Saturday, August 30, 2008

Day 10 - secret recordings and rules of consent - 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


of the strangest trial ever - hearsay, Midnight Express moments, and now, secretly recorded tapes...
☛ ER Phone calls detail wife’s suspicions, hesitation to talk about alleged sex crimes In recorded phone conversations, which Darcie Seal was told weren’t being taped, she told District Attorney’s Office Investigator Wayne Cox on June 10 that she found concerning items in Gundersen’s side of their garage, shed and the BLPD office.

Those items included hard drives, small cameras and video tapes, which Seal indicated may contain nude photos of her taken with or without her consent.

Seal also referenced newspaper articles that mentioned their sex life and said she “won’t talk about it because I don’t want it in the paper.”

“To tell you the truth … I’m supposed to do that in front of everybody and the press?” Seal said. “I don’t want everybody to know.”...

...The prosecution began playing four hours of audio phone recordings Friday between Seal and Cox, as well as Humboldt County District Attorney Paul Gallegos. It is anticipated that the court will finish listening to the recordings when the trial resumes Tuesday morning....

,,,Gundersen wasn’t given a rape kit after being arrested, which Cox said in hindsight, should have been done. Cox explained this case isn’t typical “in any stretch of the imagination” and he was instructed by Gallegos to record his conversations and contacts with Seal. At one point in a conversation, Seal directly asked Cox whether she was being recorded, and got “No” for an answer.

“They were never recorded with the intent of playing them or letting the jury hear them,” Cox said.

His intent was to get Seal to tell the truth, “and I believed that if I told her she was being recorded … that was going to end our dialogue. I couldn’t afford that to happen because in the end, what I really need is the truth.”

“I wanted her to feel free to tell the truth without any worries.”...

☛ TS A question of consent

At one point early in the conversation, Cox also tells Seal he has never knowingly lied to her. A few minutes later, Seal asks Cox if their conversation is being recorded and he says no.

”Are you telling the truth?” Seal asks.

”Yes,” Cox responds on the recording....

,,,At various points in the conversations Seal expresses concerns over consent, and whether she explicitly told Gundersen to stop having sex with her against her will, at points even hinting that it's her fault.

”I stayed for eight years, I have some accountability in that,” she says.

During her conversation with Gallegos, Seal again touches on the issue of consent, saying that, though she often laid lifeless and cried while Gundersen had sex with her, she didn't explicitly tell him 'no,' or to stop.

”The question isn't whether you said 'no,' it's whether you ever said 'yes,'” Gallegos tells her. “I don't get to have sex with my wife whenever she doesn't say 'no.' ... Consent is something that's given, not something that's taken.”

Related: California Penal Code

"Consent is something that's given, not something that's taken." Did she consent to being recorded?


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


Friday, August 29, 2008

Striking a blow for free speech

☛ ER Striking a blow for free speech

The Activist Community needs this Measure which hogties their targets, and prevents them from being able to fight back. Who will they get to try to defend the piece-of-shit Measure T? Despite their propaganda, telling the voters that their phony experts would defend it in court, it will most likely fall to County Counsel (or hired outside Counsel) - OR to Gallegos.

And THAT will be very entertaining.

Just hafta say

McCain Palin - Brilliant.

Neo-neocon has an interesting series of posts up about this (Warning! It's not Daily Kos):
The campaign chess game
Palin: a less-wordy Obama for the Right?
Palin: playing the inexperience card is a loser for the Democrats
Dissing Palin’s small-town mayoral experience…
McCain/Palin and Biden: walking the walk
Palin: the “Northern Exposure” candidate
Sophia and Sarah: separated at birth?
Palin: a curveball to the Democrats on shattering the glass ceiling
Sarah Palin: sent from Central Casting?
CNN Poll shows no convention bounce for Obama

Day 9 - Friends and experts - 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


☛ TS Expert: Domestic violence is about power, control
...Arnot testified that she was a friend of Seal's for about five years prior to her relationship with Gundersen, but that Gundersen made Seal choose between their relationship and her friendship with Arnot.

”She told me that it was either Dave or me -- if she went with Dave, she couldn't have me in her life,” Arnot testified. She said prior to Gundersen's arrest, she hadn't spoken to Seal since 2001.

Before talking about the specifics of her recent conversations with Seal, Arnot made it clear she was uncomfortable doing so.
”She spoke to me in great confidence and, in answering these questions, I'm breaking her confidence and that's something that's always going to weigh heavily on my heart,” she said.

Arnot testified that she spoke to Seal on Feb. 15, one week after Gundersen's arrest, and the two have renewed their friendship. She said Seal told her the marriage soured in 2005 when she became aware of Gundersen's extra-marital affairs and, consequently, did not want to be intimate with him.

Arnot told her Gundersen became verbally abusive at home and at work, where Seal served as a sergeant with the Blue Lake Police Department.

Things got so bad, Arnot testified, that Seal even said she made several complaints to Blue Lake City Manager Wiley Buck accusing Gundersen of sexual harassment in the workplace and other issues, but nothing ever came of them.

”She told me nothing was ever done about that,” Arnot testified. “It was completely ignored.”...

☛ ER With heavy heart, Seal’s friend speaks of rape allegations she heard

...A longtime friend of Darcie Seal testified in former Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen’s trial Thursday about allegations of rape and verbal abuse Seal made to her in confidence prior to his arrest.

Expert on police-perpetrated domestic violence Diane Wetendorf also explained to the jury key characteristics found in victims of that kind of violence....


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


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Day 8 Gundersen - Domestic violence expert witness to testify - 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


☛ TS Domestic violence expert witness to testify
Domestic violence expert witness Diane Wetendorf will take the stand in the rape trial of former Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen, a judge ruled Wednesday.

With the jury excused for the day, Humboldt County Superior Court Judge Bruce Watson heard arguments from the prosecution and the defense about allowing Wetendorf to testify during a sometimes contentious hearing.

After nearly three hours, Watson said he would allow Wetendorf to testify in general terms about the symptoms of domestic abuse to aid the jury in determining the reliability of the testimony of Gundersen's wife, Darcie Seal...

District Attorney Paul Gallegos filed a motion with the court seeking to admit the testimony of Wetendorf, who has spent years working with victims of domestic violence, the last 10 of which she has spent specifically focusing on domestic violence perpetrated by or against members of law enforcement.

Gallegos said his intention is to have Wetendorf testify about the characteristics of women in abusive relationships in order to help explain Seal's behavior to the jury.

Gundersen's attorney Russell Clanton countered that Wetendorf is a self-proclaimed victims' advocate, and is consequently biased and likely to believe Seal's allegations simply because she is an alleged victim.

Watson said Wetendorf would not take the stand to offer an opinion on whether Seal was telling the truth.

”An expert doesn't opine as to the guilt or innocence of the defendant or as to whether the victim is telling the truth,” Watson said. “Those are the province of the jury.”

☛ ER Domestic violence expert to testify
In the narrow ruling, Wetendorf will only be allowed to answer questions about those characteristics, why victims recant previous statements and why they stay with an abuser.

Wetendorf will not be allowed to bring in her expertise in a niche field of domestic violence she has been researching for the past 10 years — that of domestic violence at the hands of a law enforcement official.

Humboldt County Superior Court Judge W. Bruce Watson said he would not allow questions about alleged victims of domestic violence making false allegations, a key point that Gundersen’s attorney Russell Clanton wanted to address as well.

“There has to be strict limitations,” he said, adding that an expert is not there to weigh on the guilt or innocence of the defendant.

The hearing turned heated at times as Clanton tried several times to question Wetendorf about that point and on biases that she, as an advocate, would be bringing into the courtroom.

“I think if an expert is going to assist a jury,” Clanton said, “it should be giving information from an origin that is not biased.”

Watson said that experts don’t have to be unbiased when on the stand.


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


Far reaching effects

☛ TS Law enforcement responds to dismissal of Douglas-Zanotti case
It drew an outburst of applause in the courtroom. And it's a safe bet that police chiefs around the county, state and nation slept a little easier after Feeney's ruling.

”This case had a chilling effect throughout California,” said Fresno Chief of Police Jerry Dyer, who also serves as president of the California Police Chiefs Association. “I can tell you that there were a number of law enforcement administrators across the United States watching this case very closely, and I'm sure they too will be relieved with the judge's decision because these types of actions on the part of the district attorney can, number one, set a bad precedent, and, number two, become contagious.”...

...Legal and police experts have called the indictments unprecedented, as they targeted the incident's commanders and not the officers who fired the fatal shots.

”Number one, this is unheard of in law enforcement for a police chief and a lieutenant to be indicted for a decision they made at a SWAT call,” Dyer said. “It was so shocking that, initially, I didn't believe it. I figured there had to be more to the story for them to be indicted. But, there wasn't.”

Arcata Police Chief Randy Mendosa said he knows Douglas and Zanotti and that it's been difficult to watch them endure the last nine months.

”I know these guys well enough where I know it's been devastating for them -- living in a small community and hearing comments; having your good reputation smeared before the public,” Mendosa said. “It's terrible. It's not fair and it's not just.”
Mendosa said he was also relieved for himself and for his profession.

”It could easily have been me in there,” Mendosa said. “Being criminally indicted for basically being in charge of a high-risk operation is not something that police chiefs have ever encountered before, anywhere that I can find.”

Many said they felt it was only a matter of time before they were tossed out of court.

”I don't think any of us believed from day one that there was sufficient evidence to criminally indict either former Chief Douglas or Lt. Zanotti for their actions,” Eureka Police Chief Garr Nielsen said. “Their actions never came close to rising to the level of gross negligence.”

Many law enforcement officials have also said they feared the indictments could have a lasting effect on commanders in tactical situations, pushing them to either protect the officers serving under them by taking decisions out of their hands or to protect themselves by leaving the decisions to those underneath them, thus protecting themselves from criminal liability.

The result, many have said, would be decisions being handed off to people who are not the most qualified to make them.
Dyer said he has a more basic fear.

”To second guess law enforcement leaders in a criminal court can cause paralysis of the leaders in the future because folks are going to be hesitant to make quick decisions even in instances that necessitate quick decisions,” he said. “When hesitation occurs in law enforcement, officers can get seriously hurt or killed, and that's why you need decisive leaders at SWAT calls.”

Are you ready for this?

The state's new medical marijuana guidelines will help bring more clarity to Proposition 215 cases, giving the county more tools in its struggle to curb abuse of the law, Humboldt County's district attorney said.

”There's some good stuff in there for us to efficiently punish people who are abusing the law,” District Attorney Paul Gallegos said. “There are members of this community that are making money, that are benefiting from the laws and the people of this community, that are giving nothing back.”...

”Taxation -- that is very important to us. We've modified our investigation to do financial investigations,” he said.

By comparing assets and income, the county can weed out illegal growers from legitimate ones, he said.

”It gives us a weapon, I think, that we didn't have,” Gallegos said.

☛ TS DA compliments AG for clearing the haze around 215

Why don't you start with your buddy, Schectman, Mr. Gallegos.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A challenge to Piece of Crap Measure T - FINALLY! w/UPDATE

EUREKA, CA; August 27, 2008: Humboldt County is violating First Amendment free speech rights by prohibiting incorporated businesses from donating to local election campaigns if they have any employees or shareholders living outside of the County. So contends a federal lawsuit filed today by attorneys with Pacific Legal Foundation.

"The County’s donation restriction runs the First Amendment through a shredder," said PLF Attorney Damien Schiff. "The Constitution guarantees open and vibrant political debate, with all sides and all points of view allowed into the fray. The County’s ordinance is an outrageous assault on these free speech rights, because it targets a class of employers to be shut out of the political process."

The lawsuit challenges Measure T – the Humboldt County Ordinance to Protect Our Rights to Fair Elections and Local Democracy – an ordinance enacted by initiative in June, 2006. If a corporation has any employees or shareholders living outside of the county – even a single worker or stockholder over the county line – Measure T bans the business from donating to campaigns relating to local ballot measures or candidates for local office.

Measure T also violates the Constitution’s Equal Protection guarantees, according to the PLF lawsuit, because it does not impose the same campaign donation limits on unions. "Besides restricting core rights of political expression, Measure T also unconstitutionally discriminates against businesses, because union donations are not restricted," said Damien Schiff. "An incorporated business is silenced, when it comes to campaign contributions, if it has employees or shareholders outside of the county, but unions that have members in other counties are allowed to continue donating to election campaigns in Humboldt County. This double standard violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment."

A public interest legal organization headquartered in Sacramento, PLF is the nation’s legal leading watchdog for limited government, property rights, and constitutional freedoms. In the Measure T lawsuit, PLF attorneys represent Mercer, Fraser Co., a highway contractor and heavy construction business located in Eureka, and O & M Industries, a commercial and industrial contractor. O & M is located in Arcata.

The lawsuit complaint, along with the text of Measure T, may be found at PLF’s Web site:

About Pacific Legal Foundation - Headquartered in Sacramento, PLF is the oldest and most successful public interest legal organization that litigates for limited government, property rights, and individual liberty, in courts across the country.

Not just Unions - but the Orgs are completely unfettered.

Featured Case
Complaint (I can't get it to load)
Pacific Legal Foundation - 35th Anniversary Video

Updated links:
☛ TS Measure T facing legal challenge
☛ ER Campaign contribution ordinance challenged
Fred: Measure T Going To Court

Question is will the Mckinleyville School Bond people join in? Hope they do.

To our friends and supporters:

We received news today that Measure T (Humboldt County Ordinance to Protect Our Right to Fair Elections and Local Democracy), the ballot initiative we helped to pass banning campaign contributions by non-local corporations to local elections here in Humboldt County, has been challenged in federal court. We will be posting links to information about the suit on our homepage at

Both Democracy Unlimited and the Humboldt Coalition for Community Rights understood that such a legal challenge could occur when we worked on the Measure T campaign, and we are working together to create a plan of action. Constitutional law expert John Bonifaz, who pledged during the campaign to serve pro bono as special legal counsel to Humboldt's county counsel, has already confirmed his ability to do so.

We sent out this statement to local inquiries earlier today:

"The people of Humboldt County have the right and duty to protect our electoral process. Voters enacted Measure T based on a legitimate concern that corporate influence in elections is undermining the integrity of our elections. It is our community's right to protect itself from threats to our democracy. The idea that a corporation's so called "rights" are more important than those of our community is unjust and illegitimate.

Measure T ensures that owners of corporations will operate as individuals in the political process, just like every other citizen, rather than gaining undue influence through their corporations.

We are not surprised by this action, but we are certainly disappointed that these companies have so little regard for the will of the people of Humboldt County."

Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap
Spokesperson, Humboldt Coalition for Community Rights

We'll be keeping everyone updated as we find out more information and further develop a strategic response.

AND WHO IS Humboldt Coalition for Community Rights? HAH!

☛ ER Striking a blow for free speech

Day 7 - Seal's attorney, Gundersen's ex testify - 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


☛ TS Attorney: Gundersen's wife feared she'd be killed for testimony
Stranger and stranger. Her attorney testifying about/against her.
The ex-wife testifies - and Under cross examination by Gundersen's attorney Russell Clanton, Gundersen's ex-wife testified that she had spoken with her family law case attorney, Gallegos' wife Joan Gallegos, and that Joan Gallegos told her Paul Gallegos would consider prosecuting Gundersen for raping her if there was sufficient evidence.

Gundersen's ex-wife said she had no plan to use Seal to aid her in the family law case, but that she has been awarded full custody of her two children since Gundersen's Feb. 8 arrest....

And this - Under cross examination, Clanton asked Griego if he was aware of a criminal investigation targeting Seal, and of allegations that she had allowed her ex-brother-in-law, Carl Patton, to take firearms from the Blue Lake Police Department in exchange for marijuana. Griego said he was aware of the allegations, but that Seal had told him they were false and she would be willing to take a polygraph test to show as much.

Patton was arrested in January on charges of attempted murder after reportedly firing shots at his girlfriend and her vehicle after an argument. Upon searching Patton's residence, law enforcement found several firearms with their serial numbers filed off, according to court records, but that investigators were able to restore the serial numbers from at least one of the guns.

Patton pleaded guilty to discharging a firearm in a grossly negligent manner and was sentenced in March to serve three years in prison. Clanton was his attorney.

After Gundersen's trial concluded for the day Tuesday, Gallegos confirmed there is an ongoing investigation into Seal's conduct, but declined to go into specifics.

”We did investigate the possibility that (Seal) did provide weapons from the Blue Lake Police Department to an individual, and that at least one of those weapons were subsequently used in a crime,” Gallegos said. “The information we have, if true, is very serious to us, but it's still under investigation.”

There's alot more about the allegations of drugging and raping, homicidal thoughts, fears, it is a mess, no question about that.

☛ ER Gundersen’s ex-wife takes stand

And then there's the Midnight Express moment - covered in both papers. The whole thing is a mess.


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


More on the Judge's ruling

☛ TS Judge tosses Douglas, Zanotti manslaughter charges
Legal and police experts have called the indictments unprecedented, as they targeted the incident's commanders and none of the officers who fired the fatal shots.

The case has captured the attention of law enforcement agencies across the nation, many of which worried a conviction of Douglas and Zanotti could set a precedent that would send shock waves throughout the law enforcement community.

Feeney began Tuesday's hearing by saying he believed the grand jury indicted without sufficient probable cause to establish that the defendants had committed an illegal act or a lawful act in a criminally negligent manner.

Feeney said he found Gallegos' jury instructions on exigent circumstances -- or the presence of an imminent threat necessitating prompt action -- to be inadequate....

”I do find the indictments were not supported by probable cause,” he said. “The entry into Ms. Moore's apartment, even without a warrant, was lawful given her brandishing a flare gun at officers and her threats to burn down the building.”

Feeney went on to say he felt there was no evidence to show that Douglas or Zanotti acted in an aggravated or reckless manner, that Gallegos presented insufficient evidence to show the defendants failed to adequately supervise the SWAT and negotiations teams, and that he never advised the grand jury that Moore had committed a felony in brandishing the flare gun at officers.

After the hearing, defense attorneys said they were pleased with the ruling.

”I'm satisfied with the result because it's the correct result -- the legally correct result,” said William Rapoport, who was representing Zanotti in the matter. “(This case has) destroyed a huge part of these men's lives for the last nine months, and it's time they got some relief. ... They've had a cloud hanging over their heads for no good reason other than someone's political aspirations.”

Gallegos said he respects the court's ruling in this difficult case but disagrees with it.

While he has the option of re-filing the charges in a criminal complaint and bringing them to a preliminary hearing, Gallegos said he would have to “digest” the court's ruling before determining how to proceed.

If he feels the heart of the court's decision was based on the facts of the case and the law, Gallegos said he would likely let Feeney's decision be the end of it. But, if he feels Feeney's decision had more to do with his errors instructing the grand jury, Gallegos said he would feel obligated to proceed with a criminal complaint.

”I think my position has to be, whether I like it or not, that if the facts are there and the law is there, I have to proceed,” Gallegos said. “I owe it to the family.”

UH, Paul - the Judge just told you. The facts ARE NOT there. The LAW is NOT there.

☛ ER Judge throws out involuntary manslaughter case
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....

Humboldt County District Attorney Paul Gallegos argued that exigent circumstances, which allow law enforcement to legally enter a building or residence without a warrant if people are in imminent danger or threatened, didn’t exist, as the apartment building wasn’t evacuated, law enforcement’s command center was in the same building and the gas to the structure wasn’t shut off.

If the court says, as a matter of law, exigent circumstances were present, that’s different than the officers believing the situation fit the definition, Gallegos said. And, if faulty instructions on exigent circumstances were given to the grand jury, Gallegos said he may file charges against Douglas and Zanotti.

While he respects the court’s decision, Gallegos said he disagreed and pointed to the grand jury transcripts, which included interviews with negotiators, mental health officials, the officers involved in the shooting and others.

Attorney William Bragg, who along with William Rapaport and Greg Rael, represented Douglas and Zanotti, said he expected the dismissal, adding the case shouldn’t have been one in the first place. He cited overwhelming case evidence on the defense’s side and said Feeney made the decision based on the law.

The defense attorneys filed motions starting in June seeking to have the case dismissed. The motions stated Gallegos misrepresented the law to the grand jury and didn’t provide evidence that would have helped justify the men’s decisions in the standoff.

Gallegos said there’s no set timeline on when and if he’ll file charges against Douglas and Zanotti, as he used a group process to make such big decisions and would speak to other district attorneys. “There’s no reason to be hasty,” he said.

One can only imagine the last minute email that went out on this one!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Day 875 - Douglas-Zanotti case TOSSED by judge

He misrepresented the law.
He didn't provide exculpatory evidence.
The entry was legal.
☛ TS Douglas-Zanotti case tossed by judge BREAKING NEWS!
Humboldt County Superior Court Judge John Feeney dismissed the criminal case against Eureka Police Chief David Douglas and Lt. Tony Zanotti this afternoon.
At a hearing on the motion to dismiss the involuntary manslaughter charges that stem from a grand jury inquiry into the 2006 death of Cheri Lyn Moore during a SWAT operation, Feeney ruled for the defense.
The defense argued that District Attorney Paul Gallegos misrepresented the law and didn't provide evidence of the commanding officers' innocence to the grand jury.
The criminal charges have been called unprecedented, in that they focused on the officers in charge of the SWAT operation. No charges were filed against the officers that stormed Moore's apartment and shot her after a standoff in which she brandished a flare gun and threatened to burn down the building.

☛ ER Douglas/Zanotti case dismissed
☛ ER Judge throws out involuntary manslaughter case
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.

The entire courtroom applauded.


While he respects the court’s decision, Gallegos said he disagreed ... Gallegos said there’s no set timeline on when and if he’ll file charges against Douglas and Zanotti, as he used a group process to make such big decisions and would speak to other district attorneys. “There’s no reason to be hasty,” he said.

And condolences

to the Arkley family.
☛ TS Robin Arkley Sr. passes away
☛ Arcata Eye Robin Arkley 1925-2008
PLF Mourns Passing of Former Trustee Robin Arkley, Sr.


to Kimberly Wear, and to the Times Standard for their choice.
☛ TS Wear takes editor post at the Times-Standard

Trial Day 6 - Frustration and coercion - 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


☛ TS Gundersen's wife spends day 4 on stand
The wife of former Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen testified Monday that when she lied to investigators the day of her husband's arrest, she felt they were just holding another “Dave-bashing party.”

”It's not the first time everyone sat around bashing Dave,” Gundersen's wife, Darcie Seal, testified about the Feb. 8 interview with investigators. She referred to them as friends of Gundersen's ex-wife and said she answered their questions sarcastically and never wanted her husband arrested.

”I didn't think it was serious,” Seal said...

...Seal said she also told members of the District Attorney's Office that her Feb. 8 statements to law enforcement were false, and that she had even written District Attorney Paul Gallegos a letter on Feb. 25 saying as much.

Seal later read the letter before the court. It said she had been coerced by investigators, didn't want to file a criminal complaint and didn't fear her husband.

☛ ER Gundersen's wife finishes testimony
While rehashing the same back-and-forth heard in the previous two days of Seal’s testimony, she said her pleas to not have her husband prosecuted for spousal rape charges fell on deaf ears in the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office....

Seal testified that she first alerted investigators that her allegations of spousal rape against her husband were false after finding out that Gundersen had been arrested, the same day she interviewed with three Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office investigators — Feb. 8.

During that interview, she testified that she was told that no one else would know about that conversation and didn’t take it seriously.

She hand-wrote a letter to the District Attorney’s Office on Feb. 25 stating that she only talked to investigators to work out an appropriate police response, but had no intention of having Gundersen arrested and accused the HCSO of coercion....

...She testified that she talked to Gallegos and District Attorney’s Office Investigator Wayne Cox a number of times before, and after, Gundersen’s preliminary hearing in April, when she felt her pleas fell on deaf ears.

“I just felt like I was trying to tell the truth,” she said, “and I was talked over.”

It was during this time, Seal testified, that she thought that because Gundersen had sex with her while she was taking Lunesta and sleeping that it constituted rape. It wasn’t until later, after talking with her psychiatrist, that she learned that’s not the case, she said.

Seal testified that during the preliminary hearing she wanted to exercise her right to not testify against her husband, but her attorney at the time, Michael Crowley, said she had to testify to what she said in previous statements, despite her telling him that the allegations were false.

Seal also testified that the District Attorney’s Office threatened her with prosecution on two grounds if she didn’t cooperate with them: one for her son allegedly giving her marijuana and another for allegedly trading her brother-in-law guns for drugs.

“Did you take it as a threat” Clanton asked, “that if you didn’t testify the way they wanted you’d be prosecuted?”

“In hindsight, yes,” Seal said. “At the time, no.”...

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


Sunday, August 24, 2008

Just curious

If you are running for office you have to be prepared to answer questions. Tough questions, sometimes. You have to be prepared to take criticism. Just think. If you are elected you will have David and Penny Elsebush railing at you every meeting, you will have Tad calling you a Nazi at every meeting. And that's just for starters. And you have to listen respectfully, and you sometimes have to engage in discussion, whether you want to or not.

Campaigning helps you develop a thick skin, and prepares you for what is to come.

So, If you are going to use the blog as if it were a website, which is entirely respectable, then don't allow comments. Use it to post your positions, and articles and supporters' names, and links to things you consider to be important, just as you would on a website. Nothing wrong with that. It is a web presence, and that is what matters. Blogger even advertises its blog site as a website.

But - if you are going to have a campaign blog, one which allows comments, and pretends to be open for discussion, then allow the comments. Maybe even consider responding to the points and questions. Because if you get elected, you're going to be representing all the people.

Are you getting 'blocked' on George's blog? I'm hearing from people who are. Maybe the "George Clark Blog Team" is off on vacation or something.... or maybe George is into censorship, or maybe he doesn't want to answer any questions. People are asking. See if your comments/questions get through -

Man gets 9 years, 8 months for domestic abuse

☛ ER Man gets 9 years, 8 months for domestic abuse
A man who pleaded guilty to domestic violence charges in connection to a week-long assault on his girlfriend was sentenced Thursday to nine years and eight months in prison.

Anthony Ryan Workman, who was 20 when arrested, pleaded guilty in June to inflicting corporal injury on a co-habitant resulting in traumatic condition, making threats to commit a crime that would result in death or great bodily injury (a strike) and probation violation. He also pleaded guilty to a special allegation of personally inflicting great bodily injury, which makes the inflicting corporal injury on a co-habitant charge a strike. Judge Dale Reinholtsen handed down the sentence.

Workman was suspected of beating his girlfriend over the course of a week, which resulted in a broken jaw and fractured eye socket. Deputy District Attorney Ben McLaughlin, in a previous interview, said Workman beat his girlfriend and allegedly hit her multiple times in the face because he believed she’d been unfaithful.

Friday, August 22, 2008

'Was only a matter of time,,,

With Palco dead and gone - who's next? SURPRISE! It's Green Diamond!

Earth First! Breaking News: EF!H Tree-sit in the McKay Tract (Green Diamond)
Forest Defenders Tree-sitters Discovered in McKay Tract, Green Diamond Land

Gotta keep those donations flowing in!

Here's another one SAVE FERAL HUMAN HABITAT Humboldt Tree-sits end, new one starts
Posted on August 23, 2008 by West Raven
Direct Action Gets The Goods!!! Treesitters in Humboldt Victorious!

But will they have money for socks this winter when the weather turns cold. Maybe Jen(nifer) Kalt will knit them a pair.

DA (Paul Gallegos) misrepresented the law

***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.

Gonna be a busy week - five days into the Gunderseen trial, Gallegos took off, that trial resumes Monday the 25th. And the oral arguments in the Douglas and Zanotti trial come the next day.

☛ TS Douglas-Zanotti defense: DA misrepresented the law - The district attorney misrepresented the law and failed to provide evidence of former Eureka Police Chief David Douglas' and Lt. Tony Zanotti's innocence during a criminal grand jury inquiry into the 2006 shooting death of Cheri Lyn Moore, defense attorneys argued in court documents filed Thursday.

The commanding officers were indicted on involuntary manslaughter charges in December, which the defense is asking a Humboldt County Superior Court judge to dismiss.

”Our judicial system stands as a real and necessary check on the grand jury indictment process,” one of the documents states. “This court has the authority and the means by which to halt this prosecution, which is justified neither by the undisputed facts, nor by the law.”

Superior Court Judge John Feeney is scheduled to hear oral arguments on the motions Aug. 26.

If Feeney denies the motion to dismiss, the defense has the opportunity to appeal that decision to another court.

Similarly, if Feeney dismisses the charges facing Douglas and Zanotti, District Attorney Paul Gallegos has said he would have the opportunity to refile the charges and allow a judge to determine if there is enough evidence for a trial.

The defense filed two separate motions for dismissal June 18, arguing Gallegos improperly represented the law to the criminal grand jury that handed up the indictments and that he failed to present the jury with evidence that would have backed up Douglas' and Zanotti's decisions that day.

”In this case, the proceeding resulted in a travesty of justice -- a due process violation -- that must be corrected by this court,” one motion states.

Gallegos countered in court papers that he fulfilled his duty to provide the grand jury with evidence that could have shown Douglas' and Zanotti's innocence. He claimed the defenses' legal citations don't apply, and that there was no immediate danger to justify the commanders ordering a warrantless entry into Moore's home.

”It was reasonable to conclude that, after reviewing the evidence, the grand jury determined that there was insufficient exigency to justify a warrantless arrest,” Gallegos wrote. “A review of the evidence presented to them will show that such a conclusion was supported by the evidence and was not an unreasonable conclusion for them to arrive at.”... ☛ TS the rest

Related coverage Links to articles, letters and Op-Eds

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Can you define "progressive"

"Progressive" is not a party. It is more akin to the John Birch Society or Moral Majority than to a political party. How do you define "progressive?"

Southern Sweep Asset Forfeiture - right or wrong?

Given our system of 'innocent until proven guilty' how in the world did something like Asset Forfeiture become legal? Or more specifically, taking someone's property before they have been, charged, tried and found guilty. In this case, it is land that is being seized. In cases elsewhere it is boats and planes and automobiles. And if the person is then found to be innocent of all charges, getting the property back is nearly impossible. 60 Minutes has covered this. On the other hand, large scale pot growers certainly knew the ground rules - and took the risk. Now they pay the price.

Today's story: ☛ TS Feds move forward with land forfeitures
When contacted by the Times-Standard earlier this month, the FBI said no criminal charges had been filed as a result of the sweep. Calls to the FBI on Tuesday were not returned by deadline.

According to United States Code, any properties used to manufacture a controlled substance are subject to forfeiture. In this case, because the U.S. Attorney's Office is seeking civil forfeitures, the land could be forfeited without convictions or even criminal charges being filed against the land owners.

While initial complaints filed by the U.S. Attorney's Office with the Humboldt County Recorder's Office list a total of seven properties, only three of those were included in the Notice of Forfeiture Action filed last week.

But - Guilty or not - it is wrong to seize the property until after they have been convicted. What do you think?

☛ ER Pot sweep costs DOJ $347,000

Other discussion"
At Eric's SoHum Parlance: Feds moving forward on three of the forfeiture actions

Prelim begins for Hoopa murder

☛ TS Prelim begins for Hoopa murder
More than two years after the body of 26-year-old Jason Dee McElroy was uncovered in a shallow grave near Weitchpec, Carlyle Whiteotter Blake -- a Hoopa man charged with McElroy's murder -- entered a Humboldt County courtroom Tuesday for the first day of his preliminary hearing.

The Humboldt County District Attorney's Office brought in two Humboldt sheriff's investigators to lay out the case's circumstantial evidence in an effort to convince Judge Michael Brown the case is strong enough for Blake to stand trial.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Another little one - 4.6 according to the TS - Earthquake shakes Humboldt Felt stronger than the last one though. 14 km (9 miles) north/northwest of Trinidad, at a depth of 11 miles.

ER Earthquake shakes up North Coast

Timely editorial, two days ago - Living on the edge
Humboldt State University geologist Lori Dengler recently delivered the ominous news that Humboldt County is in the midst of the longest period of seismic calm since records have been kept. It's been 14 years since the last earthquake big enough to break windows or topple chimneys.

The fact is we're due for another temblor big enough to rock our world -- literally.

That means now is the time to get ready. Really ready. Earthquake kits should be kept at home, in the car and at work, providing food for three days, water, flashlights, batteries and a change of clothes along with blankets and pet supplies. Check in with the Red Cross for a full list.
Well, this wasn't the "big one!" but the message is worth noting.

Just wondering - UPDATED

What happens if the prosecuting DA - Paul Gallegos - gets called as a witness in the Gundersen trial?

Seal said that during that phone call Gundersen's ex-wife said her family law attorney Joan Gallegos -- wife of District Attorney Paul Gallegos -- said charges would be filed if his ex-wife wanted. Seal testified that she asked for Gundersen's ex-wife to come to the interview room to explain that. This is not the first time this has been reported or mentioned in the court proceeedings.

Then there's also the reports that the nude photos (obtained as evidence) were going to be given to Joan Gallegos. By whom and for what purpose? With whose permission?

These are serious questions.

Also The trial is on break until Aug. 25. Why?


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


Friday, August 15, 2008

Day 5 - Gundersen's wife again denies rape - 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


☛ TS Gundersen's wife: I didn't think he'd be arrested
Former Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen's wife testified today that she lied about being raped to investigators on the day of her husband's arrest out of a desire to have him out of her life.

Under questioning by Gundersen's defense attorney Russell Clanton, Darcie Seal said she had no idea why she was called to the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office on Feb. 8, but in hindsight believes it was part of a plot by Gundersen's ex-wife to get him to leave the county and secure full custody of their children.

”Did you think at the time if David Gundersen could be taken from your life .. things would be better?”

”Yeah,” Seal answered.

☛ TS Gundersen's wife again denies rape

Seal also said that she was at an emotional and mental low point at the time, and that her recollection of the events of that February day were fuzzy. She said that her efforts to find the nude photographs on Gundersen's laptop hard drive were unsuccessful, and that Gundersen's ex-wife -- who works at the McKinleyville sheriff's substation -- offered to help retrieve them.

Seal said she didn't want to refuse the offer, in order to keep up an amiable relationship with her. She took the hard drive to the substation on the morning of Feb. 8, Seal said.

When she arrived, Seal said, Gundersen's ex-wife -- whom she'd told about the photos -- asked if she wanted to speak with Lt. Dave Morey. Seal testified that she talked to Morey for a few minutes and asked only that the sheriff's office be prepared for an “appropriate police response” if she and David Gundersen got in a fight.

Seal said she then left the station for an appointment with her therapist. After the session, she got a text message on her phone telling her to call Morey as soon as possible. When called, Morey asked Seal to come to the Eureka station.

Seal said she believed she was going to the station to further discuss a police response, and ended up at the station from 12:30 to 7 p.m. After about an hour and a half -- during which she made the claims about the alleged rapes -- she was taken by Detective Troy Garey to have her blood drawn, then returned to the interview room.

Seal then testified that she became concerned about how things were proceeding.

”I said 'This is going too far,' and I told them about (the ex-wife's) phone call on Jan. 28,” Seal testified.

Seal said that during that phone call Gundersen's ex-wife said her family law attorney Joan Gallegos -- wife of District Attorney Paul Gallegos -- said charges would be filed if his ex-wife wanted. Seal testified that she asked for Gundersen's ex-wife to come to the interview room to explain that.

”I told them it was about getting Dave to move,” Seal said. “I never thought it was going to end up in Dave's arrest.”

☛ ER Alleged victim talks about emotional state

Darcie Seal testified Friday at the trial of her husband, former Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen, that as a result of emotional and mental stress stemming from years of mothering children, police work and marital problems, lying to investigators about allegations of rape was seen as a “cure” to get him out of the house.

While under cross-examination by Gundersen’s attorney, Russell Clanton, Seal described the details of events that led up to her interview with investigators on Feb. 8, resulting in Gundersen’s arrest that day for alleged spousal rape....


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


Thursday, August 14, 2008



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


☛ TS Gundersen's wife re-takes the stand
This morning, Gallegos walked Seal through a transcript of her testimony at the April preliminary hearing, repeatedly asking her if she had answered his questions honestly. She testified that she was under emotional duress, doesn't remember much of the preliminary hearing and was told to testify in accordance with what she told investigators in the Feb. 8 interview.

☛ TS Gundersen's wife says she lied to investigators, on stand at prelim
She also testified at various points Thursday that she was simply repeating things Gundersen's ex-wife had told her, that she was telling investigators what they wanted to hear and that she was angry with Gundersen at the time.

”As a police officer, you are aware that giving false evidence is a crime?” Gallegos asked.

”Yes,” Seal responded.

Gallegos also questioned Seal about her testimony during Gundersen's preliminary hearing, walking her through transcripts of the proceedings and repeatedly asking her if she remembered answering his questions, and if she was honest. She testified that she didn't remember, or only vaguely remembered, many parts of the interview and preliminary hearing, saying she was under a lot of stress.

Seal also testified that she told her attorney Michael Crowley before testifying at the preliminary hearing that her husband had not raped her. She said Crowley yelled at her, telling her she didn't have the right not to testify, and that it was in her best interest to repeat what she told investigators.

”I felt stuck,” Seal testified.

”You chose to testify falsely against your husband?” Gallegos later asked.

”Yes,” Seal replied.

”So, in your mind it's OK to lie under oath?” Gallegos asked.

”No it's not,” Seal replied. “I felt I was under a great deal of stress and I was being badgered.”

☛ ER DA grills alleged victim on stand
The battery of questions by Gallegos directed at Seal focused on specific details about alleged rape by Gundersen she had brought up in the past, but which she now testified were false, at times “sarcastic” and a result of misunderstandings.

Those misunderstandings included conversations with her attorney during the preliminary hearing, Michael Crowley, where he told her she had to stick with her past statements despite her telling him the allegations were false, she testified.

She also testified that she kept being told “over and over” again by investigators that if Gundersen had sex with her while she was asleep and taking Lunesta, that it constituted rape.

“I was under the belief, black-and-white, that if I was under the influence of Lunesta it constituted rape,” she testified.

Seal recanted a long list of allegations she made against Gundersen, including that he raped her and that he was more aroused sexually when she was sleeping.

Intermixed in all this, Gallegos called up previous statements, and when Seal denied them, Gallegos asked if she lied.

Although Seal testified that she lied in many of those instances, she said she had tried to tell investigators, her attorney and Gallegos that she wanted to recant her allegations, but all her pleas were apparently ignored..

At one point, Gallegos asked her to name specific times when she told him or other investigators that the allegations were untrue, to which Seal testified that she talked to him on the phone and also District Attorney’s Office Investigator Wayne Cox.

Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Detective Troy Garey had testified several days earlier that Seal denied a rape (SART) examination on Feb. 8, because she changed her story to say the sex with Gundersen the previous day had been consensual and not otherwise as earlier stated.

Gallegos asked Seal if she thought investigators would take her allegations as a joke, as she testified that she tried to tell everyone she was being sarcastic.

Seal testified that she didn’t expect the investigators, who were Gundersen’s ex-wife’s friends, to take her statements seriously and arrest him.

“What part of the joke made you cry?” Gallegos pressed her about the taped interview.

“I wanted to leave,” Seal said. “I was confused.”


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, August 13, 2008

Day 2 and 3 of Gundersen trial - 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


Day Two

☛ TS Gundersen's wife held for her safety, investigators testify
In his second day on the stand, Humboldt County Sheriff's Office Detective Troy Garey testified he believed Seal was afraid of Gundersen based on his hour-long interview with her on the morning of Feb. 8. He also testified that Gundersen repeatedly called Seal during the interview, and investigators had reason to fear for Seal's safety if she left the premises.

District Attorney's Office Chief Investigator Mike Hislop also testified he believed Seal may have been in danger if she left the main station and that law enforcement consequently did not allow her to leave until after Gundersen's arrest, which occurred at about 6 p.m....

Garey went on to testify that he believed Seal was in an emotionally and mentally fragile state on the day in question and he took that into account in the way he dealt with her during the interview.

”She was fragile,” he said. “It's like handling an egg, you don't want to do anything to push people over the top.”

Garey said it was “somewhat surprising” to find later that day that Seal refused a Sexual Assault Response Team exam at the hospital and was saying she now felt the sex she had told investigators was nonconsensual was consensual and did not constitute rape. Garey testified Seal's changing story was in line with what he had been trained to expect in sexual assault cases.

☛ ER Day 2 of Gundersen trial
When he agreed to the contact, Gundersen’s attorney, Russell Clanton, who read from a transcript, said Gundersen asked Seal, “Why did you do this?”

“They totally bullied me, Dave,” Seal said.

“What do you mean they bullied you?” he said.

“I’m dropping all the charges on Monday,” she said. “I want to spend the $50,000 to get you out.”

The communications between Seal and Gundersen after his arrest are the source of two charges against him, one for violating an emergency protective order and another for trying to dissuade a witness.

Day Three

☛ TS Gundersen jury sees interview video
The wife of former Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen took the stand this morning in her husband's trial on charges of spousal rape, testifying that Gundersen never had sex with her against her will and that she lied to investigators....

...After Seal testified that Gundersen had never engaged in nonconsensual sex with her and that she had been “sarcastic” and made untrue statements to investigators on the day of her husband's arrest, District Attorney Paul Gallegos moved to show the jury a video recording of Seal's interview with investigators.

After Superior Court Judge Bruce Watson granted the request, the jury was shown the beginning portion of the hour-and-a-half-long interview. In the portion shown to the jury, Seal makes repeated references to Gundersen having raped her, expresses fear for her safety and says that Gundersen threatened to kill her.

The jury is expected to view the remainder of the video when the trial resumes tomorrow before Seal re-takes the stand....

☛ TS Gundersen's wife takes the stand, says she lied to investigators
Seal sat in the courtroom's first row Wednesday, about 10 feet behind her husband, as the prosecution played the video in which Seal repeatedly uses the word “rape” to describe Gundersen's acts, even saying that he'd confessed about a week earlier that he'd been raping her while she was asleep.

”He just said that he -- he confessed to raping (his ex-wife) and confessed to raping me and said he was sorry,” Seal told investigators in the video. “Just him acknowledging it was pretty awesome to me -- that he admitted to it.”

During the portion of the interview shown Wednesday, Seal repeatedly tells investigators that her husband has had nonconsensual sex with her hundreds of times since 2005 while she was under the influence of Lunesta or marijuana, and that she had confronted him and asked him to stop but he wouldn't. She says numerous times that she considers it rape, at one point even saying she told Gundersen “people go to prison for this for a long time.”

In the video, she also told the investigators Gundersen had threatened to kill her and had recently told her he wanted to “put a gun to his head.”

After hearing Seal tell them that Gundersen raped her, followed her and threatened to “take her fishing,” Hanson, Morey and Garey expressed concerns for Seal's safety and asked her how she would like them to proceed.

”I was really hoping you could have the leverage to make him leave,” Seal said.

”We can't force him to leave, you know that,” Hanson later told Seal.

”Can I?” she asked.

”Yes, if you file this criminal report,” Hanson answered.

In the video, Seal agrees to have the investigators prepare an Emergency Protective Order to keep Gundersen away from her, but seems unsure whether she wants him to be charged or whether she wants the District Attorney's Office involved. At one point she asks investigators if it's something she needed to decide that day, or if she can sleep on it....

☛ TS Experts say victims often recant out of fear, love
While not commenting directly on Gundersen's case, experts say it's not uncommon for victims to change their mind on pressing charges, or reinterpreting what they've said.

”People have very mixed emotions. ... Some people are ready to go forward on day one, but then not ready to go a day later,” said Nancy Lemon, a lecturer at the University of California Berkeley School of Law and a domestic violence expert witness.
She said victims of domestic violence change their testimony, or recant, for different reasons.

They may have hope that the person they love will change, outside pressures from family or clergy who don't believe in divorce, financial dependence, or they want to keep a father figure for their children, she said.

But the No. 1 reason, Lemon said, is the fear of retaliation....

☛ ER Wife's testimony conflicts with video LINK is down


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, August 12, 2008

One down, 29 to go - 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


☛ ER One down, 29 to go -
Humboldt County district attorney Paul Gallegos dropped a charge of possession of a controlled substance against former Blue Lake police chief David Gundersen Tuesday.

Gallegos said he dropped the charge because two people had “constructive possession” of the drugs in question.

The drugs in question were multiple prescription bottles found in the master bedroom and bathroom of Gundersen’s residence.

Because Gundersen wasn’t the only person who owned the location where the drugs were found, Gallegos said it would be unfair to charge him and not the co-owner.

“I thought equity warranted a dismissal of that charge,” Gallegos said .

Gundersen still faces 29 charges.
- and he only just now figured that out? It's been one of the obvious problems with this case from the get go. Not only because two people live in the house, but because they both work at the same place, and theoretically have the same access - IF the allegations are that they were drugs that were seized in any kind of police action.


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


Uber Left-Wing Whackaloons

Dave Meserve wasn't an Arcata City Councilman so he could serve the people of Arcata. He used his position as a soapbox to spout his national views, seeking his 15 minutes of fame. Now you've got George Clark running for Eureka City Council, tilting at his own windmills, national windmills, sending a very clear message to the people of Eureka as to just what kind of City Councilman he will be. I don't know who is writing Clark's material, but here are some clues....

“Always Cheaper Politics!” August 11, 2008 by gclark08
A Guest Post by (Clark) Campaign Director Alec Johnson
posted on George Clark's new moderated blog.

Alec Johnson,
who like Kerrigan was a field organizer for the Edwards campaign
Pretty prolific guy...

Why I Became a Socialist
Why I Became a Socialist
By Alec Johnson

There's more
A democratically planned socialist society, based on genuine democracy in our workplaces and communities, would remove the profit motive from policy decisions, and replace it with democratic assessments of social needs.

And more By Alec Johnson
P-SOL — A New Socialist Party in Brazil
But why was the Cuban revolution unsuccessful in spreading to the rest of the continent? What does that mean for today in the context of the resurgence of socialist ideas in Venezuela, Bolivia, Brazil, etc.? How do we continue the struggle where Che left off?

If this is the same guy - does George Clark agree with all this? Is this the future you want for Eureka? Right now, George Clark is letting his campaign manager post his own rants on his (or Clark's) new 'blog' and topic number one is going after the Eureka Chamber of Commerce. Now Clark, as a Eureka businessman who wants to be part of the government, ought to be a member of the Chamber of Commerce. Is he? And whether he is or not, does he approve of going after the Chamber? Those're some questions that the people of Eureka ought to have answered.

Right now it look like these are some true uber left-wing whackaloons. But maybe there're two Alec Johnsons...

Monday, August 11, 2008

Gundersen trial begins...opening statements - 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


☛ TS Gundersen trial scheduled to begin
☛ TS Gundersen trial underway
The trial of former Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen got underway this morning with opening statements...

District Attorney Paul Gallegos laid his framework for the case, saying at its center, it's about the abuse of power.

During his opening statement, Gundersen's attorney Russell Clanton argued that the case has its beginnings in the Gundersen family court case and is part of a plot carried out by his client's ex-wife....

...During cross examination, (Humboldt County Sheriff's Office Lt. Dave) Morey testified that Gundersen's ex-wife and Seal planned to have the ex-wife hold onto the computer hard drive to turn over to her divorce attorney, Gallegos' wife Joan Gallegos, for possible future use. Morey denied that he had any plan for the photos.

”I'm not going to admit to that plan because it's not my plan,” Morey said. “That's the plan (they) told me about.”
Morey testified that he did not feel that he or other investigators had coerced or brow-beaten Seal into making statements of any kind....

...As to the weapons Gundersen is charged with possessing, Gallegos told the jury evidence will show they weren't purchased by the city of Blue Lake, that they didn't appear on any of the police department's weapons inventory lists and that their acquisition was not authorized by Blue Lake city managers.

Clanton countered that the weapons were obtained through a reputable dealer -- Southern California's Cinema Weaponry -- that they were registered by the manufacturer and that former Blue Lake City Manager Wiley Buck knew of their existence. Further, Clanton argued it is prudent for the police chief of a small town with a school and a casino to possess such weapons....

☛ ER Gundersen trial begins
☛ ER First witness sheds light on events
Gundersen’s attorney, Russell Clanton, questioned Morey about a report he filed that talked about a plan where Gundersen’s ex-wife would find the photographs on the hard drive and give them to her attorney, at the time Joan Gallegos, for her custody fight with Gundersen.

A times the exchanges between the two grew heated as Clanton asked why he placed it in the report.

“That’s not my plan. That was her plan,” Morey testified. “I’m not going to admit I’m a part of this plan, because I’m not.”

Further testimony revealed that Gundersen’s ex-wife arranged Seal’s meeting with Morey, and even stood in the doorway when Seal first talked with him.

Morey couldn’t say for sure whether Seal knew she would be talking with him that morning instead of Gundersen’s ex-wife.


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, August 10, 2008

Mendocino: Marijuana charges against fire captain reduced

Marijuana charges against fire captain reduced
One defendant was released and another will face only one of three possible charges related to a marijuana garden found at the home of a former Ukiah Fire Department captain.

UFD Capt. Terry Israel, her son Eric Weston and Victor Villalobos were all cited on suspicion of cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale and maintaining a place for the production of a controlled substance on Jan. 18 after officers seized more than 600 marijuana plants from Israel's home at 740 Canyon Court in Ukiah.

On Friday, following a preliminary hearing, Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Cindee Mayfield found that Villalobos could not be held to face any charges in the case and that Israel will only face charges that she maintained a place for the production of a controlled substance.

Mayfield ordered that Weston stand trial on all three charges.... read the rest

Mendocino MEDICAL MARIJUANA ZIP-TAG PROGRAM - Questions & Answers

h/t: DT

Stranger than fiction

☛ TS Alleged murder plot against a prominent local family thwarted

It was a late November night when Robert Primeau allegedly sat his two children down to take a blood oath, according to court transcripts.

”We made a blood oath to kill the Barnums,” Primeau's daughter, Collette Primeau, 23, testified at her father's preliminary hearing. “We all cut on our thumb and the three of us swore together to keep it between the three of us because if we didn't, we'd be dead.”

”When you said, 'we'd be dead,' who specifically?” Deputy District Attorney Allan Dollison asked.

”My brother and I,” Collette Primeau replied.

”Who said you'd be dead?” Dollison asked.

”My father,” Collette Primeau answered.

After the preliminary hearing, Humboldt County Superior Court Judge Bruce Watson ruled there was sufficient evidence to hold Robert Primeau to stand trial on eight charges, including two counts of soliciting murder, a count of assault with a deadly weapon causing great bodily injury and a charge of cruelty to another's animal.

He pleaded not guilty to all charges in April, and remains held in the Humboldt County jail on $100,000 bail awaiting trial, which is scheduled to begin Sept. 2.

Transcripts from the two-day preliminary hearing paint the picture of how a Eureka Police Department investigation into grisly allegations of Robert Primeau's spousal abuse uncovered allegations of a plot to kill an affluent and well-known Eureka couple, Robert and Patty Barnum, who own the Barnum Timber Co. and whose family owned the Eureka Inn for a time.

It's quite a story. Wait til you read the plan!
The case is being prosecuted by Allan Dollison, who is headed for Iraq ☛ ER Deputy district attorney to win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people
Dollison has reached the position of major in the Army Reserve and works as a civil affairs officer. Dollison said his job is to “win the hearts and minds of the people.” More specifically, he identifies a need -- a school, clean water, roads -- and figures out ways to meet those needs.

In Afghanistan he obtained a light-therapy machine to help babies with jaundice in the hospital....
Best of luck to you, counselor.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Drive naked. Save fuel.

Why not?
If people really loved America, they would strip down, leave their clothes at home, and drive around buck naked. That would decrease the weight of our cars, which would increase our gas mileage so dramatically that we probably wouldn't have to drill for any new oil!

Genius, right?...

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Blogger problems? w/Update

Anyone else having problems with Blogger? I just lost all comments since 8/5 on at least one thread. They were there yesterday and are gone today.
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "What happened to the rest of this thread that was here previously? Censoring posts? Say it isn't so!"

It isn't. And I'll see what can be done to fix this. 9:50 - still NO COMMENTS posting to that thread. Tried a few test comments. Each time it seems to unlock one of the older ones that is missing. Hopefully Blogger will solve this one soon.

BTW - they did fix the weird SPAM thing, whenever you tried to log on, it would throw up a SPAM message.We have now restored all accounts that were mistakenly marked as spam...

(Incidentally, trying a new Gadget in the sidebar for Recent Comments - seems to be more timely than Bloggers.)

Jury seated, Gundersen trial starts Monday

☛ TS Gundersen trial to begin Monday
☛ ER Gundersen trial ready to begin Monday
Since the Humboldt Superior Court was able to find at least 12 jurors to serve on the trial, Judge Bruce Watson denied a change-of-venue motion submitted by Gundersen’s defense attorney Russell Clanton.

Another big bust

☛ TS Nearly 100,000 pot plants removed from remote grow
☛ ER $29.7 million in pot plants destroyed
No arrests have been made or suspects located. The investigation is on-going.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Morro Bay pot dispensary owner found guilty of federal charges

LA Times Charles Lynch, whose trial involved conflicting marijuana laws, was found guilty of five counts of distributing drugs.
In a closely watched trial involving conflicting marijuana laws, a jury on Tuesday convicted the owner of a Morro Bay medical marijuana dispensary on five counts of violating federal drug laws.

Charles Lynch, 46, was found guilty of distributing more than 100 kilos of marijuana, some of it to people considered minors under federal law.

Lynch, flanked by his defense attorneys, hung his head and grimaced as the verdicts were read in a Los Angeles courtroom. He could be sentenced to a minimum of five years in federal prison or as many as 85.

Cultivating, using and selling doctor-prescribed medical marijuana are allowed in some instances under California law. But they are outlawed entirely under federal law, which supersedes those of the states.

Lynch's lawyers told jurors that their client had the blessing of elected officials in Morro Bay before opening his Central Coast Compassionate Caregivers, and they argued that he was he was told by a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration official that he would avoid prosecution as long as he obeyed local laws.

But jurors rejected that argument...
Read the rest

The penalty for kidnapping - 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


Weren't we hearing life sentence in Gundersen's case? I'm going to have to go back through the damn articles.
Yeah - here it is:
☛ TS Gundersen faces new charges of kidnapping, possessing a machine gun
* Kidnapping or carrying away someone for the purpose of committing rape. The charges stem from a March 7, 1999, incident in Humboldt County involving a second victim, and involved the use of a firearm. The offense carries a possible life sentence.

And that was for going from the living room to the bedroom in his own house, wasn't it?

Then we have today's news of a plea deal in a kidnapping case... with eight years. And this guy really did kidnap his vidtim:
The sentence was a result of a kidnapping, which took place March 28. Testimony during the trial indicated Estrada-Chavez forced a woman into her vehicle as she walked from her car. He then made her drive for more than an hour and a half through various locations in Manila, Trinidad and Blue Lake.

So which is it?

The question is asked in the thread below with the applicable code: Well, Estrada-Chavez was originally charged with a violation of 209(b)(1) - kidnaping to commit robbery, 211 - robbery, assault with a firearm. The sentence on the kidnaping for robbery alone is life in prison.

Penal code numbers
Here's 209 -
(a) Any person who seizes, confines, inveigles, entices, decoys, abducts, conceals, kidnaps or carries away another person by any means whatsoever with intent to hold or detain, or who holds or etains, that person for ransom, reward or to commit extortion or to exact from another person any money or valuable thing, or any person who aids or abets any such act, is guilty of a felony, and upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for life without possibility of parole in cases in which any person subjected to any such act suffers death or bodily harm, or is intentionally confined in a manner which exposes that person to a substantial likelihood of death, or shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for life with the possibility of parole in cases where no such person suffers death or bodily harm.
(b) (1) Any person who kidnaps or carries away any individual to commit robbery, rape, spousal rape, oral copulation, sodomy, or any violation of Section 264.1, 288, or 289, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for life with the possibility of parole.
(2) This subdivision shall only apply if the movement of the victim is beyond that merely incidental to the commission of, and
increases the risk of harm to the victim over and above that necessarily present in, the intended underlying offense.
(c) In all cases in which probation is granted, the court shall, except in unusual cases where the interests of justice would best be served by a lesser penalty, require as a condition of the probation that the person be confined in the county jail for 12 months. If the court grants probation without requiring the defendant to be confined in the county jail for 12 months, it shall specify its reason or reasons for imposing a lesser penalty.
(d) Subdivision (b) shall not be construed to supersede or affect Section 667.61. A person may be charged with a violation of subdivision (b) and Section 667.61. However, a person may not be punished under subdivision (b) and Section 667.61 for the same act that constitutes a violation of both subdivision (b) and Section 667.61.


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


Police: Dickson died of stab wounds

☛ TS has the story

Plea deal

☛ TS Sequoia Park kidnapper sentenced to eight years
A man arrested in May for kidnapping and robbing a 20-year-old woman at gunpoint from Sequoia Park, pleaded guilty to two of four charges Friday and was sentenced at the Humboldt County Superior Court.

Court documents indicate Juan Jose Estrada-Chavez, 31, was sentenced by Judge John Feeney to eight years in jail and ordered to pay undetermined restitution fines. The documents show, at minimum, Estrada-Chavez will be ordered to pay $2,600.

Estrada-Chavez initially faced four charges of robbery, kidnapping, assault with a firearm and false imprisonment. The charges of false imprisonment and assault with a firearm were dropped as part of the plea.

He was sentenced to serve five years for the robbery charge, and eight years for kidnapping. Estrada-Chavez will serve those terms concurrently

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Lipizzan Stallions 7:30 tonight

Redwood Acres, tonight's the last night. If you haven't read the Journal's Event listing read it now! Best joke of the year! Best thing about it - until you get to the point where they (the Arcata City Council) were stationing (APD) cops at all the exits to keep people from attending, it was 100% believable. You could absolutely see that happening in Arcata!
The Lipizzaner Backlash
TICKET PRICES: adult tickets are $22.50 each. Discounts for 12 and under and seniors 60 and over available at Great Western Clothing and Carl Johnson Co. Event information at 707-445-3037.
The World-Famous Lipizzan Stallions Great Show! Beautiful Horses!

(NO PROTESTORS there tonight, either!)

Sunday, August 03, 2008

The human cost - 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


☛ TS Gundersen's wife says case causing financial, emotional turmoil (LINK MISSING)

David Gundersen's wife said she feels like a victim, just not in the way most people think.

Darcie Seal, who requested that the Times-Standard refer to her by her real name rather than the court designation of Jane Doe 1, said the aftermath of her husband's Feb. 8 arrest on suspicion of spousal rape has done nothing short of tear her life apart.

”I don't go out,” she said. “If I have to go shopping, I go late at night or early in the morning. I've become a prisoner in my own home.”

Soon, that may gone. Both of the houses the couple own are in Gundersen's name and now have for-sale signs up on the front lawns, she said.

”I cried when they put that sign up,” Seal said, sitting in the living room of her McKinleyville home. “I wasn't prepared for all this.”...In her interview with the Times-Standard, Seal said she doesn't feel she has been raped by Gundersen and that she only testified because law enforcement and District Attorney's Office personnel had convinced her that if she had taken sleeping pills she was legally unable to consent. She said they told her that it was rape, pure and simple.

Seal said she's not saying any of this out of an attempt to free her husband and she just wants to tell the truth.

”If these other charges are good charges, send him to prison -- that's fine -- but don't send him to prison on lies and fabrications,” she said.

Experts in rape and domestic violence, speaking in general terms and not about the Gundersen case, have told the Times-Standard it's not uncommon for victims' stories to change, and that it can happen for a variety of reasons....

Seal insists this isn't a case of her recanting her prior allegations, and maintains this is the story she has tried to tell investigators and the District Attorney's Office since Feb. 8.

While maintaining she is not a rape victim, Seal said she is starting to feel like a victim of circumstance....

In the aftermath of her husband's arrest, she said her house was shown on the local TV news and she's had random strangers knock on the door to tell her they feel sorry for her. She was forced to resign her position as a sergeant with the Blue Lake Police Department, she said, and friends have kept their distance.

More importantly, Seal said, she's lost contact with Gundersen's two children -- who she said she has treated as her own.

”I'm looking at being homeless in less than a month, and nobody cares,” she said, before turning her attention to what once was her family. “I just miss the boys so much. That's been the hardest thing throughout this whole thing. I miss them -- I'm used to having them here.”

There has got to be help for this family. Somehow they have to be able to keep their house while this whole mess unfolds. Neither of them have jobs. There's way more to this tragedy than newspaper headlines.


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, August 02, 2008

Paul Gallegos, the poster boy for Measure T,

may now get the chance to put his money where his mouth was. And it will pit him against teachers and parents.

It'll also be a test of his "equal justice" sloganeering. Because Measure T was designed for one reason and one reason only and that was to prevent Palco from contributing to local campaigns ever, ever again. But there are serious flaws in that measure, and serious problems that have now caught an unwitting victim in the net.

Last June, the McKinleyville Union School District put Measure C on the ballot in order to raise money for improvements and renovations. What happens next will be very interesting. Not prosecuting because you like this group isn't really an option.

Jack has the full story in the McKinleyville Press: here are excerpts: This year the MUSD may have provided the first opportunity to test measure T in court. School Board officials and the Board of Trustees worked hard all year to develop a different ballot initiative, Measure C, that authorized MUSD to issue $14 million in bonds "to replace, renovate, acquire and construct school facilities."

The bonds would be paid for by an increase in property taxes over the next 40 years. Measure C was passed by the voters of McKinleyville on June 3, after a short political campaign.

MUSD did not accomplish this goal unaided. A number of corporate consultants from all over California were hired by the Board to determine the feasibility of selling the bonds, ascertain the best time to place the measure on the ballot, poll the community, and to actually sell the bonds once the measure passed. The consultants included Godbe Research, a corporation from Half Moon Bay, KNN Public Finance, a subsidiary of Zion's First National Bank in Oakland, and Jones Hall, a San Francisco financial consultant.

While there is nothing illegal about hiring consultants, each of these firms then contributed funds to Citizens in Favor of Measure C, the campaign group formed to sell the Measure to McKinleyville residents. KNN contributed $8,500; Jones Hall contributed $6,500, and Godbe Research contributed $250, North Valley Bank, which contributed $100, also falls under the definition of a non-local corporation, because its headquarters are in Redding, and it has branches all over California.

A fifth non-local firm, Siskyou Design Group, from Yreka, conributed $1,500 to the campaign, although that company may not fall under the definition of a corporation. Siskyou Design is the architectural firm that the school board plans to use to renovate its buildings.

These five contributors account for more than 90% of the money used to convince voters to pass Measure C. Local contributors raised only $1,750, less than 10% of the $18, 600 kitty.

Gallegos is supposed to prosecute Measure T violations. Will he do it? Citizen plaintiffs can initiate action through the Superior Court. Once they have done so, they must notify the District Attorney within 14 days of their action. the District Attorney is supposed to take over the suit, but if he does not, the measure says that citizens can proceed on their own.

Measure T
County link
☛ ER Measure T backers look to curb corporate election influence
☛ ER No on Measure T Committee launches effort to defeat June ballot measure
☛ ER Know the facts: Vote No on Measure T
☛ ER 'No on W' group violates Measure T guidelines
☛ ER Eureka Chamber formally opposes Measure T
☛ ER Speakers gather to voice support for Measure T ordinance
☛ ER Measure T groups duke it out
☛ ER Measure T passes with 55 percent majority