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Discussion Starter #1
If you search back through all the Rainbow Family bulll earlier this year you'll see that I was not their biggest fan. However, what you'll read in the following links is bullshit and I encourage anyone and everyone to make his voice heard if you find this a travesty.

http://www2.steamboatpilot.com/news/2006/sep/01/men_get_six_months_jail_stealing_food_trash/


http://www2.steamboatpilot.com/news/2006/sep/02/sweet_pea_owners_we_didnt_want/


Vote, protest or just give St. James the finger- it all works for me.
 

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The DA is an elected position, the local public was pissed about the rainbow group coming there without a permit. The da is making the locals happy, seems to happen all the time. Quietly these guys will be released before they do the entire stretch. Doesnt make it right but its been going on since local DA's and sheriffs came into existence.
 

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GH nailed it on the head, It's wrong though, I agree.. I bet they'll have the ACLU in Steamboat soon...LOL!!!

ps, at least they don't have to dig in the trash now, their picking up trash and getting 3 meals a day...
 

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I know, I know, I know- this is what the town asked for. But...really it's not. Even the second-home-owner law-and-order types with whom I've talked are pissed about the 5k is court costs and 20k locking these guys up is going to run the town. And read the second article- it doesn't seem that those who were supposedly hurt by this "theft" wanted this either.

The real point here, for those of you outside Steamboat is that this Assitant DA has a history of prosecutorial malfescence. He failed to prosecute a local cop who had sex w/ a minor while under his guidance in a mentoring posititon despite landslide evidence against him. Oh, and sound familiar? He declined to prosecute Steamboat drunk, er legend Billy Kid, after he entered a closed grocery store, disregarded multiple demands for his vacating the premesis, and stole a bunch of steaks. And it's not just big-name cases he blows. I know personally, of a number of over-zealous prosecutions ie- young college kid hears a ruckus next door...goes out to see what's the haps...peeks in the front door...sees a coupla kids he vaguely knows...tells them to get the hell out, it's not their house...is then offered a ninety day deferred sentence and felony burgalary beef for his efforts. This was all b/c he looked "weak' to St. James since his PD didn't have the skills or desire to protect a good samaritan.
 

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Well it wasnt quietly but kinda the way i figured it would work out
 

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Another case of the abuses wrought by big egos in the wrong places... :roll:

Glad to see that someone above them overruled them.
 

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The actions of this deranged DA give some credence to the delusional thought of the Rainbow Family members views on "the Man".

What both sides of zealots don't realize is that the bible thumpers that knock on your door to spread the word and ask for money are the same as the hippie-tree huggers that knock on your door to spread the word and and ask for money

...they just smell alittle different!
 

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I heard from a pretty reasonable source that RF people were pissing on produce at the grocery store in front of everyone so that it would be thrown out, and they could loot the dumpsters, rinse it off. Also, a friend's dad's left his work truck when repairing phone lines in the area to have RF folks looting it when he returned. A family friend of the same local has a home in the area and went out of town. When she came back, there were RF people who broke in and were living in her house, wearing her clothes, and so on. (Can you say "make my day law"??) Just don't want anyone to feel too bad about the RF as it seems that from the locals I talked to, many of them were not peace loving friendly hippies, but were there more to terrorize the locals, loot, and steal.
 

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think of the precedent, big business could lose a lot of money if all the wasted food were consumed.. shoot at mcdonalds we used to throw out 50 hamburgers a night, at least
 

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i'd boycott the sweet pea whatever it is - as they are the one's that probably pushed the prosecution. prosecutors don't prosecute crimes like this without someone behind them claiming theft or whatever.
 

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According to the Denver Post its not the business owners who pushed for stiff penalties:

"Summoned to the store by police that night, the shaken owners, Jonathon Hieb and Katherine Zambrana, reflexively said they wanted to press criminal charges "to the fullest extent of the law."

"You have to understand, the atmosphere was very paranoid at the time. All of the business owners were definitely on guard" because of the anticipated influx of 20,000 neo-hippies for the counterculture Rainbow gathering, Hieb said.

"When we got there, we were extremely upset and very worried about what had happened, and ... we truly thought we had been burglarized."

The next day, however, he discovered that the pair never gained access to the retail portion of the store.

"I immediately came to the conclusion that all these guys did was trespass, which is a crime, and they should have been punished - but not a felony or jail time," Hieb said.

Hieb said he contacted St. James and implored him not to pursue the charges but says he was told by the prosecutor: "I'm going to send a message to the community."

Full Article: http://www.denverpost.com/search/ci_4297392

As for waste, it comes right out of the business's profit. They just come to accept a certain amount of waste as part of the cost of doing business.
 

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matobs said:
i'd boycott the sweet pea whatever it is - as they are the one's that probably pushed the prosecution. prosecutors don't prosecute crimes like this without someone behind them claiming theft or whatever.
A boycott in a small town could really hurt a small business. Also, in small towns reputation is very important. Before you defame someone's name or try to hurt their business, you could at least take a second to read the articles in question and find out the facts. Here is a post by the owner of Sweat Pea regarding one of the articles posted:

"Thank you for all your comments concerning this sad situation. I'm speaking for myself, Jonathon Hieb and on the behalf of Katherine Zambrana,owners of Sweet Pea Produce.
Sorry it has taken so long to reply, as we were working at our store and doing our local farmers market today.
Sweet Pea does not agree with the offer made to these young men, by DA St. James.
I personally spoke with St. James concerning this matter a month ago. I told St. James that I was concerned with what he had offered these men, and before I could even explain my position St James rudely interrupted me and specifically told me he wasn't going to have these young men and the rainbow people come into our nice town and take it over. And he added, that he was going to make an example out of them. I was so furious I soon ended the conversation, in fear I would say something that I would later regret.
Now I'm going to say what I should have said to St. James that day.
In my opinion DA St James purposely put these young men in a situation were they had to choose jail time instead of excepting a felony that would have ill effects on them for the rest of their lives. These young men are clearly not criminals and are ambitious in their endeavors as social workers and as teachers, a felony on thier record would surely crush these dreams.Basically, St. James made them choose between the lesser of two evils.This matter could have been handled with an apology, an at most a small amount of community service.Instead, St. James has made Steamboat Springs look like a place that is absent of compassion and most of all common sense.I think it's time Mr. St. James questioned his ability to serve the people of routt co.
I will be glad to talk to anyone concerning this matter but please no more threatening phone calls to Sweet Pea, as some of my employees are truly scared. Please call me personnally 970 846.1907
Sincerely, Jonathon Hieb
P.S. We do recycle our overipe produce, we give it to local pig farmers. And thanks for the compost idea."


It seems to me that the judge in the case is as much at fault as anyone. He/she could have overruled the agreement in pursuit of justice.
 

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Well.....according to someone close to the source, Sweet Pea's proprietors were out for blood from the get go. Their assertion they wanted charges dropped, when an inspection of the store the morning after the incident turned up no evidence of stolen goods, is, by my knowledge false. This is corroborated by statements made by the DA's office published in a Pilot article covering a community forum on the case.

It's my estimation that Sweet Pea's owners began to feel the heat from the community, and fearing a substantial hit to business, lobbied the DA heavily for leniency in the case with the hope of stemming said boycott. But, then again, what the hell do I know.
 

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Oh, man, don't make too big of a deal of this. It's not for the store owners to decide what is reasonable punishment for a crime like this. That's the DA's job. Did the store owners know what the DA was going to do?
 
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