Friday, February 27, 2009

Legalize it!

Ernie and Kym both have posts up about legalizing pot - there's increased talk that Obama will legalize it, there's talk about Sacramento wanting to tax it to help offset the astronomical budget shortfalls ($90 Billion in pork apparently won't help at all)...

I say LEGALIZE IT. I want to see the f-cking criminals pay 50%+ of their earnings in taxes. It's been a free ride in more ways than one.

Let them have to live up to the environmental and labor restrictions they've had a part in advocating - if you buy the 'they're so generous with donations' meme.

Workplace requirements, withholdings, paperwork, expensive mitigations, fees, inspections and inventory taxes - the whole catastrophe, let it be visited upon them. Diesel spills are only one of the problems they have to answer for.

The price will plummet, and their costs will rise.

You might think we would save money by not needing CAMP, but the fact is you will need a whole new layer of enforcement to get people to comply with all the OTHER laws they are breaking - from not paying taxes on. Because I don't think they will willingly fork over 50%+ willingly. I don't think they will willingly comply with ANY of the laws other businesses have to comply with.

You agree? Or disagree?

KSLG Jennifer Savage interviews Kym, Eric and Sohumborn (Sohumborn's voice is disguised)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Gundersen saga continues, going into March - 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 held to answer to theft charge

Former Blue Lake Police Chief David Ray Gundersen was held to stand trial today on a single charge of felony grand theft, stemming from his days as Trinidad's chief of police.

Humboldt County Superior Court Judge Bruce Watson ruled today that there is sufficient evidence to hold Gundersen to stand trial on the charge, which alleges that he took five firearms out of Trinidad Police Department evidence and traded them, along with other guns, for a submachine gun and a silencer -- weapons Gundersen was convicted of possessing illegally in December.

Current Trinidad Police Chief Ken Thrailkill was the sole witness called to testify at the preliminary hearing. Gundersen is due back in court March 11 for an arraignment.

Grand theft charge dismissed against former Blue Lake police chief


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, February 24, 2009

Murder in McKinleyville w/update

☛ TS Authorities seek suspect truck in Sanders shooting 3/10/09

According to information released by the Sheriff's Office, investigators are searching for a Chevrolet four-wheel-drive pickup truck from the 1990s, with a standard cab and a two-tone brown color....

The Sheriff's Office urges anyone with information about the vehicle or the case to contact Sheriff's Detective Troy Garey at 268-3643 or Humboldt County District Attorney investigator Steve Dunn at 445-7411.

☛ McK Press Homicide Update Photo of Ezra Charles Sanders, murder victim

(TS photo)
☛ TS Possible gang ties in McKinleyville shooting 3/1/09
☛ TS Police continue investigation into McKinleyville slaying 2/26/09
☛ TS Sheriff's Office reports Sanders was inside trailer during shooting
Detectives with the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office say an investigation into the Tuesday morning shooting death of Ezra Charles Sanders has revealed the 30-year-old man may have been shot inside his travel trailer.

Early Tuesday morning, Sanders was found deceased, lying across the front porch of his trailer with a single gunshot wound.
According to a Sheriff's Office press release, evidence shows Sanders was not killed in a drive-by shooting.

It appears, according to the release, Sanders walked out of his trailer after his was shot.

☛ TS Police probe killing in McKinleyville 2/25/09
Police began an investigation into the apparent murder of Ezra Charles Sanders, a 30-year-old man found dead Tuesday morning of a single gunshot wound at a McKinleyville trailer park.

Humboldt County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Brenda Godsey said that shortly after 1 a.m. Tuesday, witnesses heard a single gunshot echo across the Murray Road trailer park.

When authorities arrived they found Sanders lying outside his trailer. Medical responders later concluded he was apparently shot once by an unknown caliber handgun, Godsey said.

Investigators began interviewing witnesses, who described hearing a vehicle pull up to Sanders' trailer in the night. They reportedly heard the sound of a single gunshot, followed shortly after by the sound of a vehicle speeding away from the scene in an unknown direction, the Sheriff's Office reported. Trailer park residents reportedly approached Sanders' small travel trailer and found him lying across his front porch.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to the call the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office at 445-7251.

☛ TS Apparent murder in McKinleyville2/24/09
☛ TS comments thread
HCSO Press Release2/24/09
Three in custody in Sanders case
Thirty-nine days after Ezra Sanders was gunned down in his McKinleyville trailer, three suspects are in custody and suspected of committing his murder.

Jeffrey Alan Burgess, 39, of Eureka; Ruben Anthony Peredia, 33, of Ukiah and Lukus Larry Mace, 31, of Arcata, were all booked into Humboldt County jail Friday on suspicion of murder and attempted armed robbery, according to investigators on the case....

...The case caught a break late last month when the Fortuna Police Department recovered a stolen green GMC truck. When Garey and Dunn looked through the stolen/embezzled vehicle report from CHP, they found Burgess listed as the primary suspect.

Mace and Peredia were both taken into custody in March on unrelated cases.

On March 13, Garey and Dunn served a search warrant on a home on Eureka's Lewis Avenue for the Sanders case, and took Mace into custody on an unrelated outstanding warrant.

Similarly, Peredia was taken into custody March 1, after he was involved in a car crash on Kneeland Heights Road that led to his arrest on two outstanding felony warrants, and suspicion of theft. In relation to the Sanders case, investigators also served a search warrant on Peredia's Higgins Street home in Eureka.

Then, this past Friday, after re-interviewing a number of witnesses, Dunn and Garey had Burgess come in for an interview, and they said the picture began to become clear.

”That interview led to his arrest for being the primary person involved (in Sanders' murder),” Dunn said, adding that after Burgess' arrest, Peredia and Mace, both already in custody, were also booked on suspicion of attempted robbery and murder for the Sanders case.

The story that Dunn and Garey have pieced together is that Mace, Ruben and Burgess allegedly conspired to drive from Eureka to McKinleyville in order to use a gun and a knife to rob Sanders, whom they knew, for drugs and money. When Sanders resisted, raising his fists to fight the three men, they allegedly shot him and fled the scene in a panic without taking anything....

...Both Dunn and Garey said assistance from a variety of agencies -- including CHP, the Arcata Police Department, the Trinidad Police Department, the Eureka Police Department, the Fortuna Police Department and the Department of Justice -- was integral in making the case.

A little good news, please.

TARGET profit falls 41%...
MACY'S reports 59% drop...
OFFICE DEPOT shows $1.5B loss...
Home prices post record decline...
Consumer Confidence Collapsed to Record Low in February...
Bernanke Hope: Recession will end this year...
NYSE May Relax $1 Share-Price Rule to Prevent Delistings...
House Democrats propose $410B spending bill
Taxing pot could become a political toking point

All on Drudge this morning. Thought you'd like that last one.

Oh, God, "" Schwartz is back

and he musta lost a pot case or something... bitchin' about judges, and as nutty/entertaining as always...
Misplaced marijuana backlash

Misplaced marijuana backlash

Jeffrey Schwartz/For the Times-Standard
Posted: 02/24/2009 01:27:30 AM PST

Some elected officials in the criminal justice systems in Humboldt and Mendocino counties now act as if voters and legislators gave them a mandate to adopt a harsh penal policy toward marijuana growers. This is a recent and ominous change.

Measure B last June in Mendocino rescinded a previous measure that allowed for the personal possession of and expanded cultivation of medical marijuana. Arcata adopted an ordinance late last year that regulates grow houses. Together, these two measures and other similar ones emboldened the prosecutor in Mendocino County and a judge or two in Humboldt County to take a hard line on marijuana growers. These elected officials should be cautious. While they lead a backlash against the spread of marijuana cultivation, with harsher punishment for growers, they risk a stronger backlash at the polls.

It is disconcerting to hear around the courthouses of Mendocino County deputy district attorneys with marching orders arguing “zero tolerance” on marijuana cases and at least one judge in Humboldt County meting out sentences on first-time marijuana growers until now reserved for cocaine and meth dealers. One deputy district attorney in Mendocino stated, “the people have spoken,” referring to Measure B, when demanding a 365-day sentence for a 19-year old HSU student caught driving a few pounds of marijuana through Willits. This is a kid with a perfectly clean record. The type of felony insisted on by the A will never come off his rap sheet and will destroy his chance of getting a decent job in the future.

We need to gain perspective. We should remember that the personal possession of marijuana is all but legal in California -- if one is caught with an ounce or less of marijuana the penalty is a $100 fine, it is basically a traffic ticket. Should we treat the people who provide them with an ounce of what is all but legal the same way we treat heroin, cocaine or meth dealers?

Consider the recent case of a Humboldt County judge who grabbed the “mandate” and recently sentenced three marijuana growers to nine months in county jail, three months longer than the most hard-line deputy district attorney in Humboldt County had even requested.

Zero tolerance on marijuana growers may become contagious in our courthouses among the judges. If that happens, the would-be hard-line judges and the Mendocino district attorney will have sorely misconstrued what our collective community intended when they passed or agreed with these ordinances. The residents who voted for Measure B and support regulations on grow houses in Arcata were fed up with the abuses of marijuana growing and the noise and smell and pollution that go with it; in the same way they don't want a roofer setting up a tar boiling operation next door.

Harsher punishment of marijuana growers is a big mistake for an elected official. Marijuana decriminalization in our counties is a hot issue like abortion and gay marriage. There are a whole lot of people supporting both sides of the issue -- and then there are the blogging Rush Limbaugh types. With marijuana, as is the case with pro-choice and the right to marry, the majority in our counties want it decriminalized.

In coastal Northern California we suffer from limited budgets and small police departments but we spend an exorbitant amount of public funds in the form of police and top-of-the-line prosecutors' time and county jail space to put marijuana growers behind bars. In Humboldt, one of the two best prosecutors in the office is spending her time prosecuting marijuana growers instead of child molesters, rapists or murderers.

These officials of the criminal justice system need to wake up or when their elected terms end, they will find themselves back in private practice. The people of Mendocino and Humboldt counties are looking for regulation not criminalization.

Jeffrey Schwartz is an Arcata attorney practicing criminal defense law in Humboldt and Mendocino counties. He resides in Willits and Arcata. He can be reached at

NOTE: Jeffrey "" Schwartz was a defense attorney who came to work in the Humboldt County DA's Office. The best comment about him is that he managed to set more people free as a DDA than he did as a defense attorney. He ran a failed campaign for Arcata City Council, complete with a bizarre blog. The guy is a nut. And I don't mean that in a good way.

Response: ☛ Paul Hooker's TS Op-Ed Pot grows are ruining neighborhoods
TS Comments thread

Monday, February 23, 2009

Yohan Lopez found guilty on all counts

☛ TS Lopez found guilty on all counts in first degree murder case
A jury this morning found 31-year-old Yohan Lopez guilty of first degree murder in the 1998 slaying of 18-year-old Ryan Matthew Dunn, along with the special allegations of lying in wait and causing death by using a firearm.
Dunn was shot outside a Eureka video store. Lopez and Dunn reportedly had several confrontations before the shooting.
Lopez was also convicted of separate counts of possession of methamphetamine and possession of methamphetamine with the intent to sell.

Efren Delgadillo, Lopez' cousin, was also implicated in the shooting. Delgadillo is believed to have died in a car fire in Mexico several years ago. Lopez was returned to Humboldt County in November 2007 after being arrested on a DUI charge in Stanislaus County.

Yohan Lopez' brother, Santiago Lopez, was caught within weeks of the shooting and sentenced to two years in prison for being an accessory to murder.

Yohan Lopez was returned to the Humboldt County jail while he awaits sentencing...

...(Public Defender Jonathan) McCrone said he anticipates filing an appeal immediately....

Score 1 for Klein.

Gallegos quoted on SART

Telemedicine helps prosecute sexual assault cases

A little Eureka facility and a group of doctors a couple of hundred miles away are making a big difference in caring for Humboldt County's sexual assault victims and locking away their assailants.

A telemedicine facility set up at St. Joseph Hospital has been operating for about six years now, letting nationally recognized experts from the University of California at Davis sit in on local sexual assault exams. A study released in the medical journal “Pediatrics” last month found that telemedicine facilities, like Eureka's, greatly improve the quality of sexual assault examinations....

District Attorney Paul Gallegos said the use of telemedicine locally has been a great asset to his office, as it provides the examinations with immediate peer review and makes their findings carry much more weight in court.

”Peer review augments any potential challenges to the SART conclusions so they are less subject to attack,” Gallegos said. “When it's done, it improves the SART exam, which means it improves the case ... it means it has increased reliability for us, for the court and for those members of the community that serve on the jury.”...

Gallegos said the results simply speak for themselves.
”About every time we've used (evidence from telemedicine examinations) we've got a conviction,” he said....

Times-Standard staff writers John Driscoll, Sean Garmire, Thadeus Greenson, Jessie Faulkner, Erin Tracy and Sharon Letts contributed to this report. (Really? All of you guys?)

interesting comments on this article ... same ones I would ask - do you think he really knows anything about what goes on at SART? had anything to do with any of this? (It's been there for 6 years, which goes back to when someone really did care about it), and WHAT CASES? Give examples. Just when I'm about to give up in exasperation, it's good to see that people do get it.

(article saved: here

Friday, February 20, 2009

WingDings and Comic Sans

Judge issues gag order in murder case

Court documents point to James Robert Stanko as the man who allegedly stabbed Eureka resident Andrew Pease, 36, to death in the parking lot of a Eureka grocery store during a spree of armed robberies committed with an accomplice earlier this month.

Stanko, 26, and John Lewis Way, 30, were both arrested Feb. 6, and have since been charged with murder, robbery and five counts of attempted robbery. Both men have pleaded not guilty to the charges, and remain held in Humboldt County jail on $1 million bail.

”On (Feb. 6, 2009) at about 18:25 hours, Way and Stanko were implicated in seven different robberies throughout Eureka in less than a one hour period,” reads a declaration of probable cause written by Eureka Police Detective Todd Wilcox. “Stanko used a knife to assault their final victim and inflicted serious injuries that the victim died from a short time later. I believe this based on witness statements and Way's admissions/statement.”

Visiting Humboldt County Superior Court Judge Thomas Smith granted a defense request for a gag order Wednesday, forbidding any attorneys involved with the case, their employees, investigating agencies and county employees from publicly talking about the facts or circumstances of the case. Anyone who violates the order can be held in contempt of court....

...The defendants could also face the death penalty if District Attorney Paul Gallegos chooses to pursue it. Gallegos, who is out of the office this week, has yet to announce how he intends to proceed, but has said it is not a decision he will take lightly.

One of a litany of factors often considered by prosecutors when deciding whether to pursue capital punishment is the defendant's list of prior felony convictions. According to Humboldt County Superior Court records, Stanko and Way have priors.

Stanko, according to records, was charged with DUI and flight from a traffic officer in 2006, and later agreed to plead no contest to a reckless driving charge. Stanko was due back in court today on a charge of violating the terms of his probation from that offense before his latest arrest.

Way, according to court records, has been named in almost a half dozen cases over the past decade.

In July 1999, Way was alleged to have assaulted four people with a knife and later pleaded guilty to a charge of assault and three charges of false imprisonment and was given a six year suspended sentence.

In April 2006, according to court records, Way was convicted of charges of driving under the influence and on a suspended or revoked license. Then, in April 2008, Way was arrested on suspicion of driving on a suspended license. A conviction on the later charge amounted to a probation violation for Way, and he was sentenced in October 2008 to serve a 30-day jail sentence.

Due to public records laws, the Humboldt County jail could not disclose when Way was last released from custody. Way and Stanko are scheduled to be back in court Feb. 26 for their preliminary hearing on the current charges of murder, robbery and attempted robbery.

☛ TS Judge issues gag order in murder case 2/20/09

☛TS Murder arraignment closed to the public 2/12/09
☛ TS One man dead after a rash of robberies in Eureka 2/9/09
☛ TS EPD seeks witnesses in fatal stabbing case 2/10/09
☛ TS Any moment 2/10/09
☛ TS Witnesses make the difference 2/11/09
☛ TS Two robbery spree suspects charged; arraignment today 2/11/09
☛ JN Witness recounts stabbing death 2/12/09
☛ TS An unfinished song: Memorial service scheduled Saturday 2/13/09

Prelim for L.A. kidnapper

A Eureka police detective (Ron Harpham) testified Thursday about events that reportedly led to the January stabbing of 24-year-old man at the preliminary hearing of David Bushman, who is accused of kidnapping and assaulting an acquaintance, causing his vehicle to crash into a Eureka burger stand.

Detective Ron Harpham testified at the hearing about the course of events that reportedly led to the stabbing of Joshua Golden, a one-time Eureka resident now living in Los Angeles, and the subsequent arrest of 36-year-old Bushman and Fatima Muhammad....

...Harpham's testimony did not conclude Thursday and Bushman's hearing is expected to resume today. According to Deputy District Attorney Randy Mailman, the evidence that will be presented at Muhammad's preliminary hearing, also scheduled today, will be the same presented during Bushman's.

Muhammad remains held at the Humboldt County Juvenile Hall on $100,000 bail, while Bushman was returned after his hearing to the Humboldt County jail on $50,000 bail.
☛ TS Preliminary begins for alleged L.A. kidnapper 2/20/09

☛ TS L.A. man and teen arrested for allegedly kidnapping driver 1/31/09

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Daily "You Are So Fucked" Report

...Talk about trillions of dollars has become so commonplace that billions seem minuscule -- even though a billion minutes ago Plutarch (46-120 A.D.) was alive -- and it is hardly worth mentioning mere millions, such as the $50 million for stimulus through the National Endowment for the Arts. But those millions elated Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., co-chairwoman of the Congressional Arts Caucus: "If we're trying to stimulate the economy and get money into the Treasury, nothing does that better than art." Nothing? Is Slaughter correct about what we're trying to do? Is the point of the government's stimulus spending to get more money into the government -- "into the Treasury"? She is not the first politician to desire prosperity for the people so that they could be more bountiful taxpayers.

"Never," said Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., when voting against the stimulus, "have so few spent so much so quickly to do so little."...
Stimulating Cynicism

What was in the Porkulus Bill?

Tucked into the 1,073-page stimulus bill, creates something called the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board — the RAT Board, as it’s known by the few insiders who are aware of it.

First, let’s ask ourselves how this stimulates the economy. Why include this in an emergency stimulus bill when it has nothing to do with stimulus or economics? This rule change should have come in separate debate in Congress — like so many other portions of Porkulus.

It does, however, have everything to do with Hope and Change. What the RAT Board can do, as York points out, is direct or quash investigations by Inspectors General throughout the federal bureaucracy. Until now, IGs have had independence of action in order to avoid charges of politicization (remember that word?) and to conduct probes without interference from the Department of Justice, the White House, or Congress. Now they will answer to Congress not on general performance, but on the specifics of their probes.

How did it get into Porkulus? Grassley says it wasn’t in the original bill passed in the Senate, and it suddenly appeared in the conference version. No one has claimed ownership of the RAT Board yet,

Read the rest at Hot Air

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Witness testimony begins (and ends) for defense of murder suspect w/Update

☛ TS Witness testimony concludes in 1998 murder trial
Gunshot residue was found on the hand of the victim in a decade-old murder case, according to the sole witness for the defense who testified Wednesday.... Criminologist Steven Dowell of the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office testified about four samples taken from the hands of murder victim Ryan Matthew Dunn, an 18-year-old Eureka man killed on Jan. 4, 1998. Dowell said the samples do not necessarily show that Dunn had fired a gun.... Closing arguments begin today, after which, the jury will begin deliberation.

☛ TS Witness testimony begins today for defense of murder suspect 2/18/09

The people rested their case Tuesday, after the prosecution's last witness testified in the case against Yohan Lopez for the 1998 murder of a Eureka teenager....

Witnesses - Humboldt County evidence technician William Walser

The trial continues..., with the first of the witnesses testifying for the defense. Humboldt County Superior Court Judge Bruce Watson told the jury Tuesday that deliberations will most likely begin early next week.

Today is the 19th. This trial began Monday, the 9th. Monday the 16th was a holiday. So the "People" (Arnie Klein) wrapped up their (murder) case in 6 days. The Defense called one witness, one day, and the case is over. Impressive.

☛ TS Lopez found guilty on all counts in first degree murder case 2/24/09
A jury this morning found 31-year-old Yohan Lopez guilty of first degree murder in the 1998 slaying of 18-year-old Ryan Matthew Dunn, along with the special allegations of lying in wait and causing death by using a firearm.
Dunn was shot outside a Eureka video store. Lopez and Dunn reportedly had several confrontations before the shooting.
Lopez was also convicted of separate counts of possession of methamphetamine and possession of methamphetamine with the intent to sell.
Efren Delgadillo, Lopez' cousin, was also implicated in the shooting. Delgadillo is believed to have died in a car fire in Mexico several years ago. Lopez was returned to Humboldt County in November 2007 after being arrested on a DUI charge in Stanislaus County.
Yohan Lopez' brother, Santiago Lopez, was caught within weeks of the shooting and sentenced to two years in prison for being an accessory to murder.
Yohan Lopez was returned to the Humboldt County jail while he awaits sentencing.

☛ TS Testimony continues in Day 4 of Lopez 2/12/09
☛ TS Suspect's ex-girlfriend testifies in day three of murder trial 2/12//09
☛ TS Victim's girlfriend testifies in second day of 1998 murder trial 2/11/09
☛ TS Trial begins in decade-old murder case 2/10/09
☛ TS Homicide suspect facing trial for killing teen 12/21/07
☛ TS Suspect in 1998 shooting returned to Humboldt County
☛ TS Second of three suspects in 1998 homicide arrested 11/07/07
☛ TS 2007: The year in review

Monday, February 16, 2009

Chavez Wins: Venezuela Loses

Chavez Wins: Venezuela Loses
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez took a chance by asking his people to do away with term limits, giving him license to be their president indefinitely. He won his gamble on Sunday in a 54% - 46% vote.

The victory is worrisome — even more so, the reasons why this vote took place at all....

...The January-February campaign was the most violent Venezuela had seen since Chavez was first elected. The student movement who opposed him was repressed. Chavez went as far as demanding that police “throw tear gas, and of the strong kind” at any student demonstration.

Chavez also used naked blackmail, threatening the country with civil disorder if he was ever forced to relinquish the presidency.

In past months, we Venezuelans have been subjected to the most brutal and heavy-handed campaign we have ever endured in our democratic history, as the government threw all the power of the state behind Chavez, with open political activity in most public buildings. Public employees were required to donate one day’s paycheck to the campaign and attend a variety of political activities during working hours.

The opposition did its best to fight government dominance, but it was essentially penniless following regional election of 2008. It was also vastly outspent....

A comment on that article: ...I happen to know that the government had a list of everyone that received a fridge, a house, a medical treatment, etc. and abstained from voting in the last Constitution amendment (that’s why the SI lost)… Now they went house-to-house saying: “You better vote this time or…” Although the opposition said that the vote was secret and nobody would know how you voted, the people were sufficiently scared and knew the government manipulates the information to their own benefit. So don’t be too harsh on your fellowmen… They have lived under an autocracy for ten years now, and haven’t a clue what Democracy means for that reason. The countries in LA that lived dictatorships, had to re-learn the meaning and benefits of liberty…. When you don’t exercise a limb or your brain, it takes a lot of exercise to take it back to normal. Plus, the people have been clearly brainwashed….!!

Friday, February 13, 2009


The Death Penalty? For the guys accused of stabbing, murdering really, Andrew Pease in the culmination of a string of five robberies? In front of witnesses.

The DA hasn't made up his mind because "it should be reserved for only the most heinous of crimes."

A-a-nd murder is...somehow NOT?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Crap! ANOTHER stabbing!

☛ TS One injured, another at large after stabbing
Authorities are searching for a man suspected of stabbing another man in the groin at a house in Eureka Thursday morning.

According to Eureka Police Sgt. Steven Watson, at around 9:30 a.m., police dispatchers received a call from a neighbor who reportedly witnessed someone running out of a home on the 2500 block of A Street, covered with blood.

Police responded to the scene to find about five people at the residence. Their names -- as well as the victims' -- have not been released by the EPD...

...The victim was taken into surgery after being stabbed in the groin with a kitchen knife, which was discovered by investigators at the scene, Watson said. According to O'Neill, who saw the victim, there appeared to be only a single stab wound, but a blood trail was visible leading from inside the home onto the sidewalk.

According to Watson the house where the alleged stabbing took place is a “problem house” in the neighborhood, and authorities receive frequent complaints about the residence.

”We receive a lot of complaints about large parties there,” he said....

Rio Dell Times EPD Release (image source)
To: All Humboldt County Media
Re: Officers respond to Stabbing
Released by: Det. Sgt. Patrick O’Neill 707-441-4060
On 2-12-2009 at about 9:38 am, Officers of the Eureka Police Department were dispatched to the 2500 block of A Street to a possible stabbing. A citizen called the Eureka Police/Fire dispatch center to advise that four subjects had exited a residence at this location and were carrying a fifth subject, who appeared to be covered in blood. The subjects placed the bleeding person into a van and had driven away.

Officers responding to the A Street location located signs of an assault. While this was occurring, the dispatch center contacted St. Joseph Hospital ER and were told that a stab victim had just arrived.

Officers and Detectives responded to the ER and contacted the victim, who was being treated by ER staff for a serious lower abdomen stab wound. Officers spoke with the victim and the two witnesses who had transported him there. Based on these statements it was believed that during an altercation between the victim and suspect, at the A Street location, the suspect stabbed the victim. The suspect was soon identified as Andrew Darrel Gray (33 years old of Eureka).

Gray was not on scene at the time the officers responded and is still at large. A county wide attempt to locate and arrest for assault with a deadly weapon teletype was issued to all Law Enforcement.

Citizens who have information concerning this event, Gray’s location, or who see Gray are urged to call the Eureka Police Department dispatch center at 707-441-4044. The Eureka Police Department requests that citizens DO NOT attempt to contact or detain Gray.

This is an ongoing investigation and further information will be released as it becomes available.

h/t: TS comments section

$600 Stimulus checks...

“You’re getting $600. What can you do with that? Not to be ungrateful or anything. But maybe it pays down a bill, but it doesn’t pay down every bill every month.

Barack’s approach is that the short-term quick fix kinda stuff sounds good. And it may even feel good that first month when you get that check. And then you go out and you buy a pair of earrings.”

Who said this? ◼ answer here

Way/Stanko, Pease Murder Case Coverage w/UPDATES

☛TS Murder arraignment closed to the public 2/12/09
Two men alleged to have stabbed a Eureka man to death during a robbery spree were arraigned in a hearing closed to the public Wednesday on charges of robbery, attempted robbery and murder, according to Humboldt County Sheriff's spokeswoman Brenda Godsey.

John Lewis Way, 30, and James Robert Stanko, 26, are alleged to have committed a string of five robberies and attempted robberies over a 25-minute span Friday night -- a string that culminated in Andrew Pease, 36, of Eureka, being stabbed to death in the parking lot of Ray's Food Place on Broadway.

In an arraignment held at the Humboldt County jail due to flooding in the Humboldt County courthouse, Stanko and Way were arraigned on charges of robbery, murder and five counts of attempted robbery, according to Godsey, who said she did not know whether the men entered pleas.

A Times-Standard request to attend the proceeding was denied by jail administrators, who cited security concerns. Numerous calls placed to members of the District Attorney's Office seeking the outcome of the arraignment were not returned, and those who were reached said they did not know.

The courthouse was closed and evacuated Wednesday afternoon due to mass flooding reportedly caused by a faulty valve in a second-floor bathroom. Arraignments scheduled to take place in the afternoon were moved to the jail, according to Godsey.

Because Way and Stanko are alleged to have committed murder in the course of a felony -- in this case an attempted robbery -- District Attorney Paul Gallegos said his office could choose to seek the death penalty in the case, but has yet to make that decision.

☛ HH Crime spree victim killed EPD Press release
☛ TS One man dead after a rash of robberies in Eureka 2/9/09
Three men were arrested Friday evening on suspicion of robbery, assault with a deadly weapon and homicide after a string of knife robberies over the course of one hour left a 36-year-old Eureka man dead....

...Eureka Police officers, with the assistance of Humboldt County Sheriff's Deputies, located the vehicle at the 1800 block of Buhne Drive in King Salmon. Three suspects were taken into custody, and a search warrant was later served.
Thirty-year-old John Lewis Way of Eureka, 27-year-old Daniel Joseph Dower of Nevada, and 26-year-old James Robert Stanko of Santa Cruz were all booked on suspicion of robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, and homicide....

☛ TS EPD seeks witnesses in fatal stabbing case 2/10/09
☛ TS Any moment 2/10/09
☛ TS Witnesses make the difference 2/11/09
☛ TS Two robbery spree suspects charged; arraignment today 2/11/09
☛ JN Witness recounts stabbing death 2/12/09
☛ TS An unfinished song: Memorial service scheduled Saturday 2/13/09
...Way and Stanko pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, robbery and five counts of attempted robbery during a Wednesday arraignment that was closed to the public due to flooding at the courthouse. They remain held in Humboldt County jail on $1 million bail, and are due back in court today for a bail hearing.

Meanwhile, Andrew Pease's family and friends are left confronting lives irrevocably changed, and remembering the man they glowingly described as genuine, kind and unflinchingly devoted to his family.

☛ TS Judge issues gag order in murder case 2/20/09

Pled out:
Stanko pleads in Pease's murder; Eureka man to be sentenced to 26 years to life in prison in plea deal
On the eve of trial, James Robert Stanko pleaded guilty Tuesday to a charge of murder in an agreement that will see him sentenced to 26 years to life in state prison for his role in the Feb. 6, 2009, stabbing death of Andrew Pease.

With jury selection slated to begin Wednesday in his trial, Stanko entered into a plea agreement with the Humboldt County District Attorney's Office on Tuesday in which he agreed to plead guilty to charges of murder, armed robbery and attempted armed robbery with a total prison term of 26 years to life, according to court minutes obtained from Humboldt County court records.

As a part of the plea, Stanko waived all rights to appeal, according to the minutes.
Deputy District Attorney Allan Dollison declined to comment on the plea agreement Wednesday, citing a gag order that has been in place in the case since February 2009 and prohibits members of law enforcement, attorneys and court employees from discussing the case publicly. Stanko's attorney, public defender Kevin Robinson, did not return a Times-Standard phone call seeking comment.

Stanko, 28, and James Robert Way, 31, both of Eureka, were on an armed robbery spree through the city on Feb. 6, 2009, having committed six in less than an hour, before they arrived in the parking lot of Ray's Food Place on Broadway. There, they attempted to rob Pease, a 36-year-old Army veteran and father of two, who was working with a developmentally disabled teen at the time. The details of the altercation remain unclear, but Pease was reportedly stabbed 13 times and died within minutes as Way and Stanko fled the scene....

Way pleaded guilty in March to charges of voluntary manslaughter, armed robbery and attempted armed robbery. He was sentenced to serve 18 years, four months in prison.
Stanko, who police have fingered as the one who stabbed Pease, seemed poised to stand trial until entering into the plea agreement Wednesday....

More Pot fallout

☛TS Three injured in possible hash lab explosion

Court closed, Courthouse flooded

☛TS Bailing out the courthouse: Broken valve waterlogs Superior Court
Crowds of people were evacuated out of the Humboldt County Superior Courthouse into the Wednesday afternoon rain after a broken pipe on the second story sent water cascading down hallways and staircases. County officials said they hope to know by today when the building might reopen.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Looks like some new info on the Hedlund/Schectman/Vilica mess
◼ CalLaw Pot Lawyers Walk Fine Line (image source)
How even THIS story gets twisted into an anti-Bush, pro-Obama thing I don't quite get, but the article is interesting: The Recorder's Dan Levine writes that ...(Josh) Hedlund's indictment didn't put the brakes on his real estate deals, though. And when he embarked on a second, monster land acquisition in Humboldt County, he hooked up with attorney Steven Schectman....

According to prosecutors, Hedlund's agricultural land buys are part of his overall strategy to make money from marijuana: The developer secured thousands of acres from defunct timber companies, sold them to buyers with criminal histories, and cloaked the transactions with LLCs...

,,,Schectman, who keeps offices in Arcata and Los Angeles, is well known for representing pot dispensaries — he's led the fight against DEA pressure on landlords who rent to co-ops. But Schectman first made a name for himself in Humboldt County prosecuting environmental claims against the timber industry, and it was his credibility in this arena that Hedlund says he found valuable.

"We thought that Steve was especially qualified to deal with any timber-related litigation," Hedlund told The Recorder . "Steve's knowledge of the timber industry and local activists helped greatly."

In 2006, three months after Hedlund's indictment, he had Schectman establish Vilica LLC, according to corporate filings. That company then bought 7,600 acres in Humboldt County. Schectman became Vilica's president and chief legal officer, according to documents filed in court. Schectman, who once ran for district attorney in Humboldt County, wouldn't answer questions about his responsibilities as Vilica's president.

Vilica ran into problems with the authorities. In June 2007, the federal Bureau of Land Management received a complaint about a new gate wrongly installed on public land adjacent to a Vilica parcel. Rangers checked out the scene, where they met two of Vilica's property buyers operating heavy equipment, according to a BLM incident report....

...Beyond Vilica, Hedlund and Schectman's relationship is murky. In a letter to the federal probation office, Schectman said he took Hedlund under his wing as a paralegal and a clerk, and even tried to help him gain a State Bar apprenticeship.

However, after pleading guilty, Hedlund told the government that he had moved his office into Schectman's "to protect [my] documents from seizure by federal authorities," according to a DEA affidavit.

Hedlund entered his plea on Feb. 4, 2008, after preparing his holdings for forfeiture. On Feb. 3, Schectman resigned as Vilica's president. Hedlund's sentencing is scheduled for the end of this month; the government is seeking 63 months in prison.

Grade? Slightly informative, but more of a puff piece on the pot traders than anything else. There sure is a sh-i-ite load more info on these two boys. And walking a fine line? More like cheating the system. I'd expect California's Legal News Source to be a bit more about the law, since the structure of those LLCs and what people get away with is actually pretty interesting.

h/t: "heraldo"

Assessor Parcel Information a 38 page pdf document
A million bucks in assets forfeited! AND his right to the 36 parcels, $5,803,000.00 + Eel River Saw Mill Vilica properties? Now that's a story! SO-O-O, if the property he is forfeiting was owned by Vilica LLC (president Steve Schectman), but sold (at least some of the parcels) to Paradise Palms LLC, who is out the money? Do the partners get to keep the property? How many partners are there? Are they all from this area? Who, then is going to pay for the abatements ordered by the Board of Supervisors? Sure it's the least of Hedlund's problems - does he go to jail?

◼ Mercury News - Man pleads guilty to massive pot growing, money laundering The Associated Press 02/04/2008
◼ sf gate - BERKELEY - 12 charged in raid of pot, guns, cash Saturday, May 13, 2006 - Twelve men face federal drug charges stemming from a Berkeley raid that netted 5,800 marijuana plants, a dozen weapons and $220,000 in cash.
Guilty plea in Berkeley pot operation Man, 31, agrees to forfeit 7,000 acres
Virtually identical article in SF Examiner Feb 5, 2008 8:22 AM (11 hrs ago) News Reports, AP
Related post: Rules are for little people
Related post: 36 parcels, $5,803,000.00 + ?

"If you get it by hook or by crook, you get a pass," My favorite Schectman quote

Clusterf#@k to the Poor House - The Stimulus

We are all socialists now


wannasmile bwo saks61

Tuesday, February 10, 2009



Trial begins in decade-old murder case

The trial began Monday for the suspect accused of killing of a Eureka teenager in 1998.

Yohan Perez Lopez is the second of three suspects arrested in connection with the killing of 18-year-old Ryan Matthew Dunn outside a video store in January of 1998.

Lopez' brother, Santiago Lopez, was arrested at a relative's home in Redwood City within weeks of the killing.

...The men allegedly shot Dunn after he refused to fight inside the video store. The men waited for Dunn outside and allegedly shot him when he exited the store.

Deputy District Attorney Arnold Klein and Public Defender Jonathan McCrone gave opening statements and named witnesses who will testify during the trial.

Among the witnesses are responding officer Detective Ron Harpham and former Eureka Police Department homicide investigator Dave Parris.

Eighteen items were also submitted into evidence, including aerial views of the crime scene and pictures of Dunn on his 18th birthday.

Lopez' former girlfriend and Dunn's former girlfriend, who was with him at the time of the murder, are expected to testify today. He is charged with first-degree murder and possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell.

☛TS Trial begins in decade-old murder case

Guess it must not be a slam dunk. Klein got the assignment.

Rodney Groh Trial begins

Opening statements were made Monday in the first day of the trial of Rodney Groh, who is accused of killing George Giguere, his roommate at the time at the Budget Hotel.

An investigation by the Eureka Police Department alleges that Groh killed Giguere by beating him to death in a fight that originated over the television.

...The trial continues today and Deputy District Attorney Ben McLaughlin will be submitting evidence for the prosecution.

☛TS Trial begins for man accused of killing his roommate

Monday, February 09, 2009

U.S. Taxpayers Risk $9.7 Trillion on Bailout Programs

Feb. 9 (Bloomberg) -- The stimulus package the U.S. Congress is completing would raise the government’s commitment to solving the financial crisis to $9.7 trillion, enough to pay off more than 90 percent of the nation’s home mortgages.


Saturday, February 07, 2009

If the government made Viagra


Time for a change, today's TS Op-Ed makes some great points

☛TS Time for a change
1. Today Assemblyman Wes Chesbro has no reason to be accountable to our community and every reason to be accountable to his party leadership since they control his employment potential and welfare even during those periods when he is not in elected office. This is exactly what he does.

Legislators... need to challenge the dysfunctional party structure dependent operational mode that pervades the current legislature.

Absolutely right. In Sacramento and at the National level. Not just Chesbro.

Trial date set for Johnson

☛TS Trial date set for Johnson
Nearly 10 months after Humboldt County 2nd District Supervisor Roger Rodoni was killed in a traffic collision on U.S. Highway 101, a trial date has been set for Diane Johnson, the Miranda woman charged with vehicular manslaughter for her role in the wreck.

On Thursday, Johnson's attorney, Michael Robinson, appeared at her pretrial, requesting the court delay his client's hearing for 30 days. It is not the first time Robinson has asked for a continuance in the case. And during the Thursday hearing, he told Judge Bruce Watson the delays are a result of “rather intense” civil discussions between parties involved in the April 24, 2008, collision....

Arcata resident sentenced for marijuana grow, forfeits cash

☛TS Arcata resident sentenced for marijuana grow
On Wednesday, a Humboldt County Superior Court judge sentenced 38-year-old Arcata resident Jeremy Bensen to 270 days in jail for the cultivation of marijuana and providing false information to commit a fraud, the Humboldt County District Attorney's Office reported Thursday.

According to information from the District Attorney's Office, in December 2007, Humboldt County Drug Task Force agents found two properties under Bensen's name that were drawing abnormally high amounts of electricity, leading them to serve search warrants at both properties.

On Dec. 18, 2007, while serving a warrant at 2559 Baldwin St. in Arcata, agents reportedly found 89 marijuana plants with processed marijuana, a scale and $1,640 in cash.

During one nine-month period, that property drew between 3,800 and 6,000 kilowatt hours, the District Attorney's Office reported.

At another property on 3178 Pigeon Point Rd. in Eureka, agents reportedly located 228 plants, processed marijuana and $3,600 in cash.

During a six month period, agents learned the Eureka property drew between 5,700 and 7,800 kilowatt hours of electricity.

An additional 40-acre property in the Pilot Rock area of Southern Humboldt was searched, yielding around 100 growing marijuana plants.

Agents located bank records showing $101,590 had been deposited in cash during 2006, and $157,170 was deposited over the following year. A number of those deposits, the office reported, were structured in a way to avoid reporting large cash deposits.

In addition to the jail sentence, Bensen forfeited the money seized in the search warrants.

Deputy District Attorney Maggie Fleming argued against Bensen, who was represented by defense attorney Mark Harris..

Watson, Belles plead not guilty, trial set for March 30

☛TS Watson, Belles plead not guilty
Two men arrested in December for their alleged connection to a drug-related home invasion robbery and homicide in Cutten pleaded not guilty at their arraignment Thursday.

Both Jonathan Henry Watson, 30, and Jason Leon Belles, 31, have been charged with murder, burglary, and robbery. Watson faces additional charges related to being a felon allegedly in possession of firearms and ammunition.

The charges were filed after 27-year-old Garrett Ryan Benson was shot and killed inside his home in Cutten on Dec. 3.

The two suspects will return to court for their pretrial, scheduled Feb. 10. Their jury trial has been set for March 30.

Only fair that Gallegos try this one himself. He who hath encouraged the pot trade....

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Suit targets water quality enforcement

The groups, which include the Sierra Club, the Environmental Protection Information Center, and the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations, claim the State Water Resources Control Board and the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board have violated state law by allowing delays in enforcing water quality standards.

They want the agencies to draft enforceable standards on how much sediment can be allowed in streams and how warm streams are allowed to get from land uses like logging, mining, building and grazing. ...

Well, isn't this a lose, lose for farmers, wineries and timber IF you do believe in "Global Warming?"