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Off the Record (Jan. 30, 2002)

THE JURIST MATTER rightly continues to preoccupy the attentions of many people on the South Coast. Jurist and his allies continue to claim that he’s the victim of a “witch hunt,” that the nearly two decades of complaints against him are unfounded or misunderstandings. Asked by uninvolved persons to account for this or that unseemly episode, Jurist launches long, implausible explanations that only confirm the suspicions that he’s been molesting high school girls for years. The people who walked in on him while he was fondling some kid really didn’t see what they saw. He’s also slept with high school girls, pursued girls he met at Point Arena High School after they’ve left school, and even turned up in one girl’s college dormitory asking to see her as she hid in her room and Jurist was turned away at the front desk.

WHEN THE POINT ARENA SCHOOL BOARD was finally unable to ignore the constant reports of Jurist’s compulsive sexual behavior with targeted youngsters — typically girls without a male adult looking out for them — the board commissioned an investigation. The investigation confirmed some 35 instances of sexual misconduct before it ran out of money. There were many more.

THE REPORT confirming numerous episodes of Jurist’s misconduct was first sequestered then re-written in a blandly obfuscating prose that was a combination of edu and psycho-babble. Why? Because Jurist had produced his stash of “provocative” photos of South Coast adults, including people affiliated with Point Arena’s school system, warning the school board that if he went down his collection of incriminating photographs would be made public. He also threatened to sue the school district into bankruptcy, and he threatened to sue any individual associated with the Point Arena schools if the school district proceeded against him.

JURIST bullied the administration of the Point Arena school board into removing confirmation of his sexual misconduct from his personnel file.

THE POINT ARENA SCHOOL BOARD and their Santa Rosa lawyers capitulated at the cost, and ongoing risk to, the welfare and well-being of the young people school authorities are sworn to protect. (The lawyers, incidentally, a JPA-sanctioned outfit based in Santa Rosa, represent all the school districts of Mendocino County. From direct experience with them, I can say that if there’s a choice to be made between right and wrong, count on Bob Henry and Company to come on strong for wrong.)

JURIST’S BLACKMAIL WORKED, but he did agree not to accompany girls on overnight school trips, and he promised to leave the door to his office open whenever a female student was in the room with him. The school board’s capitulation to Jurist’s criminal but successful threats to destroy them and the Point Arena schools was also, of course, confirmation by Jurist that he had been preying on female students. An innocent person would never agree to any restrictions on his profession duties that implied he could not be trusted around young girls.

WHAT KIND OF COMMUNITY tolerates a Jurist type? A seriously dysfunctional community, obviously, and one that elects people to its school board who have continually failed to act against a man who harms their children. Worse, and as an anonymous letter writer to last week’s ICO movingly pointed out, the school apparatus has made it impossible for young women to complain about Jurist’s or any other staffer’s misconduct. A fourteen-year-old girl doesn’t understand that the entire school apparatus, all the way up to superintendent Iacuaniello, has come out four-square for the man who has taken advantage of her? That the county’s incompetent CPS hasn’t already been assured by Jurist and Iacuaniello that Jurist hasn’t done what he’s known to have been doing for many years? That it’s easy for a kid to talk about this kind of thing under any circumstances, let alone circumstances consciously, deliberately arrayed to discredit her?

WHAT’S EVEN CREEPIER about all this, is that it has apparently occurred in a wider community context of professionally-rendered, commercial pornography. There is more than one South Coast individual making money by making sex films starring local people which are then sold to the seemingly insatiable global porn market. In the world beyond Mendocino County this particular form of commerce is known as “organized crime.”

A POINT ARENA MOM put it this way: “If our school district can pay something like $75,000 to buy out Thelma Edmundson’s contract, there ought to be enough money to get Jurist out of the high school.” (Ms. Edmundson is PA’s former superintendent of schools.)

AN UNSIGNED NOTE postmarked Colorado: “FYI…. Steve Jurist likes to refer to himself as ‘The Rifleman.’”

IN OTHER FOG BELT SEX NEWS, when an as yet unnamed Point Arena mother discovered Francisco Uribe, 32, “engaged in lewd conduct” with her ten-year-old daughter, she went after Uribe with a knife, causing Uribe to flee. He was later discovered near Gualala bleeding from unfortunately superficial wounds to his upper body. Uribe was taken by ambulance to Redwood Coast Hospital, treated, and then arrested by the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Department.

THE EERIE UKIAH episode two Saturdays ago that saw “a young Hispanic male” walk up to the front yard of an off-duty Ukiah cop and shoot at the cop and the cop’s four-year-old son, is only the most spectacular of almost daily race-based Ukiah violence. Who’s doing it? Mexican-American gangs inspired by state prison parolees, several of the worst of whom are from LA. The parolees are deep into gang life and want to drag as many kids down with them as they can. The would-be local gang bangers fight each other, they start fights with Indian kids, black kids, white kids, male kids, female kids. Low-esteem fat girls are as violent, or more violent, than their lithe, low-expectation male counterparts. Ukiah gang bangers start fights with other kids because the kid has the wrong color shirt on, or is white, or black, or whatever, and the rest of the gang then piles on. Sheriff’s Department staffers, including desk jockeys, have been called out to nearby Ukiah High School to help break up race-based aggression. The kid who took the shot at the cop and the cop’s child (how much lower can a “tough guy” go than that?) hasn’t been found, although the cops are pretty sure they know who did it and who put him up to it.

KINDA NAIVE, isn’t it, all this Enron-inspired talk about who audits the auditors? The same people who lawyer the lawyers — no one. Their professional associations? Spare me. Auditors are like lawyers — they lie for money. Locally, I’ve often read school district audits that are almost total fictions, and anybody who’s spent time decoding a school district audit understands right away that the audit is presented in a way that does not enhance clarity, to put it gently.

AN AUDITOR/CPA just signed off on a rigged KZYX programmer’s election, and I’m talking outback number crunchers, not the people who cook the books for the big boys. This season’s Boonville school audit says, as per ancient annual custom, that all the money is going where it’s supposed to be going. But if one reads it, and I daresay I’m the only person who has or will read it other than the accountant who composed it, one finds several areas where the Boonville schools are not in “compliance” with state law. One area of non-compliance has been in non-compliance for 35 years.

IF AN ACCOUNTANT, or an office full of them, won’t dare blow the whistle on gang of unsophisticated edu-thieves at the Mendocino County Office of Education, as occurred for years over at Talmage, or ignores the crude little in-house electoral fraud conducted by a nest of half-clucked KZYX hens, do you think corporate auditors are about to go on national television to say, “Kenneth Lay is a liar and a thief and here are the numbers to prove it?” Auditors don’t get work if two-plus-two can’t be counted (sic) on to come up six.

SIGH. THERE ARE CERTAIN to be those offended by Frank Cieciorka’s brilliantly offensive Under God poster on sale now as the joint enterprise of the aritst and the AVA. The drawing first appeared in Paul Krassner’s pivotal Realist magazine in the mid-1960’s and, with religious subversives of all types, foreign and domestic, beseiging us secular houyhnhnms, is as timely as ever. Mr. Cieciorka comments: “When people suggest that the cartoon is in bad taste, I generally reply that Congress inserted the homoerotic clause in the pledge; I merely illustrated it.”

THAT’S EXACTLY RIGHT, MR.C. Your history teacher would be very proud of you. Happened back in the McCarthyite 1950’s. The Fundies bullied Congress into putting the Big Guy on our money, too, even though the rule book — the Constitution — says church and state are supposed to be religiously kept apart. The God people are always going on about how the Founding Fathers were faithful Christians and wanted us all to go to church and to be constantly aware the the whole show was the work of an extremely powerful, eternal white man who didn’t miss a single thing. And woe unto us all if He got mad, and He often does, and when He does He tends to be awfully punitive, if not downright arbitrary. The Fundies claimed back in the 1950’s that The One True White Man was especially fond of Americans except, of course, for except by Mormons, Mohammedans, Buddhists, Communist Russians, Unitarians, alcoholics who weren’t in AA, liberals, Seventh Day Adventists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Jews, Catholics, animists, hippies, and Hindus.

AHEM. School books and your local preachers aside, the Founding Fathers were intellectuals and aristocrats, many of them atheists, who tried to set things up so only people like them — white male aristos — could vote and otherwise run things. Jefferson and the rest of them thought the rest of us were too damn dumb and irresponsible to be trusted with the affairs of state, and given the quality of today’s officeholders, who’s to argue? They certainly didn’t want religious people getting into politics, which is why they said they didn’t care what people believed but don’t try to make your beliefs into law. Because they read books, they knew all about what happens when religious fanatics get out of hand, and wouldn’t in the least be surprised by current events. Historians have calculated that if the Founding Fathers original plan hadn’t been modified, about 7% of US would be voting in the next elections. God never should have gotten into the Pledge of Allegiance, never should have been inscribed on our money, never should have been declared tax exempt, never should have been allowed onto the football field, and sure as hell should have been kept out of the White House.

I CAN’T be the only person annoyed by the front page pufferoo in Sunday’s Santa Rosa Press Democrat on a Sonoma County defense attorney named Andrian. Andrian just got a Petaluma doctor acquitted on charges the doc murdered his wife. The facts of the case were simple. Mrs. Doctor tended to drink herself into a stupor in the pm hours. Mr. Doctor found Mrs. Doctor lack of restraint tiresome. One night when Mrs. Doctor was blotto, Mr. Doctor stuck her head in a pail of water and drowned her. Andrian, as competent defense attorneys will do, especially highly paid defense attorneys, fuzzed up the facts with a lot of extraneous fol de rol that depended heavily on the incompetence of the Sonoma County DA’s office, always a dependable defense strategy everywhere in the country. A bunch of 9-5 Young Republicans are seldom a match for an amoral sociopath with a law degree who pulls down $200 an hour and up. Big shot defense lawyers intimidate judges, too, especially outback judges unaccustomed to verbal pyrotechnics. Andrian convinced the judge that the DA’s office had behaved illegally, that the coroner was a drunk and a nut, that the cops had screwed up the crime scene (in ways irrelevant to the facts), that a doctor beloved by his patients was incapable of knocking off his wife, that doctors are inherently swell guys. The jury agreed with Andrian. The old girl had been so loaded that she somehow got her head stuck in a mop bucket and went glub, glub, glub. The PD, predictably, thought the whole Andrian evasion of justice so splendid they celebrated the guy on the front page of Sunday’s paper.

AS THE BARI BOMBING case nears its federal appointment the first week in April, there’s a few basic facts about it certain to go unheard, as Darryl Cherney and his public radio megaphones at KPFA, KZYX and KMUD go into propaganda overdrive. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear the preposterously hagiographic tribute to the late Bari narrated by, of all people, Ruby Dee on Democracy Now. The internal exile, Amy Goodman, apparently rents her show to any old clay foot who has the money.

MOST OF THE CASE delays have been caused by the Bari-ites. Delays are “movement” lawyers’ main move. Delay long enough and all the witnesses are either dead or have disappeared. In the forever pending Bari-Cherney case, the witnesses who know exactly what happened aren’t included in the April festivities in Oakland because the case never has been aimed at finding out who did it. Each time the Bari-ites have shuffled attorneys, the new batch, joined at the hip to the old batch, have gotten a year or two to “get up to speed” by the suspiciously indulgent judge, Claudia Wilkin. From what I can gather, a couple have actually been fired for asking inconvenient questions. They include Susan B. Jordan, Marvin Stender, Erica Eteleson. Tony Serra slipped out the door when his investigators took a close look at what the Bari-ites wanted him to present to a federal jury. Although the Bari-ites continue to use his name as a fundraising tool, Serra is now listed as the case’s “fourth” attorney, batting clean-up it seems, with nobody on base. Old Faithful, Dennis Cunningham, wrote the final version of the thing and will present it. Off his last appearance in Wilkin’s court, the poor guy is either senile or so heavily medicated it wouldn’t surprise anybody if he showed up in court in Oakland in his bathrobe.

ELEVEN YEARS after the event, courtesy of Judge Wilkin, what’s going into federal court in Oakland is a mutually convenient tri-partite farce deliberately calculated to avoid even the mention of who might have done it.

THE BARI-CHERNEY scam has always had two purposes: (1) To conceal the truth of what happened and (2) to make money for the people who made it happen. It has never had anything to do with civil rights, free speech, environmental organizing, or trees. A million-plus dollars have been raised under false pretenses by the Redwood Summer Justice Project. That money has gone to a handful of cynical (and inept) lawyers and key members of the Bari Cult and their media allies. If the suit is successful, and Darryl Cherney and Judi Bari’s daughters walk out of federal court with a big hunk of tax-derived cash, the lawyers will take their whack, the Bari girls theirs, Cherney his. The trees and civil rights will get what they’ve always gotten from Northcoast Earth First! Best wishes but no cash.

FRESH OFF REVELATIONS in the Sacramento Bee that he harassed a female staffer out of her state job with the Assembly at the cost of $140,000 to the taxpayers, Luke Breit is featured in the forthcoming Sacramento Magazine as among Sacramento’s “most eligible bachelors.” Breit, 58, is described as “a senior aide to the speaker of the Assembly” whose idea of romance is “getting Victoria’s Secret to open early Sunday morning for a champagne brunch and lingerie-buying extravaganza for me and my honey.”

PLEASE DON’T MISUNDERSTAND me here, but if we could be assured that Osama would take out Breit and Sacramento Magazine, wouldn’t it be a good idea to give him a one-day tourist visa to visit the state capitol?

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