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Mendocino County Today: Saturday, Apr 30, 2016

* * *

WELL, THAT WAS FAST! Supervisor Dan Hamburg is getting divorced from Lauren Sinnott, former mayor of Point Arena. The version of the Supervisor's bubbling love life that we have says Hamburg suggested last October that Ms. Sinnott return to Point Arena and stay there. They'd been married about a year, if that. Sinnott begged Hamburg not to divorce her until she could have County-paid surgery on both her feet on his County-paid medical plan, which she is in the process of doing. Gentleman Dan agreed. But when the surgery is complete, it's splitsville. Meanwhile, Hamburg has been seeing a married Ukiah woman named Sarah Stark.

WE SENT THE ABOVE to our regal supervisor for comment prior to our publishing it. He replied, “It's Sara not Sarah.”

HAMBURG’S PRIVATE LIFE is nobody’s biz but his, but it becomes public business when he uses public money to fix his estranged wife’s feet. Who can begrudge Ms. Sinnott? A nice lady fallen into ruthless company?

* * *

LORENZO RODRIGUEZ, the Philo man who was shot several times in self-defense by Bobby Kuny last week and subsequently treated and released from a Santa Rosa hospital, was booked into the Mendocino County Jail late Thursday night for attempted murder, criminal threats, suspended license. His combined bail was set at $245,000.


* * *

SHERIFF ALLMAN mentioned the other day that in a brief foray to gather signatures to get his proposed Psych Center on the ballot, 120 people signed right up. “Only one guy turned his back on me and walked off,” the Sheriff said. The Sheriff’s plan would create an in-County facility for disturbed persons, including the drug casualties and habitual drunks presently housed at the County Jail or shipped out to distant private facilities at upwards of $800 a day. This demographic is also known as the homeless. Mendocino County’s half-privatized mental health budget is about $20 million annually for which locals, as it stands, get a steady increase of unattended street crazies and virtually nothing in the way of mental health services.

THE SHERIFF was in Point Arena today, gathering sigs for his break-through initiative and simultaneously passing out voter registration forms. How was he received by the Fog Eaters? Warmly.

* * *

WE REMAIN THOROUGHLY UNIMPRESSED with the “progress” being made converting — official Mendo calls it “transitioning” — Mendocino’s $7 million adult mental health services from Ortner Management Group to Redwood Quality Management Company (RQMC). We’ll grant that it’s bold and “transparent” of the County to post their non-accomplishments on the Board of Supervisors website every few of weeks. But reading the passive task list and the lack of completion of even these mushy steps does not engender confidence that the “transition” will be smooth.

Below are the things that the County’s BHRS (Behavioral Health and Recovery Services) Department claims to have done as of May 3 [sic, the report was posted on April 29] since their last update on April 11. (Note the silliness of many of the “tasks,” plus the vagueness and subjectivity of most of the verbs being deployed. This kind of talk is common among the helping professionals who regularly mistake generic helpo-gab — meetings, “working on,” “begun to examine,” “collaborate,” “working with,” etc. — for action. Also note that most of what little progress is actually being made is by the contractor, not the County.

“BHRS has been in contact with the two medication providers and have established their schedules starting July 1, 2016

“BHRS negotiated contract terms with medication providers and are drafting fiscal year 16/17 contracts.

“BHRS & OMG have established a schedule for medication appointments starting July 1st. [But the dates of those appointments has not been published.]

“RQMC has begun Adult Provider Training on 4/15/16, attended by Mendocino Coast Hospitality House, MCAVHN, Manzanita, Redwood Community Services, & RQMC. [Normally, beginning something is not something to brag about.]

“Established timeline OMG will provide BHRS w/a copy of all charts by June 15, 2016 (any documents created between June 15th & June 30th will be provided to BHRS by July 15, 2016). [Huh? “All” charts will be provided by June 15 — except for the ones to be provided by July 15.]

“OMG sent letter to all ICMS clients. [Done! (But not by the County).]

“OMG to provide County with all program and fiscal documentation to the County. [“To provide” is not “provided.” And, again no date, nor intermediate status deadlines.]

“County BHRS MHSA team is putting together an updated list of all pending items to provide to OMG. [When will the list be done? Who reviews it to be sure it’s complete?]

“BHRS has established a list of MHSA documents that need to be provided to BHRS from OMG. [When will they be provided?]

“RQMC to meet with Law Enforcement to discuss changes in Crisis Services. Completion: May 1. [At least there’s a date for this meeting with law enforcement, but a meeting is hardly worth tracking on a formal task list.]

“RQMC is in the process of contacting law enforcement agencies to schedule a meeting regarding crisis changes. Collaborations will also be included in RQMC’s MOU’s with LE. RQMC will begin regularly attending the Chief’s Meeting monthly. [Again, nice to know, but hardly worth listing as a transition task.]

Coordinating meetings with MOU partners. [Ibid.]

“Collaborations will also be included in RQMC’s MOU’s with LE. RQMC will begin regularly attending the Chief’s Meeting monthly. [Ibid.]

“Adults services transitioned from OMG to County and/or RQMC. Jail, courts, public defender: In process of scheduling.

“3/22/2016 - RQMC & County had telephone call with OMG to schedule a meeting to discuss transition.

Meeting scheduled for 3/30/2016.

“3/30/2016 - OMG did not attend the meeting. Another meeting was scheduled for 4/5/16.

“4/5/16 - RQMC, OMG. & BHRS met to discuss transition. Next meeting scheduled for 4/20/16.

“4/18/16 - Amendment Contract sent to contracts unit for processing. Amendment to OMG contract to stop taking new clients as of June 1, 2016. [Amendment was what? Prepared? Reviewed? Sent?]

“RQMC to start taking all new adult clients as of June 1, 2016, pending contract amendment with OMG. [So nothing was done except to set a date when new clients would start talking to RQMS. The actual contract admendment is still “pending.”]

“RQMC to provide all clinical and specialty mental health services to this program [Laura’s Law] in coordination with County. [This is a subject worthy of an entire separate discussion. Suffice to say it has nothing to do with transitioning from Ortner to RQMC because Ornter had nothing to do with Laura’s law and only one person has even applied for Laura’s Law style “assisted outpatient treatment.”]

“RQMC has been in contact with the BHRS identified contact and will continue to collaborate on this as we transition.

“BHRS requested a meeting with OMG to discuss AOT (Laura's Law). [Bad idea. OMG had nothing to do with Laura’s Law and has nothing to offer on that subject.]

“OMG to review and respond to BHRS regarding providing AOT services until 6/30/2016. [Ibid.]

“BHRS was referred to Tom Ortner. [Ibid.]

“County spoke with Tom Ortner about providing AOT. OMG will not be providing AOT, as not part of their current contract. [Ortner’s right about that at least.]

“BHRS will contract with RQMC for AOT. [Not likely.]

“County to prepare and send detailed letter to OMG by April 15, 2016. [Didn’t happen.] County has emailed staff to obtain a list of all documents outstanding or that will need to be submitted by June 30, 2016. [And that’s why: no list was prepared, and no list is yet prepared.]

“County is receiving information and drafting letter to be sent by April 15, 2016. [Didn’t happen.] Status: Created and in review for finalization. [They couldn’t even finish the letter according to their own internally-set schedule.]

“BHRS to audit all client charts. [Never happen. The essential client charts — jumbled as they probably are — will just get dumped on RQMC, just like they were dumped on Ortner four years ago. This genuinely necessary task needs its own separate management attention.]

“April 5, 2016 notified OMG of upcoming client chart audit. BHRS has put together a clinical audit team. BHRS program working with Fiscal on billing audit. Email sent to OMG to request location to audit files. [The County should tell Ortner where it’s going to happen and just do it. Gawd!]”

* * *

NOTHING NEW has been done regarding the separate April 11 status report on implementation of the many Kemper Report recommendations which remain in limbo and “in process” except for a few halting steps toward development of MOUs (where none existed before) between Mental Health services (both County and RQMC) and their large supporting cast of hospitals, local clinics, law enforcement, jail, the courts, the District Attorney, public defender, probation… If history is any guide these MOUs will drag out for months if not years and none of it will be integrated into a comprehensive system tracking each client’s status — a “task” that remains to be listed amongst the meetings and will-dos.

* * *


by Katy Tahja

Before you can have a proposition on the ballot you have to gather a group of proponents. These are the folks who frame the argument’s wording, collect voters signatures to get it on the ballot, arrange discussions and forums all over the county, raise money for publicity and answer questions. It’s the kind of volunteer effort that eats up your free time for months.

So how did I end up a Measure V proponent? Measure V declares intentionally killed and left standing trees are a public nuisance. While the rest of the proponents are professional or volunteer firefighters I’m the woman whose family lost 20 acres of timber in a 2012 fire that burned dangerously close to those trees intentionally killed and left standing, and I don’t want anyone else to have to go through that nerve wracking experience if possible.

Measure V is not about the timber industries use of the management practice of hack & squirt. As practiced locally it involves one timber company employee hacking into the bark of a tree and squirting in poison herbicide to kill it. This is done to undesirable species like oak and madrone so commercially valuable species like fir and redwood can flourish. This practice has been done to trees on 80,000 acres of Mendocino County timber.

I live on Comptche Ukiah Road. Drive eastward in the Comptche valley and once you pass Philbrick Mill Road and start climbing there are standing dead trees visible. They’ve been there for years now and look like tree skeletons. You’d think they might be bug or drought kill if you didn’t know better.

What Measure V is about is what happens when a wildland fire takes off burning those intentionally killed and left standing trees. It’s a public safety issue folks. If a poisoned dead tree burns what is in the smoke the firefighters and local residents inhale? What’s in the ash that falls in our rivers, streams and gardens? What are the vineyard grapes absorbing in that smoke?

In October 2012 a wildfire started up hill directly behind the Comptche Volunteer Fire Department (CVFD) Fire Station. It burned through three private landholders property (including mine) and commercial timberlands. We were blessed that day that there were no other fires burning in the county and, most of all, there were no winds. CALFIRE and the CVFD, with mutual aid from other local fire districts, stopped this fire before it could jump Philbrick Mill Road and spread into intentionally killed and left standing trees to the east. CALFIRE later told the CVFD it spent a million dollars in three days containing the blaze.

So that was a happy ending story for me…right? The firefighters came on to my property and saved the day. I only lost 20 acres of trees, instead of my house and barn, and air tankers and helicopters and hand crews defeated the fire.

Wrong! Once those firefighters came up the driveway and got a firebreak around my structures I was still worried. I could look east and see pillars of smoke rising up as sparks started spot fires. I knew what was a mile from me, those intentionally killed and left standing tree carcasses stretching for miles towards Ukiah. In the midst of this chaos I was trying to find the guy in charge saying “Listen! You’ve got a problem waiting for you just over that ridge! I’m safe now but get your firefighters to stop the spread east.”

CALFIRE did indeed stop the fire before it crossed Philbrick Mill Road and reached the dead trees, for which I am eternally grateful. In the aftermath of that fire Mendocino Redwood Company (MRC) talked to the CVFD about what they would do to help protect the Comptche Community.

Now I realize a MRC representative has to speak the company “line” about their timber management practices but when the CVFD volunteers asked about inhaling smoke from burned poisoned trees they were told “…we don’t study that…” MRC told the firefighters that according to their research a wildfire would burn the leaves and branches on the ground fallen from hack & squirt trees but the tree trunks would not catch on fire. This was met by looks of disbelief by the firefighters. Not catch on fire? Why not! (Because the research MRC paid for told them so). MRC, in the aftermath of the fire and to their credit, did graciously provide an auxiliary water storage tank east of town for CVFD use.

In the Navarro Lightning Fire in 2008 CVFD volunteers were fighting fires all over MRC and other commercial timberlands at times. You couldn’t save local homeowners without entering lumber company lands to build fire breaks to stop wildfire spread. All of the Rancho Navarro subdivision residents to the east of Flynn Creek held their breath hoping the fires could be stopped by Flynn Creek and the roadway before it jumped into habitated areas. It worked, the fire lines held, and no homes were lost.

So what does this have to do with Measure V? The proposition declares that “The landowner responsible shall be liable for any damage when an intentionally killed trees is within 1000 meters of critical infrastructure. What’s critical infrastructure? Public & private roads, telecommunication and power lines, water sources likes rivers, ponds, creeks and lakes and your home if it’s in a CALFIRE state responsibility area. That state responsibility land area is a huge chunk of the county and if a fire starts on timber company land and spreads NO WAY do the timber companies want to be held liable and responsible.

The proponents of Measure V understand hack & squirt is an economical way to produce timber. It gives the lumber company owners the most bang for their buck. It makes them more money. Great. But if they want to continue this timber management practice they can take the dead trees down. Don’t leave them standing there like firecrackers waiting to light up. Measure V asks they take down trees taller than five meters within 90 days. Intentionally dead trees represent an extreme fire hazard and they impede fire suppression. They are a health risk to firefighters because they do not act like trees killed by bugs or drought. They can react erratically and endanger trained experienced firefighters. And intentionally killed and left standing dead trees endanger public health and safety of rural residents with possibly toxic smoke and ash fall.

Opponents to Measure V say this will cost the county money for hiring enforcement officials. It’s amazing how Mendocino County could establish enforcement procedures for the marijuana eradication because they wanted to. Do it again. At a League of Women’s Voters forum recently a timber company forester asked “What’s in it for us? Why should we want to follow these rules?” Simple. It’s the LAW. Voters said so.

Measure V puts people before corporate profit. Timber companies have no intention of changing their herbicide practices. MRC stated earlier this year “It is expected the general volume of chemical use will remain similar to current levels for the next 20 to 30 years.”

My husband has been with the CVFD for 40 years. I worried when he went on wildfire responses. But Ted Williams, Albion-Little River Fire District fire chief made a memorable comment at a public meeting once. Paraphrasing he said “How would I feel if I sent a volunteer firefighter into a forest full of dead trees and something happened and he died?” Thank You Ted for expressing the public’s fear. VFD firefighters are out to protect the public safety, not fight fires to protect the timber company’s profit.


Donate online or CFFSF, 18451 Orr Springs Rd., Ukiah, CA 95482

PS. Parting thoughts on the fire on the fire that almost destroyed my home in 2012. We have replanted the 20 acres and a new forest is growing. Here are some suggestions you may have seen before but PLEASE consider making them part of your future. One…Have a disaster plan for your family. What gets loaded in the car besides kids and pets for a quick escape? Computers, family photos, medications, important papers, address book…(I took a good bottle of single malt Scotch). Two…Is there 100’ of defensible brush free space around your home? Three…Is there a clearly visible street number on your driveway? (Emergency dispatchers at 911 do not want to hear “I’m the third driveway on the right past the Grange Hall”). Four…Can a fire engine drive up your driveway and turn around? (ask your VFD to do this if you’re not sure) and Five…If you have water storage tanks establish a hook up to service a fire engine. Your VFD can tell you the size coupling you need, (it’s amazing that this is news to so many rural landowners). YES, your local VFD would love to be able to access your water system in an emergency.


* * *


To the Editor:

They came to our Center

from far and near,

Day by day, year after year.

Laughter rang out

over coffee and tea,

Yes, that’s the way

it used to be.


Decorations a-plenty

be-decked our great hall,

For events, inbetween

and also the Fall.

And especially at Christmas

with a beautiful tree,

Yes, that’s the way

it used to be.


Parking lot sales

under a hot sizzling sun,

Volunteers toiling

until it was done.

Over time we spruced up

the place,

Even windows were


adorned with lace.

All pitched in

with comradery,

Yes, that’s the way

it used to be.


We worked long and hard

during those years,

With a lot of sweat

and a few tears.

We took pride back then,

you and me.

Yes, that’s the way

it used to be.


Now, we are slowly

being faded out,

with nary a thank you

or a shout.

No wanted ideas do I forsee,

Yes, that’s the way

it used to be.

—Betty Cristiani, Ukiah

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On April 28, 2016 at about 1:17pm Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to a reported domestic violence incident in the 32000 block of Odom Lane in Fort Bragg, California. Upon arrival Deputies learned that a 42 year-old female adult who was in a dating relationship and was cohabiting with Michael John Frey, 40, of Fort Bragg, for the past several years got into a verbal argument. The argument escalated and the female adult was shoved to the ground three times by Frey causing injury to her right shoulder. The female was treated at the scene by paramedics and then transported to a local area hospital for further treatment. Frey was arrested for felony domestic violence battery and was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $25,000 bail.

(Ed note: Frey was arrested on similar domestic assault charges in 2013, and for DUI, first offense, in 2009.)

* * *


On April 27, 2016 at approximately 4:00 AM, Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to an interrupted burglary in the 24000 block of Barnes Lane in Covelo, California. While en-route to the call Deputies were advised of the discharging of a firearm.

Field, Hoaglen
Field, Hoaglen

Upon arrival the Deputies found the reporting party, Kyle Danforth Field, 29, of Covelo, had detained Brett Charles Hoaglen, 31, of Covelo, and a female passenger at gunpoint in the driveway of his residence. Field's property had been burglarized earlier in the night and an eyewitness had provided a detailed description of the suspect vehicle. When the suspect vehicle returned a short time later, the eyewitness called Field. Field arrived in time to detain Hoaglen and the female passenger as they sat inside the car in the driveway. When they attempted to drive away, Field discharged a handgun one time into the vehicle's hood and two times into the vehicle's tires to prevent their escape. Hoaglen was arrested for a probation violation and on a Mendocino County misdemeanor arrest warrant (Driving on suspended license). Field was arrested for reckless discharge of a firearm and violating the "possess no dangerous weapons" clause of his current probation terms. Both were transported to the Mendocino County Jail where Field was to be held in lieu of $90,000 bail and Hoaglen was to be held on a No Bail status. The alleged burglary is still under investigation by Deputies.

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, April 29, 2016

Ayers, Collins, Freeman
Ayers, Collins, Freeman

NATHAN AYERS, Half Moon Bay/Redwood Valley. Petty theft.

ANTONIO COLLINS, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

LEVONN FREEMAN, Covelo. Drunk in public.

Mairs, Noble, Nunuez
Mairs, Noble, Nunuez

JARED MAIRS, Belmont/Ukiah. Switchblade.

LARISSA NOBLE, Ukiah. Paraphernalia.

OFELIA NUNUEZ, Point Arena. Domestic assault

Patterson, Pollick, Rea
Patterson, Pollick, Rea

JOANNE PATTERSON, Willits. Discharge of firearm in inhabited dwelling.

ALAN POLLICK JR., Ukiah Drunk in public, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

CRUZ REA, Bakersfield/Ukiah. Drunk in public.

Rodriguez, Turner, Whetstone
Rodriguez, Turner, Whetstone

LORENZO RODRIGUEZ, Philo. Attempted murder, criminal threats, suspended license.

CHRISTOPHER TURNER, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, failure to appear.

CONRAD WHETSTONE, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.

* * *

WHEN BERNIE SANDERS first announced his run to be the guy in the lead car in the armed limo motorcades, we predicted he’d wind up on the big stage at the Democratic Convention, arms linked with Hillary, urging unity, grinning at the cameras like he’s happy with the way things turned out. Sure enough, that’s where The Bern is headed and, sorry all you people still feeling the Bern, me among them, but if Bernie were serious about his principles he’d go third party, he’d blow up the Democrats because, as he’s said forever, they are the enemies of the vast majority of us. He’s also said he won’t abandon them. But we knew all along he’d rather switch than fight. So what us proggies are left with is Mandatory Hillary, an unpleasant sociopath we find intellectually and emotionally impossible to support.

BERN put it this way this week: “This campaign is going to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia with as many delegates as possible to fight for a progressive party platform that calls for a $15 an hour minimum wage, an end to our disastrous trade policies, a Medicare-for-all health care system, breaking up Wall Street financial institutions, ending fracking in our country, making public colleges and universities tuition free, and passing a carbon tax so we can effectively address the planetary crisis of climate change.”

NO, YOU’RE NOT. You’re going to make a symbolic appearance, run out all of the above as if it has a chance in hell of being adopted by these corporate bag people in the first place, then you’re going to give Hil a great big hug, grin for the cameras, bask in all the, “Gee, Uncle Bernie. Gosh, he tried but now he’s getting serious, and we should too, because look at the alternative.” (We’re heard that now for what? Fifty years? And what could be worse than eight years of Bush and Cheney? Actually, Hillary could and will be worse.)

WE THOUGHT the Republicans would unify behind the weasel Rubio as the least crazy among their candidates. We thought Trump, who’s better on some big issues than Hillary, would have finished himself off by now. But here he is, and we think Bernie could have beat him but Trump will beat Hillary because there is huge revulsion for Hil, which she and her appalling husband have earned for themselves all their grasping careers.

AS PER OUR ANCIENT PRACTICE, we’ll vote for Jill Stein and weenie greenies as we listen to local Democrats blame people like us for throwing the election to the other side. Yep. Mos def we will not be aboard the Democrat’s Sociopath Express as we watch Trump beat Hillary in the general election. And, no, he won’t be worse than Bush-Cheney. But Hillary, for sure, will be Obama doubled.

WE ALWAYS KINDA liked Obama. Not for his policies, which are a continuation of Bush-Cheney, but we never understood the hatred he generated. Obama is not a hateful person, on a human level. He’s just weak. He couldn’t stand up to the malevolent money arrayed against him. Hillary is the representative of the malevolent. She thinks malice as international policy is good, and benign neglect is viable as internal social policy.


OUR JIVE-O CONGRESSMAN, a Marin County fuzzball named Jared Huffman, is a super-delegate for Hillary a month ahead of the vote of his alleged constituents. Here’s how he weasel lips his sop to the Northcoast, which is heavily for Sanders: “To my friends who have been urging me to endorse Bernie Sanders for President, and to those who have urged an endorsement of Hillary Clinton, I have an announcement. I like Bernie very much and definitely ‘feel the Bern’ in terms of his positive, authentic, progressive message and especially his relentless focus on addressing income inequality and fixing an economy that is rigged against the middle class. His candidacy is a very good thing for our country and he has already impacted the race in positive ways. Plus, I enjoyed traveling with Bernie and his wonderful wife Jane to Chile last year on a CODEL (Congressional delegation) focused on human rights. I'm also very impressed with Secretary Clinton, especially the strong positions she's taken over the past couple of months on trade, climate, environmental protection, and gun violence. She is uniquely qualified to be President, and her very strong performance in the debate and the sham Benghazi hearing reassures me that her candidacy is only gaining strength. And, as a bonus, I think our country would benefit from electing a qualified woman at long last to be our President. Considering the terrible GOP candidates, the imperative of winning in this very consequential election cycle, and the opportunity to create a wave election in 2016 that returns both the Senate and the House to Democrats, I believe Hillary is our best candidate." He concludes, "For that reason, and with lots of respect for Bernie, I am endorsing Hillary Clinton and pledging my support as a ‘Super Delegate’ to her at the Democratic convention. I wanted those who are interested in this to know of my decision and my reasoning."

* * *


* * *

UNFORTUNATELY your member of Congress, Jared Huffman, is a superdelegate for Hillary Clinton. That's all the more reason to send strong progressives from the district to the Democratic National Convention. Please see the email below. Best wishes, The Team

From: Alice Chan for Coalition for Grassroots Progress

Subject: Help us push back against superdelegates

I wrote an article about the superdelegate issue in the current edition of the North Bay Bohemian because I’m infuriated at how the Democratic Party establishment has rigged the system to prevent grassroots candidates like Bernie Sanders from getting the party’s nomination for President.

That’s why I’m urging you to be part of a Bernie Sanders caucus in San Rafael or Eureka, where we can elect delegates to the Democratic National Convention who'll fight for true democracy inside and outside the party.

Sunday, May 1 2:00 pm. (No one admitted after 3:00 pm.) You may check in, vote and leave.

If you live in Congressional District 2 (represented by House member Jared Huffman), you can vote at either of these Bernie caucus locations:

  • Marinwood Community Center, 775 Miller Creek Rd., San Rafael, CA 94903
  • Eureka Labor Temple, 840 E Street, Eureka, CA 95501

Do you want delegates for Bernie Sanders who will vocally oppose the undemocratic superdelegate system at the Democratic National Convention? The Coalition for Grassroots Progress urges you to vote for these strong progressives to be delegates for Bernie:

  • Ruth Carter
  • Mary “Mayme” Hubert
  • James Mastin
  • Ralph Miller
  • Norman Solomon

You can vote at this caucus even if you’re not currently a registered Democrat. Rules of the California Democratic Party say: “Voters can register or re-register to vote at the caucus -- voter registration cards will be available.”

Congressional District 2 includes all of Marin, some of Sonoma, and all of Mendocino, Humboldt, Del Norte and Trinity counties.

If you live in a different congressional district in California, see “DNC District-Level Caucuses for Bernie Sanders” on this webpage:

I hope you’ll caucus for Bernie on Sunday, May 1st!

The Coalition for Grassroots Progress is an independent community-based political action committee for progressive change. This work is only possible with your financial support. The best way you can help is to become a recurring, monthly donor. Our dedicated team ensures even the smallest contributions go a long way; please consider a donation of any amount to CGP today.

Your donation will help CGP precinct teams reach voters where and how it counts the most. At the door and by their neighbor.

In solidarity,

Alice Chan for the Coalition for Grassroots Progress
You can keep up with the Coalition for Grassroots Progress on Facebook.

* * *

TRIAL, n. A formal inquiry designed to put upon record the blameless characters of judges, attorneys and juries.

— Ambrose Bierce

* * *


LAS VEGAS. Previously, that guy mentioned that he had made his first trip to Las Vegas, and his comments were much to be expected. After his observations he said, “we’re so fucked!” I had to laugh in appreciation.

Las Vegas can be garish and gaudy, even grotesque. One of the most improbable of cities, like the spring, it “breeds lilacs out of a dead land”. And like April, it can be cruel.

Daytime exposes the ugly whore, and if you’re a loser, the burning sun seems to brand you with your own depression, and the busy, bright boulevard becomes as lonely as the grave. But night time brings the neon, and more dreams of magic carpet rides on hundred dollar bills.

Anthony Bourdain visited and examined the city’s contradictions and attractions, not the least of which was food. And what food. At the end of his show he at least gave a nod to the water crisis.

I’ve been there many times, and I enjoy the contrasts. The highs and lows, the rich and poor, the greedy and the giving. Like in Atlantic City, ugly at times, but not sterile.

See hundreds of reincarnations of Aphrodite and Adonis parading through the clubs and casinos, apparently with no imperfections of the flesh or curvature of the body.

True, the oasis in the desert has become an orgy in the desert, an offshoot of the larger orgy on mother earth itself. Las Vegas mocks, parodies and emulates the human condition. If the time comes, and it may come soon, and the water drops so low it can no longer power the turbines to light the towers, Las Vegas will dry up and evaporate, like a gambler’s dream.

* * *


"You are old, father William," the young man said,

"And your hair has become very white;

And yet you incessantly stand on your head —

Do you think, at your age, it is right?"


"In my youth," father William replied to his son,

"I feared it would injure the brain;

But now that I'm perfectly sure I have none,

Why, I do it again and again."

"You are old," said the youth, "as I mentioned before,

And have grown most uncommonly fat;

Yet you turned a back-somersault in at the door —

Pray, what is the reason of that?"

"In my youth," said the sage, as he shook his grey locks,

"I kept all my limbs very supple

By the use of this ointment — one shilling the box —

Allow me to sell you a couple."

"You are old," said the youth, "and your jaws are too weak

For anything tougher than suet;

Yet you finished the goose, with the bones and the beak —

Pray, how did you manage to do it?"

"In my youth," said his father, "I took to the law,

And argued each case with my wife;

And the muscular strength, which it gave to my jaw,

Has lasted the rest of my life."

"You are old," said the youth; one would hardly suppose

That your eye was as steady as ever;

Yet you balanced an eel on the end of your nose —

What made you so awfully clever?"

"I have answered three questions, and that is enough,"

Said his father; "don't give yourself airs!

Do you think I can listen all day to such stuff?

Be off, or I'll kick you down stairs!"

— Lewis Carroll, on aging (Composition date is unknown, first published in 1865 in Alice in Wonderland)

* * *



Bruce McEwen has so much potential as a writer.

Yet he squanders it writing inscrutable comments after returning home from the local bars where he entertains the clientele with his wit--like the main character, James Tyrone, Jr., in Eugene O'Neil's Moon for The Misbegotten:

Tyrone: Fortunate senex, ergo tua rura manebunt, et tibi magna satis, quamvis lapis omnia nudus.

Hogan: Is it Mass you're saying Jim? That was Latin, I know it by ear. What the hell--insult does it mean?

Tyrone: Translated very freely into Irish English, something like this: "Ain't you the lucky bastard to have this beautiful farm, if it is full of nude rocks.

Hogan: I like that part about the rocks...It's easy to see you've a fine education. It must be a big help to you, conversing with whores and barkeeps.

Maybe the kid needs his own column.

All the best.

Louis Bedrock

Roselle, New Jersey

* * *


by Karen Rifkin

Works of mentor and mentee, Robert Schumann (1810-1856) and Johannes Brahms (1833-1897), two in a long line of great German Romantic composers, will be featured in a concert performance by the Ukiah Symphony on Saturday, May 14th and Sunday, May 15th at Mendocino College Theatre.

Schumann, renowned particularly for his piano and orchestral music, was committed intellectually and emotionally to the idea of music being composed to register feelings, thoughts and impressions. He intended to pursue a career as a virtuoso pianist but a hand injury ended that dream confining him to composition. He married Clara Wieck (1819-1896) against her father’s wishes leading to an acrimonious legal battle ultimately settled in court in favor of the couple, finally married in 1840.

Schumann entered one of his most fertile periods creating a series of piano pieces, many of which were written for Clara, a highly distinguished pianist in her own right. In 1841 she pressed him to widen his scope to the orchestra and he wrote a Phantasie for the piano that was eventually expanded into the famous Piano Concerto in A Minor—the only concerto that he completed—that premiered in Leipzig in 1846 with Clara playing solo piano.

The Concerto is in three movements: the Allegro affettuoso starts with strings and timpani, followed by a descending attack by the piano with the theme given to the soloist. Toward the end of the movement, the piano plays a cadenza before the orchestra joins in and builds for an exciting finish; piano and strings open the Intermezzo with a small, delicate tune proceeding into cellos and strings taking up the theme and the piano accompanying; the Allegro vivace opens with a run up of the strings while the piano takes the main—colorful, varied and regal—and the piece culminates in an exciting finale with a long timpani roll and a huge chord from the orchestra.

Brahms, one of the greatest composers in history often grouped with Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven, was considered to be the third of The Three Bs. He began playing piano at the age of seven and, due to the impoverishment of his family, played in local inns and brothels at a young age to contribute to the family income.

In 1853 the 20-year-old Brahms was introduced to the Schumanns and welcomed into their Düsseldorf home. He played some of his own compositions and deeply impressed them with his talent. Robert dubbed him a genius and praised him in a famous article while Clara claimed, “What he played to us is so masterly that one cannot but think that the good God sent him into the world ready-made. He has a great future before him, for he will first find the true field for his genius when he begins to write for the orchestra.”

Beginning in 1854, Brahms began composing his Symphony No. 1 in C minor; it was completed in 1876 and premiered in Karlsruhe, Grand Duchy of Baden. With its lyricism and thematic unity it is widely regarded as one of the greatest symphonies of the Austro-German tradition.

The Symphony, written in four movements, was inspired by and written in deliberate homage to Brahms’ hero, Ludwig van Beethoven. The first movement begins with timpani, rising strings and falling woodwinds growing into a large orchestral sonata; the second is more gentle and peaceful culminating with a beautiful violin solo; the third is calm in places, sweet and light; and the fourth starts with a slow, dark introduction followed by a roll of timpani and a melody that inspires images of a vast mountain landscape; it ends with a theme reminiscent of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.

Being referred to as “Beethoven’s Tenth” was high praise for the composer, a way of saying that this was the greatest symphony of the past half-century since Beethoven’s Ninth had first been heard in 1824.

Robert Schumann, suffering from depression and suicidal ideation for many years, voluntarily committed himself to a lunatic asylum in 1854 and died there two years later. After his death Brahms temporarily put his musical career on hold and moved into an upstairs room of the Schumann home to help Clara with her grief and her large family of eight children. The two maintained a long-lasting and close friendship; the true nature of their relationship has long been debated.

A Mentor and a Master will be performed on Saturday, May 14th at 8 p.m. and Sunday, May 15th at 3 p.m. at Mendocino College Center Theatre. Tickets are $25 for adults; $20 for seniors (65+); and $5 for under 18 or students with ASB cards and are available at Mendocino Book Company, 102 South School Street in Ukiah; Mail Center, Etc., 207A North Cloverdale Blvd., Cloverdale; or online at and This concert is made possible by sponsors Dr. Margaret Arner and Dr. Larry Falk.

* * *


The Honorable Jeanine B. Nadel, Chair of the Grand Jury Recruitment/Selection Committee has extended the deadline to submit applications to serve on the 2016/2017 Grand Jury to May 27, 2016. The 2016/2017 Grand Jury will be sworn in on June 24, 2016.

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. 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. The Grand Jury sets its own agenda and meeting schedule. Much of the work is performed in small committees allowing for considerable flexibility in the work schedule and meeting locations.

Grand Jurors are compensated $25 per full panel meeting, $10 per committee meeting and committee attendance at public meetings. Mileage is reimbursed at the current County of Mendocino rate. There is free onsite parking. Prior to being nominated, each qualifying applicant is interviewed by a Superior Court judge. Training for Grand Jurors will be provided.

To serve as a Grand Juror, the following requirements must be met:

  • At least 18 years of age
  • United States citizen
  • Resident of Mendocino County for at least one year
  • Sufficiently fluent in written and spoken English
  • Not currently serving on any other governmental board or commission during the term
  • Not presently holding a public office
  • Not personally active in any campaign of a candidate for elective office

Applications and related information are available on the Internet at: 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
(707) 467-6437

* * *



Several weeks ago in the AVA I saw a Chris Hedges quote that really resonated with me. I googled him and he seemed interesting. Earlier this week I was on Amazon and they had recommended one of his books to me based on past browsing history. I was interested in one of his books listed and checked it out of the library the other day: "Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle," from 2009.

It's quite heavy, he doesn't mess around. I guess what I mostly got out of it was he warns of totalitarianism happening in the US, but not the traditional type based on fascist or communist governments like Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia. Ours is centered around the Corporate State and the private sector.

One chapter that really resonated with me was he was talking about elite universities (he studied at Harvard and has taught at Princeton and other elite institutions). He said these elite institutions just promote vocational training over any sort of liberal arts education and that students learn to placate and please authority (professors), basically to obey.

That was always my complaint about my peers at my affluent high school and a lot of peers at the colleges I went to, that they were just learning to obey, no critical thinking involved.

The first college I went to, Clark, was a little different because it was a liberal arts college, but certainly UC Santa Cruz and especially UC Davis just felt like diploma factories to me, training white collar drones.

Keith Bramstedt

San Anselmo

* * *


Meet Tork— the adventurous and handsome shepherd mix!


Tork is an energetic and friendly dog who is both affectionate and playful. He is in need of attentive owners who have a very well fenced yard who can spend time at home, as Tork tends to bark quite a bit when left alone. Tork would benefit from continued training to help him become the best companion you could ask for. Tork is 50 pounds, and 2 years old. He's ready to go home today, as he is already neutered. If you think Tork would fit in with your family, please stop by the Ukiah Shelter today to meet him--298 Plant Road in Ukiah. Call the Adoption Coordinator for more information: 707-467-6453. And make sure to check out the shelter's new web page:



  1. LouisBedrock April 30, 2016

    Keith Bramstedt:

    My favorite book by Chris Hedges is DEATH OF THE LIBERAL CLASS.

    I especially like chapter III, which focuses on the damage done to the labor movement, freedom of the press, and the socialist movement by Woodrow Wilson.

    • Russ Rasmussen April 30, 2016

      Another vote for DEATH OF THE LIBERAL CLASS…Good book and well written.

  2. Bruce McEwen April 30, 2016

    Louis Bedrock has so much impudence as a pedant, that he squanders it in presuming me his pupil.

    Playing one of my songs on bass at the open mike the other night, I asked Sara the house band drummer to accompany me on high-hat and snare. At the end of the number, I got the same “you have a lot of potential, lemme tell what you ought to do” treatment from Sara.

    I’ve encountered this thoughtful (sic) attitude in others, quite a few of them who treat me the same way as Louis and Sara have, and I always have to wonder. Do I really come across as a child prodigy who needs guidance? My God, I’m 64 — not six — and doing exactly what I want! To my mind, my “potential” is brimming. How many of you can say the same?

    As for your censure over my drinking, let me remind you I’m over 21, do not drive, pass out on the sidewalks, or otherwise obstruct or endanger the community. Besides, sober writers like Jms. Michener are only readable when they’re writing about drunk writers like Papa Hemingway.

    Allow me to contribute a further observation: Clear writing is a result of clear thinking; it’s not a “gift” like musical or athletic prodigies are born with. Clarity and style in writing comes from rigorous discipline, developed over long years of hard living, and the formula goes something like this: The easier it is too read, the harder it was to write; the more miserable and depressing life experiences, the more pleasant and amusing the reading.

    • LouisBedrock April 30, 2016

      1. You have a lot of goddamned nerve calling anyone a “pedant”.

      Your modus operandi is waiting until everyone else has gone to bed, and then spattering the comment section with your vitriol: you insinuate yourself into discussions, chastise other commentators in a sanctimonious and condescending manner flaunting the most esoteric words you know, and ridicule them without offering any counterargument.

      2. I didn’t call you a drunk. Nate Collins did.

      3. Nate Collins made several interesting observations in response to your comment to him. The most insightful of those was, “…if you’re not on the sauce I do admire your ability to fabricate indignation out of thin air. (sic) either you’re a good actor or a sorry drunk.

      4. Are you 64 years old?
      I would have guessed 17.

      • Bruce McEwen April 30, 2016

        My Editor just delivered your latest lesson plan for me, stories I read twenty years ago. But it was quite a compliment to be graduated from the last one, the Jr. College poetry 101 syllabus.

        1. A small contradiction, isn’t there, in condemning my “flaunting the most esoteric words” and then sending for my edification one of the most flowery volumes of the Twentieth Century.

        2. Feel free to call me a drunk, Louis. Or an alky, if you prefer. It’s all the same to me — and far and away preferable to the sanctimonious heights of sobriety you and Nate look down your noses from.

        3.Nate Collins has never made an interesting observation in his life, let alone several in one evening.

        4. You actually DID guess 17, and you continue to treat me as such. But I’m equal to it: I was a US Marine when I was 17, and have been equal to your condescending style of pedantry ever since. Consider, fir instance, how little goading it took to send you into a perfect snit! My, what a fellow you are! Indeed!

        Excuse while I slip out for a cocktail. When I return I’ll get out my lash and teach YOU a lesson or two, Louis.

      • Harvey Reading April 30, 2016

        I’m so relieved. I thought it was just me who had problems with Loose McEwen. Fortunately, like the rest of us, his influence is very limited, lash or no.

        And, fortunately, my subscription expires in a few months. The paper is a great one for issues pertinent to its locale, and I commend Mr. Anderson for that accomplishment. Beyond that, it gets tiresome.

        • LouisBedrock April 30, 2016

          Please don’t let your subscription expire as I would miss your mean-spirited remarks, even the ones directed toward me. Mean-spiritedness, like misery, loves company.

        • Bruce McEwen April 30, 2016

          My Dear Heavy Reading,

          What a victory it is to whip a Wyoming liberal, like you, into retreat.

          I always looked on you characters (Wyo Dems) as the one true force who could w/stand the Repugnican Onslaughts into the American Dream; that is to say, stand up for the Constitution in the face of pricks like Dick Cheney, Barbara Cubin and those two wicked old, neutered, toothless, declawed cats, the Cheyenne Eagle and the Casper Star.

          I had hoped (in vain it seems) that you would keep an eye on those two organs of offal, which have spent their nights shitting in your flowerbeds,and were found purring on your door step next morning.

          I glory in your defeat, but must have recourse to wonder how and why you gave up so easily….? Am I putting my foot in a trap?

          ideals… and here you are stepping away form the rodeo, turning in your hondo, lariat, and balls: I must say, Heavy Reading, I’ve never gloated in a more significant piece of expertise!

          • Harvey Reading April 30, 2016

            Just more babble, Loose McEwen, and you give yourself far too much credit, which isn’t surprising to me. I canceled my recurring subscription payment some time ago. I believe you’re putting your foot, or maybe your head, in your ass. You also have no clue about local democraps, which in Wyoming are just moderate rethuglicans, and you’re not nearly so clever as you think you are.

        • Bruce McEwen April 30, 2016

          Thanx for covering my back, Susie de …love ya, pal,

  3. Mike April 30, 2016

    Am visiting someone in Point Arena and she told me the Sheriff was in town collecting signatures…..I was wondering: how many does he need to get the initiative put on the ballot? Deadline?

    Sorry to hear about Lauren’s situation.

    • Thomas Allman April 30, 2016

      Mike-Thanks for asking. We officially need 2,502 registered Mendocino voter signatures but we hope to collect 3,500 prior to the end of May. We technically have until the end of July but we will soon be focusing on the campaign necessary to get the 2/3 votes. We will be posting a schedule soon on when we will be standing by our post offices, and at our Farmers markets. We see a solution for our mental health dilemma on the horizon. Hooray.

      • Mike May 1, 2016

        Thankyou Sheriff for this initiative.

  4. Concerned Human April 30, 2016

    Clinton is the queen of fracking…Jimmy Dore on YouTube Shows a Pro Fracking Company putting out an ad trying sell us on it. Check it out. (Rated R.) Look up The Great Barrier Reef and how it’s being destroyed..I could go on and on. We don’t have time to mess around. Bernie Sanders is our only hope when it comes to REAL Change for Our Planet. #FeelTheBern

  5. Whyte Owen April 30, 2016

    All third party Sanders would do is to elect Cruz or Trump. Remember Nader who elected Bush?

    • Mark Scaramella April 30, 2016

      Nader did not elect Bush — Gore elected Bush.
      In 1984, in a letter to his Tennessee constituents, Al Gore said: “As you know, I have strongly opposed federal funding of abortions. In my opinion it is wrong to spend federal funds for what is arguably the taking of a human life. I have been encouraged by recent action in the Congress, particularly in the House, that has indicated greater acceptance of our position with respect to federal funding of abortions. It is my deep personal conviction that abortion is wrong. I hope that some day we will see the current outrageously large number of abortions cut sharply. Let me assure you that I share your belief that innocent life must be protected, and I have an open mind on how to further this goal.”
      In 1993 (when the House and Senate had Democratic Party majorities) Vice President Al Gore cast a tie-breaking vote in the Senate for a bill which, among other things, cut Medicare benefits by a whopping $55.8 billion.
      Although Al Gore did not invent the internet nor explicitly claim to, he did virtually invent the Midgetman missile, he midwifed the MX missile, while a senator he voted against every effort to cut the Defense budget, backed Reagan’s invasion of tiny Grenada and every other foreign military intervention since 1980, supported the Nicaraguan contras and then, in what he called his “finest hour,” voted for the Gulf War in 1992 — only after shopping his vote on the very day of the debate to each side in order to secure the most favorable TV slot during the debate. Al Gore supported (and still supports) the horrific sanctions on the Iraqi people prior to 9-11 which the UN says killed more than 5,000 Iraqi children per day.
      Clinton was so frustrated that his team couldn’t come up with equally popular Democratic proposals to counter Newt Gingrich’s Contract With America that wouldn’t be nixed by Wall Street that, according to Bob Woodward’s book “The Agenda,” just before the Republicans took over Congress Clinton bellowed to his staff, “I hope you’re all aware we’re all Eisenhower Republicans! We’re Eisenhower Republicans here! And we’re fighting with Reagan Republicans. We stand for lower deficits, free trade and the bond market!”
      With Republican Morris providing the polling data and advice on how to out-Republican the Republicans (Morris’s “iron rule” was to steal any Republican idea that polled out at 60% or more — principles be damned. Gore did the same thing.), Clinton and Gore soon found that the best way for them to stay in office and get their half of the corporate money was to become Republicans. There was no need to “triangulate” — as Morris called adopting Republican proposals — on things they already agreed with the Republicans on: NAFTA, GATT, international military intervention, billions to Israel, budget balancing, regulation cutting (Gore called it “reinventing government”), crime and drug policy, opposition to universal health coverage, huge military budget increases, education “reform,” the death penalty…
      Oh, and what happened to the Contract that the Democrats denounced and campaigned against? It was enacted by the Gingrich Congress and almost all of it was signed into law by Clinton/Gore, albeit with a few minor tweaks to make it sound, um, slicker. (When Clinton hesitated to sign the Republicans’ welfare repeal proposal in 1996, Al Gore took the president aside and urged him to sign it, which Clinton did, thus wrapping up the very Contract Clinton and Gore had denounced.
      And Gore, whose record in the House and Senate was even more conservative than Clinton’s was in Arkansas, never backed away from any of the Gingrich Contract’s provisions that he still supports.
      As a result, the two candidates — Bush and Gore — were virtually indistinguishable. (They agreed 32 times in Dull Debate II.) In 2000 you could vote for a Republican who calls himself a Republican or for a Republican who calls himself a Democrat.
      As another result, lots of “Democrats” in Florida in 2000 voted for the Republican Republican, instead of the Democrat Republican. Well over 200,000 registered “Democrats” voted for Dubya, but nobody ever complains about them. Lots of those 96,000 Nader voters in Florida probably would have voted for Gore if Gore hadn’t pointedly stiffed the Florida enviros over the Homestead Air Force Base airport conversion (next door to the Everglades) just a few weeks before the election, as he, like his tutor Clinton, assumed that no matter how much he abandoned the Florida enviros they’d still have to vote for the Ozone Man. (And that was AFTER Donna Brazile specifically warned Gore about the Homestead problem, as documented in detail in the Washington Post.) But, then, that’s probably Ralph’s fault too, since he alone publicly pointed out Gore’s failure on the subject. Even more ironic, the Clinton administration quietly withdrew the Homestead airport conversion proposal two weeks before Clinton left office in January of 2001. Too little, too late again.

      • Bruce McEwen April 30, 2016

        Major, this is exceedingly intelligent reporting. I, for one, had no idea that either Nader or Gore even so much as voted for Geo. Bush, much elected the wicked old skunk! Now, perchance I’ve waded in over my depth but, please, sir, are you suggesting, at all, we could all be —Huhmpft, ?

      • chuck becker May 1, 2016

        Too fucking many words. Are you and idiot, or just don’t know how to abstract a worthwhile, but far too fatty passage? The fucking AVA has become the smoldering trash dump that used to exist for the two-shot sighting in of 30/30’s before deer season.

        • BB Grace May 1, 2016

          Nader was amused by the spoiler lable, “The GOP and DNC are like Coke and Pepsi, which are not choices when you need water.”

      • LouisBedrock May 1, 2016


        Thank you for this informative comment directed to those of us with a reading level above the sixth grade who are capable of reading material more complex than the latest tweet of Lebron James.

    • Keith Bramstedt May 1, 2016

      Al Gore would have helped his cause if he could have won his own state, Tennessee, in 2000.

  6. David Lilker May 1, 2016


    Despite some grousing from the peanut gallery in New Jersey, some of us quite enjoy Mr. McEwen’s writing. Louis complaining about the “spattering of vitriol” is more than a little hypocritical. He is a highly literate troll, but a troll nonetheless. I suggest he simply ignore Mr. McEwen’s writing, much as I try to ignore his tiresome(as well as “sanctimon -ious” and “condescending”) preaching in support of athiesm.

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