North Coast Journal Weekly link to homepageIn the News

April 24, 2003

Eco-terrorism in Humboldt? PL ads spark controversy

No buyers for Bridgeville, Carlotta

Embedded in Iraq: Bay Area reporter saw the war first-hand

Dave Meserve hits prime time

SPI to pay state $800,000

Boutique hospital shelved

End of an era?

Raising awareness

A biased judge?

Of privacy and paperwork

Stoen wins

Loudon in big show

Eco-terrorism in Humboldt? PL ads spark controversy


The television ad begins with an image of a plastic milk jug, and then shows a photo of Rod Coronado, an environmental activist. With ominous music and the sound of explosions in the background, a voice explains that the jug is "an explosive tool of his trade." [below right , Rod Coronado as seen in Palco TV ad]

Coronado on TVCut to screaming protesters, putative recruits in a "guerrilla war against timber companies" trained by Coronado. "This is a terrorist attack on our communities, jobs and our way of life," the voice intones.

The TV ad is part of a recent media campaign by the Pacific Lumber Co. that also includes radio spots on local stations and full-page ads in the Times Standard, one of which suggests that anti-logging activists are at odds with the tradition of nonviolent protest exemplified by Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.

The campaign has stirred up debate in Humboldt County. Many see the "eco-terrorist" ads as inflammatory; others believe they are accurate. Few here know anything about Coronado and his activities, but some, possibly, are beginning to wonder if local timber protestors pose a threat.

When the radio spots started running last week, KHUM-FM was deluged with complaints. After consulting a lawyer, Patrick Cleary, general manager of KHUM's parent company, Lost Coast Communications, decided to drop the ads. "I'm not going to run anything this inflammatory," said Cleary. "Our listeners were upset. It's not in keeping with who we are." Cleary added that he felt the ads were potentially slanderous and that he had concerns that his station could get sued.

Pacific Lumber spokesman Jim Branham defended the campaign in an interview with KMUD-FM news last week, saying, "I think Rodney Coronado is the definition of eco-terrorism." Branham said the response has been positive. "We've gotten a fair number of phone calls, some e-mail and some personal contact, and it's been overwhelmingly favorable, folks saying, `Damn right.'"

According to Branham, "The primary motivation [for the ads] was to let the people of Humboldt County know about this one individual, Rodney Coronado, and his presence and activity here in Humboldt County.

"Quite often the people who are opposed to our company like to communicate their belief in nonviolence, their belief in peace and love and so on," Branham continued. "Yet here's a guy who's been out at the various protests on Greenwood Heights Road, [who's] shown up at contract employee's homes -- and [he] has served time in federal prison for his role in the fire bombing of a research lab."

Speaking by telephone from Tucson, Ariz., Coronado confirmed that he had served time in prison for "aiding and abetting arson against Michigan State University's experimental fur farm."

He also confirmed that he had confronted a Pacific Lumber contract employee -- Eric Schatz, the man in charge of removing tree-sitters for the company -- at his home.

"I told him personally in front of the Humboldt County Sheriff's Department that we were not going to sit back and let him kill a nonviolent protester, and that if he continued to go into the woods and endanger people, we were going to be at his house to protest his actions.

"That is all we did," Coronado went on. "We didn't destroy any property, we just stood there to bear witness. We were there to prevent him from going to work that day, and he didn't go to work that day."

Coronado, who has advocated property destruction against Pacific Lumber in the past, did not claim involvement in the apparent vandalization of a front-end loader in the Freshwater area a few weeks ago. But he noted that the sabotage, if that's what it was, occurred immediately after the resumption of helicopter logging. "If I was a resident in an area and I saw Pacific Lumber cutting down trees and taking them away with this helicopter, that would be a point where I might cross the line and say, `Screw this company.'"

Rick Bennett, assistant chief of the Eureka Fire Department, did not speak directly about Coronado. But he said there are "homegrown terrorists" who are bent on monkey-wrenching logging equipment and that one of their primary tactics is arson. "The logging companies have had their equipment torched and we've found gas devices on equipment set to go off that failed to initiate," Bennett said.

Lt. Steve Knight, a criminal investigator for the Humboldt County Sheriff's Department, said he does not know of any recent cases of arson against Pacific Lumber or any other timber company. According to Knight there were several cases of arson on logging trucks "about five years ago." There are no active leads and all of them remain unsolved, Knight said.

While primarily an animal rights activist, Coronado sees that struggle as parallel to the fight to save old growth forests. "I think we are in a desperate situation here," he said. "We are looking at less than 5 percent of the remaining ancient redwood forests not only of California but [of] North America [cut] for profit and for greed. In our efforts to stop that I think we are justified in using every tactic available short of physical violence."

Coronado said he has been a member of Earth First! since 1985. He has "worked with them off and on, including against PALCO, as early as the first Redwood Summer in 1990." He said that in 1990, Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney were on their way to his house in Santa Cruz when the bomb went off in their car.

"We were hosting a benefit they were going to be doing that night. Also at that time the FBI believed we were a haven for eco-terrorists because of ALF [Animal Liberation Front] activity and Earth First!'s active presence."

Was his home a haven for eco-terrorism? "No. We were a haven for resistance against terrorism. I have never engaged in physical violence. The last time I struck somebody was in the sixth grade. My police record will reflect that. Even the crime I was convicted for, the judge specifically mentioned that there was no danger or threat to injury against human life."

According to Coronado, Humboldt County's Earth Firsters maintain a stringent nonviolent code. He traces it back to the influence of Bari, who insisted that actions involving destruction of property should not be associated with Earth First!

"If anybody in the movement felt justified in doing [property destruction], [she said] they should use another [group's] name. So the Earth Liberation Front was formed and actions that involved arson were done under that group's name."

Coronado said he lived in Humboldt County "through last winter," and still maintains a residence in Blue Lake. While he was here, he visited the various tree-sits and worked doing ground support. He also spoke at Freshwater tree-sitter Wren's six-month anniversary and at a Forest Defense fund-raiser at the D Street Neighborhood Center in Arcata.

Branham, for his part, chastised local timber protestors for failing to distance themselves from Coronado. "I don't see any of them standing up and saying `This guy's a bad actor, we don't want him in our community and we disagree with his views,'" Branham said.

Lodgepole, a leader among the Greenwood Heights tree-sitters, said that Coronado is "a really passionate guy, and that can be twisted to seem like violent." Lodgepole characterized the PALCO ads as "inaccurate" and "slanderous."

"It's total lies," he said. "They're holding a whole group of people responsible for one person's action."

No buyers for Bridgeville, Carlotta


The listing of four California towns on eBay -- a phenomenon that generated a media frenzy beginning late last year -- has resulted in no sales as of yet.

Like a mobbed open house that empties without a buyer in sight, the eBay listings of Bridgeville, Carlotta, Platina (Shasta County) and Amboy (San Bernardino County) attracted the attention of newspapers and television shows worldwide, but the money hasn't followed.

"Two more weeks," promised Chris Larsen of Sunset Realty in Arcata, the agent in charge of the Bridgeville sale. "The lady's on vacation; when she gets back from vacation, it's supposed to close." Larsen has been telling reporters "two more weeks" since February. "So we'll see, but I'm counting on it."

Bridgeville, a tiny Highway 36 burg about 23 miles off Highway 101, garnered a bid of $1.78 million from an Arizona woman after articles in newspapers like the San Francisco Chronicle and the New York Times.

Actually, Bridgeville was not the first town offered for sale on the Internet auction site. That distinction falls to the ghost town of Danville, Nev., which was listed in November and got a got a few hits, but comparatively little media attention. "I was never in favor of listing this on eBay," said Trish Rippie, a real estate agent for the property co-owned by her ex-husband, Michael. "I thought it was a big waste of time." Silver miners -- the only ones likely to be interested -- would pay attention to Danville when the silver market rebounds, she said.

The Carlotta auction, which ended in March, attracted a corporate buyer from the Los Angeles area, but they decided instead to purchase property in Oregon, said Sandra Spalding, broker/owner with Community Realty in McKinleyville.

Fortunately, Carlotta's owner, Angelo Batini, "is just pleased as punch to sit right where he's at," Spalding said.

The third California town to list itself on eBay also lies, in a strange coincidence, on Highway 36 -- 70 miles east of Bridgeville. Platina, a former mining town named for the platinum found there, boasts a store, tavern, several rentals, a post office, a water system and 66 acres.

Yvonne Mills, who bought the land 19 years ago and has run everything herself ever since, listed her town -- population 60 -- on eBay for $600,000 after seeing all of the hoopla surrounding Bridgeville. "I thought maybe everybody's wanting a town right now," she said. That listing ended in February and, as of this week, Platina hasn't sold either.

"I still have some people trying to get some financing going," she said.

Lastly, the town of Amboy, located about 78 miles from Barstow in the Mojave desert on old Route 66, was listed for $1.9 million about five weeks ago on eBay. It failed to get a sufficient bid, said Rob McManus, estate director for Dilbeck Realtors of San Marino.

"We went on just about the time of the war in Iraq and I think it had a significant effect on the auction," McManus said. "People's hearts and minds were somewhere else."

EBay may not end up to be the preferred venue for real estate sales. But then again, "This is how the motors category started out," said eBay spokesman Kevin Pursglove. "I think we thought that selling cars on the Internet wouldn't be the most practical idea, simply because people like to kick the tires." Now that category does $3 billion a year in business, he said.

Embedded in Iraq: Bay Area reporter saw the war first-hand


John KoopmanJohn Koopman tried hard to reassure his family that going to cover the war in Baghdad really wasn't all that risky.

Koopman, 44, [photo at right] was embedded with the 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines, as a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle until his return to San Francisco on Tuesday. He told his parents in Nebraska, and his wife, that "while it's not exactly a garden spot, I'm OK. There's not like a guy standing 2 feet away with a gun in his hand. I'm surrounded by an entire battalion of combat marines -- it's a pretty safe place."

It sounds like vintage Koopman. He'll make a joke, make light of a situation, just to make sure that no one he cares about feels pain at his expense.

John Koopman and I worked together in the Bay Area for six years, becoming good friends. Before he left the Middle East, I called him on his cell phone at his hotel room in Kuwait and asked him to talk about his experiences there.

In truth, he said, it did get scary. The worst moments were not when the fighting was actually taking place, because he could see what was going on. "Fear is always about what you don't know and can't see. During all the activity, I wouldn't feel fear because I could see things." He'd reason, "If I just don't go over there [into a firefight], I won't be in trouble."

The times he'd get nervous were when the commanding officer would talk to the troops, mentally preparing them for a battle. "I'd think, this could be pretty bad. I always felt a little feeling in the pit of my stomach like, `I hope it's all OK.'"

A close call

Most of the time, it was. One incident, however, took this former Marine, who had not previously been in combat, completely by surprise. "The Iraqis actually fired artillery on us once. We thought it was our own artillery firing short or something," he said. The shell hit an armored vehicle about 10 yards from where Koopman was standing, killing two Marines and injuring four. If it hadn't landed inside the vehicle, he could have been among the dead.

Another media person reported later that "a San Francisco Chronicle reporter was standing nearby" the explosion, which Koopman's wife, Isabel, heard on TV. It "completely freaked her out," he said. She did not know at the time whether or not he was safe.

Other experiences, too, will stay with him. "The weird thing is I saw a lot of death and destruction there. But I would not say it was terribly worse than stuff I've seen already as a reporter covering accidents and murders and things. There's a veil that comes down when you're reporting on things. You concentrate only on certain things, [asking yourself] `What's important on this? What do I need to know about this?'"

On the other hand, while he talked to men who were taking care of wounded children, he did not see any himself. "For that I'm eternally grateful," he said. "That would have been the worst part of it. That I could not take."

Some critics expressed concern that the practice of "embedding" reporters directly with the troops would lead them to identify too much with their sources. Koopman disagreed. "You do what you do, even in this environment. If you're a reporter, you report." He also said that censorship of his reports "never happened." As long as reporters avoided writing about things that were off-limits -- such as future troop movements and immediate release of names of those killed -- they were left alone, he said.

Dirt, bad food, his boy

One of the hardest aspects of the weeks-long ordeal was the physical discomfort. Since he was traveling with a battalion, he had to put up with everything they did. As soon as they entered Iraq from Kuwait, "there was no running water, very little electricity; days were a grind of moving and very little sleep and eating MREs [military rations] and not bathing and being in sandstorms." At first, you get upset when a little dirt gets on your computer, he said. "After a few days, it's like everything is shit. Pretty soon you're dropping food in the dirt and you're picking it up and eating it; you just don't care anymore."

Some of those things you can't know until you experience them, he said. You can't imagine "how much you sweat and how much grime accumulates behind your ears. Every day I would wake up, poke my head out of the sleeping bag, and think: `Oh, crap, I'm still here.'"

No lights were allowed at night -- not even the glow of a computer screen -- so Koopman sometimes had to file his stories while crunched into the back seat of the colonel's Humvee.

Even worse than the discomfort was being so far from his 8-year-old son, Jordi -- whose teachers told Isabel one day that he'd spent the entire afternoon crying in fear for his father. "The worst was when he asked me [over the phone] if I was going to get shot," Koopman said. "I said, "No, I'm not near any of the bad guys,' lying of course."

In the middle of the chaos, the destruction, the "shithole" that was Baghdad, things would jump out at him that reminded him of his little boy. Some of the MREs are just generic foods in brown wrappers; others are brand-name items, like Skittles candy. "Jordi loved Skittles. I'd think, `Oh, geez. I should be back there buying Skittles for Jordi rather than being out here in this fucking place.'"

He took the assignment because war is "the big story," and all reporters dream about covering the big story. "War has a visceral attraction for anyone who wonders about life and death."

But he didn't have to be there. "If I really break it down, I probably should have said [to my editor], `No, I'm a parent, I can't take that risk.'"

Dave Meserve hits prime time



Since the San Francisco Chronicle first picked up on Arcata's new ordinance outlawing voluntary compliance with the Patriot Act, Meserve has been something of a media darling.

CNN, NPR, ABC, Fox News and MSNBC, as well as major newspapers from all over the country -- among them the Washington Post -- have all been clamoring for the freshman City Council member, the driving force behind the ordinance.

"It seems to have really taken off," Meserve said earlier this week on his cell phone in Portland, where he had gone to do the Fox show (there's no television uplink in Humboldt County). "It's been a wild ride."

And a validating one.

"I campaigned on the platform that the federal government is stark raving mad and I'm glad they put that on the front page of the Washington Post."

Meserve's ordinance requires local law enforcement officials and others contacted by federal officials to refer requests under the Patriot Act that they believe violate an individual's civil rights to the City Council for review. The penalty for breaking the ordinance is a $57 fine.

The ordinance followed hard on the heels of a resolution in a similar vein that condemned the Patriot Act as unconstitutional. About 90 other municipalities in the country have passed similar resolutions, but Arcata is the first community to actually make it illegal to comply with the Patriot Act.

The 342-page act was passed by Congress one month after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks with little input from a public that was still in shock. It has been criticized for handing the federal government too much power, a concern that was heightened this past January when news of a proposed sequel to the law, dubbed Patriot II, was leaked to the press.

Meserve's ordinance has attracted attention for a number of reasons, not least of which is that because the Patriot Act is a federal law, it is constitutionally the highest law in the land.

"I don't even understand why anyone would try to pass a law that's illegal, trying to supersede federal laws," said Councilman Michael Machi, who voted against the measure.

Others said that no one should be surprised, given Meserve's outspokenness on national issues.

"He's fulfilling his goals as a council member and you've got to hand it to him on that," said Arcata Councilwoman Connie Stewart.

Arcata is no stranger to national attention for its radical politics. It was the first City Council in the nation, for example, to have a majority of Green Party members.

Other Humboldt municipalities have reacted with a kind of bemused bewilderment to their northern neighbor's notoriety.

"Everybody's got their ideals, [but] we're so far from their ideals it's unbelievable," said Fortuna Mayor Mel Berti. "Anything they do in that area wouldn't surprise me. But it's very upsetting the stuff that they come up with, and this is just one of them."

Meserve said he hopes Arcata's stand will inspire other cities nationwide to follow its lead.

"I would hope that it would inspire other municipalities to move forward with ordinances and form a wall against the Patriot Act," Meserve said.

SPI to pay state $800,000

Three years ago, after the California Department of Fish and Game and the Humboldt County District Attorney's Office busted Louisiana Pacific's Arcata mill for dumping contaminated sawdust, DFG Warden Jon Willcox went looking for another perp.

"I had to keep Paul busy," Willcox said, referring to the man at the DA's office he worked with on the LP case, Paul Hagen. "He's too hyper not to be busy."

Old mill sites, many of them built decades ago and located right on the bay, were an obvious target.

So Willcox went for a walk down near Sierra Pacific Industry's Arcata mill site, located directly off the Mad River Slough between Arcata and Manila.

What he found would be obvious to anyone who knew what to look for: sawdust plumes running out of culverts into the bay, petrol and hydraulic fluid leaking from old equipment, hot steaming water piped directly into the slough. On top of that, further testing revealed the presence of dioxin -- one of the deadliest of man-made substances -- in groundwater underneath the plant, in stormwater runoff and in sediment.

Basically it was a sawmill that was operating as if it were the 1950s.

"Some companies just need to be brought into the modern era," Willcox said. "And sometimes they're not going to do it unless you tell them to do it."

Thus began a three-year investigation that culminated this week with the announcement of an $800,000 settlement negotiated with the company, the largest timberland owner in the state. It follows hard on the heels of a settlement made public last month in which SPI agreed to pay an environmental group, the Ecological Rights Foundation, $700,000 in attorneys' fees, costs and oversight expenses connected to a Clean Water Act lawsuit that it had filed against the company. Combined, the two settlements amount to $1.5 million.

A key provision of both agreements is a requirement that SPI pay the Fish and Game Department $500,000 for wetlands restoration and enhancement in and around the northern end of Humboldt Bay. The agreement with the state also requires SPI to pay $200,000 to clean up pollution of wildlife habitat, with the remaining $100,000 going to the state for civil penalties.

Hagen and District Attorney Paul Gallegos described the settlement as a team effort between the DA's office, Fish and Game, the State Attorney General's Office and the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board -- a myriad of agencies bringing a big polluter to task.

"We understand legitimate business. We respect legitimate business, but if you pollute our environment, no matter how big or small [you are], we will go after you," Hagen said.

Boutique hospital shelved

Physicians involved in the proposed "specialty surgical hospital" in Eureka have decided to put the project on hold because of pending legislation that would prohibit physician ownership of hospitals. (The Journal wrote about the proposed facility in its April 3 cover story, "Does Humboldt Need a Boutique Hospital?")

"We are disappointed in this legislation because we felt that this hospital would provide an additional level of service to the community," Dr. Raymond Koch of the Humboldt Physicians LLC, the group that was planning the hospital, said in a written statement. "We are hopeful that the potential advantages to the community that could have been gained by the new hospital can be realized instead by working within the existing facilities. If the legislative environment changes, there is the possibility of reinstating the hospital project if there is a perceived community need."

At least two pending bills would severely limit the proliferation of so-called "boutique" hospitals -- facilities, often owned by physicians -- that specialize in certain areas, such as orthopedics or women's health or surgery. One is a state measure, authored by Sen. Liz Figueroa, D-Fremont, that would restrict the ability of the state Department of Health Services to issue a license to a new hospital near an existing hospital with an emergency room unless the new hospital also has an emergency room and does more than just surgery. The other bill, co-authored by U.S. Rep. Pete Stark of Hayward, would limit the ability of physicians to refer patients to hospitals in which they have a financial interest.

End of an era?

It felt like the end of an era in Freshwater last week as the heart of what had been known as the "Lower Village" of tree-sitters was felled, yarded and trucked away.

Last Thursday, Poseidon, the tree that had been base-camp, kitchen and meeting hall to the activists of the village, was finally taken down. A climber with Eric Schatz Tree Service removed only one activist, going by the name Nudie, who had locked down onto a rope on the platform. Reportedly, he sang as he was lowered.

The rest of the village, minus one or two stragglers who are still holding out, has already been cleared out.

After a week-long effort that coincided with the beginning of the war in Iraq, there had been a lull in tree-sitter removal. But two weeks ago efforts began again in earnest.

In at least one of the removals things got violent, as activists caught on tape PL climbers, including Schatz, roughing up an activist known as Allah whom they were attempting to remove from a tree.

The video showed climbers on a platform kicking, elbowing and standing on activists they were removing more than 100 feet up a redwood tree. One activist, who goes by the name of Jungle, was kicked repeatedly in the ribs while hanging from his lockdown device as climbers swung into him, hanging by their safety lines. In addition, one climber tied small cords around his legs and held them tight with his foot to cut off circulation, causing Jungle to scream in pain repeatedly.

As tree-sitter after tree-sitter was pulled down with less and less resistance, one had to wonder if activists were losing their resolve, or their faith in the efficacy of the tree-sitting method.

Not so according to Jeny Card, the tree-sitter known as Remedy, who was plucked from her Freshwater perch on the first day of removals.

"There's more reason to tree-sit than just saving one tree. Tree-sitting draws attention to an area that is facing more permanent damage."

Jerry Partain, former head of the California Department of Forestry and a critic of tree-sitting, was skeptical that tree-sitters would be absent from the forest for long. "I'm not so sure it won't continue for awhile, in specific areas where there is great concern for one reason or another," he said.

Noting that timber on the North Coast is being harvested at only 20 to 40 percent of the annual growth rate, Partain added: "One of these days we'll settle down and allow public and private landowners to manage timberlands on a scientific basis."

Raising awareness

In the wake of the defeat of Eureka's "big box" retail ordinance, Eureka City Councilmember Chris Kerrigan said he hopes the year-long process has sparked a dialogue that will continue.

"I definitely think that, out of this public debate, there's room to move forward in pursuing smart growth policies," he said Monday. Such policies can work for business, he said. "While I'm disappointed at the result, I think that a lot of people in the community really demonstrated that they care about the future of the community and how it grows."

Last year, Kerrigan had proposed the idea of giving more scrutiny to large retail stores that want to locate here, and the Planning Commission spent months crafting the ordinance. Specifically, the measure would have required a conditional use permit for major retail development, defined as new or expanded construction on 10 acres or more, or new or expanded construction over 40,000 square feet. It also would have required an economic study, a major stumbling block for those concerned about turning away business.

Critics called the measure protectionist and dubbed it the "Save Bill Pierson" law, referring to one of its strong backers, Bill Pierson of Pierson Building Center.

The City Council voted April 15 to do away with the measure after failing to offer a second to Kerrigan's motion that it go back to the Planning Commission for revisions.

A biased judge?

The excessive force trial involving a group of logging protesters pepper-sprayed by police and sheriff's deputies should not be moved from San Francisco to Eureka, attorneys for the activists said.

In a motion filed earlier this month, the attorneys -- who include well-known San Francisco lawyer Tony Serra -- told the court that Judge Vaughn Walker's decision to hold the trial in Eureka, "a community Walker knows to harbor intense feelings of hostility toward the plaintiffs, could only be motivated by bias."

The attorneys representing the nine activists also filed a motion asking that Walker be recused from the trial. Walker threw out the case last year after the jury deadlocked, but a federal appeals court ordered it to be retried.

Attorney Robert Bloom, who is working with Serra, said the recusal motion was referred to federal Judge Phyllis Hamilton. As of press time, she had not yet ruled on it.

The activists sued the county and the city after their eyes were daubed with pepper spray during 1997 sit-ins at Pacific Lumber's Scotia headquarters and the office of then-Rep. Frank Riggs.

Of privacy and paperwork

If you've visited your doctor, dentist or pharmacist in the past couple of weeks, you've probably been handed a form describing how your medical information may or may not be used.

New federal rules went into effect April 14 that create a national standard for patient privacy. The rules are part of a 1996 law called the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

The law addresses some frightening lapses in medical ethics that have occurred across the country. A health worker in Florida, for instance, sent the names of 4,000 HIV-positive people to two newspapers, and a South Carolina company suspended one of its workers for refusing to hand over her medical records, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Providers do not need a patient's written authorization before divulging information to other providers, insurance companies or friends attempting to visit a patient in the hospital; permission is implied when patients sign a "consent for treatment" form. However, a patient may request some restrictions on the disclosure of data.

For health care providers, the rules are a big headache. All staff members had to be trained in the law and patients given a handout describing their rights. Computer programs often must be revised and new contracts drawn up with business partners limiting the use of information they share.

The new law "is referred to as administrative simplification," said Mary Johnson, the privacy official for Mad River Community Hospital. "It's not."

However, both Johnson and Marc Levin, compliance and privacy officer for St. Joseph and Redwood Memorial Hospitals, said that some components of the new law have been a part of hospital practices for years.

[The original version of this article has been corrected. May 1, 2003]

Stoen wins

Humboldt County Assistant District Attorney Tim Stoen recently won a timber fraud case.

No, not the one against the Pacific Lumber Co. that he's handling for District Attorney Paul Gallegos. It was a case he was working on in Mendocino County when Gallegos brought him up to Humboldt in January -- a case Gallegos said he could see to its conclusion.

The case was unlike the one up here in that it involved two comparatively small logging outfits. But it was similar in that it wasn't based on alleged violations of environmental regulations. Instead, it contended that the loggers had deceived the California Department of Forestry about their logging plans.

"I think it's highly correlative [to the PL case]," Stoen said.

Faced with a long jury trial, the defendants settled for $150,000.

Loudon in big show

Arcata artist Peggy Loudon is showing work in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C.

Loudon's translucent porcelain was selected as one of 120 winning entries at the 21st Annual Smithsonian Arts and Crafts Show, which runs April 24-27.

The show features work by artists from all over the United States working in basketry, ceramics, decorative fiber, furniture, glass, jewelry, leather, metal, mixed media, paper, wearable art and wood.



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