- High Pressure
- CPS Story
- 112th Birthday
- Abreu Update
- Flynn Astaire
- Allman Auction
- V Enforcement
- Kirk Douglas
- Recommended Reading
- Cocktail Napkin
- Supervisor's Report
- Joan Crawford
- Yorkville Market
- Drugs Bag
- Narcissus Bloom
- Zebulon Popped
- Noe 1901
- Yesterday's Catch
- Failed Impeachment
- Pumping Pete
- McGourty Radio
- Inbred Sociopaths
- Election Hypocrisy
- Bad Calls
- Bluster Check
- Republican Plan
- Barbaric Dispossession
- Rose Care
- Klingon Politics
- Agent Orange
- Counting Help
- Iowa Update
- Education Funding
- Found Object
PACIFIC HIGH PRESSURE will remain in control through Friday, with moderating temperatures and a mix of morning coastal clouds and sunshine. A cold front will bring cooler weather with some gusty winds on Saturday, and perhaps a few showers to Del Norte and northern Humboldt County. (NWS)
QUID PRO QUO ON THE HOMEFRONT
by Joni Craig
I was recently made aware of an argument that had taken place between a Mother and her teenage son, six weeks ago or so, at their family home. The heated exchange was regarding the young man’s cellphone. Seems familiar to those of us who have young teens that consider their cellphones their everything, right?
We’ve all threatened to remove that privilege as a parent, if our child doesn’t straighten up and fly right, right? If you bring your grades up, you’ll get your phone back, when you start being nicer to your little brother, you’ll get your phone back, you’ll get your phone back when you start helping out around the house. I believe I can say, with a high degree of “parent with a teen” certainty, that the reaction to this, “quid pro quo” if you will, is dramatic, and, one would think, life ending.
Well, the following tells how this exact scenario went from a family situation to a system situation, faster than you could say “system situation”.
Their voices got louder, and emotions ran high, and the son’s anxiety level became more intense, as the possibility that his cellphone privileges may be revoked became real. He made the decision to start recording his Mother(s) discipline, and then proceeded to call CPS, and make a report that his Mother was abusing him. They were emotional decisions that he now deeply regrets, in more ways than one.
Upon CPS’s arrival, and their watching of the recording the son had made of his Mother loudly attempting to discipline him, as well as seeing another child on the recording that was sitting on the couch, doing what appeared to be her school work, he came to the conclusion that not only was the Mother using an aggressive tone towards her son, she was neglecting her daughter who was sitting on the couch studying. He ordered the children to be removed from the home, and they were placed in foster care, for three days. After the three days, it was ordered that the children be placed back in the home with their Father, and a no contact order was placed on their Mother. She could not be in her home with her children, and was not allowed to contact them at all. For the following 30 days she stayed in a motel, alone, astonished and heartbroken.
A Mother who’s life is her children, and who is there for them and involved with them, each and every day of their lives, and who loves every second of being a Mom.
In the meantime, the son recants his story, claiming he was just mad and had fabricated it and how he only recorded his Mother and neglected to capture and tell the whole story. The accusations made by the son, were eventually ruled to be unfounded, and his Mother’s record was wiped clean. However, his Mother, still staying in the motel, was waiting for word to come that she could return home. That word never came, and it was nearing 30 days that she had been out of her home.
Her daughter’s Birthday was coming up, and it just so happened to be on the same day as her soccer game. Mom had never missed her Birthday, or a soccer game, and she wasn’t going to start missing them now. Mother and Father attended the game together, waving and blowing kisses from a distance while cheering on their daughter and the team. It was rejuvenating for everyone, as well as completely harmless.
Due to the watchful eye of someone there, a call was made to authorities to report that the Mother and Father were at the game. CPS ordered her held in violation of the no contact order, and the Father was charged with bringing the “Abuser” to the game with the children in attendance. It was then, that CPS ordered that the children be removed from the family home, with no contact allowed by either parent. The children were placed into foster care, and would remain there for 37 days.
Thirty seven days? For what? For violating a no contact order that had been placed on this Mother prior to accusations being declared unfounded? For violating a no contact order that was actually no longer a valid or needed order on the day of the soccer game, due to all accusations by this time, already declared unfounded and wiped clean from her record?
Which seems to me would no longer be an enforceable violation. CPS still attempting, and succeeding, at enforcing this order, when all was dropped? How can this be? It couldn’t possibly be due to their negligence at not informing those that needed to be informed that the no contact order was no longer active, could it?
Let’s say, for the sake of discussion, when a person is accused of, let’s say, murder. They are “ordered” to be held in jail pending further investigation. Then a couple days into the Investigation, all accusations are found to be untrue and all is dropped, and the once-accused is cleared of any wrong doing, and is released
The once-accused does not remain under the court’s control, as one being released on probation or parole is. They are released, and free and clear of any and all of the accusations that were in question, and it is stricken from the record. They can’t be picked up for violating the “order” to be held in jail, when they had been cleared of everything that had been the reason for ordering them held in jail in the first place. Follow me?
My point is: Why is it that CPS is not held to the same standard, or not equipped with a working “moral compass”? Why is it that they are allowed to continue holding this Mother accountable for accusations she was cleared of?
Why is the Mother held in violation of a no contact order that was placed upon her when the accusations had yet to be cleared? Since all accusations were determined unfounded, and all was wiped clean from the record, no “legal” reason for a no contact order necessary, let alone issuing a violation of one when there was no longer one In place, or shouldn’t have been. Hmmmm?
Why is she not allowed to go home and get her children back?
Well, apparently, through the eyes of CPS, and CPS only, non-existent claims are still enforceable infractions, in their book. They will ride it out as long as they possibly can. Why? For what reason?
The recanting of the initial claim, the record wiped clean, free and clear of any wrongdoings, yet the no contact order is still in place and still enforceable? Why are the children not back with their Mother and Father in the family home? No harm, no foul, It seems to me. Why are the parents only given one hour per week with their children? Why is it that CPS so “quickly” removed the children without doing a more in depth investigation at the time the original reported accusations were made? Yet CPS is taking their “slow sweet time” in reuniting the children with their Mother after all has been unfounded and wiped clean?
Why would CPS send a rookie case worker out on a case by himself and allow him to make a decision on his own of this magnitude? Or is this nothing out of the ordinary for CPS? Is this because CPS has lost sight of their mission, to keep the “best interest of the children” their goal at all times? Or has this never been their goal, just words that they needed to include in their “Mission Statement” when applying for grants or requesting funding of any kind? Or, is it the number of cases you acquire for the department, within each reporting period, that has your best interest? Increased caseloads, increased funding?
The children are devastated by what has, is, and will be upon them. The most devastated child, their youngest, their baby boy, is not only a victim of this nightmare, but is terminally ill, with a rare form of cancer that he puts up a fight with each and every day. He wants and needs his Mother desperately . She has been his everything his whole life, but most importantly since being diagnosed. Children always need their Mother, but not as much as they do when they are sick. A terminal illness at 8 years old must seem even more scary without your Mother there with you, as she’s always been. He longs for her and her loving hugs, and misses his own bed terribly. The foster home he is in drops off and picks up the children at schools, at different times, while having to be respectful of their own schedules. This leaves the youngest having to sleep in the car for 3 - 4 hours on any given day, as they wait for the other children to get out of school. Really? Is this what should be happening when it doesn’t need to be this way? Should any child, let alone one that is terminally ill, have to experience this, when it doesn’t need to be this way? One that is separated from his Mother and Father, when it doesn’t need to be this way? This is what you consider Is in the“best interest of the child?” Really? I would have to say that it appears as If CPS has “no Interest in this child”.
The other two children, one an honor roll student, with her eye on medical school, just received her first D. The other child, who’s always gotten A’s and B’s, has dropped to all D’s . This is not due to the fact that their IQ levels have suddenly plummeted . This has everything to do with the stress and anxiety placed upon them since being in this “system”. There Is no “legal” reason, or moral reason for that matter, to keep them separated from their Mother and Father, yet CPS continues to keep them separated, with no obvious care and concern for the “best interest of the children”.
I believe CPS has failed tremendously with their handling, or I should say, mishandling, of this case. They appear to be inadequate, incapable, and unable to handle this department properly and legally. I also believe that they are influenced greatly from outside the department. They will obviously go to any lengths to make themselves appear as if they’re taking care of business, and keeping “the best interest of the children” their main priority, when it’s blatantly obvious in this case, that both of these couldn’t be further from the truth.
No contact still with the children, after nearly 70 days, except for one hour per week? Really? Is this how the system takes hold of children and keeps them separated from their parents without just cause, and gets away with it? Is it in the “ “best interest of the child” that this terminally ill little boy is separated from his Mother, at a time when he needs her most? A time when his illness limits the time he will have with his Mother, and family at all? Really? I don’t see it. And quite frankly, there isn’t an explanation that could or would convince me otherwise.
Not only has this been devastating within the family, on many levels, It has caused much distane within the community towards the parents, as well as between each other’s children. The parents are active in Class A Soccer with their daughter, which has created many good relationships with the other parents. The professional people in the community, Doctors, Lawyers, Judges, Police Officers, Dentists, etc. They travel to out of town games and attend gatherings throughout the year as well. They have always maintained a good standing in the community and been well liked and respected by others. Since this unfortunate situation has been upon them, the commeraderie is distant, if at all. It has caused much undue hardship upon them, and severed many relationships due to the unfounded accusations being pinned on them. It’s been more disheartening to them than they can express.
Their family may be fighting this fight, but the real fighter in the family is their baby boy. The terminal cancer that he deals with each and every day is the fight that is more important to fight than anything. He desperately needs his Mother, his everything. He needs her love and hugs and her way of making everything alright. He went from being a busy little boy that attended fund raisers that were held for him, he was honored at center court at an NBA game, community dinners were held for him, etc. etc. Done so because people truly cared and loved this little boy and his family. They were lights in his life when things at times seemed so dim. He felt their love and care for him, and they brought joy to him and big smiles to his face. He went from feeling this abundance of love from everyone, most importantly the love, hugs, nurturing and security of his Mother every day and night, he went from all that, to a place “where he never gets hugged” and where he feels no one cares. I can only imagine the sadness this little boy deals with every day and the loneliness that must be so overwhelming to him, especially at night.
And this is ok how? And after 70 days, their has not been anything done to correct it? No reuniting of this Mother with her terminally ill child? How Is this happening? Where Is the compassion and understanding by those that keep “ the best interest of the child” their number one priority? Or is this little boy, that is stuck In a situation, without a voice, completely accurate when he says he feels no one cares?
This is not acceptable, and not how caring, compassionate and loving individuals treat anyone, let alone those that have no voice and are our most precious commodity…our children. Taking it a step further, a terminally ill 8 year old little boy, that’s Innocently caught up in a system that has no concern for
his need to be in the loving arms of the person that he knows cares, and that makes him feel the best, his Mother.
The difference between the “CPS system” and a strong and loving family “system,” is a loving family will never lose sight of their mission, to keep “the best interest of the child(ren)” their number one priority, and they mean it.
Update: The children are scheduled to be placed back in the family home on February 24th — without their Mother.
VERY FEW ON EARTH ARE OLDER OR KINDER THAN WILLITS’ EDIE CECCARELLI AT 112
DA NOW SEEING IT CLEARLY: No sooner had I written last week that DA Eyster intended to re-try Tai Abreu for murder than Tai himself writes,
"District Attorney Eyster counter offered 24 to life which I turned down… Were District Attorney Eyster to offer something more commensurate to my actual involvement I would be more inclined to save the state and county time and money by resolving this issue prior to the actual hearing. As it stands, I have served just over 18 years in prison (October 4, 2001 to present) for what amounts to an absolute maximum of nine years on a robbery. The evidence of my involvement on even that crime is shoddy, though I have never denied that I was in fact participant in a robbery.
"According to the absolute worst interpretation of the evidence, I served as a getaway driver in a planned robbery. During the course of this robbery my two compatriots chased the victim down the road and down an embankment while I remained at the victim's vehicle out of sight or knowledge of their actions. According to one statement, I was informed after the fact that Mr. Channel had killed the victim using a knife (though I never saw a knife, handled a knife, was aware a knife even existed, nor was any knife ever recovered -- or cause of death definitively determined).
"As you are aware, Mr. Channel was released from prison approximately 2 years ago and is now at home in Reno with his wife and (two?) children, thus prompting the question — How can the actual killer in this felony murder be out with his family while I sit here with life without parole?"
"I don't know if it has been made public as of yet, but during the course of my incarceration, I have completed Alternatives To Violence Training, Getting Out By Going in (GOGI) lifestyle training, achieved a Certificate of Accomplishment in Business Administration from Lassen Community College, have nearly completed an Associates in Science Degree in Business Administration through Lassen Community College (which is transferable), have obtained Credentials of Ministry, and secured admission to Sacramento State University through Project Rebound upon my eventual release, have attained numerous related certifications through correspondence programs such as Herbert W. Armstrong College, Scriptures for America Ministries, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I am computer literate with an interest in coding, and capable of learning nearly any job you can put in front of me. I have a near perfect prison disciplinary record including previous employment in positions with constant contact with correctional staff. I have worked for the prison administration in official and unofficial capacities and I am currently employed as a teacher's aide instructing students with between ninth and twelfth grade educations in the field of mathematics (my personal math training includes college-level algebra, statistics, trigonometry, and introductory calculus).
"I have secured housing in Redding with my sister Shadow, have a property management offer in Humboldt County, and have created a viable business opportunity.
"With all of this in consideration hopefully the judiciary of Mendocino County will recognize that not only am I NOT a threat to society, I am an asset with extremely high potential to succeed and give back to the community which I have damaged."
HDSP Facility A5-205
Susanville, CA 96127
ADD LOOK-ALIKES: Flynn Washburne, Fred Astaire
BIDDING ADIEU: SHERIFF TOM ALLMAN’S RETIREMENT AUCTION RAISED $50 FOR SEARCH & RESCUE
MEASURE V, an on-line exchange from Scott Roat and Sakina Bush:
Measure V is actually deceptively simple. Here's my take.
If one were to intentionally kill and leave dead standing timber, then that act is now declared a public nuisance, per the voice of the electorate. That's it.
Prior to this, if a conflagration happened as a result of this practice and were to destroy your property, your life, or the life of a loved one, you would have no rights as it would effectively be considered a force majeure. This simple Measure now allows such injured parties to seek redress - as the intentional practice has now been declared a nuisance.
This Measure does not target herbicides nor MRC (Mendocino Redwood Company), even though MRC does practice this technique and is perhaps the largest responsible party in the County.
MRC has made numerous claims, but County Counsel does not agree with them. The claim that the Measure supersedes a State Law also seems to be another attempt by MRC to obscure the issue and ignore the wishes of the County in which they operate. MRC's letter was so contentious that Acting County Counsel, Christian Curtis, cautioned, after rebutting each claim in a thoughtful letter dated 11/18/19, that public safety concerns would be better served through collaborative and solution-based approaches rather than the adversarial proceedings threatened by MRC.
Further, it is my opinion that the Supervisors have been complicit in forestalling the enforcement of the Measure and, as such, are not performing their role in serving Community interests. It is not the position of the Supervisors to interpret the will of the voter, it is their role to correctly apply the law.
P.S. Yesterday, the Supes just pushed the issue back to Committee rather than actually doing something. Again. I think it's very unfortunate that this decision is being further delayed unnecessarily, 3 years now. I think some Supervisors are very glad this is happening after the election - pay attention if their position changes. How to hold them to task?
Also, there's Lindy Peters again - I don't know him well, but I am consistently impressed that he appears to be concerned about his constituents in a service-oriented approach. I believe he is going to help move this County forward.
Sakina Bush wrote: You are in error in saying that the “Supes just pushed the issue back to committee.” Ted Williams made a motion, which passed all in favor except McCowen, that instructs County Counsel to specify with an enforcement plan. Detailing an enforcement plan is not going back to committee. The point was clearly made that the law is to be enforced and the details will be defined ASAP. The Committee was encouraged to keep working to come up with ideas and alternatives for commercial timber. The approval of the motion was recorded and I believe you can view it on line. I commend all the citizens, most of them women, who showed up, waited, and spoke with wisdom, intelligence, and grace to the supervisors on this issue.
Roat Replied: Hi Sakina, I read it differently, but I stand corrected. I actually thought I watched Supervisor Williams call for a decision now, and reluctantly accede to a later and then a later date as it didn’t work with the schedule. There was mention that three years is more than enough time to attend to the will of the voters. Thank you for any clarification, however – it’s very much appreciated! Yes, kudos to all those who spoke and joined the Community dialogue.
KIRK DOUGLAS, HOLLYWOOD ICON AND SPARTACUS STAR, DIES AT 103
With over 92 acting credits, including some 75 movies, Douglas became a superstar even before the term was coined.
RECOMMENDED READING: ‘American Pastoral’ by Philip Roth. If you’re prepared to take the word of a person who at least gives the highly touted books a look, give ‘American Pastoral’ a read. Roth’s novel manages to encapsulate in the collapse of one solidly middleclass family what amounts to the end of a bold and confident American bourgeoisie. A perfect couple, circa 1950, produces a child who grows up to become a Weatherman-style revolutionary, blowing up irrelevant structures and harmless people just like the real life sons and daughters of the privileged occasionally did during the 60s and the early 70s. The parents of this ingrate and lunatic are of course bewildered by their daughter’s choice of vocations, ignoring one relative’s sane insight that the kid is more at war with her parents than she is capitalism and/or fascism. It's fair to say that Trump is at least a proto-fascist and America has always had a large and strongly authoritarian-oriented segment of its population. If you, as a liberal, or even a radical political person, have ever had the experience of being denounced with more vehemence than the nutso left ever seems to muster for their official enemies, you’ll appreciate the masterful job Roth does here of getting inside the mind of a person who translates her personal misery into a dangerously deluded and ultimately false leftwing radicalism. Mendo examples abound.
ALSO KINDA RECOMMENDED as an inside look at the working of the efficiently repressive modern Chinese state, "Bullets and Opium — China after the Tiananmen Square Massacre" by Liao Yi Wu. A grim account by survivors of harsh prison sentences in startlingly harsh prison told by ordinary democracy protesters and a few leaders of the protests. Many of the better-connected university students who began the famous agitation of April 1989 for democratic reforms either escaped to the West or eluded prison. But the rest, even those only marginally involved, were systematically hunted down, tortured and imprisoned for, at a minimum, seven years. Since Tiananmen, China, a capitalist police state with a few socialist guarantees, has perfected its repressive apparatus to include face-recognition technology. All correct-thinking people will support Hong Kong's fight to stay free of the monster next door.
COCKTAIL NAPKIN circa 1972, 44¢ cents from the original Cost Plus.
FIFTH DISTRICT SUPERVISOR Ted Williams uses his “Supervisors Report” to address real issues, in stark contrast to his four colleagues who mostly drone on at length about meetings they attended and what the topics of the other meetings were.
For example, on Tuesday, Williams somewhat belatedly realized that the County had been bum’s rushed into a major Mental Health project that was not thought through and should be reconsidered: The Orchard Street mental health facilities project (conveniently next door to Redwood Community Services’ existing operation) was pushed through on the basis that the County had to act fast (nevermind that the project has been on the table for three years now) or the County might lose a half a mil in state grant funds. (The state has threatened to withhold the funds at least three times now, each time extending the deadline to allow Mendo to apply so there’s no real rush.)
Williams: “The Orchard Street Project. I know we did not want to give up $500,000. But the more I learn about how crisis residential works, I'm regretful. I don't think it's the right location. I think that you need transitional housing because nobody gets completely treated in a CSU [crisis stabilization unit] in 23 hours or in CRT [crisis residential treatment] in 30 days. There has to be follow-up, otherwise you're just throwing money away, it's not effective. So the continuum is what's critical. I see us working on this piecemeal. Checking boxes. We will do a CSU. We'll do a CRT. But we need a complete end to end plan. The Sheriff came and asked about a business plan and that's exactly what we need, the full scope. I'm afraid we are endeavoring down a piecemeal path that in the end may not provide a full spectrum of care. So we will not maximize the value on the public funds. Additionally, I understand the CRT may not fully reimbursable. I'm sure staff will address this at some point. But my understanding is that it is up to 50% match with Medicaid. Maybe there's some realignment dollars. But that comes to, We need a business plan with a financial statement that shows the breakdown of how this will work. Residential treatment works well when it's in a residential setting with a residential structure. The idea that this county government can build a structure for less than buying an existing structure — even when you figure the $500,000 from the state — I don't see how that's possible. I think in the end by taking this grant we are going to spend more money overall.”
Rather than denounce Williams for this minor heresy like they did Sakowicz, the Board simply ignored him. Later Supervisor McCowen made some vague reference to the “feasibility study” that the expensive Sacramento consultant is supposedly doing (to justify the Orchard Street project, not objectively consider it). And CEO Angelo mentioned how the Adventists have been asked for input. But neither of those comments addressed Williams’ question. Nobody is interested in revisiting the Orchard Avenue property project because nobody but Williams cares how much it will end up costing or whether any of it is effective.
WILLIAMS also found fault with the bi-annual “Point In Time” count of homeless people in Mendocino County.
“I volunteered to participate in the homeless point in time count. What I saw was volunteers working extremely hard to pull it off and for the most part I think it follows the HUD guidelines. I also don't believe we have an accurate count. There must be a better way for this county to count the homeless population, whether it's looking at records from the previous 12 months to see who got services or… But simply having volunteers drive around trying to spot homeless between a certain window of time is not accurate. I know that funding is attached to it so we are likely to see, not in this county but elsewhere, exaggerations…”
Oh no, Mendo would never exaggerate their homeless numbers to keep the legions of helping pros employed, never mind that Supervisor McCowen and homeless consultant Robert Marbut have both said Mendo’s count was way too high.
Williams: “I also think it's possible to undercount. I know one area where I usually see 15 or 20 homeless, we only counted four. Maybe we were there at the wrong time of day, maybe the weather conditions pushed them somewhere else where they were having a party down the road. The bottom line is we do not get funding for people that we know are homeless and need services. I brought this to HHSA [Health & Human Services Agency] and it looks like it's more of the continuum of care problem which got me thinking why the continuum of care is not reporting to the county directly.”
Williams will be wondering about that for a long, long time. The “Continuum of Care” is nothing but an empty phrase describing an overlarge amorphous lump (aka “collaborative” or “broad spectrum”) of local self-interested homeless helping staffers (County employees and government-funded non-profits) described on the County’s website as “The Mendocino County Homeless Services Continuum of Care (MCHSCoC) is a collaborative of over thirty-one agencies throughout Mendocino County” with their own self-selected 19-member “governing board.” Marbut also noted that that the MCHSCoC was not doing much to actually help the homeless, much less house them.
Take-Out Dinner Menu
We are enjoying these beautiful albeit cold winter days here at the Market. We have been staying warm by cooking up an assortment of delicious meals for you to take home on those days you can't make dinner. You can pick them up from us frozen or, if you call ahead we can throw it in the oven here at the Market and have it ready for you to pick up hot and ready to eat.
Here is what is available today:
Chicken Pot Pie Macaroni and Cheese Vegetarian Lasagne with pesto, kale and portobellos Tuna Noodle Casserole Chicken Enchiladas Enmoladas (in mole sauce)
In addition to these main dishes we are creating a variety of side dishes to compliment your meal. We have a beet salad, kale salad, potato salad, and delicious vegan sun-dried tomato tarts with green beans and zucchini made by Amy (see attached picture).
We will continue to add new dishes to our list, and would be happy to take requests for anything you are craving.
Thank you for supporting the Yorkville Market!
Valentines Day Dinner
Friday 2/14 at 5:30pm for a fancy pre-fixe 6 course dinner:
- Marinated Manchego - Yorkville olives, seville orange, winter herbs
- Crab Bisque - Puffed Crescent, citrus garnish
- Handmade Beet Pasta - Meyer lemon, candied walnuts, crumbled feta, mint
- Butter Lettuce Salad - Blood oranges, creme fraiche dressing
- Filet Mignon - Potatoes Pommes Anna, brussel sprouts, port reduction sauce
- Trio of Decadent Confections - Chocolate mousse cake, Lemon meringue tart, Cardamom madelines
Price $65 per person
- Marinated Manchego - Yorkville olives, seville orange preserve, winter herbs
- Tomato Bisque - Olive tapenade crostini
- Handmade Beet Pasta - Meyer lemon, candied walnuts, crumbled feta, mint
- Butter Lettuce Salad - Blood oranges, creme fraiche dressing
- Wild Mushroom Wellington - Port reduction sauce, brussel sprouts
- Trio of Decadent Confections - Chocolate mousse cake, Lemon meringue tart, Cardamom madelines
Price $55 per person
Please RSVP at (707) 894-9456.
Lisa at Yorkville Market firstname.lastname@example.org
FLORIDA TROOPERS FIND NARCOTICS IN BAG LABELED ‘BAG FULL OF DRUGS’
MARILYN MOTHERBEAR WRITES:
"On the first day of Imbolc, the earth gave me a gift — an early-blooming narcissus. Last year, I picked up a broken pot from my deck, small bulbs fallen amongst the dirt. I picked them up and put them loosely in a small pot, just to hold them, planning to repot them “later.” Every once in awhile, I looked at the careless capture of these little shriveled dry bulbs, wondering if they had any life in them; but still did not get around to potting them. One day, I began to feel their nakedness; so, I sprinkled some dirt from an old pot over the bulbs. Still not potted; just a bit of cover and perhaps a taste of nourishment, all of the bulbs piled in on top of and close to one another. The rains came though the pot was not exposed to any but what the wind and air carried to the place the pot sat. All I gave these bulbs was a distracted inability to do more than observe they were there and needed more. And yet, a couple days ago, this tiny, lovely, little bloom appeared. It was truly tiny (enlarged for the photo); but the joy I experienced upon seeing it was so big. A certain humility accompanied my heartfelt gratitude. Then, the weather brought an overnight drop to near freezing temperatures. When I looked at the flower to see how it fared, the lithe green stems had bent over and the narcissus leaned its head toward the ground. I brought the pot inside, placing it on the kitchen windowsill. And once again, the stems raised up and the bloom lifted it’s little head high, opening even more by the next morning. Now, a second bloom is starting to show. Such a small effort on my part and such a great offering on the part of the Earth, mother to all life."
OL’ (TESTAMENT) ZEB
On Wenesday, January 29, 2020 at 1:37 P.M. Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to a reported theft at a business located in the 6100 block of North State Street in Calpella. Deputies responded to the area and spoke to an employee. The employee reported a white male had stolen a case of alcohol from a pallet that was being offloaded into the store. Security video captured the incident as it happened. Deputies searched the area for the suspect and vehicle depicted in the video. At 3:15 P.M. Deputies observed the vehicle parked in the 3300 block of North State. Deputies contacted an adult male as he was consuming the stolen alcohol. Deputies subsequently identified the adult male as Zebulon Couthren, 44, of Ukiah.
Couthren was found to be on active probation out of Mendocino County and that he had three outstanding misdemeanor warrants. Couthren was placed under arrest for felony theft with a prior, violation of probation and the three active warrants. A search of Couthren's person, incident to arrest, revealed a 2-inch switchblade knife. Couthren was placed under arrest for possession of the switchblade knife as well as the other charges. Couthren was booked into the Mendocino County Jail on the listed charges and was to be held in lieu of $15,000 bail.
1901 — 24TH ST. IN NOE VALLEY looking up towards Twin Peaks.
NO QUIZ THIS WEEK. You have another week to refresh the brain cells as the General Knowledge and Trivia Quiz takes place on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of every month and tomorrow is neither. We shall return to action next week at Lauren’s Restaurant on Thursday, Feb. 13th at 7pm. Hope to see you there. Cheers, Steve Sparks, Quiz Master
CATCH OF THE DAY, February 5, 2020
DANIEL BATTEN, Covelo. Under influence, paraphernalia, resisting.
MA FARIAS-CISNEROS, Redwood Valley. Assault with deadly weapon with great bodily injury, child endangerment.
BENJAMIN GAYSKI JR., Fort Bragg. County parole violation.
DUSTIN GOLYER, Ukiah. Controlled substance, probation revocation.
JESSIE LUCAS, Laytonville. Suspended license, probation violation.
BRYAN MARTINEZ, Rohnert Park/Redwood Valley. Loaded firearm-not registered owner, criminal street gang member with loaded firearm, stolen property, street gang participation, street terrorism, conspiracy.
ORLANDO MUNOZ, Ukiah. Robbery, assault with firearm, probation revocation.
JACOB PEREZ, Rohnert Park/Redwood Valley. Loaded firearm-not registered owner, criminal street gang member with loaded firearm, stolen property, street gang participation, street terrorism, conspiracy.
JOHNNY SHIELDS, Ukiah. Protective order violation. (Frequent flyer.)
ROBERT SMITH, Fort Bragg. DUI with priors, probation revocation.
JONATHAN THOMPSON, Fort Bragg. Suspended license, unlawful display of registration, failure to appear, probation revocaion.
LYDELL WILLIAMS, Covelo. Controlled substance, probation violation.
MATTHEW WILLIAMS, Oakland/Ukiah. Mandatory supervision sentencing.
DEMS WIMPY IMPEACHMENT HAS MADE TRUMP STRONGER THAN EVER
by Ted Rall
“Many Democrats fear that Trump may be laying an impeachment trap,” Stephen Collins wrote for CNN last May. “It’s possible that the wider political divides get, the more Trump benefits. The spectacle would help him charge up the political base he needs to turn out in droves in 2020 with claims their 2016 votes were being stolen by political elites.”
Give that man whatever passes for a cigar in this smokeless age.
Any number of metaphors serves to illustrate the unintended effect that the hapless failed impeachment of Donald Trump is having on his base of support. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger; the Democrats did just that with an attack that didn’t stand a chance of felling its target.
If you’re thinking about taking a swing at a bully at a bar, be sure you can deliver a roundhouse punch that’s going to lay the bastard out flat on the floor. But if you don’t have what it takes to bring him down with the first blow, sneak out to the parking lot.
The coronavirus outbreak has me thinking about disease. There’s a medical metaphor that I like best: when fighting off an infection it’s better not to use any medication than to take a weak antibiotic and risk strengthening what ails you.
No matter the analogy, President Trump emerges from his Senate impeachment trial as a more formidable adversary than he was before. While his overall popularity remains at about 46%, the number of voters who “strongly” support him just hit a three-year high, indicating that he is better off than before impeachment. This should come to the surprise of no one who remembers the humiliation of Bill Clinton. Republican overreach over Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky led to the Democrat leaving office in 2000 with soaring popularity.
Probably the biggest movement in favor of Trump has been with formerly “anti-Trump Republicans” who now see the truth of the President’s supporters’ claims that Democrats would do and say anything in order to get rid of a sitting Republican president. The ranks of Never Trumpers are shrinking, throwing a wrench into the strategy of centrist candidates like Biden and Buttigieg.
Polls in key swing states show disproportionately high disapproval for impeachment. Voters in these places tend to prefer antiestablishment candidates. Impeachment allows Trump to frame himself as the rebel getting picked on by the in-crowd, Congressional Democrats.
Impeachment — more specifically, this very lame, rushed, pro forma impeachment — also dispirits Democratic voters who see, once again, that the Democratic Party only seems to wage wars it knows it can’t win. What’s the point of voting for these clowns?
One thing is for sure: no matter what perfidy is discovered or comes to light in the future, it’s going to be all but impossible to take a second stab at impeachment. Now Trump really could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and get away with it. Impeaching the same President twice is all but inconceivable.
How did this happen? Democrats made one mistake after another.
First and foremost was the lousy choice of impeachment counts. Pressuring Ukraine to investigate the Bidens looked and felt too much like political business as usual, not a breach of normality so outrageous as to justify removal from office. Shades of Rob Blagojevich, former governor of Illinois.
The Ukraine line of inquiry prompted as many questions as it tried to ask. If Trump is corrupt, what about the Bidens? Why were we giving aid to Ukraine in the first place when millions of Americans are homeless or poor? Why should Americans care about Ukraine? The country certainly isn’t, as Democrats alleged, important to American national security.
A slim majority thought the Ukraine call was wrong. But they didn’t care enough to impeach him over it.
Americans did care about emoluments and the president using his office to enrich himself. They did care about his wacko temperament and erratic behavior. They did care about separating children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. Inexplicably, the Democrats let the good bad stuff go.
Democrats screwed up badly with timing. You don’t have to be James Carville to know that it’s foolish to start an impeachment trial at the beginning of a presidential election campaign. You certainly don’t do it when many of your big-name candidates are senators who can’t campaign because they are stuck in Washington. Yet that’s exactly what Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff did.
Starting the impeachment process so late in Trump’s first term forced Democrats into a rushed pro-forma process. Because Trump Administration officials broadcasted their intention to resist congressional subpoenas and the courts might have taken months to compel them to testify, Democratic prosecutors didn’t bother to subpoena key Republican witnesses or documents. (GOP obstruction became the basis for a dubious second count, “contempt of Congress.”)
None of this would have been a problem had the “resistance” started working on impeachment in 2017. If they were worried about the politicizing effort of impeachment on the midterm elections, they could have begun impeachment in December 2018, which would have given them enough time to work through the court system last year.
No serious student of politics thought there was a real chance that this process, rushed over a relatively inconsequential issue, could convince 17 Republican Senators to vote to remove a president for the first time in American history. Nevertheless, Democrats started a fight they knew they couldn’t win.
Now liberals are dispirited. The president goes into his reelection campaign stronger than ever. A second term looks likelier than ever. Heckuva job, Nancy and Adam.
(Ted Rall, syndicated writer and the cartoonist for ANewDomain.net, is the author of the book “Snowden,” the biography of the NSA whistleblower.)
HOW CORPORATE MEDIA MAKE PETE LOOK LIKE HE’S WINNING
If you turn to the New York Times for an update on the excruciatingly and inexplicably slow counting of the votes from the Iowa caucuses, you find what looks like a bar chart showing that South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg did approximately 50 times better than any of his next closest rivals.
GLENN MCGOURTY LIVE ON KZYX, Thursday Feb 6 @ 6pm
I'll be on KZYX sharing my priorities and vision for Mendocino County on Thursday from 6-6:30 pm and would love to hear from you. You can call in with questions at 707.895.2448 or email email@example.com them ahead of time and I'll do my best to address them live on air.
JAMES MARMON WRITES: "I hate to admit it but, I didn't take Early Voting into account. I apologize to all. John Sakowicz was technically electioneering today because early voting started yesterday, an honest mistake, he's been warned. However, the attack on Sakowicz made by McCowen after the Registrar of Voters spoke was uncalled for. I don't know what Sakowicz's button or introduction to the board had to do with McCowen's outburst about the candidate erroneously stating that RCS gets 20 million dollars a year to provide mental health services instead of naming RQMC as the culprit, everyone gets RQMC and RCS mixed up. That's the whole problem."
DNC LOSES PUBLIC TRUST IN PRIMARY PROCESS ON VERY FIRST DAY
If such extremely shady shenanigans had occurred in Russia or Venezuela, within minutes Mike Pompeo would have been holding a press conference demanding a new election under UN supervision and an international coalition of sanctions. It’s hilarious how America is constantly staging coups, implementing sanctions and arming violent militias on the basis that their government has an illegitimate democratic process, yet its own most important electoral proceedings would make any third world tin pot dictator blush.
JERRY RICE TEARS INTO SUPER BOWL LIV REFS, CALLS AGAINST 49ERS: 'ARE YOU SERIOUS?'
AP FACT CHECKS TRUMP
Trump: “Before I came into office, if you showed up illegally on our southern border and were arrested, you were simply released and allowed into our country, never to be seen again. My administration has ended catch-and-release. If you come illegally, you will now be promptly removed.”
The Facts: Not true. Under previous administrations, Mexicans were quickly returned back over the U.S.-Mexico border, while others were held in detention until they were deported. Some migrants from other countries were released into the interior of the United States to wait out their immigration cases.
And despite Trump’s claims that all migrants are now “promptly” removed, there is a 1 million immigration court case backlog, which means many migrants wait up to three years before a court hearing before a judge who will determine whether someone is deported. And after a judge rules a migrant deported, travel papers must be obtained, which often leads to further delays.
As for ending “catch and release,” Trump actually expanded that policy last year during a surge in migrants, releasing thousands of migrants who flooded shelters along the border. The surge has since passed, so fewer people are being held and fewer would need to be released. But an effort by immigration officials to detain children indefinitely was blocked by a judge, so children are still released into the country.
More On The State Of The Union – Trump uses State of Union to campaign; Pelosi rips up speech – Democrats' response to Trump turns to working-class worries – The Latest: Michigan Gov. Whitmer delivers response to Trump OIL AND GAS
Trump: “Thanks to our bold regulatory reduction campaign, the United States has become the number one producer of oil and natural gas, anywhere in the world, by far.”
The Facts: Trump is taking credit for a U.S. oil and gas production boom that started under Obama. The U.S. Energy Information Administration says the U.S. has been the world’
That’s owing to a U.S. shale boom that has driven production up since 2011, not to deregulation or any other new effort by the Trump administration.
JOBS And ECONOMY
Trump: “In eight years under the last administration, over 300,000 working-age people dropped out of the workforce. In just three years of my administration, 3.5 million working-age people have joined the workforce.”
The Facts: Trump is being misleading with numbers to tarnish his predecessor’s record. It’s not clear what he means by “working-age.” But the total size of the U.S. labor force shows that the president is just wrong.
During the eight years of Barack Obama’s presidency, the labor force rose by 5.06 million, according to the Labor Department. The improvement reflected a rebounding economy from the Great Recession and population growth.
As the unemployment rate has fallen, more people are finding it attractive to work and joining the labor force. This has enabled the labor force to climb by an impressive 4.86 million in just three years under Trump.
Trump: “The USMCA will create nearly 100,000 new high-paying American auto jobs, and massively boost exports for our farmers, ranchers and factory workers.”
The Facts: The president is exaggerating.
The U.S. International Trade Commission examined the deal with Canada and Mexico in an April report. The report estimated that the deal would add only 28,000 auto industry jobs six years after the deal is implemented. Separately, government officials are quoted in the report saying they believe the sector would add 76,000 jobs based on their methodology.
It’s still not the 100,000 jobs claimed by Trump.
Trump: “From the instant I took office, I moved rapidly to revive the U.S. economy — slashing a record number of job killing-regulations, enacting historic and record-setting tax cuts, and fighting for fair and reciprocal trade agreements.
The Facts: The U.S. economy indeed is healthy, but it’s had plenty of hiccups during the Trump administration.
Trump never quite managed to achieve the liftoff he promised during the 2016 election. Instead, gains have largely followed along the same lines of an expansion that started more than a decade ago under Obama.
Total economic growth last year was 2.3%. That is roughly in line with the average gains achieved after the Great Recession — and a far cry from growth of as much 3%, 4% or more that Trump told voters he could deliver.
The tax cuts did temporarily boost growth in 2018 as deficit spending increased. But the administration claimed its tax plan would increase business investment in ways that could fuel lasting growth. For the past three quarters, business investment has instead declined.
It’s too soon to judge the impact of the updated trade agreement with Mexico and Canada as well as the pact with China. But Trump premised his economic policy on wiping out the trade gap. Instead, the trade deficit has worsened under Trump.
Trump: “For the first time in 51 years, the cost of prescription drugs actually went down.”
The Facts: Prices for prescription drugs have edged down, but that is driven by declines for generics. Prices for brand-name medications are still going up, although more moderately.
Nonpartisan government experts at the Department of Health and Human Services reported last year that prices for pharmacy prescriptions went down by 1% in 2018, the first such price drop in 45 years.
The department said the last time retail prescription drug prices declined was in 1973, when they went down by 0.2%.
Trump: “We are restoring our nation’s manufacturing might, even though predictions were that this could never be done. After losing 60,000 factories under the previous two administrations, America has now gained 12,000 new factories under my administration.”
The Facts: Not quite.
Manufacturing has slumped in the past year, after having advanced in the prior two years. The president’s tariffs regime and slower growth worldwide hurt the sector in ways that suggest that Trump’s policies robbed it of some of its previous strength.
Factory output fell 1.3% over the past 12 months, according to the Federal Reserve. Manufacturing job gains went from more than 260,000 at the end of 2018 to a paltry 46,000 for the 12 months ended in December, according to the Labor Department. Manufacturers lost jobs last year in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — the older industrial states where Trump had promised revival.
Trump: “We will always protect patients with preexisting conditions.”
The Facts: That’s a promise, not a guarantee.
The Trump administration is backing a lawsuit by conservative-led states that would overturn the entire Affordable Care Act, including its guarantees that people cannot be turned down or charged more for health insurance because of preexisting medical problems.
Trump and congressional Republicans have vowed they will protect people with preexisting conditions, but they have not specified how they would do that.
Estimates of how many people could potentially be affected if “Obamacare’s” protections for preexisting conditions are eliminated range from about 54 million working-age adults, in a study last year from the Kaiser Family Foundation, to as many as 133 million people in a 2017 government study that also included children.
SOCIAL SECURITY and MEDICARE
Trump: “We will always protect your Medicare and your Social Security.”
The Facts: In a recent television interview, the president appeared to suggest that he’s willing to consider entitlement cuts in the future.
During the CNBC interview, Trump was asked if tackling entitlements would ever be on his agenda. “At some point they will be,” he responded.
As a candidate in 2016, Trump vowed not to cut benefit programs like Social Security and Medicare.
In the CNBC interview, Trump said dealing with entitlements would be “the easiest of all things” and suggested higher economic growth would make it easier to reduce spending on the programs.
Soon after the interview, Trump appeared to soften on the issue, tweeting about Social Security: “I have totally left it alone, as promised, and will save it!
LET'S BEGIN AT THE BEGINNING. What does privatization really mean? Essentially, it is the transfer of public productive assets from the State to private companies. Productive assets include natural resources. Earth, forest, water, air. These are assets that the State holds in trust for the people it represents. In a country like India, 70 per cent of the population lives in rural areas. That's 700 million people. Their lives depend directly on access to natural resources. To snatch these away and sell them as stock to private companies is a process of barbaric dispossession on a scale that has no parallel in history.
ROSE PRUNING WORKSHOP THIS SAT
Winter Rose Care Workshop
Saturday, February 8, 2020 from 10:00AM to 12:00PM at Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens
Bring new life to your rose garden with a hard winter snip and clip! Join MCBG Gardener Mishele Stettenbenz for a hands-on training and learn basic techniques for pruning and shaping roses and other ornamental shrubs. Discover a variety of methods as Mishele discusses different types of roses and demonstrate how to prune each. Bring your leather gloves and a pair of pruners.
American Horticultural Society Pruning & Training
(buy the book through AmazonSmile and a percentage of your purchase will be donated to the Gardens; go to smile.amazon.com/ch/94-2800886)
Class cost is $15 for members and Master Gardeners; $20 for non-members (includes Gardens admission for the day). Payment is due upon sign-up. Please note, all workshop fees are non-refundable unless the workshop has been canceled or rescheduled by the Gardens. Class size is limited! Please reserve your space by phoning 707-964-4352 ext. 16 or stop by The Garden Store at MCBG.
Alongside search-and-destroy missions, there was an ever more relentless aerial assault on the wildernesses in which the communists sought refuge. Operation Trail Dust, defoliation of infiltration routes, began in 1961. In July 1965, the first vegetation killers were unleashed in the heart of South Vietnam, where chemical clouds drifted onto orchards near Bien Hoa and Lai Thieu, with disasterous consequences for crops of mango, custard apple, jackfruit, and pineapple. Almost overnight, fruit fell; leaves turned brown on thousands of rubber trees. Local people were at first bewildered, unable to comprehend the cause of this apparent natural disaster. When the truth emerged, farmers were not much comforted by assurances that the consequences of Agent Orange would not linger for more than a year. A Southern colonel observed that the popular anger and distress caused by defoliation around inhabited areas "far eclipsed any military gain." He acknowledged nonetheless that defoliants were effective in denying the enemy jungle communication routes, especially in the mangrove swamps along the Saigon River.
The program peaked in 1968-69: in all, almost twenty million gallons of defoliants, over half of them dioxin-contaminated, were sprayed throughout Indochina. This remains one of the most vexed issues in posterity's view of the war: it is impossible to avoid a sense of revulsion about systematic destruction of the natural environment to serve tactical purposes. It is hard to doubt that some Vietnamese, and perhaps Americans too, suffered ill effects from Agent Orange. It seems nonetheless prudent to be cautious about extreme twenty-first century claims made by Hanoi, and by some American bodies, that hundreds of thousands of people of the war generation suffered lasting harm — birth defects, cancer, and other hideous diseases. Hanoi's official history of the war gives figures of two million civilians affected by Agent Orange. Yet for humans to suffer serious harm they would have needed to face heavy sustained exposure to dioxins on a scale that relatively few did. An ARVN veteran recently noted that he and his comrades constantly handled defoliants, broadcasting them from hand-pump sprayers, without ill effects. He suggests that Vietnamese farmers' notoriously reckless use of insecticides is as likely to have injured their health as did Agent Orange.
Be that as it may, Australia's Justice Philip Evart spent two years in the 1980s examining evidence about the effects of Agent Orange on his countrymen who served in Vietnam and produced a report of nine volumes and 2,760 pages, which found the chemical not guilty. One of the scientific advisers to the Royal Commission said with typical Australian bluntness, "Most of the problems that worried the veterans after the Vietnam War weren't due to Agent Orange: they were just due to it being a bloody awful war." Evart suggested that tobacco, alcohol, and post traumatic stress were the most convincing and widespread causes of veterans' difficulties. A historian is not obliged to pass a verdict on Agent Orange in the face of rival masses of contradictory evidence. The defoliant was indisputably a loathsome instrument; yet that does not make it necessary to accept the more extreme claims made about its effects on human beings exposed to it.
—Max Hastings, "Vietnam"
SANDERS AND BUTTIGIEG NEARLY TIED IN IOWA AMID NEW CLAIMS OF COUNTING ERRORS
Race remains too close to call with 97% of precincts reported, but contest marred by fresh allegations of inaccurate vote-counting
MENDOCINO COUNTY OFFICE OF EDUCATION: A PERSPECTIVE ON EDUCATION: Why Schools Need Taxpayer Support for Capital Improvements
by Michelle Hutchins, County Superintendent of Schools
Several local school districts have placed bond measures on the March 2020 ballot. Ukiah Unified has Measure A. Fort Bragg Unified has Measure B. Willits Unified has Measure G. Mendocino Unified has Measure H. And in November, Anderson Valley Unified will put a bond measure on the ballot.
People are sometimes confused as to why school districts ask for bond funding from local taxpayers, so I thought I’d explain who pays for what when it comes to education.
As a rule, annual state funding only pays for school district operations. It’s not meant to cover capital improvements. In Mendocino County, that responsibility primarily belongs to local taxpayers. Operations includes day-to-day expenses such as employee salaries and benefits, classroom supplies, and utilities. Capital improvements include major expenditures such as new roofs, new heating and air conditioning units, and even new buildings.
Prior to the 1970s, local property tax revenue funded school districts, and local school boards set the property tax rate. This worked well for affluent areas where assessed property values increased quickly, but not so well for economically disadvantaged areas.
To even things out, the California Supreme Court created a formula that redistributed property taxes across the State to equalize per-pupil funding. In 1978, voters unhappy with the redistribution passed Proposition 13, which reduced the property tax rate across the state to 1 percent of assessed property value and provided for a maximum 2 percent increase in assessed value per year until the property was sold. When sold, the property receives a step up to market value, and then resumes the maximum 2 percent per year increase, until the property changes hands again.
Districts with high property values per student, known as Community Funded or Basic Aid districts, were solely funded by property taxes—they received no State aid. However, they were allowed to keep the excess property taxes generated within their districts, thereby generating higher per-pupil funding than their less fortunate neighbors.
These two events transferred the funding responsibility of public schools from the local level to the State level, and with no new available funding, the State chronically underfunded public education.
In response, voters passed Proposition 98 in 1988, which set a minimum funding guarantee for public education at about 40 percent of the State budget. The initiative also came with its own set of loopholes that allowed the legislature to defer funding under certain conditions. During the recession that began in 2008, funding deferrals and reductions pushed California to the bottom of the list in the United States in per-pupil funding by 2011.
In 2013-14, the State enacted a new public-school funding formula known as the Local Control Funding Formula, or LCFF. The goal of “LCFF” is to return educational decisions back to the local community, provide equalized per-pupil funding, and offer additional resources to provide targeted services that support English language learners, low-income students and foster youth. However, LCFF does not provide additional funding for capital improvements, so that remains in large part a local responsibility.
KEEPING SCHOOLS IN WORKING ORDER
Repairing and properly maintaining school facilities often allows them to last longer, so capital improvements can be a good long-term strategy. Also, sometimes schools need to invest in new facilities to keep up with new technology or increased student populations.
Schools can only raise capital improvement funds in a few ways: general obligation bonds, developer fees, the sale of existing properties, receiving philanthropic gifts, or via matching funds from the State (a 60/40 state/local split for modernization projects and a 50/50 split for new construction).
School bonds are often the best choice because they spread costs among many people and are repaid over time—reducing the financial burden on any individual. Bonds work similarly to home loans; they allow the borrower (school districts) to spend money right away and then pay it back over time.
Done properly, the decision to put a bond measure on the ballot occurs only after school districts have completed a needs assessment and/or a facility master plan—then synchronized the estimated costs of needed facilities improvements with community feedback and all available resources (bonds, State matching funds, etc.). Once school districts have determined a prioritized list of needs through this process, they create their project lists which bond funds can pay for.
The project lists are incorporated into the resolution placing the measure on the ballot, which is prepared by the district’s legal counsel, who often works with a financial advisor, an architect or construction management firm, and a variety of other team members and stakeholders. Ideally, the whole team collectively structures bond programs that local taxpayers can afford and that will allow the district to achieve as many of its goals as possible.
Every voter must determine whether to support local school bond measures. I encourage all voters to educate themselves on the project lists and tax rate statements associated with each bond measure included in their sample ballot. If questions remain, people should reach out to their local superintendent or school board members before the March election for information.
Finally, I’d like to thank MCOE Director of External Business Services Meg Kailikole for her contribution to this article.
FOUND OBJECT [you provide the caption]