Rodoni memorial at 2 p.m. Wednesday

This promises to be the can’t-miss event of the year. It should have a little of everything—sincerity, hypocrisy, grief and the practiced appearance thereof. Roger would have laughed his ass off.

Join what will undoubtedly be a large crowd of well-wishers and political grand-standers 2 p.m. Wednesday at Belotti Hall at the Humboldt County Fairgrounds in Ferndale.

Both bugs will be in attendance. Look for the two rubes at the back of the room sending Roger off in a style we think he’d appreciate—with respect, remembrance and a back-pocket bottle of Jack Daniels.

Rodoni, retold

In the days and weeks to come, those of us who knew Roger Rodoni personally—and it seemed impossible to know him any other way—will partake in one of the activities he loved best: storytelling.

Almost everyone has a story about Roger, although few people can tell a story the way he could. Many of his tales were improbable accounts involving horses, drinking or guns. And when he managed to combine all three, as he often did, listeners were in for a treat.

It is no secret that we at the Humboldt Mirror loved Roger. We didn’t always agree with him—he the old school Libertarian, we the new age Democrats—and some of the things that popped out of his mouth made us laugh or cringe or both.

But you can imagine that we were delighted to learn, shortly before his death, that our affection for him was reciprocal.

We heard from several people that he read the blog religiously and spent long hours trying to figure out who the rascally bugs might be, and how they got their information.

The answer to both questions, he announced one day, was contained in our names.

“Mirrors,” he said. “And bugs. Get it?”

He gestured around the office and lowered his voice to a whisper.

“They’re in here. With us.”

Sometimes, for effect, he would pretend to examine the underside of his desk for listening devices before discussing particularly sensitive county matters.

It is not known whether his espionage theory was improved any before he died—nor will we ever know if he intended to follow through on his stated intent to make Humboldt Mirror lapel pins to wear to Board of Supervisors meetings.

That would’ve made for a good story, and we would love to have heard Roger tell it.

We’ll leave this thread open for any Rodoni stories you may have. Bonus points accrue for every horse, gun and bottle of whiskey you throw into the mix.

Roger Rodoni killed in car crash–with updates

Second District Supervisor Roger Rodoni was killed Thursday afternoon in a vehicle collision just north of Rio Dell.

According to witnesses at the scene, Roger was driving north on Highway 101, on his way to a fundraiser at the Veterans Hall in Fortuna, when a southbound vehicle crossed over the center divider and struck Roger’s truck head-on.

The Times-Standard identified the wrong-way driver as 58-year-old Miranda resident Diane Johnson, who sustained minor injuries in the crash.

Roger was traveling alone, but his wife, Johanna, was following him in a second vehicle and is believed to have witnessed the accident. She was reportedly talking to him by cell phone when the collision occurred.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Roger’s body was taken to Eureka, with Johanna following in a Sheriff’s Office vehicle.

Within hours of the accident, Second District challengers Estelle Fennell and Clif Clendenen both announced a temporary suspension of campaign activities.

In a note posted on her website, Estelle called Roger’s death “a great tragedy for us all.”

The Times-Standard has stories here and here. The Eureka Reporter story is here.

Updates: The Eureka Reporter added late Friday morning that Johanna was not following Roger but was actually driving the other direction to their home so she could change clothes before the fundraiser in Fortuna.

Humboldt County Coroner Frank Jager said Roger died from blunt-force head injuries sustained when his truck overturned and ran off an embankment on the east side of the highway.

Another witness to the accident told the Humboldt Mirror that Roger’s truck was struck from the side, not the front, causing it to flip and roll off the highway.

Congressman Mike Thompson headed up what will undoubtedly be a long line of elected officials to weigh in on Roger’s importance to the county. His brief statement is posted here.

Gallegos lawsuit supremely hosed by California’s highest court

Humboldt County District Attorney Paul Gallegos extended an already impressive losing streak of appellate decisions in his lawsuit against the Pacific Lumber Company when the California Supreme Court denied on Wednesday his fourth—and final—appeal of the case.

“I know a lot of people out there are saying I’m a choad and a fucktard for losing this case yet again, but I don’t see it that way at all,” Gallegos said. “I actually think I broke important new ground by proving over and over again what a sound legal argument is not.”

The district attorney said he remains hopeful that important legislative changes will result from the suit.

“What I need are some laws that allow me to successfully sue people simply because I feel like it. I mean, you’ve seen how I operate in criminal court, right? Like that, only with bullshit lawsuits instead of bullshit criminal charges.”

But Gallegos acknowledged that he had exhausted all legal remedies, and his prospects at this point were limited.

“Clearly the only appeal I have left is my sex appeal, which has receded in recent years along with my hairline.”

When contacted for a response, Palco attorney Frank Bacik stopped laughing long enough to say he was “pleased the case is resolved.”

County basically bored shitless today

Dreary weather, a lackluster Board of Supervisors meeting, and the absence of a noteworthy encore to yesterday’s earthquakes have left North Coast residents feeling a little blah today.

“I couldn’t really give one solid crap about much of anything going on right now,” said one Eureka resident, who lost interest in the interview and wandered away before providing his name.

At the weekly board meeting this morning, the supes passed some lame resolution about the Mad River bluffs, while Third District stealth candidate Paul Pitino napped quietly in the back of the room.

Even local bloggers seemed unable to rouse themselves. The North Coast Blogthing complained about meat, the Humboldt Herald groused about ads, and Fred (the undisputed king of Humboldt blogdom!) announced he wasn’t going to work.

National media fared little better.

NBC reported that a team of synchronized swimmers passed out together in a synchronized fashion, while CNN predicted that Mother’s Day spending this year would decline by an average of 51 cents.


Is the ACLU one toke over the line?

Break out those crappy Phish albums, friends. It’s time to celebrate Humboldt County’s highest holiday, the 4/20 homage to peace, love and unemployed smelly people.

The Humboldt hajj is now officially under way—but it looks like the local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union might’ve been sneaking pipe hits a little ahead of schedule.

The Redwood ACLU issued a bizarre press release Saturday accusing the Arcata Police Department of a “pre-emptive declaration of war” against “peaceful protesters” who typically gather each year at Redwood Park to blaze a nug or two of the county’s most famous agricultural product.

The story goes that the APD, led by Tom Chapman, is allegedly planning vehicle barricades around Redwood Park to block public access to the park today—“even though no permits have been filed to require such an action,” the press release stated.

Give us a moment here—thankfully we’re not lawyers or cops—but it seems to us novices that if permits had been filed, if the city had granted thousands of ganja groupies permission to assemble at the park, only then would action by the APD violate First Amendment rights of assembly. But by the ACLU’s own account, no such permits exist.

So what exactly is the constitutional right our “local civil rights leaders” are trying to protect? And how is an annual spliff-smoking festival a “protest”?

We don’t doubt that 4/20 revelers are largely harmless individuals who get a laugh or two each year out of thumbing their nose at the man, and patting themselves on the back for their meaningful and inspiring counter-cultural lifestyles.

But the fact remains that people are gathering by the shit-ton today for the purpose of becoming inebriated. What if a couple thousand people got together in an unregulated public setting for the sole purpose of getting drunk instead?

The ACLU’s hysterics notwithstanding, we would expect police to take seriously the obvious health and safety challenges such an event would present.

Humboldt Mirror reader complains about un-peed pants

The Humboldt Mirror, the county’s premier satirical blog, has not been all that funny lately, and both of its readers are demanding to know why.

“I log on every morning hoping to read something that’s going to cause spontaneous urinary leakage, like before,” said longtime Mirror-reader Dennis Mayo. “But all there ever is anymore is some shit about Blue Lake and other parts of the county the rest of us wrote off decades ago.”

Mayo’s criticism echoed that of Humboldt County Community Development Disservices Director Kirk Girard, whose obsessive vanity-Googling accounts for almost 50 percent of the blog’s estimated 2,500 hits per day.

“They’re just not relevant anymore,” Girard said of the lovable blue Humbug, his unnamed sidekick and their sprawling corporate infrastructure, which includes a bungling Information Technology Department and spliff-smoking, ne’er-do-well Graphics Department.

“I mean, fuck,” Girard said. “They haven’t mentioned me once in almost a month. Now my staff spends all day laughing at me directly instead of laughing at them laughing at me.”

The problem is so bad, Girard alleged, that most of his staff have gone back to surfing porn sites all day.

Contacted by phone late Thursday, the bugs were, as usual, drunk and playing with themselves Catch-a-Poo.

When informed of the reader complaints, the Humbug apologized for what he called “unacceptable quality control deficiencies,” and said a team of top-flight consultants would be brought in “to increase efficiencies and restore public incontinence.”

“I’m not making any excuses here, but you have to try to understand what it was like for us to go almost overnight from being anonymous fuck-wits to full-blown blog-stars,” the Humbug said, “and I do mean blown. We walk down the road, and women pretty much throw ass at us. We get comped at Avalon. Rob Arkley’s got us on speed-dial. I guess it just kind of went to our heads.”

The Humbug added that if the blog didn’t get funnier within the next two weeks, he would “personally piss the pants of every resident in the county. That’s my promise to you.”

Anyone else with complaints about the Mirror is encouraged to contact the bugs at Complainants may remain anonymous.