- Dry Days
- 3-Car Accident
- Convoluted Hospitality
- Caregivers Contract
- Nobel Medal
- Affordable Shelter
- Margaret Crowninshield
- Plaid Lady
- Parcel Tax
- Library Closed
- Hensley Refused
- AV Village
- Boonville Water
- Pelosi Logic
- Harris Quarry
- Ed Notes
- Allman Appreciation
- Rangeland Weed
- Yesterday's Catch
- Missing Christmas
- Take Flight
- Broken Arm
- Trophy Hunting
- Cannabis Cup
- Patton Parade
- Arrested Nun
- Afghanistan Papers
- Working Poor
- Shoddy FBI
- Public Policy
- Cyber Vulnerable
- Federal Spending
- You Decide
- Absurd Wall
- Greta Hurt
- Homeless Vigil
- With Stupid
- Marco Radio
- Found Object
MAINLY DRY WEATHER is expected through Tuesday. There is the potential for some periods of rain, especially in the north, Wednesday through Friday. There is a better chance for rain on Saturday. (National Weather Service)
FORT BRAGG'S CONVOLUTED HOSPITALITY
by Malcolm Macdonald
At the December 9 Fort Bragg City Council meeting, Chief of Police Fabian Lizarraga announced he will be leaving the force effective May 1, 2020. If he stays that long, he will have been on the job for five full years at departure. Previously, Lizarraga spent more than three dozen years with the Los Angeles Police Department, rising to the level of captain.
There were important items elsewhere on the City Council's agenda. Readers might want to check the City of Fort Bragg's website for the 181 page “Comprehensive Annual Finance Report.” Check the table of contents therein for reference to specific pages, such as details on net pension liability (roughly $9 million).
We will get back to the Police Chief, but first we are going to delve into a request from Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center for a bridge loan to finance the opening and operation of a winter shelter for the homeless. The Hospitality Center (HC) has been operating what used to be called the Extreme Weather Shelter (EWS) for a number of years. The opening of the EWS previously depended on a weather criteria for each particular day, based on a percentage of the chance of rain or predicted low night time temperature (usually set at below forty degrees). This fractured schedule led to day to day uncertainty and proved frustrating for homeless folks as well as those responsible with staffing the shelter and/or preparing food for it. This year the shelter is scheduled to be open each and every evening from December 15 through March 15. Faith-based communities have once again volunteered their venues for periods that could extend to two weeks each. By the time this is read, the winter shelter (WS – not World Series, baseball fans) will be at its fortnight long site in Caspar.
Another thing that proved consistently inconsistent year after year: You could pretty much count on Hospitality Center to drag its feet in getting funding for the operation of the shelter. There should be a paid and trained staff member for every dozen homeless people at a given shelter site; over twelve and there ought to be a second paid and trained staff member on site. In addition there should be an equal number of volunteers present, be they from the faith-based community hosting the winter shelter or simply community-minded volunteers. It will be interesting to see if HC meets these standards fully during the next three months, given that the winter shelter will be operating from 4 pm each afternoon until 8 am the following morning. Volunteers need only work four hour shifts at a time while, I believe, paid staff will be on eight hour shifts.
Approximately $66,000 worth of county funding was available to HC as far back as July. The HC leadership, specifically their board of directors' chair, Lynelle Johnson, dragged her feet looking for a single location to house the shelter all winter. The location she wanted was just north of the Main St. car wash in Fort Bragg, one door south rests Starbuck’s, another property southward gets you to the Safeway parking lot. Safeway being the greatest offender, by far, within Fort Bragg, in failing to monitor shoplifting by underage drinkers and shoplifters in general.
That potential winter long shelter locale would have only increased the problems at Safeway. Why did HC's long time leader want the shelter at that Main Street location? At that spot the shelter would not require a new “Use Permit” from the City of Fort Bragg. To get the permit, HC would have to suffer the indignity of a public hearing at which the local citizenry might utter some hard truths about HC and its sister ship Hospitality House.
So Ms. Johnson dragged the process out. The Main Street location fell through, HC had to go back to the faith-based community to house the shelter on a rotating basis, and lo and behold it was now December and the weather had already turned nasty before Thanksgiving. One church attempted something of an ad hoc shelter for a few dark and stormy nights. One of those evenings, Fort Bragg City Council member Bernie Norvell came by to see what was happening. He ended up staying for several hours to assist one retirement age woman who was attempting to run that shelter on her own with fifteen or more wet, weary, and (some) armed overnighters. One fellow packed a machete and a hatchet into the church. Fortunately, nothing negative came of that.
Another pair of guests came and went. By all accounts stopping at a bar or liquor store to quench their thirst during the interim. More examples can be provided, but you get the picture.
More assistance was needed than a lone well-intentioned church leader.
So as December rolled in with more storms the Hospitality Center couldn't open any shelters early because in their own treasurer's words, they didn't have the money. Staffing a shelter, with paid staff and other overhead, costs somewhere in the neighborhood of $700 per night. HC couldn't afford any extra nights. According to them they couldn't even afford to open on December 15 without a loan. Hence the December 9 City Council decision to loan HC $25,000, interest free. At that meeting, council member Norvell pointed out how HC balked at the money offered back in July and essentially called for another entity to take control of the winter shelter from HC in the future.
Fifth District Supervisor Ted Williams attended that December 9 council meeting in Fort Bragg. The next day the Board of Supervisors, at their meeting in Ukiah, moved to take the onus off the City of Fort Bragg by approving the cutting of a more or less immediate check to HC to fund the start up of the 2019-2020 winter shelter. Reportedly, Fourth District Supervisor Dan Gjerde stated late Tuesday that a check for $33,000 would be sent to HC from the county coffers. On Thursday, HC's treasurer, Jerry Thomas, acknowledged that the organization now had enough money to start the shelter process. Reportedly, HC will get about $66,000 altogether from the county for the entire three month shelter operation. Remember, HC could have had that money in mid-summer.
Getting back to the shoplifting of liquor and the generalized alcohol problem that plagues the transient and homeless population. Harvest Market in the Boatyard shopping center at the south end of Fort Bragg follows a stricter, nearly zero tolerance policy toward liquor shoplifters. The store employees actively check video cameras to identify shoplifters then turn in such offenders to law enforcement for arrest and prosecution. Safeway has reportedly hired a plainclothes security person to be on duty at heightened hours of criminal activity. This has only been going on for a short time so it is too soon to see how effective this one remedy has proven at that store.
At one time a list of folks on active probation for alcohol related crimes was in the hands of merchants in Fort Bragg as a means of curbing easy access to liquor. The use of such a list waned several years back. The current police chief has done nothing to reinstate that sort of list, but rumor is afoot that people in fairly high places are working to re-instate the no-sell alcohol list.
Which brings us to last Thursday, December 12, when yours truly attended the training seminar for people desiring to volunteer at this winter's shelter. The course lasted from 10 am through 3 pm, with about an hour lunch break. The instruction, particularly on specific mental health and substance abuse issues proved at the minimum a valuable reminder.
Each potential shelter volunteer filled out a basic application form. In addition, HC asked for a signature on a “release from liability” form, which takes all legal responsibility off HC if something drastic happens to a volunteer. After the training was completed, I told Ms. Johnson, her vice chair, Carole White, and HC's executive director, Carla Harris, that I still wanted to volunteer, but wouldn't be signing such a form. When I said that the wording of the liability form implied that HC did not possess adequate insurance to cover serious injury to a volunteer, there was no response to indicate otherwise.
HC also asks volunteers to sign a confidentiality agreement. One of the demands of this form states that even the conversation of a volunteer is the property of Hospitality Center. Clearly this document was nothing less than a non-disclosure agreement aimed at committing anyone working or volunteering at the winter shelter to utter silence ever after. I pointed out the unacceptable nature of this document to Ms. Johnson and Ms. Harris after Ms. White waved a hand at it saying, “Looks standard to me.”
Ms. Johnson gave her usual schmooze about being glad I'd brought questions to her attention. Based on past performance, this is what Ms. Johnson does when someone points out the error of her ways. She says something mildly soothing in response then does whatever she pleases. Ms. Harris at least acknowledged that some of the confidentiality form's wording might need changing. I informed them that I would be writing about the forms in newsprint.
On December 14, the day before the official opening of the coastal winter shelter, the weather turned wet and cold once more. Grace Community Church in Fort Bragg opened its doors for the homeless. Harvest Market gave food. Mayor Will Lee was on hand to help serve dinner around 7:30 pm. Folks like John Lain and Richard Mack went out into the rain to find individuals who could use the one night shelter. At least one pickup truck was volunteered to transport belongings to the church. Judy Valadao, of Fort Bragg, proved a valuable source of information coordination. Folks volunteered to oversee the operation all night into Sunday morning, when Starbucks provided a morning treat.
One of the few long time Fort Bragg homeless spotted at the temporary shelter back on Thanksgiving weekend didn't make it to the church on Saturday, December 14. On Sunday morning, he was found dead in a parking lot in the town's central business district. Police and court records indicate his lengthy history of alcohol-related arrests. Councilman Norvell commented, “Further justification for the alcohol list.”
IN-HOME SERVICE WORKERS WIN COUNTY CONTRACT
by Sheila Dawn Tracy
SEIU 2015 is a new chapter of the Service Employees International Union reorganized and 2015 to serve nearly 1400 in home providers of the elderly and disabled in Mendocino County.
On December 10 four of the seven members of the union's bargaining team were present as the Mendocino County Director of Health and Human Services outlined the terms of the contract agreement to the Board of Supervisors.
After several months of negotiations, the chief negotiator for the IHSS Public Authority (PA) doubled the initial wage increase proposal from $.50 to a dollar above the state mandated minimum wage of $12 an hour.
The PA also agreed to provide the union with $5000 annually to develop and run trainings on various health topics including CPR, infection control, mental health issues and autism.
The wage supplement agreed to by the County will keep caregivers’ wages $1 above the state yearly minimum wage increases until a new contract is negotiated. It is a three-year contract ending on June 30, 2022.
In January 2020 the California minimum wage will increase to $13 an hour. The additional increase to $14 an hour will occur when the contract is approved by the California Department of Social Services, a process that is expected to take two or three months.
A survey of union members taken prior to negotiations revealed that along with a wage increase, dental and vision benefits and training opportunities were high priorities. Dental and vision benefits are not included in the Affordable Care Act.
SEIU 2015 chief negotiator Cindy Fonseca presented a benefits proposal which would provide coverage to all IHSS workers who work 60 hours or more for two consecutive months. The cost to the county would be 35¢ an hour per worker.
The Public Authority stated an unwillingness to agree to a benefits package due to cost, the time it would take to work out details, and a wariness of the board members due to a successful grievance filed by the union in the past to recoup unspent money in the county coffers for members’ benefits before the Affordable Care Act went into effect.
The increased wage proposal followed the Public Authority’s rejection of the benefit proposal.
As a first-time member of the bargaining team, I came to realize that the willingness to compromise is key to successful negotiation.
Supervisor John Haschak commented that the wage increase would give dignity to caregivers in affirming the value of the services provided. He added greater opportunities for training would save the county money by lowering the rate of emergency room visits and nursing home admissions. He hoped the wage increase would be an incentive to increase the number of providers to meet the needs of our growing senior population.
The board approved the contract unanimously.
JOHN ARTEAGA from the UDJ: "I was so disappointed to see the excellent proposal of State Sen. Weiner, which would override local planning to allow more dense housing to be built near transit hubs. It was dropped without so much as a decent public hearing, though it could have resulted in a significant increase in reasonably priced housing units statewide.
Locally, it is so disheartening to see the minuscule number of incredibly heavily subsidized ‘low cost’ housing units built locally; yes, they look great, but they are less than a drop in the bucket when compared to the need.
The pragmatic former supervisor John Pinches had, I thought, a much bigger and better plan for increasing the county’s housing stocks; he pushed for the county to create trailer parks on a nonprofit basis. It seemed like a practical and affordable way for the county to address the staggering homelessness crisis we see all around us. No action taken.
The vast, barnlike homeless shelter now being remodeled on South State is fine for the hard-luck cases that it is apparently designed to marginally house, but we really need to start thinking out of the box for those many of our hard-working fellow citizens who are now finding it impossible to locate any kind of affordable shelter."
Margaret Lyn Crowninshield passed from this world on September 27, 2019. The beloved mother of Steve and John Crowninshield and former spouse of David Crowninshield. She leaves behind a four grandchildren and one great-grandchild. She was a singer, songwriter and musician, cofounder of the Mendocino Women's Chorus, and an accomplished seamstress and quilter. A celebration of her life is scheduled for December 21 at 3 PM at the Casper Community Center.
(Sheila Dawn Tracy)
BURIED in the otherwise routine list of things the Community Services District Board will discuss at their Wednesday Board meeting is this possibly controversial item of “new business”: “Hiring a Consultant for Parcel Tax Measure – McKenna.”
The Anderson Valley Library will be closed Saturday December 21 through Tuesday December 31, for the holidays. We will reopen on Jan. 4, 2020. Happy Holidays to all. (If you book people have never dropped by the AV Library, you're missing out on a great little hidden treasure at the Boonville Fairgrounds)
MEMO OF THE WEEK
Superior Court of California, County of Mendocino
People of the State of California, plaintiff, versus Charles Wayne Hensley, defendant.
Case No. SCUK CRCR 16-88000, and SCUK CRCR 15-83663
Order For Placement Pursuant To Penal Code Section 1370 Et Seq.
It is hereby ordered that:
Criminal proceedings remain suspended until the court finds that defendant has been restored to competency.
Placement of defendant has been difficult based on the significant cognitive impairment presented by defendant as a result of the effects of chronic alcoholism, low IQ, and homelessness.
An appropriate placement has been recommended by the Director of Public Health through Redwood Gospel Mission.
The court orders defendant released forthwith to the custody of Kenneth Rosenthal to transport defendant for immediate placement at Redwood Gospel Mission at 101 6th Street in Santa Rosa, California.
If defendant is not accepted by Redwood Gospel Mission for placement for any reason, Mr. Rosenthal shall immediately return defendant to be Mendocino County Jail.
The maximum term of commitment is one year.
Redwood Gospel Mission shall submit a progress report to the court within 90 days of this order and at six-month intervals thereafter unless and until top intensity is restored.
The matter is set for progress, non-appearance for defendant on July 17, 2017.
Keith Faulder, Judge of the Superior Court
April 14, 2017
Ed note: Hensley refused to go.
ANDERSON VALLEY VILLAGE - WEEKLY UPDATE
Anyone interested in meeting up for coffee with other Village members, volunteers and supporters? Let me know and we can help connect people! Below is a list of all of the calendar events for the next two weeks that are hosted by The Anderson Valley Village as well as events in our community at large. Plenty to keep you busy! Note: We try to maintain this calendar as events change, especially AV Village events. Other events listed here are subject to change without notice so contact the particular organization/ venue for the latest information. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us: Anica Williams, 707-684-9829, firstname.lastname@example.org
A READER ASKS: Question: Why did AVFD have to call in water tenders from other districts during the big blaze last week? Answer: Because there is no municipal water system, and thus no hydrants, in Boonville center. That's a spectacular and tragic example why there ought to be. No?
MS REPLIES: It is true that a municipal water system would greatly improve firefighting capability in downtown Boonville, but there are two or three fire hydrants in front of the fairgrounds. As we understand the situation at the devastating fire downtown, the water tenders and pumpers ran the Fairgrounds tank down to below their reserve level and the Fairgrounds manager said they had to stop when the tank got down to something like one-quarter full. That’s when the firefighters went to the PennyRoyal vineyard down the street for water.
ON MONDAY The Board of Supervisors will again try to deal with the controversial Harris Quarry proposal.
“Noticed Public Hearing - Discussion and Possible Action Including (1) Rescission of 2012 Approvals Including EIR Certification, Ordinance Amendments, Rezoning and Project Approvals for the Harris Quarry Expansion Project; and (2) Adoption of Resolution Certifying the 2019 Revised EIR; Adoption of Ordinances for Ordinance Amendment (OA 1-2007); Adoption of Ordinance for Rezone (R 4-2011); and Adoption of Resolution Approving Use Permit and Reclamation Plan Renewal (UR 19-83/2005) for the Harris Quarry Expansion Project (Sponsors: Planning and Building Services and County Counsel).”
There’s a lot of history and a huge pile of legal, regulatory and bureaucratic material to deal with on top of the determined opposition of the quarry’s neighbors. That part of the quarry project/proposal is beyond our capacity to fully explore here. However, we’d suggest three fundamental issues be resolved before the Board votes on the Quarry proposal:
First, the Quarry operation has to comply with Air Quality rules and the County/AQMD needs to get regular (monthly) independent reports.
Second, there has to be some clarity on the fundamental dispute over whether the quarry’s output is really needed and how much by type. The opponents say there's plenty of asphalt and/or rock from other semi-local sources. The operator says not, that the demand is there. But nobody's broken down which materials are available or not and from where. Given the poor quality of Mendo's roads there should be a productive demand for quarry material if the County/Transpo Dept had (has?) budgeted for necessary repairs and knew how much they'd use. What does Transpo Director Howard Dashiell and/or Caltrans and/or MCOG say? Why haven't they been asked about this issue before? There needs to be an independent assessment of how much of the quarry's output will be used for government and/or private purposes. The County might be able to leverage their recently discovered vacancy-based "surplus" into a useful demand for at least part of the quarry's output. Seems to us that the opposition might be at least partly mollified if the County committed to buying some of the quarry's output to fix our bad roads with a carefully targeted and prioritized program. (Also with necessary reports and updates, at least quarterly.) Does anyone recall that the title "Supervisor" was once the longer: "Road Supervisor"?
And, third, the traffic questions regarding the heavy truck entrance/exit on 101 at the top of the grade needs to be nailed down and effectively answered. What we’ve seen so far still leaves a serious safety question on that stretch of 101 where the large overloaded gravel/asphalt trucks enter and exit.
It might also be interesting to ask the opponents/neighbors exactly how they'd like to see project arranged to where they'd promise not to sue — short of no project.
THE CANDIDATES for the March 3rd Mendo election, a preliminary assessment:
SUPERIOR COURT Judge Jeanine Nadel: We haven't heard a critical word about Nadel's work as a judge, but then the Druidic functioning of the County's judicial functioning is aggressively kept from prying eyes. Ms. Nadel made her way up from the equivalent of that legal dead letter office — County Counsel — and now enjoys an unopposed incumbency.
WE'VE admired Patrick Pekin's work as a defense attorney — a thankless task given that clients are almost all guilty and tend heavily to ingratitude. We see no reason the smart and personable Coast attorney won't make an excellent judge as he runs unopposed to replace John Behnke, who has retired.
FAVORITE defendant as ingrate story was told to me by my cousin, James Rowland, a defense attorney who once worked the Mendo-Lake circuit. Cousin Jimmy said a guy he was defending insisted he present this defense, that the bag of cocaine he was sniffing as the cops burst through the door wasn't cocaine, it was sheetrock dust, which he just happened to be snorting to see if it was the goods or not!
WHY DO we have Nine judges? Because the state legislature is composed mostly of lawyers, and back in the mid-1970s, the palsy-walsy lawyers who make state law decided that Mendocino County's far-flung justice courts with their "lay" judges — judges who didn't have law degrees — couldn't possibly render a "professional" quality of justice, nevermind that outback Mendo was perfectly content with their "lay" judges for the prior 125 years. So, presto, a gang of jive hippies who did have law degrees before they took a few years off for an interlude of stoned grabass came running out of the woods to fill the magically elevated, part-time justice court positions which, by legislative fiat, were now Superior Court life sinecures, with the lofty pay and perks lawyers seem to think God entitles them to. And here we are, although it seems from here the present crop of judges is pretty good.
THE ELECTIONS for Supervisor are going to be interesting this time around. District 1, Potter and Redwood valleys with a slug of voters outside and northeast of Ukiah, has been represented by Carre Brown, who is retiring, and has been held for years by someone from Potter Valley, most notably in terms of quality of service, Jim Eddie, a Potter Valley rancher. Then we had three terms of Eddie's son-in-law, the priapic Michael Delbar, and then Mrs. Brown, also from Potter Valley. Apart from their apparent blood oaths to defend scandalously cheap water for themselves and their buds in Potter Valley forever, via the Eel River Diversion, the 1st District reps are selected by the politically retro Farm Bureau. The Supe's job being in theory non-partisan so long as one doesn't complain out loud about frost fans or how householders get screwed by high water rates while the noble sons of the soil get virtually free and unlimited access to water from the partially diverted Eel, the election to replace Brown would seem to be between Glenn McGourty, a wine grape grower and Farm Bureau guy, and Jon Kennedy, whose views on local issues are not yet clear. Kennedy has been a popular Supervisor in Plumas County before returning to Mendo where he has lived before and was admired for his work as a firefighter. A vague fellow named James Green is also a candidate. He has appeared before the Supes a couple of times where he's issued cryptic comments having nothing to do with anything beyond establishing his presence, kinda like a guy establishing a phony alibi. And there's John Sakowicz. Taken as a whole personality who arrives as a candidate with a positively thrilling history in Mendocino County and an even more exciting history in other areas of the United States, well, Sako, is the liberal in the 1st District race. If he gets into a run-off, and this race, like District 2, is likely to go there, Mendo will have an electoral extravaganza the likes of which will be the likes of which…
DISTRICT 2 is basically Ukiah. Incumbent John McCowen is retiring. Maureen ‘Mo’ Mulheren, mayor of Ukiah, is opposed by a former mayor of Ukiah, Mari Rodin, and Joel Soinila. Mulheren and Rodin have the civic albatross of Ukiah to explain how it qualifies them for the Supe’s job. They also would seem to draw from the same electoral base, although we understand that Mulheren is preferred by Ukiah’s business people. Soinila is a newcomer to local affairs whose family goes back to the Finn diaspora of the early 20th century when the Soinilas settled in Redwood Valley.
THE DISTRICT 4 race for Supervisor pits recumbent incumbent Dan Gjerde vs the popular Fort Bragg City councilman, Lindy Peters, who has also served as the town's mayor. Gjerde is a smart guy who knows all about how local government works, the boring stuff few people pay any attention to, was very good, even brave, when he sat on the Fort Bragg council at a volatile, nay incendiary, time in the town's history as unindicted criminals burned down the town library, justice court, the Piedmont Hotel, and suborned several councilmen. Gjerde stood up to them, one of whom physically attacked Gjerde at city hall to give readers an idea of how bold scumbaggery was in Fort Bragg at the time. Gjerde has recently come alive as a Supervisor, having been quiescent his entire first term. Has the first real competition he's faced as a Supervisor brought Gjerde back to life? Whatever's revived him, and it seems to be the new energy represented by 5th District Supe Ted Williams, Gjerde is back. Assuming he stays alive, Gjerde should have the edge over the affable and highly popular Fort Bragg sports guy, Peters. This one will not go to a runoff because only two candidates are running.
Also on the ballot will be the Coast Hospital Affiliation question (for the Hospital’s NorthCoast District) and the Countywide application of Transient Occupancy Taxes to private campgrounds. More on these later.
THANKS SHERIFF ALLMAN
We’d like to take this space this week to say thanks and well done to Sheriff Tom Allman, who announced on Thursday that he was retiring at the end of the year.
Sheriff Allman served this county well as sheriff for 13 years and before that as an officer in the department under other sheriffs.
Sheriff Allman was among the most accessible law enforcement officers in the county. He was always at the other end of his phone, always ready to provide whatever information he could in a crisis and clearly knew the importance of keeping the public fully informed in an emergency.
Sheriff Allman faced several challenges during his time here: the death of a deputy in a shooting; the investigation of the murder suicides of a family of eight; the devastating fires of 2017; the month-long manhunt for Aaron Bassler in the Fort Bragg area woods, just to name a few.
Sheriff Allman did his level best always to keep the community safe, keep his officers safe and keep the department running smoothly.
And he loves being out and about in the community. If there were more than five people gathering anywhere, Tom Allman would likely show up. Well, that’s the fun reputation he had. Never missed a parade, a major community meeting, or any gathering of locals at which he might meet new people or see old friends. Sheriff Allman is the consummate politician, but we think he really does care about the people of Mendocino County.
While he was still a deputy, Sheriff Allman took a year off to serve in the United Nations police force in Kosovo. If you see him, ask him about it. It was a life changing experience and even back then we noticed the difference in the man who had just spent a year observing the kind of deep seated religious hatreds that lead people all over the world to extreme violence. We think that experience made him a more thoughtful person and a better Sheriff.
We will miss Sheriff Allman but we look forward to working with the successor he has chosen, Matt Kendall, currently Undersheriff. The two have known each other for decades and if Sheriff Allman says Kendall is ready to take on the job, we’re ready to work with him too.
And while he won’t be at Low Gap Road, Sheriff Allman will still be around, working hard on mental health issues in the county and we applaud that and hope that if he can devote all his energy to getting the Measure B promise fulfilled, things might actually get done. We look forward to that.
— K.C. Meadows, Ukiah Daily Journal
SUPPRESSED NATURE NEWS
SHERIFF SAYS VOTERS SHOULD DECIDE ON POT EXPANSION
by Jim Shields
At this week’s Board of Supervisors’ meeting on Tuesday, Sheriff Tom Allman, who announced his retirement two days later, urged the Board to allow voters to decide the controversial issue of opening up rangeland to new marijuana cultivation.
Believe it or not, the Supes with 2020 just a few weeks away, will then begin their fifth year of non-stop tinkering with the county’s cannabis ordinance. As I’ve said numerous times previously, the Supes have spent more time, resources and money on this issue than any other in county history.
In fact, near the end of another tedious pot meeting, a somewhat exasperated Chairwoman Carre Brown seconded my assessment by telling her colleagues, “We’ve been at this (discussing the pot ordinance) since 2016 … We have other issues besides marijuana which is on the agenda all the time … I will not support today’s action (to refer a package of proposals to a Board sub-committee for further study and recommendations).”
Anyway, by a 3-2 vote (Brown, Ted Williams no), the Board decided to forward the proposed amendments to the sub-committee.
Prior to the decision to continue tinkering with an ordinance that I conservatively estimate is ignored by 90 percent of pot farmers (by the way, county officials have now adopted my estimates of grower compliance or in the alternative, non-compliance) Allman set out in his remarks to the Board some very interesting and insightful things about the failed pot program. Here are his excerpted comments.
“Once again, this is a very important topic. If I didn’t weigh in as law enforcement, I wouldn’t be completing my mission. One of the things about cannabis or marijuana, whatever you want to call it, is that every year the questions are the same but every year the answers are different. And here we are again.
“We’re at a point where this is the second time this year we’ve talked about rangeland and with all due respect to the last tow speakers (who supported opening up rangeland for cultivation), I wish they were correct. I wish the vast majority of growers were responsible and respected our land.
“But as Sheriff I can tell you that’s not true. The vast majority of locals understand the importance of living and growing and raising their children in Mendocino County are responsible people.
“But I hate to inform people that the dirty truth is this is about greed and not about cannabis. And that is what the topic is about: rangeland versus greed.
“I was raised in Humboldt County. I’m not very proud of where Humboldt County is now. In Humboldt County, rangeland is certainly on the table for growing cannabis. Google Earth for Humboldt County and see if that’s the county you want to become.
“No one is saying there is a shortage of cannabis in this county. No one is saying there is a shortage of land to grow on in this county. So why are we having this conversation (about expanding new cultivation into rangeland)?
“How is the Williamson Act going to play in this?
“Are people going to get a tax break to grow cannabis (on rangeland)? It’s an interesting question.
“I think the voters should decide. This is such an emotional decision. This is something that needs to go in front of our voters and say, ”Do you want rangeland in this county to be turned into cannabis?”
Allman closed out his remarks by saying, “What I’m saying is let’s catch our breath and let’s figure out the question and let’s make sure the answers are known to all, instead of in the middle of December with four or five days notice for this very important topic of changing the General Plan. It’s almost an end-run around the General Plan, and the General Plan needs to be evaluated.”
The Sheriff is absolutely correct on his assessment of the rangeland issue. That’s why the voters should decide it and not county officials who have created chaos after nearly five years of ordinance tinkering.
California’s New Consumer Privacy Law
I guess you can blame Al Gore, since he invented the Internet, for this prodigious trail of data we all leave behind us each and every time send a Smart Phone text, order a pair of hiking boots from Amazon, or check out Google maps for directions to Nepenthe’s Restarant in Big Sur.
Social media conglomerates (Facebook, Google, etc.) misuse, abuse, and in some instances, illegal use of citizens’ private information, have lead many of us to be legitimately concerned about digital privacy.
California became the first state in the nation to pass a law, AB 375 — The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018, that gives people more control of their digital data. The new rules take effect on January 1.
Among other things, the new law:
• Requires businesses give you all the information they collect about you, free of charge, if you request it from them. You can request it up to twice a year.
• Requires businesses delete information they have collected from you, if you ask them to. They can deny your request to delete in some circumstances, such as if the data is necessary to complete a transaction or protect against fraud.
• Requires businesses that sell personal information to create a simple way for you to opt out of having your data sold, through a “recognizable and uniform” button or logo on the company’s website. (The button design is currently under development by the Attorney General’s Office.)
• Allows businesses to charge you more for their services if you opt out of letting them sell your data. The difference in pricing must be commensurate with the value of your data.
• Allows you to sue companies that allow your personal information to be accessed or stolen through a data breach. This provision is meant to encourage companies to maintain strong security practices.
• Forbids businesses from selling the personal information of children under age 16 unless the parent (of children under age 13) or the child (age 13 to 16) opt in to the sale.
• Provides for its enforcement by the state Attorney General, and would provide a private right of lawsuits in connection with certain unauthorized access, theft, or disclosure of a consumer’s nonencrypted or nonredacted personal information.
This new law is a firm first step in establishing long needed rights for people who are both willing and non-willing occupants of Cyber Space.
Sign of the Times: Mandatory EV Charging Stations
The whole world is transforming into a brighter shade of green because of local government initiatives to hop aboard the climate change bandwagon. Can Mendocino County be far behind in these efforts?
For example, this week the Los Angeles City Council voted to mandate electric vehicle charging stations be built on new private property starting in 2020, and it increased the percentage of parking lots required to have them.
“Climate change is one of the greatest existential threats facing our world, and we must do everything we can locally to combat this crisis, including incentivizing electric vehicle usage,” said Councilman Bob Blumenfield, who introduced the changes. “My goal is that everywhere you go, whether it’s a public or private destination, you can have easy access to charging stations throughout Los Angeles.”
It was previously recommended that 5% of all parking spots have an EV charger and 20% of the infrastructure needed to quickly install chargers in the future. Blumenfield amended the ordinance to increase the requirement to 10% and 30%, respectively. At least one EV station would be required for all new construction.
The requirements will take effect in early 2020 on all new developments.
By the way, Laytonville where I reside, opened up its very own EV charging station earlier this year, and it’s busy all the time.
(Jim Shields is the Mendocino County Observer’s editor and publisher, and is also the long-time district manager of the Laytonville County Water District. Listen to his radio program “This and That” every Saturday at 12 noon on KPFN 105.1 FM, also streamed live: http://www.kpfn.org)
CATCH OF THE DAY, December 15, 2019
ANTHONY FORD, Laytonville. DUI.
DEVIN FURNEY, Clearlake Oaks/Ukiah. Suspended license (for DUI), probation revocation.
ALANNA HERBERT, Pacifica/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
SALVADOR LOPEZ, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
ANDREW MADDOCK, Willits. DUI, child endangerment.
DAMARA MOORE, Redwood Valley. DUI.
ISRAEL RODRIGUEZ, Ukiah. Domestic battery.
ALEXANDRIA SADLIER, Ukiah. DUI.
DOMINIC SHAUL, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
COREY SQUIRES, Ukiah. Trespassing.
JACK TOWERS, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
LOSING YOUR BEST FRIEND AT CHRISTMAS
Somehow…we’ve survived another year without you,
Four years…48 months…208 weeks…1,460 days…
Winter to winter, December to December,
Snow falling and heat rising in the seasons between.
How you loved Christmas, you never lost the sincerity of its promise,
The kids the gifts the food the tree the carols,
The everythingness that celebrated the year soon gone
As you leaned healthy and strong into the strong light of the coming year.
On the best days you’re still here,
Your voice on the phone your words still magically filling
The empty spaces you left in the inboxes of our hearts.
But on other days, many days, it’s impossible that you’re still gone,
That another year has slipped by without you.
I know what you’d say, that life is for the living,
And live we must through another spring, summer, and fall
Until another Christmas wind blows you back to us,
And we miss you so utterly all over again.
— Marilyn Davin
BAD ROADS, DUMB COPS
What is happening to Mendocino county's tax dollars? Our roads are in very bad shape. The Supervisors gave themselves a $20,000 a year raise but they can't put any money in the infrastructure? The Comptche-Ukiah Road from the Comptche to Mendocino is really bad. There are potholes there that will actually break your springs if you hit them. The leaves are a foot deep. You cannot see the fog lines. The centerline paint is so weak that when it's raining you can't see it. It's sickening. Somebody in charge of the County Road crews has to pay more attention to these roads. I could fix those potholes in about half a day with some asphalt and a large shovel. They could be handled with that brush they tow behind a pickup so you can at least see the fog lines. If you get into those leaves with your tires you will slide off the road. It's not a pretty picture.
I just watched the standoff at Trader Joe's in Hollywood on 48 Hours. A girl was killed and there was a hostage situation. What a sorry example of police activity. There were nine cops in a little bunch walking down the highway with guns ready to shoot each other in the back. In fact the girl who was killed was probably shot by an officer. Why are 60 or 70 cops responding to a hostage situation? Three or four cops could do that without all that extra activity threatening the civilians. Those cops in the bunch looked very vulnerable too. A three-and-a-half inch Magnum 12 gauge with birdshot would have got them all with one-shot. Really stupid.
I can't believe this stuff. Makes me sick.
God bless Donald Trump.
KYM KEMP of the invaluable cyber-site, Redheaded Blackbelt (Kymkemp.com) featuring HumCo news and then some, has suffered a broken arm. Kym writes:
"I broke my arm today. The good news is the folks at Redwood memorial hospital were incredibly kind. I have a wonderful family. And I probably won't need surgery. We'll find out when we get to see the orthopedic doctor.
The bad news is it hurts. And it's my right arm which I'm right handed. so I'm going to have to be figuring out how to do things besides typing. Right now I'm dictating into my phone. We'll see how this works.
Please be extra patient as I don't expect to be very Swift for a little bit.
Thanks for all the support and tips."
LEGAL POT ONLY AT VENUE FOUNDED BY ILLEGAL POT
Humboldt County Cannabis Cup and the Mateel Community Center present the 5th Annual Humboldt County Cannabis Cup Saturday, January 4, 2020 at the Mateel, 59 Rusk Lane in Redway. In addition to an awards program for legal cannabis farmers, the event is billed as a New Year bash and harvest celebration. Beginning at 3pm, with awards presented at 5pm, local Rock, Funk & R&B band Object Heavy will close out the festivities with a performance beginning at 6pm. Tickets are available for purchase by cash only at the door for $20, admission is $15 for seniors and veterans. All proceeds from the 5th annual Humboldt County Cannabis Cup will benefit the Mateel Community Center and will be allocated towards funds to help secure a conditional use permit that will allow for cannabis retail markets to take place onsite at the Mateel.
The 5th annual Humboldt Cannabis Cup will feature 1st, 2nd and 3rd place awards in 5 categories: Outdoor Flower, Indoor Flower, High Octane (most gas), Fruit Forward (most fruity). To register as a contestant for the 5th Annual Cannabis Cup at the Mateel visit: humboldtcountycup.com/contestant/. Entries will be collected from December 9-18th.
JUNE 9, 1945, PARADE FOR GENERAL GEORGE S. PATTON in downtown Los Angeles. digital color. Patton died six months later in a vehicle accident in Germany.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Fire Drill Friday!
The screws arrested actress Sally Field, in DC exercising her constitutional right to protest, bringing attention to our warming planet and the end of life as we know it. The sonsabitches arrested the Flying Nun! I’ve got a good mind to drive down to Washington to bust her out. Who’s with me?
A BRITISH DOCTOR WAS TREATED IN AN AMERICAN EMERGENCY ROOM AND SAID IT REVEALED HOW BROKEN US HEALTHCARE REALLY IS
Adam Kay says he never paid a single medical bill in his life — until, while vacationing in the US, he got a piece of glass lodged in his finger.
BILLIONS SPENT ON NATION-BUILDING IN AFGHANISTAN
Since 2001, Washington has spent more on nation-building in Afghanistan than in any country ever, allocating $133 billion for reconstruction, aid programs and the Afghan security forces. Adjusted for inflation, that is more than the United States spent in Western Europe with the Marshall Plan after World War II.
AT IT'S HIGHEST LEVELS, A KEYSTONE KOPS FBI, AT BEST
“Multiple Levels of Hearsay Upon Hearsay” — What the media doesn’t want you to know about the Horowitz report.
by David J. Garrow
Most news coverage of the Horowitz report has minimized or ignored its most devastating aspects. Granted, the inspector general’s account doesn’t make for easy reading. It’s repetitive to a fault, and its insistent use of vague identifiers—“Case Agent 1,” “Supervisory Intel Analyst,” “Primary Sub-source”—rather than names makes its narrative insistently soporific.
Then again, many journalists seem determined not to explain how the report vitiates the “Steele dossier” and discredits its author, Christopher Steele, a former British spy who peddled third-hand hearsay to gullible paymasters at both the opposition-research firm Fusion GPS and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. With a few exceptions, journalists have eagerly embraced former FBI Director James Comey and former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe as guardians of democracy rather than culpable apologists for dire threats to Americans’ civil liberties.
Every American who cares about civil liberties should peruse at least pages 186-93, wherein the inspector general’s staff shreds the Steele dossier piece by piece and indicts the bureau’s reliance on visibly shoddy work that any unbiased intelligence professional would have quickly discarded.
Mr. Steele confessed in a 2016 FBI interview that one of his top two sources was a “boaster” and “egotist” who “may engage in some embellishment” (page 110). Mr. Steele had asserted to interviewing agents that this person—whom he variously called “Source D,” “Source E,” a Trump “associate” and “Person 1”; we’ll go with P1 for short—was the source for both the dossier’s most salacious claims about Donald Trump and the information on which the FBI relied to obtain a warrant to spy on former campaign aide Carter Page.
Yet Mr. Steele’s “Primary Sub-source”—we’ll abbreviate that to PSS—contradicted those claims, telling the FBI that P1 didn’t furnish any salacious information. Mr. Steele claimed that PSS and P1 had met two or three times, but PSS said their only contact was a single 10- to 15-minute phone conversation.
Three FBI interviews of PSS in the first half of 2017 impeached Mr. Steele’s reporting—even as the bureau was petitioning the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to keep extending its pointless electronic surveillance of poor Mr. Page. “Steele himself was not the originating source of any of the factual information in his reporting,” the inspector general notes (page 186). The FBI’s conversations with PSS “raised significant questions” and “doubts about the reliability of Steele’s descriptions of information” that formed the basis for the ongoing surveillance of Mr. Page (186-87). PSS asserted, in the inspector general’s words, “that Steele misstated or exaggerated [PSS’s] statements in multiple sections of the reporting” (187). The salacious claims about Mr. Trump were “rumor and speculation,” offered in “jest.” What PSS had passed along to Steele “was just talk,” “word of mouth and hearsay” that PSS had acquired from “friends over beers” and which should be taken with “a grain of salt” (187-88).
Further, PSS’s statements to the FBI “revealed that Steele did not have good insight into how many degrees of separation existed between [PSS’s] sub-sources and the persons quoted in the reporting, and that it could have been multiple levels of hearsay upon hearsay,” given that the “sub-sources did not have direct access to the persons they were reporting on” (188). In late 2016, when Mr. Steele pressed PSS to corroborate the reports Mr. Steele already had distributed, PSS found “zero,” PSS told the FBI (188). By February 2017 the FBI was tardily realizing that Mr. Steele “may not be in a position to judge the reliability of his sub-source network” (188). Yet the falsely predicated surveillance of Mr. Page continued.
As agents kept probing, the truth got worse and worse. “In Steele’s September 2017 interview with the FBI, Steele also made statements that conflicted with explanations from two of his sub-sources about their access to Russian officials. For example, Steele explained that the Primary Sub-source had direct access to a particular former senior Russian government official and that they had been ‘speaking for a while.’ [PSS] told the FBI, however, that he/she had never met or spoken with the official” (192). Ouch.
Prior to the 2016 campaign, Mr. Steele had already received $95,000 from the FBI as a paid human informant reporting on Russian oligarchs. A comprehensive early 2017 review of Mr. Steele’s prior work found that it was only “minimally corroborated,” contrary to how the FBI had repeatedly vouched for their well-paid source to the FISA court (184).
The inspector general also impeaches Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson. On Nov. 14, 2017, he testified to the House Intelligence Committee that he had not met with top Justice Department attorney Bruce Ohr before the 2016 election. But the Horowitz report documents how Mr. Simpson had met with Mr. Ohr on Aug. 22, 2016, to give him the names of three supposed Russia-Trump intermediaries, one of whom was Mr. Steele’s P1.
The inspector general forcefully concludes that Mr. Steele’s shoddy reporting “played a central and essential role in the decision” by FBI and Justice Department lawyers to approve headquarters’ officials request to surveil Mr. Page (359). The report also extensively details how “Source 2”—about whom enough clues are given to identify him as longtime paid FBI informant Stefan Halper—repeatedly wore a wire while pretending to befriend Mr. Page, fellow Trump volunteer George Papadopoulos, and Trump campaign official Sam Clovis—all at the FBI’s express behest.
Mr. Horowitz seems nonplussed that such intrusive electronic surveillance of American citizens required no approval from a judge or even Justice Department headquarters. But his report is oddly and totally silent about how the FBI also deployed “UCEs”—undercover government employees—against both Messrs. Papadopoulos and Page. Mr. Papadopoulos has publicly detailed how one UCE, a flirtatious woman posing as Mr. Halper’s assistant and using the pseudonym “Azra Turk, ” sought to befriend him. But for undisclosed reasons the inspector general has nothing to say about this further abuse of unchecked FBI targeting of American citizens.
The Horowitz report is a document of landmark historical importance, but more questions remain.
(Mr. Garrow’s books include “The FBI and Martin Luther King, Jr.,” “Bearing the Cross” and “Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama. ” — Wall Street Journal)
IN MID-OCTOBER, a cybersecurity researcher in the Netherlands demonstrated, online, as a warning, the easy availability of the Internet protocol address and open, unsecured access points of the industrial control system—the ICS—of a wastewater treatment plant not far from my home in Vermont. Industrial control systems may sound inconsequential, but as the investigative journalist Andy Greenberg illustrates persuasively in Sandworm: A New Era of Cyberwar and the Hunt for the Kremlin’s Most Dangerous Hackers, they have become the preferred target of malicious actors aiming to undermine civil society. A wastewater plant, for example, removes contaminants from the water supply; if its controls were to be compromised, public health would be, too.
That Vermont water treatment plant’s industrial control system is just one of 26,000 ICS’s across the United States, identified and mapped by the Dutch researcher, whose Internet configurations leave them susceptible to hacking. Health care, transportation, agriculture, defense—no system is exempt. Indeed, all the critical infrastructure that undergirds much of our lives, from the water we drink to the electricity that keeps the lights on, is at risk of being held hostage or decimated by hackers working on their own or at the behest of an adversarial nation. According to a study of the United States by the insurance company Lloyd’s of London and the University of Cambridge’s Centre for Risk Studies, if hackers were to take down the electric grid in just fifteen states and Washington, D.C., 93 million people would be without power, quickly leading to a “rise in mortality rates as health and safety systems fail; a decline in trade as ports shut down; disruption to water supplies as electric pumps fail and chaos to transport networks as infrastructure collapses.” The cost to the economy, the study reported, would be astronomical: anywhere from $243 billion to $1 trillion. Sabotaging critical infrastructure may not be as great an existential threat as climate change or nuclear war, but it has imperiled entire populations already and remains a persistent probability.
—Sue Halpern, New York Review of Books
"You Must Decide"!
Let’s play a game. It’s called “You Must Decide”. The game goes like this. You get presented with 2 really bad options. Neither option is palatable. Then, the host says in a loud and firm voice, "YOU MUST DECIDE”. And then you have to decide within 5 seconds and pick one. Here’s a quick example. Would you rather be deaf in one ear, or lose eyesight in one eye? Sure, this is a tough game, but also very telling about where one draws the line, and why. So, let’s play.
You have 2 options as to how needles are distributed to drug abusers. One system is called, “open access”, and the other is called “direct exchange".
You cannot cheat by going to Mr. Google to gather other people’s opinion. YOU must decide.
Now, open access means effectively that as many needles that a drug abuser requests, are given to them. The rationale is that by doing this, the drug abuser is less likely to re-use a dirty needle, or share a dirty needle.
It is said that drug abusers "prefer" to use clean needles, but in a drug induced stupor, it really doesn’t matter, when you want to shoot up. If a drug abuser already has a disease, then re-injecting from a dirty needle, when one already has a disease, seems "foolish, idiotic and continued self-destructive behavior”. So it would appear that the concern is really more around the “transmission” of deadly diseases. Here is really one of the biggest concerns. People, friends, and family members might be addicted to drugs, and no one ever wishes to lose a loved one.
But, a drug abuser has already played this game, “you must decide”, and they have decided that doing drugs is more important than any other choice. It’s easy to play you must decide with a drug abuser. To shoot up, or to not shoot up, that is the question. Answer: Shoot up!
And, there are more costs. Not just the human toll, but the financial one.
The costs for treatment of AIDS is roughly $400,000. That’s a lot of money for a drug abuser, or for anyone, for that matter. So, obviously, we cannot possibly afford a destructive wave of new infections due to disease transmission. And where would this money come from? Answer: Nowhere. They will unfortunately pass. But, who is of ultimate responsibility for their own demise?
Now, as an aside, there are loose needles strewn everywhere. Everywhere! Remember that drug haze I mentioned? Well, a drug abuser does not care about where a needle is tossed, and they do not care about you, or if you get pricked and infected and have to figure out how to rustle up $400,000 for treatment. So, with this option, we end up with many thousands of loose needles strewn everywhere with the potential of disease transmission to the general public being high due to the sheer volume of strewn needles, and with the potential disease transmission to the drug addicted lessened. These needles are regularly picked up by volunteers….kind hearted citizens that had better have children that will have children, in order to pick up all of the strewn needles in our future.
Now, we have another option to consider. The other choice. It is called “direct exchange”. This means that a used needle is returned and traded for a new one. One for one. This also does unfortunately still mean that if a drug user in a drug induced state, or their friends, just don’t have the wherewithal or any concern to have to move because they may not be able to, then they will still be inclined to share needles. Then, transmission would still be possible, just like it would be if Joe Citizen, or Officer Jones gets pricked by a tainted needle while picking it up. Needles do not have eyes or feelings and do not care who gets pricked. Needles do not play "you must decide". They are an equal opportunity destroyer. Indeed, a loose infected needle on the ground could just as easily impact a homeless person as a non-infected person like Joe Citizen, or even Joe Citizen’s dog.
Now, an infected drug user’s shared needle could affect several others, but an infected non-needle user is much less likely. So, is this a proportional gamble?
Yes, it certainly is. We are gambling.
In a disease firestorm, it would rage through the drug community causing harm faster than just a few innocents getting a terminal disease. Is the community of drug abusers more important than the handful of potential innocents infected? You must decide.
Now, one certain positive impact around direct exchange means that there would be a “cap” on the volume of loose needles. (pun intended around a difficult subject matter). Needles that would be picked up wouldn’t have more to replace it. It would have been exchanged. Now, this might “inconvenience” the drug user. But, isn’t their uncaring addiction potentially harming innocent community members, as well as themselves? And it is getting better or is it getting worse? Hint: It’s getting much worse. Look at San Francisco.
Do remember that a loose tainted needle doesn’t care who gets pricked, or dies from it.
Wouldn’t it be better to intervene, and do what can be done to educate and support the drug abuser to get off of drugs, and also, wouldn’t this be incredibly costly? Recall that treatment for one AIDS patient is $400,000. $400,000 can put a lot of boots on the ground. It can pay for education and intervention.
And so, how will you feel about any of this in 10 years? How would you feel if your daughter contracted a deadly disease while walking the family dog in our public park, and maybe her friends as well?
See, this game is way harder than you thought, huh.
But, it appears to be a trade off. Here it is in a nutshell.
Are we more willing to have drug abusers and their addictive drive, drive decisions that directly impact us? Are we apparently willing to have the volume of more loose needles growing all over our county like blades of grass?
Are we more willing to embrace a lessened chance of an infectious firestorm from used needles everywhere, and fresh needles for the user, than the potential loss of a couple, or a couple dozen of innocent citizen’s lives here and there? Ask any cop that has frisked a drug offender how they feel, and make sure to ask one that has been pricked.
Do we need to put it forward more? Do we need to invest more money in lessening the sheer volume of addicts, and correcting their negligent and dangerous behavior? (remember that drug abusers really would prefer to use a clean needle).
Where does this money and boots on the ground come from? Where are the real and true concerns? Who are the adults in the room? Should we be making decisions for the drug addicted, or be allowing the drug addicted's needs to dictate the decisions for us all?
YOU MUST DECIDE! Deciding whether to lose hearing in one ear, or losing eyesight in one eye now would appear to be a far easier decision.
And, this round of the game is now life or death on a potentially large scale. Which do you choose? And who’s life and who’s death?
YOU MUST DECIDE!
We either have a potential firestorm raging through the drug community exponentially, or risk dozens if not hundreds of regular law abiding citizens in the future, wading through piles of used needles. This IS the future if we do not act with a higher degree pro-action.
It is all about arithmetic vs geometric growth.
Additive vs multiplicative increases. If a tainted needle gets reused, and then the infected people share used infected needles, then this could create a firestorm of disease. 1 to 2 to 4 to 16 to 64. Growth, the transmission of the disease, could be exponential. There is a huge potential of this happening, and Lake County is a match scraping on sandpaper.
Or, here is the other scenario, in the near future. You could have an entire classroom of kids all on a picnic in the park, and many of the kids get pricked by the mounds of loose needles strewn around. Go look at the mounds of loose needles picked up by the PacOutGreenTeam. This problem is here and now.
Ask your children what option they would choose, if they were playing this game.
Remember that the cost of treatment is $400,000 per person. Quite simply we cannot afford EITHER scenario. If either happened, then we are bankrupt and people will die.
Unless and until we take assertive and aggressive action and do it NOW, we would seem to be in jeopardy as we cannot afford to have ANY people infected by a disease laden needle. Logic would therefore dictate that we need less loose needles and less drug abusers. This is truly the ONLY logical solution to diminishing the problem at hand. The question is how do we achieve this goal.
Because, if we do not, EITHER scenario will be as costly as a space launch, or a war. And indeed, this is war. A war to save lives.
Theirs and ours. We need more Engagement. Intervention. Education. Motivation. Behavioral Modification. Treatment. Guts, and a 20/20 vision of the future.
The 2 real choices in this game are really, do we continue in the current treacherous tight-rope walking thin line that we are on, regardless of “open access” or “direct exchange”, or are we bold enough to look at the future and find the solutions necessary to achieve the changes and modifications needed, to the benefit of all? And do it NOW!
Do we run back and forth across the train tracks hoping to not get hit by the oncoming train, or do we get off and stay off of the tracks altogether to insure our safety?
(tracks are also discolorations along a vein which was damaged due to injecting drugs intravenously)
Thanks to all for playing “You Must Decide”. Let’s play it again sometime!
Don’t forget to try the home version, as well.
MEXICAN CONGRESSMAN CLIMBS U.S. BORDER FENCE to illustrate that Trump's wall is 'totally absurd'
SCHRAEDER’S FLEX FUNDS
So the pieces are coming together.
Redwood Quality Management Company (RQMC) doesn't have the "flex funds" of which I previously spoke. RQMC's wholly-owned subsidiary, Redwood Community Services (RCS), and RQMC's other subcontracts, have the flex funds.
The subcontractors, ranked from biggest to smallest, are: RCS, Manzanita Services, Tapestry Family Services, Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center, Mendocino County Youth Project, and Mendocino County AIDS/Viral Hepatitis Network.
The flex funds from these six subcontractors get swept into the Income Based Compensation (ICB) client accounts, which, if not spent, get swept into the bonus pool back at RQMC.
But here's the rub: Camille Schraeder is correct in saying only 5% of funding can end up in the bonus pool. But the other 95%? Well, it does, in fact, gets spent. It gets spent on "billable hours", and those records are easily falsified or inflated.
For example, ten homeless people sit around watching television at RCS or Manzanita all afternoon, and at the end of the day a therapist asks, "So, how's everybody doing?" And the ten homeless clients say "fine", then therapist shows them the door and bills for group therapy for ten people.
And that "group therapy" could be included in what RQMC says RCS or Manzanita is expensing as billable hours for services…the 95% of the award or contract amount.
Was any therapy provided? Of course not. But it's hard to prove. Hard to audit.
The clinical records seem kosher, but there is no real progress in meeting behavioral objectives. Nothing that is measurable. No measurable progress in any timeframe. No graduation from care. No discharge from care. RCS or Manzanita is just providing for a client's daily care needs…in other words, babysitting.
Also, RQMC and RCS, and RQMC's five other subcontractors, play billing games…billing for "direct costs" vs. "indirect costs". I could write a book on the subject.
Who will investigate?
The Mendocino County Grand Jury? Maybe.
Footnote: I was told by a source that RQMC probably doesn't have retirement accounts because they probably don't plan on being in business for more than ten or 20 years. They know some auditor, sometime, somewhere, will investigate for falsified medical records.
Until then, during the last two weeks, two homeless men died very public deaths on the streets of Ukiah.
Kindly note: National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day is December 21, 2018.
I have an idea: Let's have a vigil for our homeless brothers and sisters here in Mendocino County.
Trump forget the homeless. Trump forgot the poor. Trump says America is enjoying unprecedented prosperity. New highs in the stock market. New lows in unemployment.
Bullshit. Lots of Americans were left behind. Lots of Americans are forgotten.
Will we also forget the homeless?
I hope all candidates running for office in 2020 will join me in a vigil on December 21 (time and place to be determined)
A vigil will also be a wonderful way to honor our retiring sheriff, who has, for his entire career, and for deeply personal reasons, passionately cared for the seriously mentally ill, the dually diagnosed, and the homeless.
John Sakowicz, Candidate, 1st District Supervisor
Contact me at: www.johnsakowicz.org
PISH TOSH, FISH MUSH.
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be cured against one's will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals."
— C.S. Lewis
The recording of last night's Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show on KNYO-LP Fort Bragg and KMEC-LP Ukiah is available by one or two clicks, depending on whether you want to listen to it now or download it and keep it for later and, speaking of which, it's right here:
Besides all that, at http://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com you can find a fresh batch of dozens of links to not necessarily radio-useful but nonetheless worthwhile educational items I set aside for you while gathering the show together. Such as:
Planes, trains and automobiles. Modern vehicles don't at all do it for me the way these do, and I don't think it's just me.
Xenomorph ASMR with introduction. "Hey. Hi. It's me, ASMR Miranda… And my new roommate, Whisper Billy."
And this year's annual Waga-Attari border retreat ceremony. Thrilling from beginning to the flourish at the end: the offhanded straightening of the cap and the twinkly-eyed twirling of the mustache. This isn't mere goofy holiday pageantry; this is the thread to sanity keeping two truculent nuclear powers from destroying each other and incidentally wrecking the world. Sleep tight.
Marco McClean, email@example.com, MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com