Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Let Zebra One Know

For those who may not have seen, there is an extensive post on the website of Brandli Law detailing the entire sequence of events related to the Christmas hayride and the subsequent handling of the matter by the Sheriff's Office.

To read the entire post, click this link.  Below is an excerpt.
Deputy Menjivar went to his vehicle. Deputy Menjivar called dispatch to get information on Mr. McCutcheon, the truck, and the trailer. Deputy Menjivar made this call from his vehicle only two minutes after Deputy Korth arrived at the scene, about four minutes into the stop. During this call, Deputy Menjivar stated, "You might inform Zebra One [referring to Sheriff Nou] that this is going to turn into a complete FUBAR [a military acronym for 'F*cked Up Beyond All Recognition']." Deputy Menjivar's voice was strained on the radio. Carolers can be heard singing in the background.
A few minutes later, Deputy Menjivar stated on the radio from his patrol car, "Now the whole crowd is turning against me. Let Zebra One know that he is going to get a lot of complaints." The dispatcher responded that Sheriff Nou was listening to the radio traffic at the time.
A few minutes later, Deputy Menjivar exited his patrol car and began snapping flash pictures of the trailer and its occupants. Several of the younger children were crying during this time. Several witnesses report that Deputy Menjivar was sarcastically invited to take a picture of one of the crying children, and that Deputy Menjivar took a flash picture in the face of one of the children in response. The county provided no such picture in its response to our public record's request.
Deputy Menjivar then cleared the scene. As he told dispatch that he was clear, he said, "Let Zebra One know that he is going to get about thirty complaints lying about what happened."
Deputy Korth escorted the carolers around town and home.


  1. Felix. Must. Go.

    For a few reasons. First - Felix's trendline of borderline sociopathic behavior is not good. It's accelerating. And. He. Does. Not. Give. A. Shit. Felix will eventually end up killing someone in an unjustified incident. Unless Nou wants to start including body bags as standard equipment in the deputies' cars, he needs to make the proper risk assessment and push the eject button on Felix. When that unjustified killing happens, it would be much better if Felix were employed by the sheriff's dept in some god-forsaken county in Arizona. Or Mississippi.

    Second, Felix's incident report, signed under penalties of perjury, is, on its face, untrue. Any written or oral statements he makes in the future can and should be called into question. Deputy Korth's statement is borderline - certainly liberties were taken with the facts in his statement as well. I still believe that both of them had "help" in writing their incident reports.

    Third, if Felix is allowed to remain, Nou is essentially stamping Felix's hunting license for humans as "good until cancelled". This is a personnel problem for which there is only one correct answer. This isn't even especially nuanced - bad behavior MUST be punished.

    Fourth, Felix is utterly unrepentant. Utterly.

    Probably if you live on San Juan and get pulled over by Felix, you're best bet is to request that he get someone else there to talk to you - certainly don't talk with him without witnesses present.

    Questions: Can the sheriff's dept avoid document production under WA's freedom of information equivalent by appending the document to someone's personnel file? Is that why Nou believes he has complied with Brandli's information request?

    Comment: I'm disappointed that McCutcheon does not plan on taking legal action against the Sheriff's Dept and Felix, although I understand his decision. This whole situation stinks.

    Until the community can force Felix out and elect someone other than Nou, we're stuck with a Sheriff's Department that views Christmas caroling a more substantial threat to public safety than meth dealers. Selah.

  2. David,

    From what I know about the Public Records Act (having sent out hundreds myself), the Sheriffs Department could not (or at least should not) append a picture taken by Felix to his personnel file. The picture should be included in the same category of documents as the police report. Regardless, if they were going to redact a picture, they should at least have mentioned that it existed, and state the reasons why it was exempt from disclosure.


  3. The status quo: we're stuck with the prospect of having someone with Sonny Corleone's personality wearing a uniform and legally carrying a loaded weapon. With the terrible power of the state fully behind him. We should all be very afraid.

  4. This is the tip of the iceberg. This is a pattern. I am afraid this will not end well.

  5. Help me Zebra One, you are our only hope!

  6. "Deputy Menjivar then cleared the scene. As he told dispatch that he was clear, he said, 'Let Zebra One know that he is going to get about thirty complaints lying about what happened.''"

    I used to use a similar story. To explain things to my parents. Up until I was around 4 years old. I think the last time was when I blamed the cat for writing on the wall with a crayon and I patiently explained to my mom that sis would be telling her that I did it, but that sis would be lying. For unknown reasons. I got spanked instead of the cat. Apparently my mom was better at critical thinking than Sheriff Nou.

  7. In honor of the sheriff, from now on, I think I want to go by the call sign "Wildebeest 6.28"

    I suppose "Zebra" is better than "Wombat"

  8. For having the highest median age of any county in washington, I have but one question. WHERE THE FUCK ARE THE ADULTS???

  9. @5:53 said "Until the community can force Felix out and elect someone other than Nou, we're stuck with a Sheriff's Department that views Christmas caroling a more substantial threat to public safety than meth dealers. Selah."

    But to be fair, hassling Christmas carolers and ticketing soccer moms doing 27 in a 25 zone is a lot safer for Nou & Co than going after meth dealers.

    Menjivar isnt a sociopath, he's a wimp with a God complex who panicked when things started going sideways on Christmas Eve and did what people of limited intellect do when they get in a jam - he started lying. He and his bully wife should be shunned.

  10. What an unfortunate call sign. The Zetas, Mexico ' s most brutal trafficking cartel is named after the radio handle ("Zeta 1") of Arturo Guzman Decena who was a commander of Mexico's federal judicial police and then as a fallen angel founded what is now the most sophisticated drug cartel in the hemisphere.

  11. "Probably if you live on San Juan and get pulled over by Felix, you're best bet is to request that he get someone else there to talk to you - certainly don't talk with him without witnesses present."

    If I am not mistaken, it is legal to video record an LEO while he is on duty. If I were driving on SJI and I saw flashing lights in my rear view mirror, I would make sure my phone/camera was turned on before that officer got to my window.

    Who woulda thunk the police state would rear it's ugly head in these islands so early in the game?

    Felix: Get going now while the going is good. I have a feeling the good people of the county will be satisfied just to be rid of you.
    Leave. Go. Pack up. Hit the road. Free ferry. Slip away in the night. Beat it. Off you go.
    Just do it. Now.

  12. Wait now, there is one big island left. Hello Orcas, say hi to Felix.

  13. I'm hearing that in Russia, webcams on car dashboards are about the last hope of civility and self protection. Is that where we are heading?

    And, if you were a mucky muck in the Customs and Border Patrol senior command, I wonder if you would think twice nowadays about deputizing the SJC Sheriff Department for any reason. On the other, God help us if they did ...

  14. Anyone have an estimate as to how many "marginal" speeding tickets were issued? 2/3 or even 5 mph over?
    The more I thought about this, while driving into town, how much different is your braking distance at 28 vs 25 mph, all other things being equal?
    Rough estimate here = "not much".
    Now, how much is your reaction time delayed if you are constantly looking down at speedo? I was coming back from Roche in to town, just as it slows to 25 and in order to stay at exactly 25, I had to spend a lot of effort and brake tapping (down the little hill) and my attention was much more focused on speed than what was in front of me.
    27 in a 25 is with in a margin of error. Not statistically significant.

  15. Funny, I had a completely different take on the Guardian piece. First, issuing a prophylactic "statement" verging on novella length and full of opinion stated as fact is just plain odd. Decided not to litigate, huh? I wonder why?

    Second, "At this point, Mr. McCutcheon, frustrated with Deputy Menjivar, told him, "You had better get backup because I cannot deal with you," or words to that effect." This after the deputy explained that he was driving without taillights--concededly an infraction.
    Nothing smarter than jumping out of a truck, approaching a deputy and telling him he's gonna need backup. Just the kind of guy I'd want driving my kids around on bales of hay without restraints. Not.

    And here we go with people like "David Hume": Felix will end up killing someone; bodybags. Comparing the sheriff to the Zetas? Must be drinking the same koolaid as the Great Defenders of the Sacred Central Core.

    He's not suing being he's got nothing, and even his lawyer's carefully worded attempt to woo the public is self-defeating.

  16. @11:44--Surely you're not arguing that we can rewrite all of our traffic laws based on our own interpretation of what's safe? That's going right down the rabbit hole.

    Perhaps we can get those overly restrictive speed limits fixed. But until they are, I for one will be desperately struggling to keep my car at or below them.

  17. I'll explain it all in sheriff-speak. We had a Code Blitzen that FUBAR'd rapidly because of an argument between Yogi and Ranger Smith. Ranger Smith called for F-troop and Barney Fife had to restrain Ranger Smith. By that time, the Chipmunks were crying. Zebra 1 was listening in the whole time. No word yet on where Boris, Natasha, Rocky, Bullwinkle, and Big Bird were.

  18. I'm looking forward to the Island Guardian story on the investigation that Jack conducted.

  19. Question for 11:51 - how many more years until _you_ qualify for your pension from the sheriffs department?

  20. Its a shame that McCutcheon isn't going to sue. The only thing way that Nou and Gaylord will ever understand what is wrong with the dysfunctional Sheriff's office is by writing out a fat check to McCutcheon, and to anyone whose civil rights they violate. Menjivar is a lawless thug and will never understand. He should be fired, but the cowardly Nou will bury his head in the sand and do nothing. What a shame. San Juan County deserves so much better than a misfit like Felix walking around like a little tough guy with a badge and gun. He is totally damaged goods and needs to go.

  21. Does Felix wear little jack boots ... in his dreams?

    The Department's policy of terrorizing the working working class is starting to become pretty clear.

    I get the New York City concept of cracking down on fairly minor stuff like graffiti really does have an impact on reducing property and violent crime.

    We are not New York City. Most of us have to remind ourselves to take keys out the ignition when we go to the mainland and park at Costco.

    You cannot go after everyone for everything on the books. We break any number of laws just by breathing. When you have to set priorities with scarce resources, where you choose to invest your officer and patrol assets time reflects your policy and purpose.

    If your policy is to crack down on minor or deminimus traffic violations for the purpose of spreading the word to slow the hell down in Friday Harbor because our data shows that no one is paying attention to stop signs and people tend to careen through the streets at high rates of speed ... well, OK.

    But in that case, the Department will so much more successful if they make this policy abundantly clear to the public, state what their objectives are and how the policy will be measured, and for Christ sake, implement the policy with professionalism and courtesy, not with arrogant tin horn swagger and intimidation.

    Because that will just piss us off. So, tell us what the policy is. Tell us what you expect to achieve and how you will measure success?

  22. And here we go with people like "David Hume": Felix will end up killing someone;

    Opinon: You cannot slam someone for their opinion if you don't leave a real name. You can make an opinion of course but to personally attack someone without disclosing your name while they disclose theirs is not a show of strength.

    This is so far, the most intelligent "social media" on this topic. Lets make this a place to fix this and expose what needs to be done.

    Lets keep this site active and opinionated that will take us to a solution.

    This is really a serious issue.

    We will see at the end of examination of the reports from these "professional" officers that their "Boss" has very little education about how to conduct the office, or is asleep at the wheel and needs to step up to us and show that he is not the person that sat at the Customs Hearing in front of all of the Major players in this community while this "public opinion of the handling of a Hayride and more to come ", got a phone call on his smart phone, playing the ring tone of Mayberry. It was just so sad, and he doesn't seem to want help to fix his image in all this.
    Let's relay our intelligent observations and try and fix this.

  23. These are Excerpts from the Report of Deputy Brad Korth and Deputy Felix Menjivar that was distributed to the public as fact by Sheriff Rob Nou in public and world media.
    This is not the full report, but cut and pasted sentences from the report as spelled and pronounced by the Sheriff’s Office, listed on the link presiding on the world wide web, that I see as important observations by not only a witness to the event but as a writer as well.

    I request that you know how a police report is supposed to be written based on criteria set forth by the majority of Law Enforcement Agencies:

    ▢ Report is typed (unless specifically requested to be hand-written)
    ▢ Report is current (continues up until the present day)
    ▢ Report contains proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation
    ▢ Names of witnesses and places are spelled correctly
    ▢ Report is free of subjective wording and personal opinions (except in witness reports)

    I have not changed nor allowed to be changed auto spell on the cut and paste of the report only my own.

    Deputy Brad Korth: “He asked for a cover officer, which is highly unusual for Deputy Menjivar, both in the fact he requested it and that he used that wording. When he was making the request a few other things stuck out to me. One was the tone of his voice. He sounded very stressed and I could hear quite a bit of noise in the background, like a large, loud group of people.”

    Comment: Subjective wording referring to an emotional response by Deputy Korth: loud boisterous “crowd” of People awaiting Deputy Minjivar’s arrival. Please watch the progression of the report that may highlight inferences that would not be made if the report was in sequential order.

    Deputy Brad Korth: “In addition to McCutcheon I noticed approximately 4 to 5 other men getting off the trailer and approaching Deputy Menjivar, yelling at him.”

    Witness: “No one that I saw got off the trailer until they were instructed to do so; they were held at bay on the trailer. This event is out of order and was after the Lunge at the driver, with the hand on the gun by Officer Menjivar. No one was yelling at either officer.” Please make note that this is the first reference to the “people leaving the trailer”.

  24. Deputy Brad Korth: “When I got to McCutcheon and Deputy Menjivar's position I could hear McCutcheon yelling at Deputy Menjivar and refusing to give him any of the documentation he had requested. “

    Witness: “The driver of the vehicle never yelled, he calmly with both hands to his side removed himself from the driver’s side and approached walked directly in line with the trailer. He did not make any directional advance at any of the officers and made no threatening words or actions.”

    Deputy Brad Korth: “Many of the men and women were yelling at Deputy Menjivar and I noticed a child crying.”

    Witness: “There was no yelling at Deputy Menjivar, small restrained statements as to “Hey, it’s Christmas Eve, can’t you leave us alone?” by the participants in this annual ride. Yes, the children and their parents were traumatized by Deputy Korth and Deputy Menjivar”.

    Deputy Brad Korth: “When I got to McCutcheon and Deputy Menjivar's position I could hear McCutcheon yelling at Deputy Menjivar and refusing to give him any of the documentation he had requested.”

    Witness: “Mr. McCutcheon did not yell at Deputy Menjivar, there was a statement of “we can handle this ourselves, Felix”. That is what triggered Deputy Menjivar to put his hand on his sidearm and lunge at Mr. McCutcheon while saying, “What are you going to do about it Marky”!

    Deputy Brad Korth: “I stepped in and asked McCutcheon to please stop yelling and let me try to figure out what was going on. McCutcheon turned and looked at me, then addressed me by name and said he would talk to me but wouldn't "give Felix a fucking thing." He then went on to say, "I think it is bullshit to be having my civil rights violated by someone who isn’t even from this country on Christmas night”.

    Witness: “I heard nothing to that effect; there were neither racial slurs nor the use of the word “Fu #k”. There was no statement of the word “civil rights”.

    Comment: Does this not show the tone that these two Deputies are trying to paint towards this defendant? Is this not the most ridiculous accusation supposedly sworn by these two Deputies that these racial slurs would be made in front of these children? This fraudulent and lucid placement of the word “Fu#k in a government report and released to the public for anyone with a smart phone can read without a filter? This is the classic definition of defamation of character and character assassination to cover up, as Deputy Menjivar put it, in the released recording of the dispatch;“ A Real FUBAR”. Please note the use of the word Fu#k has occurred three (3) times in this report, all coming from the victim’s mouth, in front of Children, Mothers of those Children and Fathers on Christmas Eve. If that were the case, why did not Deputy Korth and Deputy Menjivar place a child protective order on the children, and take the children into custody for Child Endangerment?

  25. Deputy Brad Korth: “I thanked him for dealing with me, then I turned to some of the other men who were approaching the location. I loudly asked for them to go back to the trailer and let me deal with the issue. They shouted back at me about the traffic stop and began verbally assaulting Deputy Menjivar.

    Witness: One of the men approaching the location was me and customers trying to get into the Mercantile while the only parking was blocked by this affair on their busiest night. I asked Deputy Brad Korth what was going on here and that it did not look well to the three lines of ferry riders standing outside of their cars with Cell Phone Cameras, wondering just what message that Friday Harbor was sending to its visitors on Christmas Eve. He responded that “we are doing what we can and to leave the scene”. No-one was verbally assaulting Deputy Menjivar. Deputy Menjivar also approached me after Deputy Korth had asked me to leave the scene as if one request was not enough.

    Deputy Brad Korth: “I again asked them to go back and get on the trailer with their kids and let me sort things out. At this point most of them complied.”

    Witness: No one I saw left the trailer, until instructed to do so, and were then assymbled against the wall at Churchill’s restaurant with overhead lights, and spotlights on them and were asked to turn them off and wouldn’t.

    Comment: Please notice again the inference in this “report” that the passengers in the trailer were all leaving the trailer on their own; and had to be detained and told to stay on the trailer. The word Trailer is documented forty-five Times (45). Is it important to slant or mislead the issue of whom and why, were the persons on the trailer removed from the trailer and made to stand against the wall? Is there some real problem with asking the participants to leave the trailer by armed Deputies? It is clear that the report leads me to believe that everyone was jumping off the trailer to attack Deputy Menjivar with racial slurs and they were not “directed” by an officer of the law to get out of the trailer. Why is that important in this report?”

    Deputy Brad Korth: “I turned back to Deputy Menjivar and told him it might be best if he were in his car doing his stuff while I dealt with the crowd. They seemed to be very upset with Deputy Menjivar and angry about his ethnicity,”

    Witness: “There was no “crowd” unless you call women and children carolers a “crowd”. How could Deputy Brad Korth “feel” the anger of the “crowd” about Deputy Menjivar’s Ethnicity? The word “Crowd “in is used Eight (8) times in the official report. There is also reference to “a main crowd” used only once (1). The statement leads you to believe that there were more than one crowd. The crowds were not detailed by identity in the report.

    Deputy Brad Korth continues: “, so I felt I may be able to deal with the crowd more effectively than Deputy Menjivar. I was unsure Deputy Menjivar was able to hear me above the noise of the crowd,”

  26. Was this a crowd - or just a loud vocal minority?

    This sounds like the Friends of the San Juans demonizing anyone who wants to build a little house.

    The local yokels appear to be knuckle-dragging racists getting in the way of tourists' investment backed expectations.

  27. Thank you for contacting the ACLU of Washington regarding your concerns about unprofessional conduct and potential false reporting by officers of the San Juan County Sheriff’s department that you witnessed in December.

    The ACLU has worked for decades at both the national and local level to improve public accountability of law enforcement agencies. We lobby Congress, the state legislature and local governments to curb proposals that expand police powers. Through our public education efforts, we inform citizens about their rights in encounters with police officers. The ACLU also occasionally undertakes selected litigation to challenge police policies and practices. We are unable, however, to pursue most cases brought to our attention, and we unfortunately do not have the capacity to directly investigate this specific incident.

    Although the ACLU cannot provide you with legal assistance, we appreciate the information you provided. The ACLU keeps on file police misconduct complaints we receive around the state.

    It is appropriate that you shared your concerns with the sheriff’s department, and we appreciate you sharing a copy of your complaint with the ACLU. Although complaints are often not sustained, the complaint process allows individuals to officially document the incident. If similar complaints are made concerning the same officer, a pattern of misconduct might become more apparent.

  28. @428am
    Nope, sorry, I help pay for the county employees' pensions. Don't get anything back. Not even a fan of police, in particular. Just an observer who thinks that anyone who (admittedly) jumps out of a truck and approaches an officer on a traffic stop is stupid and one who then tells the officer to call for back up is terminally stupid. A bit of stupidity in driving people around in regular traffic on a truck bed too.

    If he had a leg to stand on, his lawyer would be all over the county on this.

  29. 2:29: wait, you first claimed that the truck riders were lined up against a wall and threatened with shooting. Now you're claiming that no one got off the truck? Which is it?

  30. Witness: Again the subjective inference of “Noise of the Crowd”. There was not a “noise of the crowd” present, there was no riot, there was no maleficence.

    Deputy Brad Korth: “so I put my flashlight, which was in my left hand, into the center of his chest and began pushing slightly, pushing him towards his patrol car”.

    Witness: “That is false. When the driver of the vehicle stated his desire to “let them handle it” Officer Menjivar placed his hand on his weapon and lunged at the driver, Deputy Brad Korth used both hands and a block, to stop Deputy Menjivar’s hostile lunge at the driver while Deputy Menjivar said clearly to all that was there: “What are you going to do about it Markey?”

    Deputy Brad Korth: “When we got clear of the main crowd I asked what he needed from McCutcheon” “He stated he needed the registration and proof of insurance. I left Deputy Menjivar in his patrol car and went back to McCutcheon, who was still yelling at
    Deputy Menjivar.”

    Witness: Was Deputy Menjivar “lead” to his car or “left” at his car? Why was Deputy Menjivar lead or left at his police squad car? Was he being dismissed of duty by another officer because that officer could feel the inability of this armed officer to deal with a Hayride full of Women and Children on Christmas Eve? There was no yelling ever of the victim or by the victim. The use of the word “yell or yelling” is typed into this report over Ten (10) times. Now there is “main” crowd. How many people were actually there? Should not that be covered in a police report?

    Deputy Brad Korth: “As we arrived at the cab McCutcheon told me he had been the one that asked for back up to come to the scene because "I refuse to deal with that fu#ker." He was referring to Deputy Menjivar. I told him I was glad to help, but that I needed him to stop yelling and would appreciate it if he could keep the other people on the trailer and have them stop yelling so I could deal with the situation. He agreed to do so and thanked me for coming.”

    Witness: “There was no “yelling” and definitely not any “yelling” of racial slurs as implied in this report. I believe the statement made was close to “Get me someone I can deal with”, and it wasn’t yelled.

    Comment: It is proper that a citizen during a traffic stop may ask for another officer because of negative publicity and implied negligence of Deputy Menjivar that has been spread through the Friday Harbor Rants and Raves, hearings at the College, letters to Sheriff Nou and other Islander’s poor experience with Deputy Menjivar

    Deputy Brad Korth: Most of the people were back on the trailer and some were yelling about how the traffic stop had scared some of the kids and they were crying. I noticed a small child with a Mohawk haircut sitting directly over where the right tail light was located and he was crying. I went to the child and was told it was a McCutcheon child. I leaned down and asked if he was okay. Through tears he told me he was. I asked what
    his favorite Christmas song was and he told me it was "Frosty the Snowman". I stood back up and had to talk loudly to get the crowds attention. I told them the child who was crying really liked that song and asked if they would all like to sing the song while they were waiting. They agreed to do so and began loudly singing Frosty the Snowman. They also invited me to sing along, which I thanked them for, but politely declined.

    Witness: This report has shown that the Deputies have traumatized the children, and singled out one “McCutcheon child” in a public document posted on the International Internet, logged onto millions of Google, Yahoo, and Bing, Search Engines, that will be stored until the billions of hard drives connected to the Internet become full. What has been done to this businessman and his family and friends when this report was released to the World is not favorable to the number one Tourist Destination in the Country.

  31. Q: Do I have to answer questions asked by law
    enforcement officers?
    A: No. You have the constitutional right to remain silent. In
    general, you do not have to talk to law enforcement officers (or
    anyone else), even if you do not feel free to walk away from the
    officer, you are arrested, or you are in jail. You cannot be punished
    for refusing to answer a question. It is a good idea to
    talk to a lawyer before agreeing to answer questions. In general,
    only a judge can order you to answer questions.
    (Non-citizens should see Section IV for more information on
    this topic.)
    Q: Are there any exceptions to the general rule that I do
    not have to answer questions?
    A: Yes, there are two limited exceptions. First, in some states,
    you must provide your name to law enforcement officers if you
    are stopped and told to identify yourself. But even if you give
    your name, you are not required to answer other questions.
    Second, if you are driving and you are pulled over for a traffic
    violation, the officer can require you to show your license,
    vehicle registration and proof of insurance (but you do not
    have to answer questions). (Non-citizens should see Section IV
    for more information on this topic.

  32. Body Worn Police Camera -Body Worn Full High Definition Mini System - 5 Mega Pixel CMOS Night Vision Camera - 4X Digital Zoom - 9 Hours Of HD Recording Per Battery Charge - Model - 1-HD



  33. Remember, the sheriffs department is no longer a police department, it is a division of Homeland Security.
    Soon we will have aerostats floating above these islands. All in the name of protecting "us" from "them" and Raytheon's bottom line. Read the article in The Washington Post.
    As Randy Newman said, "Baa- Mister Sheep- Baa".

  34. @10:59 pm -"terminally stupid"? "Terminally"?

    So, in your world, once McCutcheon stepped out of his truck, Menjivar cannot be held responsible for ANYTHiNG that happens after that point? What if Menjivar had not just had his hand on his gun, but pulled his gun and shot MCCutcheon? Would Menjivar still not be responsible?

    You've read the incident reports and the statement by McCutcheon's attorney. They are not consistent with each other on numerous critical points - they cannot both be true. A number of the inconsistencies have been catalogued above. Who do YOU believe?

    Neither you or I have any insight into why MCCutcheon isn't proceeding with a civil suit. They may have concluded that the cost of proceeding (depositions would need to be taken from dozens of witnesses as well as Menjivar, Korth and Nou) couldn't possibly be recovered through any potential award (lack of physical injury to McCutcheon would make any determination of damages problematic). It may have been that a number of the witnesses indicated they wouldn't testify (not illogical if they want to avoid targeting and harassment by Menjivar in the future).

    If you're happy to live in a county where ANY misstep in deference by a citizen in the course of an interaction with a public employee justifies ANY behavior by the public employee (your "terminally stupid" comment), then you're happy in a far different place than the one I want to live in where there is mutual respect, but respect even if it is unreciprocated. Recommendation for you: if pulled over by Menjivar, when he approaches your car, get out, crouch down and lick his hand while whimpering. That will demonstrate that you view yourself as his subject. Me? I'm a citizen.

  35. Welcome to 2014. We now have:

    The Hayride to Hell

    Nightmare on Spring Street

    Is it beginning to make sense that concerns about the behavior of the Sheriff Department and concerns over locating over locating the Department of Homeland Security are actually widespread, mainstream, and growing?

    I am beginning to think that the only interests out there that are standing up for this police state encroachment are the Friends of the San Juans and some geriatric xenophobic but powerful and wealthy yacht club RINOs who have always expected the police to protect them from the rabble and working class far beneath them.

  36. Deputy Brad Korth: “At that point Deputy Menjivar got back in his patrol car and cleared the scene. All the people on the trailer began clapping their hands and yelling. I asked McCutcheon how far he had to go with no tail lights. He told me he was just going to drive to his house. I offered to follow him to provide tail lights and brake lights to assure their safety. He asked, "Really? That would be great!" He then shook my hand and thanked me.
    I talked to the crowd on the trailer and encouraged them again to sing carols and thanked them for contributing to the Christmas spirit. They had invited me to sing along earlier, to the tune of Frosty, and again invited me. I advised it would probably be best if they didn't have to listen to my singing voice. They laughed and seemed relieved and happy.
    Comment: This is not subjective reporting on a police report. It seems that the narrative in this story starts with a stressful radio call, a super conflict pending that will result in a FUBAR, with loud, multiple yelling crowds, potential Christmas Eve Riot at the Mercantile, persons jumping out of trailers, of which there is a strong "steering" of the narrative, to assure that we the reader, do positively understand, that all persons in the trailer got out of the trailer on their own, and the Officers had to make it so very clear that they never asked them to remove themselves from the trailer, all while verbally attacking Deputy Menjivar for being un-American and very "Crowdly" and "Loudly".
    The Tale ends up like a Christmas Story of Deputy Brad Korth single handedly ending this on a wonderful Christmas eve night in Friday Harbor while the ferry landing applauded. He avoided a Nightmare on Ferry Landing Lot 8”, by releasing the Loud Main Crowd and the regular crowd as they happily drive off on their Christmas hayride, doing what pulled them over for in the first place with no citation?

  37. Deputy Brad Korth: “Throughout the incident on the street I continually tried to get the people to stay on, or get back on the trailer. I wanted to not have any of them going
    back to Deputy Menjivar's patrol car and wanted to keep them where I could see them. They seemed fine talking with me but seemed to have personal issues with Deputy Menjivar which went far beyond the stop itself.”
    Comment: Is Deputy Korth insinuating that Deputy Menjivar has so many enemies in this community that Deputy Korth has to protect him from the public? Thus rendering him to a Desk job the rest of his career? Does he report that if Deputy Korth, had not taken over this event and held Deputy Menjivar back from attacking a suspect, that it would otherwise have been a Nightmare on Ferry Landing Lot 8”?
    That Deputy Menjivar is unable to run a traffic stop for a taillight on an annual family Christmas Eve Hayride without inciting a riot? Did he relieve Deputy Menjivar from duty? Is this not a final call for dismissal of Deputy Menjivar as being incompetent in his duties, as well as retraining of Deputy Korth?
    This event was recorded in the audio dispatch release posted on the website of Orcas Issues.com. The dispatch from Deputy Menjivar to the release of Deputy Korth and the victim lasted 32 minutes as you will listen to the time checks on the broadcast.
    I believe as a citizen that a punishment of harassment, detainment, slander, libel, false accusations, hidden cameras and illegally obtained audio recordings was administered to the citizens of this County during those 32 minutes of which no citation was issued.
    How much already overburdened, San Juan County resources were wasted for this 32 minutes and how much will it cost in the end?
    Please notice that Deputy Korth has not signed an unsworn statement certification.
    Deputy Menjivar has signed for the other officer’s statement twice.
    Has one officer purposefully "misrepresented" on the other officers sworn statement that is attested to be true while in fact is a lie? And that the only way The "Bad cop" will be relieved because of his Union Ties is to be found guilty of Perjury, not by him but by a person he signed for? The next "FUBAR" fellow very loud, yelling crowds is the investigation as to what the Policy is of the San Juan County Sheriff's office as regard to Body Camera's, audio and their use in our lives. If you have a problem with having Customs Officers moving a block down the street, where are your loud crowd voices on this blatant violation of government spying while being pulled over for a tail light. Where has your face print been sent, where is it now? On who’s Google Server?

  38. Yes this will boil down into an investigation of budget and policy priorities, boring as it sounds, the devil is always in the details.

    This will take awhile, as well it should. Bureaucratic gears grind slowly. This is useful during an election year. Drip. Drip. Drip.

    A larger debate over policing policy and what the priorities need to be with very limited resources will be a good "community conversation" to maintain throughout this year, as primaries approach and into the general.

    We're not going to forget this. And, they're not going to get away with this.

  39. Meanwhile Common Sense Alliance continues to toil in the trenches. Read the Pacific Legal Foundation brief. It is impressive.

    We can win and we will win. We must rise above the politically appointed slaves to the special interests...do I have to mention FOSJ?

    The amazing thing is we all want the same thing; equal protection under the law and reasonable rules. Rules that really mean something for the environment and rules that are administered fairly.

    Here's a chime in the hayride fiasco.

    Last Summer some modest warnings were put out before the 4th of July at Roche Harbor that the Sheriffs Dept. on the 4th would be in an zero tolerance mode regarding underage drinking.
    The result was disgusting. Deputies walked around seemingly randomly sticking breath analyzers in young adult mouths. No one I witnessed was driving at the time.

    Of course many tears were shed as teenagers were forced to confess they had had some beers. (YOU never did at 17 I'm sure.) Mom was called. Deputies were professional and unforgiving.

    This whole major social control of the right of growing up seemed a bit over the top to me. (I never did see any kid what I would call drunk, and none were driving.)

    Such is the stuff the Sheriffs Dept. thinks is important? I can't imagine the overtime this cost.

    OK control freaks, sally forth.


  40. What was the probable cause for testing on the 4th.? Laughing, smiling, appearing to have to much fun?
    If you are training us to fear you on sight, its working. Respect? No, not at this point in time.
    To those that say you have nothing to fear if you have done no wrong. Are you experienced? Have you been experienced yet?

  41. That's It.

    If Deputy FEELIT pulls you over you merely say, I wish to have another officer present because you have proven yourself inept and I don't want this traffic violation becoming a world event thank you, I will wait until you tell me I am free to go.

  42. I am coming to the same conclusion. The policy of the department under Nou, is to experiment with big city urban social engineering on vulnerable segments of the local population.

    It is planned, organized, systematic.

    A policy to keep the peace is not the same policy as social engineering.

    The zero tolerance community policing techniques got a lot of attention in New York City under Guilani's leadership. It seems to really work. Time Square was a mess and then Time Square got cleaned up and a lot safer. There was plenty of research done on why focusing zero tolerance on something like grafitti could seem to have such wide ranging affect on property and violent crime.

    But those social engineering techniques became faddish trends, adopted by local law enforcement around the country through seminars and training materials, and this philosophy has now arrived here. But we are small town rural, not big city urban. Its like trying to ram King County storm water regulations down our throat as was tried here before. It just doesn't make sense.

    Before Nou we had a Sheriff and department that was respected, even well liked, that also got the job done and kept a lid on things. That is not an easy balance and requires intelligence, tact and compassion. None of which Nou seems to possess in any measure. In only a few years, Nou has lost public respect and seems bent on replacing that hard earned respect with distrust and fear.

    Almost like the Friends of the San Juans are pulling the strings.

  43. I am all for "the thin blue line."

    I am equally for laying down "a bright red line" that the "thin blue line" absolutely may not cross.

    I am proud that the official United States Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) is finally standing up and calling a spade a spade.

    "The NSA bulk phone metadata program "implicates constitutional concerns under the First and Fourth Amendments, raises serious threats to privacy and civil liberties as a policy matter, and has shown only limited value," the report stated. "As a result, the board recommends that the government end the program."

    Now just change a few words: "The zero tolerance program as conducted by the San Juan County Sheriff implicates constitutional concerns under the First and Fourth Amendments, raises serious threats to privacy and civil liberties as a policy matter, and has shown only limited value. As a result, San Juan County Council recommends that the Sheriff Now end the program."

  44. "The NSA bulk phone metadata program "implicates constitutional concerns under the First and Fourth Amendments, raises serious threats to privacy and civil liberties as a policy matter, and has shown only limited value," the report stated. "As a result, the board recommends that the government end the program."

    Now just change a few words: "The zero tolerance program as conducted by the San Juan County Sheriff implicates constitutional concerns under the First and Fourth Amendments, raises serious threats to privacy and civil liberties as a policy matter, and has shown only limited value. As a result, San Juan County Council recommends that the Sheriff Now end the program."

    Apples and grapefruit.

    One is illegal spying--violation of the law. The other is enforcement of law, which is discretionary. (And it's not "zero-tolerance everywhere all the time.)

    As for drunk teens, you cry that there are meth labs or dealers here (if so, why not post the names and addresses on Trojan?) but don't like your sweet teens being questioned about alcohol. The same sweet teens who kill and maim on the highway yet live in the community without much in the way of consequence. Make up your minds.

    It is uncontrovertible that the most recent "victim" of law enforcement was driving without tail lights on his trailer. It also seems uncontradicted that he was towing kids without any kind of protection. Illegal. Had it been most other people, the driver would have said, aw shucks, I didn't realize, but no--there was threatening defiance of a simple request. STOOOPID.

  45. This comment has been removed by the author.

  46. Wow. You argue my point without realizing it. Apples and grapefruit are two types of fruit, thus far more similar than not. Do you understand that?

    After the mountain of concise evidence that has poured out about the Hay Ride to Hell over every channel for open discourse available out here and all you can do is rant "STOOOPID."

    Well, roger that. 10-4 Elanor. Put your head back in the sand. Not much else to say. Thanks for dropping by the Trojan Heron today.

  47. Discretion is the word I think most of us want. Because there is such a thing as a breath analyzer, does not mean it should get stuffed in the mouth of teens on the 4th of July.

    I have attended many a July 4th at Roche and they are extremely well run, entertaining, and strictly PG.

    Discretion tells you that most of the teens at Roche are off boats, not likely to be driving, but if that is a concern run the breath test a mile away on the road.

    OR, check out beach parties where large amounts of beer/etc. are in plain sight and the only way to get there is by car.

    I don't think you're going to catch meth dealers in the parking lot at Roche.

  48. There is discretion, and then there is the abuse of discretion. I think there is a growing pattern within the department of abuse of discretion.

    In the case of Roche Habor for example, why not stuff breathylizers down the throats of old white guy millionaires lurching around the docks?

  49. @ 1:27 a.m.

    Can you tell us what these quoted statements are from?

    I can guess that the Korth statements are from the police reports.

    What are the comments marked "witness"?


  50. January 23, 2014 at 5:55 AM

    "If you're happy to live in a county where ANY misstep in deference by a citizen in the course of an interaction with a public employee justifies ANY behavior by the public employee"

    Where did I say that? My point is that there are two sides to every story, and, for me, the Massacre on Spring Street story lost most of its credibility when the behavior of the driver was described in detail--as in the "final statement" by his lawyer.

    "Recommendation for you: if pulled over by Menjivar, when he approaches your car, get out, crouch down and lick his hand while whimpering. That will demonstrate that you view yourself as his subject." Wow. Someone's got issues. No. I'll continue doing what I've been doing since reaching adulthood: if pulled over, I wait in the car for the officer, and politely respond to his or her requests as appropriate. Usually, producing license and registration, and occasionally accepting a citation for what I did wrong. That's what responsible, rational adults do in a civilized society; I do not consider it being submissive. My manhood is not threatened. But then, I'm usually sober, have no criminal record, and have no anger management issues. EVEN IF you have a history with an officer, or actually ESPECIALLY IF you have a history with an officer, the rational response to being pulled over is to act like an adult, giving the officer no ammunition against you, so to speak. Jumping out of the car and telling the cop he'll need to call for backup (or, frankly, even saying that you "want" another police officer to deal with) are all inappropriate reactions, reflecting impulse control and other behavioral symptoms--you don't get to choose deputies.

  51. @ 955am

    "In the case of Roche Harbor for example, why not stuff breathylizers down the throats of old white guy millionaires lurching around the docks?"


  52. "You argue my point without realizing it. Apples and grapefruit are two types of fruit, thus far more similar than not. Do you understand that?"

    Sorry, I was fruitlessly attempting to point out that you are mixing up concepts that are not comparable.

    1=NSA--clear violation of the law
    2=enforcement discretion--what the law provides

    As for the "mountain of concise evidence" (?), all we have is the police reports, plus a bunch of conflicting claims on blogs.

  53. Well, your argument continues to be a bit fruitless, with heaving sighs and rolling eyes as the rhetorical device you depend upon.

    As to evidence. Unhappily no video evidence has emerged, despite a reasonable expectation such video should exist. The investigation continues. Beyond that, the police reports clearly contradict themselves against witness statements. On this blog, witness statements have been presented, compared and contrasted with police reports. No one has denied accuracy of the witness statements. Do you? Can you be specific with at least one example? One local journalist who was given access to the signed sworn statements, who's news service profiles articles from the Trojan Heron, has not challenged veracity of witness statements provided to this blog or the accompanying analysis either. There has been plenty of time for that.

    Therefore I argue that the witness statements provided on the TH are very likely accurate, and the corresponding analysis, is very likely to be credible. As I understand it, the witnesses on the whole do not want their names made public. This seems very clear. Thus the community and this blog worked carefully not only to make those statements public, but to do so in a credible manner that also protects identity. That such measures are necessary in this small community speaks volumes to the patterns of abuse and intimidation coming to light.

    This also demonstrates why the Trojan Heron is providing such an important public service to our community. And it explains the increasing attempts to abuse the anonymous comment privilege and disrupt this blog with malicious commentary designed to distract and drive people away from real issues that matter.

    As to the NSA:

    Hardly six months ago, the debate with the NSA was about discretion not illegality, wasn't it? Times change quickly don't they?. And when the Department of Homeland Security can deputize the San Juan County Sheriff Department at will, the concepts you claim have no relationship align perhaps a bit more than we'd like don't they? And of course we might all re-read the fine print of our County's Pictometry aerial surveillance contract as well, which provides a back door to our back yards so far up the national security food chain it gives me a nosebleed to think about it.

    In sum, you seem to be a kneejerk apologist who has not taken the time to read what is evidentiary on both sides of the issue and thought through your own defensible position. As far as I can see, one fella might have thought twice before he got out of his vehicle. However the other fella with the badge had no probable cause to reach for his gun and lunge at the first fella especially with a trailer full of women and children present, caroling on Christmas Eve. No citation even issued? Tut tut no no.

    And the children went home and gave their parents reports of what they saw with wide open innocent eyes within an hour so. And it is clear, that the second police fella, restrained the actions of that first police fella, regardless of the obvious attempt at spin masquerading as objective police reporting that dribbled out later on. That is all just a offense to common sense.

    But anyway, I am grateful you can see through the NSA smoke and mirrors. Many of us have been fighting that for years hoping for a breakthrough. Welcome aboard, better late than never. In that spirit I suggest you take a second gander at the smoke and mirrors surrounding the San Juan County Sheriff Department.

  54. The current policy is one of "Predatory Enforcement, Not Supportive and Informative Enforcement."

    There are far too "nightmare" stories on experiences with this Sheriffs office.

    We plan on doing a "customer survey" on all those who have had an experience with our Officers and match their experience to the accuracy of the sworn statement reports."

  55. 1:12pm Better try to limit input on your survey to a date where questionable enforcement would seem to have started. And, I would also suggest people responding be pretty close in guessing the date or knowing the date they were busted.
    (I thought, golly I got a traffic stop, then I thought about it and realized it was over fours years ago...the officer was very nice.)

  56. May I make it clear that this is not us against them, it is we the people reviewing the administration of an office that we the people created.

    The State of Washington clearly gave us that right as citizens:

    The people of this state do not yield their sovereignty to the agencies which serve them. The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know. The people insist on remaining informed so that they may retain control over the instruments they have created. RCW 42.30.010

    I hope that the sample will show more positive than negative.

    But if there is a pattern of negativity, it must be disclosed.

    It can't be a majority, or a minority.

    Any service of the law must be levied equally in all cases.

    We will have the "customers" come forward who have a complaint. We will ask Mr. Nou for that report. We will then have the convicted write their story without reading the report. Then we will compare accuracies against the reports.

  57. @10:24 am ---- I don't think anyone is trying to argue that McCutcheon's handling of the start of the incident wasn't sub-optimal. The difference is that you seem unwilling to take the next step and lay ANY blame on Menjivar. I guess that when citizens don't show Felix the appropriate amount of respect, you agree with Felix that it's open season on the citizenry.

    Example: you hold the door open for me at the grocery store. I walk through the open door. I fail to say "Hey, thanks." We all agree that I'm an ungrateful prick at worst, someone not paying attention at best. Your logic is that my failure to say thank-you entitles you to hit me in the face (intentional hyperbole - don't get your panties wadded). My logic is that while I'm a prick, you're a violent criminal.

    You truly cannot find ANY fault with Menivar's behavior? Really? You're comfortable with someone whose first thought in stressful situations runs toward violence being around your children?

  58. The woman says she doesn’t know why she’s being pulled over, but it’s obvious: she’s driving on the wrong side of the road. And when a police officer asks the woman to get out of the car, she rams ahead before crashing into a pole and taking off on foot. She’s stopped with a stun gun and handcuffed.

    You can watch the whole thing on YouTube, thanks to the Laurel Police Department’s decision to outfit its officers with what the police call “lipstick cameras.”

  59. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0DYcxF_Yd70

  60. 4:49 I'm mightily impressed with your dedication to the public cause, and I hope you accomplish at least some of what you promise. (The public is a shifty lot.)

    And to the many good people in the Sheriffs Department. Hard to believe I know, but this is all good. Seeing what is a good police system and one you don't want to work in is good experience for you. (But you know that.)

  61. I got my checkbook out! Who will run for sheriff? I'm thinking a woman would be good.

  62. @8:05
    Interesting thought having a woman run for Sheriff. Any potential candidates?
    Robin D would be the inside choice. What about a strong leader like Alex G?

  63. This whole thing should never have happened.
    And don't tell me its the law.

  64. Here is a real, professional, human oriented officer of the law that he swore to protect: The constitution.

    This is a true statement of your civil rights.

    Please show this to all of our officers and help them learn the principles of this stop.


  65. Is there one place with links to all the articles, letters, blogs etc. concerning the hayride for people who don't use facebook? It's hard for someone who is just learning about this fiasco to find all the background links. For that matter, does anyone have a list of all the news sources for our county?

  66. @8:48
    I'm in the same boat as you. Don't use FB.
    I am not aware of a single page link to all the related about the hayride incident.
    As far as local news sources go, here is my list, in no particular order:
    Trojan Heron
    Island Guardian
    San Juan Islander
    Journal of the San Juans
    Orcas Issues
    Lopez Rocks
    San Juan Update

  67. Not sure about the civil requirements to be a sheriff. Could an attorney (man or woman) with criminal law experience and who has passed the bar to practice law in the State of Washington fill the bill? Or, do you have to have been wearing a badge at some point. (A sworn officer)

    Heck, there are judges that are appointed, and don't let's get started on the political hacks that sit on the Growth Management Hearing Board.

  68. RCW 36.28.025

    A person who files a declaration of candidacy for the office of sheriff after September 1, 1979, shall have, within twelve months of assuming office, a certificate of completion of a basic law enforcement training program which complies with standards adopted by the criminal justice training commission pursuant to RCW 43.101.080 and *43.101.160.

  69. Call to Arms
    We are taking the petition to the authorities to take action. You cannot be unnamed it has to be real. You have 24 hours from this post to get on the appeal. here is the website.



  70. Jamie, come back. Are you going to wander off like Ranker did?
    If you were here we could have some San Juan County Council meetings. I know, what a drag.
    I do not know if you are aware of it, but there are issues and decision's that need to be dealt with up here. Who is keeping a eye on the various departments and the budget?
    Who is representing us in San Juan County, Olympia is not the target, it is right here. That's why Ranker is down there.
    My point is we are lacking leadership, this is not about what you want to do, its about doing what you were elected for and what's right.
    That was you that accepted the Chairmanship of the San Juan County Council, wasn't it?
    I want the County department heads to fear the San Juan County Council. I want them to know that our elected Leaders are on top of things and wont listen to any b.s., shape up or ship out!

  71. I would love to hear peoples' opinions and hopefully more information about the levy in our current ballot concerning the PERMANENT property tax supporting our EMS.

    My feeling is that when the EMS have to reinstate the levy every 6 years it provides accountability. They've kept it down to approx. $35 per $1000 assessed value but are allowed to go up to $.50 per $1000.

    The current levy provides the exact same thing w/the requirement that the levy is passed again in two years (6 year levy)

    I just read in the Guardian about a fire on Skottowe lane and all the different people who showed up.

    And the EMS has a controversy going on concerning their preferment against the Airlift NW which my family belongs to. There's an opinion about that situation in the Journal titled Unfair Advantage at Work in the Skies

    I'd love to hear thoughts and concerns and any information I might be lacking on this issue. Thank you Heron readers.

  72. Hey,
    Put that on a new thread.
    You won't pull us away from this Predatory Law Enforcement that is ruining our lifestyles and ruining peoples lives.

    It ain't going away too soon.
    I did not know anyone from the Sheriff's office could construct complete sentences....

  73. @7:06

    The dollar amount we are talking about here is not a real issue. It is the thinking that it should just be voted in because...fill in the blank. Hey the EMS does a great job, but would we expect anything less?

    Do these taxing districts ever think about cutting costs like the rest of us? Did they really need that shiny new EMS building next to the hospital?

    It is a matter of principle. I don't believe these folks think like the rest of us when budgeting how we live our lives. It is the "levy creep" in action. Next time someone else will need a levy lift to cover a shortfall for something else. It never seems to end. But guess what? After a while you start to notice a jump in your tax bill. And then the cycle repeats. Where does it ever end???

  74. No, taxing districts NEVER think about cutting costs. Last year's budget is always just the starting point. Why should they have to suffer with annoying budget cuts like the sucker taxpayers?

  75. Chickens coming home to roost.

    Remember the 2005 Council and Public Works spending sprees? Well, they bought that big building for $1 million plus and now propose to rent it to Compass mental health for $1 a year FOR UP TO TEN YEARS and also NOT to charge utilities because it was too annoying to bill them them for it.

    Kevin Ranker, one of the council compulsive spenders back then, is now on the appropriations committee for the state. Some fun.

    Anyone annoyed about the county being a landlord but forgetting to charge rent should let the county council know. Maybe we all can pay $1 a year for rent.

    “to Consider a Proposed Lease of Real Property at 520 Spring Street, Friday Harbor to Compass Health, a Private Not-for-Profit Agency Providing Mental Health and Chemical Dependency Treatment Services."

    The staff report by John Manning, Director of Health & Community Services recommends the Council lease the property (show in photo above) to Compass Health for $1.00 a year.

    The property at 520 Spring Street was formerly known as the Windermere Building, and is now owned by the County (Public Works) since 2005. When purchased the property was listed on the tax roles as worth no less than $1,027,450.00 (Related story from 2005).

    Under the proposed lease Public Works would be responsible for the maintenance of the building, and recommends that Compass Health should pay the utility costs, which are alone estimated to be in the neighborhood of $1,500.00 a month. The staff report notes that the collecting of rent and utility costs -as has been done in the past- is “administratively burdensome.”

    The staff reports lists three alternatives and recommendations, ranging from renewing the present lease but without paying for utilities, to leasing the property at the full market rate.

    Public Works performed an in-house analysis of the going rate for commercial rental values, and came up with $1.10 per square foot, which results in the fair monthly rental value of the building to be just under $6,000,00, and add the costs of utilities and the Council is asked to lease county property worth $90,000.00 a year for $1.00; and to do so up to 10 years.

    The Staff Report recommends the leasing for $1.00, and notes it would be possible to “transfer local Mental Health Tax funds to Public Works to support maintenance of the building;” which presumably would be a legal use of tax funds collected to support mental health programs.

    Compass Health provides Eight Services in San Juan County, and like many state mandated programs, the state has withdrawn some funding for the programs, which means San Juan county will receive corresponding few services, or use county resources to help make up the difference to maintain a certain level of services.

    One on-going objection to the rental of the building has to do with “an efficient use” and a “good use” of the space. The building is one of the larger buildings owned by the County and there has been criticism over the years that the space is larger than needed by Compass Health.

    The staff has helpfully provided a Resolution for the Council to sign on Tuesday if they decide to move forward after the public hearing and take a vote. The Resolution accepts the staff recommendation to sign the lease “for no more than 10 years at the rate of $1,00.”

  76. Sorry, accidentally included the Guardian text. http://www.islandguardian.com/archives/00005202.html

    BTW, if our economy is rebounding, why the heck are we committing to this ridiculous arrangement for 10 years?

  77. That Airlift NW slight by our tax funded EMS district is complete bullshit. Cronies. I am miffed to why more isn't said on this issue. Complete conflict of interest and the public suffers with inferior emergency transport. Their PR campaign was so misleading. TH should expose this farce. So mad.

  78. A modest proposal for public safety:

    The Sheriff's office could start a color coding system, posted on the exterior of their building, maybe on a billboard at the edge of downtown and prominently displayed on their web site.

    Green: threat level = LOW. Deputy Menjivar is known to be off island. Citizens should go about their business without worry for their safety.

    Blue: threat level = GUARDED. Deputy Menjivar is on island, but off duty, possibly writing letters to San Juan Islander or otherwise engaged. Maybe supervising wife's Facebook posts. Or brushing up on accident reconstruction techniques. Citizens probably safe.

    Yellow: threat level = ELEVATED. Deputy Menjivar on duty. Citizens should maintain a heightened sense of situational awareness.

    Orange: threat level = HIGH. Deputy Menjivar on duty, has been observed engaging in traffic stops on soccer moms. Citizens encouraged to stay off the roads and keep children under observation at all times. Women looking for assistance with domestic violence situations should shelter in place until Menjivar is off duty.

    Red: threat level = SEVERE. Shit has hit the fan - Menjivar is on duty, hand is on gun and he's looking for a fight. All citizens encouraged to hide or otherwise shelter in place. Children not safe outdoors. If you see him, but have not been confronted, do not turn your back, but back away smoothly, no jerky or abrupt movements. If confronted - be afraid,be very afraid. Handy phrase: "Don't tase me bro." Remember: no help from Sheriff Nou will be forthcoming. If you're lucky, Menjivar will have his chest cam on so that your next of kin will have a video record of your final moments.

  79. I'm sorry Mr. Hume but what you propose, while practical, sounds "administratively burdensome".

  80. @10:01 pm
    It sure feels like no one ever reduces taxes, but there are some who do. Here are the numbers from our own county and the changes for the tax districts from 2012 to 2013. You will see a number of reductions, including junior tax districts that lowered their levy request. The end result was an overall reduction of 4.74%. http://www.co.san-juan.wa.us/assessor/stats.aspx

  81. My concern w/EMS and a PERMANENT tax is accountability.

    And as
    January 27, 2014 at 10:37 PM said...

    "That Airlift NW slight by our tax funded EMS district is complete bullshit. Cronies. I am miffed to why more isn't said on this issue. Complete conflict of interest and the public suffers with inferior emergency transport. Their PR campaign was so misleading. TH should expose this farce. So mad."

    I agree w/that. The ads (?) or whatever you called them were entirely misleading. I thought they were talking about Airlift NW at first. So confusing. And I hate to have to say it but...so self serving.

    I for one do not support the addition of the word PERMANENT for any tax levy. Things change. Who knows who is making decisions about things like this now, and who will be in the future?

    And if in fact this permanence is a good idea we will certainly have other opportunities to instate it.

  82. Wait Mabel; hold all calls. The IG says Rich Hughes is CHAIRMAN of the County Council!

  83. OK, little finger slip. RicK Hughes.

    Love our EMS, but getting a little tired with almost everyone at the public trough assuming that simply putting a levy lift in place FOREVER is OK.

    NO, NO, NO. I'm voting NO

  84. A "permanent" tax is a guarantee that there will be no effort wasted trying to reduce costs, permanently.

  85. Oh, we got trouble, right here in Island City,with a capital T, that rhymes with P, that stands for POO:

    1. Let's have a community meeting regarding Felix and picture-taking & video-taping policies at the department. What happened to the Sheriff's forthcoming statement? "Rug, Rug, where art thou, Rug? I needest you for my sweeping under-eth."

    2. EMS Tax - Whaaaaaaaaa? Noooooooooo. Definitely NO. If we have to live on a budget, baby, so do YOU, EMS. And, um, oh, yes, AirLife NW needs to be the FIRST call you make if the patient has a membership.

    3. $1.00 rent for housing the revolving door of employees at Compass Health? Let's be serious. Compass charges WAY MORE for their services than the "other guys" - off-island in Anacortes at Dellamas. It is actually cheaper to take the ferry and go to the mainland for assessments and treatment than to go here on our own turf. And they want to pay $1.00 rent. Phffffffffffft! Rolling On The Floor Laughing...

    4. Downriggers burned ruins: When the building is demolished and razed, is there a plan for the appearance of the remains - until we get a new waterfront building? Or will it be the twin to the "Browne's Lot" on Spring Street, enclosed by a chain link fence off limits for much-needed downtown parking?

    Anyone want to join in the fun?

  86. This is a complete display of wanton use of a police body camera


  87. 10:01am #4

    Excellent point and question. Now that we have passed the SIX MONTH mark waiting for a simple dumpster job clean-up of the Downriggers burn down, are we looking forward to more breakneck speed in getting anything done on the site?

    The Port Director's menage a trois on an enormous pile of excuses has long since gotten totally boring.

    A chain link fence around an old foundation for YEARS??? Well, of course!

  88. An official request of the Council was made to end this reign of terror of Felix.

    A copy of the posting that he carries cameras was submitted

    A request for camera policy was made.

    A sumbmission of 188 signatures from a petition to relieve him was submitted.


    The reason I stand on this is that I desire that he feel the same way that those that he took down feel. Anything short of perjury is not justifiable.

  89. Anybody here got a reasonable explanation as to why elected people here are so unable to make decisions, so unable to move the public agenda forward.

    Friday Harbor was blessed for many years with a administrator who knew what to do and got it done. Every Mayor looked good.

    The current mayor has no clue. A complete waste of time.

    Next up, the Port of Friday Harbor. Rich as stink and three directors who are expert at getting nothing done.

    The County Council. Is there any explanation in a physics math book for this outfit. Not one original idea or motion from any of these people in years!

    Any idea or explanation would be good, because we really, really need to get rid of these do nothing individuals.


  90. Lest we forget. We are paying each San Juan County Council member 70 thousand dollars per year for their fine work on our behalf.

  91. And while we're wasting our time on a tempest in a teacup the new BLM National Monument Manager Marcia deChadenedes has strolled her imperial self into the county so enjoy the continued boo-hooing over a traffic ticket because the FOSJ just got the Federal enforcer and environmental dictator they have always dreamed of.
    ECK, let's stop wasting our time on Felix and get back to focusing on what this blog does best-exposing ENVIRONMENTAL fraud, not police buffoonery.

  92. @ 10am

    That's $1 per year for up to 10 years (because the real estate market here is not at all volatile) AND it's too much paperwork to collect utilities so we let them have them for free too.

  93. @ 4:46 am

    That's more like $75,000 per year PLUS the generous County benefits of close to $15,000 if I remember right.

  94. In other places, progressives are calling for more police cameras, not less. Look at what's happened in Seattle. Police cameras have recorded cops' bad behavior. No more arguments over he said-she said stuff. I like the idea of more police cameras so long as they are tamper-proof. Was there a police camera used in Friday Harbor?

  95. A camera on every corner
    A camera in every car
    A camera in every home
    Where will it end- I'll take the risks of privacy thank you

  96. Not sure anyone in government is offering the option of privacy. From the President down to the local gendarme. And just think, if this is the best that Obama can do, can you imagine what would happen if a President less sensitive to human rights is elected?

  97. Who owns Compass Health? I mean, who is the executive director of the nonprofit? And how much is he or she paid? Because the County paid more than $1mil for this building, right?

  98. Me? I'm speechless (well never entirely) as to why any staff person would make such a ridiculous proposal for rent of the Compass Health building.

    Yes, Friday Harbor is chock a block with empty commercial space, but I don't think we have reached the level where we give it away, well, unless it belongs to the public.

    Hello, staff people: I think you need your paychecks to bounce. And with the "job" some of you are doing, bounce they will.


  99. The Island Guardian article, about The Compass Health Building, refers to a 2005 article.
    Ranker and Public Works put this deal together with grants and by selling other county property.
    As bonus at the top of the page of the 2005 article is an "Editorial- Guest House Saga Continues" Sound familiar?

  100. Buy local? Don't we have some therapists in the County who can contract for this work? Compass Health is a $33 million/year behemoth located in Everett.

    The staff memo actually says that Compass paying the County for utilities (as required in existing lease) is "burdensome" for the County and Compass! Anyone want to volunteer to do the hard work and tale the $60,000?
    And we do maintenance for free!!

    I don't care what the deal is--if the County wants to subsidize mental health care more than the existing state and federal programs, it can use the special mental health levy monies. Where does waiver of rent show up in the County budget? Let Compass buy the building. At least then we're not on the hook for utilities and maintenance.


  101. I hope all the people who disagree w/the $1 lease contact Rick, Jaimie, and Bob. I think they will listen.

  102. Dear Rick, Bob and Jamie; holy shit people!

    Do something with OUR "Compass Health" building, but don't do this!

    What the heck I'll send each of you a one dollar bill, so you might remember what it looks like.

  103. I think paying the salaries of our politicians and the sort of county employees who want to give away public assets (see RCW 42.52.160) is "burdensome".

    Let's cut their salaries to $1/year.

    Salary Commission, are you watching this nonsense?

  104. My last rental apartment had several interesting characteristics. First, the rent wasn't $1 per month. Dang how I wish it was. Second, the landlord had a part in the rental agreement (I think this document was called a lease), that stipulated I would maintain the utilities in my name.
    Anyway, long story short, I paid the power bill, my lights stayed on.
    Next point, in the time it took you to log on to the TH, scroll down thru the comments, then read this post, most people could have paid their monthly utility bills. Power, water/sewer, phone, garbage, propane and let's throw in an alternate ISP for drill.
    That's 6 different bills. Wow. Staggering volume of work here. For arguments sake, let's say it takes 15 minutes to pay each bill. Naw, he'll with that, let's say it takes 4 hours per bill, per month. This would allow for such factors as producing our own paper for checks from raw wood pulp, making out own ink from salal berries and walking the think to the post office.
    So 30 hours per month. Now let's take a high wage county salary, say, 40 bucks an hour. That's still only $1,200 per month to collect in excess of $1,500 (according to the staff report).
    Please tell me this $1 dollar thing didn't pass.

  105. Took the wife by the "Compass Health" Building. The tour included the large parking lot and the obvious quality of the site and the building.

    Taking the bait she said the monthly had to be in excess of 5K. You know, like, Five Thousand Dollars a month!

    Talk about a jaw drop. I had the duty to inform her it was a buck a year.

    This is a woman who rages daily about the lack of interest in jobs for islanders. This is a woman who cares about people.

    Go ahead, County Council, piss off the base, you're getting so good at it.

  106. @8:27 to reach your $5k figure, we would need to have a budget that is good thru the year 7014.
    Heck even the far our sci-fi stuff doesn't go much beyond the 31st century.
    Vote. This. Down.

  107. So the latest statement from the Sheriff has hit the papers.
    Confirms that body mounted video cameras were in use. Removal of said camera would confirm it's existence.
    Amazing that at a time it would have been potentially damaging to an officer, it appears blank. Wow. Shocking.

  108. The Sheriff's press release is quite a masterful demonstration of the power of the passive voice. Time to get a new Sheriff, I'm thinking.


  109. http://www.seattlepi.com/local/komo/article/King-Co-Sheriff-fires-deputy-who-threatened-5202065.php

    Shocking news: police lie.

  110. @5:09 Looks like King County recognizes that deputies with a history of complaints against them might be a liability. Of course, it took over 100 such complaints and a video as well as extensive counseling for the deputy before they booted him. So theoretically, we have about 80 more complaints to go before the Sheriff will act. Sigh...

  111. During public access this morning, Mr. G. Peterson lectures on how we should treat our neighbors. He tells us we are sick. Thank you Mr. G. Peterson for clearing the air today.

  112. On a different subject, got my ballot for the Conservation District. Who is Robert Gamble, and are there any other people that would be good?

  113. From Bob Gamble's board member bio on the OPAL web site:

    Bob Gamble has lived on Orcas since 1978, and has been an active supporter of OPAL since the early 1990s. Bob’s professional career included managing or owning retail electronics stores and a restaurant, and for many years he worked as a Macintosh computer consultant. He has been active in the community, serving as a board member or elected official for the San Juan County Planning Commission, the Port of Orcas, the Housing Advisory Board, and the Economic Development Council and other organizations. Bob and his wife, Winnie Adams, split their time between Orcas and Waldron, where Bob helped to co-found the Waldron Community Land Trust. This is Bob’s second time on the OPAL Board. He previously served from 1997-2006.

  114. And from the Trojan Heron section called "central casting" we have the following bio:
    Bob Gamble - Board member of Kwiaht, long-time Planning Commissioner from Orcas, and based on observations of his behavior, an apparently committed communitarian ideologue, and a grumpy one at that. Gamble seems to have been on numerous Boards, Committees, and Commissions without having any apparently suitable qualifications, except for being in the right clique at the right time and having a willingness to be a faithful communitarian operative.

  115. Bob Gamble is an environmentalist. The only thing I know about him is that the Puget Sound Partnership booted him off their "Leadership Council" because he didn't bother to attend any of their meetings.


  116. Rather that spending money to buy dash cams for patrol cars or whatever Nou wants to spend money on now (instead of buying Felix's departure from the county), maybe the Sheriff's Dept should spend the money on buying some pronouns. "There are lessons to be learned.......... the stop looked ugly, it was a dynamic and stressful situation.......Ultimately it was a verbal confrontation..........Regrettably, things were said that should not have been said.........Appropriate discipline has been applied for policy and rule violations that occurred in the course of this event [Hume: applied to whom?]..............The body-worn cameras have been removed from service and will undergo a forensic examination and functionality check". Sheriff Nou lives in a world where no one does anything, shit just happens. No one is responsible. It's shameful that a public official not only won't take responsibility himself for having a department where this could happen, he won't even acknowledge that anyone did anything. Shit happens.

    Hopefully voters will remember this come next election and make the right choice: get rid of Nou. And hopefully between now and when we can get someone in office who will fire Felix, he won't kill anyone.


  117. In 2010 Felix ran against Nou in the election for Sheriff.

  118. Not to flog an extremely dead horse, but with only three County Commissioners when one is out of action, then the public is out of action?

  119. The Kwiaht group was very involved in pushing completely amateur and alarmist eco science during the CAO debacle. They seem linked up w/the Friends. I would think twice (ten times) before including Bob Gamble in anything.

  120. Want to add...the bad "science" could probably be provided by someone. Anyone? It's buried in my emails.

  121. Kwaiht is yet another group looking for a cause.

    It's an excuse for an environmental scientist to feel important in the community because he otherwise isn't.

    I support understanding environmental science, and we do have some organizations that do real work here and provide us with good data. It's when the researchers become political policy writers that I have a problem. Research all you want, but leave policy to policy makers. Once you cloud your research with policy focused bias, it is no longer valid.

    Unfortunately for us, our policy makers (council) listen to anyone claiming to have "science" on their side. What they need to remember is that true science doesn't have a side.

  122. @ 8:04 pm - Bingo on the "amateur eco science", I had a conversation with Russel Barsh wherein he was describing a "study" [air quotes used intentionally] he was working on re: Fisherman Bay. It was clear that the average 3rd grader's science project diorama on the life of a stegosaurus made mostly from PlayDoh has more actual scientific validity than the crap that Kwiaht pumps out. Seriously, pleading with complete strangers to e-mail you photos of Fisherman Bay is not the kind of thing that "science" is made of. It would be hilarious except that people who are poor consumers of technical information (I'm referring here to San Juan county government and FOSJ) actually take them, I mean him, seriously.

    If you go to a surgeon about a medical issue and find he's playing the children's game Operation in his office (and losing), your best course of action is to run - very fast.

  123. OK, back to my ballot question. Since Gamble is the only name on the ballot is there ANYONE else I can write in, or do I just put "non of the above" and throw my vote away? Did no one else here sign up to receive a ballot (required)?

  124. I signed up for a ballot & in the absence of anyone besides Gamble on the ballot, I wrote in my own name.

  125. OMG!!! Seattle Seahawk football players dancing around on the back of a flatbed truck with low rails, and NO tailgate. What's that you say, the tail lights were obstructed or something! Nooooo!

  126. Hell, Marshawn Lynch is riding around on the hood of the truck assaulting people with frozen skittles!

    Try that in San Juan County and Felix will shoot back.

    After all, the law is the law and we can't be going around making exceptions for the yokels!

  127. If everyone writes in Felix against Bob Gamble; Gamble loses; Felix won't serve, and the Council appoints a hell raiser.

    Or, the usual.

  128. Whoa! The Journal reports the EMS "budget" increased from $1.56 MILLION in 2010 to $3.87 MILLION in 2014!!!

    Did a nuclear bomb go off?

    The same miniscule population needed new trucks, and the fire fighters needed back-up to every event. Well sure we all know our EMS is the best, but this is a bit more than over the top.


  129. @8:45
    Does the staggering budget increase have to do with a lease or rent payment increase at the new facility? Maybe Peacehealth could just rent it to them for a dollar a year?

  130. https://www.facebook.com/groups/274794762569787/permalink/608012965914630/?stream_ref=2

    From the Facebook post "Riding the ferry today InterIsland, I noticed a Local Sheriffs car with its motor running during the entire trip car #06109. I asked a ferry worker if that was legal and if so would they please ask him to turn off his engine. The ferry worker replied that it was indeed against the federal Coast Guard Rules to keep your engine running during travel. The ferry worker then added that they have asked in vain many times for the police to turn their engines off during travel and they keep doing it! "

    Probably a good thing the person didn't approach car #06109 inasmuch as I believe that that is the car assigned to Felix. Sounds like a good way to get tased.

  131. I like the idea of writing in Felix against Bob Grumble, an angry old white guy. Felix, on the other hand is an angry younger, sort of not so white guy. Diversity on the board of the Conservation District seems proactive progressive to me.

    Good old James Watt, Ronald Rayguns estimable head of Interior once famously quipped to a reporter on an airplane on the subject of advisory board diversity:

    "Hell, I got diversity. Got me a white guy a woman, two Negroes and a Jew.

  132. Bob Gamble is yet another Friends of The San Juans insider on the fast track to a rigged election - he is an ardent preservationist, and not a conservationist at all.

    It is a pity nobody else managed to arrange to run for the position. Probably most of the County won't even vote in this election, as the CD's voting procedures discourage casual participation.

    Bob will not be acting for the good of local agriculture and forest management - he'll be working his best to oppose real farmers and real forestry, just in case there is some undiscovered endangered species living within 500 miles. Or if farming is too noisy near his back yard.

    Now, if you want someone to argue for house size limits, restrictions on the number of toilets you can have in your home, restrictions on the size of businesses and farms and farm stands, increased regulations based on fear of your neighbors, and complex government, heck, Bob's your boy.

  133. So we voted: Yes, on School levy lift; NO on EMS. (It is really not EMS, it is the folks who OK'd a 33 Million hospital suitable for 250,000 people for a total island population of 16,000 and actual potential users in the realm of six to ten thousand.)

    Who will pay for it in the end? You will.

  134. Anyone going to attend the CAO thing on the 11th?
    Does it make a bit of difference to publicly comment anymore?
    I wonder if Queen Shireene has again requested armed deputies, as she has in the past.
    There's a great idea, have Felix at the door to the CAO meeting.

  135. It looks like the CAO cake is baked. I have difficulty understanding the whole mess, but it looks like the proposal is to just adopt DOE definitions and buffer sizes. This means a lot of potential 300 foot buffers. Lots of loss of useful private property for over 50% or more of the parcels in the county.
    And kiss off your dream of fiber-to-the-home internet. In order to dig the 300 foot trench to hook up to the fiber backbone, the homeowner will have to prove that the 18 inch deep, 1 inch wide trench doesn't violate the wetland buffer. What wetland. The one the owner will have to spend $4 thousand on a wetland delineation to prove doesn't exist.

  136. @3:38 pm said: "It looks like the CAO cake is baked."

    Yes, and the process was basically utterly, as Felix would say, FUBAR. The council extended the deadline so they'd allow Bob time to weigh in, mostly so that the vote would be 3/0 instead of 2/0. The blame is spread a little thinner that way.

    If you want to see how firmly the balls of the council are held in Stephanie Buffum's hands, you only had to watch about 30 seconds of this most recent meeting. Kyle, the 12 year old pretending to be a lawyer, fake apologized to the council for getting the comments from FOSJ filed after the close of business the night before (convenient inasmuch as no one could comment on them). You'll see in the video that Jamie said absolutely nothing and Rick allowed as how in the future everyone would really really truly appreciate it if Kyle could tear himself away from Gears of War long enough to file comments _at least two days_ before a meeting. The council would have been justified in shitcanning FOSJ comments all together. What you won't see in the video was that as Kyle was offering his smarmy excuse, Stephanie Buffum was smirking.

    Balls firmly in the vise.

  137. Well, at least we know she didn't win by riding on one of those damn hay trailers: