November 9, 2014

Observations On a Near-Lynching

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , — Bill @ 9:11 am

COEOpenCdA attended the November 4 meeting of the Kootenai County Board of Commissoners (BOCC) and the Airport Advisory Board (AAB).  The agenda indicates that the official business was to be limited to a discussion of the hiring process to replace the dismissed Greg Delavan as the Airport Director for Coeur d’Alene airport (COE).

It soon became apparent that its underlying intent of many participants was to publicly and politically lynch Commissioners Green and Tondee for their clearly illegal action to fire Delavan.

As we reported in our November 4 early morning OpenCdA post entitled Wrong Answer, Commissioner Green, Commissioners Green and Tondee agreed to fire Delavan while seemingly violating just about every part of the Idaho Open Meeting Law except the white spaces.

After our attendance at this near-lynching, OpenCdA has a few meaningless opinions about what we saw.  (more…)

November 4, 2014

Wrong Answer, Commissioner Green

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: — Bill @ 7:06 am

IOML Manual CoverIn this morning’s Coeur d’Alene Press skewspaper article headlined Nelson plans to support Delavan, Kootenai County Commissioner Dan Green was quoted as saying, “I don’t think we have to come out to an open meeting after making a decision to terminate someone in an executive session.”

Wrong answer, Commissioner Green.

We call readers’ attention to the Idaho Open Meeting Law which is found in Idaho Code §§ 67-2340 through 67-2347.  Pay particular attention to I.C. § 67-2345 Executive Sessions – When Authorized.  Now compare Commissioner Green’s quote from today’s skewspaper with what the Idaho Open Meeting Law (hereafter Law) requires and forbids:

1.  The Law requires the motion to convene an Executive Session must be made during a properly noticed public meeting.

2.  The Law requires that the properly offered and seconded “motion to go into executive session shall identify the specific subsections of this section that authorize the executive session. There shall be a roll call vote on the motion and the vote shall be recorded in the minutes [of the public meeting]. An executive session shall be authorized by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the governing body.”

3.  The Law explicitly and specifically forbids holding any executive session “for the purpose of taking any final action or making any final decision.” (more…)

November 3, 2014

Update re: COE Airport Manager Firing

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: — Bill @ 4:20 pm

CommissionerNelson copyWe received an email from Commissioner Nelson just a few minutes ago in response to the email we sent to her on October 31 and discussed in our post entitled Questions… on November 1.

On Tuesday, November 4, 2014, at 4:00 P.M. there will be a Special Meeting of the Board of County Commissioners of Kootenai County.  The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the hiring process for the Airport Director position with the Airport Advisory Board.  According to Commissioner Nelson’s email today, she also has some questions about Delavan’s firing.  It is expected that the meeting may include a discussion of Delavan’s dismissal and possible reinstatement.

The Tuesday meeting will be a public meeting.  Here is a link to the meeting agenda.

Commissioner Nelson encouraged interested members of the public to attend.  She also indicated that although the meeting is scheduled to be in the County Administration Building’s 3rd floor board room, it may be moved downstairs to accommodate the public.

November 1, 2014

Questions …

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: — Bill @ 8:24 am

CommissionerNelson copyIn her press release issued on October 31, 2014, reprinted as an op-ed piece entitled Nelson:  Firing Delavan Was Wrong in today’s local skewspaper, Kootenai County Commissioner Jai Nelson expressed her opinion on the firing of Greg Delavan from his position as manager of the Coeur d’Alene Airport (COE).

What particularly interested OpenCdA about the firing is that according to the Coeur d’Alene Press skewspaper, Delavan was fired by the Board of County Commissioners on Friday, October 24.  Commissioner Nelson’s press release and subsequent op-ed piece both included this statement from her:  “I was not in attendance in the meeting when he [Delavan] was dismissed.” 

With its usual sloppy and incomplete reporting, the Coeur d’Alene Press and its reporter Jeff Selle leave readers with the impression that the decision to fire Delavan was made by the Board of County Commissioners during a meeting on Friday, October 24.  It may have been, but according to Kootenai County’s online agendas of public meetings, there was no public meeting scheduled by the County Commissioners on Friday, October 24.

So when did the Board of County Commissioners meet in a properly announced open public meeting and make the decision to fire COE airport manager Greg Delavan? (more…)

October 29, 2014

Cleared for Departure…

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: — Bill @ 4:14 pm

COEThis morning’s Coeur d’Alene Press skewspaper story headlined Destination Unknown and the editorial board’s commentary entitled Press Opinion:  Looks like a plane crash from here appeared to us to be clearly slanted toward supporting the recently canned airport manager, Greg Delavan.  Speculation abounded in the online comments about why Delavan was cleared for immediate departure.

We don’t know any more than anyone else, however we do have a couple of observations.

The longest runway available at Coeur d’Alene International Dirtstrip (COE) is Runway 6/24 with a length of 7400 feet.

According to the Idaho Airport System Plan, Chapter 3, Facility Requirements, “.. a 9,170 foot runway would accommodate 100 percent of large airplanes at 90 percent of their useful load.  A 9,170 foot runway would likely enable large airplanes to reach cities in the continental US from COE without having to stop and refuel enroute.  Without sufficient runway length, aircraft have to reduce their load to take-off safely, which is undesirable for aircraft operators.”  (See Section 3.2.2 on page 3-6 of the Coeur d’Alene Airport Master Plan July 2012)  Note that as used in this section, the term “large airplanes” is one in a class of aircraft weighing 60,000 pounds or less.

We wonder if some aircraft operators who regularly fly their biz jets in-n-out of COE may not be exerting some influence on the Kootenai County BOCC to try and get them to spend public money to enlarge COE for their own convenience?  We wonder if any of those aircraft operators have any connections with the Coeur d’Alene Press?

Airport expansion is a touchy issue.  Far too often snake oil salesmen tout the huge potential profitability of making small local airports larger or acquiring closed military airfields.  The profitability and overall social and economic harm or benefit of such projects on communities demands very careful study based on actual local conditions, not pie-in-the-sky fields of dreams and schemes.

We hope that all the interested parties in the region will pay close attention to whatever plans are in the works for COE.

October 28, 2014

Who Is Paying for This?

Filed under: Probable Cause — Bill @ 8:05 am

nuisancesignLast Friday’s Coeur d’Alene Press  (see:  Homeless to be ousted from camp near Target) and today’s The Spokesman-Review (see:  Upcoming property sale forces CdA homeless to go elsewhere) skewspapers are reporting that the homeless encampment which the City of Coeur d’Alene has allowed to exist for years on property owned by Spokane developer Douglass Properties will be dismantled and the trespassers evicted.  Both skewspapers’ stories suggest that the City of Coeur d’Alene will be using city police and possibly other city services to carry out Douglass’s demand.  Neither story mentions who will pay for it.

The question is, will the City demand that Douglass Properties reimburse the City for all its costs associated with the dismantling the encampment and evicting the trespassers?  Or will the City of Coeur d’Alene simply and quietly pass along abatement costs to its residents?

Idaho Code allows municipalities to pass ordinances regarding nuisance abatement.  The City of Coeur d’Alene has nuisance abatement ordinances in effect, and those ordinances allow the City to recover its abatement costs from any non-compliant property owner.

In light of the Press article quoting St. Vincent de Paul of North Idaho’s executive director Jeff Conroy’s saying, “… we’ve known they’ve been back there for nine years,” and, “We … totally understand the danger that can happen back there,” we wonder if in those nine years the mayors and council members of the City of Coeur d’Alene ever sought to declare Spokane developer Harlan Douglass’s property to be a nuisance?

It’s not as if the City didn’t know the encampment was there; the police and fire departments were well aware of it based on calls for services.  There is little question that the encampment qualified to be declared a health and safety nuisance by the Coeur d’Alene City Council.

If our past and present mayors and council members had fulfilled their duties to the public, declaring Douglass’s property to be a nuisance would have allowed the City to order Douglass to abate the nuisance at his expense.  If he refused, the City could bill him for the costs of abatement.

We hope its not too late for that.

October 27, 2014

Magistrate Judge Finalist Interviews Scheduled

Filed under: Probable Cause — Bill @ 2:04 pm

Judge copyThe six finalists have been announced for the First Judicial Magistrate Judge position being vacated by Magistrate Judge Barry Watson in December.  The finalists are:

James Combo, Attorney, Law Offices of Charles F. Bean, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

James Craig, Assistant Chief Counsel, Immigration & Customs Enforcement, Orlando, Florida

Barbara Ann Duggan, Ada County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, Boise, Idaho

Paul Szott, Kootenai County Deputy Public Defender, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

Brian Thie, Attorney, Magyar Rauch & Thie Law Firm, Moscow, Idaho

Timothy Van Valin, Rathdrum City Prosecutor, Rathdrum, Idaho

According to the press release just received from First Judicial Trial Court Administrator Karlene Behringer:

The applicants will be interviewed on Thursday, October 30, 2014, beginning at 9:00 a.m.  in Room 1A and 1B of the Kootenai County Administration Building, 451 Government Way, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, 83814. The interviews will be open to the public. However, the deliberations will not be open to the public.

Here is some information about the First Judicial District Magistrate’s commissioners who will be conducting the interviews.  TCA Behringer stated:  “Please note that Judge Mitchell will be filling in for Judge Haynes.”

October 26, 2014

Manipulation 101: “Forced Teaming”

Filed under: Probable Cause — Bill @ 1:10 pm

hellotagForced teaming is a tactic used by manipulators to make them appear to have as much as possible in common with their intended victims to gain their confidence.  Manipulators intent on deception and exploitation will try to ingratiate themselves with their intended victims by falsely appearing to have much in common with them and appearing to have the intended victim’s best interests at heart.

Repeatedly using “we” or other words and phrases indicating affinity or close association when interacting with intended victims is a strong indicator of forced teaming, particularly when contrasting terms such as “they” and terms of derision such “outsiders” are used to characterize those who might recognize and oppose manipulation.

With that explanation in mind, read the editorial headlined All Together Now in the Sunday, October 26 Coeur d’Alene Press skewspaper.  See how many examples of forced teaming you can find.

Several times each year we refer people to an excellent book entitled The Gift of Fear authored by Gavin de Becker. His book focuses on helping people recognize and respond appropriately to the signals that people often overlook or intentionally ignore with the result that the person becomes a victim of a predator.   Pay particular attention to the major heading labeled “Forced Teaming”  in Chapter 4 – Survival Signals.  Although de Becker wrote the book primarily to help people avoid becoming victims of violence at the hands of stalkers and unwanted pursers,  his observations and recommendations are useful to help readers recognize when they are being manipulated for other purposes as well.

October 22, 2014

Good Grief, Mike Patrick

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: — Bill @ 8:22 am

Investigations-FactsIt’s no secret that OpenCdA has complete disdain for the Coeur d’Alene Press.   That’s why we regularly refer to it as a skewspaper.  A newspaper reports facts; the Press — not so much.

The latest example of the Press’s indifference to factual reporting can be found in today’s story headlined Arfee owner sues city over dog’s death.  The article by Keith Cousins states, “A Washington-based attorney for Craig Jones, owner of the dog shot and killed by Officer Dave Kelley, has filed a lawsuit seeking at least $350,000 from the city of Coeur d’Alene.

Really?  In which court has this “lawsuit” been filed?

We ask, because in contrast to the Press’s “close enough for Coeur d’Alene” version of facts, The Spokesman-Review is reporting in its story headlined Owner files $350,000 claim in police shooting of dog Arfee that Arfee’s owner Craig Jones has filed a claim, not a lawsuit.  There is a difference.  Here is a copy of the Notice of Claim filed with the City.  If the City denies or otherwise disputes Mr. Jones’ claim and if they cannot reach an agreeable settlement, then a lawsuit may be filed.

The Spokesman-Review article reported that if and when a lawsuit is filed against the City, it will likely be in federal court.  A check of PACER reveals no federal lawsuit filing by Mr. Jones, but that would be a smart move by Mr. Jones.  Our guess, however, is that the City and Mr. Jones will reach a claim settlement acceptable to both.  It will be fascinating to see if and how the Coeur d’Alene Press reports it.

October 20, 2014

Why Only Now?

Filed under: Probable Cause — Bill @ 2:19 pm

Ebola_virus_emOn Wednesday, October 15, President Obama  “ordered the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to create a ‘SWAT team’ to be ready to deploy anywhere in the country to help local healthcare systems respond to any Ebola cases.”  This according to the Los Angeles Times article headlined Obama tells CDC he wants Ebola “SWAT team” ready to go anywhere.

Then on Sunday, October 19, the Defense Department announced it “…will create a 30-person team of medical experts that could quickly leap into a region if new Ebola cases emerge in the United States, providing support for civilian doctors who lack proficiency in fighting the deadly virus.”  This was reported in the Washington Post article headlined Pentagon plans Ebola domestic response team of medical experts to aid doctors.

Why does President Obama think it is necessary to reinvent the concept of a tactical response team?  If he had competent cabinet members, he would know that it was done long ago in response to both nuclear and biological emergencies.  He already has all the tools and teams he needs. (more…)

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