THREE WEEKS AGO, the US Attorney's Office based in San Francisco sent one of their attorneys all the way to Ukiah to personally inform the Mendocino County Supervisors that Mendocino County officials better stop selling 99-plant licenses to medical marijuana growers or individually face arrest. The County had sold the permits through last pot season, garnering $663,230. The feds nevertheless busted a fully-permitted fellow named Matt Cohen anyway. Mendocino County is now back to the hazy limit of 25 plants per parcel prevalent throughout the state, although the feds remain zero tolerance. Most California counties do not pursue small-scale gardeners. Mendo, it seems, went a little too big time, a little too over-reaching. It remains to be seen if Mendo will have to refund the permit money or turn it over to the federales.
SMALL SCHOOL HOOPS: Tuesday night, Mendocino thumped Covelo 92-48 while Point Arena pounded Anderson Valley 63-19, Small school hoops is coming down to a three-way duel between Mendocino, Point Arena and Laytonville.
JOHN SAKOWICZ and incumbent Bob Mirata have been appointed to the two vacant seats on the Mendocino County Employees Retirement Association board of directors. Mirata was reappointed, actually, having already served for six years. He was unanimously voted on to the Board, but Sakowicz was opposed by Supervisors Hamburg and Smith. Sakowicz has been highly critical of retirement management, at one point suggesting criminal malfeasance and calling for a forensics audit. He told the Supervisors, “I think I'm over that now,” and that such an audit would be “counter productive.”
THE MENDOCINO COUNTY SUPERVISORS voted 3-2 Tuesday to permanently reduce their salaries by 10 percent. The Supes base salary will go from $68,000 to $61,200. Guess who was opposed? Kendall Smith, of course and, somewhat surprisingly, Dan Hamburg. “If we go down another $7,000, we'll be paid between a staff services manager one and the assistant registrar of voters,” Hamburg said. “No matter how you slice it, to some degree your worth to the organization is related to your pay scale. I'm not saying that our salaries should be up at the levels of some of these comparatively high-paid elected officials, but I think if we're paid like middle managers, that's sort of where we're putting our value. I don't think we're middle management even though we get paid like middle management,” continued Hamburg. “And I know we've just imposed this 10 percent (pay cut) around the county. But we are somewhat different than all the other positions in the county. We're one of those types of employees that when we leave the office we don't stop working.” Smith, who also refused to take the voluntary 10 percent cut her colleagues took last year, cited the pay of supervisors in nearby counties.
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT is soliciting slogans for a proposed welcoming billboard south of Cloverdale: We wrote in to suggest, “Welcome To America’s Intoxicant Capitol — Marijuana to Merlot!” but haven't heard back.
HAVE A GLASS OF CHAINSAW! Friends of the Gualala River is organizing an event at the February 7th meeting of the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors the 4'x18' petition banner featuring 20,000 signatures from people opposed to a massive clearcut on the Southcoast to install vineyards and high-end homes. 70,000 more signatures in opposition were collected but couldn't fit on the banner. TheSoCo supervisors will see that this conversion project is universally opposed.
MR. WILLIAM DOWDELL is a Fort Bragg street personality of the type who often comes to the attention of the Fort Bragg Police Department. In the long gone days when California enjoyed a viable state hospital system Dowdell, and others like him, would have been sequestered at the state hospital at Talmage. These days, Mendocino County's floating cadre of Dowdells, about a hundred of them, are briefly held at the County Jail in Ukiah and sent back out to their preferred streets. Last week, Dowdell, pulling his trademark suitcase, and having already been ejected from a downtown business, walked east to the Paul Bunyan Thrift Store where he unleashed a second blast of obscenity-ridden denunciations, non-specific type, at everyone on the premises. It was offensive enough, and appeared to be unending, that Dowdell was taken into custody. Also last week, Dowdell parked his suitcase on the bike path near the Noyo Bridge. Along came the custodian at the Fort Bragg Middle School hustling to work on his bike. In the early morning murk the custodian didn't see Dowdell's suitcase, and hit it full speed. He was thrown from his bicycle and injured severely enough to warrant emergency treatment at Coast Hospital, but not before limping off to get the school ready for the day's classes, THEN he went for treatment. Dowdell may now be facing more serious charges than “using offensive words in a public place,” and somebody needs to recognize the custodian's devotion to his duties at Fort Bragg Middle School.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “This will be routine training conducted by military personnel, designed to ensure the military’s ability to operate in urban environments, prepare forces for upcoming overseas deployments, and meet mandatory training certification.” — LA Police Department.
I PAID $50 for some fruit of the vine
They told me it was oaky and fine.
But damn! Just my luck.
It was just two-buck chuck.
I shoulda bought whisky, not wine.