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Mendocino County Today: Friday, Sept. 23, 2016

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BOONVILLE is shocked at the sudden closing of the popular Buckhorn Saloon. The Horn's owner, the affable and hardworking Tom Towey, has informally cited his frustrations with a range of problems, specifically mentioning employee theft and other staffing problems to the Monday night closing crowd. "I'm done," Towey told a Boonville friend, "I can't keep doing this." The demise of the Buckhorn comes on the heels of the closure of All That Good Stuff at the end of September and the rumored November closure of Libby's Restaurant in Philo due to Libby's retirement. The Buckhorn's premises are owned by long-time Anderson Valley residents, Gary and Virginia Island. The Islands also own the Philo Lath Mill and the nearby site of the defunct Philo lumber mill.

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(June 09, 1993 to September 18, 2016 )

Resident of Ukiah, California

(Ed note: The young Mr. Dziki was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident on Highway 128 near Navarro on Sunday on the Boonville Fair Weekend)

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Funeral services for Andrew Robert Dziki will be held on Friday, September 23, 2016 at 1 p.m. at Eversole Mortuary with Pastor Mike Dobbs officiating. Interment will follow at Ukiah Cemetery. Andrew passed away on Sunday, September 18, 2016. Born June 9, 1993 in Virginia Beach, Virginia, Andrew has lived in Ukiah for the past 20 years. He received his Associates of Arts degree and was Head Food Clerk and as needed Assistant Manager at Safeway. He was an avid fisherman, marksman, car and motorcycle enthusiast and student. Drew left a mark on everyone he met. Though life was short, he lived every minute of it enthusiastically. His easy disposition, sense of humor, infectious smile, and bold laughter will always be in the hearts and memories of those lucky enough to know him. Drew is survived by his parents Karen and Andrew of Ukiah and brother Jacob of Ukiah. He was preceded in death by his grandfather Julian Dziki, uncle Steven Dziki and grandfather Ronal Haydon. Drew also left behind a beautiful girlfriend that he loved, Sierra Szupello and Pepper (their pup). One can accurately be judged by the company he keeps. His diverse group of friends shared unconditional respect, loyalty, and lighthearted camaraderie. Memorial contributions may be made to Mendocino Animal Care Services.

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FIFTH DISTRICT SUPERVISOR Dan Hamburg, who has recused himself from the Board’s consideration of local cannabis regulation because his daughter grows pot, took the unusual step of talking to the Board on Tuesday as a public citizen.

Hamburg: “I'm not here to speak as a board member or a private citizen in favor of measure AF, or in opposition to measure AF but I do think it's a mischaracterization to call this a hijacking or to call this some tiny minority that's trying to run the county in terms of where the cannabis industry goes from here. I think initiatives are a time-honored part of California government or American government and I think for the board to put its thumb on the scale is really not advisable. We have approximately 4000 citizens, I don't know what the exact number is, but a very significant number of people who put this measure on the ballot. The reason they put the measure on the ballot, and of course they started this a couple of years ago, but it was spoken to by some of the people who have addressed you — they felt that the process through the Board of Supervisors would not deal with all the comprehensive rules that have been put into place by the state legislature. I don't want to get into whether AF is superior to what the Board is doing or what the Board is doing is superior. I just think this is a case in which it would be really advisable for the board of supervisors to let the people speak. They have gone through the process. It's not a process that is anything unusual or extraordinary, but I thought that in this case you should just let them decide which route they want to go. I hope you will not support the measure to take a no position.”

SUPERVISOR JOHN MCCOWEN, a vocal critic of Measure AF disagreed.

McCowen: “We have heard quite a bit of rhetoric and misinformation and it's primarily coming from some of the supporters of measure AF. Measure AF is not the result of a collaborative process that we have all been engaged in together. The draft county ordinance which is now a public document and is at the early stages of the review process where every individual and every agency will have an opportunity to review and comment and ask for change and it will go to the Planning Commission for at least two public hearings and it will come back to the board and it will no doubt undergo modifications along the way in response to comments, in response to the initial study required under CEQA that is an effort to identify any significant impacts. We go through after all that process that will come up with mitigations as well. Measure AF bypasses that entire process. It's 60 pages of rather bureaucratic language which is what your typical ordinance is. The great majority of the public probably is not going to wade through all 60 pages and identify all the significant impacts that might be included therein. The County cultivation ordinance is available for review now. We are moving forward with adoption. The County Board of Supervisors has unanimously given direction that we will develop with all the other state license types and what the county is doing is consistent with state which specifically empowers local jurisdictions to decide exactly what elements of the state law are they going to incorporate into their local ordinance. So while AF provides for the full range of cultivation types up to an acre, the county thus far through our process has decided that 10,000 square feet is appropriate. That is also consistent with state law. It does recognize local control. I will leave it there for now. I do believe it's appropriate for the Board to take a position and it's appropriate for us to take a No position so the public has that information to factor into their decision making. If we agree to take a No position I think there are some specific points that we might consider as justification for why we would take a No [on AF] position.”

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MCCOWEN AND THE TWO OTHER REMAINING BOARD MEMBERS (Woodhouse was absent) subsequently voted 3-0 to recommend a NO vote on AF (for reasons listed yesterday at, rather than taking Hamburg's advise to take no position.

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The second time was not the charm for Robin Ivey Warren, age 62, of Willits. A jury returned from its deliberations Wednesday to find Ms. Warren guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol and driving a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol of .08 or greater, both misdemeanors. This was Warren's second trial on these charges, the first trial in March ending in a mistrial with the jury split 9 to 3 for guilt. The prosecutor who presented the People's evidence at this week's two-day trial was Deputy District Attorney Houston Porter. The investigating law enforcement agencies were the California Highway Patrol and the California Department of Justice Crime Laboratory in Eureka.

(District Attorney Press Release)

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Miller, Skaggs
Miller, Skaggs

Have you checked out the facebook page in Mendoland? District Attorney Eyster uses Chris Skaggs as an example of who will be let out if Proposition 57 passes. It's not Proposition 57 that lets him out, it's Mr. Eyster who let him out. The deal Chris Skaggs made was this: for his cooperation all charges in this case will be dropped and they were, even the lady he punched in the face who picked Skaggs out of a lineup — charges were dropped. The 13 years which he is doing right now has nothing to do with this case that I got 183 years for. I really hope he does get out for selfish reasons only — he will look over his shoulder until he doesn't have to anymore. It's funny though, the prison system in California is huge, right? But I've come across two of his cellmates and he claims to be a "cop killer," a "gangster," and everyone knows I fired that gun. I never denied it. I just didn't try to kill anyone. I am ashamed of my actions and it's crazy to me that the guy who made a 96-page statement claims my crime? Why am I doing a death sentence and he will be out soon? Thanks Mr. Eyster. I hope you sleep well at night and I'll bet you anything the deal you made with him bites you in the ass.

Vote yes on proposition 57!

Walter Miller

High Desert State Prison, Susanville

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Subject: [MCN-Announce] - 2016 Abalone Cook-Off seeking more volunteers

This year Abalone Cook-Off is October 8th and being held at the south harbor in Fort Bragg. It is that time of year when we need volunteers for this year's festival. Last year we had over 1000+ people attend the event. If you are interested in volunteering, please click the link below and signup.

We really need folks willing to maintain the site while the event is in progress. Assignments will be confirmed on October 5th, All volunteers will receive a t-shirt and can enjoy three samples of abalone plus a bowl of chowder. I’m asking that sign up no later than September 26th. If you know of anyone who may be interested in helping out from now until a few days before and/or on the day of the festival, please forward this email. We really appreciate all the help we can get. This is such a wonderful event and I hope it will be bigger and better than last year! If you want me to sign you up I will need a first and last name, an email address and a phone number and an area of interest. Questions? Concerns? Complaints? Feel free to email me

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The Coast Democratic Club is organizing around Hillary. Our next meeting is Sept. 27:

In less than eight weeks an undeniably crucial election will take place. The Democratic Party with its progressive, inclusive, community-minded, and humane principles will be actively working to elect candidates who embody those principles. We're working at the national, state, county, and local municipal levels to get out the vote and make democracy work. Our next meeting will focus on several important issues and offices and ACTIVITIES relevant to the election. Please join your fellow Dems at this meeting for a potluck meal and snacks at 5:30 p.m., at the Harbor Lite Lodge on Tuesday, September 27.

Perri Kaller, the Dems' county coordinator will announce training activities for phone banking and canvassing. As revealed at our last meeting, these activities really help get out the vote. They are useful, worthwhile activities that ANY of us can do.

Contact Perri at for more information.


Linda Jupiter, Fort Bragg

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AS THE ELECTION approaches, the air is shrill with the warning cries of middle of the road extremists. Mendoland's comfortable libs are approaching max-hysteria. If we don't vote for Hillary Trump will, will, will… Well, he'll… What?

ARE WE ELECTING a president or a monarch? A guy hated and feared like no other political figure in our history will somehow get us all goose stepping in one evil direction? Like, he'll have unilateral authority to do anything really nuts, nuts like the Bush-Clintonian war on the Middle East? Please.

THE WORST has already happened. Two terms of Bush, who destabilized the whole world, and did it with the bi-partisan support of Democrats like the Clintons. Check that: the looming economic crash might just bring down the house in an uncontrolled demolition with unknown but very unhappy consequences, and let's please remember that it was the Clintons' repeal of Glass-Steagall (that had previously kept domestic banks separate from speculative banks) that removed Wall Street's leash, causing huge pain to millions of ordinary Americans who got majorly ripped off as they lost their homes and jobs.

HILLARY, like the rest of the bi-partisan elite, has nothing but contempt for the ordinary American, hence her characterization of people who work as a basket of deplorables. Romney put it this way: “47%” of American voters are whining freeloaders looking for handouts.

THE HILLARY LIBS express Romney's contempt in the argot of identity politics. To them, the deplorables are racists, misogynists, fag bashers and probably football fans.

THE IDEA that a vote for a third party candidate is a vote for Trump is the old wheeze the limo libs drag out to hit Nader over the head with, as if Ralphie cost Gore the election — Gore, the guy who couldn't even carry his home state; Gore the guy who simply shrugged and walked away when Bush rigged Florida.

ACCORDING to Coast Lib, and National Lib, we either cast aside all lib-left principle, not to mention our rights as citizens to vote for whomever we want, and vote for Hillary or we're responsible for the emergence of the anti-Christ.

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On September 20, 2016 at approximately 9:44 AM Mendocino County Sheriff Deputies were dispatched to a burglary at Round Valley Towing in Covelo. After arriving at the location the Deputies discovered the KYBU Radio station in Covelo had also been broken into and the Western Auto in Covelo had been vandalized. Deputies investigated the burglaries and vandalisms and ultimately found security camera footage leading to the identification of Michael Freeman as being the person responsible for the crimes. Deputies later contacted Freeman and arrested him for burglary, felony vandalism and violation of probation. Freeman was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $50,000 bail.

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On September 16, 2016 Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies contacted Jeffrey Joaquin standing in the roadway and appeared to be intoxicated in the area of Crawford Road and Bigger Lane in Covelo. Joaquin was determined to be unable to care for his safety or the safety of others and was placed under arrest for public intoxication. Once arrested Deputies discovered he was in possession of a concealed dirk or dagger, and that he was in violation of PRCS (Post Release Community Supervision). Joaquin was transported to the Mendocino County Jail and booked for Possession of Dirk or Dagger, Violation of Post Release Community Supervision and Public Intoxication and held without bail.

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On September 16, 2016 Mendocino County Sheriff Deputies took a report of a lost wallet. The victim stated that her credit cards had been used, charging over $200 onto the credit cards. Deputies investigated further and determined the purchases were at several different locations throughout the Willits area. Deputies subsequently determined Lauren Wilburn and Thomas Duerner were responsible for the fraudulent charges on the credit card.

Duerner, Wilburn
Duerner, Wilburn

On 09-16-2016 at approximately 2:00 PM Mendocino County Sheriff Deputies located Wilburn and Duerner driving in their vehicle in the City of Willits. Deputies conducted a traffic stop at the intersection of Main Street and Baechtel Street. Deputies continued their investigation and found Wilburn and Duerner to still be in possession of the victim’s credit card. Wilburn was arrested for forgery, burglary, conspiracy, obtaining services or goods under false pretenses, misappropriation of found property, possession of stolen Property and violation of probation. Duerner was arrested for conspiracy, obtaining goods or services under false pretenses, misappropriation of found property and possession of stolen property. Wilburn and Duerner were both booked into the Mendocino County Jail, where Wilburn was to be held in lieu of $20,000 bail and Duerner was to be held in lieu of $15,000 bail.

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A READER WRITES: It was tweaker/scumbag day at a Ukiah venue whose name I won't divulge. All belligerent. One without a shirt, dirty, with a big pot belly. Another slob made overt suggestions that he was going to rob his neighbor's house and come back with either money or a dog, I can't remember which…"

USED TO BE scumbags didn't wear uniforms. Today, even if you're not a scumbag, it's cool, at least with a large hunk of our doomed population, to look like one. The incidence of scumbaggery was probably about the same, proportionally, in 1955 as it is today, but the scumbags of yesteryear kept it indoors. Check that: scumbaggery is probably more prevalent today because it's sanctioned, celebrated even in song and film.

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MALCOLM MACDONALD on MRC's threats: "Another reason Mendocino Redwood Company (MRC) is pushing to get the Albion-Littleriver tax (the $9,000 amount quoted is for half of one year) money returned is their fear that other volunteer fire departments will enact similar measures. For example, MRC owns more than twice as much (taxable) land in the Comptche Volunteer Fire District."

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My name is Nancy Sutherland, I am the recently resigned chair of the Behavioral Health Advisory Board. I am writing as an informed, concerned citizen of Mendocino County, addressing my concerns with Ballot Measures AG and AH, the Sheriff’s mental health facility sales tax increase. I want to express my appreciation to the Sheriff and the concerned citizens who clearly voiced their willingness to put their money where their mouth is by signing the initiative petition. The initiative is evidence of the public’s recognition that the situation is critical. We as a community must begin to think outside the box for solutions. The County must financially support mental health services.

However, this initiative does not allocate one single dollar for services to our mentally ill friends, family, or neighbors (housed or not housed.) Its sole solution is to raise an estimated $37,000,000 to build an extravagant, unnecessary building or buildings in which mental health services may (or may not) be provided. I repeat, Zero funds for services.

For many years the County has over-relied on an all or nothing approach to the delivery of mental health services. The “all” being hospitalization and the “nothing” being a dearth of community-based outreach, pre-crisis, stabilization and post crisis services.

The 16-bed psychiatric hospital, presumably located in Ukiah is unrealistic. Very few small counties have the resources to maintain a 16 bed psychiatric hospital. Stringent State regulations, the unavailability of professional, experienced, licensed and credentialed 24/7 staff are among the prohibitive issues. The supporters of the initiative have not done a needs assessment or a staffing viability analysis. In fact, they have not consulted the County, in connection with ANY related issue, including Medi-Cal reimbursement and the stability of other mental health service funding sources. They are concerned with a building, not the reality of day to day, hour to hour service provision.

In July of 2016 the CEO’s office at the request of the Board of Supervisors provided a detailed, evidence-based financial analysis of the County’s cost for the proposed mental health facility. The analysis concluded the County would need to find approximately $4.85 million annually to fulfill the Sheriff’s vision. Not only are taxpayers asked to pay a one half cent sales tax for a new building, we are being asked support the diversion of up to $4.85 million each year from other vital County programs, services and reserves. The plan creates an excessive, unnecessary burden on everyone; the homeless, the disabled, the elderly, the family trying to get ahead, send their kids to college, or buy a home. Everyone who lives and shops in Mendocino County will be paying more and receiving less.

The set aside of $3,700,000 (10%) for a training center is appalling. It is an unnecessary and inappropriate use of a mental health facility funding. The County already has training facilities, including the Sheriff’s own training center…. just not enough training. For example, the County generously allocated funds to participate and implement recommendations from the highly acclaimed Stepping Up Initiative. a national alliance of Public Safety leaders and Mental Health professionals. Where did that money go? The Behavioral Health Advisory Board has been asking for months. To our knowledge, there has been no participation, no training.

Nothing I’ve said so far negates the fact… our mental health delivery system desperately needs increased community funding, but not funding that could potentially bankrupt the County or build a building that may be underutilized or never used at all.

Mendocino County needs a limited voluntary/non-voluntary Psychiatric Health Facility (PHF) as those who knew and miss Steve Neuroth can attest. However, a 16-bed facility is not the answer. We also need a voluntary crisis residential facility. The County already has partial funding and is currently planning just such a facility that can be primarily funded with current resources. A residential substance abuse treatment facility exists in Ukiah. We need money to provide individuals services there. We have a substance use disorder outpatient treatment program. We need increased funding for increased services and new services in Ukiah and all communities from Covelo to Gualala. In all cases increasing funding for preventive, stabilization and post-crisis services has proven effective in reducing hospitalization and long-term residential substance abuse treatment.

Instead of the costly, redundant building project advocated by the Sheriff, providing funds for the services mentioned above, and increasing or providing new funds for the following services would provide real benefit to the mentally ill residing in our communities and reduce the need for hospitalization.

  1. Housing
  2. Outreach and access to mental health and substance abuse services in all Mendocino County Communities.
  3. Wrap around case managed services designed to keep people home, connected and self-sufficient to the best of their abilities with dignity and respect.
  4. A strong, effective co-occurring disorder treatment/case management program.
  5. Increased training for law enforcement, jail personnel and other first responders.
  6. Improved access to psychiatric services.

These services cost money. $37,000,000 allocated over five years would go a long way to providing them. The Mental Health Facility Sales Tax Increase does not provide one dollar for ANY mental health service — ever. Where is your tax money going? A building. Is a building with no actual services (including the 16-bed hospital) what you think the priority should be? Build it and they will come is a fantasy — a dream, not a plan.

The Initiative’s website is misinforming you when it says the five-year, 1/2 cent sales tax will raise funds “so we can appropriately diagnose and treat those suffering from addiction and mental health problems in Mendocino County.” That is not what the initiative does! It builds a building! No diagnosis, no treatment. That takes people, not bricks and mortar.

After years of neglect and mismanagement the County has put together a new team that, while painfully aware of funding limitations, is competent, energetic, creative and community-based. Dr. Jenine Miller, Tammy Moss-Chandler and Camille Schraeder are working day and night to provide the services this community needs and deserves. Support them. Get involved where and when you can. Demand that County agencies fulfill their mandated responsibilities with transparency and good faith, and lobby at the federal, state and local level for more money for services, education, training and competitive salaries — not for buildings.

Please vote NO on Measures AG and AH in November. In the meantime ask questions, become informed.


Nancy Sutherland


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Holly Tannen wrote: I woke up this morning to KZYX. Donald Trump was saying if he is elected, he and the Koch brothers will erect a wall between Mendocino and Fort Bragg "and make the Mendocinians pay for it." The wall would parallel Simpson Lane (north or south of it I don’t remember) with a guardhouse at the roundabout where drivers would be asked to show ID. There would be a toll, I think $5.00, but I don’t know if that was both ways or just heading north. Does anyone know more about this? Thanks in advance for any help.

Eleanor Cooney replied: I know that Melania, Eric and Donald Jr. will be working the toll booths. It'll be $5 each way. And he said Willits would pay for it.

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Two deer hunters reported missing in Covelo earlier this week were found safe, the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office reported.

According to the MCSO, a 33-year-old and a 29-year-old man set out deer hunting in the Covelo area around 7 a.m. Sept. 18. They were expected to return to their camp around 11am, but when they didn’t, their family reported them missing the next day.

In the early morning hours of Sept. 20, about 50 people from the Mendocino County Search and Rescue, Marin County Search and Rescue, the California National Guard, San Mateo County Search and Rescue, Napa County Search and Rescue, Contra Costa Search and Rescue Team and the Bay Area Mountain Rescue Unit went into the area to begin the search.

At around 11:30am on Sept. 20, the search teams received word that the two missing hunters were able to use their cell phone and were transported back to their camp. They had crossed the Eel River and came out on Indian Dick Road.

The MCSO described the hunters as “alive and well, although dehydrated and hungry.”

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As you may be aware the Ukiah Daily Journal has run two different articles on recent issues relating to the above litigation and there may well be another one tomorrow (Friday) as a result of a City Council meeting Thursday night which as described by one person who was present as a "love fest" between the purple water advocates and the City Council. I wanted to make sure you were not left out of the loop.

Duncan James (Attorney for the Ukiah Valley Sanitation District)

Attached documents:




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CATCH OF THE DAY, September 22, 2016

Chadwick, Eguiluz, Glass
Chadwick, Eguiluz, Glass

CLAYTON CHADWICK, Hopland. Pot cultivation, possession for sale, possession of hashish, probation revocation.

ZENON EGUILUZ, Talmage. Possession of drugs while armed, failure to appear.

CARLY GLASS, Ukiah. DUI, probation revocation.

Gregg, Lamar, Lougheed, Malone
Gregg, Lamar, Lougheed, Malone

RACHEL GREGG, Willits. Drunk in public.

JASON LAMAR, Placerville/Ukiah. Parole violation.

JOSEPH LOUGHEED, Hopland. Pot cultivation, possession for sale, possession of hashish, court order violation.

GREGORY MALONE, Fort Bragg. Battery, fighting in public.

Rohde, Scholz, Simmons, Stankiewicz
Rohde, Scholz, Simmons, Stankiewicz

MATTHEW ROHDE, Willits. Pot cultivation, possession for sale, possession of hashish.

KEVIN SCHOLZ, Willits. Pot sales.

VINCENT SIMMONS JR., Ukiah. Domestic battery, vandalism, vandalism of phone lines, probation revocation.

BRENNA STANKIEWICZ, Hopland. Pot cultivation, possession for sale, possession of hashish.

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PROP 56: Another two bucks a pack on smokes. I find myself wondering, "Why not just make the tax on cigarettes a hundred bucks a pack and be done with it?” It seems like every other state ballot ups the sin tax while sanctioning other sins like gambling. I also note that of the four pot initiatives on the ballot, three of them originating in Mendocino County, America's intoxicants capitol, none mention the damage done to millions of heedless dopers to their lungs, the wider problem of late onset schizophrenia caused by premature heavy use of the love drug, the generally nefarious impact of marijuana on the young, and so on. Oh, that's right: with legalization it will be taxed. (Har de har) The cig tax goes partially to several nebulous purposes, including alleged prevention and, more vaguely, "child development," meaning jobs for the blah-blah people. If we're going to tax people doing dumb things to themselves like smoking, how about a tax on people watching Fox News, 60-year-old women dressing like teenagers, old men in short pants, and maybe a hundred each on tattoos. The AVA recommends: Whatever.

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Fort Bragg's New Police Chief Spied On LA's Commies

Millennial Moment – Investigation of LAPD Spy Unit Sought


Dec. 11, 1982: David Johnston writes about the case of undercover LAPD Officer Fabian Lizarraga, who infiltrated the Revolutionary Communist Party and led protesters in a May Day march in 1980 that resulted in a fight with police and arrests of demonstrators.


Johnston also says that Lizarraga had sex “with a woman revolutionary” in hopes of getting information and was nearby when Damien Garcia, the man being investigated, was killed — allegedly by a member of the Primera Flats gang — at the Aliso Village Housing Project.

(Lizarraga also took a job in The Times circulation office in Whittier, but Johnston said that he never had the proper ID to gain access to the main buildings or the newsrooms. I can’t address what security was like in the late 1970s, but our current procedures didn’t begin until after 9/11).

In addition, Lt. Thomas Scheidecker of the LAPD’s Public Disorder Intelligence Division had opened an envelope sealed by court order containing information about LAPD infiltration of the radical group. In his defense, Scheidecker said his actions were “dumb” but explained that he was adding documents he deemed relevant.

Then in April 1982, Chief Daryl F. Gates asked Dist. Atty. John Van de Kamp to drop charges against the protesters accused of assaulting police officers.

“Gates’ letter came at a time when the focus of the case had turned from the conduct of the revolutionaries, who advocate the violent overthrow of the government, to the conduct of his department’s Public Disorder Intelligence Division,” especially Lizarraga and Scheidecker, Johnston wrote.

Attorneys Robert Mann and Jeff Lipow, who were defending the demonstrators, said they wanted a special prosecutor appointed to investigate the LAPD’s conduct, especially whether the man suspected of killing Garcia had any sort of relationship with officers. The suspect, George Arellano, was in turn stabbed to death six weeks after Garcia was killed, Johnston said.

In January 1983, the Public Disorder Intelligence Division was abolished by the Police Commission. In January 1985, the commission voted not to take disciplinary action against top LAPD officials for the division’s conduct.

More about the Public Disorder Intelligence Division is here.

(Ed note: This item was originally posted on March 21, 2015.)

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How do you trace the threads in this Bayeaux Tapestry of absurdities? You can’t. Just stand back and look at the big picture.

The bi-coastal Intellectual-Yet-Idiot Elite (as Nicholoas Taleb calls them) lay bare their idiocy with each passing day. Hillary is their leader. Hillary, supported by her allies in the fight to entrench corruption and their own privilege, does an enormous service in showing contempt for the great mass of Americans by calling people in fly-over country “deplorables”. It wasn’t just Hillary, her allies come out in force telling everyone that Hillary is entirely correct. They say that the facts and the evidence prove it. They say they have the charts and the numbers.

Well, we should thank Hillary and her allies for showing their true colors. Nothing like truth in advertising don’t you think? Now, why would Hillary tell people she hates them? It’s because Hillary and her allies think they’re invulnerable, that they have nothing to fear, that their position in the food-chain is guaranteed so they can fully reveal what they REALLY think about people they want to govern.

Of course, in this, as in so much, Hillary and her allies are idiots. You can govern only with the consent of the governed. Especially if they’re heavily armed. Everybody ought to know this. First you insult people and then you expect their consent?

Hillary and her elitist friends have no case. They built irreconcilable contradictions into their two projects of the past generation: globalism – its main feature the offshoring of economic mainstays of the US: and identity politics – its main feature the divide and conquer fostering multiple sub-national identities via policing of thought and speech.

It’s not only the laughable contradictions that will be the undoing but also the the sperm and egg for the contradictions, the jaw-dropping IDIOCY and the blatant DISHONESTY.

But, no matter Hillary’s temporary ditching of the TPP, the bi-coastal Intellectual Idiots that support Hillary tell us that Globalism, MUST continue, it MUST be defended from the dark forces of opposition.

For example, they tell us that the nation state has to have open borders. Seriously? How can a polity survive the incoherence that results from uncontrolled borders? It can’t. We’ve seen examples all through history. Yet the same people that tout open borders tell us that what characterizes such enlightened people as themselves are the social programs delivered by that same nation state that they do their best to undermine.

Same idea with dismantling the income and wealth of the American working class by moving industry to despotic regimes where people earn a dollar an hour. So, who’s to buy all the output? Dollar and hour slaves or unemployed American workers?

None of it works. Globalism is a failure. You have a multitude of examples all over the world that show that a nation state doesn’t work with people nurturing antagonistic identities and grievances. ZIRP and NIRP are the dangerously low blood pressure of an economic system in extremis. Yet the perfumed elite tell us this is the way forward.

It’s over. Summon the priest.

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by Peter Berllios

Something is happening to me. I’m not quite sure what it is, but it feels like a mutation. No, it isn’t visible, at least I don’t think it is. But… while I still find him utterly disgusting, completely nauseating, part of me is beginning to feel attracted to Trump.

I don’t know how it happened. While I took as much sanctimonious delight as the next person in watching him spew inanities, and condemned his racism and sexism and xenophobia, I never found him attractive before. On the contrary, like so many others, I found him ridiculous and revolting. Maybe it had something to do with the humor he displayed when that bootlicker Jimmy Fallon tousled his orange, sugar-spun hair on TV. Or maybe it had something to do with being exposed to the humorless Hillary Clinton (even her laughter is humorless) one too many times. Glaring, emanating her imperial hubris from some TV screen, Hillary is also radioactive. And maybe it’s the effect, a symptom, of a type of radioactive Hillary overexposure, but something happened. I’ve begun to mutate.

Maybe it’s because Trump is an absurdity, and it’s hard to take absurdities seriously. I mean, who can really seriously imagine him making good on his inarticulate threats of building a giant wall? Who can seriously imagine anything that’s immediately contradicted? But Hillary? She is very serious. And it isn’t hard at all to imagine her not only launching airstrikes and wars but berating those who don’t support her for doing so (because, you know, others would launch even more extensive airstrikes and wars). Perhaps it’s because of this, or maybe it’s something else. Maybe it stems from a sort of psychological disease that seems to be devouring the brains of the people of the planet, but she disgusts me, repels me, much more than Trump does. It’s practically physical. And though I find them both so abhorrent, and I want them both to lose, I want her to lose more. That is, I’m starting to want to see him win.

No, I don’t want him to be the president. I don’t want anyone to be the president. Why do we even need a president? Do we have to have yet another president? Haven’t we already had too many? But with every condescending, entitled statement issued by Hillary Clinton, or her supporters (and all of our cortexes are being roasted by these transmissions), I find myself desiring Trump a little more. Maybe it’s just resentment, pure and simple, but as of today, I just want her to get her comeuppance — to lose. Let the whole country, and the whole world, burn, as long as it destroys her, too. Now that they tell us that Jill Stein is a pipe dream, and that we have nothing to look forward to but a life of debt and death, that’s the only thing I want (that I desire) to come out of this election. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not going to act on it. I mean, I won’t cast a vote for Trump. Or, who knows, maybe come November I will. Maybe I’ll mutate into one of those secret Trump voters. I hear there are millions of them.

(Peter Berllios, a theorist and artist, is a Brooklyn based writer and artist. He can be reached at and on Twitter @PeterBerllios.)

* * *


Arrivistes, carpetbaggers and schlemiels battle for Berkeley’s future.

by Becky O'Malley

So today I opened my email to the usual flood of pleas from candidates and causes, most of which I support. It’s annoying, but I guess they need our money to keep on keeping on with whatever it is that they do.

However. On almost a daily basis I’ve been getting a begging letter from or on behalf of one Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, better known as Daily Kos. He and his staff are asking for contributions to fund a new site focused on elections, a spin-off from their very popular aggregation of mostly pseudonymous rants from self-identified progressives. Like the main Daily Kos site, this new one seems to be ad-heavy (“3 Ways To Stop Dementia--Learn the 3 simple habits that can stop dementia dead in its tracks").

With a claimed 10 million unique hits the Kos enterprise is big business. Today he’s asking each reader to give him a dollar, which would be a cool $10 million if they do.

All of this is fine. The Daily Kos founder, like Tom Lehrer’s Old Dope Peddler, is “doing well by doing good.” And why shouldn’t he?

But when national figures like Markos wrap themselves in the progressive banner, it’s a good idea to check out who they really are when they’re at home.

So when I saw Kos’s recent comments on local news site Berkeleyside, deriding neighbors who spoke up at Berkeley’s Zoning Adjustments Board opposing expansion of a Honda repair shop into a historic retail building in a residential area, I was, shall we say, “shocked”. (Actually, not so much, because he’s done this before.)

Some samples from his comments on that story:

“There are a bunch of repair shops just south of Ashby, a couple of blocks from here. There's nothing in that neighborhood's character that precludes this sort of use, but NIMBYs will be NIMBYs in Berkeley… Their hysteria is ridiculous… [Re complaints that existing dealerships park display autos on sidewalks:] Public parking is public parking. Why wouldn't Volvo be allowed to park there? [Re complaints that the project threatens a historic structure:] Too late. Any Mountain [the current tenant] destroyed that 'rich history' already, since apparently a building's history is determined by 1) some old tenant, and 2) a current tenant that is not the old tenant… Then again, this does speak to Berkeley's rich historical pedigree. Rome has the Coliseum. Athens has the Parthenon. Berkeley has [t]he place that once housed a supermarket!”

What kind of progressive moves into a neighborhood (he lives just a few blocks away) and trashes his new neighbors?

To see his total oeuvre, click on Markos Moulitsas Zuniga to check out his Disqus record.

Some more ugly stuff there:

“So what if developers see downtown Berkeley as a cash cow? Who built the existing buildings in Berkeley, non-profit benevolent altruistic charities? People build stuff because 1) there's demand, and 2) money can be made. There's nothing inherently bad about that. In fact, that's why just about everything in this country is made, period.”

And about the homeless in downtown Berkeley:

“Where is this right to sit down wherever the hell you please enumerated? I'm curious! There's a park a block over if someone needs a place to chill. Me, I'm looking forward to being able to walk the area with my kids without having to step over human excrement, or having a barely constrained pit bull snapping at them.”

And he’s asking us progressives to send him money? Sorry, Kos, you’re not a nice guy.

The South Shattuck neighborhood in question is not a fancy one. Its small homes in the Flats, many multi-family, many owned by older people who bought them years ago before Berkeley was invaded by the lifestyles of the rich and famous. And yes, there was also an ageist comment on that thread, not from Kos but by someone who agreed with him: “Why are there so many grumpy retirees with nothing better to do in this city?”

Exhibiting this kind of disdain for ordinary people who take an interest in what happens in their neighborhoods is exactly the kind of thing that swells the Trump ranks. If a self-styled progressive like Markos Moulitsas takes the side of a major multi-national corporation like Honda against people who don’t want more automobiles near their homes (not just homeowners but also tenants) it’s no wonder some of the aggrieved are tempted by false prophets like Trump.

And while we’re on the subject of arrivistes, parvenus and carpetbaggers, let’s take note of Robert Reich, who just announced his support for the Bates machine’s candidate for Mayor of Berkeley, realtor Laurie Capitelli.

Let’s remember that he’s the councilmember who voted to pay out a half-million dollars of public funds as a sweetener for the newly hired Berkeley police chief’s private house (not in a Flatlands neighborhood, may we say, but in the plushier Hills) and then allowed his own real estate company to broker the purchase for a nice commission. Way to profit from public service, Cap!

Reich was a prominent Berni-bro, eager to denounce Hillary (and Bill, reportedly his former classmate at Oxford) for as long as he could get away with it. But Bernie Sanders has endorsed Jesse Arreguin for Mayor of Berkeley, probably because Jesse endorsed him in the California presidential primary.

I looked all around the Internet, but could find no record that Capitelli had ever endorsed Sanders (though I left a message on the councilman’s machine, and maybe he’ll call back to contradict me.)

Arreguin is one of only 100 local candidates to get this accolade from ol’ Bern. As far as I can determine, most of Bernie’s endorsees were local leaders who supported him in the primary. (Full disclosure: another one is my son-in-law Chris Krohn, who is running for the Santa Cruz city council, and who worked hard for Sanders in June.)

Robert Reich has been on the wrong side of local history ever since he scored the prestigious slot of Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and Senior Fellow at the Richard Blum Center for Developing Economies. In furtherance of these fancy jobs, he has moved here, for at least part of the year, and has been busily sucking up to those in power, like Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates.

On the big topics, Reich’s a clever and powerful writer. It’s a mystery to me why he doesn’t practice what he preaches when it comes to local controversies. Here’s a quote:

“If nothing is done to counter present trends, the major fault line in American politics will no longer be between Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives. It will be between the 'establishment'—political insiders, power brokers, the heads of American business, Wall Street, and the mainstream media—and an increasingly mad-as-hell populace determined to 'take back America' from them.”

Yet Berkeley Councilmember Laurie Capitelli and his mentor Mayor Tom Bates are exactly the establishment described by this analysis. They are the quintessential political insiders, the power brokers in a city increasingly threatened by speculative developers coming in with big money to profit from the building boom. And like Sanders and Reich, they’re Old White Guys. (I know, Some of My Best Friends Are too, but still…)

Councilmember Arreguin, on the other hand, is a young Latino, the son of farmworkers, who has consistently sponsored progressive programs on the council and stood up for those being displaced by the city’s gentrification.

In a complicated switcheroo on another progressive goal, Capitelli first opposed Arreguin’s minimum wage proposal at city council, which was then put on the November ballot by petition. Then he joined the council majority in putting a much weaker version on the November ballot to compete with it. THEN he ginned up a third proposal to supplant both ballot propositions and asked for a special city council meeting to pass it. THEN he didn’t show up for the meeting he himself had requested, which we only heard about via a downtown business association press release. And finally, he persuaded the council, in another special meeting, to pass a “compromise” ordinance, which unlike a ballot proposition could be repealed by a subsequent council vote. And THEN he told us schlemiels to vote no on both ballot measures. Slippery, right?

Berkeley is increasingly being invaded not only by rich international investors but by global and national celebrities like Moulitsas and Reich, who have identified the city as a trendy happenin’ place to live. People like this who’ve moved around a lot seem to have trouble understanding what contributes to what’s sometimes called a sense of place.

As defined by the Geography Dictionary:

“Either the intrinsic character of a place, or the meaning people give to it, but, more often, a mixture of both. Some places are distinctive through their physical appearance, like the Old Man of Hoy; others are distinctive, but have value attached to them, like the white cliffs of Dover.”

Berkeley has been distinguished both for its unique architecture and for what’s happened here. For example, the interesting Moderne building, which Honda proposes to take over for its repair shop, was once was a theater that hosted the first reading of Howl.

Yes, Markos, it’s part of “Berkeley's rich historical pedigree” which you so deride. Too bad you’re too tone-deaf to appreciate it.

And Professor Reich, if your endorsees, Bates, Capitelli and their ilk, are eventually successful in giving away the city’s remaining development sites for ugly boxes marketed by out-of-town Real Estate Investment Trusts as luxury apartments, we will have lost both our diverse residents and our sense of place.

More Kos: “Real democracy is at the polls, not the people who show up at arcane meetings.” Well, no, speaking out at meetings counts for lot too.

My high school’s motto was “Actions speak louder than words.” Being a true progressive means more than just loudly claiming you are one when you have a platform on the internet. As a famous New Yorker once said, "Eighty percent of success is showing up."

When you don’t show up you don’t make much progress. For the record, I’ve never seen either Kos or Reich at a Berkeley City Council meeting, and that’s not a good thing.

P.S. An eagle-eyed reader has spotted, in the latest Capitelli press release, the news that (SURPRISE) Markos Moulitsas Zuniga has also endorsed Capitelli, the big developers' main guy. Birds of a feather flock together.

(Courtesy, the Berkeley Daily Planet)

* * *

I’VE BEEN A BUSINESSMAN for almost sixty years. It’s as difficult for me to say those words as it is for someone to admit being an alcoholic or a lawyer. I’ve never respected the profession.

— Yvon Chouinard

* * *


by Ralph Nader

To have a democratic society that brings out the best in its citizens, people have to show up — to vote, to attend city council meetings, rallies, marches, and other serious gatherings that reflect the public interest. They also need to support progressive candidates and run for office.

Showing up is half of democracy. We invite you to attend, in person, our four-day Breaking Through Power conference in Washington, DC, featuring some of the most accomplished civic leaders and thinkers as well as opportunities for you to become energized and engaged wherever you live or work.

Whether you see yourself as a dissatisfied voter, a civically-minded teacher, a curious student, a fed up consumer, a dismayed taxpayer, or if you are looking for ways to make your community better, you’ll come away with knowledge, tools for action, and connections with others who want to make a difference.

Visit to see the conference speakers—people who long ago decided they were going to dedicate their time and talent to make our country responsive to the necessities and aspirations of its people.

The First Day — September 26th — is about building civic skills and breaking through apathy. You can see David Freeman talk from his experience of advising presidents, governors, and running four big public utilities, including the vast Tennessee Valley Authority, wisely lay out a practical path to economical renewable energy with environmental respect.

Have you been ripped off? Hear Oliver Hall of the Center for Competitive Democracy talk about using small claims court or the people’s courts. They are located everywhere.

Thinking about a community-based business? Listen to the nation’s expert, Neil Seldman, from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, talk about how community business is revolutionary.

Want to engage with the safe, nutritious food movement? You’ll be shown the way by the leading safe food advocate—who has done it for 45 years—Dr. Michael Jacobson.

Whether it is empowering consumers, getting corporate money out of politics, knowing the safeguards for whistleblowing or building public opinion behind your proposals, advocates who are among the best in the country are ready to share their experience and enthusiasm with you at the Breaking Through Power conference.

Let’s say you’re a teacher and you want to convey civic skills to your students and motivate them to overcome their apathy and work for needed change. You couldn’t have a better day’s retreat. There is even a talk on the civic engagement of business leaders by Mitch Rofsky, who founded the delightfully pro-consumer motor club called the Better World Club [].

The Second Day is a huge eye-opener and brain-filler. Did you know that “We the People” actually own the greatest wealth in our country? I’m referring to the vast public lands, onshore and offshore, the research and development, funded by taxpayers, that enabled today’s new industries, the huge capital amassed in the form of pension and mutual funds and individual shareholdings. But corporations control their uses and reap the profits, abetted by their influence over Congress and government officials in Washington. Imagine if we took back reasonable control over those assets that we already own. A society beyond our optimistic dreams would emerge, assuming that we provided “eternal vigilance.”

Well, that’s what Day Two is all about — our savings, our natural resources, and our other “commons” being shaped to fit your needs and those of your descendants.

Day Three responds to people’s interest in ways to start new citizen groups by the heads of groups each exhibiting a different model. The afternoon is devoted to D.C. statehood — the New Columbia to replace the Washington D.C. colony and abolish the servitude that blocks the residents of our nation’s capital from having voting representatives in Congress.

Day Four, held at historic Constitution Hall, celebrates the two great liberation movements that provide us with self-actuating freedoms to have our day in court and make contracts fair. Naturally, the big corporations are irritated by challenges to their overreaching, so over the decades they have weakened the law of torts — the remedies for wrongful injuries — and perfected the anti-consumer, one-sided, fine-printed contracts that await you when you enter into the marketplace of goods and services. Our rights to fair contracts and to use tort law are under constant attack from the promoters of crony capitalism. Attend the Breaking Through Power Conference and learn what you can do to defend yourself.

You’ll be engrossed by advocates who have represented successfully people like you and scholars who can clearly demonstrate what is at stake when we decide to strengthen the fundamental freedoms to use tort law.

Consider these four days as the Super Bowl of Civic Action that can equip you to seek justice and protect yourself from wrongful impacts on your living condition.

There’s no substitute for attending the events and meeting with similarly motivated citizens like you. Ticket information can be found at or by calling Ticketmaster at1800-745-3000.

Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!

* * *


* * *

JERRY BROWN CALLS FOR FAST-TRACKING of river agreements to build Delta Tunnels

Winnemem Wintu's Run4Salmon continues towards the McCloud River

by Dan Bacher

As the Winnemem Wintu Tribe proceeds on their historic 300-mile long Run4Salmon from Vallejo to the McCloud River, Governor Jerry Brown is calling for the expediting of a river flow agreement in order to build his Delta Tunnels to export more water to corporate agribusiness interests and Southern California water agencies.

In his September 19, 2016 letter to Chair Felicia Marcus of the State Water Resources Control Board, Governor Brown urged the Board and California Natural Resources Agency officials to fast-track a comprehensive agreement on environmental flows in both the San Joaquin and Sacramento River Basins.

“State Water Board staff recently released a draft proposal to update minimum flow standards for the Lower San Joaquin River to the Delta,” wrote Brown. “This is only one part of the information needed. To provide a complete picture of the needs in the Delta, I urge the Board to move quickly to complete the remainder of their analysis on the Sacramento River Basin.”

“Delay may be too costly,” said Brown. “The need to improve our aquatic ecoystems is urgent. Many communities are paralyzed and fearful of a lengthy and unpredictable regulatory process. Voluntary agreements in which water rights holders improve stream flows and restore habitat could offer a faster, less contentious and more durable outcome.”

Brown said he had directed departments in the Natural Resources Agency to “explore the potential” for this comprehensive agreement — and to report back to him by the end of October with their assessment and a schedule that enables California to “start improving water quality” in the Delta and its tributaries beginning in 2017.

In a statement, Barbara Barrriga-Parrilla, Executive Director of Restore the Delta (RTD), criticized the Governor’s call to fast-track the flow agreements as “disingenous at best.”

“While Restore the Delta has pushed for a comprehensive update to the Delta water quality plan for the both the San Joaquin and Sacramento Rivers before moving forward with any further processes for permitting the Delta Tunnels, Governor Brown’s request to the State Water Resources Control Board to now fast track flow agreements is disingenuous at best,” said Barrigan-Parrilla. “The water needed to fill the tunnels will have to come from the watersheds of both rivers upstream of the Delta. Without additional water from these river systems, the tunnels do not pencil out economically, requiring the multi-billion dollar Federal and State tax subsidies reported on recently.”

“Moreover, the tens of thousands of pages of testimony that have been turned in to the State Water Resources Control Board for the first part of the hearings on permitting the Delta tunnels, even before later hearings on fisheries and wildlife begin, elucidate the breadth of environmental damage the project will inflict on the San Francisco Bay-Delta estuary – from construction impacts to drinking water quality degradation for the City of Stockton,” she stated.

She said the governor’s letter continues “a long and problematic tradition of governors interfering with State Water Board deliberations and decisions.” She noted how Pete Wilson rejected a draft water rights decision in 1993 after water contractors complained about its effects on them — and how a voluntary agreement to promote salmon friendly flows on the San Joaquin River for 12 years failed to protect salmon.

“On the surface, Governor Brown seems to be gaining an understanding that Delta flow and water quality objectives should be considered as a unitary whole, unlike what the Board has proposed. On this narrow point, Restore the Delta actually agrees with the governor. But our agreement ends there,” Barrigan-Parrilla said

“Yet, the governor’s motivations to accelerate agreements go beyond his stated wish to urgently ‘improve our aquatic ecosystems’ and are truly a mechanism to benefit his treasured tunnels project, the beleaguered California WaterFix. Chair Marcus and Boardmember Tam Doduc have stated their willingness to consider voluntary agreements for appropriate flow objectives in the Tunnels proceeding now under way—but only after all the evidence submitted by all parties to the proceeding is in and has been vetted. The outcome of this process is of grave concern for the water contractors, the Department of Water Resources, and Governor Brown on their behalf,” she explained.

Barrigan-Parrilla accused the Governor of hoping to “short-circuit the water board's vetting process” with his letter, as have other California governors before him.

“It is a Hail Mary pass on behalf of the water contractors in which ‘voluntary agreements’ become a water grab from all the rivers of the Central Valley. It is a shame that Governor Brown does not recognize the true environmental and economic value of a healthy San Francisco Bay-Delta estuary, and only the value of water exported for profit,” she concluded.

Brown submitted the letter as the Winnemem Wintu and their allies are on a 300-mile prayer journey from Sogorea Te (Glen Cove, Vallejo) to the historical spawning grounds of the winter-run Chinook salmon on the McCloud River. The journey started on September 17 and will continue through October 1. (

“This journey is a walk/run/boat/bike and horseback ride to bring attention to the plight of all the runs of salmon in California, and the water management practices that have brought some of those runs to the edge of extinction,” according to a news release from the Tribe. “It is a prayer to let Californians know that the water they enjoy has come to them at the cost of others and the threat of death and extinction to species necessary for a healthy California.”

“We consider Shasta Dam a weapon of mass destruction,” said Chief Caleen Sisk of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe. “It has already taken our homes, sacred sites, burial sites, and stopped the salmon from returning to their historical spawning grounds. If these tunnels are built, Governor Brown’s so called ‘California WaterFix’, they will not only cause more death and destruction to the already endangered salmon, but they will encourage and motivate plans to enlarge Shasta Dam. An enlarged Shasta Dam will flood what remaining sacred sites, and cultural sites that we still use today.”

“The Shasta Dam raise, Sites Reservoir and the Delta Tunnels need to be considered as one project,” emphasized Chief Sisk. “Without one, you can’t have the two others. If the tunnels are built, there will be no water to put in them. You need Sites Reservoir to provide the water for the tunnels and the Shasta Dam raise to provide water for Sites.”

“Although the state and federal governments are saying they are separate projects, they are all really one project,” noted Sisk. “Why do you think Westlands Water District, the Resnicks, Metropolitan Water District and other water districts are all pushing for the Shasta Dam Raise, Sites Dam and the Delta Tunnels?”

In written testimony submitted to the State Water Resources Control Board for the ongoing hearings regarding the Bureau of Reclamation’s and Department of Water Resources’ water diversion change petition required to build the California WaterFix, Winnemem Wintu Governmental Liaison Gary Mulcahy asks:

“Drowned cultures, dead and extinct fish, broken promises, stolen lands, environmental destruction, water grabs, and years and years of litigation – is it truly worth it?”

The Delta Tunnels project is based on the absurd premise that diverting more water out of the Sacramento River before it flows into the Delta would somehow “restore" its fish populations and ecosystems. In fact, the construction of the two 35-mile long tunnels under the Delta would hasten the extinction of Central Valley steelhead, Sacramento River winter-run Chinook salmon, Delta and longfin smelt, green sturgeon and other fish species. The project would also imperil the salmon and steelhead populations on the Trinity and Klamath rivers, a fishery that for thousands of years has played an integral part in the culture, religion and food supply of the Yurok, Karuk and Hoopa Valley Tribes.

For more information on the Winnemem Wintu’s 300-mile journey:

* * *


To the Editor:

Why Are Americans Dying In The Middle East? Why Are We There?

I had the pleasure of speaking with General Wesley Clark today. I am reminded of how important his insights are as to the causes of America's decline in power, influence, and credibility throughout the world.

These remarks (below) by General Wesley Clark about a "policy coup" are the key to understanding the never-ending war of regime changes that has become U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East ever since President George W. Bush and his cohorts from the Project for a New American Century hijacked our country.

Be it Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Libya, and now, Syria, this policy coup has been an abject failure -- costing approximately 7,000 lives of U.S. military killed, another 60,000 U.S. military wounded, and trillions of dollars in national treasure wasted -- and it has directly lead to the formation of ISIS.

Approximately 210,000 Afghan, Iraqi, and Pakistani civilians have also died violent deaths as a direct result of the wars.

Civilian war deaths from malnutrition, and a damaged health system and environment, likely far outnumber deaths from combat.

The failed policy coup has also lead to a flood of war refugees in a troubled world today.

This group of subversives at the Project for a New American Century included well-known names like Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Elliott Abrams, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Jeb Bush, William Kristol, Henry Rowen, and Robert Kagan, of course. It also included Francis Fukuyama, Fred Iklé, Frank Gaffney, Eliot Asher Cohen, Bruce Jackson, Zalmay Khalilzad, Reuel Gerecht, Peter Rodman, Stephen Rosen, Gary Schmitt, Vin Weber, and George Weigel.

None of the above are decorated war heroes. Few are even veterans. They're all think tank-types...talking heads, b.s. artists.

Meanwhile, General Wesley Clark is the retired 4-star U.S. Army general who was the Supreme Allied Commander of NATO during the 1999 War on Yugoslavia.

What does General Clark teach us?

He teaches us that if you want to start a war, the unwashed masses must be convinced to send their brothers, sons, and fathers to die on the front lines.

How do you do that?

General Clark tells us how.

The specter of an external enemy must be etched into the collective mind of the masses through trauma, exaggeration, and repetition. History must be whitewashed, twisted, and cherry picked down to a politicized nursery rhyme. At no point should the real motives or consequences of such wars ever be raised as a subject for national debate.

John Sakowicz at


* * *


The National Hole in One Association estimates the odds of an amateur golfer getting a hole in one is 12,500 to one.

The chances of Garberville-area resident and beginner golfer Ascha Karen Champie achieving that on her first swing at Fortuna’s Redwood Empire Golf Course is incalculable.

But it happened on Sept. 14.

With her golf instructor, Redwood Empire Assistant Pro Brian Rasmussen, at her side, Champie took out her driver on the elevated tee at the par-3, 100-yard sixth hole.

“It was my very first shot at Redwood Empire,” Champie, 59, said. “It was a good shot. Brian said, ‘You got a hole in one.’ I couldn’t believe it.

“I asked him the chances of me doing that on my first swing at the course. He said a million to one. I’m like the hippie golfer who got a hole in one at Redwood Empire.”

Rasmussen shook his head in disbelief as he recalled the ball hitting the green, taking one hop and diving into the hole.

Redwood Empire Head Golf Pro Greg Senestraro added, “That’s one of the luckiest shots I’ve ever heard of anywhere.”

For perspective on the feat, consider long-time Redwood Empire bartender Bobby Babica. The Humboldt County native is the son of legendary local golf pro Mel Babica. Now 70, he began golfing at age 5. By the time he finished high school, he was the finest prep golfer in the county.

He has played untold thousands of golf rounds as a single-digit handicap golfer. In other words, he’s an excellent player. But he has never had a hole in one.

I’m astonished,” Babica said. “It is amazing.”

“I got interested in golf a couple of years ago,” Champie said. “I took three group lessons then and I’ve had four with Brian Rasmussen. I really know nothing about the game and I’ve never kept the total score of my strokes on any hole.

“I usually walk and play the first two holes at Benbow with my two girlfriends, Randi and Sue. I joined there last year. I like walking and being in a beautiful environment. Both Benbow and Redwood Empire are beautiful courses.

“Golfing is so good for me.”

That’s easy to say with her kind of luck.


Hippie golfer Ascha Karen Champie shows Fortuna how it is done.


  1. BB Grace September 23, 2016

    re: “My name is Nancy Sutherland, I am the recently resigned chair of the Behavioral Health Advisory Board.”

    Ms. Sutherland, Your genuine compassion and kindness for people, willingness to take on big jobs when no one else would, intelligence and balanced approach to issues at meetings, ability to listen and to say much with few words make you a very valuable member and tenure as chair on the Behavioral Health Advisory Board. I remain grateful for your dedicated service to the County and am sorry to learn that you have resigned. It’s our loss and no small thing.

    re: Online Commnent BRAVO!

    re: Gen. Westley Clark (ret)
    Had I the opportunity to talk with Clark I would have asked him if he was still the CEO of a company that manufactors magnetic powered stealth transportation and why when the Bush regime rejected Clark’s offer he didn’t go public like Tesla?

    • Nancy September 23, 2016

      Thank u for your kind words, BB.

      • BB Grace September 23, 2016

        Thank you for the opportunity to witness you in action earning those words Nancy.

        I studied the minutes and agendas from the conception of the Mental Health Board, appreciated the Kemper Report, that you went through including Pinizotto/Ortner, Old Coast, members, staff, projects dropping, and oh I love the new minutes format, don’t like the new web page format, because it makes researching really hard.

        Maybe now you can be more open on the AVA about what’s going on with Mental Heath issues as they are reported? You’re openess and striving to be transparent I admire.

  2. james marmon September 23, 2016

    re: My name is Nancy Sutherland, I am the recently resigned chair of the Behavioral Health Advisory Board.”

    Nancy, you’re probably going to unfriend me too, the sheriff did a couple of weeks ago after a 4 year love affair between us on facebook, but as I stated on your facebook page two days ago, I am neither for the sheriff’s mental health jail, or for handing human lives and several million dollars more over to the “for profit” agency RQMC.

    Neither of these two plans address Stigma. Stigma can lead to discrimination. Discrimination may be obvious and direct, such as someone making a negative remark about your mental illness or your treatment. Or it may be unintentional or subtle, such as someone avoiding you because the person assumes you could be unstable, violent or dangerous due to your mental health condition. Worse yet, people suffering may judge themselves.

    “Shame is a soul eating emotion.”
    -C.G. Jung-

    • sohumlily September 23, 2016

      A psych diagnosis is *forever*…

      • james marmon September 23, 2016

        My favorite Instructor at California State University, Sacramento, Herb Kutchins wrote a wonderful book on that issue sohumlily.

        “What makes a person crazy? Nowadays it’s the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. For many mental health professionals, the DSM is an indispensable diagnostic tool, and as the standard reference book for psychiatrists and other psychotherapists everywhere, it has had an inestimable influence on the way we view other human beings. Deciding what we consider sane and normal, and reflecting the prejudices and values of each generation, it’s not surprising that the DSM has become a battleground. But things have taken a strange turn. The fight is no longer about who escapes DSM labeling, but rather, how a person can qualify for a diagnosis. Now, mental health professionals must label their clients as pathological in order for them to be reimbursed by their insurance companies. This disturbing trend toward making us crazy when we are simply grappling with everyday concerns has even worse public implications. In Making Us Crazy, Professors Kutchins and Kirk reveal how the DSM is used to assassinate character and slander the opposition, often for political or monetary gain. None of this misuse bodes well for the future of mental health. Even children are being overdiagnosed and given drugs they don’t need. Making Us Crazy is the long-needed antidote to the claims made about the DSM. Kutchins and Kirk argue that the DSM is not the scientifically based reference work it purports to be, but rather a collection of current phobias and popular mores.”

    • Nancy September 23, 2016

      No de-friending here. I totally agree with u about stgmitazation … Nothing better to reinforce stigmatization and fear of the mentally ill than tfor law enforcement to tell a community they need a 16-bed locked facility. How about pre and post crises services and a voluntary crises residential instead?

      • james marmon September 23, 2016

        Understanding the impact of stigma on people with mental illness

        “The impact of stigma is twofold, as outlined in Table ​Table1.1. Public stigma is the reaction that the general population has to people with mental illness. Self-stigma is the prejudice which people with mental illness turn against themselves.”

  3. Jim Updegraff September 23, 2016

    It will be nice when the election is over and I can read about something important other than Crooked Hillary and Crooked Deadbeat Donnie the Village Idiot.

    • Craig Stehr September 23, 2016

      You are cordially invited to join the Earth First! Boycott of the 2016 American Presidential Election (acknowledging that the Green Party-US never got its act together, and is not presently on sufficient state ballots in order for its current candidates to be electable). For we boycotters, the election is already over.

      • Bruce McEwen September 23, 2016

        e.e. cummings: There’s a great universe next door… let’s go!

        B. Dylan: Pick up your money and put up your tent, McGuinn, you ain’t a-going nowhere.

        Leo Cohen: I’ll be speaking to you softly, from a window in the tower of song.

        Sam Beckett: Worstward Ho!

        • Bruce McEwen September 23, 2016

          J-P Sartre: No Exit.

          Hank Wms.: I’ll never get out of this world alive.

          Chief Jos.: We’ve got all the time in the world.

          Mother: If it takes forever, why then, we’ll just have to wait.

          Bruce Mc: There is no meth; get a life, Zombie!

    • LouisBedrock September 24, 2016


      I am sorry to disappoint you, but one of these two scumbags will be President of the American Empire and you will be reading about herm, seeing herm on TV, and hearing the voice of herm on the radio for the next four to eight years.

      If I might quote sohumlily,

      “Woe is us.”

  4. Alice Chouteau September 23, 2016

    It seems from the sources in the link provided in todays column, that Lizzarago’s LAPD unit, the Public Disorder Intelligence Division, spied on much more than commies–including politicians, celebrities, and organizations like NOW, the PTA, and the World Council of Churches. Interesting that the City chose him, over a well-regarded experienced local cop. Perhaps they realized there would be more public disorder in Fort Bragg due to some of the policies they were pursuing, failure to stimulate economic prosperity for most, and because the public has better access to previously unavailable info, with the internet. Or perhaps the city hirers never heard of google?

  5. Eric Sunswheat September 23, 2016

    Re: Nancy Sutherland, Steve Neuroth, and Mental Health tax initiative.

    Replant the Lake and Mendocino counties roadway, native and imported Black and English, walnut trees that were removed as part of paved road widening, so there is greater source of nutritional Omega 3 fatty acids, to help balance body brain functional chemistry, instead of toxic brain bending chemistry injection. Also refit new county bridges which were modified to prevent sheltered sleeping during storms, to be compliant with Catrans ?CalPed statewide transportation master plan, to accommodate bicyclists and pedestrians.

  6. George Hollister September 23, 2016

    “MALCOLM MACDONALD on MRC’s threats: “Another reason Mendocino Redwood Company (MRC) is pushing to get the Albion-Littleriver tax (the $9,000 amount quoted is for half of one year) money returned is their fear that other volunteer fire departments will enact similar measures. For example, MRC owns more than twice as much (taxable) land in the Comptche Volunteer Fire District.””

    From a long history and as of now, Comptche has displayed the wisdom to keep politics out of the fire department, because politics in a volunteer fire department is poison. A poison that can take a long time to recover from once it is consumed. It is better, and more fruitful in more ways than monetary ones, to work with everyone in your district. We need to remind ourselves, I guess, fighting is expense and counter productive.

    Some observations from my time in the Comptche Fire Department: Money does not define the quality of a volunteer fire department, the quality of the people who volunteer does. It starts with the chief. A broke fire department with dedicated volunteers and community support will do well. A monied one that lacks the above, will do poorly.

    Next, a functioning volunteer fire department welcomes everyone to be a part; Christians, Jews, women, men, hippies, rednecks, old, young, large landowners, and small. Working with other fire departments, and CalFire, is a part of this. Be a team player, it works. Being an ass, doesn’t.

    The focus has to be on service, and not judgement. A fire that starts because of a pot operation is the same as a fire that starts because or a downed power line, or a cigarette butt. An accident victim might be a drunk driver, a logger, or a person at home who fell down their steps. The volunteers are there to help, and not to judge.

  7. Bruce McEwen September 23, 2016

    Ms. Tannen’s muse (The Universe) came knocking via a dreamscape segued into a radio program hosted by that ubiquitous dwarf of the counter-culture, w/ the late-night/early-morn show where any and everything goes (from the evidence she shared on the list serve) and I expect a new song from her, pretty doggone soon, too; something, maybe, like a jazzed-up version of Don’t Fence Me In w/ the imagery updated, the metaphors modified, and the key blurred into a puff, a whiff, and a great big beautiful vision of cosmic art!

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