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Mendocino County Today: November 25, 2013

COUNTY FAIR MANAGER JIM BROWN gave the Board of Supervisors a report about the somewhat improved finances at the Boonville County Fair last Tuesday: “Nine months ago our budget showed a $146,000 shortfall. We have done a number of things since then. At this time we are looking at only a $46,000 shortfall. Some of that is because the business assistant who retired and came back as hourly is now fully retired. So that position will go back out after the first of the year at an hourly rate. The state Fair and Exhibition board is also looking at the possibility of one more year of funding with an allocation of $40,000. What it will do after that I'm not sure. The movie ‘Need for Speed’ was a big boost for us as far as cash flow ($40,000). Through our new website we are procuring some new events for next year and some other ones that we are in negotiations with that hopefully will take care of the last $40,000 shortfall. But that won't take place until the following fiscal year. One of our maintenance guys has retired. We will hire him back as an hourly worker after the first of the year. So we have conquered quite a few hurdles but we have not reached the final goal that we had hoped to at this point. But we are a lot closer than we were nine months ago. I think with these other things next year the budget should reflect at least a balanced budget next year.”


INSPIRED by the Humboldt Glossary recently published on Lost Coast Outpost, we've come up with a Mendo glossary. Some of the terms, of course, are common to Humboldt and Mendocino counties and are drug related. Contributions welcome:

Hell’s Alley: Coast Highway One from Elk to Mendocino

Elk: Mendocino lite

HumCo: Humboldt County

SoCo: Sonoma County

Booze boutique: tasting room

Ropehead: dreadlocked hair

Jive juice: wine

Hill Muffin: wealthy hill dweller; also Hill Muff

Low Gap Hilton: Mendo County Jail

Humphrey, Gibson
Humphrey, Gibson

Humphrey Suite: Drunk tank at County named after frequently arrested Travis ‘The Hump’ Humphrey, formerly the Gibson Suite after Leon Gibson

Catch and Release: Ten Mile Court, Fort Bragg

Reggae rats: Little kids at reggae concerts

Pissdrizzle: fog, also drizzlepiss

Fog Eaters: residents of Point Arena

Cork sniffer: wine drinker

Geeter: tweeker

Diesel dope: Marijuana grown indoors

Gro ho: Young woman employed at pot grow

Puppy dragger: Homeless person with dog

K-FEEB: Radio station KZYX

Hipneck: Child of a marriage between hippie and redneck

Clippie: Signature gatherers outside Ukiah Co-op

Mendopia: Mendocino County

Crankits: Willits

Skunk Town: Willits

Trustafarian: Resident living off inherited money

Ripper: Home invader

Hamburgian: Entitled pot smoker

Eysterize: Fines and misdemeanors for dope arrests rather than the state pen; policy of current Mendo DA David Eyster. E.g., “Dude! I just got eysterized. Cost me $40k.”

Green Curtain: Mendo-Sonoma County line just north of Cloverdale where everything becomes very strange and stays that way until you get to Ashland, Oregon.



Aurora, Colorado (famous for movie theater massacre), Friday Nov 22 — Running a series of errands on Denver's east side, I ran into a monster traffic jam on I-225. It was bottlenecked because the cops had three exits to main arteries blocked. A police helicopter was flying around overhead and flashing police cruisers were everywhere. Later on I found the story on local TV news. A police officer had shot a shoplifter who was sitting in his car. Maybe there was a chase, I'm not sure. How trigger-happy are the cops getting, anyway? I remember being hungry and stealing food from the Big G market in Sausalito. I got caught once and the store manager threatened to ban me from the store if it happened again. I turned over the package of shrimp he saw me take, and got out with the steak he didn't know about it. Our mighty Editor has quipped that if you know a republican who's ever missed a meal, let him know. There have been no responses to this. Anyway, I think the store manager's reaction to a shoplifter (me) was reasonable. A police officer using deadly force in a similar situation is beyond merely unreasonable. How bad is it going to get?



by Stacy Finz & Kurtis Alexander

Voters in the city of Sonoma appear to have shot down a ballot measure that would have restricted hotel development in the Wine Country community.

Measure B on Tuesday's ballot would have prohibited existing hotels from expanding to more than 25 rooms, and limited new hotels to fewer than 25 rooms unless Sonoma's hotel occupancy rate exceeded 80 percent the previous calendar year. This hasn't happened in recent years, and opponents argued that the threshold would have been impossible to reach.

The group behind Measure B, the Preserving Sonoma Committee, said it would have kept the city of 10,850 from being overwhelmed by out-of-towners as Northern California's tourist economy picks up. Sonoma now has about 500 hotel rooms.

“Given the fact that we were outspent 8-to-1, we fought a good fight and held our own pretty well,” said Larry Barnett, former mayor of Sonoma and leader of the Preserving Sonoma Committee. “We feel good about the kind of campaign we launched — it was honest with no name-calling. I consider that a victory in itself.”

Unofficial results showed the measure losing 51.3 percent to 48.7 percent. About 3,620 ballots were cast with 308 absentee and provisional ballots still untallied Wednesday. Barnett said registrar officials told him that it would likely take until Thanksgiving to count them all.

“We would need 80 percent of those,” he said. “It would be delightful to get that, but highly improbable.”

Barnett said supporters of the room limit will now focus on addressing each project as it comes along.

“We have identified that 50 percent of the voters are very concerned about commercial development,” he said. “Hopefully this will open up more community input and residents will feel comfortable to speak out.”

Valerie Simpson, campaign manager with Protect Sonoma, the group leading the opposition, said they look forward to collaborating with Sonoma residents to balance the town's quality of life with tourism.

“For me, and for our supporters, this has always been about protecting our hometown,” she said. “We were thrilled with the outpouring of support we received from our community over the last months — from our neighbors to our community organizations — a diverse group of people who care about the future of Sonoma. In the end, voters have concluded we don't have a hotel problem and we should work together as a community to protect this sense of place we all love about Sonoma.”

The impetus behind the measure was a proposal by lobbyist Darius Anderson, who owns the development company Kenwood Investments, for a 59-room hotel on downtown Sonoma's historic square. Once developers learned of the ballot drive to stop the hotel, they pulled out.

(Courtesy, the San Francisco Chronicle)


NOVEMBER 25TH, 1963, SF Chronicle quoting Detective B.H. Combest: “I was standing at a corner of a ramp as they led Lee Oswald out of the building and then I saw Jack Ruby, and I knew what he was going to do... I tried to reach him but couldn't get to him. He rushed right up to Oswald and put the gun flat against his chest.

Ruby-Oswald2And I saw the flash of fire. I think Ruby did what he was planning on doing all this time since the president was killed. He didn't say anything as he was being carried out — I think he already accomplished his purpose. One of his employees had called me earlier and told me Ruby felt a sense of shame for Dallas. A lot of us knew him because of the business he was in — running a strip joint. I helped carry Oswald to the jail basement office. Someone said, 'What do you want to do with him?' And I heard someone answer, 'Well, let's get him out of here fast.' I think the city jail physician said the bullet went in at a slant but did not come out the other side — that it entered his left side and you could feel it under the skin on the opposite side. I think the gun was a .38 caliber blue-steel snub-nose. Ruby pushed it right up against him. Oswald had a powder burn about as big as a fist on his sweater.”


MAYBE MY FATHER was not meant to be a beekeeper. Maybe he wasn't calm enough to be a father. Maybe the bees knew he was still fighting and thinking about the time when he was a boy and nobody liked him except for his mother. Maybe they could feel anger in the air from the time when Ireland was still under the British, or when Ireland was free but could remember nothing but being under the British. Maybe they could smell things like helpless anger, because they kept trying to kill him.

— Hugo Hamilton


HIGH GLADE FIRE UPDATE UPPER LAKE, Calif. — The High Glade Fire, currently burning on the Upper Lake Ranger District of the Mendocino National Forest is holding at approximately 350 acres and is estimated at 5 percent containment. There was minimal fire growth overnight and, as long as wind speeds remain low, there is little potential for growth. Handcrews, engine crews and aviation resources are continuing to make progress on the fire today to increase containment. However, as the fire continues to burn, smoke will remain visible in the area. The High Glade Fire was spotted early Saturday morning. The cause of the fire is under investigation. For more information, please contact the Mendocino National Forest at 530-934-3316, or visit Updates will also be available on Inciweb at or on Twitter @Mendocino NF. (CalFire Press Release)


BE CAREFUL WITH FIRE IN THE FOREST THIS HOLIDAY WEEK (CalFire, Willows, CA) — Thanksgiving is a time for family and traditions, and many of those traditions can lead to enjoying National Forest System lands. The Mendocino National Forest reminds visitors that wildfire is still a risk in November. While last week’s storm showered some areas of the forest with more than 2 inches of precipitation, the high winds that followed quickly dried forest fuels. This dramatically increases the fire danger at a time of year when shorter days and cooler nights seem to signal that the threat is over. Current weather forecasts are showing minimal chances for precipitation in the coming week. This leaves the forest dry and with a significant risk of wildfire. Visitors travelling to the forest this week, whether it’s to hunt, enjoy off-highway vehicle (OHV) trails, gather firewood or cut a Christmas tree, are asked to be cautious with anything with a flame or that can throw a spark. Spark arresters should be used on OHVs, chainsaws and any other mechanized equipment. Camp stoves, lanterns and grills should be used in areas cleared of fine fuels or debris and not left unattended. Campfires should be in areas cleared of fuels, preferably within a fire ring, and should be out and cold to the touch before leaving the camp. “We want everyone to have a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday,” said Forest Fire Management Officer Marc Nelson. “The public’s assistance in reducing our risk of wildfire is critical in helping us with that and is greatly appreciated.” For more information, please contact the Mendocino National Forest at 530-934-3316, or visit (CalFire Press Release)



by Alexander Cockburn (AVA, April 8, 2009)

The world falls in love with a charismatic young president, his stylish wife, and their charming young children. In the campaign for the presidency he has defeated his opponent in part by charging Republican failure in the war against America’s enemies. In the dawn of his administration this Harvard man musters strategic buttress from intellectuals bunkered in thinktanks and academe, for a decisive escalation by which the foe will be routed. Counter-insurgency will go hand in hand with nation-building. Corruption will be banished and local troops trained to shoulder the burden of the war.

To be sure, there are differences between Jack Kennedy’s America in 1961 and Barack Obama’s in 2009. At the start of the Sixties the US economy in its productive phase hadn’t crested. It was still on the way up to its peak in about 1969. The mantra was “guns and butter.” In 1961 the best and the bright­est, defeating Vietnamese guerillas in their Top Secret memos to Kennedy and his commanders, invoked Britain’s defeat of the Communist insurgency in Malaya, courtesy of Frank Kitson’s supposed counter-insurgency tactics and America’s victory over the Huks in the Philippines, with Edward Lansdale claiming the achievement. In 2009, veterans’ hospitals here offer bleak testimony that in Iraq 150,000 US troops, lavishly equipped with advanced weaponry were held down for years in Iraq by the guerillas’ rudimentary curbside explosives.

Woe betide a president who believes his own stump speeches. In his campaign Obama outflanked charges initially from Hillary Clinton and then from John McCain that he was a peacenik and a wimp by declaring week after week that Iraq was the wrong battlefield, that the enemy was al Qaeda and their sanctuary Afghanistan. An excited vibrancy colored the community organizer’s rhetoric as he spoke of his determination to “kill bin Laden.”

Most people thought this pledge would get lobbed into the trashcan the moment McCain conceded. But no. Last Friday I drove down Interstate 5 through the early spring blossom in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, listening to Obama on the radio marching through his schedule for escalation and victory in Afghanistan. He was born in the year JFK became president, but has this supposedly smart fellow not read a single decent history of the Vietnam war and of America’s defeat? Apparently not. Otherwise how could he blithely announce that “We will accelerate our efforts to build an Afghan Army of 134,000 and a police force of 82,000 so that we can meet these goals by 2011… Going forward, we will not blindly stay the course. Instead, we will set clear metrics to measure progress and hold ourselves accountable.” Nothing perishes quicker in war than “clear metrics.”

Signficantly, according to for Senior CIA staffer Ray McGovern, Obama did not order a National Intelligence Estimate as he evolved his plan, doubtless because he and his National Security Adviser feared such an NIE might arrive at the same sort of depressing assessment as the April 2006 NIE on global terrorism which concluded invasions and occupations do not make America safer but lead instead to an upsurge in terrorism.

It seems from an inside dopester story by Bill Gertz in the Washington Times, cited on Counterpunch by William Lind recently, that in the White House sessions formulating Obama’s Afghan policy Vice President Joe Biden, and Deputy Secretary of State James B. Steinberg, argued for a minimal strat­egy of “stabilizing” Afghanistan. Against them Richard C. Holbrooke, Obama’s special envoy for the region, US Central Command leader Gen. David Petraeus and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton success­fully sold Obama on a major nation-building program, bringing Afghanistan out of feudal poverty and backwardness into the healthful air of a stable and prosperous economy, respectful of women and the polling booth.

Maybe Biden forgot to point out to his boss that this was the Afghanistan model espoused by the leftist Noor Taraki in the late 1970s, setting off US alarm bells which duly led to Taraki’s murder and the CIA’s huge covert and successful intervention in support of the drug barons and warlords, whose feudal offspring are now America’s actual or prospective allies in the war on the Taliban.

As Obama proudly flourished his alliterative triad (“to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan”), I listened with the same dismayed frisson as I did more than four decades ago to Kennedy’s similarly childish rhetoric of intervention, whose dark underbelly was the murder of the Diem brothers, and the birth of the Phoenix assassination program of “Viet Cong infrastructure.”

Obama’s brisk sentences commit thousands of fresh US troops to overwhelm the Taliban, oblivious of the judgment of sensible observers that it’s precisely the presence of foreign troops that prompts Pashtuns to support the Taliban and join their ranks. More brisk sentences summoned Pakistan to the crusade against terror, as if Pakistan’s intelligence establishment does not work hand in glove with the Tali­ban and protects al-Qaeda leaders.

The march of folly is under way. Bush and Cheney’s “war on terror” is now married to Clintonian blueprints for nation building and social engineering, a wedding officiated over by General Petraeus, whose mythical surge in Iraq was hailed last year by Obama as having “succeeded beyond our wildest dreams.” The fantasy of America’s healing kiss smolders and flares in Obama’s heart just as it did in Kennedy’s. Ray McGovern quotes Gen. Douglas McArthur as telling Kennedy in 1961: “Anyone wanting to commit American ground forces to the mainland of Asia should have his head examined.” True then, true now.

For a little vignette of the follies of US intervention, let me quote from a recent eyewitness report by Philip Smucker of a US patrol in eastern Afghanistan, published in the McClatchy papers on April 2:

“It took the 10th Mountain soldiers nearly two hours to make a descent that usually takes Afghans 20 minutes. Each Combat Company soldier carried between 80 and 130 pounds on his back. Inexperienced Afghan soldiers, unsure of the route, caused further delays, losing their way and threatening to gun down an unarmed shepherd.”

Up to 130 pounds on your back in the Hindu Kush! Shades of SLA Marshall’s studies of US Marines on D-Day drowning in a couple of feet of water, pinioned under the weight of their vastly overloaded knapsacks. No wonder the Pentagon prefers to fire off Predators or bomb wedding parties from a safe height.



Part Seven: Mendo Madness

Thursday, November 21st, 2013. Down to Ukiah to get a court order to Release Private Property. What does “Walk-In” (court) mean to anyone? After about 30 minutes of watching several people kowtowing to the Corp. Court, and the Bailiff Officer walking around and chewing gum! We, my daughter and me, went downstairs to the Court File Clerk’s window. After explaining to a guy my purpose in being there, he goes off and returns with my file. He looks it over and tells me to go down to the next floor to the DA’s office — huh? I tell the lady behind the glass that my personal property is being held and I want it released. She asked me if a warrant issued? “No.” She hands me a paper form to fill-in. Done. I returned it to her. She goes to her computer and types in the NAME, wads up the paper I just filled-in, and tells me that I plead guilty and a penalty (TAX) amount… “Stop! That is not correct, it was Dismissed.” She wanders around and finds someone else to ask. Then she comes back, opens the door, and tells me that she’s going to ask the DA. She returns and goes back to her desk. A DA Assistant comes in the room, and with his eyes nearly closed, tells me that it was Dismissed, puts both hands up and back down, then turns and leaves. Back upstairs to the Court File Clerk’s window, the guy is gone, and I repeat to a lady file clerk why I’m there. She goes off looking for my file. I mentioned that it might be where the guy file clerk sits or downstairs in the DA’s office. She said, “No it’s not downstairs, we have our own files up here.” She returns with my file, looks it over, and starts highlighting a paper form where I’m to sign, and writing in times, dates, and case numbers. I fill-in the appropriate information, attach my Declaration and proceed upstairs to the law library to make copies. Back down stairs to the same lady, I hand her the original, take a copy downstairs to the DA’s office, and one copy for me. A Dec. 2nd “court” date is set to obtain a court ordered Release of Personal Property.

The smell of malicious prosecution in the DA’s office was strong. Not to mention that the DA enters whatever he wants into the computers in his office! Psychological liars all around! How much longer til the system falls in on itself?

Declaration: I want to mention that the closed mills stacks of dead trees (36 & 101) are all much larger than three weeks ago. The many, many, many large pallets of milled 4 x 8’s at Scotia are also growing in number. The large neon orange “Share the Road” bicycle signs that were so prevalent on 36 and 101 from Aug. thru Oct. have been removed. How much did those ridiculous signs cost Californians? How much were the busy highway crews paid to install them just to remove them a few months later? Where are they stored? Are they stored? Can we get a refund? Are bicycles a target in the winter and spring months?

(From where the first six installments of this story can be found.)

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