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Mendocino County Today: March 24, 2012

ED NOTE: If you know nothing about the Bari interlude than these two facts, you won't be bamboozled by Darryl Cherney's latest chapter in a 22-year-old cover-up: The “mystery” can be solved by matching the known female DNA on the confession called The Lord's Avenger Letter and that Bari, soon after the bombing, applied to the FBI for limited immunity from prosecution if she told the truth about what had happened. The FBI said it would not grant immunity so long as Judi remained a suspect. Bari, Cherney and Bari's ex-husband then embarked on a so-far successful campaign to divert suspicion for the bombing onto the FBI, corporate timber, religious nuts, and males generally — all males except her ex-husband, a man with a long history of violent associations all the way back to his undergraduate days at Stanford where he belonged to a Maoist cult involved in numerous bombings around the San Francisco Bay Area.

WHO BOMBED JUDI BARI? It wasn¹t the government.

by Danny Weil Daily Journal (Opinion), Mar 19, 2012 ( —


A new film produced by Darryl Cherney that white washes the entire Judi Bari saga is out and is being shown this coming weekend in Sonoma County. Darryl Cherney is claiming that he wants an investigation of the 22 year old bombing when in fact he is someone who has worked hard to prevent that from happening. With the money he got from the FBI settlement he could have made it happen years ago but he didn¹t. Some of you will remember all the controversy after the bombing when some of us who actually knew Judi and the backstory of her marriage to Mike Sweeney tried to get a real investigation going. I remember it all too well for I worked with Judi Bari and Mike Sweeney, her husband, for two years in the early 1980s before Earth First and before the meteoric fame and rise of Judi Bari. We were both plaintiffs in a large environmental lawsuit we brought against the city of Rohnert Park and Hewlett Packard that lasted three years. We lost the case but Mike and Judi settled out of court with HP for an undisclosed sum. At that time it was Mike who was “calling the shots,” for when we met Mike did all the talking and Judi remained mute. It was Mike who agreed to settle with HP after he and Judi had promised they would not. It was on the basis of their promise that my co-litigant and I released the volumes of lower trial transcripts that allowed Bari and Sweeney to make a deal with the corporation not to appeal our loss in lower court for an undisclosed sum of money. For readers who have perhaps grown up hearing that Judi was bombed by the government, they might be surprised to find that amongst many “radicals” and progressives this is not ecumenically shared. In fact, many of us like myself who have followed this case for many decades, know this is not true. We believe, and the evidence supports, the claim that Judi was bombed by her husband, Mike Sweeney. Many readers will no doubt be shocked! I am not alone. You will read about Irv Sutley, a Sonoma County resident and long time member of the Peace and Freedom Party. I have known Irv Sutley for close to 40 years and have worked with him on Peace and Freedom presidential campaigns (Benjamin Spock). Sutley worked closely with Judi and knows much more than the left media, or Daryl Cherney, will tell. I worked with Irv Sutley on this case briefly close to a decade ago when I was an attorney. Journalists like Steve Talbot (Frontline) made a film (Who Bombed Judi Bari?) in 1991 that was as close to a real investigation as we’ve had where he looked at four different theories about her bombing including Mike. He was just one of several people who Judi shared her suspicions with about her ex being the bomber. Ed Gehrman was another who tried to piece it all together after endless interviews with some of us who knew her well. There is way too much info to impart here but here is some of it. Some of us have spent endless hours on this over the years and my office is full of files about it as is Bruce Anderson’s AVA. There is also an article coming out this Wednesday in the ‘Bohemian’ (Santa Rosa, California) that is giving it another try so try to get a copy of it before you go to see this film. Also, you can read Kate Coleman¹s book on Judi Bari for a comprehensive look at the bombing and other issues.

ACCORDING to a press release from the Sheriff’s Department, a raid early Monday morning (1am) on a property at 5700 Robinson Creek Road netted 468 pot plants, 42 grow lights and Sara Fraker, 30, of Ukiah. Deputies from the County of Mendocino Marijuana Eradication Team (COMMET), with the help of night shift MCSO patrol deputies, agents from the Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force, Mendocino County Probation Office, and wardens from the California Department of Fish and Game, served a search warrant on the address southwest of Ukiah where they found indoor grows in several buildings. Ms. Fraker was booked at the Mendocino County Jail on suspicion of cultivating marijuana, possessing marijuana for sale and maintaining a place to grow marijuana. Her bail was set at $25,000.

GIVEN THE NUMBER of cops involved, one might have thought Ms. Fraker was an al Qaeda affiliate, but the raid is likely to turn out to be a net financial plus for Mendocino County given DA Eyster’s innovative pot prosecution policies. Eyster basically settles these things for cash and minor misdemeanors on the bustee’s record. Eyster’s way spares the bustee the very real possibility of serious jail time if he takes his case all the way to a jury and loses, but if he or she pays up and takes his or her misdemeanor the County gets the fine money and the taxpayers aren’t left with the expense of lengthy court proceedings. So far, no one’s complaining.

THE COUNTY, which is you and me brothers and sisters, will spend $8,000 on a plan to improve in-house communication with their employees “and with the community.” The plan is aimed at fixing what CEO Carmel Angelo describes as “a lack of communication, due in part to low staffing levels and little or, in some departments' cases, no ability to generate press releases.” As reported yesterday, the County has hired Jendi Coursey of Indigo Studio and Sarah Bodnar of Social Media Sisters to develop communication among County employees and to keep the general public informed, maybe even fully informed — but don’t count on it. Ms. Coursey will be paid $125 per hour for a maximum of 64 hours. In return, she will devise a a general enhancement of the public’s “perception of the county; improve internal communication with County stakeholders — Board of Supervisors, employees, community partners, etc.; create an inclusive and dynamic communication strategy; create a training plan for staff to achieve a self-sufficient plan for effective public relations and internal communication; create a plan for publishing positive good news' stories; create a plan and design for a county-wide newsletter.”


MS. COURSEY subcontracted with Ms. Bodnar, whose on-line description of her business describes it as a “social media marketing strategists helping you get real in a virtual world. Our style is yoga meets roller derby!”

ENHANCED COMMUNICATIONS are supposed to be in place “by Christmas,” CEO Angelo assures us.

THIS STUFF is all the social media rage, with twittering and tweeting and all of us constantly looking at ourselves in our facebook mirrors. GizmoLandia may have its conveniences, but all of it adds up to a cosmic absence of effective communication, or any real communication at all, IMO and LOL, but mainly, WTF? Prediction: The “plan” will include a recommendation that the taxpayers fund a $200 handheld I-Yob for every County employee.

EXCEPT FOR SUPERVISOR SMITH, citizens can go directly to their supervisors with questions. Department heads and other individual drones can be much harder to reach. (When we call there’s a scurrying and then, witnesses in place, the bureaucrat puts us on speakerphone.) There’s no need for the County to spend this $8,000, and if individual department heads are so terrified of questions maybe they ought to look into No Talk lines of work.

THE COUNTY’S hiring a new message maker

In the hopes that $8k’s not a budget breaker

But the youthful Ms. Coursey

Clearly doesn’t work for free

Mendo might do better if they enlisted Ms. Fraker.

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