Los Angeles Times Reports Eureka is Birthplace of California's  (Racist) Housing Crisis

"Article 34, which remains in effect, requires voter approval before public housing is built in a community. At the time it passed, the real estate industry argued taxpayers should have a right to vote on low-income housing projects because they were publicly funded infrastructure similar to schools or roads. The campaign also appealed to racist fears about integrating neighborhoods and featured heated rhetoric about the need to combat socialism." 

On February 3, 2019, the LA Times reported, Article 34 grew out of a fight in the northern coastal city of Eureka in 1950. Residents there collected signatures to overturn a decision to build public housing financed by a federal program inaugurated during the New Deal. Eureka unfortunately remains racially, and demographically divided. Nonwhite residents under 50 years-old consistently report being excluded from participating in Eureka events. Eureka received national attention because a local "progressive" group was excluding nonwhites, whether intentional or not.

We receive complaints younger people are also being excluded while other young people appear to have cult like allegiance to these groups. Calling themselves environmentalists some groups have joined forces with slumlords in Eureka to prevent any low-income housing from being developed. Eureka's politicians are often backed by the same lawyers and bankers each election. Rumors are circulating local grants are being channeled to benefit national political parties while Eureka falls into disrepair.

February 3, 2019

Fred Fletcher 

California Proposes Reducing Cannabis Taxes to Fight Illicit Market 

Assembly Bill 286, dubbed the Temporary Cannabis Tax Reduction bill, would temporarily cut state excise taxes for legal marijuana retailers from 15 percent to 11 percent and also suspend cultivation taxes altogether through 2022.  The proposed legislation, which is sponsored by state Treasurer Fiona Ma.  “The whole aim of legalization is to compete with the illicit market and to get people to buy from the regulated establishments,” he said. “You can’t do that if the taxes are so high and onerous that people are driven out of that market.”

This is at odds with the taxing scheme in Humboldt were the black market is estimated to be 1,500% larger than the white market.  Yesterday, the Court refused to dismiss the Measure S lawsuit attorney Eugene Denson and I filed. The lawsuit seeks to return the tax to a crop tax as approved by the voters. The suit challenges the constitutionality of an amendment our county supervisors made to impose the tax whether or not plants are grown. 

Fred Fletcher

January 29, 2019

Human Rights Update

Judge, Haywood S. Gilliam Jr. of the US District Court in Oakland, on Sunday granted a request by more than a dozen states to temporarily block the Trump administration from putting into effect new rules that would make it easier for employers to deny women health insurance coverage for contraceptives. 

Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

New Laws in California for 2019

Farm Employee Overtime

In 2016, California became the first state in the U.S. to require employers to pay overtime for farmworkers who work more than eight hours. The first phase of the new rules will begin in January, when agricultural employees will earn overtime after working 9 1/2 hours in a day or 55 hours in a week. Currently, California farmworkers can get overtime after working 60 hours in a week or 10 hours in a day.  The change only applies to businesses that employ at least 26 people. The rules do not apply to smaller agricultural employers until 2022. Discloser, our office consults with agricultural employers on compliance matters and we represent employees on wage and labor claims. Aside from wage and hour claims, sexual harassment and discrimination are constant concerns on the farm. 

Street Vendor Permits

A law going into effect in January will allow local governments to design permit programs for vendors and limits when they can be criminally prosecuted. It pertains to anyone selling food or other merchandise from a pushcart, stand or “non-motorized conveyance.” I anticipate the City of Eureka will embrace this new law and its economic benefits. I predict the County will ignore this law until the County is forced to follow it by a judge.  

Home Kitchen Businesses

A new law encourages Counties (like Humboldt) to permit home kitchens for the purpose of selling food products. California Assembly member Eduardo Garcia, who authored the bill, says that homemade food sales are a vital part of self-reliant communities. “Legitimizing these home businesses will offer a means of economic empowerment and pathways for many to achieve the ‘American dream,’” Garcia said when the bill was signed. Humboldt historically resists new opportunities which provide residents access to residual income. Perhaps after the County Supervisors election in 2020 progress will be made on this front.  

Fred Fletcher

January 17, 2019

The Measure S Lawsuit

Measure S is the cannabis cultivation tax the voters passed. We are challenging the County Supervisor's decision to amend Measure S as passed by the voters. The Supervisors amended the tax to apply to the property owner, not the farmer, and regardless of whether any crop is grown.  

Yesterday, we filed our response to the County's demurrer to the Measure S lawsuit. (Set to be heard January 28, 2019.) The County hired a large Sacramento Firm (founded the year I was born) to defend the lawsuit. They argue it's impossible to tax farmers for the actual crop grown because the County can't verify how much was grown. We informed the Court, governments since the beginning of governments have taxed farmers for crops actually grown, and we cited the Book of Genesis as our evidence.  

The amendments by the Supervisors have been misreported. The Supervisors amended Measure S to tax the permitted area regardless of the amount of crop grown.  As such, the supervisors have amended the tax to be assessed against fallow land, without regard to crop grown. We provided the Court authority that Measure S as amended is a property tax and is unconstitutional. We ask the Court to return Measure S to its original state which acted as an excise tax on legal crop actually grown. 

We will update this one. 

Fred Fletcher

January 15, 2019

County Supervisor's Can't Silence Critics, including Humboldt's Supervisors. 

In a 3-0 decision, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Phyllis Randall, chair of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, violated the First Amendment free speech rights of Brian Davison by banning him for 12 hours from her “Chair Phyllis J. Randall” facebook page.

Last election my office received a few complaints from citizens who were censored for making comments critical of politicians, on the left and right (somehow our local politics are becoming politically polarized). Now these citizens may have recourse. This First Amendment decision could impact local elections nationwide by allowing the public to be heard.    

Fred Fletcher

January 8, 2019

Update on Nation v Trump filed in the 9th Circuit

This lawsuit challenges HUD's rule which forces subsidized apartments to evict medical cannabis users. Plaintiff was evicted from her HUD apartment on July 10, 2018 when a maintenance man discovered some medical cannabis in her bedroom. She remains homeless and is not alone.

The lawsuit not only challenges HUD's rule but relies upon Murphy v NCAA (decided May 2018) to challenge the constitutionality of the Controlled Substance Act itself relative to medical marijuana in the State of California. The Supreme Court in Murphy v NCAA resurrected from near death the anti-commandeering doctrine, which in laymen's terms means the Congress cannot make orders directly to the States. 

We are optimistic this lawsuit will prevail. If the District Court issues an order in our favor appealing the decision would pose a political pitfall for the Trump administration. 

I will update this one.

January 3, 2019

Fred Fletcher 

Update on Volkswagen Diesel Fraud Case

We filed an action in Butte County on May 17, 2018 with the intent of having a jury decide punitive damages. We would be the first party to bring the defeat device case to jury trial.  Peer reviewed studies proved thousands of people with lung diseases died from the fraud.  


California cabernet sauvignon new releases

Posted by Lacy Fletcher on Wednesday, April 27, 2016

This list was published in the Wine Guy section of Gazette Colorado Springs

Top values

With these wines, expect quality at an attractive price:

- 2013 Rodney Strong Alexander Valley ($28). This is a perennial value with admirable complexity and refined tannins, enabling it to entice drinkers into early consumption but also tempt them to wait a few years and see how it develops.

- 2012 Murphy Goode Alexander Valley ($26). This 100 percent cab wine shows lush, soft fruit and texture with a balancing touch of oak.

- 2012 Dry Creek Vineyard Dry Creek Valley ($25). From Hillside and Benchland vineyards, with dollops of petit verdot, malbec, merlot and cabernet franc, it's inviting right now but will improve for several years.

- 2012 Pedroncelli Block 007 ($25). Estate-grown 100 percent Dry Creek Valley cab delivers pleasant, tart red fruits offset with light herb and oak notes.

- 2013 Educated Guess Napa Valley ($20). Delightfully flavorful and approachable, it has lots of character and appeal for the money.

- 2012 Old Soul Lodi ($14). Surprisingly bold, spicy and assertive with just enough character for the grill.

Sweet spot of quality/value

More money spent on these wines is rewarded with high quality:

- 2012 Freemark Abbey Napa Valley ($50). This is a fabulous tribute to the craft of blending. It's only 75 percent cabernet with 17 percent merlot and drips of cabernet franc, petite verdot and malbec from five vineyards. Quintessentially Napa.

- 2012 Murphy-Goode Terra a Lago ($40). From a vineyard in the foothills of the Mayacamas Range, this 100 percent cab offers good complexity and structure with admirable ripeness.

- 2012 Clos du Val Napa Valley ($38). Known for exhibiting a French touch with Napa fruit, this meets expectations by balancing solid structure with a bright core of fruit.

- 2012 Jackson Estate Alexander Valley ($36). A fine example of Sonoma cab (with small percentages of merlot, malbec, cabernet franc and petit verdot), its higher-elevation fruit yields an intense yet balanced wine with enticing complexity.

- 2012 J. Lohr Hilltop ($35). A perennial favorite from Paso Robles, its lush red fruit melds nicely with savory notes.


These wines are for those special times when a special bottle is desired:

- 2012 Miner Stagecoach Vineyard ($75). From a highly regarded vineyard in the eastern hills of Atlas Peak in southern Napa Valley, this high-elevation fruit impresses with earthy character and firm structure.

- 2012 Duckhorn Napa Valley ($72). This company that made its name with merlot also produces top-quality cabernet sauvignon (and sauvignon blanc, pinot noir, chardonnay and blends). This one is typically highly structured and expected to be long lived.

- 2012 Cakebread Napa Valley ($65). Exemplary Napa cabernet with loads of fruit buttressed with solid structure; it will reward years of patience.

- 2013 Chappellet Signature"($60). Classic mountain-grown cab, including fruit from Chappellet's renowned Pritchard Hill, delivers on its reputation for power amid grace.

- 2012 Jackson Estate Hawkeye ($55). Another fine Kendall-Jackson high-elevation Alexander Valley wine that is deeply fruited, highly structured and lusciously textured.

- 2012 Jordan Alexander Valley ($55). Bordeaux is the model for this perennial restaurant favorite. The new vintage reveals more intensity than usual but is still expectedly seductive.

Tags: merlot  cabernet  verdot  malbec  napa  california wine  california cabernet 


Nothing in this blog should be construed as legal advice. "Civil solutions for a sustainable community" and the logo at the top of this web-page is an advertisement for Fletcher Law Offices.