Jan 22, 2016

Harbor Commissioner Larry Doss selected as Eureka Chamber of Commerce business person of the year

Harbor Commissioner Larry Doss was selected as Eureka Chamber of Commerce business person of the year.

Shafer's Ace Hardware won business of the year.

Eureka Police Chief Andrew Mills won the Tom Cooke award.

New board members include City Cab's Jason Chand and Maggie Kraft, from Area f Agency on Aging.

Alleged fight by Palco Marsh with bat and pistol, one in custody

EPD just responded to a report of a fight with weapons (bat and a pistol seen) at the North 40 parking lot by Palco Marsh.

Officers have one in custody on warrants. Subject reported with gun fled into greenbelt. Weapon is believed to be a plastic replica only.

From Captain Steve Watson's twitter account. They first responded 6 hours ago.

Not a real fire, just training

Humboldt Bay Fire will be hosting live fire training for Eel River Valley firefighters on January 23rd from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. This class will be taught by Battalion Chief Sean Robertson using a metal shipping container burn prop at our Hilfiker Training Center, only wood products will be burned that will produce smoke.  The instruction provided to these Humboldt County firefighters will better prepare them to deal with fires in their home communities.

The Humboldt County Fire Services rely heavily on their neighbors during emergency situations as the majority of departments in Humboldt County are dedicated volunteers. Humboldt Bay Fire is a career agency who also relies on its neighbors to protect our community. This training opportunity will help develop firefighters in the region and allow them to share skills and concepts that will make them more efficient and effective on the fireground.

If you call EPD, answer the door!

Walking on E Street after getting coffee, I noticed an EPD vehicle parked in the alley and saw a police officer get out and head to the Eureka Central Residence apartments.

If you live in Old Town, you are familiar with the fire department being called frequently to this residence.

After 5 minutes, no one let the officer in and he left.

Whether the second jury trial will proceed for Jason Arrega on January 25 remain

The second jury trial for the double murder
homicide in Fieldbrook is scheduled to start January 25.

It was not confirmed during the trial assignment calendar this morning. The attorneys, Deputy District Attorney Zachary Curtis and Arreaga's attorney, Public Defender Heidi Holm quiet will meet privately with Judge Marilyn Miles this morning at 11 a.m.

The defense filed a motion in limited asking for sanctions relating to discovery violations on January 22. The defense also filed a second proposed jury questionnaire.

Jury trial starts on January 22.

Jan 21, 2016

Fortuna PD arrests two Eureka suspects on charges of stolen property and possession of heroin

FORTUNA, CA - On January 21, 2016 at approximately 7:15 PM, the Fortuna Police Department received a call from a resident in the 3400 block of Renner Drive reporting that she had just arrived home and believed that someone had broken into her residence. Officers responded and upon arrival, determined that several items were missing from the residence.
During the investigation, officers were able to determine that the suspects fled through a nearby field. Officers began checking the area and shortly later located two subjects leaving the campus of a school located in the area of Rohner Street. Officers contacted Latasha Justine Haslam, (age 23 of Eureka) and John David Paul Osborn (age 28 of Eureka). Officers determined that Haslam had a bench warrant for motor vehicle theft and was on probation for petty theft and trespassing. Officers also determined that Osborn was on probation for burglary and possession of stolen property.
Upon further investigation, both Haslam and Osborn were found to have property belonging to the victim in their possession.
Both Haslam and Osborn were booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility.
Haslam was booked on the following charges:
• Burglary
• Possession of Stolen Property
• Violation of Probation
• Bench Warrant
Osborn was booked on the following charges:
• Burglary
• Possession of Stolen Property
• Violation of Probation
• Possession of Heroin

Supervisor Rex Bohn presents Patti Mattingly award to Senator Mike McGuire

The Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC) announced today that it has awarded Senator Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg) with the annual "Patti Mattingly Award" for 2015.  The Patti Mattingly Award is given to a policymaker who has demonstrated leadership on rural issues, and exhibited an understanding of the unique challenges that rural communities face.

“California’s rural counties face unique challenges and obstacles when dealing with state and federal policies, and it can often be difficult to effectively communicate these challenges to Sacramento,” said RCRC Second Vice Chair Rex Bohn, Humboldt County Supervisor. “We truly appreciate Senator McGuire’s open and collaborative approach to decision making, and look forward to continuing to work with him and his office in the coming years.”

RCRC’s Patti Mattingly Award was established in memory of former Siskiyou County Supervisor Patti Mattingly, who exhibited tremendous courage, commitment, and ability to promote constructive solutions surrounding rural issues. The recipients are selected annually by the RCRC Board of Directors.

“I’m so grateful for this honor and I can’t thank the dedicated team at RCRC enough for their partnership all throughout this first year in the Senate,” said Senator McGuire. “It’s an incredible privilege to work on behalf of the rural counties and small communities that make Northern California the best place to live in America. Together, we’re going to continue to fight to ensure the hard working residents of rural California have the resources they need to thrive into the future.”

In addition to Senator McGuire’s understanding of rural issues, examples of important rural related actions by Senator McGuire in the State Legislature include:

  • Leading the charge on wildfire recovery efforts in Lake County;
  • Authoring medical marijuana legislation that helped formulate a regulatory framework;
  • Authoring a measure regarding the collection of applicable local transient occupancy taxes; and,
  • Bringing California into compliance with federal law as it relates to jet fuel sales revenues.

Supervisor Bohn presented the Patti Mattingly Award to Senator McGuire during RCRC’s Annual Installation of Officers Reception on Wednesday January 20, 2016. An image from the presentation can be accessed here.

About Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC)
The Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC) is a thirty-five member county strong service organization that champions policies on behalf of California’s rural counties. RCRC is dedicated to representing the collective unique interests of its membership, providing legislative and regulatory representation at the State and Federal levels, and providing responsible services for its members to enhance and protect the quality of life in rural California counties. To learn more about RCRC, visit rcrcnet.org and follow @RuralCounties on Twitter.

Tammy Moore recognized by EPD whose assistance led to the arrest of a unregistered sex offender

Eureka Police Department held a Challenge Coin Presentation today at 1 p.m.  

EPD PIO Brittany Powell told me that occasionally the Eureka Police Department has given these coins with a city seal on it as a token of appreciation to citizens who assisted police officers.

Tammy Moore was recognized for providing instrumental information which led to the arrest of a wanted sex offender in May 2015.  Ms. Moore is the manager of a local motel and recognized the offender from Megan's law website.

Several members of the Eureka Police Department including EPD PIO Brittany Powell, Captains Brian Stephens and Steve Watson, Suzie Owsley and members of the community including the motel owner were present.

Eureka Police Chief Andy Mills told Ms. Moore that EPD cannot police the entire city without the assistance of citizens and that she "was a shining example."

Ms. Moore was very modest and overwhelmed with the reception and gratitude she received. The motel is a part of a corporate chain and they requested the name of the motel and location not be published.

She recognized the male guest from Megan's law website. He is local. Ms. Moore said she has teenage daughters and checks that site on a regular basis. "As a parent, I cannot stand people like that."

KIEM, North Coast News, Times-Standard were at the event.

Chief Andy Mills reading the letter above.

Senator Mike McGuire: "Investing in services and programs for the 144,000 Californians who live on our streets every day, along with robust mental health and substance abuse programs."

Senator Mike McGuire responded this morning to Governor Brown’s State of the State address, citing the great strides that California has made on key issues, as well as highlighting the areas Senator McGuire considers his top priorities for this legislative year.

“Our state’s financial picture has greatly improved over the last few years and we’ve been focused on renewing our commitment to strong public schools. Now we need to make sure we reinvest strategically in additional programs and services that make this state great and we need to continue to rebuild our rainy day fund to ensure California is prepared for tougher financial times ahead,” Senator McGuire said.

Senator McGuire is part of the bi-partisan team in the State Senate that introduced a $2 billion initiative focused on tackling one of California’s most pressing challenges: Homeless services and mental health programs. 

The $2 billion revenue bond would provide communities desperately needed dollars for housing, emergency shelter and additional funds for robust mental health programs. Thousands sleep on the streets in Senator McGuire’s rural district each night. Mendocino County, as an example, has the second highest rate of homelessness in the nation.

“Large and small cities alike are desperate for assistance to combat one of our greatest challenges: Investing in services and programs for the 144,000 Californians who live on our streets every day, along with robust mental health and substance abuse programs. We are going to continue to shape this bipartisan proposal to make sure the funds can help Northern California communities invest in housing and programs that will drive positive change,” Senator McGuire said.

Senator McGuire is also laser focused on funding for the state’s crumbling transportation infrastructure. A member of the Senate’s Transportation and Housing Committee, McGuire secured millions for SMART expansion last year along with $64 million to repave 28 miles of Highway 101. There is significant need for numerous transportation projects in McGuire’s sprawling district, including rerouting the Last Chance Grade that connects Del Norte County with the rest of the state, adding a third lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, completing the Marin-Sonoma narrows project, along with tens of millions of dollars needed to fix the North Coast’s aging local roads and streets.

“California’s roads, highways and bridges are crumbling. Democrats and Republicans alike need to come together – if the federal government can strike a deal on infrastructure, we have to be able to as well. This has to be among our top priorities this year,” Senator McGuire said.

Jan 20, 2016

Carole Beaton prayer lawsuit denied review by CA Supreme Court

Docket (Register of Actions)
Case Number S230252

10/29/2015Petition for review filedPlaintiff and Appellant: Carole Beaton
Attorney: Peter Eric Martin     
10/29/2015Record requested    
10/29/2015Note:    Court of Appeal record has been imported and is available in electronic format.
10/30/2015Received Court of Appeal record    one file folder, transcript, one accordion folder
11/02/2015Received:    $710 filing fee from appellant's counsel Peter Martin.
12/16/2015Time extended to grant or deny review    The time for granting or denying review in the above-entitled matter is hereby extended to and including January 27, 2016, or the date upon which review is either granted or denied.
01/20/2016Petition for review denied    

Previous posts:

Sep 26, 2014

Clarification about the prayer lawsuit that was not clear from the Times-Standard article

I sent an email out to all City Council members  and the City manager. I would like to thank Council members Mike Newman and Marian Brady for getting back to me and the clarification provided.

Mike Newman:We did not settle on the invocation issue, we are free to continue our policy. What was settled was the matter about the Mayor involving City Personnel in a Prayer breakfast several years ago.

City Attorney clarification (via Councilmember Marian Brady):

The US Supreme Court in the Town of Greece case held that invocations at city council meetings were lawful.  That decision, however, does not prevent Ms. Beaton from appealing the decision issued by the trial court in Humboldt County in favor of the City.  By settling this issue now, it saves the City a substantial amount because we have all agreed that Ms. Beaton has to pay for the cost of the appeal and her attorneys’ fees even if her appeal is successful.

I addition, the cost of a trial would have been substantial and while the City felt it was on solid legal ground there is always a risk.  By settling it before trial, the City will not incur substantial attorneys’ fees and costs to defend and will not have the risk of paying Ms. Beaton monetary damages and her attorneys’ fees and costs at the conclusion of a trial.

As is true with any unfounded claim or lawsuit against the City, the City has to make decisions about the costs to defend and the risk the claim poses.  In this case, it was decided to pay Ms. Beaton a portion of her attorneys’ fees (no monetary damages were paid to her) and permit her to go forward with her appeal, without further cost to the City, to end the matter.

Sep 22, 2015

Peter Martin loses appeal against City of Eureka over prayer lawsuit

Link to appellate courts.


The Appellate court dismissed and ruled against Carole Beaton and her lawyer Peter Martin in their appeal of Judge Watson's decision to uphold and allow invocations before City Council meetings.

Eureka City Frank Jager said, "We won this one."

Link to my community comment on KINS on this topic.

Link to TS story on the lawsuit.

Excerpt from decision:

Filed 9/21/15  Beaton v. City of Eureka CA1/1

California Rules of Court, rule 8.1115(a), prohibits courts and parties from citing or relying on opinions not certified for publication or ordered published, except as specified by rule 8.1115(b).  This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115. 




            Plaintiff and Appellant,
            Defendants and Respondents.


      (Humboldt County
      Super. Ct. No. DR130058)

            Plaintiff Carole Beaton sued the City of Eureka and the city’s mayor, Frank J├Ąger (collectively, the City), claiming the City’s policy allowing persons to offer invocations or prayers at council meetings violates provisions of the California Constitution regarding the separation of church and state.  She appeals the trial court’s order granting the City’s motion for summary judgment and finding the City’s written invocation policy to be valid.  While this action was pending, the City replaced the contested invocation policy with a new one, purportedly based on a recent decision from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  Because the policy plaintiff challenges in this appeal has been rescinded and replaced, we conclude her appeal is moot.  We therefore dismiss the appeal.

I asked local attorney Allan Dollison to elaborate on California Rule of Court 8.1115 (a). He said, "This means the case will never be published which means that it cannot be relied upon by others in Court for precedent. Since it was dismissed as Moot, which literally means the controversy or practice complained of no longer exists such as the Court of Appeals did not need to make a decision thus they punted. A dismissed appeal as moot is of little precedential value because it is unique to the facts of this case. On the other hand, the Plaintiff can claim credit as being the inciting factor for the change that ultimately got the appeal dismissed."

AB 21 to remove March 1 MMRSA deadline clears Senate Health Committee

 AB 21, the bill that would remove the March 1 deadline included in last year’s Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA), was unanimously passed by the Senate Health Committee today.
Assemblyman Wood said, “I made a commitment to do everything I can to give local lawmakers the time they need.  We have been working hard to move this as quickly as possible.  I am hopeful that given our success today we can have this on the Governor’s desk by the end of the month.”
During the hearing Assemblyman Wood agreed to amend AB 21 to include language that corrects another drafting mistake made in last year’s Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA).
Over the long weekend, stakeholders came together and struck a compromise agreement that both sides agree protects patients’ access to medicine and local control for cities and counties.  The compromise agreement honors the commitment made by Assemblyman Wood to provide a pathway for Medical Marijuana businesses to comply with state laws as well as to provide patients with proper consumer protections.
“This agreement between stakeholders’ means we can cleanup both of these issues without jeopardizing the timeline of removing the March 1st deadline,” said Assemblyman Wood.
 AB 21 will be heard be heard on the Senate floor on Monday January 25th.
Elected in 2014, Assemblymember Jim Wood (D- Healdsburg) represents the 2nd Assembly District, which includes all of Del Norte, Trinity, Humboldt and Mendocino counties, plus northern and coastal Sonoma County, including the northern half of Santa Rosa.

Trial dates for Rodney and Vincent Ortiz local cases dismissed; Judge grants order to show contempt in Rodney Ortiz's case

The hearings on Rodney and Vincent Ortiz's scheduled for the afternoon of  January 19, 2016 were rescheduled to 8:30 a.m. this morning. Visiting Judge Stephen L. Mock dismissed trial setting for both local cases.

The Marsden hearing for Vincent Ortiz was taken off calendar. The motion for order to show contempt filed by Mr. Neal Sanders for Rodney Ortiz was granted.

I contacted both the District Attorney's office and Mr. Neal Sanders for comment.

Ms. Pizzo got back to me promptly via email:
 "I dismissed Ortiz this morning, due to the fact that both defendants have been arraigned on federal charges based on the underlying facts of the state case, and they are in federal custody.

As far as the contempt issue, the court ordered that the evidence be provided to defense in seven days, unless those items are in federal possession prior to that."

Trial setting was still scheduled yesterday afternoon for the local cases against Rodney and Vincent Ortiz.

Rodney Ortiz's attorney, Mr. Neal Sanders, had filed an order to show contempt against the D.A.'s office  and the People filed a response.

Vincent Ortiz  requested a Marsden hearing. He is being represented by Conflict Counsel's Mr. Greg Elvine-Kreis.

There is detailed coverage on this case on this blog. Ms. Pizzo who has prosecuted this case from the beginning has won all previous motions against the defense in the Ortiz cases.

Undersheriff Honsal responds why CR wants a full time peace officer and how retired officers on campus could assist

This item is now expected to be on the January 26 Board of Supervisor's agenda on the consent calendar.

After a few calls and questions from a couple of community members, I spoke to Undersheriff William Honsal after the HCSO swearing in ceremony this afternoon and got some more information.

These community members wanted to know why CR was not utilizing law enforcement who are retired and teaching as instructors.

"They are not current on post training, they do not have the equipment or resources they need," said Undersheriff Honsal. "Many of them are armed, and they could assist if required. " They would also be in classrooms and cannot respond immediately to any alleged threat.

This position is for a full time peace officer enforcing all laws, said Undersheriff Honsal.

Jan 13, 2016

In wake of Umqua community college shooting, CR reaches out to HCSO for School Resource Officer

Undersheriff William Honsal just confirmed that College of the Redwoods reached out to the Sheriff's office about the possibility of a School Resource Officer.

Next Tuesday, January 19, at the Board of Supervisors meeting, there will be an agenda item asking for approval to recruit for this position.

CR is willing to fund the position for the first year. For the second and third year, they intend to seek Measure Z funding.

"In wake of the Umqua Community College shooting, CR wanted patrol presence during the week and for special events," said Undersheriff Honsal.

HCSO swearing in ceremony at Board of Supervisors packed with family and supporters

At 1 p.m. today, there was a swearing in ceremony this afternoon in the Board of Supervisors Chambers in the Courthouse.

Byron Franco and Tanner McCuthan were sworn in as Deputy Sheriffs II, Davin Twitchell and Patrick Del Rosario as Correctional Deputies I, Susan Garcia as Emergency Communications Dispatcher, Bryan Lee as Administrative Analyst and Alisa Cudney as Senior Legal Office Assistant, Rob Patton as Animal Control Facilities Manager and Sierra O'Leary as Animal Shelter and Care Attendant I.

"It's not often I get to swear in 9 people at one time," said Humboldt County Sheriff Michael Downey.

Sheriff Downey spoke about the diversity of positions at the swearing in ceremony made possible through Measure Z funding.

"My goal this year was to hire 30 people," said Sheriff Downey. "At this time, we are upto 28." Later, I spoke to Sheriff Downey and he clarified these 30 positions were funded through Measure Z but there are additional positions he will also be hiring for in the future.

Jury trial confirmed for former Hoopa softball coach William Jarnaghan

There was a pre trial hearing scheduled yesterday afternoon for William Jarnaghan.
Visiting Judge Stephen L. Mock. Dates were confirmed.

Oct 29, 2015

Resolution before jury trial may happen in case for former Hoopa softball coach charged with alleged sexual charges involving former student

This afternoon, trial setting for former Hoopa softball coach, William Jarnaghan, was scheduled in Courtroom 5.

Deputy District Attorney Brie Bennett is prosecuting the case. Mr. Neal Sanders is representing Jarnaghan. DDA Jackie Pizzo subbed in for her colleague this afternoon.

Mr.  Sanders said, "We are trying to see if we can get a resolution on the case. We were hoping for that today. The family needs to decide what kind of disposition they want."

Since it is a time waived case, jury trial was set for February 16 at 8:30, Trial confirmation for February 2 at 2 p.m and pre trial on December 15 at 2 p.m.

DDA Jackie Pizzo said, "My only concern about setting it in February is that I haven't spoken with the victims."

Judge Hinrichs said that while she realizes that under Marcy's law, victims are entitled to speedy resolution, this is a time waived case and "we are trying to set realistic time frames" of when cases will proceed.

Oct 14, 2015

William Jarnaghan enters not guilty pleas at arraignment for alleged sexual charges against minor victim

Former Hoopa High school softball coach William Jarnaghan was arraigned on information this afternoon in Courtroom 2. Exact same charges as preliminary hearing. All counts are against a female victim under 18 years old. Counts 1,2 and 3 are felonies. Sexual penetration/Foreign object PC 289 (h). Counts 4,5 and 6 are misdemeanors. Annoying/Molest a child under 18 years. PC 647.6 (a)(1).

If convicted, Jarnaghan will have to register as a sex offender.
Jarnaghan entered not guilty pleas.

Deputy District Attorney Brie Bennett is prosecuting the case. Mr. Neal Sanders is representing Jarnaghan.

Trial setting is 10/29 at 2 p.m. in Courtroom 5.

Previous posts:


Man threatens to kill deputy while being arrested

On 1-15-2016 at approximately 1:40 AM, Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to a residence in the 20200 block of N. Hwy 101, Willits. A twenty-seven year-old woman had reported that a male acquaintance, Alberto Acosta, was at her door, drunk and demanding to be allowed inside. He refused to leave and was trying to climb into the house through a window.

Acosta fled prior to the arrival of the Deputies. They searched the area for him without success. At approximately 2:09 AM they were dispatched back to the same location. Acosta had returned and was demanding entry into the home. The Deputies contacted Acosta, who exhibited symptoms of severe alcohol intoxication. It was determined that Acosta was too intoxicated to care for his own safety.

Acosta resisted handcuffing and threatened to kill one of the arresting Deputies. He is on Mendocino County summary probation with a "no alcohol" clause listed as one of the terms.

Acosta was arrested for resisting or threatening a peace officer, public intoxication and violation of probation. He was transported to the Mendocino County Jail where is held in lieu of $15,000 bond.

Jan 19, 2016

No bail for Jason Balke

Jason Blake arrested yet again was just arraigned in Courtroom 5 for violating his terms of probation.

Visiting Judge Stephen L. Mock said no bail. Deputy District Attorney David Christensen was present for the People. Public Defender Luke Brownfield was appointed for Balke.

Probation hearing is February 18. Intervention is February 1.

Performance standards for generators, no commercial cannabis cultivation on properties under 1 acre, the commercial cannabis medical marijuana land use ordinance saga continues

Today, during the morning session of the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors, two items that were discussed were:

Human Resources
1. Revision of Ordinance Setting Compensation of the Board of Supervisors
That the Board of Supervisors initiate the review process of Board Salaries and
Benefits pursuant to County Code; and direct staff to bring back proposed
ordinance language consistent with your Board's direction relative to salary and

Ordinance Setting Compensation of the Board.pdf

There was no ordinance presented by Dan Fulks, County HR Director, just feedback from Board. The Board of Supervisors voted not to get longevity pay and the one time payment that other elected officials and County employees will get as a part of recent contract negotiations.

Planning and Building Department
Review of staff's modification of proposed Ordinance in response to Board direction, 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 regulations for cultivation, processing,
manufacture and distribution operations and facilities
That the Board of Supervisors receive draft ordinance reflecting changes as
directed by the Board on January 11th and 12th, 2016; consider questions and
points of clarifications described herein, deliberate, and provide further direction
to staff as necessary regarding possible modifications to draft ordinance; set
January 26, 2016 as the date for adoption of the ordinance and the Mitigated
Negative Declaration; and direct the Clerk of the Board to publish the
pre-adoption summary of the Ordinance and to post a certified copy of the full
text of the proposed Ordinance in the office of the Clerk of the Board, both
publication and posting to be done at least five (5) days prior to the Board
meeting at which the Ordinance will be adopted. [Government Code

Modified MMLUO.pdf

Discussions on the medical marijuana ordinance started at 9:30 a.m this morning and will continue this afternoon after public comment and a couple of items on the afternoon agenda are completed. 

Planning and Building Department director Rob Wall told the Board of Supervisors that he had received questions via email over the weekend asking if conditional permits could be issued on pending General Plan update changes. He clarified that "this ordinance will be consistent with the current GPU" and not the future general plan update.

Language for performance standards for generators was clarified after a question by Supervisor Estelle Fennell. "The noise produced by a generator used for cannabis cultivation shall not be audible from neighborhood residences nor more than 60 decibels at the property line. Where applicable, sound levels must also show that they will not result in the harassment of Marbled Murrelet or Spotted Owl species, when occurring in the vicinity of a potential habitat. Conformance will be evaluated using current auditory disturbance guidance prepared by the United State Fish and Wildlife Service.and further consultation if necessary."

Each Supervisor gave feedback on the draft and their questions. Supervisor Fennell and Supervisor Bohn both mentioned that they wanted the word contiguous removed. 

In the morning session,staff asked for more input on RRR sites. Feedback from Board included no commercial cultivation under 1 acre for new grows. Properties ranging from 1.5 acres need a conditional use permit and maximum size was 5,000 square feet and not less than 300 feet of neighbor's residence. All other conditions of small parcel ordinance need to be followed.

Much of the afternoon discussion centered around multiple licenses for larger grows.
Multiple licenses will be issued for parcels 320 acres or larger.

The Board is expected to continue giving feedback to staff until the end of the day. A final draft of the ordinance needs to be published by the end of tomorrow if an ordinance is to be passed on January 26.

Mateel to host forum on MMRSA with Assemblyman Wood and Senator McGuire talking about how state and HumCo ordinance will work

Assemblymember Jim Wood and Senator Mike McGuire, authors of the recently signed Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act, will host a Forum to provide residents with an opportunity to hear how the new statewide regulations and license program will roll out over the next two years and how those new statewide rules will  interact with the proposed Medical Marijuana ordinance being discussed in Humboldt County.
Representatives from state agencies tasked with writing and carrying out the rules and regulations will be on hand at the Forum along with County of Humboldt department heads who are point on the proposed local ordinance.
“This interactive forum will give residents a chance to hear directly from the state agencies, county officials and members of the medical marijuana industry how these new statewide rules and regulations will work for the North Coast,” Senator Mike McGuire said. “Voters passed Proposition 215 nearly twenty years ago and the promised regulations from the legislature weren’t advanced until last year.  There are many changes in the works and we want to be sure the State is working proactively with residents over the next several months to ensure all are prepared and in the loop.”
Senator McGuire and Assemblymember Wood worked together to pass the strongest medical marijuana legislation package in the nation in 2015. The new laws cover every aspect of the commercial medical marijuana industry including: environmental protection and water regulations, law enforcement, licensing, public health related to edibles and product testing, marketing, labeling, taxing, transporting, zoning, local control and re-sale (and more). The bills also created the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation under the Department of Consumer Affairs.
“The medical cannabis industry is a big part of the economy, history, and culture of Humboldt County,” Assemblymember Jim Wood said. “Getting laws on the books that allow the industry to be a part of the larger business community was just the first step, making sure they are implemented fairly and in a way that is understood by business owners will be crucial. There were a lot of changes made last year and Senator McGuire and I want to make sure everyone has a chance to have their questions answered.”
The forum will be co-hosted by Humboldt County Supervisor Estelle Fennel and an impressive list of panelists from state agencies, the County of Humboldt and industry experts who will be on hand to discuss the implementation of medical marijuana regulations. Panelists include state representatives from the Department of Consumer Affairs, the Department of Food & Agriculture, the Department of Fish & Wildlife, and the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board. From Humboldt County, panelists will represent the Planning Department, the Sheriff’s Office, and the Agriculture Commissioner’s office.
Here are the forum details:
What: Southern Humboldt County Community Forum on Medical Marijuana
When: Friday, January 29, 2016
Time: 4 to 7 p.m.
Location: Mateel Community Center, 59 Rusk Lane, Redway
SAVE ROOM: Treats and refreshments will be available for all attendees.
More information, including the list of panelists, will be distributed next week.

Trial setting, order to show contempt and a Marsden hearing scheduled in local Ortiz case

Trial setting is still scheduled this afternoon for the local case against Rodney and Vincent Ortiz.

Rodney Ortiz's attorney, Mr. Neal Sanders, has filed an order to show contempt against the D.A.'s office  and the People have filed a response.

Vincent Ortiz is requesting a Marsden hearing. He is being represented by Conflict Counsel's Mr. Greg Elvine-Kreis.

Jan 18, 2016

Kailan Meserve appeal of 995 is incorrect filing and untimely, claims local private attorney

I am reprinting the comments from my post on the defense's appeal of the 995 motion being denied in the Kailan Meserve case.

I called Allan Dollison. In addition to his comments below about the defense needing to file a writ not an appeal, he said that the writ needs to be filed within 15 days of the 995 motion being denied. Judge Marilyn Miles ruled on December 17, 2015.

The case in which Mr. Neal Sanders won the 995 motion was Rodney Ortiz's local case.


Court data last updated: 01/18/2016 02:41 PM
Docket (Register of Actions)
The People v. Meserve
Division 1
Case Number A147247

01/13/2016Notice of appeal lodged/received (criminal).    

  1. John: The technical term for an appeal of the denial of a 995 is s Writ of Mandamus, since there are no "appeal rights" from the denial of a 995. They tend to be a lot quicker, since they are not full blown appeals. It is not uncommon that after a filing a writ within a matter of days you get a one sentence order back saying: "The petition for Writ of Madamus is hereby denied." Neal Sanders just got one granted, so they are not impossible. As you point out the intention of filing one might get a continuance of the trial unless they take quick action on it which as I mentioned is almost always a denial, when it is quick.
  1. Thanks Allan. I quoted what was said in court by Russell Clanton. This is good to know for future posts.
  2. John, so interesting I checked the Court of Appeal website and noticed that a Notice of Appeal was in fact filed, not a Writ of Prohibition.


    That is not correct. The only thing that was correct to have been filed was a petition for a Writ of Prohibition, pursuant to California Penal Code section 999a, which holds in its pertinent part as follows:

    "999a. A petition for a writ of prohibition...must be filed in the appellate court within 15 days after a motion made under Section 995 to set aside the indictment on the ground that the defendant has been indicted without reasonable or probable cause or that the defendant had been committed on an information without reasonable or probable cause, has been denied by the trial court."

    This procedure was affirmed in the case of Smith v. Superior Court (1978) 76 Cal.App.3d 731, which held "If he elects to proceed under section 995 and his motion is denied, he may seek immediate appellate review by a petition for a writ of prohibition filed in the appellate court within 15 days after his motion is denied. (Pen. Code, § 999a.)"

    There is no appeal of a denial of a 995 Motion because it is not a final judgment or otherwise appealable order. An immediate Motion to Dismiss needs to be brought as this is frivolous and is not the right procedure. So Mr. Clanton was correct in Court saying that he had filed an appeal of the court's denial of the 995 motion. Again, filing a 1-page Notice of Appeal when you have no legal right to do so is improper.

Jan 17, 2016

Kailan Meserve jury trial vacated due to pending appeal of 995 ruling

The defense is planning an appeal of Judge Marilyn Miles's ruling of the 995 motion in the Kailan Meserve case. The jury trial date of January 19 was vacated. A disposition and reset hearing is scheduled for February 4 at 2 p.m.

Kailan Meserve was present in court with his father, Dave Meserve and his attorney Mr. Russ Clanton. Deputy District Attorney Brie Bennett was present for the People.

Dec 21, 2015

Judge Marilyn Miles denies defense 995 motion to dismiss charges against Kailan Meserve which include sexual battery, rape by force and forcible oral copulation

A 995 motion to dismiss most of the sixteen charges including sexual battery, forcible oral copulation, rape by force against Kailan Meserve was denied by Judge Marilyn Miles on December 17, 2016.

Dec 4, 2015

Kailan Meserve jury trial for January 19 date stays set for now

At the December 3, trial confirmation hearing for Kailan Meserve, the trial readiness for the Kailan Meserve was vacated for January 13 was vacated, a trial confirmation was set for January 14 and the Jury trial date remains set for January 19.

Dec 1, 2015

No decision made today on 995 motion to dismiss charges against Kailan Meserve , Judge Miles has taken matter under submission

A hearing for the 995 motion to dismiss charges against Kailan Meserve was scheduled this afternoon at 2 p.m. in Courtroom 2 to be heard by Judge Marilyn Miles.

For this hearing, Deputy District Attorney Zachary Curtis appeared for the People and Mr. David Celli for Kailan Meserve, whose personal appearance was waived for this court hearing.

Judge Marilyn Miles told the attorneys that "this matter is not going to be argued today on a misdemeanor calendar unless you both submit on your pleadings."

Both attorneys said they would.

Judge Miles said that at the last hearing, Mr. Russ Clanton said there would be a lengthy argument. Mr. Celli reiterated the sumbission.

Judge Miles has taken the matter under submission.

Nov 10, 2015

Kailan Meserve 995 motion to dismiss 15 counts including sexual battery, kidnapping and forcible rape continued and case sent to Judge Miles

A motion to dismiss information in the Kailan Meserve case was scheduled this afternoon in Courtroom 5 to be heard by Judge Joyce Hinrichs. Cases for  Courtroom 5  were called in Courtroom 1 this afternoon.

The defense had filed a motion to dismiss information, the People filed an opposition and then the defense filed a reply to the People's opposition.

Mr. Russ Clanton, who is representing Meserve, told Judge John Feeney, "this is a lengthy matter that has been under consideration by Judge Hinrichs. We ask that the matter be set over for two weeks."

Deputy District Attorney Brie Bennett who is prosecuting the case agreed. She said the People needed time to look over the defense's response to the prosecution's opposition to the 995 and see if they will file a response.

Judge Feeney said he had received an email today at 1:15 from Judge Hinrichs, who is the presiding Judge for Humboldt Superior Court. She had given two dates and wanted the matter calendered before Judge Miles.

The 995 motion to dismiss will be heard on December 1 at 2 p.m. in Courtroom 2.

Bail was originally at two million and the DA's office asked it be paid by legitimate means. Meserve made bail and is out of custody. Kailan Meserve was in court with his father Dave Meserve.

Oct 22, 2015

Will all charges be dismissed against Kailan Meserve, these include forcible rape, sexual battery and kidnapping

Kailan Meserve had been charged with 19 counts such as sexual battery, kidnapping, forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, criminal threats, assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury and the case involves two female victims.

After his preliminary hearing in August, one count dismissed by People, two counts not held to answer; Kailan Meserve held to answer on 15 counts including forcible rape.

The two counts Meserve was not held to answer was first degree residential burglary and assault to commit a felony during the commission of a first degree burglary.

Meserve's attorney Mr. Russ Clanton filed a motion to dismiss information on October 20. Deputy District Attorney Brie Bennett is prosecuting this case. The hearing on this motion is scheduled for November 10 at 2 p.m. in Courtroom 5.

The only media coverage on this case has been on my blog.

Sep 3, 2015

Kailan Meserve jury trial set for January 19, arraigned today on 17 felony counts

Kailan Meserve was arraigned on information this afternoon is Courtroom 2 on 17 felony counts with two special allegations. He is being represented by Bay area attorney Randolph Darr and local attorney Mr. Russ Clanton, who made a general appearance today for Mr. Darr.

Meserve was only accompanied in court today by his father, Dave Meserve. A time waiver was entered. Deputy District Attorney Zack Curtis is prosecuting the case but DDA David Christensen handled the arraignment today for the People.

Jury trial is January 19th at 8:30 a.m., Trial Readiness is January 13 at 1 p.m., and Trial Confirmation is December 3 at 2 p.m. in Courtroom 2.

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