- Quake Talk
- Niño Watch
- Next Sunday
- Willits Makeover
- Public-safety Dollars
- Pagan Troubadour
- Honzik Acquitted
- Malcolm Reading
- Rodriguez Sentencing
- Prize Patrol
- Privatization Warning
- FB Senior Center
- Higher Education
- Shelter Saboteurs
- Prioritizing Obligations
- Solar Victories
- Yesterday's Catch
- Bacher Banned
- KZYX Inspection
- Sako's Application
- Marco Radio
QUAKE TALK ON LINE
Some 30 years ago, I was doing research into the local native stories that had been collected and published in the 1800s. One such story explained that what we now know as the San Francisco Bay had been an open plain with three rivers running through it to the mouth we now know as the Golden Gate. According to the story, an earthquake made the ground sink and the ocean rush in (probably much like the New Madrid, with numerous liquifying aftershocks — New Madrid was so powerful, eyewitness accounts say that the Mississippi River reversed course for approximately 10 minutes, flowing upstream). But, as Al Gore said, people are realizing their hole cards aren't good anymore. There really aren't many "guaranteed safe" places anymore.
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"Full Rip 9.0" is a good read. It took some geological detective work to piece together the fact that there was a massive earthquake in the Pacific Northwest that generated a significant Trans-Pacific tidal wave that was well documented by the Japanese.@doomsday Maybe they are actually worried about this (from the New Yorker article): "When the next very big earthquake hits, the northwest edge of the continent, from California to Canada and the continental shelf to the Cascades, will drop by as much as six feet and rebound thirty to a hundred feet to the west. Some of that shift will take place beneath the ocean, displacing a colossal quantity of seawater… In the Pacific Northwest, the area of impact will cover some 140,000 square miles, including Seattle, Tacoma, Portland, Eugene, Salem (the capital city of Oregon), Olympia (the capital of Washington), and some seven million people."
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AND JUST YESTERDAY a pair of earthquakes — measured at magnitudes of 4.9 and 5.0 — were recorded off the Northern California coast. Both quakes hit around 4:30pm Friday, more than 200 miles off the Humboldt County coast, according to the US Geological Survey. The earthquakes struck along the San Andreas Fault, which has been active with several quakes recently.
A FEW HOURS LATER (Friday, January 29, 7:25 pm PST) a magnitude 7.2 earthquake "beneath the Kamchatka Peninsula of Russia occurred as the result of oblique-normal faulting at a depth of 180 km. At the location of this earthquake, the Pacific plate is moving towards the west-northwest with respect to the North America and Eurasia plates at a rate of approximately 77 mm/yr. Note that some authors divide this region into several microplates that together define the relative motions between the larger Pacific, North America and Eurasia plates; these include the Okhotsk and Amur microplates that are respectively part of North America and Eurasia. The depth and faulting mechanism of the January 30th earthquake indicate that it ruptured a fault within the subducting Pacific lithosphere." (USGS)
THE PREVIOUS WEEKEND (Sunday, January 24, 2:30 am PST) a magnitude 7.1 earthquake "southwest of Anchorage, Alaska, occurred as the result of strike-slip faulting at intermediate depths, within the subducted lithosphere of the Pacific plate. In the region of the earthquake, the Pacific plate moves northwestward with respect to North America at a rate of 60 mm/yr, and begins its descent into the mantle at the Alaska-Aleutian Trench almost 400 km to the southeast of this earthquake. The mechanism and depth of the earthquake are consistent with its occurrence within the interior of the subducted Pacific plate, rather than on the shallower plate boundary thrust between Pacific and North America. The focal mechanism indicates faulting occurred on either a northwest striking right-lateral structure, or on a northeast striking, left-lateral fault." (USGS)
NO BIG DEAL SO FAR
Early rainfall totals suggest that this season’s El Niño isn’t shaping up to be as big a beast as those of 1997-98 and 1982-83, but there’s still a long way to go before knowing definitively how it compares, forecasters said Friday.
Since October, rainfall totals for downtown San Francisco and San Jose were consistently lower than those of the last two strong El Niño seasons, according to charts released by the National Weather Service.
But for a water-starved state, there are signs to cheer: downtown San Francisco surpassed its normal season rainfall total, measuring at 102 percent of the 30-year average as of Thursday afternoon, according to Bob Benjamin, a forecaster with the weather service.
Still, with 13.2 inches of rainfall in the downtown area since Oct. 1, there’s a lot of catching up to do to match the last significant El Niño, which saw more than 20 inches of rain by this point in 1998 for the same zone.
With more storms expected to pound California into March and April and increase the snowpack in the Sierra, Benjamin said, there’s plenty of time left to significantly boost reservoir levels.
“We’re a little bit behind where we were in other El Niño years, but we’re trending upwards,” he said. “We still have a ways to go.”
As far as Bay Area cities go, San Jose is in the lead for percentage-of-normal figures, coming in at 115 percent, according to Benjamin. At 91 percent, Napa is the last in the pack. But Benjamin added that the differences among cities are not stark.
“One good storm and you can make that up in a heartbeat,” he said.
Moving farther south, Monterey County and neighboring areas have seen much higher above-normal percentages. Rainfall in Santa Cruz measured at 135 percent of normal, and Salinas is at 136 percent.
With a light rain forecast for this weekend, Benjamin said Bay Area residents can expect to see drier-than-usual weather over the next two weeks.
Kimberly Veklerov (Courtesy, the San Francisco Chronicle)
JUST ANOTHER NAVARRO SUNRISE
THE REAL GAME on Super Sunday is quite likely to play out on the streets of San Francisco. Our sources among Bay Area radlibs say an array of different groups, including anarchists, are gearing up to foul traffic like it's never been fouled before.
SANTA CLARA, where Taj Niner has been erected, is forty miles south of SF. The thinking on the disrupters side is to cut off egress from The City, which isn't hard to do considering there are not many southbound egresses. How the cops handle several thousand people intent on screwing things up will be interesting to watch.
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FRESHLY RE-ELECTED FRISCO supervisor, Aaron Peskin, apparently the only functioning brain among The City's current crop of leaders, told the SF Weekly, "I have been fielding a high number of complaints that the city did not act as responsibly as it might have with regard to the negotiations with the NFL to host the Super Bowl's 50 promotional events… Who in the administration was the lead negotiator in this deal?"
MAYOR LEE rattled on in reply without replying, but the city is on the hook for around $11 mil overall to "host" the corporate extravaganza for largely non football fans who are paying more than $5,000 a ticket.
DEPARTMENT OF UNINTENTIONAL IRONY: Willits has hired a San Francisco consultant to steer the town's Main Street Corridor Enhancement Plan, a Main Street which would seem wayyyyyyy past enhancing short of an all out bulldozer assault. Hard to believe now but both Ukiah and Willits were once coherent, attractive little towns. Then, beginning about 1950, they began to metastasize south into cancer-causing skeins of fast food joints and hot sheet motels catering to traffic flowing up and down Highway 101. As both towns went aesthetically blind, their respective banks and money people, the people who once cared what their towns looked like, abdicated, leaving their towns in the hands of people with zero civic spirit beyond exploiting their Main Streets for whatever they could squeeze out of them. (Used to be outback savages like, say, Charlie Mannon of the Savings Bank, and that old coot who owns the Willits' vaults, would be packed off to Yurp for some fine tuning, but anymore they just hole up in vault-like structures and count their money.)
I'M AMONG the many Americans who think that public morale is so low in this country because this country has become so ugly. Visual squalor is bad for mental health because America the Beautiful doesn't get beautiful anymore until you're about fifty miles outside the city limits. Our cities and towns, including Frisco, aren't beguiling unless you're looking at them from a hilltop.
SHOULD MENDOCINO COUNTY'S fire departments get a fair share of Prop 172 money? Of course they should, but Mendocino County's lawyer is using County money to argue against our fire districts' attempt to put the prop to local voters.
The County has garnered about $7 million annually, but less than $200,000 of public safety money has reached fire districts.
LIVING PROOF that on the Northcoast you are whatever you say you are and history starts all over again every day is provided by Darryl Cherney: "I have been an Earth First! organizer and troubadour for 30 years, a film producer, a recording artist and entertainer, fundraiser, firewood seller and provider of affordable housing, a practicing pagan who honors Mother Earth as sacred."
UKIAH, Fri., Jan. 29. -- Jury Trial Result: A Superior Court jury returned from its deliberations yesterday morning to announce the acquittal of Gerard Majella Honzik, age 47, of Whitethorn. Honzik had been charged with two counts of battery and one count of vandalizing a vehicle, all as misdemeanors. The investigating law enforcement agency in this matter was the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office. The prosecutor who presented the People's evidence was Deputy DA Brian Morimune. The bench officer who presided over the three-day trial was Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Ann Moorman.
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Original Sheriff’s Press Release
On 08-25-2015 at approximately 6:18 PM, Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to a residence in the 1100 block of Gopherville Road in Whitethorn, California.
Upon arrival a 52-year-old female victim told them that a nearby neighbor, Gerard Majella Honzik, had contacted her earlier in the day while she was in her yard.
Without warning Honzik struck the female victim several times in the head and upper body with a folding chair, causing bruising and swelling to portions of her head.
Honzik also vandalized the female victim’s pickup truck, shattering the windshield and destroying a mirror.
The incident occurred at approximately 8:00 AM. The victim had already been treated for her injuries by the time Deputies arrived on scene.
A male victim at the same residence had been badly beaten by Honzik and another male during the same day. The second victim declined to seek prosecution and was unwilling to cooperate with the investigation.
Deputies responded to Honzik’s residence and took him into custody without incident. Honzik was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon, vandalism and for an outstanding Mendocino County misdemeanor warrant for an assault charge.
Honzik was booked into the Mendocino County Jail to be held in lieu of $30,000 bail.
I will be reading from Outlaw Ford and signing books at Four-Eyed Frog Books in Gualala at 4 pm Saturday, February 6, 2016. Four-Eyed Frog Books is located in the Cypress Village center (39138 Ocean Drive, Gualala). Cypress Village is almost directly across Highway One from the “Bones” restaurant, noted for its barbecue recipes. There should be ample parking within Cypress Village, either just above or below the book store itself.
Along with the author's brilliant, yet humble storytelling, there might well be prizes.
If you are making a full afternoon of it there are many edible eateries along the way and in Gualala. If traveling from the north don't miss a chance to stop at Franny's Bakery in Point Arena, usually open until four on Saturdays.
For those too far away to attend, Outlaw Ford remains on sale at bookstores throughout Mendocino County. Perhaps the easiest place to order copies is at Gallery Bookshop in Mendocino. Simply go to their website: gallerybookshop.com. If you are still unnerved by new-fangled contraptions like computers, go to the phone and call 707-937-BOOK. If you want a signed copy, let 'em know, and the Gallery Bookshop people will try to locate me on the open range in order to get you a personalized copy of Outlaw Ford.
If you prefer the feel good sound of buying from a store called Four-Eyed Frog Books, check them out at www.foureyedfrog.com (That's right, no hyphen!) or call 707-884-1333.
JUNE DEATH OF 11-YEAR OLD WILL RESULT IN STATE PRISON COMMITMENT
With the prosecution announcing ready for the jury trial scheduled to commence this Monday, defendant Jaime “Flaco” Rodriguez, Jr., 19, of Ukiah, changed his plea at a Friday afternoon hearing to no contest for the June 2015 death of his visiting 11-year-old nephew. A no contest plea in this case is the same as a guilty plea for all purposes. As part of a two-case negotiated disposition that included a separate residential burglary, it was agreed that Rodriguez will be sentenced to 84 months in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation when he returns to court on February 26, 2016 at 9:00 a.m. for formal sentencing. The sentencing judge will be the Honorable David Nelson.
Just after midnight on June 18, 2015, deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to the 100 block of Canyon Drive, in Ukiah, for a reported victim of a gunshot wound. Officers from the Ukiah Police Department also arrived on scene to assist. Upon law enforcement’s arrival, the boy was located in the roadway suffering from a gunshot wound to his face/neck area. First aid was administered and emergency medical services were called. Mortally wounded, the boy would eventually pass away when life support efforts were later terminated.
To cover his actions, Rodriguez initially claimed that both he and the boy had been the targets of a drive-by shooting. However, additional investigation revealed that Rodriguez, the victim, and another juvenile had been in a backyard when Rodriguez pulled out a loaded handgun and started to handle it. The 9mm pistol went off, the bullet striking the victim at near point blank range. Rodriguez then carried the victim to the roadway (to set up the false report of a drive-by), while a concerned neighbor was calling 911.
The prosecutor who was to present the evidence to the jury next week was DDA Josh Rosenfeld. The investigating law enforcement agencies were the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office and the Ukiah Police Department. Assisting in the investigation and trial preparation were the California Department of Justice Crime Laboratory in Eureka and investigators working for District Attorney Eyster.
(District Attorney Press Release)
CRIME OF THE DAY (from San Francisco):
Cabrillo & 40th Ave
The victim received a call from the suspect who used the name “Dave Sayer” and asked her why she had not claimed her $1 million dollar prize from the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes. He asked the victim for her bank account and social security numbers so that he could deposit the money. Later, she realized that she had been scammed and was able to close her account before suffering any loss.
Captain’s Note: “Dave Sayer” is the name of an actual Prize Patrol spokesman for Publisher’s Clearing House and it’s likely that the suspect used this name to appear legitimate. PCH has a section of their website that explains scams:
THINK BEFORE YOU PRIVATIZE
The Mendocino County Health and Human Services Agency is now in a bidding process with the Petaluma Animal Shelter and plans to present recommendations to you, our Board of Supervisors, about whether to accept PAS’s proposal to manage our Ukiah Animal Shelter. I have been volunteering at the Ukiah Animal Shelter for about five years. At first, I walked dogs and became familiar with all areas of the shelter. During the last two years, I have been contacting people that have adopted our pets to ask how their pet is doing and about their experience in general. I have visited the Petaluma Animal Shelter (PAS) and was given a tour by Jeff Charter, PAS Director. Although he has done a nice job with that shelter, we have an amazing shelter in Ukiah.
People who come to the UAS from Sacramento, Bay Area, the coast and Sonoma County have been overwhelmingly positive about our shelter. From the hundreds of phone calls I have completed, only one has been very negative. Granted, a few people have been concerned about the cost of adoption, about health issues that have shown up after adoption, or how a shelter staff/volunteer might have responded to them on a particular day. Contrary to these few complaints, the general response has been overwhelmingly positive about the adoption process, friendliness and helpfulness of the staff and volunteers. People consistently report the adopted pet has become the best thing in their lives. A number of these people have told their friends to come to our shelter to adopt because they had such a good experience. Many people have sent photos and comments to Sage Mountainfire, our shelter supervisor, who posts these on the shelter website or in reception area binder. Truly, the positivity is rewarding. Recently someone came from Santa Rosa and another from Petaluma to adopt at our shelter because they couldn’t find a desirable pet in their area. There are about seven shelters in the area around Petaluma. PAS has recently had four pets on their adoptable pets website. With so few pets, it must be easy to have a high live release rate at PAS.
Our shelter sponsors a volunteer orientation on the first Wednesday of each month. Amy Campbell, our shelter adoption coordinator, does a wonderful job of presenting shelter opportunities. If an attendee decides to volunteer, they fill our an information form and sign up for a time and duty. When the new volunteer actually arrives, she or he is given another training about his or her duties: walking dogs, etc. When I first volunteered to walk dogs, another long-time volunteer trained me for an hour. PAS provides one individual training. I prefer the group orientation which weeds out the person who may not be sure about volunteering. Our shelter advertises in the volunteer column of the UDJ, has a Volunteer flyer, and we encourage others to volunteer because we are proud of our shelter.
Sage invited and facilitated the visit of a nationally known expert to our shelter to initiate “Dog Play Groups.” This program has been successful in socializing larger dogs from various backgrounds to become more adoptable. This is hard to do when there are plantations that let dogs go feral at the end of each season. This is another demographic difference from Petaluma. The Pit Crew trains pit bulls to be more adoptable.
Our animal shelter’s intakes and outcomes keep growing, perhaps, in part due to our large demographic area encompassing the far reaches of Mendocino county. One graph on the HHRS website, dated 2002-2009 indicates a significant decline in our euthanasia rates, from 58% to 17.6% and an increase in adoptions/transfers during that time. According to one current HHSA county chart, dated 1/1/15 to 12/18/15, our shelter took in 2111 animals of all kinds and adopted out or transferred the majority to other shelters or rescue groups. Both transfers and adoption rates have increased since 2009 while the euthanasia rate has continued to decrease even more. There appears to be a gap in the available online public data between 2009 and 2015. As our shelter intakes increase, our statistics need to be updated in the HHRS office and made public. Please note that the euthanasia rate has significantly decreased under Sage Mountainfire’s supervision. We have a two-day a week veterinarian who tends to the health of our pets and a Pet Caravan which travels our county. PAS contracts with a local vet to diagnose and determine really unhealthy dogs and vicious animals to be euthanized. This makes it difficult to determine their actual euthanization rate. Also, PAS can’t take in any livestock due to city ordinances. PAS contains mostly small animals. PAS’s demographics is just different than ours. We take in all animals in need.
A grand jury report indicated the shelter was in need of repair, that staff had low morale and there was a rat and flea outbreak. Since I have been volunteering, I have never seen a rat or flea outbreak. Of course, the shelter is exposed to the outside like our barns and sheds where we do see a rat or mouse. Fleas live on wildlife and on the ground, and often enter the shelter on pets that are received by the shelter. As far as morale, it must be much better now than when the grand jury report was published. Currently, the shelter has a collaborative and hard working staff. They work well together and help each other out.
I understand that our sheriff’s department would continue to provide animal control, so this is a non issue.
Budget is a big issue everywhere. People are fighting, or shall I say, bidding for money and services. According to the adopted county budget for 2014-15, the shelter’s net appropriations was $924,087. The net county cost of the shelter was $331,397. The difference comes from revenues. I couldn’t find a current budget for 2015-16. Remember, we operate a vet clinic for low cost spay/neuter and a caravan. PAS has an operating budget of about $1 million and is reimbursed 40% by the City of Petaluma. PAS Director earns over $100,000, whereas, our shelter supervisor earns roughly half of that. There is talk of the $331,397 being a budget shortfall, but has there been careful considerations of the costs imposed by PAS or how our budget could be more solvent using “common sense” without outsourcing our of our county and engaging in a private-public partnership.
There are activities we can do to help offset costs: more fund raising, even grant writing if the country allows. I believe that with HHRS and shelter staff collaboration, other improvements can be made. There is always room for self evaluation, no matter what the profession.
I urge you to visit the Petaluma Animal Shelter and other shelters if you have not had the opportunity. Our county has an amazing shelter and visiting PAS might help insure a thoughtful process in the final decision of what to do with our Ukiah Animal Shelter.
Dear Redwood Coast Seniors, Inc. Board of Directors,
I was led to believe that the new bylaw amendments at Redwood Coast Seniors, Inc. involved minor changes. The ones you sent look pretty major to me.
First, the number of voting members went from nine minimum to nine maximum. Now any number of individuals can run the Fort Bragg Senior Center. Including one. Second, the election of new board members requires a unanimous vote of the incumbents. That's not a democracy. Hell, it's not even close.
You and your board kept these proposed amendments away from public view until they were passed. And they were passed by four voting board members. When the number of voting board members was declared to be eight on the RCSC's 2013 tax return. Signed under penalty of perjury by one of your officers, Claudia Boudreau. So you knew you didn't have a quorum. And you passed them anyway.
Not only that, the word count went from 2,260 on the previous bylaws to 1,785 on the amended ones. So obviously, there are fewer rules to follow now. I'd like all of you to look at this video: http://original.livestream.com/mendocinotv/video?clipId=pla_1e5aa81e-9e69-4b41-b889-d82a8d93a623
It's a public meeting from two and a half years ago. Where many eloquent seniors spoke out in favor of more inclusive government at the Senior Center. I am very disappointed in all of you. I hope this can be discussed on the local listserv.
Scott M. Peterson
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
When I went to college in California, back in the 60s, the state system was essentially free, particularly if one took the route of 2 years community college, 2 years state college. It cost a few hundred bucks a semester. The University of California was more, but not much more. These were 1960s dollars or course, when a student job paid a buck and a half an hour, but it was well within anybody’s capability to work their way through in 4 years.
Even so, not everybody went to college or wanted to. People generally recognized that college wasn’t for everybody. I remember starting out at the “JC” with people from my high school. Most of them dropped out after a semester and went to work instead.
Plus you had to keep your grades up. Academic standards were probably a little higher then. And Women’s studies, ethnic studies and social justice weren’t offered as majors. Those came later, as did massive inflation.
THE SHELTER'S BAN ON CERTAIN VOLUNTEERS
The only thing wrong with the county's recent "banning" of several volunteers (with the exception of one, mistakenly identified as problematic) was that it didn't happen half a year ago.
2015 saw several people join the volunteers at the shelter who had, until that point, a pretty good track record of working amicably together and with the shelter staff. Not so the newbies--who proclaimed themselves the only capable people at the shelter, whining on social media about perceived injustices and insults, and posting about "killings" of kittens and dogs, inviting responses from the invisible world of social media critics and refusing to take responsibility for their actions.
For whatever reason — fear of repercussions during the ridiculously drawn out shelter outsourcing procedure (this has gone on for over a year, while the county has had the response to their RFP since August 4, and staff was told months ago that they could be laid off any moment), a desire or false hope that the tone of social media and gossip might change for the better, nothing was done to rectify an uncomfortable and problematic situation.
Armed with an agenda, these folks have turned a community conversation into a hurtful, negative farce. In any another workplace, volunteers who carried on like this would have been "released" a long time ago.
FIRST THINGS FIRST
To the Editor:
Thanks to the Daily Journal for the excellent editorial on Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016, about the County’s budgetary retirement mess. Unfortunately, the issues discussed are likely to be with us for the next several months and, maybe, years. I believe we can’t just talk. Tough decisions have to be made and implemented. Some of the key points to consider are the following:
One. The County is insolvent. Its liabilities — mostly incurred in connection with its employee retirement obligations — exceed its assets by at least $50 million.
Two. A major portion of its liabilities consist of about $130 million of bonds issued in two tranches during the last 20 years to fund shortfalls in the County’s required contributions to the employees’ retirement fund. These bonds require annual payments to bondholders of several million dollars per year.
Three. Another significant County liability is the requirement to contribute several million dollars per year to the employee retirement fund, which supplements the smaller amount contributed per year by the employees. Despite both these sources of contribution, the retirement fund balance is going down each year because its outflow requirements exceed its income. This is partly explained by the fact the retirement fund’s advisers give the fund’s board of directors poor advice about what rate of return can be earned on the retirement fund.
Four. Without voter approval the County cannot increase its income (raise taxes) sufficiently to (i) pay required contributions to the employee retirement fund and (ii) pay its bonded indebtedness without seriously cutting back on the services it is required to provide for its residents/tax payers — i.e., roads and health and safety services.
Five. Perhaps most importantly, we citizens can’t now know just exactly what part of our infrastructure must be promptly repaired or built to prepare for a productive and healthy County economy in the years ahead — think Flint and Detroit Michigan. But, we do know that if a major part of our tax receipts go to satisfying retirees’ pension expectations and bondholders’ demands the County won’t have the money required to pay for even vital current services for its residents, let alone prepare for expected future requirements.
In other words, something has to give, and it would be highly irresponsible for the Board of Supervisors to continue putting off making the decisions necessary to get the County’s financial house in order.
Some important questions that the Supervisors, and, indeed, all County residents, have to decide are:
Item A. What values, or priorities, should underlie and control the trade-offs to be made? Do we take a slice, or a share, from each of the County’s areas of responsibility — pay and benefits for employees, bond payments, and provision of services to residents/tax payers? Or, is it more important to meet some obligations than others when it’s obvious that all can’t be met? Is it more important to fix roads, provide infrastructure for future development and provide needed health and safety services; or is it more important to continue to pay bond holders and some of the large pension payments the Daily Journal Editor listed?
Item B. When should the decisions be made? Soon, so a great deal of money is not wasted, or lost, pursuing alternatives we can now reasonably see will not be successful? Or, later, after we try to cut back a little on everything and see if we can’t muddle through or get some help from somewhere?
Item C. Do we need to change County leadership on these issues so decisions can be made by people who don’t have a direct interest involved or an “axe to grind” and who may be better qualified — by education and experience — to make the decisions than are our existing “Leaders” who have gotten us into this situation? Most of our current “Leaders” are significant beneficiaries of the existing employment benefit system and several of them have participated in several very unwise decisions that have resulted in the current state of affairs. If they won’t voluntarily quit, maybe they should be thrown out.
My own view, which is supported by several old court cases, is that the County’s primary obligation is to perform for its residents the services necessary for their prosperity, health and welfare, and that paying pensions and bondholders are only possible means to that end, not ends in themselves. This view is consistent with the preamble to the U.S. Constitution:
“We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity…”
I believe that if paying bond holders or paying pension obligations leave the County with too little money to meet these obligations, then the County must prioritize and perform its primary obligations. And, despite what employee organizations and state politicians said for many years, after bankruptcy cases involving Vallejo, Stockton, and Detroit, there is no doubt but that the Federal Bankruptcy law affords municipalities such as Mendocino County a legal, honorable, and tried and true avenue for prioritizing their obligations and preparing for a viable future, even if this means paying bondholders and some pensioners less than they reasonably expect to receive.
But, some folks may differ; and my effort here is not to convince anyone of what our priorities should be. The point I want to make is that the County is broke, it is going further into the hole every year, and it should promptly make and then efficiently effectuate the decisions necessary to implement a viable course of action that will accomplish the purposes that serve its citizens’ and residents’ interests.
Jared G. Carter, Ukiah
SOLAR ADVOCATES WIN BIG
After a long year of uncertainty, solar advocates are celebrating two recent victories.
Together, these victories provide several years of certainty to homeowners and business owners who are considering purchasing or leasing solar energy systems.
In national news, the 30% Solar Investment Tax Credit was extended through the end of 2019, as part of the tax and spending deal passed just before Congress went on break for the winter holidays.
Homeowners and business owners will continue to be able to claim a Federal Tax Credit for 30% of the cost of a new solar electric system through 2019, before the credit drops to 10% through the year 2022.
In California, solar advocates won another victory with the final adoption of new solar-friendly net metering rules by the Public Utilities Commission. The final vote by the PUC, on January 28, 2016, was 3-2 in favor of the proposal, with the PUC agreeing to reconsider these rules again in 2019.
Under these new rules, known as Net Metering 2.0, solar customers will receive full retail credit for excess electricity they produce and sell to PG&E and other California utility companies. The new rules do include some new fees. Solar customers will pay increased charges for upkeep of the electric grid and to support public purpose programs such as energy efficiency rebates.
For more information visit mendocinosolar.com or call Mendocino Solar Service at 707-937-1701.
Bruce Erickson and Maggie Watson
CATCH OF THE DAY, January 29, 2016
WILLIAM CLAPPER, Ukiah. Drunk in public, probation revocation.
SHANE HAWKINS, Willits. Domestic assault, vandalism.
CHARLES HENSLEY, Ukiah. Drunk in public, failure to appear. (Frequent flyer.)
JAMES JENKINS, Ukiah. Under influence, unauthorized entry, protective order violation, controlled substance, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
KODY MATTHEWS, Redwood Valley. DUI.
ERNESTO MENDOZA, Potter Valley. DUI, controlled substance,
DANIEL RESNIK, Eureka/Ukiah. Battery.
AMANDA SIZEMORE, Wililts. Vehicle theft.
PRO-TUNNELS GROUP BARS JOURNALIST FROM MEDIA TELECONFERENCE
by Dan Bacher
It appears that Californians for Water Security, the “coalition” created by corporate agribusiness interests to promote the California Water Fix plan to build Governor Jerry Brown’s Delta Tunnels, does not want independent journalists to ask them any tough questions about the controversial water project.
On January 27, I received a “media advisory” from Inez Kaminski of Californians for Water Security advising me of a Teleconference the following day at 10:30 am to “discuss the urgency of implementing California’s Water Fix.” The advisory originated out of the Sacramento-based Swanson Communications, the public relations firm promoting Californians for Water Security.
The advisory stated:
“On Wednesday at 10:30 a.m., the day before the State Water Resources Control Board holds its initial meeting to consider issuing permits for the California Water Fix, supporters including water experts, environmentalists and business and labor interests will host a media teleconference to discuss the importance of implementing the Governor’s plan to update our aging water infrastructure.
The California Water Fix has endured nearly a decade of extensive expert review, planning and scientific and environmental analysis by the state’s leading water experts, engineers and conservationists, and unprecedented public comment and participation.
The coalition urges the Water Board to approve the petition as the only viable plan to protect the health and water quality of the Delta, while securing water supplies for nearly 2/3 of our state’s homes, farms and businesses. “
The speakers at the teleconference were Rich Atwater, Executive Director, Southern California Water Committee; Jerry Meral, California Water Program Director, National Heritage Institute; and Michael Quigley, Executive Director, California Alliance for Jobs.
The pro-tunnels teleconference was apparently spurred by the Restore the Delta’s teleconference on Monday, “The State Water Board and the Declining Health of the SF Bay-Delta Estuary.” That call featured a panel of experts who have followed the State Water Resources Control Board for decades. Their teleconference is available below:
I had participated in the Restore the Delta teleconference on Monday, so I set aside the time on Wednesday to listen to — and ask some hard questions of — the tunnels proponents on Wednesday.
However, when I called in on the teleconference phone number and talked to the conference staff, four people in a row told me I wasn’t on the “approved credentialed media list.”
I asked them all, “So why did they send me a media advisory about the event (twice!) when they didn’t want me to get on the call?”
Frustrated, I then sent the following email, with the advisory attached:
You sent me this media advisory, but four phone operators said I was not on the "approved list" of ''credentialed media."
Then why are you sending me these press releases?
I am requesting that the person in charge of this call inform me why you are sending me these press releases if I can't join the conference call.
Dan Bacher, Editor, Northern California Angler Publications
I am a dues-paying member of the Communications Workers of America, AFL-CIO, Local 39521
So far, I haven't received any response from Californians for Water Security. However, the following day, Thursday, I did receive another press release, headlined, ICYMI: New PPIC Report Highlights Importance of CA WaterFix to Protect Water Supply.”
So again the question: Why didn’t Californians for Water Security allow me call into their media teleconference? Were they afraid I would ask tough questions about the Delta Tunnels project that they couldn’t answer?
The Brown administration and supporters of the California Water Fix have become infamous for their lack of openness and transparency about the widely-contested Delta Tunnels project. This refusal to allow an independent journalist to participate in a media teleconference is just typical of the lack of transparency that infests the California Water Fix fiasco.
KZYX: THE DOCUMENTS
January 29, 2016
Re. Member inspection on Feb. 1
Dear KZYX Board and General Manager Lorraine Dechter:
This email is a reminder that as stated on December 30 (below), there will be a member inspection of documents (at the Philo station) on Monday, February 1.
This will be a small delegation (arriving at 2:30 pm) and our primary interest at this time is to examine and copy the following:
1) Membership List: A listing of names (or unique numbers) of all KZYX members, addresses and voting rights of those members entitled to vote for the election of directors as of December 31, 2016.
2) Explanation of how the Membership List is maintained: An explanation from staff/GM as to how member names are acquired and entered, including the data base application and the forms used to take pledges.
3) Restricted Funds: All records pertaining to Restricted Funds, in particular the Ukiah Studio Fund, including an explanation of how this money has been used, and whether it will be returned to the Ukiah studio fund.
4) Safe Harbor Directive: Any correspondence with programmers or members regarding the end of Safe Harbor. Who made the decision and when?
Warm regards to all.
King Collins member KZYX Board 2003-2005
* * *
On Dec 29, 2015, at 10:01 PM, King Collins wrote:
December 30, 2015
To Mendocino County Board of Directors Meg Courtney, President Lorraine Dechter, General Manager Stuart Campbell, Interim General Manager
Gentlemen and Ladies,
It is confirmed that Lorraine Dechter will be the new General Manager of the radio station, effective January 4. According to our previous agreements, this triggers a new date for the inspection of documents as requested in our Demand for Inspection of June 9. You required four weeks from the date of the hiring of the permanent GM. Accordingly, the new date for inspection is Monday, February 1.
As we said in previous correspondence, we do not agree with any of the limitations for inspection that were suggested by the Acting General Manager in his response of June 23. However, with regard to the membership list we would approve a procedure of assigning unique ID numbers to replace member names as a way to insure anonymity of individual members.
If you wish to stop or limit the inspection, you will need to obtain an order from the Superior Court.
Thank you very much for accommodating this inspection. Between now and then, please make sure that all records are preserved and that none are destroyed, removed, or otherwise made inaccessible.
King Collins, Norman de Vall
Application for 2016 Board of Directors Election
Mendocino County Public Broadcasting
Member Name: John Sakowicz
Seat Applying for: At-Large
Since being elected to the MCPB Board of Directors in 2013, I've fought hard to break down the door of closed clubhouse that KZYX had sadly become. It was not a true public radio station.
From 2007 to 2015, KZYX had a weak General Manager who capitulated to every decision made by a strong-willed Program Director who had been at the station since its founding 25 years ago. (Both persons have since left KZYX.)
For example, public input at the station was completely shut down. Both the Program Advisory Committee and the Community Advisory Board were dissolved by the former Program Director. Also, members were not allowed to organize nor to communicate with one another. The former Program Director also purged programmers who disagreed with her, and censored others.
This iron-fisted control of the station by one person -- the former Program Director -- resulted in declining members and underwriters, which resulted in declining revenues. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting also cut our funding. Numerous citizens filed objections to the renewal of the station's two licenses at the FCC. The closed door clubhouse had resulted in a bunker mentality, which resulted in much conflict.
In December, 2015, the MCPB Board elected a new General Manager. She was hired after almost not getting a fair chance due to the fact that the interim General Manager -- the former Board President -- tried rigging the hiring process by appointing the chair of the search committee, stacking the search committee with his cohorts, and instructing the search committee to copy him on all email correspondence. He then applied for the job after saying he had no interest in the job. It was the most unethical conflict of interest I have ever seen in my life.
The Board in its wisdom hired the right person. She's great. The old guard left. It's now a whole new day at KZYX.
I'm so happy for us!
I have an MA and BA from the Johns Hopkins University, and have worked on Wall Street. Most recently, I've completed pension fund management training at Stanford Law School, UC Berkeley's Haas School, and UCLA's Anderson School.
I have a popular public affairs program at KMEC on a very powerful digital platform. I have over 18,000 subscribers on my Youtube channel. My show is also a finalist for a $211,000 grant from a major foundation.
RERUN of a pretty good Memo of the Air show on KNYO and KMEC tonight, and another opportunity to get last week's show, and really all of them; they're all there.
The recording of /last week's/ show is still ready to download and keep or just listen to, at http://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com as well as a full explanation as to why there's no fresh live show tonight, darn it all to heck.
Also at http://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com you'll find, to make up for no new show, a giant number (like a 1 or 2 or so with several zeroes after it) of rainy-day or rainy-night links to interesting things to see and do and learn about, such as:
A satisfying explanation of the main problem most people have with the speed of light. http://tinyurl.com/l5shvuz
How many mass-extinctions there have really been. http://tinyurl.com/z38zo77
The way the world looked in the 1970sâ€¦ http://tinyurl.com/hfquqx3
â€¦when children wrote letters like these to the future: http://tinyurl.com/jeqwy5k
An accurate summary of the ongoing Israeli/Palestinian brouhaha, though in unnecessarily vertiginous animation. http://tinyurl.com/hj383pa
And an interview with God. http://tinyurl.com/he8lewb