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“Don’t blame me, I voted for Larry Glass.”

This is of course in response to what is being viewed as a sleezy move by the majority of the Eureka City Council which has made activists of a number of Westside residents.

The bumper sticker is probably intended as a play on a famous sticker distributed circa 1973 which read, “Don’t blame me, I’m from Massachusetts.”  Massachusetts was the only state to have delivered its electoral votes to McGovern in 1972.

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Redwood ACLU announces Patriot Award nominees

The Redwood Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is pleased to announce the nominees for the 2009 Patriot Award. The chapter gives the Patriot Award annually to the member or members of the community who, in the opinion of the chapter, have demonstrated a patriotic commitment to defending and preserving the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and laws of the United States guarantee everyone in our country.

The 2009 nominees are:

Betty Chin and John Shelter for their work defending the rights of people who are houseless.

The Crisis Intervention Team of the Humboldt County Department of Health & Human Services Mental Health Branch, which assists people who are experiencing a mental health crisis.

Eureka Councilman Larry Glass for working with the ACLU on items of common interest, including Eureka’s “True Ward” initiative.

County Supervisor Bonnie Neely for supporting the ongoing development of a framework for citizen police review.

Tad Robinson for defending freedom of speech and the right of the people peaceably to petition the government for redress of grievances.

“It is inspiring to see so many local citizens committed to enhancing our civil liberties,” said chapter Vice-Chair Christina Allbright.

The winner will be announced and honored at the Redwood Chapter’s annual membership meeting. The meeting will be held on Monday January 25th at 6pm at the Humboldt Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall in Bayside. The keynote speaker will be Northern California ACLU Executive Director Abdi Soltani. Soltani’s speech will be on the topic “Civil Liberties in the Age of Obama.” The meeting will be a pot-luck style dinner and the public is invited to attend.  Also at the meeting, the over 870 members of the Redwood ACLU will elect the chapter’s Board of Directors for 2010.

“I encourage all ACLU members, and any interested members of the public to attend our annual meeting on the 25th,” said Redwood ACLU Chair Greg Allen.  “With the Patriot Award ceremony and a keynote speech by our new regional executive director, it should certainly be a worthwhile evening.”

The Redwood Chapter of the ACLU is the local, all-volunteer presence of the ACLU. The ACLU is our nation’s guardian of liberty, working daily in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country.

I just haven’t had the time to follow up on the story, but after a couple of years of doldrums the Marina Center project has heated up in recent weeks.  Heraldo has covered it extensively.  Last night the Eureka City Council met to discuss approval of the EIR.  It looks like Heraldo, Tom Seaborn, and others were there to “live blog” it.  I’m trying to picture this meeting with so much clicking of laptop keyboards in the audience.

3-2 vote in the end.

Times Standard coverage

The North Coast Journal has an article entitled “Small Box” which briefly examines small business politics in Humboldt County. With all the debate about big box developments on this thread and elsewhere, I’m thinking of framing the discussion with a list of advantages and disadvantages of both, with the obvious caveat that it’s not necessarily and absolute choice between the two. You can have some of one and some of the other. But it would still help to lay out the relative positives and negatives and then discuss each of them. The biggest economic debate is jobs vs. prices with wages a matter of dispute. Then we can discuss the overall impacts on the community, positive and negative. Then we can discuss the particular locations of certain businesses, as in Eureka vs. Fortuna, etc.

Who knows? Maybe we can even discuss it rationally, with actual facts. Anything’s possible.

When Michael Moore visited Arcata some time ago, he expressed an opinion not quite in sync with local progressive sensibilities, although I think he sometimes says things for the shock value. But it’s worth bringing up, because there is not necessarily a consensus within progressive (nor conservative) constituencies on the subject. Sometimes blue conflicts with green. Sometimes new money conflicts with old money. There again, I love ironies like that. Spice of politics.

“You know in my town the small businesses that everyone wanted to protect? They were the people that supported all the right-wing groups. They were the Republicans in the town, they were in the Kiwanas, the Chamber of Commerce – people that kept the town all white. The small hardware salesman, the small clothing store salespersons, Jesse the Barber who signed his name three different times on three different petitions to recall me from the school board. Fuck all these small businesses – fuck ‘em all! Bring in the chains. The small business people are the rednecks that run the town and suppress the people. Fuck ‘em all. That’s how I feel.

So I guess Michael won’t be endorsing Larry Glass?

From the Times Standard:

The California Attorney General’s Office said today it has officially declined to pursue charges against local businessman Rob Arkley stemming from Eureka City Councilman Larry Glass’ allegations that Arkley assaulted him on Sept. 5.

”There was insufficient evidence to bring charges and, of course, we treated the matter seriously and looked meticulously through all the information provided to us,” said Deputy Press Secretary Abraham Arredondo.

Glass filed a police report shortly after the incident alleging Arkley shoved him at a reception for the California Coastal Commission at Old Town’s Avalon restaurant, said he had him followed and threatened to destroy him if the councilman didn’t vote for his project.

Arkley’s spokespeople have denied there was any physical contact between Arkley and Glass, and characterized Arkley’s role in the incident as that of a concerned parent.

That’s that.

It’s in the hands of the Attorney General.

According to the ER, it was Rob Arkley who released the e-mail. To them anyway.

Here it is. Decide for yourself whether it’s adequate.

Dear Larry,

I owe you an apology. Last night was neither the time nor the place for me to bring up how your words and deeds have caused great hurt to my family, specifically my daughters. It was impulsive of me. Unfortunately, when I am impulsive, I tend to be single minded (loud) and empathic (louder). I am counting on you as a father and as a political veteran to understand and accept this apology.

I will not belabor the point that I was trying to make to you last night. As you know, I am more than willing to face the slings and arrows that come my way, especially here in Eureka. It is hard for me to express the pain and outrage that I feel when my wife and daughters are needlessly brought in, as you did. I obviously need to adopt a different and better approach when trying to convey to others why I think that it is unfair that my wife and daughters need to suffer because of this.

Again, my apologies for last night.

vty,
Rob

Larry Glass responded to the ER as follows:

Glass confirmed by e-mail that he originally received Arkley’s letter on Sept. 6. He said it isn’t a “real apology.”

“It should say, ‘I’m sorry I … 1. physically attacked you twice. 2. I’m sorry I disrespected you by calling you ‘nothing’ and a ‘liar.’ 3. I’m sorry I threatened to destroy you if you didn’t vote for my project. 4. I’m sorry I threatened to destroy your business. 5. I’m sorry I paid to have you followed. 6. I’m sorry I threatened to sue you.’ I feel a real and complete apology would offer some promise of behavior modification for the future. Anyone can plainly see it doesn’t contain any of these. I am still waiting.”

Then Glazer, the new PR guy, reiterated the previous denials of any physical aspect to the confrontation. So far, the only eye-witnesses who have chimed in are Glass, Gans, and one anonymous witness.

I do have to make a few comments. Larry didn’t bring Arkley’s wife and kids into the fight. But they’re in it now. And while it is clearly an apology, when you’re apologizing for inappropriate behavior, you don’t try to justify it. You just apologize. And Larry is right, there is no promise to refrain from similar behavior in the future. He’s almost suggesting that he has no control over it.

But it is an apology. Where to go from here?

Addendum: The TS has a little more detail.

Glass said he found it important that the same day Arkley sent the apology, Gans told The Eureka Reporter — which is owned by Arkley — that Glass was acting like a “publicity-seeking politician.” ”You have to weigh that in context with the lack-of-apology apology,” Glass said.

That is certainly odd.

Glass said the topic of Arkley’s daughters didn’t come up until about halfway through Arkley’s “tirade,” and then Arkley only made a passing reference to them. ”He mentioned it, but it was certainly not the paramount thing that he was talking about,” Glass said.

And then Glazer continues the counter-attack.

The conversation at the Avalon, Glazer said, centered around Glass’ treatment of Arkley’s daughters. First, Glazer said, Glass distributed anti-Arkleyville stickers and T-shirts at his shop, then was insensitive when Arkley’s daughters came to talk to him about it. He said Arkley accused Glass of being a liar because Glass said he would stop carrying the anti-Arkleyville paraphernalia but didn’t for several weeks.

….

Glazer also asked why Glass didn’t distribute the e-mail to local media after receiving it, called Glass’ citing the e-mail’s accompanying disclaimer as playing a game and accused Glass of misleading the local media by not owning up to having received the e-mail.

”It’s bewildering and somewhat appalling,” Glazer said. “It gives that odor that it’s all about politics and manipulating the media.”

If anyone’s manipulating the media, Glass said it is not him.

A few days ago I received an e-mail from an individual who was present at the Avalon on Wednesday night. “I saw it” the note said. He gave me his phone number.

We played phone tag over the weekend. Finally last night we discussed the matter over the phone.

This gentleman wishes to remain anonymous for the moment. However, he has already contacted the police. He says he was talking with someone and heard a loud voice behind him. He turned and saw Glass and and individual he later identified as Arkley having an “intense” discussion. He couldn’t make out the words over the ambient noise, but he could hear Arkley’s raised voice. He says that Arkley’s right hand was on Glass’ chest and that Arkley did shove Glass. Not much more to report.

I asked about the responses from other people. He says that some of them noticed but turned away in what he interpreted as embarrassed disgust rather than prison gang denial. Arkley left Glass momentarily, appeared to be interested in food, then came back for another session. The witness says that there was a third man who kept getting in between them, most likely Randy Gans.

He says that Glass kept his hands to his side, but wouldn’t give physical ground. When it was over, Glass walked away, briefly spoke to another individual, then left. Arkley meanwhile got a plate of food and sat at a table by a window. A few moments later 4th District Supervisor Bonnie Neely join him and they conversed. The witness doesn’t know what they spoke about.

I will disclose that the witness’ politics are closer to Glass’ than Arkley’s. He contacted the EPD on Friday morning because he didn’t want Larry to be left hanging by himself. When he called the police they acted as if they didn’t know what he was talking about and said that no report had been taken. The witness asked to speak to the investigating officer. The Chief of Police came onto the telephone and took the witness’ statement.

That’s pretty much all there is to it. But it is one witness who says physical contact was made.

Addendum: As always, I’ll post any rebuttal from Rob Arkley or his folk on the main page. But I imagine they’re probably going to lay low for the moment now that a formal investigation is underway. If not, anybody is free to e-mail a rebuttal or other response.

Somebody posted Heather Muller’s article in a thread below. Apparently Glass is pushing for a formal criminal investigation. I’m on the side of those who think it’s probably a mistake to drag it out more than necessary to deter future incidents, but I wasn’t there.

I may have some more for you later today.

I would link you to the ER, but I’m out of town and using my wife’s Mac iBook. The mouse is that little pad you move your finger around on. Does anybody know how to “right click?”

Update: Duh. I only need to right click to get the address for a photo. I’ll be back momentarily with the link.

The Times-Standard wants bygones to be bygones, but wtf???

Different versions of what exactly happened are floating out there, and we’re not judging which is more accurate, since none of the dozens of the high-powered people attending the event — a Chamber mixer hosted by the Coastal Commission — would speak on the record about what they heard or saw.

That’s like something you’d expect from teenage gangsters. Whatever happens, mum’s the word when the authorities knock on your door. And these are our civic leaders in commerce and government – our movers and shakers? They could clarify right this minute, but it sounds like even the Times-Standard suffers from a profound lack of curiosity – an enabler in the code of silence.

Update: Heraldo is discussing the issue as well. For me, right now, the issue is the people who were there. I find the silence rather bizarre. If they truly want to “move on,” this isn’t the way to do it.

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