Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year.


Go raibh suaimhneas 's sonas na Féile ort agus ar do mhuintir...

May the peace and happiness of the Season be with you and yours....

as we wrap up this year and see what the next one brings.

2008 Recap:
☛TS Gone but not forgotten
☛TS The top 10 stories of 2008
☛TS Year in Review: A look back at 2008
☛TS Humboldt County homicide: 2008
☛TS The homicides of 2008
☛ RT
2008 in review

☛ JN Top 10 Stories of 2008

The Wizards of Oil

Wall St. Journal... ◼ Spare a moment for a rogue trio of economic victims -- Hugo, Vladimir and Mahmoud. Their dreams of world domination and tight grips on power are eroding as the price of oil falls. If there is a silver lining to global recession . . .

h/t: Daniel in Venezuela
2008: the year Hugo Chavez lost his democratic fig leaf

Interesting thread

over at Eric's place - ◼ NCJ’s top ten Humboldt County stories of 2008

Today's paper, year end recaps - 5 Homicides

☛TS The homicides of 2008
Victims:
George Giguere.
Leon Taylor and his wife Beatrice Taylor
Reetpaul Singh Rana
Rosemarie Boyd
Garrett Benson

☛TS Humboldt County homicide: 2008
According to records kept by the Humboldt County Coroner's Office, since 1980, there has been an average of 8.5 homicides per year in the county. That rate has fluctuated over the decades, but does not seem to indicate any particular trend.

The lowest number of homicides in Humboldt County in 28 years is four. That has occurred twice, once in 1998 and again in 2005.

Former county Coroner Frank Jager, newly elected Eureka city councilman, said that ultimately the homicide rate shows little change over the last 28 years.

”It's pretty steady,” he said in an interview Tuesday. “It seems to spike every few years.”

The highest number of homicides happened in 1982, when 22 people were killed at the hands of others.

Seems like a low rate. But:
Humboldt County has a population of 125,518 people, according to the 2000 U.S. census. Jager said given the number of people living in the county, the homicide rate seems high.

Marin County, located in the North San Francisco Bay Area, has an estimated population of 247,289, and the third highest mean personal income in the country. According to California Department of Justice information, in Marin County, between the years of 1997 and 2006, there was an average 2.5 homicides every year.

In neighboring Mendocino County, which in 2000 maintained a population of 86,265, there was an annual average of 5.8 homicides over the same 10-year period.

There are some risks to comparing those different numbers. Although the crimes are reported similarly to the DOJ, the time periods and populations are not the same. Additionally, Eureka Police Chief Garr Nielsen said problems arise when comparing averages of low numbers -- a spike one year can skew the entire average.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Yellowstone Earthquakes Under Supervolcano Caldera

A swarm of small earthquakes in Yellowstone National Park is the most intense measured there in years, leaving scientists puzzled.

The region is known for such swarms — 1,000 to 2,000 quakes occur annually in the park. Yellowstone's 10,000 geysers and hot springs, including the Old Faithful Geyser, may be the result of this geologic activity.

But the latest shaking is notable for the number of tiny temblors and their intensity, according to a statement yesterday from the University of Utah, where scientists monitor seismic activity in Yellowstone. (Yellowstone is located mostly in the northwest corner of Wyoming.)...

...Researchers have long predicted that the Yellowstone supervolcano will eventually erupt again, with devastating consequences for much of the United States. Half the country could be covered in ash up to 3 feet (1 meter) deep, one study predicts. But those same researchers say nothing suggests such an eruption is imminent. They point out, however, that Yellowstone seems to blow its top about every 600,000 years.

Meanwhile, the region's deep secrets are still being revealed.

Last year researchers reported on unusual slow movement below the surface that's tied to a newfound gradual sinking of the nearby Teton Range. And in 2006, scientists discovered that in the previous decade, the volcano had risen nearly 5 inches.

"Could it develop into a bigger fault or something related to hydrothermal activity?" wonders Robert Smith, a professor of geophysics at the University of Utah. "We don't know," he said this week....
http://www.livescience.com/ Yellowstone Earthquake Swarm Puzzles Scientists

US News & World Report ◼ The University of Utah Seismograph Stations reports that a notable swarm of earthquakes has been underway since December 26 beneath Yellowstone Lake in Yellowstone National Park, three to six miles south-southeast of Fishing Bridge, Wyoming. This energetic sequence of events was most intense on December 27, when the largest number of events of magnitude 3 and larger occurred....
The earthquake center at the University of Utah
◼ March of 06 Uplift at Yellowstone Caldera (image source)
News from the Yellowstone Caldera: Earthquakes
Part 1:

Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
part 5
Part 6

recent coverage - Google links

Which worries you more - the possible eruption of a Supervolcano? or Global Warming?

Earthquake Swarms in Yellowstone
"We've had larger swarms in the past, larger earthquakes, but the fact this is in Yellowstone Lake and it's releasing a lot of energy is very interesting to us," said Hank Heasler, park geologist.

The recent earthquake swarm caused no property damage to the nation's first park, but scientists said it could have altered some of the thousands of thermal features the park is famous for."...

...The recent earthquakes caused an eruption of volcanic dooms-day sayers to take to the internet. "We don't see any evidence of volcanic activity associated with this earthquake swarm."

The Yellowstone Volcano Observatory is a group of scientists, including Heasler, charged with keeping an eye on the situation. "Technology has improved greatly for the earthquake monitoring, satellite sensing of volcanic activity and we just do not see any of those indicators currently in Yellowstone," said Heasler.

The YVO streams live seismographs on its website. Heasler said this scientific data can be misinterpreted. For example, many people confused constant small pulses on a January seismograph as harmonic tremors, which are indicative of a pending volcanic eruption....

Monday, December 29, 2008

A little drama

☛TS Woman rescued after jumping from Samoa Bridge
A woman who may have jumped from the Samoa Bridge was rescued on Sunday, thanks to the efforts of several local law enforcement officers and one Eureka city councilman (Larry Glass) in a kayak.... more on the herald

☛TS Councilman Glass plays integral role in bay rescue

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Technical note:

The "Recent Comments" feature is broken, stuck back in 2007. Blogger is working on a fix. So temporarily, we have to revert back to the 'old way' of reading blogs... scroll down to see if any new comments have shown up... Sorry for the inconvenience, I know we have all gotten used to seeing what's new at a glance...

OR - I am trying a workaround - manually adding the comments to the sidebar with links... we'll see how it works... how often it updates will depend on if I am online, but I may still be faster than Blogger was.

Update - 1.9.09 ssems to be fixed. Thank You Gatsby/Blogger.

1984


No better time to watch it than now.

Murder suspect Josiah Miller to return to California

KIEM had this early last week... took a while to make it to the local news, but here it is:
☛TS Murder suspect Josiah Miller to return to California
A spokesperson for the Del Norte County Sheriff's Department confirmed Saturday that Arcata resident Josiah Miller would be transferred from the Curry County, Ore., jail to the Del Norte County jail.
Miller was being held in the Curry County jail on charges of murder and abuse of a corpse in the July death of Crescent City resident Michelle Dickson.
According to the Curry County online jail count Saturday, Miller remained in Oregon's custody.
Miller is accused of killing of Dickson in July.


KIEM's report stated that the autopsy showed that she died quickly, in California, and that the macabre abuse of corpse charged appeared to have been dropped at this time.

Ken Miller is back

And this time he has his own guy(s) on the Board.
HUMBOLDT COUNTY COURTHOUS SUPERVISORS’ CHAMBER, FIRST FLOOR
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 09, 2008 9:00 AM
Humboldt County BOS Agenda
11:00 a.m. - BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
Page 1: 1. Southern Humboldt "Concerned Citizens" Group Presentation on the Adverse Environmental Impacts Associated with Illegal Marijuana Grows in Humboldt County. (Supervisor Rodoni)
Summary: For some time now, a group of concerned citizens in Southern Humboldt have been meeting to help educate and
bring awareness to County officials and members of the public concerning illegal marijuana grows and the
devastating impacts these grows have on the environment; specifically, diesel spills/leaks into drinking water and
streams, as well as potential hazards from wildfires.
Robert Sutherland, Jessie Hill and David Booth, representing the “Concerned Citizens” Group will address the
Board of Supervisors giving background information on the groups activities and offering possible solutions for
consideration such as development of an informational brochure; a fuel tank registration program; and support for
a carbon tax on excessive fuel consumption.

RECOMMENDATION: Hear the presentation and take appropriate action, if necessary.
Page 2: attachment
Page 3: A letter from Ken Miller (who ne-v-er prescribes Pot)
Imagine a grow "...in which plants are bathed in, and thrive under, natural sunlight conditions..."
Better yet "Climate change and mass extinction make growing (pot) indoors, whether on the grid or with a diesel generator, indefensible/ Electricity from fossil fuels (natural gas -LNG, hydro-dams, and coal), or nukes is inefficient, produces greenhouse gases, and its overuse justifies more fuel consumption..."
He says we must grow outdoor pot "...as if our lives depended on it."

I think the man is certifiably insane at this point. It's worth reading to see how he bundles in every doomsday scenario and bugaboo... poor guy, all those demons.
Page 4
Page 5
Page 6
page 7
h/t: DT?

Saturday, December 27, 2008

What one man can do


At a time when doom-sayers were hopping around saying everyone was going to starve, Norman was working. He moved to Mexico and lived among the people there until he figured out how to improve the output of the farmers. So that saved a million lives.

Then he packed up his family and moved to India, where in spite of a war with Pakistan, he managed to introduce new wheat strains that quadrupled their food output. So that saved another million.

You get it? But he wasn't done. He did the same thing with a new rice in China. He's doing the same thing in Afica -- as much of Africa as he's allowed to visit.

When he won the Nobel Prize in 1970, they said he had saved a billion people. That's BILLION! Carl Sagan BILLION with a B! And most of them were a different race from him.

Norman is the greatest human being, and you probably never heard of him.


------ Penn Jillette, of the comedy team Penn and Teller

Though barely known in the country of his birth, elsewhere in the world Norman Borlaug is widely considered to be among the leading Americans of our age ... Norman Borlaug has already saved more lives than any other person who ever lived.

Borlaug is responsible for the fact that throughout the postwar era, except in sub-Saharan Africa, global food production has expanded faster than the human population, averting the mass starvations that were widely predicted -- for example, in the 1967 best seller Famine -- 1975! The form of agriculture that Borlaug preaches may have prevented a billion deaths.


----- Gregg Easterbrook, The Atlantic Monthly

'The battle to feed all of humanity is over," biologist Paul Ehrlich famously wrote in his 1968 bestseller The Population Bomb ... But Borlaug and his team were already engaged in the kind of crash program that Ehrlich declared wouldn't work. Their dwarf wheat varieties resisted a wide spectrum of plant pests and diseases and produced two to three times more grain than the traditional varieties ... Borlaug, who unfortunately is far less well-known than doomsayer Ehrlich, is responsible for much of the progress humanity has made against hunger.

------ Ronald Bailey, Reason Magazine

Borlaug's work saved the Indian sub-continent from mass starvation. In his 90 years on this planet its human population has grown from about one billion to more than six billion. Without the hybrid wheats it was Borlaug's life's mission to develop and promote among the world's poorest farmers, few believe that this population could have been sustained.

------ Matthew Parris, The Times (UK)

As a result of [Borlaug's] work, a billion people now exist who otherwise would have starved to death, died of starvation-related diseases, or never have been born.

------ Gregory Pence and Joyce Hsu, Birmingham News

Borlaug is one of the great humanitarians of the 20th Century - and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 for a lifetime of work feeding a hungry world. The breeds of wheat he developed - with strong disease resistance, high yield potential and the ability to withstand poor growing conditions - led the "Green Revolution" that saved literally hundreds of millions of lives in developing nations that were prone to terrible famines.

------ James Glassman, Tech Central Station
h/t: Neo
Quotes source

Of environmental lobbyists [Borlaug] has stated, “some of the environmental lobbyists of the Western nations are the salt of the earth, but many of them are elitists. They’ve never experienced the physical sensation of hunger. They do their lobbying from comfortable office suites in Washington or Brussels. If they lived just one month amid the misery of the developing world, as I have for fifty years, they’d be crying out for tractors and fertilizer and irrigation canals and be outraged that fashionable elitists back home were trying to deny them these things.”

The opposite of what we are seeing around here.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Top 10 Dud predictions

Way too funny! Example after example, and he follows up with lessons to take away...
1. OUR CITIES WILL DIE OF THIRST
Lesson: This truly is a land "of drought and flooding rains". Distrust a professional panic merchant who predicts the first but ignores the second.
2. OUR REEF WILL DIE
Lesson: Reefs adapt, like so much of nature. Learn again that scares make big headlines and bigger careers.
3. GOODBYE, NORTH POLE
Lesson: The media prefers hot scares to cool truths. And it rarely holds its pet scaremongers to account.
4. BEWARE HUGE WINDS
Lesson: Beware of politicians riding the warming bandwagon.
5. GIANT HAILSTONES WILL SMASH THROUGH YOUR ROOF
Lesson: Beware also of government advisers on that warming wagon.
6. NO MORE SKIING
Lesson: The CSIRO's scary predictions are near worthless.
7. PERTH WILL BAKE DRY
Lesson: As I said, don't trust the CSIRO's model or its warnings.
8. ISLANDS WILL DROWN
Lesson: Trust the data, not the politicians.
9. BRITAIN WILL SWELTER
Lesson: If the Met can't predict the weather three months out, what can it know of the climate 100 years hence?
10. WE'LL BE HOTTER
Lesson: Something is wrong with warming models that predict warming in a cooling world, especially when we're each year pumping out even more greenhouse gases. Be skeptical.

...Those, then, are the top 10 dud predictions of that hooting, screaming and screeching tribe of warming alarmists. Look and laugh.

And dare to believe the world is bright and reason may yet triumph.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Move aside, Al.

A Maryland scientist has proposed a public patent that he claims could combat global warming. The proposed plan would require massive amounts of water to be sprayed into the air in an effort to bolster the earth’s existing air conditioning system.

(He) proposes to spray gigatons of sea-water into the air and in effect, build a “a colossal refrigeration system with a 100,000-fold performance multiplier.” He contends a number of positive effects would be in action at the same time to help stave off warming.

“The Earth has a giant air-conditioning problem,” he said. “I’m proposing to put a thermostat on the planet.”

First, the sprayed droplets would transform to water vapor, a change that absorbs thermal energy near ground level; then the rising vapor would condense into sunlight-reflecting clouds and cooling rain, releasing much of the stored energy into space in the form of infrared radiation.

Kenneth Caldeira, a climate scientist for the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Global Ecology at Stanford University whose computer simulation of Ace’s invention suggests it would significantly cool the planet. The simulated evaporation of about one-half inch of additional water everywhere in the world produced immediate planetary cooling effects that were projected to reach nearly 1 degree Fahrenheit within 20 or 30 years, Caldeira said.


“Relatively unknown Maryland scientist” wants to patent the swamp cooler to combat global warming

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Amending fascism

From Daniel in Venzuela (Venezuela News And Views):
...before I go into a quick summary of yesterday events let me offer you a brisk Washington Post Editorial that says it all about the current situation of Venezuela and Chavez, with phrases like this one: The official results, showing the margin of Mr. Chávez's loss, have not been released. "sin pelos en la lengua", as we say in Venezuela.

What can I say about yesterday performance in the National Assembly? No surprise was expected since we knew that the servile National Assembly was going to approve the orders of Chavez to allow for his eternal "reelection" (read again the editorial above, I am not the only one doubting of the quality of Venezuelan elections). And yet surprises came...

...boxes of useless signatures were carried by a human chain to the floor of the assembly. As I observed the carriers I thought about the move I was subjected too recently and let me tell you that for boxes supposedly filled up with paper they were darn easy to be carried around. The chair refused to have the boxes opened for inspection by opposition assemblymen. Imagine that!

- one box was opened by a sympathetic and exalted carrier who ruffled the leaf for the cameras. The cameras detected many blank sheets in the ream of paper! I mean, they cannot even fake it in one box!!!! Amazing!...
Read the rest...

The 2008 Venezuelan results: 7 - Conclusions
The Chavez permanent show: 170 hours of cadena
A little note of interest: Chavez this year has already spent 170 hours in cadenas. That is, Chavez has commandeered ALL TV, and ALL Radio stations of Venezuela to transmit simultaneously his speeches for 170 hours this year. Nobody else is allowed to do, and nobody can reply to his message on the state TV network, the largest one by far in the country (1).

Friday, December 19, 2008

McK. CCCU Bank Robber?


☛ TS Bank robbery suspect at large
Coast Central Credit Union robber...described as a white adult male in his 40s, standing 5 feet 5 inches tall and of medium weight and build. He was last seen wearing a black cap, under which was short, graying hair. He wore a black rain jacket, black or dark blue pants, white tennis shoes, glasses. He may also have facial hair.
The Sheriff's Office asks anyone with information concerning the robbery or the suspect to contact investigators at 445-7251.

Photo from: riodelltimes.com/

Forget Rick Warren

Science magazine reports that John Holdren, a professional environmental judgment day doomsayer, is going to become Barack Obama's top science adviser.

John Holdren is the ultimate example of the pseudointellectual impurities that have recently flooded universities and academies throughout the Western world....

Crackpot John Holdren will become Obama's science adviser

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I'm sure this makes sense on somebody's planet

I'm just not sure where that planet is...

A local Dad was put on trial for letting his toddler walk a few steps ahead of him on a street in Ferndale. He was facing TWO YEARS in jail.

Yet these guys, these members of the Mongols street gang, which the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has labeled the most “violent and dangerous” in the nation get MAYBE a year in jail, and more likely PROBATION in a PLEA DEAL?

For shooting a guy. For attempted MURDER.

Why? Because they admitted to belonging to the gang?

The DA's Office will request the sentencing judge prohibit the men from associating with other gang members, which would legally bar the men from each other's company.

Yeah. We know you guys just tried to kill someone, shot him actually. So, we just don't want you hangin' out together anymore, ok?

Well, That's harsh.

update: (Looks like the comments thread at the Times-Standard got pulled again.)
update: ◼ Mongols members sentenced for shooting 1/21/09 A.O.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Well, whaddya know?

Hurwitz, FDIC settle 20-year feud (Update)
Houston financier Charles Hurwitz said he's accepted a $10 million payment to settle his legal battle with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp....

A giant breach in Earth's magnetic field


From The Reference Frame:
A giant breach in Earth's magnetic field
Read: ◼ NASA/Themis
Dec. 16, 2008: NASA's five THEMIS spacecraft have discovered a breach in Earth's magnetic field ten times larger than anything previously thought to exist. Solar wind can flow in through the opening to "load up" the magnetosphere for powerful geomagnetic storms. But the breach itself is not the biggest surprise. Researchers are even more amazed at the strange and unexpected way it forms, overturning long-held ideas of space physics....

...The years ahead could be especially lively. Raeder explains: "We're entering Solar Cycle 24. For reasons not fully understood, CMEs in even-numbered solar cycles (like 24) tend to hit Earth with a leading edge that is magnetized north. Such a CME should open a breach and load the magnetosphere with plasma just before the storm gets underway. It's the perfect sequence for a really big event."

Sibeck agrees. "This could result in stronger geomagnetic storms than we have seen in many years."...

Watch: ◼ NASA video
Read: ◼ Earth’s Magnetic Field Has Massive Breach - scientists baffled

He notes: However, already in 2007, we mentioned a paper about a possible role of interstellar dust as a climate driver: this dust was proposed to realize the 22-year cycles. Something of this sort is probably happening. It is not exactly clear which of the effects related to the magnetic fields and magnetic storms and auroras etc. are going to be crucial for the temperature.

At any rate, I find it likely that a proper understanding of the flow of charged particles - not only cosmic rays - and their interactions with the magnetic fields is going to be important for a proper understanding of climate variability. And be sure that the periodic effects with the 22-year period are not the only ones that will exist and matter.

In closely related news, the Earth's ionosphere dropped to a new, unexpected low.


Papers challenging geocentrism

Kesser gave himself the death penalty.

☛ TS Kesser case dropped
The case against Richard Craig Kesser was dropped in the Humboldt County Superior Court Tuesday, when attorneys showed a judge Kesser's death certificate.
Kesser, who admitted to killing his estranged wife in 1991, hung himself in his cell at the Humboldt County jail early this month.

Another lawsuit gonna cost us

and once again due to a flawed activists' initiative...
☛ TS U.S. DOJ to challenge Measure J

Update: (Well, maybe it won't cost SO much...)
☛ TS Eureka will defend Measure J
Measure J, passed in November with 57 percent of the vote. It prohibits military recruiting of minors within city limits.

Tuesday, City Attorney Sheryl Schaffner announced that the city had received a letter from the U.S. Department of Justice announcing its intent to file a lawsuit challenging the measure.

Arcata's version of the act, Measure F, also garnered a letter of pending legal action from the feds, but Mayor Mark Wheetley said the council has yet to decide whether to defend the act because City Attorney Nancy Diamond is currently out of town.

Within days of receiving the notice of pending legal action, the Eureka City Council opted to defend Measure J, but not at any cost. In fact, Schaffner said the council stipulated that the Schaffner's office will have to fight the case with no additional city resources.

”The city has no legal obligation to defend it, but the council feels an ethical obligation to put up a defense within their abilities out of respect for the 57 percent of the voters in the city that voted for it,” Schaffner said, adding that the case is now likely to dominate her time. “It means other things don't get done, and the council understands that the community will have to understand that too. That's the nature of intense litigation -- you just have to drop whatever else you're doing.”

Be sure'n Thank Dave Meserve.

fred has it, too: Measure J: Another Wasted Effort

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Heartrending

Child Writes to Santa, Asks for Molestation to End

Another blog on the block

Humboldt Polite
and
http://sohumborn.wordpress.com/

Mongols prelim - PLEA DEAL

☛ TS Prelim begins for alleged Mongols shooters
☛ TS Expert links shooting suspects to Mongols motorcycle gang
☛ TS Suspected Mongols accept plea agreement
Members of the Mongols biker gang implicated in the shooting of a suspected Hells Angel in early November have all accepted plea agreements offered by the Humboldt County district attorney.

In the agreement offered on the third day of the preliminary hearing, three of four men admitted to participating in a criminal street gang -- an outcome that sets new precedent for prosecutors in Humboldt County, potentially easing legal efforts against gang members in the future.

Eric Gunner Lundin, the 28-year-old who shot Robert Thompson outside The Shanty in Old Town Eureka, pleaded no contest to felony charges of assault with a firearm and participating in a criminal street gang.

Lundin now faces between two and three years in prison at his sentencing Jan. 15.

Dustin Liebes, 36, and Eric Garcia, 28, both pleaded no contest to the felony charge of participation in a criminal street gang, and 26-year-old Brad Miller -- whom investigators believe was attempting to become a member of the gang -- pleaded no contest to being an accessory after the fact.

Those three men face up to one year in jail or one year probation at the Jan. 15 sentencing.

Deputy District Attorney Ben McLaughlin, who prosecuted the case, said he intends to request the sentencing judge prohibit the men from associating with other gang members, which would legally bar the men from each other's company.

McLaughlin called the outcome “appropriate,” after facts in the Nov. 7 shooting incident surfaced late in the investigation showing 43-year-old Thompson may have fired the first shot....

Chris Cervantes, a Montebello police detective and ATF investigator working the outlaw biker gang unit, said no matter who fired first, the shooting was a gang-related act, and it was appropriate for the men to be prosecuted.

”A gun is a tool of a gang. It's a sign of power -- it's a sign of respect,” Cervantes said. “There's no self-defense there.”

Cervantes was flown to Humboldt County to provide expert testimony about the Mongols street gang, which the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has labeled the most “violent and dangerous” in the nation. The gang has between 500 and 600 members in chapters throughout the United States, as well as Canada and Italy.

Cervantes said following a Tuesday night intelligence briefing that he believes there are Mongols chapters in Eureka and elsewhere in Humboldt County....

Ultimately, Cervantes said the men's admission has bolstered law enforcement's battle against the outlaw biker gang.

Leaders of the organization call the group the Mongols Motorcycle Club. The group organizes rides that distribute toys to children, operates in accordance to a constitution and requires new prospective members fill out an application. The seemingly legitimate exterior made it difficult in the past for authorities to legally establish the Mongols are, in fact, a gang, Cervantes said.

With Wednesday's conviction, authorities will have greater power prosecuting members of biker gangs in Humboldt County, Cervantes said.

”We went into some uncharted grounds here in Eureka,” he said. “It's far more successful that the gang allegations were sustained rather than these guys getting more time.”


Related:
☛ TS Four arrests follow shooting outside bar
11/09/2008 - A Merced man was seriously wounded after he was shot outside The Shanty in Eureka late Friday night, and four men were arrested on suspicion of attempted murder shortly afterward....
☛ TS Alleged Mongols shooters charged for gang crime
☛ Merced Sun Star Robert Thompson shot outside Eureka bar
☛ Modesto Bee Detectives kept an eye on Thompson because of his Hells Angels membership
☛ The AgingRebel.com Biker Motive Alleged In Shooting
☛ TS Hells Angel shot Friday was cleared of murdering girls in Merced
11/11/2008 - A man who was gunned down in the street outside an Old Town bar Friday night had recently been acquitted of a 1986 murder of two young girls in Atwater.
☛ TS Four arrests follow shooting outside bar
☛ Merced Sun Star Robert Thompson shot outside Eureka bar
One arrested, two hospitalized after fight outside Eureka bar
11/16/2008 - A brutal fight outside a Eureka bar, The Shanty, early Saturday morning left one man in jail and two others recovering from serious injuries in the hospital.
☛ TS Prelim begins for alleged Mongols shooters
☛ TS Expert links shooting suspects to Mongols motorcycle gang
☛ TS Suspected Mongols accept plea agreement
12/18/2008 B.O. - Members of the Mongols biker gang implicated in the shooting of a suspected Hells Angel in early November have all accepted plea agreements offered by the Humboldt County district attorney.


Mongols members sentenced for shooting 1/21/09 A.O.

Monday, December 15, 2008

An odd silver lining

and an interesting perspective...The Depression — let’s call it what it is — leaves us, well, depressed. But there is very good news from around the world. Our enemies are collapsing under the strain of dropping oil and gas prices. What we had all hoped conservation and off-shore drilling would achieve, the global economic collapse is accomplishing: the defeat of OPEC, Iran, Chavez, Putin and the weakening of the financial underpinnings of Islamist terrorism. In each of these nations, the hold of the dictator is weakening as, one after the other, they face the consequences of dropping oil prices....Dick Morris on THE IMPENDING COLLAPSE OF OUR ENEMIES

...Because of corruption and incompetence, Venezuelan oil production has dropped from over 3 million barrels per day when Chavez took over to about 1.7 million today. As long as oil prices were quadrupling, it didn’t matter, but when they crashed, a harsh wind of reality blew in the door. Chavez was losing popularity before the oil price dropped. He lost a constitutional referendum to give himself lifetime tenure and he just lost his municipal elections in the largest cities and states in the nation. After knocking out most of the major opposition candidates on phony charges of corruption, he managed to hang on to the governorships of the small, rural provinces, but he lost the cities — even the poor areas of the cities vote d against him.

Now, beset already by food shortages and galloping inflation, Venezuela has to make do with less subsidization and drastic cuts. Feeling cold times ahead, Chavez is desperately pressing ahead with a new attempt to abolish term limits in a vote set for the end of February, but, if he falls short — which we think he will — he could be out in a matter of months....

Record colder temperatures "actually illustrates how fast the world is warming."

LOL Ironically, 2008 is on pace to be a slightly cooler year in a steadily rising temperature trend line. Experts say it's thanks to a La Nina weather variation. While skeptics are already using it as evidence of some kind of cooling trend, it actually illustrates how fast the world is warming.
Obama left with little time to curb global warming
Why, maybe he has already done it! It's a miracle! ◼ ...NEW RECORD LOW TEMPERATURES IN DENVER FOR DECEMBER 14TH AND 15TH...
Montana - Cold weather sets records in several cities
More power loss possible in ice-ravaged Northeast
h/t: ◼ http://drudgereport.com/

Melting ice may slow global warming
Scientists discover that minerals found in collapsing ice sheets could feed plankton and cut C02 emissions

And locally? Friday and Saturday's storm brought cold air with record low maximum temperatures predicted for Sunday. The record low maximum temperature recorded for Sunday is 45 degrees, set in 1932, according to Dean. Temperatures hovered at 43 degrees Sunday afternoon, during what is usually the warmest time of day.
Dean said the break in clouds between storms is often the coldest time, with no cloud cover to trap in heat. A similar situation is predicted to occur between the second and third storms in this series coming from Alaska. The second storm system will arrive late Sunday with showers lingering today and possibly Tuesday.
While conditions temporarily clear Wednesday, there is the possibility for record-breaking low temperatures in the upper 20s. Dean said the record low for that day is 29 degrees set in 1924.
Two more storms from Alaska predicted to hit the North Coast

Saturday, December 13, 2008

ACLU sues Calif. school district over drug testing

REDDING, Calif.—The American Civil Liberties Union is challenging a Northern California school district's drug testing policy.
The ACLU filed a lawsuit that contends Shasta Union High School District's policy violates the state Constitution.

It's forcing students involved in athletics, choir, band, drama and other extracurricular activities to take drug tests. It's an expansion of a policy that has applied to student athletes since 1999.

ACLU attorney Michael Risher says it's unnecessary and that random drug testing without any suspicious behavior violates students' privacy.

The group filed the suit Dec. 5 in Shasta County Superior Court.

Small groups of students have been tested once a month since the policy started in August.

Superintendent Jim Cloney says the policy complies with state law.
ACLU sues Calif. school district over drug testing

Once again I find myself agreeing with the ACLU.

ACLU Lawsuit Seeks to Stop Shasta Union High School District’s Invasive Mandatory Drug Testing Policy
“Schools already have the authority to test or search any student if they think they’ve been using drugs.” said Michael Risher, ACLU-NC Staff Attorney. “But to test students without any suspicion of drug use just because they want to participate in activities like the math team or band isn’t just unconstitutional, it’s also irrational.”

This is also being perpetrated by the generation that tried everything, demanded freedom for anything and everything they wanted to do. Still are, with growhouses and pot, yet this is the same generation who has declared 'zero tolerance' for anything and everything their children want to do.

Weather and roads

Live traffic cams covering Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake and Mendocino counties.
Northern California
State
Current conditions
http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/eka National Weather Service 707/443-7062
For weather: http://www.weather.gov/eureka or 707-443-7062
For the most current road conditions on all California State highways,
contact the Caltrans Highway Information Network (CHIN) : at 1-800-427-7623 (1-800-GAS-ROAD)
or http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/roadinfo
http://www.dot.ca.gov/cgi-bin/roads.cgi

DRIVE SAFE!

btw - SNOW in McKinleyville and Fieldbrook!

Suspected drug ring busted

Properties involved in a suspected drug trafficking organization, which authorities believe is responsible for growing marijuana on national forests, were raided by law enforcement agents Wednesday.

According to information from the Humboldt County Drug Task Force, agents served search warrants on residences on the 800 and 1500 blocks of McCullens Avenue, the 1200 block of Sea Avenue, the 2900 block of Fairfield Street, the 2900 block and 3500 block of H Street, and the 3200 block of Hiller Avenue.

The raids were the culmination of a one-year investigation into the suspected drug trafficking organization, which drug enforcement investigators have linked to growing operations on public land in Humboldt and Trinity counties.

During the raids, authorities reportedly seized approximately 125 pounds of processed marijuana, 20 firearms -- including an AK-47 assault rifle with high-capacity magazines -- ammunition, scales and other evidence associated with marijuana cultivation and sales.

In total, six suspects were arrested. They include Nao Pao Vang, 40, Rocky Chan, 35, Long Lee, 33, Sa Lia Her, 46, Cheng Her, 25 and Bao Vang, 40....

...all the suspects were booked into the Humboldt County jail where they are being held on charges of conspiracy to distribute marijuana.

In addition to the Drug Task Force, agencies that assisted in the raids included the Eureka Police Department, the California Department of Justice and the California Department of Justice.


☛ TS Suspected drug ring busted

Friday, December 12, 2008

Arrest(s) made in Cutten killing

BELLES, JASON LEON
WATSON, JONATHAN HENRY
☛ TS Suspects in Cutten killing arrested in Shasta County 12/13/08
☛ TS Arrest made in Cutten killing
Humboldt County Sheriff's Office detectives, with assistance from a multi-agency task force, arrested a man in Shasta County on Thursday night in relation to the Dec. 3 killing of Garrett Benson.

☛ TS Second man arrested for Cutten killing
A second man has been arrested today in connection to the murder of 27-year-old Garrett Ryan Benson in his Cutten home.
The Humboldt County Sheriff's Office reported that at 1:45 p.m., detectives arrested Jason Leon Belles, 31, at his home in Redding. Officials said Belles been booked into the Shasta County Jail on charges that include murder, robbery of an inhabited dwelling and conspiracy....

...The Sheriff's Office has confirmed the Cutten robbery was drug related. According to Sheriff's Office information there was a “significant” amount of marijuana growing in the house as well as a large amount of processed marijuana.

Sheriff's Office investigators remain in the Redding area to complete the investigation, the agency reported.

Investigators are asking the public to contact authorities if they recall seeing either Watson or Belles in the Eureka area on Dec. 2nd or 3rd.

Watson has several tattoos on his wrists and hands. A distinctive tattoo on his neck features a 1950s style vintage microphone. He is believed to have been driving a new black Chevrolet pickup truck....

Murder Arrest
At about 7:00 p.m. this evening (12/11/08) law enforcement personnel arrested Jonathan Henry Watson, 30, in Cottonwood, California. Humboldt County Detectives had been in Shasta County since Monday, working with Redding Police Investigators. Watson will be booked into the Shasta County Jail on charges that include one count of murder; he will be transported to Humboldt County within a week. Additional information will be released later this week.
Second Arrest in Murder Case
This afternoon at about 1:45 Humboldt County Sheriff’s Detectives, personnel with the Redding Police Department, and the Redding Fugitive Task Force served a warrant that had been issued only one hour prior. At his residence in Redding, law enforcement personnel arrested Jason Leon Belles, 31. Belles will be booked into the Shasta County Jail on charges that in include murder, robbery of an inhabited dwelling, and conspiracy.

Jonathan Henry Watson, 30, was booked into the Shasta County Jail last night after his arrest in Cottonwood at about 7:00 p.m. His charges include murder, robbery of an inhabited dwelling, false imprisonment, and burglary. He is expected to be transported to Humboldt County within a week.

The Sheriff’s Office is confirming the Cutten robbery was drug related. Inside the victim’s home there were growing marijuana plants and a large amount of marijuana processed for sales.

Humboldt County Sheriff’s Detectives remain in the Redding area completing their investigation. The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office is releasing photos of Belles and Watson. Watson has multiple colored tattoos on his wrists and hands. He also has a distinctive tattoo on his neck/throat of a 1950’s style vintage microphone (not visible in picture). Watson is associated with a newer black Chevrolet pickup truck. If anyone recalls seeing Watson or Belles in the Eureka area on December 2nd or 3rd, they are encouraged to call Detective Cheryl Franco or Sgt. Wayne Hanson at (707) 445-7251.

WATSON, JONATHAN HENRY
BELLES, JASON LEON

Comment on the TS site: G was a good guy and a very kind stoner. Not very often would a person doing the scale G did, would show compassion to his friends and kick down free smoke from time to time.

Something to watch

Photo source rapidcityjournal.com
There's no shortage of special interest groups who expect favors and accommodation from Obama. It's either going to be as Krauthammer says, "Don't Be Fooled By Obama's Centrist Appointments" OR there's going to be a VAST disillusionment on the part of the activist groups....

Add this one to the mix - it looks like the enviro activist groups are gearing up against Congressman Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) even though Thompson’s annual ratings on the Humane Scorecard have ranged from a very respectable 58 to 85 percent.

He's too much of a moderate, and doesn't toe the line every inch of the way like the guy they're pushing who has a HUNDRED PERCENT 100% rating.

Here's the meme - and you will see it repeated: even though Thompson also has a solid record on protecting the environment ...he’s never been a leader, or a go-to person for the environmental community on the big fights of the day.

And though he did chair the Natural Resources and Wildlife Committee in the state Senate, he has not served in Congress on the Natural Resources Committee and has essentially seen wildlife issues only through the lens of his leadership at the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus, rising to the defense of inhumane and unsporting hunting practices. The nation needs someone with a broader background, and Obama should understand this as well as anyone.

You see how it is done. So artfully. Turn him into a bad guy. He hunts. He dares to differ with us.

As for me, I prefer a REAL centrist. Which Thompson arguable IS.

☛ UPDATE: TS Official: Obama to pick Sen. Salazar for Interior

Global Warming Hits New Orleans

This one is for dred.

Rare Snow Blankets South Louisiana
NEW ORLEANS -- People across south Louisiana called their friends, grabbed their cameras and headed outside this morning to document a rare and wonderful sight: snow.
The last snowfall in the New Orleans area was on Christmas Day in 2004. Before that, 1989 was the last significant snowfall. The sight is so rare that many children were seeing snow for the first time, and adults were seeing it for the first time in years.

h/t: KT

Al Gore, New Orleans Snow, Obama and Global Cooling

Thursday, December 11, 2008

SAVE THE ROOSTERS.com

☛ TS Suspected cockfighting breeder shut down
Possession of gamecocks (fighting roosters) is a misdemeanor offense that can carry felony charges, punishable by up to six months in prison, a maximum fine of $1,000 or both.

The Humane Society of the United States took a small sampling of between five and 10 roosters to veterinarians to be examined for scars, drugs or other signs the animals were being bred to fight.

Then what? Kill them all? No one is allowed to own these fowl-pit-bulls, so that seems the obvious end result. Where's Shannon Miranda?

Confession given in 32-year-old Siskiyou County murder

☛ TS DA: Confession given in 32-year-old Siskiyou County murder
According to Siskiyou District Attorney James Kirk Andrus, 51-year-old Gregory Lynn Nelson admitted to killing 6-year-old Willie Cook Jr. after his abduction in August 1976.

Nelson and 69-year-old Suzanne Dorene Little, who also goes by Suzanne Aubrey, have both been charged with the kidnapping and murder, and have pleaded not guilty to charges.

According to Siskiyou County Sheriff Rick Riggins, 32 years ago Cook's father briefly left his son sitting in his pickup truck, parked at a service station in Happy Camp. When he returned to the truck, his son was gone.

After months of searching, no traces were found until nearly six months later when two teenage boys found his mostly decomposed body in an industrial cardboard barrel off Highway 96.

Although it was difficult to ascertain precisely how the boy died, Riggins said coroners believed he was strangled.

The reported confession was detailed in a statement given by Detective Nathan Mendez at a preliminary hearing in early December. Andrus said Mendez recalled Nelson confessed he had carried the screaming child away from his house to his vehicle when he put his hand over the boy's mouth and smothered him.

Mendez also reportedly testified that Nelson told him throughout the commission of the kidnapping he had been following orders from his then-girlfriend Joyce Croy and her sister, Little.

Croy has since died, Andrus said. Nelson and Little are scheduled to be arraigned on Dec. 16.

Gang task force arrests six in Eureka, McKinleyville

☛ TS Gang task force arrests six in Eureka, McKinleyville
Harold William, 48, Bhakti Dillenbeck, 25, Nicole Dupuis, 26, Holly Spencer, 38, Jason Losey, 25, Cory Wertz, 21.

Gundersen pleads not guilty to felony grand theft - UPDATED

Gundersen pleads not guilty to felony grand theft
Gundersen waived time for a speedy trial. His intervention hearing is scheduled for Jan 7. and his preliminary hearing is scheduled for Jan. 16.

UPDATE:
Grand theft charge dismissed against former Blue Lake police chief

UPDATED:

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

****

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Butcher's Bill is due.

There's controversy afoot. Seems the shut it down little boys club wants the NCRA seat now - and Supervisor John Wooley is not playing ball, apparently. He is recommending Former Assemblyman Dan Hauser, and somebody's not happy....

To quote: A Hauser appointment is DOA. I don’t know when the resignation becomes effective but it better be the new board of supervisors that will be appointing his replacement.

With Mark and Clif in office, I have hopes that a fiscally responsible railbanking proponent will be appointed.


Attention, Clif, and Mark. The butcher's bill is due. Dare to buck the anti-Hauser decree, dare to agree with his appointment, just to see what happens. It will be an eye-opening, and a life-changing experience.

I double dog dare ya.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Closure

☛ TS Huntzinger's body found
An Arcata High School student, the 14-year-old Huntzinger went missing May 19, 1990, after last being seen at his sister's home. Last week, the DA's Office arrested Stephen Daniel Hash, 53, of Sebastopol, on suspicion of voluntary manslaughter after Hash gave a complete confession, according to District Attorney Paul Gallegos...

...The DA's Office said Hash has been very cooperative with the investigation, even leading investigators to the location where he said he buried Huntzinger.

***
On Monday afternoon, around 2 p.m., the boy's skeleton was located, entangled in a ball of roots under less than two feet of soil. The grave, which was dug about 35 yards from the road, was surrounded by a dense stand of young redwoods, and blanketed by a thick mat of leaf litter and poison oak.

But in 1990, when Huntzinger is presumed to have been buried, that grave site looked very different.

Chief DA Investigator Mike Hislop said when Hash allegedly dumped the body, the area looked like a “moonscape,” as a result of heavy logging and burning activity.

Despite those major changes to the landscape, Hash was reportedly able to recall the location of the grave well enough to lead investigators within 25 feet of where the body was found, said DA investigator Wayne Cox.

”It must be a vivid memory that's permanently imbedded in his (Hash's) hard drive,” he said.

The same tract of land was searched in 1999 by teams using cadaver dogs, but authorities came up empty. This time, Cox said investigators deployed new methods.

According to Hislop, the body was found by a volunteer who canvassed the area using a high-end metal detector loaned by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The grave was located when the metal detector picked up a faint signal from a small piece of metal on Huntzinger's remains -- possibly a zipper or a coin.

Members of the Huntzinger family were immediately notified, and brought to the site before the body was exhumed, said District Attorney Paul Gallegos.

As the redwoods grew back after the logging, they lifted nutrients from Huntzinger's grave, entwining the remains in roots.

According to Deputy Coroner Roy Horton, the search team excavated the approximately 400-pound root ball, which contains Huntzinger's remains.

Now the Coroner's Office is tasked with the painstaking removal of those remains from the root encasement.

Horton said that while they have not been able to positively identify the remains through DNA or dental records, there are other signs it is Huntzinger. The clothing found around the skeleton -- a black jacket and tennis shoes -- are consistent with the outfit Huntzinger was last seen wearing. And there appear to be signs of blunt force trauma to the skull, Horton said.

Although Gallegos and the DA investigators have declined to release the cause of Huntzinger's death, a criminal complaint in Hash's court file charges him with using a barbell to kill the 14-year-old.

The body was found unbound, and Horton said he believes Huntzinger was dead before he was buried.


☛ TS Never too late for resolution

☛ TS editorial Never too late for resolution
☛TS Hash receives 11 years in prison
Curtis Huntzinger's mother wins wrongful death lawsuit

Belant files motion to exclude public from trial w/UPDATE

☛ TS Belant files motion to exclude public from trial
Less than a week after he was stabbed six times in the Humboldt County jail by another inmate, Andrew Belant appeared in court Monday for a hearing.

Belant, who has exercised his right to represent himself in court, filed a number of motions, requesting that his trial date be extended and that the public not be allowed to witness his jury trial, scheduled for Jan. 12.

”As you might have heard,” Belant told Humboldt County Judge Bruce Watson, “I've been attacked recently in my dorm.”...

...Belant blamed the media attention given to his case as impetus for the attack, and requested the judge grant his motion to exclude the public from his proceedings....

...Belant also told the judge he had filed a writ of habeas corpus -- a legal petition for prisoners who believe they have been arrested illegally. Watson replied that the court has not yet received the writ.

Watson declined to hear the motions Monday, as District Attorney Paul Gallegos was unable to attend the hearing. Those motions were reset for a Wednesday hearing....


Watson declines motion to close Belant's trial
A motion to exclude the public from Andrew Belant's jury trial was denied at a hearing Wednesday.

After Belant was stabbed six times by another inmate in the Humboldt County jail this month, he requested Judge Bruce Watson to keep the public out of his trial.

”To exclude the public in a proceeding is highly extraordinary, to say the least,” Watson said, declining the motion. “By no means does this matter rise to the level to exclude the public -- we're not even in the same ball park.”

Watson did approve a motion filed by the District Attorney's Office to join two cases against Belant, who was arrested in March on suspicion he molested four young boys between the ages of 9 and 13. Belant faces an additional charge, which arose when investigators found several pornographic images of children on his hard drive.

Belant, who is representing himself in the case, requested an opportunity to have those photographs copied to a CD and given to him at the jail.

Watson declined to allow Belant access to the photographs in jail, instead requesting prosecutors give the evidence to Belant's investigator, who will allow Belant to look at the evidence outside of the facility.

Because the cases were joined, Watson granted Belant's motion to continue the trial, which was formerly scheduled for mid-December. The trial is now scheduled to take place Jan. 26.


Dude, you REALLY NEED A REAL LAWYER.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

As the World Turns...

Will Obama ‘Betray’ Environmentalists? "...at least on the surface, there has been a sea change from Obama the campaigner to Obama the soon-to-be president. Can the president-elect’s apparent betrayal of his core supporters go beyond foreign policy, economics, and defense? Yes, it can, right to its “religious” core: environmentalism....

...Obama will have an unexpected excuse if, as I expect (and hope), he abandons economy-crippling environmental aggressiveness in his first term. It is that the European Union has all but abandoned the radical climate change agenda. It is a development that has been virtually ignored by traditional media outlets in the U.S. But it’s happening with a vengeance, and you don’t have to look very hard to find it. Vehement objections are coming from Germany, Poland, Italy, and other EU countries.

What’s more, world opinion is turning against green extremism. The most significant finding at the linked article is that only 27% of those polled in 11 countries, including the U.S., “wanted their governments to participate in Kyoto-style international agreements to reduce emissions.”...

The worldwide economic slowdown is causing a long-overdue reevaluation of global warming (if such warming even exists):

As the global financial crisis takes hold, perhaps people are starting to wonder whether the so-called precautionary principle, which would have us accept enormous new taxes in the guise of an emissions trading scheme and curtail economic growth, is justified, based on what we actually know about climate.

The “precautionary principle,” in essence, says the following: “Okay, maybe we’re not really, really sure that global warming is occurring. And even if it is, we’re not really, really sure that human activity is causing it. But shouldn’t we err on the safe side, thereby formulating and enforcing strict emissions limits, just in case?” Such an outlook, taken to the extreme, would close the door on any and all future human progress. World opinion, which Obama and leftists love to claim should hold so much sway, isn’t answering “No.” It’s screaming “Heck no!"
pajamasmedia.com

Make that "HELL NO!"

Donations

By now you've received your "Baykeeper," NEC, "Friends of the Dunes" and "Democracy Unlimited" pleas for holiday donations.

If you prefer to give your money to groups who actually need it, and who actually DO something with it - or, in other words, if you prefer to give your money to groups that don't pay a flock of lawyers to go after deep pockets, and don't live off of predatory lawsuits... groups that are NOT political and DO NOT spend their days (and your money) trying to dictate how other people live their lives...


Consider ◼ The Humboldt Wildlife Care Center. These people do good work, Quietly, on call when needed. And there are real results.

Consider the ◼ Humboldt Botanical Garden. They're actually building and creating something, something that will be an asset to future generations. You can write a check - or volunteer or donate services. They've had a pretty good year. ◼ The Oysters and Ale donation added up to $12,076. And ongoing donations from Miller Farms and Loleta Cheese Factory have added up to $13,929.96 and $4,812.56 respectively. Both donate an ongoing portion of sales - at ◼ Miller Farms, if you are an HBGF Member, you can donate half of your 10% member discount to the Botanical Garden, and every little bit helps. ◼ The Loleta Cheese Factory donates every time you buy their Humboldt Garden Cheddar


There are many others. Add to the list!
It's not a group, but Kym has a suggestion: ◼ Help a Young Lady go to the Junior National Young Leaders Conference (details on her site, click on the link.)
(I'd add to that, contact your local high school and donate to help low income kids go on the Europe trips. It's a Pay-It-Forward kind of thing.)
Anon suggests: ◼ Redwood ACLU
Carol suggests: ◼ Humboldt Literacy Project
Humboldt County Breast Health Project Good choices.
mresquan suggests ◼ the Northern California Community Blood Bank.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

The End

☛ TS Moore civil suit dismissed as plaintiffs agree to defense motion
A federal judge signed an order this week to dismiss the civil rights violation lawsuit brought against the city of Eureka by the son of Cheri Lyn Moore and, apparently, the plaintiffs agreed to the defense-requested dismissal.

”We appreciate the plaintiff's voluntary dismissal of the case,” said Eureka City Attorney Sheryl Schaffner. “It's just a relief for the city, Chief (David) Douglas and all the officers and staff involved to have this very sad and community-wrenching event finally put behind us.”

Defense attorney Nancy Delaney said the suit, which sought unspecified damages for the alleged civil rights violations against Moore, faced an uphill battle after the involuntary manslaughter indictments handed up against Douglas and Lt. Tony Zanotti by a criminal grand jury were thrown out by Humboldt County Superior Court Judge John Feeney in August.

”The ruling of Judge Feeney made it clear that there were indeed exigent circumstances,” Delaney said. “We ultimately expected (the suit) to be dismissed on motions without a trial -- this just short circuited that. It was already headed that way somewhat, but (Feeney's ruling) certainly sealed it.”

The plaintiff's attorneys, Dennis Cunningham and Gordon Kaupp, did not return numerous Times-Standard phone calls seeking comment for this story....

...Federal Court Judge Phyllis Hamilton's dismissal of the civil suit seems to signal the end of drawn-out legal saga after Moore's shooting shook the local community.

But District Attorney Paul Gallegos has yet to unequivocally say he won't file a criminal complaint against Douglas and Zanotti for their decision-making roles in Moore's death.

”The indictment that was issued by the grand jury has resulted in significant change,” Gallegos said in an e-mail to the Times-Standard. “I believe that the changes that have taken place since Ms. Moore's tragic death are such that I do not expect a recurrence of the events that took place in that incident. In light of those changes and the remoteness of any additional positive result for the community by moving forward, I have not seen a compelling reason to move forward with a complaint at this time.

”My hope is that the changes that have been made, and the resulting remoteness of a recurrence of events such as took place with Ms. Moore, provide some solace to the aggrieved, some comfort to the distressed and some positive resolution for the community,” Gallegos continued.

Local attorney Bill Bragg, who represented Douglas during the criminal case, said he doesn't anticipate Gallegos filing a complaint against his client.

”In my experience, prosecuting authorities rarely commit themselves,” Bragg said. “My feeling is there is certainly no present intent to move forward, but the district attorney did leave the door open.”

For his part, Garr Nielsen, current chief of the Eureka Police Department that was also named in the suit, said Hamilton's decision is welcome news for the department, and brings a close to another painful chapter.

”As with the criminal piece, every part of this that gets put to rest brings us closer to putting closure to what was a tragic incident both for the police department and the community,” Nielsen said. “I think this is very good news, and welcome news to us and to this organization.”

Delaney said she hopes the civil suit's demise sends a clear message to the local community.

”I don't think the public sometimes appreciates the emotional toll that these occurrences have on the officers, but the positive thing here is that each knew that he or she had done what they were supposed to do, what they were required to do (in the situation),” Delaney said. “My hope would be that now the public understands that the officers acted appropriately.”

Hash pleads guilty to manslaughter

Nancy Huntzinger sat with her family in a Humboldt County courtroom on Friday, and watched as Stephen Daniel Hash, wearing shackles and an orange jail jumpsuit, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the death of her teenage son 18 years ago.

Judge Bruce Watson declined the plea, and advised Hash to speak with an attorney to discuss the ramifications of such an admission. The court then entered a plea of not guilty on Hash's behalf.

That move was anticipated by prosecuting Assistant District Attorney Wes Keat, who said it is typical for a judge to direct a defendant to speak with counsel before issuing a plea in a manslaughter case.

”It's a reasonable step and it's what I expected,” Keat said. “That doesn't mean it's going to be the result.”

Hash will wait in the Humboldt County jail for his next court appearance, scheduled for Dec. 10.

District Attorney Paul Gallegos said after the 53-year-old Hash was arrested Wednesday, he has been completely cooperative with investigators and has “expressed a great deal of remorse” for the murder of 14-year-old Curtis Huntzinger, who disappeared in May 1990.

His “absolute” cooperation is what led the District Attorney's Office to charge Hash with voluntary manslaughter with a deadly weapon, rather than murder, Gallegos said....

...Wayne Cox, an investigator for the DA's Office, said as years went by he saw interest in Curtis Huntzinger's disappearance taper off. About two years ago, he decided to take on the case.

”This case could have been solved a long time ago -- it simply wasn't,” Gallegos said. “There were leads that were not followed up that we merely followed up with.”

Hash's admission has brought some amount of closure to the Huntzinger family, Gallegos said.
The family, including Nancy Huntzinger and Curtis Huntzinger's sister, Sarah, attended the Friday arraignment.

Nancy Huntzinger said it is still too early to comment on her feelings about Hash's confession, but she looks forward to the outcome.

”I'm on pins and needles right now,” she said. “It's gone on too long.”...

☛ TS Hash pleads guilty to manslaughter
☛ sfgate Man arrested 18 years after teen disappeared
Porchlight International for the Missing & Unidentified

☛ TS Never too late for resolution
☛ TS editorial Never too late for resolution
☛TS Hash receives 11 years in prison
Curtis Huntzinger's mother wins wrongful death lawsuit

Friday, December 05, 2008

A good job, Paul post...cautiously. - UPDATED

UPDATED:

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

****


☛ TS Sebastopol man arrested in Huntzinger cold case
Eighteen years after 14-year-old Blue Lake resident Curtis Huntzinger went missing, an arrest has been made in connection with his death.

The Humboldt County District Attorney's Office arrested former Blue Lake resident Stephen Daniel Hash, 53, Wednesday on suspicion of voluntary manslaughter. Hash was reportedly living in Sebastopol.

”Mr. Hash gave us a complete confession,” District Attorney Paul Gallegos said Thursday night. “He's been very cooperative and very helpful, and we're very grateful to him for doing that.”

...Nine years after the teen went missing, a San Quentin State Prison inmate, Thomas Michael Fox, claimed he'd shot and killed the boy at Hash's home in 1990. Blue Lake police at the time said they believed that Fox's other murder victim, Daniel Williams, may have been used in a child pornography ring.

Officials searched Hash's home after Fox's statements, reportedly even pulling up the floor and sending carpets to the Department of Justice for forensic testing, but made no arrests.

At one point, Nancy Huntzinger reportedly told authorities that she had confronted Hash at his home, and that he had confessed to murdering her son, telling her where the boy's body was buried. But, search teams and cadaver dogs reportedly came up empty, and Hash was never charged in the case.

Gallegos said his office took over the cold case after the Blue Lake Police Department was disbanded in May, following the arrest of then Police Chief David Gundersen.

”It was an old case that we felt hadn't been adequately investigated,” Gallegos said.

DA Investigator Wayne Cox took the lead in the investigation, Gallegos said, and turned up some leads a couple of months ago, before the investigation really gained steam in November.

”What it really was was just dogged detective work,” Gallegos said. “It's a combination of the hard work of (DA Chief Investigator Mike Hislop) and (Cox), and the good work of (Assistant District Attorney Wes Keat), but it was also (Hash's) desire to get this off his chest. Personally, I think he's wanted to get this off his chest for a long time.”

When approached by investigators with new evidence in the case, Gallegos said Hash “decided to unburden himself.”

Curtis Huntzinger's body has yet to be recovered, Gallegos said, but the DA's Office has several leads as to its location and remains hopeful it will be discovered in the coming days.

”I'm hoping that with (Hash's) cooperation, we will be able to locate Curtis Huntzinger's body, and we will be able to put this to rest,” Gallegos said. “I know Nancy Huntzinger has wanted her son's body for a long time, and I'm hopeful we can provide her some solace in that.”

Gallegos said Hash's cooperation is part of the reason he was arrested on suspicion of voluntary manslaughter.

”What we've chosen to arrest him on and what we would have arrested him on if he hadn't cooperated with us -- I think it's reasonable to conclude they might be different,” he said. “Really what we wanted most for Nancy is her son's body, and without his cooperation we weren't going to get that.”

Reached Thursday, Curtis Huntzinger's sister, Sarah, said she wants her brother's body to be put at rest, so the family can have peace.

”I just want justice for my brother,” she said.

The DA's Office has called a press conference for this afternoon, when it is expected to offer more details in the case. Hash could be officially charged as soon as today, Gallegos said.


☛ TS A momentous find for a metal detector

Update:
☛ TS Never too late for resolution
☛ TS editorial Never too late for resolution
☛TS Hash receives 11 years in prison 1/3/09
Curtis Huntzinger's mother wins wrongful death lawsuit

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

****

Well, I'll be!

Speak of the devil, Mr. Nelson!
Well, one of 'em, anyways...

Thursday, December 04, 2008

watchpaul

Wordle.
Funny. I thought Salzman would be BIGGER somehow.

Crime is down?

Update: ☛ TS Cutten man shot in his home dies
A 27-year-old man who was shot several times inside his Cutten home by an unknown assailant Wednesday night, died from his wounds at a Eureka hospital hours after the incident.

Investigators continue to seek the gunman, who reportedly forced his way into the home of Garrett Ryan Benson on the 5800 block of Walnut Drive shortly after 9 p.m. Wednesday, the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office reported....

...According to Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Brenda Godsey, upon entering the residence, investigators found “a large amount of marijuana.” However, Godsey declined to say whether the marijuana was being cultivated, or how much was found.

”We're so early in the investigation that we're not necessarily connecting (the marijuana) as a motive,” she said.
According to Godsey, Sheriff's Office detectives are working with members of the Drug Enforcement Unit and the Department of Justice crime lab in the investigation.

Those investigators remained at the scene, collecting evidence throughout the day Thursday....

☛ TS breaking news Man shot dead in home invasion
A home invasion in Cutten Wednesday night left a 27-year-old man dead and a suspect on the run.

Sheriff Deputies responded to reports of gunshots in the 5800 block of Walnut Drive shortly after 9 p.m. Wednesday, and found the victim with a gunshot wound, according to a department press release. Emergency medical personnel were immediately called and transported the victim to a local hospital, where he was later pronounced dead at 11:40 p.m., according to the release.

The investigation later revealed that the victim and his girlfriend had been in their residence when they heard a knock on the door around 9 p.m. According to the release, an unknown white male in his 20s, wearing a black sweatshirt and black stocking cap, entered the residence armed with a handgun.

When the suspect attempted to restrain the 27-year-old male, a struggle ensued, eventually resulting in several shots being fired, at least one of which struck the victim. The suspect then fled on foot, according to the release.

The victim's identity is being withheld pending further investigation and the notification of his next of kin.

The suspect is described as a white male adult in his early to mid 20s, who stands about 5 feet 7 inches tall, with a thin build. He is said to be armed with a small silver or gray handgun, according to the release.

Sheriff's Office investigators and evidence technicians, along with members of the Drug Enforcement Unit and the Department of Justice Crime Lab, spent Wednesday night processing the crime scene.

Anyone with information regarding this home invasion homicide is asked to call the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office at 445-7251 and ask for Detective Franco or Sergeant Hanson.

Second home invasion/robbery shooting - this time the homeowner was killed. Last time the homeowner fired the shots. ...Details emerge... BooBoo still at large...

GREAT IDEA!


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