- Excessive Heat
- V Nutshell
- Bernie Cloverdale
- Assistant DA
- Against W
- Remo Visit
- Great Owls
- OMG Transition
- Sweeting Case
- Sheriff Request
- Trash Cleanup
- Transfer Station
- Helpful Hippies
- Legalization Considerations
- Police Report
- Yesterday's Catch
- Clinton Profiteering
- Cheating Donald
- Community Foundation
- Science Challenges
- The Bundle
- Golden Birthday
WESTERN U.S. HOT!
The mercury will be skyrocketing through the weekend across a large portion of the western U.S., especially the Southwest, as an impressive high-pressure ridge aloft expands. When this pattern occurs, the air sinks and warms, and the result is very few clouds and extremely high temperatures. The highest temperatures of the season will be felt across a large area. The brunt of the heat will be felt from the Central Valley of California, through much of the Desert Southwest, and across the Great Basin. The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued excessive heat warnings for portions of southeastern California, southern Nevada as well as western and southern Arizona. This includes the cities of Las Vegas, Phoenix and Tucson. An excessive heat watch has also been issued for portions of southwestern Washington and western Oregon, including Portland.
MEASURE V IN A NUTSHELL
MRC's spending an awful lot on clouding the Measure V issue. But it's a thin veneer. I want there to be no confusion on how simple this measure really is: ALL that it says is that if our neighbors experience loss of life or property as a result of this irresponsible and reckless forestry practice, that our own community members have some sort of redress. That is, if something catastrophic happens —loss of property, your life or the life of a loved one, homeowners who suffer a loss will suddenly have an ability to go after the person who performed the "public nuisance," for reasonable damages. Doesn't every 6th grader learn they have to take responsibility for their actions? (The way it is now, a lightning strike would be a force majeure, or an Act of God, and you have to turn to your own insurance policy for your loss.) We absolutely expect catastrophic fires in coming years, and this wildly reckless and unnecessary forestry practice creates a County-wide tinderbox, increases community risk, and restricts firefighter ability to engage. That's it in a nutshell, folks — vote for yourselves. Please VOTE YES!
Scott Roat, Little River
FEELING THE BERN & THE BURN:
Supporters Brave Scorching Temperatures to Attend Bernie Sanders Rallies in Fairfield & Cloverdale
Scorching temperatures hitting the Bay Area sent at least one Bernie Sanders supporter to the hospital on Friday.
The Democratic presidential candidate's lively and large rallies were much smaller on Friday due to the intense heat.
Attendees did what they could to keep form overheating as Sanders outlined the differences between himself and Hillary Clinton. He also blasted presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump for his views on the drought and global warming.
"Donald Trump does not have a clue what he's talking about," Sanders said.
Despite Friday's hot weather, supporters said they would brave the scorching temperatures again to feel the Bern.
* * *
CLOVERDALE RALLY PHOTOS (by Mike Kalantarian)
* * *
MISCELLANEOUS ON-LINE COMMENTS/TWEETS FROM ATTENDEES:
Bernie, the blazing beacon of truth! Energizing California! Was so great to see him with Jane and the grandkids. Bernie is a once in a lifetime candidate, the genuine article. President Sanders will bring America into a new age of conscious capitalism that cares for people and the planet.
Cannot even believe he came to Cloverdale. Cloverdale is literally the land that Time forgot.
I think that if Bernie takes California and New Jersey, which he can, he may actually get the dem nom. If the Democratic Party cuts off its nose to spite its face and nominates Hillary I would have 0 problem with Bernie going against his word and running third party, in fact I'll give him 100 bucks the minute he announces it. I think he would win as well, he is well liked pretty much across the board, everyday more people hear and understand his message, I have a good feeling if everybody that has been energized by Bernie sticks together that things will change for the better in this country.
Man, it's hot out here but this crowd is stoked for Bernie. I parked almost two miles away from the event.
No presidential candidates come to this area. Not to Sonoma County and especially not this close to Mendocino County.
Bernie is the man. Paying attention to the places that weren't touched by the establishment. Bernie should be on any minute!
It was funny, a prop plane flew in about five minutes before he was supposed to be on, and everyone thought that he had flown in. Turns out it wasn't him. Bunch of police went over to talk to the guy and he probably had to leave. Poor bastard probably just wanted to see Bernie.
Damn that was excellent. He is fired up. Let's run run run across the finish line.
DISTRICT ATTORNEY DAVID EYSTER wants to hire a new Assistant DA. “Agenda Item #4(k) — Approval of At-Will Employment Agreement Between the County of Mendocino and Mr. Richard Welsh to Serve as Mendocino County Assistant District Attorney in the Amount of $173,845.
Summary Of Request: The District Attorney requests authorization by the Board of Supervisors to enter into an Employment Agreement with Richard Theodore Welsh, in the position of Mendocino County Assistant District Attorney. A. Salary: County shall pay Employee an annual salary of One Hundred Fifteen Thousand Dollars ($115,000.00), payable on a biweekly basis. With retirement and medical benefits, it is estimated that this position as contractually compensated herein will have an approximate compensation value of $173,845 (See, in addition, subsection 3(D) herein).) Employee has been provided this information in advance, has considered same, and accepts employment with the aforementioned salary. Plus: Vactaion, Sick, Holiday, healthcare, disability, life insurance and management benefits: Education & training, wellness, computer loan, mileage and expense reimbursement, meal allowances.
AS BEST WE CAN TELL, from a quick on-line search, Mr. Welsh has been a senior Deputy DA for Orange County for quite a while.
THE BEST ARGUMENT against Measure W is the people pushing for it's adoption. Without any notable exception, they are drawn from the same narrow fringe of the political spectrum — kinda lib, kinda lab, kinda wack, mucho incestuous.
THE MEASURE W people favor a charter county so Mendocino County can form a public bank run by the Board of Supervisors. Does anyone think this is a good idea? Really? This bank, which they see being funded by the retirement system or the county general fund, the first of which is wayyyyy broke, the second perennially on the brink, would make low interest loans to support projects devised by the proponents and their pals. They don't say how the bank is going to pay the already underfunded county pensions if the bank is required to make low interest loans. Now they admit they don't even know if a charter county can create a public bank. Isn't that a question that should have been answered first?
MEASURE W PROPONENTS also falsely claim that voting for Measure W does not obligate the County to anything. In fact, it will obligate the County to hold another expensive countywide election on the half-baked charter that the proponents actually devise, and we're not talking, by and large, linear-thinking people here. And if the charter passes, it will require another countywide election anytime the charter needs to be changed in any way.
AND THE CHARTER proponents are already calling for the county to provide staffing resources to them as they travel around the county holding public meetings on what the charter should say. But they already know what it should say because they have a draft charter, featuring a public bank run by the Board of Supervisors, that they have been working on for several years.
IF YOU THINK A PUBLIC BANK, funded by public money and run by the Board of Supervisors is a good idea (if it's even legal) you should vote yes on Measure W. But if you think this half-baked and probably illegal use of public funds is a crazy idea and a waste of money, you should vote no.
WE HAPPEN to think a public bank is fundamentally a good idea, which is why we place our meager resources with a credit union. The Supervisors, conceivably, on that miraculous day they throw off their shackles and become real progressives, could fund, say, genuinely low cost housing, and we certainly hope they will get all the way behind Sheriff Allman's in-County mental health facility. The Allman Center for the Walking Wounded, seems to us, has priority by a million miles over a confused and poorly thought out charter county scheme.
THE FOLLOWING COMMENT appeared on MendocinoSportsPlus:
“BEWARE OF THIS MAN!!! He broke into our home two nights ago, rummaged through our home, drank our wine, ate our food, stole Steve’s keys, made a pile of things he was going to take, almost started a fire by lighting our candles, and did all of this in the middle of the night while we were asleep. Than he went into Kennedy's room. "She thought it was Steve" and we finally knew a stranger broke into our home when he came into our room.!!!!! He is LUCKY to be alive!!!! We called 911 and they took him to jail. SCARY!!!”
IN FACT, REMO, is developmentally disabled — "retarded," in the pre-euphemism days. But if I didn't know him and found him rummaging around my house in the middle of the night I'd be startled, too. But I do know him. He's one of a small army of marginal people — Mom and Pop Remo and at least one brother are out there, too — you see shuffling up and down Ukiah's State Street every day. Fifty years ago Remo might have been confined to a state hospital program, not that's he's nuts but in a rationally ordered society he would definitely be supervised. A hundred years ago, long before we lost our way in America, Remo would have passed most of his days at Mendocino County's farm out on Low Gap Road, Ukiah. It housed all the habitual drunks and people like Remo who, basically, are incompetent, people who, like Remo, are born and raised in Mendocino County. Remo, left to his own devices as he is now, drinks and, I'm sure, gobbles whatever street drug he's offered. The cops will verify that the guy is temperamentally no problem, and even when he's loaded he's not violent.
AS A KID, Remo was a lucrative funding unit for our helping professionals and non-profit apparatuses, I wouldn't be surprised if he's someone's funding unit still.
MAJOR EXCITEMENT for me Tuesday night when a friend invited me over to see a pair of Great Horned Owls. I've heard them, or at least thought I've heard them, but have never seen one, probably because I didn't know that they don't come out until it's just about dark. But these two suddenly materialized at the tops of two trees not far from where I was perched with a pair of my friend's super binoculars.
THEY WERE BIGGER than I'd expected, and even in the dying light, I got a long look at their majestic vigilance as they patiently surveilled the freshly cut field before them, a banquet of scurrying nocturnal creatures.
MY FRIEND said she'd seen this mom and pop pair airlift jack rabbits up, up and eternally away and worried for her cats, which she'd placed securely indoors well prior to the arrival of the Great Horned ones, potential cat-nappers. "The owls are out here every night about this time. I just can't even think about them carrying off my cats."
I WAS WONDERING about the carrying capacity of these avian menaces — surely a cat, unlike a rabbit, wouldn't go peacefully — when a murder of crows broke out crying, well, "Murder!" Tucked away in some odd vault in what's left of my memory I knew big gatherings of crows were called 'murders.' I couldn't remember why, though, and now I knew. "It's the owls. The crows are massing to drive off the owls."
THE CROWS were massed all right. There must have been a hundred of them cawing away in an alarmed chorus. The owls had disappeared, and I couldn't blame them. "They'll be back," my friend said. "They're up in those two trees every night."
THE JUNE 30 DEADLINE for the County’s conversion from Ortner Management Group (OMG) to Redwood Quality Management Group is just a few weeks away now. The County will exchange a very bad privatized adult mental health outfit from Yuba City to another outfit based in Ukiah. But most of the things the County lists as necessary for the transfer are still incomplete — extremely incomplete. Most of the “tasks” to be done are vague-to-meaningless, so much so that no rational person could nail them down as “complete” in any objective sense, and they are generally irrelevant to the mentally ill themselves anyway. In return for millions of public dollars donated to him by Mendocino County, Mr. Ortner hasn't delivered mental health services. Will the private Ukiah outfit get 'er done? Doubt it. (Nothing effective is likely until the Sheriff's sales-tax funded facility is up and running.) The entire privatized apparatus runs on insurance coverage of one kind or another and the people who need the most help don’t have any.
THE TRANSITION TASK LIST and the separate “implementation schedule” were updated again this month for the upcoming Monday, June 6, Board of Supervisors meeting and the updates are almost all of zero relevance to the actual transfer, much less the people they’re supposed to help.
HERE WE GO, folks, a progress report on the Transition Plan: In process of recruiting… working on… conversation with… developing brochures for… creating new posters… researching other options… need MOU… need consent form… in conversation… notice to pharmacies sent (and additional notices will be sent…), will meet with… met with… to clarify… RQMC had a training (no topic mentioned)… another training on electronic assessments and client plans… Conversations… In process… In progress… Meeting scheduled… Scheduling meeting…
THERE ARE A FEW objective tasks which they say are done that might help a little, but they are only a small part of a larger picture that remains disjointed and uncoordinated for the estimated 200 to 500 Ortner clients. (A difference of several million public dollars!)
THAT THEY STILL don’t know how many is an indication of how big a hole they have to climb out of to even get back to the muddled pre-privatization status quo. Can anybody say, "Time for a criminal investigation?"
RQMC, the private Ukiah mental health outfit, does claim to have obtained a new building for crisis services and they claim to have hired nine new crisis workers (no indication of whether from Ortner or not). And that is a bad thing because once they're entrenched, a shift to the Sheriff's conceptually superior and entirely public mental health center will be that much more complicated. RQMC is not going to want to get off the public dollar gravy train. There’s also an agreement with “Restpadd” for two beds — that’s right, two whole beds — for "July or August" (apparently they don’t even know specifically when).
THE COUNTY'S "mental health management team" says they finally have sent a letter to Ortner telling Ortner what records and paperwork the County wants. The letter itself was sent one month late and nobody knows if they’ll get anything like what they want. We doubt that Ortner management knows what their own staff was doing with the documentation. So it will probably be a rude surprise when it finally arrives.
WHAT ORTNER NEEDS, and certainly has coming, is subpoenas from DA Eyster. This whole show reeks of fraud.
THE COUNTY'S Mental Health Team has also finally finalized a contract amendment for Ortner to cease accepting new adult services clients on June 7. This “accomplishment” hardly even seems worth mentioning.
THE COUNTY has hired a new Laura’s Law coordinator who started on May 23rd. This doesn't have anything to do with Ortner, yet it’s on the list. And as far as we know there’s been only one person who has even applied for Laura’s Law and that person remains unapproved.
UNDER “Electronic Health Records (EHR)” there are no actual “records,” just a bit of progress on the new (and as yet untested) software the County spent a lot for just to automate the records that the County-chosen professional company — Ortner — didn't even have in place to begin with.
MOST GALLING is this item:
"OMG Amendment No 8: “presented simultaneously on the Board’s agenda for consideration is an amendment to the existing OMG contract that reflects the transition of various services according to the Mental Health Services – Adult Services Transition Plan. This amendment reflects an increase in the current contract maximum of $7,620,000 by $400,000, for a new maximum of $8,020,000 and also stipulating that OMG will no longer accept new adult mental health clients as of June 1, 2016; but will continue to serve all current clients and those needing emergency medication support services through June 30, 2016. This amendment also reflects a request from OMG for an increase to their existing contract maximum of $400,000 ($150,000 County commitment and $250,000 FFP) based upon their year-end budget projections. The agreement stipulates that OMG will only receive this increase amount if these costs are incurred through the actual delivery of services.”
BASICALLY, this just gives Ortner $400k more for (not) doing what they were already contracted to do. And which Ortner has not done.
ORTNER will even get another $64k post termination bonus to rub it in a little further: “OMG Short Term Services/Month-to-Month Agreement (July 1, 2016 – October 31, 2016): HHSA staff are finalizing the contract with OMG for the additional four (4) months from July 1, 2016 - October 31, 2016 ($16,000 per month, for a total of $64,000 that is budgeted for in fiscal year 2016-17). OMG made this request to provide funding for the necessary billing and associated administrative services remaining from the original ASO contract. The contract will be on the Board’s June 21, 2016, agenda for consideration.”
PUT THE GUN down, Ortner. We ain't got no more tax money to give you for your "services."
IF THIS WERE ANYWHERE BUT MENDOCINO COUNTY, this would be unbelievable and criminal. But—
WHAT HAPPENED TO TIM
On 05-18-2016 at approximately 7:08 PM, Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were called regarding a possible physical assault that occurred the previous day at a residence located in the 23500 block of Road 337D (Also known as Charlie Hurt Highway) in Covelo, California.
Upon arrival, Deputies found evidence of a physical assault and contacted potential witnesses. During this initial investigation, Deputies learned Joshua Richard Ruoff had been witnessed assaulting Timothy William Sweeting with a blunt object on 05-17-2016.
Deputies began a missing persons investigation regarding as Sweeting's whereabouts were unknown and he had no recent contacted with family or friends since the alleged physical assault.
Sweeting's vehicle, a white 1999 Chevrolet Tahoe was missing and Ruoff's whereabouts were also unknown.
Detectives from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Investigative Services Bureau responded to the residence where the scene was further examined.
The scene was processed with the assistance of investigators from the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office and criminalists from the California Department of Justice.
During the follow up investigations, Sweeting was not located and was considered to be a missing person under suspicious circumstances.
On 05-19-2016 Sweeting's vehicle was located on Mendocino Pass Road, parked on the side of the roadway about a mile from the residence.
As the investigation continued, it was learned Ruoff had rented a U-Haul truck and left the area for the state New Hampshire, where he previously resided.
Detectives contacted the New Hampshire State Police Major Crimes Unit and requested their assistance.
The investigation continued and evidence was gathered, including witness statements and physical evidence that supported the belief that Ruoff had murdered Sweeting and disposed of his body.
Initially a felony arrest warrant was sought and issued for Ruoff for felonious assault with a deadly weapon, and on 05-23-2016 the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office filed charges seeking an arrest warrant for murder against Ruoff.
On 05-23-2016 the New Hampshire State Police Narcotics and Investigations Unit located and arrested Ruoff in Concord, New Hampshire.
Mendocino County Sheriff's Detectives traveled to New Hampshire on 05-23-2016 and continued investigations for 2 days with the assistance of the New Hampshire State Police.
Multiple search warrants were served by the New Hampshire State Police at the request of the Sheriff's Detectives.
During the two days in New Hampshire additional evidence was gathered to support the belief Ruoff had murdered Sweeting.
Ruoff was booked into the Merrimack County Jail (Concord, New Hampshire) where he was to be held on a no bail status. Ruoff was challenging extradition to Mendocino County and the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office is working on getting him extradited to Mendocino County.
At this time, the remains of Sweeting have not been located and the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office is asking anyone who may have information about this case to contact the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Investigative Services Bureau.
If anybody, particularly in the Covelo area sees anything suspicious they are encouraged to call the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office at 707-463-4089, or call the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Tip line at 707-234-2100.
On 06-02-2016 at about 6:30 AM, a caller in the 23500 block of Road 337D (Charlie Hurt Highway) in Covelo, called to report suspicious dog activity where possible human remains had been unearthed.
Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies and Detectives from the Investigative Services Bureau responded and identified human remains in a significant grave site. This grave site was located in proximity to the residence processed as a crime scene in connection with Timothy William Sweeting's disappearance.
Due to the nature of the grave, and the condition of the remains, Anthropologists from the California State University at Chico Anthropology Department were called in to assist in the excavation of the remains.
At this time, the remains have not been positively identified but are suspected to be that of Timothy William Sweeting.
A forensic autopsy has been scheduled for 06-03-2016.
(Detective Sergeant Andrew Porter)
Investigators suspect a 27-year-old Rohnert Park man missing for 10 days was the victim of an unprovoked, deadly attack at a remote Mendocino County marijuana farm where he and his suspected killer were paid laborers.
Sheriff’s officials said an eyewitness account of the killing, a bloody crime scene and other evidence were enough for a judge to sign an arrest warrant that sent detectives across the country to New Hampshire, where his alleged assailant had fled.
Joshua Richard Ruoff, 30, of South Lake Tahoe left Covelo in a rented U-Haul on May 18 — hours before a 911 caller told dispatchers a violent attack had occurred at a property in the remote community where Highway 162 ends in Mendocino County, Capt. Greg Van Patten said.
* * *
Ruoff was arrested five days later in Concord, N.H., on suspicion of murder after a surveillance team from the New Hampshire State Police Major Crimes Team spotted him near the U-Haul in Concord.
Van Patten described the killing as “a difference in personalities that escalated to an attack.”
Ruoff and Sweeting had been living at the property along Road 337D, also called Charlie Hurt Highway, in Covelo with a group of other itinerant pot farm workers, Van Patten said. They were tending to about 400 plants divided among a greenhouse, a backyard garden and a room set up for indoor plants.
Ruoff and Sweeting “had a bad relationship with one another, they weren’t on the best of terms,” Van Patten said.
Their disagreements were fueled by “personality differences” and centered around the work they were doing tending pot plants, Van Patten said.
Investigators believe that tension boiled over on May 17.
Ruoff attacked Sweeting inside a house on the property, beating him with a “blunt object,” Van Patten said.
At least one person witnessed the attack, he said.
But everyone had scattered and the property was abandoned when a deputy arrived before dusk on May 18. Someone had called sheriff’s dispatchers that evening at 7 to report an assault had taken place at the property the day before.
The deputy saw signs of a fight and alerted the violent crimes team.
* * *
Sweeting grew up in central New York and the Finger Lakes region and he moved with his family to Sonoma County in 2013, according to his mother, Laurie Sweeting of Rohnert Park. He was full of energy with an ever-ready mischievous grin, she said in a brief phone call Friday.
Laurie Sweeting said she was devastated and could barely let herself think that her son may be dead, let alone discuss the investigation. Sweeting has a sister and a big East Coast family. His father still lives on the East Coast.
“This is just tearing all of us apart, this is unreal,” Laurie Sweeting said. “We are all in shock. Never in a million years would we expect this to happen.”
The case initially appeared to be a missing person’s investigation because Sweeting and his 1999 Chevrolet Tahoe and his dog were gone.
But the next day, deputies found his Chevrolet — with blood inside — parked against some bushes on the side of Mendocino Pass Road, a narrow two-lane road about a mile from the property. His dog was in the SUV, unharmed, Van Patten said.
(— Julie Johnson. Courtesy, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
BEST IDEA OUTTAHERE IN YEARS
Sheriff Tom Allman: "Ok Mental Health Warriors, I need your help. We are getting very close to having 2,502 signatures of Mendocino County Registered voters. I need to do a final push so we can was this up in two weeks. If you accept my challenge, please send me a PM with your address and I will mail you a petition to sign and return. Each petition can take 10 signatures, but you don't have to fill it up. I will mail you a petition with a return envelope. Can you help? We have almost 2,000 signatures. You can make a huge difference."
COUNTY STRUGGLES TO CLEAN UP TRASH HEAPS
NEW COAST TRANSFER STATION NOT A GOOD IDEA
Keep Russian Gulch State Park intact!
A part of the Russian Gulch State Park is imperiled by plans for a new waste transfer station. The Revised Environmental Impact Report for the Central Coast Solid Waste Transfer Station is based on a land swap between the County, Jackson Demonstration State Forest (JDSF) and Russian Gulch State Park. Readers will recall that this project involves removing 12 acres of old trees from their protected status in State Parks and swapping them to JDSF to enable a new transfer site. These trees have been in protected status in Russian Gulch State Park since the early 20th century. These old trees are a public legacy. Under JDSF control they can be cut. The area contains Marbled Murrelet habitat and the famed Mushroom Corners. The third leg of the swap will have JDSF transfer 17 acres of pristine Pygmy Cypress Woodland to the City and County to build the Transfer Station upon. Pristine means never disturbed. Pristine Pygmy is regarded in the same light as Old Growth Forest because it as been around for a long, long time. It has protected status under the JDSF Management Plan, but not under the County/City plan. Again, this is part of our legacy and that of our children, and our children’s children. State Parks does not want to swap away those old trees. Letters are needed to the offices of State Parks in Duncans Mills and Sacramento urging them to send a letter to the City and County and MSWA declining the swap by the 24th of June. Your letters must be sent ASAP. Please write to:
Chief Deputy Director
CA Dept. of Parks & Recreation
PO Box 942896
Sacramento, CA 94296-0001
Sonoma-Mendocino Coast District
PO Box 123
Duncans Mills, CA 95430-0123
Chief of Natural Resources
PO Box 942896
Sacramento, CA 94296-0001
A public hearing on this and other questions about the Transfer Station will be held on June 16th at Town Hall. For more information, contact Mary Walsh 937-0572
Mary Walsh, Chair
Rixanne Wehren, Coastal Committee
Linda Perkins, Conservation Chair
Mendocino Group, Sierra Club
THE RIGHT KIND OF HIPPIES
'The Vagabus' volunteers lend a hand at Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens
This past Monday (Memorial Day) a group of traveling volunteers from The Vagabus Project — also known as "the helpful hippies” — parked their colorful school bus at Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens. They spent the day weeding and assisting with restoration of our coastal bluffs and Native Plant Garden. We gave them a list of projects and they tackled them all! This is a fun and colorful human-interest piece!
Have a great weekend!
Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens
WHERE IT'S AT (MARIJUANA):
THREE MINUTES AFTER MIDNIGHT....
On Wednesday, June 1, 2016 at approximately 12:03 PM Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to investigate a domestic dispute that happened the previous day at a residence in the 76000 block of Lovell Street in Covelo, California. When Deputies arrived at the location they contacted a 43 year-old female who stated she had been assaulted by her 54 year-old male cohabitant, Ronald Waynne Callen. During the altercation Callen grabbed a hold of the 43 year-old female by her head and then pushed her to the floor. Once the 43 year-old female was on the floor Callen began shaking her. The 43 year-old female had visible injuries to her face and stomach area. During the investigation Deputies located Callen and placed him under arrest for Domestic Violence Battery. Callen was subsequently booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $25,000 bail.
CATCH OF THE DAY, June 3, 2016
SKYLER BAILEY, Willits. Under influence, paraphernalia, failure to appear.
FRANK BARHITE, Fort Bragg. Refusal to leave, resisting.
DUSTIN BLAKESLEY, Clear Lake Oaks/Ukiah. Failure to appear.
CAYTLIN COLLICOTT, Willits. Probation revocation.
DANIEL DELOSSANTOS, Talmage. Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)
GASPAR GOMEZ, Little River/Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.
CAROLYN KING, Ukiah. Drunk in public, probation revocation.
DWAYNE MCKENZIE, Ukiah. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, probation revocation.
PEDRO REYNAGA, Ukiah. Drunk in public.
MARY SCHAEFER, Ukiah. Failure to appear.
JESSICA WILSON, Willits. Probation revocation.
DIAMONDE DOGS: CLINTON FAMILY JEWELS
by Jeffrey St. Clair
In southwestern Arkansas, deep in the humid foothills of the Ouachita Mountains, you’ll find one of the oddest little state parks in the country. On first glance the park seems to be little more than a plowed field edged by scraggly forest, featuring a big public swimming pool and a hulking barn-like structure sheathed in rusty tin siding. You’d likely drive right past it on your way to Murfreesboro or the much more scenic canyon of the Little Missouri River, a few miles down the road.
Yet this seemingly unremarkable patch of ground was designated as one of the world’s most significant natural areas by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. The feature that attracted the notice of the IUCN naturalists was a geological structure called a Lamprolite Pipe, a kind of subterranean chimney coursing through the upper mantel of the continent down to a seething pool of magma. Lamprolite pipes are rare things. There are only a few known to exist in North America. And these pipelines to the surface of the earth convey even rarer objects formed in the Chthonic depths: diamonds. And not just any diamonds, either: Lamprolite diamonds, prized for their size, clarity and scarcity (98 percent of the world’s diamonds are formed out of Kimberlite). Hence the name of this obscure little park: Crater of Diamonds.
On a summer day in 1906, a corn farmer named John Huddleston was plowing his fields with a pair of mules, when he noticed two gleaming crystal nuggets exposed in a furrow. These two stones proved to be the first diamonds discovered outside of South Africa. Huddleston quickly sold an interest in his farm to what in those days was called a “concern,” a group of Little Rock investment types headed by a cigar-chomping banker named Sam Reyburn.
Over the next few months, trenches were dug, surveys were made, exploratory holes were drilled. Some diamonds were found (about two carats per 100 tons), but not enough to justify the cost of extracting them. By 1908, the Huddlestons’ scarified diamond field was back under the plow, occasionally spitting up a stone or two.
And so it went for about the next 30 years, the outbreak of World War II, things changed. The search for diamonds, critical to the development of new weapons systems, became a priority for the Pentagon. The Department of Defense seized control of the site in 1940 and began intensively mining for the vital crystals. But once again the Ouachita Crater disappointed. Even by the Pentagon’s elastic accounting standards, the labor costs of mining the diamonds proved exorbitant.
In 1951, the Pentagon disposed of the Crater and over the next 20 years several different entrepreneurs attempted to turn the place into a tourist attraction, charging people a few bucks a day to try their hands at shifting for diamonds. All of these ventures ended in failure and in 1972 Arkansas’s progressive governor, Dale Bumpers, acquired the entire 800-acre property for less than $1000 per acre and turned it into Crater of Diamonds State Park, a lazy, off the tracks destination where tourists could leisurely glean the old fields for diamonds.
Then along came Bill Clinton. In 1986, Clinton was introduced to a Canadian mining magnate named Jean-Raymond Boulle. The man who connected Clinton and Boulle was none other than James Blair, the legendary Little Rock fixer and Tyson Foods lawyer, who advised Hillary Clinton during her miraculous adventures in the commodities future market, where she quickly turned a $1000 investment into a $100,000 payday. Boulle had a proposition for the governor. He wanted to restart mining at the old site in the Ouachitas, but needed the governor’s help in winning an exemption from rules forbidding commercial mining in state parks. In exchange, Boulle offered, to incorporate his new company, Diamond Fields, in Arkansas and locate its headquarters in the governor’s hometown of Hope.
The deal was struck, the terms largely negotiated by long-time Clinton consigliere Bruce Lindsay, who would later become the Chair of the Clinton Foundation. This sleazy backroom deal set a pattern that Clinton would mercilessly pursue as president, where the public commons was quietly offered up for exploitation by private enterprises with financial ties to the administration.
Lurking in the background of this secret deal was a Canadian financial tycoon named Frank Guistra, who owned 60,000 shares of stock in Diamond Fields. Over the years, Clinton and Guistra would become close friends, with Clinton travelling the world in Giustra’s private jet, negotiating mining deals from Kazakhstan to Moscow. As detailed in Peter Schweitzer’s very informative Clinton Cash, Giustra returned the love, donating more than $30 million to the Clinton Foundation.
Hillary made out as well. On the night of the first Clinton inaugural ball, the new first lady proudly flashed a 3.5 carat diamond ring, a present from the old Diamond Fields team, mined from the Crater of Diamonds. As for old John Huddleston, the man once hailed as the Diamond King of Arkansas? He died indigent and was buried in a pauper’s grave two miles from his glittering crater.
The moral of this tale: though others may well go under, you can count on the Clintons to always profit from their plunder.
(Jeffrey St. Clair is editor of CounterPunch. His new book is Killing Trayvons: an Anthology of American Violence (with JoAnn Wypijewski and Kevin Alexander Gray). He can be reached at: email@example.com. Courtesy, CounterPunch.org.)
by Ralph Nader
Donald Trump brags about “branding” his political opponents. He repeatedly has called Marco Rubio “Little Marco,” Ted Cruz “Lyin’ Ted,” and Hillary Clinton, “Crooked Hillary.” Repetition makes these epithets stick – a lesson Trump has drawn from the advertising world and his own fragile ego.
Astonishingly, his opponents have not successfully branded him – choosing instead to first ignore and then argue with Trump, who is a chronic overtalker, shouter and prevaricator. The mass media, delighted with its ratings, has until recently rarely chosen to challenge his false assertions, preferring instead to let him perpetuate his mendacities.
There are exceptions – two of the leading ones being Glenn Kessler, the Washington Post Fact Checker who has handed Trump a record 28 Four-Pinocchio awards and David Cay Johnston, a Pulitzer Prize winning reporter who has written, “Twenty One Questions for Donald Trump.”
Based on these and other solid published sources, the new moniker or nickname for Trump should be “CHEATING DONALD.”
Cheating Donald rings true with many bells. He has cheated on his workers, including undocumented laborers. Through his numerous tactical company bankruptcies, he has cheated on his creditors and employees who were thrown out of their jobs. Fortune Magazine’s 1999 list of the 496 most admired companies ranked his casino company at the bottom – worst or almost worst in management, use of assets, employee talent, long-term investment value and social reasonability. And that was before Cheating Donald’s company later went bankrupt.
He cheated on consumers – most recently the students at Trump “University” that New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman called an “illegal educational institution.”
He has cheated on taxpayers – using political influence to get tax abatements for his properties, while admittedly paying little or no taxes on his tax returns he refuses to disclose. His first major tax escape was on a New York City hotel worth at least $400 million over 40 years, according to David Cay Johnston. As the highly regarded director Citizens for Tax Justice, Robert McIntyre, has often said, tax breaks for the corporations and super-rich mean other taxpayers have to pay more, receive fewer services or experience larger public deficits.
He has cheated voter beliefs by inflating his wealth and business prowess as credentials for running the federal government, thereby concealing his many business limitations, failures and his true net worth (Why won’t Mr. Trump release his tax returns?).
He has cheated on matrimony, boasting about his many past infidelities, including, he says, with “seemingly very happily married and important women.”
Finally, he has cheated the Truth, producing a veritable Trump Tower of false statements, twisting facts into webs of deception while vaingloriously shouting to rallies that “we’re going to win, win, win, win, win, win, win until you get sick of us winning” (without ever once answering the question of “how”).
Since announcing his bid for the presidency in June 2015, Trump’s campaign trail has been strewn with illusory promises, and a staggering number of self-glorifications suggesting deep personal instabilities. These childish displays of hubris confirm day after day it is all about him and not the American people. Not exactly presidential timber.
Yet the Republican Party leaders and their corporate funders have been unable to stop his rampage, which has been aided and abetted by a profit-seeking commercial media (regaled by Leslie Moonves, CEO of CBS who said of the rise of Trump “It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS”).
Soon Cheating Donald will be turning the GOP brand into the Trump Dump, with far-reaching tumult and uncertainty for the same business community which has been so favorably predisposed to past GOP nominees. For Cheating Donald is not only uncontrollable for the political establishment, he also lacks control over himself and is routinely driven to disparagingly brand anyone who takes him to task. He has demonstrated time and again that he lacks the self-control to negotiate the “great deals” that have become the hallmark of his campaign’s message. Cheating Donald is the latest manifestation of what could happen to this country when commercialized elections separate from the discipline of a democratic society. This is turning our land into a plutocratic-oligarchic domain, where the Rich rule the Many by entrenching the corporate state so dreaded by our founding fathers.
Can Cheating Donald be stopped by the Republican Party at its July Convention? He has the 1237 delegates needed to win, assuming no significant defections. But there is a reason why John Kasich and Ted Cruz are keeping their delegates. Because Cheating Donald could push one cheat or two too far and implode. Anything is possible. Just look at how far Cheating Donald has come in this reputed “land of the free, home of the brave” with empty bombast, brass and bullying.
(Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!)
A SECOND CHANCE FOR EDUCATION
by Susanne Norgard, CEO
The Community Foundation of Mendocino County
Fionna Perkins, the late poet laureate of Point Arena, was a friend of mine as well as a donor to the Community Foundation. I looked forward to my visits with her and talking about books, politics, local projects (she was a strong supporter of the Point Arena Library), and her legacy. With regards to the latter, Fionna had a dream of helping working women return to college and get the education that would allow them to realize their full potential. She left an endowment gift to the Community Foundation in order to make that happen.
That is why I was happy to learn about Mariana Torres Nunez, the woman who received the Perkins Scholarship this year, and I knew Fionna would have been pleased by the selection. Mariana began her college courses in Mexico, but left school in order to care for her sick father. When her father passed away, she moved to the United States and began a 9-year period of time working at a nursing home in Fort Bragg while she and her partner raised three boys.
In her scholarship essay, she describes what led her back to school. "Last year, my oldest son asked me if I was a nurse or doctor because I was always wearing my scrubs to work. I told him that I was not a doctor or a nurse, but a housekeeper. He replied, 'Mom, you are nobody as important as I thought.' That day I felt sad, even when I knew my son didn't mean to hurt my feelings. But I realized then that my son was right, and I should aspire to become someone important in life. I wanted to be his role model." It was in this way that she made a decision to leave the nursing home and return to school at Mendocino College.
Now Mariana gets up extra early to get her kids ready for school before commuting from Fort Bragg to Ukiah for her classes. She takes 15 units and has a 4.0 GPA. "I never thought I would even get a "B", so getting all "A's" is wonderful. I know I have to work a lot harder since English is still hard for me, but I love math. It's fun to solve the puzzle and get the right answer."
Her success in school is also inspiring her three boys. "One of my kids got a low score in math, and I told him 'I am 34 years old and I can do it. You're only 10, and I know you can do it better than me.' After that he started to come to me for help. Now he is doing better and understands how important it is to ask for help when you need it. It is fun and we have a little competition between us to see who gets the best grades."
Mariana's success in school has encouraged her to dream and plan. She intends to transfer to a four-year college in 2018 to pursue a Bachelor's in Business Administration and eventually start her own business. "My dream is to have my own company so I can provide jobs for people and help them succeed too."
For Mariana there is nothing more important than her education, and she doesn't intend to waste her second chance. "I have a long way to go," she says, "but I'm pretty sure that I will get there. I will be someone important in life and my children will be proud of me."
The Community Foundation helps people to give back in a way that is personal for them. For more information, www.communityfound.org.
A BUNDLE ON THE STAIRCASE
by Almudena Grandes
(Translated by Louis S. Bedrock)
The janitor thought it was a drunk.
He was curled up on the landing of the second floor with his head resting against the wall, his eyes closed, the legs in a strange position--as if he had fallen asleep with his knees tucked into his body and sleep had relaxed his legs without quite completely stretching them out.
It was 7:00 on a Saturday morning and no one in the building seemed to have gotten out of bed yet. The patio was dark, not a whistle of a single coffeemaker was heard, and no children were running around the hallways. The janitor was anticipating this when the alarm clock went off. I'll make my rounds now, he said to himself, I'll sweep the stairs and get away to the village to enjoy myself. With that in mind, he took the elevator up to the top floor and had no other company than that of the broom and the dustpan until he encountered that bundle.
What an outrage! The same nonsense every weekend! Who opened the door for him? How did he get in? What fun--to sleep it off in here, as one can see; when they're not pissing in the vestibule, they wind up sleeping on our stairway; just what we need...
“Hey you! Get up, let's go.”
He looked very young. He was wearing worn blue jeans, new running shoes, and a quilted aviator's jacket with dark stains around the area of the stomach on both the outside and inside of the jacket. The janitor thought that he had vomited on himself and a second later that his thinking was wrong.
Hey, what's wrong? Don't you hear me?
He didn't hear him. The sound of the janitor's voice didn't produce any response: not a blink, not a groan, nor a change in the rhythm of his breathing. When he realized this, the janitor, standing, supported by the broom, felt himself submerged by an implacable clammy wave. Sweat soaked his shirt, rolled down his face, rolled down his hands, coursed through the grooves in his legs, turned his knees into frail joints of sugar-coated gelatin, as he realized that the boy was dead.
He looked down and saw a string of dark round stains that ascended from the second floor. He hadn't noticed them before because the bulk of the body occupied so much space and the body was not lying in a thick, red, sticky puddle as bodies do in movies. Perhaps because he had his hands crossed over his stomach and he had stopped up the wound with them until the end. Perhaps the cadaver was covering the puddle. The janitor knew nothing about death but he watched television a lot. He didn't touch anything but pushed the body a bit with the broom and managed to move it over until at last he saw the blood and also saw the boy's face. And for a time, he could not see anything else.
He was a boy, a kid of about sixteen or seventeen perhaps--no older. The contour of his face had not yet lost the softness of childhood: delicately-edged cheekbones covered by smooth skin, a rounded chin, the pimples that covered the bottom of his nose and ran around the border of his lips. He was a boy and he was dead because someone had stabbed him with a knife, he thought, or a razor. Someone, almost certainly, a kid not much older than he was.
The janitor didn't consider himself especially sensitive; he never had described himself as sentimental, but that morning. before he realized it, he was crying. He was crying for the kid that was dead and he was crying for the murderer; he was crying for the parents, for the two mothers, for their grief and for their guilt, for their inconsolable suffering that would continue until their deaths and until his own death as well.
The janitor thought about his two children: the boy, his older child, who was a good student, who never had done anything wrong until he abandoned his pregnant fiancé and ruined his career; his daughter, who was a disaster, who always talked back, was rebellious, allergic to going to classes, until she straightened herself out at the same time her older brother was falling apart.
Both of them were well. Both were alive.
Neither one of them ever understood why he called them on their cell phones one Saturday at seven-thirty in the morning to tell them that he loved them very much, but only after he heard their astonished, sleep-dazed voices did their father have the strength to call the police.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SAKO
Subject: my birthday present
I received a huge birthday present today, June 3. Gold finally rallied.
I hold gold in my portfolio. It's been quite a wait.
After 7-8 years of quantitative easing during which the Federal Reserve Bank quadrupled money supply, and during which interest rates were brought down to almost zero, and during which the Fed and the U.S Treasury cooked up a host of other wacky strategies, i.e., qualitative easing, credit easing, money printing or monetary financing, alternating debt maturity structure, and "helicopter" money, it's becoming apparent that every single one of these too-big-to-fail strategies that sought to bailout the banksters, have all failed.
Our economy is now officially stalled. Goodbye paper assets. Hello hard assets.
Let's see if this gold rally continues. BTW, I'm 64-years old today. I share a birthday with Jefferson Davis, Raul Castro, Anderson Cooper, Rafael Nadal, Tony Curtis, Chuck Barris, Walter Haut, Curtis Mayfield, Josephine Baker, and Allen Ginsburg. In the mid-1970s, I met Ginsberg on our birthday in Baltimore at the Maryland Institute of Art. I hugged him and we chanted as Ginsberg played the harmonium.