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Mendocino County Today: February 17, 2012

ACCORDING to the people overseeing the removal of poisoned earth at the G-P mill site in Fort Bragg, the chemical purge of the 415-acre property lying between the middle of town and the ocean is “about two thirds remediated and ready for appropriate new uses,” among them, we hope, is a trail linking Noyo Harbor to the Old Haul Road.

A TERRIBLE RUMOR, verified off the record by at least one physician, says that a five-year-old who died two days ago in Ukiah is also a victim of meningitis. A three-year-old at the Pinoleville Rancheria north of Ukiah is confirmed to have died of the lethal infection.

OREGON STATE POLICE troopers are continuing the investigation into Tuesday evening's two-vehicle crash on Highway 97 near Crescent City that resulted in the death of a well known local musician and his sister and non-life threatening injuries to two others. Icy road conditions were a contributing factor. According to Sergeant Keith Taylor, on Feb. 14 at approximately 5:30pm, a 1988 Honda Accord four-door driven by Marc Albert Hansen, age 59, from Talmage, was northbound on Highway 97 near milepost 186 when Hansen lost control on the ice-covered roadway. The Honda crossed into the southbound lane where it collided with a southbound 2005 Dodge Dakota pickup driven by Lisa Daniel, 47, from Post Falls, Idaho. Hansen and passenger Elise M. Hansen, 45, his sister, from Gloucester, Massachusetts, were pronounced dead at the scene. Both were using safety restraints. Daniel and her daughter, Caitlin M. Brown, 13, both received non-life threatening injuries and were transported by ambulance to St. Charles Medical Center in Bend. Both were using safety restraints and the pickup's airbags deployed. Two dogs in their vehicle survived and were taken by an OSP trooper to Deschutes County Animal Shelter. OSP troopers from Bend, Gilchrist, and Klamath Falls offices responded to investigate. Local area emergency responding agencies and ODOT assisted at the scene. The roadway was closed for about four hours with a detour in place. Hansen's name is variably spelled Mark and Marc in references to him in his music career. According to his biography as a staff member of Lark Camp, a summer camp of world music and dance in Mendocino, Hansen was “a native San Franciscan, born in 1952. His dad was a college professor, Mom hosted a teenage dance TV show, ‘Dottie Hansen's Hi-Time.’ Guest artists were influential in Marc's early life, Louie Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, Ella Fitzgerald, Oscar Peterson, Ray Brown, Herb Ellis, Johnny Mathis, Billie Holiday, Dave Brubeck, Jack Teagarden, Harry Bellafonte, Count Bassie, Mel Torme, Nat King Cole and many more. “…Hansen began performing as a singer and guitarist at sock hops and school dances in Jr. high school in Napa. After moving to New England in the late 1960s he became involved in the fiddle music/contra dance scene. There he recorded with Dudley Laufman's Canterbury Country Dance Orchestra on upright bass. During this period he formed an acoustic vocal duo with David Raitt and performed all over New England at college campuses and coffee houses. Blues-lady Rory Block's father, Alan Block would often hire Marc on guitar and David on bass to accompany his vocal and fiddle performances. “In the early 1970s, The Hansen and Raitt Band formed in Northern California and became a Mendocino County favorite. During this era Marc performed on stage with Bonnie Raitt, and she also sat in with his band on occasion. “During his career, Marc Hansen's stage has been graced by: Ford Brothers- Robben, Mark and Pat, Paul McCandless (Oregon), Jimmy Hodder (Steeley Dan), Mike Osborn and Kenny Baker (John Lee Hooker), Luther Tucker, Mona Gnader (Sammy Hagar) and Gene Parsons (The Byrds and The Flying Burrito Brothers). “In 1984 Marc traveled to L.A. to produce a recording titled ‘Rock & Roll is After You,’ featuring internationally known guitarist Robben Ford, Grammy award winner Jimmy Haslip (The Yellow Jackets) on bass and legendary Vinnie Caliouta on drums. Bonnie Raitt and Michelle McCord contributed background vocals to this recording. In 1988 Marc co-wrote and co-produced a record titled ‘Little World,’ a response to the imminent threat of offshore oil drilling.” “In the early 1990s Marc spent three years in San Diego honing his solo act in the coffee house/pub scene. There he also founded Lime in the Harp which performed traditional instrumental folk music from the British Isles. Lime in the Harp played regularly for contra dances in San Diego. “Besides solo and duo performances, Marc Hansen's current bands are The Hansen and Raitt Band and The Marc Hansen Band. Marc's latest focus is swing music as singer and guitarist. In the early 1990s Marc played rhythm guitar and sang lead for a swing band named Kat Jazz in San Francisco and many points North. “In recent years Marc regularly provides music for swing dance classes at Lark Camp, Strawberry Music Festival and Golden Toad Camp.”

THE EMPLOYERS COUNCIL of Mendocino County says it surveyed 100 businesses in the county at the start of the year and asked them four basic questions about the local economy in 2011 and 2012.

How did your business's condition in 2011 compare with 2010? Improved: 43%. Worsened: 31%. Stayed the same: 26%. Comments: “Tourists came in the summer but didn't spend much.” “Revenues were down a bit because the first half of the year was down from the previous year.” “Improvement was out-of-county work.” “Grape demand is up and so is demand for these assets.” “Up 3%.”

Over the course of this year (2012) how are you anticipating your business's condition to be? Improvement: 53%. Worse: 17%. Stay the same: 30%. Comments: “…we work in the timber industry which continues to decline.” “We are slightly more positive about 2012.” “…hoping for the best and promoting business like crazy!” “Our HOPES are that it will not worsen and at the very least stay the same as 2011…”

During 2011, did hiring: Increase: 22%. Decrease: 27%. Stayed the same: 51%. Comments: “…about 10 more hours of work.” “…hired out-of-county workers for other offices.” “No change in staff numbers.” “…added one part-time position.” “Six additional jobs.” “Created one full-time and two part-time jobs in 2011.”

In this year, 2012, your hiring will: Increase: 19%. Decrease: 13%. Stay the same: 68%. Comments: “No change in staff numbers.” “Plan to add one to two part-time people.” “We will probably not hire anyone in 2012.” “Plan to maintain staffing levels.” “We still have under-utilized employees (not working 40 hours).” “Hoping to add as much as five full-time jobs this year.”

In another section of the survey local business owners were asked what they thought would improve business conditions in the county. The top three answers were getting local government to reduce regulation or provide better regulatory assistance; promoting county tourism and products more; and getting people to buy local first. Other ideas for improvements included lowering fees and taxes, improving the local government attitude toward business, recruiting more non-retail businesses, permit streamlining and business expansion and retention incentives.

About one third of responses were from Ukiah Valley businesses (from Hopland to Redwood Valley), and another third from the Mendocino Coast. The last third was split between Willits/North County and Anderson Valley. The Employers Council points out that the survey is not scientific. The Council used a web-based survey tool which limited responses to the first 100 on a first-come, first served basis. All responses were anonymous. The survey was released in an ECMC report which also contained extra comments from business owners who said they'd never seen economic conditions so bad in this county, that they hoped to see more green industries locally, that the county is very dependent on outsiders to come and spend money here, and that, in general, they were just happy to be surviving at the moment.

"DEAR FARMERS — This will be the last email from me regarding the program [Mendocino County's Medical Marijuana Cultivation Regulation Program, aka County Code 9.31]. It is a sad day to see this program go away. I want to extend a heartfelt thanks to all of you for all you have done to make this program work as well as it has. I truly believe that the Feds were concerned about the success of the program. I have a new found respect for what you are doing and have learned more about MJ than I ever thought I would!! As you know I was a bit skeptical when I started the program, but as I learned who you were and what you represented I felt the need to make this program work, for you, for the community and for the Sheriff's Office. You were all very compliant as you were trying to make the program work. For this I thank you. I hope that in the near future there will be another similar alternative for you to work with. I have heard rumors of an initiative process being explored. Please keep in mind the guidelines of 9.31 as this program was widely known here and seemed restrictive enough to have the public support but with enough latitude to allow you to be successful with your work. I honestly don't see this program coming back to Mendocino County as it was because of the Fed threat to the County. I expect that one of two things will occur for this to move forward in a similar fashion. Either you will be successful with an initiative process or the Feds will legalize MJ. I suggest you work on the first as I don't expect the second to change anytime soon! As you move forward please keep the big picture in mind and work towards the common good for your community. Remember to support your community both in time and donations that you can spare, and keep in mind the issue of putting a more medicinal title, name for the various strains to move more in the direction of public support. If you are in it strictly for the money you are at risk. This will not support your cause and will not give you any kind of protection moving forward. The Sheriff and DA are talking to determine a common ground for what their respective in-house policy will be regarding MJ. Keep in mind this will still have no impact on any federal action against a person. Good Luck, be safe and stay within the laws of the land."

Sgt. Randy Johnson, Mendocino County Sheriff's Office, Professional Standards Bureau. (707) 463-5416 Direct. (707) 463-4689 FAX

WHY is there always such drama?

It’s not Bob Nishiyama

who’s to blame for the raids

by the camo brigades.

The problem is really Obama.


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