Press "Enter" to skip to content

Off the Record (May 12, 2021)

GENTLEMAN GEORGE HOLLISTER, the sage of Comptche (and President of the Local Farm Bureau), got it right. Responding to Mark Scaramella's article (“Welcome to Mendo, Mr. Grewal,” GG noted: “As a government outsider, my impression of Harinder Grewal was that he was a highly qualified professional, and served agriculture and the county well. Something not seen often in this neck of the woods. He was the first person I heard say that the way to get through the backlog of cannabis permits was to fund, and fill more county positions that were involved with doing that, and reject the permits that obviously would never qualify. Ted Williams said the same thing 3 years later, and the BOS has finally recognized the problem today. Harinder said the solution “was simple.” The cannabis fee money was there to implement the program, but was spent elsewhere. Right on the money. Grewal was a highly qualified professional in the best sense, and whatever inspired him to apply for a supervisory position in the quicksand of Mendocino County, I'm sure he regrets. Grewal proposed using cannabis funds to hire staff to administer the program (the purpose of the funds) and to approve qualified applications and deny those that were unqualified, a radical notion in official Mendo where accountability is non-existent.”

THE AG DEPARTMENT was in a shambles when Grewal came on board. Joe Moreo, his immediate predecessor, lasted five days before departing without explanation. And before that Diane Curry was perp-walked out the door in front of her staff and the public, apparently for having crossed the terrible-tempered CEO, Ms. Angelo. Another short timer, Kelly Overton, had just been hired as Cannabis Program Manager despite zero experience other than extracurricular, one supposes given his relative youth. Overton didn't last long and was spotted on some kind of personal vision quest in the Mojave.

GREWAL SOON DISCOVERED the Ag Department was out of compliance with numerous state contracts that fund the department in return for such mundane tasks as verifying the accuracy of filling station gas pumps. (Now there's a truly frightening prospect; Mendo verifying pump accuracy?) The annual crop reports were also more than two years in arrears, to the dismay, among others, of the Mendo Farm Bureau. The yawning chasm of cannabis regulation seemingly swallowed up the ability of the department to do anything else.

GREWAL, demonstrating a commitment to his task rare in government, made it his responsibility to put in the hours needed to catch up with the state contracts and the crop reports. Grewal's work ethic stood in sharp contrast to his staff who were enjoying a type of island culture common to departments (like Ag) that fly below the public radar. Think Public Health prior to the arrival of the dread Ms. Angelo. (Give the old girl her due there; she pruned acres of dead wood in the aftermath of the 08/09 recession.) Or Probation prior to the office romance meltdown precipitated by Ms. Markham's work hours boffo-thons. These bureaucracies were on their own. Bad habits developed.

THE PRE-GREWAL standard at Ag seems to be that there was no standard. Employees pretty much came and went as they pleased, showing up late, taking off early, running personal errands on county time. Lax standards seemed to disappear entirely when the department staffed up to regulate cannabis. It was as if the whole show was Stonerville. One of the “inspectors” was let go after it was confirmed that he left a garden he was “inspecting” bearing gifts from the grower.

GREWAL'S ATTEMPT to enforce routine workplace standards — showing up on time, completing assigned tasks — was met with stiff resistance and attempts to get him fired. Employees went to their favorite Supervisors and/or CEO Angelo in an effort to get Grewal out. And they succeeded. Despite a four year contract, Grewal was placed on administrative leave for a month and fired the next. Without, according to his lawsuit, so much as an opportunity to present his side of the story.

GREWAL'S LAWSUIT, as detailed by Major Scaramella, lists specific instances of straight up racist and insubordinate actions by his employees who are called out by name in The Major's story. Grewal tried to have Human Resources investigate his complaints but HR, another office of slovens and time-servers, HR ignored his appeal. The message to Grewal was shut up and take it. But HR was quick to investigate employee complaints against Grewal.

COUNTY LEGAL FEES for the Grewal case are at $350,000 and climbing rapidly. A court-ordered settlement conference is not set until September and trial, following an expensive round of depositions, is not set until June of 2022. By then the legal bill, climbing upwards at hundreds of dollars per billable hour, will easily reach half a million. And once the County is held liable or settles, the County will pay Grewal whatever the court orders or what he settles for, and then will have to pay Grewal's attorney.

WHEN THE AVA asked CEO Angelo for comment on the Grewal matter she refused, peremptorily, insisting that the Ag Commissioner did not report to her. Which is disingenuous since HR, which was at the heart of the dispute, is one of numerous wholly owned subsidiaries of the County government controlled by Angelo. According to Grewal's lawsuit, his complaints of the office racism directed at him — he's a Sikh born in India — were never investigated. Which means they officially did not exist and were not presented to the Supes who only heard the complaints against Grewal.

THE GREWAL LAWSUIT captures the essence of everything wrong with current Mendo County Administration. The CEO, not the Supes, is firmly in control of setting policy and approving the budget. (Although some fissures may be appearing in the CEO's dominance of the Supes.) Any department head or other person in a supervisory role who attempts to hold subordinates accountable runs the risk of internal sabotage. There is no budget control on outside counsel. There is no one willing to question why so much money is being funneled to “outside” counsel instead of defending cases in-house with the county's own ten or so full-time lawyers. Or better yet, settling claims on the front end instead of at the back end of the process. And there is no such thing as an independent HR department able to give unbiased information to the Supes.

JOE MOREO got the Ag Commissioner job before the purged Harinder Grewal. Moreo quickly realized that pot seemed to be the agency's sole priority and he left after a mere five days on the job.

CHUCK WILCHER remembers Moreo: “I’ve known Joe Moreo since our days playing little league baseball.

One day, reading a Press Democrat article years ago about the ground squirrel problem in Modoc county, the article quoted a few cattlemen and eventually the county agriculture commissioner about eradication efforts. When they finally got around to the Ag Commissioner’s solution they identified him as Joe Moreo. I thought “Joe Moreo”? There’s only one Joe Moreo in this world.

So, I looked up the number for the Modoc County Ag. commissioner’s office and called. I asked to speak to the man himself. I told him I was from the Mendocino County Ground Squirrel Preservation Group and I was protesting his oversight of eradication efforts because ground squirrels have rights too.

To say he remained calm and tolerant would be lying. He went off on an anti-environmental rant before I revealed who was calling. We had a good laugh and caught up on our history covering the last few decades.

The first time I ever saw and smoked pot using a stolen thistle tube from the high school chemistry lab was with Joe Moreo. That was in 1971 at the end of his dirt driveway out in Ohio farm country. A bored county deputy happened to drive by and stopped inquiring with “what’cha boys doing out here?” Busted on the first toke! Geez… How lucky was that?

One of Joe’s goals in life was to see the day marijuana became legal. His offer to become the Mendocino County pot czar was a dream come true. Too bad he experienced managerial dysfunction and exited so quick.”

AND WHY IS COUNTY COUNSEL missing in action? With eight or nine attorneys on staff — forty years ago there was one (Tim Stoen) — why does the County hire outside counsel every time a lawsuit is filed? Part of the answer seems to be a lack of confidence in County Counsel Christian Curtis. The last time Curtis went to Court was to try and keep in place the bogus restraining order against Barbara Howe who posed no threat to anyone. Judge Nadel had no trouble seeing through the bumbling presentation put on by Curtis and denied it.

THE GO-TO SOLUTION for a lack of confidence in County Counsel is to hire the CEO's buddies at LCW, a high-priced and supposedly high-powered law firm in San Francisco. But when is the last time the County won a lawsuit? (The AVA is hearing rumors that the Barbara Howe, et al’s, lawsuit against the County may not be dead after all.) If LCW could win a lawsuit here and there, or cut losses with a strategic early settlement, they might be able to justify their exorbitant hourly rates. But any law school hack or hackette knows how to run up the billable hours and delay processes while their own meter is running. Astonishingly, the increase from $200,000 in legal fees (for the Grewal bottomless pit alone) up to $350,000 was approved on the Consent Calendar without comment.

BUT IS CARMEL ANGELO's iron grip on the Supes starting to slip? Since January when Mo Mulheren and Glenn McGourty came aboard, the Supes have apparently turned down Angelo's scheme to buy her friend Dick Selzer's office building (for an unknown purpose) and balked at rubber stamping her list of pet projects for the $22 plus million in PG&E disaster funds from the 2017 Redwood Complex fire.

ANGELO ALSO CAME OFF looking bad when she attempted to spend $5 million of Measure B funds to buy a ranch situated next door to the property owned by missing in action Deputy Public Health Officer Noemi (Mimi) Doohan. (Doohan is presently pulling down a hundred grand as back-up to Public Health Officer Andy Coren, the both of them simply relaying state covid bulletins.) Ms. Doohan was said by neighbors to have long been interested in controlling the neighboring ranch but lacked the funds to purchase it. Solution: have your friend the CEO use Measure B money to buy it. The alleged justification was the “Ranch Proposal” to set up some sort of Drug, Alcohol and Mental Health Recovery program administered, naturally, by the multi-tasking Doohan who is getting her hundred grand from Mendo while she has a full-time job in San Diego.

DOOHAN APPEARS to have raked in a cool $450,000 since she was first hired on a part time basis in September of 2019. When she was made full time Health Officer the County conveniently neglected to adjust her contract to remove overtime pay, something that is paid to no one else in her position. Angelo, no slouch at pulling down taxpayer dollars rakes in about $330,000 in salary and benefits annually.

WILL THE SUPES awake from their slumber in time for the Budget Hearings coming up shortly? Will anyone ask why the CEO is promoting real estate deals to benefit her pals? Or why Ms. Doohan is being paid big bucks to sit home in San Diego? (Especially with the pandemic in its wind-down stage.) Or why the County is paying to maintain a full stable of attorneys in the County Counsel's Office and a full array of outside counsel, none of whom appear able to win or settle a case? We remain cautiously optimistic that newcomers McGourty and Mulheren can somehow avoid falling under Carmel Angelo's spell, which could in turn embolden Williams or Gjerde to take a fresh look at the reversal of roles and responsibilities that has been engineered by Angelo.

A READER WRITES: “Water report. Businesses in the village of Mendocino are running out of water. Neighborhood 1 mile inland from Simpson Lane, out of water. Now, about 2-3 miles inland off Little River Airport Road, out of water. This year is going to be very trying re: WATER. I suggest all of you mulch your gardens, use drought-resistant seeds/strains, and curb your water use drastically. This is going to be serious. I've heard we got only 18 inches of rain this year, added to four years of low rainfall. I am a bit concerned.”

BEST LEDE (LEAD) PARA (PARAGRAPH) of the week from Justine Frederiksen’s story, ‘How do you get a plane out of Lake Mendocino?’: “A sophisticated piece of equipment called a forehead was used to find the plane that crashed into Lake Mendocino and sank last week.”

FRANK BARDACKE passes along Hemingway's five-word short story, written on a dare: “For sale. Baby shoes. Unused.”

WRITING AS Detective Hieronymous 'Harry' Bosch in his novel “Lost Light” (2003), popular detective novel writer Michael Connelly says in passing that there are more retired cops in the Humboldt County outback than there are pot growers, and that the pot growers don't know it.

NEVER HEARD that one before. I thought cops retired to Idaho, not to the anarchic wilds of the Emerald Triangle.

SPEAKING of the Triangle, hustling Tim Blake has moved the Emerald Cup to LA. Starting out tiny in Laytonville, Blake soon realized there was big money to be made in the annual contest to determine the best smoke, he moved the festivities to the fairgrounds in Santa Rosa where he cashed in big. Now LA. Gee, and we knew him clear back when he stiffed the AVA for his first ad.

BLAKE EXPLAINS: “When we moved the Emerald Cup to Santa Rosa many of the Emerald Triangle folks said we were abandoning the community. Many farmers and product makers wouldn’t come down the first year at the fairgrounds. When they saw how well the vendors that did join us did, the next year almost everyone tried to get booths. Where is the best place for a farmer or product company from the triangle to promote themselves? Where is the best place for our contestants to get their awards? In the largest cannabis market in the world; which is LA. We’re doing this help promote sun grown cannabis, regenerative farming, and our community. We will still have the fall harvest celebration and give everyone the chance to connect with the community, the latest genetics and the best fresh flowers. To me it’s the best of both worlds.”


Joan Vivaldo, the lady who was at home one night and about to go to sleep when Mr. Douglas Stone, a defrocked firefighter turned house breaker, also of Redwood Valley, entered Ms. Vivaldo's remote home to rob it. Stone withdrew when Ms. V confronted him. She  has faithfully kept her neighbors abreast of developments in Mr. Stone’s case:

“For the last several months, Mr. Stone's preliminary examination (PX) has been scheduled for today, Tuesday, May 4, 2021. A PX is a review to determine if there is probable cause to proceed with a trial.

To ensure that the PX was still on before I drove from SF to Ukiah, I checked the Mendocino County Court Schedule the morning of Monday, May 3. Sure enough, the hearing was still set at 9am, Tuesday, May 4, 20201, Room H. Since the Court Schedule is updated the night before the date of the hearings, at 6pm yesterday, I checked again. The Stone hearing was gone. No trace of it. Of course, it was too late to call anyone to see what had happened.

I drove to Ukiah this morning, and found all Room H hearings had been sent to Room A. Outside Room A, I found the perpetually harried Deputy DA Heidi Larsen contending with the files with which she was waging today's fight. She shared that she had offered Mr. Stone some felonies to settle his case, and he had declined the deal. The PX is to be set for a date in September, Mr. Stone's choice.”

SAPPHIST CONSPIRACY? From the Federal Court case summary of Barbara Howe's case against Mendocino County for wrongful dismissal: 

“Ms. Howe alleges she was retaliated against for her speech and actions when days later, on May 24, 2019, she was forced under duress to sign a one-page resignation letter by defendant Tammy Moss Chandler. After signing the letter, Ms. Howe also alleges defendants sought spurious temporary restraining orders designed to destroy her reputation, further retaliation for the above activity. Ms. Howe claims she was entitled to a name-clearing hearing. Finally, Ms. Howe alleges she was discriminated against based on her sexual orientation (heterosexual), gender, age, and engaging in protected activity, citing comments defendant Tammy Moss Chandler made to Ms. Howe about how ‘older employers are incapable of making good decisions, multitasking, and struggling with technology’.”

THE WOODS a few miles east of Mendocino is an up market trailer park for senior citizens, defined at The Woods as anybody over the age of 55. About 2000 people live on 37 quiet acres with a few central recreation buildings. I've had friends who lived there and were happy with the place, although to me it seemed to have definite mausoleum qualities in the way these old person stalags always do, with a million rules and cauliflower topiary and ceramic squirrels in the yard. (Give me the raggle-scraggle tumult of Boonville!) The corporation that owns the place has put it and its residents up for sale. But the residents, most of them safely above the pauper zone, have formed a tentative co-op aimed at buying The Woods themselves.

BACK IN THE DAY, the federal highway administration said traffic on the unpaved 50 or so miles winding over the Mendocino Pass between Covelo and the Sacramento Valley did not merit a $100 million investment in pavement. Surveys predicted an average of 280 vehicles a day might use Forest Highway 7 if it were paved, and a lot fewer than 280 a day used it unpaved. Paving 7 doesn't come up any more, although a few residents of Covelo still think a better road between Covelo and the Sacramento Valley would bring more people to perennially struggling Round Valley and the nearby National Forest, the least visited national forest in the United States.

IT'S BEEN a while since I ventured over Highway 7, but I hope to do it again before the Anderson Valley Ambulance hauls me off for final rendering in the Adventists' jubilant Ukiah emergency room. It's a beautiful drive from Covelo to Willows over on I-5, the miles of unpaved road well-maintained year round although often impassable in the winter months. 

(HIGHWAY 7 represents Mendocino County's very own Trail of Tears. Native Americans were rounded up and herded from the Sacramento Valley to the 19th century reservation at Covelo, the frail and the elderly not surviving the forced march.)

SPEAKING of vegetarians as we always are in Mendocino County, why did the Adventists dump audiology services at their Mendo hospital monopoly? Hoping for a reply to my inquiry but not optimistic.

ODD that the Republicans still present themselves as the antidote to Demo-Lib wackiness, but here comes John Cox, gubernatorial candidate, holding a press conference with a live, thousand pound, cookie-fed bear chained behind him on hot Sacramento pavement, while Cox attempted a strained metaphor that it will take a beast like him to take back the state from Newsom's beastliness. Cox, dating himself as a child of the 50s, often refers to Newsom as “pretty boy,” an insult from way back hurled at any man who spent inordinate time on his appearance. Had to laugh when the candidate launched an insincere riff about how he'd get the homeless off the streets and into “treatment” if he unseats Newsom. The Republicans I know would get the homeless off the streets with flame throwers, not hospitalization.

ANOTHER REPUBLICAN in the race to remove Newsom is Bruce ‘Caitlin’ Jenner who, natch, gets huge media attention for… 

MEMO to Republicans and assorted Trumpers: You can't win a recall against Newsom in California. If he were governor of Idaho you might have a shot, but the Dems have the Eureka! state sewed up for like ever.

NO, I don't care for Newsom, and I don't think he's been much of a governor. I thought The Terminator wasn't bad. I particularly liked the way Term tried to get rid of hundreds of patronage boards and commissions, you know like the ones where the Democrats park their termed-out hacks and hackettes. Uber-hack Wes Chesbro, for instance, went from a lush career as a professional officeholder — accomplishments zero — to seats on the garbage and mental health boards, both sinecures paying over a hundred grand a year to do absolutely nothing. 

NEWSOM'S famous un-masked, un-distanced lunch at the French Laundry — $350 and up per plate — didn't surprise me. We've suffered this class of ignoble noblesse obligers for years now, and he's simply one more empty, tailored suit climbing in and out of limos. 

Reginald Faber

A MENDOCINO COUNTY Superior Court Judge issued a warrant for the arrest of Reginald Faber III, 44, of Ukiah for Robbery and Burglary.

Upon arrival at the residence on South Oak Street (Ukiah), Deputies located Faber and he was taken into custody without incident. Faber was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $200,000 bail.

WHY THE HIGH BAIL? First off, the residents of that South Oak home were present when this guy appeared, and second bail is set higher than ordinarily might be the case with most Mendo mopes because the accused perp has a long, dangerous criminal history.

RECOMMENDED VIEWING, especially for us residents of the Emerald Triangle — “Sasquatch.” I confess that when that title first flitted across my teeming brainpan I exiled it to the Don't Watch file, assuming it was another credulous account of a non-existent phenomena, right up there with UFO's, the hazards of chemtrails, Building 7, and stolen presidential elections. 

BUT “SASQUATCH” is a murder mystery brilliantly resolved, to my satisfaction anyway, by the filmmaker, David Holthouse, a guy with a strong background in investigative reporting who has now made a strong documentary film about our neighborhood, a neighborhood with a national reputation as a place where an extraordinary number of people, especially young people, simply disappear.

HOLTHOUSE got onto this story while he was working “undercover” in the late 1990s to write about marijuana on a pot farm in the famously dangerous neighborhood of Spy Rock northeast of Laytonville. A frantic tweaker had appeared who said three Mexicans had been ripped to shreds in a nearby marijuana plantation, not just murdered but literally dismembered, their body parts strewn over a large field of marijuana, which was also ripped up as if by a very angry being of superhuman strength. Enter Sasquatch as the rumored monster responsible for the mayhem; Sas became an all-purpose boogeyman especially feared, it is alleged, by Mexicans. 

HAD THIS ALLEGED Big Foot rampage really happened? Who were the victims? And what's the deal with Mendocino County, otherwise known for $300 rooms with ocean views and portly tourists shuffling around Mendocino Village slurping five dollar ice cream cones? All this is the subject of this fascinating three-part film.

THE VASTNESS EAST of the ice cream cones, circa the late 1960s, was re-settled by the back-to-the-landers, an influx of idealistic young people fleeing the violent Bay Area for new/old ways of living off the land, among them some brilliant, untrained botanists who developed a lucrative new cash crop — marijuana. 

BUT EVEN THE FIRST WAVE of peaceful hippie growers had to arm up to defend their crops from city thugs and local thieves, and from there came an influx of career criminals that continues to this day.

AND HERE WE ARE with a documentary film that nicely serves as a kind of visual metaphor for the Mendocino County branch of the dope business, a business that too often murders its labor rather than pay it, and too often conceals murders that occur related to the love drug business. The local joke is that if all the unreported corpses suddenly rose and marched south on 101, they'd stretch from Arcata to the Golden Gate Bridge.

LOCALS will recognize many of the people and sites featured in “Sasquatch,” and recognize others by name or reputation, including Spy Rock pioneer grower Lawrence Livermore, former Mendo Sheriff Tom Allman, Sheriff's detective Luis Espinoza (of the Anderson Valley), and HumCo attorney Ron Sinoway and Mrs. Sinoway. ‘Murder Mountain’ was an interesting film, “Sasquatch” is more interesting, and a lot more specific.

IF YOU HAVEN'T read the HumCo history pieces by David Heller writing for the essential Redheaded Blackbelt, you've been missing some fascinating anecdotes, such as this one from Ernie Branscomb: “It is a whole lot easier to pull a vehicle up a hill with a horse than it is the shovel through a slide, saw away a windfall tree, or ford a raging creek. Ridgetops have stable rocky ground. Large rivers are easier to cross on a ferry than a creek is to cross in the winter. If you had to build and maintain a road, you would soon figure out why the old roads followed the ridge tops and avoided slides and creeks. My grandfather, Roy Branscomb, helped build the new Highway 101 down the Rattlesnake canyon back in the 1920s. They knew the futility of building a road in such terrible terrain, it was still being talked about when I was a child. My father was an equipment operator. He logged in the summer and worked for his uncle Ed Downing with the California Division of Highways in the winter. Removing slides and replacing culverts kept him busy all winter. I remember the conversations about how great it was to build a highway down an unstable canyon and providing out of work loggers with something to do in the winter. Mr. Howard, who owned the Buick dealership in San Francisco sold the truck that came over Bell Springs ridge. Mr. Howard also joined with Doctor Babcock to build The Howard Memorial Hospital in Willits. In winter of 1923 Doctor Babcock drove from Willits to Laytonville to deliver my mother as a baby. I assume that he came through Sherwood Valley, down The Strong Mountain Road into Laytonville, because the Longvale Canyon was not passable. As a side note, I was also delivered by Dr. Babcock, as was my sister, both in the Howard Memorial Hospital. I just condensed a couple of hypothetical books into the above comments. I am so glad that David Heller chose to do these history stories. Our history is so important to humanity. I find it somewhat uncomfortable to see so much of history being destroyed and removed. How will our young people ever learn about the things that we have done wrong if we keep erasing our history. It would be nice to get back to raising our children and feeding their hungry young minds with the truth instead of destroying what we don’t want them to know.”

THERE'S VICIOUS and then there's whoever it was who crossed over a double yellow line on Sherwood Road to deliberately run down and kill 41-year-old Paul Brown of Fort Bragg as he walked on Sherwood a little before 1:30am last Friday. The suspect vehicle was described as a late model silver Hyundai Accent, strongly resembling the one impounded on Lilac Road off Sherwood the next day. No arrest has yet been announced, but confiscation of the suspect vehicle has been confirmed by both the Sheriff's Department and the CHP.

AN ON-LINE COMMENT re this terrible incident: “I don’t know anything about the Brooktrails area but I’m gonna go out on a limb here and assume it’s not someplace you can abandon a car then call an Uber or hop on the bus at 1:20am to get the hell out of there. If the person simply parked in their driveway or in front of their house after driving home drunk or tired and dozed off at the wheel, possibly might not have seen or known what they hit. So unless it’s common for people to be walking down that road at 1:20am, assumed it was a deer. People hit deer all the time, don’t go back to check on them. I don’t know, I’d just like to believe this was not malicious or intentional to leave this poor guy dying on the side of the road. (Like someone did to my brother in law…) My condolences to the family and friends of this young man. May you find strength to heal your broken hearts. And to the person driving I hope you make atonement for what you have done!”

LAZ OF WILLITS disagrees with this assertion by Mark Scaramella: “The Planning Commission has come up with a sensible compromise .” Laz disagrees: “I’ve spoken with legit and illegit growers. What they say is who cares at this point what anyone from the county says. Why should we believe anything that comes out of that place? And now, with a heavy drought in full swing, they want to expand the program to bring in the heavy hitters. Meanwhile, they don’t want or are incapable of processing all the applications. The applications that have lingered who knows where for months, if not years. But oh yeah, and the county took our money and gave us nothing in return. And now they are setting up another scam to get more money from the growers. Many of the legit growers wonder why they even bothered to get legal. Since 80% of the weed that moves out of the county is the so-called illegal stuff and sells for more money and less hassle. Then Covelo and others are left to organized and unorganized crime and are lawless and hopeless. A third of Covelo is in ruin, and criminals heavily armed run the show. Yet the county wants half a mil for generators for libraries. The State and County need leadership that’s got the guts to send in the military, state police, whoever, to flush the toilet that Covelo has become.”

STOP ASIAN HATE. And while we're at it, bring grammar into line with meaning. Asian hate isn't the problem, random attacks on Asians and citizens generally by deranged street people is the problem, that and auto-pilot mantras from officeholders and the industrial social work complex that assaultive crazy people on the streets is now a fact of American life because there isn't enough low cost housing and there isn't enough psychiatric help.

THE MOST RECENT street assault in SF where a free range mental case stabbed two Chinese women at 4th and Market, leaving his combat knife in an 85-year-old woman's back, was committed by a housed man, an outpatient with a long history of random assaults. Nobody likes to say it but psychiatric incarceration with, it is to be hoped, psychiatric rehab, is the only possible strategy that will protect both crazy people and protect the public from crazy people. Not to be too boring on the subject, as some of us still recall we used to have a state hospital system that sequestered the dangerously insane.... 

MENDO has just completed a psychiatric wing as part of the County Jail complex on Low Gap Road in Ukiah in full, if unstated, recognition that about a third of all local arrests are of deranged persons, a social situation unlikely to change despite the expenditure of upwards of twenty million dollars a year by Mendo taxpayers. 

INTERESTING media aside here: The Bay Area's Chinese language media always identifies perps by race, and those perps in street attacks and robberies are mostly black. The English-language media, for years now, seldom identifies criminals by race if they happen to be black.

GOING, GOING… The Press Democrat has announced it will no longer deliver their paper-paper on the Mendonoma Coast. “Like most traditionally print-based media companies, we are working hard to adjust to the reality of dramatically declining advertising revenue,” explained the paper's Troy Niday, Chief Operations Officer for Sonoma Media Investments.


[1] Just going from memory Hitler was awarded the Iron Cross second class for protecting a German officer from enemy fire along with a couple of other dispatch runners. That was in 1914. In 1918 Hitler was given the Iron Cross first class for an act of bravery plus all round great performance, a very rare award for a soldier of Hitler’s low rank. 

According to what I read, his commanding officers gave Hitler and another soldier in Hitler’s squad the tough jobs because they knew that Hitler and his comrade would get them done. Hitler was very dependable and an exemplary soldier except that he couldn’t get the knack of standing at attention. His head was always askew. And he couldn’t give brief soldierly answers to questions. And he was judged no leader of men. When offered promotion Hitler turned it down. 

He was wounded twice. Once by an artillery shell and once by poison gas and hospitalized both times. In a nutshell, that was Hitler in WW1 as an ordinary soldier.

[2 Four years after the Redwood Valley fire and this County doesn’t have a functioning Emergency Operations Center?!

This seems like it should be one of the top priorities for PG&E settlement money.

We have had a month of escaped control burns already and air attack is not yet in place. The BOS should be prioritizing and ramping up emergency operations training already.

Convert the board chamber room to our EOC and let the supervisors continue their zoomathons from home.

[3] Speaking about the government, Tuesdays are our food-shopping days. Today’s weekly food bill at Whole Paycheck, – I mean Whole Foods – was $262 for the two of us. And we are vegetarians, so we don’t buy meat.. But the government has been saying until very recently, that inflation is very low. Luckily, we can afford it and we eat pretty well. 

How can the average person afford to spend so much on food? Inflation has hidden costs besides devaluing the dollar. The family which is struggling, and there’s millions of them, can’t afford high quality food, or even enough food. Instead, they buy unhealthy, Hi-carb meals that temporarily fill them up, but lead to obesity, ultimately diabetes and heart disease. A lot of hospital costs result from poor diets, thereby contributing to more and more government expenditures. All because we are mismanaging every facet of our lives.

Personally, I don’t mind paying a lot for food because I’m very concerned about Jeff Bezos’ finances. He’s down to his last $150 billion. /sarc.

[4] I’m not sure how anthropologists, archeologists or some other kind of scientist figured this out (or if in fact, it’s correct since I have no way of checking their work) but the breeding population on earth at one time was down to 5,000 couples. Looks like we bounced back at 7+ billion so, even though we came close to extinction, humans appear to be difficult to entirely kill off, even though Chick-fil-A and McDonalds are doing their best. People can endure if they face deprivation with creativity and reestablishing a community. Clinging to a sense of humor helps and avoiding at all costs, magical thinking — “solutions will appear if I believe and visualize them.” The zeitgeist will pass to China and they’ll face irrelevance in their turn. Who knows how long that will take and what it will look like? It seems we all agree that the world is choking on its own technology and trash.


  1. Rye N Flint May 12, 2021

    “He was the first person I heard say that the way to get through the backlog of cannabis permits was to fund, and fill more county positions that were involved with doing that, and reject the permits that obviously would never qualify. Ted Williams said the same thing 3 years later, and the BOS has finally recognized the problem today. Harinder said the solution “was simple.” The cannabis fee money was there to implement the program, but was spent elsewhere.”

    I’ve been told today that the new bottleneck is Environmental Health, which has 4 open positions on hiring freeze because of “Budget concerns”. I also heard a rumor that Building and Planning isn’t giving EH their portion of building permit fees. If they can’t have the money, I guess they just take it. Robbing Peter to Pay Paul, or is it Carmel? EH is so underfunded, and the backlog so piled, they have been told to tell clients and contractors to beg the BOS for more employees. Sad state of affairs in Mendo that this has been going on for half a decade already.

  2. Rye N Flint May 12, 2021

    When will Mendo wake up? Right before we hit the wall?

    ANGELO ALSO CAME OFF looking bad when she attempted to spend $5 million of Measure B funds to buy a ranch situated next door to the property owned by missing in action Deputy Public Health Officer Noemi (Mimi) Doohan. (Doohan is presently pulling down a hundred grand as back-up to Public Health Officer Andy Coren, the both of them simply relaying state covid bulletins.) Ms. Doohan was said by neighbors to have long been interested in controlling the neighboring ranch but lacked the funds to purchase it. Solution: have your friend the CEO use Measure B money to buy it. The alleged justification was the “Ranch Proposal” to set up some sort of Drug, Alcohol and Mental Health Recovery program administered, naturally, by the multi-tasking Doohan who is getting her hundred grand from Mendo while she has a full-time job in San Diego.

    DOOHAN APPEARS to have raked in a cool $450,000 since she was first hired on a part time basis in September of 2019. When she was made full time Health Officer the County conveniently neglected to adjust her contract to remove overtime pay, something that is paid to no one else in her position. Angelo, no slouch at pulling down taxpayer dollars rakes in about $330,000 in salary and benefits annually.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *