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  • Writer's pictureHumboldt Last Week

Quick news summaries for the podcast (Ep. 311)

Updated: Feb 9

Listen to this episode here.

The Leonardo DiCaprio movie that was shot locally received a lot of attention. Sean Penn, Regina Hall, and Alana Haim are also reportedly tied to the project helmed by artsy director Paul Thomas Anderson. Due to the film, local businesses saw an uptick in sales, some businesses were transformed, folks witnessed elaborate police chase scenes, locals were cast as extras, and Leo was dressed like a guy who spends most of his time on the Arcata plaza. The Warner Brothers effort, rumored to be a modern version of Vineland, shot locally for 11 days as folks that’ve worked on Transformers and Marvel movies praised our local beauty. The film then moved on to shoot in Stockton and Sacramento *** PR via RHBB


An ambitious project called "Reconnecting Arcata" seeks billions to build a land bridge over the highway. The early-stage plan imagines a new neighborhood spanning over U.S. Highway 101, inspired by a similar project in Austin, Texas. The project has a series of hurdles until the idea has a serious chance of coming to fruition. Officials stressed a need for the project to be funded. *** MRU


Sushi Spot made waves replacing tipping with a mandatory 18-percent ‘equity fee.’ The new policy at the restaurants in Eureka, Arcata, and Mckinleyville prompted backlash with some customers saying they’d no longer dine there. Takeout food will also see a 10 percent add-on. The owner says employees will share proceeds from the move to improve fairness in worker pay based on job and experience. Kitchen staff members, he noted, for example, would now have guaranteed tips. In defense of the move, some locals noted they tip around 18 percent anyway. *** NCJ


A locally shot eccentric comedy starring Jesse Eisenberg as Bigfoot recently premiered at Sundance. "Sasquatch Sunset” is said to explore the daily life of a Sasquatch family throughout a year. The film shows Jesse and costar Riley Keough in heavy Sasquatch costuming. A mixed review from The Wrap says there’s a bizarre Bigfoot birth scene, hilarity, uniqueness, and unforgettable moments. The review also mentions “sweeping landscapes filled with lush green forests.” The movie is scheduled for a wider release on April 12.


County judge Gregory Kreis is facing a state investigation about alleged misconduct. The allegations note improper drug and alcohol use, inappropriate sexual behavior, and using derogatory terms among other accusations that span nearly a decade. In a public response, Kreis stated the allegations are political and he's confident the "outright lies" will be dismissed and he'll clear his name. Kreis is running in the March 5 Primary against attorney April Van Dyke. *** Loco / TS


A Eureka man confessed to the Arizona murders of a formerly local couple. The disturbing events in the summer of 2023 took the lives of Annette and Tom Hinton, known in Fortuna for running the former establishment Tom’s Sourdough Pizza. The murderer, a former Tom’s Sourdough employee who’d stabbed the victims, was non-fatally shot by a neighbor who intervened. The Hintons had previously contacted the suspect encouraging him to move from Humboldt County to Arizona for job opportunities. Sentencing is forthcoming. *** RHBB


Humboldt County saw a surge of homicides in 2023, totaling 23 compared to 15 in 2022 and 13 in 2021. The deaths were related to instances such as murder-suicide, police shootings, drug use, mental illness, domestic violence, and vehicles. *** TS


Arcata police are investigating a hate crime after an anti-semitic flier was found at Mad River Hospital. With Nazi-style lettering and grotesque imagery, the printout read "Butcher Zionist Pigs." This is not the first time racist fliers have been found locally in recent years. *** RHBB/MRU

Mad River Community Hospital isn’t selling after all. The Arcata hospital terminated its acquisition agreement with Southwest Healthcare, an Arizona company with a reported history of struggles. In their statement, Mad River Community Hospital hopes the cancellation reassures and relieves their thousands of local patients. *** MRCH PR / Previously from Loco


A proposal from AT&T could leave thousands of locals without a landline phone. AT&T says the move would lead to broadband investments, but critics say it would derail 911 access in rural areas. Many local officials are unhappy. A final decision on the matter is forthcoming. *** Loco


California supports Eureka’s housing developments. California Attorney General Rob Bonta has intervened to support Eureka's efforts to develop affordable housing downtown. Bonta says Eureka’s actions align with California’s housing and environmental policies. Via the courts and ballot box, controversial businessman Rob Arkley and others have been trying to block downtown housing developments in Eureka in favor of parking lots. Their parking initiative will be on the November ballot. *** Loco


Officials say employees at Eureka’s jail heroically saved a woman’s life. They reportedly thwarted an attempt at suicide by hanging in the nick of time. *** Sheriff’s PR


Governor Newsom visited locally and spoke of boosting salmon populations. Supportive of current efforts along the Klamath River, the largest dam removal project in the world, Newsom hopes to expedite similar projects including those planned along the Eel River. That said, critics want more. *** TS

Cal Poly Humboldt's upcoming $100M engineering building could be open by spring 2026. This is part of the nearly half-a-billion-dollar pivot that turned the former Humboldt State University into a polytechnic. The 74,000-square-foot structure has a modern design with rooftop solar panels. *** CPH PR

The Eureka City Council advanced an effort to connect the Waterfront Trail to the Sequoia Park Zoo. They allocated $1M toward over two miles of pedestrian-friendly pathways which could begin construction in 2026. *** TS

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