Fortuna’s Star Hotel Burns

A major fire broke out in downtown Fortuna during the early morning hours today, engulfing part of a block of Main Street. Engines from Ferndale, Scotia, Eureka and elsewhere helped battle the blaze and provide coverage.

Star Hotel

The structure involved is the historic Star Hotel building. Located on the corner of 11th and Main Streets, the Star Hotel was a popular destination from the 1880’s to the 1950’s.

So far no word what caused the fire.

In 1876 the Star Hotel building was named in honor of Andrew and Jacob Starar, who owned a ranch near the Mad River. They kept a herd of elk in a fenced area in town, which was probably the town’s source of meat at that time and Andrew  even owned most of the town at one time, selling  part of it to Henry Rohner, for whom Rohnerville is named.

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Rohner purchased 350 acres donating it to Fortuna for its first city park. The deed of the parkland was signed by Abraham Lincoln, and a replica is housed at the Park’s Depot Museum.

In the early 1900’s Henry’s widow, Mary sold the town a total of 53 acres of the family’s land in three installments. This is now the location of the present-day Rohner Park.

Their daughter, Elizabeth Rohner, sold the third section of land to the City for one dollar with the stipulation that the park’s name never be changed.

The brothers are also Fortuna’s connection to the Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine, believed to be in the Superstition Mountains, near Apache Junction, east of Phoenix, Arizona.  The mine’s named after Jacob Waltz, who discovered it in the 19th century but kept its location a secret.

After leaving California the Starar brothers went to Mexico, and then sometime in 1866 or ‘67, returned to the U.S. settling in Arizona next to Waltz. Andrew purchased a part of a mine claim from Waltz on August 8, 1878.

Many speculate that the diggings he purchased was part of the famed mine.

Details About Harry Reid’s Latest Accident Change

The accident threatening Nevada’s Senator Harry Reid’s vision took place in the bathroom, instead of the living room of his home as first reported. The new detail supposedly fills in the account of how he suffered broken bones around his right eye and four broken ribs.

In recounting the New Year’s Day accident, Reid said he was doing an exercise routine when the strengthening-band snapped and “catapulted” him backwards and to the side, and into some cabinets. Amazingly, this isn’t the first time he’s hurt himself, nor is it the first time the story has changes.

In early 2011, Reid claimed he was jogging in the rain when he slipped and fell, injuring the right side of his face. A few days later a spokesperson amended the story saying Reid had put his foot on the bumper of a car to tie his shoe when he slipped, producing the injuries.

According to the website, ‘Alzheimer’s Reading Room,’ balance and walking problems often present before the diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s or dementia.  Meanwhile, Reid underwent surgery in Washington, D.C. where doctors repaired the bones around his eye socket and drained the blood that gathered in the front and back of the eye.

2014: The Hottest Year on Record?

Recently, the Associated Press reported that 2014 was the hottest year on record, but has since issued a correction saying the 650 million-to-one statistic was out of context. They also say the original story omitted an explanation of the margins of error in its calculations.

Read the AP’s correction:

In a story Jan. 16, The Associated Press reported that the odds that nine of the 10 hottest years have occurred since 2000 are about 650 million to one. These calculations, as the story noted, treated as equal the possibility of any given year in the records being one of the hottest. The story should have included the fact that substantial warming in the years just prior to this century could make it more likely that the years since were warmer, because high temperatures tend to persist.

The story also reported that 2014 was the hottest year on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA, but did not include the caveat that other recent years had average temperatures that were almost as high — and they all fall within a margin of error that lessens the certainty that any one of the years was the hottest.

An earlier version of the story quoted Rutgers University climate scientist Jennifer Francis as noting that the margin of error makes it uncertain whether 2014 was warmest, or the second, third or sixth warmest year. She said that regardless, the trend shows a “clear, consistent and incontrovertible” warming of Earth. That reference to the margin of error was dropped in later versions.

Kind of changes the whole global warming argument, huh?

By Not Watching My Step

It was early this afternoon when I thought it would be nice to go out in the backyard and toss the ball for the dogs to fetch. They’re great at running it down, but still need much work at dropping it at my feet.

That’s where my ‘nice’ idea took a turn. Several times I instructed one of the two dogs to drop the ball, which they did, unfortunately it was right where they were standing and nowhere near me.

I had to retrieve the ball myself.

Focusing on the ball, I started across the length of the yard one more time. This time though, I stepped in a pile of dog-crap.

Immediately my foot slipped out from under me as I tried to regain my balance. It did me no good as I fell anyway.

Now falling, is one thing, but what happened next, I cannot fully account for other than to say it happened. As my left foot slid forward, I twist my body to the right and toppled backwards.

Then somehow, my face collided with my knee or my knee banged into my face, giving me a blooded nose. All I could do for a few seconds is lay in the grass and watch as stars swirl about my head.

The dogs were sympathetic to my plight as one brought the ball over to me, while the other vigorously offered to help clean my face with her tongue. That’s when I decided stars or no stars I had to get up off my back.

So needless to say, no more ball for a while, as I have a hell of a head ache now.

A Plan to Replace Harry Reid

In a Washington Examiner article, University of Virginia political science professor Larry Sabato is naming Nevada’s Senator Harry Reid as 2016′s ‘Most Endangered Democrat,’ suggesting Republicans’ run Nevada’s Governor Brian Sandoval against him in the upcoming election cycle.

This fits directly with a prediction I made in August 2009 shortly after Sandoval decided to Sandoval step down from a life-long appointment as a Federal Judge to run for governor.

“Brian Sandoval is quitting his lifetime appointment as a Federal Judge in order to run for the state’s governorship. Sandoval was Nevada attorney general before he quit to take over the bench and had been chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission before he bailed from the job to become AG.

Simply put — Sandoval isn’t a real public servant. Instead he’s using ‘public-service,’ to climb the ladder to what he believes are ‘bigger and better positions.’

In fact, I’ll go out on a limb, predicting he’ll quit as Nevada governor to run for the U.S. Senate, if the opportunity arises.”

Granted, I felt certain at the time he was going to bolt from the governor’s mansion the moment John Ensign resigned. Surprisingly, Sandoval appointed then-Congressman and fellow-Progressive Dean Heller to the position instead.

My prediction was on, my timing was off.

Nevada’s Senators Upset Over NFL’s Handling of Balls

Nevada’s two Senators are involving themselves in the NFL’s investigation known a ‘deflategate.’ Evidently, sports now fall within the realm of national politics.

Senator Dean Heller is calling on league officials to punish those he labeled ‘cheaters.”

“As the Senator from the only state where sports betting is legal, it is imperative the integrity of the game never be questioned,” Heller complained.

The NFL also drew the anger of Nevada’s senior Senator, Harry Reid.

“I can’t believe the National Football League, with the billions of dollars it makes, couldn’t at least determine how much air should be in a football,” Reid said.


Meanwhile, Patriot’s QB Tom Brady poked fun at the two Senator’s: “This isn’t ISIS, no one’s dying.”

However, ISIS/ISIL did behead Haruna Yukawa of Japan after that country refused to pay a  $200 million ransom, for him and Kenji Goto.  The terror group is now demanding the release of a would-be suicide bomber being held in Jordon for Goto’s freedom.

Now back to what really doesn’t matter…

Following the 45-7 rout of the Baltimore Colts during the AFC Championship game, someone accused New England of deflating their footballs. The Pat’s deny the charge and the NFL continues to investigate.

Doom’s Day and the Death of a King

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has died at 90. His successor is expected to be his 79-year-old half-brother, Prince Salman.

This spells trouble. Along with Abdullah’s death and fall of the government in Yemen, Iran will now extend its influence over Sana’a in Yemen Iraq’s Baghdad, Damascus, Syria and Beirut in Lebanon.

Ironically, at the same time, the Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists pushed the Doomsday Clock ahead by two minutes. It now rests at to 11:57 p.m.

The closer it is to midnight, the closer the world is to doom, according to the Board. The last time the clock moved was in 2012 when they set the minute hands to 11:55 p.m.