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Mendocino County Today: September 10, 2013

PATRICK GUZMAN, 70, of Fort Bragg, was reported missing September 3rd when his white, 1999 Cadillac Deville, was found with the engine running in a pullout off Highway One near Westport. Five days later, September 8th, Tony Reed, a reporter for the Fort Bragg Advocate-News, looking around the area where Guzman's Deville was found, spotted a handgun on the ocean bluffs and then a white shoe. Guzman's body was soon located at the foot of the bluff at the ocean's edge. His death remains under investigation.


REPLYING TO DAN MINTZ'S article, “Is Garberville Going to Hell?” Ernie Branscomb provides some historical perspective: “Garberville has often been described as “The Town Without a Reason.” Nobody can say what importance the town has for being here. It has, in history, often been the hangout of miscreants and ne’er-do-wells. Not much has really changed but change itself, as they say. Garberville has always been a poor-man’s boomtown. The homesteaders were the dregs of the mining industry that couldn’t make it in the goldfields, so they moved here. It was a poor place to raise cattle, but they did. It had too many predators for sheep, but they tried to raise them anyway. Redwood was the boom industry to the north, Garberville was stuck with widely scattered fir trees to harvest. Gypo loggers were a slowly starving lot, and sawmills were notorious for going broke. One or two mills made it big, and they attracted the “Okies”; they were very much looked down upon, much like the trimmers today. The Okies were hard working, mostly honest people, but they would work for practically nothing. They were very much taken advantage of, much like our trimmers living on the street. The only difference with today’s ‘dregs of humanity’ is the people of today have a sense of entitlement like I’ve never seen before. If you leave it outside, it’s theirs. They will throw their garbage anywhere. If you ask them why they do that, they will tell you that ‘it helps people find work picking it up.’ If you don’t keep a very close eye on them they will steal you blind. Grocery stores feed them from their shoplifting, and they will justify stealing any of their ‘Necessities.’ It seems that the rest of the world really does owe them a living. Any time the rights of the few are honored over the rights of the many, the few will take advantage of it. I’m not saying that it is right, but it is what it is. This is not the first time that I have seen Garberville upset with the ‘rabble,’ just one of the many times… It seems to be Garberville’s destiny. If the loggers couldn’t run off the hippies, what the hell chance does a handful of pissed-off and disgusted merchants have running off the trimmers and bums? We are sorely out-numbered. Might as well get used to it. Put up or shut up! On the good side, some of the best people in the world live right here in SoHum. Most are my friends.”


CROSSBOW MURDER. From the Humboldt County Sheriff's Department: “On Sunday September 8, 2013 at about 12:32 PM, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch Center received a 911 call of a possible injured man lying on the southbound shoulder of Highway 255 and New Navy Base Road, Eureka (approximately 100 yards north of this intersection). While deputies were responding, a second person called the Sheriff’s Office to report the injured male appeared to have been shot twice with an arrow and there were two people fleeing the area on bicycles, possibly suspects or involved with this incident. One witness attempted to detain these individuals, at which point the suspects abandoned their bicycles and fled into a heavily wooded area on the west side of the road. Deputies arrived in the area around 12:39pm and located a 41 year old male victim who had suffered three injuries that would later be determined to have been from a crossbow. The victim had a grazing scalp wound, an arrow to the hip and an injury on his shin from a glancing arrow injury. The victim was transported to an area hospital where he was treated and released for his injuries. Deputies then located a second victim, found deceased, approximately 200 yards west and into the wooded area from where the first victim was located. This 44-year old male suffered a single arrow to the face (names of the victims being withheld at this point). An extensive manhunt was undertaken in the heavily wooded and coastal area for the two suspects. The motive for this incident appears to be the belief of the suspects that the victims may have stolen items from their transient camp. The victims are homeless and have been occupying an encampment for the last several months. It appears the suspects are newly arrived to the area and had a crude encampment, which a search warrant was sought for and served on.


Phoenix Triton King, white male, 21, short blond hair, blue eyes and black heavy framed glasses, 5’7” and 140 pounds from Clearlake, Lake County). King is traveling with the second suspect in this case, who is a 16 year old female, and for that reason, her name is not being released: Female, black or dark skin, 16 years of age, shoulder length “frizzy” hair that is most often worn in a bun, black hair, brown eyes, 5’0”, 120 pounds. Both were arrested Monday.


LARRY TUNZI, writing for the County's Fire Chief’s Association, has distributed a long response to the Fitch Report, a County-funded analysis of existing ambulance services around the county and the fragility of that system.

THE PROBLEM, according to Tunzi and the Fire Chiefs, is that the County has to provide some of the Prop 172 money made available by the statewide half-cent sales tax for public safety, passed into law in the early 1990s. So far in Mendo, the money goes exclusively to law enforcement, none to other forms of public safety, specifically fire and ambulance, both included under Prop 172.

TUNZI AND THE CHIEFS want some of the Prop 172 money or, failing that, a tiny sales tax initiative specific to Mendocino County, such as the teensy library tax that now nicely subsidizes the County library.

THE SUPES could dispatch some of the Prop 172 money tomorrow to the County's volunteer emergency services and volunteer fire departments, but so far are either indifferent to the welfare of outback emergency services or somehow unaware that these services could use more money.

THE FOLLOWING PIECE by Ben Brown of the Ukiah Daily Journal from April 26th, 2008, nicely states the prob which has been well known for years:

REPRESENTATIVES from the Mendocino County Fire and Ambulance Services expressed their appreciation to the Board of Supervisors for grant of money last year and said they hoped for a similar disbursement from the 2008 budget.

ACCORDINGLY, ambulance services in Mendocino County operate on “bare bones” budgets while responding to 7,500 calls per year. Last year, the board gave $200,000 to county ambulance services that divided the funds between Elk Ambulance Service, the Mendocino Coast Hospital, Anderson Valley Ambulance, Coast Life Support, Ukiah Ambulance Service and Laytonville Ambulance Service.

SCOTT FOSTER of Coast Life Support said his service has used the money to increase the communication capability over their service area which he said has helped with response times. Due to the rural nature of the roads on the coast and the sheer size of the area Coast Life Support covers, response times can sometimes be measured in hours. Foster said his crews often rescue patients who do not live or pay taxes in their area. “Almost% of our cases are not from our district,” he said. Last year, Foster said Coast Life Support wrote off almost $650,000 in uncollectable services.

BRUCE LONGSTREET of Anderson Valley Ambulance said the money they received was put into training and the purchase of equipment. “We're a small service covering a big area with a small population,” he said.

BOB MacAdoo of Ukiah Ambulance said the money was particularly helpful to him. “It's allowed me to retain staff,” he said. “I even have a waiting list of people who want to work in Willits,” he said.

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS Chairman Jim Wattenburger said he appreciated the work that the ambulance services do in this county. He said the allocation of funds was a good short term solution. “I've been pushing for a short-term long-term fix for three or four years,” he said.

”IT WAS WELL-DESERVED and well needed,” said Third District Supervisor John Pinches of the $200,000. “I would like to think that in a budget of $200 million budget, we can find another $200,000,” he said.

WATTENBURGER said the solution may be at the state level and encouraged First District Supervisor Michael Delbar to bring the issue up with the State Supervisors Association of which Delbar is the vice president. “It's time that rural agencies and rural counties start getting their fair share from Sacramento,” Wattenburger said.

DELBAR said he would bring the issue up with the State Association of Supervisors.

THE BOARD also heard a report from county fire chiefs who have been working for years to get funding from Proposition 172 without success. Last year, the board gave several county fire departments $300,000 in the form of worker's compensation payments but Ukiah Valley Fire District Chief Dan Grebil said Mendocino County Fire Departments still need funds from Proposition 172. “The hold-up is here with the county board,” Grebil said. Prop. 172, passed by California voters in 1993, established a half-cent sales tax. The money is divided amongst the counties and added to their general funds. Individual counties are to spend the money to support “public safety” institutions.

IN NOVEMBER of 2006, Mendocino County fire departments asked for the percentage by which the fund increases each year. Since then they have been negotiating with the board over the money.



by Norman Solomon

Many senators began this week still uncommitted on whether they’ll vote for attacking Syria. Among the fence-sitters are enough “progressives” to swing the Senate’s decision one way or the other.

That decision is coming soon -- maybe as early as Wednesday -- and the Obama White House is now pulling out all the stops to counter public opinion, which remains overwhelmingly against a war resolution. The administration hopes to win big in the Senate and carry momentum into the House, where the bomb-Syria agenda faces a steeper climb.

Some Democratic senators who’ve cultivated progressive reputations nationwide -- Barbara Boxer of California, Dick Durbin of Illinois and Al Franken of Minnesota -- haven’t hesitated to dive into Obama’s war tank. Boxer, Durbin and Franken quickly signed on as carnage bottom-feeders, pledging their adamant support for the U.S. government to attack yet another country.

Other Democrats, like Chris Murphy of Connecticut and Tom Udall of New Mexico, have made clear their intention to vote “no” when the war-on-Syria measure reaches the Senate floor.

But more than a dozen other senators widely viewed as liberal or progressive have held back from committing themselves on how they’ll vote. Here’s a partial list of those equivocators:

• Both Massachusetts senators, Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey

• Both Oregon senators, Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley

• Both Colorado senators, Mark Udall and Michael Bennet

• Both Washington senators, Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell

• Ohio senator Sherrod Brown

• Wisconsin senator Tammy Baldwin

• Rhode Island senator Sheldon Whitehouse

• Hawaii senator Mazie Hirono

• Minnesota senator Amy Klobuchar

If you live in one of those states, or anywhere else in the USA for that matter, you can send a quick email to your senators and representative to tell them “No Attack on Syria” by clicking here<> .

Perhaps no “undecided” stance from senators is more egregious than the one from Wisconsin’s Tammy Baldwin, who won a hard-fought race that elevated her from the House of Representatives last year on the strength of major progressive support.

Speaking at the annual Fighting Bob Fest in Madison last weekend, Baldwin sparked an angry response to her doubletalk about Syria. A video of the encounter <> shows a wooden politician who badly needs reminding of her progressive roots. In a suitably confrontational mode, activists serenaded Wisconsin’s junior senator with a stirring rendition of “Which side are you on Tammy?”<>

The symbolism could hardly have been more apt. Senator Baldwin was behind the podium at an event named after “Fighting Bob” La Follette, the senator from Wisconsin who led opposition to U.S. entry into World War One. In a Senate speech, La Follette denounced <> those who “inflame the mind of our people into the frenzy of war.”

*Which side are you on Tammy… and Elizabeth, Ed, Ron, Jeff, Mark, Michael, Patty, Maria, Sherrod, Sheldon, Mazie, Amy?*

Senators who portray themselves as progressive are at crossroads as they decide how to vote on attacking Syria. At this historic moment, with enormous consequences, will they cave in to the presidential juggernaut?

Later this week, senators will vote about launching a war on Syria. We’ve got to let them know -- right away -- that we are watching very closely. And will not forgive or forget any vote for war on the Senate floor.

(Norman Solomon is co-founder of and founding director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. His books include “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.” Information about the documentary based on the book is at<>)



A Letter to President Obummer

by Ralph Nader

Dear President Obama:

Little did your school boy chums in Hawaii, watching you race up and down the basketball court, know how prescient they were when they nicknamed you “Barry O’Bomber.”

Little did your fellow Harvard Law Review editors, who elected you to lead that venerable journal, ever imagine that you could be a president who chronically violates the Constitution, federal statutes, international treaties and the separation of power at depths equal to or beyond the George W. Bush regime.

Nor would many of the voters who elected you in 2008 have conceived that your foreign policy would rely so much on brute military force at the expense of systemically waging peace. Certainly, voters who knew your background as a child of third world countries, a community organizer, a scholar of constitutional law and a critic of the Bush/Cheney years, never would have expected you to favor the giant warfare state so pleasing to the military industrial complex.

Now, as if having learned nothing from the devastating and costly aftermaths of the military invasions of Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, you’re beating the combustible drums to attack Syria — a country that is no threat to the US and is embroiled in complex civil wars under a brutal regime.

This time, however, you may have pushed for too many acts of War. Public opinion and sizable numbers of members of both parties in Congress are opposed. These lawmakers oppose bombing Syria in spite of your corralling the cowardly leaders of both parties in the Congress.

Thus far, your chief achievement on the Syrian front has been support for your position from al-Qaeda affiliates fighting in Syria, the pro-Israeli government lobby, AIPAC, your chief nemesis in Congress, House Speaker John Boehner — and Dick Cheney. This is quite a gathering and a telling commentary on your ecumenical talents. Assuming the veracity of your declarations regarding the regime’s resort to chemical warfare (first introduced into the Middle East by Winston Churchill’s Royal Air Force’s plastering of Iraqi tribesmen in the 1920s), your motley support group is oblivious to the uncontrollable consequences that might stem from bombing Syria.

One domestic consequence may be that Speaker Boehner expects to exact concessions from you on domestic issues before Congress in return for giving you such high visibility bipartisan cover.

Your argument for shelling Syria is to maintain “international credibility” in drawing that “red line” regardless, it seems, of the loss of innocent Syrian civilian life, causalities to our foreign service and armed forces in that wider region, and retaliation against the fearful Christian population in Syria (one in seven Syrians are Christian). But the more fundamental credibilities are to our Constitution, to the neglected necessities of the American people, and to the red line of observing international law and the UN Charter (which prohibit unilateral bombing in this situation).

There is another burgeoning cost — that of the militarization of the State Department whose original charter invests it with the responsibility of diplomacy. Instead, Mr. Obama you have shaped the State Department into a belligerent “force projector” first under Generalissima Clinton and now under Generalissimo Kerry. The sidelined foreign service officers, who have knowledge and conflict avoidance experience, are left with reinforced fortress-like embassies as befits our Empire reputation abroad.

Secretary John Kerry descended to gibberish when, under questioning this week by a House Committee member, he asserted that your proposed attack was “not war” because there would be “no boots on the ground.” In Kerry’s view, bombing a country with missiles and air force bombers is not an act of war.

It is instructive to note how government autocracy feeds on itself. Start with unjustified government secrecy garnished by the words “national security.” That leads to secret laws, secret evidence, secret courts, secret prisons, secret prisoners, secret relationships with selected members of Congress, denial of standing for any citizen to file suit, secret drone strikes, secret incursions into other nations and all this directed by a President who alone decides when to be secret prosecutor, judge, jury and executioner. What a Republic, what a democracy, what a passive people we have become!

Voices of reason and experience have urged the proper path away from the metastasizing war that is plaguing Syria. As proposed by former president, Jimmy Carter, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and other seasoned diplomats and retired military, vigorous leadership by you is needed for an international peace conference with all parties at the table, including the countries supplying weapons to the various adversaries in Syria.

Mr. Obama, you may benefit from reading the writings of Colman McCarthy, a leading advocate of peace studies in our schools and universities. He gives numerous examples of how waging peace avoided war and civil strife over the past 100 years.

Crowding out attention to America’s serious domestic problems by yet another military adventure (opposed by many military officials), yet another attack on another small, non-threatening Muslim country by the powerful Christian nation (as many Muslims see it) is aggression camouflaging sheer madness.

Please, before you recklessly flout Congress, absorb the wisdom of the World Peace Foundation’s Alex de Waal and Bridget Conley-Zilkic. Writing in the New York Times, they strongly condemn the use of nerve gas in Syria, brand the perpetrators as war criminals to be tried by an international war crimes tribunal and then declare:

“But it is folly to think that airstrikes can be limited: they are ill-conceived as punishment, fail to protect civilians and, most important, hinder peacemaking…. Punishment, protection and peace must be joined… An American assault on Syria would be an act of desperation with incalculable consequences. To borrow once more from Sir William Harcourt [the British parliamentarian who argued against British intervention in our Civil War (which cost 750,000 American lives)]: ‘We are asked to go we know not whither, in order to do we know not what’.”

If and when the people and Congress turn you down this month, there will be one silver lining. Only a Right/Left coalition can stop this warring. Such convergence is strengthening monthly in the House of Representatives to stop future war crimes and the injurious blowback against America of the wreckages from Empire.

History teaches that Empires always devour themselves.

 Ralph Nader

(Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us! He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, published by AK Press. Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition.)



Dear Editor,

Is US Violating International Norms?

President Obama is asking us to support a military attack against Syria because he believes the Syrian government has violated an “international norm” against using chemical weapons.

The United States military is poisoning huge regions of the world by using uranium munitions (depleted uranium), creating tons of breathable uranium oxides, toxic and mutagenic for the life of Earth. Does this horrible, unacknowledged war crime justify a military attack against the United States?

Attacking Syria without the backing of the United Nations would violate both international norms and international law, justifying a counter-attack by Syria and its allies. Though the Syrian government has limited powers to retaliate, their Russian ally is moving warships into the Mediterranean, and has a sophisticated arsenal including high-altitude nuclear electromagnetic pulse weapons which could shut down our whole electronic civilization in a hot second.

I hope if enough of us speak out against any military attack on Syria, our nation may move away from making wars and toward dealing with our real problems, including cleaning up toxic uranium oxides.

John Lewallen, Philo


IT’S FALL and our fall plant sale is just around the corner. The funds from our plant sales go towards buying supplies for our Ag Department at the Mendocino College. The sale will be Oct 4th 9-5 and Oct 5th 9-3. We have a great assortment of veggies, perennials and California natives, all of which are grown by our students. — Kim Lyly, Ag Tech, Mendocino College

Plant Sale flyer-back fall 2013

One Comment

  1. Mike Jamieson September 10, 2013

    Anybody do a welfare check on Norman and Ralph today? Their world just flipped on its axis! I’m concerned that they have fallen from dizzy spells…..and they can’t get up.

    Looking forward to their next installments, though, on Obama and his policies/actions. After they get through recovering, of course.

    Pretty sad to be fixated on a particular rigid storyline and cast characterization and then having to stick with it no matter what because you don’t want to lose the $$$$$$ that flows from the market place of fans.

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