Stormspotter-Todd's Blog

Where'd Todd Go?...
     On Dealing With Psychopaths and Stalking

Chapter 8 -

"[...] No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

- 14th Amendment, Section 1, U.S. Constitution

So here we are minding our own business, when along comes big bad government which says (effectively) "We've decided to just up and TAKE your organization, oh and AND THE NAME that you've been using for fifteen years - because we think we CAN - and really...we DON'T give a rats ass what you think about that. And oh by the way, we don't believe your accusations against our people, and we're not going to look into it or do anything at all about it because we really just don't care. Now step aside, please..."

Melissa Royce called herself the "Coordinator" of the "new Alachua County SKYWARN program" as she put it to the Gainesville Sun7, and to WCJB/TV-20. And on August 15th, 2008, she even created a Yahoo group for "Alachua County SKYWARN" using the username "AC_Skywarn".

But we already had an Alachua County SKYWARN Email Alert List, and it had been in operation since 2003, and her group's username was suspiciously close to our own ("ac_skywarn"). Melissa wasn't a dummy. She knew exactly what she was doing. She knew of the existence of our group, of the existence of our email listgroup, everything. She was doing this to harass, and using ACOEM and even the NWS to do it. She was "cyberstalking", and trying to use the name and the powers of the Alachua County Office of Emergency Management to get away with it.

It's not like we were dead and not active or anything. We were doing all sorts of things at the time. Whenever we had spotter training classes, I advertised everywhere - online, on TV, in newspapers, in listgroups, put up amazing photo posters up in Publix and other shopping centers all around the county, arranged huge venues to hold them in, and repeatedly had turnouts of 75 to 100+ people in attendance every time. We also run the SKYWARN-L Florida SKYWARN Discussion List, which has been around since 1998, a year after ACS was first founded; and the ACEMWIN-HURR-L Hurricane Bulletin Listgroup, and the ACWIN series of weather bulletin listgroups. We run the Alachua County SKYWARN web page, which has been around since 1997, and the Alachua County EMWIN Project web page (we send severe weather bulletins to the public as a public service for free), which has been around since 2002. We also run the Index to SKYWARN Web Pages On The Internet (since 1997) to help people find other SKYWARN groups across the country, and Mobile Scanner & RADAR-Detector Laws In The United States (since 1995) so that hams and spotters and others know where the use of scanners is appropriate in the US. It's not like we're an unknown, or we're not visible, or people can say they looked and couldn't find us out there. It's just not possible to do a keyword search for 'SKYWARN', 'Alachua County', or even for 'Todd Sherman' without coming across all of this stuff multiple times. And it's been out there since 1997. There are no excuses. ACOEM and the hams could have chosen ANY OTHER NAME THEY WISHED for their own Skywarn organization, but Melissa wanted to use this one because she knew it would bother me. ...And ACOEM backed her up without asking any questions. Personally speaking, ACOEM is run by a bunch of morons who just don't think too hard. Legally speaking, ACOEM was being led by a number of bad hams into actually attempting to take over another organization and to take over the use of it's name without any lawyers being contacted first at all. Why? I mean, it's just Todd. Right? Who's going to stop them from doing that? ...Todd? ACOEM was huge, and they thought they could do anything that they wanted and permission from me wasn't necessary or required as far as they were concerned. They probably also told themselves that the County owns the use of the words 'Alachua County' and by golly Todd's just gonna have to relinquish its use! Right?


If the use of the words "Alachua County" in any business or organizational name is illegal and considered the sole ownership of the county of Alachua then there are an awful lot of businesses and organizations out there which are operating illegally, right now. (Such as Alachua County Feed & Seed Store, Alachua County Special Olympics, Alachua County Childcare Center, Alachua County Lawn Care, etc.) And even if such a thing were true, these businesses and organizations have been using those names for quite a while now and in all those many years no one has spoken up and said a thing. Therefore, the precedence being set is that no one cares about it either way; and therefore, the County has relinquished it's rights to lay any such claim by it's own inactions. Sorry, but that's the way the "precedence" ball bounces. So if that's the angle ACOEM was taking, it was a bad choice, and sounds much like something a self-proclaimed, do-it-yourself, "at-home" lawyer rather than a real lawyer might suggest. And if that's the case, then ACOEM deserves whatever embarrassment and humiliation they get from it. I think Jeff once told me that it was something that actually came outta Philip Royce's ass and that ACOEM sortuh just went with it assuming that it sounded like correct legal speak. But...nobody actually checked.

There was this well-oiled "synergy" going on between Melissa Royce and the Alachua County Office of Emergency Management. Melissa fed them BS. They believed it without question or challenge. Then they gave Melissa absolute power to do whatever she wanted...without any challenge whatsoever.

In ACOEM, nobody ever really listened what I was telling them. I was telling them that the very people that they were so proud of and supportive of were stalking me and using their given powers and contacts inside of ACOEM to harass and stalk me, my friends, my family, and to attempt to take over another organization. To them, I was just a crazy, raving lunatic, and I was ignored. They didn't want to believe me. Chief May and Dave Donnelly heard something else entirely whenever I spoke, and only saw me as being ridiculous. They saw what they wanted to see and refused to believe anything that I was telling them I assume because it sounded just too much like a whining complainer. (This is sounding familiar.)

Nonetheless, a complaint was filed with ACOEM, twice, through two ACOEM employees, now. Those two acknowledged me directly. And rather than follow harassment protocol and procedure, they chose to listen to the harassers and to blow me off entirely. Procedure and protocol and due process were thrown out of the window.

ACOEM then continued to pursue the creation of their own spotter group anyway, using Alachua County SKYWARN's name. Even today, the Alachua County ARES site STILL has links to Melissa's Yahoo "Alachua County SKYWARN" listgroup on their Mission Statement, Calendar, Nets, Contacts, and Archives pages, even though her little SKYWARN program itself is no longer in existence. (See real group vs. fake group.) Again, had they formed their own organization, using a different name, I wouldn't have cared. But they insisted upon using the name of our organization. It did not seem to matter to anyone in Emergency Management. No one there seemed the slightest bit worried about me, or ACS, or about what Jeff and Melissa were doing using ACOEM's power. That is the strangest feeling in the world to watch while a government agency attacks you and your organization and seems to laugh in your face.

UPDATE, 1/19/2010: suddenly disappeared, and has been replaced with Links to the imposter ACS Yahoo group still remain, though.

UPDATE, June, 2011: After noticing in my IP logs some hits recently by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and even from United States Navy Network Information Services, which began immediately after some hits from NWS-JAX[see logs], I noticed as well that someone had also "coincidentally" just removed the links to Melissa's false web sites from the ACOEM Yahoo site. That's pretty interesting. (Took 'em long enough. I mean, I'd asked them a few YEARS ago to remove those links and they ignored me. Suddenly, the FBI begins an investigation and someone out of the blue just "remembers" my old complaint and complies. However, I don't think it was to be nice to me. It was obviously being done to try to cover some asses. It confirms a definite line of communication between NWS-JAX and the Alachua County Office of Emergency Management regarding the investigation. It shows a kind of co-conspiracy involvement going on between them - one giving the other a heads up, and the other attempting to remove certain evidences of harassment and/or involvement before the FBI could have a chance to see it. I mean, I saw the FBI hits, and at nearly the same exact time, I watched the doppelganger AC-SKYWARN links disappear almost live. It was kinda funny to see it happen, actually. Kinda satisfying. ...The bad guys were running for cover, in a manner of speaking, as a direct result of their own stupid mistakes. It was kind of satisfying to watch all that scurrying happen, and knowing WHY they were doing it.) Meanwhile, the rogue Yahoo group still remains nonetheless, and ACOEM has not attempted to force Melissa to remove it, yet. Removing the link doesn't remove their responsibility for it, though. Of course, ACOEM's Yahoo page sysop is Jeff Capehart. And this just so smells of an attempt by Jeff to cover his ass rather than of ACOEM trying to do the right thing. I guess I should file a complaint against ACOEM, and then issue a Cease & Desist. Maybe that'll get the right attention to the matter. I's not as if I've got some sort of bridge I'd be burning there or something. The hams did that for me already.

UPDATE, 2014: They finally removed the links to Melissa's site but it took them until now to get around to it. But they still haven't been able to remove her site itself from Yahoo.

They held one spotter training class in 2008, which I attended, 1) to show that I was not intimidated, 2) to show them that I was still out there, and 3) because I was due for the two-year refresher anyway. They passed out applications for the new "Alachua County SKYWARN" organization to people. That clinched it for me. I didn't make any scenes. I remained quiet. I went home after the class very pissed off. The takeover was made publicly official, now.

It was during this class that Angie first made her apparent anger with me quite publicly known. She was very short with me after I asked a question about radar and I didn't understand where it had come from. When I turned, Melissa had a very happy and satisfied look on her face immediately afterwards, like she was very proud with herself for something that she had done to cause it. To this day, Angie's anger with me has never been explained. And note that this occurred before this blog was published, too. So she can't say she was angry with me over the blog, that day. Jeff of course had to offer up yet more vague and mysterious explanation - which really wasn't an explanation. That's how most of Jeff's "offerings" go. Always the man with his fingers in the information is Jeff. Anyway... Jeff offered that Angie had said that "Todd has only himself to blame for what is happening to him."

...Blame for WHAT?

By now I'd had it. I'd finally realized that this was not something that was going to be resolved by trying to work things out with ACOEM and the hams. Now it had spread to the National Weather Service, and a person who had respected and even admired me by now apparently hated my guts. This was getting worse, and it wasn't going to stop. I needed to start putting my foot down. It was obvious that this was all leading to me having to threaten to use the law if this didn't stop.

Finally, I pulled myself together and got up the nerve and I wrote Dave an email which threatened both he and ACOEM with a very public lawsuit and demanded he/they cease using our name. There was no official, verbal, written, or email response from Dave, and he took his sweet time, but they did appear to finally some extent, anyway. They stopped having their "Alachua County SKYWARN" meetings. But the paperwork remained online - even today. It was obvious he did get on it in some fashion, but his long delay seemed to imply a very begrudging resistance to it. I hoped that he got on some people for it all, too. But I doubt it. I sincerely doubt it. He probably just labeled me as a lunatic jerk and went on with his life in his Dave-ley oblivious little way, cursing me for being an asshole or something. In fact, for the time being, ACOEM had ceased all attempt at putting together any kind of a spotter program after that. ...Which is what makes me think he gave up outright. ...And that was not my intent. I wanted them to stop using our NAME, and the resultant implication that the proud history which belonged to OUR organization had anything to do with theirs. I wanted him to be more diligent and to watch his people a bit more closely and responsibly and to make sure that his people weren't given unwarranted powers which could be used to abuse and to cause harm to others as Melissa, Phil, and Jeff, were doing. This is not an illogical complaint or unreasonable want. They were attempting to take over another already existing organization, and they were giving my stalkers the power to do that and more -- to harass and stalk me, and my friends, my family, my associations, and I wanted it to stop. That's all that there was to it. So now, Alachua County has no real spotter program -- as a direct result of what the hams did here, and because everybody is scared and doesn't know what to do. Who is telling the truth? Who is lying? Who is the real victim? Who is the real problem? Nobody really has a clue, so everyone becomes stagnated, bogged down, held hostage by fear of being wrong.

It's a little too late to put on the brakes and look now, though...after the "accident" has already happened and now that the wounded are lieing all around the accident scene, so to speak. They took a little too long to finally "get a clue", and the damage has already been done.

UPDATE, June, 2018:Today, ACOEM does hold spotter training programs...usually once a year, or once every other year; but not twice a year like I used to do them. But they are not widely publicized. They don't advertise them in the newspapers or on TV. They don't put up attention-getting posters around town. They don't utilize Community Calendars, or advertise online, or in listgroups, or even in their own or other Facebook pages. They advertise solely in the Alachua County newsletter (Alachua County Communications), distributed mostly in-house. Their training classes max out maybe at about 20+ people, not many more. And they are usually in-house EM-related groups such as CERT or SATERN, and other similar rescue groups. ACOEM does not advertise it to the general public, though; and they won't see notice of it unless they visit the NWS-JAX web site and click on the SKYWARN link to see the list of upcoming classes there. When I was doing the classes, 75 to 100+ people came, and I advertised in all of the places mentioned above. I try to combat this by taking some of the spotter training classes advertised in the NWS-JAX list in some local area listgroups and Facebook pages, and on the AC-SKYWARN home page and Facebook pages. But really, the damage done by the local hams to the Skywarn program is pretty evident even now, some 15 years later. It's nothing near as fantastic anymore. And I suspect that's how GARS likes it. ...No competition.

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