Mendocino County Today: Sunday, Dec 7, 2014

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REDWOOD CLASSIC
Boys basketball tournament
Held at Anderson Valley High School

Wednesday’s results

Cloverdale 68, Round Valley 22
Marin Academy 66, Laytonville 24
Valley Christian 105, Anderson Valley 82

Thursday’s results

Pinewood 98, Point Arena 16,
Stuart Hall 72, California School for Deaf 28
Liberty Christian 79, International 56
Bentley 64, Tulelake 25
Branson 53, Hoopa 28

Friday’s results

Consolation rounds


California School for Deaf 66, Round Valley 36
International 63, Laytonville 41
Hoopa 74, Point Arena 38
Anderson Valley 51, Tulelake 31

Championship rounds

Stuart Hall 58, Cloverdale 55
Liberty Christian 78, Marin Academy 62
Bentley 101, Valley Christian 67
Branson 62, Pinewood 55

Saturday’s games

California School for Deaf 62, International 41
Hoopa 71, Anderson Valley 64
Stuart Hall 65, Liberty Christian 45
Branson 59, Bentley 39
Marin Academy 46, Cloverdale 45
Pinewood 113, Valley Christian 57

Consolation final: Hoopa 71, California School for Deaf 49
3rd place: Bentley 74, Liberty Christian 58
Championship: Stuart Hall 62, Branson 49

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MCKEE FAMILY TO HUMCO SUPES: Williamson Act conditions need to change

by Daniel Mintz

Ed Note: Bob McKee has had an enormous influence on Northcoast life. The so-called “Back to the Land” movement of the late 1960s would not have been possible without the land provided by McKee as he bought up large parcels of land, split them into much smaller parcels and sold them to back to the landers on easily affordable terms. The Humboldt-based McKee was active in land development from Mendocino County north.

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In an unusual move, members of Bob McKee's family have asked Humboldt County supervisors to change the Williamson Act conditions that drove a county lawsuit against their father's partnership.

At the Dec. 2 Board of Supervisors meeting, three of McKee’s daughters addressed supervisors and proposed that they consider changing the minimum parcel size standard for the Williamson Act farmland preservation program.

McKee was controversially sued by the county in 2002 for violating conditions of the Williamson Act program, which gives landowners property tax breaks in exchange for keeping their properties in commercial agricultural production.

The state’s appellate court has ruled that McKee’s Buck Mountain Partnership violated a Williamson Act contract by subdividing Tooby Ranch parcels below a 600-acre minimum size standard.

McKee was ordered to pay $200,000 in fines and the penalty is the process of being appealed.

Before the board entered a closed session on the lawsuit, McKee’s daughters requested that supervisors consider changing course on management of the Williamson Act.

Sita McKee-Formosa said that operating a ranch of over 10,000 acres exclusively for cattle production is economically infeasible.

“If a cattle rancher had bought the land, he or she would have had to run over 1,000 mother cows in order to make the required payments on the $6.7 million asking price,” she said.

At the time of the purchase, 450 cows were using 10,500 acres of grazing land, she continued. The partnership’s removal of the cattle was an aspect of the lawsuit but McKee-Formosa said her father did it in order to prevent sedimentation and improve dirt roads and water systems.

Lela McKee-Friel questioned whether the lawsuit has been productive. She described the county’s multi-million dollar legal expenses as “tax dollars that could have been used on so many other positive projects in our county.”

She added, “I ask you, was it worth it – was it worth the financial burden, was it worth all the stress brought on to our family and the families that bought land on the ranch?”

The McKee family has “experienced multiple tragedies over these past years” which were compounded by the lawsuit, she continued. Her statement ended with an appeal to the board.

“Our mother has a chronic illness and I am afraid she will not live to see the end of this lawsuit -- we ask you to help put this to rest and move on,” she said.

Tasha McKee highlighted her credibility as an environmentalist, as she’s the executive director of Sanctuary Forest. The group’s water conservation efforts in the Mattole Valley have gained positive attention from state regulators.

McKee said the high court’s ruling that Williamson Act guidelines can be applied to contracts that predate them is “an unsolved problem” that has “chopped the legs off the Williamson Act.”

At least 20 other ranches have been divided into parcels below 600 acres, she continued, adding that “different ranches are getting treated differently by the county.”

She requested that supervisors consider changing Williamson Act guidelines to allow a variety of parcel sizes.

“What I invite you to do -- and we would like to be part of this process -- is to pause, take a step back, re-evaluate the guidelines and revise them so that they best serve Humboldt County and the Williamson Act goals of preserving agriculture and open space in today’s world,” she said.

She concluded by asking supervisors for “settlement meetings with our family.”

Supervisors went into closed session without commenting. No action was taken in the closed session meeting.

In an interview, Josh Cohen of the Oakland-based Wendel, Rosen, Black and Dean law firm, which is representing the county, said the family’s portrayal of ranchland economics is “contrary to the evidence presented in trial.”

Cohen said large ranches are needed to make cattle production profitable because they offer a year-round feed source, as “more land is more grazing.”

He added, “I’m not surprised that people that feel they should be able to do whatever they want with their land regardless of rules and contract would be unhappy with the Court of Appeal decision.”

Cohen said that the Appeal Court decision hasn’t hampered the county’s Williamson Act program. Subdividing ranchland is more profitable than maintaining large parcels, he continued, but he emphasized that landowners in the program are getting considerable tax breaks for doing otherwise.

“That’s what the Williamson Act deal was – you buy the land, you continue it in ag and you can’t break it up,” said Cohen.

The penalty appeal phase of the lawsuit could take up to one-and-a-half years, Cohen said. If the penalty is affirmed, the county will move into the next phase of litigation or settlement, involving the buyers of Tooby Ranch parcels.

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AN AB POACHER FINALLY GETS JAIL TIME

A Sacramento man was sentenced Friday to state prison for poaching abalone on the Mendocino Coast, a rare punishment for the crime. Dung Van Nguyen, 41, was sentenced to 32 months in state prison and taken into custody, Mendocino County Deputy District Attorney Tim Stoen said. Nguyen, a previously convicted abalone poacher, pleaded guilty in September to a misdemeanor count of poaching abalone for commercial purposes and a felony count of falsifying an abalone report card. In doing so, he admitted to falsely claiming he had not taken any abalone on an original abalone report card in order to obtain a duplicate card, said Stoen, who files a majority of the county’s abalone cases as a coast-based prosecutor. Stoen said he’s sent just three other people to prison for abalone poaching-related crimes in Mendocino County because poaching alone — even in egregious cases — is just a misdemeanor. Three Bay Area residents accused of taking 59 abalone for commercial purposes last month face only misdemeanor charges, he noted. The per-person daily limit on abalone is three. The annual limit is 18. Stoen said it is difficult to get felony charges filed against poachers. It requires convictions either for filing false documents, as in Nguyen’s case, or conspiracy to take abalone for commercial purposes, Stoen said. Abalone poaching is a major problem on the Mendocino Coast. “It’s a scarce resource. It’s terrible when these people just come up here and abuse it,” District Attorney David Eyster said during a recent interview. Stoen said he filed 313 abalone poaching cases last year. Some of the cases resulted in lifetime fishing bans and large fines for the defendants. Eighteen abalone poachers arrested in a black market sting last year recently were ordered to pay more than $139,000 in fines. Eleven were given lifetime bans from fishing, according to Fish and Wildlife officials. Stoen commended state Fish and Wildlife officials for their efforts to halt abalone poachers. But he’d like to see their hard work result in harsher penalties to better deter the crime. “They should definitely be made more strict,” Stoen said of the penalties.

(— Glenda Anderson; Courtesy, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.)

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MEMO OF THE WEEK

Mendocino County Library Standards Of Behavior

Please Respect All Library Rules

Anyone whose bodily odor is offensive shall be required to leave the building

Food or Drink are allowed only in designated areas

Public display of obscene or visually disturbing material is prohibited

Inappropriate or abusive language is prohibited

Personal belongings should not be left unattended anywhere on Library property

Only service animals are permitted

Being fully clothed is a requirement of using the library

Abusive or harassing behavior or stalking others in the Library is prohibited

Disturbing anyone by unreasonable noise is prohibited

Unsafe behavior such as roughhousing, running, or skateboarding is prohibited

Children under 8 must be accompanied and directly supervised by a responsible adult

Violation of any of the above rule will be handled as follows:

First Violation: Initial warning and given copy of the Standards of Behavior

Second Violation: Library privileges suspended for the day

Third Violation: Library privileges suspended for seven days

Fourth Violation: Library privileges suspended for up to a year

Circumstances, including the seriousness or continuing nature of the conduct may warrant immediate suspension of Library privileges

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CATCH OF THE DAY, Dec 6, 2014

Bow, DeWitt, Flores-Preciado
Bow, DeWitt, Flores-Preciado

JARED BOW, Fort Bragg. Court order violation.

KENNETH DEWITT, Ukiah. Domestic assault, contempt of court, parole violation, probation revocation.

SANTIAGO FLORES-PRECIADO, Ukiah. DUI, driving without a license.

Gardiner, Holliday, Keatley, Konneus
Gardiner, Holliday, Keatley, Konneus

MATHEW GARDINER, Clearlake Oaks/Ukiah. Probation revocation.

ALAN HOLLIDAY, Ukiah. Domestic battery.

NINA KEATLEY, Fort Bragg. Domestic assault.

CARL KONNEUS, San Francisco/Ukiah. Drunk in public.

Mabery, Maldonado, Mora
Mabery, Maldonado, Mora

CHAD MABERY, Willits. Drunk in public.

OSCAR MALDONADO, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

PABLO MORA, Ukiah. Assault, resisting arrest, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

Pollick, Potter, Sims
Pollick, Potter, Sims

ALAN POLLICK JR., Ukiah. Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)

JEREMY POTTER, Ukiah. DUI, driving on suspended license, probation revocation.

STEVEN SIMS, Ukiah. DUI.

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WELL THIS TOWN HAS CLOSED down way too early,

And there’s nothing to do,

So I’m driving around in circles,

And I’m thinking about you,

Today I heard you got a new last name,

Sure didn’t know it was gonna hit me this way,

And the radio just keeps on playing all these songs about rain

Now there’s all kind of songs about babies and love that goes right,

But for some unknown reason nobody wants to play them tonight,

Hey I hope it’s sunny wherever you are,

But that’s sure not the picture tonight in my car,

And it sure ain’t easing my pain all these songs like,

 

Rainy Night In Georgia,

and Kentucky Rain,

Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again,

Blue Eyes Crying In The early morning Rain,

They go on and on,

And there’s no two the same,

 

Oh it would be easy to blame all these songs about rain,

Well I thought I was over you but I guess maybe I’m not,

Cause when I let you go looks like lonely is all that I got,

Guess I’ll never know what could have been,

Sure ain’t helping this mood that I’m in,

If their gonna keep on playing me songs like,

 

Rainy Night In Georgia,

and Kentucky Rain,

Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again,

Blue Eyes Crying In The early morning Rain,

They go on and on,

And there’s no two the same,

 

Oh how I wish I could blame all these songs about rain,

All these songs about rain,

Songs about rain…

— Garry Allen

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WE ALL KNOW that something is eternal. And it ain’t houses and it ain’t names, and it ain’t earth, and it ain’t even the stars . . . everybody knows in their bones that something is eternal, and that something has to do with human beings. All the greatest people ever lived have been telling us that for five thousand years and yet you’d be surprised how people are always losing hold of it. There’s something way down deep that’s eternal about every human being.

— stage manager, in Thornton Wilder’s play “Our Town”

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BAD CALL, JAR

To the Editor,

The following letter has been sent to our Congressman Jared Huffman.

Dear Congressman: I am told that you voted, on December 4th, along with 410 of your fellow Congressmen, in favor of a House Bill authorizing the Obama Administration to supply weapons to the Ukrainian military. These weapons are intended to help exterminate or drive out those residents of the southeastern regions of the Ukraine who oppose the illegitimate government in Kiev placed in power by a coup back in February, which was engineered at least in part by the United States State Department.

Your vote is regrettable for I believe that you know, or at least should know, that the United States has no vital role in this internal civil war. The manipulations of the IMF, NATO and the European Bloc to control the Ukraine will be a disaster for that incredibly bankrupt country. A little background reading on your part could make this all quite clear to you. Russia and its various neighbors must work out their own relationships in this post-cold war era. This is not our concern and its outcome will have little impact upon the United States. We must learn to mind our own business and recognize the serious limitations of our economic, financial and military power in Eastern Europe.

Sincerely, James Houle, Redwood Valley

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DAVE CHAPPELLE and his white friend Chip

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJ3dk6KAvQM

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THANKSGIVING FOR SOCIAL SCIENTISTS: WISH IT WERE

by Ralph Nader

I wish there could be a Thanksgiving for the applied bounty that could come from the hundreds of thousands of political scientists, economists, sociologists, psychologists, and anthropologists.

I am referring especially to those social scientists who are full-time, tenured professors at universities, colleges and community colleges who are not indentured to commercial moonlighting. Those of us who look for ways to get things done for the betterment of society seek such contributions from people who spend their days studying what is happening in our country, and to whom. Other than a few minor exceptions, this union has not occurred.

Nearly fifty years ago, a leading administrative law professor Kenneth Culp Davis – interested in governance – wrote a controversial article bewailing the near total absence of any useful contributions in this field by political scientists.

Here is a brief list of contemporary needs that could benefit from academic specialists who are concerned and knowledgeable about our country’s shortcomings and could know how to get things moving.

  1. The lack of civic motivation to show up and do something about wrongs widely agreed upon–all over America, a tiny percentage of engaged citizens face the same problem. They can’t get people to show up at the polls, at town council meetings, or at rallies and marches. Maybe the psychologists could try their hand at that one. Look at the back of a $2 bill and see the drawing from 1776–showing up is half of democracy.
  2. The need for proper yardsticks by which to measure abuses of power–power structures control these metrics so that they can control debate, inflict censorship and depress people’s expectations. Some economists have offered ways to measure economic progress–e.g. the condition of children–as alternatives to what the business economists have structured for the corporatists. Much more needs to be done to “yardstick” the qualities of economies in order to expose better the disconnect between GDP growth and people’s well-being.
  3. Ways to reach and motivate enlightened billionaires to provide the water for the already fertile soil of just changes–some of these enlightened super-rich have told me they have little idea of how to effectively put their money to work for justice, so they continue giving to charities. A society that has more justice needs less charity. Also, how about some functional insight on the majority of super-rich who are, shall we say, tight with their money? Addressing the parsimony of the plutocrats invites an inter-disciplinary action plan stimulated by theorists and empiricized by the applied wings of these disciplines.
  4. How can small but effective civic groups be started in the thousands to fill the widespread imbalances of power in our deteriorating society? An example of one of these groups would be full time Congress Watchdogs with part time volunteers in every congressional district to lift the yoke off 535 men and women, most of whom are using their authority to shoehorn corporate power over Washington and driving our country into the ground. The Right calls this crony capitalism; the Left calls it corporate welfare or the corporate state.
  5. How do you counteract the periodic war mania that the warmongers fan in our country–think the 2003 invasion of Iraq and other unlawful displays of brute force foreign policies? The manufactured, bloody Iraq war was based on Bush/Cheney lies and deceptions which led to over 300 retired high military, national security and diplomatic officials speaking out against the pending invasion. These included the two main security advisers to the first President Bush, James Baker and Brent Scowcroft. All this was well known to applied social scientists (they’re not all theorists). Imagine them figuring out how to band such a group together with overtly anti-war critics such as mega-billionaire George Soros. Such a well-endowed secretariat for these highly credible, retired leaders could have widely exposed the falsifications, jolted Congress and the media and stopped the drive to this ruinous war that is erupting again in a brutal civil conflict.
  6. When overdue reform movements get underway, how can sociologists help with suggestions to sustain their momentum so they do not burn out? I’m thinking of Occupy Wall Street and its theme of standing up to gross inequalities.
  7. Recently, the media watch group, FAIR, published data showing the enormous bias of the national media based on who they invite to speak about U.S. military intervention. For example, on the recent question of military options in Syria and Iraq, the “high-profile Sunday talk shows” had 89 guests. Only one guest, Nation editor Katrina Vanden Heuvel, in FAIR’s words, “could be coded as an anti-war guest.” The rest came from the usual militaristic politicians, like the ubiquitous Senator John McCain (who recently noted his 101 appearances just on Face the Nation) and war hawks from Washington “think tanks” or publications like The Standard. With all the multi-disciplinary communications specialists, some well-connected, in academe, can’t some come up with a strategy to change this brazen exploitation of the public airwaves?

Maybe some academics think such practical immersion is not intellectually challenging or career advancing. Recall Albert Einstein who once said that physics is simple compared to politics.

Many social scientists are employed or retained by corporations to “get things done” for them. That’s paying work backed by business power and money. But given the present cultures and mind-sets of social scientists, I doubt whether, absent these pre-existing infrastructures, they could come up with practical answers even if the civic culture could afford them.

The exceptions need more publicity. For example, professor and biologist Barry Commoner brilliantly organized scientists to press the government toward a test ban treaty and highlighted the radioactive fallout of atomic bomb testing on the American people.

Professor Paul Wellstone, starting penniless and at zero in the polls, teamed up with maverick political consultant Bill Hillsman to win a U.S. Senate seat in Minnesota in 1990.

Educational anthropologist Penny Owen for years singlehandedly taught middle-school students, who were considered very difficult learners, through the use of theatre and other self-actuating activities to discover their inner talents and motivations.

Economist Robert Pollin of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, has helped organizations advance arguments for raising the minimum wage and for instituting a small tax on stock trades.

Besides giving us insights, surveys and findings, can more social scientists like these few but important examples change some routines to provide strategies, tactics, and solutions that can more practically flow from their knowledge to action?

* * *

POLICE KILLINGS, Race, and Justice on KMEC Radio, Monday, December 8, at 1 PM

"All About Money" returns to KMEC Radio on Monday , December 8 , at 1PM, Pacific Time , with host John Sakowicz, and Matthew Fogg , Inspector and Supervisory Deputy U.S. Marshal, DEA/USMS Task Force District of Columbia (retired).

The show's subject on Monday will be the perceived failure of the grand juries in both Ferguson, Missouri, and Staten Island, New York, to indict abusive cops. Is the American grand jury system broken? We'll also be talking about the militarization of U.S. law enforcement. We'll also talk about race and law enforcement -- both on the streets and within law enforcement itself.

Mr. Fogg, who has a national reputation, is no stranger to racism within law enforcement. He won the largest award ($4 million) for a Title VII discrimination lawsuit at U.S. Department of Justice. His distinguished accomplishments, superior performance and accolades are numerous and well documented by the U.S. Marshal Service and the U.S. Justice Department.

Mr. Fogg's service record reflects outstanding recognition for direct involvement in major Law Enforcement Trials, Fugitive Arrests and Operations, including the following:

* 1979 Cuban refugee Boat Flotilla in Key West, Miami and Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.

* 'Latier' Bombing Trial involving Hi-Jacking and bombing of U.S. Pan Am Airplane.

* Operation 'Flagship' in Washington, D.C.

* Atlanta Penitentiary Riot

* Funwar Yunis Trial

* Ruby Ridge

* Los Angeles Riots

* Arrest of Bernard Welch, killer of prominent Washington, D.C. Doctor Michael Halberstam

* Numerous awards and recommendations from the U.S. Justice Department and national and local police associations.

* Numerous voluntary community service awards to include the U.S. President Points of Life award, Knike Corporation for Midnight Basketball Tournament, D.C. elementary school youth counselor, D.C. Southeast Community Hospital support during major snow storm, etc.

Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman may be an in-studio guest, if available.

We are planning to record both audio and video of Monday's show for our archives at KMEC and for rebroadcasting on Mendocino Access Television (Channels 3 and 65)

Matthew Fogg is the retired Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal and has recently returned to D.C. from Ferguson. He won the largest ever ($4 million) employee Title VII discrimination lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice. His book, Bigots with Badges (the same as a 1997 New York Post front page headline depicting his story) is forthcoming. He recently appeared on the panel "Police Body Cameras and Recording Misconduct" at the Cato Institute. See video on C-Span.org . He has been participating in protests in D.C. organized by the Hands Up CoalitionDC . Protests are continuing in front of the Department of Justice.

KMEC's broadcasts are heard live at 105.1 FM in Ukiah. We also stream live from the web at www.kmecradio.org

Our shows are archived.

KMEC 105.1 FM KMECRADIO.ORG

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