Q. What’s your publication schedule?
A. We don’t really have one. Some headlines are added to the site automatically. These are “pulled” to the site via RSS feeds made available from their publishers. Our server is scheduled to search for new articles from these publications on an hourly basis. Other news headlines, mostly those from publications outside of the area, are first reviewed by an editor, prior to addition. These articles are uploaded throughout the day, most of which appear before 7 a.m. We do our best to update the site 7 days a week.
Q. Are the news headlines on your site available via RSS?
A. Yes. You can download the feed from http://humboldtonline.com/feeds/ .
Q. What’s the purpose of this website?
A. It was originally the byproduct of some custom software I wrote to aggregate news feeds for other subjects. HumboldtOnline.Com was the “guinea pig” for this commercial project, which has since been completed.
Q. Where can I get a copy of the print edition of Humboldt Online?
A. On your printer. Other than that, we have no print edition.
Q. How is this site supported?
A. Not very well. We have a few ads from Google on the site. It doesn’t even come close to paying for the electricity we use to edit it though, let alone cover anything else. You could call it a labor of love, or just plain boredom. Either way, it’s not a profitable venture, to be sure.
Q. I have a story/site that I would like you to link to.
A. Good for you. We may start a link directory some day, but don’t hold your breath. If you know of a news story about Humboldt County that you think others might like to read, please drop us a note via the contact page. We will be happy to take a look at it and consider it for inclusion.
Q. What type of software do you use to produce HumboldtOnline.Com?
A. All of the software used in the creation and publication of HumboldtOnline.Com is open source, running on the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Most of the editing is done via the web using a laptop running Kubuntu Linux. We typically edit using either Firefox or Opera as our web browser. Our servers run on the Ubuntu and Kubuntu linux operating systems. The main website publishing software we use is a customized version of WordPress MU. It relies on Apache2 web server software, the PHP scripting language and runs on a MySQL database. There are a number of other utilities used on the server, all of which are free and open source. NO Microsoft or other commercial software products are used in the creation of this website. It’s not so much a political statement as it is the fact that we just don’t like paying for inferior commercial software when we can get far more reliable software for free. If you are interested in trying out the software for yourself, you can download it for free at http://www.ubuntu.com .
Q. Where are your offices?
A. After many, many years of renting commercial office space here locally, we finally decided to go “underground”. Our offices are located in a custom-built building that was constructed next to the home of the publisher. We do all of our own hosting, lease our own Internet feed, and build and maintain all of our own servers on-site. To supplement commercial power, we have installed an extensive UPS system, with a backup generator for longer periods of utility outages. Since our facility is located in an area that is zoned only for residential use, we don’t publicize our actual street address. You can send mail to us at the address on our contact page though. That address actually belongs to The UPS Store, which is located where our old offices used to be, many years ago.
Q. A link on your website is broken. How come?
A. Links to external websites can be changed at any time, without notice to us. Most news publishers remove news stories from their websites after a few days, weeks or months. After that, the articles are generally only available to those who are willing to pay a subscription fee. We “sweep” our website for dead links about once per week. Eventually, all that will be left in our archives is a story summary, with no working link back to the original article. Sorry, but this is largely out of our control.
Q. Do you only cover news about events in Humboldt County?
A. No. We also cover news from Humboldt’s neighboring counties, which include Del Norte, Trinity and Mendocino counties in Northern California. We even cover occasional news stories about other locations in Northern California, if we think that it would be of interest to our readers. Since most of Humboldt’s neighboring counties have very small populations, there are often few sources of news coming from these areas. We monitor regional newspapers and online magazines in these counties every single day. We often add stories from publications such as the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat, the Crescent City Daily Triplicate and the Trinity Journal. We also occasionally run articles that are of primary interest to those throughout the State of California. Seeing as Humboldt County is (technically) part of California, there are a number of statewide issues that end up being of local importance.
Q. I saw something on your website that is inaccurate. How can I get it corrected?
A. Most content on HumboldtOnline.Com is NOT produced by us, but by their original publisher. Please follow the links to the original article and find the contact info for that particular publisher. If you see something in our menus or elsewhere that is an original work by our editors, please use the contact form to reach us.
Q. How do I submit a press release for publication on your website?
A. Easy. Just send it in an e-mail to editor(at)humboldtonline.com . We will take all press releases into consideration. We can’t promise that we will publish it though. It is basically at the editor’s discretion. We prefer press releases to be sent in plain text, rather than as an attachment. If we haven’t heard of you before, don’t expect us to open a Word file that you send as a file attachment, as just as many carry viruses as actual news releases. If you can’t use plain text, we would prefer documents in the Open Document Format (.odf) or an Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) file.
About Humboldt County, California
Q. Where is Humboldt County?
A. In Northern California, about 100 miles South of the Oregon border. Click here to see Humboldt County using Google Maps. Humboldt County borders the Pacific ocean to the West. To the East of Humboldt is Trinity County. To the North is Del Norte County. To the South is Mendocino County.
Q. How big is Humboldt County?
A. Humboldt County is fairly large, as counties in the United States go. It contains about 2.3 million acres, the vast majority of which is public or privately-owned forest. The population here is approximately 128,000, with about 90% living within a 10 minute drive of the city of Eureka, California, the county seat.
Q. What transportation is available in Humboldt County?
A. Although Humboldt County borders the Pacific Ocean, there are no passenger ships or boats that stop here regularly. If you own your own boat, you can dock at a number of locations along the coast. The majority of boats in the area are docked inside Humboldt Bay at one of several public or private docks. Woodley Island, located inside of Humboldt Bay, is the largest of these.
There is no commercial rail service here. In fact, there is no train service of any kind here at the moment, although the county used to have an extensive rail system for both public transit and the transportation of logs and wood products. The last regular rail services in Humboldt ceased around the 1980′s, due to the decline of the local lumber industry. The City of Eureka had a quite extensive electric trolley system that provided reliable transportation here for many years. The system was dismantled, and the trolleys literally set abalaze, shortly after automobiles began being sold here in the 1920′s. The nearest Aamtrak station is approximately 200 miles away, in the city of Redding, CA.
Bus service passes through the area going North-South, and is provided by Greyhound. Aamtrak also runs a shuttle bus service that passes through the area. County-wide bus transportation is available through Humboldt Transit Authority. Local bus service is available in the City of Eureka via Eureka Transit Authority. Service in the greater Arcata area is provided by AMRTS.
There are a number of small airports in the area, both public and private. The largest one is near the town of McKinleyville, about 10 miles North of Eureka. It is the only airport here that commercial airlines use. The airport code for it is ACV, and it is commonly referred to as the Eureka-Arcata Airport in McKinleyville. Passenger service is available via Delta Airlines, Sky West and United Express. All of these airlines utilize small, commuter turboprop airplanes. So, flying in or out of the area can be quite an adventure. Due to our rural location and lack of competition, airfare to/from Humboldt County is extremely expensive.
If you are traveling by auto, State Highway 101 is the easiest way to get here. It runs North-South through the entire county. Two small state routes are available for passage from the East-West. They are state highways 299 and 36, respectively. Both highways are mainly two-lane, and can become impassable during the Winter months. Even Highway 101 is subject to closure during the Winter, due to mudslides and rockslides. It has increasingly become a regular event when large storms cause Humboldt County to become completely isolated from the outside world via land transportation. Flooding, mudslides, rock slides, fallen trees, snow, thick ice and other factors have often combined to simultaneously cause the closure of all highways leading in or out of Humboldt County at times. To make matters worse, high winds and waves during these storms can force delays or stoppages of local air service and sea transportation as well. In 2008, an unprecedented number of wildfires in remote portions of Northern California forced the closure of highways 299, 36 and 101 at various times during a period of over three months. Closures lasted for days at a time, due to both direct contact with fire as well as air quality reasons. This only served to highlight the county’s complete lack of planning for mass evacuation, in the event of an emergency. Earthquakes have also cause minimal road damage at times, usually for only brief periods.
Q. What is there to do in Humboldt County?
A. Humboldt County is not the entertainment capital of the world, to be sure. Due to its poor economic conditions, there are far fewer places to shop than in most locations its size. There are no amusement parks, and few places of interest to small children, or those with short attention spans. Many residents spend their spare time visiting our many public parks to take in the beautiful, local scenery. Unfortunately, the lack of exciting things to do here, especially in the Winter months, have resulted in a higher than normal average when it comes to drug and alcohol abuse. Mental illness and suicides also seem to be more widespread here than in most parts of the country. Indian casinos seem to be the biggest form of adult entertainment in the area. They are especially popular with local seniors.
Q. Is it legal to smoke pot in Humboldt County?
A. Pretty much. Since the passage of Proposition 215 in the State of California, it has been legal to grow, possess and use marijuana for “medical reasons”. I put that in quotations, because although the proposition was allegedly created for those who needed marijuana for medical reasons, everyone in Northern California knows that the law is largely a joke. Quite literally anyone off the street in this area can pay a flat fee to go to a “medical marijuana Doctor”, who will gladly write anyone a prescription for the drug, no questions asked. Many of these physicians even advertise the availability of marijuana prescriptions in local newspapers and magazines. Most of these physicians seem to be motivated out of their political desire to see the drug legalized, as well as the fast money they can make by selling prescriptions. To put it mildly, most “patients” who visit these Doctors are not really being treated for anything. Prop 215 also allows anyone with a prescription to grow up to 99 full-sized marijuana plants for “personal use”, although the exact number of plants allowed seems to fluctuate from year to year, usually higher and higher (no pun intended).
Even without a prescription, there are no real criminal penalties for possession or use of small amounts of marijuana in the State of California. The same is also true for small amounts of crack, cocaine, meth, heroin and all other illegal street drugs. The only penalty for possession of these drugs in amounts that qualify as personal consumption is mandatory attendance of a drug “diversion program” and a small fine. Much like “traffic school” and “anger management”, these mandatory classes are largely seen as a joke. Most studies have found these programs to be largely ineffective and without scientific merit. After attendance, all criminal records of those caught with drugs are expunged, much as with a speeding ticket. In short, unless you don’t bother to pay for a medical marijuana prescription, or are caught trafficking huge amounts of the drug that would qualify as distribution, marijuana is basically a legal substance to possess in California.
It is important to note that the above laws do NOT apply on federal or U.S. Government property, where possession of marijuana in any amount, for any reason, is still illegal. Most of the large “marijuana busts” that appear in local headlines are performed by federal law enforcement on public lands under control of the U.S. Forest Service. These usually take place in the Southern portion of the county, which is sparsely populated and traditionally the source for most marijuana that is exported out of the area.