6.26.2007

From cienfuegos@igc.org

This is the html version of the file http://coastcleaners.com/pipermail/manila_coastcleaners.com/2007-May.txt.gz.
From cienfuegos at igc.org Wed May 2 13:00:52 2007 From: cienfuegos at igc.org (Paul Cienfuegos) Date: Wed, 2 May 2007 12:00:52 -0700 Subject: [Manila] to Manila neighbors re Riley dev't public hearing this Thursday eve... Message-ID: To neighbors across Manila and beyond, The ad-hoc group of Manila Neighbors which has been meeting for a number of months now to challenge the inappropriate Riley 17-unit subdivision in our neighborhood wants to invite all of you who receive these emails to come on out tomorrow evening, Thursday May 3rd at 6pm, for the Planning Commission meeting where the Riley proposal will be on the agenda for the first time. It's a very packed agenda, so we're not guaranteeing that our issue will be heard Thursday night. Nevertheless, we hope that dozens of concerned residents across the Humboldt Bay area will recognize the importance of this meeting, and that we're able to pack the chambers with articulate voices of opposition. This is NOT just a Manila issue - and NOT a NIMBY issue. it's about what kinds of development the residents of Humboldt Bay wish to allow in our communities in the future, and how these critical decisions should be made. If you'd like to attend, but don't want to sit through hours of other issues, please consider doing one of the following: 1) Email me your home or cell number (no later than 5pm Thursday), and we'll give you a call from the meeting once our agenda item is about to be heard, or 2) Watch the meeting on Cable Access Channel 10. Either way, as soon as our agenda item comes up, we need each and every one of you to be standing there with us in the Supervisors Chambers in the Courthouse building. If our agenda item gets tabled, it will be continued to the meeting on Thursday, June 7 at 6pm. And if you can't make either meeting, please consider writing a letter to your Supe or to the Planning Commission. And please cc a copy of your letter to us at . THANKS! Now, here's details of the Riley development, in case you haven't seen them yet..... ----------------------- Local Manila resident Scott Riley is proposing a 17-unit very dense subdivision of 2 and 3 story homes on 3.4 acres of his 8.5 acre property, which is mainly healthy intact willow wetlands and significant coastal dunes at the edge of Manila, about 1/4 mile south of the Manila Community Center, at 1521 Peninsula Drive (Parcel# 400-131-05). Zoning would have to be changed as he has requested a Planned Unit Development (PUD) which the neighborhood actively opposes. The development could be precedent-setting county-wide in a number of harmful ways. None of us are opposed to this property being "developed" as long as it matches the existing neighborhoods low density, and doesn't destroy any of the existing dunes. That would probably require that only a very small number of homes get built, all with Peninsula Drive frontage, as is the norm in the rest of the neighborhood. The main issues of concern about this development are: * 17 two and three story houses squeezed onto 3.4 acres of mostly dune-covered wildland - an unprecedented density in our village - in a Planned Unit Development (PUD) which throws out the existing zoning requirements. Some lots would be smaller than 4000 square feet when existing zoning requires minimum lot sizes of 20,000 sq.ft. And property frontages of as little as 27 feet while current zoning requires 75 foot wide minimums. * 6500 cubic yards of dunes (about 650 dump truck loads) to be bulldozed and moved (described as "dune restoration" in the proposal!). * Storm runoff from the new street, sidewalks, rooves, would be directed into the adjacent wild intact wetlands. * Project is being marketed as the county's first solar/green subdivision. Amazingly, John Ash Group is the primary architect, which we thought had a higher standard of environmental responsibility in the projects they agree to participate in, as we believe this project is mostly a green scam. * 30+ cars all coming out of one cul-de-sac driveway multiple times each day, on a narrow road with no sidewalks or walkable shoulders in a quiet rural neighborhood. This is not a NIMBY issue. No developer should be allowed to place a densely packed subdivision of large homes on top of a wild dune ecosystem adjacent to a healthy willow wetland in a rural neighborhood on a narrow road. To get involved, or for more info about the ongoing efforts of Manila Neighbors to stop this development, please contact any of the core members of our neighborhood group: Aryay Kalaki, Tim Ayres, Michael Fennell, Colleen Clifford and Ian Davidson, Dan Edrich, Gordy Anderson, Amanda Pollock & Trinity Fales, Ray Grosveld, and myself, Paul Cienfuegos. Any one of us would be happy to hear from you, if you know some of us personally. Or write to us at . From fennell3 at suddenlink.net Wed May 2 22:54:11 2007 From: fennell3 at suddenlink.net (fennell3 at suddenlink.net) Date: Wed, 2 May 2007 21:54:11 -0700 Subject: [Manila] Planning Commission mtg. Message-ID: <20070502235411.XWEVK.16109.root@Web03> Just a reminder to everyone about the meeting Thurs. May 3,6 pm at the Supervisors Chambers. At stake is a 17 house development on 3.4 acres on rolling dunes adjacent to a wetlands. The project is 4th on the agenda so it may get heard latter in the evening or possibly even continued to the June Meeting. Please consider speaking to the commissioners, even if you only say a few sentences. If approved, Manila will look and feel very different in the future. Thanks, Michael From artstreetgallery at sbcglobal.net Sat May 19 22:35:01 2007 From: artstreetgallery at sbcglobal.net (Joy Dellas) Date: Sat, 19 May 2007 21:35:01 -0700 Subject: [Manila] MCSD Agenda Message-ID: Hi All, Since we haven't received any agendas or other communication from Manila Community Services District lately to post here, I am wondering if the board has decided not to have them posted electronically anymore; or if the new manager does not know of this policy. I was almost certain that the board recently made it part of an ordinance or something that the agendas, and other important public information relative to the services district area would be posted electronically. I'm not sure what the requirements of the Sunshine Act or the Brown Act entail, but it is certainly all the less convenient to stand in front of the closed Manila Market and read the multi-page agendas from the plywood boarded up windows. Does anyone have any comments, knowledge, about this? I am sending this email to the district office email address as well, in case they aren't on this listserv. Joy Dellas From manilacsd1 at aol.com Tue May 22 12:33:36 2007 From: manilacsd1 at aol.com (manilacsd1 at aol.com) Date: Tue, 22 May 2007 14:33:36 -0400 Subject: [Manila] MCSD Agenda In-Reply-To: References: Message-ID: <8C96AB6D83E6C56-1204-5F1@webmail-mf17.sysops.aol.com> Hi Joy, The agendas for the last few meetings have not been emailed, but they will start back up again hopefully with the next meeting. We have undergone staff changes and computer problems, all of which should be corrected by then. Thanks for your patience. Mark Dubrow Interim General Manager -----Original Message----- From: Joy Dellas To: manila at coastcleaners.com; manilacsd1 at aol.com Sent: Sat, 19 May 2007 9:35 pm Subject: [Manila] MCSD Agenda Hi All, Since we haven't received any agendas or other ommunication from Manila Community Services istrict lately to post here, am wondering if the board has decided not to have them osted electronically anymore; or if the new manager oes not know of this policy. was almost certain that the board recently made it part f an ordinance or something that the agendas, and other important ublic information relative to the services district area ould be posted electronically. 'm not sure what the requirements of the Sunshine Act r the Brown Act entail, but it is certainly all the less convenient o stand in front of the closed Manila Market and read the ulti-page agendas from the plywood boarded up windows. oes anyone have any comments, knowledge, about this? am sending this email to the district office email address s well, in case they aren't on this listserv. Joy Dellas ______________________________________________ anila mailing list anila at coastcleaners.com http://coastcleaners.com/mailman/listinfo/manila_coastcleaners.com URL: http://coastcleaners.com/pipermail/manila_coastcleaners.com/attachments/20070522/73f02f5e/attachment.html

6.21.2007

ER - Standoff subject was on meth


Emergency service personnel staged near the scene of the mobile home in Hoopa while Peter Eugene Stewart held law enforcement officers at bay. Shelly Baldy/Hoopa People Newspaper

Standoff subject was on meth
by Heather Muller , 6/21/2007

The body of the 26-year-old Hoopa man who died in a fire that broke out during a standoff with law enforcement officials tested positive for methamphetamine and marijuana, said officials from the Humboldt County Coroner’s Office.

Peter Eugene Stewart died June 4 after a daylong standoff that began with a welfare checkup and ended when a fire of as yet unknown cause swept through the Pine Creek Road mobile home he had occupied.

Humboldt County Deputy Coroner Charles Comer said Stewart’s methamphetamine level, at 0.08 milligrams per liter of blood, was above the effective range, but was not considered toxic.

An autopsy determined Stewart died of smoke inhalation.

Jeff Nicklas, Eureka Fire Department engineer and lead investigator on the case for the Humboldt County Arson Task Force, said the investigation into the fire is ongoing.

“I’ve talked to most of the people I need to talk to. My goal is to have the report submitted to the Sheriff’s Office by the end of the month.”

In other news, the body of 36-year-old Andrew Jason Stewart, found in a Hoopa creek June 9, tested positive for alcohol.

Comer said Andrew Stewart had a blood alcohol level of 0.21, not quite three times the legal limit for operating a vehicle in California.

An autopsy performed June 13 was unable to identify a cause of Andrew Stewart’s death, and Comer said the toxicology results shed little new light.

“He was intoxicated, but not enough to kill him, so we know that’s not what caused his death,” Comer said.

Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office investigators have called Andrew Stewart’s death suspicious and are treating it as a homicide.

Coroner’s officials said the two Stewarts are not related and have ruled out any connection between the two deaths.

Copyright (C) 2005, The Eureka Reporter. All rights reserved.

ER - Closing arguments to wrap up in sanity phase of trial

Closing arguments to wrap up in sanity phase of trial
by Kara Machado, 6/21/2007

Closing arguments are scheduled to be heard today in the sanity phase of the ongoing 2003 Bridgeville murder trial.

Humboldt County District Attorney Paul Gallegos concluded the prosecution’s case against Thomas Arthur Applegate Thursday with the testimony of Dr. Robert Soper, a psychiatrist who examined Applegate.

Included in Soper’s testimony Thursday, Soper said his examination of Applegate, 44, of Templeton, suggested Applegate had possible mild brain impairment and that Applegate “should have been on medication for years.”

Soper also testified that Applegate was “very apologetic” when asked about his assault on a woman in San Luis Obispo County just after the Bridgeville shootings.

“He wanted to make it up to her,” Soper said. “He didn’t feel he should have hurt her.”

Gallegos asked Soper if planning an alibi for the shootings ahead of time suggested Applegate could distinguish right from wrong.

Soper answered, “Yes.”

When Soper was asked if it was his opinion that, at the time of the shootings, Applegate was “not legally sane,” Soper also answered yes.

At the end of Applegate’s trial proceedings Thursday, Humboldt County Superior Court Judge John T. Feeney told the jurors they had “received all the evidence (they) will receive in the trial” and that they are to be back in court today at 9 a.m.

Feeney told jurors he anticipated the closing arguments will go past the noon hour today. But, after polling jurors on their availability for today, Feeney said he will not keep them past 1:30 or 2 p.m. today.

On June 13, the jury found Applegate guilty of the second-degree murder of Patrick Church, 34, and the second-degree attempted murder of Ross Condemi, 48.

The second phase of the trial — during which a jury will deliberate on whether Applegate was legally insane at the time of the shooting — began on June 15.

At the beginning of the sanity portion of Applegate’s trial, Feeney explained to the jury that the burden of proof in the second phase of the trial rests on Applegate’s attorney, Humboldt County Public Defender Kevin Robinson.

Robinson must prove to jurors, Feeney said, that at the time of the shootings Applegate either did not know what he was doing or was unable to tell that his actions were wrong.

(Laura Provolt contributed to this article.)
Copyright (C) 2005, The Eureka Reporter. All rights reserved.

TS - Ferndale council rejects Marsh's claim

All I have to say is that, if there is to be a lawsuit, Cunningham is going after the wrong person/entity if he goes after Ferndale. One person could have stopped this madness, and had the responsibility to do so - the Humboldt County District Attorney, Paul Gallegos, who "personally investigated" the "crime," a street corner in Ferndale.

Ferndale council rejects Marsh's claim
Jessie Faulkner The Times-Standard
Article Launched: 06/21/2007 04:42:10 AM PDT
FERNDALE -- A former resident's $25,000 claim alleging the police chief violated his civil rights was unanimously rejected by the City Council, which opens the door for a lawsuit, the city's attorney said Tuesday.

Earlier this month, the council rejected the claim by Sean Marsh in a 4-0 vote during a closed session. Councilman Michael Moreland was not present. Marsh filed the claim in response to his arrest last year on charges of child endangerment. He was acquitted in February.

City Attorney David Martinek said Tuesday that state law allows a City Council to reject a claim or wait 45 days without action, at which point a claim is deemed rejected. If the claimant decides to pursue legal action, Martinek said, he or she has six months to file a lawsuit.

Martinek said he had not received notice from Marsh or Marsh's attorney that they plan to file a lawsuit.

The child endangerment charges -- stemming from allegations he let his 2-year-old son almost run into Main Street in May 2006 -- and resisting arrest.

The former owner of Village Baking and Catering in Ferndale was also accused of declining to provide written proof of identification to Ferndale Police Chief Lonnie Lawson.

Marsh's attorney, Dennis Cunningham of San Francisco, provided a copy of the claim. Repeated attempts to acquire a copy from the city of Ferndale were unsuccessful.

Lawson arrested Marsh and booked him into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility after the May 2006 incident, where he remained overnight on $50,000 bail. According to the claim, Marsh was released the following morning with the explanation that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute. Marsh was subsequently charged with child endangerment and resisting arrest.

The three-page claim identifies Lawson as the responsible official and states that Marsh suffered the public humiliation of being falsely arrested and the arrest made him miss a work-related assignment that ultimately led to loss of his job.

”At the hands of defendant Lawson,” the claim stated, “claimant Sean Marsh then suffered ongoing humiliation, harassment and expense when he was vindictively prosecuted on groundless charges, of which he was eventually acquitted; and the stigma of being accused on child endangerment persists.”

6.13.2007

ER - Jurors find Applegate guilty


Photo source - TS
Jurors find Applegate guilty
by Kara Machado, 6/13/2007

One juror wept softly, holding a tissue to her face, as the verdicts in the Thomas Arthur Applegate case were read Wednesday.

Humboldt County Superior Court Judge John T. Feeney’s clerk read the verdicts aloud in court.

For count one, Applegate, 44, of Templeton, was found guilty of the second-degree murder of Joey Patrick Church, 34, and the jury found that he did so with a firearm.

For count two, the jury found Applegate guilty of the second-degree attempted murder of Ross Condemi, 48, and found that he did so with a firearm.

With regard to count three, Applegate was found not guilty of the assault of Condemi with a firearm; the jury also determined that Applegate did not commit the special allegations associated with count three — that he used a .44-caliber pistol or that he inflicted great bodily injury.

During the reading of the verdicts, Applegate — as he did during the majority of his more than two-week trial — stared straight ahead, with his attorney Humboldt County Public Defender Kevin Robinson sitting to his right.

Church’s sister wept during the readings; Applegate’s family looked straight ahead.

Wednesday’s verdicts were reached the day after the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office dismissed the first-degree option on the murder charge and two days after the jurors first announced they were “hopelessly deadlocked” with regard to what degree of murder Applegate committed.

Applegate’s case stems from a May 4, 2003, incident in which, testimony revealed, he entered Church’s Bridgeville home and ultimately shot Church, killing him, and shot Condemi, wounding him.

Two of Church’s children — then ages 7 and 10 — and Church’s girlfriend were at the home during the shooting, but were not shot at or injured, testimony revealed.

Once Wednesday’s verdicts were read, Feeney advised and thanked the jurors for completing the first phase of Applegate’s trial.

Due to Applegate pleading not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity, phase two of his trial is slated to begin Friday morning.

Phase two of the trial will consist of the jurors hearing testimony with regard to Applegate’s insanity defense.

Feeney told jurors Wednesday it is anticipated phase two will consist of three days of testimony and it looks as though the trial will be completed by June 22, the date by which the court had initially estimated the trial proceedings to be finished.

Humboldt County DA Paul Gallegos — the prosecutor in the Applegate case — was not present at Wednesday’s proceedings; Humboldt County Deputy DA Allan Dollison sat in for Gallegos.

Both Dollison and Robinson declined to comment.

Copyright (C) 2005, The Eureka Reporter. All rights reserved.

Discussion at watchpaul

Previous coverage:
Insanity phase of trial begins
Jurors find Applegate guilty
First-degree murder off table
Jury deadlocked in murder trial
ER - Jury begins deliberating in Bridgeville murder trial today 6/6/2007
ER - Bridgeville murder trial enters third week of testimony
ER - Murder trial continues with evidence technician's testimony
ER - Witness testifies about Bridgeville murder
ER - Sheriff's detective takes stand in murder trial
ER - Father of man accused of murder given immunity
ER - Testimony in murder trial reveals meth use, witness of handgun
ER - Acquaintances of man on trial for murder testify
ER - Surviving shooting victim takes stand in second day of murder trial
ER - Children of slain man take the stand in his murder trial
TS - Trial underway in '03 Bridgeville killing
ER - Jury selected for Applegate trial
TS - Jury selection under way in trial of suspect in 2003 homicide
ER - 2003 murder case goes to trial

6.12.2007

ER - Resolution to sex case reached

Resolution to sex case reached; defendant must register as sex offender for life
by Kara Machado, 6/12/2007

Humboldt County Superior Court Judge Timothy Cissna granted an amended complaint Tuesday against Jacob Charles Toomey.

The amended complaint — a resolution to the case agreed upon by both the prosecution and defense on Monday — lists 10 charges instead of the initial three Toomey, 28, of Redway, had been charged with.

The new complaint, read aloud in court, charges Toomey with one count of a lewd and lascivious act against a child, age 14 or 15, when the perpetrator is more than 10 years older, and nine counts of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor under 16, when the defendant is 21 or older.

Toomey pleaded guilty to the new charges in Cissna’s courtroom Tuesday.

The stipulated sentence, Cissna announced in court, consists of 12 years in prison.

Toomey will also have to register, for life, as a sex offender and pay restitution to the victim for all out-of-pocket expenses.

Such out-of-pocket expenses Cissna listed in court Tuesday include, but are not limited to, counseling, medical care and cost of delivery.

After Toomey is released from prison, Cissna said he will be on parole for three years.

The initial child molestation charges against Toomey — to which he had pleaded not guilty — consisted of one count of a lewd and lascivious act with a child under the age of 14 and two counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a child, age 14 or 15, when the perpetrator is more than 10 years older.

Toomey’s attorney, Humboldt County Chief Conflict Counsel Glenn Brown, said Toomey pleaded guilty to the amended complaint because it “more accurately” fits the crimes Toomey committed in that the victim was 14 — not 13 — when the unlawful sexual conduct occurred.

“I think, from our position, that the case involved unlawful sexual intercourse with someone under the age of 18,” Brown said. “Mr. Toomey had admitted that from the beginning.

“The issue we were finally able to agree on is that (the victim) had turned 14 at the time of these events and that enabled us to agree upon the charges that (Toomey) ultimately pleaded (guilty) to.”

Humboldt County Deputy District Attorney Jeffrey Schwartz said, “We’re fully satisfied with the plea agreement.”

Toomey will not be sentenced until June 20, by Humboldt County Superior Court Judge Christopher Wilson.

Copyright (C) 2005, The Eureka Reporter. All rights reserved.

ER - Motion filed to find acquitted child endangerment defendant factually innocent

Motion filed to find acquitted child endangerment defendant factually innocent
by Kara Machado, 6/12/2007

Humboldt County Deputy Public Defender Angela Fitzsimons was in court Tuesday on behalf of Sean Marsh.

Fitzsimons has filed a motion requesting a finding of factual innocence.

If granted, the motion would find Marsh “factually innocent” of the charges he was acquitted of in February following a jury trial.

In addition, if a judge found Marsh factually innocent, there could be a finding of good cause for the sealing and ultimate destruction of the records in his case.

On Tuesday, Fitzsimons’ motion was brought before Humboldt County Superior Court Judge Timothy Cissna.

Cissna made a tentative decision to deny the motion for such reasons as: Although the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office did not prove to a jury that Marsh was guilty, the motion must show that he could determine factually, “100 percent,” that Marsh was innocent.

On Feb. 6, after a little less than half an hour, a jury found Marsh not guilty of misdemeanor child endangerment likely to produce great bodily harm or death and the resisting/obstructing/delaying of Ferndale Police Chief Lonnie Lawson in the performance of his duties.

The case against Marsh stemmed from a May 31, 2006, incident that occurred near the intersection of Main and Brown streets in Ferndale.

Cissna gave a bit of an overview of the case Tuesday: that Lawson testified he saw a young child — Marsh’s then 2-year-old son — and Marsh and that Marsh was “allowing his young child to step into the street at a relatively busy intersection.”

“(And) that could be found, by some people, to be child endangerment, child neglect,” Cissna said.

During Marsh’s trial, Lawson maintained Marsh was negligent in allegedly allowing his toddler to go 18 inches into the intersection at Main and Brown streets on May 31, 2006, and alleged that Marsh delayed his investigation into the incident when Marsh allegedly failed to comply with Lawson’s orders.

Marsh maintained his child only got to the curb of the intersection, that he did stop for Lawson and that he was open to Lawson’s questions until Lawson allegedly became “confrontational” with him.

Cissna allowed Fitzsimons more time to work on her motion and to have it filed no later than July 10.

The Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office — represented by Deputy DA Randy Mailman — must file its response by July 24, Cissna ordered.

Cissna scheduled a ruling on the motion for Aug. 2.

Fitzsimons declined to comment on the matter.

Copyright (C) 2005, The Eureka Reporter. All rights reserved.

6.09.2007

ER, and Mck Press - Are supervisors bluffing on turning back flood damage funds?

Are supervisors bluffing on turning back flood damage funds?
by Gary Rees, McKinleyville, 6/7/2007

As a resident of the Ocean Drive neighborhood, although two blocks back from the bluffs themselves, I am concerned with the prospect that the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors may turn down more than $1.5 million in disaster relief funds to stabilize the bluffs at the end of School Road.

My home may not be endangered directly by bluff erosion for many decades, but I am concerned about the possibility that my neighbors and I could lose sewer and water services when erosion reaches the Ocean Drive and School Road intersection.

The liability and indemnification requirements the county is asking two residents to assume would put them at risk of bankruptcy. The county wants to make them take on all responsibility for maintenance and even defend the county in court. This is a risk that none of the supervisors would likely assume personally and that the two land owners cannot bear.

If the supervisors turn back the money from the federal and state government to solve the bluff erosion problem, the likelihood of getting money in the future appears very slim. The bluffs will continue their march toward the intersection of Ocean Drive and School Road, and houses and septic systems will fall into the Mad River estuary. Once the bluffs erode to that point, water and sewer service for a substantial number of homes in the Ocean Drive and surrounding neighborhoods would be disrupted, and the cost of repair could reach tens of millions of dollars.

The much-used river access on McKinleyville Community Services District property at the end of School Road would be gone. Public access through adjacent fields is restricted because of the application of waste water. The whole character of our neighborhood would change with the loss of this valuable public-access route.

I will be working with others in the Ocean Drive neighborhood on Sunday to distribute fliers about the risk our neighborhood faces if the supervisors don’t find a way to make the Mad River bluffs erosion control project work. We will be asking residents to contact Supervisor Jill Geist (707-476-2395) and to appear at the June 19 meeting of the Board of Supervisors to request that they take appropriate action before June 22, the deadline for accepting the funds.

My neighbors and I also intend to ask the MCSD to request that the county include the Ocean Drive neighborhood and, particularly, the infrastructure at School Road and Ocean Drive in an upcoming disaster prevention grant that will be submitted to the Federal Emergency Management Agency early next year. Such a grant would allow action to prevent future damage and to respond to the changing conditions of the bluffs. It will cost less and we will save MCSD infrastructure and the Ocean Drive neighborhood.

For more information about the Mad River bluffs, including a slide show, visit the Web site www.madriverbluff.org. If you want to help save this McKinleyville neighborhood, you are invited to join us for coffee and bagels in the parking lot of Rogers Market on School Road Sunday at 10 a.m. We will be walking the area west of U.S. Highway 101 between School and Hiller roads, and neighbors from within that area would be particularly welcome to join us.

Copyright (C) 2005, The Eureka Reporter. All rights reserved.

"Wellstone training"

Wonder how much he gets paid to solicit for these guys?

From: "Redwood Progressive" Add to Address Book Add Mobile Alert
Subject: Wellstone training in Sac. + link to My Word
__
Coming to Sacramento...

RED TO BLUE
POLITICAL SKILLS TRAINING
TOOLS AND TACTICS FOR SUCCESSFUL CAMPAIGNS
CITIZEN ACTIVISIM: GRASSROOTS ADVOCACY AND ORGANIZING

“Successful organizing is based on the recognition that people get
organized because they, too, have a vision.”

- Paul Wellstone

ACCLAIMED GRASSROOTS POLITICAL TRAINERS: WELLSTONE ACTION!

The premier citizen activist training team in the country will be
conducting a focused 2-day camp on rural county challenges.

JUNE 16 & JUNE 17, 2007

9am - 5pm

Limited Seating. Please pre-register.
SEIU Hall / 1911 F Street, Sacramento, CA
$25.00/person
Pay on line at www.TakeBackRedCalifornia.com

or send checks made payable to:
Take Back Red California

c/o Hilary Crosby
1001 Elm Court, El Cerrito, CA 94530


Hosted by: Take Back Red California & The CDP Rural Caucus

SPONSORS
Be for Change, Rural Caucus, El Dorado County DCC, Placer County DCC,
Peace in the Precincts, Progressive Caucus, DFA Marin, Marin County
DCC, 6th AD Democratic Club, TBRC, Senator Pat Wiggins
---------
My Word Links
editorial response by Richard Salzman to Kay Backer of HELP:
http://www.times-standard.com/allopinion/ci_6001510

and Ms. Backer's editorial:
http://times-standard.com/fastsearchresults/ci_5908430
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6.08.2007

Protecting their turf

Before you read this, you need to read the help wanted ads in teh New York Times and elsewhere - where an "organization" called grassrootscampaigns.com purports to be hiring activists for the ACLU - Turns out they are not the ACLU, but are affiliated with the Democratic National Commitee and MOveOn.Org, using kids from campuses all across the country to mount fake "grassroots" efforts, to masquerade as 'grassroots" concerned citizens...

Yet this may be an issue on which liberals and conservatives find common ground - this appears to be a conservative group fighting against requiring the disclosure of paid efforts to stimulate grassroots lobbying....

January 17, 2007
SUPPORT BENNETT AMENDMENT S.A. 20 TO S.1 “THE LEGISLATIVE TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY ACT OF 2007”

Dear Senator:

On behalf of the ACLU, a non-partisan organization with hundreds of thousands of activists and members, and 53 affiliates nation-wide, we urge you to support Bennett Amendment S.A. 20 to S. 1, the “Legislative Transparency and Accountability Act of 2007” when it comes to the floor for a vote. This amendment would strike Section 220 of the underlying bill.

Section 220, entitled “Disclosure of Paid Efforts to Stimulate Grassroots Lobbying” imposes onerous reporting requirements that will chill constitutionally protected activity. Advocacy organizations large and small would now find their communications to the general public about policy matters redefined as lobbying and therefore subject to registration and quarterly reporting. Failure to register and report could have severe civil and potentially criminal sanctions. Section 220 would apply to even small, state grassroots organizations with no lobbying presence in Washington. When faced with burdensome registration and reporting requirements, some of these organizations may well decide that silence is the best option.

The right to petition the government is “one of the most precious of the liberties safeguarded by the Bill of Rights.”[1] When viewed through this prism, the thrust of the grassroots lobbying regulation is at best misguided, and at worst would seriously undermine the basic freedom that is the cornerstone of our system of government.

It is well settled that lobbying, which embodies the separate and distinct political freedoms of petitioning, speech, and assembly, enjoys the highest constitutional protection.[2] Petitioning the government is “core political speech,” for which First Amendment protection is “at its zenith.”[3]

Constitutional protection of lobbying is not in the least diminished by the fact that it may be performed for others for a fee.[4] Further, “the First Amendment protects [the] right not only to advocate [one’s] cause but also to select what [one] believe[s] to be the most effective means of doing so.”[5] In Meyer, the Court emphasized that legislative restrictions on political advocacy or advocacy of the passage or defeat of legislation are “wholly at odds with the guarantees of the First Amendment.”[6]

Where the government seeks to regulate such First Amendment protected activity, the regulations must survive exacting scrutiny.[7] To satisfy strict scrutiny, the government must establish: (a) a compelling governmental interest sufficient to override the burden on individual rights; (b) a substantial correlation between the regulation and the furtherance of that interest; and (c) that the least drastic means to achieve its goal have been employed.[8]

A compelling governmental interest cannot be established on the basis of conjecture. There must be a factual record to sustain the government’s assertion that burdens on fundamental rights are warranted. Here, there is little if any record to support the contention that grassroots lobbying needs to be regulated. Without this record, the government will be unable to sustain its assertion that grassroots lobbying should be regulated.

The grassroots lobbying provision is troubling for other reasons as well. First, the provision seems to assume Americans can be easily manipulated by advocacy organizations to take actions that do not reflect their own interests. To the contrary, Americans are highly independent and capable of making their own judgment. Whether or not they were informed of an issue through a grassroots campaign is irrelevant--their action in contacting their representative is based on their own belief in the importance of matters before Congress.

Second, it appears groups such as the ACLU may end up having to report their activities because of the grassroots lobbying provisions. A “grassroots lobbying firm” means a person or entity that is retained by one or more clients to engage in paid efforts to stimulate grassroots lobbying on behalf of such clients and receives income of, or spends or agrees to spend, an aggregate of $25,000 or more for such efforts in any quarterly period. “Client” under existing law includes the organization that employs an in-house staff person or person who lobbies. If, for example, the ACLU hires an individual to stimulate grassroots lobbying on behalf of the ACLU and pays that individual for her efforts in amounts exceeding $25,000, it appears that individual could be considered a grassroots lobbying firm, and have to register and report as such. The fact the ACLU employs that individual appears to be irrelevant to this provision. Unless this is the type of activity that the provision is intended to reach, there is no substantial correlation between the regulation and the furtherance of the government’s alleged interest in regulating that activity.

Groups such as the ACLU could also be affected because of the definitions of “paid efforts to stimulate grassroots lobbying” employed in Section 220. For example, the ACLU maintains a list of activists who have signed up to be notified about pending issues in Congress. Not all of those activists are “dues paying” members who would be exempt from consideration for “paid efforts to stimulate grassroots lobbying.” Additionally, since there are 500 or more such individuals, sending out an action alert to ACLU activists could be deemed “paid” communication and subject to registration and quarterly reporting.

Because the grassroots lobbying provision is unsupported by any record of corruption, and because the provision is not narrowly tailored to achieve the government’s asserted interest, the provision is constitutionally suspect. Requiring groups or individuals to report First Amendment activity to the government is antithetical to the values enshrined in our Constitution. If our government is truly one “of the people, for the people, and by the people,” then the people must be able to disseminate information, contact their representatives, and encourage others to do so as well.

Sincerely,

Caroline Fredrickson
Director, Washington Legislative Office

Marvin Johnson
Legislative Counsel

[1] United Mineworkers Union v. Illinois State Bar Association, 389 U.S. 217, 222 (1967).
[2] Buckley, supra. at 45 (1976).
[3] Meyer v. Grant, 486 U.S. 414, 425 (1988).
[4] Riley, supra. at 801 (1988).
[5] Meyer v. Grant, supra. at 424.
[6] Id. at 428.
[7] Buckley, supra. at 64.
[8] Id. at 68.

The Ruckus Society

from activistcash.com
Ruckus Society
369 Fifteenth Street, Oakland, CA 94612
Phone 510-763-7078 | Fax 510-763-7068 | Email ruckus@ruckus.org

The Ruckus Society was founded in late 1995 by two giants of the radical environmentalist movement: Mike Roselle and Howard “Twilly” Cannon. Roselle was a founder of Earth First! (of 1980s tree-spiking fame), the group which spun off the domestic terrorist Earth Liberation Front in 1992. He also co-founded the radical Rainforest Action Network. Cannon built his extremist credentials as a front-line activist and ship’s captain with Greenpeace’s French and Russian anti-nuclear campaigns.

Ruckus is turning into a violent version of Forrest Gump, grooming the footsoldiers of the “protest industry” for every major newsworthy protest event since its founding. Activists descending on San Diego for the 2001 “biodevastation” demonstrations (railing against life-saving food technology) looked to Ruckus leaders for planning, logistics, media attention, and physical tactics. The same can be said for the massive and violent protests against Philadelphia’s 2000 Republican Convention, and the aggressive anti-World Bank demonstrations in Washington, DC, during that same year. In these two latter cases (as with Seattle), serious damage was done to private and public property alike. In Philadelphia alone, 23 police cars were damaged and 15 officers were injured.

Whether the target du jour is biotech foods, the World Bank, the World Trade Organization, or globalization in general, the organization recruits, trains, transports, and houses the army of militants needed to earn media coverage and make life difficult for the rest of us. Some observers have even claimed that Ruckus paid protesters to show up in Seattle. Joseph Bast, president of the Heartland Institute, wrote that one protester there told a colleague, “Sorry, I’ve got to go. If I don’t get to the finish line of the march I don’t get paid.”

Ruckus itself has no problem getting paid, reaping six-figure grant awards from the likes of Ted Turner and the “caring capitalists” at Ben & Jerry’s. When the multinational corporation Unilever bought the ice cream maker in 2000, it agreed to continue Ben & Jerry’s bizarre flavor of philanthropy for the foreseeable future. The Turner foundation has also contributed heavily to Ruckus, including over $150,000 in grants made via The Ecology Center, Inc., a Montana group where Ruckus’ first slate of officers met in the mid-1990s.

Ruckus’s primary contributions to the activist agenda are its “action camps”: weeklong boot camps for leftist protesters, usually held a few weeks prior to a major organized demonstration. A few hundred young Ruckus recruits typically attend each camp, where they are trained in the finer points of “police confrontation strategies,” “street blockades,” “urban climbing & rappelling,” “using the media to your advantage,” and “learning to lock your head to something” (among other things). Predictably, food served at the activist camps is vegetarian all the way. One 1998 camp chef told The Washington Post that “people here have some serious views on food, but that’s to be expected.” A participant in the same event adamantly insisted to a CNN camera crew: “Absolutely no meat whatsoever; no meat products, by-products, whatsoever.”

If you’ve heard of Ruckus Society at all, it was probably in relation to the 1999 World Trade Organization protests in Seattle. Americans watched in horror as organized hoodlums ran roughshod over the city’s commercial district, smashing windows, setting fires, overturning vehicles, ransacking a Starbucks coffee shop and a McDonald’s restaurant, and generally putting lives at risk. It’s no coincidence that the Ruckus Society staffers were in the middle of the melee, giving on-the-record quotes to national media figures. Nor was it an accident that Ruckus director John Sellers represented the protesters when the terms of their arrest were being negotiated with Seattle police. The Ruckus Society is generally credited with organizing the whole Seattle spectacle in the first place. When the dust had settled, Sellers smugly told USA Today, “We kicked the WTO’s butt all over the Northwest.”


Overall, the Ruckus Society is doing exactly what it set out to do. It used to be that activists became more outrageous in order to gain the attention of TV cameras. By breaking laws, escalating conflicts between police and protesters, and operating military-style training camps, Ruckus is upping the ante for other environmental activist groups who wish to be taken seriously within the movement. The effect is that of redefining the cutting edge of the anti-consumer movement, by sanctioning violence and engaging in organized conflict with law enforcement.

The Ruckus Society seems to have no compunction about breaking laws when they become inconvenient to “the cause.” John Sellers himself has been arrested over 40 times, most notably outside the 2000 Republican National Convention, where he was held on a $1 million bond until the event had concluded. While radicals claim that Sellers was railroaded by law enforcement, it’s worth noting that police officers confiscated a variety of weapons from protesters at the scene of Sellers’s arrest, including piano wire and gasoline-soaked rags tied to chains.

Why do Mike Roselle, John Sellers, Han Shan, and others organize willing twenty-somethings and teach them how to raise hell in the streets of America? To paraphrase Bill Clinton, it’s the global economy, stupid! To hard-core environmentalists like those at the helm of Ruckus, the worldwide spread of free trade and the modernization of third-world economies must be bad things if they are the result of genetically improved foods, franchised restaurants, logging, mining, and drilling for oil. And the instrument of the world’s demise is the multinational corporation. The damage done to Starbucks and McDonald’s during the Seattle riots in 1999 is one good indicator of the level of visceral hatred and violence involved.

Never mind that biotech foods will save lives. Set aside the fact that one out of every 15 Americans has his or her first job at a McDonald’s. And forget that globalizing the food chain will do a lot more to narrow the gap between rich and poor than can be accomplished by parading protesters wearing monarch butterfly costumes, or by the violent trashing of American cities. They continue to grab headlines with outrageous behavior, gaining additional foolish and impressionable converts along the way. To date, Ruckus has held over two dozen “action camps” in the United States; as the group’s profile grows, so does the waiting list of young activists who will do just about anything to participate.


Despite the organization’s ties to well-documented acts of violence and its officers’ connections with domestic terror groups, the group constantly claims to limit itself to “non-violent” protest in the spirit of 1960s civil disobedience. But the trail of economic damage wrought by these organized thugs (to say nothing of the broken windows and injured policemen) would suggest otherwise.

This, too, is no coincidence. The Ruckus Society was Mike Roselle’s brainchild; by the time the idea got off the ground, Roselle’s other projects had already matured. The most notable is Earth First!, a loosely organized gang of eco-criminals who pioneered the tactics of “monkey-wrenching” (intentionally damaging logging equipment) and “tree-spiking” (driving 11-inch nails into tree trunks in order to mangle approaching chain saws).

Ruckus clings desperately to the image of Martin Luther King, Jr. (featuring him prominently on their web site), and to words like “non-violence” and “civil disobedience,” but drawing such lines of comparison is an insult to the 1960s generation of social activists. While Dr. King was more than willing to stand up, give his name, and accept the legal consequences for his civil disobedience, Ruckus activists are generally known for wearing masks, assuming aliases, giving false names to arresting police officers, and other cowardly dodges (sometimes for no reason other than the disruption of the judicial system).

Another direct tie between the Ruckus Society and unlawful activity is Cathie Berrey, the group’s “blockades trainer.” Berrey helps to run the Ruckus camps and teaches attendees how to link arms, chain themselves to immovable objects, block traffic, and keep law enforcement from getting where they need to be. She is also the North Carolina coordinator for Earth First!, and a longtime spokesperson for the Direct Action Network, another violent protest umbrella group. Berrey is a self-described anarchist with connections to the now-infamous, violent “black bloc” that has descended on Seattle, Washington, Genoa, Montreal, and other modern protest sites. Nadine Bloch, another Ruckus camp trainer, has been linked to the “black bloc” faction that attempted to disrupt the 2001 presidential inaugural in Washington, DC. FBI countertelligence deputy Terry Turchie has told Congress that “Anarchists working within movements such as the ‘black bloc’ committed much of the property damage accompanying these protests.”

Nearly half of Ruckus’ roster of camp “trainers” proclaims membership in Earth First! as well.

Profile:
Ruckus Society
Copyright © 2007 Center for Consumer Freedom. All rights reserved.

6.07.2007

Death by Decree - the death of all unique bloodlines, the loss of genetic diversity - thanks to Assemblyman Lloyd Levine

Assembly votes to require neutering
Mark Martin, Chronicle Sacramento Bureau
Thursday, June 7, 2007

(06-07) 04:00 PDT Sacramento -- The state Assembly narrowly approved legislation Wednesday night that would fine Californians who don't spay or neuter their pets, sending to the state Senate one of the most talked-about bills on one of the most emotional issues of the year.

AB1634, by Assemblyman Lloyd Levine, D-Van Nuys, is intended to reduce the state's large number of stray dogs and cats, and like virtually every legislative action centering around animals, it has stoked emotional debate. As lawmakers this year consider hot topics like health care reform and redistricting, one Republican assemblyman said Levine's bill had sparked more letters and phone calls from his constituents than any other issue.

The legislation would require pet owners to have their dogs and cats spayed or neutered or face a $500 fine for each animal. Owners of kittens and puppies would be required to get them spayed or neutered by the time they are 4 months old. Owners of guide dogs or animals registered as purebred could pay a fee to get an exemption, as could breeders.

It was approved on a 41-38 vote.

The vote came as lawmakers raced to meet a Friday deadline to pass legislation out of at least one house. Hallways in the Capitol were packed with lobbyists working for or against hundreds of bills.

Proponents of Levine's proposal argued Wednesday that the bill would reduce the number of dogs and cats that flood animal shelters and force the state's shelters to euthanize an estimated 500,000 animals per year. Opponents, mostly Republicans, said the measure was an unneeded mandate.

"This is a prime example of why this Legislature becomes a laughingstock, when we want to reach into that personal aspect of peoples' lives telling them this is how you need to handle your animals' reproductive capacity,'' complained Assemblyman Doug LaMalfa, R-Richvale (Butte County). "We ought to be tackling other issues.''

But supporters argued that the measure was important, noting that local governments spend up to $250 million annually euthanizing unclaimed animals.

"We have all sorts of issues that that money could be better spent on than killing unwanted animals,'' said Assemblyman Dave Jones, D-Sacramento, during an hourlong debate in which one lawmaker held up a photo of his three dogs and another described the process most shelters use to kill unwanted animals.

"For almost half a million pets, no one loves them, no one cares about them, and they are killed,'' said Assemblyman Pedro Nava, D-Santa Barbara.

Levine modeled his legislation after a city ordinance in Santa Cruz, which he said reduced the number of animals in city shelters by 60 percent.

He said that ordinance produced "hysterical rhetoric" that pets, especially mutts, would be more costly or unavailable, but that in Santa Cruz, "pets are still available, and mutts are still available.''

The legislation drew concern from small breeders who say they couldn't afford to pay the exemption fee for every animal, and those worried that low-income families have a difficult time affording spaying or neutering. Levine contended that there are programs providing free services throughout the state.

He also noted that the bill would allow pet owners who face the fine to spay or neuter their pet and avoid paying the penalty.
Levine said on the Assembly floor that he planned to amend the bill to allow families with a mutt who want to allow their pet to reproduce to get an exemption allowing for one litter.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has two dogs, has not taken a position on the bill.
E-mail Mark Martin at markmartin@sfchronicle.com.

6.05.2007

ER - Man (GARZA) sentenced to maximum penalty for statutory rape plea

Man sentenced to maximum penalty for statutory rape plea

by Kara Machado, 6/4/2007

The victim in the Nate Robin Garza statutory rape case said it would be putting it mildly to say she’s gone through hell over the past six months.

The female victim — who was 16 at the time the Dec. 20, 2006, and Jan. 5 sexual relations occurred — spoke at Garza’s sentencing Monday.

In order to protect her privacy, the victim will be referred to as “Jane Doe.”

During Monday’s sentencing, Humboldt County Superior Court Judge Timothy Cissna sentenced Garza, 22, to four years and four months in prison — with more than 386 days served — ordered Garza to register as a sex offender for life and to stay away from Doe.

It was indicated in court Monday that Garza’s sentencing was the maximum exposure he could get in prison for a plea agreement he accepted in the end of April: one count of unlawful sex with a minor — commonly referred to as statutory rape — one count of unlawful oral sex with a minor and admission of a probation violation.

During Doe’s statement in court Monday, she called Garza a predator, described him as “manipulative, lying and sneaky” and said Garza made her feel “special” in order to engage in sexual acts with her that included sodomy.

Doe added that, over the past few months, she’s been to numerous doctor and counseling appointments.

“(I’ve had) so much emotional pain in my heart for what’s happened to me, my family and my friends,” Doe said. “I still believe, and know in my heart, that Nathan is a predator.”

Doe’s mother, who stood next to Doe during Doe’s statement, said, for her, there is no sentence Garza could be punished with that would be enough.

“I told him, myself, to stay away (from Doe),” Doe’s mother said. “(Garza’s persistence) shows me that the only thing Nate Garza is concerned with is himself.”

Doe’s mother said her then-16-year-old daughter knew nothing of sodomy and that she didn’t think it was something she would have to educate her daughter about.

“When a girl tells you ‘I don’t like it; it hurts; please stop,’” Doe’s mother said, “that’s not consensual.”

Although Cissna said in court he didn’t find Garza to appear remorseful for his actions, Garza’s attorney, Humboldt County Chief Conflict Counsel Glenn Brown, said Garza “is remorseful for what he did.”

After Garza’s sentence was handed down, Cissna addressed Doe in court.

“It is hard to imagine what you’ve gone through,” Cissna said. “... Not to diminish what happened to you, (but) I want to give you confidence that you will recover.”

Cissna went on to say it showed strength on Doe’s part to face Garza in court Monday.

“Good luck to you,” Cissna told Doe.

Garza was arrested Feb. 19, almost one year after being arrested in connection with the March 2006 Whitethorn kidnapping/rape case.

Initially, Humboldt County Deputy District Attorney Jeffrey Schwartz said, Garza was charged with — and pleaded not guilty to — nine counts of felony sodomy with a person under 18, eight counts of felony unlawful sexual intercourse and two counts of oral copulation with a person under 18.

Schwartz has said, and reiterated on Monday, that “the mother and victim are satisfied with the plea.”

Schwartz referred to Garza Monday as “a menace to society.”

Copyright (C) 2005, The Eureka Reporter. All rights reserved.