MCT: Tuesday, May 7, 2019

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MUCH of the Anderson Valley was shocked and saddened to learn Monday morning that Steve Mize had died, family and friends at his Napa hospital bedside when he passed Sunday night. Steve had apparently suffered a heart attack.

The amiable, long-time Navarro resident, was known to many locals from his work as a heavy equipment operator and was a solid friend to just as many of us.

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MISSING FROM POINT ARENA!

Update: May 5, 2019

The man spotted in Jenner area on May 4 unfortunately was not my brother. It has been confirmed it was a man named Jason. Some of his behaviors were out of character of Ashton's, but you never know what 10 days of limited to know resources can do to a person.

If anyone spots him, please, take a picture and contact my mom Brenda Stone or Mendocino County Dispatch (707) 463-4086 immediately!

My mom is taking the reins now so I have room to decompress. She will be watching over this post. Please reach out to her with all questions.

Details:

My brother Ashton Stone has been missing for 10 days now. He was last seen in Point Arena, CA helping my dad fix a kitchen wall and was sent to the shed to grab stuff for dry wall. 20 minutes later, my dad went to check on him and he disappeared. Disappeared without phone, ID, and any belongings. No card transactions and any trace of him (since Thursday the 25th of April the day he disappeared) other than someone who said they have seen him Monday April 29th in Hopland, CA. Any information you have is helpful. May your thoughts and prays be with us through this hard time.

Edit:

Here's a little more info for people who never met Ashton as well as the most current picture taken two weeks ago.

Last seen that we can confirm is Eureka Hill Rd Point Arena, CA 95468 on the 25th around 4 to 4:30ish. Anyone saying the 26th is because I made a mistake looking up the date.

There’s been sight of him by a good friend seeing him with a sign saying San Francisco in Hopland, CA on the 29th near Willets. We thought maybe he was headed our way. Still no sign of him.

When talking to the police my dad couldn’t remember what he was wearing, so I don’t have that information.

Age: 20 years old
Height: 5”9’
Weight: 160 pounds
Hair: Blonde
Eye Color: Blue
Scars: One on each side of left wrist and one about two and a half inches on forearm.

Let me know if I missed anything or if there’s anything else anyone can think of. Sorry for the delay. I was waiting on his most recent photo.

Jennifer Stone, May 3, 1pm

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KENTUCKY DERBY, the local angle: Knox Parker, daughter of the late Fontaine McFadden and step-daughter of Potter Valley's Guinness McFadden, posted the following below. Her brother Guinness McFadden was born and raised in Potter Valley along with brother Jamison and youngest sister Anne Fontaine McFadden. Mom was one of four daughters of the William Flowers family, a Georgia clan, thus the connection to thoroughbred racing. Young Guinness is co-owner of Blackwood Stables, a Kentucky farm where the Derby winner was groomed.

"What an incredible turn of events that landed COUNTRY HOUSE in the Winners Circle.

COUNTRY HOUSE won against all odds…he was a late entry derby contender, he drew an outside pole position 20 - Omaha Beach’s scratch moved him over to 19 pole position….running in the rain + mud…he effortlessly charged ahead to win a very unexpected second place….only to be declared winner after the first ever disqualification in the 145 year history of the KY Derby…to become the second biggest long shot winner of all time with 65-1 odds. That’s five 🖐🏻 pretty big obstacles he over came…against all odds.

A fourth generation KY bred colt…bred by my Uncle Jerry Shield, raised by my brother Guinness + crew at Blackwood Stables, trained by Bill Mott & ridden by Flavian Prat…all these things came together in the most prefect way for COUNTRY HOUSE to win the 145th Kentucky Derby.

What an awesome run…and an especially sweet win for Guinness and my precious Aunt Maury. I am certain Uncle had something to do with it all."

* * *

NIGHT LIGHT OF THE NORTH COAST: HUMBOLDT MOONSET

by David Wilson

When friends or family visit from afar my first wish is to share the natural beauty of our area with them, especially if they come from city lives insulated from nature. From the legendary forests of our towering redwoods to the beautiful beaches and rugged coastlines, the natural beauty of our area is its greatest treasure.

It’s all still there at night, too, remember. And night offers something else city folk never see at home: a sky full of stars. It’s all too easy to take things for granted when one is accustomed to seeing them, and we live in a wonderland here. But conversely, to those unaccustomed to the sights, our area offers some amazing eye-openers, not the least of which is our night sky. Visitors from less rural areas are often amazed at the number of stars we still have in our skies. If you take your visitors out, or even go yourself, allow fifteen to twenty minutes to let your eyes grow used to the dark so see the most stars.

There is really no better way to feel small in the Universe than to stare into the night sky full of stars and realize that each one is itself a sun, and all are impossibly distant from each other. Some of those points in the sky are themselves entire galaxies full of stars. And everything we see is but a small part of the whole Universe… so it makes me feel small. Living amongst and beneath all this beauty we have on California’s North Coast goes remarkably well with my current passion: sharing these wonders of the nightscape via my photography.

Even visiting friends who themselves are not strangers to the outdoors will appreciate our unique scenery. Take the new moon’s crescent setting over the Pacific at the very foot of the Milky Way… I ask you. How many folks get to see that? Not too many, probably, for it happens only once each year. The Milky Way moves across the horizon from left to right month by month, and the previous month saw the Milky Way setting to the left of the crescent moon, while the following month it was to the right of the moon.

The moon was the brightest object in the sky at the time of the accompanying photograph, and in allowing the camera to gather enough light for the surrounding area the moon itself nearly became a featureless brightness in the sky. But its crescent shape is preserved in the original image, and can be seen when printed large. If you’re unable to see the crescent shape here, it’s because it is too small as presented.

In editing the photograph I noticed that the sky above the horizon had two distinct color casts between the left and right sides. In the spirit of fun, I bumped up the saturation to bring out the color differences. In part because of that I halfway think of the image title as “High Saturation,” but officially I have titled it “Humboldt Moonset.”

A Humboldt Moonset - High Saturation. What passes between friends as the crescent moon sets over the Pacific at the end of the Milky Way? Humboldt County, California. November 10, 2018.

(To keep abreast of David Wilson’s most current photography or peer into its past, visit and contact him at his website mindscapefx.com or follow him on Instagram at @david_wilson_mfx.)

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THE UNITY CLUB’S Wildflower show at the Boonville Fairgrounds over the weekend drew the usual large crowd of the botanically bewitched, while the book sale next door at the valley’s lending library drew nearly as many bedazzled bibliophiles.

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BOOTJACK 5 at the AV Senior Center

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DRY APRIL

April showers were scant this year, with Boonville getting less than an inch and Yorkville under two. Monthly totals for the 2018-19 rain season:

Boonville (total to date: 47.72")

  • 00.70" Apr
  • 07.28" Mar
  • 17.73" Feb
  • 11.54" Jan
  • 03.72" Dec
  • 05.32" Nov
  • 01.43" Oct

Yorkville (total to date: 64.44")

  • 01.76" Apr
  • 10.12" Mar
  • 24.88" Feb
  • 14.36" Jan
  • 05.80" Dec
  • 06.04" Nov
  • 01.48" Oct

* * *

TECHNICAL SUPPORT May 7 & May 9, 2019. Bring your Smart Phones and iPad or Tablet and your questions. Please RSVP at the Senior Center 707-895-3609 (open Tuesday and Thursday 10 to 4). avseniorcenter.blogspot.com

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MENDOCINO SPRING POETRY CELEBRATION * SUNDAY MAY 12

It was 44 years ago that Sharon Doubiago organized a three-day marathon of poetry in Mendocino town, and some continue writing here. Sharon also motivated this Revival of the Mendocino Spring Poetry Celebration, now in its fifteenth year, annually hosting some forty poets from the north counties and beyond.

Sunday, May 12, 2019 * 44th Anniversary

15th consecutive revival

Mendocino Spring Poetry Celebration

at the Hill House in Mendocino town on the coast.

This event draws some 40 poets from northern California and beyond. Two open readings: afternoon and evening.

Noon: sign up and gather; afternoon reading at 1:00.

Break: enjoy the town, the sea and the headlands.

5:00 PM: sign up and gather; evening reading at 6:00.

Choice comestibles. Open book displays. Contribution requested.

All poems considered for broadcast by Dan Roberts on KZYX&Z.

Info: Gordon Black, (707) 937-4107, gblack@mcn.org

* * *

TALMAGE TOUGH GUY

On 04-29-2019 at about 6:00 AM Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to a domestic disturbance in the 1900 block of Talmage Road in Talmage. When Deputies arrived they contacted two individuals outside of the residence. Deputies learned an adult female and Feras Asfour, 35, of Talmage, were living together at the location and had a young child in common.

It was reported the adult female had assaulted Asfour with a coat hanger and had possibly choked him. Deputies did not see any injuries on Asfour consistent with this reporting. During further investigations Deputies determined Asfour came home on April 29, 2019 at about 5:00 AM and the adult female was awakened. The couple got into a verbal argument which resulted in a physical altercation. Asfour reportedly assaulted the adult female by hitting and kneeing her numerous times in the head. The adult female grabbed a hanger and placed it in front of her face in an attempt to protect herself. She then went to the living room where Asfour pulled her hair and placed her in choke hold. Asfour allegedly had taken the adult female's keys and her phone so she could not leave the location or call law enforcement. Deputies noticed the adult female had visible injuries to her head and neck consistent with the reported physical assault. Asfour was determined to be on Mendocino County probation with a term to obey all laws and was arrested for felony Domestic Violence Battery, and violation of probation. Asfour was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $30,000 bail.

* * *

THE MORE THINGS CHANGE...

AVA, June 9, 2018

AS AN EXAMPLE of how precarious the budget for July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019 is, one need look no further than the Sheriff’s Department overtime line item. Before last week’s budget hearing [in June of 2018] CEO Angelo and the Sheriff had allocated exactly $0 to Sheriff’s overtime (It was $1.6 million last year) in an apparent budget balancing trick so ridiculous Supervisor Georgeanne Croskey (whose husband is a patrol deputy) felt obliged to comment, after which CEO Angelo blithely suggested $300k without any basis other than maybe the budget could handle that much.

Supervisor John McCowen agreed.

McCowen: “It is not realistic to have a zero line item for overtime. You are suggesting a $300,000 if we were to put a number in there. I do think that's conservative. As we have all said we don't know what may happen as the year goes forward. But we know we are going to have some overtime just in the normal course of events. If there is no disaster or there are no tragic car wrecks for complicated homicides that we naturally would drive further over time. If we have none of that we still know that we are going to have it. So perhaps between now and tomorrow the executive office and the sheriff can work to identify what other line items in the budget could potentially reduce to at least put in the $300,000 for overtime which would be kind of the minimum realistic figure I believe.”

[ms notes: McCowen actually called the ridiculous $300k number “conservative.”]

Angelo: “I'm fine with that. If that's the board direction we will do that. And then – … What I have noticed in the last 10 years with the sheriff's office overtime, which of course you have noticed as well, is when the positions and critical positions are really low obviously that's when we have more overtime. What I am also seeing is a real effort on the part of the Sheriff's office, particularly with various funding streams either being diminished or going away [probably a reference to a significant decrease in pot-related asset forfeiture plus the approximately $1 million cannabis permit program deficit] there is a real effort to focus on the overtime. The positions – he [the Sheriff] has his positions filled now. If we were going to budget overtime right now in the Sheriff's office we would have budgeted approximately $300,000. With what happens with the Sheriff's office, it is, it's just, you know, you never know what the next crisis is going to be. [sic] So I'm fairly confident. I have to say that we have had problems in dealing with the Sheriff's budget. He obviously has managed his budget very well. And he has helped. So we can talk about this tomorrow when this board is ready to make recommendations and make decisions on this. If we are going to budget I would say that we would have budgeted approximately $300,000. The other thing is that we can't really say today as far as what happens over the next 12 months that it is possible that there are other funding streams for overtime that we just — we just — you know — we just don't have right now, or don't have the ability to say right now. Honestly, in seeing the Sheriff’s budget I don't have a problem with this. Clearly you are the decision-makers and if you do [decide] we will rearrange the money.”

Deputy CEO Janelle Rau said they put zero overtime in the budget because they plan to keep close track of the overtime.

Rau: “I have been working with the Sheriff's office on their budget. They did go through some budget balancing strategies [translation: they made some ridiculous assumptions]. And working with their budget officer Kyra [the Sheriff’s budget analyst] and the Sheriff himself they did do some reductions to meet net County cost. [Arbitrary cuts.] With that is an understanding that the executive office is going to be working with them hand in hand and in turn with the board, meaning that we will be coming to you -- and there are descriptions in the information to you -- monthly, not quarterly. We will be coming to you with adjustments as they are necessary. We have made that arrangement with the Sheriff to say, you let us know when there is an issue so we will have discovered that between all of us here if there is one. Overtime was one of them. We knew it was out there. It is a strategy that we will watch. And that we will look at their vacancy factors as well to see in their total 1000 series [general fund] where they will be. It's a different approach this year. But we have been working on it effectively. Kyra and I started working on it this last year in July to make sure we could come here and feel good about what we are giving you and actually give you the confidence that we will be informing you as we go along as well.”

So the CEO’s Office and the Sheriff are going to start providing monthly reports on overtime! Does anybody believe that? They should have been doing routine monthly overtime tracking all along and now all of a sudden they’re going to start monthly reporting on something?

Never happen.

This reporting will either be non-existent or — if it happens at all — will be lame to the point of uselessness. Mendo just does not do monthly budget and staff reporting. In all likelihood they will ignore the overtime as it routinely goes over-budget like they do everything else and wait until it’s a problem, then make some equally preposterous declaration like the magic assumption change from 5% position vacancy to 10% position vacancy and cover the overtime like they always do by shorting other already short departments.

Supervisor Croskey wanted to hope — in spite of her gut knowledge that even $300k is nothing more than a place holder — that this still-ridiculous $300k approach would help.

Croskey: “That helps. I certainly have concerns. But we have nothing budgeted for overtime. It's not as if overtime won't happen. I understand we will be looking at it as we go. But it's — it's not as if — I don't know — I have concerns that we are pretending that that $1.6 million is — that we will find a way as we go. But…” [Shrugs.]

WE HAVE ALREADY HEARD from several patrol deputies that this discussion is as far from their reality on the street as it could be. And nobody has told them about any changes in overtime procedures or authorizations.

SO MARK YOUR CALENDARS. This was the first meeting in June. We will be looking closely at the first July agenda (July 10, to be exact) to see what kind of monthly overtime tracking Ms. Rau, Ms. Angelo, Mr. Allman and the crew actually come up with.


AVA 11/21/2018

SINCE THE ROSY BUDGET DECLARATION LAST JUNE, there has been just one (1) passing mention of Sheriff’s overtime in August casually noting they had already expended 45% of the budgeted amount in just two months. (Presumably of the $300k, but it could be 45% of the $1.6 million that’s still showing up in their budget charts, which would make the situation worse.)

ON TUESDAY, November 13, the CEO’s budget staff reported that the Sheriff’s office (not counting the jail) was about $2.1 million over-budget, primarily due to a significant (but unspecified, unreported) amount of overtime and some success in filling vacancies (not leaving them open) leading to somewhat less overtime but more base salary.


NOW it’s May of 2019 and guess what?

FY 2018-2019 Third Quarter Report

“Budget Unit 2310 – Sheriff-Coroner: At third quarter, the Sheriff’s Office has reduced their projected deficit through efficiencies to $1,096,028 (7.7%) over budget due to overtime.”

“Budget Unit 2510 – County Jail. At third quarter, the County Jail now projects the budget deficit will be $511,821 (5.1%) over budget due to overtime.”


AND THAT IS FOR only three-quarters of the way through the fiscal year.

* * *

* * *

SHANE GOES OFF

On 05-04-2019 at about 7:25 PM, a Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputy was dispatched to the Mendocino County Jail for a reported assault against a Mendocino County Corrections Deputy by a housed inmate inside the Mendocino County Jail. The inmate, Shane Miller, 25, of Ukiah, was reported to have struck the Corrections Deputy multiple times causing visible injuries to the Deputy.

Miller became violent following his refusal to follow the Deputy's verbal commands. Miller continued to actively assault the Corrections Deputy until the Deputy was able to deploy his OC canister ending the assault. Miller was secured in his housing cell following the assistance from another MCSO Corrections Deputy. The Patrol Deputy was able to review surveillance footage documenting the incident and based on his investigation, Miller was charged with battery of a custodial officer. Miller is currently being held on separate active cases but was also to be held in lieu of $15,000 bail for this additional charge.

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CITIZEN MONITORING OF NAVARRO WATERSHED STREAM TEMPERATURES

A new effort to monitor stream health throughout the Navarro River watershed is being led by the Mendocino County Resource Conservation District (MCRCD) and they are looking for streamside landowners who would like to be involved. Because cool water is so critical to the health and recovery of native Coho Salmon and steelhead trout, and stream warming and drought trends are a threat to these native fish and stream ecosystems, this effort will focus on monitoring water temperatures. The MCRCD has been working with many landowners and conservation partners to enhance summer streamflows and to keep streams cool through a variety of conservation measures. Now is an ideal time to track that progress through a widespread effort to monitor stream health.

Following successful “citizen science” efforts in other north coast watersheds, the MCRCD wants to engage locals in collecting valuable data that will let you track the conditions in your stream while helping resource managers evaluate conditions across the entire Navarro watershed. The MCRCD is looking for volunteers to participate in this free program and will provide all the necessary equipment and training.

A workshop will be held on Saturday, June 1 at 9:00-11:00 AM, starting at the Rose Room in Boonville (Little Red Schoolhouse) and then moving to the nearby stream for an on-site demonstration. We will install a water temperature sensor and demonstrate how you can access the water temperature data with your smartphone. For more information and to register for the workshop email linda.macelwee@mcrcd.org or call 895-3230.

* * *

MENDO MYSTERY MATH: According to Mendo’s latest “Non-Departmental Revenue” chart Mendocino County budgeted $6.1 million in sales tax revenues. Their actuals “thru 3/31/2019” are almost $4 million ($3.974 million). That’s $1.3 million per quarter since July 1, 2018. So at that rate they should get about $5.3 million in sales tax. But what does Auditor Lloyd Weer “project”? $6.4 million. Not one mention that sales taxes are off everywhere on the Northcoast.

AND, at the bottom of that same chart the total actual “non-departmental revenues” for the first three quarters are about $40 million (or $13.3 million per quarter), but Weer’s revenue “projection” is still $74.5 million, instead of the 4 x 13.3 = $53.2 million which it would be at the quarterly revenue rate. Mendo needs the April property tax receipts to make up more than $20 million to get anywhere near the projected $74.5 million on which Mendo’s general fund budget is based. And no annotations in the budget presentation that maybe Auditor Weer’s “projections” may be off and should be discounted, if not disbelieved.

THE ONLY OTHER REFERENCES to revenues in Tuesday budget presentation are, first, in a chart entitled: “FY 2019-20 Revenue Options for Unfunded Budget Priorities” which lists only one new revenue source: “Increase [already very high] fees to full cost recovery level.” (The CEO’s mantra implying that the Supes are responsible for the deficit for not allowing the CEO to raise fees to “full cost recovery level.”) And among the possible cost cutting measures we find “hiring freeze,” “No new vehicle purchases,” and “no funding to outside agencies.” (Although the budget also says that the County wants to buy a bunch of new electric vehicles.)

AND SECOND, under “additional funding streams” we find the hoped for “cannabis tax” (unquantified, but previous wish-mentions are up to an extremely unlikely $3 million); several unrealistic years-into-the-future taxes, fees and assessments which would require voter approval, hitting up indigent defendants to pay more of the Public Defender costs and, perhaps most ridiculous: “Animal Control Fines/Citations.”

NOTHING about eliminating the $111k being spent (to an “outside agency”) on Alicia “Little Tree” Bales and her “Climate Change Advisory Committee,” (still listed under “Support Community Partners”), and nothing about scaling back the huge increases in Supervisor and top official pay over the last two years when everyone knew they couldn’t be afforded.

THEY DON’T EVEN present a department by department budget status chart, only a list of the “top ten over-budget departments/programs” which doesn’t even list the grossly over budget cannabis program or the CEO/Supervisors “department.”

WHAT ARE THE ODDS that any of the Supervisors ask even a token question about this looming shortfall, much less ask about the raises the employees have been promised and are expecting in the eight bargaining units that are in play this year? (Williams might, Haschak maybe, neither receiving backup from their colleagues.)

* * *

US? SUSPICIOUS?

On 05-03-2019 Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies responded to reports of suspicious activity occurring in the 4300 block of Old River Road in Talmage. Multiple neighbors in the area had reported suspicious people and vehicles at a suspected abandoned residence at all hours of the night. Upon arrival, Lacee Ross, 34, of Willits, was contacted on the property. Ross was identified as being on parole for arson. During the contact it was discovered Ross' specific terms of parole included no travel to Mendocino County. Additionally, Ross was determined to be under the influence of a controlled substance. Following consultation with Ross' parole agent, Ross was arrested for a violation of parole and being under the influence of a controlled substance. While speaking to Ross, Lloyd Magnuson, 45, of Cloverdale, was also contacted on the property.

Ross, Magnuson, Pinola

During a pat search of his person, an item later determined to be metal knuckles was located. Magnuson was arrested and during a search of his person suspected methamphetamine was located on his person. Magnuson was subsequently arrested for being in possession of metal knuckles and possession of a controlled substance. While securing the property, Ivory Pinola, 36, of Redwood Valley, was contacted and following a consent search of her property was ultimately cited and released for being in possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. Ross and Magnuson were booked into the Mendocino County Jail. Ross was to held on a no bail status based on her parole conditions while Magnuson was to be held in lieu of $15,000 bail.

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THE HOLLAND SEA OF FLOWERS in full bloom. Over 30 million tulips.

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GOVERNMENT FEES, CHARGES AND THE PUBLIC’S RIGHT TO KNOW

by Jim Shields

A couple of weeks ago, the Board of Supervisors approved a whole slew of fee increases for a handful of departments, including the cannabis wing of the Planning and Building Department.

The cannabis operation was targeted with 15 separate fee increases, by far the most adjustments sought by any department. It was no surprise that the Supes approved the entire package of fee increases by a 3-2 vote (Haschak, Williams, no).

Since that meeting a number of people contacted me wanting to know what criteria the BOS uses to justify fee increases, especially since quite a few far exceeded a 100-plus percent bump.

The short answer is the California Constitution [article XIIIC, section 1(d)] sets out the general rule that fees for the use of local agency facilities and for services may not exceed the reasonable cost of providing those facilities and services.

There are generally two types of fees or charges that cities, counties, water districts, school districts, etc., utilize: user fees and regulatory fees.

Local governments may impose user fees, charges and rates for services and facilities it provides. Examples include fees for checking building plans for new home construction, installing a new water hookup, or for holding a community meeting in a local government building or room. However, the amount of a fee cannot exceed the cost of providing the particular service. This cost may include overhead, capital improvements and debt service.

Local governments may impose regulatory fees that pay for the cost of issuing licenses and permits, performing investigations, inspections and audits and the administrative enforcement of these activities. Examples include a fee to pay for the cost of processing cannabis license applications or a fee to inspect restaurants for health and safety compliance. But again the amount of a fee cannot exceed the actual cost of providing the particular service.

Arguments commonly arise over the issue of what constitutes the actual cost of a service because oftentimes local governments grossly inflate expenses associated with providing a service. Mendocino County has a reputation for gouging citizens who access various services, case in point, the batch of cannabis-related fees that on their face appear to be jacked up beyond anything reasonable. We’ll discuss this issue in more detail next week.

There’s another area of local government-imposed fees that needs to be discussed.

Recently, the county’s Chief Executive Officer, Carmel Angelo, advised the BOS in a report captioned “Public Records Act Requests” that “The Executive Office and County Counsel will also be bringing an item to the Board regarding a possible ordinance to address fees under the Public Records Act. Currently, those fees only capture direct costs of duplication and not staff time or other expenses incurred in responding. The Public Records Act requests involving large amounts of staff time, where we provide an electronic response with no cost recovery, are increasing. We will be asking the Board to consider an ordinance to increase fees to cover the expense of providing these materials.”

I don’t believe the CEO’s request has been discussed or acted on yet, so here’s some background on the issue.

In California sunshine laws, open meeting statutes and disclosure acts all mandate certain procedures for citizens to access public officials, decision-making and information. However, merely having a legal right means little if you don’t have the ability to exercise it. Case in point: all Californians have the right to obtain information from government.

The California Public Records Act establishes that state and local records, with few exceptions, are open to the public. Open means that records are available for inspection, review and photocopying by citizens. All too often public officials make mischief around the disclosure and copying of records. Some of them derive pleasure in meeting a citizen’s request for information with an uncooperative attitude that borders on hostility. They find it burdensome and distressing that they actually have to deal with the public, and they pull out all the stops to discourage contact from and with the very people they are there to serve. One effective tactic to keep the public at bay while at the same time safeguarding bureaucrats’ treasured files, calls for gouging the public in the area of copying fees.

The California Public Records Act allows governmental offices to charge copying fees for the “direct costs of duplication.” Such costs include the paper, toner, amortization of the copy machine and the like. The courts have ruled that the public cannot be charged for such things as search time, clerical assistance, office overhead, etc. Copying fees are to be based solely on what it costs for the machine to spit out a copy.

Anyway, it’ll be interesting to see what the CEO will be recommending as far as a new ordinance to deal with this long-settled right of document and information disclosure. Right now I can’t really think of any reason why a special ordinance would be needed in Mendocino County when statute and legal precedent are so clearly established and recognized under the law.

(Jim Shields is the Mendocino County Observer’s editor and publisher, and is also the long-time district manager of the Laytonville County Water District. Listen to his radio program “This and That” every Saturday at 12 noon on KPFN 105.1 FM, also streamed live: http://www.kpfn.org)

* * *

SAN FRANCISCO, 1906

* * *

JUST WHEN OLSTAD THOUGHT…

On 05-02-2019 at approximately 10:51 PM, a Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputy was on patrol in the area of Comptche-Ukiah Road, just east of Highway 1. The Deputy observed the driver of a street legal motorcycle commit traffic violations while traveling eastbound on Comptche-Ukiah Road. The Deputy activated his emergency lighting to make an enforcement stop for the observed violations and the driver continued to drive eastbound while accelerating to a high rate of speed. During the pursuit, the driver drove into the oncoming (westbound) lane of travel and then onto Little River Airport Road. The pursuit was terminated at this time, due to the public safety risk and the fact the driver had a passenger on the motorcycle. Approximately ten hours later, at 9:00 AM, Sheriff's Deputies were continuing this investigation and arrived at a residence in the 5000 block of Albion Little River Road in Albion. Deputies contacted and arrested Richard Wayne Olstad, 25, of Fort Bragg, who was wanted on a felony arrest warrant for violation of felony probation.

During this time, Deputies established that Olstad was the individual who willfully evaded Deputies on the motorcycle the night prior. Olstad was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held on a no-bail status.

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, May 6, 2019

Campbell, Heilig, Hill

ROBERT CAMPBELL, Ukiah. Parole violation.

JEREMIAH HEILIG, Willits. Under influence, trespassing.

CHRISTOPHER HILL, Phoenix/Ukiah. DUI.

Moore, Ojeda-Garcia, Olstad

JON MOORE, Sacramento/Ukiah. Suspended license (for DUI), renting a vehicle to someone with an interlock ignition restriction device, probation revocation.

RAMIRO OJEDA-GARCIA, Redwood Valley. Probation revocation.

RICHARD OLSTAD, Fort Bragg. Evasion, probation revocation.

Perry-Pereira, Sanders, Strider

ALEXANDRIA PERRY-PEREIRA, Willits. DUI, vandalism.

RHONDA SANDERS, Fort Bragg. Controlled substance, probation revocation.

KENNETH STRIDER, Clearlake/Ukiah. Assault with deadly weapon with great bodily injury.

Tice, Velasquez, Walter

THOMAS TICE, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

NANCY VELASQUEZ, Philo. Probation revocation.

HOWARD WALTER III, Fremont/Willits. DUI-alcohol&drugs, probation revocation.

* * *

GOING SOUTH

by James Kunstler

A 25 percent tariff on Chinese goods coming into the USA. That’ll git her done, all right — if you mean pulling the plug on America’s holographic economy. For about 30 years this is how it worked: China sent a massive volume of finished goods to us and we paid them with a massive volume of US Treasury bonds at ever-lower interest rates. A great deal for us while it lasted. Or so it seemed. Eventually, China caught onto the swindle and began liquidating its US bond holdings to buy gold and other real goods like African mining rights and farmland, Iranian oil, and port facilities in strategic corners of the world.

Now China has obviously designed a policy to dissociate itself as much as possible from the losing trade racket with us and replace the American market by increments with whatever customer base it can cobble together from the rest of the world. The Belt-and-Road initiative to physically link China with Central Asia (and beyond) with railroad lines and highways through some of the most forbidding terrain on earth was an out-front part of the plan, which we haplessly financed by buying all that stuff they sent over here for decades, and giving them the time to complete that colossal project.

Buying all those cheap toaster-ovens, patio loungers, sneakers, sheet-rock screws, alarm clocks, croquet mallets… Well, you name it, naturally made it uneconomical for America to make the same stuff, with all our silly-ass sentimental attachment to union wages, eight-hour workdays, and pollution regs, so we just steadily let the lights go out and the roofs fall in, and ramped up the “financialized” economy, with Wall Street parlaying Federal Reserve largess into an alternative universe of Three-Card-Monte scams using multilayered derivatives of promises to repay loans (that have poor prospects of ever being paid back).

The outcome of that was two Americas: the hipsterocracy of the coastal elites and the suicidal deplorables of Flyoverland. The hipsterocracy sustains itself on the manufactured hallucinations of the holographic economy — that is, on the production of images, TV psychodramas, news media narratives, status competitions, public relations campaigns, law firm machinations, awards ceremonies, and other signaling systems to maintain the illusion that the financialized economy has everything under control as we transform into a nirvana of ultra high tech pleasure-seeking and endless leisure.

Meanwhile, out in Flyoverland, the holograms aren’t selling so well anymore. Nobody has the scratch to pay for them, not even those indentured to the neo-feudal empires of WalMart and Amazon. The children keep coming, though it’s nearly impossible for a man to support them, and increasingly the fathers just take themselves out of the picture. The women ferment in single-parent hopelessness. The children turn more feral by each generation. All remaining economic opportunity is diverted back into the leveraged buy-out mills of the Coastal Elsewhere. Even growing food out of the land was long ago converted into an Agri-Biz hustle based on practices with no future. And now the spring weather is drowning out that hustle and driving the corporatized farms into bankruptcy.

The two Americas have turned a formerly workable political system into a divorce court and for the past three years nothing of value has come out of that negotiation except more mutual grievance and animus. The hipsterocracy, drunk on craft beer, has concentrated its hologram production on an operatic extravaganza of racial and sexual melodrama and the stupendously dishonest campaign to vilify the deplorables’ champion, Mr. Trump. If it was originally designed to just divert the deplorables from their economic injuries, it actually succeeded in focusing their dwindling energy into wrathful, righteous rage against those who foreclosed their future.

As I write, the stock markets have opened up in what looks like the beginning of a very bad week — apparently a reaction to Mr. Trump’s floundering trade deal talks. When these markets go emphatically south, both Wall Street and its hipsterdom subsidiary will find themselves reduced to their own special hell of deplorability. The realignment that emerges from that unholy mess will be the surprise of our lives.

(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)

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THIS GUY'S RAISING A KID?

On 05-04-2019 at about 7:31 PM, Mendocino County Deputies were dispatched to a reported assault with a deadly weapon in the 400 block of Ten Mile Creek Road in Laytonville. Deputies were further advised by MCSO dispatch that the suspect, Jeremiah Skinner, 41, of Laytonville, attempted to run over a 55 year-old male with a vehicle and was last seen leaving the area in a blue Subaru Impreza, possibly headed to Boomer’s Bar.

While responding to the call, Deputies located a vehicle matching the suspect vehicle description parked in the Boomers Bar parking lot. Deputies contacted the driver of the vehicle, Jeremiah Skinner, and pending response to the scene of the original reported incident. At the scene Deputies learned Skinner came to the location (residence) to pick up his 7 year-old son, but the 55 year-old male refused to allow Skinner to take the child, as he felt he was under the influence of a controlled substance. An argument ensued and Skinner was told to leave the property. Skinner reportedly got into his vehicle and attempted to hit the 55 year-old male with his vehicle several times. Skinner drove straight at the 55 year-old male twice and both times he had to move to the side to keep from being struck by the vehicle but ultimately was not hurt and did not need any medical attention. Skinner was subsequently placed under arrest for Assault with a Deadly Weapon in regards to the reported incident. Deputies located a small amount suspected methamphetamine in Skinner's pocket during his arrest and charged with Possession of a Controlled substance. Skinner was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $30,000 bail.

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NOTE TO THE ENVIRONMENTAL COMMUNITY

by Ralph Nader

In 2003, political strategist Frank Luntz wrote a confidential Republican Party memo on what he called “the environmental communications battle.”

In that memo, Luntz advised Republicans to change the words they used to meet their ends. “The scientific debate is closing but not yet closed,” he wrote. “There is still a window of opportunity to challenge the science.” Luntz proposed using the phrase “climate change” instead of “global warming.” His reasoning: “…while global warming has catastrophic communications attached to it, climate change sounds a more controllable and less emotional challenge.”

Like it or not, Frank Luntz had a point. When I was growing up in New England, “climate change” meant the changing of the seasons: spring, summer, autumn, and winter.

Today, in the midst of increasingly alarming scientific studies and giant storms, the necessary response has been diminished by this widely-accepted softening of the words we use to describe the dangerous reality that stands before us. Language matters!

I recently reached out to two leading and widely respected ecologists, Paul Hawken and Bill McKibben, to get their input on the mainstream usage of the benign phrase “climate change.” McKibben now uses the far more potent phrase “climate chaos.” Hawken believes the proper term is “climate volatility.”

One thing is abundantly clear―it’s time to change the words to meet the peril! As Confucius said: “If language is not correct, then what is said is not what is meant; if what is said is not what is meant, then what must be done remains undone; if this remains undone, morals and art will deteriorate; if justice goes astray, the people will stand about in helpless confusion. Hence there must be no arbitrariness in what is said. This matters above everything.”

Would you join us in replacing the use of the all-together benign phrase “climate change” with variations of more grave language? Consider the following alternatives: climate crisis, climate catastrophe, climate disruption, climate upheaval, or even global warming. Whatever choice of words, we should stop using “climate change.”

Sincerely,

Ralph Nader

(Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!)

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GANG PUNKS, REDWOOD VALLEY

On 05-04-2019 a Mendocino County Sheriff' Sergeant was speaking to a security person who was providing security for an event at the Redwood Valley Grange when the Sergeant was advised an attendee was reportedly making statements of being armed with a firearm. While speaking to security the Sheriff’s Sergeant learned a fight was actively taking place. The Sheriff’s Sergeant and a Deputy Sheriff were in the immediate area and responded to find a 16 year-old juvenile male running from the scene and a 15 year-old juvenile male walking away from the area. Both juveniles were detained and arrested after determining both were under the influence of alcohol. It was also determined both juvenile males were on felony juvenile probation with terms to include: "No alcohol" and "No gang association or clothing." Gang attire and association were identified and both juvenile suspects were arrested for disorderly conduct, violation of probation, and participation in a criminal street gang. During the investigation, MCSO Deputies returned to the location and discovered the security guard restraining a third person, Gerardo Gonzalez 27, of Ukiah.

Deputies learned Gonzalez had been armed with a loaded handgun and was disarmed by the security guard who was attempting to prevent Gonzalez's escape. Gonzalez was arrested and the handgun was recovered. During the investigation it was learned Gonzalez along with the two arrested juveniles and at least two additional unidentified males, arrived at the location together. Based on the information learned at the scene, Gonzalez was arrested for being armed with a concealed loaded firearm not registered to him, armed with a concealed loaded firearm and active participant in a criminal street gang, and participation in a criminal street gang. Additionally, during and following his arrest, Gonzalez began to make believable threats toward the reporting party and the arresting Deputy and was subsequently charged with criminal threats and threatening a peace officer. Both juveniles were transported to Mendocino County Juvenile Hall following their arrest. Gonzalez was booked into the Mendocino County Jail for the listed charges where he was to be held in lieu of $45,000 bail.

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ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY

There is nothing and I mean nothing that gives a Republican more pleasure than looking down on people. To them, it’s better than sex. Trump rallies are actually communal looking down on others. Like one big nose turn. Think of it as a giant long bony finger pointing at ugliness. Cheers. Applause. Then the man with the orange-colored face from Queens whips them into a frenzy by telling them they’re all white. Then they spew a communal orgasm of Cheetos from their mouths like the volcanos you made in grade school. Then they go home and tell each other they can’t wait for the next “It’s Good to be White Rally.” Then they put on “Not to Touch the Earth” so they can hear Jim Morrison scream “Soon! Soon! Soon! I am the Lizard King. I can do anything.”

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ON LINE COMMENTS OF THE WEEK

(1) I think that for the most part people don’t even understand much of anything in their lives anymore. They get how to go online or use their smartphone but how it really all works is beyond them. They have no clue how the banking system works. No clue whatsoever about how to grow food or, for many, cook from scratch. No clue how to live without electricity, central AC, electronics etc. Kids have no clue how to entertain themselves without video games, phones, TV’s etc.

All of this has sped up to a great degree in recent years. Contrast how we live now compared to how people lived in the 40’s or 50’s even. I think a lot of people sense that technology has gotten out of hand and that they have little understanding or control over the most essential things needed to keep them alive. So people are nervous and anxious.

(2) I was a farmer for quite some time. I gave it up due to the impossibly long hours and inability to support myself beyond basic subsistence. People are more willing to pay insane amounts of money on a per/pound basis for french fries or chips but balk at paying a local organic farmer a decent price for potatoes. I couldn’t compete with buy 1, get 2 free blueberry specials at the chain grocery. Those were generally “loss leaders” to get the customers in who then bought soda and snacks which is where the store made their money.

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TARA! TARA! TARA!

On 05-05-2019 at approximately 3:45 A.M., Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to a reported domestic violence incident at a residence in the 2100 block of South State Street in Ukiah. Upon arriving at the scene, Deputies learned a male at the residence was assaulted with pepper spray by the mother of his child. The female subject was identified as Tara Hill, 31, of Willits.

During their investigation, Deputies learned Hill drove to the residence in Ukiah during the early morning hours of May 5, 2019 to confront the father of her child about custody issues. Upon arriving at the residence, Hill and the male became involved in a verbal argument and Hill used pepper spray to assault the male. Hill also entered the residence to commit the assault on the male subject, who was at the location with a female family member who resides there. It was determined that Hill entered the residence with the intent to commit a felony assault, by spraying the male subject with pepper spray in a situation that was not self defense. Hill was placed under arrest for Felony Domestic Violence Battery, Second Degree Burglary, and Illegal use of Tear Gas Weapon. Hill was subsequently booked into the Mendocino County Jail where she was to be held in lieu of $25,000 bail.

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"I'm having trouble figuring out how to make money with music, without making music about making money."

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HIT & RUN THEATER Community Improv Workshops begin Wednesday, May 29

Dear Mendocino Community,

On May 29 Hit and Run Theater begins a series of 4 Improvisation workshops running Wednesdays, May 29, June 5, June 12, and June 19. The workshops take place from 6:30-8:30pm at the Community Center of Mendocino, 998 School St., Mendocino, CA 95460. Hit and Run’s newest workshop series is open to all interested students. The course will include basic improvisational games and acting exercises. No previous theatrical or improvising experience is required and mature teens are welcome as well as adults and seniors. A workshop contribution of $15 per night for Hit & Run Theater will cover the workshop fees. Wednesday night, June 19 will be set aside for a workshop show including all participants. What a deal! To register or for further information, please call 937-0360 or email Doug Nunn dnunn@mcn.org or connect on Facebook. We look forward to seeing you there.

Thanks,

Doug Nunn

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CRONYISM

Dear Supervisors:

I am writing to ask you to pull for discussion from the May 7 Consent Calendar, Item 4-i. The item is called, "Adoption of Resolution Creating the Mendocino County Climate Action Advisory Committee (Sponsors: Board of Supervisors and County Counsel).

My reason for asking you to pull the item is that I want to make the Board aware that in creating the Mendocino County Climate Action Advisory Committee (“MCCAAC”) the county may be going down a slippery slope with the Mendocino Environmental Center ("MEC") and its president, Alicia Little Tree Bales.

It is my strongly held belief that over time, Ms. Bales, and her hand-picked cohorts at the MEC, will hijack the CAAC for their own purposes.

I also strongly believe that Ms. Bales -- and Supervisor John McCowen, with whom Bales has at least a landlord-tenant relationship, and possibly more -- is influencing the emerging CAAC to get Bales appointed to manage the CAAC as a private contractor. The total compensation for that position is $94,801. As a private contractor, Ms. Bales would not be subject to the hiring process stipulated by Civil Service requirements.

In sum, this job is being created for Ms. Bales. It smacks of cronyism.

I served on the MEC's Board from 2017-2019, and hosted a radio show on KMEC from 2015-2018. Some of my shows have received upwards of 65,000 views. See: https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=ray+mcgovern+jfk+kmec+youtube&view=detail&mid=8AB851CFA3441C77B3FF8AB851CFA3441C77B3FF&FORM=VIRE

Over the years, as a Board member I raised thousands of dollars from underwriters, foundations, and members for the MEC.

I loved the MEC, especially its mission of peace and social justice, and environmental justice. But everything changed when Bales engineered her appointment as Board president when her predecessor suddenly resigned. Bales had not immediately served on the Board. She came out of nowhere.

Bales' first order of business was to purge the Board and insert her own friends who would rubberstamp her personal agenda. I resigned from the Board, as did Mary Massey. Board member Joel Thompson was voted off the Board. Emmanuel Mallo, who is West African, and Josefina Duenas, who is Latina, resigned from the Board, alleging racism.

My fear is that Bales will do the same at the CAAC. She will install her friends at the CAAC, or otherwise influence their appointments. She will then have the CAAC vote to hire her as its manager. Worst, Bales will bring an extremist agenda to the CCAAC.

Let's not forget the history of the MEC. The MEC's founder and best-known leader, Judi Bari, was a self-proclaimed anarchist. Her husband, Mike Sweeney, was a self-proclaimed Maoist. Both identified themselves as "warriors". What followed were years of chaos and conflict, years of bombings, federal investigations, lawsuits, and negative publicity for Mendocino County.

It was a nightmare, especially for well-meaning activists.

It was a nightmare for law enforcement at every level -- federal, state, and county.

Now here comes Alicia Bales. In Board meetings she has identified herself as Judi Bari's protégé. She has identified herself as a warrior. And she is an extremist.

I don't think Bales has ever been described as a moderate -- she is incapable of it.

And being unemployed and unemployable -- Bales is an actress and voice coach -- Bales needs a job. Creating a job for her is cronyism.

Bales furthermore wouldn't want to be subsumed in the Mendocino County Resource Conservation District or the Air Quality Management District. Bales doesn't want a boss.

If you approved the resolution described in 4-i, please create safeguards to prevent a takeover of the CAAC by the MEC and Ms. Bales. Such a takeover will only hurt the real movement to control carbon emissions and fight global warming in Mendocino County. The infrastructure already exists to accomplish these goals.

Thank you.

John Sakowicz

Ukiah

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Rothko

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JUST WHEN WE THOUGHT IT WAS SAFE

Virtually all that has made it though to this Sunday evening argues that the supposed interest in the part of NetFlix in buying the rights to the daily paragraphs and the story they tell of aging in our culture for a high budget film, thus infusing large amounts of cash into Chase bank. This has not happened to date.

It's too bad on many levels, one of which is that is a modern story of handling said rumor gracefully, as a teacher might handle it. This is good news. For me personally, there is the real relief of finding it not to be true. I have never known a wealthy person whose happiness lasted much past the drugs and the women.

We will always ask for more time to get ready but we are ready. Now… We are passionately committed to erasing this again from our history. We so I not be ambushed and gaslighted again. And we still know the melodies from last time. And we welcome the coming clash of our knives. The cameras are rolling. Ah, it is good to remember.

(Bruce Brady)

7 Responses to "MCT: Tuesday, May 7, 2019"

  1. Michael Koepf   May 7, 2019 at 8:59 am

    I’ve never much cared for the MEC, which, in the past, has been little more than a gathering place for serial activists that use environmentalism to further thier inane, progressive schemes. However, John Sakowicz sounds like a sincere, nature preservationist, who is exposing a cozy, love affair of corruption at the expense of the rest of us.

    Reply
  2. Bill Pilgrim   May 7, 2019 at 9:23 am

    RE: Jim Shields…Fees, etc.

    “There are generally two types of fees or charges that cities, counties, water districts, school districts, etc., utilize: user fees and regulatory fees.”

    So how would one categorize the usurious county fees charged for having a weekend AirBnB or similar?
    $3000 up front if one resides on a county maintained road. $6000 if one does not.
    What service or regulation activity is being provided for that?

    Reply
  3. Lazarus   May 7, 2019 at 10:56 am

    Re: Budget Busters
    If anyone thinks spotlighting the Sheriff’s problem keeping a budget is going to change anything, let alone what the CEO may be up to with the BoS, they’re delusional.

    The Sherriff has stated publicly that the government is not in the business of saving the public money, in essence, the philosophy is, it cost what it cost, so suck on that folks…

    Those who have followed his antics during the Measure B fiasco should not be a bit surprised by his fondness for spending other peoples money.

    Never the less the AVA’s exercise on the topic is admirable.
    As always,
    Laz

    Reply
    • Mark Scaramella   May 8, 2019 at 9:30 am

      My interest in the topic has little to do with Sheriff and more to do with the lack of management by County officials, failure to follow-up, knowingly budgeting a ridiculous number to create a fake balanced budget, and not asking any questions about the subject even after being promised that OT would be tracked. And what that means for the rest of the budget. As demonstrated on Tuesday. (More on that later.)

      Reply
  4. Craig Stehr   May 7, 2019 at 12:26 pm

    Sitting at an outside table in perfect sunny, lightly cool weather, Microsoft laptop on, the German shepherd is napping on the porch, the duck and chicken are elsewhere, and the large bunny rabbit is up at the top of the driveway guarding The Magic Ranch in Redwood Valley. Birds are chirping. I am happy.

    Reply
  5. Eric Sunswheat   May 7, 2019 at 10:26 pm

    Subject: Measles Hype and Misinformation: Are Orthodox Jews Responsible for the Measles Outbreak?
    From: Vaccines Revealed

    As the measles debate wears on, we’re hearing a lot about the “spread of misinformation” in relationship to vaccines. Typically, this term is used to describe the efforts of vaccine safety advocates to expose the truth about vaccines to the public, but with the current backlash and push for mandatory vaccination, we’re seeing a new level of misinformation in the press that warrants the attention of every American.

    The truth is, it’s easy to accept what we see in print without taking the time to really consider what it’s saying…and whether it’s true. At a time when the nation is more divided than ever, it’s vitally important that we check the facts before accepting what we read in the media…and while it’s easier than ever to spread misinformation by simply hitting “share,” the internet has also made it easier than ever to quickly do a fact check and research claims for yourself.

    This is especially important when it comes to situations like the one unfolding in New York. The state has reacted by placing the blame on one population in particular when it comes the spread of measles: The Orthodox Jewish community. Major media outlets have been feverishly publishing titles like the Washington Post’s recent “New York City vaccination order shines spotlight on insular Jewish community”. The claims made by the media and government officials have circulated throughout the country…but are they correct?

    The state claims that poor vaccination rates in Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods are to blame for the “epidemic” of measles that’s going on in New York. They’ve targeted these neighborhoods, forcing mandatory vaccination on thousands under the threat of court charges and fines, and officials have shut down Yeshivas (Orthodox Jewish schools) over immunization records. Six thousand children who attended 60 mostly Jewish schools and child care centers have been unable to attend class, and articles are circulating throughout the nation about the measles epidemic being started by Orthodox Jews returning from visiting Israel…where measles has been active.

    “I think it just opened up the door for everybody to say whatever they wanted to say,” said Steve Gold (chairman of the Jewish Community Relations Council) in an interview with The New York Times. “And they’re putting, the way it looks right now, 100 percent blame on the Orthodox community.”

    Why is New York blaming its Orthodox Jews for spreading the measles? Do Orthodox Jews actually vaccinate their children less than other people, for religious reasons…as is being implied by the media?

    The answer is a solid “No,” and in fact, there is evidence to the contrary. A peer-reviewed study was conducted that proved that Orthodox Jewish communities vaccinate their children at the same rate as other communities, and came to the following conclusion:

    “For all immunizations, uptake in the strictly Orthodox Jewish community is not significantly different from that of the District. Responding parents had positive attitudes to the value and safety of immunizations but wished better
    access to services. Health professionals need to question their perceptions so that efforts to improve uptake amongst ethnic minority groups are based on facts and are responsive to identified needs.”

    What about the outbreaks in Israel, which is where New York’s “epidemic” was supposed to have originated? It turns out that Israel actually has a very high vaccination rate for the MMR (and other vaccines). In fact, Jerusalem has a 96.5% rate, and rates in Israel range from 94% at the lowest to over 98%.

    What are vaccination rates in New York, the state that’s blaming Jews visiting Israel for causing a measles epidemic? Ninety-two percent….well below the lowest vaccination rate in Israel.

    Reply
    • Eric Sunswheat   May 7, 2019 at 10:40 pm

      Are New York health officials operating out of anti-Semitism? While we can’t rule this out just because we don’t want to believe it’s possible, there’s another reason New York might be targeting this group of people:

      State officials would love to have an excuse to eliminate the religious exemption for vaccines, and blaming the current outbreak on a religious population gives them an excellent avenue to argue that they should do so.

      The fact that some Jewish people choose not to vaccinate is beside the point…some non-Jewish people also choose not to vaccinate. Contrary to the media’s claims, studies show that most people who choose not to vaccinate do so not because they are blindly following “antivaxxer” rhetoric, but because they have done the research and decided—based on what they have discovered, often from the vaccine’s own package insert—that it’s safer to risk contracting measles than it is to accept a vaccination that may or may not work (as seen in the 2017 outbreak in Israeli soldiers) and has potentially serious side effects of its own.

      The problem is, no one is looking at the facts in this case. Fear-mongering and hype have fueled a sort of mob-mentality that has allowed the state to overstep its authority and mandate health choices that should, legally, be up to parents and individuals—not the government.

      Blind acceptance of what is being published in the press has led many people who would normally not stand for discrimination or blame-shifting to believe something that would ordinarily raise red flags. A quick look at history (and current events) shows us how dangerous this can be.

      Wherever we stand on the vaccination issue, we all need to be aware that each of us has a responsibility to investigate the facts before believing what we read. Misinformation can have far-reaching consequences beyond our abilities of prediction, and each of us needs to do our part in preventing the needless harm that can be done when facts are skewed.

      Whatever New York’s intentions, we must be vigilant to make sure that the truth prevails.

      To staying informed,

      The Vaccines Revealed Team

      Reply

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