Thursday, January 31, 2008

Deja Vu?

Two arrested in connection with drive-by shooting

Rumors, Anonymity and Secrecy

Sometimes closed personnel sessions are good, and sometimes they are not. Such is the case of Tammy Falor, Humboldt County's County Counsel, and the circumstances surrounding her leaving.

Sometimes, when something is wrong with you, and you haven't been to the doctor, you imagine all kinds of diagnoses... is it cancer, will you die... it is the not knowing that causes you to spin and spin.

That is the case here. Out of the lack of information and specifics, rumor has become a rampant tumor, spinning wildly out of control. Many people are talking, though none on the record, and out of that the rumors grow. You've got the Elsebusch's (and others) demanding answers, reporters trying to get the story...

The Grand Jury conducted an investigation of sorts, and issued a statement that is too incomplete to be called findings.

And then you've got the rumors, some of them vicious, some with basis in fact, some with none.

One of those rumors showed up in the comment thread below. Ironically enough the discussion was about the merits (or lack thereof) of anonymous comments. And, in that very thread, you get to see both sides of the anonymity issue.

I considered deleting the first comment, because of the nature of the anonymous rumor. But the fact is, these things are out there, and if they are not brought into the sunlight and examined, the thing continues to fester and ooze, getting uglier as it grows. I have reservations about posting that comment here.

But it is the reason for the second comment, which addresses some of the issues, and asks a good many questions. I think the questions need to be addressed.
The first anonymous comment -
anonymous said... 1/29/2008 9:22 PM
the falor incident was going to get ugly, had it gotten out in public. she made unwanted sexual advances on a female staffer and with threats of a harrassment lawsuit against the county,

she pulled out other items that had they been made public would have made things even messier.

it cost the county a whole lot more just to pay her off and make her go away...

And here is the response -
anonymous said...

Rose, Kym stated, “Nasty gossip can ruin someone's reputation and livelihood.” A truer statement could not have been made, especially in the case of “anonymous, 1/29/08 9:22 PM.” That was an outrageous lie anonymous posted, because anyone who had even the briefest acquaintance with Ms. Falor would recognize that honesty was her hallmark and good will toward our community was absolute. Furthermore, whoever “anonymous” is, one might be able to guess from the information revealed in one of the most tightly guarded county secrets in history, that the author of that irresponsible lie is either an “insider” or acquainted with information to which only an insider would have access. In either case, the author was irresponsible and malicious to plant such a rumor on a public blog. Anonymous’ statement follows an equally outrageous and irresponsible Grand Jury report.

Here are some facts:

◼ The County Counsel’s office has between 16 and 18 people in it.

◼ The Assistant County Counsel reviews Grand Jury reports before they are published.

◼ Upward promotion in the County Counsel’s office could occur once Falor either retired, resigned, or was not reinstated once her contract ran out.

◼ The Grand Jury report of 2006-2007 was an incomplete report. It was irresponsible that any Assistant County Counsel allowed an incomplete, personally damaging report to be made public rather than recommending to the Grand Jury that it should wait until all of the evidence were in and the report were complete before releasing it or any “findings” for the public to read.

◼ By its own admission, the Grand Jury interviewed only two of the members of the County Counsel’s office. What about its doing a complete investigation and interviewing every member of the County Counsel’s office? I am certain there would be another conclusion. In an investigation of this importance, one that could (and did) ruin a person’s reputation, wouldn’t any person in Ms. Falor’s position want all witnesses to be interviewed rather than just a few? How is justice served by releasing a half-complete, half-baked report with misleading statements and false conclusions? Where is justice served by giving “part” of an incomplete investigation for the public to puzzle about?

◼ The Grand Jury Report stated, “There was considerable written evidence …to the effect that Ms. Falor’s job performance had been less than satisfactory for several years.” This is patently false. Each year until January, 2007, the County Counsel received laud from the BOS. Through the CA Public Records Act, one could petition the county for accurate information, which I am sure anonymous 9:22 PM did not do.

◼ The settlement in the Falor matter was just that, a settlement, meaning that the original claim would have been much higher had it gone to trial.

◼ Unless the BOS had something to hide, something they did not want out in public, they never would have “settled” and just let the contract run out in five months, saving the county over $200,000 according to the Grand Jury’s own report. THAT “something” is what the Grand Jury needs to explore, but hasn’t. The mere fact that the BOS settled (quickly and very secretly) points to something that needs to be looked into.

There are other questions that need to be considered in the Falor case.

◼ Was Ms. Falor even called before the Grand Jury to answer questions in her own defense? I am not sure of this, but I believe it did not happen. Otherwise, it would have appeared in the Grand Jury’s illegitimate “report.”

◼ Who stood to profit with Falor gone? All those who would be promoted, perhaps? Those who were passed over for promotion when she was hired, perhaps? The person who “approved” an incomplete Grand Jury report to be made public, perhaps?

◼ Could it be that Falor did have something on the BOS that would warrant a loyal, career civil servant to take the almost unthinkable step to sue her employers? Smart people do not make charges without evidence, especially smart attorneys, nor do responsible civic leaders (BOS) acknowledge error by compensating a plaintiff if there is no basis for the compensation, especially if the contract of the plaintiff were merely to expire within five months. That the BOS settled “secretly and with no explanation” lends credence to their having something to hide.

◼ What would motivate “anonymous” to publish such an excoriating lie, one that would strike an emotional nerve in ill-informed readers’ minds? Perhaps the author wanted to continue the character assignation that began with the Grand Jury’s “incomplete” investigation report, a report that was probably approved by the very person who replaced Falor. If this is so, and if anonymous’ information comes from within the office of the County Counsel, then the Grand Jury owes it to the community to investigate the inner workings of the County Counsel’s Office and all who work there.

There are so many questions surrounding the Falor case that causes it to smell like a cover-up and a conspiracy. Who initiated the initial movement to remove Ms. Falor from her office? Was it a member of the BOS? If so, who an why? According to records, Ms. Falor won all the cases she represented for the county but one. Are there special interests involved? Why was the Assistant County Counsel given only a temporary promotion? Does the BOS have another attorney in mind for the job? One it might have more influence over? There are just too many questions involved with this “incomplete report” that the whole Falor issue warrants a genuine investigation by the Grand Jury, or by an outside investigating team if the Grand Jury is too frightened or incompetent to perform its sworn duty, namely to make complete and thorough investigations into citizens’ complaints, not just partial, incomplete, and highly flawed investigations which produce damaging and false conclusions.

Bottom line is - this is a public employee, and a closed session decision, and we will never know all the answers, much as we might all like to have them. Good, bad or indifferent, that is the way it is.
County counsel resigns post 02/23/2007
County pays Falor $289,000 03/02/2007
$289,000 monster payout leaves many astonished 03/03/2007
Prior to resignation, county sought to terminate Falor 03/11/2007
Violations of Brown Act alleged in Falor settlement 03/13/2007
Fess up or be fired on Falor payout 03/15/2007
County residents deserve transparency about Falor resignation 03/16/2007
What's the whole story behind Falor's resignation? 03/18/2007
'Hiding dirty laundry behind the Brown Act is not good government' 03/23/2007
Suit alleges Brown Act breach 04/21/2007
How about openness by everyone? 04/26/2007
Report: More questions unanswered than answered in county counsel settlement 06/29/2007
Judge clears county on alleged Brown Act violations 07/06/2007
Suit on payout to ex-counsel dismissed 07/06/2007
Real facts of Falor brouhaha (3 sentences) 07/10/2007
Falor settlement handled well 07/11/2007

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

In Washington, Pennsylvania

Wife Divorcing Ex-Washington DA Pettit; Grand Jury Probes Claims Of Sex, Case Fixes
...WTAE Channel 4's news exchange partners at the Tribune-Review cited anonymous sources in a report that the U.S. Attorney's Office is investigating (former district attorney John) Pettit for allegations of fixing cases, soliciting false testimony, taking inmates and informants to buy drugs and trading sex with female inmates for leniency....

Monday, January 28, 2008

Interesting Op-Ed

In the Times Standard The anonymity rules
John Driscoll raises some good points.

"Unfortunately, however, anonymity rules. That means that anyone can say anything and suffer no consequence. That's why every thread quickly devolves into insults and badgering. If there are 100 comments on a story, perhaps five are salient. To find them, you must swim the polluted waters of the entire thread.

If you are easily insulted or insecure, and are the subject of these rants, you could take a bruising from these unidentified thugs. Those of us in the news business are too calloused to be offended, but our hope for an improving society suffers terrible blows."

"...Anonymity is important in some cases. Revealing important information about something wrong that puts your job or your life at risk is one such instance. Airing a particularly controversial political stance that may come with grave consequences is another...."

It's certainly not the first time it's been discussed - on our local blogs - on Daily Kos, there have even been suggestions for a Bloggers Code of Conduct. including the suggestion that you attach an "anything goes" badge for sites that want to warn possible commenters that they are entering a free-for-all zone. The text to accompany that badge might go something like this: This is an open, uncensored forum. We are not responsible for the comments of any poster, and when discussions get heated, crude language, insults and other "off color" comments may be encountered. Participate in this site at your own risk. And the follow up to that discussion

"Mr. (Tim) O’Reilly said the guidelines were not about censorship. "That is one of the mistakes a lot of people make — believing that uncensored speech is the most free, when in fact, managed civil dialogue is actually the freer speech," he said. "Free speech is enhanced by civility."

What do you think?

Sunday, January 27, 2008


IN MCKINLEYVILLE! Jack got it!!!!
Carol and Greg have snow in Loleta! Everyone's blogging about it.

'Sposedta be really stickin' in Fortuna, Hydesville, Loleta, the western part of McKinleyville, it was snowing at Wildberries in Arcata!

Update:The Eureka reporter has a great shot this morning from Blue Lake.
Love the one with the guy in shorts in the snow.The Times Standard has a couple of great shots, too.
Fred has links to highway webcams. Very cool.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Joke of the day

The tribal wisdom, passed on from generation to generation, says that when you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

In modern education and government, however, a whole range of far more advanced strategies are often employed, such as:
1. Buying a stronger whip.
2. Changing Riders.
3. Threatening the horse with termination.
4. Appointing a committee to study the horse.
5. Arranging to visit other countries to see how others ride dead horses.
6. Lowering the standards so that dead horses can be included.
7. Re-classifying the dead horse as "living impaired".
8. Hiring outside contractors to ride the dead horse.
9. Harnessing several dead horses together to increase the speed.
10. Providing additional funding and/or training to increase the dead horse's performance.
11. Doing a productivity study to see if lighter riders would improve the dead horse's performance.
12. Declaring that as the dead horse does not have to be fed, it is less costly, carries lower overhead, and therefore, contributes substantially more to the bottom line of the economy than do some other horses.
13. Re-writing the expected performance requirements for all horses.
14. Promoting the dead horse to a supervisory position.

OR -

15. If you are Ken Miller/heraldo/Salzman et al, when admitting you're riding a dead horse means losing your cash cow - what do you do? You post - "Unlike the T-S, the Humboldt Herald is disinclined to declare the fraud suit saga “over.” In response to the recent appellate ruling, other action prepares itself behind the starting gate.... Developing…"

I am blown away by this editorial

An end to the saga

The suit by the Humboldt County District Attorney's Office against Pacific Lumber Co. appears to have reached its end, after years of strife and division.

It seems so long ago when District Attorney Paul Gallegos and his then right-hand man, Assistant District Attorney Tim Stoen, announced the suit in 2003. For skeptics and enemies of Palco, the suit seemed like justice riding to the rescue -- the government taking on corporate power gone awry.

For others, though, the suit was seen as ill-thought-out attack on Humboldt County's historical way of life, and on one of the county's main economic engines.

Across the board, the suit split the county into various sides and ultimately led to the attempted recall of Gallegos, an effort that failed but brought even more division, more angst and more political bloodbath.

Gallegos survived the recall, but lost the suit.

Filed in February 2003, it claimed Palco submitted faulty studies during the Headwaters Forest negotiations to get the California Department of Forestry to adopt a less restrictive long-term logging plan. Gallegos' second amended complaint was thrown out of Humboldt County Superior Court by visiting Judge Richard Freeborn, a ruling upheld by the appeals court.

The logging plan was part of the agreement to sell the 7,400-acre Headwaters Forest and other groves for $480 million. Gallegos argued that the company secured it by submitting false data on landslides in one watershed and not submitting a correction until the last minute.

Palco's lobbying efforts with the state were the real force behind CDF's decision to drop the stricter logging plan and adopt a less restrictive one, the appeals court judges determined. The California Environmental Quality Act proceedings during the Headwaters discussions were the appropriate venue to consider if any evidence presented was false, they wrote.

Those lobbying efforts are privileged under state unfair competition laws, the ruling reads. The court also determined that Palco is protected by the Noerr-Pennington Doctrine that shields anyone petitioning the government or government agencies against civil liability, unless they are engaged in a “sham.”

Palco's efforts didn't meet the definition of a sham, the court wrote.

At this point we have to ask whether the suit was worth the cost, both monetarily and in the social repercussions that split this community so violently down the middle.

When Gallegos initially ran for office, he was criticized by some for -- to say it plainly -- not being a very good attorney. The results of this case don't do much to help his case.

He says now that he does not regret bringing the case. Should he? There's no easy answer there, but once voters make that determination in their own minds, the next question is whether Gallegos should pay the price with his job come next election.

On this case rested Gallegos' legacy as the Humboldt County district attorney. While some would uphold him as a visionary and a fighter, all we have seen after more than a term in office is that he brings division under the name of high ideals, and then fails to deliver on that promise.

It makes us wonder if the real motivation behind this suit was self-aggrandizement, rather than the well-being of Humboldt County residents.

THANK YOU, Times Standard.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Child molestation trial begins - AND ENDS w/update

with a plea bargain.

Child molestation trial begins

from the article" William Joseph Lenard was arrested in September for 19 various felony charges of child molestation....

Lenard’s attorney, Deputy Public Defender Jonathan McCrone, said that based on the evidence, “I don’t think he’s committed any crime at all.”

McCrone said he is unaware of any criminal record for Lenard. If found guilty, Lenard could face incarceration for 52 years, McCrone said.

(“It’s) more serious than a murder case — in terms of punishment,” he said.

The lowest sentence for first-degree murder is 25 years to life.

...When the allegations arrived, McCrone said his client was treated unfairly by law enforcement. Lenard called the District Attorney’s Office, but was never interviewed, McCrone said.

Sources say it was pled down to two counts - with probation.

Another serious - SERIOUS - complete and abject failure of Gallegos' DA's Office.

Molestation trial ends in plea agreement

The child molestation trial that began Tuesday in the Humboldt County Courthouse was over mid-morning on Thursday as both parties entered into a plea agreement.

Judge Marilyn B. Miles dismissed the 12-member jury and thanked them for their civic duty.

The defendant, William Joseph Lenard, 52, was charged with 19 felony counts of child molestation. He pleaded guilty to two felony counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a child under the age of 14.

The agreement came as a surprise to Lenard’s attorney, Deputy Public Defender Jonathan McCrone. “We thought we’d be here for three weeks,” he said.

Deputy District Attorney Kelly Neel spent about an hour coaxing a single answer out of the victim. “What happened to you in July 2006 in Lenard’s trailer?” she asked the victim repeatedly.

The victim couldn’t bring herself to answer. “This little girl very much wanted to testify, but the overwhelming nature of her testimony was too much for her,” Neel said.

Do you understand why the Child Abuse Services Team was formed? Do you understand why serious cases like these are only given to seasoned prosecutors, with TRAINING to handle child abuse cases - training to INTERVIEW a child properly and with compassion? Gallegos fired the office's child abuse specialist, he has dismantled the CAST team, he removed the only other qualified DDA he had assigned to CAST, put Schwartz in charge of child abuse, then - gave this case to an inexperienced DDA. He has done nothing to get training for the new hires to try to bridge the gap in experience, and he threw Ms. Neel to the wolves, and threw the kid to the wolves.

Michael Twombly, "Local Solutions" and MCSD

Early calls coming in said that last week, "Local Solutions" co-founder Michael Twombly appeared at the McKinleyville Community Services District Board meeting asking, on behalf of his 'church,' for relief from a large water bill. The water bill was the result of a leak. The 'church' was located on Boyd Rd.

So what church is it? Further investigation shows, not a church, but a shelter operated by the Humboldt All Faith Partnership.

Asked by Director John Corbett if there had been any ex parte communications, it was revealed that Twombly had contacted both Jeff Dunk and Javan Reid - who happen to be the candidates "Local Solutions" gave money to when they were running for election, and both of which were the subject of the recent Op-Ed by MCSD Manager Tom Marking.

Given how controversial "Local Solutions" involvement in MCSD matters is, you would think Twombly would know better. Even the appearance that he is asking for favors is harmful to both Dunk and Reid. And this request is not out of the ordinary, there would be no real need to lobby. For that matter, Dunk and Reid should have been leery of this contact. Asking for favors from politicians you have given money to is very bad form, especially from someone like Twombly (Salzman's communications director) who is so critical of other people in the local political scene. Perhaps Marking was not so far off base after all.

And is has certainly given rise to a great deal of speculation, given Salzman's blogger "heraldo's" sudden interest in McKinleyville. Ken MIller looked to be the logical suspect, as the only one of the Salzman crew who had a beef with Marking (Mad River Bluffs). But this is an interesting development.


There are some people who know who "heraldo" is - Eureka City Councilman Larry Glass is likely one of them

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Sexual harassment suit filed against John Burton

LA Times - Sexual harassment suit filed against John Burton
Executive director of Burton's foundation sues him for sex harassment

Domestic Violence and grant funding

ER Victim of attempted homicide flown to UC Davis Medical Center
TS Two men arrested for attempted murder

...Thomas Wallace, 45, of Blue Lake is accused of striking his girlfriend two to four times in the forehead area with a three-and-a-half-foot long metal pipe around 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, Sgt. Jon Sylvia said.

The victim, whose name was not released, was taken to Mad River Community Hospital, but after her injuries were found to be critical, she was flown to the UC Davis Medical Center's trauma center, Sylvia said.

Wallace was spotted at a Blue Lake gas station by ambulance personnel on their way to the victim and he was arrested shortly afterward. Wallace's father called 911 for help, Sylvia said....

Her injuries were more significant than could be handled at a Redding hospital,

This is when the importance of the programs we have lost will become apparent. Humboldt County receives grant funding to provide for a vertical prosecutor for Domestic Violence cases. That means one person who takes care of a case from start to finish. One person who specializes in DV cases. One person for the victim to deal with. One person to attend all phases of the trial. One person who knows the case inside and out.

Who is the assigned vertical prosecutor these days?

Questions about grqnt funding for DA DV Unit More later.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

My, my...

Guidestar it!

Keywords - Humboldt Baykeeper

What comes up?
Garberville, CA 95542


(GuideStar's mission is to revolutionize philanthropy and nonprofit practice by providing information that advances transparency, enables users to make better decisions, and encourages charitable giving.)

Friday, January 18, 2008

Weekend reading

Miller/Lovelace/Salzman and company will be trotting out all the anti-Mendocino Redwood articles, and touting the vast superiority of their plan. Not so fast...

In 2003, RANGE Magazine ran an expose on the Nature Conservancy. It's worth your time.

Unless we are willing to continue to accept the continued loss of not only private property and individual rights, but of large portions of our national culture and customs as well, The Nature Conservancy must be brought to heel.

Right now it is a well-fed and generally admired beast leading us in a wild run that is as destructive in its seemingly friendly character as it is in its seldom-seen attacks. This is no errant clumsy puppy we can finally calm. It is a runaway predator that will turn on us in defense of its territory.

The Nature Conservancy is the wolf we raised ourselves. The grizzly we fed from the table. The monster we made with indifference. If it is left to go on growing, it will be the master and we the obedient slaves...

...Most of us in America, if we know anything of TNC, have been inculcated to believe that the purpose of The Nature Conservancy is not only a noble cause on behalf of the environment, but on which has risen from the grass-roots desires and ideals of the people themselves.

But TNC is a runaway dog allowed to roam by our indifference... It is simply and obviously a matter of confronting perhaps the boldest grab for arbitrary power in history. It can only be restrained with a statement from the people that they will not be subjected to tyranny, however disguised it may be...

Perhaps the greatest secret held in the enigma of "nature's landlord" is that it is not really an environmental organization at all. It is a land acquisition scheme, complex and highly elusive, but dedicated in foremost to its own enrichment of wealth and power..."

This is all especially relevant to Humboldt County in light of the recent TPZ debacle, and the upcoming Palco negotiations.

ANOTHER new group

with the same face. How many does that make now?

Hank reports - "a new organization called the “Community Forestry Team.” The group includes longtime forestry activists Mark Lovelace and David Simpson as contacts — could it be that the Community Forestry Team is an outgrowth of the so-called Timber Acquisition Group, which had hoped to make a “community forestry”-based bid for Pacific Lumber lands? It was."

Ken Miller's end game. The reason why Mark Lovelace was willing to risk it all over the TPZ thing. The reason he speaks of Pacific Lumber as if it is his own. In his mind it is.

So how do you send a message to that bankruptcy judge anyway?

Because there is no way in hell that Ken Miller's Lovelace/"Humboldt Watershed Council/any other name they make up should get their grubby paws on any timber land. Not after everything they have done. There should be no reward for their astounding dishonesty.

Let the company go to any other bidder. Not this one.

Words to remember

"Once the deal was struck, however, our work was far from over."

The last word

Gallegos' infamous politically motivated lawsuit slips beneath the waves. Gallegos is done.

Full Circle

The Journal You’d have expected sadness, grief, maybe anger. Nothing of it. When District Attorney Paul Gallegos called his mini-press conference last week to respond to the appellate court’s decision to kill, yet again, his massive fraud lawsuit against the Pacific Lumber Co., the DA himself was perfectly accommodating and upbeat. From Gallegos’ demeanor, you’d never have guessed that California’s First District Court of Appeals had, in a stroke, erased his whole reason for being.

Rightly or wrongly, Gallegos’ whole career as a prosecutor has been tied up with this suit, which he filed shortly after taking office in 2003. The backdrop was the Headwaters Forest deal, in which the state and federal governments bought the last remaining giant old-growth redwood stand in private hands from Palco and simultaneously set up a long-term harvesting regime for the company’s remaining holdings. In the suit, Gallegos and his then-assistant DA, Tim Stoen , with help from local activist and pot doctor Ken Miller , alleged that Pacific Lumber defrauded the public in the late ’90s when the company submitted incorrect data on the relationship between logging and landslides to California regulatory agencies. (The company corrected the data, but — alleged the DA — too late.) The false landslide data allowed the company to secure a much greater rate of harvest than otherwise would have been possible, the DA argued. His suit sought restitution to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars.

The suit set off a shitstorm that now, five years later, people would find difficult to credit. Pacific Lumber funded a massive recall attempt against the DA, bringing in all kinds of out-of-town sharpies to do some very dirty political work. Gallegos himself became a folk hero, acquiring an aura of sainthood to some and of deviltry to others. Everything in the county boiled down to a single question — were you for Gallegos, or were you for Maxxam? If you answered wrongly, you were secretly beholden to pure evil. This vibe stuck around for quite a while, long after the failure of the recall and even after a trial court threw out the suit against Palco, two and a half years ago. (See “Case Dismissed,” July 7, 2005.) When, in 2006, Gallegos was faced by a challenge from law-and-order-minded Deputy District Attorney Worth Dikeman , the three basic cases to be made for Gallegos were that: a) the cops didn’t like him, b) he had basically legalized pot and c) the Palco case was on appeal. Despite the office chaos endemic to Gallegos’ tenure as DA and the dissolution of programs like the Child Abuse Services Team, these three factors and the aura remaining around him from the recall fight were enough to put him over the top.

What’s left? As stated above, Gallegos didn’t seem very perturbed by the ruling. Though it had been out for a full day before the press conference, he said that he hadn’t read it until a couple of hours before the conference. He disagreed with the court’s ruling — that Palco’s actions fell under the First Amendment-guaranteed right to lobby the government, and probably didn’t affect the outcome anyway — but he said that he respected that this was apparently the law.

“Candidly, I get positive opinions, not negative ones,” Gallegos said. “You’ve got a good 40 percent of the population that says ‘See, I told you so,’ and you’ve got 40 percent that say, ‘Darn, it didn’t work.’”

All in all, Gallegos said, it was worth it. Reasonably, he argued that the case itself wasn’t divisive; it was, he said, “a flashpoint of preexisting divisiveness or animosity in this community.” True enough, as far as it goes. But it’s still shocking to go back over the last five years and tally up all the hatred, all the paranoia, all the frenzied dark energy expended on this lawsuit and on the Gallegos persona, both by his detractors and his supporters. And then to realize that is was all over nothing, in the end.

There is one thing missing here - and that is the story of the big money and out-of-town-sharpies brought in to do some very dirty political work on Gallegos' behalf. One of those was a North Coast Journal cover story.

The TS reports

Drug operation near Eel River caused environmental damage
It's an AP story

UKIAH, Calif. -- Mendocino County authorities say a marijuana growing operation discovered near the Eel River may have caused $1 million in environmental damage.

A sheriff's spokesman says when deputies served warrants on the 2,000-plant indoor growing operation near Highway 162 Wednesday, they found hundreds of gallons of diesel fuel and other petroleum waste had been dumped into an open pit a half mile uphill from the river.

Authorities have arrested two Southern California men they say ran the operation.

Thirty-three-year-old Marco Guerra of Downey and 29-year-old Anthony Kim of La Mirada are being held on suspicion of manufacturing illegal substances, and being armed in the commission of a felony.

Compassionate use.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Who is paying for "Baykeeper's" lawyer?

Who pays for the lawyer? How many lawyers? Who pays the rent on the "shop" in Old Town? Who pays for all the fancy collateral - the signs for the slough, the T-shirts, the handouts, the website? Who pays Pete Sterling-Nichols' salary? How many others are paid?

Many business owners struggle here - many have a hard time paying the rent of those Old Town shops, many cannot afford expensive logo and collateral design, many fishermen struggle, yet the "Baykeeper" has a new Boston Whaler, and a seemingly endless supply of money.


Layne Friedrich (Bar No. 195431)
Drevet Hunt (Bar No. 240487)
Lawyers for Clean Water, Inc.
1004 O’Reilly Avenue
San Francisco, California 94129
Telephone: (415) 440-6520
Facsimile: (415) 440-4155

Michelle Smith (Bar No. 233515)
Humboldt Baykeeper
422 First Street Suite G
Eureka, CA 95501
Telephone: (707) 268-0665
Facsimile: (707) 268-8901

Fredric Evenson (Bar No. 198059)
Law Offices of Fredric Evenson
William Verick (Bar No. 140972)
Klamath Environmental Law Center
424 First Street
Eureka, CA 95501
Telephone: (707) 268-8900
Facsimile: (707) 268-8901


Who is paying her? Where is the money coming from? "Baykeeper" dues?

My, my... Guidestar it!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Do as I say, not as I do

The predatory litigious "Baykeeper" is at it again- only this time they got caught: Apparently, Pete Nichols don't need no stinkin' permits. But he'll sure sue the shit out of you if you didn't have one.

Baykeeper apparently "sidestepped regulatory agency procedures when it conducted a chemical dye test last week on Eureka’s Waterfront.

...Humboldt Baykeeper did not provide the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board the requested paperwork the agency needed to determine if a permit was necessary to conduct a fluorescent tracer test on the Balloon Track property.

...Humboldt Baykeeper didn’t comment on why it didn’t provide the Regional Water Board with the information it asked for.

Dave Evans,,, said the agency had not received a requested written description from Baykeeper on the specific testing to make a determination whether a permit would be required or if a waiver could be granted.

“We didn’t know what the purpose was because they didn’t submit the requested information,” Evans said.

Nichols stated only one drop of the non-toxic, biodegradable fluorescent dye was used by its consultants to trace the discharge."

BUT - "...An SHN Consulting Engineers & Geologists employee representing SN’s Marina Center project was among the more than 20 people who were present for the testing and observed the approximately one liter dye solution being poured into the water.

...Brian Morrissey, senior vice president for Security National, said it is ironic that Baykeeper chose to ignore the Regional Water Board and didn’t obtain a required permit, which he said was the basis for the environmental group’s lawsuit against SN.

...In May 2007, U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White ruled to dismiss eight of the 11 Baykeeper’s charges in the lawsuit against Union Pacific and SN.

The remaining three claims from the lawsuit filed March last year, allege violations of the Federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and Clean Water Act, as well as a failure of the land owner to apply for a National Pollution Discharge Elimination permit for storm water discharge."

Word on the street is "Baykeeper" is complaining that they are being "picked on." That's rich. There's not much oversight of the predatory orgs - but the Water Board certainly has some rights to monitor them and they are apparently sidestepping even that basic procedure. There's big money in this for them - How can anyone trust them?

The trouble with these guys - who is to verify the accuracy of their tests? Their own labs? Who is to say if they follow proper procedure? Who monitors the chain of command of the samples they take? Who knows whether samples get spiked or not? Switched or not? Maybe someone should sue "Baykeeper."

But just as a side note - if no one owned the property, if it was sitting there in limbo - would the water still be running into the ditches? Who would care? How would "Baykeeper" make any money if there were no rich pockets to try to pick?

Sunday, January 13, 2008

He's jist a boy who cain't say no...

♫♪ ♫ He's in a turrible fix... ♫ ♫♪

Paul Gallegos wants to jump his Secretary and Office Manager from the bottom of the pay scale to the very top.

From the Board Agenda for Tuesday
County Administrative Office
Item 3. Advanced Step Request in District Attorney's Office
RECOMMENDATION: That the Board of Supervisors deny the request of the District Attorney for step increases for the Legal Office Business Manager and Executive Secretary positions in the District Attorney's Office (Budget Unit 1100 205).

Yes, Gallegos claims he made a mistake when he hired his new secretary and his new office manager, that he should have started them at the top of the salary schedule.

He's asking that ◼ the Board approve movement of two employees in the District Attorney's Office to the TOP STEP of their respective pay ranges. The item cites an "internal miscommunication of the process" as the reason why these individuals were hired at Step A rather than at Step E.

From Step A to Step E

The personnel director says ◼ I am unable to sign the agenda item from the District Attorney requesting approval of an advance step appointment. This is actually a request to approve an accelerated step increase but the discussion section talks about the initial hiring process based upon the 2 employees work experience.

Appointment at an advanced salary is a tool to be used on occasions where there is a very limited candidate pool (many times only one qualified applicant on a list) and when the outstanding candidate, to come to work in Humboldt County, would have to take a salary reduction at our "A" step. This is not the case in either of the positions in the District Attorney's agenda item.

In regards to the Executive Secretary position there were many well qualified candidates to choose from on the list. there was no need or justification for offering a salary above the entry step.

In regards to the Legal Office Business Manager position Ms. Duncan promoted from a County position, receiving a 55% salary increase at Step A. This is not remotely close to justifying any beginning salary above "A" step.

Here's Gallegos' proposal: ◼ On, December 4, 2006, the District Attorney's Office hired a highly experienced business manager. Originally, Ms. Duncan was hired at Step A. On January 22, 2007, the District Attorney's Office hired Ms. Shoshani who was another highly skilled and experienced personnel for the position of Executive Secretary to the District Attorney at Step A.

He goes on: ◼ It was the Departments intent to hire both individual's at the level equivalent to their experience. Because of internal miscommunication of the process, both employees were hired at Step A rather than at Step E. We are requesting approval for Step E effective the beginning of the bi-weekly pay period following approval (note all spelling/punctuation errors are left as is here) pdf file

♫♪♪ ♫♪♪ Words fail me. What do you think? ♫♪♪ ♫♪♪

Gallegos on KMUD

This "interview" is so bad I don't know where to start.
Friday 6:00 pm News Archive

Saturday, January 12, 2008


Jury returns not guilty verdict for Orick resident

It may not be over yet....

Surprise, surprise,

"The laws of California are the laws of California... and that's where we find ourselves," is the quote used on the Ch. 3 News.

Today's Eureka Reporter says...

At a news conference Friday, District Attorney Paul Gallegos adamantly defended his decision to pursue a fraud lawsuit against Pacific Lumber Co. that was dismissed twice because the court found it had no legal merit.

“I think it was right to file the case,” Gallegos said.

He acknowledged that a considerable amount of time and effort went into the legal battle that has spanned four years and the county was at risk to pay the legal fees and possibly PALCO’s attorney costs.

Gallegos hasn’t ruled out an appeal of the ruling to the California Supreme Court, but said he wanted to consult with his colleagues before deciding.

According to its Web site, the Supreme Court must have an appeal served and filed within 10 days after the appeal court’s decision is final.
Read the rest - Gallegos responds to appeal court ruling on fraud suit

The Times Standard says Gallegos is largely resigned to accept his defeat, and says, He said it was worth the cost, but did not have a figure on how much money or how many hours were spent pursuing the case.

Before considering a petition to the California Supreme Court, he said would consult with colleagues about it. But Gallegos said the issue may be something the Legislature should consider taking up.

Palco Vice President Frank Bacik said in a phone interview that the Supreme Court reviews only a small portion of significant or novel cases, and said the appellate court cited long-standing precedents in making its ruling.

”One would not expect them to be interested in reviewing this case,” Bacik said.
Read the rest - DA largely resigned to Palco ruling

Which colleagues is Gallegos planning to "consult" with? Would that be all the other DA's, who he begged for help a few days before his appeal brief was due? Or would that be Richard Salzman, Ken Miller, Michael Shellenberger? I'm betting on the latter.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Guess Paul Gallegos will have gave a statement

You are invited to attend a Press Conference regarding PALCO's Decision,
today, Friday, 1/11/08 @ 3:30PM, at the D.A.'s Office, Courthouse Bldg,
825 5th St, 4th Floor.
Paul Gallegos
District Attorney

What? Not on the Courthouse steps?

TS has it as Breaking News

Gallegos unlikely to appeal fraud decision

Humboldt County District Attorney Paul Gallegos said he disagrees -- but respects -- a state appellate court's ruling allowing his hallmark fraud suit against the Pacific Lumber Co. to be tossed out.

At a press conference Friday, Gallegos said that the California Ist District Court of Appeal upheld privileges that originate in the First Amendment.

”Certainly I understand the public policy issues behind those privileges,” Gallegos said.

But he said that there is no societal value in fraud. While he believes the case looks into a new area of law, he said it is unlikely that he will petition the California Supreme Court in the matter.

The lawsuit filed in February 2003 claimed Palco submitted faulty studies during the Headwaters Forest negotiations to get the California Department of Forestry to adopt a less restrictive long-term logging plan. Gallegos' second amended complaint was thrown out of Humboldt County Superior Court by visiting Judge Richard Freeborn, a ruling upheld by the appeals court.

And of course, heraldo has the spin - Gallegos is just a "freshmen DA who had his first brush with POWER." In other words...

But even he admits - Gallegos doesn’t have the support, the ability, or the interest to carry on.

And Larry Evans is hopping mad - I guess EPIC has to take their ball back and try to put it in play even though it is now flat as a pancake.

This morning's papers

TS Gallegos' Palco case smashed by appellate court
ER Appeal court upholds dismissal of fraud suit against PALCO

My observation, the Eureka Reporter got it right and the Times Standard is wistfully wondering "what comes next?" for the suit, though their headline said it all in no uncertain terms. Let's hope it is dead. Let's hope Gallegos doesn't take it to the CA Supreme Court. Though that might be even more entertaining than this last one.

And over at Hank's blogthing - Ken Miller Says: The court’s decision means that a corporation, or any entity, has the right to lie in pursuit of a government permit, with immunity from prosecution by a DA.

Some will celebrate because Gallegos lost, when really it is the public that loses.

No, Ken - it means that both sides get to present their case in any dealings with public entities - without fear of judgement by biased officials or predatory litigants like yourself.

You say they lied. That doesn’t make it true. It's your opinion, your spin.

And the justices point out in no uncertain terms that this case in particular had plenty of review, took place in full public view with loads of public comment and oversight and negotiation by and between numerous governmental agencies resulting in 80,000 pages of documents. They found it unlikely that one document, submitted AFTER the filing period, and corrected voluntarily shortly thereafter, still BEFORE the decision was rendered, likely had no effect on the outcome.

They said that even after three tries, Gallegos case not only had no merit but wasn’t even salvageable.

The “right to lie” rhetoric made the justices laugh, Ken.


In the Arcata Eye - What happens when neighbors stand together to protect their neighborhood? You stop a grow house in its tracks.
Buttermilk Lane, 4 bdr, 2 bath, $425K – December 11, 2007

I nominate this for A World Of Good Award - Neighborhood style.

And here's another one: Neighbors chase down burglary suspect

Thursday, January 10, 2008

One question

Will the Court Of Appeals decision make the AP wire? Will the national reporters who published Shellenberger's press releases about the gallant David (Gallegos) now report that the Emperor had no clothes on after all...

Or is this like the guy who gets arrested, gets his name smeared all over the front pages, and when he is found innocent, doesn't even warrant a small paragraph clearing his name?

Your search - Pacific Lumber, court of appeals - did not match any articles between Jan 9, 2008 and today.

Everyone likes to come into town and say this is about the jack-booted loggers against the cool newcomers, the old boys versus enlightenment - how about a new angle this time -

There is an interesting pattern in the decisions rendered in Palco related cases. It is that the justices, in setting forth their judgements, go out of their way to express detailed opinions outlining the horrors of the so called “enviro”-litigant's actions.

It happened in the case of Bob Martel (Humboldt Watershed Council/Ken Miller, remember) where he was found to have no standing and ordered to pay substantial fees ($110,000.00, no less.)

It happened in Hurwitz's case against the FDIC where the judge ruled that the government had acted like the Mafia in trying to take his property.

It happened when Freeborn ruled on the demurrer, and it has happened again here.

The system does work. And the so called “environmental” groups who have attempted to use the court system as a Panzer unit are finding that out.  

The judges are not political animals, and the decisions are made quietly, without the fanfare that PACs bring. It's like the tree that falls in the forest - and in this case, no one hears.

DOWN IN FLAMES - Gallegos has lost his appeal.

Gallegos Loses, Hank has it first. TS has it, Eric's also picked it up, Nothing - zip zero nada from heraldo.
The First Appellate Court has just weighed in on the landmark fraud suit brought by District Attorney Paul Gallegos against Pacific Lumber. Gallegos has lost. The trial court decision to toss the case on demurrer was affirmed in full.

The Mother of All Long Term Projects has come to an end.There's a CD of the proceedings. More to come. You should all hear it.

Case information P. ex rel. Gallegos v. Pacific etc. 1/10/08
PDF file
Source, doc file also available

In concluding, the Appeals Court found that:
Given the undisputed presence of disinterested decision-makers at the CDF as well as other state agencies, the extensive independent review and analysis of Pacific Lumber’s proposed harvesting plan, the public hearing open to all interested persons and agencies, and the review process that was available for correcting any identifiable errors including misrepresentations) in a timely fashion, we are thus disinclined to conclude the CEQA proceedings were rendered illegitimate by Pacific Lumber’s alleged submission of raudulent data – which indeed was corrected over a month before issuance of the CDF’s ultimate decision.

In reaching this decision, we agree with the State that the trial court had no discretion to weigh the evidence in ruling on Pacific Lumber’s demurrer. However, “while the court does not weigh evidence, it must determine whether plaintiffs have demonstrated evidence which, if credited, would justify their prevailing at trial.” (Blanchard v. DIRECTV, Inc. (2004) 123 Cal.App.4th 903, 921.) Here, for the reasons discussed above, we conclude the State’s evidence, even if credited, would not justify its prevailing at trial. Further, we conclude the State has failed to prove, on its third try, a reasonable possibility that the operative pleading’s defect can be cured by amendment. Blank, supra, 39 Cal.3d at p. 318.) As such, we affirm the trial court’s judgment.

The judgment is affirmed.

See Gallegos' Complaint and Appeal in the sidebar for links to all the filings, amendments and briefs, as well as the decision.

How long before he files a Petition For Review before the California Supreme Court?

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Ken Miller has another letter on Cheri Moore

Moore jury needs answers And Ken still has all these questions.

All fine and well, Ken, but you left one out. The only one that matters. Do you know what it is?

For a pretty nearly complete list of articles (w/links) on this topic, CLICK HERE

Some of the articles are posted on watchpaulARTICLES in case links go dead.

DA says no charges in CHP shooting

DA says no charges in CHP shooting

EUREKA -- The Humboldt County District Attorney's Office has determined that the CHP officer who shot and injured Rodney Bartow in September on Snow Camp Road acted with reasonable cause, and that the shooting was legally justified.

At a press conference held Wednesday, the decision was announced.

” ... I have concluded that (CHP) Officer (Jeff) Goodwin has reasonable cause to believe that Mr. Bartow was resisting arrest, committing an aggravated assault, and was engaged in conduct that posed an immediate threat of serious physical injury or death to himself and/or others,” said a press release from the office of District Attorney Paul Gallegos. “Specifically, he was placed in a tense, highly uncertain and rapidly evolving situation. He made a split second judgment intended first to avoid to avoid the use of force and then, facing an immediate threat of serious physical injury or death to himself or others, to use deadly force.”

Bartow, 54, is currently being prosecuted for alleged crimes committed at the time of the shooting. He was shot after he drove in reverse toward a CHP officer after coming to a locked gate near Korbel.

The chase started after someone called to report apossible drunken driver near a Blue Lake gas station.
The CHP officer found the car, but Bartow took off when the officer tried to pull him over. Bartow lead the officer on Blue Lake Boulevard, through Korbel and almost to Snow Camp before reaching the gate.

Bartow was shot in the shoulder. He was eventually handcuffed and taken to a Redding hospital, where he was treated and released into police custody.

Credit when credit is due. Is this the third "Good Boy Paul?"

Tuesday, January 08, 2008


Regarding the Child Abuse Services Team (CAST) statistics, Paul Gallegos asks in the email below '...why do we keep the stats we keep?..."

On the one hand, this is a clear example of why the Grand Jury (2004-2005) reported that it" is the unfortunate truth that the D.A. exhibits a limited understanding of how things are done in the department"

After five years in office, you'd think he'd know the answer to this question.

On the other hand, those stats are a HUGE embarrassment for him, and you can bet he'd rather they not be kept. Remember the last time the CAST stats were revealed, the data showed an alarming and precipitous decline in the number of CAST cases filed since Paul Gallegos took office. Things didn't get any better after Gallegos removed Maggie Flemming, the competent, qualified Senior DDA he had assigned to CAST and gave those responsibilities to Jeffrey "" Schwartz. Not only appointed Schwartz to head it up but paid him extra for it...

There are alot of questions Gallegos could be asking - about how to repair the CAST program that he has all but dismantled.

I realize the stats are embarrassing, BUT Gallegos should be figuring out how to fix the program, not how to hide the stats.

-----Original Message-----
From: Gallegos, Paul [mailto:]
Sent: Friday, January 04, 2008 9:04 AM
To: Lewis, Melinda; Aaron Starcher; Angela Sundberg; BIG LAGOON
RANCHERIA; BLUE LAKE RANCHERIA; Bob Kane; Cassie Burgess (E-mail);
Cavinta, George; Chief TPD Ken Thrailkill; Crandall, Phillip; Damiano,
Bill; Daniel Pratt, Karuk Tribe; Dave Gunderson, Chief BLPD; Dave
Parris, Chief Yurok PD; Donna Johnson; Duncan, Jeannie; Eads, Stacey J;
Ed Guyer, Sgt. HVTPD; Fewell, Deana (June); Gomes, Jean; Graham Hill,
Chief RDPD; Heather Landreneaux; Hislop, Michael; Honsal, William; Howe,
Karla; Jean LaPietra; Jennifer Roberts; Jennifer Rose; Karen Cahill;
Kevin Lawson; Kris Kitna, Chief FoPD; Lewis, Beverly Morgan; Lonnie
Lawson, Chief FePD; Lynne Soderberg; Maryann Hayes Mariani; Moser,
Joyce; Neel, Kelly; Neil Hubbard, Detective EPD; Nord, Ben; Officer
Richardson, FoPD; Philp, Gary; Randy Mendosa; Rasines, Doug; Shoshani,
Michele; Steve Volow; Tom Chapman, Captain APD; Tom Dewey, Chief HSUPD;
Wendy Morris; Wheeler, Donna; William Hostler, Chief HVTPD
Cc: Neel, Kelly; Honsal, William
Subject: RE: CAST meeting agenda items?

I have a question I would like put on the agenda, why do we keep the stats we keep? What is the purpose? What is the goal? Is it something that came from another agency? I am curious what it is we are trying to measure or track.

Paul V. Gallegos
District Attorney

Office of the District Attorney, Humboldt County
825 Fifth Street
Eureka, CA 95501
(707) 445-7411
Fax: (707) 445-7416

The information contained in this email message is intended for the CONFIDENTIAL use of the addressees only. The information is protected under the attorney-client privilege and the work-product privilege. Recipients should not file copies of this email with publicly accessible documents. If you are not an addressee or an authorized agent responsible for delivering this email to a designated addressee, and you have received this email in error, THEN ANY FURTHER REVIEW, DISSEMINATION, DISTRIBUTION, COPYING OR FORWARDING of this email is STRICTLY PROHIBITED. If you receive this email in error, please notify the office of the Humboldt County District Attorney immediately at (707) 445-7411. Thank you in advance for your courtesy and cooperation in this matter.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Lewis, Melinda
> Sent: Friday, January 04, 2008 8:26 AM
> To: Aaron Starcher; Angela Sundberg; BIG LAGOON RANCHERIA; BLUE LAKE
RANCHERIA; Bob Kane; Cassie Burgess (E-mail); Cavinta, George; Chief TPD
Ken Thrailkill; Crandall, Phillip; Damiano, Bill; Daniel Pratt, Karuk
Tribe; Dave Gunderson, Chief BLPD; Dave Parris, Chief Yurok PD; Donna
Johnson; Duncan, Jeannie; Eads, Stacey J; Ed Guyer, Sgt. HVTPD; Fewell,
Deana (June); Gallegos, Paul; Gomes, Jean; Graham Hill, Chief RDPD;
Heather Landreneaux; Hislop, Michael; Honsal, William; Howe, Karla; Jean
LaPietra; Jennifer Roberts; Jennifer Rose; Karen Cahill; Kevin Lawson;
Kris Kitna, Chief FoPD; Lewis, Beverly Morgan; Lewis, Melinda; Lonnie
Lawson, Chief FePD; Lynne Soderberg; Maryann Hayes Mariani; Moser,
Joyce; Neel, Kelly; Neil Hubbard, Detective EPD; Nord, Ben; Officer
Richardson, FoPD; Philp, Gary; Randy Mendosa; Rasines, Doug; Shoshani,
Michele; Steve Volow; Tom Chapman, Captain APD; Tom Dewey, Chief HSUPD;
Wendy Morris; Wheeler, Donna; William Hostler, Chief HVTPD
> Subject: CAST meeting agenda items?
> If anyone has anything they want added to the agenda for next week's meeting, please let me know.
> Thank you,
> Melinda Lewis
> CAST Office Coordinator


I can answer this one for ya, Paul. The stats are kept so that any granting agency can know whether the terms of their grants are being met. The stats are kept so that we, the public, can know if we are getting our money's worth and, in this case, so that we can know the extent to which you are failing the children of Humboldt County.

ER - Former deputy DA speaks out
Be sure to look at the statistics chart
ER - Candidates spar over child abuse team
ER - DA's Office yet to respond to request for child abuse records
ER - CAST established with child victims in mind
ER - CAST needs support Gallegos is not providing
A matter of priorities
Paul Gallegos - Paying More for Less re: Schwartz January 2, 2007
In addition I have filed Public Records Act Requests for the CAST agendas. minutes and attendance sheets - Gallegos claims such documents are "evidentiary" in nature and therefore refuses to release them.

Another "Tides Center Project"

And further proof that the NorthCoast Environmental Center has access to millions of dollars and does not need your donations... It's also another indication of the incestuous nature of alot of these "groups" - and of the very small pool of people involved, really.

Smith River Project Staff and Associates
Project Staff
Greg King, founder and Executive Director of Smith River "Project"/Darryl Cherney's CO-Earth Firster/now the new Tim McKay/NEC
Ken Miller, Smith River Project North Coast representative/Bay Area Physicians for Social Responsibility/Bay Area Coalition for Headwaters Forest (BACH)/"Humboldt Watershed Council"/pre-eminent 215 Doc/pot stirrer

Project Associates
Cynthia Elkins, Program Director, Environmental Protection Information Center/Special Projects Associate for the Center for Biological Diversity/ASJE
Britt Bailey and Dr. Marc Lappé, Center for Ethics and Toxics
Jennifer Kalt, EPIC/Resource Protection Associate,/California Indian Basketweavers Association/Native Plant Society/Baykeeper/TPZ "expert"
• "Friends of Del Norte Norte"

The interesting name that (re)surfaces here is yet another "Tides Center Project," Dr. Marc Lappé, Center for Ethics and Toxics... who, if you remember, conducted a "...toxicological study that found elevated levels of dioxin in mussels and crabs immediately adjacent to the Sierra Pacific mill. The study...was commissioned by the Ecological Rights Foundation, a Garberville-based environmental group that (was) suing Sierra Pacific for alleged violations of the Clean Water Act. In addition to looking at shellfish near the mill, the study also collected and tested shellfish in Hookton Slough... The study, done by toxicologist Marc Lappe of the Center for Ethics and Toxics in Gualala, Calif...y." source..."

"ERF: is the predatory litigious parent of the equally predatory "Humboldt Baykeeper."

According to "...With dozens of wealthy foundations bankrolling radical activist groups, a good deal of public philanthropy has become a shell game. The money flows freely, largely undetected, thanks to Tides’ innovative funding vehicles. The many groups that Tides “incubates” (and which operate under Tides’ umbrella) are smart, fierce, and built to last -- their targets in industry are just now beginning to learn the size of this organized opposition and its institutional bankroll..."

Baykeeper/Ecological Rights Foundation (ERF)/Center for Ethics and Toxics CETOS), a project of the Tides Center
ERF donated more than $5,000 to the "Center for Ethics and Toxics"
Incestous Activist groups
The "projects"

It's quite a racket these guys have goin'.

Monday, January 07, 2008

A tragic loss

Jim Fahey – January 6, 2007
Word reached the Arcata Eye late Sunday of the passage of Jim Fahey, appellate attorney, inveterate Bridge player and Beatles fan. Fahey’s iconoclastic views on matters legal graced the pages of the Eye and Anderson Valley Advertiser. Friends and relatives are collecting remembrances; more information will be available in next week’s edition.

I got to know him a bit after the June 06 election. He was an incredibly kind and gracious - and intelligent - man. I will miss him.

Times Standard Editorial

Anatomy of a grand jury

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Lost another one...

Congratulations to Davina Smith. moving from the DA's Office to the County Counsel's office.

Add her to the long list of talent lost.

The Mendo Pot Chronicles

The Mendo Pot Chronicles by Mark Scaramella, from The AVA

Exerpt: A cautionary tale, versions of which have happened here, and will continue to happen here.

On January 9th of this year, Rex Farrance, 59, a long-time technical editor of PC World Magazine, was murdered in a home invasion robbery. Farrance, at the apparent behest of his son, had a large indoor grow going in his home in Pittsburg in the East Bay. Last week three men, Tremaine Amos, 25, of Bay Point, and Darryl Hudson and Montrell Hall, both 23 and both of Pittsburg, were charged with Farrance's murder, and the associated robbery and burglary....

and this:

...If urban pot dispensaries are selling their medicine for $40-$60 per ounce, that's $5120/pound @$40/eighth, and $7680/pound @ $60/eighth. Locally, we understand the wholesale marijuana is selling for $2500-$3000 a pound, which is a pretty sweet markup by any measure when it reaches buyers at $40 to $60 an ounce. And it's all tax free. You can make even more if you can grow and process your own medical pot and sell it for at least $40 per ounce, and if you don't have to pay the black market $2500-$3000 per pound, it wouldn't take long to recover your modest growing costs, would it?...

Fascinating read. h/t: RS

Flare gun test target is 'brilliant'

Dear Editor,

Kudos to Bob Hansen, of McKinleyville, for his brilliant and practical suggestion (in Letters to the Editor, Dec. 28, 2007) that District Attorney Paul Gallegos should volunteer to be the target of test firings of a flare gun and, should he be unwilling to do that, the police indictments should be dropped immediately.

From the time he first came to office, Paul Gallegos has squandered resources -- money, morale and reputations. It’s high time the people of Humboldt County come to their senses and throw him out. The sooner, the better.

Susan Dodd, Eureka

Then it looks like Salzman shows up in the comments: Humboldt county elected and then defended Gallegos in the recall, the people have spoken. The untouchable good 'ol boy network of coverup might be coming to a end and it appears some people just dont like that idea.

Funny since "untouchable" has been his word for Gallegos. The "Good Old Boy Network" has nothing on this virulent "New Little Boy Network" and, the people are stuck with Gallegos as a result of Salzman's lies and dirty tricks.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Save Your Money

It sounds so good - but ask yourself - what does this really MEAN?

Already the NEC and EPIC are collaborating on several projects, including the Orleans Community Fuels Reduction Project, Humboldt County’s timber production zone ordinance, impacts to Tolowa Dunes in Del Norte County, and a proposal to widen Highway 101 through Richardson Grove State Park...

They're collaborating on the TPZ issue? Yeah, you saw them all get up and testify at the recent TPZ hearings, so willing to let all the smaller landowners fall as collateral damage in their bloodlust for Palco. They're using this to beat their chests and sound the horn, and ask for money.

Oh - and the Richardson's Grove project, what was it they wanted to do? Shhhh, don't anyone tell them that - gasp - some trees will be cut for the planned expansion of the Green Bridge (Mad River Bridge). Unless you want to delay the improvements for a couple of decades, and add millions to the cost.

“With EPIC joining our Board of Directors, the NEC will continue to grow and thrive as one of California’s leading conservation organizations,” said Greg King, executive director of the Northcoast Environmental Center.“We’re facing major environmental challenges on the North Coast today, and our responses need to reflect these challenges. Collaboration between EPIC and the NEC will bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the important work at hand.”

Joining forces with a predatory litigious group like EPIC and "Humboldt Baykeeper" will surely add to the NEC's coffers. So you can save your money and donate it to more needy causes.

Updated links

The links to Cheri Moore articles have been updated in posts below to all the new urls for Eureka Reporter stories. If you find one that isn't working please email me,

Text of indictment in Moore case

The Times-Standard has a couple of reports on Gallegos' indictments, including the text of the indictment

Humboldt County Superior Court
People of the State of California, Plaintiff, V. David Douglas, and Anthony Zanotti, Defendant
Case No. CR076157AS & BS



The Grand Jury of the County of Humboldt, State of California, hereby accuses DAVID DOUGLAS, and ANTHONY ZANOTTI, of a felony, to wit: a violation of Penal Code Section 192 (b), in that on April 14, 2006, DAVID DOUGLAS, and ANTHONY ZANOTTI, did willfully, unlawfully, feloniously, and without malice, kill, CHERI LYNN MOORE, a human being, in commission of an unlawful act, not amounting to a felony; and in the commission of a lawful act which might have produced death, in an unlawful manner, and without due caution and circumspection, in violation of Penal Code Section 192 (b) of the Penal Code of the State of California.


Pursuant to Penal Code Section 1054.7, the People request that, within 15 days, the defendant and/his attorney disclose: (A) The names and addresses of witnesses at trial, together with any relevant written and/or recorded statements of those persons, and reports of the statements of those persons, including any reports or statements of experts made in connection with the case, and including the results of physical or mental examinations, scientific tests, experiments, or comparisons which the defendant intends to offer in evidence at the trial; (B) any real evidence which the defendant intents to offer in evidence at the trial. This request is a continuing request, to cover not only all such material currently in existence, but all material which comes into existence through the conclusion of this case.

Dated: December 3, 2007

(The indictment was signed by Paul V. Gallegos, district attorney of Humboldt County, and the foreperson of the grand jury, whose name has been blacked out to protect his/her identity.)

Key facts in Moore case
Timeline of Cheri Lyn Moore case
Key witnesses' past testimony
List of grand jury witnesses
Commanding police officers didn't testify before jurors

Requiem for an armed robber

Commemorating Zachary Cooke
Protesters, like Marissa Sholes, above, stated that they wanted to reach out to the community and give a voice to those who feel afraid or are threatened by law enforcement and to remember that organizations like Redwood Cop Watch are working towards establishing a police review board to investigate the actions taken by law enforcement that led up to Cooke’s death.

On Jan. 4 2007, Zachary Cooke, age 18, was shot and killed during an investigation into numerous armed robberies committed throughout Humboldt County of which Cooke and several other parties were suspected.

No private family memorial, this is a full blown stunt.

Lots of discussion all week at heraldo's
Protest to honor robber killed by EPD - - Redwood Curtain Cop Watch will hold a protest outside the Humboldt County Courthouse on the one-year anniversary of the police shooting of Zachary Cooke on Friday, January 4 at noon.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Update on Rollin's trial, and a note on urls

End of trial near
On Thursday, 14 jury members listened to possibly the last witness in a two-and-a-half-month-long trial for Orick resident Joseph Pierre Rollin.

Rollin and Joi Wright lived together in Orick, and he acted as her informal caretaker. When she died in March 2002 at age 42, she was bedridden with a disease that required a catheter.

Rollin is charged with dependent adult abuse and two enhancements — proximately causing death and inflicting great bodily injury.
This is a retrial, if you Recall.

Note: In the course of the Eureka Reporter's web update, all old urls are dead. I'll be working on converting all the old urls to the new ones, but it's going to be a very time consuming process. So if you're following this story, and the links don't work, try going to watchpaulARTICLES, where I've archived some of the articles, or try searching the headline at the Eureka Reporter site. The same holds true for coverage of the indictments of Douglas and Zanotti, the Cheri Moore coverage.

One thing is - if you take the title of the story and use it to Search the Eureka Reporter site, the stories are all there and they will come up - they've just had their address changed.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Acceptable? Or not? W/Update

Looking back, moving forward at the MCSD
Guest opinion by Tom Marking
Jan. 1, 2008 edition of the McKinleyville Press

This has been an interesting year at the McKinleyvilleCommunity Services District. For the customers, the operational aspects of the district have been handled efficiently and effectively. The staff has done an excellent job and we proudly serve our customers.

Our rates are low, our service is high and our goal is to keep it that way. We thank all our customers that are attentive to conserving water, are cooperative and are appreciative of our staff efforts on their behalf. Over the past few years, we have completed the ball fields, built a marsh complex, replaced the Pierson Park playground, constructed a new Hiller Park playground, started new recreation programs, added trails and amenities. Things are looking good from a staff perspective.

However, the recent fiscal emergency declared by the Governator has us concerned about another tax grab from the parks budget. Stay tuned in 2008.

Board Stuff: In retrospect, the election of 2005 brought a new dynamic. As all of you are well aware the governing board is suffering through some growing pains. The McKinleyville Press editorials have been doing their utmost to keep the public well informed of the recent controversy (the First Amendment is alive and well in McKinleyville, no loss of rights in this town!)

The election of 2005 brought in a duo of "progressives" to the board that wish to meld their political aspirations into district policy. From the outset, we were informed that "we were leaderless," we were a "ship without a rudder." Ouch! The sharp edges of those statements have been dulled a bit over the last few years. Local Solutions was probably ecstatic when Ron Coffman was maneuvered onto the board this spring... they finally had a majority on a local service board.

Well, in Mr. Coffman's zeal to charge forward with a bold new leadership style, he stumbled badly and created quite a stir. It is not polite, ethical or legal to make false accusations about the staff and the general manager in public meetings. He was offered the opportunity to correct the situation with an apology and retraction, but instead he rolled the dice on the election, and the voters gave him an answer. There is wisdom in that decision. The silent majority is underrated.

In September, the general manager made it clear he did not want to work for a board that governs from disrespect and hidden agendas, and publicly stated his intention to retire next year. While the editor continually reports that the decision to leave was over Mr. Reid's saber rattling and fabled unilateral disciplinary session; that was ruse from the start. There was no basis for any disciplinary action... and Mr. Reid has backtracked on that hasty decision (in spite of leaked confidential letters). All Mr. Reid accomplished was to cause divisiveness and problems for the staff, the board, the district and himself. (More spilled milk to be cleaned up).

After the recent election, maybe there will be smoother sailing with a new captain on deck. The board needs to refocus on our mission statement, goals and statutory authority. No doubt, there will be a few choice words spoken in closed session between the manager and a few members of the board... whenever that is finally scheduled.

Whether there will be satisfactory resolution to the current situation is yet to be determined. All relationships are built on trust and respect. Perhaps that is a worthy goal for the coming year - to be respectful and try to build trust. Actually, that is a worthy goal in our private lives also, don't you think? I wish Mr. Coffman good heath and I wish all the board a happy new year. Perhaps we can resolve our differences and get back to serving our customers in the manner they deserve and expect (p.s. and work out our differences in private,)

(Tom Marking is the general manager of the MCSD.)


Well, this isn't a good way to start off negotiating in private, is it? I'm surprised to see all this erupt, but even more surprised to see Marking brand Coffman with the "Local Solutiuons" brand.

For the record - I watch "Local Solutions" pretty closely, and Ron Coffman was no "Local Solutions" candidate (though they may well have wanted him). And the voters didn't do anything to "send him a message," Coffman withdrew from the race. (For those who don't know, Coffman was appointed to fill a vacant position, and running was the natural extension of that term, not, as Marking puts it a "roll of the dice.")

It may be fair to call Javan Reid and Jeff Dunk "Local Solutions candidates" because both men accepted $400 from "Local Solutions:" when they ran for Board. Both obviously participated in the sham interviews LS put on. While Reid may have been involved with "Local Solutions" from its inception, Dunk was, in my observation, clueless as to what they were about. He was merely flattered that they liked him and were willing to support his candidacy.

And make no mistake, what they are about is aiding Richard Salzman in achieving his goals - keep Gallegos in office and get Rodoni out. Using the local "progressive" community's angst about national politics, Salzman was able to drum up people to undertake this effort - it was in many ways a fund-raising mechanism for Salzman's candidates, as well as a get-out-the-vote machine.

It was also a means of priming the pumpline - Salzman didn't want to lose any more races because his candidates lacked experience, so getting like-minded people in on the ground floor, School Boards and Service Districts was one goal. He's a very patient man for all his volatility, and willing to wait to get his three votes on the Board of Supervisors.

Despite the supposed breakup of LS and Salzman, you will be seeing a great deal of them in the upcoming Supervisor's race - Clendennen is a real "Local Solutions" candidate, and they'll be pulling out all the stops to oust Rodoni.

But all that aside - If Marking were a "Local Solutions" sympathizer, and wrote this piece lambasting Bill Wennerholm and Helen Edwards airing all the dirty laundry, it would be just as wrong as this is. If there was any hope for repairing the recent rift between Dunk, Reid and Marking, this would look to have ended those chances. This is the kind of thing you write to get it out of your system, sleep on it for a day or so and then rip up.

And all that said, Marking is reputed to be an excellent manager otherwise, and one well worth keeping. He's been with the District far longer than most managers in that profession, which is testament to his ability and skill.

What do you think?

Added 1/12/2008
McKinleyville Press Editorial by Jack Durham

Now that the political dynamic has changed on the McKinleyville Community Services District Board of Directors, it appears that Manager Tom Marking will be sticking around. He's back in charge and has a board that will probably follow his recommendations.

There's a definite upside to having Marking back at the helm - he's smart, creative, frugal and he works his butt off.

Unfortunately, there are some serious issues that will probably remain unresolved - mainly Marking's belligerence to some members of the board.

Marking has deemed it necessary to communicate to the board with a litany of insults. For example, in a letter to directors he accused a board member of "arrogance" and "grandstanding," describe him as "snobbish" and then wrote that "his entire manner is offensive." In another letter, he stated that a different director "demonstrates a lack of character and ethics."

Some McKinleyville residents probably think such language is just fine and that the directors had it coming. But that view holds McKinleyville's manager to a very low professional standard. Certainly other managers of other districts and cities deal with contentious board issues without resorting to such tactics. That's not to say that a manager may not, at times, have legitimate gripes that make him or her want to lash out at board members. But when the situation arises, a professional will take a deep breath and approach the situation in a calm, purposeful, diplomatic fashion. It's about taking the high road and keeping your cool.

That approach is the opposite of Marking's guest opinion in last week's McKinleyville Press, in which he accuses Directors Jeff Dunk and Javan Reid of wishing to "meld their political aspirations into district policy." Marking doesn't elaborate on this, but appears to buy into some sort of conspiracy theory that the duo is making changes in MCSD policy with the goal that doing so will somehow help them get elected to a higher office. There's no evidence to back this up such an assertion. So what's the point? Perhaps it's about playing politics and trying to marginalize directors with whom Marking disagrees with.

He also conducts an oddball analysis of the last election, stating that Director Ron Coffman "rolled the dice on the election, and the voters gave him the answer. There is wisdom in that decision. The silent majority is underrated." Marking seems to have forgotten that Coffman pulled out of the race and didn't campaign, which might have something to do with the fact that he wasn't elected.

Tonight, Jan. 8, Marking and the board are scheduled to meet behind closed doors to discuss the situation. Based on his guest opinion, Marking sounds like he's geared up for a fight. "No doubt, there will be a few choice words spoken in closed session between the manager and a few members of the board," Marking wrote. It sounds rather ominous.

It would be nice to think that by "choice words," Marking means that he'll be professional, diplomatic and courteous. Let's hope so, because if he's going to stick around at the MCSD he'll need to be prepared to deal the town's diverse political landscape and an elected board that represents different segments of the community - even those he may disagree with. McKinleyville will be best served if Marking concentrates on being a manager and stays out of politics. Leave that for the board members that residents actually elect, and who can be tossed out of office every four years.

And that pretty much says it all.

In closing this thread, I want to say that Marking is right to recognize "Local Solutions" as a problem. But Jeff Dunk and Javan Reid are only window dressing in the LS effort. "Local Solutions" is a threat to good unbiased government IF they gain any traction as a powerbroker. Their association with Salzman ought to rule that out, but they have proclaimed a break with him. Should it turn out that "Local Solutions" is still working in secret or otherwise with Salzman to get him that 'third vote' on the Board of Supervisors, they will have to be stopped. Misunderstanding what they are about, and who they are really running is crucial.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Who Killed Les Crane?

And where is Chris Giauque? Robin asked these questions on another thread. Since we're talking about the effects of 215, It's worth asking...

Cannabis distributor Les Crane slain 11/18/05

Chris Giauque's brother has set up a website with information and links.
Chris disappeared from Humboldt County on August 9, 2003. Several months later, the Humboldt County Sheriffs classified his disappearance as a homicide. Chris has not been found. Anyone who has information about his disappearance is encouraged to call me (Clint) at: 707-822-4415 or email me at clintgiauque at

There is a $50,000 reward for anyone who knows where his remains are located. Anyone with information can also call the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at (707) 445-7251.
Chris' brother sent the following letter to over 2000 residents in Redway, California (southern Humboldt County) August 9, 2005, and to local news media and local and federal law enforcement agencies. The letter has details about Chris’ disappearance and the unsuccessful search to find him.

11 August 2003. Rebecca Giauque called me and said that Chris had been missing for 2 days. Rebecca had married Chris 2 weeks earlier. She said that she was a suspect and had hired an attorney and a private investigator. She would not provide further details.

I called Chris’s friend. He reluctantly told me that Chris had gone to Spy Rock in Mendocino County to pick up over $100,000 in cash from Ben Lomax on the night he went missing. Rebecca and Lomax had filed a missing persons report. They decided to not tell the Humboldt Sheriffs about the cash because it was from an illegal marijuana business that Chris and Lomax co-owned. This friend refused to talk to the Sheriffs because he did not want to get into any trouble.

After speaking with the Humboldt Sheriffs, I received another phone call from Rebecca. Rebecca Giauque said that she did not want the Sheriffs to know about the over $100,000 in cash that Chris picked up the night he went missing. She then warned me to stay out of Chris’s business.

12 Aug 03. I called the local media and offered a $50,000 reward for Chris’s location.

13 Aug 03. Chris’s blue Toyota pick-up was found in Humboldt County at the junction of Elk Creek Road and Avenue of the Giants. The Sheriffs immediately considered it a homicide. The Sheriffs asked me if I had seen Rebecca since they could not find her and she was not returning their calls.

23 Aug 03. I interviewed Ben Lomax. Lomax was the last person to report seeing Chris. Ben Lomax admitted that he had given Chris over $100,000 in cash on the night he went missing. The cash was from over 100 pounds of outdoor marijuana. Lomax and Rebecca had not reported the cash to the Sheriffs because the marijuana business was not legal. Lomax was upset with me for telling the Sheriffs about the cash and his illegal marijuana business. Lomax said he thought Chris was killed while burying the cash in Salmon Creek. I reported this conversation to the Sheriffs along with the fact that Chris had over $1,000,000 in cash buried on his Salmon Creek property that he shared with Rebecca Giauque.

30 Aug 03. Rebecca called me and said that she would have me arrested if I came onto any of Chris’s properties. This was the last conversation I had with Rebecca Giauque.

16 Apr 04. I learned that Ben Lomax had given tens of thousands of dollars in cash to Rebecca’s private investigator, Jeff Cyphers, in the Eureka Bayshore Mall parking lot. The source of this money was Lomax’s illegal marijuana business.

Rebecca’s attorney, Kelly Walsh contacted me that same day. He was very upset. Attorney Kelly Walsh repeatedly threatened me and said, “you better keep quiet or I will have you taken care of”. I later learned that investigator Cyphers and attorney Walsh had used Walsh’s Eureka law office to collect tens of thousands of dollars in cash directly from Lomax, and much more cash indirectly (PR030266, May 21, 2004. Judge J.M. Brown). The source of this money was Lomax's illegal marijuana business.

I have taken attorney Walsh’s threats very seriously. I know that people who are involved in the collection of large amounts of drug money can be dangerous. Chris’s disappearance and homicide s an example. After attorney Walsh’s threats I was repeatedly followed and harassed by investigator Cyphers. I have also witnessed a violent attack against a close supporter of mine.

The Sheriffs admit that private investigator Cyphers has close friends in their department. Cyphers also worked closely with one of the detectives on Chris’s case. I do not know why private investigator Cyphers would collect my murdered brother’s marijuana debts from the main suspect in his homicide. I have tried to interview Cyphers but he will not answer my questions. This information has not interested the Sheriffs department and they will not investigate.

For the past 2 years, I have been too afraid to speak out. By going public with this information, I hope to shut down Ben Lomax’s illegal marijuana business and the flow of illegal cash to people that have repeatedly harassed and threatened me. This would help my family’s search for Chris. I realize that this is unusual but I am asking for help from the local community.

I know that there are people who know what happened to Chris but are not willing to talk to the Sheriffs. I encourage anyone with any information about Chris Giauque to call me (Clint Giauque) directly at (707) 822-4415. This includes people with information about the collection of Chris’s marijuana debts.

I have offered a $50,000 reward that is still available to anyone who can tell me where Chris Giauque is located. Rebecca Giauque and Ben Lomax will not offer any reward.

Federal authorities raided Lomax’s property three weeks after publication. Lomax was arrested and indicted on charges of conspiracy to cultivate and distribute 4400 pounds of marijuana with a street value of $17,000,000 along with 14 other people. Lomax was released on bail and is currently awaiting trail. A copy of the US Attorney’s News Release can be seen at:

U.S. Deptartment of Justice - $17 million marijuana cultivation operation uncovered; 15 indicted -
September 8, 2005


Still missing 8/28/03
COMMET seizes 8,000 marijuana plants
Advocate Missing from Spy Rock Area 8/31/03
Missing Activist Wins Back Disputed Ounce of Pot
Judge Seizes Marijuana at Government's Request
Patient Sues U.S. for Return of One Ounce of Pot 11/19/01