- Bill McEwen
- Mendo Pork Feed
- Cops Oppose New Courthouse
- Irrational Numbskulling
- Epic Drought
- Star System
- Meth Mistrial
- Catch o'the Day
- Oppose the Strip-mall
- Parole Denied
- HumCo Sheriff's Pay
- Big Conservation
- CIA Restructuring
BILL MCEWEN has died. A long-time resident of Philo, Bill, 63, was well-known in the Anderson Valley for his quiet commitment to family and friends. Most recently, Bill, a skilled farmer himself, managed Anderson Valley's popular Farmer's Market. Suffering from cancer for some time, Bill was able to die at home on March 11th surrounded by his family. He is survived by his wife, Bebing McEwen, their daughters Orianne and Shekina McEwen, and his sons from a previous marriage: Isaac, Jesse, Josh and Lee. Memorial services will take place in Boonville on Saturday, March 21st, with a closed-casket viewing at the Apple Hall at 2pm, burial at Evergreen Cemetery at 3pm, followed by a potluck memorial gathering at the Apple Hall at 4pm.
MENDO'S ANNUAL PORK FEED
THE COUNTY'S 13-page list of personal services contracts, about 75 per page, from 2013 through now. We're surprised there are so many of them, and will highlight the more suspicious ones when we've had a chance to go through them all.
COPS OPPOSE NEW COURTHOUSE
It's important to note that the Mendocino County Deputy Sheriff's Association, a group one would assume would be supportive of a new courthouse, in fact opposes the project. While we agree with Judge Nelson's concerns about access and security, the proposed solution, a structure purported to cost over $100 million, is both wildly extravagant and totally inappropriate given the multitude of challenges facing the local criminal justice system. Vast areas of the County enjoy little or no law enforcement coverage. Local law enforcement agencies cannot attract and retain qualified personnel. Chronic overcrowding at the county jail results in the daily release of dangerous criminals and repeat offenders, undermines the effectiveness of local probation and rehabilitation efforts, and leads to increased crime, all at the expense of the law abiding citizens of Mendocino County. These are real issues that should be the focus of government at all levels.
And as if that weren't bad enough, abandoning the existing facility will, without a doubt, harm existing downtown businesses and shift responsibility for the existing building from the State of California to the County of Mendocino, an entity ill-equipped, financially or otherwise, to shoulder that burden.
The Mendocino County Deputy Sheriff's Association believes reasonable upgrades to the existing courthouse could be accomplished at a fraction of the cost. The new facility advocated by some represents an unwarranted expenditure and, should it be built, will stand for decades as a monument to poor public policy.
Sincerely, Craig Walker, Deputy Sheriff
President, Mendocino County Deputy Sheriff’s Association.
MODERN EDUCATION (and modern journalism) — Santa Rosa Press Democrat, 3/14/15: “Students at Santa Rosa Middle School on Friday got a head start on Saturday’s Pi Day. As part of “Approximately Pi Day,” students paid to throw pies at their math teachers. Pi Day, usually a once-in-a-year calendar event, this time has a once-in-a-century twist. Today is 3-14-15, the first five digits of the mathematical constant pi: 3.141592653. The sequence won’t occur again until March 2115. The Petaluma Pie Company is among bakeries to capitalize in recent years on the quirky holiday. Pi, an irrational number, is used to calculate the area and circumference of a circle.”
CALIFORNIA HAS ABOUT ONE YEAR OF WATER LEFT.
CULTURE NOTES: Best new poem I've read in a long time, and please note the artful rhyme scheme, Mendo poets, and discover that prose arrayed vertically on the page is not necessarily a poem:
* * *
by Clive James
The stars in their magnificent array
Look down upon the Earth, their cynosure,
Or so it seems. They are too far away,
In fact, to see a thing; hence they look pure
To us. They lack the textures of our globe,
So only we, from cameras carried high,
Enjoy the beauty of the swirling robe
That wraps us up, the interplay of sky
And cloud, as if a Wedgewood plate of blue
And white should melt, and then, its surface stirred
With spoons, a treasure too good to be true,
Be placed, and hover like a hummingbird,
Drawing all eyes, though ours alone, to feast
On splendor as it turns west from the East.
There was a time when some of our young men
Walked plumply on the moon and saw Earth rise,
As stunning as the sun. The years since then
Have aged them. Now and then somebody dies.
It's like a clock, for those of us who saw
The Saturn rockets going up as if
Mankind had energy to burn. The law
Is different for one man. Time is a cliff
You come to in the dark. Though you might fall
As easily as on a feather bed,
It is a sad farewell. You loved it all.
You dream that you might keep it in your head.
But memories, where can you take them to?
Take one last look at them. They end with you.
And still the Earth revolves, and still the blaze
Of stars maintains a show of vigilance.
It should, for long ago, in olden days,
We came from there. By luck, by fate, by chance,
All of the elements that form the world
Were sent by cataclysms deep in space,
And from their combination life unfurled
And stood up straight, and wore a human face.
I still can't pass a mirror. Like a boy,
I check my looks, and now I see the shell
Of what I was. So why, then, this strange joy?
Perhaps an old man dying would do well
To smile as he rejoins the cosmic dust
Life comes from, for resign himself he must.
UKIAH, MARCH 13. -- JURY TRIAL RESULT: Friday the 13th has struck! A mistrial was declared this afternoon after a Department B jury returned from its deliberations saying it was not going to be able to reach a unanimous decision on the single felony count it had been asked to decide. Melvin Martinez, age 22, of Ukiah, is charged with possession of 128 grams of methamphetamine with intent to sell. When questioned by Judge Behnke, the jury foreperson reported the jury was hopelessly deadlocked at 10 for guilt to 2.
It is very likely that this matter will be set for retrial after the standard review by senior prosecutors next week. The prosecutor who presented the People's evidence at trial was Deputy District Attorney Daniel Madow. The investigating law enforcement agencies were the Ukiah Police Department and the Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force. (District Attorney Press Release)
* * *
(Original Sheriff’s Press Release)
On September 10th Ukiah Police Officers assisted the Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force with the service of several search warrants in the Ukiah City Limits. A search of a residence and vehicles in the 800 block of Yosemite Drive revealed over 4 ounces of methamphetamine in separate packing hidden and secreted within a vehicle, and over $35,000 in US Currency was located in multiple locations within the residence. It was determined the methamphetamine was possessed by 23 year old Melvin Martinez, and he was arrested at the scene for possessing methamphetamine for sale. A search was also performed at a residence in the 1300 block of South State Street, and the business at 1360 South State Street. Inside the residence officers located over 1.5 ounces of methamphetamine in packages of various weights, along with packaging, scales, and other items commonly used in the sales of drugs. Also located was a firearm, ammunition, body armor, and various forms of gang indicia. Inside the business officers located additional items used to sell drugs, and over 10 ounces of marijuana. Officers arrested 34 year old Luis Geraldo Rodriguez at the scene for possessing methamphetamine for sale, being armed in the commission of a felony, possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon, and criminal street gang association. The US Currency was seized pursuant to State Asset Seizure laws. All locations and suspects are believed to be associated with one another and the case remains under investigation.
CATCH OF THE DAY, Mar 14, 2015
ANTHONY ABO-DECRESPO, Leesport, PA/Fort Bragg. Drunk in public.
ABEL AGUADO, Ukiah. DUI.
SCOTT DAELLENBACH, Willits. Probation revocation.
JOE DUARTE-LOPEZ, Fort Bragg. DUI, driving without a license, fake ID.
MANUAL DURAN, Willits. Drunk in public.
MARY FRANZ, Willits. DUI.
JESSE GIBSON, Calpella. Drunk in public, probation revocation.
LEON GIBSON, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)
RAMIRO GONZALEZ, Hopland. Contempt of court, probation revocation.
GABRIEL KRAGLER, Upper Lake/Ukiah. Probation revocation.
BRIAN RAMSEY, Willits. Shoplifting, petty theft.
RUSTY RAMSING, Willits. Domestic assault.
TOMAS REYES, Ukiah. Driving without a license, receiving stolen property, possession of burglary tools, saps or similar weapons.
CHRISTOPHER VANKIRK, Ukiah. DUI-drugs, driving on suspended license, probation revocation.
HOW TO OPPOSE THE HARE CREEK STRIP MALL AT HWY 20 & 1 INTERSECTION
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I am writing as a concerned coastal resident, worried about the possibility of yet another strip mall on our coastline, this one to be constructed alongside Highway One, just North of Highway 20 on the west side. The Fort Bragg City Council will discuss this and possibly take action on the proposal on Monday, March 23, 2015.
Here I will just list several of my own thoughts, but I also want to say that this is not just a Fort Bragg issue (important as that may be); it concerns us all on the coast (I live on Gibney Lane in the Fort Bragg postal zone). It is a significant open space on an increasingly crowded coastline.
First, I understand the current EIR is much outdated. We need an updated, timely EIR.
Second, it is my understanding that in city planning the entrance to a town or neighborhood is of the utmost importance. As of now, the open, rolling terrain alongside Highway One is one of the few welcoming, attractive points of entry to Fort Bragg and it should be preserved.
Third, strip malls are by definition unsightly and temporary. This one is certain to be both – and just think of looking at the backsides of the many malls along Highway 101 in Marin and Sonoma. Alas, dead strip malls litter this country.
Fourth, The Grocery Outlet will provide poor quality, often highly unhealthy food. It will provide minimum wage, unbenefited jobs, and most part-time. It will not offer “better” prices than Safeway. It is far from “local.”
Fifth, the mall will accelerate the decline of Fort Bragg’s core, now severely blighted. And it will present a very negative precedent given that the future of the headlands remains up in the air. As we all know, development feeds development.
I suggest that others who are concerned contact any or all of the following: Linda Ruffing firstname.lastname@example.org; Dave Turner email@example.com; Dan Gjerde firstname.lastname@example.org; Jared Huffman email@example.com. Any or all other council members. All correspondence should be copied to Bob Merrill, California Coastal Commission firstname.lastname@example.org
Petitions and information are available from Daney Dawson: 964-2486, DaneyD@mcn.org
Cal Winslow, 8 March 2015
UKIAH, SATURDAY, MARCH 14. — A man convicted in August 1990 of killing his wife's two brothers was denied his request last Wednesday in Folsom to be released from custody.
Cupertino Solano, aka Cupertino Labra Solano, was convicted of voluntary manslaughter of one brother-in-law and murder in the second degree of the other. The killings of Juan Bahema, 18, and 20-year-old Edilberto Bahema occurred in Yorkville on October 11, 1989. Solano followed the two brothers after work, shot Juan dead as they talked at the side of the road, and then chased Edilberto down a dirt road off of Highway 128 before also shooting him dead. Solano was arrested in San Diego as he was attempting to leave the country. As his punishment, Solano is serving an indeterminate sentence of 23 years to life.
Deputy DA Joshua Rosenfeld appeared on behalf of the decedents, their family, and the DA to explain to the parole board why Solano is not currently a good candidate for release. The commissioners agreed and ordered that Solano not be eligible for renewed consideration for at least three years. The trial prosecutor who handled this matter back in the day was David Eyster. Solano's defense attorney back then was Duncan M. James. (District Attorney Press Release)
HUMCO CONSOLIDATION TRIGGERS SHERIFF’S PAY INCREASE
by Daniel Mintz
The Board of Supervisors has approved a salary increase for county Sheriff Mike Downey to compensate for extra work he’s taken on as coroner/public administrator.
In approving the salary hike, supervisors have acknowledged that consolidation of the sheriff’s and coroner’s offices may not save money but is leading to improved efficiency and reduced overtime.
Downey’s 10 percent salary increase amounts to $1,242 a month. Annually, with benefits, the increase is $19,569.
The salary change was pulled from the consent agenda of the March 10 Board of Supervisors meeting by Board Chair Estelle Fennell, who said she did so “at the request of a constituent.”
Supervisor Rex Bohn said the increased compensation is justified and he noted that the salary change is recommended by both the county administrative officer and personnel director.
He added that Downey’s annual pay will be aligned with sheriff/coroners in nearby counties. “I think we’re in the ballpark on this,” said Bohn.
The consolidation was effective Feb. 1 and to support it, the board approved a budget allocation for an additional deputy sheriff. A deputy sergeant has been assigned as chief deputy coroner.
The county is saving $8,715 a month with the elimination of the coroner/public administrator position and according to a written staff report, there are cost savings even with the sheriff’s pay increase.
But Supervisor Virginia Bass described the consolidation as “an experiment” and acknowledged that over time, it might not yield cost savings. Its potential to improve services makes it worthwhile, she added.
Asked by supervisors to comment, Downey said the consolidation allows the resources of his office to bolster coroner/public administrator services.
“We have a reduction of overtime, a reduction of workloads on the staff and much more transparency,” he said, adding that use of his office’s systems has led to “better tracking of property and people and issues.”
Supervisor Ryan Sundberg said making funding adjustments to support the consolidation is far better than allowing the coroner’s office to struggle with inadequate resources.
“Without the sheriff’s willingness to take these extra duties on, this couldn’t have happened and we would have had a crisis eventually,” he continued.
Supervisor Mark Lovelace said discussions leading up to the consolidation acknowledged that cost savings could be minimal. “The goal of this wasn’t to save money -- rather the goal was capture some efficiencies,” he continued.
Supervisors unanimously voted to approve the sheriff’s salary increase.
NATCH, GORDY CHIPS IN
Thanks for the cautionary note from Nicole Sawaya, former KZYX General Manager, regarding current woes at Pacifica radio: "There are endless meetings of committees and 'Task Forces'---mostly on the phone---where people just like to hear themselves talk." So much, then, please, for the visionary suggestions of KZYX Board candidate Dennis O'Brien, toward replacing identifiable managers with committees.
Gordon Black, Mendocino
SURVIVAL INTERNATIONAL SLAMS BIG "CONSERVATION" FOR VIOLATING TRIBAL PEOPLES’ RIGHTS
by Dan Bacher
Stephen Corry, Director of Survival International, the global movement for tribal peoples’ rights, has criticized big conservation groups, including some of the corporate "environmental groups" that I have challenged in many of my articles, for "routinely violating" tribal peoples' rights while they fail to achieve their conservation objectives.
In an article recently published by the U.S.-based journal Truthout and British magazine The Ecologist, Corry writes that governments, with the support of "conservation" organizations, are forcing indigenous peoples off their ancestral homelands in the name of “conservation."
The illegal evictions of tribal peoples in India, the torture and abuse of indigenous Baka “Pygmies” in Cameroon, and the mistreatment of the Bushmen in Botswana are just a few examples evoked by Corry, which Survival’s "Parks Need Peoples" campaign has exposed, according to a news release from Survival International.
Corry further takes aim at big conservation players such the United for Wildlife consortium of conservation organizations, and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), for contributing to the illegal treatment of tribal peoples.
A WWF ad from 1994 asks whether 'to send in the army or an anthropologist' to stop indigenous people destroying the Amazon rainforest.
The next United for Wildlife meeting will be hosted by Botswana, whose President is guilty of trying to eradicate Bushmen hunters.
WWF funds “ecoguards” in Cameroon who arrest and abuse Baka “Pygmies” for entering their ancestral forests which have been turned into protected areas.
Corry writes, “If the conservation conglomerates really are to start preventing the further industrialization of these vital ecosystems, they surely must first remove giant polluters like Monsanto and BP from their own boards. Conservation has to stop the illegal eviction of tribal peoples from their ancestral homelands. It has to stop claiming tribal lands are wildernesses when they've been managed and shaped by tribal communities for millennia.
It has to stop accusing tribespeople of poaching when they hunt to feed their families. It has to stop the hypocrisy in which tribal people face arrest and beatings, torture and death, while fee-paying big game hunters are actively encouraged."
Survival International believes that tribal peoples are the "best conservationists and guardians of the natural world."
"The real creators of the world's national parks are not the ideologues and evangelists of the environmental movement, but the tribal peoples who fashioned their landscapes with knowledge and understanding accumulated over countless generations," Corry concludes.
I completely agree with Corry. As an investigative journalist covering fish, water, the environment in the West, I have been disgusted many times how corporate "environmental" NGOs and neo-liberal governments have treated Indigenous Peoples. Many of these NGOs and neo-liberal governments are plagued by their embrace of institutional racism and neo-colonial attitudes.
In California, Brown administration officials and corporate environmental NGOs pushing the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) to build the peripheral tunnels and the Marine Life Protection Act Initiative have routinely violated the rights of Indigenous Peoples, as I have documented in article after article.
Brown administration officials, in collaboration with corporate "environmental" NGOs such as the Natural Heritage Institute and Nature Conservancy, have pushed the construction of the tunnels, in spite of the enormous threat the project poses to Tribal water rights and the salmon, steelhead and other fish species that the Tribes consider sacred and depend on for sustenance. They have completely failed to heed the input of the Winnemem Wintu and other Tribes that successfully managed fish and wildlife populations for thousands of years before Europeans arrived in California.
The BDCP is part of a larger plan to privatize water and plunder the public trust in California. As Caleen Sisk, Chief and Spiritual Leader of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe said:
“It does not make sense that people are separating the water puzzle into individual pieces, such as: the raising of Shasta Dam, Proposition 1, the Delta tunnels, BDCP, Sites Reservoir, Temperance Flat, CALFED, Delta Vision, BDCP, OCAP, the Bay Delta, Trinity/Klamath Rivers, the Sacramento River, the San Joaquin River, and water rights. It is all one BIG Project.”
You have to look at the whole picture and everything in between from Shasta Dam to the Delta estuary. We need to ask what is affected by our actions and who is benefitting from them? These are not separate projects; they are all the same thing that the State is asking us to fund – California water being manipulated for the enrichment of some and the devastation of cultures, environments, and species all in the name of higher profits.” (http://www.truth-out.org/speakout/item/27216-chief-caleen-sisk-it-s-all-one-big-project)
Likewise, California's Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative, privately funded by the shadowy Resources Legacy Fund Foundation, not only failed to protect the ocean from fracking, offshore oil drilling, pollution, military testing, corporate aquaculture and all human impacts on the ocean other than fishing and gathering, but the process violated the traditional fishing and gathering rights of the Yurok Tribe and other Indian Nations. In spite of claims by the Brown regime that the process respects tribal gathering rights, the MLPA initiative bans tribal gathering in the "State Marine Reserves" that it created.
The "marine protected areas," created under this racist process, backed enthusiastically by corporate "environmental" NGOs, were based on terminally flawed and incomplete science - and MLPA officials failed to include any Tribal scientists on the Science Advisory Team.
To make matters worse Ron LeValley, the Co-Chair of the MLPA Initiative Science Advisory Team for the North Coast, repeatedly rejected requests by the Yurok Tribe Science Team to make presentations that challenged the Initiative's junk science. And to make matters even worse, the same LeValley is currently in federal prison for conspiracy to embezzle $852,000 from the Yurok Tribe.
For more information about the "inconvenient truths" of the MLPA Initiative, go to; https://intercontinentalcry.org/the-five-inconvenient-truths-about-the-mlpa-initiative/
Read Stephen Corry’s full article in Truthout: http://www.truthout.org/news/item/28888-wildlife-conservation-efforts-are-violating-tribal-peoples-rights
ELIZABETH MURRAY, former Deputy National Intelligence Officer at the National Intelligence Council -- at KMEC Radio, Monday, March 16, at 1 p.m.
On Monday, March 16, at 1 p.m., Pacific Time, KMEC Radio, your community radio station, is pleased to bring you Elizabeth Murray, former Deputy National Intelligence Officer for the Middle East at the National Intelligence Council. We'll talk about CIA Director John Brennan's new plan to restructure the CIA.
Our hosts are John Sakowicz and Sid Cooperrider.
Ms. Murray retired after a distinguished 27-year career in national security and intelligence. She specialized in Middle East political and media analysis. Murray is a member of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). See: http://warisacrime.org/vips
KMEC's broadcasts are heard live at 105.1 FM in Ukiah, CA. We also stream live from the wen to a worldwide audience at www.kmecradio.org. Our shows are archived and available as podcasts. We also make our shows available on Youtube.
As a quick footnote, please mark your calendar for a special show at KMEC Radio with NSA whistleblower, Tom Drake, on Thursday, April 2, at 10 AM, Pacific Time.
How Cia Director Brennan's Plan Facilitates Future Wars Based On Lies
Last Friday afternoon -- when stories on Fridays are typically put out to avoid scrutiny by mainstream media -- a plan by CIA head John Brennan to restructure the agency was made public. Much of the major media portrayed it as a reform to make Americans safer: The New York Times headline read: "CIA to Be Overhauled to Fight Modern Threats." However, many CIA veterans argue that it is a step toward further politicization of intelligence.
Murray served as deputy national intelligence officer for the Near East in the National Intelligence Council before retiring after a 27-year career in the U.S. government, where she specialized in Middle Eastern political and media analysis.
What Murray Has To Say About Brennan's Plan
Murray is among the signers to a just released, posted at ConsortiumNews.com: "U.S. Intel Vets Oppose Brennan’s Plan to Restructure CIA," which takes the form of a memo to the President: "Mr. President, The CIA reorganization plan announced by Director John Brennan on Friday is a potentially deadly blow to the objective, fact-based intelligence needed to support fully informed decisions on foreign policy. We suggest turning this danger into an opportunity to create an independent entity for CIA intelligence analysis immune from the operational demands of the 'war on terror.'
"On Feb. 5, 2003, immediately after Colin Powell’s address to the UN, members of VIPS sent our first VIPS memorandum, urging President George W. Bush to widen the policy debate 'beyond the circle of those advisers clearly bent on a war for which we see no compelling reason and from which we believe the unintended consequences are likely to be catastrophic.'
"The 'former senior officers' whom Brennan asked for input on the restructuring plan are a similar closed, blinkered circle, as is the 'outstanding group of officers from across the Agency' picked by Brennan to look at the Agency’s mission and future. He did not include any of the intelligence community dissidents and alumni who fought against the disastrous politicization of intelligence before the attack on Iraq. Nor does Brennan’s plan reflect the lessons learned from that debacle. ...
"President Harry Truman wanted an agency structure able to meet a president’s need for 'the most accurate ... information on what’s going on everywhere in the world, and particularly of the trends and developments in all the danger spots.' In an op-ed appearing in the Washington Post exactly one month after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Truman added, 'I have been disturbed by ... the way CIA has been diverted from its original assignment … and has become an operational and at times policy-making arm of the Government.' ...
"You are fully aware, we trust, that our analysts’ vaunted ethos of speaking unvarnished truth to power was corrupted by Director George Tenet and Deputy Director John McLaughlin, who outdid themselves in carrying out the instructions of President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. The new ethos boiled down to this: If the President wants to paint Iraq as a strategic threat, it is our job to come up with the 'evidence' -- even if it needs to be manufactured out of whole cloth (or forged, as in 'yellowcake uranium from Africa' caper). ...
"There is hope to be drawn from those occasions where senior intelligence officials with integrity can step in, show courageous example, and -- despite multiple indignities and pitfalls in the system -- can force the truth to the surface. We hope that you have been made aware that, after the no-WMD-anywhere debacle on Iraq, Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence Thomas Fingar did precisely that during 2007, supervising a watershed National Intelligence Estimate on Iran that concluded unanimously, 'with high confidence,' that Iran had stopped working on a nuclear weapon in 2003.
"President Bush concedes in his memoir that this put the kibosh on his and Dick Cheney’s earlier plan to attack Iran during their last year in office. So, character (as in Fingar) counts, and people of integrity can make a difference -- and even help thwart plans for war -- even in the most politicized of circumstances."