Aug 22, 2014

Illegal timber harvesting, environmental damage, alteration of a streambed due to marijuana

On 08-21-2014, at approximately 9:00 a.m., the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, with the assistance of the Humboldt County Drug Task Force, Cal-Fire Law Enforcement and a California Fish and Wildlife Biologist and Game Warden served Humboldt County Superior Court search warrants in the 40000 block of Mattole Road, Honeydew, California.

 When the deputies arrived at the first search warrant location they located 24 greenhouses on an approximate one acre flat area containing 4,935 growing marijuana plants that ranged in size from 6” to 4’ tall, along with a barn and a residence. In the barn deputies located a dormant indoor marijuana growing operation and approximately one pound of marijuana bud. In the residence the deputies located a cash counter and packaging materials for marijuana.
 They located five men on the property when they arrived to serve the search warrant. Four were determined to have arrived in the last five days and the fifth was identified as Jason Dewayne Fleming, 42 years old, from Sebastopol, California. The deputies learned from the four men they had been hired by Fleming to work on the marijuana grow for $20.00 per hour.

Deputies searched a truck on the property that belonged to Fleming and located approximately $23,000.00 in cash.

 Deputies, Cal-Fire Law Enforcement and California Fish and Wildlife Biologist and Game Warden also witness significant environmental damage to the property, including Douglas Fir Trees and Tan Oak up to two feet in diameter being harvested. Fleming was interviewed and told the Cal-Fire Officer he did not possess any permits for timberland conversion or water drafting from the nearby creek. The Cal-Fire Officer, Deputies and Fish and Wildlife Biologist saw where Fleming had illegally constructed roads that were in poor condition and had placed a pump in a stream to draft water for the marijuana plants. The water pump was in Sanders Creek, which is known to harbor state and federally listed Salmon and Steelhead. The four workers told the deputies the pump runs twenty four hours a day to water the marijuana plants and the stream was dry below the pump. There was a fine dust powder of over 6” deep on the road led to the pump, which will wash into the fish bearing creeks and water courses that Salmon and Steelhead utilize when winter rains arrive. 

 Deputies arrested Fleming for cultivation and possession for sale of marijuana, California Fish and Wildlife Code Violations for altering a streambed, public resource code violations of illegal timber harvesting, misuse of timberlands and conducting a timber operation without a permit. He was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility and booked; his bail was set at $25,000.00.  The other four men were identified and released at the scene. Charges could be filed against them at a later date.

  The deputies, Humboldt County Drug Task Force Agents and California Fish and Wildlife Game Warden and Biologist then drove to a second search warrant location in the 42000 block of Mattole Road, Honeydew. At that location two suspects fled the scene on foot into the woods when officers approached; two adults remained at the scene and were detained.

 Deputies searched the property and residence. They located an outdoor marijuana grow with 556 growing marijuana plants. The plants were 3’ to 9’ tall and weighed from 25 to 35 pounds. Deputies estimated the plants could easily yield one pound to three pounds of marijuana bud each. Deputies located a AK-47 assault weapon, two semi-automatic handguns and a pistol in the residence. The two suspects who were detained told the deputies they owned a hotel in Hawaii, and property in San Diego where they also live. They told the deputies they thought it was legal to grow 99 marijuana plants each.

When deputies, the California Fish and Wildlife Biologist and Game Warden located the water source for the marijuana, they saw it was two water pumps in Wood Creek. The pumps were drafting water into one inch water lines. Wood Creek is known as an important Salmon and Steelhead stream and critical cold water source for the Mattole River. The biologist told deputies this was adversely affecting the Mattole and the creek, which are currently at a low flow due to severe drought conditions.

 The biologist, deputies and game Warden also located a large trash pile. The trash pile was right next to wood creek and contained discarded hazardous materials, including discarded oil containers, batteries, chemicals and household garbage.
The two detained suspects were identified and released. The two suspects that fled the scene were also identified. Deputies and California Fish and Wildlife will be seeking criminal charges of cultivation and possession for sale of marijuana, armed in the commission of a felony, possession of an assault weapon, California Fish and Wildlife Code Violations for water diversion and alteration, (6 counts), water pollution, (8 counts), trash near a waterway( 2 counts). 

Besides criminal penalties, each count of water diversion and alteration carries civil penalty of $10,000.00 per violation, each count of water pollution carries a civil penalty $40,000.00 per violation, and each count of trash near a waterway carries a civil penalty of $40,000.00 per violation.

 The case is also being forwarded to Humboldt County Environmental Health for possible additional criminal and civil charges.

Defense requests 2 week continuance in Bodhi Tree case

Today dates were to be set for sentencing for Bodhi Tree. The date is New date is September 5 at 2 p.m. One of the jurors attended the hearing. The request was made by Tree's defense attorney Heidi Holmquist to "look into issues." She requested to "approach" before she made the request.

Tree dressed in his orange jumpsuit chatted with Ms. Holmquist before and after the decision.

Aug 21, 2014

"We turned the ship, it is time to put the pedal to the metal" Mike Newman kick's off Eureka City Council re-election

About 40 people showed up around lunch time for Council member Mike Newman's kick-off today at the C Street Plaza.

Reached for comment later, Mike said, "We turned the ship, it is time to put the pedal to the metal". He wants to emphasize that the four years since he was elected, the City has started to move in a direction and he wants to keep moving forward.

Here is a copy of his speech:

"I am a 30 + years Businessman & Citizen that has worked hard to earn a living while proudly serving my community as a member of our Eureka City Council for the past 4 years.  In that time, I have worked to get more “bang for our buck” in the way City Hall does business.

My opponent has said that this is a do nothing council…that we are not getting things done…Well, I disagree.

In my 4 years I have helped accomplish such tasks as:

Facilitating the opening of the Extreme Weather Winter Shelter, to care for the homeless when temperatures reach 32 degrees or less.
Taken steps to combine our Fire Department with Humboldt Fire District #1 to form Humboldt Bay Fire, saving the City approximately $180K per year for the last 3 years.
Consolidated several departments in City Hall to help save money and make local government more efficient.
Prioritized the need to attract and retain Business using the assets that our City has, such as a deep water port, a beautiful waterfront and a downtown rich in historic architecture.

Our Council also helped finish the funding of the Fisherman’s Terminal Building behind me for our Fishing Industry’s use. We hired an innovative police chief with a broad array of experience to begin solving our city’s problems.

We are getting the job done ! But there's always more to do!

In the next 4 years, I will continue to work toward:
-easier and better Transportation access to our remote region to help alleviate the extra costs for locating, and conducting business here.
- addressing and solving the needs of our healthcare system. We have a problem attracting and keeping health care providers to our area and one of the reasons cited is the difficulty to easily travel in and out of our Region.
-Beautifying the Broadway corridor
-Development of the Waterfront instead of vacant land
-Industrial Park-pre permitted
-Completing our General Plan
-Continuing the success 0f the just launched Project, “Restore Hope”, by a coalition of the City and County to restore hope to the Citizens of Eureka and bring respite to those struggling to find housing.

I sincerely believe that the future of our families, businesses and community are in the balance.  That’s why I am running again for this office.

I am ready to roll my sleeves up and get back to work for you, and in turn ask for your support in my re-election campaign.   I need You, Your endorsement, Your donations, and your HELP.

If you share my vision of a new Eureka where families can flourish and City Hall works for the people, join the campaign, go to my website, Newman4CityCouncil.

I ask for your vote for Eureka City Council this November.     Thanks for coming today!"

Sound off on the Eureka General Plan Update or just listen, your choice

The community is invited to attend an informational joint study session with the City Council
and Planning Commission on the General Plan Update on Thursday, August 28, 2014, at 4:00
pm in the Council Chamber located at City Hall, 531 K Street in Eureka.

Join the City to learn about two documents that will inform the General Plan Update, the Draft Planning Issues and Opportunities Report and the Homelessness Policy Paper. The Draft Planning Issues and
Opportunities Report identifies key physical, environmental, economic, cultural, and social
assets, issues, opportunities and objectives that may be considered as part of the update. The
Homelessness Policy Paper presents short-term, medium-term and longer-term strategies the
community can take to begin to reduce homelessness.

This study session will present an overview of both documents and the process by which they were developed. For more  information, visit the General Plan Update website at or call Lisa Shikany at (707) 268-5265.

Tree not being sentenced tomorrow, just setting for sentencing date

This has been previously reported but a good reminder for those who may not know.

Screaming victim leads to burglar being arrested

On 08/20/14 at about 11:40 p.m., officers responded to the 3300 block of Gross Street for a report of a subject trying to force entry into a residence.  Officers checked the area, but were unable to locate the suspect.
Officers found a wallet outside the residence with an identification card belonging to David Mako.

On 08/21/14 at about 12:14 a.m., officers responded to the 1200 block of Gross Street for a report of a woman heard screaming.  Upon arrival, the victim told officers that she had interrupted a male burglarizing her attached garage.  The victim said the male ran out of the garage after a brief verbal confrontation.

Officers checked the area and located David Mako (59) of Eureka, in the alley behind the victim’s residence.  The victim positively identified Mako as being the male in her garage.

Mako was arrested for burglary and taken to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility.  Mako is on probation for previous theft related offenses.

Aug 20, 2014

Your honor, the defendant allegedly bit the victim! Assault by teeth

 On 08-20-2014, at approximately 2:15 a.m., the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office received a call from an assault victim who was at the Miranda Market, Miranda. The victim reported that he was attacked by Jeffrey Marvin Delore, 39 years old from Miranda. The victim told the Sheriff's Office dispatcher he received injuries to his face and head after being struck in the head by Delore with a wooden object. The victim also reported being bitten at least three times by Delore during the assault, and said Delore was armed with a knife. The victim requested medical assistance and a deputy.

 Deputies and medical responded to Miranda Market. When deputies arrived they met with the victim who repeated the story to the deputies. The deputies saw the victim had visible cuts, bruises and bite marks.

 Deputies searched the area for Delore, who also had arrest warrants for vandalism, domestic violence and traffic violations.

 On 08-20-2014, at approximately 12:30 p.m. deputies located and arrested Delore without incident in Miranda. He was taken to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked for assault with a deadly weapon and on his outstanding arrest warrants. He is being held without

Motion to sever Humboldt's lovey dovey trio granted in another flubbed redacted statement saga

Motion to sever the cases involving Hillegeist, Borgner and Higgins was granted by Judge John Feeney today. Paul was not in court but DDA Roger Rees tried the same argument last week and this week but once again could not assure the Judge certain statements would not be used.

Paul, if you are going to insist on this brilliant redacted statement strategy, at least get your DDAs help with discovery and provide redacted statements on time. You have a few investigators with a lot of time on their hands, maybe they could be useful instead of idling around the Courthouse or around town.

The DDAs do a great job despite your mismanagement. Do them a favor, leave them alone for four months.

Worse than getting dumped is being replaced while you are in jail

William Duane Hillegeist who was arrested with Sara Balke for allegedly firing shots in Freshwater Park and possession of marijuana was having a bad day in Court. Not only is he in the Humboldt Hilton while Balke gets to remain out of custody, he is involved in a handful of cases with another incident involving marijuana and guns.

Balke had to cool her heels today while the case involving Hillegeist and Humboldt's lovey dovey duo Lance Borgner and Christina Higgins who are co-defendants with Hillegeist was being addressed.

Borgner walked into court from jail and blew kisses at Higgins who is also in custody. The usual "I love you" back and forth was missing. Hillegeist who has a pair of lips tatooed on his neck was staring at Balke in the audience. She has a matching tatoo on her neck. Hillegeist was communicating silently then kicked it up a notch. Courtroom 1 Baliff Conklin who is very mellow had to go admonish him twice not to communicate with Balke.

Even after two baliffs stood by blocking eye contact, Hillegeist defied them then started tearing up. One baliff then walked to the back of the room. I turned expecting to see a lovelorn Balke. Instead, I saw another Humboldt "winner" with his arm around Balke taunting Hillegeist like "she is with me now." He was  asked to step out.

Fidelity does not seem to be high on Balke's list. What ever happened to "For cuffs or for worse!"

EPD's Most Wanted latest addition Beatrice Runner sound familiar?

In November 2012, Beatrice Runner and her boyfriend Steve Upton were arrested while on probation for dope and guns, according to a POP release. Runner was mentioned briefly in relation to an incident between Upton and Matthews in the Bodhi Tree case.

Now she is on EPD's Most Wanted again! At some point, do we get to say do not pass 6th and C, do not collect $200 in weed (Tree testimony joke) and your get out of jail card has permanently expired.

Ride the rails on the Timber Heritage crew car Speeder this Saturday

The Timber Heritage Association's "Salmon, Oysters, Ales and Rail" takes place August 23rd at the Samoa Roundhouse. $20 gets you a barbequed salmon meal; $10 a children's hot dog meal. Oysters, ales and wine available for additional purchase. Ride the rails on the Timber Heritage crew car Speeder or relax with music by the Redwood Dixie-Gators. For more information and to get ticket locations, call (707) 443-2957 or visit www.

Mahan Road Garberville marijuana bust with no arrests

On 08-19-2014, at approximately 11:00 a.m., Humboldt County Sheriff's Office deputies drove to Mahan Road, Garberville and served a Humboldt County Superior Court search warrant. When deputies arrived, they searched the property and located 1077 growing marijuana plants ranging from 8 feet to 15 feet tall. They also located five adults who were all detained and identified.

 No arrests were made; however deputies will be submitting the case to the Humboldt County District Attorney's Office and requesting arrest warrants for cultivation and possession for sale of marijuana.

Humboldt Bay Harbor Working Group Luncheon Focuses on Master Permitting Possibilities

Humboldt Bay Harbor Working Group is hosting an informative and practical luncheon designed to delve into the possibilities of master permitting.  The Harbor District began this process of master permitting their oyster leases.  Prosperity 2012 identified master permitting as a key economic development strategy.  This luncheon is designed to learn from the work being done at the state level and how it can apply to the needs of our region.  Can we as a community move forward on this new and much needed process to revitalize our Port and create good-paying jobs?

The luncheon is scheduled for Wednesday, August 27 from Noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Samoa Cookhouse in Samoa.  All guests must RSVP for this no-host luncheon of pot roast or soup and salad by calling 441-1974 or email to The guest speaker is Andrew Sturmfels from the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz).  He has visited Eureka earlier to talk about a new economic development program.  On the 27th Andrew will talk about his progress statewide in master permitting processes.

Andrew Sturmfels was appointed by Governor Brown to serve as Senior Permit Assistance Specialist within the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) in January of 2013. His job is to assist businesses in California with understanding and navigating permitting, licensing, and regulatory processes. When not working directly with businesses, Andrew works on statewide policy efforts that make it easier to do business in California. Over the last 18 months Andrew led the implementation of the statewide Lean-6 Sigma program that resulted in substantial process improvements across 11 state departments.

HBHWG is a citizen’s group advocating for good paying jobs through the revitalization of Humboldt Harbor. In the fall of 2011, community members interested in creating jobs with living wages met to discuss the Harbor’s immense untapped potential.  This citizen’s action group became the Humboldt Bay Harbor Working Group (HBHWG) with one of its goals to host a monthly educational lunch forum on the last Wednesday at Noon at the Samoa Cookhouse.  More information about HBHWG is available  at

Aug 19, 2014

Lot of talk in LOCO comment section but no follow through

At the City Council meeting tonight, only 1 person, Lorene Dunaway, referred to several articles on the internet and "words spoken at an event that were unprofessional."

Fact: there was only one post and it was on LOCO. Dunaway referred to her training when she was a teacher and recommended professional development training for the City regarding situations of conflict.

"Eureka does not need any more negative publicity on the internet." All that posturing in the LOCO comment section but when it comes to real life, many do not have the guts to use their real names.

LOCO commenters are not the community at large. Nor is  most "media" locally which is largely left leaning unbiased reporting.

Whether the attacks are anonymous or from the few that use their name, taking accountability for your words and actions is something many people could use "training" in Humboldt County.

Frequent flier Heather Haselip arrested again!

According to a HCSO press release, this time for a stolen vehicle.

Haselip like Shiloh Case, David Dues are just some of the frequent fliers at the Humboldt County Jail.

Even a cat with nine lives myth has a limit. These frequent fliers being booked and getting released and rearrested is like Groundhog day over and over again for court staff and public defenders.

Yes, realignment has been so successful.

"It's not just homeless, not all homeless are criminals"

This was a comment made by Eureka Chief of Police Andy Mills during a CHIP presentation this morning during the Humboldt County Board of Supervisor's meeting.

CHIP, Community Homeless Improvement Project is a group that was spearheaded by Supervisors Virginia Bass and Rex Bohn and this group consists of County and City of Eureka officials, County and City of Eureka staff and organizations working with the homeless. The group has been meeting since October 2013, almost every week at the Courthouse.

Chief Mills was the first to speak. "Homelessness is not going to go away, CHIP would like to improve" the plight of homeless individuals. Chief Mills said according to surveys and data, "a minority of homeless are responsible for the majority of  problems and crimes" that CHIP wants to address. "It's not just the homeless," he said. "Not all homeless are criminals. There are others that engage in "criminal behavior that degrades the community."

Many of the individuals who are currently homeless are longtime resisdents of Humboldty County, said Chief Mills.

Several other speakers with a power point presentation spoke about advocacy and efforts to help the homeless and others about legislation that will address certain crimes which are of concern to citizens and businesses.

"In 30 years, I see a light for the first time," said Betty Chinn. Her sentiment was echoed by representatives from the Eureka Rescue Misdion and St. Vincent DePaul.

Chief Mills referred to a quote by Rev. Dan Price at the opening of the Betty Kwann Chin Day Center, "But by the grace of God, there goes each of us." CHIP he said is about "compassion yet controlling destructive behavior."

Eureka Main Street Director Charlotte McDonald and City Attorney Cyndi Day Wilson spoke about the education and proposed legislation plans. Several group members were wearing yellow tshirts with a heart with the words, "Eureka, the heart of Humboldt." Beige tshirts and green polos are available for $20 at City Hall. They will also be sold at Arts Alive and donated kiosks at Bayshore Mall. The money from these will benefit resources helping the homeless.

The education campaign will include PSAs recorded by Supervisor Bohn, brochures explaining CHIP's mission. Efforts are to get people to take advantage of the resources and to avert legislative consequences.

"This is about giving people a helping hand, not a handout, " said McDonald. "A handout is not enough. This money goes towards resources." Eureka Chamber of Commerce Director Don Smullins, who previously headed St. Vincent DePaul, said in his experience, "  cash goes to panhandlers, giving to resources provides food and clothing."

Chief Mills applauded Supervisors Bass and Bohn on their leadership and he said while staff like himself and DHHS director get paid, "Charlotte does not get paid to do stuff like this."

The City Attorney gave statistics on how many misdemeanors are prosecuted by the City of Eureka with several defendants having more than one case." Three proposed ordinces by the City of Eureka are: abandoned shopping cart ordinance, bicycle ordinance and vehicle panhandling ordinance. All target behavior endangering public safety.

Eureka Councilmembers Mike Newman and Chet Albin, community activist Charlie Bean were some of the other group members in attendance.

Aug 18, 2014

Mike Newman to formally announce relection bid for City Council on August 21

Councilmember Mike Newman will officially announce his re-election bid for Ward 3 for Eureka City Council on August 21 at 12:15 p.m. at the C street Plaza in Eureka. For more information, call (707) 499-6440 or check out Newman for City Council on Facebook or

Public safety changes that can be enacted before November and won't cost us a dime; Paul step down, let Maggie take over

For $13,166 a month, plus benefits, the People of California deserve a DA who shows up in Court for cases he takes over, especially high profile cases. For that amount of money, the People deserve a DA who knows the law and does not need the Judges to help him out.

For that amount of money,  let us try Paul's brilliant past management decision of rotating DDAs to be ADA for a month. Maybe until January 2015, each DDA could be DA for a month.

Or better yet, step down and let Maggie take over early.

Public safety change that will not cost a dime.

People oppose motion to sever Ferrer but have yet to file; another date set

The People informed Judge Reinholtsen after he ruled on the motion to sever. Apparently, there was a motion to oppose but DDA Zach Curtis did not know.

 So, now there is yet another date set for the motion to consolidate the cases. September 10 at 2p.m. Judge Reinholtsen is not rescinding his ruling but the defense attorneys get to present their arguments again. Paul, if he shows up gets to argue and show that with the redacted statements he can try the three defendants together.

Paul did show up for Court today. He finally provided the redacted statements the People intend to introduce. Some redacted statements he handed to the defense attorneys in Court.

Discovery is finally complete although defense counsel had to get clarification in Court. First Paul took notes about what was outstanding, then he said he thought he had sent an email to defense counsel about what he had learned from Deputy Coroner Roy Horton. Apparently, he had not, he admitted. Is this the kind of legal experience $13,166 a month (plus benefits) the People of Humboldt are paying for?

Since June 18, this case keeps getting delayed. Maybe Paul, you should show up  for court? Maybe Paul, you should not leave DDAs to cover for your incompetence?

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Minimal fire damage this time but please dispose smoking materials appropriately says Fire Department

On August 17th at approximately 1530 hours, Humboldt Bay Fire was dispatched to a structure fire at 1928 Everding St.  HBF responded with three fire engines, one ladder truck, and two Chief Officers.

The first arriving unit reported light smoke showing from a single story, wood frame residence.  While setting up to make entry to the structure, fire personnel received information of a resident possibly still being inside.  Fire crews forced entry to the structure to perform a search and to attack the fire.  The crew was able to quickly search the small residence and confirm that no one was inside.  They were also able to locate the fire which was confined to a small couch in the living room.  Crews removed the burnt couch from the residence and utilized fans to ventilate smoke from the residence.

Investigation of the fire found multiple discarded cigarettes on, in, and around the couch.  The occupant was not home at the time of the fire.  The residence received minor smoke damage, but the remainder of the damage was confined to the couch.  There were no injuries.

Humboldt Bay Fire would like to remind residents that smoking materials should be disposed of in an appropriate container, such as an ash tray.  While the damage from this fire was minimal, should this have occurred with residents home or during the night time hours, the potential for greater damage or injury is greatly increased.