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MCT: Wednesday, January 22, 2020

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OCCASIONAL LIGHT SHOWERS are expected today through Friday, mainly north of Cape Mendocino. Widespread rain, possibly heavy, is expected this weekend. (NWS)

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RICH FERGUSON, a Boonville resident, died unexpectedly at home in the early morning hours of Saturday, January 18, 2020—just two weeks shy of his 81st birthday.

He was a regular tennis player at the high school courts; an avid gardener and home winemaker; and a professional policy advocate for renewable energy, environmental protection and conservation. He could be seen twice a day, regular as clockwork, walking his dog Deri throughout Boonville.

A celebration of his life is being planned and will be held in Boonville in the spring.

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by Rex Gressett

It was the battle of the century. The first ever county Board of Supervisors debate in Fort Bragg. It was “Cannonball” Dan Gjerde vs Lindy “The Kid “ Peters. It was a great, great story and more than any other story I have ever written. It cut like a laser to the heart and soul of our most urgent necessities in Mendocino. It was my big moment as a writer.

And it was the big fail.

I wrote 8,000 words on the debate. And missed sleeping entirely. Paul my editor looked at me like I was nuts. Being intelligibly succinct is part of it. A long article is 1,000 words. They like it when I stick to 700. Both candidates gave me so much information I almost had a breakdown. I will try and put the whole thing out there somehow. We are talking about possible formats. I could break it down into a series of articles but the intricate weave of deception and misrepresentation with which both candidates and the League of Women Voters bamboozled the public is necessarily one piece. The attentive intelligence that the bamboozled public brought to the question is the most important part of it. For me It was the big fail. But I ain't giving up.

Actually, It wasn’t a debate.

The candidates never addressed each other. They never had to look each other in the eye. They never directly challenged their opposite number even in the face of obvious falsehoods. There were plenty of them.

The League of Women Voters stated at the outset that the ground rules mandated the sacrifice of truth on the altar of civility. The League of Women Voters has a long-standing monopoly on virtue signaling information suppression in all our elections. They do the only event in every election and call it more than enough democratic discussion. Their events are never a real debate. They launch the questions at the candidates with no followup and no challenge from the other candidate. In every election, certainly in this one, the candidates lie like rugs and nobody calls them on it. The self-congratulating socialites at the League tell us proudly how lucky we are to have meticulously polite old ladies keeping the lid on democracy. In a very real sense, they systematically embezzle the electorate out of a real democracy.

In spite of the old ladies Thursday night, the debate turned out to be at least interesting. I sure don’t credit the candidates, but the people that came to the meeting with questions were frigging brilliant. The questions were excellent but the softball format allowed systemic deception, where every falsehood suggested an opposing falsehood. The candidates sang a nauseating duo of competing misrepresentation. But because the questions covered all the bases and hit all the sensitive spots sneaky Gjerde and posturing Peters had to at least put themselves on the record. The candidates were massively disingenuous and pitifully uninformed but the public had their finger on the pulse of the county. You could feel a generalized countywide dissatisfaction bubbling up behind every question.

For Dan Gjerde that might not be good. Besides that, he looked totally out of place in Town Hall. He was like a visitation from a space alien. Thursday night was his real first public appearance in Fort Bragg since he left the City Council a decade ago and very arguably his first-ever public meeting. For Lindy Peters, there was a lot on the line after 18 years of slogging along in the city council for the sake of small power, dubious prestige and $300 a month. This is a chance to upgrade his lifestyle in a major way. The supervisors pay themselves 83,000 dollars a year. Except for Ted Williams, who is always an exception, they get paid for doing almost nothing. Lindy Peters hath reasoned in his heart he could do that as well as any of them.

Every election feels like the most important ever. But you have to admit that beyond hyperbole and normal electoral angst the next national election really is a battle for the soul or at the very least the basic direction of the nation. The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors race is not quite that dramatic but in local terms it is close. There have been two industrial-strength Grand Jury indictments aimed directly at the Board of Supervisors and apparently at Dan Gjerde in particular.

There is a crazy lot of countywide contempt for the uber management of CEO big momma Carmel Angelo. Disgust with the dominatrix like CEO has fused itself with a kind of unbelieving astonishment at the byzantine labyrinth of unworkable regulation and incredible bungling of pot legalization in what could have been, should have been, and might even yet be, our county's naturally redeeming industry. We owe it all to the BOS. McCowen, in the second district, is not running and Carre Brown is not running in the first. Haschack has shown limited but definite signs of life, and Ted Williams in the fifth district has emerged as a force of nature. Innovating at every opportunity, rocking the boat and demonstrating a rare and refined political intelligence, personal integrity and courage. With McCowen and Brown gone semi-newbie Williams will be the old man on the Board, and he is genetically equipped with more brains than the rest of them combined and possessed of valuable hard-won experience. Potentially Williams could be wielding significant power. Things at the BOS could change after the next election in a big way.

Then there is Gjerde.

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It's 2020 and time to get your vision for an act into focus for the stage. YES, the 29th annual AV SOLAR GRANGE VARIETY SHOW is prepared to accept your act. This year the show is Fri. March 6th and Sat. March 7th. But now is the time to call Cap Rainbow at 895-3807. You don't have to be from the valley to participate. It is the best audience anywhere, you will be welcomed. Especially the animal acts! We bill it as 4 minutes in front of 400 people. Operators are waiting at the phone(s), or leave a message and hopefully the phones will be working. Keep trying, DON"T WAIT! CALL CAP RAINBOW AT 895-3807!

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Per update today from insurance rep for the Pic N Pay property, the fire investigation is now closed and the owners are clear to begin the cleanup process.

Further information on this process from the Fire Chief's Report (a public document presented at the AVCSD meeting on 1/15/20):

"Fire Rubble Cleanup: After receiving lots of questions and concerns over the downtown fire debris still remaining at the location of the Lodge Fire in downtown Boonville, I have looked into the requirements for the cleanup and who might have authority to enforce any lack of action from the owner or insurance company. After contacting Mendocino County Planning and Building Services I learned that private residences would need a demolition permit, conduct a hazardous waste test prior to hauling waste to the receiving facility, acquire a grading permit from Air Quality, and a provide an asbestos notification for Air Quality. I have been told that the County may try to implement some type of time threshold for cleanup (prompted by the recent Redwood Valley fires and the remaining cleanup that still exists) but for now no county ordinance exists. Mendocino County Environmental Health has also stated that no time standard exists unless it needs containment mitigations from runoff or if it has hazardous waste. Hazardous waste would trigger an immediate cleanup. Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) does not provide any codes within Title 19 (Public Safety Code) or Title 24 (Fire Code) that would authorize AVFD to require cleanup if it is properly barricaded and not deemed a fire hazard. If the fire debris is not cleaned up, our County or our local AVCSD could look into an ordinance for post fire cleanup. I would emphasize that this may address the cleanup process downtown for who had insurance on the property. Some of the other properties did not have insurance and an ordinance requiring cleanup would become an additional financial burden on the unfortunate situation they already face." (AV Fire Chief’s Report, Anderson Valley Fire Department)

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MOTHER OF SEVEN Making Fringes For Knitted Shawls, Galway, Ireland, 29 May 1913

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DARREN BREWSTER, former commander of the Mendocino County Major Crimes Task Force, was introduced by Sheriff Matt Kendall Tuesday morning as Mendocino County’s new Undersheriff. Kendall said that he’s gone without an undersheriff since his appointment and “it was like a two week long root canal.” Apparently, the new Undersheriff will assume responsibility for the Sheriff’s Office budget, among other duties.

JAMES WILBANKS is quitting as the County’s retirement system administrator to go back to Oklahoma City for an “offer too good for him to turn down.” Apparently he is willing to stay on as a consultant during recruitment and after — at a nice rate, of course.

MENDO’S $2 MILLION JUVENILE HALL came up as expected on Tuesday. CEO Angelo told that Board that she had no plans to close the expensive and underutilized 32-bed facility, but promised the Board that she and Probation Honcho Izen Locatelli have been working on ways to find “additional funding streams” and “repurposing” some of the Hall to cover some of the activity at the Hall. Nevermind that Angelo’s had two years to work on this with very little to show for it — nor that she would never even have known about the problem in the first place until Lake County pulled their delinquents saying it was too expensve to send them to Mendo for “services.” Angelo tried to spread the blame for the long-ignored problem by noting that Juvenile Halls around the state are underutilized and overbudget. Angelo promised that she’d have a report for the Board maybe in March after their ideas are “fully vetted” and the funding streams are better defined. For his part Locatelli noted that his wards tend to be “youth” with either mental health, drugs or gang problems. When asked why the daily census went up and down between 8 and 15, Locatelli said that the numbers are small, so “one gang fight can bring in four kids in one day.”

CEO ANGELO ALSO told the Board that Behavioral Health Board chair and Measure B Committee stalwart Jan McGourty is retiring. (She was unpaid in both positions.) The assumption is that Behavioral Health Board Vice Chair Meeka Ferretta will be next to hold both positions after formal approval of the Board. Ms. Ferretta appears to come from a pot advocacy background, saying in her on-line profile: “I am passionate about three things: Mental Health, Cannabis Regulation, and Policies that promote the community wellbeing. I am grateful to Casey O’Neill [Mendo’s lead pot advocate] for teaching me how to advocate, interview and to be brave enough to speak out.”

(Mark Scaramella)

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GIRL FIRES BOY: A Denver Post columnist has been fired for writing that there are only two sexes. Jon Caldara wrote on January 2 that there are only 'two sexes, identified by an XX or XY chromosome. That is the very definition of binary', then a week later he wrote: 'Democrats don’t want transparency in hospital billing, and they certainly don’t want education transparency when it comes to their mandate to convince your kid that there are more than two sexes'. Then he was fired. Editor Megan Schrader said she thought his writing was 'too insensitive'.

BASEBALL took not enough of a big hit during its steroid period, when ballplayers' inflated upper torsos threatened to engulf their shrink-wrapped heads. It annoyed me no end when everyone in the ballpark stood in noisy tribute to roided-out Barry Bonds when his chemical additives jacked another one into McCovey Cove. But, as some pitcher noted recently, "I'd rather throw to someone on steroids than to someone who knows what's coming." High tech sign stealing is worse than Pete Rose betting on games whose outcome was unpredictable. At the big league level knowing ahead of time the pitch will be either a fastball or a breaking ball gives the hitter even more of an advantage than when steroids made the pitch look like a basketball coming up there. Sign stealing has always been a part of the game, kind of, when it was low tech, but the recent scandal is above and beyond. Throw 'em all out of the game.

THE STATE OF EMERGENCY declared in Virginia on MLK Day seemed only prudent given that ten thousand armed paranoids showed up to rally against the state's sensible proposed gun laws. None among the mob went off, so to speak, and it was all-in-all another demonstration of just how severely rent our social fabric is, with no consensus on much of anything. I speak, incidentally, as the owner of three guns, an ownership I rationalize as, "Well, jeez, I get threatened a lot." But I don't get threatened a lot. Until a couple of weeks ago, I hadn't been threatened in years since my peak-threat year of 1990. I've never worried about threat anyway because invariably they're only bluster from long-distance warriors. Guns or no guns, if they're going to get you, and they're sneaky, you're probably going to get got, no matter how many guns you have. And everyone in the news biz gets threatened, and gun people, like non-gun people — everyone — feels The Great Unraveling.

WHICH INCLUDES a lot of wild talk about civil war, especially from the political right. Better stick to your fantasies, boys. Government is too well paid to turn, as the Koresh case should have established even in your febrile heads. Then we had the welfare rancher takeover of the Oregon desert, with the FBI Swat team ready to swat those cry babies, and would have swatted them if it weren't for the still fresh memory of the federal raid on the women and children at the Koresh compound. (The Clinton government, natch.) Civil unrest on a scale threatening business as usual will be crushed, and crushed fast by the well-paid forces of law and order all the way up to the armed forces.

THE IMPEACHMENT HEARINGS are like some weirdly national practical joke, an unnaturally prolonged farce aimed at discrediting President Tanning Booth, a man way beyond all known shaming strategies. And the Democrats involved look like some kind of adult special ed class. To say that they lack even a semblance of the gravitas one might expect from such an — their words — "historical event" — understates their reality as repetitious, tiresome, hacks that they are.

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THE FIRST TIME Ever I Heard Your Name

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There is a new Facebook group in Lake County titled “Bring Russell Perdock to Justice” — — which seeks restitution (or punishment, or both) for the death of an innocent passenger in our internationally-famous sailboat vs. speedboat accident in 2009 (the “Dinius Case”), caused by then Lake County Sheriff’s Deputy who is a public official today in the City of Clearlake.

Mendocino County’s “Cold Case Mendocino” investigator, Matt LaFever, posted on the new Facebook page, resulting in dozens and dozens of responses (ranging from the typical “Oh, my!” to vicious exposes of personal experience and the usual “hang ‘em high’s") engendering assurances from the creator of the page, Nathan Duff, that this is a group with serious intentions.

The commenters are from across the board — one of them is KPFZ radio host (and Self-Help Law legal assistance provider in the City) Herb Gura who, as always, attempts to introduce a voice of reason — and one is a foaming-at-the-mouth recent former employee of the hospital corporation that hired the former Deputy and current City Councilmember to the position of Community Wellness Programs director, who details a primitive scene of her perceived abuse at the hands of the director in her job.

We’re hoping that the blowback on Adventist Hospital Clear Lake is not too harsh — in truth, the Administration has a very hard time recruiting for the position it finally filled with a publicly-repentent former-alcoholic and reformed good citizen, believing that his public service advantages would benefit the whole community the hospital serves. I disagree, but I’m not directly involved in AHCL programs as a non-resident in the health care district it serves.

Of course, there are no agencies or organizations here that are not tainted, somehow, by the county’s dismal “health rankings” (and perennial poverty), for which all medical and other service provider agencies formed a new “innovative collaboration” — “Hope Rising” — inaugurated by AHCL's previous Community Wellness Program director (Shelli Mascari) in 2015, which immediately focused on long-term “recovery” from the Valley Fire.

Sponsors of the “Opioid Reduction” switcheroo/shutdown but also of a truly beneficial multi-jurisdictional crisis management service in the City of Clearlake, and new multi-agency mental health/housing/transportation projects, “Hope Rising” “partners” have recently launched a new “flagship” project: ”Hope Center for Transformation” that was described in today’s Lake County Record-Bee [copied below].

For better or worse, these matters are the grit and gristle of Lake County civic life and strife. And for what it’s worth, the Lake County Board of Supervisors is conducting a “Special Meeting” with all of the county Department Heads tomorrow; we’ll let you know if there’s anything interesting afoot.

Betsy Cawn

Lake County

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CATCH OF THE DAY, January 21, 2020

Brackett, Holmes, Madigan, Smith

WILLIAM BRACKETT JR., Potter Valley. Probation revocation.

DANIEL HOLMES SR., Ukiah. Disobeying court order, failure to appear.

KERRY MADIGAN, Redwood Valley. Probation revocation.

AGUSTUS SMITH, Ukiah. DUI, suspended license.

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by Norman Solomon

To corporate media, Bernie Sanders is incorrigible. He won’t stop defying the standard assumptions about what’s possible in national politics. His 2020 campaign -- with feet on the ground and eyes on visionary horizons -- is a danger to corporate capitalism’s “natural” order that enables wealth to dominate the political process.

When the New York Times published its dual endorsement of Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren on Sunday night, the newspaper patted Sanders on the head before disparaging him. “He boasts that compromise is anathema to him,” the editorial complained. “Only his prescriptions can be the right ones, even though most are overly rigid, untested and divisive.”

Such complaints have been common for centuries, hurled at all the great movements for human rights -- and their leaders. The basic concept of abolishing slavery was “rigid, untested and divisive.” When one of the leading abolitionists, William Lloyd Garrison, was cautioned to cool it because he seemed on fire, Garrison replied: “I have need to be all on fire, for there are mountains of ice around me to melt.”

Bernie Sanders has ample reasons to be all on fire, and so do the social movements that are propelling his campaign for president. They refuse to accept the go-slow advice from the liberal establishment about fighting against systemic cruelties and disasters -- healthcare injustice, vast economic inequality, mass incarceration, institutional racism, the climate emergency, perpetual war and so much more.

The Bernie 2020 campaign is a crucible of broader activism from the grassroots that can spark uprisings of heat and light. To the extent that passivity and fatalism melt away, possibilities for gaining power become more tangible.

Martin Luther King Jr. readily acknowledged that “power without love is reckless and abusive” -- but he emphasized that “love without power is sentimental and anemic.” So, where does that leave us in relation to seeking power?

“Power, properly understood, is the ability to achieve purpose,” Dr. King wrote. “It is the strength required to bring about social, political or economic changes. In this sense power is not only desirable but necessary in order to implement the demands of love and justice.”

That’s what the Bernie 2020 campaign is about -- the necessity of gaining power “in order to implement the demands of love and justice.” And that helps to explain why the campaign is so profoundly compelling at the grassroots. It is oriented to meshing electoral work with social movements -- however difficult that might be at times -- to generate political power from the ground up. And that’s where genuine progressive change really comes from.

“The parties and candidates are not the agents of change,” a former chair of the California Democratic Party’s Progressive Caucus, Karen Bernal, said a few days ago at a pro-Sanders forum in San Rafael. “It’s the other way around. They respond to the outside forces of movements.”

Bernal was elected as co-chair of California’s Sanders delegation to the 2016 Democratic National Convention, and she is strongly supporting the Bernie 2020 campaign. While remaining intensely engaged with elections, Bernal keeps her eyes on the prize. “We don’t want to turn this into a cult of personalities,” she said. “It’s about the movement.”

Much of the energy behind the Sanders campaign is generated by what corporate media outlets often criticize or mock -- Bernie’s consistency as he keeps denouncing massive income inequality and corporate power. In the process, he confronts head-on the system that enables huge profiteering by such enterprises as the healthcare industry, fossil-fuel companies, private prisons and the military-industrial complex.

By remaining part of social movements, Bernie has made himself especially antithetical to the elite sensibilities of corporate media. Elites rarely appreciate any movement that is challenging their unjust power.

The electoral strength of the Bernie Sanders campaign is enmeshed with intensities of feeling and resolve for progressive change that pollsters and editorial writers are ill-equipped to measure or comprehend. The potential has sometimes been called “the power of the people.” Whatever you call it, such power is usually subjugated. But when it breaks free, there’s no telling what might happen.

(Norman Solomon is cofounder and national coordinator of He was a Bernie Sanders delegate from California to the 2016 Democratic National Convention and is currently a coordinator of the relaunched independent Bernie Delegates Network. Solomon is the author of a dozen books including "War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.")

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Supporters of Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders took to Twitter to post their love and support for the independent senator from Vermont after former presidential opponent Hillary Clinton trashed him in a new documentary.

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The Dems are like a piker putting their last chips on one final spin of the wheel. But there is a logic to it:

Do our backers (donors, media/entertainment/academic elite, etc) want Trump to not have a second term?

Do our backers (donors, media/entertainment/academic elite, etc) REALLY want Trump to not have a second term?

If yes, then any lie, misrepresentation, manipulation, or subterfuge will be accepted and repeated ad nauseam to make this happen.

Also, the Dem screeching for new witnesses is simply a convenient bridge to a second impeachment once this one predictably fails, especially if they don’t get all their witnesses – “See, there’s even more (imagined) crimes when need to press that the Republican held Senate denied.”

They’ll do a second impeachment in any event; they won’t be able to help themselves – “See, Trump is so bad that he’s the only president in history that’s ever been (falsely) impeached twice!”

Thrice would be overkill, but back to the gambling analogy, I’d put even money on twice.

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by Michelle Hutchins, County Superintendent of Schools

January is a great time to look back over the past year and set goals for the year ahead. A year ago, I had a lot of goals but little experience as a County Superintendent of Schools. Now, I have both experience and goals—and a great team who knows how to transform ideas into action.

My campaign promises were these: 1) confront chronic absenteeism by forming countywide attendance boards and teen courts; 2) decentralize services to overcome Mendocino’s geographic challenges; 3) assist local school boards in developing effective governance structures; and 4) inspire a culture of innovation.

Here’s where we are now.

Reducing Chronic Absenteeism

Having a countywide attendance board and teen court may be helpful, but the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office is focused on addressing violent crimes and I do not want to pull resources away from that. Chronic absenteeism is defined as students missing at least 10 percent of the school year, which equates to missing only a couple of days a month. Statistically, students who are chronically absent are less likely to graduate from high school, and it usually starts as early as kindergarten (when students are learning the fundamentals). Although chronic absenteeism continues to challenge local schools, I’ve learned that many districts are using creative approaches to help students improve their attendance.

Locally, in Point Arena, there are signs all over town educating students, parents and visitors about the importance of regular attendance. In Mendocino, they’ve hired a social worker to help identify and overcome barriers to attendance for individual families. In Round Valley, they are bringing more Native culture into the schools, making the schools more welcoming for many of their students. In Ukiah, one of their school resource officers is focused primarily on attendance, doing home visits and helping families get their students to school even under difficult circumstances.

Decentralizing Services

My second goal, decentralizing operations, was for the Mendocino County Office of Education (MCOE) to work more effectively and efficiently. We are now better utilizing our resources by reducing unnecessary travel through video conferencing. This allows everyone access to the same information at the same time. When we do travel, we make sure it is as worthwhile as possible. For example, rather than having school district employees travel to MCOE, our employees are more often traveling onsite to schools so we can see the challenges districts face firsthand.

We have also redesigned our operations to improve communication and break down silos. We hold regular “huddles” where all the MCOE employees working with a given school district come together to share activities and ideas. We know who will be at school sites, what activities and events are planned, who might need extra support, and how we can work together to provide the best possible support.

Enhancing Governance

My third goal was to improve governance. In 2020, I’ll join county school board members as they attend district school board meetings. I’ll also provide professional development opportunities so county and district school board members can gain a fuller understanding of their roles and responsibilities.

Another way we’re enhancing governance is at the administrative leadership level. MCOE is working with the Studer Group to create a strategic plan and improve operations. We are also supporting districts through a Principals’ Network in collaboration with UC Davis and Ukiah Unified School District. Both the Studer Group and UC Davis’ Professional Learning Communities use similar approaches to problem solving—review a problem, develop a solution, implement small incremental changes with real-time analysis, then make adjustments and try it again until the problem is solved.

Inspiring Innovation

My final goal was to create a culture of innovation. Innovation takes vision and courage. The good news for Mendocino County is that we have a new Educational Services assistant superintendent who is well versed in this work, having done it in Marin and Sonoma Counties. Kim Kern joined MCOE a few months ago and she is leading the way. She recommends “going slow to go fast.” She says having clear goals and an unwavering commitment can lead to real and lasting change.

We’ve started a few pilot projects and they are truly exciting, such as fifth graders coding at Blosser Lane Elementary in Willits and students presenting solutions to local education challenges in Anderson Valley. As these projects grow, I’ll share more about them in future columns.

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THE NEW SEMESTER at Mendocino College is beginning soon. I serve on the local college foundation affiliate, Friends of Mendocino College Coast Center. We are aware of many students who can barely afford food, rent and transportation, let alone college textbooks.

If you have the means, I'm hoping you'll consider a gift to replenish our textbook, lending library, and emergency assistance fund. Any amount helps and is fully tax-deductible. And 100% goes directly to our Mendocino Coast students' needs with nothing taken out for overhead or administrative costs. To make a donation using PayPal or credit card, use this link, then scroll all the way down and click on Other: Donor-Designated. Type in the amount you wish to donate and by the little pencil, type in FMCCC.

To donate by check, make check payable to Mendocino College and mail to Anna Kvinsland, Mendocino College Coast Center, 1211 Del Mar Drive, Fort Bragg, CA 95437

(Barbara Rice, Chair, Friends of Mendocino College Coast Center)

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Mike Wolfe, Frank Fritz, and their American Pickers team are returning to California and will be filming episodes throughout Northern California in March 2020. The Willits Chamber of Commerce was contacted by the show’s casting associate and advised that they are looking for new finds and individuals to feature next season.

“American Pickers is a documentary series that explores the fascinating world of antique “picking” on History. The hit show follows Mike and Frank, two of the most skilled pickers in the business, as they hunt for America’s most valuable antiques. They are always excited to find sizable, unique collections and learn the interesting stories behind them,” said a press release. “As they hit the back roads from coast to coast, Mike and Frank are on a mission to recycle and rescue forgotten relics. Along the way, the Pickers want to meet characters with remarkable and exceptional items. The pair hopes to give historically significant objects a new lease on life, while learning a thing or two about America’s past along the way.”

American Pickers is looking for new leads and said they would love to explore local hidden treasure. If you or someone you know has a large, private collection or accumulation of antiques that the Pickers can look through, provide your name, phone number, and a location and description of the collection with photos to, or call 855-OLD-RUST.

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Once I found on the floor of my father’s study an editorial-page cartoon of Joseph Stalin, smoking his signature calabash pipe. The words underneath were, “Good Old Joe.”

It was not sarcastic. The cartoon appeared shortly after WW2, when Stalin’s and Russia’s toughness (and a brutal Russian winter) had broken the German advance, stopped Hitler cold and broke his string of seemingly invincible campaigns. Eisenhower made a grave mistake. As a reward to Russia, he stopped the Allied advance to Berlin to give the Russians the privilege of taking the German capital. Argh! American G.I.s were no angels, but a bunch of pissed-off Russians raped and murdered the Berliners without mercy.

We had not learned yet (Roosevelt and Ike didn’t pay enough attention to Winston Churchill, who had zero illusions about Stalin) about Stalin’s willingness to slaughter his own countrymen to achieve “modernization” of his very-backward country. We learned that later. The Baltimore Sun editorial cartoon reflected our admiration and affection for him as an ally. From a military standpoint, our admiration was justified. From the viewpoint of humanity, he was a monster, but we didn’t know that yet. By the time I picked up the yellowed clipping on Daddy’s floor, though, the truth was out, and little Mitchie looked at that cartoon with incomplete but precocious understanding of the world.

Today, the Good Ol’ Joe is Joe Biden. He is a warmonger, a racist and a corporate shill. He’s neither the worst warmonger nor the worst racist, but he helped martyr Anita Hill and voted to invade Iraq. As to corporate shillhood, he has no equal, and as a homey home for corporations, Delaware, likewise, has no equal. You need a magnifying glass to see what a corporate tax looks like there, so those worldwide corporations who don’t want to locate their official addresses in the Seychelles or other notorious offshore places go to Delaware. They benefit and Biden basks in corporate love.

This is not spoken of during this presidential race because it is too close to the American bone. The people who own the media, MSNBC and NYTimes no less than Fox, agree that there are certain things casual American citizens shouldn’t know. That good ol’ Joe is a whore—and why—is among those bits of knowledge it’s better we don’t know.

If he’s the nominee, I’ll vote for him, then go outside the polling place and throw up in a shrub.

The giant lobbying firm Morgan & Morgan has so far paid Joe $424,090.00 for his 2020 campaign. As it is the custom to give a little to everybody, just for the record, they also gave $528.00 (five hundred and twenty-eight dollars) to Bernie Sanders and $186.00 (one hundred, eighty-six U.S.dollars) to Elizabeth Warren.

As to what boozer and drug-user Hunter Biden was up to with a shady Ukraine firm (they’re all shady), he was paid long-distance (he never went over there) for his family name.

He’s a substance-dependent lawyer who “works” in the financial and lobbying sectors. Much of the nasty truth about him is “between the lines” but still evident. He stinks to high heaven, and Ol' Joe’s towering hypocrisy helps waft it away.

Read “Hunter Biden Wikipedia.” Even that has been scrubbed a bit, but you’ll get the idea. Trump's "perfect" stupid phone call to Ukraine last summer has kicked up such a dust storm, the Biden campaign has been able to mostly quash the interest in Hunter, and the corporate sector, which prefers Joe to any other Democrat, is cooperating in giving as little space as plausible to Joe's open-legged relation with them and the One Percent.

All that said, Good Ol' Joe Biden is still—probably—a better choice than the incumbent…

(Mitch Clogg)

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FMEMC Announces Transition to Donor-Advised Fund

Ukiah, CA — Family Medicine Education for Mendocino County recently announced its plans to transition from the non-profit organization that served as a catalyst to launch the Adventist Health Family Medicine Residency Program to a donor-advised fund managed by the Community Foundation of Mendocino County dedicated to supporting health care in the region.

President, Mary Anne Landis said, “We’re very proud of the role we played. Through our efforts, we inspired more than $350,000 in donations between sponsorships, donations, matching funds, and ticket sales to Rural Health Rocks.”

FMEMC’s original goal was to raise $100,000 toward the program. This would both support the cost of starting the program and demonstrate the community’s broad enthusiasm for it, thereby encouraging Adventist Health to invest the more than $2 million needed to create the infrastructure required to sustain the program. Landis said, “In addition to supporting the Residency Program, we have donated $50,000 to the Mendocino College Nursing Program and helped garner $20,000 in grants to purchase software and form a collaborative that allows local organizations to better coordinate their care of our homeless population.”

FMEMC began in 2015 in response to a nationwide physician shortage that promised to get worse with each passing year, especially in rural areas. Community members inspired by Dr. Mimi Doohan formed the non-profit Family Medicine Education for Mendocino County (FMEMC) to support the creation of a local family medicine residency program in partnership with Adventist Health Ukiah Valley (AHUV) and the University of California at Davis.

Dr. Doohan said, “Studies indicate that more than half of family physicians stay and practice within 100 miles of their family medicine residency programs. We believed that with such a program, we could attract and retain the physicians we so desperately need.”

FMEMC sponsored visits to Ukiah by national leaders like Dr. Richard Roberts, past president of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). With strong community partners, FMEMC also began the annual benefit concert Rural Health Rocks ( headlining Michael McDonald which raised more than $100,000 for program development, funds matched by Adventist Health.

In the fall of 2016, AHUV received institutional accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) to become an official teaching hospital. A year later, together with UC Davis, AHUV submitted the Family Medicine Residency program application to ACGME, the body that oversees post-medical-school training for physicians. In 2018, the ACGME accredited the residency program.

Today, the residency program is up and running with its first cohort of six physicians. It has already interviewed its second cohort of six more physicians to start in Ukiah in July. The program has also brought family medicine doctors to the area to serve as faculty for the program. According to AAFP, in addition to improving the health of a community, each new family medicine doctor who comes to town creates an accompanying $1 million in economic development. With 12 new residents and additional faculty, the Residency Program will improve our community significantly.

Jeff Batis, MD; Joshua Levy, MD; Hayley Rousek, MD; Caitlin Raymond, MD, PhD; Shamsher Singh, MD; John Lee, MD

FMEMC has more than fulfilled its goal and will now end its operations. Remaining funds will be used to create a donor-advised fund through the Community Foundation of Mendocino County to be used in accordance with donor wishes.

FMEMC Vice President Daphne Macneil said, “We want to thank all those who donated and volunteered to make this dream a reality. It’s another example of how we make things happen and take care of our own here in Mendocino County.

* * *



  1. Eric Sunswheat January 22, 2020

    First Thursdays at the Marin County Law Library (san rafael)

    Kara Connors, Community Outreach and Education Coordinator for Suicide Prevention at Buckelew Programs, will present information about building a safe community for individuals in distress.

    Participants will gain increased general knowledge about suicide and an ability to respond to someone at risk for suicide with specific basic suicide intervention skills.

    Question and answer session immediately following.

    Buckelew Programs helps people with behavioral health challenges lead healthier, more independent lives by providing treatment and support services tailored to their unique needs, encouraging the active partnership of loved ones and other supporters.

    No reservations necessary.

    Join us at the Marin County Law Library on February 6, 2020 at 6:00 PM.

    All are welcome.

  2. James Marmon January 22, 2020

    CA Gov. Newsom announces volunteering webpage to address homelessness

    “In an effort to address statewide homelessness, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the launch of a webpage that lists volunteer opportunities, according to a Jan. 16 press release from the governor’s office.

    The webpage — developed by California Volunteers, Office of the Governor — is led by a bipartisan 25-member commission and a team of experts to encourage Californians to volunteer, according to its website. The webpage is part of the group’s effort to address state and community challenges by using public, private and nonprofit resources including AmeriCorps and community partnerships.”

  3. James Marmon January 22, 2020

    Dr. Drew’s Unique Take On Sac Homelessness During State Of Downtown Speech

    The keynote speaker during Tuesday’s State of the Downtown gathering in Sacramento was Dr. David Drew Pinsky, more commonly known as Dr. Drew. He’s an internist who is know as a doctor to the celebrities, he has dedicated years to work as an addiction medicine specialist, and as a media personality.

    Dr. Pinsky arrived in Sacramento eary, walked the city streets, observed people living on those streets, and based on his history as a mental health care practitioner came away from the experience with the opinion that homelessness in the area is more of a mental health problem than a housing problem.

    Governor Gavin Newsom, members of his homelessness committee, and state lawmakers has frequently pointed to a lack of affordable housing as the primary cause of California’s growing homelessness problem.

  4. George Hollister January 22, 2020

    “To say that they lack even a semblance of the gravitas one might expect from such an — their words — “historical event” — understates their reality as repetitious, tiresome, hacks that they are.”

    It is historical that what is going on in Congress, and in national media is of such little relevance. What is there for historians to write about?

    • James Marmon January 22, 2020


      Watched the BoS meeting, John Sakowicz did a great job. Unfortunately, the speaker after him, Mica, who is taking over Jan McGourty’s duties went immediately into praising RQMC about the Orchard Street project and all the work they’ve done on it. HELLO MICA! theoretically, RQMC is not currently involved and never has been involved with the Orchard Street Property purchase, it was RCS who was gifted the 500,000 dollars to leverage the deal that helped them with the down payment on a 2.2 million dollar office building, and the empty lot they eventually sold back to the County.

      I believe the Behavioral Health Advisory Board does not have a clear understanding of who does what, RQMC, RCS, or RC3? Mica’s support for the Schraeders is clearly biased, I don’t expect to see anything good coming for the advisory board anytime soon. Especially since they are unable to differentiate the 3 Schraeder agencies from one another and who does what, and their funding sources.

      Mica also stated that the Orchard Street CRT project was a “shovel ready” project, but the truth is, it is far from being shovel ready.

      Where’s the money Camille?

      James Marmon MSW

      • James Marmon January 22, 2020


        The Schraeders show up at BHAB meetings representing RQMC, but they present the data and plans of RCS and/or RC3. RQMC is a Administrative Service Organization, RCS and RC3 are sub-contractors who provide services, theoretically. RQMC is a for-profit organization where RCS is a non-profit agency. I have no idea as to what RC3 is, but I know they receive separate funding from the County outside of the 20 mil, RQMC gets.

        James Marmon MSW

        • Lazarus January 22, 2020

          John Sakowicz or James Marmon,
          Where can I see Johnny Keyes video John Sakowicz mentioned yesterday, shot a Ross Liberty’s “Factory Pipe” building?
          As always,

          • Lazarus January 22, 2020

            Humm, I guess I don’t rate.
            As always,

            • H.H.Heller January 22, 2020

              Hilarious?, Laz.

      • James Marmon January 22, 2020

        Oh, by the way Mika or Mica, one of the reasons Kemper made the Orchard Street Property a number one priority was because he was informed that it was a “shovel ready” project, when it was not. The measure b committee just hired an architecture for a design on that property and another in Willits. Getting this thing built before the next deadline is going to be tough, the state gave Miller a completion date. That makes this emergency that needs immediate attention without time for rational thought.

        Furthermore, there is no guarantee that the City of Ukiah will approve the site without a little scuffle with the County over impact studies, regulations, and fees.

        “Haste makes Waste”

        James Marmon MSW

      • James Marmon January 22, 2020

        Another thing Mika, Kemper’s recommendation for the Orchard Street Project was based on construction costs only, not the purchase of the lot. Will Angelo donate the property to the Measure B committee, or charge them the $383,000.00 purchase price of the property along with construction costs estimated at an additional 5 million dollars? Maybe we will find out more at this afternoon’s Measure B circle jerk on YouTube at 1:00 PM

        James Marmon MSW

        • James Marmon January 22, 2020


          I refuse to respect any professional who can’t differentiate between the many hats that Camile Schraeder presents with. Even Dr. Miller couldn’t remember who applied for the grant on Orchard, RQMC or RCS? They’re not the same agency and one shouldn’t take credit for what the other one is doing. One is for-profit and one is non-profit and have totally different functions. RQMC is a Administrative Service Organization (ASO) , RCS is a Service Provider and contracts with RQMC who in return funnels millions of taxpayers dollars to them. RQMC does not provide any direct services.

          There you are, in a nutshell. The only thing in common with the two is Camille Schraeder.

          The cozy relationship John Sakowicz spoke about is not between the County and RCS, it’s the cozy relationship between Camille Schraeder and the County.

          James Marmon MSW

  5. mr. wendal January 22, 2020

    re: LINDY VS DAN

    Why no quotes in the piece? Without mention of the actual “obvious falsehoods” and how the candidates are “massively disingenuous and pitifully uninformed” this piece reads like a baseless rant. Mr. Gressett could learn a thing or two from Messrs. Scaramella and Macdonald.

    I do hope that 4th district residents will inform themselves by listening to the BOS meetings so they can learn what we’ve been getting with Dan Gjerde as our supervisor. It’s time for someone who will speak out and who will listen to and engage with all of the people, not just those with whom he agrees.

  6. Harvey Reading January 22, 2020



  7. Harvey Reading January 22, 2020


    Where’s Jack Reacher when a guy really needs him???????

  8. Harvey Reading January 22, 2020


    “— understates their reality as repetitious, tiresome, hacks that they are.”

    And have been for decades.

  9. Harvey Reading January 22, 2020

    MRS. WARBURG, 1915

    A very manly looking woman.

  10. Harvey Reading January 22, 2020

    “…but a bunch of pissed-off Russians raped and murdered the Berliners without mercy.”

    But not nearly to the extent that Hitler’s scum had inflicted merciless murder and rape on Russians (at least 15 million dead). The Berliners got far less than what they deserved. How this fits in with a tirade on Biden is perhaps known only to the author.

  11. James Marmon January 22, 2020

    “We don’t care what RQMC is doing or not doing because we think RCS and RC3 are doing a good job.” “Why? because the Schraeders tell us so”.

    -Mendocino County Behavioral Health Advisory Board

    • Harvey Reading January 22, 2020

      For once trumpo spoke the truth. He left out the part about people not liking him either, though. Typical of the ass.

  12. James Marmon January 22, 2020

    If I was anyone with a brain I would demand a list of all the different contracts and grants that the County and Schraeders are in agreement with, and a list of all budget units the funds being siphoned from. Everything with Camille’s signature on it.

    That list should not be limited to just RQMC, RCS, or RC3, there may be others.

    James Marmon MSW
    Former RCS Employee

    • Harvey Reading January 22, 2020

      So, is that an admission that you are someone lacking a brain? If so, I surely will not disagree with you on that point.

  13. Lazarus January 22, 2020

    “In the latest jaw-dropping development surrounding AB5, Governor Gavin Newsom has put roughly $20 million into his proposed 2020 budget for AB5 enforcement.”
    So much for the Willits Weekly and others caught up in this…

    As always,

    • George Hollister January 22, 2020

      The other, and more significant side of the AB5 coin are the people who are working as independent contractors, don’t view themselves as victims, and will lose their livelihoods. They have few alternatives, other than possibly moving out of state.

      • Harvey Reading January 22, 2020

        A few of them–maybe–don’t so view themselves, George, but most do. Talk to FedEx drivers, or any one else whose employee position was turned into a private contractor one. They make less and get NO benefits. Maybe if you expanded your reading beyond the lies of right-wing “think” tanks, you could see the real world that exists around you. I know that’s hard for a child of privilege like you, but try it anyway. I would not be surprised but what most of the “happy” “contractors” are in backward places, like Mendocino or Calaveras counties.

  14. Eric Sunswheat January 22, 2020

    January 14, 2020
    UFCW 5 is pleased to announce that the tentative agreement with Food Maxx has been ratified by the Food Maxx membership overwhelmingly. Our bargaining success with FoodMaxx is attributable to the collective voice of our membership in demanding a fair and equitable agreement for the hard work they have contributed in making Food Maxx successful.

    If Food Maxx members have questions about the agreement please contact your assigned Union Representative and they will be glad to answer any questions you may have…

    United Food and Commercial Workers Local 5 represents a highly diverse group of laborers. We are supermarket stockers, retail clerks, food processers, financial professionals and cannabis cultivators.

    As members of UFCW5, we speak in a clear, progressive and unified voice—30,000 strong. We take pride in what we do. And we do it all with a human touch. Headquartered in Hayward—with local offices stretching from Salinas to Eureka—UFCW5 advocates for the hard-working men and women of Northern California. We ensure our members receive fair wages, ample benefits and maintain a healthy work-life balance.

    • Harvey Reading January 22, 2020

      Good for UCFW5. Looks like workers may be awakening! Take note, unscrupulous, worker-exploiting peddlers. Your days in business are numbered!

      • H.H.Heller January 22, 2020

        Remember the 60’s poster ‘Today is the First Day of the Rest of Your Life’?

        • Harvey Reading January 22, 2020

          I recall the statement but not any poster.

  15. John Sakowicz January 22, 2020

    21 January 2020

    Dear AVA:

    Please pass along this note to James Marmon, MSW, who is a regular contributor to the AVA’s daily blog, “Mendocino County Today”.

    Yup. We won a small battle today, Mr. Marmon. Or should I say, “transparency in government” won a small battle.

    At today’s Board of Supervisors meeting, Carre Brown and John McCowen both pulled 4m from the Consent Calendar. Then Ted Williams chimed in, followed by John Haschak.

    Item 4m was a resolution, specifically, the “Adoption of Resolution to Develop a Crisis Residential Treatment Program on the Property Designated in the Existing California Health Facilities Financing Authority Resolution at 631 South Orchard Avenue, Ukiah, California 95482, and in Accordance with Grant Funding Issued Under the Investment in Mental Health Wellness Grant Program.”

    As the AVA’s readers know, the property, 631 South Dora Street, is part of a shell game.

    A game of Three-card Monte.

    Mendocino County, Redwood Community Services (RCS), and Redwood Quality Management Group (RQMC) are all part of con.

    Supervisors McCowen, Brown, Williams, and Haschak all agreed in pulling 4m that the item never should have been buried in the Consent Calendar, far from public scrutiny. The County’s relationship with RCS and RQMC is too cozy for hidden agenda items. More importantly, the many millions of dollars that RCS gets paid from the County, and for which RQMC administers and bills, demands public scrutiny.

    All four of the above named Supervisors also seemed to agree that Measure B monies are for the Psychiatric Health Facility (PHF), and not for Crisis Residential Treatment Facilities…however noble the thought.

    It would dishonor Sheriff Allman’s hard work on Measure B to spend Measure B monies on anything but a PHF.

    All four Supervisors also seemed to tacitly agree that Measure B monies are not the County CEO’s private slush fund.

    Not a peep from Dan Gjerde, however, during the Board’s discussion. True to form, Gjerde is a “company man”. He marches lockstep behind Carmel Angelo. (But why?)

    Tammy Moss Chandler was there, too. She danced on the head of a pin trying to explain the inexplicable.

    Meanwhile, Camille Schraeder was also there in Board chambers, in the back of the room, texting madly on her cell.

    Schraeder seemed to be texting Angelo, who also seemed to be emailing on her County Chromebook.

    Angelo at first seemed otherwise distracted during the Board’s discussion. A few minutes into the Board’s discussion on 4m, Angelo started to look variously disinterested, then displeased, then angry.

    Not a peep out of Schraeder during the entire Board discussion, and hardly anything meaningful out of Angelo.

    Finally, Angelo’s “Mini-Me”, Janelle Rau, was buzzing around Board chambers, trying to look helpful in her own helpless way. Rau was dressed all in black, perhaps in mourning for the end of an era.

    Let’s hope this is a turning point, Mr. Marmon. Three new Supervisors to join Williams and Haschak. Making five Supervisors on January, 2021, who want to govern — really govern — instead of handing over their authority to Angelo.

    O! What a wonderful world that would be!

    Thanks for your valuable professional insights and good heart, Mr. Marmon.

    — John Sakowicz, Candidate, Mendocino County 1st District Supervisor

  16. Harvey Reading January 22, 2020

    Glad to read that Newsom will enforce AB5. Maybe the cheapskate peddlers will wake up, else they’ll deservedly go under, making room for honest peddlers. Before the “independent” contractor BS showed up, businesses survived. Then, they got greedy and started exploiting workers to an even greater degree (Fedex is a prime example). So, if they go under, good riddance to them. I hope Newsom’s enforcement is strong and uniform.

  17. Harvey Reading January 22, 2020

    Is Sakowicz being charged for his campaign ads? Jes’ askin’.

    • Bruce McEwen January 22, 2020


      And how much, pray good sir, do you pay for your two-cents’ worth of hogging the comment page, both trotters in the trough on every issue, bloated with sanctimonious table scraps from the swill buckets of received opinion, blowing bubbles through your snout in the foul gravy delivered by the real soldiers of the revolution, the dishwashers and swampers you make a great mockery of championing — Quite all right for you, huh? How much did you get for that risible tearjerker about how you put down the bottle and finally started looking after No. 1?

      My, what a fellow you are.

      • Harvey Reading January 22, 2020

        As usual, a lotta words to say nothing. I doubt you would even know the answer to my question. Keep yourself outa the gutter, dear boy.

  18. John Sakowicz January 22, 2020

    Just reporting on yesterday’s BOS meeting, Harvey Reading.

    Getting the Sups to pull an important agenda item involving the super-cozy relationship between the County and RCS, which was buried in the Consent Calendar by CEO Angelo, was a big victory for transparency in local government.

    And that, my friend, is an apolitical issue.

    — John

    • Harvey Reading January 22, 2020

      Oh, yes. Of course. Of course…

  19. James Marmon January 22, 2020


    Boy, Mendocino County really shit on themselves treating Ortner the way they did. Now they have a real problem, Adventist Health is closing down their PHF at St. Helena. Ortner will have nothing to do with Mendocino County. St. Helena is bye, bye and any potential PHF being built in Mendo is at least 3 years away, maybe longer.

    Another thing Angelo and Schraeder are freaking out about is Governor Newsom’s changing the way MHSA funds are distributed in his new proposed budget. His new plan is to use the money on the homeless for mental health services and substance abuse treatment, something that our county does not want. Spending money directly where it is needed is not in any of Camille’s business plans and limits how much they can use to leverage other funding.

    James Marmon MSW

  20. James Marmon January 22, 2020


    Newsom homeless task force wants CA to require cities to meet aggressive housing goals

    “The mandate would also require localities to spend any funding it’s sitting on that can be used on housing the homeless, Steinberg said.

    Counties would not be allowed to hang onto funding they receive from the state’s Mental Health Services Act, for example, but would instead be required to spend some of the money to help house homeless people who suffer from mental illness.

    In 2017, a state audit found counties and local mental health agencies were sitting on $2.5 billion unspent MHSA funding. In August, Sacramento County had $126 million in unspent MHSA money, though it now has a plan to spend the money much faster.

    If the mandate had been in place, municipalities would not have been allowed to hold onto that money for extended periods of time.

    Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office has said he is also considering changes to make sure MHSA money is spent helping the homeless.

    “They need to spend it or we’re going to revert those dollars back to the state and reinvest it,” Newsom said Friday during a news conference to unveil his proposed budget. “We want to focus more acuity on homelessness, the justice system, first-episode psychosis for youth and young adult and workforce. That’s the mantra coming from Mayor Steinberg and (Newsom mental health advisor) Tom Insel and they’re right.”

    The new law could also bar municipalities from allowing neighborhood complaints from shutting down feasible affordable housing and shelter sites.

    “It would override any local siting decision that stands in the way of cities and counties doing enough to set aside the requisite space to bring people home,” Steinberg said.”

    Where’s the money Camille?

    James Marmon MSW

  21. H.H.Heller January 22, 2020


    The company of the future must do well by doing good | World Economic Forum

    Davos Manifesto 2020: The Universal Purpose of a Company in the Fourth Industrial Revolution | World Economic Forum

    Housing crisis: how industry can help | World Economic Forum

    What Kind of Capitalism Do We Want? by Klaus Schwab – Project Syndicate

  22. H.H.Heller January 22, 2020


    The company of the future must do well by doing good | World Economic Forum

    Housing crisis: how industry can help | World Economic Forum

    Davos Manifesto 2020: The Universal Purpose of a Company in the Fourth Industrial Revolution | World Economic Forum

  23. Boston Bob January 23, 2020

    Well said Bruce

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