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Mendocino County Today: February 1, 2012

SHOULD THE WINEGRAPE and Wine Commission be disbanded? Absolutely. But a hearing sponsored by the California Department of Food and Agriculture began at 9am Wednesday (today) at the Ukiah Valley Conference Center at 200 South School Street will allegedly determine if the tax-subsidized industry promo outfit be continued. What will the inquiry find? What else can it find if “winegrape producers and vintners determine the industry's need and desire regarding the commission's work.” How do the public relations activities, promotional events and other activities of the commission affect the county's winegrape producers, vintners and consumers? Answer. Free advertising for rich people with zero benefit to the rest of us. Has the commission helped to keep the county's grape and wine industry competitive with those in other areas of the state and nation? Answer: Who cares? Why don't they pay for their own advertising? Have assessment monies been spent wisely, efficiently and according to the authority granted in the commission law? Answer: Of course not. Free meals at high-end restaurants for industry insiders is clearly a boondoggle. Has the Commission effectively monitored and addressed important trends and issues facing the county's grape and wine industry? Answer: Probably. It's in their interests to. What are the Commission's most significant accomplishments and challenges? Answer: There are none. The public is finally wising up to the fact that Two Buck Chuck is just as good as a $40 bottle of La Di Da Ridge Ripple. “If a majority of those voting approve the referendum, the Commission will be given another five years.” Look for another five years for this particular waste of public money.

THE MENDOCINO County Republican Central Committee will meet February 8, 2012, 7pm-9pm at the Yum Yum Tree Restaurant, 383 S. Main Street, Willits. No guns, please. For further information contact: Stan Anderson, 707-321-2592.

WE WERE STARTLED to hear that "the following cases were heard in Ten Mile Court. Monday, Jan. 23 Presiding: Visiting Judge, The Honorable Galen Hathaway.” Hathaway's 80 if he's a day and goes back to the Little Lake Judicial District, Willits, not that age should disqualify him. But Mendocino County has eight superior court judges and a magistrate. Six of the superior court judges are active while two seats remain vacant. Yet here's Hathaway picking up a fat supplement to an already fat retirement check by sitting in as a “visiting judge” in Fort Bragg. And over in Ukiah we've got Leonard LaCasse sitting as a visiting judge. So where are our six judges at a time where there are fewer court cases being filed because Eyster is setting a lot of pot cases before they get to court? Mendocino County has a small army of retired judges serving as visiting judges all over the state, working as they choose for the big bucks.

A PROPELLER BEANIE event occurred at the Grace Hudson Museum last night (Tuesday) called “UFOs: Their Spiritual Mission and Role in Coming World Changes.” Co-sponsored by the Mendocino Environment Center and Sharing for Peace Network, the presentation advertised a Valley telephone number for information. The world is certainly gone to heck in a frayed handbasket, but it's unlikely that ET and his friends would want to take over management.

WORKERS at Kaiser Permanente throughout California have gone on strike over contract disputes involving Kaiser's mental health and optical employees. The National Union of Healthcare Workers says its 4,000 Kaiser employees are staging a 24-hour strike over proposed cuts to health care and retirement benefits. It's their fourth walkout since contract negotiations started in 2010. Union leaders say as many as 17,000 Kaiser nurses from the California Nurses Association could join the action in solidarity. The union represents mental health and optical employees at Kaiser. Kaiser officials say the union has failed to respond to their proposals on wages and benefits. All Kaiser hospitals and medical offices are expected to remain open during the strike, with Kaiser relying on replacement workers and nurse managers for additional staffing.

THE END of pot permits and fees

Was done with edits with ease

But if they don’t stop there

The cupboard could be bare

If it’s left to the federales


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