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MILDER TEMPERATURES will prevail across the interior areas as low pressure aloft gradually moves over the region. Increased marine influence is expected for the coastal areas and may lead to less sunshine over the next day or so. Despite the troughy nature to the upcoming weather pattern...little to no rain is expected over the foreseeable future. (NWS)
5 NEW COVID CASES reported in Mendocino County yesterday afternoon.
CEO ANGELO’S BEST INTEREST
by Mark Scaramella
At the December 2019 Measure B meeting, B's then-board chair Dr. Ace Barash, on staff at Adventist-owned Howard Hospital in Willits, read a letter the County had received from the Adventists’ Mendo honcho, Jason Wells, since replaced by another Adventist exec.
Wells said that with their upcoming operating agreement with Coast Hospital, the Adventists expected they could provide the equivalent of Psychiatric Health Facility (PHF/“Puff”) services at their old, recently vacated emergency room in Ukiah, and also at the Coast Hospital: Ten beds on the Coast and six beds in Ukiah (eight if they did a little more remodeling) for a total of that magic number of 16 beds — which has something to do with optimal reimbursement, although Mendo averages less than half that number of severe cases at any one time.
There was some question about whether the County could use Measure B tax funds to finance construction/remodeling at a privately owned facility like the Adventists. County Counsel Christian Curtis said he’d look into it and get back to the Committee and Board of Supes. Meanwhile, Mr. Wells was asked to submit a formal proposal in 60 days, spelling out what the Adventists would do for a few million Measure B dollars.
Two months later Supervisor Ted Williams wrote, “I was thankful to find board support for action I proposed on Dec 10, 2019: ‘Discussion and Possible Action Including Direction to Executive Office to Perform Operational Feasibility of Proposed Measure B Funded Facilities.’ Sheriff Allman summed up my request, calling the end product a ‘business plan.’ Jason Wells of Adventist Health was notified of the item and offered a letter suggesting Adventist's hospitals could operate as a provider for secure in-hospital psychiatric care, potentially mitigating the need for new construction. Details, feasibility and cost are still to be determined.”
And that’s where it remains to this day: Undetermined. Presumably because CEO Angelo and her staff didn’t want to.
According to the Measure B committee meeting minutes for February 2020:
“Item 3e) Discussion and Update Regarding Approval of Request from Mental Health Treatment Act Citizen’s Advisory Committee for Board of Supervisors to Direct County Counsel to Conduct Legal Evaluation, Research Analysis and Assessment of Adventist Health Partnership Legality; Including Restriction, Necessary Control, Implications, and Compliance Regarding the Possible Use of Public Tax Dollars to Fund Operations of a Private Entity.
“[Deputy CEO] Sarah Dukett advised this is a carryover item from the last meeting. Acting County Counsel Christian Curtis provided a verbal update, advising the Committee that the opinion is not yet complete, but should be soon. Member Allman requested the opinion be distributed to the Committee as soon as it is ready. Counsel Curtis advised that if the Board of Supervisors waives privilege, the opinion could be made available to the Committee before the next Measure B meeting.”
The March 2020 Measure B meeting was cancelled, perhaps because of the onset of covid, but no official reason was given.
At the April Measure B Committee meeting County Counsel Christian Curtis, having labored mightily for more than four months with a highly anticipated request for a “Legal Evaluation, Research Analysis, and Assessment of Adventist Health Partnership Legality; Including Restriction, Necessary Control, Implications, and Compliance Regarding the Possible Use of Public Tax Dollars to Fund Operations of a Private Entity,” finally rendered his opinion.
The Measure B minutes record Curtis’s “opinion”:
“County Council [sic], Christian Curtis explained that in general, it is legal to use public funds to pay a private entity as long as the partnership meets the needs of the public good.”
That was it. Nothing was written. No “evaluation,” no “research analysis,” no “assessement of Adventist Health Partnership Legality,” nothing about “restriction, necessary control, implications and compliance…”
But at least it was clear and to the point, as long as “the public good” — which should be in the opinion of the elected office holders, not the CEO — is foremost.
The minutes then reflected that “Committee Member Riley asked about the status of the detailed proposal that had been expected from Adventist Health months earlier.”
“Member [CEO Carmel] Angelo explained that in 2019, the top Regional Executive of Adventist Health, Jason Wells, met with Mendocino County CEO, Carmel Angelo regarding the potential of creating a psychiatric inpatient service/program. Based on that meeting, [Committee] Member Ace Barash who is an Adventist employee drafted a letter of interest at the request of Jason Wells. No further business between the public and private entities has taken place.”
The minutes continued, “Member Barash believes that Adventist Health remains interested in working with Measure B. Project Manager, Alyson Bailey will attempt outreach to Adventist Health through Member Ace Barash. If successful, this outreach will produce a feasibility study/option for inpatient care funded by Measure B.”
Ms. Bailey was fired from her Project Manager position in February of 2021. We have not seen whatever letter Dr. Barash may or may not have sent to the Adventists, but if a letter was sent it certainly didn’t have the imprimatur of the Measure B Committee or the County.
At a subsequent Measure B meeting, Dr. Barash made off-hand mentions of ongoing off-the-record discussions between the County and the Adventists.
By May of 2020, the idea of exploring the Adventist option had disappeared from the official radar without explanation. Supervisor Williams had agreed to pursue the idea with the Adventists. But like everything related to Measure B, more months of silence rolled by without mention or explanation. Williams occasionally wondered aloud if there would be enough money for the PHF and for services but nothing came of that either.
In March of 2021, the Supervisors, frustrated by staff’s refusal to provide a Measure B budget or plan or financing model, abruptly voted to officially accept the 2018 Kemper report as the Measure B Strategic Plan.
Mr. Kemper specifically mentioned the PHF in that now official plan, saying that a PHF shouldn’t cost more than $8 million.
When asked if that was a good number at an early Measure B meeting, Mr. Kemper staunchly defended his number, saying it was based on recent similar PHFs in other parts of the state. Adjusted for inflation, it might be a little higher now.
The next time the subject of the cost of a PHF came up, before she abruptly disappeared last fall, then-Measure B project manager Alyson Bailey told the Measure B Committee that a PHF would cost about $20 million. Nobody knew where that number came from, nobody asked, nobody seemed bothered, nobody wondered what happened to Kemper’s estimate.
But the PHF doesn’t need to cost $8 million, much less a preposterous $20 million or more. Adventist Health was on record as offering to remodel their old emergency room in Ukiah into a PHF — a facility already built to hospital standards — and accommodate the Coast population and emergency room which has now been completely abandoned.
The Adventists’ proposal was brought up in several Board meetings by Supervisor Williams; the Measure B Committee discussed it and somebody was supposed to have been asking the Adventists for a formal cost estimate. Williams even noted, without contradiction, that having a PHF at or near a hospital had several other obvious advantages, specifically the availability of doctors and medications, but also because mental patients frequently enter treatment via the nearby emergency room(s).
The Adventists’ offer foundered in the usual Measure B incompetence and blather, combined with CEO Angelo’s attitude that she will only pursue grossly overpriced projects for everything related to Measure B. At at early Measure B meeting Angelo famously compared building a PHF to a private person remodeling their kitchen for $50,000!
Of course, no “feasibility study/option” from the Adventists or staff was produced and, as usual, the Measure B Committee and the Supervisors never raised the subject again.
Nevertheless, Supervisor Williams who had also volunteered to work with Mr. Wells for some kind of study, proposal or option, later blamed the problem in getting a Psych facility into operation was a resistant public, which, he and the committee implied several times in recent months is a result of the public’s “stigmatization” of the mentally ill, a demonstrably untrue claim. The fact that the public wanted treatment for the mentally ill was made obvious with the passing of Measure B.
Oddly, Williams, who worried frequently about having enough Measure B money to build and operate a PHF, hasn’t mentioned the Adventist offer which, because it would be based on use of an existing emergency room, wouldn’t engender alleged stigmatization problems, even if it were true.
Fast forward to the Supervisors meeting last Monday, May 24 where CEO Angelo, after months of unilaterally keeping the easiest, cheapest and quickest way to provide PHF services in Mendocino County off of any public agenda, answered a question by Supervisor Mulheren about the Adventist option.
Angelo replied that Dr. Barash had indeed sent a letter saying Adventists were interested in running a PHF previously, Angelo conceded, adding. “In a year, we have not been able to reach agreement on cost or what that would look like.” CEO Angelo, added that she had received a “legal opinion” — i.e., County Counsel Curtis’s casual reference that it would be fine as long as the arrangement was for “the public good.” Angelo then declared that “It’s in the public’s best interest that the County is not tied to one provider for the service of the PHF. For multiple reasons, whether it’s cost, whether the service is at an optimal level, so we can go ahead and change providers, or if we really needed to we could hire our own staff and run the PHF.”
Angelo then asked Mental Health Director Dr. Jenine Miller if she had anything to add about the “most recent endeavor with the RFP” for PHF services which had been awarded to TeleCare in the East Bay.
Dr. Miller replied, “We don’t have a full award at this time and we don’t want to give out too much information at this time.”
Angelo continued, “In good faith we have made attempts to have the Adventists provide these services. We collectively have not been able to reach an agreement that would be in the best interest of the community. Because we are just finalizing an RFP process right now that is probably the most information that we could give out at this time.”
Angelo and the Board then proceeded to order staff to design and build a PHF at the site of the old Whitmore Lane Nursing Facility which Angelo said would have to be mostly demolished and rebuilt at a cost of $20 to $25 million. This incredible cost, obviously based on nothing at all, is from the same CEO who said the Adventists option had been ruled out because of “cost” and “optimal service” considerations.
Not a word of skepticism or comment was uttered from the Supervisors.
CEO Angelo told the Board that building the new PHF on Whitmore Lane to “OSHPD [hospital] standards doesn’t happen overnight. It will be a few years to meet those requirements and to get licensed.”
By which time the County will have no choice but to sink as much money into Whitmore demolition and design and reconstruction as the CEO tells them to, to make sure the gold plated facility costs as much as possible while delaying whatever beneficial mental health services could be provided for “a few years” — i.e., in Mendo time, maybe never.
At which time CEO Angelo will be comfortably back in San Diego enjoying her $150k a year retirement pension.
MENDO COVID STATS
After four months of substantial declines (since the peak of December 2020) new Covid cases for Mendocino County more than doubled in May (as compared to April).
Cases/Deaths per Month:
229 / 9 (Jul)
392 / 8 (Aug)
260 / 2 (Sep)
210 / 2 (Oct)
420 / 2 (Nov)
964 / 4 (Dec)
876 / 11 (Jan)
382 / 5 (Feb)
131 / 3 (Mar)
82 / 2 (Apr)
194 / 1 (May)
RED BEARD? PEBS TRIPPET NOTES:
Last week I was visited by a couple of sheriff's deputies inquiring about the “armed and dangerous” red-bearded guy last seen in Elk's Cameron Road area. Since I live on the Navarro River below Cameron Road, they were checking to see if anyone along the river had seen him. No, I told them, we had not seen anyone.
However, I got to thinking about a couple of unusual things that had happened and now I believe, the mystery is solved.
A friend had left his antique bow and arrow set, a hand-me-down from his family, in an unlocked trailer on the riverfront and it turned up missing. I also found the driver's side door of a parked vehicle wide open with some boxes stashed inside that had been rummaged through.
It is consistent with the bow and arrow thief that he would be looking for useful things to avail himself of. He found nothing. There are no guns on this property and the same can be said of stashes of money, except for coin rolls of quarters and dimes, signifying brokeness as a way of life.
For your info,
Pebbles Trippet, Elk
On Monday, May 31, 2021 at 8:19 A.M., Deputies were dispatched to a reported assault with a deadly weapon in the 77000 block of Highway 271 in Piercy.
Deputies arrived and contacted a 69 year-old male and learned he had awakened to Anton Kloiber (son), 45, of Piercy, and a 67 year-old female (wife/mother) yelling.
The 69-year old adult male exited his bedroom and observed the adult female laying on the floor of the residence with Anton Kloiber squatting over her body. The adult male observed Kloiber hit the adult female with a blunt force object to the head.
Kloiber then threw the blunt force object at the adult male and fled the location.
Prior to the Deputies arrival, the adult female was transported via air ambulance to an out of county hospital for treatment.
Kloiber was later located at a nearby gas station and placed under arrest for Assault With a Deadly Weapon not a firearm and for violation of Post Release Community Supervision.
During the investigation, Deputies learned Kloiber hit the female adult four (4) times in the head causing life threatening injuries.
The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Detective Bureau assisted Patrol Deputies with collecting evidence at the crime scene, interviewing Kloiber and interviewing the adult female at the out of county hospital.
Deputies later contacted a Mendocino County Superior Court Judge requesting an Emergency Protective Order and Bail Enhancement. The Superior Court Judge granted the Emergency Protective Order and an increase to $500,000 bail was established.
Kloiber was booked into the Mendocino County Jail for Mayhem, Causing Great Bodily Injury During the Commission of a Felony, Assault With A Deadly Weapon Other Than A Firearm and Violation of Post Release Community Supervision, where he was to be held in lieu of $500,000 bail.
SUPERVISOR Maureen 'Mo' Mulheren participated in the Board’s Big Pot Meeting Wednesday from her office at the County Admin Center, thanking staff for helping her set it up. The first step in a return to regular meetings? Maybe, but slo mo seems to be the Mendo model.
SUPERVISOR JOHN HASCHAK conceded Wednesday that the new version of the County’s “use permit” pot ordinance had a few provisions/restrictions that he likes, but that in the end he preferred a “go-slow” approach and didn’t think he could support the expanded gro size to 10% of parcel size, translating, on large land holdings, many more legal acres of marijuana under cultivation by, presumably, more well-funded organizations and individuals.
SUPERVISOR WILLIAMS, after acknowledging that he’s been on the dissenting end of a number of votes since taking office, then urged his colleagues — i.e., Haschak — to “show solidarity” on this vote and that the Board “should defend the County and move forward.” Supervisor Glenn McGourty agreed, adding, “We need to do this as a group and stand together and not undermine each other.”
THERE WAS SURPRISINGLY LITTLE public input on Wednesday — previous Board pot discussions involved hundreds of emails and hours of public expression — which Supervisor Haschak attributed to the public “no longer believes we’re listening to them.”
IN THE END, the Board didn’t want to include the Planning Commission’s “compromise” proposal of no more than 2 acres per parcel until maybe a later date, thus rejecting even this reasonable brake on corporate pot farming sure to result on large scale marijuana holdings and operations.
HASCHAK WAS UNMOVED: “Go ahead and vote on it,” he said, dismissively, “but this expansion, whether we do it cutesy like, and manipulate prescription zones, whatever. But it’s not what people want. I’ll just leave it at that.” Then, not leaving it that, Haschak added, “Our commitment should be to the people who have been in the system, who haven’t been able to get through because of the County’s mishandling of the whole ordinance. We can have a new process for new people to get through. … But people do not want this expansion. There’s a myriad of reasons. Just look outside with the drought. … I don’t have a say in the referendum, but the people will, and I’m just staying out of it right now but the people will decide if they want to go forward with something or not.”
THIS WAS HASCHAK'S finest hour. It's positively exhilarating to see him sticking to his guns on this crucially important issue.
THE BOARD then voted 4-1 to proceed with the expansion without the two-acre cap. Haschak, perhaps reminded by his colleague, Williams, of Williams' dissenting NO votes, voted NO.
AND THAT was when we realized what Williams and McGourty were trying to do: They apparently think that if the Board, including Haschak, voted unanimously for the expanded ordinance, it would somehow discourage the people who are preparing a referendum against the county's expanded rules — most of whom are in Haschak’s Third District — from their plans to circulate a petition with a more restrictive ordinance. By removing even the two-acre compromise limit — two acres is itself A LOT of pot — however, the Board has probably only motivated the referendum people even more.
IN WINE COUNTRY, A NEWSPAPER WAR BRINGS DOWN A MAYORAL ‘PRINCE’ ACCUSED OF SEX ABUSE
by James Rainey (LA Times)
The front-page shockers began in early April and just kept coming: A young mayor from the San Francisco Bay’s wine country had been accused of sexually abusing and assaulting women. First there were four accusers. Then four more.
A former girlfriend accused Dominic Foppoli, the mayor of “friendly, family-oriented” Windsor, of sexually abusing her. Another woman said he forced himself on her during an alcohol-fueled hot tub party at his family’s winery. A town council colleague said she might have been drugged before she was sodomized following a community clambake.
The headlines were stunning, but they came not from Sonoma County’s leading media outlet, the Press Democrat, but from its big-city rival, the San Francisco Chronicle. The allegations, which led Foppoli to resign his mayorship on May 21, have rocked the Pulitzer Prize-winning Press Democrat, after its top editor made the extraordinary admission that the newspaper had failed to pursue the story when a reporter brought forward the first accusations, more than two years ago.
Reporter Alexandria Bordas left the Press Democrat in 2019 and eventually took her information — including two women’s allegations that they had been sexually assaulted — to the Chronicle. The San Francisco paper soon teamed Bordas with Cynthia Dizikes, a veteran investigative reporter, and the two journalists landed their blockbuster. Then came a raft of damning follow-ups, a deluge of calls for Foppoli’s resignation and, at the Press Democrat, soul searching and recriminations about the story that got away.
“Editors failed to follow through and pursue the story. We failed our loyal readers and Windsor voters and residents,” Press Democrat Editor Richard Green wrote in a statement to readers last month. “Even more important, our decision to not thoroughly investigate these women’s accounts about alleged incidents involving Foppoli may have caused more personal heartache, humiliation and physical and emotional harm for other women. … There is no excuse for our failure to not push harder; to not dig deeper.”
In the weeks that followed that April 9 declaration, the Press Democrat placed its No. 2 editor, Ted Appel, on administrative leave. He soon resigned, though he and the paper have not commented on the reason for his departure. Another editor was demoted, and a third issued a mea culpa for his fraught relations with reporters, as the staff vented its dismay in a Zoom call.
Every media outlet misses important stories and has its share of in-house turmoil. But in a proud Santa Rosa newsroom that only three years ago won a Pulitzer for its coverage of the 2017 wine country fires, the sense of outrage remains high.
“Our failure to follow through on the story was egregious and inexcusable and was made over and over and over again,” said one reporter, who asked not to be named, to preserve relationships with colleagues. “Even as this guy ran [last November] in his first election for mayor, there was no attempt to follow up.”
Hundreds of readers also complained, many speculating that Foppoli’s political and business connections, as the son of longtime winemakers, might have made him immune from scrutiny. Heightening those questions, for some, was the fact that the Press Democrat has been owned since 2012 by a group of influential political and business figures. Said one reader on Facebook: “There is much work to do to regain trust.”
The outlines of the original story were sensational, particularly given the identity of the accused. Foppoli had cultivated a persona as the “prince” of a family that claims winemaking heritage dating back 600 years, to its roots in northern Italy. A young Republican in a county dominated by Democrats, he first ran for state Assembly (unsuccessfully) when he was still a student at Dominican College of California, in San Rafael. He hosted promotional videos with celebrity chef Guy Fieri. He competed on TV to be named California’s most eligible bachelor. Said one acquaintance: “He was the fun, connected guy who was going places.”
Foppoli, 39, spent weeks insisting he had done nothing wrong and refusing to step down. He finally resigned as the Chronicle prepared to report on allegations from a ninth alleged victim. Farrah Abraham, a reality television star, said she had been sexually battered. While authorities in Palm Beach, Fla., pursue that case, the state attorney general’s office is handling the criminal investigation in California.
“I did not engage in any non-consensual sexual acts with any woman,” Foppoli said in his three-paragraph resignation letter. He said he was stepping down to prevent “undue national attention” that could hurt Windsor, “because of lawful, but poor choices, I have made in the recent past.”
The furor shows no sign of abating, in part because of the alleged failure of local institutions to pursue complaints about Foppoli. One Chronicle story offered evidence that Windsor town officials failed to follow up four years ago, after one alleged victim claimed the ambitious politician had sexually abused her during a 2013 hot tub party at a guesthouse run by Foppoli’s Christopher Creek Winery. (City officials insisted they had followed the proper protocols.)
Bordas, 31, has declined to discuss the story, or what went wrong when she brought it to her editors at the Santa Rosa paper.
The general outline of the journalistic failure appears clear: Bordas came to the Press Democrat in late 2018, after attending the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and working a year at a North Carolina newspaper. Among her early assignments was coverage of Windsor, a town of 28,000 that incorporated only in 1992 but has grown more rapidly than its older and better-known neighbors, like Sonoma and Healdsburg.
The community takes particular pride in its Town Green, the scene of summer concerts and kids’ movies, where families loll on the grass with picnic baskets and bottles of wine.
Windsor’s most flamboyant figure was the homegrown Foppoli, who in 2014 became the town’s youngest council member, at 32. He quickly developed a reputation as pro-development and always ready to network with colleagues and friends. He often traveled the Sonoma Valley with a case of the family’s wine in the back of his white Tesla.
Sometime in early 2019, a Press Democrat assignment editor told Bordas about rumors that Foppoli had engaged in “unsavory” behavior, another editor recalled. The reporter began to dig in and soon came back to editors with reports from two women who claimed they had been sexually assaulted by the mayor.
But after more than one conversation, editors told Bordas to focus on other stories. The reason remains murky. Current and former Press Democrat staffers attribute it, in part, to a “feed the beast” culture common in many newsrooms.
American newspapers have been in crisis for at least two decades, as advertising revenue has fled to other media, particularly internet giants like Facebook and Google. More than half of U.S. newsroom jobs were eliminated between 2008 and 2019, according to the Pew Research Center. Most newspapers struggle to stay on top of daily basics that readers demand — such as government coverage, crime reports and high school game accounts — while also pursuing more ambitious stories, like the Foppoli investigation, fraught with the potential for costly miscues and litigation.
The Press Democrat has seen its union-represented news staff decline from 96 employees in 2005 to 39 today, according to the Pacific Media Workers Guild.
“How do you find the time to allow a reporter to spend even one day a week not producing copy to feed the beast?” said another former staffer, who asked not to be named. “The beast has gotten bigger and bigger,” he said, “as the staff feeding it continues to get smaller.”
But several current and former Press Democrat staffers said the problem went deeper. They complained of a top-down administration that dictated stories and sometimes didn’t listen to reporters, especially younger ones.
Editor Green, 55, took command of the Press Democrat just six weeks before the Foppoli news broke in the Chronicle, unaware that the paper had earlier passed on the story. The editor would subsequently learn that Bordas had uncovered the accusations as sexual misconduct allegations swept the nation.
“It was right in the middle of ‘Me Too’ when this happened,” said Green. “We didn’t provide the right support system to let her pursue a story that turned out to be a pretty damn big one.”
And an unusual lapse.
The California Newspaper Publishers Assn. has repeatedly named the Press Democrat as the top newspaper of its size in the state. In 1999, it broke news about a Roman Catholic bishop admitting he had sex with a priest. In 2009, it revealed the financial struggles of Sonoma County’s largest real estate investor, Clem Carinalli. The Press Democrat’s biggest splash came in 2017, when fires swept the North Bay, killing more than 40 people and causing billions of dollars of damage.
Press Democrat reporters and photographers plunged into the danger, providing instant video and written reports, constant social media updates and, finally, probing narratives about the genesis of the calamity. The Pulitzer judges honored the coverage as “lucid and tenacious.”
But the thrill of the Pulitzer victory had a “dark side,” according to one staffer, the peak experience encouraging some journalists to retire and others to find jobs elsewhere. “That creates more work and more pressure for the ones who remain,” said the reporter.
The organization of the newsroom and assignment of journalists to beats withered away, for reasons that aren’t clear, three staffers said. But many reporters were spread thin, with multiple duties. Bordas covered healthcare, in addition to Windsor.
“On a day-to-day basis we were proud of the work we were doing,” said another journalist. “But it felt like there was a ceiling, and we couldn’t be the shining light that most of us get in journalism to be.”
Critics both inside and outside the paper said they do not believe the Press Democrat backed away from the Foppoli story because of the politician’s connections. “It was an egregious mistake,” said one journalist, “but not something more than that.”
Catherine Barnett, the executive editor who retired at the end of 2020, after more than four decades at the paper, did not respond to a request for comment. Appel, the former managing editor, also did not answer phone calls. Several journalists said they were saddened at the departure of Appel, a mainstay at the Press Democrat for about three decades, who they said had supported tough coverage of local officials.
Current and former colleagues said they still weren’t clear on what Appel and other editors decided two years ago on the Foppoli story. Some wondered if editors were overly cautious because of Bordas’ relative inexperience, or because of a 2016 defamation lawsuit, though that case was eventually dismissed by an appellate court.
The Chronicle was not deterred. After the report about the original accusers, the San Francisco paper produced several more scoops, including about a Foppoli spokesman, prominent for lobbying the Trump administration, who used a misogynistic slur against Bordas. (He denied it.)
The scandal took another dramatic turn when fellow Windsor Town Council member Esther Lemus said she had been sodomized and possibly drugged, after Foppoli and another man drove her home. Lemus, 48, went public with that information just hours after Foppoli issued a statement saying he was the victim and that Lemus had pressured him into a sexual encounter. Because she works as a prosecutor for the Sonoma County district attorney, that office recused itself and referred the allegations to the California attorney general.
Most of Sonoma County’s elected officials demanded the mayor’s resignation, as did many of his own constituents in a raucous video City Council meeting. But until last Friday, Foppoli insisted he would stay the course. He said he was the victim of a “witch hunt” by people intent on driving him from power.
Despite the humiliation of being beaten on a story in their own backyard, Bordas’ former colleagues privately cheered her for keeping the Foppoli story alive. “She had that energy and passion,” said one former co-worker. “We’re all very proud of what she did.”
After she left the Press Democrat in 2019, Bordas went to work for a nonprofit that teaches filmmaking to young people. She said in an online posting that she had “mostly transitioned out” of the news business. But those she covered would have been wise to heed her vow.
“There are many lingering stories that I did not have the time to tell while working in the media industry,” Bordas wrote. “So now I am able to chip away at them, one-by-one, to make sure they are told.”
THE PD WEIGHS IN ON FIDDLEHEADS
Maybe Chris Castleman is a fan of P.T. Barnum, the 19th century showman and circus owner who is often credited with saying that there’s no such thing as bad publicity. A year ago, Castleman closed his Mendocino restaurant, Fiddleheads Café, and boarded up with the windows rather than comply with pandemic-related public health orders requiring, among other things, that employee wear masks. At the time, Castleman told Staff Writer Mary Callahan that masks were a matter of “personal responsibility and personal choice,” and he didn’t want to be responsible for enforcing those rules.
Well, Fiddleheads is open again, and Castleman is back in the headlines — but this time he is making news with his own set of coronavirus rules. A poster in the window reads, in large print, “$5 fee added to orders placed while wearing a face mask.” Below that is a warning that there’s “an additional $5 fee” for anyone “caught bragging” about their vaccines. Here’s another quotation widely attributed to Barnum: “The foundation of success in life is good health.” Right now, good health starts with a coronavirus vaccine. Don’t hesitate to brag about getting yours.
* * *
‘WAITING TO HAPPEN’: the California region where masks are taboo – and cases are rising
Rural northern California has been forceful in its pushback against masks, business restrictions and vaccine mandates
I WROTE to the now nationally famous (or infamous) Chris Castleman of Mendocino's Fiddleheads restaurant: “As a guy often on the receiving end of community opprobrium, I admire your sticking to your guns. Don't agree but anybody who takes a lonely stand gets my applause. How has business been? Economic boycotts can be fatal.”
CASTLEMAN promptly replied: “I appreciate your sentiments. Business has been average. Memorial Day weekend is typically our second busiest weekend of the year, but looking around town last weekend it seemed to be about half the tourists that we normally have in town. I’ll survive financially… The lockdown gave me the opportunity to be more frugal and rearrange my personal expenses so that I can get by with less income. (I live in my van these days, homeless by choice I suppose.) It’s given me a rare opportunity to stand for what I believe in and not worry if it will render my cafe chairs empty. Fortunately, I have discovered that there ARE people in Mendocino, Fort Bragg, and beyond that are incredibly supportive of what I represent, but you won’t hear much about it because the local online discussion groups and news outlets want people to believe I have zero community support. The fact that I am still in business is a testament to the fact that there are many folks in our community that want me here, they’re just afraid to talk about it online. Thanks again for having the courage to speak your mind in times like these. Hopefully this community can come to a better understanding of one another once all this coronavirus stuff dissipates. Take care, Chris Castleman”
JILL RAVITCH is SoCo's DA. She faces an expensive recall election in September although she's said she is retiring in 2022. A Windsor-based developer, Bill Gallaher, owner of a home building company and a chain of senior living stalags located across California and Nevada, began the recall effort because Ravitch's office prosecuted Gallaher’s firm, Oakmont Senior Living and two of its affiliates, over its abandonment of seniors in two of Gallaher's Santa Rosa care homes during the 2017 Tubbs fire. And Gallaher has gotten away with funding the recall to the tune of about $800,000 most of it his own unlimited money although private money for recalls is supposed to be limited. Gallaher paid for signature gatherers and all the filing fees. The recall is obviously one man's retaliation.
NO. Recalls are supposed to be for the removal of office-holding crooks. This one should have been stopped by the courts.
RAVITCH was a prosecutor for the Mendocino County DA's office while she campaigned for office in Sonoma County, and even given a Mendo County vehicle to commute to her West SoCo home in one more example of Mendocino County's long tradition of gifts of public funds to its favored sons and daughters. Ravitch's stay in the Mendo minor leagues occurred during the haphazard reign of Meredith Lintott.
A GRIM MIX of Javert and Madam Dafarge, Ravitch always seemed to me a perfect prosecutor. Her hate is pure! She pinned me with distinct death vibes on the few occasions I met her in Ukiah's temple of doom. Did I only imagine her muttering, “I pray for the day I see you at the defense table, Mr. Man?”
NO, BOYS, Ravitch never struck me as an admirer of our species or even particularly tolerant of it, not that I blame her, but you want hand holders in that job? Take a look at what it's done for San Francisco.
THE OLD GIRL won't win any charm awards, but she's good at her job and she wasn't afraid to take on the big bucks sleaze bag leading the recall against her; perhaps worst of all, the gutless SoCo supervisors, by not denouncing the unfounded recall and the indefensible cost of it to taxpayers, have tacitly approved it.
HMMM. We seem dangerously close to attracting denunciations for sexism today, but follow me my fellow phallocrats while I plunge ahead to recall a chapter of local history. Prompted by a call from an outside writer looking for an article on Mendo's lesbian collectives by my friend Kate Coleman, we got to chatting about my recollections of the phenomenom which, I confess, were mostly second hand, beginning, as I recall, when a disbelieving Pargas delivery guy showed me a note from a Philo collective instructing him to make an appointment prior to deliveries to spare the ladies the sight of him. We both laughed. No males were permitted in this Sapphist sanctuary. It wasn't as if the boys were beating down the gates to get in, but this group took it to extremes, also excluding roosters and billy goats,
THE 1921 destruction of Tulsa's black Greenwood neighborhood was remembered by Biden in full insincerity mode Tuesday, his typical form of public address and the real man, and all the major tv networks as the work of an “angry white mob.” The mob was white but it wasn't angry, it was celebratory, as photos of white participants demonstrate. Also, and I know this is a country of amnesiacs, the Tulsa atrocity was no secret despite efforts by Tulsa's white ruling class to keep it quiet. A town full of homicidal maniacs was not good for business. There are a bunch of books on the massacre known for years by, ahem, informed Americans.
HOUSEBOATS have been forced to flee the drying out Lake Oroville, the second largest reservoir in California, as severe drought causes its water capacity to drop by more than half.
The owners of dozens of boats moored on the body of water were asked to put the vessels in dry dock, or risk seeing them run aground and be damaged.
Houseboat dwellers received letters saying their vessels would be removed no matter what after they were forced to descend lower and lower into the basin. Forecasts indicate that by October, the reservoir, which provides drinking water to more than 25 million people, will see its lowest water levels for four decades.
TRUMP SHUTS DOWN HIS BLOG, FRUSTRATED BY ITS LOW READERSHIP.
by Annie Karni
Former President Donald J. Trump has removed himself entirely from the internet.
Still banned from Twitter and Facebook, and struggling to find a way to influence news coverage since leaving office, Mr. Trump decided on Wednesday to shutter his do-it-yourself alternative, a blog he had started just a month ago called “From the Desk of Donald J. Trump.”
Mr. Trump had become frustrated after hearing from friends that the site was getting little traffic and making him look small and irrelevant, according to a person familiar with his thinking.
The site, which cost a few thousand dollars to make and was put together for Mr. Trump by a company run by his former campaign manager Brad Parscale, was intended to be an online hub for supporters to see statements issued by the former president and communicate with him.
“In a time of silence and lies, a beacon of freedom arises,” a video introducing the platform last month advertised. “A place to speak freely and safely. Straight from the desk of Donald J. Trump.”
Last month, after The Washington Post reported that the blog was attracting virtually no readership, Mr. Trump played down its purpose, calling it a stopgap measure until he figured out what came next.
“This is meant to be a temporary way of getting my thoughts and ideas out to the public without the Fake News spin, but the website is not a ‘platform,’” he said in a statement. “It is merely a way of communicating until I decide on what the future will be for the choice or establishment of a platform.”
Some people in his small circle of advisers said on Wednesday that they were frustrated by his decision to shut it down. Others tried to put a more positive spin on it.
Jason Miller, an adviser, said on Twitter that the decision to suspend the blog was a precursor to Mr. Trump’s joining another social media platform.
“Yes, actually, it is,” he wrote when asked if the move meant that Mr. Trump would be returning to social media in another form. “Stay tuned!”
(New York Times)
CATCH OF THE DAY, Wednesday, June 2, 2021
ARTHUR AVEY, Fort Bragg. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, robbery.
IVEY BODWIN, Ukiah. Failure to appear.
WESEKA CARPENTER, Redwood Valley. DUI.
CHRISTOPHER DICK, Redwood Valley. Protective order violation.
SEAN FLINTON, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
TAWANA HENRY, Ukiah. Grand theft.
MIRIAM KESSLER, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. Adult with pot on schoolgrounds during school activity.
ISAAC KUKHAHN, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, concealed dirk-dagger.
EDEN LIBBY, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
MICHAEL MCCLELLAN, Fort Bragg. Protective order violation.
SERENA MILLER, Stockton/Ukiah. DUI.
ARTEMIO ORTEGA-REYES, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
JUAN SALAZAR-LOPEZ, Santa Maria/Ukiah. DUI.
MYCHELL VEGA-AYALA, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, false info to peace officer.
LARRY WOLFE, Ukiah. Parole violation.
IF MEETINGS WERE WET…
Drought Ad Hoc Committee to Host Virtual Countywide Drought Task Force Meeting
On Thursday, June 10th at 4:00pm, The Board of Supervisors Drought Ad Hoc Committee consisting of Supervisor John Haschak and Supervisor Glenn McGourty will host a virtual Countywide Drought Task Force Meeting. The Supervisors will give an update on their current discussions with community partners and staff on drought related issues. Members of the public will have an opportunity to hear a brief update and share their recommendations with the Ad Hoc Committee.
What: Virtual Countywide Drought Task Force Meeting
When: Thursday, June 10, 2021 at 4:00 pm
Who: Mendocino County Board of Supervisors John Haschak and Glenn McGourty
Executive Office Staff, Transportation Staff
How to attend:
To join via Zoom, click the link:
To join via phone, dial: +1 669 900 9128 and enter the webinar ID: 897 2958 7112
The webinar will also be streaming live on the County’s YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/mendocinocountyvideo) and the County’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/mendocinocounty/).
For more information, please contact the Mendocino County Executive Office at (707) 463-4441 or email@example.com.
FOUR THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE CALIFORNIA BUDGET DEAL
With a deluge of dollars flowing into California’s coffers from state taxpayers and Uncle Sam, Democratic leaders in the Legislature have agreed on a budget plan that would spend slightly less than what Gov. Gavin Newsom proposed, while still pouring billions of dollars into helping Californians recover from the pandemic.
ART WALK JUNE 4TH, 2021
The Art Walk in Ukiah is back! Please visit the following locations in June.
Corner Gallery 201 S State Street Ukiah
Reclaimed Art Show at the Corner Gallery (June) Local artists Laura Fogg, Betty Lacy, Margo Frank and Rosie Saxe Morris are working to create a mixed-media art show and interactive environmental event for the month of June. It will be in the front windows of the Corner Gallery in Ukiah. The title of the show is “reclaimed.” And it’s planned to create a broader impact than an ordinary art show could possibly have. It will be an event, designed to take a provocative look at the issues of plastic waste in our culture, climate change, and how each of us can be agents of transformation by doing small things that make a difference. All of the art on display is created from cast-off and reclaimed materials, addresses the topic of plastic pollution, or both. From the Artists: "The reasons we are doing this are many: we are all artists, we care deeply about the world we live in, and we all have things to say about both problems and solutions. We want to use our artistic voices to make things happen." The art show will open on June 4th at the Corner Gallery in Ukiah, and continue through the entire month of June. The gallery is located at 201 S State St and is open 11-5 on Tuesday through Saturday. There WILL be a modified First Friday on June 4th. No wine or appetizers will be served on account of COVID concerns, but we will have music and lots of new art to enjoy throughout the gallery.
Paradigm Shop 312 N School Street Ukiah Paradigm will be participating in the June 4 art walk and we have art by the amazing Josh Bowers, aka Jethro. He is an amazing photographer who also does unique collage come combinations with his photography and vintage findings.
Greater Ukiah Business and Tourism Alliance at the Ukiah Valley Conference Center 200 S School Street Ukiah Kirsten Gantzel moved from Louisiana to Ukiah, in Mendocino County in 2001. She is a multimedia artist. Having been raised in a community of potters in La Jolla, California, she learned to work with clay in her mothers’ pottery studio at home. The recurring theme in her work is water, swimming and sea life influenced by her childhood by the sea. Kirsten Gantzel studied in Paris and New York. Her work embodies the experiences of living and working in places like Brazil, Denmark, Italy and Kenya. She travels with a sketchbook to record her impressions of everyday life. Kirsten Gantzel expresses the essence of the humanity around her. She works intuitively from memory, guided by impulse and emotion.
Eden Mendocino 110 S School Street Ukiah
Visit Eden Mendocino a new'ish business to downtown Ukiah with talented artist Amanda Shaw
If you have questions please call 707-391-3664 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Or visit our website for more information http://artwalkukiah.org/
NAOMI OSAKA AND THE GROWING BACKLASH AGAINST ATHLETES WHO DARE TO SPEAK OUT
by Dave Zirin
There’s a backlash brewing in the world of sports. Many pro athletes spent much of 2020 raising their voices for justice: as workers, citizens, and, most pointedly, as Black and Brown athletes who have to suffer racism no matter the size of their paychecks.
We have seen athletes give speeches, march, and even strike for Black lives. While being a foundational piece of a new civil rights movement, these athletes were also risking their health by playing amidst a deadly air borne virus. The response of ownership was a kind of unspoken agreement: you keep the money rolling in by giving us something to televise and in return we’ll let you use this platform to speak out. To put it crudely, “if you show up, leave your family, live in a hermetically sealed bubble and subject yourself to constant Covid testing, we’ll put Black Lives Matter on the court or End Racism in the end zone and say no comment when fans and the press ask why you’re quoting Angela Davis in press conferences. That cool?”
But now it’s 2021. Many of the masses are vaxxed, fans are filling arenas, and something extremely ugly is in the air. Every night at NBA games we are seeing mainly white fans dump popcorn on players, spit on their team’s opponents, run onto the court, and in one case (in what is being investigated as a felony) throwing a water bottle at Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving’s head. After the game, Irving said, “It’s been that way in history in terms of entertainment and performers and sports for a long period of time, and just underlying racism and just treating people like they’re in a human zoo…”
Fan belligerence is the sharp, dangerous edge of the backlash. But it’s not its only manifestation. The sports world has been roiled this week by Naomi Osaka’s withdrawal from the French Open. On the surface level, this story is a simple one: Osaka was refusing to do press conferences because she is dealing with social anxiety and depression. The French Open officials fined her $15,000 and she decided that rather than endure the pressers or fight the fines, she would withdraw.
A closer look reveals something more alarming. Naomi Osaka is not only the number two ranked player in the world and arguably the brightest star in the sport; she is also a fearless champion of the Black Lives Matter matter movement, forcing the issue into the foreground of a very white, conservative country club sport by winning the US Open while wearing face-masks with the names of Black women and men killed by police violence. This kind of stalwart anti-racist political messaging is not something we have ever seen in the history of tennis, particularly not on the women’s side. Yet the executive organizers of the various grand slams shut their mouths and bit their tongues bloody, abiding the fact that during the pandemic the world was watching this remarkable Haitian-Japanese political athlete turn the sports world on its ear.
Osaka now says she suffers from mental illness and instead of working with her, the French Open opted to discipline her. Their mode of discipline was also well beyond fines. First, they sent a mocking tweet at Osaka’s defense which they quickly deleted. Then the directors of all four grand slams issued their own statement saying that Osaka was risking banishment from the all-important highly lucrative tournaments if she dared refuse the media going forward. Their bombastic statement—the equivalent of trying to kill an ant with a rocket launcher—was sneeringly dismissive and cold as ice. It was the “Keep your mouth shut honey, maybe take a valium and relax” of statements.
There is a century-plus long history of tennis treating its women players like second class citizens. For the few women of color that have ascended the ranks, the treatment has been even worse. Their response is about disciplining Osaka. This isn’t about press conferences. It’s about taking the player who used what in their minds is their platform to go off script and punishing her for it.
This is what a backlash to activist athletes looks like: a generalized mood among white fans combining with conservative owners to send a message that 2020 is over and old hierarchies must return. No matter how messy, they want the wine back in the bottle just as sure as those jerseys and helmets with political slogans are back with the mothballs.
Players, their unions, and allies need to wake up and start to devise a strategy for how they are going to respond, or they will lose all of the hard-fought and historic gains of the past year: a time when athletes took the politics of this nation from the movement for Black lives to the 2020 elections and rocked their core. We all had better watch their backs because elephants never forget.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Well, don’t get mad… Like I always say, some things you just can’t control…
If people won’t get their vaccine, they can’t win the $1.5 Million!
If people won’t get their vaccine, they will likely be wearing masks forever!
Got to move forward now, we got an extreme, historic drought threatening to kill your valuable cash crop, we got shortages of everything from rental cars and houses to good sense, we got people shooting other people for no reason, we got the Mangroves dying in Senegal…
And guess what ? The Chinese say: Go ahead and have 3 kids! Whoa!
The biggest problem in Humboldt, is the folks there are unable to move forward, to evolve!
Pay attention! Wander outside the walls of the asylum occaisionally!
People don’t want weed, they want lots of alcohol, Ecstasy, Cocaine!
People want to buy a house, get a great job, have a nice life! They don’t want to sit around smoking a plant that is 60 years ago…
Move on, and to the 10 or so people who regularly post the same comments:
1) There’s no little microchips in the vaccine
2) There’s only a tiny chance of a “breakthrough infection”
3) Your DNA can’t possibly be changed by an mRNA vaccine, no matter what you read on the internet or saw on YouTube
4) Churches who preach anti-vax, are full of vaccinated people
5) “Counterfeit Vaccine Cards don’t exist, and if they do, only a very silly person actually carries one
IT'S NOT MORTON'S
Quick fix: desalinate brackish or salt water. Short- and long-term problem: disposal of waste saline. It is not Morton’s Salt. There’s the environmental impact on removal of water from its source (who needs wildlife protections when we need lawns and 20-minute showers?). The energy used causes a tremendous increase in greenhouse gas emissions (choke, gasp). Water experts recommend careful use of water (e.g., graywater, xeriscaping, low-water use appliances and appliances that reuse water within any system). Desalination is not a viable answer. Conserve water, and demand that wasteful extravagances in your community stop now.
Southern man, better keep your head.
Don't forget what your good book said.
Southern change gonna come at last.
Now your crosses are burning fast.
I saw cotton and I saw black.
Tall white mansions and little shacks.
Southern man, when will you pay them back?
I heard screamin' and bullwhips cracking.
How long? How long?
Southern man, better keep your head.
Don't forget what your good book said.
Southern change gonna come at last.
Now your crosses are burning fast.
Lily Belle, your hair is golden brown.
I've seen your black man comin' round.
Swear by God, I'm gonna cut him down!
I heard screamin' and bullwhips cracking.
How long? How long?
— Neil Young
SCOTCH BROOM, STRUGGLE AGAINST
At 01:29 PM 6/2/2021, stephen sharnoff wrote (Coast Listserve):
I’m looking for ideas on how we could stop the spread of Scotch broom.
It’s growing in profusion along Little Lake Rd. above the school --I’ve especially noticed it there because that’s close to where I live, but it’s a widespread problem, including in the state parks.
An expert has recently written about it as part of a description for a guidebook, not yet published:
“Noxious weed, introduced as an ornamental plant from southern Europe and Britain, expands at the expense of native vegetation, becoming impenetrable, degrading wildlife habitat, and creating a highly flammable monoculture. Seeds can be viable in soil for up to 30 years; flowers and possibly all plant parts toxic. Early detection and removal of new plants/infestations is important. Stimulated by fire to produce vigorous populations that become impossible to control.”
It will not be easy or cheap to deal with this problem. Any hope of getting the county to take action? State parks? Can something be done at the community level?
* * *
I pull them out by the root every year while the ground is still soft in the spring. After more than 30 years of that, my property is mostly free of broom. Uprooting them only works on fairly young plants that haven't yet established a strong root system. Scotch and French broom gets going in the drainage ditch alongside LR Airport Rd. due to seeds being carried downstream by the water. The seeds form in pea-like pods that, when they dry out, burst and scatter seeds in every direction for several yards. The seeds are viable for 20-30 years. I had an area of brush cleared away a few years ago for fire safety, and the area nearest the road sprouted hundreds or thousands of new broom plants. I got them all pulled or burned off with a weed torch a month or two ago. A weed torch works pretty well but you have to use it right after a rain or it would be a fire hazard.
FUNCTIONAL LITERATES aren’t lower class, don’t live in the inner city and are not unemployed. They are our mid-masses, people who live in owner-occupied homes innocent of all printed matter save the telephone directory. Where once their middleclass ancestors had self-improvement books on the bookshelves, like the Harvard Classics series, their great-grandchildren have no bookshelves and, if they own a book at all, it will be a volume of devotional thoughts by a movie star, or a book about diet, pet grooming, or the 10 basic steps to orgasm and spiritual fulfillment. If they were fully literate, however, they still wouldn’t read a newspaper any more than they would turn on a TV news show. They find current events boring and, children of the pop, commercial culture of entertainment and effortless diversion that they are, they are not about to loll on their couches doing the minimum brain work required to watch a news show. No indeed, not as long as they have a channel changer in their hands.
— Nicholas von Hoffman
HEROES AND PATRIOTS ON KMUD, JUNE 3
"Heroes and Patriots" returns to KMUD on Thursday, June 3, at 9 am, Pacific Time (12 EST) with guest Christopher A. Shaw. In the second half of our program we interview Danny Sjursen.
John Sakowicz and Mary Massey are your cohosts.
Danny Sjursen is a retired U.S. Army major and an instructor at West Point. He is a contributing editor at antiwar.com and a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy.
Christopher Shaw is a historian and author of Preserving the People’s Post Office. He recently had an op-ed in the Washington Post.
KMUD simulcasts its programming on two full power FM stations: KMUE 88.1 in Eureka and KLAI 90.3 in Laytonville. It also maintains a translator at 99.5 FM in Shelter Cove, California.
We also stream live from the web at: https://kmud.org
We'll take listener questions during the show at: (707) 923-3911.
Please support KMUD by becoming a member or underwriter. No matter where you live, we are "your community radio station".