Friday, August 8, 2014

Frank Herbert's photo of Brian Herbert

Sci-fi writer Brian Herbert as a child
My grandfather used to say, "I found it in the next-to-the-last place I looked!"

I finished my microfilm research last month, compiling all the newspaper articles written by Frank Herbert between 1949 and 1953, while working for The Santa Rosa Press Democrat. I had to go back and re-shoot a few pages, since they were too blurry on the edges to read. I finished that, too, but figured since I was already at the Genealogical and Historical Annex, I should look around to see what else was available.

I found another drawer of microfilm for The Evening Press, the evening version of The Press Democrat. They put out two newspapers in the same day; sometimes the exact same article would appear in both, but sometimes an article or photo would appear in one and not the other.

So earlier today I found a previously-undiscovered photo that Frank Herbert took of his son Brain, long before either of them became famous as sci-fi writers. If you stand at the right angle, and squint your eyes just right, you can see the future in this photograph.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

IndieGogo: Frank Herbert's Lost Archives, vol.1

I'm starting my IndieGogoproject to publish 1,000 copies of "Frank Herbert's Lost Archives, vol. 1."

I have completed the "research" phase of this compilation,and discovered 135 new articles written "by Frank Herbert." There were over 200 photographs taken "by Frank Herbert," with about half uncredited articles (but probably written by him). About half are photos for articles by other writers, or are "stand-alone" photos.

I have finished organizing and categorizing them all, and am in the process of "keying-in" these articles, as Frank Herbert's personal scribe. I'm over halfway done with that phase, and starting on the layout. I expect this book to be in stockings by Christmas.

More details to follow.

On a related note, there is an effort to name a Tacoma park after Frank Herbert. Now I know where to go for my next documentary.

Monday, June 30, 2014

article: Holzworth quartered in San Quentin

[originally published in Oak Leaf News June 30, 2014]

Campus cop and parking meter pilferer Jeffrey Scott Holzworth received four years in prison at his May 29 sentencing for embezzling over $285,000 from Santa Rosa Junior College. As part of a plea deal, Holzworth pleaded guilty to one enhanced felony charge of grand theft and eleven felony charges of receiving stolen property. Deputies led a handcuffed Holzworth from  the courtroom to begin serving his prison term at San Quentin.

Holzworth led out of the courtroom to San Quantin prison.
The former 28-year veteran SRJC District Police officer held sole unsupervised responsibility for collecting cash from campus parking lots in Santa Rosa, Petaluma and Windsor. SRJC's parking revenue nearly doubled after Holzworth's arrest, increasing from $215,805 in 2012 to $428,554 in 2013.

Holzworth's wife Karen still faces trial for one felony charge and one misdemeanor charge of receving stolen property and one charge of acting as an accessory.

Coworkers brought Holzworth's crimes to the attention of new SRJC District Police chief Matthew McCaffrey, less than a month after his appointment. The new chief met Nov. 1, 2012 with Santa Rosa Police detectives who investigated and then arrested Holzworth after his shift at SRJC District Police headquarters Nov. 28.

McCaffrey spoke on behalf of the college at Holzworth's May 29 sentencing and compared his situation to a doctor who discovers and removes a patient's cancer before it can spread. The patient is healthier than before, but with scars. "Trust is hard to earn, but easy to lose," McCaffrey said. "When Jeff Holzworth chose to steal money, while on duty and in uniform, he not only disgraced the badge and betrayed the oath he swore to when he was hired as a police officer, he severely damaged the reputation of the police department."

SRJC received about $286,000 in reimbursement from its insurance carrier. "However," McCaffrey said, "This amount only accounts for the cash that laundered through the banks Jeff used and that there is a record of. Not only did Jeff steal thousands of dollars from the college, he stole that trust with the community we have worked so hard to build."

Snide comments about taking money from permit machines continue to plague SRJC field officers, McCaffrey said. "Jeff betrayed his coworkers, many of whom considered him a friend, and caused some of them the stress and awkwardness of having to testify against him."

"I hope the court subscribes to the philosophy that peace officers must be held to a higher standard than the communities they serve," McCaffrey said. "This was not an accident. This was not someone trying to do the right thing who made a mistake. This was a cold, calculated, premeditated crime that Jeff had turned into a profession."

Assistant District Attorney Amy Ariyoshi said no unusual circumstances exist to grant Holzworth probation instead of prison time. "It was just greed, to maintain a certain lifestyle," Ariyoshi said. "No sickly, dying family members to take care of; just going to Vegas two or three times a year, maintaining his home and lifestyle - at the cost of SRJC."

"If anybody worked for a prison sentence, it's Holzworth," Ariyoshi said. "To wake up every day and recommit to do this takes thought and planning."

Holzworth's defense attorney Joe Passalacqua argued for probation so Holzworth could give back to the community he took from. Holzworth "accepted responsibility from day one," Passalacqua said, and Holzworth has no prior criminal history other than a DUI at 21 years old. Passalacqua urged consideration of 20 letters supporting Holzworth's character. "Did he fool all those people, or did he just stray off the path?" Passalacqua said.

"What is the proper punishment?" Passalacqua said; Holzworth took full responsibility for his actions and expressed his remorse. He will have a hard time after prison repaying his financial debt with the stigma as a "dirty cop" and convicted felon. "No one wants to hire him," Passalacqua said.

When SRPD detectives asked Holzworth the motivation behind his crimes, Passalacqua said his client answered, "Honestly, greed." Holzworth wanted money in his pocket, to take his family out to dinners and to spoil his daughters. Passalacqua said an appropriate punishment was a short, local jail term followed by "numerous hours" of restorative punishment. "The community benefits by ordering him to give back, with a seven-year prison term held over his head," Passalacqua said.

Holzworth stood up for a brief statement to the court. Holzworth apologized for his actions, asked the court for a second chance and said he was "truly sorry."

Judge Jamie Thistlethwaite said she normally believes in rehabilitation, "Unfortunately, your actions have gone far beyond the pale." Thistlethwaite's sentence denied probation, imposed a four-year prison term and ordered repayment of SRJC's documented loss. "I was very much considering a seven-year maximum," Thistlethwaite said. Two female deputies handcuffed Holzworth, the judge finished explaining the details of the sentencing, then deputies led Holzworth out of the courtroom for transportation to San Quentin prison.

Holzworth received two years in prison for grand theft, plus two consecutive years for the "white collar crime" enhancement of embezzling an amount over $100,000. Eleven charges of receiving stolen property each earned two years, to be served concurrently with the grand theft charge.

Holzworth's sentence requires repayment of $285,453.49 to Zurich Recovery Service. SRJC President Dr. Frank Chong said by email, "Through the initiative and leadership of Doug Roberts, VP of Finance and Business Services, SRJC had fraud insurance and we were able to receive a check from our insurance company for the documented loss."

Ariyoshi described the judge's sentence as well-deserved and well-earned. "Yes. He earned it," Ariyoshi said.

Outside the courtroom Passalacqua said, "He got treated just like any other citizen, and he has to pay for his crimes. He took responsibility for his actions and the judge punished him for them."

McCaffrey said outside the courtroom what bothered the Santa Rosa Police detectives most during their investigation wasn't just that Holzworth stole money while on duty and in uniform; it was all he seemed to do, McCaffrey was told.

McCaffrey said insurance money will buy new computerized permit machines with software to account for "every cent going in and out." Collecting money from campus parking lots now involves the "buddy system," always with a second person present. While the new collection method protects SRJC parking funds, "It's also protecting our employees from allegations," McCaffrey said.

SRJC Student Trustee Robert Edmonds said the Board of Trustees plan to buy 33 more computerized parking permit machines from VenTek International of Petaluma, the manufacturers of the permit machines Holzworth exploited. In 2003 VenTek Senior Engineer Layton Eastridge was convicted of stealing from over 100 tickets machines CalTrain hired him to maintain, circumventing the same internal security measures he helped design.

VenTek International repeatedly declined to answer whether VenTek warned their customers to update cash collection procedures after Eastridge's embezzlement exposed an exploitable vulnerablity.

"If there's a known security flaw in a cash system you're selling to people, and you know about the flaw, you have a responsibility to tell your customers about it," Edmonds said. "If it could've been avoided with some software or hardware fix, the District should pursue some remedy for the financial loss."

Holzworth will collect his police pension from SRJC. He retired a month after his arrest, just a couple days before a new law took effect which denies pensions to public employees convicted of on-the-job felonies. By retiring before the new law's enactment, none of his prior criminal activity counts against his retirement fund. "It's morally reprehensible that he would receive his pension, and the District should seek some legal remedy to avoid paying," Edmonds said.

Chong said, "We have learned from this experience and have put safeguards into place to prevent this from occurring again. I am hoping we can put this terrible episode at the college behind us."

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Frank Herbert and Santa Claus

Now that Finals are over, and the Holzworth trial, I have more time to research my  Frank Herbert project, "Behind the Santaroga Barrier." I have been scanning the microfilm at the local genealogical library for newspaper articles written before he became a best-selling sci-fi writer. From 1949 to 1953 he lived in northern California Santa Rosa and wrote for the Santa Rosa Press Democrat. His first sci-fi short story got published in April 1953, so these journalistic articles are the practice swings, so to speak, of the future home run king.

I have found lots of interesting things while scanning the rolls of microfilm, to be included in my book, but I found something amazing I had to include. Finding it was more than just an Easter egg - it was an early Christmas present. The front page December 24, 1949 featured a photo of Santa Claus sitting on a beardless Frank Herbert's lap.

"What Santa Wants In HIS Stocking" by Frank Herbert. What an encouraging treasure to discover so early in my research...

For the last three semesters at SRJC I have covered the trial of the 28-year veteran campus cop who got caught pilfering $286,000 from campus parking machines. He held sole responsibility without oversight of collecting money from machines at all campuses in the county. Jeffrey Holzworth pleaded guilty to eleven misdemeanor charges of possession of stolen property and one felony charge of theft by embezzlement, enhanced for an amount over $100,000. He sentenced to four years in prison right after finals, and the great spiral has brought me back again to my Frank Herbert project.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

article: Sentencing set for parking meter pilferer

[originally published in Oak Leaf News May 1, 2014]

Former campus cop Jeffrey Holzworth faces sentencing May 29 for stealing $286,000 from parking meters at Santa Rosa Junior College.
The 28-year veteran SRJC District Police officer accepted a plea deal at his April 2 preliminary hearing; in exchange for a possible maximum four years in prison, Holzworth pleaded guilty to 11 charges of receiving stolen property and one charge of grand theft embezzlement, enhanced for an amount over $150,000.
Holzworth held sole unsupervised responsibility to collect to money from campus parking machines.
Holzworth’s wife Karen continues to trial facing two counts of receiving stolen property and one count of acting as an accessory.
Bank records show both Holzworths regularly made deposit-withdrawals of large amounts of quarters and $1 and $5 bills in exchange for larger bills. Holzworth told bank employees he owned a vending machine company to explain his frequent exchanges of large amounts of small bills.
Money collected from SRJC parking machines increased from $215,805 the year before Holzworth’s arrest up to $428,554 the following year. “Almost exactly double,” said Student Trustee Robert Edmonds. “Almost like he was taking 50 percent and leaving 50 percent. As far as I know, enrollment hasn’t changed significantly in that time, not by a margin of two-to-one.”
SRJC will pay Holzworth’s pension since he retired one day before a law took effect to punish public employees convicted of on-the-job felonies. “It is morally reprehensible that he would receive his pension,” Edmonds said. “The District should seek some legal remedy to avoid paying. The District is considering raising parking fees for students and the fact Holzworth was allowed to steal student funds for so many years should be considered in any decision to raise parking fees for students.”
Holzworth graduated from SRJC’s police academy and spent two years as a student cadet before joining SRJC’s brand-new police force in 1984.
SRJC District Police Chief Matthew McCaffrey said he will attend Holzworth’s sentencing hearing. McCaffrey called Santa Rosa Police detectives Nov. 1, 2012, less than a month after assuming command, after Holzworth’s coworkers found stacks of cash in his duffle bag and his truck’s center console. SRPD detectives found $13,759.67 in quarters and $1 and $5 bills in Holzworth’s house, vehicles and work locker.
Holzworth’s sentencing hearing at 9 a.m. May 29 in courtroom 2 at Sonoma County Superior Court is open to the public.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

article: 420 reasons to Legalize

[originally published in Oak Leaf News April 14, 2014]
by Erik Jorgensen, Oak Leaf News Cannabis Correspondent

2013 Emerald Cup display at Sonoma County Fairgrounds
Writing about marijuana in a college newspaper is too passé to be cliché. Here in northern California it’s not news to write about medical marijuana dispensaries; Oak Leaf’s advertisers say it all.
Then a couple weeks ago State Senator Leland Yee got arrested on corruption charges for influencing marijuana legislation, among other things, which opened a can of worms. I’m not just pro-Legalization of cannabis; I’m anti- prohibitionist politician-parodies and privately-prison profiteers.
Yee took bribes to pass a reeferendum requiring a token on-site doctor at medical marijuana dispensaries, weeding out competition from smaller mom-and-pot shops. FBI narcs approached Yee posing as budding ganjapreneurs from Arizona with high hopes of growing into “the ‘Anheuser-Busch’ of medical marijuana” in California. Yee accepted about $20,00 into his Secretary of State campaign fund, telling undercover agents he could help with ballot initiatives in that role.
Now the smoke has cleared, Yee’s prohibitionism smells as dubious as a bag of catnip. When Yee legislated against firearms but got caught brokering a $2.5 million arms deal between FBI agents and terrorist groups, he profiteered from the same black market he legislated to maintain. Yee’s both-guns-blazing buzzkill against violent videogames would’ve created a demand for pirated videogames, but he has undermined his own motives.
If you have ever listened to an herbophile talk, eventually you’ll hear their paranoid delusion of a corporate conspiracy against cannabis by big businesses. Cannabis is the Latin name for plants like hemp, higher in useful fiber, and marijuana, with higher levels of active ingredient THC. Marijuana, they’ll say, is collateral damage in the War on Hemp waged by lobbyists for petroleum companies, pharmaceuticals, alcohol, tobacco, cotton, the private prison industry and I forget what else. You might wonder what they’ve been smoking until Yee disproved their paranoia by providing proof of a plot.
Even worse, his “reverse-Robin Hood” sold out boot-strappy Californians for such a small contribution into his campaign fund. Not only is Yee corrupt, he doesn’t understand the value of a buck. I’m not sure which is worse.
2013 Emerald Cup entree #222.
Alcohol Prohibition did little but organize crime and corrupt police and politicians. The 21st Amendment generated tax revenue and created jobs. Last year Sonoma County’s wineries makers corked $1.2 billion while craft breweries bottled up another $123 million. Local marijuana growers trim their money trees by the sackful – but the federal government won’t let them pay taxes on it.
Marijuana is classified by the Food and Drug Administration as a Schedule 1 substance with zero medical value. The FDA only approves research intended to prove marijuana’s harmfulness. Cherry-picked scientific “methodology” is worse than worthless; it is misleading government propaganda.
The White House is eager to move America forward into the 18th century, when George Washington and our founding fathers grew hemp. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said at an April 4, 2013 congressional budget hearing. “We’d be more than glad to work with Congress if there is a desire to look at and reexamine how the drug is scheduled,”
2013 Emerald Cup entrees.
Colorado and Washington both puff-puff passed full legalization of recreational marijuana this year. Just last week Maryland decriminalized marijuana possession of 10 grams or less – barely enough for a joint, but a clear sign of marijuana’s increasingly lower legal priority among courts, police and the general public.
Twenty-one states now allow medical marijuana. Utah became the newest by passing “Charlee’s Law” March 13, 2014, named after the 6-year-old girl who died two days later. The new law allows concentrated CBD oil to be imported from Colorado to relieve severe epileptic seizures in children. While it doesn’t allow local cultivation, it’s a baby step in the right direction. Next thing you know, Utah will legalize dancing.
Mormon president Brigham Young had Utah pioneers growing hemp around Salt Lake City by 1853. The High Priest wrote in his Journal of Discourses that Utah was perfect for growing hemp, “It is better for each of us to raise about ten acres of wheat, and then devote the rest of our time to flax and hemp.” I guess that makes him the Johnny Appleseed of cannabis in Utah.

While I don’t usually agree with Mormon doctrine, Genesis 1:29 tells us, “God said, ‘Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed which is upon the face of all the earth.” If a Creator intelligently designed cannabis, what does that reveal about Prohibitionists like Yee?

article: GUILTY: Holzworth accept plea deal

[originally published in Oak Leaf News April 14, 2014]
by Erik Jorgensen, Courtroom Correspondent

Jeffrey and Karen Holzworth's  Feb. 20, 2013 arraignment.
Former campus cop Jeffrey Holzworth pleaded guilty to all charges of stealing $286,000 from Santa Rosa Junior College parking funds before his April 2, 2014 preliminary hearing. Holzworth accepted a plea deal for all 11 charges of receiving stolen property and one charge of grand theft by embezzlement, in exchange for a maximum four years in prison.
Judge Jamie Thistlethwaite accepted Holzworth’s plea deal, then continued the preliminary hearing for Holzworth’s wife Karen, facing charges of receiving stolen property and acting as an accessory.
The former 28-year veteran SRJC District Police held sole responsibility, without oversight, of collecting money from parking permit machines at all SRJC campuses. Prosecutors had bank records going back to 2005 of Holzworth’s suspicious cash deposit.
SRJC president Dr. Frank Chong said, “We have learned from this experience and have put safeguards in place to prevent this from occurring again.” Chong said Doug Roberts VP of finance and business services, obtained fraud insurance and SRJC has been reimbursed for the documented loss.
Co-worker Sgt. Stephen Potter observed bundled bills in the center console of Holzworth’s private vehicle and told his superiors. New SRJC District Police Chief Matthew McCaffrey contacted to Santa Rosa Police detective Mark Azzouni, who obtained two search warrants issued to Azzouni on Nov. 13, 2012 to place GPS trackers on Holzworth’s vehicles and check his credit report. Azzouni wrote in his affidavit, “It is my belief that Holzworth was removing monies from the parking permit machines and erasing the machines’ memory with [his] laptop computer,”
Before Holzworth’s April 2 preliminary hearing began, prosecution and defense attorneys conferred in Thistlethwaite’s chambers. At 10:36 a.m. Holzworth pleaded guilty to all felony charges, in exchange for a possible maximum sentence of four years in prison.
Passalacqua said outside the courtroom he will argue for probation. Holzworth has no prior criminal history, took full responsibility for a non-violent offense and “a contributing member to society and SRJC for some 28 years, until this last unfortunate financial situation came up.”
The preliminary hearing against Karen Holzworth continued without a break after Holzworth’s plea deal. Azzouni testified detectives found cash stashed “in all parts of the house;” in the kitchen, bedroom, garage, attic and crawlspace.
Records from two banks going back to 2005 showed both Holzworths regularly made deposit-withdrawals of large amounts of small bills exchanged for larger bills.
After a two-hour recess, Azzouni testified about 22 recorded jailhouse phone calls between the Holzworths and played. In one recording, “You told me to stop doing it, I didn’t listen. It’s all on me,” Holzworth said.
“Yes, but I knew about it so doesn’t that make it on me, too?” Karen said.
Boisseau said the recorded calls only showed Karen knew Holzworth stole from his job. “The prosecution’s case is built on a house of sand. They need more [proof] than just knowledge and participation.” Boisseau said the spouses had not been getting along for years except for living in the same house, and Holzworth had affairs with co-workers and went “to hookers.”
Thistlethwaite ruled Karen deposited cash with knowledge Holzworth “stole hand over fist from SRJC.” Karen continues to trial for one count of acting as an accessory, but Thistlethwaite dropped one of Karen’s three felony charges of receiving stolen property and reduced one to a misdemeanor.
The next step in Karen’s trial is a filing of information hearing 9 a.m. April 14.
Holzworth’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. May 29 in courtroom 2.

“I’m hoping we can put this terrible episode at the college behind us,” Chong said.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

article: Holzworth pleads guilty to parking meter thefts

(originally published in Oak Leaf News April 2, 2014)

Jeffrey Holzworth pleaded guilty to all charges at his April 2 preliminary hearing in a plea deal with a four-year maximum sentence for embezzling almost $300,000 from Santa Rosa Junior College parking meters. Holzworth accepted full responsibility for 11 counts of receiving stolen property and one count of embezzlement but the preliminary hearing continues for his wife Karen, still facing three charges of receiving stolen property and one charge of acting as an accessory.
Holzworth did not comment after the hearing. His sentencing is scheduled for May 29. Prosecutors want prison time for Holzworth but his attorney Joe Passalacqua plans to ask for probation.
Outside the courtroom Passalacqua said, “He’s taken full responsibility since the beginning, only The People are pursuing his wife who had nothing to do with it. That’s why the case didn’t resolve sooner.” Holzworth’s enhanced felony charges make him ineligible for probation. Passalacqua said the “presumptive preclusion” against probation could be overturned under unusual circumstances. “He’s 53 years old with no prior record,” Passalacqua said. “He’s been a contributing member of the SRJC community for 28 years, until this last unfortunate situation.”
Holzworth was SRJC’s May 2005 Employee of the Month and held sole responsibility, without oversight, of collecting money from SRJC’s parking meters and computerized parking permit machines. Prosecutors claim the 28-year SRJC District Police veteran embezzled nearly $300,000 since 2005, and enhanced grand theft charges against Holzworth for an amount over $150,000.
Santa Rosa Police detective Mark Azzouni served his search warrant on Holzworth’s personal and police vehicles, his work space and his house on Nov. 28, 2012. Detectives discovered several caches of coins and small bills totaling $14,259, including $2,622 in Holzworth’s personal possession when arrested. Azzouni testified at the April 2 preliminary hearing that detectives found cash and coins in “throughout the house,” in bedrooms, the garage and the kitchen.
            Azzouni described at the preliminary hearing how he reviewed bank accounts in the Holzworth’s names. Transaction records showed several cash deposits of large amounts of $1 and $5 bills accompanied by a withdrawal of the same amount in larger bills. Azzouni examined his notes to relate the number of such transactions each year going back to 2005, including 37 exchanges in 2012 alone.
The preliminary hearing against Karen Holzworth continued at 2:33 p.m. for three charges of receiving stolen property and one charge of acting as an accessory.
Azzouni testified about jailhouse recordings of 22 conversations between Holzworth and his wife. Two recorded conversations were played in the courtroom.
Holzworth said, “You told me to stop doing it; I didn’t listen. It’s all on me.”
Karen said, “Yes, but I knew about it so doesn’t that make it on me, too?”
Holzworth said they had been snowballing financially, and that he had been “trying to keep us afloat the last four or five years.”
Outside the courtroom Azzouni could not comment on the specific locations of any of the stashed cash his search warrant discovered. When the preliminary hearing continued, Azzouni testified detectives discovered coins and cash in several locations in the Holzworth’s kitchen, bedroom, garage, attic and crawlspace.
Judge Jamie Thistlethwaite found enough evidence to continue the trial against Karen Holzworth, but dropped one felony charge and reduced another to a misdemeanor. Karen will go to trial for one felony count of receiving stolen property, one misdemeanor count of receiving stolen property and one count of acting as an accessory.
The next step in Karen Holzworth’s trial is a filing of information hearing at 9 a.m. April 14.