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MCT: Thursday, September 5, 2019

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AN UPPER LOW offshore the North Coast will continue to bring a threat for isolated thunderstorms to Trinity and eastern Del Norte counties today. Another trough will move across the area on Saturday and may generate coastal drizzle and isolated mountain showers. Additional troughs may bring brief showers early to mid next week. Otherwise, dry weather is expected to prevail through mid next week. (National Weather Service)

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by Marilyn Davin

Journalists are drawn to their underappreciated profession for the same reason all artists are—by a compulsion that has to be wrestled to ground in long hours of solitude between the afflicted and a mess of paper and ink. Journalists are individuals, of course, and no cookie-cutter profile uniformly fits us all. But after decades of rubbing shoulders with them and being one myself, I can safely say it’s not the promise of riches and fame that drive us. Fighting injustice, righting wrongs in high places, painting a picture of the human toll suffered by those ensnared in those and other forms of official skullduggery—these are the things that move us.

Like all art forms where we put our own selves on the line, and to which we sign our names for all the world to see, things don’t always work out the way we think they will. And despite our best efforts, things aren’t always what they seem.

This happened recently at this paper when AVA publisher Bruce Anderson responded to a well-crafted and heart-rending letter (posted on 8/21 and 8/22 of this year and signed by the author) by local Sarah Walker. In it she describes all the ways that Mendo officialdom has persecuted her personally and let down her family, putting four of the nine children she shares with her current partner Christopher Mangrum into foster care and ultimately up for adoption and facing, in her view, callous judges and indifferent social workers who have conspired to separate her from her children and destroy her Willits home with Mangrum (who she refers to in her emails and texts as “Mr. Mangrum,” an oddly formal stylistic reference appearing these days almost exclusively in the New York Times).

Anderson believed Walker’s story for many reasons, all honorable. Over the years the county’s foster care and child welfare systems have been fraught with incompetence and negligence, a handful of mismanaged cases even resulting in the preventable deaths of several children. The AVA unstintingly reports on these cases. In an expensive county with few options for the poor and their families, Walker’s own stated poverty was also certainly a convincing factor, as was her claim to be homeless while Mangrum languished in the Mendocino County Jail (in Walker’s words, “getting primped and pampered at Hotel Mendocino”) for a forged vehicle registration, possession of a controlled substance, and a suspended license. Walker wrote that she could not visit him because she, herself, had been an inmate within the past six months.

Finally, Anderson is a devoted father and grandfather and especially susceptible to the plights of children caught up in the maelstrom of their parents’ chaotic lives. He also believed Walker’s pledge to turn her life around and get her kids back. In her earlier emails this included dumping Mangrum, who was still in jail when their communication began. Anderson helped her, even writing to county contacts who might be able to either help her find a place to live or shed some fresh daylight on her lost child custody case. Committed to helping her, he signed his pledge to support her, “Your Friend, Bruce Anderson, AVA.” He was all in.

Walker’s story didn’t unravel all at once. It was more like that loose thread on your favorite sweater that you can’t resist pulling until the sleeve comes undone.

The first cracks in Walker’s story were embedded in her least believable statements, like when she wrote that she had no idea Mangrum was a drug addict. Not noticing that your intimate, live-in partner of 11 years is a meth addict is hard to swallow even by compassionate listeners inclined to believe her. In her letter to the AVA she wrote, in part, “I was not aware that Mr. Mangrum was battling an addiction…One thing I haven’t got is an understanding of the criminal mind. I’m a total loss in that department…I may seem naïve…I haven’t been immersed in that environment, so I’m not sure what exactly to look for.”

Walker, Mangrum

After more back-and-forth with Anderson, who urged her to go public with the details of her story because greater public awareness of her struggles could work in her favor both with the courts and the county agencies Walker claims have it in for her, and as supportive documentation for her continuing court cases. This ultimately led to setting up an initial face-to-face meeting with Anderson, who drove to Costco to meet with Walker at a mutually agreed-upon time.

Walker never showed up.

Thinking that it might be easier for Walker to speak candidly with another woman, I entered the fray at this point and tried my hand at setting up a meeting with her. My first email to her bounced back, with the announcement that “The email account that you tried to reach does not exist.” This was puzzling, since Anderson had reached Walker at the same email address earlier. But once he explained to her that I write for the AVA, my emails to her were delivered no problem. So after some more back-and-forth, this time with me, Walker wrote that she would be in Ukiah by noon on Saturday and I agreed to meet her in the Ukiah library at high noon. She further wrote that Mr. Mangrum had meanwhile been released from jail on his own recognizance, and that he could come to the interview too. “[He] COMPLETELY (her caps) supports my position for full disclosure Over (sic) all aspects of my life and shares in my belief that enough govt abuse is enough. He wants to help by providing details or however he can.”

I waited patiently at the serene and peaceful Ukiah library until 12:35; Walker never showed up for this second scheduled in-person interview, this time with me.

At 2:30, two-and-a-half hours past our scheduled interview time, Walker sent me a text message stating that “She just got to service” and “was not aware that plans for noon had been agreed upon.” She further wrote that “We are in Potter Valley, decided to get away from the hub-bub of it all.” She went on to question whether the library was the right place to have our meeting. “I’m not sure the library will be a place I can relax and get into ‘replay mode’,” she wrote. “I think I will be distracted by the ears of others, and I do not want that preoccupation to interfere with, or have a negative impact upon, the quality of information. I’ve chosen to be out doors (sic), closer to nature is where I feel safer, where I feel less dead inside…more in ‘my element.’ What about the lake or hwy 20 at cold creek?”

That was the end of the road for me since I had other obligations and a long drive back to the Bay Area. To be fair, would Walker have possibly shown up in a more pastoral setting? Maybe. But with so many red flags and contradictions, when every communication began with a “favor” request (hard copy back issues of the AVA whenever her name appeared, hopefully references that could tip court proceedings in her favor; letters and calls from Anderson to county contacts who might individually plead her case; help in selling her belongings to raise needed cash, to name a few), even the most compassionate among us begin to feel used. This is not pleasant to admit to ourselves so we rewind and rehash all that was said and done, searching for something we missed along the way that should have tipped us off before wasting all that time and energy.

But it wasn’t really wasted in the end and it’s the only way to be, really. Staying open to the plights of our fellow travelers is what we do, and sometimes we get duped. That doesn’t mean it will happen the next time.

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September is now upon us, with Fall peaking around the corner, and at the Market we are getting ready for a wonderful harvest season.

This month we are restarting our Friday Dinners and have more fun nights planned:

First, join us on Friday, September 6th for a delicious Vietnamese Feast. We will be serving Shaking Beef as our main course with local Summer Vegetable Spring Rolls and Tapioca Mango pudding for dessert. Price will be $23.00/per person for 3 courses. Happy Hour begins at 5:30pm, Dinner served at 6:00ish.

We will be continuing our pizza and game night on September 13th, a fun evening to chat with your neighbors and see who is the best Scrabble champion in town. Happy Hour and Food begin at 5:30pm.

On Friday, the 20th we will be hosting our Fiesta Night! We will be serving homemade Chile Rellenos and we will have live music from a new Yorkville Band, Sister, Sister! Music and Happy Hour start at 5:30pm, food served at 6:00ish.

Thank you to all who joined us in July- we had a fun Flea Market and a wild BBQ competition with truly delicious ribs. Your support is greatly appreciated and allows us to continue hosting fun community events.

Stay tuned for more information on our 2nd Annual Yorkville Fire Station Appreciation Dinner on Saturday, October 12th.

Looking forward to seeing all of you!


Lisa Walsh

Monday September 2nd – CLOSED – See you at the Ice Cream Social!

Friday September 6th – First Friday Dinner! We will be serving a 3 course Vietnamese Style meal of Summer Vegetable Spring Rolls, Shaking Beef and a delicious dessert. Happy Hour @5:30, Dinner @6:00ish-

Friday September 13th – Pizza and Game night! Happy Hour @5:30, Dinner @6:00pm (We will be Serving our Deli menu as well)

Friday September 20th – Fiesta Night! Join us for delicious homemade Mexican dinner and live Music by local Yorkville Band Sister Sister! Happy Hour and Music@5:30, Dinner @ 6:00pm-

Mark your Calendar for our Yorkville Fire Station Appreciation Dinner on October 12.

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(Susie de Castro’s “fav photo”)

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AV VILLAGE EVENTS this weekend & Volunteer opportunities Monthly Gathering: Please join us for “The Village Movement: Understanding How Our Village Stacks Up & Understanding Your Membership,” Sunday September 8th (4 — 5:30 p.m.) at Lauren’s Restaurant. This gathering is intended to help members understand their membership and/or is an introduction to prospective members. We will provide copies of our new (slightly revised) membership handbook and entertain a lively discussion about what your AV Village membership means and/or can mean to you and our community. Bring your questions, comments and enthusiasm — refreshments provided! / see flier below.


Volunteer Training: We also have a volunteer training Sunday September 8th 3 to 4 pm (right before our monthly gathering) at Lauren’s — we ask each volunteer to complete a short training, please RSVP with our coordinator (contact info below) if you can attend, thank you!

Also, I wanted to let you know about some volunteer opportunities that weren't on the application when you filled it out - let me know if you are interested in helping members with any of these things:

Respite for caregivers (1 to 2 hours)

MAC computer help

PC computer help

Thank you again,

Anica Williams

Anderson Valley Village Coordinator

Cell: 707-684-9829


Mailing address: Anderson Valley Village

P.O. Box 576 Boonville, CA 95415

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Norman Rockwell, "DREAMS IN THE ANTIQUE SHOP", The Literary Digest, November 17, 1923 (oil on canvas)

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Ed note: The following sales pitch for a new County Courthouse by Judge David Nelson. It’s updated and annotated by Bruce Anderson, having first appeared two years ago.

Nelson: Plans for a new Ukiah courthouse at the old railroad depot site continue to move forward. In cooperation with the state Judicial Council, we will be constructing a modern, secure courthouse with eight courtrooms (for our eight judges and one part-time commissioner) to handle all case types, including criminal, civil, family, traffic, juvenile and probate. Improved security features will include separate hallways for the public, court staff and those in custody, adequately sized holding areas for in custody defendants, secure elevators from holding to the court rooms, and a secure sally port for their entrance and exit by vehicle to/from the jail. The three-story building will also provide adequate space for our 57 staff members as well as basic services including a self-help center, appropriately sized jury assembly and deliberating rooms, a children’s waiting room, family court mediation, and attorney interview/witness waiting rooms.

Ed note: All other ancillary services will remain in the present courthouse, requiring the DA, for instance, to shuttle back and forth from the center of town in all kinds of weather to the new structure three blocks to the east. The new courthouse will seriously harm central Ukiah's perennially struggling businesses. The project is "moving forward" despite no one other than the overlarge contingent of Mendocino County judges, nine of them for a population of roughly 90,000 people, want it. The present courthouse is, however imperfectly from the judges' perspective, perfectly serviceable. This same cast of characters insisted on a new Courthouse for Willits which, after a mere two decades of use, is now abandoned. It, as the new structure, was and is a major eyesore.

Judge Nelson: The Problem: A new courthouse is needed for many reasons. The present courthouse consists of the original courthouse on School Street constructed in 1928 and an addition built in 1949. They are connected by corridors and stairways. The result is a dangerous building that is not functional in many ways. Renovation of the existing courthouse was investigated but the building is in such poor physical condition with severe safety issues, that renovation was deemed impossible.

Ed note: Investigated by whom? The new courthouse will cost upwards of $200 million. A portion of that couldn’t have remedied structural deficiencies?

Judge Nelson: A primary problem is lack of security. Prisoners are dropped off in a public street outside the courthouse and walked in handcuffs and chains through public hallways and up the one elevator that is shared with the public. When I was the juvenile court judge, I saw the juvenile offenders, who were by law entitled to a closed confidential hearing, being marched in cuffs and chains through public hallways. Jurors assembling in crowded hallways have violent felons passing through their midst. The mixing of inmate defendants and the public in the hallways of the courthouse is a threat to the safety of the public and court staff. This problem is not fixable by any secure elevator system because there is no sally port for entrance and all the courtrooms are spread out in different corners of the courthouse.

Ed note: Boo-hoo. Over the past 50 years there has been only one security scare, which occurred when a mommy tried to slip her murdering son a handgun as sonny was being led into the courthouse. The judges create their own "security" problems by refusing to do most preliminary hearings and arraignments at the County Jail. It's time consuming and costly to be constantly ferrying prisoners back and forth from Low Gap Road to the center of Ukiah.

Judge Nelson: Another problem is a lack of access for disabled persons. The three court rooms in the old part of the building are not accessible to anyone with physical disabilities. There are 15 stair steps between a litigant and the juvenile and traffic courts.

Ed note: Please. Every public building in the country has been retrofitted to accommodate the handicapped.

Judge Nelson: Additionally, the existing courthouse is not safe in an earthquake. When the state took over control of the court facilities in 2003 they surveyed the courts around the state. They determined that our court house was a Level V risk, which meant retrofitting to current earthquake standards was not economically feasible. The recent Napa earthquake and its effect on its historic courthouse adds new meaning to the concern for an earthquake safe court house.

Ed note: When you’re outta arguments, there’s always this one — earthquake safety. No one and no building is safe in a major earthquake, not seen in Ukiah since 1906 and even in that Big One, in a time of unreinforced masonry, no one died. Structures can also be retrofitted to make them stronger against quakes.

Judge Nelson: Some Historical Background — Courthouses and trial court funding used to be the responsibility of each county. Legislation in 1997 transferred responsibility for funding trial courts from the counties to the state. In 2002, the state also took responsibility for trial court facilities such as courthouses. The state Judicial Council studied all of the courthouses in California and prioritized those that were most in need of new facilities. A new Ukiah courthouse was high on that list. SB 1407, authorizing a $5 billion bond to fund critically needed courthouse construction, was signed into law in 2008. The new Ukiah Courthouse was one of the 41 projects to be funded by this bond. This project has no effect on the use of the Ten Mile Courthouse in Fort Bragg.

Ed note: The Judicial Council is an advisory collection of legal hacks that serves as gloss for schemes to the advantage of the legal “community.” Lawyers are always passing laws that benefit them. In fact, it was a legislative (mostly lawyers) swindle that saddled Mendocino County with so many judges. The County was adequately served by so-called lay judges for a hundred years. The lawyers, with a rubber stamp of approval from the phony Judicial Council, passed the law that elevated all of Mendocino County's "lay" judges to superior court status with, of course, the lavish pay and perks legal insiders seem to assume as some kind of birthright. If a new courthouse was put on the Mendocino or even the Ukiah ballot it would not pass. It should alarm people that this project is "moving forward" with no public review, even from Ukiah's planning commission and city council.

Judge Nelson: The first step was to determine the best site that met the needs of the project. A Public Advisory Group (PAG) was formed to study possible locations for the courthouse. It included members of the court, the county, the city, our criminal justice partners, the chamber of commerce and the bar association. The group viewed possible sites and used a ranking procedure to determine the preferred site. A site as close to the historic courthouse downtown was a priority and two locations were selected as the top sites—the “library site” and the “depot site.” The library site proved unworkable and the PAG concluded that the depot site was the preferred site.

Ed note: A group of judge-friendly insiders chose one of two sites, and chose the only doable one. This was not a public process in any known sense of public process. More suspiciously, the site just happens to be controlled by the Democratic Party of the Northcoast, with former congressman Bosco first in line as private creditor. Supervisor McCowen has been the go-to local guy for the site.

Judge Nelson: Discussions to purchase the four plus acres needed for the courthouse and associated parking were ongoing. The City of Ukiah had made it a high priority to keep the courthouse downtown and was going to participate in its development at the depot site using redevelopment funds. However, when redevelopment funds were terminated statewide, the city was forced to give up its option on the property. Negotiations for purchase resumed between the Judicial Council and the property owner, the North Coast Railroad Authority (NCRA).

Ed note: More insider baseball. The city of Ukiah was using redevelopment funds illegally, and of course, even on a city council dominated by incompetents, Ukiah understood that establishing a new courthouse far from the city center would further harm the city's ongoing effort to maintain a viable city center. The NCRA is Bosco and Company, a handful of Northcoast Democrats.

Judge Nelson: The Location & Cost — The new site is three blocks from the old courthouse on Perkins Street. It is on a blighted parcel of land. The city has approval to extend Clay Street across the railroad tracks and into the project site. This will open up the corridor to the Grace Hudson museum and downtown on Clay Street. A bike path along the railroad tracks is being constructed which will connect the courthouse with the north and south ends of town. There will be other parcels available adjoining the courthouse site that would be ideal for offices that could house our county criminal justice partners. The Court is excited to contribute to the improvement of the depot area with the construction of a courthouse which has an estimated total cost of $94 million.

Ed note: The new courthouse will cost twice that, at least. The entire stretch of West Perkins between the freeway and downtown is a ghastly unplanned skein of unsightly structures. To get an idea of what the new courthouse will look like, google Placer County. It will be a glass, steel and concrete abomination akin to the aesthetic visual presented by the neighboring Macdonald's on West Perkins. No offense intended His Honor, but the Democratic Party, of which His Honor is a stalwart, controls the railroad property. Not saying anyone in particular will benefit financially, but the Demos have no other option for the old depot area. The adjoining parcels will naturally become quite valuable and, one can be sure, the usual Ukiah sharks will profit mightily from proximity to their new neighbor. The bike paths linking the courthouse to north and south Ukiah are simply laughable. So? The repeat offenders who live along the tracks will benefit but no one else.

Judge Nelson: It is important to note that no General Fund dollars will be used for the construction of the courthouse. Construction will be financed by bonds. These bonds are supported by a revenue stream of court fees, penalties and assessments which were increased in order to ensure that these projects would be paid for from within the court system rather than drawing on the state’s General Fund or local taxes.

Ed note: There's really only one source of funding for public entities — US. By raising fines and the rest of the nebulous fees attached to the justice process, which of course hits working people and the destitute particularly hard, we'll get a kind of judicial spa for nine people, complete with underground parking, private elevators, lavish chambers and the rest of the monarchical trappings these laughably privileged persons seem to think they deserve. This structure has nothing to do with service to the public, everything to do self-interested convenience and comfort.

Judge Nelson: The courthouse construction process was not immune from state budget cuts. Since 2009, $1.7 billion in court construction funds have been borrowed, swept to the General Fund, or redirected to court operations. Our project was subject to a review by the Courthouse Cost Reduction Subcommittee of the Judicial Council which achieved savings of nearly $24 million by eliminating a courtroom and the basement and reducing the overall size of the property acquired. It also reduced the number of parking spaces available on the parcel.

Ed note: This is a judge's idea of hair shirt sacrifice and cost-saving. The Judicial Council is insider baseball, not a genuine oversight group.

Judge Nelson: The architect for the project is internationally renowned Skidmore, Owings and Merrill LLP. They have built award winning projects all over the world, including other courthouses in California. If the site is acquired in this fiscal year, the schedule calls for construction to begin in 2017 and completion in 2019. We look forward to the day we will have the new courthouse that our citizens deserve.

If you wish to know more about the construction of the New Ukiah Courthouse you can access further information at

Ed note: These people have erected major eyesores all over the country. At a minimum, a local architect might at least come up with a structure we could all be proud of. We'll get a version of the Willits Courthouse that will only further foul Ukiah, once a pretty, coherent little country town. A big, ugly building in an already architecturally blighted area will ensure that Ukiah remains forever an undistinguished, blighted freeway stop with no redeeming public buildings.


David Nelson, Presiding Judge,

Mendocino County Superior Court

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On Saturday, August 31, at approximately 1:06 pm, Mendocino County Sheriff deputies received a radio call for service for an assault with a deadly weapon that had just occurred in the 17000 block of Kirtlan Way in Fort Bragg.

During their response, deputies received information Marian Sliwa, age 69 of Rocklin pointed a firearm at a 22-year-old adult male, accompanied by a threat of murder, and then left the location by vehicle after attempting to strike the adult male with the vehicle.


With a description of Sliwa’s vehicle and direction of travel, Deputies located him within minutes in the 18000 block of North Highway 1 in Fort Bragg.

When Deputies initiated a high-risk stop on Sliwa, he failed to immediately yield and eventually stopped his vehicle in the middle of North Highway 1 within the 19000 block of North Highway 1.

Sliwa’s maneuver caused traffic to halt in both directions. Sliwa and his passenger were directed to exit the vehicle by Deputies and both were immediately secured and the roadway cleared for traffic to resume.

Deputies then continued their investigation into the incident and learned Sliwa confronted the adult male in a hostile nature without provocation. Sliwa pointed an object at the adult male that resembled a firearm and made several threats to shoot and kill him.

Sliwa then drove his vehicle at the adult male in a manner as to strike him with the vehicle. Deputies gathered evidence supporting these events and developed sufficient probable cause to arrest Sliwa for Assault with a Deadly Weapon and Criminal Threats.

Sliwa was subsequently transported to the Mendocino County Jail where he was booked and held in lieu of $30,000 bail. Sliwa’s passenger was released without charge.

TRANSLATION: Old guy and his wife get into some kind of hassle they probably didn't initiate, but on the say-so of the 22-year-old's complaint the old guy gets arrested. The rest of the story? We'll probably never know because odds are the DA will toss it because it will turn out to be not as reported.

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City of Ukiah, Mayor Maureen Mulheren visited Plowshares last week. Mayor Mulheren sat down with Plowshares Executive Director Michelle Shaw to learn about the various operations at Plowshares. Including partnerships, the Meals-On-Wheels (MOW) program, Plowshares’ upcoming fall fundraiser, ‘Boogie, Brews & BBQ’ held at Barra of Mendocino, Saturday, Oct. 5th and her plans for the Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS).

Plowshares has been planning and preparing to provide food during the PSPS. Michelle shared, “We have been getting quite a few calls from our MOW recipients, worried and wondering if we will still be able to bring meals to them during power outages. I assure them that we will be providing meals to them and our dining room guests, even if all we can do are sandwiches, crackers, fruits, salads and treats. We will make sure no one goes hungry.”

Mayor Mulheren quoted, "I believe that Plowshares is headed in the direction of community involvement and responsiveness. I'm grateful they are looking forward to being prepared to serve our community during an emergency. They deserve our support in small donations and volunteer time to ensure the continued success providing a vital service for our seniors, families and individuals experiencing homelessness."

During the visit, Mayor Mulheren also learned from Michelle about her hopes to revitalize the garden, to expand the Meals-On-Wheels program routes and the plan to expand dining room lunch services to 7 days a week. Michelle shared, “last year we were able to expand our MOW program, allowing us to provide meals to our community’s homebound seniors 7 days a week. Now we are working on a partnership that will have Plowshares dining room doors open 7 days a week.”

Great things are happening at Plowshares and greater things to come. For more information on how to get involved or for ticket sales for the upcoming ‘Boogie, Brews & BBQ’ event please or call 707-462-8582.

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THE IRRITATING GENTLEMAN (1874) by Berthold Woltze (oil on canvas)

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On Labor Day, the annual membership renewal picnic was held for the Inland Mendocino Democratic Club at Todd Grove Park. Speakers included John McCowen, John Haschak, Mo Mulheren and John Sakowicz.

Interestingly, McCowen was both one of the first speakers of the day and the last speaker. John Sakowicz spoke late in the day, following a musical interlude after lunch.

In his comments, 1st District candidate Sakowicz stated that the many job vacancies at the county are what help balance the county’s budget. The high job vacancy rate are sort of like a hidden subsidy. An open secret. Sakowicz said he applauds the recent raises given to county workers in their new contracts, but he wonders where the money will come from after 2020.

Sakowicz also stated that the county pension fund has a negative monthly cash flow of more than $1 million, and, given that "burn rate", the pension system will run out of money.

Sakowicz also spoke about Flow Kana's dark money investors from Wall Street, and doubted that our small farmers are being given a fair deal.

Supervisor McCowen, who had already spoken in the morning session, then jumped up, grabbed the microphone, and tried to refute what Sakowicz had just said, saying the BOS has always supported the small cannabis farmer, and that there is a law that mandates funding for employee pensions no matter how bankrupt the county may be. Well, one only has to review the many BOS public videos on the subject of cannabis to see that the small cannabis farmer has been hamstrung by the permitting process among other issues. Many have already gone out of business, or gone back to growing for the black market.

Ask yourself: Why did McCowen have such a violent knee-jerk reaction to Sakowicz? Also, why is McCowen hiding the sinkholes in both the county budget and county pension system — the open secrets that nobody talks about? And what does McCowen really know about Flow Kana?

How could Flow Kana happen to dominate the local cannabis industry, if not but for the backroom support of a few well-placed public officials? Who might they be?

Mary Massey


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From Frank Demling, PLS, CalTrans Project Manager, District 1 Project Management:

"A public meeting is scheduled for Thursday, September 19, at the Albion Elementary School, 30400 Albion Ridge Road, Albion, from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm. The purpose of this informational meeting is to provide updates on the Navarro Ridge Safety Project (01-0C550), Navarro Ridge Drainage Project (01-0E940), Albion Maintenance Project (01-0E201) and the Albion River Bridge Rehabilitation/Replacement Project (01-40110) and Salmon Creek Bridge Replacement (01-40140)

Navarro Ridge Safety

This project proposes to improve the safety of State Route (SR) 1 from 1.5 miles north of the junction of SR 128 and SR 1 to 0.1 mile south of Navarro Ridge Road, in Mendocino County, near Albion. The project was initiated by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) District 1 Traffic Safety Office in response to a high incidence of run-off-road collisions.

Navarro Ridge Drainage

This project proposes to improve the drainage system south of Navarro Ridge Road at post mile (PM) 42.33, in Mendocino County near Albion at Navarro Ridge Road. The project sponsor, California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) District 1 Maintenance Hydraulics, initiated this project in December 2014 to protect the integrity of the highway embankment.

Albion Brdge Highway Maintenance

This project proposes to repair and rehabilitate the Albion River Bridge (10-0136) which includes removal and replacement of bolted connections and hardware along the timber sub-structure; repair checks, splits and rot in the top transverse horizontal members of the towers; remove damaged timber scabs and place new scabs; remove the abandoned steel pipe conduit; inspect a total of three split-ring connectors and one mole claw-plate connector.

Albion River Bridge Rehabilitation/Replacement Project and Salmon Creek Bridge Replacement

These projects propose to improve the function, the geometrics and the seismic and structural integrity for both structures to ensure uninterrupted traffic movement in the event of a collision or emergency incident, seismic event, or other catastrophic failures; and to provide safe access for pedestrians and bicyclists across the bridge."

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Clemons, Lawson, Smith, Zonneveld

ARTHUR CLEMONS, Mendocino. Probation revocation.

NOLAN LAWSON, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

JOSEPH SMITH, Redwood Valley. DUI.


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A few years back I knew a guy who decided he needed to drastically improve his lifestyle. To this end, he applied for an extremely high limit credit card and, amazingly, got approved. Unlimited possibilities! Well, after a few years, he realized he had squandered all the money. What to do? He contacted the credit card guys and told them that due to “unforeseen circumstances” he needed a massive credit increase. And, lo and behold, they granted it. Not only that, they told him he never had to pay it back. Does life get any better? He was off to the casino.

Well that’s the story. Oops, almost forgot, my friend’s name, SMART train.

Gregg Grubin

Santa Rosa

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Photographs by David Bacon - 8/31/19

These photographs were taken on the streets of Manila in Ermita, Intramuros and around Rizal Park. People live in the street in Manila much more than in the U.S. - it's more like a city in Mexico, for instance. Some images show the recruitment of sailors in a shape up next to the park - Filipinos make up a larger percentage of ocean-going sailors than any other nationality. Others show workers laying bricks, or driving jeepneys and pedicabs. People go to church, which is sometimes in the street as well.

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The basic problem in the US and much of the West, not least in financial markets, IMO is a disconnect with reality.

In politics – cough – progressives figure they occupy the moral high ground. That’s the basic delusion.

This has practical consequences in the real world as we’ve seen play out over the past few years. So convinced are they of their own rightness and greatness, their priorities and actions so far over the heads of their moral and intellectual inferiors, who by electing Trump show they’re not qualified to judge. And so we get the utterly fraudulent Russiagate fiasco, a pant’s-down farce.

Hillary doubled down on her “deplorable” accusation, proclaiming the superiority of people that voted for her. I guess that according to Hillary, these are the people that really count, their votes mattering more. In this world-view, uneducated small town and rural folk don’t have valid interests so they shouldn’t have decided the outcome, the election result being an egregious insult to justice.

It would behoove our superiors to maybe take a deep breath and take stock. Speaking of which, they tend to conflate stock market values with cash in the bank and the same with purported house values. That’s the self-deception in the financial realm, valuations in terms of dollars being equated in their mind with money they can spend. Ain’t hardly the same thing, the difference between the two amply demonstrated in financial crises and then forgotten once the Fed rides to the rescue with QE and multi-trillion dollar Wall Street bail-outs.

But flooding the world with US currency has deleterious consequences which we see playing out daily, which our supposed superiors are resolutely blind to. This of course, doesn’t just harm the toiling masses, but in the daily economic harm it inflicts, it increases the likelihood of violent upheaval, and if the high and mighty think they’re immune, maybe they should take a history course or two.

Do they think the almost daily festivities taking place in Hong Kong are about extradition arrangements with the Chinese mainland? Do they think the almost impossible finances of ordinary people there have no bearing? It’s no secret that the HK government takes no account of their interests but rather is highly solicitous of the ultra-rich. See, in this neo-liberal world, they are the ones that count. Those two-million strong demonstrations are an assertion otherwise, that international economic arrangements and the monetary policies of the Fed and other central banks are making life impossible.

That’s the situation in France, the Yellow Jackets letting self-satisfied Parisians and the superbly grinning Macron know that there are interests to consider besides that of a narrow spectrum of French society. It’s the same with the Brexit vote, the no-accounts getting up on their hind-legs.

As if to prove the point of reality-denial, this festering post-Brexit debacle in the UK shows toffs across the political spectrum substituting cutting wit and sarcastic quip for actual governance as if an Eton tie and Cambridge credential will somehow by themselves rescue their incompetent mendacious asses. Appeasing Hitler was a preposterous exercise in reality denying, thinking the Nazi hierarchy would have looked favorably on the Brit aristocracy instead of ripping them off of everything they owned and maybe shooting them all another example of people that didn’t want to face reality as it is.

History shows us over and over that when people can’t make ends meet, when the cupboard is empty, things get nasty. The once placid folk of HK show us this, people in France too, the fact that Trump is stinking up the Oval Office an object lesson. The thing is for the shot-callers to learn and change course. They’re outnumbered, massively, not by a narrow margin, and they can’t win.

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* * *

‘THE SPY’ REVIEW: Sacha Baron Cohen Goes Undercover — This Time Not For Laughs

The sketch-comedy genius puts his shape-shifting skills to work as real-life Israeli sleeper agent Eli Cohen, who infiltrated the Syrian government in the Sixties

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SALMON AWARENESS FESTIVAL 2019 in Covelo on September 13-14

The Eel River Recovery Project (ERRP), Round Valley Indian Tribes (RVIT) and Firescapes Mendocino are co-sponsoring the most ambitious Salmon Awareness Festival ever in Covelo on Friday and Saturday, September 13 and 14. Ceremonial dances, a traditional salmon feast, a watershed education fair, and a forest health workshop are all part of the event.

The Salmon Awareness Festival is an annual event to celebrate the return of the salmon that enter the lower Eel River at this time each year to stage for their spawning run. The event will kick off on Friday night at 7 PM at Hidden Oaks Park in Covelo with a new addition to the event, the Women Bear Dancers. At 10 AM on Saturday morning, September 14 there will be a workshop entitled Restoring Forest Health in the Middle Fork and North Fork Eel River Watersheds. This is the third year in a row that this event has been held, but this year will focus on the potential to win a CAL FIRE grant to fund crews to do forest health work in Mendocino National Forest. Upper Lake/Covelo Ranger Frank Aebly will be there with other MNF staff to discuss the possibilities and Mendocino Fire Safe Council Co-Coordinator Imil Ferrara will lead discussions. Call Imil for more information at (707) 972-2115.

(Kenny Bourne tends to ceremonial cooking of salmon.)

Starting at 2 PM there will be a watershed education fair at Hidden Oaks Park that will include displays by ERRP, the RVIT Environmental Protection Agency, Firescapes Mendocino, the Forest Reciprocity Group, and other community groups. Something fun has been added this year as the fantastic Cosmic Family Band has offered to play during the watershed education fair.

At 6 PM, there will be a traditional salmon feast with the fish cooked ceremonially on stakes around an open pit fire. The dinner will also feature corn and donations for the meal are optional, but welcome. People are invited to bring their favorite side dishes for a potluck, but such contributions are not mandatory.

Those attending will have a special treat after the feast as the Round Valley Feather Dancers perform traditional dances at 8 PM to be followed by the make Bear Dancers, who will perform their ceremonies from 10 PM into the night. Camping at Hidden Oaks Park will be allowed on Saturday night after the event. Volunteers needed to help put on the feed. For more information see, ERRP Facebook or call Ernie Merrifield at 707 983-8120.

(Round Valley Feather Dancers.)

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Yes, on the Voter Registration Forms they ask for The Last Four Numbers Of Your Social Security Number. You would be very surprised to learn how many people do not remember their Social Security Numbers, if they do not bring their cards. That is why I say, "Bring your Social Security Number", along with your California Drivers License, OR your CA ID Card. Also, MOST Libraries and Post Offices (not all) should have Voter Registration Forms available, but not all do. (If your does not, ask them to get some, or call the Registrar of Voters and get some for them, and the Box to display them in.) I bring Voter Registration Forms for Mendocino County, Sonoma County, and also the generic SOS forms from the Secretary of State, so that I can register anyone who resides in California. (

You can also Register to VOTE online at

Let's all stop criticizing each other and let's Support Each Other in our work, whatever it may be. There is so much work to do and criticizing each other is counter-productive, and counter-revolutionary. It serves no one. Please do your work for The Revolution, and let me do mine.

Thank you.

DJ Sister Yasmin


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“For more expert analysis of yesterday’s events in Parliament, we turn to this guy on a first date in Bushwick who recently read one and a half articles about it.”

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Re: Petition to stop 5G

Walter Liebscher wrote:

Wow Marco! "A fraction of a second of pleasant sunlight on your unprotected ear is more likely to cause cancer than 500 years of talking on the phone, and that's a fact".

Now we can just make up any unsubstantiated crap to make a point and follow it by "and that's a fact"

I suggest people do their own research about the real dangers of 5g before listening to a whack job who thinks he can manipulate people into siding with him by telling you "it's a fact." In fact any time you see that tactic it is usually a red flag. As you do your research you will find opinions on both sides of the argument. The wireless communication industry is one of the most powerful lobbies and employ teams of scientists to get the search results that they are told to produce, not real scientific results. So when people say well it's proven by science they are quite naive. Since there is so much money riding on this new network you will see all kind of paid trolls to make people feel stupid for questioning the dangers of this technology. Marco just might be one, sure sounds like it. Please do your own research and make up your own mind and navigate the trolls with your own discretion.

Marco here. Wow to you too, Liebchen!

Listen: In the real world we all share, the spectrum of sunlight includes an ultraviolet component which ruins skin and causes cancer. The damage is cumulative. Sadly, nine-thousand Americans died of skin cancer last year, and as many will die of it this year, and the next, and the next after that. Some of that cancer is due to chemical irritants in, ironically, sunscreen (and cosmetics and cleaning products and so on; I got a nasty rash on my arms from car soap-wax once), but a great chunk of that death count was in point of fact due to pleasant natural sunlight. It takes awhile but will add up, turn you too into an apple doll if it hasn't already, and then kill you. And if you're careless or otherwise oblivious you can get a painful sunburn in the fog, right through your t-shirt, even in Scotland, and send the risk soaring that you'll eventually get cancer. But sunlight helps your body make vitamin D, and it feels great, and living out in the sun is part of enjoying life and being a person. It's one of the trade-offs we all make. Also there's that photosynthesis thing that makes all the food and oxygen and drives the water cycle, and that's nice too. And bacon. As soon as I send this, I'm gonna walk to Oliver's in the bright sunshine and buy a half-pound of cheap bacon. I already have cayenne pepper, garlic, iceberg lettuce and a crappy but serviceable supermarket tomato. I will be cooking the bacon to crisp perfection in the microwave oven using less than a penny's worth of electricity. None of the electromagnetic cooking energy escapes from the oven. It's completely safe. Oh, maybe there'll be a good avocado on sale today; let me just make a note to look.

Low-energy, non-actinic radio waves, the waves used by phones, cannot break chemical bonds or cook cells; such waves are too low-energy for that, as well as being non-actinic, hence the term. There's no damage to accumulate. Number of Americans killed by low-energy communication radio waves over the course of the last entire century equals zero. If it's heat you're worried about, a hundred cell phones running at full blast for ten billion years could not pop a single kernel of popcorn, much less fry your ear or boil a brain cell through your skull, though in an emergency if you're freezing to death and you have some toilet paper and an old chair or a piano or chifferobe to bust up, and safety glasses and leather gloves, I suppose you could McGuyver a fire by driving a nail through a phone's battery, if you had a phone and a nail and a rock. Or, if you don't need a fire, you could use your phone both to call for what help you do need and to shade the corn, and/or your ear, from the sun.

But while you're waiting for those hundred phones to pop the corn or give you cancer which, see above, they never will, here's another fact: "5.4 billion years from now, our sun will enter what is known as the red giant phase of its evolution. This will begin once all hydrogen is exhausted in the core and the inert helium ash that has built up there becomes unstable and collapses under its own weight, and the sun will expand to almost the orbit of Mars and blast all of Earth, including the contentious Middle East and the impertinent Venezuela, into mostly iron vapor." There for a fact. Though, full disclosure, (w)alter: Big Astronomy got to me a long time ago. In the grip of astronomy, Juanita and I drove to Southern California to get married on the roof of the Griffith Observatory in 1988. I know which side my BLT is mayonnaised on. That would be the inside.

Here's a short animation illustrating the red giant phase of our sun (1 min.):

And here's some fascinating information on the next billion-trillion-gazillion years after that. (The text at the bottom is very small. Use fullscreen.) (30 min.):

Marco McClean

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  1. Lazarus September 5, 2019

    Good job Story…!
    As always,

  2. Harvey Reading September 5, 2019

    Those all-in-one “entertainment centers” were crap.

  3. Harvey Reading September 5, 2019

    “Marty Cone” = maricon, perhaps?

    • Pat Kittle September 5, 2019

      “(Susie de Castro’s “fav photo”)”

      I hope this WON’T be a regular “feature”.

      • Pat Kittle September 5, 2019

        Have you seen the “MENDO, LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT” wilderness foto more than once to hint of a permanent exhibit?

        Susie, I won’t always be here to rescue you. Try to imagine how someone would respond before you embarrass yourself.

        And editors won’t necessarily ban people you don’t like, merely because you imperiously demand that they do.

        Have a nice day!

  4. Harvey Reading September 5, 2019


    Funny thing. On the bottom of the front of my Social Security card is printed, “FOR SOCIAL SECURITY AND TAX PURPOSES — NOT FOR IDENTIFICATION.”

    Aint fascism grand! And yet we’re all told to, “…go along to get along.” Both liberal and conservative peddle that BS. What a good bunch of trained monkeys we are. We deserve the slavery that awaits us.

    • Harvey Reading September 5, 2019

      REAL ID has not made us one iota safer, but it has made us much more obedient.

  5. chuck dunbar September 5, 2019


    Thank you, Marilyn Davin (and Bruce), for this fine piece of journalistic honesty. I had recently read Bruce’s long and caring letter to Sarah Walker. He included some wise, pragmatic advice for her. As a human being, and as a former CPS supervisor, I found it interesting, even heart-warming, that he chose to respond so directly to her descriptions of her plight at the hands of CPS. However, my sense of caution as to a possible con-job was also triggered by some of her claims, the same ones that Ms. Davin notes. I’ve seen the AVA partially report on past CPS cases that came to their attention, but usually, as in Sarah Walker’s case, with information provided only by the parent involved. It’s really hard to know what is real, what is true in such circumstances, when you’ve heard only one side of the case. And it appears in this case that there’s much more to be revealed than Sarah Walker spoke of, much more to the story. So, yes, it sucks to be duped.

    Ms. Davin asserts that CPS and its foster care system in Mendocino County has for years been “fraught with incompetence and negligence.” The truth is much larger and complex than that. Did I find, as a CPS supervisor for 15 years, that some social workers were not fit to do this work, that some were not diligent enough or careful enough? Yes, without a doubt, and when such evidence was clear, those social workers were made to move on. Were we perennially understaffed, with far to much to do and not enough time to do it? Yes, most of the time. Was the agency poorly run and chaotic at times? Yes, again. Did we always make the best decision we could in the moment? Yes. Did we sometimes make mistakes and misjudge matters? Yes, of course. Did cases go sideways at times, despite our best efforts? Yes again. Did we do our best to treat parents with decency and respect? Yes. Did we try with all our hearts to help parents change their lives and succeed in their cases? Yes, for sure. And finally, were we, as CPS social workers, duped ourselves sometimes. Oh yes, that too.

    But my overall evaluation, looking back with a critical eye after being retired for five years, is that we did our best in tough, ambiguous, complex work. We tried hard to keep families together if we could, but when that wasn’t possible, children needed to be removed from parents’ care. We tried to intervene early on, and engage in voluntary cases to help families become safer, before matters became out of control and dangerous to children. The vast majority of CPS cases are not reported on, and news reporters have generally have no knowledge of them. They involve serious violence in the home, serious mental health issues, and/or serious drug use (this particular issue vastly complicates many cases—recovery is tough, slow work over a long time, if it works at all). A general cultural breakdown has occurred over several decades that contributes to parental failures. Some parents cannot adequately care for themselves, let alone their children. These problems mean that children, especially young ones, are not safe in such homes. If the average person or news reporter could read the (confidential per state law) court reports that initially refer a case to the Juvenile Court, I feel confident they would agree with the social workers and supervisors who made such decisions. Children should not be left in unsafe homes, that’s the bottom line.

    To put it bluntly, if you think, as reporters, that you know how CPS functions, from the very occasional case you’ve heard about (without knowing the facts from more than one source) you are wrong. And it does not count as thorough, critical investigative reporting on an issue to publish unverified comments from one source, with no additional investigation, and then assess you’ve found the truth of a matter and make critical editorial comments. I wish it were possible to embed reporters in a CPS unit for several months. It would be an eye-opening experience that would, I bet, change your viewpoint dramatically.

    Well, perhaps a bit of rant here, but this issue comes up in the AVA over and over, and I needed to say this all as clearly as I could. Thank you again for your honest, revealing, account.

  6. Pat Kittle September 5, 2019


    Beautiful photo, beautiful wildlands, beautiful sentiment!

    I hope this will be a regular feature.

    • Pat Kittle September 5, 2019

      Susie, you are quite the wit, in an affirmative action sort of way.

      Have a nice day!

  7. Pat Kittle September 6, 2019

    What better way to protest catastrophic carbon emissions than to drive hordes of motor vehicles over vast distances to celebrate the burning of a huge wooden monolith in the middle of a hot dry desert?

    Many, many thanks, Susie!

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