Mendocino County Today: Sunday, Jan 25, 2015

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PROBLEM-PLAGUED AS IT ALREADY IS, the collapse of a section of Willits Bypass concrete pour framing will undoubtedly grow into a bigger problem than it already is because there are some very serious cost, schedule, and liability implications as well as major doubts about the overall viability of the project.

THE BYPASS is being built on one of the most geologically unstable areas imaginable. Little Lake Valley is mostly loose fill accumulated over eons. Just last December during the heavy rains a large slope on the south end of the bypass which had recently been “stabilized,” slipped out, requiring emergency repairs. One lane of Highway 101 was closed and vehicles to be escorted through one-way traffic for several hours backing up traffic for miles.

WE SPENT a lot of time a couple of years ago looking at comparable viaduct projects on the West Coast. There aren’t very many, and most of them are of the “pre-cast” variety where finished segments are laid end-to-end, not the type which are built and poured into forms erected in place like the Willits Bypass.

VIADUCTS are quite rare these days, except when they are called “bridges.” But very few bridges are “cast-in-place.” They are generally made up of pre-fab reinforced segments installed by flat-bed and crane. So it looks like the viaduct section of the Willits Bypass is in many ways experimental (besides being anchored in loose aggregate soil).

WE DON'T KNOW WHY the Bypass designers called for the cast-in-place construction method — perhaps because they might have anticipated problems bringing huge pre-fab pieces to the final site and positioning them.

Bypass1

FROM THE INITIAL PICTURES of the collapse, it looks like the framing (or “falsework”) that is extended from one of the most recently built support piers (one in a chain of previously successfully elevated sections) simply collapsed from the enormous weight of the cement that was being poured into it.

EARLIER FRAMING PICTURES show the enormous amount of dense concrete was going into the elevated road bed. Imagine this same level of concrete being poured into frames 20 feet above the ground.

willits-bypass

THE COLLAPSE could be either a design problem or a construction problem — or both. It could also be that the concrete was too wet when it was poured and was therefore heavier than expected. (Hell, somebody could have even left a hose running!) Since the pictures show a significant amount of falsework and concrete leading up to the point of the collapse, we tend to think the problem was more likely construction-related than design-related, meaning the framing in the area of the collapse may have been poorly constructed, or weakened in some way, or the cement was too heavy or the materials were substandard.

I ONCE WORKED at an engineering outfit in San Jose (Engineered Systems Incorporated) back in the 80s. The engineers there put a sign on the wall next to the big office clock that said: “Blessed are those who do extremely precise calculations and then add a large fudge factor, for they shall be called design engineers.”

GOOD ENGINEERS build in a large safety (aka “fudge”) factor based on their own feel for the difficulties of the project and their level of experience. It’s possible that the Caltrans engineers (or maybe Flatiron engineers if they designed their own “falsework”) didn’t overdesign the falsework enough to handle a wide enough range of construction variables. But proving that would be hard.

IF THE COLLAPSE is construction related, as appears more likely at this point, then technically, it’s a matter of figuring out what was done wrong and fixing it for the rest of the construction of the viaduct.

BUT MAJOR QUESTIONS REMAIN.

IF THE COLLAPSE WAS CONSTRUCTION RELATED will the contractor cover the cost? Will insurance cover the cost? Will more taxpayer dollars be required? Will there be environmental remediation required (at more cost)? Did the contractor procure substandard materials that cannot be used for the rest of the job and have to be replaced? Were corners cut anywhere along the way — design or construction — in an attempt to lower costs? How long will the project be delayed, and what will be the additional cost of restarting and completing at a later date?

GIVEN THE REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT in California these days, even if the problem turns out to be the least difficult to solve, it will still be slow and very difficult to get the project going again — if it gets going again. If it turns out that there’s a much more serious problem (like fundamental design flaws), the Willits Bypass may have to be converted to a piece of construction art as a monument to 21st Century stupidity.

(— Mark Scaramella)

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ON-LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY by Robert Dryer:

Caltrans tricked, lied and deceived the entire community with this bypass scam. First they claimed the bypass was needed, their own studies have been proven false and incorrect. They claimed the bypass would bring jobs to town, funny thing no Mendocino Locals are working on this project, just migrant Spanish workers from Sonoma, they claimed it would "improve salmon habitat", just another lie and scam as millions of gallons of High PH concrete just dumped into the Eel River from their faulty design and framework. Caltrans claimed it would cost $200 million, the cost over runs have ran nearly 50% already, that was before this major engineering mistake. Caltrans said they would protect archaeological sites, then they went and purposefully and deceitfully destroyed a numbered and known archaeological Pomo Village Complex... " “Caltrans has discovered that one of 
the sites” – CA-MEN-3571 – “is actually located within the area of 
direct impact” of the Little Lake Valley project. “As you know,” the 
notice continues, “wick drains have been installed in that area and 3 
feet of fill has been placed.”

The 
exact location of CA-MEN-3571 and specific descriptions of cultural 
resources found there and at other known archaeological sites – 
discovered before and after construction started in the bypass area – is 
not public information. Federal and state law keeps this information 
confidential due to the potential for theft or vandalism.

According to the tribe’s statement, 
CA-MEN-3571 was identified by Caltrans in 2011, during archaeological 
investigations of the area, as part of the bypass footprint’s “area of 
potential effects,” but: “later, in 2012, Caltrans claimed that changes 
for the project (i.e., changes to the bypass route) resulted in the site
 no longer being located in the project footprint.”

“However,” the statement from the tribe 
continues: “Caltrans has just confirmed that the site does indeed exist 
within the project and has, over the last four months, been severely 
impacted by the removal of topsoil and the installation of 1400-1500 
wick drains. What little, if anything, remains of CA-MEN-3571 is now 
inundated with 3 feet of fill.”

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ANOTHER ON-LINE COMMENT by a “codger” who claims to have been a construction equipment supplier to Caltrans in the past:

“Remember there is a lot of bid rigging and handing out contracts for rock and concrete to companies which are personal friends of some of Caltrans Brass. The concrete is bought from large construction firms where there are ‘kickbacks’ from the Concrete Companies to Caltrans Brass for awarding them the Government Contracts… ‘Give me the contract, and I will give you a cut of the money…’ Deceit, lies, and theft, all part of the Culture at Caltrans…”

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DID NAKED HIPPIE WOO-WOO BRING DOWN THE WILLITS BYPASS?

Photograph © 2013 Jack Gescheidt, TreeSpiritProject.com, March 23, 2013, Willits Valley, CA
Photograph © 2013 Jack Gescheidt, TreeSpiritProject.com

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A READER WRITES: The City of Ukiah should get off its ass, condemn the Palace before somebody gets killed and build a two or three level parking garage with the new (unnecessary) judges’ penthouse on top of it. Sure would make it easier on the peons left behind at the old courthouse. Close off Perkins and Standley Streets from School to State and make the whole area user friendly. It probably would cost a lot less than what's being planned now. Just a thought.

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RONALD LEVOY SCHRYER

RonSchryerRonald LeVoy Schryer passed away on 23 December 2014 and is survived by his first wife, Bonnie Louise Barnes and his 2 sons, retired USAF MSgt Keven LeVoy Barnes and his wife, Julie Christine Barnes, and their 2 children, Danielle Louise Barnes (now Falk with a great granddaughter Delany) and a grandson Nicholas Alexander Barnes. Ronald has a son Danial Allen Schryer and 2 grandaughters Jeanie and Casey by Dan's marriage to Lori H. Schryer. Ronald is also survived by his domestic partner, Xenia King, who Ronald separated from in 1998. Ronald has 2 step-daughters, Nichole King ( married Newman) and Erin King who are the daughters of Xenia King and Sean King (who Xenia previously divorced). Ronald Schryer is pre-deceased by his father, Hubert LeVoy Schryer (Studebaker clay-modeler) and Theda Schryer. Ronald also had a sister Vonnie Hering and she survives Ronald along with Vonnie and Bruce Hering's children Diane Hering, Ellen Springwater and Alicia Garcia, and their children.

Ronald loved his his family, hunting, camping, building his home, and, playing chess, and exploring the American Southwest . Ronald loved all kinds of music and enjoyed sharing that with KPFA show hosts and said of KPFA, " The true news, the music, the readings, the special programs - they help keep sanity at least; they also inspire thoughts and acts that overwise would likely never occur here in Anderson Valley, Mendocino County. Thank you. " https://archive.org/stream/kpfafoliojan84paci/kpfafoliojan84paci_djvu.txt

Ronald loved to travel and especially loved his friendship with Bruce Hering who did follow Ronald to the ends of the earth - Boonville. Ronald and Bruce had many shared values and goals - some of which they contributed to to give Boonville, Anderson Valley and California a legacy which will live on.

Ronald loved dogs all of his life and Abby and Kaiyah and enjoyed their loyal companionship, and was especially fond of the McNab breed who he was proud to say was one fine sheep dog and was happy to show us Abby's ability to hold down a spoon and licking peanut butter off.

Ronald grew up helping his father in his father's auto body and repair shop, chasing parts, relining brakes, before a tragic fire that led to his father going to work for Studebaker under the designer Raymond Lowey. Ronald was proud of his father's clay-modeling work on the Studebaker Silverhawk, Goldenhawk and the Avanti. Ronald craftsmanship, eye for detail and appreciation of quality workmanship came from his father — LeVoy.

Ronald attended Purdue University and was in the ROTC while studying engineering, before heading West to attend Oregon State University and majoring in English. It was there that he married Bonnie Louise Dibblee and had 2 sons, Keven LeVoy and Daniel Allen Schryer. He enjoyed a teaching career in the Bay Area before settling into Boonville.

You will be greatly missed, Ronald. Your son — Keven

— Keven L. Barnes CEO (USAF) Ret.

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THE MAN behind history's greatest Ponzi scheme says he's in greater pain than his victims. Bernie Madoff emailed NBC News to say the pain he caused so many is "nothing" to the pain he suffers from losing his children. “As difficult as it is for me to live with the pain I have inflicted on so many, there is nothing to compare with the degree of pain I endure with the loss of my son’s Mark and Andy.” Mark committed suicide in 2010, 46, two years after his father’s arrest. Andy, 48, died last September while battling cancer. “I live with the knowledge that they never forgave me for betraying their love and trust.”

There are a lot bigger crooks than Madoff on Wall Street. After all, and as many people have pointed out, Bernie only ripped off other rich people, rich people who didn't wonder why he always returned ten percent no matter what. Hard to find much sympathy for his vics, and the fact that he got away with it for so long is a good demonstration of how loosely supervised the money markets are. Of course people like Jamie Dimon ripped off everyone in the country and are celebrated to this day.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, Jan 24, 2015

Adams, Anderson, Berry, Fabian
Adams, Anderson, Berry, Fabian

MIRANDA ADAMS, Ukiah. Domestic assault.

JAMES ANDERSON, Willits. Drunk in public, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

CHRISTOPHER BERRY, Cleone. DUI.

MICHELLE FABIAN, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

Garcia, Johnson, Lopez, Morgan
Garcia, Johnson, Lopez, Morgan

DANIEL GARCIA, Covelo. DUI, misdemeanor hit&run, driving without a license, false report of vehicle theft, false information to police officer.

EDWARD JOHNSON, Ukiah. Probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

PHILLIP LOPEZ, Ukiah. Parole violation, resisting arrest.

DORRA MORGAN, Ukiah. Possession of controlled substance, possession of marijuana/hashish.

Overholt, Rickman, Sanders, Stanton
Overholt, Rickman, Sanders, Stanton

MICHAEL OVERHOLT, Laytonville. Probation revocation.

TERRI RICKMAN, Philo. Failure to appear, probation revocation.

THOMAS SANDERS, Willits. Drunk in public, resisting arrest.

KELLY STANTON, Ukiah. Driving on suspended license.

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‘BANNER YEAR’ FOR HUMCO TOURISM

by Daniel Mintz

The director of the county’s tourism promotion agency has reported that last year was “a banner year,” with bed tax collection increasing by 11.6 percent.

The Board of Supervisors fielded an annual report from the Humboldt Convention and Visitors Bureau at its Jan. 20 meeting. Bureau Director Tony Smithers said Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) revenue, which is culled from fees added to nightly hotel room rates, rose significantly in the last fiscal year, which ended in June.

The trend has continued into the first three months of the current fiscal year, said Smithers, with countywide TOT collection rising by 10.8 percent.

The TOT revenue goes to city and county governments and a portion of it funds the bureau’s tourism marketing work. Smithers said the bureau’s website, its presence at trade shows and its coordination of print and online media reporting have helped raise the county’s profile among potential visitors.

This year, the bureau “bit the bullet” and pledged financial support for an effort that could make Humboldt more accessible to travelers – raising money for a revenue guarantee to help recruit a new airline to the county’s main airport.

Smithers said the bureau has committed to coordinating $500,000 in contributions over the next two years, with half of it coming out of its own budget. This year, the bureau’s $100,000 contingency fund is “in the pot,” he continued, and another $25,000 will be extracted from its operating budget.

Travel to trade shows and conferences has been cut and “of course next year, when we don’t have that contingency reserve, we’ll have to do some real belt-tightening,” Smithers said.

He added, “We’ll come back and get your input on what we should and shouldn’t be doing.”

Aside from redwoods, one of the county’s most widely-known attributes is marijuana. When Supervisor Rex Bohn asked whether marijuana-related tourism will be promoted, Smithers initially joked about it.

“Do you want to take a tour on the canni-bus?” he asked.

He said marijuana tourism is actually in a discussion phase among the bureau’s board members but “we do not have our marching orders to explore this particular market yet.”

Smithers acknowledged that there’s a lot of speculation on Humboldt becoming the “next Napa Valley” for marijuana and “there are people out there who have business plans written and they’re getting into this business whether you or the bureau like it or not.”

If marijuana becomes more of a tourist attraction, it will be considered for marketing, Smithers said. “My issue has always been we’re a family destination and how do we play those two things off against one another,” he continued. “We’ve have to be very careful with it.”

Also at the meeting, supervisors unanimously approved a resolution that offers the state a portion of the gravel lot next to the county courthouse in Eureka for construction of new courtrooms.

The resolution notes that there’s a shortage of courtroom space. Whether or not the state is open to the offer won’t be known until sometime next year, when the state enters a new budget cycle.

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WE HAVE REACHED AN AGE where college students expect to drive between classes, where parents will get in a car and drive three blocks to pick up their children from a friend's house, where the mailman takes his van up and down every driveway on a street. We will go through the most extraordinary contortions to save ourselves 20 feet of walking.

— Bill Bryson

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ERNIE ‘MR. CUB’ BANKS DEAD AT 83

Hall of Fame slugger Ernie Banks, the two-time MVP who never lost his boundless enthusiasm for baseball despite years of playing on losing Chicago Cubs teams, died Friday night. He was 83.

The Cubs announced Banks' death, but did not provide a cause.

Banks

“Mr. Cub” hit 512 home runs during his 19-year career, including five seasons with 40 or more.

He was fond of saying, “It's a great day for baseball. Let's play two!” That remains a catchphrase at Wrigley Field to this day.

“Approachable, ever optimistic and kind hearted, Ernie Banks is and always will be Mr. Cub. My family and I grieve the loss of such a great and good-hearted man, but we look forward to celebrating Ernie's life in the days ahead,” said Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts.

Though he was an 11-time All-Star from 1953-71, Banks never reached the postseason, and the Cubs finished below .500 in all but six of his 19 seasons.

Still, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1977, the first year he was eligible, and selected to baseball's All-Century team in 1999.

Banks’ infectious smile and non-stop good humor despite his team's dismal record endeared him to Chicago fans, who voted him the best player in franchise history.

Banks' No. 14 was the first number retired by the Cubs, and hangs from the left-field foul pole at Wrigley Field.

'I'd like to get to the last game of the World Series at Wrigley Field and hit three homers,” he once said. “That was what I always wanted to do.”

Banks was playing for the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro Leagues when the Cubs discovered him in 1953, and purchased his contract for $10,000. He made his major league debut at shortstop on Sept. 17 that year, and three days later hit his first home run.

Tall and thin, Banks didn't look like a typical power hitter. He looked even less so as he stood at the plate, holding his bat high and wiggling it as he waited for pitches. But he had strong wrists and a smooth, quick stroke, and he made hitting balls out of the park look effortless.

When he switched to a lighter bat before the 1955 season, his power quickly became apparent. He hit 44 homers that season, including three against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Aug. 4. His five grand slams that year established a major league record that stood for more than 30 years before Don Mattingly hit six in 1987.

Banks' best season came in 1958, when he hit .313 with 47 homers and 129 RBIs. Though the Cubs went 72-82 and finished sixth in the National League, Banks edged Willie Mays and Hank Aaron for his first MVP award. He was the first player from a losing team to win the NL MVP.

Banks won the MVP again in 1959, becoming the first NL player to win it in consecutive years, even though the Cubs had another dismal year. Banks hit .304 with 45 homers and a league-leading 143 RBIs.

He led the NL in homers again in 1960 with 41, his fourth straight season with 40 or more. His 248 homers from 1955-60 were the most in the majors, topping even Aaron and Mays.

Though Banks didn't break the 40-homer barrier again after 1960, he topped the 100-RBI mark three more times, including 1969, his last full season. Then 38, he hit .253 with 23 home runs and 106 RBIs, and was chosen an All-Star for an 11th time.

On May 12, 1970, he hit his 500th home run, becoming only the eighth player at the time to reach the plateau.

Banks retired after the 1971 season. He owned most of the Cubs' career slugging records, some of which still stand today.

Known mostly for his power at the plate, Banks was a solid fielder, too. He is best known as a shortstop, where he won a Gold Glove in 1960, but he switched to first base in 1962. He played 1,259 games at first and 1,125 games at shortstop.

Born and raised in Dallas, Banks would be bribed to play catch by his father, who always wanted him to be a baseball player. Banks grew to love the game and was a standout in high school, along with participating in football, basketball and track and field.

He joined a barnstorming Negro Leagues team at 17 and was spotted by Cool Papa Bell, who signed him to the Monarchs in 1950. Banks played one season before going into the Army.

He returned to Kansas City after he was discharged, playing one more season before joining the Cubs.

Starting while still as a player in 1967, Ernie turned his eye to coaching and served in that role through 1973, becoming the first African American to manage a major league team on May 8, 1973 when he took over for the ejected Whitey Lockman.

In 2013, Banks was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, an award given to those who have made an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.

(Courtesy, the Associated Press)

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A TALE OF TWO DICKS

Dear Editor,

You probably noticed that among the macabre curiosities bounding up the walk these days is the poetic similarity between the names of Ricardo Chaney and Dick Cheney. The little irony of it is somewhat less than amusing. The former, a drug-crazed wacko gone 5150, killing a couple folks and crossing state lines in the process, was promptly stopped dead in a firefight with law enforcement. Condolences have been expressed and still are for the victims of this Chaney's rampage, as well as praise and recognition for the Fort Bragg Peace Officers' professional response and sacrifice; big kudos to the cops for this one. So, what's up with this other Dick? The other Cheney hasn't even been brought in for questioning.

The Other Dick, himself a former Number Two Law Enforcement Officer of the entire United States, has publicly confessed his endorsement of torture as an implement of U.S. policy. This admission was reinforced with his declaration that he'd do it all again '...in a minute...' It must not go without saying that cruel and unusual punishments have no place in the American system of Justice, especially when such mistreatment is administered upon those detained without warrant, i.e., illegally, i.e., kidnapped. We conclude, then, that Justice was certainly not among the 'objectives' Mr. Cheney had in view to be gained by kidnapping and torturing folks for No Good Reason. The assertion that this is the best he can come up with in the way of advancing American interests is, dare I say it, nuts. Mr. Cheney's manifest mental disorders, unlike the late Mr. Chaney's, are less attributable to pharmaceuticals, whatever his personal medications, than to his isolation from reality by the Wall of Money. Nobody in their right mind would act the way this ghoul does. And nobody anywhere would behave so among an alert populace for very long. So, why is this creep still walking about in public? The numbers of those his 'policies' have killed and maimed and ruined make the toll of any tweakers' berserking seem silly, miniscule by comparison.

Where is our alert populace? Gone missing? Where are the Law Enforcement folks appropriate for bringing this jerk to Justice? AWOL? What do you get when you're in the habit of voting for the Lesser of Two Evils, then looking the other way, over and over for decades, each time expecting anything good to come of it? You get what we've got: A somnambulant population, a cadre of 'public servants' gone renegade in the service of the Corpirations, and a biosphere exploited nearly to death, and counting.

Cheney and the rest of the deranged assholes like him in High Places need to be put so far back in Federal penitentiaries it'd take fifty bucks to send 'em a postcard. In the absence of functional mechanisms to do just that, about all we've got to look forward to is more Bang and Whimper, briefly. I, for one, am just not equipped to put up with this. We - you and I - need to look into this functional mechanisms deal, and be quick about it.

Quite sincerely,

Rick Weddle, Hawaii

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THE HIPPIES CAUSED THE COLLAPSE

Editor,

Oh my God, what an incredible catastrophe the other day on the Willits bypass construction project! My heart goes out to those workers injured in the spectacular collapse and their families; let's all hope for a full and quick recovery from their injuries.

I also grieve for the many workers, from the engineers who drew up the plans for the span, through all the skilled tradespeople, to the lowliest laborer on the job, all of whom must be in shock over how suddenly all their skills, work and efforts had turned into a giant heap of trash before their eyes.

No doubt there will be a long investigation into exactly what caused the collapse, but let us hope that whatever agency is tasked with doing that study will have the good sense to allow the debris to be removed as soon as possible, while the concrete is still fresh, rather than delaying it until it's removal comes an enormous additional job that will have to be broken up with jackhammers.

One odd fact caught my attention in the initial reporting of the collapse; that the formwork had been built for months! I wonder why it took so long to get around to pouring the concrete? I will not be at all surprised if it is determined that the months of delay (while the support structure may have been undermined by all the rain) were the result of one meddlesome legal challenge or another; there have been so many!

Sometimes it seems like the regulatory burdens that have to be overcome to build even something that is obviously in the public interest, makes me wonder how anything ever gets built in this state!

Sincerely, John Arteaga, Ukiah

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LEAK TRIAL SHOWS CIA ZEAL TO HIDE INCOMPETENCE

By Norman Solomon

Six days of testimony at the trial of former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling have proven the agency’s obsession with proclaiming its competence. Many of the two-dozen witnesses from the Central Intelligence Agency conveyed smoldering resentment that a whistleblower or journalist might depict the institution as a bungling outfit unworthy of its middle name.

Some witnesses seemed to put Sterling and journalist James Risen roughly in the same nefarious category — Sterling for allegedly leaking classified information that put the CIA in a bad light, and Risen for reporting it. Muffled CIA anger was audible, coming from the witness stand, a seat filled by people claiming to view any aspersions on the CIA to be baseless calumnies.

Other than court employees, attorneys and jurors, only a few people sat through virtually the entire trial. As one of them, I can say that the transcript of USA v. Jeffrey Alexander Sterling should be mined for countless slick and clumsy maneuvers by government witnesses to obscure an emerging picture of CIA recklessness, dishonesty and ineptitude.

Consider, for example, the testimony of David Shedd, who was chief of operations for the CIA’s Counterproliferation Division when Sterling was a case officer at the turn of the century. On the stand, Shedd presented himself as superbly savvy about Operation Merlin. He’d met with the head prosecutor three times to prepare for testifying. Yet, as a witness, Shedd turned out to be stunningly ignorant about the only CIA operation at issue in the trial.

Like other CIA witnesses, Shedd testified in no uncertain terms that Operation Merlin — executed to give a flawed nuclear weapon design to the Iranian government — was expertly planned and then well implemented in 2000. But his testimony included a key statement that was a fundamentally incorrect version of what happened.

In reality, as Risen reported in his book State of War, and as all other accounts affirmed in the courtroom, the Russian scientist working for the CIA carried the nuclear diagram to Vienna — and left it in a mailbox at the Iranian mission office without ever speaking with anyone there. But Shedd flatly testified that the scientist had met with someone in Iran when delivering the diagram.

Shedd’s authoritative demeanor about Operation Merlin was matched by the incongruous immensity of his error. He had preened himself on the stand as someone who had been the ultra-adept overseer of Operation Merlin, as the direct supervisor of the man (“Bob S,” who testified behind a screen) in charge of that CIA program — touted in court as one of the most vitally important in the agency’s modern era.

As much as anything else, the CIA witnesses at the trial seemed offended by Risen’s characterization of Operation Merlin as ill-conceived, poorly executed and reckless. Along with the usual abhorrence of classified leaks (at least the ones unapproved by the agency’s leaders), the testifying CIA officials and case officers were in firm denial that the Merlin operation was screwed up. I got the impression that most would much rather be considered ruthless or even cruel than incompetent.

The subject of competence is a sore spot for career CIA employees proud of their hard-boiled affects. From their vantage points, it can’t be expunged by dismissing critics as impractical idealists and bleeding hearts merely concerned with the morality of drones, torture or renditions.

Jeffrey Sterling has continued to deny the charges that he was a source for Risen’s book. But no one disputes that Sterling went through channels in 2003 to alert the Senate Intelligence Committee staff to his concerns about Operation Merlin.

The first full day of jury deliberations in this historic leak trial is set for Friday. If Sterling goes to prison, a major reason will be that the CIA leadership is angry about being portrayed as an intelligence gang that can’t shoot straight. The government cannot imprison Risen the journalist, but it may be on the verge of imprisoning Sterling the whistleblower.

Based on the evidence, it would be delusional to think of the CIA as a place run by straight shooters.

(Norman Solomon is the executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy and the author of War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death. He is a co-founder of RootsAction.org. This article was originally published by ExposeFacts.org.)

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NO PROBLEM, JEZ!

FINAL PSA BAY MENDO CULTURAL EXCHANGE

I am hoping to submit a revised version of this press release. I made a mistake and copied in an extra paragraph in the version I sent you Friday. Hope this can be run.

Best. Jez

FINAL PSA BAY MENDO CULTURAL EXCHANGE

Hello again. I submitted this Friday for a group I'm involved with. I accidentally inserted an extra paragraph. Oh my! So I am resenting in hopes you could run this version? Thanks for considering this request.

Jez Anderson

BAY MENDO EXCHANGE CONFERENCE

From January 30th through Feb 1st, the Mendocino Coast will be the site of the Bay-Mendo Communal Exchange Gathering Conference. In part, the conference will help to connect musicians, artists, poets and creative people from the Bay Area with those based on the coast.

The Bay-Mendo Communal Exchange Gathering will kick off efforts by an eclectic and diverse group of musicians, artists, poets and creative people to establish the Bay-Mendo Cultural Corridor.

The Bay-Mendo Communal Exchange Gathering Conference will include a show, conference sessions and get togethers sponsored by the Intergalactic Black Hippie Alliance, The Fall Mountain Music Collective, Rainshine Unlimited and others. The key event on Saturday evening will feature live music, DJ music, art, educational and promotional presentations and scmoozability. One of the goals of the conference is to include cultural sharing, and to celebrate diversity. Activities include tours of the local area and a Black History Beach Party on Sunday in Elk.

The conference is being organized by volunteers from the Mendocino Coast and the Bay Area. Community participation is welcomed. For more information contact Zappa Montag at 707.357.0073.

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LIBRARY ACTIVITIES & SERVICES

Four Schillings Short performing “Around the World in 30 Instruments” Free educational family concerts

Back by Popular Demand! Four Shillings Short, the husband/wife duo of Aodh Og O’Tuama from Cork, Ireland and Christy Martin from California, perform Traditional and Original music from the Celtic lands, Medieval & Renaissance Europe, India and the Americas on a fantastic array of instruments (over 30) including Hammered & Mountain Dulcimer, Mandolin, Mandola, Bouzouki, Tinwhistles, Recorders, Medieval and Renaissance Woodwinds, North Indian Sitar, Charango, Bowed Psaltery, Banjo, Bodhran, Guitar, Percussion, vocals and even a Krumhorn.

Four Schillings Short will be performing three free concerts at various library branches. The concert schedule is as follows:

  • Fort Bragg Library, 499 Laurel Street, Fort Bragg
    Wednesday, February 18, 2015 4:30 to 6:00 PM
  • Round Valley Library, 23925 Howard Street, Covelo
    Thursday, February 19, 2015 7:00 to 8:00 PM
  • Ukiah Library, 105 North Main Street, Ukiah
    Sunday, February 22, 2015 2:00 to 3:30 PM

* * *

IRS Announces Limited Selection Of Federal Tax Forms Available At Public Libraries.

Because Congress significantly cut IRS funding in the 2015 Omnibus Appropriations Bill, the IRS will provide libraries with only the following forms:

  • Forms 1040, 1040A and 1040EZ
  • One copy only of Publication 17, Instructions for 1040 forms
  • Publication 1132, Reproducible Copies of Forms and Instructions
  • Publication 4604, Use the Web for IRS Tax Products & Information

No other forms or publications will be available through public libraries

You can obtain tax forms by:

Ordering forms to be delivered by mail:
http://www.irs.gov/orderforms
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8 Responses to "Mendocino County Today: Sunday, Jan 25, 2015"

  1. Jim Updegraff   January 25, 2015 at 8:39 am

    Years ago when I used to come to Ukiah on business the Palace Hotel was a dump. It’s amazing the city hasn’t done anything about this firetrap except stick their head in the sand.

    Jim Updegraff

    Reply
  2. Harvey Reading   January 25, 2015 at 9:10 am

    Remember, back in the 80s and 90s, that stretch of I-5, from just north of Sac, to about Corning, was constantly being repaved? The number 2 (right) lane was constantly in a poor state of repair, making it not unusual to make the entire trip in the number 1 lane. Either graft was involved, or contractor malfeasance with the inspectors failing to be on the ball, or the designers didn’t take into proper account the effects on the roadway of the heavy truck traffic, trucks being confined to the number 2 lane, except when passing. I sometimes wonder if the problem was ever corrected, not having traveled CA roads for over 13 years now.

    Reply
  3. Michael Slaughter   January 25, 2015 at 11:29 am

    Some years ago, when the battle lines were drawn regarding the now-completed tunnel just south of Pacifica, I asked Warren Hinckle a couple of questions.

    1. Why is Quentin Kopp opposed to the tunnel (and in favor of a superhighway kind of solution)?

    2. Why is CalTrans opposed to the tunnel?

    His responses:

    1. Re Kopp: The monster owns property down there. More traffic will make the property worth more.

    2. Re CalTrans: The bribes are already paid and it’s too late to change them.

    Reply
  4. Bill Pilgrim   January 25, 2015 at 12:51 pm

    RE: The Great Orange Collapse. Come on, Mr. Arteaga, are you suggesting the legal challenge and demonstration delays somehow caused all the shoring and bracing to weaken? That kind of framework is built to last for months before and after cement pours. Magical thinking.
    The curse of the desecrated Pomo ancestors is therefore just as plausible

    Reply
  5. Jim Updegraff   January 25, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    My wife went to the local IRS to get 1099 forms (duplicate forms which you can’t get by computer) and was told you have to go to Staple or one of the big office supply companies to buy what you need. I will withhold my comment since it consists of a number of 4 letter words.

    Reply
    • Harvey Reading   January 26, 2015 at 9:51 am

      Life under the new fascism. Government is responsive only to business interests. The rest of us don’t count, except as cannon fodder.

      Reply
  6. Stephen Rosenthal   January 25, 2015 at 9:13 pm

    Thanks for posting the AP story on the passing of Ernie Banks. Despite many years removed from Chicago, I was deeply saddened upon learning of his death. He was a boyhood hero of mine, one of three Chicagoans held in high esteem – the others being Mayor Daley and Mike Royko – by those of us who lived in Chicago during those times. An odd triumvirate, to be sure, but integral to the pulse of the city. Along with my mother I spent many a beautiful summer day (before the unfortunate addition of lights) in the Wrigley Field grandstands (and sometimes sneaking down to the box seats when the ushers weren’t looking) cheering futilely for the Cubbies but marveling at the grace of Mr. Cub. Together with teammates Ron Santo and sweet swinging Billy Williams (I still have the foul ball I caught off of his bat), Ernie never failed to provide a moment of pure bliss for this youngster at some point during every game I attended. I know it’s a cliche, but Ernie was a better person than a baseball player, and he was a helluva ball player. A truly beloved citizen of Chicago and one of the greatest ambassadors of baseball the way it was meant to be played, he will be missed by many but live in our hearts forever.

    Reply
  7. Keven LeVoy Barnes   January 26, 2015 at 5:34 am

    Thank you Bruce Anderson for running this for my father Ronald LeVoy Schryer. He really loved your newspaper, Anderson Valley, Boonville, and Mendocino County.

    Thank you Bruce,

    Keven LeVoy Barnes

    Reply

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