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Mendocino County Today: Wednesday, July 2, 2014

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THREE Point Arena High School students died Sunday morning in a 4am, single-car crash on Highway One near Sea Ranch. The three boys were coming home from a quinceanera and were northbound when Jhovani Gonzalez-Marquez, 18, of Gualala, lost control of his 1996 Acura Integra. According to CHP officer Hawkins, the car crossed into the oncoming lane, spun and slid sideways into a tree. “A low tree branch, combined with the vehicle slightly rolling over, crushed the interior cab of the Acura,” Hawkins said. Gonzalez-Marquez and his front-seat passenger, Aron Gonzalez-Marquez, 14, of Gualala, died on impact. A third passenger, 17-year-old Jason Alanis Marquez of Pacific Woods, was knocked unconscious and was flown by helicopter to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, where he died later Sunday. The cause of the crash is under investigation. Alcohol has not been ruled out as a contributing factor, Hawkins said.


Fundraising has been started to help offset funeral and other costs for our local boys (18-year-old Jhovani Gonzalez-Marquez, 14-year-old Aron Gonzalez-Marquez and 17-year-old Jason Alanis Marquez) who tragically lost their lives yesterday 6/29/14 in a horrible car accident near Sea Ranch. Online donations can be made at: There has also been an account set up at WestAmerica Bank under the name of Gonzales/Marquez Memorial Fund (#2204088005). We have had some local businesses step up to offer financial and other support for these families! To date: Pirates Cove Restaurant, Shoreline Restaurant, Heart of a Child Toy Store, DJ Yasmin (DJ services for the celebration of these boys’ lives). There were also counselors available today at Point Arena High School. Thank you for sharing this fundraising information to help these families in their time of need.

Janet Heenan, Gualala

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Supervisor Dan Gjerde reported to his colleagues at the June 17 Board of Supervisors meeting that Mendocino County was likely to get some significant state water bond money for drought related conservation projects.

“At our best we are a team and our team on the water front came through this week. Supervisors Hamburg and Brown are on the Drought Committee and Supervisor McCowen and myself our on the North Coast Research Partnership Council which is a consortium of six counties and we are one of the six. The Council allocates a portion of the Proposition 84 water bond fund. The state earmarked $200 million of the remaining funds from Proposition 84 for drought related projects, at least that was the priority for those funds. It is an expedited grant process here in Mendocino County in large part because of the drought ad hoc committee and the way it has helped the cities and all the water districts mobilize and get prepared for ramping up the projects. There were a significant number of projects that were submitted from Mendocino County to the six-county organization even though there were only 30 days to turn in the applications. … The staff committee met on Monday and Tuesday in Eureka and I went to Eureka for those two days to listen to the discussion of the grant applications and their review of them. It turns out that was the first time that committee has ever had its meetings open to the public, although our meetings are always open to the public and agendized. Sean White of the Russian River Flood Control District participated by speakerphone and he did an excellent job explaining projects here in Mendocino County that he knew about. [Gjerde then described the committee’s deliberations in detail] … [After the staff reviewed and ranked the appliations,] Supervisor McCowen and I prepared an alternative proposal for the unallocated $2.2 million and on Friday we had a conference call meeting with Siskiyou, Modoc, Trinity, Humboldt, Del Norte, and Mendocino County. Our proposal would allow the three highest ranked Mendocino County projects to be funded at least in part so they could all three move forward instead of just one. … [In the end on a 9-4 vote] we were able to fund or partially fund three significant projects for Mendocino County. It fully funds the city of Ukiah’s intertie connecting Ukiah's water system with the other inland water districts. And it partially funds their well development project. It also significantly funds the California Land Institute's Agricultural Water Conservation and Water Supply Reliability program for both the Russian and the Navarro River watersheds. It is probably the least expensive project but it's exciting because they will actually install some ground water metering so that the vineyards along the Navarro and the Russian River will know not to overwater vineyards because they will have all this below ground monitoring. It seemed like a clever and relatively inexpensive project. It also takes recycled water out of the city of Ukiah’s wastewater plant to water some agricultural land. The city of Fort Bragg will receive a portion of their request for what I would call a pond, they call it a reservoir, but it's a 45-acre-foot pond. It would allow the city of Fort Bragg to not draw out of the Noyo River when the flow is very low in the fall. All three projects were funded substantially so they can all three go forward. The list will now go to the State and presumably the state will approve this. There were two other projects that are partially in Mendocino County … the Gualala River Watershed Council will get about $600,000 and the Sonoma County Water Agency will get money, partially in Mendocino County, for a rebate program for people who buy and install water conservation appliances or showerheads or toilets. … It was a very successful meeting not just for Mendocino County but actually, surprisingly, most of the people in the meeting from the other counties felt good about the outcome which is remarkable considering that Mendocino County got over half of the money on the table.”

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DUE DILIGENCE. Ms. Massey of Mendocino says a KZYX employee named Culbertson spit on her during a recent visit by Ms. Massey to the station's premises at Philo. Asked if it were true, station manager John Coate replied, "No, it did not happen." Odd that Ms. Massey would simply create such a dramatic accusation, and the dominate boors at the station are hardly known for their graciousness, but spitting on their critics is a departure even for them, not that we'd put it past any of them.

JOHN SAKOWICZ VERIFIES that Culbertson did indeed spit at Ms. Massey:

I was there in the parking lot with Ms. Massey, and I can confirm that the incident did indeed happen as Massey describes. I was disgusted by the incident. I would sign an affidavit. The incident occurred immediately after my show approximately a month ago — I can get the exact date. The time was approximately 10:15am. Massey was waiting for me. My show finishes at 10:00 a.m. Massey was standing outside her Subaru. Culbertson passed Massey and spit at her feet while continuing to walk. He was leaving the station office to return to the “caboose” — what used to be the KZYX newsroom back when we had a news department. Culbertson lives in the caboose during the week, I think. You have to confirm this. I do know for a fact that Culbertson lived for years in a dilapidated RV that was parked at the station. The RV is now gone. I think someone complained. It was old. It smelled. It was an eyesore. The RV may have also been a health code violation. A few minutes after Culbertson spit at Massey's feet, Mary Aigner pulled into the parking lot. She started screaming at Massey, exclaiming “Why? Why? Why?” Aigner was also gesticulating wildly with her hands. I was startled by the second incident with Aigner. She went into the station's offices through the front door. Massey and I left in separate cars. Massey is one of the five people who filed objections at the FCC regarding the renewal of MCBP's two licenses — KZYX and KZYZ. Massey was also treated very rudely, very unprofessionally, by Aigner and John Coate two years ago when she tried to submit a proposal for hosting her own public affairs show — a local arts scene show — at the station. Massey can give you the details of how she was treated. Massey is a successful painter. She is a Signature Member of the Oil Painters of America and Audubon Artists. She earned that designation by juried review. Massey has also been on staff at Nashville Public Radio, WPLN. She worked at WPLN for several years. Massey knows art. And she knows public radio. See:!about

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The lack of mental health care in our community—

Twenty-five million dollars annually is not going into state mandated psychiatric emergency services and recovery support for mentally ill adults in our community. The question is why? The [Fort Bragg] city council along with others in a position to acknowledge the seriousness of this problem must not continue to blame it on funding shortfalls as a valid excuse. Passing the mentally ill from agency to agency promotes anger and frustration for the families who are this community. With do respect I ask that you all research and work to find out where the money is going and demand it help those in need.

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Hensley, Johnson, Marshall, Ridenour, Ryan, Vargas
Hensley, Johnson, Marshall, Ridenour, Ryan, Vargas

STEVEN HENSLEY, Fort Bragg. Battery, meaning he assaulted someone without harming the other person.

JASON JOHNSON, Fort Bragg. Meth charges, revocation of probation.

WILLIAM MARSHALL, Willits. Contempt of court.

MARC MONAHAN, Fort Bragg. Violation of a stay away order. (Picture not available.)


DANIEL RYAN, JR. Ukiah. Driving a vehicle on a property without the property owner's permission, and doing it while drunk.

JUDITH VARGAS, Ukiah. Violation of felony probation.

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SHERIFF’S UPDATE 07/01/2014 on missing-at-sea ab diver Feng Chang Wei: On 7/01/2014 around 8:15am members of the Mendocino County Search and Rescue Team, assisted by Elk Volunteer Fire Department and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, responded to the Elk area to evaluate ocean conditions. On this date the Fish and Wildlife Department transported divers to the area in their Ocean Patrol Boat “Chinook.” Ocean conditions were more favorable than the previous day for deployment of the dive team. Two Dive Team members responded to the cave where the missing person was last seen. Around 9am dive team members located the missing person still in the cave and confirmed he was deceased. The decedent was transported back to Fort Bragg where family members made a positive identification. The cause of death was not obvious at the time the decedent's body was recovered. A coroner's investigation was initiated and the cause of death is pending completion of an autopsy and toxicology screening.

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MENDOCINO COUNTY AGRICULTURAL COMMISSIONER Chuck Morse declared something of an ag emergency in the Ukiah Valley where the Light Brown Apple moth has been found in worrying numbers. Morse told the Ukiah Daily Journal's Justine Frederickson that the pest "eats 250 crops, including pears, apples and grapes." Since grapes are the Ukiah Valley's primary, and almost only ag enterprise, the moth has earned what Morse describes as a "quarantine." The infestation was discovered in "an apple tree in a residential area of Ukiah."

THE QUARANTINE means that farmers and nursery owners must sign a compliance that they are properly moving their products beyond the quarantined Ukiah Valley. "All agricultural producers and nursery operators in the greater Ukiah Valley should keep the afternoon of July 9 open to attend this important meeting. Complete details will be forwarded to affected parties as soon as they are confirmed."

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A WILLITS READER reported Tuesday morning that “Phones and internet are out in Willits in what appears to be a scattered but maybe somewhat widespread outage. My phone (landline AT&T) is out and my neighbor's too, and apparently some credit card and ATM machines are down. AT&T said last night a cable was cut/damaged and the estimated restoration date is THURSDAY at 8pm. Crews are working, but NOT through the night as ‘there are no lights.’ WTF? Couldn’t be a worse week for it to happen, Frontier Days week, if it’s true visitors can’t get money from ATMs or maybe motels’ & restaurants’ phones are down. Fire Station phones are working, so I will assume until I hear otherwise that police/City Hall phones are working, too. Rumors about Caltrans having cut the cable are unverified. Verizon was also down, or sorta down, Sunday, pre-planned work on “towers” — possibly they damaged AT&T equipment. We shall see.”

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This is the last day for the reduced early payment rate for the Mendocino Coast Writers Conference, now having completed its twenty-fifth year.

Sharon Doubiago will be leading the workshop in poetry:

— Gordon Black

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NAPA COUNTY is fighting a fast moving wild fire in the Pope Valley area on the Napa-Lake county border. The blaze, believed to have begun in tinder-dry terrain where a man was operating a weed wacker, was reported about noon. Some three hundred homes have been evacuated. As of Tuesday evening, the fire was only 30 percent contained. So far firefighters have prevented the loss of any structures.

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SHE SEEMED TO KNOW, to accept, to welcome her position, the citadel of the family, the strong place that could not be taken. And since old Tom and the children could not know hurt or fear unless she acknowledged hurt and fear, she had practiced denying them in herself. And since, when a joyful thing happened, they looked to see whether joy was on her, it was her habit to build up laughter out of inadequate materials. But better than joy was calm. Imperturbability could be depended upon. And from her great and humble position in the family she had taken dignity and a clean calm beauty. From her position as healer, her hands had grown sure and cool and quiet; from her position as arbiter she had become as remote and faultless in judgment as a goddess. She seemed to know that if she swayed the family shook, and if she ever really deeply wavered or despaired the family would fall, the family will to function would be gone.

— Steinbeck describing Ma Joad in Grapes of Wrath

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The worst Presidents over the last 40 years, starting with THE worst:

1. Reagan (he started the American decline in a huge way.)

2. George W. Bush (actually far worse than Reagan, but he didn’t kick off the attacks on the idea of a “United” states. If we’re not a nation, then what are we? Bank of America? Walmart?

3. Clinton (with a few exceptions, continued and expanded some of Reagan’s policies. The DLC was just a center-right Republican group)

4. George Bush (father) (an Eisenhower type Republican, out of touch, but still believed in America

5. Obama (inherited 40 years of clusterfuck from the above group. He’s made MANY mistakes, but look what he’s had to work with.

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Pale gold of the walls, gold

of the centers of daisies, yellow roses

pressing from a clear bowl. All day

we lay on the bed, my hand

stroking the deep

gold of your thighs and your back.

We slept and woke

entering the golden room together,

lay down in it breathing

quickly, then

slowly again,

caressing and dozing, your hand sleepily

touching my hair now.

We made in those days

tiny identical rooms inside our bodies

which the men who uncover our graves

will find in a thousand years,

shining and whole.

Donald Hall

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“MOST AMERICANS don’t think much about the stock market, and that’s just fine with Wall Street. Because once you wake up to how screwed up the stock market really is, the financial industry knows you’re likely to get very nervous and take your money out.

Many are catching on: between 2007 and 2014, investors pulled $345 billion from the stock market. E-Trades are down and worries are up, with 73% of Americans still not inclined to buy stocks, five years after the financial crisis…

Let’s get one thing straight: Investor confidence is not the problem. The screwed-up stock market is the problem. It’s time to break down the polite fiction that investing in the stock market is something that sane, rational, sensible people do. It is a high-risk contact sport for your money…

The US stock market depends entirely on the ignorance of regular people who are supposed to just shovel their money into retirement funds and 401(k)s, pay a whopping one-third of your retirement in fees to high-priced managers, and never whisper a complaint.

It’s a wonder that anyone (trusts the market) at all.” Wall Street and Washington DC want you to believe the stock market isn’t rigged. Guess what? It still is.

— Heidi Moore, Guardian


  1. Eric Wilcox July 2, 2014

    Mental Health money. All the money is going to Redwood Children’s Services (the majority of it) and the rest goes to OMG, Ortner Management Group who are to provide the adult mental health services for Mendocino. To account for the money, the Mental Health Board could easily set up a committee to audit the two companies. However, last October at a Mental Health Board meeting I attended, Dina Ortiz (a Mental Health Board member) suggested such a thing; a committee to audit the money given to OMG. Tom Pinozotto was attending (Director of Mental Health and ex employee of OMG) shook his head no and Ms. Ortiz’s movement was stopped. Of course, Jim Shaw was also the chair of the MH Board and husband to Anna Shaw who runs the Hospitality Center who are financially tied to Tom Pinozotto and OMG to provide adult mental health services to Fort Bragg.

    • james marmon July 2, 2014

      I doubt that the county is willing to call for an audit which might lead to them having to admit that they may have made some grave mistakes with their privatization of mental health services in Mendocino County. I also have concerns about Mr. Pinozotto’s control of the Mental Health Board, especially in light of the recent Grand Jury Report which clearly indicates that Mr. Pinozotto involvement of the privatization efforts appeared to be unethical. The board, along with the citizen’s of Mendocino County need to ask questions, think for themselves and evolve. “Groupthink exists.”

  2. Harvey Reading July 2, 2014

    Comment of the day:

    It lets Obama off far too easily. He didn’t make mistakes, he simply continued policies of the past, on purpose. The man, like all his living predecessors, including Carter (Afghanistan), is a war criminal. And, he, like most democraps, chose the side of wealth long ago in the class war being waged here at home.

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