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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
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October 6, 2010     Feather River Bulletin
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October 6, 2010
 

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IOA Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2010 Feather River Bulletin P~ F= Sam Williams News Editor swilliams@lassennews.com Lassen County and the city of Susanville are asking the Lassen County Superior Court to ensure the parole of serial killer Loren Herzog is in accordance with state law and parole procedures and practices. Traci Witry, Lassen County senior deputy county counsel, and Peter Talia, attorney for the city of Susanville, filed a writ of mandamus Tuesday, Sept. 28, alleging the Califor- nia Department of Correc- tions and Rehabilitation and the California Department of Parole "abused their discre- tion" by paroling Herzog in Lassen County "with no prior input from petitioners and without sufficient inves- tigation of the facts and ser- vices available." According td the writ, the decision by the state agencies is "arbitrary or capricious, completely lacking in eviden- tiary support," and CDCR and the parole department "failed to follow the proper procedures." Luis Patino, a spokesper- son for CDCR, said the state agency has not yet been served with the writ, and CDCR cannot comment on it until its legal department has had an opportunity to review the court documents. Herzog currently resides in a fifth-wheel trailer in a small compound on state property outside the fences at High Desert State Prison in Susanville. He is scheduled to serve three years on parole. The writ asks the court to immediately transfer Her- zog's parole out of Lassen County, reimburse the city and the county for the costs of the legal action, and order any other relief the court con- siders just and proper. According to the writ, the decision to parole Herzog in Lassen County does not meet the elements contained in the California Penal Code. According to Penal Code • DOORS ° TRIM • WINDOWS • PLUMBING' • ROOFING • ELECTRICAL if it's s0mething-= ..... we can't fix, we'll find somebody who can. 27 years and counting! During the past 26 years, we are proud to have built more than 70 homes and 100 garages in Plumas County, not to mention the hundreds of remodels, additions and insurance repairs we've done as well. With the change in the economy (specifically, fewer new housing starts), my business partner (and son) Donavon and knew we had to change our business model. We're not going anywhere, and we still build new homes, garages and commercial buildings. So, in the past year we found there was a real need to assist homeowners in making their existing homes more efficient, attractive and valuable. We've helped lots and lots of people with all kinds of projects that might have only taken 15 minutes to several days or weeks to complete. And, if we couldn't do their job, we'd make sure to connect them with someone who could. It's that kind of service and satisfaction that will help take us through our next 25 years!!! CONSTRUCTION SINCE 1984 General Building Contractor Calif. Lic. #453927 FREE ADVIq FREE ESTIHATES and WE WELCOHE OWNER PARTICIPATION! section 3003, inmates are to be paroled in the county of their last legal residence pri- or to incarceration. Inmates may be paroled in another county if such a decision is "in the best interests of the public." If an inmate is to be paroled in another county, "The Board of Parole Hear- ings setting the conditions of parole ... shall place its rea- sons in writing in the parolee's permanent record and include these reasons in the notice to the sheriff or the chief of police," according to the writ. When making such a decision, the parole board is to consider a number of factors, "giving the greatest weight to the protection of the victim and the safety of the community." These factors to be ad- dressed, according to the writ, include: *The need to protect the life or safety of a victim, the parolee, a witness or any other person; • Public concern that would reduce the chance that the inmate's parole would be successfully completed; *The verified existence of a work offer or an educational or vocational training pro- gram; • The existence of family in another county with whom the inmate has maintained strong ties and whose sup- port would increase the chance that the inmate's pa- role would be successfully completed; and, • The lack of necessary out- patient treatment programs. According to the writ, neither the sheriff nor the chief of police have received a copy of a notice outlining the reasons for Herzog's parole in Lassen County. Lassen County residents also have expressed their anger at Herzog's release in Lassen County, and some have made statements about "getting their guns ready" and have even threatened Herzog's life. In addition, more than 6,000 signatures have been obtained from county resi- dents protesting Herzog's parole in the county. There also is no verified work offer or educational or training programs available for Herzog, and given the county's high unemployment rate, it is unlikely he will find employment here. In addition, Herzog does not have family in SusanviUe or Lassen County. Because county services are at maxi- mum capacity, he "will not be able to obtain the services that he desperately needs," according to the writ. Copies of the petitions signed by Lassen County res- idents were included as an appendix to the court filing. Witry expects the Cali- fornia attorney general will file a response to the writ. The matter is scheduled for a hearing at 1:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 8, in Lassen Superior Court Department 6. Fi ju Joshua Sebold Staff Writer jsebold@plumasnews.com The Plumas County Envi- ronmental Health Depart- ment's response to the Grand Jury's report on food safety could probably be summed up with the phrase "partially agree." There were a couple in- stances where the depart- ment cited factual inaccura- cies in the report, but other- wise it seemed to agree philo- sophically with many of the suggestions, if not always on the same page in terms of implementation. The Grand Jury began by mentioning county ordi- nances don't require restau- restaurants had to post a no- tice informing customers that the most recent "routine in- spection report" was available upon request. He added all inspection re- ports were available at the de- partment's office and the county website in the environ- mental health section. The report also suggested the department establish a simple grading system for "the quality and cleanliness" of each restaurant. Sipe said, "The federal Food and Drug Administration warns that 'a grade sign on a restaurant window simply does not convey any under- standing of the nature of, or 1he seriousness of the violations observed by the in- Implementation of a food grading system at the county level would be an expensive undertaking that would in- clude standard program devel- opment costs, additional costs for restaurant owner outreach and public education, and inspector training would be required. Sipe said, "Considerable ongoing costs for increased re- inspection requests are also anticipated. "In general, preliminary estimates suggest the costs to implement a food grading system would be up to twice the costs of the current food safety program. "As Plumas County has not had a documented case of food-borne illness since 2006, porary food facilities didn't have to display their permits or inspection compliance sheets. The Grand Jury thought the department's approach to, food safety was too soft: "It appears to be based more on establishing a positive, collab- orative, relationship with owners/managers of food handling facilities than with setting strict guidelines and times for correcting prob- lems." Sipe said his department's food safety program was "based on prevention and compliance." "This is far preferable to enforcement or action taken after a food-borne illness out- break. Ii rants to "display their inspec- spector.'" the existing food safety pro- "When compliance cannot | tion sheet," and calling for "In general, the posted gram is demonstrated to be be achieved through educa- k. more transparency in terms of grade can often reflect the age highly effective." tion, outreach and coUabora- inspection results, of the food facility rather than The department flatly dis- tion, environmental health | Environmental Health Di- the safety of the food prepared agreed with the Grand Jury's has and will take all steps nec- ! rector Jerry Sipe said all in the kitchen." assertion that mobile and tem- essary to ensure the safety of on you Big Rig accident west of Quincy; traffic affected leather pu~lslthyj 1/29/2010; 3:30p.m. An overturned D~g rig has partially blocked the roule from Quincy down tile Feather River Canyon. Initially tJotl~ lanes were blocked Dut as of 3:30 Ca/ Trans reports filet one lane is open with controlled traffic. The creed reportedly spilled e load of lumDar onto the road, and radio traffic indicated aDout two gallons of diesel fuel t~as spilled out so far. The creel1 site is Detween the Greenville Wya and Spanish Creel~ Bridge; travel from Greenvi//a down the Canyon ~owards Orovi#e will likely be unaffected. P~oto =obmlned 1/'J0/2010 7:00 a.m. Upelata Highway 70 has Dean cleared and is open to normal traffic. retail food." Respondi~g~'O~the call for measures to enstme inspectors apply corrections for infrac- tions uniformly, Sipe said state food code covered the topic and a written food safety enforcement plan would be developed by Jan. 1. The Grand Jury also sug- gested inspectors rotate to avoid working with the same restaurant more than once per calendar year. Sipe said that recommenda- tion wasn't practtcal or eco- nomically feasibly. There are only three inspec- tors in two officers, with each "responsible for a variety of environmental health pro- grams," covering "200 food facilities spread throughout the county." Sipe agreed with the Grand Jury's comment that the de- partment's website was very well done, providing trans- parency and public access to information, but that many county residents and tourists were probably unaware of the site. The department is taking steps to increase awareness of the site. The GJ suggested the county Board of Supervisors continue to fund the department at the same level and not take "any actions that would com- promise the state and other resources that fund the program." Sipe said the BOS had elimi- nated one position in the EH budget for the 2010 - 11 fiscal year, adding that "over the • Breaking News • Sports Scores • Road Closures ' • Obituaries • School Hours • Real Estate • Weather • Business News Information compiled and posted online by Plumas and Lassen counties P largest local news gathering team that also bring you your hometown award-winning community newspapers: ' | Westwood P,nePress L F~ past five years the county workforce has been reduced from 455 employees to 370 employees, and reductions have had to be made in almost all areas of service." [ local economy/