Pinkston identified by witness

Few people in Sacramento have been as dedicated to progressive political action as Carl Pinkston, co-founder of Sacramento’s Freedom Bound Center. Because he spent years serving Sacramento’s troubled neighborhoods, SN&R reporters and editors alike were shocked to see a recent Roseville Police Department press release saying he was wanted for bank robbery.

According to the release, on January 9, a man about Pinkston’s age (51 years) and about Pinkston’s height (5 feet, 7 inches) walked into the U.S. Bank, passed a note to a teller, put an undisclosed amount of money in a Manila envelope and left the bank in a green four-door. No one was hurt.

Police spokeswoman Dee Dee Gunther filled in the details: The teller said out loud that she’d been robbed, and a bank customer followed the suspect out of the bank and trailed his car, calling in the license-plate number, linking Pinkston to the crime.

Pinkston turned himself in at the Sacramento Main Jail on Friday, January 13, and was released on bond the next day.

Multiple calls and e-mails to Pinkston’s family have gone unanswered, and though he’s well-known throughout Sacramento’s activist community, only his closest friends and associates had any idea that something might be wrong. They were unwilling to comment on the record.

Pinkston’s first court date in Placer County is January 30.

—Chrisanne Beckner

Firebombs and barbecues

Kirsten Tripplett woke up in the middle of the night last weekend and heard something thud against her Oak Park home. “I thought it was the newspaper,” said Tripplett. When she heard a second thud, she got up and went to the door to see flames shooting up from the base of the stucco house she shares with her partner, Beth Kivel. Tripplett and Kivel exited from the back of the house unharmed and ran around to see that the flames were dying down and leaving scorch marks against the front of their home.

Kivel believes the firebombing might have been in response to her activism against drug dealers in her Oak Park neighborhood. Tripplett and Kivel, who were featured in SN&R cover story “This property condemned,” May 26, 2005, live within sight of the Washington Market, a site frequented by criminals over the years. Kivel has been especially vocal as an advocate for cleaning up the area and kicking out intruders who prey on the area’s residents.

Though Tripplett said she’s gone through a number of emotions, she admits that the attack was frightening. Kivel had a different response. “I feel defiant,” she said.

On Monday, January 16, dozens of neighbors gathered around the house at sunset with candles, sharing a meal and showing their support for the two women.

Around the corner, the Washington Market was empty. Classical music played out into the empty street from the well-lit corner.

—Chrisanne Beckner

Davis weighs in

The city council of Davis voted 3-1-1 on January 10 to pass a resolution calling for President Bush to bring the troops home from Iraq.

Councilman Stephen Souza helped draft a resolution with the Davis Peace Coalition and Military Families Speak Out after community members first approached him about it months ago. On the thousandth day of the Iraq war, on December 13, 2005, Souza asked his fellow council members to have the item placed before them.

“[The people] believe [the troops] have done their job and their mission was accomplished. They want to see their family members back home alive and well,” Souza said.

Councilman Ted Puntillo said that the main reason he voted against the resolution was to show support for the troops in Iraq.

“I’m a veteran myself of Vietnam, and I know what it’s like to have people at home criticizing what they do,” he said. “Nobody likes war … [but] once we go in there, I got to support them 100 percent.” Puntillo was part of the council in 2003 that unanimously voted to oppose using military force in Iraq.

Souza believes that now that the city has made its stance on the current situation clear, welcoming back the troops when they do eventually return will be a priority. Puntillo recalls soldiers being spat at upon their return from Vietnam.

“I want us to welcome them back,” Souza said.

—Sonia K. Saini