- Light Rain
- Allman Retires
- Housing Needed
- Bennett Sentenced
- Quiz Noche
- Emergency Services
- Fixing Blame
- Hospitality Board
- Shelter Funding
- Full Moon
- Squeezing PG&E
- Stickup Man
- Ed Notes
- Little Dog
- EMS Review
- District 4
- Housing Element
- Police Reports
- Yesterday's Catch
- Oligarch Candidates
- Five Om
- Christmas Singalong
- Crab Delay
- Biden Youth
- Nesting Lawyers
- Impeach & Censure
- Milk Days
- UPS Jewelers
- Cannabis Policies
- PSPS Prep
- Found Object
A WARM FRONT will produce periods of light rain today and tonight, primarily for Del Norte and northern Humboldt counties. A front will generate another round of light to moderate rain Friday afternoon and evening. Showers and lower snow levels are expected on Saturday. Some showers may linger on Sunday before dry weather returns early next week. (National Weather Service)
SHERIFF TOM ALLMAN announced today that he will retire on Dec. 28 after 13 years in office. He was elected by the voters in 2006 and took office in 2007.
In an interview at the Daily Journal offices, Allman discussed his career as sheriff and said he will ask the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors to appoint UnderSheriff Matt Kendall to replace him permanently, not in an ‘acting’ capacity. Kendall would then face election in three years.
Allman said he planned to retire at the last election but held on as he didn’t think Kendall was quite ready. He does now, adding that he feels satisfied that there are capable people to continue to operate the department.
“At the end of the day we did OK, it’s time for the reins to be handed over,” Allman said.
Allman said being sheriff is a complex but wonderful job.
“I love what I do,” he said, but “sometimes you’re the Maytag repairman … lonely.”
Allman discussed some of the extreme events during his tenure that challenged him and the department. They include:
– The 134 lightning fires that broke out during the summer of 2008, which required integrating law enforcement and fire services, perhaps for the first time.
– Having to layoff five deputies in 2009, three of which have been restored to duty.
– The 2011 search for Aaron Bassler, a killer who led the Sheriff’s department on a month long chase around the Fort Bragg woods until he was finally found and shot by Bay Area law enforcement in the area to help find the fugitive.
– The 2014 death of Deputy Ricky Fiorentino who was shot and killed by a suspect in a case of abduction and store shooting.
– The deadly wildfires of 2017.
– The investigation of the Hart family murder-suicides in 2018.
– And the recent power shutoffs by PG&E which sent parts or all of the county into the dark.
Allman’s time as sheriff spans three boards of supervisors and three county CEOs. Allman gives current county CEO Carmel Angelo an A-plus rating.
“Carmel is a workhorse. If not for her our reserve would not be where it is. She does her job and does it real well,” Allman said, adding that he either met with or talked to Angelo every single Monday, a communication that helped him keep his department funded and working. He noted that the Hart family investigation cost his department some $40,000 which he didn’t have but which Angelo found for him to continue the work.
“I can’t name a situation where we haven’t done something because of (a lack of) money.” he said.
Allman has also worked with a variety of Lake, Humboldt and Sonoma county sheriffs and three California governors.
He liked former Governor Jerry Brown and says he still texts with him on occasion. It was Brown, he said, who facilitated getting the $25 million for the new jail wing. Former Mendocino County congressional representative Mike Thompson was “great” Allman said and current Congressman Jared Huffman “always calls and asks ‘What do you need?’” when emergencies arise. Allman said he would be talking with Governor Newsom later this month about getting more funding for vocational training at the jail. Allman said vocational training is a must as it does help rehabilitation of inmates. Currently the jail has a baking program in cooperation with Schat’s bakery, a resume writing course, and help with inmates getting GEDs (high school equivalency degrees). When he became Sheriff there were 325 inmates at the jail. Today there are 290. Recidivism is “a big deal” Allman said of inmates who keep showing up at the jail. “I know 10 percent (of incoming inmates) by name or family,” he said.
Measure B, the sales tax voters approved to build and operate a psychiatric health facility in the county is still one of Allman’s primary missions. Even after retirement he wants to continue to represent the Sheriff’s office on the Measure B public committee and work to improve mental health treatment in the county. Spurred to action by the 2005 suicide of his own brother, Allman almost singlehandedly got the measure onto the ballot and convinced voters to approve it. A mental health training center using the some of the funding will be up and running at the former Redwood Valley Elementary School in January. In fact, in 2020 all sheriff’s patrol functions will move to that location and away from the administration building on Low Gap Road. Moving patrol to the old Redwood Valley school will allow them much quicker access to Highway 101 and Highway 20 for patrol purposes. The jail and detective functions will remain on Low Gap Road.
During his 13 years as Sheriff, Allman also said there were disappointments. Unsolved homicides continues to worry him. “We talk about them every week,” he said.
Filling resident deputy positions in the outlying areas of the county is also a big worry. Allman believes having resident deputies are the “key to a safe community.” He wishes he could have a resident deputy in all the small towns dotting the county. It’s all about “time and money” including quality and safe housing for recruits. In Covelo for instance he envisions a three-home compound of sorts that could include a deputy and his or her family plus perhaps housing for local teachers. But the price tag is $1 million. Covelo, he noted, is not really the dangerous place it has a reputation for.
“Ninety-five percent of the people in Covelo I would buy a used car from or let babysit my kids,” he said.
Overall, Allman believes the county is a safe place to live.
“There are a handful of people I keep my eye on, for their own safety” and the department keeps tabs on residents they know can be a threat.
The county averages nine homicides a year but violent crime generally is down and if you take marijuana crimes out of the equation, crime is lower in Mendocino County than elsewhere, Allman said. Putting the Nixle alert system and reverse 911 into place in the county has worked well informing local residents of things they need to know.
While Allman has made up his mind to step aside, “I hope I’m not going to regret retiring,” he admitted. “There is nothing better than being Sheriff of a rural county.”
(Ukiah Daily Journal)
MESSAGE FROM AV ADULT SCHOOL re: how to support people affected by Boonville fire.
Dear Anderson Valley community,
Thanks to everyone's generosity and care, fundraising for the folks affected by last Thursday's fire in Boonville has been huge success!
However, FOLKS ARE STILL IN NEED OF HOUSING. At least two families need to find a new place to stay by this coming Sunday 12/15. We are casting the net yet again to ask for your help.
If you or someone you know can offer short or longer term housing options or a trailer hookup, please do. If you know someone who has temporary rentals or empty buildings on their property, please encourage them to help out.
You can provide us with information to relay to the families through the form in the link below, or call the Adult School at 895-2953.
This is the current list of folks needing housing:
- Family 1: 2 adults and 2 children
- Family 2: 5 adults
- Family 3: 1 family with 2 adults and 1 young woman
- Family 4: with 1 adult, 2 young women, 2 children
- Family 5: 4 adults and 2 kids
- Individual 1: 1 adult- needs to be in downtown Boonville because the person does not have a car
- Individual 2: 1 adult
EIGHT YEARS FOR MURDER?
by Bruce McEwen
Isaiah Bennett pled to two counts of possession of methamphetamine, just before he was sentenced to eight years in state prison for fatally assaulting a poor old blind beggar, Jimmy Isenhart, on the streets of Ukiah. It wasn’t Bennett’s first go-round (as they say in the parlance of incarceration), he’d done time in the local jail under former Governor Jerry Brown’s Realignment program for, among other things, statutory rape, a crime that also made him a youthful father, and it wouldn’t take a prophet to see that his crimes were growing increasingly more serious.
Judge Keith Faulder had a letter from Bennett’s mother, and another from Dr. Kevin Kelly who evaluates criminals for the county. Bennett’s lawyer, the glib Daniel Moss of the Office of the Public Defender, asked Judge Faulder to give Bennett the mitigated term of six years and strike the prison prior on the strength of Bennett’s early admission, having pled guilty on the day of arraignment. But Faulder was inclined to follow the probation report and recommendation, and Deputy DA Luke Oakley’s comment that kicking a man in the face who was sitting down and legally blind amounted to unprovoked callousness, an aggravating factor that outweighed the mitigating early admission.
Bennett had multiple convictions and multiple violations of probation. Bennett said he wanted to make clear to the court how difficult life was for him. He told the judge he couldn’t just look at a piece of paper (the probation report) and know what his life was like. Bennett said he had had a hard time breaking away from Willits (again, we note that Bennett has been portrayed by law enforcement as a transient) and invoked his alcoholic father, and that he didn’t have any guidance or family support and that he was now a father himself. He mentioned his drug addiction and poor decisions, but said again that the court and the probation people had no clear idea what his life was like.
Faulder agreed he had no idea of Bennett’s life, noting that some people have greater difficulties than his honor will ever have, but the other person in this case, Jimmy Isenhart, had more problems than most, was legally blind, homeless, who couldn’t have known that his life would end because some random someone was angry and frustrated.
Faulder said, “When asked about your conduct you said you were more sad for yourself because now you would be going to prison. That is a very callous assessment of someone else’s life. And your main concern is the time you’ll spend.”
“I was a little frustrated that day,” Bennett said. “The amount of effort I put into it —– I never wanted to end up doing a lot of things. It’s not the best way, just the way it is. I didn’t know the victim had died.”
Faulder mentioned Dr. Kelley’s report again and went through the mitigating and aggravating factors, and wondered aloud why the People had charged the case the way they did when all the facts pointed to murder. But Faulder went along with the case as charged and sentenced Bennett to four years for assault with three years consecutive for the great bodily injury (death) and added another year for the prison prior, for a total of eight years in the state prison. There was also a restitution fine of $2400 for the victim’s burial expenses, $70 in court costs, and Bennett had credit for 77 days served. Two terms of 120 days each for the violation of probation (possession of meth) were to run concurrently with the prison sentence.
QUIZ TONIGHT. Yes, as it’s the 2nd Thursday. The General Knowledge and Trivia Quiz returns to Lauren’s Restaurant this Thursday evening with the tip-off at 7pm prompt. The final Quiz of 2019 will take place on the 4th Thursday - 26th December, Boxing Day - with a special Holiday Edition for all the family (except perhaps that strange Uncle). Happy Holidays to one and all and I hope to see you at one or both of these spectacular evenings of tremendous entertainment and utter joy. Cheers, Steve Sparks, The Quiz Master
PLENTY OF MONEY FOR EMERGENCY SERVICES – IF THEY’D LOOK FOR IT
Checking in to see if there has been any updates in the AVA regarding the progress of the Mendocino County Association of Fire Districts (yes, MCAFD). I don't see any. Your negative and subsequently wrong opinion piece about our efforts is from Oct. 2015. Since that time, we have negotiated over $1.3 million in new Prop 172 funding for our local Fire Districts paid over the last three years. Even Larry Tunzi is surprised, I'm sure.
Since 2015 and the founding of MCAFD, several events occurred;
a. In 2016 Kit Elliot (former County Counsel) sued myself, Tony Orth, Michael Schaefer and Emily Strachan to stop our ballot initiative which asked for a greater share of Prop 172 funding. Why or how Ms. Elliot was put up to this was never looked into. Pretty sure it had to do with Measure B and/or pushback from the other current Prop 172 recipients to keep their share of the pie and limit perceived competition for tax dollars on the 2016 ballot. Probably both. Measure B has now successfully drained $10.5 million out of our local economy with nothing to show for it. This, in addition to the $26 million in jail psych wing funding that was kept quiet during the 2016 election cycle and the fact the county currently spends over $37 million on mental health annually, in addition to Measure B money. Meanwhile, the population of homeless/mentally ill people is exploding. Just imagine if our ballot initiative was allowed and passed back in 2016, this would have provided over $8 million in funding to date for our local Fire/EMS providers. Maybe there would have been better outcomes for people, less homeless, less people in crisis.
b. 2017 saw the Redwood Complex fire that killed nine people in Redwood Valley and burned 375 homes. Note there was no after-action debriefing on the part of the Mendocino County BoS, the SO or the County OES regarding the failures that occurred during that event that took the lives of our county citizens. Nothing. Word is that our County leaders feared public review would lead to bigger lawsuits. This didn't matter, the County got sued anyway. Sonoma County, on the other hand, completely reviewed all of their failures, in public, and re-built their emergency notification and response systems. They also increased directing funding of local fire districts by $13 million annually. This was done immediately. MCAFD warned the BoS in testimony in 2015 that an event like the Redwood Complex was coming soon. It did.
c. 2018 saw the River Fire, starting in Hopland and burned over the mountain to Lake County (49,000 acres).
d. Now, in 2019 we have the collapse of the EMS/ambulance system in the County, overseen by Coastal Valleys EMS and the BoS. People are starting to sound the alarm that patients are starting to die. This was predicted in my and others testimony before the BoS, over a year ago.
Thinking about the above events and the inertia that allowed them, maybe it's time for the voters of Mendocino County to be asked what kind of Fire/EMS/Ambulance system do they want? Before we ask for a new dedicated tax for these emergency services, maybe a re-ordering of the existing County Public Safety budget should be examined. Maybe the funding is already there?
MARK SCARAMELLA REPLIES: Other than your rather unkind description of our 2015 opinion as outright “wrong” — Well! Harrumph! — we completely agree with your assessment, especially the part about there being money to improve local emergency services in the existing budget. I believe you mentioned the $2.4 million a year for 10-12 delinquents in juvenile hall (which, btw, MCOE superintendent Michelle Hutchins volunteered to deal with, but was never followed up on despite agreement that it should be) in a recent Supes meeting. Plus, who knows how many millions could be freed up by simply lowering the pension fund’s assumed rate of return by a teensy 0.25%. Or the millions of existing bed tax wasted on demonstrably ineffectual tourism “promotion,” despite the significant draw that tourists put on emergency services. And we won’t even mention CEO Angelo’s intentional shorting of various departments’ staffing to create an artificially balanced budget without regard for whether those departments are doing what they’re supposed to do. Come to think if it, maybe MCAFD should make another formal demand on the Supervisors. After all, there’s no guarantee that the piecemeal $1 million estimated revenue from the campgrounds bed tax proposal will pass, and there will be at least two, maybe three, more new Supervisors by the end of next year.
BRUCE McEWEN WRITES:
I have in my possession a document that proves the Judges, so recently blamed for the neglect of this “inveterate alky,” the late Mr. Chas. Hensley, was somehow overlooked and shunted aside by their honors, the judges who have dealt with the late Chas. H. over the years, and thy’ve done everything legally – not to say “humanely” — possible to accommodate an obviously suicidal drunk!
What more could be asked? Judges, the poor devils, only enjoy certain limited powers, unlike newspaper editors, think that this patent old drunk’s demise was inevitable; that is, to prove that the judges in question did every thing they were “legally” capable of to save the suicidal Mr. Hensley; to say that the legal system “failed” this poor devil; I think unfair!
I should also like to add the one memorable comment from Trapper Joe, that smoking and drinking are the only legitimate forms of committing suicide (and even newspaper editors cannot transgress those domains of personal choice) but the difficulty of fixing blame is strong in all of us …!
JUDY VALADAO HAS COMMON SENSE IDEA - HAVE HOSPITALITY CENTER 'BOARD' VOLUNTEER FOR TEMPORARY SHELTER DUTY
The clueless Hospitality Center board of directors - many of whom do NOT live in Fort Bragg - have mismanaged this organization for years - here's a way to get back into the good graces of coast residents. We saw it in a comment by Judy Valadao:
"The problem seems to be the 'blame game' instead of what can be done to get the shelter open. The loan has been given by the City to get it open, the County has ok'd the $66,513.00 for the shelter. Richard Mack who is trained for the winter shelter has offered his services. Now what? I would suggest that the Hospitality Center Board volunteer their services and get the shelter open TONIGHT. They were the hold up in this mess so they should step up and get the doors open to a shelter. It's raining!! AFTER the shelter is open then start a discussion about what will happen next year."
The Ukiah winter shelter opened in early November - when the bad weather came. The Hospitality Center, that has run the Emergency Winter Shelter for 12 years, couldn't get it together until THIS MONTH. They had to get a $25,000 "bridge loan" from the City Monday and now hope to get the county to kick in funding today - something they could have asked for months ago!
SUPERVISOR TED WILLIAMS commented on the retroactive agenda item on Tuesday's board meeting regarding the $67,000 the County was allocating two the Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center for the emergency winter shelter in Fort Bragg.
Williams: "The city of Fort Bragg has given a loan to the Hospitality Center to allow them to open the extreme weather shelter. They are not flush in cash reserves, they don't have the cash to operate. Several community members on the coast brought to my attention that Hospitality Center is sometimes paid six months late. Given how little operating cash they are working with, that may be impeding services. At some point we need to look at how the community partners who provide vital services on the coast — how we can speed up the delivery of those payments.”
Supervisor Dan Gjerde: “Supervisor Williams and I have both been to the meeting where staff has said that Hospitality House submitted its billing to the county months late. If that is the reason for their receiving the payment late then that's a different story. I don't know if Health and Human Services staff have anything to add to that.”
Becky Emery, Health and Human Services Social Services Director: “We have had several challenges. Previously we did have some late contracts that came forward and that did result in the cash flow [problem]. But we have had significant billing that has been submitted late in mental health and in social services. So I understand that there have been cash flow problems but the primary part for us has been delayed billing that we received from Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center on the coast.”
Gjerde: “In spite of all that and in spite of the fact that they submit billing late to the county and therefore they are getting paid months after the fact, is there anything that can be done to expedite the payment for the winter shelter so that the $10,000 bridge loan that they have from the city does not turn out to be too little too late?”
Emery: “In the contract before you have the payment schedule. You absolutely have the ability to modify that schedule. So we could issue an upfront payment if that's what you wanted. There is some ability to use flexibility up to 10% at our level that could also be fronted.”
Williams: “The amount is $25,000 and I feel it is the county's obligation. I would defer to Supervisor Gjerde. The Center that is providing these services is in his district. Most of the board members of that organization are in mine. [That’s right; most of the Board members of the Fort Bragg operation live in the town of Mendocino, a comfortable distance from the staff and clientele they allegedly oversee but are seldom on hand to observe or assist.] And I think the homeless don't really reside in any district, they are transient by nature. I would support the county paying upfront for this service because we have to get people off the streets. We have cold weather, it's windy, we have freezing temperatures, we have an organization, the only organization capable of providing services this winter needs to get a bridge loan because they can't pay their staff to carry it out. I think it really falls on us.”
Gjerde: “I would happy if we could front half the money now and Half when —“
Board Chair Carre Brown: “I was going to go to County Counsel.”
County Counsel: “If the board would like we can do that. I would just suggest that we pull this item for separate consideration and perhaps come back with modified language this afternoon.”
The item came back later in the afternoon and the board voted to front half the money to the Hospitality Center so that the city of Fort Bragg does not have to provide a bridging loan.
KATHY WYLIE looks to the skies:
Final Full moon of this decade happening This week - on Thursday, 12/12…
FEMA SEEKING BILLIONS FROM PG&E for disaster response reimbursement.
FEMA is petitioning U.S. Bankruptcy Court to get billions in payouts from PG&E for its disaster response services after the 2017 North Bay fires and the 2018 Camp fire.
STICK UP MAN STUCK
Serial Bank Robber Further Convicted
A defendant already convicted of multiple bank robberies in Sonoma County was additionally convicted by plea Wednesday morning of a Mendocino County bank robbery.
Defendant Travis Ryan Strickland, age 38, formerly of Ukiah, entered a no contest plea to the felony charge that he robbed the Ukiah branch of Chase Bank on August 7, 2018.
The defendant will be back in court and formally sentenced on January 10, 2019 at 9 o'clock in the morning in the Ukiah courthouse.
Defendant Strickland was convicted in the Sonoma County Superior Court on July 22, 2019 of three felony counts of bank robbery, one felony count of attempted bank robbery, and four felony counts of burglary in the second degree. He was sentenced by that court to 92 months in state prison on August 15, 2019, the maximum allowed by law.
Because of limitations imposed by California's felony sentencing rules, the defendant's Mendocino County conviction can only add 12 months to the prison sentence already imposed in Sonoma County, for an overall global sentence of 104 months in state prison.
Also, because robbery is characterized as a violent crime in the Penal Code, the defendant's good time/work time credits that he may be able to earn in state prison will be limited to no more than 15% of the defendant's global sentence, meaning he will be required to serve a little over 88 months (after the limited credits are earned and applied) before becoming eligible for release on parole supervision.
The law enforcement agencies that teamed up to investigate defendant's many robberies were the Ukiah Police Department, the Cloverdale Police Department, the Santa Rosa Police Department, and the Healdsburg Police Department. Assistance was also provided by the FBI.
The prosecutor who is handling the defendant's case here in Mendocino County is Senior Deputy District Attorney Scott McMenomey.
(Mendocino County District Attorney)
THERE ARE GOOD DEALS, and then there are Super Deals, such as the one offered by KZYX this Saturday afternoon at the Philo Grange. If you bring food for "6-8" people, your own plates and cutlery, you not only get to meet the KZYX family, you get to feed them!
IT MAY BE PREMATURE to talk about what will replace Boonville's burned out heart, but one or more of our many local Mega-Bucks should consider building some affordable housing at the site, and maybe they could also buy the Buckhorn and rent it to the same businesses that got burned out. Even Pic-N-Pay could be housed downstairs in the Buckhorn with some remodeling.
MENDOCINO COUNTY'S longest-running eyesore, cum fire trap, the long-abandoned Ricard slum at Haehl Street and Highway 128, might at last also be converted into something useful. And why our fire people and our CSD board don't demand that the County abate the Ricard property is as long-running a mystery as this community's toleration of it.
EXACERBATING the local housing shortage of course is the number of transient, AirBnB conversions the Anderson Valley has suffered. The number of these removals from our housing stock I've had is 62, but a couple of people say the figure is more like 82 from Yorkville to Navarro.
PROSTITUTION IN UKIAH? Yes. Those hard-looking babes you see around Ukiah occasionally are in and out of town from Sacramento to service enough of the erotically challenged to make the girls' commutes worthwhile. One of the primary organizers is a computer-adept woman who has so far managed to elude the forces of law and order. Local historians are always quick to remind us that brothels thrived in every area of the county well into the twentieth century, one of them, Madge's, so popular that there's a memorial plaque out front of its old West Church Street address.
LITTLE DOG SAYS: Kinda worried about those dog abductions I saw on the Bay Area news the other night. Along with everything else I gotta keep an eye on I gotta worry about being snatched? The report I saw said even cats are being kidnapped and re-sold! Hey, if anybody wants to snag Skrag, be my guest. Talk about negative re-sale value!
JEN BANKS, Mendo’s emergency services representative from Coastal Valleys Emergency Services Agency (out of the Santa Rosa office) responded to the letter by and comments from Paul Hosford of Willits whose mother tragically died at least in part due to ambulance response problems at Tuesday Supervisors meeting.
Banks: “The EMS agency is conducting a review of the EMS components of the incident that the Hosford family came and described today. Although those outcomes may not be made public because of patient confidentiality regulations…”
Let’s pause here to address this confidentiality protection claim concerning the privacy of a woman who is now unfortunately dead, which tends to conveniently allow government agencies to “protect” themselves more than the privacy of the deceased. According to the Health Information Privacy Protection Act (HIPPA):
“The HIPAA Privacy Rule protects the individually identifiable health information about a decedent for 50 years following the date of death of the individual. This period of protection for decedent health information balances the privacy interests of surviving relatives and other individuals with a relationship to the decedent, with the need for archivists, biographers, historians, and others to access old or ancient records on deceased individuals for historical purposes. During the 50-year period of protection, the personal representative of the decedent (i.e., the person under applicable law with authority to act on behalf of the decedent or the decedent’s estate) has the ability to exercise the rights under the Privacy Rule with regard to the decedent’s health information, such as authorizing certain uses and disclosures of, and gaining access to, the information. With respect to family members or other persons involved in the individual’s health care or payment for care prior to the individual’s death, but who are not personal representatives, the Privacy Rule permits a covered entity to disclose the relevant protected health information of the decedent to such persons, unless doing so is inconsistent with any prior expressed preference of the deceased individual that is known to the covered entity.”
Translation: If the surviving family wants the information to be public, they can have it. In this case, since Mr. Hosford wrote a detailed letter about his mother’s case, we can assume they want it the information to be public. Yet here’s Ms. Banks going to great lengths protecting the privacy of… Well, let’s just say Mr. Hosford’s mother’s privacy is awfully convenient.
“I will provide an outcome recommendation to the Health and Human Services Agency so we can continue to work together to improve our system. We are also committed to continuing to work with Adventist Health, our fire and EMS partners and our dispatch center to tighten the system in anyway possible so that we don't continue to hear about these experiences. The public is asking what they can do to help today in support of the Hosford family. In a local effort to help resolve the national paramedic shortage, please, I urge all of you, and our community and the public to reach out to Mendocino College and encourage them to explore a paramedic program for our community. Without trained staff that is the low-level issue. We need to have a training program in our community. Without trained staff we have no ability to enhance our resource fleet. It is a small step we can all take today to improve our system as a community. Thank you.”
So according to Ms. Banks the problem is that there just aren’t enough paramedics to go around. Supervisor Williams wasn’t satisfield with Ms. Banks’ answer.
Williams: “Was the delay in ambulance response due to the two ambulances in service being reserved for 911 calls as opposed to transfers?”
Banks: “I'm in a tough situation. I am conducting the review of this incident and I am the lead investigator on this incident. So I am unable to provide confidential review information to the public today. When we do have a final report I will reach out and provide all outcome —”
Williams: “Understood. Without getting into confidential information, were there two ambulances available at the time of this need?”
Banks: “I will express that I did hear MedSTAR inform the community that they did have ambulances available at the time the request was made.”
Williams: “Thank you.”
INCOMING FROM DISTRICT 5!
by Rex Gressett
From the next county district, down the highway, a high-velocity policy projectile named Ted Williams exploded in Fourth district supervisor Dan Gjerde’s political backyard just as the next election begins to engage the attention of the voters. Willams showed up in the political epicenter of Gjerde’s district to advocate for a million dollars in TOT taxes aimed at overnight campgrounds to be divided equally between the region’s fire service districts.
It was gratifying for the Fort Bragg City Council to see a supervisor at our local meeting and great for the people at the meeting. But damn, it was not our supervisor. It was like having a date with your first cousin. The gobsmacked Council had a brief discussion on how high ‘jump’ meant. It didn’t take long. Supervisor Williams got the council solidly on board with the proposed TOT and then stayed for the rest of the meeting.
Throughout the meeting, the Fort Bragg Emergency Winter Shelter (EWS) system kept coming up. It is a long historic tradition that, in rotation, Fort Bragg’s homeless are sheltered in churches during the worst of the winter. Just like last year, the storms got into town before the money did. Once more raging storms motivated Christians to bring in the sodden suffering homeless into a church weeks before the Hospitality Center could get their act together. This year it was the Methodists.
Councilor Bernie Norvell was predictably right in the middle of it, staying overnight at the Methodist church, bending rules and engaging support even sending the fire department to run a quick safety check.
The Methodist pastor and Bernie Norvell kept 27 people out of the worst of the raging storm on the worst nights. But in the end, the Methodists own board of directors, insisting perhaps on more methodical protocols, pulled the plug on the temporary shelter.
There was a good deal of misinformation on social media, and plenty of blame, but when the smoke cleared it was simple enough. Hospitality Center had simply not applied for winter shelter money in a timely way. In the wake of Bernie's hands-on humanity, the City Council agreed Monday night to make a $25,000 bridge loan to Hospitality Center to get the EWS (Emergency Winter Shelter) on the road. Ted Williams was sitting in the last row.
I guess he slept at home. But the next day bright and early Supervisor Williams was back in Ukiah still firmly in Dan Gjerde’s lane bringing home the bacon for the Fort Bragg’s Emergency Winter Shelter. Williams got the county EWS money and saved Fort Bragg from the necessity of an emergency loan.
That was the prelude. Then Williams announced a blockbuster intervention in the Fort Bragg-located local District Hospital.
In old news over the decades, a tight-knit cabal of incompetent absurdly overpaid hospital administrators had run the local hospital into terminal insolvency. The prospect of no district hospital left Fort Bragg looking down the barrel of collapsing property values, an exodus of elders, no more local baby delivery and no emergency room. The hospital administrators are all driving fancy cars.
Apparently, by divine intervention, Adventist Health, one of the nation's big health care conglomerates, showed up like the cavalry with a deal to keep the doors open. Over the last few weeks, there has been an intense semi-covert financial ping-pong game tying down what Adventist would pay to lease our hospital. It has all been a hair-on-fire emergency since the Hospital district had to get their deal on the ballot before the end of November.
Meanwhile, far over the hill, Mendocino County was busy over the course of innumerable meetings trying to spend over $3 million bucks on some prelim study and design work for a mental health facility. Supervisor Williams noticed that although there was money to build the facility — there was probably not enough money to run it. Oh my.
Ted had evidently called Adventist Health and found them at least provisionally on board for a deal to use the Fort Bragg District Hospital for part of the mental health program.
Holy cow — a $3-plus million dollar phone call. Adventist and the Mendo Coast Hospital District may be able to leverage the Williams innovation for everybody's advantage. The margins in the Adventist/District negotiations are so slim a mental health component could be the key.
The BOS was blindsided by innovation and knocked back on their heels by irrefutable proof of their own clumsy planning, but they handled it pretty well.
Let's see, $1 million gathered up Monday night, $3 million saved Tuesday morning. Sooner or later it adds up to real money.
You might not know it, but Dan Gjerde is being challenged in the next election by perennial City Council personality Lindy Peters.
I asked Lindy Peters recently what exactly he was running on to challenge the sartorially resplendent (Silent Dan) Gjerde. “Well, I called him up,” Peters told me, “and we agreed not to go after each other.”
Great. That should throw a lot of light on the issues.
Peters does not emphasize issues. Hell, he ain't all that great at policy, he has no real ideas, he doesn't fight because he can't think of anything to fight over. Keeping the City Council meetings under close control and preventing the annoyance and discomfiture of public clapping is his most famous achievement.
That Lindy Peters looks like a breath of fresh air compared to “Silent Dan” Gjerde says nothing about Peters.
But it’s beginning to look like both of them might be challenged not at the ballot box, but in the public perception, by Supervisor Ted Williams.
I voted alone against the Housing Element update yesterday. My colleagues had good reason to approve it and I'm in no way voicing criticism for their action. A delay would have allowed the State to punish our county by shifting the schedule from every 8 years to every 4 years. It was tough for me to vote against, because I recognize the dedication staff put into meeting State requirements. That said, the State is out of control and it's time rural counties push back. Our climate demands blue zones with walkable towns, not rural sprawl. This plan places 73% of new units within the unincorporated area and if followed will increase demands on fragile emergency services and rural roads. Our General Plan needs climate and economy focused updates and the State needs to get a grip on reality -- ever increasing regulation has driven the cost of new development beyond what our residents can afford and this will not be mitigated by demanding yet another unrealistic document.
BURN OR MULCH? (Coast Listserve)
With all the talk about burning vs. chipping/mulching, I haven't seen anyone address a third option: hugelkultur, the concept of building raised beds using yard debris, wood chips, even downed branches:
Growing a typical garden without irrigation or fertilization has been demonstrated to work in deserts as well as backyards.
Use up rotting wood, twigs, branches and even whole trees that would otherwise go to the dump or be burned.
It is pretty much nothing more than buried wood.
Can be flush with the ground, although raised garden beds are typically better
Can start small, and be added to later.
Can always be small - although bigger is better.
You can save the world from global warming by doing carbon sequestration in your own back yard!
Perfect for places that have had trees blown over by storms.
Can help end world hunger.
Give a gift to your future self.
Look it up, pretty easy, very cool, and incredibly useful for growing food, sequestering carbon, etc.
Also, consider hedgerows, which can be built from a similar mix and are used in England, for example, as a way to offer homes to woodland critters and birds and serve to help retain moisture in the adjacent soils. Not to mention - MUSHROOM HABITAT!!
SCANNER DIDN'T HELP
Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were conducting follow up investigations at a residence in the 29000 block of Shangri La Drive in Fort Bragg. As Deputies approached the residence, they observed Daniel Sanchez, 29, of Fort Bragg, who they knew from prior law enforcement contacts as a subject who is on active County Parole.
Sanchez walked away from the residence and into the darkness. Deputies illuminated Sanchez with a flashlight and directed him to stop. Sanchez responded by running away from the Deputies, while ignoring commands to stop. After a brief foot pursuit, Sanchez was apprehended and arrested without further incident. During the arrest of Sanchez, an operational portable radio scanner that was programmed with Mendocino Sheriff's Office radio frequencies was located. Deputies suspected that Sanchez was using the public safety radio scanner to assist him in avoiding or escaping arrest. Sanchez was also found to have an active recently issued felony arrest warrant for Violation of County Parole. Sanchez was arrested for Violation of County Parole, the felony arrest warrant, Resisting Arrest, and Unlawful Use of Public Safety Radio Scanner. Sanchez was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held on a No Bail status.
SALLEE SALLIES FORTH AND…
On Wednesday, December 4, 2019 at approximately 11:15 AM, Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle for a traffic related violation in the 400 block of South Main Street in Fort Bragg. Deputies contacted the occupants of the vehicle, including the only rear seat passenger who was identified as Clinton Sallee, 30, of Fort Bragg.
Sallee was known to Deputies, as he was on active felony probation, with a search condition as part of his probationary terms. Deputies detained Sallee and conducted a search of his person and of the area in the vehicle where he had been seated. Deputies discovered numerous items in his backpack that are commonly used to ingest controlled substances. Deputies also located suspected heroin in the same backpack. Sallee was arrested for Violation of Felony Probation, Possession of Heroin, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Sallee was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held on a No Bail status.
CATCH OF THE DAY, December 11, 2019
ARIEL APONTE, Visalia/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
CHRISTINA BARBER, Petaluma/Ukiah. Probation revocation.
HUNTER CASEY, Fort Bragg. Controlled substance, resisting, probation revocation.
SERGIO ESPINOZA, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. Probation revocation.
THOMAS GALINDO, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent flyer.)
LORENZO GONZALEZ-DIAZ, Ukiah. Domestic abuse, false imprisonment.
BRIAN HURTADO, Willits. Parole violation.
JULIAN ITURRALDE, Huntington Beach/Hopland. DUI-alcohol&drugs.
LISA KONG, Santa Rosa/Ukiah (CHP). Evasion.
VICTOR MENDOZA-ROSAS, Ukiah. DUI.
LESLIE MISHOU, Ukiah. Mail theft, conspiracy, probation revocation.
VINCENT SHARP JR., San Leandro/Ukiah. Unspecified offense.
MCKENZIE WILSON, Covelo. Harboring wanted felon, under influence.
WILL THE DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATION BE BOUGHT?
The wealthiest and most powerful people in the country are putting their big thumbs on the scale.
by Norman Solomon
From three different vectors, the oligarchy is on the march to capture the Democratic presidential nomination. Pete Buttigieg has made big gains. A timeworn ally of corporate power, Joe Biden, is on a campaign for his last hurrah. And Michael Bloomberg is swooping down from plutocratic heights.
Those three men are a team of rivals—each fiercely competitive for an individual triumph, yet arrayed against common ideological foes named Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
The obvious differences between Buttigieg, Biden and Bloomberg are apt to distract from their underlying political similarities. Fundamentally, they’re all aligned with the nation’s economic power structure—two as corporate servants, one as a corporate master.
For Buttigieg, the gaps between current rhetoric and career realities are now gaping. On Tuesday, hours after the collapse of the “nondisclosure agreement” that had concealed key information about his work for McKinsey & Company, the New York Times concluded that “the most politically troubling element of his client list” might be what he did a dozen years ago for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan—“a health care firm that at the time was in the process of reducing its work force.”
The newspaper reported that “his work appeared to come at about the same time the insurer announced that it would cut up to 1,000 jobs—or nearly 10 percent of its work force—and request rate increases.”
This year, Buttigieg’s vaguely progressive rhetoric has become more and more unreliable, most notably with his U-turn away from supporting Medicare for All. Meanwhile, wealthy donors have flocked to him. Forbes reports that 39 billionaires have donated to the Buttigieg campaign, thus providing ultra-elite seals of approval. (Meanwhile, Biden has 44 billionaire donors and Warren has six. Forbes couldn’t find any billionaires who’ve donated to Sanders; he did receive one contribution from a billionaire’s spouse—though that donation was later returned.)
Not surprisingly, the political orientations of the leading candidates match up with the spread of average donations. The latest figures reflect candidates’ proximity to the class interests of donors, with wealthier ones naturally tending to give more sizable amounts. Nearly two-thirds (64.9 percent) of Biden’s donations were upwards of $200 each, while such donations accounted for a bit more than half (52.5 percent) of the contributions to Buttigieg. Compare those numbers to 29.6 percent for Elizabeth Warren and 24.9 percent for Bernie Sanders.
Buttigieg’s affinity for corporate Democrats—and how it tracks with his donor base—should get a lot more critical scrutiny. For example, Washington Post reporter David Weigel tweeted in early November: “Asked Buttigieg if he agreed w Pelosi that PAYGO should stay in place if a Dem wins. ‘We might want to look at a modification to the rules, but the philosophical premise, I think, does need to be there… we've got to be able to balance the revenue of what we're proposing.’”
But the entire “philosophical premise” of PAYGO amounts to a straightjacket for constraining progressive options. To support it is to endorse the ongoing grip of corporate power on the Democratic Party. As Buttigieg surely knows, PAYGO—requiring budget cuts to offset any spending increases—is a beloved cause for the farthest-right congressional Democrats. The 26 House members of the corporatist Blue Dog Coalition continue to be enthralled with PAYGO.
As for Joe Biden, since the launch of his campaign almost eight months ago, progressives have increasingly learned that his five-decade political record is filled with one repugnant aspect after another after another after another. Any support for him from progressives in the primaries and caucuses next year will likely come from low-information voters.
In sharp contrast to Sanders and Warren, who refuse to do high-dollar fundraising events, Biden routinely speaks at private gatherings where wealthy admirers donate large sums. His campaign outreach consists largely of making beelines to audiences of extraordinarily rich people around the country—as if to underscore his declaration in May 2018 that “I don’t think 500 billionaires are the reason why we're in trouble… The folks at the top aren’t bad guys.”
One of those folks who presumably isn’t a “bad guy” is Bloomberg, who—with an estimated net worth of $54 billion—has chosen to pursue a presidential quest by spending an astronomical amount of money on advertisements. Writing for The Nation magazine this week, Jeet Heer aptly noted that Bloomberg “is utterly devoid of charisma, has no real organic base in the Democratic Party, and is a viable candidate only because he’s filthy rich and is willing to inundate the race by opening up his nearly limitless money pit.”
More powerfully than any words, Bloomberg’s brandishing of vast amounts of ad dollars is conveying his belief that enormous wealth is an entitlement to rule. The former New York mayor’s campaign is now an extreme effort to buy the presidency. Yet what he’s doing tracks with more standard assumptions about the legitimacy of allowing very rich people to dominate the political process.
Earlier this week, Bernie Sanders’ campaign manager Faiz Shakir summed up the BBB approach this way: “Today, Joe Biden’s super PAC went on the air with a massive television ad buy. Mike Bloomberg is blanketing the airwaves almost everywhere with the largest ad buy in primary history. And Pete Buttigieg is taking time off the trail for a trio of private, high-dollar fundraisers in New York City.”
Thanks to grassroots low-dollar donations, Warren and Sanders (whom I support) have been able to shatter the corrupt paradigm that gave presidential campaign dominance to candidates bankrolled by the rich. That’s why Bloomberg has stepped in to save oligarchy from democracy.
As Frederick Douglass said with timeless truth, “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” Continual denunciations of anti-democratic power are necessary and insufficient. It’s far from enough to assert endlessly that the system is rigged and always will be.
Power concedes nothing. Fatalism is a poison that gets us nowhere. Constant organizing—outside and inside the electoral arena—is the antidote to powerlessness.
With the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination up for grabs, this chance will not come again.
(Norman Solomon is co-founder and national coordinator of RootsAction.org. His books include "War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death" and "Made Love, Got War: Close Encounters with America's Warfare State." He is the founder and executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy.)
Within heart's glowing space
Chanting the panchakshara mantra
In the fourth dimension
Craig Louis Stehr
CHRISTMAS SING-A-LONG IN ELK
Welcome one and all to our annual Christmas Sing-A-Long in Elk.
Tuesday, December 17, 7:00 pm
Greenwood Community Church.
Santa will be flying in to the delight of youth of any age. Following the program you are invited to join us for some delicious refreshments.
This event is always grand fun and is guaranteed to to launch you into the spirit of Christmas.
Dorothy Cong firstname.lastname@example.org
WHY BERNIE SANDERS AND ELIZABETH WARREN WILL WIN THE PRESIDENCY
Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich explains why Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are best positioned to beat Trump in 2020.
CRAB SEASON DELAY
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is providing the following important updates and information on the status of the central and northern commercial California Dungeness crab fisheries and northern recreational fishery.
Central Management Area (Fish and Game Districts 10 and south)
On Nov. 22, the Central Management Area (Sonoma County and south) opener was delayed until Dec. 15 by declaration of the Director to avoid marine life entanglements. At CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham’s request, the California Dungeness Crab Fishing Gear Working Group was convened on Dec. 4 to review new information and conduct an updated risk assessment. The Working Group provided a consensus recommendation to open the fishery as soon as possible, while providing the fishery sufficient notice prior to Dec. 15. No minority recommendations were expressed. After considering the Working Group’s updated assessment, the Director is proceeding with the Dec. 15 opener. The Central Management Area will open at 12:01 a.m. on Sunday, Dec. 15. This opening is preceded by an 18-hour gear setting period that will begin at 6:01 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14.
Through the course of the crab season, CDFW will engage regularly with the Working Group to review scientific information and advise efforts to minimize the risk of whale and sea turtle entanglements while maximizing fishing opportunity. Based on that process, CDFW may take additional management actions in response to future risk assessments. For more information related to the risk assessment process or this delay, please visit CDFW’s Whale Safe Fisheries page.
Domoic Acid Update
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) lifted a health advisory for recreational Dungeness crabs caught near Shelter Cove, Humboldt County (40° 01′ N. Latitude) to Point Arena (38° 57.5′ N. Latitude). CDPH lifted this advisory todaydue to recent tests showing that the amount of domoic acid has declined to low or undetectable levels in Dungeness crabs caught in the area, indicating that they are safe to consume. Although there are currently no areas under an active health advisory for Dungeness crab in the state, CDPH recommends consumers follow best practices to avoid any inadvertent exposure to domoic acid that might be sporadically found in the crab viscera.
Northern Management Area (Fish and Game Districts 6, 7, 8 and 9)
Director Bonham has also announced an additional 15-day delay of the northern California commercial Dungeness crab season. The new opener is Dec. 31, 2019. Results of the Dec. 3 quality test continue to show crab are below the minimum testing guidelines established by the Tri-State Dungeness Crab Committee and are not yet ready for harvesting.
Delays due to quality affect the entire northern commercial fishery in Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte counties (California Fish and Game Districts 6, 7, 8 and 9). The season in these districts is now scheduled to open at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2019, to be preceded by a 64-hour gear setting period that would begin no earlier than 8:01 a.m. on Dec. 28, 2019.
Additional testing will be scheduled to occur by Dec. 20 to determine whether the season can open on Dec. 31 or will be delayed once more until Jan. 15, 2020.
No vessel may take or land crab in an area closed for a meat quality delay (i.e., Fish and Game districts 6, 7, 8 and 9). In addition, any vessel that takes, possesses onboard or lands crab from ocean waters outside of a delayed area is prohibited from participating in the crab fishery in the delayed area for 30 days following the opening of that area.
For more information, please see CDFW’s Frequently Asked Questions regarding the 2019-2020 Dungeness crab commercial season and www.wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Marine/Whale-Safe-Fisheries.
For more information on Dungeness crab, please visit: www.wildlife.ca.gov/crab.
BIDEN ATTEMPTS TO WIN OVER YOUTH WITH APPEARANCE ON 'THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW'
DEAR HUFF: A Boneheaded Idea
Dear Representative Huffman,
I've read your quote in the Huffington Post with great interest.
Here's "the dumbest idea" I've heard: Vote for Articles of Impeachment in the House of Representatives that have no chance whatsoever of success in the Senate.
To me, that's throwing Brer Rabbit into the middle of the briar patch, sir.
"Complete and Total Exoneration," you can hear him saying it again and again and again, on into November's election.
Censure in the House is not reviewable by the Senate. It will scorch his butt in a way he cannot get rid of. Ever.
OK, Jared, here's a really good idea: do both.
Impeach and Censure.
At least then you've covered both bases; one that will stick and the other that has no possibility of success.
Think about it.
Pass it along up the chain of command to Speaker Pelosi.
But spare me the insult of "boneheaded" and "the dumbest idea I've heard of".
With all due respect, sir, I've been playing this game a lot longer than you have, and I've learned a thing or two along the way. Principal among which is this, "There is no nobility in defeat".
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Back in the 1950s we had a milkbox on the front porch. When the milkman put full bottles in the box, he would pick up the empty bottles—glass of course—and take them back to the dairy, where they were washed and refilled.
The only part of the packaging that was single-use was the bottle cap, which was crimped, wax-coated, heavy paper. No plastic.
How many times could a glass milk bottle be washed and refilled? I can only guess, but it could have been dozens, if it did not get broken.
Good to hear you will soon have home delivery of milk. I hope they go back to this system of returning and re-using the glass bottles.
Ed note: My brother and I used to fight over who got to drink the cream at the top of the bottle, and the ice man, with a leather gherkin over his shoulder, used to lug in big blocks of ice for the ice box over our old Kelvinator. And guys hand-digging ditches all day. And washing machine wringers. Remember those? There was always some kid with his forearm in a cast from running his arm through the thing. (All boys. Girls were too smart to mess with the machines.)
CANNABIS POLICIES I SUPPORT
I support the Amnesty Transition Program for legacy cannabis farmers that was recently proposed by the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors..
Last month, the Board of Supervisors gave county staff direction to explore the possible creation of an Amnesty Transition Pathway that would include the following four primary components:
- Direct the executive office to convene a regional and county forum to identify and address state barriers to successful permitting and explore economic development through regional cooperative models.
- Direct the cannabis cultivation ad-hoc to work with staff and stakeholders and report to the BOS within 60 days with recommendations for streamlining the cultivation ordinance.
- Direct staff to develop an equity program application that prioritizes capital assistance to legacy farmers to address environmental and building compliance issues.
- Direct staff, the cultivation ad-hoc committee and stakeholders to develop criteria and timing for reopening permitting processing for legacy farmers.
In addition to four specific recommendations from the Board of Supervisors listed above, I support the following additional components of an Amnesty Transition Pathway.
- Establish an on-going application submission procedure that allows legacy farmers the right to apply for a cultivation permit at any time.
- The elimination of opt-out and sunset zones.
- Streamline permit process so that only a ministerial permit is required.
- Remove county regulations that are redundant with state agencies.
- Provide an exception to the county’s tree removal prohibition to allow for compliance with the sanitary, environmental, fire, life and safety requirements mandated by state and local agencies.
The purpose of Amnesty Transition Program should be to bolster the local cannabis industry, and to keep future cannabis excise tax revenues in the local economy by providing the following:
- services to populations and communities in Mendocino County who were adversely affected by the criminalization of cannabis
- a framework for supportive programs designed to sustain and grow Mendocino County’s cannabis industry, including cannabis tourism, and
- assist cannabis businesses as they work to overcome the financial and logistical challenges of coming into compliance with Prop 64 and other state law.
CANNABIS PROGRAMS I SUPPORT
Using Humboldt County as a model, I would enthusiastically support the following programs:
- Micro-Grant Program
Aimed at providing capital assistance and business resources to Humboldt County cannabis businesses. An advisory committee will be establish to recommend projects to be funded through this program.
- Marketing and Promotion
This initiative is designed to promote Mendocino-grown cannabis as a national and industry brand. A Request for Proposals should be issued for these services.
- Local Equity Program
To serve those communities and individuals impacted by the war on drugs, and the implementation of which also serves as part of the qualifying criteria to receive Senate Bill 1294 funding.
A FARMER-OWNED SUPPLY CHAIN COMPANY
Besides navigating a difficult, expensive, and complex permit process, the other chief problem that cannabis farmers face is how to sell direct to the consumer.
This is also a problem for the county, because corporate supply chain companies, like Flow Kana, "export" their revenues back to Wall Street and other investors who are located outside Mendocino County.
But to support county services and pay for new labor contracts, Mendocino County must capture every penny of cannabis tax revenues.
What's the solution?
A farmer-owned supply chain company.
Once elected as Mendocino County District 1 Supervisor, I would further support our farmers with an economic development initiative to "kickstart" a supply chain company that would be collectively owned and operated by a local, non-profit, farmers co-op.
Kickstarter funds could be raised by a $10 million Industrial Development Bond (IDB) issued by the California Infrastructure Economic Development Bank (IBank) on behalf of the farmer-owned supply chain company.
IDBs provide tax-exempt financing up to $10 million for qualified manufacturing and processing companies for the construction or acquisition of facilities and equipment. IDBs allow private companies to borrow at low interest rates normally reserved for state and local governmental entities.
Other types of IBank Bond Financing include:
- 501(c)(3) Bonds
Tax-exempt financing to eligible nonprofit public benefit corporations for the acquisition and/or improvement of facilities and capital assets. Typical borrowers include cultural, educational, charitable and recreational organizations, research institutes and other types of organizations that provide public benefits.
- Exempt Facility Bonds
Tax-exempt financing for projects that are government-owned or consist of private improvements within publicly-owned facilities, such as private airline improvements at publicly-owned airports.
3 Public Agency Revenue Bonds (PARBs)
Bond financings for various State entities and programs.
WHY A BOND FINANCING?
WHAT A SUPPLY CHAIN COMPANY WOULD LOOK LIKE
In addition to physical facilities for warehousing, grading, processing, packaging, and distribution, a farmer-owned supply chain company would have technology for an e-trading platform supported by systems for e-payments and e-tracking.
I envision a fully electronic, compliant, transparent exchange, as well as technology for buying, selling and tracking wholesale cannabis and hemp transactions. The core function of this marketplace will be to ensure fair and orderly transactions, as well as efficient dissemination of price information, for products bought and sold on the exchange.
Digital security solutions, including camera systems, live video monitoring by trained surveillance professionals, and cloud based VMS with video analytics and storage that complies with state regulatory requirements, will be built into the system.
Finally, an analytics platform could be built into the system. It could provide powerful data insights tools to help the farmer-owned supply chain company make intelligent business decisions. With a mix of data analysis and machine learning algorithms, a platform could be developed will allow farmers not only judge their overall performance, but provide the business intelligence necessary to allow the supply chain company to grow.
Currently, there is no shortage of software providers in the legal cannabis industry that can provide seed-to-sale supply chain management and compliance tools, as well as tracking solutions for state and local governments.
Local supply chain companies are springing up all over.
See the following article in the Wall Street Journal: https://www.wsj.com/articles/cannabis-supply-chains-coming-out-of-the-shadows-1535016610
WE CAN DO THIS
Keep in mind that, here in Mendocino County, we have a building and planning director with a long resume in Redevelopment Authority (RDA) work in the City of Anaheim. He would be an invaluable resource in building out a farmer-owned supply chain company.
When you think about it, a farmer-owned supply chain company. is very much like an RDA project.
Why do I say that? Because RDA projects were "revitalization projects" and "public improvements projects" in "redevelopment areas" that involved both public and private investments.
Sounds a lot like a farmer-owned supply chain company in economically depressed Mendocino County.
Together, we can do this!
John Sakowicz, Candidate, Mendocino County 1st District Supervisor and proud member of the Mendocino Cannabis Alliance
PREPARING FOR NATURAL DISASTERS AND SUPPORTING SCHOOLS THROUGHOUT THE PSPS
By Michelle Hutchins, County Superintendent of Schools
During the PG&E Planned Safety Power Shutoffs this fall, households, businesses, government entities, and schools had to figure out how to manage daily operations without electricity, no small feat when we’ve all grown accustomed to an electronic and digital world.
Because so much of the Mendocino County Office of Education’s work is behind the scenes, people sometimes ask me, “What does MCOE do?” In answer to that question, I thought it important to share some of the details of our PSPS preparation and support. When it comes to education, MCOE is responsible for helping local districts educate thousands of students and support hundreds of employees—primarily by serving as a communication and technology hub and by providing facilities support.
Our formal preparation for PG&E’s Public Safety Power Shutoffs began in early May, when the California Public Utilities Commission approved PG&E’s plan to use power shutoffs. MCOE hosts the internet services used by all districts in the county, serving approximately 13,000 students. We also share a financial system with all the districts, and most districts have switched to internal telephone systems that use the internet as their carrier. Thus, the loss of internet access would not only disrupt technology in the classrooms but also telephone services, financial services, state reporting and payroll processing. (MCOE prints the monthly payroll checks for more than 6,000 public education employees.)
Therefore, our planning centered around business continuity for county school districts, which involved: 1. Maintaining access to payroll and financial systems, 2. Serving as a liaison between schools (both public and private) and the County Office of Emergency, 3. Providing technical assistance to districts and charter schools in their own planning for the impacts of losing power (e.g., what to do with refrigerated food), and 4. Keeping the public informed about whether schools were open each day during the PSPS.
By attending various PG&E presentations and sharing that information with our staff, district employees, and the public, we enabled others to remain productive in their regular jobs—district employees could remain focused on educating students. We also provided technical support on-site and via telephone regarding the feasibility of generators and where to place them. Many of our more rural schools not only require power for communications, lighting, heating, and cooling; they also pump their own water and sewage.
Finally, we encouraged our employees to create family emergency plans and collect supplies, directing them to prepareforpowerdown.com and providing useful templates to make sure they thought of everything (e.g., medications, pet food, important documents, etc.).
Sometimes the proof of MCOE’s good work is that there’s nothing to report—no disaster, no disruption in service, no one going without paychecks. I am really proud of the hardworking employees at MCOE who tried (and mostly succeeded) in thinking of every contingency, so people were as safe as they could be, and in many cases, except for a lack of power, it was business as usual.
Greta Thunberg — The "We Don't Have Time" Connection
"Mårten Thorslund, chief marketing and sustainability officer of We Don’t Have Time, took many of the very first photos of Thunberg following the launch of her school strike on August 20, 2018. In the following instance, photos taken by Thorslund accompany the article written by David Olsson, chief operating officer of We Don’t Have Time, This 15-year-old Girl Breaks Swedish Law for the Climate, published August 23, 2018. …
The “one kid immediately got twenty supporters” – from a Swedish network for sustainable business. What is going on – is the launch of a global campaign to usher in a required consensus for the Paris Agreement, the Green New Deal and all climate-related policies and legislation written by the power elite – for the power elite. This is necessary in order to unlock the trillions of dollars in funding by way of massive public demand.
These agreements and policies include carbon capture and storage (CCS), enhanced oil recovery (EOR), bio-energy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS), rapid total decarbonisation, payments for ecosystem services (referred to as “natural capital”), nuclear energy and fission, and a host of other “solutions” that are hostile to an already devastated planet. What is going on – is a rebooting of a stagnant capitalist economy, that needs new markets – new growth – in order to save itself. What is being created is a mechanism to unlock approximately 90 trillion dollars for new investments and infrastructure…
We Don’t Have Time identifies itself as a movement and tech start-up that is currently developing “the world’s largest social network for climate action”. The “movement” component was launched on April 22, 2018…
The start-up intends to offer partnerships, digital advertising and services related to climate change, sustainability and the growing green, circular economy to “a large audience of engaged consumers and ambassadors.” …
We Don’t Have Time is mainly active in three markets: social media, digital advertising and carbon offsets. [“In the US alone estimated market for carbon offsetting amount to over 82 billion USD of which voluntary carbon offset represents 191 million USD. The market is expected to increase in the future, in 2019 estimated 15% of all greenhouse gas emissions to be associated with any kind of cost for offsetting.”]…
One incentive of many identified in the start-up investment section is that users will be encouraged to “communicate jointly and powerfully with influential actors.” Such influencers are Greta Thunberg and Jamie Margolin who both have lucrative futures in the branding of “sustainable” industries and products, should they wish to pursue this path in utilizing their present celebrity for personal gain…"