Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California on February 6, 2005 · Page 1
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Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California · Page 1

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Ukiah, California
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Sunday, February 6, 2005
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Page 1
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DVC basketball ion ....Page A-9 SUNDAY Feb. 6, 2005 FORUM Reactions on Social Security ................i .Page A-6 INSIDE In Brief .'. ..A-2 Lottery.. Class, ads . .8-6 Obits ... Comics . .Inside Sports .. Forum A-6 TV — Letters ....A-6 Weather $1 tax included lie Ukiah Mendocino County's local newspaper URNAL Monday: Partly sunny Tuesday: Clouds coming irt Food Bank Drive ends with $78,000 The Ukiah Daily Journal is pleased to bring the 2004 Holiday Food Bank Fund Drive to a close with following donations. Our $75,000 goal was exceeded this year with the generous donations of Ukiah Valley residents who want to ensure that the Ukiah Community Center Food Bank stays open to serve the hundreds of working families, elderly and disabled who depend on it to keep food on the table. We thank each and every one of you who came forward this year to make this such a successful drive! The donations which brought over the top included: Les Crane, Mendo Remedies, $5,000; Compassionate Caregivers, $1,000; Parducci Winery, $1,000; Anonymous, $500; Mike Mayfield of Mendo Mill, $500; John Jeffers, $250; Anonymous, $150; Anonymous, $100; In memory of Peggy Rowe, from Janice and Richard Roemmick, $100; Joan Vivoldo, $74; West America Bank, $54; Hiroko and William Mattsson, $50; Anonymous, $30; Betty Brooks, $25; Jackie Clevenger, $25; Jean and Steven Lincoln, $25; Ronald Fries, $25; and R'ay and DM Voisard, $20. Total to date: $78,689, including $11,500 received from kickoff sponsors. The Food Bank reached its goal of $75,000 and wishes to thank all those who contributed for their generous donations to this worthy cause. TH-EIR DAY IN COURT •fyler StoNel/The Daily Journal From left, Lyndsay O'Neal, Matthew Gemmel and. Kylle Mindez of Laytonville High School act as defense attorneys during the mock trial of People $; Kfndi " High schools compete in mock trials Laytonville takes first place By LAURA CLARK The Daily Journal "Objection your honor," "no further questions," "overruled," and "sustained," were all part of the language spoken inside a Mendocino County courtroom Saturday, during a mock trial which could have passed for the real deal, but with some very young attorneys. This year's winning team of the local annual County Mock Trial com- petition — sponsored by the Mendocino County Office of Education — is from Laytonville High School. In March, the team, consisting of 16 students, will represent Mendocino County at the statewide competition in Riverside, and hold the County Mock Trial perpetual trophy for the coming year. The team of 13 students from Ukiah's Redwood Academy took second place in the competition, which also included teams from Ukiah High and Round Valley High Schools. Mendocino County Judge Ron Brown presided over the packed courtroom, where students were given the opportunity to experience the American judicial system first-hand. This year's fictitious case - developed by the Constitutional Rights Foundation, which is the statewide coordinator of the event -- was People vs. Kendall, and involved the charges of vehicular manslaughter. Attorneys, dressed in suits — and See TRIAL, Page A-3 A CLOSERL What is the ECMC? By MICHAEL RIEMENSCHNEIDER For the Dally Journal Editor's note: The Employers Council of Mendocino County made itself famous in 2004 by dedicated itself to successfully defeating two sales tax measures in the city of Ukiah to • fund police and fire services.- Readers have been asking,. "What's the Employers' Council?" Many scholars characterize our democracy as pluralistic ** i better put, as having multiple • groups with divided interests.' Generally, this concept mani-I fests in legislators reaching'• compromises with a number' of demanding groups. '*"• At the local, non-partisan level, pluralism remains present, if perhaps not as apparent. In Ukiah, in 1996, employers felt their concerns were going unheard. They felt under represented as the number of public sector employees grew at rates exceeding those of private sector employees. There was not a single, countywide organization to represent private sector interests. Thus, at the instigation of John Mayfield and Al Beltrami, the Employers' Council of Mendocino County was born. The mission of the ECMC is as follows, "To inform and persuade local governments at all levels that actions which allow the private employer community to function with See CLOSER, Page A-3 Tri-county services group meets in Eureka The justice system: Is it working? By ANDREW BIRD The Eureka Times-Standard EUREKA - Health and Human Services officials from the state and three counties held a marathon meeting in Eureka last week to share progress reports on how they are integrating the services they deliver. The onus for this is Assembly Bill 1881, which authorized Humboldt, Mendocino and Alameda counties to come up with a formula for social, public health and mental health services agencies to work together. North Coast Assemblywoman Patty Berg, D-Eureka, sponsored AB 1881, which was an extension of a bill, AB 1259, sponsored by Berg's predecessor, Virginia Strom Martin. "Under the current system, a social worker, public and ental health employees may j working with the same lient but they may not know le others are involved," said ,eslie Lollich, a spokes- woman for the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services. "Assembly Bill 1881 allows the agencies to share information while still protecting the client's confidentiality." "Three California counties are working to unite programs so clients will get more complete and efficient service," Lollich said. "Humboldt, Mendocino and Alameda are participating. The counties will then be used as models throughout the state on ways to improve treatment to achieve better results." Representatives from all three counties met with state officials at the Health and Human Services conference center in Eureka Thursday to talk about changes they have made already. Humboldt County Supervisor John -Woolley sat in on much of the meeting. "The people from the state, they thanked us for this type of vision," Woolley said. "It's more than just a pilot project," Woolley added. By LAURA CLARK The Dally Journal How is it that somepne can molest a child, or kill somebody, and get a lighter sentence than someone who writes bad checks? Take for instance Daniel Aram Garcia, who was convicted of molesting a teenage girl who knew and trusted him. A Sonoma County Pre- sentence Report, states Garcia's crime "involved a high degree of callousness, as the defendant was aware of the victim's prior abuse as a young child ... The victim was particularly vulnerable, as the offenses occurred within her home when others were not around ... " Garcia was sentenced to three years in prison and is eligible for parole in 18 mpnths. Former local firefighter Gerald (Gary) Bruchler killed his son May 10, 1999 with an ax while the son slept on the living room floor. Bruchler was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to three years in prison. However, after Bruchler was arrested he spent a few weeks in jail and then got out on bail "A common problem in any child molest case, regardless of the age, is it's really difficult for kids to remember the exact date it occurred and we are legally required to allege the specific date that each molest occurred, or it gets thrown out. As you can imagine, that is pretty difficult." - Assistant District Attorney Rick Martin where he remained a free man until he was sentenced on Jan. 5, 2001. Bruchler was paroled in August of 2002, so he did about 19 or 20 months in prison. He gets off parole Aug. 18, of this year, according to parole records. Yet, J.B. Kirk McCoy, 26, of Willits, who pleaded guilty to check fraud, was recently sentenced to 9 years, four months in prison. McCoy did pass more than $10,000 worth of worthless checks at 30 different businesses, however, most of the items that he purchased have since been recovered, and it's safe to say his victims don't need "intensive therapy," which was recommended for Garcia's young victim. Is this justice? Some say it doesn't seem like it. "Each particular crime has its range of sentencing and some types of crimes provide for longer sentences," Assistant District Attorney Rick Martin said. For example, he said, in the Garcia molestation case the child was over the age of 14 at the time the incidents occurred, which carries a three year sentence, he said. If she had been under the age of 14, Garcia would have faced an eight-year sentence. Also, Garcia was allowed to plead to only one count of lewd and lascivious contact with his victim. That, in essence, is admitting to only touching the child once even though the case against Garcia involved multiple contacts. "A common problem in any child molest case, regardless of the age, is it's really difficult for kids to remember the exact date it occurred and we are legally required to allege the specific date that each molest occurred, or it gets thrown out. As you can imagine, that is pretty difficult," Martin said.'The thing with the check case ... there were dozens and dozens of checks for fairly substantial amounts and we were able to prove each specific count that was charged. Basically, he will get a portion of the sentence tacked on for each subsequent offense," Martin said. A jury can also play a role in determining the length of a sentence. "With the Bruchler case the jury came back and found him only guilty of voluntary manslaughter. Basically it was because they (the jury) thought he was a nice guy who had no criminal history, so I think the jury was feeling some sympathy, They came back with a charge with far See JUSTICE, Page A-3 vuvm^mu Lake & Mendodno Count***' UfgestVi*** Avtaaoth* Dttfor at Out Uortfctt THURSTOli mTffWlTi 01 rrrrrtr T inn rtmumnmr l Bart tl ff gt .:^ l . l .'! l !l^ l ^fftlf JJB t'JI iff T 0 P'liAKA V8C/ llrwiiMJw ^ytJr «•"«-'*'*< *^» ^t,^^^^^w^mmt^w HjMjCaiSiiiZaSjfcLliaLIl^EfcMfc^^B ^^KSt

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