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Mendocino County Today: January 31, 2021

Atmospheric River | 22 New Cases | Mendo Peninsula | Reopening Schools | Noyo Crossing | Pet Hoss | Phase 3 | Sanka | Rodin Appointed | Willits 1939 | J&J Vaccine | SF 1961 | Dog Attack | Rockport Mill | Courthouse Deputies | Improvement Club | Brer Owl | Astounding Belief | Ed Notes | Yesterday's Catch | Mystery Woman | Brooktrails Clubhouse | Choose Reality | Subliminal Control | 19 Trap | Exhaustible Well | Marco Radio | Qualcomm Scion

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LIGHTER SHOWER ACTIVITY will transition to steady rain this morning as an atmospheric river takes aim at northwest California. Expect periods of moderate to locally heavy rainfall lasting all the way through Monday night, accompanied by gusty southerly winds and high elevation snow. Showers will taper off Tuesday, with low chances of a weak front clipping northern portions of the area Wednesday. A drier and quieter weather pattern is setting up for the long-term. (NWS)

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22 NEW CASES of Coronavirus reported in Mendocino County on Saturday. There are currently 210 active confirmed cases in the county; towns with the most cases: Ukiah 89, Fort Bragg 33, Willits 22, Covelo 20, Hopland 9, Redwood Valley 7, Laytonville 6, and Philo 6.

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Mendocino (photo by Dick Whetstone)

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MENDOCINO COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH ISSUES REVISED SCHOOL ORDER; Qualifying Schools May Open In-Person Instruction

Effective Friday, January 29, 2021, Mendocino County Public Health issued a revised Health Order Regarding COVID-19 Protocol for Schools. This revised Health Order allows Mendocino County schools to begin the re-opening process for students in Kindergarten through 6th Grade. The revised health order may be viewed by visiting https://www.mendocinocounty.org/home/showpublisheddocument?id=40285.

“We are now able to start the process of re-opening our schools, due to our efforts as a community to avoid gatherings, wear masks, and maintain social distance,” explained Mendocino County Public Health Officer Dr. Andrew Coren. Schools are able to reopen because Mendocino County is currently in the state’s COVID-19 Purple Tier.

“In addition to those efforts, we here at Public Health are thrilled that our efforts to vaccinate as many teachers as possible have been successful, with much assistance from the Mendocino County Office of Education, Mendocino County school districts, schools, teachers, staff, parents, community partners, rural clinics and Adventist Health.”

“This pandemic has tested all of us,” said Mendocino County Office of Education Superintendent Michelle Hutchins. “However, as often happens in Mendocino County, we find that by working together we can achieve a lot. The Mendocino County Office of Education is grateful for the partnership with Public Health, and we are continually impressed by the tireless efforts of school district superintendents and school leaders countywide.”

Ukiah Unified School District Superintendent Deb Kubin coordinated events to increase vaccination rates across all districts.

"We are looking forward to welcoming our incredible students back to campuses when local conditions allow it,” said Kubin. “We have taken all of the necessary steps to support a safe transition. We appreciate everything Mendocino County Public Health has done to support and guide us during this pandemic.”

The process for re-opening schools is complex and will take time, and the public is asked to remain patient as schools complete the process to open in-person instruction for Kindergarten through 6th Grade. Schools and school district will reach out to provide updates as soon as they can. Other grades may not re-open in-person instruction at this time.

Schools may re-open in-person instruction for students in Kindergarten through 6th Grade after the completion the following steps:

  • Completion of a COVID-19 Safety Plan, which consists of a COVID-19 Prevention Program document and a School Guidance Checklist. Both documents may be viewed at https://schools.covid19.ca.gov
  • Submission of the school’s COVID-19 Safety Plan to Mendocino County Office of Education.
  • Submission of the school’s COVID-19 Safety Plan to the Mendocino County Public Health Department.
  • Submission of the school’s COVID-19 Safety Plan to the California Department of Public Health.
  • If no identified deficiencies are noted by the state or by Mendocino County Public Health within seven business days of submission, a school may open on the 8th business day for in-person instruction. Note again that this only applies to children in Kindergarten through 6th Grades.
  • A school’s COVID-19 Safety Plan must be posted on the homepage of the school’s website prior to re-opening.

Schools may re-open to all grades once Mendocino County maintains Red Tier qualifications for longer than five consecutive days, as stated in the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy.

In order to address the many question that will arise during this process, Mendocino County Public Health is partnering with schools to create a fact sheet that will be available by the end of this week. “We respectfully ask for the community’s patience, as we believe the majority of questions you have will be addressed in the fact sheet,” Dr. Coren concludes. The fact sheet will be posted on the county’s website and through social media.

To stay abreast of the county’s COVID-19 response, follow Mendocino County on Facebook, and Twitter or visit the county’s COVID-19 website at https://www.mendocinocounty.org/community/novel-coronavirus.

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Noyo Crossing (photo by Annie Kalantarian)

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UKIAH SHELTER PET OF THE WEEK

Hoss has the personality of a large puppy. This goofy guy gets very excited about new toys, but seems to loose interest fast! We think it's likely he’s housetrained. Hoss was happy and animated when he met a fellow dog guest, but he was also very vocal—maybe there’s some Hound in his DNA. Although he is a big boy, Hoss is pretty easy to handle and walk on leash. Mr. Handsome is 2 years old and a big ‘ol 75 pounds. He’s guaranteed to be your BFF. 

For more about Hoss, go to mendoanimalshelter.com. While you’re there, read about our services, programs, events, and updates regarding covid-19, as it impacts Mendocino County Shelters in Ukiah and Ft. Bragg. Also, check out our adoptable dogs and cats! Visit us on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/mendoanimalshelter/ For information about adoptions please call 707-467-6453. 

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THE STATE OF MENDOCINO COUNTY CANNABIS CULTIVATION

by Ted Williams

The "Phase 3" land use approach will provide an essential bridge between our county cannabis cultivation permitting system and the state's licensing program and create a path forward to a well-regulated cannabis industry with robust environmental oversight and community input. Developing a well-regulated cannabis industry is important to the overall well-being of our County.

After nearly two years of commenting from the sideline about the County’s failed cannabis cultivation program, I joined an ad-hoc committee with Supervisor Haschak on Aug 4, 2020 to work with staff and outside agencies on a pathway for cannabis cultivators to obtain their state annual licenses. I’ll share some of my findings. The inherently complex nature of this topic highlights the merits of representative democracy.

Cannabis cultivation in Mendocino County requires two approvals, a county permit and a state license. Both of these requirements have been met primarily with temporary approvals, namely the county “embossed receipt” and state “provisional” license. These temporary approvals were to allow existing activity to continue while working applications through the regulatory pipeline.

Our local cultivation ordinance offered the illusion of local control. In fact, the local program is a set of overlapping and disjointed requirements. It’s as if the county operated in a parallel universe, failing to track state regulation. Compared to outlaw activity, a regulated market has potential to prevent economic destruction, generate revenue for other county services, reduce crime and mitigate neighborhood conflict. These goals can only be reached if operators are actually able to complete the process. To date, virtually zero state annual licenses have been awarded for outdoor cultivation. It’s impossible to objectively weigh the local results of regulation when at most we’ve manifested regulatory fiction.

Commercial cannabis cultivation is a highly regulated activity, primarily by the California Department of Consumer Affairs, Bureau of Cannabis Control and The Department of Food and Agriculture. At a state level, Cannabis cultivation is not classified as agriculture. Cultivation is a product endeavor and while I disagree with this approach, it’s as directed by the people of California in passage of Proposition 64. The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) applies both for the county permit and state license. At a county level, a Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND) was completed and went unchallenged. The goal was to legitimize existing activity and was coupled with a “Phase 1” ordinance, welcoming applicants who could show proof of cultivation prior to 2016. I’ve felt uneasy about this requirement in regard to the spirit of equal protection, but one could argue it made sense for a short period of time to prioritize legitimization of an existing underground economy. Nonetheless, this met the CEQA obligation for the county permit.

CEQA for the state license is an entirely separate matter. This is between applicants and the state. Annual license application requirements are codified in California Code of Regulations § 8102. There are essentially two paths enumerated under 8102(r). (1) allows documentation of county site specific review to be forwarded to the state to meet the state license CEQA obligation, alleviating the need to perform duplicative review. (2) allows the applicant to submit full CEQA documentation direct to the state. The latter option has been a viable pathway for Mendocino County cultivators since the state regulation was created. Of note, CDFA doesn’t exactly have adequate staff assigned and cannot estimate how long review will take, probably because cultivators from other counties overwhelmingly prefer the (1) path.

On January 5, 2021, my ad-hoc gained full board support on a proposal to allow county permit applicants to hire third party consultants at their own expense to document the existing county-performed site specific review in a format appropriate for submission to CDFA to exercise the 8102(r)(1) path. This path might work for some applicants. The effort cannot include authorship of a new work product, but rather, is limited to showing the existing site specific review that justified issuance of a county permit. It’s at the applicant’s expense, because this was never work contemplated by the county or included in cost recovery at fee hearings. It represents the county’s attempt to lend a hand to cultivators in pursuit of state licensing. It was not included in the ~$1500 permit fee paid by cultivators. 

Applicants should become educated in the process, because there is not a single best path for all cultivators. For cultivators who hold county permits with successful Sensitive Species and Habitat Review and are in compliance with local laws, the lesser effort 8102(r)(1) could be the shortest path to state license. The process may be unforgiving and therefore applicants are encouraged to get it right for the first attempt. I worry about cultivators paying inexperienced consultants and losing their ability to operate in the legal market. I recommend cultivators ask potential consultants for proof of successful site specific CEQA and review the outcomes carefully.

Recognizing that nearly 200 county permits had been issued without a completed Sensitive Species and Habitat Review while the Cannabis Program was operated under our Ag Department, the board supported an ad-hoc committee recommendation on December 8, 2020 to initiate an Interagency Agreement with California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Soon, CDFW biologists will be available to process Mendocino County SSHR requests, a review necessary under the county ordinance and our environmental document (MND). The outcome is unknown. In order to meet the requirements of the county permit, less than significant impact to sensitive species and habitat must be found by CDFW. Due to the ministerial nature of the county permit, if greater impact is found, conditions cannot be applied to mitigate existing impact. Rather, approval of the permit will fail and once ejected from Phase 1, the ordinance offers no option to re-enroll. Even farms which are doing everything within their power to operate in ecological harmony might find that their cultivation clearing sits on what was once sensitive species habitat. For example, a cultivation site cleared decades back in an area of Covelo with Lupine could be a problem, no matter the farming practices exercised today.

The state “provisional” concept expires on Jan 1, 2022. There is talk about the legislature extending the provisional, but we also anticipate CDFA will soon require Mendocino County applicants to affirm their intended CEQA compliance path and provide regular updates indicating actual progress. In other words, if a legislative extension materializes, it is unlikely to act as a blanket postponement of obligation. At present there are approximately 1,100 in the county system and approximately 800 in the state system. The delta of 300 represents farms which are not actually operating legally under state law.

As with most complex problems, generalizing cannabis cultivators will produce an inaccurate narrative. Some cannabis cultivators are amazing neighbors and farm in harmony with the land, free of environmental destruction. Others are terrible neighbors and place profit over environmental compliance. The quality of applications also vary. Plot plans need not be computer generated or perfectly to scale, but napkin drawings lacking compass bearings, applicable structures and legend can block the review pipeline. When staff walked me through a random stack of permits, I saw electrical violations, non-permitted ponds, buildings without approved septics, enlarged clearings and all sorts of other violations. Perhaps some have compliance plans, but I suspect many do not. Prohibition forced an industry into the underground economy and many are likely unaware of the extent of their own non-compliance. These problems will likely surface during site specific review for state licensing.

When I joined the county, the cannabis program was in transition from the Agriculture Department to Planning and Building Services. Our CEO took heat from people who believed cannabis belonged in Ag, because it’s about growing crops. As is often the case, there was more to the story. Staff in the Ag department assigned to work on cannabis permits were bailing, in part because they did not wish to work on cannabis applications. 

Today, we’re adjusting to the resignations of our Planning Director, Cannabis Manager and a highly qualified Senior Planner. Forcing skilled planners to process cannabis applications without authority to reject poor quality submissions is not a recipe for success. It will destroy Planning and Building. Without safeguards, I believe we will see an exodus of skilled staff. We cannot allow the failures of the previously approved Cannabis Program to injure a vital department.

On January 25, on a 4-1 vote with Supervisor Haschak dissenting, we approved a new land use cultivation ordinance (Phase 3) for submission to our Planning Commission. This is a drastic departure from the failed Phase 1 approach. In essence, under this new ordinance, we answer the “where” while leaving the “how” to the state. Eligibility will not be limited to any class of applicants. The approach mirrors land use policies of other counties, including Humboldt, where state licenses have been awarded to hundreds of applicants. I would argue it’s the most stringent Cannabis Cultivation process in county to date, because every single applicant will go before discretionary review (many in front of the Planning Commission). The board gave direction to author standard conditions to limit water hauling, regular generate use and continued proliferation of plastic. Use Permit applicants must demonstrate their project will not create a nuisance or detriment to health, safety, peace, morals, comfort or general welfare. The level of discretionary review will meet the state CEQA obligation, allowing timely issuance of state license. The program is of scale and complexity to fit within the county’s organizational capabilities. Under the new model, the county will act in an appropriate land use regulation role, balancing competing property rights, avoiding intentional anticompetitive effect. Cultivation size will depend on site specific environmental concerns and impacts to neighboring use.

There have been calls for the county to regulate the market for purposes of prioritizing “legacy”, limiting competition from “outsiders” and controlling supply. Land use and zoning decisions do have an economic impact, but categorically, it is inappropriate to use this authority for the purpose of ensuring specific economic benefit. Cannabis prohibition is ending. California voters decided it was time to stop jailing our people over a plant. With the repeal of prohibition, competition is a given. Some businesses will succeed through innovation, marketing, regulatory compliance and solid business practices. It is not for government to decide the winners and losers. My heart is with the small farms. I’d prefer see small, ecologically superior independent farms. Legitimizing all previously outlaw activity will not be possible under the state regulatory framework. For some, relocation will be the only path to continued operation within the legal market. These decisions were made when Proposition 64 was passed. Other Supervisors might not be as vocal and raw, but I suspect there is little difference in perception.

The Cannabis program today generates nearly $6M of annual tax revenue. This is more than the transient occupancy tax (“bed tax”). Cannabis added millions to the general fund at a time we allocated millions from the general fund to bolster the Sheriff’s office. The bulk of our general fund is allocated to public safety. If only 15% of the 1,100 cannabis farms are successful in state licensing, we’ll soon be talking about where to make cuts.

Typically, after I share observations about the cannabis program, I receive suggestions that we should have a simpler program for backyard farms. This is not possible under the legal framework passed by California voters and subsequent legislative action (SB94). I will also hear about the need for greater enforcement. Aside from the obvious implications of losing millions of dollars per year, I can’t see the county indiscriminately engaging in enforcement against the farms which came forward and attempted to enter the legal market. As one of the predominant revenue streams to Mendocino County, overnight abatement of cannabis cultivation would trigger economic devastation for unrelated businesses.

We have a problem. There are no perfect solutions. The “Phase 3” land use approach will soften the impact.

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UKIAH CITY COUNCIL APPOINTS RODIN

 by Justine Frederiksen

At a special virtual meeting Thursday, the Ukiah City Council appointed former Council member Mari Rodin to fill the seat recently vacated by Maureen Mulheren, who was elected to the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors.

Mari Rodin

Rodin, who ran against Mulheren for the 2nd District seat on the county’s Board of Supervisors in the November 2020 election, was one of eight people who applied to fill Mulheren’s seat. The other seven applicants were Steve Scalmanini, who lost his seat on the City Council in November, and Jason Howard, Michelle Johnson, Cameron Ramos (a Ukiah City Council candidate in the November 2020 election), Susan Sher, Joel Veikko Soinila and Jeff Trouette.

The City Council scheduled a special meeting Thursday to review the applications and possibly appoint one of the applicants to fill the unexpired term of Mulheren, which is set to end in November of 2022.

More than 60 letters of support were received from the public, 28 of which expressed support for Rodin, 23 of which expressed support for Scalmanini (eight letters expressed support for both Scalmanini and Rodin.)

Applicant Susan Sher received 10 letters of support, Michelle Johnson eight, and both Joel Soinila and Jeff Troutte received two each.

Vice-Mayor Jim Brown said his first choice was Rodin, explaining that since there were only two years left in Mulheren’s term, and that he felt it took him a while to “get up to speed” when he was first elected, he felt it was important to appoint someone with experience, of which he said Rodin had an “extensive” amount. Brown said his second choice was Johnson.

Mayor Juan Orozco agreed that the board needed someone with experience and said his first choice was Rodin, and second choice was Scalmanini.

Council member Doug Crane also voiced support for Scalmanini, describing him as “consistently standing up for the underdog and putting his shoulder to the wheel.” Crane said his second choice was Rodin, and third choice was Johnson.

City Council member Josefina Duenas said she did not feel experience was the top priority, given that there were already three people on the council with experience and knowledge. Her first choice was Soinila, second was Susan Sher, and her third was Ramos.

Given that three people listed Rodin as one of their choices, Brown made a motion to appoint Rodin, and the City Council voted 3-1 to select Rodin, with only Duenas voting “no.”

City Manager Sage Sangiacomo said Rodin will be sworn in at the next City Council meeting on Feb. 3.

(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)

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WILLITS, 1939

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JOHNNY SCHMITT of the world famous Boonville Hotel passes along a plug for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine: 

Opinion from a friend who does a lot of critical thinking. Good to hear, we need all the help we can get right now! 

Six important things to consider with respect to the 72% efficacy of the Phase-3 Johnson & Johnson vaccine:

1) That 72% rate is on infection, not hospitalization and death. It’s exactly the same efficacy as Pfizer and Moderna in preventing severe cases.

2) Those test numbers are apples and oranges because the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were tested much earlier. We had significantly lower community spread back then, and no identified mutations. So the J&J stats would probably have been even higher if tested at the same time as Pfizer and Moderna.

3) The flu vaccine is only 45%-60% effective, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a credentialed epidemiologist who’d suggest we not get it.

4) The J&J vaccine requires only one dose to achieve its full immunity potential, so higher likelihood that people will get fully immunized if they don’t have to schedule and show-up for the second dose.

5) The J&J requires no special “deep freeze” (Pfizer) or special “refrigeration” (Moderna), so we should be able to get it to more rural and under-served urban neighborhoods. 

6) J&J can produce massive quantities.

No, I’m not a shareholder, but this is a great product. Yes, if I have a choice, I’m still going with Pfizer or Moderna, but I don’t have a 75-mile drive to the nearest vaccination point (a number of small rural communities will) and I’m retired with plenty of time on my hands. If I can’t get those though, I’m still going to sleep pretty well, and start returning to “normal” living if I get the J&J. I really hope the news does a better job of explaining this; just quoting the 72% vs 94% makes it sound like you’d be crazy to want the J&J, which couldn’t be further from the truth.

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Broadway, San Francisco, 1961

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MYERS FLAT WOMAN HAS FOOT AMPUTATED AFTER SURVIVING A VICIOUS DOG ATTACK

by Ryan Burns

A 35-year-old mother of five is recovering from serious injuries and a surgery in which one of her feet was amputated after she was viciously attacked by two pit bulls while trying to help a neighbor Thursday afternoon in Myers Flat.

Candis Danielson had gone over to her neighbor’s house to help him with his generator during a power outage when the neighbor’s dogs got out of his trailer and attacked her, according to Aaron Merriman, an emergency medical services worker who responded to the scene. 

The dogs had dragged Danielson under the trailer and inflicted extensive damage to her legs and feet, Merriman said.

Candis Danielson

“She was in extreme shock but would respond to her name,” Merriman said. 

According to to a press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, responding deputies performed life-saving efforts on Danielson, who was transported to St. Joseph Hospital and is expected to survive.

Another victim also suffered bite injuries and was treated at a nearby fire station, the sheriff’s office said. 

Danielson’s sister, Shiann Davis, set up a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for Danielson’s medical bills and any potential legal fees. In the initial post, which went up on Thursday evening, Davis wrote that her sister was undergoing surgery to have one leg amputated and may lose the other leg as well. However, in a Friday morning update, Davis wrote that surgeons had only amputated one foot, “and they are bringing in specialists to see what they may be able to save of the rest of her leg.”

Davis released the following statement to the Outpost Friday morning:

“It’s taking a minute just to get over the initial shock of everything. We’re just trying to remind ourselves Candis is in good hands and being taken care of by proper specialists, her pain is being managed, and most importantly she’s alive.

It’s a strange world now. We can’t be there in the hospital with her and even her kids may not be able to see her for probably a month while she’s going through this because of COVID, but the precaution makes sense for her safety and the safety of others.

“If you know her, you also know how strong she is and how much of a fighter she is. If you don’t know her, take my word that you’d be lucky to cross paths one day. We’re grateful to everyone that has offered support to our family during this time. Thank you so much for your generosity, for sharing, and for reaching out.”

Davis’s boyfriend, Myles Cochrane (who formerly worked as program director at KSLG FM, owned by the Outpost’s parent company, Lost Coast Communication, Inc.), defended pit bulls generally but said these particular dogs were dangerous:

“Dogs are one of the greatest gifts to humanity. Regardless of breed or size, if they’re raised right they will in all likelihood succeed. It’s unfathomable some humans have the luxury of being called a “gentle giant” yet many qualifying pit bulls don’t get the same privilege. That said, these particular dogs should never have had this opportunity at attempted murder.”

Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Specialist Samantha Karges told the Outpost that the dogs will be required to undergo a vicious dog hearing.

“If at that hearing the dogs are determined to be potentially dangerous or vicious dogs, and that the release of the dogs would create a significant threat to the public health, safety, and welfare, then the dogs could be put down. The process is outlined in County Code § 547.”

The dogs’ owner has not been charged with any crimes — no charges have been requested, Karges said, adding that the incident is still under investigation. 

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Here’s the press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office:

On Jan. 28, 2021, at about 12:45 p.m., Humboldt County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to a residence on the 200 block of Myers Avenue in Myers Flat for the report of a dog attack.

According to the reporting party, the 35-year-old female victim had arrived at the residence to perform housekeeping services. Upon arrival, the victim was reportedly attacked by two pit bulls, which were pets that lived at the residence.

When deputies arrived on scene, the dogs had already been detained in a vehicle by their owner. Deputies located the victim with serious and extensive injuries related to the attack. Deputies performed life-saving efforts on the victim. The victim was transported to a local hospital for treatment and is expected to survive.

While investigating, deputies learned of a second victim who was being treated for bite-related injuries at a fire station nearby. Upon contacting the male victim, deputies learned that the man had stopped at the property to assist the female victim and dog owner. However, while attempting to assist, the man sustained moderate injuries from the dogs. The man left the property prior to deputy arrival to seek medical treatment.

Animal Control Officers took custody of the dogs and they were transported to the Humboldt County Animal Shelter where they are being held pursuant to Humboldt County Code § 542-13 and § 547-14.

(Courtesy, LostCoastOutpost.com)

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Early Color Photo of Rockport Mill

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GEORGE DORNER WRITES: 

While I served on the Grand Jury in 1990, one of the problems examined was this same problem of shortage of deputies in the county, and the difficulty of keeping them from transferring to better paying jobs once trained. Our conclusion then was that the county should exact a contracted term of service for a new deputy after their training.

Thirty years later, the problem remains unsolved. I have my own suggestion. Let’s replace the courthouse’s private security guards with deputies. Cancel the guard contract, and redirect the funds to hiring deputies. Hire any present guards that want to be deputies, subject to their eligibility. The sheriff’s department gains in deputy slots. Also, the courthouse posts could used as light duty posts for ill or injured deputies, as well as training posts for rookie deputies. And given the lavish hand with which the BOS doles out its outside contracts, there’s an excellent chance MCSO may gain some funding in the process.

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WILLITS WOMEN’S IMPROVEMENT CLUB

“The Willits Women’s Improvement Club was organized February 22, 1905. During the 22 years of its existence the Club has been back of every movement for the betterment of our community. Among the outstanding accomplishments is the Carnegie Public Library which is the building to the left of the Clubhouse. The Club purchased the lot, furniture and furnishings and also donated a large number of books.” (Compliments of the Willits News)

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LEE EDMUNDSON WRITES:

Seems from reporting the Measure B committee isn’t worth a cup of cold spit. I wholeheartedly agree it should be disbanded and replaced by the BoS, who may empanel an advisory committee. But BoS has to take charge. Which idiot doesn’t want the old Howard Hospital for a working facility? Please advise.

Really enjoyed the owl story. Hooray for happy outcomes. Humanity, compassion, what conditions, what concepts!

I once had a barn owl bounce off my windshield on my way home from a show late at night. It stood on the road in my headlights for a bit, stunned (duh). When I got out of my truck to see if it was all right, it scurried off into the pygmy brush. I pulled over and parked. Put on my emergency flashers, got my flashlight, and spent the next 20 or so minutes searching for the fowl. Found it, it was still a bit stunned and dragged a wing. Cradled it in my jacket back to the truck and home, Boxed it, gave it water (oops?) and resolved if it was alive in the morning I would do something further about it. It was alive next morning so I called Ronnie James who told me of a veterinary clinic in Ukiah that treated wild animals. I phoned them up, explained the situation and they told me to come on over with the bird. Which I did.

When waiting my turn with owl, there was a younger fellow with his dog, all wrapped up in bandages. He explained the fella was leashed in the back of his truck and had fallen out of the bed. Dragged him for about a block or so before he noticed the howls and pulled over. I first thought ‘stupid’. then recalled a line from Saint Exupery’s The Little Prince. “When you tame something, you are responsible for it.”

Clinicians diagnosed a broken wing. Said they call if they fixed it. They did, and brer owl was released back into the wild.

Happy Endings. There’s nothing like ’em.

Lee Edmundson

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ED NOTES

THE LONELIEST MAN in Ukiah has got to be Kevin Murray, the former sergeant with the Ukiah Police Department. Three months ago he was sailing along, having been promoted into a supervisory position. Apart from some rough domestic terrain on his home front, the twice-married policeman still had his wife and his small children. He still had a good job and a good reputation, the good reputation marred only by a formal charge of excessive force still pending in federal court. In that one, the burly Murray charged up the stairs at a Ukiah man lingering in his doorway where Murray had told him not to linger, hospitalizing the man who still suffers from the encounter.

THEN, in late November, there was Murray's sordid encounter with a prostitute in a Ukiah motel. This episode is still alleged since it hasn't been sorted out in court, but Murray is charged with forcing the woman into a joyless sexual act on the authority of his badge and uniform, which also included a gun, presumably. Murray is also alleged to have brought a small quantity of methamphetamine to the motel with him which, as any tweeker will tell you, functions as an aphrodisiac. If Murray was under its influence his sexual impulses may have been rampaging, not that raging priapism is any excuse for what he's accused of doing. If he did it. Court testimony, if the matter finally gets before a judge, will be a second crime committed against the alleged sex worker because there's only one defense for Murray, and that is her character, which will be shredded for the record.

THE ACCUSATIONS against Murray seem to have brought out every cop hater on the Northcoast, none of whom are cutting him any slack although he's been fired, humiliated, doomed before anybody has heard his side of the story. Maybe he doesn't have a side. Maybe he's a thoroughly flawed individual, but along with the cop-hating comments there was a deluge of unsubstantiated claims by the on-line lynch mob about cops selling confiscated dope, cops beating people up recreationally, cops doing this, cops doing that. The Ukiah cops didn't waste much time firing Murray, and other cops in this area have been given the bounce just as summarily for lesser offenses. We don't have a problem in this county with disreputeably-led police departments.

COPS these days have the hardest job there is, or one of them, especially as the society falls down around them and all of us. They're Johnny-With-His-Finger in the dam with the flood waters rising. In all my years on the Northcoast I've seen the police in all kinds of situations, and I'd testify any time that they've done a good job, in some cases even a saintly job. I think the Murray case is a sad one, not only for him but all the rest of the cops who go about their Sisyphean task in an impossible time without any of us noticing.

MURRAY'S a young guy with a young family. I hope he can somehow pick up the pieces of his self-induced misfortune and make a life for himself and his.

RE THE MYERS FLAT WOMAN nearly killed by her neighbor's pit bulls, it seems time, wayyyyyy past time, to license the owners of these dogs along with some kind of special license for this breed and its off-shoot breeds. Every psycho in the country owns one or more of these things, and these owners all say the same thing: “It's not the dog, it's the owner.” It's both. Obviously. This incompetent in Myers Flat wasn't even able to flip his power breaker back on, said he didn't know how to do it. He called this poor woman to do it for him and it cost her a foot. Book 'em, Dano!

NOT THAT THE BOOK BURNERS would care, but some heavy hitting historians are criticizing the know-nothing chairman in charge of renaming San Francisco schools after it was revealed that he refused to consult with them during the consideration process, such as it was. Earlier this week, the San Francisco Board of Education voted 6-1 to change the names of 44 public schools honoring famous figures from American history. The vote came three years after a committee was formed to study whether such figures were “racist” and if the ignorati decided they were racists, which they did, their names should be stripped from Frisco's schools. Jeremiah Jeffries, himself raised in a family of Black Muslims, the infamous racist and anti-Semitic cult, chaired the committee. Jeffries ridiculed the idea of bringing in scholars to discuss the historical backgrounds of the figures in question, relying instead on Wikipedia articles for his information, some of it factually incorrect. The decision to rename the schools has caused widespread backlash.

ERIC FONER, the distinguished Columbia historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author, commented, “If you can only name schools after people who were perfect, you will have a lot of unnamed schools.” Professor Foner was seconded by Alexis Coe, the author of a best-selling biography on George Washington. “We're being confronted with all-or-nothing choices when it comes to our founding history, monuments, or school names. That's not how history works, or our lives work, or how anything works.” 

IT COULD HAPPEN HERE! A mass COVID-19 vaccination site at LA's Dodgers Stadium was forced to temporarily shut down Saturday after dozens of anti-vaxxers descended on the venue and disrupted the long line of drivers waiting to get their dose. About 50 protesters, including members of anti-vaccine and other nut groups, gathered outside the entrance earlier this afternoon with picket signs decrying the vaccine and casting doubt on the pandemic, the Los Angeles Times reported. Members of the crowd were seen holding up placards reading: 'COVID=SCAM', 'COERCION IS ILLEGAL', and 'Mark of the beast ahead', as motorists lined up at the vaccine site, one of the largest in the country. The demonstration prompted officials to shut the entrance for an hour as precaution, stalling hundreds of people who had been waiting in line for hours. One man who drove from his home in La Verne and had been waiting for an hour for his vaccination when the stadium's gates were closed, said activists were telling people the virus is fake and that vaccines are dangerous. 'This is completely wrong,' German Jaquez told the Times. 'I've been waiting for weeks to get an appointment. I am a dentist; I am taking a big risk being around patients.'

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, January 30, 2021

Avendano, Enriquez, Watson

OSCAR AVENDANO, Ukiah. Domestic battery, probation revocation.

SHAE ENRIQUEZ, Fort Bragg. Domestic abuse, domestic battery, cruelty to child with injury inflicted, touching of intimate parts of another against their will, vandalism, criminal threats. 

RUSSEL WATSON, Willits. County parole violation.

* * *

WHO IS THIS WOMAN?

a. A Congresswoman from San Diego

b. A Pfizer Vice President 

c. Biden’s new Secretary of Labor

d. Recent winner of America’s Top Chef

e. A columnist for the New York Times

f. None of the above.

(For the answer see the end of this post.)

* * *

Brooktrails Clubhouse with Civet Cat Bus

* * *

ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY

Maybe it was thousands of Trump supporters, egged on by Trump, that headed to the Capitol to protest. Then an aggressive subset of them stormed the grounds, and an even more violent subset of them invaded the building itself, some with obvious murderous intent. #notalltrumpers, but some of them, certainly. Could there have been some antifa in among them? Possible of course. Just like there were alt-right creating havoc among BLM protests. However I’ve noticed that Antifa protesters are smart enough to wear masks when getting their pictures taken, and there wasn’t a lot of those sorts of smarts going around on 1/6. It’s natural to not want to believe there are bad people among those who share your beliefs. I supported the thousands who came out in support of BLM and hated to see their efforts undemined by a few dipshits throwing things at cops and vandalizing fed buildings. I’d like to believe they were not connected. But I’m not going to weave fantasies for myself to believe in instead. Most of the time, this time included, the obvious is true: Some few deranged Trumpers thought they were going to kill Pelosi and kill Pence and were going to disrupt the count — and thought they had Trump’s blessing to do so. Also: Biden’s doing his job, a little stammery while he’s doing it, but look at news sources not intent on taking him down and you’ll see he’s doing what his supporters elected him to do. Also: That election was certified in 50 states after dems who blew their chance in ‘16 were hell bent on getting rid of Trump this time came out (or stayed in and voted by mail like myself) in droves. And it was upheld in over 50 court cases. Fantasy is comforting and simple, reality is boring and complicated. Choose reality. 

* * *

“IF WE CONTINUE, as we have, then, you know, we’re doomed. And the judgment of some higher power on that will be, ‘They didn’t even struggle. They went to the boxcars with their suitcases and they didn’t even struggle.’

This is too nightmarish to contemplate. We’re talking about the fate of a whole planet. Why are people so polite? Why are they so patient? Why are they so forgiving of gangsterism and betrayal? 

It’s very difficult to understand. I believe it’s because the dominator culture is increasingly more and more sophisticated in its perfection of subliminal mechanisms of control. 

And I don’t mean anything grandiose and paranoid; I just mean that through press releases and sound bites and the enforced idiocy of television, the drama of a dying world has been turned into a soap opera for most people. And they don’t understand that it’s their story and they will eat it in the final act if somewhere between here and the final act they don’t stand up on their hind legs and howl.”

— Terence McKenna

* * *

THE 19 TRAP

Editor,

Proposition 19 penalizes some fire victims. Proposition 19 (labeled as home protection for seniors, severely disabled, families and victims of wildfires or natural disasters) has a glitch we're really upset about. 

We're victims of the Tubbs wildfire and lost our home of 30 years in 2017. 

We sold our lot in 2018. Under existing law we had five years to repurchase and retain our original tax base (in the same county) or three years (in certain other counties). Proposition 19 changed it to two years (but in any county, yahoo). 

As we haven't purchased a home, as of April 1, we lose our tax base option. 

Wait, wasn't it supposed to help us? 

We were so excited when the law passed so we could relocate in any county. Now it feels like just another frustrating limitation to restarting life. It doesn't make sense. This could affect Paradise fire victims as well. 

Our complaints have been met with, "Sorry, the law is passed, nothing can be done. We'll pass along your story." 

Liesl Ramsay

Santa Rosa

* * *

“BECAUSE WE DON'T KNOW when we will die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens only a certain number of times, and a very small number really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, an afternoon that is so deeply a part of your being that you can't even conceive of your life without it? 

Paul Bowles

Perhaps four, five times more, perhaps not even that. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps 20. And yet it all seems limitless.”

—Paul Bowles

* * *

MEMO OF THE AIR: A lot to unpack.

"We spent 738 billion dollars on defense in 2020, and the Capitol building was taken in 10 minutes by Duck Dynasty and a guy in a deerskin bikini."

The recording of last night's (2021-01-29) Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show on KNYO-LP Fort Bragg is right here: https://tinyurl.com/KNYO-MOTA-0421

And at https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com you'll find a fresh batch of dozens of links to not necessarily radio-useful but nonetheless worthwhile educational items I set aside for you while gathering the show together. Such as:

Thousand Hands Dance. Again. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yk5eCbMzetU

Technique of making faux satellite imagery by mixing paint and ink. https://theawesomer.com/satellike/608429/

"A good deed is always more powerful than evil magic." Still true. http://www.weirduniverse.net/blog/comments/the_singing_ringing_tree

And a bright gay ballet of bendy Russian sailors. The tricks the accordionist plays with gravity make me cringe about his back and his knee joints. That instrument weighs as much as a box full of books. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K21yj2lEgrA

Marco McClean

* * *

ANSWER: Congresswoman Sara Jacobs became the youngest person to represent California when she was elected from San Diego in 2020. 

She was born in Del Mar, California on February 1, 1989, and raised in San Diego. She is the granddaughter of businessman and Qualcomm founder Irwin Jacobs and daughter of Jerri-Ann and philanthropist Gary Jacobs. Her uncle, Paul Jacobs was the former CEO and Chairman of Qualcomm. Jacobs graduated from Torrey Pines High School and Columbia University earning a bachelor’s degree in political science in 2011 and a master’s in international relations in 2012. After earning her master's degree, Jacobs worked for the United Nations and UNICEF. In February 2014, she began working as a contractor in the State Department. She then served as a policy advisor on the Hillary Clinton 2016 presidential campaign. After that election, Jacobs formed a nonprofit called “San Diego for Every Child: The Coalition to End Child Poverty.” (Qualcomm is a huge multinational technology corporation based in San Diego but incorporated in Joe Biden’s home state of Delaware where all the big companies incorporate because Biden has made them so welcome. According to the Qualcomm website they make “intellectual property,” semiconductors, software and services related to wireless technology. According to her 2019 tax filing (available on her website) the 31-year old Jacobs paid about $1.8 million in federal taxes on a total income of about $7.2 million which she somehow “earned” as a “politician” while working at UNICEF, etc. Actually, most of her income appears to have come from sales of Qualcomm stock which she acquired at “various” times. 

20 Comments

  1. Noel Manners January 31, 2021

    Bruce A. Has the cleverness to reply to posts with humor.
    The other Bruce seems to have lost this talent

  2. Douglas Coulter January 31, 2021

    Dog attack!
    Heart wrenching story I’m trying to wrap my head around. Too few details but I was mauled by a dog when I was 8 and unless dogs come out of nowhere I know how to stop an attack. Always carry a big stick when you expect large aggressive dogs. A single large dog with big mouth is helpless when your fist is deep inside its throat. You do get cuts on arm from teeth.
    It almost sounds like dog owner sicked the dogs on her, this will all come out in investigation but the trauma this whole family experienced is heart breaking.
    Any pet the owner cannot control needs extra security for ownership. Pit bulls need examination at the first sign of aggressive behavior. Require insurance for large dogs prone to violent action. The history of these dogs demonstrate this was a tragedy just waiting to happen.
    I would have carried a machete or a Polanski axe if I knew my neighbor had vicious dogs. But the voice of experience comes from not being prepared in the past.
    Most vicious dogs respond to calm voice and eye contact but dog packs become a different beast. Read Call Of The Wild

  3. Bruce McEwen January 31, 2021

    “Doomed,” you say? Don’t you rather mean damned? I mean, all you prophets of doom are uniformly conservative, self-serving, jerks. And your concept of doom is pretty much everyone else’s idea of the ideal — a place where God-fearing evangelists like you cannot be allowed to take Native American babes from their mother’s breast and put ’em in good, law-abiding, up-standing Christian homes, like was done when you were young and Ukiah was your town, and who were these brown people saying they were natives — not you?

    There’s two problems with prophecy, Mr. Marmon.
    1. Everybody knows you don’t know what you predict, because you can’t know unless you are God.
    2. To stake your reputation as a reasonable person on an event you can’t control, is the sign of a compulsive gambler.

    So Please, James, for the sake of your poor old mother, get some counseling, attend gamblers anonymous, and stay away from the casinos {it’s only money the savages take from you, whiteman, not revenge}.

  4. Stephen Rosenthal January 31, 2021

    Re UKIAH CITY COUNCIL APPOINTS RODIN: of course they did. Since Ukiah is so well run and prosperous (Not!), let’s bring back the “good ol’ gal” who had a hand in making Ukiah the pit it is today. With apologies to Ms. Duenas, who appears to have a brain and backbone, no wonder young qualified people with even a modicum of vision like Soinila have no prayer of shaping the future.

    • Marmon January 31, 2021

      Camille Schraeder’s friend, “Mo” also helped turn my hometown into the shithole it is today. You got to love those liberal politics.

      Marmon

      • Bruce Anderson January 31, 2021

        Mo’s off to a good start as supervisor, James, and in the course of public business in a small county of course she will of necessity deal with all kinds of people, including the royal family of helping pros. Ukiah’s been on a downhill slide since 1955.

        • Marmon January 31, 2021

          Sure, blame it all on me.

          Marmon

          • Bruce Anderson January 31, 2021

            There, there biker man. Everything’s going to be ok. Daddy’s here.

        • Stephen Rosenthal January 31, 2021

          I agree. Much to my pleasant surprise, Mo seems willing to stand up to Angelo and do what’s best for the County. Time will tell if that continues, since Williams began that way as well but in my opinion has backslid to be more in line with Angelo and, gasp, Haschak, the County’s emptiest suit (although Gjerde gives him strong competition for that title). Mo’s detailed and greatly appreciated weekly reports should be an example for the rest of the Supervisors.

          • Marmon January 31, 2021

            Until, Health and Human Services is finally reeled in, Ukiah and rest of the County are doomed. Marbut and Kemper made good recommendations which the County and City of Ukiah refused to fully adopt. Public Health, Mental Health, SUDT, and Family and Children’s Services (CPS) are all a mess. Ukiah needs to quit picking up strays out on the 101 and bringing them home to feed. Conservatives will be in power again someday, hopefully soon, to finish up what we started.

            #MAGA

            Marmon

  5. Stephen Rosenthal January 31, 2021

    School names: To her credit, Mayor London Breed is vehemently opposed to renaming San Francisco schools. But since it seems that this ridiculous motion is barreling down the tracks, here’s a simple solution. Follow New York City’s example and assign each public school a number, e.g., PS 21, PS 34, etc. Would/could the dumb fucks running the SF School Board object to this? Actually, of course they would.

    • Harvey Reading January 31, 2021

      I’d prefer the numbering system to the current system of making heroes out of traitors, and scumbags, like, say Thomas Jefferson, who raped his slave, Sally Hemings, at around age 13 and conceived several babies with her. She had no recourse from the from the forced intercourse demanded by her “kindly”, “great” master, who also managed to include in his writings references to his negative impressions of physical and physiological characteristics of black people.

  6. Lazarus January 31, 2021

    LEE EDMUNDSON WRITES:

    “Seems from reporting the Measure B committee isn’t worth a cup of cold spit. I wholeheartedly agree it should be disbanded and replaced by the BoS, who may empanel an advisory committee. But BoS has to take charge. Which idiot doesn’t want the old Howard Hospital for a working facility? Please advise.”

    This is one of the dumbest posts on Measure B and ole Howard yet… just another ill-informed name caller.
    Stick to what you know about, like, barn owls…
    Be Swell,
    Laz

  7. David Jensen January 31, 2021

    So who said that schools need to e named after people?

  8. Marmon January 31, 2021

    RE: FACT CHECKING TED

    “Staff in the Ag department assigned to work on cannabis permits were bailing, in part because they did not wish to work on cannabis applications.”

    FALSE

    They were bailing because they were given an impossible task along with having to work in a hostile environment created by Angelo and McCowen.

    Marmon

    • Marmon January 31, 2021

      Staff were also taking heat from hundred’s of growers because of McCowen’s ridiculous regulations and fees. Folks were taking out all their frustrations on staff. It was a horrible place to work, they were calling me asking for help. I did what I could. Since then people stopped trying to go legal, much different environment for those in the Planning and Building Department now.

      Marmon

      • Marmon January 31, 2021

        From day one, Diane Curry, former Ag Commissioner pushed back against McCowen’s ordinance, especially over the CEQA requirements. She knew the County was taking money from growers knowing that they would never be able obtain a State license.

        Another reason the County switched from Ag to Planning and Building Department was because they wanted to catch all those un-permitted structures that folks built throughout the years.

        Marmon

      • George Hollister January 31, 2021

        It has been known for a few years that the county has not staffed up to meet the necessary requirement to process permits. Ted Williams has made the same observation, and assessment. So why not make staffing a priority? Why not budget for 10 new positions at Building and Planning to exclusively work on processing, follow through, and code enforcement of Mendocino County California legal cannabis? The money is coming in from Cannabis, so use whatever it takes from that money to provide the funding. It appears there would be money left over. To me, there is no excuse for not having the necessary staffing. And without the staffing the rest means nothing. Meanwhile we have a rush of, mostly out of towners, coming in to grow for the black market. These people don’t care about Mendocino County’s permit processing problems, and they know the black market is welcomed here.

        Also, Building And Planning needs to begin rejecting cannabis applications that can not qualify, or are being filed by applicants unwilling to follow through.

  9. George Hollister January 31, 2021

    “If you can only name schools after people who were perfect, you will have a lot of unnamed schools.”

    We could name all schools Jesus, or Allah, or Buddha, if that is your wish. Of course the real take from San Francisco’s school board is it demonstrates a city that is unhinged. And reflect on this, SF is the center of the Democratic Party in America.

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