The Humboldt County Human Rights Commission Isn’t Doing Their Job, Writes John Hardin in Letter to the Editor

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John Hardin has something to say to about the Humboldt County Human Rights Commission. [Image from his Gravatar account]

I heard Daniel Mintz’s story about the Humboldt County Human Rights Commission’s annual report, on KMUD last night. In the story, we heard HRC Chairman Jim Glover tell us that they are listening to Southern Humboldt. Of course, he didn’t tell us what he heard from Southern Humboldt. He just said that they held a meeting down here, and that at least 30 people showed up for it. He didn’t give any indication as to why they had a special meeting down here, and why 30+ people in Southern Humboldt showed up to that HRC meeting on Superbowl Sunday.He didn’t mention the epidemic of violence against poor and homeless people in Southern Humboldt. He didn’t talk about the people who were beaten with baseball bats on the streets of Garberville. He didn’t mention the gang of vigilantes who attacked homeless people on public land, claiming that they worked with the Sheriff’s Department. He didn’t mention any of the human rights abuses that people in Southern Humboldt complained to them about. In fact, he managed to get through the whole report without discussing any human rights violations anywhere in the county, but he wants us to know that the HRC is listening, and that they want to learn more.In fact, Nezzie Wade was so enraged by how Jim Glover handled those original complaints from Southern Humboldt that she resigned from the HRC in disgust. A lot of people in Southern Humboldt were pissed about it too, and that’s why so many people turned out at the special HRC meeting on Superbowl Sunday. Many people feel that Jim Glover betrayed them, by taking those reports to 2nd District Supervisor, Estelle Fennell, who in turn, informed the alleged perpetrators about them.

Nezzie Wade felt that Jim Glover betrayed the HRC by not forwarding those complaints to the HRC Secretary, thus preventing other commissioners from seeing them, discussing them or acting on them. Here’s how she put it in her resignation letter:

“It was in relationship to the message line calls and email communications retrieved by a commissioner acting as the courier for the commission, that I became extremely inflamed over the course of two consecutive meeting (October and November) in which the reports and communications sent to the commission describing instances of vigilante violence in Southern Humboldt reported to the commission via the phone line and email were not revealed to the commission in a way that allowed the grave situations described in these communications to be disclosed to the commission. A violation of privacy and confidentiality occurred when the commissioner acted upon the information in the communications without authority from the originators or the commission, by disclosing the names of complainants and their issues to parties outside of the commission thus compromising the investigation and the ethical standing of the commission in the community. A real travesty occurred when the actual situations of violence were minimized and reported in their entirety as “possible vigilante activity” rather than actual occurrences with the documentation. The standard forms for intake on the message line were never submitted to the secretary nor email declarations of the victims of vigilante violence as clarified when I requested copies of them from the secretary, received no response prior to the November meeting, and was informed by the secretary that the commission did not have them; thus, no one had access to the information except the commissioner acting as courier at that point, nearly two months beyond the initial reports. It was in this context that I stated my intention to resign which I am now acting upon.”

So much for listening.

Then, Supervisor Mike Wilson started praising the HRC for their transparency. What a sucker! Anyone who thinks the HRC is transparent should talk to Chris Weston. Chris Weston was an HRC Commissioner for about three months before Estelle Fennell removed him, via text message, less than two hours after he blew the whistle on Jim Glover. Chris believed, rightly or wrongly, that Jim Glover was putting together a back-room deal in violation of the Brown Act. Chris forwarded the questionable correspondence to County Council to ask for a legal opinion. County Council never replied to Chris’ email. Instead, Chris was removed from the commission. This is how Chris Weston described his experience working on the HRC with Jim Glover, in a letter he wrote to DA Maggie Flemming shortly after his dismissal this past April:

“The HRC Chairman, Jim Glover, has continually put obstacles in my path. He repeatedly ignored my emails and texts. He repeatedly claimed he did not receive my emails, then sometimes miraculously found them later. He refused to confirm that he would agendize my topics and proposals for discussion and action, so I confirmed with Ana, Deputy Clerk of the BOS office that all commissioners are equal and their requests to agendize should be respected. When I mentioned this to Mr. Glover on April 19, during a return trip from a special HRC meeting in Willow Creek, he yelled, swore like a sailor, used the Almighty’s name in vain, and pounded the steering wheel.”

Chris believes that he was removed from the HRC illegally, and in retaliation for blowing the whistle on Jim Glover’s back room deal. The HRC bylaws tell us that the commissioners serve “at the pleasure of the Board of Supervisors.” It does not say, “at the pleasure of the Supervisor who appointed them.” It seems that it should have required a vote of the full Board of Supervisors to remove a commissioner from the HRC, but that didn’t happen in Chris Weston’s case. Someone should look into why that didn’t happen, but everyone should realize that letting Supervisors appoint and dismiss HRC commissioners at will, makes the HRC more political and less principled.

I talked to both Chris Weston and Nezzie Wade about their time on the HRC, and I’m sure that neither of them would describe the HRC as “transparent.” Here’s how Nezzie Wade describes the functioning of the HRC in her recommendations to the Board of Supervisors:

“Actions taken by the HRC have harmed its relationships with members of the Humboldt County community. The minimizing of vigilante violence in Southern Humboldt (and other complaints coming to the Commission) is not an isolated incident. The HRC has violated the rights of those it is intended to honor and serve through study or investigation and conciliation to alleviate tensions and conflict and by its recommendations to the BOS. The HRC has undermined the confidence and trust of the community.” And speaking of transparency,., “There has been and continues to be a lack of transparency among Commissioners, and many issues are discussed (and strategies decided) behind the scenes in private conversations before the issues ever come to the table for the Commission to act upon… The recent incident in which the chair sequestered communications which did not come to the Commission table and in which he acted alone without Commission knowledge or direction has resulted in harm to residents of the county and this behavior needs appropriate reprimand or sanctioning.”

I’d have to agree.

Finally, we should remember that, contrary to county guidelines, Jim Glover also serves on the Humboldt County Grand Jury. Not only does Jim Glover serve on both the HRC and the Hum Co Grand Jury, the primary civilian watchdog agencies of county government, he chairs them both. After watching Jim Glover’s weaselry on the HRC, I no longer believe anything the Grand Jury tells us either.

I know that Supervisor Wilson wanted to thank these unpaid volunteers on the HRC for writing so much legislation for the Board of Supervisors, but here in SoHum, we’ll never trust them again. That’s what the HRC has accomplished in the past year. Excuse me for not congratulating them.

John Hardin

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64 comments

  • its just a matter of when we make national news.

  • That was one of the things that I like most about this site, that I don’t have to see John Hardin’s name. It’s a cold day in hell I guess….

  • I don’t know about SoHum, but the homeless and tweakers now rule Eureka. You should have seen the Eureka BK on 5th st this morning. At least a dozen choking the lobby with plenty more outside. The manager had to call EMT’s for some druggie. The foul-mouthed, bloody-faced denizens had to be told to leave. I could barely make my way to order or retrieve my order (some tweaker in a foot cast tried to snag my food). I left as the fire department pulled up to waste more taxpayer dollars.

    ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. No more coddling the criminal. EPD does NOTHING. The citizens must act …

  • It seems to me that sanctioning the violence called for in “The citizens must act…” should alert all conscientiously moral people to the dangers of taking the law into one’s own hands, which this Stormy writer excuses, encourages and condones.
    This anger, these rages, will take us all further and further into the depths of a police state and ultimately into fascism. Yes, it can happen here. And it worries me.

    • I don’t know what Anon’s definition of a police state is, but here’s a partial definition. It is a state with a corrupt governor who allows criminals to rule the roost by creating an environment with no consequences for crime, while denying US citizens the right to be protected by the federal government, as dictated by the US Constitution. A state that takes away citizen’s rights to protect themselves. A state that supports an invasion of illegal foreign nationals, forcing the police who are paid by the citizens to stand down under the guise of civil rights. And that’s just for starters. We ARE living in a police state, and it is called Kalifornia. Expect the vigilantes to rise more often as we lose more rights and the criminals get bolder.

      • Your definition of a police state is a state where the police don’t have enough power to do their job properly. Brilliant!

        • Not brilliant, but thank you. A police state IS a state where the police don’t do their job properly. You haven’t caught on to the fact that your rights are being stripped through a passive/aggressive manipulation of simpletons with no self esteem? Yer just the kind of guy who should have paid attention in history class. Maybe should have thrown in a class on communist based political science too. Or maybe you did.

          • Wow! Your cognitive dissonance runs so deep that it facilitates you radically redefining terms to mean essentially their opposite.

        • MAYBE MR. HARDIN CAN BE A SHYLOCK PROMOTER OF BUM FIGHTS, DRUG HABITS ARE DIFFICULT TO SHAKE, THEN THOUGH IN A LITTLE MENTAL ILLNESS, AN THINGS REALLY START TO GO BAD. YOU CAN THANK RONNIE REGAN FOR THAT, HE CLOSED UP TALMADGE, AND A LOT OF OTHER MENTAL HEALTH CLINICS, AND FORCED THE POLICE TO DO THIS JOB, THEY DIDNT SIGN UP FOR BABY SITTIN BUMS. THEY SIGNED UP TO ENFORCE THE LAW! AN THAT IS NOT LAW ENFORCEMENT.

  • Wow can he come clean up the shit these “homeless” leave at my work im tired of cleaning up after them …..what an sob……omg 😡

    • I’m an open minded person usually liberally minded politically but I think we need to make tweakers and low life elements, from all over the state and country, LESS welcome here. I’m tired of having my house burglarized and cleaning up after trashy bums and tweakers. I used to not mind the hippy kids but their attitude has taken a sinister turn lately also it seems.
      Things have been going downhill with this element of society over the last 20 or so years. It’s really noticeably worse.
      I’d rather put my energy into helping to solve the problem somehow rather than wringing my hands about being nicer to them.

      • Thats pushing the problem on the next town or city. The government needs to be responsible for these citizens.

        • The goverment ? Please they need to take self responsibility . Party all you want just dont let the party play you. They are smart enough to score they are smart enough to take care of themselves. Picked up a hitch hiker on the 5 and he was looking for a ride to the bus station , the shasta sheriff department had given him a pass to arcata . Hrmm whos passing what on now ?

        • I didn’t give any suggestions about what to do, just my opinion that the focus needs to be on what do we do to get them off the streets and ruining our community, rather than how do we make them more comfortable here in our community. That’s where I think Hardin is off track. Sure there should be people who care about their well being(Betty chin is great) but the real job for the community is what we are going to do about the problem. I don’t really care if they go to another community though, sounds ok to me. Obviously not a permanent solution but sometimes there is no perfect answer to these kind of things. I think honestly that we need mental health institutions that can house the mentally ill ones. Isn’t that the way it used to be before Reagan cut the funding? That’s what I’ve heard- I’m too young to have experienced that.

  • My main take away from this is that in Humboldt, particularly SoHum, people get some power and then they enjoy firing others…

    Estelle is clearly bought off, but probably mostly untouchable! The homeless are reviled by everyone , but they are also protected.

    Hardin raves on. Is he protected too!

    Humboldt.

  • Can’t stand Hardin, hate monger himself.

    • That’s putting it politely.

      • The guy is clearly a mess, his writing reflects his mental health. I am guessing he is nearly homeless himself, that he is a lapsed alcoholic who smokes too much weed, and that he is completely out of touch with the culture he writes about. Holed up in his life, he regularly lashes out at those he blames.

        A classic narcissist, and a loser who is somewhat literate. His writing is pretty poor and very sad.

  • Is there a Cliff notes version? If he is crying about the mistreatment of the bums, tweaks, junkies,homeless, houseless, crazies, mentally ill, or hobos that invest the county, people are fed up, we housed, employed, unemployed, retired, mentally ill, sane, or insane have human rights too.

    • Invest the county? So what’s your plan? Shall we make concentration camps and lock everyone up who doesn’t have a home? Who uses meth? What’s the criteria? We have a major economic depression (in a three decade long downturn) and simultaneous social decay. How will you address the resulting chaos? Shall we light everybody on fire until you feel better? Shall we beat the poor and pathetic with baseball bats?

      • Mental health asylums (yes they are terrible but are better than what we have now- crazies all over the streets)

        • There is no reason that they need to be a terrible place.

          • Like jails, public housing and welfare offices, anytime troubled and troublesome humanity is concentrated, it will be a terrible place. That is the very nature of them- only terrible choices are available when all comers, no matter how disruptive, must be accommodated. It’s only a matter of degree.

      • No, we should give them metals. They all deserve them. Tell you what lets do one better, I will buy all the food for them as long as you let them stay in your house. Let me know when we can start doing this as I look forward to it.

  • Clearly the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors wants to be able to say that we have a Human Rights Commission so long as human rights are never addressed. Clearly the anonymous cowards that make comments on this post disparaging homeless people lead such dreary and unproductive lives themselves that they can only find fault with the defenseless.

  • Honeydew Bridge C.H.U.M.P.

    Once marijuana leaves and the caliphate is bankrupted, good, solid, people with values will buy their properties.

    The bums, tweekers, and the rest of the bad stuff goes hand in hand with dope growing.

    When the last dope grower leaves towing a uhaul, or walking-

    Things will go back to normal.

    Dope growing caused all this and it’s almost over.

    Dope growers create slums, because that is their culture.

    Dope growers are a bad house guest that overstays their welcome.

    Fact is, dope growers are no longer welcome and need to return to their slums.

    I don’t know anyone that likes dope growers, and more and more people dislike them each day.

    This anti marijuana blog spreads the truth about dope growers and the crime they bring.

    • Sooner or later the mind grasps at a thought and follows it into the labyrinth, one thought branching into another. Then the labyrinth caves in on itself and you find yourself outside. You were never inside–it was a dream.

      Denis Johnson, Tree of Smoke

    • Wow youre so out of touch its borderline ridiculous.
      Maybe in your alternate universe marijuana is worse than meth,heroin,bath salts, pharm pills and alcohol, but here in the world we occupy its not.
      Meth usage goes up as small industrys fail, and the folks to blame are the big companies who have put small farmers, fisherfolk and loggers completely out of business.
      Putting energy toward blaming pot for everything takes away from addressing the real issues and hurts the community more as the real problems get pushed aside.

    • There will be another ‘Rush’ Care to guess what the next wave will be?

    • You are so wrong. The homeless, tweaker trash is not a product of the cannabis industry. Do you not get tired spewing this drivel?

    • Blah, blah, blah….. pot this, pot that……..blah ,blah.blah……… you need to come up with some new material Chumpy old boy!

  • I have never regretted a vote so much as the one I cast for Ms Fennel.
    She is sort of like Diane Feinstein, pretending she is a warm & fuzzy liberal til it comes time to vote, then declares war on her constituents.
    I’m very glad that I have plans to move away. I have loved living in this beautiful place for nearly 50 years, but the assholes have overtaken the homeless as reason to go.

  • Trillium Hummingbird

    I am inclined to agree that asshole-ism is rampant these days, and not just in Humboldt County. Drug money and the encumbering entitlement of the pirate culture are good reasons for this, but creeping psychosis is also in evidence.

    I used to think that mental illness was a myth, now I think it is a major force destroying our country. So many have so much, and it’s making everyone crazy!

    To hear Hardin drone on and on about nothing much, is just tiresome. This man has obvious drug, alcohol, and mental health issues, but at the same time, he is one of the few publishable features in Humboldt, at least in a few places. RHBB should NOT be one of them!

    Kim, please leave these drivel filled ramblings to lesser news sites, as yours is just too good for this kind of random trash. I would rather read crazy shit from Chump any day!

    • Letters to the editor that are reasonably articulate are generally not turned down.

      • Thanks for your service Kym, and remember what Therapists, Judges, Police-persons and Drug Counselors know, that the Abuser is nearly always the one doing the blaming.

        I have often suggested that persons in desperate situations should seek inpatient rehab. I recommend St Helena Hospital, and remember that they do provide services to those with limited ability to pay.

        John – call the Recovery Center at SHH 707-963-6204. Good luck, it’s a full on inpatient detox/AA program, with counseling. Great food and company! 28 days will restore your health, and your life!

        Hang in there!

  • Sharpen your pencil

    Just what the world needs, another forum for Hardin’s delirious rants….. AMAZEBALLS!

  • You people are cruel! Sounds like he hit the nail right on the head.

  • I get it you all don’t know what Human Rights are? You all really do represent Humboldt. I tell my class if you want to catch the intelligence level of Humboldtians, just read the comment section of these blogs…..say no more.

  • Is there any actual evidence that homeless people are being assaulted at a significant rate, by the non-homeless?

    • Im not homeless & witnessed a building owner, spray a bunch of kids with his water hose. No one was hurt but it was completely rude, unnecessary & mean. They are lucky it wasn’t winter yet, otherwise they would have been extra cold that night.

      I also witnessed the aftermath of the day, some ahole thought it was fun or cool to douse, the homeless man Ron, in flammable fluid and lite him on fire. Thank goodness he stop, dropped & rolled.

  • Wait. What?
    The last I heard, violence is so illegal that individuals who literally commit violence are arrested and imprisoned.
    What’s with this Civil Rights collectivism, arrest all who look like they are part of a collective that might collectively potentially harm a collective of collectively inept?
    Please.
    Let’s get back to our INDIVIDUAL heritage and leave the collectivist to collectivate their collected collects with their there they’re collect calls to whoever gives a collectives dam.

    WHOEVER hurts, assaults or enslaves another’s rights or liberties, is the guilty one. Lock that guilty one up. Leave the rest of the human race out of the collectives collective collusion against mankind.

  • JohnHasAHardOn4Attention

    Kym, I love you and your unbiased (mostly… chuckle…) reporting. That being said, please don’t make the Hard-On a regular feature on your site unless you are also berating his overly-biased, agenda riddled rants (because we can’t even call them reports, just whiny rants based on his pathological and mysterious agenda against anyone who is housed or gainfully employed).

    Thanks!

    • John’s was a letter to the editor and he works with the Lost Coast Outpost so I doubt he will be a regular feature. But I have to say I’m a regular reader of his–he’s smart, funny, and observant. He also makes me want to dunk him in the nearest pond some days. I tend to value kindness and positivity and John’s writing is (mostly) neither. On the other hand, he makes me question my positions and wonder if I’ve been looking at the world wrong way round and that is incredibly valuable so I’ll keep heading over to read his writing every week.

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