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Mendocino County Today: May 16, 2012

DAVE GURNEY WRITES: “On Friday, I appeared in Mendocino County Superior Court with attorney Peter Martin of Eureka, (via teleconference call) and three loyal supporters, to answer a ‘Motion for Summary Adjudication’ filed by Deputy Attorney General David Hamilton. Hamilton is seeking to have our lawsuit for false arrest, Bagley-Keene and Civil Rights violations thrown out on the basis that the privately-funded MLPAI “Initiative” was somehow exempt from obeying the law.Both the Dep. Attorney General, and Kearns and West hired private attorney Norman Chong appeared in person. They wanted to argue before judge Hon. David Nelson to keep as much of my truthful declaration and other evidence out of the legal fray as they possibly can. However, a lengthy case in Courtroom E preceded ours, and drove the morning court session right up to the lunch hour. It was decided that the issues will be decided on the basis of legal documents submitted.The defendants, the California Department of Fish and Game, the California Natural Resources Agency, MLPAI Executive Director Ken Wiseman, Kearns and West ‘facilitator’ Eric Poncelet, and F&G Warden Eric Bloom, through their teams of attorneys, are attempting to claim that meetings of the MLPAI’s North Coast Regional Stakeholders Group (NCRSG) are not subject to California’s Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act. But the actions of the defendants indicate otherwise. Following my illegal arrest for attempting to record, and asking a question at their public meeting, the defendants changed their behavior and began to comply with the Bagley-Keene Act. At the next round of NCRSG ‘workshops,’ public comment and recording were allowed.The corrupt MLPAI ‘Initiative’ defendants do not want the adverse publicity and embarrassment of this case going to trial before a jury. They appear to be clutching at legal straws to get the case thrown out early. Although it is plain and simple that the MLPAI and its NCRSG are the perfect example of a public process that by definition is bound by the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act, we have been surprised before. The judgement that the 45-member MLPAI team was not even a legal entity certainly established a new precedent for non-accountability by a privately-funded ‘public-process’ that claimed to be open and transparent. It now remains up to a single judge to administer justice in this case. Hon. David Nelson promised a ruling within the next thirty days, possibly as soon as two weeks.”

IF CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE HUFFMAN has any friends in Mendocino County, that person might want to let him know that his list of endorsers including Supervisor Smith and Superintendent of Schools Tichinin will cause voters to scream and run directly to another candidate.

GOVERNOR BROWN has proposed a $544 million whack to the courts, meaning, we hope, an end to the construction of new courthouses. Responding to the prospect of a big whack to the robed ones' budget, Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye predictably, and with maximum delusion, commented, "The proposed cuts to the judicial branch are both devastating and disheartening. They will seriously compromise the public's access to their courts and our ability to provide equal access to justice throughout the state." Since when did "the public" have equal access to the courts? If you can pay you can play. Otherwise, go directly to jail. But think of the public good that will come from no new courthouse for Mendocino County, no mammoth eyesore for Ukiah!

AS THE PRESIDENTIAL race heats up, you are certain to hear Mendolib's herd bulls — Joe Wildman, Rachel Binah, Val Muchowski, Maryann Villwock, and all of Westside Ukiah except for Tommy Wayne Kramer — going on about how Ralph Nader cost the Democrats the 2000 election, and how you'll be throwing your vote to Romney if you don't vote for four more years of Obama. (Clearheaded Mendolanders are, of course, supporting Rocky Anderson of Colorado for president.) Ralph Nader did not cost the Democrats the 2000 election; the Democrats did it to themselves by running the uninspiring Gore who couldn't even carry his own state. And 250,000 registered Democrats in Florida voted for George Bush, as did nine million registered Democrats across the US. Democrats elected Bush, and they're probably going to elect Plasto-Man this time around, politically a lateral move from Wall Street's Obama.

THE SUPERVISORS have unanimously approved a ban on disposable plastic shopping bags, joining bans about to be in place in Ukiah and Fort Bragg. Mendocino County’s ordinance requires a second, final vote before its imposed but that's assumed to be a done deal, with the ordinance to go into effect in six months. Ukiah gave final approval to its ordinance earlier this month while Fort Bragg’s city council was expected to finalize its vote Monday night. Sonoma County is also discussing a countywide ban.

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