MCT: Friday, September 20, 2019

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ANOTHER NAVARRO QUAKE THURSDAY AFTERNOON

September 19, 3:52 pm, 2.8 magnitude, 2.3 kilometers deep, in the almost exact same spot (orange dot) as the 3.2 magnitude quake a couple weeks ago (September 3, 8:05 am, 5.5 kilometers deep, white dot).

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MENDOCINO COUNTY MARIJUANA GROWER

by Jonah Raskin

“I’ve been lucky,” the tall, thin, energetic pot farmer tells me on a hot day in September. “I grew my first crop at 17 and now 30 years later I’m still growing it. At 22, the DEA raided my garden in San Francisco. I was part of the underground movement that provided cannabis to HIV and cancer patients.” He pauses for a moment and adds, whimsically, “I call myself a THC-hemp farmer.”

We were standing in one of his marijuana gardens and we were admiring the plants, some of them ready to be harvested and others not yet mature. “You have to catch the plant at the right moment,” he explains. “With the size of our gardens and the number of plants, we have to harvest a certain number everyday or we’ll fall behind and be overwhelmed.” I didn’t count the number of plants, but there were a lot of them; far more than I wanted to count.

That morning, I had driven, with a grower, from downtown Santa Rosa to the northeast corner of Mendocino County to visit the “lucky” forty-seven-year-old farmer I call “M.” There’s no point in outing him or drawing a map of his sun-bathed property with directions on how to get there on 101. He doesn’t need the exposure, especially not at this time of year with the crop aching to be harvested.

This was not my first visit to Mendocino or to M’s neck of the woods, not by a long shot. For several years, I lived outside Willits on a mountain where everyone (75 people by my reckoning) grew cannabis, whether they were battle-scared Vietnam Vets, pious churchgoers, color purple lesbians, African-Americans from East Oakland, Yuppies from San Francisco or real back-to-the-land hippies. I also spent time in Mendocino as a marijuana journalist for High Times magazine, the Anderson Valley Advertiser and as the author of a Hunter S. Thompson-style-gonzo book I wrote called Marijuanaland: Dispatches from an American War. Marijuana is sort of legal in California now, but the war isn’t over.

In 2010, I spent part of a summer with two pot farmers — a husband and wife — in the same northeast corner of Mendocino County where M is growing weed. The husband and wife team were busted that fall, their crop confiscated. The guy called me from the jail in Ukiah to say hello and goodbye. That was the last time I heard from him or his wife.

What my experiences in Mendocino have taught me is that no two growers are identical, and that for every trend or pattern in the pot world, there is usually a counter trend or pattern. Everything goes along slowly and rarely changes and then suddenly everything changes all at once. My experiences made me peeved recently when I read an article in The New Yorker about Humboldt and about “the last remnants of the counterculture,” as the author called it.

Emily Witt, who is based in Brooklyn, thousands of miles from Humboldt, explains in her article that everyone in Humboldt calls cannabis “the plant,” and that the cannabis crop is “the original sin of Humboldt’s Eden.” She also says that the hippie community went through a “Green Rush” and came out “corporate.” I could write a whole book in response to Witt’s assertions, but back to the grower I call “M” and his grower buddy “S,” who drove me to that remote corner of Mendocino.

The really big thing that had happened with, and to, M, and that still had him thinking, was an official visit from a state inspector of cannabis operations. That news told me, right from the start, that M was aiming to follow rules and regulations and adhere to the law. “He was here to inspect not to enforce,” M explains to S, who was unsure of the role of the inspector. “He told me the inspection he was doing would probably be the easiest I would have.” M adds that the state inspector “hassled” him because he wasn’t doing “Metric,” the State of California’s “Track-and-Trace System.”

Under that program, each and every plant is assigned a number that follows it from the ground, where it grows, to a warehouse, a distributor, a manufacturing center and a dispensary. It’s no wonder that industry analysts point out that cannabis is the most highly regulated crop ever in the history of California. Someone must think it’s dangerous and that it has to be tracked and traced like a common criminal. Perhaps it does. Some growers are not as scrupulous as M, and aren’t as conscious as he is about human health and the health of the land.

“We’re supposed to weigh every plant when it’s wet and then when it’s dry and then weigh the trim and the waste and log all the numbers into a computer,” M says. “Not surprisingly, the state doesn’t have the resources to administer and enforce the track-and-trace system, and a lot of growers don’t have computers and aren't on line.” He adds, a tad mournfully: “Entering data into a computer is one of the last things I want to do in my life.”

S, the grower from Sonoma County, listens to M describe his mundane chores, throws up his hands in frustration and says, “You’ll have to track every time you take a shit.” M and S are friends and pals, united by a love of the marijuana plant, a strong dislike of circling helicopters, but they are taking very different roads to get to the marketplace.

While M is opting to be in the system, S is opting to stay outside it. He has lived as an outlaw since he was a teenager and he will probably die an outlaw. The two parallel tracks that M and S are following are emblematic of the larger paths in the whole cannabis industry: go legit; or stay on the black-market. Of course, there’s also the option of doing some of both and hedging bets.

M has followed the law and has been “compliant” from day one, which means he has not diverted water from a stream, but rather has relied on groundwater from his wells and hasn’t used chemical herbicides and pesticides. He also has setbacks: space between the edge of his property and the start of the garden. “I’ve been creating my own infrastructure for decades,” M says. “I have great drying facilities.”

He adds, “A lot of growers drop the ball at the end of the season, which is understandable because it’s such a long road to get the crop in and then to dry, cure and store it. Those are some of my biggest concerns right now, especially drying.”

M has one foot in the past and another in the future. In addition to the computerization of his operation, he has created an area on the farm for research and development. He has also developed his own marijuana stains — about two dozen, including one called “Dennis Peron,” and another from seeds brought back from Vietnam — which are tested for THC and CBD.

“In Mendocino back in the day, the goal was to have 25 humongous plants that yielded ten pounds,” M says. “The trend now is to have smaller plants, but more of them, packed closely together and with less space between them.”

I call that trend “the industrialization of cannabis cultivation.” If it’s not already here, it’s coming soon to a pot farm near you or very far away.

“I have the biggest garden in this area,” M says. In fact, he has plants that are about 14-feet tall and about 14-feet in diameter and plants that are about half that size, but packed closely together and touching one another. He keeps each plant separate, so he can track-and-trace. M says that the state inspector walked around his garden with a tape recorder, measured nearly everything worth measuring and urged him “to consolidate.” In other words: industrialize.

M faces several challenges. One comes from the distributors who want uniformity of product and lots of it, and who often won’t pay him until after they have sold the cannabis, not when they receive the crop. “Growers are the credit cards for the distributors,” M says. A distributor recently “stiffed” him. His lawyer is on the case, hoping to collect the money that M is owed. The lawyer is also urging M to have signed contracts with distributors. No more deals sealed with a handshake.

Another challenge is from the big industrial operations — ”the factories in the field” — that are mass-producing product and who often don’t give a shit about the craft. M wants to emphasize quality, to have limited releases and process small batches at a time.

Meanwhile, the black market is going like gangbusters.

“Thousand of pounds not in the track-and-trace system are transported out of state and go all around the country,” M says. “That’s the national market, which is a whole other world from the California market. “ His pal S operates on the national black market level and does quite nicely.

Times have changed and are still changing, but some things have remained the same. Back in the day, as best I can remember, there were hip capitalists, along with idealistic hippies. In the 1970s, I interviewed the head of a cannabis corporation who had investors and employees, paid wages and grew a large commercial crop in Mendocino. If cannabis capitalism is alive and well, so is the counterculture with its music, alternative lifestyles and sense of community.

Marijuana never was the devil weed, unless you believed the drug warriors. Pot never destroyed Eden in Mendocino, Humboldt and all across the Emerald Triangle. Ranchers overgrazed, loggers cut down the forests and vigilantes hunted and exterminated most or at least many of the Indians.

I didn’t get stoned with M and S. We didn’t smoke any weed, but we walked around the garden smelling the flowers of the ripest cannabis plants. I suppose we got high in a way, out there under the sun in what had been a productive orchard and where the land was still producing a “cash crop.” That’s what Ray Raphael called it in his groundbreaking book, Cash Crop, published in 1985 and that explored the economics of marijuana in northern California. Thirty-four years later, it’s a bigger cash crop than ever before.

S and I said goodbye to M. I walked to the gate and opened it. S drove to the edge of the road and stopped. I closed the gate and climbed aboard S’s car. M waved goodbye, turned and walked toward his garden.

S and I made our way back to the civilization of malls, freeways, housing tracts and dispensaries where pot lovers and medical marijuana patients buy weed from the remotest corners of Mendocino County and from big, corporate-owned greenhouses in places like Salinas. John Steinbeck would get it, and so would Carey McWilliams, the author of Factories in the Field, which is as timely now as when it was first published 80 years ago.

(Jonah Raskin is the author of Dark Day, Dark Night, A Marijuana Murder Mystery.)

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ON WEDNESDAY, September 19, 2019, at about 9:37am, Cindy Henriques, 29, of Ukiah. was driving her 2014 Toyota Prius north on Highway 101 near Hopland. CHP Officer Simas had recently parked his patrol vehicle on the right shoulder of Highway 101, just north of First St in Hopland. While driving north, Henriques made an unsafe turning movement to the right allowing her Prius to leave the roadway for unknown reasons. The Prius collided with the parked CHP patrol vehile which subsequently collided with a parked Ford van. Henriques’s passenger, 2-year old Dahlia North, of Ukiah, suffered a minor to moderate large bump on her forehead during the collision and was flown to Oakland Children’s Hospital for treatment. The collision is under investigation. No arrests were made. Alcohol/drugs do not appear to have been a factor.

(CHP Presser)

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FOR YOUR ‘I’LL BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW THE COUNTY WAS WORKING ON THAT’ FILE:

Selected items from the CEO’s “Board Directives as of 9/18/2019” (Note the “directives” do not include target dates.)

March 19, 2019: The Board of Supervisors directs the Chief Executive Officer to produce monthly hiring reports, document the necessity of every open position prior to upcoming budget decisions, and provide a realistic projection of which positions will actually be filled in the coming fiscal year.

Status: Blank.

Ed note: No such reports have been forthcoming.

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April 24: Staff shall continue outreach to the City Councils to endorse the strategic action in Dr. Marbut’s [Homelessness in Mendocino County] report, particularly prioritizing the needs throughout the County; providing meals prior to 9am and after 5pm to avoid taking homeless away from programs that are helping; limiting it for three days; and for staff to provide a written report every two months; and an in-depth presentation to the Board of Supervisors every six months.

Status: “Partially complete, in process.”

Ed note: No such reports have been forthcoming.

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April 9, 2019: Staff shall determine the last time the City of Willits made a payment to the County for the Museum.

Status: Blank.

Ed note: We didn’t know the City of Willits owed the County any money for the museum. But we are not aware of any such determination.

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WHITEACRE HANGS UP HIS CUFFS

The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office would like to congratulate Sergeant Andrew Whiteaker on his recent retirement.

Sergeant Whiteaker was a lifelong resident of Mendocino County and started his law enforcement career with the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office in April of 1997. He was assigned to the Corrections Division where he worked for approximately 4 years and eventually became a Facility Training Officer training new hires for the Corrections Division.

In 2002, Sergeant Whiteaker attended and completed the Police Academy at College of the Redwoods in Eureka, CA and was then assigned to Field Operations Division and assigned to the Coastal Sector.

In 2003, Sergeant Whiteaker was transferred to the Central Operations and spent the next 4 years working patrol in the Ukiah, Redwood Valley, Potter Valley, Hopland and Boonville communities.

In 2007, Sergeant Whiteaker was assigned to the Investigative Services Division of the Sheriff's Office. As a detective, he was tasked with the investigations of major crimes such as homicide, robbery, crimes against children, sex crimes, elder abuse and other felony related crimes. He was also in charge of monitoring the registration of sex registrants within the Sheriff's Office jurisdiction.

In 2014, Sergeant Whiteaker returned to the Central Operations as a Patrol Deputy and Field Training Officer. He spent the next few years training new Deputy Sheriffs along with working his normal patrol duties.

In 2017, he was promoted to Sheriff's Sergeant and spent the remainder of his career as a shift supervisor in the Central Operations Division in Ukiah.

We thank you for your service to this department and this community. Enjoy your retirement!

(Sheriff Tom Allman)

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NORTH COAST GRAPE GROWERS FEAR TONS OF FRUIT WILL BE LEFT ON THE VINE UNSOLD

Will Ivancovich, owner of 2 Brothers Vineyards, moves a bin with Mateo Gomez, right, for chardonnay grapes during harvest at his vineyard in Kenwood on Tuesday, September 17, 2019. (BETH SCHLANKER/ The Press Democrat)

pressdemocrat.com/news/10055115-181/north-coast-grape-growers-fear

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ED NOTES

TERRY VAUGHAN of Mendocino Television has also taken out papers to run for Fourth District Supervisor. Irony here is that candidate Lindy Peters announces Fort Bragg High School football games for Vaughan's television service, although in lightly populated Mendocino County we do tend to know one another in one capacity or another.

MY ALL-TIME FAVE Fort Bragg politico was Michelle White. Honest, smart (very smart), modest, always with her eye on the ball. Too bad Michelle isn't a candidate for the big job over the hill.

SO FAR in the First District, we have political newcomer James Green and John Sakowicz, the latter an intelligent, articulate guy but a guy whose accompanying baggage will need at least twenty mule teams to tote to candidate's nights. But Sako certainly gets high marks for resilience. No matter how much deserved abuse is heaped on the guy he just keeps on keeping on, and he's got the big advantage of operating here in Amnesia County, where every day history starts all over and you are whatever you say you are.


EXCUSE the statement of the obvious but I can't resist: Only a low grade moron could think blackface "comedy" is funny, even without the race attachment, so what gives with that Canadian twit of a prime minister slapping on blackface wayyyyyyy past its pull date? Trudeau has always seemed one of a piece with W. Bush and Tony Blair, a rum trio for an historical fact.


AS THE SKIES darken with disaster-bearing chickens on the wing everywhere in the world, one of their catastrophes got very little attention this week. The Federal Reserve fired up its presses to dump $53 billion into the poised-to-collapse money markets Tuesday morning, and announced that on Wednesday morning they'd dump in $75 billion more. The freshly printed emergency money dump is the first of its kind since the 2008 global financial crisis. As Bloomberg News put it, “The underlying problem is that there isn’t enough liquidity in the system to satisfy the demand and the job of the central bank is to provide such liquidity." In other words, The Giant Ponzi is wobbling.

WHICH isn't to mention the Iran Crisis. Odd to think of Trump as the voice of reason here, but even he seems to understand that an immoderate retaliatory attack on Iran for its assault on the Saudi oil refineries could lead to even more disaster in the Middle East. (Fuel is already up 30 cents a gallon in Mendo, as of Wednesday.) Trump said Wednesday that the United States has “many options” including some “dastardly things” to respond to the attack on Saudi oil facilities. No need to woof, Don, we know, we know.

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MENDO VIOLENCE, AN EXCHANGE

The car had been spray painted some word a crossed it and windows were busted in. I have never seen this in Mendocino before. Is our town becoming more violent and am I just blinded to it?


I know it's surprising to hear but Fort Bragg, like the other little towns of Mendocino County, have always had as much as if not more violence per capita than the bigger California cities. There's nothing new about that. A great deal of it is domestic violence, with alcohol involved, of course. It doesn't come from any particular ethnic group, though the area is predominantly white, so there's that. People are lonely, stuck, frustrated and so prone to violence, and young people are bored out of their minds. In this case somebody took it out on a car, which is not good, but better than on a person in private, invisible, I think, though there's no reason to assume it's either/or. What was the word?

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BREAKFAST AT THE GRANGE!

Join the us at the Whitesboro Grange for our traditional "EGGSCELLENT" Pancake Breakfast this Sunday (September 22) from 8AM to 11:30AM. Nothing beats a hearty breakfast of orange juice, pancakes, ham, eggs YOUR way, and coffee, tea, hot cocoa or milk. Your friends and neighbors will be there too! Live out of the neighborhood? That's OK - there's no strangers here. If you walk in and no one knows your name they will soon! We're a very friendly bunch. PLUS where else can you get such a great meal for only $8 for adults, $4 for children 6-12, and FREE for children under 6. Grange proceeds are used to support local families in need as well as other community service organizations such as the Albion-Little River Volunteer Fire Department, Project Sanctuary, Redwood Coast Senior Center, 4-H, Hospitality House, Veterans, and food banks.

Wendy Meyer wbmeyer56@gmail.com

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ANIMAL CRUELTY? IN FORT BRAGG?

On September 18 2019, at approximately 4:00 PM, Officers of the Fort Bragg Police Department served a search warrant in the 100 block of Boatyard Drive in response to suspected animal cruelty. The successful service resulted in the seizure of an approximately two year old white male pit bull. The animal was taken immediately to a licensed veterinarian where he was examined. After being examined he was transported to a secure facility where he will be sheltered and receive care until this investigation has concluded or has been adjudicated by the courts.

The Fort Bragg Police Department would like to thank the numerous community members that came forward to provide eye witness accounts; as well as those that expressed concern for the animal’s well-being.

The owner was not arrested at the time of service as this case is ongoing and Officers are still reviewing evidence prior to submitting it to the District Attorney’s Office for prosecution.

If you have information related to the case please contact Officer Awad at (707) 961-2800 ext. 180 or cawad@fortbragg.com . Anonymous tips may be left on the Crime Tip Hotline at (707) 961-3049.

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ANOTHER MENDO CHOMO TO STATE PEN

Child Molester Gets Free Ride From Sheriff's Office To San Quentin

UKIAH, Wed., Sept. 18 - Defendant Daniel Clay Vilas, age 62, of Jamestown, was sentenced Wednesday morning in the Mendocino County Superior Court to 16 years in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR).

Vilas

Defendant Vilas stands convicted by plea of forcible oral copulation of a child under 14 years of age, a felony, and a separate felony conviction for sexual penetration with a foreign object by force on a child under 14 years of age. The victim in each count was six years of age at the time of the defendant's sexual misconduct.

Because these acts are characterized as violent in the Penal Code, the good time/work time credits that the defendant may attempt to earn in prison shall be limited to no more than 15% of the total sentence, meaning under the current state of the law he won't be eligible for parole until he serves just over 13.5 years.

Upon his eventual release from state prison down the road, the defendant will be required to register with local law enforcement as a sex offender annually for life wherever he may live.

As part of the negotiated disposition, the defendant waived his pre-sentence credits earned for time spent in the local county jail pending today's sentencing. He also waived any right to appellate review of his convictions.

The prosecutor who handled this case from filing through plea through today's sentencing hearing is Assistant District Attorney Dale P. Trigg.

The investigating law enforcement agency was the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office.

The judge who presided over today's sentencing hearing and imposed the prison sentence was Mendocino County Superior Court Judge John Behnke.

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AUTO ZONE PROJECT will be discussed during Fort Bragg's planning commission meeting Wednesday 9/25 at 6pm at Town Hall

Please study the info, attend the meeting and share your thoughts (3min.) during the planning commission meeting. See story poles on the south west side of Noyo Bridge.

During this public hearing the planning commission will conduct and consider adoption of a Mitigated Negative Declaration for the AutoZone Project; and approve of Coastal Development Permit 9-18, Subdivision 1-18, Design Review 3-18 to create 2 parcels in Highway Visitor Commercial Zoning District in the Coastal Zone and construct a 7,500 sq. ft. auto parts retail store with associated infrastructure and improvements at 1151 South Main Street.

Find out what the associated infrastructure and improvements are. The infrastructure includes a 26-space parking lot in front of the ocean. What are the improvements? Will they offer coffee across from our locally owned A Frame Expresso coffee business? Would the A Frame Expresso coffee business be able to stay in business?

Will Napa Rhoads Auto Parts store on Main Street be affected? Napa Rhoads Auto Parts has been an independently owned business for more than 40 years; and current owners, Bruce & Stephanie Graves have owned the business for over 28 years.

How will it affect O'Reilly Auto Parts at the Boatyard Shopping Center? O'Reilly Automotive, Inc. is one of the largest specialty retailers of automotive aftermarket parts, tools, supplies, equipment, and accessories in the United States. The company operates 5,344 stores in 47 states.

Is there enough business here to keep 3 auto parts stores open?

AutoZone (auto parts stores) have over 6,000 company owned and operated stores in all 50 U.S. states, Puerto Rico, Mexico, and Brazil. They are a Fortune 500 company and are based in Tennessee. How many of the 12 jobs would be minimum wage jobs or paid less than that? How many full time staff are planned? How is their benefit package? How would this business benefit our local economy?

Environmental issues as identified by the Initial Study are analyzed in the Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND). This MND concludes that this project, as proposed and mitigated, will not have long term significant adverse effects on the environment. What do you think?

The traffic study alone that was done was not done during a holiday or weekend (4th. of July or the Salmon BBQ), but on Monday, October 8, 2018. 6 mature trees would have to be removed and new ones planted. What is the success rate of planting trees in this environment? This business would eliminate ocean view for this stretch.

Would this development require an Environmental Impact Report rather than a Mitigated Negative Declaration? Do you like the 34 in. CHANNEL LETTER SIGNAGE in bright red?

They city indicates that the southernmost parcel would remain undeveloped as part of this project, however future commercial development is anticipated. The future development was going to be a second Dollar Store. Plans might have changed.

We already have at least 13 formula/franchise businesses in Fort Bragg: Taco Bell, Starbucks, O'Reilly Auto Parts, Dollar Store, McDonald's, Round Table Pizza, Denny's, Safeway, Rite Aid, Sears, Subway Sandwiches & Salads, Fort Bragg Chevron, Mountain Mike, UPS.

While Mendocino County has a moratorium on formula/franchise businesses the Fort Bragg Community Development Commission, the Planning Commission and the City Council have refused to pass such an ordinance since March 2017. Having a moratorium does not mean that we will not have any formula/franchise businesses, but it requires a public meeting and requires the public to come out and agree that we need these corporate businesses in our town and risk to loose people who are community minded, live here and keep their money here.

https://city.fortbragg.com/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/_09252019-787

https://city.fortbragg.com/687/Auto-Zone-Application

More information:

https://cityoffortbraggca.nextrequest.com/requests/19-70

https://cityfortbragg.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=F&ID=7530533&GUID=1203955C-3EE8-4051-8660-FEF732322473

Article: California Attorney General Announces $11 Million Settlement With AutoZone, AutoZone facilities in 45 counties were found by the prosecuting offices to have committed environmental violations, according to the Attorney General's Office

This link also contains a letter from the CA. Coastal Commission: Review with Consistencies of Policies with the AutoZone project.

Fort Bragg library & City Hall have more information.

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PART OF THE 1910 CELEBRATION of California’s "Admission Day" was the lighting up of the City in every possible way. Here's the Hotel St. Francis specially decorated in outline incandescent lights plus giant translucent scenes, one of them the state seal (made rectangular) and an added message boosting for the Panama-Pacific International Exposition for 1915. Union Square received light strings and colorful pennants, too.

Willard E. Worden photo, California State Library via Calisphere.

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JIM HEID:

How destructive are Caltrans’ plans for Highway 1 in Albion? This excerpt from Caltrans planning documents tells the tale.

This is for a segment of the highway just south of Navarro Ridge Road. The yellow highlighting shows the CURRENT width of Highway 1. The red marker shows the PROPOSED width. Also notice that the widened “expressway” is banked like a racetrack to allow for freeway speeds. Also note how much the west side of Navarro Ridge will have to be graded in order to accommodate the wider highway.

All of this is in the vicinity of the beautiful Navarro Point Preserve.

Yes, Highway 1 in the Navarro Ridge area needs safety and drainage improvements, as well as some urgent repairs. But a two-lane expressway, banked like a racetrack, is not the answer.

When it comes to Highway 1 in Albion, it’s time to tell Caltrans, “Not So Fast!”

What You Can Do

1. Attend the Caltans public meeting tomorrow, Thursday, September 19, at the new Albion School, at 6:00 pm.

2. Send an email expressing your concern to the addresses listed below and insist that Caltrans be required to do both an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that addresses the cumulative impact of ALL FOUR of the overlapping projects that it is proposing for Highway 1 in the Albion area: the Navarro Ridge Safety Project, the Navarro Ridge Drainage Project, the Salmon Creek Bridge Replacement Project, and the Albion River Bridge Rehabilitation/Replacement Project.

Caltrans claims these are separate projects because it makes permitting easier. In fact, these projects overlap and, when taken together, have significant impacts on the environment and the local economy. (Like sitting in traffic? You’ll get your chance.)

schultzb@mendocinocounty.org

ackerj@mendocinocounty.org

Bob.Merrill@coastal.ca.gov

Mark.Delaplaine@coastal.ca.gov

frank.demling@dot.ca.gov

richard.mullen@dot.ca.gov

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CATCH OF THE DAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2019

Bevin, Bodwin, Dickinson

SHANNON BEVEN, Ukiah. Domestic battery, domestic abuse.

IVY BODWIN, Ukiah. Protective order violation.

RYAN DICKINSON, Ukiah. DUI, probation revocation.

Gebbie, Gomez, Horn

MICHELLE GEBBIE, Fort Bragg. Domestic abuse, probation revocation.

JOSE GOMEZ, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

SHAWN HORN, Battery, probation revocation.

Jordan, Marmon, Renfort

DUSTIN JORDAN, Ukiah. Honey oil extraction, stolen property, felon-addict with firearm, ammo possession by prohibited person, parole violation.

ERICA MARMON, Ukiah. Protective order violation, probation revocation.

DEANNA RENFORT, Willits. Trespassing, vandalism.

Reynaga, Sierra, Vigren

PEDRO REYNAGA, Calpella. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, controlled substance, probation revocation.

SAMUEL SIERRA, Ukiah. Camping in Ukiah, resisting, probation revocation.

PABLO VIGREN, Willits. Domestic battery, probatioin revocation.

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MURAL UNVEILING, FORT BRAGG

Mural Unveiling on First Friday in October

Marta Alonso Canillar will unveil her mural entitled, "Mendocino, Land of Extravagant Visions!" on First Friday, October 4, from 5-8, at 245 N. Franklin Street in Fort Bragg. This will be part of the Franklin Street Fair. More of Marta's work can be viewed at Edgewater Gallery on Main St. in Fort Bragg.

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IF YOU EVER GET THE CHANCE, introduce a Frenchman —preferably one with no cultural understanding of Southern foodways — to sausage gravy with biscuits. Comedy WILL ensue. Ever feed a grape to a dog? The look of confusion on its face as it rolls the grape around in its mouth, unsure whether to bite the thing or spit it out? That was the look on chef Eric Ripert's face when he first tried sausage gravy and biscuits.

— Anthony Bourdain, 2016; from "Appetites, a Cookbook"

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AND NOW I examine myself: What do I want?

I want our wives, children, friends and students to love in us not the name, not the brand or label, but the ordinary person. What else? I would like to have helpers and heirs. What else? I would like to wake up in a hundred years and have at least a glimpse of what's happened with science. I'd like to live another 10 years or so. And what more?

Nothing more. I think for a long time and can't think of anything else. And however much I think, however widely my thought ranges, it's clear to me that my wishes lack some chief thing, some very important thing. In my predilection for science, in my wish to live, in this sitting on a strange bed and trying to know myself, in all the thoughts, feelings and conceptions I form about everything, something general is lacking that would unite it all into a single whole. Each feeling and thought live separately in me, and in all my opinions about science, the theater, literature, students, and in all the pictures drawn by my imagination, even the most skillful analyst would be unable to find what is known as a general idea or the God of the living man.

And if there isn't that, there's nothing.

Given such poverty, a serious illness, the fear of death, the influence of circumstances or of people, would be enough to overturn and smash to pieces all that I used to consider my worldview, and in which I saw the meaning and joy of my life. And therefore it's not at all surprising that I should darken the last months of my life with thoughts and feelings worthy of a slave and a barbarian, and that I'm now indifferent and do not notice the dawn. When a man lacks that which is higher and stronger than any external influence, a good cold really is enough to make him lose his balance and begin to see an owl in every bird and hear a dog’s howl in every sound. And at that moment all his pessimism or optimism, together with his thoughts great and small, have the significance of mere symptoms and nothing more.

I am defeated. If so, there's no point in continuing to think, no point in talking. I will sit and silently wait for what comes.

— Anton Chekhov

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ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY

Here’s a humorous little account of something that happened today. I was sitting with some friends this morning having coffee, and one of my friends had his electronic book reader with him. We were discussing something in the news, and we needed to refer to something, so I said to my friend jokingly, “Maybe we could ask Alexa about that?” Suddenly his e-reader said, “How can I help you,” or something like that. Turns out he had an Alexa program on his e-reader, and it had been listening in on us the whole time. Pretty funny huh?

Last week I was shopping in a Home Depot, and as soon as I walked in, it seemed like something was different, Walking down the aisles, I kept hearing beeps, and I looked around and there was a little screen clipped onto a shelf and I was on camera. I started looking, and there was a little camera about every twenty feet along the aisle, and as you approached it, it would emit a beep to draw your attention to it, and let you know that you were on camera.

The intent is to let you know that you are being watched and recorded at all times. I went and found the store manager and asked if this was part of their new store policy, and he said, “It’s no big deal, it’s just a security measure.” I told him that this was a bit different than having a camera up in the ceiling anonymously surveying the store. The aisle cameras are there, and they want you to know you are being watched. Shades of Big Brother! I told him it was the last time I would walk through their doors, since no doubt sometime in the future, there would be strip searches along with rectal exams for the more suspicious looking customers.

I honestly don’t think I’m overreacting, since I have been concerned for quite some time about businesses and the government keeping tabs on people using every technological gimmick they can come up with. Is it just me and my paranoia? Because I’ll tell you one thing, I don’t trust any of these assholes and what they’re doing. If you want to check it out, go to your nearest Home Depot AND see for yourself. It’s a big corporation, so they probably have them in every store by now. You don’t have to tell me online about it, because I’ll be watching you, and I’ll know. Don’t worry though, I won’t misuse the information, I promise.

* * *

* * *

FOR THE SAKE OF LIFE ON EARTH, we must put a limit on wealth — George Monbiot

Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised to learn that when Google convened a meeting of the rich and famous at the Verdura resort in Sicily in July to discuss climate breakdown, its delegates arrived in 114 private jets and a fleet of megayachts, and drove around the island in supercars. Even when they mean well, the ultrarich cannot help trashing the living world.

theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/sep/19/life-earth-wealth-megarich-spending-power-environmental-damage?

* * *

* * *

SLIMY LAKES AND DEAD DOGS: climate crisis has brought the season of toxic algae

This nationwide algae epidemic points to a sustained shift in the aquatic environment – one that experts say is being driven by pollution and the climate crisis. “We believe climate change is really having a huge impact on the occurrence and growth of these blooms,” said Anne Schechinger, a senior analyst for the Environmental Working Group (EWG). “We know the incidence of blooms is just going to keep going up and up.”

theguardian.com/environment/2019/sep/18/toxic-algae-climate-change-slimy-lakes-dead-dogs

* * *

* * *

THESE ARE NOT TIMES of straight thinking, and I, as much as you, am dazzled by the skills of the Demented Blond Beast at monopolizing every moment of every day, at scaring me, infuriating me, frustrating me and conjuring dreams of regicide.

Thank God I live here. There's a thin bubble around this place, a delicate tissue made of hope and decency, commodities that were in more generous supply in the 1960s, which were a good time overall, with brilliant prospects.

The Establishment closed them down because allowing the presence of a generation of young people disdainful of standard materialistic attitudes--plennee munny, mainly, and all that comes with it--was a mortal threat to profits--to PROFITS! The fabled Haight-Ashbury District of San Francisco, that brief, breathless Nirvana, became a slow-rolling place for tour buses, outlanders staring out the thick tinted windows. I saw this. I lived there then.

In Berkeley, home ground for the seminal Free Speech Movement, the fraternities and sororities at Cal were on life support at the height of the "alternative" period, the "Age of Aquarius." Most students opted out of the Greek-letter clubs because of the elitist character of them. I was in Berkeley for that period, too, and watched it slide back into the conventional fold. The Greek-letter houses were totally back in business after their short lull, and the biggest student group on campus was (gulp!) the Young Republicans. I damn near died of disgust.

UC Berkeley, while notoriously progressive, is also quietly not progressive. The university's Board of Regents is a blue book of powerful and monied citizens. Its Lawrence Livermore Lab is a nuclear-weapons designer and manufacturer, until recently a part of UC Berkeley's property inventory.

(Get to the point, Mitchell!)

Oh, okay, my point is this: There's exciting talk around the subject of socialism. Understand this: With few exceptions, socialism is a reverie for have-nots, a utopian dream. People who prosper in today's mostly capitalist environment are hostile, scared and contemptuous of any kind of "sharing" plan. Socialism is about sharing, to an extent that most lottery-trained Americans (people who were born well off or hope to become well off by the sheer power of their desires) won't support. For every dollar a Bernie-Sanders socialist spends to back socialism, the rich will blow a grand. That's how badly they want to eradicate this renaissance and, meanwhile, stifle discussion of it. Keep that in mind. Socialism is a guarantee of nothing. It has a very spotty history. Favored people are unlikely to be friendly toward a system of distribution aimed at equality. That's all I'm gonna say right now.

— Mitch Clogg

* * *

I'M 87 YEARS OLD. I only eat so I can smoke and stay alive. The only fear I have is how long consciousness is gonna hang on after my body goes. I just hope there's nothing. Like there was before I was born. I'm not really into religion, they're all macrocosms of the ego. When man began to think he was a separate person with a separate soul, it created a violent situation. The void, the concept of nothingness, is terrifying to most people on the planet. And I get anxiety attacks myself. I know the fear of that void. You have to learn to die before you die. You give up, surrender to the void, to nothingness. Anybody else you've interviewed bring these things up? Hang on, I gotta take this call. Hey, brother. That's great, man. Yeah, I'm being interviewed. We're talking about nothing. I've got him well-steeped in nothing right now. He's stopped asking questions.

— Harry Dean Stanton, “Appreciation of Nothing”

* * *

ATTENTION STAR THISTLE SOLDIERS!

US approves releasing non-native insect to control thistle

Federal officials have approved turning loose a non-native insect to feed on an invasive thistle that sprouts in everything from rangelands to vineyards to wilderness areas, mainly in the U.S. West. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Tuesday it will permit use of the weevil native to Europe and western Asia to control yellow starthistle, which is from the same areas. The weevils will initially be let loose in California, with additional releases in Idaho, Oregon, Washington and possibly Nevada. The agency said Wednesday it is accepting permit applications to process this fall so weevils could be released in the spring.

https://www.apnews.com/36d8cb3fad604d1189e9cdc2426fcbec

(Associated Press)

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FOUND OBJECT

38 Responses to "MCT: Friday, September 20, 2019"

  1. mr. wendal   September 20, 2019 at 6:45 am

    re: MENDOCINO COUNTY MARIJUANA GROWER

    It’s time to stop whining about track and trace in the cannibis industry. Don’t they know that food growers, producers (even small manufacturers) and distributors have been required by the federal government to use a track and trace system for years? When you see a notice about a food allergen accidentally being included in a product or a food product (from produce to meat to salad dressing, etc.) recall notice, it states where and when the food item was being sold because of track and trace. The industry wasn’t thrilled at first but now there are many software programs available, or make your own simple system. It’s not that hard to comply, even with thousands of plants. I’d save the complaints for the more important and more expensive problems that you face.

    Reply
  2. James Marmon   September 20, 2019 at 7:09 am

    If James Green is indeed “the chosen one” to replace Carre Brown in the 1st. District there will be big money thrown at him. That seat is very important moving forward, John Sakowicz will need support from citizens in all five districts. Mendo needs supervisors who will stand up to CEO Angelo, not ones who kowtow to, or collude with her in spreading false narratives in order to manipulate the voting public. I do believe that the 2020 election will be a referendum on whether or not Angelo remains in power.

    James

    Reply
    • James Marmon   September 20, 2019 at 9:16 am

      Angelo may not have been voted into power by the public, but she can sure as hell be voted out.

      Reply
      • Harvey Reading   September 20, 2019 at 10:36 am

        Depending on how the elections go, James. And on whether those who promise change keep their words. Like Obama, they may be peddling what people want to hear. “Can” is different than “will”. Good luck.

        Reply
  3. Lazarus   September 20, 2019 at 7:20 am

    FOUND OBJECT

    Heavy Traffic Ahead…

    As always,
    Laz

    Reply
  4. Harvey Reading   September 20, 2019 at 8:13 am

    FOUND OBJECT

    Highway to Oblivion.

    Reply
    • Randy Burke   September 20, 2019 at 9:55 am

      Found object: Rush hour at the Fort Bragg roundabout

      Reply
  5. Susie de Castro   September 20, 2019 at 9:37 am

    Al

    “…was, throughout primary grades, brought up in the spirit of a Catholic school by the nuns, and he adored it. Profound reverence for the harmony and beauty of what he called the mind of God as it was expressed in the creation of the universe and its laws.
    He went to Switzerland to finish high school, and attended the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. He didn’t care for such organized education; he hated having to attend classes regularly and take exams…”

    Reply
    • Bruce McEwen   September 20, 2019 at 10:04 am

      Can you imagine what would have become of him had he been in that smug pedant Louis Bedrock’s class?

      Reply
      • Susie de Castro   September 20, 2019 at 10:53 am

        Worse, yet, not attended Catholic shcooleh?

        Reply
        • Harvey Reading   September 20, 2019 at 12:38 pm

          Brett Kavanaugh attended a Catholic prep school…

          Reply
          • Susie de Castro   September 20, 2019 at 12:49 pm

            That’s why he’s innocent.

            Reply
    • George Hollister   September 20, 2019 at 5:15 pm

      I know many very successful people who complain about their Catholic School experience. Would Einstein have preferred the public school system of the day?

      Reply
    • Louis Bedrock   September 21, 2019 at 9:28 am

      Jesus Christ, Susie, do you make this stuff up?

      1. Anyone contemplating sending their child to Catholic school should read chapter 3 of James Joyce’s PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN, which features s priest describing Hell to Catholic school children.

      2. Richard Dawkins writes in THE GOD DELUSION:

      …horrible as sexual abuse no doubt was, the damage was arguably less than the long-term psychological damage inflicted by bringing the child up Catholic in the first place. …

      …I received a letter from an American woman in her forties who had been brought up Roman Catholic. At the age of seven, she told me, two unpleasant things had happened to her. She was sexually abused by her parish priest in his car. And, around the same time, a little schoolfriend of hers, who had tragically died, went to hell because she was a Protestant. Or so my correspondent had been led to believe by the then official doctrine of her parents’ church. Her view as a mature adult was that, of these two examples of Roman Catholic child abuse, the one physical and the other mental, the second was by far the worst. She wrote,

      “Being fondled by the priest simply left the impression (from the mind of a 7 year old) as ‘yucky’ while the memory of my friend going to hell was one of cold, immeasurable fear. I never lost sleep because of the priest – but I spent many a night being terrified that the people I loved would go to Hell. It gave me nightmares.”

      3. As toxic as the imagery of Hell, is the other Bronze Age nonsense that the Church inculcates in children: immaculate conception, resurrection, and transubstantiation. And worse yet, the image of an invisible monster in the sky that can read your every thought.

      As for Einstein’s religiosity, he wrote this in a 1955 letter one year before his death:

      “The word God is for me nothing but the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of venerable but still rather primitive legends,” the letter reads. “No interpretation, no matter how subtle, can (for me) change anything about this.”

      Reply
  6. Louis Bedrock   September 20, 2019 at 11:39 am

    “You’ve grubbed and drudged for a squalid little shack on the bleak wastes of Wyoming, having never learned any pleasurable pastime or hobby, only nursing a litter of resentments, and looking out for No. 1, neglecting the improvement of your mind, which left you with a barely mediocre literacy, no force of character, not even any fripperies of personality, only the sanctimony you cherish about your abstinence and healthy diet, the quintessential miser, retired with nothing to do but sit alone at home and smirk at the plight of the less fortunate, and spew your sour cavils on the efforts of others, the ersatz sagacity of a pathetic old curmudgeon.”

    (McEwen to H. Reading, 19 September 2019)

    Imagine this scene:

    The aging would be writer, reduced to being a court reporter for a small town newspaper, sits in his trailer home late at night.  A bottle of Jack Daniel’s sits on the right side of his laptop and a thesaurus is on the left under the reading lamp.  He looks up “dirty” and is pleased to find “squalid”.  He looks up “trivialities” and is delighted to find “fripperies”.  He rubs his red, itching eyes, checks out “complaint” and finds “cavil”.  “Ah,”  he thinks, “this will dazzle Reading, Bedrock, and the two or three others that read my comments.” 

    McEwen never attacks the argument. He goes right to the ad-hominems.  He offers no rebuttal to Dawkins or Hitchens; he attacks atheists and calls them names.

    McEwen is (was?) working on a novel.  I thought it had promise.  I doubt it will ever be finished.   

    He accuses Mr. Reading of having  “nothing to do but sit alone at home and smirk at the plight of the less fortunate, and spew your sour cavils on the efforts of others, the ersatz sagacity of a pathetic old curmudgeon.” 

    He’s actually describing himself. 

    His cup runneth over with bitterness and resentment.

    Reply
    • Lazarus   September 20, 2019 at 11:52 am

      I think we should all just chill. We all struggle with some kind of desperation, anxiety, depression, pain, whatever. Remember Rodney King…Please.
      As always,
      Laz

      Reply
      • James Marmon   September 20, 2019 at 12:00 pm

        I’m with you Laz, having a little fun with each other is one thing, but attacking each other like what I read the last two days disgusts me. Lighten up everyone.

        James

        Reply
        • Harvey Reading   September 20, 2019 at 5:24 pm

          Give me a break, James. Is your halo on straight, or did it melt with that comment?

          Reply
      • Louis Bedrock   September 20, 2019 at 12:09 pm

        When one is attacked, the instinct is to respond in kind.

        You’re right, of course.
        I’m turning of the computer right now and getting on my yoga mat.

        All the best to you and yours.

        LB

        Reply
        • James Marmon   September 20, 2019 at 12:40 pm

          And Louis I’m glad you’re back, but not only should you lighten up, you should enlighten up and apologize to Craig Louis Stehr. Your attack on him a couple of days ago started the whole verbal melee between you, Reading, and McEwen.

          James

          Reply
          • Bruce McEwen   September 20, 2019 at 4:08 pm

            It’s all wonderfully laudable to say, dude, let’s not attack one another, let’s show some restraint and consideration, but all three of you skunks went tooth and nail after a humble monk, a mild, honest, helpful soul who has done nothing but try and understand and improve himself, only to find he’s been cruelly marginalized by an “indifferent”—to use your Dawkins’ term, Screwy-Louie – I say, marginalized by the naked cupidity of chaps like, shentlemen, fellows who were always keen to make sure they had their corporeal comforts secured, and then went on to, like you fucks, sneer down their noses at those who failed to do so,; I say, you have thrown this poor devil – Craig Louis Stehr – under the contemporary bus of exclusion over the last few days, and now you come piously forward waving an olive branch, seeking peace and accord, mutual understanding, et fucking cetera…

            Reply
            • Bruce McEwen   September 20, 2019 at 4:24 pm

              I’m especially disappointed in you S-Lily for endorsing with your silence that petition these shentlemen all signed yesterday to have Craig Louis Stehr banished from the comment page, for shame, and you used to be such a tiger-lily…ugh.

              Reply
              • Harvey Reading   September 20, 2019 at 5:19 pm

                MwEwen, you can’t even read well apparently. There was no petition, just a statement of opinion, along with a question asking if anyone else shared that opinion. There was no call for banishment whatever, just another opinion that the person should be charged an advertising fee for his pleas for aisistance. Get off your high horse, and quit acting like such a total ass, though I know it comes naturally for you..

                The person addressed in the comment made his own decisions earlier in life that led to his current status. Buddhist monks did (do?) much the same. Their begging obligates no one to comply with their begging. I feel sorry for homeless people but not for someone who chose to be a bum of that person’s own free will.

                Reply
                • Harvey Reading   September 20, 2019 at 5:35 pm

                  Pity, maybe. Sympathy, no.

                  Reply
                  • Bruce McEwen   September 20, 2019 at 5:46 pm

                    Sorry Harv, but if Craig Louis Stehr goes, you will have to be set adrift w/ him; there’s no other way to acheive equity, even fro Teacher Bedrock’s “comfort doggie”…. sorry old pal, a pity to see you go.. excuse me — I’m choking up…. sob sob sob…sniff

                    Reply
                    • SandpaperLily   September 20, 2019 at 6:26 pm

                      And, what if there IS no Craig L. Stehr?

                    • Harvey Reading   September 20, 2019 at 6:39 pm

                      You truly are a natural-born ass.

                    • Harvey Reading   September 20, 2019 at 6:40 pm

                      “You” being McEwen.

              • SandpaperLily   September 20, 2019 at 5:52 pm

                If you’re reading this, E.T., please phone home.

                Reply
                • Bruce McEwen   September 20, 2019 at 6:54 pm

                  Havre can appeal, go up the chain of command, seek redress from 1st, the Major; and if he can’t find a reprieve there, he may, by ancient law, request Capm’s Mast; and bring his sorry suit to the EIC (Editor-in-Chief) in person (if he can’t afford a lawyer).

                  Reply
                  • SandpaperLily   September 20, 2019 at 6:57 pm

                    I don’t think his truck will make it to Boonville, CA.

                    Reply
                    • Harvey Reading   September 20, 2019 at 7:43 pm

                      It would probably make it and back, but why on earth would anyone want to visit the land of clearcut forests and PG&E, not to mention brain-dead dope growers?

                      McEwen is simply trying to convince you that he is clever. If you;re smart you won’t fall for it, though he considers himself quite the ladies man. Then again, maybe you two are a perfect match.

                  • SandpaperLily   September 20, 2019 at 7:02 pm

                    Mr. Reading could plead the 5th, this being Cyberspace and all, and say he doesn’t exit, either.

                    Reply
                  • Harvey Reading   September 20, 2019 at 7:44 pm

                    Appeal what?

                    Reply
      • Bruce McEwen   September 20, 2019 at 10:45 pm

        Mary Hartman Mary Hartman

        Harvey Reading Harvey Reading

        As always,

        Reply
        • Harvey Reading   September 21, 2019 at 6:15 am

          LOL Sad Sack. You lack originality.

          Reply
  7. Harvey Reading   September 20, 2019 at 11:47 am

    https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/09/20/roaming-charges-pompeo-and-circumstance/

    “+ Then there’s GM, which received $104 million in tax rebates in 2018. They paid their CEO $22 million, cut 15,000 jobs and made $8 billion in profits, which they paid no federal income taxes on.”

    “+ It seems like the Border Patrol is having a moral crisis, with more and more agents complaining that people “hate” them. It may seem like an obvious point, but apparently it can’t be repeated often enough: If you want to be liked, don’t join the SS…”

    “+ Joe Biden, just another member in good standing of the Democratic National Klavern…”

    “+ Is it any surprise that the party of the ruling class would select its favorite (or second favorite) as its candidate? The only real surprise is that Bernie dragged his troops through the charade one more time expecting a different result.

    + But where do they go? Bernie could have spent the last four years building an independent party or taking over the wreckage of the Greens. Instead, he spent it recruiting young progressives into the same party that had just drawn-and-quartered him.

    + If there’s no alternative than the Democrats, then Sanders should admit it, drop all of the “socialist” pretense and stop whining about leaks and how he’s been screwed over by arbitrary rules enforced by the party elites. This is it. You’re stuck with it. The best was long ago. Sorry, kids, you’re fucked. Best of luck, Gramps.

    “+ I learned everything I needed to know about the Democratic Party after the Jackson campaign in 1984. I guess some people have to relearn the same basic truths every four years. This willful suspension of disbelief is what keeps the party alive…to the extent it is alive.

    “+ Still, by almost every standard Joe Biden is a worse candidate than Hillary Clinton: he’s older, dumber and has a more tarnished record. His saving grace, as far as I can tell, is that Biden is so boring, so lacking in inspiration, that he can’t even inspire people to hate him as they did HRC.

    “+ According to a new report by Sludge, West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin owns between $1 million and $5 million worth of non-public stock in his family coal business, Enersystems. Despite pressure from environmentalists, Senate minority leader, Chuck Schumer, made Manchin the ranking member of the committee, and Manchin did not divest his coal holdings.”

    The Schemer at his best.

    “+ But Manchin is far from alone in profiting off of fossil fuel holdings. Rep. Joe Kennedy just announced his intention to run against Sen. Ed Markey in next year’s Democratic primary in Massachusetts. Markey, a long time environmental advocate, is one of the principal sponsors of the Green New Deal, a measure which will pose a significant threat to the stock portfolio of Kennedy, who owns nearly $1.75 million in fossil stocks, including investments in oil and gas companies.”

    “+ According to the libertarian Cato Institute, 16 countries enjoy a higher level of overall freedom than the United States, and most of them ban or severely restrict ownership of assault weapons.”

    “+ Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh agreed to talk to New York Times reporters Kate Kelly and Robin Pogrebin for their book, The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: an Investigation, on one condition: that they wrote that they didn’t talk with him. The authors refused and walked away from the interview.

    + While we’re on the subject of Kavanaugh: One in 16 women’s first sexual experience (avg. age 15.5) in the US is being raped/forced to have sex; the average age for female’s first voluntary sexual experience is 17.5.

    + Kavanaugh’s survived for a reason. A major new study concludes that even if Democrats win the White House and Congress, the conservative justices on the Supreme Court are very likely to strike down most climate legislation.”

    “+ Alex Wild (curator of Entomology at the University of Texas, Austin): “Imagine being an art aficionado watching corrupt governments pay fascist gangs to burn museums to the ground. Day after day, city after city, accelerating until all that remains is smoldering rubble. That is what it feels like to be a biologist in the Trump era.”

    Reply
  8. John Sakowicz   September 20, 2019 at 4:21 pm

    I’ll pulled my papers at the County Clerk’s office today. I’ll need about 687 signatures before November 12.

    I’ll like to sit down with James Marmon, HHSA whistleblower, and listen to what he have to say. I think of Mr. Marmon as an important “policy adviser”, especially on HHSA issues.

    Recently, I’ve been doing a lot of research into community mental health fraud.

    Providing mental health services in outpatient clinics saves the government and taxpayers a tremendous amount of money — or so we’ve been told. Clinics are cheaper than jail or prison, right?

    However, many outpatient mental health centers are scamming the system, maybe even including Redwood Community Services (RCS). Maybe not. I don’t know.

    According to forensic accountants with whom I’ve been consulting, in a typical scenario, patients are brought into the system to receive “treatment.” They arrive at a clinic each day, but instead of receiving treatment they play games or watch TV all day. Then the clinic bills for “therapy” that was never provided.

    In another scenario, clinics double dip — or even triple dip — on billing for services. Multiple psychiatrists, psychologists, clinical social workers, psychiatric nurses, therapists, licensed professional counselors, and case managers will bill for what is pretty much duplicative care provided to the same patient.

    In a third scenario, fraud is committed by exploiting “changes to care”. Telepsychiatry is another area rift with fraud and tainted by unscrupulous clinic owners.

    There’s another area for fraud.

    Assessment; evaluation; diagnosis,;prescribing and monitoring medications; treatment; therapy; care; support, mentoring and guidance; case management, coordination of care, discharge planning services, placement services, and other services to support independent living — all are moving targets.

    All are vague and ambiguous billing line items.

    And how buildings, equipment, and technology get amortized and depreciated can be straight up tax fraud.

    For decades, psychiatrists and psychologists have claimed a monopoly over the field of mental health. Governments and private health insurance companies have provided them with billions of dollars every year to treat “mental illness,” only to face industry demands for even more funds to improve the supposed, ever-worsening state of mental health. No other industry fails more consistently while expecting to get more funding.

    Mark Schiller, president of the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons, admitted: “I have frequently seen psychiatrists diagnose patients with a range of psychiatric diagnoses that aren’t justified, to obtain [insurance] reimbursements.”

    However, psychiatrist and psychologist membership bodies do not police this criminality. Rather, as former president of the American Psychiatric Association (APA), Paul Fink, arrogantly admitted: “It is the task of the APA to protect the earning power of psychiatrists.”

    The mental health monopoly has practically zero accountability and zero liability for its failures.

    It’s quite a racket. And our own RCS fell right into this bonanza. Mendocino County just hands over $20 million every year to RCS.

    Maybe more. Accounting is a mystery at RCS.

    * * * * *

    Because I respect Bruce and Mark, I want to hear their thoughts, too, about how to turn around The Good Ship Mendocino. I want their thoughts across the board, not just mental health.

    I need to hear about a lot.

    Budgets. Pensions. Water equity. Cannabis. Job vacancy rates. The decline in general services. The escalation of salaries for county executives, managers, and department heads. Wildfire preparedness. Emergency services. Waste, fraud, and corruption. The CEO model vs. CAO model. The charter government model of governance vs. the general law model of governance.

    Things like that.

    Bruce and Mark know more than any other two people, and they love Mendocino County.

    I need policy advisers. I need to ask the right questions. Then I need to shut up, listen, and take copious notes.

    Thanks,

    John Sakowicz, Candidate, 1st District Supervisor

    Reply

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