Publisher & Staff Writer
Kate Maxwell lives in northern Mendocino County, and has worked as a reporter for several local newspapers and radio stations. Her work has been published in The Fader, The North Coast Journal, the Eureka Times-Standard and the Willits News, as well as other Northern California outlets. Previous experience includes work as a bookstore owner, the archivist for a state fair, a public policy researcher, an ice cream truck driver, among other things. She attended Brown University and Reed College, and visits the ocean as often as possible.
Managing Editor & Staff Writer
Adrian Fernandez Baumann is managing editor of The Mendocino Voice. His work has appeared in Bloomberg Businessweek, The East Bay Express, AJ+, The Willits News, The Ukiah Daily Journal and other Northern California newspapers. He has also worked as a television producer on a CNN show. Before becoming a journalist he worked as a plumber, carpenter, waiter, fisherman, sheet metal fabricator, substitute teacher, census taker, English teacher, and once walked 500 miles, from Los Angeles to San Francisco. He graduated with a degree in Anthropology from U.C. Berkeley and flunked out of Columbia Journalism School.
Occasional contributors and correspondents
Josh Bowers is an occasional photographer for The Mendocino Voice.
Sarah Reith was formerly a staff writer at The Mendocino Voice.
We also have a variety of freelance contributors. If you’re interested in helping out, we’re always looking for new writers, columnists, photographers, ad sales people, and more — get in touch!
The following are important legal codes that have some relevance to the work of the press in the United States of America, and specifically the State of California.
- The California penal code specifically allowing members of the press access to disaster areas.
- The California Constitution’s protection for journalists from revealing sources.
- Freedom of information clauses to the California Constitution.
CALIFORNIA PENAL CODE – TITLE 11. OF CRIMES AGAINST THE PUBLIC PEACE [403 – 420.1] ( Title 11 enacted 1872. )
(a) Whenever a menace to the public health or safety is created by a calamity including a flood, storm, fire, earthquake, explosion, accident, or other disaster, officers of the Department of the California Highway Patrol, police departments, marshal’s office or sheriff’s office, any officer or employee of the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection designated a peace officer by subdivision (g) of Section 830.2, any officer or employee of the Department of Parks and Recreation designated a peace officer by subdivision (f) of Section 830.2, any officer or employee of the Department of Fish and Game designated a peace officer under subdivision (e) of Section 830.2, and any publicly employed full-time lifeguard or publicly employed full-time marine safety officer while acting in a supervisory position in the performance of his or her official duties, may close the area where the menace exists for the duration thereof by means of ropes, markers, or guards to any and all persons not authorized by the lifeguard or officer to enter or remain within the enclosed area. If the calamity creates an immediate menace to the public health, the local health officer may close the area where the menace exists pursuant to the conditions set forth in this section.
(b) Officers of the Department of the California Highway Patrol, police departments, marshal’s office or sheriff’s office, officers of the Department of Fish and Game designated as peace officers by subdivision (e) of Section 830.2, or officers of the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection designated as peace officers by subdivision (g) of Section 830.2 may close the immediate area surrounding any emergency field command post or any other command post activated for the purpose of abating any calamity enumerated in this section or any riot or other civil disturbance to any and all unauthorized persons pursuant to the conditions set forth in this section whether or not the field command post or other command post is located near to the actual calamity or riot or other civil disturbance.
(c) Any unauthorized person who willfully and knowingly enters an area closed pursuant to subdivision (a) or (b) and who willfully remains within the area after receiving notice to evacuate or leave shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
Nothing in this section shall prevent a duly authorized representative of any news service, newspaper, or radio or television station or network from entering the areas closed pursuant to this section.
(Amended by Stats. 1996, Ch. 305, Sec. 44. Effective January 1, 1997.)
The beginning of the Constitution of the State of California:
All people are by nature free and independent and have inalienable rights. Among these are enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining safety, happiness, and privacy.
(Sec. 1 added Nov. 5, 1974, by Proposition 7. Resolution Chapter 90, 1974.)
(a) Every person may freely speak, write and publish his or her sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of this right. A law may not restrain or abridge liberty of speech or press.
A publisher, editor, reporter, or other person connected with or employed upon a newspaper, magazine, or other periodical publication, or by a press association or wire service, or any person who has been so connected or employed, shall not be adjudged in contempt by a judicial, legislative, or administrative body, or any other body having the power to issue subpoenas, for refusing to disclose the source of any information procured while so connected or employed for publication in a newspaper, magazine or other periodical publication, or for refusing to disclose any unpublished information obtained or prepared in gathering, receiving or processing of information for communication to the public.
Nor shall a radio or television news reporter or other person connected with or employed by a radio or television station, or any person who has been so connected or employed, be so adjudged in contempt for refusing to disclose the source of any information procured while so connected or employed for news or news commentary purposes on radio or television, or for refusing to disclose any unpublished information obtained or prepared in gathering, receiving or processing of information for communication to the public.
As used in this subdivision, “unpublished information” includes information not disseminated to the public by the person from whom disclosure is sought, whether or not related information has been disseminated and includes, but is not limited to, all notes, outtakes, photographs, tapes or other data of whatever sort not itself disseminated to the public through a medium of communication, whether or not published information based upon or related to such material has been disseminated.
(Sec. 2 amended June 3, 1980, by Prop. 5. Res.Ch. 77, 1978.)
(a) The people have the right to instruct their representatives, petition government for redress of grievances, and assemble freely to consult for the common good.
(1) The people have the right of access to information concerning the conduct of the people’s business, and, therefore, the meetings of public bodies and the writings of public officials and agencies shall be open to public scrutiny.
(2) A statute, court rule, or other authority, including those in effect on the effective date of this subdivision, shall be broadly construed if it furthers the people’s right of access, and narrowly construed if it limits the right of access. A statute, court rule, or other authority adopted after the effective date of this subdivision that limits the right of access shall be adopted with findings demonstrating the interest protected by the limitation and the need for protecting that interest.
(3) Nothing in this subdivision supersedes or modifies the right of privacy guaranteed by Section 1 or affects the construction of any statute, court rule, or other authority to the extent that it protects that right to privacy, including any statutory procedures governing discovery or disclosure of information concerning the official performance or professional qualifications of a peace officer.
(4) Nothing in this subdivision supersedes or modifies any provision of this Constitution, including the guarantees that a person may not be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, or denied equal protection of the laws, as provided in Section 7.
(5) This subdivision does not repeal or nullify, expressly or by implication, any constitutional or statutory exception to the right of access to public records or meetings of public bodies that is in effect on the effective date of this subdivision, including, but not limited to, any statute protecting the confidentiality of law enforcement and prosecution records.
(6) Nothing in this subdivision repeals, nullifies, supersedes, or modifies protections for the confidentiality of proceedings and records of the Legislature, the Members of the Legislature, and its employees, committees, and caucuses provided by Section 7 of Article IV, state law, or legislative rules adopted in furtherance of those provisions; nor does it affect the scope of permitted discovery in judicial or administrative proceedings regarding deliberations of the Legislature, the Members of the Legislature, and its employees, committees, and caucuses.
(7) In order to ensure public access to the meetings of public bodies and the writings of public officials and agencies, as specified in paragraph (1), each local agency is hereby required to comply with the California Public Records Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 6250) of Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code) and the Ralph M. Brown Act (Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 54950) of Part 1 of Division 2 of Title 5 of the Government Code), and with any subsequent statutory enactment amending either act, enacting a successor act, or amending any successor act that contains findings demonstrating that the statutory enactment furthers the purposes of this section.
(Sec. 3 amended June 3, 2014, by Prop. 42. Res.Ch. 123, 2013.)