Press "Enter" to skip to content

Mendocino County Today: Friday, Oct 2, 2015

* * *

ON WEDNESDAY at 2pm I attended an emergency meeting of the Fort Bragg city council called to declare a Phase 3 water emergency. On Tuesday morning things had looked cheerful at city hall but by noon Tom Vogle of the public works division was announcing that the city had been caught by surprise and people were scrambling. City council members were notified that the council was meeting, right now, Two of them and the city manager had to participate by phone. Everyone was uncharacteristically tense.

Modestly high tides just in excess of six feet, and the frightening and accelerating slowdown in the flow of the Noyo had combined to push salt water all the way upriver to the city pumping station and the city was about to lose half its daily water. Fort Bragg uses 640,000 gallons of water a day, about half comes from the Noyo. There is no meaningful reserve. The emergency choice before the city council was to allow the city to lose water pressure needed for fire emergencies or to pump salt water into the drinking water of the city. And not a little.

Declaring Phase 3 allowed it and they did it, and so we are told by the development director that people on the extensive city water system will be getting salty, murky possibly smelly water out of the tap sometime today. (Thursday). I just checked (with no small trepidation) and right now it seems OK.

After Oct. 3 the tides will moderate and we can expect an end to the salty tap water. If it actually occurs. We will not worry what it will have done to our pipes and water heaters, at least the end is predicted not to be far off. But the drought may be just starting. And we do depend on the Noyo River. Right now the flow of the Noyo is less than half of normal and headed for a forth of normal. What is ahead climatically is totally uncertain. So I guess it is understandable that the city is also uncertain and has no plan or policy for the future. Certainly the meeting was able to establish that.

After admitting that the bottom had dropped out and the water in the tap was now crap, the city council thought that something else somewhat more positive should be said and so they deliberated a bit and solemnly announced the end of irrigation as a city activity. Then they dithered a bit about the water savings from using paper plates, and sort of sat there waiting for good ideas. Nobody liked to say it, but none of them could guess how folks were going to take this. They were not without hope. Adversity observably brings people together, sometimes. Perhaps this was another opportunity for them to lead the people forward, or at least perhaps people would think that. Or perhaps they could just deal with it, sort of shrug in a professional sort of way. Dave Turner invoked mother nature.

I sat watching the Council and the management sitting there companionably together, a little subdued perhaps but you could tell not truly worried not even much engaged. I guess there is implicit courage in the fact that they know that they will all still get paid and in terms purely extravagant in our community. They are an elite entrusted by themselves with our welfare and no salty tap water was going to change that. This salt in the water thing was of course not what they would have wanted. Truly this could not be good. But was it real bad. That is, Will people blame them? They thought not. We do what we can. Foresight is an attribute we cannot fairly ask of our public officials; it is so rare.

This particular tide is not a very big bump in what could possibly be a very bumpy drought, but such as it was it was enough to make hash out of their water system. As we go one by one to purchase our water, let us all take a quiet moment to remember that our city government in all of its $30 million a year in expenditures has made no provision whatsoever for any emergency at all. In Fort Bragg technocrats do the work, but not well, not even with particular attention. They have tentative confidence that you will not mind.

Rex Gressett, Fort Bragg

* * *

THE FEDS did a surprise audit of County Mental Health/HHSA last week. Seems that they can enforce compliance with Federal and State laws regarding Mental Health treatment services and other HHSA services.

A NUMBER of in-custody defendants in criminal court this week were unable to go forward due to the inability or refusal of Ortner to provide 1368 Competency Training Evaluations. Anthony Adams of the Office of the Public Defender told visiting Judge Jeffrey Tauber Thursday morning that on September 10th the problem had become so onerous that Judge John Behnke said he would issue an OSC (order to show cause) to Ortner.

MENTALLY TROUBLED defendants are stacking up at the jail with no relief in sight. Adams noted that the problem was "systemic, impacting a large number of our clients. And nothing we do works. As soon as we solve one problem, another one pops up, and it has gotten to the point where the confusion has become pervasive." (Bruce McEwen)

COUNTY MENTAL HEALTH has a current budget of $26,209,785 with $19,866,862 going to the ASOs (Ortner & Redwood Quality Management Services). $26-million-plus should buy a lot of Mental Health services including most of the State mandated ones. Where are the services? Where is that money ending up? When will it be reclaimed by the County and used for patient medical services, crisis services, and other treatment support in our communities?

LOTS OF US wonder what Mendocino County is getting for the $7-8 million a year we've handed to the Ortner Management Group of Yuba City to treat the adult mentally ill among us. And now the courts are wondering.

* * *

EX-INMATES want LA County to stop dumping mentally ill inmates on skid row.

* * *

THE CO-DEFENDANTS in the Yorkville shootings were arraigned yesterday in front of visiting Judge Jeffrey Tauber. Mario Godinez Gonzales and Isidro Lopez Bernal were both charged with murder in the shooting death of John Doe and attempted murder of a co-defendant named Fidel Contreras, who remains hospitalized. DA David Eyster said the charges included Special Allegations that the crimes were committed for financial gain. The Public Defender and Alternate Public Defender were assigned the two men. They were held without bail, and ordered back on Oct. 14th at 1:30 for entry of plea. (Bruce McEwen)

* * *

JOHN COATE'S SELF-ASSESSMENT OF HIS WORK AT COMMUNITY RADIO, MENDOCINO COUNTY: “I was the GM of KZYX radio in Mendocino County and the Executive Director of Mendocino County Public Broadcasting from 2008 until 2015. KZYX is listener-supported public radio. It serves a wide geographic area that is quite rural. When I arrived the station was mired in debt. Moat [sic] of that debt is paid off and the station is better than it ever was.”

* * *



In Fort Bragg (Photo by Susie de Castro)

* * *


Ex-Mendo Supervisor Richard Shoemaker, a triple dipper off his many Mendocino County management gigs, has been hired as Point Arena's City Manager. Point Arena has a population of 500 people. Shoemaker is taking off $127 per resident, a lot of managment per capita.

So that's 63500/500 = $127 per year per resident.

Sage Sangiancomo gets about $250k for managing Ukiah's 16,000 persons. Or, 250000/16000 = about $16 per resident per year.

Santa Rosa's city manager, Kathleen Millison is a real bargain at $210k for 172,000 people. Or, 210000/172000 = $1.22 (about a buck and a quarter) per resident.

Economies of scale and all, you know, because all cities have to be run the same way and there's all that work no matter how small the population. Which translates to more money for fewer people. If PA had 100 people they'd probably have to pay Shoemaker $200k!

How about Anderson Valley's CSD General Manager Joy Andrews? She's part time. Makes under $25 per hour for 80 hours a month, or about $24k per year. Does an excellent job doing real tasks like payroll and budgeting and accounting and auditing and grant writing and a real board which she has to report to and answers real questions about her work. Anderson Valley has maybe 3500 people total. So, $24,000 / 3500 = About $7 a head.


Shoemaker: $127 per resident per year

Sangiacomo: $16 per resident per year

Andrews: $7 per resident per year

Millison: $1.22 per resident per year

Which begs the question: Why does Point Arena even need a full-time "manager"? They already have a full-time "city clerk" don't they? And a part time city attorney? What does the unpaid PA City Council do? Sit around trying to think up things to fill Shoemaker's work week?

* * *


On Friday, September 25-2015 at approximately 11:09 PM, Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office acted upon information that Manuel Rodriguez, 20, of Covelo, was in a residence in the 22000 block of Airport Road in Covelo, California. Rodriguez was wanted on a Mendocino County felony arrest warrant for making criminal threats and was also a suspect or person of interest in several other serious crimes committed in the last sixty days. Those crimes include residential and commercial burglaries, a vehicle pursuit, vehicle thefts, a strong arm robbery and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Rodriguez was also the suspect in two separate incidents of attempted murder involving a firearm. Deputies arrived at the residence on Sep 26, 2015 at 12:20 AM and formed a perimeter around the residence. The residence was completely dark but movement could be heard from within. Due to the threat presented by Rodriguez, the on-scene supervisor made the decision to call for the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office SWAT Team. For almost five hours announcements were made over a loudspeaker for the person(s) inside the residence to surrender themselves to no avail. From a position inside their SWAT vehicle, Deputies were able to strip the window coverings from two front windows and see into the home.

Rodriguez, L.Lincoln, D.Lincoln, Wake
Rodriguez, L.Lincoln, D.Lincoln, Wake

Rodriguez including three other persons could be seen inside the residence and they subsequently surrendered themselves without further resistance. Rodriguez was arrested for the felony warrant while Lucy Bell Lincoln, 33, of Covelo, Deborah Jean Lincoln, 42, of Covelo, and Tasha Nichole Wake, 37, of Covelo were arrested for harboring, concealing or aiding a principal wanted in a felony. In addition, Lucy Bell Lincoln had two active arrest warrants for a probation violation and failure to appear in court. All four individuals were booked into the Mendocino County Jail where Deborah Jean Lincoln and Tasha Nichole Wake were to be held in lieu of $15,000 bail. Manuel Rodriguez and Lucy Lincoln were to be held on a No Bail status.

(Sheriff’s Press Release)

* * *


On Sunday, September 27, 2015 at approximately 12:54 PM, Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to a reported assault with a deadly weapon at a residence in the 400 block of Ocean View Drive in Point Arena, California. Upon arrival the Deputies contacted the twenty year-old adult male victim who was suffering from a wound on his torso.


The victim told Deputies that he had been watching football on television when his twenty-eight year-old aunt, Bernadette Antoinette Smith, 28, of Manchester, arrived at the residence. During the course of a brief disagreement the victim gave Smith a dismissive gesture with his eyes. Smith became angered and overturned a coffee table while intentionally damaging the victim's lap-top computer. Smith then grabbed a lamp and struck the victim with the base causing the injury which needed to be medically treated. Smith was contacted at a residence in the 100 block of Sea Pine Court where she was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon and violation of the terms of her Mendocino County Probation. Smith was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where she was to be held on a No Bail status.

(Sheriff’s Press Release)

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, October 1, 2015

Berry (2008), Brown, burkes, Campos
Berry (2008), Brown, Burkes

MICHAEL BERRY, Pot cultivation, processing, possession for sale, conspiracy.

SCOTT BROWN, Redwood Valley. Pot cultivation, processing, possession for sale, possession of controlled substance.

TIMOTHY BURKES, Fort Bragg. Petty theft, possession of controlled substance.

Campos, Courtney, Haas

Campos, Courtney, Haas

RICARDO CAMPOS, Redwood Valley. Indecent exposure, paraphernalia, probation revocation.

ECHO COURTNEY, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public, vandalism.

BRENT HAAS, Willits. Meth possession for sale and sales, probation revocation.

Hargrave, Jackson, Kellison
Hargrave, Jackson, Kellison

WILLIAM HARGRAVE, San Pedro/Navarro. DUI, possession of concentrated cannabis.

ERIC JACKSON, Hayward/Ukiah. DUI.

BRIAN KELLISON, Hopland. Resisting.

Madueno-Astorga, Seder, Morris,
Madueno-Astorga, Seder, Morris,

ABEL MADUENO-ASTORGA, Delano/Ukiah. Failure to appear.

KARLIE SEDER, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

SHEA MORRIS, Ukiah. Failure to appear.
Silvestro, Tuttle, Zaste
Silvestro, Tuttle, Zaste

SEAN SILVESTRO, Nice/Redwood Valley. Pot cultivation, processing, possession for sale.

ALESHIA TUTTLE, Ukiah. Petty theft.

ERNEST ZASTE, Ukiah. Contempt of court, probation revocation.

* * *

TWO YOUNG WOMEN from one Laytonville family are murder victims, one of them just recently. The Sloans waited two years to even report her missing.

* * *

Mendocino County Homicide Victim’s Mother Also Was Killed

by Glenda Anderson

It’s been three years since Rachel Sloan, 22, vanished from her hometown of Laytonville. Two years ago, what turned out to be the burned remains of her body were found in an abandoned refrigerator by railroad tracks about 10 miles south of Laytonville. That link was confirmed in September by the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office.

Finally, her family, one afflicted by a number of grim tragedies and violence over the years, was able to say goodbye.

But the questions surrounding her disappearance and death are now growing as the Sheriff’s Office launches a homicide investigation in the case.

Neither her family nor law enforcement officials knew definitively that Sloan was dead until DNA tests confirmed remains found in May 2013 near Highway 162 and Highway 101 belonged to the troubled young woman, whose life was on a downward spiral when she disappeared.

“The first major hurdle was finding out who the remains were,” Sheriff’s Capt. Greg Van Patten said.

The revelation added to the suffering endured by Sloan’s grandmother, Pauline Sanderson, who already had lost three children and one grandchild to violent, premature deaths in the past 25 years. Rachel’s mother, Debra Sloan, was brutally killed in 1998 by John Annibel, who was sentenced to life in prison for the slaying. Annibel has been accused but never charged with killing at least two other people, including a 15-year-old girl who was last seen in 1976.

Sanderson previously lost two children and a grandchild in fatal car crashes.

“Pretty soon, I won’t have any kids,” Sanderson, a mother of five children, said Tuesday.

The confirmation of Rachel Sloan’s death reopened what had been a cold case shrouded in mystery. Authorities have yet to disclose the time and cause of death.


Sloan was last seen at a family funeral in August 2012, but her family didn’t report her missing until May 2015. If they had notified the Sheriff’s Office sooner, DNA tests could have confirmed her death nearly two years earlier, after her remains were discovered. Van Patten said Tuesday there are “indications” pointing to the cause of death but “nothing that can be disclosed at this time.”

Sloan’s family told detectives that they hadn’t reported Sloan missing earlier because she had a history of disappearing for extended periods of time.

Sanderson said she and Sloan’s brothers were very worried about her, but the victim’s father, Allen Sloan, had told them she was staying on the Hopland Rancheria, about 60 miles south of Laytonville. Sloan was Native American on her father’s side.

Allen Sloan could not be reached this week for comment.

Rachel Sloan had a history of drug abuse and mental health problems and had been living a transient lifestyle in recent years, according to court records and family members.

Sanderson said her granddaughter was sweet and eager to learn through high school in Laytonville. She said Sloan had aspired to become an oceanographer.

Her former junior high school teacher, Mark O’Neill, described her as outgoing, spirited, kind and hardworking and having a “finely tuned sense of humor.”

“She was respectful and did her schoolwork religiously,” he said. She worked hard, achieved a solid B average and played sports, O’Neill recalled.

But soon after high school, her life began to unravel, her grandmother said.

She had been arrested at least three times since 2010 in connection with methamphetamine use, according to Van Patten. She also had arrests for probation violation and vandalism.

Sanderson said she’d attempted to get mental health treatment for her granddaughter but was told that nothing could be done unless Sloan posed an immediate danger to herself or others.

“She was mentally disturbed,” Sanderson said. She recalled Sloan becoming angry with her paternal grandfather and breaking out windows in his house. She also beat up another woman and nearly burned down her house, Sanderson said.

Just before Sloan disappeared, she shaved her head, an incident one of her uncles said “let the demons in,” Sanderson said.

“She should have been in a mental place where they could have helped her,” Sanderson said.

Instead, she wandered the streets and no one could keep track of her or make sure she was safe.

Van Patten said one of the first steps in the investigation is figuring out Sloan’s whereabouts before her disappearance.

That “allows us to go back in time and establish a timeline of her life,” he said.

(Courtesy, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat)

* * *

Annibel, on the cover of Robert Scott's book "Deadfall"

JOHN ANNIBEL, a suspected serial killer, lived in Fort Bragg from 1984 until he was arrested for the 1998 murder of Debbie Sloan of Laytonville. Annibel is presently in the state pen for the murder of Mrs. Sloan, a divorced mother of two who met Annibel at a Laytonville bar and made the fatally bad decision to spend what turned out to be an eternal night with him.

The killer was born to a Scotia logging family. He spent part of his youth in Fortuna before the Annibel family moved to Fruitland Ridge above Myers Flat. John Annibel has a twin brother who has never been in trouble, a normal brother, a brother who recalls that John was “off” even as a little kid.

Before Annibel moved to Fort Bragg from his home area of Southern Humboldt County, he was the only suspect in the murders of two women there, one of them his fiancée, the other a teenager he’d known since she was a child.

He may also have killed two more women — not known to him — in the Arcata area, but Annibel could never be linked to the Arcata killings even tenuously.

But he was definitely linked to the murder of his fiancée and the teenager, linked solidly enough to be prosecuted by Humboldt County if Humboldt County had ever gotten around to prosecuting him. For reasons ranging from official inertia to official incompetence, Annibel was not charged with the murders of the two Humboldt County women, both of whom he is assumed to have strangled to death, both of whom were last seen in his presence.

After Annibel moved to Fort Bragg in 1984 he was not linked to another murder until 1998 when he confessed to the Thanksgiving weekend strangulation of Debbie Sloan in a Laytonville motel room. Odd that an assumed psycho killer would go without satisfying his blood lust all that time, go more than a decade without satisfying his terrible yearning to just go out and choke a female someone to death.

So, maybe Annibel wasn’t a serial killer in the usual sense. The one woman he admitted to killing, and the two others he almost certainly killed, seemed to be impulse kills. He was there, they were there, they were alone, he flipped out on them and choked them until they were dead. It’s not like he was driving around at night looking for hitchhikers or other isolated women to kill.

So far as is known, that is.

Annibel worked at the old L-P stud mill in Fort Bragg and for Harwood Lumber on the Branscomb Road. After he’d strangled Mrs. Sloan in that desolate Laytonville motel room, he threw her body off the Branscomb Road not far from Westport. Annibel had driven west with her corpse past his place of employment, the Harwood Mill, then on home to his wife and two daughters in Fort Bragg.

That’s Annibel’s m.o. He strangles women he knows with his bare hands and throws them away.

* * *


Of course she was mentally disturbed. So are you and the rest of your family. You bury your head in the clouds while your husband sexually bribes your/his own female children and grandchildren. The whole family, with the exception of one son, has been meth-heads for well over 20 years. I have personally witnessed "Dad/Grandpa" offer a car to a daughter or grandaughter to whomever ahem serviced him first. Daughter #2 (at age 20 and already with four children) got the car. That's not even scratching the surface with this family. Mendocino Sheriff’s Office is just as responsible for letting them get away with all their very well known vile and illegal behaviors. Teachers too. All of you people disgust me for allowing this to continue with all of these innocent children. RIP Rachel, you deserved so much better.

* * *

Please tell everyone who will listen. 
These stories always get candy coated and the voters never see the truth of these pits of depravity. 
I have seen the families you are referring to and they commit these acts with impunity.

* * *

I have told. Under oath. I am so proud of her (Rachel) for busting out the windows of the Sanderson house because of her incestuous Grandfather. This news of her death is heart wrenching.

Allen? Way to protect your daughter, you drunken, abusive, POS. It's Native Americans like you who are the model for how addicted and corrupt so many view your ilk’s ways of life now. Unscrupulous, wasted and fat. Untouchable and above our laws. Your ancestors deserve more respect and more importantly— especially your children.

The Sanderson's own an enormous amount of property directly across from the Shamrock Ranch south of Laytonville and are a good 20 minutes deep off of a dirt, washboard, road. Well removed from civilization.

Their own immoral, criminal, paradise. Too far, too hard, for Law Enforcement to stay on top of? Lazy. Disgusting.

They were popped with a huge outdoor pot grow by CAMP 25ish years ago. You'd think law enforcement would have stayed on top of these people, taken away the enormous property they have to do whatever they want. Illegal, immoral, they don't care. And sooo many grandchildren passed off to be raised by the completely delusional mother by her children, who all have houses on the property. I'm gonna throw up now.

* * *

ON WEDNESDAY, September 30, 2015 at approximately 11:10 p.m. the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a call from a shooting victim stating he and another female victim had been shot on Wade Road in the Garberville area. Deputies arrived on scene along with medical personnel and the victims were airlifted to out of the area hospitals for major injuries. Deputies searched the crime scene and did not locate any other victims. The suspect is still at large. Detectives are on scene to further investigate this incident. This case has been assigned to the Criminal Investigations Division. Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.

* * *


On Tuesday, September 29, 2015 at approximately 7:38 PM, a Deputy from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle with expired registration in the 600 block of South Main Street in Fort Bragg. A routine wants/warrants check showed the driver, Gerald Goethe Blackburn, 37, of Fort Bragg, to be on Mendocino County felony probation with terms included a search clause. The passenger, Molly Rose Katzeff, 30, of Fort Bragg, was determined to have a misdemeanor arrest warrant out of Sonoma County. A search of Blackburn's person revealed two knives in his pants pockets and a search of the vehicle located hypodermic syringes, a methamphetamine smoking pipe and user quantities of methamphetamine and black-tar heroin. While the vehicle search was underway, Blackburn attempted to walk away from the Deputy. In addition to being arrested for drug, drug paraphernalia and probation violations, Blackburn was charged with resisting, obstructing or delaying an officer in the performance of his duties. Blackburn was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held on a No Bail status. Molly Katzeff was cited and released at the scene in regards to the Sonoma County arrest warrant.

* * *


* * *

OREGON POT shops opened their doors Thursday to recreational users for the first time. Some of the more than 300 marijuana dispensaries across the state stayed open until midnight to mark the occasion, selling to adults 21 and older. The sales will be tax-free until January, when a 25 percent state tariff goes into effect. Customers can buy as much as seven grams at a time of dried marijuana flowers and leaves along with plants and seeds. Oregon joins Washington and Colorado as the only states where pot can be sold for recreational use. Voters in Alaska and the District of Columbia approved recreational marijuana, but sales there have yet to begin.

* * *

COMMON CITY SCAM (not so common in Mendo):

While the victim was using an ATM, the suspect stood very close to him. As the victim left the ATM, the suspect immediately went up to the same machine. The victim soon discovered that the suspect had withdrawn $600 from his account.

SF POLICE CAPTAIN’S NOTE: This crime is commonly known as “shoulder surfing” because the criminal looks over your shoulder to see you enter your PIN. The suspect waits for you to leave and quickly enters another transaction while your session is still active at which point the machine will ask him to re-enter your PIN (but not to re-insert your card). Sometimes the suspect will hasten your departure from the ATM by standing too close to you and making you uncomfortable so that you leave before you are completely logged off. You should not step away from the machine until you are certain that your session has closed completely and the starting screen is displayed on the ATM again. If someone makes you uncomfortable while you are using the ATM, quickly cancel your session, do not withdraw cash, and leave once you are certain that your session is closed. If you see anyone loitering near an ATM machine, do not use that machine.

* * *

A MASS SHOOTING at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon has left more than 20 people dead or injured. Police in Roseburg, Oregon say at least 7 are dead and 20 are injured following a shooting at Umpqua Community College on Thursday morning. A gunman reportedly attacked UCC’s Snyder Hall at approximately 10:45 a.m. Pacific time. Oregon State Police previously said 15 were dead but then revised their number of fatalities.


THE GUNMAN who opened fire on students at Umpqua Community College has been identified as 26-year-old Chris Harper-Mercer according to law enforcement sources. “He appears to be an angry young man who was very filled with hate,” said one law enforcement source. He left at least ten dead and seven injured when he burst in to the college armed with an assault rifle and three pistols and opened fire. According to his profile on a dating site, Harper-Mercer is “mixed race,” a “conservative Republican,” and “not religious.” Witnesses say that Harper-Mercer demanded that his victims lay on the ground and then made them stand up one at a time and state their religion before opening fire.

* * *

REPUBLICANS called on Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood to testify and then interrupted her whenever she tried to talk or respond. Of course they only called her so they could posture about abortion and those phony videos.

(Rob Anderson. Courtesy, District5diary)


  1. james marmon October 2, 2015

    RE: Mental Health/HHSA

    So, I repeat myself, I hope the Feds take a good long look at RQMG/RCS/RCCC conflict of interest situation as well. Lots of federal money being spread around there.

    Meanwhile, my cousin sits in jail instead of being in a mental hospital because of Ortner’s big ripoff. He is mentally ill, not a criminal.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *