Category Archives: San Mateo County News

Ray Mueller “Lets Talk about Racism.”

By Michael G. Stogner

This is how do it. You have a Conversation.

“Let’s talk about RacismWhen Neighbors Racially Profile Neighbors”, this Thursday night at 7:00pm.

Our panelists, Menlo Park Mayor Cecilia Taylor, East Palo Alto City Councilmember Larry Moody, San Mateo County Assistant District Attorney James Wade, and Menlo Park resident Michelle Smedley, will share powerful personal experiences and their inspiring resilient responses. We also will discuss community and public policy action. I hope you can join us.

For some background on this event:

On June 30th, my neighbor Michelle Smedley shared the following on Nextdoor.

“My son is now 15. He is transitioning from a cute kid body, into that of man. I conceded in December and gave in that he is officially taller than me, a milestone he has been trying to achieve for quite some time. This, and the fact that he is biracial and not white, now seems to make him a threat. And his friend base, those great and wonderful kids who just happen to come from a diverse range of cultures, even more so.

Since February, the police have been called on my son and friends twice, sadly once while at the the duck pond just down the street from our home. He and his friend encountered expletives from a middle aged male who told them that “they did not belong” in the park and proceeded to call the police on them. I am very happy to say, the MP Police dealt with it very professionally. Dog walking on the trails off of Valparaiso, they have encountered people videoing them and threatening to call the police because “they didn’t belong” up there. He had a run in with a teen at the grocery store in RWC who actually called him the N word. The mother of the teen called the police on my son and friends when my son told him that wasn’t really an appropriate word to use. Happy to say the RWC Police acted very professionally too. Last evening, a car decided to record them as he was driving down the Santa Cruz Ave quite to detriment of the cars behind him.”

Michelle’s Nextdoor post called on neighbors to please stop racially profiling her son.

It seems to me it’s past time for a larger community discussion on this topic.

I hope you will join us.

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Kevin Mullin didn’t say a word about Chinedu Okobi’s Homicide by 6 SMC Employees.

By Michael G. Stogner

Kevin Mullin did not attend or make a public comment at any of the many meetings the Board of Supervisors made available to the public to discuss, Excessive Use of Tasers, Excessive Use of Force, Failure to provide Medical Aid after killing Chinedu Okobi. He did not attend any of the many Concerned Citizens gatherings at the killing site in Millbrae/San Bruno.

Chinedu V. Okobi and George Floyd were both killed by Law Enforcement. Both of the Deaths were ruled a Homicide by the local Coroner. The Four Officers responsible for George Floyd’s Homicide were fired and Criminally Charged. The Six San Mateo County Sheriff Employees who are responsible for Chinedu Okobi’s Homicide are all working and None of them have been criminally charged with anything.

Here is Kevin’s PR piece on voting. You will notice he can’t even mention George Floyd’s Name. “most recently the murder of an unarmed black man by law enforcement.” That could be Hundreds of young Black/Brown Men around America.

I can say this as a Private Victim’s Advocate in San Mateo County for the last 22 years Kevin Mullin is the norm for Elected Officials in SMC.

I know of only one San Mateo County Elected Official that Publicly Questioned, was Chinedu V. Okobi Murdered. That should have been the Obvious question every single elected official should want the answer to.

Sabrina Brennan was that Elected Official. She attended meetings and gatherings.

 

America is confronting an unprecedented “trifecta” that is dominating our daily headlines: A COVID-19 pandemic, a deep recession and most recently the murder of an unarmed black man by law enforcement, illustrative of systemic racism and injustice that has spawned a season of multiracial protests and calls for needed social change. Yet, while the nation is reeling from these crises, duplicitous messaging is being deployed by the occupant of the Oval Office to actively undermine the results of this November’s election: that voting by mail can’t be trusted, that widespread voter fraud exists, and that mail balloting is designed specifically to elect his opponent: FALSE.

Since 2000, more than 250 million votes have been cast via mailed ballots, in all 50 states, according to the Vote at Home Institute with only a handful of fraudulent votes cast. Election law expert and U.C. Irvine professor Richard L. Hasen notes, it is still more likely for an American to be struck by lightning than to commit mail-voting fraud. In addition, there is no evidence to suggest that voting by mail benefits any particular political party.

San Mateo County has shown that voting-by-mail works. My legislation to make San Mateo County an all-mail ballot pilot county demonstrated that the participating electorate more closely resembles the public at large in terms of its diversity and representation, with young people, and voters of color in particular more likely to cast ballots. Thanks to my colleague, Assemblyman Marc Berman’s legislation recently signed into law, this November’s election in California will be an all-mailed-ballot election. Every voter automatically will receive a ballot, postage paid, with community-level “vote centers” as back-up. Voting by mail is the most efficient and effective way to conduct an inclusive and participatory election.

So-called “red and blue” states alike have employed voting-by-mail, but the way states have approached elections administration varies greatly. Elections are fundamentally state and locally administered, and recent examples of mismanagement during primary elections in Wisconsin and Georgia remind us of the challenges facing election administrators across the country. This is a highly charged political atmosphere with huge stakes on the line.

There is a growing recognition that the pandemic must force changes in how elections work, and better ensure more participation moving forward. Attempts to help fund elections with federal dollars have fallen woefully short of what is needed to ensure free and fair elections across America. Since the Bush-Gore contested election in 2000, the efficacy of voting mechanisms and machinery have taken center stage. More recently, we are seeing a coordinated misinformation campaign to attack the integrity of, and undermine the public’s faith in, our elections. False narratives abound, and voter suppression, which disproportionally disenfranchises communities of color, is real and we all suffer the consequences as a result.

While voting-by-mail works, it is not perfect. Signature-matching issues have led to ballots not being counted, a concern that is actively being addressed in California. One other legitimate drawback to voting at home is the time it takes local elections’ officials to count waves of mail ballots and certify the election. The current administration is preemptively trying to undermine faith in the eventual vote count and may try to exploit delays in vote tabulation to question the legitimacy of results, triggering a constitutional crisis. While the long wait for vote-by-mail results is not ideal, it’s in the interest of every vote being counted, which is fundamental to our democracy.

During this tense time when we need leaders who can calm, heal, and build faith, the president has used this period to further divide people and incite violence, all while callously attacking the basic underpinnings of our democracy, like faith in and respect for the work of journalists — essentially a broadside on the First Amendment. The work of journalists and the social media platforms themselves have never been more important in fact checking false claims and advertisements with false information.

Vote as if democracy itself, and its pillars like a free press, the rule of law, and free and fair elections, including the right of every citizen to vote, is on the ballot. Because it is.

 

Kevin Mullin, D-South San Francisco, is speaker pro tempore of the California Assembly and represents San Mateo County’s 22nd Assembly District.

I asked San Mateo County Citizen Advocate Brent Turner for comment on Kevin Mullin Opinion Piece.

Brent Turner

The VOTE BY MAIL  act  is  innocuous to the degree that it reiterates voting by mail procedures. We have used absentee ballots for many years. What is NOT innocuous is the removal of polling places from communities of color. Though Mindy Romero and other experts have declined to state it clearly,  the added travel distance to some of these community residents results in a veritable “poll tax ” and leads to further disenfranchisement, . Subjective signature disqualification also creates opportunity for disenfranchisement and was predicted by election experts

The bill originally emanated from the ” Colorado Model ”  of elections and was  promulgated by Colorado based vendor DOMINION  The act is notorious not for what it mandates but what it ignores. The fact there is ZERO mention of the software used to tabulate the votes creates a severe point of misdirection to the layperson voter.  This is unfortunate as the authors of the bill positioned it as a security measure when this  is not the case. The authors were briefed extensively but chose to omit the work of the open source software security experts.

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Justice for Chinedu is looking for a Candidate for District Attorney 2022

By Michael G. Stogner

This might just be a First in San Mateo County History. They are Fundraising to find the right Candidate to replace SMC District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe in 2022.

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Chinedu Valentine Okobi

As some of you know on October 3, 2018, Chinedu V. Okobi was killed by Six Sheriff Employees, One Sergeant, 4 Deputies and a Civilian CSO. December 31, 2018 Deputy Coroner Heather Diaz ruled the Manner of Death was a Homicide. There was No 911 call because Chinedu hadn’t committed ANY crime. He was simply walking on a sidewalk while Black.

March 1, 2019 Steve Wagstaffe notified the public that he would Not be filing any Criminal Charges against the Sergeant and four Deputies. He never investigated the sixth Sheriff Employee who was involved in the Homicide.

Justice for Chinedu Fundraising

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State Health Care Workers COVID-19 15,844 Cases 94 Deaths.

By Michael G. Stogner

When you are thinking about should I wear a mask, should I go out, is it a hoax? etc Think about all the people who’s lives are on the line for your Health.

Remember, Very little testing has taken place, even if you test positive there is No Treatment, No Cure, No Vaccine. This is a Pandemic (of a disease) prevalent over a whole country or the world. Not just San Mateo County.

You are responsible for your Health & Safety.

Health Care Worker Infection Rates As of July 3, local health departments have reported 15,844 confirmed positive cases in health care workers and 94 deaths statewide.

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ALL Half Moon Bay Beaches Closed

By Michael G. Stogner

BEACHES CLOSED Stay Home, Wear Masks, Saves Lives 

Half Moon Bay Beaches will open 9:00 AM July 6, 2020

July 2 UPDATE – City and State Beaches & Parking Lots in HMB to be Closed for 4th of July Weekend

This updates the previous news release on beach closures. All beaches within the City will be closed Friday – Sunday due to COVID-19 risk. This now includes Half Moon Bay State Beach. These are complete closures and apply to all residents and visitors.

July 2, 2020 – As a temporary public health safety measure to reduce the density of visitors over the 4th of July holiday weekend, all beaches and their parking areas in Half Moon Bay will be closed to everyone, for the weekend. Additionally, a portion of the Coastal Trail between Seymour Bridge and Kelly Avenue will be closed for that same period.

This update of the City’s previous notice of beach closures (below) now includes that beach access for Half Moon Bay State Beach (Francis Campground/Kelly Avenue, Venice Boulevard, and Young Avenue) will be closed as well. Yesterday, we announced the State Beach parking areas will be closed and that all access points to City beaches and their parking lots will also be closed. With today’s addition of access points to the State Beach, these are now full and complete closures of the beaches, and a section of the Coastal Trail, to all residents and visitors. 

The closure begins at sunrise on Friday, July 3, and ends at 9:00 AM on Monday, July 6.

The order to close City beaches, parking lots, and a portion of the Coastal Trail was signed by the City Manager under his authority based on the City’s emergency declaration. 

This action is being taken to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Spread of the virus is greatly intensified when large crowds gather, especially if face covering and social distancing regulations are not followed.

San Mateo County Sheriff’s Deputies will be present at closed beaches and coastal trail sections to enforce applicable local ordinances and state laws. City staff will be at beach entrance points to advise visitors of the closures. Changeable electronic message boards will be placed on various roadways to notify motorists of the closures.

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SMC Beaches CLOSED FRIDAY-SUNDAY

By Michael G. Stogner

PSA…San Mateo County Beaches CLOSED

FRIDAY-SUNDAY CLOSED Tell all your family and friends.

The closures begin at SUNRISE TOMORROW July 3. The facilities will reopen at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, July 6, officials said. San Mateo County Sheriff’s Deputies will be stationed at the closed beaches and coastal trail to enforce the order as well as to monitor fireworks activity.

“Half Moon Bay is following the lead of Governor Newsom in closing Poplar Beach and its parking lot. If the potential crowds here are similar to previous holiday crowds we’ve seen, this kind of action is necessary for the protection of public health and safety,” said Half Moon Bay Mayor Adam Eisen.

Mayor Deirdre Martin of Pacifica, announced the closing its beaches and parking lots from Sunrise Friday to Sunrise Monday, July 6. The following locations are affected:

  • Pacifica State Beach (Linda Mar Beach) and north and south parking lots,
  • Crespi parking lot in front of the Pacifica Community Center,
  • Rockaway Beach and north and south parking lots,
  • Sharp Park Beach
  • Esplanade Beach and Fisherman’s Lot in the 800 block of Palmetto Avenue

 

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San Mateo County Beaches Closed 4th of July. Gov. Newsom closes Parking Lots.

By Michael G. Stogner

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Governor Gavin Newsom announced this morning that all Parking facilities at state beaches on the San Mateo County Coastline will be closed for the July 4 weekend. Local leaders are expected to close all SMC beaches and Gov. Newsom has stated he will close state beaches in Counties closing local beaches.

No Parking equals No Beaches

If you don’t live on the coast Stay Away, Stay Home, Protect the residents that do.

If you see Brent Turner make sure you tell him Thank You. A perfect example of one single person can make a difference.

Same goes for Pacifica Mayor Deidre Martin a true elected Leader.

From County Manager Mike Callagy to me this AM. “So like Dr. Scott Morrow has said, assume everyone you come in contact with and everything you touch outside your home is infected and use the precautions listed to prevent yourself from becoming ill.

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Pandemic, Stay Home 4th of July.

By Michael G. Stogner

San Mateo County Beaches are like a Magnet, Now is not the time to enjoy them.Protect the residents from Pacifica to Pescadero. Tell everyone to stay home.

Stay Home, Wear a Mask, Protect All County Health Officers, Doctors, Nurses, Medical Staff, Firefighters, Police Officers, Store Clerks. The time to open up is when they say they feel safe and have all the PPE to do their jobs safely. SMC has never been there yet.

San Mateo County has a chance to show the WORLD they know what the word Pandemic means. Show the World that you take your Health and their Health threat seriously. You can’t blame other Countries for considering the Banning of Americans to travel, Who in their right mind would let us in.

pan·dem·ic
/panˈdemik/
adjective
  1. (of a disease) prevalent over a whole country or the world.

Political Interest have never been the same as Medical Interest. YOU are responsible for your Health and those you Love and Respect.

San Mateo County Health Officer Dr. Scott Morrow is the one and only person I recommend you seek medical PANDEMIC advice from.

Here are some comments from Healt Officials from LATIMES article today.

“Every single one of those county health officers faces an impossible set of circumstances,” said David Relman, a Stanford doctor.

“Our professionalism is being exploited.” nurses at one hospital have gone on strike to protest what they say is understaffing and a lack of protective gear.

It has left some medical experts to warn the state is not experiencing a second wave, but a failure to maintain the flattened curve of the first one.

If the spread isn’t stopped soon, they warn, it may become impossible.

“It could get to some point where there literally is just too much disease to manage,” Relman said.

“I’m not sure why everyone is so surprised that we’re surging again. It never went away, and we opened up” while mask wearing was being “politicized,” the physician said, calling it “very frustrating.”

“It leaves us feeling in like we’re not enough,” McIntosh said. “I feel like this is all setting us up to fail.”

San Mateo County Residents show the world that you are Serious Citizens.

Stay Home, Wear Masks.

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Sheriff Carlos G. Bolanos on Oversight System.

By Michael G. Stogner

CarlosG.Bolanos

Sheriff Carlos G. Bolanos

San Mateo County Sheriff Carlos G. Bolanos told the City of San Carlos Leaders “He could not recall an issue justifying spending money on an oversight system.”

Nobody is asking for a System. Carlos G. Bolanos has a history of misleading the public.

Here is just a short list of ISSUES that come to mind.

Sandra Harmon May 05, 2020 Killed by Sheriff Deputies, Deputy Dominguez firing 5 shots at Unarmed with Hands Up above her head. He Bolanos claims she fired her 2 shot shotgun at Dominguez while he was taking cover behind his patrol car which was parked sideways. Not a mark or scratch on the patrol car of the Deputy. He claims Deputy Dominguez did not turn on his Body Worn Camera and that is why there is NO EVIDENCE provided to prove Sandra Harmon fired ANY shots.

At the 8:02-8:08 mark you will see Sandra Harmon Unarmed with hands above her head and you will hear 5 shots being fired at her.

Sheriff Carlos G. Bolanos’s video

February 10, 2020 SAL Executive Director Barbara Bonilla was escorted out of her office and is being investigated for embezzlement. She was Sheriff Bolanos’s Campaign Manager in the 2018 election. She has resigned from the Sheriff’s office since Why? She she hasn’t been charged with any crime. She has been removed from State and National PAL Boards.

September 14, 2019 Redwood City Police arrested SMCSO Sergeant Luis Aquino for DUI and refusing to take both blood and breath test. Sheriff Bolanos and David Silberman refused to provide his Booking photo. San Carlos: An additional $50,000 was also approved for DUI services. 

October 3, 2018 Chinedu V. Okobi Homicide in Custody just like George Floyd, No 911 Call, just a Moorehouse Graduate and father walking on the sidewalk in the middle of the day, No crime committed before Deputy Wang got attracted to him a large Black Man he was dead minutes later.

December 31, 2018 San Mateo County Deputy Heather Diaz Coroner “I have determined the manner of Death to be Homicide.”

HOMICIDE PROTOCOL* 36 year old male involved in a physical altercation with San Mateo County Sheriff’s deputies. March 1, 2019 District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe confirmed it was a Homicide at the very end of his Press Conference where he announced no criminal charges would be filed. KQED, CBS5, and San Mateo County News.com all reported Homicide.

One ISSUE was the many False Statements provided to the Public by Sheriff Carlos G. Bolanos per his News Releases dated October 3, 2018 and March 1, 2019.

June 3, 2014 Yanira Serrano killed by Deputy within 20 seconds of getting out of his patrol car. It was a non emergency 911 call for medical assistance.

2014 Lets not forget what Carlos G. Bolanos and many others have done to destroy former Sherif Deputy Juan P. Lopez since he filed to run for Sheriff of San Mateo County. Smuggling a Cellphone and Drugs to a gang member in Jail. Sure he did, 100% False Charges.

2009/10 San Mateo County Sheriff Male staff 46 of them sharing Porn and Rape video on County Computers.

April 21, 2007 Operation Dollhouse, Las Vegas Nevada

Regarding Citizen Oversight and or an Audit of his work

Sheriff Bolanos said he was open to but felt removed accountability from leaders of organizations. I have no idea what that means

“I believe they’re dysfunctional primarily because you have people who are not experts in certain fields making determination on what is appropriate or not,”

“With me as an elected official the voters have the greatest civilian oversight and can replace me with someone else.”

How would the voters ever know what he is doing or how he is doing it without an Audit.

You can’t possibly manage what you don’t measure.

 

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No mention of Chinedu Okobi’s Murder.

By Michael G. Stogner

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Davina Hurt

As many elected officials in San Mateo County are speaking out about the Murder of George Floyd and what an outrage that was, which it was, I’m curios as to why they never spoke out about the Homicide of Chinedu Okobi by Six San Mateo County Sheriff Employees on October 3, 2018, on El Camino Real, San Bruno/Millbrae. December 31, 2018 San Mateo County Coroners Office ruled the manner of death to be a Homicide same as George Floyd. March 1, 2019 San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe held a Press Conference where he announced no charges would be filed against the 4 Deputies and 1 Sergeant he did not mention the sixth Employee the CSO. He announced that the Coroner of this county labeled Chinedu Okobi’s death a Homicide. How is it that he filed no charges? The SMDJ reporter was sitting in front of me at that meeting where D.A. Wagstaffe said it was a Homicide. Her article the next day left that FACT out of the story.

How is it that a Belmont former Mayor and Councilmember doesn’t mention San Mateo County’s Homicide by Law Enforcement of Chinedu Okobi that occurred less than 2 years ago in her own backyard? Remember there was NO 911 call he was simply a Black man walking on the sidewalk when Deputy Wang got attracted to him.

Her letter in todays SMDJ, A world in transition

Davina Hurt

Mr. Floyd slowly died before our eyes and I cried. Mr. Arbery was hunted on video. Mr. Brooks was shot in the back and Ms. Taylor’s death occurred around the first shelter-in-place orders of COVID-19 in her home. The list is painfully growing.

These murders are shocking. We should be shocked. The circumstances of their deaths are horrifying. We should be horrified. The frequency of these killings captured on film is alarming and seemingly unprecedented.

For the first time in modern history, the entire globe was deeply affected one way or another by Mr. Floyd dying at the hands of individuals paid to protect and serve. We will never know what the man was thinking the moment he held his hand deep in his pocket and pressed his knees in the crease of Mr. Floyd’s neck. He was so calm and confident staring into the camera; the sunglasses on his head never even shifted for a full 8 minutes and 46 seconds. Mr. Floyd painfully knew his fate; he called for his mother and acknowledged out loud, “I am about to die.” What may feel like an “unprecedented” frequency of deaths is nothing new to Black Americans; it is part of our existence. Even in 2020, a sinister belief fought by generations of Black Americans revealed itself unfiltered once again. We are not equals, but presumptively perceived as dangerous, inferior and criminals to some. Our skin color is seen before our humanity.

Although I have given my daughter every social and economic advantage I could afford to help protect her from a lifetime of unconscious bias and cruel racism, the day of reckoning always comes. I wanted to at least protect her youth. I was wrong. My focus should have been on preparing her to change the world, not just her world. It’s my responsibility to show her how it’s done.

So to dismantle the hate and disarm the oppression, I must produce results for all and chip away at exclusionary rhetoric at the local level. I am reminded of this at the beginning of every City Council meeting, where we stand and say the Pledge of Allegiance. There is no lasting path to improving our everyday lives unless we fight for “liberty and justice of all.” The democracy we have inherited is fragile; it fades and it frays. But, it has the resiliency to evolve and embrace; it is worth working hard to nurture and improve. And, we each have a part to play to sustain the improvement. America cannot be owned by one culture, one religion, one language, one idea and one way. We must live as a community working together — loving, living and learning.

The excellence of this nation lies in the ability of individuals to repair its faults. Educate yourself on the lives of others. Demand change of yourself and those around you. Have difficult conversations. Protest in the forum that feels right, but do so safely. Eradicate your own cynicism. Vote. Trust your voice and your actions will make a difference.

As a mayor and member of a city council, I have learned that democracy is slow, incremental and difficult work that requires dividing up a small pie for many people with different tastes and priorities. With the abundance of problems to solve, let’s not be the “10-day nation” MLK feared.

As a leader, as a mother and as a friend, I implore you to continue the fight for justice for each other and for our children. We have the ability to write the next chapter. Standing on the shoulders of our ancestors, we can succeed where many have only dreamed. While I am weary, I am resolved with hope and passion to make this a better world for all. I invite you to join me in this journey.

Davina Hurt is a member of the Belmont City Council and the city’s immediate past mayor.

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