Mendocino County Today: Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014

* * *

GIANTS OUTLAST NATS! Win longest game in major league playoff history!

BeltsBelt

SFGIANTS.com: “Brandon Belt's shot in the 18th [!] ended the longest playoff game in MLB history and put the Giants one win from the NLCS. Nine frames earlier, Pablo Sandoval sent it to extras with a two-out knock off Nats closer Drew Storen, who couldn't save it for dominant Nats pitcher Jordan Zimmermann.”

* * *

THE AVA GUIDE TO THE ELECTION OF NOVEMBER 4TH, 2014 STATE RACES

(There are only Democrats and Republicans on offer here, two heads of one political coin. We won't be voting for any of them.)

COUNTY SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS. We suggest a write-in vote for Kathy Wylie of Mendocino. Ms. Wylie was the only truly qualified person in the race but didn't make it past the primary election. Why? Because the entrenched edu-establishment of this county saw her as a threat to business as usual. A long-time basketball coach from Point Arena, Warren Galletti, easily won the primary, so easily only he and a County Office administrator called Paul Joens-Poulton, are on the general election ballot, although Joens-Poulton announced weeks ago he was withdrawing from the race because he had so much work to do at MCOE's Talmage spa, his workload not being a consideration until after Galletti swamped him in the primary. Under outgoing Superintendent Paul Tichinin, and long before him, the Mendocino County Office of Education has been a sinkhole of low intensity corruption — cronyism; conference and travel chiseling; gross incompetence. This is an agency that need not exist. It doesn't do anything that the individual school districts of Mendocino County could not do better and a lot cheaper. The Superintendent is paid upwards of $120,000 a year for presiding over an errant agency that exists only to take big cuts from the state and federal money flowing to the County's individual school districts, money that should be going directly to classroom instruction. From Tichinin's website, er, excuse me, “Paul's” website. “Paul serves 12 school and community college districts, supervises approximately 200 educational employees and oversees a budget of $36 million including SELPA dollars that serves 13,688 students,” but MCOE serves “Paul” most of all. WRITE IN WYLIE.

WE RECOMMEND a NO vote on all the state judges either up for confirmation or on the ballot to ratify their re-appointment. None of us have the slightest idea whether or not any of these people should be sitting in judgment of others because we know nothing about them other than most of them are political appointees. NO ON ALL THE JUDGES.

PROPOSITION 1 WATER BOND A word about state bonds: They are a means of borrowing. There are so many piled up out there that they'll never be paid off, or even partially paid off, until they collapse with the rest of our Ponzi-like economy. This one, promoted by the governor, says it will do all manner of good things, some of them indeed desirable, such as enhanced groundwater storage. But there is also the justified suspicion that a lot of the money will be backdoor funding for shipping more NorCal water to water-profligate Central California's corporate farms and on to Southern California swimming pools. Governor Brown has long lobbied for a latter-day version of the Peripheral Canal, now revived in the form of Twin Tunnels, through which more water from Northern California's deep, mountain outback would be sent south. NO ON 1.

PROPOSITION 2 Budget Stabilization or the so-called “rainy day fund.” Basically, this would shuffle money from one account to another, some of that money coming out of school reserves. The way money works in Sacramento is this: It's shifted in harmony with the political winds, not according to ballot propositions. The big boys and girls get together and say, “We'll take $258 mil outta contingency 342-F and put it into blank-draw interface account 875.” Nobody can keep accurate track. Why not? YES ON 2.

PROPOSITION 45 Healthcare Stabilization. As most of us saps found out the hard way, ObamaCare required us, by law, to buy health insurance. Natch, as soon as the insurance combines had US all by the shorthairs, they began raising prices. Prop 45 would mandate that the state's Insurance Commissioner, historically a captive of the insurance industry, approve rate hikes. One way or the other, most of us are screwed. BUT YES ON 45.

PROPOSITION 46 Drug and Alcohol Testing of Doctors. Me dear old Mum was a registered nurse. She often stated versions of, “Don't tell me about doctors. They're all drug addicts and drunks.” Deep into her dotage, I once took her to a neurologist, a young woman who specialized in medicating the elderly out of their rages. I heard the doctor ask, “When did you last see a doctor, Mrs. Anderson?” Mum replied in something of a shout, “I've never seen a doctor! Why the hell do you think I'm still alive?” Most of her working years were spent in pre-dope times when doctors and nurses had unrestricted access to the heavy meds and a lot of them seemed fond of the bottle. By the way, and for the edification of you union bashers, Mum's pay doubled when nurses unionized. Her pay went immediately from $300 a month to $600 a month. Needless to say, the doctors fought the nurses every inch of the way. Test the bastards! YES ON 46.

PROPOSITION 47 Criminal Sentences. We all know that sentences can be out of all proportion to the offense. Possession of small amounts of dope should not be adjudicated as felonies. YES ON 47.

PROPOSITION 48 Indian Gaming Compacts. Sends some casino sucker money from two tribes to mostly local governments to defray costs related to casinos. Although casinos are exempt from local laws, it costs local jurisdictions to hook up infrastructure and police casinos. YES ON 48.

MEASURE S, the Mendo Fracking Ban, a local initiative to prohibit the practice here in Mendoland where, of course, it's not even a possibility. YES ON MEASURE S.

* * *

LOSAK PAY RAISE OUTRAGEOUS

The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors may be about to make a huge blunder, one that will outrage employees and taxpayers alike. Last week, the supervisors promoted "acting" County Counsel Doug Losak to "interim" county counsel. We'd love to know what the difference is. Apparently one difference is that "interim" comes with a $36,000 raise. This Tuesday the supervisors may decide to raise Mr. Losak 's salary from $107,390 to $143,291. They should all vote no. First of all, they obviously don't think quite enough of him to make him the full-fledged county counsel. Second, anyone making $107,390 is making plenty of money in a county where the median personal income is about $27,000. And let us not forget that Mr. Losak got a hefty raise just this past February when his salary for being named "acting" went from $86,883 to his current $107,390. Third, with a salary of $143,291, Mr. Losak would be the highest paid department head in the county, making more than Sheriff Tom Allman, District Attorney David Eyster and Health and Human Services director Stacey Cryer. As for Mr. Losak 's "no contest" plea to illegally carrying a concealed firearm and possessing marijuana while driving after a traffic stop for speeding, it may not be a big deal to many people, but it's not the kind of behavior you hope to see from your county's top legal counsel. That's why the county demoted him from "acting" county counsel at the time. And speaking of counsel, Mr. Losak has been wrong in his "counsel" to the board, including in his incorrect advice about a basic question of how many votes it requires to take action on the board. It makes us wonder why the board recently approved a $250,000 annual contract for outside legal services? We agree with Sheriff Allman that this is a slap in the face to all county employees, including other department heads, who have taken pay cuts. It's also an insult to the hardworking taxpayers of this county who will see red at this kind of over-the-top spending. The supervisors need to rethink this raise. Not only rethink it, but completely reject it.

— K.C. Meadows, Editor, Ukiah Daily Journal

* * *

FROM FRIDAY'S PD: "Video: Islamic State group beheads British hostage."

ONE HAS TO WONDER who's the more barbarous, the beheaders or newspapers trying to cash in on the atrocity.

* * *

THE WOMAN who drove over a 200-foot oceanside cliff with her two children near Westport late Friday morning is now under investigation for having done it deliberately. One child was airlifted to Oakland with major head injuries, and one other person in the car was airlifted to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital. It is not known whether that person was the mother or the second child. The CHP apparently had at least one witness who placed the episode at exactly 11:22am.

* * *

LOVE-IN IT COOPERATIVE owners/proprietors Sherry Glaser Love and Robert Love have filed three separate claims against the county totaling $535,000 for the allegedly mistaken raids last March 4, 2014. The Cooperative is a medical cannabis dispensary that has operated on the Mendocino Coast for several years.

The first claim is for $250,000 for damages at the dispensary location: “COMMET [County of Mendocino Marijuana Eradication Team], MCTF [Mendocino County Task Force] raided medical cannabis dispensary confiscating all medicine and computers, arrested two employees. Articles of incorporation, business license, seller's permit, membership in Chamber of Commerce clearly posted.” Damages/loss: “We lost cooperative's medical cannabis; loss of wages from 3/4-4/1 when dispensary reopened, $1500”… [Continuation not available.] County employees alleged to have caused the damage/loss: “MCTF, COMMET.” Total claim: $250,000.

The second claim is from Robert Love for personal loss/damage at his Fort Bragg home: “Following a raid on both our business and home on March 4, 2014, not only did I lose my bank account but also personal firearms which were family heirlooms. In addition to losing my bank account I also lost wages and damage to my” … [continuation not available]. Damage/Loss: “Lost wages, emotional trauma, loss of credit status, stress for covering financial records, loss of family heirlooms.” Total claim: $35,000.

The third claim is by Sherry Glaser Love for the same incident but at her home in Albion: “SWAT team raided my home in Albion, 17-year-old daughter awakened by police, guns drawn. Daughter already sick in bed, handcuffed and brought downstairs. I was handcuffed along with my brother visiting from out of town. House ransacked. All medical cannabis confiscated. Myself and oldest daughter brought to jail.” Damages/Loss: “Family terrorized by excessive force, minor daughter had her phone and computer seized which prohibited her from returning to school. $10,000 lost in tuition. My personal bank accounts seized in the amount”… [continuation not available]. Total claim: $250,000.

ED NOTE: As best we can determine there were no charges brought against the Love In It dispensary/cooperative or those arrested in the aftermath of the raid. They are not in the Court’s list of pending cases other than a civil claim filed by the Cooperative. Ms. Glaser Love has said that some of what was seized had nothing to do with her dispensary or family.

LoveInItReopens
Photo: Love In It’s Reopening in Early April.

HERE’S THE ORIGINAL SHERIFF’S PRESS RELEASE concerning the raid: “On 03-04-2014 Deputies from the County of Mendocino, Marijuana Eradication Team assisted by Mendocino County Sheriff Detective Unit, Agents from the Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force, Agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration and Investigators from the District Attorney’s Office served four search warrants related to the “Love In It Cooperative” on the Mendocino County North Coast. 

Seized pursuant to the search warrants was packaged marijuana, marijuana food items, scales, a money counter, narcotic sales records, five firearms including an assault weapon, items used to manufacture a controlled substance (honey oil via butane extraction method), approximately $65,000 in US Currency, approximately 800 growing marijuana plants and other evidence related to the sales of marijuana.

 Robert Love was arrested in Mendocino for violation of 11359 H&S, 11358 H&S, 11366.5 H&S and 30605(a) PC, to be held in lieu of $25,000.00 bail. 
Dana Howells was arrested in Mendocino for violation of section 11359 H&S and 11358 H&S, to be held in lieu of $25,000 bail. 
Sheryl Glaser was arrested in Albion for violation of section 11359 H&S, 11358 H&S and 11366.5 H&S, to be held in lieu of $25,000 bail. 
Larissa Maple was arrested in Comptche for violation of section 11359 H&S and 11366.5 H&S, to be held in lieu of $25,000 bail. 
Howard Baker was arrested in Comptche for violation of section 11379.6 H&S, to be held in lieu of $50,000 bail. 
Kevin Logan was arrested in Comptche for violation of section 11379.6 H&S, to be held in lieu of $50,000 bail. 

Michael Spradlin was arrested in Albion for violation of section 11359 H&S and 11360 H&S, to be held in lieu of $25,000 bail.

 Colton Nation was arrested in Albion for violation of section 11359 H&S, to be held in lieu of $25,000 bail. 

Cassidy Erickson was arrested in Albion for violation of section 11359 H&S, to be held in lieu of $25,000 bail. 

All nine suspects were booked into the Mendocino County jail on the listed charges.”

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, October 4, 2014

Antill, Bartman, Briggs, Calonico
Antill, Bartman, Briggs, Calonico

CRISTIN ANTILL III, Willits. Receipt of stolen property, under influence of controlled substance, failure to appear, probation revocation.

CHARLES BARTMAN, Redwood Valley. Assault on peace officer, resisting arrest, obstructing arrest.

MARTIN BRIGGS, Willits. “Mandatory Supervision Sent.”

MARILYN CALONICO, Cedarville. Probation revocation.

Fitzpatrick, Gibson, Gunter, Holliday
Fitzpatrick, Gibson, Gunter, Holliday

DAYSN FITZPATRICK, Lakeport. Failure to appear.

JESSE GIBSON, Redwood Valley. Drunk in public.

CLINT GUNTER, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

ALAN HOLLIDAY, Ukiah. Drunk in public.

Moddrelle, Moller, Parrish, Warren
Moddrelle, Moller, Parrish, Warren

STACEY MODDRELLE, Willits/Ukiah. Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)

BRADLEY MOLLER, McKinleyville/Fort Bragg. Drunk in public.

ANTHONY PARRISH, Fort Bragg. Under influence of controlled substance, probation revocation.

MICHAEL WARREN, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

* * *

HOLISTIC HEALTH UPDATE

from Karin Uphoff and Rainbow Connection

An Apple A Day…

This old adage imparts the wisdom that our vitality and immunity requires us to eat fresh, whole foods in nature’s packaging - foods that ‘keep the doctor away’. Can it be that simple? Well almost.
What we eat, drink, breathe and are environmentally exposed to, directly affect our 7 core physiological processes: assimilation and elimination, detoxification, defense, cellular communication, cellular transport, energy and structure. What a mother eats while pregnant effects the expression of genes in the fetus, but now studies in nutritional epigenetics (how food effects genomic expression) show that toxins can interfere with the human genome, causing damage to gene expression at any point in one’s life. These changes set up a path to chronic disease and cancer. Under scrutiny are GMO foods, pesticide/herbacide exposure, pharmaceutical drugs and manufacturing by-products, all of which are capable of blocking or deranging healthy biological processes both inside and outside the body. 
 
What to do? There is growing scientific evidence that eating organic whole foods, exercising and holistic health practices (including love and joy) can alter regulated levels of expression in hundreds of genes in only a few months! Our amazing bodies are built to cook up change and up-regulate to health when given the best ingredients to work with. We can think of each meal as our medicine and ask, is this medicine increasing my vitality or costing it? So as once suggested, a freshly picked organic apple is a good place to start! Apples are high flavonoids that protect the lungs, have enzymes and acids that balance the stomach and dissolve gallbladder and kidney stones, plus apples are rich in pectin which draws heavy metals and excess cholesterol from the bowel. You can read more about apples here:

http://www.mnn.com/food/healthy-eating/stories/10-reasons-to-eat-an-apple-a-day

Karin will be speaking at the Mendocino Coast District Hospital Wellness Fair Oct 11th at noon on this very subject!

More: www.rainbowconnection.net

* * *

HOME BURIAL

He saw her from the bottom of the stairs

Before she saw him. She was starting down,

Looking back over her shoulder at some fear.

She took a doubtful step and then undid it

To raise herself and look again. He spoke

Advancing toward her: ‘What is it you see

From up there always—for I want to know.’

She turned and sank upon her skirts at that,

And her face changed from terrified to dull.

He said to gain time: ‘What is it you see,’

Mounting until she cowered under him.

‘I will find out now—you must tell me, dear.’

She, in her place, refused him any help

With the least stiffening of her neck and silence.

She let him look, sure that he wouldn’t see,

Blind creature; and awhile he didn’t see.

But at last he murmured, ‘Oh,’ and again, ‘Oh.’

 

‘What is it—what?’ she said.

‘Just that I see.’

 

‘You don’t,’ she challenged. ‘Tell me what it is.’

 

‘The wonder is I didn’t see at once.

I never noticed it from here before.

I must be wonted to it—that’s the reason.

The little graveyard where my people are!

So small the window frames the whole of it.

Not so much larger than a bedroom, is it?

There are three stones of slate and one of marble,

Broad-shouldered little slabs there in the sunlight

On the sidehill. We haven’t to mind those.

But I understand: it is not the stones,

But the child’s mound—’

‘Don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t,’ she cried.

 

She withdrew shrinking from beneath his arm

That rested on the banister, and slid downstairs;

And turned on him with such a daunting look,

He said twice over before he knew himself:

‘Can’t a man speak of his own child he’s lost?’

 

‘Not you! Oh, where’s my hat? Oh, I don’t need it!

I must get out of here. I must get air.

I don’t know rightly whether any man can.’

 

‘Amy! Don’t go to someone else this time.

Listen to me. I won’t come down the stairs.’

He sat and fixed his chin between his fists.

‘There’s something I should like to ask you, dear.’

 

‘You don’t know how to ask it.’

‘Help me, then.’

 

Her fingers moved the latch for all reply.

 

‘My words are nearly always an offense.

I don’t know how to speak of anything

So as to please you. But I might be taught

I should suppose. I can’t say I see how.

A man must partly give up being a man

With women-folk. We could have some arrangement

By which I’d bind myself to keep hands off

Anything special you’re a-mind to name.

Though I don’t like such things ’twixt those that love.

Two that don’t love can’t live together without them.

But two that do can’t live together with them.’

She moved the latch a little. ‘Don’t—don’t go.

Don’t carry it to someone else this time.

Tell me about it if it’s something human.

Let me into your grief. I’m not so much

Unlike other folks as your standing there

Apart would make me out. Give me my chance.

I do think, though, you overdo it a little.

What was it brought you up to think it the thing

To take your mother-loss of a first child

So inconsolably—in the face of love.

You’d think his memory might be satisfied—’

 

‘There you go sneering now!’

‘I’m not, I’m not!

You make me angry. I’ll come down to you.

God, what a woman! And it’s come to this,

A man can’t speak of his own child that’s dead.’

 

‘You can’t because you don't know how to speak.

If you had any feelings, you that dug

With your own hand—how could you?—his little grave;

I saw you from that very window there,

Making the gravel leap and leap in air,

Leap up, like that, like that, and land so lightly

And roll back down the mound beside the hole.

I thought, Who is that man? I didn’t know you.

And I crept down the stairs and up the stairs

To look again, and still your spade kept lifting.

Then you came in. I heard your rumbling voice

Out in the kitchen, and I don’t know why,

But I went near to see with my own eyes.

You could sit there with the stains on your shoes

Of the fresh earth from your own baby’s grave

And talk about your everyday concerns.

You had stood the spade up against the wall

Outside there in the entry, for I saw it.’

 

‘I shall laugh the worst laugh I ever laughed.

I’m cursed. God, if I don’t believe I’m cursed.’

 

‘I can repeat the very words you were saying:

“Three foggy mornings and one rainy day

Will rot the best birch fence a man can build.”

Think of it, talk like that at such a time!

What had how long it takes a birch to rot

To do with what was in the darkened parlor?

You couldn’t care! The nearest friends can go

With anyone to death, comes so far short

They might as well not try to go at all.

No, from the time when one is sick to death,

One is alone, and he dies more alone.

Friends make pretense of following to the grave,

But before one is in it, their minds are turned

And making the best of their way back to life

And living people, and things they understand.

But the world’s evil. I won’t have grief so

If I can change it. Oh, I won’t, I won’t!’

 

‘There, you have said it all and you feel better.

You won’t go now. You’re crying. Close the door.

The heart’s gone out of it: why keep it up.

Amy! There’s someone coming down the road!’

 

You—oh, you think the talk is all. I must go—

Somewhere out of this house. How can I make you—’

 

‘If—you—do!’ She was opening the door wider.

‘Where do you mean to go? First tell me that.

I’ll follow and bring you back by force. I will!—’

— Robert Frost

* * *

THE WINNING OF THE WEST

No one could have imagined how quickly the West would change. Twenty years after the gold rush, the transcontinental railroad would span the nation. Roads, cities, and factories would rise out of nowhere. A boy born into a world where a galloping horse represented the fastest speed imaginable might one day cruise down a highway in a convertible with the radio blaring. Bronco Charlie Miller, who claimed to be the last of the Pony Express riders, lived to see gas stations and all-night diners where once he had clung to his pony's neck while dodging Indian arrows. An emigrant named Ezra Meeker, one of the first white settlers in the Northwest, traveled overland to Oregon Territory in 1852. In his old age, he flew in an open-cockpit airplane over the same route he had once inched along in an ox-drawn wagon. (The Rush, by Edward Dolnick)

* * *

OVER & OUT

Editor,

It's that Day Again

HBCD

Happy

Broderick

Crawford

Day

Michael the Tyrebyter (via internet)

* * *

ALAN STEIN’S LAMENT

On Saturday Mr. Alan Stein of Caspar sent us a collection of emails between himself and Bruce Baracco, former Executive Director of Mendocino’s Local Agency Formation Commission regarding complaints about LAFCo’s Municipal Service Review for the Caspar South Water (Wastewater?) District.

We are posting them here in raw, unedited form. Typical of such exchanges, they are confusing, redundant and in sort of reverse chronological order, although in a couple of cases there appears to be a Q&A inside the email text between Mr. Stein and Mr. Baracco. Apparently, Mr. Stein thinks that we can somehow sort it all out and make a story out of it. As you can see Mr. Stein also sent the raw emails to Supervisors Dan Gjerde and Dan Hamburg.

> Subject: Re: Denial of opportunity for input by Lafco into Service Review

> From: "Al Stein" <bugadi@comcast.net>

> Date: Sat, October 4, 2014 11:53 am

> To: "Bruce Baracco" <baraccoplanner@comcast.net>

> Cc: "Dan Gjerde" <dangjerde@gmail.com>

> "Dan Hamburg" <VOTE@pacific.net>

> ---------------------------------------------------------------

> Bruce,

> Appreciate that my comments below will be included in the LAFCO hearing

> record in Ukiah Monday re Caspar South Service Review.

> 1) Did you forward my specific Brown Act complaints to the consultant?

> 2) Did the consultant rely on any person’s information, other than the

> board members, when researching/preparing the report?

> 3) How many minutes will the public have at the meeting this Monday to

> comment on the report? There are numerous glaring factual inaccuracies in

> the final report which need to be corrected for the record, including the

> condition of the infrastructure and work place saftey issues, all of which

> appear to have been swept under the rug in the final report.

> 4) Did you ever provide me with a copy of the draft re Caspar South or

> notify me after it was prepared that there was an opportunity to comment?

> Thanks

> Alan

> On Oct 3, 2014, at 6:41 PM, Bruce Baracco <baraccoplanner@comcast.net>

> wrote:

>> Al,

>> Thank you for your request.

>> With respect to your Brown Act complaints, a Municipal Service Review

> (MSR) is a ‘snapshot in time’ and attempts to address current conditions

> and situations with respect to how the District conducts its business.

>> I refer you to pages 6 and 7 of the Final MSR which addresses these

> issues. It appears that the consultants were satisfied with the way the

> District operates. The MSR also recognized that there had been a change

> in leadership on the Board of Directors. The MSR also makes a number of

> recommendations (called ‘determinations’) to address District issues. I

> refer you to pages 33 and 34 of the Final MSR.

>> Your e-mails will be included in the record for Commission consideration

> on Monday.

>> Regards,

>> Bruce

>> From: Al Stein [mailto:bugadi@comcast.net]

>> Sent: Friday, October 03, 2014 5:49 PM

>> To: Bruce Baracco

>> Cc: Dan Gjerde; Dan Hamburg; Editor Editor 1

>> Subject: Denial of opportunity for input by Lafco into Service Review

>> Bruce

>> I want this included into the Lafco hearing record this Monday.

>> Apparently you never included my Brown Act complaints to the consultant

> who prepared the report for CSSD, since there is no reference to it in

> the final report.

>> You said you submitted it but there is no record of it.

>> You never provided me with a copy of the draft as I had requested but

> now present the inaccurate final as a fait accomplie.

>> You never got back to me by phone after this exchange. You never told me

> when the 30 day Review period began. You refused to give me the phone

> number of the consultant so that I could give input but chose to

> “filter” the information provided through yourself apparently.

>> In short you denied opportunity for the consultant to have a full and

> accurate view of the mismanagement on several level at the District.

> This despite the allegations of Brown Act violations by the District.

>> Alan Stein

>> Alan,

>> LAFCo is not an enforcement agency, but if there are issues related to

> Brown Act compliance, those will likely show up in the MSR.

>> Keep the faith,

>> Bruce

>> From: Al Stein [mailto:bugadi@comcast.net]

>> Sent: Thursday, May 09, 2013 12:52 PM

>> To: EO

>> Subject: Re: request for Municipal Service Review Explained

>> Bruce

>> Great. Will do when you send the draft

>> I have still not gotten a time to inspect the records from Steve Clouse

> but did specify I wanted to first see the Agendas and Minutes back to

> Jan 1, 2010.

>> His only responsive indication is come to the next board meeting which

> is over two weeks away.

>> Have you notified him to comply with the Brown Act sooner?

>> Alan

>> On May 9, 2013, at 12:45 PM, EO wrote:

>> See responses below.

>> From: Al Stein [mailto:bugadi@comcast.net]

>> Sent: Thursday, May 09, 2013 12:18 PM

>> To: EO

>> Subject: Re: request for Municipal Service Review Explained

>> There were a lot of complaints to LAFCO when McMichael was there. When

> Dave Berry was President of the Board

>> Did you submit my complaint to your sub consultants? Yes, forwarded to

> the Sub-Consultants ‘for their information.’

>> Can I have input into the draft. Our normal procedure is to make

> available a ‘Public Review Draft MSR’ for a 30-day review period. Until

> then, the document is not available for review.

>> Number for consultants? I will be your point of contact for this

>> exercise.

>> Regards,

>> Bruce

>> On May 9, 2013, at 12:11 PM, EO wrote:

>> Hi Alan,

>> Mendocino LAFCo is currently preparing a Municipal Service Review (MSR)

> for Caspar South Water District.

>> At this point, our Sub-Consultants are gathering information in order to

> prepare the MSR.

>> The Public Review Draft MSR is scheduled to be released in July.

>> I am not aware of any previous work done by LAFCo in this regard, but

> will ask Beth Salomone, the Commission Clerk, to check the files.

>> Regards,

>> Bruce

>> From: Al Stein [mailto:bugadi@comcast.net]

>> Sent: Monday, May 06, 2013 11:23 PM

>> To: Bruce Baracco

>> Subject: request for Municipal Service Review Explained

>> Bruce

>> Please provide me a file containing the Municipal Service Review

> Explained which Lafco has conducted for Caspar South Water District and

> list other evaluations LAFCO has conducted of the CSWD.

>> Begin forwarded message:

>> From: "EO" <EO@mendolafco.org>

>> Subject: RE: request for Municipal Service Review Explained

>> Date: May 9, 2013 at 12:45:15 PM PDT

>> To: "'Al Stein'" <bugadi@comcast.net>

>> Cc: <greenlion@sbcglobal.net>, <clerk@mendolafco.org>

>> See responses below.

>> From: Al Stein [mailto:bugadi@comcast.net]

>> Sent: Thursday, May 09, 2013 12:18 PM

>> To: EO

>> Subject: Re: request for Municipal Service Review Explained

>> There were a lot of complaints to LAFCO when McMichael was there.

When Dave Berry was President of the Board

>> Did you submit my complaint to your sub consultants?

Yes, forwarded to the Sub-Consultants ‘for their information.’

>> Can I have input into the draft?

Our normal procedure is to make available a ‘Public Review Draft MSR’ for a 30-day review period. Until then, the document is not available for review.

>> Number for consultants?

I will be your point of contact for this exercise.

>> Regards,

>> Bruce

>> On May 9, 2013, at 12:11 PM, EO wrote:

>> Hi Alan,

>> Mendocino LAFCo is currently preparing a Municipal Service Review (MSR)

> for Caspar South Water District.

>> At this point, our Sub-Consultants are gathering information in order to

> prepare the MSR.

>> The Public Review Draft MSR is scheduled to be released in July.

>> I am not aware of any previous work done by LAFCo in this regard, but

> will ask Beth Salomone, the Commission Clerk, to check the files.

>> Regards,

>> Bruce

>> From: Al Stein [mailto:bugadi@comcast.net]

>> Sent: Monday, May 06, 2013 11:23 PM

>> To: Bruce Baracco

>> Subject: request for Municipal Service Review Explained

>> Bruce

>> Please provide me a file containing the Municipal Service Review

> Explained which Lafco has conducted for Caspar South Water District and

> list other evaluations LAFCO has conducted of the CSWD.

>> Thank you,

>> Alan Stein

* * *

WHAT can we make of this?

Reading between the lines, assuming Mr. Stein is not a Caspar Water District Board member (which I don't think he is, more likely a gadfly of sorts), is that Mr. Stein has (unspecified) complaints about the water district's physical condition which he apparently thinks are being overlooked in LAFCo's Municipal Service Review (MSR) because, Mr. Stein seems to allege, the MSR is only based on talking to the Caspar District Board members, not himself with his critical observations, nor the rest of the Caspar community.

MSR's are pretty much a paperwork exercise and carry no real weight, even though theoretically, Mr. Stein is right: they're supposed to be an assessment of whether a district is meeting its charter.

It's not clear if Mr. Stein's Brown Act complaints are against LAFCo or the Water District. If it’s the Water District, Bruce Baracco is technically right, LAFCo has no authority over Brown Act violations in other Districts, the DA does. But Brown Act complaints have to be filed in a timely manner, and even then no Brown Act violations have ever been enforced by the Mendocino DA's office in living history. However, if the Brown Act complaint is against LAFCO, then Mr. Stein has to follow a basic process with the LAFCO Board which he obviously has not done here. Brown Act complaints have to specify the violation and be correctable.

Mr. Stein hasn't done a very good job describing his basic underlying complaint either, which probably won't help his case, whatever it is. We have not seen and Mr. Stein has not provided a copy of the MSR or a list of things which are objectionable in or missing from the MSR. One would think that if the water/wastewater system in Caspar was in some serious state of disrepair that the minutes to the District board meetings would either reflect that or at least that Mr. Stein had raised questions that had not been addressed — which could then be included in his complaint to LAFCO.

It's also not clear which minutes Mr. Stein is referring to, LAFCO's or the Water District's.

Mr. Bruce Baracco is now a consultant to LAFCO, having quit as LAFCO executive director a year ago, but continuing to work on some MSRs as a consultant. Since August the Mendo LAFCO ExDir position has been filled by a Mr. George Williamson, who seems to be splitting his time between the Humboldt County LAFCO and Mendo’s, I think. Mr. Baracco replaced Frank McMichael a couple of years ago. I understood when McMichael quit (or when his contract wasn’t renewed) that the LAFCO board wasn't too pleased with McMichael because he hadn't done the required MSRs. Which was true, as far as it went, and as far as I know.

Mr. Stein's cc'ing Hamburg and Gjerde is a bit off too. Supervisors McCowen and Brown are the County reps on the LAFCO board. Hamburg is an alternate only. Gjerde is Caspar's supervisor, though, because Caspar is in the Fourth District.

We gather that Mr. Stein will make some kind of case at the October 6 LAFCo board meeting. We await the result of that presentation. Maybe things will become clearer. Meanwhile, confusion still reigns on the Coast, particularly regarding Mr. Stein’s complaint(s).

— Mark Scaramella

6 Responses to "Mendocino County Today: Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014"

  1. Lazarus   October 5, 2014 at 7:25 am

    Regarding the Giants, Matt Williams sadly showed his total lack of playoff baseball, and thrown out arguing the strike zone…? please… Meanwhile the cagey Bochy got lucky in the 9th, played Petit baseball with style and grace, then Belted the Nats in the 18th….and then there’s Hunter Strickland, routine 100 mph, with control, Giants in 3… Go Giants…!

    Reply
  2. Betsy Cawn   October 5, 2014 at 7:58 am

    “Independent special districts” are required to operate transparently under their elected boards of directors, compliant with Health & Safety codes, general accounting practices, and a multitude of service requirements all of which should be completely visible to the rate payers. Local Agency Formation Commission’s responsibility to oversee the district’s service capacities and “government efficiency” are paid for by all property tax payers throughout the county. Requirements for municipal service reviews are defined in Public Resources Codes, but the rate- and tax-payer understanding of these responsibilities is lacking. In Lake County, the Commission is comprised of Supervisors (and a former Supervisor) with responsibility for “dependent special districts,” one of which is fully accountable to the public and one of which is not, in their jobs as these districts’ “board of directors” under state legislation. If the Caspar South Water District cannot or will not produce for its rate-payers all of the management documentation for which it is responsible, then making sure that the Municipal Service Review addresses this as a “determination” is up to the funders. You should be able to see the District’s annual independent audit, its master service plan, compliance reports, organization policies and procedures, rate structure and budget allocations, and all board minutes and agendas. These are reasonable and responsible information requests from District taxpayers, service recipients/rate payers, and all members of the public involved in Local Agency Formation Commission processes. Have you done your own homework, to study the Caspar South Water District accountability — so that you really know whether the LAFCo MSR is valid or not?

    Reply
  3. Bill Pilgrim   October 5, 2014 at 9:51 am

    RE: Broderick Crawford Day. It’s “10-4,” not “over & out.”

    Reply
  4. Lazarus   October 5, 2014 at 10:18 am

    “THE AVA GUIDE TO THE ELECTION OF NOVEMBER 4TH, 2014 STATE RACES”

    No 3rd District? humm……

    Reply
  5. Harvey Reading   October 5, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    ” NO ON ALL THE JUDGES”

    Amen. Been doing that for years. If they’re unwilling, or “too good” to knock on doors and tell people why they should vote for their continuing appointments, then the hell with ’em.

    Reply
  6. Harvey Reading   October 5, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    “ONE HAS TO WONDER who’s the more barbarous, the beheaders or newspapers trying to cash in on the atrocity.”

    Or, the U.S. military bombing civilians in retribution.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.