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Browsing the blog archives for June, 2015.

Armed Robbery Suspects Arrested by Sheriff’s Deputy

Siskiyou Sheriff's report

June 29, 2015

Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Dept. Report

On June 29, 2015 at about 11:11 am, an alert Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) deputy spotted a vehicle and suspects wanted in the armed robbery of the Shastina Mini Mart, which occurred during the early morning hours of June 26, 2015. The suspect vehicle and fugitives were located on WA Barr Road in vicinity of the Mt. Shasta Resort and the quick-thinking canine deputy took the two suspects into custody without incident in a parking lot before they could react to his presence.

The suspects allegedly robbed the Shastina Mini Mart at gunpoint and one of the assailants also had a knife. The pick-up the male suspect was operating was reportedly stolen from Idaho. The arrest of the man and young woman ends an extensive search of the male and female perpetrators, who investigators suspected remained in the local area after the armed robbery. Mr. Anthony Gerald Parsons, 25 years-old, tentatively identified with an Idaho address, was taken into custody along with his female companion. The female suspect’s name is being withheld at this time due to her status as a juvenile. The suspect is being transported to the Siskiyou County Jail in Yreka where he will be booked for numerous charges, including armed robbery, theft, burglary, assault with a deadly weapon, weapons-related charges, and auto theft. The juvenile suspect will be confined at the Charlie Byrd Juvenile Youth Correction Center on similar charges.
According to Lieutenant Mark Hilsenberg, the investigation involving the armed robbery is still under investigation and anyone with information about this crime or the activities of the suspects is urged to contact the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office 24-hour dispatch phone number of (530) 841-2900.

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More Illegal Water Cutbacks Ordered by Confused Guv Brown

Agriculture - California, California Rivers, California water

California Political Review

Last week the Attorney General Kamela Harris, also not one to abide by the laws or Constitution, declared that the confused governors’ call for ending senior water rights was only “voluntary”, not mandated. That has not stopped the confused Guv Brown to take water rights from San Fran and many others—in hopes that by the time the lawsuits are heard, he is out of office.

“The new curtailments impact just 11 water rights holders, but they’re one more sign of how serious the drought has become. Earlier this month, the State Water Resources Control Board announced curtailments for “senior” rights holders for just the second time ever, warning that further cutbacks were on the horizon. Friday’s announcement followed through on that warning.

“Barring a miracle, we’re going to continue to see curtailment orders issued throughout the summer,” Peter Gleick, president of the Oakland-based Pacific Institute, told The Desert Sun earlier this month.

The governor refuses to stop water flowing into the ocean, he refuses to waive environmental laws so desalinization plants can be built and he continues to refuse to spend water bond money, some dating back to 2006 and so far unallocated, to build water storage facilities. Stop the corruption from the governors office, stop the fines and punishment—Jerry Brown could end the lack of water—IF he wanted to do that. Obviously he does not.


More historic water cutbacks for California farmers

Sammy Roth, The Desert Sun , 6/26/15

State officials once again slashed water use for Northern California farmers on Friday, announcing a new round of cutbacks targeted at people and businesses who laid claim to their water as far back as 1858.

The new curtailments impact just 11 water rights holders, but they’re one more sign of how serious the drought has become. Earlier this month, the State Water Resources Control Board announced curtailments for “senior” rights holders for just the second time ever, warning that further cutbacks were on the horizon. Friday’s announcement followed through on that warning.

“Barring a miracle, we’re going to continue to see curtailment orders issued throughout the summer,” Peter Gleick, president of the Oakland-based Pacific Institute, told The Desert Sun earlier this month.

The cuts announced Friday affect five water agencies that collectively serve more than 300,000 acres of farmland, as well as Pacific Gas & Electric, a handful of individual water users and Vulcan Materials Company, the nation’s largest provider of gravel and other construction material. Until further notice, they won’t be allowed to draw water from the Merced River or the Upper San Joaquin River, depending on their water right.

The Coachella branch of the All-American Canal carries water from the Colorado River that flows to the area’s farms. The Coachella Valley Water District says agriculture accounts for about half of all water use in the area. (Photo: Jay Calderon/The Desert Sun)

California has now curtailed more than 9,000 water rights this year, many of them belonging to farmers. But until this month, only “junior” water rights holders, who laid claim to surface water after 1914, were affected.

That changed two weeks ago, when the state water board announced cutbacks for114 water users who established their rights between 1903 and 1914. Those curtailments affected water rights on the San Joaquin River, the Sacramento River and the delta that forms where the two rivers meet.

The latest curtailments go even further back, cutting off Merced River water for users who established their rights between 1858 and 1914. They also impact pre-1914 and post-1914 rights to water from the Upper San Joaquin River.

“The impact continues to widen and deepen as we go through this year,” Dave Kranz, a spokesperson for the California Farm Bureau Federation, recently told The Desert Sun. “It’s going to be a long, tough summer for a lot of people.”

The U.S. Drought Monitor reported this week that 47 percent of California is currently suffering from “exceptional drought.” About 95 percent of the state is experiencing at least “severe” drought.



Congressman Doug LaMalfa to hold Town Hall in Weed on 7-1-15

Doug LaMalfa Congressman CA

Rep. LaMalfa to Hold Town Hall Next Week

Oroville, CA – Representative Doug LaMalfa (R-CA) today announced that he will be hosting a town hall meeting Wednesday, July 1st in the town of Weed.

“I am looking forward to visiting with residents of Weed to listen to your concerns, answer questions, and provide updates on what I am doing in Washington. This is a great opportunity to have a conversation on what we can do to work together and solve issues facing the North State.”

Date: Wednesday, July 1st

Time: 6 pm

Location: Weed City Hall, 500 Main Street, Weed, CA 96094

Congressman Doug LaMalfa is a lifelong farmer representing California’s First Congressional District, including Butte, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou and Tehama Counties.

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Yreka Tea Party meets 6-30-15

TEA Party

Yreka Tea Party Patriots

Meeting for Tuesday, June 30th

Richard Marshall
President of Siskiyou County Water Users Association
Bob Rice
Former Klamath National Forest Supervisor

” The 1956 Klamath River Basin Compact between the States of Oregon and California”

Learn why this compact could be important to Siskiyou County’s survival

6:30 PM

at the Covenant Chapel Church
200 Greenhorn Rd. Yreka

Everyone Welcome
Free….Contact Louise for more information at 530-842-5443
See attached compact that you might want to read before you attend the meeting. This is an extremely important document. This is about our water rights!!
Hope to see you there…bring a friend

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Confused Guv Brown FORCED to Give Back Stolen Water to Owners

Agriculture - California, Air, Climate & Weather, California Rivers, California water, CORRUPTION, State gov

California Political Review

Jerry Brown, a licensed attorney, stole the senior water rights of over 100 people and towns. In fact, his theft caused the San Joaquin County city of Mountain House to lose ALL of their water—forcing them to buy on the private market very expensive water for the 15,000 residents of this town. It was government action, theft by the Guv, which caused the crisis, not a drought. Now even the Attorney General realized the massive lawsuits that will be filed against the State for lose of water rights. So, she tried to make it good.

“The California Attorney General’s office backtracked Tuesday, surprising senior water rights holders by saying in court that the curtailment notices they received were merely advisory and not compulsory.
The turnaround happened in San Joaquin County Superior Court during a hearing in Banta Carbona Irrigation District’s challenge of curtailment notices the State Water Resources Control Board issued to 114 senior rights holders in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta region on June 12.”

Why does the Guv take illegal action against cities, farmers and families—and get away with it? When will the people demand the very confused governor to stop making fish bait (delta smelt) comfortable and give the water back to the people?

jerry brown legis

California Hedges on Water Cuts; Managers Call Situation ‘Chaotic’

By ELIZABETH WARMERDAM, Courthouse News, 6/25/15

SACRAMENTO (CN) – The California Attorney General’s office backtracked Tuesday, surprising senior water rights holders by saying in court that the curtailment notices they received were merely advisory and not compulsory.
The turnaround happened in San Joaquin County Superior Court during a hearing in Banta Carbona Irrigation District’s challenge of curtailment notices the State Water Resources Control Board issued to 114 senior rights holders in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta region on June 12.
The Banta Carbona Irrigation District is south of Tracy in San Joaquin County, in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley. California produces more than one-eighth of the nation’s agricultural revenue, and the valley, known as California’s Breadbasket, produces most of the state’s output.
The notices directed certain owners of water rights dating back to 1903 to immediately stop diverting water and threatened daily $1,000 fines plus $2,500 per acre-foot of water drawn if they did not comply. An acre-foot of water is enough to supply approximately two homes for a year.
Several water districts responded by suing the water board, claiming the state does not have the right to restrict the senior water rights holders’ water use.
In court documents rebuffing the lawsuit brought by Banta Carbona, state officials seemed to change their stance by characterizing the curtailment notices as “courtesy notices” that were “advisory” only.
Water managers said that hardly seemed to be the case.
South San Joaquin Irrigation District General Manager Jeff Shields said the notices told rights holders they had seven days to sign a compliance statement under penalty of perjury.
“That doesn’t sound like a general courtesy notice. That sounds like an order,” he told Courthouse News.
Steve Knell, general manager of Oakdale Irrigation District, said the state’s change of position surprised everyone.
“They basically said, ‘I don’t know why you’re all upset, these are just advisory notices, they’re not enforceable, they are in no way intended to make folks do anything.’ There’s a lot of confusion right now,” Knell told Courthouse News.
This is just the second time in history that the state has sought to curtail water rights of farmers and agencies whose claims date back before 1914. They have historically been protected by their longstanding water rights.
Shields said the state’s curtailment notices violated due process.
“California water law is really simple. There is a water right priority system that has been established and it exists to create order in times of shortage. They can’t just issue a blanket order saying that everybody has to stop pumping. That’s not how the water rights priority works,” Shields said.
The state must abide by a process in which it identifies the water rights at issue, who holds those rights and in what order, and who would be injured, Shields said. Then it can curtail the rights in order of seniority.
In this case, the state “never held a process to say why they are doing this,” Shields said.
“I don’t even know whose water we’re supposedly diverting that has a higher right to it than we do. Instead, the water board just told us to sign a document without a hearing and without due process. The attorney general identified these fatal flaws in the process, and as a consequence stepped away from calling them curtailment orders.”
Shields called the situation “chaotic.”
The only appropriate action now is for the water board to rescind the orders or issue a clarification explaining that they are only advisory and not compulsory, he added.
Court documents filed by Attorney General Kamala Harris state that Oakdale and South San Joaquin irrigation districts’ request that Stanislaus County Superior Court stay the water board’s enforcement of the curtailments is premature.
“The notice does not impose liability on any diverter, or determine that any diverter is in violation of the law; rather, the notice refers to potential penalties, the imposition of which must be preceded by an adjudicative proceedings,” according to the state’s opposition to the water districts’ request for a stay.
Because the water board has not found that the districts are diverting water without the authority to do so, and such a finding would require a hearing, the districts’ challenge to the general curtailment notice “presents no justiciable controversy,” the state said.
A hearing on the districts’ ex parte application for a stay of the curtailments is set for Thursday before Stanislaus County Judge Timothy Salter.
Salter is expected to rule that he does not have jurisdiction to issue a stay, and must transfer the case outside of the county.
On Wednesday, Salter ruled in the Patterson Irrigation District‘s case that the state was entitled to a change of venue.
On Tuesday, San Joaquin County Superior Court Judge Carter Holly ruled that the Banta Carbona case must be transferred to a less partial county – which one has not yet been determined.
In its change of venue motion in the Oakdale and South San Joaquin complaint in Stanislaus County, the state says the water board “will likely be perceived as a distant sovereign opposing the interests of the local residents.”
Oakdale Irrigation has 2,900 agricultural accounts in its 65,000 acres. South San Joaquin Irrigation serves drinking water to 200,000 people and irrigation water to 50,000 acres.
Oakdale general manager Knell said the change of venue will delay the case to the detriment of water agencies that are unsure of how to proceed in the troubled legal waters.
“We could be looking at 10 to 12 weeks until districts get their day in court. It’s almost impossible to run an irrigation district when the state keeps jerking you around like this. We need to know how much water we’re going to have at the end of the year. Because the state is so uncertain, that makes our business so uncertain, and that’s the hard part of it,” Knell said.
He criticized the water board for not being better prepared on how to handle the curtailments.
“We live in a state that has droughts. This is the fourth year of the drought and the state’s now doing things against senior rights holders that may not be legally possible. The water board should have figured this out long ago,” Knell said.
The state did not immediately respond to requests for comment.


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“Early Morning Robbery at Local Business Near Lake Shastina”

CRIMINAL, Siskiyou Sheriff's report


June 26, 2015

“Early Morning Robbery at Local Business Near Lake Shastina”

On June 26, 2015 at approximately 7:04 am Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office Deputies responded to a reported robbery that had just occurred at the Lake Shastina Mini Mart located at 20506 Big Springs Road.

Upon arrival SCSO Deputies determined that a male and female had entered the business armed with a rifle and a knife and tied up the employee while taking an undisclosed amount of money.

The male subject was described as approximately 6 Feet tall with a large build wearing a dark colored hoodie and wearing tan gloves, he was also armed with a rifle that had a scope on it.

The female subject was described as possible being white and wearing a pink hoodie and carrying a black back pack. She was also wearing dark colored gloves and was armed with a knife.

Upon entering the business the subjects demanded money from the employee and bound her hands during the robbery. Both subjects then fled the store with an unknown amount of money.

Both the subjects were last seen driving a maroon Dodge 4 door truck with a matching maroon camper shell. The truck may be the same vehicle that was reported stolen in Idaho approximately a week ago. The truck may have an Idaho license plate of 4L910 .

The Sherriff’s Office has advised that both subjects are considered armed and dangerous and anyone seeing the vehicle should immediately call 911. These subjects may also be the same individuals responsible for additional robberies that had occurred in Idaho and Oregon.

The Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office Detectives are currently investigating the incident and according to Lieutenant Mark Hilsenberg, “This case is still under investigation and anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact the SCSO 24-hour dispatch number of (530) 841-2900.”


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‘All about the money’: Motorists plagued by sky-high Calif. traffic ticket fines


Critics call California’s traffic citation system a ‘racket’

Casey Campbell served two tours in Iraq, but the fight of his life is in California.

After driving without a seat belt and no front plate, he got a $25 traffic ticket that jumped to $300 with assessments and surcharges. Unable to pay in full, the ticket rose to $600, and then $819 when he missed a court date.

The state automatically took his driver’s license and turned the ticket over to a collections agency. Police later impounded his car when he drove to work on a suspended license. Unable to make a living, Campbell ended up broke and homeless.

“It was $4,000 for two citations,” Campbell said, standing on a street corner in West Los Angeles. “And once the ticket went to collections, the judge said there’s nothing he could do. It just snowballed. At a certain point, there’s just no way to get back on your feet.”

Campbell isn’t the only victim of California’s effort to wring more money from traffic scofflaws. Residents owe state coffers $10 billion in unpaid tickets. Currently 4 million Californians — 17 percent of the state’s adult population — have a suspended license for failure to appear or pay.

It’s gotten so bad that Gov. Jerry Brown is proposing an amnesty program for those owing money.

“It’s a poverty trap,” said Theresa Zhen, a lawyer who helps motorists navigate traffic court. “If you can’t afford to pay, many don’t show up in court because they’re afraid of jail. Then the state automatically suspends their license.”

She said punishment is supposed to fit the crime, but that’s not the case in California.

“I had a ticket that went to $5,000,” said Adolf Barley, as he joined 100 other motorists waiting to pay their fine outside the Los Angeles Municipal Courthouse. “You do one of three things. You either go to jail, community service or you pay it.”

Another driver in line went inside a drug store to get change to feed his meter. He came out to find a ticket on his car. When he missed his initial court date because of a hospital stay, the state suspended his license.

“I found out I have a warrant for my arrest. A $2,500 warrant,” he said. “I’m a good driver, but now I don’t have a license.”

Critics call California’s traffic citation system a scam, a money-making racket that has nothing to do with justice. That’s because a typical $100 ticket – say, driving without proof of insurance — jumps to $290 with state penalties; to $416 with court construction assessments; and to $490 with surcharges for emergency medicine and DNA collection. If you fail to pay the full fine immediately, it adds a $325 penalty, making the cost $815.

“When they don’t pay that, they have their license suspended and it puts folks in a cycle of poverty,” said Christine Sun, a lawyer with the ACLU. “Once you lose your job, and you don’t have a license, you’re kinda screwed. It’s a huge problem. The state has been using traffic fees for far too long as a way to fund the system of justice here in California.”

The ACLU claimed the state denied drivers due process since they were required to pay a fine in full just for the right to see a judge.

“In a criminal case, that’s like serving your entire jail sentence before even seeing the inside of a courtroom,” Zhen said.

Even Gov. Brown calls the state’s traffic court system “a hellhole of desperation” and chided lawmakers, including the vast majority who are Democrats, for trying to balance the state budget on the backs of the least fortunate.

Brown proposed an 18-month amnesty program telling delinquent motorists to pay only half their fine in exchange for their license being reinstated.

A recently retired Los Angles traffic cop also recently told LA Weekly that he was expected to write at least 20 parking tickets per shift, or 32 if he was on overtime. To reach the quota the officers said he would cheat the system, writing tickets before a meter was expired or when cars were just inches over a red zone.

“It’s all about the money,” said Campbell. “That’s the only way I can put it. It’s all about the money.”

William La Jeunesse joined FOX News Channel (FNC) in March 1998 and currently serves as a Los Angeles-based correspondent.


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Island Mountain pot sweeps expected to end today

CRIMINAL, Sheriffs


Times Standard

After the fourth consecutive day of marijuana search warrant sweeps in the remote Island Mountain area of Humboldt, Mendocino and Trinity counties, Humboldt County law enforcement reported rising totals of evidence seized and zero arrests.

So far, Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office deputies have served seven search warrants, resulting in the seizure of more than 21,000 marijuana plants, 3,000 pounds of processed marijuana, 50 pounds of concentrated marijuana, 50,000 rounds of .50-caliber ammunition and 16 guns, Sheriff’s Lt. Wayne Hanson said on Thursday.

 Hanson said that he expects the operation to wrap up today, but that it will continue as long as is necessary.

The Island Mountain area was chosen as the first target of this summer’s round of marijuana search warrant sweeps based on the number of greenhouses and amount of grow activity seen during helicopter fly-overs, he said.

No individuals or groups in particular were targeted, he said.

Emerald Growers Association Executive Director Hezekiah Allen said his property was searched as part of the sweep, but that he hasn’t visited or had contact with the property in years and said he is not involved in any cultivation on his land.

 “My name is on a title for a small property out there,” Allen said. “I’ve been trying to get my name off the title.”

Allen critiqued the tactics of law enforcement officers, calling it a large paramilitary raid.

“It’s really unfortunate and counterproductive,” he said.

Allen said the state water board has better luck contacting farmers in the area because they send letters, call ahead of time and don’t show up on farmers’ properties in force, unannounced, with guns drawn.

“This is an absurd action. It is incredibly counterproductive,” Allen said, “This is not the path to a well-regulated, sustainable future.”

  Hanson said such display of force was necessary for officer safety, and to search properties thoroughly and efficiently.

“It’s labor intensive,” he said. “We need people to search structures and property.”

Hanson said sweeps such as this are in the works for all four corners of Humboldt County this summer.

Environmental damage has been cited all week by officials as a major impetus for these searches.

According to Pacific Water Associates engineering geologist Tom Leroy, primary environmental impacts typically seen in poorly-managed grow operations include altering natural water processes in a watershed, excessive sedimentation in streams — from road construction and graded areas — and excessive use of water during dry seasons.

Environmental damage from ‘large-scale’ marijuana grow operations can be significant, or minimal,” Leroy said. “It all depends how it is conducted, as well as how large the watershed is.”

Hanson said federal agents did take part in the sweep, but this is routine. The two agents are part of Team Wolf — a National Guard counter-drug unit — and have taken part in these types of sweeps in the Emerald Triangle for 20 years.

A press conference today held by the sheriffs of Mendocino and Humboldt counties will release the official totals of warrants served, plants seized and arrests made during this week’s marijuana search warrant sweeps of the Island Mountain area.

Contact Hunter Cresswell at 707-441-0506.


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Busy day for Siskiyou Sheriff’s Dept. 6-26-15

Siskiyou Sheriff's report


Daily Report
**Events Occurring on June 25, 2015**

• After an extensive search involving Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) and Yreka Police Department (YPD), two people were arrested and charged with child abduction. At approximately 4:24 pm on June 25th, 2015 YPD issued a BOLO alert for Clarissa Courts, age 32, and Nickolas Super, age 31. Courts and Super unlawfully picked up Courts’ children from daycare. SCSO Deputies were able to make contact with Super, who convinced Courts to come to his location. Both suspects were taken into custody without incident. Both were charged with child abduction and Super was additionally charged as an accessory.

• At about 7:35 pm, Deputies responded to a residence in Edgewood reporting Lawrence Alexander Mitchell, age 62, had vandalized their residence and refused to come out. Deputies were unable to locate Mr. Mitchell at that time and left the scene. At approximately 11:08 pm Deputies were called back for a report Mr. Mitchell was back and had started a fire in the pit in the back. Deputies were able to track Mr. Mitchell hiding in the bushes using a K9 Unit. Mr. Mitchell was taken into custody and booked for Disobeying a Court Order and Trespassing.

• At approximately 8:15 pm, the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) bomb technicians were called to assist Mount Shasta Police Department for a report of a possible explosive device. Upon arrival the device was located and identified as a World War II training device.
The device was removed and disposed of and no one was injured.

According to Lieutenant Mark Hilsenberg, “These cases are still under investigation and anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact the SCSO 24-hour dispatch number of (530) 841-2900.”

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10 years later, here’s what happened to the land seized and sold to developers in a controversial Supreme Court case

Constitution, CORRUPTION, Lawsuits

PNP comment: I always felt the Supreme Court was totally wrong on this one. Eminent domain is not an economic tool. This was a takings of homes — private property that should be protected by the Constitution.  — Editor Liz Bowen

The Blaze.com

As eminent legal scholar and takings expert Richard Epstein notes at National Review, June 23, 2015 marks the 10 year anniversary of one of the Supreme Court’s most controversial cases relating to private property, in Kelo v. City of New London.

For those unfamiliar with the case, in a five-to-four decision the Supreme Court ruled in Kelo that New London, Connecticut could use the power of eminent domain to seize private property from its owners and sell it to developers as part of a broader economic development plan.

The property seized from Susette Kelo as of May 2014. (Image Source: Ilya Somin)

The property seized from Susette Kelo as of May 2014. (Photo Credit: Ilya Somin)

Specifically, the Court ruled that the development of the property would qualify as a “public purpose,” constituting a “public use,” thereby representing a Constitutional taking pursuant to the Fifth Amendment, given the public benefits to be gained through the developer’s use of the seized land.

While government has a right to take private property for public use if it provides just compensation, the case proved highly controversial because the government was taking private property — specifically homes — from several parties, and not using it for say a public school or public transportation, but rather selling it to another private party that claimed it could generate greater economic activity from the property.

In particular, the homes seized by New London in a neighborhood known as Fort Trumbull were razed to make way for a development project that included among other things a $300 million research center for the pharmaceutical company Pfizer, along with a hotel, residential and office space.

Ilya Somin, Professor Law at George Mason University School of Law, adjunct scholar of the Cato Institute, and blogger at the essential Volokh Conspiracy has recently published the literal book on the Kelo case titled “The Grasping Hand: “Kelo v. City of New London” and the Limits of Eminent Domain.”

On this tenth anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling, it bears noting what has happened to the property seized by the City of New London. Somin writes in his book:

The only creatures making…use of…[the lots] in… intervening years have been…feral cats


As of early 2015, almost ten years after the Supreme Court upheld the Kelo condemnations, the properties that were the focus of an epic legal battle remain empty and undeveloped. Several plans to redevelop these lots have fallen through. The only creatures making regular use of them in the intervening years have been a colony of feral cats.

These failures were not simply caused by adverse publicity resulting from the public backlash against the Supreme Court ruling or by the recession and financial crisis that began in 2008. As a 2005 New York Times article noted, the failure was a result of “contract disputes and financial uncertainty” and the unwillingness of investors to commit to a flawed project. As early as 2002, Pfizer had begun to lose interest in utilizing the new facilities expected to be built in the development area. In 2009, the firm announced plans to close down its New London facility and began to transfer the employees working there elsewhere. With Pfizer’s departure, the city lost 1,400 jobs that state officials had attracted to the area by committing to redevelop Fort Trumbull in a way that suited the firms’s needs.

The city has managed to successfully redevelop the portion of the Fort Trumbull land that was previously part of the Naval Undersea Warfare Center closed in 1995. It is now a leased research and development center. But that property already belonged to the city after the center had closed, and there was no need to use eminent domain to redevelop it.

Eventually, the condemned land will almost certainly be used for some productive purpose or other. In the meantime, however, it will have stood empty for a decade or even longer, depriving the community of economic benefits of a productive use of the land and the city of potential property tax revenue. Even from the standpoint of economic development, without reference to the constitutional considerations or the intrinsic value of property rights, the Fort Trumbull condemnations have done a lot more harm than good. Governor Rowland was right to predict that Pfizer’s move would “change the landscape of this community,” even if it is not yet clear whether he was also right to predict that the effects will really last “for the next 100 years.” So far, at least, the effects have been very different from those supporters of the project had hoped for.

For the definitive account of Kelo and its aftermath, be sure to check out Somin’s new book.

Note: The link to the book in this post will give you an option to elect to donate a percentage of the proceeds from the sale to a charity of your choice. Mercury One, the charity founded by TheBlaze’s Glenn Beck, is one of the options. Donations to Mercury One go towards efforts such as disaster relief, support for education, support for Israel and support for veterans and our military. You can read more about Amazon Smile and Mercury One here.


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