Feb 22, 2014

GPU actual changes ton draft, not my personal interpretation

One is is the Transportation Element of the General Plan that was straw voted by the Board of Supervisors. http://co.humboldt.ca.us/gpu/docs/documentsbos/chapter7_circulation.pdf is the link. The sections that refer to trials are listed below.

C- P1
C-p 26
C-p 33
c-p 35
c-p 36
C IM 12
The second one below is the underline strikeout version of the changes made by the Planning Commission regarding the issue of striking a Countywide trails system. 

Planning Commission Straw Votes taken 2-18-2014

CO-G4. Parks and Recreation.  Encourage Well maintained and accessible parks and trails offering a range of popular recreation opportunities. and a countywide trail system that meets future recreational and non-motorized transportation demands.

Elan Firpo responds to concerns about Ferrer disposition

For Immediate Release:

I understand the community concern about the disposition in the Ferrer case.  On its face, a man is killed and the man that did the killing is sentenced to 4 years in jail, of which he will serve 2 years.
But the facts not previously made available to the public paint a different picture.  After reviewing hours of video, talking with independent witnesses and reviewing the autopsy results, discussing the evidence with law enforcement and the family of the victim, it became clear that this was a case of manslaughter – not murder. 
The facts would have shown that:
·         Mr. Anderson-Jordet, the victim, was inflamed in his demeanor that evening.  A bartender would have testified that the Victim was making homophobic statements to other patrons that evening before the incident. 
·         An independent witness would have testified that she overheard the argument between the parties and that the victim was yelling homophobic, sexist, hateful statements at the defendants. 
·         Video surveillance showed that the victim was behind the defendants walking down the street, and the victim was overheard to yell at the defendants “I am still behind you”.  
·         The defendant’s would have testified that the victim approached them in an angry manner and took a swing at them.  And that he was a stranger to them, with whom they had no prior quarrel.
·          The defense would have brought testimony that the victim was an angry person when he had been drinking, and occasionally used street drugs.  The People would have brought testimony that the victim was a hard working man with a good job.  
·         The autopsy results show that the victim died of one knife wound, at a severe angle, that unfortunately pierced the victim’s heart. 
A jury trial in this case would have become a trial of the victim’s character, for the determination of whether this was voluntary or involuntary manslaughter.  The People would have had to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendants were NOT defending themselves in a hate crime.  
In a best case jury trial scenario, Mr. Ferrer would have been found guilty of voluntary manslaughter.  He would have been sentenced to a term of three years in prison (because he has no prior record), of which he would have served 85%, or approximately 2 years and 6 months.  A plea agreement was reached to ensure that Mr. Ferrer would serve the maximum term for involuntary manslaughter allowed by law: 4 years, which, owing to the Governor’s Realignment Program, he will serve 2 years in county jail. 
In other words, a best-case-scenario result at jury trial would have resulted in an additional 6 months of custody time for Mr. Ferrer.  
The family and involved law enforcement officers were consulted before a plea was made. We agreed, after careful consideration of the evidence and the law, that this was the best disposition for the case.  It doesn’t bring back Mr. Anderson-Jordet, and nobody is “happy” about this disposition.  
Some decisions are not universally popular.  It is the job of the District Attorney’s office to make tough decisions based entirely on the facts that can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to all twelve jurors. That is what I did here. I’m not proud of this disposition, and it doesn’t feel like justice to the victim’s family or myself.  Unfortunately, it is the reality of the situation under the law.

The family of Mr. Anderson-Jordet have reviewed this letter, and are disappointed that it had to be written.  They had hoped to avoid exactly this public forum discussion.  Unfortunately, my opponents, who are long on rhetoric and short on facts, have attempted to take advantage of this unfortunate case to their political advantage.

Feb 21, 2014

Firpo, Dollison and Fleming attend Sacred Heart fundraiser

I have seen Elan, Allan and Maggie at various events around town. This evening all 3 attended the Sacred Heart church fundraiser at Redwood Acres. Also attending were Rex and Frank. The Redwood Acres Main building was packed, great food donated by Rita's, a mariachi band and  two auctions for the 4th Annual Parish Fiesta to Renew and Restore.

All 3 candidates go to meet and mingle with a crowd that was mostly from the 2 parishes in Eureka but also included various community members.

Mark's hissy fit over the General Plan short on facts, big on spin

Mark has certainly learned from his past actions. Wasn't it just a four months ago that he apologized for letting his frustrations get the better of him at a California State Association of Counties meeting? This time he didn't give a good old fashioned pat on the back; he just threw another hissy fit and went to select media to complain about the "corrupt" Planning Commission.

When the Board of Supervisors were more in line with Mark's way of thinking, meetings were perfect. How many years did Neely et al have to pass the General Plan update changes?

Elections in 2010 did not go a certain way. Since then allegations of developers behind any decisions certain Board of Supervisors do is the standard tactic used to distract the public from the real goal.

Mark has a right to his opinion. In fact, as one of the Supervisors, he has the opportunity to review the recommendations of the Planning Commission and vote and comment. So why the spin? And why go to the media now?

The McKenny article followed by the Planning Commission article is a badly veiled attempt at stirring up public frenzy to get opponents to run against Virginia and Ryan before March 7. Mark and those behind that have the right but don't disguise it as being concerned about the public and spin it as something else.

The process is that the Planning Commission reviewed, then was asked to re -review and send a draft to the Board, who will hold a straw vote and can still make changes before a final vote. Unlike Mark’s allegation, it is the in fact the job of the Planning Commission to be advisory board that gives recommendations on policy.

It is Mark who is attempting to manipulate the outcome with only his interpretation of the Planning Commission draft. He is aided in that attempt by certain media. You started this Mark, the other Supervisors did not go public about what should be a discussion in the Board Chambers before the public when they also get to state their views.

Mark has a history of carefully crafted statements, his physical slap of  Virginia and Rex was just a “good old boy” pat on the back.

Then he spins the truth by claiming that the Planning Commission deleted trails from the plan when they combined it into another section. He further claims being outraged by how the Commission reduced setbacks from creeks and wetlands when they actually recommended that the California Department of Fish and Wildlife determine the appropriate determination of setbacks, which is their role and responsibility.

Mark also claims, without any specific details, that the Commission has many Brown Act violations.He claims that the Commissioners, other than his appointee, are acting out of personal bias. Does his EPIC appointee act completely free of his biases?

Seems Mark is annoyed that he cannot just tell everyone else what to do. The Board, in his own words, is 4 to 1. Again, that is Mark’s and certain people on the extreme left's claim that this is an unfair balance but it was okay when Mark and fellow Supervisors he controlled were on the Board of Supervisors?

Mark comes off as  condescending and lectures  his fellow Supervisors and the public because when things don’t go his way, we are just too dumb to understand these complicated issues. The Board of Supervisors meetings would be half as long if Mark did not repeat the same things three or four times.

Speaking of developers? What major developments? Any move to develop, assuming one can get through the ridiculous bureaucracy in California is then followed by lawsuits by EPIC, Baykeeper et al. 

Mark needs to understand that he is more likely to get others to move toward his position if he treats them with respect. And that to the average person struggling, we would rather see development than stagnant promises of a better life and wages.

How are those anger management classes going Mark? You may have deleted the facebook post but asking for pitchforks at a public meeting and calling your fellow Supervisors stupid shows you gave lip service after the Del Norte incident because your behavior is still inappropriate.

Unlike Mark, I will post the actual changes from the draft with what language was crossed out. Not my interpretation, but what was on record. Read and decide for yourself.

Feb 20, 2014

Firpo welcomes Patty Clary as 5th co-chair

Patty Clary is the fifth co-chair and Elan officially welcomed Patty  today. Elan said Patty's dedication of 25 years to keeping toxins out of "our water streams brings another unique perspective to a diverse team." Patty lives in Westhaven and Hoopa and Elan appreciates and joins Patty in her commitment to "keeping Humboldt County a beautiful place to live in."

In campaigns there are talkers and there are doers

There are 4 DA candidates and perhaps more by March 7. 4 candidates that made the decision they want to be your next DA.  All elections in Humboldt County get personal. There are other races but this post is about the DA's race because you have 4 candidates who have never run before.

Despite promises to run clean campaigns, polarization occurs and camps are created. Shouldn't be but it does. Why?

Not enough cyberspace to contain that discussion.

Despite varying personal observations, this race is any one's still to win but the odds highly favor a female candidate. There is some debate which
one will prevail.

All 4 candidates will find out there are talkers and there are doers. They will find out who is a true friend and supporter and who leaves once it looks like they may not be in the top 2.

Are these candidates organized? Are they having weekly meetings, coordinated communication, controlling who and what goes out as campaign approved message?

Who they listen to and as they weigh the odds of endorsements, support and funds, there is 1 sure group they need to win over. The average voter.

Who relates to that average voter most? People are most impressed not by big names but a genuine believer in the candidate who presents the candidates best qualities.

1 DA candidate will win. The real winner will be the one who walks away with a lifetime friend or supporter. It could be the same one who won. 

One election is just that, remember that at reelection time, your character and bridges burned or built does matter.

My choice is Elan for DA; despite that I wish all the other candidates the best.

It isn't easy putting yourself out there.  
Don't lose who you are in the process.

Maggie Fleming endorsed by Operating Engineers Local 3

Maggie Fleming was told today she has the endorsement of Operating Engineers Local 3.  Usually endorsements by organizations also mean volunteers and money.

Elan Firpo invited to Humboldt Women Republican Federated Lunch today

As a part of Elan reaching out to many different constituencies, one of the events Elan attended was HWRF luncheon. Rose Welsh invited Elan to the lunch at the Elks today. Guest speaker was Mayor Frank Jager

Rose has reached out to all 4 candidates. She will be inviting Klein and Dollison next month and said Elan is welcome to attend again.

Rose added that "it speaks very well of Elan that she came despite my posting Salman's letter."

Guests and those present running for office were briefly introduced. Mayor Jager spoke about the city, his particular office and covered subjects ranging from the Martin Slough interceptor to the Transitional Occupancy Tax and challenges facing economy and growth in Eureka.

The upcoming March Republican of the Year Dinner will honor Peter Hannaford and Annette De Modena

Pizzo vs Tipps same or different result for Throckmorton as Fleming vs Daskal?

A jury  i currently considering the fate of Michael Throckmorton. Jury started deliberating as of yesterday. People were represented by Jackie Pizzo, defendant's attorney Owen Tipps and Judge Dale Reinholtsen presiding. This is a domestic violence case.

This is not Throckmorton's first court appearance. He was found not guilty on two counts on another more high profile case in 2006.

In 2006, Throckmorton was the defendant in a murder trial. Prosecutor was Maggie Fleming. Defense Counsel was Manny Daskal. Evidence came out in trial during testimony that caused the preliminary trial to go in Throckmorton's favor. Defense prevailed.

The following is from an article in the Times-Standard from 2006 by Chris Durant. There are at least 2 other similar reports, one from the Northcoast Journal.

EUREKA -- A jury returned not guilty verdicts on two counts against Michael Kenneth Throckmorton Thursday, but he still remains in custody at the Humboldt County Jail awaiting a District Attorney's Office decision on whether to file lesser charges.
Throckmorton, 24, was found not guilty of second degree murder and not guilty of attempted murder.
He allegedly killed Robert Peter Wyland, 58, and stabbed David Wayne Harris, 46, March 4 outside his Fieldbrook home.
Preliminary hearing testimony revealed the men may have been at Throckmorton's home in relation to a dispute between Throckmorton and his landlord.
Throckmorton's attorney, Manny Daskal, said the District Attorney's Office may now file voluntary manslaughter, attempted manslaughter and assault with a deadly weapon.
He said Throckmorton will remain in custody at least until his next court appearance, Jan. 3., when Daskal will ask for a bail reduction.
Superior Court Judge Christopher Wilson asked the jurors how they voted in the lesser charges.
The foreman stated they voted eight to four for a voluntary manslaughter charge, nine to three for an attempted manslaughter charge and eight to four for an assault with a deadly weapon charge.

Feb 19, 2014

Eureka Volunteer Patrol Recipients of EPD’s Valor-Service Award

Eureka Police Department
Date:  February 19, 2014

During the February 18, 2014 Eureka City Council meeting, eight members of the Eureka Volunteer Patrol (EVP) became the fourth recipients of the Eureka Police Department’s Valor-Service Challenge Coin Award.  Speaking before the council, Chief Andrew Mills and the EVP commander, Acting Captain Len Johnson, awarded each EVP member a coin along with a letter of appreciation in recognition of their dedicated service to the City of Eureka. These eight members alone have logged over 30,000 volunteer hours as a group and the program has give more than 50,000 hours to the community. 

The contents of the award letter follows:

“To the Members of our Volunteer Patrol:
It is the mission of the Eureka Police Department to safeguard lives and property and enhance the quality of life in our City through our commitment to exceptional service, strong community partnerships, and the highest standards of integrity, courage, and professional excellence. EPD is committed to promoting community policing concepts and positive relations with the public we serve.  We further this purpose by acknowledging valued citizens and groups, who commit acts of extraordinary kindness, unselfishly give of themselves to help others, or perform other good deeds that go above and beyond the normal courtesies society expects. 
To this end, EPD commissioned the minting of a special “challenge coin” to be awarded to deserving individuals who give of themselves in an exceptional manner.  This unique full-color coin represents the Eureka Police Department’s cherished values of VALOR, SERVICE, and COMMUNITY and may be carried proudly.  These values are printed on the coin’s face surrounding the Great Seal of the State of California. The reverse side of the coin depicts the emblem found on the Eureka Police Department patch.

Through their dedicated labors over the years, members of the Eureka Volunteer Patrol (EVP) have truly exemplified the meaning of “service” and “community.”  EPD, like many departments, frequently finds itself faced with a shortage of resources to tackle substantive problems. Thus, we often look to other sources for help. Our EVP members have given countless, uncompensated hours in assisting the Eureka Police Department with emergency call-outs, special events, vacation home checks, and neighborhood patrols. EVP is often called upon to assist with perimeter security and traffic control at major crime scenes, critical incidents, and special events. 

One example of this was EVP’s invaluable support following the tragic murder of Father Eric Freed on January 1st of this year.  Shortly after the crime was discovered, EVP’s help was requested to assist with perimeter and crime scene security at Saint Bernard Catholic Parish.  Three members of EVP immediately put their personal lives on hold and responded to the scene with several other members rotating in throughout the day and night.  The presence of EVP at the scene allowed more of our sworn officers to focus on investigating and ultimately swiftly solving this senseless crime.  As a group, members of EVP put in a total of 42 hours at the initial crime scene along with another 6 hours during the subsequent vigils that were held for Father Freed. 

The current members of the Eureka Volunteer Patrol include:

·         Bob Gish (an 18 ½ year member)
·         Jack Hopkins (an 18 ½ year member)
·         Terry Long (an 18 ½ year member)
·         Roger Miller (an 18 ½ year member)
·         Gary Swanson (a 16 year member)
·         Dick Storre (a 13 year member)
·         Pete Vallerga (an 11 year member)
·         Gil Long (a 6 year member)

These 8 members alone have logged over 30,000 volunteer hours as a group. 

On behalf of the Eureka Police Department, it is my pleasure to honor and recognize the Eureka Volunteer Patrol for their selfless and dedicated service over the past many years.  EVP plays an on-going, vital role in the Eureka Police Department’s endeavor to provide excellent service to our community.  They are truly our “unsung heroes.”  Please accept with this coin and certificate our recognition and appreciation.”

Eureka Police continue to look for and accept applications for volunteerism in Eureka.  Come make a difference with EPD!

Feb 18, 2014

Sex registrant arrested by EPD for soliciting teenage girls

EPD press release posted below. The short version, another probation violation and meth involved. Wonder if the students who were here to check out HSU will still consider Humboldt as an option?

Eureka Police Department
Date:  February 18, 2014


Subject:  Sex Registrant Arrested for Annoying/Molesting Teenage Girls

On February 16, 2014, at about 9:30 AM, Eureka Police Department officers were dispatched to a motel on the 2200 block of 4th Street regarding the report of a suspicious person.  The caller reported a male subject solicited two teenage girls for a “massage” near the dumpsters outside this location. 
While en route to the motel, the responding officer spotted a male matching the suspect’s description standing in the parking lot of a gas station located at 4th and V Streets.  The officer recognized the subject from prior law enforcement related contacts as David Lee Dues (age 26 of Eureka).  Dues was on summary probation for 9 offenses (7 separate probation dockets/cases) including annoying or molesting a child under 18 and failure to register as a sex offender.  Upon contacting Dues, the officer observed he exhibited symptoms consistent with being under the influence of methamphetamine. Dues was detained pending further investigation. 
Upon contacting the victims, ages 16 and 17 years, the officer learned they were staying at the motel while in town to visit Humboldt State University. When the girls walked outside to place their bags in their parents’ car, they were approached by Dues.   Dues inquired if he could ask them a question for a “college class.”  He claimed he needed to practice a massage technique, “reflex,” for his class so he could get his “masseuse license.” Dues asked the girls if he could do the massage on them, adding it would only take a few seconds.  He then attempted to convince the girls to go behind a nearby dumpster with him.
The girls felt frightened by Dues. They rejected his offer, told him they needed to go, and returned to the motel. 
The victims positively identified Dues as the suspect.  Dues was arrested and transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked for annoying or molesting a child under 18 years (with a felony enhancement due to his prior conviction) and violation of his probation.  Dues’ bail was set at $25,000.00.  Dues was still in custody as of the time of this news release. 

Anyone with information about this crime, or similar unreported crimes committed by Dues, is asked to contact the Eureka Police Department at (707) 441-4060 or (707) 441-4044.

Update on invocation lawsuit against City of Eureka from court today

The lawsuit filed by Carole Beaton against City of Eureka regarding invocations before city council meeting was scheduled  in Courtroom 8 today. Attorney for Beaton is Peter Martin. City of Eureka was represented by the City Attorney Cyndi-Day Wilson and Judge Bruce Watson presiding.

Parties are trying to work on a settlement and are due back in court on April 30 at 1:30.

Elan to formally announce February 27

The date is set. Please look out for announcement details in local media soon.

Larry Glass cannot run for 4th District Supervisor according to Election office rules

According to the Humboldt County Elections Office website, any candidate for county district supervisor, must be re registered in that district minimum 30 days prior to the filing deadline which this year is March 7. Larry Glass responded to me Feb 15. As of  today, Glass is still registered in the 3rd District.

Feb 17, 2014

COPE Banquet at Cher ae Heights awards CUHC union of the year

The COPE Banquet at Cher ae Heights Casino on February 16 was hosted by Central Labor Council of Humboldt County.

California United Homecare Workers received the award for union of the year.

Bill Burns, retired operating engineer and Eureka Firefighters Local 652 were also honored.

Supervisors Virginia Bass and Estelle Fennell attended as did Elan Firpo, the only candidate out of the 4 candidates running for DA.

Allan Dollison campaign update

Allan Dollison has a campaign update on his facebook page. With a new office and building a private practice, Allan certainly has been doing a great job meeting people. He has been very organized from the moment he announced.

"I addressed the AFSCME Union on Wednesday, February 12. On Thursday, February 13, I spoke before the Humboldt County Tip Club at the Sea Grill Restaurant (which is a group of local businessmen)".

He will be speaking before the North Coast Young Democrats  and Humboldt Del Norte MOAA (Military Officers Association of America) Chapter in the near future.

"I just got invited to the Mateel Community Center for a concert to raise awareness and opposition to the use of rat poison in Marijuana Grows, where I will give short comments. The following week, I am doing an interview with Eureka High School Students. I continue my other community based activities, where on Saturday February 15, I officiated at a packed Military Honors ceremony for George Herd of Trinidad. There was well over 150 people there. I will be addressing the Humboldt County Democratic Central Committee on March 12. Lastly, I went to a fundraising dinner at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Arcata on Sunday, February 16. Busy calendar, but I enjoy meeting and talking with as many people as possible about the campaign."

I will be covering some of the public forums all the candidates are invited to and it is very helpful to receive these campaign updates to publish.

Eddie Lee Disposition Reset

I was going cover the case and then report but since I already posted this in comments under watchpaul because there was a question about this case am posting the status here. I don't know about Currie but Eddie Lee has a hearing on March 24 at 2 p.m. for a disposition reset. When I was in court for another case, and this was being set, Kathleen Bryson made a special appearance on behalf of Lee's attorney and Paul was in court for the People.

I think people deserve to have information on certain cases, not just those that make headlines, therefore covered by most media but cases of interest to the community.

From the private emails I get people appreciate the coverage.

Feb 16, 2014

Fundraiser for Eureka High School Players go to New York 2014

Edinburgh was the original destination, now it is New York but the students and the cause is still the same. The students have been raising money by having fundraisers and benefits at various locations such as Applebee's and Ferndale Repetory Theater.

I am publicizing the next one for John and Rita Wesa, 2 of my favorite people in this community, their grandaughter is part of this group, and because it being held on March 3 at the Wine Spot, one of my favorite local businesses.

Tickets are going fast for 2 time slots on that day.  There are appetizers, desserts and a dutch raffle auction of donated items.

Here is a way to support your local community and businesses. Check out the group's facebook page for more information.