Many thanks from Ken Miller

Dear Miss Manners,

Earlier this month, a group of local politicians voted to expend a significant amount of public funds to save my million-dollar home, which as I write remains neatly perched on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean and will likely not, thanks to their efforts, slide into the same.

On Tuesday they will authorize sending a letter of appreciation to the lead agency involved in shoring up the bluff, and it occurred to me that I had not yet thanked the politicians themselves for rushing to assist my neighbors and me in our hour of need.

I should note, however, that these same politicians—rural county supervisors, all of them, really the worst kind of petty bureaucrats—are refusing to support my vision on a variety of other important matters.

In fact, despite my clear opposition, they have proposed making a major highway navigable, and have done nothing to halt improvements that would reduce the number of persons who die on another section of the same road.

As if this weren’t enough, they have on an ongoing basis provided for the filling of potholes in this and other roads, an activity which surely hastens the end of time.

So I write to you in need of a particular kind of thank-you note, one that strikes just the right balance between gratitude and contempt.

The note should reflect my propensity for misrepresentation of basic facts and my own peculiar brand of pseudo-scientific bullshit. It should be divisive, uninformed, apocalyptic and—if I don’t stop myself in time—just plain laugh-out-loud moronic.

Further, it should incorporate words like “boondoggle” and “blunderbuss,” although I clearly don’t know the meaning of either. Hell, I don’t even know what “widening” means, but I sure do want people to think it’s happening all over the place and that we could all fucking die from it.

Your advice would be greatly appreciated, although not nearly enough for me to thank or even acknowledge you, and in fact I will probably behave like a petulant buffoon toward you forever, no matter how much of my expensive real estate you save or sound advice you provide.

So just fuck you and then some,
With thanks,
McKinleyville Mock Doc

Hail to the Chief(er)!!

That’s right, folks. Just a little Humboldt shout-out to the first Commander in Chief who admitted he inhaled–and liked it.  Welcome, President Barack Obama.

(We totally voted for you!!)

(Even though everyone thinks we’re Republicans.)

(Which we’re not!)

Meet Kirk Stewart, Prop. 215 poster boy

Pot grower sues for ‘lost profit’

A Gasquet man currently facing marijuana-sales charges has sued the Del Norte County Sheriff’s Office for “lost profit” after his marijuana plants were destroyed prior to the dismissal of a previous marijuana-sales case.

Kirk David Stewart, 45, filed the suit Jan. 2, claiming the Sheriff’s Office should have returned 93 confiscated plants to Stewart — or at least the cash amount that could have been made by harvesting them.

The suit states that “Mr. Stewart is requesting the fair market value” of the 93 marijuana plants that were destroyed.

“If there is any truth to the true market value of the marijuana the (Drug) Task Force say they are taking off the streets, then Mr. Stewart’s plants are worth upwards of several hundred thousand dollars,” said Jon Alexander, Stewart’s attorney.
Stewart was arrested in January 2007 after a search warrant was served on a Crescent City residence on Union Street that he owned.

Authorities confiscated 93 plants along with numerous items used to grow marijuana, including grow lights, exhaust fans, ballasts and pots.

The suit alleges that Alexander sent a request to the Sheriff’s Office in August 2007 asking for the return of the plants confiscated from Stewart.

In April 2008, the charges against Stewart were dismissed by the DA’s office because Stewart was found to be in compliance with the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 (Proposition 215), according to the suit.

“He brought these certificates saying there were 10 people he was in care for,” said District Attorney Mike Riese.

Alexander said Stewart’s case should not have taken as long as it did to be dismissed.

“His case did not need to languish for an entire year — allowing his marijuana to rot,” the lawyer said.

In May 2008, the growing equipment had been returned to Stewart at the Sheriff’s Office, but the plants were not, the suit states.

A copy of the evidence release form included in the lawsuit states, “unable to release MJ plants — they were destroyed.”

Riese suggested another reason why the Sheriff’s Office doesn’t ever give back confiscated drugs after a case is dismissed.

“The feds don’t recognize Prop. 215,” he said. “Under federal law, marijuana is an illegal substance.”

The DA said the Sheriff’s Office abides by federal laws and if it gave drugs back to someone who was exonerated, the office could be under federal suspicion for drug trafficking.

“If they do something with it — it’s part of a distribution chain,” said Riese.

Stewart now faces several new marijuana-sales charges.

He is charged in Del Norte County with planting and cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale, selling in lieu of a controlled substance (trading in drugs) and being a felon in possession of a firearm, said  Riese.

Stewart was arrested at his trailer in Gasquet last April 17 with Fred Kenneth Otremba, 48, of Crescent City, after the federal Drug Enforcement Agency served a search warrant at the trailer with the help of the Sheriff’s Office.

Otremba is currently facing a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

The Sheriff’s Office said Otremba and Stewart were trimming marijuana when authorities arrived.

The DEA confiscated 100 pounds of processed marijuana, 22 firearms and 84 plants, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Riese said that because the two men were in Del Norte County when they were arrested, he filed local charges against them — so he wouldn’t have to wait for federal charges to be filed.

Riese said the men have appeared in court and the case will most likely go to trial.

Stewart has already voiced the defense of being a Prop. 215 caregiver just like he did in 2007, Riese said.

“It’s the same thing, he’s saying they are compassionate caregivers —they gave a certificate saying ‘these are the people we care for,’” said Riese.

“So I said, ‘prove it,’” he said, adding that in 2007 Stewart wasn’t required to prove he had been the caretaker of his “clients.”

Riese said Stewart provided him with nearly a dozen of the Prop 215 certificates for the new case.

Alexander has since filed a motion to suppress the warrant that led to the DEA confiscation of the processed marijuana, plants and firearms.

Stewart was already convicted around a decade ago in Del Norte County for marijuana sales, said Riese.

Riese said Stewart was sentenced  to 180 days in jail and felony probation after he was found guilty of being in possession of a 10-pound bag of pot for sale.

The DA did not think the Prop. 215 compliance defense will work because of the 100 pounds of pot that were found in the new case.

“It’s just not going to fly this time,” said Riese.

Sheriff Dean Wilson said that he felt the suit misrepresented Prop. 215.

“The law, the way that it states it, is ‘if I’m growing marijuana for medicinal purposes — I’m not allowed to make a profit from it,’” said Wilson.

“So how could he ask for the profit from the plants?” he said about Stewart and Alexander’s suit.

The sheriff said if Prop. 215 medicinal use is granted, the “personal use” pot is not to be sold or bartered with.

Wilson said that makes the suit’s claim for “lost profit” a moot point.

“If you’re not doing a commercial operation, then what is the profit of a plant that you can’t legally sell?” he asked.

Alexander called Wilson’s interpretation of Prop. 215 “simply not true.”

The attorney said, “I would like to see Sheriff Wilson’s socialist view of medicine extended to the country’s pharmaceutical companies.”

Fat Guy on 44??

While we hope His Fatness is not literally on the 44th president of theses United States, as that might qualify as an assassination attempt, word around town is that one oversized half of our very own Fat Guys has scored an invite to the hottest event in U.S. history.

Sources say James Faulk, Times-Standard assistant editor, father of three, and all-around bon vivant is the proud recipient of a ticket to Barack Obama’s inauguration. How awesome!! Move over, Mr. Chips Goes to Washington. This is Mr. Chips and Dip with a Bucket of Chicken and a Case of Pork Rinds Thrown In for Good Measure.

But James–a word of advice, from us, because we like you: Hold off on that inaugural funnel cake, and maybe show some restraint around the PBR booth. Turns out that you and your 239,999 fellow invitees will have exactly zero toilets available to you during the ceremony. Fortunately, the 3 million or so also-rans who crowd the cheap seats in the back will be able to share one porta-pooer for every 600 attendees.

Don’t know about you, but we think those odds are crap.

Oh, and by the way: From whom did the Fat Guy get his invite?

That, friends, is a secret.