Jan 31, 2014

DA candidates and 460s

California requires that candidates running for office file form 460, the Recipient Committee Campaign Statement. The deadline is today by 5 p.m. in person or it can be mailed in but must be postmarked by 5 p.m.

This statement is used to disclose receipts and expenditures, as well as the filer's total financial activity, for various periodic reports. This form is also used as an amendment to update missing or incorrect information.

Both Elan Firpo and Arnie Klein filed their 460s. Maggie did not file her statement of organization until January 2014 so no funds to declare for the last reporting period of 2013.

Allan Dollison said he not start fundraising until 2014. He filed a 470 for 2013. Will update this with more details soon.

Against Fair Practices Act in California to do campaign event in front of a government building?

Against Fair Practices Act in California to do campaign event in front of a government building? This question was prompted by information by a concerned citizen who brought up this question and told me they would  pass this nugget along to candidates.

It made me curious. So I thought I would find out.

I am sure the concerned citizen meant well but when it comes to something serious like a possible violation of law, this person should have checked their information first because unless you have these regulations memorized or work at a job where you know the answer, chances are your information may not be entirely accurate.

Then again my quest to find the answer led me to 3 calls and I did not get a definitive answer. So maybe this person did call and was still unsure like I am and just being a good citizen.

I called the Humboldt County Elections office first to see if we had local laws to address this question, I was referred to the Fair Political Practices Commission. I had planned to call the FPPC anyway. When I called the FFPC, they referred me back to the local office.

So I called the Humboldt County Elections Office again. This time the lady who answered did not want to be quoted because she said it was her understanding that they could make an announcement because it is free speech but no political campaigning if they are say a government employee or county employee. I bought up the point that elected officials are government employees and if they are running for re-election, can they not pass out campaign literature at an announcement?

She sympathized with my dilemma. We ended the call by my asking her, "so when in doubt call your local elections office to check what is permitted."

Jan 30, 2014

Fleming, Firpo and Dollison attend Eureka Chamber dinner

Maggie, Elan and Allan were all at the Eureka Chamber dinner. All 3 candidates mingled with the crowd before and after the dinner and ceremony. There were several standing ovations for award recepients and honorees which included Dennis Hunter, Sequoia Zoo Foundation, Fred Sundquist and Gregg Gardiner.

Supervisors Bass and Bohn, Eureka Mayor Frank Jager, Councilmembers Brady, Newman, Albin and Ciarabellini were in attendance.

The Chamber dinner was sold to capacity with calls coming in until the last day for tickets.

Virginia Bass to formally announce running for a 2nd term as 4th District Supervisor on February 7

Fourth District Supervisor Virginia Bass is going to formally announce her intention to run for a 2nd term as 4th District Supervisor on February 7 in front of the courthouse. Any one wishing to attend is asked to be at the courthouse at noon and the announcement will take place between noon and 12:30.

More details will be available in a press release being sent out shortly. You can also check her facebook page for more information.

Virginia is a friend, I have volunteered and worked on her last campaign and if she has an opponent, I will be endorsing and working on her campaign again.

As her friend and as a 4th District constituent who supports her, I plan to be there on a Friday as a friend and supporter.

Jan 29, 2014

Maggie Fleming fundraiser reception on February 8

Joel Mielke and Lynn Harvey are hosting a fundraiser reception for Maggie on February 8 from 4 to 6 p.m. Please email lynn@carsonparkdesign or call (707) 444-2644. Information about this is also on the Humboldt County Democrats website.

Maggie Fleming Campaign Kickoff today

Maggie Fleming had her campaign kickoff today in front of the courthouse. Close to 100 people are here to support Maggie.  At times, cars and trucks honked in support as Maggie spoke.

Before Maggie spoke, Jimmy Smith, Linda Atkins and Rex Bohn spoke about why they are supporting her. A diverse crowd consisting of law enforcement, attorneys, educators, businessman, and representatives from various political affiliations were present.

"The District Attorney's office is not partisan," said Maggie during her speech, "it has recently become very politicized. Effective prosecution is not about partisan politics.We need an experienced, professional and independent DA."

Ryan Burns from Lost Coast Outpost and Robyn from Channel 3 were present among other media and I am sure Ryan will have video and detailed coverage up shortly.  Ryan's note taking abilities are supreme and he is very detailed. I will add some highlights and coverage myself soon.


Among the many gathered today to support Maggie were Eureka Mayor Jager Eureka City Councilmembers Chet Albin, Linda Atkins, and Melinda Ciarabellini, Supervisor Rex Bohn, former 2nd District Supervisor Jimmy Smith, local attorney Kathleen Bryson, Pete Ciarabellini, Suzie Owsley, Max Cardoza, Milt Boyd, Judy Bennett.

Jimmy Smith was the first speaker, "I am here todat to say a couple of words about a lady I met a few years ago," referring to Maggie. Jimmy said he has worked with 3 District Attorney's, 2 in Humboldt County.

"Maggie is universally respected by all legal entities in the system," said Jimmy. "Unprecendented respect are words I would use about Maggie. She is team oriented, so intelligent...caring, a leader and determined..." Jimmy said in his opinion Maggie is the person so committed and the person who will protect and defend this community.

"Effective and experienced prosecutor, " said Linda. "Integrity and fairness...will rise above our community's political differences to address what faces our community."

"What a diverse crowd, " said Rex. "This is a non-partisan race. Regardless of what party you belong to, no one is happy with the crime level we are facing."  Rex ended his remarks by introducing Maggie as "our next District Attorney."

Highlights of Maggie's speech:

Has done over 120 jury trials.  "Community rpresented by a jury should decide innocence or guilt; true justice is not decided by opinion of one individual (DA)." The last statement was in reference to Maggie mentioning that as DA she would base her charging decisions on all the information provided.

Some of her plans for the office include: creating an atmosphere where hard work, knowledge of law, colloboration are pervasive, recruiting and retraining good people, accessibility and clear communication from the DA's office (to the public and other agencies).

"Prevention is better than dealing with after the fact," said Maggie and that she would spend "great energy on crime prevention." Referring to those affected by drug use and suffering from mental health issues, Maggie said, "Incarceration of these individuals does not benefit them and the community. These people will receive treatment as part of their sentencing."

Jan 28, 2014

My 2 cents on the candidates for Humboldt County District Attorney

To win the DA’s race you need money, you need key endorsements from politicians and funders, you need some support from defense attorneys, you need to get those SoHum votes.

Marijuana has dominated the conversation too much in the DA’s race. I want a DA that will prosecute fairly and also address crimes like child molesters and rapists and other violent crimes.

Allan Dollison: I like Allan as a person. His explanation about the ethics on the State Bar website I accept, but will voters? Based on conversations with his peers, law enforcement and ability to get major endorsers and funders, Allan would be better off throwing his support behind Maggie or Elan.

He cannot win over SoHum. His focus on his military background compared to his legal career can be a problem for some people because it could take away from his time at the office and there are people who will not vote because of their personal feelings on that one issue which I think is a mistake. 

He cannot convince SoHum to get the votes he needs. Whether one likes it or not, that is a key constituency.

Allan may surprise and be in the top 2 in June but that is a very slim chance.

Maggie Fleming: What can I say about Maggie that has not already been said by many. I have wanted her to run for a long time. Personally and professionally Maggie is exemplary. Every testimonial about her is true.

She is respected by her peers and all who know her, you won’t find anyone that will criticize Maggie. She is law enforcement’s top choice. She is heads over shoulders in experience in the courtroom.

I have some concerns about possible team members and those qualms I have shared with Maggie privately. Maggie listened and I appreciate that. 

Will Maggie be able to get the votes in SoHum and Arcata? Other than that the race leans so heavily in her favor.

Being law enforcement’s top choice can be used against Maggie as it was for Worth Dikeman and Allison Jackson. Defense attorneys may say one thing publically but will Maggie be able to get enough of those votes?

There were some people in the past elections that let their ego as lead team members hurt both Worth and Allison by not including people who have actual experience winning elections. I hope that Maggie’s team will not make that mistake.

Elan Firpo: I was initially very hard on Elan in my posts. To her credit, she was very gracious when I apologized. As I observed her in the courtroom for the past few months and at many events, I changed my mind about her as a person and candidate. 

She is a candidate who listens very carefully to feedback without getting defensive.

 A criticism has been made that she only has a few years of experience as an attorney. How many years did Paul have when he was elected? Candidates running against Paul have criticized his management style and his focus on what cases to prosecute.  Elan has the business experience that no one else does. She has some good ideas like using interns which is a good use of resources. Elan has been out campaigning and walking and meeting people for a few months before anyone else. She told me when I met her a few months ago that while she has advisors, she is aware that certain people are polarizing and she does not want that in her campaign. I like that. Elan is the one candidate that I feel will appeal to conservatives, progressives, SoHum and diverse constituencies. She has been at more events than any other candidate from Trinidad to Shelter Cove.

She has been doing what a political candidate should: raising money, getting endorsements, putting a team together and most important, meeting people.

Salzman, Paul can be a big baggage for Elan and will cost her more votes than they can get.

Arnie Klein: The one thing I agree with Hank Sims and other people familiar with campaigns is that Arnie Klein has no chance nor should he be in this race. Arnie was the first candidate to announce.  I did not even want to write about him but his behavior has shown me he is someone I would not trust and I don’t feel he is someone who can be objective. Some comments about him are personal.  Well, I don’t like being used by someone.

He asked for my help before he announced. I met with him. I arranged for him to meet with people that could help him. Arnie told me that he could not get any and especially key endorsements or raise funds on his own. I told him that was a problem. That was an issue and is still an issue. If you cannot inspire confidence in funders or endorsers, how will you get votes to win a campaign?

Arnie has not shown up for several campaign and community events, and when he does, someone has to tell him. What is his excuse.? Unlike the others who work, he is retired.

He has no idea what the issues and key players are in politics or the community. Again, he had to be told. He did a My Word without researching the article or facts.  His campaign staff consists of his friends and a local comedian and his girlfriend. Nice people but hardly a campaign team.

He told me he would run a clean campaign. He told me there would be no hard feelings if I chose not to support him. I have not heard from him once he was done using me. He is the only candidate that has not expressed sympathy to me for the loss of Fr. Freed. He yelled at me at a Chamber event when I was trying to tell him that comments he made to me were showing up on blogs. The exact words. And he should look into it. May not be him, I said.  I was trying to help. He has yet to apologize.

In private, Arnie and people close to him have expressed comments about both Maggie and Elan that are unrelated to them being elected to this office. This is information that they know because they worked together, and it is a low blow if it will be used in a campaign. And based on Arnie's unprofessionalism in the way he has conducted himself so far, that is a good possibility.

Arnie may get some marijuana votes and those of his friends. If he really wants the best for the DA’s office, like Chris Lehman, Arnie should leave the race.

Two of his friends (who I also know) told me not to publish the Chamber incident or address some of this publically. I have kept everything said to me in confidence in other instances, but voters need to know the character of the candidates.

I will also remind Arnie  that just because someone shakes your hand and is nice to your face does not mean they do not share my views.

There have also been some comments about Maggie and Elan on the blogs that are vitriolic and false. At least 2 of them from people who said the exact words to me. If people want to go around attacking and spreading falsehoods, then anons be prepared to have your name revealed. People who support a candidate can take lessons from Mr. Max Cardoza,  that is how you comment and represent the candidate of your choice.

Supervisor Estelle Fennell’s endorsement is key in this race. Whichever candidate she supports will have the backing and coalition in SoHum that help put Estelle in office.

Funders and politicians’ support is crucial but that does not win an election. The candidate that can win the voter's heart and the candidate that has an organized walking strategy with a loyal team that covers diverse constituencies can overcome money and dirty tactics.

My prediction is that the race, based on what I have seen so far, assuming people vote privately as they have shared with me, is that Humboldt County will elect a female District Attorney. My top 2 choices are Maggie and Elan.

Jan 27, 2014

I forgive Gary Lee Bullock

I have had 2 father figures in my life. Two men that believed in me, protected me, guided me, taught me right from wrong, and were always there for me. For an orphan, I felt lost when Fr. Loren left in 2010. I thought my world had ended; I was vulnerable and scared of what the future held for me at home. That is what St. Bernard’s is for me. It is where I go, it is where I want to be, it is the place that I feel safest and happiest.

For 7 years Fr. Loren is who I turned to when I felt lost, hurt, happy, confused. The parish members are my family. They have been through with me every day in the happiest and most difficult years of my life.

Fr. Loren had left to go to his new parish and Fr. Eric arrived. I remember the first conversation I had with Fr. Eric and where it was—the beginning of path between the church and rectory that Gary Lee Bullock paced frantically and eventually steps away from where he entered the rectory and took away my other father. For 3 years Fr. Eric was there for me.

I spend so much time at church daily that there is not a moment or place where I don’t remember Fr. Eric. I have been shell-shocked; I have not had a chance to mourn him. I sat stoically through the court proceedings. And finally last week, the hurt and the pain was too much to bear.

In the 2 weeks in between I struggled with anger at Gary Lee Bullock. At one moment during the court proceedings I looked at him, and I felt a momentary lapse of hate.  I spoke to Deacon Frank, Fr. Greg, Fr, Carlos and our Bishop and went to confession. Such feelings separate me from the grace of God. Their words and guidance helped and once I expressed that feeling and asked for forgiveness, I prayed to want to forgive Bullock and the strength to do it.

The anger dissipated instantly, the lapse of feeling hate was just 1 moment but I was not ready to forgive.

Bullock should be fairly tried in a court of justice. There is no sentence, no judgment, nothing that will bring Fr. Eric back. I will never forget the pain he caused, the destruction and violation of my home. The human part of me will go through the process of grieving.

I did not expect to say today that I do forgive Bullock. Not only do I forgive him, I pray for him. I pray that whatever caused him to do such a heinous act and the pain and hurt he feels and the darkness he needs to escape that he be free of all of it.

The people who knew Fr. Eric, especially the Catholic community, have prayed for Bullock from the first day even in the midst of our own pain and grief.

I do not condone what Bullock did. I do not buy the speculation of why. It is no longer important to me. If I had not forgiven him, I remain stuck in a place, never free of  Bullock and his mistake.

Forgiveness isn’t easy. It is a process. It is individual but once genuinely enacted, it truly sets you free. It is my faith and living of my faith that made this possible.

Living in this world, growth like this will be 1 step at a time. It does not mean that starting at this moment I will be perfect in my words and actions. What I do know is that if I can forgive Bullock and see him as a broken, hurt individual crying out in his own pain; instead of the monster that killed my father; I can be a better person bringing about the changes in this community and viewing people I do not understand or like in a different light.

Courthouse goes high tech

Instead of paper print outs now you have digital boards listing the cases for the day. With any new system there will be glitches. Names are being scrolled so if you happen to catch the screen at the wrong time you are outta luck! Better plan to sit on the 2nd floor minutes before you have a court hearing or check before.

There is a sign saying to check the with the clerks. That's nice but if you had a 8:30 or 8 am appearance they dont open until 9. You can check the superior court calendar but you need a computer and internet and they update that morning.

So people were being told at the clerks they are supposed to be in court NOW. That made it fun at the entrance and going through security for a bit. Wouldn't it just have made sense to have paper printouts on the first couple of days?

Jan 26, 2014

Who will Paul endorse?

I have said this to a few people, I said it to the candidates a while back. What if Paul changes his mind before the March deadline and runs?

It could happen. It isn't like he has not thrown a curve ball before.  First Paul was not sure he was running, then he was, then he said he was not. Despite rumors and speculation, Paul has not come out and endorsed anyone. And if he does, with Maggie in the race, will we have a Survivor twist and will he not endorse Elan as many have speculated.

Elan is already suffering from the baggage of Paul and Salzman (who is directly related because of Paul) before any formal announcement or endorsement. Paul is not running and we have an opportunity to meet and get to know 4 new people. So why the Salzman issue with the facebook post non-story? And who benefits from that leak?

Most people, especially funders and politicians are waiting safely to see who is ahead. Some of that is wise, some is just politics. People privately have opinions but many want to know who is safely ahead before they make a commitment. To those who have loyally supported the candidate of their choice out of these 4 already, I commend you on your guts.

I will be posting my 2 cents on the DA's race in the next day or sooner. I want to talk to a candidate privately before I put anything in print.

As I said in an earlier post, I have not endorsed anyone or decided who to support. Once I do, I am very loyal. And I would disclose that as I have in any other race.

I have met and offered insights and help to all 4 candidates.  I have offered to print information, only 1 campaign has taken that initiative to regularly update and to answer inquiries and calls promptly.

All 4 are very decent people, but as someone said to me, "sitting down and having a beer with someone," is not the same as someone being qualified and someone winning the campaign for District Attorney.

Jan 25, 2014

Firpo's latest facebook post

Explains the facebook likes and what they are doing. They are pro active and show initiative. Didn't blame anyone. Plus for Firpo campaign.

I did speak with Jason Chand who is managing Firpo's facebook  page.

He is not a campaign manager. As for the campaign team and a formal announcement, he conveyed information and a message from Elan. She is focusing on meeting constituents right now and listening to their concerns and feedback. Her priority is her current job and in her free time she wants to hear from as many people as possible .

"I'd like to spend more time on the campaign trail, but I have a large caseload, and my first priority is my work," Elan said. The 4 active cases she is working on are Virginia Doolittle, Gary Bullock, Juan Ferrer and the Bodhi tree case.  None of these are in trial at the moment.  And 200 other felony cases are part of that caseload.

Elan mentioned reaching out to the LGBT community, among other communities who traditionally may feel that the system does not address their concerns.

As someone running for DA, she feels all people should feel equally comfortable and be represented by the DA's office.

Last Sunday she was in Shelter Cove, this Sunday in Hoopa, and yesterday she was at the Peace Officers Research Association forum held in Freshwater (which was also attended by Maggie Fleming and Allan Dollison) and later in the day, Firpo was at the Buckeye Dinner at the RiverLodge.

She plans to make a formal announcement next month.

Jan 24, 2014

Gallagers team to expand to manage Scotia Inn

This is also on their facebook page but negotiations have been going on for a couple of months. Two months ago the plan was to have Gallaghers owner Reed Paden manage the Scotia Inn and Gallaghers in Eureka be managed by a family member and long time manager Kelly.

Firpo facebook likes brouhaha much ado about nothing

I was approached by someone to look into this and I did. This is not news any more than previous blog items about other candidates' facebook likes.

Likes do not determine elections, voters do. In this instance, I weighed the source and investigated the claim. On Firpo's page under likes I saw local people unless Hank Sims has dual residence. What I saw was Bangladesh as the most popular city talking about this page. Huge leap from facebook which we all know is the most userfriendly and trustworthy (NOT) social media outlet. People talking about a page does not mean they are the same who like a page.

I have not endorsed anyone, I can tell you I am considering more than 1 candidate. My perspective on the DA's race is different because I know all 4, I have worked on winning campaigns, I do have an inside perspective on all the political and inside court crowd and I have the integrity not to print stuff even when I have what seems like a scoop.

I will be printing my analysis of the DA's race soon and I am not waiting like others to see who is safely ahead. I dont gain anything by backing anyone.

Instead of frivolous posts like facebook likes, those who claim to be media need to get relevant information to the public not sensational headlines to drive up statistics.

Times Printing to move to new location and launch new website

Times Printing will be moving to a new location sometime next month. The new offices of this well known established business will be the site of the former Eureka Printing offices.  Times Printing is also launching a new website.

Stay tuned to this blog and local media for more details starting next month.

I will have a bit of history of this company added to the post later today.

Jan 22, 2014

City of Eureka hosts General Plan Update Community Workshop

Residents, property owners and businesses are invited to attend the first City of Eureka General Plan Update Community Workshop on February 11, 2014, from 6-8 pm at the Wharfinger Building located at #1 Marina Way in Eureka. Join the City and provide your input to help define the issues to be addressed in the General Plan, including the Housing Element, tell us where you believe there are opportunities for change in the community, and help us define the key objectives for the update process. In addition to the Community Workshop, the City will be hosting the first Virtual Town Hall from February 10th though February 24th providing a web-based avenue for input on the General Plan Update. For more information, visit the General Plan Update website at http://www.eureka2040gpu.com or call Lisa Shikany at (707) 268-5265.

Jan 21, 2014

Updated: Bullock preliminary hearing Day 3- Judge finds probable cause on all charges-Trial on February 5

Judge Marilyn Miles found probable cause to proceed to trial once the preliminary hearing concluded for the Bullock case. She addressed each count and charge made by the People in their original complaint, addressed and suggested a different penal code may be more appropriate for the attempted arson charge.

Bullock will be rearriagned on February 5 in Courtroom 1 at 2 PM.

New evidence presented today included police finding a vial of Dexamethasune Sodium Phosphate on the church property near the fence; Bullock concealing Fr. Eric's vehicle, and when he went to his mother and step-father's house that he had a "zombie look", was acting "crazy" and believed he was Archangel Michael. When he was arrested he was wearing a rosary that his wife had given him. His stepfather described his behavior and speech later on January 1, few hours after fled the scene from the church as "biblical rantings."

The same symbol of A was found near Fr. Eric's car and on Bullock's mother and stepfather's property.

According to WebMD, DSP is a medication is used to treat various conditions such as severe allergic reactions, arthritis and blood diseases, breathing problems, certain cancers, eye diseases, intestinal disorders, and skin diseases. It is also used to test for an adrenal gland disorder (Cushing's syndrome). It decreases your body's natural defensive response and reduces symptoms such as swelling and allergic-type reactions. Dexamethasone is a corticosteroid hormone (glucocorticoid). This injectable form of dexamethasone is used when a similar drug cannot be taken by mouth or when a very fast response is needed, especially in patients with severe medical conditions.

Jan 20, 2014

Maggie Fleming to formally announce on January 29

12:15 in front of the courthouse. Check out Maggie's facebook page for endorsements, sign and volunteer information. Check out her facebook page or http://www.electmaggiefleming.com

Jan 18, 2014

Allan Dollison formally announces his candidacy for District Attorney

The color guard marching in with the flag and the national anthem being played was the start of Allan Dollison's candidacy for the office of Humboldt County District Attorney.

Before the official start while media took photos, Allan mentioned prioritizing and effective leadership as 2 reasons he wants to be your next D. A. When he spoke, these are some of the highlights from his speech.

He addressed the disciplinary issues on the State Bar website by taking responsibility, called it an "error in judgement". He said as a Christian, he asks for forgiveness and has learned from that mistake.

He said under his leadership he will fight to restore funds for postions lost that were dedicated to prosecuting child abuse and domestic violence. He plans to be at Board of Supervisors meetings.

He talked candidly about drugs, safety, the recent murders and how plea bargains and lack of prosecution has let felons out on streets.

Allan explained how his vast experience in the armed forces and his leadership qualities would be useful as a DA.

Jan 17, 2014

Local solutions start with changes and responsibility in the state

Tragedies bring people close together. Then time passes and all that goodwill and compassion is gone. It is good to see dialogue and people wanting solutions for the community since Fr. Eric’s untimely death.  It is not just Fr. Eric, but every victim of violence and crime that is equally important.

Some people are focused on only their particular cause. Others have solutions and want the local elected officials and local law enforcement to just fix things, even those they may not have control over. Certainly local policies need to be looked at and what can be changed. To bring change that benefits everyone, let go of agendas and focus on better and safer quality of life for all.

Economics are an underlying factor and very important reason but we are not going to solve that overnight because people tend to blame who they think is responsible. You cannot blame corporations without also looking at the criminal element, especially growers, who contribute nothing to the local community other than destroy the environment and make money off people. Greed regardless of who perpetuates it will only be gone when people start making small individual sacrifices and standing up to those who create divisions of all kinds. And profit off those divisions.

The people responsible for realignment in California with no practical thought to funding or how it would affect communities are largely responsible for the recent increase in crime. When there are no consequences for repeat offenders, there is no deterrent. Economy is also affected by laws in California which are created by legislators who do not have to live with the consequences. Change needs to start at the state level.

While incarceration is not always the solution, coddling and enabling people who take no personal responsibility for their actions is what contributes to people thinking certain behavior is okay. Constitutional rights should be preserved but in our society today criminals’ rights are becoming more important than those who follow the law.

Do we need more funding and help for mental illness and addiction? Yes. However, that will not change people who do not want to change. As a culture, especially locally, before you ask officials to make improvements, start by not excusing every act to a bad childhood, mental illness and drugs. Some people just don’t care who is affected by their actions. Therapy and laws do not fix everything. Having a basic respect for others and a belief that your life and needs are just as important as your neighbor starts with basic values.

In Matthew 46-50, Jesus is asked who his family is. “As he was yet speaking to the multitudes, behold his mother and his brethren stood without, seeking to speak to him, And one said unto him: Behold thy mother and thy brethren stand without, seeking thee. But he answering him that told him, said: Who is my mother, and who are my brethren? And stretching forth his hand towards his disciples, he said: Behold my mother and my brethren. For whosoever shall do the will of my Father, that is in heaven, he is my brother, and sister, and mother”.

If you are not Christian or a non-believer replace heaven with earth or community and the sentiment for you is the same. Real change will come when we stop focusing on just our small group of loved ones and what individually benefits us and start looking at what benefits the human family.

Bullock Preliminary hearing Day 2

Video showing Bullock outside the church New Year's Eve night into early am on New Year's Day and description of Fr. Eric's injuries were today's testimony in Courtroom 2.

I cannot even comment. Sometimes silence speaks louder than words.

Jan 16, 2014

A personal observation and comment on the Bullock case

Although I took extensive notes, we have great coverage from local media with Ryan Burns, Kimberly Wear and Channel 3's Robyn Ridpath and my blog posts wont be detailed, usually. Since parishioners do check my blog, I want them to have one place they can check the basics without graphic details that are upsetting.

The preliminary hearing so far has only flushed out details already available in past media reports.

Bullock's attorney is Kaleb Cockrum. I was on the jury for another high profile local case and Bullock is extremely fortunate to have Kaleb represent him on this case.

I am very impressed with Elan Firpo and very glad she is the prosecutor on this case.

Assemblyman Chesbro to do Adjourn in Memory for Fr. Eric and Leon Berliner

This will happen tomorrow.

Thanks to staffer and former Humboldt resident Andrew Bird for the following information:

The above link is for the California Channel, which live-streams the Legislature in action. On the right are links for live webcasts. Click on the one for the Assembly Floor Session.

Floor session starts at 9 a.m. Adjourns in Memory are generally at the end of session, though they be done in the middle of session if there are a lot of them (other Assemblymembers may also have adjourns in memory). Friday’s session won’t last long, maybe 30 mins, so I’m anticipating the adjourn in memory about 9:30, though it could be earlier if there isn’t a lot of business, so to be safe I would tune in at 9 a.m.

Wesley is going to do two adjourns in memory, one for Father Eric and one for Leon Berliner.

Bullock preliminary hearing report-1st Day

The preliminary hearing for People vs Bullock was scheduled in courtroom 1. Case moved to Courtroom 5 at first but Defense filed 170.6  to disqualify Judge Joyce Hinrichs. Case then moved to JudgeMiles Courtroom 2. Two of Bullock's family members were present today. Others have been here for previous courtroom appearances.

Today a police officer and detective fom the EPD testified. Today's testimony was about when law enforcement was dispatched, how the crime scene was secured and proccessed. The detective will continue his testimony tomorrow at 830 am.

Jan 15, 2014

Bullock preliminary hearing tomorrow morning at 8:30 a.m.

Expected to take two days. Although it will be called in Courtroom 1, that could change and so if you are planning to attend, make sure to check when you get there.

Updated: Judge Feeney keeps gag order in effect until amendment filed and Intervention hearing held in Bullock case

This afternoon at 3 PM in Courtroom One, Judge John Feeney was expected to rule on a motion clarifying the protective order in the Bullock case. This was to clarify and give direction to Humboldt County Counsel on public record requests.

It was tentatively granted last week by Judge Reinholtsen. Today the City of Eureka joined Humboldt County Counsel' s office. City was represented by Cyndi Day-Wilson, the city attorney and County Counsel was represented by Jefferson Billingsley.

There was also an intervention hearing. It was private but when court resumed Judge Feeney mentioned that scheduling was discussed and that it was anticipated that the preliminary hearing may take upto 2 mornings. Prosecuting attorney Elan Firpo was present for intervention but Luke Brownfield represented the Humboldt County D.A's office for the hearing on the gag order.

Judge Feeney maintained the gag order but he asked Bullock's attorney Kaleb Cockrum to submit a proposed amendment order to the original order because when oral arguments were heard today, Judge Feeney said that he felt what Cockrum was asking, "beyond the scope of the motion  (originally) filed on January 10, 2014.

Billingsley had asked the court on January 10 and reiterated his request about direction and clarification on how the County should respond to public record requests. The City of Eureka asked the same question.

In addition to his request that law enforcement and City and County staff and attorneys be prevented from making statements to the media, Cockrum asked the court to prohibit any public record requests that referred to his client and the specific crimes he allegedly committed. Cockrum said general questions such as policies and definition of 5150 and such information was okay.

Billingsley said that because this is a high profile case, it would be difficult to define a clear line and be sure that Bullock's rights were not violated. Ms. Wilson agreed and had similar concerns. The D.A's office has taken no position.

1 public record request has already been submitted.

Judge Feeney said, "This is a very important issue" and when Cockrum added that the D.A's office agreed to some kind of gag order but not the same order he had filed, the Judge repeated his statement on the original order being beyond the scope of the motion, asked Cockrum to file a proposed amendment order, see if all parties could agree. He also asked Cockrum to provide written case law for the additional changes he was asking to the original order.

If all parties could not agree on a proposed amendment, then there would be a hearing. Until that time, the gag order is in effect.

Jan 10, 2014

Ruling on motions in Bullock case-Bail denied

Both motions granted. Hon. Judge Dale Reinholtsen presided over the hearing today. The motion for the gag order was tentatively granted but is reset to be heard before Judge John Feeney on January 15 to define the parameters of the order.

County Counsel was present at the hearing regarding the protective order on publicity. County Counsel wanted clarification on the protective order and their concern was how that would limit the County's ability to respond to public record requests. Judge Reinholtsen had considered how the gag order would affect media so in order to research and make an informed ruling regarding the County (The County just showed up for this hearing after being served the order by defense) Reinholtsen "tenatively" granted the order. The final ruling is expected when Judge Feeney hears the case next week.

Regarding the motion to increase bail or deny bail, Judge Reinholtsen denied bail.

Prior to his decision, he heard from both lawyers. Bullock's attorney Kaleb Cockrum argued that Bullock had ties to the community because his wife and family are here and that raising bail was "beyond (Bullock's) assets".

Elan Firpo who is prosecuting the case countered Cockrum's claim that Bullock's wife is leaving the area because of this case and that own his family wants nothing to do with Bullock. She said he has means to raise bail and that he was a flight risk.

Jan 8, 2014

Motion to deny bail filed by Firpo in Bullock case

Prosecuting attorney Elan Firpo has  filed a motion to deny bail in the Gary Lee Bullock case. The case will be on calendar this Friday afternoon in Dept 1.

Jan 7, 2014

Chamber agreement and extension of Measure O

At today's Eureka City Council meeting,  a services agreement between the city and Chamber of Commerce and providing city staff direction regarding placing an extension on Measure O on the November 2014 ballot were decided as follows:
The services agreement with the Eureka Chamber of Commerce had a termination clause this year. After service of non-continuance funding still has to continue for a year. Councilmember Ciarabellini asked why a year and not 90 days? The termination is final. Chamber Chair Greg Williston and Executive Director responded why a year would be helpful. Another change was flat rate for TOT.  The City Council voted to pass the agreement 4 yes Atkins dissenting.

Extension on Measure O vote was to give staff go ahead. All councilmembers wete in favor.

Board of Supervisors and Medical Marijuana Ordinance

Medical Marijuana Ordinance regarding outdoor grows that has been previously posted about on this site was up for discussion today during afternoon session. The Supervisors voted on staff recommendation passed 4 to 1.

Jan 6, 2014

Bullock arraignment

Before the arraignment of Gary Lee Bullock for Fr. Eric Freed, a hearing was held to determine if press would be allowed to take pictures. Some of Fr. Freed's family was at the arraignment and some parishioners.

 Elan Firpo is prosecuting the case for the District Attorneys case. Bullock being represented by Kaleb Cockrum from Conflict Counsel. Cockrum objected to pictures based on notice and timing and making it harder to get unbiased jury.

Judge Feeney presided over arraignment hearing. For just this hearing video and pictures were was allowed.

Not guilty plea. Bail 1.2 million.

Jan 3, 2014

Patrik Griego responds to Laird case dismissal

"Adam and his family are thankful that they can now move forward.  The evidence showing Sgt. Laird was innocent was overwhelming.  The expert EPD hired said that the suspect was rising up when Sgt. Laird pushed him back to the ground.  The two experts that the DA’s office hired said that the force was reasonable and appropriate.  The defensive tactics instructor who trained Adam said he acted consistent with his training in apprehending a high risk suspect in a dangerous situation.  In total, five separate police practices experts reviewed the case and unanimously said Sgt. Laird acted appropriately".

"It is hard to imagine what it must be like to risk your life apprehending a known gang member only to be charged with using excessive force when the suspect stated that he did not even feel the contact at issue.  It is simply bizarre that Sgt. Laird was ever charged with a crime".

Adam Laird case dismissed

Roger Rees from the Humboldt County D. A's office said based on new evidence they are dismissing case against Adam Laird.

Rees said they cannot prove the case beyond reasonable doubt.

Fr. Eric Freed. A personal reflection.

My new year began as all my days do. I got ready, went to mass. It is my most favorite time of the day. The night before, I had a rare chance to spend some time alone with Fr. Eric after mass. I had become very close to him, particularly in the last year. We are very different and our trust and acceptance of each other, especially our quirks, grew as we got to know each other.

It was like any other day, except his newspaper wasn’t picked up. A window seemed like it was being fixed, there was an area trashed. This has happened before. There was nothing out of the ordinary. Until, Father did not show up for mass. And then our Deacon came in, told us mass was cancelled and why. For the entire St. Bernard’s community, our world was turned upside down for so many reasons.

Usually when I am upset, I write. I share. That was not an option. There has been no time to grieve or mourn for our leadership, for others who are too busy getting out information, dealing with logistics, being there for our fellow parishioners who are having a harder time coping.  All of us at St. Bernards are so grateful to our Bishop, all our local priests, for the leaders in our church community and all who have been a rock for us. For 2 days, the one place we go to find peace, to gather, our real home was a crime scene.

Fr. Eric was a pastor, a friend, family and to those of us who are orphans, a father figure.

This My Word is a small effort to share what Fr. Eric means to those whose lives he touched and the response—mostly very positive. Some that I would have preferred not to address. In the last 2 days, I have struggled with what to write and whether I would. This is not a news story to me. More so the reluctance comes from not wanting to discuss the one area in my life that is private and off limits, and more so because it is not about one person’s grief, one loss, but a community that needs and deserves space and privacy.

The local media has been wonderful in their coverage. Thank you.

In the last 2 days, a brutal crime was committed against an innocent holy man who did nothing but serve his community to his last breath and whose grace and love continues to live on in us and in our actions and in what he taught us. 

I am not going to discuss the suspect, the evidence, the reasons. Loss of life, violence is unacceptable under any circumstances. Emotions are running high and yet most of us have shown incredible restraint.
Instead we focus on Jesus and pray and are thankful because that is was our pastor taught us and reminded us everyday.

Fr. Eric was a very loving man. The following words from Galatians are often quoted: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free person, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus”.  Fr. Eric lived it. Our pastor reached out to all people of faiths, even to atheists; he loved and accepted unconditionally, without wanting to change people.

There are so many misunderstanding about the Catholic Church and teachings. The Church is made up of individuals, diverse. This is not an opportunity to be exploited for someone’s political agenda or opportunity to take pot shots at the Catholic Church as some people have already.

I guarantee you know someone Catholic. Take an opportunity to get to know that person and learn about their faith. This takes years, not a quick moment. As we learned with Fr. Eric’s unexpected death, you never know when you will last see someone.

I start my day with the words Fr. Eric often said to us. With thanks for that first cup of coffee and I thank my Heavenly Father for my daily bread and most of all for the gift of faith and Fr. Eric. As he would say, I will stop here.

Jan 2, 2014

Officially confirmed: Press Release from EPD


On January 2, 2014 at about 12:45 p.m. the Eureka Police Department received
information from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department that Gary Lee Bullock had
been located in the southern Humboldt area and was taken into custody. The 2010
Nissan Altima was also located in southern Humboldt by Sheriff’s Deputies.

Detectives from the Eureka Police Department are currently enroute to the Garberville
Substation to take custody of Bullock and to continue the investigation.

The Eureka Police Department would like to thank our allied agencies, especially the
Humboldt Sheriff’s Department, for their invaluable assistance with this investigation.
The quick and successful apprehension of Bullock was the result of this joint working

No further details regarding the arrest and the vehicle recovery are available at this time.

Waiting for confirmation on suspect arrest

Just spoke to EPD. I hope they have arrested him.

Warrant for suspect in Fr. Eric Freed's murder

By the time you read this post, others may already have information up. And that is okay. As I said I am not in a race to break news, just get out information.

EPD has an arrest warrant out for Gary Lee Bullock, a white male 6'1'' 195 pounds with dark colored hair for the murder of Fr. Eric Freed. Last known address Redway. has a criminal record and it is public for anyone who wants to check it out.

Over 25 police officers and law enforcement personnel worked overnight and are still on the case. Chief Mills said at a press conference, "We will work tirelessly to bring him (Bullock) to justice. Due to ongoing investigation, only certain details were released.

"Fr. Eric did not do anything to precipitate the event," said Chief Mills. There was significant blunt trauma. There is video evidence. There was a struggle. Weapon and "a lot of evidence" has been recovered. No motive and cause of death not determined.

Yesterday Chief Mills said that he didn't think there was "harm to the local community." He still feels that way because "he (Bullock) knows  what he has done and he wants to distance himself from (here)."

Sheriff's office, Humboldt County D.A's office, EPD and other law enforcement are involved in working on the case.

Details of the timeline are in a press release and I am sure will be included in other media coverage.

Jan 1, 2014

Breaking the news is not what is important-St.Bernards Church incident

My new year didn't start well. I am a person first and in this case breaking news is irrelevant. In fact I am not going to report on this except to put some information out for the community that is not being reported and to help get the word out for Chief Mills.
In this instance, I am not a reporter, its personal. This is a private issue.
What I will say is that Chief Mills wants to assure the parishners  that he will expend all resources and investigate the incident throroughly. If people want to come pray and that makes them feel better, Chief Mills said that they need to stay away from the area cordoned off and stay across the street and understand that the police cannot comment or allow people near the area of investigation.

Chief Mills also asked people do not speculate and add to the rumors. If you saw the news you saw familiar faces. I hope people will have the decency to respect others privacy.