Thursday, July 11, 2013

Humboldt County Sheriff's Officer Fired After Alleged Assault

Posted By on Thu, Jul 11, 2013 at 4:00 PM

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A deputy with the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office was fired late last month after he allegedly kicked a sleeping inmate at the county jail. The officer, named Sean O'Brien, also allegedly directed racial slurs at inmates on numerous occasions, according to a June 24 inter-office memo. The memo, which was sent by Sheriff Mike Downey, informed O'Brien that he was being terminated, effective June 30. A photocopy of the memo was mailed to the Journal anonymously.

Downey explained in the memo that O'Brien was being terminated after an internal affairs investigation into an inmate allegation of "assault under color of authority."

Here's the key paragraph:

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Updated: San Francisco Company Looking to Grow Oysters in Humboldt Bay

Posted By on Wed, Jul 10, 2013 at 6:26 PM

FILE PHOTO
  • File photo

Update: The Harbor District approved Hog Island's permit and CEQA documents at Thursday's meeting.

Still not burned out on oysters? Well, you’re in luck! The Bay Area Hog Island Oyster Company is eyeing Humboldt Bay as the site for a new oyster hatchery. The Humboldt Bay Harbor District will vote on whether to grant Hog Island the permit it needs to start going through with its plans at tomorrow’s Board of Commissioners meeting. The Harbor District will grant the permit pursuant to the project’s compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act.

If the permit is granted, though, John Finger, co-owner of the oyster company, faces a litany of licenses he still has to get before starting on the $1.5 million hatchery facility. He hopes the permitting will all be done by November, and at least part of the facility will be operational by spring of next year.

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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Environmental Groups Appeal Ruling in North Coast Railroad Authority Case

Posted By on Tue, Jul 9, 2013 at 4:38 PM

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The North Coast Railroad Authority has had its share of headaches over the years -- many of them self-induced -- and now a headache the state agency thought cured has returned.

Two local environmental groups -- Friends of the Eel River (FOER) and Californians for Alternatives to Toxics (CATs) -- announced today that they have filed an appeal of a May court ruling that said the NCRA doesn't have to follow state environmental laws as it seeks to restore service from Sonoma to Willits.

Marin County judge Roy O. Chermus ruled that federal law has precedence over the state's regulations when it comes to operating railroads. The groups' lawyers had argued that the NCRA essentially promised to follow state law when it accepted state funding for an environmental impact report, and they argued that the report itself was inadequate.

In a press release issued today, the groups' directors reiterate their objections and say that Judge Chermus' ruling "denied the state's ability to control how it spends its money."

Read the full release below.

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Monday, July 8, 2013

Hunger Strike Resumes at Pelican Bay [Updated]

Posted By on Mon, Jul 8, 2013 at 5:09 PM

UPDATE: The Bay Area group Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity released the above video yesterday, which gives a brief recap of the issues that sparked the original hunger strike and calls for public support.

Original post:

Prisoners inside one of Pelican Bay's Secure Housing Units. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Prisoners inside one of Pelican Bay's Secure Housing Units.

This morning at 11, prisoners at Pelican Bay State Prison began their third hunger strike in the past two years as a way to protest conditions inside the prison's Secure Housing Units -- aka "the SHU" -- where inmates are held in small, windowless cells for 22 1/2 to 24 hours per day. Some of them have been there for decades.

The strikers allege that the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) has failed to honor promises made two years ago, in the wake of the first strike. Last month, SHU inmates announced that a "nonviolent peaceful protest of our subjection to decades of indefinite state-sanctioned torture" would resume today.

The protest will include not just the hunger strike but also a work stoppage, and it will continue, they said, "until CDCR signs a legally binding agreement meeting our demands, the heart of which mandates an end to long-term solitary confinement (as well as additional major reforms)."

"We are certain that we will prevail," the inmates said in a written statement -- "the only question being: How many will die starvation-related deaths before state officials sign the agreement?"

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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Co-op Security Company Defends Officer Actions

Posted By on Wed, Jul 3, 2013 at 5:13 PM

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Timothy O'Neal, owner and president of Sacramento-based Protection Loss Prevention, says his officer used textbook police technique when he apprehended an alleged shoplifter Saturday afternoon across the street from the Arcata Co-op. O'Neal's company has been contracted by the Co-op since 2011.

As we reported yesterday, bead store owner Michael King witnessed the tail end of the incident and later accused the unidentified loss prevention officer of using excessive force. King also said that the officer tried to confiscate his camera. O'Neal, who called the Journal from his company's Sacramento headquarters this morning, offered a different take.

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Eureka Reportedly Offers Police Chief Job to Michael Johnson, Officer Involved in Fatal Cheri Lyn Moore Shooting

Posted By on Wed, Jul 3, 2013 at 2:11 PM

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The Anderson Valley Post is reporting that the job of Eureka's next police chief has been offered to Michael Johnson, a former EPD sergeant who was involved in the fatal 2006 shooting of 49-year-old Eureka resident Cheri Lyn Moore.

Eureka City Manager Bill Panos yesterday confirmed that a job offer had been made but declined to identify the candidate. However, Anderson's city manager and three city council members confirmed that Johnson has been offered the position, according to the Post.

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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Arcata Co-op Security Accused of Using Excessive Force

Posted By on Tue, Jul 2, 2013 at 1:52 PM

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A civilian "loss prevention officer" employed by the North Coast Co-op in Arcata chased down and handcuffed an alleged shoplifter on Saturday afternoon, and a neighboring business owner who witnessed the arrest says the man used excessive force.

Michael King, a co-op member and owner of the bead supply store on the corner of Eighth and I streets, said he was working in his shop around 3 p.m. when his kids called out to him, telling him to come look at the man holding a woman down outside. King looked out the window, saw what his kids were describing and decided to grab his camera.

"I didn't know if this guy was a cop, a mugger, her boyfriend," King said in an interview Monday afternoon. "It looked like he was going for cuffs, but he was in plain clothes."

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Monday, July 1, 2013

San Francisco Pride Parade Celebrates Supreme Court Rulings

Posted By on Mon, Jul 1, 2013 at 7:18 PM

Slideshow
San Francisco Pride Parade 2013
San Francisco Pride Parade 2013 San Francisco Pride Parade 2013 San Francisco Pride Parade 2013 San Francisco Pride Parade 2013 San Francisco Pride Parade 2013 San Francisco Pride Parade 2013 San Francisco Pride Parade 2013 San Francisco Pride Parade 2013

San Francisco Pride Parade 2013

The 2013 San Francisco Pride Parade was full of excitement in the wake of the Supreme Court decisions legalizing marriages between same-sex couples just days earlier.

By Emily Hamann

Click to View 49 slides

This year’s gay pride parade in San Francisco was a historic celebration, coming just days after the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act and in effect nullified Proposition 8.

Because the Journal and the San Francisco LGBT newspaper The Bay Times share the same printing company, the Journal was offered two seats on the Bay Times float, a bright blue open-top bus with balloons tied to the railings. Bay Times editor Betty Sullivan was chosen as one of the grand marshals of the parade.

In the morning at around 9:30, the contingents lined the side streets of Market Street, the parade’s route. The San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band played a warm up song: “Chapel of Love.”

While there was no wedding pavilion, like at the 2008 parade when gay marriage was legal for a brief time, the theme of marriage was everywhere, from a man in a wedding dress on a parade float to a car with tin cans tied to the bumper and a sign in the back that read “Just married with liberty and justice for all.”

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