Wed. Jun 12th, 2024

By Donna Westfall – January 19, 2019 –

Del Norte Triplicate Editor, Robin Fornoff, is in the news for a DUI (driving under the influence – alcohol) .  On Friday, January 18th, Fornoff was arrested by the California Highway Patrol.  He has since been released.

Fornoff, as you may recall from previously published articles, had a unique interpretation of 1st Amendment rights which is different from mine and in particular about freedom of the press. He banned me and countless others from submitting article and letters to the editor at the Triplicate  for about two years until Kim Fowler, the new publisher, arrived on the scene.

I suspect that his arrest will not show up anywhere amongst the pages of the Triplicate.

Another arrest/release is Kimberly Spears.  She’s been battling with alcohol for as long as I’ve know her which has been about a decade  The last time we ran into each other a few months ago, she was proud of her sobriety.  She wanted her daughter to be proud of her.  It saddens me to see her relapse.  Even worse it saddens me that she has to be stuck in jail because of it.  Wouldn’t some type of rehab make more sense?

As of today’s date, there are 94 inmates in the county jail.  Many DUI’s get the same treatment as a type of fishing called catch and release.  Typically, they are booked, they spend the night in jail, and they’re released.

Probably the most famous death associated with driving under the influence is Princess Diana.  Her driver was intoxicated, plus he had consumed anti-depressants and-psychotics.  He was the sole survivor.

Comedian, Sam Kinison and his new bride were both killed when a 17 year old drunk driver slammed head on into their car on their way to a sold out crowd in Nevada.

You might recognize some of these names: Tim Allen, Heidi Fleiss, Mel Gibson, Kevin Hart, Paris Hilton, Wynnona Judd, Rodney King, Heather Locklear, Nick Nolte, Keanu Reeves, Dennis Rodman, Diana Ross, Kiefer Sutherland and Tiger Woods were all arrested for DUI’s.  There’s no set pattern as to race, sex, economic status or age.  Anyone who drinks too much puts themselves and others at risk.

Drunk driving is a serious offense that kills thousands each year.  The majority of those arrested for DUI’s are not alcoholics. They’re just people who have made a bad choice to drink too much and drive.


13 thoughts on “What’s Happening?”
  1. Andrew,
    Your story is one of many in Del Norte. Sounds like your case turned out somewhat ok, glad to hear it. At the other end of the spectrum was a case called the Blackhawk story which started in 2011.

  2. I actually like the fact that the “local arrest” have not been posted.
    The CHP seems to still be meeting the needs of their quota. Where small town politics and things such as Quotas are illegal and non-existent in rest of the State of California, the Local CHP is allowing its employees to follow the Del Norte County small town politics where everyone knows everyone and choose to arrest people for DUI’s even though there are no alcohol or drugs involved. These DUI arrest help bring in rewards and funding (quotas) only for the DUI arrest. The outcome of the case has no merit. The reward is set. Having the insight that there are no repercussions for this illegal activity, history repeats itself in Del Norte County. It is fairly easy to find a local criminal attorney to represent someone in these cases because it’s all part of the game in this community. Sad but true. But when you approach a local attorney to file a civil claim against the wrongdoing of the County or local law enforcement they give you that look, like you are a ghost. Some even chuckle and 99% have just turned and walked away. They all except one are committed to Del Norte Counties small town politics and are afraid of going against the grain, even if it means doing the right thing.

    I fell victim to A false Dui, False imprisonment and was injured during the arrest. Financial damages I wont even begin to dig into, it’s too upsetting for me. I suffered embarrassment with my Employer on my own behalf. I, an Honest Man was able to relinquish this embarrassing incident to her before she read it as public news. I am very grateful for that.

    I apologize for my venting, I Just wanted to get this off my mind,

    Thank you,


  3. Okay, consider me shocked. Seriously, i am.

    The Del Norte Triplicate not only sees the Local Arrests advertisement back up, but the article was in fact published to address this issue. (It does not escape that avoiding linking to the official Del Norte OIS website is at play here https://)

    Given many past observations, I thought for sure they’d try to bury this situation. Here’s a direct link to their published article with a statement from Mr. Fornoff himself.

    Thank you, Del Norte Triplicate for actually finally doing the right thing here, even if it was delayed.

    1. The story is also in today’s Pilot. In other news, Western Communications, Inc, the owner of the Pilot and Triplicate (among other papers), has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy (restructuring). The story said the papers will continue publishing, but the changes are planned.

  4. Speaking only for myself and as a resident of this community, I seriously question the need for publishing this.
    As was pointed out, Mr. Fornoff is not a public official. Nor, to the best of my knowledge, has he been using his position
    at the paper to engage in hypocritical or duplicitous editorializing on issues related to alcohol or DUI.
    As a former News Director, I’ve refused to publish stories about the (alleged) activities of well known community members because when I asked myself this essential question: Is this News? The answer was No, it isn’t!
    Unfortunately (whether intended or not) this comes off as taking advantage of a personal issue to engage in political payback.
    In the end that road leads to the ruin of everyone.
    What’s done is done and can’t be undone.
    The real question is what happens from here.

    1. The only thing about my article that I regret, Mike, is the picture of Fornoff. We couldn’t reduce the size. Subsequently, I have removed it since his publication chose to publish it.

  5. Oh I’ve come across the local gossip column. Your childish, backbiting comments don’t stand up to the true creed of unbiased journalism. Moving on now.

    1. Gale,

      Since you work for the Del Norte Triplicate, could you perhaps answer this question:

      Why did the “Local Arrests” advertisement vanish just after the arrest of your Editor?

      Thanks in advance.

        1. I stand corrected. I made the assumption based on seeing your name numerous times across the Triplicate websites with your name forward slash Triplicate, as in:

          “Gale Steelman / Triplicate”. The formatting easily made it seem as if you were part of the team there. I hope you can understand why I would make that assumption.

          Normally i see “Photo by: ” rather than “Name / Business” when referencing art provided by someone.

          Here’s an example of where I saw this:


    2. What a hoot! I guess the American public would be unaware of a wide range of objective news if we are to slavishly follow what is now laughably considered “the true creed of unbiased journalism”? Robin Fornoff and the Triplicate, really! Seems that the “local gossip column” has become the go to source for objective and unbiased news that narrative journalism in professional news organizations and their outlets fail to provide. Or perhaps, and more importantly, regularly show up professional journalists as the “childish, backbiting”, and unabashed purveyor’s of biased and false news. The fact that the Triplicate’s editor, Robin Fornoff is a clear and regular contributor to the death of unbiased and objective journalism not only locally but world wide, should be recognized by those in our community. Additionally it should be recognized that Robin Fornoff is but one of many news professionals that no longer consider news reporting to be a vehicle to inform the public objectively,but to carry a narrative to create news along subjective lines. Bad news for the public, might as well call it what it is, propaganda.

  6. Being that he is not an elected official, you will find it with all of the other DUIs in news of record. 1st amendment does not force printers to print your’ voice. A little bit bitter and retaliatory. We have many DUIs up here, people drink at facilities that have parking, nobody catches on. But this is just retaliation.

  7. I also doubt that The Del Norte Triplicate will be publishing this information. Likely buried like most other things that hit close to home with them. I noticed they immediately took down the “Local Arrests” add at the top of the website, that linked to the local page in which widgets were displayed from

    Here’s a link directly to the source for those widgets:

    Notice Fornoff’s name is not present.

    I am almost willing to bet that Staff at The Del Norte Triplicate have been the ones feeding arrest information to that website. This is speculation of course, but it seems quite fishy to me.

    Anyway, i am almost 100% certain this case will vanish with no further information presented unless it comes to light on this website.

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