Saturday, June 28, 2008

Missing in action, AGAIN

From the day he took office, Gallegos has missed important meetings, and doesn't attend meetings he is supposed to be an key player in. The kinds of things that would get any ordinary person fired. When the Code Enforcement Task Force was set up, Gallegos was supposed to be an integral part of it. How many meetings has he attended, if any? Has he sent a representative?

It is the District Attorney's job to attend these kinds of meetings. One reason why most DAs try very few cases, if any.

He was available to go to the meeting in Garberville in the beginning and make some noise about his "concerns" that officers were armed.

Now the DA is an integral part of this since his office cross- deputizes the inspectors and is supposed to be overseeing all of this. People are missing what his role is in this, and its importance.

But he wasn't at Friday's meeting, nor the previous Friday's meeting. Now the Task Force has had to vote to extend its time limit in hopes of getting the DA to attend - this article tells the story:

The Humboldt County Code Enforcement Task Force has taken the first steps toward compiling a report to the board of supervisors, but it may not be done until late September.

The members voted unanimously Friday to ask the board to extend of the task force and the moratorium on inspection warrants until Sept. 26.

The extension will allow more time to arrange a session with Humboldt County District Attorney Paul Gallegos. Gallegos, as part of the Code Enforcement Unit Oversight Committee, had been invited to appear before the task force at Friday's meeting, but was not present.

Second District Supervisor Johanna Rodoni suggested -- and the balance of the task force agreed -- that a second, strong invitation be issued to the district attorney.

”I think we need to emphasize they're a critical piece of this,” she said.

Part of that urgency deals with which county department will house the code enforcement unit and the district attorney's concerns over granting police powers to Code Enforcement Unit officers.

The task force scheduled its next meeting for the afternoon of July 9 from 1:30 to 4 p.m. to better accommodate Gallegos' schedule....

◼ Some interesting points there - In Friday's meeting, County Counsel Wendy Chaitin noted that Gallegos had come to her in January expressing his "concerns. (laughable as it might be in light of his recent attempts to acquire semi-automatic AR-15 rifles, and set up his own armed asset forfeiture team, but, not to digress...).

Josh Hedlund also spoke at Friday's meeting about the January 3rd raid on his Vilica Properties.

January - coincidences? Schectman, Paul, Vilica, Hedlund, code raids, concerns. Maybe. Dots?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Some funny stuff

came out of "Operation Southern Sweep!" Here're my two favorites:
Picasso’s Guernica, the colossal painting that depicts the 1937 firebombing of the Basque homeland, was the subject of a film at the Eureka, California art museum last weekend. It served as a prelude to the week’s activities. An invading force of 450 law enforcement officers from California Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement (BNE), FBI, IRS, and US Postal Service descended in convoys of as many as 200 vehicles upon the hamlet of Southern Humboldt county California, population. The entire county has only 138 law enforcement officers.... :) Read it here (by Ellen Komp? Ellen Taylor?)


I think this is still my favorite - "FUCKING RUN! Its a WAR ZONE here right now! FEDS UP THE ASS!" Holy Shit, Batman, Feds Invaded Humboldt!

Got any better ones?

People are askin' - Where's Paul?

Some 24 agencies, but no mention of the Humboldt County DA. And he has all that gear, the AR-15s and the assault team and the cute outfits to go with it, too.. if ever you were going to break those out, this would be the time...

a cooperative effort between the FBI, BNE, Internal Revenue Service, United States Postal Inspection Service, United States Drug Enforcement Administration, California Highway Patrol, California National Guard Counter Drug Task Force, United States Forest Service, Campaign Against Marijuana Planting, California Department of Fish and Game, Eureka Police Department, Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, and the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office. CA DOJ/BNE task forces included the North and South Butte Interagency Narcotic Task Force, Tehama Interagency Drug Enforcement, Glenn Interagency Narcotic Task Force, Shasta Interagency Narcotic Task Force, Siskiyou County Interagency Narcotic Task Force, Humboldt County Drug Task Force, Mendocino County Major Crimes Task Force, San Jose Unified Narcotic Enforcement Team, and the Madera County Narcotic Enforcement Team.

Earth to Dumpster Muffin and Jeff Muskrat

You're the old model. You're no longer useful. You don't generate enough money, so you have been replaced by the newer, more "productive" predatory litigious orgs. Notice how you don't have the bigtime support good old Julia had? It's all about the lawsuits, and a tree in Berkeley is no cash cow. It was never about saving the trees, but people like you who believe are useful tools, helping others gain money and power. You're going to suffer the consequences of your actions and the guys who benefit will not be there to help you.

What'm I talkin' about? Check out this post at, a series of shots from Sunday, June 22nd, 2008 in Berkeley, CA. If you haven't been following this whole mess, UC Berkeley wants to build a sports facility where there are currently some lovely trees they'd planted in the 1920s and the locals are upset and some folks have been living in the trees for a year and a half. The full version is much more complex, and this is really just a meaningless sideshow since it's been in the courts for a long time and they're just hashing over the last few details.... with a series of shots chronicling recent happenings, protestshooter concludes that at some point they just settled down into taking turns making speeches about how important all of this was. I looked around, saw the crowd was about half gone, the media was about all gone, and there was no momentum.

But if you listen to this poor sap (is that you, Jeff Muskrat?) the sky is falling! the sky is falling!

Funny stuff, and great shots!

Who is "Dumpster Muffin," you ask? Try a quick google search and get ready to laugh - ALOT!
Related: Earth Firsters need socks!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

ACTION! keeping it updated w/links (6/23-6/27)

"FUCKING RUN! Its a WAR ZONE here right now! FEDS UP THE ASS!" Holy Shit, Batman, Feds Invaded Humboldt! Says

The story? The gist of it - Some 450 Federal and State agents targeted commercial pot growing operations in “Operation Southern Sweep.” serving search warrants and collecting evidence on "properties where “corporate marijuana growing operations” were suspected." Operating out of a Command Center in Fortuna's River Lodge parking lot, the motorcade drew alot of attention...

This investigation has been a cooperative effort between the FBI, BNE, Internal Revenue Service, United States Postal Inspection Service, United States Drug Enforcement Administration, California Highway Patrol, California National Guard Counter Drug Task Force, United States Forest Service, Campaign Against Marijuana Planting, California Department of Fish and Game, Eureka Police Department, Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, and the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office. CA DOJ/BNE task forces included the North and South Butte Interagency Narcotic Task Force, Tehama Interagency Drug Enforcement, Glenn Interagency Narcotic Task Force, Shasta Interagency Narcotic Task Force, Siskiyou County Interagency Narcotic Task Force, Humboldt County Drug Task Force, Mendocino County Major Crimes Task Force, San Jose Unified Narcotic Enforcement Team, and the Madera County Narcotic Enforcement Team.”


Blog posts were coming fast and furious, most everyone has pics, these are from the Eureka Reporter...
Federal agents watch the progress of the raids on video monitors Tuesday morning inside a Tactical Operation Center set up in the parking lot of the River Lodge in Fortuna. An FBI Mobile Command Post was brought in to conduct a series of raids on marijuana grow operations Tuesday morning at the River Lodge in Fortuna. Vehicles containing an FBI Mobile Command Post and Tactical Operation Center sit parked outside the River Lodge in Fortuna Tuesday morning while agents work inside the lodge. Daniel Solomon/The Eureka Reporter

NCJ Feds: Real June 23, 2008 at 6:31 pm
heraldo Feds in Fortuna June 23, 2008 at 7:35
NCJ GO TIME Jun. 24, 2008 at 5:49 am
NCJ From The Sheriff’s Office Jun. 24, 2008 at 7:39 am
Eric FBI in Redway 7:56 AM
Kym Heraldo may have the Last Laugh? 7:04 am
NCJ FBI Spokesman on KSLG 8:07 am
Hank reports:
This is the culmination of a two-year investigation.
This is a bust of “large-scale commercial grows.” NOT medical marijuana.
Agents from a variety of federal and state organizations — including the IRS and the Postal Service –will be serving 27 warrants.
NCJ Bust in Sunny Brae 9:26 am
Kym Home in Salmon Creek Target of FBI 9:15 am
Anon.R jokes Arcata's only superhero taking day off, FBI zerg rushes. 10:23 AM
NCJ Down in SoHum 10:35 am
Eric Kirk is monitoring KMUD. Busts in Redway, including one witnessed by Eric himself. Also there’s apparently a good deal of action out near Whale Gulch.
☛ Eric says: I've got KMUD on, but KHUM and KSLG are also covering the action. And Hank has a growing display of photos at the blogthing.
TS 10:57am
Kym IRS agents in Redway 10:58 a
ER Agents arrive in Humboldt to target marijuana grows 11:18 AM
NCJ ‘Multi-Day Operation’ 12:19 pm
ER Operation Southern Sweep to continue for a few day 12:42 updated at 1:05 PM
NCJ ‘Operation Southern Sweep’ 12:56 pm
LA Times Raids smoke out large marijuana operation in Humboldt County 12:59 PM (locates this as being in San Francisco. No, it is in HUMBOLDT COUNTY. Probably not Reiterman's fault.)
Residences and growing sites were targeted as federal and state agents serve 29 warrants on a commercial cultivation and distribution organization, authorities say.
NCJ LA Times Story 1:26 pm
and again on heraldo Medical pot busts may be next 2:10 pm
heraldo All warrants served 6:37 pm
A Dollar Short 6:49 PM (funniest comments award!)
Eric Operation Southern Sweep 7:32 PM
Pot Bust Blog Bustle
Cruel irony that (Hank’s trying to get out of town) taking his first vacation in years as one of the biggest stories of the year unfolds. 9:34 pm

ER Feds storm 25 locations in Humboldt County drug raids Jun 25 2008, 12:00 AM
ER Secret raids not too secret 12:12 AM
☛ This wasn't the first time: A surprise, nearly two-week-long marijuana eradication raid in July 1990, called “Operation Green Sweep,” by an estimated 200 California National Guard soldiers and Bureau of Land Management agents sealed off approximately 640 acres in the King Range National Conservation Area, according to archived Times-Standard articles.... The operation netted 11 arrests and 1,408 marijuana plants worth $4.2 million.

Another visit by the DEA in 2003 as part of “Operation Pipedreams” and “Operation Headhunter” targeted vendors who sold drug paraphernalia across state lines via the Internet, which led to the arrest of three Arcata businessmen who owned 101 North Glass Inc.

TS Fed raid rumors spark panic 01:27:10 AM (we're going by the second now?) Several local businesses, which asked not to be singled out by name, described a swift business in moving truck rentals over the last week -- apparently, in some cases, to move pot grows.
TS Feds launch massive pot sting 01:30:56 AM

The blogs are quiet this morning, so far. 7:33 AM
Eric All quiet in Redway this morning? (Update: not in Whitethorn!) 8:32 AM
heraldo Little new info on pot busts 9:23 am
Willits News Feds launch massive pot sting (with video) picks up the TS story 9:39:41 AM
Anon.R.mous FBI Party Van visits Humboldt County. 10:20 AM (nice rig!)
TS Feds prepare evidence seized Tuesday 10:50:03 AM
Marks Operation Southern Sweep recovery plan. 12:09 PM
Humboldt Hydroponics ad next to TS story on HUGE bust...
TS Authorities: Between $25 and $60 million in pot seized 12:29:40 PM
Law enforcement officers raided grow houses and residences in Shelter Cove, Whitethorn, Redway, Ettersburg, Garberville, Miranda, Phillipsville, Arcata and McKinleyville. They also secured and are searching almost 2,000 acres in southern Humboldt County and northern Mendocino County belonging to the targets of the investigation.
Over the course of Tuesday's activity, officers located around ten thousand marijuana plants estimated to be worth between $25 and $60 million on the street. They seized 30 firearms, including fully automatic weapons, one vehicle, and more than $160,000 in cash.
No charges have been filed and none of the targets of the investigation were arrested during Tuesday's raids. However, FBI agents arrested one man for assault on a federal agent during the execution of the search warrants.

heraldo Feds get into the Humboldt spirit 1:12 pm
heraldo Prop. 215 won’t protect targeted growers
quoting a KMUD interview - “Simply because they may have a 215 up doesn’t mean its’ still not illegal under federal law,” Schadler said. “For example, If they are part of this larger group [targeted by the investigation], and they are growing marijuana for non-medical purposes, which is outside the statute — even if they say they’re growing it under 215 — it still doesn’t negate the fact that it’s illegal under federal law. Just because we’re not targeting 215 doesn’t mean that somebody can hide behind that when they’re part of a larger investigation.”

The “investigation is about finding truth,” Schadler said, and added that people not involved in the alleged organization won’t be prosecuted. “Our targets are not people simply growing for medical purposes,” he said.
7:48 pm
ER Feds nab pot plants worth millions, continue search of large property 11:30 PM

TS Seized pot worth $25M to $60M 1:30:44 AM
Eric The latest on the Buddhaville bust 8:05 AM
heraldo Wednesday fed raid update 9:10 am
NCJ The “Joint” News Release and unanswered questions 10:03 am

ER Investigation into alleged commercial pot grow may take months 12:05 AM
ER Spiking the for-profit growers Jun 27 2008, 12:50 AM
TS Feds wrapping up SoHum pot operation 1:24:28 AM
heraldo Feds go home 7:41 am
Eric It's over - for now 8:39 AM

Is that the last word?
Nope, Kym has follow up...
Details Emerge from FBI Raids June 29, 2008 at 8:54 pm

TS Feds still sorting pot raids evidence 7/01/2008 01:15:23 AM
TS FBI counts up evidence 7/01/2008 01:41:21 PM

It's also on a buncha pot sites
breaking drug news latest 200 -

Some questions - who leaked the fact that the agents were coming? Does this have anything to do with Hedlund/Vilica?

Monday, June 23, 2008

And so it begins.

You thought you had a break from politics Think again. The demonization of Frank Jager has already begun on "heraldo." All the dirty work will come from that source. "oooh, he was against an inquest on the Cheri Moore case...he supports killing children...he's 'dying' to get into office...and...ooooh, he was in office with Nancy Fleming"

Did you know, we now have a new, virulently partisan political party. The challenger, George Clark is not running for the people of Eureka, nor to serve the greater community. No. He is running to solidify the "progressive" power base. Speaking to his fellow "progressives," through Salzman's listserve, Chris Kerrigan has this to say for Clark:

We have come a long way in the last eight years and with the addition of Council Member Larry Glass we are now making great progress. Eureka, the county seat, is a classic bellwether city, and as you have probably heard, as Eureka goes, often so goes Humboldt County.

It is vital that we keep this forward momentum going in our community.

We must unite as progressives behind a candidate, and ensure that the progressive tradition, started with my election to the Eureka City Council eight years ago, continues.

In Solidarity,
Chris Kerrigan

One to watch. Let's see what "forward momentum" the "progressives" advocate.

Friday, June 20, 2008

It's official

Measure B passes in Mendocino. Cap has the story - UDJ: BREAKING NEWS: FINAL ELECTION RESULTS RELEASED
The hotly-contested Measure B, which repeals Measure G, the county’s personal use marijuana law, and sets medical marijuana possession limits in Mendocino County at the state limits of six mature or 12 immature plants and eight ounces of dried marijuana, has passed with 14,577 “yes” ballots (52.16 percent) to 13,369 “no” votes (47.84 percent.) Source

More Plea deals

Man accused of robbing, assaulting 'escort' gets plea deal
A Eureka man accused of robbing and assaulting a woman who’d solicited her “companionship” online in November 2007 will spend five years and four months in prison as part of a plea deal.

Jesse Ray Perez, 27, was arrested Nov. 29, 2007, on suspicion of robbing the alleged victim, assault with a deadly weapon, assault with intent to commit a sexual felony, sexual penetration by a foreign object and drug charges. He pleaded guilty to assault with a firearm as a strike offense, being a felon in possession of a firearm and possession of a controlled substance....

...The alleged victim reportedly advertised on the Internet that she was charging hourly rates for her companionship. She went to the Town House Motel in Eureka, booked a room and arranged to meet Perez, Deputy District Attorney Arnold Klein said. Perez wouldn’t comply with some of her safety rules, and he later demanded his money back, held a loaded gun to her head and allegedly sexually assaulted her, Klein said.

“During the argument, he brandished a pistol at her and struck her twice with the pistol,” the probable cause statement said. “He then took $100 in cash from her and fled.”

After fleeing, Eureka Police Department officers found Perez nearby with a loaded .22 caliber handgun, “multiple packages of suspected cocaine, a large amount of marijuana, packaging materials, two digital scales and 67 rounds of .22 caliber ammunition,” the probable cause statement said.

Transient sodomy suspects plead guilty to lesser crime
Two transient men arrested in early May on suspicion of sexually assaulting and beating up a man near Trinidad Beach pleaded guilty Wednesday to a charge that could keep them in jail up to four years.

Collin Gregory Roczey, 19, and Kevin Scott Walker, 35, were arrested by the Trinidad Police Department on May 10 after several 911 calls were made regarding a man being beaten and kicked by two men in the parking lot. It was discovered that the victim was physically and sexually assaulted and both suspects were reportedly yelling racial slurs at the victim as they were attacking him.

“Alcohol was consumed and allegedly the two arrested suspects turned on the third transient by sexually assaulting him by sodomy,” the Trinidad police log said. “The two suspects then followed the victim to the parking lot of Trinidad Beach and physically assaulted him by kicking him in the head and punching (him).”

The men pleaded guilty to assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury, which carries a two, three or four-year sentence. They were originally charged with kidnapping to commit a crime, assault with a deadly weapon and sodomy in concert with another person.

Humboldt County Deputy District Attorney Arnold Klein, who prosecuted the case, said he’s waiting to see the report from probation before recommending sentences for the men.

Two sentenced to 30 days, probation in pot growing plea deal 6/6/08
John Devoe, 42, and Clare Holmes, 37, had their six properties searched by Humboldt County Drug Task Force agents on Aug. 20, 2007, after an investigation based on an anonymous tip began. More than 200 marijuana plants, $20,000 in cash and 20 pounds of processed marijuana were reportedly seized by Humboldt County Drug Task Force agents between the residences. Devoe and Holmes agreed to forfeit more than $66,000, which included monies from bank and stock accounts and seized cash, as part of the plea agreement. (Prosecutor Maggie Fleming

Horse owner gets no time in jail 5/28/08
Drive-by suspect pleads out, gets 10-year term (Prosecutor Ben McLaughlin) (note: from comments below - Please, at least get your facts right. McLaughlin only appeared on the Smith case one time. He had nothing to do with the settlement negotiations.) Duly noted. That wasn't in the article.


***URGENT UPDATE/ALERT! This case was TOSSED by the Judge - never made it to trial,
☛ ER
Feeney said the indictments the grand jury handed down to Douglas and Zanotti in December 2007 weren’t supported by probable cause. Insufficient evidence regarding the former leaders’ alleged failure to oversee other law enforcement was also presented to the grand jury, Feeney said, and instructions given on “exigent circumstances” were inadequate.
The grand jury should have also been instructed on justifiable homicide by law enforcement officials, Feeney said.

Thanks! to Thaddeus Greenson for an information-filled article!
Read the whole thing here - Attorneys asks for Douglas-Zanotti case dismissal

Paul Gallegos' obligation to present BOTH sides to the Grand Jury has been discussed here before. This article details the defense's motion and for the first time it is crystal clear just how spectacularly he failed to do that. If you remember the early months of the Palco case, it was reported that Stoen stopped talking to people and agencies that tried to tell him he had no case. In this case, Gallegos had a fully qualified expert witness who gave an opinion contrary to what Gallegos wanted to hear, and he never called him back, instead presenting the Criminal Grand Jury with a lesser qualified expert witness, and then proceeded to tear him down, pointing out that he really had no qualifications.

Excerpts - ...Because criminal grand jury proceedings are prosecution driven, and don't provide defendants with a defense, it is the legal obligation of the prosecutor to present evidence which might show the innocence of the defendants.
In one of the motions filed Wednesday, the defense argues that Gallegos failed to fulfill that obligation.

According to two declarations filed with one of the motions, District Attorney's Office Chief Investigator Mike Hislop interviewed two experts in the field of SWAT team operations and both said they did not believe there was a criminal case against Douglas and Zanotti.

Neither expert was called to testify before the grand jury.

According to the motion and accompanying declaration, Stuart Meyers is the CEO of OpTac International and president of Operational Tactics, a nonprofit organization that manages law enforcement instructors and consultation services. It was selected to train the SWAT and sniper teams for the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics.

According to Meyers' declaration, after being briefed on the events surrounding Moore's death in a June 2007 phone conversation, Meyers told Hislop he did not believe there was a basis for criminal liability. Hislop never contacted Meyers again, according to the declaration.

EPD Sgt. William Nova, who was the SWAT team commander in April 2006 but was off-duty at the time of the Moore shooting, states in a declaration that he had a similar conversation with Hislop.

In his declaration, Nova states that Hislop told him he felt the shooting of Moore was legally justified, and that he was trying to persuade Gallegos not to bring the matter to the grand jury.

”I advised Mr. Hislop that I agreed with him, and that in my capacity both as the Eureka Police Department SWAT commander and as an uninvolved party, I believed that there had been no violation of law, policy or current SWAT practices with regard to anything that had been done in connection with the Moore incident,” Nova states in the declaration.

Nova said he would have given the same testimony before the grand jury had he been called....

Gallegos did call police training specialist George Williams to the stand as an expert witness at the request of Zanotti's attorney. Williams testified that Moore's death was a clear case of “suicide by cop,” and that the SWAT operation had been handled properly.

Gallegos questioned Williams' qualifications as an expert before the jury, saying he had never trained in SWAT tactics.

”Quite simply ... his summary of qualifications, though impressive as to particular things, is lacking as it relates to the facts that he gave an opinion as to,” Gallegos told the grand jury.

I wonder what the Grand Jury members would say to this?

The other defense motion filed Wednesday targets the pillars of Gallegos' involuntary manslaughter case: that Douglas and Zanotti acted with criminal negligence and that, in entering Moore's apartment without a Ramey warrant, officers committed an unlawful act that led to Moore's death.

In the motion, the defense argues the Ramey warrant wasn't required in the Moore situation because clear exigent circumstances existed, namely that Moore posed an immediate threat to herself and the community that necessitated prompt action.

The defense motion also takes aim at the prosecution's claim that Douglas and Zanotti acted in a criminally negligent manner by failing to adequately supervise the SWAT and crisis negotiation teams, and the communication between the two.

Not only does the evidence show that both teams, and the communication between them, was supervised, the defense argues, but Gallegos also failed to provide the grand jury with a benchmark of what constitutes “adequate supervision.”

In the motions, the defense also argues that Gallegos improperly and inadequately instructed the grand jury on the law.

”There were numerous serious errors and omissions in the prosecutor's instructions to the grand jury in this case; together and separately, they permitted the grand jury to indict on a legally improper basis and on less than probable cause,” the motion states.

The defense also argues that Gallegos failed to instruct the jury on justifiable homicide as an absolute defense to manslaughter and that, by presenting SWAT team members with immunity agreements that were known to the jury, Gallegos implied they were somehow guilty of committing a crime and that, by extension, so were their commanding officers.

Further, the defense argues in the motions that if the court finds legal fault with one of Gallegos' theories -- either of criminal negligence or the commission of an unlawful act leading to Moore's death -- it is obligated to throw out the entire indictment.

The motion states “where a court finds that one of the two alternate theories of guilt is legally unavailable, and there is no means by which to determine whether or not a conviction was predicated on that theory, the convictions must be reversed altogether.”

If a judge denies the defense motions, which are scheduled to be heard July 10, it would still have an opportunity to appeal them to another court before a trial takes place because the motions were filed within 60 days of Douglas and Zanotti's arraignment.

Related coverage Links to articles, letters and Op-Eds

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Who is "heraldo?"

Hank is on the trail and may well have answers he has not yet revealed.
MEGA EXCLUSIVE WEB EXTRA: The Unexpurgated Heraldo-Dandy Papers
This week's Town Dandy

"Heraldo's" none too happy about that.
Dandy praise for the Humboldt Herald

Eric finds it amusing.
Who is Heraldo?

And, the real question is - what does the propagandist have to fear from having his/her/it's/their identity known?

Gundersen to go to trial in July - 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


David Gundersen, the former chief of the Blue Lake Police Department facing 33 charges, will go to trial July 14.

The trial previously was scheduled for June 30, but was continued during his trial confirmation Wednesday.

Gundersen was arrested on Feb. 8, and since then made his way to five days’ worth of preliminary hearing testimony, new charges and now, a upcoming trial.
Read the rest

Related coverage, with links


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


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Repercussions and Rumors

If you don't already subscribe to the Arcata Eye, you might want to change that, and pick up some back copies, too -
Grow houses: the cost and the carbon
... • A Sunny Brae resident turns on his power saw and his lights dim. On calling Pacific Gas & Electric Company’s customer service line, he’s told that “all the grow houses on your block are maxing out the transformers.”

Officially, PG&E denies the statement. A PG&E spokesman says that the biggest new draw on suburban electrical power has come with the advent of home offices, with all their computers and fax machines....

...Since its two 200-amp electrical meters face his home, a Ninth Street resident tracks electrical usage at his neighbor’s grow house. The house – later raided by the Drug Task Force – consumes a whopping 10,311 kilowatt hours of electricity per month....
Read the rest

Tagged "grow house" turns out to be just that
A house at 11th and A streets which had previously been tagged with the words “grow house” was raided by the Humboldt County Drug Task Force last week, and was found full of pot plants....

Multi-grow house bust nets 30-day sentences
On June 4, 2008, Judge Marilyn Miles sentenced John Devoe and Clare Holmes to felony probation and 30 days in jail for cultivating marijuana.

On August 20, 2007, agents with the Humboldt County Drug Task Force served search warrants on six properties that belonged to Devoe and Holmes. The investigation began based upon an anonymous tip. Agents then obtained PG&E records for the properties prior to seeking search warrants for any of the homes....

Kevin Hoover: One more time – neighborhood wrecking bad, compassionate use good. Got it?
Really, great editorial.

Jason Browne: The down-low on the get-high from an old hand on medical cannabis (Part 1)

Then there are the blog rumors... maybe it's true, I've been hearing for a while that the raids were going to be moving north... I guess we will see.
Massive DEA raids planned for Humboldt
DEA raids of indoor grows on the way

From what I have heard it is not just indoor grows. I believe my sources were merely speculating, But you have to wonder how some of this information gets out, IF any of the rumors are accurate, and if there is a major leak at upper levels of law enforcement - how else do the growers know to come in with U-Hauls to clear out the growhouse the night before a raid?

Two arrested for alleged murder conspiracy

On Saturday, investigators from the Humboldt County District Attorney's office served search warrants at residences on Rohnerville Road, Fortuna and on Port Kenyon Road, Ferndale, where two men were arrested on suspicion conspiracy to commit murder.

Dennis Eugene Larsen, age 63, and Ray Lone-Wolf Potvin, age 29, were arrested. Both reside at the Rohnerville Road address.
The investigation grew out of information that Dennis Larsen's son, Chad Larsen, was soliciting the murder of the alleged victim of the sexual assault which has him incarcerated in the Humboldt County Jail.

DA investigators conducted an undercover sting operation in which, arrest warrant affidavits allege, they received a $500 down payment for the killing and shovels with which to bury the intended victim (the 16-year-old alleged sexual assault victim)....
Read the rest: Two arrested for alleged murder conspiracy

Good goin'

update: Third man's arraignment postponed
16-year-old alleged sexual assault
Two of the three Fortuna men suspected in an alleged plot to murder a teenage girl set to testify against one of them in an ongoing statutory rape trial pleaded not guilty Wednesday in a Humboldt County courtroom.

Chad Larsen, 28, was joined in court by his father Dennis Larsen, 63, and friend, Ray Lone-Wolf Potvin, 29. Potvin and Chad Larsen entered pleas of not guilty to conspiracy to commit murder. Dennis Larsen did not enter a plea, as a motion to postpone his arraignment was granted by Judge Timothy Cissna.

Oil Platforms and Artificial Reefs

The Travel Channel producers, fashionably greenish in their views... read... a book titled The Helldiver's Rodeo. The book described an undersea panorama that (if true) could make an interesting show for the network, they concluded, while still scoffing.

They scoffed as we rode in from the airport. They scoffed over raw oysters, grilled redfish and seafood gumbo that night. More scoffing through the Hurricanes at Pat O'Brien's. They scoffed even while suiting up in dive gear and checking the cameras as we tied up to an oil platform 20 miles in the Gulf.

But they came out of the water bug-eyed and indeed produced and broadcast a program showcasing a panorama that turned on its head every environmental superstition against offshore oil drilling....

The panorama of marine life around an offshore oil platform staggers anyone who puts on goggles and takes a peek, even (especially!) the most worldly scuba divers. Here's a video peek at this seafood bonanza....
(You'll have to click on the link in the story, similar to the video above) Read the full story here Stuff you never hear.
Rigs to Reefs Programs

Monday, June 16, 2008

Today's Tomorrow's Consent Calendar

Item D-7 and D-8
District Attorney
7. Amendment of Lease at 712 Fourth Street for the Victim Witness Office (State Grant Funds).
RECOMMENDATION: That the Board of Supervisors approve and authorize the chairperson to execute the Second Amendment to Lease for property at 712 Fourth Street; Direct the Clerk of the Board to return one executed amendment to Real Property for transmittal to Lessor.

8. Grant Application for Vertical Prosecution Block Program - FY 2008-09, State of California, Office of Emergency Services, in the amount of $146,981 (State OES Funds - VPBP)
RECOMMENDATION: That the Board of Supervisors 1) allow the District Attorney to submit application; and 2) authorize the Chair to execute continuation application for Vertical Prosecution funding, Grant Award Face Sheet (OES A301) and Certificate of Assurance of Compliance. (No impact to the General Fund).

At least he is applying for it. But, does he really have a "Vertical Child Abuse Prosecutor?" And if so, who is it? He claims Maggie Fleming has been the designee since 1994.

So-o-o-o, what happened to Jeffrey "You'Go' Schwartz? The One who got a BIG FAT RAISEbecause he had assumed that position?

Sources say - There was no 'Vertical Prosecutor" until October of 1996. there were people assigned to the unit, it was shared by Felony Prosecutors like Rob Wade, Allison Jackson and Maggie Flemming back then, but everyone in the office shared in the duties.
Between October of 96 and February 97 Jeannie Tunnison-Campbell became the Vertical Prosecutor.
Then it was Allison Jackson and Peter Martin.
Then Peter Martin left and it was Allison Jackson and Andrew Isaac.
Then Gallegos fired Allison Jackson and it was Andrew Isaac, alone.
Then Gallegos threw Maggie Flemming into that position.
Then he handed it over to "" - who as far as anyone can tell never took a case to trial.
Now apparently, he has put newcomer Kelly Neel into that position, within a year of when she was hired.

What is a "Vertical Prosecutor" you ask? It is simply, one prosecutor assigned to see the case all the way through, from start to finish, so it isn't handed off from one person to another, so they don't have to start from scratch and wing it through a prosecution. It is supposed to provide for a higher grade of prosecution, it gives the victims one person to have to deal with, to learn to trust, and to count on to know the ins and outs of the case.

It is important enough that grants are provided to ensure that that person has adequate time to prepare and concentrate on that case, it is supposed to eliminate or lighten the other cases they are assigned to. That means they are NOT assigned to other cases such as Asset Forfeiture, Murders, Drug cases, or 'buckets' the random assignments necessitated by low staffing.

The DA's Office gets grants to provide for Vertical Domestic Violence Prosecutors and Vertical Child Abuse Prosecutors. When Gallegos signs his name to these grant applications he is saying that he has a qualified dedicated person assigned to these positions. And the CAST stats and records of cases taken to trail should match up.

Read the Grant App - And look at those numbers! WOW! They don't add up, however. Not to the numbers that have already been released, (things like the number of referrals, interviews and cases filed - without the CAST stats it is impossible to gauge the accuracy of this application) - and not to the numbers Gallegos himself has stated on the record (things like the number of cases each prosecutor is carrying as a load, is assigned to each year.) For example he says here that the average caseload for a non-vertical prosecutor in 2007 was 85 per felony attorney.... Yet Gallegos has told the media that the prosecutors handle some 550 cases a year. And that was BEFORE he "lost" a bunch more prosecutors.

What is the penalty to the County if Gallegos isn't giving accurate information on his grant apps, especially with regards to the names and actuality of the Vertical Prosecutors, of a Vertical Prosecution Program, both in this and the Domestic Violence Program grants? Does the County have to pay back the funds?

And does anyone care?


accepting bribes in exchange for dismissing criminal charges

Caribou prosecutor charged
SODA SPRINGS - Attorney General Lawrence Wasden's office announced Caribou County Prosecutor Criss James has been charged for allegedly accepting bribes in exchange for dismissing criminal charges.

James was charged Monday with 11 felony counts of misuse of public funds. According to a Tuesday press release, the complaint alleges that between March 25, 2006 and July 2, 2007, James accepted 15 checks from defendants in exchange for dismissing charges against them....

Friday, June 13, 2008

Who paid?

Remember Bob Martel, who said his suit against Palco cost him $250,000 and took five years of research?

When he lost, The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered him to pay the company legal fees of more than $110,000. And he said he hadn't earned "more than six thousand dollars in a year in recent memory"

And you wonder - who paid those bills? Who paid the $250,000 that he couldn't possibly have afforded? Plus the more than $110,000. Has he been making monthly payments all this time?

Well, here's another one - This June 4, 1993 article in the New York Times says that Bill Bertain who spends most of his time and much of his money on the legal battle with Mr. Hurwitz was "more than a half-million dollars in debt. At times he has been unable to meet his house payments, and his health has deterioriated."

Bill, did you have to absorb those costs yourself? Or was there help and support? And if so from whom? From what entity(ies)?

That was 1993. How much longer did that battle go on, and what was the total cost? Again, how did you pay for it? I mean it's fair to say that it could have gone on for another 10 years, up until Gallegos took over.

How many lawsuits were there? Yours. Martel's. EPIC's, I've heard tell of some smaller ones with some interesting connections. Hundreds? Thousands? And who paid?

When the history of what happened here is told, will these questions be answered?

DA a NO SHOW at the Code Enforcement Meeting


Thursday, June 12, 2008

Right to the point

Last Monday, June 2nd, Senator Harry Reid (D Nevada) assured us: "It's clear that "global warming is real" and Congress must act." Wow! Senator Reid has always appeared to this writer to be a profound thinker with astonishing intellectual and logic gifts, (irony alert) but the preceding statement is so profound as to boggle the mind. What next may we expect; "Tectonic movement and continental drift are real and Congress must act."? Read the rest at Fighting In The Shade

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Steve "the laws don't apply to me" Schectman is back in the news.

Teaching his kid how to behave. SO impressive.
Parents say suspension of Arcata students not appropriate

After five Arcata High School football team members were suspended during finals week for throwing rocks at a car, their parents and classmates are saying that the school administration did not handle the situation appropriately.

”We give our kids to the teachers to educate and guard them, to ensure they are in a safe environment. They abused that,” said Steven Schectman, the lawyer who is representing the students and their parents.

And that has to do with your kid being disciplined - how?

You gotta love the comments section of the TS on this one, though. For once, there's agreement. Pretty much along these lines - Jeff E says: "The football team got what they deserved, that is for sure.

But look at the terrible lesson the parents of those hoodlums are teaching their kids. Get punished for wrong doing ? You don't have to take it like a man, get a lawyer, threaten to sue & cry to the media. The rules don't apply to you.

Schectman should get the award for the "Worst Father of the Year".

Schectman is right about one thing - “Our next step is to try to make the community aware of this.” Damn straight.

History: Eye - Schectman downplays past legal problems

"If you get it by hook or by crook, you get a pass," Schectman said. Schectman, 2005

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The HuHu!

Humboldt all huhu over write-in question
The Hawaiian pidgin language is full of descriptive words, such as “huhu,” which describes a state of agitated anger.

The North Coast blogs have been all huhu since before the supervisor elections over the campaign's hot-button issue: Johanna Rodoni's shadow candidacy for 2nd District county supervisor.

When the TS reported that it was “possible” Johanna could be a November write-in it was enough to throw gas on the flaming huhu. How could the “Substandard” be so stupid? Don't they know the law? A write-in by Johanna Rodoni? What outrageous incompetence to suggest anything of the kind. Sub-sub-sub!”

That's why online political opinion gives you the most for your entertainment dollar -- or even more, since it costs nothing

TS County: Rodoni can be write-in
The TS is vindicated.
TS Nothing appears to prevent Johanna Rodoni as write-in

The HuHu: County elections department says Johanna can file for a write-in candidacy - but the law probably says otherwise
OH GOD, Eric, you're not taking leads from "Jane Doe!"
In my opinion, Johanna cannot run in November
Johanna can run in November

SECTION 8600-8605

What Eric's looking at:
Bradley v Perrodin, (2003)
Edelstein v. City and County of San Francisco (2002)

Follow-up - an excellent piece on the late editor Rich Somerville and The Hu Hu: The end of Somervillization as we know it

There's this place called San Francisco...

ever been there, Aldaron? Houses. On hillsides. LOTS of 'em.

In Arcata's General Plan, there is a standard that one cannot build on a slope of more than 15 percent. “The hillside development standards were adopted to protect the public from development occurring on steep slopes. That’s why they are in the Public Safety Element,” Laird said.

That's not in the City of Arcata’s zoning ordinances, which is at odds with the City's General Plan, as well as the County, which provides for exceptions for building on slopes of more than 15 percent, there’s just extra engineering work that is involved. In the Arcata General Plan, there is no exception.

So these two "developers," Envisioning a green future, did their research, and worked out a plan to complete their dream to build a small community on the property they bought for this purpose. Now they are paying the price for the fact that the City of Arcata has never melded their General Plan and their Zoning Ordinances?

Laird said it’s not the first time the city has run into conflicts with the outdated zoning ordinances and the general plan, and the precedent set by those conflicts has been that the general plan overrides the zoning ordinances.

Not the first time? Then why hasn't it been fixed?

Incidentally, there’s a state law that may override the Arcata General Plan, the Density Bonus Law. Winkler said. “The point of the state law is to prevent cities from using standards to keep higher densities out,” he said. “The state has decided it’s more important to make more affordable housing available.”

Ah, yes. Infill to the rescue. The irony of it all.

Michael Winkler, the chairperson of the Arcata Planning Commission, said getting a professional to look at all the regulations before starting a project will help prevent making expensive mistakes.

Maybe. And that is part of what forces costs up. Pretty cavalier attitude. Seems like getting your various policies into compliance with one another would be a very high priority.

But welcome to Arcata, where you can ignore all the laws, zoning and building codes you want if you are growing pot, but try to do something right and you are screwed.

That's my read, what's yours?

Monday, June 09, 2008

Tuesday's BOS meeting w/UPDATE

District Attorney
7. Extension of Extra Help Hours Past the 960 Hour Limit.
d. RECOMMENDATION: That the Board of Supervisors approves the extension of extra help hours for Jessica Watson, Office Assistant I, pursuant to section 7 of Humboldt County Resolution, effective immediately to 1960 hour.
No impact on the General Fund.
The DA wants the Board to approve the extension of extra help hours for an Office Assistant who "provides office assistance to both (the DA's) staff and the general public in a critical position (Receptionist). This position handles all telephone traffic and direct contact with the public. (The DA's Office) and the general public cannot be serviced without this position especially while this department has TWO OFFICE ASSISTANT UNFILLED VACANCIES.
8. District Attorney Victim Witness Assistance Program Grant Application for FY 2008-09 (State General Funds - State Office of Emergency Services Funds).

RECOMMENDATION: That the Board of Supervisors authorizes the Chair to execute the original Grant Proposal/Award Face Sheet and Certificate of Assurance of Compliance. There will be no County General Fund Impact.
The grant app

Does this mean the DA is actually going to step foot in the Supervisor's Chambers? Make an appearance? It's almost a first.

Haven't we seen this one before?
15. Adoption of Senior Deputy County Counsel Classification.
RECOMMENDATION: That the Board of Supervisors:
1) Adopts the class of Senior Deputy County Counsel (salary range 504, class 0598, unit 8) into the classification plan;
2) Approves the revised salary range for Assistant County Counsel (from range 508 to salary range 530, class 0603); and
3) Approves 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
4) Approves 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.
The impact to the General Fund for this incremental cost increase for
Fiscal Year 2007-08 is approximately $1,958 for Senior Deputy County Counsel and $3,214 for Assistant County Counsel.
For Fiscal Year 2008-09 the annual cost increase for (newly created?) Senior Deputy County Counsel is approximately $12, 727 and $20, 889 for Assistant County Counsel.
The item

Fascinating. Isn't this a new position that does nothing new? And with so much of the County's legal work farmed out, what are we really talking about here?

UPDATE: The County Counsel item was apparently pulled entirely, not just pulled out for discussion. This makes the SECOND TIME this item has been pulled.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Interesting reading

Killer's Civil Rights Not Violated, Panel Says
LAKELAND | Angilo Freeland's civil rights weren't violated, the Department of Justice has concluded, 20 months after the fugitive died in a 68-bullet barrage fired by law enforcement officers tracking the man sought in the killing of Polk sheriff's Deputy Matt Williams.

Freeland, 27, was killed Sept. 28, 2006, during the biggest manhunt in Polk County history....

Police Find Freeland's Journals and Weapons
Read Angilo Freeland's Journal

Arcata makes the New York Times

Marijuana Hotbed Retreats on Medicinal Use
...Under the 1996 law, known as Proposition 215, patients need a prescription to acquire medicinal marijuana, but the law gave little guidance as to how people were to acquire it. That gave rise to some patients with marijuana prescriptions growing their own in limited quantities, the opening of clubs to make it available and growers going large scale to keep those outlets supplied.

In turn, that led to the kind of worries that have bubbled up in Arcata, home of Humboldt State University, where town elders say roughly one in five homes are “indoor grows,” with rooms or even entire structures converted into marijuana greenhouses.

That shift in cultivation, caused in part by record-breaking seizures by drug agents of plants grown outdoors, has been blamed for a housing shortage for Humboldt students, residential fires and the powerful — and distracting — smell of the plant in some neighborhoods during harvest.

“I naïvely thought it was a skunk,” said Jeff Knapp, an Arcata resident who has a neighbor who is a grower...

For some, growing has become a second career. In Arcata, a 29-year-old man, who asked that his name not to be used for fear of arrest, said that he earned about $25,000 every three months from selling marijuana grown in a back room to club owners from Southern California.

But others in Arcata are less welcoming. Kevin L. Hoover, the editor of the local newspaper, The Eye, has made a practice of confronting people he believes are growing marijuana. Their houses are easy to spot, he said — covered windows, tall fences, cars coming and going late at night. “Sometimes the whine of fans,” he said.

Those fans, of course, are eating electrical power, something that also irks many....

Made FOX, too.

Last week it was the LA Times. Marijuana 'grow houses' are creating problems in Arcata, Calif.

This AIN'T the kind of publicity Gallegos' Lead Campaign Consultant Michael Shellenberger was able to get for the pot growers. THIS is the backlash.

And by the way, Kevin is paying a price for speaking up, from what I hear. So, let your voice be heard if you support what he is doing. I do.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Election Results

Number of Precincts....23
Precincts Reporting.....23 100.0 %
Total Votes....5148
JOHN M. VEVODA....1451....28.19%
JIMMY SMITH....3691....71.70%
Write-in Votes....6....0.12%

Number of Precincts....27
Precincts Reporting....27....100.0 %
Total Votes....6629
CLIF CLENDENEN....2417....36.46%
ROGER RODONI....2433....36.70%
ESTELLE FENNELL.....1773....26.75%
Write-in Votes....6....0.09%

Number of Precincts....28
Precincts Reporting....28....100.0 %
Total Votes....4662
BRYAN PLUMLEY....1600....34.32%
PAUL PITINO.....595....12.76%
MARK LOVELACE....2454....52.64%
Write-in Votes....13....0.28%

TS Final update: Smith wins in landslide, 2nd District still too close to call, 3rd District to Lovelace, Measure C passes
ER Jimmy Smith wins 1st District with plenty of breathing room
ER Lovelace wins Third District
JNLiveblogging the Election
TS Landslide by Smith in 1st District
TS Lovelace takes it all in 3rd
TS 2nd District runoff set
TS Nothing appears to prevent Johanna Rodoni as write-in

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Remember to vote.

And then, check out The Fabulous Ruins of Detroit Click on the TOUR button and follow the links. Amazing. Jack, especially, I think you will like this one. h/t: KT I Think I'll Move to Detroit
...because the homes are so cheap. Dig this:
The average home sale price in Detroit is...