Dec 6, 2013

Stanford and St. Joseph partner for new cancer treatment

St. Joseph is the first partner with Stanford to offer a new cancer treatment. Details of this were announced at a private reception co hosted by Dan and Jayne Ollivier and Edward Oliver where for the first time certains works by Melvin Schuler were displayed. For more on Schuler search this blog. The public can visit and learn more tomorrow at Arts Alive. The collection is displayed at 237 F street.

"The Control, Regulate and Tax Marijuana Act" proposed statewide initiative filed with State Attorney General

I am replacing the text with the  link since the document is almost 20 pages.

Dec 5, 2013

Christian-bashing doesn't help

Regarding “Is Christian religious bigotry alive and well in Humboldt County?” (Times-Standard, Dec. 4, Page A4), my answer is yes. But not in the sense expressed by David Blodgett. Times-Standard prints one Christian column and has a Faith section once a week but that is too much according to the same frequent Christian bashers who fill the opinion pages. Any Christian expression or anything positive about Christianity elicits letters bashing Christianity.

In Humboldt's version of the land of the free, Christian bashing is OK but any other form of hate is not. Mr. Blodgett, is your opinion about the Rescue Mission only based on a Web statement? I would advise you to research the complex views and history of what someone homeless goes through here and who helps them. In several op-eds, I have asked people who have criticized Teen Challenge, Betty Chinn or the Rescue Mission to take someone homeless to their house, provide them food and support and be there for them no matter how long it takes.
Not one taker.

 The Rescue Mission is the only place some people have to go at night. Asking people to be clean and sober and listen to the Gospel is not forcing someone to believe anything. The Gospel has a message of hope for the poor and the focus should be on the values of the people who operate the Rescue Mission, not an opportunity for religious bashing.

Talk is cheap, show me real action and solutions. While Christians are not the only ones helping those less fortunate, consistent help provided to those struggling without basic services has been provided by the three organizations mentioned above which happen to be run by Christian people. Teen Challenge and the Rescue Mission are funded privately with no money from the city. The Betty Chinn Day Center has received some city funds but is mostly privately funded. There is no religious requirement to get help from Betty.

Mr. Blodgett and anyone else who uses the freedom of religion argument has the option to go out, fundraise and start their own shelter and if they discriminate against Christians, I will remind them of freedom of religion. If you want to use the separation of church and state argument, don't cherry pick the part that suits you. The phrase is “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; ...”

I do not speak for the any of the above organizations but I am involved in the community and actually take time to talk to people struggling and know their story. The Rescue Mission helps people who stay for the night and then either leave and also helps some people who stay the night and then go out and contribute to cleaning up Old Town for free. For years Betty Chinn has helped anyone that needed it and even with the Day Center now, she will do the same. The Day Center also is a place that will help people access services and get on their feet. Teen Challenge provides assistance and people successfully overcome alcohol and drug addiction. All in Teen Challenge work and give back so others can benefit.
Some people chose to stay in their circumstances. I bring this up because there are individuals who were offered a job, a place to stay and to leave the Rescue Mission, at least two of them by me. They chose not to; one believed in Christ, the other did not.
Instead of taking every opportunity to denigrate a particular religion, use your time to make a change in someone's life for the better.


Dec 3, 2013

Mark apologizes to Virginia and Rex at today's Board of Supervisor's meeting

At the start of the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors meeting before any business was conducted Mark apologized to Virginia and Rex and the community for his actions at the CSAC conference.

To be fair to both Mark and Virginia, if you want to see what Mark said and hear the entire response by Virginia see the broadcast for yourself. The meeting is filmed live and shown again on Access Humboldt and a video is available on the County website.

In addition to his personal apology in private, Mark said that while trying to explain his frustrations, some of his remarks came across as justifying his actions. There is never any justification, he said, for such behavior. Mark added that in the last week he had seen his actions through the eyes of others.

He concluded by saying that he hoped both Virginia and Rex and the community would forgive him and he promised that "it won't happen again."

Rex was quiet. Virginia did respond. She said she appreciated the apology, especially to the community. She commented that kids are taught not to use violence and as role models and elected officials, "we are held to higher standards." She pointed out that if this behavior was by an employee, there would have been an investigation, perhaps even a dismissal. Virginia concluded her remarks by saying "that this was not the time to talk about it" but that she looked forward to a discussion perhaps in the future and suggested anger management to Mark.

The meeting then proceeded as normal. Heidi Benzonelli was recognized by the County and given the EPD Valor of Service award. Virginia who read the proclamation mentioned the same recognition given recently to Heidi at a Eureka City Council meeting.

For the next calendar year, the Board unanimously voted Rex as Chair and Estelle as Vice-Chair. Ryan was thanked by community members and fellow board members.

It is great to see Estelle back. Best wishes for her continued health.

Dec 2, 2013

New announcement date for Elan Firpo

I had previously reported Dec 4 but that is being changed. I understand that we will be hearing about the new date soon.

Confirmed: Allan Dollison to run for DA

He filed his papers earlier today and he is officially in the race. Allan said that he will not be making a formal announcement until the new year.

Regarding the the 4 that have announced their intention is to run so far (Maggie, Elan, Arnie and himsef), Allan said, "We all have a lot of respect for each other, we all have unique abilities to fix this office."

"In most places, the office of District Attorney is respected, I don't think that is the case here locally and we need to return that respect to this office and improve the image people have."

"All public officials talk about supporting budget for law enforcement". According to Allan, this is important because the current D.A's office is "understaffed, over-worked and there are not enough resources." He also agreed with Arnie Klein's comment that there are more investigators than attorneys.

Resources and adequate staffing will be one of the key changes Allan promises to bring to the Humboldt County D.A's office. Asked about the fact that all 4 current contenders have either worked for or are working for Paul, Allan's response was, "Someone may be in a position to see what changes need to be made but not in a position to make those changes, now we can."

Regarding the information on the CA State bar website, Allan said he will address it in the upcoming months and is glad to talk to people one on one. "I want people to judge me on my entire career, and not one aspect of my career."

If elected, Allan said he will provide a "laser focus on resources. I will increase resources and I will assign and tailor resources to higher priority cases. Focus on violent and serious crimes."

"I will look at what changes need to be made in a post realignment case for community safety, I will have evaluation reports." When he was working for the Humboldt County D.A's office, there were no evaluation reports. "People need to know what their strengths are and they need to be supported to improve on their weaknesses."

The Brian Fiore and James Stanko case are two high profile local cases Allan is very proud of in his career. In addition to his law experience, he is a Military Veteran. He is the President of the Board of Dirctors for Northcoast Stand Down, he and his wife support Betty Chinn and he is very active and holds key offices locally and nationally in veteran organizations.

Allan pointed out that one of these positions was a competitive process, required extensive vigorous screening and requires one to be a strong leader and good manager. He also mentioned that all the other 3 candidates Elan, Maggie and Arnie also have personally served or had a family member serve as a Veteran.