Pleas and thank yous

Kumbaya, motherfuckers. Kumbaya.

Who says we Bugs don’t have good manners?

Everyone?

Really?

Oh.

But bygones!! Because here we are now giving a coupla big ol’ sloppy Bug thank yous to District Attorney Paul Gallegos–the man, the myth, the total and complete pantspickle.

First up: Thank you, Mr. Gallegos, for the rape this week of a young woman in Arcata.

The Times-Standard reports this about her alleged assailant, Kevin Walker:

In 2008, Walker pleaded guilty to felony assault in what was widely believed to be a hate crime in Trinidad. Walker was arrested in May 2008, along with 18-year-old Collin Roczey, after witnesses reported seeing three men fighting in a Trinidad beach parking lot. Witnesses said Walker and Roczey were holding another man down, hitting his head on the ground, hitting him with a metal pipe and stepping on his face while shouting racial slurs.

The two men were originally arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, sexual assault and kidnapping, but pleaded guilty to the assault charge in a plea deal.

And got probation!! So yay! Thanks, Paul.

Next: Thank you, Mr. District Attorney, for that shooting last week in Alton. Turns out Humboldt County’s top cop lent a helpful hand in that case as well! The Times-Standard reports that the alleged shooter in that case, a particularly upstanding individual named Michael Coen, had run afoul of the law before:

Coen pleaded guilty to assault with a deadly weapon other than a firearm in November 2009. He spent 47 days in jail, was fined $530 and sentenced to three years of probation, according to Humboldt County court records.

That 530 bucks just makes us feel grateful all over!

So thanks, Paul!! And keep up the fine work.

Campaign photos we were never intended to see–Part I

Ruh-roh. Not sure how these damning campaign photos ended up in our in-box, but bygones, right? Let’s enjoy!

Here’s today’s offering:

"Fuck-in-ay! Look at all these papers I plagiarized!"

EPD forced to clean up another Gallegos mess

If you think the District Attorney’s race doesn’t matter, consider the following from Saturday’s Times-Standard regarding the Eureka man who was shot and killed Thursday by the Eureka Police Department:

This isn’t the first time [David] Sequoia has been in the public eye for a firearm-related incident. He was acquitted by a Humboldt County jury in October 2008 of a murder charge, stemming from the 2003 shooting death of Rex Shinn. Standing trial under the name of Barger, Sequoia was accused of shooting Shinn twice in the head and once in the neck with a .357 revolver at point blank range on the premises of a Southern Humboldt marijuana growing operation.

The jury acquitted Sequoia of a charge of first-degree murder, but hung on the lesser included offense of second-degree murder. In November 2008, Humboldt County Deputy District Attorney Max Cardoza announced that he had decided not to re-try Sequoia on the second-degree murder charge, saying jurors in the case told him that they were concerned about credibility issues with some of the prosecution’s key witnesses, many of whom had felony criminal records and were granted immunity in exchange for their testimony in the case.

According to court records, Sequoia also faced two other attempted murder charges and two allegations of felony assault in relation to a 2004 incident in which an alleged attempt to trade firearms for drugs went awry. One of the attempted murder charges was thrown out due to insufficient evidence in 2006, and it’s unclear what came of the other charges. A call placed to the prosecutor handling the case was not immediately returned by the Times-Standard’s deadline.

Sequoia was charged with one violent felony after another–including murder and attempted murder–and Gallegos gave us an acquittal, a hung jury, a thrown out charge and several more no one can even find while this guy runs through Eureka shooting at people in the middle of the day.

Sources inside the DA’s Office say Gags is filing every case he can get his hands on right now in an attempt to run his numbers up and make it look like he’s been doing something for the past 7 and a half years.

He’s been doing something all right.

Behold: This is it.

See? No conflict. Yay.

After banking $10 grand from So Cal developer Sanford Edward, Coastal Commission Chair Bonnie Neely will undoubtedly take a penetrating look at this new complaint against him.

New beach hours at Dana Point development alarm users

Critics say the 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. limit for coastal access at the 121-acre gated community in Orange County chips away at concessions for public use made by the developer.

By Tony Barboza

After a decades-long struggle to win approval for a 121-acre gated community of 118 homes and a resort on a commanding bluff in Dana Point, developers made extraordinary concessions for public access, including four access points and an inclined railway called a “funicular” that shuttles visitors to a secluded beach known as the Strand.

But now that the bluff-top lots, marketed as the “last undeveloped oceanfront property” in Southern California, have started to sell for as much as $12 million, locked metal gates have gone up and signs posting hours have appeared at the top of the stairways: “Coastal Access (Limited to Sidewalk) 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.,” the signs read.

Champions of beach access, including the conservationists and surfers who opposed the project for years, have cried foul, saying the barriers bar them admission to one of Orange County’s great beaches and surf spots if they come at the wrong time.

“They made this grand balancing act to justify this project, and now they’re chipping away at the public benefits,” said Chad Nelsen, environmental director of the Surf- rider Foundation.

The California Coastal Commission is investigating the gates and hours of operation to determine whether they violate the development permit or state law, which requires the maximization of hours of use for public beach access and recreation. Late last year the agency wrote to express its concerns to Dana Point, which manages the stairways.

Sanford Edward, president of Headlands Reserve, the developer, declined to discuss the posted hours. “I’m unavailable,” he said before hanging up.

“Mostly it has to do with privacy after-hours,” said Carol Finizza, a spokeswoman for the company, who cited concerns about visitors wandering off the pathway in the darkness of the early morning and evening.

The debut of the long-awaited pathways to the Strand highlights the difficulties in balancing public beach access with the expectation of privacy in a gated community where the wealthy drop millions for a an ocean-wave view.

“It pits private property ownership up against the right to get to that wet sand that is in our Constitution,” said Fran Gibson, board president of Coastwalk California, a nonprofit coastal protection and access group that says the posted hours require permission from the state. “Nowhere on the coast of California can you limit the hours just willy-nilly.”

City officials say the development agreement gives Dana Point the right to set hours, mostly to guarantee public safety.

“You obviously don’t want people walking in the dark along the trail,” said City Manager Douglas Chotkevys.

Chotkevys called the development a scaled-back compromise that provides an unheard-of amount of public amenities, including new trails, open space and a panoramic overlook with lush greenery called Strand Vista Park, where view-blocking hedges and a trailer park used to sit, all while giving the developer a chance for a “substantial” return on its investment.

“You had a private beach with no access, and now you have five ways of getting there,” he said. “It’s a gated community, and you can walk through it.”

The Coastal Commission approved the project in 2004, but only after a decades-long legal, legislative and environmental battle.

At the time, conservationists, including the Sierra Club and Surfrider, decried it as a “catastrophic” loss of a treasured coastal promontory.

With those battles in the past, surfers now marvel at the ease with which they can get to the beach by descending long stairways.

But they are frustrated, Nelsen said, that they are being barred from using them for early morning forays into the waves or sunset surfing, although the closing time will be extended to 7 p.m. in the summer.

For comparison, another staircase just down the coast of Strand Beach, operated by Orange County’s parks agency, is closed from midnight to 5 a.m.

But those long-standing limitations haven’t generated the outcry of those at the pathways through the new development.

Nelsen, for instance, reported that security guards riding golf carts have harassed and tried to ward off surfers as they walk down to the beach.

A spokeswoman for the developer, however, said reports of rousting are false.

With the down economy, populating the oceanfront lots with custom-built homes has been slow-going; only a few houses have been built, and 85 lots have yet to be sold.

Eventually, the largest, most secluded parcel is expected to go for $17 million, which has some conservationists seeing a different reason for the barriers to access: elitism.

“We see this up and down the coast,” said Gibson, the Coastwalk California president.

“That when there’s a gated, private community given to expensive, large homes, there’s this sense of ‘this beach is mine,’ ” Gibson said.

Where is that wascally wabbit?

Several of our SoHum friends were quick to notice that Planning Commissioner Ralph Faust, the Bayside resident who is so vocal in his opposition to people living in rural areas like Bayside, ditched out on the big planning commission shindig down in Garberville on Thursday.

First he said he would carpool with other commissioners, then the story was that he would drive down himself, but in the end he didn’t show at all. What’s up with that?

Consider the answer to that question just one more gem from the You Can’t Make This Shit Up department.

So shortly after the board of supervisors meeting Tuesday, Faust approached county counsel to report that there had been a threat against his life. He believed he was in real danger, he said, he was afraid–and to be perfectly honest he would not feel safe going forward with the planning commission meeting in Garberville.

But what’s this he’s talking about? A death threat? Against a public official?? Holy crap!! This thing has freaky right-wing militia written all over it, does it not?

And Faust wasn’t just making this shit up. He had proof!! As evidence of the plot against him, he produced the doctored photograph and caption below which had appeared in this blog one day earlier.

Ah, now here's a classic scene from "The Christmas Story." Is it wrong of us to hope this Ralphie shoots his eye out?

How could you argue with that? We’ll be goddamned if that’s not him in that terrifying pink bunny suit. And that’s some scary-ass shit.

But Ralph–if we may–what with you being a lawyer and all, we’re assuming you can scrape up enough legal know-how to recognize that our repetition of a punchline from a clearly sourced Christmas movie does not by any standard constitute a threat, yes?

Besides, friend. If we were you, we’d worry less about the danger posed by a child’s Red Ryder carbine-action, 200-shot Range Model air rifle with a compass in the stock and a thing that tells time and quite a bit more about stepping on your own dick with laughably stupid shit like this.

Sure, Garberville didn’t miss anything by not having your genius in the room. But the thought of you playing this photo like a pair of aces just to get out of going down there–well frankly, that just tickles us pink.

Good grief

Ah, the privileges of elected office. You can return phone calls if you feel like it, attend meetings if you want—and “work from home” for weeks at a time.

Supervisor Bonnie Neely hasn’t spent a day in her office since Roger Rodoni’s untimely death almost two weeks ago. When asked for an explanation—not that she’s required to provide one—the Bon Bon volunteered that she was too grief-stricken by Roger’s passing to maintain regular office hours.

So sensitive of her! We’re touched. Of course, this suggests she’s taking her fellow supervisor’s death quite a bit harder than people who actually liked Roger, all of whom have long since resumed their normal daily activities.

But grief causes people to do strange things. Just ask Kirk Girard.

It would be fascinating to hear what role Roger’s death might have played in the Disservices Director’s decision to withdraw an offer on a San Francisco-area residence less than 24 hours after Roger died.

Was there a dramatic shift in market conditions? A significant change in interest rates? Well, no. It was probably just the sadness talking. Kirk and Roger were always so close.

Gallegos issues ruling on cause of Christ’s death

Just in time for the Easter holidays, Humboldt County District Attorney Paul Gallegos announced Friday his long-awaited decision to file a string of charges against the Golgotha police officers accused of killing Jesus Christ more than 2,000 years ago today.

Christ, 33, a former carpenter and resident of Galilee, was beaten, paraded through town and hanged from a cross after claiming to be God.

“This truly is a Good Friday,” Gallegos said in a written statement. “It’s a day for closure, for healing, and for reminding the men and women in law enforcement that there is nothing I won’t do to get revenge for their sweeping endorsement of Worth Dikeman in the last election.”

The charges against the officers have been sealed by court order, but Gallegos said he hopes to proceed to arraignment the next time he does something dumb and needs to divert attention away from his abysmal job performance and plummeting poll numbers.

“Could be any minute,” he said.

When asked why it took so long for him to make a charging decision, Gallegos cited an incomplete autopsy report, a missing body, all the half-days he’s been working while coaching his daughter’s soccer team and the seven full weeks of vacation he’s taken already this year.

“Also,” he said, “I had to wait while my final report on the case was run through that term paper website all the school teachers use now so we could be sure I hadn’t plagiarized anything important.”

The DA said he became interested in the cold case while watching a “Forensic Files” rerun on late-night TV.

In other law enforcement news, the California Department of Justice issued a statistical report showing that crime and stupidity have both risen sharply during Gallegos’ tenure, while convictions and accountability have declined.

Gallegos said he would respond to the report as soon as Ken Miller came up with something intelligent for him to say.

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