Monday, March 31, 2008

Gallegos, Wayne Adam Ford and Karen Mitchell?


Comment posted on a thread below: Rose, you asked for more about this the other day on another thread. Here goes: PVG (Paul Varden Gallegos) and (Mike) Hislop somehow cooked up a deal with mass murderer Wayne (Adam) Ford, promising him immunity if he was willing to talk about the Karen Mitchell disappearance. Ford has apparently all but admitted being the perpetrator. Mitchell's aunt and uncle (Bill Casper, DOJ lab) agreed to the deal, for closure. On the drive down to speak with Ford, the Boy Blunder and Robin came up with the bright idea to renege on their deal. They met with Ford, told him no deal, he told them pound sand. No closure on the Mitchell tragedy. Good job PVG. Any thoughts?

Yes. I'd like to hear more about this.


Where is Karen Mitchell?
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
websleuths thread
Polly Klaas Foundation
Ford Gets Death Sentence

UPDATE:
Online sleuths take on missing persons cases

Regarding the comment above - A meeting did take place. Dave Parris arranged a meeting. Parris, Gallegos and Hislop went down, and Hislop was at the interview, if I heard it right. Gallegos did renege on the offer of immunity. It didn't seem to matter. Ford denied having anything to do with Karen Mitchell (and it doesn't fit his profile). He also passed a subsequent (and unrelated, I think) polygraph, performed by a top polygraph expert. Ford is not considered a suspect in the Karen Mitchell killing.

The reason why Parris was able to finally get to talk to Ford is that Ford's sentencing was completed. Ford had recently (last fall) been sentenced to death, hence, the window opened to pursue any leads in that direction.

Today's Tomorrow's Consent Calendar

Posted after 4:pm on Friday with Monday being Cesar Chavez day, a state holiday. Seems like, once again, there ought to be more notice for people who are following these things.

Item 14. Adoption of Senior Deputy County Counsel Classification.
RECOMMENDATION: That the Board of Supervisors adopt the class of Senior Deputy County Counsel , (salary range 504, class 0598, unit 8) into the classification plan; Approve the revised salary range for Assistant County Counsel (from range 508 to salary range 530m class 0603); Approve the allocation of one full-time Senior Deputy County Counsel (salary range 504, class 0598) in budget unit 121 effective the beginning of the bi-weekly pay period following approval; and approve the disallocation of one Deputy County Counsel I-IV (salary range 489, class 0600) effective on the date the Senior Deputy County Counsel position is filled.

Page 1 of supporting documents: This means...
1. Adopt the class of Senior Deputy County Counsel, (salary range 503, class 0598, unit 8) into the classification plan;
2. Approve the revised salary range for Assistant County Counsel, from range 508 to salary range 530, class 0603);
3. Approve the allocation of one full time Senior Deputy County Counsel (salary range 504, class o598) in budget unit 121
effective the beginning of the bi-weekly pay period following approval and
4. Approve the disallocation of one Deputy County Counsel I-IV (salary range 489, class 0600) effective on the date the Senior Deputy County Counsel position is filled.

Item H. CLOSED SESSION
5. It is the intention of the Board of Supervisors to meet in closed session to consider the public employee performance evaluation for the position of County Counsel pursuant to Government Code section 54954.5.

Given H-5, should promotions and raises be on the Consent Calendar?

Update: Looks like it has been pulled for discussion. There were some glitches with the telecast, so I'm not positive.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Fitna, the movie.


Anon.R.mous posted it.
Live Leak pulled it after being threatened. (You can see what they had to say on Anon.R's post)
YouTube pulled it, at least the first part.
Fred has posted it.
He got it from Nobody's Business.
Nobody's Business got it from Google who has not yet caved in to the pressure.
You can also find it on The Liberal Blogger: here.
An interesting post about it here.
And another here, at the Gates of Vienna: Why “Fitna”?
All of us who care about free speech should post it as well.
Here is the embed code: (just close the space(s) between the first and last angle brackets < and e, and d and >, < and /):
< embed style="width:400px; height:326px;" id="VideoPlayback" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" src="http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docId=3369102968312745410&hl=en" flashvars=""> < /embed >

Here's another:

ht: Wollf

Friday, March 28, 2008

Samples

"Samples are taken regularly during storms and measured in a portable turbidity monitor, and the filtered sediment is weighed in our Sunnybrae sediment lab." That would be Ken Miller "Salmon Forever" (a 501(c)(3) btw) who claims in 2000 "We also serve as a scientific consultant to Voices of Humboldt County, a monthly publication of the Humboldt Watershed Council. The publication’s name comes from a video Salmon Forever and Humboldt Watershed Council co-produced in 1997." Co-produced? CO-PRODUCED? Let me get this straight, Ken Miller's "Salmon Forever" serves as a consultant for Ken Miller's "Humboldt Watershed Council" and he co-produced a video with - himself? It must be a coalition.

A January 21, 2003 press release from
Michael Shellenberger, Salmon Forever, 510-525-9900
Ken Miller, Humboldt Watershed Council, 707-839-7444
Jesse Noell, Salmon Forever, 707-443-7433
Cynthia Elkins, EPIC, 707-923-2931
is titled: Groups Demand Water Board Curtail Excessive Logging
Independent Scientific Panel Says Pacific Lumber Logging Will Prevent Recovery of Five North Coast Watersheds


Ken Miller recently opined, in a My Word in the Times Standard, that The court's decision in the Pacific Lumber case crystallizes a frightening expansion of the “right to lie,” so that the successful cheater (as opposed to one who is caught during the proceeding) is immune from any legal consequences for lying in most government proceedings. The rationale is that the protection of free speech, and finality in permitting processes, are worth the damages resulting from undetected deception.

How does the 'right to lie' argument apply to Ken Miller's own activities? To Humboldt Watershed Council's activities? To that "project" of Humboldt Watershed Council, "Healthy Humboldt Coalition?"

Tamara Falor hired at Harland Law Firm

“I am very happy to be working with people I respect and admire,” Falor said. “It’s good to be back working.”

Falor said she hit the ground running at Harland and already has several projects underway.

...Although the details of Falor’s resignation were never made public, the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors approved to pay her $289,000 to settle a claim against the county for six unspecified personal injury damages.
read the rest
ht: Former 5th

Gallegos: No criminal conduct in Cotton death

Gallegos: No criminal conduct in Cotton death
Humboldt County District Attorney Paul Gallegos held a press conference Thursday to announce his investigation into the August 2007 death of Martin Frederick Cotton II is complete, and no criminal charges will be filed.

“There is no evidence — or certainly not evidence of a compelling nature that a crime was committed,” Gallegos said.

Though numerous witnesses were interviewed, due to the lack of evidence, “we simply could not bring a case to trial that would win,” Gallegos said, adding that unlawful use of force by the Eureka Police Department could not be proven...
,,,Upon arrival to the jail, he was too combative for a medical evaluation — a process that normally occurs prior to being booked into the facility, Nielsen said.

He was placed in a “sobering” cell which has an approximately one-quarter-inch thick rubber coating on the floor and on short wall that surrounds the toilet and sink. The cement walls are not coated.

Gallegos said that on a video from a motion-sensor camera that monitors the cell, Cotton was seen striking his head and body parts on the cell.

“He is very combative with himself, or what he may perceive as another person,” Gallegos said. “The padding would not necessarily prevent the sort of injuries that Mr. Cotton had.”

The video also showed correctional officers checking on him periodically, and reacting promptly when he was unresponsive.

The cause of the fatal injury to Cotton’s head — an acute subdural hematoma due to blunt force trauma — could not be pinpointed, Gallegos said.


NCJ Who Killed Martin Cotton?
Blogthing - Martin Cotton Redux
TS No charges coming in Cotton's death
Cotton's estate has filed a wrongful death and civil rights violation claim against the City of Eureka, the County of Humboldt, the Eureka Police Department and the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office as well as unidentified corrections officers.,,,

...Cotton's aunt, Lynda Rumburg, said she wasn't surprised by Gallegos' decision.
”I think he is a coward,” Rumburg said. “I think (Eureka Police Chief Garr) Nielsen is a coward. I think the sheriff is a coward. And, most of all, the officers that first responded, then the officers that were in jail and did nothing other than watch my nephew die a horrible, awful death are cowards.”


In this case, Madam, Gallegos has done the right thing, and the EPD officers who risk their lives going into a situation like this deserve thanks.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Heads up

For those following the MCSD/Marking debacle - Jack reports -
BREAKING NEWS: Special meeting on ‘employee harassment/embezzlement investigation’
2 p.m. Saturday, March 29, at Azalea Hall, 1620 Pickett Road, McKinleyville.

Jack's McKinleyville Press link is always in the sidebar, and he can also be found on Hank's pipes along with a ton of other great blogs.

TS McKinleyville holds special closed session

Public Interest Watch

Public Interest Watch (PIW) has uncovered the exact location of the secret "action warehouse" Greenpeace uses to coordinate its controversial actions. Hidden behind its doors is a treasure trove of information about Greenpeace's operations and its future plans.

According to Public Interest Watch, Greenpeace uses the warehouse, located in suburban Washington, D.C., to store props and train activists.


Wonder how long it'll take 'em to find the Big money "grassroots" campaigns on behalf of the American Civil Liberties "Union."

Ten Grand from the Blue Lake Rancheria...

Ten Grand for Clif Clendenen.
Clif Clendenen is not far behind with $13,683. Clendenen's largest donation to date came from the Blue Lake Rancheria which contributed $10,000 to his run for office. Wonder how that came about, and what they want in return.
Update: Eric put up a Clendenen press release that says he has accepted a total of $27,342 in donations to date.

And look, Richard Cogswell and Esther Saunoras are back in the donations business, giving $2,000 (is that each? or as a couple?) to Estelle Fennel.

And Bob McKee is donating.... How will that affect John Vevoda's ability to vote on the Tooby Ranch issue if elected?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Verdict reached in Davis’ child molestation case

Verdict reached in Davis’ child molestation case
ER After a week of deliberation, the 12-person jury found assistant Boy Scouts leader Matthew Christopher Davis guilty on three-of-the 10 charges he faced... “I’m just glad it ended with a result that resembles justice,” (prosecutor Arnie) Klein said...

He faces an approximate maximum sentence of 10 years and eight months in state prison and will have to register as a sex offender with law enforcement agencies wherever he resides, Deputy District Attorney Arnie Klein said.

An unrelated charge will be brought before Judge Bruce Watson on April 2. Davis is accused of stealing a computer from a business he worked for. The computer was seized when Davis was arrested. A date for Davis’ sentencing hearing will be scheduled on April 2 as well.


related: Gag order requested in child molestation case 4/13/07
...Davis, 23, of Eureka, has pleaded not guilty to six counts of child molestation with a child under the age of 14, second-degree burglary and possession of stolen property.

...he could face a maximum penalty of 36 years in prison, Humboldt County Deputy District Attorney Jeffrey Schwartz has said...


The Notebook of Alternate Juror No. 4: What it's like to sit in judgment of an alleged child molester - Judy Hodgson/The Journal

Monday, March 24, 2008

501(c)(3) questions

A 501(c)(3) is not allowed to be an action organization, i.e., it may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities. So, if a 501(c)(3) takes in grant money as one group, then calls itself another group name, and funnels the money to themselves as that group which does actively attempt to influence legislation as its prime directive, is that legal? Or is it money-laundering and cheating the system?

Or in other words if "Humboldt Watershed Council" is a 501(c)(3) that takes in $125,000 (or $325,000), and then Mark Lovelace, the "President" of "Humboldt Watershed Council" sets up a new group, (a "project"), and uses the money to pay himself, Mark Lovelace, acting as the second group, actively working to, and acting solely to, affect and influence legislation, is that legal?

He submits his own plans for the Gounty General Plan for God's sake: Healthy Humboldt Letter to Board of Supervisors
"...it seems prudent to investigate further the possibilities of a truly city-centered plan, as proposed by the Healthy Humboldt Coalition..." and he also came up with his own plan to deal with the TPZ/Palco issue(s).

Tax Information for Charitable Organizations
Exemption Requirements
To be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, an organization must be organized and operated exclusively for exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3), and none of its earnings may inure to any private shareholder or individual. In addition, it may not be an action organization, i.e., it may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.

Political and Lobbying Activities

Measuring Lobbying Activity: Substantial Part Test
...Whether an organization’s attempts to influence legislation constitute a substantial part of its overall activities is determined on the basis of all the pertinent facts and circumstances in each case. The IRS considers a variety of factors, including the time devoted (by both compensated and volunteer workers) and the expenditures devoted by the organization to the activity, when determining whether the lobbying activity is substantial.

Under the substantial part test, an organization that conducts excessive lobbying activity in any taxable year may lose its tax-exempt status, resulting in all of its income being subject to tax. In addition, a religious organization is subject to an excise tax equal to five percent of its lobbying expenditures for the year in which it ceases to qualify for exemption.

Further, a tax equal to five percent of the lobbying expenditures for the year may be imposed against organization managers, jointly and severally, who agree to the making of such expenditures knowing that the expenditures would likely result in the loss of tax-exempt status.


Related:
Resources Legacy Fund Foundation
Lovelace's funding
NCJ This week's Town Dandy

Evolution of Rape Laws - UPDATED



An evolution of law: Spousal rape recently prosecutable
TS If Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen's wife had made the same rape allegations 30 years ago that she made last month -- or in some other states -- Gundersen wouldn't have been charged with a crime. Read the rest

Additional Recommended reading: (shown above)
Amazon The Laws of Rape: Books: Sue Bessmer (Landmark Dissertations in Women's Studies)

UPDATED:

Former Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen has been cleared of all major charges first filed against him in 2008. - Arcata Eye MARCH 2012

****

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Easter


Check out BloggerPlay a streaming show of images uploaded to Blogger in real time. People from around the world - babies, weddings, vacations, sports, graduations, family reunions, and Easter. We have so much more in common than we realize.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Resources Legacy Fund Foundation


According to their site, it looks like Resources Legacy Fund gave $200,000 to Humboldt Watershed Council in 2004. pg 18 of that file

And another $125,000 in 2005

Link to Guidestar report on Resources Legacy Fund Foundation
Link to Resources Legacy Fund Foundation homepage
Link to Audited Financial Statements
Consolidated Resources Legacy Fund and Resources Legacy Fund Foundation:
• 2007 & 2006
• 2006 & 2005
• 2005 & 2004

Form 990
As public charities, Resources Legacy Fund (RLF) and Resources Legacy Fund Foundation (RLFF) each file a Form 990 annually with the Internal Revenue Service.
The Form 990 provides detailed financial data, including a list of grants awarded.
To review our recent Form 990s, click on one of the links below:
• 2006 RLF 990
• 2006 RLFF 990
• 2005 RLF 990
• 2005 RLFF 990
• 2004 RLF 990
• 2004 RLFF 990


ActivistCash has some info on Resources Legacy Fund Foundation Now remember, the Miller/Lovelace crowd wanted you to vote for Measure T banning outside CORPORATIONS from donating money locally - look at the BIG money here, and this was just 2002...
Finances for tax year ending 12/31/2002
Total Assets $8,534,738.00
Grants Awarded $0.00
Top Grants Made
Funding To Activist Groups Total Donated
Natural Resources Defense Council $500,000.00
Tides Foundation & Tides Center $263,638.00
Learn more about what the term "project" means in the Tides Center link. - Among other things -
Many environmental groups that now operate on their own got their start as a “project” of the Tides Center. These include the Environmental Working Group, Environmental Media Services, and the Natural Resources Defense Council -- which was itself founded with a sizable Tides “grant.” The Tides Center began with a seemingly innocent transfer of $9 million from the Tides Foundation. The Center immediately took over the operations of nearly all of the Tides “projects,” and undertook the task of “incubating” dozens more. There are currently over 350 such projects, and the number grows each year.

This practice of “incubation” allows Tides to provide traditional foundations with a unique service. If an existing funder wants to pour money into a specific agenda for which no activist group exists, Tides will start one from scratch. At least 30 of the Tides Center’s current “projects” were created out of thin air in response to the needs of one foundation or another.

So they donate TO Tides and NRDC, not get money FROM them... and they gave to "Humboldt Watershed Council." They spent alot on consultants and lobbying... Looks like nothing for HWC in 2006 from that particular grantmaker....


HWC 2004 Form 990 Shows $33, 925 in total revenue. $6,573 in in Net Assets or Fund Balances at the Beginning of the Year
Shows no transfers of funds.
Checks N/A to this question - During the year, has the organization attempted to influence national, state, or local legislation, including any attempt to influence public opinion on a legislative matter or referendum? If "Yes," enter the total expenses paid.
Checks 11a as a Reason for Non-Private Foundation Status - 11a is An organization that normally receives a substantial part of its support from a governmental unit or from the general public Section 170(b)(1)(A)(vi) (Also complete the Support Schedule in Part IV-!)

Humboldt Watershed Council Forms 990 from the IRS:
• 2006 Form 990
• 2005 Form 990
• 2004 Form 990

In it's Federal Form filings, HWC lists as an accomplishment - Obtaining a grant for $200,000 to assist the City of Arcata in its purchase of the Bayview Ranch, which will be preserved for open space, recreation, and wildlife and watershed protection. pg 10 of that pdf file.

The funding for that project shows up on a Coastal Conservancy report/staff recommendation but no Humboldt Watershed Council:
ESTIMATED PROJECT FINANCING:
Coastal Conservancy $750,000
Wildlife Conservation Board 500,000
California Waterfowl Association 185,000
City of Arcata/Jacoby Creek Land Trust 65,000
Total Project Cost $1,500,000


Your search - "Bayview Ranch" Arcata "Humboldt Watershed Council" - did not match any documents.

There IS NO GUIDESTAR listing for "Healthy Humboldt."

Note: this was a "developing" thread, and the information evolved as new facts came in, the comments below follow that same path of discovery, from hey, what's this, to, ok, here's more...

Related: Lovelace's funding
NCJ This week's Town Dandy

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Green machine

Good reading, from a few years ago in the Sacramento Bee - touches a bit on what we've been discussing below.
Update: This post is getting so much traffic, alot of it from activist-type sites. I'm curious why - but let me be very clear for all of those who aren't part of that larcenous subset, the article below details ways in which the "environmental" orgs fleece the public through scare tactic marketing, false claims, and appealing to the high ideals of the people they seek to dupe. Some orgs, like the "Baykeeper/Riverkeeper/CoastKeeper" (moneykeeper) groups make their money using the judicial system, they threaten lawsuits and walk away with million in go-away settlement money. Then, as we have seen here, they set up another phony nice sounding group and start the suing cycle all over again. The laws that were set in place to assist citizen watchdogs are now used by new age con men to make money, and fool the public with nicely worded dishonest Mission statements. It is going to take some new laws to put the orgs back into a system of checks and balances that all other facets of government and policymaking have to operate under. Their experts should be checked, licensed and required to be unbiased, just for starters... For more check on labels in the sidebar both here and at the watchpaulARTICLEarchive side of this blog.

Mission adrift in a frenzy of fund raising (Second of five parts)

Dear Friend,
I need your help to stop an impending slaughter.
Otherwise, Yellowstone National Park -- an American wildlife treasure -- could soon become a bloody killing field. And the victims will be hundreds of wolves and defenseless wolf pups!


So begins a fund-raising letter from one of America's fastest-growing environmental groups -- Defenders of Wildlife.

Using the popular North American gray wolf as the hub of an ambitious campaign, Defenders has assembled a financial track record that would impress Wall Street.

In 1999, donations jumped 28 percent to a record $17.5 million. The group's net assets, a measure of financial stability, grew to $14.5 million, another record. And according to its 1999 annual report, Defenders spent donors' money wisely, keeping fund-raising and management costs to a lean 19 percent of expenses.

But there is another side to Defenders' dramatic growth.

Pick up copies of its federal tax returns and you'll find that its five highest-paid business partners are not firms that specialize in wildlife conservation. They are national direct mail and telemarketing companies -- the same ones that raise money through the mail and over the telephone for nonprofit groups, from Mothers Against Drunk Driving to the U.S. Olympic Committee.

You'll also find that in calculating its fund-raising expenses, Defenders borrows a trick from the business world. It dances with digits, finds opportunity in obfuscation. Using an accounting loophole, it classifies millions of dollars spent on direct mail and telemarketing not as fund raising but as public education and environmental activism.

Take away that loophole and Defenders' 19 percent fund-raising and management tab leaps above 50 percent, meaning more than half of every dollar donated to save wolf pups helped nourish the organization instead. That was high enough to earn Defenders a "D" rating from the American Institute of Philanthropy, an independent, nonprofit watchdog that scrutinizes nearly 400 charitable groups.

Pick up copies of IRS returns for major environmental organizations and you'll see that what is happening at Defenders of Wildlife is not unusual. Eighteen of America's 20 most prosperous environmental organizations, and many smaller ones as well, raise money the same way: by soliciting donations from millions of Americans.

But in turning to mass-market fund-raising techniques for financial sustenance, environmental groups have crossed a kind of conservation divide.

No allies of industry, they have become industries themselves, dependent on a style of salesmanship that fills mailboxes across America with a never-ending stream of environmentally unfriendly junk mail, reduces the complex world of nature to simplistic slogans, emotional appeals and counterfeit crises, and employs arcane accounting rules to camouflage fund raising as conservation.

Just as industries run afoul of regulations, so are environmental groups stumbling over standards. Their problem is not government standards, because fund raising by nonprofits is largely protected by the free speech clause of the First Amendment. Their challenge is meeting the generally accepted voluntary standards of independent charity watchdogs.

And there, many fall short.

Six national environmental groups spend so much on fund raising and overhead they don't have enough left to meet the minimum benchmark for environmental spending -- 60 percent of annual expenses -- recommended by charity watchdog organizations. Eleven of the nation's 20 largest include fund-raising bills in their tally of money spent protecting the environment, but don't make that clear to members.

The flow of environmental fund-raising mail is remarkable. Last year, more than 160 million pitches swirled through the U.S. Postal Service, according to figures provided by major organizations. That's enough envelopes, stationery, decals, bumper stickers, calendars and personal address labels to circle the Earth more than two times.

Often, just one or two people in 100 respond.

The proliferation of environmental appeals is beginning to boomerang with the public, as well. "The market is over-saturated. There is mail fatigue," said Ellen McPeake, director of finance and development at Greenpeace, known worldwide for its defense of marine mammals. "Some people are so angry they send back the business reply envelope with the direct mail piece in it."

Even a single fund-raising drive generates massive waste. In 1999, The Wilderness Society mailed 6.2 million membership solicitations -- an average of 16,986 pieces of mail a day. At just under 0.9 ounce each, the weight for the year came to about 348,000 pounds.

Most of the fund-raising letters and envelopes are made from recycled paper. But once delivered, millions are simply thrown away, environmental groups acknowledge. Even when the solicitations make it to a recycling bin, there's a glitch: Personal address labels, bumper stickers and window decals that often accompany them cannot be recycled into paper -- and are carted off to landfills instead.

"For an environmental organization, it's so wrong," said McPeake, who is developing alternatives to junk mail at Greenpeace. "It's not exactly environmentally correct."

The stuff is hard to ignore.

Environmental solicitations -- swept along in colorful envelopes emblazoned with bears, whales and other charismatic creatures -- jump out at you like salmon leaping from a stream.

Open that mail and more unsolicited surprises grab your attention. The Center for Marine Conservation lures new members with a dolphin coloring book and a flier for a "free" dolphin umbrella. The National Wildlife Federation takes a more seasonal approach: a "Free Spring Card Collection & Wildflower Seed Mix!" delivered in February, and 10 square feet of wrapping paper with "matching gift tags" delivered just before Christmas.

The Sierra Club reaches out at holiday time, too, with a bundle of Christmas cards that you can't actually mail to friends and family, because inside they are marred by sales graffiti: "To order, simply call toll-free ... " Defenders of Wildlife tugs at your heart with "wolf adoption papers." American Rivers dangles something shiny in front of your checkbook: a "free deluxe 35 mm camera" for a modest $12 tax-deductible donation.

The letters that come with the mailers are seldom dull. Steeped in outrage, they tell of a planet in perpetual environmental shock, a world victimized by profit-hungry corporations. And they do so not with precise scientific prose but with boastful and often inaccurate sentences that scream and shout:

From New York-based Rainforest Alliance: "By this time tomorrow, nearly 100 species of wildlife will tumble into extinction."

Fact: No one knows how rapidly species are going extinct. The Alliance's figure is an extreme estimate that counts tropical beetles and other insects -- including ones not yet known to science -- in its definition of wildlife.

From The Wilderness Society: "We will fight to stop reckless clear-cutting on national forests in California and the Pacific Northwest that threatens to destroy the last of America's unprotected ancient forests in as little as 20 years."

Fact: National forest logging has dropped dramatically in recent years. In California, clear-cutting on national forests dipped to 1,395 acres in 1998, down 89 percent from 1990.

From Defenders of Wildlife: "Won't you please adopt a furry little pup like 'Hope'? Hope is a cuddly brown wolf ... Hope was triumphantly born in Yellowstone."

Facts: "There was never any pup named Hope," says John Varley, chief of research at Yellowstone National Park. "We don't name wolves. We number them." Since wolves were reintroduced into Yellowstone in 1995, their numbers have increased from 14 to about 160; the program has been so successful that Yellowstone officials now favor removing the animals from the federal endangered species list.

Longtime conservationist Peter Brussard has seen enough.

"I've stopped contributing to virtually all major environmental groups," said Brussard, former Society for Conservation Biology president and a University of Nevada, Reno, professor.

"My frustration is the mailbox," he said. "Virtually every day you come home, there are six more things from environmental groups saying that if you don't send them fifty bucks, the gray whales will disappear or the wolf reintroductions in Yellowstone will fail ...You just get super-saturated.

"To me, as a professional biologist, it's not conspicuous what most of these organizations are doing for conservation. I know that some do good, but most leave you with the impression that the only thing they are interested in is raising money for the sake of raising money."

Step off the elevator at Defenders of Wildlife's office in Washington, D.C., and you enter a world of wolves: large photographs of wolves on the walls, a wolf logo on glass conference room doors, and inside the office of Charles Orasin, senior vice president for operations, a wolf logo cup and a toy wolf pup.

Ask Orasin about the secret of Defenders' success, and he points to a message prominently displayed behind his desk: "It's the Wolf, Stupid."

Since Defenders began using the North American timber wolf as the focal point of its fund-raising efforts in the mid-1990s, the organization has not stopped growing. Every year has produced record revenue, more members -- and more emotional, heart-wrenching letters.

Dear Friend of Wildlife:
It probably took them twelve hours to die.
No one found the wolves in the remote, rugged lands of Idaho -- until it was too late.
For hours, they writhed in agony. They suffered convulsions, seizures and hallucinations. And then -- they succumbed to cardiac and respiratory failure.


"People feel very strongly about these animals," said Orasin, architect of Defenders' growth. "In fact, our supporters view them as they would their children. A huge percentage own pets, and they transfer that emotional concern about their own animals to wild animals.

"We're very pleased," he said. "We think we have one of the most successful programs going right now in the country."

Defenders, though, is only the most recent environmental group to find fund-raising fortune in the mail. Greenpeace did it two decades ago with a harp seal campaign now regarded as an environmental fund-raising classic.

The solicitation featured a photo of a baby seal with a white furry face and dark eyes accompanied by a slogan: "Kiss This Baby Good-bye." Inside, the fund-raising letter included a photo of Norwegian sealers clubbing baby seals to death.

People opened their hearts -- and their checkbooks.

"You have very little time to grab people's attention," said Jeffrey Gillenkirk, a veteran free-lance direct mail copywriter in San Francisco who has written for several national environmental groups, including Greenpeace. "It's like television: You front-load things into your first three paragraphs, the things that you're going to hook people with. You can call it dramatic. You can call it hyperbolic. But it works."

The Sierra Club put another advertising gimmick to work in the early 1980s. It found a high-profile enemy: U.S. Secretary of the Interior James Watt, whose pro-development agenda for public lands enraged many.

"When you direct-mailed into that environment, it was like highway robbery," said Bruce Hamilton, the club's conservation director. "You couldn't process the memberships fast enough. We basically added 100,000 members."

But environmental fund raising has its downsides.

It tends to be addictive. The reason is simple: Many people who join environmental groups through the mail lose interest and don't renew -- and must be replaced, year after year.

"Constant membership recruitment is essential just to stay even, never mind get bigger," wrote Christopher Bosso, a political scientist at Northeastern University in Boston, in his paper: "The Color of Money: Environmental Groups and the Pathologies of Fund Raising."

"Dropout rates are high because most members are but passive check writers, with the low cost of participating translating into an equally low sense of commitment," Bosso states. "Holding on to such members almost requires that groups maintain a constant sense of crisis. It does not take a cynic to suggest ... that direct mailers shop for the next eco-crisis to keep the money coming in."

That is precisely how Gillenkirk, the copywriter, said the system works. As environmental direct mail took hold in the 1980s, "We discovered you could create programs by creating them in the mail," he said.

"Somebody would put up $25,000 or $30,000, and you would see whether sea otters would sell. You would see whether rain forests would sell. You would try marshlands, wetlands, all kinds of stuff. And if you got a response that would allow you to continue -- a 1 or 2 percent response -- you could create a new program."

Today, the trial-and-error process continues.

The Sierra Club, which scrambles to replace about 150,000 nonrenewing members a year out of 600,000, produces new fund-raising packages more frequently than General Motors produces new car models.

"We are constantly turning around and trying new themes," said Hamilton. "We say, 'OK, well, people like cuddly little animals, they like sequoias.' We try different premiums, where people can get the backpack versus the tote bag versus the calendar. We tried to raise money around the California desert -- and found direct mail deserts don't work."

And though many are critical of such a crisis-of-the-month approach, Hamilton defended it -- sort of.

"I'm somewhat offended by it myself, both intellectually and from an environmental standpoint," he said. "And yet ... it is what works. It is what builds the Sierra Club. Unfortunately the fate of the Earth depends on whether people open that envelope and send in that check."

The vast majority of people don't. Internal Sierra Club documents show that as few as one out of every 100 membership solicitations results in a new member. The average contribution is $18.

"The problem is there is a part of the giving public -- about a third we think -- who as a matter of personal choice gives to a new organization every year," said Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope. "We don't do this because we want to. We do it because the public behaves this way."

Fund-raising consultants "have us all hooked, and none of us can kick the habit," said Dave Foreman, a former Sierra Club board member. "Any group that gives up the direct mail treadmill is going to lose. I'm concerned about how it's done. It's a little shabby."

Another problem is more basic: accuracy. Much of what environmental groups say in fund-raising letters is exaggerated. And sometimes it is wrong.

Consider a recent mailer from the Natural Resources Defense Council, which calls itself "America's hardest-hitting environmental group." The letter, decrying a proposed solar salt evaporation plant at a remote Baja California lagoon where gray whales give birth, makes this statement:

"Giant diesel engines will pump six thousand gallons of water out of the lagoon EVERY SECOND, risking changes to the precious salinity that is so vital to newborn whales."

Clinton Winant, a professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography who helped prepare an environmental assessment of the project, said the statement is false. "There is not a single iota of scientific evidence that suggests pumping would have any effect on gray whales or their babies," he said.

The mailer also says:

"A mile-long concrete pier will cut directly across the path of migrating whales -- potentially impeding their progress."

Scripps professor Paul Dayton, one of the nation's most prominent marine ecologists, said that statement is wrong, too.

"I've dedicated my career to understanding nature, which is becoming more threatened," he said. "And I've been confronted with the dreadful dishonesty of the Rush Limbaugh crowd. It really hurts to have my side -- the environmental side -- become just as dishonest."

Former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo halted the project last year. But as he did, he also criticized environmental groups. "With false arguments and distorted information, they have damaged the legitimate cause of genuine ecologists," Zedillo said at a Mexico City news conference.

A senior Defense Council attorney in Los Angeles, Joel Reynolds, said his organization does not distort the truth.

"We're effective because people believe in us," Reynolds said. "We're not about to sacrifice the credibility we've gained through direct mail which is intentionally inaccurate."

Reynolds said NRDC's position on the salt plant was influenced by a 1995 memo by Bruce Mate, a world-renowned whale specialist. Mate said, though, that his memo was a first draft, not grounded in scientific fact.

"This is a bit of an embarrassment," he said. "This was really one of the first bits of information about the project. It was not meant for public consumption. I was just kind of throwing stuff out there. It's out-of-date, terribly out-of-date."

There is plenty of chest-thumping pride in direct mail, too -- some of it false pride. Consider this from a National Wildlife Federation letter: "We are constantly working in every part of the country to save those species and special places that are in all of our minds."

Yet in many places, the federation is seldom, if ever, seen.

"In 15-plus years in conservation, in Northern California, Nevada, Idaho, Oregon and Washington, I have never met a (federation) person," said David Nolte, who recently resigned as a grass-roots organizer with the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Alliance -- a coalition of hunters and fishermen.

"This is not about conservation," he said. "It's marketing."

Overstating achievements is chronic, according to Alfred Runte, an environmental historian and a board member of the National Parks Conservation Association from 1993 to 1997.

"Environmental groups all do this," he said. "They take credit for things that are generated by many, many people. What is a community accomplishment becomes an individual accomplishment -- for the purposes of raising money."

As a board member, Runte finds something else distasteful about fund raising: its cost.

"Oftentimes, we said very cynically that for every dollar you put into fund raising, you only got back a dollar," he recalled. "Unless you hit a big donor, the bureaucracy was spending as much to generate money as it was getting back."

Some groups are far more efficient than others. The Nature Conservancy, for example, spends just 10 percent of donor contributions on fund raising, while the Sierra Club spends 42 percent, according to the American Institute of Philanthropy.

Pope, the Sierra Club director, said it's not a fair comparison. The reason? Donations to the Conservancy and most other environmental groups are tax-deductible -- an important incentive for charitable giving. Contributions to the Sierra Club are not, because it is a political organization, too.

"We're not all charities in the same sense," Pope said. "Our average contribution is much, much smaller."

Determining how much environmental groups spend on fund raising is only slightly less complex than counting votes in Florida. The difficulty is a bookkeeping quagmire called "joint cost accounting."

At its simplest, joint cost accounting allows nonprofit groups to splinter fund-raising expenditures into categories that sound more pleasant to a donor's ear -- public education and environmental action -- shaving millions off what they report as fund raising.

Some groups use joint cost accounting. Others don't. Some groups put it to work liberally, others cautiously. Those who do apply it don't explain it. What one group labels education, another calls fund raising.

"You use the term joint allocation and most people's eyes glaze over," said Greenpeace's McPeake. The most sophisticated donor in the world "would not be able to penetrate this," she said.

Joint cost accounting need not be boring, however.

Look closely and you'll find sweepstakes solicitations, personal return address labels, free tote bag offers and other fund-raising novelties cross-dressing as conservation. You also find that those who monitor such activity are uneasy with it.

David Ormsteadt, an assistant attorney general in Connecticut, states in Advancing Philanthropy, a journal of the National Society of Fundraising Executives: "Instead of reporting fees and expenses as fund-raising costs, which could ... discourage donations, charities may report these costs as having provided a public benefit. The more mailings made -- and the more expense incurred -- the more the 'benefit' to society."

The Wilderness Society, for example, determined in 1999 that 87 percent of the $1.5 million it spent mailing 6.2 million membership solicitation letters wasn't fund raising but "public education." That shaved $1.3 million off its fund-raising tab.

One of America's oldest and most venerable environmental groups, the Wilderness Society didn't just grab its 87 percent figure out of the air. It literally counted the number of lines in its letter and determined that 87 of every 100 were educational.

When you read in the society's letter that "Our staff is a tireless watchdog," that is education. So is the obvious fact that national forests "contain some of the most striking natural beauty on Earth." Even a legal boast -- "If necessary, we will sue to enforce the law" -- is education.

"We're just living within the rules. We're not trying to pull one over on anybody," said Wilderness Society spokesman Ben Beach.

Daniel Borochoff, president of the American Institute of Philanthropy, the charity watchdog, said it is acceptable to call 30 percent or less of fund-raising expenses "education." But he deemed that the percentages claimed by the Wilderness Society, Defenders of Wildlife and others were unacceptable.

"These groups should not be allowed to get away with this," Borochoff said. "They are trying to make themselves look as good as they can without out-and-out lying ... . This doesn't help donors. It helps the organization."

At Defenders of Wildlife, Orasin flatly disagreed. The American Institute of Philanthropy "is a peripheral group and we don't agree with their standards," he said. "We don't think they understand how a nonprofit can operate, much less grow."

Even the more mainstream National Charities Information Bureau, which recently merged with the Better Business Bureau's Philanthropic Advisory Service, rates Defenders' fund raising excessive.

"We strongly disagree with (the National Charities Information Bureau)," said Orasin. "They take a very subjective view of what fund raising is. We are educating the public. If you look at the letters that go out from us, they are chock-full of factual information."

But much of what Defenders labels education in its fund raising is not all that educational. Here are a few examples -- provided to The Bee by Defenders from its recent "Tragedy in Yellowstone" membership solicitation letter:

Unless you and I help today, all of the wolf families in Yellowstone and central Idaho will likely be captured and killed.

It's up to you and me to stand up to the wealthy American Farm Bureau ...

For the sake of the wolves ... please take one minute right now to sign and return the enclosed petition.

The American Farm Bureau's reckless statements are nothing but pure bunk.

"That is basically pure fund raising," said Richard Larkin, a certified public accountant with the Lang Group in Bethesda, Md., who helped draft the standards for joint cost accounting. "That group is playing a little loose with the rules."

Defenders also shifts the cost of printing and mailing millions of personalized return address labels into a special "environmental activation" budget category.

Larkin takes a dim view.

"I've heard people try to make the case that by putting out these labels you are somehow educating the public about the importance of the environment," he said. "I would consider it virtually abusive."

Not all environmental groups use joint cost accounting. At the Nature Conservancy, every dollar spent on direct mail and telemarketing is counted as fund raising.

The same is true at the Sierra Club. "We want to be transparent with our members," said Pope, the club's director.

Groups that do use it, though, often do so differently.

The National Parks Conservation Association, for example, counts this line as fund raising: "We helped establish Everglades National Park in the 1940s." Defenders counts this one as education: "Since 1947, Defenders of Wildlife has worked to protect wolves, bears ... and pristine habitat."

"It's a very subjective world," said Monique Valentine, vice president for finance and administration at the national parks association. "It would be much better if we would all work off the same sheet of music."

At the Washington, D.C.-based National Park Trust, which focuses on expanding the park system, even a sweepstakes solicitation passes for education, helping shrink fund-raising costs to 21 percent of expenses, according to its 1999 annual report.

Actual fund-raising costs range as high as 74 percent, according to the American Institute of Philanthropy, which gave the Trust an "F" in its "Charity Rating Guide & Watchdog Report." Borochoff, the Institute's president, called the Trust's reporting "outrageous."

"Dear Friend," says one sweepstakes solicitation, "The $1,000,000 SUPER PRIZE winning number has already been pre-selected by computer and will absolutely be awarded. It would be a very, very BIG MISTAKE to forfeit ONE MILLION DOLLARS to someone else."

Paul Pritchard, the Trust's president, said the group's financial reporting meets non-profit standards. He defended sweepstakes fund raising.

"I personally find it a way of expressing freedom of speech," Pritchard said. "I can ethically justify it. How else are you going to get your message out?"
By Tom Knudson Sacramento Bee Staff Writer (Published April 23, 2001)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Twelve-month long drop in world temperatures wipes out a century of warming

Blog: Science Temperature Monitors Report Widescale Global Cooling
World Temperatures according to the Hadley Center for Climate Prediction. Note the steep drop over the last year.

Over the past year, anecdotal evidence for a cooling planet has exploded. China has its coldest winter in 100 years. Baghdad sees its first snow in all recorded history. North America has the most snowcover in 50 years, with places like Wisconsin the highest since record-keeping began. Record levels of Antarctic sea ice, record cold in Minnesota, Texas, Florida, Mexico, Australia, Iran, Greece, South Africa, Greenland, Argentina, Chile -- the list goes on and on.

No more than anecdotal evidence, to be sure. But now, that evidence has been supplanted by hard scientific fact. All four major global temperature tracking outlets (Hadley, NASA's GISS, UAH, RSS) have released updated data. All show that over the past year, global temperatures have dropped precipitously.
Read the rest...

Lovelace's funding

Excerpted from - this week's Town Dandy

Here in Humboldt County, bringing up the question of someone's personal finances is always awkward. But that shouldn't be the case when it comes to elected officials, or those who otherwise serve or seek to serve the public as policymakers. There are laws on the books - most notably the California Political Reform Act - that require a degree of openness. These are good laws. Locally, no one has taken more notice of them than Mark Lovelace, who as head of the Humboldt Watershed Council has filed complaints against two Humboldt County officials relating to their business interests with the Pacific Lumber Co. Planning Commissioner Chair Tom Herman and Fortuna Mayor John Campbell. The Fair Political Practices Commission has agreed to investigate both cases.

But what of Lovelace himself? How does he make a living? Now that he is standing for office the question is fair. For years there have been rumors that the non-profit organization for which he works is funded wholly or in large part by a single wealthy individual who is associated with any number of left-wing causes in Humboldt County.

Shouldn't Lovelace have to disclose that?

We won't name the individual because it turns out that the rumors in question are demonstrably false. The Humboldt Watershed Council files tax returns every year. Because it is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation those returns are public. Here's what they show.

The organization took in little money between 2000 and 2004. Donations ranged between $10,000 and $50,000 annually, with most years at the lower end of the scale. Then in 2005, it took in a massive donation, relatively speaking $121,000. The large surplus of funds allowed the Council to spend a great deal the next year, while the fight over the county general plan was raging particularly hot. The money was directed to the "Healthy Humboldt Coalition," a project of the Watershed Council, the Northcoast Environmental Center and the Sierra Club that advocates for "smart growth" style land use planning.

Where did that very large contribution come from? A call to Lovelace got the answer, and another trip to a database containing the IRS returns of nonprofit organizations confirmed it. The money was a grant from the Resources Legacy Fund Foundation, a Sacramento based charitable organization dedicated to conservation. The foundation awarded the Watershed Council $125,000 as part of its "Preserving Wild California Program" - "a five year, $150 million effort to protect wild lands and rivers across the state," according to its website.

Lovelace himself has drawn a relatively small salary from the Counci: $34,000 in 2006. "The salary would be more if the position had been fully funded, but I was paid for about three quarters of the scheduled time and probably worked time and half," he said Monday.

That supposed sugar daddy? Lovelace said he had indeed given money to the Watershed Council from time to time, just as many community members have, but the biggest part of the Council's budget has come from charitable grants.

As his economic disclosure statements to the County showed, Lovelace made a bit of money from his consulting business in 2007, but he largely gave that up in favor of advocacy work around the issues of forestry and land use planning, which "seemed so much more important and pressing."

"This is the stuff that intrigued me and sucked up my time," he said, "if I'd put more time into that consulting - there's good money when it's there, but i was drawn to other things."
read the rest

M'Kay, does that answer all your questions? Not mine. But it's good reporting.

Got questions? Let's make a LIST - submit via comments or email (in the sidebar)

Monday, March 17, 2008

Ken Miller


Salmon Forever?
Humboldt Watershed Council?
Mark Lovelace?
Healthy Humboldt?
Rumpelstiltskin?
Ken Miller.

photo source

Happy St. Patricks Day


May the roads rise to meet you. May the wind be at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face; The rain fall soft upon your fields And, until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
A GAELIC BLESSING

May your blessings outnumber
The Shamrocks that grow
And may trouble avoid you
Wherever you go.


May the saint protect ye-
An’ sorrow neglect ye,
An’ bad luck to the one
That doesn’t respect ye
t’ all that belong to ye,
An long life t’ yer honor-
That’s the end of my song t’ ye!


TS Personalizing St. Patrick

Friday, March 14, 2008

Yay! Jack has the McKinleyville Press Blog up and running (with update)

And, some interesting stuff right off the bat...Turmoil at the MCSD

McKPress will now be linked in the sidebar along with Rambling Jack's Laboratory

OK - Update: The story is posted
Coverup at MCSD?

The former business manager and treasurer of the McKinleyville Community Services District says he was forced to retire after Manager Tom Marking thwarted his efforts to have a proper investigation into financial irregularities and the possible embezzlement of taxpayer dollars.

The situation spurred Jim Harding – who has served as the MCSD’s chief financial officer for 11 years before retiring on Tuesday, March 4 – to file a complaint last week with the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office and the Grand Jury.

Suspected embezzlement

Harding said he discovered “financial irregularities” in the general ledger several months ago. In an interview last week, Harding said that Manager Marking was definitely not a suspect and that the amount missing was “a thousand dollars or less,” at least that he knew of. Harding would not disclose the name of the suspected employee.

“I reported my suspicions to my supervisor, General Manager Tom Marking, and requested an impartial investigation by the County Auditor or Board of Directors in closed session,” stated Harding in a written statement to the McKinleyville Press. “He (Marking) agreed only to conduct his own, solo investigation, and he refused to tell me how or whether he dealt with the embezzlement I suspected.”...

Harding said that “he (Marking) ordered me to drop the matter. I told him that I had a fiduciary responsibility to the district and would not accept his burying the issue. I demanded to take the matter to the board in closed session and told him that if I weren’t allowed to address the board, I would need to report the situation to the County Auditor.”


Counter-charges

Harding says that when he returned to work the next day, Feb. 28, he was physically barred from his office by Marking, who confiscated his keys and placed him on disciplinary suspension.

“The following day, he had delivered to me another letter that said I was under investigation for making physical threats to someone unnamed,” Harding stated. “He threatened involvement of law enforcement authorities and, in a subsequent letter, exercise of legal remedies if I had contact with ‘any and all district employees.’ ”
Read the rest

In an editorial, Jack notes that it is Time To Terminate Manager Marking, saying that This isn't a matter that the Board of Directors can sweep under the carpet like it did with the unprofessional, belligerent nastygrams that Marking sent to directors. This in's a matter that can be resolved by holding a study session, and developing new policies and procedures.

The only option is to terminate Marking, put an end to all the drama, hire a new manager and have a fresh start.


Instead, this week's meeting is set to decide on a new contract with Marking giving him a massive golden parachute if he is terminated as well as a huge bonus - a proposal apparently drawn up by Marking himself.

For the record - UPDATED

UPDATED:

Former Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen has been cleared of all major charges first filed against him in 2008. - Arcata Eye MARCH 2012

****

Someone thinks I am not being fair to Gallegos - with regards to asking questions about the Gundersen investigation. IN addition to deciding that asking questions means you side with the (alleged) rapist (though he never uses the term alleged), he has this to say: (just so you know, both sides are represented here)

You should provide some authority, why a non- victim, non-witness who happens to be represented by Gallegos wife would ever amount to a conflict. First off she is not involved in the case, according to media reports. She was not the original reporter of the crime, despite your spin. She is not a victim. She is not a witness. You know Gundy-the Raper boy is going to get convicted, and you are desperate to take that positive spotlight away from Gallegos. That is why you are opposed to him being on the case. As for the way he has handled the case, let's take a look at that. A victim of crime reported that she had been raped. Acting on that information, an Arrest Warrant was prepared. The suspect was arrested. Multiple search warrants were executed, leading to the discovery of additional evidence. A complaint was filed, and the Defendant was charged with crimes. When after completing the additional investigation, additional crimes were revealed, the complaint was amended, and the Defendant's bail was raised. I don't know about you, but that appears to be the way to investigate and prosecute people for crimes. Clanton, the Defense attorney gave a freakin press conference that you can still watch on the T-S website. That is what is improper. Exactly what would you have done differently? Not investigate the guy? Not charge the guy? Not do additional investigation? Why? Because he is a cop and should be given a break. That is what it sounds like. You know the funny thing here is that all you Paulie-haters claim your not on the side of the rapist, by cleverly saying you are supporting the victim who doesn't want to testify. That is bullshit. To paraphrase Pres. Bush in 2002, You are either for the rapist, or you are against the rapist.

A little defensive, maybe?

UPDATED:

Former Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen has been cleared of all major charges first filed against him in 2008. - Arcata Eye MARCH 2012

****

DA mistake violates victims’ rights UPDATED

UPDATED:

Former Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen has been cleared of all major charges first filed against him in 2008. - Arcata Eye MARCH 2012

****

DA mistake violates victims’ rights

ER In a mistake that the District Attorney admits to, the names of both alleged sexual assault victims in the case against David Gundersen found their way into the public record. This happened despite both women’s request that the information remain confidential.

In cases like the one against Gundersen, confidential personal information is required by law to not be made public. One of the reasons for this is that revealing personal information could have harmful effects to victims of sexual violence.

Gundersen, chief of the Blue Lake Police Department, awaits trial on suspicion of 19 charges, including 12 counts of spousal rape with an intoxicant and one count of kidnapping to commit another crime.

Confidentiality laws are in place to protect victims of sexual assault, so they can feel comfortable coming forward to testify,

Yet several documents, found in Gundersen’s case file, reveal the identity of the victims.

One document was a request by one of the alleged victims to have her name kept confidential, although the form not only has her name but also her address and contact information.

“That should not be there,” District Attorney Paul Gallegos said of the document. “That’s an error on my part.”

Another court record — the statement for probable cause, which led to an arrest warrant issued against Gundersen — had repeated uses of the same alleged victim’s name.

Gallegos said he was unsure how the name had gotten placed into the document as it had been given to a judge by his office.

No law enforcement agency is allowed to make public the name of any victim of a sex crime who chooses to keep it confidential, according to Section 293 of the penal code. The confidential names of victims are only supposed to be made available to the appropriate people, mainly law enforcement officials.

Victims’ addresses are also not intended for public viewing when sex crimes are involved, according to the same penal code.

The second alleged victim, who, according to other court documents, is known as one of the confidential victims, had her name on a confidential report from the Eureka Police Department.

“If you have identifiable information in there, it’s not supposed to be in the record,” said Executive Director of the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault Suzanne Brown-McBride regarding confidentiality.

Despite the error, Gallegos said he doesn’t believe it will affect the case against Gundersen. That case’s preliminary hearing was moved forward two weeks to April 11.

With the names of the victims clearly identified in court records, one could look at other reports where they are called “Confidential Victims” to get full details into the crimes that allegedly happened to them.

“It’s fairly easy to sort through who that is,” Brown-McBride said.

Protections for sexual assault victims don’t go away after trial, she said. These protections are also in place for victims when the sex offender is released from prison.

Publicly revealing the details, and personal information, of someone who was sexually assaulted can have grave consequences, said North Coast Rape Crisis Team Community Outreach Coordinator Paula Arrowsmith-Jones, who spoke in general and not about the
Gundersen case.

“It could be a discouragement for those people coming forward,” she said. “It can’t help but affect the decisions that they make.”

It’s rare for cases involving sexual assault to receive widespread publicity, but when it does, hundreds of survivors watch to see how its handled, Arrowsmith-Jones said.

A survivor can be victimized twice when their identity is revealed and scrutinized publicly, said Executive Director of the Emma Center Marybeth Bian.

“Once it’s out,” she said, “it’s a snowball effect.”

Although California provides protection to survivors of sexual assault, Arrowsmith-Jones said it doesn’t do enough to give the person privacy if they don’t want their identity known. Examples of this are cases of spousal rape — a different charge from rape in California —
that identify the person harmed in the charge.

Gallegos, who said he was surprised that this information was in the case file, said the first step was to notify both victims of what happened. Then he would “act accordingly,” which includes having the documents with the victims’ names sealed by the court.

He said he reviewed the case file and that it was clearly an oversight on his part.

His office works hard to not reveal the names of those who want confidentiality, but couldn’t guarantee that mistakes wouldn’t happen, Gallegos said. “By and large we are successful.”

Maintaining the privacy of survivors is critical to the healing process, Arrowsmith-Jones said. Allowing for public scrutiny does the opposite.

“These protections are very important,” she said. “The best all of us can do is respect that.”


TS - Gundersen hearing pushed to April

Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen's preliminary hearing has been postponed -- again....

Russell Clanton, Gundersen's attorney, said the defense requested a continuance at a Wednesday hearing because the District Attorney's Office had yet to provide it with all the case's discovery -- a court term for the exchange of information between the attorneys involved in a case.


updated Related coverage, with links

Separate, but related, tragedy: CHP: Teenager hit while lying in road
A 16-year-old McKinleyville boy remained in critical condition Monday, two days after being hit by a car while he was reportedly lying in the road, the California Highway Patrol said.

CHP Officer Paul Dahlen identified the boy as Stuart Christopher. He said Christopher was near McKinleyville High School on Murray Road in the center turn lane Saturday at 8:23 p.m. when a car turning into the school's parking lot hit him.

The driver, 48-year-old Margaret Gundersen of McKinleyville, wasn't cited or arrested, as there were indications the teenager was lying in the roadway on his back, the CHP said....


Car’s wheels miss teenager lying in road
Outside the McKinleyville High School entrance Saturday, at a dark intersection with no street lights, a 16-year-old boy lay in the road with his legs badly contorted after being run over.

Stuart Christopher was lying in the turn lane to the school’s entrance around 8:30 p.m. when a driver switched into it from the westbound lane of Murray Road.

She hit a bump and thought it was a dog, according to her statement to California Highway Patrol Officer Chis Nelson.

She got out to look and heard someone screaming, “You’re on top of me.” Christopher’s leg was pinned underneath the carriage of the car, Nelson said, but the wheels had not run over him.

The driver, McKinleyville resident Margaret Gundersen, put her car in reverse and backed off Christopher.

Nelson said the procedure helped pull Christopher’s leg back down, as it was pushed up to his chest.

The major injuries he incurred are a broken femur and a broken pelvis, Nelson said. He is currently being treated at the UC Davis Medical Center.

Gundersen was traveling about 10 mph and had no way to react to the body in the roadway, Nelson said.

Christopher told paramedics that he liked to go jogging and when he’d get tired, he’d lay down in the road, Nelson said.

He reportedly saw the car coming, but thought it would stay in the westbound lane, Nelson said.

It’s an accident that he said he hasn’t seen in his 13 years on the job.

A Mad River Community Hospital ambulance and Cal Fire crew were on the scene very quickly, Nelson said.

“I was really impressed with how quickly paramedics arrived — within five minutes,” eyewitness Rebecca Kimber said.

When asked why he was in the road, Kimber said that Christopher stated that he’d “just had a really crazy day and it was stupid what I did.”

She said that she asked if he was suicidal, and he laughed and said no.

“You don’t go play games in the street, it’s just not a place to play. He was lucky — big-time lucky,” Kimber said.


UPDATED:

Former Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen has been cleared of all major charges first filed against him in 2008. - Arcata Eye MARCH 2012

****

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

WHOA! Wow!

Check out The Journal's Blogthing!
Hank has the latest on the upcoming Sups race.

first Conner Out; Ulansey, Lehman In (now out)
then Third District Shockers Plumley in.
and, then...Earthquake! Wilson out, Lehman out.

The "heraldo" fatwa took out Woolley. Guess Wilson got "heraldo's" next message - stay where we put you.

Spitzer resigns


FOX NEW YORK — New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer resigned in disgrace Wednesday after getting caught in a call-girl scandal that shattered his corruption-fighting, straight-arrow image, saying: "I cannot allow my private failings to disrupt the people's work."

Spitzer made the announcement without having finalized a plea deal with federal prosecutors, though a law enforcement source familiar with the investigation said he is believed to still be negotiating one. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case.

"Over the course of my public life, I've insisted, I believe correctly, that people regardless of their position or power take responsibility for their conduct. I can and will ask no less of myself," Spitzer said at a Manhattan news conference with his wife, Silda, at his side. He left without answering questions.

"For this reason, I am resigning from the office of governor."


the complaint
A Pictorial Tour of The Emperor's Club Ladies
Wonkette has Kristen. From her old website.

Kristen is Ashley Dupre
'Hollywood Madam' Heidi Fleiss: Client 9 Is an Arrogant Jerk
The former Hollywood Madam, who at 27 had an empire netting $10 million a year, joined a chorus calling for Spitzer's resignation Tuesday.

"How can you be in office, when you're so misleading?" Fleiss said. "You have to adhere to different standards, first of all, when you're in office ... and he was very aggressive in pursuing prostitution rings, which we know in this instance seems like adults doing adult things."

She's not holding her breath on the possibility of criminal punishment.

"Nothing ever happens to the men, you know how it goes," Fleiss said. "Like I said, I don't recommend prostitution as a career at all, but I think it's absolutely set up wrong how the women are the only ones that get beat down. ..."

"There are so many different forms of prostitution," she added. "Politicians are the biggest whores on earth. They'll change their opinion for any amount of money, you know."

Stand by Yourself, By DINA MATOS McGREEVEY

Client #9 T-shirts and gifts

Monday, March 10, 2008

Elliot Spitzer under prostitution investigation

(CNN) -- New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer is under investigation for allegedly meeting with a prostitute in a Washington hotel, two sources with knowledge of the investigation tell CNN.

Gov. Eliot Spitzer, with his wife by his side, apologizes to his family and to the public.

One of the sources said Spitzer is identified in a criminal complaint as "Client-9," and that Spitzer's alleged involvement was caught on a federal wiretap.

Against her will? UPDATED

UPDATED:

Former Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen has been cleared of all major charges first filed against him in 2008. - Arcata Eye MARCH 2012

****

Expert: Rape victims can be forced to take witness stand
The TS reports: ...Because our system of law attempts to balance the rights of the victim with the rights of society as a whole, a prosecutor can choose to proceed with a case against the victim's wishes, and Lemon said sexual assault victims can be ordered to testify.

The California Civil Procedure Code states that a victim of sexual assault can be ordered to testify, and found in contempt if he or she fails to do so. The only protection afforded sexual assault victims is they can not be sent to jail if found in contempt.

The maximum sentence under the code is for a judge to order the victim to attend up to 72 hours of a domestic violence program for victims and order them to perform up to 72 hours of community service.

Getting victims to take the stand for the prosecution can be such an obstacle that it is the subject of an entire section of a California District Attorney's Association publication titled “Investigation and Prosecution of Domestic Violence.”

The publication points out that victims can feel a lot of guilt in helping the prosecution's case against a loved one, and suggests that prosecutors do everything possible to make the victim feel that the decision whether to prosecute is the district attorney's. The publication even suggests that prosecutors order the victim to appear, as Gallegos did with Gundersen's wife.

”Once the ultimate authority, the court, directs the witness to answer questions, most victims comply,” the publication states.

“Many victims feel considerable relief at being able to tell the defendant that the decision to testify is out of their hands, as they have been ordered to do so by the court.”

With April -- Domestic Violence Awareness Month -- around the corner and two high profile sexual assault cases in the media, Arrowsmith-Jones said it is a good time to raise awareness about domestic violence and create a societal environment that is more encouraging of victims coming forward.

”The kinds of violence that are in the paper right now are happening in our community all the time, and it's only every once in a while that it comes to public attention,” she said. “But, these types of issues are going on all the time.”

Back at the EMMA Center, Bian said she's seen many cases die because the victim has a change of heart or the prosecution can't build a strong enough case even with the victim's cooperation. More disturbingly, she said, she's seen some victims simply suffer in silence.

”I know people come in here who don't even report because they're ashamed,” she said. “There's still that stigma in society, that it's the victim's fault.”


The North Coast Rape Crisis Team has a 24-hour, confidential, crisis hotline at 445-2881. Collect calls are welcome.

updated Related coverage, with links

UPDATED:

Former Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen has been cleared of all major charges first filed against him in 2008. - Arcata Eye MARCH 2012

****

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Cheating on every level, ripping off CARE

Brooktrails pot bust, two arrested

A sophisticated indoor marijuana grow on Oriole Drive in Brooktrails was searched on February 26 by Mendocino County Sheriff's officers, leading to the arrest of two residents. Nearly 20 pounds of processed bud, 152 mature pot plants, firearms and packaging materials were found during the search, say police. A 3-year old child at the was placed in the custody of Child Protective Services.

Danielle Lanzit, 26, and Nicholas Grilli, 27, were arrested on suspicion of cultivation and possession of marijuana for sale.

Based on an electricity bill found at the scene, the residents were apparently being helped with their $1,500 per month electricity bill by the CARE low-income subsidy, say deputies. For a three-person household to qualify for a CARE subsidy, gross income is limited to a maximum of $34,400 per year.

Lanzit and Grilli qualified in 2007 for a $350,000 mortgage with estimated payments of $30,000 per year and real estate taxes of $1,900 according to public records. These payments, along with the electricity costs, suggest a somewhat higher annual income than is allowed under the CARE program.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company does request verification of income for CARE subscribers, says spokeswoman Jana Morris. This verification typically involves an income tax return or record of wages and salaries. CARE procedures are established by the California Public Utilities Commission and PG&E is unable to question CARE subscribers even when electricity use nearly equals their total income allowed under the program.

At the wholesale rate of $2,500 per pound, the pot in the Oriole Drive home is valued at about $430,000.
h/t: RS

Now you tell me these people are going to willingly pay taxes if you legalize pot. They're not an exception, this is more common than not. They lie to get 215 cards, if they have them, they live outside the law on every level, they cheat the system every step of the way. You think they are going to pay to get legal in terms of proper business operations? Safe working conditions? Code compliance? I just don't think so. And people who really DO make $34,000 a year loudly support and defend these people. People who care so little about their kids that they risk sending them into the system to be raised by strangers. Why?

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Guns - UPDATED

UPDATED:

Former Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen has been cleared of all major charges first filed against him in 2008. - Arcata Eye MARCH 2012

****

The DA wants weapons, Blue Lake has more weapons than even he planned to get, Mendo's DA Vroman had weapons - do they need 'em?
TS Blue Lake's gun arsenal called shocking
Until recently, the Blue Lake Police Department had a chief, a sergeant, two officers and 27 submachine guns.

TS Feds eye firearms in Gundersen case
Both state and federal law are fairly clear about possessing a submachine gun or a pistol with a silencer: It's illegal in California, and illegal in the United States without a special permit from the ATF. Under California law, the penalty for possession of a machine gun is an unspecified prison term, up to a $10,000 fine, or both. For possession of a silencer it's the same.

But state law allows a law enforcement agency to buy machine guns, and for officers to have them and silencers -- as long as they use them in an official capacity and within the scope of their duties. In fact, there is no limit on the number of submachine guns an agency can have, said California Department of Justice spokesman Abraham Arredondo...

So far, Gallegos has charged Gundersen with two gun crimes. They are related to the H&K MP5 submachine gun reportedly found in a safe in his garage and the pistol with a silencer. Gallegos alleges Gundersen was in unlawful possession of both under violations of penal codes related to individuals.


updated Related coverage, with links

UPDATED:

Former Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen has been cleared of all major charges first filed against him in 2008. - Arcata Eye MARCH 2012

****