Feb 7, 2014

Bodhi Tree withdraws time waiver, jury trial March 24

The Bodhi tree case was scheduled for 2 p.m. in Courtroom 4. Judge Dale Reinholtsen presiding. Elan Firpo prosecutor. Attorney for Tree Heidi Holmquist.

At today's proceedings Tree withdrew his time waiver.h Trial Conference March 10. Jury trial March 24.

Virginia Bass re-election announcement

In about a hour and a half on this rainy Friday and typical Humboldt winter day, my friend Virginia will announce her re-election as 4th District Supervisor. I am proud to have Virginia represent me and even prouder to have her as a friend. Of all the campaigns, I have worked on, she is the only person that has and will always have my loyalty and trust 100%.

At noon, , over 100 people showed up to support Virginia. Crowd grew to approximately 120 in a few minutes.

Rex Bohn spoke about her lifelong commitment to Eureka, knowing her since she was 12. Frank Jager mentioned her as a mother and business woman. Melinda Ciarabellini spoke about her winning the last election and that "she knows how to get things done."

All the elected officials on her endorser list were there, some of her county staff,  SBDC staff, a diverse crowd that included Carole Beaton, Betty Chinn, Eric Hollenback, Uri Driscoll, John Ford, Lora Canzoneri, and many key business people. Seeing the business community, the community leaders and people from different political walks of life speaks to Virginia's appeal to the district she represents and her reach into areas of the county beyond her district.

I know Ryan Sundberg would have been there but he is out of the office due to personal reasons. Elan, Maggie and Allan all took the time out of their busy lunch hour to attend.

Virginia began her speech with, "Six times I've stood before you asking for your support of me and trust in me as an elected leader for our community. For some of you, today might be the first time we've shared this experience. For other's you've been here with me since my very first announcement in 2000."

 For most of her speech, I was walking among the crowd asking for endorsements. Every single person who I asked, which was most of the crowd signed, some even asking for the endorsement sheet.

Jimmy Smith said it best, before he introduced Virginia:

 Virginia cares and about she cares about individuals.

Feb 6, 2014

Jim and Rose thanks for the great suggestion

I had intended to do this anyway but thank you Rose Welsh and Jim Ferguson for suggesting that despite endorsing a candidate in 2 local races, that I should continue to provide news and information on all candidates.

Jim and Rose are good examples of where we can respect each other for different opinions sometimes and agree on others. It is good to not be predictable :)

 I would also like to thank Allan for being a class act in his response to my endorsing Elan.

Tweaker with tech 9 should win dumb criminal award

The following information is based on second hand information and I am working on getting official details from EPD.

The male suspect arrested near Bev Mo and Eureka Natural Foods was a passenger in a car that the officers stopped for "high risk". He offered to sell the gun to a citizen outside a local gas station. Concernef citizens called EPD and officers located the suspect shortly after they arrived on scene.

Since the suspect was armed and apparently slow to comply, officers handled the tense situation carefully. As Chief Mills said at City Council, he was arrested without incident.

Kudos to EPD and the concerned citizens.

Why Elan Firpo gets my endorsement and support in the District Attorney race

Elan has said she won’t have a campaign chair but a campaign team and co-chairs. Again a smart move on her part. It takes more than one person to elect someone in office.

On her Facebook page, she already mentioned that Fred Sundquist is one of her co-chairs. Neal Ewald and John Woolley would be my other 2 guesses based on who I have seen supporting her and the testimonials on her web site and Facebook. As for any other co-chair possibilities, the Firpo campaign won’t confirm or deny any names but I would guess it would be someone appealing to the left and probably someone from SoHum.

Elan is very accessible as a candidate, she is very personable, and her campaign has been very forthcoming in providing information. They have not gone after other candidates based on who is associated on someone’s team, those kind of negative tactics have been a turn off in past elections. Elan focuses on why she should be elected and what qualities and strengths she would bring to the office. Confidence is good in a candidate, hubris is not.

Elan does not get defensive when she gets feedback. I have always endorsed a candidate I believe in; in 2010, I was lucky that the candidates I believed in also had a team I knew well. I don’t have that luxury this year about the perfect team or liking every single supporter but out of all the DA Candidates, my qualms about teams and roles have been addressed by Elan.

I had previously discussed privately with both Maggie and Elan about co-endorsing both and my reasons why.

With this post, I am stating publicly I will be endorsing and supporting Elan. I may find myself respectfully having a different opinion than many of my friends, but I make my own choices.

In the past 2 elections, I have campaigned for Paul’s opponents; I haven’t changed who I am and if I am endorsing someone Paul is expected to support, that should say something about a candidate who has earned my trust, respect and vote.

The reason Elan has not announced her team and had to delay her announcement is because 2 of the co-chairs are dealing with personal emergencies. Anyone waiting to see how many endorsements someone is going to get does not believe in their candidate, they just want to support who they think is the safest bet.

Firpo and Sundberg attend Hoopa Valley community meeting addressing meth problem

On February 5, Elan Firpo attended a meeting in Hoopa organized by the community which was packed to capacity and was organized to discuss the challenges and issues and solutions to dealing with the meth problem in the Hoopa Valley community.
The meeting was also attended by 5th District Supervisor Ryan Sundberg. Elan said the meeting started at 5:30 p.m. and she was there until 10:00 p.m. Elan said that she is glad that she attended this meeting for the full 4.5 hours because many feelings were shared and personal stories. Out of respect for the community, she does not want to share details of what was shared in a blog post and she is very appreciative of the trust and being included at this meeting.

“The Hoopa Valley community is keenly interested in dealing with their meth problem,” said Elan.  “They are especially concerned about the influence it is having on their youth.  Humboldt County is very diverse and each area needs to focus on the best solution and strategies for the meth problem in their community.  I am traveling all over the County, making myself available to discuss strategies and offer my help.”
She added, “the many challenges and  problems in this county are not limited to Eureka and Arcata,” said Firpo. “We have to reach out to all of the communities in this county on all these issues.”

Last weekend Elan was in Hoopa and Southern Humboldt, starting today and over the weekend she is going to be in Arcata, Fortuna, Trinidad and Southern Humboldt. She has future plans to visit Ferndale, again soon.

“I think every event, from art to a community meeting to a chamber event gives me the opportunity to meet different constituencies and I get different perspectives from people on the challenges facing our county. Talking to people one on one is something I enjoy. Behind every victim and situation, there is a person, that is something that will not be lost in the office environment I create, if elected D.A.”

Updated info from previous post about Virginia's campaign announcement tomorrow

Committee to Re-Elect Virginia Bass 2014


Eureka, CA – 4th District Supervisor and lifelong Eureka resident Virginia Bass is announcing her campaign for re-election this Friday February 7th at 12:00pm in front of the Humboldt County Courthouse, in Eureka.

Since taking office, Virginia has worked hard and accomplished many things for the citizens of the 4th District and Humboldt County.  Bass mentioned a couple specific highlights she is especially proud of, “The working relationship between the County of Humboldt, the City of Eureka and the Harbor District has vastly improved. Through my efforts as well as those of fellow elected and staff members in all three entities, we have made great progress in our collaborative efforts leading to improvements in the areas of Economic Development, Resource Protection and Public Safety. Additionally, we took the necessary steps to provide our County with a planning and building department that is truly in touch with the needs of our community.” 

Supervisor Bass is pleased to have the support of the following Officials:  
"Virginia is experienced and committed as a Supervisor to the people and community of Humboldt County.  I especially appreciate the energy, professionalism and inclusiveness she brings to her work, and I value her as a resource and a key partner in my work representing the North Coast."  Jared Huffman U.S. Congress, 2nd District.
“Virginia's dedication and commitment to the county of Humboldt is unsurpassed.  Please join me in supporting her for re-election in 2014.” Rex Bohn, 1st District Supervisor of Humboldt County.  
“It is both a pleasure and an honor to work with Virginia on a daily basis.  Her open mindedness and willingness to move Humboldt County in a positive direction has played a critical part of many important accomplishments.” Ryan Sundberg, 5th District Supervisor of Humboldt County.
While I am proud of what has been accomplished, I am aware that there is still much to be done and I am not only confident but look forward to continue to work towards making Humboldt County an even better place for us all.” Bass said.

Please join your friends, neighbors and community leaders in front of the Humboldt County Courthouse in Eureka to support Virginia this Friday, February 7th at 12:00pm. Rain or shine.
Committee to Re-Elect Virginia Bass 2014

A partial list of endorsers:

                Humboldt Deputy Sheriffs' Organization
U.S. Congressman
U.S. Congressman
Humboldt County Sheriff
Humboldt County Supervisor
Humboldt County Supervisor
Humboldt County Supervisor
former Humboldt County Supervisor
Del Norte County Supervisor
Del Norte County Supervisor
Marin County Supervisor
Sonoma County Supervisor
Humboldt County Coroner
former Humboldt County Treasurer
former Humboldt County Assessor
former County Administrative Officer
Healdsburg City Councilmember
Eureka Mayor
Eureka City Councilmember
Eureka City Councilmember
Eureka City Councilmember
Eureka City Councilmember
former Eureka City Councilmember
former Eureka City Councilmember
former Eureka City Councilmember
former Eureka City Councilmember
Mary Beth
former Eureka City Councilmember
Humboldt Bay Harbor Commissioner
Humboldt Bay Harbor Commissioner
Humboldt Bay Harbor Commissioner
former Humboldt Bay Harbor Commissoner
former Humboldt Bay Harbor Commissioner
Arcata Mayor
Humboldt County Planning Commissoner
Humboldt County Planning Commissoner
Chairman, Trinidad Rancheria
Fortuna City Councilmember
former Ferndale Mayor
former Fortuna Mayor
former Humboldt County Auditor
Trustee, McKinleyville Union School District
Samoa Peninsula Fire District
Humboldt Municipal Water District

Feb 5, 2014

Bullock Arraignment Trial-Updated

Gary Lee Bullock's case was arraigned for trial in Courtroom 1 at 2 p.m.  He waived his right to a speedy trial. Bullock's attorney Kaleb Cockrum asked for at least 6 months before a trial date was set.

Tentative dates have been set for pre trial and trial confirmation and a jury trial is tentatively expected on August 4 at 8:30 a.m.

Bullock entered a not guilty plea.

For the first time he acknowledged family or supporters in the audience with a silent nod. He showed no emotion while the charges against him were read. He seemed cognizant and paid attention to his attorney who conferred with him privately before the case was called.

Feb 4, 2014

Tweaker arrested in front of Bev Mo with a tech 9 sub machine gun

Just happened a few minutes ago confirmed by Chief Mills. Later during his report at Eureka City Council meeting, Chief mentioned this incident. "The man was arrested without incident," said Chief Mills. He added that this was indicative of the hard work done every day by the men and women of the EPD despite staffing issues and he wanted to recognize the men and women of the EPD.

Allan Dollison recent endorsements and campaigning update

DA Candidate Allan Dollison has been also been active in going out and speaking to the community. Some of his campaign outreach includes:
On January 23, he spoke to the Progressive Democrats. On February 3, Allan addressed about 40 people at the North Coast Vintage Aviation Society at the Elks Lodge. He is signed up to address the Garberville Rotary Club , the Old Town Rotary Club, and Southwest Eureka Rotary in the near future.  And  will a be participating in the AFSCME Candidates Forum on February 12.
The following is a list of his endorsements:
Recent additions to endorsements  include Skip Creech of Quality Body Works. Allan told me that Creech was a crime victim of ID theft, and he sent the defendant to prison; Pierre Carbonneau of Carbonneau Tile. Carbonneau is a fellow veteran, and was a victim of the crime of DUI w/Injury; local dentist Teresa Kosmac;  and local Artist Tryygvi Larum.
Two friends who have worked on local campaigns for various offices and are Eureka natives checked out the candidates websites. They were very impressed with Allan’s websites and endorsements. 
On a personal note, Allan with a small dedicated team has impressed me with his organization and very effective and timely communication in sharing information with the public.
Allan was also very gracious to mention to me that Arnie Klein spoke to the progressive democrats in November. I asked Maggie if she was scheduled at her announcement to speak to them and she said she and her team have been working on appearances and she would look into that for the future. Since Elan is registered non-partisan, I did not ask her if she was going to be invited or be able to speak to the progressive democrat group.

If the Humboldt County Democrats or the Progressive Democrats have changed their mind about allowing the only non-partisan candidate to speak at any DA forum they organize, that would be good to know.

Sentencing for Randy Cook will be on March 20

This afternoon in Courtroom 2, at 2 PM, many including me thought realtor Randy Cook would be sentenced . However, Cook's attorney only received the psychological report that will be included in the pre-sentencing report today. Please see previous post on this blog for information on the case.

Cook already pled to a lesser charge. Kelly Neel prosecuted the case. Today, David Nims was present for the people instead of Kelly Neel. Michael Robinson, the defendant's attorney acknowledged the receipt of the psychological evaluation. He asked Judge Marilyn Miles that the pre-sentencing report, along with the probation report  be made under seal and only available to the parties and probation.

In the courtroom, many of the young women and their family members were present waiting to see if justice would be served. Thank you to all who came up to me outside the courtroom and have emailed me.

Similar to the reasons I explained in Fr. Eric's case, my coverage of this case is the pertinent details. Many records are sealed as they should be. While in this blog, I do my best to provide information to the public, some posts do deserve special sensitivity. For Cook's victims, no court of law can provide justice that is good enough. Their courage in coming forth and their efforts to heal and empower themselves by moving forward is a lifelong journey.

The issue of child endangerment and child abuse and molestation is a sensitive and personal one. Justice will never be served until we as a community address the deep roots of this cause and speak out for every victim. And hold those who prey on the most vulnerable accountable.

And that starts with our laws and enforcement by elected officials and those who work on such cases. Kelly Neel is one of those champions for women and young people. I have worked with Ms. Neel when I worked for Social Services and I have followed some of her cases such as this one.

Sentencing is scheduled for March 20 at 2 p.m.

Feb 3, 2014

Press Release from Firpo campaign

For immediate release:

Elan Firpo welcomes Maggie Fleming to the race for the office of District Attorney for Humboldt County. Maggie was a part-time employee of the District Attorney when Elan came to the office five years ago, and there was a two year overlap before Maggie left. Elan knows Maggie to be a competent trial attorney and looks forward to debating Maggie on the complex issues a District Attorney faces, especially about the management of the office.

Elan Firpo, the one candidate running for Humboldt County District Attorney who is currently a prosecutor, is currently handling  4 murder cases and over 200 felonies. Elan is familiar with a heavy workload and time pressure.  She spent 10 years as a design engineer (Graduate, Cal Poly), when she was responsible for teams of 15 to 50 employees, and she has overseen manufacturing facilities with more than 3000 workers.  Elan Firpo is experienced hiring and firing, setting and meeting budgets, and assuring quality control.

In fact, Elan Firpo is the only candidate in the race with significant management accomplishments. Some have none at all. No wonder Elan Firpo is heavily supported by a business community that understands Elan will bring private sector innovation and efficiency to an office sorely in need.

Deputy Sherriff's endorsement for Maggie confirmed

A tipster from Sohum contacted me because they heard that Maggie got the Deputy Sheriff's endorsement over the weekend. That would make sense. She is law enforcement's top choice and has supporters in her testimonials.

It is confirmed.

All 460s in for city on Friday except Chris Kerrigan and Chris's response

Since 460s can be postmarked by 5 p.m. on Friday, and I did not see one for Chris Kerrigan, I called him. He said he would get back to me by the end of the day with confirmation, but he thinks that the reason no 460 was filed was because they did not raise over $1,000 and therefore are not required to do so.

Chris called back as promised and his treasurer confirmed the above reason.