy Eureka protester gets a settlement, an alleged Winco purse-snatcher potentially with the bonehead move of the week, more from Kirsten Dunst and the “Woodshock” crew, waving good-pie, that Scientology bunker near Petrolia, additional crime updates, and much more.

Humboldt Last Week is a way to hear highlights from Humboldt’s last week a news. It’s available on iTunes, SoundCloud, and many other podcast platforms.