Apr 24, 2014

HCSO still searching for missing woman whose ATM card was last sighted on March 11

 Humboldt County Sheriff’s Detectives are still searching for Jacqueline Joanne Sullivan, 39 years old.  Detectives spoke with Sullivan's landlord who told them she texted him ten days prior to moving out of her  apartment and told the landlord she was leaving the area. Detectives have also learned that Sullivan’s ATM  Card was used in the Coalinga, California area on March 11, 2014. At this point there has still been no sighting of Sullivan or contact with family members who are worried about her welfare.

 Detectives also learned the license plate on the truck she is driving is a 2002 Toyota Tacoma, grey with a  shell, is California Plate 6EYT307, not 7M50504 as originally reported. The 7M50504 is an old license  plate for the same truck.

Apr 23, 2014

Councilmember Mike Newman report on League of California Cities’ Legislative Action Day

Council Member Mike L. Newman joined nearly 200 city officials from throughout
California in Sacramento on April 23 for the League of California Cities’ Legislative Action Day. The
annual event gives city officials an opportunity to visit the state Capitol and meet with their legislators to
discuss issues of importance to California cities.

“It was an honor to be in Sacramento today to represent the City of Eureka. The League’s annual
Legislative Action Day is about building and maintaining relationships and exchanging information with
our state lawmakers. I was able to meet with Assembly Member Chesbro, Assembly Member Bonilla and
Assembly Member Gomez, and attended the League’s briefings on priority legislation, the state budget
and economic development,” said Council Member Newman. “I returned to Eureka with information of
value for the city.”

The event kicked off Wednesday morning with a budget and policy briefing led by League First Vice and
Arroyo Grande Mayor Tony Ferrara, League Executive Director Chris McKenzie and League Legislative
Director Dan Carrigg. Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) provided a keynote address to the
gathered city officials Wednesday morning. The morning session wrapped up with a news conference at
the state Capitol covering legislation by Assembly Member Susan Bonilla of Concord that would create
new regulations for massage therapists and massage therapy establishments that stop the proliferation of
illicit massage and provide true public safety protections.

League First Vice and Arroyo Grande Mayor Tony Ferrara’s remarks focused on fostering legislative
relationships and promoting economic development. “Through strong relationships with legislators, we as city officials are able to make our voices heard. California cities need new options for infrastructure investment
and economic development. We’re calling for new tools, authority and funding to facilitate investment in both state and local infrastructure to help spur job growth and economic opportunity for all Californians.”

Following meetings in the Capitol with their legislators, city officials participated in a legislative forum that
featured a panel on job creation, economic development, water, transportation funding, redevelopment,
economic development and AB 2280. League Immediate Past President and Pasadena Mayor Bill
Bogaard moderated the panel that included Assembly Member Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood),
Assembly Member Luis Alejo (D-Salinas), and California Transportation Commission Commissioner and
California Alliance for Jobs Executive Director Jim Earp.

Transient with outstanding warrant for controlled substance gets arrested for meth

 On 04-22-2014, at approximately 1:30 p.m., a Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Deputy was patrolling in downtown Garberville when he saw Michael Lee Russell, 27 years old, a local transient. The deputy was aware Russell had an outstanding warrant for his arrest for possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.  The deputy contacted Russell on the sidewalk in front of the Lone Pine Hotel, where he arrested him. After placing Russell under arrest, the deputy asked him if he had any sharp items in his pockets before the deputy searched him. Russell told the deputy he had methamphetamine in his pocket.
The deputy located over 5 grams of methamphetamine, a scale and $100 in cash in Russell’s possession. Russell was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked on charges of possession of a controlled substance and possession for sale of a controlled substance, along with the arrest warrant. His total bail is set at $80,000.00.

A Supervisor who gets it

I first met Ryan Sundberg in 2010 at a candidate forum in Willow Creek. Ryan is polite, professional, and does not have to raise his voice to make an impact; his words do.

I asked the 5th District candidates a question about jobs and affordable housing. Ryan’s answer that day has earned him my vote and loyalty. You don’t have to explain to Ryan what it is to struggle to maintain a roof over your head or obtain housing, why it is so hard to get or maintain a job; he gets it.

The same thing applies to business matters. Ryan knows what it is like to build a business, especially without access to funds and loans; what a small business goes through just to make every day expenses, often living paycheck to paycheck.

It is that life experience that makes Ryan stand out. Issues like the GPU that are so bogged down in bureaucrat-speak that most of us need a decoder. One should not take a position on something they do not fully understand.  Ryan can talk about such subjects with expertise yet in language that explains the impact to the average voter.

In 2010, Ryan was the newcomer. He is knowledgeable about his District and the specific issues that needed to be fixed. Ryan has lived in the area all his life. So has his family. On June 3rd, chose Ryan; his experience and community relationships benefit you on a practical level.

Apr 22, 2014

Domestic dispute results in man being assaulted with a pitchfork

On 04-19-2014, at approximately 1:45 p.m., the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a call of a stabbing that occurred in the 400 block of Phillipsville Loop Road, Phillipsville.  When deputies arrived on scene they met with the 66 year old male victim, who was bleeding from stab wounds to his arm and scratch marks on his face. The victim declined medical attention.

The victim told the investigating deputy he got into an argument with Paula Sue Darling, 45 years old, whom he had a dating relationship with. During the argument, Darling grabbed an ax and he kicked it out of her hand.  Darling then grabbed a nearby pitchfork and started swinging it at the victim, then stabbed at his torso with it. The victim put his arm up to protect himself and she stabbed him in the left forearm.

The victim showed the deputy where the altercation occurred, along with the ax and the pitchfork that was used in the crime.

Deputies checked the area for Darling but could not locate her. A be-on-the–lookout to all area law enforcement was issued for Darling, who is wanted for assault with a deadly weapon and domestic violence.
Paula Sue Darling is described as a white, female, 45 years old, 5’5” tall, 145 lbs, strawberry blond hair, blue eyes

Allison Jackson gives letter to Rex and Estelle, item #2 pulled from Closed Session

Allison Jackson, a partner in the Harland Law Firm, dropped off a letter to County CAO Phillip Smith-Hanes, Board of Supervisor Chair Rex Bohn and Vice-Chair Estelle Fennell this morning. It relates to the item below which is scheduled for this morning's meeting.


2. Conference with Legal Counsel – Existing Litigation pursuant to Government Code section 54956.9 subd.(d)(1); Eel River Disposal and Resource Recovery, Inc. v. County of Humboldt; Humboldt County Superior Court Case No. CV110352.

The litigation mentioned in I 2 is not existing, it had a final decision and ruling. If it is to be discussed, it should be during open session, Ms. Jackson told me.

When it came to closed session, County Counsel Wendy Chaitin said "There was no need for item # 2." No other reason was given. When asked for a reason, Chair Bohn did not respond except to say that they were in closed session. Vice-Chair Fennell asked County Counsel to respond, Ms. Chaitin responded with the same "There is no need". She further added that "Whether it will be brought back later or not" is not something that would be determined at the current time.

This is the second time I have observed County Counsel be defensive when called on legal matters. County Counsel is supposed to watch out for the legal interests of the County. I think the public deserves a response.

Ms. Jackson just did a favor for the Board of Supervisors.

I am not aware if the other Supervisors were given copies of the letter. Traci D'Amico, deputy clerk of the. Board of Supervisors, was handed the letters given to Rex and Estelle sometime this morning before closed session.

I would like to personally thank Supervisor Fennell for her diligence in transparency. In her letter, Ms Jackson informed the Board of reasons that item #2 was "improperly agendized" and that discussion of it would be a violation of the Brown Act.

In her letter, Ms. Jackson cites Government Code section 54956.9 subd (d) (1)stating that any other action that the Board wishes to take concerning the final order after hearing of both the trial and apellate courts must take place in open session and after being properly agendized.

Ms. Jackson states in her letter that "closed sessions are forbidden by the Brown Act unless they are expressly authorized under the Act. The Act's provisions authorizing closed sessions are construed
narrowly by the courts due to Proposition 59,  passed by the voters in November 2004. Under the "pending Litigation" exception, only matters  "actually pending" may be taken up in closed session and then only a discussion of issues is permissible where discussion of those issues in open session would prejudice the agency's position in the litigation.

Ms. Jackson said, There is nothing 'pending' regarding this lawsuit. The litigation has been concluded. The litigation has been concluded. There is no appeal or reconsideration available to the County. There is only compliance with the Court's order. The Board must comply with the Order. Any discussion regrading compliance with that Order must take place in open session since there is nothing left pending in the litigation since the litigation has concluded.

It started with the headlines and just fizzled; Miller ordered to pay restitution to Sally Arnot

It started with  Misty Dawn Miller and Brian Anthony Arriaga being in the headlines and then just fizzled. Arriaga's cases had been dismissed earlier due to lack of evidence. 

Miller was sentenced yesterday in Courtroom 1 by Judge John Feeney. Luke Brownfield is the prosecutor in this case for the People. Heidi Holmquist represented Miller.

Before Miller was sentenced, she sat in the courtroom with her husband and looked through the probation report given to her by Ms. Holmquist. And when her case was called, she talked briefly with Ms. Holmquist. Miller had made bail since the last court hearing.

Judge Feeney said his tentative decision was to follow the recommended orders by Probation which was three years of formal supervised probation.

Ms. Holmquist said that the only part Miller was concerned about was the expense of the Alcohol and Drug programs. "She does not have a problem with doing the programs, she doesn't have the funds."

Judge Feeney said that items #21 and #22 were "critical to Ms. Miller's success".  He did not grant a funds waiver. There was an attempt by Ms. Holmquist again addressing expenses. Judge Feeney stressed again that if Miller wanted probation she needed to complete the programs and pay for those programs. At this point, Miller indicated yes and Judge Feeney made his decision final about granting her three years of formal supervised probation.

He ordered her to stay away from a specific address; and among the fines and restitutions she was ordered by the Court to pay,  was $396 to Sally Arnot

Background info:

These are 2 of several posts on this case that I have reported on from start to finish.




Residential burglary victim awakens to find flat screen TV missing and two men drive away

On 04-20-2014, at approximately 4:25 a.m. the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a call regarding a residential burglary which just occurred in the 2400 block of Cypress Avenue, Eureka. Deputies responded to the residence and met with the victims. The 57 year old male victim told the investigating deputies he and his 77 year old mother were asleep in his home when the man saw flashlights in the hallway. He thought his mother had awakened so he asked her if everything was O.K. the victim got up and walked down the hallway and saw his front door was open. The victim then saw his flat screen television was missing from the living room.  He looked outside his home and saw two males wearing dark clothing attempting to put his television in the rear of a vehicle. The vehicle was parked on the north corner of Cypress and Cedar Street, Eureka. He witnessed the two males put his television into the rear seat of their car and drive away. He could only describe the car as a dark colored two door sedan.

 The victim searched his home after calling the Sheriff’s Office and saw nothing else was missing. Investigating deputies could not find any signs of forced entry. The deputies saw where the television had been and items were knocked over as if the suspects left in a hurry with the television. The victim told the deputies the front door must have accidentally been left unlocked.

Apr 21, 2014

Motorcyclist collison on Broadway results in death

On April 20, 2014, at approximately 12:35 AM, a Eureka Police Department
officer on patrol was driving northbound in the #2 lane of Broadway Street just
north of Wabash Avenue when he was passed by a blue and white Honda
motorcycle traveling at a high rate of speed in the #1 lane of northbound
Broadway Street. The officer estimated the motorcycle was travelling in excess
of 80 MPH as it entered the 30 MPH zone there.

The officer broadcast his observations of the reckless motorcyclist to Dispatch
but did not take any enforcement action out of concern it would only prompt the
rider to further increase his speed.

As the officer continued driving northbound, he saw the rider lose control of the
motorcycle at around the 1000 block of Broadway. The rider fell off his
motorcycle and struck the raised curb at West Grant Street and Broadway. The
motorcycle continued north and collided with a closed garage door at 939
Broadway, breaking through the door.

The rider suffered fatal injuries from his collision with the curb and was
pronounced dead at the scene. EPD Traffic Unit officers were called to the

scene and assumed the investigation. Members of the Eureka Volunteer Patrol
(EVP) also responded to assist with traffic control and scene security.

The name of the motorcyclist is being withheld at this time pending notification of the family.

Man steals box from donation box at Safeway for Children Hunger Program

On 04-20-2014, at approximately 2:00 a.m., a Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Deputy on patrol drove through the rear entrance of Safeway, 2555 Harris Street, Eureka. As he drove in, he saw an adult male standing near the northwest exterior wall. As the patrol car approached the male, he  immediately turned his back, as if concealing something. The deputy exited his patrol car and asked the male what he was doing. The deputy saw the male was holding a clear plastic donation box. The deputy identified the man as Patrick Sean Riley, 54 years old from Briggs, Idaho.

The deputy asked Riley where he obtained the box, Riley told him from his work. The deputy saw Riley appeared to be under the influence of alcoholic beverages. Riley was detained by the deputy, who requested additional deputies respond and check with Safeway to determine if the box was stolen from inside the store.

The deputies contacted store employees who informed them the box was a donation box from inside Safeway. The boxes are located at the checkout stands on the counter so the public can donate. The money was being donated to the “Children Hunger Program”.   All the proceeds are donated to local charity.  The Safeway employees pointed out the spot where the donation box was stolen from. There was an outline on the counter where the box used to be.  The employees recognized Riley as recently purchasing a twelve pack of beer after milling about the store. The deputies reviewed a video tape with the Safeway employees, which showed Riley stealing the box. After reviewing the tape they saw that Riley intentionally knocked the clear plastic box off the counter when he purchased the beer, then hid the box in a plastic bag,  and then walked out of the store with it.

Riley was arrested for petty theft, possession of stolen property and public intoxication. He was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked. His bail is set at $25,000.00.  The stolen donation box was and contents were returned to Safeway.