GBU Mountain News LXXI August 20, 2014 (PDF)

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GBU Mountain News

GBU Mountain News

August 20, 2014 - LXXI

independent - unbiased – professional
August 20, 2014 – LXXI

“Our liberty depends on the freedom
of the press, and that cannot be
limited without being lost.”
Thomas Jefferson, letter to Dr. James Currie (28 January 1786)

Getty photographer Scott Olson is arrested and taken away on West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson, Mo., on Monday, August,
18, 2014. Olson reportedly wasn’t crossing the street fast enough for an officer. (J.B. Forbes/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/MCT)


GBU Mountain News
August 20, 2014 - LXXI

The United States ranks only No. 46 on
the Global Press Freedom Index, next to
Romania (No.45), Haiti (No. 47), and
Niger (No. 48) – Ferguson shows why!
by Gunnar J Kuepper
The GBU Mountain News reported earlier this year that
the United States ranks only No. 46 on the Global Press
Freedom Index, next to Romania (No.45), Haiti (No. 47),
and Niger (No. 48). The Press Freedom Index is an
annual ranking of nations compiled and published by
Reporters Without Borders. It reflects the degree of
freedom that journalists, news organizations, and
netizens enjoy in each country, as well as the efforts
made by the government and authorities to respect and
ensure the Freedom of the Press.
Not surprisingly nations such as Finland (No. 1), The
Netherlands (No. 2), Norway (No. 3), and Luxembourg
(No. 4) lead the list. Austria (No. 12), Germany (No. 14),
and Switzerland (No. 15) are listed in the first twenty
ranks out of 180 nations. As to be expected the Freedom
of the Press is assessed as nearly non-existent in
countries such as Iran (No 173), China (175), Somalia
(No. 176), or North Korea (No. 179).
Why is it that the U.S. is shamefully ranked No. 47, even
behind Uruguay (No. 26) El Salvador (No. 38) or
Botswana (No. 41)?
The current events in Ferguson, Missouri are a very
regrettable example on how a number of U.S. authorities
harass journalists, violate the Freedom of the Press, and
abuse their power.
Violence against reporters, photo- and videographers and
news crews by state troopers, local law enforcement
officers, and federal clandestine organizations is not
limited to dictatorial nations in the third world nations, it
is very much alive in today's United States.
In the city of Ferguson, journalists have repeatedly been
ordered to stop filming police actions since protests
began on August 10, 2014..
Ferguson is a suburb outside of St. Louis with a
population of 21,000. The city has been the site of
protests and vigils after 18 year-old African American
Michael Brown was shot to death in a struggle with
police on August 9, 2014.
On August 13, 2014 Washington Post reporter Wesley
Lowery was ordered by police to stop filming a raid at a
McDonalds restaurant and to leave immediately. Law
enforcement in military gear arrested him and Huffington
Post reporter Ryan Reilly. "Officers slammed me into a

fountain soda machine because I was confused about
which door they were asking me to walk out of," Lowry
wrote on Twitter. He also said that he and Reilly were
released without paperwork or charges, and that the
officers refused to provide the reporters with their names.
Martin Baron, executive editor of The Washington Post,
issued a statement, stating "there was absolutely no
justification for Wesley Lowery's arrest," and that the
police behavior "was wholly unwarranted and an assault
on the freedom of the press to cover the news."
Other reporters and news outlets have complained about
being refused access to the town as well as the
restrictions and threats of law enforcement personnel
towards the media. Two reporters from the National
Journal were repeatedly rebuffed on Wednesday, August
13 by police while trying to approach the protest sites.
They were told they’d likely be arrested if they tried to
walk to the protest site.

One of the iconic images of Getty Photographer
Scott Olsen before he was arrested in Ferguson

Also, on Wednesday, August 13, police, apparently a
SWAT team, fired a tear gas container at an Al-Jazeera
America camera crew — and later dismantled their
equipment after the crew fled. KSDK photojournalist
Eric Voss, captured the now iconic video of police firing
the tear gas at the Al Jezeera America TV crew. The
veteran with 20 years of journalism experience described
the situation: “I was shooting a story on the opening of
school being delayed. We were outside of the protest
area in a neighborhood and the Al Jezeera crew was a
half block away. Police formed a line and started moving
and the Al Jezeera crew yelled ‘we are the press, we are
the press, we are the press.’” Voss said police fired a tear
gas canister that bounced off the crew’s vehicle. “The
journalists ran away and I saw the police disassemble
their lights and tilt the camera to the ground, they left it
on the tripod.” Then, Voss said, police turned their


GBU Mountain News
August 20, 2014 - LXXI

attention on him. “When they got 20 or 30 feet away
from me with their guns drawn I got out of there. I got in
my car and threw both of my hands in the air.” Voss said
there were no protestors anywhere near where the place
he was when police confronted him.
Police officers were captured on video turning the Al
Jezeera’s video camera and other equipment toward the
ground. On, the very next day, Thursday, August 14, the
St. Charles County Regional SWAT Team put out a press
release stating that "...the SWAT Team has not been any
part of attempting to prevent media coverage. " However,
a raw video captured a military vehicle marked clearly as
"St. Charles County SWAT" rolling up to the Al Jazeera
lights and camera and taking them down (see the raw
video at
42891/ )
David Carson, a photographer with the St. Louis Post
Dispatch, was threatened with arrest by police for taking
On Thursday, August 14, the National Press
Photographers Association objected in a letter to the
Police Chief of Ferguson to his department’s treatment of
the media operating in and around the town. The
association cited a “complete lack of understanding and
respect for the First Amendment as it applies to
The harassment and violence against journalists
continued on Sunday, August 18. According to news
reports, shortly after 10 p.m., police began launching tear
gas at protesters and demanded that reporters turn their
cameras off.
In a confrontation caught on the KARG Arugus Radio
livestream, a law enforcement official noticed Mustafa
Hussein filming with his camera lights on—which police
claim makes it hard for them to see—and confronted
him, allegedly pointing a gun at him. "Get down, get the
fuck out of here and get that light off, or you're getting
shot with this," the officer yells at Hussein.
Also threatened by police Sunday night was MSNBC's
Chris Hayes, who was filming when police told him,
"Media do not pass us, you're getting maced next time
you pass us."
Neil Munshi, of the Financial Times, wrote on Twitter
that he was ordered to leave a parking lot being used as a
staging area. But when he did, he was handcuffed and
briefly held by a Capt. Ron Johnson.
On Tuesday, August 19, the Committee to Protect
Journalists (CPJ) expressed concerns about the continued
harassment and detentions of journalists covering the

unrest in Ferguson, Missouri. "Ferguson is an
international story and journalists are going to cover it.
They have a right to do so without fearing for their safety
or liberty," said CPJ Deputy Director Robert Mahoney.
"The harassment and detention of reporters must stop.
From senior commanders on down, the word must go out
to security forces to let journalists do their job."
At least 11 journalists, including Scott Olson, a
photographer for Getty Images, have been detained and
released without charge since Saturday. Missouri police
also dared to arrest three German journalists. 26-year-old
Lukas Hermsmeier, a reporter with Germany's largest
tabloid "Bild" was shot with rubber-bullets, arrested, and
hours later released. Journalist Ansgar Graw working for
the national newspaper "Die Welt" und Frank Herrmann,
reporter for a variety of regional newspapers in Germany,
were also arrested on Monday (August 18) afternoon,
transported to a jail in St. Louis and three hours later
Other reporters that have been arrested by law
enforcement in Ferguson include Robert Klemko, Kerry
Picket (Breitbart News), Ryan Devereaux (The Intercept)
and Ryan J. Reilly.
The violence and harassment of the News Media in
Ferguson, Missouri is unfortunately only the visible tip
of the iceberg. Repression of a free media can be found
on all levels of government no matter what the political

Reporter Susie Cagle was arrested, detained and charged
while reporting on the Occupy Oakland Movement on
November 3, 2011. She was detained for approximately
fifteen hours and cited with failure to leave the scene of a
riot as if she were a demonstrator and not a journalist.
Photo by Elijah Nouvelage


GBU Mountain News
August 20, 2014 - LXXI

According to many journalists and transparency
advocates the administration of U.S. President Obama
and the White House itself curb routine disclosure of
information and deploys its own media to evade scrutiny
by the press. “This is the most closed, control freak
administration I’ve ever covered,” said David E. Sanger,
veteran chief Washington correspondent of The New
York Times.
Not providing information or obstructing the important
work of the news media is also prevalent in many local
governments throughout the U.S. This includes certain
departments within the Kern County Administration as
well. The Sheriff's Office and the Bakersfield Police
Department practice a policy of openness and
transparency. Other departments, to name only the
Emergency Medical Service (EMS) Division and the
rather obscure Office of Kern County Counsel, are
consistently unresponsive or hostile to press inquiries.
Like the Obama administration these Kern County
agencies disclose too little of the information most
needed by the press and public to hold them accountable
for their policies and actions. Even very locally, from
public school districts to government contractors, there is
an ongoing effort to shield and obscure the business of
government from the public and necessary
The Obama administration
 has established legal policies that disrupt
relationships between journalists and government
 has established surveillance programs that cast doubt
on journalists’ ability to protect those sources;
 has implemented restrictive practices for disclosing
information that make it more difficult to hold the
government accountable for its actions and decisionmaking;
 makes use of administration-controlled media to
circumvent scrutiny by the press.
Just one example for the too many intimidating activities
of the federal government: On May 13, 2013 the Justice
Department informed the Associated Press (AP) that as
part of its investigation of a AP story in 2012 about the
CIA’s covert operation in Yemen, it had secretly
subpoenaed and seized all records for twenty AP
telephone lines and switchboards for April and May of
2012. The records included outgoing calls for the work
and personal phone lines of individual reporters, for AP
news bureau lines in New York, Washington, and
Hartford, Connecticut, and for the main AP phone

number in the press gallery of the U.S. House of
Representatives. Although only five AP reporters and an
editor were involved in the May 12, 2012, Yemen story,
“thousands upon thousands of newsgathering calls” by
more than 100 AP journalists using newsroom, home,
and mobile phones were included in the seized records.
Subsequently, a coalition of more than 50 American
news media organizations—including the Newspaper
Association of America, National Association of
Broadcasters, American Society of News Editors, Society
of Professional Journalists, ABC, NBC, CNN, NPR,
Gannett, McClatchy, Tribune, The New York Times, and
The Washington Post—joined the Reporters Committee
for the Freedom of the Press in a strong protest letter to
the Department of Justice.
If this kind of intimidation takes place on the highest
level of government, the bullying actions of law
enforcement officers in Ferguson, Missouri should come
to no surprise. Once the Department of Justice began
using its own police powers against the First Amendment
rights of the news media and the public’s interest in
reporting all manner of government conduct, than a local
trooper will follow suit.
As journalists throughout the U.S. state much too often,
"there is across-the-board hostility to the media... they
don’t return repeated phone calls and e-mails... instead,
they feel entitled to and expect supportive media
None of these measures is anything like the government
controls, censorship, repression, physical danger, and
even death that journalists and their sources face daily in
many countries throughout the world—from Asia, the
Middle East and Africa to parts of Eastern Europe and
Latin America. However 45 nations around the globe
guarantee and ensure a higher level of Freedom of the
Press than the United States.
The administration of government has become more
complex, the opportunities for malfeasance and
corruption have multiplied, crime has grown to most
serious proportions, and the danger of its protection by
unfaithful officials and of the impairment of the
fundamental security of life and property by criminal
alliances and official neglect, emphasizes the primary
need of a vigilant and courageous press.
Charles Evans Hughes (1862-1948)
Chief Justice of the United States


GBU Mountain News
August 20, 2014 - LXXI


GBU Mountain News
August 20, 2014 - LXXI

1. “Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press,
and that cannot be limited without being lost.” Thomas Jefferson, letter to Dr. James Currie (28
January 1786) by Gunnar J Kuepper
2. All Things Local
 Important Phone Numbers
 Upcoming Events
 Some stores at the Outlets at Tejon overcharge
Sales Tax
 First Day at Gorman School
 First Day at Frazier Park Elementary School
 Safety Tips for the New School Year
 Steve Berry running for the School Board
 Public Transportation in the Frazier Park Area
 House Fire on Johnson Street in Frazier Park
3. All Things Regional
4. All Things Global
5. People
6. Law Enforcement Corner
 Kern County Sheriff’s Office – Frazier Park
Incident Log August 6 - 13
 Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department (LASD)
 California Highway Patrol
 Bakersfield Police Department (BPD)
7. Cooking & Food
 Honey Cake (Honigkuchen)
8. Animals Matter
 Sparkles and Bandit – Available for adoption at
the Shelter on the Hill in Lebec
 Video(s) of the week
9. Our Library
 "The Courier for Hell" – Classic Readers on
Saturday, August 23
 Piano Recital
10. Calendar
11. Incidents & Accidents - Homicides, Arrests, Traffic
Accidents, Fires & Rescues throughout Kern County
12. Arts – Music – Theatre
 First Opportunity for a Mural in Frazier Park
13. Business Affairs
14. Teens

15. Nature, Science & Technology
16. Weather
 Frazier Park Weather Forecast
17. Kern County
 Board of Supervisors Meetings
18. Safety & Disaster Preparedness
19. Media Affairs
20. Legislative Affairs
 Chamber’s Good Morning Bakersfield takes indepth look at proposition 1 – the water bond
headed to the November Ballot
21. Where to Go – What to Do
22. Op-Ed
23. Health & Fitness
 Yellow Fever Mosquito in Kern County
 Ebola Outbreak – Current Situation
24. Classifieds
 Cars
 Job Openings


GBU Mountain News
August 20, 2014 - LXXI

Capture the Beauty
Portraits by Gunnar J Kuepper

Please contact me for details and rates (661)- 487- 1655


GBU Mountain News
August 20, 2014 - LXXI

All Things Local

Some stores at the Outlets at Tejon
overcharge Sales Tax

Important Phone Numbers
Sheriff or CHP
Frazier Park Sheriff Station
Frazier Park Public Utility/Water District
Lebec County Water District
Southern California Edison
Southern California Gas
Pacific Gas & Electric (PGE)
El Tejon Unified School District 661-248-6247
Frazier Park Library
Supervisor David Couch
Fire Station 56 (Lebec)
Fire Station 57 (Frazier Park)
Dentist Porazik, Lebec
The Photographer (fires, accidents, weddings, & all other disasters)

Upcoming Events in the Frazier Mountain

August 23, at 11 am: Appalachian Music & Ice
Cream at the Frazier Park Library
 September 13, at 3 pm: Shelter on the Hill's 11th
Annual Wine & Cheese Fundraiser

In an age when scientists are creating
artificial intelligence, too many of our
educational institutions seem to be creating
artificial stupidity.
Thomas Sowell

Reports from customers indicate that some stores in the
Outlets at Tejon mistakenly charged too much sales tax.
The 70+ stores and restaurant are located in an
unincorporated area of Kern County with a sales tax rate
of 7.5%.
However, the official address of and ZIP Code for the
Outlets at Tejon is related to the City of Arvin. The sales
tax rate in Arvin is 8.5%.
Not surprisingly, computer systems of some stores
picked up the Arvin address and automatically applied
the higher rate of 8.5% instead of 7.5%.
Shoppers named Kitchen Collection and the Dressbarn as
some of those that charged the higher sales tax.
Tejon Ranch, the owner of the Outlets at Tejon,
estimated that not more than 10 stores applied the wrong
tax rate and they are working with those retailers to
correct the problem. The spokesperson for Tejon Ranch
Company stated: "Once everything gets taken care of, we
encourage any customers who were charged the 8.5
percent to go back to that store and indicate they
collected more tax than they should have."
However, the amount for an individual customer is
probably rather marginal. If someone spend $200 and
was charged 8.5% (instead of 7.5%) the 1% comes down
to just $2. If someone did spend $1,000 and was charged
wrongly 8.5% sales tax, that customer would be eligible
for a reimbursement of $10.


GBU Mountain News
August 20, 2014 - LXXI

As of Saturday evening, August 16, 2014 at least one
store in the Food Court is still demanding the higher City
of Arvin tax.
The confusion, however, begs the question why don't we
have a consistent sales tax throughout Kern County?

PTSO with parents.” Back to School Night is tomorrow,
Thursday, August 21, 2014 at 5:30 p.m. starting with
pizza and classroom visits.

First Day at Gorman School

Students at the beautiful campus of Gorman School line up
before entering their classrooms for the very
first time in the 2014-15 School Year.


First Day at Frazier Park Elementary

Superintendent and Principal Joe Andrews
welcomes each of his students personally

The Gorman School started the 2014-15 School Year on
Thursday, August 14, 2014 with 102 students. Seventeen
of these students are new to the Gorman School.
Superintendent and Principal Joe Andrews stated: “We
have a wonderful group of students this year. We
appreciate the community and families.” Currently the
school’s staff is reading the book “Fish”. The book talks
about four simple strategies to improve the school, great
attitude, fun. Giving back to someone, and dedication to
the school and community. According to Joe Andrews:
“Gorman is using these strategies to drive our goals for
this year. We are continuing to improve instruction
using technology and we will continue to build a strong

Directions, but nevertheless confusing?

The Frazier Park Elementary School started the 2014/15
school year on Thursday, August 14, 2014 with 252
students, about 10 down from the end of last school year.
According to Principal Keri St Jeor: “We are up by 10 at
the Kindergarten/Transitional Kindergarten (TK), but we
are down 16 in 1st grade, down 10 in 2nd grade, up 5 in
3rd grade and up one in 4th grade. Our classes are
averaging around 24 student per class this year.”
The school added a stand alone Transitional
Kindergarten (TK) program this year with Anna Hughes
as the teacher. She also works in the afternoon at the
Frazier Mountain High School as a Spanish Teacher. A
new Special Education teacher will be added since Lee
Bizzini transitioned to the High School as the new


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