Mendocino County Today: July 4, 2013
by AVA News Service, July 3, 2013
FIREWORKS EXTRAVAGANZA WEEKEND IS HERE!
City of Point Arena invites you to join us in the festivities on Saturday July 6th from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. in Arena Cove
Back to Back Bands! Enjoy Live Music By Fast Company, Lucky 13, Dysphunctional Species and featuring ELIQUATE!
Street Fair with wide variety of vendors and great food selections; Oceanfront FIREWORKS display by PyroSpectaculars!
During each band intermission: Buy a pie – and take aim! Pie Throwing Contest
This year’s famous faces are: Warren Galletti, Trevor Sanders, Terry Solomon.
And Sunday July 7th beginning at Noon in our downtown Point Arena city park. Downtown Historical Parade
The 2013 Theme is “Making it Happen”
This year’s Grand Marshall is “Mr. Warren Galletti”
Don’t Miss the Largest Point Arena Event of the Year!
GARRET RODRIGUEZ: Last Heard From Near ‘Murder Mountain’
by Kym Kemp
When Garret Rodriguez drove north from Ocean Beach in late December 2012, he sat behind the wheel of his newly purchased 1998 Dodge Ram four-wheel drive pickup. He and two friends had left their marijuana growing operation in Humboldt to visit the neighborhood in San Diego that he had lived in for many years. Now, he was headed back to Rancho Sequoia, a rural subdivision near the tiny hamlet of Alderpoint in southeastern Humboldt County. The area has a reputation for violence and is sometimes known as Murder Mountain.
As Rodriguez headed back to the Emerald Triangle after the holidays, he called a friend, Katrina LeBlanc, to ask her to visit him there. She explained, “He wanted a big group of us to come up for New Year’s Eve.”
He called, LeBlanc said, from a 707 number, so she knows he made it back to Humboldt. Another friend, Bill Macpherson, remembers a phone call in January. He believes Rodriguez was calling from Humboldt also. These calls were normal for Rodriguez who kept in touch frequently, LeBlanc says. She also says, however, that he warned his friends that he wouldn’t be able to call again soon because cell service was spotty in the hills where he was.
LeBlanc was close with Rodriguez. In fact, he had spent Christmas Day with her. He had showed up in the morning to help put out toys for her two year old. LeBlanc says, “The last place he was seen [by family and friends] was at my house at Christmas. He came over so early and helped up set up all the gifts from Santa for my little girl.” She paused and added, “She loves her uncle Gar Gar. That has been one of my hardest things has been her asking about him.”
Rodriguez had been at LeBlanc’s house on Christmas Eve also. She recalled, “He brought little gifts the night before. He was basically our adult Santa…”
Photo of Garret Rodriguez taken during Christmas at Katrina LeBlanc’s home.
Late on Christmas Day or in the wee hours of the 26th, LeBlanc walked Rodriguez down to his truck to say goodbye. It would be the last time she saw him.
By April, Rodriguez’s friends began comparing notes. None of them had heard from him since at least January. This was very unusual, said his mother, Pamela Mcginnis. “It is really out of character for him not to contact someone. He was really social…He always had contact with his friends. The people who have known Garret for years know that he would have to have contact with the people he cares about.”
As friends and family ascertained that Rodriguez hadn’t been in touch with anyone since late December or maybe January, their concerns grew. By the end of April, Rodriguez’s father reported him missing.
Through the cooperation of both public investigators and private investigators hired by the family, Rodriguez’s truck was found in late May. Mcginnis explained, “Someone called in where the truck was located on private property in a remote area… The truck was found about 20 miles from where he worked…” It took awhile to verify that this was Rodriguez’s truck but since the family had the vin number as well as the license plate, they were able to confirm it was his. The truck wasn’t running and the person who left the vehicle there is out of the area and difficult to find, said Mcginnis.
“The family,” she explained, “whose property it is on have been extremely cooperative.” However, the person who left the truck there is out of the area.
Private investigators from Humboldt County’s Cook and Associates are attempting to find the person who left it. Mcginnis pointed out, “It would be nice to know how [the person] came by the truck and when they came by it…”
Though his mother said the vehicle was clean, Chris Cook, the lead private investigator explained, “It wasn’t like it was detailed out. There was crap in the back.” Which may, she said, hold some information. But, she says, “There were no obvious signs of foul play.”
On a late June day, Chris Cook has been in town for hours trying to meet up with someone who might have information about the disappearance of Rodriguez. No luck. Now she’s sipping water in a coffee shop. She doesn’t have much hope Rodriguez will be found alive.
She leans forward and explains seriously, “Garret was in Humboldt before New Year’s Eve….[But] he wasn’t here very long before he disappeared.” Not long after Rodriguez got back, she believes, he called LeBlanc from Humboldt. He also might have called another friend mentioned above a week or two later. Cook has been checking around in Humboldt and asking questions. She shakes her head noting, “No one has seen him since early January. I am 100% convinced that this is not a situation where someone is hiding out because [Rodriguez] had too many people that he trusted not to contact someone.”
When asked, Cook admits, “Is he alive? Probably not….I really want people to know that if you are coming up here, you could be taking your life in your hands.”
She says she has been trying to find out what happened to Rodriguez since mid-May. She just met with a detective from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office. Cook, whose husband was a sergeant with the force, reports that the local sheriff’s department is taking the case seriously and is working with her to solve it.
The Humboldt County detectives working on the case did not respond to requests for an interview. The department public information officer stated that the place where Rodriguez was last seen is uncertain. He is considered a high-risk missing person, however, and detectives are assigned to the case and following up leads as they develop.
The cost of paying for a private investigator has been hard for the family and friends of Rodriguez are stepping in to help. LeBlanc says that the fundraiser will be Sunday, July 21st at Collier Park in Ocean Beach. “We’re trying to raise some money for his mom to help continue the investigation. He was really well known. I’ve gotten three bands who will donate their time…We’re having t-shirts made for Garret…” The money raised will go to help pay for the investigation. [People can also donate online here.]
In addition LeBlanc hopes that getting Rodriguez’s friends together will help put together the pieces of that last visit Rodriguez made with his two Humboldt partners to the San Diego area. She notes, “Everybody’s got a story. Maybe we can iron out and get some more accurate information.”
His friends have also set up a Facebook page for information to be shared among themselves. Mcginnis has been impressed with his friends’ passion. “Early on when they first set up this Facebook page,” she explained, “I was told that people would stop going after about a week. Garrett is so loved and missed that this is still active. A lot of his friends are not going to give up until he is found. I don’t think people realize how tenacious his friends are in Ocean Beach. They aren’t going to let this rest.”
She sighs, “It’s been difficult. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t cry. Sometimes it is because of comments people send me or post on the site.” She says one of the hardest parts is that the family just doesn’t know what happened.
The family has arranged for new posters to be placed at local garden stores and other community gathering places. A phone number to contact the private investigators with information has been provided: (707) 839-7422.
How did Rancho Sequoia become Murder Mountain?
Around 1968, the land which came to be known as Rancho Sequoia was subdivided in response to the proposed Yellow Jacket Dam. (Eureka Times Standard 1/29/68) The dam never materialized. The land was eventually subdivided into relatively small lots—many just 10 acres. The area soon became home to many people who came from out of the area to own their piece of paradise.
Like much of Southern Humboldt during the late Seventies and early Eighties, the area became known as a place for growing marijuana. Numerous raids were held in the subdivision over the years. Here’s one described from the point of view of people living there. Here’s a CAMP report (scroll to page 18.)
The name Murder Mountain probably came in response to a 1982 murder. There are also rumored to be other disappearances related to the area but below are three of the most well-known stories.
Clark Stephens, age 26, was murdered by Michael and Suzane Carson, on the 17th of May, 1982. The couple were serial killers who were convicted of three deaths but suspected of more. A book, Cry for War, was written about the lethal twosome. Here’s an excerpt about the murder from a contemporary newspaper.
Stephens, who allegedly worked on a marijuana farm near Garberville with the Carsons, was slain near the town of Alderpoint, Mrs. Carson said he was “a demon. He had to be killed.”
Carson said he shot Stephens twice in the head and once in the side and then burned the body and buried it beneath some chicken fertilizer.
See also here for another contemporary account. Here’s a video containing interviews with Carson’s daughter and ex-wife.
Another man missing and presumably dead in the area is Bobby Tennison. He was known locally as Builder Bob. He came frequently to Southern Humboldt. Reportedly he went to the Rancho Sequoia area to get paid for a construction job. He has not been seen since January 2009.
Interesting note: Just across the valley from Rancho Sequoia is the location of another famous death. Dirk Dickenson was killed while running from law enforcement in 1972.
WE RECEIVED this message anonymously. It was from Mari Rodin, Ukiah City Councilperson, responding to recent criticism:
“Why do the media in Mendocino County continuously, relentlessly, and ignorantly criticize the City of Ukiah? If anyone cared about the truth, they would speak to the individuals involved like reporters in most newspapers do. They would then find out that the City is, in fact, a well-run organization that has done an amazing job of dealing with five straight years of financial challenges that have come as a result of factors completely beyond the City's control. (For example, revenues increased only $300,000 between 2008-2012, which is 2% of a $15 million general fund. With immense pressure on expenditures coming from PERS, labor contracts and the loss of RDA, the City still managed to hold down costs to 2%/year over this same period. A remarkable accomplishment by any measure.) The facts regarding the city manager's salary are mistaken. There USED to be executive pay (and several other extraneous and ridiculous pay categories) but to clean up all these behind-the-scenes components of her pay package, the city manager herself (!) suggested we streamline and simplify her contract to make it transparent. Her pay is $150,000 and she may be eligible for merit pay, but that will depend on how revenues come in this new fiscal year. She volunteered to take a 10% salary cut. The statement about administrative overhead is false too. It's laughable! The city manager recommended eliminating her administrative assistant last year to help trim the deficit. The city clerk has taken up some of this role, but not all of it, which has been very difficult. How many executives do you know of who oversee a $62.5 million budget give up their secretary in an effort to do their part in sharing the pain during difficult times? If reporters around here would simply (oh, so simply!) just ask questions directly, they would have a different story to report.”
THING IS, MS. RODIN, all the stuff you complain about is public record from which we've all drawn pretty much the same conclusions, i.e., the Council majority's spending decisions haven't been wise and tend to favor management over line staff. Also, there was the suspiciously selective allocation of Redvelopment monies on your fave restaurant, the talk of an on-staff therapist, and other public statements by you, Ms. Landis and Little Benj that create an overall impression of fuzz brains running the City of Ukiah.
THE AVA'S FAVORITE PAINTER!
Mary Robertson: River Days
July 11 - August 17, 2013
Reception with the Artist
Saturday, July 13th, 3:00 - 5:00PM
Odd Fellows #37, 2013, oil on canvas, 20 x 16 inches
Recent paintings, watercolors, and drawings by Bay Area artist Mary Robertson capture the color, light and feel of summer on the Russian River.
Writer Jon Carroll, a longtime friend of Robertson, reflects on her work. “I have always wanted to live on Mary Robertson's Russian River. Such an indolent place, so dreamy, like an underwater kingdom. The umbrellas, towels, beach chairs, and the people in Mary's paintings are frozen in time, always inhabiting that same summer. It's a little like heaven and a little like camp.” Mary Robertson is a California native and studied Art History at UCLA. After a successful career in graphic design and art direction she began painting full time. She has been exhibiting with George Krevsksy Gallery since 2002. Previously, solo shows include Campbell Thiebaud Galleries in San Francisco and Laguna Beach, and Addison Rowe in Santa Fe. Her artwork has been featured in public exhibitions at the Sonoma County Museum, the Stanford Faculty Club, the Santa Cruz County Museum, and the American Academy of Art & Letters. Located in San Francisco's Union Square District, George Krevsky Gallery specializes in 20th-century American Art in the figurative tradition, including the Ashcan, Regionalist, Modernist, Social Realism, as well as Northern California contemporary artists. Established in 1992, George Krevsky Gallery is a member of the San Francisco Art Dealers Association.
AFTER OUTING them for their secrecy, the County CEO’s office released the following press release on Wednesday:
County Kicks Off District Budget Presentations. The Public Is Invited To Attend The July 12, 2013 Forum At Fort Bragg Town Hall.
Mendocino County Chief Executive Officer, Carmel J. Angelo, is scheduled to present a County Budget Update/State of the County informational presentation in the 4th Supervisorial District on Friday, July 12, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon at the Fort Bragg Town Hall.
At the start of this year’s county budget process, the Executive Office announced that informational budget presentations would be scheduled in each of the County’s five supervisorial districts. With the beginning of the new Fiscal Year on July 1, the Executive Office is scheduling the budget presentations to be held before the September 9, 2013 County budget hearings.
The presentation will include highlights of the County’s 2013/2014 Recommended Budget, a State of the County update, and items of interest in the 4th District. The intent of these presentations is to inform the audience of the workings of County government and to provide a high level of transparency and accountability to all Mendocino County residents. It is hoped that those interested in performing their civic duty will continue to stay engaged in the workings of local government.
MISSING MAN'S FAMILY STILL HOPING TO FIND HIM
The wife of a Rodondo man who has been missing since the end of May is still hoping a someone will provide a tip that may lead to finding him.
Samantha Lamberg has been at home in Southern California with her 10- and 14-year-old children, wondering what happened to their father, Erik Swan Lamberg, 51, who was last seen in Laytonville on May 27.
Lamberg in various family photos
The Lambergs are separated, and he was driving to Oregon to seek help for mental health issues, according to Samantha Lamberg, who said he is bipolar and was off his medication when he left Southern California around May 23.
She talked with him on the phone from Laytonville on May 26.
“He sounded paranoid,” she said, “but said he was safe in a motel.”
He had apparently tried to get some repairs done to his Honda Odyssey van in Laytonville, but told Samantha Lamberg the repairs could not begin until after the holiday weekend, on May 28. Nonetheless, the van -- which had been towed to Laytonville from Leggett -- was driven away.
According to Samantha Lamberg, the motel owner said Erik Lamberg and the van were gone on May 28. His credit card showed a charge May 26 for the motel.
Samantha Lamberg did not hear from Erik Lamberg between May 26 and May 28, and his credit card was not used again, which she said was unusual, and so she reported him missing the night of May 29 to the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office.
The MCSO found the Honda van on Sherwood Road about 20 miles west of Willits on Saturday, June 1. Deputies did a limited search immediately around the van, and a ground search for Erik Lamberg -- including a bloodhound and a shepherd -- was organized for the following Wednesday.
Lt. Shannon Barney at the MCSO said the dogs followed what they thought was a good scent about a mile west of the spot where the van was found, but then lost the scent.
Since the search, the MCSO has had a couple of calls of possible sightings but neither panned out.
“We're looking for tips,” Barney said.
Samantha Lamberg is hoping to keep her husband's case in the public eye and has launched a Facebook site dedicated to finding him.
In the meantime, however, “I'm down here feeling pretty powerless,” she said.
(Courtesy, The Ukiah Daily Journal)
STATEMENT OF THE DAY: Whether the desire for liberty exists in America remains to be seen. If Americans can overcome their gullibility, their lifelong brainwashing, their propensity to believe every lie that “their” government tells them, and if Americans can escape the Matrix in which they live, they can reestablish the morality, justice, peace, freedom, and liberty that “their” government has taken from them. It is not impossible for Americans to again stand with uplifted heads. They only have to recognize that “their” government is the enemy of truth, justice, human rights and life itself. Can mere ordinary Americans triumph over the evil that is “their” government without the aid of a superhero? If ideas are strong enough and Americans can comprehend them, good can prevail over the evil that is concentrated in Washington. What stands between the American people and their comprehension of evil is their gullibility. If good fails in its battle with Washington’s evil, our future is a boot stamping on the human face forever. — Paul Craig Roberts
DR. WILLIAM COURTNEY at the International Cannabinoid Research Society meeting in Vancouver, BC, June 24. (Photo by Fred Gardner). PS. I want Mendoland to know that we are not at war. I'll fill you in on the why. (Just back from Canada.)
To: Board of Directors Mendocino County Public Broadcasting
July 2, 2013
P.O. Box 1 Philo, CA 95466
Re: Violation of California Corporations Code - Annual Membership Meeting
Members of the Board:
I am writing today to alert you to violations of the California Corporations Code that affect the legitimacy of the corporation and its ability to renew its broadcast license for KZYX&Z.
Sections 5510-11 of the Corporations Code state, in part, that:
5510. (b) A regular meeting of members shall be held on a date and time, and with the frequency stated in or fixed in accordance with the bylaws, but in any event in each year in which directors are to be elected at that meeting for the purpose of conducting such election, and to transact any other proper business which may be brought before the meeting. . . . 5511. (a) Whenever members are required or permitted to take any action at a meeting, a written notice of the meeting shall be given not less than 10 nor more than 90 days before the date of the meeting to each member who, on the record date for notice of the meeting, is entitled to vote thereat . . .
The Bylaws of Mendocino County Public Broadcasting state, in part, that:
Section 10.01 Annual Meeting:
1) The annual meeting of the Membership shall be held within sixty (60) days of the completion of Board elections each year, unless the Board shall provide for another date and so notifies Members. 2) The purpose of this meeting shall be to declare the results of the preceding election of the Board, to present an annual report to Members on the activities and accomplishments of MCPB, to present the audit report, and any other business as may come before the meeting. 3) Notice of the annual meeting date and location, including agenda items that may require Membership vote, shall be given to all Members a minimum of fifteen (15) days prior to the meeting if delivered by first class mail or a minimum of four (4) days prior to the meeting if broadcast daily on the Station’s radio frequencies and posted at the Station headquarters.
MCPB failed to notify its membership of the most recent purported annual membership meeting, as required by both the Corporations Code and its own Bylaws. Such notice is required under Section 5510 because 1) the meeting completes the election process for the Board of Directors, and 2) such a meeting is required by the Bylaws. The notice must be no less than 10 nor more than 90 days prior to the annual membership meeting. The 90 day outside limit will allow you to send a notice of the annual meeting along with the notice of election, so there is no practical reason not to do so.
In addition, MCPB failed to hold a proper annual membership meeting by failing to answer any questions put forth by members at the meeting, thereby failing to transact any other proper business which may be brought before the meeting or to fully present an annual report to Members on the activities and accomplishments of MCPB.
I recently attended a regular meeting of your board, during which members were permitted three minutes each to make comments and ask questions, but with no provision for the board to answer those questions. It took two brave board members to disobey the instructions of the current Board chair and actually respond to questions raised by members. The Board’s current policy of never responding to the questions and concerns raised by the membership at any meeting brings into question the legal legitimacy of the Board. Worse, it burns the bridges of communication that are essential to any membership nonprofit organization.
As a member of the Board of Directors, each of you has a sacred duty to maintain that communication.
MCPB is a membership-based organization dedicated to serving the entire community of Mendocino County and contiguous counties. The primary purpose of MCPB is to engage in providing high-quality, independent, community and public radio and other media products and services. — MCPB Bylaws, Article III, Purpose and Governing Principles
When I raised these issues at the recent Board meeting, the General Manager shook his head in a dismissive gesture. If any employee fails to honor the organizations Bylaws or abide by California law, they are doing a disservice to the Board, the organization, and the community. It may be more work to listen and respond to the questions and concerns of the membership community, but that is precisely what the governance of MCPB must do. You are enjoying the benefits of being a membership organization. You must also accept the responsibilities.
On a related matter, I have requested that your quarterly reports to the Public File, required by the Federal Communications Commission, be posted on your website, along with the General Manager’s reports and other information. I was told I would need to go to your main office in Philo if I wanted to see any such reports. Considering the size of Mendocino County and the cost of gasoline, that is an undue burden to place on your membership, or the public, when access can otherwise be provide with a few keystrokes. You will be required to include the most recent Public File report in your application for renewal of your broadcasting license. Refusing to make them readily available to your members and the public at large appears to violate the rules concerning public access.
Since you are submitting another legal matter to pro bono counsel for review, I recommend that you do the same here. The full California Code section on membership meetings can be found online at http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=corp&group=05001-06000&file=5510-5517
Please give your urgent attention to these matters. Although I try to resolve issues with the least confrontation possible, the issue of membership involvement is so important that I will file an action in Superior Court to enforce compliance if the Board does remedy its current practices.
Thank you for your time and attention.
Dennis O’Brien, Ukiah
GEOFF THOMAS of Boonville writes: So Edward Snowden simply tells the world that the US government has the ability and power to collect information, powers that were legally granted by his own Government . So where's the f**king PROBLEM? Is it now ILLEGAL to talk about what is LEGALLY allowable in the land of the free? You make something technically "Legal," but then make it "Illegal" to mention that which should not be mentioned? I may be slow and I may often be stupid, but can somebody please explain why with all the shit that's happening in the world today, Edward Snowden is America's Most Wanted?
ON-LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY in response to pot raid in the Alderpoint area Wednesday morning:
Get the armed felons and mega grows cleaned out and the area cleaned up and you will see crime drop like a rock and a sudden migration out of the area of these career criminals and it will be appreciated by the majority of people in the area, especially those who still work an honest job or are retired and pay taxes and want a safer family friendly community like they remember not that long ago. This should start a turn around, the people are ready and have had enough body counts and neck tatted criminal zombies who should be locked away and the key thrown away. Good work HCSO!
PRESIDENT MORSI OVERTHROWN IN EGYPT
By Al Jazeera English (03 July 13)
The Egyptian army has overthrown President Mohamed Morsi announcing a roadmap for the country¹s political future that will be implemented by a national reconciliation committee. The head of Egypt's armed forces issued a declaration on Wednesday evening suspending the constitution and appointing the head of the constitutional court as interim head of state. Morsi's presidential Facebook page quoted the disposed president as saying he rejected the army statement as a military coup. In a televised broadcast, flanked by military leaders, religious authorities and political figures, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi effectively declared the removal of Morsi. Sisi called for presidential and parliamentary elections, a panel to review the constitution and a national reconciliation committee that would include youth movements. He said the roadmap had been agreed by a range of political groups. Speaking shortly after al-Sisi's announcement, liberal opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei said the 2011 revolution that ousted Hosni Mubarak was relaunched and that the roadmap meets the demand of the protesters for early presidential elections. Egypt's leading Muslim and Christian clerics also backed the army-sponsored roadmap. Ahmed al-Tayeb, Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar, Cairo's ancient seat of Muslim learning, and Pope Tawadros, the head of the Coptic Church, both made brief statements following the announcement by the head of the armed forces. Tawadros said the plan offered a political vision and would ensure security for all Egyptians, about 10% of whom are Christian.