- Shelter Issue
- Courthouse Escrow
- Measure V
- Inattentive Contractor
- Superintendent Rehab
- Hung Jury
- Expensive Garden
- City Dialogue
- Jail Life
- Gang Suppression
- Yesterday's Catch
- Hit Deer
- Zika Transport
- Group Psychology
- Rugby Ukiah
- Patterson's Piece
- Worldwide Peace
- Teaching History
- Oakland Coalport
- Grand Jurors
- Global Risk
- Suppressing Speech
- Library Events
- Ukiah Concerts
- Meltdown Man
- Wildlife Films
- Delta Tunnels
MORE OFTEN THAN NOT, I agree with AVA on so many local issues but I really needed to address your article below as inaccurate. I did not attend this meeting but I watched it on U-Tube and I certainly had a different take on it than the AVA did.
First, the evening before the meeting the 9:am scheduled agenda item “code of conduct” was changed to 1:30pm. I can only assume some working folks who had planned to take off work to speak in the A.M. did not know this.
Volunteers chose to speak to the “code of conduct” because the word “volunteer” was used in the proposed code. Volunteers used to have regularly scheduled meetings with staff but Ms. Mountainfire discontinued these meetings awhile back. Volunteers have no place or no one to go to with their concerns. The “code of conduct” protects staff from volunteers and the public who might look at them sideways and they are welcome if, and only if, they “behave”.
If I read the AVA's article correctly, “speaking of precarious mental health” refers back to the volunteer who broke down and cried as she addressed the BOS. If so, am I to believe you have no compassion for a young woman who is deeply committed to helping animals and risked her volunteer “privileges” to speak of and for their proper care? I have spent a little time talking with Becca and she, as well as others, could not tolerate some of the care, or lack there of, for the animals. She tried talking to management but management was not interested in hearing her concerns.
Her concerns were much in alignment with those of the Grand Jury who was also ignored. When you see an animal without water or lying on a still wet with bleach floor, which can cause sores on critters, it is hard for some to turn a blind eye. This volunteer is crushed that the “privilege” of helping animals has been taken from her because helping animals and saving lives is her heart.
I have learned that Becca is training to be a certified animal behaviorist. She knows and understands that a simple temperament test is just a way to identify an animal issues so that you can see what work has to be done, not a pass/fail test which can cause the “failed” animal to lose its life. I have seen this outdated pass/fail mode of testing and I have personally rescued animals deemed “vicious” by the County. These animals, with proper care and training, have become fantastic companions to many. I do not feel an animal should pay the ultimate price for having been abused. And I do believe there are some, but not many, who are a danger to others.
Becca is one of the many volunteers who has stood up in favor of Petaluma Animal Services taking over the shelter. I believe the difference between Becca and the others is that she dared to dispute a flyer put out by the HHSA Department which I will attach. I didn’t even notice the HHSA on the flyer until I blew it up on the screen. It is in small print on the left side of the dog (vertical print). I will attach the flyer for you to see. The flyer is printed full color and is offered at the front desk at ACS. It also offers folks delivery to local businesses upon request if the business will post them. As a taxpayer I do not feel I should be paying for a flyer from HHSA, the very Gov’t. Department that put out the RFP to take over the shelter. This flyer was posted on the shelter’s Facebook page.
Here’'s where I believe Becca might have gone wrong, she dared to respond to that flyer on the Friends of Ukiah Animal Shelter page. I found it rather interesting that Sup. McCowen said the BOS was not denying volunteers their first amendment freedom of speech rights, but volunteers were not to speak through social media. I guess he leaves them the option to go into the closet and talk to themselves.
UKIAH ANIMAL SHELTER'S RESPONSE.
Friends of Ukiah Animal Shelter, January 17:
We want to alert the public that this flyer that is circulating the internet and Mendocino County is providing inaccurate information to the public. Please make a decision with your own mind and with all the FACTS, not with the misleading statements this flyer would have you believe. The real question is do you want to fix the very real problems that exist in our animal shelter? Do you want to have a shelter that is customer service oriented where you feel welcome? Do you want as many animals as possible to be saved? These are the REAL questions to ask yourself - then contact the Supervisors and let them know you want to be treated well, you want animals to be treated fairly and given every chance to live, and you want a real community based animal shelter that serves it’s community and provides the best care possible for our animals.
SUPERVISOR BROWN (First District) - email@example.com Phone# 707-463-4221
SUPERVISOR MCCOWEN (Second District) - firstname.lastname@example.org Phone#707-463-7213
SUPERVISOR WOODHOUSE (Third District) - email@example.com Phone#707-367-6334
SUPERVISOR GJERDE (Fourth District) - firstname.lastname@example.org 707-463-7229
SUPERVISOR HAMBURG (Fifth District) - email@example.com Cell#707-391-3576
CEO CARMEL ANGELO- firstname.lastname@example.org Phone#707-463-4441 (Assistant: Cassandra Borgna: Phone# 707-463-7203)
I personally believe that Becca's head was put on a spike for all to see as an example of what will happen if volunteers get out of line. And they had better not stare.
I also wish to address the AVA’s criticism of Montanos family. I do not really know the family but I admire them for standing up for positive change for our County shelter. I understand they took much time to check out the Petaluma group and saw how much better their operation was than our County shelter. They have put time and care in supporting volunteers who have attempted to speak up. About a year ago HHSA & the Sheriff took a favorable look at Petaluma and supported the possibility of this progressive group taking over our shelter. I personally would judge folks by what they had in their pocket if they carried their heart & soul in their pocket.
The shelter only now is beginning to clean up it’s act a bit thanks to volunteers like Becca and pressure from the Montanos family. The findings of the Grand Jury certainly didn'’t appear to move them to action.
The questions we really need to ask ourselves are:
- Why do we have a paid shelter manager on administrative leave and a “paid” interim manager at the shelter?
- Why is there suddenly a “paid security guard at the shelter?
- Why is there suddenly a “paid” CEO assistant to deal with shelter issues?
- Why is HHSA looking to add $100, to the shelter budget when there is an outstanding organization who can and will do it for less?
- And why are we spending all this money when our County is broke?
- Also, why was the RFP 42 pages when other RFP’s for shelters are 6-11 pages?
- Could this RFP been created to fail?
Bruce, I don’t know or understand anything about our local government but there certainly appears to be going about making things better in a cockeyed way.
Bruce, please believe I would not have gone on in this fashion if I did not have great respect for you and your ability to investigate and dig for the truth. I often threaten to move back to L.A. where life was simple and people made sense.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
FROM THE Ukiah Daily Journal report on the status of the sale of the Ukiah rail depot property to the State for the new, totally unnecessary Ukiah courthouse: “The property being considered as the site of a proposed new Mendocino County courthouse is now in escrow, according to its current owner the North Coast Railroad Authority. ‘I can safely say it is on the path to reality,’ said NCRA executive director Mitch Stogner of the project...”
AS OPPOSED to his railroad which remains on the path to fantasy.
MEASURE V: ARGUMENTS FOR & AGAINST
Argument in Favor of Measure V
Citizens of our county have the right to protect their environment through self-governance. The timber industry has killed and left millions of trees standing dead over tens of thousands of acres with no end in sight. Industry has failed to self-regulate in the face of an unprecedented drought, burdening the people with unreasonable financial and health hazards. Dead trees can and do cause great bodily harm, including death.
Voting YES on Measure V:
- Safeguards residents from the dangerous industrial practice of intentionally killing and leaving dead standing trees.
- Declares this radical practice a PUBLIC NUISANCE and restores corporate accountability.
- Protects emergency escape routes and critical infrastructure.
- Puts the safety of people ahead of corporate profit.
- Protects firefighters, many of them volunteers, from unnecessary manufactured perils.
- Demands honest forest management, requiring project clean up by disallowing manmade hazards from littering the landscape.
- Shifts financial burden from the people to the timberland owner/operator.
- Provides an exemption for wildlife habitat.
- Mitigates a controllable hazard from compounding with projected and unknown fire impacts of climate change.
- Asserts the right of citizens to establish a reasonable standard, where regulators have favored corporate profit over public safety.
State regulators and elected officials have been slow and lax in responding to the concerns of citizens, choosing to protect the bottom-line interests of the largest corporations. Last fall, Governor Brown declared a state of emergency over what he called California’s “worst epidemic of tree mortality in modern history,” yet the largest timber company in Mendocino County continued to “hack and squirt” without regard to its impacts to residents and firefighters. Instead of pausing, the timber industry attempted to influence public policy by urging citizens NOT to sign the petitions that would put this measure on the ballot.
Yes on V!
s/Ted Williams, Fire Chief, Albion Little River Fire Protection District
s/James Sibbet, Firefighter, Comptche Volunteer Fire Dept.
s/Mike Coltan, Firefighter, Comptche Volunteer Fire Dept.
s/Kirk Van Patten, CalFire Air Attack Captain, ret.
s/Katy M. Tahja, Librarian, ret.
Argument Opposing Measure V
This Measure interferes with everyone's ability to manage their private land in Mendocino County including healthy forest restoration. The measure touches nearly every acre of land in Mendocino County under the guise of "fire safety." In reality it overreaches effective, existing regulations and laws in pursuit of stopping the restoration of forests in our county.
In most redwood forests, tan oak is a minor player competing for light and nutrients. The forest Mendocino Redwood Company acquired in 1998 was overharvested, resulting in an unnaturally tan oak dominated forest. Our restoration efforts are ongoing and began 17 years ago. More than one million tan oaks have been treated, allowing the growth of more than 14 million redwood and Douglas fir trees.
Treating tan oak is crucial to restoration of County forestland. A scientific, sensible and safe way to bring balance to our forest is to treat tan oak selectively, by hand, carefully, literally tree by tree. Forests are regulated by seven state and federal agencies. MRC's management practices have been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council for 15 consecutive years. Fire risk is complex. The stated reason for the measure "to lower fire risk" is unsupported by the evidence in treated tan oak stands of the 2008 Mendocino Lightning Fire Complex and subsequent wildland fires. In contrast, fire resilience in treated stands and the addition of millions of fire resistant redwood trees to the forest is well documented.
MRC is a local business employing over 200 county residents including myself. We work daily as stewards of the land and the company is transparent in its operations; each year we take hundreds of people to whatever part of our forest they choose to see for themselves. There is a better way than more regulations, laws and restrictions. Vote no on Measure V.
Jesse D. Weaver, registered voter
THE COLLAPSE OF THE BRIDGE FRAMEWORK for the Willits Bypass occurred because the contractor was innattentive, CalTrans announced last week. Three workers were badly injured when a 150-section of concrete forms collapsed. Caltrans contractor, Flatiron West of Benicia, was responsible for construction and inspection. Caltrans designed the bridge. The forms collapsed as concrete was being poured into them. CalTrans claims Flatiron deviated from plans approved by Big Orange.
MENDOCINO COUNTY SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS, Warren Galletti, has entered a rehab program following his arrest last month for driving under the influence. He entered rehab after entering a not guilty plea. His preliminary hearing is in April. Atilla Panczel of Ukiah is representing Galletti.
ROBIN IVEY WARREN, age 62, got a hung jury on her DUI case by taking her misdemeanor case to a jury who agreed last week that her blood alcohol, measured at just above 0.08, was too close to call, that breathalyzers can, like all machinery, be inaccurate. The DA quickly announced that “This matter will undergo the standard review by senior prosecutors next week. The parties will be back in court on March 25th and it is expected that a trial with a new jury will be rescheduled at that time. The prosecutor who presented the People's evidence at this week's trial was Deputy District Attorney Houston Porter. The investigating law enforcement agencies were the California Highway Patrol and the California Department of Justice Crime Laboratory in Eureka.”
AMERICA’S MOST EXPENSIVE GARDEN PROJECT is kicking off in Fort Bragg.
The City of Fort Bragg has applied for and received a Community Development Block Grant worth $186,047 for the Hospitality Center's "Giving Garden." The money is good for three years. The CDBG book of regulations says all its projects are supposed to be monitored for compliance by the grantee. But Fort Bragg people trying to find out who's responsible get a circular reference. The guy in Sacramento says talk to Fort Bragg, FB says talk to the guy in Sacramento.
THIS IS FEDERAL MONEY, and how exactly this much money came to be funneled through Fort Bragg for yet another nebulous Hospitality Center-related scheme is not known. What is known? $186,047 buys a lot of lettuce.
"The CDBG program works to ensure decent affordable housing, to provide services to the most vulnerable in our communities, and to create jobs through the expansion and retention of businesses. CDBG is an important tool for helping local governments tackle serious challenges facing their communities. The CDBG program has made a difference in the lives of millions of people and their communities across the Nation."
FORT BRAGG is clearly responsible for America's most expensive garden project: "As a CDBG grantee, The City is required to submit a variety of reports on an interim and annual basis, including annual Grantee Performance Reports (GPRs) The GPRs are required by the state Housing and Community Development (HCD) in order to generate information required by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development."
AND SPEAKING of Fort Bragg, one has to wonder why a meeting allegedly convened to hear from the public is scheduled for 8am when the public is at work. Duh. Because the City would prefer not to hear.
* * *
CITY DIALOGUE MEETING SET FOR FRIDAY, MARCH 25
The City of Fort Bragg holds quarterly City Dialogue meetings to provide an opportunity for members of the public to have an informal discussion with the City Manager and the City’s management team about City projects and activities and other community matters. Feel free to join us for what is always an interesting conversation! The next meeting will be held at 8 AM on Friday, March 25th at Fort Bragg Town Hall.
A VIEW FROM BENEATH
First off I would like to thank you for reading and taking the time out of your day for my letter. Man, your paper is hella funny. I like to sit back and watch people get mad as hell that you talk shit about them and their cases and all the dumb shit they do. But hell, I am one to talk. I moved up here from the valley to get away from drugs and all that other BS. But man, was Mendo the wrong place to do that. (There's more drugs up here than down there.) You see, these cops don't give a shit about drugs. But if you get caught with a gun you are fucked. Whereas where I'm from, you get off with a gun, no biggie. But drugs, oh hell no.
You see I met this girl from Laytonville (native). Man was that about the dumbest shit I could have done. But I will get back to her.
Man, this whole county is about as corrupt as that movie Training Day. I've been here in Mendocino County Jail for over a year and I've seen some funny shit.
For example, it don't matter if you are here for a sex case or Protective Custody, you can still hit a man on mainline or General Population here. They (meaning the cops) don't care. This is the only jail I know where you can go from protective custody/red suit to general population. But when those protective custodies get rolled up (beat up/making them leave), the cops flip their shit. It's like, Bro, you should have known it was coming. It's like they turn a blind eye to the fact that some people are on their way to the Big House and if word gets back they were programming with protective custody/red suits, there goes any chance at a main line.
Or here's a better example, if someone doesn't know any better the cops just put them in protective custody or a red suit. But when they come back on a new case the cop locks them in general population with him not knowing any better. He will get to talking, saying he was in Protective Custody or red suit or someone saw him. Then he will get beaten up for something he knows nothing about. Wow. Right. Just drop them off.
Man, I can go on for ever. The jail is so fucked up people ask for prison instead of county time here in Mendocino.
Now I will get back to my lovely ex. Everyone knows drinking and Indians don't mix. But I still for some reason thought she was different. I would love to tell you how it all went down but not until I take the deal. But for sure you are going to get it.
Also, I thought I would write to ask about the paper you wrote two or three weeks ago. About that sergeant who beat his wife and was locked up and all that. You see, the cops here took it saying we can't have it. We get the paper but it is addressed to the Mendocino County Jail Unit 4 so they can take it. But if you send it to me I would get it. Every time. I would just get a subscription but my money is a little bit low right now. So if you would please send this paper and the upcoming papers to me addressed to me I would appreciate it. Please and thank you.
Mendocino County Jail, Ukiah
GANG-RELATED CRIME ENFORCEMENT UNDERWAY IN AND AROUND UKIAH
Two suspected gang members found in possession of an illegally-modified shotgun and firearm ammunition were taken into custody Tuesday near Oak Manor Elementary School by law enforcement officers working together under the auspices of the Mendocino County Multi-Agency Gang Suppression Unit.
Arrested yesterday afternoon were Rogelio Lorenzi Zarate, age 35, and Phillip Ronnie Lopez, Jr., age 26, both of Ukiah. These two suspected gang members – both being individuals prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition because of prior felony convictions – were first observed at Oak Manor Park, which is located adjacent to the Oak Manor Elementary School in Ukiah. School was in session at the time the suspects were contacted at the park and subsequently arrested. The men were taken into custody for the illegal possession of a firearm within one thousand feet of a school, for being felons in possession of a firearm, for being felons in possession of ammunition, and for parole and probation violations.
Local law enforcement officials believe these arrests should serve as notice in general that increased gang-related investigations and arrests will continue to take place around the county. Concerned citizens who may observe suspected gang activities or who may have gang-related information are requested to assist in the fight against gang influences and gang-related crime by timely reporting what they observe and know to local law enforcement agencies.
Coordinated by DA Investigator Bryan Arrington, the following law enforcement agencies collaboratively work together as the Mendocino County Multi-Agency Gang Suppression Unit (MAGSU): the Fort Bragg Police Department, the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, the Mendocino County Adult Probation Department, the Mendocino County Major Crimes Task Force, the Ukiah Police Department, the Willits Police Department, State Parole, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office.
Any individual arrested should be considered not guilty unless and until the contrary is proven in a court of law. Formal charges have been filed by the DA against the two men named above.
(District Attorney’s Office Press Release)
CATCH OF THE DAY, March 17, 2016
CHRISTOPHER BAINUM, Corona/Willits. Pot sales.
KIRK ELLIS, Willits. Hashish, paraphernalia, probation revocation.
RICKEY LEWIS, Ukiah. Court order violation, probation revocation.
GEORGE MANSFIELD SR., Ukiah. Probation revocation.
JACOB MCGREW, Redwood Valley. Domestic assault, controlled substance, paraphernalia, suspended license, probation revocation.
FILIBERTO MENDEZ-MAZARIEGOS, Ukiah. DUI.
ADRIAN RAMIREZ, Ukiah. Domestic assault.
BRANDON SMITH, Ukiah. Failure to appear.
KEVIN STOCKMANN, San Rafael/Fort Bragg. DUI.
BRANDY YOKUM, Willits. Meth, controlled substance, paraphernalia.
TRAVELING THROUGH THE DARK
Traveling through the dark I found a deer
dead on the edge of the Wilson River road.
It is usually best to roll them into the canyon:
that road is narrow; to swerve might make more dead.
By glow of the tail-light I stumbled back of the car
and stood by the heap, a doe, a recent killing;
she had stiffened already, almost cold.
I dragged her off; she was large in the belly.
My fingers touching her side brought me the reason --
her side was warm; her fawn lay there waiting,
alive, still, never to be born.
Beside that mountain road I hesitated.
The car aimed ahead its lowered parking lights;
under the hood purred the steady engine.
I stood in the glare of the warm exhaust turning red;
around our group I could hear the wilderness listen.
I thought hard for us all -- my only swerving --
then pushed her over the edge into the river.
— William Stafford
WHAT ABOUT SHIPS?
To the Editor:
About the virus (zika): What I’m wondering is, if the countries involved with the virus have a way that would accidentally spread it to other countries around the world. Answer this... mosquitoes breed in water, how about the ships entering and leaving that area? Rain water collects on ships, on containers and other places. Mosquitos could leave larvae in the puddles of water from rain and (piggy backed) by ships on export. The countries and other parts of the world could be effected. But stopping shipping could ruin those countries financially. No import or export.
Mendocino County Jail, Ukiah
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Usually extroverts are in crowds because they thrive in them…they wouldn’t exist otherwise. Crowds have their own psychology which has been studied extensively in order to try and understand why an individual would give up their will for the crowd. Hysteria, believe it or not, is no longer politically correct. Hysteria has been replaced with “disorder”. So, you have a disorderly situation where one cause or individual cannot be determined. Since extroverts make up crowds, they are more sensitive to the overall feeling.
The problems you present are part of a problem with pseudo science. There are a lot of people creating their own explanations for why bad things happen. Such as global warming and enormous amounts of sexual abuse from public figures who were assumed beyond reproach. People are going to gravitate to what is popular and not necessarily what is accurate. We have many examples in history of how pseudo science or myth has been deemed truth by the masses. The earth being flat instead of round and the Sun revolving around the Earth. Most recently, we see how people have been convinced through clever marketing that tap water is poison. And public funds are being diverted from tried and true water treatment facilities to private global corporations. I’ve grown up in a culture in a America where people drink SODA when they’re thirsty. Sodas do not quench thirst, but the ice and water in the food does. Or what about driving a car instead of public transport? Most people would go hysterical if they couldn’t drive themselves wherever they needed to go.
MSP REMINDS US
Wanna See Some Rugby? 10 Teams Headed To Ukiah Saturday
POLITICIANS JAILING POLITICIANS
The voice projected by Bruce Patterson (3-16-16), coming from the direction of the AVA here in the piece 'Handicapping the Fix,' is keen as a cutting-torch. If our friend Bernie had a mouth on him like Mr. Patterson, there'd be no stopping him. The 'elections' in far-off November would be a mere formality, North Americans would grow some fortitude (somewhere besides in their 'Arms') and warm to the heavy lifting of a Dynamic Peace; just cleaning up after ourselves and the God-Awesome Mess we've already made is good for quite a lot of long-distance job security!
I, for one, am awfully glad to hear notes like those struck by the Handicapping article. Listening for others tuning up in the wings...
Politicians jailing politicians might be a good place to start; maybe whistle-blowing becoming a national pastime, like that...
It will not go without saying here that Mr. Obama has failed from Day 1 of his tenure to prosecute, or even name, George W. Bush and his Ghoul Gallery for stealing an entire National Election from us (we, the People),...or for then lying us into 'perpetual' war crimes...or for being an idiot convincingly disguised as a man...
Of course, such a First Time Ever Prosecution of Highest Offices might have to start with, 'A lot of y'all did vote for 'em, and most of ya sat still for it, but we're puttin' these fuckers away like Nuremberg...
SPECIAL GUEST AT THE NEXT OCCUPY MEETING
Sat., March 19th from 12-2 p.m. at the Senior Center, Activist John Lewallen will speak on "Starting A Worldwide Peace Conversion Movement: An international peace offensive is just what humankind needs in this most critical year of human history. We can turn the tide. We are NOT powerless."
THE REAL IRISH-AMERICAN STORY NOT TAUGHT IN SCHOOLS
COAL EXPORTS THROUGH PORT OF OAKLAND
Utah lawmakers passed a bill to provide a $53 million subsidy for coal shipments through the Port of Oakland. The Governor has indicated his approval of the legislation. The coal mines in rural Utah were recently acquired by Bowie Resources Partners, a Kentucky based coal company. To expand its operations Bowie has been seeking a West Coast coal export terminal. In 2014, the Port of Oakland rejected a proposal by Bowie to build and operate a coal export terminal. The new proposal put together by a former chair of the Utah Department of Transportation and a local developer to build a $250 million bulk commodities terminal at the former Oakland army base which is adjacent to the Port of Oakland, Local lawmakers are concerned that the facility could be used to receive rail cars of coal for shipment to Asia. Reaction to the the proposal has been quick with concerns expressed that such a use would expose West Oakland residents to greater risk for respiratory illness.
In a prepared state the Sierra Club said "Unless Governor Brown's administration and the Oakland City Council act, legislators in Utah will be dictating California energy policy and Oakland air quality". State Senator Loni Hancock (D-Oakland) has introduced 4 bills that would declare shipping coal through West Oakland a health and safety danger danger and prohibit shipment through the Oakland port; require extensive environment reports for public agencies approving coal projects; prohibit public funds to build or operate coal-exporting ports located next to poor communities and require state facilities to prohibit coal or participate in the state's cap-and-trade program. Also, the Oakland City Council will have to declare the coal shipments a health and safety hazard to residents along the rail line. The legislation is support by Senate Pro Tem De Leon, the Sierra Club, the longshoremen union and local anti-coal activists.
As a sidebar, I would say Utah and many of the other red states are climate change deniers and do not seem to care about the health hazards of coal usage.
In peace and love,
GRAND JUROR APPLICANTS NEEDED FOR MENDOCINO COUNTY
“All qualified citizens interested in serving on the 2016/2017 Mendocino County Grand Jury are invited to submit their applications to the Superior Court for consideration,” announced the Honorable Jeanine B. Nadel, Chair of the Grand Jury Recruitment/Selection Committee. Applications will be accepted until May 6, 2016. The 2016/2017 Grand Jury will be sworn in on June 24, 2016.
The 19 members of the Grand Jury serve for one year and are empowered to investigate the operations of county, city and district governments; provide civil oversight of local government departments and agencies; and respond to citizen complaints.
A Grand Juror must be a United States citizen, 18 years or older, a resident of Mendocino County for at least one year, and sufficiently fluent in written and spoken English. A Grand Juror may not serve on any other governmental board or commission during the term and cannot be presently holding a public office or become personally active in any campaign of a candidate for elective office. Prior to being nominated, each qualifying applicant is interviewed by a Superior Court judge and background investigations are conducted by the Mendocino County Sheriff's Department. Since the Grand Jury sets its own agenda and meeting schedule, and because small committees perform much of the work, there is considerable flexibility in the work schedule and meeting locations. Training for Grand Jurors will be provided.
Service on the Civil Grand Jury is an excellent opportunity to learn about the inner workings of government, while providing a valuable service to the community.
Applications and related information are available and can be downloaded on the Internet at: www.mendocino.courts.ca.gov/general_info/operations/grandjury.asp. The application may also be obtained in person at the Superior Court, 100 North State Street, Rm. 303, Ukiah or by calling the Grand Jury at (707) 463-4320.
For more information contact:
Kim Weston, Administrative Assistant
Superior Court of California, County of Mendocino
100 N. State Street, Room 303
Ukiah, CA 954825
THE MOST DANGEROUS MAN IN THE WORLD?
Donald Trump winning the presidency is considered one of the top 10 risks facing the world this year, the Economist Intelligence Unit said in a global risk assessment Wednesday. The economic and geopolitical research firm warned the Republican frontrunner could disrupt the global economy, raise political and security risks, and give terrorist recruiters a boost. A Trump presidency is considered riskier than Britain leaving the European Union or an armed confrontation in the South China Sea, according to the EIU. The ranking uses a scale of one to 25, with Trump rating at 12—the same risk level for “the rising threat of jihadi terrorism destabilizing the global economy.” The report warned Trump’s hostility and strong language toward Mexico and China “could escalate rapidly into a trade war.”
RIGHT-WING FASCISM should be fought with left-wing fascism? Jonathan Chait explains why this is a bad idea:
“…Donald Trump may or may not have been forthright about citing safety fears in canceling his speech in Chicago, and disrupting the speech may or may not have been the protesters’ goal. But it is clear that protesters view the cancellation of the speech as a victory, breaking out in cheers of “We stopped Trump!”
Preventing speakers one finds offensive from delivering public remarks is commonplace on campuses. Indeed, more than 300 faculty members at the University of Illinois at Chicago signed a letter asking the university administration not to allow Trump to speak…
But the whole premise of democracy is that rules need to be applied in every case without regard to the merit of the underlying cause to which it is attached. If you defend the morality of a tactic against Trump, then you should be prepared to defend its morality against any candidate. Now imagine that right-wing protesters had set out to disrupt Barack Obama’s speeches in 2008. If you’re not okay with that scenario, you should not be okay with protesters doing it to Trump.
(Rob Anderson. Courtesy, District5Diary)
UPCOMING EVENTS AT UKIAH LIBRARY
Makers: Women Who Make America: a PBS TV series screening every Wednesday evening this month at 7 pm in the meeting area of Ukiah Library. Celebrate Women's History Month with us. Join our monthly recipe testing Cook Book Club. Try out a new recipe to share with the other members. Bring the written recipe so we can each have a copy. We meet at noon the third Friday of every month. We play chess and many other games every Thursday evening from 5:30 to 7:30. Come test your chess skills, play a classic game, OR try out one of our new games. Have you played Exploding Kittens yet? A high tea party and a screening of Gosford Park (Downton Abbey was originally planned as a spin-off of Gosford Park).All at Ukiah Library on Saturday, 3/26 beginning at 2 pm. Costumes highly encouraged. This party is sponsored by the Ukiah Valley Friends of the Library.
For a full list of events, check out our website
or follow us on Facebook
2016 25TH ANNUAL UKIAH SUNDAYS IN THE PARK LINEUP
The 2016 25th Anniversary Ukiah Sundays in the Park concert series is proud to announce the booking for this summers lineup of incredible talent.
This year’s lineup:
- Starting off the series on June 12th is the award winning Funky R&B and Motown of Pride & Joy.
- On June 26th Ukiah will journey on an Old-Time Medicine Show Safari with Dustbowl Revival.
- On July 10th Pete Escovedo & Family serves up World Renown Latin Jazz.
- On July 24th Mendocino County welcomes Texas Boogie-Woogie Living Legend Marsha Ball.
- July 31st features Rock & Roll and Blues Hall of Famer Elvin Bishop. The series 150th concert!
- Closing the 25th Anniversary season on August 14th will feature Ukiah’s Home Grown Favorites McKenna Faith and John Mattern.
In celebration of the 25th Anniversary Celebration Year, each concert will feature a different local act performing during intermission throughout the summer.
If you or your business would like to become a sponsor for the 2016 Ukiah Sundays in the Park 25th year, now is the time! We could use your support on this celebration year!
To receive more information or a sponsorship packet contact the city at 463-6231 at the City of Ukiah community services department or go by at 411 W. Clay St and pick up a packet. The deadline for sponsorship forms to be handed in is April 10th.
We hope that you, your family and friends will come and listen to a wide variety of music, meet your neighbors, enjoy the great evenings in Todd Grove Park and help make the 25th annual 2016 Ukiah Sundays in the Park series a memorable event for the entire community.
Evenings, 6PM at Todd Grove Park
- June 12 Pride & Joy. Funky R&B and Motown
- June 26 Dustbowl Revival. Old-Time Medicine Show Safari
- July 10 Pete Escovedo & Family. World Renown Latin Jazz
- July 24 Marsha Ball. Texas Boogie-Woogie Living legend
- July 31 Elvin Bishop (150th Concert). Rock & Roll and Blues Hall of Fame
- August 14 McKenna Faith & John Mattern. Ukiah’s Home Grown Favorites
JOHN SAKOWICZ updates our personnel files:
John Coate recently gave the keynote speech for a social enterprise group in Brussels called Edgeryders.
Coate has been dubbed a "Wizard" by the Edgeryders team. No doubt, the new title inflates Coate's ego beyond its usual tyrannical proportions. The "wizard" moniker confers a certain mystical quality.
The dictator is also a sage...really?
The title of Coate's speech was: "Coping with Meltdown in Communities".
Causing meltdowns in communities is actually something Coate knows more than a little about -- he was first at the center of a huge conflict at Farm, the intentional community in central Tennessee, back when Coate was in his 20s, which resulted in Coate's expulsion from The Farm, then, many years later, we all know the meltdown Coate caused at KZYX.
Here is the link to PowerPoint slides: http://johncoate.com/Coping_with_Meltdown_by_John_Coate.pdf
Here's an excerpt from the speech. It's what Coate thought of us here at KZYX: "It was difficult work, made harder by the constant bickering and sniping of people with socio-political agendas who wanted access to the Big Microphone, so they could broadcast their views to everyone. Very few of them ever did any actual work."
Socio-political agendas...really? Was that really the problem? I thought the problem was Coate's autocratic style of management and the closed clubhouse that our previously public radio station had become.
Here's another excerpt from the speech that gives some insight into Coate's autocratic style of management: "Getting too hung up on “democracy” can create burdens if that means everyone has to assume that every comment deserves equal time and value. Booting someone out rarely happens quietly, so be prepared to explain if you choose to do it. Sometimes people come back and work within the social framework and some come back for revenge."
Can one be "too hung up on democracy"...really?
GRASSLANDS & WILD BISON:
International Wildlife Film Festival concludes
Ukiah’s Wildlife Film Festival will culminate with an award-winning film about Earth’s plains on Friday, March 25, at the Civic Center. Festivities will begin at 6:15 p.m. with live acoustic bluegrass by Gibson Creek.Films will screen at 7 p.m. “Earth – A New Wild: Plains” (55 min.) explores wild grasslands that are home to the greatest congregation of animal life on the planet, yet are also among the most endangered. Film sequences include elephant conservation in South Africa; the first filmed shots of rutting Saiga antelope in Russia; Norwegian locals regulating the reindeer population in unique ways; and how Americans are saving the country’s most-endangered mammal. Two short films will also show: “Silencing the Thunder” (27 min.) focuses on the plight of wild bison when they venture outside the boundaries of Yellowstone National Park, where they risk being killed by ranchers. This film presents the obstacles ranchers face, as well as the side of those trying to protect the bison.“Greater Sage Grouse” (7 min.) presents a look at a species that has evoked controversy in the Great Basin region over how to best manage the population, which has been in steady decline over the past several decades. The Ukiah Civic Center is at 300 Seminary Ave. Tickets for the film fest can be purchased at the Mendocino Book Company or at the door for $10 adults, $5 children. Proceeds from the film festival are an important funding source for the Redwood Valley Outdoor Education Project (RVOEP), a special project of the Ukiah Unified School District, that provides outdoor environmental education programs to over 2,000 students a year. For more information about the RVOEP visit its website, www.rvoep.org or contact
Maureen Taylor, RVOEP Education Coordinator, at 489-0227.
Roberta Werdinger, Writer, Publicist, Editor
DELTA TUNNELS PROPOSAL IS BUILT ON A HOUSE OF CARDS
by Dan Bacher
Restore the Delta (RTD) today released a powerful open letter to Governor Jerry Brown from Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, RTD Executive Director, stating “It’s time to detach your legacy from the Delta Tunnels proposal.”
“It’s time to face the reality that this plan is falling apart,” she said.
Brown’s controversial California Water Fix to build the Delta Tunnels is in its biggest crisis ever as lack of a finance plan for the project to build the twin tunnels diverting Sacramento River water under the Delta becomes more obvious every day.
The Brown administration is currently reeling from a barrage of national and international news coverage of the Securities and Exchange Commission decision to fine the Westlands Water District, the major financial partner of the proposed Delta Tunnels, for engaging in “Enron-style” accounting in order to fool the bond market.
“The other big financial players in the Delta Tunnels proposal, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (Met) and the Santa Clara Valley Water District, are reviewing data from CA WaterFix, the newest name for the Delta Tunnels proposal, that includes Westlands as a major contributor,” said Barrigan-Parrilla.
“If Westlands relied on fraud for the down payment on the tunnels, how can they be trusted to be honest when they need to come up with more than $3 billion to fund their share? Met and Santa Clara would be wise to reconsider long-term agreements with a water district with a rap sheet. Without this dubious partner, they must think through how and where to make up Westlands’ contribution to the plan,” she explained.
“You seem to have grown quiet regarding the Delta Tunnels over the last sixty days, much in the same way you grew quiet over the Porter Ranch gas leak crisis,” Barrigan-Parrilla noted.
In a tweet, Mike Fitzgerald, Stockton Record columnist, said, “Cheers to Restore the Delta & all decrying The Westlands for cooking its books. Jeers to the feds' feeble response.” bit.ly/.…”
In his blog, Fitzgerald said, “Time to kick the Westlands while it’s down. And Barbara Barrigan-Parilla does a brilliant job of it in a letter to Gov. Jerry Brown.” See more at: blogs.esanjoaquin.com/...
I completely agree with Fitzgerald’s assessment.
The Delta Tunnels will not create one single drop of new water — and will indebt ratepayers and taxpayers for up to $67 billion in costs for decades to come. The tunnels will hasten the extinction of Sacramento River winter-run chinook salmon, Central Valley steelhead, Delta and longfin smelt, green sturgeon and other fish and wildlife species, as well imperil salmon and steelhead populations on the Klamath and Trinity rivers.
Below is the open letter to Governor Brown.
An Open Letter to Governor Brown Dear Governor Brown, It’s time to detach your legacy from the Delta Tunnels proposal. It’s time to face the reality that this plan is falling apart. Let me explain why.
Put simply, after ten years of trying, the Delta Tunnels still do not have a credible finance plan. There is little reason to think that another ten years would create one. The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal and even the International Business Times, have all reported the news that the Westlands Water District, the major financial partner of the proposed Delta Tunnels, engaged in “Enron-style” accounting in order to fool the bond market. Westlands knowingly overstated revenue in order to secure a $77 million loan in 2012.
Beginning in the 2010 drought, Westlands reclassified reserves as revenue in order to hide that it could not meet the debt service ratio required of prior bond issuances, and then falsely claimed that they had indeed met that ratio over the five-year period prior to the 2012 bond issuance to investors. The SEC fined Westlands and its leaders a total of $195,000, a rare occurrence for municipal bond agencies, and Moody’s placed Westlands and their neighbors, the San Luis Mendota Water Authority, on negative credit watch.
The other big financial players in the Delta Tunnels proposal, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (Met) and the Santa Clara Valley Water District, are reviewing data from CA WaterFix, the newest name for the Delta Tunnels proposal, that includes Westlands as a major contributor.
If Westlands relied on fraud for the down payment on the tunnels, how can they be trusted to be honest when they need to come up with more than $3 billion to fund their share? Met and Santa Clara would be wise to reconsider long-term agreements with a water district with a rap sheet. Without this dubious partner, they must think through how and where to make up Westlands’ contribution to the plan. After ten years and $250 million, we still do not have a Tunnels financing plan or operating plan that can pass the test with environmental agencies. Until there is an honest and independently-vetted financing plan and science proving that Bay-Delta communities and endangered species will be protected, the Delta Tunnels permit process underway should be tabled.
Westlands – An Untrustworthy Partner Throughout the ten-year history of the Delta Tunnels proposal, Westlands indicated to the greater water community that they would be a major beneficiary, paying for the lion’s share of the 40 percent of the Federal contractor contribution for the Delta Tunnels. But the California WaterFix has never released a detailed finance plan showing exactly how the tunnels will actually be funded and by whom. Also, it’s still not known how much each urban water agency under the Metropolitan Water District or Santa Clara Valley Water Districts would pay for their fair share to the project. Will retail water agencies have the ability to opt out of the plan? What happens to financing if they do?
For argument sake, let’s assume that Westlands planned on paying the full forty percent contribution of the $15-billion-dollar plan, or $6 billion. How could they have possibly repaid their cost share of the project if the debt load would be almost 78 times greater than the debt they were carrying in 2010? Even if they were only intending to pay half of the forty percent, they could not afford $3 billion.
After all, it’s not like Westlands could count on receiving more water from the Delta Tunnels project. In fact, the CA WaterFix was recently caught engaging in its own creative water accounting practices. As Dr. Jeff Michael, Director of the Center for Business and Policy Research, Eberhardt School of Business, University of the Pacific, wrote on his Valley Economy Blog: They [WaterFix] create a website full of deceptive numbers with eye-catching graphics and giant bold numbers saying it will increase water diversions and storage, and then buried in a complex paragraph at the bottom of the page you find a sentence that says that the tunnels don't actually increase water supplies.
“Unbelievable” declares Dr. Michael, incredulously. But magical thinking has never deterred Westlands (or California WaterFix) leadership. Westlands General Manager, Tom Birmingham, willingly participated in Restore the Delta’s documentary, Over Troubled Waters in 2009 and told the film crew that even with current demand and existing storage, there was enough water to meet every demand in the state of California. To follow Westlands’ logic, there is enough water in the system for Westlands to receive its full share, that is until the 2010 drought when Westlands did not receive needed water deliveries to repay their bond debt.
It’s not just irrigation districts that assume the water will be there. Urban water districts are building their futures on this same house of cards, and without greater water yields, the Delta Tunnels do not pencil out for them either. Santa Clara Valley Water District Faces a Big Decision A recent revenue bond prospectus released by Santa Clara Valley Water District (SCVWD), presents a glowing summary of the District’s financial strength. Indeed, SCVWD exists in one of the wealthiest regions of the country, or the world. Their ratepayers can afford to invest in the district’s future. However, digging deeper into the details several items should give their ratepayers and investors pause.
The District’s 2016 prospectus states up front that “no reserve fund has been created or will be funded with respect to the 2016 bonds” it describes. This means that the District feels it needs no emergency fund set aside to repay the bonds, apparently heedless of future problems that may arise or to support its own debt coverage ratio (similar to Westlands’ 2010 problem).
While the prospectus does reflect the District’s recent drought experience of lower supplies and reduced water sales in 2013 and 2014, it proceeds to project deliveries and sales for the water it draws from both the Central Valley Project and the State Water Project from 2017 through 2020 as much higher than recent allocations. California is not yet out of its current drought. And no one knows if we are headed into more dry years. SCVWD’s prospectus does not show investors any sensitivity analysis about how its net revenues perform if water deliveries and sales to retail water agencies remain reduced due to conservation. The question a reasonably informed investor reading this prospectus would want answered is: How much would deliveries and sales have to fall before the District’s debt service ratio fails to meet SEC accounting standards?
Buried in footnote 14 (pages 67-68) next to “Future Debt Issuances,” it is revealed that the District intends to seek out a lot of commercial paper and “long-term debt issuances” cumulating to over $900 million by fiscal year 2020. Plus, the District’s credit rating was recently downgraded slightly, and at least one Board member was not even fully aware of the downgrade because it was noted in the CEO’s report, rather than on the agenda. Climate change modeling shows that Sierra snowpack will decrease markedly from historic levels in the future. This will decrease water in the Sacramento River which is the source water for the tunnels. This is the source water upon which water districts likes Santa Clara Valley are building their bond offerings. They premise their financial stability on decreasing future water supplies.
Metropolitan Water District Grasping at Straws Metropolitan Water District faces even higher financial stakes in relation to the Delta Tunnels. Just twenty-four hours before the SEC announced its fine of Westlands Water District, tunnels proponent, Met’s General Manager, Jeff Kightlinger pushed through a vote for Met to purchase five islands in the Delta. He told the media that these islands will serve as a possible construction staging site for the project. Two of the islands are in the direct path of the tunnels, eliminating eminent domain concerns. However, they come with a price tag of roughly $200 million to be paid by Met customers.
As Met receives about half of the water normally carried through the State Water Project, one can estimate that their contribution for the tunnels would have been $3.5 billion. But now with Westlands out of the picture, one cannot help but ask how much ratepayer and parcel tax funding are they willing to foist on their customers in order to move forward? Will Met contribute $7 billion to build the Delta Tunnels? And who will be their financial partners? Staff at the Santa Clara Valley Water District reported to their board in February that Santa Clara Valley’s contribution to the tunnels would be between $500 million and $1 billion. That would still leave the project significantly underfunded. Time for a Better Solution That brings us to you Governor Brown. You seem to have grown quiet regarding the Delta Tunnels over the last sixty days, much in the same way you grew quiet over the Porter Ranch gas leak crisis. Isn’t it time to develop a Plan B for water management for California?
It’s a shame you latched on to the Delta Tunnels as a legacy project when younger water leaders from think tanks, NGOs, and within government agencies want to begin work on a myriad of smaller projects that will capture rain, recycle water, restore groundwater, and generally adapt California to the reality of our changing climate. These water efficiency and supply projects will cost less, make more water, and create good permanent jobs throughout the state.
Governor Brown, it is time to admit the Delta Tunnels proposal is as unstable as a house of cards. The reality of climate, population and decisions regarding sustainability simply do not match up with your desire to build one big project. If you must continue the process of pushing forward with the Delta Tunnels, the proposal must be vetted by independent experts to show the real costs and risks to taxpayers and urban water districts. Sadly, that analysis will show that the $15.5 billion Delta Tunnels proposal is as leaky as the water mains supplying water to Los Angeles and the Bay Area that desperately need our investment now.
Yours in service,
Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla Executive Director Restore the Delta