Nov 15, 2014

Real story about USPS closure skirted in most media, local and national

The postal service claimed it has to cut mail service because of the prefund mandate for retiree health benefits. The local union had their claim. See link below.

The real story is that government and unions want someone else to pay for job security for some Americans and to stick it to others who work.

Sacrifice only applies to private sector.

The local post service employees lose because unions are ineffective today except to collect dues and hold negotiations hostage until they get demands. Government just passes the buck.

Why do national and local businesses continue to support national and local media who work against objective reporting and providing facts to the public? As customers, tell businesses if they want your money, they need to advertise more effectively.

Suspects flee towards Bakersfield after robbing their boss in Shelter Cove

On Friday 11/14/2014 at approximately 10:00 AM, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a call regarding a robbery that occurred in the Kings Peak area of Shelter Cove. The suspects involved had been in the employ of the victim; and therefore, were known and identified by the victim. (S1) Fernando Borba Guilherme, DOB 12/16/1970, Hispanic male, 5’11”, 185 lbs, brown hair, brown eyes; and (S2) Carl Guilherme, DOB 07/16/1968, Hispanic male, 5’9”, 160 lbs, brown hair, and brown eyes. Both suspects entered the property and were confronted by the victim. Suspect Fernando brandished a small knife at the victim and attempted to steal the victim’s canine. The victim was able to retrieve the canine from the suspect. Suspect Carl forced entry into the victim’s residence and removed four to five pounds of marijuana that was contained in a grey colored tote. Both suspects were seen leaving in a newer model black Dodge Charger with California plates and visible damage to the passenger side quarter panel.

The suspects are reported to be traveling towards Bakersfield, California. Both suspects should be considered armed and dangerous. An arrest authority has been issued on both suspects for Assault with a Deadly Weapon, Robbery, Burglary, and Conspiracy to Commit a Crime.

Multiple fire explosions in Rancho Sequoia area caused by drug lab

On Friday 11/14/2014 at approximately 11:14 AM, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a call from CAL Fire regarding a large fire with multiple explosions occurring in the Rancho Sequoia area in Southern Humboldt. CAL Fire believed the fire was caused by a possible drug lab. CAL Fire responded and found a small single story structure ablaze. It was unknown if the structure was used as a residence. There was no one present on scene upon CAL Fire’s arrival.

Sheriff’s Deputies responded and discovered evidence that Concentrated Cannabis or “Hash” was being produced using a butane extraction method. There were thousands of empty butane canister found discarded on the property along with remnants of marijuana. Three firearms were located on scene and collected. Witnesses stated that a green Jeep SUV was seen leaving the property at a high rate of speed once the explosions began. The land owner has been contacted. There are no known suspects at this time. The investigation is ongoing.

EPD investigating possible homicide after gunfire reported near 15th and Williams

On November 15, 2014, at about 3:59 a.m., Eureka Police officers were dispatched to a report of gun fire in the area of 15th and Williams Streets.  An injured person was reported to be lying on 15th Street.

When officers arrived they found a man who had been shot and was non-responsive.  Medics were called to the scene and lifesaving efforts were attempted, but not successful. Homicide detectives have been called and are on scene investigating the death. The man has not been identified at this time.

Nov 14, 2014

Celebrate Fall at the Wine Spot with the Lost Angel or Thanksgiving with the Turkey Day trio

The Wine Spot, one of my favorite local businesses, has several new selections, including the Lost Angel. This wine is made in Sonoma, and the label touts it as "a mischief red wine". The vintner's tag line is "Naughty wines for Naughty Times."

The Lost Angel boldly teases the palate with it's "fruit forward flavors of black cherries, dried plums, and sultanas."

The Turkey Day Trio, is a Wine Spot Thanksgiving promotion,  will feature a few different packages with three wines for each combination at special price.

This December will be the Wine Spot's 4th anniversary. The Wine Spot is located 234 F St, Eureka.  Call (707) 497-6236

The Ritz in Eureka gets a makeover and is ready to court new suitors

The photos above are a sneak peek and exclusive look at the new and improved Ritz. In addition to a brick oven, owner Dan Ollivier refurbished the floors and the bar and put in new carpets and painted the Ritz and the Ritz Annex.

Dan and his wife Jayne own several historic properties in Eureka. They have restored several buildings in Old Town and are avid art patrons.

The Ritz brings back fond memories for many. It has been through a few incarnations, and presently, there has been some interest from potential buyers. If you are a budding entrepreneur looking to invest and bring back the glory of the Ritz, call Dan at (707) 672-2113.

Related post about Dan Ollivier:

My article on the Ritz:

Cruise the West during the next Eureka City Council meeting

A Cruise the West Presentation is scheduled during the Eureka City Council November 18 meeting agenda given by Bruce Connor of Cruise the West. This is part of 5th Ward Council member Chet Albin's effort to bring cruise ships to Eureka.

Fire in Rancho Sequoia area related to hash lab

On 11/14/11 at approximately 1114 hrs. the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call of a fire in the area of Rancho Road and Spring St. in the Rancho Sequoia area of Alderpoint. There were reportedly explosions heard in the area of the fire. Cal-Fire and Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the scene and determined that the fire had destroyed a small outbuilding and were related to a hash extraction lab. Deputies located thousands of empty butane bottles on the property. A green Jeep (no further description) was seen leaving the area at the time the fire was reported. No persons were located on the property.

Best scenario for Measure Z potential hires is next July

December 2 is the board meeting and if the November 4 election votes have been certified., then action can start on Measure Z.CAO Phillip Smith-Hanes said July 1 is the date new public safety hires can be hired. He gave a brief report on Measure Z and any action that can be taken and why.

He asked for direction and quick action on Citizen's Avisory Committee. Tax wont be collected until next June but buget will be presented before. CAO Smith-Hanes said he needed decision about committee today to meet deadlines.

Supervisor Fennell proposed a committee structure consisting of 9 member, 5 from each district, 2 at large, 1 from CCP, 1 law enforcement, 1 fire. Supervisor Mark Lovelace concurred. Clarification no beneficiaries of funds be on committee, for example Sheriff. Supervisor Fenell stressed it be a citizen committee. Supervisor Lovelace said as meetings are public, anyone can attend.

This was in response to Supervisor Rex Bohn that how would lay people know needs of police, fire? He wanted to make sure before Board made a final decision, they had the full picture.

Supervisor Ryan Sundberg suggested if fire chief and CCP pick first, the Supervisors could make decisions about at-large to round out groups.

Supervisor Sundberg said there was a lot of interest in this Committee and he had already received 9 calls. Supervisor Bohn thanked the public for voting. There were other suggestions and public comment.

Eventually, staff was directed to bring back a proposal for the board to vote on.

"You two can become one now", Supervisor Bohn quips before decision about Coroner and Sheriff offices being consolidated

The Board had two options after Coroner DaveParris's resignation. One was to appoint someone for remainder of term. The other a consolidation of two County offices. CAO Phillip Smith Hanes explained why the latter option was more beneficial and the pricess the first entailed. Supervisor Fenell said from a budgetary point of view consolidation makes sense.

Before the Sheriff and Coroner spoke to the Board, Supervisor Bohn joked, "You two can become one right now joking they could sit together or speak as one.

Coroner Parris spoke about the proposed change. Said not easy to come and suggest this about an office in existence for 100 years. Mr. Parris said Coroner's office has struggled with funding, except for General Fund. Due to not being a stand alone office, the Coroner's office cannot secure grants. In the past, he said he has sought assistance from Sheriff's office.  Some of Mr. Parris' remarks were the same as his press release earlier this week.

Even before the vote, Supervisor Rex Bohn and Supervisor Estelle Fenell thanked Mr. Parris for his service, compassion and positive feedback from families.

Sheriff Mike Downey said he would be part of this transition and "serve at the will of the Board". With funding and employees, he reiterated that this consolidation would be beneficial to th community. He said if there were concerns about Sheriff's office in certain cases, there are safeguards and assistance of other Counties can be used and has been used in the past.

Supervisor Sundberg thanked them both and thanked Sheriff Downey for "taking on this extra duty with no extra pay." Supervisor Bass said 48 other Counties are operating in such a manner and that this makes sense now based on research and considering all options.

A motion was made by Supervisor Fennell seconded by Supervisor Sundberg to direct staff to develop an ordinance regarding this consolidation and if approved, it would be in effect January 30, 2016. Supervisor Fennell called "it a perfect fit."

The Board vote was unanimous.

Four people attend special Board of Supervisors meeting

Not counting media, Supervisors and County staff, only four members of the public are here for the special BOS meeting today. Regular attendee and public enthusiast Kent Sawatzky,
Jaison Chand from City Cab and Jim Pell from Humboldt Taxpayer's League.

Consent calendar passed. No question or informatin on MOU with unions or department head's salaries.

Measure Z is why all members of public said they are here. Two more members walked in now, one of them, Hollie Klingel. She has been very involved in the community and described herselfas a "political activist" and has applied for the Citizen's Advisory Committee. She talked about how important Measure Z is to older folks like her and those most vulnerable, "having dealt a hand in life."

Supervisor Virginia Bass read a letter from Eureka Chief Andrew Mills about mental health assisting police and "not criminalizing the homeless."

Under department reports, Supervisor Ryan Sundberg mentioned meeting with Cannabis Voice, neighborhood watch idea spearheaded by McKinleyville resident Dave Varshock; the group plans to talk to UnderSheriff Billy Honsal about logistics.

Supervisor Virginia Bass mentioned the EPD promotion ceremony as a part of her travel report. She also mentioned the fundraising effort for Fly Humboldt, which she said she does every meeting.

District Attorney Elect Maggie Fleming, Sheriff Mike Downey, Undersheriff Honsal, Captain Ed Wilkinson, Fire Department representatives all here for Measure Z. Mr. Sawatzky mentioned Measure Z funds should and could be used for similar efforts such as McKinleyville Neighborhood Watch. Supervisor Sundberg remarked that the Sheriff's office already does suppor citizen's patrol and so something like this would "be a seamless effort."

Nov 13, 2014

Vatican commission showers for the homeless in St. Peter's Square

These are only two links to several national and international articles.

Measure Z, Consolidation of Coroner's and Sheriff's office, compensation of management to be discussed at special Sups meeting

These are just some of the items to be discussed during the morning session of tomorrow's special meeting of the Board Supervisors.

Should be interesting, depending on public comment and what, if any action is taken regarding Measure Z funds.

Yes, Oak World is going out of business

The sign is correct. The business is family owned and I spoke to Pete Pedro, one of the owners just a few minutes ago. This decision was made just last week, he said. "This has been in the works for a while, the business has been up for sale for the past 8 months."

Last week, they made a decision to go out of business instead.

Nov 12, 2014

"We have taken some hits over the years, some undeserved, some we must own"

We must acknowledge the mistakes of our past and look to our future with optimistic change," said Capt.Watson. "I will hold us accountable," said Capt. Watson. "Like Brian said, we will lead by example."

"We have taken some hits over the years, some undeserved, some we must own," said Capt. Watson. He called the entire department leaders, not just the Chief and captains.

These are just two quotes from excellent speeches by Capt. Stephens and Capt. Watson.

Channel 3 and KAEF had reporters also filming but TV news lends to snippets. LOCO had Andrew Goff who did a brief report. Mark Mckenna took photos but TS only sent a photographer. NCJ had no representation. The police face a lot of scrutiny so to have no coverage of the event by a reporter from TS or NCJ when there was candid and frank talk from both Captains promoted is worth noting.

Hank Sims and Thad Greenson are both oral board members, from the list I gather they interviewed the panelists. Will this affect future coverage?

Two protestors outside Wharfinger?

One woman standing at the back of a room with a small picture pinned on her shirt. Could just be someone who lost a family member and not a protestor. She was talking to Andrew Goff from LOCO.

Ceremony over and Andrew told me she is protesting. I did not talk to either of them. They have chosen to air their grievances on blogs. Did they ever approach the Chief first? This was not the time and place to protest, much less express grief.

Anyone who exploits their grief by egging them on to deal with this via social media is like an ambulance chasing lawyer.

Another woman standing outside with a sign talking to an onlooker, fellow protestor. She is definitely a protestor but they were not disruptive and now the event is over.

Wharfinger packed for EPD ceremony

Sea of blue photo is all EPD personnel here today. City, Sheriff, EPD, APD, families packed the Wharfinger. Virginia Bass, Mike Newman, Mayor Jager, Sheriff Downey among elected. Also present Melinda Ciarabellini and Linda Atkins. Eureka councilmember Marian Brady is out of town at the Leage of Cities Conference. Eureka 5th ward Councilmember elect Natalie Arroyo attended.

Pledge of Allegiance, national anthem. Chief Mills quipped, "Don't you feel like you areat aHSU football game." The crowd laughed.

Mayor Jager sharing "war stories about his law enforcement days." Congratulted Chief Mills on candidates being promoted.

Chief Mills explained process of selection. Twice thanked all attending. Recognized City Councilmember elect Natalie Arroyo by name for attending. Thanked citizens of Eureka for passing Measure Q.

Capt. Stephens and Captain Watson both stressed changes over the years, including in methodology. "We must acknowledge the mistakes of our past and look to our future with optimistic change," said Capt.Watson. "I will hold us accountable," said Capt. Watson. "Like Brian said, we will lead by example."

"We have taken some hits over the years, some undeserved, some we need to own," said Captain Watson.

The sheriff's deputies were handling calls for the hour long ceremony. Chief Mills thanked Sheriff Downey at the ceremony for this so the EPD officers could attend.

Chief Mills added a lot of humor to the award ceremony. When new hires were being recognized, one of them wrote in her bio that she likes to bake. "I have not been the recepient of this," said Chief Mills.

Today's EPD ceremony belongs to heroes, not shadowy cowards who only contribute hate

The Eureka Police Department is holding a promotional ceremony today at 2:30 p.m. The ceremony is to commemorate the promotions of two Captains, two Sergeants, a Communications Supervisor, and a Support Services Manager.  The ceremony is being held at the Wharfinger Building, 1 Marina Way, Eureka.

The invitation was only sent to media as standard procedure but someone leaked the information out to an anonymous blog. There was a call for protestors to show up. Will they?

An agenda item about a claim from Daren Borges family was posted on the same anonymous blog before it was posted to the public or sent out to the media.

This used to happen with another anonymous blog when Larry Glass was in office. When Occupy Eureka was protesting, did someone tip them off regarding police plans?

So who is leaking information they are not supposed to anonymous people with an anti-police and anti city agenda?

Today is not about shadowy attacks by people who do not have the guts to show their faces or sign their names and it is not about those who do not have the courage to fight for the freedom for others, even those who disagree.

This ceremony belongs to the brave men and women being honored today and their families.

Nov 10, 2014

"My heroes are those who risk their lives every day to protect our world and make it a better place - police, firefighters and members of our armed forces."  

"My heroes are those who risk their lives every day to protect our world and make it a better place - police, firefighters and members of our armed forces."-- Sidney Sheldon

Tomorrow, there will be many events to honor our veterans. I miss my friend Mark, who we lost unexpectedly last year.

Local attorney and veteran Allan Dollison sent me information on two events you might want to check out. Allan has served our country and is someone I am glad to have had a chance to know better this year.

 Allan will be leading the Mad River Honor Guard at 11:00 at the Humboldt Senior Resource Center (19th and California) and then will be at the Clarke Museum for their event at 1:00.

 To our veterans, there are no words sufficient to convey my gratitude. I salute you and say Thank you.

"Doug was a victim that day...we will be victims the rest of our lives"

This is one of the heart wrenching statements in 5 letters by Douglas-Anderson Jordet's family read by victim witness representative Marybeth Bian. This statement was written by Douglas' 80 year old parents.

The first letter was from Douglas' sister-in-law, Patty. She said "Douglas was the youngest sibling and the only brother" of her husband. "His name and character have been unfairly maligned to defend this vicious act." She wrote about Doug and what he meant to his family and how they have been having a hard time since his death.

She referred to a post on facebook that was written by Nicholas Stoiber and liked by Sophie Rochealeau before "they knew Douglas was dead. She thanked Stoiber for "his truthful statement to the police and taking responsibility early on this investigation. I would like to see Nick and Sophie offered help for chemical dependency." She said she "has forgiven Nick and Sophie."

The second letter was from Douglas's brother-in-law.  The third letter from his parents, who live in Minnesota. ""Doug was a victim that day...we will be victims the rest of our lives," they wrote. "As parents, we never thought we would have to bury our child."

They called their son's tragic passing, " a senseless death at the hand of three Arcata residents."

Douglas' sister also did not hold Stoiber and Rocheleau to the same responsibility and hoped that they would get help. The last letter was from his brother.

Douglas was allegedly stabbed by Juan Ferrer. From testimony given, the co-defendants were less culpable.

Today two co-defendants were sentenced to 3 years summary probation and 50 hours of community service. Some of the family members said they forgive Stoiber and Rocheleau, the two defendants sentenced today and asked the court to get them help.

Juan Ferrer who is charged with stabbing Douglas Anderson Jordet back in court on Dec 17

His attorney, Marek Reavis asked for a disposition/reset hearing in 30 days. Next court date is December 17 at 2 p.m. in Courtroom 4.

Outstanding discovey issues are testing of blood samples on the street, sais Mr. Reavis. DA Paul Gallegos said the family wants to proceed with a jury trial and he wants that scheduled as soon as possible.

Human trafficking case plea offer accepted and Anderson sentenced to 9 years and 4 months

David Anderson accepted this offer when they were already 4 to 5 weeks into jury selection. There were previous offers but Anderson accepted this one because unlike previous offers,  with this offer none of the counts in the negotiated plea are strikes and Anderson does not have to register as a sex offender.

Today in court, he was remanded to the California Department of Corrections. Since it was a negotiated disposition, his attorney Ben McLaughlin only commented about his indigent status to Judge Dale Reinholtsen.

Total sentence is 9 years and 4 months. This is the first case in Humboldt to be charged with human trafficking. Most of the sentence, 8 years is for the human trafficking count.

"As Mr. Anderson's attorney, I am satisfied with the outcome," Mr.McLaughlin told me outside court. "We held the prosecution to the burden of proof required and got a fair and just result."

The case and all three trials were prosecuted by DDA Luke Brownfield.

Previous post today with other links:

Codefendants in Ferrer case get 3 years summary probation and 50 hours of community service

Nicholas Stoiber represented by Jennifer Dixon from the Public Defender;s office and Sophie Rocheleau represented by private attorney Benjamin Okin each plead guilty to PC 242 and were each given the same sentence: three years of summary probation, 50 hours of community service, alcohol and drug assessment and monetary fines and fees.

"I realize that a person died, " said Judge Reinholtsen, after he sentenced Rocheleau and Stoiber who were out of custody and stood by their attorneys. Their loved ones and friends as well as Juan Ferrer's family, who is the one charged with the stabbing that resulted in the death of Douglas Anderson-Jordet and is in custody, silently listened as Judge Reinholtsen pronounced the sentence after hearing from victim witness who read letters from the victim's family and after DA Paul Gallegos and the attorneys made brief statements.

Before he sentenced them, the Judge read the definition and penalties that could be imposed on them and advised them of the rights they were giving up by not going to trial.

California Penal Code 242 PC simple battery is a misdemeanor in California law.
The penalties for California battery in most cases include a fine of up to two thousand dollars ($2,000) and/or up to six (6) months in county jail.
Judge Reinholtsen said he had read the preliminary transcripts, the attorney's written submissions and letters on behalf of Stoiber and Rocheleau and after he heard the victim impact statements, which were read by victim witness, since his family is from out of state.

Judge Reinholtsen said that the pleas and sentence was justified by the evidence presented at the preliminary hearing. Judge Reinholtsen said he did not see any evidence implicating Stoiber or Rocheleau of great bodily injury or being aware that he was dead.

DA Paul Gallegos asked that Mr. Okin's statement on behalf of Rocheleau be sealed because of information it about the victim, which Mr. Gallegos said was Mr. Okin's opinion. That claim was refuted by Mr. Okin because he said the information was from the police report but out of deference to the victim's family, he agreed that it be sealed.

Mr. Gallegos said that the family "understands the disposition", referring to Stoiber's and Rocheleau's pleas, and "they hope the court would impose appropriate probation."

Ms. Dixon did not comment and referred to the preliminary hearing transcript and said that the Judge knew the circumstances of the plea. She also referred to the letters submitted in support of Stoiber.

Mr. Okin said that he had submitted documents "outlining Ms. Rocheleau's role" and asked the sentence be based on what she knew at the time she acted."

"The hard part of this case is every one involved is a good person," said Mr. Okin. He said sometimes that are small events and circumstances that when combined you get a "catastrophic combination and something as tragic as this occurs."

"Of course, Ms. Rocheleau feels bad for Mr. Jordet's family and that Mr. Jordet died.," said Mr. Okin. Again, he asked that the court focus on Rocheleau's actions and what she knew. "I don't agree that alcohol played a role and there is no evidence of drugs."

Previous post with background and other links:

8 counts reduced to unlawful sexual intercourse, false imprisonment and human trafficking in plea offer

After the case being dismissed the first time, mistrial the second time, a plea deal was reached right before the third trial started for David Anderson, a suspect who was originally charged with kidnapping, rape by force, forcible oral copulation of minor victim over age of 14, sexual battery, unlawful sexual intercourse, threats to commit crime resulting in death, false imprisonment and human trafficking.

Anderson has been represented for all three trials by private defense attorney Benjamin McLaughlin, who was appointed by the court as Anderson's attorney. The case was prosecuted each time by DDA Luke Brownfield .

I only had a few minutes to check the court computer today and until a plea is accepted by the Judge and stated in court, it is not final. From what I could see in the few minutes, is what I am sharing about the plea. I did try and reach Mr. McLaughlin.

The plea deal offer, has yet to be accepted by Judge Reinholtsen and sentencing is scheduled for this afternoon. If it is accepted, it looks like it would result in  8 counts being reduced to three counts. This is according to the information on the court computers this morning and Anderson would plead to unlawful sexual intercourse, false imprisonment, and human trafficking. He would not have to register for some of these offenses and they may not count as a strke.

If you read the previous posts and do a search on this blog, you will see there were issues with the first two trials and witnesses.

According to the computer, the maximum sentence would be for 9 years and 4 months. Again, that is the max, there is a range so don't take this as set in stone. I will update with a post regarding the actual plea after the sentencing is final this afternoon.

I am updating this post as of 1:25 because Mr. McLaughlin confirmed that the plea offer as I summarized above is correct.

Previous posts:

Arcata chef stabbing case back in court this afternoon; will it proceed? Will co-defendants cases resolve?

Once again, the Arcata chef stabbing case is scheduled in Courtroom 4. Status of discovery is  one of the issues to be discussed today.

The question of the day is will outgoing District Attorney Paul Gallegos show up for this hearing? The last time we waited almost half an hour, while court staff and the DDA in court tried "to locate Mr. Gallegos."

Juan Ferrer, is represented by Marek Reavis, Nicholas Stoiber is represented by Jennifer Dixon and Sophie Rocheleau is represented by Benjamin Okin. They are all co-defendants in this case.

Please read the previous posts on this blog for background, I have linked only a few to give you an idea of the ongoing saga with this case for the last few months.

I will update this post after the afternoon hearing.

Some of the previous posts on this blog about this case:

Caitlyn LaHaie and Tory Siipola hired by HCSO

Sheriff Downey is pleased to announce the swearing in of two new employees for the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office. The two new employees are; Caitlyn LaHaie, who was hired as a Legal Office Assistance and Tory Siipola, who was hired as a Deputy Sheriff.