‘Homeless Rick’ ushers in era of letting bygones be bygones

"Homeless Rick"-- (1961-2015) R.I.P.

Letting bygones be bygones

“A Commentary by Carmen Sabatino”

Homeless Rick MuralIt seems that Mr. Rick Hernstedt, a.k.a. ‘Homeless Rick’ may have ushered in from his grave an era of letting bygones be bygones between me and the Modesto Bee that Modestonians will benefit from.

Bear with me as my Back Story fills in the gaps as to how and why some in-the-know Modestonians see it as a miracle of sorts (LOL).


In my letter of February 20th, 2016, written in the spirit of journalistic cooperation to Mr. Ken Riddick, publisher of the Modesto Bee, he was informed of my intent to share BSN investigative information which would help shed light on the activities of our city government for the benefit of our community.

As providence would have it, no sooner than the letter’s ink was dry, I had the opportunity to practice what I preached.

Downtown mural remembers homeless man-ModBee by Kevin Valine was a heartfelt article of Homeless Rick’s mural on the exterior wall of a new downtown restaurant, Ralston’s Goat.

The article fulfilled the objective of the artist, local defense attorney Mr. Martin Baker, who “hoped it would create community conversation about the homeless and homelessness.”

But, when I discovered that the Downtown Improvement District (DID) was leveling veiled threats to the owners of Ralston’s Goat if the mural was not taken down, it concerned me.

My blog, Mural of ‘Homeless Rick’ leads to veiled Free Speech threats by Downtown Improvement District was shared with the Modesto Bee respectfully suggesting they consider writing a follow-up story concerning impingement upon citizens’ Freedom of Speech.

The Modesto Bee did so promptly with Downtown Modesto mural of homeless man has people talking, by Deke Farrow, 02/27/2016.

Incredibly, and graciously, the Modesto Bee quoted me within the article as follows:  “A commentary by Modesto businessman and onetime Mayor Carmen Sabatino on his website The Back Story, at www.backstorynews.com, called the statement “veiled threats of possible ruination of the business.”

The Miracle of Sorts

Many Modestonians told me they thought the Modesto Bee quoting me was a “miracle of sorts.”Miracles of sorts

It was due to their awareness that when I was Mayor, it was my opinion there was an all-out smear campaign launched by a previous editor of the Modesto Bee, Mr. Mark Vasché, to aid what ended as being the failed prosecution of me by DA Investigator Kirk Bunch.  At the time, I was defended by Mr. Frank Carson.

It was my position, and still is, that Vasché did so as payback for me as Mayor lowering the city’s annual advertising in the Modesto Bee from $180,000 to $90,000.

Vasché has been provided a copy of this commentary offering him the opportunity to respond and be a guest on my blog talk radio anytime that is convenient for him.

At this point, all I can say is thank you to the Modesto Bee’s current publisher Riddick, and its senior editor, Mr. Joe Kieta, for looking at me in hopefully a different light, and as a person that is truly dedicated to wanting to improve our community.

It is letting bygones be bygones.  Thank you Mr. Hernstedt.

I will continue to share reliable investigative information shedding light on city government with the Modesto Bee that as a past mayor, I may become privy to that may be unavailable to them.

Carmen Sabatino

cc:  Ken Riddick & Joe Kieta of The Modesto Bee


Sneak Preview of Future Blogs


Making-a-Murderer-Logo-NetflixUPDATE:  March 14th, 2016:  Making a Murderer, Modesto Style:  The NetFlix documentary, Making a Murderer’s Machiavellian Calumet County (Wisconsin) DA prosecutor, Ken Kratz, seems to be Stanislaus County’s DA Birgit Fladager and DA Investigator Kirk Bunch’s role model.

The allegations contained within the DEFENDANT’S SUPPLEMENTAL AND ONGOING MOTIONS TO DISMISS FOR OUTRAGEOUS PROSECUTORIAL MISCONDUCT, filed 02/24/2016 in the State vs. Frank Carson, et. al,, Case # 1490969, are nothing short of shocking to the senses of American justice if proven true. [i]

BSN is providing a copy of the motion with additional information to the production company that made Making a Murderer in the hopes of gaining their interest in the story.


money-burning-government-spendingUPDATE:  March 14th, 2016:  Burning Money – The Frank Carson Prosecution Fiasco:  Stanislaus County Supervisor James (Jim) DeMartini goes public for the first time with Sabatino on BSN blog talk radio guessing that DA Birgit Fladager and DA Investigator Kirk Bunch have burnt through $3,000,000.00 on the Frank Carson, et. al case.

DeMartini also said, “I haven’t watched the case very closely, but what I have gotten out of my observation of it is that the witnesses don’t have much credibility.  The witnesses are drug addicts and criminals and you can’t believe anything they say….” (DeMartini, BSN blog talk radio, March 2nd, 2016.)  BSN predicts DA Birgit Fladager will be sent packing her bags with DA Investigator Bunch.



[i] California Licensed Private Investigator, Mr. Warren Yates, of Yates Investigative Services, and Mr. Tom Jensen have been contributing articles to BSN on their coverage of the State v. Frank Carson, et al..  The articles are unedited by BSN and posted “as is” as a public service.  Neither BSN nor Carmen Sabatino accepts any responsibility or liability for the accuracy, content, completeness, legality, or reliability of the information contained within the articles.