BEFORE I COMMENCE RAGGING on DA Eyster, I'll say I think he's done a good job, even a brave job considering his break-through pot prosecution policy, which has earned Eyster a lot of threats from the feds. Instead of running all the pot people through the system, Eyster settles for fines and misdemeanors with felony prosecutions for repeat offenders. No other DA in the state, or the country for that matter, takes this commonsense stance, a stance that makes the taxpayers some money instead of throwing public money to the court system.
SO, LIKE, why's the DA nickel-nosing the Supes for reimbursement for a portion ($50 monthly) of his personal cell phone use? And will the Supes fork over? Probably. After all, they forked over millions when they blithely privatized mental health services in one of the shadier public deals to go down recently in Roll-Me-Over and Do-It-Again Mendocino County.
THIS WEEK MARKS the 4th anniversary of the murder of Susan Keegan, a murder clearly committed by her husband, Dr. Peter Keegan, a Ukiah doctor. Which, I daresay, is why the killer has not been prosecuted, because, “Gosh, Miss Poppins, doctors don't kill people, do they?”
IF, SAY, Tweeker Joe had been found with a dead wife in his house, offering only the transparently false explanation for the wounds, plural, on the top of his wife's head, “Duh, she was drunk and fell down in the bathroom,” Tweeker Joe would have been packed off to the state pen about 6 months later. But Dr. Keegan, after a hurry-up cremation of his wife's remains after a cursory autopsy by the incompetent and discredited Dr. Jason Trent, almost immediately went out and hired himself an ace criminal defense attorney, one more of his many guilt indicators, given that he claims his wife of thirty years simply died of a bathroom fall. Your wife dies and you hire a criminal defense guy? But Tweeker Joe can't pay for a defense, so Tweeker Joe gets the Public Defender, meaning Linda Thompson, meaning Tweeker Joe goes directly to jail whether or not he did it.
SO, why no prosecution of Doctor Keegan even with his wife's death certificate reading HOMICIDE?
ABOUT HERE we find ourselves at the ballpark. Won-loss records. Glorious prosecutorial win streaks. Because the DA might lose the Keegan case there's no prosecution. Of course an attorney as good as Keith Faulder can hang even the most conscientious jury. All he has to do is convince a single juror of reasonable doubt, although in this case there really isn't any because the killer, Doctor Keegan, merely accuses his wife, post-mortem, of alcoholism and pill popping when she's conveniently dead. (In living fact, Susan Keegan got up every day and did stuff. Drunks and druggers don't keep appointments.)
THERE HASN'T EVEN BEEN a public announcement out of the DA's office that there won't be a prosecution, which we translate as major guilt feeling in the DA's office that they're letting Dr. Keegan get away with murder. The DA seems to hope we'll all just forget that this woman was bludgeoned to death.
(WE LINK HERE to a couple long versions of the Keegan story on-line at theava.com for those of you who came in late: "Was Susan Keegan Murdered A Year Ago?" (Nov 2011) and "Susan Keegan Was Murdered" (Aug 2012). In our opinion, it represents one of the more grotesque miscarriages of justice in recent Mendocino County history.)
EXCITING HEADLINE from Monday's SF Chronicle: “Pizza Hut's Revamp: Curry crusts, balsamic drizzle.”
ON-LINE COMMENT of the day: Never seen an uglier time in our nation. The statistics and business elite celebrate a return to low unemployment and expanding markets. Yet on the ground, I am certain that most who read this know individuals who have not recovered economically, who are living month to month, who are piling up medical bills and can’t get into Obamacare’s open enrollment period, let alone the racket called privatized care in America. That explains the midterm rout of reasonable people by the fanatics. Yes, “their wrath could truly wreck what remains of this polity. When it is really too late to fix any of these things, they’ll beg someone to tell them what to do, and the job-description for that position is dictator.” I think we’ve just elected a bunch of would-be ones.
SKANK TRAIN. Excuse me? We have a Skunk Train, sir, fun for the whole family, but no 'Skank Train,' whatever that is. Howsomever, a young informant told us the other day he received a flier for an event he called the “Skank Train” where local dope magnates rent the venerable Fort Bragg tourist attraction for an all-day rolling debauch as a kind of Fall harvest celebration. The flier for the annual event reads, “Many of our guests are having sex in the bathrooms as soon as the train pulls out of the station.” Or, as our guy put it, “There's about 60-40 ration of women to men, with both groups walking up and down the train with their mogambos hanging out. Pure debauchery all the way out to Northspur and back.” Price? $80 per person, bring your own white powders and nitrous oxide.
POOR OLD PETE RICHARDSON took another self-inflicted beatdown last week, this one when a jury found Pete, once a thriving inland contractor, guilty of “criminal misconduct occurring on April 3, 2014.” That was the day Pete, on his way to court to sort out yet another bust, that one for pot-related charges, tuned up for his court appearance with a few fortifying drinks at the Water Trough, South Ukiah, following which he accidentally drove through the wall of the establishment. With three DUI priors, one has to wonder why Pete took this latest one to a jury.
OFF THE TOP, I can cite four Mendo house explosions over the last year, involving the butane-dependent production of the concentrated pot product called “honey oil.” The latest one occurred just last week in the 100 block of Luce Avenue, Ukiah, when one of the dudes brewing up a batch of the stuff lit up a cigarette mid-process. Butane and matches, in tandem, are contraindicated, but these guys don't seem to be chemistry majors. Joshua Corrigan of Oakdale was burned over a large portion of his body. A second burn victim, 35 year old James Lowe, of Ukiah, “was located in the 1100 block of nearby Mulberry Street. “Corrigan and Lowe both caught on fire, and were subsequently flown by air ambulance to an out the area hospital. Corrigan was believed to be the smoker.
WE COULDN’T HELP NOTICING this quote from Willits City Manager Adrienne Moore in a recent article by the Willits News’s fine new reporter Adrian Baumann about an expanded moratorium on water hookups to the Willits and Brooktrails water systems. Ms. Moore explained at the last Willits City Council meeting, “There are a lot of implications for this order; what it's seeming to state is that we have an immediate moratorium on new connections, upgrades, expansions, and will-serves, which are connections that there's been a deposit or payment for, and a promise to put those in, but the building permit has not been issued yet.”
SO WILL-SERVE LETTERS are just paper commodities that water districts sell for revenue with no intention (or water) to hook-up. Which seems to explain why hook-ups are frequently issued even when there’s no objective capability to actually provide water. We naively thought that a will-serve letter from a water district was a declaration of water availability (even if there wasn’t any available water). Now we know better: will-serve letters are nothing more than a paid-for permit to allow the applicant to hook up to the system, water or no water. Apparently, the only time local assurances to hook-up are refused is when the State Water Board imposes a moratorium.
THE GOLD RUSH ERA in San Francisco had its similarities to Mendocino County's ongoing Green Rush. The prospect of striking it rich, in 1849 and 2014 draws mysterious people with no known antecedents. Then there's the Boonville experience where you go to a public meeting of this or that non-profit or government body and people you've never seen before or even heard of are screwing things up in whole new ways. The 49ers of the Gold Rush era put it this way: “Oh, what was your name in the States?/ Was it Thompson or Johnson or Bates?/ Did you murder your wife/ And fly for your life?/ Say, what was your name in the States.”
WE PUT IT THIS WAY: Mendocino County, where history starts all over again every day, and you are whatever you say you are.