- Rick Blaufeld
- Lake Mendocino
- Family Campgrounds
- Preemptive Deenergization
- 83 Celica
- Outage Prep
- Ed Notes
- Scenic 128
- Post-Nup Scuffle
- Navarro Store
- Gualala Confrontation
- Writers Reading
- Understanding Charges
- Goose Problem
- Bat Attack
- Frack Bailout
- BOS Changes
- Fashion First
- Fourth Dimension
- Cocaine Bigwig
- Too Dark
- Oligarch Pinault
RICHARD MICHAEL ‘RAGTIME RICK’ BLAUFELD
Richard Michael Blaufeld, "Ragtime Rick," born June 11, 1946, to Isadore and Esther Blaufeld, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, died of leukemia with his family by his side at the home of his daughter in Fort Bragg, California, on June 8, 2019, at nearly 73 years of age.
A well-known and beloved fixture on the Mendocino Coast and Anderson Valley for over 45 years, Rick was best known for playing blues guitar and his knowledge of the blues. Ragtime Rick Blaufeld began playing the blues in 1962. After honing his blues chops in the coffee houses of New York City's Greenwich Village, Rick moved to California in 1965 and lived in Mendocino County since 1972. He was the owner of Mendocino Music from 1985 to 2017. In 1990, Rick founded the Mendocino County Blues Society and produced the Mendocino County Blues Festival. He also produced the all-acoustic Boonville Folk-Blues Festival and coproduced the sometimes annual Mendocino Acoustic Blues Workshop. In 2003, for the Port Townsend Acoustic Blues Workshop, where he was on staff several times, Rick co-produced the album "Lay Down My Old Guitar," a tribute to the late bluesman John Jackson. All profits from this CD benefited the John Jackson Memorial Blues Scholarship Fund. Rick was the host of a radio show called "Roots of the Blues" on KZYX-FM for 16 years and taught blues guitar classes for children at the Mendocino Community Center for over 20 years. Rick has 22 CDs combining rootsy covers with authentic-sounding originals.
Read more about Rick at: ragtimerickblues.com/ragtimerick.html
or listen at: ragtimerickblaufeld.bandcamp.com/releases
Rick is survived by his wife of 38 years, Kathy Lewis; his three children, Jefferson Blaufeld, Benjamin Blaufeld and Amelia Blaufeld-Gibney (Rickey); their mother, Peggy Fallon; his two grandchildren, Darren Gibney and Jasmine Gibney; and his two sisters and their families, Rochelle Blaufeld Shaw (Marc) and Marci Blaufeld Riley (David).
A potluck celebration of Rick's life will be held at the Rancho Navarro Clubhouse, 19100 Appian Way, Navarro, California, Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019, beginning at 12 p.m. BYOB, a dish to share and your musical instrument.
MARSHALL NEWMAN WRITES: Sunset Magazine listed Hendy Woods State Park among the “Top 15 Family Campgrounds in the West.” It must be an old article the SF Chronicle recycled, as Libby’s is mentioned.
SHERIFF SAYS, "PREPARE!"
Mendocino County would like to notify residents of potential power outages that may occur in Mendocino County and urges residents to prepare. Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) have begun a preemptive de-energization program where, if PG&E deems there are extreme fire danger conditions, they may decide to turn off electricity to reduce the chance of a utility-caused fire start. This is called a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS).
Who should expect to have their power turned off?
All Mendocino County utility customers should expect and prepare for a PSPS. While customers in high fire-threat areas (based on the CPUC High Fire-Threat District map) are more likely to be affected, a Public Safety Power Outage could impact any of the more than 5 million customers who receive electric service from PG&E. Currently, the majority of Mendocino County is in an elevated fire risk and all areas of the County are subject to PSPS, including City of Ukiah residents who are City of Ukiah utility customers--this is because the City of Ukiah receives power from PG&E transmission lines.
How long will these shutoffs last?
PG&E’s stated goal is to visually inspect their system for damage and restore power to most of their customers within 24 to 48 hours after the weather has passed. This means if there are strong winds and a PSPS lasts for 24 hours, then it would be PG&E’s goal to restore customer’s power within 24-48 hours after that initial 24 hours. Mendocino County is recommending that residents plan for multi-day power outages as a result of the PSPS.
How often will these shutoffs occur?
There is the potential for a PSPS to occur several times a year in Mendocino County. According to the National Weather Service (NWS) there are, on average, two to four Red Flag Warnings every year in Mendocino County for each of the three NWS zones in our county, with some years having up to eight Red Flag Warnings in some inland zones. While a PSPS is unlikely to occur without the issuance of a Red Flag Warning, the issuance of a Red Flag Warning does not automatically trigger a Public Safety Power Shutoff. It is possible that PSPS events in other counties may impact Mendocino County as well. For example, if transmission lines that supply power to Mendocino County are de-energized in neighboring counties, then Mendocino County residents could lose power, even if there was not a Red Flag Warning for Mendocino County.
How does PG&E determine if the power should be shutoff?
PG&E is basing their decision to implement a PSPS on several criteria. These factors generally include, but are not limited to:
A Red Flag Warning declared by the National Weather Service
Low humidity levels, generally 20 percent and below
Forecast sustained winds generally above 25 mph and wind gusts in excess of approximately 45 mph, depending on location and site-specific conditions such as temperature, terrain and local climate
Condition of dry fuel on the ground and live vegetation (moisture content)
On-the-ground, real-time observations from PG&E's Wildfire Safety Operations Center and field crews
Upcoming Public Safety Power Shutoff Informational Event in Mendocino County
July 18, 2019: PG&E Wildfire Safety Open House at the Willits Community Center from 6-8 PM. This drop-in gathering hosted by PG&E will be an opportunity to learn more about wildfire safety and emergency preparedness, meet with PG&E representatives, ask questions, and share feedback. Topics will include: expansion of the Public Safety Power Shutoff program; accelerated safety inspections of electric infrastructure; enhanced vegetation management around power lines; hardening the electric system for the future by replacing equipment and installing stronger and more resilient poles and covered power lines.
Resources and more information regarding Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS)
PG&E PSPS information page:
Preparedness information regarding PSPS: https://prepareforpowerdown.com/
Prepare for emergencies: https://www.ready.gov/
Mendocino County Public Alert and Warning page: https://www.mendocinocounty.org/MendoAlert
City of Ukiah PSPS Information page: http://www.cityofukiah.com/psps/
Mendocino County Sheriff’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MendocinoSheriff/
PG&E PUBLIC SAFETY POWER SHUTOFF (PSPS)
County staff has been diligently working on a preparedness focus around the Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) issue facing Mendocino County. As previously reported to the Board on July 9, 2019, the County has created two subgroups that are actively working on preparations in the event of a PSPS.
The two working groups are looking at both External and Internal operations. These groups are meeting on a weekly basis and formulating approaches to address the PSPS situation. The external group has been focusing on the following:
The external working group is focused on communicating the need for residences to be prepared in case of a PSPS. This includes connecting with community partners, local agencies, fire districts and others to get a status of their preparedness activities. This work includes setting up a preparedness website with links to PG&E for tips and how to use generators. The group is working on draft templates in preparation of PSPS so communications can be put up quickly on websites, social media and sent out through Nixle. I have created a preparedness video, which was sent to all employees, this will continue every two weeks. Sheriff Allman has created a Public Service Announcement that is being broadcasted. The Environmental Health department staff are reaching out to all fueling stations and markets to confirm their capacity to remain in operations during a PSPS. Those resources will be shared on the Mendocino County’s Public Safety Power Shutoff webpage and with County employees. The Social Services department is connecting with their known In-Home Health clients to discuss preparedness options. The OES Coordinator remains in contact, on a regular basis, with all the Fire District Chiefs, water districts, as well as school district staff. The external group is growing weekly to include a representative from Coastal Valleys EMS, PG&E, and Adventist Hospitals. Outreach has begun to all Cities and Tribal Groups within Mendocino County to begin a dialog on how to prepare. All Public Safety Power Shutoff information and resources will be accessible on the Mendocino County website at: https://www.mendocinocounty.org/PSPS
The internal working group has been focusing on how to keep the County open for business to better serve County residents. Currently, the focus has been to address the County Administration Center, as this is the main core of business for the County. To date, an electrical engineer has completed a walk-through of the Administration Center and has provided the County with a bid for services to address the design of the electrical system to provide for generator power, which would be considered a long-term solution. Currently, the existing generator only has capacity to provide for emergency lighting and the Information Systems Servers. The internal working group is also working with each of the departments within the Administration Center in formulating Business Continuity Business Plans as well as refreshing their Emergency Action Plans (EAPs). Such planning is necessary to provide guidance to departments should the PSPS events last more than 24/48 hours. As part of the internal group’s planning, an operations room is being identified which would have generator power so that core functions could be achieved, including financial/auditor functions, plans examinations, IT support, etc.
Electricians are being contacted to assess and perform work for addressing power to internal building locks and cameras as part of the emergency power already provided by the existing generator to the Administration Center. The County Garage is on generator backup, which addresses the fueling of County vehicles in the event of the loss of electricity. However, departments are being constantly reminded to maintain their vehicle fleet - remain fueled and ready in the event of a power loss.
The next steps including prioritizing and assessing other County buildings and facilities throughout the Low Gap Road campus, with other facilities throughout the County to follow. Additionally, as previously reported, the County is prepared to open a call center as a result of the PSPS, and Human Resources is putting together employee lists and schedules for the deployment of the call center.
(Mendocino County CEO Report)
CONGRESSWOMAN OMAR, chatting with Rachel Maddow yesterday, said Trump "is the worst president we've ever had." In fact, and by any objective standard, Andrew Johnson was a lot worse for black people.
Succeeding the assassinated Lincoln, Johnson not only encouraged violence against freed slaves, he severely retarded the post-war reconciliation of the South with the North. Woodrow Wilson was another unapologetic race man occupying the presidency. His favorite movie was ‘Birth of a Nation,’ and he liked it so much he showed it many times in the White House. Grant cracked down on the Klan and at least tried to ensure public safety in the Reconstruction years, but it wasn't until Truman desegregated the military in '48, and then the schools under Eisenhower in '54 that true Reconstruction began. The wonderful world of sports was also slowly and grudgingly integrated in '47-'48. The military and sports were, you could say, the primary liberalizing racial institutions, but it wasn't until the late 1960s that millions of genuinely affectionate and loyal cross-race relationships became commonplace. The huge push-back Orange Man is getting from his efforts to stir the race fires would not have happened in 1960.
OUTSIDE SAFEWAY, Ukiah, the other day, I ran into Andrew Maynard, a frequent flier who had just appeared in our Catch of the Day gallery the previous morning. Along with Mr. Hensley and several other medical miracles whose lives play out in the booking logs, Maynard is living proof that there is no help available out of the annual millions County taxpayers fork over for the presumed care of people unable to care for themselves.
Maynard, who is much taller than I would have guessed from his booking photos, is clearly a present danger to himself. Used to be the Maynards and Hensleys were held at the old state hospital at Talmage, and kept there until they regained control of themselves. Now, there's nothing for them, although the drop-fall drunks, the habituals, are no more than twenty or so lost souls. There are many more helping professionals than there are people who really need help. Maynard was already drunk, or had never sobered up from the few hours he'd spent out at Low Gap. He'd probably been released from the County Jail a little after midnight, an old accounting ploy that allows the County to bill the state for a full day's incarceration. And Maynard seems to have been in and out of jail so fast he'd been released before he was fully sober or had had time to avail himself of a shower. He looked a lot worse than his usual booking photos I asked him how he was doing. "I could use a coupla bucks," he said. As a faithful enabler of people whose sole remaining solace is self-destruction, I gave him the coupla bucks and he careened off toward the parking lot. I was surprised to see Maynard out of Fort Bragg, his listed home address.
ON TODAY'S general theme of civic collapse and despair, as I was rummaging through old collections of random stuff, I found a Press Democrat clipping from January of 2002. Christine R. Schuette, 24, of Hopland had not been seen since May when she was reported missing. She'd driven off Highway 253, the Ukiah-Boonville Road, at a place so precipitous that the fall is 500 feet virtually straight down to the stream 500 feet from the roadbed. The young woman may have survived the fall since her remains were found seven feet from her mangled 1991 Toyota Corolla. It is not known if Ms. Schuette was suicidal, but I remember hearing that she was. Ever since, someone has memorialized the site where she went over the side and out of this life with a small bouquet of plastic flowers.
ANOTHER 2002 story is called, "Philo post office opens with fanfare, crowds." Mike Geniella describes how "nearly 400 obtain commemorative postmark designed by local artist…"
Them were the days! As I recall, however dimly, our four post offices each had its own stamp until the millenium. A letter posted in Philo was stamped Philo, date and time. Ditto for Boonville, Navarro and Yorkville. A committed crank, to mail off a threat or some other felonious document, had to drive all the way to Ukiah if he hoped to exempt himself from a suspect pool then small enough in the Anderson Valley to where we were all on a first name basis with our more volatile cranks. Then things postal became more impersonal and here we are at "North Bay," which seems to extend from Frisco to the Oregon border. Incidentally, the commemorative postmark for the Philo PO was brilliantly rendered by James Sibbett of Comptche and depicts the new post office with a bold American flag in its right corner against which a World War One doughboy is superimposed.
CORRECTION. SORT OF: Patrick Miller of the Anderson Valley Land Trust called to point out my semi-erroneous on-line statement that conservation easements exempt property owners from paying taxes on the land thus eased. Nope, he said, property taxes are unaffected. Kinda. Property values are reduced via the easements and taxed at their reduced assessments. Mr. Miller said there are 28 such easements in the Anderson Valley.
McCOWEN EXPLORES ECONOMIZING on jail expansion plans.
SUPERVISOR JOHN MCCOWEN, as we know, always on the alert to save taxpayer dollars, made the following observation after listening to a presentation about the pending grant-funded jail expansion project plans which Mendo contributes to via a small local match:
McCowen: “Looking at the site plan, I see new landscaping between Sheriff admin and the secure parking. Is that an opportunity to save funds? I think there are some trees planted along there now. So is this new landscaping we would be adding in? Likewise, a long Log Gap next to the new parking? If we are really trying to economize, isn't that something that could be eliminated?”
Doug Anderson, Assistant Facilities Manager: “The only landscaping that is in the budget right now is the small pink area just to the north of the new jail. The crosshatched area between the existing planter and the sheriff's admin parking lot is the primary right-of-way for the state. It's a little neck of access to the public way which is Low Gap Road and the utility easements…”
McCowen: “I see now I was actually looking at the wrong little box in the legend with the tiny print. So I will withdraw that question and go to the new parking up by Low Gap. We are providing that be paved paid. Could we save some money if that were just a gravel lot? Would that make any significant difference?”
Anderson: “The new parking lot is part of the off-site improvements that we are looking forward to having done as a separate project. We can certainly develop the drawings for that with an alternate to pave or not pave that. We also want to look at other improvements along Low Gap to improve the pathway back to the 911 dispatch center. When we get those drawings together we will have an opportunity to look at those alternatives.”
JIM WHO DID WHAT?
Over the weekend, Governor Newsom signed Assembly Bill 998 by Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D-Winters) into law. This bill makes State Route 128 eligible to be designated as an official “Scenic Highway,” which will increase local economic activity in the North Bay region and bring newfound appreciation to the beauty of the route.
"This region has been impacted by natural disasters and wildfires, and they are working hard to rebuild and recover,” said Aguiar-Curry. “An official scenic highway designation will promote tourism to these areas and boost community pride.”
Along with Ms. Aguiar-Curry and my fellow coauthors, Senator Bill Dodd, Senator Mike McGuire, we all recognize the beauty and resiliency of the country State Route 128 takes us through.
(Presser from Assemblman Jim Wood’s Office)
DUMP HIM, MS. OSCAR
"On Saturday, July 6, at about 10:18 pm, Mendocino County Sheriff's Office dispatch received numerous calls regarding a male and female in a physical fight in front of 155 Laws Avenue in Ukiah.
Deputies responded with their lights and sirens and located an 18-year-old female and child at the location. Deputies learned the involved male, Oscar Sanchez, age 28 of Ukiah, had left the location in a vehicle.
Deputies learned the adult female and Sanchez were in a dating relationship. They had been at a wedding in Hopland earlier in the evening and Sanchez had been drinking. They left the wedding and traveled to Laws Avenue where a verbal argument escalated into a physical fight.
The adult female's child was in the vehicle and the adult female attempted to take the keys out of the vehicle when Sanchez pushed her. She was able to get the child out of the car and Sanchez drove off.
Deputies located Sanchez in Hopland and spoke with him. Deputies learned he had been drinking at the wedding and that a physical altercation between him and his girlfriend occurred. Sanchez was also found to be on probation with a term obey all laws.
Sanchez was arrested for 243(E)(1) PC (Domestic Violence) and 1203.2 PC (violation of probation) without incident and was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $20,000 bail.
At the County Jail, Deputies located a small amount of cocaine on Sanchez's person. The charge of 11350 HS (possession of a controlled substance) was added to his booking."
If you're driving Hwy 128, consider NAVARRO GENERAL STORE for a rest/food/drink stop. The BBQ grill is now open Friday through Tuesday. Wonderful menu. A GINORMOUS cheese burger is under $8. Sorry to say I had just paid $16 in Philo for one half the size.
Dogs, ribs and other grilled delights. Inside get sides from the deli, and cold beer or wine from the cooler.
Take it outside to a picnic table under redwoods. It's a real MendoLand experience and ever-so easy on the budget.
GUALALA ARREST FOR THREATS, LOADED GUN & DRUGS
MSP received the following press release from the Mendocino County Sheriff Office Monday @ 4:59 pm. As with all law enforcement press releases, subjects named should be presumed innocent unless/until found guilty in a court of law:
“On Friday, July 12, at approximately 10:25 am, a deputy from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office was dispatched to an address in the 38000 block of South Highway 1 in Gualala.
A 17-year-old male juvenile advised the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Communications Center that there were unknown subjects outside of his home and that one of them was armed with a firearm.
Upon the Deputy's arrival at the location, he observed Raymundo Moreles, age 23 of Gualala, sitting on the edge of the driveway leading to the male juvenile's residence.
When Moreles observed the deputy walking towards him, he removed a loaded handgun from his person and threw the firearm on the ground. The Deputy learned Moreles believed the male juvenile had stolen money from him, and he had come to confront the juvenile.
Moreles was detained while the Deputy contacted the male juvenile. The Deputy learned the male juvenile was inside of his residence when he heard someone knocking on the door. The male juvenile heard Moreles challenging him to come outside, stating that he would shoot him.
Moreles consented to a search of his vehicle. The Deputy located over one ounce of marijuana and ammunition in the vehicle.
Moreles was placed under arrest for 422(a) PC (Criminal Threats), 25850(a) PC (Carrying a loaded firearm in a public place), and 11357(b) HS (Possession of more than one ounce of marijuana).
Moreles was subsequently booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $20,000.00 bail.”
COAST WRITERS CONFERENCE
Join the Mendocino Coast Writer’s Conference Thursday, August 1st at 6:30 p.m. to hear readings by our 2019 faculty. Authors Charlotte Gullick, Ismail Muhammad, Shobha Rao, Mitali Perkins, and Scott Sigler will read from their work at St. Anthony’s Hall, 10700 Lansing St., Mendocino. On First Friday, August 2nd, the Mendocino Coast Writer’s Conference presents readings from our 2019 faculty. Authors Victoria Chang, Myriam Gurba, Ingrid Rojas Contreras, Jeannie Vanasco and keynote speaker, Pulitzer Prize winner Sharon Olds will read at Cotton Auditorium, 500 N. Harold St., Fort Bragg. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
GEESE NEED A BETTER HOME
Visiting geese at Kelley House pond need a safe place to live. About a month ago, some people called the Kelley House Museum office to say that they had seen two geese walking down Main Street in Mendocino, and presuming they belonged in the Kelley House pond, they placed them inside the pond fence. At first, it was wonderful to see and hear these birds in the pond! Residents and tourists were charmed by their regal posing and honking. Lots of people took pictures. However, it’s become clear that this is not a good place for the geese to live.
First, they were attacked by dogs jumping into the pond enclosure. The birds were fortunate that Meredith Smith came to their rescue and arranged to have veterinary care for the puncture wounds one of them received. We have been advised that the fence around the pond is not high enough to protect the geese (these geese apparently cannot fly), so they are literally “sitting ducks” for future attacks by loose dogs because they cannot escape.
We’ve also recently discovered in the pond area a very noxious grass called foxtail, whose sharp seeds are deadly to wildlife. While the Kelley House usually mows the area around the pond to keep grasses, like foxtail, from seeding, this spring we refrained because of the geese. They arrived around mowing time, and we didn’t want to remove potential habitat and food sources. Removing the foxtail is a laborious task that should be done by hand, with the cuttings removed from the premises. A kind and concerned person, Andy Corsick, volunteered to do this job, but there will undoubtedly be some seeds around the pond that might lodge themselves within the body of a goose.
And finally, the goose poop is fouling the pond and causing algae to proliferate. This can lead to all kinds of trouble for the pond aerators and might at times create unpleasant smells.
The Kelley House would really appreciate it if someone would take these beautiful Chinese geese to another area where they would be safer. We would be heartbroken if something else happened to them. Please email or call if you have a good place for them!
Karen McGrath, Director-Curator
Kelley House Museum, Inc.
MURDEROUS COVELO ASSAULT
On 07-13-2019 at about 2:49 AM, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to a reported disturbance the area of the 76000 block of Highway 162 in Covelo, California.
It was reported that a gun shot was heard and a vehicle left the area at a high rate of speed.
While on the way to the call Deputies were advised by MCSO Dispatch there was an assault victim in the area of Main Street and Greeley Street and medical was dispatched. Deputies were told that a male and female were assaulting a male.
A few minutes later Deputies were advised by MCSO dispatch that it was reported that Colter Reynolds and his girlfriend, Jessica Durazo where assaulting someone with a bat.
When Deputies arrived, they contacted Antonio James Tickner at which time they observed several traumatic injuries to his upper body.
Tickner identified his attackers as Colter Reynolds and Jessica Durazo. Tickner said he was walking past Reynolds’ residence when some words were exchanged.
Durazo exited the residence and struck Tickner in the front of the head with a baseball bat, causing injury to Tickner’s forehead. Durazo handed Reynolds the bat, who then pushed Tickner to the ground and repeatedly struck Tickner on the right side of his body and back with the bat.
Reynolds and Durazo then went back into the residence. Tickner said he got up off the ground and walked away top get help.
Tickner was treated at the scene by Covelo Ambulance personnel for the injuries to the left side of his forehead, the back of his head, his right side and back. Tickner refused further medical treatment and was released at the scene since he was refusing further medical attention.
Deputies had dispatch check Reynolds and Durazo for warrants and probation. Deputies were advised that Reynolds was currently out of jail on bail for an unrelated incident, and Durazo was on Felony Probation for unrelated Assault with a Deadly Weapon case.
Reynolds and Durazo were subsequently located in the 76000 block of Main Street in Covelo and they were arrested without incident.
Reynolds was arrested for 245(a) (1) PC, 12022.1 PC and Durazo was arrested for 245(a) (1) PC and 1203.2 PC. Both were transported to the Mendocino County Jail.
Reynolds was booked and was to be held in lieu of $55,000.00 bail while Durazo was held without bail due to violating her probation.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
America does a Thelma and Louise off a cliff while the White House primate tweets out corrupt inept and racist diversions. Attempts to blame his catastrophic ineptitude on others shall have a short shelf life. Events are moving too fast for little hands to keep up and Trumps short clothes could soon be the color of the Americans he hates.
We already know Trump hates anybody from the global south. So much he pretends climate change is not happening. But change is happening.
Trump is committed, to lies and any narrative which keeps him in his suit, red tie, and keeps him lording over you. Have we ever had a president more dedicated to lies?
And coming soon to an America near you. Fracking bailouts.
ON JULY 14, 1917, suffragists were arrested while picketing the White House for women’s suffrage. The charge was obstruction of traffic.
To the Editor:
In response to the editorial in the Ukiah Daily Journal on Sunday, July, 14, titled, "BOS Needs Changes", I couldn't agree more.
I have a good perspective on how county government works…or doesn't work, as it the case. I've lived in Mendocino County for 20 years, worked for the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office, served on three different county grand juries, and served for five years on the Retirement Board overseeing $600 million in pension assets. I served on the board of the successor agency for the county's redevelopment authority. And I've hosted radio shows at KZYX and KMEC, where I've also served on their respective boards of directors.
I've also helped found one of the county's first legal cannabis dispensaries with another former member of the Sheriff's Office.
I love Mendocino County. But sadly our county has become a case study for waste, fraud, and corruption. Why? Because the Board of Supervisors (BOS) has surrendered all authority to a County CEO who runs Mendocino County like a Mafia boss.
Any county employee who challenges the boss is "disappeared" -- their reputation ruined, their career ended. Just look at what happened to Barbara Howe, Director of Public Health. She wasn't only fired, but the county falsified an argument for a temporary restraining order, which was not upheld by the courts.
Barbara Howe was disappeared.
The boss also has a knack for making money disappear. Millions have disappeared in the privatization of county services to friends of the boss, for example, all mental health services. Is the county really getting its money's worth for the many millions of dollars we give Redwood Quality Management Company (RQMC)?
Also, the boss covers her tracks. There is little financial reporting by department. There are no performance reviews by department. There are no required best business practices by department. And audits are weak.
Meanwhile, Mendocino County will be in a deficit mode in 2020. County executives and managers are too numerous, and they are grossly overpaid. County rank and file workers are too few in number, and they are underpaid, overworked, burned out, and long overdue their pay raises. Also, the county's retirement system is underfunded by hundreds of millions of dollars. Underfunded by more than $200 million.
And our county's cannabis farmers have had every obstacle thrown in their path toward legalization, including high, upfront permit fees, even as other counties, like Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz -- and their big commercial growers -- take a leadership position that Mendocino County has historically enjoyed in this multi-billion dollar industry.
Our cannabis farmers -- mostly small family farmers -- pull their hair out in frustration.
So what's the first step?
The BOS needs to fire the CEO, and replace the CEO model of governance with a Chief Administrative Officer or CAO.
And Supervisor John McCowen needs to be voted out in 2020. McCowen is a big part of the problem. He is devious. McCowen slips little-noticed agenda items on to the consent calendar that don't require discussion or a vote by other members of the BOS. He lobbies hard behind the scenes for his own hidden agenda. He is a bully, and appears to work closely with the County CEO.
Supervisor Carre Brown retires in 2020, so she will hopefully also be replaced by a new supervisor who truly wants to govern and not kick the can down the road in the direction of an all-powerful CEO.
Mendocino County! It's time to save yourself!
John Sakowicz, Ukiah
Took a very long walk to the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas near Ukiah, CA this afternoon, and sat quietly in front of the water moon guan yin murti. Afterwards, walked back up Talmage Road bringing the mind to its Source, and also chanting the mahamantram. This particular practice quells doubts and fears. I want everyone to appreciate that my present activism consists of "bringing in the spiritual mojo" and expecting jolts from Divine Intervention on the planet earth. I have no other interest nor desire for anything else whatsoever than to do this. I invite those who relate to maintain contact and work with me. Otherwise, I do not mean to waste your time if this does not resonate with you. Tomorrow I am going to Humboldt county to spend time with a friend who is focused on global climate destabilization, and doing good work insofar as video production and archiving Earth First! material. As always, I am available for anything which brings in the 4th dimension to intervene in history in these abominable times. Peace and Love.
Craig Louis Stehr
July 15, 2019
SPANISH POLICE ARREST COCAINE BIGWIG WITH DRUGS HIDDEN UNDER ILL-FITTING TOUPEE
The Colombian national had hidden half a kilogram of cocaine, worth around $34,000, under an oversized wig. He was stopped by police officers who noticed him looking nervous as he passed through security after flying in from Bogotá, Reuters reported.
PUFF, THE MAGIC DRAGON
Much -- or much, at least, much of what must pass for enough, has made its way onto such a broad plain of death that capitalism itself can hardly save from its sins. It is too dark to dance. The millennium is closed until further notice. The summer's drums are silent. It is clearly not your call. There is, in fact, nothing you can do to affect the sound, the feel of the rain.
CATCH OF THE DAY, JULY 16, 2019
(Unavailable due to “internal error” on the Sheriff’s booking page)
KNOW YOUR OLIGARCHS (#27)