- Dry Times
- Campaign Contributions
- Senior Fundraiser
- B Breakdown
- Every Star
- Exemption Doc
- Hopland Crash
- Cannabis Tweaks
- Idaho Dreamstate
- Spreading Forests
- Yesterday's Catch
- Trotskys Tampico
- Haschak Meeting
- Animal Cruelty
- Your Country
- Targeting Assange
- Vegas Debate
- Low Wages
- Rodin Voter
- Nice Dear
- Eel Friends
- Rental Ghouls
- Card Skimmers
- Found Object
DRY AND MILD WEATHER will continue through Saturday as high pressure remains in control. The tail end of a cold front may clip the northern part of our area with some light rain on Sunday. Dry weather will continue to dominate next week. (NWS)
SUPERVISOR CANDIDATE CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS (as of latest February 2020 filings with County Elections office)
Candidate John Sakowicz
- John Sakowicz, $2,000
- Stephen Projan, Retired, $2,000
Candidate Glenn McGourty
- SEIU Local 1021, $5,000
- John Valentic, Dermatologist, UVMC $500
- Jan McGourty (wife), $2,000
- Barry Vogel, $125.
- McFadden Vineyard. $1,000
- John Buchsenstein, “Wine Educator,” $200
- Alex deGrassi, $100
- Ann & Tommy Thornill, $100
- Donna Moschetti, $100
- Phyllis Curtis $200
Candidate James Green
- Janet Lapierre, Ret’d. $500
- Chris Philbrick, $500
- Ross Liberty, $999
- Paul Green, $100
- Johnny Keyes. $1,000
Candidate Jon Kennedy
- Chris Philbrick, $500
- Donald Foster, $250
- Kerry Randall, $100
- Eve King, $100
- Jim Leddy, $100
- Janet Upton, $50
Candidate Mari Rodin
- Mari Rodin, $1,000
- Burt Rodin (retired), $2,000
- Barry Vogel, $300
- Katrina Frey, $200
- Guiness McFaden, $250
- Susan Rounds (Educator, Dharma Realm), $100
- Renee Vinyard, Phys. Asst. Adv. Health, $250
- John Schaeffer, $250
- Norm Rosen Esq., $250
- Justin Peterson Esq., $320
- Adina Merenlener, Researcher Hopland Field Station, $2060.
- Lisa Hillegas Esq., $125
- Margaret O’Rourke Esq., $200
- Martha Barra, $1,000
- John McCowen $1,000
- Madelyn Yeo. $100
- Susan Jassen. $100
- Michael Cannon. $300
- Timothy Pletcher, $100
- Ian Roth, $100
- Alan Nicholson, $100
- Clare Friendlander, $100
- Marvin Trotter, $100
- Howell Hawkes, $250
Candidate Maureen Mulheren
- Suzanne Pletcher $100
- James Mulheren (Father). $500
- Edward Mulheren $100
- Patrick Pekin Esq. $250
- Brandy Moulton $520
- Jim Brown (retired Prob. Chief, former City Councilman): $100
- Lester Marston Esq. $500
- William Nathan (Consultant). $900
- Shannon Johnson North American Organics. $1350
- Cold Creek Compost. $500
- Dina Polkinghorne (Project Sanctuary). $200
- SEIU 1021. $5,000
- Cynthia Dumont. $100
- Sunshine Pleasants, $120
- Julie Beardsley, $100
- Jodi Todd, $100
- Melanie Bagby, $144
- Chiah Rodrigues, $100
- W.Bies Valasco, $100
- Maureen Mulheren. $92
Candidate Joel Soinila
- Charles Bartleson (retired). $1,000
- Cynthia Jeavons (“Activist”). $700
- John Jeavons, $150
- Vicki Roberts, $65
- Helen Raiser, $350
- Moises Gonzalez, $25
- Scott Miller, $20
- Matt Leach. $37
- Steven McCall, $20
- Mark Maples, $10
- Alyssa Ballard, $100
- Katrina Ballard, $100
- Kirk Kimmelshue, $100
Candidate Dan Gjerde
- Dan Gjerde. $950
Candidate Lindy Peters
- Michael Strup, Wood Wide Farms. $500
FROM SUPERVISOR WILLIAMS:
Subject: RQMC/Measuring Mental Health
Board of Supervisors Agenda Item 6d, for Tuesday, February 22, 2020:
Discussion and Possible Action Including Possible Direction to Director of Health and Human Services to Request Aggregate Patient Outcome Data from Redwood Quality Management Company (RQMC) and Subcontractors, Pursuant to the Scope of Work under the County’s Various Contracts with RQMC, and Disseminate with Related Trends Analysis (Sponsor: Supervisor Williams)
Recommended Action/Motion: Direct Mendocino County Director of Health and Human Services to request aggregate patient outcome data from Redwood Quality Management Company and subcontractors, pursuant to the scope of work under the County’s various contracts with RQMC, and disseminate with trends analysis.
Previous Board/Board Committee Actions: The County of Mendocino initiated a contract with RQMC in April of 2016. Prepare the Infrastructure for the Adult System of Care during the transition from Ortner Management Group (OMG) to RQMC. Additionally, RQMC is under contract with the County for the delivery of special mental health services to children and youth under the age of 25. Most recently, in July of 2019, the Board approved an $18,976,733 contract for Redwood Quality Management Company (RQMC) to provide specialty mental health care to Medi-Cal beneficiaries and the indigent on behalf of the County.
Summary of Request: County administration and the public lack data necessary to gauge outcome success of Redwood Quality Management Company and its array of subcontractors. In order to contemplate future contract terms and to develop a feedback loop for continuously catalyzing improvement, it’s important that we analyze population data and determine trends. Raw data, sanitized of confidential patient information through redaction, can be independently analyzed by county staff and the public. More eyes on the data is better. To meet our analysis condition of satisfaction, the data must be structured adequate to quantify the count of unduplicated persons served, duration served and cost per case, count of release plans prepared, count of times particular individuals have returned for further treatment and most importantly, how many patients are more self-sufficient due to the millions of dollars we spent. The data should be sufficient for generating histograms of varied outcome bins over 1 year, 3 years, 5 years and since program inception. Today, we lack transparency in regard to success trends relative to our past efforts, across programs and as compared to our geographic region. We are unable to say with confidence that the program has improved year over year or that we’re exceeding services of other counties per dollar spent. The request for data in and of itself does not cast doubt on the effectiveness of any of our contractor’s programs, but rather, offers us a tool for ensuring we trend towards greater success and spot areas for improvement early. Assuming data has been captured, this request should require nominal effort by our contractors and staff. If we can’t measure it, we can’t manage it.
ms notes: This is a worthwhile exercise. But it’s missing any attempt at measuring the people they don’t serve: Those with “mild to moderate” mental illness and substance abusers, many of whom are known to either law enforcement (frequent flyers and/or those on psych meds in the jail) or are identified when they are screened but turned away because they’re not reimburseable.
Let’s review the operative text of Measure B:
…This ordinance is adopted to achieve the following, among other purposes, and directs that the provisions herein be interpreted in order to accomplish these purposes:
Provide for assistance in the diagnosis, treatment and recovery from mental illness and addiction by developing: 1) a psychiatric facility and other behavioral health facilities; and 2) a regional behavioral health training facility to be used by behavioral health professionals, public safety and other first responders.
(Translation: PHF, crisis residential, crisis stabilization, and training facility(ies).
Provide for the necessary infrastructure to support and stabilize individuals with behavioral health conditions, including addiction and neurological disorders.
(Note that the infrastructure (broadly speaking/not defined) is supposed to address “addiction.” Not just mental illness/neurological disorders. No one involved with Measure B has ever raised anything about dealing with “addiction” (aka substance abuse.)
Conduct an independent annual audit and develop a performance management strategy which measures the effectiveness of the improved services, treatment and facilities and assesses the impact of the “Mental Health Treatment Act.”
(Services were supposed to be “improved.” No proposals have been forthcoming to improve or expand any services. And no such audit has been done. There should have been a baseline audit to begin with, then annual audits with specific parameters established to measure improvement.)
Create a Mental Health Treatment Fund entirely dedicated to fund improved services, treatment and facilities for persons with mental health conditions into which 100% of the revenue from this measure shall be deposited.
(The fund was created, it’s been accumulating millions of dollars for more than two years now. But it is certainly NOT being dedicated to fund improved services.”)
With all the (legitimate) hoopla about enforcing Measure V for standing dead timber, there is still no movement on implement or enforcing Measure B. And no deadlines on any Measure B related activity have been set or measured.
THIS — a PHF, crisis residential/treatment, training facility (underway, albeit late), and attention to addiction — is what the public voted for and expects. Where is it? Where is the plan to produce it? The whole Measure B exercise so far has been a failure without a peep from anyone beyond the occasional bleat about how slow things are going. The long-overdue and time-consuming “feasability study” which, by the way, is NOT called for in Measure B is still months if not years off. An annual audit is specifically called for and no one has even mentioned this signficant breakdown.
SANTA ROSA ANTI-VAXXER MD CHARGED
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has charged Dr. Ron Kennedy, M.D., of Santa Rosa with issuing bogus vaccine exemptions. Also, the AG is requesting that the State Medical Board revoke or suspend Dr. Kennedy’s license to practice. In one incident it looks like the father of a student complained that his ex-wife, an anti-vaxxer, asked Dr. Kennedy to issue the exemption for no good reason and Dr. Kennedy did it anyway against the wishes of the more responsible father who brought the problem to light. Kennedy, who has been in practice since 1975, apparently rescinded the exemption after the father complained, but that was too late for the Attorney General since after that, the Sonoma County Department of Public Health Services had received "multiple complaints" from schools and preschools about Kennedy's exemptions, according to the state filing.
Last year Dr. Kennedy was ordered to turn over his vaccination records.
SIX VEHICLE COLLISION ON HIGHWAY 101 NEAR HOPLAND NEAR GREEN BRIDGE
CANNABIS AD HOC COMMITTEE/ELEPHANT (i.e., Supervisor John Haschak by himself) LABORS LONG AND HARD AND PRODUCES A FEW MICE
- Personal Use Cultivation – Modify 10A.17.030(C)(2) to remove the reference to 100 sq. ft. of canopy and leaving the allowance to 6 plants for adult use.
- Eliminate the need for an annual inspection except on an as needed basis with some indication of non-compliance with the ordinance – modification to Sec. 10A.17.070(i).
- Eliminate the requirement of LiveScan for Criminal History which will be satisfied upon the applicant/owner/operator receiving a State Cultivation provisional or annual license. Require only a local criminal history check reviewed by the Mendocino County District Attorney for prohibiting Local Criminal History.
- Eliminate the need for a final LSAA from CDFW, changing it to proof of application for the same with CDFW by modification to Sec. 10A.17.090(J) to indicate that an applicant has to only provide a copy of their Streambed Alteration Agreement Permit (LSAA) when obtained.
- Legacy Cultivators – for locations, not related to individual people, where cultivation occurred prior to 1/1/16 – Ministerial process for 10k of canopy and under. Sunset areas excluded from reopening.
a. Ad Hoc recommends the Board consider whether to establish a deadline for legacy site permit applications.
- Non-Legacy Cultivation and Legacy expansion above 10,000 sq. ft.: Previously referred to as Phase III. Please see attached (separate, on County website) zoning table recommendations for zoning, parcel size, cultivation limits and discretionary permitting.
THE PALE FACE STATE
ATTENTION JERRY PHILBRICK: Rural conservatives in Oregon, Northern California, look to join Idaho.
LEAVE A LEGACY OF TREES NOT TOMBSTONES
Spread Your Ashes in Mendo or Santa Cruz
Better Place Forests are America's first spreading forests.
Instead of graves and tombstones, return the ashes of your loved one to earth under a private, permanently protected tree. We currently offer forests in two locations: the coast of Mendocino County and the mountains of Santa Cruz.
CATCH OF THE DAY, February 20, 2020
DENNIS ANDERSON, Willits. DUI, suspended license (for DUI), probation revocation.
FLASH BLANTON, Fort Bragg. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, failure to appear.
JAMES GOWAN JR., Redwood Valley. Disobeying court order.
JUAN GUTIERREZ, Fort Bragg. Protective order violation.
THOMAS HIDALGO, Ukiah. Paraphernalia, trespassing, petty theft, vandalism.
KERM JACKSON, Canoga Park//Ukiah. Grand theft, conspiracy, offenses while on bail, resisting.
ANDREW MAYNARD, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
NICOLOS MCKINNEY, Clinton, Maryland/Ukiah. Grand theft, conspiracy, resisting.
SHAWN SPILLER, Fort Bragg. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, probation revocation.
JONATHAN YOUNG, Willits. Brandishing, obliteration of firearm markings, probation revocation.
SHOPPING, AN EXCHANGE
Rene Hohls wrote (Coast Listserve):
Marco [McClean] I hope you didn't intend for your response to be seen like such a personal attack. I clean my own toilets thank you very much. I cared for my elderly grandmother in my home for the last 10 years of her life when she passed at the age of 101. No one serves me and I don't wait around to be served. My family has lived and worked in Fort Bragg since 1947. They bought a house and lived within their means. They worked hard to make a living and gave up many things to stay in the area…
Rene, it's good to know you understand, if it doesn't fit you, then not to take it as a personal attack. A lot of people read the Announce listserve. Everything fits someone. Thank you for taking the time to set the world straight about your family and you personally and some of the troubles you've had, obstacles you've overcome. I'd like to hear more of your story; maybe we can do it on the radio sometime. And you're quite welcome about the toilets.
Speaking of which, on Tuesday I was in Lowe's hardware store to get parts to fix Juanita's precious old lamp, and I wandered around looking at things. You can pay $1500 for a refrigerator, over $3,000 for a clothes washer and dryer now; even so, you void the warranty on the washer by using other than the special expensive Swedish soap it needs, which is a neat trick on their part. But my favorite thing there was a display of toilets with one in front, open, exposed, out of the box, and behind it an amphitheater, a boulevard barricade of that make and model toilet still in boxes, each one with this in 400-point bold type: BIG. POWER! Just the toilet display would have filled the entire front half of the old hardware store that used to be on North Franklin in Fort Bragg. Greg's? Was it Greg's Hardware? Craig's? I still have an alarm clock and a pair of pliers and some other little tools I bought there in 1980.
Anyway, BIG. POWER! It looks like a perfectly ordinary toilet, though. Normal size toilet, normal plumbing fittings on it. I looked inside the tank and there was no supercharged Kenworth diesel truck engine in there, just the regular flappy flapper at the bottom and the regular float valve stack. Hmm. And you look back up at the boxes: BIG. POWER! I see this as a metaphor for something. Really, if what you want in a toilet is BIG POWER then you want one like they have in Safeway, where its terrifying torrent sucks enough air out of the room with it to make your ears pop, and then you have to pinch your nose and blow to put things right, but wash your hands first.
After Lowe's, later, in FoodMaxx, on my way to the checkout counter I pushed the cart wide around a big cardboard display bookcase of chocolate peanut butter cups that said WANT! -- just the one giant word across the side, above a giant lurid beglittered chocolate peanut butter cup with a bite taken out of it. WANT! Around the other side, again: WANT!
I'm trying to think of the term for this. Maybe it's bombastification. Does that sound right? Maybe you can think of a better word. You, personally, whoever you are and wherever you're reading this, and whatever thing you're reading it on, perhaps even on your weak-ass toilet that can barely even swallow anymore but just mixes a little fresh water in with what you dropped in it and kind of chuckles at you and then whines for a minute or two like a lonely poodle locked in the garage, like the liquid equivalent of a creaky door forever creaking shut, like the siren on a toy firetruck with the batteries nearly used up, like bagpipes or a rubber ducky connected to a tire going flat.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Four more years of Trump will turn the Long Emergency into a Never Ending Disaster.
Ahhh what could have been. Once in Camelot and all that.
I was at the Bernie Tacoma Dome Rally tonight. I think the crowd was what you people call ‘left’. Bernie holds Trump and Bloomberg in equal contempt. 17,000 people screamed approval. Near full capacity. 17,000 people and one dog. Democrats can’t win unless they run Bernie but history is full of stupidity.
For more years of unregulated capitalism while Trump strokes it. It is likely to happen. Bernie gave a great speech but all I see is the country dividing along conservative brain-dead asshole and everybody should have a free pony lines. Minds already made up.
It would be different if there were issues that people knew about but mainstream media manages awareness too well for that.
Somebody please remember to turn off the lights.
Third District Supervisor, John Haschak, is holding a Town Hall meeting this Friday, February 21, starting at 6:30 pm at the Book Room in the old high school on Branscomb Rd. in Laytonville.
This meeting is a good opportunity for people in the Laytonville area to show Supervisor Haschak their support for replacing the inhumane Wildlife Services lethal wildlife management program with a humane locally administered non-lethal wildlife management program.
I live near Laytonville and I'll be there. Hope to see my fellow Laytonville area wildlife supporters in the crowd.
Thanks for caring about our wild friends,
Mendocino Non-lethal Wildlife Alliance
Steering Committee Member
ANIMAL CRUELTY NOW PUNISHABLE by up to seven years in prison in US. ‘For decades, a national anti-cruelty law was a dream for animal protectionists. Today, it is a reality’
PARDONING JULIAN ASSANGE: TRUMP, WIKILEAKS & THE DNC
by Binoy Kampmark
The central pillar to Democratic paranoia and vengefulness regarding the loss of Hillary Clinton in 2016 was the link between Russian hacking, the servers of the Democratic National Committee and the release of emails via WikiLeaks. Over time, that account has become a matter of hagiography, an article of faith, with grave conclusions: WikiLeaks and Russia elected Donald Trump.
The Russia-DNC angle received another prod in pre-extradition hearings being conducted against Assange in the Westminster Magistrates Court, with his legal team disclosing details of the visit paid to the WikiLeaks publisher by former California Rep. Dana Rohrabacher in 2017. The visit in question was not entirely a matter of surprise. The Wall Street Journal reported in September that year that Rohrabacher had contacted the White House in an attempt to broker a deal with Assange designed to alleviate his legal troubles. A conversation was said to have taken place between the Congressman and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, canvassing the possibility of ending the impasse in exchange for evidence that Russia was not behind the hacked emails.
Assange’s legal team, through Edward Fitzgerald, disclosed that President Trump had instructed Rohrabacher to discuss the possibility of a pardon for Assange provided he agreed to deny any Russian connection in the DNC hack. A statement produced by Assange’s personal lawyer, Jennifer Robison, included the following description: “Mr. Rohrabacher going to see Mr Assange and saying, on instructions from the president, he was offering a pardon or some other way out, if Mr Assange … said Russia had nothing to do with the DNC leaks.”
For his part, former Congressman Rohrabacher is dissembling, claiming he had not discussed Assange with Trump prior to his “fact finding mission” to London. “At no time did I offer Julian Assange anything from the President because I had not spoken with the President about this issue at all.” Rohrabacher admitted to speaking with Kelly in a brief conversation after his trip to the Ecuadorean embassy in London. “No one followed up with me including Gen. Kelly and that was the last discussion I had on this subject with anyone representing Trump or his Administration.”
In 2018, Rohrabacher, in an interview with The Intercept, claimed that Kelly blocked him from briefing Trump about his London meeting with Assange. Both the congressman and his travel companion Charles Johnson had been shown “definitive proof [by Assange] that Russia was not the source of the Democratic Party communications that WikiLeaks published during the 2016 campaign.” The reason for Kelly’s obstruction lay with concerns that the special prosecutor might take an interest in Rohrabacher’s discussions about Russia, and how “that would appear to out-of-control prosecutors that that is where the collusion is.”
To keep matters interesting and mendacious, Trump now claims to “barely” know Rohrabacher while White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham insists that the allegations are “absolutely and completely false,” “a complete fabrication and a total lie. This is probably another never ending hoax and total lie from the DNC.”
In response, WikiLeaks has stressed that, “Chronology matters: The meeting and the offer were made ten months after Julian Assange had already independently stated Russia was not the source of the DNC publication. The witness statement is one of the many bombshells from the defence to come.”
The latest installment in the case that keeps giving is a reminder of how trenchantly the Democrats have been seeking to link the DNC hack to Russia, WikiLeaks and their defeat. What Trump and Assange share, on some level, is the same tarnishing administered by the same brush.
In August 2017, Patrick Lawrence, writing in The Nation, suggested that the download of the relevant data from the DNC servers was most probably an internal job rather than an externally conducted operation. Reliance was made upon the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity memorandum to Trump claiming that, “Forensic studies of ‘Russian hacking’ into Democratic National Committee computers last year reveal that on July 5, 2016, data was leaked (not hacked) by a person with physical access to DNC computer.” An “insider” had “copied DNC data onto an external storage device.”
A storm ensued: the article had laid some considerable explosive material under the traditional DNC account, leading Nation editor Katrina vanden Heuvel to conduct a “post publication review.” In a modest mea culpa, the editorial board suggested that they “should have made certain that several of the article’s conclusions were presented as possibilities, not as certainties.”
Since then, the Mueller Report has sought to ensconce the Russia hack-DNC narrative, dismissing Assange’s inside job thesis with almost withering disdain. “As reports attributing the DNC and DCCC hacks to the Russian government emerged, WikiLeaks and Assange made several public statements apparently designed to obscure the source of the material that WikiLeaks was releasing. The file-transfer evidence … and other information uncovered during the investigation discredit WikiLeaks’s claims about the source of material that it posted.”
District Judge Vanessa Baraitser has yielded to Assange’s team on the material produced at the pre-extradition hearing, potentially linking WikiLeaks to the highest deliberations in the White House. The addition, along with the vast picture of surveillance targeting Assange, has the makings of a very compromising picture, indeed.
A COUPLE VIEWS OF THE VEGAS DEBATE
NEW REPORT Blames Corporate Tax Cuts, Attacks on Unions for Persistent Inequality and Slow Wage Growth Among Low Earners in US
Americans who already enjoyed high incomes saw the most growth in their wages in 2019, according to a new report released Thursday, while wage growth for low hourly workers was sluggish — a continuation of what the Economic Policy Institute calls an "alarming trend" that has emerged over the last four decades.
YOUNG PERSON FOR RODIN
Growing up in Ukiah I spent a lot of time around Mari Rodin. Which is why I got so excited when I heard she was running for 2nd District Supervisor. She has always been very passionate about the environment and combating the climate crisis. She has ambitious ideas, such as establishing electrical microgrids that are independent of PG&E. She is also opposed to offshore oil drilling which has destroyed a lot of our planet already. I know she will fight very hard to protect Mendocino County’s natural beauty. Which is why I, as a young person, will be voting for Mari for Supervisor.
TAKE ACTION: Ask Governor Newsom to hold PG&E accountable for Eel River Dams!
From: Friends of the Eel River firstname.lastname@example.org
We want your help to ensure that PG&E isn’t let off the hook for their Eel River dams liability. Also below, we discuss our response to the NMFS denial of our summer steelhead listing petition, a recent Great Redwood Trail ribbon cutting, and some upcoming events in March.
Given PG&E’s record of failing to adequately maintain infrastructure necessary to ensure safety, we are concerned about whether the company has complied with required safety inspections and maintenance at Scott Dam.
Governor Newsom is working to hold PG&E accountable for needed safety improvements on their other infrastructure, and is in a position to mandate that PG&E take financial responsibility for the liability of dam removal on the Eel River.
Please join us in asking Governor Newsom to ensure that any resolution of Pacific Gas and Electric’s bankruptcy includes provisions for the utility’s liabilities for the two dams on the upper Eel River.
A sample letter is included below, snail-mail letters and phone calls will have the greatest impact.
Click here for additional information and an option to send an email from our website.
Governor Gavin Newsom 1303 10th Street, Suite 1173 Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 445-2841 Dear Governor Newsom,
Please ensure that any resolution of Pacific Gas and Electric’s bankruptcy includes provisions for the utility’s liabilities for the two dams on the upper Eel River that are part of the Potter Valley Project.
Scott Dam, built in 1922 next to a major earthquake fault, faces a number of serious safety problems. Highly toxic mercury has accumulated in the sediments trapped behind Scott Dam. And crucially, the dam lacks any fish passage, blocking access to hundreds of miles of prime habitat.
Cape Horn Dam, 12 miles downriver, has been obsolete for a century. Its fish ladder has been blocked repeatedly by high flows during fish migrations over the last few years.
Experts estimate that decommissioning and removal of the Eel River dams is likely to cost in excess of $100 million. It would be deeply unfair to burden the public with the cleanup costs for a facility that PG&E has operated for nearly a century.
Please don’t let PG&E off the hook. Click here to download a pdf version of this letter
Great Redwood Trail Ribbon Cutting
Last month our staff attended a ribbon cutting in Ukiah for the first officially branded portion of the Great Redwood Trail. We are so thankful to Senator McGuire and his staff for their work establishing a future for this trail. As the Senator said at the ribbon cutting, this portion of the trail is an exciting symbol for the great things yet to come! In the coming year we should see a trail master plan formally launched and the start of the railbanking process.
Listen to the EcoNews Report from Saturday February 15th for more information.
NMFS Summer steelhead listing denial
In 2018 FOER submitted state and federal petitions to have Northern California summer steelhead listed independently from Northern California winter steelhead. The National Marine Fisheries Service responded that action may be warranted and issued a positive 90-day finding. Last summer NMFS convened an expert panel to conduct a status review and we just received their report last week. The panel concluded that based on the current best available science, a distinct listing for summer steelhead is not warranted and they will remain as part of the general Northern California steelhead Distinct Population Segment.
FOER believes that NMFS is wrong, and that summer steelhead are genetically distinct from their winter-run counter parts. They deserve protections specific to their population. We are currently working with scientists to conduct additional analysis and are preparing to respond to the petition denial using newly available science.
IT COULD HAPPEN HERE!
KANSAS AIRBnB HOST FINDS DRUGS, knives, bloodstains after two-day room rental.
The property owner said a couple left behind drugs, knives in the walls, bloodstains around the room, and trash. He estimated the damage to be upwards of $4,000.
Police came and confiscated the drug paraphernalia. That led to the arrest of 29-year-old Rebecca Singh and 23-year-old Joseph Crane.
BEWARE OF CREDIT CARD SKIMMERS, WARNS COUNTY OF HUMBOLDT
The County of Humboldt’s Agricultural Commissioner’s Office/Sealer of Weights and Measures (Sealer’s Office) this week became aware of an apparent attempt to install a credit card “skimmer” in local gas pump payment card reader at two different locations. The attempt was unsuccessful, however, it is important that you are aware of the signs that a machine may have been tampered with, and the steps you can take to protect yourself.
The Sealer’s Office has contacted all local gas station owners, making them aware of the attempt and advising them to inspect their retail fuel dispensers for anything out of the ordinary, and to review surveillance footage. This is the first report that the Sealer’s Office has received a report confirming potential skimmer activities in Humboldt County. The incident has been reported to local law enforcement and appropriate federal authorities.
The Sealer’s Office performs routine and special-circumstances inspections of gas pumps throughout the county and test devices used in commercial transactions, including grocery store scales, propane dispensers, and other devices in which sales occur based on weight, measure, or count.
What are payment card “skimmers” and what do they do?
Payment card skimmers are devices that fraudulently collect payment card (e.g., credit and debit cards) information when the card is used for a purchase. This information is then saved within the skimmer to be retrieved at a later time by the perpetrator or may instantly transmit this information wirelessly to anywhere in the world. Payment card skimmers are a major form of theft and are often linked to organized crime.
Where are payment card skimmers located?
Skimmers can be installed anywhere payment cards are used, such as gas pumps, card readers at stores and restaurants, ATM’s, etc. On fuel dispensers, they may be attached externally to the legitimate card reader or they may be installed internally within the dispenser’s cabinet.
What do payment card skimmers look like?
In relation to fuel dispensers, there are predominantly two types: internally and externally mounted.
The externally mounted skimmers attach directly over top of the legitimate card reader. They appear very similar to the legitimate card reader and they may be very difficult to distinguish.
The internally mounted skimmers are installed inside of a dispenser’s cabinet among the internal components. They are not detectable from the outside of the dispenser.
To obtain personal identification numbers (PIN), the perpetrators may use very small “pinhole” cameras to observe and record entry of a PIN; they may use a keypad overlay that captures the PINs as they are typed in; or devices installed internally that connect to the keypad itself.
In the cases of internally installed payment card skimmers and keyboard PIN-theft devices, they are invisible to the consumer.
How quickly can payment card skimmers be installed on fuel dispensers?
It has been reported that payment card skimmers can be attached to fuel dispensers in as little as 7-8 seconds.
What can consumers do?
Be alert where they are using their payment cards.
When using payment cards for fuel purchases, consumers should try to select dispensers that are within sight of the cashier.
Gently attempt to move the card reader on the fuel dispenser. Do not force it. If legitimate, it will not move nor come off.
Look for broken or missing adhesive security seals on the cabinet of fuel dispensers where the card reader is located. Many businesses are attaching customized adhesive seals to these places to provide evidence that the card reader has been accessed. If a consumer observes the seal broken or missing, they should report it to the business immediately. Be mindful that not all businesses are taking this extra step of precaution.
Be aware of where purchases are made.
Change passwords to payment card accounts frequently. Use secure passwords.
Treat payment cards as cash or any other valuables.
Check payment card statements frequently, if not daily. Compare payment card receipts to the statements. Look for any suspicious purchases. Communicate with other family members to be alert to where they use their payment cards and any fraudulent charges.
Ask the card issuing institution if they have purchase monitoring available. There may be a fee associated with this service. These services will detect and report unusual purchase patterns to the customer.
Another option is to contact credit bureaus and request that they monitor purchasing patterns and report unusual activity to the customer. There is a fee for this service.
Report suspicious payment card transactions to the card issuing institution immediately. They can “freeze” the card so no additional authorizations can be made.
Contact the three major credit bureaus: TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. They can also “freeze” the card to prevent additional authorizations.
Contact law enforcement immediately. Payment card fraud is theft.
Perpetrators may not use the payment card for 2 or more months after they have stolen the information. Then they may make a small purchase to just check if the card is active. Once they are satisfied that the card is active, then they will use it for fraudulent purchases. Consequently, consumers should not assume that their card has not been compromised.
According to the California Department of Food & Agriculture’s Division of Measurement Standards (DMS) there are about 10,000 gas stations and 200,000 fueling dispensers throughout California. In mid-December 2019, DMS reported that 286 skimmers had been discovered and confiscated during the year to that point. It’s likely that number is only a fraction of the amount that have been planted. DMS reports that many skimmer installations are done by organized crime syndicates, including ones based overseas, that send in people to plant skimmers for a few days and then move to the next town, city, or county. If you have any question or need assistance, please contact the County Sealer of Weights & Measures at 707-441-5260.
For more information, contact:
Jeff Dolf, Humboldt County Agricultural Commissioner/Sealer of Weights and Measures