- Cooling Soon
- Clyde Doggett
- Dem Show
- Roycroft Guilty
- Holy Dope
- Chamberlain Escapee
- Pudding Creek
- Caltrans Projects
- Bad Ideas
- Coit Tower
- Biter Scuffle
- Woof Garcia
- Yesterday's Catch
- Serra Interview
- Flynn Case
- Prison Bill
- New PA
- Revolving Door
- Vampire Squids
- Beach Crowd
- Shooter Prep
- Fascist Liars
- Quilt Art
- Found Object
WARM AND DRY WEATHER will hang on for one more day across inland northwest California. Conditions will be cooler and cloudier along the coast. Wet weather will arrive late on Sunday north of Cape Mendocino, with showers on Monday. Inland high temperatures will turn cooler for most of the upcoming week, with another period of wet weather possible Tuesday night into Wednesday. (National Weather Service)
Clyde Francis Doggett was born on September 25, 1942 in Yreka and passed away on September 13, 2019 at his home in Boonville.
He lived in Siskiyou County during his early years until he moved to Branscomb in Mendocino County in 1955 and then to Boonville in 1957. He attended Anderson Valley High School and graduated in 1961. After graduating, he joined the U.S. Army and served from 1961-1964. He then returned home to Mendocino County where he resided the remainder of his life.
He was employed as a truck driver and timber faller until retirement. He spent his last 10 years as the caretaker for the Anderson Valley Cemetery District.
Clyde was preceded in death by his parents Frank and Elisabeth Doggett and his sister Evelyn Doggett. He was married to his beloved wife Patricia Wood Doggett for 45 years until her death in 2014. He is survived by his daughters Mary Doggett Barnes (David) and Jennifer Doggett Fane (Gerry) and his two grandsons Wil David Barnes and Luke James Fane. Clyde is also survived by his siblings James Doggett (Shirley), Carolyn Doggett (Roger), and Jeanne Jones.
Graveside services will be Saturday, September 21, 2019, at 1:00 pm, at Evergreen Cemetery in Boonville. A celebration of life will follow at the Anderson Valley Veterans Building.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Eversole Mortuary.
CATPACITY! Help HSIMC save more lives. Adopt a friend this weekend!
THURSDAY NIGHT'S DEBATE saw the ten Dem candidates go through their mostly predictable paces with the exception of Beto who might actually be crazy. "I'm going to take those guns away from them." That unhinged promise promptly won the candidate a deluge of death threats. The first one, at least the first one to be accompanied by a photo of the Texan who made it, saw him posed for the media with his cowboy-hatted family of gunslingers, promising Beto a mouth full of AK-delivered lead.
THE OTHER candidates, and a clear majority of Americans, want reasonable, doable gun reform — background checks and a ban on military assault rifles. But there's something deeply fake about Beto and his windy threats to disarm the lunatics, and it was annoying to see the other candidates congratulate him on his "stand" in the aftermath of the El Paso slaughter as if he'd personally disarmed the shooter.
BECAUSE the debate was commercially sponsored by ABC it wasn't a debate so much as one more TV spectacular starring a mostly uninspiring cast of people who happen to be running for president. They are all candidates with access to a lot of money. (Bernie's the only candidate who relies on popular donations of the twenty dollar type.) To appear on ABC's stage the candidates had to manage two percent in the polls and have raised more money than the also rans.
LOBBING THE SOFTBALLS at the candidates were the dependably tame Clintonoid, George Stephanopoulos, a slightly hysterical Jorge Ramos, who lapsed immediately into Spanish, although it was unlikely that any strictly mono-lingual Hispanics had tuned in. Ramos translated his intro: "America is our country, too," which got a big affirming shriek from the audience who shrieked at every lib platitude during the tiresome proceedings. The third panelist was a black Barbie-looking woman named Linsey Davis who ABC used to slam black candidate Harris with a question/statement that Harris was not liberal enough on black issues. And there was the screamingly bogus David Muir. This hard-hitting crew managed not to ask any questions about the economy, environmental policy, and, of course, there were no questions about America's ongoing support for the systematic persecution of the Palestinians by the Israelis or our role in the slaughter in Yemen.
ALL THE CANDIDATES rote-bashed the Orange Monster. Candidate Castro did point out that the probs didn't start with Trump. Klobachar postured as the moderate candidate among the front running "extremes" of Bernie and Warren, both of whom stayed pertinent all night while the others… Well, the others for sure would lose to Trump. Yang again came off as wacky with a sudden promise to give ten people a thousand a month for the rest of their lives, not supporting the offer with the back-up explanation that his main move is a guaranteed national income. (I frantically searched the internet to get on Yang's beneficiary list to no avail.)
BOOKER said he wasn't aware as a law student of inner city gun violence, but "if all you see is problems that's all you’re going to see." He said he created unity in his community and that he could unite America, a promise indicating he's unaware that America has never been more intractably disunited. Booker's a smart guy but cloyingly heavy on uplift rhetoric.
MAYOR PETE is a shifty little fellow also heavy on the vague rhetoric of uplift. "We face the greatest challenges we've ever seen," Mayor Pete said as he yammered on about his "bold idea of unifying the people." The smug little bastard even had the chutzpah to insult Bernie with "I trust the American people. He doesn't." Bernie simply ignored him. Both The Bern and Warren stayed on message all night, the message being the obvious one that the oligarchy is screwing us all and killing the globe, too.
DRAGGING Biden out to these things amounts to elder abuse. He was incoherent to my ears, throwing out disconnected rapid fire word salads so passionately I thought at one point he might lose his dentures. BTW, Mendo's middle-of-the-road-extremists, the active Democrats, are already chorusing, "Anybody but Trump." If Biden's the candidate a solid twenty percent of the Northcoast vote will go third party, and here comes Trump for another four years.
BERNIE AND LIZ are clearly the pick of the litter, and it looks like Warren will get the nod going away, as the Democrats proceed to screw Bernie again. Either of them can beat Trump, but Bernie's message is much stronger, much more coherent than Warren's who tends to demagogue, for instance in her pandering to "the legacy of Barack Obama," a legacy of ashes if there ever was one.
KAMALA HARRIS again performed poorly, relying heavily on lame insults aimed at Trump. I've always gotten the impression that she'd never thought much about national issues prior to becoming a candidate. Stick a fork in her, she's done.
KLOBUCHAR actually said out loud, "A house divided cannot stand."
YANG let slip a major bit of ethnic chauvinism with his remark, "I'm Asian so I know a lot of doctors." I'm rural white so I know a lot of rednecks.
WARREN rightly attributed the absence of gun control to "corruption pure and simple" in that the NRA has bought a majority of our representatives.
AND JUST AS correctly, Bernie echoed, "We have a corrupt political system."
ALL THE CANDIDATES claimed that it is Trump who has created the immigration crisis, but it pre-dates Trump. He's certainly exacerbated the crisis with a lot of race baiting, but it's been both parties who've demagogued the issue.
THE "DEBATE" was sponsored by the New York Times, a dog baking cookies whose sponsor I didn't catch, ADT home alarms, the Alzheimer's Association, a gang of crooks offering to re-finance student debt, Dupxent for eczema, another cure worse than the disease, two ads for dumb movies, an anti-vape ad, Goldman-Sachs, the Kardashians, and David Muir's version of the news.
THE LAST QUESTION, probably the work of Muir, was "Resiliance — What did you learn from bad experience?" (How about, What's your sign and how has it effected your cush life?" Or, "Favorite dog? Why?" Popsicle flavor?" Just as Biden began a long, mawk-drenched recitation of the troubles he's seen, a hardy band of screechers began screeching. The news pros on the panel didn't bother to tell us what the screechers were screeching about but we learned later it was immigration, presumably about bringing some just order to the process. Biden resumed his well-rehearsed tale of woe, concluding with a riff about how courageously he'd faced down adversity. The others stooped as low. It was not presidential.
DAVID SEVERN ADDS:
I watched a full presidential candidate debate for the first time in my life Thursday evening - the Dems on big screen at the Senior Center. I was joined by all of five others.
Not planning to spend the whole three hours, I did. I wanted to see what they had to say about my overarching concern, humanity’s nemesis - Environmental Degradation/Clamate Change. But, lo, while Climate Change was briefly mentioned somewhat often, only for one short exchange was there any focussed discourse on the matter. Disappointed I attribute the slight to the fact that none of them really had any solid idea about what to do abour it. It’s a sad situation.
During mid-debate break I said to my fellow viewers, “Wouldn’t it be nice if we could have a collaborative presidential office?”
Buttigieg often mentioned (though briefly) my prime concern Climate Change.
Booker was good at always relating multiple issues.
Harris was the strong Black woman that she is.
O’Rourke seems to come from a deep emotional conviction.
But Sanders was the only candidate of presidential mien and his whole career has been a steadfast focus on the actual root cause of every single issue — which in my words is self-interest capitalism. I just wish the guy was a bit younger. But, what the hey, Bernie for president. Yay!
JIM YOUNG WRITES:
I and 65 years old. I have been criticized many times for not wanting to attend memorials. There seems to be more and more of them. When my good friend Steve Mize died it was no different. I couldn’t get it together to go to his memorial. However, I do think about the ones that pass, especially when everyday life is affected. I looked at my accounting records and figured Steve was at my house at least 19 times for septic, logging, roads or a sore back. Steve and I started a project with the Defer family from Mendo and David Pronsolino. Steve then died. When Steve was alive I said one day, “what do I do if you die”. He said, “what do I do if my back hurts and you die.” He then said, “Just call Troy”. When I asked Pronsolino, he said “just call Troy. “ Well, I called Troy and we continued the project today. Did I ever really believe someone could be as talented as Steve Mize on a machine? Actually, yes I did. After Michael Jordan, came Kobe, and after that came LaBron. Of course the talent would follow. Did I ever think I would have as much fun working with someone as I did with Steve. No I did not. Thank you Troy Bloyd for proving me wrong. The talent, the fun, it continues. Thank you Steve. Thank you Troy.
FORT BRAGG, Thursday, Sept. 12. -- A Mendocino County Superior Court jury returned from its coastal deliberations mid-afternoon Thursday with a guilty verdict against the trial defendant.
Defendant Trevor Mulryan Roycroft, age 50, generally of the Fort Bragg area, was found guilty of felony assault with a knife.
While proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the victim was knifed by the defendant, the jury determined in a separate finding that the March 2019 knifing did not inflict great bodily injury on the victim.
For future purposes, this conviction constitutes a Strike under the Three Strikes law.
After the jury was excused, the case was referred by the trial court to the Mendocino County Adult Probation Department for a background study and sentencing recommendation. The defendant was ordered to be back in the Ten Mile courtroom on October 23rd at 9:30 a.m. for judgment and sentencing.
The law enforcement agency that investigated this crime and gathered the evidence supporting today's guilty verdict was the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office.
The prosecutor who presented the People's evidence at trial was Deputy District Attorney Kevin Cisney.
It is noted that, with the departure of Deputy DA Tim Stoen to retirement, Deputy DA Cisney is now the lead trial attorney on the coast for District Attorney Eyster.
SUNSET AND MOONRISE ON MAPLE STREET (Fort Bragg)
ST FRANCIS OF HOPLAND SAYS NO TO DOPE
The St. Francis Guild Board of Directors, responsible for the St. Francis Catholic Mission Church in Hopland, wants to go on record as opposed to two requests placed before the Planning Commission on April 19th and June 4th, by Dan Turbyfill, agent for Hopland Retail Investors (Case # 2019-0037):
Request of a use permit to open a cannabis dispensary at the now vacant Hopland Superette and adjoining Post Office on Hwy 101 in the center of Hopland.
Request for a reduction in the current set-back requirement for such a facility to be located near our church which is a short block away.
As you suggested, we have been in continuous contact with Julie Golden of the Hopland Municipal Advisory Council. Along with the Hopland Council we continue to have concerns about the requests, the proposal, and how things have been handled by the County.
First of all, the notification letter regarding the request for a reduction in the setback ordinance of a cannabis facility from a church was sent only to Bishop Vasa of Santa Rosa in May but did not include a notification to our local Catholic Parish, which obviously, would have more concern in this matter. Local staff should have realized this, apart from their database of property owners (all Catholic properties are technically owned by the bishop of the diocese). Since his reply letter merely expressing willingness to abide by the county decision in this matter, the bishop has written to the parishoners of St. Francis and apologized for not contacting the local parish before making his response. Moreover, the general public of Hopland was also not given the opportunity of a public session in which to respond to this request for an amendment to the existing setback ordinance. They would now also like to know what were/are the County ordinances for setback of a cannabis facility from residential dwellings if any? The proposed location is not only close to our church, but even closer to residential dwellings.
Second, I understand that Julie Golden and the Hopland Municipal Advisory Council are working to create our own downtown plan for Hopland, which would seem to be the purpose of the establishment of 5 Advisory Councils, and they, too, oppose the establishment and location of this 3rd facility in our small town. Yet, I also understand that they were repeatedly told by the owners of Sundial that the request was for a permit for another grocery store, but no such request was ever filed. Instead, it was only through later inquiries, we learned that requests for a reduction of the setback ordinance for a cannabis facility and a second request for a cannabis dispensary and lounge were the only requests on file.
Third, we understand that the Zoning Administrator, upon reviewing the requests, suggested approval. But we question the lack of appropriate input from concerned citizens of Hopland before making that decision. In your response you stated that “available recourse would appear limited at this juncture.” You explained that the appeal period has long past, that a Use Permit can no longer be required, and that cannabis facilities, like most other retail facilities, do not require such a discretionary review anyway. But the zoning administrator should be aware that there is general public concern that cannabis facilities are special cases and should not be lumped together with all other retail facilities when it comes to approving their zoning permits. Like Bishop Vasa, perhaps the zoning administrator should apologize to the Hopland community and, if possible, reopen his review.
Last, I believe it was just this month that a waiver was denied for the establishment of a cannabis facility on Smith Street in Ukiah because of its proposed location near a church and mobile home park. Is there a reason for the different decision in these two cases? We would appreciate an explanation from the zoning administrator for the discrepancy in these decisions.
Bard Zensen, President St. Francis Guild
ON THE RUN
On September 13th, at 1:40 PM, the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office was contacted by personnel from the Chamberlain Creek Conservation Camp, located in the 15800 block of Highway 20 and advised that a state prison inmate had escaped. The Sheriff’s Office was advised that the last time the inmate was accounted for was at 8:30 am head count and they discovered him missing at the 12:30 PM headcount. The inmate could have escaped the camp between 8:30 and 12:30.
The escapee was identified as Jonathan A Washington, a 31 year old African American male adult, standing 6’4″ tall and weighing about 220 pounds.
Washington is originally from the Solano County area and it is unknown at this time if he had assistance from the outside, including a ride. Washington was last seen wearing CDCR orange colored clothing, and he currently has dreadlocks.
Anybody who has any knowledge of his whereabouts, or who might have observed him on or about Highway 20 on September 13th are encouraged to contact the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office.
NAVARRO RIDGE SAFETY PROJECT, Navarro Ridge Drainage Project, and the Albion River Bridge Rehabilitation/Replacement Project and Salmon Creek Bridge Replacement
CALTRANS VS. ALBION
Caltrans' bad ideas for Albion
Caltrans plans to put a two-lane expressway through Albion. The agency needs to change those plans.
Most people have already heard about Caltrans’ desire to replace the historic Albion River Bridge as well as the recently seismically retrofitted Salmon Creek Bridge — and along the way, nearly doubling the width of Highway 1 in the vicinity of those two bridges.
These are bad ideas. But it gets even worse.
Caltrans has now announced plans to widen Highway 1 starting at the Navarro Point Preserve and continuing north of Navarro Ridge Road.
The result would be a Highway 1 that’s up to twice as wide, stretching from the Navarro Point Preserve to the Albion River Inn. All so drivers can fly through Albion—and then slam on the brakes at the Navarro Grade or Dark Gulch.
Caltrans is proposing four overlapping projects that will cost at least $160 million and involve years of construction, lane and highway closures, significant grading and wetlands damage, destruction of sensitive plant and animal habitat, and huge impacts to visitor-serving facilities at Albion Flats, the Albion River Inn, and Navarro Point Preserve.
The projects also involve the addition of rumble strips that will destroy the tranquil soundscape of the Navarro Point Preserve, and ugly “Midwest guardrail systems” that have no place in this highly scenic part of Highway 1.
Make no mistake: Highway 1 needs drainage and safety improvements in the Navarro Ridge area. But an expressway and years of construction are not the answer—just as huge new bridges are not the answer at Salmon Creek and Albion River.
With proper maintenance, better planning, and simple measures like reduced speed limits, Highway 1 and its Albion bridges can serve the public safely for decades—and with no environmental degradation and far fewer taxpayer dollars.
Caltrans is hosting a public meeting on Thursday, September 19 at the new Albion School, 30400 Albion Ridge Road, from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm.
Attend this meeting and tell Caltrans that its plans for Albion are too much, too expensive, and completely unnecessary—that improved safety and drainage can be accomplished for a fraction of the cost. And demand that Caltrans produce an environmental impact report and environmental impact statement that takes into account all four projects as a whole, rather than attempting to piecemeal the projects, a practice that is prohibited under the California Environmental Quality Act.
Save Highway 1 through Albion. Tell Caltrans, “not so fast.”
MOONRISE OVER COIT TOWER
AND SUCH A PRETTY FACE…
“On Monday, September 9, at approximately 11:59 pm, a Mendocino County Deputy Sheriff was on routine patrol, when he observed a vehicle parked in the parking lot of the Eagle Peak Middle School in Redwood Valley.
The Deputy was aware of past incidents of vandalism and burglaries which have occurred on the school campus.
The Deputy pulled into the parking lot to investigate the vehicle occupant's purpose for being parked on the school property at such a late hour. As the Deputy entered the parking lot, the vehicle started to drive away. The Deputy initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle, which yielded in the parking lot.
The Deputy contacted a female subject driving the vehicle, who he recognized as being Samantha Mendez, age 21 of Ukiah.
The Deputy detected a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage emitting from within the vehicle, and also noticed Mendez's eyes were red and watery. The Deputy also observed a large glass marijuana bong (smoking device) in the driver's compartment of the vehicle.
Based on the above described observations, the Deputy asked Mendez to exit the vehicle in order to determine her sobriety. Mendez refused to exit the vehicle and placed both of her hands on the steering wheel. Fearing that Mendez was going to attempt to flee the scene, the Deputy opened the driver's door and again ordered Mendez to exit the vehicle.
Mendez continued to ignore verbal commands. The Deputy grabbed Mendez by her arm while again telling her to exit the vehicle. Mendez pulled her arm away and placed her hands back onto the steering wheel. When the Deputy grabbed Mendez by the arm, she attempted to bite his forearm several times.
The Deputy was able to remove Mendez from the vehicle, and she continued to fight with the Deputy by kicking at him, and attempting to pull her arms free from his grasp. Mendez and the Deputy went to the ground, where she was eventually restrained in handcuffs.
The Deputy assisted Mendez to her feet and told her to sit in the rear of his patrol vehicle. Mendez continued her combative behavior by kicking at the Deputy and attempting to escape. After several minutes of fighting with Mendez, the Deputy was eventually able to safely restrain her in the rear seat of the patrol vehicle.
Both Mendez and the Deputy sustained minor injuries as a result of the altercation. Mendez was found to be on summary probation out of Mendocino County with a term including “obey all laws.”
Mendez was placed under arrest for Felony resisting an Officer by use of Force or Violence and Violation of Probation.
Mendez was subsequently booked into the Mendocino County Jail where she was to be held in lieu of $20,000 bail.”
A SOUTH COASTIE WRITES:
Re: Mr. Woof Garcia
They finally got this guy who has plagued the area for several years now. But, the way the system works is he'll be back out in no time. Deputy Myers is a great deputy sheriff, now let's see if Sonoma county will back him up. Better yet, why not send Mr. Woof to Comptche for a real rabble rousing time with good ol' Jerry Philbrick. May the best crazy man win.
FROM SUPERVISOR WILLIAMS:
Discussion and Possible Action Including Direction to Staff to Adopt Zero-Based Budgeting Method
(Sponsor: Supervisor Williams)
Zero-based budgeting is a method of budgeting in which all expenses must be justified and approved for each new budget period, analyzing needs and costs of every function within the organization and allocating funds accordingly, regardless of how much money had previously been budgeted to any given department or line item.
SO SUPERVISOR TED WILLIAMS is still riding his “zero-based budgeting” hobby-horse. We’ve even seen a few complimentary on-line posts about the new Supe’s financial perspicacity as regards his bold ZBB proposal. We doubt any of the Supervisor’s admirers have any idea what zero-based budgeting is. And, although we give the Supervisor the benefit of the doubt that he at least knows what it is, we don’t see how he can think it applies to Mendocino County, much less could ever begin to be implemented.
According to the financial website “investopedia.com’s” summary:
“Zero-based budgeting (ZBB) is a method of budgeting in which all expenses must be justified for each new period. The process of zero-based budgeting starts from a "zero base," and every function within an organization is analyzed for its needs and costs. Budgets are then built around what is needed for the upcoming period, regardless of whether each budget is higher or lower than the previous one.”
In other words, you don’t use last year’s budget as the basis for this year’s budget — instead, you use an analysis of needs and costs and start each period from scratch. Then someone (Williams? The Board? CEO Angelo?) determines if it’s “justified.”
Supervisor Williams apparently thinks that his process applies to Mendocino County, a county where 1.) They can’t even produce monthly budget reports for what passes for departmental budgets now, and 2. Nobody in authority has ever asked a single question about the basis or cost-drivers for any department’s budget, and 3. budgets bear no relation to need — most budgets are either 1. Grant funded with specific expenditures required by the grant (having nothing to do with “need”), or 2. Are based on available funds which, in the case of the General Fund departments, are nowhere near anybody’s definition of “need.”
Take, say, The Sheriff’s Department. How many patrol deputies does the Sheriff “need”? Or the jail, where you can at least calculate staffing to some degree based on modules and shifts and inmates, what is the number of “needed” jailers, starting from scratch? Or take the Transportation Department. How much money does Director Dashiell need to maintain Mendo’s roads? Let’s just say it’s probably not near what he’ll ever get.
You get the idea.
To make it even more laughable, here’s what CEO Carmel Angelo offered in this week’s CEO report under the heading “budget update”:
“Over the Labor Day weekend, the Auditor-Controller, Lloyd Weer, closed Fiscal Year end 2018/19. As a standard part of annual year close, the Auditor-Controller reviews all account balances. This year, the Auditor- Controller noticed that an additional $600,000 of Community Corrections Partnership (CCP), 2011 Growth Realignment Funds were deposited, but were not reported to the Board of Supervisors to accept into the Mendocino County Budget for Community Corrections Partnership Funds. Reporting is the responsibility of the CCP Chair. Additionally, the Sheriff’s Office had approximately $400,000 in denied CCP claims that were eligible for CCP funding. As part of closing the Fiscal Year 2018/19, the Auditor-Controller and the CEO allocated this additional $400,000 to the Sheriff’s Office. This has been standard practice annually so it is not uncommon for the Auditor-Controller to identify appropriate funding for a General Fund Department.”
That irrelevant filler is what actually passes for a “budget update” in Mendocino County.
WORSE, according to CEO Angelo’s latest CEO report for Septenber 4, 2019 there are a whopping 404 FUNDED vacant positions in the Health and Human Services Department’s “Social Services” branch. Of those FUNDED positions (and yes, we’re capitalizing that because we’re yelling) 91 are vacant and 55 are “in recruitment.” But there have been only nine “new hires” since July 1, 2019 along with 7 “separations” (which could be resignations or inter-department transfers), and eight more people are “on leave,” whatever that means. Oddly, these stats produce what the CEO says is a “13.6 vacancy rate.” 91/404 would be a 22.5% vacancy rate. And 91-55 = 36/404 would be an 8.9% vacancy rate. It turns out that our math-challenged CEO calculates “vacancy rate” as “based on positions currently in recruitment.” Or 55/404 = 13.6%. Which is the wierdest way to calculate “vacancy rate” we’ve ever heard of. A proper vacancy rate calculation would be 91 plus the 8 “on leave” divided by the funded positions of 404 — 99/404 = almost 25%. Basically, the Social Services department is woefully understaffed with only about 75% of their FUNDED positions filled.
SIMILARLY the County’s Mental Health Branch is only 53% staffed of their 59 FUNDED positions. With 8 “in recruitment.” (And if you wonder why they need 59 positions in Mental Health after they’ve privatized the whole operation and turned it over to Camille Schraeder and her crew you’re definitely not a Mendocino County official.)
ALL THIS UNDERSTAFFING IS AFTER the big pay raises the County awarded starting in July which were supposed to improve recruitment and retention.
YET NO ONE IN AUTHORITY, including Supervisor Williams, expresses the slightest interest in the understaffing situation, the lack of funding coming in to Mendo for such staffing, the effect of the understaffing on benefit issuance, backlog, wait times, daily stress and morale, etc. — much less the budget itself.
SO LET’S JUST HOPE that Supervisor Williams pays attention to the budget basics like monthly reports and staffing levels (as he previously mentioned briefly but nothing since) before he starts calling for a budgeting process that not only doesn’t apply to Mendo, but would never happen even if it did.
PS. WE WILL GRANT that perhaps the relatively new and never fully analyzed pot permit program, of all the County departments, might benefit from zero-based budgeting. But let’s say Supervisor Williams proposed to apply ZBB to the Pot Permit program as a pilot first-pass attempt. What do you think Planning Director Brent Schultz would say?
a) I don’t have the staff to even begin to build up a budget for the pot permit program from scratch.
b) We’ve already done that and we need more way people than we can afford.
c) What pot permit program? There’s no program, it’s just a mish-mosh of confusing regs that produces very few permits and could never be “justified” in any normal sense of the word.
ON THE OTHER HAND…
Board Of Supervisors Agenda, September 17, 2019
Discussion and Possible Action Including Direction to the Chief Executive Officer and County Counsel to Determine Feasibility of Transitioning the Chief Probation Officer to Report to the Board of Supervisors. (Sponsor: Supervisor Williams)
Summary Of Request:
The Chief Probation Officer, Probation Department and Juvenile Hall are the financial responsibility of the County. Adjusting the reporting structure such that the Chief Probation Officer reports to the Board of Supervisors has potential to build cohesion and enable next steps towards streamline process and cost efficiency. The Chief Probation Officer may be appointed by the Board of Supervisors in accordance with Government Code Section 27770.
MARK SCARAMELLA NOTES: Perhaps Supervisor Williams is unfamiliar with the history of this position. That may be why he failed to note that the Chief Probation Officer is currently hired and fired by the Superior Court. Government Code Section 27770 reads: “A chief probation officer shall be appointed in every county. He or she shall be nominated by the juvenile justice commission or regional juvenile justice commission of the county in the same manner as the presiding judge, in a county with two judges, or a majority of the judges, in a county with more than two judges, shall prescribe, and shall thereafter be appointed by the presiding judge or majority of judges. The salary for the position shall be established by the board of supervisors of the county. He or she may be removed for good cause as determined by the presiding judge or majority of judges.”
We don’t see where anyone could conclude from that that “The Chief Probation Officer may be appointed by the Board of Supervisors in accordance with Government Code Section 27770.” However, we do agree that if the County is paying for the CPO, then the County should have appointment authority. Perhaps a waiver can be sought.
CATCH OF THE DAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2019
JACK ALVAREZ, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
FAITH APPLE, Ukiah. Under influence, paraphernalia.
MAJOR BLANCHARD, Ukiah. DUI, no license.
JAMES BROWN, Redwood Valley. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation. (Frequent Flyer)
RAYMOND BROWN, Redding/Ukiah. DUI, suspended license (for DUI), contempt of court, failure to appear, probation revocation.
COURTNEY FETT, Ukiah. Failure to appear.
JAVIER GARIBAY, Lancaster/Ukiah. Controlled substance, false ID, probation revocation.
RYAN LOEWER, White Hall, Maryland/Ukiah. Failure to appear.
JESSICA MAESTAS, Ukiah. Domestic battery, probation revocation.
JACOB MCFADDEN, Willits. Protective order violation.
JESSICA NAU, Boonville. Domestic abuse, probation revocation.
CHRISTOPHER WALRATH, Ukiah. Taking vehicle without owner’s consent, stolen vehicle, parole violation.
UNCENSORED TONY SERRA: CONSUMMATE CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER
by Jonah Raskin
“In the 1960s I was dropping acid and doing cases pro-bono and decided then and there that I didn’t want to own things. In that sense I’m a Marxist. I’ve been in jail three times for not paying taxes. I’ve always helped prisoners. There’s usually a long line of people waiting to see me for legal advice.”
– Tony Serra
On December 2, 2016, a fire swept through a living and workspace in Oakland, California. Thirty-six people died, many of them attending a late night party in a converted warehouse known as the “Ghost Ship.” Investigators never determined the cause of the fire, but the Alameda County District Attorney charged “master tenant” Derick Almena and his assistant, Max Harris, with 36 counts of involuntarily manslaughter. The DA did not bring charges against the “acting landlord,” Eva Ng, or against her mother, Chor Ng, and her brother, Kai Ng, who together own the building.
Legendary civil rights and civil liberties lawyer, Tony Serra, defended Derick Almena. San Francisco attorney Curtis Briggs defended Max Harris. Before the trial began, on April 2, 2019, Briggs charged the Alameda County DA with “institutional corruption” for prosecuting “an underdog.” On September 5, 2019, the jury found “underdog” Harris not guilty of all charges. The same jury was unable to reach a unanimous decision on Almena.
Judge Trina Thompson—the first African American woman elected to be a judge in Alameda County—declared a mistrial for Serra’s client. He went back to jail while Harris went free. Almena may face another trial. He’ll find out on October 4. Family members of the deceased have filed civil lawsuits against the City of Oakland.
This interview took place in Tony Serra’s law office on Geary Boulevard in San Francisco where he was planning to host an “Impeach Trump Rally” with wine, music and speakers.
For those who don’t know you, how would you introduce yourself?
A: I went to Stanford and studied epistemology and then to Tangier thinking I’d be an ex-pat writer, but the people I met were using opiates and I didn’t fit in. I’d been a jock at college and didn’t even drink coffee until I was 28. I came back to the States, graduated from law school and went to work in the D.A.’s office in Alameda because I wanted courtroom experience. After that I went to South America for a while. When I came back the Haight-Ashbury was blooming. A whole house would be busted. Between 1964 and 1966 lots of people wanted me to defend them so I got even more experience.
You were part of that scene and shaped by it, weren’t you?
In the 1960s I was dropping acid and doing cases pro-bono and decided I didn’t want to own things. In that sense I’m a Marxist. I’ve been in jail three times for not paying taxes. I’ve helped people on the inside. There was always long line of people waiting to see me for legal advice.
I pay $450 for a small apartment where I live in North Beach. I wear old clothes from second-hand stores. My wife and I raised five kids in Bolinas. I have a brother who’s a famous artist. I defended the Black Panthers and stayed up all night with them behind sand bags when we expected a police raid.
Did the judge impose a gag order during the trial?
Yes, gaged throughout the trial and until after the verdict. Judge Thompson imposed it. Not my choice. I believe in the First Amendment and that the media should inform the public.
You don’t know if your client, Derick Almena, will be retried and you’ll be back in court. Do you feel like you’re in a legal limbo?
The main thing is that I won’t negotiate. I don’t talk to my enemy. The worst that could happen is after a second trial there would be another hung jury. It would cost the state at least half-a-million-dollars to retry Almena. Most of the families of the people who died in the fire want closure, so that favors dismissal. The DA might make an offer we can’t refuse. If there were negotiation, co-counsel would do that. He’s artful.
I remember attorney Bill Kunstler telling me that he once saw himself as “an officer of the court” and that during the Chicago Conspiracy Trial he changed his perspective and saw himself as an advocate for the defendants.
I have never thought of myself as an officer of the court. That title and what goes with it, is a way to manipulate a lawyer so the judge can exercise control.
How do you think the Ghost Ship fire trial will be remembered in the annals of American jurisprudence?
It’s an aberration and not a landmark case. This whole thing should have gone to civil court. The case was prosecuted to try to create a scapegoat and deflect from a civil suit against the city of Oakland, the fire department and the landlords who own the building. Sadly, that’s the way politics works. I have said that behind the scenes. Now I’m saying it openly.
In 2018, before the trial began The New York Times ran a long piece by Elizabeth Weil about Harris and about Almena. She depicted Almena as evil.
It was a nasty piece that hit him below the belt.
The media has often cast Harris as the angel and Almena as the devil.
Max is young. He graduated from art school and his professors were character witnesses. He totally co-operated with the government; during the fire he went back into the building to save lives. He was a hero. He should never have been indicted. In a way, I was handicapped by Max’s heroism.
Derick world have set himself on fire if that would have satisfied the families who wanted his blood. After he was locked up he was on suicide watch. When he was on the witness stand I think he did a damned good job. Jurors always want to hear from the accused. We gave them what they wanted when Derick testified.
Did you hold back anything during the trial?
Everything that I wanted to be revealed was revealed. I left out some things that would have agonized the families of the deceased.
I have friends who are legends in their own minds. You’re a genuine legend in the minds of a great many people.
I’m an old guy. I’ll be 85 in December. I’ve been around so long that I have outlived my enemies. Positive attention is good when you’re young, not when you’re old. I came out of the office one day during the Ghost Ship trial and a guy on the street walks up to me and says, “Why do you defend such horrible people.” I get that, too, and hate mail.
What drives you?
I want a reality in which everyone gets a fair trial and a lawyer. Poor people under our system don’t get the same justice as rich people, and black people don’t get the same justice as whites. Everyone knows that. It’s no secret.
I like to say that if I could be reborn I’d like to be reborn a black woman activist. They know what’s wrong with the system instinctively and they’re on a noble quest for equality under the law.
Did you consider a change of venue in the Ghost Ship Trial?
No, because we could never get a better jury than in Oakland.
What about Judge Trina Thompson?
I respect her. She came from the working class and became a public defender. She took death penalty cases. During the trial she let me get physically close to the jury and raise my voice and read poetry and use body language. Some judges don’t allow that.
Are you in contact with Almena?
I talked with him today. I met with him in jail after the verdict. I put money on the books for him all the time. He has been under appreciated. He’s an artist with a sense of community and loves his wife and children who were living at the Ghost Ship. Derick wouldn’t have allowed that if he thought it was unsafe. No sheriff and no police said that the building violated any code. On the contrary they said it was beautiful, awesome.
Do you think that the Trump administration had shaped the criminal justice system?
Not in San Francisco, but in Texas. Trump scares people. He’s the greatest threat to our democracy in my lifetime. He’s impeachable because of his collusion with the Russians. Everything he does is for a profit, and he has packed the courts with right-wing men who will jeopardize liberty for decades. Trump has poisoned the well.
(Jonah Raskin is the author of For The Hell of It: The Life and Times of Abbie Hoffman and American Scream: Allen Ginsberg’s ‘Howl’ and the Making of the Beat Generation.)
by James Kunstler
The memory hole that appeared in America’s zeitgeist around 2016 is expanding like some evil cosmic rot. Things happen and then things unhappen and after a while it’s like they never happened. For instance, little seems to have happened all summer long with the matter known as RussiaGate, the attempt by high US government officials to overthrow the result of the 2016 election by pretending that Russia was trying to interfere in the 2016 election.
Quite a confection of lies and subterfuge. It apparently grew out of an effort at the highest levels of the Obama administration well before 2016 to run so-called intel operations against the perceived enemies of Mr. Obama’s foreign policy. One target was General Michael Flynn, who until 2014 had headed the Defense Intelligence Agency, which is devoted to military intel analysis. General Flynn was known to be unfavorably disposed to Mr. Obama’s deal to pay billions to Iran for a halt in that country’s nuclear weapons program.
After retiring, General Flynn set up his own intel consulting company, which had two clients in Russia: a short-hop airline and a cyber-security firm owned by a holding company in Britain. In late 2015, General Flynn attended a Moscow dinner for Russia Today (RT) where he sat next to Vladimir Putin and gave a speech for which he was paid $45,000. Note: at that point, General Flynn was a private citizen and we were not at war with Russia. It was one of many European nations that Americans were allowed to do business in.
My own heuristic analysis is that rival Intel chief, John Brennan of the CIA, enlisted British Intel “asset” (i.e., agent) Joseph Mifsud to sandbag General Flynn in order to put him out of business and shove him offstage. The scheme failed, and soon the General was seen around rallies for candidate Donald Trump. In one notorious scene at the Republican convention, he castigated his former colleague Hillary Clinton and joined in the crowd’s chant to “lock her up.” I’m sure that went over well with Mrs. Clinton and all the Obama administration honchos then still running the CIA, the FBI, and the DOJ.
After Mr. Trump won the 2016 election, he moved to appoint General Flynn as his National Security Advisor. Within a few days, FBI director James Comey pulled off an entrapment gambit to incriminate General Flynn over a conversation he had with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak — as if incoming high officials for foreign policy are not supposed to associate with foreign ambassadors. You understand now that the government had continued its surveillance of General Flynn for years, including tapping his phone when he moved into his White House office. That enabled Mr. Comey to set up a perjury trap. The General was successfully sandbagged this time, kicked offstage, and conned into a guilty plea. He’s been awaiting sentencing for more than a year.
A few months ago, General Flynn fired his old lawyers and hired Sidney Powell, an attorney who literally wrote the book on discovering prosecutorial misconduct in the case of Alaska Senator Ted Stevens, whose prosecution over Mickey Mouse comped hotel bills was thrown out of court by the same Judge, Emmet Sullivan, who presides in the US versus Flynn. Ms. Powell has now declared that she intends to prove “egregious prosecutorial conduct” and suppression of exculpatory evidence against the DOJ lawyers who ran the case against General Flynn. The government never would have had a case if they revealed the FBI’s internal memos on General Flynn.
Attorney Powell is seeking to have the case thrown out of court. The FBI and the DOJ lawyers who conducted the prosecution have stonewalled the court on producing the documents at issue. Judge Sullivan may sense that he’s seen this movie before. The case took on a life of its own long before William Barr was confirmed as attorney general and one wonders if he has any role in ending this damaging farce. Legal protocol may require Judge Sullivan to complete the case one way or another. I wrote in this space a year ago that General Flynn had been subject to prosecutorial misconduct. Now, I’ll venture to assert that if Judge Sullivan does not throw the case out, Mr. Trump will step in and pardon General Flynn, and in doing so will make it clear exactly how and why he was run into court in the first place.
The case against General Flynn was an intersection between all the malign forces operating in RussiaGate: rogue high government officials, the vengeful Mrs. Clinton, her allies in the media, and the ass-covering of figures in Barack Obama’s White House inner circle. The case needs to be resolved to plug the memory hole in American political life.
Meanwhile, all indications are that former acting FBI director Andrew McCabe is about to be frog-marched into an indictment for his part in the epic, many-tentacled RussiaGate intrigue. Perhaps today. Many of the other well-known players will follow. Until they do, the Justice branch of the US government may be considered an enemy of the people.
(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)
CALIFORNIA BANS PRIVATE PRISONS — Including ICE Detention Centers
Bill removes profit motive from incarceration and marks latest clash in state’s battle with Trump over treatment of immigrants
HILLSIDE HEALTH CENTER Welcomes New Medical Provider, Damara Luce
Ukiah, CA — MCHC Health Centers is pleased to announce the arrival of Damara Luce, PA-C, a bilingual (English and Spanish) physician assistant who will work closely with Dr. Mario Espindola and Paul Hupp, PA-C. Becoming a physician assistant is a second career for Luce, but one that is consistent with her history of helping the underserved.
After college, Luce became an Americorps volunteer in Immokalee, Florida, where she spent a year teaching young children of migrant farmworkers and facilitating parent education. This experience lead to a 15-year career as a community organizer and campaigner for the Alliance for Fair Food and Coalition for Immokalee Workers (CIW) where Luce helped farmworkers improve wages and working conditions. She was instrumental in establishing the Fair Food Program to monitor and enforce human rights for more than 100,000 farmworkers, described as “the best workplace monitoring program in the U.S.” by the New York Times.
For personal reasons, Luce moved to the East Bay about ten years ago where she continued working on CIW’s national campaigns until she changed careers to become a physician assistant. Physician assistants (PAs) are medical professionals who diagnose illness, develop and manage treatment plans, prescribe medications, and often serve as a patient’s principal healthcare provider. Luce completed Stanford University’s physician assistant program and then worked at Lifelong Medical Care, a community health center in Berkeley.
In her work as a PA, Luce is committed to caring for the whole patient. She said, “I understand some of the unique challenges migrant farmworkers face. When I cared for patients at a community health center in San Pablo, I saw people who not only had repetitive motion injuries from working in the field, but who also suffered from anxiety, insomnia, and other problems related to the stress of their work and their living circumstances.”
She is pleased to join MCHC Health Centers because of the organization’s mission and its approach to healthcare. “MCHC has a team of people who care for each patient—medical providers, counselors, health educators, dentists, case managers and more. We all care for patients together, with the patient at the center,” she explained.
She continued, “You have to know what’s going on with people to provide good care. In addition to the reason they came to see me, I want to understand what my patient’s role is at home, at work. Are they worried about paying their bills? About their children’s problems at school? All these factors affect their health.”
Luce said she collaborates with patients to create treatment plans that make sense in the context of their lives. “It doesn’t do patients any good for me to recommend treatments they can’t or won’t do. Instead, we come up with a plan together,” she said. She enjoys educating patients about their health and empowering them to reach their health and wellness goals.
MCHC Health Centers provides comprehensive health services including primary medical care, pediatrics, dentistry, women’s health, obstetrical care, counseling, psychiatry, and specialty care, and looks forward to growing to meet the ever-expanding needs of the communities it serves. MCHC Health Centers includes Hillside Health Center and Dora Street Health Center in Ukiah, Little Lake Health Center in Willits and Lakeview Health Center in Lakeport. Learn more at www.mchcinc.org.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
It’s not racism and stupidity as the bi-coastal intelligentsia would have it, it’s the gap between the paycheck and the monthly rent. That’s what it is, and if you think otherwise, just ask accountant Billy Tung in Hong Kong, who’s supposed to work six or seven days a week, who’s stuck in an apartment partitioned for six renters and who’s had enough and who now takes to the streets with a couple million other Hong Kongers. Billy is so royally screwed, just imagine, an expensively educated professional that can’t contemplate an age-old human drive, a life with a wife and kids in a premises big enough to accommodate them. Imagine someone less educated. And there’s millions like him in that place.
The fat-asses have got a choke-hold on people like Billy, and they’re screwing them mercilessly, just like Wall Street and the Davos gang elsewhere.
This can’t go on, the strangle-hold of the vampire squid has to loosen. The backdrop is one where the shot-callers fucked it all up pure and simple, where the economics don’t pan out, the numbers don’t scan, and people can’t make a go of it. The choice is now between controlled demolition and uncontrolled collapse. That’s the choice, and the drama in Washington is just one of the eddies in the torrent of global events taking shape.
My guess is they choose uncontrolled collapse, betting on making a go of it in the aftermath. I think they greatly overestimate their chances and their abilities in general and their ability in particular at directing events. In short, my bet is that they lose the bet.
HERO PROGRAM – Keeping Students Safe
by Michelle Hutchins, County Superintendent of Schools
When I was a kid, we had “duck and cover” drills, in case an earthquake or nuclear bomb hit our school. We were a little unsettled by the possibility of disaster, but the threat didn’t feel imminent. Sadly, the nature of disaster drills has changed. These days, students hear about campus shootings elsewhere and wonder if their school will be next. Teachers, administrators and support staff also feel the weight of this frightening possibility.
In response to school shootings, schools began doing lockdown or “shelter in place” drills, which had the unintended consequence of traumatizing some students who felt like they were simply waiting for a gunman to come and get them.
Today, there’s a new approach, one that empowers students. It’s called the H.E.R.O. Program, and thanks to a generous grant from the Mendocino Public Safety Foundation, we’ll be launching a pilot program to train students and staff in Covelo, Leggett, and Point Arena.
H.E.R.O. stands for hide, escape, run, overcome. The program shares age-appropriate information using short videos and teacher-led discussions that help students recognize, avoid, and survive an active-shooter event. It is not a fear-based program, but rather one that focuses on how students can remain safe. The program is embedded in English Language Arts (ELA) classes because it incorporates critical thinking concepts built upon Empowerment Theory that are in line with California State Standards.
The local Public Safety Foundation offered to pay the H.E.R.O. Program tuition for 1,000 students, so we chose three small school districts with a broad ethnic and economic mix. Here are some of the ideas to be shared.
Students and teachers are taught to hide from intruders and barricade their classroom. In addition to building barricades, students learn how and where to hide safely in classrooms and outdoor locations.
Students and teachers are taught to escape from an area of danger and find a safe place. Depending on the situation, remaining in one place like a classroom or cafeteria is not always the safest strategy.
Students and teachers are taught to run away from danger. While running away may seem like the obvious response, people often freeze up in a crisis and are unable to move. Running from violence is a skill to be learned, discussed and practiced. And truth be told, some ways of running are more effective than others. Students will learn the difference.
Finally, students and teachers are taught to overcome an assailant by creating an environment of resistance, chaos, and disruption. Students are taught to defend themselves physically only as a last resort.
The H.E.R.O. Program was developed by a team of educators, child psychologists, medical professionals, lawyers and law enforcement officers who recognized the complex and multi-faceted nature of school violence. By working together, they’ve created a curriculum that helps students feel empowered rather than terrified.
Of course, preparing for a school shooting is only one piece of this puzzle. Schools in Mendocino County also have behavioral health counselors available to help students recognize and work through their trauma.
If you know a disenfranchised, angry, lonely adolescent who may need help, reach out and offer it. Recommend they talk to their school counselor or just offer to listen without judgment. While it’s important that all students be prepared in the event of violence, I’d much rather prevent it.
And if you’re feeling generous and want to make a charitable donation, I highly recommend giving to the Mendocino Public Safety Foundation. Donations can be mailed to P.O. Box 123, Ukiah CA 95482, or made through PayPal on the Foundation’s website, www.ProtectMendocino.org. If you’d like to learn more, contact them via email at info@ProtectMendocino.org.
REGIONAL ART QUILT MEETING, show and tell: Sept. 21
On Saturday, Sept. 21, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) brings together its regional members and the public at the Grace Hudson Museum to celebrate a shared love of quilt art. Artists who have contributed to "Stitching California," the Museum's current exhibit, will speak about their exhibited pieces. All other attendees are invited to bring a fiber artwork for an organized show and tell (one art piece per person). Textile artist and "Stitching California" juror Kate Pasquini Masopust will give a presentation. The event is free with Museum admission and completely free to SAQA members.
"Stitching California: Fiber Artists Interpret the State's People, Life, and Land" explores a creative practice rooted in traditional quilting but expanded to encompass modern techniques, personal experience, and social awareness.
The Grace Hudson Museum is at 431 S. Main St. in Ukiah. General admission is $4; $10 per family; $3 for students and seniors; free to all on the first Friday of the month; and always free to members. For more information please go to http://www.gracehudsonmuseum.org http://www.gracehudsonmuseum.org/ or call (707) 467-2836.