MCT: Thursday, April 18, 2019

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WARMER WEATHER is expected across the interior today. A weak trough will bring a slight chance of showers Friday through Saturday, followed by dry weather and a new warming trend Sunday through early next week. (National Weather Service)

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HENDY WOODS is a 945 acre State Park near the town of Philo, in Mendocino County's lovely Anderson Valley.

80 acres of old growth redwoods are easily accessed on gentle trails through two beautiful groves.

The recently refurbished Day Use Area in a large sunny meadow has picnic tables, barbecues, shade structures, and bathrooms that comply with the standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

It's an easy walk along several miles of the Navarro River.

There are miles of moderately easy hiking trails.

92 camping sites can be reserved in the high season, and are available without reservation at other times of the year, including several ADA-compliant sites.

4 small camping cabins can be reserved year round, including one ADA-compliant cabin.

Hendy Woods State Park is open every day of the year for both Camping and Day Use.

We are always looking for Volunteers. Can you Staff our Visitor Center, Lead Interpretive Walks, or Control Invasive Species? Come talk to us about volunteering at our Volunteer Appreciation Event?

Our mailing address is:

Hendy Woods Community

PO Box 443

Philo, CA 95466-0443

HendyWoodsCommunity@gmail.com

Another way to find out about events, history and trivia. Check out our first Hendy Woods Community Newsletter.

https://mailchi.mp/4…/hendy-woods-community-newsletter-42019

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FORMER SUPERVISOR DAN HAMBURG and Sara Stark have bought a home at 32386 Wilson Creek Road, Cottage Grove, Oregon 97424.

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NO BOONVILLE QUIZ THIS WEEK. The General Knowledge and Trivia Quiz will return next week on the 4th Thursday of the moth - 25th April. In the meantime, may I humbly suggest that you stimulate your brains by reading, drinking Guinness, and interacting face to face with other humans. Hope to see you on the 25th if not before. Cheers, Steve Sparks, The Quiz Master

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PATRICK HICKEY, Service Employees International Union field representative for Mendocino County, effectively set the stage at Tuesday's supervisors meeting for the upcoming budget/salary negotiations that the Supervisors and the CEO will have to address soon:

"County employees are fed up. They are fed up with the delays, fed up with the double standard. They are fed up with the justifications and excuses. They have watched as the board voted jaw-dropping wage increases for themselves and for county managers. I might just mention a few examples: a 40% increase for yourselves in January of 2018, a 24% increase for the Director of HHSA in August of 2018, an 18% increase for the Director of Planning and Building in August of 2018, a 22% increase for the Assistant Agricultural Commissioner in October of 2018, a 22% increase over four years for the CEO in October of 2018… Do you see a pattern here? I should also note that when these comparisons and increases were approved the board only looked at salary comparisons, not at benefits. Why do you only include benefits when you look at the lowest paid employees in the county? We expect the same methods and criteria to be used for county employees as was used for board members and managers. Or, you may need to revisit some of these exorbitant raises and claw some of them back. Today, after repeated delays, we were told that the report looking at wage rates for county employees would finally be released. But once again that was not true. Instead of transparency in data, we get generalities and excuses. Including benefits in comparisons is always problematic. Does the comparison include retiree health benefits? Healthcare for extra help employees? Education reimbursement plans? Housing assistance programs? We don't know because the information has not been released. If the administration is unwilling to provide the voters with the actual information on wage rates here in Mendocino County, we are happy to step in and do it for you. Just how far below market are wages in Mendocino County? Let me give you a few examples: account specialist supervisor 40% below market, animal control officer 29% below market, branch librarian 37% below market, child support specialist II 30% below market, departmental analyst I 37% below market, employment and training worker II 29% below market, program specialist II 46% below market, staff assistant III 18% below market…. I could go on, but you get the picture. What is even more confounding is that most of the money to increase wages would not be coming out of the general fund. Why in the world would you not bring more money into Mendocino County from state and federal sources? You can bet that other counties make sure they get every single dime. Why are you shortchanging Mendocino County? Supervisor Williams asked about comparators. Something that should be an embarrassment for all of us is that Sonoma County recently reached a settlement for their contract and they asked that Mendocino County be removed from their list of comparators because it was dragging them down. So we are asking you to stop stalling, stop saying you appreciate county employees when you are stiffing them. You can take action today to correct this inequity. The only question is if you have the will.”


Mr. Hickey received a polite round of applause from the employees in the audience which was followed by Board Chair Carre Brown scolding the applauders because applauding is not permitted in the Board Chambers and that they should instead silently twinkle-wave.


PS. In his recitation of the recent self-awarded “jaw-dropping” pay raises the Supes and top officials gave themselves, Mr. Hickey forgot to mention County Counsel Kit Elliott who got a big raise last year on top of her earlier raise the year before and who now makes $140k/year plus generous benefits. That particular pay raise was given in closed session.

RECALL that back in 2009 when the Great Recession hit and the employees were forced to take 10% pay cuts, Supervisors David Colfax and Kendall Smith, alone among the Supervisors and other top officials, refused to take cuts commensurate with the cuts they were imposing on their employees. Several of Colfax and Smith’s colleagues pointed out at the time that their refusal to take cuts like everybody else looked bad and made employee relations that much harder. But now, nobody seems to care how they look.

IN UPCOMING REPORTS we will point out the neat little trick CEO Carmel Angelo pulled on the board during the abbreviated budget discussion to shift the blame for the looming budget problems from herself to the Board — which the Board seems totally deaf to.

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NEED HELP FILING A PG&E WILDFIRE CLAIM?

Anyone who was injured or suffered loss of property in any of the recent California wild fires can use this link to report damages & apply for the PG&E Wildfire Lawsuit.

Call (707) 343-8001

lawsuit.watch/pge-camp-fire-lawsuit.php

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ED NOTES

CAN'T HELP but hear the new verbal tics. Along with high nasal deliveries, uptalk and the constant error even among the national news Chuckle Buddies of 'incidences' for 'incidents,’ we now endure 'sort of' and 'kind of' prefacing simple declarative statements. Bad grammar and rhetorical incoherence seems to be infectious.


SNITCH LETTERS. Much as we enjoy anon communications describing the sexual hijinks of Mendo's Mighty, we can't publish them unless the author identifies him or herself to us. Please accept this assurance: Among our countless sins no one can say we've ever betrayed a source.


HOW COME you never hear opposing lawyers around here refer to each other as "my learned colleague…?" Oh. Well. Gee. Never thought of it that way.


WAITING FOR THE BIG ONE. All media get a lot of mileage out of earthquake reports, dribbling out the small ones as they occur almost daily, and following up with monthly features on the History of Big Ones. When a 4.1 quake hit near The Geysers on Monday morning about 5am, many of us quake-anticipators checked our ammo stashes just in case, self-protection units probably being more necessary to survival in the chaotic aftermath than potable water and those 500 cans of Progresso out in the garage.

THE USGS reported more than 360 earthquakes in The Geysers area within the past three weeks, though most were recorded at less than a magnitude 3.0. There's always been a presumption that capping The Geysers for energy production has caused the quakes at The Geysers, but there's also steady movement where the tectonic plates move, one north, one south, deep in the Pacific off Petrolia. Some experts say all this movement relieves stress built up along fault lines, others say the increase in movement is like an archer drawing back his bow until…

MARC REISNER'S careful and fully informed earthquake book is the best scenario out there about what will happen to the Bay Area when the Big One hits: "A Dangerous Place: California's Unsettling Fate." Many of you will remember Reisner's seminal water study called “Cadillac Desert.”

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REDWOOD COAST SENIORS

Redwood Coast Senior Center is a very busy place with all the activities and meeting held each day. Volunteers are needed in the Dining Room, serving all that come to lunch everyday. Also the Centers thrift store is in need of volunteers with many days and hours to choose from. Come down if you haven’t already and see for your self what a great place to spend a few hours helping where you feel most comfortable. Redwood Coast Senior Center has opportunities in the Dining room and the Thrift Store. If your passionate about community services, care about people and have the time and energy, we’d love to have your help. Being a Volunteer is a privilege and a responsibility. To become a valued member of our volunteer team please contact Jodi by email events@rcscenter.org or call 961-4307.

Jodi Tzovarras

Event / Volunteer Coordinator

Food Service Administrator

Redwood Coast Seniors Inc.

490 N. Harrold Street

Fort Bragg, CA. 95437

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ANDERSON VALLEY LUTHIER makes custom instruments

Located in the heart of Anderson Valley, Dart Instruments has become an iconic landing spot for many musicians in search of custom made stringed instruments.

ukiahdailyjournal.com/2019/04/16/anderson-valley-luthier-makes-custom-instruments/

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MARCO ON KZYX

And how about the zero dollars an hour the local airpeople at KZYX are paid for preparing their shows and showing up and doing them all year long all put together while the bosses in the office pay themselves hundred of thousands of dollars for smiling in and out and running two-week-long egregiously unlistenable pledge drives three or four times a year to have the unpaid airpeople lie to the listeners that Mendocino County Public Broadcasting Corp. needs $600,000 a year (!) just to keep the lights on in there. Radio is not that expensive. Radio is practically free. It costs less than a dollar an hour to run all KZYX's equipment, including the transmitters, and light and heat all the studios including the cute broadcast closet at the Senior Center. But more than half-a-million dollars and that's still not enough for them? To compare, KNYO-LP is entirely covered for $12,000 a year: transmitter, downtown storefront performance space, phones, internet, FCC paperwork, various fees, water and power, a dozen remote studios, everything. And the manager manages in return for the joy of there being a radio station people can actually do radio in. It's the same at KMEC. And because of that I don't mind providing Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio for free to KNYO and KMEC, though it is hard. It has to do with that respect Gerry York wrote about.

But just the so-called manager and program director of KZYX (and there are new ones this week, all over again, imported from New Mexico, this time, it looks like) suck $100,000 a year out of it for their royal selves. That's the equivalent of all 2,000 fifty-dollar-a-year memberships the station has. With that in mind, look at the job descriptions and do the math; the chief function of the manager of KZYX turns out to be to fund-raise exactly enough money to pay the manager. Without the annual CPB grant and donor-class large donations and advertisements (ahem, business underwritements), which way more than pay all the real bills, KZYX would have failed utterly in the first month of every year of its existence, going all the way back to its inception. It's bloated, tax-funded government radio, not community radio at all, whose office, with automation computer and main mixing board, is out in the middle of fricking nowhere, an hour's drive from any population center. And that's by design.

KZYX, like every mediocre run-of-the-mill NPR satellite station, like every broadcast station with a high-power license, is in fact comfortably yachting on a sea of money. It could easily have been paying each and every local airperson's show a measly $1K a year for the whole last thirty years; that's twenty bucks a two-to-four-hour show. It's less than minimum wage, but figured as an artistic stipend it's legal and respectful. Theater companies do it all the time. Schools do it for outside contributors and presenters. KZYX can and should start paying its local airpeople right now.

When my show is scheduled on KZYX I will expect to be paid.

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COLORADO CHARLIE UTTER (at right) and Arapaho Joe add a headstone to Wild Bill Hickok’s Deadwood grave in 1877. Two years later, Hickok was reinterred at Mount Moriah Cemetery, where his grave mates became Calamity Jane, in 1903, and Potato Creek Johnny, in 1943. –Courtesy Deadwood Public Library

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FIVE DIE OF CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING FROM GENERATORS AT MENDOCINO COUNTY CANNABIS FARMS SINCE 2014

Portable generators at rural cannabis farms are being blamed for a series of deaths in Mendocino County, where at least four men — and likely a fifth — have died from carbon monoxide poisoning in the last five years.

All five deaths involved small, gas-fueled generators, mainly used to power music or charge cellphones in temporary greenhouses where the men worked and sometimes slept, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Lt. Shannon Barney said.

“With any kind of gas-operated machinery inside a closed environment, people run the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning,” Barney said. “The inside fills up with poisonous gases they aren’t aware are harming them. They’re overwhelmed or pass out and ultimately die from a lack of oxygen.”

In all of the Mendocino County deaths, the workers were using small, Honda 2000series generators in enclosed places. “They’re so small and portable I think people take them inside these covered areas to charge their electronic devices,” Barney said. “They just don’t realize it’ll have the same effect” as a larger generator.

A longtime Mendocino County cannabis grower and advocate called the deaths a tragedy, saying they put a spotlight on the need to improve working conditions for cannabis workers.

“It definitely highlights the need for proper safety training and making sure employees are given the ability to know the potential hazards and safety issues around any tools and equipment they’re going to make use of,” said Casey O’Neill, policy chair of the Mendocino Cannabis Alliance.

For about two decades, cannabis workers have had no state regulation guiding work conditions. After California voters approved commercial cultivation in 2016, state officials have been drafting regulations to protect workers. Cal/OSHA, which sets and enforces workplace safety standards, offered a workshop for cannabis cultivation operators last year, O’Neill said.

“Those types of practices are starting to happen,” he said. “Clearly in this case it’s not soon enough. It’s a heartbreaking thing.”

The most recent death was in Covelo on March 31. Final autopsy and toxicology reports are pending, but the initial investigation showed Jose Mejia, 40, of Covelo, likely died from carbon monoxide produced by a portable generator running in a grow room lined with plastic sheeting.

“He was running music. It (the generator) is a handy little gadget. You just can’t have them inside,” Barney said.

It was the latest in a string of similar deaths in Mendocino County starting in 2014. All five died on rural cannabis farms; four died in temporary greenhouses built with PVC pipe and covered in plastic, with a gas-powered generator running inside.

Two men died in the first case. Their bodies were found May 13, 2014, at property on Woodman Creek Road in Laytonville. The men were identified as Filipe Guzman, 32, and Abraham Castillo, 28, both of Laytonville.

One year later, on May 15, two men were sleeping inside a Laytonville greenhouse on Iron Peak Road with the portable generator running. One man died and the other narrowly avoided death when he awakened about 1:30 a.m. and headed outside to relieve himself.

“He ended up collapsing outside. It was just a near miss,” Barney said.

The man went back in to check on his friend, finding him apparently unconscious or already dead and called for help. Gerald Vitelli, 22, of Fullerton, died of carbon monoxide poisoning, authorities said.

The four deaths are all considered accidental. Investigators do not know whether the men were aware of the dangers or received any warnings about using the machines inside, Barney said.

A fifth man killed himself using a portable generator to produce carbon monoxide while he was inside a small, wooden shed, Barney said. The body of the 39‑year‑old Philo man was found at a cannabis farm off remote Black Oak Ridge between Philo and Boonville. Detectives determined the Oct. 7, 2016, death was a suicide.

Gas‑powered generators are typically packaged with warnings about carbon monoxide, a clear, odorless gas produced when fuel is burned in cars, furnaces, stoves, water heaters, grills and other devices powered by gas, oil and coal. Portable generators should never be used inside a building, even with doors and windows open, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The gas kills without warning, and every year hundreds of people die and thousands fall ill from it, according to the CDC. Many deaths involve malfunctioning heaters or gas appliances. From 2004 to 2013, carbon monoxide deaths involving portable generators totaled 657, with most of those deaths coming from generator use during power outages, the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission reported. Most of the deaths occurred at home; of those 526 fatalities, 15 happened when the generator was placed outside or near an open window, door or vent.

Authorities say portable generators should be operated outside and at least 20 feet away from windows, doors and vents. People are urged to install a battery‑operated or battery‑backup carbon monoxide detector in a hallway near bedrooms, monitor batteries to ensure they are operational and never ignore a beeping alarm.

In Sonoma County Tuesday, at least two beeping detectors generated 911 calls. And since April 1, 21 people have called 911 to seek help, worried about their chirping carbon monoxide alarm, according to emergency dispatch records. Firefighters are dispatched to each call with equipment to check for gas levels. The problem typically stems from malfunctioning heaters or other gas‑powered appliances.

In Lake County there has been one death in the same time period of Mendocino’s five deaths, with a 2014 fatality in Clearlake involving a heater, according to sheriff’s officials.

(Santa Rosa Press Democrat)

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"MUSKRAT ROAD, Northern Terminus"

(Photo by Harvey Reading)

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WON’T STOP BELIEVIN’

Editor,

Believe! Wow, I sure thought this nightmare would have ended by now. However, as with a long chapter in a book, my quest for justice continues. I continue to make the best of what I have and concede I attribute these days to God’s humbling me. I guess I needed more humility than I first thought? Your paper keeps me in touch with a place I still call home. Thank you for your diligence in printing the truth. When I do get out I will contribute to those less fortunate than I am at present. There is still a lot going on in my case and my appeal to find justice goes on. I continue to trust God has everything under control. I wish you and yours well and again look forward to the day we can enjoy a cold brew and a hearty meal together. I have seen so much, a lot of which I can't write about due to censoring of my mail — until the day I am free.

Sincerely, your friend,

Kenny Rogers, AC 88414 W-2

San Quentin

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LA FREEWAY 405

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ON THE ROAD

On 04-14-2019 at approximately 3:30 P.M., Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to a reported theft that just occurred at a property in the 17000 block of North Highway 101 in Willits. Upon their arrival, the Deputies met with the reporting party and property owner who advised he contacted two subjects who were trespassing on his property. The property owner contacted an adult male subject and adult female subject who were on his property without permission. The property owner used his cellular telephone to record the subjects and their vehicle as he told them to leave. After the two subjects left in their vehicle, the property owner realized numerous tires, rims, and other items were missing from his property. Using the video recordings provided by the property owner, Deputies were able to identify the two subjects who committed the theft as Brandon Hite, 28, of no specific address, and KC Stillwell, 25, also of no specific address.

Law Enforcement units from numerous agencies searched the surrounding area for the suspects and their vehicle with negative results. It was determined that Hite was on active Parole with the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for an unrelated offense. An order to arrest Hite and Stillwell was sent to local law enforcement for the grand theft. On 04-15-2019 at approximately 6:52 A.M., Sheriff's Office dispatch was contacted by officers with the Round Valley Tribal Police Department in Covelo regarding this investigation. Deputies were informed that Tribal Police had detained Hite in Covelo and requested Deputies respond and take custody of Hite. Upon their arrival, Deputies contacted a Parole Officer and a parole hold was issued for Hite's arrest. Hite was advised and placed under arrest for Grand Theft and parole violation. While arresting Hite, Stillwell was observed walking in the same area and was contacted by Deputies. Stillwell was ultimately advised and placed under arrest for Grand Theft. Hite was subsequently booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held on a no-bail status due to his parole violations. Stillwell was subsequently booked into the Mendocino County Jail where she was to be held in lieu of $15,000 bail.

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CAAC!

To the Editor:

Regarding the Mendocino County’s newest bureaucratic creation, the Climate Action Advisory Committee (CAAC), I’m confused.

How does the CAAC differ from the Mendocino County Resource Conservation District (MCRCD)?

What does the CAAC add?

Doesn’t the MCRCD’s programs already include land mitigation, fire safety, soil health, water conservation, watershed management, road improvements, habitat mitigation, habitat restoration, aquatic species monitoring, groundwater monitoring, forest management, and native plant preservation, among other programs? That’s a lot. So what does the CAAC add?

Also, isn’t the MCRCD’s strength in already using established partnerships and collaborations? Will the CAAC compete against the MCRCD for these relationships?

And will the new CAAC compete against the MCRCD for federal and state funds? For local and private contracts? For fundraising and donations?

Finally, how much will the CAAC cost Mendocino County in staff time?

Also, Exhibit B for Agenda Item 6 (b) in the agenda for the Board of Supervisors meeting, which was unanimously passed, commits the county to funding the CAAC at $110,512, of which the Program Manager is budgeted at a total of $94,812 (including benefits and indirect costs). The CAAC, I'm guessing, will be a program loosely organized within the MCRCD. So my question is: Will the CAAC Program Manager be a competitive position, or has Alicia Bales, head honcho at the Mendocino County Environmental Center, "The MEC", already been promised the job by Supervisor John McCowen?

I want to be clear: I’m not critical. Just curious.

John Mayfield raised some of the questions and concerns at the April 16 Board of Supervisors meeting.

Thanks,

John Sakowicz

Ukiah CA


Dear Supervisor Carre Brown,

I am writing to you as the District 1 Supervisor who represents me and my family.

Regarding the Mendocino County’s newest bureaucratic creation, the Climate Action Advisory Committee (CAAC), I’m confused.

How does the CAAC differ from the Mendocino County Resource Conservation District (RCD)?

What does the CAAC add?

Doesn’t the RDC’s programs include land mitigation, fire safety, soil health, water conservation, watershed management, road improvements, habitat mitigation, habitat restoration, aquatic species monitoring, groundwater monitoring, forest management, and native plant preservation, among other programs? That’s a lot. So what does the CAAC add?

Also, isn’t the RCD’s strength in already using established partnerships and collaborations? Will the CAAC compete against the RDC for these relationships?

And will the new CAAC compete against the RDC for federal and state funds? For local and private contracts? For fundraising and donations?

Finally, how much will the CAAC cost Mendocino County in staff time? Will the CAAC have the power to restrict economic development?

I want to be clear: I’m not critical. Just curious.

As you know, John Mayfield raised some of the questions and concerns at the April 16 Board of Supervisors meeting.

Thanks,

John Sakowicz

Ukiah

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SENECA WOMAN Ah-Weh-Eyu (Pretty Flower), 1908. | The Seneca are a group of indigenous people native to North America. They were the nation located farthest to the west within the Six Nations or Iroquois League in New York before the American Revolution.

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AS CHARGED

UKIAH, Wed., April 17. -- A Mendocino County Superior Court jury returned from its deliberations mid-morning Wednesday to announce it had found the trial defendant guilty as charged.

Defendant Margarito Fuentes Ruiz, age 58, generally of Ukiah and Willits, was found guilty of driving a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and driving a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol .08 or greater, both as misdemeanors. The jury also found true a special allegations that the defendant's blood alcohol was .15 or greater at the time of driving.

The evidence presented at trial was that the defendant's blood alcohol on the day in question (5/16/2017) was .357.

As a trial strategy, the defendant admitted outside the presence of the jury that he had suffered a prior DUI conviction in May 2015. The defendant's blood alcohol in the 2015 case was .26.

The defendant was also found guilty in a bifurcated court trial of driving on a suspended driver's license at the time of the latest offense. His license was suspended due to the prior DUI conviction.

While the latest DUI case was progressing slowly through the court system, the defendant also picked up three separate arrests (7/17/17, 11/29/17, and 2/10/18) for being drunk in public. The People's motion for remand the defendant into custody as a public safety risk was each time denied by the court. He was eventually convicted by plea to these three offenses on 4/3/2019.

The attorney who presented the People's evidence at trial was Deputy District Attorney Melissa Weems. The investigating law enforcement agency was the Willits Police Department and the California Department of Justice forensic laboratory.

Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Cindee Mayfield presided over the three day trial.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, April 17, 2019

Austin, Bartolo, Dubon

MAUREEN AUSTIN, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

ROBERTO BARTOLO, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. Probation revocation.

WILLY DUBON, Oakland/Willits. DUI.

Ersland, Francis, French

DREW ERSLAND, Ukiah. Stolen property, conspiracy, probation revocation.

JOHN FRANCIS, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

THOMAS FRENCH, Ukiah. Paraphernalia.

Hughs, Macarthur, Marsh

KELLY HUGHS, Calpella. Failure to appear.

CALEB MACARTHUR, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

TIMOTHY MARSH, Ukiah. Stolen property, conspiracy, probation revocation.

Moreno, Schaefer, Tupper

AGUSTIN MORENO, Fort Bragg. DUI.

JUSTIN SCHAEFER, Eureka/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, petty theft with priors. (Frequent flyer.)

KRISTINE TUPPER, Ukiah. Disobeying court order.

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WHY THE US ELECTED A DESPOT, AND WHY IT'S POISED TO DO IT AGAIN

The reality is, people are legitimately cynical about the Democratic party—in fact about both parties. The Smith Project revealed the depth of the people’s cynicism. For example: Eighty-six percent of all voters believe political leaders are more interested in protecting their power than in doing what’s right for the American people. Eighty-three percent believe the country is run by an alliance of incumbent politicians, media pundits, lobbyists, and other interests for their own gain. Further, 79% believe that powerful interests from Wall Street banks to corporations, unions, and PACs use campaign and lobbying money to rig the system to serve themselves and that they loot the national treasury at the expense of every American. And all those cynics are right. The system is rigged. For example, between 1980 and 2015, the top .01 percent saw their income rise by 322 percent, while income for the bottom 90 percent rose by just .03 percent. And it’s not just the economy. As Gilens and Paige showed, the will of the people is all but irrelevant, when it comes to public policy. Indeed, they concluded that the US was no longer a democracy, but rather resembled an oligarchy in which the will of the rich and special interests consistently trumped the people’s interest. No wonder people are cynical. No wonder “no-show” has won every vote since World War II.

commondreams.org/views/2019/04/15/why-us-elected-despot-and-why-its-poised-do-it-again

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ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY

Norway. It is not part of the European Union. It has tremendous wealth. In spite of huge petroleum production gasoline is $10 a gallon. Universal healthcare. High standard of living. Highly educated population. Strong recession proof economy. Sovereign wealth fund rivaling Saudi Arabia. You can’t do it any better than the Scandinavian countries. The one takeaway is that high taxes done right means super high standard of living because some things are best not left to the free market. It’s just that simple. The one thing every American says when they emigrate to another country is they are finally free of politics. Politics have destroyed this country. Everything is black and white now. Healthcare is the classic example. What kind of people want healthcare taken away from people? Republicans. That’s what kind. Their belief in free markets is pathological.

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APRIL 12 was the 100th anniversary of the L-Taraval line. From the MSR archives along the L line.

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DEMOCRATS ARE PLAYING DIRTY to shut out progressive new voices. They should rethink that strategy

latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-meyerson-democrats-blacklist-primary-challengers-20190412-story.html

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JUST IN FROM DEAR LEADER

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WITH REGARDS TO REGARDING

From the first sentence in Congressman Nadler's letter the other day to Attorney General Barr:

“I write to you regarding troubling media reports relating to your handling of Special Counsel Mueller's report…”

Just awful! Instead this should be "I write to you about troubling media reports on your handling of Special Counsel Mueller's report…"

Either "about" or "on" is always better than "regarding," which you should never use.

I've written about this grotesque usage before: Regarding on and upon.

Whenever Nadler is on TV, he's admirably plain-spoken and articulate. The blame probably lies with his staff, and he just signed the clunky letter.

(Rob Anderson, District5Diary)

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REMEMBERING BESSIE SMITH (April 15, 1894 – September 26, 1937), The Empress of the Blues. Born in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

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ME AND MY LICORICE STICK

I played the clarinet in middle school. Years later I played in the high school band, but I was never much good so never pursued my 'licorice stick.' I gave the thing to my granddaughter. I don't know whether she kept it or passed it on to her kids. Maybe she pawned it or lost it. She might even have burned it.

I always wished I had picked up an instrument that would sound good to my untutored ear playing with others. I envied those who could play the guitar. I'd wail the blues. Put Muddy Waters to shame. The image that lives on of my clarinet is of the underside of the reed where dark, sunny stuff you'd scrape off your Keds, so I'd have to replace the reed every few days.

I learned how to read music, although I always thought it was pretty arbitrary. Random squiggles told you to open this key or that for just so long. And out came a Vivaldi arpeggio. Classical music. A lifelong love, if not a passion. But I can read Scriabin and follow along.


RIPPLE

For the past hour or so I've been watching a documentary about Earth First protests in Eugene. Arson of car dealerships, mills, federal office buildings. Tree sitters. Pepper spray. Jail. Even life in jail, after first serving 35 years.

I drove up to Stafford to a large protest in Stafford, just below the ridge line where Julia Butterfly Hill day in her tree. Julia called into KMUD and we put her on air worldwide. With no restrictions. I visited with Bruce Anderson. He pretty much agreed with the loggers, or at least said he did.

The first apartment I rented when I moved here was there, although I didn't know it when I moved in. The police refused to arrest me. But my stepson spent a night in the Humboldt County jail. I showed my class a young protester being pepper sprayed.

One of my most exemplary students got angry and stormed out of class, although not from being upset at the cops. She was pissed because I got pissed at her outrageous behavior.

The clearcuts are just overgrown acreage covered in shambles now, which in Oregon come right down to the road. I live in another apartment now. No doubt trees were lost to its construction. Charles Hurwitz is by now probably dead. The soundtrack is 'Ripple'. By the gratefully dead.

(Bruce Brady)

7 Responses to "MCT: Thursday, April 18, 2019"

  1. Harvey Reading   April 18, 2019 at 9:18 am

    Re: WHY THE US ELECTED A DESPOT, AND WHY IT’S POISED TO DO IT AGAIN

    I don’t feel so alone now. Now, people, what we gonna do about it? Take some more soma? Or start kicking ass?

    Reply
  2. Harvey Reading   April 18, 2019 at 9:43 am

    Re: FIVE DIE OF CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING FROM GENERATORS AT MENDOCINO COUNTY CANNABIS FARMS SINCE 2014

    More evidence–if any is needed–that stupidity is alive and well in freedomlandia.

    Reply
  3. james marmon   April 18, 2019 at 9:44 am

    RE: ANGELO’S RAISES

    “What is even more confounding is that most of the money to increase wages would not be coming out of the general fund. Why in the world would you not bring more money into Mendocino County from state and federal sources?”

    In 2009 I posed the same question, and took a lot of heat from union leadership. I couldn’t figure out why we were allowing cuts to employees whose wages came from other sources other than the General Fund. We were also involved in contract negotiations with Angelo at the time therefor the negotiation team overruled me and decided that if general fund employees were taking the cuts, then non-general fund employees should take the cuts too, a show of “unity”.

    Angelo played them like a fiddle and uses the same tactic today. If she started giving raises to State and Federal budgeted employees, the poor general fund’s folks would want the raises too. Surprised to see the Union finally accept my way of thinking, even though it is 10 years too late.

    “I told you so”

    James Marmon MSW
    Former SEIU 1021 President
    Mendocino Chapter.
    (During the Great Recession)

    Reply
    • james marmon   April 18, 2019 at 10:55 am

      One day during negotiations Carmel Angelo was sitting next to me and watched me draw up two columns on my note pad, one for general fund employee and the other for non-general fund employees, pros and cons, she knew what I was thinking.

      Oh!, by the way at that very same time, the negotiation team was calling for my resignation claiming that Carmel and I were a little bit too cozy with one another. LOL.

      I actually had her eating out of my hands at that time.

      Reply
    • james marmon   April 18, 2019 at 11:18 am

      I actually believed it would be easier for the union to argue for the general fund folks if the non-general funds didn’t take the cuts which was about 75% of all county employees at the time. Angelo read my notes. The negotiation team did not know how to negotiate, “all for one, and one for all”

      James Marmon MSW
      Former SEIU 1021 President
      Mendocino Chapter.

      Reply
    • james marmon   April 18, 2019 at 12:49 pm

      Employees got mad when I went along with the infamous Voluntary Time Off (VTO) deal to show support for the general fund folks. I went along with it because it kept everyone’s hourly wages intact. They would be loosing time, not wages. Many employees were able to pick up part time jobs to supplant those hours, many other loved the extended weekend. Employees could get of work at noon Thrusday and not be expected be back until Monday morning (10 hour days). Only after I resigned did the brilliant SEIU negotiators agree to the 10% pay cut which required workers to work 8 hours more a week for less money.

      Since then, none of the employees have had their 10% wages reinstated. They received a 5% COLA paid over 3 years, but they never got the 10% back

      BRILLIANT!!!

      James Marmon MSW
      Former SEIU 1021 President
      Mendocino Chapter

      Reply
  4. james marmon   April 18, 2019 at 10:02 am

    RE: MORE INSIDE SCOOP

    One of my sources from “within” told me that where there was once over 60 eligibility workers over at social services there are only 18 now. The backlog is phenomenal. The County is having a hard time filling those vacant spots, primarily because they switched from Merit System Services over the Civil Services and now do their own recruitment. Another reason is that you can make more money at Costco, and receive better benefits.

    James Marmon MSW
    Former SEIU 1021 President
    Mendocino Chapter.

    Reply

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