CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVE LYNN WOOLSEY and Senator Barbara Boxer have long been champions of expanding the Cordell Banks and Gulf of the Farallones Marine Sanctuaries as a way to protect the coast from oil and gas drilling. They have introduced bills in Congress every year since 2003 with that aim, but the bills have never been able to pass both houses of congress. And with the current Republican stranglehold there is no chance that the House of Representatives will pass ocean protection legislation. But marine sanctuaries can also be expanded by administrative action that does not require congressional approval. In 2008, during a review of the management plans for the two northern California marine sanctuaries, NOAA was encouraged to conduct a public process to ensure that the sanctuary boundaries were inclusive of the surrounding area's natural resources and ecological qualities. But no action was taken until last December when the proposed expansion was suddenly announced. Speculation is that the current initiative is a retirement gift for Representative Woolsey.
PUBLIC MEETINGS were held last week in Point Arena and Gualala to take input on the proposed northern expansion of the Cordell Banks and Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuaries. The expansions would protect the entire Sonoma County coast from offshore oil and gas drilling, but would only extend to Alder Creek, just north of Point Arena in Mendocino County. Recently retired Representative Woolsey was present at both the Point Arena and Gualala meetings, as was Rachel Binah and Richard Charter. Binah, as irritating as she can be at times, has a true passion for ocean protection. Charter is co-chair of the National Outer Continental Shelf Coalition; has received the Ocean Hero Award from the Defenders of Wildlife; and is recognized as an Ocean Hero by The Ocean Foundation. He's also made a very nice living off the ocean protection movement for the last quarter century. Supervisors Dan Gjerde and John McCowen also attended the Point Arena meeting and Fort Bragg City Councilmember Doug Hammerstrom was seen in Gualala. Heidi Dickerson was also present representing freshman Congressional Rep Jared Huffman.
NOAA was well represented at both meetings, with about ten staffers on hand, including the superintendents of both the Cordell Banks and Gulf of the Farallones Marine Sanctuaries. The meetings opened with an overview of the process and remarks by Representative Woolsey. Following general questions about the process, the meetings were broken up into smaller groups with two NOAA reps at each table, one to act as a facilitator and one to record comments. The facilitators and recorders asked questions for clarification and the recorders often read comments back to make sure they were accurately capturing the comments. If NOAA believes an expansion is justified (and that seems to be a foregone conclusion) an Environmental Impact Statement will be prepared through a public process in adherence to the National Environmental Protection Act (another piece of Nixon era environmental regulation, along with the Clean Water and Clean Air Acts). The EIS will be subject to public comment and public hearings following which an administrative decision can be made by NOAA. A final decision could be made by July, 2014.
THE NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARIES fall under the purview of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) which is part of the Department of Commerce. NOAA also oversees the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) which has the power, (which it has wielded in recent years), to shut down the fishing industry by abbreviating or closing fishing seasons altogether. For this reason, the local fisherfolk are more than a little suspicious that the parent agency of NMFS might be given broad new regulatory authority. Recent experience with the Marine Life Protected Areas process, where the concerns of locals were given short shrift, especially in the Point Arena area, have left locals with little tolerance for additional government-imposed regulation. Concern was also expressed that local traditions, like the 4th of July fireworks in Point Arena, need to be protected.
NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY STATUS, according to NOAA, would not impose any new restrictions on sport or commercial fisheries within the proposed expansions as they are currently written. Based largely on the prohibition of oil and gas drilling, a number of people at both meetings advocated that the entire Mendocino County coast should be included in the expanded sanctuaries and some advocated for an extension all the way to the Oregon border, if not all the way to Ketchikan, Alaska. Part of the justification for the expansion to just north of Point Arena is an offshore "upwelling" which brings an abundance of nutrient rich food sources to the ocean surface, attracting large numbers of avian and marine species to the area. The upwelling extends far north of Point Arena and adds credibility to the argument in favor of a further northward expansion. Public comment will be accepted through March 1.
THE FIRE PREVENTION FEE imposed statewide for the first time last year is very unpopular with outback property owners, although few of them could live in the outback without CalFire's aerial firefighting capacity. Governor Brown wants to expand it while the affected try to kill it. The opposed see fiscal chicanery similar to that revealed by the State Parks fiasco when it was learned that the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection funneled money from wildfire damage settlements into a special account instead of the state treasury. That revelation was followed by an opinion from the Legislature's legal counsel that the department is improperly using some of the new fire fee revenue to collect damages from those who maliciously or accidentally start fires, instead of its intended purpose. The debate rages.
THE REAL COST of Shrinking Government
In less than two weeks, a cleaver known as the sequester will fall on some of the most important functions of the United States government. About $85 billion will be cut from discretionary spending over the next seven months, reducing defense programs by about 8 percent and domestic programs by about 5 percent. Only a few things will be spared, including some basic safety-net benefits like Social Security, as well as pay for enlisted military personnel.
The sequester will not stop to contemplate whether these are the right programs to cut; it is entirely indiscriminate, slashing programs whether they are bloated or essential. The military budget, for example, should be reduced substantially, but thoughtfully, considering the nation’s needs. Instead, every weapons system, good or bad, will be hurt, as will troop training and maintenance.
These cuts, which will cost the economy more than one million jobs over the next two years, are the direct result of the Republican demand in 2011 to shrink the government at any cost, under threat of a default on the nation’s debt. Many Republicans say they would still prefer the sequester to replacing half the cuts with tax revenue increases. But the government spending they disdain is not an abstract concept. In a few days, the cuts will begin affecting American life and security in significant ways.
While some departments may have exaggerated the dire effects of their reductions, Congressional budget experts say they have little doubt that the size and pervasive nature of the sequester will inflict widespread pain. Here are some examples from the government departments most affected:
NATIONAL SECURITY Two-week furloughs for most law-enforcement personnel will reduce Coast Guard operations, including drug interdictions and aid to navigation, by 25 percent. Cutbacks in Customs agents and airport security checkpoints will “substantially increase passenger wait times,” the Homeland Security Department said, creating delays of as much as an hour at busy airports. The Border Patrol will have to reduce work hours by the equivalent of 5,000 agents a year.
The Energy Department’s nuclear security programs will be cut by $900 million, creating delays in refurbishing the weapons stockpile, and cutting security at manufacturing sites. Environmental cleanup at nuclear weapons sites in Washington State, Tennessee, South Carolina and Idaho will be delayed.
AIR TRAFFIC About 10 percent of the Federal Aviation Administration’s work force of 47,000 employees will be on furlough each day, including air traffic controllers, to meet a $600 million cut. The agency says it will be forced to reduce air traffic across the country, resulting in delays and disruptions, particularly at peak travel times.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE Every F.B.I. employee will be furloughed for nearly three weeks over the course of the year, the equivalent of 7,000 employees not working each day. The cut to the F.B.I. of $550 million will reduce the number of background checks on gun buyers that the bureau can perform, and reduce response times on cyberintrusion and counterterrorism investigations.
A cut of $338 million will mean more than a two-week furlough for 37,000 prison employees. This will result in lockdowns at federal prisons across the country, increasing the chances for violence and risks to guards, and preventing the opening of three new prison buildings.
Federal prosecutors will handle 2,600 fewer cases, because of furloughs resulting from a $100 million cut. That means thousands of criminals and civil violators will not face justice, and less money will be collected in fines.
EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION About 70,000 children will lose access to Head Start, and 14,000 teachers and workers will be laid off, because of a $424 million cut. Parents of about 30,000 low-income children will lose child-care assistance.
HEALTH AND SAFETY A cut of $350 million to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will mean 25,000 fewer breast and cervical cancer screenings for low-income women; 424,000 fewer H.I.V. tests; and the purchase of 540,000 fewer doses of vaccine for flu, hepatitis and measles. Community health centers will be cut by $120 million, meaning that about 900,000 fewer patients lacking insurance will receive primary care.
A three-week furlough of all food safety employees will produce a shortage of meat, poultry and eggs, pushing prices higher and harming restaurants and grocers. The Agriculture Department warns that public health could be affected by the inevitable black-market sales of uninspected food.
Several air-monitoring sites will be shut down, as will more than 100 water-quality projects around the country. About $100 million will be cut from Superfund enforcement, allowing companies to evade their responsibilities to clean up environmental disasters.
RESEARCH Nearly 1,000 grants from the National Science Foundation will be canceled or reduced, affecting research in clean energy, cybersecurity, and reform of science and math education.
RECREATION National parks will have shorter hours, and some will have to close camping and hiking areas. Firefighting and law enforcement will be cut back.
DEFENSE PERSONNEL Enlisted personnel are exempt from sequester reductions this year, but furloughs lasting up to 22 days will be imposed for civilian employees, who do jobs like guarding military bases, handle budgets and teach the children of service members. More than 40 percent of those employees are veterans.
The military’s health insurance program, Tricare, could have a shortfall of up to $3 billion, which could lead to denial of elective medical care for retirees and dependents of active-duty service members.
MILITARY OPERATIONS The Navy plans to shut down four air wings on March 1. After 90 days, the pilots in those air wings lose their certifications, and it will take six to nine months, and much money, to retrain them. The Navy has also said the Nimitz and George H. W. Bush carrier strike groups will not be ready for deployment later this year because the service will run out of operations and maintenance money. This means the Truman and Eisenhower strike groups will remain deployed indefinitely, a decision affecting thousands of service members and their families.
Continuous bomber flights outside of Afghanistan will be reduced, and there will be cutbacks to satellite systems and missile warning systems.
TRAINING AND MAINTENANCE The Army, which has done most of the fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq, says it will be forced to curtail training for 80 percent of its ground forces and that by the end of the year, two-thirds of its brigade combat teams will fall below acceptable levels of combat readiness. Air Force pilots expect to lose more than 200,000 flying hours. Beginning in March, roughly two-thirds of the Air Force’s active-duty combat units will curtail training at their home bases, and by July will no longer be capable of carrying out their missions. Some ship and aircraft maintenance will be canceled for the third and fourth quarters of the fiscal year, resulting in fewer available weapons.
Last week, Senate Democrats produced a much better plan to replace these cuts with a mix of new tax revenues and targeted reductions. About $55 billion would be raised by imposing a minimum tax on incomes of $1 million or more and ending some business deductions, while an equal amount of spending would be reduced from targeted cuts to defense and farm subsidies.
Republicans immediately rejected the idea; the Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, called it “a political stunt.” Their proposal is to eliminate the defense cuts and double the ones on the domestic side, heedless of the suffering that even the existing reductions will inflict. Their refusal to consider new revenues means that on March 1, Americans will begin learning how austerity really feels.
(Courtesy, the New York Times)
INTERNATIONAL WILDLIFE FILM FESTIVAL gets into swim with "Otter 501" — Redwood Valley Outdoor Education Project (RVOEP) will inaugurate the International Wildlife Film Festival's Post-Festival Tour on Friday, February 22, at 7 pm at the Ukiah Civic Center. Six consecutive Fridays of award-winning films begins with "Otter 501," winner of the Festival’s Best Theatrical Release category. This 85-minute feature film focuses on one of California’s unique wildlife species.
When Katie, a young biology graduate vacationing in Monterey, finds a stranded sea otter pup, her holiday takes a new direction. She becomes involved with the rescue operations of the Monterey Bay Aquarium. As she checks in on the progress of the pup now known as Otter 501, she learns about the incredible efforts people are making to save the California sea otter. These marine mammals have the densest fur of any mammal. Sea otter pelts were so valuable in the 1800s that for years it appeared that the otters had been hunted to extinction. Hope for the survival of the species rests on a small band of otters near Monterey and the development of a successful monitoring and rescue program. The film shows Otter 501 as it grows and learns the skills needed for living in the wild, and Katie as she learns about the sophisticated work of biologists to increase the odds that this species will survive.
Doors open at 6:20 pm with live Celtic music by Bob Laughton. A series ticket is $50 for all six nights; individual tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children. (This film is appropriate for older children.) Tickets are available at the Mendocino Book Company or at the door.
This Post-Festival Tour is sponsored by the Redwood Valley Outdoor Education Project (RVOEP). A community-supported outdoor environmental education program of the Ukiah Unified School District, the RVOEP serves over 2,000 students each year. A series ticket ensures strong support for RVOEP and six nights of wonderful films.
To learn more about the RVOEP and see a full film schedule, visit www.rvoep.org, or contact Helen Menasian, Education Coordinator, at 472-5258.
BYPASS PROTEST STANDBY ALERT!
Geoffrey Wright, resident engineer of CalTrans, has stated that they will start building a fence and gate around the treesit site starting early this week. We expect they may start Tuesday or Wednesday.
Save Our Little Lake Valley (SOLLV) is calling for a musical rally to protest the fencing in of Warbler.
Musicians … please bring your instruments to keep our spirits high!
When CalTrans begins building the fence we will initiate our emergency phone tree and a message will also go out on the email list. We will ask everyone who wishes to attend the music rally to gather at Evergreen Shopping Center. From there we will have cars to shuttle people to the treesit site. Please do not bring any vehicles to the treesit site. If you have a car that seats 4 or more people please consider volunteering to be a driver to shuttle people to the tree-sit site [respond with a phone number where we can reach you]. This land is our land, this land is your land!!! It is not the land that will be clear-cut and fill-dirted for an unneccessary freeway! —Sara Grusky, Green Uprising Farm at Blackberry Bend. Milk from Floppy and the flock; fruits and vegetables sustainably grown — no artificial pesticides or fertilizers — ever!
AREN'T HUMAN BEINGS JUST THE BEST?
CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) — Clemson University student Nathan Weaver set out to determine how to help turtles cross the road. He ended up getting a glimpse into the dark souls of some humans.
Weaver put a realistic rubber turtle in the middle of a lane on a busy road near campus. Then he got out of the way and watched over the next hour as seven drivers swerved and deliberately ran over the animal. Several more apparently tried to hit it but missed.
"I've heard of people and from friends who knew people that ran over turtles. But to see it out here like this was a bit shocking," said Weaver, a 22-year-old senior in Clemson's School of Agricultural, Forest and Environmental Sciences.
To seasoned researchers, the practice wasn't surprising.
The number of box turtles is in slow decline, and one big reason is that many wind up as roadkill while crossing the asphalt, a slow-and-steady trip that can take several minutes.
Sometimes humans feel a need to prove they are the dominant species on this planet by taking a two-ton metal vehicle and squishing a defenseless creature under the tires, said Hal Herzog, a Western Carolina University psychology professor.
"They aren't thinking, really. It is not something people think about. It just seems fun at the time," Herzog said. "It is the dark side of human nature."
Herzog asked a class of about 110 students getting ready to take a final whether they had intentionally run over a turtle, or been in a car with someone who did. Thirty-four students raised their hands, about two-thirds of them male, said Herzog, author of a book about humans' relationships with animals, called "Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat."
The Obligatory Hope
Weaver, who became interested in animals and conservation through the Boy Scouts and TV's "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin, wants to figure out the best way to get turtles safely across the road and keep the population from dwindling further.
Among the possible solutions: turtle underpasses or an education campaign aimed at teenagers on why drivers shouldn't mow turtles down.
The first time Weaver went out to collect data on turtles, he chose a spot down the road from a big apartment complex that caters to students. He counted 267 vehicles that passed by, seven of them intentionally hitting his rubber reptile.
He went back out about a week later, choosing a road in a more residential area. He followed the same procedure, putting the fake turtle in the middle of the lane, facing the far side of the road, as if it was early in its journey across. The second of the 50 cars to pass by that day swerved over the center line, its right tires pulverizing the plastic shell.
"Wow! That didn't take long," Weaver said.
Other cars during the hour missed the turtle. But right after his observation period was up, before Weaver could retrieve the model, another car moved to the right to hit the animal as he stood less than 20 feet away.
"One hit in 50 cars is pretty significant when you consider it might take a turtle 10 minutes to cross the road," Weaver said.
Running over turtles even has a place in Southern lore.
In South Carolina author Pat Conroy's semi-autobiographical novel "The Great Santini," a fighter-pilot father squishes turtles during a late-night drive when he thinks his wife and kids are asleep. His wife confronts him, saying: "It takes a mighty brave man to run over turtles."
The father denies it at first, then claims he hits them because they are a road hazard. "It's my only sport when I'm traveling," he says. "My only hobby."
That hobby has been costly to turtles.
It takes a turtle seven or eight years to become mature enough to reproduce, and in that time, it might make several trips across the road to get from one pond to another, looking for food or a place to lay eggs. A female turtle that lives 50 years might lay over 100 eggs, but just two or three are likely to survive to reproduce, said Weaver's professor, Rob Baldwin.
Snakes also get run over deliberately. Baldwin wishes that weren't the case, but he understands, considering the widespread fear and loathing of snakes. But why anyone would want to run over turtles is a mystery to the professor.
"They seem so helpless and cute," he said. "I want to stop and help them. My kids want to stop and help them. My wife will stop and help turtles no matter how much traffic there is on the road. I can't understand the idea why you would swerve to hit something so helpless as a turtle."
HE'S GOT REFERENCES!
Warm spiritual greetings, On Wednesday February 27th, I am scheduled to leave the Berkeley, CA men's shelter. On that day my social security check for $353 will automatically be deposited into my checking account at Mechanics Bank. I am not interested in moving outside onto the sidewalk to face uncertainty, and possible death. For the past 22 years, I have been active with Berkeley Catholic Worker as an unpaid volunteer, serving free meals to the poorest of America's poor, and also helped to distribute survival gear to the homeless. During that time period I travelled to other cities and was active with Catholic Worker groups in New York City, Washington D.C., and Los Angeles. Since 1980, I also have participated in environmental campaigns with Earth First! More recently, I was at Occupy Wall Street in New York City as part of the People's Library/Poetry Anthology Project, and afterwards was active with the kitchen working group at Occupy D.C., encamped with the Veterans for Peace in Washington D.C. Right now, I am in good health and available for just about anything peace and justice related. I am willing to leave California in order to remain active. References: How about Jesus Christ, Buddha, Krishna, the Goddess in all of her manifestations, and God? I trust that this will be adequate to confirm my honest character. Publications: Numerous articles, countless letters to the editor, street theater plays, and poetry. Please look at a blog that was created for me, for examples, at http://craiglstehr.blogspot.com I want you to give me cooperation so that I may remain socially useful and productive. Thank you very much, Craig Louis Stehr Craig Louis Stehr Email: email@example.com Address: c/o NOSCW, P.O. Box 11406, Berkeley, CA 94712-2406
OCEAN PROTECTION COALITION to Discuss Marine Sanctuary Expansion February 28 The Ocean Protection Coalition invites the public to a discussion of the proposed expansion of the Gulf of the Farallones/Cordell Bank Marine Sanctuary, at 7 p.m. on February 28 at the Fort Bragg Library Community Room, 499 E. Laurel St. The Marine Sanctuary expansion offers permanent protection from offshore oil drilling and other polluting activities to just north of Point Arena. Strategies for protecting offshore waters northward will be considered. For information, contact David Gurney at 961-1339.
MATTHEW REINHARDT, 43, hometown Fresno, was arrested Monday for assaulting an officer and committing vandalism after he was refused breakfast at the Glass Beach Inn, Fort Bragg. Witnesses said Reinhardt had walked into the inn just before 8 a.m. demanding to be fed. Told to go away, Reinhardt denounced the inn's owners and then went outside and began punching the rear window of a parked car. Fort Bragg Police officers arrested Reinhardt and took him to the Mendocino Coast Hospital to treat the injuries Reinhardt sustained when he punched the car window. As Reinhardt got out of the patrol car at the hospital, he tried to grab an officer by the throat, at which point the officer took Reinhardt to the ground and restrained him. Reinhardt was treated at the hospital and booked into the Mendocino County Jail on suspicion of felony vandalism, assault on a police officer, threats and resisting a police officer.
PATRICK HIGGINS REPORTS: "Dozens of volunteers for the Eel River Recovery Project (ERRP) monitored water temperature, flow and algae blooms in 2012 to provide information about the ecological conditions of the Eel River and to answer questions posed by the community. The ERRP was organized in 2011 in response to concern about reduced Eel River flows and emerging water quality problems that include toxic algae. The 2012 citizen monitoring project was aimed at collecting data to test community questions or hypotheses and was able to confirm that flows have diminished since 1996 when medical marijuana in California was legalized. Data also show major recovery in some parts of the watershed and provided the answer to questions posed by local volunteers. The 2012 ERRP monitoring project was able to establish that three major tributaries of the Eel River, Outlet Creek, Tomki Creek, and Ten Mile Creek, were dry in late summer and fall 2012 when that was not their historic condition prior to 1996. All three creeks were formerly major producers of salmon and steelhead, including now endangered coho salmon, and also supplied large amounts of clean water that helped the mainstem Eel River maintain its ecological balance. The 2012 ERRP report recommends that Ten Mile Creek be targeted as a top priority for water conservation because of its historic productivity and because it is near the upper South Fork Eel River coho population that is one of the last functional population centers in northern California. A positive surprise was a drop in tributary water temperature on Humboldt Redwood Company lands in the lower Eel River and Van Duzen River watersheds. Large landslides in both sub-basins occurred in 1997, and streams became wide, shallow and subject to warming. More restrained timber harvest since that time has allowed recovery of tributaries Bear, Howe, Price and Cummings creeks. ERRP 2012 data show a drop in maximum daily water temperature of as much as 15 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures were formerly in the stressful range for salmon and steelhead and now they are optimal. A shift in aquatic life was evident in Ten Mile Creek, a large South Fork Eel River tributary near Laytonville in Mendocino County. Warm water fish and bull frogs dominated isolated pools that formed as the stream dried up in late August 2012. Non-native green-eared sunfish and black catfish escape from farm ponds annually but do not survive high flows of winter. Bull frogs, however, do survive and decimate all native amphibians as they spread up and downstream of ponds. A hardy steelhead trout was noted living in the Ten Mile Creek pool in mid-August, along with its warm water competitors. A temperature probe placed at the bottom of the pool showed conditions suitable for juvenile steelhead rearing until late September. The pool maintained cool water temperatures at depth because of groundwater influence that comes from underneath the stream bed. The late-season rise in the temperature of the pool to over lethal for the trout was likely caused by groundwater depletion."
JUST IN FROM SEIU: “SEIU Local 1021, the union that represents the majority of Mendocino County employees, filed suit against the County Feb. 11. The lawsuit alleges that the County’s bid to contract out mental health services is an illegal attempt to funnel public dollars to a private entity, while at the same time improperly shedding its responsibility for the welfare of its residents. ‘The County’s attempt to privatize these services is not only bad policy, it is a blatant violation of state law, and the County must be held accountable for its violation of the public trust,’ said David Eberly, president of the Local 1021 Mendocino chapter. State law forbids counties from contracting out services it has the capacity to do itself. Mendocino County has qualified and experienced mental health workers already doing the job who have a proven commitment to their community. Nonetheless, the County put out a Request for Proposals (RFP) last October to have its adult mental health services provided by a private company and is expected to announce the winning bid any day now. The union’s lawsuit seeks to stop this wasteful and improper expenditure of public monies before a contract is granted. The union contends that mental health services are a community concern that should remain within an accountable organization and not left to the mercy of a private system. ‘Mental health services should be for our community and by our community, not for sale or privatization,’ said Alex Bricken, a Mendocino County mental health worker.”
WHITE POWER THUGS ATTACK
From the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office:
On 02-17-2013, approximately 1:00 a.m. the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received 911 call from a citizen who reported three males were at a large party in the area of East Ferry Road, Ferndale and were assaulting several people. Sheriff’s Deputies, California Highway Patrol Officers and Ferndale Police responded to the scene. While deputies were enroute they were advised the three male suspects were attempting to leave the area in a dark colored KIA Rio. A Ferndale Police Officer spotted the SUV near Fernbridge and stopped it.
Deputies and CHP Officers joined the Ferndale Officer and detained the three males who were in the Kia. The officers saw the occupants had fresh injuries to them and showed signs of alcohol intoxication. The officers could also see open alcoholic containers in the vehicle. All three subjects identified as Douglas Wayne Flowers, 43 years old, from Fortuna and Curtis Flowers, 22 years old, from Fortuna and Christopher James Hanly, 23 years old from McKinleyville were detained. Douglas Flowers is the father of Curtis Flowers. Curtis was the driver of the KIA Rio. Medical was requested to respond to the scene and treat them for their injuries.
Deputies then contacted witness and the victims. They were told by the witness and victims that the Flowers and Hanly showed up at the party on the Ferndale River bar intoxicated. The suspects shouted “White Pride”, as they walked around through the crowd. They were asked to calm down by party attendees. Curtis Flowers started pushing people and challenging them to fight. An 18 year old female attempted to leave the party in a Toyota Pickup truck because of Curtis Flowers behavior.
As she got into the truck Curtis Flowers walked up to the truck and swung the truck door open. In doing so the door struck another 18 year old female who was watching what was occurring and standing near the pickup truck. When the female who was struck by the door made a comment about being struck by the door to Curtis Flowers, he punched her in the face with a closed fist. When the injured female got back up Douglas Flowers then punched her in the face knocking her back to the ground. The female immediately fell to the ground a second time. Meantime the female who had been in the truck exited the truck to assist the assaulted and injured female and she was punched in the face, which knocked her to the ground and unconscious. A 16 year old male who was close by came to both females aid and was punched in the eye by Curtis Flowers. Then all three suspects Curtis Flowers, Douglas Flowers and Hanly began punching him in the face after knocking the 16 year old to the ground.
Deputies could see the sixteen year olds eye was swollen almost shut. One of the eighteen year old females received a broken jaw which required surgery at a local hospital. The other female refused medical attention.
Curtis Flowers was transported by ambulance to Redwood Memorial Hospital to be treated for a cut on his neck and was admitted, however he fled from the hospital on 2-17-2013 around 5:00 p.m. Fortuna Police checked the area for him and were unable to locate him. Curtis Flowers is on active State Parole for a conviction of Assault with a Deadly Weapon. Curtis is wanted for Assault Causing Great Bodily Injury, Driving under the Influence, Assault and Battery, and Violation Parole. A Be-on-The-Lookout was broadcast to local Law Enforcement.
Douglas Flowers and Hanly were both arrested and booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility. Douglas Flowers was booked for Assault Causing Great Bodily Injury and Public Intoxication. His bail was set at $50,000.00. Hanly was booked for Assault, Probation Violation and Public Intoxication and was released on his own recognizance.
Anyone with information for the Sheriffs Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriffs Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriffs Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.
The Sheriff’s Office will be increasing patrols in the Eel River area for the foreseeable future to help curtail parties and other criminal activity.
UPDATE, 1:10 p.m.: Curtis Flowers’ Facebook cover photo is this charming snap of a day at the river: