Nov 26, 2014

Almost a year has passed, Fr. Eric's words and teachings live on and give strength

To be happy, be thankful.

To be thankful, have faith.

Faith is understanding that all is God’s.”

-Fr. Eric Freed

This was St. Bernard's 2014 strenna written by Fr. Eric. Strenna is a gift given at Christmas or Easter.

Our former pastor taught us to be joyful, to share that joy and our faith with others, and to express it all the time. Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year will bring heartache and sadness but also joy and hope and ultimately that will shine through.

Many of us have started sharing feelings, memories, thoughts again as this year comes to an end. For us, Fr. Eric is not forgotten, not gone. He is with us, still.

You are missed so much Fr. Eric. As you often said at times of personal loss, I focus on all the joy, the memories, the times shared. I am grateful for the time spent with you and for what you taught me.

Of all things in my life, I am most grateful for my faith. I am proud of my faith. It is that faith that makes me thankful for everything.

Even the challenges.

Thanksgiving is celebrated tomorrow but as Fr. Eric showed in his words and actions, thanksgiving is every day.

When needed most, his words are soothing comfort and a reminder to always be happy and thankful.

Busted, lies and then arrested again! Billy Joe Rutherford prime example of repeat offender

On November 26, 2014, at about 9:30 AM, Eureka Police Department detectives executed a search warrant at an illegal transient camp located in the greenbelt along Humboldt Bay between Vigo and West Del Norte Streets.  The warrant was obtained in furtherance of the investigation into the apparent accidental shooting which occurred there on November 19, 2014.

Billy Joe Rutherford, age 44, was located inside his tent and detained.  During a search of his campsite, detectives collected evidence pertaining to the shooting investigation.  Detectives also located and seized a number of items unlawfully possessed by Rutherford including a small quantity of ammunition, prescription medication, concentrated cannabis, a large quantity of marijuana, and illegal weapons including a switchblade knife and shuriken (throwing star).

Rutherford was arrested and transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked for violation of his probation, possession of a controlled substance without a prescription, and possession of concentrated cannabis.  Additionally, Rutherford was arrested on outstanding warrants alleging possession and transportation of a controlled substance for sale (felony), brandishing a firearm, and assault and battery (misdemeanors).

Upon completion of the shooting investigating, including a forensic examination of the evidence, a criminal case will be submitted to the District Attorney’s Office and additional charges against Rutherford may follow.

A second male contacted at the campsite, Frederick Stephen Simpson (age 57), was also arrested and booked on outstanding warrants alleging possession of a controlled substance (felony) and unlawful camping (misdemeanor).

Rutherford’s illegal campsite was removed as part of the operation along with a second nearby campsite where the stolen firearms were located following last week’s shooting.  Several truck loads of garbage were removed from the two camps along with approximately 18 bicycles and bicycle frames suspected to be stolen.

Open buckets containing human waste were found behind Rutherford’s camp. Due to the vast amount of junk and garbage found at both campsites, officials were unable to remove all of it during the approximately 4 hour operation.  Follow-up operations are being planned to remove the tremendous amount of rubbish and numerous other illegal camps in that area. EPD’s homeless liaison was on hand during the process to offer resources and alternatives to others.  EPD was also assisted by employees from the City of Eureka’s Parks and Recreation Department.

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Strut your stuff in leather! Black Lightning Motorcycle Cafe 25% sale for Black Friday starts early

Black Lightning Motorcycle Cafe, located at 440 F Street in Eureka, is starting Black Friday early this year. This applies to in store items only.  Jackets, Boots, Helmets 25% off.

They have also added a new Panini to the menu "Turkey Pesto". BLMC offers coffee, tea, smoothies, paninis, breakfast, and wine and beer. They support local suppliers and prepare some items fresh at the cafe.

BLMC celebrated their first anniversary this October. They have the only motorcycle parking zone right in front of their business.

For more information, call (707) 442-2562 or visit

Previous links:

Jack Wu of Bayfront and Ritz to lease space in Fisherman's Terminal Building?

Agenda item: DEC 2 Eureka Council meeting

Authorize the City Manager to enter into a lease agreement for CafĂ© Space in the Fishermen’s Terminal Building with Jack’s Seafood.

Proposed tenant is Jack Wu. I have a call in to him to confirm but there is only one Jack Wu, who opens restaurants locally. I hope they approve this item.

Nov 25, 2014

"Before Prop 47...we had a law, we had a tool, now we don't"

The most interactive session at the EPD police and private summit and the one with most questions was the presentation by ADA Kelly Neel and her fellow presenters Eureka City Attorney Cyndi Day-Wilson, EPD homeless liaison Pamlyn Millsap and Detective Josh Siipola.

Ms. Neel opened her remarks saying, "Most of my morning is spent reviewing in custody police reports to decide what to charge."

"What makes my job easier is the reports with the most fact gathering, the most description, the most information."

She gave an example of mall security giving the police officer a detailed description of a domestic violence report. "Most people do not realize how often you deal with such incidents."

Ms. Neel explained that with the passage of Prop 47, some crimes that were previously charged as felonies are now misdemeanors. "Before Prop 47, if you had someone chronically coming in, chronically stealing, chronically causing a ruckus, we had a law, we had a tool, now we don't."

Ms. Neel talked about the realities of Prop 47 and the effect realignment has had on laws and probations which affects what the courts "can do or not do."

Ms. Neel commended event coordinator Karen Albin and Eureka Police Chief Andy Mills for this opportunity of outreach. Due to the work and court schedule, she said the DA's office cannot get out as often to do outreach and get feedback and get input.

"About 54 people commit 40% of the crime," was a statistic shared by Ms. Day-Wilson. This list is provided by the City Attorney to EPD. "If I see names once or twice, they are infractions; if I see names more often, they are misedemeanors."

This was a fact that was only mentioned by DA candidate Elan Firpo, the only candidate who was working in the DA's office and having experience with what both Ms. Neel and Ms. Day Wilson shared.

Ms. Day-Wilson said she is the chief legal adviser for the City and the City's prosecutor. She explained she can only prosecute violations of city laws; violations of the Eureka Municipal Code and not Penal Code violations.

Sleeping, camping, open container issues are addressed by laws and a "complaint driven system."

Ms. Day-Wilson mentioned stay away orders that the Court issues for businesses that have had problems and repeated problems with individuals. I have seen them granted in court. Often, these offenders have other, more serious criminal charges with the DA's office. She also mentioned civil harrassment orders if threats had been made and civil remedies. If these orders are violated, EPD can arrest the person.

Ms. Millsap mentioned a state training coming up that will deal with resources and information on how to diffuse situations with individuals. "Substance issues seem to be oneof the biggest problems," she said, referring to bothmental health and transient issues.

This information is also most helpful to the public. Sharing a four hour conference does not do justice to the excellent presentations and recreating the context. Lot of people complain and judge. Commenting and complaining is easy. 

When the public conference is presented show up and sharing these posts is one positive way to address issues.

"I m proud of Eureka but let's face it, we have issues"

Police Chief Andrew Mills opened his remarks at the EPD and private security summit today with, "Thank you for giving us your time during this busy season."

"I see a very diverse group of people in terms of security and activity you perform and that is healthy. At any given time at night, there are three police officers working; private security has four times that number," said Chief Mills.

"For public safety, it is good for us to work together and make Eureka safe and livable community," said Chief Mills. "I'm proud of Eureka but let's face it, we have issues."

Towards the end of his remarks, in response to a comment, he spontaneously responded, "Amen", then caught himself and said,"Oh, I can't even say that because I will get sued."

He introduced Eureka resident Gene Bass who proposed this idea to him and he thanked Mrs. Albin, who got an ovation. Both Chief Mills and Mr. Bass said the attendance exceeded their expectations. Mr. Bass said there will be other conferences, including a similar event for the public.

Next to speak was Eureka City Manager Greg Sparks. The first panel discussion was about laws of arrest and prosecution, Presenters were ADA Kelly Neel and Eureka City Attorney Cyndi Day-Wilson. Mental illness and transient issues by EPD homeless liaison Pamlyn Millsap and trespass issues by Detective Josh Siipola.

There was information sharing by Captain Watson and PIO Powell that focused on common goals between the policecand private security, what types of information could be shared and resources. Law enforcement, dispatch and Communications was the last presentation by Communications Supervisor Jenelle Crinch.

"You can't go at it alone", arrest laws, mental illness, among topics at EPD and Private Security Summit

Panelists and attendees have already started arriving for the EPD summit which is a gathering of Eureka Police and Private Security today and the tables at the Wharfinger are already occupied.

Link to EPD press release earlier today. That post has speakers and information about summit.

 It is a training put on by EPD to share information with private security firms, including loss prevention staff from local businesses. Pictured above is one of the speakers EPD PIO Brittany Powell and to the right is EPD volunteer and event coordinator Karen Albin.

Laws of arrest and prosecution, mental illness and transient issues, trespass issues are some of the topics to be discussed today.

For many of the private firms, information on Prop 47 and changes on what is now a misdemeanor instead of a felony and the presentation by Communications Supervisor Jenelle Crinch is key, said PIO Powell.

Eureka Chamber Commerce Director Don Smullin is here. Seqouia Zoo represented by Jeff Lamoree.

 In addition to Mrs. Albin, the Chamber of Commerce and Eureka Main Street helped publicize the training. Local businesses attending include Eureka Natural Foods, Cafe Nooner and Grocery Outlet. Private security firm American Star seems to have the largest representation. Councilmembers Chet Albin and Marian Brady as well as Supervisors Virginia Bass and Rex Bohn attended.

Only media so far is KIEM TV. Filmed an interview with Eureka Police Chief Andy Mills and left. Another TV crew stopped by and left. No NCJ, LOCO or TS entire evening.

Attorney General to default on Littlefield molestation case? Will Paul do his job?

Listed below is a link to the Attorney General's office. It is regarding the Timothy Littlefield child molestation case.

Does it look like the The Attorney General's office is about to default on the Littlefield Appeal?

I believe the DA's has 15 days from 11/18 notice. Does Paul intend to dispose of this case  inappropriately? Kamala Harris is Paul's buddy as is Littlefield's defense attorney Russ Clanton. Rathercthan appeal Judge John Feeney's decision, it would have been better to try take the case to trial. Twice the jury believed the victim, despite who prosecuted the case.

Previous links:

This is yet another case where the local media did not start covering the appeal or the case until I reported on possible plea deals and the case. When they do, they write what Paul spins.

And I will keep pointing this out occasionally until the media does it's job and reports the whole story and gives proper credit when they cover cases they had no previous interest in  and include information that they did not have access to because it came from history and research they did not know about.

Help locate Ashley Hatter who has been missing almost a week

On 11-23-2014 at around 10:45 P.M. the Sheriff’s Office took a missing person’s report of a female, 32 year old Ashley Hatter. The reporting party, Jason Hatter, told the deputy on Friday.

11-21-2014 at around 7 P.M. his wife Ashley had taken their daughter to a friend’s house, then was going to buy cigarettes. Hatter did not return to her home in Willow Creek. On Saturday morning, Jason found their Ford pickup parked at the Willow Creek Post Office parking lot.

Ashley Hatter is described as a White female adult
5’03” tall, 160-180 pounds.
Brown Hair, Brown Eyes

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Ashley Hatter is asked to call Investigator Greg Musson at (707)268-3653.

EPD holds a private summit to address "Building better relations between security and police to protect the greater Eureka community”

Tonight the Eureka Police Department and private security will be holding a Private Security Summit with the goal to work towards an effective crime fighting solution and force multiplication.  Nearly 70 members of private security are signed up to attend.

Chief Mills and Director Gene Bass will be opening up the summit followed by panel discussions from City Manager Greg Sparks, Assistant District Attorney Kelly Neel, City Attorney Cyndy Day-Wilson, EPD Homeless Liaison Pamlyn Millsap, Officer Siipola, Captain SteveWatson, PIO Brittany Powell, and Communications Supervisor Jennelle Crnich.

“Building better relations between security and police to protect the greater Eureka community,” Chief Mills said about the summit.  “We can’t go at it alone.”

A big thank you to the event’s steering committee: Karen Albin, Gene Bass, Doris Boyd, Mark Boyd, Rick Patton, Chris Peters, and Jerry White.  

Nov 24, 2014

Support small businesses and not because Moonbeam says so

Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today issued a letter in support of the upcoming Small Business Saturday on November 29th.  Small Business Saturday is an initiative that marks a day to support the local businesses that create jobs, boost the economy and preserve neighborhoods around the country.

“Small businesses embody the entrepreneurial spirit that has driven the economy of our Golden State,” said Governor Brown in his letter. “Over half of our private sector workforce is employed by small business. On Saturday, November 29th, I urge all Californians to support small businesses and merchants on Small Business Saturday and throughout the year.”

California has 3.4 million small businesses which account for 99 percent of the state's employers and employ 52 percent of the workforce.

Prop 47: One way to clear Humboldt County court backlog; except for 1 guy who added to his fate by arguing with his lawyer in court

Normally, it is the felony days that feature a packed courtroom calendar. If I am there for a 2 p.m. case, I plan on staying until 4. And misdemeanor court days go faster, usually.

Today, it looked like a misdemeanor day but it was not. As I sat in court today, waiting for the Quentin Williams case to be called, with the exception of one case, about 6 cases moved along quickly because petitions in each of these cases were being filed by defense attorneys to reduce the charge to a misdemeanor.

These are cases that were charged before Prop 47 passed.

I do not know what the charge was in the one case for the guy that argued with his public defender, Casey Russo. What I do know is that I have seen him before in court. Mr. Russo was standing with him by the "box" where in custody inmates are seated and attorney-client conversations are usually private. Unless someone raises their voice.

What I could gather was that he was expecting a plea bargain. Well dude, when you have dates set and trial is to occur in a couple of days, maybe you should have taken the offer sooner. Instead, dates were set for the case to proceed to trial. Waiting has consequences, so does crime. Repeated crime, unless of course, you are a Prop 47er. Then you get to go out, steal, as long as it is under $950, you get off with a slap on your wrist.

Dollison's Docket on LOCO and Ryan Burn's post Cannabis Voice, as some LOCO commenters like to say are spot on

I enjoy Allan's writing, he is one of my favorite lawyers and this entire post is spot on!

I am not a stakeholder and I am not a expert on marijuana and the industry. However, politics and motives, I do understand a bit.

I have had misgivings about Cannabis Voice, the organization and their motives. The attitude of one key person, Thomas Edrington leaves much to be desired. His dismissive tone about egos and feelings just adds to that feeling. Do they represent everyone that would be affected by this ordinance?

It is rare that I would agree with EPIC. In this case, EPIC, Friends of the Eel River, Supervisor Estelle Fennell and local attorneys raise good points.

Previous posts on this blog on medical marijuana ordinance:
In this blog, the unnamed Cannabis Voice speaker was Edrington. Again, his quote and demeanor speak for him.

Frequent DA informant Quentin Williams lucks out getting Allan Dollison appointed as his defense attorney

On November 6, Allan Dollison was appointed as Quentin Williams attorney by the court. He met with Williams, who has been charged with a felony; failure to register as a sex offender. Williams is a frequent DA informant and listed below are links on Williams and he testified in two recent cases:

On November 7, after meeting with Williams, Mr. Dollison requested that a disposition/reset hearing be scheduled for this afternoon at 2 p.m. in Courtroom 4. The case is being prosecuted by ADA Kelly Neel. At the last hearing, Mr. Dollison told Judge Dale Reinholtsen that there were some discovery issues to be addressed and he submitted a funding order for investigator.

This afternoon, DDA Luke Brownfield was present for the People. Mr. Dollison told the court that he expected a subpoena back on December 17 and requested a Intervention hearing to be set soon. That was set for 3 p.m. on December 17. Mr. Dollison continued to waive time on this case on behalf of his client and a preliminary hearing was set for December 30 at 8:30 a.m.

Mr. Williams has tried to help many inmates out, will someone return the favor?

Last post with other links: