(ED NOTE: Someone is bulk purchasing all available hard copy AVAs from our outlets in Ukiah, coincidentally the same issue which features the Peter Richardson marijuana case on the front page above the fold. Accordingly, we are posting that lead story here in Mendocino County Today for those who may have missed it due to Ukiah’s non-availability. We are looking into ways to replenish the Ukiah stock. Stay tuned.)
* * *
OH, THAT OLD GANG OF MINE
by Bruce McEwen
There are pot cases and there are pot cases, and here at ground zero Pot County we see them all, great and small. This one is big, as in big personalities, and its roots go back some.
You've got Peter Richardson, a long, lean charismatic fellow who, it is widely assumed, parlayed a Covelo-based pot fortune into a construction company that came to be awarded large, local public building contracts. Years ago Richardson was close to former DA Susan Massini who, when she fired present DA David Eyster, had one of her investigators march Eyster, then an assistant DA, out of the Courthouse at gun point. Eyster's crime? Not supporting Massini for re-election. There were rumors that Massini, beguiled by the tall man with the meticulous braid down his back, protected Richardson from this and that prosecution.
In the current chapter of The People vs. Peter Richardson, you've got the County's legendary cop, Peter Hoyle, a lawman not friendly to the herb in a county where the herb is not only the primary industry but holy sacrament to at least half the population.
You've got Keith Faulder, a crack criminal defense attorney who's gone from prosecuting pot cases as an Assistant DA under the late Norm Vroman to defending them.
And you've got Eyster, the Mendocino County District Attorney whose babyface good looks are movie-perfect as the righteous young prosecutor out to beat back evil.
All these people know each other, go back together in all sorts of odd ways. They probably know each other better than many families know each other.
The judge is Ann Moorman, a kind of den mother in this one. She knows all the players, too. Before she was elevated to the bench a couple of years ago, Ms. Moorman enjoyed a well-deserved reputation as one of the top defense attorneys in the County.
District Attorney Eyster handles many of the County’s marijuana cases himself. He's implemented a strategy for dispatching pot cases that not only saves the taxpayers a lot of public money but even makes some money for local law enforcement. In exchange for misdemeanor pleas and fines, Eyster resolves the endless flow of marijuana cases before they clog up the courts.
Some cases do, however, go to trial, but none of them have yet pitted the DA against his old pal Faulder. This will be the first pot case Faulder has taken to jury trial — if it goes that far — since he won the big one for the legendary Laytonville-Leggett agro-outlaw, Matt Graves back when Meredith Lintott was DA.
Eyster vs. Faulder in front of Moorman co-starring Peter Richardson and Peter Hoyle.
Let’s get ready to rummmmmmmmmbllllle!
Faulder is recently back from climbing Mt. Everest and seems to be in fighting shape. At Richardson's prelim last week Faulder came out swinging with an immediate motion to suppress statements Richardson made to Agent Hoyle at the time of the Richardson bust, saying it was a Fourth Amendment issue. DA Eyster responded to Faulder's constitutional gambit by consulting his holy law book to cite legal scripture saying that any such motion should have been submitted in advance. Eyster went on to point out that the case had been postponed because of Richardson's prostate cancer, and that Faulder had had plenty of time to get his motions in order.
Faulder countered that his motion was implicit in the Constitution, and therefore had more authority than the rules of court. He said Richardson's statements to Hoyle were involuntary; Faulder said he wanted a special hearing to prove that they were involuntary.
Judge Moorman said a special hearing wasn’t necessary. “We’re going to go ahead. I want to see how this unfolds,” she said.
Faulder made another motion concerning the medical marijuana recommendations possessed by Richardson and his wife. Eyster said they too should have been submitted in advance. Faulder snapped back that the DA already had them because law enforcement had seized them at the time of the bust.
Eyster made his own motion, that “judicial notice” be taken that the defendant was already on summary probation for a prior marijuana-related offense when Hoyle and Company raided him again early this year.
On that interface between devil weed and the forces of law and order, Special Agent Hoyle of the Mendocino County Major Crimes Task Force had busted Mr. Richardson at his Sanel Drive home south of Ukiah on February 7th of this year.
Eyster: “Did you find any marijuana at that location?”
Hoyle: “Yes, I did.”
Eyster: “Let me show you some photographs. What is this a picture of?”
Hoyle: “It shows a portion of the basement, two rows of mature marijuana plants with lights suspended over them.”
Eyster: “And this photograph, People’s exhibit number two?”
Hoyle: “More plants.”
Eyster: “People’s three?”
Hoyle: “More plants.”
Eyster: “Number four?”
Hoyle: “More immature plants.”
Eyster: “How many?”
Hoyle: “Over 200 immature plants.”
Eyster: “Did you find any pots?”
Hoyle: “Yes. In a detached garage there were 10 stacks of 20 five-gallon pots in each stack.”
Eyster: “Do you know anything about the grow lights used?”
Hoyle: “Yes. I was talking to a grower as recently as two days ago who told me that you can expect to get one pound per light, per cycle.”
Eyster: “How many lights did you find at the Richardson residence?”
Hoyle: “Nine high-intensity lights.”
Eyster: “Find any zip-ties?”
Hoyle: “You mean the Sheriff’s zip-ties?”
Eyster: “How many plants all together?”
Eyster: “Was there any processed marijuana?”
Hoyle: “Yes. Approximately two pounds.”
Eyster: “Did you reach any conclusion?”
Hoyle: “Yes. In my opinion, the majority of this marijuana was for sale and a portion for personal use.”
Mr. Faulder rose to cross: “The number 354 — does that include the really small plants?”
Hoyle: “The number includes all the plants.”
Faulder: “As to the processed cannabis, was it all in one bag?”
Hoyle: “I believe it was in five separate bags.”
Faulder: “But some of it was old, wasn’t it?”
Hoyle: “I don’t recall.”
Faulder: “Did you find a scale?”
Hoyle: “I didn’t, no.”
Faulder: “Did you talk to the other officers in the Task Force?”
Faulder: “Did any of them find a scale?”
Hoyle: “If they did, it wasn’t pointed out to me.”
Faulder: “Did any of you find any packaging materials?”
Hoyle: “That’s a loose term.”
Faulder: “Did you find any weapons?”
Hoyle: “I didn’t find any firearms.”
Faulder: “So there were no weapons?”
Hoyle: “You throw a wide net at me, counselor.”
Faulder: “I’m not trying to trick you, I promise, Agent Hoyle. What kinds of weapons are you talking about?”
Hoyle: “There were knives in the kitchen.”
Faulder: “And you consider kitchen knives weapons?”
Eyster: “Objection. Argumentative.”
This came rapid fire, with the DA jumping to his feet to confront Faulder. The court reporter watched warily as the lawyers' cacophony of claims and counter-claims made it impossible for her take it all down.
Judge Moorman, in the voice of a playground monitor, “Alright! Alright, you two! Everyone just take a breath.”
Faulder: “But you didn’t find any evidence of a prior grow, did you?”
Hoyle: “That’s not correct.”
Faulder: “You found pots.”
Faulder: “But wasn’t there extensive landscaping at the property?”
Hoyle: “What do you mean by that?”
Faulder: “By what?”
Faulder: “I’ll leave that to you.”
Hoyle: “There was shrubbery, things like that.”
Faulder: “Of the smaller, immature plants — were they rooted — did you personally inspect any of them?”
Hoyle: “What do you mean, ‘inspect’?”
Faulder: “Did you pull any of them out and look at the roots?”
Hoyle: “I may have been somewhat involved in that, but I don’t really recall.”
Faulder: “Many were clones — were they rooted?”
Hoyle: “I recall some were rooted.”
Faulder: “Did you take any photographs of them?”
Faulder: “Yes, but you did take photos of the cut plants, isn’t that true?”
Hoyle: “I took photos of all the plants after they were cut down.”
Faulder: “So as you sit here today, you can’t testify that all those plants had roots?”
Faulder: “That’s all I have.”
Special Agent Hoyle stepped down, but be on the lookout, pot pharmas, Hoyle knows who you are and just might get around to visiting you next.
The prosecution rested after the fast go round with Hoyle and Faulder.
Faulder called his first defense witness, Ms. Jeannie Louette McKay, wife of the defendant. Ms. McKay had been at work when the Task Force made the bust. She came home to find her house turned upside down and her husband in jail. There had been another heated argument between Eyster and Faulder regarding spousal privilege as to testifying, and Judge Moorman finally ruled that privilege would be waived if McKay took the stand. She did.
Faulder: “Do you have a doctor’s recommendation for medical marijuana?”
Faulder: “So you were not there?”
Faulder: “But your husband, Peter, has a doctor’s recommendation for medical marijuana, as well, doesn’t he?”
Faulder: “So something happened recently that necessitated your husband’s medical marijuana recommendation?”
McKay: “Yes. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in August of 2012.”
Faulder: “How did Peter then change the way he used cannabis?”
McKay then launched into a tentative narrative, responding to cues from Faulder, describing the latest vogue in medical marijuana use. “He got a Vita-Mix blender and a Champion juicer,” she said. “He started making canni-butter [no trade mark, yet, entrepreneurs!] fruit juices, and vegetable smoothies, using fresh cannabis.”
Faulder: “Did you have anything to do with the making of these products?”
Faulder: “”Did you have anything to do with the growing of the cannabis?”
Faulder: “So, only Peter did the cultivation and preparation of the juices and smoothies?”
Faulder: “Did you drink it?”
McKay: “Yes. It was usually in the fridge.”
Faulder: “Did you smoke cannabis?”
McKay: “Occasionally, not often.”
Faulder: “Nothing further.”
Eyster for the prosecution.
“So, you were aware of a search warrant being served at your home?”
McKay: “I was told about it.”
Eyster: “Who told you?”
McKay: “Peter did.”
Eyster: “You were aware he was on probation?”
Eyster: “You knew he wasn’t allowed to have more than 25 plants, weren’t you?”
McKay: “I don’t know…”
Eyster: “You know about the Sheriff’s zip-tie program?”
McKay: “I don’t know…”
Eyster: “But you work for the County, don’t you?”
Faulder: “Objection, relevance, your honor.”
Eyster: “Where do you work”
McKay: “I work at Child Protective Services.”
Eyster: “Do you smoke marijuana?”
Faulder: “Objection, relevance.”
Eyster: “So you do smoke marijuana?”
Eyster: “How often?”
McKay: “Once every two days or so, but it depends. My job is very stressful.”
Eyster: “On average, in a month?”
McKay: “I don’t know?”
Eyster: “Do you ‘roll your own’?”
Eyster: “Do you use a pipe?”
Eyster: “How much do you put in it?”
McKay: “I don’t know.”
Eyster: “Can you give me an estimate?”
Eyster: “Do you know what a gram is?”
Eyster: “Do you have any experience with cooking?”
McKay: “I think I made cookies once.”
Eyster: “Ever use measuring devices for cooking?”
McKay: “I don’t recall.”
Eyster: “Do you have measuring devices in your kitchen?”
Eyster: “But you never use them?”
Eyster: “How much marijuana do you put in your pipe?”
McKay: “A small amount.”
Eyster: “How small?”
McKay: “A pipeful.”
Eyster: “How big is the pipe?”
McKay: “I don’t know.”
Eyster: “You say you have measuring devices in your kitchen — do you know a teaspoon from a tablespoon?”
Eyster: “Well, is the amount you use closer to a teaspoon or a tablespoon?”
McKay: “I don’t know.”
Eyster: “How often, then?”
McKay: “I told you I don’t know!”
Faulder: “Objection, your honor, that’s been asked and answered.”
Eyster: “Four times a month?”
Eyster seemed to be badgering the witness, but if Ms. McKay only smokes four grams in the course of a month, and hubbykins really only needs a little for his juicer, why 300 plants?
The DA launched a kind of Good Housekeeping line of culinary inquiry. He wanted to know how much of the fruit/pot juice, canni-butter and veggie/bud smoothies she and her husband consumed. Were they canni-vegans on cannibas diets?
Ms. McKay said she had nothing to do with the preparation of these pioneer medico-nutritional products and couldn’t say specifically what proportions the pot recipes called for.
Eyster: “So you didn’t make the canni-butter … Did your husband?”
Eyster: “How do you know?”
McKay: “It wasn’t there, and there it was.”
Eyster: “So you never saw him make it — did you see anything?”
McKay: “A crock of butter.”
(Get your Canni-Butter Crock Kit today! — only $19.95! Operators are standing by: Call 1-800-707-3016, now!)
Eyster: “On February 7th was there any canni-butter in your home?
McKay: “I don’t know.”
Eyster: “Would the crock have been in the fridge or out?
McKay: “I don’t recall.”
Eyster: “How did you know the police had been in the house?”
Either the cops had been in the house or someone had majorly freaked out and threw everything this, that and every which way. But seriously, who else gets to kick your front door down, throw you on the floor, call you and your granma muthafuggas, and toss all your stuff around?
McKay: “I finally got a call that Peter had been taken to jail.”
Eyster: “But you understood it was an important event?”
Eyster: “Did you know that the charge of ‘marijuana for sale’ was going to be an issue?”
Faulder: “Objection, relevance.”
Eyster: “I think it’s tangentially relevant, judge.”
McKay: “I don’t know.”
Eyster: “What did you then do to make sure you had an understanding of the difference between marijuana for sale and marijuana for personal use?”
McKay: “Our house was trashed! I was in shock.”
Eyster: “Did you ever go into the basement and help with the cultivation?”
Eyster: “Why not?”
McKay: “I worked!”
Eyster: “Had there been a bankruptcy in your household?”
Faulder: “Objection, relevance.”
Moorman: “What’s the relevance?”
Eyster: “Marijuana for sale.”
Eyster: “So you knew there was a bankruptcy?”
McKay: “I don’t know.”
Eyster: “Oh, please, Ms. McKay.”
McKay: “Peter had been sick, losing lots of weight, the marijuana was a medicine…”
Eyster: “The question was were you aware of the bankruptcy and when.”
McKay: “I don’t take care of the finances!”
Eyster: “Are your finances separate?”
McKay: “We share in the expenses.”
Eyster: “What income did Peter have?”
McKay: “Property management and an antique motorcycle business.”
(Ed note: The construction workers at the Water Trough, many of whom worked for Pete when he ran Rainbow Construction, say he bought Harleys and Indians rather than pay his sub-contractors. The old gent who owns the Trough corroborates this — Pete built the big new Grace Hudson school right across the street — and all these guys drank in the Trough during the construction. Many, including Pete, still do. Also, Pete told me himself that there was no “profit” in these big projects, so he invested all his money in collectable bikes.)
Eyster: “Did you know the property he managed was the source of the marijuana cultivation offense he was on probation for?”
Eyster: “Did you know there was a mortgage?”
Eyster: “I get to probe, judge.”
Faulder: “That’s irrelevant.”
Eyster: “Don’t argue with me, counsel.”
The two lawyers were standing toe-to-toe, arms folded on their chests, scowling at each other.
Moorman: “Okay, you two. I want a sidebar — right now!”
When lawyers get out of hand, and the proceedings seem likely to veer out of control, the judge calls a time out to "admonish" them to behave.
Her honor stomped down off the bench, robes billowing, and stamped her foot to show her impatience as the lawyers continued their stare-down standoff. Then they gave it up and went to the corner with the judge for a few words of …? We couldn’t hear what. But a long, heated discussion ensued and at times Judge Moorman had to put her hands between the two lawyers, the way referees in boxing matches separate heavyweights. When they came back, Eyster resumed his attack on Ms. McKay’s impenetrable stonewall.
Eyster: “What’s the mortgage payment?”
McKay: “I don’t know.”
Eyster: “What’s the utility bill?”
McKay: “I don’t know.”
Eyster: “I’ll have more questions for this witness later, judge.”
Moorman: “Redirect, Mr. Faulder.”
Faulder: “Yes, thank you, your honor. Ms. McKay, do you do the cooking in your home?”
McKay: “Yes, I do.”
Faulder: “But your husband takes care of all the cannabis cultivation and preparation?”
McKay: “Yes. I don’t go in there.”
Faulder then started a back and forth with his witness that was so rapid-fire I couldn’t get it down. But it had to do with how “extraordinarily sick” Mr. Richardson has been, his weight loss, and how the cannabis seemed to help him cope with what may well be terminal illness.
Judge Moorman said, “Slow down, I can’t keep up, you’re talking over each other and my court reporter has to take all this down.”
The judge has to comprehend it all and the court reporter has to take it all down. I have to do both. The judge has a law degree; the court reporter has a shorthand machine; I have a pencil and pad.
There was a recess, then a certain Dr. Lovejoy, a former gynecologist was called to the stand, at which point the hearing was postponed.
Why would a gynecologist go from pudendas to pot?
And don’t forget to order your Magical Canni-Butter Crock Kit today!
A HEAD-ON collision near Boonville between a big rig and a Mercedes shortly before 8am Wednesday morning, briefly closed 128 at the junction of 128 and 253. One person, presumably from the Mercedes, was taken by ambulance to Ukiah. No further details were available as the day concluded.
DUI: IS IT AN ASSAULT?
Mendocino County judge hears arguments.
by Tiffany Revelle
In what could be a precedent-setting case, Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Ann Moorman will rule next week on whether a Ukiah woman accused of driving drunk through her neighbors' fence and into their house should also face a felony charge of assault with a deadly weapon.
The felony charge was the point of contention in Mendocino County Superior Court during a daylong preliminary hearing Tuesday. A preliminary hearing is the district attorney's chance to show a judge enough evidence to bind the defendant over for trial for the crimes.
Moorman said she would likely issue holding orders for five of the six charges against Joan Rainville, 53 — which also included driving with a license suspended for prior DUI convictions — but would need to review cases cited by both the prosecution and defense before ruling on the felony assault charge.
"I don't think she intended to run anyone down, but I don't think that's the standard of the law," said prosecutor Matt Hubley of the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office in his closing arguments.
He again showed the court a picture of a white wicker chair where one of Blair Carlson's friends had been sitting just before 9 p.m. May 26 when Rainville's 2008 Toyota Camry crashed through her fence and into her backyard toward her patio, where she and her husband were entertaining guests. The chair was just a foot away from where the car jumped onto the cement patio and hit the side of the house, cracking the wall of the main bedroom where Carlson's 8-year-old son had been sleeping.
"We're not having this discussion if that chair gets hit," Hubley said. "Did anybody on that patio who was screaming and yelling for her to stop wonder if the car was a deadly weapon?"
Hubley upped the otherwise misdemeanor DUI case to the felony level with the assault charge on the premise that Rainville has had at least two prior DUI convictions since 2005, and had been advised during court proceedings that driving under the influence is dangerous to human life. That knowledge, he said previously, supports a charge of assault, which is the intent to commit battery.
The cases he cited "hold that the intent to commit battery can be inferred when the defendant commits acts that are inherently dangerous to others," Hubley said. "If there is enough subjective awareness of the risk posed to others, that can rise to the level of implied malice."
Rainville's Ukiah defense attorney Justin Petersen argued that witness testimony given Tuesday indicated she didn't know what was happening.
"My client has to know the surrounding circumstances that make it dangerous, and you can't judge that by what she should have known, but by what she actually knew," he said.
In order to stand up in court, a charge of assault with a deadly weapon needs to be based on "more than a risk of harm," Petersen argued, but must have consequences that are "substantially certain."
The judge and both attorneys acknowledged that there were no known cases on record where a DUI case became an assault-with-a-deadly-weapon case on that premise.
The danger in holding Rainville to answer the assault charge, Petersen argued, is that assault would then be too broadly defined.
"If you want to call this a 245 (assault), how many millions of other cases of driving under the influence are going to become assault cases?" he said.
Petersen said Rainville got into her car intending to pull backward out of her parking space at the apartment complex next door to the Carlson house but mistakenly thrust the car forward through the fence instead.
Rainville's blood-alcohol level about an hour after the accident was 0.25, more than three times the legal limit, Ukiah Police Department officer Anthony Delapo testified Tuesday.
Hubley also called to the witness stand a retired California Highway Patrol officer who witnessed a 2005 incident where Rainville crashed into a tree in the town of Mendocino, resulting in a DUI conviction. He also called to the stand UPD officer Kevin Murray, who investigated a February accident where Rainville rear-ended a driver at a stoplight on South State Street at Gobbi Street, also resulting in conviction.
Her blood-alcohol levels had been 0.36 for one incident and 0.29 for the other, Moorman noted.
Also on the stand was state Department of Justice criminalist Matt Kirsten, who specializes in interpreting blood-alcohol test results. According to a study he cited, a person driving with a blood-alcohol level of 0.15 is 45 times more likely to be in an accident than a sober driver.
Petersen argued that even so, the chances of driving under the influence resulting in an accident are "about one in 1,000."
He continued, "Even though the substantial risk is serious, it's still a tiny risk of hurting somebody."
According to one of the cases he cited, the court must find that "injury is bound to happen." He added, "there's a difference between virtually inevitable and risk.'"
Moorman will render her decision on the assault charge and the other charges against Rainville Aug. 13.
(Courtesy, The Ukiah Daily Journal)
DANIEL JOSEPH BARRETO, 62, of Sparks, Nevada had been camping near Mendocino with his family when he went out fishing late Friday afternoon in a kayak. When Barreto hadn't returned by 8pm his family reported him missing. His body was found in a kelp bed near Albion after his kayak was spotted from the air by a Coast Guard helicopter on Monday evening. A weekend search for Barreto had been hampered by a thick fog.
CALIFORNIA TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION
APPROVES $487 MILLION FOR STATEWIDE TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENTS
EUREKA – The California Transportation Commission Wednesday announced it has funded $487 million for 82 construction projects to improve transportation, safety, and mobility across California. “The California Transportation Commission is taking action to improve transportation, safety, and mobility from Del Norte to San Diego County,” said California Transportation Agency Secretary Brian Kelly. “These construction projects put people to work and improve the quality of life for millions of Californians.” “California is investing in transportation infrastructure to support regional job growth and improve the state’s mobility for years to come,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. The allocations include $169 million from Proposition 1B, a 2006 voter-approved transportation bond. To date, more than $16 billion in Proposition 1B funds have been put to work statewide. The remaining $318 million in allocations today came from various state and federal transportation accounts. Highlights of the funding allocations include: Del Norte County - $14.9 million for a project on Route 199 at the Patrick Creek Narrows near Gasquet to widen and realign the highway, and replace a bridge. Humboldt County - $4.7 million for a project on Route 169 at various locations to widen the highway and install metal beam guardrails. Mendocino County - $9.5 million for two projects on Route 128 to rehabilitate culverts and stabilize an embankment.
The two Mendocino/Highway 128 projects are:
1. $5,000,000 — Near Boonville, from west of Mill Creek Bridge to east of Beebe Creek Bridge. Rehabilitate existing culverts, replace deteriorated culverts and place standard drainage inlet and outlet structures at 51 locations to improve drainage.
2. $4,500,000 — Near Boonville, from Shearing Creek Bridge to 0.7 mile west of Maple Creek Bridge. Stabilize embankment, install cast-in-place steel reinforced ground anchor wall system and rock slope protection damaged by heavy rainfall.
COMMENT OF THE DAY UNO: I've been taking CBD since February. I have cancer. I get mine, even though I live in SoHum, from a person in Marin who grows the strain of plant that has no THC. There are about six strains that he uses. He also puts some THC in some of his tincture as it also had medicinal purpose. He has a great web page with lots of information about CBD. Just Google www.synergymmj.com or Synergy Wellness to find out more. He has a legal business. I would suggest that a few of the people who made comments below me take the time to find out what you THINK you are talking about. CBD has been proven to stop tumor growth as well as reducing seizures and a variety of other ailments. I will find out how effective it is when I get my scan results on Friday. I have also been doing chemo so I am very anxious to see if anything has worked. But, I have not had all the horrid side effects that I think I could have had from chemo if I wasn't taking CBD. Both my oncologist in Eureka and at UCSF had no problem with me taking CBD during my treatment. Dr. Gubbens at UCSF told me that many of his patients take CBD. This has nothing to do with growing pot for profit or abusing a 215, like so many people around here tend to do. Marijuana is way overdue to be made legal.
COMMENT OF THE DAY DOS (Glenn Greenwald): “President Obama today canceled a long-scheduled summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in part because the US president is upset that Russia defied his personal directive to hand over Edward Snowden despite the lack of an extradition treaty between the two nations. That means that US media outlets will spend the next 24 hours or so channeling the government's views (excuse the redundancy) by denouncing the Russian evil of refusing extradition. … The US constantly refuses requests to extradite — even where (unlike Russia) they have an extradition treaty with the requesting country and even where (unlike Snowden) the request involves actual, serious crimes, such as genocide, kidnapping, and terrorism. Maybe those facts should be part of whatever media commentary there is on Putin's refusal to extradite Snowden and Obama's rather extreme reaction to it.”
A YOUNG BLONDE WOMAN was speeding down the road in her little red sports car when she was pulled over by a woman police officer who also happened to be a blonde. The blond cop asked to see the blonde driver’s driver’s license. The blonde driver fumbled and dug through her purse with frustration and difficulty, getting progressively more agitated. “What does it look like?” the driver finally asked the cop. The policewoman replied, “It’s square and it has your picture on it.” The driver dug deeper and finally found a square mirror near the bottom of her large designer purse, looked at it and handed it to the policewoman. “Here it is!” she chirped. The blonde officer looked at the mirror, then handed it back saying, “OK, you can go. I didn’t realize you were a cop.”
SUSAN SPENCER & MICHAEL WILSON of Philo are currently exhibiting their assemblage art at Handley Cellars tasting room through the month August. Hours are 11am to 6pm. Assemblage Art is done first by sorting through materials that may be used in three dimensional “Junk or Found Art.” In the world of “Common Objects” and elements, we find that they can be transformed into a representational art form. “There are certain modes of construction and cohesion in the relational paths that bring you to a finished piece of work,” Michael says. Susan recently had a successful group show at the Gualala Center for the Arts and Michael is currently at Healdsburg Arts off the main Plaza in a continuing exhibition.
Our Public Defenders! Recently I found myself up against the Ukiah DA’s office for a car accident they called a felony. Shockingly and without proper funds I went to the Public Defender’s Office. The most amazing thing happened. I found this office to be the most caring, intelligent, hardest working group of people who never get enough credit. My attorney was Eric Rennert. Behind him and the whole office is yet another truly dedicated driving force, Linda Thompson. I never would have believed (as I had never been in the justice system before in my 62 years) that there are such people who care and will go the full mile to help people like me. What most of us do not understand is that we are all innocent until proven guilty. This is not what we found to be true. Over two years and pleading not guilty to this felony charge Mr. Rennert went to work on our case. He was not even through with his re-direct of the DA’s first witness when I was offered a lesser plea. There is no doubt that if we continued with the case and presented all the evidence that this whole matter would have been dismissed. How much time and taxpayer money went into this case that went on for over two years? If you’ve lived in Mendocino county for as long as we have you’ve also seen the changes going on with home invasions, murders and more. Please remember that all people are innocent until proven guilty and do NOT jump to conclusions before you see all the facts. And more than anything, give credit where credit is due, to our Public Defender’s Office! They are, to say the least, a group of outstanding people who really care about their fellow man. Cheers and a round of applause for the hard working people who never get enough credit for what they do. — Howard Krejci, Willits
PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD about some great horses looking for homes. We are also looking for foster homes and/or people who would like to work with a horse. Lake County Animal Shelter has three horses that we believe we could adopt out fairly easily but our foster homes are full. We also need volunteers who would be interested in evaluating horses for their training level so we can be sure to find them the best home possible. For information about how to help or about available rescue horses go to www.saferhorse.com. Thank you, Angie Herman, SAFER Equine Rescue
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Move to Amend Coalition of Mendocino County Moves Forward.
Last November a resounding 74% of Mendocino voters passed proposition F in favor of a constitutional amendment clarifying that corporations are not people and should not have the same “rights” under the constitution as human beings. It also said that political spending does not constitute “free speech”. Recently, the Mendocino County Move to Amend (MTA) affiliate met with Assemblyman Wes Chesbro and Jeff Tyrrell, a staffer from Senator Noreen Evans office to discuss supporting “We the People” Amendment, House Joint Resolution (HJR) 29. HJR 29 calls for passage of a constitutional amendment that would state that Corporations are not people Money is not the same as free speech and political spending can be regulated. At this meeting the MTA group provided critical and in depth information about HJR29. Assemblyman Chesbro agreed that a constitutional amendment is needed and has previously voted “yes” on a related Assembly Resolution. We had a similar discussion with Jeff Tyrrell. Since the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling, record amounts of money have been spent in races throughout the country. Due to Corporate constitutional “rights” allowed through the 14th Amendment, local legislation in several states, enacted by its citizens, have been overturned. Case in point, the Supreme Court overturned a Vermont law requiring labeling of all products containing bovine growth hormone. (International Diary Foods Association vs Amestoy). HJR 29 addresses the legal fiction of corporate constitutional “rights” and the entrenched influence of monies in our democratic process. Mendocino County MTA is interested in continuing to inform our county of the forward movement of this issue to preserve the sovereignty of its citizenry and to fight the growing sense of disenfranchisement of the political process. — Joyce (Joy) Gertler, Caspar
Please Chant Mahamantram to Neutralize Bogus Govt. Energy Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare Please visualize this being chanted around the beltway in Washington DC, with a caravan featuring YOUR BAND HERE, plus ritualists, poets, Earth First!ers, peace and justice activists, and the anonymous people fed up with a dissatisfying life of being plundered by materialistic institutions and their slave-employee minions. I mean, when are we going to finally tell this pointless, idiotic civilization to just FUCK OFF!? Three of us are in a house near Pittsburgh, PA. We need cooperation to get situated closer to DC And we need other participants. I have recently been informed that a lot of protesters are leaving DC at this time, to travel or to "get the hell out of there.” Fair enough, but the three of us (formerly of the DC Occupy kitchen working group) want to get the hell into DC, in order to counteract the bogus energy there; which is degrading all facets of the earth plane, in particular destroying the planet's ecological systems to a point of irrecoverability. I mean, this is serious, y'all! Craig Louis Stehr, August 7, 2013 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Blog: http://craiglstehr.blogspot.com