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Off the Record (October 9, 2019)

AB 857 is a public banking bill awaiting the governor's sign off. When it becomes state law, what would prevent our County's leadership from starting one in which County money would be placed? Why? Because Mendo now places its money with big banks or money markets that invest in all manner of environmentally destructive stuff, and here we are in the most progressive county in the United States while our money does bad things in the world. Yes, yes. Local entropy would certainly be an obstacle, but if the idea has achieved state sanction, obviously lots of counties are in favor, so why not us?

IS SEAN DONOVAN still among the living? As KZYX celebrates 30 years of managerial turmoil and serially comic events, I haven't heard the station mention its Republican founder. I only tune in mornings to get the MSM's version of big events, so I may have missed mention of the founding father, but we published an announcement last week about the 30-year celebration by station steno Jerry Karp implying that "the community" got KZYX up and running.

NOPE, Donovan did it all by himself then billed the station $30 grand for his selfless gift to Mendocino County. (Giants walked among us in those days!) By then Donovan had relocated to Alaska where he was soon fired by an NPR station up there. I bring up KZYX's origin fable as one more example of how local history gets re-written to misrepresent what in truth happened.  

KMUD, in SoHum, by way of contrast, was indeed a grassroots community effort and, unlike KZYX, organized in a way that makes it accountable to the community. And it reports local news and it spares its listeners the expense of NPR programming. KZYX, by contrast, is dominated by its programmers and whomever happens to be on staff, all of it in theory overseen by, and I don't mean to be abusive here, but “marshmallows” is the descriptive that always comes to mind when I think of the station's board of directors. It is what it is, as the young people say, but it's so generically same-same you could swap it for the NPR franchise in Mogambo, Alabama and nobody either place would know the diff. 

SURELY one of the many debauchees reading this can help me out with this mystifying, perhaps new wrinkle, in pervery. Last weekend SF Gate, the feeble on-line edition of the enfeebled mother ship, the SF Chronicle, ran photographs from the Folsom Street Fair, mostly featuring fat people waddling around with their bare bums hanging out of leather apparatuses. But a couple of the photos featured naked people wearing carefully crafted  horse heads that looked as precise as chess set pieces. What "sexual" practice do these figures represent? Should I notify the SPCA that horses are perhaps being coerced into unnatural acts?

I THOUGHT AGE-ISM was solidly included in the PC catechism. I'm no Biden fan but I am a geezer and resent all the talk about him "losing it" every time he emits a garbled sentence. Which is often, granted. Hell, when's the last time you heard anything approaching coherence out of a high school kid? Or, for that matter, local radio talk show hosts? Now, and I speak as a Berner — Bernie or Third Party, that's me — Bernie's had some heart trouble. So? He'll bounce back, no problemo. But he also is getting the too old treatment, and was getting prior to his heart attack. Stick to the issues, ageists! But the Democrat Super-Delegates and Wall Street grandees who anoint Democrat candidates, all of these grandees are hostile to Bernie because he's the only Democrat they've got who stands for anything have  pronounced The Bern as "too old." Of course they could live with Biden even if he becomes totally incoherent, and they absolutely yearn for Hillary.

INTERESTING POST from a Coastie named Mr. Hannah:

“These are the 2016 demographics for Fort Bragg, CA. With a median household income of $37,506 and a median home price of $308,578, home ownership is not possible for most citizens in the area. They simply will not qualify for mortgages, despite spending nearly one-third or more of their annual income on rent. What solutions do you [Supe’s candidates] have to create a path to home ownership for the citizens of the 4th district? What is your plan to increase job growth? How do you propose to close the growing gap between median household income and median home price in this part of Mendocino county? Thank you.”

I’LL TAKE that one, Mr. Hannah. I’d say that at the Mendo level the Supervisors could agitate for trailers, perhaps FEMA trailers, to be established on suitable public parcels on the Mendocino Coast and inland from Willits to Ukiah. Trailer villages could be established pronto, not that there wouldn’t be resistance from the Coast aesthetes and the inland snobs. But if it weren’t for the trailer parks we now have in Mendocino County many more of our citizens, particularly the elderly, would be homeless. 

A UKIAH READER WRITES: “I just got rental increase notice from our trailer park operator saying that space rental is going up by another 5%. This notice was on top of the annual increases they have been imposing on us — mostly retired and fixed-income people. A note at the bottom of the notice says, “This rent increase is a direct result of the continual raising cost for water, sewer, new sewer consumption charges, garbage, and increased government permit-to-operate fees for mobile home parks.” The City of Ukiah and the Sewer District are raising our rents due to bloated admin and those millions of dollars they wasted on a pointless lawsuit. Maybe we need local government control more than we need rent control.”

A UKIAH FRIEND'S city water and other city-provided amenities are now $460 a month for a two-person household, having doubled over the past year.

CIVIC SLIPPAGE, GOVERNMENT ENTROPY, a random sampling: Water and sewage rates in the Ukiah Valley just took an upwards surge because Ukiah's over-large government with two highly paid administrators, its own two lawyers for 16,000 people, and who knows how many ancillary employees, bungled years of legal negotiations with another group of water and sewer bunglers, the result being ratepayers are now forced to pay for years of legal gamesmanship. Many of the City's trapped water and sewer customers are on low, very low, fixed incomes.

AN EVER-LARGER Boonville feral cat colony is irremediable because (1) crazed cat ladies whose obsessive fixation on the species trump all neighborhood concerns and the demand of the elderly property owner to stop feeding the creatures on her property, (2) County Animal Control policy is so cumbersome that the County essentially enables feral cat colonies. Mendocino County sponsors a "no kill" animal shelter, the result being a large, permanent animal population of unadoptable pit bulls and unadoptable feral cats cruelly kept in cages often for as long as a year until they are finally declared expendable and euthanized.

TWO LARGE CACHES of illegally dumped tires have been discovered on the Russian River near Hopland while much more river and stream befouling colonies of drunks, drug addicts and neo-bums camp on the Russian River and its feeder streams in the Ukiah Valley. The Supervisors paid a consultant named Marbut many thousands of public dollars to suggest effective ways to reduce the "homeless" population, but Marbut's commonsense strategies were not only ignored by the Supervisors who paid our money for them, a large gathering of helping professionals met in the tomb-like Ukiah Conference Center to denounce Marbut as cruel and uncaring. 

ABERRANT public behavior is now so common in Fort Bragg and Ukiah it's only noted when it becomes overtly threatening. Ukiah's leadership, on the advice of its cringing attorneys, doesn't permit the police to interfere with the "homeless" unless they break the law in ways that can't be ignored, the result being public anxiety and fear, especially in the elderly and the vulnerable. 

TELEVISION'S chuckle buddies news shows out of the Bay Area last week featured breathless stories on security arrangements at a music event in Golden Gate Park. The assumption seemed to be the possibility that any large public gathering is a potential killing field. Remember the old definition of insanity? The diff  being the ability to distinguish between possibilities and probabilities. 

MEASURES B (mental health) and V (herbicidal tree removal) are passed into law by Mendocino County voters. B is crippled by its over-large oversight committee and V is stymied by County and State lawyers, with a big assist from Supervisor McCowen as always fortified by errant opinion from County Counsel.

500 CHILDREN of the County's underclass are in foster care, some of them in distant facilities supposedly organized to rehab "extremely difficult" boys (mostly) and girls. Mendocino County has a population of 90,000 people, half of whom, if children are included, qualify as officially impoverished, and of them about a third depend on various forms of public assistance.

THE PRESIDENT, live Friday morning on the White House lawn, says he asked the government of Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden for corruption, not because Biden is running for president against him but because it's the president's job to investigate corruption. In passing, Trump said that Elizabeth Warren "is a socialist maybe worse." Meanwhile it's revealed that Trumpers hired a woman to appear at an Ocasio-Cortez event to suggest "eating babies" as a greenhouse gas reduction tactic. This hoax was all over the news for hours until it's revealed the woman had been hired to make it seem that AOC's proposed Green New Deal is crazy. Meanwhile, Big Lib (Pelosi, Schiff et al) manage to ignore the flagrant impropriety of Biden trading on his own place in government to place his son in lucrative positions with foreign governments.

I'VE NOTED, and probably you have too, that political discussions among friends who hold opposing views are getting testier and testier, and with the president talking up civil war it's no longer all that hard to imagine the unthinkable.

TRUMP IS FORTUNATE IN HIS ENEMIES. Adam Schiff is one of the few politicians in DC whose hubris rivals Trump’s own. Schiff will find a way to make the impeachment inquiry about himself and his own Inspector Javert-like rectitude–which may engender sympathy for a man (Trump) who deserves none. Schiff, who appears to have lied about his staff’s contacts with the whistleblower, should step down and hand the Inquisition over Val Demings, which would trigger every lurking racial prejudice and sexual insecurity in Trump’s bloated body. He won’t. — Jeff St. Clair

BAR JOKE: A dyslexic walks into a bra.


The Mendocino Grain Project has been a successful and impressive effort to grow and process local grains into flour for baking and cooking here in our county. Its founder Doug Mosel now needs to move the project to a new home. Lake County grain farmer John LaBoyteaux, in a letter sent to fellow food producers, discussed the large storage space Mosel rents north of Ukiah to house his grains, as well as the cleaning and milling equipment needed to process them.

According to LaBoyteaux, “Right now it provides the only fully equipped, commercially viable, grain-cleaning facility anywhere on the North Coast, (currently processing) grain from Marin, Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino, Lake and Humboldt counties.”

It would be a real shame to lose that capability locally.

Mosel and LaBoyteaux are proposing the creation of what they are calling the North Coast Grain Institute, which they envision as an agricultural research station dedicated to grains, but including other organic crops, which would also house and operate the cleaning equipment and other grain infrastructure, as well as serving as a place to train younger farmers.

A location for a new home has been found on a 25-acre site in Upper Lake. It’s a certified organic walnut orchard which is described as having the industrial structures needed to clean and store grain, and provide research and educational facilities. The walnut operation would be continued to support the Institute, but non-productive sections would be removed to devote to grains and other crop research.

To create the institute, the farmers are looking for “a person or persons who can front the money, at least in the short-term, to acquire the property and continue cleaning grain while pursuing public benefit grants and matching fund options. The ranch does have continued income from the walnuts to cover the property taxes and other expenses. However, in the short-term we need benefactors who have the cash, understand the importance of the project for North Coast grains, and are willing to work with us to make this happen and put the institute on a sound financial footing.”

We hope that person is out there. Anyone interested in helping get the Institute up and running can contact contact Mosel at 707-621-0972 or LaBoyteaux at 707-496-3270.

(K.C. Meadows, Editor, Ukiah Daily Journal. Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)

A SAN FRANCISCO READER WRITES: To Whom It May Concern, I'm requesting a 1-year subscription and will send a check tomorrow, Mon. Oct. 7. I had a subscription previously but let it lapse due to the fact that my landlord was pursuing a fraudulent eviction against me and I was uncertain how much longer I would be residing at that address. I have defeated him, and so would like to resume receiving the AVA. Thank you.

THE DEADLINE for the Mendocino County Cannabis Cultivation Phase One was Friday at 5pm. All Phase I (sort of a grandfathering phase) applications for cultivation were to have been submitted via drop box at the Department of Planning and Building Services before 5pm. Beyond all rational consideration, the County hopes that “Phase 2” will be more lucrative than Phase 1 for everybody.

ALTHOUGH the filing deadline for the March 3rd election for Supervisor isn't until December 6th, that doesn't deter us (plural) at the ava bunker from a few, probably unsound opinions about the candidates, insofar as their views have so far hoved into public view. 

THE FIRST DISTRICT runs sorta north and kinda east of Ukiah, through Redwood Valley and on into Potter Valley with a few lost cannabis canyons in between. The First District seat has been dominated for years by Potter Valley people wed heart and soul to the retro opinions of the Farm Bureau. Candidates for the First District seat must also vow to defend the Potter Valley Diversion as it is, which means laughably cheap water rates not only for Potter Valley's sons of the soil, but also for grape growers the length of the Russian River. Their life draw on that cheap water is considered God-granted by most residents of Potter Valley and all the grape growers downstream. 

FOR THE PAST coupla decades, Inland Lib, as overseen by Joe Louis Hoffman, has tried to wrest the seat from the cow pokes and cow girls. Lib herd bull Hoffman even ran for the seat himself only to be soundly thrashed by Carre Brown, a kindly ol' farm gal who goes instantly feral at even the mention of any tampering with present-day arrangements made possible by the Eel River Diversion at Potter Valley, where the Browns own a farm.

ALTHOUGH the Supe's job is supposed to be a non-partisan position, Mendolib always supports the perceived liberal which, evaluating the liberal contribution to the position over the past 50 years, has been unblinking support for certifiable insanity, gross incompetence and petty criminality. Lately, however, the board functions more like it should with the elections of John Haschak and Ted Williams, especially Williams.  

FOURTH DISTRICT Supervisor Dan Gjerde has been invisible in office, and an automatic yes vote for whatever the CEO shoves in front of him. Gjerde is supported in lockstep by Coastlib, and a word about them, please. They've been unerring over fifty years in their support for incompetents all the way back to Patti Campbell, which is not to mention the sad collection of self-servers holding down the 5th District seat. In the 4th, with the exception of Liz Henry, who was repeatedly backstabbed by the libs even though she was the only truly capable person Coastlib had elected before or since, Gjerde being capable certainly, but among the missing as a Supervisor.

GJERDE is opposed for re-election by popular Fort Bragg mayor, Lindy Peters, who, count on it, will be vilified, surreptitiously of course, as a Trumpian right-winger by Coastlib, few of whom pay any attention to Supervisor politics. Lindy, like Gjerde, is a mainstream lib with a strong interest in sports, hence his rep as a right-winger. Gjerde, despite two terms as a Supervisor, has no record to run on, and Lindy's views on County issues are as yet unknown. Aware that he has a formidable opponent in Peters, Gjerde is frenetically facebooking after years of invisibility. This one will be close.

THE FIRST DISTRICT also features candidates for Supervisor heretofore unheard from on local issues. Or any issues, except one candidate, the irrepressible and highly controversial John 'Sako' Sakowicz, whose opinions on the issues are clearly lib-pwog. Jon Kennedy has served as a supervisor in Plumas County and had lived in Mendo County prior to Plumas where he probably would have been re-elected to office if his family hadn't preferred a return to the Ukiah area, at least that's the implication of the one story on Kennedy in Plumas we could find. 

KENNEDY told the Plumas paper he was lured back to Mendocino County by a lucrative job offer. Mrs. Kennedy, in the same article, expressed her unhappiness with the "vitriol" of public life, which is can't miss these bifurcated days, and here comes hubby running for office again! We kinda liked what we could glean of the guy; he's been a volunteer fireman in Graton and, as a Plumas supervisor, didn't shrink from making decisions unpopular with key interest groups.

A UKIAH REALTOR named Joel Soinila has also signed up to run for the 2nd District seat but is otherwise unheard from. And James Green, another candidate, has appeared at a couple of Supe's meetings to make comments of the rah-rah type — always a big hit with the "positive-thinking" feebs so prevalent these days. Green's a member of the Farm Bureau, favors the Diversion as is, belongs to the Ukiah Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club — a cv that fairly screams, "You can count on me, cow pokes and wine people!"

THE ONLY QUESTION in the 2nd District, which is basically Ukiah, is John McCowen, whose family goes all the way back to the Indian Killers. Will he run for re-election? Or will the energetic Maureen 'Mo' Mulheren, mayor of Ukiah, assume the seat virtually by default over the unknown Soinila. We don't expect McCowen to run for a fourth term. He's been good on some issues, terrible on too many others, including his almost singlehanded but unwitting sabotage of what shoulda been a sensible marijuana licensing program. McCowen lost us when he tried to wire a highly paid position on a do nothing Climate Change advisory committee he'd created for palsy-walsy purposes. Overall, the guy adds to the confusion. It seems time for him to devote himself to the truly good thing he does — preventing the slobbification of the Ukiah Valley by the "homeless." 

THE PROB we have with Ms. Mulheren (so far) is Ukiah. Anybody who runs for higher office from the Ukiah City Council has a lot of 'splainin' to do. Our county seat is a mess every which way, from its roads to its pointless water and sewage war, which has just now doubled the service rates of its citizens. And the spectacularly destructive new County Courthouse that no one except our over-large posse of judges want? How about that rolling monster? It keeps on sliming into reality three long blocks east of the present and perfectly, well, ok, imperfectly serviceable, County Courthouse. That proposal would destroy what's left of old Ukiah and the mom and pop commerce that goes with it. Candidates? You opinion on the proposed Courthouse? 


 [1] If not a civil war in the US, there is a blogger war about the inquiry on the web. I’m not going to weigh in but I have a funny story. I was at a small party and a Trump supporter I was talking to began to read an article that was just posted to his Facebook page. The story was that NASA finally admitted that global warming is actually caused by the sun. I asked, could you go to the NASA site to confirm this? He said, there is no point, there is so many stories out there and no way to say what is true or false.

 [2 It’s hard for me to believe the CIA actually has spies inside the President’s office, but there it is.

If you go back to say, Franklin Roosevelt, 80 years ago, and all the presidents since then, if every high level phone call was listened in on and mined for anything that might remotely be ‘impeachable’, there might have been impeachment proceedings initiated by the party out of office every single year. What a way to run a government! Dems seem to think this is 1973, and people are paying rapt attention to their subpoenas and hearings. What I’m seeing, even in this lefty blue state of CT, people are taking this impeachment with a grain of salt. Dems started this too soon after the 3 year Russia collusion hoax, and it’s pretty obvious what’s happening here.

 [3] None of this decriminalization jazz is about making life easier for marijuana enthusiasts or growers. It's all about providing a tax revenue stream that politicians can rely upon and which relieves them of the fear of having to repeal Prop 13 or otherwise discomfit the California Landed Aristocracy. I wonder what that old crook Howard Jarvis would say were he to find out that his efforts led to decriminalization of the debbil's weed.

One Comment

  1. Paul Modic October 10, 2019

    When I’m up in the Seattle area i hear a DJ named Sean Donovan on an college station

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