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.

Blue Lake’s entire police force now on paid administrative leave

In yet another sign of the managerial buffoonery for which the city of Blue Lake is now widely known, the city’s two remaining police officers have been placed on administrative leave by City Mismanager Wiley Buck, just days after they signed a letter of no confidence in Buck’s disastrous administration.

But wait, Buck told the Times-Standard. The timing of the events is completely coincidental! Really!!

“Don’t tie those together,” he said. “They are two separate issues that are unfortunately happening at the same time.”

Mayor Sherman Schapiro, using a curious turn of phrase, backed up Buck’s assertion.

The officers were sidelined due to liability issues, Schapiro said, because the city doesn’t “have anyone in charge who is intimate with police work.”

It may be worth noting that the city has been without its famously intimate police chief for nine weeks now, but Buck didn’t force the two officers to step down until five days after they announced they would submit the no-confidence letter.

Still, as one observer noted in a previous thread, this fluke correlation of events is among the least of Blue Lake residents’ concerns.

Much higher on the list is the fact that residents are now paying four police officers full time for exactly no policing.

We feel safe just thinking about it!!

This just in: Roger Rodoni corn-holed everything

A press release issued by the Estelle Fennell campaign holds Roger Rodoni personally responsible for the decline of the timber industry in Humboldt County.

And the evidence she cites in support of this? Much of the job loss occurred in Rodoni’s Second District, where most of the timber jobs were to begin with.

Brilliant!! We love it!

Good thing the Ferndale earthquake struck before Rodoni took office, and better still that there haven’t been any deadly meteor showers or elephant stampedes on his watch, or we’d have to blame him for those as well.

Fennell’s breathless announcement made no mention of the industry’s precipitous decline throughout the Pacific Northwest, due in large part to harvest restrictions on public land and the expense associated with dramatically stepped-up environmental protections on private land.

Rodoni filled in some of the logic-gaps for her, and added that Fennell’s remarks betrayed “a gross lack of understanding of basic economic conditions.”

But Fennell insists that she is in fact a remarkably knowledgeable candidate.

She states on her website that the years she spent as a radio news reporter have given her “a true understanding of almost every aspect of what it means to live and work in the 2nd district.”

That’s kind of like saying the pimply faced kid who mans the drive-thru window at McDonald’s has a firm grasp of the problem of world hunger. Maybe he does, maybe he doesn’t, but we’d want to see what else he has listed on the ol’ curricula vitae before putting him in charge of UNICEF.

Still, on one subject at least, Fennell’s expertise is unassailable.

“I know how critical the need for good paying jobs is,” Fennell stated in the news release.

And you can take that statement to the bank.

After working two decades as a low-wage news hack for a backwater radio station, Fennell is hoping Second District voters will hand her
the very first
good paying job
of her entire life.

All the not-so-pretty horses

Let’s hope Paul Gallegos has Mandrake the Magician on speed-dial, because our illustrious District Attorney went and did some more dumb shit he’s gonna want everyone to forget about by election time.

So remember while you still can the 39 horses seized Aprl 1 from a Myers Flat farm. The ones standing on deformed and infected hooves in crowded pens, knee-deep in feces, matted, filthy, crawling with lice and—oh yeah, starving.

Those horses.

Steve Knight, the sheriff’s lieutenant who runs the county’s animal shelter, requested numerous felony charges against their owner, 68-year-old Elsie Smith.

But sources at the county tell the Humboldt Mirror that the DA, in his unfettered authority and infinite wisdom, elected to file only two misdemeanor charges against Smith.

Not two charges for each horse. Two charges total—one for neglecting all of the horses, the second for hiding a fortieth horse during the seizure.

It’s silly to think throwing some little old lady in the slammy for hoarding horses would provide any kind of positive outcome to this case. But had Gallegos gotten even one felony conviction, he could have suspended the sentence, placed Smith on probation, and prevented her from owning horses again for several years.

Instead, the 10 horses Smith has thus far elected not to sign over to the county may quite likely be returned to a woman with an at least 10-year history of animal neglect.

Donations to offset the expense of caring for the horses can be sent to Heart of the Redwoods Horse Rescue at P.O. Box 226 in Cutten, 95534.

We bugs have dug into the couch cushions and even the beer fund to send a few bucks to this worthy organization. But we’d be willing to dig deeper, much deeper, to support an equally worthy candidate willing to run against Bozo the DA in 2010.

Any takers?

Blue Lake City Council shows some sack

But just a little, really. Next to none, now that we think about it.

Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen will get the boot—but not until May 5.

What the fuck?

Whether he raped anyone or not is, at this point, almost irrelevant to his employment status. So many other confirmed improprieties have surfaced during the course of the rape investigation that he could never again have the confidence of the public.

Our tax dollars are already providing his room and board, his safety, his medical care, his prosecution and even his attractive orange jumpsuit. So why do we need to continue paying him for another three weeks?

Related posts:

-At this point, we would definitely consider a name change
-Police chief pleads not guilty to spousal rape, requests Valentine’s Day conjugal with wife
-Police chief denies spousal rape accusation, says two were never married

The Church of … CRUST? With Update (and link to not entirely reassuring MySpace page)

Really? How totally … awesome!!

The Times-Standard reported yesterday that little Bridgeville, sad Bridgeville, the tiny town everyone wants to buy but no one wants to own, has a possible new buyer called the Church of Creative Reinvention Uniting Spirituality and Technology.

According to the news report, “The church lists among its goals a ‘showcase of integrated platforms for sustainable living,’ a vision the church thinks can help solve the problems of those in the Sudan region of Africa, and one that is closely aligned with the Bridgeville community’s ideals.”

Unfortunately, the Church of CRUST is having a hard time uniting a $1.3 million real estate transaction with a down-payment—so it’s accepting donations to offset the costs.

The family of the 25-year-old most recent former owner who offed himself shortly after buying the place is said to favor the deal, but they’re still holding out for the cash, or a much better batch of grape Kool-Aid.

Think of the possibilities!! If these guys come to town, we could have battle of the cross-county cults! Finally someone could give those freaks at the Adidam Revelation on Patrick’s Point Drive in Trinidad a flipping run for their money.

What’s not to love??!

UPDATE: Church of CRUST leader Robert Morse himself stopped by the humble Mirror to share his thoughts with both of our readers. Meet your new neighbors here. Enjoy!!

Robert A. Morse said:
April 8, 2008 at 9:54 pm e

Hello everyone!! so I know it does sound nutty, my friends and family secretly think its nutty as well im sure lol…
Let me introduce myself, my name is Robert A. Morse. I am the guy at the head of this organization which is allegedly “nuts” really… As we are no different than you, we, are merely sick and tired of being tired and well..sick..! as i have stated in other blogs; (
We are neither polygamists, scientologists, nor do we wish to deal in the much prolific “drug trade”..
Truely I do understand the concerns of the local community.. growing up myself in a small closely knit community, with a graduating class of 63, i do understand… as a senior our football team took nor-cal AAA championships…(ok here’s a little quid pro-quo.. class of ‘91*), that experience taught me that i could in fact HELP change the world…
A 10+year veteran of the Bay Area music scene I now value having the opportunity to see life from its many alternate perspectives.
Bridgeville is beautiful.. much like the town i grew up in a river runs through it… growing up a family of campers, hunters and fishermen, Somehow there in that beautiful little town, the simplicity of life was brilliantly renewed. As i stood on Sky’s back “look-out” porch(a bridgeville resident we had the pleasure of meeting during our last visit to Bridgeville..Hi Sky!!)..I knew I wanted to live there..
Our motivation… to prove, by improving the lives within Bridgeville and it’s surrounding community, that lives world wide can be improved as well…
Thank you all for posting your comments.. We look forward to the opportunity to meet and hear all of your concerns, hopes and dreams!!


Robert A. Morse
Church of Crust

Oh sweet. Now’s our chance.

For those of us who have waited decades for the opportunity to pry firearms from the cold, dead hands of longtime National Rifle Association front-man Charlton Heston, it looks like our time has come.

Heston died last night at the age of 84 with his wife Lydia, and his massive gun collection, by his side.

What’s this in our mailbox? (Part II)

We haven’t been this flummoxed by anything the mailman brought since that time a few years back when a six-digit federal tax refund check was mistakenly delivered to our address. (Don’t be silly, friends. Of course we opened it! Then, with considerable reluctance, we returned it to the IRS.)

But yesterday’s mailbox moment was altogether different. We and pretty much everyone else in the county received a six-panel glossy brochure, from which we learned that Humboldt County’s prosperous future is all but guaranteed, because—wait for it—our very own Mark Lovelace is very much on the job.

His Community Forestry Team, a group that has left no record of its existence except as a front-organization for a single land-acquisition scheme, promises “community stability for Humboldt County’s future by providing a permanent balance of timber jobs and environmental protection.”

And how does it intend to achieve this?

Oh. Well. There we go with the questions.

The truth is, we don’t actually know, because the brochure, entitled “Humboldt’s Future HANGS IN THE BALANCE,” is surprisingly lacking in the specifics department.

The Community Forestry Team is itself part of a larger ad hoc organization called The Great Redwood Forest, which also left no trace of existence prior to Tuesday when its website domain name was registered.

So what is The Great Redwood Forest?

The brochure tells us it is “a vision of conservation organizations, timberland and mill owners, forest industry workers and local Humboldt County residents.”

And what are its plans?

We return to the brochure for the answer to that important question. “The Great Redwood Forest is a vision of permanent protection that will provide timber jobs for current and future generations, as well as a community ownership stake to promote sustainable forest management.”

And how does it intend to do that? What are its funding sources? How much money does it have? Does it propose to buy Palco’s timberlands at auction? If so, what happens to the mill? What is its business model? Where is its business plan? How much timber will it harvest each year? How many timber and mill workers will it employ? Which of the reorganization plans under consideration does it back? Would it operate as a nonprofit? If so, what happens to the average $1.5 million Humboldt County receives each year in property taxes from Palco?

In response to these questions we are referred again to “The Great Redwood Forest vision” and a website equally lacking in concrete detail. In fact, attorneys for the Nature Conservancy successfully fought to block release of that information on the same day its website, ostensibly created to answer such questions, was registered.

But the brochure was printed with the blessings of the Graphic Communications International Union on Forest Stewardship Council-certified card stock using genuine soy ink, so it’s all good.

The future of one of Humboldt County’s most important resources does indeed HANG IN THE BALANCE, but what we are offered by the Lovelace consortium are visions and soy ink, courtesy of an organization that has existed for four days.

Not to piss on anyone’s parade or anything, but these are worth less to us than a $324,655 tax refund check made payable to some rich dude in San Jose.

War of words continues in electoral haiku contest

Second and Third District candidates for the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors showed off their verbal wizardry Thursday at a competitive poetry jam attended by hundreds of potential voters.

But the event, sponsored by the League of Women Poets, wasn’t all fun and games.

The poetry jam raised almost a dollar for the Perpetual Campaign to Continuously Re-elect Bonnie Neely, which was apparently in need of both an envelope and a stamp so that the six-term supervisor could at long last respond to Third District candidate Bryan Plumley’s request for a meeting.

But it was another Third District candidate, Paul Pitino, who walked off with the event’s grand prize for this piece:

“No contributions
And no campaign endorsements
Maybe not so smart”

League President Marsha McBusybody called all of the haiku “powerful,” but said Pitino’s was especially moving.

“Like all great art, Paul’s work was transcendent,” McBusybody said. “In a very few words, we were made to understand the smallness of man, the vastness of his ambition and the vividly distinct possibility that Paul Pitino will mow lawns for a living until the day he dies.”

The other electoral haiku are listed below in alphabetical order by the candidate’s last name.

I love Indians
Local Solutions bought me
Blue Lake paid the bill

-Clif Clendenen, Second District


Unemployed DJ
Seventy thousand a year
Buys a lot of weed

-Estelle Fennell, Second District


Need a real job
Plan B is running Palco
I’d suck at that too

-Mark Lovelace, Third District


What sets me apart?
A Democrat with a job
Rare in Arcata

-Bryan Plumley, Third District


Hey you two-bit whores
Want to talk about apples?
Mine are fucking huge

-Roger Rodoni, Second District