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Mendocino County Today: March 26, 2012

Eric Trifilo

ERIC TRIFILO, 41, of Boonville, driving alone, died some time between late Sunday night and early Monday morning when his vehicle unaccountably veered off Highway 128 near the junction of Elkhorn Road at mile marker 41.71, coming to rest on its roof in a streambed some 40 feet from the highway. The accident was reported at 11:18am Monday when Trifilo's silver Ford Escort was discovered. He had been westbound. There were no witnesses  to the accident, which remains under investigation.

UKIAH COMMUNITY INVITED to Join “All Humanity March” on Saturday — In response to recent local and national murders that have drawn significant media attention due to apparent racial motives, a community-wide All Humanity March will be held this Saturday, March 31st beginning at noon at Alex Thomas Plaza. Marchers will affirm their right to live safely in Ukiah’s diverse community. The march, which will encompass several blocks along State and School Streets, is being coordinated by a community group called CORP (Conversations On Race & Privilege). The group formed last month in response to a workshop, Dismantling Racism, produced by Ukiah Aware, a socially-conscious production company. “CORP meets twice monthly to examine internally our own assumptions about race and white privilege, and also to discuss how to creatively address racial issues in our community,” says Dianne Durham, founder of Ukiah Aware and CORP group member. “When we last met, the sentiment was strong that our community needs an opportunity to gather in the wake of the Jamal Andrews and Trayvon Martin murders to embrace our humanity and to declare our right to be safe in Ukiah and in every community,” says Durham. The goal of the march is to inspire a stronger sense of unity within the Ukiah community. While opposition to all forms of racism is a primary reason for the march, organizers are reaching out to people who are often targeted, as well as to all who appreciate and embrace diversity. CORP is appealing to the entire Ukiah community, particularly people of color, young people, non-heterosexuals, impoverished, elderly, disabled, and members of the religious community to join the march. Organizers have invited a few people to offer brief remarks to conclude the march. “Our simple message is that we all belong to the human race,” says Durham. For more information about this Saturday’s march or CORP, call (707) 299-6690.

LAST MONTH, Single Payer Action, It's Our Economy and a group of 50 doctors filed a brief with the Supreme Court. We called on the Court to strike down Obama's mandate. The mandate that requires every American citizen to buy a product from private health insurance corporations. We argued that we should instead get rid of the private health insurance corporations. And replace them with one single payer — everybody in, nobody out. The brief has gained support from some unlikely sources — including Dr. Arnold Relman — former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine. On Tuesday March 27, 2012 at 8:30 am, we will take our argument to the steps of the US Supreme Court. Our sign says — Single Payer Now, Strike Down Obama Mandate. If you are in the area, hope you can join us. If not, check in for updates at Onward to Single Payer. — Russell Mokhiber, Single Payer Action

MONDO PERV, THE DEFENSE, by Name Withheld (of course)

Lenny Bruce had a bit where he commented on his court appearances. His defense attorney said, “Get a haircut, get a blue suit and… get rid of those shoes.” It's costume time in court. The judge is the one in the black robe, the cops are the guys in brown suits, the defendant is the one in the blue suit. The big costume moment in the Richard Kruse trial was when the alleged victim, now 12, took the stand wearing a pink top, a pink skirt with flowers on it, french braids and, can you believe - a pink teddy bear. She's 12. With a pink teddy bear. Aww. Was this a JonBenet Ramsay lookalike attempt or what? It sure made the needle of my bullshit meter jump. I guess it's somebody's idea of what a child victim should look like. I've never seen the girl dressed like that before and I'd bet the clothes were purchased specifically for her court appearance. Another disturbing feature of the case is the woman who claims to have been molested by Mr Kruse 34 years ago. The disturbing thing is the lack of other supposed victims who have not shown up. Let's say Mr Kruse was a molester. Molesters don't suddenly stop that behavior and start it up again later. If only one girl a year had been a victim, there would be 34 young women out there eager to get a stab at the man who messed with them. Only silence. An even more disturbing factor is the bias shown by local reportage, The UDJ article by Tiffany Revelle has some waffle words in it: “Kruse also allegedly said during the 2010 interview that “he was never inappropriate with (Jennifer),” according to Porter, contrary to a statement to Comer in 2008 that he had been inappropriate but hadn't molested her when he rubbed her legs, back, stomach and chest during sleepovers. “I did some inappropriate things with her, but I never molested her, as far as stimulating her,” Kruse said in the 2008 interview.” I wondered as I read this, did he, or did he not say these things. It is prejudicial of her reportage to report damaging allegations. Some of the things she reported were said out of the presence of the jury, and were disallowed by the judge. And what shall I say about Bruce McEwen, whose smug self- righteous coverage of the case from the beginning makes one wonder at his competence. His wiseass little asides at the Defense Att'ys represent his own bias and are Yellow Journalism at it's finest. He makes a big deal of the supposed 'trophies' of little girls' hair supposedly kept by Kruse. The sheriff's investigators tossed the Kruse residence thoroughly, seizing the computer and several garbage bags of photos. Their perusal of them failed to produce any trace of pornography. He had years of photos of his water skiing students. The preponderance of them were girls, but there were family outings with him and occasional boys as well. The tins of hair Mr McEwen goes on about were never found. If they had been, you can count on them being on the evidence table at Court. No hair collection. No right thinking person thinks well of those who prey on children, so I can understand Mr McEwen's indignation, but we still work under the presumption of innocence until proven guilty in the US. Mr McEwen, in an earlier article asserted that in China Mr Kruse would be taken to the basement and given a bullet in the brain. Can we say, rush to judgment? He's not even correct about China. I asked a friend who has lived in China for many years about it and was told that it would depend on the region, the standing of the individuals in the community, and the damages done. China until recent years had a law limiting families to only one child. Having a son is important in that society and girl children were routinely aborted. This has caused an imbalance in the number of boys and girls, and there is a generation of young men who cannot find a mate. The parents of a girl can command a 'bride price' for their daughter. Anything that would devalue the 'product' would cause the offender to be fined the amount that the Court would find the girl's 'value' had been diminished. Mr McEwen shot himself in the foot with that one. He tosses in Tree Frog Johnson, the Boonville molester, who had that reputation in the area. No such reputation exists in Albion about Mr Kruse. More guilt by association. His assertion that no attorney could be found to take the case is another piece of BS. The Kruses spent all their money on an attorney who dropped the case when the cash ran out. No one would take the case pro bono so it went to the PD's office. No problem other than lack of money. Mr McEwen's been around the court system long enough to know that. Once again, all the news that fits, he tints. He ends his last little meretricious meander into malice with a bet that Mr Kruse would plead out. Sorry, Bruce, didn't happen. The Defense has rested, Tuesday the 20th is set for the final statements, the instructions to the Jury, and their sequestering. I'm willing to accept the verdict of the triers of the facts. Too bad Mr McEwen's self-righteousness clouds his judgment. I'll read his reportage with a large grain of salt in the future. Do I think Kruse did it? It doesn't matter what I or anyone else thinks. Under our system of jurisprudence, Mr Kruse is innocent until a jury of his peers finds otherwise. If appearances matter, I would note that when the Defense rested, the Defense attorney was smiling and the Prosecutor was frowning. Afterword: Mr Kruse was found Not Guilty of the more serious charges that would have sent him up for 15 yrs to Life. He was found Guilty of Lewd and Lascivious Conduct with a child under 14 with duress. This is good for about 5 years in the joint. His time served dates from about November 15th 2010, and you are credited with one day Good Time for every two days served in the County Jail. This will cut his sentence considerably. Mr Kruse has no previous record and is a good candidate for Parole. Sentencing is set for May 25th.

ED NOTE: I noticed that the jury was out for three hours and came back with a conviction. I also noticed that the investigators fully expect more women to come forward. I know we live in a time of shifting values, but your defense defends the indefensible. Obviously, he's been at it for years. This guy is a menace to children. I hope the judge maxes him out.

CHARLES GIVENS will visit Willits from the State of Washington to talk about his experiences and photographs of logging and railroad operations in our area. The event takes place on Saturday, March 31, at 7pm in the Wonacott Room at the Mendocino County Museum, located at 400 East Commercial Street in Willits. Light refreshments will be served. The event is sponsored by Roots of Motive Power, Inc. and runs concurrently with an exhibit of Givens’ photos, highlighting seven county railroad logging operations.

LEAD SENTENCE from a Sunday PD story by Guy Kovner: “Political third parties, which typically veer to the left or right of the Democrats and Republicans, don't like California's new top-two, open primary that makes its debut in the June 5 election.” Third parties don't like Prop 14 because it “effectively denies voters their fundamental right of choice by precluding small party candidates from the general election ballot,” as several third parties have argued in a joint lawsut against Secretary of State Debra Bowen. A top two election removes whatever influence third parties might exert on the Democrats and Republicans in the general election. Only 5% of California voters belong to a third party, but occasionally, as has happened here on the Northcoast, a third party candidate is able to garner enough votes to swing an election from a particularly odious officeholder to a slightly less odious one. Democrats have always feared Peace and Freedom and Greens, Republicans fear Libertarians and American Independents. Democrats and Republicans would prefer to keep elections to themselves. Irv Sutley has been battling for years to keep Peace and Freedom ballot-eligible. Twenty years ago, P&F knocked a Thompson-like Democrat, Doug Bosco, out of Congress and threw a scare into the Chesbro-like Democrat Dan Hauser. Sutley assesses both Kovner's prose and Prop 14: “This Press Democrat story out of Santa Rosa is a poorly written story but at least it is coverage of the Proposition 14 lawsuit. The author fails to mention the long range effects on smaill third parties which will be eliminated from ballot status starting in 2014. This will occur when these smaller parties can not advance to the November genral election where they are required to get two percent of the vote for a statewide office in an election in which a governor is elected.”


ASSEMBLYMAN WES CHESBRO, a career officeholder whose three decades in local office have come to represent a kind of werewolf-like political curse on the Northcoast — it will take thousands of silver stakes through Chesbro's chest to even locate his heart — will probably again waft to re-election on a cloud of voter ennui. “Chesbro? Is that the guy who kinda looks like Wayne Newton? You know, moustache, iron hair, disco pimp-looking dude?” That's him. Vote for the other guy. This time around, Chesbro will face two other Democrats and a Green Party whangdoodle on the June 5 primary ballot, with the most voteworthy of the two Democrats being Tom Lynch of Guerneville. Lynch would absolutely be an improvement over Chesbro, and he may just have a shot at Wes because the new 2nd District includes the northern half of Santa Rosa on up to the Oregon border, meaning Chesbro's flab-glab-lib-lab base in Arcata and Southern Humboldt will be outnumbered by the new Santa Rosa vote, which should be to Lynch’s advantage.


THE OTHER CANDIDATES are Firenza Pini, 21, a Democrat from Hayfork, and Pamela Elizondo of Laytonville, a perennial third party candidate who, like an electoral cuckoo clock, chirps only at election time.

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