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MCT: Thursday, January 30, 2020

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A FEW SPRINKLES will remain possible today over mainly Del Norte and northern Humboldt Counties. Otherwise, warmer and drier conditions are expected through early Saturday. Light rain and inland snow are then forecast to return late this weekend as another cold front moves across the area. A chilly airmass will settle over Northwest California in the wake of the front on Sunday. (NWS)

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The March election contains two important ballot measures that directly support all fire departments in Mendocino County at no cost to County residents. These are Measures D and E. Both measures are critical, and both measures require a simple majority to pass.

Measure D will raise money through a transient occupancy tax (TOT) aimed at private campgrounds. Measure D calls for a 10 percent tax per temporary campsite. This measure will “level the playing field” since other temporary lodging establishments such as inns and hotels have been paying a similar TOT for years.

Measure E advises the County Board of Supervisors how to spend the revenue raised by the new tax. This Measure advises the Supervisors to distribute Measure D’s proceeds to all established fire companies in the County. Measure E further reads that 75% of the tax revenue will be divided equally to all fire agencies. The remaining 25% of the revenue will be allocated for common fire agency needs and goals as determined by the Mendocino County Fire Chiefs Association.

It is important to vote on both measures…Measure D will implement the tax, and Measure E will assure the revenues are distributed equally to all established fire companies in the County.

The total tax revenue is expected to reach $1,000,000 per year. This would allow approximately $250,000.00 to be set aside for common needs and goals, and about $36,000 to be distributed directly to each fire agency in the County.

This distribution will be valuable income to all departments, and it may double or triple the revenue of many small rural departments that struggle to operate. The top-most critical areas of pressure that will be assisted by this income stream include workers’ compensation and liability insurance, the cost of fire engines and equipment, the availability of high-quality training, and the recruitment and retention of volunteers. We will touch on each of these briefly.

Workers’ Compensation and Liability Insurance: Each fire department covers each paid and volunteer fire fighter with workers’ compensation insurance. This insurance provides needed protection in the event of injury. Departments also carry liability insurance. In most cases, smaller departments use a large portion of their annual revenue just paying these insurance costs.

Equipment: Fire company equipment is costly to purchase and maintain. A new fire engine can typically cost $300,000 or more, and each engine requires repair and maintenance to ensure they operate during an emergency response. Many departments seek loans for major equipment, and some purchase engines second-hand. Additionally, each fire fighter is equipped with special gear and personal protective equipment that must fit well and be in good working order to ensure firefighter safety. Many supplies and items that are used on a fire or a medical call are not re-usable and must be constantly re-stocked and ready for the next dispatch. Measures D and E will go a long way to help relieve these pressures.

Training: A high-quality and relevant training program is a critical component of a fire company’s continuing education to ensure firefighters respond skillfully and safely. In-house training requires supplies and good planning. Outsourced training is often expensive. Fire agencies budget significant resources to training each year. Measures D and E will help offset these costs.

Volunteers: Volunteer firefighters are the backbone of our County’s fire, rescue and first-at-scene medical response. These dedicated professionals are on call 24/7. They are in the fire service because they care about their neighbors and communities. Measures D and E help will help with volunteer recruitment and retention that is critical to the viability of our fire agencies.

Remember, if you live in this county, Measures D and E will cost you nothing. It will be paid by visitors who stay in private campgrounds, and these campers benefit from our local fire response. Measures D and E will help offset costs associated with providing emergency response to campers, tourists and travelers that visit and recreate in our county.

We ask your support by voting yes on Measure D and Measure E.

Dave Latoof, Vice President of the Mendocino County Fire Chiefs Association

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Alexis Navarrete, 18, was booked into Mendocino County Jail on Saturday on multiple felony charges, including attempted murder, conspiracy and accessory, Ukiah police said in a news release. A 17-year-old male, whose identity wasn’t released because he’s a minor, was initially booked into Mendocino County Juvenile Hall on felony charges unrelated to the shooting but was later charged with attempted murder and conspiracy.

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Supervisor Candidates address Homelessness and Mental Health

All nine candidates who are running for Mendocino County Supervisor have recently completed a privately funded video project, in which they independently answered questions regarding the county budget, attracting business to Mendocino County, homelessness and mental health.

The candidates voluntarily agreed to publicly and candidly state their positions on these hot-topic issues to allow voters to hear where they each stand.

The project, produced and directed by Johnny Keyes, was professionally filmed by Mendocino Media and was moderated by retired Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman. A separate video was produced for each of the three districts where candidates are running for Supervisor (1st District, the 2nd District and the 4th District). Each video is approx. 30 minutes.

Upon releasing the video, Johnny Keyes, stated “The intention is to inform the voters in Districts 1, 2 and 4 of where the candidates stand on these pressing issues. With social media driving many elections, it’s vital that our voters hear for themselves where these candidates stand on these issues”. Retired Sheriff Tom Allman said, “I know each of these candidates and it’s fair to say that there are no two candidates alike. They were candid in their answers and clearly represented where they stand on these that seem to be on everyone’s mind.”

The videos can be found on Youtube, and are titled "Mendocino County Focus, Vision, and Future”. All candidates has been offered an opportunity to post the videos on their social media.

(Tom Allman Press Release)


District 1:

District 2:

District 4:

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Oil on Canvas by Frank McNab (Scotland)

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Reading Paul Gullixon's column in the Press Democrat the other day I was reminded again that there must be one hell of a lot of people who are much smarter than I am. Perhaps millions. Yes, I have a head full of useless information, new ideas, and the ability to solve problems. Gringos are struggling to find answers to problems I have already solved. Add a $1 bill to all of the above and you can get a back issue of the ACA at the Book Juggler!

Maybe a dose of education would help me. Let's see. Since 1935 I have read 3,000 books, starting with "A Child's Garden of Verses," "In summer it’s just the other way — we have to go to bed by day." I have read The New Yorker each week for the past 60 years. I've found the fiction by Indian and Irish writers readable, the rest of the fiction is the shits. Due to poor editing, most articles are 30% to long.

I am now listening to three or four audio books from the Library of Congress each week. Has any of this made me any smarter? Hell no! It isn't even worth a pitcher of warm piss.

I would like to know why Asians are usually at the top of their graduating class? I assign this question to Scaramella and I’m anxiously waiting for an answer. Asians seem to have more than their share of the smart people.

Now for each of us not so smart folks there must be an equal number of dumb, ignorant and stupid people out there. How should they be dealt with? As Bill Bryson likes to say, "Place your hand under the elbow and gently lead them out to a concentration camp in Sikang Province, western China where they will be re-educated along with the Chinese Muslims.

Who wins the 2020 el Stupido Gringo award? It's Mike Bloomberg! Mike has been running 30-second ads during NFL games. How about them Niners? Wedged between other 3 second ads. The caption reads "Mike will get it done." Get what done? 95% of the football watchers have no idea who Mike is and 99% of the viewers don't even notice. This is the way the wealthy spend their money. Me and Rex Gressett — we don't suffer fools gladly.

Now we shift to the newspapers of Mendocino County.

It will become obvious that I don't have the Bruce Anderson get along go along policy with regard to the other papers besides his own. I can visualize the Editor’s bottom lip starting to curl. During the past couple of months the Laytonville paper has printed seven of the letters I sent them because they were interesting and entertaining even though I severely criticized them for having the worst layout in the entire world with the exception of one newspaper in South Sudan and the other in Tibet. I suggested it would be better to decide which stories, starting out on the front page should line up — not starting until the previous one ended all the way to the end of the paper just like a third-grade school book. I also suggested that the Laytonville schools should receive a broadcast every afternoon at 1 PM from MCOE of a 15 minute summary of the news from the Press Democrat starting in grade 7. By the time students graduated from high school they might reach parity with the Boonville schools.

An anecdote follows: both Jared Carter of Ukiah and Montana Podva formerly of Willits clerked for William O. Douglas. Isn't that interesting?

Over the past 10 years I have sent a dozen interesting and entertaining letters to the Ukiah daily Journal. None of them were printed. I have always thought that KC Meadows was highly overrated as well as Tony Wayne Kramer. She puts out the dullest, most boring paper in the history of the county. If the fault lies with Digital First then she should have resigned.

To address the sad state of the newspapers in this County I have long advocated for a county weekly where each community can have as much space as they need for news, features and advertising. Put an ad in the Times and Boston Globe and see if there is a rich young person who always wanted to own a newspaper and who has the money to start a famous enterprise.

It could be done even though most people would be skeptical. "Freedom of the press belongs to the man who owns one." — Jeff Bezos.

NPR reports that 14 million people listen to their morning news program. 20 million regularly listen to Rush Limbaugh each morning. Isn't that interesting? Remember when a group of Ukiah residents met each morning in a North end restaurant, closed the door and listened to Rush Limbaugh? Maybe they still do. I don't know.

I believe that the CCC and the WPA were successful programs in the 30s.

With the large amount of money spent on the homeless which is not working why hasn't the state of California started a similar program?

The answer is because the homeless would resist. Nothing that has been done to solve the homeless situation has worked. It looks like we need to get tougher. No able-bodied person who is receiving food and shelter can continue to receive these services unless they work. The unable-bodied must enter a rehabilitation program until they get straightened out and go to work. Those who refuse to work can continue to sleep in bank entrances. Maybe the bankers will take care of them.

Ralph Bostrom


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TED WILLIAMS: "Cannabis update: Megan Dukett has been appointed to Acting Cannabis Program Manager. I worked with her on the Parks assessment last year when she was Program Administrator of Cultural Services Agency. I'm pleased she was selected and I have confidence she'll make a difference. In other words, I can work with her. I don't know that she has direct cannabis experience, but she understands the program needs, specifically removing barriers and finding ways to issue permits (which translates to less illicit market, greater county revenue). I was briefed on the recruitment process and thoroughness of interviews. The reassignment was based on merit. Cannabis license transferability has begun. Renewals have become an over the counter process, in place of the stunning full re-application process. I believe the tax appeals are complete. I expect Brent and Megan to bring further recommendations to the board for reducing complexity."

ED NOTE: Clear case of insider hiring (and nepotism) characteristic of County hiring practices at the higher admin levels. A second Dukett works in the CEO's office.

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NO QUIZ THIS WEEK: Relax your grey matter as there in no Quiz at Lauren’s Restaurant this week. We continue on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of every month. The next Quiz will be on February 13th. Cheers, Steve Sparks, The Quiz Master

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The Treasurer-Tax Collector / Court Collections Office is currently undergoing a major office renovation project to increase efficiency and accessibility in an effort to provide better service to our customers.

The goal is to limit negative impacts to the public whenever possible; however, due to the nature of this project, noise and accessibility impacts may exist. At times, office and phone hours will need to be adjusted to accommodate certain phases of this project.

Information can be obtained by visiting our website at or by telephone at (707) 234-6875. Emails sent to will be responded to within two (2) business days of receipt.

We apologize for any inconvenience this project may cause.

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The scanner said (11:38 am) the Fort Bragg Fire Department & ambulance, ALS ambulance #9116 and the REACH 18 air ambulance were dispatched to the "career center" at Anderson Valley High School for the report of a "17-year-old female difficulty breathing."

A first responder arriving on the scene said the ALS ambulance and the air ambulance (which ended up being CalStar 4) could be canceled and any other responding units could cancel.


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PEOPLE have been confusing the new, deadly coronavirus with Corona beer with searches for both 'corona beer' and 'corona beer virus' rising by more than 1,100% over the last week.

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THE LODGE FIRE in central Boonville occurred a little after noon on Thursday, December 5th. It destroyed four homes, the Mexican restaurant and bar, and the Pic 'N Pay Market in the center of town. Rumors immediately circulated that the market was looted of high end liquor while attention was focused on the south end of the blaze where the slow moving fire began, burning laterally to the north via connecting roofs until it finally engulfed Pic 'N Pay. The enterprising thieves removed as many bottles as they could, returning to the unsecured store several times to re-load. The rumors said, and continue to say, the looters were two teenage boys, maybe more. The Sheriff's Department has confirmed that the store was indeed looted, and the case is under investigation.

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illustration from "Mr Rabbit and the Lovely Present" by Maurice Sendak

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AM I HEARING things or are more people talking through their noses? Have to wonder if professional radio people, such as those heard on early morning radio, and often on NPR, ever listen to themselves? Some are so extremely nasal they're kinda like some kind of ethereal whinnying. Even Laura Trevelyan on the BBC Evening News talks through her nose, and the BBC announcers and news readers, men and women, used to speak from the very depths of their diaphragms, their voices as profoundly resonant as if they were reporting from the Kingdom of Heaven. In my case, my voice sensitivities may be genetic. My father seemed awfully voice sensitive, often reacting to a screeching female voice with an audible, "Jeezus, how'd you like to live with that voice?" And don't get me started on uptalk, and the weirdly affected, molar-chopping consonants adopted by both young men and women.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, January 29, 2020

Cardenas, Case, Laflin

ESTEBAN CARDENAS, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

TAMARA CASE, Fort Bragg. Domestic battery.

ADAM LAFLIN, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation.

Martinez, Reynolds, Shealor, Stone

MARIA MARTINEZ, Ukiah. Failure to appear.

LINDA REYNOLDS, Ukiah. Disobeying court order, failure to appear, probation revocation.

AUSTIN SHEALOR, Ukiah. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, vandalism, probation revocation.

AARON STONE, Ukiah. Parole violation.

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by Bruce E. Levine

Getting rid of Trump means taking seriously “shit-life syndrome”—and its resulting misery, which includes suicide, drug overdose death, and trauma for surviving communities.

My state of Ohio is home to many shit-life syndrome sufferers. In the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton lost Ohio’s 18 electoral votes to Trump. She got clobbered by over 400,000 votes (more than 8%). She lost 80 of Ohio’s 88 counties. Trump won rural poorer counties, several by whopping margins. Trump got the shit-life syndrome vote.

Will Hutton in his 2018 Guardian piece, “The Bad News is We’re Dying Early in Britain – and It’s All Down to ‘Shit-Life Syndrome’” describes shit-life syndrome in both Britain and the United States: “Poor working-age Americans of all races are locked in a cycle of poverty and neglect, amid wider affluence. They are ill educated and ill trained. The jobs available are drudge work paying the minimum wage, with minimal or no job security.”

The Brookings Institution, in November 2019, reported: “53 million Americans between the ages of 18 to 64—accounting for 44% of all workers—qualify as ‘low-wage.’ Their median hourly wages are $10.22, and median annual earnings are about $18,000.”

For most of these low-wage workers, Hutton notes: “Finding meaning in life is close to impossible; the struggle to survive commands all intellectual and emotional resources. Yet turn on the TV or visit a middle-class shopping mall and a very different and unattainable world presents itself. Knowing that you are valueless, you resort to drugs, antidepressants and booze. You eat junk food and watch your ill-treated body balloon. It is not just poverty, but growing relative poverty in an era of rising inequality, with all its psychological side-effects, that is the killer.”

Shit-life syndrome is not another fictitious illness conjured up by the psychiatric-pharmaceutical industrial complex to sell psychotropic drugs. It is a reality created by corporatist rulers and their lackey politicians—pretending to care about their minimum-wage-slave constituents, who are trying to survive on 99¢ boxed macaroni and cheese prepared in carcinogenic water, courtesy of DuPont or some other such low-life leviathan.

The Cincinnati Enquirer, in November 2019, ran the story: “Suicide Rate Up 45% in Ohio in Last 11 Years, With a Sharper Spike among the Young.” In Ohio between 2007 and 2018, the rate of suicide among people 10 to 24 has risen by 56%. The Ohio Department of Health reported that suicide is the leading cause of death among Ohioans ages 10‐14 and the second leading cause of death among Ohioans ages 15‐34, with the suicide rate higher in poorer, rural counties.

Overall in the United States, “Suicides have increased most sharply in rural communities, where loss of farming and manufacturing jobs has led to economic declines over the past quarter century,” reportsthe American Psychological Association. The U.S. suicide rate has risen 33% from 1999 through 2017 (from 10.5 to 14 suicides per 100,000 people).

In addition to an increasing rate of suicide, drug overdose deaths rose in the United States from 16,849 in 1999 to 70,237 in 2017, more sharply increasing in recent years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently reported that opioids—mainly synthetic opioids—were involved in 47,600 overdose deaths in 2017 (67.8% of all drug overdose deaths).

Among all states in 2017, Ohio had the second highest rate of drug overdose death (46.3 per 100,000). West Virginia had the highest rate (57.8 per 100,000).

“In 2016, Donald Trump captured 68 percent of the vote in West Virginia, a state hit hard by opioid overdoses,” begins the 2018 NPR story: “Analysis Finds Geographic Overlap In Opioid Use And Trump Support In 2016.”

The NPR story was about a study published in JAMA Network Open titled “Association of Chronic Opioid Use With Presidential Voting Patterns in US Counties in 2016,” lead authored by physician James Goodwin. In counties with high rates of opioid use, Trump received 60% of the vote; but Trump received only 39% of the vote in counties with low opioid use. Opioid use is prevalent in poor rural counties, as Goodwin reports in his study: “Approximately two-thirds of the association between opioid rates and presidential voting was explained by socioeconomic variables.”

Goodwin told NPR: “It very well may be that if you’re in a county that is dissolving because of opioids, you’re looking around and you’re seeing ruin. That can lead to a sense of despair… You want something different. You want radical change.”

Shit-life syndrome sufferers are looking for immediate change, and are receptive to unconventional politicians.

In 2016, Trump understood that being unconventional, including unconventional obnoxiousness, can help ratings. So he began his campaign with unconventional serial humiliations of his fellow Republican candidates to get the nomination; and since then, his unconventionality has been limited only by his lack of creativity—relying mostly on the Roy Cohn modeled “Punch them harder than they punch you” for anyone who disagrees with him.

I talked to Trump voters in 2016, and many of them felt that Trump was not a nice person, even a jerk, but their fantasy was that he was one of those rich guys with a big ego who needed to be a hero. Progressives who merely mock this way of thinking rather than create a strategy to deal with it are going to get four more years of Trump.

The Dems’ problem in getting the shit-life syndrome vote in 2020 is that none of their potential nominees for president are unconventional. In 2016, Bernie Sanders achieved some degree of unconventionality. His young Sandernistas loved the idea of a curmudgeon grandfather/eccentric uncle who boldly proclaimed in Brooklynese that he was a “socialist,” and his fans marveled that he was no loser, having in fact charmed Vermonters into electing him to the U.S. Senate. Moreover, during the 2016 primaries, there were folks here in Ohio who ultimately voted for Trump but who told me that they liked Bernie—both Sanders and Trump appeared unconventional to them.

While Bernie still has fans in 2020, he has done major damage to his “unconventionality brand.” By backing Hillary Clinton in 2016, he resembled every other cowardly politician. I felt sorry for his Sandernistas, heartbroken after their hero Bernie—who for most of his political life had self-identified as an “independent” and a “socialist”—became a compliant team player for the corporatist Blue Team that he had spent a career claiming independence from. If Bernie was terrified in 2016 of risking Ralph Nader’s fate of ostracism for defying the corporatist Blue Team, would he really risk assassination for defying the rich bastards who own the United States?

So in 2020, this leaves realistic Dems with one strategy. While the Dems cannot provide a candidate who can viscerally connect with shit-life syndrome sufferers, the Dems can show these victims that they have been used and betrayed by Trump.

Here in Ohio in counties dominated by shit-life syndrome, the Dems would be wise not to focus on their candidate but instead pour money into negative advertising, shaming Trump for making promises that he knew he wouldn’t deliver on: Hillary has not been prosecuted; Mexico has paid for no wall; great manufacturing jobs are not going to Ohioans; and most importantly, in their communities, there are now even more suicides, drug overdose deaths, and grieving families.

You would think a Hollywood Dem could viscerally communicate in 30 seconds: “You fantasized that this braggart would be your hero, but you discovered he’s just another rich asshole politician out for himself.” This strategy will not necessarily get Dems the shit-life syndrome vote, but will increase the likelihood that these folks stay home on Election Day and not vote for Trump.

The question is just how clueless are the Dems? Will they convince themselves that shit-life syndrome sufferers give a shit about Trump’s impeachment? Will they convince themselves that Biden, Buttigieg, Bloomberg or Warren are so wonderful that shit-life syndrome sufferers will take them and their campaign promises seriously? Then Trump probably wins again, thanks to both shit-life syndrome and shit-Dems syndrome.

(Bruce E. Levine, a practicing clinical psychologist often at odds with the mainstream of his profession, writes and speaks about how society, culture, politics and psychology intersect. His most recent book is Resisting Illegitimate Authority: A Thinking Person’s Guide to Being an Anti-Authoritarian―Strategies, Tools, and Models (AK Press, September, 2018). His Website is Courtesy,

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"Trump's so-called 'peace deal,'" warned the White House hopeful, "will only perpetuate the conflict, and undermine the security interests of Americans, Israelis, and Palestinians."

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I know I heard about some commission for the county [Mendo] to deal with climate change. I have a lot of thoughts on many things but I have a few questions I'm hoping can be answered.

With climate collapse happening, we are already seeing how the fishing industry is not going to be something the county can depend upon. Logging we already know is not dependable with the shut down of the mill and the hack and squirt debacle (is there a commission for dealing with all the dead standing trees both from this and the beetles?)

The wine industry does more damage than anything to the land and water in our county, why does the county allow so many wineries instead of encouraging actual food production.

To bounce off food production, is there any plans to make a centralized area farmers can take their products for processing and selling? In Japan that is often how it's done so it's not all on each individual farmer to process and sell which tends to make things a lot easier and keep pressure off.

The weed industry could be very profitable if it was accessible to more people (licensing etc) along with more legit perhaps, processing jobs too and taxed well, perhaps encouraging hemp too for people who would be uncomfortable cultivating or working with drugs. As it is though it is not benefitting the county like it should.

Are there projects in the works for the county to make electricity? (Solar? Wind? Wave?)

We cannot rely on tourism or the current incomes we have, the county needs to bring in an actual industry again (one that won't be detrimental to the environment around it also, lookin at you lumber and wine and sometimes weed too). We need to be able to make our county into something that people want to and can actually move to and live in. (I didn't even touch affordable housing, just had friends move to Arizona because of that issue, that is two people who could have been helping out the county and area that are gone now.)

It's hard to admit we are in a climate collapse and also a not very positive turn in our county when it comes to getting people to want to move here or stay living here but we are and gotta think forward and in the now.

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  1. Reopening Legacy Applications :

● Allow all properties with legacy cultivation to apply (except in exclusionary overlay zones).

● No application cutoff period, just reopen.

● Look at property not person with review at these levels:

○ Up to 10,000 sq. ft. require a Zoning Clearance plus Appendix G (site specific questionnaire that State and County are trying to agree on)

○ Adherence to all State environmental rules (water right, water quality, CDFW).

■ Proof of submission plus state cultivation license = adequate to prove adherence to water board and CDFW,


■ Actual permits from water board and CDFW (NOA, SIUR, LSA) and an application for State cultivation license

○ Administrative Permit (AP) if expanding (see Expansion topic, below)

● Ensure Accommodation Zone cultivators are included in legacy (if they prove some cultivation prior to 8/1/16 baseline date).

  1. Phase 3 “New” Cultivation Properties :

● All properties that did not have proof of prior cultivation (except accommodation zones):

Include Rangeland in addition to all other zoning currently listed in Phase 3 portion of ordinance. Site-specific review will protect against inappropriate land use.

○ Administrative Permit (AP) for any cultivation up to 10k

○ Use Permit (UP) for cultivation over 10k (see Expansion topic, below)

  1. Expansion :

● Allowed expansion based on cultivation type:

○ Outdoor: up to 1 acre

○ Mixed Light Tier 1: up to 22,000 sq. ft.

○ Mixed Light Tier 2: up to 10,000 sq. ft (unchanged from current language in ordinance for Phase 3/no expansion)

○ Indoor: up to 2500 sq. ft. except for Industrial zoning (unchanged from current language of ordinance for Phase 3/no expansion)

  1. Other Simultaneous MCA Advocacy Topics :

● Equity Grant: MCA is committed to supporting the County in the development and implementation of a cannabis equity program and the pursuit of state funding for it.

● Local Building Permit Policy and Ordinance: MCA has authored a Memo together with Scott Ward advocating for some commonsense local changes that might help farmers while we wait for further state law changes being advanced by a regional consortium of rural counties

● Line-by line ordinance changes: MCA is authoring a memo regarding other technical changes that should be made to the cultivation ordinance.

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Wednesday, January 29 - Jazz at the Heritage House, 6-9pm. Join us for beautiful ocean views, wine tasting and cool Jazz in the lounge at the Heritage House. Sharon Garner (vocals), Dorian May (piano) & Dorothea May (bass)

Friday, January 31 - Francis Vanek & the Dorian May Trio at Smiling Dogs Tasting Room

Join us at the The Smiling Dogs Winery’s Tasting Room on Main Street in Downtown Kelseyville for wine tasting & cool Jazz.

Dorian May, Jazz Pianist, Bandleader, Educator

(707) 459-4192

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"THE RUSSIANS RUN an underground fighting league in Coney Island where they pay junkies to fight. I fought about fifty fights for them. They pay you $200 win or lose. They'd always make sure I was real doped up before the fight. I mean they weren't good people, but it did make me feel kinda important to have all those gangsters cheering for me. And they'd always be really happy if I won, because that meant I'd made them money."

Humans of New York

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I’m a very simple man. Here’s what I love: the shapes of countries. Here’s what I don’t need: any additional fucking information.

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There was never one Vietnam War, instead 50 different ones, according to where a man fought or -- in the case of nine out of ten non-infantrymen — did other stuff. Company Commander Andy Finlayson once reprimanded an engineer corporal working on their positions because his men refused to dig or man foxholes. "We don't do that shit," said the NCO stubbornly. "That's the infantry’s job." Artillerymen, excepting FOs (forward observers) were exposed to far less risk than foot soldiers. Captain Chuck Hood, a 30 year old Virginian commanding a battery of heavy guns, found that while his men had to work hard in the dust, mud, rain and heat — on maximum charge, the huge 175mms needed barrel changes every 300 rounds — his biggest problem was assuaging boredom, "trying to come up with something different to keep their attention up and keep them out of the local villages and not drinking all the time."

They were there for just one year and most infantry officers served only six months with a company before being shifted to staff roles. Westmoreland pressed for longer tours but the White House overruled him. The limit may have been politically necessary but it was operationally corrosive. There were few really experienced American field soldiers, save a few "lifers." Maybe two thirds of the men who came home calling themselves veterans — entitled to wear the medal and talk about their PTSD troubles — had been exposed to no greater risk than a man might incur from ill-judged sex or "bad shit" drugs.

Support, technical and logistics personnel would serve in some giant base compound without seeing any Vietnamese except laundry women and bargirls, their worst gripe was the stink in the huts from JP4 fuel and urinal pipes. Paratrooper Gene Woodley called Cam Ranh Bay "the biggest surprise of my life. There was surfing. There were big cars being driven. There were women with fashionable clothes and men with suits on. I said, ‘Hey, what's this? Better than being home’." Navy radarman Dwyte Brown agreed: "Cam Ranh Bay was paradise, man. I would say, ‘Boy, if I got some money together I'd stay right here and live.’ I was treated like a king." Brown gained 40 pounds during his "war service," on a diet of lobster and steak and spent much of his time in the plotting room assembling music tapes for a captain who returned the favor by lending Dwyte his Jeep. Outside An Khe, the first cavalry created its own neighborhood R&R center, "Sin City." A man could go to a class six store and get two half gallons of Gilbey’s gin for $1.65 each and for $5 or $10 a girl who had been checked by medical staff.

Black infantryman Richard Ford said of another camp, "I didn't believe Nha Trang was part of Vietnam because they had barracks, hot water, mess halls with three hot meals and air-conditioning. It was like a beach, a resort. They'd be playing football and basketball. They were white. And that's what freaked me out. All these white guys in the rear." Green Berets on Phu Quoc Island waterskied and surfed in a bay off the Mekong Delta. A Western visitor wrote of Vietnamese spectators, "The children thought it was fun to splash in the water and watch the huge blond men sweep by at the end of the rope but the old people glared and muttered. Even in South Vietnam I have never felt so detested because of my size and color."

— Max Hastings, "Vietnam: Trying to Grab Smoke"

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  1. Eric Sunswheat January 30, 2020

    It’s interesting how KZYX cancelled the much promoted live audio broadcast of the District 1 and 2 Supervisor candidates and campsite tax forum, from Ukiah City Council chambers on Tuesday evening, with barely a whimper, only saying to be broadcast at a time to be determined later.

    Not withstanding, the purportedly public access channel 3 in Fort Bragg, as well as Mendocino Voice via its Facebook portal, streamed the live video. No such luck for KZYX listeners without broadband connection.

    Nor would KZYX relay the audio feed from the video, with concern to have impeccable sound quality, from the recording equipment carried by KZYX free lance reporter Sarah Reith who attended the Ukiah media event.

    Instead we have a separately produced highjacked manipulative moderating polished video canned interviews substitution, featuring retrograde criminal incarceration and delegitimized toxic big pharma mental health treatment homeless advocate, retired Sheriff Tom Allman, questioning candidates for supervisors.

    Nothing will replace the spectacle of adult, children and family breakup services, head honcho mental health County colonist Camille Schrader Tuesday night at the Ukiah candidates forum, occupying a back row aisle seat, pumping her arms and bobbling her head, in cheer leading mode for every affirmative statement made by the female District 2 Supervisor candidates. The establishment has spoken.

    • Eric Sunswheat January 30, 2020

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  2. John Sakowicz January 30, 2020

    I, too, was very disappointed that KZYX cancelled the much-promoted live audio broadcast of the District 1 and 2 Supervisor candidates.

    It felt like censorship.

    John Sakowicz, Candidate, 1st District Supervisor

    • Lazarus January 30, 2020

      Could have been because it was, staged…I’ve only seen District two but, if the rest is like that? It was too slick for the likes of Mendo, no audience interaction, only four questions obviously chosen in part by the celebrity host, sorry it was a bore…Next…
      As always,

  3. Craig Stehr January 30, 2020

    Visited the Shirokiya Japan Village Walk area in the huge Ala Moana Shopping Center in Honolulu tonight, and backed up a pint of beer with a couple of glasses of the Japanese sake. A continuous offering of live music and the countless food vendors with indescribably delicious Asian style snacks was satisfying to the already jaded senses. Went wandering the streets of south Oahu later, and found a Subway sandwich shop near the exotic dancer places, run by a Japanese couple. They advised me to eat well if consuming sake, and made me a unique tuna fish sandwich featuring cucumbers and a hot chipotle sauce. Eventually got back to the Plumeria Hostel Alternative where I’m living, only to get harassed by the rowdies at the Hookah Club across the street, as I walked past. Once back inside my pod at the hostel, a housemate related how “back in the day” he and his friends drank the stronger hot sake when they frequented the iconic Don Ho’s club, and then went out and raised hell all over Honolulu. A woman in my pod who is Chinese said that I’d better not go into Chinatown and drink anywhere, or I’d get kidnapped or possibly murdered. Retired to the room to check for email messages, and found this gem on Daily Zen: “Followers of the Way, as I see it we are not different from Sakya. What do we lack for our manifold activities today? The six rays’ divine light never ceases to shine. See it this way, and you’ll be a person who has nothing to do his whole life long.” – Lin-chi Hui-chao P.S. There’s a helluva lot more to “island living” than just the tourist spectacle at Waikiki Beach, but the mainstream press doesn’t report it.

  4. Lazarus January 30, 2020

    Found Object

    The end to a once-proud franchise.

    As always,

  5. Lazarus January 30, 2020


    Thanks for the question, I use “Depend”.

    As always,

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