Ron The Cop

A lie told often enough becomes the truth.

October 6th, 2011

BREAKING – Zehm/Ofc Thomson case to start the 12th in Yakima with video feed to Spokane Fed Courtroom

Spokane, WA  10-06-11 –

Federal CRV Trial against SPD Officer Thompson  et al

Zehm/Officer Thompson trial to begin in Yakima on Wed Oct 12th at 9AM.  Video link from Yakima to be fed to open courtroom in federal district court in Spokane for any that wish to watch live feed.  Here’s some of the docs filed in court yesterday.  Additional docs filed this morning I don’t have from US Attorney’s Office.

From my FB feed from the courtroom.  Sorry for the fat finger errors from my smart phone:

Ron T. Cop

Live from federal court on motion to reconsider on Zehm case. Standby for updates. . .

To Liberty Command Ctr followers.

· · See Friendship · 50 minutes ago · Privacy:

    • Rick Rydell Kxly We will broadcast in realtime as the decision is released, Thanks Ron! 42 minutes ago ·
    • Ron T. Cop Judge inclined to send video feed to courtroom in Spokane frm Yakima in opening remarks. Now hearing from attys. CFJ now addressing on behalf of Zehm fam per victim rights law.29 minutes ago ·
    • Ron T. Cop Also tech not change of venue but relocating within this fed district. 27 minutes ago ·
    • Ron T. Cop atty for Ofc Thompson now speaking. Satisfied with video feed. Only want a couple days for logistics to move. 23 minutes ago ·
    • Ron T. Cop US ATTY ready to proceed on tues request to deny continuance deny. 22 minutes ago ·
    • Ron T. Cop Judge now speaking. Says court staff need time too. Will begin on weds with pretrial and preceed with jury selection. Court adjourned.17 minutes ago ·
    • Rick Rydell Kxly Thanks for the realtime reporting Ron!13 minutes ago ·
September 20th, 2011

Hello Spokane – Are you listening? Otto Zehm is only the tip of the iceberg of what is rotten at the core of Spokane


Hello Spokane – Are you listening?

A must read by all citizens of Spokane – Otto Zehm is only the tip of the iceberg of what is rotten at the core of Spokane. Tim Connor of the Center for Justice as usual knocks this one at of the park.

Award winning investigative reporter Tim Connor and is the former reporting partner of Larry Shook ( The Zehm case is symptomatic of the much deeper cancer that must be excised from Spokane. Organized crime can’t be tolerated it must be destroyed. It corrodes those we put in positions of authority to govern.

WE THE PEOPLE – An American Spring

Bamonte’s BroadsidePublished on September 19, 2011

Spokane’s most famous cop is a living reminder of the city’s penchant for denial, cover-up and self-delusion. In the deepening vortex of the Otto Zehm case, he’s now taking aim at Spokane’s top leaders. . .

Center for Justice –


Read Tim Connor’s article on the City’s disingenuous FAQs that the US Attorney’s Office slammed as patently false, Shawn Vestal’s column, KREM 2’s attempt to get a statement from Mayor Verner, and Mayor Verner on the  KXLY’s morning radio show:

Patently False

Published on September 28, 2011


In the war of words between the City and the Justice Department, an Assistant U.S. Attorney alleges Mayor Verner misled the press and the public in a September 9th media release.

UPDATE, October 1st: The City is now acknowledging that there was no meeting with the Justice Department as it had previously reported. . .

Shawn Vestal’s column:

October 1, 2011 in City

Shawn Vestal: Zehm case demands city’s focus

KREM2 TV’s coverage:

Mayor: “No comment” on claim of “false statements” in Zehm case

City responds in Zehm case, now says FAQ sheet “was not perfect”  

KXLY’s sound bite from Mayor Verner on their morning show this morning 10-03-11:

We spoke to Mayor Verner about the Otto Zehm case


Rick Rydell has made the Zehm case a priority on his morning talk show on KXLY 920AM (Spokane, WA – Livestream –

I just sent this around to our local rip/read media.  Kudos to KREM and KXLY for actually doing journeyman’s work beyond what the S-R has reported already –

I wouldn’t let the Mayor Verner off so quickly.  The Mayor still hasn’t answered Asst. US Atty Tim Durkin’s blast on the FAQs about a “court” finding no impropriety on the part of the City/City Attorney.  This has gone unanswered.  That’s because they can’t.  NO COURT has ruled on this.

I’m sure you’ve heard the Mayor on KXLY yesterday morning.  How can you reconcile her saying she doesn’t know any more about this case than a regular citizen.  This is totally disingenuous.

We spoke to Mayor Verner about the Otto Zehm case

And of course here is her statement from 2009:

S-R source  here

• March 1, 2009: Mayor Mary Verner and Chief Kirkpatrick publicly declare their support for Officer Thompson. “I’ve looked into the details surrounding this incident,” Verner says in an interview with The Spokesman-Review, “and I just don’t think the behavior of the officer rose to a criminal behavior.” Says Kirkpatrick: Thompson “has my unequivocal support. Based on all the information and evidence I have reviewed, I have determined that Officer Karl Thompson acted consistent with the law.”

And the actual S-R story:



From the when you thought that things couldn’t get worse, it just hit the fan –

If Mayor Verner had any spine she would immediately fire Chief Kirkpatrick, Asst. Chief Nicks, City Attorney Delaney and his able assistant Roco Treppiedi

Further the Mayor should call upon the Spokane County Commissioners to have all OIS/OIDs in Spokane County be reviewed by an inquest panel, presided over by a superior court judge in front of a jury pulled from the jury pull under the rule of law and evidence.  This can occur after the OIS/OID criminal investigations is handed off to the County Prosecutor to review.  The panel’s finding would not be binding on the Prosecutor in his/her opinion to file criminal charges or not.  This would bring transparency to these OIS/OIDs where the evidence/testimony can be vetted in the open where it can be challenged on cross-examination.

Spokane police detective alleges witness tampering

A Spokane police detective has filed a formal complaint asking the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office to investigate allegations that Chief Anne Kirkpatrick and city attorneys have engaged in felony witness tampering.

Detective Jay Mehring filed the complaint with the sheriff’s office Sunday, alleging that the city refused to renew a contract with the department’s longtime psychologist after she gave an opinion favorable to Mehring as part of his $3.5 million civil suit against the city. That suit alleges he was wrongfully terminated in 2007 amid reports that he threatened to harm his wife. . .

September 9th, 2011

Mayor Verner kicks the Otto Zehm death cover up down the road again


I attended this press conference this morning in front of the side entrance to the City Hall.  The Mayor delivered her prepared speech expressing sympathy to the Otto Zehm family and acknowledging the citizens have a right to transparency in this investigation.  The Mayor said their hands were tied until after the federal criminal case concludes.  The Mayor and Council will then appoint an commission that will both internally and thoroughly investigate this incident. The Mayor would not take any questions. KHQ has the Mayor’s speech and press handout she gave to the media.

Please forgive me if I thought the the Mayor’s words were disingenuous.  There has been an active cover up of Zehm’s death since the night of the incident that has been condoned and aided and abetted by high level police officials including the City Attorney’s Office and the Office of the Mayor.  Please see my previous post of what is the most practical means of doing this investigation that will not cost the City a nickel:

Mayor, City Attorney and Police Chief now implicated in Zehm death cover up (Spokane, WA)

Councilman Bob Apple was obviously steamed as he did not receive the notification of this press conference that was sent to the media at about 8:30 PM last evening.  Councilman Apple to his credit took questions from the media and dropped several bombshells.  As quoted by the S-R in its preliminary article:

But after the mayor’s briefing, City Councilman Bob Apple addressed reporters with harsh words for the city and police. Apple, who said he wasn’t notified of the mayor’s briefing, said the federal trial of Thompson will be “an indictment” on the city’s policies and procedures.

Mr. Apple when asked agreed it would be appropriate for the US Attorney’s Office to expand it’s criminal investigation.  Mr. Apple said the City was attempting to cover up the Zehm case.  Mr. Apple when asked about Asst. City Attorney Rocky Treppiedi’s action in this case would not give a specific statement but it was obvious Apple’s contempt for Treppiedi.  Mr. Apple confirmed he had personal knowledge that emails to him from constituents have been intercepted, delayed, filtered or never delivered.  Mr. Apple said he’s complained about this to no avail on numerous occasions.

From previous reporting by the S-R the Mayor, the Council President and the City Attorney are claiming plausible denial of receiving an email from the US Attorney’s Office requesting an urgent meeting to discuss the Zehm case.

I provided this backgrounder giving context to this important aspect of this case the media regarding the filtering of emails from City elected and appointed officials.  Decide if the Mayor, the Council President and the City Attorney are telling the truth?  At the very least they should not be involved in the process of reviewing this case because in my opinion they were complicit and or abetted and abetted the cover up that was an obstruction of justice in the current federal criminal case:

To All Media Members:

First I have to commend S-R reporters Brunt, Clouse, Vestal and columnist Clark’s willingness to dig on this cover up and excellent reporting.  While the actual incident raises cause for concern the ensuing cover up by high governmental officials both elected and appointed are of grave concern to the citizens of Spokane e.g. many similarities to Nixon’s Watergate.

I promised some of the reporters in attendance to provide background re Mr. Apple’s response to my question re the delivery of email messages to elected representatives.  I alerted Jonathan Brunt to this earlier in the week.  It’s only fair that I give you the additional information re the interception, filtering and delaying of emails to elected representatives by order of City Attorney Howard Delaney under the guise of protecting against spam and DNS attacks.

During my inquiries into the Creach OIS I discovered my emails were being blocked.  I filed a PDR to determine how this was occurring and received this letter from City Attorney Howard Delaney (attached)  In short by direction of Delaney emails from certain individuals are filtered before they are delivered to their intended recipients.  Both former Sheriff Bamonte and I were building a paper trail of Chief Kirkpatrick’s malfeasance in office.  By holding these emails in abeyance the Chief can claim plausible denial.  The Chief Kirkpatrick accused me of libel in that I accused her of having my emails blocked.  She denied this however admitted she did have IT Director Grave Brakel to block Larry Shook’s emails (Shook an award winning investigator reporter).

Up until that time I didn’t realize my emails were being blocked much earlier in the year by Delaney when I was investigating the misuse of the professional title “CPA” on the City’s website by CFO Gavin Cooley   I believe Delaney acted to prevent Cooley from responding and making incriminating statements to me.  Read my previous post on this The City’s IT Director is the focal point of this email filtering.  I have a very reliable source that Brakel admitted he has destroyed emails in the past under the guise of computer storage issues. If anyone would like the technical forensic nuances on how this was done please give me a call.

See my attached email to City Clerk Terry Pfister putting her on notice regarding this practice after I filed a PDR to determine why my emails were being blocked.  Also see my email (below) to Mayor Verner & City Council regarding this practice that I sent to OPO Tim Burns re my ongoing complaints against Chief Kirkpatrick.

I alerted the US Attorney’s Office to this email filtering last week after reading Brunt’s latest article involving the Mayor, the Council President and the City Attorney not receiving the US Attorney’s Office email requesting an urgent meeting.  I believe once the City failed to respond the US Attorney filed its proffer in federal court where it laid out its case of a cover up n April of 2006 regarding their very serious concerns of serious unethical practices by Asst. City Attorney Rocky Treppiedi and the serious legal counsel conflicts of interest issues re representation of the involved officers.  The US Attorney was acting to protect their criminal case from reversible errors on appeal. Such interception of emails before they reach the intended recipients is tantamount to a violation of the Federal Wire Tap and Electronic Communications Act.  This scheme gives these public officials the defense of plausible denial.

I don’t know if any in the media have filed PDRs for these emails.  I’m guessing the City Attorney will raise issues of privilege were none exist.  If PDRs are filed I would specifically request the meta data headers of these emails.  These are public record as ruled by the WA Supreme Court in Oneill v. City of Shoreline late last year.  I would refer this info to your 1st Amendment counsel to pry this info loose from the Spokane City Attorney.

For background on why the best solution to this problem of an active cover up and culture within SPD would be to request the US Attorney’s Office expand its current criminal investigation using its federal grand jury and also to request a US DOJ pattern and practice investigation of SPD see my post:

Mayor, City Attorney and Police Chief now implicated in Zehm death cover up (Spokane, WA)

I would also direct you to Tim Connor’s excellent report where the City appears to have tanked their case with PERC on  the Ombudsman ordinance:

Down in Flames

Published on September 8, 2011

In a scorching letter, a state labor relations official not only rejects the City’s challenge to an arbitrator’s July 11th ruling on Spokane’s police ombudsman, but questions whether the City sought arbitration in good faith.

[Attachments – Email to City Clerk Terry Pfister re email blockage, Email from Asst. City Attorney Pat Dalton and letter from City Attorney Howard Delaney ]

Email to Mayor Verner, City Council and OPO Tim Burns

Tim Burns SPD OPO
City of Spokane

Re:  Previous complaints by Sheriff Bamonte and me re alleged malfeasance in office by Chief Kirkpatrick

Dear Mr. Burns:

Please either consider this a new official complaint or because it could be considered related to Sheriff Bamonte’s and my earlier complaints please consider this a supplementary complaint.  Also this may be related to the complaint that the Creach family has already initiated on the Creach OIS investigation.


Det. Ron Wright (Retired)

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Ron Wright <>
Date: Thu, Dec 16, 2010 at 2:29 PM
Subject: Mayor Verner – Complaint re email blockage by Spokane PD
To: “Verner, Mary” <>
Cc:, “Danek, Thomas” <>, “Pfister, Terri” <>, “Delaney, Howard” <>, “Dalton, Pat” <>, “Kirkpatrick, Anne” <>, “Giannetto, Theresa” <>

, “Quick, Jennifer” <>, “Burns, Tim O.” <>, “Stum, Jennifer” <>, “Knezovich, Ozzie” <>, “Emacio, James” <>, “ken. wade” <>,,, Larry Shook <>, Tony Bamonte <>, “Timothy J. Connor” <>, Breean Beggs <>,, Donna McKereghan <>, “Farnsworth, Laurie” <>

December 16, 2010

Mayor Verner and Councilmembers

Re:  Complaint re email blockage by Spokane PD

Dear Mayor and Councilmembers:

Please see the attached email I sent to City Clerk Terri Pfister re my emails from my being blocked as spam. I won’t go into specific detail here but I believe this was intentional and deliberate.  I don’t believe this was a benign automatic function of the City’s email firewall program.  From my research I believe this selective blocking of my email required a manual action within the City’s Baracuda firewall program at the administrative server level by the MIS Department .  Such an action normally would require someone with root level admin access/privileges to initiate such a software preference setting.

Asst. City Attorney Pat Dalton’s email regarding this issue is disingenuous at best (See attached). I filed my PDR directly with the City Clerk after confering with Ms. Pfister.  My PDR was routed to SPD to handle.  My emails to Ms. Quick were in reply to questions she posed in hard copy letters re my PDR.  I sent two emails, 11-26-10 and 12-07-10.  After not hearing from her I called her on 12-10-10 at which time the blockage of my emails was discovered.

I notified City Clerk Terri Pfister in my email it is her duty/responsibility to preserve the forensic computer records re this matter.  I further filed a PDR for this information to identify by terminal and operator code the person responsible for these actions.  This should reveal whether this was intentional or not.  I have knowledge of the previous action by Chief Kirkpatrick to block emails from Larry Shook.  Chief Kirkpatrick contacted Grav Brakel, the MIS director, to block Shook’s emails.  As I understand it, this block was global across all City’s email addresses.  This block was later rescinded or at least that’s what we thought after Mr. Shook lodge a complaint with Mr. Brakel.

I am assisting the Creach family in obtaining information relative to the Creach OIS investigation that was conducted by SPD pursuant to the critical incident protocol. It was during this research that I discovered my emails were selectively being blocked/filtered/quarantined to SPD internal IP/email addresses.  I have further learned that my messages to SPD addresses that were cc’d to other City addresses including Councilmembers were not received.  Only when my messages were unquarantined on Monday, did these messages go through to their intended recipients.

This is very chilling as I addressed in my email to Ms. Pfister. 
The effect is that the official record is being distorted, manipulated and or concealed from elected representatives and citizens.

As I wrote Ms. Quick earlier today:


Further I would expect no harm will come to Ms. Quick re her frankness in her emails to me as she was just doing her job as I would expect her to do.

I’m currently preparing a letter to the Mayor and City Council on this chilling revelation. 

For the record to all recipients of this email, both former Sheriff Bamonte and I have separate pending complaints with SPD OPO Tim Burns alleging malfeasance in office by Chief Kirkpatrick.  Sheriff Bamonte and I are both continuing to compile an evidenciary record to substantiate our complaints.  The interference/manipulation/quarantining of our emails could be construed as specific intent to alter the official record to conceal evidence of our charges.
Mayor Verner and Councilmembers I demand that an immediate investigation be launched re this matter to identify if this was simply a benign effect/artifact of the City’s firewall program or if it required a manual action.  If this was a manual action – by whom and who authorized it.  Because this potentially involves senior level MIS officials, this investigation be managed/conducted by an outside computer forensics expert.  I am officially requesting a copy of that report/findings. And lastly that my email address be unblocked.

Thank you in advance for your expeditious consideration and action in this matter.


Det. Ron Wright (Retired)

Note:  This email will be reformatted and sent as a hard copy letter by US certified mail.


Coverage of the news conference by the media:

KREM has the flavor of the Mayor’s new conference and Councilman Apple letting the cat out of the bag:

Council member throws wrench in Mayor’s news conference

KXLY’s report by Jeff Humphrey including a portion of Mr. Apple’s scathing remarks.

KHQ report and also raw video of the complete statement by Mayor Verner:

My photos of the news conference go here.


There is a newer version of S-R Clouse’s article on the Mayor’s news conference:

Mayor promises review of Zehm case

Councilman Bob Apple posted these comments on KXLY Rick Rydell’s FaceBook Page:

Our City has a long internal attitude of deciding to cover-up bad employee situations and rather than correcting the problem. The City staffers always claims, that due to liability potential constraints, labor contract restrictive language that the unbelievable direction set is to burry and even ignore, evidence and common sense policy violations. These situations are always handled by our highest levels of bureaucrats at City Hall who are always willing to shift fault and even crimes away from responsable people who should be made to answer for and clearly in hopes of, what really had gone on. Was told a few years ago that two detectives, ordered to recover camera and pictures (of accused rape scene of minor on City property and preformed by an on duty City employee) that they subseqently and intentionally destroyed the evidence and even admitted it so if those internal reports were ever released to the public, there would be a big public relations problem. Last week City Council was informed that two City employees (East Central Community Center) conspired to steal City funds and had to be fired with on going investigation however in this weeks news reports the employees were allowed to quit and that means pension benefits remain there’s as a parting gift and would like to know how much was stolen and what could possibly be the mitigating circumstances involving the theft? I am aware of other allegations of jobs contracted for by our city (Contract for cleaning and maintenance annually of old City Hall system heating and cooling air handler) though apparently found to have never been preformed however claimed to have been paid and that makes me ask who is really running, our Cities affairs and looking out for the taxpayer? Just some examples of hundreds of such situations. Our City is just about the only one left in the State that, will not provide from public Freedon of Information Act requests Police Internal Investigative Reports once complete and still refuses after the WA State Supreme Court recently ruled that, these documents are public. I’ve asked and never received by multiple requests for released to me, police internal shooting investigations and policies, never provided. Even asked for, the maintenance contract on old heat exchange system but not provided and that demonstrated to me the real problem at City Hall that needs to be changed with prejudice and to stop this mentality of cover-ups and sweeping City dirt, under the carpet!


Tim Connor of the CFJ a national award winning investigative reporter was also in attendance at this press conference and has this in depth analysis on Mayor Verner’s refusal to take questions and claim the City can’t act until the criminal case is resolved:

Mute the PressPublished on September 9, 2011

In a no questions allowed “media briefing,” Spokane Mayor Mary Verner proposes a future investigation as she tries to allay public criticism of her handling of the Otto Zehm controversy…

September 1st, 2011

Mayor, City Attorney and Police Chief now implicated in Zehm death cover up (Spokane, WA)

To All Good People of Spokane:

The wheels on this cover up of the Otto Zehm death at the hands of Spokane police leadership are flying off and now is running on its axles with sparks flying.  With the new reporting by the Bernstein & Woodward reporting by S-R reporters Jonathan Brunt, Tom Clouse, Shawn Vestal and columnist Doug Clark this tangled web of deceit is now being exposed in full daylight.  For those old enough to remember the Nixon Era Watergate Scandal this current scandal has ever indication of repeating history.

Read the S-R article comment threads of the latest articles on this breaking story of the Zehm cover up.  This cover up now appears to go all the way to the Office of the Mayor.  This cover up was either known by, sanctioned by and or at least tolerated by the Office of the Mayor, the City Attorney and the Police Command Staff of the Spokane Police Department.

It’s inconceivable that Mayor Mary Verner, City Attorney Howard Delaney ably assisted by Rocky Treppiedi and Chief Anne Kirkpatrick knew nothing of this active cover up after the US Attorney’s Office filed it’s brief in federal court on April 13, 2010.  What have they been doing for over the last year and a half?

The Otto Zehm case  was a wrongful death case. Mistakes were made.  SPD and City leadership should have quickly recognized, changes made, apologies offered and settlements quickly paid.  It would have been cheaper in the long run.  I’m growing very tired of paying expensive judgments and attorneys fees as a taxpayer for City leaders bungling and covering up these mistakes.  Those complicit will not have to pay out of their pockets unless the feds bring criminal sanctions against those complicit in this cover up.

I have a solution that I offered to City Council this past Monday night.  Council apparently wishes to remain in the dark, feeding on mushrooms and wringing it’s hands that it is powerless to act.  I’m sorry the Council has no cojones.  If our elected leaders who are incapable and or unwilling of fixing this very serious problem, WE THE CITIZENS must act to fix this problem.

As I commented in Brunt’s latest damning expose in today’s paper:

Our problem is not with the many fine good men and women of the police rank and file that protect us day in day out with the exception of the few that needed to be weeded out. Sorry to the astute readers here that already know my thoughts about this very serious problem we face.

Our problem is with the police leadership and our appointed and elected leaders that will do NOTHING to change the status quo and further those same leaders who were complicit in and or aided or abetted in the cover up of Otto Zehm’s death. I would encourage all Spokane citizens reading here to read the most recent S-R article comment threads on the Zehm death.

I have a solution and recommended it to our Council that chooses to remain in the dark and wring it hands that they have no authority. Sorry I will invoke the Palin invective cojones they have none. They did NOTHING and did not discuss it at their most recent meeting:

The Council by resolution request the assistance the US Attorney’s Office to expand it’s current criminal investigation using its federal grand jury power to include anyone who aided and abetted this cover up including the City Attorney’s Office and the Office of the Mayor for obstruction of justice (**).

I am in the process with others in preparing a letter to the US Attorney’s Office requesting that they take action as I outlined in my presentation to Council []. We will secure signatures of diverse community leaders and former public office holders. When this letter is finished and signed, it will be posted on the Net with an online petition. All citizens who are in agreement can sign the petition in support. Please watch for specifics on my web page

Please remember it is WE THE CITIZENS that empower those whom we choose to govern. We should not live in fear of our government and or our police.

As I concluded in my Council presentation with:

We the citizens of Spokane have a fundamental right to have an effective, accountable police department that controls crime, ensures respect for the Constitution, and enjoys the trust of the public it is charged with protecting. In the end it is we who are the police and the police are us.

What I didn’t include in this excerpt was what will be done with this letter:

At the appropriate time a press conference will be called in front of the Federal Courthouse in Downtown Spokane with those signing the letter. The letter and petition in support will be hand delivered to Michael Ormsby the US Attorney for the Eastern District of WA. Of course all will be invited to attend.

July 25th, 2011

Spokane Trolley System is akin to Nero’s playing the violin while Rome was burning!


[Note: one minor typo correction from the original]

Mayor Verner and City Council,

Re:  Proposed STA Downtown Electric Trolley (Proposed Council Resolution – RES 11-55)

Former Council member Cherie Rodgers was prescience when she warned of this grand design scheme several years ago!  This plan is now unfolding.  Please read Mr. X’s excellent analysis of what’s in play now regarding this trolley project.   This is another pie in the sky project destined to use OPM (Other people’s money) that will require huge public subsidies in the future.  In the end this will only benefit a select few in Downtown at great expense to the peons who live in this feudal fiefdom.  While Rome is burning the STA has the audacity to push this project!  The STA’s Transit Center project comes immediately to my mind as to their stewardship of the people’s money.

Spokane has much more pressing needs where this expense in staff time and money would be better spent than on this project. Read Mr. X’s previous posts on suggested public policy directives that will facilitate bringing REAL JOBS and diversify our economy  instead of continuing to pour concrete in Downtown that only brings marginal service sector jobs while increasing the property value of the elite.  Also be sure to read Mr. X’s shocking analysis of Spokane’s median wage.

See my comment below that the Spokane Police Department is closing its Crimes Against Property Investigation Unit due to lack of funding.  If we can’t fund the investigation of residential burglaries, in my mind a very serious felony, are we sending conflicting messages to the public e.g., the tragic Creach OIS in the Valley?  If the police can’t deliver and perform an essential public service, this debate is the equivalent of Nero playing the violin when Rome was burning.

I would strongly encourage a NO VOTE on this resolution.  The voters of this City may eventually see the light and retaliate against those who have perpetually robbed them with these pie in the sky projects.

RES 11-55 –

Adopting a Locally Preferred Alternative for High Performance
Transit in Central City Spokane of Modern Electric Trolley along a
general alignment extending between Browne’s Addition and
Gonzaga University by way of Downtown Spokane and WSU
Spokane Campus at Riverpoint.


STA Votes To Approve Electric Trolley

July 24, 2011 by 1 Comment

STA Votes To Approve Electric Trolley – News Story – KXLY Spokane.

The initiative next moves at hyper speed to the Spokane City Council on Monday night (it is probably the last item on the agenda as RES 11-55), presumably so opponents will have a hard time mustering opposition speakers.

The STA is in process of cutting bus service by about 20% for the rest of us, but would seek a sales tax for all of the urban areas of Spokane County to pay for the 3 mile long, $36 million electric trolley or a cost of $2300 per foot.

Does Spokane need a 3 mile long electric trolley paid for by taxpayers to benefit downtown property owners?

Some facts about Spokane:

Naturally, what this town needs is a “cool factor” electric bus in the downtown core that serves key power brokers and eventually Kendall Yards, where residents pay no property taxes for 12 years. The head of the STA said the “cool factor” is why we need this.

The actual purpose of the trolley is to take money from the taxpayers to benefit downtown power brokers.

What we need instead are initiatifes with a positive, long term return on investment. Not concrete pouring initiatives as a short term jobs program that are intended solely to benefit local power brokers.

I wrote the following in April, but did not previously publish it:

Transit expert praises STA’s, city’s planning – – April 4, 2011.

  • Step 1: Local power brokers decide they want a downtown trolley. It’s the latest gimmick in urban renewing and revitalizing downtowns nationwide.
  • Step 2: Propose alternative trolley lines, most of which are absurd, so the preferred route to benefit power brokers is selected.
  • Step 3: Bring in “experts” from a city with a real economy to pitch how “Spokane, is taking the right steps in planning for a high-performance transit line in the downtown area” while STA is drastically cutting bus service for the rest of usTheir expert comes from Salt Lake City where ”…. the first light-rail line was inaugurated more than a decade ago, and while it exceeded ridership projections from the start, Gerry Carpenter says that didn’t result in new downtown development.
  • Step 4: Local media, which owns more downtown land than anyone else, gives free and happy news coverage to proponents. (And as of the day before the Council meeting in July, has not yet reported this important agenda item.)
  • Step 5: Hand out copies of the news coverage to key decision makers at closed door meetings so decision makers know where the power brokers stand.

So begins the pitch to enrich the downtown core while the rest of city and county remain economic disaster zones. The downtown trolley is a done deal.

There is little evidence that downtown trolleys spawn economic growth but during the past year they are the rage amongst top down, centralized urban planning groups. Name a mid-sized city – Boise, Yakima, Tacoma, Cincinnati, Huntington, VA, Tucson and dozens and dozens more – all of them have built or are proposing downtown trolleys. Why? Because the Federal government will pay for up to 80% for “fixed guideway” transportation. That rules out buses but permits rail, monorail, buses on rubber wheels but with fixed overhead wires (“electric trolley”), and rail lines. This becomes an inflexible permanent transportation solution  a la pouring concrete.

The Spokane downtown trolley does not bring shoppers into downtown. The primary goal is to keep the luxury housing residents of Kendall Yards, the future high density South University District housing residents, and thousands of college students from leaving the downtown core. The goal is to discourage travel to Northtown or Valley Malls and other non-downtown vendors. National and local taxpayers will fund this to create benefits to key downtown stakeholders. This will not create economic growth – it just moves spending from one place to another.

Like the $570 million sunk in the barely unused north side freeway, the $110 million waste of energy plant that makes our disposal costs twice that of a landfill (“it may turn trash into air pollution but at least it costs twice as much”),  and other programs, this is another investment with a bad return to the many.

Like so many taxpayer funded investments here, the trolley will not have a good return on investment – and will divert money from projects that might actually improve our local economic situation.


I filed this story under “Crime”.


Spokane Police staffing back to 1999 levels

July 24, 2011 by Leave a Comment

The report said the number of commissioned officers this year is at 1999 levels, forcing the department to curtail property crime investigations and increasing the risk of exposing officers to stressful situations.

via Verner calls for hiring more police officers – – May 19, 2011.

They also eliminated the Property Crimes Unit because Spokane government is out of money.

But by God, we will build a pointless downtown trolley or else!


Spokane’s Median Household Income Trend

July 12, 2011 by 6 Comments

Previously, we looked at Spokane median income versus the state and nation and found that while incomes have gone up, they have gone up at half the rate of the rest of the state.

I recently had to make some inflation adjustments to some data.  I was curious as to what these adjustments would do for the historical Spokane median income.  The red line is median household income, after adjusting to 2010 levels (in other words, adjusting for inflation).

Data: The median income data comes from the Washington (State) Office of Financial Management. The historical median incomes were adjusted for inflation using the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Inflation Calculator.

Compare the above historical trend with that for the U.S. household median income – in other words, the whole country:(Background on the above chart is here. The data source is different and perhaps it should not be directly compared to the Spokane chart.)

Update: I have since drawn a chart for the State of Washington, as a whole. This too shows a sharp drop in median income, although not quite as far – this will be posted soon. I also sampled some BEA data on average wages per job and adjusted those for inflation. The inflation adjusted average wage per job appears to have risen over this period, while the household median income went down. While househould median income and average wage per job are not the same thing, I do not know why would go down while the other goes up. Perhaps there is a mistake in the data, the inflation adjustment, or something else. When I have time, I will post additional charts on these topics. For now, I’ve deleted the post-title “The Shocking Truth”.

My jaw dropped when I saw this. This is shocking, frightening and revealing.  After inflation, as U.S. median incomes have risen, Spokane area median incomes have fallen – apparently – to 1980s levels or lower. I hope that this is all wrong and I have made mistakes.  I have provided the data tables and the data sources for others to review.

The Spokane cost of living has not been going down. In the State of Washington, and at the local level, government’s are now increasing fees and tuition costs sharply. At the Federal level, taxes are likely to climb, perhaps significantly to deal with the budget blowout.

All told, Spokane residents fall further and further behind, year over year, decade over decade. This is an absolute disaster. But no one around here gives a damn.

Oh hell, let’s go pour more concrete. That’ll surely fix the problems.


I appeared and gave testimony at tonight’s Council Meeting.  As Mr. X predicted this was a well orchestrated preordained event.  Several citizens did appear and did question the advisability of this project.  No one was objecting to the concept of a Downtown Circulator that would move people to and from the University District and Browne’s Addition to the Downtown Core.

The objections largely were the decision to lock into the electric trolley system as the designated transportation mode at a projected cost of $36M instead of a more economical mode of using a conventional bus system with special enhancements.  These upgrades/enhancements were not defined but I’m assuming smaller buses that could maneuver in Browne’s Addition with hybrid power systems e.g., LPG and or hybrid fuel electric vehicles et al and whose routes could be easily changed based upon ridership.  Some pointed out previous electric trolleys were removed from cities in the past because of issues of maintenance and esthetics , “Back to the future.”  Council member Apple pointed out there was no US manufacturer currently making these electric trolleys.

Much was extolled on the economic benefit it would bring to the Downtown Core.  My testimony was essentially an excerpt of my above email.  Council President Shogan warned me when I brought up the issue of the disbanding of the SPD Crimes Against Property Unit as being not relevant.  I disagreed.  I said this was all about making public policy choices.  The fact that SPD could no longer provide an essential public service was quite relevant to the citizens when deciding future funding priorities.  I was ruled out of order when I brought up the conflicting message regarding the Creach case.  The point I was not allowed to make, is that we are telling to public to call 911 not to handle these situations by themselves. If we defund crimes against property investigations this will only facilitate independent or in some cases vigilante actions by citizens.

The Council with the exception of Bob Apple voted in favor of the resolution.

July 1st, 2011

Dep. Hirzel cleared in Creach shooting

I would encourage all to read this article by S-R Reporter Tom Clouse:

Deputy cleared in Creach shooting

Please be sure to read the comment thread where I have posted new information after meeting with Sheriff Knezovich, Det. Rich Gere and SPD Ombudsman Tim Burns for three hours last Friday.  I’ve updated, clarified and correction previous information I’ve posted here.  The Sheriff has indicated a willingness to make some changes following this shooting to aid in preventing/minimizing such incidents from occurring and to aid in the investigation of OIS/OID in the future.

Stay tuned for further developments.  Here’s an excerpt in an effort to tone done the extremist rhetoric that been floating around the community:

And lastly I would encourage all to refrain from stirring the pot on this issue and making extremist statements about killing cops. As I said before the truth has a tendency to reveal itself in these cases. Bad apples tend to take care of themselves. There are appropriate venues where these issues in subject to interpretation and debate can be resolved in a civil manner. After all we need each other – we are the police and the police are us.

More importantly this was a learning experience for all involved. Can things have been handled better? Of course and Sheriff Knezovich is open to considering changes that make sense to prevent/minimize future events and also to aid in their investigation.

June 22nd, 2011

Sheriff Knezovich meeting with Creach family & pressor at 2PM on SCSO Creach OIS IA Investigation

I will stand by my report and its update – Creach OIS – Report and Analysis.  The use of an unmarked police unit in this incident in my opinion was a fundamental contributing factor that set in motion a cascading series of events that led to this tragic outcome.

At this point because of the inconsistencies in Dep. Hirzel’s statements, stated actions and time line forensics I’m not willing to give his account of what happened that night the benefit of the doubt.  Without Dep. Hirzel’s statements, the confrontation as described by Dep. Hirzel is in doubt.  The forensic time line and the lack of neighbors hearing any shouted commands by Dep. Hirzel, raises the possibility that this was an instantaneous event with little or no exchange between Creach and Dep. Hirzel.  Had Dep. Hirzel been in a marked unit this shooting may have never occurred or at least if indeed Creach was confrontational, there would be no misidentification issue to arise in a subsequent civil case.

Further my analysis of existing WA state law and two WA appellate court cases on point State vs. Ritts and State vs. Arguleta, the use of unmarked police units for routine patrol and traffic enforcement is unlawful.  There is currently a disconnect between the marking requirement RCW 46.08.065 and the felony evading statute RCW 46.61.024.  This disconnect needs to be resolved by the courts and or the legislature one way or another as a pubic policy issue.

In my opinion the minimal tactical advantage of using these unmarked units is outweighed by greater public safety issues as this enables police impostors that would prey on the public and also cases of mis ID in the rare events like the Creach case.  Criminals are full aware of these less than stealthy vehicles used in this case and there really isn’t any advantage.  I’m not in opposition to “stealth” patrol vehicles that have concealed emergency lights, use other makes and models than is the norm BUT ARE PLAINLY MARKED on the doors with the agencies insignia.

I’m not advocating the prohibition against all unmarked police units as RCW 46.08.065 clearly provides an exception for their use.  HOWEVER their regular use for routine patrol and traffic enforcement is beyond in my opinion the legislative intent and scope of this section.  In my report I recommended that the SCSO develop a common sense policy for their use to minimize the potential risk of their use as in the Creach case. True undercover and surveillance police units do have great value in law enforcement AND I’M not advocating that their use be restricted in any way.

Rep. Shea’s current bill introduced on behalf of the Creach family as written is potentially over broad and would perhaps interfere unduly with the police mission regarding parking on open commercial property without first securing permission.  There however is a definite needs to clarify the meaning and legislative intent of these two sections that are in conflict.


I was not retained by the Creach family.  They sought me out first through a mutual contact as I teach forensics and crime scene investigations, community oriented policing and controversial issues in law enforcement at a local college.  My interest in this case was purely academic and my involvement was to aid in raising the professional bar of local law enforcement.  I was not paid by the Creach family other than for costs of copying of information I sought re public disclosure requests of the various agencies.

From: Reagan, Dave []
Sent: Wednesday, June 22, 2011 8:45 AM
Subject: News – Hirzel Shooting Briefing

   Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich will meet with area media representatives today to brief them on the final internal review of Deputy Brian Hirzel’s use of deadly force at The Plant Farm last year.  The briefing will be held in the sheriff’s large conference room inside the Public Safety Building.

The sheriff will meet privately with the Creach family prior to his 2 p.m. briefing of local media.

The Spokane Police Department was the lead investigative agency in the Critical Incident Protocol investigation of the shooting.  Detectives from the sheriff’s office and Washington State Patrol participated in that initial investigation.  The Spokane County  Prosecutor’s Office received the investigation and after review concluded there was no actionable law violation committed by Hirzel.  Afterward, the shooting was reviewed by the sheriff’s Deadly Force Review Board and the Citizens’ Advisory Board.  Both boards concluded that Hirzel’s actions were within sheriff’s office policy and training.

This final review was conducted by the sheriff’s Office of Professional Standards.

Sgt. R. David Reagan

Spokane County Sheriff’s

Office of Public Information

Office of Professional Standards

Civil Division

509-496-6589 – Cellular

509-477-4209 – Pager 0348

March 24th, 2011

Wages and pouring concrete – the reason why the wage base in Spokane, Wa is so low

This is a must read for all who live in Spokane, WA and have wondered about the status quo and the low prevailing wage base:

Recommendations 2 Part 3 – Wages and pouring concrete

See my comment I just posted in the thread:

Mr. X,

Excellent piece. I will take this several steps further. Here’s an email I just sent to some friends that think as I do. BTW here’s a link for the Francher Report – see right side rail for PDF copy.

Ron the Cop


Mr. X has a new post up at his blog. Mr. X’s final installment will be posted tomorrow. I’ve warned Mr. X to watch his back as he’s letting the cat out of the bag a little too much for the comfort “of the few.” I sense the Deathstar may be energizing to target Mr. X.

FYI – I think Mr. X sees the same common element that we all do but from our discussions he wants to show the data and let others make their own conclusions. I think I’ll send him a copy of the Fancher Report:-)

In my opinion the wage base is artificially low in the Spokane Area because of the operation of the criminal enterprise “of the few” that engages in predatory, unfair and illegal business practices/competition. The cost of entry into this market for those that don’t want to play ball with “the few” is too high and they simply go elsewhere. These others would bring new jobs that would begin to raise the prevailing wage base.

We have a cluster of universities and colleges in this town but many upon graduating must go elsewhere to earn a decent living unless as Mr. X suggests they go to work for government and or the health care profession. I won’t even go into the national ranking of Gonzaga Law School (very low) but I will say this, most of their law students don’t attend legal ethics and or sleep through class from my observations of those in town that service “the few.”

Because of the regional hub nature of Spokane other sector businesses should be encourage to locate here as the health industry has, to draw business/clients from Canada, Idaho, Eastern WA & OR. Spokane/CDA are undiscovered country that is ready to grow substantially if we cast off the dampening yoke “of the few.”

Actually I chose to locate here because of the many fine amenities and other qualities of this area has to offer. Unfortunately I did not study local government but this is fixable if enough of us who “get it” choose to make a difference and demand better.

The downfall “of the few” has actually began with the new/alternative/social media ability to push information that so far “the few’s” lock on the local media has been able to control. The tipping point will soon come when the masses realize that they’ve been lied to for many years. Information is very dangerous thing. This is why the work of Mr. X’s is so damning as it quantifies/visualizes what we all know to be the truth of the operation of the criminal enterprise in this town.

As Mr. X notes re “the few”:

We pour lots of concrete partially because the Federal government hands out a lot of grants for pouring concrete. And we really like to spend money on downtown Spokane, delivering large benefits to a few. When we spend money on X it means we are not spending money on Y – and around here, Y is everything else.

I’ll go one step further – “the few” have so co-opted/corrupted local government (yes there a good argument this continues all the way up the food chain to the federal level) to ensure its gets the most of the public benefit for its own personal benefit to the detriment of all others. In the process this spills over into why we have incompetent law enforcement leadership. It would be too dangerous to “the few” to have uncoopted police leadership as they might not turn a blind eye to the criminal activity of “the few.” So “the few” have condone the status quo and are elected reps will not take action to correct the situation with local law enforcement.

OK in full disclosure I’m a capitalist and free market person. I’m not bent on a socialistic redistribution of wealth. However government exists to prevent the tragedy of the commons when a few impose significant negative externalities on the many. In short certain things are criminal and folks should go to jail e.g., Barney Frank, Chris Dodd and many others (Watch the movie Inside Job and read this article in the Rolling Stone).

This is why we have laws to provide a level playing field for all to succeed on their own merits, ingenuity and creativity. No one or a few should be above the law because they’ve successfully gamed the system. Looked I’m no big fan of corporate America either but the referees and the cops are on the take and off the playing field. This is not good as this makes us vulnerable to attack from the radical left to exploit the loss of hope and fairness within the general public.

Where the Hell are the sheepdogs that should be guarding the flock from the wolves?

OK and for the conspiracy theorists out there you can chose to go down this rabbit hole:-)

When our enforcers are toothless and or paper tigers and they don’t hang the hides of the financial cons on the wall that gambled with other people’s money and suffered no personal loss, the trust in the fairness of our system is greatly diminished in the eyes of the general public.

The danger of not enforcing our laws and ensuring that no one is above the law is that we expose our financial/economic underbelly to attack by the leftist that will seek to sow the seeds of chaos to destabilize our government for the purpose of instituting their Utopian goal of the redistribution of wealth to achieve this desired fairness.

The only problem is that those in charge become corrupted, despotic and tyrannical – the USSR, the Third Reich, the NORKS, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, Libya, Syria, the Iranian Regime and the House of Saud to name just a few. Is there a common element here – Communism, Fascism, Nazism, Maoism, Islamofasciam – I could go on but I think you get the generally idea. These ideologies have failed because power corrupts absolutely, they don’t recognize the universal truths that all men and women are equal and free will. These ideologies have failed to deliver an equitable distribution of goods, services and wealth.


The Left’s Economic Terrorism Playbook: The Chase Campaign by a Coalition of Unions, Community Groups, Lawmakers and Students to Take Down US Capitalism and Redistribute Wealth & Power

March 22nd, 2011

Fukushima nuclear emergency – media hype vs. real concerns



I’ve been sharing emails with some friends re the tragedy of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami [See full text here]. It’s been apparent that the talking heads of the MSM including FOXNEWS have been hyping/sensationalizing the Fukushima nuclear event either intentionally or through ignorance.  It is clear that many commentators/anchors have very little understanding of the inner workings and engineering of a working nuclear power plant.  There is a constant drumbeat if this event will surpass the tragedy that occurred in Chernobyl.


To be sure the Fukushima event is a very serious event.  In the end this event will not be about the integrity of the nuclear reactor cores after all they survived a earthquake of magnitude 9 and the resultant tsunami but about backup secondary power to continue circulating the fluid through the reactor core.  The tsunami took out the backup generators not unlike the surge water took out the backup generators for the pumps for dikes in New Orleans in Katrina.  This was a foreseeable event.  The newer generation nuclear power plants have water gravity feeds but the US also has many older reactors nearing their useful life of similar designs to Fukushima.


More importantly the containment and security of the spent fuel rods stored on site is the real story because of the inability of reaching a political consensus to permanently store these nuclear wastes.  If spent fuel rods in the meantime are to be stored on site then more must be required to do this safely.  We have many sites in the US with many reactor cores of spent fuel rods stored on site that pose many of the same problems that have now come to light in the Fukushima event.


There is also a failure of Japanese governmental leadership to quickly address this rapidly developing event.  Some of this is attributable to the change of Japanese culture as William Saito, a contact/friend, who is in Japan linked to in this NYT article:


Dearth of Candor From Japan’s Leadership


TOKYO — With all the euphemistic language on display from officials handling Japan’s nuclear crisis, one commodity has been in short supply: information.


When an explosion shook one of many stricken reactors at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant on Saturday, power company officials initially offered a typically opaque, and understated, explanation. . .


Is this an acceptable risk? NO!  There are fixes but will our governmental leaders have the courage to implement them.  This is a ticking time bomb.  Will we learn from this Fukushima precursor?


One of the essential functions of government is to prevent/mitigate the tragedy of the commons when externalities of others pose an immediate threat to the safety of others.  Our own government has been less than forthcoming regarding past nuclear hazards in our own country.  Read Larry Shook’s latest piece:


The Angel of Fukushima


While this is a very serious event as the Japanese work to stabilize these damaged nuclear facilities, the worst-case scenarios in the end probably will not rise to the level of a Chernobyl.  Certain special interests now are seizing on the moment to kill or severely limit nuclear power.  Fossil fuels have there own inherent risks and political consequences. The public debate whether to increase or decrease nuclear power needs to occur in a reasoned forum without this sky is falling is falling hysteria. 


Life is not entirely risk free.  The goal is to identify and understand those risks and make reasoned decisions and not to accept unreasonable risks.  Accidents have occurred in the past where the accumulating risk was ignored and or discounted that have cost many lives e.g., the Union Carbide – Bhopal Disaster [Note – correction from 3M] and the Space Shuttle accidents (See The Futurist).  The probability of systemic failure while low is also additive and eventually the dice will come up craps.


Below are excerpts from my email posts that link to sources of information in the new social/alternative media that have served the public well – more so than the traditional MSM sources.  These new alternative media sources including my own do have their own specific inherent biases however when these sources are taken as a whole a more clearer picture emerges than the hype the MSM sources are now reporting.  After the dust has settled the proof will be in the pudding regarding which sources of information provided more accurate information as to the extent of this event and the probability of future dangerous events occurring so the readers can take precautions to protect their own families.


This latest post in the comment thread of the PJM article I linked to below pretty much sums up this story on the MSM:


95. William Power

So…what happened to all the media hysteria? Seems we had almost three days of almost no coverage of the impending China Syndrome / blazing nuclear furnace. Perhaps the “story was exhausted” ’cause they couldn’t create more new fear out of cooling and contained reactors…or perhaps they really think Mohmar(sp? whatever spelling of the week you might choose to use…) getting his bootay spanked was really that dominating of a story.

March 21, 2011 – 4:56 pm   Link to this Comment | Reply



[Other useful sources of information – you decide their worth on this subject]


The American Thinker – The Fall of the House of TEPCO


WSJ – At Plant, Repair Is Painstaking Task


Captains Journal – Status of the Fukushima Reactor Accidents


Hot Air – Shep Smith: It’s pathetic that some Americans are popping iodide pills over Japan’s nuke crisis


Blackfive – Japanese Reactor(s) Update(d) Yet Again


PJM – Fukushima update: get a grip part 2


Hot Air – Hope: Radiation levels beyond 12 miles of Japanese nuke plant are near normal


Popular Science – As Cooling Efforts Continue, Japanese Officials Consider Burying Fukushima Plant


Larry Shook – Fukushima, USA

Read More – [Full text MS Word.doc – emails and other references]


LA Times OP/ED piece by Robert Alvarez

These spent fuel rods not only pose a safety risk but more importantly a significant security risk from a well coordinated terrorist attack.

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Ron Wright
Date: Wed, Mar 23, 2011 at 7:31 AM
Subject: Re: L.A. Times: Nuclear crisis NOW

To: Larry Shook


YEP – Roger that!  It’s the temporary nature of the storage of these rods that poses the danger.  No one wants to spend the money to ensure the safety and security on site because this is temporary storage.


[From Larry Shook]


A specter is stalking humanity. Here it is, from today’s L.A. Times. This is nothing less than a mandate for a serious global fact-based discussion–and solution rooted in public understanding and consent. With the “propagating” crisis at Fukushima in mind, I encourage everyone to play a role. If you live anywhere on Earth, this specter has a very personal relationship with you. Larry Shook

Unsafe at any reactor

U.S. nuclear plants are storing increasing amounts of highly radioactive spent fuel in pools that are vulnerable to accident or attack. New safety policies are needed.

(Illustration by Wes Bausmith / Los Angeles Times) (Illustration by Wes Bausmith / Los Angeles Times)

By Robert Alvarez

March 23, 2011

The nuclear crisis at the Daiichi complex in Fukushima, Japan, has turned a spotlight on the severe dangers involved in storing spent nuclear fuel in pools. But the danger is not new.

In 2003, I cowrote a report with a group of academics, nuclear industry executives, former government officials and other researchers warning that spent fuel pools at U.S. nuclear power plants were vulnerable. The drainage of a pool might cause a catastrophic radiation fire, we reported, which could render an area uninhabitable greater than that created by the Chernobyl accident (roughly half the size of New Jersey).

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission hotly disputed our paper, which prompted Congress to ask the National Academy of Sciences to sort out the controversy. In 2004, the academy reported that U.S. pools were vulnerable to terrorist attacks and catastrophic fires. . .


This just in according to this WSJ report the failure of the secondary power systems to the cooling water system was not unknown instead the risk was ignored.  As I mentioned before we saw the same flawed decision making re cascading failure risk in Katrina with the failure of the dike pumps:

Japan Ignored Warning Of Nuclear Design Flaw

March 22nd, 2011

BREAKING – The beginning of regime change in Iran? – News from FDI – Azeri militants torch Tabriz refinery.

Perhaps the Obama Administration can get out front on this potential revolt instead of waiting in the wings.  The single greatest threat to the strategic interests of the US besides the economic rise of China, is this fanatical theocratic Islamofascist regime using its oil money to fuel its all out quest for a nuclear weapon and it’s funding of Hamas and Hezbollah, its surrogates, to foster terror all through the Middle East.

The Achilles heel of this despotic regime is its dependence on imported gasoline stocks even though it has considerable oil reserves.  Iran has diverted by funding its nuclear program and its terrorists surrogates, it has allowed it’s domestic gas refining infrastructure/capacity to seriously deteriorate.  There were riots in the street when the regime allowed the price of gas to float up.  Gas in Iran is heavily subsidized.  Hence the importance of this report by Timmerman of an attack on one of the last functioning oil refineries.  I worked with Timmerman with CA Assemblyman Davis to force the CA pension behemoths to work to divest from third party entities that continue to do business with the Iranian Regime e.g., Royal Dutch Shell.  I’ve long said a way to toppling this regime would be several well placed IEDs with plausible denial in these last functioning oil refineries.

Unfortunately many Americans do not pay much attention to world geopolitics beyond what is reported by the talking heads of our MSM.  Perhaps giving an example in popular cultural terms would be useful.  Allegorically consider Iran as the dark lord and Hamas & Hezbollah as the death eaters in the world of Harry Potter.  Not unlike the rise of the Third Reich and the battle of Good vs. Evil in Tolkien’s Ring Trilogy even though he denied this connection.

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kenneth Timmerman
Date: Mon, Mar 21, 2011 at 8:59 AM
Subject: News from FDI – Azeri militants torch Tabriz refinery.

Dear friends:

This news, from the Azerbaijan Movement for Democracy and Integrity in Iran, is extremely important. As we note at the end of our news article, the 1979 revolution began in Tabriz. Please read all of this post, which includes excerpts of our interview with movement spokesman Loheasb Zeinali in Europe, at

Kenneth R. Timmerman
President and CEO
Foundation for Democracy in Iran

March 21, 2011: Iranian dissidents torch Tabriz refinery, transformers. Iranian dissidents in East Azerbaijan province torched the Tabriz refinery using petrol bombs last Tuesday (March 15), setting a massive fire that shut down the refinery for three days, according to the Azerbaijan Movement for Democracy and Integrity in Iran. More than 100 fire-fighting vehicles took 11 hours to get the blaze under control, cutting off electricity to Tabriz, the provincial capital and Iran’s fourth largest city.  The government declared a state of emergency as security forces sealed off the area in a massive manhunt. But in the end, no one was arrested in connection with the attacks, the group said.

Read the full story here: