Eye On Modesto

Thoughts and observations about Modesto and Stanislaus County

How Recent Supreme Court Decisions Harm All Of Us

By EOM Contributor  ladyjustice

First I’d like to provide some information on the recent decisions, then I will explain why I think they are harmful to all of us.

Let’s start with the Hobby Lobby decision first.  The court has ruled that Hobby Lobby can deny insurance coverage for particular types of birth control based on the fact that it goes against their deeply held religious beliefs.  The contraception mandate provided for in the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) had exemptions for birth control coverage for institutions or businesses whose PRIMARY purpose was the promotion of their religious beliefs.  Hobby Lobby’s primary purpose is the selling of craft items.

Hobby Lobby particularly opposed IUDs and morning after pills believing that they were similar to abortions.  IUDs are very effective and very popular among women.  They are also very expensive.  Morning after pills are necessary in circumstances where a woman may believe her regular birth control has failed or in cases of rape and/or incest when the woman may not have been protected by any kind of birth control.  According to the 35-page dissent written by Justice Ruth Bader-Ginsberg, this decision was so poorly written that it leaves the door open for any employer to deny coverage of ANY type of  birth control.  She also says that even though this decision was only about birth control, again it’s so poorly written it leaves the door open to denial of coverage of such medical procedures as blood transfusions and mental health treatment if your employer is a Jehovah’s Witness or a Scientologist.

Now I would be more believing of Hobby Lobby’s “deeply held religious” belief concerning types of birth control if they didn’t import the majority of their products from China where millions of women are forced to have abortions every year due to China’s one child policy.  I would also be more believing of their reasoning if they didn’t invest millions of their pension plan money in pharmaceutical companies that produce the very type of birth control they object to.  Apparently where Hobby Lobby is concerned, having to pay for birth control violates their religious belief, but making millions of dollars by investing in that very type of birth control, and buying their products from China, is in no way a violation of their religious beliefs.  As far as their beliefs go, money trumps religion every time.

Now about the “buffer zone” around clinics that provide abortions.  The court ruled that one particular clinic in Boston violated the free speech of citizens because their 35 foot buffer zone included a public sidewalk.   This particular clinic was built very close to the public sidewalk in a crowded urban area.  I understand the reasoning that public sidewalks can’t be excluded.  But because of this decision women seeking a legal medical procedure at this clinic will now be forced to push their way through a crowd of potentially violent protesters.   It will also result in more clinics trying to do away with buffer zones. Protesters were always able to voice their opinions outside the buffer zone and still be heard.  They claim they want to engage in “gentle conversations about other options”.  If that were true, why have there been 6800 incidents of violence, 2500 incidents of trespassing, 42 bombings, 17 attempted murders and 8 murders at clinics in the last 15 years?  This is not a free speech issue, but it is very much a safety issue.  By the way, the Supreme Court has a 185 foot buffer zone around their building.

Now about how this effects us all:

*Since the advent of the pill, women have been able to continue/finish higher education at a much higher rate than before.

*Having a higher education means that women can provide better financial support for their families.

*Women who can better help provide for their families results in fewer families needing public assistance (food stamps, housing aid, health care) which is provided through our tax dollars, thereby saving all of us money.

*Women who space when they have children and how many they have are healthier and their children are healthier than women who have too many children in too short a time period.

*Having more children than a woman can care for or afford will result in more children going hungry, which in turn will result in poorer education for those children, because study after study shows that kids can’t learn when they are hunger.  So we will have more poorly educated people in our future work force.

*Not being able to afford birth control will most certainly result in many unplanned pregnancies.  Those women will have to drop out of the work force for a period of time, which will financially harm their families and our economy.  When and if they return to the work force will depend on how much they can afford to spend for child care.

Hopefully, men will realize how this effects them, too.  Since it’s primarily women who are responsible for birth control (although I would certainly like to see this change), men will now be fathers sooner and perhaps more often than they would like.

Yes, I realize the court decision on birth control doesn’t mean that women can’t go out and get that birth control.  But affordability equals access.  Birth control can be very expensive.  An IUD can cost up to $2000.  The pill can cost $50 – $75 a month.  If you are a minimum wage worker, that is a significant amount of money.  And as we know, women are paid considerably less than men in the workplace to begin with.

Access to safe and legal abortions is being greatly reduced in many states.  Now the affordability of the most effective types of birth control is being reduced for thousands and potentially hundreds of thousands of women.  It seems to me that everyone should wish for fewer abortions to be performed in this country.  Affordability of birth control can help accomplish that.  But when you can’t afford birth control or when your birth control fails, ending a pregnancy safely for women who desire to, should always be an option.  It’s 2014, but women’s rights are more along the lines of 1950.

I get the “religious beliefs” idea.  I really do.  But when your religious beliefs infringe on other peoples lives in this most personal and private way, something has to give.  The ability to access birth control and a safe termination of a pregnancy will benefit women, men, children and all families.  This is the greater good.  And when your religious beliefs interfere with the greater good….well, you know where I stand.

 

Birgit Fladager’s Response to a Public Record Request

By Emerson Drake  ladyjustice

On May 6, 2014 we attended the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors (BoS) meeting and witnessed a strange occurrence during the public comment portion.  Modest’s former Mayor  Carmen Sabatino had just finished making some interesting points regarding the D.A.’s office and investigators.  In recent weeks he has been vocal in his objections regarding the DA.’s 25 wire taps and the ensuing 25,000 intercepts in 2012 and the expense involved.  Most of his time this week was involving an interrogation  in Turlock of a 13 year old girl and alleged misconduct by two D.A. investigators Kurt Bunch and Steve Jacobs. these can be heard at 9:30 seconds into the meeting.  Sixteen minutes into the meeting Birgit Fladager interrupts the meeting by rushing the podium out of turn to attack Carmen  Sabatino and her opponent Frank Carson.

Mayor Sabatino’s earlier allegations and Birgit Fladager’s out of control behavior  involving the wire taps and her investigators  intrigued us.

Recently we made three Public Record Requests from District Attorney  Birgit Fladager.

We requested the number of requests by year 2011, 2012, 2013.  We requested any documents regarding which agencies made the wire tap requests.  And finally we requested documents which would indicate if any of her investigators were working for the agencies when the requests were made. We also made it very clear we weren’t interested interfering with any investigations just who made the requests.

Here is the official response from the D.A.’s office.

Mr. Drake,

I am informed that the District Attorney's office has no documents
containing the information you described in your May 12 request.  The
records containing the information you seek are court records that are
in each case sealed by order of the judge.

Ms. Fladager has informed me that she happens to know herself that in
2012 there were 4 intercepts by MPD on homicide cases that resulted in
arrests in 3 of those cases (the fourth involved the deaths of Deputy
Paris and Glendon Engert and the suspect committed suicide); there were
two intercepts by the Stanislaus Drug Enforcement Agency that resulted
in arrests (one case was prosecuted federally and the other case by
Merced County); and there was an intercept on a Sheriff's Office
homicide case that has resulted in one arrest.

If you have additional questions please let me know.



Thomas E. Boze
Deputy County Counsel
Stanislaus County Counsel
1010 Tenth Street, Suite 6400
Modesto, California 95354-0882

 

Now I don’t know about you, but for the District Attorney to claim she has not ONE single piece of paper tracking over 25 wire tape requests she made in 2012 alone, we find to be not only extremely questionable, but likely disingenuous in the context of her upcoming reelection bid, especially if you take into consideration how few wire tape requests (3 – 5) other counties have made.  According to her she doesn’t have the ability to show how many requests were made in any single year.  Is this any way to run an office?  Or is it just another way to hide from the public excesses by government agencies and/or potentially corrupt individuals with the help of her office?

 

Modesto Police Refuse to Arrest Auto Thief

By EOM Contributor  mpdpatch

I can tell you with certainty why Modesto is #1 in auto thefts.

On April 29th, 2014, the night clerk at a hotel in Modesto saw someone drive into the hotel parking lot, park their car and walk across the street to another hotel.  Watching the cameras, she saw him walk back and forth from the other hotel to his parked car several times.  She contacted the security guard and asked him to keep an eye on the car and the person.  Some time later the security guard came and gave the night clerk a description of the man.  She called the other hotel and gave them the description.  They knew who it was and what room he was in.  They were asked to contact the man and ask him to move his car off the first hotel’s property.  They did that but he did not move the car.  A few hours later our night clerk called back and asked the hotel to relay the message that if the car wasn’t removed, it would be towed.  His response to that was “I don’t care about that car.”  That made our night clerk suspicious, so she called MPD with the license plate number and they informed her that the car had been reported as stolen.  They sent Officer Hoke to investigate.

Officer Hoke spoke to both our security guard and our night clerk.  He was concerned because there was no actual video of the man getting in and out of the car because it wasn’t in view of the camera.  The security guard informed him that he had personally witnessed it and had provided a description of the man to both hotels.  The officer returned to his car and after a while the security guard approached him and asked if he was going to do anything.  Officer Hoke responded “Oh, man…it’s too much paperwork..you’re killing me, just let it go”.  When the guard reported this to our night clerk, she called 911 to report a stolen car on our property.  They told her they would send a squad out and she told them an officer was already here and refusing to do anything.  That resulted in two more squad cars coming to the hotel.  The officers then went (with Officer Hoke) across the street to the other hotel and returned with the man who had been in the car.  They placed him in a squad car and they all left.  We assumed he would be arrested for auto theft.

As required by his company, the security guard has to include police case numbers and details whenever he has any interaction with law enforcement.  He called MPD the day after the incident to get the case number.  He was told there was no case.  Even if the man had convinced the officers that he didn’t actually steal the car, he was still in possession of a stolen car.  I thought being in possession of stolen property was a crime, but apparently not in Modesto!  And even though there was no video of the man getting in and out of the car, why isn’t an eyewitness account (from a security guard who is employed by a licensed security company) enough to arrest someone for being in possession of stolen property?

I have to wonder if there was “no case” because MPD wished to protect Officer Hoke, who failed to do his job.

I was downtown at city hall today and saw signs posted on the walls that say “If you see something….tell someone.”  The signs go on to say that if you see something suspicious you should report it to the police.  Well, our night clerk and security guard certainly saw something, they reported it, and MPD failed to take any action.

So the next time you see us being reported as #1 in auto theft…it’s no wonder why.  Don’t you think the thieves know that if they get caught stealing a car (or being in possession of a stolen car), they know they won’t be arrested/prosecuted?  If your car is stolen, please don’t bother MPD with it.  They are too busy avoiding doing any paperwork!

Dave Lopez is Hiding Campaign Donations from YOU..!

By Emerson Drake  fingerspointing

When reading Dave Lopez’s 460′s, which is a list of campaign donors of  $99.00 or more,  one thing jumped off the page at us.  Of sixteen donors who gave $1,000 or more, only five were completely filled out.  The Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC)  requires candidates to list the employment or business type of donors.  And not surprisingly most of the missing information is from developers, real estate, and home builders. Why is he omitting the necessary information?  We can guess, can you?

Maybe like the rest of the Modesto City Council he’s willing to lie to our faces (Zoslocki “I’m not a developer”, Kenoyer “I support farmland” , Lopez “I don’t want to develop Wood Colony”) to get elected and afterward he or she will  do whatever or vote for whomever he or she feels like.

And yes the Modesto Bee is well aware of Lopez’s transgressions.  But they choose to remain silent on the subject.  Hmm, it appears Joe Kieta has turned the Modesto Bee into a Humble Bumble without teeth.

Birgit Fladager Turns Her Back on Elder Abuse Cases

By Emerson Drake stopelderabuse

We were sent an email questioning Birgit Fladager’s refusal to address and lack of involvement in alleged  elder abuse cases where court appointed conservators are involved.  People have been denied the right to even contact their family members and Birgit turns a blind eye to complaints that bank accounts have been drained and property sold off without consulting the families.  Here is the email we received detailing many questionable actions by Court appointed conservators:

Perhaps the citizens of Modesto, California, should also check out and investigate most of the many, many years, of the Conservatorships, Trusts, Special Needs etc., in the Family Law / Probate Dept. and all through the District Attorney Birdit Fladager. We as family and many other families in these many years have filed complaints, concerning our loved ones and the Estates, being cleaned out, injustices happening and ongoing. There is a ” Web of Corruption ” and it filtered down, in the different departments, of the very persons, that are suppose to protect the elderly and to insure that all of the Constitutional / Conservatee’s Rights , are protected. Especially, the lives . This,,,, they do not do.

We have written to, filed many complaints and of course, ALL has been ignored, lost, hidden and in truth, ignored, even though as per Calif. Rules of Court, they must file, they sometimes will not ! Although all documents were sent by the USPO and certified, the Family Law / Probate Dept. , will still ignore, the complaints and pleas , from the many, many, victims and the families. Even D. A. Birdit Fladager, recieved a complaint and we did get a response from her, pretty much treating us as ” dummies ” and telling us that ” we do not know the laws etc., “. She actually, was very unprofessional and through her snippy remarks, we made sure, that we learned the laws , to one day, go before her and use them back to her, as she told us. She since this time, has NOT done one thing, to protect the elderly, the victims, nor the families. etc. Only, since her inappropriate letter to us, we ” DID learn the laws, our rights and we have filed so many documents of complaints etc., , knowing that they would continue to ignore us and to ” further, with proof, we will file the largest Class- Action, against Stanislaus County, that they have ever been witnesses too and named “. This will also, include, ” Wrongful Deaths and unbelievable abuse etc. “, Moral Terpitude, Defamation of Character, Slander, Denial of Constitutional / Conservatee’s Rights etc., and through Willful, Malicious Intent etc.,

If you are all interested in some of this, then go into the Case Index Files (www.stanct.org , the click into the case files , or put in the persons names ) and pull up all of the cases, concerning the Mother / daughter team of Conservators, Trustee’s , Guardians etc., named M. Terry Campbell #230 ( actually an invalid, cited 2- times and fined , since 10-31-2011 , through the Calif. Professional Fiduciary Board ) and Laurie Jean Jamison # 376 . They have cases together and separately and still many OPEN. You can believe us, when we say that , no matter what these 2 women do, including putting the property, accounts, over billing, triple billings, Estrinsic Fraud, Perjury , Embezzlment, Real Estate Fraud , Estrinsic Fraud etc. , allowing abuse and just plain ” committing perjury and lies to the courts “, they will always, be ruled for and the families are denied, even the rights to have a Telephonic Hearing, to tell the Judge the truth. We can assure you, that we can provide years of files cabinets, from many families to prove of these injustices, abuse and deaths in the control and hands of these women. For MANY YEARS and ” no one will try to stop the, from any Stanislaus Co. Fam. / Pro. Dept.!

WHY ? Well, we know why now and it is not hard to figure out. It took many families, all over the country, that have been destoryed, lost loved ones and had their estates completely cleaned out, to ALL contact each other, put the stories, cases and the unmistakeable PATTERNS together, to know the names, the dept., and the corrupt practices.

Perhpas, they do get away with it, as the M. Terry Campbell # 230, actually did work for the Stanislaus Co. Family Law Department and for over 20 – years . M. T. Campbell, has entered into the complaints on her, that she ” worked as a Probate Examiner, a Court Investigator and a Paralegal in these 20 to 30 years and for the Stan. Co. “. , before she retired, with the City Benefits, in 03 – 2003 .

Meaning, that since her and her daughter and business partner, the Laurie Jean Jamison , are really only 2 of a FEW , Conservators , ETC, that must be ” licensed in the Stan. Co., and the surrounding area, they are the ones, to be ” Court Appointed, with the Court Investigators Managers approvals etc., for most cases. You see, the are all ex-working assoiciates and ” friends too even in the FB. sites “. Meaning, that it is like the ” good old boys club “, but here, it is ALL women. !! Believe us, we have checked out, even the clubs, organizations , etc., that they all are in too. There is a ” Huge Pattern of Corruption ” and we will bring the truth out, as we are trying to save the dying vitims in their care. Also, what we have above, is perhaps a ” Conflict of Interest ” and all personnel, all city officials etc., do ignore all complaints and for MANY, YEARS !

WE, again, can and will prove, of the allegations above and concerning many, many families and victims, still ongoing.

So, if anyone out there, really wants to even save the animals, perhaps you should include our elderly, the Veterans, the Special Needs etc., in your plight and show just how that the District Attorney,the Stanislaus Co. Family Law / Probate etc. Courts, has allowed and participated in the corruption concerning so many Conservatorship / Trustee and Special Needs cases, of these 2 – protected and corrupt , unfeeling and abusive women, Laurie Jean Jamison P.F.L.# 376 and M. Terry Campbell , unlicensed # 230 .

Oh, by the way, by all state laws, a person has to be state licensed, through the Calif. Professional Fiduciary Board and especially if they have 2 – to 3 , OPEN AND ACTIVE CASES. Well they do have many, many open cases. Yet there is another so called Conservatee/ Trustee, that has NEVER, been licensed EVER ! Now the county, the Boards etc., have ALL been notified time and time again, that a woman from Merced, named Joanne Ringstrom, ( Jo anne etc. she spells it different, at different times ) is in the Stan. Case Index files too . She has and has had over 8- plus cases and they will never do a thing to her. If you check this out, she also has and has had with the M. Terry Campbell, many ” questionable open cases and for up to 20 years or more “. By the files to this date., they are still open too and actice. Yet, again, she has NEVEr had a license, since the state law went tinto effect, on 07-01-2008. Make no mistake, we do have the years too, of the printed out index files, the cases, the hearings, the petitions etc., so that ALL of our allegations here, can and will be proven . ( Just in case anyone from the courts do read this and perhaps may want to ” alter and fabricate the files, as sometimes this has happened “. We can prove too, if this is done.

This too, falls into the District Attorney’s lap, as it it their department too.

So, since the District Attorney, Birgit Fladager, does not seem to ever care about the lives of the elderly, the Veterans and the Special Needs, then perhaps the public needs to be aware , ” that this corruption and injustices, abuses and deaths, can and will, one day, come into their own homes “. At any Family Probate/ Conservatorship, etc., hearing , this can effect the most vunerable and elderly. Please do not be ” blindsided “, as so many of us have been. Once you are in the Stan. Court system, you will have all rights and everything taken from you and your family, ” even your rights to ever tell the court the truth “. Even if it concerns family abuse etc., and you reach out to them for ” help ” . If this happens, then they will then know your name and you WILL, forever be in their clutches. Yes, this is a pattern too, that for years, we have put together. At the top of this too, is the Court Investigator Manager and she approves of and is friends with the 2 crooked Cons. above. Start there ,,,.

Perhaps, you may want to advertise, to ask other families, if they have ever had a horrible and bad experience, from the Stanislaus Family / Probate Law Dept.’s ? Give the names of the 2- Conservators to the public. It is legal . You would be shocked, at the victims, that will come forward. We are out of Calif. right now, 2,500 miles away, yet please know, we are many, including families still right there.

One case right now, has been in the webs etc. and this case will break the others wide open and for the huge Class Actions. Google the name June Guinn Missing. / June Guinn Found . The family finally found their Mother June Guinn on 06-10-2013 and after 5 plus years of being denied to even know if June Guinn was alive. NOT, by any court order !!! It was the cruel and inhumane decision, of the Laurie Jean Jamison, M. Terry Campbell and the Sheila Guinn, that actually, had June , in her care 24 hours a day, illegally and for years. They have tried to blame other family members for things and this too, is lies and falls under the Rico Statues, still within the timely manners. Also, they have had June Guinn, since 04-04-2008. Meaning that ALL of the ABUSE, has happened , AFTER 04-04-2008 . They do try to blame others and before this date. Make no mistake, these are slanderous remarks and through perjury, lies of theirs.

Now, if you pull the sites up, just know, that what we have all uncovered and have the medical reports to prove, June Guinn has had MANY near deaths,. in their care and ALL after 04-04-2008 ! June has had a broken leg, where she layed for 2- days, before they took her to the hospital for medical attention, ( it was also called an Open Fracture of the Fibula / Tibia left leg bone ), she has had a broken right arm, broken right hand, all withering and nerve damage, due to NO medical care, kidney failure, due to a kidney injury etc., taken off of 11 – ” unneeded medications, numerous blood transfusion etc., etc., etc., All in the care of them, all as June Guinn is and has been BEDRIDDEN. Yet at each near death emergency, they lie to the Doctors, then June Guinn is sent back to the private home, @ 1726 Lauralee Court, Modesto, Calif. and into the hidden and locked away, hands and control of Sheila Guinn and Laurie Jamison. No one in that city or county, will ever give the love, protection and the care, to June Guinn . No one can get past the front door, for an immediate Welfare Check, to save June Guinn’s life.

Again, we are not saying anything illegal, as we can and will prove, of ALL allegations, medical reports, lies to the doctors etc.

So, as you can see, the City and County, do not care about the lives of our elderly, vulnerbale, Veterans and Special Needs, old and young,,,,, so no wonder, they would not ever care about the animals care and neglect either. It is a circle/ web of corruption and they all cover each others backs, in all that they do.

So, since you are there and it seems that you have had almost enough, maybe you want to investigate our allegations and the truth here. Perhaps, show how the issues are so much alike, in a few ways. It can only help Modesto.

We will get Modesto, Californai, back into the Nationwide Media outlets and not for anything good that they have done. How sad. Modesto, only has, the horrible things told about and because, only horrible things can happen there. How sad.

Thank you. Stop Family Court Corruption

Another voice has spoken out. Courtesy of http://www.theexaminer.com

Elder abuse of June Guinn by Modesto, California conservator

June Guinn has been hidden from her family since 2008. Family fears that June may no longer be alive.

Stanislaus County Court records (Case Number:387352) show June Guinn was placed under conservatorship on December 12, 2007. The court file lists professional fiduciary Laurie Jamisonas conservator. Family andfriends say Jamison has kept June hidden from her loved ones since April 2, 2008.

California’s Notice of Conservatee’s Rights states that a conservatee retains the right to “receive visits from family and friends.” California’s Handbook for Conservators further instructs:

When a person becomes a conservatee, he or she does not lose the right to visit with friends or family. … Do not isolate the conservatee by keeping friends or family away.

California’s Welfare and Institutions Code § 15610.07(a) defines isolation as elder abuse.

Physical abuse, neglect, financial abuse, abandonment, isolation, abduction, or other treatment with resulting physical harm or pain ormental suffering.

This Examiner contacted Jamison for an interview and welfare check with June Guinn. Jamison refused and said, “That would be a HIPPA violation.”

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services specifies that HIPPA covers only medical information. HIPPA does not apply to an individual’s location or general condition.

Professional fiduciary Jamison is committing elder abuse in unlawfully isolating June from her family and friends. As well as being a crime under Penal Code 368, elder abuse by a professional fiduciary is a licensing violation named in the Business and Professions Code 6584(d):

Fraud, dishonesty, corruption, willful violation of duty, gross negligence or incompetence in practice, or unprofessional conduct in, or related to, the practice of a professional fiduciary.

Advocates filed a complaint with the Professional Fiduciaries Board on June 9, 2013.

The Modesto City Council and Chamber want to Hire This Man for City Manager?

By Emerson Drake   IQUIT

When Modesto City Councilman Bill Zoslocki is pushing something he saves Modesto Chamber of Commerce lobbyist Cecil Russell from having to support it.  Here is a story about Jim Holgersson, the man they (the Council and Chamber) want to hire as interim city manager.  Public record requests are a wonderful thing.

Ousted Arlington city manager’s scathing review, perks detailed in public records: Former Arlington City Manager Jim Holgersson resigned in September amidst a scathing review from his peers, which was made public under the state’s open records act by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram over the weekend.

The review, commissioned by the city of an outside firm, pointedly noted that “there are major gaps between the way Jim Holgersson perceives himself versus the way his employees and internal customers” do.Holgersson’s six-year tenure was ended by that evaluation, which notes that his response to the findings was “professional but defensive.”

Holgersson took the review to heart; he resigned and took the remaining eight months of his $214,152 salary on his couch.In a story by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram,  city council member Mel LeBlanc said ”the consultant thought he was irredeemable. The questions we had as a council were, ‘Could he be coached, could he be managed by us back into a leadership capacity?’ All answers came back, ‘No, this has gone too far. It was valid, empirical evidence that we had a leadership problem.”

press release by the city at the time of Holgersson’s hiring claims his starting salary would be $190,000 but said nothing of pension provisions, car or phone allowances and the other non-salary perks of a public executive’s pay package.

***
Contact Steve Miller at 832-303-9420 or stevemiller@texaswatchdog.org.

And yet they want to hire this man.  The question we have is WHY? It goes to show just how low the City Council and Chamber of Commerce have stooped to.  It’s time to ask if the Council is being serious or do they think it’s still April 1st.?

Dave Lopez Lies and the Bee Plays Along

By Emerson Drakepetesegerspeakup

The Bee Editorial Staff consisting of Joe Kieta and Mike Dunbar have hit a new low I didn’t think possible after the Judy Sly & Mark Vasche era.  The following is an article by Katherine Borges which delineates the Lopez misrepresentations.     Salida Annexation

Dave Lopez: The truth behind his spin

Modesto City Councilman Dave Lopez, who is running for Stanislaus County Supervisor Dick Monteith’s seat in District 4, is the latest to join the political spin club with talking points on why Modesto should annex Salida.

He first revealed his three supposed annexation-justified talking points in an April 22, 2014 interview on The Dave Bowman Show. The second public forum where he used the three again nearly verbatim was the League of Women Voters candidate debate as reported in the Modesto Bee.
Please go to the Salida Annexation site to read and understand Dave Lopez’s lies and wonder if he would lie to the people of Stanislaus County about this, what else would he lie about?  If you want to call and tell Mike and Joe how you feel about their playing fast and loose with the truth,  Mike’s number is 578-2325 and Joe’s is 578-2356.

Thursday’s Debate for Sheriff and District Attorney

By EOM Contributorcountymontage

Last night (April 24th) was the first public debate between the candidates for Sheriff (incumbent Adam Christiansen and Deputy Tom Letras) and District Attorney (incumbent Birgit Fladagher and attorney Frank Carson).  I attended the debate as did approximately 80 other people.  First, it was nice to see that the sheriff did not wear his uniform while campaigning, as he was reprimanded by the Civil Grand Jury four years ago for violating California Government Code 3206.  This reprimand came as a result of a citizen filing a complaint.

The candidates were each allowed an opening statement, then responded to questions from the audience and ended with a closing statement.  The debate was moderated by Steve Madison (Chamber of Commerce and head of StanCo which oversees the county’s investments in housing) and Sandra Lucas, a Republican’s Democrat.

The first question asked by the audience was “the Sheriff’s Department has been hit with many lawsuits over the last several years.  What would each of you do to prevent future lawsuits?”

Sheriff Christianson claimed to have “won all the lawsuits.”   Deputy Letras contradicted this by saying that the Sheriff had just lied to the audience.  He believes there is a difference between winning a lawsuit in court and settling to avoid going to court.  He does  not consider it a “win” when the county pays hundreds of thousands of dollars in settlements.

Deputy Letras believes that open communication with employees can both improve morale and lesson the likelihood of lawsuits (50% of the lawsuits have been filed by employees).  He believes the sheriff needs to have an open door policy and be willing to meet with and discuss employee concerns and that by doing so problems can be solved before they become legal issues.  He indicated that the sheriff does not have good relationships with his subordinates and that is what leads to lawsuits and a high turnover in the department.

Sheriff Christiansen claims to have an open door policy and blames the rash of lawsuits on the fact that we live in a litigious world.  He believes that it doesn’t matter who the sheriff is, lawsuits will be filed.  He said that some of the employee lawsuits were “frivolous” and were filed because he was attempting to make employees be accountable.

The lawsuits have ranged from sexual harassment (a new female employee being pressured to attend an after work party at a strip club in order to “bond” with her co-workers), to racial prejudice, discrimination against injured workers, deputy brutality and the deaths of several people in custody.

Forty-one suits have been filed.  The county pays the first $250,000 in expenses (which comes to $10,250,000) settlements and expenses after that amount are covered by insurance.  The county maintains a general liability fund to cover the the deductibles, but administrators of the fund had to triple the amount during Sheriff Christiansen’s tenure.

One heart-breaking lawsuit was filed by the family of Craig Prescott, a former deputy himself.  Mr. Prescott was forced to resign and as a result began to suffer serious stress and anxiety to the point of becoming mentally unstable.  His family phoned the sheriff’s department when they became afraid for Craig’s safety, believing that his former co-workers would be able to help him.  He was placed in a cell and because a person in the next cell didn’t like the noise Craig was making, a decision was made to transfer him to a safety cell.  In order to transfer him (because he was mentally unstable), he was Tasered and shot with bean bag guns.  He was dragged into a safety cell at which time he was face-down, unconscious,  and deputies sat on him for several minutes, suffocating him.

Sheriff Christiansen defended the actions of his deputies and made every effort to delay an investigation.  After the lawsuit was filed, a video tape was released to the family’s attorney.  That video tape did not match the written description of the tape that had been viewed by the Assistant D.A.   The tape had been altered so parts described by the Assistant D.A. were missing.

Another question asked of all four candidates was “do you believe arresting and prosecuting drug offenders will reduce the drug problem, particularly where marijuana is concerned?”

D.A. Birgit Fladager expressed the opinion that we have to arrest them to help them hit bottom so they can then begin to recover.  She said that being in prison is the bottom and the rehabilitation can then start.  Ms. Fladager refers to marijuana as a “gateway” drug, believes it is addicting and leads to increased crime.

Attorney Frank Carson opined that we need more early education in the schools and more intervention.  He also said that it was a waste of time and resources to prosecute someone for growing a few plants in their back yard.

Sheriff Christiansen hammered on the point that even though California has legalized medical marijuana, it is still a federal offense and people should be arrested and prosecuted.

Deputy Letras believes that this issue will be settled by the voters in the near future and it’s best not to waste time and resources (and jail space) prosecuting people who smoke marijuana in their homes.

Questions were asked about the Sheriff’s Department budget and vacancies.  During the last two years, while complaining about vacancies (due to budget cuts) and fewer deputies on the street, the department has come in $1,000,000 under budget.  Sheriff Christiansen indicated that there is a lack of qualified applicants.  Deputy Letras questions why there is such a lack of applicants, noting that only 1% of applicants ever go very far into the application process.  This is true even for clerical positions.  He agrees that law enforcement needs to be held to a higher standard, but wonders if the standard Sheriff Christiansen has set is eliminating qualified applicants who would make very good employees and is also the reason there is a lack of diversity in the department.

Closing statements by the four candidates re-hashed what had been said in answering the questions, except that attorney Frank Carson said it was important to stop the 26,000 wiretaps put in place by D.A. Birgit Fladager (at a cost of $300,000) which have resulted in zero convictions.

In addition to lawsuits, there is an incident involving Sheriff’s Deputy Kari Abby which resulted in the death of Rita Elias.

To read more about the Sheriff’s Department

To read about Deputy Kari Abby

 

Marsh, Zoslocki, Lewis, Russell, and Nyhoff were Collaborating All Along

By Emerson Drakechamberslargeplan

We’ve all listened to the Modesto Chamber of Commerce tell their story, some of us six or seven times,  of how their Transportation Committee met over a six month period (it gets longer every time they tell it) met to discuss Modesto’s land expansionist  planning needs for the next twenty years.  In previous articles we  chronicled how the Chamber went from needing 1,000 acres to over 25,300 of land during their series of presentations to various civic groups and  public entities. The above map is from their July 2013 presentation. This represents their goals and is an early view of what the comprehensive General Plan scheduled to begin two years from now will look like if they get their way.

As usual when it comes to people attempting to manipulate the public for their own selfish interests what they don’t tell us is just as, and sometimes more important, than the information they disseminate.

For example during these ‘planning meetings’ that Mayor Marsh and City Manager Nyhoff attended along with members of the Chamber’s Transportation Committee, they discussed how best to seize Wood Colony land for an industrial park and sneak Salida’s already zoned business park land from them to be placed under Modesto’s control.

I admit after hearing Mayor Marsh paint George Petrulakis and the Chamber as  ‘evil’ and a position we don’t totally disagree with, as the people we really had to worry about compared to himself and his friends,  I was surprised to learn of the initial collaborations. When his friends, Councilwoman Kenoyer of  (I don’t have to worry about Wood Colony because they can’t vote for me) fame,  and Councilman Gunderson who just can’t stop repeating “no one is talking about annexation”, while the Mayor keeps using the terms annexation and eminent domain, don’t make anyone feel they can be trusted.

Part of the ‘art of the deal’ was the watering down and delay of Denny Jackman’s Residential Urban Limits proposal.  An arrangement was made so the Chamber wouldn’t fight it when it came on the ballot but at the council meeting where it was proposed, a little ‘kicker’ was added.  Councilman Cogdill proposed that Modesto would repeal the Measures A and M  which deal with the public’s ability to control land acquisition and development(sewer expansion) by the city by requiring public advisory votes.

All of the General Plan Amendment discussion has been orchestrated from the beginning by just a few people. For example the rank and file of the Modesto Chamber of Commerce don’t get to vote on the Board of Directors, they’re appointed, the same is true of the Alliance.

The Modesto Planning Commission and Staff spent the better part of a year holding workshops for the public where Bill Zoslocki and Craig Lewis passionately advocated for a much larger footprint for Modesto.   People came forward and expressed themselves very succinctly.  And the Planning Commission’s meetings,  Brent Sinclair and the rest of Modesto’s planning staff listened to the public’s wishes and proposed a footprint which was in line with Denny’s original RUL proposal.

Then the politicians stepped in.  For a while you needed a score card to understand where each one of them stood.  From Nyhoff’s open mic fiasco where he dissed everyone who disagreed with the Chamber, we learned why Jenny turned her back on both her campaign promises, to protect prime farmland and keep Salida for Salida. The bumbling John Gunderson, so elated  the Mayor was finally talking to him as an equal, rubber stamped every proposal Marsh made whether he understood them or not.  For Cogdill and Zoslocki the mantra is “more is better.”  But Zoslocki added “but I can’t be caught voting/going on the record for it.”  Lopez, after being warned about people willing to energetically campaign against him in the Board of Supervisors race, disavowed any interest in Wood Colony. And Madrigal, well Tony is still out collecting prom dresses, rather than focusing on the larger tasks needed by the city.

But it all began with a few greedy real estate men (Zoslocki and Lewis), a small handpicked few from the Chamber,  a City Manager who spent more time working for the desires of a few in the Chamber of Commerce than he did the people of Modesto, and a Mayor who though he could write his own legacy by stealing the land from the residents of Salida, the farmers of Wood Colony and the German Baptist Brethren who, to take a page from Jenny Kenoyer’s book,  don’t vote anyway.

And We, the Citizens of Modesto are the only ones who can stop this.  And what have we been doing?  We’ve been  saying…. Sir, can I please have another?

It’s time to take back our City Government from the greedy special interests that are intent on ruining Modesto.

 

Comment at City Council Meeting 3/25/2014

By EOM Contributor honorourheritage

Good evening….tonight I’d like to talk about short-sightedness.  According to the dictionary if someone is short-sighted about something, or if their ideas are short-sighted, they do not make proper or careful judgments about the future.

A good example of this is the one child policy in China, started in the 1980s.  Chinese culture places a higher value on males than females, so this policy resulted in a much higher rate of female fetuses being aborted than males.  The results is that there is now a generation of young Chinese men who are ready to marry.  Unfortunately, there aren’t near enough young Chinese women for them to marry.  This is the result of short-sightedness.  It is the legacy of the one child policy.

I understand you want to bring more jobs to Modesto.  We need them now and as our population continues to grow, we will need them in the future.  But the flip side to that is that as our population continues to grow, we will need more food.  The prime farmland in Wood Colony can help provide that food with its wide variety of very productive crops, unlike the farmland in other areas around Modesto, that can only produce 2 or 3 different types of crops and are not near as productive.  The short-sightedness of your plan won’t be felt by my generation, but it will be felt by future generations.  This will be your legacy.

I don’t mean to be offensive with what I’m going to say next, but let’s talk about date rape.  We all know that rape isn’t about sex, it’s about power and control.  And we all know that date rape involves people who are friends or at the very, least acquainted with each other.  You are attempting to exert your power and control over our friends and neighbors.  They have repeatedly said “no” and yet you continue to force yourselves on them.  What you are doing to our friends, neighbors and acquaintances in Salida and Wood Colony is nothing less than political date rape.  This will also be your legacy.

I would like to urge the residents of Salida and Wood Colony to continue saying “no” to your attempts to exert your power and control over them.  As Gerald O’Hara said in Gone With The Wind….”land, it’s the only thing worth fighting for, worth dying for…for it’s the only thing that lasts”.  However, if you are successful in your attempts to pave over this wonderful farmland, it will not last.  It will be destroyed forever.  And that will be the final piece of your legacy.

Post Navigation