Feb 15, 2014

A few facts about 460s and Virginia's fundraising

Per the 460s, Virginia raised $39,176 in 2013. However she has been fundraising for her re-election since 2011. I know because I was a volunteer at many of these fundraisers.

Her largest contribution for the year was $2,500 from the Humboldt Deputy Sheriffs Organization.

Her total amount in cash on December 31, 2013 was $59,025 and rising as she is still fundraising in 2014.

Regarding campaign finance reform, the Board of Supervisors had this as board agenda item earlier this year and the Democratic Central Committee came out with a resolution to limit contributions to $1,500.

Make your vote count this election season

The first sentence of Larry's response  is something very telling and I agree with it, perhaps for different reasons than Larry. 

This election season I hope that those decent voices, whether they be Democrat, DTS  Republican or Green; conservative prevail.

Only people who have something to hide are afraid and attack those who provide truth and information. Transparency is a word tossed about a lot by people. There are people who attempt to run a clean race and it is hard when people who don't know what ethics means just sling accusations and bait.

Only at election time are we all equal in reality. Your vote counts just as much as the other person. Educate yourself independently, don't be impressed by names on endorsements, meet all the candidates, see if supporters are someone you trust and have personally known and then make the best decision. 

It is not as simple and black and white as developers, growers, business, labor; it is about working beyond boxes most people do not fit in as neatly as some portray them to be.

Larry Glass responds to rumor about potential candidacy and running against Virginia

The following is the entire response via email from Larry Glass. I am printing it in entirety so that these are his exact words. I appreciate Larry's quick response. Still waiting to hear back from Chris Kerrigan.

"What a town! The surprise is the people who first approached me, people that have been my adversaries in the past.
I haven't made any firm decisions regarding moving or a potential candidacy, but thank you for the interest!"

Feb 14, 2014

Lance Borgner and Christina Higgins in custody

Humboldt's Most Wanted crime couple  were taken into custody safely Wednesday afternoon by EPD's POP and Criminal investigation Detectives after EPD received a tip passed on from the Arcata Police Department.

They were staying in a motel on South Broadway. Both were booked into the Humboldt County Correctional facility on their outstanding warrants  and aforementioned fresh charges.

Reject the hate Humboldt

Living in Humboldt County  often seems like being caught in the battle between the Sharks and the Jets. For Generation Z and other people who may be thinking of sports teams, let me clarify. I am talking about West Side Story, the American musical which was inspired by William Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet.

The story is set in the Upper West Side neighborhood in New York City in the mid-1950s, which then was an ethnic, blue-collar neighborhood, and explores the rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks, two teenage street gangs of different ethnic backgrounds.

Fast forward to 2014, interchange the Sharks and the Jets with Democrats and Republicans; theists and atheists; progressives and conservatives; and Humboldt County is reliving fictional history and real history. Especially during election season.

Multi-generation and small town nepotism is par for the course in a small-town. Cliques, age old battles and rivalries and the status quo stymie growth. For someone who was not a cradle Humboldtian, there is a dilemma. First, you have to pass the mandatory suspicion phase and maybe a decade plus or more, finally, you are no longer considered transient or an outsider. You are elevated to an outsider that can be trusted.

In New England, unless your ancestors can be traced back to the Mayflower, you remain an outsider forever. Here in Humboldt, there is hope. You can become an accepted outsider. The dilemma “outsiders” face in the interim is not being drawn into baggage of local high school drama and popularity contests that seep into middle age, extreme political partisanship, the us versus them mentality that plagues Humboldt and is more prevalent than kudzu in the South.

It’s time to nip this nonsense in the bud, if we are to achieve anything locally. Instead of the Lost Coast, we may be known as the Invisible Coast soon. Most people I know, even Humboldt natives could care less about the Sharks or the Jets unless they are watching hockey.

Division is encouraged by those who cannot be in power otherwise and those who are insecure. Real leaders are too busy developing, encouraging, creating positive change. Now in political season, the gloves come off from those who do not want the truth revealed. So what do they do, attack anyone who does not fit their agenda. 

For too long, certain voices have dominated the conversation, and they think if they shout the loudest, they are right. The Sharks and Jets mentality is being brought forth by certain people because they know distraction and division detracts from real dialogue. 

We have various  opinions on what it takes to make Humboldt a better place for all and bring about change for the average person.  It is not whether one is an insider or outsider that determines success, a lot depends on the community to look past their entrenched positions and backseat driving for someone to make a difference.

Generation Z, you are the future leaders. Break free from the patterns of the past and bring change to Humboldt that it deserves.

Invest in it, transform it for the better and create a future that rejects hate and build bridges among groups that can see the common denominators.

Will Julie Timmons now be removed as associate HCDCC member?

On her blog, Julie said she voted for John Fullerton. She is an associate member. She also expresses good points about the HCDCC.

Rumor has it 2 names being circulated to run against Virginia

Rumor has it that progressives are trying to desperately recruit anyone to run against Virginia for 4th District Supervisor. Two names circulating are: Chris Kerrigan to run against Virginia instead of Frank Jager. And another name as a possible opponent to run against Virginia is Larry Glass.

Glass is still registered to vote at his Myrtle Avenue home in the 3rd District.

Feb 12, 2014

Elan Firpo invited but not exactly welcomed at HCDCC meeting

Elan was invited by a member and Democrat to the HCDCC meeting. When she got to the door, she was told "her time would be better spent elsewhere" so she left.

And in other news as already reported on samoasoftball, Melinda Ciarabellini was removed as an associate member due to her support of John Fullerton.

Marian Brady resigns from HCDCC

Marian Brady, Eureka City Councilmember for Ward 1 just submitted her resignation to the Humboldt County Democratic Central Committee.

The following is the text of the letter that was just sent to HCDCC president Bob Service:

Dear Mr. President:

It is with heartfelt regret and sadness that I am submitting my resignation to the Humboldt County Democratic Central Committee. Unfortunately due to this being a campaign year, and my position of the 1st Vice President in the Redwood Empire Division of the League of California Cities, plus running my design business I just won't have the time to devote to the HCDCC that this organization deserves.

This is a great group and organization that rightfully commands a level of commitment which I am unable to offer. It has not only been a pleasure but an honor to serve the HCDCC. I will truly miss the work that we have done together.

I wish the HCDCC much luck and success in all your future endeavors and look forward to keeping up with all of your accomplishments as an outsider.

Very sincerely,

Marian Brady

Paul Gallegos answers my questions on Cruz waivers

I asked Paul the following question: A post I did generated some interest in what the current policy is on Cruz waivers? When did it change because in Nov 2012, the office was opposing Cruz waivers? And who makes the decision to oppose or not to oppose? You or the Deputy DA prosecuting the case.

Despite the courthouse being closed today, Paul responded very promptly.

This is his response in its entirety:

After the murders of Dorothy Ulrich and Suzanne Seeman I directed all staff to oppose any request for release by a defendant pending sentencing in a felony case.  We did that to allow myself and my staff to review the Jason Warren case where he was released by the Court on a Cruz waiver. 

After reviewing that case and the decisions that were made I concluded that the conduct and/or decisions of staff in that case were appropriate based on the facts that could be proved in that case and the defendant’s adult criminal record and no permanent changes were made regarding opposing defendant’s release on felonies pending sentencing.  At that time, attorneys were to assess: (i)  the defendant’s risk of harm to the public if released pending sentencing; (ii) the risk of the defendant not returning to sentencing if released by the court; and (iii) the likelihood of the court actually releasing the defendant.  If the facts associated with the defendant and his/her case are not likely to result in the court agreeing to release the defendant we would not agree to the defendant’s release.  If the court is agreeable to releasing the defendant or the attorney feels that, based on the facts of the case and the defendant’s background, that the court is likely to release the defendant the prosecutor should advise that they will oppose any release absent a Cruz waiver we ask for the Cruz waiver to protect the guilty plea. That remains the policy of the office. 

I don’t know how much you know about Cruz waivers or the Cruz decision but, in essence, Cruz waivers are requested by the prosecution so the remedy for the defendant’s failure to appear for sentencing is a greater punishment than they originally plead to instead of what will happen without a Cruz waiver: the defendant gets his guilty plea back and we start all over again.

Personal perspectives on the Cook case

This year we are going to elect a new  D.A. We hear terms like plea bargains, cruz waivers, what can be done but we know very little other than what the candidate tell us. It has been interesting to sit and watch the daily cases and see the Humboldt justice system in action. It is definitely different than other states in some aspects.

People hear about arrests and then we only hear about details or the outcome if the media deems it newsworthy or they get a press release.

I have received emails from women who were personally affected by this case. I have received emails from law enforcement thanking me for my coverage. I have only written about what was said in court or from a court document because they are actual facts. Mr. Cook did plead in court and he is supposed to be sentenced.

When I wrote my initial post, people from the business community and others said, well we had heard rumors or we suspected. So, why didn't people come forward? People may wonder why there were not more victims or cases? Evidence and what a court of law needs and statute of limitations are factors. One lady told me I was the first person she told, not even her family knows. She is an adult now. And someone this community would believe.

So when the mother of the victim who filed the complaint in this case approached me, I had to think very carefully about writing this post. I explained to her that while I could write about her feelings, I would not state anything else that was not supported by a  fact. These are her feelings about the case and what she is going through.

"This has been happening since March last year, your coverage is the first and only media coverage this case has received," Veronica said. "Most of his family does not believe this happened. I have frustration because it seems that the justice system, in general is for the defendant, not the victim."

Veronica is Cook's daughter-in-law. While her ex husband believes their 7 year old daughter, he wants a relationship with his father. They are separated and going through a divorce.

Veronica said that she believes that Cook pled to a lesser charge so he would not have to register as a sex offender. Since sentencing has not occurred, I do not know if that is a fact. I will try and get verification from one of the attorneys if they can even discuss this with me.

There is another alleged victim who came forward 14 years ago, according to Veronica. Paperwork was filed, according to what Veronica was told, but then it "disappeared." Veronica feels that with his standing in the community it has been hard for the truth to come out. She has received no support from the church's pastor and this is the church that the family went to and she used to attend.

I did check First Covenant Church's web page and at least 2 of Cook's family are in leadership positions.

Veronica is concerned because there is no legal protection in place and Cook can have contact with her 2 other children. "I wanted a restraining order for all my children. I wanted him to not be allowed to have contact with any kids, especially girls under 18." Again, this is something that the attorneys may or may not be allowed to verify.

Her only support is her family and the staff from Rape Crisis Center.

Cook is a local businessman, he goes to First Covenant Church, volunteers at the Rescue Mission, volunteered at Gideons, according to Veronica. "I never saw this coming," she told me. "My greatest fear as a mom was about something like this happening to one of my kids, I never though it would be someone I trusted."

Originally Paul Gallegos was prosecuting the case, it was then prosecuted by Kelly Neel. In my initial post, I wrote what the original charges were and then the charge what Cook plead to later.

I commend Veronica for sharing something so personal. Whatever occurred, we will never know, many documents are sealed, including the psychological evaluation. It is a reasonable assumption to make that people do not plead if they are not guilty. Reasons why they plead can be individual interpretation.

One of the reasons I did this post is because we expect the court system to be perfect. It is not, law and justice are not the same. In cases, especially where children's safety is involved, we need to improve laws. If we know something as a community member we should not stay silent.

You could make the difference in a child's life if you speak up.

Corky's U.S. Cellular won me over

In a small town, good customer service with a personal touch and knowedgeable staff can make a big difference. I am a U.S. cellular customer, specifically at Corky Cornwell's store. And while all the staff are great, Brandon Cornwell sold me my first phone and whether it is a technical question or plan details or what works best, Brandon is the go to guy. He takes time with every single customer and will still answer questions a year later.

That store delivers to their customers with that local touch which is genuine from all staff, not just Brandon.
While I was very happy with Sprint, U.S. Cellular's coverage locally even in old buildings, and the above reasons made me switch.

Feb 11, 2014

Lance Borgner now sought by EPD and Sheriff

Date:  February 11, 2014


Subject:  EPD Requests Public’s Help in Locating Humboldt’s “Most Wanted” Fugitives

On the afternoon of Sunday, February 9, 2014, Eureka Police Department (EPD) officers responded to a reported physical altercation between a man and woman in the vicinity of 13th and M Streets, Eureka.  As responding officers arrived on scene, the subjects left in a black 1988 Mercedes CP with spoiler (California license #7CDA762) traveling northbound on N Street from Ross Park. 
Officers attempted to conduct a traffic stop on the Mercedes which failed to yield and continued northbound on N Street while accelerating quickly away.  The driver of the Mercedes ran the stop sign at N/7th Streets and collided with a silver Acura MDX which was traveling eastbound on 7th Street through the intersection.  The impact of the collision spun the Acura around sideways in the roadway.  One of its occupants sustained minor injuries (complaint of pain, due to side airbag deployment, not requiring immediate medical attention). 
A short pursuit ensued which ended when the Mercedes drove the wrong way on the 200 block of R Street/Highway 255.  The Mercedes was last seen travelling northbound over the Samoa Bridge at a high rate of speed.  Officers, assisted by deputies with the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, searched the bayside communities of Manila, Samoa, and Fairhaven but were unable to locate the vehicle or suspects. 
Lance Andrew Borgner (age 24) was positively identified as the driver of the Mercedes through witness statements and other evidence uncovered by EPD investigators.  Borgner was believed to be accompanied by his girlfriend, Christina Ann Higgins (age 24). 
Borgner is described as a white male adult, 24, with short brown hair, hazel eyes, 6’ tall and approximately 180 pounds with neck, chest, and shoulder tattoos.  Higgins is described as a white female adult, 24, with brown hair, hazel eyes, 5’7” tall and weighing approximately 140 pounds. 
Borgner is on active CDC parole for burglary as well as on local summary probation for vandalism and possession of drug paraphernalia.  He is presently wanted on two felony warrants for parole violation and 20001(a) VC (hit and run with injury), as well as two misdemeanor warrants for driving with a suspended license and vandalism.  Additionally, Borgner is now wanted by EPD on fresh charges of felony reckless evading of a peace officer and felony hit and run with injury among other offenses. 
Higgins is not wanted by EPD at this time in connection with this particular pursuit.
Borgner is also currently wanted by the Arcata Police Department for felony reckless evading related to an APD vehicle pursuit with him on Alliance Road in the early morning hours of 2/10/14.  Borgner was driving the black Mercedes at the time.
Additionally, Borgner and Higgins are both wanted by the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office for attempted robbery and assault with a deadly weapon stemming from an incident which began at the McKinleyville K-Mart yesterday around 1:20 PM.  Borgner and Higgins were last seen driving a white late 1980’s Chevrolet Silverado pick-up truck (unknown license plate) during this incident.  Refer to the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office press release, dated 2/10/14, for more details. 
The Eureka Police Department is requesting the public’s assistance in locating Borgner and Higgins so that we may safely take them into custody and put an end to their crime spree.  Caution should be used with Borgner as he may be considered armed and a danger to the community. Anyone with information as to their whereabouts, or the whereabouts of the associated vehicles, is asked to call the Eureka Police Department at (707) 441-4044.


Elan Firpo co-chairs announced and confirmed

Neal Ewald, Fred Sundquist Jr., John Woolley and Michael Evenson are the four co-chairs and Jaison Chand is currently acting as interim campaign manager.


Elan Firpo Names Campaign Team

I’m proud to announce the key members of the team who have been guiding my campaign and will assist me in the coming months. They span the geographic and political diversity of our wonderful county. My campaign is currently being managed by Jaison Chand. Co-chairs in the Campaign to Elect Elan Firpo are John Woolley, Former Humboldt County Supervisor; Neal Ewald, Senior Vice-President of Green Diamond Resource Company; Michael Evenson, Petrolia and Briceland Rancher; Fred Sundquist Jr, CEO/President of City Ambulance of Eureka and Humboldt Dial-A-Ride. 

Each team member brings a unique perspective and long history of successful project management and commitment to community service. 

You can read more about me and receive important updates on my campaign at elanfirpo.com and facebook.com/firpoda

Additional Co-Chair Information:

Neal Ewald,  Senior Vice President, Green Diamond Resources, Trinidad
Hospice of Humboldt, Board of Directors
Humboldt Area Foundation, Board Member 2013  
California Forestry Association, Board Member 
Trinidad School Education Foundation, Past President 
Seawood Estates Mutual Water Company, Past President 
Greater Eureka Chamber of Commerce, Past Board Member 
Humboldt State University Forestry Advisory Committee 
California State University Agricultural Advisory Committee

John Woolley, Former Humboldt County Board of Supervisors
Humboldt County Board of Supervisors- 1997-2008
Manila Community Services District, Board of Directors-1981-1996, 2011-Present
North Coast Coop, Board of Directors
Redwood Economic Development Commission, Board of Directors
Founding Board Member, Humboldt Waste Management Authority
Founding Board Member, Redwood Coast Energy Authority
Local Field Representative, Assemblymember Wesley Chesbro

Fred Sundquist Jr., CEO, City Ambulance of Eureka, City Cab, Humboldt Dial-A-Ride
Board of Directors, California Ambulance Association, Former Chair
2013 Businessperson of the Year, Greater Eureka Chamber of Commerce, Former President 
Humboldt Fire District, Former Board Member
Eureka Rotary

Michael Evenson, Owner, OldGrowthTimbers.com- Reclaimed Lumber, Arcata
President, Board of Directors, Mattole Salmon Group
Rancher- Petrolia and Briceland, Producer for Eel River Organic Beef
Licensed Timber Operator C-111

Jaison Chand, Commissioner, California Emergency Medical Services Authority
Paramedic, Registered Nurse, Chief Operating Officer, City Ambulance, City Cab
Chair, Service Coordination Committee, Humboldt County Association of Governments
Chief Officer, Fortuna Fire Department, Retired
Medical Advisory Committee, Humboldt-Del Norte

Feb 10, 2014

Rhett August, Tree's alleged victim, released on cruz waiver on his own court case

Rhett August, who was allegedly shot by Bodhi Tree, has a court case of his own. EPD was responding to a domestic violence call and found meth. August changed his plea today to guilty. His case has been referred to probation for a pre-sentencing report.

August was released to his mother on a cruz waiver and is expected to enter a dual diagnosis treatment progtam. His defense attorney is Ben McLaughlin and prosecuting for the people is Elan Firpo.

Elan is also prosecuting the Tree case.

August seem relieved to be released today but his terse yes responses to Judge John Feeney as he was being advised of rights and conditions was interesting to observe. He gets to be released and sent home prior to sentencing, something not every one gets to do and he seems exasperated that the Judge is making sure he understands his rights and conditions of release?

Allan Dollison's new office space is on 6th and K

Officially as of February 17th, Allan Dollison is renting an office in the same space as the firm of Davis and Poovey.

Previously, Allan was renting office space with Kathleen Bryson.

Allan's private practice is growing and this new office opened up at the right time.

Suspect that stole urn at Oceanview had been casing the place hours before he stole the urn

Don McCombs, administrator from Oceanview Cemetery, said the suspect left the niche open and urn is very distinctive and that was when staff discovered the urn had been stolen. The urn was discovered missing the next day after it was stolen. McCombs said that the suspect was talking to other people and entered the cemetery and when they saw the camera surveilance, that triggered memory that he had been there the day before.

Since he was not doing anything suspicious, there was nothing to alert staff to what happened later that day.

Below is the press release that other media has already published.

Eureka Police Department
Date:  February 9, 2014

Subject:  EPD Seeks Public’s Assistance in Locating Urn Stolen from Cemetery

On 2-4-2014, between 3:00 – 3:30 PM, a male subject entered the chapel at the Ocean View Cemetery and removed an urn holding cremated remains.
The subject is described as a white male in his thirties wearing dark shoes with white soles, blue jeans, a gray hooded sweatshirt with writing on the front and a black baseball cap, when he enters. The subject changed his clothing to a grey short sleeved t-shirt with a checkered pattern on the front and donned a dark beanie cap with a white stripe. The suspect carried the urn away under a tan coat he carried with him.
Attached is a picture of an urn similar in shape and design to the one stolen.

The Eureka Police Department is asking for any information that could lead to the return of the remains to the family. If you have information regarding this theft, please contact Officer Harkness 707-441-4060