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Mendocino County Today: February 14, 2013

ONLINE DATING. By Jeff Costello

Am I admitting this? Yes, I guess so. I've been married (using the term loosely) twice, have four grown kids and four grandchildren. Not a particularly lonely guy and certainly not a crusty bachelor of the type who gave up on women long ago. If, however, one were poised to give up on women, online dating sites might finish the job.

In two years of fishing around on such sites I may have found some answers to Freud's famous question, “What do women want?”

If one believes the info people put in their dating site profiles, half or more women “love to laugh.” They also love their families, and animals. Where I begin to wonder is at the professed passion for hiking, camping, fishing, horses, motorcycles (almost always Harleys), whitewater rafting, kayaking and golf. Some post pictures of themselves with guns. The cynic in me thinks they are often saying these things because they want to attract men who do such things. I really can't say how many men who look at these women might be hoping for a fishing buddy. That was surely not my intent.

Over the years I have asked a few female individuals, as a matter of research, “What do women want?”

Top 3 answers:

• Satisfaction.

• Help.

• To be desired, no matter what their age.

It was a surprise to see how many listed wine-tastings as a favorite activity. The explosion of vineyards and wineries, not only in California but Oregon, Washington and who-knows-where-else, indicates a wholesale increase in alcoholism. But wine “connoisseurs” get to pretend they're not merely drinking but participating and investing in a high-class social environment. Bukowski, by comparison and for the record, was an honest drinker.

So on my “senior” dating site profile I wrote “Not interested in sports, camping, or strenuous exercise. No horses, golf, camping, wine tastings or extra pounds, please, or anyone describing themselves with a long string of superlatives.” (It is never in one’s interest to give oneself a glowing review. Let’s face it, adjectives are cheap).

“Extra pounds” — a euphemism, if not for the ages, then at least for the current obesity epidemic. You might be surprised at the number of women who post pictures taken 50 or 100 pounds ago. I am chronically underweight, and no one’s Jack Sprat. This problem came to the fore with one woman I’d had an interesting and frank online conversation with. When we met face-to-face in a Portland coffee shop, she was clearly heavier than in her photos. After some espresso and small talk, she said “I’m self-conscious about my weight — and you’re too thin to have sex with.” Well, there it was. Size matters.

I have no advice for anyone messing with dating sites, except not to say things you think the opposite sex wants to hear. If they don’t like the truth in email, they won’t like it any better in person. Did I meet somebody compatible, worthwhile, unfazed by my cynicism and caveats this way? Well okay, yes I did, but only after two years of communication with church ladies, gold diggers, hustlers and hackers, determined husband hunters, lonely midwest grandmas with poodle hairdos, and so on. Just another phase of education in human nature. Including my own.


LAST MAY (of 2012) we wrote (based on a Sheriff’s Department press release) that a frequently arrested 28 year old Coast man named Riley Kiesel who had been permanently 86'd from Dick's Place in Mendocino, was charged with attempted murder after after an incident back then soon after he showed up on a Monday morning at Dick's a half hour before closing time. Kiesel had been peacefully escorted off the premises by bartender Alexander Behounek, 32. Two hours later, about 3:20am, at the intersection of Little Lake and Lansing, Kiesel, apparently waiting for Behounek to leave work, jumped in front of Behounek's car. Behounek then made the nearly fatal error of getting out of his car to confront Kiesel, at which point Kiesel stabbed Behounek once in the stomach. Deputies were quickly on the scene and located Kiesel nearby. Kiesel readily admitted to stabbing Behounek who was airlifted to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital in apparently serious condition. Before the stabbing, Kiesel had a record of local arrests going back to 2004, which include charges of carrying concealed weapons, drunk in public and marijuana-related offenses. He was charged with attempted murder with bail set at $200,000.

Kiesel: Aug 2009, Jan 2011, Mar 2012, May 2012
Kiesel: Aug 2009, Jan 2011, Mar 2012, May 2012

THEN, about a month later, according to the Fort Bragg Advocate’s archived reports for the Ten Mile Court, on June 28, 2012 Mr. Kiesel appeared before visiting Judge Galen Hathway, in custody, and plead not guilty to a reduced charge of assault with a deadly weapon causing great bodily injury. A Jury trial was set for August 22. At that time the judge noted that Kiesel “also has two [prior] violations of probation.”

THE NEXT WEEK (July 2, 2012) the Advocate’s Court reporter cryptically reported “Correction: In last week's report on the Riley G. Kiesel case, this reporter was in error when he wrote that Kiesel's alleged victim was the man commonly known as ‘Big Al.’ The question was asked of the Sheriff's Office witness while he was on the stand and under oath. ‘Is this the man in Mendocino better known as ‘Big Al’?” asked the Deputy Public Defender Thomas Croak. J.D. Comer, the detective answered, ‘I didn't hear anyone use an alias.’ Then he talked about the man being 6'3" or 6'4" and just under 200 pounds, a description that much better fits ‘Big Al’ than it fits the actual alleged victim.”

SO THE VICTIM was NOT Big Al. It was a regular sized guy named Alexander Behounek.

ON SEPTEMBER 20, 2012, the Fort Bragg Advocate’s court report again mentioned Mr. Kiesel, this time when he appeared before Judge Clayton Brennan.

“Riley G. Kiesel, in custody, was sentenced to 365 days in MCJ (113 days CTS) for the stabbing of a man on Little Lake Street after both had left a bar. Following his jail sentence, Kiesel is to complete a six-month residential treatment program of his choice (one without a religious component). He is to attend four AA meetings per week for the full term of his probation and restitution was reserved for his victim; however, he must pay a $700 restitution fine to the court.” [No mention of probation.]

THAT WAS for what the cops first declared “attempted murder.”

LET’S ASSUME that Mr. Kiesel, an obviously dangerous drug abuser and alcoholic, started serving his “365 day” jail sentence the day after he was arrested on May 29, 2012, and let’s further assume that by September 20 he had served 113 days as “credit for time served (CTS).” Assuming Mr. Kiesel would end up serving maybe half of his original 365 day jail sentence (183 days), he would have had just 70 more days after September 20 of actual incarceration where, presumably, he wouldn’t have access to drugs or booze. So September 20, plus 70 days means he would probably be out by the end of November 2012.

ON NOVEMBER 8, again according to the Advocate’s Ten Mile Court report, “Riley G. Kiesel, in custody, agreed to pay his victim, Al Sanders, restitution totaling $7,341.”

SOMEHOW Kiesel’s victim, the aforementioned bartender Alexander Behounek, had morphed into a guy named Al (“Big Al”?) Sanders. (Maybe the Advocate’s Court reporter forgot that he had previously issued a correction about who the victim was.)

ANYWAY, MR. KIESEL was still in custody on November 8 when he somehow gave the guy he tried to kill by stabbing the whopping restitution of $7,341.

THE NEXT TIME WE hear about Mr. Kiesel was today (February 13) when Kym Kemp of the Lost Coast Outpost reported that “Arcata police arrested a Mendocino man yesterday (Tuesday, February 12). … Riley Kiesel was out and about as of last night [even though he’d been arrested for attempted murder just last May]. Below is the Arcata Police Dept. press release of their encounter with the man.”

Arcata Police Dept. Press Release: “During the late evening hours of Feb. 12, 2013, Arcata Police officers on foot patrol in the downtown area detained a male subject, later identified as Riley Gordon Kiesel, age 29, of Mendocino, CA. Kiesel was detained on suspicion of possession and use of a controlled substance. During the course of their investigation, Kiesel fled from the officers through a downtown alley. He was captured after a brief foot pursuit and arrested for resisting arrest. In a search pursuant to his arrest, Kiesel was found to be in possession of a loaded .38 caliber Smith and Wesson handgun. Kiesel was arrested and booked at the Humboldt County Jail without further incident and the following charges have been submitted to the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office: Carrying a concealed firearm upon a person; Carrying a loaded firearm in public; Resisting arrest; Violation of terms of probation/not to possess firearm; Possession of firearm by subject of a restraining order; Violation of probation.

LET’S HOPE Humboldt County keeps Mr. Kiesel in custody for more than a few months, and doesn’t just sentence him to a few AA meetings and then put him back on probation.


THERE ARE CROOKS and then there's Jack Silver of the bogus environmental non-profit called River Watch out of Occidental, West Sonoma County, home of the otherwise good and righteous. River Watch consists of Silver, another crooked attorney, an answering machine, and a bogus board of directors which, some ten years ago, consisted of Silver's mother, his brother and several other individuals who probably did not exist. River Watch ferrets out technical violations of environmental regs, especially those committed by deep pocketed pub­lic entities — Ferndale, Fortuna, Willits to name several towns Silver has already fleeced. He typically begins with a threat to sue and the targeted civic authority typically winds up settling with Silver rather than spend public money fighting him in court. Essentially, River Watch is a shakedown operation, a fact solidified by Silver's candid website where we learn that last year his phony non-profit racked up $1.7 million in litigation fees, almost all it from out of court settlements, while paying himself $1.4 million in legal fees. Silver always promises to do environmental good with the money he wins but, as we see from his own figures, Silver himself is the best en­vironmental good he can think of. Lately, and as always, he's busy threatening public bodies but he's also branched off into suing private businesses, especially boat repair companies, of which there are many strewn around the vast San Francisco Bay. We often receive angry phone calls from people representing towns or small businesses ripped off by Silver. All we can do is commiserate and refer them to our website where we try to track one of the most flagrant scammers going.


A DISCARDED BOOK from the Larkspur Library had this written in longhand in the back inside cover:

Steal not this book for fear of shame,

For in it stands the owner’s name,

For the Lord will say on that Great Day,

Where is the book you stole away,

And if you say you do not know,

He’ll cast you down below,

You’ll go up the ladder and down the rope,

And there you hang until you choke.

It is signed by Colette Anderson



By Kym Kemp. (Courtesy, the Lost Coast Outpost)

Reggae on the River is free to go forward again. An appeal by the Cook’s Valley Patriot Station business owner, Zack Bowman, had requested the Humboldt Co. Supervisor’s review the Humboldt County’s Planning Commission’s approval of the long time festival being returned to its traditional home across the street from his business at French’s Camp. Today, the Supervisor’s denied his appeal.

Supervisor Mark Lovelace stated today on his Facebook page,

The points raised in the appeal were fundamentally a private dispute between the Mateel Community Center and a neighboring business, and the appellant presented no evidence to suggest that the Planning Commission’s approval was in any way improper. We cannot mandate as conditions of approval that two neighbors have to get along. The appeal process is an inappropriate forum for trying to resolve this kind of dispute.

Conflict over this year’s Reggae on the River being held once again at French’s Camp stemmed from Bowman, and other local business owners being concerned over how the festival would impact their bottom line. A new traffic plan to address CHP and Caltrans’ concerns over safety would not allow cars in either direction to make a left hand turn across traffic to a business on the other side of the street. In addition, there will be fencing that might make entrance to the businesses less accessible to normal tourist traffic. (See earlier article here.) At this time, Bowman couldn’t be reached for comment.

Justin Crellin, general manager of the Mateel Community Center which is hosting the event, says that the Mateel is “happy to be moving full steam ahead….This was the final hurdle to get over.” He added that he felt that the local businesses were somewhat mollified by hearing the CHP give more assurances to the affect that CHP would do the best they could to allow left hand turns when the traffic would allow the turns to be made safely.

Crellin believes, “The traffic plan we have in place and the reduced numbers of attendees” as well as the staggered arrival (2500 tickets will be sold allowing a special Thursday night event in addition to the other nights) will cut down on congestion and make it easier for the CHP to allow left hand turns more frequently.

Crellin said that the Mateel still plans on providing shuttle service to facilitate those attending Reggae on the River getting to the Patriot station. He says that all the support systems the Mateel has put in place this year will allow regular tourists to access these merchants and, he believes, allow Reggae goers to “serve as an additional boon to their business.”


A READER WRITES: "But am I the only one who wonders about the propriety of the Sheriff participating in a book signing at the Laughing Dog bookstore a short few days after the untimely demise of the favored canine, Argus?"


IN A PRESS RELEASE ON TUESDAY, February 12, 2013, Coast Hospital “announced that it has cut its workforce by twenty positions with annualized savings of $1.5 million in wages and benefits. The cuts were effective February 12. The reduction in force is based upon seniority according to our collective bargaining agreement and affects eleven departments within the hospital. The affected individuals will receive severance pay in accordance with the hospital’s compensation policies. “This action is a significant step toward reducing expenses and aligning them with reduced inpatient volumes,” explained CEO/CFO Wayne Allen. “The reductions will not compromise patient quality and/or safety. I do not expect additional cuts in the foreseeable future.” The action follows losses for the first six months of the fiscal year of nearly $1.9 million. “As I promised the Board at our last meeting, the poor financial performance is not sustainable and action steps would be taken to reduce our losses for the year,” said Allen.


PREMATURE BURIAL used to be a real-life worry for me when I worked as a forensic investigator. In 1978 I took a job as an investigator for a medical examiner in the US. I would be called to the scene of a death to pronounce the person dead and investigate the circumstances. It's not as easy as you might think, especially in a wreck off the highway at night with just a small flashlight. A stethoscope is of little use. If you can get to the carotid and femoral arteries, observe the abdomen and chest and tap on the cornea, you're good to go after three or four minutes. I'm not looking to see if they're alive: I'm making sure they're dead. That's a big difference. I know of two cases where a person was pronounced dead and was later found alive. In the first case, my partner and I happened to be in the emergency room when the deceased came in; death had been pronounced 20 minutes earlier, but my partner took a look and saw that the person was still alive. In neither case did the patient ever regain consciousness: they died again about a day later of the diseases of old age that caused their first deaths. (Jack Sturiano)


AMONG OTHER MEASURES employed in the past to ascertain death there was enemas of tobacco smoke. Can this kindly practice be the origin of the mystifying (to me) phrase used by contemporary North Americans for flattery, “blowing smoke up your ass”? (Paul Brightwell)


ON FEBRUARY 9, 2013 at approximately 15 minutes past midnight Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to a report of a trespasser on a piece of property in the 2300 block of Road K in Redwood Valley. The reporting person advised the trespasser, identified as Kirtis Duane Brown, 44, with no fixed address, had been told to leave several times by the property owner, but failed to leave. Deputies arrived and found Brown behind the residence next to his vehicle. Brown appeared to be under the influence of a stimulant and had been smoking marijuana. While a search of his vehicle was being conducted by one of the Deputies, Brown fled on foot. The other two Deputies gave chase and tackled Brown, who continued resisting. Brown was secured in handcuffs and while being walked to a patrol car continued to try and pull away. Brown was taken to the ground and secured in soft leg restraints. A search of Brown’s vehicle revealed three methamphetamine smoking pipes. Brown was transported and booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $25,000 bail.

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