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Mendocino County Today: Saturday, Aug 6, 2016

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Re: The District Attorney’s Marijuana Restitution Program,

Report Dated May 13, 2016


Mendocino County’s elected District Attorney, David Eyster, respectfully submits the following timely response to the 2015-2016 Mendocino County Grand Jury report entitled, The District Attorney’s Marijuana Restitution Program, dated May 13, 2016.

As required by law, the response has been prepared by the District Attorney and his staff. Taken as a whole, this Grand Jury report is an informative and good report, with certain caveats that will be specifically identified and addressed below.

While utilizing illegal marijuana as its primary focus, this Grand Jury report shines a light on one topical area of plea and sentencing bargains. “Plea negotiation, with bargains duly honored, is a device necessary to administration [of justice] if a steady flow of guilty pleas is to be maintained.” (People v. Cardoza (1984) 161 Cal.App.3d 40, 42, internal citations omitted.) As the California Supreme Court observed, “The benefit to the defendant from a lessened punishment does not need elaboration; the benefit to the state lies in the savings in cost of trial, the increased efficiency of the procedure, and the further flexibility of the criminal process.”

(Hoines v. Barney’s Club, Inc. (1980) 28 Cal.3d 603, 613; People v. West (1970) 3 Cal.3d 594, 613; People v. Cardoza, supra, 161 Cal.App.3d at p. 42 [“the state has an interest in settling criminal cases by means more economical than litigation”].) “The process of plea bargaining … contemplates an agreement negotiated by the People and the defendant and approved by the court.” (People v. Alvarez (1982) 127 Cal.App.3d 629, 633, internal citations omitted.) “The nature of a plea bargain … places the interpretation of the agreement generally within the purview of contract principles, including the principles of public policy. (Ibid.) “As a general proposition, `courts will not compel parties to perform contracts which have for their object the performance of acts against sound public policy.” (Moran v. Harris (1982) 131 Cal.App.3de 913, 918.)

As discussed by one court, “`Public policy’ is a vague, somewhat troublesome and malleable expression. Frequently it has been defined in conclusory or visceral terms. For example, ‘public policy means the public good.’ But it is exactly because of this subjective, amorphous definition and the variations of human response to the same facts, depending upon philosophical or psychological perceptions of those involved, that courts have been cautious to blithely applying public policy reasons to nullify otherwise enforceable contracts.” (Moran, supra, 131 Cal.App.3d at pp. 919.) “[P]ublic policy … encourages the making of contracts … and courts so recognizing have allowed parties the widest latitude in this regard. (Ibid.) It bears significant emphasis that the California Supreme Court, long ago, determined that local prosecutors enjoy a wide latitude in the administration of plea agreements, and a prosecutor’s motivation in securing a plea bargain is, itself, “consistent with public policy.” (Hoines v. Barney’s Club, Inc., supra, 28 Cal.3d at 610, 613.)

(Full report: DA-GJresponse)

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I'M GOING TO ASSUME that the Sheriff and the DA send someone to interview Mr. Baumeister when he comes through the County Jail, as he inevitably does a couple of times a year.

Baumeister worked for James DeNoyer when DeNoyer's uncle, Donald Cavanaugh, and a second old guy, David Neily, disappeared while employed by DeNoyer at his property near Westport.

One old man disappears, you've got a mystery. Two old men disappear you've got a murder mystery.

Denoyer, Neily, Cavanaugh
Denoyer, Neily, Cavanaugh

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COUPLA WEEKS ago I e-mailed Mayor Turner of Fort Bragg a basic Have You Stopped Beating Your Wife question. I asked him if Fort Bragg was editing City Council minutes to make the mayor less snappish than he is. The Mayor didn't respond, which seems to me a personality indicator in itself. Savvy officials make a joke out of Gotcha questions or otherwise gracefully deflect them.

TURNER'S lack of social-political savoir-faire has united a solid half of his constituents against him. If he had just a tad of it the divisions wouldn't be nearly as bitter as they are.

WELL, is Fort Bragg's public record being edited to make the mayor seem less boorish than he is? Yes, at least it was in the recent case of David Gurney. The mayor told Gurney to "sit down and shut up." The “shut up” disappeared.

THE TAIL WAGS THE DOG everywhere in civic Mendocino County, from school boards who automatically sign off on whatever the administrator they're supposed to be supervising tells them he or she wants. You'd have to go back at least a decade to find a NO vote from the County School Board. And ditto for most school boards most of the time except when staff rises up in opposition to an unpopular admin person, as has happened in the case of Fort Bragg Unified.


THE CITY OF FORT BRAGG is run by it's city manager, Linda Ruffing. A lot of the terrible ideas that have estranged many Fort Bragg people have been hers, which she routs through three weak men on the City Council — Turner, Hammerstrom, Dietz. The upshot? The Old Coast Hotel converted to another branch of a burgeoning non-profit called Hospitality House, the hiring of a police chief from out of the area beholden to Ruffing for his hire, a hire made over a deserving local cop named Naulty who'd just literally put his life on the line for his home town, a bunch of silly, expensive projects that should have never been green-lighted, and her stuffing the big pay city jobs with either friends of hers or neo-dependents.

I'M SURE Mayor Turner and Ruffing are beating the bushes for an electable fuzzy-warm to ensure their disastrous stranglehold on the City of Fort Bragg. Last election they came up with Mark Iacuanello, a kind of talking cabbage patch doll of the type long prevalent in the County's public schools, and definitely a roller. (Old term for an extremely pliable person.)

FORT BRAGG has a poor electoral history.  This is the town that repeatedly sent Patti Campbell and Kendall Smith to the County Board of Supervisors. Madre Dios! A quarter century of no representation at the County level for Fort Bragg. Campbell never seemed fully aware of where she was, maintaining a sphinx-like silence but occasionally going off on crying jags at no visible provocation. Smith babbled on and on to no end but was quite cagey in falsifying her conference and travel reimbursements, charging the taxpayers for travel untraveled. DA Eyster had to threaten Smith with prosecution before she coughed up the money.

GJERDE!! The present Supe from Fort Bragg? I've always been a Gjerde guy. Fort Bragg really owes him. He almost singlehandedly lifted Fort Bragg out of looming bankruptcy when he was first elected to the City Council in the wake of some of the most flagrant criminality in the history of Mendocino County. (Fort Bragg fires of '87, a city council whose members, three of them, were taking "loans" they didn't have to pay back from developer Dominic Affinito. Etc.) Gjerde's very smart, always does his homework, always knows what he's talking about. If he were still on the Fort Bragg City Council I'm sure Fort Bragg wouldn't be in the sorry shape it's in today. I should note here that Gjerde is way too cool to get sucked into the current, no-win FB controversies. He would have headed them off before they got to full irreconcilability.

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by Justine Frederiksen

Anyone who has visited Ukiah High School during lunch breaks has seen how quickly hundreds of teenagers can fill the common areas with food containers, wrappers and scraps.

And with so much food available to them on a daily basis, it likely comes as no surprise to anyone familiar with cockroaches that the campus has struggled with an infestation of the pests for the last few years.

“An empty can, an apple core, a dropped French fry or even a spilled drink can all represent life-sustaining food sources to many roaches,” explained Gabe Sherman, the director of Maintenance, Operations and Transportation for the Ukiah Unified School District. “I am convinced that any substantial forward progress (in removing them) will require a cultural shift in the way we handle our food and trash at our schools. Students, staff and the community at large will have to pull together to address this.”


Some members of the community argue that they have been willing to help all along, but the problem has been allowed to fester in large part because of what they describe as the school district’s unwillingness to request help or even share information.

“The school district claims that it is doing all it can to address the problem, but I feel differently after seeing the same trash on the ground, as well as the same row of half-filled trash cans, for three days,” said Alisha Marin, who created the Facebook Page called “Eradicate the cockroaches from Ukiah High School” with her sister Cambria Milani.

Both women addressed the Ukiah City Council during its last meeting Wednesday.

“The high school cannot continue to treat the problem the way it has, and I would like to know what the city is doing to address the cockroach problem at the high school (that has spread to the surrounding neighborhood),” Marin said.

“We’re tired of the school district just putting a Band-Aid on it again and again,” said Milani, who brought a jar of cockroaches with her to show the council after collecting the pests during a recent visit to the campus with her sister. “The school district failed to communicate the severity of the problem with parents, and now that we’re all more aware of it, we all want this taken care of.”

Milani at Supervisors Meeting
Milani at Supervisors Meeting

After Milani and Marin also visited the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors with their jar of cockroaches, the UUSD issued another press release Thursday and apologized for not sharing more information with parents and the rest of the community.

“We were so busy trying to solve the problem that we forgot to keep everyone informed,” said Superintendent Debra Kubin. “We’ve learned our lesson and will not make that mistake again.”

Kubin said the school district will now “update the public regularly via social media and press releases as it combats this challenging problem.”

According to the school district, the bugs are Turkestan cockroaches, an invasive species first reported in California in 1978. When the pests were discovered at the UHS stadium in 2014, the initial response was a professional pesticide application targeted to that area, which had the unintended effect of causing the bugs to move away from the sprayed area and farther into the campus.

By early 2015, the UUSD reports, the infestation was campus-wide and exterminators were on campus every other week, then every week.

When it became clear this spring its eradication efforts weren’t working, the high school began limiting the amount of food allowed in the classrooms and making sure any food debris is cleaned up and disposed of in appropriate waste containers.

“We are also deploying hundreds of Lo-Line sticky traps,” Sherman said. “These are intended to trap any pests that get into the buildings. They are non-toxic and will help to limit the areas the roaches can get to, and allow us to intelligently target local population increases.”

He said his staff is also installing and replacing door sweeps throughout the campus, plugging electrical and data conduits and expanding the use of floor drain screens to keep the pests out of the buildings.

“We have also ordered 50 new exterior trash cans that are designed to be installed off the ground,” said UHS Principal Gordon Oslund. “These containers will go a long way toward reducing the cockroaches’ access to the food and safe harborage provided by existing trash cans.”

The campus will continue to have a professional exterminator applying pesticides regularly, rotating half a dozen agents to prevent the pests from building up a local resistance to the chemicals.

It will also continue to work closely with the Health Department, and reports that it again received a clean bill of health for its kitchen and food service area as recently as Tuesday, Aug. 2.

In response to community members who ask why the school has not tented all the buildings and applied chemicals that way, Sherman said experts claim, “Tenting is at best ineffectual and at worse can compound the health risks at the site due to the chemicals released into the environment. While tenting would kill a portion of the pests, a substantial population would simply disperse to other areas. And when the tent was removed, the bugs would return to feed on their dead brethren, leading to a massive population explosion.”

Sherman asked students and visitors to continue to inform staff when and where they see pests, because “knowing when and where pests are discovered can allow the custodial staff to work with exterminators to quickly and effectively target the cockroaches before they become a bigger problem.”

(Courtesy, The Ukiah Daily Journal)

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Margene Leona McGee was born on August 2, 1933 and passed away on July 31, 2016. She was preceded in death by her mother Elsie McGee and father Ernest McGee, son Michael Dwayne McGee. She is survived by her son Timothy T. McGee. Grandchildren Amanda and Husband Rick McGee, Orlando Avelino, Chris Avelino, Christina McGee, Michael Charles McGee, Matthew McGee, Mason McGee. Also great-grandchildren C.J. Hamner, Bradley Ryan, Sebastian Novoa, Nathan Avelino, Anthony Avelino, Koda Bear Avelino, Austin McGee, and Dawn McGee.

As a young native woman Margene graduated from San Francisco in nursing. She was involved in many organizations weather it be helping fight for the stoppage of deforestation to being very involved in mental health. As she got older she ran for state assembly. She loved to travel weather it be a weekend trip to Reno or going to a conference in Sacramento. She loved her family very much as she was always there with an open ear to listen to problems to open arms if you just needed a hug. She will be missed by many especially her loved ones and extended family. Services were on Thursday August 4, 2016 at Eversole Mortuary.

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The Board of Supervisors has approved a Building Amnesty Program that will allow property owners to legalize unpermitted residential construction with a waiver of investigative/penalty fees. The Amnesty Program commenced on July 1, 2016 and will conclude on June 30, 2017.

Outside of the Amnesty Program, the County Code provides that an investigative fee, in addition to the permit fee, shall be collected. Depending on the circumstances, the investigative fee could be three times the permit fee. The Building Amnesty Program will waive the investigative fee to allow individuals the opportunity to legalize their residences and appurtenant structures, which would result in a structure that complies with the permitting requirements as well as Health and Safety requirements as prescribed by the Building and Health Codes.

The Building Amnesty Program is set-up to allow an individual to self-report their unpermitted construction of houses, guest cottages, detached bedrooms, garages, carports, studios, workshops, storage, barns, other similar buildings, septic tank, leach fields and wells to the Mendocino County Planning and Building and Environmental Health Departments, and the investigative and/or penalty fees will be waived. This could mean thousands of dollars of savings on a typical illegal single family residence.

Building permit applications in a complete form must be submitted to the Department of Planning and Building Services no later than June 30, 2017 in order to qualify for the program. The Amnesty Program is applicable to both the conventional California Building Code (CBC) and Class K. Once submitted, applications must be processed and issued within 1 year of submittal. Once a permit is issued under the Class K process a final inspection must be received within three (3) years from the date of application. Permits issued under the CBC must receive an approved inspection within one (1) year of issuance and every six months thereafter until a final approval is given. Permits issued under the CBC can be extended one time.

The public is encouraged to contact the Department of Planning and Building Services at (707)234-6650 about their unpermitted structures, and Environmental Health at (707)234-6625 about unpermitted septic systems and wells, regarding the applicability of this program to their circumstance.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, August 5, 2016

Baughman, Chauhan, Espinosa-Martinez
Baughman, Chauhan, Espinosa-Martinez


SAWAN CHAUHAN, Ahmedabad, India/Willits. DUI.

KAREN ESPINOSA-MARTINEZ, Ukiah. DUI, probation revocation.

Gonzalez, Hanover, Quick
Gonzalez, Hanover, Quick

ANDREA GONZALEZ, Ukiah. Drunk in public, probation revocation.

PATRICK HANOVER, Covelo. False imprisonment.

ALLI QUICK, Santa Cruz/Willits. DUI, child endangerment, probation revocation.

Sees, Watson, White
Sees, Watson, White

RYAN SEES, Willits. Pot possession for sale, honey oil extraction, ammo possession by prohibited person, child endangerment.

VAUGHN WATSON, Willits. Pot possession for sale, honey oil extraction, child endangerment, probation revocation.

ARIANA WHITE, Ukiah. Domestic assault.

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Burning Man...Here I Come

by Katy M. Tahja

Getting ready to go to Burning Man gets a little bit easier every year as you come to understand what you do, and don’t, need to make you happy in the middle of 69,980 strangers. Can you guess I’ve got about 20 old friends there?

One thing I won’t need is money, once I get there. Last year I think I spent about $20 on ice, and coffee was the only other thing I could have bought. The amount of money I spent on ticket and transportation is a whole other conversation and that part wasn’t cheap. You arrive on the playa prepared for anything and everything.

Dragging out my boxes of assorted essentials I immediately got sucked into my “memory box” of all the goodies Burners have gifted me with over the years, and printed materials I’ve saved about Burning Man. Did you know Burning Man has its own lingo, like Anderson Valley and its created language of Boontling? There are words and phrases that convey ideas particular to one place, the Black Rock Playa.

A Darkwad is a person out on the playa at night with no light on themselves or their bike. Add a black hoodie and dark pants and you’re a walking dark hole in a frenzy of activity and just inviting a bike or and art car to run into you. A Sparkle Pony is a sweet young thing who will spend hours primping in her tiny sparkling costume to go out and be admired by everyone whole ignoring the fact she has responsibilities and jobs in her camp. MOOP is matter-out-of-place, trash and tiny litter, and we are all encouraged to carry MOOP bags to pick up loose stuff and recycle it. Chasing Ghosts is that futile search for a really cool piece of art out on the deep playa (3 miles of art exhibition space), only you’re not really sure just exactly where it is because someone told you about it at 3 a.m. and you were just a little bit drunk and sleep deprived. The Playa Provides is a catch-all phrase but it’s true. You ask enough people in enough places and you’ll find what you need.

Every year now I take less stuff to Burning Man because I’ve learned new tricks. Everyone arriving is supposed to have one and a half gallons of water per person per day. I bring one five gallon water jug for a week but every time I buy ice I pour it into gallon ziplock bags. As the ice melts I pour that clean water into my water jug…and yes it’s easy to drink gallons of water in the heat of the playa. Since there are no trash cans at Burning Man and you pack all your trash out I bring a mesh bag and anything compostable goes in it. You can desiccate an apple core or a banana skin in the dry heat before it has time to rot. Instead of numerous fancy facial cleaning products I mix apple cider vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Each night before I go to bed I spray down with this mixture to wash the alkaline playa dust off my skin. I may go to sleep smelling like a salad but my skin’s happy.

Some things are essential…like making my Hippy Juice. My campmates expect a big bottle of the yearly for sharing. Mix Coconut Rum, Triple Sec, Watermelon Vodka and Pink Lemonade together. Doesn’t really taste that alcoholic... at first…My hubby informed me that in the 1960’s this drink would have been referred to as “panty remover”. Duct tape and zip ties are essential. Goggles and a face mask are essential but I find a broad brimmed hat and a wet silk scarf wrapped around my nose sufficient most of the time. Sunscreen is essential unless your fashion statement includes looking like a boiled lobster.

The most essential things to bring to Burning Man cost nothing and take up no space. Smiles and hugs are easy to pack. The need for patience, and a strong bladder, are necessary for long unavoidable traffic jams. Your sense of silliness and a love of adventure are carried in your heart, Excitement and a sense of wonder stay stored in your brain.

A postscript…I’m looking for a fellow traveler/driver if someone has a ticket but no ride to Burning Man. Heading over the 28th and returning the 3rd of Sept. It’s not every day you can say you went to Burning Man with a grandma…contact me at

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PS from yesterday.

Had the AV Brewing beer last night, Summer Solstice variety, really tasty. Now I'm semi-fluent in Spanish, French and Welsh, but not Boontling. What does "bahl hornin" on the can mean?

Best, Jim Lowe

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‘Shrimp’ Boy Chow Sentenced to Life in Prison for Murder in Mendocino, etc.

Press release from the Department of Justice—

Kwok Cheung Chow, AKA Raymond Chow, AKA Ha Jai, AKA Shrimp Boy was sentenced today to life in prison following his convictions for racketeering, murder, money laundering, and conspiracy charges, announced United States Attorney Brian J. Stretch, Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge John F. Bennett, and Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, Special Agent in Charge Michael Batdorf. The sentence was handed down by the Honorable Charles R. Breyer, United States District Judge.

Shrimp Boy & his attorney Tony Serra
Shrimp Boy & his attorney Tony Serra

Chow, 55, of San Francisco, served as the Dragonhead, or leader, of the San Francisco-based Chee Kung Tong organization. On January 8, 2016, a federal jury found Chow guilty of criminal activities in connection with the racketeering organization and additional conspiracies. In all, Chow was charged with 162 counts including 125 counts of money laundering, aiding and abetting the laundering of proceeds of narcotics sales, conspiring to deal in illegal sales of goods (including 50 cases of Hennessey XO and 27 cases of Johnnie Walker Blue Label Scotch Whiskey), and engaging in the illegal sale of cigarettes (over 10,000). Chow originally was charged with various racketeering related crimes in a criminal complaint filed March 24, 2015. The complaint charged that the purposes of the organization included the illegal trafficking of controlled substances, extortion, and participation in the collection of illegal debts. On October 15, 2015, the charges were formally amended in a Third Superseding Indictment to include murder. Chow was charged with and convicted of arranging the murder of Allen Leung and conspiring with others to murder Jim Tat Kong. [Read more about this murder outside of Fort Bragg by clicking this link.] The jury found Chow guilty of every one of the 162 charges leveled against him.

In sentencing Chow, Judge Breyer said, “The murder in this case [of Mr. Leung] that requires the life sentence was particularly callous because it was the removal of an obstacle to your ascension to power. So whether you paid for it, or not, the question is: what is your motivation for doing so? And your motivation for doing so was to take over the leadership role of the tong and corrupt their purposes.”

“Today, Mr. Chow was sentenced to serve the rest of his life in prison,” said U.S. Attorney Brian J. Stretch. “We hope that this prosecution and the resulting sentence provides the victims and their families with some measure of satisfaction that Mr. Chow will never again be free to continue with his life of crime.”

“This sentence reflects our commitment to vigorously pursue justice for the victims and community that Mr. Chow preyed off of for so long,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge John F. Bennett. “We hope that the sentence brings some form of closure for the families of Allen Leung and Jim Tat Kong, and shows that type of greed and violence will not be tolerated.”

“This was a case about power and greed,” said Michael T. Batdorf, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation. “From narcotics trafficking to public corruption and murder, Mr. Chow laundered millions of dollars in drug and other illegal proceeds for a profit. Today’s sentencing closes the chapter on Mr. Chow’s life of crime.”

In addition to the life term of imprisonment, Judge Breyer also sentenced Chow to pay a special assessment of $16,200, to pay restitution in the amount of $15,881.60, and to forfeit $225,000. The Judge also issued an order enjoining Chow and others from profiting from his life story. Chow has been in custody since his arrest on March 26, 2014, and will begin serving his life sentence immediately.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys William Frentzen, Susan Badger, S. Waqar Hasib, and David Countryman prosecuted the case with the assistance of Rosario Calderon, Kurt Kosek, Ana Guerra, Marina Ponomarchuk, Victoria Etterer, Lance Libatique, and Bridget Kilkenny. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by Federal Bureau of Investigation; the U.S. Marshal Service, San Francisco Police Department Gang Task Force; Oakland Police Department; Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation; New York Police Department; Mercer County New Jersey Sheriff’s Office; and the San Francisco and Alameda County Sheriff’s Departments.

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by Jeff Costello

"Rarely is the question asked, is our children learning?" -- George W Bush

Indeed. Is they? Two ways to see this: (1) Hell no, and (2) All Too Well.

Consider - historically - the periodic ascent of fanatic demagogue types to positions of power and leadership. Hitler and Mussolini, Nixon in the 60's, and most recently - potentially, Trump. Well okay, Nixon had manners to some extent in public, but... Have our children been learning? One would think not. The mob is reacting in the same old way all over again to the same old shit. There are apparently things we are taught not to learn. George Carlin mentions critical thinking as one of those things. None of that going on in a Trump rally or back when, with a Hitler speech.

What such crowds have learned all too well is reaction. Reactionaries with little thought beyond "I want." TV, mass media, even tells you what to want, whether it's consumer products or people to adore and wish you could be like them.

When I was drinking and using drugs, I didn't pay any attention to politics, and was probably better off. But in '72 I voted for McGovern because even in my blurry condition, it was obvious that Nixon was the bad guy. And McGovern was anti-war. Sure enough, Tricky Dick was elected but only lasted another year and then... Watergate. It was worse even than I'd thought.

And now there's Trump, who is so obviously, outrageously full of can this be? How did it happen? Every other facebook post I see either documents his mental illness, shows his Mussolini-like facial expressions, etc., etc. It's like a joke, but the worst of it is the believers. The Hillary believers are another thing, but they are either clinging desperately to a Lesser Evil notion or hypnotized by the "woman card." We're all playing cards now, or so it seems.

Christian conservatives deny the concept of evolution, but with this election cycle, it's being played out before our eyes. Trump may "love the poorly educated" but really is talking about the Darwinian nightmare that is his followers. We need look no further than the Duck Dynasty guy or the supremely backward Mike Pence. The Trump phenomenon is beyond parody. This is Planet of the Apes in reverse.

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The 34th Annual Blackberry Festival will be held on August 20th and 21st at the festival grounds in downtown Covelo. Admission is free.

Master of Ceremonies, Mickey McCarty, will kick off the festivities at 10am on Saturday. Enjoy a blackberry slush while listening to the numerous local musical groups playing throughout the weekend. Sip a glass of Mendocino County wine while strolling around the surrounding arbor full of arts & craft booths. There will be a climbing wall for children of all ages. At 7pm on Saturday, join the community for a fun square dance.

On Sunday afternoon there will be a motorcycle and antique car show featuring both local and out of town vehicles.

The festival runs from 10am to 6pm on Saturday and 10am to 5pm on Sunday. Further festival information can be found at

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The big news in San Francisco this week is the LEANING 58-story Millennium Tower. Since it’s completion in 2008, it has sunk 16-inches and is leaning 2-inches toward the north west! Seems that the developer thought it would be OK not to anchor this very heavy concrete structure to bedrock. This tower is an all-condo affair for the 1%. Joe Montana bought a pad there, along with the recently-dead Tom Perkins (he of Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield and Byers the venture capital firm). San Francisco is building it’s $2 billion transit center right across the street from this tower and so the homeowners are trying to blame the city for the sinking/tipping problem. (A while back, Kunstler blasted the design of this transit stinker – right now it looks like a big, curvy blob. Never mind it will take an additional $3 billion to actually connect Caltrain to the transit center.) Who in there right mind would build a giant tower not anchored in bedrock right between the San Andreas and Hayward Faults?

— Jen in San Jose

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Letter To the Editor,

Naomi Klein defines crony capitalism as "politicians handing over public wealth to private players in exchange for political support." I suppose it could be taken as a sign of the meaninglessness of our political process in its current corrupted state that our two dominant political parties are presenting us with presidential candidates representing each side of the transaction this election cycle.

Our unimaginative (or captured) media keep telling me that I must choose in November between Clinton and Trump. Fortunately, to the best of my knowledge, they've not yet acquired the constitutional authority to set the parameters of my choices. When the Democrat party machine made their decision to run the candidate of their own choosing at the top of the slate, rather than submit to the expressed preference of the majority of their party members, they were clearly telling me that they didn't need, want, or expect my vote in the general election. The organization seems to have a greater fear of the perils of reform than they do of losing the Oval Office for a term or two. I will accommodate their rejection of my support by casting my ballot in November for Jill Stein.

And to those digging in at the "lesser evil" camp—

Yes, I'm aware that my vote could help to put Donald Trump in the White House. Trump, in his inane public proclamations, has shown himself to be profoundly ignorant of both the obligations and limitations of the office he seeks, as well as lacking an eighth grade level civics class understanding of either the constitutional powers of Congress or of the fundamental process by which legislation is produced. I believe that his likely impotence in implementing any portion of his rather incoherent agenda makes him a much less dangerous option than a seasoned political player committed to a neo-liberal agenda that includes the Trans-Pacific Partnership, unrestrained support of the financial interests of heavy hitter donors from Wall Street and the resource extraction industries, and a willingness, if not eagerness, to engage in any military adventure which extends the reach of the empire she serves.

So, you see, I can have it all. I can vote for Jill Stein, a candidate that I believe shares my values and will work to promote policies that lead toward both social/economic justice and responsible environmental stewardship, and at the same time settle for what I consider to be the lesser evil.

Michael DeLang

Coal Creek Canyon, CO

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On August 4, 2016 at approximately 9:24 P.M. Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office contacted Jesus Herrera, 33, of Ukiah in the 100 block of Feedlot Lane in Ukiah. Herrera, who matched the description of a male subject sought for questioning regarding a domestic dispute, also appeared to be intoxicated and walking in the middle of the street. Once contacted by a Deputy, Herrera became violent and attacked the Deputy by charging at him and pushing him backwards. Herrera then punched the Deputy with a closed fist multiple times, all the while trying to escape. The Deputy fearing for his safety, due to Herrera's violence towards him, deployed his K-9 partner. The Deputy and his K-9 partner were still unable to control Herrera. Officers from the Ukiah Police Department arrived on scene and assisted in placing Herrera into handcuffs. Herrera was placed under arrest for Felony Assault of a Peace Officer, and Battery on a Peace Officer. Herrera was also found to be on Parole out of Mendocino County, resulting in an additional criminal charge for violating his parole. Herrera was transported to the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be booked and held on a No Bail status.

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"INSTINCT EXTINCT" exhibition features the biology, beauty, and bounty of the Pacific Flyway

Songbird documentary complements weekend opening

"Instinct Extinct: The Great Pacific Flyway," a multidisciplinary art installation exploring and celebrating the Pacific Flyway, opens at the Grace Hudson Museum on Saturday, August 20. The Flyway is viewed through a range of lenses: wildlife habitat, agricultural backdrop, recreational commons, conservation story, and inspirational phenomenon for artists, writers, and everyone in California and beyond. Produced by Exhibit Envoy, the exhibition grew out of a partnership between three Sacramento-area visual artists – Valerie Constantino, Glenda Drew and Ann Savageau – and various wildlife associations, scientists, and scholars.

The Pacific Flyway is a major north-south pathway traversed by millions of migratory birds that extends from Alaska to Patagonia. "Instinct Extinct" is designed to share, translate, and transmit the poetic essence of this major corridor within a contemporary art environment, supplemented by contextual ornithological and biological information. Throughout the exhibit the artists convey their appreciation for the anatomical variety and feats of flight and navigation that make the return of hundreds of bird species to California every year a cause for celebration. At the same time, they illustrate the threats that habitat loss, pesticide use, development and climate change pose to migratory wildlife.

The installation includes maps of the Flyway and wooden boxes that visitors can open to discover artist-made assemblages related to birds and flight. A stroboscope and Gobo Scope (which generates patterns of light and shadow) create the illusion of flight within the gallery. Audio and video recordings collected on location throughout California featuring birds, insects, and humans who are familiar with and travel the Flyway, all add depth and make visiting the exhibit a multi-sensory experience.

The opening weekend will also include a free screening of the film documentary "The Messenger," Sunday August 21st from 2 to 4 p.m. at the City of Ukiah Council Chambers, 300 Seminary Ave. Directed by Su Rynard, this wide-ranging, contemplative, and award-winning film explores the fate of songbirds in a world shaped by humans. It is a world that loves the birds’ voices, but does little to protect them. Moving from the northern reaches of the Boreal Forest to the base of Mount Ararat in Turkey to the streets of New York, "The Messenger" brings us face to ­face with a remarkable variety of human-made perils that have devastated thrushes, warblers, orioles, tanagers, grosbeaks, and many other airborne music-makers. However, the film does offer glimmers of hope for the future.

"Instinct Extinct" is a traveling exhibition produced by Exhibit Envoy, funded by The James Irvine Foundation, and curated by Valerie Constantino, Glenda Drew and Ann Savageau. Amy Neel and the Neel Family Foundation, and the Sun House Guild provided additional funding to make possible its Ukiah showing. Bird specimens from the Hopland Research Extension Center and Lake Sonoma Visitor Center will provide visitors with an opportunity to see regional Flyway birds up close.

Exhibit Envoy is a statewide organization that provides traveling exhibitions and professional services to museums throughout California. Its mission is to build new perspectives among Californians, create innovative exhibitions and solutions, and advance institutions in service to their communities.

"Instinct Extinct: The Great Pacific Flyway" runs through November 27, 2016. Several special events are planned for the fall: an Artists' Gallery Tour on Sept. 24, a Family Fun at the Museum event on Oct. 8, and a Migratory Bird Program and Mushroom Celebration on Nov. 4.

The Grace Hudson Museum is at 431 S. Main St. in Ukiah and is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m to 4:30 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 4:30 p.m. General admission is $4; $10 per family; $3 for students and seniors; free to all on the first Friday of the month; and always free to members. For more information please go to or call (707) 467-2836.

* * *

BECAUSE we have many private insurers, none of them — not even the big ones like Aetna — have enough leverage with drug companies and huge hospital systems to strike a decent bargain on behalf of their customers. Yet we continue to be deceived by industry propagandists like I used to be and hold as a tenet of faith that competition among our many insurers will somehow magically control costs. (What insurers actually do is try to predict how much they think medical costs will rise in the future and jack up their premiums a few percentage points above that to ensure a profit.)

— Wendell Potter


  1. BB Grace August 6, 2016

    re: “Naomi Klein defines crony capitalism as “politicians handing over public wealth to private players in exchange for political support.” I suppose it could be taken as a sign of the meaninglessness of our political process in its current corrupted state that our two dominant political parties are presenting us with presidential candidates representing each side of the transaction this election cycle.”

    Naomi Klein understands the difference between laissez faire capitalism and crony capitalism which continues as the corruption brought to us by Woodrow Wilson and his Federal Reserve Bank:

    “I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated governments in the civilized world. No longer a government by free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men.”
    ~ Woodrow Wilson

    Trump claims Yellen will be OUT and Federal Reserve bank will be audited when he wins. (This is very frightening to people who don’t understand but depend on government money).

    Clinton claims the Federal Reserve will NOT get an audit, will have fewer bankers and white people.

    Steins “Democratization” the Federal Reserve could be called “decentralization” as she proposes the 12 central banking branches get more power, as if that’s what we all need; Local bankers acting as IRS and government agents.

    Johnson is a Federal Reserve apologist and why some Liberatarians don’t support him.

  2. George Hollister August 6, 2016

    Jeff Costello on Trump:

    “Consider – historically – the periodic ascent of fanatic demagogue types to positions of power and leadership. Hitler and Mussolini, Nixon in the 60’s, and most recently – potentially, Trump.”

    Potentially, yes. Likely, no. We tend to give too much credit to the likes of Trump, and Obama. Neither has the breath or depth of intellect to actually make something happen, and they instead depend on others. The big difference between Obama and Trump is, Obama can read script. Trump is terrible at it.

  3. George Hollister August 6, 2016

    KRAUTHAMMER on Trump in today’s PD:

    “This is beyond narcissism. I used to think Trump was an 11-year-old, an undeveloped schoolyard bully. I was off by about 10 years. His needs are more primitive, an infantile hunger for approval and praise, a craving that can never be satisfied. He lives in a cocoon of solipsism where the world outside himself has value — indeed exists — only insofar as it sustains and inflates him.”

    Does this sound like a guy that is going to lead a movement? Krauthammer is likely right, Trump is beyond Obama. Obama is merely a Narcissist.

    • BB Grace August 6, 2016

      MSM Krauthammer, another apologist for the Federal Reserve Bank and their endless industrialized wars (since WWI), was wrong about Iraq too.

      Note that Krauthammer stoops to insults and name calling because he doesn’t have a valid argument.

      MSM headlines say Trump backtracked on accusing Obama paying $400 Million ransome to Iran, which Iran says the USA paid a $400 Million ransome, yet yesterday Trump made all MSM out to be liars because he didn’t back track one bit.

      • Bruce McEwen August 6, 2016

        For every MSM Krauthhammer dismissal, for every GOP stalwart who condemns Trump, for every element of the status quo who shudders at the possibility — including foreign heads of state — for every Sandernista who follows Bernie into Hillary’s camp — for everyone of these, a dozen or more of those great yooouge numbers of the longtime disaffected and apathetic masses decides, like I have, “Hey, this guy’s gonna change things — hell, he’s already wrecked one entrenched and immovable object, the Republican Party; now, if he wins, the other, the Democratic Party, will become utterly and irreprably irrelevant and — Presto! — the two-party system, that was really a one-party system — will be blown apart.”

        So: Pour it on! Condemn Trump! Ridicule him! All you smug asses who have benefited from this sick one-sided arrangement for so long, keep it up, keep howling with outrage (because we all know it’s really just fear). Hey, it’s all good!

  4. Craig Stehr August 6, 2016

    Please be informed that Earth First! has issued a call out to BOYCOTT the 2016 AMERICAN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. There is an alternative to supporting neoliberalism or Rantin’ Donny, or voting for Green Party-US, (which never sufficiently got its act together, hence its candidates are not electable).

    Join the boycott, and tell the machine to go and fuck itself!

    Craig Louis Stehr, August 6, 2016

  5. Jim Updegraff August 6, 2016

    Krauthammer was a practicing psychiatrist before he became a full time columnist. His column on Trump was an excellent job of analyzing him. The supporters and apologizers of Trump should seek the assistance of a psychiatrist. Also the column by George Will on Trump is a must read for Trump supporters.

    Federal Reserve Bank: I always get a laugh out those critics who slam the FRB without an understanding the role central banks which every country has plays in the economy. I have yet to read comments in the AVA that reflects an in-depth understanding of our economic system – most of what I read is voodoo economics.

    As for Stein, Mrs anti-vax, she is a loser and the Green party is a joke.

    The Boycott the Election folks are like little kids who get mad and take their marbles home.

    • Craig Stehr August 6, 2016

      At least we’ve got all of our marbles at the end of the day. That’s more than the neoliberal Democrats, Republicans, and particularly the Green Party-US can claim. GO GREEN ANARCHY…BEAT STATE!! ;-)

    • BB Grace August 6, 2016

      Mr. Updegraff, Central Banks manipulate economies with credit/debt. Venezuela has a central bank.

      Central banking is how we have a standing military in over 200 counties that we protect with a military industrial complex enriched to the point we are now seeing police look like they are in a war because that’s what Centeral Banks are good for, never ending war. Since Nixon took us off the gold we’ve been at first slow, one suplus when Clinton sold us out with NAFTA, other than that we’re in such deep debt recession after recession to where most folks can’t own a home or retire and homeless is adding up.

      VooDoo/Reaganomics Craig Paul Roberts was part of that and why he resented the Bushs who with global central banks, like the G8, are dividing up natural resources like water, as these PRIVATELY OWNED BANKS = The 1% who only Trump has suggested an audit. JFK asked to audit the Fed. Not nice guys IMO, they love messy economic stuff that confuses people and they lose everything, foreclosures, they LOVE debt and war. But you like them eh?

  6. Jim Updegraff August 6, 2016

    Do you really have your marbles at the end of the day? Maybe it just an illusion. But I don’t have a problem if you want to tilt at windmills

    • Craig Stehr August 6, 2016

      Then let us all hoist a pint, and understand that it is the spiritual journey which calls us most dearly. ;-)

  7. Jim Updegraff August 6, 2016

    BBGrace: Just at what university did you study economics? I’m sure if your professors where first class economists they will be wondering where you got your voodoo economics – i’m closing down for the night – if you have any response save it for tomorrow.

    P.S. I also have a question about some weird comment you made a couple days ago on climate change.

  8. Randy Burke August 6, 2016

    Why would anyone find true value in analyzing Trump? My guess is that the analyzers main focus is to invoke an action of being anal…..the first four letters of analyze. And in the end (pun not intended, but I disdain hearing “at the end of the day”) who really gives a damn over such a spectacle?

  9. Craig Stehr August 6, 2016

    Say “good night”, Gracie. :-)

  10. LouisBedrock August 7, 2016

    “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”

    Abraham Lincoln

    Or post comments and remove all doubt.

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