August 17th, 2005

thugs, politics

in my little town...

It's funny when the local news goes on and on about terrorism, since I know that the North State isn't horribly likely vulnerable to the terrorists everybody up here is probably thinking of. While I don't think Redding is very high on the Al Qaeda hit list, there is a form of terrorism Redding would be highly exposed and vulnerable to -- that of right-wing terrorism, much of the sort Timothy McVeigh committed in Oklahoma City.

And we got reminded of that today when a local shopping center was closed down for hours today.


Well, I'll let the Record Searchlight, the paper of record up here, tell the story (for the complete story, works as a U/P):

It was a tossup Tuesday what people found more shocking -- the discovery of a grenade inside a van in a busy Anderson shopping center or that the closest bomb expert was in Sacramento.

The grenade, some black powder and marijuana was discovered about 1:45 p.m. after a police search of the van.

In the meantime, nearly 10 businesses, including the Dollar Store, Rite Aid and Perko's coffee shop, were forced to shut down and evacuate after an agent with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives found what appeared to be wires capable of a remote detonation, Purcell said.

The driver of the van, Daniel Bruce Culverwell, 30, a transient, was arrested on suspicion of possessing explosive materials and marijuana. He was to be booked at the Shasta County jail Tuesday night.

Purcell said it was unclear why Culverwell -- who had tattoos possibly indicating an affiliation with white supremacist groups -- had a grenade and what his intention was.

I live about a quarter mile from the shopping center in question. It was an exciting afternoon.

Oh yeah, as for what happened to Shasta County's bomb squad? We had one, but he retired. And nobody'd gotten around to replacing him. Whoops.

[Hmm, it's politics, but it's not. I'll put Calvin on the post anyway.]