Mendocino County Today: Sunday, Dec 28, 2014

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THE EFFECTS of the The Drought haven't been remedied by the recent rains, but Lake Mendocino, our visual guide to Mendocino County's water health, is filling up. No longer is the crucial reservoir the vast mud puddle it's been for several years.

LakeMendoLevel

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FORT BRAGG HIGH SCHOOL'S ADMIN is looking more and more foolish:

Below is a joint statement from myself, Fort Bragg High School Assistant Principal/Athletic Director Bruce Triplett, and Fort Bragg Unified School District Superintendent Charles Bush:

After much discussion with the administration of Mendocino Unified, we decided that in order to protect the safety and well-being of all tournament participants it is necessary to ensure that all political statements and or protests are kept away from this tournament. We request that all participants respect our position in creating an atmosphere of political neutrality that is centered on friendly and healthy competition among young athletes. We are a small school district that simply does not have the resources to ensure the safety and well-being of our staff, students and guests at the tournament should someone get upset and choose to act out.

We applaud Mendocino basketball players for paying attention to what is going on in the world around them, and being willing to take a position that is in line with their beliefs. However, given the recent incidents involving the death of a law enforcement officer in our community, we simply feel this issue is too emotionally charged to allow such a demonstration to happen in our tournament and be able to ensure the safety and well-being of all involved. We simply do not have the resources to protect those involved should the situation become aggressive or physical.

Every school district that is participating in the event has been asked by our Athletic Director to respect our request to maintain a politically neutral environment while participating in this tournament. We want all athletes who wish to participate to have the opportunity to do so, but as the hosts of the event we also need to ensure that we can protect the safety and well-being of everyone in attendance. The only way that is possible is to make this event politically neutral and ask that all involved put their personal beliefs about a situation that occurred on the other side of our country on hold for the short time they are participating. If a team cannot or is unwilling to do that, we have no other choice but to exclude them from the event.

— Rebecca C. Walker, Principal Fort Bragg High School

OH, PLEASE. It takes three “educators” to come up with this completely wrong claim that political statements on t-shirts worn by teenage basketball players are a threat to public safety? Pathetic, and one more lesson for “the kids” (all rise) that when basic democratic principles run up against a spineless school administration (is there any other kind?), the principles get chucked along with the young people who express them.

ONE MORE TIME: I think the national hysteria represented by the I Can't Breathe movement is just that — hysteria. But slam-dunking a bunch of kids for expressing a minority political opinion is simply shameful, not to mention an indication of the intellectual standards at the two schools. Bush, Walker and Triplett need some remedial instruction themselves. Spineless school administrators hire spineless teachers, and the whole stultifying K-12 show makes sheep out of young people, the implicit notion that they're better off not participating in political life, let alone as a dissident. Their opinions won't be respected, and they sure as hell won't be protected by Fort Bragg and Mendocino School authorities.

INCIDENTALLY, there was no protest this football season when Mendocino High School postponed their homecoming week out of respect for Yom Kippur, a clear violation of another Constitutional principle — separation of church and state. Imagine the howls from the Mendocino Coast's liberals if homecoming had been postponed for a week so the Church of Christ could lead students in Bible study?

FORT BRAGG BAN GOES NATIONAL.

McCarthy's great reporting has now been appropriated by the national and international media, from AP to the New York Times to the Guardian of London:

Fort Bragg High asks team from Mendocino to stay home over T-shirts

By Lisa Leff, Associated Press, December 27, 2014

A high school basketball tournament in Fort Bragg has become the latest flashpoint in the ongoing protests over police killings of unarmed black men after a team from Mendocino High School was disinvited because of concerns its players would wear T-shirts printed with the words “I Can’t Breathe” during warmups.

The athletic director for Mendocino High was informed by his counterpart at Fort Bragg High School this week that neither the boys nor girls teams would be allowed to participate in the three-day tournament hosted by Fort Bragg High starting Monday, Mendocino Unified School District Superintendent Jason Morse said.

The boys were reinstated after all but one player agreed not to wear the shirts inspired by the last words of Eric Garner, the New York man who died after an officer put him in a chokehold, while on the Fort Bragg campus during the Vern Piver Holiday Classic tournament, Morse said. Too few girl players accepted the condition for the team to field a tournament squad, he said.

Bruce Triplett, the athletic director at Fort Bragg High, did not return a call and email seeking comment. Principal Rebecca Walker issued a written statement Friday saying school administrators respected the Mendocino teams “for paying attention to what is going on in the world around them” and that the T-shirts were being prohibited as a security precaution.

“To protect the safety and well-being of all tournament participants it is necessary to ensure that all political statements and or protests are kept away from this tournament,” wrote Walker, who said she was speaking on behalf of the athletic director and the Fort Bragg school superintendent. “We are a small school district that simply does not have the resources to ensure the safety and well-being of our staff, students and guests at the tournament should someone get upset and choose to act out.”

Mendocino varsity teams first wore the “I Can’t Breathe” T-shirts before a game with Fort Bragg on Dec. 16, according to the girls coach, Caedyn Feehan. The girls also wore them before games at two other tournaments and didn’t receive any blowback, Feehan said.

“I didn’t even know what it meant. I thought it was a joke about how I had conditioned them so hard,” Feehan said. “None of the administrators knew what it was or that any of them were doing it in advance. This was entirely for their cause that they had strong feelings about.”

Professional basketball players such as LeBron James, Derrick Rose and Kyrie Irving wore “I Can’t Breathe” shirts during warmups this month without repercussions from the NBA. After Kobe Bryant and other Laker player wore them before a game and on the bench on Dec. 9, coach Byron Scott said he viewed it as a matter of “freedom of choice and freedom of speech.”

That’s how Marc Woods, whose 16-year-old son Connor plans to sit out the tournament, sees it. Connor wore the T-shirt at the Dec. 16 game in the name of team solidarity, but “now that’s become a First Amendment violation, that’s what he is fired up about,” the father said.

Woods, whose father was a California Highway Patrol officer, said he is outraged by what he sees as using intimidation to silence players and fans. Fort Bragg administrators have warned spectators who plan to protest the T-shirt ban that they will be asked to leave, he said.

“It doesn’t take a lot to suppress the exchange of ideas when you put fear into it,” Woods said.

Both schools are located in Mendocino County, known for redwood forests, rugged coastline and marijuana-growing, located 120 miles north of San Francisco. The student bodies at the two schools are 1 percent black and 50 percent white and 41 percent Hispanic at Fort Bragg, 75 percent white and 9 percent Hispanic at Mendocino.

A county sheriff’s deputy, Ricky Del Fiorentino, was killed in March by a man suspected of murder and carjacking in Eugene, Ore. The suspect, Ricardo Antonio Chaney, later engaged in a shootout with a Fort Bragg police officer before shooting himself in the head.

Walker referenced Del Fiorentino’s death, saying “We simply feel this issue is too emotionally charged to allow such a demonstration to happen in our tournament and be able to ensure the safety and well-being of all involved.

AP AND THE NEW YORK TIMES and the Guardian of London and Al Jazeera have also picked up Fort Bragg's I Can't Breathe t-shirt ban. The Press Democrat ran the AP story, while none of the big media have credited Paul McCarthy of Elk who broke the story on MendocinoSportsPlus two days ago.

THE WAY THE CONTROVERSY is breaking down nationally pits what loosely passes for the “Left” claiming that the police are out of hand everywhere while the Right is suggesting that criticism of the police anywhere is a form of subversion. The “Left” is going so far as to say that we already live in a police state, which is a huge insult to the millions of people around the globe who live in real police states and speak out at the risk of their lives.

HEY! The Mendocino girl's basketball team, by refusing to honor the shirt ban, is more evidence that they understand what kind of country they're supposed to be living in, even if their administrators don't.

ON LINE STATEMENT OF THE DAY

I have my own personal opinion about the Garner case, as well as the others, but those don't trump our freedom of speech. I can understand banning some things for safety reasons but please explain how some kids at a high school sporting event, who were expressing themselves with a non-violent phrase in a non-violent manner, are risking anything? It's a sticky situation and a polarizing topic but as much as I can't stand certain opinions I would never censor them due too my belief in the Constitution of the United States of America and our bill of rights!

(— Christina Styles, writing on the Press Democrat comment line)

FORBES ON-LINE’s YOUTH SPORTS EDITOR BOB COOK COMMENTED SATURDAY AS WELL:

'I Can't Play' — High School Athletes Face Backlash for Eric Garner-Inspired T-Shirts

It’s not just pro athletes wearing “I Can’t Breathe” T-shirts in the wake of the death of Eric Garner. You’re probably familiar with his name and that phrase, which he exclaimed as he was in what would be a fatal chokehold by a New York Police Department officer, thus becoming shorthand for many protests nationwide against perceived police brutality, especially toward African-Americans such as Garner.

The black T-shirts with white Comic Sans lettering have appeared on the pregame warmup bodies of such NBA stars as LeBron James and Kobe Bryant, and they also recently have made their way to high school players as well. For example, the girls basketball team at the Patrick School in New Jersey broke them out during its recent season opener. The shirts aren’t hard to get a hold of: at my local mall, I’ve seen at least two stands selling them. That made me wonder whether a cry of protest quickly was being reduced to a saleable commodity.

The reaction to the “I Can’t Breathe” shirts at one northern California high school tells me the shirts haven’t yet lost their power. From CBS San Francisco:

“A high school basketball tournament on the Northern California coast has become the latest flashpoint in the ongoing protests over police killings of unarmed black men after a school was disinvited because of concerns its players would wear T-shirts printed with the words ‘I Can’t Breathe’ during warmups. The athletic director for Mendocino High School was informed by his counterpart at Fort Bragg High School this week that neither the boys nor girls teams would be allowed to participate in the three-day tournament hosted by Fort Bragg High starting Monday, Mendocino Unified School District Superintendent Jason Morse said. The boys were reinstated after all but one player agreed not to wear the shirts inspired by the last words of Eric Garner, the New York man who died after an officer put him in a chokehold, while on the Fort Bragg campus during the Vern Piver Holiday Classic tournament, Morse said. Too few girl players accepted the condition for the team to field a tournament squad, he said.”

While the most visible players on any level wearing “I Can’t Breathe” T-shirts are African-American, Mendocino’s overwhelmingly are not. The school is 75 percent white, 9 percent Hispanic and 1 percent black, according to CBS San Francisco. Fort Bragg is also only 1 percent black, though it is 41 percent Hispanic and 50 percent white.

The ban takes me back to my college media law course, in which the professor (who also wrote the book we studied) introduced us to Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, the 1969 U.S. Supreme Court case that has been the bellwether for all school dress court cases that have followed. Basically, the Tinker kids were allowed to wear their anti-Vietnam War armbands because the First Amendment applied to school, and that schools could only restrict expression based on whether it was truly disruptive, not whether it merely made people uncomfortable or conflicted with the administration’s or community’s prevailing views.

I’ve seen no indication (yet) that anyone at Mendocino will try to bring the Tinker case to bear on Fort Bragg’s decision. For one thing, the conflicts don’t often make it to court, for many reasons (the Tinkers didn’t sue the school district until others picked up the conflict on their behalf). And there are all sorts of conflicts going on where the fight is in the inimitable court of public opinion, such as the Arkansas eighth-grader told she couldn’t wear a shirt stating, “Virginity Rocks,” or the Arlington, Texas, high school that banned a football team T-shirt whose message seemed to endorse rape.

Or school teachers in Staten Island — where Eric Garner was accosted by police and died — told by their union that the New York Department of Education would likely take action against them if they wore pro-New York Police Department T-shirts to school. This warning came in September, two months before a grand jury refused to indict anyone in connection with Garner’s death, and two police were killed in Brooklyn, deaths many officers believed were a direct result of protests against them.

As a writer, my sympathies naturally lie in more speech, not less, despite every YouTube comment thread. The protests against, and the support of, police have nuances that not everyone involved appreciate at first glance. (Speaking of nuances, the one boys’ player who refuses to not wear an “I Can’t Breathe” shirt is the son of a California Highway Patrol officer.)

If Mendocino High wanted to wear “I Can’t Breathe” T-shirts, let the chips fall where they may. It’s a good lesson in expressing opinions, especially realizing what happens when you’re speaking them to an unsupportive crowd. If nothing else, the gesture could perhaps educate people in their own community as to the issues involved, because despite LeBron James and Kobe Bryant, not everyone knows what “I Can’t Breathe” means. Again, from CBS San Francisco:

“Mendocino varsity teams first wore the ‘I Can’t Breathe’ T-shirts before a game with Fort Bragg on Dec. 16, according to the girls coach, Caedyn Feehan. The girls also wore them before games at two other tournaments and didn’t receive any blowback, Feehan said. ‘I didn’t even know what it meant. I thought it was a joke about how I had conditioned them so hard,’ Feehan said. ‘None of the administrators knew what it was or that any of them were doing it in advance. This was entirely for their cause that they had strong feelings about’.”

(Courtesy, Forbes.com)

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[and this just in from MendocinoSportsPlus...]

MENDO GIRLS VARSITY SENDS LETTER TO MENDO SHERIFF ASSOC. & TO ALL 'CONCERNED CITIZENS'

MSP was fortunate to obtain a copy of the letter some of the Mendocino High School girls varsity basketball team (and some members of the boys team) sent to the Mendocino County Deputy Sheriffs Association Christmas Eve as a Facebook "message." It is in response to that site's comment (since taken down) about the "I Can't Breathe" t-shirts the team wore December 16th. The letter is also meant to be read by "all concerned citizens."

Here it is:

It has come to our attention that members of our local law enforcement felt 'discouraged and disrespected' by our participation in a non-violent national protest. We have worn shirts during the warm-up at recent basketball games that say 'I Can’t Breathe'.

Although the Association did not contact us directly, the statements made on its Facebook page regarding the subject state that they interpreted our shirts as a protest to our local Sheriffs. Some of us and many of our parents personally knew Deputy Ricky Del Fiorentino. He was the best example of a law enforcement officer who knew how to calm down tense situations peacefully. Our protest has nothing to do with exemplary officers like Deputy Del Fiorentino.

We are saddened that the message we are trying to send has been misconstrued, but understand that by choosing to wear our shirts we were getting involved in a very real and controversial issue.

Eric Garner died after being put in a chokehold by law enforcement officials. His last words during the incident, 'I can’t breathe,' have become a slogan that has gained momentum and media attention after members of the NBA, as well as entire college and high school basketball teams wore shirts with this slogan during their warm-ups.

The Mendocino High School Varsity girls and boys basketball teams made the decision to wear the shirts without the initial encouragement of any parent, coach or other adult. We, the players, wanted to express our support for the people who face prejudices, racism, and police brutality daily in our country and convey our concern about these injustices to the public.

We are fortunate to live in a community in which these type of wrongs are uncommon, and respect our local law enforcement officers fully. We appreciate police officers and their difficult and sometimes dangerous job, but at the same time we condemn police brutality that does exist in our country and feel even small communities like ours should promote awareness of such crucial matters.

Respectfully,

Various Members of the Mendocino High School Varsity Basketball Teams

Kiera Poehlmann, Jin Jackson, Scott Duncan, Emily Symonds, Michaela Hubbard, Naomi Baker, Isobel Hall, Sean Symonds, Connor Woods, Emily Miller, Isaiah Graham, Aimee Gordon, Cypress Bodaly

Mendo Girls Varsity players: (Front row, left to right) Aimee Gordon, Naomi Baker, Sunny Scott; (Back row) Isobell Hall & Michaela Hubbard [courtesy MendocinoSportsPlus].
Mendo Girls Varsity players: (Front row, left to right) Aimee Gordon, Naomi Baker, Sunny Scott; (Back row) Isobell Hall & Michaela Hubbard [courtesy MendocinoSportsPlus].
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A RELUCTANT $25

KZYX&Z, P.O. Box 1, Philo, CA 95466

Mary and John and money-changing staff, accept this check for $25 for a Simple Living Membership.

I had to force myself to send this money, because I so don't have it to throw around and so don't want to reward you*, but I want to have a voice and a vote on the direction KZYX goes, and apparently this is the only way, even though you've got literally millions of tax dollars in grants over the last 25 years, so…

It's coming up on three years since I offered my show to you —description, long good history, letters of reference, letters to your Program Advisory Committee (which I found out a year later doesn't even exist), 15 years of samples, jumped through all your hoops, continued email contact and updating, and you've taken zero steps to put Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio on KZYX. Given my safe and wonderful and good-natured track record in teaching and publishing and radio I consider it to be a measure of your incompetence that my show was not on KZYX within six months. That would have been late summer of 2012.

*Two thousand (2000) (!) regular $50 memberships don't add up to what KZYX management scarfs up in personal pay, where none of the people actually doing the work of radio are paid a cent, nor even allowed autonomy in the content and operation of their own shows. That's one of the things that I'm going to vote to change.

Happy new year.

Marco McClean, Mendocino

ED NOTE: For 2013, KZYX’s Audited Budget (from their website) says “Wages, salaries and related expenses” were $249,539. Membership in the 2000 range x $50 = $100,000. As far as we know there are five paid staffers at KZYX (also according to their website): John Coate, Mary Aigner, David Steffen, Rich Culbertson, and Diane Hering.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, December 27, 2014

Alvarez, Cartwright, Eder, Ewing
Alvarez, Cartwright, Eder, Ewing

KELISHA ALVAREZ, Ukiah. Illegal camping, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

BRUCE CARTWRIGHT, Ukiah. Child abuse or endangerment, parole violation.

BO EDER, Fort Bragg. Possession of controlled substance, injection/smoking device, and burglary tools. (Frequent flyer.)

JESSICA EWING, Ukiah. Probatioin revocation.

Finney, Hawk, Holmes, Merrill
Finney, Hawk, Holmes, Merrill

GREGORY FINNEY, Ukiah. Assault with deadly weapon not a firearm.

TRAVIS HAWK, Ukiah. Provation revocation.

DANIEL HOLMES, Ukiah. Child endangerment, battery, resisting arrest, probation revocation.

ROSS MERRILL, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public, resisting arrest.

Oaks, Ogdie, Rash, Sells
Oaks, Ogdie, Rash, Sells

SANDRA OAKS, Hazelhurst, Georgia/Ukiah. Failure to appear.

MATTHEW OGDIE, Oakland/Ukiah. Probation revocation.

APRIL RASH, Ukiah. Child endangerment, probation revocation.

KENDRA SELLS, Fort Bragg. Possession of controlled substance and paraphernalia, probation revocation.

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HERE'S TO RATIONALITY

Editor,

For crying out loud…

I thought the Giants’ victory might make you giddy, but did all the excitement fry your brain? Otherwise, why, a week later would you run that goofy column by Debra Keipp? (She, the psychic, “…works between the 3rd and 4th dimensions of reality…” ?????) There is no such thing as a psychic. They are all fakes, scam artists taking gullible folks’ money. And, they steal time from serious investigations, if the police involved are also gullible. (The day a psychic predicts a lottery, I might be interested.)

It’s a myth that psychics have helped solve crime cases. Tests conducted by the LAPD showed information generated by psychics was no better than chance would allow (Journal of Police Science and Administration (7, No.1, 1979). Joe Nickell writes there is not a single documented case of a missing person being found or discovered due solely to psychic information. (See the book he edited, Psychic Sleuths).

In the Laci Peterson case, the Modesto police received over 300 calls from psychics but used none. None! The one D. Keipp refers to is Noreen Renier, who has a long sullied career as nothing more than an actor claiming paranormal powers (She predicted Jimmy Carter would be assassinated after his election in 1980 (!) and Mondale would commit suicide). She has faked police hirings, fabricated missing person cases, and claims university teaching appointments and diplomas which are all bogus. A thorough fascinating investigation of her is chronicled in <commentarybysherlock.com>.

I contacted well known skeptics about this case and they very promptly and generously offered their help. Gary Posner, MD, founder of Tampa Bay Skeptics has written extensively of her career (including Tampa Bay Skeptics Report, Vol. 16 No.1 Summer 2003). Benjamin Redford, deputy editor of Skeptical Inquirer magazine also wrote about Renier and the Peterson case in his recent book, Mysterious New Mexico.

The Laci Peterson case was solved by good, solid detective work by the police, helped by Scott Peterson’s stupidity. His Christmas Eve fishing venture to the Bay was immediately suspect, and later blood was found in his truck and on a mop he used to clean his kitchen floor. The police made many trips to the Bay with the case resolving itself in April when a couple out for a walk found the fetus washed up at Pt. Isabel. Laci’s body washed up the next day further away. No psychic needed here.

The problem is that Americans have not been taught to think critically; precisely why I recommended Carl Sagan’s The DemonHaunted World when you were collecting titles earlier this year. It’s a gem of a manual for thinking critically and should be recommended in all our high schools. I hope you’re back on your normal crystal clear thinking track, Bruce. Hang on. Catchers and pitchers report in about 2 months!

Jayne Thomas, Richmond

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NIXON TAPE TRANSCRIPT OF THE DAY: April 28, 1971, 9:28 am

Richard Nixon, Bob Haldeman, and Henry Kissinger

EXECUTIVE OFFICE BUILDING

NIXON: This is what it really comes down to. The point is, now, Henry, drinking at 18. Because, well, 75% of the kids might drink at 18, most kids, 25% that drink at 18 would probably go off the rockers. It’s not a good idea. I mean, you’ve got to stop at a certain point. Why is it that the girls don’t swear? Because a man, when he swears, people can’t tolerate a girl who is a –

HALDEMAN: Girls do swear.

NIXON: Huh?

HALDEMAN: They do now.

NIXON: Oh, they do now? But, nevertheless, it removes something from them.

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Caravaggio

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WPA, 1939

Now wake up boys, get out on the rock

It ain't daybreak but it's 4 o'clock

Oh, no, no, no, pops, you know that ain't the play

What you talkin' 'bout, it's the W.P.A.

 

The W.P.A., the W.P.A.

Sleep while you work, while you rest, while you play

Lean on your shovel to pass the time away

'T ain't what you do, you can die for your pay

 

The W.P.A., the W.P.A., the W.P.A.

Now don't be a fool working hard is passe

You'll stand from five to six hours a day

Sit down and choke while you smoke, it's okay, the W.P.A.

 

I'm so tired, I don't know what to do

Can't get fired, so I'll take my rest until my work is through

 

The W.P.A., the W.P.A.

Don't mind the boss if he's cross when you're gay

He'll get a pink slip next month anyway

Three little letters than make life okay, the W.P.A.

— Louis Armstrong

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PINT ARENA'S NEW CITY MANAGER

by Debra Keipp

Last week I visited Point Arena City Hall because the new City Manager and secretary weren't answering their phones. I asked for a few chapters out of the City's Muni-Code, and had a few more questions about the City's dormant (what used to be called) Low-Income Housing Build-out Component. (It appears most of the low-income component has been aborted and it is now dubbed Senior Housing with only a few low-income units in the plans.)

The new Point Arena City Manager job has been filled by Phil Vince, who accepted a job that years ago should have been upgraded for Fred Patten, our old City Clerk under Mayor Dahlhoff. Patten held the City together for about a quarter of a century working in the capacity of City Clerk under both Mayors Earlygrow and Dahlhoff. Patten babysat Dahlhoff through her myopic unsuccessful attempt to rend ownership of Point Arena Water Works from owner, Bill Hay, which ended in Dahlhoff charging homeowners and water users for the entirety of the lawyers' fees generated by Dahlhoff for both sides in the case. (Dahlhoff's lawyers fees which water users are still paying as part of their water bills.) Dahlhoff proved too skimpy with her old friend to offer Patten the job re-classification and pay raise befitting his most excellent skills; holding together, as it goes in a small constituency like Point Arena, two handfuls of inexperienced Council members and Planners. Eventually he left his job, ill and discouraged. Since then Point Arena City Hall has been flapping in the breeze. A good deal of cluelessness could be attributed to the years since Fred Patten's resignation; leading up to recommendations made by the Mendocino County Grand Jury to hire an actual “City Manager” to guide City Council, instead of just another clerk.

New Point Arena City Manager, Phil Vince, most recently worked in Martinez and lived in Moraga, taking a year sabbatical before being hired recently to oversee Point Arena City Hall. While, according to election law, the City Council members must all live within the City limits to run for elected office, employee Vince, and one of the Planners, may live outside the City limits. There are no new places to live inside Point Arena's City boundaries, as build-out has been discouraged here throughout all of the Earlygrow and Dahlhoff campaigns amounting to about the last 25 years. Point Arena suffers a surplus of vacant, unpermitted dwellings as a result. Dahlhoff only recently released her stranglehold on Point Arena's no growth stance to bring Point Arena to the status of “Monument”, all of a sudden. Previous to that and presently, there remains no economic development plan within the City limits, even with promises of such after the dedication of the Coastal Monument. The population of Point Arena today remains at only around 500. It can't grow much larger than that, for lack of legal living accommodations within the City of sensitive habitat located entirely within the California Coastal Zone.

Point Arena sits within one square mile, with only about 200-odd registered voters. The maximum for a good voter turn-out is around 80-88 votes. Votes rarely number more than 90.

In speaking with Mr. Vince in the cold concrete and cinder block building which is Point Arena City Hall, he sat in his office working in a substantial, thickly-lined yellow hooded rain slick and acknowledged, “There's something not quite right about getting elected to public office with only 88 votes. It's usually unheard of... But that's the way it goes in a City the size of Point Arena.”

I asked Vince straight up, “What's the tax revenue of the Koogles' Huntley House, where our new Mayor lives illegally, which as potential tax revenue for the City, mostly sits empty of businesses these many years? And, why then can Mayor Koogle remain on Council when he doesn't legally live within the City limits, having lied on his election application papers, even though somehow, he can afford to keep buying unlivable, unpermitted properties which sit completely or mostly vacant in need of permits and renovation within the City limits?”

Mr Vince: “We don't even have enough officials for a Planning Commission. We have Council acting as Planners now...”

DKPA: “I know of the general lack of interest... You're saying we should be admitting Council applicants in from outside the City limits to hold office in Point Arena. According to what law? (Senator Roderick Wright was convicted of voter fraud for lying about his true residency in voter registration papers.) What's up with NO enforcement? Is it time for re-annexation so the City can legally draw applicants from outside the City limits?”

Vince looked nagged and incredulous as he said, “That's a law that is frequently broken and no one bothers to go after the offenders most of the time...” Episodic enforcement interludes are what they're called in Point Arena. (Mr. Vince is hog-tied anyway, until he passes his new employee probationary period.)

To which I responded with another satirical tact altogether. “Well, then, can you look at it this way? Why then didn't the City advertise the one seat on Council to anyone outside the City limits who can grow their 700 lbs of pot, enabling them to afford not to hold down another source of employment while living within the City limits like the rest of us poor suckers without virtue of “economic development”. Then, with untaxed pot money generated outside the City limits, buy up three parcels of property – oddly all unlivable, unrentable and dilapidated buildings – but within the City limits nonetheless, most all of which generate little, if any tax revenue for the City of Point Arena? All without filing for ANY permits, let alone the proper California Coastal Commission development permits. Let's open it up and make it available to every elected seat – not just the one guy who lied and got away with it. The City should be offering the position to more than just that one liar who shouldn't even be voting in the City limits, - that's voter fraud - who loop-holed it with his illegal living address on his election papers, which is still enforceable by law. But you tell me following the law is optional according to the City of Point Arena? City Hall gets to decide with impunity who gets to break the law? Does City Council draw straws, or decide by personal preference, overlooking their “friends” entirely in facilitating avoidance of all permitting processes. That lack of equality in enforcement just sends more complaints to Grand Jury... once again - to referee inadequacies by the City of Point Arena, who should simply follow the law instead of bending it to the breaking point only for “friends of City Hall”.”

We also touched briefly on nepotism by Council, Planners and employees of the City. Apparent in the nepotism of the City's hired relatives, errr aaaa... employees, Jean Nadell, former County Counsel, now Judge, came to City Hall to educate Gualala's GMAC members, Point Arena City Planners and Councilpersons, regarding conflict of interest, informing that they couldn't be married or related, and sit on these boards or as employees, simultaneously. That's when Mr. Dahlhoff, the former Mayor's husband, negated and argued with Nadell, regardless of the law she quoted. See my point about Point Arena's entitled conflicted political mindset?

“You want a letter from the City saying the current Mayor's “true residence” is not even a legal live space? I have evidence of that on City letterhead provided by the fired City Clerk. Wanta see it?”

Koogles' Huntley House is not a legal live space, according to the City of Point Arena. Never was. Koogle is guilty of fraud, therefore, as he rented it under that falsity, to at least two renters as a legal live-work space, before moving into the building himself. Can't we legally open City Council seats in Point Arena to everyone, in or outside the City limits, since it already seems to be a kind of unspoken broken law, anyway? We might at least get a better chance at a qualified candidate interested in prioritizing more than just a skate park typically for, and narrowly used by one gender – adolescent males.”

I added that I didn't want to overburden Mr. Vince with re-annexation in his new job, but that would be the most sensible for a voter constituency languishing at 88 votes, under annual scrutiny by the Mendocino County Grand Jury. Re-annexation could open up the already stifled boundaries of “Pint” Arena from Iversen to Mountain View and up to Ten Mile from the Ocean – or, follow the fog bank. That might at least give us a voter population of a few thousand... a much larger tax base, not to mention maybe some folks who'd like to run for office with some business acumen. Point Arena has at least a dozen vacated, deconstructed buildings and/or business spaces presently; both residential and commercial – most absolutely uninhabitable, earning no taxable income for the City of Point Arena, with nowhere for a new constituency to live in a city not requiring building permits and/or improvements, beginning with its Councilpersons.

I advised Mr. Vince to get the City Hall locks changed or re-keyed to eliminate the extra subterfuge, after already having had the City's office records sacked for incineration since Fred Patten ran City Hall. Before searching for the Muni-Codes, I informed Mr. Vince that the office secretary, himself, and the emergency services director for the City (who it turns out, is also Mr. Vince), are suppose to be the only three designatees with keys to City Hall's office. Not even the Mayor or Councilpersons are to have keys to City Hall. He blew it off telling me the locks had been changed by the previous interim City Manager, Tyson. I then asked Mr. Vince if I could buy a copy of Chapters 14 through 18 of the City's Muni-Code.

We went into the inner office in search of the Muni-Code binder for chapters 14-18. We found that chapters 14 and 18 are missing. These are the specific chapters that relate to the other Grand Jury Complaint a few constituents are filing on one other of Point Arena's City Council members who, for the last four-plus years, has been living without proper sewer, water, dwelling, or permits; in violation of Point Arena land use issues on sensitive habitat, which qualifies most of Point Arena within the City limits.

“Hmmmm...” I said, “Look there. The pertinent Muni-Codes: missing. I'll be damned. ...and just the very chapters pertaining to your other illegally-lodged Councilperson's California Development Permit, residency, and land use issues living in that uninhabitable garage without City sewer hook-up down on Point Arena Creek!”

To which Mr. Phil Vince, new hire City Manager, responded, “You could be right about those keys.”

* * *

ESSENTIAL CHANGES AT KZYX

Editor,

Last Chance to Join/Renew at KZYX&Z, Be Eligible to Vote/Run in Spring Board Election

This Wednesday, December 31, is the deadline for becoming a member of KZYX&Z and being eligible to vote and/or run in next spring’s election for the board of directors. Many of us believe that new directors must be elected in order to bring about essential changes. Doug McKenty and I have committed to running for the At-Large and Fifth District seats, respectively. We are now looking for a candidate from the Second District, mainly the city of Ukiah. Members have until January 30 to decide if they want to run.

The last post, a legal/policy analysis, prompted suggestions that the changes be specified, with fewer words. Thus the following: Proposed Policy Changes for Mendocino County Public Broadcasting, aka KZYX&Z Programming:

A Program Advisory Council will be established, as required by the attached policy adopted by the Board of Directors in December 2008. Programmers will be provided adequate resources and support, with the least possible restrictions on freedom of expression, in order to maximize their creative energies. There will be freedom of communication between and among the Programmers, Staff, Management, Directors, Members, and the Public. Personnel: Authority for hiring and firing will be returned to the Board of Directors, as it was until 2006. The News Director will be a full-time position, independent of editorial control by Management. Any disciplinary action can be appealed to the Board of Directors. No one will be disciplined for expressing their opinion about the organization, though legal restrictions concerning offensive language and defamation of character will still apply.

Community Outreach: The General Manager, Program Director, News Director, and Station Engineer will attend all Board meetings. The Board And Staff will respond to questions and comments as time permits. The audio/video file of any meetings and/or outreach events will be posted on the website. The Community Advisory Board will be reconstituted so that it is independent and reflects the diversity of the listening community, with regular meetings that are open to the Public.

Members: Allow any Member to inspect and copy anx and alm records of MCPB/KZYX, other than confidential personnel records. Send written notice of the annual Membership Meeting to all Members with their ballot. Allow Members to put a Bylaw amendment on the annual ballot if they obtain the signatures of at least five percent (5%) of the Membership on a petition in support of the proposed amendment.

Directors: All policy decisions will be made by the Board of Directors. Directors will be given access to any and all information and documents. The duty of each director to oversee and!evaluate the operations of the organization will not be restricted.

All of these policy changes can be made by the Board of Directors. However, any of them could also be submitted to the Members for a vote as a bylaw amendment, which would bind any future boards if adopted. Attached are the current bylaws and policies of MCPB/KZYX, along with the lengthier legal/policy analysis previously posted. They and the proposed changes are the basis of future discussion.

Anyone interested in supporting these changes and/or running for a seat on the Board must be a member by December 31. Simple living memberships of $25 per year are still available, even though they are not publicized. The quickest way to join is by using the website donation page: http://kzyx.org/index.php/donate-or-join

MCPB is a membership-based organization dddicated to serving the entire community of Mendocino County and contiguous counties. The primary purpose of MCPB is to engage in providing high-quality, independent, community and public radio and other media products and services.

That is our mission, as stated in our bylaws 25 years ago. A membership nonprofit that operates a public community radio station with taxpayer money must be open and accessible. Otherwise it will defeat the efforts of generations who have sought to make the airwaves a resource for the people. And it will fail. Only by making essential changes can MCPB/KZYX achieve its best destiny, to be a shining city on the hill for a county, and a nation, that so desperately need one.

Dennis O'Brien, Ukiah

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