Jan 18, 2014

Allan Dollison formally announces his candidacy for District Attorney

The color guard marching in with the flag and the national anthem being played was the start of Allan Dollison's candidacy for the office of Humboldt County District Attorney.

Before the official start while media took photos, Allan mentioned prioritizing and effective leadership as 2 reasons he wants to be your next D. A. When he spoke, these are some of the highlights from his speech.

He addressed the disciplinary issues on the State Bar website by taking responsibility, called it an "error in judgement". He said as a Christian, he asks for forgiveness and has learned from that mistake.

He said under his leadership he will fight to restore funds for postions lost that were dedicated to prosecuting child abuse and domestic violence. He plans to be at Board of Supervisors meetings.

He talked candidly about drugs, safety, the recent murders and how plea bargains and lack of prosecution has let felons out on streets.

Allan explained how his vast experience in the armed forces and his leadership qualities would be useful as a DA.

Jan 17, 2014

Local solutions start with changes and responsibility in the state

Tragedies bring people close together. Then time passes and all that goodwill and compassion is gone. It is good to see dialogue and people wanting solutions for the community since Fr. Eric’s untimely death.  It is not just Fr. Eric, but every victim of violence and crime that is equally important.

Some people are focused on only their particular cause. Others have solutions and want the local elected officials and local law enforcement to just fix things, even those they may not have control over. Certainly local policies need to be looked at and what can be changed. To bring change that benefits everyone, let go of agendas and focus on better and safer quality of life for all.

Economics are an underlying factor and very important reason but we are not going to solve that overnight because people tend to blame who they think is responsible. You cannot blame corporations without also looking at the criminal element, especially growers, who contribute nothing to the local community other than destroy the environment and make money off people. Greed regardless of who perpetuates it will only be gone when people start making small individual sacrifices and standing up to those who create divisions of all kinds. And profit off those divisions.

The people responsible for realignment in California with no practical thought to funding or how it would affect communities are largely responsible for the recent increase in crime. When there are no consequences for repeat offenders, there is no deterrent. Economy is also affected by laws in California which are created by legislators who do not have to live with the consequences. Change needs to start at the state level.

While incarceration is not always the solution, coddling and enabling people who take no personal responsibility for their actions is what contributes to people thinking certain behavior is okay. Constitutional rights should be preserved but in our society today criminals’ rights are becoming more important than those who follow the law.

Do we need more funding and help for mental illness and addiction? Yes. However, that will not change people who do not want to change. As a culture, especially locally, before you ask officials to make improvements, start by not excusing every act to a bad childhood, mental illness and drugs. Some people just don’t care who is affected by their actions. Therapy and laws do not fix everything. Having a basic respect for others and a belief that your life and needs are just as important as your neighbor starts with basic values.

In Matthew 46-50, Jesus is asked who his family is. “As he was yet speaking to the multitudes, behold his mother and his brethren stood without, seeking to speak to him, And one said unto him: Behold thy mother and thy brethren stand without, seeking thee. But he answering him that told him, said: Who is my mother, and who are my brethren? And stretching forth his hand towards his disciples, he said: Behold my mother and my brethren. For whosoever shall do the will of my Father, that is in heaven, he is my brother, and sister, and mother”.

If you are not Christian or a non-believer replace heaven with earth or community and the sentiment for you is the same. Real change will come when we stop focusing on just our small group of loved ones and what individually benefits us and start looking at what benefits the human family.

Bullock Preliminary hearing Day 2

Video showing Bullock outside the church New Year's Eve night into early am on New Year's Day and description of Fr. Eric's injuries were today's testimony in Courtroom 2.

I cannot even comment. Sometimes silence speaks louder than words.

Jan 16, 2014

A personal observation and comment on the Bullock case

Although I took extensive notes, we have great coverage from local media with Ryan Burns, Kimberly Wear and Channel 3's Robyn Ridpath and my blog posts wont be detailed, usually. Since parishioners do check my blog, I want them to have one place they can check the basics without graphic details that are upsetting.

The preliminary hearing so far has only flushed out details already available in past media reports.

Bullock's attorney is Kaleb Cockrum. I was on the jury for another high profile local case and Bullock is extremely fortunate to have Kaleb represent him on this case.

I am very impressed with Elan Firpo and very glad she is the prosecutor on this case.

Assemblyman Chesbro to do Adjourn in Memory for Fr. Eric and Leon Berliner

This will happen tomorrow.

Thanks to staffer and former Humboldt resident Andrew Bird for the following information:

The above link is for the California Channel, which live-streams the Legislature in action. On the right are links for live webcasts. Click on the one for the Assembly Floor Session.

Floor session starts at 9 a.m. Adjourns in Memory are generally at the end of session, though they be done in the middle of session if there are a lot of them (other Assemblymembers may also have adjourns in memory). Friday’s session won’t last long, maybe 30 mins, so I’m anticipating the adjourn in memory about 9:30, though it could be earlier if there isn’t a lot of business, so to be safe I would tune in at 9 a.m.

Wesley is going to do two adjourns in memory, one for Father Eric and one for Leon Berliner.

Bullock preliminary hearing report-1st Day

The preliminary hearing for People vs Bullock was scheduled in courtroom 1. Case moved to Courtroom 5 at first but Defense filed 170.6  to disqualify Judge Joyce Hinrichs. Case then moved to JudgeMiles Courtroom 2. Two of Bullock's family members were present today. Others have been here for previous courtroom appearances.

Today a police officer and detective fom the EPD testified. Today's testimony was about when law enforcement was dispatched, how the crime scene was secured and proccessed. The detective will continue his testimony tomorrow at 830 am.

Jan 15, 2014

Bullock preliminary hearing tomorrow morning at 8:30 a.m.

Expected to take two days. Although it will be called in Courtroom 1, that could change and so if you are planning to attend, make sure to check when you get there.

Updated: Judge Feeney keeps gag order in effect until amendment filed and Intervention hearing held in Bullock case

This afternoon at 3 PM in Courtroom One, Judge John Feeney was expected to rule on a motion clarifying the protective order in the Bullock case. This was to clarify and give direction to Humboldt County Counsel on public record requests.

It was tentatively granted last week by Judge Reinholtsen. Today the City of Eureka joined Humboldt County Counsel' s office. City was represented by Cyndi Day-Wilson, the city attorney and County Counsel was represented by Jefferson Billingsley.

There was also an intervention hearing. It was private but when court resumed Judge Feeney mentioned that scheduling was discussed and that it was anticipated that the preliminary hearing may take upto 2 mornings. Prosecuting attorney Elan Firpo was present for intervention but Luke Brownfield represented the Humboldt County D.A's office for the hearing on the gag order.

Judge Feeney maintained the gag order but he asked Bullock's attorney Kaleb Cockrum to submit a proposed amendment order to the original order because when oral arguments were heard today, Judge Feeney said that he felt what Cockrum was asking, "beyond the scope of the motion  (originally) filed on January 10, 2014.

Billingsley had asked the court on January 10 and reiterated his request about direction and clarification on how the County should respond to public record requests. The City of Eureka asked the same question.

In addition to his request that law enforcement and City and County staff and attorneys be prevented from making statements to the media, Cockrum asked the court to prohibit any public record requests that referred to his client and the specific crimes he allegedly committed. Cockrum said general questions such as policies and definition of 5150 and such information was okay.

Billingsley said that because this is a high profile case, it would be difficult to define a clear line and be sure that Bullock's rights were not violated. Ms. Wilson agreed and had similar concerns. The D.A's office has taken no position.

1 public record request has already been submitted.

Judge Feeney said, "This is a very important issue" and when Cockrum added that the D.A's office agreed to some kind of gag order but not the same order he had filed, the Judge repeated his statement on the original order being beyond the scope of the motion, asked Cockrum to file a proposed amendment order, see if all parties could agree. He also asked Cockrum to provide written case law for the additional changes he was asking to the original order.

If all parties could not agree on a proposed amendment, then there would be a hearing. Until that time, the gag order is in effect.