Comment Archives: Stories: Letters + Opinion: Editor

Re: “The Lens of Experience

Hi Thadeus,

Thank you for your thoughtful piece on the lens of experience. My own is rather foggy, both from an upbringing that included a long stint in foster care and associated institutions and an independent early adulthood spread between military service, work with the Del Norte CCC and later my on time as a student and SCL graduate at Humboldt State University. In between, the streets of Barrio Logan in San Diego (greatly changed now, but still filled with faces and people I remember and who greet me like a lost relative), the nation's highway system as a canvasser for magazine subscriptions and a nice, if arduous, Peace Corps contract have further chipped and polished in turn the edges and contours of my world-view.

I have avidly followed this case in what I consider my only home of choice (Humboldt and Del Norte counties) and I, too, hop for a better outcome than no answer, and, further, an answer that satisfies the family of my fellow Jack Josiah. But I am hopeful also that the preliminary finding in which the evidence was not sufficient to hold Kyle is also validated by a thoroughly and fully supportable arrest of whomever is culpable. I am, however, deeply troubled by this death and its unknown circumstances.

There are no cell phone videos, pictures or records at all? How many people called the police as the fight(s) began? Was the knife that was found under the car the murder weapon? How can it not be said, "it is possible it was" if it is not ruled out? There were fibers, blood and a print on the blade. Someone has that print, and it seems they were not experienced criminals if they left it at the scene.

If Zoellner is not culpable, surely he is useless as a witness. He was described by many people as 'knocked out', 'choked out' and sent to the ground repeatedly as well as kicked in the head. It also occurs to me (and likely to police as well) that the women present, for whom Zoellner had arrived to drive home, that they would have fled the scene if they had any involvement in the stabbing itself.

I am, despite these misgivings, bittersweetly heartened that this horror happened somewhere in Arcata. Despite the flaws in the community, I remember it as being beyond simply disapproving of racial malice and rough justice. If a citizen hears something relevant, i remain confident that a better conscience, regardless, will compel the locals or students ho catch wind of anything worth sharing to report it, regardless the redwood/emerald/cannabis curtain of prison-culture anti-snitch paranoia.

I feel for my community up there in that beautiful place, and am glad that you and your family have found your home in it. I hope that it lives up to both our expectations and that an answer that is just, true and healing can be found in what my longest-time foster brother, who came to stay with me for a few weeks in the early 2000s, called, "the kindest place with the [sic] most friendly people I ever met".

I think it will work out, and we'll have justice for Josiah, his family, and if he is indeed innocent of the crime, Kyle too.

Thanks again, and warm regards from Tbilisi, Georgia

Francis Stanley Pruett
HSU Class of 1999

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by HSU_Franklin on 05/21/2017 at 10:08 AM

Re: “The Lens of Experience

I know what happened to Lawson that night. The dumbass got in a fight at a drunken college party. Happens every year at every campus nationwide. Who didn't teach those kids to just walk away? Josiah and his friends are lucky Zoellner didn't die from a brain hemorrhage after Zoellner was initially beaten. All the newspapers would be having another sort of field day altogether. Not one media source in Humboldt has presented the story of Lawson vs Zoellner as anything but a race card of one sort or another. It happened in a way that paints an incriminating portrait of the entire uninvolved community, and nothing of a really stupid drunk college party turned to shit by a handful of kids acting tough. People are disgusted by internet comments? Is this not the year 2017? What do you expect at this point? As far as the adults in media are concerned, they're guilty of hype...an especially sinister kind of hype that divides the people they claim to represent in "the media". Our pool of "news" has largely been a politically correct circus of antagonists.

7 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by No Winners on 05/19/2017 at 7:15 AM

Re: “The Lens of Experience

Thank you for this excellent article Mr. Greenson. You are so right about the importance of how we should interact with other people and the importance of those interactions for the future of our society. I too very much like living in our beautiful place, but our neighbors are also part of this beauty.

3 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Rollin Richmond on 05/18/2017 at 12:37 PM

Re: “Let's Talk About Rex

"Let's Talk About Rex"

Thank you for publishing this article in the North Coast Journal. Public officials must not stonewall when asked to explain their actions. The Supervisors work for us, and they receive an adequate compensation from the citizens of Humboldt County. I cant remember when so many employees serving in a department felt the need to state their opinion of their superior, David Marcus. I would like to hear the facts, good or bad. There are simply too many unanswered questions. This must be addressed by our County Supervisors. Just because a person is elected to public office, doesnt give them carte blanche to act without consequences.

Sam King
McKinleyville, CA

9 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by retired on 04/17/2017 at 5:59 AM

Re: “Let's Talk About Rex

not to detract, but a seperate note entirely, i want to clarify the last statement of my response to this column @ 1:11pm because it seems harsh with no explanation. i dont understand the rise in what i would call "text speak" working its way into professional writing, especially "the news". for example, parts of the above editorial are written as though very informally spoken, complete with mumbled interjections. if its intended to parody rex bohn's stammering, it doesnt come across that way, but more like a hasty rant. only parts of the editorial, the rest is spot on. im a shameless grammer nazi, hypocrite too as i type this with my thumbs on a janky phone not giving a fuck...such is the cesspool that is the internet.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by P.S. on 04/15/2017 at 8:47 AM

Re: “Let's Talk About Rex

thadeus, i agree with everything you wrote 111%. the issue is very serious and the supervisors' behavior is very disturbing in many ways. with all the talk for needs of affordable housing, healthcare, public transit etc etc, its really telling that the supervisors are repeatedly insulting the same public by downplaying the importance of proper legal representation when needed. when falsely accused, when unjustly persecuted, when simple misunderstandings can lead to life changing court decisions in a matter of moments. our supervisors are collectively paid over $30,000 of our tax money every month. regarding this issue in particular, they're all demonstrating exactly how out of touch they have become with their own common constituents. whereas even a $300 legal fine of any sort is nothing to them now (as many of us knew the supervisors before their lifestyles matched their current income bracket), that petty cash difference is literally crippling families the nation over. rex bohn insults the poor even further by dismissing the credibility of journalists working for genuinely local readership, as if every fresh graduate is guarunteed a position within one of his media sources of choice (and they all pay the bills through advertising). it shows, in his own words, his complete lack of integrity, or in the very least his naivette of such a thing as integrity in the first place. the same goes for all four other supervisors for their silence in this matter, and moreso for their refusal to acknowledge, let alone do something, about a clear cut case of a very important tax-paid public official who has been deemed incompetent by his former employera and isn't even welcome by his own current staff. would they accept a chief of police under these circumstances? would the police chief accept a new officer with such scrutiny? the behavior of humboldts board of supervisors over this matter is inexcusable.

that said, while i understand this particular writing is an editorial, it reads like a drunk facebook post. the issue deserves better, please. thanks for everything youve done and continue doing as a journalist...keep it up!

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by the supervisors arent listening. on 04/14/2017 at 1:11 PM

Re: “Let's Talk About Rex

County government is run by an auctioneer, realtor, waitress, and rural radio host, each laser-focused on representing the property rights zealots that funded their campaigns.

Stop electing development industry hacks and start demanding that your local government hire executives and department directors with advanced degree in their field, you know, the kind of professionals that understand how to incorporate the law into practice.

12 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Howard Smith on 04/14/2017 at 1:08 AM

Re: “Let's Talk About Rex

Something is fishy

18 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Shelly Fitzgerald on 04/13/2017 at 2:15 PM

Re: “There's No Way Around It

I am normally in agreement with calls for compromise. In this case, simple morality does not allow for compromise. There is an obvious an easy choice on this issue. Humans have killed around 95% of the Coast redwood forest. When we talk about impact on these trees, it is imperative that we consider that we as humans have already killed 95% of these forests for our economic benefit. There is no monetary issue can morally justify further impact! Every remaining tree is worth all the wealth on Earth. "Cost more" or "takes longer" are arguments that carry zero weight with a moral and informed person.

3 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Aaron Gustaveson on 04/09/2017 at 1:45 PM

Re: “Yes, Another Pot Story

I appreciate the time and trouble the NCJ has put into keeping me informed.
Your articles are always well written.
If the situation presents itself, please include mention of Mary Jane the Potumentary. Hopefully you have seen it. MJ lays out the history and future of pot here in Humboldt County. Disclosure...I'm a Co-Producer, still photographer and bit player in the film.
Thanks.
g

Posted by Mr. Geezer on 03/16/2017 at 10:37 AM

Re: “Out of Order

Humboldt County in general and especially Eureka, lacks top executives with advanced degrees in their field. It's time for a hard-hitting report on this scandal.

Credentialed professionals, like local doctors, are hard to retain.

So, who are these people?

They are people who are trusted....friends of the family, church, club and political party.

Posted by Howard Smith on 03/02/2017 at 8:18 PM

Re: “Out of Order

this is completely unacceptable and none of the supervisors deserve to even be considered for reelection unless they remedy this crime against the most vulnerable sector of any public. to wish the unfairly appointed defender success at this point is meaningless, he already got the job despite a critical record of the exact nature certain to disqualify a person from the position, a false reference in walnut creek and literally refusing to discuss the matter with the inquiring public hes supposed to represent. the supervisors further insult their constituents by refusing to discuss the issue, admitting only that even they didnt decide the makup of the "advisory committee" who, for every outward appearance, ordered the hire without compromise. theyve illegally colluded a crime against their own public.

cannabis laws have changed. this issue is of critical importance. the slightest mishandling of even petty cases can and does lead to such dramatic longer term consequences as property forfeiture, for anybody involved. its not unreasonable...in all fact its completely reasonable...to not trust david marcus to work for the best interests of the public. the same can now be said with confidence of every humboldt county supervisor. its easy to be cordial and kind and assure everybody that everything will be okay, but this demonstrates an inability to trust them at all.

Posted by unbelievable. on 02/26/2017 at 12:41 PM

Re: “Out of Order

I totally agree that this process was seriously flawed and should go back to the drawing board. I know how important it is to have great leadership in the Public Defender's office where the hours are long and the demands of the job are overwhelming.

I was a deputy Public Defender when Bill Connell ran the office and inspired young attorneys to do great work. I watched his successor Jim Steinberg do the same thing as Public Defender. Kevin Robinson carried on in that tradition. Each of these amazing attorneys were hired from within the Public Defenders office. There are equally highly qualified attorneys in the office now who would carry on this tradition.

Are we going to Mr. Marcus because the current lineup of Public Defenders is doing too good a job?

13 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by zach zwerdling on 02/23/2017 at 11:13 AM

Re: “Dear Shlomo,

In my time working there, MediCal patients who were there for therapy were only given 40% of the therapy that they were supposed to receive because Rockport put an artificial ceiling of 60 minutes per day on these patients therapy. Even if MediCal was paying $700 per day, which was more than $500 a day over the cost of providing care, Janet Stone still refused to approve the care that the residents needed. My understanding is that this policy is still in place with Amad Nazifi in the leadership position but given that it is probably fraud, It is an unofficial guideline.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Ghosthymn on 02/04/2017 at 9:01 AM

Re: “Escalation

Finally, a local media source has taken the time and space to provide the most thorough account yet of a police force out of control. Looking back at the recurring civilian deaths over the last 10 years, none of the alleged crimes, if adjudicated, were punishable by death.

I remember the lone officer chasing a truant 16 year old allegedly "brandishing a knife" who hadn't harmed anyone, shot dead, ("Burgess"?) , and an emotionally distraught woman "brandishing a flare gun" shot dead in her apartment without any efforts to "talk her down" by a professional, and 22 year old "McClain" shot dead in his front yard, and now, dozens of stray bullets in downtown Eureka???

Are you kidding me?

A big part of Eureka's problem, never covered by media, is that its law enforcement is funded for a city of 28,000 when, in reality, it's a city 3 times that size when you include the border communities that rely on Eureka for everything. If Eureka is going to require officers to manage mental illness, addicts, children, and homelessness, in addition to what they're trained for...CRIME...it should be obvious that we can expect inappropriate, disproportionate police responses that endanger as much as protect. I want a fully-funded police force patrolling my neighborhood, not chasing the homeless from one bush to another.

If Eureka's political "leadership" cared more about its multiple fiscal maladies than the financial interests of a handful of propertied old-families and make concerted efforts to expand its borders, it wouldn't have had these needless deaths, three closed elementary schools, streets unsafe to walk or drive, and one-hundred million dollars of unfunded infrastructure liabilities.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Catherine Smith on 12/23/2016 at 6:49 PM

Re: “Escalation

+Joel Mielke, I'm not quite sure what part of 44 bullets fired by cops that you're missing?? You obviously feel cops should have carte blanche to shoot as many bullets as they like regardless of how many people they endanger. Witnesses will most certainly tell what really happen. Just because cops have badges doesn't give them the right to shoot like wild men on city streets. If witnesses prove this guy was much less of a danger than the cops are claiming, then at least one cop should be fired asap. It's our right and duty as citizens to hold all parts of government (especially law enforcement) accountable for their actions.

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Coletta Van Loon on 12/22/2016 at 7:36 PM

Re: “Dear Shlomo,

That's the nitty-gritty all right. You cut succinctly to the bottom line of this whole situation. It takes some time and a great deal of experience to get to the core of scams like his - hidden behind dummy corporations and partnerships - preying on complex manipulations of poorly understood and monitored government entitlement programs. Kinda reminds me of Trump's complex and entangled corporate dealings under consistent audit by the IRs and his assuming control of the nation without revealing his tax returns or otherwise giving full disclosure to the public re: potential conflict of interest between his own interests and their interests / interest of the nation. All the while filling his cabinet with 1%ers similarly experienced with increasing their personal coffers with exorbitant corporate profits gained at the expense of the little guys and gals and the natural environment of America. None of them ever experienced working within government - always whining about governmental interference interfering with their personal profit making. They didn't drain the swamp, they filled it with alligators.

18 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Phil Braun on 12/22/2016 at 9:24 AM

Re: “Escalation

His "only alleged crimes at that point were fleeing the scene of a traffic stop, briefly brandishing a weapon and evading an officer"? He also brandished a weapon during a carjacking, but I suppose that it was only "briefly."

0 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Joel Mielke on 12/21/2016 at 2:46 PM

Re: “Encore

Great article and so timely. Thank you Ms. Cahill!

Posted by Saroj Gilbert on 11/27/2016 at 6:55 PM

Re: “Encore

Hear, hear!

ART RULES.

Buy some art. Any art. Buy what you want in your home not what you think will pay for your retirement.

Posted by Mr. Geezer on 11/24/2016 at 8:56 AM

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