Jan 2, 2016

Trevor Traphagen arrested for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend

On 12-30-2015 at approximately 6:30 AM Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to a possible domestic violence incident at a business located in the 44000 block of North Highway 101 in Laytonville, California.

Upon arrival Deputies located an adult female, hiding in the restroom of the business, who stated that she had been physically assaulted by her boyfriend.

The adult female was provided medical aid at the scene and subsequently transported by Laytonville Ambulance to a local hospital where she received treatment for her injuries.

Deputies searched the area surrounding the business subsequently locating the adult female’s boyfriend, who was identified as being Trevor Traphagen.

The adult female was determined to have sustained a broken nose and a right eye orbital fracture during the physical assault. The adult female was later released from the hospital after receiving medical attention for her injuries.

Following the investigation of the incident, Traphagen was placed under arrest for infliction of corporal injury on a dating partner.

Traphagen was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $25,000.00 bail.

Dogs, horses, tree planting and Wild dutch oven Dick's famous chili at Uri's campaign kickoff

Uri Driscoll had his official campaign kick- off for District Three Supervisor at the Manila Community Center playground this morning.

One of the featured events was helping to build a native dune forest. The Driscoll campaign had 100 native shore pine trees to plant in the neighboring dunes. People could  pick a place to plant a small family grove or a tree for a favorite pet or loved one. 

About 40 people attended the event from the start but people kept arriving between 11 and noon and the final number was closer to 60.

Tree planting started at 11:20 am and lunch at noon which was Wild Dutch Oven Dick’s” famous chill-killin’ chili and cornbread and hot mulled cider.

Mendocino Sherriff investigating death of two year old in a fire that may have started by a propane space heater

On 01-01-2016 at approximately 9:37 AM, Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to conduct a coroner's investigation into the death of a two year-old male in the 22000 block of Eastside Road in Willits, California.

Fire and medical personnel were already at the location when the Deputies arrived.  A total of three structures and two vehicles had been damaged by a fire at the location.

A recreational vehicle (RV) which had served as a family home was completely destroyed during the fire.

Deputies were told that the family’s mother stepped out of the RV briefly while her sons, ages two and fourteen months, slept inside the RV with their father.

The father exited the RV a short time later, telling the mother the inside of the RV was on fire.

Both parents entered the RV to retrieve their children and were able to rescue their youngest son but were driven back by the heat of the rapidly growing fire and were not able to rescue their two year-old son.  The two year-old son was later found deceased inside the RV.

The fourteen month-old son suffered burns over approximately 40 percent of his body and was flown by air ambulance to UC Davis Medical Center.

Both parents suffered burn injuries in the rescue of the one child and the attempted rescue of the other child.

The father was treated for significant burn injuries at Frank Howard Memorial Hospital in Willits and the mother suffered less severe burn injuries.

The initial investigation suggests a propane space heater may have been the cause of the fire but the official determination is pending as the investigation into the cause of the fire is still ongoing at this time.

Names of the involved persons are not being released at this time as the investigation is ongoing and the Coroner as yet to positively confirm the identity of the two year-old child reported to have died during the fire.

Jan 1, 2016

More photos from the scene of the Broadway standoff and arrest

These photos were taken at the EPD standoff and arrest by Steve Payton for this site.

Is this the Brett involved in the standoff with EPD on Broadway?

HCSO Most Wanted:

Multiple Warrants
Assault with Deadly Weapon

Brett Mehtrens

In 2011, he was listed as being from Hydesville in the TS for a DUI.

It is not the Brett Mehtrens (above) but Brett Hansen (below) and a female suspect yet to be identified. This just confirmed by a source who was at the scene.

On October 20, 2015 according to CHP watch and other media reports, Hansen allegedly led police on a high speed chase, then crashing his car on Kelly Avenue in McKinleyville and fleeing the scene.

Hansen has a lengthy rap sheet going back to 2000, been arrested at least 15 times.

According to EPD's Captain Steve Watson's twitter account, Hansen will face an additional charge of a felon in possession of a firearm. Under California law, this is a wobbler and can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony. Criminal history is one factor taken into consideration. The car Hansen allegedly stole was an Acura.

North Coast News just reported the 23 year old as Hali Pole.

On facebook, there is a woman with that name and the same age, 23, as reported in several media accounts, according to her facebook page, she is from Hoopa. And according to facebook, in a relationship with Canyon Hodge.

EPD Press Release:

On 2/24/13, at about 4:19 PM, officers with the Eureka Police Department (EPD) were dispatched to the 2800 block of ‘F’ Street on the report of a suspicious male in a vehicle. A witness reported a male subject had been sitting inside a parked vehicle for the past half hour. The male was reported to be “making strange movements” and he appeared to be falling asleep or passing out. Per the witness, a roll of cash was also visible in his lap.

An officer arrived on scene a short time later and approached the male, who was seated in the driver’s seat of a 4-door Nissan Maxima parked on the street in front of a business. The officer observed that the male, later identified as Canyon Hodge (no middle name), was slumped over and appeared to be asleep. The officer also saw what appeared to be a large baggy of tar heroin in Hodge’s lap and a big roll of cash next to him on the passenger seat. The officer recognized Hodge and knew he had a felony warrant for his arrest.

The officer roused Hodge with some difficulty and took him into custody on his warrant. During a subsequent search of Hodge and his vehicle, the officer located approximately 43 grams of tar heroin (1 ½ ounces), 3 1/2 grams of crystal methamphetamine (1/8th ounce), a small quantity of processed marijuana, a digital gram scale, written records indicating recent heroin sales activity, $3,042.00 cash, and drug use paraphernalia (hence “Mr. Sleepy,” who appeared to be heavily under the influence of heroin and nodding off due to his partaking liberally of his own product).

The cash was seized as suspected illicit drug sales proceeds to be turned over to the Humboldt County Drug Task Force for future asset forfeiture proceedings.

In addition to his warrant (alleging possession of a controlled substance), Hodge was arrested for possession and transportation of a controlled substance for sale, possession of drug paraphernalia, and parole violation. He was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional facility for booking. Hodge’s vehicle was also towed from the scene.

Medical marijuana ordinance in the afternoon BOS session; Maggie Fleming, Cyndi Day-wilson and Jeffrey Blanck to be appointed as Law Library Trustees

At the January 5 meeting of the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors, there is a full day of an action packed agenda including:


A Certificate of Achievement for the 2015 St. Bernard's Crusaders Varsity Football Team will be presented (Supervisor Rex Bohn and Supervisor Virginia Bass).

County Administrative office:

Appointment of Law Library Trustees That the Board of Supervisors appoint Maggie Fleming and Cyndy Day-Wilson to the Board of Law Library Trustees; and appoint Jeffrey Blanck to serve as an ex-officio member of the Law Library Trustees at the request of the Chair of the Board of Supervisors.


 Conference with Labor Negotiator - Pursuant to Government Code section 54957.6 it is the intention of the Board of Supervisors to meet in closed session to review the County's position and instruct its designated labor negotiator with respect to the various forms of compensation provided to the County's represented and unrepresented personnel. Negotiator: Dan Fulks. Employee Organizations: American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME local 1684), Humboldt County Attorneys Association, Humboldt Deputy Sheriffs' Organization (Law Enforcement Non-Management Unit), Humboldt Deputy Sheriffs' Organization (Law Enforcement Management Unit), Elected & Appointed County Officials, and Management & Confidential Employees.

Conference with Legal Counsel - Threatened, Potential or Anticipated Litigation Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9, Subd. (b)(1)(3)(D) and (E) relating to the commercial cultivation marijuana ordinance.

 Conference with Legal Counsel - Existing Litigation pursuant to Government Code section 54956.9 subd. (a); Humboldt Coalition for Property Rights v. County of Humboldt, et al; Humboldt County Superior Court Case No. CV120232.

The medical marijuana ordinance is in the afternoon session:

Public hearing for consideration of approval, modification or disapproval of Planning Commission recommendation on proposed Ordinance adding section 313-55.4 et seq. to Title III, Division I, Chapter 3, Section B, Part 1 (Coastal Zoning Regulations), and section 314-55.4 et seq. of Title III, Division 1, Chapter 4, Section B, Part I (Inland Zoning Regulations) to the Humboldt County Code relating to Phase IV of the Medical Marijuana Land Use Ordinance setting for regulations for cultivation, processing, manufacture and distribution operations and facilities

Fortuna motorcyclist arrested for alleged drug possession and reckless driving

On January 1, 2016 at about 12:45 am, an officer with the Ferndale Police Department assigned to Saturation Patrol for the Humboldt County Avoid the 10 DUI Task Force attempted a traffic stop on a motorcycle in the area of Fernbridge Drive and Highway 101. The rider immediately fled Southbound onto Highway 101 where officers from the Fortuna Police Department began assisting in the pursuit. Reaching speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour the motorcyclist continued on Highway 101 until exiting at Kenmar Road in Fortuna. Upon exiting onto Kenmar Road the motorcyclist turned onto Eel River Drive and then traveled up Drake Hill Road.
While traveling up Drake Hill Road, the rider allowed the motorcycle to drift off the roadway onto the soft grass shoulder. Upon leaving the roadway, the rider lost control of the motorcycle and was taken into custody without further incident.
After being examined by medical staff, the rider, 58 year old Robert Allen Lyons of Fortuna, was booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility on the following charges:
•California Vehicle Code §2800.2(a) – Evading with Willful or Wanton Disregard for the Safety of Persons
•California Vehicle Code §23152(e) – Operating a Motor Vehicle While Under the Influence of Drugs
•California Vehicle Code §22450(a) – Failure to Stop at a Stop Sign
•California Vehicle Code §23103(a) – Reckless Driving
•California Vehicle Code §22348(a) – Operating a vehicle on a highway in Excess of 100 M.P.H.
•California Vehicle Code §14601.1(a) – Driving on a Suspended Driver’s License
•California Vehicle Code §12500(b) – Operating a Motorcycle without Motorcycle Endorsement
•Health & Safety Code §11364(a) – Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
•Health & Safety Code §11550 – Under the influence of a Controlled Substance
•Health & Safety Code §11377- Possession of a Controlled Substance

Dec 31, 2015

$100,000 damage in Cutten fire, cause electrical

             At approximately 2:05 PM, Humboldt Bay Fire responded to a reported structure fire in the 6200 block of Avalon Drive, Cutten with 3 engines, a squad and 2 duty officers. The first arriving engine reported a two-story residence with an attached commercial nursery with heavy fire showing from the first floor. A second alarm was requested bringing an additional truck, engine and duty officer to the scene. Fire crews entered the structure and attacked the fire. Additional arriving crews vented the roof and searched for occupants with none found as the occupants were not home at the time of the fire.

             The fire quickly extended from the first to the second floor and fire crews were able to bring it under control within approximately 15 minutes. The fire was contained to the residence with no extension into the commercial nursery. Fire units remained on scene for several hours to overhaul the structure and extinguish hot spots as there was a large amount of contents inside the structure.
             The cause of the fire was determined to be electrical and accidental in nature and damage was estimated to be $100,000 to the structure and contents. Two mutual aid engines provided coverage within Humboldt Bay Fire's jurisdiction during the incident.

             The occupants were provided with Visa gift cards from the departments “Assistance to Victims” program allowing them to purchase immediate critical need items as the structure was not inhabitable following the fire.

Bringing dignity, protectecting human rights and bridging relationships between the homeless and others, Erin hopes promises today will pan out

Erin Powers Taylor said, "I believe we had about 10 to 12  housed individuals, from all different groups, many involved in different social justice and human rights groups."

"Our huge goal was to make a presences, which I absolutely believe we did. Both Chief Mills and Captain Watson were out at this Thursday "clean up" which is not the usual thing for them. With this more public can and have been able to see what is going on, and were able to ask questions face to face with our Chief and Captain. At this point lots of promises have been made, on working with us to find a more humane way to support these folks out there in the Palco Marsh, all we can do is see if they will actually pan out."

" I am a Co creator of Friends of the Palco Marsh, amongst many other hats that I work with. We were created after the very first services fair, where I and a couple other folks there, under another group, saw and felt that these folks needed us. They needed a voice, compassion and support. We are in constant conversations with the folks back there, we do serve a lunch every Friday but we do so much more, our main goal has been to bridge relationships and to give support in anyway we can and most of all to bring them dignity and protect their human rights. We support the idea of sanctuary camps and declaring a Shelter Crisis which both are on the Eureka City Council Agenda for Tuesday, I and many others will be there."

Instead of a protest, dialogue occurs and EPD receives an offer from a private group to help relocate the homeless

"It really didn’t feel like a protest to me," said Captain Steve Watson. "We had some engaging conversations with some compassionate, intelligent and reasonable people and all agreed we need to work together to find a path forward to address homelessness in our community."

"To my knowledge, no one interfered with the City’s clean-up operations which were as usual," said Captain Watson. "We even received and accepted an offer from a gentleman representing a private group to help relocate (in an organized, productive and orderly manner) those in the newly closed northernmost section."

Senator McGuire Named Legislator of the Year by AMVETS

Senator Mike McGuire was honored by the recent announcement that he has been chosen by AMVETS as 2015 Legislator of the Year. He was selected, along with Assemblymember Jim Frazier (D-Oakley) “for their steadfast support of military veterans, active service personnel, and their families.”
“I am honored by the recognition from AMVETS. The organization does incredible work fighting on behalf of those who fought so hard for all of us, our nation’s veterans. I’m proud to work with AMVETS and veteran service organizations all throughout this great state to ensure our heroes have the resources they need to thrive,” Senator Mike McGuire said.
The AMVETS Legislator of the Year honor is awarded to a select group of legislators who have gone the extra mile to support California’s veterans and their families.
This year, Senator McGuire successfully authored SB 685, which expanded the ability of veteran service organizations from across California to broaden their community building and fundraising capabilities. These fundraising initiatives help pay for services and programs that benefit the health and well-being of local veterans. McGuire worked hand in hand with veteran service organizations to get the bill passed, including AMVETS.
“Senator McGuire gets it. He immediately understood the challenges facing veterans halls and the need for veterans service organizations to maintain their viability. I have known Mike for a long time and he has always supported veterans when he was on the Healdsburg City Council and the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors. It was a pleasure working with him and his staff on SB 685 and we look forward to continuing that relationship going forward in service to our veterans,” said Lorraine Plass, Team AMVETS Legislative Committee Chair.
McGuire has a long record of supporting California’s veterans. He brought forward the policy that made Sonoma County one of the first in the State to be designated a Purple Heart County. He also led the effort that provided all Sonoma County veterans with free access to public transit. The measure, the first in California, provides thousands of local veterans with access to reliable transportation which connects veterans to jobs, medical care and desperately needed services via Sonoma County Transit.
The Legislator of the Year Awards will be presented at the Team AMVETS’ Annual Day at the Capitol event on April 6, 2016.

Pizza robbery machete wielding suspect's jury trial start date undetermined

Charles Kesselring's court appearance was waived for trial assignment calendar this morning by his attorney, Ms. Christina Allbright. Deputy District Attorney Jackie Pizzo was present for the People.

The case was set to begin jury trial on January 4, it will be called that morning, but since it is a time waived case and many other trials are starting next week , Judge Joyce Hinrichs said "it is unlikely to proceed until later of next week."

Due to some scheduling issues with court availability and Ms. Allbright's schedule, the jury trial may be reset.

Sep 29, 2015

Defense files oral motion to continue in pizza robbery machete wielding suspect case; he actually behaves since Ms. Allbright got appointed

After several tries, Ms. Allbright is still Charles Kesselring IV's lawyer. He actually behaved in court today better than he ever has in the past.

Was it because it was a double calendar being called or did one of my biggest fans, his wife Jennifer Wall-Kesselring, show up on time after our last repartee.

The defense made an oral motion to continue, Kesselring entered a general time waiver. Deputy District Attorney David Christensen did not object to the continuance. Defense and the People had discussions privately and Mr. Christensen told Judge Joyce Hinrichs he felt there was good cause for the continuance.

The jury trial for October 26 has been vacated. New jury trial is January 4, trial confirmation is December 22, and pre-trial is December 8.

Previous posts:


Jury trial for sexual assault suspect Markis Shirley charged with forcible rape, forcible threats, false imprisonment and sexual penetration by foreign object expected to start next week

The defense in the Markis Shirley case provided some discovery to the People this morning before the trial assignment calendar was called. Conflict Counsel's Mr. David Lee is representing Shirley.
Deputy District Attorney Jackie Pizzo was present for the People during trial assignment; DDA Stacey Eads is prosecuting this case.

The trial assignment for this case was continued until Monday, January 4, when the jury trial was supposed to begin. It is expected to proceed on Tuesday, January 5.

Mr. Lee waived Shirley's presence for today's hearing. He talked with family members and supporters of Shirley before and after trial assignment. The trial is expected to last 10 days, if there are full day sessions.

Nov 12, 2015

DA's office adds charges of sexual penetration by a foreign object, criminal threats and false imprisonment by violence in additton to forcible rape against Markis Shirley

Markis Shirley who was held to answer on the charge of forcible rape after his preliminary hearing, was arraigned on information this afternoon in Courtroom 1. The District Attorney has filed three additional counts against Shirley for the jury trial.

Count 1 is forcible rape, Count 2 is sexual penetration by a foreign object, Count 3 is forcible threats, Count 4 is false imprisonment by violence.

Oct 28, 2015

Markis Shirley held to answer on forcible rape charge; he laughed as victim tearfully testified about her being brutally raped him

A preliminary hearing for Markis Shirley was held this morning. He is charged with one count of forcible rape.

After testimony by the victim, her friend and EPD detective Ron Harpham, Judge Dale Reinholtsen held Shirley to answer on the charge of forcible rape.

Arraignment on information will be November 12 at 2 p.m.

DDA Stacey Eads subbed in for her colleague Ms. Brie Bennett. Conflict Counsel's Mr. David Lee is representing Shirley. The investigating officer is EPD's Detective Ron Harpham.

The victim, Jane Doe testified this morning, followed by her friend,  Nathan King, and the preliminary hearing was continued to this afternoon at 2:30 to wrap up with Detective Ron Harpham's testimony. Two victim witness representatives were in court this morning as was an unidentified older African-American lady, known to Shirley, who interrupted Doe's testimony and was admonished by Judge Dale Reinholtsen. Four other supporters for Shirley showed up in the afternoon.

Race was not brought up by the People but in his cross, Mr. Lee asked Jane Doe about Shirley being African American and her being Caucasian. This was in reference to how Shirley and,Jane Doe met. The victim is an escort and also trims for a living. According to her, Shirley came to her hotel room as a potential client, he did not have the money and instead of leaving, he allegedly raped her. Jane Doe said race was not an issue as long as the client was clean cut and treated her with respect.

Before court started, Mr. Lee talked with Shirley and asked if he would plead to the rape charge, Shirley refused.

Ms. Eads said that the People intended to provide additional evidence and add/amend charges to include criminal threats, false imprisonment, resisting arrest and a special allegation of use of a deadly weapon other than a firearm. This was so that the People have the opton of filing additional charges for jury trial. Judge Reinholtsen said if the evidence is shown, the District Attorney's office can file additional charges.

Today's testimony opened the door for that possibility.

The victim testified how Shirley threw her on the bed, forced her face into the bed when she tried to speak, threatened to cut her unless she was a good girl". She broke down on the stand.

Shirley laughed during points of her testimony and again, when Detective Harpham testified about Shirley being apprehended and resisting arrest.

I will have posts later with detailed testimony from the witnesses.

Oct 15, 2015

$150, 000 bail set for sexual assault suspect Markis Shirley, he mouths "wtf" in court

Shirley was just arraigned in Courtroom 5. On the new felony, sexual assault charge, the bail was set at $150,000.

There is one count in the new case which is rape by force/violence and duress. PC 261 (a) 2.

He also has 3 other cases, one is a violation of probation.

DDA Brie Bennett prosecuting. Conflict Counsel's Mr. Greg Elvine-Kreis representing Shirley.

A woman was in court to support Shirley. She was admonished by bailiff for trying to talk to him. Shirley mouthed "wtf" to her later as bail was set and he was being served with a CLETS order in court.

Markis also has three other pending cases with charges that include taking a vehicle without an owner's consent, driving with a suspended and revoked license and failure to provide evidence of financial responsibility.


On 10/13/15 at about 10:29 a.m., an Officer with the Eureka Police Department spotted Markis Shirley walking near the 2500 block of Union Street.  After a quick foot pursuit, Shirley was taken into custody near the 2500 block of California Street. 
Shirley was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility and booked for sexual assault. 

Original Press Release:

On 10-4-2015, at about 0555 hours, Eureka Police Officers responded to a locale downtown motel for a report of a rape that just occurred. Investigators have developed probable cause to arrest Markis Shirley for the sexual assault. If any person has information where Shirley is located call EPD Dispatch Center at 441-4044. If any person has information about this crime please contact Detective Harpham at 441-4305.

Shirley is described as a BMA, about 6’1”, 135 lbs with black hair and brown eyes. 
Previous posts:


Invocation policy to be rescinded at next Eureka City Council meeting; bill introduced to ban commercial cultivation of medical cannabis in Eureka

After public comment, this is the first item.

Public Hearing – Medical Cannabis Ordinance Amendment 

Recommendation: Hold a public hearing; Waive reading, read by title only and Introduce Bill No. 904-C.S. “An Ordinance of the City of Eureka Amending Eureka Municipal Code Title 15 Chapter 158 Medical Cannabis Cultivation, Processing and Distribution to ban commercial cultivation of Medical Cannabis”; and Waive reading, read by title only, and introduce Bill No. 905-C.S. “An Ordinance of the City of Eureka adding Title 10, Chapter 5, Article 30 Medical Cannabis Cultivation to the Eureka Municipal Code to ban commercial cultivation of medical cannabis.

The first item on the consent calendar is:

Policy No. 1.25 Invocations at City Council Meetings
Recommendation: Rescind Policy No. 1.25 “Invocations at City Council Meetings”

Dec 30, 2015

No weapons used in assault last night at 2nd and C

This was first reported on Kym Kemp's blog last night  http://kymkemp.com/2015/12/29/man-assaulted-by-multiple-people/

 I followed up with EPD this morning.

Brittany Powell told me that a male victim went to his friend's apartment on 2nd and reported he had been assaulted by two men who took his wallet. No weapons were used.

He complained of pain in his back and ribs and was taken to the hospital. Officers searched the area but were unable to locate suspects.

Dec 29, 2015

Humboldt County Courts more progressive than San Francisco on bail

Bill Damiano, Chief Probation Officer for Humboldt County responded via email about our local bail schedules.

Humboldt County has a court bail schedule set by the court and historically (based on data prepared for our Pretrial Assistance grant) about 17% of people booked into the jail are released on bail bond.  The remainder of releases are either on Own Recognizance (OR – about 64%, predominantly misdemeanors), a jail booking matrix OR (see description below, about 18%) or an ordered release on our Supervised Release Program (SRP – about 2.3%).

Persons who are booked into the jail  are screened for pretrial release on the Supervised Release Program based on risk to re-offend while pending adjudication in the present matter, or likelihood to FTA for court.  The jail staff does the initial assessment with the Ohio Risk Assessment System – Pretrial Assessment Tool (ORAS-PAT) on all offenders brought in, and they use the scores to help determine who gets released outright with a promise to appear (because they are lower risk, and therefore likely to show up to court and not commit a new offense while pending court).  There are some categories of offenses that are not eligible for consideration for release (“serious” and “violent” felonies as defined by the Penal Code, for instance). 

The tool forms the basis for the jail booking matrix, guiding decision-making regarding booking someone into custody depending upon the current/recent capacity of the jail and their assessed risk to re-offend or FTA.  Lower risk offenders are screened out at booking.  In order to maintain control of the jail population and keep detainees and staff safe, as the jail gets closer to capacity (around 80% and 90%), the score eligible for consideration of matrix OR release increases.  Normally a score of 3 or less in released OR with a promise to appear.  At 90% capacity, a score of 5 or less will be considered.  The tool always allows for an override by a supervisor, with proper justification.  

Bottom line:  Eligibility for release on OR, pursuant to the jail booking matrix, or the SRP program is not based on ability to pay, having a home or a job.  In fact, we have had quite a number of individuals with no stable residence or job ordered by the court into the SRP program (about 35% of those ordered into the program, on average).   

San Francisco and California bail system unconstitutional?


The same AP article in the link above was reprinted in several media outlets.


Crystal Patterson didn't have the cash or assets to post $150,000 bail and get out of jail after her arrest for assault in October.

So Patterson, 39, promised to pay a bail bonds company $15,000 plus interest to put up the $150,000 bail for her, allowing to go home and care for her invalid grandmother.

The day after her release, the district attorney decided not to pursue charges. But Patterson still owes the bail bonds company. Criminal justice reformers and lawyers at a nonprofit Washington D.C. legal clinic say that is unconstitutionally unfair.

The lawyers have filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of Patterson, Rianna Buffin and other jail inmates who argue that San Francisco and California's bail system unconstitutionally treats poor and wealthy suspects differently.

I spoke with a couple bail bond companies. One person said that "it will bankrupt the cities and the County. This does not work. It was tried in Philadelphia and it cost them to be bankrupt to the tune of one billion."

Links to Philadelphia bail reform:


Philadelphia : A Case Study of Public Policy Disaster  
About 40 years ago, Philadelphia assumed exclusive control over the city’s bail system by abolishing private bail services and implementing its own pretrial release service. The typical Philadelphia defendant is required to deposit only 10 percent of his total bail assigned by the judge and sign a statement agreeing that he will owe the remaining 90 percent for failure to appear on the court date.[2] According to a recent investigation by The Philadelphia Inquirer
For decades, Philadelphia court officials have presided over an ineffective bail system that allowed accused criminals to skip court virtually without consequence. Defendants routinely failed to appear in court and just as routinely, failed to pay the forfeited bail that was supposed to come due as a result.[3] 
Further, Philadelphia court officials admitted that no one made any effort to collect the money owed the city by those who had skipped their court dates.[4]  
What is the result of the city’s pretrial release services? Today, fugitive defendants owe the city more than $1 billion for failing to appear for their trials.[5] Further, there are more than 47,000 defendants wanted on bench warrants for failing to appear for trial.[6] 
The Private Sector Does it Better (Again)  
Private bail bond insurers provide important services to defendants and society at no cost to taxpayers. In exchange for a fee, private bond agents secure the release of defendants from jail while the accused await trail. Compared to other types of pretrial release, research indicates that private bond agents are more effective at ensuring defendants make their court appearances.[7] Individuals who obtain their release through private bond agents are 28 percent less likely to fail to appear before court than when freed on their own recognizance.[8] When defendants fail to appear before the courts and remain at large for more than a year, private bond agents seem to be more effective at catching these fugitives than public law enforcement. Those released through the assistance of private bond agents have a fugitive rate that is 53 percent lower than the fugitive rates of those released on their own recognizance.[9] 

Dec 28, 2015

Sheriff deputies will be patrolling and checking for individuals allegedly trespassing and trashing private property in Kneeland

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind those looking for fun in the snow that Kneeland is all private property. The Sheriff’s Office has received numerous complaints about people leaving their trash and damaging the landscape while on private property. The property owners are left with the responsibility to clean up after trespassers. The United States Forest Service has public property available for people to enjoy, and remember to remove all belongings, including trash that was brought with you. Deputies will be conducting extra patrol checks in this area and may issue citations to individuals trespassing on private property.

To report trespassing or any other incident, please contact the Sheriff’s Office at (707) 445-7251 or leave an anonymous tip at (707) 268-2539.

In his resignation letter, Phillip Smith Hanes thanks Loretta Sands, the staff, the Board and highlights some of the successes under his administration

This is a copy of the resignation letter Phillip Smith Hanes sent to the Board of Supervisors. Anyone that has been to board meetings regularly knows that Phil is being very modest. He has always been very accessible and helpful to the public and a great support to the Supervisors and the County.

Wishing you the best in Kansas, Phil.

December 14, 2015

Board of Supervisors:

This is to notify you that I am resigning from employment with Humboldt County. I have
accepted a position as County Administrator for Ellis County, Kansas. Pursuant to the
terms of my contract, this resignation will be effective in 45 days. My last day with
Humboldt County will be Friday, January 29, 2016.

In the words of a fifty-year-old song, quoting a 2,300-year-old sacred text, “to everything
there is a season, and a time to every purpose.” One’s departure from an organization
not uncommonly encompasses many of these times – “a time to weep and a time to
laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.” I am naturally sad to be leaving an
organization – and a community – in which I have found a home for more than 10 years.
I am mournful for all the work left undone, which I will not get to be a part of. Yet I am
also joyous at the remembrance of all that we have accomplished together and
celebratory at the prospect of the new opportunity before me. Therefore, please permit
me a few reflections.

First and foremost, I am proud to have been part of working with a wonderful staff to
help your Board carry out the mission of this organization. Together, we have weathered
a horrible economic crisis and helped build a stronger county for the future.
Over my time in Humboldt County, I’ve worked to prepare the county for the next storm
that will inevitably come our way. In particular, with the help of many dedicated
employees, we have achieved successes in:

 Developing the strengths of our workforce through creation and support of the
Humboldt County Leadership Academies and the fostering of self-directed work
teams through the Humboldt-21 initiative.
 Better alignment of County resources around your Board’s priorities through
development and annual review of the Strategic Framework.
 More robust planning for our financial future through quarterly budget updates,
development of a five-year financial forecast, and set-asides for facilities and
retirement funding.
 Greater engagement with our residents through efforts such as the interactive
community budget meetings, the Open Humboldt Forum online participation tool
and the Citizens’ Advisory Committee on Measure Z Expenditures.
There is still much work to be done, including:
 Continued policy development such as needed policies on retirement funding
and debt financing.
 Completion of construction projects, including the new Juvenile Hall, the
expanded Jail/Community Corrections Resource Center, and a new building at
the site of the current Public Defender office to house financial functions.
 Even more transparency for our staff and residents through implementation of the
Socrata open budget web portal.
 Continued progress in systems review, including implementation of changes to our
computerized financial system and potential reorganization of departments.

I am confident, however, that Humboldt County has in place all the resources needed to
tackle these additional tasks. One of the reasons I am comfortable transitioning to a new
opportunity at this time is the faith I have in our current staff. We have built a team that is
on par with any local government in America and they will continue to successfully
implement your Board’s policy direction long after I have left the organization.

While staff throughout the organization deserves recognition, I would be remiss if I did not
specifically call to your attention the wonderful and dedicated staff of the County
Administrative Office. Whether they work in Economic Development, Information
Technology, Purchasing, Revenue Recovery, or the Management and Budget Team, the
staff of our office are among the unsung heroes of the organization. They work tirelessly
on “background” processes that support the work of other County staff and
departments and I want to take this chance to thank them for the spirit they bring to this
work each and every day.

Finally, I need to thank your Board and your predecessors for allowing me the
opportunity to serve as your CAO. I am also grateful to my predecessor, Loretta Sands,
for her encouragement and mentorship. I cannot think of a more supportive place to
have begun my journey as a chief administrator than in Humboldt County. Please
continue to treat the staff and your new CAO as well as you have treated me.

Thank you and best wishes,

$75,000 bail set for Rachel Randall allegedly in possession of 200 lbs of processed weed and evidence of sales

On Wednesday, December 23, 2015 at approximately 12:30 p.m. Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Deputies were sent to a residence on the 1000 block of Cameron Ct, McKinleyville, for a report of an alarm. Upon arrival, deputies checked the residence and found an open door. Deputies entered the residence through the open door and located a large indoor marijuana grow. The Humboldt County Drug Task Force was called and a search warrant was obtained and served.

Deputies located approximately 200 lbs of processed marijuana, and evidence of sales. Rachel Randall, 22, arrived at the residence when the search warrant was being served. She was arrested for possession of marijuana for sale, and possession of concentrated cannabis. Her bail was set at $75,000.

Dec 27, 2015

Freshly popped popcorn leads to arrest in Fortuna

On December 23, 2015 at approximately 9:45 PM hours, officers with the Fortuna Police Department were dispatched to a business located in the 1300 block of Main Street for a suspicious report. Upon arrival, officers contacted an employee, who had entered the business and observed several items out of place.

Officers entered the business and immediately smelled the odor of freshly popped popcorn. Officers located a male adult, later identified as Tyrone Jones, just getting up off the couch and appeared to have just woken up. Jones was contacted and detained in handcuffs.
Next to Jones on the couch officers located a multi colored handbag, and plaid sweater. Inside the bag officers located computer equipment and electrical computer cords that had been removed from offices within the building. On the ground directly next to the couch where Jones was located, officers located another black bag which contained an HP laptop, 6 checkbooks bearing the name of employees, and more computer cords. In addition, there was an empty bag of microwave popcorn and empty soda can on the ground next to the couch.

Jones was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked for PC 459, PC 496, and PC 1203.2.