Hank Sims / Thursday, Feb. 27 @ 7:49 a.m. / Pictures
Lost Coast Outpost contributors Mark McKenna and Nick Adams were at yesterday’s public meeting at the Wharfinger Building, where law enforcement, county employees, clergy and the general public discussed the county jail’s policy on releasing inmates in the late hours of the night.
The meeting was prompted by the murder of Father Eric Freed on New Year’s Day. The suspect in that case, Gary Lee Bullock, had been released from jail onto the streets of Eureka, far from his Southern Humboldt home, shortly after midnight on the morning of Freed’s murder.
Photos By Mark McKenna
Undersheriff Bill Honsal discusses how other rural counties handle prisoner release.
Sylvia Scott, center, and Lorene Dunaway, both of Eureka, take notes.
Eureka resident Lorene Dunaway takes notes.
Eureka Attorney Kathleen Bryson addresses the panel.
Jim Hill of Blue Lake asks acting police captain Tony Zanotti what governing body has the most authority to change police policy on the late night release of prisoners.
Eureka Police Chief Andrew Mills, left, and Humboldt County Sheriff Mike Downey.
Humboldt County District Attorney Paul Gallegos speaks with Rabbi Naomi Steinberg.
Betty Chinn discusses the questions she asks prisoners being released from Humboldt County Jail who have called her for help.
Eureka Police Chief Andrew Mills speaks to Bill Damiano from the probation office.
Father Mike Cloney, a Catholic priest, sits with his cousin, Patrick Cloney.
Eureka Police Chief Andrew Mills, left, Humboldt County Sheriff Mike Downey, listen to discussion.
Phil Crandall of Humboldt County Health and Human Services addresses public concerns.
Brandie Wilson asks the panel what qualifications law enforcement has to assess the mental health of suspects and what qualifications mental health officials have in assessing the legal standing of a suspect.
Humboldt County Sheriff Mike Downey listens to discussion.
Eureka resident Dennis Scott listens to discussion.
Humbolt County Sheriff Mike Downey addresses questions.
Photos By Nick Adams
Undersheriff Billy Honsal.
Public Defender Kevin Robinson.
Reverend Kathryn Dunning.
Timothy Crlenjak asks questions about hypothetical questions about what would happen to an inmate much like Bullock.
Friday, March 7: 17 felonies, 13 misdemeanors, 0 infractions
Humboldt County Superior Court Calendar: Friday, March 7
Us101 S / Sr36 (Humboldt office): Trfc Collision-1141 Enrt
Times-Standard News: Change smoke detector batteries with the time change
Times-Standard News: Sheriff’s Office to go through with jail funding appeal
Times-Standard News: Outdoor marijuana grow ordinance review to continue in April
Times-Standard News: Yurok Tribe election board announces South District candidates
Kym Kemp / Wednesday, Feb. 26 @ 2:55 p.m. / marijuana
Another individual has been sentenced this week in a conspiracy to distribute marijuana case that involved multiple people originally from South Dakota, some of them growing on property in Humboldt County. Brett McFarland who owned property in Bayside and in Petrolia was sentenced to five years in prison on Monday in a South Dakota federal courtroom. He and his brother, Sean, as well as five others have pled guilty to charges associated with this case.
In July of 2012, Homeland Security raided various properties in Humboldt County including those belonging to McFarland. In January of 2013, there was a warrant served on McFarland’s house in Bayside. In November, McFarland pled guilty and awaited sentencing until this week. As as condition of his plea, he agreed to forfeit his interest in the Petrolia property which was paid for with the proceeds from illegal sales of marijuana grown on that land and other places.
McFarland, a musician (see album cover below,) will spend the next five years in prison and will also have an additional four years of supervised release. (Press release below fold.)
All the other defendants except one have already begun serving their sentences. Jaymar Adams, the remaining defendant, has pled guilty and will be sentenced on March 24th.
Ryan Burns / Wednesday, Feb. 26 @ 2:06 p.m. / Government
As we reported yesterday, the Planning Commission’s follow-up meeting to last week’s barn burner was canceled at the last minute because of low attendance. Not enough commission members were going to show up to make the votes viable.
We just spoke with Humboldt County Planning Director Kevin Hamblin, who explained as follows: As of yesterday morning, four commissioners were definite “yeses” to attend, one was a “maybe” and the other two planned to be absent. During the day’s county supervisors’ meeting, one of the “yeses” called in sick. So staffers called the “maybe” and found out that he would be a “no” after all. That left only three, not enough to reach a quorum.
Who were the four who couldn’t make it? It was the reliable voting bloc of Lee Ulansey, Bob Morris, Alan Bongio and Kevin McKenny. Thursday night’s meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m.
And here’s an update about the timeline for the continuing general plan update: Turns out the Tuesday/Thursday special meetings for next week have been canceled because they fall outside the 45-day window originally allotted for re-reviewing the Conservation and Open Space Element. There was an item on last night’s agenda to consider asking for more time. But the commission will have to wait until it’s done with its next task — reviewing the county Housing Element — before returning to the Conservation and Open Space Element.
Quoth Supervisor Mark Lovelace: “I don’t think anyone is really able to track exactly what the hell is going on anymore. It keeps changing literally from meeting to meeting.”
We’re surrounded by beauty. Redwoods, rivers, beaches, Humboldt Bay, the dunes, the ocean crashing against sea stacks – it’s one postcard moment after another. Which makes all the garbage littering the sand, roadsides, sloughs and riverbanks even more appalling. Besides the eyesore element, the consequences to wildlife can be devastating.
Some folks are so bothered by the consequences of unfettered littering that they carve out some time in their schedule to clean it up. Humboldt Surfrider hosts regular beach cleanups, the Northcoast Environmental Center offers an Adopt-A-Beach program and, most recently, Pacific Outfitters has sponsored the “PacOut Green Team,” whose mission is to spend one hour a week redirecting garbage from the ground to the dump.
Today on Coastal Currents, PacOut’s Tim Haywood and Jason Self talk about their commitment toward making Humboldt County a cleaner, better place. Tune into KHUM 104.7 FM at noon to find out more, including how you can get involved.
And if you need some evidence of all the garbage waiting out there, here’s a look at recent collections:
A not-uncommon sight on beaches local and global – plastic beverage bottle are consistently in the most littered items in the world according to Coastal Cleanup data.
Trash collected on a two-mile stretch between the Manila dunes and ocean.
In one hour along the Mad River. (Photo above and below submitted by Ken Miller)
Two hunting seasons’ worth of shotgun shell debris collecting along Mad River.
A member of Pacific Outfitters’ PacOut Green Team collects garbage near Humboldt Bay. (Photo above and below submitted by Jason Self)
More PacOut Green Team members work to keep trash out of Humboldt Bay.
This plastic bag flapped in the wind for weeks before the PacOut Green Team disentangled and disposed of it.
An hour’s worth of trash collected roadside on Indian Island.
Cigarette butts presumably tossed out car windows – they would have ended up in the bay, eventually.
Want to help? The next PacOut Green Team effort is Saturday, March 8 at 8:30 a.m. And, of course, reducing, reusing, recycling and properly disposing of your trash all help staunch the flow of garbage impacting our coast, bay, rivers and the wildlife who call those areas home.
Jennifer Savage chairs Surfrider Foundation’s Humboldt chapter and serves as the NEC’s Coastal Programs Director.
Kym Kemp / Wednesday, Feb. 26 @ 6:09 a.m. / Crime
On 2/26/2014 at about 2:00 a.m., an officer with the Arcata Police Department conducted an investigation on a suspicious vehicle in the parking lot of Motel 6. A male subject was contacted inside the vehicle and it was found that the license plates affixed to the car actually belonged to another vehicle.
During the subsequent investigation, two other subjects were contacted in a nearby motel room. Blue Lake resident, Joshua Mark Morris (age 38) was arrested for several outstanding warrants. After initially providing officers with a false name, Eureka resident Kimberly Ann Winter (age 41) was also arrested on several arrest warrants for PC 470 - Forgery and PC 459 - Burglary. Winter is also on court ordered probation for PC 496(a) - Possession of stolen property.
Per the terms of her probation, a search was conducted of Winter and her belongings. Officers located numerous stolen and misappropriated identification cards, social security cards, checks and debit cards. Also located was a forged California Drivers License bearing the name of Kimberly Winter with a false driver’s license number. Additionally, a glass methamphetamine pipe was located in her belongings.
Winter was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where she was booked on the following charges:
· PC 496(a) - Possession of stolen property
· PC 485 - Misappropriation of lost property
· PC 529.5(c) - Possession of a fraudulent document
· H&S 11364.1(a) - Possession of paraphernalia
· PC 1203.2 - Violation of probation
Officers are currently making attempts to return the lost and stolen property to the rightful owners.
If you suspect illegal activity in your neighborhood, please call the Arcata Police Department at 822-2428.
[Ed. note: Let’s all give a warm Lost Coast Outpost welcome to Richard W. Salzman, our newest political columnist! He joins local mover/shaker Matthew Owen in providing you, the Lost Coast Outpost reader, with basically everything you need to think. Both generously give these services to the community with the expectation of absolutely no recompense whatsoever, apart from the SEO boost.
Longtime Humboldt residents will remember Salzman as the swashbuckling campaign manager who steered DA Paul Gallegos’ first and second campaigns to victory. He has volunteered or worked for many political campaigns since, but — for whatever reason — usually in a more “behind the scenes” kind of role. You know?
In 2012 he defeated the City of Arcata in a lawsuit brought against that town’s “aggressive panhandling” ordinance, which, Salzman argued and the court agreed, violated the panhandlers’ civil rights.
Mr. Salzman is the inspiration for the handle used by frequent LoCO commenter “salzman’s cat.”
Huzzah for Richard Salzman! Let’s hear what he has to say, shall we?]
I want to thank Hank Sims for allowing me to write this column for the Lost Coast Outpost. I intend to share my own thoughts and those of people with whom I share a “point of view.”
While I can’t draw my way out of a brown paper bag, I take the title of this column from the best advise I’ve ever heard given to aspiring illustrators. Early in my career as an Artists’ Representative and a few years after first signing Everett Peck, who was to become a celebrated illustrator and later the creator of the animated television show Duckman, I accompanied Mr. Peck to a lecture he was giving to a graduating class of commercial art students where he counseled them that the most important thing for an illustrator was “to have a point of view.” It is my suspicion that the same advice applies to a columnist.
What came as no surprise but was confirmed in the Times-Standard’s headline on Feb.12, “Closing the Budget Gap with Cuts…,” was that our Board of Supervisors have essentially run our county’s budget and local economy into a ditch, and their plan to dig their way out is by further destroying our economy through budget cuts (e.g. firing county workers).
For those of you who don’t believe that government workers have “real jobs” and who do not believe in Keynesian economics that would argue for stimulating the economy during downturns in the private sector by increasing spending in the public sector, and for those who think government employees get a free ride with their fancy health benefits and cushy retirement accounts, you may applaud this action. For the rest of us, these cuts sound like a very bad idea.
But what made the story even more interesting was the timing with the release of the 460 contribution forms by at least two of the Gang of Four majority on the Board. Those were also posted on Liberal Jon’s blog and what they show us is that while these Supervisors have mismanaged the taxpayers’ finances and run up a $3.6 million budget shortfall, they have done a phenomenal job of lining the pockets of their own re-election committees!
The icing on this cake is Rex Bohn’s introduction of a so-called campaign finance ordinance through which they will attempt to now limit donations to just the amounts they are most able to receive. But, they will restrict the larger donations that our “smart growth” candidates tend to rely on by a few wealthy patrons, tribes or unions who share our desire for quality of life over short-term profits and that offset the rather modest donations that the majority of our supporters can afford, given Humboldt’s medium annual income of some $30K.
If these Board members really wanted to reform campaign finances they’d be pushing for a limit of $100.00 per person, and not one of $500.00 or greater. Who do you know that can afford to give $500.00 as a political campaign contribution? How about $1,500.00? Rex Bohn is quoted in the Times-Standard as saying he recommends the limit be $1,500.00 per person or entity (of course if you happen to own or control a dozen different “corporations” or companies, you’d be able to give 12 times that amount).
This gang of four has had no trouble keeping pace with their political opponents by receiving multiple donations of between $500.00 and $1,500.00, which they are able to generate from dozens of different well-healed backers, so of course they’d very much like to limit the ability of their opponents to compete with the support of labor unions, or others in a position to level the playing field.
Rex Bohn approached Maggie Fleming to run for D.A. and promised her that he would raise (it’s called bundling) a minimum of $50,000.00 for her campaign if she ran! Does this sound like someone trying to keep money out of politics? (Full disclosure, I am supporting Maggie’s opponent, Élan Firpo for DA).
If we could have public financing of elections I would be all for it. I agree that too much money can distort the electoral process, but in the wake of Citizens United when anyone can form a PAC and make “independent expenditures” of an unlimited amount without having to disclose who the donors are, the result of limiting donations in our local elections will only serve to deprive the electoral process of the transparency required of donations made directly to a candidate.
That’s my point of view.
Richard Salzman represents applied artists from around the world who work as illustrators in the communicating arts. Their clients include publishers, advertising agencies and graphic design firms in all major markets. He may be contacted my email at: Richard@RichardSalzman.com
Ryan Burns / Tuesday, Feb. 25 @ 4:11 p.m. / Government
UPDATE: At today’s meeting of the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors, the supes voted 4-1 (with Third District Supervisor Mark Lovelace dissenting) to approve more than $19,000 in county funds to pay for the ongoing, unscheduled GPU re-review by the Planning Commission. The motion included approval of two additional meetings next week — on March 4 and March 7. But what the motion failed to include, according to Lovelace, was the authority to hold those meetings. More on that in a sec.
As you may recall, the Board of Supervisors gave the commission just 45 days to re-review the Conservation and Open Space element of the general plan. That timeframe expires at the end of this week, which is why the Planning Commission was going to consider asking for an extension tonight, according to the agenda. But since tonight’s meeting was canceled, here’s what will have to happen for things to go more or less as planned, according to Lovelace:
- During its Thursday night meeting, the Planning Commission will have to approve a letter to the Board asking for more time.
- On Friday, that letter will have to be drafted and sent to the Board so it can be placed on its agenda.
- On Tuesday, the Board can approve the request, and
- On Tuesday night, the Commission can resume its re-review of the GPU.
Confused? You’re evidently not the only one.
Another wrench thrown into the general plan update: Tonight’s meeting of the Humboldt County Planning Commission has been canceled due to “lack of a quorum,” which means not enough commissioners were going to show up to make the votes count.
This cancelation will likely wreak havoc on the timeline established during Thursday’s dramatic meeting. As it was winding down the commissioners passed a motion committing to at least try to get through its re-review of the Conservation and Open Space element of the general plan update this week, meaning tonight’s meeting plus the one scheduled for Thursday evening.
We have a call in to Planning Director Kevin Hamblin to find out which commissioners couldn’t make it tonight, and what the effects of the delay might be. The Times-Standard quotes him as saying, “One commissioner is ill and the other is out of town, so we’d only have three members attending” — which is confusing since there are, in fact, seven planning commission members.
We’ll update this post if we hear back before county office closing time.
Note: This post has been corrected from a previous version to reflect the accurate scheduling for Board agenda items.