MCT: Wednesday, October 23, 2019

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"A PG&E shutoff is anticipated today at 3PM. The impacted population will be much less than affected in the last round with a projected count of about 150 customers, including some customers east of highway 175 in Hopland. The County will issue a press release with details. Be prepared for the plan to change. Further intentional outages are anticipate, potentially as early as the weekend."


"All of  Laytonville  and  parts  of  Covelo  have reported  outages already.  PGE  outage  map  shows  1000+  customers out  in  County of Mendocino. PG&E tells us these outages were not planned and are unrelated to the PSPS. (Who knows.)"

THIS WEEK’S PEAK WIND EVENT will begin at 5pm Wednesday in the North Bay, said PG&E Tuesday night, so they now assume de-energization starting at 3pm Wednesday.

Sections of southeast Mendocino involving perhaps 1000 “customers” would be affected if the likely shut off occurs Wednesday afternoon.

(Anticipated OutageMap as of Tuesday night)

Winds are expected to return to safe levels at noon Thursday when “restoring activities” will begin. However, there’s another possible “wind event” over the weekend under consideration for another shut-off.

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Lifelong rider of waves was leader among fans of kneeboard technique

Donald Harris surfed all over the world, from Huntington Beach in Southern California to Steamer Lane in Santa Cruz to Queensland, Australia, to Bali and the Mentawai Islands in Indonesia.

The final session for Harris, a 58-year-old resident of Philo, came Sunday morning. After making the hourlong drive from his home to Point Arena cove, Harris paddled out 100 yards or so, then told another surfer he wanted to go out further, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Lt. Shannon Barney said.

Five minutes passed and no one had seen Harris.

“Another surfer paddled out to check on him and found him floating in the water with his surfboard next to him. He brought him in to shore and began CPR,” Barney said.

Arriving paramedics took over CPR, but couldn’t revive Harris. He was pronounced dead at 9:21 a.m. An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday to determine the cause of his death, Barney said.

Waves at Point Arena, a popular break, were well overhead Sunday morning at about 9 feet.

With the rocks, lack of lifeguards and long paddles to reach the point breaks, the area presents a surfing challenge and definitely is not recommended for beginners.

Nor was Harris a beginner. He grew up surfing Huntington Beach, in Orange County. After moving to Sausalito “to chase my heartthrob,” he wrote on a surfing website in 2003 — he was referring to his wife, Bonnie — he became a regular in the lineup at San Francisco’s Ocean Beach, one of the most challenging waves on the West Coast.

“He was really well respected,” said his friend and fellow surfer, Jack Beresford, of San Diego. “Not only for his surfing ability, but for his generosity and willingness to give back.”

After moving to Philo, just north of Boonville, Harris had spent the last seven years as the technology manager for the Anderson Valley Unified school district. His daughter, Lana, is a freshman at Anderson Valley High School.

After describing Harris as “a godsend” to the district, for the expertise he brought to all matters technological, interim superintendent Michael Warych said that “unquestionably the greater loss is that he was a wonderfully good guy who was loved and respected not just in the school district, but throughout the Anderson Valley area.”

Also feeling his loss is the community of “kneelos,” or kneeboarders, a subset of surfers who enjoy a different, more retro riding experience.

By kneeling on the board, some claim, they can ride higher and tuck back further in the tube of a wave.

A kneelo dating back to his boyhood days at Huntington Beach, Harris almost singlehandedly sparked a kneeboarding comeback in this country in 2003, when he launched the website

“At first, I registered 15 of my friends,” he told the Marin Independent Journal in 2007. “They were the only members. But through word of mouth it kept growing and now we have a little over 1,100 members.”

“He had a vision for how our community could come together,” said Beresford, a six-time winner of the U.S. Kneeboard championships. “He was someone who brought a lot of folks together. He had friends around the world.”

(Austin Murphy, courtesy, Santa Rosa Press Democrat)

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I am excited to announce that I’m running for Judge in the 2020 Election. #KatrinaBartolomie was extremely kind in helping me with the paperwork. I am very proud to announce my early endorsers:

Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Keith Faulder ; Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman ; Ukiah Fire Division Chief Kevin Jennings ; Mendocino Fire Chief David Latoof; Mendocino County 5th District Supervisor Ted Williams; Jeffrey A. Aaron, Attorney ; Eric Rennert, Attorney; Kevin Davenport, Attorney; Josh Rosenfeld, Attorney; Zohar Zaied, Corrections Deputy; Retired Mendocino County Sheriff Jim Tuso; Chief Executive Off. at Mendough Distributing Inc. Tim Schmadeke; David and Kylie Felicich; Mendocino Fire Assistant Chief Joaquin Jones; John Wetzler; Nan Motolinsky; Bill Holcomb, Deputy Mendocino County Sheriff; Paula Deeter; Edward Davies; Frank Rakes; Scott Roat; Piercy Fire Chief Patrick Landergren; Gisele Reaney; Mark McNelley, Deputy Mendocino County Sheriff; Andrew Kendl, Fort Bragg Police Officer; Mauri Fox; Daniel Lee; Paul McCarthy; Jonah Walsh, Attorney; Meghana Kao; David Tavelli; Mathew Caine; Maddy Avena…
I look forward to meeting many more on the campaign trail.

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Petit Teton Monthly Farm Report

We've attached a photo of our boxes packed and ready for market two or three weeks ago.  The colors, shapes, and textures make me think of exotic Persian rugs - edible ones. There's little more beautiful than fresh, alive fruits and veggies…just ask the 18th Century Dutch painters.  If we could sell meat fresh I would have included it as well, but we can't so I've added a photo of an artist at work parting out one of our pigs several years ago. Half of the pork was used for prosciutto which is why the skin was left on. Since the produce photo was taken we've had several early morning frosts and the tomatoes, peppers, okra and eggplant are toast. Now the weather folks are saying there will be 80+ days for awhile which means some things will revive for a while longer.  The daytime to nighttime swings in temperature here are often 50 degrees which makes plants and animals, including people, a little nuts.  The ancient (200+ years old) valley oak in our front yard is bombarding us with a huge acorn drop of huge acorns probably resulting from last years huge rains.  They sound like artillery fire when they land on the ribbed roofing over our lunch area and it would be dangerous to be hit on the noggin by one.  Every one will grow once we have some rain so we try to pick up as many as possible for the pigs, who love them.  Now what we need is rain.

Have a frightful Halloween,

Nikki and Steve

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SHERIFF ALLMAN mentioned recently that there were 11 registered arsonists in the County that his department keeps an eye on. As the temps got well up over 80 on Tuesday, and are expected to be the same Wednesday through Thursday, and with the media raining down red flag warnings and excited tv talk about PG&E's likely shutdowns, I can't shake an image of the 11 firebugs raptly gazing at their matchboxes and whinnying, "Oh what I'd give to dance again with the flames!"

ONE OF THE BENEFITS of advanced age is re-reading the books that moved you when you were a kid because you've forgotten everything about them except the author's name and maybe, if your memory is hitting on all cylinders, a title or two. A lot of critics sneer at Thomas Wolfe as "a young man's author" whose lyricism doesn't withstand adult life's beatdowns. The following, read at the end of life, holds up pretty well as advice to a young person as to the repeated blows he can expect to his central nervous system. Yeah, yeah, too long by facebook standards and too preacherly elegiac by lit-crit standards. I like it, though, and I think "You Can't Go Home Again" is the truest picture of American life in the 1920's that there is, better than Gatsby in its way because it embraces a whole town's people, not just a nouveau riche bootlegger and his upper crust friends.

“Child, child, have patience and belief, for life is many days, and each present hour will pass away. Son, son, you have been mad and drunken, furious and wild, filled with hatred and despair, and all the dark confusions of the soul — but so have we. You found the earth too great for your one life, you found your brain and sinew smaller than the hunger and desire that fed on them — but it has been this way with all men. You have stumbled on in darkness, you have been pulled in opposite directions, you have faltered, you have missed the way, but, child, this is the chronicle of the earth. And now, because you have known madness and despair, and because you will grow desperate again before you come to evening, we who have stormed the ramparts of the furious earth and been hurled back, we who have been maddened by the unknowable and bitter mystery of love, we who have hungered after fame and savored all of life, the tumult, pain, and frenzy, and now sit quietly by our windows watching all that henceforth never more shall touch us — we call upon you to take heart, for we can swear to you that these things pass.”
― Thomas Wolfe, You Can’t Go Home Again

HEMINGWAY gets to the point faster: ''The first and final thing you have to do in this world is last in it and not be smashed by it and your work the same way.''

LATELY, I've been reading Chekov's short stories, many of which I recognized as I got into them. What I've always liked about the Russian writers is how they go straight to the basic question, the only question really, "What the hell is this all about anyway?" Compare the spiritual struggles of Chekov's characters to the purplishly hip Sunday sermons of, say, Methodists or, more egregiously, drive-in churches and guys calling themselves "Pastor Rick" with their tales of how they traded their sins for a ticket straight to eternal life when, if they were sincere, they'd be like the guy I once saw in the Santa Rosa Catholic Church who crawled, weeping, to the alter where he prostrated himself and went completely to pieces. That's Chekov and Dostoevsky for sure. That's also what I've always liked about "The One True Church," the Catholic Church. It's got standards, and best of all its got Confession where you can rattle off all the prior week's bad behavior, get yourself absolved by the sinner listening to you, and go right back out and sin for another week!

SPEAKING OF SIN, a young Coast parent told me just yesterday that he and his wife are absolutely delighted with the Mendocino schools but worry that kids as young as fifth graders are known to smoke the bazooka, and the incidence and prevalence of marijuana use among Mendo youngsters grows right on through junior high and high school. Over the long years here in Boonville, I can rattle off the sad fates of kids I knew who got into dope at an early age, a few of them succumbing to institutional-quality schizophrenia in their early twenties and basically vegetablized the rest of their lives.

ANOTHER THING about the geezer life: How come closed captioning can't keep up with the programming speech but is right up to speed for the advertisements? Huh? Huh? We can put a man on the moon etc.

DRIVING SOUTH the other afternoon in heavy traffic around Santa Rosa, a young woman slightly ahead of me, suddenly swerved partially into my lane before righting herself. I hit my brakes in time to avoid a head-on presumably caused by her phone or some other hand-held gizmo. She pulled adjacent to me to mouth "Sorry." Or a curse, but being a positive dude I assumed she realized how close she'd come to making the news blips about drive-time delays. Distractions everywhere, but this old boy has always taken seriously the sage advice, "Drive like everyone else on the road is trying to kill you." They are. Which a frightening percentage do via inattentiveness, drunkeness, druggedness, simple lack of basic eye-hand coordination, and absence of motor skills, and general decrepitude. Driving 128, which bisects the Anderson Valley "community," i.e., twenty miles of eccentrics arrayed between Yorkville and Navarro, and as anybody who drives it can and will, recite the numbers of times he and she have seen absolutely suicidal vehicular behavior. I've been passed on blind curves, driven behind drunks who swerved all over the road all the way to Cloverdale, seen vehicles shoot off the roadbed and into a tree or over the side into a creek — the works.

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(photo by Harvey Reading)

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THE LADY WITH BALLS -- Author event at Coast

The Lady With Balls: A Single Mother's Triumphant Battle in a Man's World with local author Alice Combs

October 27, 2:00 pm; Coast Community Library; 225 Main St., Point Arena

Alice Combs shares her story of transformation from divorced mother on food stamps to successful entrepreneur founding a business, Vulcan Wire, with eventual annual sales of $10 million. During the 1970s, Alice overcame her initial ignorance of the recycling trade and recovered from the many novice mistakes she inevitably made while teaching herself what would slowly become a thriving business, despite an embezzling partner, cutthroat competitors, and more!

Her exceptional achievement in a traditionally male arena is an inspiration for anyone who aspires to the heights of success in their chosen field. All are welcome. Free.

For more information, please call the library at 707-882-3114.

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Pennyroyal Farm has created a special 2017 Pinot Noir, Big Hendy Reserve - with 10% of the profits going back to the park via our organization. Their tasting room is currently pouring this wine - so go in today and support your Hendy Woods State Parks - purchases made by December 31 will be part of their 2019 donation to our non-profit organization.

Inspired by Anderson Valley’s majestic redwood grove and state park, Hendy Woods, our Big Hendy Reserve is a careful selection of our vineyards’ lots blended and then preserved through extended aging—a total of one-and-half years in barrel! The resulting wine is a lush Pinot Noir reminiscent of summer’s wild berries with a lasting mixed forest fragrance of toasted oak, peppery laurel, and a hint of redwood duff. Sipping it reminds us of wooded walks with family and friends and the importance that this grove’s continued preservation will be enjoyed by generations.

Donation Toast

10% of sales of Big Hendy Reserve will be donated to the Hendy Woods Community, a group of volunteers who provide programs, services, and infrastructure improvements to the state park. Purchases made by December 31 will be part of our 2019 donation to the non-profit organization.

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DURING TUESDAY’S CROP REPORT to the Board of Supervisors District One Supervisor Candidate John Sakowicz introduced himself as “John Sakowicz, candidate for First District Supervisors and proud member of the Mendocino Cannabis Alliance” before agreeing with the Board’s general opinion that future crop reports should contain an estimate of the annual pot crop, but adding that the pot crop numbers should include an estimate of all (estimated) 9,000 pot grows, not just the 200-300 that have or have applied for permits. Not surprisingly the Board didn’t entertain that suggestion. But they did ask the Ag Department to include some kind of pot crop report in next year’s crop report.

THE ONLY OTHER COMMENT on the crop report came from another candidate for First District Supervisor, Mr. James Green who did not identify himself as a Supervisorial candidate: “James Green, concerned member of the public. The report mentioned that there was a significant drop in apple prices and my rough math showed it as 11% and the reason why I’m asking is because I like apples. Is there an explanation for the drop in prices?” The Ag inspector doing the presentation, after raising his eyebrows at the wierdness of the question, replied, “It is my belief that it all comes down to supply and demand. So it was nothing significant with the crop that was produced. There was actually a lot of the crop left on the trees because there was no demand for fresh-pak or they couldn’t keep up with their own…” Green interrupted: “Great. Thank you. I’ll buy more.”

THE BOARD also approved nice raises for the County’s management association, law enforcement, and Probation units. Oddly, the Board didn’t express any interest in the budget impact of these latest increases, although Supervisor Williams expressed caution saying that in future years the County would need additional revenue sources or a reduction in staff.

SO IT FELL TO Willits Weekly reporter Mike A’Dair to ask, “How much will this cost?”

SEVERAL BOARD MEMBERS, and the CEO, then spoke up to say that the County had recently discovered that due to some unspecified error they had larger than expected carry over of about $5 million when they reconciled the final budget for last fiscal year (as of June 30, 2019). This not only provided a nice cushion for salary increases and perhaps other projects, but lead Supervisor John McCowen to declare that the County was “not teetering on the edge of bankruptcy.” Supervisor Gjerde added that the Board “had a plan” to cover not only this year’s raises (for which they had previously budgeted a presumably different $5 million), but they also had a plan for the raises in the following two years. NO ONE explained what the “error” which was magically corrected in the final budget close-out for last year and nobody explained what the amount had been expected to be. We suspect that at least some of the $5 million carry-over from last year stemmed from larger than expected staff vacancies as opposed to new revenues — but who knows?

UNFORTUNATELY, with the seeminly large dependence on vacancies, nobody asks what the impact of the vacancies is on workload, backlog, etc.

LATER in Tuesday’s meeting the subject of monthly budget reporting came up again. And again, the CEO and her staff put it off again, saying they were still trying to figure out a way to connect the computer with actual expenses to the computer with the budgeted numbers. The Board will discuss the subject again in November at which point they may or may not have at least one department up and ready for the long delayed and oh-so-hard task of monthly reporting of budgets versus actuals like every other government organization in the County.

(Mark Scaramella)

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Arroyo, Barrales, Cook, Garcia-Tomayo

RICHARDO ARROYO, Ukiah. Vehicle theft, stolen vehicle.

FIDEL BARRALES, Ukiah. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, drawing/exhibiting firearm on day care grounds, concealed dirk-dagger, probation revocation.

CHRISTINE COOK, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.

RAMON GARCIA-TAMAYO, Ukiah. DUI, evasion, resisting, controlled substance.

Hevey, Huerta-Romano, Martinez

JENNIFER HEVEY, Ukiah. Probation revocation.


MYA MARTINEZ, Ukiah. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun.

Orozoco-Calderon, Underwood, Worthy


BRENDAN UNDERWOOD, Disobeying court order, failure to appear.

DAVID WORTHY, Ukiah. County parole violation.

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Why are they so ready to put down the great LeBron James? Pent-up envy? Political animosity? James has been fiercely criticized over some very reasonable comments concerning the Houston Rockets general manager, who had tweeted his support for the protestors in Hong Kong and outraged the Chinese government. James made the point that the Houston exec could have held his tweet until the NBA teams playing in China had returned home. He made a broader point about people weighing in on situations they hardly understood. He said there are things happening in this country worthy of our attention. I caught him on TV telling an array of reporters that he himself only spoke up on matters he knew about. He talked about “my kids," who he hopes will go on to college from the school he created and supports in Akron — and “get out of the hell that is the inner city."

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Artwork by Isaac Cordal

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The weekly report from one Council Member of the Ukiah City Council, current Mayor Maureen Mulheren Last week I was able to attend the Annual Conference for the League of California Cities in Long Beach . This year I served as the Redwood Empire Division President and on Thursday I passed that torch on to Melanie Bagby the Mayor of Cloverdale. The Redwood Empire Division is made up of the cities in Humboldt, Lake, Mendocino and Cloverdale. The three day conference is an opportunity to network with 478 of the other Mayor's and Council Members and attend break out workshops on a variety of topics as well as visit with vendors that provide services to cities around the State. I chose to attend workshops on Transportation, Housing and Land Use, Modern Policing, a rural city information exchange, Age-Friendly Cities, the Hidden Costs of Tackling Homeliness, Housing for All and Delivering Sustainability and Climate Resiliency without Sacrificing Budget. The Key Note Speaker was a gentlemen named John Martin who spoke about Millennials and what they are looking for from a city when they are deciding to put down roots. The way that John describes what some people call the "Me Generation" is the "We Generation". He spoke about how when everyone on the Millennial Soccer Team received a soccer trophy they didn't hear "You're special" they heard "We are all special." This generation may very well be the most inclusive generation, and a generation that is focused on experiences not things. They are less likely to own cars or own homes, they go to festivals and long trips and spend their money on "doing things" instead of "owning things". They want a community that has a sense of place, spaces to be together including max outdoor recreation options, max food scene, cities that embrace creativity, innovation, they want greater access to biking walking paths, and public transportation and they want greater inclusion for all. Within the next two years 50% of the workplace will be made up of millennial's and by 2030 they will be 75% of the workforce. It's imperative that Cities think about this when planning for the future for the next generation.

Over the weekend we celebrated Pumpkin Fest in Ukiah. For the last 7 years I've been volunteering to do vendor load in on Saturday mornings at 5:30am, its early and chilly but I love the behind the scenes view. The parade was a wet one and things seemed to mostly dry out in time for the Space "Not So Secret Flash Mob" in which my youngest daughter performed. Saturday didn't warm up too much but the sun came out on Sunday and it was a Mayberry Moment with the leaves falling as families gathered and enjoyed the booths, events, music and food.

"I hope I can be the autumn leaf, who looked at the sky and lived. And when it was time to leave, gracefully it knew life was a gift." - Dubinsky

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Gualala/Point Arena/Round Valley/Covelo:

Free legal information and help every Wednesday from 3 to 5 p.m. through live video.

Where: Action Network in Gualala

Family Resource Center (Wellness Center) in Covelo

Información legal y ayuda gratis todos los miércoles de 3 a 5 p.m. en vivo por video.

Dónde: Action Network en Gualala

Family Resource Center (Wellness Center) en Covelo

(Mendocino County Superior Court)

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(1968) "THE CLASSIC ACCOUNT of the 1960s counterculture in San Francisco. A rare example of journalism that approaches art in one direction and the best of social science in another." --Newsweek

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by Friends of the Eel River

FOER reached an agreement with Humboldt County that will reduce sediment impacts in our watershed.

Well we had some real hope that California's new Governor Gavin Newsom was going to be a strong ally for environmental protection. It turns out we were wrong. In late September Governor Newsom sided with the Trump administration by vetoing SB 1, legislation created to protect California's incredible natural and public trust resources. The federal administration is actively dismantling important legislation like the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, and the Endangered Species Act, among others. Senate Bill 1 passed the California Senate and Assembly with nearly 2/3 support. It would have made existing federal standards enforceable under state law even if rolled back at the federal level. Our allies at the Environmental Protection Information Center are gathering signatures to let Governor Newsom know how sincerely disappointed we are at his failure to protect what matters to California. Please click here to sign EPIC's letter. Friends of the Eel River is proud to announce we reached a settlement agreement in our cannabis lawsuit against Humboldt County. (Eureka, CA) Friends of the Eel River and the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors have reached a legal settlement to fund culvert replacements and road repairs in two Southern Humboldt watersheds critical to salmon and steelhead through 2023.

The agreement ends a lawsuit brought by Friends of the Eel River. The environmental group has argued the county has not yet done enough to mitigate watershed impacts of commercial cannabis cultivation in Humboldt’s easily eroded hills. “On behalf of Eel River salmon and steelhead, we are grateful to announce this agreement to reduce sediment impacts,” said Friends of the Eel River Executive Director Alicia Hamann. “This agreement won’t solve all the problems that have built up over decades, but it’s a great place to start.”

“A lot of the conversation around the impacts of the commercial cannabis industry has focused on water diversions and the use of pesticides and fertilizers. Those are important issues,” said Scott Greacen, FOER’s Conservation Director. “But overall, roughly 90% of the impacts of Humboldt’s pot industry on salmon and steelhead come from sediment – from too much dirt coming off our roads and getting in our creeks.”

Under the agreement, Humboldt County will invest an initial $1.1 million in a fund to finance culvert replacements and road repairs in the Redwood Creek and Sprowel Creek watersheds. Through 2023, the fund will also receive 20% of fines and penalties collected by the county in cannabis enforcement. The fund will make grants to “sediment reduction programs associated with roads serving cannabis cultivation sites. Grants shall be awarded to fund improvements to public and private road improvement projects undertaken with the specific purpose of protecting water quality in streams, creeks and rivers. At least eighty percent (80%) of funds shall be used for actual road improvements.”

The Redwood and Sprowel Creek drainages are critical refugia for salmonid species including chinook, steelhead, and coho. Conservationists are especially concerned with declining coho populations. Coho, or silver, salmon are particularly vulnerable to freshwater impacts. Friends of the Eel River is hiring an Administrative Manager starting at 20 hours per week. We are looking for candidates that share our passion for the Eel River and have a wide breadth of administrative skills. Contact us with any questions at

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Saturday, November 9, 6 to 9 p.m.

Little Lake Grange, 291 School St., Willits

There is a chill in the air and the leaves are turning. Gather with friends at the Willits Grange for a lovely evening of dinner, dessert, and music, all to benefit a wonderful cause: the Cancer Resource Centers of Mendocino County.

Come hear the beautiful harmonies of "Just Enough," the trio of Kate Black, Clancy Rash, and Helen Falandes, who will perform beginning at 7 p.m.

Guests will also see the public premiere of the new short video about the work of the Cancer Resource Centers.

Menu: Autumn salad with sweet potatoes, wild rice, apples and kale

Rosemary roasted chicken

Butternut lasagna with mushrooms and sage

prepared by Good Earth Kitchen

$40 includes dinner, dessert and music

$10 dessert and music only (arrive just before 7 p.m.) Silent Auction,

Tickets are available at Cat's Meow in Willits

OR by calling 937-3833

OR: email: to reserve

OR: Buy online through Eventbrite (fees apply) -

Advance reservations necessary.

We cannot guarantee ticket availability at the door.

Our Mission: To improve the quality of life of anyone facing cancer in Mendocino Copunty.

Our Vision: No one will face cancer alone!

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Rather than confront the devastating absurdity of defeat before an ad-libbing game show host who was seemingly trying to lose – a black comedy that is 100% in America’s rich stupidity tradition – Democrats have gone all-in on this theory of foreign infiltration. House speaker Nancy Pelosi even said as much in a White House meeting, pointing at Trump and proclaiming: “All roads lead to Putin.” All? Seriously? Is this ever going to end?

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TUSCON, CORNELIA & GILA BEND RR Edwards Motor car #401 operating on the loop at the Nevada State RR Museum in Carson City, NV. September 22, 2019

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Mexico’s Soaring Murder Rate Proves Gun Control Is Deadly

Its laws are among the world’s least permissive. And most criminals don’t get weapons from the U.S.

by John R. Lott Jr.


Another month, another record number of murders in Mexico. For the first nine months of 2019, Mexico had 25,890 murders—almost six times as many murders per 100,000 people as in the U.S. Does Mexico need stricter gun control?

No. Its gun laws are among the least permissive in the world. For decades Mexico has had only one gun store in the entire country, a military-run establishment in Mexico City. The store’s prices are very expensive, and the most powerful rifle that you can buy there is a .22 caliber. There’s no “gun-show loophole”—any person-to-person firearm transfers are illegal without an “extraordinary” permit that never seems to be issued. One may sell a gun only to the government, and then the government has to decide to sell it to someone else.

Getting permission to purchase a gun is a feat in itself. Background checks take six months to complete and require fingerprints and an evaluation of the buyer’s employment history. Only 1% of Mexicans possess a license to own a firearm. When I testified before the Mexican Senate a few years ago, members of the chamber, who have faced death threats, told me that even they found it impossible to get a concealed-handgun permit.

It wasn’t always this way. Mexicans had a right to own guns until 1971, when the constitution was amended to give the federal government total control over firearm access. In 1972 the government passed strict gun-control measures. Now Mexicans can’t transport guns outside their homes without a permit from the Secretariat of National Defense—even if the gun is lawfully registered, unloaded, in a locked container, and going from one residence to another.

Mexico’s murder rate is about twice what it was in 1972. Mexican officials blame America, with its relatively strong gun rights. But the fully automatic guns often used to commit murders in Mexico are strictly limited on U.S. soil. Between 2005 and 2014, more than 13,000 grenades were seized by the Mexican government, and these simply can’t be bought in the U.S. A 2016 U.S. Government Accountability Office report complained of limited collaboration with Mexican authorities on tracing guns.

So where do Mexican criminals get their guns? “Most cartels buy in bulk, and the weapons are coming from places like Nicaragua and other South American countries. Also Asia and some from the Middle East,” a Tijuana-based police authority who requested anonymity recently told Fox News.

According to data from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, 70% of all criminally owned guns in Mexico come from the U.S., but these figures are based only on the limited number of guns Mexican authorities have seized, traced and submitted to the agency for checking. That’s a small subset of guns. For instance, Mexico submitted 11,000 guns to the ATF in 2007-08, though it seized 29,000 guns during that time. Of those, 6,000 were successfully traced and 90% of those traceable weapons came from the U.S. Thus by one estimate only about 17.6% of the firearms Mexico collected in total could be traced back to America.

“These kinds of guns—the auto versions of these guns—they are not coming from El Paso,” Ed Head, a firearms instructor in Arizona who spent 24 years as a U.S. Border Patrol agent, told Fox News. “They are coming from other sources. They are brought in from Guatemala. They are brought in from places like China. They are being diverted from the military. But you don’t get these guns from the U.S.”

Strict gun-control laws and high homicide rates often go together. Other developed countries that fit this pattern include Brazil and Russia. If you look across all countries or all developed countries, the ones with the highest gun-ownership rates tend to have the lowest homicide rates and the lowest murder rates from mass shootings.

Gun laws, no matter how draconian, don’t solve crime problems. It’s pretty simple—the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun. Disarming the latter emboldens the former.

(Mr. Lott is president of the Crime Prevention Research Center and author of “The War on Guns.”)

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White antivaxxers have tried to take advantage of minority communities on more than one occasion in the recent past. Remember, it was antivaxers in Minnesota, overwhelmingly white, who spread misinformation that convinced the Somali immigrant community in Hennepin County that vaccines cause autism and led them to refuse vaccination, creating multiple large measles outbreaks. During the political battle over SB 277 in California, the law that eliminated nonmedical “personal belief exemptions” to school vaccine mandates, RFK Jr. teamed up with the Nation of Islam to promote his message to African-American communities. It’s an alliance that continues to this day and now appears to include the Church of Scientology, with which the Nation of Islam is closely allied. After the release of VAXXED, the antivaccine propaganda film disguised as a documentary, Andrew Wakefield, Del Bigtree, and other antivaxers went to Compton to try to recruit African-Americans to the antivaccine movement.

Antivaxers know that African-Americans have ample reason to distrust the medical system and seek to take advantage of that understandable distrust. Now they’re doing it again. What’s disappointing is that Rev. Al Sharpton was all ready to aid and abet this effort and only backed out because the national press noticed. Fortunately, given that the turnout appeared to be, by and large, the same people in the New York City area who always turn out to these events, they appear to have failed. Unfortunately, as you can see from the posts quoted above, that failure has already provided the seeds for conspiracy theories about how “They” shut this conference down.

— Dr. David Gorski

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A READER WRITES: I walked into the pub last night and shouted, “All Conseratives are bastards!” A man stood up and said, “I’m very offended by that.” “Why,” I asked, “are you a conservative?” “No,” he replied. “I'm a bastard.”

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I am from Humboldt, I grow in Humboldt, I reek of Humboldt weed. When I travel and say I am from Humboldt I always hear as a response “got any weed” and always will til I die. The next moments are filled with smoking weed, making new friends and tax free transactions.

Yea, I see the corporations losing money. Lots and lots of money and they are begging for more. They just filled their coffers with another 850 million. They are lying to investors about our market and not informing them they entered into a war. I consider it an honor and I will do my best to make sure they lose every penny of that 850 million they just recieved. This is our plant not theirs, it’s always been our plant and will always be our plant. We Humboldt, Trinity and Mendo growers are often duplicated but never replicated. They try, have tried and been trying and they have failed.

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To the Editor:

At the Board of Supervisors meeting on October 22, Supervisor John McCowen brought Agenda Item 6-a, "Discussion and Possible Action Including Approval of Request to the Mendocino County Climate Action Advisory Committee (CAAC) to Consider Funding/Staffing Models for the CAAC".

No one in their right mind disputes global warming and climate change are real. But the fact remains that any meaningful mitigation must be national or international in scope.

Also, for many years the State of California's Climate Action Registry has had in place a program called the "Climate Action Reserve" which is committed to solving climate change through emissions accounting and reduction. It was created by the State of California in 2001 to promote and protect businesses’ early actions to manage and reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

And, since the passage of AB 32 in 2006, California has been involved in groundbreaking climate action, setting our state’s greenhouse gas reduction targets to 1990 levels by 2020, and forming partnerships with other states and nations around the world to enact policy that can address climate change.

Other state initiatives are found at California's Climate Change Portal at:

Therefore, Mendocino County's CAAC is redundant and unnecessary.

Moreover, the activities of meetings, public outreach, and travel for the proposed CAAC Program Manager, added to the activities of the 15 members of the CAAC Committee, will probably be carbon positive for carbon dioxide emissions -- meaning the CAAC Program Manager and the CAAC Committee will probably add more greenhouse gases than remove or reduce greenhouse gases from Earth's atmosphere.

It's absurd to think the CAAC can do anything that the state isn't already doing. It's equally absurd to think the proposed CAAC Program Manager could do anything that the County CEO couldn't do at the direction of the Board of Supervisors.

Both the Ukiah Daily Journal and the Anderson Valley Advertiser have agreed with this assessment in their own respective editorial comments about the CAAC.

The CAAC's funding level should remain at $7,500. It should not be funded at $110,000, as initially proposed.

If Mendocino County has that kind of money to throw away on a political patronage job -- McCowen is the landlord of the Mendocino Environmental Center and by many accounts has earmarked the job for a "friend" -- then the county should take that money and add it to the county's annual contributions to the Mendocino County Employee Retirement Association (MCERA) to help defray a looming solvency crisis at MCERA.

Please be aware that MCERA has a negative monthly negative cash flow of $600,000-$700,000 due to the fact we have 1,400 retirees and only 1,150 current employees.

In other words, our county pension system is "upside down". We have more people taking money out of the system than we have people putting money into the system.

MCERA also has an unfunded pension liability of approximately $210 million.

Honoring the promises made to county retirees is far more important than a gesture of political grandstanding. The $110,000 proposed for the CAAC is the equivalent what 3-4 retirees get, on average, in annual benefits.

Honoring our promises to retirees is a sacred pledge. Nothing is more important.

It's time for the Board of Supervisors to make smart financial decisions.


John Sakowicz, Candidate, 1st District Supervisor.

ATTACHED: Agenda Item 6-a


CONTRACTOR shall provide the following services:

Background The Mendocino County Board of Supervisor (“BOS”) shall appoint a Mendocino County Climate Action Advisory Committee (“Committee”) to make recommendations regarding the implementation of a Mendocino County Sustainability and Climate Action Program (“Program”). The Program shall be based on “Mendocino County’s Commitment and Mission to Fight Climate Change” (Exhibit E), which the BOS has adopted in principle. The Program’s main objectives are to initiate County-wide goals, policies, and actions that will reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, increase carbon storage throughout the County, prepare Mendocino County residents to reduce, prevent, and/or recover from climate caused natural disasters. The Committee and Program will serve as a model, partner, and source of inspiration to other jurisdictions to address the challenge of confronting the demands of climate change. The agreement will be for one-year from the last BOS signature on the contract.

Purpose The purpose of this contract is for Mendocino County (“County”) to fund the Program in cooperation with the Mendocino County Resource Conservation District (MCRCD). A member of the Committee is encouraged to serve as an Associate Director of the MCRCD Board to provide connectivity between the MCRCD and the Committee, thereby ensuring a complementary alignment and progress towards the implementation of the Committee’s vision.

The MCRCD will hire a Program Manager who will work in direct support of the Program and the Committee Chair and work consistent with this Description of Services. MCRCD’s hiring process (job description, qualifications, evaluations) will include one representative of the Committee. The funding from this contract will cover the costs for the new Program Manager and some MCRCD staff time to collaborate on the Program, and ancillary Program costs. (See Exhibit B for detailed budget). The Program Manager will be an employee of the MCRCD and subject to the roles, responsibilities, and limitations of the MCRCD organization and its mission. The mission of the MCRCD is to conserve, protect and restore wild and working landscapes to enhance the health of the water, soil, and forests of Mendocino County. The MCRCD is a Special District under Division 9 of the California Public Resource Code. At the start-up of the Program, the Program Manager, in support of the Committee, may have incidental involvement with focus areas that are broader than those of the MCRCD. After this initial period, the Focus Groups will thereafter operate independently in coordinating with the Committee, such as conducting public outreach, gathering information, and researching and developing proposals for the Committee to consider.

The Program will focus on the areas identified and prioritized by the Committee, which may include, but are not limited to:

GHG emissions reduction o Energy o Transportation o Land use o Existing and new development o Solid waste; Carbon Storage o Agricultural land o Forests o Rangelands o Ocean, coastal and near shore ecosystems o Water courses, riparian and wetlands o Land uses; Community climate change preparedness o Climate hazard reduction, and disaster recovery preparation solutions; o Coordination with relevant agencies to develop climate hazard preparedness.

The MCRCD, through the Program, shall provide the following services for the County, and the Program Manager shall distribute work tasks according to these approximate percentages:

Program Development 25% Grant Writing 25% Meeting Attendance 15% Administrative Support 20% Public Outreach and Social Media 10% Administration 5%

The Program goals include, but are not necessarily limited to, the bulleted items listed below. Successful Program implementation is contingent on BOS approval of Committee recommendations and identification of funding. Evaluation criteria for the Program Manager will be defined in a formal employee performance plan, which can be developed in collaboration with the Committee Chair, or Committee delegate. The Chair, or delegate, may participate in the evaluation of employee performance prior to the end of the contract.

The Program manager may be expected to engage in the following activities:

Program Development (25%) o Establish the Program for the County at MCRCD, including overarching vision, mission, goals, and organizational structure.

Develop plan for establishing a current GHG emissions and carbon storage assessment “baseline” for Mendocino County. o Facilitate priority projects to lower GHG emissions and increase carbon storage based on the assessment. o Set short-term and long-term targets for GHG emissions reduction and carbon storage. o Develop and implement monitoring protocols. o Support the County’s development of climate caused disaster preparedness plans. o Estimate costs and talent needed to assess and implement the priority projects and tasks of the Program. o Invite businesses, schools, agencies, Tribes, non-profits, communities, neighborhoods, and individuals to participate in the assessments, monitoring and review of project proposals and actions. o Prepare reports and documentations as required by grants, regulations, MCRCD and the County.

Grant Writing (25%) o Research, prioritize and submit grant applications to fund key projects. Meeting Attendance (15%) o Attend Committee meetings and collaborate with the Chair to facilitate meeting requirements and help ensure efficient and effective meetings, and relevant and timely deliverables. o Attend MCRCD Board and Staff meetings to coordinate MCRCD staff support for the Program and help develop funding strategies for the comprehensive and long-term sustainability of the Program.

Administrative Support (20%) o Support the on-going operation of the Committee and support the Chair with administrative tasks. o Develop, in cooperation with the Chair, the Committee meeting agendas and postings, as required by the Brown Act. o Capture and distribute Action Minutes of the Committee. o Retain and archive public records generated by or presented to the Committee. o Support initiation of Subcommittees and Focus Groups which shall become self-sustaining without ongoing support from the Program Manager.

Public Outreach, Education, and Social Media (10%) o Serve as the point of contact for the Chair o Develop Program materials to communicate to the Public on goals and activities of the Program committee and what Mendocino County residents and businesses can do to contribute. o Develop and maintain the Program’s and Committee’s websites.

Network throughout the state and region with organizations (governments, agencies, NGOs) for information sharing.

Administration (5%) o Communicate and collaborate with MCRCD employees on Climate activities in all programs. Prepare and account for Program budget, timesheets, monthly progress reports, attend mandatory trainings, and other responsibilities of an MCRCD employee and accountable contractor to the County. o Attend MCRCD Board and Staff meetings to help develop a comprehensive and long-term sustainment of the Program.

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"I thought I knew a lot about this place," the old guy wheezed, "but darned if this ain't a gen-u-wine learning experience."

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