MCT: Sunday, November 3, 2019

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COLD MORNINGS and eerily warm days for the next week without, we hope, "wind events." Enjoy the new normal but pray for rain.

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THE RULING AGAINST THE ADVENTISTS

by Malcolm Macdonald

An “October surprise” is a term usually associated with politics. In the current climate, decisions regarding healthcare are about as political as life gets. On October 31, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra provided a Halloween shocker to two of California's bigger healthcare systems, Adventist Health and St. Joseph Health.

Those two hospital networks were anticipating a potentially favorable ruling by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in approximately six weeks time, allowing them to continue an operating agreement that shared services at nine different California medical facilities. Instead Becerra dropped a big trick in their candy bag in the form of this statement: “Pursuant to California Corporations Code 5920 et seq, the Office of the Attorney General hereby denies the requests of Adventist Health System/West and its affiliates, and St. Joseph Health System of the proposed transaction between them and creation of the ST Network, LLC.

“In coming to this decision, the Office of the Attorney General has carefully considered the factors set forth in Corporations Code 5923 and concludes among other things, that the proposed transaction is not in the public interest, included but not limited to, having the potential for increased health costs and concerns over access and availability of health care services…”

The ST Network, LLC referenced in the Attorney General's decision refers to Sacred Trust Network. It included nine hospitals and two home health entities. The nine hospitals are Adventist Health Clear Lake, Adventist Health Howard Memorial, Adventist Health Ukiah Valley, Adventist Health Vallejo, Adventist Health St. Helena, Queen of the Valley Medical Center, Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, St. Joseph Hospital of Eureka, and Redwood Memorial Hospital of Fortuna.

Readers interested in a full length explanation for the formation of the network can access an online link at:

https://www.oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/agweb/pdfs/charities/nonprofithosp/adventist-sjhs-hia-r2-sthelena-clearlakevallejo-061419.pdf.

Boiled down, the thesis statement might be, “The Sacred Trust Network seeks to create a partnership that recognizes and builds upon Adventist Health and St. Joseph Health’s faith-based traditions and common values of dignity, excellence, and service. Adventist Health and St. Joseph Health believe there is significant opportunity to provide healthcare for patients closer to home by achieving the following: Concentrating on centers of excellence; creating a broader and deeper value-based provider network; integrating clinically across the respective hospitals and physician groups; improving quality, stabilizing volume, and reducing costs; expanding the provision of managed Medi-Cal services; and collaborating on health information sharing and care management.”

Later on Halloween, St. Joseph's and Adventist Health issued a joint statement in reply to the Attorney General's ruling. “Today, the Office of the Attorney General within the California Department of Justice (CA DOJ) issued a letter denying the proposed joint operating company between Adventist Health System and St. Joseph Health System, a proposed agreement that would have integrated clinical activities and services through a new joint operating company. Our proposed venture would have combined our services across clinics and facilities in Humboldt, Mendocino, Sonoma, Lake, Napa and Solano counties to lower the cost of healthcare and improve quality and access to care. The agreement has been under the regulatory review process since Spring, 2018.

“Both Adventist Health and St. Joseph Health are very disappointed in the outcome of this decision. Our intent has always been to better serve our communities, increase access to services, and create a stronger safety net for families in Northern California.

“At this time, our organizations will need to take a step back and determine implications of this decision. The well-being of our communities remains our top priority.”

Obviously, the legal decision impacts Mendocino County's medical facilities in Ukiah and Willits. Perhaps somewhat ironically, one of the reactions from Adventist Health will be to fast track the potential affiliation with the Mendocino Coast Healthcare District. This means that the anticipated FTC ruling, that might not have come until December, will not delay a public vote until April or May. Rather it is likely that vote will now coincide with the Presidential primary in early March, 2020.

Only two steps remain before ballot language can be delivered to Mendocino's County Clerk-Recorder. A term sheet agreement between Adventist Health and the Coast hospital followed by approval of a majority of the Coast healthcare district's board of directors (BOD). Due to recusals, that BOD vote will be made by only three members, Steve Lund, Amy McColley, and John Redding.

Redding is chair of the hospital's finance committee. The facility's September financial statement shows the Coast hospital with a net loss of $467,000 for that one month alone. Two of its three bond covenants are out of compliance. The only covenant above the minimum standard is “Days Cash on Hand.” That is only compliant by adding what is essentially a set aside savings account (the Local Agency Investment Fund or LAIF) into the equation. Without the LAIF money Mendocino Coast District Hospital has about two week's worth of cash with which it can pay its creditors.

The $467,000 September loss contrasts with what was budgeted ahead of time as a $92,000 loss. Adventist Health will not provide a panacea in affiliation. Anywhere from 20-50 (out of roughly 300) Coast hospital employees may well lose their jobs, but the downward economic spiral continues there. Affiliation with Adventist Health is the only way out at this juncture.

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NOYO SUNSET

(photo by Dick Whetstone)

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JOHN REDDING RE COAST HOSPITAL: "You may have read recently that the Attorney General of CA has denied approval of the proposed merger between Adventist Health and St. Joseph's (actually to form a Joint Operating Company). This has not affected AH's interest in affiliating with MCHD. Indeed, the affiliation Board (Lund, McColley, and Redding) will be meeting with the AH's affiliation team at our hospital on Friday at 9 am. This meeting is open to the public. On the agenda is a discussion of 17 issues that Director McColley and I have about affiliation. This is part of our ongoing due diligence effort."

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THE CANDELABRA TREE at Shady Dell in the Sinkyone Wilderness State Park north of Fort Bragg and Mendocino on the North Coast. The 957-acre dell is home to a mystical grove of the ancient candelabra-shaped redwoods.
 Photo by Mike Shoys taken from the Save the Redwoods League book "The Once and Future Forest: California's Iconic Redwoods".

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FORT BRAGG GOES DARK

by Rex Gressett

A Look Back At The ‘1st Great Fort Bragg Blackout’

When I got into the city on Monday morning, winds were blowing straight at massive fires at 93 miles-an-hour. I was hearing rumblings about 30,000 acres burned, Windsor and Healdsburg evacuated — 2.8 million Californians losing their power.

PG&E pulled the Fort Bragg plug Saturday morning and casually tossed the city into the opening scenes of a science fiction masterpiece. It was a blackout and it was a thought experiment. It was a peek under the covers at the naked reality of our resilience as a community. It was a test of our character and a test of planning.

There were two gas stations in operation. Eel River Fuels and Chevron. As I drove by, Chevron had a kind of high-tension disaster movie look, with flashing lights and trucks ranged around the lot. A long steady line of hard-eyed drivers wrapped around three blocks — three BIG blocks. Down the highway, the locally owned Eel River station had a line running both directions north and south that ran for two blocks each way. I picked them. We got to the point we were inching forward and then sitting still. At about 10:30 am, they ran out of gas. Everybody peeled off with dispatch and grim courtesy.

When the Eel River station went down, the counter people at the Chevron heard the clarion trumpet of duty. No gas would have been the last straw. The hard workers at Chevron never wavered. Brandy wouldn’t tell me her last name, but when the lines of cars aiming at the gas station snaked around the block — and across Cyprus Street — Brandy was in the intersection moving traffic with the same courteous efficiency of a New York City traffic cop. She kept traffic flowing and moved that long line with unpretentious bravado. I heard later that Councilman Bernie Norvell was doing the job later in the day.

By midmorning James Pruit, of modest demeanor, was at the Chevron standing beside his gleaming 86,000-gallon big-rig tank truck pumping gas in faster than a relentless line of cars could pump it out. He told me they had it under control — and another truck was on the way. The cops descended on the station like it was ground zero. Fort Bragg got gas.

Kelly Brodensky kept the pharmacy by the Mendocino Coast Hospital open. Everybody got their meds. Were it not for Kelly Brodensky, the nonexistent city emergency plan might have meant death for some people. Kelly stepped up and kept the pharmacy doors open — like Brandy directing traffic. Like Headlands with their brave and inadequate “no expresso” coffee. We did it ourselves.

Safeway manager Zeke was in high-stress mode. Some “time-to-loot” impulse had homeless people just walking in and dashing out. The one I saw had a case of beer on his shoulder. I assume the eight Fort Bragg cops had their hands full otherwise. That’s part of the story too.

I heard on the street that Safeway threw out tons of food. Thawing pizzas and cold cuts floated around in the thawing ice cream. Starbucks sent sandwiches to the PG&E tents, but their dumpster was also full. Nobody called the Food Bank. Harvest Market never missed a beat.

As the days ticked by, Fort Bragg retained its optimism, cheerfulness and willingness to help. At Safeway, some credit/debit cards weren’t working. There was a mini-epidemic of people “paying it forward” to strangers in the checkout line.

The police station, the conference room at City Hall and the main center of blackout resilience — the PG&E “resource center” in the CV Starr parking lot — were open for device charging. All of them were packed, but the big center of community assembly was the CV Starr Center. There were two tents, no rules, no cops, coffee and pastries. There were NO problems and a protracted intense community conversation on the almost comical degree of local unpreparedness. Even the homes with solar did not have electricity.

The main topic of hundreds of conversations was the complete absence of a City plan. The $56 million budget that the City of Fort Bragg dispenses every year includes a dizzying diversity of consultants and communities. Every two weeks, the City Council busts a gut to tell us how wisely they spend our money.

I remember back when they had the emergency response workshop on a weekday afternoon at Town Hall. Top county Sheriff Tom Allman was in attendance to tell us how to pack an overnight bag, lunch and take a flashlight. That would have done you a lot of good. They happened to mention that once there was a plan to stockpile food for the county. These days the containers were empty and rusting away in various strategic locations.

The City council knew the power was going down for months, and when the rubber met the road, it was the cops, the individual heroes and the good-natured patience of regular Fort Bragg people that got us through.

The City Manager flew back to the city. The City Council was in it right along with the rest of us, but the $56 million of annual city expenditure didn’t help a damn bit.

There are many ways to touch the core of what it means to be a community. It turns out that a blackout is one of them.

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THE AV ELDERHOME Annual Benefit Dinner at the Boonville Hotel is Sunday, November 10, 2019 from 3-7pm. $150 per person. Reservations required: aveh@pacific.net. Or 895-7730 or 510-388-9103. Chef Perry Hoffman plans a gourmet menu with oysters, surprises, persimmon salad, duck confit with polenta and apple gallete with cider whipped cream for dessert. The new Elderhoime cottage can be viewed before the event from 2-3pm.

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WILLIAM HEATH ROBINSON (English, 1872-1944)

An illustration of a witch carrying off a baby, as she flies away on her broomstick. Frontispiece from the book "The Book of Witches" by Oliver Madox Hueffer, published by The John McBride Co., New York, 1909.

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PET OF WEEK

Bella is a gentle, easy going girl. She lived with children and another dog in her former home, and she’s housetrained. Her previous guardian described Bella as a very sweet dog who loves attention, affection, and playing with children. Bella also enjoys swimming, and she’s a graduate of basic dog training class. Bella is a 3 year old, spayed female, mixed breed dog who weighs 62 pounds. You can find out more about Bella on her webpage: www.mendoanimalshelter.com/dogblog/bella Better yet, come to the shelter and take Bella out for a walk or an off-leash romp in our play yard.

The Ukiah Animal Shelter is located at 298 Plant Road in Ukiah. Visit our website for information about our canine and feline guests and all of our services, programs and events: http://www.mendoanimalshelter.com For more information about adoptions please call 707-467-6453.

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ATTENTION DEFENDANTS! All Out-Of-Custody Defendants With Cases That Were Supposed To Be Called By The Mendocino County Superior Court During The Three Power Outage Days (Monday, Oct. 28th, Tuesday, October 29th, or Wednesday, October 30th):

If you already had an appointed or retained attorney, please contact your attorney.

If you were scheduled for an arraignment on one of the three dates and do not yet have an attorney, you will in short order receive from the Superior Court an order to appear notice in the mail. Please appear on the date and at the time on that notice to appear.

If you are still unsure of when next to appear and would prefer that a warrant not be issued for your arrest, please come to the courthouse where you were originally suppose to appear -- either Ukiah or Fort Bragg -- and talk to a judicial clerk at the criminal division window of the Clerk's Office.

(Mendo DA Presser)

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PORTLAND JAPANESE GARDEN

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THE COST OF NOT UNDERGROUNDING

Editor:

I would like an objective and comprehensive study to determine if, in the long run, undergrounding power lines is cost-effective. If the payback period were, let’s say, 20 years, would this work? If this question were asked in 2016, probably not. However, with the benefit of hindsight of the past two years, this could be quite justifiable.

Expenses of not undergrounding to consider:

The never-ending cost of sufficient clearing of vegetation around power lines.

Proper maintenance of above-ground infrastructure.

Repair and liability costs due to infrastructure age, vehicles hitting poles, storm damage, etc.

Damage to property as a result of utility-caused fires.

Litigation expenses due to fires, etc.

Costs resulting from intentional power outages.

This doesn’t even factor in the emotional costs that cannot be quantified and the blight on the landscape of overhead utilities.

Joe Lieber

Sonoma

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SCOTT MAYBERRY'S RETIREMENT

UKIAH, Fri., November 1. – DA Investigator Scott Mayberry's last day with the Mendocino County District Attorney is today, Friday, November 1st. Scott is retiring after a long and honorable law enforcement career promoting public safety and protecting victims of crime.

Scott started work for the District Attorney as a DA Investigator in September 2014, after his retirement from service as Fort Bragg's Chief of Police. As DA Eyster was heard to say at the time, "Mark my words - Fort Bragg's loss is going to be a county-wide gain!" And so it was ….

Scott is a career law enforcement professional with over 30 years of decorated service. Scott began his law enforcement career in 1981 as a Reserve Officer for the Fort Bragg Police Department. In 1984, he was hired as a full-time Fort Bragg Police officer, where he worked with honor until 1989.

In 1989, Scott was hired as a police officer for the City of Petaluma, where he continued his growth as a peace officer into 1994. He then went to work for the Redding Police Department, where he promoted through the ranks to become the Captain in charge of the Department's Investigations Unit. Scott departed Redding in 2011 to return "home" to accept his appointment as the Fort Bragg Chief of Police.

Scott has worked in just about every law enforcement specialty assignment, but his true passion has always been in investigations. Candidly, Scott is the best of the best; he's a result-oriented cop who knows how to investigate and crack the hard cases.

As emphasized by the DA's Chief Investigator, Kevin Bailey, "Scott has a rare ability to empathize with both victims and defendants, which makes him a truly rare law enforcement officer. He has been an invaluable asset to the DA's Investigative Unit. Beyond that, he is an employee treasured and appreciated by all who work for the DA. Scott has met every challenge with a smile and greeted every co-worker with genuine warmth and compassion. While we may fill Scott's position in the future, we will never be able to replace Scott and all that he brought to the job."

District Attorney Eyster said late Friday, "This is bittersweet, to say the least. I salute Scott for a long career of good deeds and public service. His institutional knowledge of coastal characters, public safety issues, information sources, and how to get things done on the Mendocino coast and beyond is not something we will be able to replace. He's been a great DA investigator, a great cop, and a good friend. I have nothing but appreciation and kind thoughts regarding Scott. We will miss him."

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SUPERVISORS MCCOWEN & WILLIAMS PROPOSE AN ANTI-PRICE GOUGING ORDINANCE for Mendocino County when Supes declare an emergency such as a Power Shutoff. (Previously the State had to declare the emergency for price gouging rules to apply.)

Relevant excerpt: “The purpose of this Ordinance is to impose a more severe penalty than that provided in Penal Code section 396 to ensure that victims of the October 23, 2019 wind events are not further victimized by unscrupulous landlords and others wishing to take financial advantage of this disaster. … it shall be unlawful for any person to offer for rent or lease a dwelling unit in the unincorporated areas of the County of Mendocino for more than 10% above the dwelling units’ housing price prior to the October 23, 2019 wind events, unless such person can prove that the excess is directly attributable to additional costs resulting from the labor or materials used to rent or lease the dwelling unit. In such instances, only the actual cost increase may be added to the prior housing price. For purposes of this ordinance, “prior housing price” shall be the rental price for the dwelling unit during the thirty-day period immediately preceding the State of Emergency.”


SUPERVISORS GJERDE & WILLIAMS PROPOSE NEW POT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY

Their goal is to “Improve the economic forecast for our county by generating 50% more revenue from cannabis over the next 5 years.” by ensuring that “Mendocino cultivation thrives and remains at a high value point over the next decade.” The plan would “create a Cannabis Business Zone in 2020 to support innovations within the cannabis industry,” and “develop Mendocino brand identity that captures tourist dollars and contributes to the general fund,” and working “to expand the advocacy collaboration between Mendocino County Leadership, Emerald Triangle counties and cannabis industry groups.”

To do this they intend to “Develop a metrics framework to track accomplishments and revenues over the next 12 months,” and “Incorporate the Cannabis Economic Development strategy into a 10 year Economic Development plan for the county.”

THIS NEW PLAN — complete with a mythical “metrics framework” — comes on the heels of Mendo’s successful pot permit program which was advertised to bring in millions in new revenue for roads, emergency services, mental health and pot program administration.


WHAT HAS MENDO BEEN DOING with the over $4 million a year they get from Prop 63’s “tax the rich for mental health” initiative? (Yes, that’s right, they now get over $4 mil a year for the “innovative” Mental Health programs the proposition called for.)

They have “initiated” an undefined and undescribed “innovation project” with the state’s Oversight and Accountability Commission; “started” planning on a housing project; “expanded” services and programs in outlying areas [not true, the Outreach Van is grossly understaffed and there’s no effort to staff up in place]; “created and distributed suicide awareness bracelets”; gone to some farmers markets with a mental health awareness roadshow; provided suicide intervention training to “the community”; and “provided an array of services to support the recovery of serious mental illness to full service partners” —whatever the hell that means.

What are they going to do with the next $12 million in the next three years?

There’s almost 76 pages of blather which we can’t begin to summarize, but let’s just say the word “meeting” appears at least 30 times. There’s also frequent use of “goals,” “stakeholders,” “partnerships,” “building,” “surveys,” “engagement,” “programs,” “populations,” “awareness”…

BUT NOT ONE MENTION of any measurable target, much less a “metrics framework.”

There is one idea that looks promising, although at more than $1.2 mil, it appears just a little overpriced: “Round Valley Crisis Response Services” at the Indian Health Clinic in Covelo. But, again, nothing measurable besides the spending of the $1.2 mil-plus.

$1.3 mil will be spent on a “Healthy Living Community (formerly Friends for Health/Weekend Wellness)” program.

And there’s $600k for “Tech for Trauma (Formerly Computer Program and Virtual Reality Applications for Services to Youth)”

Plus miscellaneous other stuff. Any money left over will go to “further information technology, communication and other [wholly unspecified] infrastructural needs.”

Number of clients helped for what conditions or problems? Nothing. Not a single word.

(Mark Scaramella)

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CATCH OF THE DAY, November 2, 2019

Adams, Baird, Bartolomei

SHIRA ADAMS, Willits. Attempted murder.

JETTA BAIRD, Ukiah. Fugitive from justice.

JASON BARTOLOMEI, Lucerne/Ukiah. DUI causing bodily injury, no license.

Bell, Cantrell, Diamond, Galindo

VICKIE BELL, Ukiah. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, domestic abuse.

BRYAN CANTRELL, Ann Arbor, Michigan/Willits. Fugitive from justice.

JASON DIAMOND, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

THOMAS GALINDO JR., Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent flyer.)

Garcia, Garrett, Hill

RICARDO GARCIA, Ukiah. Controlled substance, parole violation.

WILLIAM GARRETT, Cloverdale/Ukiah. Fugitive from justice.

TARA HILL, Willits. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, criminal threats, offenses while on bail, failure to appear.

Hornsby, Maple, Murphey

HEIDI HORNSBY, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

RUSSELL MAPLE, Covelo. Vandalism.

KEVIN MURPHEY, Hopland. DUI.

Ritter-Jenkins, Rodriguez, Sylvester, Valenzuela

ALEXANDER RITTER-JENKINS, Healdsburg/Willits. DUI.

MARCO RODRIGUEZ, Antioch/Ukiah. DUI, leaded cane or similar, controlled substance.

JAIREN SYLVESTER, Pittsburg (CA)/Willits. DUI, resisting.

LEONEL VALENZUELA II, Ukiah. Domestic abuse.

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EARTHQUAKE NEWS

Editor:

Re: Fred Gardner's Loma Prieta article and media coverage of the quake:

I was living in Davis at the time the Loma Prieta quake happened and the shaking there was strong but I saw no damage in town. In the hours and first few days after the quake I watched quite a bit of national TV network coverage, mostly ABC and CBS. In the first place the words the networks and a CBS radio in San Francisco used to describe the 50-75 foot section of the Bay Bridge collapsing made it seem at least to me as if a much worse structural failure had occurred. I don't remember if they used a blanket statement like "the Bay Bridge has collapsed," but when I first saw what had actually happened it was not nearly as bad as what I had imagined.

Also, the TV networks focused their coverage on all the most badly damaged areas in the Bay Area — the Cyprus overpass in Oakland, the Bay Bridge, and the Marina District in San Francisco — which might have led viewers across the country to assume that damage across the Bay Area was widespread.

In reality, other than bad damage in downtown Santa Cruz and Watsonville (which they avoided showing probably because the networks didn't want to send news trucks down there), the above-mentioned places were the only badly damaged areas in the Bay Area. About three days after the quake I spent a few days at my parents’ place in Marin County where I saw no damage. I came to the conclusion that this was an example of sensationalism, the media trying to make a disaster look worse than it really is to draw in more viewers.

Also, I was living in Marin in October of 1991 when the Oakland Hills firestorm destroyed about 3,000 residences and I believe had a higher financial cost then Loma Prieta, but Dan Rather and Peter Jennings did not come out here for that disaster.

I suppose for most of America a California earthquake is much more exciting than an urban fire.

Keith Bramstead

San Anselmo

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HOUSEHOLD TIP! If you want to know if the humidity is low, try rubbing your cat a few times then touching his nose. If the cat jumps in shock from the tiny electrical jolt: It’s dry.

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ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY

As a container-ship for the poisonous sludge currently known as “progressivism” the sinking of the Democratic Party is something to be devoutly wished. But if the boat goes down what about the contents? Do they seep back up?

How many places of higher – cough – education are there in the US and abroad, septic tanks where such ideology festers and mutates? Thousands for sure. Killing off the Democratic Party as a vector won’t deal with the places of origin.

The Republican Party was similarly the vehicle for ideas sold to supporters as straight-backed, square-jawed Americanism, no matter that it was an absurd ideology of self-harm to the vast majority. Thankfully the Deplorables saw it for what it was. All they needed was permission from on high to tell it and permission duly came (if a bit late) from the most unlikely source, a blustering charlatan with a slippery relationship with ethical behavior. And the shit that guy sez. Even if as a politician Trump is hideous and cringe-inducing, on a few matters central to the national interest, he’s dead right. And especially on matters of international trade and investment, he’s on the mark and the same with the policy of incessant war-making and the blunderings of the foreign policy elite.

So hurray for the Deplorables. They took a hammer to that most preposterous nonsense – Republicanism. Now we just have to see when – cough – progressives wake the fuck up. and, if not, what to do about them.

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TRUMP HAS ORDERED AN END to California’s strict car pollution standards and wants to force Californians to buy the more polluting cars that the rest of the country drives. Yesterday, General Motors, Chrysler and Toyota announced they are supporting and BACKING Trump in his efforts to kill the planet. Friends — never, ever buy a car from these companies — and let them know it. In the good news department, Honda, Ford and BMW sided with Earth and announced they would defy Trump and continue selling only the cleaner cars in California (btw, if you are selling them there, please sell them in the other 49 states). Note: all internal combustion engine cars are a threat to the planet and must be phased out ASAP. Light rail, bullet trains, low/no emission buses, ride-sharing, less sprawl/vertical living, low-consumption neighborhoods and safe bicycle and walking paths, please.

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LOCAL AUTHOR READING & DISCUSSION

Featuring Ron Riekki

Join us on Thursday, November 7thfrom 5:30-6:30 pm to Celebrate NaNoWriMo with a reading and book discussion from local author Ron Riekki.

Ron Riekki wrote My Ancestors are Reindeer Herders and I Am Melting in Extinction, U.P.: a novel, and Posttraumatic: A Memoir. He edited Undocumented: Great Lakes Poets Laureate on Social Justice, Here: 100 Years of Upper Peninsula Writing, 1917-2017, Here: Women Writing on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, The Way North: Collected Upper Peninsula New Works, and The Many Lives of The Evil Dead: Essays on the Cult Film Franchise.

Light refreshments will be served. For more information * please contact Melissa at the Ukiah Library: 234-2862 or carrm@mendocinocounty.org

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SMUGGLERS ARE SAWING THROUGH NEW SECTIONS OF TRUMP’S BORDER WALL

Smuggling gangs in Mexico have repeatedly sawed through new sections of President Trump’s border wall in recent months by using commercially available power tools, opening gaps large enough for people and drug loads to pass through, according to U.S. agents and officials with knowledge of the damage.

washingtonpost.com/national/smugglers-are-sawing-through-new-sections-of-trumps-border-wall/2019/11/01/25bf8ce0-fa72-11e9-ac8c-8eced29ca6ef_story.html

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MONEY TALKS, BULLSHIT WALKS

by Paul Street

Is it any wonder that the nation’s “liberal” cable news stations CNN and MSNBC can barely contain their disdain for Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign and even (to a lesser degree) for that of Elizabeth Warren while they promote the nauseating center-right candidacies of the bewildered racist and corporatist Joe Biden, the sinister neoliberal corporate-militarist Pete Butiggieg and even the marginal Wall Street “moderates” Amy Klobuchar and Kamala Harris? Next time you click on these stations, keep a pen and paper handy to write down the names of the corporations that pay for their broadcast content with big money commercial purchases.

counterpunch.org/2019/10/30/money-talks-bullshit-walks-on-cable-news/

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DO YOU USE Bower Park in Gualala or visit Faulkner Park or Indian Creek Park in Anderson Valley? Share your input!

The County of Mendocino is in the process of completing a Parks Needs Assessment. County residents and active users of our six County Parks are invited to get involved and share your ideas and help shape the future of our Parks by taking our Parks Needs Assessment Survey at: www.mymendocinoparks.org

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ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY #2

I’m not sure what can be done to motivate PG&E doing things better, but here’s what I did.

Once the power was turned back on I wasted little time contacting the Governor’s Office and Rep. Ro Khanna (17th District of Santa Clara/Alameda; he’s been advocating for the State to take over the utility). I asked that California take over PG&E because the situation here in Humboldt -- and elsewhere -- bordered on the ridiculous. I encourage you to do so, too.

They liked that I called but seemed surprised so few people did. Of course, there are some real objections in the State taking over the company. I understand that. On the other hand, PG&E shares have sunk to $3.80 per share with experts saying get out while you can and with something to show for it. It's good time to buy the whole enchilada and make it better for California.

This is the real point, though: If enough fed-up folks called for the takeover of the utility added with the State's pressure to do so, PG&E would actually be more motivated to do something, like firing up our Humboldt Bay King Salmon plant to the local grid and making infrastructure improvements rather than paying their executives and shareholders gobs of money as if it were a well run and effective company. Just a thought.

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WEAR YOUR HATS PROUDLY, TRUMPERS

Editor,

These fires are not caused by PG&E. They are caused by Jerry Brown and people retaliating against the Democratic rotten illiberal regimes spreading across this country. It's not over yet. If the weather doesn't change the whole state will be on fire.

Donald Trump is draining the swamp and doing what he said he would do, including getting rid of Bag Daddy in Isis. President Trump will never allow this to be a socialist country. If not him, then Donald Trump Jr. We cannot have another Democrat President or House.

I know I'm right about everything but there are no conservatives backing me up. They are afraid of the liberals. Afraid to speak up. I'm disappointed. I'm disgusted. Makes me want to puke. They are even afraid to wear a Trump hat. It's sickening.

God bless Donald Trump.

Jerry Philbrick, Comptche

PS. I heard local law enforcement will not cooperate with ICE. Not all illegals should be deported; the good ones should be left alone. But the felons with records as criminals should be deported. One of the best Sheriffs we ever had here was Reno Bartolomei, tough but fair. He would not let illegal immigrants stay in this country if they were criminals. He would work with ICE. When Tom Allman's time is up I recommend Greg Stefani. I know he retired but he has a lot of good years left in him. He would make a great sheriff.

PPS. American teachers are spending more time teaching little kids how to be anti-Americans than math or English or history. Mendocino High School is 100% liberal. Fort Bragg, 80% liberal. Ukiah 80% liberal. Willits 90% liberal. Point Arena, Anderson Valley — I don't know. 90% of our school system is controlled by liberals and they teach kids how to be rotten anti-Americans. If something is not done about this we are screwed.

ED NOTE: Undocumented Mendo people arrested for felonies are reported to ICE, and it's up to ICE what to do with them.

* * *

SNOWDEN STORIES

21 Responses to "MCT: Sunday, November 3, 2019"

  1. Lee Edmundson   November 3, 2019 at 5:03 am

    Good to see Jerry Philbrick is back in form: blithely blissful in his Trumptopian monoverse. Jerry, you might want to check your dictionary for the meaning of the term Liberal: “favorable to or respectful of individual rights and freedoms”… So, you have a problem with this?

    Of course, Trumpspeak has bastardized the term, the concept, into a pejorative.

    Dear Jerry, Meds, my man. Meds, And metamucil. Lots of fiber and plenty of liquids. And rest.

    And breathe, Jerry, breathe. Things are really not nearly as bad as you feel they are.

    Peace in Christ and Trump.

    Reply
    • Randy Burke   November 3, 2019 at 8:16 am

      “If not him, then Donald Trump Jr.”………..Oh Lord help us

      Reply
  2. Kathy   November 3, 2019 at 6:19 am

    Mr. Philbrook,
    The point of the U.S. education system is to teach kids to be productive participants in society. We teach critical thinking and analysis skills in every context. If that is your definition of liberal, then ALL the schools in the are are 100% so.

    Reply
    • James Marmon   November 3, 2019 at 6:53 am

      BULLSHIT!!!

      Kathy, today’s education system does no teach critical thinking and analysis skills, instead it teaches our children what to think, not how to think. STOP TELLING LIES!!!

      Groupthink exists!

      Do yourself a favor, ask questions, think for yourself, and evolve.

      James Marmon MSW

      Reply
      • Harvey Reading   November 3, 2019 at 8:58 am

        Do YOURself a favor, Marmon: eat sh*t and die!

        Reply
        • James Marmon   November 3, 2019 at 9:08 am

          Reading is a fine example of today’s failed educational system, I pray for him. I hope that that teacher that ruined him rots in hell.

          Reply
          • Harvey Reading   November 3, 2019 at 9:44 am

            Marmon is a raving lunatic. Follow his advice, on anything, with caution.

            Reply
      • Kathy   November 3, 2019 at 9:55 am

        James – I don’t recall ever hearing about you being in the teaching profession. Teaching and school administration WAS my profession. And I spent a fair number of years doing just what you say ‘doesn’t happen’…

        Reply
  3. James Marmon   November 3, 2019 at 6:47 am

    Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump
    35 min. ago

    “The Governor of California, @GavinNewsom, has done a terrible job of forest management. I told him from the first day we met that he must “clean” his forest floors regardless of what his bosses, the environmentalists, DEMAND of him. Must also do burns and cut fire stoppers…..

    …Every year, as the fire’s rage & California burns, it is the same thing-and then he comes to the Federal Government for $$$ help. No more. Get your act together Governor. You don’t see close to the level of burn in other states…But our teams are working well together in…..

    ….putting these massive, and many, fires out. Great firefighters! Also, open up the ridiculously closed water lanes coming down from the North. Don’t pour it out into the Pacific Ocean. Should be done immediately. California desperately needs water, and you can have it now!”

    Reply
  4. Michael Koepf   November 3, 2019 at 6:55 am

    Number of clients helped for what conditions or problems? Nothing. Not a single word. (Mark Scaramella)

    God bless Mark Scaramella, he writes the truth for all of us, even if the truth is a sorry mess.

    Reply
  5. Jeff Fox   November 3, 2019 at 7:09 am

    Regarding FORT BRAGG GOES DARK and gas pricing: There were actually three gas stations open most of the time, Chevron, Eel River Fuels and Norcal Gas (south of Fort Bragg). During the outage, Chevron held their price at the pre-outage amount, $4.19. Norcal raised theirs from $4.05 to $4.19, matching the Chevron price. I’m not sure of the exact price at Eel River before the outage. I seem to remember $4.12, but I’m sure it was equal to or less than Chevron’s. During the outage they raised their price to $4.62, an increase approximately 10%. At the conclusion of the outage they immediately returned to their original lower pricing.

    Just something to consider when choosing where to do business during NON-emergencies.

    Reply
  6. Betsy Cawn   November 3, 2019 at 9:25 am

    Re: Mendo Mental Health Mess and the Prop. 63 MHSA “spending plan”:

    Lake County’s share of the bazillions accrued from Mental Health Services Act funding (since 2004), this year, is around three million bucks.

    Unlike the vague descriptions in Mendo’s “plan” reported by Mr. Scaramella in today’s edition, the specifics of Lake County’s “MHSA Annual Update Report” (FY 2019-20) are fascinating, if you know how to read the tea leaves.

    http://www.lakecountyca.gov/Assets/Departments/Mental+Health_AODS/docs/MH/3YP/2019_2020+Annual+Update.pdf

    Lake’s Behavioral Health Services have been conducting “innovation” and “prevention and intervention” programs here for half a dozen years, resulting in services such as “Community Peer Support Centers” for Native Americans (the Circle of Native Minds Cultural Center, in Lakeport), Latinos (La Voz de la Esperanza Centro Latino, in Clearlake), Harbor on Main (for “Transition-Aged Youth,” in Lakeport), and the Big Oak Peer Support Center (for homeless people, in Clearlake Oaks).

    http://www.lakecountyca.gov/Government/Directory/LCBHS.htm

    In addition, local staff recruiting through the “Workforce Eduction & Training” program has succeeded in rebuilding the organization with effective fiscal supervision, applying MHSA funds to support family “wrap around” services, suicide prevention outreach (yes, those silly bracelets and ribbons claiming that “each mind matters” — except ours, of course), “stigma reduction” outreach, and creating an actually useful resource guide that I frequently recommend for quick reference to a multitude of services, for callers at our Lucerne Senior Center and to our KPFZ broadcasts on Thursdays and Sundays.

    https://www.lakeresource.com/ [in lieu of the much-needed “2-1-1” service, for example, or any other centralized directory for the commoners]

    As a principle advocate for “Older Adult” services here (through both the Area Agency on Aging and Behavioral Health Services programs), I began “participating” in the Lake County Mental Health Advisory Board meetings in late 2016, which has now been comatose for almost a year and a half, leaving the public dependent on the responsible reporting from DHCS-required “Quality Improvement” quarterly meetings to garner facts and figures on Medi-Cal-billable services for “severely mentally ill” adults and “severely emotionally disabled” youth who receive “Crisis Intervention” (5150/5152) assistance and various psychiatrically-supervised “treatment” services (relying on “tele-docs”).

    But the critical oversight and purpose of the Mental Health Advisory Board — legally required under Welfare & Institutions Code Section 5604 — has been missing here for over 10 years; records of their state-mandated reporting to the Lake County Board of Supervisors (prior to 2017) are nowhere to be found (with a two-year exception, 1998-99 and 99-2000!).

    Lake’s MHAB, in 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 produced NOTHING of value to either the public or the Board of Supervisors (which must approve MHSA expenditure plans, as well as provide information on the needs of the county residents, potential solutions and options for “improving” available services) that are received and accepted by the state agency responsible for reimbursement of approved costs. In lieu of viable oversight from appropriately trained and actively involved MHAB members, Lake’s BHS department shouldered the state’s accountability mandates to radically restructure and recruit effective management staff who are on track with State compliance orders despite the unmitigable slough of despond that is Lake County’s perpetual psycho-dilemma.

    Like Mendocino County, plagued with dysfunctionality in places both low and high (I claim that our County administration is demonstrably brutal, run by self-serving sociopaths in mid-level management and beneficiary roles, like the Chamber of Commerce and our “economic development” real estate schemers), we too have thousands of homeless humans (if you include the McKinley-Vento count in the school system), with tragic drug and alcohol dependencies, but there is no hue-and-cry in the official dialogues or the blathering press.*

    But our reformed mental health department’s determined administrative staff have successfully implemented what levels of service they can muster using MHSA funding, and have accomplished a stable system delivering adequate — if not “desired” — programs and somehow maintaining the community “care” operations they aimed for when their nearly autonomous, compliance-minded staff put their elbows to the grindstone “under new management” despite the County’s insouciant “leadership.”

    Adventist Hospital Clear Lake embarked on a community-based “collaborative” program well over ten years ago, thanks to its dedicated Chief Administrative Officer and “partners” in multi-disciplinary, multi-jurisdictional areas of authority (City of Clearlake, Fire Protection District, Health Care District, County Public Health Department, etc.) that tried to introduce a much-needed mental health “crisis intervention center” in Kelseyville, to ameliorate the need for hospital emergency room services, but their Business Association rejected Adventist Hospital Clear Lake’s proposal with its “NIMBY” attitude, led by the perpetually-elected county official whose major funding support comes from the winegrape industry centered there.

    Nonetheless, these “collaborative” efforts, currently manifested in a self-promoting collective of medical and mental health service providers called “Hope Rising” (itself technically independent of Adventist Hospital Clear Lake’s administrative “community wellness” program funding, but still not revealing its a mythical operational status) have supported the gradual expansion of AHCL’s real community services all around the county, most recently extending into the poverty/pathology pit we call Lucerne, among many other service contributions.

    The state Attorney General’s announced denial of St. Joe’s proposed merger with Adventist Health Care’s Napa Region is joyously received here, since the merger would have profited the high-dollar operations to our south and west, but prevented us from achieving the legal mandates found in the contract for acquisition of the former Redbud Hospital, requiring provision of “general acute care” services, regardless of the late 2000’s “downsizing” of its licensed “beds” and stripping of ancillary support systems.

    In protest of the proposed AH/SJ merger, local gays, lesbians, libertarians, and generally “progressive” residents testified to the AG’s representative at a public hearing on the matter conducted by AHCL’s administrative staff on June 27 of this year, objecting to the Catholic takeover that would have resulted in non-services (or worse) for LGBT? patients. (The ACLU in Vallejo had begun a lawsuit on their behalf, but I have no idea what became of it; moot now, of course).

    The rich intersection of “mental health” issues with “medical health” treatment options here has been further supported by AHCL’s expanded multi-agency coordination of services and directly assisted the worst-case mental/medical care clients by implementing a program created by the “Camden Coalition” in New Jersey, for which Adventist Health Corporation funded its delivery in five American cities — Clearlake being one of them.

    https://camdenhealth.org/

    Newly revived County Public Health “initiatives” have undertaken a public-private health care services approach to challenging Lake County’s perpetual bottom-place rating in statewide “health rankings,” and is theoretically working on a county-wide “health improvement plan.” Most happily, we are now most ably served by Dr. Gary Pace as our clearly articulate Public Health Officer (after going through a couple of young non-starters when widely respected Dr. Karen Tait retired/resigned in sheer frustration a couple of years ago).

    But the ultimate responsibility for those rankings lies with the County Board of Supervisors, and its direction of departmental operations, such as the Department of Social Services and its profound indifference to the needs of older adults and caregivers. And the County’s misuse of public funds and abuse of legal privileges documented in recent years of Grand Jury Reports continue to be the major impediment to overcoming past bad practices and “recovery” from generations of civically and socially deprived residents with intractable personal and familial difficulties.

    The comparison of Lake and Mendocino Counties’ management services — in reflection on the Marbut and Kemper reports, and the willful neglect of their highly specific and clearly defined recommendations by Mendo authorities — from this side of the Cow, renders me all the more grateful to be a double-decade witness to all these machinations, and ever more appreciative of the AVA’s close examinations of legal, judicial, administrative, and civic operations over yonder.

    Both of our top county “executives” and their professional cohorts have outworn their welcome, as have some of the hoary incumbents in our Boards of Supervisors. Many thanks to your reader-reporters and true communitarians for leavening this load, through timely, unflinching criticism and loving support for the systems that we all depend on — “first responders” of all sorts, community-based elder care and nutrition resources, civic comity, and social engagement. Carry on, y’all.

    Reply
    • Betsy Cawn   November 3, 2019 at 10:29 am

      Forgot to add the comments appropriate to the use of the asterisk, in the statement above. *press here in Lake County is comprised of the “newspaper of record” (Record-Bee) and an online publication called Lake County News). While the Bee’s new editorial staff has demonstrated heretofore unprecedented audacity — openly criticizing the Lake County Board of Supervisors, engaging the commoners in public settings, and delivering a much improved level of content quality — the online “independent” media is mediocre at best, being largely dependent on the social/civic/commerce patronage for its livelihood. Not that the editor has no courage — but the standards of veracity and relevance we apply to our regular Sunday (and periodic disaster) coverage of local issues are not shared “values” between us. No disrespect is intended to her efforts, but there is NOTHING like the Anderson Valley Advertiser — here or anywhere.

      And there are few “field reporters” like AVA “correspondents” and authors anywhere to be found in either of our counties. I am humbled to be in such good company, even the old grumps and curmudgeons with nothing better to do that snipe at each other like little kids. Solidaridaj!

      Reply
  7. Lazarus   November 3, 2019 at 9:47 am

    After the “Darkness”, there’s time to reminisce of who did what for Willits.
    Willits seemed to fare well during the PSPS event. This is likely just a partial list, just my limited knowledge, of those who stepped up.

    First Responders, CalFire, WFD, WPD, and MCSD, well done.
    The City of Willits kept the water flowing and the sewers working.
    Supervisor Ted Williams 5th District had the info and many of the answers.
    KZYX informed and entertained.
    Mike Garrity owner of Willits Power supplied a generator for Brown’s Corner to pump gas, no other gas station elected to open during the PSPS…?
    Grocery Outlet gave away nearly 2000 hotdogs.
    The County Library remained open, lantern-lit, they had fun and games for kids too.
    The Hot Dog Shop remained open using backup energy to feed the locals.
    The Book Juggler was open for reading materials.
    Phil Roland served coffee to the Browns Corner gas line folks.
    Several convenience stores stayed open.
    The Taco Truck was serving.
    Mendo Mill was open, as was Coast Hardware.
    We had operating traffic lights via CalTrans I guess.
    Adventist Health was open and serving food at their “Roots” Restaurant.
    Mariposa Market was open.
    Willits Online and Pacific Internet were operating.
    Safeway was open.
    City Hall was open for charging devices, info, etc.
    O’Reilly’s Auto Parts was open.
    The Brooktrails Store was open.
    Sparetime Supply did whatever to help, I heard they had propane too.
    The Senior Center was open.
    Shanachie’s Pub was pouring
    Buster’s Burgers and Brew’s was pouring.
    North Spur Brewing Co. was pouring.
    Then, friends and neighbors checked in on each other.

    All these are just the ones I saw and heard about. If you were omitted, thank you, all of you, who helped the community get through this event.

    Laz

    Reply
    • Betsy Cawn   November 3, 2019 at 10:44 am

      So lovely to hear this from you, Laz. I will read it today on our KPFZ “wrap-up” of the PSPS “event” in Lake County. We, too, were recipients of mucho TLC from small businesses (Woody’s Gas Station, Highway Market, and others in Upper Lake, only an example — but it’s my home town), although there were some concerns that civil transgressions were getting the best of us, with generator and gasoline thefts notably endemic, and tempers degraded as the days went by.

      Also in Upper Lake, PG&E’s “comfort zone” was remarkably wonderful, as the Lake County Record-Bee reported on Tuesday, October 29, and the staff commented appreciatively of the people in our community who shared its services and each other with friendly decorum and special assistance for disabled/elderly needs.

      Both of our counties’ failures to address communication infrastructure and power generation impacts — as noted in the October 22 Mendo Supes’ report from your IT department about equipment close to “end of life” utility — is equally culpable in irresponsibility for adequate planning and commitment of funding for advanced preparations.

      But our shaken spirits and chafing souls are proving themselves equal to the task, bitching and bullying aside. Cheers from Upper Lake!

      Reply
      • Lazarus   November 3, 2019 at 11:55 am

        Thank you Betsy, It was impressive when I started adding up who did what. Perhaps I’m wrong but I did not personally hear of many serious altercations during the PSPS also.
        I’m glad humanity still seems to exists, even if it takes a PSPS event to see it. Let us hope it continues moving forward because as much as I hate to say it, this will likely happen again.
        As always,
        Laz

        Reply
  8. Harvey Reading   November 3, 2019 at 9:50 am

    SMUGGLERS ARE SAWING THROUGH NEW SECTIONS OF TRUMP’S BORDER WALL

    LOL. Idiots and their walls …

    Reply
  9. John Kriege   November 3, 2019 at 10:56 am

    Another correction to Fort Bragg Goes Dark. At least where I was, the power went off about 5:45 pm Saturday, not Saturday morning. Just after hearing on KOZT that PG&E was saying the outage was planned for 8:00 pm. When I called the station to say the power was already out, the response was “we know, we know.” Another communications failure by PG&E.

    Reply
  10. H.H.Heller   November 3, 2019 at 11:01 am

    The typical Swiss family has a net worth around $540,000, twice its Scandinavian peer.

    The Happy, Healthy Capitalists of Switzerland https://nyti.ms/2Nye8PU

    Yes, we can
    Yes, we can
    Yes, we did
    Yes, we can come back better than before.

    Reply
  11. John Sakowicz   November 3, 2019 at 3:56 pm

    4 PM, NOVEMBER 3

    Back home. I just finished campaigning — going door to door — on this beautiful autumn afternoon. From constituents, I received feedback on three important issues.

    My first order of business as 1st District Supervisor should be to work with my colleagues on the Board to replace Carmel Angelo. People with whom I spoke today, especially county workers, seem to be in agreement: Ten years of Angelo’s bullying is enough. Ten years of lavish compensation is enough. Her current $350,000 a year compensation package is outrageous vis-à-vis what county rank-and-file get paid.

    Personally, I’d very much like to see former Mendocino County Chief Deputy CEO Alan Flora return to Mendocino County as our CEO. Mr. Flora is currently the city manager over at Clearlake in Lake County. He was very competent, very accessible.

    But Mr. Flora summarily “disappeared” by Angelo for reasons unknown. Like so much in Angelo’s tenure, nothing was disclosed.

    The second thing I heard was our cannabis permitting program needs to be completely overhauled. Hence, I am interested in what the AVA had to report in “Mendocino County Today” (November 3) about Supervisors Gjerde and Williams proposing a “cannabis economic development program”.

    Towards that end, the county needs to fight the Flow Kana monopoly by kickstarting a farmers co-op that will collectively own and operate a supply-chain business that sells direct to the consumer.

    I like to call that idea, “The Mendocino Mondragon Corporation”…after the highly successful federation of worker cooperatives based in the Basque region of Spain.

    Also, I wish Mendocino County had something like Humboldt County’s Project Trellis.

    The purpose of Project Trellis is, in part, to “bolster the cannabis industry, and protect future cannabis excise tax revenues by providing services to populations and communities in Humboldt who were adversely affected by the criminalization of cannabis, to develop a framework for supportive programs designed to sustain and grow Humboldt’s cannabis industry, and to assist cannabis businesses as they work to overcome the financial and logistical challenges of coming into compliance.”

    Funding for Project Trellis comes from local cannabis excise tax revenues, cannabis fines and fees, and state funding via SB 1294.

    The third thing I heard today from voters was that there’s probably no way to reverse the $600,000-$700,000 monthly negative cash flow and the growing $210 million unfunded pension liability.

    Why?

    Because with 1,400 county retirees and only 1,100 county workers, MCERA is “upside down”. We have what accountants and auditors euphemistically call, a “structural deficit”…meaning, it’s broken and can’t be fixed.

    Hence, the county would do well to hire out-of-house, objective, impartial advisers to look at the advisability and feasibility of issuing pension obligation bonds.

    The feasibility study should outline and analyze several alternatives or methods of achieving solvency of our county’s pension system and business success. It should identify the best funding scenario(s).

    I’m not one for borrowing money, but I’m left with the question: How do we keep our promises to county workers?

    Thank you.

    John Sakowicz, Candidate, Mendocino County 1st District Supervisor

    Reply
    • Betsy Cawn   November 4, 2019 at 5:58 am

      Mr. Sakowicz, I would like to know how you view the “Potter Valley Project” issues, please.

      And I’ll arm wrestle you for Flora — we would love to have him replace our current CAO, of course — but he’s a great asset to the county in the City of Clearlake.

      Perhaps you could interview Alan on the subject of Lake County’s unfunded pension debt, I’d love to hear that conversation!

      Reply

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