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MCT: Sunday, April 28, 2019

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UKIAH SHELTER PETS OF THE WEEK

Ozzy sez: "OK, it's true--I'm not a dog. I'm a NEUTERED GOAT. I like horses, and in fact, I'm cohabitating with a horse here at the shelter. I'm a 4 year old social butterfly. I would love to find a home with other animals to hang out with and enjoy the company of humans."

Lively and fun-loving, Clint is a friendly and happy dog. He loves treats, knows SIT and SHAKE, enjoys a game of catch, and he's just FULL of personality. Clint loves to be around people, and his joyousness is infectious--you can't help but smile around this guy. Clint met Ms. Pine--one of our great canine guests--during his evaluation, and he played in typical Boxer style--with his paws! Clint is a 1 year old neutered male Boxer blend who currently weighs 46 pounds.

The Ukiah Animal Shelter is located at 298 Plant Road in Ukiah; adoption hours are Tuesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday from 10 am to 4:30 pm and Wednesday from 10 am to 6:30 pm. To see photos and bios of the shelter's adoptable animals, and the shelter's programs, services and events, please visit us online at http://www.mendoanimalshelter.com For more information about adoptions please call 707-467-6453. We'll be in Philo at the Anderson Valley Farm Supply on Friday, May 10, noon to 4 pm, for a Mobile Adoption And Microchip Clinic.

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INDEPENDENCE OR AFFILIATION?

by Malcolm Macdonald

Two clearly defined camps have arisen around the possibility of Mendocino Coast District Hospital (MCDH) partnering with a larger hospital group. The first camp consists of those favoring affiliation as the only means of saving the coast hospital from financial ruin. The second is made up of those who want to retain independent local control of MCDH. This mindset was in evidence at the hospital's finance committee meeting of April 23rd. During the “Community Comment”section Robert Becker and Carole White read a prepared statement expressing the view of those who want to maintain local control of MCDH. They titled their document, “Hospital Rush to Affiliation Devalues Community & Planning.”

The opening of the text read, “The Hospital Board's rush to get voter approval for affiliation this November is misguided and risky in four major ways: 1) Haste undercuts an elected Board’s core obligation: to understand and represent wide community interests. We all must come together to evaluate where we are and where we want to go. 
2) In-depth assessment — the promised budget/department “deep dive” and strategic planning — are the only ways to maximize our bargaining leverage, whether or not we pursue affiliation. 
3) The CEO and CFO have repeated that, while money pressures are real, NO imminent cash flow or financial crises loom that jeopardize our independence or stability. Why does the Board majority see rushing to affiliation as the sole or paramount alternative? 

4) Undue haste reduces transparency and accountability, inviting poorly-examined decisions and reduced local healthcare services.”

Saying that the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) sees no imminent financial crises looming flies in the face of what interim CEO Wayne stated at that very meeting. In regard to the short term cash on hand, less than fifteen days worth, Allen cautioned that just two significant cash outflows could essentially shut the doors of the institution.

The statement by White and Becker, went on to criticize the new MCDH Board of Directors for a lack of transparency, especially in regard to putting forth a request for proposal (RFP) to five hospital groups, soliciting their interest in affiliating with MCDH, without board approval of the matter at a formal board meeting.
 The statement was signed by Mr. Becker, Ms. White, Katy Pye, Tanya Smart, and Myra Beals, with the addendum that they are members of a group called “Friends of the Hospital,” but they were only writing and speaking for themselves. Such a caveat suggests that this handful of citizens didn't have the backing of enough of the “Friends of the Hospital” or it would have been signed with a far greater number of names.

The emphasis for this fivesome of hospital observers is on planning, specifically creating a long range strategic plan for the hospital. A close read of part of their statement gets at why this bunch comes down in the independent hospital camp. “We do not oppose the idea of affiliation — but only after an inclusive, Hospital-led, transparent exchange that addresses the full realities of affiliation. Without a planning process, how can we know whether to give up or keep our independence in November? Without a consensus map, or clear destination, do we not risk losing far more than we gain? 
 “Our research proves affiliation elsewhere can shred the hard-won, invaluable services endorsed and paid for by Measure C, namely Emergency Room (ER)/Ambulance, Surgery, and OB (labor and delivery). The spate of OB closures in rural hospitals nation-wide show women’s health, not just labor and delivery, are often an affiliate’s first budget-cutting target.”

The latter paragraph contradicts the claim “We do not oppose the idea of affiliation.” It's the last sentence that is going to be a sticking point if the potential affiliation partner is Adventist Health.

Speaking of inherent contradictions, or at least complexities, the Seventh Day Adventist Church conducts itself essentially as a “pro-life,” anti-abortion entity. However, Adventist Health hospitals have proved a more perplexing organization, with spokespeople for Adventist hospitals making statements such as, “Adventist HealthCare is owned by the Seventh Day Adventist Church, which has no religious policies governing health care. Adventist hospitals perform abortions and provide a full range of reproductive care. We understand that these are decisions made between a woman and her physician, and we do not interfere with that individual decision…”

That statement was made by an administrator for Adventist Health in Washington state. At present abortions are not part of the services listed by Ukiah Valley Medical Center (UVMC) or Howard Hospital in Willits, the Adventist Health facilities in Mendocino County.

As the most likely partner in an affiliation, the stance of the church presents an easy target for those without the willingness to accept the complexity of actual practice within Adventist Health. Since an affiliation requires voter approval, that issue alone may be the most problematic. For some, the abortion issue will be their primary reason for wanting MCDH to remain independent.

Those who favor a relatively fast track toward affiliation cite the financial woes that beset MCDH. The coast hospital's operating loss for the first three quarters of this fiscal year was slightly more than $2.25 million. Even with nearly $1.2 million collected from the parcel tax the net income of the coast hospital is nearly half a million dollars in the hole. In the short term MCDH has about two weeks worth of cash on hand to pay unexpected costs. There are still millions of dollars worth of deferred maintenance projects that should be completed in the coming year. The argument of those favoring affiliation with another hospital group runs along the lines, 'Do it now before it is too late.'

At the April 25th MCDH Board of Directors meeting, opposing views were also at play. Board President Karen Arnold delved into a “New Business” agenda item aimed at ratification of the RFP sent out by interim CEO Wayne Allen on April 11th. Finance Committee Chair John Redding wanted Arnold to acknowledge that the manner in which the RFP was introduced, without a public hearing, was improper and a Brown Act violation. Arnold was reluctant to go there. Through clarifying intervention by board members and the audience, it was eventually established that there had been no Brown Act violation by individual members of the board, in that they did not discuss the matter among themselves outside of the public, but that sending out the RFP without a public meeting to consider it first did cross the Brown Act line. Apparently, the board's legal counsel had offered up the “ratification” agenda item as a method of fulfilling the board's duty to the public.

Board member Redding made a motion to send the RFP back through the planning and finance committees before bringing it to the board in late May. He also did not believe that the deadline imposed for responding to the RFP was lengthy enough. The proposed deadline of the April 25th agenda item was May 17th. CEO Allen stated that it was his experience that interested hospital groups could respond before the deadline.

After some consternation, Redding's motion failed by a three - two vote (board member Steve Lund voting with Redding). As former candidate for the board Jade Tippett pointed out, “The bell has already been rung,” on the RFP, meaning the hospital may as well go ahead with the process. Board member Amy McColley offered up a bit of a compromise. Though Board President Arnold remained reluctant to do so, McColley acknowledged the board's error in not bringing the RFP to the public before sending it out. She also motioned to go ahead with the ratification of the RFP, but proposed an extension of the response deadline for interested parties to June 30th. That motion passed, 4-1, with Redding dissenting.

Perhaps the obvious path forward is to follow both paths. The RFP is out there. There is no guarantee that any hospital group will respond, but simple appearances such as the presence of Adventist Health' Mendocino County CEO for a brief informational talk at the February MCDH Board meeting indicates that hospital group has interest. Perhaps one or more of the other RFP recipients will also show interest. Those other hospital groups are St. Joseph Health, Sutter Health, Common Spirit (formerly known as Dignity Health and before that as Catholic Healthcare West), and American Advanced Management Group (who now run the oft failed hospital formerly known as Sonoma West Medical Center).

On the other hand, folks like Finance Committee Chair Redding will undoubtedly continue to do their best to prepare a budget for the upcoming fiscal year that can result in numbers turning from red to black, economic improvements that will keep the facility independent enough for the time being so that the doors stay open. At the April 25th meeting, Revenue Cycle Director Colene Hickman pointed at swing bed revenues that are decidedly trending positive, with a gain of almost $1.2 million above budget and a gain of more than $1.3 million above last year's swing bed revenue.

There are contrasting figures as well. Inpatient revenues are down more than $250,000 from the three-quarter point a year ago and are approximately $500,000 less than this year's budget anticipated. Outpatient revenue, which makes up almost four times as much revenue as inpatient charges, is down $400,000 from last year and about $670,000 below the budgeted estimate. MCDH's clinic, North Coast Family Health Center (NCFHC) has declined in revenue as well, bringing in $874,000 less than it did last year. The budget for the current year projected a $160,000 drop in total operating expenses. As of the end of March, 2019 those expenses had actually risen by $917,000.

As contradictory as it may sound, one can look at the bottom line numbers and take something positive from them. Last year at the three-quarter benchmark MCDH's total net income amounted to a loss of almost $3 million. As of March 31, 2019, that loss had been reduced to under $500,000. Of course the projected budget called for a number that was much better, about $400,000 better.

To be remain financially independent, MCDH will have to create a budget that projects a bottom line at break even or slightly in the black and meet or exceed that budget. The problem that those who are looking at affiliation see all to well, MCDH has no recent history of consistently meeting budget or breaking even on the bottom line.

(To catch up on the MCDH situation, check out any April AVA issue at: www.theava.com)

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(Photo by Judy Valadao)

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WALLING OFF WILLIAMS

by Mark Scaramella

CEO Carmel Angelo’s oft-repeated mantra at last Tuesday's fee hearing at the Supervisors meeting was “full cost recovery.” Of course, her Board echoed the phrase a lot too.

Angelo: “There was a time when this board directed full cost recovery. We are still going with full cost recovery and I will say again that if this board chooses not to direct full cost recovery please let us know and we will do something different. But every time we bring fees forward we try to get as close to full cost recovery as we can thinking that we are following Board direction. I know it's difficult for this board to approve fees that have increased exponentially over a period of time. … Two years into the cannabis program we know that the fee revenue to cover the cost of the cannabis program has not materialized. So the first step to decreasing the general fund contributions to the cannabis program we hope is adopting full cost recovery which is why we are in front of you with these fees for full cost recovery at this point because we know that the general fund is subsidizing cannabis.”

CEO Angelo then explained one of the big reasons that fees are going up (for cannabis, and everything else): “As we review the fees today please keep in mind that the cost of doing business also increases every year.”

Yes, but this much? Could it be because the CEO is so generous with herself and her staff and her board?

“This year we will be doing labor negotiations which we do anticipate will be additional general fund costs. Since 2015 staff has received over $6,000 in annual stipends and over 10% salary increases so anyone who believes that our staff are not getting salary increases -- they are. And that's evidenced by our fees. … As of today this county has subsidized the cannabis program and this includes participation from multiple county departments to the point of $2.5 million. We are hopeful that by the end of May — and we are working with the treasurer's office — that we will collect the estimated amount that the treasurer says is $3 million in minimum tax bills. Of course we have to collect the minimum tax bills in order to get that $3 million. Those bills were mailed out on April 15 and they are due back on May 31. If we actually get the $3 million that our treasurer thinks we can get then there will not be a deficit in the cannabis program, whether it's the Ag Department or the Planning Department, and in fact we would have a few hundred thousand dollars over. This is why we are coming to you today with these fee increases. … My hope is that we can close the gap between the amount of money in general fund that has been spent on cannabis and the amount of revenue we once thought we could achieve.”

Supervisor Dan Gjerde at first seemed somewhat skeptical of the fee increases: “One thing we are not seeing in these the proposals is, How does that affect people in the real world? In other words, an individual fee might only [sic] go up 10 or 15%, whatever. But if new fees are being applied to permits where they were not applied in the past, in the real world it could affect people very significantly.”

Gjerde also whined about getting complaints about fee increases when, gosh, golly, it’s not his fault.

“People generally don't attack [sic] the staff,” said Gjerde, “they attack the supervisors because we are members of the public who they interact with.”

But instead of suggesting a cap on salaries, or permits, or fee increases, or workload, etc., Gjerde seemed to want staff to prepare some explanatory 3x5 cards that he or they could hand out — signed by staff, of course — that would somehow convince the complaining public that “full cost recovery” is so obviously justified that nobody would complain anymore.

Gjerde then asked for some kind of presentation that would show how some applicants need several permits, each with high fees: “I would like to see when fees are brought forward how they affect permit applicants, not just how they fall in this [fee schedule] table because the board may not be aware that, Oh! These two fees are going to apply to that applicant.”

Nobody followed up on that point, however.

When it came to pot permit fees Gjerde bemoaned the situation, but could only suggest a couple more tweaks to the pot rules: “Despite our attempts to prop up the small farmer in Mendocino County, through no one’s fault basically, it has been shown to be a failed effort. We need to allow larger cultivation sites in a limited number of zoning districts such as agriculture or industrial or some other place where there is infrastructure and where there are no residents living right next to it. Then we could have at least have a few businesses in Mendocino County that can actually generate some tax revenue and support the public services. Do we have a fee structure that keeps small farmers in the black market? I think the proposed fee structure furthers that problem. It raises those fees pretty dramatically and brings down the fees for the larger cultivation operations. I don't doubt that this is based on staff experience — the time allotted is pretty much the same whether it's small or large. But if we adopt this I will not be surprised if we hear complaints that this is one more thing putting the small farmers out of business.”

But when it came time to vote for the fee increases, Gjerde was the swing vote in favor of approving them along with the auto-votes for the increases, Board Chair Carre Brown and Supervisor John McCowen; Supervisors Ted Williams and John Haschak voting against them.


We then learned that Supervisors cannot simply ask staff to do anything. (We didn't know that because before Supervisor Williams was elected, Supervisors seldom asked much of anything of staff.)

Referring to a letter of modest pot rule regulation change suggestions from Jude Tillman of the Mendocino Cannabis Alliance, Williams asked, "What is the best method for staff to receive this input? I think sending it to the supervisor and having him pass it to the staff is not ideal. Is there a process for these requests or recommendations so that we can combine all the input into one place and let staff have a chance to apply it?”

After an embarrassing pause, Chief Planner Julia Acker took a stab at an answer: “You first need to go through the Planning Commission. So depending on the direction we receive here today, we are ready to hit the ground running with that but it really depends on what this board — if there are any revisions or changes to the ordinance you wish to see, we wanted to make sure that we got an opportunity to get in front of you and give you our initial takes on the ordinance before we took it too far. This also helps us reduce time once we hit the Planning Commission hearing.”

That obviously wasn’t an answer, so Supervisor McCowen followed up: "So staff's answer to Supervisor Williams would be…?"

Another embarrassing silence, followed by more silence.

Of course, the simple answer would be: “We’ll look it over and get back to you next meeting.” But in Mendo, simple answers are not so simple.

McCowen finally continued, “Typically we would have a discussion and what three or more say, there may be minor points that be can be suggested to staff that in their judgment they can incorporate. What is the best way to proceed?”

Williams tried again: “I would like to get these recommendations — I agree with everything she [Jude Tillman] read off. I would like to give that to staff to see if we can incorporate those changes and then I would like to know when this will come to the Planning Commission? Do we have a target date?”

But Board Chair Carre Brown cut Williams off: “Supervisor Williams, you have to have agreement as supervisor of at least two other supervisors —

Williams was taken aback: "…for me to collect the information and pass it to staff?"

Brown: "To give direction to staff. So maybe we need to get a list of that and we could go over it. But unless you have a least two colleagues to agree with you it would not go forward.”

Williams: “Do I hear two colleagues agree to funnel all of the comments onto one document and hand than to staff and ask them to incorporate them?"

Brown: “You may hear that. Or not.”

Supervisor Gjerde then muddied the water: “I would much more appreciate to see that in writing.” (It was already in writing, Ms. Tillman had prepared a three page memo and it was attached to the Supes agenda packet.) “I heard that at least one of her items was already incorporated. So I'm not sure what she requested that is not already in the ordinance.” (It wouldn’t take staff long to point that out as needed.)

Haschak: “I would like to hear that list again because I wrote down a couple of the things that I certainly —”

Williams: "It's online."

Haschak then poked around on his computer for a few moments — unsuccessfully — and gave up.

And that was the end of the discussion.

Supervisor Williams is obviously being walled off because he’s asking too many questions and requesting too much work of Mendo’s poor, overworked (but highly paid) staff.

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CRAIG'S LIST BARGAIN

On 04-24-2019 at approximately 6:00 p.m., Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies were notified of a Craigslist Ad posting the sale of Vietnam era military ordnance. Deputies promptly initiated an investigation to locate and determine if the ordnance was inert.

At approximately 6:40 p.m., Deputies located and contacted the Craigslist seller at a residence in the 30000 block of Highway 20 in Fort Bragg.

Deputies confirmed the seller was still in possession of the ordnance. Deputies learned the seller acquired the two pieces of ordnance from a relative who passed away and who had also served in the military. It was the seller’s knowledge and belief that the two pieces of ordnance were inert.

Deputies inspected the ordnance while in telephonic contact with both the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office EOD Unit and the Beale U.S. Air Force Base EOD Unit. The initial inspection proved that one piece of ordnance was inert. The second piece of ordnance however could not be positively deemed inert and further on-site inspection by the Beale U.S. Air Force Base EOD Unit would be required.

Deputies initiated applicable safety measures and evacuated and secured the immediate area, pending the arrival of EOD personnel.

At approximately 12:20 a.m., personnel with the Beale U.S. Air Force Base EOD Unit arrived and conducted further inspection of the ordnance. EOD personnel determined that the second piece of ordnance was not inert and still contained all necessary components required to be a live explosive. The ordnance was subsequently transported off-site by EOD personnel to a safe location where it was rendered unusable and unrepairable.

The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office and the Beale U.S. Air Force Base for their involvement and assistance.

The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office would also like to thank the community members affected by the evacuation, specifically for their cooperation and understanding, during a lengthy process that was required to bring this event to a safe resolution.

(Sheriff’s Office presser.)

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LOTTA ATSYE, Laguna pueblo. New Mexico. Photo by H.S. Poley. Early 1900s.

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JAMES MARMON NOTES:

What ever happened to the Adult Mental Health RFP?

“March 15, 2016: The Board of Supervisors accepted the update regarding the Kemper Consulting Group mental health services review and update on the activities regarding mental health services, which included finalizing a contract with Redwood Quality Management Company (RQMC) for transitional mental health services to be presented to the Board review and approval on April 5, 2016; additionally, the Board approved proceeding with Kemper Consulting on developing the adult mental health services transition plan and processes and timelines for the RFP for adult mental health services, with the target implementation of a new contract for related services no earlier than July 1, 2017.”

The 2016-17 contract was awarded to RQMC because of an emergency after OMG told everyone to go to hell and walked out. The 17-18 and 18-19 contracts were awarded to RQMC because Angelo was too busy or forgot to follow a the previous board direction. This year you CEO is just going to scrap the whole RFP directive by combining the Adult contract with the Children't contract.

I might not be inclined to argue that plan if I was sure RQMC was giving us the best bang for our buck. Crisis interventions are sky rocketing so she wants Measure B money to pay for a CSU and CRT. I wonder if a different ASO could offer Mental-cino more pre-crisis services which would have a positive effect on the Courts, Jails, Law Enforcement, hospitals, Child Abuse and Drug and Alcohol deaths and overdoses, while mitigating the need for all those crisis facilities.

Thank's RQMC for stepping up in 2016, but they shouldn't been allowed to waste millions and millions of dollars in the past 3 years while they tried to learn how to administer adult mental health services. There were other organizations with that experience. RCS could probably still subcontract with a new organization, but I'm sure they would have to prove their worth.

James Marmon MSW

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WAVELENGTH FARM STAND

Farm stand opening in Point Arena on May 3rd, located at Lisa’s luscious kitchen. Open from 10am-sunset everyday! Pasture raised eggs and 100% better than organic vegetables.

Carly Taylor, carlyyface@gmail.com

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GAS GASPS

California currently imposes the second-highest gas taxes in the country. A state excise tax currently adds $.417 per gallon (almost 42 cents per gallon), and that rate that will increase to $.473 (47 cents per gallon) come July. But that’s not all. On top of that tax, the state imposes a 2.25 percent gasoline sales tax. There’s more. California has also added a low-carbon fuel standard and a cap-and-trade scheme for carbon emissions which together already increase the state’s gas prices by $.24 per gallon above the national average, according to a 2017 state government report.

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AV VILLAGE SURVEY

We've created a short survey with suggestions and would appreciate your participation. We encourage you to add your suggestions in the spaces provided.

Below is the link to the link to the activity survey - should only take 5 minutes to complete…

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/GR933VP

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SCIENTISTS CELEBRATING BREAKTHROUGH IN RACE TO SAVE ENDANGERED WHITE ABALONE AT UC DAVIS BODEGA MARINE LAB

“The whole program is really poised now to take the animals we’ve created and put them out in the ocean,” she said, “so we’re at this really exciting point, where all this hard work that we’ve been doing for years and years, we’re just on the verge of actually putting more white abalone out into the ocean.”

pressdemocrat.com/news/9536287-181/scientists-celebrating-breakthrough-in-race

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ALBION FARMERS' MARKET

Albion Farmers’ Market tomorrow, Sunday, 2-4 pm in Albion Village. Lots more vendors this week!

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CATCH OF THE DAY, April 27, 2019

Avonce, Biord, Cruz

WILLIAM AVONCE, Willits. DUI.

CHRISTOPHER BIORD, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

LORENZO CRUZ, Ukiah. Failure to appear.

Dennison, Diaz, Fickle

CLORISSA DENNISON, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

JOHNNY DIAZ, Ontario/Ukiah. Battery with serious injury.

SHAUNA FICKLE, Westport. Failure to appear, probation revocation.

Harryman, Hietala, Hill

THEODORE HARRYMAN, Ukiah. DUI.

JUSTIN HIETALA, Ukiah. Paraphernalia.

JUSTIN HILL, Willits. Disobeying court order, failure to appear, probation revocation.

Kidd, Marks, McCormick

ANDREA KIDD, Ukiah. Domestic battery.

DUSTIN MARKS, Hilmar/Willits. Parole violation.

RICHARD MCCORMICK JR. Ukiah. Probation revocation.

Munoz, Ramirez, Tirey, Winelander

ORLANDO MUNOZ, Ukiah. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, disobeying court order, failure to appear, probation revocation.

MANUEL RAMIREZ, Willits. Probation revocation.

JANET TIREY, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

HARRY WINELANDER, Willits. Disorderly conduct-under influence.

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ANYBODY BUT BIDEN

(From the NY Times April 25, 2019)

But, she [Anita Hill] added, she cannot support Mr. Biden for president until he takes full responsibility for his conduct, including his failure to call as corroborating witnesses other women who were willing to testify before the Judiciary Committee. By leaving them out, she said, he created a “he said, she said” situation that did not have to exist…

In recent interviews, Ms. Hill and others involved in the confirmation fight portrayed Mr. Biden’s handling of the hearing as at best inept and at worst deeply insensitive. They fault his refusal to seriously investigate her accusations and take public testimony from other potential witnesses who said the future justice had acted inappropriately with them…

One of those potential witnesses, Sukari Hardnett, a lawyer in Silver Spring, Md., said in an interview that she decided to come forward while watching the hearing when she “saw what they were doing to Anita Hill and how they were literally trying to trash her.”

Ms. Hardnett wrote a letter detailing her own experiences and submitted it to the committee through the dean of her law school, expecting to be called to testify. But she said she was not.

Another woman who sought to testify, Angela Wright, called Mr. Biden “pretty much useless” last year in an interview.

Ms. Wright, Ms. Hartnett and one other woman, Rose Jourdain, who died in 2010, were ready to back up Ms. Hill’s account before the committee, but Mr. Biden ended the hearings before they were heard from in public. Over the years, Mr. Biden has suggested they either backed out or were reluctant.

Ms. Hill said there was not “any evidence” of that. But if it is true, she said, there is a possible explanation: “They saw a flawed process where they weren’t going to be heard and they might end up being destroyed.”

Some say Mr. Biden was more sensitive to the fact that Justice Thomas was African-American than to issues of gender; others say he was loath to investigate Ms. Hill’s accusations in part because he wanted the confirmation hearings to focus on legal issues, not personal ones.


ROB ANDERSON comments:

In short, we have Biden to thank for not only failing to treat Anita Hill fairly, but as a consequence we have had Clarence Thomas, a right-wing moron, on the Supreme Court since 1991.

Biden won't survive the primaries, since there are so many other good candidates already in the race.

As a Democrat, I say anybody — any Democrat, that is — but Biden for president.

See also The biggest threat to Biden is Biden himself and Joe Biden Is Running to Be the Nominee of a Party That Has Left Him Behind.

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NO SCHEME OF POLICY has, in any country, yet brought the rich and the poor on equal terms into courts of judicature. Perhaps experience, improving on experience, may in time effect it. Those who have long enjoyed dignity and power, ought not to lose it without some equivalent. There was paid to the [former Highland] Chiefs by the publick, in exchange for their privileges, perhaps a sum greater than most of them had ever possessed, which excited a thirst for riches of which it shewed them the use. When the power of birth and station ceases, no hope remains but from the prevalence of money. Power and wealth supply the place of each other. Power confers the ability of gratifying our desire without the consent of others. Wealth enables us to obtain the consent of others to our gratification. Power, simply considered, whatever it confers on one must take from another. Wealth enables its owner to give to others, by taking only from himself. Power pleases the violent and proud: wealth delights the placid and the timorous. Youth therefore flies at power, and age grovels after riches.

— Dr Samuel Johnson, 1773; from "A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland"

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“It takes a very long time to become young.” -Pablo Picasso

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SOCIALISM

The term "socialism" is undergoing redefinition. It has been equated with "communism," and we've been taught that both terms refer to Devil's spawn. If you're rich, socialism is a threat to your wealth. Not only will you pay way more taxes, you won't make as much in the first place. In the 1950s, a corporate boss in America made twenty times as much as his average employee. Today, in this distorted American world, he or she makes, on average, 281 times as much as their workers. The CEO of Mondelez International, which makes Nabisco products, including Chips Ahoy, Oreos and Ritz Crackers, makes more than 989 times the company’s median pay for employees. That's--yes--nine hundred and eighty-nine times his workers' pay.

For the record, he is Dirk Van de Put. A native of Mechelen, Belgium, Van de Put graduated with a veterinary medicine degree from the University of Ghent and earned a graduate business degree from the University of Antwerp. He speaks six languages, holds Belgian-U.S. citizenship and splits his time between Toronto, where McCain maintains its corporate head office, and Coral Gables, Fla. Van de Put also sits on toymaker Mattel's board of directors.

Put's native country of Belgium is among those who do not permit this kind of pay disparity, so he became a citizen and plutocrat over here. Here are ten socialist or semi-socialist countries that do not have this tragic inequality:

  • China
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • Netherlands
  • Canada
  • Sweden
  • Norway
  • Ireland
  • New Zealand
  • Belgium

What might a fairer America do? We hear that's there's not enough money to take care of everybody, to have super schools, fine health and clean air. False, false, false!

Where do your taxes go? There are two (wrong, Mitchell, it's three) gigantic potential storehouses of wealth in this country, one is our conservation potential, which is absolutely incalculable. If you remember the oil embargo of '73-'74, gasoline was in short supply, and consumers simply reduced their driving. Our quick adjustment to the shortage, without any outside inducement other than the price and long lines for gas, scared the bejesus out of the international oil business and led to the quick abandonment of what had been a phony shortage from the start.

It was an example of the power of conservation that was not lost on CAPITALISM, whose leaders made sure there was not much discussion or mutual back-slapping about it. That's why rich people own and operate the media. Can't have people actually realizing the awesome potential of simply using a little less. Capitalism produces a "waste" economy: without plentiful waste of all commodities, our greed-driven world stalls. Conservation is an (unfortunately) secret storehouse of astounding wealth. That's one.

Another is our military spending. Remember the scandals in military contracts, the $500-dollar hammers & such? This huge swindle never ended. The coverage simply petered out for the reason cited above. Our neglect of the costs of being the world's worst bully allows us to be ever ready to make war and to enrich a few people when we do. Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq have been unbelievable money machines for our warmakers. The Middle East gave the Bush II syndicate the booty from the biggest theft in history, George W. Bush's transfer, via income taxes and violent military spending, of trillions of dollars from average Americans to his friends.

Here's the third. We have, as you know, a "progressive" tax system. You make more, you're supposed to pay more. At least that's the theory. During the harshest parts of World War II, an income of $200,000 or more (that equals over two million today) was taxed at 94%, ninety-four percent. Today a Rockefeller-type pays 37%--THIRTY-SEVEN PERCENT! Fair?

Tapping into these--conservation, reduced military waste and genuinely progressive tax rates (I didn't even mention corporate taxes, which have almost vanished)--would put us so securely back in the "richest country" category, the competition would be out of sight behind us. The lot of average Americans would no longer be frantic. One income would once again be enough for a household, and most of us would own our own homes.

This is why we need Ocasios and lots more like her. Call it socialism or smocialism, we need to break up these hindrances to prosperity and fairness, these institutionalized guarantees of wealth and favoritism to the wealthy. It will take all the courage and defiance our boldest & bravest leaders can muster. Nothing rouses and animates the very rich and the successfully indoctrinated citizen like mention of socialism. All of its failings ("communism" is one) are displayed, however made up or distorted they are, and the opponents--remember this: the opponents to any kind of system that fairly shares wealth are the richest, most powerful people in the world. Whoever bucks them will be denounced as evil.

— Mitch Clogg

* * *

“You have a club — use it.”

* * *

ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY

It boggles the mind that somebody sounding as incoherent as Trump could out-think and out-run the best political pros that Democrat money could buy, yet he did it, in 2016 looking like the Lionel Messi of the presidential campaign, his opponents mere orange pylons on the playing field.

All right, I’m overstating the case. The Democrats after all scored the game-winning own-goal, Hillary forgetting she was kicking at her own net. I’m referring to what could go down as the most bone-headed word uttered in the most bone-headed speech in the history of mankind: deplorable.

But maybe it shouldn’t boggle the mind. Look at the laughable convention the Republicans held, look at Trump’s concert tour of a campaign, consider his oafish, dis-articulated sputterings. Yet Trump won. So it’s not that Trump and his team were that good, it’s that the Democrats were that bad. Far from being the crack troops in a campaign blitzkrieg that they were supposed to be, the Democrats were the Italian infantry.

I mean, with just one word – deplorable – Hillary gave an entire class of Americans an identity to rally around. It was awesome, historic, breathtaking, tectonic, an earthquake, with that one insult she gave Fly-over country a club to beat the Democrats with.

That’s how debased America’s “thinking classes” are, they couldn’t defeat Trump, the most defeatable candidate ever, in fact, they gave him the weapon to win, and one not easily subject to obsolescence. Now, you might think that the Brit elite is worse, the descendants of people that faced Heinkels and U-Boats and panzers turning ninny at the sight of an EU bureaucrat, and so I suppose that the point is debatable.

But IMO the idiocy of America’s elite “thinking class” is in a class of its own, nobody, anywhere coming close, with so many examples that you could choke, you could write volumes, you could start and never finish, the labor of an entire lifetime, the collected works of the most egregiously stupid people on the wrong side of almost every issue facing the US and the world, but, to be fair, issues that had their genesis with these same knuckleheads in America’s Great Halls of Thinking.

Not only could the “thinking classes” not find a way to beat Trump, they couldn’t find a way to unseat him, in the process covering themselves in ignominy, a laughing-stock twice losing to a laughing-stock.

How much did that college degree cost you? JEE-sus, what a complete fucking rip-off. You have my sympathy. How are you doing? Are you OK? Can you still think? I hope you can still think.

* * *

* * *

MEMO OF THE AIR: Hurray, hurray, the first of May. International Workers’ Day. The recording of Friday night's (2019-04-26) Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show on KNYO-LP Fort Bragg and KMEC-LP Ukiah is available by one or two clicks, depending on whether you want to listen to it now or download it and keep it for later and, speaking of which, it's right here: https://tinyurl.com/KNYO-MOTA-0330

There's an annoying high-frequency ringiness about the sound on the recording. It went out on the air too. It's a problem with the live equipment at KNYO. Jerry fixed it today, but of course he can't go back in time and it's not the sort of thing I can remedy on the recording with equalization… ah… or /is/ it? I'll try that and if it works I'll replace the recording later in the week. It's not that bad, just noticeable. Pretty good show, anyway. Quirky, contrapuntal chat with Alex. We sound like two irascible hard-of-hearing old people on a park bench in a Neil Simon play who are also, because of the radio problem (see above), talking through toilet paper tubes. In the future everyone will be doing that, and the cool kids will have the special tubes that cost extra, and the Westboro Baptist Church will picket plumbing fixture factories and have signs about how God hates it because it's unnatural and there are no toilets anywhere in Scripture, so.

Besides all that, at http://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com you can find a fresh batch of dozens of links to not necessarily radio-useful but nonetheless worthwhile educational items I set aside for you while gathering the show together. Such as:

Planetary tours.

http://astronomy.com/news/2019/04/planetary-tours-the-backpackers-guide-to-the-solar-system

Exactly what will happen when the comet strikes Earth.

https://www.neatorama.com/2019/04/22/The-Super-Comet-The-Impact/

And the Rolling Stones when they were still puppies. And all their fans were even puppier puppies.

theawesomer.com/rolling-stones-gather-moss/277778/

Marco McClean, memo@mcn.org,

https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com

* * *

THE MENDOCINO WOMEN'S CHOIR'S 27TH ANNUAL SPRING CONCERTS will be held at Eagles Hall (corner of Alder and Corry streets) in Fort Bragg, starting this Thursday (May 2), with 7:30 pm show times Thursday through Saturday and a 2:30 pm Sunday matinee. A feminist, progressive, loving, sassy, non-audition community choir, the shows will include their usual array of diverse and worldly music, tap-dance routines, colorful and fun dances, ukulele orchestra, and fantastic singers (…and light sabers and pirates!) And, to keep everyone happily fueled, Robert Goleman, of Bolliver's Fine Confections, will have his fabulous pastries for sale. Tickets for the shows are $18 adults, $12 seniors 65+, and $5 for children under 12 and are available at Harvest Market in Fort Bragg and Silver & Stone on Main Street in Mendocino. Tickets will also be available at the door.

* * *

* * *

GRATEFUL DEAD.

I often fantasize about sharing a pipe somewhere with my father and trying to explain how all that he can see from beside me came to be how it is. Or was then. Unsuccessful every time and forever. But to sit beside Dad once again. And we loved each other (or insisted we did).

When the woman I have loved as much as anyone who has ever loved gave me a peck on my bald forehead just before leaving after being asked for four days if I had any reason to hope that we might make love before she returned home to hear a flat No from her smile after moving mountains to get here is a plain fact that I honestly don't expect will ever be explainable to any rational person. Especially me.

When she finally knocked on my door she had overcome natural disasters in the form of a huge snowfall here with roads closed and most of the city shut down for about two weeks, after she finally arrived she spent most of her time on her computer talking to one of my granddaughters about me: the grandpa whose diagnosis is senile dementia among a few other problems. This granddaughter is probably the one I would be most likely the want to meet on a tenth hour flight to Singapore with five layovers, so long as I ended up home. Right where I started.

My life resembles a trip to Rio. First class. Ending up precisely where it started. Boarding now. But maybe this time I'll get laid. I have already said thank you many times, and I paused in my typing long enough to look deep into the Great Spirit's eyes and say Thank you yet again to an empty and silent sky. And I am still trying to get laid. I hope to see your e-mail or hear a knock on my door. Or may my phone ring. Now. And I hope there's more to come. Thank you. I bow…


I have a strong suspicion that whatever gets in this e-mail past the final edit will sound extreme. Even worse, it will probably sound preposterous. It will sound pompous. It will sound as absurd as the crazy prick who occupies the White House this not my himself the one who will save the world from itself. It won't even resemble anything assembled by logic. Or science. Or even the assign the belief that yoga is some hot-wired supercharged freeway to the digital world. And we elected him. And Hilary got more votes.

But she's not the one who must respond to the San Diego families affected by the deaths. Her chef's graduated from the same schools as his. But she has to sleep at least in the same house as Bill. And spread her legs and think of England.

But I am likely to be the only insinuating the last of the vape in a minute after I pee on Glacier Bay. And swallow the last of my glass of sparkling water flavored with lime and ginger. And some of us recognized in there the heart of a song. And that's a great place to be. Eh?

(Bruce Brady)

* * *

* * *

MENDOCINO COUNTY MENTAL HEALTH ADVISORY BOARD 2015 ANNUAL REPORT

(Ed note: Yes, that’s 2015. Somebody sent it to us as background, so here it is.)

Accomplishments Of The Mendocino County Mental Health Program

The transition from a county services provided mental health system to a private administrative service organization is nearly completed, after 22 months of successes, conflicts, trainings, misunderstandings, learnings, hirings, firings, arguments, meetings and persistence. I am sure that both this County and Ortner Management Group have been transformed in ways they never imagined. We, as a group, deal mainly with perceptions. I would state as Chair that after these many months our Board sees improvement in the delivery of mental health services to our clients.

A County as geographically large and diverse as ours has not yet seen the equal pressure applied to the delivery of State required mental health services. Few counties if any are meeting the State requirements. It will always be an expressed goal of our Board to provide balanced and robust services to all of our patients.

[1.] The extension of our County's 11:00 Court Calendar to the coast, if as successful as our Ukiah Valley Court, will be a well received addition to serve our seriously mentally ill patients who have come into contact with the criminal justice system. The power of the Court to bring together mental health providers with clients has been exceedingly successful Without extracting figures or data from this program, which are sorely needed, I believe that by now more than 100 Mendocino County residents are not in jail and are receiving MHSA funded Full Service Partnerships. This is a good example of County collaboration, persistence and money well spent.

[2.] The improvements and trainings of the medical billing protocols administered by Ortner Management Group (OMG) can be nothing but an improvement over the past billing practices. Hopefully future audits won't shake the foundations of the Mental Health Program with withering deficits coming from 7 year old reconciliations. Unfortunately we won't know the answer to this question for another couple of years.

[3.] The MHB would like to thank Mark Montgomery of OMG for the training and open offer to conduct classes for Board members regarding "what it takes to become a good Board member". Much valuable give and take and a conversational style made these classes very helpful for all concerned We now need one or two more on the coast.

[4.] The MHB would like to acknowledge the invitation from Mental Health Director Tom Pinizzotto for our Board to become involved with the California Association of Local Mental Health Boards and Commissions. Collaboration with our County and the other counties big and small throughout the State has proved to be an invaluable experience, to see the State mental health system from a different vantage point. The completion and submittal of the County's "Data Handbook" was an important achievement for both entities. Information is power.

[5.] LPS Conservatorships are ranging between the 50 to 60 mark as the months go by. These are court ordered by the WIC Code and put a financial burden on the County to provide these services. Are the hopes of these FSP recipients being realized? Do we have the capacity to do these beneficiaries justice?

[6.] Jay Holden's Restoration Program is up and running. This program works with misdemeanants who are assessed as unable to understand their Court proceedings. The goal is to restore these individuals who are languishing in jail without mental health services to competency. At this point, the mental health patients can proceed with their Justice Department requirements and receive a disposition. Rates of success will come after evaluation.

[7.] The MHSA Loan Assumption Program will be distributing funds to 5 applicants based on their cultural background and bilingual ability. The deserving applicants will receive around $5000 stipends to be announced later.

[8.] AB 19 29 has been passed by the legislature, and will release $1.3 million to create permanent housing for the Seriously Mentally III

[9.] An intergovernmental transfer funding of $165,000 will be combined with the Wellness Program Grant of $40,000 to provide funds to create an outreach mobile program to outlying areas of the County. County mental health worker Joy Kinion will partner with law enforcement to ride together into outlying areas to provide mental health services, out of a Sheriff-provided vehicle. This program is near fruition.

[101.] On December 10, 2014 the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 in favor of implementation of AB1421 or Laura's Law. Rollout was expected by July 1, 2015.

[11.] County Mental Health has hired a new Patients' Rights Advocate, Barbie Svendsen. This is a half time position.

[12.] The County Contracts Office has issued an RFQ (Request for Qualifications) to a list of public works contractors, to gather bids to provide for permanent housing for the SMI on the coast and inland $800,000 is a small sum, given the demand, but at least a start on a long awaited project. These funds may be able to provide as many as 8 permanent housing units for the County's SMI.

[13.] Adam Brumm continues to work on an integrated, uniform system for the electronic reporting of medica I records: providing quality and timely information to staff, ASOs, hospitals and medication suppliers.

6 Comments

  1. James Marmon April 28, 2019

    RE: WALLING OFF WILLIAMS

    Could Ted William be the next on the long list Mental-cino Supervisors to have a psychotic break and end up in an out of county psyche unit? He better stop contacting staff on his own or one of the females are going to say he makes them feel uncomfortable which will lead to him being hit with a threatening #MeToo letter from Brown and Angelo, like the one they threw at poor Tom Woodhouse.

    You’re walkin on thin ice there Williams

    James Marmon MSW

    • Lazarus April 28, 2019

      That was a big step towards the cliff for Woodhouse. He did go public with the threatening letter, put it in all the papers.
      Hopefully, Williams is strong enough to survive if the water torture begins. The other new guy Haschak was big talk during the election cycle but I’ve yet to see him dig in on anything.
      As far as MeToo, it had little influence in the Willits High matter from where I sit.
      And moreover, this is the Mendo…Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman…
      As always,
      Laz

      • Mark Scaramella April 28, 2019

        Of course elected officials can ask questions of staff. The “you need three Supervisors” rule applies to “giving direction to staff.” The difference is important. But Williams should ask his questions in writing, via email with copies to the CEO and whoever else needs be, so that he maintains a record of what he asked, when, to whom, and whether the elected official’s question was answered and when and whether the answer was satisfactory. I would discourage casual visits to staffers with chitchat style questions and such. That just encourages more of the same gibberish that we see at the Board level. Also, by using email, if anyone objects to a supervisor’s questions (if they’re considered “direction,” for example) — all of which seem legitimate and on point to me — they can say so and appropriate action taken. If Mendo has really come to a point where Supervisors can’t even ask a question of staff without the equivalent of a Brown Act process, then we clearly don’t need Supervisors at all. I can (and have) asked questions of staff periodically in the past and they generally do answer and they don’t complain that it’s anything like “direction.” Their replies don’t always answer the question, of course. But that’s a subject for another comment on another day.

        • James Marmon April 28, 2019

          Angelo does not allow Supervisor/Staff communication in any form. This has been discussed several times over the years, everything must go through her up or down. That’s what they pay her for, and she will always remind them of that. Ted Williams’ wellbeing is at risk. The power gal pals Angelo and Brown will not tolerate this behavior. Unless he adheres to his role as just a “yes” button pusher he will never survive. Williams must comply to the “chain of command” up or down.

          James Marmon MSW

  2. benjamin graham April 28, 2019

    Many years ago, during one of the frequent and chronic financial crises of MCDH, I was on an Affiliation Committee. We sent out an RFP, and no one responded.I seems to me we can’t even begin to discuss affiliation in a serious manner unless we know that there is at least one interested party and some general idea as to what is on offer.
    I have repeatedly asked those who wish MCDH to remain independent: “Show me a financial path as an independent hospital.” Measure C was touted as “saving the hospital,” but all its done is to put MCDH on life support for a year or two longer. No plan for how to fund $17 million in deferred maintenance/capital improvements and the 2030 seismic requirement for retrofit or rebuild–except to go back to the voters and ask for more money.
    Buz Graham, MD

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