Thursday, November 19, 2009

One to watch: Excellent piece on Kevin Hoover and the grow house saga

◼ The Journal Eye Blackened
There's no love lost between the Arcata marijuana grow house scene and Kevin Hoover, editor/publisher of the Arcata Eye.

As neighborhood backlash against grows increases, as police takedowns become ever more common, and as national media take unwelcome notice of the quirky little town with 1,000 indoor pot farms, growers have pinned their frustrations on Hoover, who reports on the industry just about every week in his newspaper. He's been attacked in his own pages and on the Web. His motives have been impugned in flyers that were hung around town. Weed-related businesses have pulled their ads.

Now, though, one defendant in a criminal grow house bust has taken matters a step further -- by attempting to rope Hoover into his case. Daniel Carbonneau, who was arrested on June 25 after a raid at an Old Arcata Road home uncovered 275 pot plants and four pounds of marijuana, has subpoenaed a long list of internal Arcata Eye documents and correspondence, apparently in an effort to prove that Hoover had been working with the police.

"This is a common tactic -- to make the reporter part of the story so they can't report on it," Hoover said outside a Humboldt County courtroom Tuesday. A hearing on the matter had been scheduled for that morning, but was postponed to January 12.

Since Hoover intends to battle the subpoena, the case could turn out to be a test of California's shield law, which generally protects reporters from being compelled by a court to turn over unpublished information relating to their work. Shield laws in California and other states are founded on the idea that reporters must be able to operate independently of law enforcement, and must be able to protect confidential sources and other privileged material if the press is to function.

But Carbonneau attorney Steve Schectman, who has worked extensively in California medical marijuana law, alleged Tuesday that Hoover already does work with the law enforcement in documenting and taking out grow houses. Schectman said that he had plenty of "anecdotal" evidence to suggest that Hoover operated as a police informant in his client's case, and therefore is not entitled to immunity under the shield law....

Vilca/Recall-shill Steve Schectman resurfaces, and there's never anything good when he enters the picture. He's becoming the poster child for a muscular new kind of criminal arrogance that breaks laws and then demands everyone not only overlook that and not hold them accountable, but give them a whole new slew of rights and accommodations.

Re: Daniel Carbonneau: (and remember to click the Schectman link in the left sidebar labels)
◼ TS APD serves pot warrant, one arrested 06/26/2009
The Arcata Police Department seized 275 growing marijuana plants, along with about four pounds of processed marijuana, and arrested one man on suspicion of illegal cultivation Thursday.
According to an Arcata Police Department press release, Daniel Carbonneau, 38, of Arcata, was arrested without incident and booked into the Humboldt County jail on suspicion of illegal marijuana cultivation.

Keep up the good work, Kevin. Many, many people in the community support you.

Just for Fun:
Great Christmas Gifts - Order Kevin Hoover’s acclaimed Police Log books!
The Police Log: True Crime & More from Arcata, California
The Police Log II: The Nimrod Imbroglios



  1. Someone needs to run that slime of a shectman out of town. Carbonneau has a lawyer to suit him.

    Hoover is a good guy.

  2. If Bob Doran can get in trouble for including a single quote from his wife, then what does Sims get for writing an entire fluff piece for his bromance partner Hoover? They've been in mancrush mode on each other for what, 10 years now?

  3. More like 15 years. I remember whining to him about editorial oppression at the Arcata Union at a Food Not Bombs party around '94/'95.

    I can still remember the golden words that tumbled from his pouty, pouty lips: "Dude, that bites."

    I was immediately besmitten. What I like most about Hank these days, other than the fluff pieces of course, is that we share certain dishevelment values.

  4. I remember that night, and I almost remember the name of the crap band you had slammed in the Union that week. Had a number in the name, I think.

    I don't remember saying "Dude, that bites," but it certainly sounds like something the 1994 version of myself would say.

  5. I didn't know you were around in Union days.

  6. Oh right, that alt-glam outfit with the horrifying intonation. I re-ran the slam review in the Union Shopper, and a lady called to complain that it wasn't appropriate for the Shopper's stringent filler needs.

    Then that band – the name will come to me – made a poster for their CD, calling it "the album the Union Shopper doesn't want you to hear!" I still have that poster somewhere.

    Yes, Rose, I was on the Union's deathwatch. So was Jack Durham, Katie Whiteside, Bob Doran and a number of others still ambient in the local mediasphere.

  7. I knew you were there, and Judy and Carolyn, and so many others, the darkroom guy.... Didn't know Hank was.

  8. No, Hank wasn't at the Union. In that era he strang for the AVA, where he invented the adverb "uglily," as in "cringing uglily." The man is a veritable fount of memorable verbiage.

  9. Just as a timeline point, Judy and Carolyn were off doing their own thing when the Union ship went down.

    Thee Hoover's-a-narc business reminds me of another wacky misapprehension in 1994. This screwed-up 21-year-old, Jason Baker, killed wonderful old Dr. Herman Iverson in Trinidad. I dug into Baker's past and found out that he was from a poor family down in the Valley, was always underfed and underclothed, and had been the designated victim in high school, getting beat up all the time, pantsed and even peed on. None of which excuses murder of course. After my story on his background came out, we got one or two harsh letters condemning me for being a bleeding heart and caring more about the killer than his victim, etc. Just for telling the story. That was one of my first brushes with being maligned.

  10. What a F'ing retard (Schectman)

    Besides being just dumb I think Stevie has been hitting the medicine bong too much

    Does Steve still have his key to the DA's office?

  11. Yeah, once Odell took over the Union its days were numbered. Getting rid of Judy was a big mistake.

    And 10:09, Schectman is what gives lawyers a bad name. It's interesting to read the laudatory press he got for being the Recall-shill though, and you're right, in addition he got the keys to the DAs office. Think about what that means.

  12. I'd only say that the accused in this case, and in any case, deserves a vigorous criminal defense, though this tactic isn't doing my schedule and limited resources any favors.

  13. What the hell are you people talking about?

  14. Newspapers!

  15. Speaking of the DA's office?

    Is there any data on how many felony cases are filed and what the final disposition on those cases are?

    From what I hear all but a few high profile cases are charged as felonies and pled out as lightweight misdomeanors.

  16. The shield law is supposed to protect journalists FROM giving their notes to the cops, not to defend journalists acting as the cop catspaw and feeding information TO the cops.

  17. Facts please. Provide actual examples of this.

    If we get more hot air, we're dealing with a shill for Big Pot which is trying to shut down our newspaper.

  18. Hoover and Sims are two giant slimey turds circling the toilet bowl that is Arcata. Both should've been flushed long ago instead of being allowed to stink up the place.

  19. Both Hoover and Sims have their own private grows. Hoover then gives the police info regarding other growers in exchange for good publicity in the paper for cops and having his crop be left alone.

    Arcata police and Kevin Hoover have had this relationship for years.

  20. 5:05 Thank you for this opportunity to triangulate your position. Transmitters have been implanted now so you should rest. You'll feel fine when you wake up.

  21. "Arcata police and Kevin Hoover have had this relationship for years"

    Damn you, anonymous. Damn you! Now you've ruined everything.

  22. LOL, Kevin.

    Hey, what is that filthy pig Schectman hoping to gain anyway? His client wouldn't be in trouble if his client wasn't growing - that's nobody's fault but his client's.

    Even if what he is trying to allege is true it doesn't change anything.

    And knowing you, I am absolutely certain what he is saying is false. I can't even imagine what he must be smoking or snorting.

    An interesting flip side to this though would be to find out who in APD tips off the growers - why do moving vans pull up and empty out houses the night before a bust?

    Schectman's incompetence may end up shining some lights in some very interesting places.

    And what happened with Villica LLC?

  23. I'm not really interested in being at the center of a culture war, especially since I will disappoint both sides in that role. I've been advocating for cannabis decriminalization since before most of the growers were born; I'm just against industrialization of neighborhoods.

    Lots of people really do understand the logical coherence of those two beliefs, which is tremendously encouraging. You can't believe the amount of support this has brought forth from the community. People are calling and stopping me everywhere I go with expressions of concern and encouragement.

    I'm not aware of pre-bust tipoffs. All the APD raids save for one this year have resulted in arrests and confiscations. But then I don't know about everything. In fact sometimes I'm amazed at how little I really "know."

  24. I pretty much agree. I don't care if people are growing it for their own use. No one I know cares about that.

    That's why we voted for 215. We knew it was a scam. Yeah, we agreed that it might help sick people - specifically those on chemo who had lost their appetites by giving them the munchies - but we knew it was a way to legalize something that probably oughtta be legal.

    What we didn't vote for, didn't expect and don't support at all is people taking advantage and turning houses into factories and creating a whole new class of drug dealer. We don't like grow houses, we don't like people taking rental houses and filling them up with dirt, we don't like grow house fires, home invasion robberies and other criminal crap that comes with it.

    I don't know why people are mad at Kevin - every normal person is angry about the grow houses and they've been begging for something to be done about it for a long time. I guess it just finally hit critical mass.

    It'll probably take video to prove the pre-bust evacuations. They do occur. And there's only one way that can happen. Someone tips them off. That someone can only come from within law enforcement. APD. EPD. Sheriff. Or the DA's office.

  25. "I don't know why people are mad at Kevin"

    I do, in a way. I'm really the only one doing any original reporting on this phenomenon, and obviously people with huge financial and life investments in this activity do not like publicity. It's not logical, but it is human nature to blame the messenger.

    The cops have seized your crop and thousands in cash, weeks or months of work have gone to waste, you may have already gone into debt in anticipation of a harvest that won't happen, plus you're facing felony charges. What else to do but lash out at Hoover?


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