Creeped Out in the Kitchen

All I did was go into the station’s kitchen for some coffee. What I saw stopped me in my tracks and sent cold, sweaty chills racing through my body.

After backing out of the doorway, I quickly made my way to the other side of the building to find my co-worker, Boogie. I wanted him to see what I’d found and to make sure he wasn’t playing some sort of joke.

He followed me to the kitchen. His reaction was pretty much the same as mine — instant chills and goosebumps.

Boogie then went to find his supervisor, whom I didn’t know was in the building. He had him go look in the kitchen.

“Ah, this is bulls*t,” we heard him exclaim.

Even though he saw it with his own two eyes, he thinks we’re nuts. What he seen was every drawer and cupboard standing wide-open in the kitchen.

So if he didn’t do it, Boogie didn’t do it and I didn’t do it and we didn’t have an earthquake — who did?


Fort Ter-Waw Comes and Goes

Not much is left to be found of the many white establishments built during these times of growth and tumult. In fact any remnants of Fort Ter-Waw washed away with a minor flood that ravaged the banks of the Klamath River in 1969.

I have often wished I could have seen what was left of the old fort before it disappeared.

By 1855, relations between settlers and the Tolowa had deteriorated, and there was a second battle at the village of Yontucket. The village of Howonquet was also sacked and burned, and 70 Tolowa were killed.

Later the same year, white miners and settlers in the Weitchpec area demanded the Indians hand over their firearms. This instigated the Red Cap Indian War.

Its believed the Red Caps were a mixed-group of Native American “vigilantes,” who went to war against settlers and miners. The war nearly brought on the collapse of the Indian settlement plan designed by the government.

The whites made the first move by burning Indian villages and raping the women. When the Indians fought back, military assistance was requested from Fort Humboldt.

This led to the establishment of the Klamath River Indian Reservation November 16, 1855. The Wau-Kell Agency Post was established to oversee the reservation.

Soon after the Army outpost of Fort Ter-Waw was established at what is now the Klamath Glen. It was located six miles from the mouth of the Klamath River.

Over the next two years, more than 600 Indians from the Southern Oregon coast and the Smith River area were rounded up and moved to the reservations.  However, many escaped and returned to their homeland.

Between 200 and 500 Tolowa were sent to the Klamath River Indian Reservation in August 1857. In 1860 following the Chetco-Rogue River Indian War, more Tolowa were sent to other reservations outside the area.

Then in the winter of 1861-62 heavy rains flooded the Klamath River and washed away the Wau-Kell Agency and most of the buildings at Fort Ter-Waw. Both the agency and the fort were abandoned soon afterwards

During May of 1862, the Smith River Reservation was created by presidential executive order and between 400 and 500 Tolowa were returned to the reservation.  Yuroks, Matolles and Wylackies were also relocated to the Smith River Reservation.

Camp Lincoln was established in September of the same year to oversee the reservation operations. Less than six years later it was closed and the Indians were removed to the Hoopa Valley and Round Valley reservations.

Meanwhile the Klamath River Indian Reservation was still in operation and the Yuroks were allowed to return to their old homes. Here they found for the time being peace and security — at least for a little while.

Jumping Backwards

One of my favorite places to visit anytime we went on a track-meet in the Bay area was “Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum,” on Fisherman’s Wharf. When I first picked this up after having filed in a scrap-book for so many years — I wondered why in the world I kept it.

After looking at it a little closer — nearly needing a magnifying glass these days — I discovered the silly little mention of  “J.Darby of England — Jumped backwards 12 ft. 11 in. (with weights.) ”  Obviously because the guys name was Darby, I felt it necessary to hold onto the paper.


Trouble Comes in Threes

It seems northern Nevada cannot catch an even break this month. First a shooting in Carson City that left five dead and seven injured, followed by a plane crash at the Reno Air Race, which killed eleven and injured 69 people and now another shooting.

Authorities are investigating after a shooting inside a Sparks casino led to an evacuation and lockdown early Saturday.  Sparks Police say a group of members from the Hell’s Angels and Vagos motorcycle clubs got into a fight inside near the Trader Dick’s bar where several shots were fired.

When officers arrived, they found three people with gunshot wounds who were transported to the hospital. One person died while the other two are being treated for their non-life threatening injuries.  

Detectives say the man killed in the gun battle was the president of the San Jose chapter of the Hells Angels Jeffrey Pettigrew. The two who were wounded are Vagos members Leonard Ramirez and Diego Garcia and are in stable condition.

But it was another shooting in the city Saturday morning that was the final straw. Authorities say in the second attack, a drive-by shooting by a pair of men in a black SUV on a lone biker, may or may not be connected to the casino gunfight.

The lone biker is listed in stable condition, while the pair made good their escape.

And true to his nature, Mayor Geno Martini decided to cancel Sparks’ share of a big biker festival the rest of the weekend.  He also declared a formal state of emergency in the city saying will help speed state assistance if there’s any more trouble.

Once again the many have to pay for the wrongs committed by the few.

And while vendors close-up their booths and put away their tents and goods in Sparks, Street Vibrations continues to rumble on through Reno. Authorities in the Biggest Little City have added extra patrols to the festivities in order to maintain public safety.

They say trouble come’s in threes. I hope whoever “they” is — they’re correct.

Reno Soldier Killed by IED

The Pentagon is confirming the death of a Reno soldier, killed in Kandahar province, Afghanistan. U.S. Army Sgt. Timothy Sayne died September 18,2011 from injuries suffered after insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.

He was assigned to the 5th Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Fort Wainwright, Alaska. Sayne, age 31, joined the Army in February 2008, and had one previous combat tour of duty in Iraq.

The family asks that in lieu of flowers — memorials be made to Sayne’s son and expected child. Records show he was married in Reno in November 2009.

Air Race Finality but No Closure

The city of Reno has released a new list of eleven people confirmed dead in last week’s air race crash at the Reno-Stead Airport. The Washoe County Medical Examiner’s Office has completed identification and notification to the following family members.

• Sharon Stewart – 47-year-old female – Reno, Nevada.
• John Craik – 45-year-old male – Gardnerville, Nevada.
• Cheryl Elvin – 71-year-old female – Lenexa, Kansas.
• Wendy Hewitt – 56-year-old female – Mohave, Arizona.
• George Hewitt – 60-year-old male – Mohave, Arizona.
• Craig Salerno – 50-year-old male – Friendswood, Texas.
• Michael Wogan – 22-year-old male – Scottsdale, Arizona.
• Regina Bynum – 53-year-old female – San Angelo, Texas.
• Gregory Morcom – 47-year-old male – Stanwood, Washington.
• James McMichael – 47-year-old male – Graham, Washington.
• James Leeward – 74-year-old male – Ocala, Florida.

The NTSB confirms 7 were killed on the tarmac with 2 dying later from their injuries, then an additional victim died this past weekend and with Tuesday’s announcement, the death toll is 11. As of Tuesday, five victims with injuries are still being treated at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center, Renown still has nine patients, and  no patients remain at Northern Nevada Medical Center.

Lastly, Walton’s Funeral and Cremations in Reno is providing funeral services, including consultation, preparation of all authorizations and permits, submitting obituaries, and coordination with those providing other portions of the funeral, such as cemetery, crematory and clergy. Walton’s says it will also cover the necessary services to ship the remains of the out-of-town victims.

“This tragedy has touched us all,” says Tammy Dermody, owner of Walton’s, “All of us at Walton’s feel it is absolutely imperative to give back to the community we love so much.”

Eleventh Air Race Death Confirmed

Authorities say an eleventh person has died from injuries received in Friday’s plane crash at the Reno Air Races. City spokesperson Michelle Anderson confirms James McMichael of Graham, Washington was killed at the scene.

Officials have been testing body parts found in the gruesome crash aftermath since Friday.  They have also identified Wendy Hewitt of Fort Mohave, Arizona and  Craig Salerno of Friendswood, Texas, as those among the dead.

Meanwhile, authorities say a Kansas woman whose husband, two sons and daughter-in-law were badly injured in the plane crash has been confirmed as dead.  Officials with the Washoe County Medical Examiner’s office say scientific identification proved Cheryl Elvin was among the fatalities.

Also a Sacramento City College aeronautics professor is offering insight into what may have caused the deadly plane crash at the Reno Air Races.  Kit Sodergren says the World War Two-era plane may have lost a trim tab that would have caused the pilot to lose control. 

He believes pilot Jimmy Leeward was knocked unconscious when the plane suddenly pitched straight up in the air because the force could have been as high as 10 Gs.  National Transportation Safety Board investigators are looking at the tail section of the plane.

Add to this, a newly released photograph suggesting Leeward may have become dislodged in the cockpit as a result of a broken seat.  NTSB officials are examining photos taken before and after the incident, including a picture in which the pilot isn’t visible from inside the cockpit.

Finally, the Salinas air show will go on as planned this weekend following the tragedy of the Reno air races. Executive Director of the California International Air Show at Salinas Harry Wardwell says air shows and air races are very different, adding pilots are required to undergo yearly competency tests, the planes are inspected before each show and they fly parallel to the crowd.