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Mendocino County Today: Wednesday, May 21, 2014

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KIM LEHMKUHL had been city clerk in Pleasant Hill. She'd been accused of not doing her job and has now quit. In an e-mail Monday to Mayor Tim Flaherty announcing her resignation, she wrote, “This has been an atrocious, incredibly depressing and mind-numbingly inane experience I would not wish on anyone. I wish the city the best of luck in finding some schmuck eager to transcribe every last misogynistic joke, self-indulgent anecdote and pathetic pandering attempt by council, and every tinfoil hat conspiracy theory, racist aside, and NIMBY asshattery from the lovely council meeting frequent flyers, without which, surely our democracy could not flourish.”

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by Tiffany Revelle

Mendocino County's finances are in good shape headed into the 2014-15 budget year, county CEO Carmel Angelo told the Board of Supervisors during her office's third-quarter budget report Tuesday.

She started by recalling how many times in years prior she had told the board that "desperate times call for desperate measures," and said that's not the case near the end of the 2013-14 fiscal year.

"What we're saying is that we've got some good work throughout the organization (including) the decisions of this board, and we are in a better position today than certainly we were in 2009 and 2010," Angelo said.

The county's mid-year projection of having a carryover balance of almost $3 million is up to about $3.2 million, according to deputy CEO Heidi Dunham. Of the roughly $280,000 increase, she said, about $166,000 is revenue that doesn't come from county departments, and the rest comes from department heads' year-end adjustments.

Ten county departments expect to come in under budgets at the end of the year, and none expect to go over their budgets, according to Dunham.

The county Human Resources department's switch to an online application system for county jobs has created more work for staff and delayed requests to fill vacant positions, she said.

"We've had upwards of 300 applications just for one job opening," Dunham said. "Each one of those applications has to be screened, and all qualified applicants have to be invited to participate in testing and interviewing."

To address the problems of limited staff and space for the screening and interviews, the department hired an extra-help person to put interview panels together more quickly, she said, and its existing staff spends about half of its time on the hiring process.

Filling an analyst position in the department and using an electronic staffing request program will help, according to Dunham.

County Auditor-Controller Meredith Ford said revenue continues to stay mostly flat with slow growth. "Flat revenues" will allow for no new hiring in any department, 3rd District Supervisor John Pinches said.

Near the end of the report, 2nd District Supervisor John McCowen said while the county's discretionary budget isn't back to its 2007-08 fiscal year level, the county's financial standing has improved enough that "as a board ... we need to start having a formal discussion of what portion of revenues from whatever source, whether it is year-end carryover, one-time revenue, hopefully increased revenues -- what portion of that are we going to dedicate towards restoring compensation levels" for county employees who have taken pay cuts for years.

"With a $131 million unfunded liability in the pension fund, it's not really possible to say ... we've come through all this; we're in the clear now; we don't have to worry," McCowen said. "But I do think we need to start taking a balanced approach to how we apply those future revenues. It's time to start talking about the light at the end of the tunnel, I think."

Dunham highlighted the year's accomplishments, including the county's Fitch credit upgrade on its pension obligation bond rating from A to A+, and Standard & Poor's upgrading the county's credit rating on its certificates of participation to A+ and the county's long-term rating to AA-, which she said makes Mendocino County "one of the biggest movers of the year."

The budget report included an update on the county's five-year capital improvement plan, which General Services Agency Director Kristin McMenomey said will cost $16 million over that time.

Once the county's 2014-15 budget is approved, she said, GSA will work with the CEO's office on the priorities for needed improvements to county buildings and grounds. Among the needed improvements is the replacement of the roof on the county Administration Center, a project McMenomey estimated will cost $3.2 million.

[courtesy, Ukiah Daily Journal]

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MAN THREW ROCK -- Caller in the 200 block of Observatory Avenue reported at 4:17 a.m. Sunday that a man threw a rock at a car. An officer responded and arrested Fabian Rosales-Reyes, 34, of Ukiah, on suspicion of violating his probation.

GRAFFITI -- Caller at Low Gap Park reported at 6:50 a.m. Sunday finding graffiti. An officer responded and took a report.

WOMAN SLEEPING ON GRASS -- Caller in the 500 block of East Perkins Street reported at 9:23 a.m. Sunday that a woman was sleeping on the grass near the Pear Tree Shopping Center sign. An officer responded and arrested a 33-year-old Ukiah woman for being under the influence of a controlled substance.

MINIVAN EGGED -- Caller in the 500 block of Clara Avenue reported at 10:50 a.m. Sunday that a minivan parked there overnight had been egged. An officer responded and reported there had been no damage.

LICENSE PLATE STOLEN -- Caller in the 700 block of Low Gap Road reported at 2:20 p.m. Sunday that a license plate had been stolen.

WINDOW BROKEN -- Caller in the 300 block of Mason Street reported at 3:24 p.m. Sunday that two men were throwing things and broke the caller's window. An officer responded but the men were gone. The caller requested extra patrols.

PARTIALLY CLOTHED WOMAN WITH BRUISES -- Caller at Chevron on East Perkins Street reported at 3:59 p.m. Sunday that a woman only partially clothed and with scratches and bruises was pushing a shopping cart. An officer responded and reported that the woman was fine and fully clothed. She left upon request.

DEAD DEER -- Caller in the 1100 block of South Dora Street reported at 8:57 p.m. Sunday that a dead deer was in the road. Streets employees were notified.

The following were compiled from reports prepared by the Ukiah Police Department regarding calls handled by the Fort Bragg Police Department.

DEATH -- An officer responded to the 200 block of Wall Street at 11:48 a.m. Sunday and took a report for a death.

PEOPLE STRANDED ON ROCKS -- Caller on Glass Beach reported at 12:27 p.m. Sunday that two people were on the rocks and appeared to have been stranded. An officer responded and reported that the people were divers and not in distress.

SHOPLIFTER -- An officer responded to the 300 block of North Main Street and arrested a 38-year-old Fort Bragg woman for theft.

DRUG POSSESSION -- An officer stopped a vehicle at Rite-Aid on South Main Street at 6:02 p.m. Sunday and arrested Ramzi G. Dymond, 43, of Fort Bragg, on suspicion of possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia, and for being under the influence of a controlled substance.

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THE COUNTY'S Multi-Agency Gang Suppression Unit, tasked with combating criminal gang activity in Mendocino County, performed an operation in the Ukiah area on May 9 focused on "contacting and identifying gang members." A man suspected of selling marijuana to minors was arrested along with two others during a sweep of the Ukiah area this month.

THE OFFICERS, a combination of personnel from the UPD, the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office, the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office, the Mendocino County Probation Office and the California Department of Corrections, contacted more than 30 people, conducting numerous searches and arresting three people.

THE ARRESTED included Luis A. Ramirez, 37, of Ukiah, who was located on Laws Avenue and arrested on suspicion of violating his probation, and Brandon Kellar, 18, of Willits, who was located on Laws Avenue and arrested on suspicion of possessing a prohibited weapon.

THE THIRD PERSON arrested was Eric R. R. Wright, 18, of Redwood Valley, who was located in the 300 block of South Oak Street and who had allegedly tried to sell marijuana to juveniles. Wright was arrested on suspicion of contributing to the delinquency of juveniles, violating his probation and resisting arrest.

ACCORDING TO THE UKIAH POLICE DEPARTMENT, the recent operation was "a joint effort by law enforcement agencies in Mendocino County to confront known gang members, contact known associates and concerned citizens, and is done to curtail the criminal behavior inherent to the criminal street gang lifestyle."

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I wish I could vote. I've had myself a bit of a checkered past and though I've been out of trouble for a long time (even got my rights to have firearms back) I still have yet to be able to vote. It kinda makes me laugh. I'm a responsible hard working adult that would like a say in who gets elected, but because 8 or 9 years ago I racked up two felonies (grand theft, check fraud. So with the non violent nature of the crimes I was able to go to court just recently to get my firearm rights back) i get excluded from voting. I know I made the choices that led me to get into trouble. But It’s been almost 10 years now since I got all cleaned up. every time I've tried to register I get shot down, and I just recently tried. But then again, I've been too busy with work and my wife and newborn to really do much research into any of the local politicians running for the elections so I haven't a clue who's the best for either position. Maybe in another after 20 years of being a productive citizen I can vote again? Only time will tell. Until then, good luck to whom ever is the best qualified to take over the positions up for election. This county could use some good leadership that will have the county and the people that live in it in their best interests and not how they can line their pockets.

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DOCTOR'S OFFICE, one man's experience: Not sure why people take crap from doctors, except that usually you’re wounded, sick or otherwise weak and in perfect condition for them to take advantage of you. Doctors seem increasingly non-godlike to me. I’m an engineer, so not only do I have the natural skepticism common to the breed, I also have credentials in my own field equal to theirs. So I’m not impressed. You could also go back and look at Stanley Milgram’s experiments and see some of the same conditions in the lab, i.e. most people will generally take crap from anyone, especially a “scientific” “authority” figure. Once I took time out of my workday to see a doctor. This was when I actually had a decent health plan. I allowed plenty of time. He was late. Eventually the time was sufficiently advanced that even if they were to call me in at that very moment, the appointment couldn’t be finished in time for me to get back to work on time. So I went up to the counter and let them know I was leaving. They acted like this was totally unheard of, which apparently it is.

Have him call me, I said. 
The doctor doesn’t call patients, they said. 
“Yeah and he doesn’t keep in-person appointments either, so I’m curious how he communicates.” I said. 
Blank stare.

Never went back. He was just going to spend 20 minutes being a value-added-reseller for whatever drug company had him in their pocket anyway. Actually come to think of it, I haven’t been to a doctor since. Didn’t intend to swear them off then and there, but apparently I did. The service was not up to my standards. (Rollie)

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by Jane Futcher

Medical marijuana patients are “desperate” for high-CBD pot, the president and chief scientist of a cannabis-testing lab told a packed audience of marijuana growers at the Long Valley Garden Club in Laytonville on Mother’s Day.

Samantha Miller of Pure Analytics in Santa Rosa said high-CBD marijuana, or cannabidiol, a non-intoxicating form of cannabis, can be effective in treating inflammation, convulsions, and other neuro-muscular symptoms related to epilepsy, Parkinson’s Disease, ALS and MS. It can also impact autism and learning disabilities.

The supply of high-CBD cannabis is so limited in the United States and around the world that “People are rushing to profit from it. They are charging excessive prices as industry moguls attempt to get rich.”

Miller, a former National Institutes for Health fellow, who has worked for the U.S. Department of Defense and the Beckman Foundation, was the fourth speaker in the garden club’s Cannabis Renaissance series.

The club will present Jeffrey Hergenrather, MD, president of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians, on Sunday, June 15, at 4 p.m.

Miller’s comprehensive, two-and-a-half hour talk covered everything from the location of cannabinoids on plants (the resin glands on the surface of the flower), to the effect of heat on cannabinoids (activates THC) to measuring the ratio of CBD to THC in a plant (send it to her lab), to the growing demand for high CBD plants.

There are “increasing opportunities for growers with unique CBD-strains that are commercially appealing,” Miller said.

Since the Seventies, most pot growers have sought to produce high-THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) strains that are psychoactive, affecting the mind and mental processes --because that’s what most users wanted.

Nearly all high-CBD plants contain some THC, but they are less psychoactive and their flowers don’t usually “look as pretty,” Miller said. “They aren’t a wow flower.” She suggested that growers who can produce vigorous, disease-resistant, pesticide-free, high-CBD plants with good-looking buds could do well in today’s medical marijuana market.

Miller, a biochemist, said Pure Analytics can test for CBD to THC ratios as well as pesticides, mold, mildew and potency.

For ratio testing, samples must be cut at the right developmental stage, following very specific guidelines. Seedlings can be accurately tested as early as two weeks, but testing at four to six weeks is better for the plant. The lab accepts samples at member club drop-off locations in Garberville, Santa Rosa, Corte Madera, San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose.

Knowing a plant's CBD to THC ratio can help growers decide which plants they want to grow to maturity or to breed. Growing conditions affect a plant’s total output, but genetics determine its ratio of CBD to THC. “You can’t turn one type into another,” she said.

Testing cannabis samples can also help patients, who may be seeking a very specific ratio of CBD to THC to ease their symptoms or disease.

Miller said some of the most promising research on the clinical use of high-CBD cannabis is being conducted by Sean D. McAllister, Ph.D., at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco. His lab focuses on the body’s endocannabinoid system and the impact of CBD on metastatic cancers of the breast and brain.

With his collaborator, Pierre Desprez, PhD, McAllister has found that CBD inhibits human cancer cell proliferation and invasion.

Miller referred several times to one of the pioneers in the breeding of high-CBD plants — Lawrence Ringo, an iconic Emerald Triangle grower who founded Southern Humboldt Seed Collective and was a member of Lost Coast Botanical Cooperative. Ringo died April 3 of cancer. He developed one of the first high-CBD strains of cannabis — Sour Tsunami. More recently he’d bred high-CBD Harle-Tsu and Canna-Tsu.

Asked how her lab operates amid the conflicting net of federal, state and county laws regulating marijuana, Miller said her approach is to be responsible, operate in the county of Sonoma not the city of Santa Rosa, and avoid doing any “wild stuff.” She said the local government seems “happy we’re there.” The lab has received requests for assistance from local as well as federal agencies.

“We’re living in interesting times,” Miller said. “It’s hard to say what’s going on.”

Audience members, including one who came from Fortuna, appreciated Miller’s detailed presentation.

“I thought it was fabulous -- informative and well organized,” said Chanti Husband of Laytonville. “Very appropriate for Laytonville.”

(Jane Futcher is the author of Women Gone Wild, a memoir about moving to northern Mendocino County.)

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What a girl called “the dailiness of life"

(Adding an errand to your errand. Saying,

"Since you're up . . .” Making you a means to

A means to a means to) is well water

Pumped from an old well at the bottom of the world.

The pump you pump the water from is rusty

And hard to move and absurd, a squirrel-wheel

A sick squirrel turns slowly, through the sunny

Inexorable hours. And yet sometimes

The wheel turns of its own weight, the rusty

Pump pumps over your sweating face the clear

Water, cold, so cold! you cup your hands

And gulp from them the dailiness of life.

--Randall Jarrell

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by Steve Heilig

"I call it the paranoid style simply because no other word adequately evokes the qualities of heated exaggeration, suspiciousness, and conspiratorial fantasy that I have in mind. ....It is the use of paranoid modes of expression by more or less normal people that makes the phenomenon significant.” — The Paranoid Style in American Politics, Richard Hofstadter, 1964*

Stop — Hey, what's that sound? Just listen:

"Climate change” is a scam. It's all a bunch of self-proclaimed environmentalists and so-called scientists, thousands of them in dozens of national academies of science, colluding in a vast conspiracy to keep the cash flowing.

9/11 was an inside job — the only thing the Bush cabal ever pulled off well, in fact. In even bigger fact, it didn't even happen. Just like that “moon landing” sham back in '69.

They're coming for my guns. I just know it. “Registering” guns and “background checks” and safety features are all just the start of the mass confiscation and police state. So I need an assault weapon thin gee as I'm sure I can hold them off.

Vaccines cause autism. And... cancer. And all sorts of autoimmune diseases, whatever those are. And other bad stuff. Not only that, those shots are a communist/capitalist plot to control us and keep the cash flowing.

Pot isn't legal because the pharmaceutical industry is so afraid that, since pot cures everything, it would put them out of business. Abortion causes breast cancer. And kills babies too. AIDS was invented by government scientists to kill people off. Then it got away from them. But they don't really mind so much as they have been making money from it ever since. vFluoridation of water causes cancer, melts bones, and is just a way for chemical companies to make tons of money, besides being a communist government plot.

"Evolution” is just a theory and there are people who believe in “intelligent design” too so there's no reason not to give both equal time in education. Tobacco smoke in the air doesn't isn't bad for you. It's just a bunch of nannies trying to control us.

Chemtrails. They are spraying stuff all over the skies to poison us all. I mean, just look up.

JFK, RFK, and MLK were all killed by the CIA. And Bob Marley too. Population control is all a First World plot to decimate the Third World.

"Illegals” take our jobs. Not that we want any of those jobs or to pay “legals” enough to do them, but still. Obamacare is a government takeover of medicine. It's worse than Medicare.

Hemp will save the planet but is kept illegal because of all the profitable products it would replace.

The NSA is spying on my calls and computer. Not that anything I have ever said or wrote or thought is a threat to anybody in power or of real interest to anybody but myself or maybe some companies hoping to sell me stuff, but the government is after me.

Hillary killed that guy.

Obama is still from Kenya.

Go ahead, prove me wrong. Like me, you've got nothing better to do.

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Pier 5 Law Offices, 506 Broadway — San Francisco CA 94133. 415/986-5591

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by Clancy Sigal

“Don't go down in the mine, Dad, Dreams very often come true; Daddy, you know it would break my heart / If anything happened to you…”
— “Don’t Go Down the Mine, Dad”, in honor of a South Wales mining disaster

Men and some women die for our air conditioning and central heating. Last Tuesday's mine explosion in Soma, western Turkey, probably due to safety cost cutting, killed upwards of 300 men and probably many more. Underground you die from being burned alive, suffocated or poisoned by fumes. Four years ago 29 men died in West Virginia when the Upper Big Branch of Massey Energy's mine blew up due to criminally lax safety violations.

The Turkish association of electrical engineers said the disaster represented “murder, not an accident.” It accused the mine operators of neglect and using obsolete equipment. Inadequate ventilation systems meant carbon monoxide and other toxic gases could spread more quickly, it said. Shades of Big Branch.

In mining, especially underground but also the pollution-crazy “open cast” (mainly in western states), deaths and injuries are routinely and unemotionally factored into a company's balance sheet. So much for litigation, so much for insurance. Rarely do executives get indicted for malfeasance and no one who caused the deaths ever goes to jail.

We get nearly 40% of our energy from mainly bituminous (soft) coal from 52 mines in 25 states. It's a diminishing resource, which is one reason why coal companies savagely tear off the tops of ancient mountains, and dump the poisoned slurry in creeks and rivers, to extract the very last ounce of miners' blood. “Miners' blood” is not hyperbole since mine owners — almost everywhere in the world, from China to Poland to India to USA — are historically among the coldest-hearted employers indifferent to human pain. Which is one reason why coal miners, who do the actual digging in pretty terrible conditions especially underground, tend to be militant and class-and-union conscious.

Have we forgotten the 1921 Battle of Blair mountain when 10,000 armed and angry Logan county. West Virginia miners, seeking union recognition, fought an all-out war against private cops and federalized soldiers? That's when Harding sent in army bombers against the miners.

Almost every day I read about mine “accidents” in other parts of the world that kills workers who I feel are my brothers because I've been underground and have seen the raw energy and almost surgeon-like skill it takes to be a miner. That's another reason why coal owners hate miners — their sense of solidarity. At the height of the Cold War, between Russia and the west, on a brink of nuclear Armageddon, I was visiting Don Bas miners from some of the deepest and most hazardous pits from presently disputed Ukraine, hug, kiss and trade sweaters with Yorkshire coal diggers who got drunk and sang songs with them, all in the same family.


From my prejudiced point of view, coal miners — yes, the producers of so much carbon dioxide emissions — are the natural aristocrats among us. Romantic? Maybe. But I've spent days “doon pit” and it's a lousy, dirty, stifling job.

Coal has been dug, by women and children too, lowered in buckets in shallow holes in the ground, since the Bronze Age and industrially since Roman times.

Statistics say one day coal will end as a fossil fuel. Coal miners will fight literally to the death to save their deadly jobs.

Even when they’re most politically and religiously conservative, miners inherently tend to be fighters and even revolutionists. (See “The Molly Maguires,” “Harlan County USA” and anything about the Asturian dinamteros). Which is why employers and governments have an inherent tendency, like the UK’s Margaret Thatcher, to need to squash them.

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