MCT: Wednesday, September 18, 2019

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WIDESPREAD SHOWERS will continue across much of the area today, accompanied by isolated to scattered thunderstorms north of Cape Mendocino. Drier and warmer weather is expected from Thursday into the weekend. (National Weather Service)

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MENDO JUST CAN’T DO MONTHLY BUDGET REPORTING. (Or can they?)

by Mark Scaramella

Supervisor Ted Williams’s proposal for Mendocino County to adopt bottom-up budgeting (“zero-based budgeting”) was reasonably well received on Tuesday with a muddled decision to have staff discuss it further in November or January or something. Supervisor John McCowen suggested it be tried on the cannabis program first but after a few giggles, nobody followed up.

After that novel idea was successfully postponed and workshopped into almost never, Supervisor McCowen reminded his colleagues and staff that departmental metrics and budget tracking is a bit overdue:

McCowen: “There are a few things that the Board has been asking for for some time. In the case of department metrics the board has been asking for that for several years for each department. We would like to have certain tasks and the timeframe they get accomplished with the numbers of things that get accomplished. Whenever we have this discussion the CEO says, You can't manage what you can't measure. We have an inconsistent process of measuring departmental tasks. We get some information for some things from some departments but it could be more comprehensive and obviously it will be different items that are of greater importance to different departments. But supposedly the leadership group was working on that. So if we can actually get that activated and operating I think that would help us. The other thing the board has been asking for is budget tracking. I think it should be on a monthly basis. Here's the budgeted amount, here's the expenditure to date. Both the total budget for departments and net county cost. Whatever the appropriate breakdown is. We should get relatively real-time information on how the are departments performing against the budget. I think that would be beneficial as well. We have given these directions in the past. I know everyone's busy doing everything they're doing. These are the types of things that I think would put the county in a position to better evaluate everything that we are doing appropriate or could it be done better.

CEO Angelo: “I agree with you Supervisor McCowen that the Board has been asking for metrics on the departments and budget tracking. And I believe we have it down to every other month.”

McCowen: “Um…”

Supervisor McCowen was probably going to say that they don’t have it down to anything like that. But the CEO didn’t want to hear that.

Angelo: “Please let me finish Supervisor McCowen. I know that you in particular have asked for monthly. I can tell you that we are working on metrics and Deputy CEO Darcie Antle has been working on the departments. One of the first actions was educating the departments with more budget training within the department than we've had in the past…”

That “training” has been going on for more than a year now. It hasn’t produced anything remotely related to monthly budget reporting. Apparently, the department staff is resistant to such training.

Angelo continued: “I believe we will have metrics for this board. I realize it's taken some time to get there. But this is a large bureaucracy that moves very slow. As far as budget tracking, we do that quarterly…”

No, Mendo does not do budget tracking monthly. What the CEO is referring to is the quarterly budget review which has nothing to do with departmental tracking.

Angelo continued: “I know you want that monthly. We are working on trying to get it to you every two months. We can try every month, we can give you figures, they will be approximate, they will not be exact.”

This is pure dithering. Nobody’s asking for “exact” information. And obviously they’re not “working on” anything because they’ve been saying that for the years that McCowen was referring to and hasn’t produced a single tracking result.

Angelo continued: “At this point in time the IT [computer/info technology] ad hoc knows we are trying to develop efficiencies within our IT systems so we basically have helped our employees do their jobs. So we have a better product for the public and for the board. It's quite possible we will need to upgrade our software again as far as trying to track the budget.”

Now the problem is software? Just a few minutes earlier it was training. Then it was, we are doing it quarterly, then we can do two months, but not one month.

Angelo continued: “Just as an example, for year-end closeout, year-end closeout is not till the end of August where June 30 is the last day of the year of the fiscal year. So when you look at two years to do close out, that means every department, has to get their claims in and everything done.”

Williams: “Not two years.”

Angelo: “Yes. Two months.”

Now it’s the time it takes to do close out? How many lame excuses is the CEO going to trot out? Close out has nothing to do with budget tracking.

Angelo continued: “But to bring in a $300 million budget and manage it every month which is in essence what we do, not to the penny, but when we give information to this Board we want it to be accurate. So we are working on this. I have an inherent belief that we can get this information to this Board as well. We will continue with this. So thank you.”

Supervisor Williams changed the subject: “Supervisor Gjerde and I met with RQMC and I still have a lot of questions about how we track success there. It [mental health services] may be successful. We may be doing better than other counties within the state. But I have a hard time conveying that to my constituents because I don't have the transparency, I don't have the data to back it. I don't have a five-year chart showing where we were and where we are headed. I think that's what we want for all the financial concerns. We want to be able to look at a profit and loss, balance sheet. I know there's a gap in technology. It takes staff to produce the documents. It should be real-time. So maybe we should refer this to the IT ad hoc to look at shifting the priority and looking at what it would take to get us there so we can make better decisions in the budgeting process.”

Oh no. Now even Supervisor Williams is getting on board the delay train.

Supervisor Williams then asked CEO Angelo what her ideal organizational chart would look like. After mentioning a few organizational ideas and options and asking the CEO’s opinion, Supervisor Williams asked the CEO what her ideal organizational chart would look like and whether it would be different than the current organizational chart.

Angelo: “It would be different. I don't know how different.”

Williams: “Would you be contracting out any services? For example, I would consider…”

Angelo, interrupting: “I feel like I'm at an inquisition. But yes I would absolutely come to this Board for the authority to contract out some services.”

Angelo chortled mirthlessly, playing the victim, as if it’s almost amusing that the poor thing has to suffer a few ordinary questions from the upstart Supervisor who she obviously resents.

Williams continued anyway: “I would like to see what that plan would look like.”

After more silly discussion about how to punt the budget discussion as far out into the future as possible, the Board then voted unanimously to: “Create an agenda item for November 5 regarding zero-based budgeting, putting public priorities on the county budget; host a workshop at the second meeting in January regarding zero-based budgeting; have the IT ad hoc work with the executive office on budget tracking and department metrics; have each supervisor work in conjunction with the executive office for district meetings on budget priorities, including priorities for the county budget.”


But then, a few minutes later the board discussed what Supervisor Dan Gjerde described as the County’s "flexible hiring freeze."

CEO Angelo described how she decides which vacancies are approved for hiring and what factors go into her decision.

Angelo: "Some of the departments believe that if they have budgeted a position then I will automatically give them the approval to fill it. That is not the case. One of the goals of a hiring freeze is not only to look at your departments and look at what you have and how those departments could work more efficiently without one or two positions but also their salary savings. So because a position is budgeted doesn't mean that I'm going to approve filling it. Because that's your savings from a hiring freeze. The numbers are fluid. One of the most difficult areas was touched on earlier today was the actual tracking every month of how much money comes in and how much money we are spending and where we are and what the percentages are for that month for that department. The numbers are fluid. But we believe those numbers are fairly close today as to where we will be at the end of the year…”

CEO Angelo had successfully contradicted herself. On the one hand, she claims she’s doing quarterly budget tracking (partial). Then she says doing budgeting tracking every two months. (Not at all.) Then she says she’s working on monthly budget reporting (not likely). Then monthly reporting is too hard because of the close-out complication. Then it’s because the budget is just too darn big. Then it’s the software, so let’s fob it off on Williams and his software committee. The CEO probably has at least ten more excuses where those came from.

But on the other hand, to make hiring decisions the CEO says she looks at “the actual tracking every month of how much money comes in and how much money we are spending and where we are and what the percentages are for that month for that department.” That’s exactly what the Board wants and which she has gone to such great lengths to avoid!

How long is the Board going to let this kind of incompetence go on? (Don’t answer that.)

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NOYO HEADLANDS, SOUTH

(Photo by Susie de Castro)

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GJERDE FILES FOR RE-ELECTION

Serving you as Fourth District Supervisor is a genuine honor. This morning I pulled papers so I can continue the work of representing you.

I hope this election is clean, focused on the issues, and is decided on who is most effective in making government responsive to our communities. This is what I do every day, working with your neighbors in every community. Our wins include: new County funding for all of our fire departments; substantially more paving of County roads; and improved County services, such as re-opening the County animal shelter on the Coast.

I never forget whose money the County is spending: yours. Or who the County is here to serve: you. If responsive, efficient government is what you want, I hope to have your support.

Thank you, Dan


and from yesterday...

LINDY PETERS TO TAKE ON GJERDE

Today I pulled papers to run for 4th District Supervisor. Many of you have encouraged me to take on this challenge, and after much thought and discussion, I have decided to do so. I will be seeking your signatures (621) and pledge to fight hard to make sure the 4th District is getting our fair share of County services and County distribution of tax dollars. I also pledge to run a clean, issue-oriented campaign. It is time for a fresh set of eyes and a fresh pair of ears to represent you.

I hope to be elected by 50% + 1 in the March primary, thereby sparing a dogfight until next November. I promise to give my full attention to City matters as my term on the Council will not be affected. Should I prevail in March, then a Council election to fill my seat will take place in November 2020 in conjunction with the General Election. I’m in it to win it

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JOHN SAKOWICZ COMMENTS ON Supervisor Gjerde’s announcement to run for re-election:

“Interesting, I liked Dan, once upon a time, but he didn't re-nominate me to the Retirement Board. After five years on the Retirement Board, my re-appointment should have been automatic. I never missed a meeting in those five years, and I'm the only member of the Retirement Board who has ever held Series 3 and Series 7 NASD/FINRA licenses, and the only member who has ever worked on Wall Street. The book on Dan is that he kowtows to CEO Angelo along with McCowen and Brown. Why? One can only guess. Meanwhile, Williams is very independent, and very bright. And, Haschak is very cautious. Haschak acts like a newly elected politician. Hopefully, Haschak will come along with Williams, me, and Mo Mulheren in a new Board of Supervisors in 2020. Brown? I'm glad she is retiring…for her own sake. She seems tired, depressed, beaten down. Has the job driven her to drink?”

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WHO KILLED HUGH DUGGINS?

Hugh was strangled up Alderpoint Road three years ago last January and we're still waiting for some clues.

Hugh was a good guy, helpful to many.

If you have any information about who killed Hugh a reward is offered:

$10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever murdered Hugh.

Call Humboldt County detectives: 707.445.7301

(Cash will also be paid for for any leads.)

(Hugh Duggins, 71, of Alderpoint was found dead in the 7000 block of Alderpoint Road on Jan. 21, 2016. According to the county coroner’s report, he died from asphyxia due to neck compression. — Redwood Times.)

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NO PG&E 'POWER SHUT OFF' IN THE NEAR FUTURE

MSP will run this feature daily during fire season of the PG&E "projection" of possible/potential "Public Safety Power Shutdowns" (PSPS). PG&E, however, may announce a PSPS with only a 24 or 48-hour notice.

None are on the horizon looking six days into the future…

PG&E said they have 2,334 miles of power lines in Mendocino County.

Here’s the forecast published Tuesday by an operational meteorologist from PG&E’s Meteorology and Analytics team: “Fair and dry weather is expected today for most of the PG&E territory except for northern Humboldt where the next weather system will spread another round of rain late this afternoon and evening. Those rain showers, mostly light, should then spread south and eastward overnight and during the day tomorrow into the Bay Area and northern San Joaquin Valley with the precipitation spreading a bit farther southward into early Thursday across the Sierra where a light dusting of snow is possible over the highest peaks.

Continued dry weather is forecast for the southern part of the territory. Fair and warmer weather is then expected to return by the end of the week and into next weekend with light offshore winds across the central and northern part of the state.

Another weather system may then produce shower activity across the northern part of the state and Sierra Sunday and into next Monday with dry weather expected elsewhere.

Breezy to gusty offshore winds may then develop early next week and these winds will be watched closely for an increase in strength. Overall, fine grass fuels are cured below 5500 – 6000’ and live fuel moistures remain near or below critical levels, but precipitation this week will increase dead fuel moisture levels across the northern areas. ”

“NOTE: This forecast is based on weather conditions and fuel moisture content only and does not include other criteria used to determine whether a PSPS may be necessary.”

(MendocinoSportsPlus)

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JIM YOUNG CALLS IT QUITS

After 17 years of coaching in the MUSD, I have decided to call it quits. I give thanks for all the support I have had from the administration and my family. Lot's of parents, lots of players--- thank you all.

Sincerely,

Jim Young

msp notes: Wow - talk about blockbusting news! We'll have more on this later - and this should be a BIG talk on the KZYX "Sports Phone" Wednesday that Young co-hosts.

(via MendocinoSportsPlus)

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VANG ARRESTED FOR KIDNAPPING

On Saturday, September 14, at about 11:35 pm, Mendocino County Sheriff's deputies noticed a vehicle driving in the 1300 block of North State Street in Ukiah.

The Deputies noticed numerous vehicle code violations on the vehicle. The vehicle pulled into a parking space and the deputies contacted the occupants.

The driver and registered owner of the vehicle was identified as Thao Vang (age 33) from Sacramento.

Vang

Vang was found to have an active felony warrant for his arrest from Butte County and was arrested without incident.

The front passenger was identified as Christine Maxwell (age 33) from Marysville (California) and the rear passenger was identified as a 34-year-old adult female from Sacramento.

Maxwell

The 34-year-old female was very upset, shaking, crying and had visible bruising on her body.

She told deputies she had been kidnapped in Sacramento four days ago by Vang. Vang reportedly transported her to a residence in Sacramento where she was held her against her will.

Deputies learned she had been continually physically abused and forced to engage in sexual intercourse with Vang numerous times.

On Saturday, the 34-year-old female was forced to travel with Vang and Maxwell to Ukiah.

The 34-year-old female feared for her life and believed Vang and Maxwell were going to kill her. Deputies located evidence supporting the reported kidnapping to include drug paraphernalia.

Investigators from the Sacramento County Sheriff's Office, the Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force, and the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Detective Unit were notified of the incident and will be taking over the investigation.

Vang was arrested for Kidnapping, Rape, False Imprisonment, Conspiracy, and the Butte County Warrant Possession of a controlled substance while armed without incident. Vang was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $175,000 bail.

Maxwell was arrested for Kidnapping and Conspiracy without incident. Maxwell was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where she was to be held in lieu of $100,000 bail.”

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SHANNON HOUSE VANISHES; HIS BROTHER AWAKENS TO FIND HIM GONE

kymkemp.com/2019/09/15/cold-case-mendocino-shannon-house-vanishes-his-brother-awakens-to-find-him-gone/

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ART! COMPTCHE!

Comptche Celebrates the Arts!

Coming to you on Saturday, September 28, 2-6, at the Community Hall on the Comptche/Ukiah Rd, 1/4 ml East of Flynn Creek Rd. Local Art Show & Sale & Wine Tasting to be enjoyed in great company of Artists & Visitors! Join the fun!

— Lynne Zickerman, Sponsor

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KZYX 30th ANNIVERSARY CONCERT PARTY

Radio Station KZYX, Mendocino County Public Broadcasting, is getting ready to observe our 30th anniversary with a gala concert and party at the Little Lake Grange in Willits on Saturday, October 19th. This will be an all-day/all-night affair, with a great lineup of live music and dancing, highlighted by Roy Rogers and the Delta Rhythm Kings and the Keystone Revisited featuring Tony Saunders. Come help us celebrate!

Doors open at noon with the music and festivities beginning at 1:00 pm and running to 11:00 pm! Tickets are $30.00 in advance and $35.00 at the door, but for folks wanting only the afternoon fun, there is a $15.00 half-day ticket that gets access from 1:00 to 5:00 pm. Here’s the schedule:

The Back Porch Project on “Dusty Roads and Dirty Strings”

KZYX’s Clay Hawkins will be broadcasting his regular Americana and Roots program, “Dusty Roads and Dirty Strings” live from the Grange. He will be joined on stage for a live performance by the Back Porch Project. The Back Porch Project combines their diverse musical backgrounds of folk, blues, classic rock, jam band and country to create a unique, high energy brand of indie folk.

Alma Latina Dance

In another live broadcast, DJ Aline co-host of “Alma Latina,” one of KZYX’s most popular programs, will lead a two-hour festive dance session from the stage at the Grange and out to the KZYX listening audience. It will be two joyful hours of dancing to exciting, adventurous Latin and World music.

The Real Sarahs

Rising stars in the west coast Americana scene, the Real Sarahs have earned their status of one of our area’s most popular performing acts, and their fame is now spreading. They’ve built their reputation on their lovely, uplifting voices, enchanting harmonies and intriguing song writing. Sarah “Songbird” Larkin, Sarah Ryan and Jen Rund create magic with voices in harmony, acoustic instruments, and the energetic connection between artists and audience. Their songs weave their way through folk, jazz, blues, bluegrass, and country. Drawn from their own journeys and life experiences, the Real Sarah’s music is honest, captivating and heartfelt.

Roy Rogers and the Delta Rhythm Kings

Roy Rogers and the Delta Rhythm Kings have brought their own style of powerhouse blues to audiences around the world for years. Rogers is the reigning king of slide guitar with a dexterous and instantly recognizable style. Or as Rolling Stone puts it, “Rogers is an exceptionally articulate slide guitarist, whether he’s scorching Robert Johnson’s ‘Ramblin’ Blues,’ taking a lovely, lyrical journey, … or rockin’ it out. One of the rare guitar heroes who values feeling over flash.”

Keystone Revisited featuring Tony Saunders

Keystone Revisited came together in response to a huge demand from fans of the Merl Saunders/Jerry Garcia Band, originators of the so-called “Jam Band.” When Saunders and Garcia got together it was pure magic. What better way to pay homage to these legendary players than with a band led by Merl’s son, Tony Saunders, who started playing with his father and Garcia when he was 18, Bill Vitt, who played with Merl and Jerry, as well, and Jeff Pevar, who has played with Phil Lesh and Friends and Jazz is Dead. At the Grange show, Keystone Revisited will play songs from their recent album and music from the Grateful Dead, Legion of Mary and other Garcia solo projects.

In addition to the music, there will be food by the Zocala Collective inside and the wonderful Pilán Kitchen food truck outside. Wine, beer and non-alcoholic drinks will be available, as well. We’ve even arranged child care, provided by the gracious folks of Nuestra Alianza on a donation basis.

Join us as we commemorate KZYX’s first 30 years on the air with a friendly and festive all day/all night party and concert! Again, that’s Saturday, October 19, with doors opening at noon and music and dancing from 1:00 to 11:00 pm!

Tickets are available online at kzyx30@brownpapertickets.com, and also in Willits at JD Redhouse & Company and Main Street Music in Willits, Mendocino Book Company in Ukiah, and Moon Lady in Laytonville.

We’d like to thank our generous wine, beer, food and services providers, Parducci Winery, Frey Vineyards, Barra of Mendocino, Lagunitas Brewery, Grocery Outlet and the Old West Inn. Lights will be provided by After Dark and sound by Ancestor Radio Productions.

For more information, please contact David Hulse-Stevens of the KZYX Board of Directors, at 707-972-6436 or via email at david.hulsestephens@gmail.com.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, SEPTEMBER 16-17, 2019

Arnold, Burrows, Carson

SHANNON ARNOLD, Ukiah. Shoplifting, failure to appear, probation revocation. (Frequent Flyer)

TINA BURROWS, Covelo. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun.

JOSEPH CARSON, Ukiah. Domestic abuse, probation revocation.

Champion, Charles, Degroot

MEGAN CHAMPION, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

DUNCAN CHARLES, Fort Bragg. Reckless driving (sentencing), probation revocation.

JENNIFER DEGROOT, Ukiah. Failure to appear. (Frequent Flyer)

DeWolf, Heath, Laflin

HEATHER DEWOLF, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent flyer.)

JACOB HEATH, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, resisting. (Frequent flyer.)

ADAM LAFLIN, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation.

Maxwell, McCosker, Plum

CHRISTINE MAXWELL, Highland/Ukiah. Kidnapping-forcibly or instilling fear, steals, takes, holds, detains, arrests any person, conspiracy.

DEBBIE MCCOSKER, Ukiah. Trespassing, probation revocation.

MONICA PLUM, Healdsburg/Ukiah. DUI.

Potter, Pugh, Randolph

BRIAN POTTER, Mertle Creek, Oregon/Fort Bragg. Criminal threats.

SHALA PUGH, Ukiah. Battery on emergency responder, probation revocation.

MARK RANDOLPH, Ukiah. DUI, hit&run with property damage, suspended license (for DUI).

Reyes-Ramos, Roston, Ruiz

ANTONIO REYES-RAMOS, Ukiah. Concealed dirk-dagger. paraphernalia, suspended license (for DUI), resisting.

BOBBY ROSTON, Ukiah. Parole violation.

AGUSTIN RUIZ, Lakeport/Ukiah. Probation revocation.

Sanchez, Vang, Williams

ELIJAH SANCHEZ, Ukiah. Stolen vehicle.

THAO VANG, Sacramento/Ukiah. Rapy by force, violence, duress, menace, fear of bodily injury. Kidnapping for robbery/rape, false imprisonment, controlled substance while armed with firearm, conspiracy.

LYDELL WILLIAMS, Covelo. Community supervision violation.

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THE 'OFFICIAL SECRETS' MOVIE VS. JOE BIDEN'S LIES ABOUT THE IRAQ WAR

The current Democratic frontrunner did everything he could to enable the Iraq war, and—still—takes no responsibility for doing so.

by Norman Solomon

Joe Biden’s recent efforts to deny his record of support for invading Iraq are marvels of evasion, with falsehoods that have been refuted by one well-documented appraisal after another after another. This month, Biden claimed that his vote for war on the Senate floor was somehow not a vote for war. Ironically, while he was spinning anew to deny the undeniable, theaters nationwide began screening a movie that exposes the deceptive approach to the Iraq war that Biden exemplifies.

Historically factual, “Official Secrets” is concerned with truth—and the human consequences of evading or telling it. Katharine Gun, portrayed by actress Keira Knightley, was a worker at the British intelligence agency GCHQ. Risking years in prison, she did everything she could to prevent the Iraq war, and took responsibility for doing so.

Biden did everything he could to enable the Iraq war, and—still—takes no responsibility for doing so.

More than 16 years ago, Biden and Gun were at cross purposes as the Iraq invasion neared. Subterfuge vs. candor. Misinformation vs. information. War vs. peace. Today, their public voices contrast just as sharply.

Gun recalls that both President George W. Bush and especially British Prime Minister Tony Blair were “desperate to get U.N. cover” for the impending invasion of Iraq in early 2003. On the last day of January of that year, Gun saw a memo from the U.S. National Security Agency that showed the two governments were working together to wiretap and otherwise surveil diplomats from countries on the U.N. Security Council—for purposes such as blackmail—to win a vote to authorize an invasion.

Gun became a whistleblower by providing the memo to the Observer newspaper in London. As she said in a recent interview with Salon, “My intention was to prevent the war. . . . I felt there was this information that was absolutely crucial, it had the potential to derail the rush to war, and I felt people had the right to know.”

Biden—who played a pivotal role in the rush to war as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee—proceeded as though people had no right to know. He excluded critical voices and key information from the committee’s high-profile hearings in mid-summer 2002, deceptively serving as the most important lawmaker ushering the war resolution to the Senate floor, where he voted for it in mid-October. The war began five months later. It has never ended.

But now, on the campaign trail, Biden is eager to scramble and rewrite history. He’s displaying the kind of disregard for facts that paved the way for the invasion of Iraq in the first place.

A basic flaw in Biden’s latest Iraq doubletalk has to do with his inversion of actual timing. Either he can’t remember when the Iraqi government agreed to allow U.N. weapons inspectors back into Iraq—or he’s so desperate to keep lying about his actual record on the Iraq war that he can’t bring himself to be truthful.

Biden is claiming that he voted for the war resolution so it would be possible to get U.N. weapons inspectors into Iraq. During the ABC debate last week, Biden said that he voted for the Iraq invasion authorization “to allow inspectors to go in to determine whether or not anything was being done with chemical weapons or nuclear weapons.” But his claim has the timing backwards.

The Iraqi government announced on September 16, 2002—with a letter hand-delivered to U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan—that it would allow the U.N. weapons inspectors back in “without conditions.” The New York Times reported the big news under the headline "U.N. Inspectors Can Return Unconditionally, Iraq Says." That was a full 25 days before Biden voted with virtually every Republican and most Democratic senators to approve the Iraq war resolution.

How could that resolution he voted for on October 11 be viewed as a tool for leverage so the Iraqi government would (in Biden’s words) "allow inspectors to go in”—when the Iraqi government had already agreed to allow inspectors several weeks earlier?

I have a vivid memory of when the news of that agreement broke. I was in Baghdad near the end of a trip with an independent delegation organized and sponsored by the Institute for Public Accuracy (where I’m executive director) that included then-Congressman Nick Rahall and former Senator James Abourezk. We had just met with Iraq’s number two official, Tariq Aziz. In its coverage, the Washington Post reported on September 16: “Iraq maintains that all its weapons of mass destruction have been destroyed. The deputy prime minister, Tariq Aziz, insisted . . . that even if his government readmitted the weapons inspectors, the United States and Britain would proceed with military action. ‘It's doomed if you do, doomed if you don't,’ he said.”

Hours later, when the news came that Iraq would allow U.N. weapons inspectors without restrictions, it removed the get-the-inspectors-into-Iraq excuse for the war resolution that was then making its way through Congress. But it’s an excuse that Biden has now dusted off and pressed into service, twisting the timeline of actual events.

The congressional resolution that Biden spoke for and voted for on the Senate floor was clear, stating: “The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to (1) defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and (2) enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq.”

Four months later, in February 2003, at a time when Katharine Gun was anxiously waiting to see whether the NSA document that she had leaked to a British news outlet would actually be revealed to the public, Biden was proclaiming his support for the imminent invasion. He told a Chamber of Commerce meeting in Delaware: “I supported the resolution to go to war. I am not opposed to war to remove weapons of mass destruction from Iraq.”

After the invasion, Biden continued to support the war. At the end of July 2003, four months after the war began, he said in a speech at the Brookings Institution: “Nine months ago, I voted with my colleagues to give the president of the United States of America the authority to use force, and I would vote that way again today. It was the right vote then and it would be a correct vote today.”

After another year had gone by, Biden wrote a magazine article that tactically criticized how the war was being waged while still defending his role in helping to launch it: “A year and a half ago, I voted to give President Bush the authority to use force in Iraq. I still believe my vote was just—but the president’s use of that authority was unwise in ways I never imagined.”

As the Washington Post recently noted, “Not until November 2005 did Biden acknowledge that his vote was a mistake.” Even then, on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Biden tried to shift the blame onto President Bush for turning out to be unworthy of his trust. “In hindsight,” the interviewer asked, “knowing everything you know now about the absence of weapons of mass destruction, was your vote a mistake?” Biden replied: “It was a mistake. It was a mistake to assume the president would use the authority we gave him properly.”

Only one of Biden’s opponents for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination was in Congress at the time of the Iraq war resolution. Bernie Sanders (who I’m actively supporting) voted no.

This summer, Biden has spun out with new mendacity about the Iraq invasion. On the debate stage at the end of July, he upped the dishonest ante by claiming: “From the moment ‘shock and awe’ started, from that moment, I was opposed to the effort, and I was outspoken as much as anyone at all in the Congress.” The historical record shows that claim to be preposterous.

And backwards timing is not the only major flaw in Biden’s claim that he voted for the war resolution to increase the prospects for U.N. weapons inspectors to get into Iraq. An underlying problem with his current narrative is the reality that going to the United Nations Security Council for authorization to launch a war on Iraq was always a quest for a fig leaf to cover U.S. plans for naked aggression.

New York Times pundit Thomas Friedman was unusually candid when, on November 13, 2002—one month after Biden had voted to approve the war resolution—he wrote in a column: “The Bush team discovered that the best way to legitimize its overwhelming might—in a war of choice—was not by simply imposing it, but by channeling it through the U.N.”

It was this bogus push to supposedly legitimize the pending invasion that Katharine Gun took such a huge personal risk to expose, informing the world about the intense surveillance underway to gain illicit leverage over U.N. Security Council delegations.

“Gun’s revelation showed that the U.S. and British governments were not only lying to get to invade Iraq, they were engaging in outright violations of international law to blackmail whole countries to get in line,” Institute for Public Accuracy senior analyst Sam Husseini wrote. He told me: “The insidiousness of Biden is that he’s effectively saying that Bush should have manipulated the U.N. better.”

Overall, as he pursues the presidency, Joe Biden is persisting with dismal innovations to falsify his record on the Iraq war. In the process, he’s operating completely at odds with what the “Official Secrets” film and Katharine Gun are all about.

(Norman Solomon is co-founder and national coordinator of RootsAction.org. His books include "War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death" and "Made Love, Got War: Close Encounters with America's Warfare State." He is the founder and executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy.)

* * *

* * *

GOVERNOR NEWSOM SAYS HE’LL VETO BILL BLOCKING TRUMP ROLLBACK OF ENDANGERED FISH SPECIES PROTECTIONS

by Dan Bacher

The California Assembly passed Senate Bill 1, legislation blocking Trump administration rollbacks of environmental regulations, on Friday, September 13, on a 43-21 party-line vote.

But Governor Gavin Newsom announced the next day that he plans to veto the bill. Newsom said he backs the principles behind the legislation, but doesn’t support the bill as written.

“I fully support the principles behind Senate Bill 1: to defeat efforts by the President and Congress to undermine vital federal protections that protect clean air, clean water and endangered species,” Newsom said in a statement. “Senate Bill 1 does not, however, provide the state with any new authority to push back against the Trump Administration’s environmental policies and it limits the state’s ability to rely upon the best available science to protect our environment.”

Senate President Pro tem Toni Atkins said she was “strongly disappointed” with Newsom’s announcement that he intends to veto the legislation.

“SB 1 is the product of a full year’s worth of work, so clearly I am strongly disappointed on its impending fate,” said Atkins. “Governor Gavin Newsom has been a partner on working to ensure a bright future that includes an environment that is clean and healthy and working Californians who are safe and secure.”

“However, we respectfully disagree regarding SB 1. The bill provides the authority to backstop baseline standards when they are rolled back. SB 1 also clearly states that state agencies shall make determinations based on the best scientific information available,” she said.

“But it’s critical that the Governor and legislature continue working together to meet the challenges California faces – including dangerous rollbacks by the federal government. Not only must we push against the rollbacks that have already made, we must start preparing now to push back against the Trump assaults we know will be coming,” Atkins added.

SB 1, the California Environmental, Public Health, and Workers Defense Act of 2019 ensures that “protections afforded to Californians under federal environmental and labor laws and regulations as of January 2017, remain in place in the event that President Trump weakens or repeals any of those federal laws or regulations.”

The legislation would lock in protections in effect as of January 2017 under the federal Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, Fair Labor Standards Act, Occupational Safety and Health Act and Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act.

Kathryn Phillips, Director of Sierra Club California, also said Newsom’s statement that he plans to veto SB 1 is “disappointing.”

“Based on what I’ve read of the statement in the newspapers, the governor isn’t aware that some of the more controversial elements have been resolved in amendments,” she stated. “However, a key sentence remains in the bill that would essentially ensure that the Upper Sacramento River, that ultimately feeds into the Bay Delta and is part of the Central Valley Project, would be protected by the California Endangered Species Act. Certain water agencies and industrial agriculture interests are opposed to that sentence. They have tried for decades to weaken the federal Endangered Species Act so they can continue over drawing from the Delta system. They fear this sentence will prevent them from taking full advantage of the Trump rollbacks.”

“We’re hoping that, before he actually has the bill in front of him, Newsom will consult with public interest water and legal experts, including the attorney general. We think he will then understand how important to California’s environment and worker safety SB 1 is,” Phillips continued.

“It would be a shame for the governor to cap off his first legislative session by vetoing a bill as important to California and Californians as SB1. Trump will certainly frame a veto as a sign that he—Trump—is on the right track as he continues to roll back environmental protections,” she emphasized

She also said one thing that has been missed in much of the reporting is that

this bill is also about clean air, clean water and worker safety regulations. “This bill is needed to protect those areas as well,” Phillips concluded.

Fishing and environmental groups are strongly urging Governor Newsom to sign the bill.

“Signing SB 1 should be should be an easy call for Governor Newsom, siding with California instead of the Trump administration,” said John McManus, President of the Golden Gate Salmon Association, before Newsom announced his plans to veto the legislation. “Senate President tem Toni Atkins and the California legislature showed real political courage by passing this bill to block Trump administration efforts to gut environmental and salmon protections. The California salmon fishing industry is facing a wave of attacks from Washington DC. This could be the most important piece of environmental legislation passed in the country this year.”

“The California legislature may have just saved the state’s salmon fishing industry by passing SB1,” stated Noah Oppenheim, Executive Director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations, also before Newsom announced that he plans to veto the bill. “We’re having a wonderful season this year thanks to 2017’s rains, but if the federal administration’s proposed water grab framework were forced upon is, the next drought could wipe us off the map. Governor Newsom should feel proud of his opportunity to defend our fisheries, which provide local seafood to all Californians, and sign this bill.”

Before the bill was passed, corporate agribusiness and the water contractors in the San Joaquin Valley pressured California Senator Dianne Feinstein and Congressmen Jim Costa (CA-16, John Garamendi (CA-03), TJ Cox (CA-16) and Josh Harder (CA-10) to attack some of the most important provisions of SB 11.

On September 6, Feinstein and Costa, Garamendi, Gox and Harder sent a letter to Governor Newsom urging him to include two amendments to Senate Bill 1 (SB1), a piece of legislation that Costa claimed “would have profound impacts on the long term availability of water in the Valley.” This letter, along with others from agribusiness and water contractors, apparently had a huge impact on Newsom, resulting in his vetoing of SB 1.

“We applaud Senate President Pro Tempore Atkins for protecting California’s environment against President Trump’s rollbacks of overarching federal regulations through SB 1. However we urge you to insist on two amendments to the bill to preserve the viability of potential voluntary agreements over proposed outflow requirements for the San Joaquin and Sacramento River,” the lawmakers wrote.

The first provision of the bill that the legislators oppose is Section 3c, which would retain current biological opinions regarding permitting decisions. The legislators said it “would prevent the state from incorporating the latest science and other information in permitting decisions.”

”This provision would freeze in place the state and federal water project incidental take permits and biological opinions that were developed over 10 years ago, regardless of whether more recent science or other related policies such as outflow requirements suggest modifications to the permits (proposed new section 2076.7 of the Fish and Game Code.) Without additional flexibility, this provision would severely restrict voluntary agreements whereby water users would support additional flows and habitat improvements for salmon and other imperiled fish in return for salmon and other imperiled fish in return for salmon level of watersupply reliability,” they wrote.

The second provision they oppose is Section 2 of the bill that would require the Bureau of Reclamation to comply with the California Endangered Species Act (CESA).

“Given significant legal uncertainty over where the State can modify the application of federal law, this provision would generate years of litigation and uncertainty over which environmental standards apply to the Central Valley Project. In the midst of such fundamental uncertainty, it will be impossible to develop any voluntary settlements of Sacramento and San Joaquin River outflow standards,” they claimed.

In an interview with me, GGSA’s John McManus took issue with the contention of Senator Feinstein and Congressmen Costa, Garamendi, Harder and Cox that SB 1 “would prevent the state from incorporating the latest science and other information in permitting decisions.”

“That letter cites new science on species that won’t be used if SB 1 goes into effect,” said McManus. “This is completely false. SB 1 would allow the state to review and revise any of the species protections adopted. The state would be able to use any and all science to protect its wildlife.”

Second, McManus pointed out that “all of the new science that has emerged since the salmon biological opinion of 2009 points to the need for more protections, not less. There’s no new science that’s credible that suggests we need less protections for salmon and other wildlife in the Central Valley.”

Third, “when you look at signers of the letter, it can’t be any surprise that Feinstein is the first to sign. What’s shocking and disappointing is to see John Garamendi, whose district includes salmon habitat and rivers in the Sacramento Valley, take the position that the state shouldn’t have authority over the state water. Here’s Garamendi arguing with the others that the federal government should be immune to any form of state oversight. Many people would consider that as being disloyal to California and selling out our natural resources,” said McManus.

After Newsom’s announcement that he plans to veto SB 1, it is no surprise that the total contributions from agriculture in his 2018 campaign for Governor were $637,398. Newsom received $58,400 from Beverly Hills agribusiness tycoon Stewart Resnick, $58,400 from Lynda Resnick and $58,400 from E.J. Gallo. Agribusiness tycoons are strident supporters of the voluntary agreements and the Delta Tunnel — and are among the strongest proponents of attacks on the Endangered Species Act, a landmark federal environmental law that SB 1 would help protect. A vetoed bill is returned to the house of origin, where a vote may be taken to override the governor’s veto. A two-thirds vote of both houses is required to override a veto. However, there has been no override in the California Legislature since 1979.

(Dan Bacher is an environmental journalist in Sacramento. He can be reached at: Dan Bacher danielbacher@fishsniffer.com.)

* * *

* * *

FLOW KANA HIGHLIGHTS EMERALD TRIANGLE FARMERS IN NEW VIDEO

forbes.com/sites/irisdorbian/2019/09/16/flow-kana-highlights-emerald-triangle-farmers-in-new-video-series/

* * *

* * *

ONWARD TO THE BALLOT BOX, by Jonah Raskin

Hi, I’m good ole boy Joe Biden

under Obama the veep

call me a creep.

Yeah and I be Cory Booker

Garden State gov

and I’m no dove.

Over here Pete Buttigieg

Got a husband in South Bend

But that ain’t a trend.

Yo, Bill de Blasio my name

of New York I made a mess

I’ll turn USA livable less.

Si, senor, me llamo Julian Castro

only one in race a Latino

I win and we end up in Reno.

Check me out I be Kamal Harris

boy, gimme the keys,

I bring you down to your knees.

Howdy partner I be Beto O’Rourke,

Yeah, I've been a dork

ever since to my house came the stork.

Me, I’m democratic socialist,

Bernie Sanders my name

losin’ is my favorite game.

Professor Liz Warren call me

I made heaps of mistakes;

Don’t be sure I’ll nail Wall Street snakes.

Om, Om, om, guru

Marianne Williamson, follow me

I‘ll lead you up a bamboo tree.

Folks, let me confess I’m

the racist-ist, sexist-ist Pres ever

and the White House I’m leavin’ never.

* * *

BUTTE WITH ALFALFA FOREGROUND, Central Wyoming

(Photo by Harvey Reading)

47 Responses to "MCT: Wednesday, September 18, 2019"

  1. Shitbird   September 18, 2019 at 4:26 am

    Something real promising over in Lucerne, not sure there has been any coverage over here (aside from 1 radio news summary). The New Paradigm College has started a crucial crowd-source funding:
    https://npc2020.causevox.com

    Reply
    • Bruce McEwen   September 18, 2019 at 7:42 am

      Something promising in the search for Shannon House turned up in the San Diego Union-Trib. this a.m. with the admission by the USN that they have been tracking several UFOs this week. And the only way I’ve ever heard of for your bro to go missing so suddenly is by way of one of those “beam me up, Scotty” kind of things from Star Trek — and before you start in making rationalizations about Star Trek being gadgetry being fictional, pause to recall that we are already wayyy beyond the flip-phones Captain Kirk used.

      Reply
      • Bruce McEwen   September 18, 2019 at 9:34 am

        Another curious coincidence: Last Friday, September 13th, the full moon, one of those awesomely vogue “Super Moons” we’ve heard so much about in recent years, was nearly two hours tardy in rising, and only a hugely disappointing little tiny silver disc the size of a dime when it finally did get around to showing up –!– late, unconscionably late.

        Reply
      • Harvey Reading   September 18, 2019 at 10:35 am

        Not me. I still have a Motorala Star-Tac from 2002. Still works fine with Verizon and can’t be tracked; if it is turned off, it’s really off. If I was paranoid, I can easily remove the easily-replaceable battery, too. And I’ve got an unused spare Star-Tak, as well (sorta long, boring story), though it looks like the current one will last longer than me. It’s off most of the time, since I only turn it on to make long-dstance calls.

        By the way anyone expecting me to believe the crap being peddled about UFOs can take a flying leap. No advanced species would have the least bit of interest in this gutted planet and its moronic, low-grade inhabitants, except perhaps as some sort of zoo-like attraction, all guvamint and nooze media propaganda aside. What the hell is the San Diego noozepaper anyway? Sounds like a conservative tabloid.

        Reply
      • Shitbird   September 18, 2019 at 2:52 pm

        Just finished now another lecture for the close encounters of the 3rd and 4th kind:

        https://cosmic-pluralism-studies.academy/the-work-of-dr-ardy-sixkiller-clarke/

        Y’all are grownup enough for this material (except for Harvey), I hope.

        Hey Ardy Clarke fans! Her 4th book is out.

        Reply
        • Harvey Reading   September 18, 2019 at 7:14 pm

          LOL. Enjoy your dreamworld. The boogie men are a comin’!

          Reply
  2. Harvey Reading   September 18, 2019 at 6:49 am

    Booker a garden state gov? Thought he was a New Jersey senator after mayoring Newark.

    Reply
    • Bruce Anderson   September 18, 2019 at 2:19 pm

      You are correct, Harv.

      Reply
  3. George Hollister   September 18, 2019 at 6:56 am

    “MENDO JUST CAN’T DO MONTHLY BUDGET REPORTING”

    “Metrics” are essential, but metrics for what? There is a need for metrics of success, as defined by the BOS. What are the desired outcomes, from the money that is being spent? That includes other people’s money. It appears we have a way to go, but we’re going in the right direction. Real budget oversight is needed to begin with.

    Reply
    • James Marmon   September 18, 2019 at 7:54 am

      Reduced crisis situations and hospitalizations would be desirable outcomes. Those numbers are increasing at an alarming rate.

      “…between FY 2016-17 and FY 2018 there was a 17.3% increase in inpatient psychiatric placements, and the average number of persons receiving inpatient psychiatric care increased from 11.7 to 15.1 per day, an increase of 29%.

      The rate of growth in Mendocino County’s utilization of inpatient psychiatric care between FY 2016-17 and FY 2017-18 should alarm public officials and the public. This high level of utilization and its associated costs are not in line with the BHRS Mental Health Department’s mission to deliver services “in the least restrictive, most accessible environment within a coordinated system of care that is respectful of a person’s family, language, heritage and culture.” Further, the costs associated with this level of care are not sustainable over time. These data reveal a serious weakness in the overall composition of the County’s mental health services continuum – there are no meaningful alternatives to inpatient psychiatric care, and there are insufficient front-end services that support persons with mental illness and reduce the incidence of crisis conditions.”

      -Lee Kemper (gap analysis)

      James Marmon MSW
      Former Mental Health Specialist
      Sacramento, Placer, and Lake Counties.

      Reply
    • John Robert   September 18, 2019 at 11:40 am

      Williams turned turtle. He was bought off as we watched.
      Throw a bone to the IT rumbling stomach. All is forgiven.

      The Board of Supervisors should fire CEO Angelo immediately. Anyone not willing to take that stand should be elected off the board.
      Start negotiations now. See how much it takes to buy her contract out, before the new board in 2020.

      Reply
    • Harvey Reading   September 18, 2019 at 12:33 pm

      Never trust anyone who uses the word “metrics”. It’s as inane as the phrase “reaching out”.

      Reply
  4. Michael Koepf   September 18, 2019 at 6:58 am

    All thumbs up to the dauntless Mark Scaramella the Lone Ranger verses our dysfunctional county government bleeding money like a broken ATM. Carmen Angelo, who assumes accountability is an insult, must be shown the door, followed by McGowen with Gjerde tied to his tail. (as usual)

    Reply
    • James Marmon   September 18, 2019 at 10:21 am

      James Green, 1st. district supervisor candidate, thinks they’re all doing a great job and don’t deserve any of public criticism they’re getting.

      Sako 2020! 1st. district supervisor candidate

      Reply
      • James Marmon   September 18, 2019 at 1:30 pm

        I really don’t think anyone that Carre Brown endorses can win in that district, a lot of people are unhappy with the last 10 years, she has really let the folks down. Furthermore, this James Green will just be an extension of the new president of Mendocino County Farm Bureau, “Hack and Squirt” George Hollister, Measure V denier.

        James Marmon MSW

        Reply
  5. Michael Koepf   September 18, 2019 at 8:29 am

    “I will not laugh when they say Israel wants peace…” From a cartoon in today’s AVA.
    Bravo, Anderson Valley Advertiser, only one anti-israeli, anti semitic offering this week. (so far)

    Reply
    • Bruce Anderson   September 18, 2019 at 8:41 am

      Right, Mike. Any criticism of the apartheid state of Israel is anti-semitic.

      Reply
      • Michael Koepf   September 18, 2019 at 9:33 am

        Right, Bruce, week in week out, the hits on the Hebrews in Israel keep coming, but from where we do not know. (al Jazeera?) However, have you ever considered a bit of balance? For instance: Saudi Arabian media often attacks Jews in books, news articles, at their Mosques and what some describe as antisemitic satire. Is the mighty AVA following suit? Iran and Saudi Arabia impose the death penalty for being gay, and you’ll undoubtedly be hung twice if you’re a jew. “Apartheid state?” Arab, Muslim Israelis compose 21% of the population of Israel. They vote and have full citizenship rights. And, while I’m on this sad subject that mirrors events and slanders in the German press during the 1930s, have you, bold crusader of truth, looked into the persecution of jewish students on American campuses today?

        Reply
        • Bruce Anderson   September 18, 2019 at 11:27 am

          O hell yeah. We look to the Saudis for direction while Trump and Netanyahu are hand in glove with them. On the off chance you’re taking in any new information, there’s an excellent documentary featuring retired directors of the Mossad, all of whom were unanimous in their opinion that present Israeli policy towards their Palestinian
          captives is suicidal.

          Reply
          • Michael Koepf   September 18, 2019 at 4:01 pm

            Well, here’s some old information that may not have reached Boonville yet. In the real world of the Middle East as opposed to the imagined world of lefty, woke America, the Palestinians are only captives of Hamas. Then there is Hezbollah, directly to the north of Israel whose proclaimed goal is to eliminate the Jewish state.

            Reply
      • Louis Bedrock   September 18, 2019 at 10:07 am

        Bruce:

        How dare you call the state, which, according to Golda Meir was given to the Jews by God (no-one has seen the deed), an “apartheid state” Just give it a few years and there will be no Palestinians to be “aparted”.

        I was born Jewish. Screw Israel. It’s a blot on my conscience and should be a blot on every Jew’s conscience. For me “Never Again” means never again to anyone. What is being done to the Palestinians is a holocaust.
        They are not the ones that sent Jews to gas chambers and they should not be the ones that pay for it.

        Koeph’s ignorance on this matter, and on most matters, is appalling.

        https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-44881554

        Reply
        • Michael Koepf   September 18, 2019 at 10:23 am

          Well, Bedrock, my name is spelled KOEPF. By the way, is Bedrock your real name or your nome de lachete when posting on this sight? Identify yourself. So sorry concerning your self loathing. My condolences, but you’re beyond help and compassion for your ignorance relating the history of persecution for the ancestors of the woman who brought you into this world.

          Reply
          • Harvey Reading   September 18, 2019 at 1:10 pm

            Speaking of ignorance, Mr. Koepf (“pal” that you pretend to be), you should take a good long look into the mirror.

            Reply
            • Harvey Reading   September 18, 2019 at 1:30 pm

              It also occurs to me Mike, ol’ “buddy”, ol’ “pal”, that you are the biggest anti-semite of all, what with your self-defeating tactics.

              Reply
              • Michael Koepf   September 18, 2019 at 3:44 pm

                Hmmm. Dearest Harv, your reasoning escapes me. Perhaps you can explain, but you’ve been posting a lot lately, thus, all I can say is that even lack of reasoning can run out of gas.

                PS. Be careful in the powderhouse, old pal. It still might contain some left over dynamite and that hot air that comes out of your mouth could easily set it off.

                PS. Next time you get down to Rivertown, let me know I’ll buy you one to cool off.

                Reply
                • Harvey Reading   September 18, 2019 at 4:20 pm

                  I figured it was a little too deep for you.

                  Toodles, sweetie.

                  Reply
                  • Bruce McEwen   September 18, 2019 at 6:49 pm

                    That’s right, Harv, you need to check out. And Mr. Koepf has gone over the top, too, accusing our Editor-in-Chief of anti-Semitism when for the last several weeks our illustrious EIC has been savaged by the racist and bigoted Pat KIttle — for, basically, the same charges that Koepf is belly-aching about, in the other extreme, and very much in the same words of betrayal.

                    Shentlemen, shentlemen, shentlemen, this is a measure, let it be a guide, to the extreme distances our differences have been stretched —!– under the current administration, to the breaking point, as it were: But to blame the fellow in the middle, to cast aspersions of failure on the referee for not ascending to you or your opponent’s state of fanaticism is, well, rather unsporting and, honestly, quite stupid, on the part of both parties.

                    I don’t expect much in the way of self-examination– let alone a murmur of apology from the intellectually mousey and the morally scardy-cat, the avowed racist and anti-Semite Mr. KIttle; but you, Mr. Koepf, you have always struck me as a reasonable man, of the stature that can stand up to his occasional mistakes, his infrequent hasty conclusions, a man who can stand up and admit he may have been rash and, in the event, retract, et cetera…

                    Reply
                    • Harvey Reading   September 18, 2019 at 7:16 pm

                      Go to bed, McEwen.

          • Bruce McEwen   September 18, 2019 at 7:13 pm

            Very astute, Mr. Koepf: you have an ear for the hisses of an asp, as in our old godless snake Louis’s comments, and his fanaticism about his holy goddamn atheism, the poisonous viper!

            Reply
            • Harvey Reading   September 18, 2019 at 7:19 pm

              Speaking of the brays of an ass, McEwen … you seem to be in your usual form tonight.

              Reply
  6. Betsy Cawn   September 18, 2019 at 8:36 am

    Cold Case Mendocino — scrolled through everything on the facebook page (bravo/brava everyone!); did not see any mention of Kadijah Britton, haven’t seen anything lately in AVA or other local/regional media, just wondering . . .

    Great job, Mr. LaFever, and community members!

    Reply
    • Bruce McEwen   September 18, 2019 at 8:59 am

      Kadijah Britton is calendared for a Temporary Restraining Order in Department G, Judge Ann Moorman’s court on Monday, September 30th, at 5:00 p.m., and Melissa Britton is the other party. Missing since early February, Kadijah has been presumed dead (probably murdered) all this time and it seems more than likely Sheriff Allman would have notified the public if she had been found, or suddenly appeared, but all we’ve heard was that MCSO were dragging a small lake or pond for her body earlier this summer. I won’t be in town on Sept. 30th, and it’s curious that a hearing would be calendared for after five o’clock, but someone should go (if they can still get into the courthouse after five), and perhaps alert the sheriff.

      Reply
      • Betsy Cawn   September 18, 2019 at 9:17 am

        Mr. McEwan, could you please explain to this ignorant reader — who is requesting the TRO against who, and what DA is advocating for it, and why?

        Reply
        • Bruce McEwen   September 18, 2019 at 9:46 am

          The DA is not involved.

          A TRO is brought by the complaining party, listed first in the name of the case (for instance Us s. Them) on the calendar as the plaintiff, in this case, Melissa Britton. A temporary restraining order will have been issued by a police officer or sheriff’s deputy, after taking a credible declaration from the complaining party; this is the TRO and it will be served by that officer or deputy on the defendant, in this case Kadijah; and then a court date will be set for a judge to hear the complaint and decide whether or not to sign the TRO and make it permanent (3-5 years, depending on legal factors I’m not familiar with).

          Reply
          • Bruce McEwen   September 18, 2019 at 1:09 pm

            I just spoke with a source, a close relative of Kadijah’s, and I asked my source, “Do you know Melissa Britton?”
            “She’s a … cousin [of the missing woman].”
            As to the calendaring of the case after the courthouse closes, subtle me, I get it, finally (after your own marvelously Socratic example I confess my own stupidity in these legal tactics) the person bringing the suit is either malicious, as my source suspects, or haunted, my own suspicion.

            Reply
            • Dina Polkinghorne   September 18, 2019 at 3:53 pm

              Hi Bruce – Law enforcement doesn’t issue a temporary restraining order (TRO), only a judge can do that at a hearing. Law enforcement can however call a judge directly (meaning without a hearing) to ask for a 5 day Emergency Protective Order (EPO) if they think the person needs immediate protection until an ex parte hearing can be scheduled a few days later. An ex parte hearing is kind of like a pre hearing, hearing to determine if there is enough information/evidence to move forward with a (TRO) hearing. Sometimes a judge can let the ex parte hearing take place even if the other party has not been served or notified in advance. A TRO hearing does however require the other party to be served. Just want to also mention that if an alleged DV victim calls 9-11 and law enforcement comes out, if they are in fear for their safety they can ask the officer to ask a judge for an EPO. Not a guarantee they will, but if you think you need an EPO, ask. They can also ask the officer to call Project Sanctuary and we can do some crisis intervention. Thx, Dina P

              Reply
              • Bruce McEwen   September 18, 2019 at 7:25 pm

                You are too kind Dina, it’s always nice to get the legal beagle word, all the ducks properly aligned, and I apologize for presuming to have any idea (let alone know) what the heck I was talking about, but my fellow layperson asked my help, and I trust you won’t file charges for the inaccuracies in my silly post, though I should have made it clear I ain’t no damn lawyer.

                Reply
  7. Betsy Cawn   September 18, 2019 at 9:14 am

    County “management”: Coming from a different place on budget reporting, responsible for a few million bucks allocated to (1) department overhead costs, (2) project-specific costs that were the key indicators using GANTT planning and tracking tools, and (3) general services provided to a variety of other internal departments [within a tightly managed division of a global corporation], I have observed the Lake County board of supervisors, departments, and administration of “fund units” closely since 2007. The system used for generation of annual budgets and fund allocations — winning General Accounting Standards Board awards for their “optional” reports called “Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports” — is as opaque as their non-existent public information process.

    I would like to see, for example, tracking of all “obligated” revenues (such as State Transportation Improvement Program” funds for a long-delayed “road widening” project for which the supervisors voted to approve about $11M several years ago that theoretically should be accounted for by all implementation costs, and reported annually with key milestone completion, etc.).

    Department costs, expenditures, and revenue allocations should be crystal clear, as well as multi-department/agency expenditures for “programs” that are coordinated by a responsible program manager.

    Workforce costs, including salary/wage/benefits/administration should be reported with linkage to funding sources, that themselves are reviewed for expenditure monthly, to enable program management to oversee major milestone/timeline completion, adjustment of timelines reflecting new deadlines and cost/expenditures — which is a simple way to monitor appropriate use of allocated workforce hours.

    In addition to the lack of specifics that would satisfy these accounting features, we have the total lack of accountability of the top elected officials themselves. They do not, apparently, have to turn in any kind of a report showing what time was spent on which assignment (to a vast number of “committees, boards, and commissions” that some never show up for and others use for forwarding their avowed intentions to benefit “their districts”), nor do they have any record management obligations.

    Particularly galling is the fact that the supervisors amass mountains of records during their tenures, that are sent to the landfill upon their departure — no archiving, no review to cull important documents related to said “committee, board, commission” RESULTS, just “seeya.”

    Our new administration (third CAO since 1980s) began in 2016 and since that time the public’s access to public records has become worse and worse. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the “Assistant Clerk to the Board of Supervisors” was intimate with all management records such as the “committees/boards/commissions” — formed by local necessity or to accommodate state mandates — and most willing to provide with no fuss/no muss.

    Too willing, and too knowledgeable, I guess, because her successor was immediately groomed to be “more professional” (friendly but unhelpful) and graduated quickly to greater responsibilities, followed by a succession of tight-lipped pleasant but “powerless” greeters who must refer to the now-invisible “Assistant Clerk to the Board” — ensconced in a warren of closet-like offices — who demands a written request for any such public document and requires that review of those documents be “supervised” by front office staff.

    And that’s at the “front desk” of the administration; stonewalls protecting the Auditor/Controller and Treasurer are beyond penetrable, even using their “public information” request forms, because you can only request a specific document and you may not know the proper nomenclature or argot deployed to identify the type of record you are looking for, and even then will only receive the most general report. Example, the “Prop. 13” “1%” distribution of property taxes to special districts.

    That amount for, say the Flood Control District, appears on the A/C report you can get, but does not appear in a department budget report of distribution of such funds into “budget units” and descriptions of internal allocation to staff, project, or program costs.

    Admittedly, coming from a completely different fiscal management background, I have a very hard time believing that the bafflegab you all attempt to debunk is allowed, or that the elected top officials do not have the balls or the brains to order their staff to pony up. Instead, we get the “Days of our Lives” drama, year after year. Beats the heck outta me, Mike.

    Reply
  8. Harvey Reading   September 18, 2019 at 12:28 pm

    Had an interesting adventure today.

    My neighbor, 6 years my senior has been telling me for a couple of years about an old powderhouse he had found that used in construction of the railroad tracks that pass through the Wind River Canyon alongside the river of the same name. I pass through the canyon about half a dozen times a year, three of which are for dental cleaning and an optometrist appointment for vision testing (just after one of the dental appointments and upgrading of my eyeglass prescription), but could NOT for the life of me find the powderhouse.

    Late yesterday afternoon the neighbor asked me if I wanted to accompany him this morning on a ride to the location of the powderhouse. I assented gladly and a few minutes ago we returned from our excursion. We found the site, which was about two miles from where I had been looking, parked at a turnout and walked (inside the highway guardrails because people drive like idiots on the curvy road) about half a mile up the river to the site, took pictures of the powderhouse, and returned home. All well and good.

    The real excitement for me was taking my first ride ever in a hybrid automobile. In fact my last ride in a vehicle other than my ageing ’87 Mazda 4WD pickup (bought used in 1989) or my, also-ageing, 1989 Probe GT (bought new in September ’88) was to drive my former neighbor, “Henry” to town in his old Chevy S10 pickup so that he could get a breathalyzer installed, back in 2013. Henry drove it home. My current neighbor and his wife have had a Ford Focus, I think is the name, anyway it’s about the size of what a Taurus was in the 90s, for the last couple of years.

    The car was quite a shock. It was sort of like riding in a mobile computer. When the computer senses the presence of an electronic “key” in close proximity, the dash lights up showing its eagerness to be underway. The driver then presses a start/stop button, causing yet more dash lights to be energized, but not a sound at all. The driver then twists a “gear” selector knob that controls the 5-speed automatic transmission, depresses the accelerator pedal, and the vehicle moves off, the only sound emitted being that of tires moving along the surface of the earth. A small, I guess about 8-inch x 8-inch computer touch-screen monitor is illuminated at the lower center of the dash that duplicates not only every pushbutton on the dash, but also other choices as well, too many for me to remember. My neighbor says the touch screen can be deactivated, which was reassuring to me, and would be of particular importance to me, since bright dash lights were always a distraction to me while driving at night. According to my neighbor, at speeds above 45 mph, or under hard acceleration, the gasoline engine is started, though I never once heard it start on the whole trip. The neighbor assured me it had, though, because a dash light in the instrument nacelle in front of him told him it was true. He said the car got around 40-45 miles per gallon. My Probe averages around 30-35 mpg and the truck around 20 on good days.

    There’s no doubt in my mind that the electric car is a good thing. Nevertheless I have no intention of running out to buy one. I hope my currrent vehicles outlast me. They are paid-for and meet my transportation needs to a tee. I hate automatic transmissions and unnecessary dash lights. When I weigh in factors like the energy consumed in building a new vehicle versus the mileage my current old vehicles get, “trading up” makes no sense at all to me from an economic perspective, even from an energy conservation perspective. Still it was neat to take my first-ever ride in an (even only partially) electric vehicle. It’s fun to get excited like that once in a while.

    Reply
  9. Jurgen Stoll   September 18, 2019 at 12:39 pm

    I have to take issue with the statement by Ansel Adams “It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment”. The government is the reason there are any environmental protections at all. We all know who is trying to shit can environmental regulations while at the same time destroying the government bit by bit. So don’t hate the government, hate the people that are destroying it and vote!

    Reply
    • Harvey Reading   September 18, 2019 at 1:08 pm

      Very true, except there is nothing but crap to vote for. The dems might as well disband. As they currently exist, they are not a counter all to neoliberalism. They just practice it with big smiles and promises they have no intention of keeping, as was the case with the demon, Obama.

      Reply
    • Mike Kalantarian   September 18, 2019 at 1:11 pm

      I agree with your overall assessment, but it is also helpful to see the statement in context. It was from a 1983 interview and the following sentence was: “Our worst enemy is the person the President designated with the responsibility of managing the country’s environment: James Watt.” Here is the interview: https://www.davidsheff.com/ansel-adams

      Reply
  10. Harvey Reading   September 18, 2019 at 1:03 pm

    Hey, Mike, do you thing the 7-minute correction delay will ever be back? It’s kinda handy.

    Reply
    • AVA News Service   September 18, 2019 at 1:16 pm

      We can certainly give it another try soon. We’d like to give it a break, at least temporarily, since it seemed like it was causing some problems (among them disappearing comments). We’re hoping the author of the program might find and squash the bugs before we try it again.

      Reply
      • Harvey Reading   September 18, 2019 at 1:27 pm

        Thanks.

        Reply
  11. John Sakowicz   September 18, 2019 at 7:59 pm

    James Marmon writes, “This James Green will just be an extension of the new president of Mendocino County Farm Bureau, ‘Hack and Squirt’ George Hollister, Measure V denier.”

    I love it, James Marmon!

    As fate would have it, James Marmon lives in the subdivision immediately north of me. I live in El Dorado. Green lives in Deerwood.

    And what I can gather from neighbors, Green is an unemployed, stay-at-home dad who is supported by his wife, a doctor.

    James Green knows no more about farming than Donald Trump. I doubt if either one of them even mows their own lawn or can manage a tomato garden.

    It’s a joke.

    Only in Mendocino County!

    Reply
    • Kathy   September 19, 2019 at 8:04 am

      Filed under, “Pot calls Kettle black”

      Reply

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