Feb 27, 2014

Millers farm in Mckinleyville burglarized

 On 1-10-2014, at approximately 2:00 p.m., the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office was notified of a burglary that occurred at Miller Farms Nursery, 1828 Central Avenue, McKinleyville. A deputy responded to Miller Farms and met with an employee. The employee told the deputy the business was closed and secured on 01-09-2014, at approximately 5:30 p.m. On 1-10-14, at approximately 6:20 a.m. when the business was opened the employees saw the chain link fence had been cut, and a lock had been removed from an outbuilding on the property. When the outbuilding was checked, the employee discovered two Honda generators worth approximately $2,500.00 dollars were stolen, along with a nail gun and other tools.

            On 2-26-2014, the employee who reported the crime called the investigating deputy and told the deputy he had received information third hand the stolen property may be in a local transient camp in the area. The employee told the deputy he would re-contact the Sheriff’s Office when he learned where the camp was at.
            On 2-27-2014, at approximately 9:30 a.m. the Miller Farms employee called the Sheriff’s Office and reported he located the camp to the north of Nursery Road, McKinleyville. Deputies responded and met with the employee who located some of the stolen property in a transient camp, along with a female who was living in the camp. The female was identified as Chris Ann Crittenden, 39 years old, a transient. Crittenden was arrested for possession of stolen property and was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where she was booked. Her bail was set at $25,000.00.

            With the assistance of the Miller Farms employee, deputies identified and recovered a generator, concrete saw concrete drill, hand tools and a C.B. Radio that were stolen.

            There is additional stolen property that still has not been recovered, including a Honda generator. Deputies are still actively investigating the case.

Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriffs Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriffs Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.

Elan Firpo makes her formal announcement at the Vance

Surrounded by family, friends and supporters, five co-chairs and the Vance Lobby  full of supporters, Elan Firpo formally announced her candidacy for DA at 12:20. People also enjoyed hot dogs, wraps at Wolf Dawg before and after the announcement.

Elan was introduced by 3 of her co-chairs, Patty Clary, John Woolley and Neal Ewald.  Standing behind her were the 2 other co-chairs Michael Evenson and Fred Sundquist, Jr as well as Mike Newman, Marian Brady and Julie Fulkerson.

Listed below are key portions of Elan's speech. She elaborated on a few things and answered questions after her speech.

I want to thank the Co-Chairs of my campaign, Patty Clary, Michael Evenson, Neal Ewald, Fred Sundquist and John Woolley.  They have come from diverse communities with diverse political leanings to support this campaign.
With a firm commitment to preserving civil liberties, open government, and to fair and equal justice under the law, I announce my candidacy for Humboldt County District Attorney.
I know I can tackle the serious issues facing this office and our community. 
What are some of those issues?
·         Fear of crime in our neighborhoods
·         Protecting individual rights guaranteed by our laws
·         Dealing with the excesses of marijuana cultivation
The District Attorney is a key player in addressing these issues.  To effectively work out solutions, we need a District Attorney’s office that has widespread community support.  I will end the polarization of the DA’s office, and focus on the efficient prosecution of the laws.  Application of the law requires the DA to be Justice Partners with other law enforcement agencies.
I have a lifetime of experience communicating with the hard working men and women who protect our community. 
You might say I began before I was born.
My father and grandfather were career California Highway Patrolmen, my Mom worked in dispatch and two of my sisters are currently employed by their local police departments. 
My sisters and I were brought up honoring public service as the highest calling.
While working full time at Humboldt Land Title Company here in Eureka, I began night school at College of the Redwoods in 1985, earned my engineering degree in 1993 at Cal Poly and went on to a successful 13 year career as design engineer and project administrator, designing and manufacturing computer components.  Managing facilities in the far corners of the world. 
But there is much more to life than making good money.  I heeded the call to public service and went to law school so that I could become a prosecutor, and return to Humboldt.  Here, where my parents live, where I’m raising my children.
As a Senior Felony Prosecutor in Humboldt County, I aggressively and professionally manage a full caseload. 
As your DA, I will close the revolving door on those few who prey upon the rest of us, particularly those repeat offenders that would otherwise be in prison.  Working with probation, law enforcement, and the Sheriff, we will keep that small percentage of the public that commits 95% of the crime off the streets.
I have a detailed plan to optimize current resources and regain the confidence of the Board of Supervisors and the public by providing a quality work product in the form of consistent and rigorous prosecution.
I pledge to work with law enforcement, probation, victim advocates and the community, to make Humboldt a safe place to live and raise our families. 
The District Attorney’s office and law enforcement must be Justice Partners.  When the system works well, there are effective checks and balances between prosecution and law enforcement.
I pledge to vigorously prosecute Marijuana grows that are damaging the environment by diverting water sources, polluting the ground, killing wild animals, or negligently using firearms.  This includes indoor grows that are endangering neighborhoods.

With both private industry executive experience and government service, with an engineer’s obsession for solving problem, I will employ the skills needed to energetically address the public safety issues of Humboldt County and manage the office of Humboldt County District Attorney so that it works for you.  I will be a District Attorney you can be proud of, one Committed to protecting and serving this community.
I am Elan Firpo
I am asking for your vote.

Elan has a diverse group of supporters, not just people on the right and left but people from all walks of life. I often tell her, Elan you are the people's DA. I am proud to endorse and support and vote Elan Firpo as the choice for our next District Attorney.

Feb 26, 2014

There is nothing better than recognition from your peers

Okay so technically they are not my peers because I am not a journalist presently. But when my blog showed up on NCJ, then LoCo, and today when I noticed it on Times-Standard Social Wire, I was so stoked!

When I was in Philadelphia, I left a larger newspaper, went to a small weekly, and was the only staff reporter and I scooped my former publication every time. I went back briefly to the larger paper because I have always been lucky to have good, supportive editors who valued me.

There is something special about being a local news reporter. You are a part of your community, you develop relationships, trust, connections.

There is a part of me that misses being part of a newsroom but what I do now fuels my passion. I will always prefer print media but social media has it's own advantages.

Our loved ones should not be a statistic

The most poignant moment for me was to look around the room. I had friends there, some who are family. There is a bond we share because we have lost loved ones, some very recently. It was hard to sit there and remember the events of this New Year's Eve and New Year's Day and listen to statistics.

I watched someone silently exit. This is someone I know has had a close and personal loss. Someone I have not always agreed with, and when I saw her, I wanted to say, I understand your frustration. Maybe that day will come.

I do not want Fr. Eric's death to be forgotten anymore than the loss of others who still grieve. I do not want their deaths to be in vain. They are not statistics.

This forum was educational but the healing we seek as a community is to be listened to without excuses being offered and to see some action being taken that make us feel safe in our homes and on our streets again.

Highlights of public safety forum panelists

Sheriff  Downey, the first panelist to speak gave some statistics, kinds of crimes people were booked for in 2013. Average hold time for a person 51/2 hours. He explained the current policy and spoke about night-time releases. 647 (f) is the code he referred to and mentioned, "subject is placed in detention state to protect the public and because they are unable care of themselves." He elaborated on what that meant.

Counties have different hold times, it varies. Some have upto 8 hours, said Sheriff Downey. When they are sober, they are released because "we have no authority to hold them because of constitutional rights. If bail is secured, they eligible for release, free to leave whenever night or day." Sheriff Downey said that the staff offers everyone a chance to sit in the lobby, offers to call a cab, can wait for someone to pick them up."

This procedure was countered by some audience members who spoke and they also addressed the practical difficulties of family members or friends coming to pick people up, money being one issue, mental illness for some.

"When there is no custodial relationship, we cannot compel them to sit and wait until daylight."

Certain panelists were given questions/areas to address specifically beforehand by forum organizers.

The second panelist who spoke was DHHS Director Phil Crandall. He defined 5150 and under what conditions someone can be held  upto 72 hours if they qualify for that hold. He elaborated on who has the authority to determine a 5150.

Captain Ed Wilkinson who is with the Sheriff's office and the jail manager  said that "our policies are currently under review." Undersheriff Billy Honsal who was the 4th panelist to speak, opened his remarks by saying, "We work for the community. We look to you for solutions, to talk about possible strategies." He focused on the challenges of the homeless on the street because at night the shelters are closed, suggested a "sobering station" privately run.

EPD Chief Andy Mills started his comments by saying, "How do we protect the community and the rights of individuals." He said there are 4 areas to focus on: the preventive approach; policy decisions that can be made on City, County and State level; what legislative actions can be taken; and what solutions can we come up with together as a community?"

I applaud the Interfaith group that put this forum together. I thank all who came. Many took notes and did not speak.

Excerpts from Press Release from Allan Dollison

Excerpts from Press Release from Allan Dollison:

Allan Dollison, Candidate for District Attorney,  received his paperwork and paid his $1,580 filing fee to become an official candidate for District Attorney. Dollison was quoted as saying, “we immediately gathered our minimum required nomination signatures in a matter of hours, and will be turning those in the days to

According to the clerk’s office at that time, no other DA candidate had yet to pay their fee, and
obtain their nomination paperwork.

Dollison added, “In order to maintain my status as truly independent candidate for District
Attorney, I am making two very important announcements about the funding of the campaign. I
will be donating/loaning a minimum of $25,000 of my own funds to insure that my message
gets across, and that once elected no one will be able to tell me what to do.”

 Political fundraising in Humboldt County has always been controversial, but independence is
what the people seek and want, especially from the District Attorney, and I promise with this
announcement and tough decision, I will remain independent.

City moves to the next step in recruitment for City Manager

From the City Attorney's office, a press release:

The Eureka City Council, after meeting in closed session this afternoon, has decided to  take the next step in the recruitment process for the next City Manager. The decision was made after receiving input from its recruiter, Phil McKenney, who relayed comments from the community and peer panels who interviewed the remaining candidates this morning.  That process will entail a background investigation and further due diligence.

Community versus public safety? Basic gist of public safety forum

The title summed up in 1 sentence the dilemma presented by most panelists, mainly law enforcement, court and DHHS. Betty Chinn provided her unique perspective and I was really glad to see her as a part of the panel.

DA candidates Elan, Maggie and Arnie were all there along with Humboldt County Supervisors Bass and Fennell. Eureka City Council are interviewing city manager candidates today and Allan Dollison had a scheduling conflict.

The audience was  wonderful and diverse. There were community members, people from various faith organizations, business owners and elected officials. My 3 favorite comments of the night were from the audience were from Kathleen Bryson, Estelle Fenell and Sylvia Scott.

Kathleen Bryson spoke and one of her comments was, "Which came first, the chicken or the egg? How do you separate drug abuse and mental illness." She expressed the sentiment and theme that other people addressed in their questions.

"You brought this problem to Eureka, said Sylvia Scott, "All I hear is excuses." I think Sylvia summed up the emotion many felt but everyone was very respectful in their comments and questions.

Estelle asked, "What will it take to change policy, legally and the financial impact?" That kind of solution oriented direction is where we need to go as a community.

I did take notes regarding some of the information presented but there was very good media representation and so I will add highlights in a different post shortly.

Chinn, Damiano, Crandall also panelists on Public Safety Forum

In addition to names mentioned on press release, Betty Chinn, Bill Damiano from Probation and DHHS Director Phil Crandall are also panelists at the Public Safety Forum. Please check updated post above for more details.

Confirmed: Chris Kerrigan files intent to run for 4th District Supervisor and Dollison completes paperwork

Sent an email to Chris yesterday, no response. Asked him if he was running for 4th District Supervisor or Mayor. Asked him about the flyer fundraising for Mayor and whether it is still  being circulated.  Confirmed with the election office and the date on the 460 is February 25 when Chris filed his intent to run for 4th District Supervisor.

They also confirmed Allan Dollison is the only DA candidate to pay filing fee and and still needs to submit some paperwork. The rest have until March 7.

Mielke soliciting supporters from LOCO; Salzman needs to do this county a favor and move on

What is posted below is an email received by Chris Pennington, who is Allan Dollison's graphic designer. It was sent to me by Allan Dollison. The only thing I removed was Chris' email address.

This race should be about the candidates. In this campaign, there have been actions by supporters of Maggie's and Arnie's,  that have anonymously attacked me or Elan. It is always nice to know your hunches are supported. I have heard about various alleged things Joel has been doing as have others. But proof is a good thing. 

Interesting that the one candidate, Allan, that had ethics issues raised years ago, is the only one who always uses his name and to my knowledge, has run a  clean campaign so far. 

People assume a lot of things. I have been around for a long time. Even though I endorsed Elan, people who know me well and trust me and share information. I don't always post what is shared on my blog. 

I like Maggie, I offered to co-endorse her. I have no ill-feelings towards her. She is a capable, intelligent, caring individual. I have issues with some of her supporters, including Joel, and this email is exactly why. This is just 1 example. Is he spamming and trolling the blogs? You decide.


From: Chris Pennington
Sent: Tuesday, February 25, 2014 6:37 PM
To: Allan Dollison
Cc: people at gmail
Subject: Re:

15 minutes ago
Chris: I hope that you'll consider supporting Maggie Fleming for District Attorney. She's by far the most qualified candidate for the job. Please read more about her on her website: http://www.electmaggiefleming.com/
I'm with the Dollison peeps. Did you just 'spam' me ?
No, I wrote to you.
Are you doing this to everyone?
No, but I saw your comment at LoCO and I thought that you might be interested in a good candidate for DA.
I'll be going door-to-door for Maggie, but a friendly FB message is less obtrusive.

I do not condone dirty tactics. Which brings me to Salzman. I will never defend that man. He has not won a race since 2010 except for the last year's DA's race which had nothing to do with him. A 4% win is not a big deal and it cannot be proven it was solely because of Salzman. 
Except for the extreme left, no one cares about Salzman. Even LOCO comments diss him. For a reason. Salzman does not know how to work with anyone. He has to be in control. He has to be in the forefront. He lies, attacks, misrpresents, anything to win.
And he plays dirty and hurts his candidates. He may have been influential but now can he bring enough votes to undo the damage he creates. Attacking Maggie in a column on LOCO was low.
He needs a paycheck so he needs to drum up candidates to run. Chris Kerrigan won't speak to me anymore. Wonder why? Salzman's advice?
I spoke to both Elan and Jaison about my concerns about Salzman as have others. I was assured that while he offered his support, he was not actively involved in the campaign or a spokesperson.
They listened. 
Salzman is pissed he didn't get his way. He was whining at the COPE banquet that Elan won't allow him to help her. So what does he do? He writes a letter in Redwood Progressives and then his LOCO column. He has hurt Elan by making this about HIM and the Elan campaign has explained ad nauseum what I have said.
Elan's campaign has never hidden the fact that Salman is a supporter. So are many other people. Why this obsession with Salzman? He is no different than Mielke or any other supporter from any campaign.
If people would stop hiring this narcissistic blowhard, he would move on and politics in Humboldt County could return to a more civil dialogue where the focus is on the candidates.  
Elan has a lot to offer, she should be allowed to present what she can do for the DA's office. 
Elan is running. Maggie is running. Allan is running. Arnie is running. They are brave to do so, and 1 of them will be the next DA. Allow this campaign to be about the candidates and their positions.
Not Mielke, Salzman, or anyone else. 

Feb 25, 2014

Elan Firpo formally announces her candidacy this Thursday at the Vance

Elan Firpo, candidate for the Humboldt District Attorney's office, will formally announce her candidacy on February 27 at 12:20 p.m. in the lobby of the Vance hotel, located at 525 2nd Street, in Eureka. She will be joined by all 5 co chairs, Neal Ewald, Fred Sundquist Jr., John Woolley, Michael Evenson and Patty Clary.

This event will be held rain or shine.For more info, check out Facebook.com/FirpoDA or call  707-273-1430

Former DeputyDA Ben McLaughlin (now defense attorney) scores a win against former co-worker

A case involving David Anderson that was a felony with charges of kidnapping, rape by force, forcible copulation of a minor victim, sexual battery, unlawful sexual intercourse, threats to commit crime resulting in death and false imprisonment that was prosecuted by Luke Brownfield for the People with Ben McLaughlin representing the defendant was dismissed on 2/24/14 by Judge Feeney. The defense had filed a motion that there was failure to provide adequate discovery. Count 1 of kidnapping and Count 6 threats to commit crime resulting in death were dismissed earlier in the case. The case was dismissed the day jury trial was to proceed.

The case is expected to be re-filed. Reached for comment, Mr. McLaughlin said: "We were ready and prepared to proceed.  Mr. Anderson looks forward to his day in court."

Lima's Pharmacy burgalized today in the a.m.


           On 2-25-2014, at approximately 4:22 a.m., the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office was notified of a burglary alarm at Lima’s Pharmacy on Harrison Avenue, Eureka. A deputy arrived at the Pharmacy within three minutes of the call. The deputy checked the main building which was secure; however the deputy saw wet tracks in the lawn to a smaller building behind the main building. The deputy saw the door to that building was kicked in and there was a shoe print below the handle. The inside of the building had been ransacked. 
            The owner of the pharmacy was notified and arrived on scene. He told the investigating deputy the smaller building belonged to Limas Pharmacy. The pharmacy stored non-narcotic medications in that building, along with other items. The non-narcotic medications were contained in various un-labeled bottles which were in various sizes. The owner could not tell the deputy immediately what was taken from the building.
            On 2-25-2014, approximately 10:15 a.m. the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office was notified by the Pharmacy owner that he discovered numerous non-narcotic medications were stolen and was concerned for anyone who may take them. The owner, who is a Pharmacist, said anyone taking these medications that were not prescribed to them could have serious medical issues or even death. The owner is still inventorying the stolen medication.
           Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriffs Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriffs Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.

Town Hall meetings in Arcata and Trinidad for Elan Firpo


Sunday, March 9th, 2:pm, Civic Room
409 Trinity St., Trinidad, CA


Come meet Elan in Arcata on Sunday, March 16th, 2:00pm, at the Arcata Community Center
Senior Dining Room, 321 Community Park Way, Arcata

Hear about ELAN’s plan to:

Shut the revolving door on the worst offenders, and working WITH law enforcement to keep them off the street.
Focus marijuana prosecution on grows that damage the environment and endanger the
community by attracting dangerous criminal elements.
End the polarization surrounding the District Attorney’s office by reaching out to the entire community
Focus on management and administration of the current resources, seeking additional funding in order to recruit talent to Humboldt County to form a professional and efficient District Attorney’s office.

Visit ElanFirpo.com or  check out Facebook.com/FirpoDA or call  707-273-1430

DA Candidate Allan Dollison to stop by Children's Wellness Training subgroup meeting of Humboldt Meth Abuse Awareness Project today

Allan Dollison, one of the 4 candidates for Humboldt County District Attorney, will be stopping by at 6:30 p.m. today at Ramones (near the hospital). He is attending a meeting for the Children's Wellness Training subgroup of the Humboldt Meth Abuse Awareness Project.

"I am trying to land statewide Drug Endangered Children program training here in Humboldt," Allan told me, "which has not occurred here locally in quite some time."

So now we have the names of the panelists interviewing city manger candidates, will this be enough to quell the concerns?

I did not rush to print this news release. My post title should give a clue. 


February 24, 2014

The City of Eureka will be conducting a second round of interviews with 3 candidates for City Manager on Wednesday, February 26, 2014.  Council has designed a process in consultation with the City’s recruiter Phil McKenney of Peckham and McKenney.  The process is designed to obtain input from the community as well as other City Managers in the area. That process is as follows:

·        Six City Manager candidates were initially interviewed on February 3, 2014 by the Mayor and Council.  The top three candidates have been invited back to interview before an oral board made up of community members and local City Managers.

·        The Mayor and each councilmember recommended a citizen to serve on a community panel oral board to interview the City Manager candidates. (Panel A)

·        Local City Managers, a prior City of Eureka Manager and the County Administrative Officer will act as another oral board to interview candidates. (Panel B)

·        Both oral boards will provide input to Phil McKenney of Peckham and McKenney.  Mr. McKenney will then meet with the Mayor and Council to review the panel comments. 

·        Candidates will meet with the Mayor and City Council in a 90 minute interview.

·        The Mayor and Council will then either select a candidate or consider additional recruitment steps.
Oral boards are routinely kept private to safeguard the recruitment process to ensure that each applicant receives a fair assessment and to protect the candidate’s privacy. In addition, the City has a legal duty to protect the deliberative process and ensure that the thought processes of the decision-makers, the Mayor and Council, are not impaired.  The City of Eureka wants to make sure there is a level playing field for each applicant.  

In the interest of transparency, the names of the individuals serving on the oral boards are:

Panel A:
Kurt Kramer
Heidi Benzonelli
Dale Maples
J Hockaday
Jack Crider
Lorene Dunaway
CM Recruitment Press Release
Page 2

Panel B:
Philip Smith-Haynes
Karen Suiker
Randy Mendoza
Regan Candelario
Jay Parrish
Jim Test
David Tyson

The Mayor and Council do ask that the process be allowed to proceed as designed and that the privacy of the City Manager candidates be respected.  

Disturbance in apartment building near Shanty started with male suspect firing a round at a window

So my hunch was right and I am glad I did not stop by last night and interfere with the police doing their job. EPD Sgt. Steve Watson said there was a "disturbance in the apartment building.  A male suspect fired one round at a window. No one was hit. We do not know if it was aimed specifically at someone."

Police were called. When they arrived, they set up a perimeter, and several hours later, they were able to negotiate with the suspect and arrest him. The firearm was located as was the shell that was fired, according to Sgt. Watson.

They will be sending out a press release later.

Feb 24, 2014

Cops at the Shanty, what a surprise!

Not! At 9 p.m. today returning home saw police cars near Shanty. Part of me wanted to go cover and scoop a possible live story.  I chose to go home.  Seeing cops at the Shanty is like seeing tweakers around here or reading another pot bust or meth bust article.

It is just so prevalent.  There would be another opportunity to break a news story, unfortunately. I chose to go home because Humboldt is not all about crime.

Every once in a while it is nice to stop and just enjoy the Humboldt I moved to and made my home.

One liners defense attorneys wish their client wouldn't have said

Silence can be golden.  David Dues (see post below) says to the judge: "Can't I just get sentenced..." This was one of the many negotiations he tried in court today. That one liner was his attempt to get released.

Judge: At this time, are you under influence of any drugs or alcohol. This to a defendant in custody.

"No, but I wish I was"

David Dues, Eddie Lee in court today

David Dues is the man arrested for allegedly soliciting two teenage girls visiting Humboldt to check out HSU.  Today, status of a Domestic Violence case, being served with an amended protective order and pre-trial date was supposed to be scheduled.

Dues was very restless before his case was called. Baliff had to warn Dues not to communicate with other prisoners and audience. He ignored her warning but then his case was called.

Jackie Pizzo is proescuting this case for the People. Kevin Robinson from the Public Defender's office is representing Dues. Judge Joyce Hinrich's presiding.

Dues jumped up as soon as he heard his name, and addressed the Judge, "I want this resolved." Judge Hinrichs very calmly told him to wait and talk to his attorney first and then she would be glad to hear from him. Robinson then spoke to Dues privately.

Robinson then addressed the court and said his client like to be released. Robinson also said that he had received an email from the District Attorney's office that he wanted to discuss with his client that might result in a resolution.

Pizzo opposed Due's release. Among the reasons she gave were Due's previous failures to appear and a supervisory report conditions. The Judge mentioned several probation violations. Judge Hinrichs ordered Dues be in custody on "all matters". There is more than 1 case against Dues. Hinrichs denied OR bail in the case being scheduled for jury trial.

Dues interrupted the judge, and said, "When I am going to get out?" As Judge Hinrichs tried to explain, he kept interrupting her and trying to negotiate his release. Again, Judge Hinrichs tried her best to explain to him. Dues was served in court with an amended court protective order. The modification allows him peaceful contact with the individual protected but the individual can record information and if Dues violates the order, then there would be legal consequences.

In other cases against Dues, bail was set at $25,000 and $5,000. Dues in exasperation cried out, "I am never getting out of jail."

Trial readiness is March 3 and Trial is scheduled for March 7.

Eddie Lee is a co-defendant with Limmie Greg Curry in a retrial of a murder case.  Representing Lee is Darryl Stallworth from the Bay Area, with special appearances by local attorney Kathleen Bryson. Curry is being represented by Mr. Fletcher. Case is being prosecuted by the people, again, by District Attorney Paul Gallegos. Judge John Feeney presiding.

On February 5, Lee and Curry's cases were joined together for trial. Paul pointed out that this is the third time Curry's attorney Fletcher has failed to appear, either by phone or in person, causing delays. Niether Paul or Darryl Stallworth have heard from Fletcher. Judge Feeney said he had not received anything from Fletcher saying he was withdrawing from Curry's case.

Judge John Feeney asked Curry if Curry would like the court to appoint counsel. Curry declined. He still wants Fletcher. Paul said that "these delays are very unfair to the victims and their families."

Judge Feeney agreed, he said if Fletcher does not appear at the next court date which is pre-trial on April 4, at least by phone, that the Court will sanction Fletcher and appoint Curry counsel. Trial Confirmation is at 2 PM on July 14 and Trial is scheduled for July 28.

On July 14, if there is no plea or motion to continue, the Court will set a trial readiness conference and trial assignment dates. Trial assignment is usually Friday before the jury trial.

Phoenix King Trial delayed, disposition rest this week

Phoenix King, the alleged crossbow killer was supposed to have a jury trial on 2/10/14. A request to delay trial was requested by the defendant. Disposition reset is on 2/27/14 at 2 PM in Courtroom 2.

Sometimes court dates change.

Feb 22, 2014

GPU actual changes ton draft, not my personal interpretation

One is is the Transportation Element of the General Plan that was straw voted by the Board of Supervisors. http://co.humboldt.ca.us/gpu/docs/documentsbos/chapter7_circulation.pdf is the link. The sections that refer to trials are listed below.

C- P1
C-p 26
C-p 33
c-p 35
c-p 36
C IM 12
The second one below is the underline strikeout version of the changes made by the Planning Commission regarding the issue of striking a Countywide trails system. 

Planning Commission Straw Votes taken 2-18-2014

CO-G4. Parks and Recreation.  Encourage Well maintained and accessible parks and trails offering a range of popular recreation opportunities. and a countywide trail system that meets future recreational and non-motorized transportation demands.

Elan Firpo responds to concerns about Ferrer disposition

For Immediate Release:

I understand the community concern about the disposition in the Ferrer case.  On its face, a man is killed and the man that did the killing is sentenced to 4 years in jail, of which he will serve 2 years.
But the facts not previously made available to the public paint a different picture.  After reviewing hours of video, talking with independent witnesses and reviewing the autopsy results, discussing the evidence with law enforcement and the family of the victim, it became clear that this was a case of manslaughter – not murder. 
The facts would have shown that:
·         Mr. Anderson-Jordet, the victim, was inflamed in his demeanor that evening.  A bartender would have testified that the Victim was making homophobic statements to other patrons that evening before the incident. 
·         An independent witness would have testified that she overheard the argument between the parties and that the victim was yelling homophobic, sexist, hateful statements at the defendants. 
·         Video surveillance showed that the victim was behind the defendants walking down the street, and the victim was overheard to yell at the defendants “I am still behind you”.  
·         The defendant’s would have testified that the victim approached them in an angry manner and took a swing at them.  And that he was a stranger to them, with whom they had no prior quarrel.
·          The defense would have brought testimony that the victim was an angry person when he had been drinking, and occasionally used street drugs.  The People would have brought testimony that the victim was a hard working man with a good job.  
·         The autopsy results show that the victim died of one knife wound, at a severe angle, that unfortunately pierced the victim’s heart. 
A jury trial in this case would have become a trial of the victim’s character, for the determination of whether this was voluntary or involuntary manslaughter.  The People would have had to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendants were NOT defending themselves in a hate crime.  
In a best case jury trial scenario, Mr. Ferrer would have been found guilty of voluntary manslaughter.  He would have been sentenced to a term of three years in prison (because he has no prior record), of which he would have served 85%, or approximately 2 years and 6 months.  A plea agreement was reached to ensure that Mr. Ferrer would serve the maximum term for involuntary manslaughter allowed by law: 4 years, which, owing to the Governor’s Realignment Program, he will serve 2 years in county jail. 
In other words, a best-case-scenario result at jury trial would have resulted in an additional 6 months of custody time for Mr. Ferrer.  
The family and involved law enforcement officers were consulted before a plea was made. We agreed, after careful consideration of the evidence and the law, that this was the best disposition for the case.  It doesn’t bring back Mr. Anderson-Jordet, and nobody is “happy” about this disposition.  
Some decisions are not universally popular.  It is the job of the District Attorney’s office to make tough decisions based entirely on the facts that can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to all twelve jurors. That is what I did here. I’m not proud of this disposition, and it doesn’t feel like justice to the victim’s family or myself.  Unfortunately, it is the reality of the situation under the law.

The family of Mr. Anderson-Jordet have reviewed this letter, and are disappointed that it had to be written.  They had hoped to avoid exactly this public forum discussion.  Unfortunately, my opponents, who are long on rhetoric and short on facts, have attempted to take advantage of this unfortunate case to their political advantage.

Feb 21, 2014

Firpo, Dollison and Fleming attend Sacred Heart fundraiser

I have seen Elan, Allan and Maggie at various events around town. This evening all 3 attended the Sacred Heart church fundraiser at Redwood Acres. Also attending were Rex and Frank. The Redwood Acres Main building was packed, great food donated by Rita's, a mariachi band and  two auctions for the 4th Annual Parish Fiesta to Renew and Restore.

All 3 candidates go to meet and mingle with a crowd that was mostly from the 2 parishes in Eureka but also included various community members.

Mark's hissy fit over the General Plan short on facts, big on spin

Mark has certainly learned from his past actions. Wasn't it just a four months ago that he apologized for letting his frustrations get the better of him at a California State Association of Counties meeting? This time he didn't give a good old fashioned pat on the back; he just threw another hissy fit and went to select media to complain about the "corrupt" Planning Commission.

When the Board of Supervisors were more in line with Mark's way of thinking, meetings were perfect. How many years did Neely et al have to pass the General Plan update changes?

Elections in 2010 did not go a certain way. Since then allegations of developers behind any decisions certain Board of Supervisors do is the standard tactic used to distract the public from the real goal.

Mark has a right to his opinion. In fact, as one of the Supervisors, he has the opportunity to review the recommendations of the Planning Commission and vote and comment. So why the spin? And why go to the media now?

The McKenny article followed by the Planning Commission article is a badly veiled attempt at stirring up public frenzy to get opponents to run against Virginia and Ryan before March 7. Mark and those behind that have the right but don't disguise it as being concerned about the public and spin it as something else.

The process is that the Planning Commission reviewed, then was asked to re -review and send a draft to the Board, who will hold a straw vote and can still make changes before a final vote. Unlike Mark’s allegation, it is the in fact the job of the Planning Commission to be advisory board that gives recommendations on policy.

It is Mark who is attempting to manipulate the outcome with only his interpretation of the Planning Commission draft. He is aided in that attempt by certain media. You started this Mark, the other Supervisors did not go public about what should be a discussion in the Board Chambers before the public when they also get to state their views.

Mark has a history of carefully crafted statements, his physical slap of  Virginia and Rex was just a “good old boy” pat on the back.

Then he spins the truth by claiming that the Planning Commission deleted trails from the plan when they combined it into another section. He further claims being outraged by how the Commission reduced setbacks from creeks and wetlands when they actually recommended that the California Department of Fish and Wildlife determine the appropriate determination of setbacks, which is their role and responsibility.

Mark also claims, without any specific details, that the Commission has many Brown Act violations.He claims that the Commissioners, other than his appointee, are acting out of personal bias. Does his EPIC appointee act completely free of his biases?

Seems Mark is annoyed that he cannot just tell everyone else what to do. The Board, in his own words, is 4 to 1. Again, that is Mark’s and certain people on the extreme left's claim that this is an unfair balance but it was okay when Mark and fellow Supervisors he controlled were on the Board of Supervisors?

Mark comes off as  condescending and lectures  his fellow Supervisors and the public because when things don’t go his way, we are just too dumb to understand these complicated issues. The Board of Supervisors meetings would be half as long if Mark did not repeat the same things three or four times.

Speaking of developers? What major developments? Any move to develop, assuming one can get through the ridiculous bureaucracy in California is then followed by lawsuits by EPIC, Baykeeper et al. 

Mark needs to understand that he is more likely to get others to move toward his position if he treats them with respect. And that to the average person struggling, we would rather see development than stagnant promises of a better life and wages.

How are those anger management classes going Mark? You may have deleted the facebook post but asking for pitchforks at a public meeting and calling your fellow Supervisors stupid shows you gave lip service after the Del Norte incident because your behavior is still inappropriate.

Unlike Mark, I will post the actual changes from the draft with what language was crossed out. Not my interpretation, but what was on record. Read and decide for yourself.

Feb 20, 2014

Firpo welcomes Patty Clary as 5th co-chair

Patty Clary is the fifth co-chair and Elan officially welcomed Patty  today. Elan said Patty's dedication of 25 years to keeping toxins out of "our water streams brings another unique perspective to a diverse team." Patty lives in Westhaven and Hoopa and Elan appreciates and joins Patty in her commitment to "keeping Humboldt County a beautiful place to live in."

In campaigns there are talkers and there are doers

There are 4 DA candidates and perhaps more by March 7. 4 candidates that made the decision they want to be your next DA.  All elections in Humboldt County get personal. There are other races but this post is about the DA's race because you have 4 candidates who have never run before.

Despite promises to run clean campaigns, polarization occurs and camps are created. Shouldn't be but it does. Why?

Not enough cyberspace to contain that discussion.

Despite varying personal observations, this race is any one's still to win but the odds highly favor a female candidate. There is some debate which
one will prevail.

All 4 candidates will find out there are talkers and there are doers. They will find out who is a true friend and supporter and who leaves once it looks like they may not be in the top 2.

Are these candidates organized? Are they having weekly meetings, coordinated communication, controlling who and what goes out as campaign approved message?

Who they listen to and as they weigh the odds of endorsements, support and funds, there is 1 sure group they need to win over. The average voter.

Who relates to that average voter most? People are most impressed not by big names but a genuine believer in the candidate who presents the candidates best qualities.

1 DA candidate will win. The real winner will be the one who walks away with a lifetime friend or supporter. It could be the same one who won. 

One election is just that, remember that at reelection time, your character and bridges burned or built does matter.

My choice is Elan for DA; despite that I wish all the other candidates the best.

It isn't easy putting yourself out there.  
Don't lose who you are in the process.

Maggie Fleming endorsed by Operating Engineers Local 3

Maggie Fleming was told today she has the endorsement of Operating Engineers Local 3.  Usually endorsements by organizations also mean volunteers and money.

Elan Firpo invited to Humboldt Women Republican Federated Lunch today

As a part of Elan reaching out to many different constituencies, one of the events Elan attended was HWRF luncheon. Rose Welsh invited Elan to the lunch at the Elks today. Guest speaker was Mayor Frank Jager

Rose has reached out to all 4 candidates. She will be inviting Klein and Dollison next month and said Elan is welcome to attend again.

Rose added that "it speaks very well of Elan that she came despite my posting Salman's letter."

Guests and those present running for office were briefly introduced. Mayor Jager spoke about the city, his particular office and covered subjects ranging from the Martin Slough interceptor to the Transitional Occupancy Tax and challenges facing economy and growth in Eureka.

The upcoming March Republican of the Year Dinner will honor Peter Hannaford and Annette De Modena

Pizzo vs Tipps same or different result for Throckmorton as Fleming vs Daskal?

A jury  i currently considering the fate of Michael Throckmorton. Jury started deliberating as of yesterday. People were represented by Jackie Pizzo, defendant's attorney Owen Tipps and Judge Dale Reinholtsen presiding. This is a domestic violence case.

This is not Throckmorton's first court appearance. He was found not guilty on two counts on another more high profile case in 2006.

In 2006, Throckmorton was the defendant in a murder trial. Prosecutor was Maggie Fleming. Defense Counsel was Manny Daskal. Evidence came out in trial during testimony that caused the preliminary trial to go in Throckmorton's favor. Defense prevailed.

The following is from an article in the Times-Standard from 2006 by Chris Durant. There are at least 2 other similar reports, one from the Northcoast Journal.

EUREKA -- A jury returned not guilty verdicts on two counts against Michael Kenneth Throckmorton Thursday, but he still remains in custody at the Humboldt County Jail awaiting a District Attorney's Office decision on whether to file lesser charges.
Throckmorton, 24, was found not guilty of second degree murder and not guilty of attempted murder.
He allegedly killed Robert Peter Wyland, 58, and stabbed David Wayne Harris, 46, March 4 outside his Fieldbrook home.
Preliminary hearing testimony revealed the men may have been at Throckmorton's home in relation to a dispute between Throckmorton and his landlord.
Throckmorton's attorney, Manny Daskal, said the District Attorney's Office may now file voluntary manslaughter, attempted manslaughter and assault with a deadly weapon.
He said Throckmorton will remain in custody at least until his next court appearance, Jan. 3., when Daskal will ask for a bail reduction.
Superior Court Judge Christopher Wilson asked the jurors how they voted in the lesser charges.
The foreman stated they voted eight to four for a voluntary manslaughter charge, nine to three for an attempted manslaughter charge and eight to four for an assault with a deadly weapon charge.

Feb 19, 2014

Eureka Volunteer Patrol Recipients of EPD’s Valor-Service Award

Eureka Police Department
Date:  February 19, 2014

During the February 18, 2014 Eureka City Council meeting, eight members of the Eureka Volunteer Patrol (EVP) became the fourth recipients of the Eureka Police Department’s Valor-Service Challenge Coin Award.  Speaking before the council, Chief Andrew Mills and the EVP commander, Acting Captain Len Johnson, awarded each EVP member a coin along with a letter of appreciation in recognition of their dedicated service to the City of Eureka. These eight members alone have logged over 30,000 volunteer hours as a group and the program has give more than 50,000 hours to the community. 

The contents of the award letter follows:

“To the Members of our Volunteer Patrol:
It is the mission of the Eureka Police Department to safeguard lives and property and enhance the quality of life in our City through our commitment to exceptional service, strong community partnerships, and the highest standards of integrity, courage, and professional excellence. EPD is committed to promoting community policing concepts and positive relations with the public we serve.  We further this purpose by acknowledging valued citizens and groups, who commit acts of extraordinary kindness, unselfishly give of themselves to help others, or perform other good deeds that go above and beyond the normal courtesies society expects. 
To this end, EPD commissioned the minting of a special “challenge coin” to be awarded to deserving individuals who give of themselves in an exceptional manner.  This unique full-color coin represents the Eureka Police Department’s cherished values of VALOR, SERVICE, and COMMUNITY and may be carried proudly.  These values are printed on the coin’s face surrounding the Great Seal of the State of California. The reverse side of the coin depicts the emblem found on the Eureka Police Department patch.

Through their dedicated labors over the years, members of the Eureka Volunteer Patrol (EVP) have truly exemplified the meaning of “service” and “community.”  EPD, like many departments, frequently finds itself faced with a shortage of resources to tackle substantive problems. Thus, we often look to other sources for help. Our EVP members have given countless, uncompensated hours in assisting the Eureka Police Department with emergency call-outs, special events, vacation home checks, and neighborhood patrols. EVP is often called upon to assist with perimeter security and traffic control at major crime scenes, critical incidents, and special events. 

One example of this was EVP’s invaluable support following the tragic murder of Father Eric Freed on January 1st of this year.  Shortly after the crime was discovered, EVP’s help was requested to assist with perimeter and crime scene security at Saint Bernard Catholic Parish.  Three members of EVP immediately put their personal lives on hold and responded to the scene with several other members rotating in throughout the day and night.  The presence of EVP at the scene allowed more of our sworn officers to focus on investigating and ultimately swiftly solving this senseless crime.  As a group, members of EVP put in a total of 42 hours at the initial crime scene along with another 6 hours during the subsequent vigils that were held for Father Freed. 

The current members of the Eureka Volunteer Patrol include:

·         Bob Gish (an 18 ½ year member)
·         Jack Hopkins (an 18 ½ year member)
·         Terry Long (an 18 ½ year member)
·         Roger Miller (an 18 ½ year member)
·         Gary Swanson (a 16 year member)
·         Dick Storre (a 13 year member)
·         Pete Vallerga (an 11 year member)
·         Gil Long (a 6 year member)

These 8 members alone have logged over 30,000 volunteer hours as a group. 

On behalf of the Eureka Police Department, it is my pleasure to honor and recognize the Eureka Volunteer Patrol for their selfless and dedicated service over the past many years.  EVP plays an on-going, vital role in the Eureka Police Department’s endeavor to provide excellent service to our community.  They are truly our “unsung heroes.”  Please accept with this coin and certificate our recognition and appreciation.”

Eureka Police continue to look for and accept applications for volunteerism in Eureka.  Come make a difference with EPD!