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Albin and the 'Scripmonks 

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Oh, Councilman Albin. Did you seriously select as your campaign motif a ship's wheel with the motto I'm On Board?

I ask because, according to a report in the Lost Coast Outpost, sir, it's not so much that you're on board as you're on prescription Vicodin and Lorazepam and THAT, my friend, is one fierce cocktail!

Ahem. Allegedly.

And that ship's wheel on the sign? Dead ringer for that hockey puck-sized pill dispenser next to the chompers and Danielle Steele novel my dear aunt Edith keeps on her nightstand.

So don't go hating if someone Sharpies your lawn sign, because that was meant to be.

And do make lemonade: Statistics show that MediCal Part D recipients are a notoriously well represented constituency come election time.

Noreen and the Filthy Fifteen

The recent drunk-driving arrest of California state Sen. Ben Hueso (D-National City) is brought to you by the lucky number 15.

You probably think the number 15 signifies Senate Democrats' head start on a viral Internet meme for the November 2015 statewide election. But you'd be mistaken: 15 is actually the mind-blowing percentage of the state Senate's Democratic Caucus that is facing arrest, indictment or sentencing for crimes allegedly committed during the current legislative term.

Senator Hueso's partners in "alleged" crime are Sen. Ron Calderon (D-Montebello), Sen. Rod Wright (D-Inglewood) and Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) — the latter solidifying the old adage that no good ever comes from trafficking firearms with a guy named "Shrimp Boy."

Amid all the fitting of orange jumpsuits, our own Democratic state senator, Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa), is wisely U-hauling her way out of town at the end of this term but not, in her case, due to any alleged malfeasance. Rather, fleeing the cesspool — er, capitol — reportedly will foster the rejuvenation of Evans' lucrative private law practice.

State law — which unlike some of her colleagues, Sen. Evans actually follows — prevents elected officials from privately representing law clients with business before either legislative chamber.

We wish Sen. Evans well in the courtroom, where some of her soon-to-be-former colleagues may need her help.

Skywest Goes Postal

Of course, our Sacramentan delegates needn't concern themselves with North Coast issues in the first place after local air carrier SkyWest nearly designated the North Coast a no-fly zone. The airline just canceled direct flights to Sacramento from the Arcata-Eureka Airport, effective Dec. 2.

Like the US Postal Service and Greyhound Bus Lines before it, SkyWest apparently grew weary of subsidizing the Fog Belt's ever-diminishing regional influence.

North Coast travelers must henceforth access SkyWest's miniature cans of tomato juice, peanuts and in-flight Air Mall catalogues on the carrier's lone remaining route to San Francisco.

Moses and the Ninja Turtles

That whole constitutional separation of church and state thing can be such a head-scratcher.

At less than one sentence in length ("Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion"), why are local pols seemingly so bent on tethering the cross to city hall? Is it the 18th century phrasing? As a public service, I offer this modern translation: "No preaching on the taxpayer's dime."

City of Eureka brass, seemingly incapable of grasping this simple maxim, became entangled two years ago in protracted litigation over the mayor and city council's (alleged) religious proselytizing, in the form, respectively, of prayer breakfasts and pre-meeting worship. (The council's prayer invocations were later ruled lawful.)

Eureka officialdom would have done well to pay a visit to the land of the Dewey Decimal system, where the Ten Commandments are revered about as much as a schlock B-movie. You'll find the 1956 epic film of the same name filed non-litigiously away in the library's fiction category, right between Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and The Terminator.

'Doggy Bag' is a Figure of Speech, People

All right, I'm calling BS on the service dog scam. One minute, guide dogs are a critical link between blind people and the outside world that nobody would dare second guess. The next, fake disability dogs are running amok in every restaurant and grocery store in town.

Tape-measure-wielding plaintiffs have deployed the Americans with Disabilities Act to the demise of scads of local eateries. And you can now thank the ADA for forcing the rest of us to endure the faux-disableds' obnoxious, wet-nosed mutts in stores and restaurants throughout Fog City.

The law sensitively prevents proprietors from asking suspicious looking dog owners all but two questions: "Is this a service animal?" and "What is it trained to do?"

Answer these queries correctly and, congratulations, your purported service dog — legit or otherwise — is welcome in the dining establishment of your choosing.

Just as long as it's not Arctic Circle. Or Porter Street Barbecue. Or ...

Is Jury Duty a 'Civic' Duty?

Is our jury pool overly "driven?"

That would appear to be the case. This columnist's highly scientific polling data of one Eureka couple reveals that motor-vehicle registrants are invited to enjoy weak coffee while arguing with senior citizens over jury instructions in this great experiment we call justice.

Mere voters, meanwhile, aren't invited to the party.

On its website, Humboldt County Jury Services purports to draw juror candidates from a mixture of two sources: DMV registrants and voting rolls.

In practice, only the drivers are getting summoned.

How else to explain our Eureka couple, in which the woman of the house — who would rather eat glass than sit as a juror — has been summoned to the jury box every year, without fail for the last decade? The only difference between her and her husband — both of whom religiously vote in every primary election under the sun — is that he would love nothing more than to attend a three-month death penalty trial.

But while both regularly vote, the family cars are registered under her name, leaving hubby off the DMV registry.

Ergo, you really wanna avoid jury duty? It's easy: Just don't drive.

—Ryan Hurley

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