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Mendocino County Today: Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016

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BRONWEN HANES of Boonville has been sentenced to two years in prison, despite pleas from defense lawyer Victoria Shanahan for leniency (asking for 16 months) and a suggestion from the District Attorney to split a three-year sentence, with half on supervision, which was even more generous than the judge settled on. Ms. Hanes had violated the terms of her probation for previously embezzling a large sum of money from the Anderson Valley PTA.


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The Mendocino County Sheriff Department posted the following:

"The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), will conduct a mandatory nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) on Wednesday, September 28, at approximately 2:20 p.m. EDT ( 11:20 AM Pacific) to verify the delivery and broadcast, and assess the readiness for distribution, of a national level test message.

The EAS test is made available to radio, television, cable, and direct broadcast satellite systems and is scheduled to last approximately one minute. The message of the test will be similar to the regular monthly test message of EAS, normally heard and seen by the public: 'This is a national test of the Emergency Alert System. This is only a test.'

FEMA is taking pains not to cause any unnecessary public concern. We can expect such national tests to be routine in coming years. FEMA says, 'The test is intended to ensure public safety officials have the methods and systems that will deliver urgent alerts and warnings to the public in times of an emergency or disaster. Periodic testing of public alert and warning systems is also a way to assess the operational readiness of the infrastructure required for the distribution of a national message and determine what technological improvements need to be addressed'.”

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THE GREAT DEBATE wasn't exactly Lincoln-Douglas. Trump embarrassed himself as Hillary rope-a-doped him and, by the end, had knocked him clear out of the ring. She was ready, he wasn't. He came off like a teenager arguing with his mother over the car keys. All that mugging, all those twitching facial gestures made me think that Trump might be more cuckoo than we thought. Lester Holt was almost as pathetic as the "moderator." He let the two of them talk over each other, permitted Trump's constant interjections. Trump, it seems, thought he could wing it, stroll out unprepared and wrap her up. And Hillary's lucky she doesn't have to debate someone from the left who knows how bad she really is on the issues, her political history. Trump made some good points about the economy in the overall totally wrong context of his allegiance to Reaganomics — cut taxes for the rich and they'll create jobs. O yea. Overall, it was a perfect demonstration of a choice between another four years of rolling catastrophes and catastrophe itself.

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by Jeffrey St. Clair

Idiot wind

Blowing every time you move your mouth

Blowing down the back roads headin’ south

Idiot wind

Blowing every time you move your teeth

You’re an idiot, babe

It’s a wonder that you still know how to breathe

—”Idiot Wind,” Bob Dylan

+ A few words from Mark Twain apropos of tonight’s debate (and almost any other night of the campaign): “Patriot: the person who can holler the loudest without knowing what he is hollering about.”

+ Hofstra University, the site of the face-off between Trump and HRC was once a lowly Long Island tentacle of NYU. The university is named after William Hofstra, a Dutch immigrant timber baron, who made his millions whacking down the forests of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and Thoreau’s Maine Woods. In other words, it’s the perfect venue for an evening of pre-packaged stump speeches.

+ The mystery gripping all of Washington is whether Bill Clinton’s former mistress, Gennifer Flowers, will be seated in the front row in a cheeky effort by the Trump team to distract Hillary. In 1992, Flowers infamously quipped that the twin tragedies of the Clinton family were Bill’s crooked penis and Hillary’s fat ankles. A campaign which began in the gutter has now plumbed the lower depths.

+ Apparently there’s room in the hall for Ms. Flowers, but Jill Stein was deemed too dangerous to be in the vicinity of debate. At around 2:30, Dr. Stein was escorted off campus by Hofstra University police.

+ A couple of hours before the debate, the bigoted Republican congressman from Iowa, Steve King, tweeted out that the big question was whether Hillary would be “on or off her meds tonight.” King has always been a class act. I’d have thought the question would be better posed to his buddy Trump—a sedated Trump is a domesticated Trump, a safe-space candidate for those all-important housewives of the Philly suburbs. Off the meds, he’s a trigger-warning on full automatic.

+ The pre-debate polls are all over the place. Nate Silver’s 538 reported Monday morning that Trump would win if the election were held today, while the Moody’s Analytic Model predicts that Hillary will secure 332 electoral votes to Trump’s 206. Meanwhile, one of my old profs in the History Department at American University, Allan Lichtman, also predicts a Trump win. About 30 years ago, Lichtman developed a demographic-economic model for forecasting presidential elections. He hasn’t been wrong yet.

+ The polls may be trending Trump’s way, but Hillary still enjoys a staggering financial advantage. While she’s lost the white blue-collar workers, she’s decisively won over the billionaire class. Campaign contributions from white billionaires have favored Hillary by a 20-to-1 margin over Trump. Class traitors?

+ Combined net worth of both candidates on stage tonight: $3.11 BILLION. Trump $3 billion (give or take), Clinton $110 million.

+ Annual income of moderators for presidential debates: Matt Lauer $25 million, Lester Holt $5 million, Anderson Cooper $10 million (net worth $100 million), Martha Radiate (Raddatz) $1 million (net worth $8 million), Chris Wallace $1.5 million. So we have a bunch of millionaires interviewing two multi-millionaires about what’s best for the middle class. (The poor can just go fuck themselves.)

+ A new report on the insanely expensive F-35 fighter jet shows that the plane barely flies in cloudy weather. Both candidates support building a fleet of these Cold War relics, as does Bernie Sanders, who wants them based at the airport in Burlington. So should we all. Better to have expensive weapons that don’t work, than cheap ones which do. Spend more, kill less!

+ Hot off the Goldman Sachs wire: Hillary worked to secure lavish tax breaks and subsidies for the reconstruction of Goldman’s $2 billion NYC headquarters after 9/11. Later she attended the opulent Grand Opening to the sparkling new financial slaughterhouse. Sanders didn’t bring up the billion dollar courtesy, when asked in Democratic debates to cite quid pro quo for Goldman speeches. Will Trump?

+ Lester Holt is not your usual talking head. For starters, he’s black and of Jamaican descent. Endearingly, he dropped out of Sacramento State to host a country and western radio show and never took a degree. Holt burnished his resumé by broadcasting the Westminster Kennel Club’s dog show championships twice and spent several years on the History Channel reporting on various 9/11 conspiracies and the mysterious “crystal skulls” of the Mayan culture. “Could the skulls be ancient Mayan prophecies of doom or relics from the Lost City of Atlantis?” Holt asked. “Or do they, as some believe, store the vast knowledge of a highly advanced extraterrestrial civilization?” In the end, after several hours of penetrating study, Holt failed to satisfactorily answer to these troubling questions. So don’t expect much pesky fact-checking tonight.

+ Last week, in a pre-emptive strike Trump denounced Holt as a politically biased reporter. As with so many of Trump’s pot-shots, this one backfired gloriously. (I don’t think ISIS has much to worry about from him.) “By the way, Lester is a Democrat,” Trump brayed. “It’s a phony system. They are all Democrats.” Holt is, in fact, one of those rarities that Trump has been trying futilely (I wonder why) to court: a black Republican.

Chris Wallace, the FoxNews reporter who vowed not to do any fact-checking, is the only registered Democrat, who will act as a designator inquisitor of the candidates. (That figures, eh?)

+ Trump is a living testimony to Napoleon’s maxim that “In politics, stupidity is not a handicap.”

+ Speaking of stupidity, the debate is geared at winning over “undecided voters.”

+ Holt, who landed his position as NBC Nightly News Anchor after Brian Williams fabulated his record as a war correspondent, is a relatively passive interviewer, not known to press his subjects. On the other hand, he has spent time on the ground in places like Haiti, Afghanistan and Libya, getting a first hand look at the carnage inflicted by Hillary’s “Smart Power” foreign policy. Let’s see if he can get beyond Benghazi to the corrupt heart of the matter.

+ Since the moment Bernie Sanders endorsed Clinton, the Queen of Chaos has scrubbed any mention of the perils of climate change from her prepared speeches. Perhaps Lester Holt will venture to ask a question about this vexing subject tonight. He could start with a story from today’s news: “Under Obama US will fail to meet emission targets.”

+ There will be enough hot air emitted from the stage tonight to insure that September’s temperatures break August’s record for hottest month in the modern history of the Earth.

+ In related news, the Obama administration quietly announced today drastic rule changes that will substantially weaken the Endangered Species Act by placing complicated and intractable burdens on environmental groups working to protect rare species. The rule changes are deemed a huge gift to the timber, mining and oil cartels. Too bad Jill Stein won’t be on stage to highlight this betrayal.

+ In the last 30 days, Hillary Clinton has spent more than $50 million. Over that time she has dropped 10 points in the polls. So she has a choice. Suspend campaign spending now and have a chance to win or drain her bank account and lose by 15 points.

+ Hillary has scored in past debates, with Obama in 2008 and Sanders this spring, by playing the victim. This strategy is unlikely to work with Trump. She needs to knock him down, if not out on his feet.

+ Tonight Trump’s major challenge is to prove that his hands are bigger than Hillary’s.

+ In pre-debate spin, Democrats denounce press for “grading Trump on a curve,” once a staple of Democratic education policy. It’s all standardized testing now.

+ Zionist casino mogul Sheldon Adelson has just shown up to assume his role as Netanyahu’s surrogate. He seemed to be stuffing money and poker chips into politicians’ pockets.

+ Paul Begala says that Hillary must “show us her heart tonight.” No, please, no! We really don’t need to see that dark, cold, merciless organ.

+ What am I rooting for? The stage lighting to collapse.

+ Lester Holt needs to be extremely cautious tonight. Lots of police and armed security in the debate hall. No sudden movements. Holt must keep his hands firmly on the podium at all times.

+ Bill and Melania shake hands at center stage. Bill whispers something in her ear. I think it was: “Text me.”

+ No national anthem. Kaepernick wins!

+ Hillary enters, as the Woman in Red. The stains of Iraq, Libya, Honduras, Syria and Yemen.

+ Debate opens with the economy. Hillary enumerates a laundry list of policies she doesn’t believe in, while Trump goes right on the attack over the decimation of industrial economy.

+ Hillary’s first joke falls flat: “I call it Trumped up trickle-down.” No one chuckles.

+ Neither of these candidates have a sense of humor, which is an ominous quality in any leader.

+ Trump steamrolled Lester Holt and smoked Hillary on trade policy. Meanwhile, Hillary ludicrously blames the 2008 financial collapse on … tax policy!

+ Trump says he’s trying to be “semi-exact” in his numbers, which is closer than he’s ever come before.

+ Trump now looks like he’s spitting blood in his assault on NAFTA and the TPP. Perhaps he ate glass for lunch or one his awful children. Hillary squirms. So does Bill.

+ Feebly, Hillary actually tries to counterpunch by telling people to visit her website.

+ Hillary can’t stop talking about tax policy (snooze), while Trump keeps jack-hammering on jobs and Clinton/Obama trade deals.

+ Crowd erupts as Trump says he will release his tax returns, when HRC releases her 30,000 deleted emails.

+ Trump hits hard on $6 trillion wasted in Middle East wars by Bush-Obama-Clinton.

+ Hillary hits Trump hard on stiffing his workers, but fails to mention she stiffed the ghostwriter of “her” book “It Takes a Village.”

+ Trump’s first joke falls flatter than Hillary’s. Cites building of Trump Intl. in DC for his business acumen. Says if he doesn’t get to Penn. Ave one way, he’ll get there another.

+ Weak pablum from HRC on race and police. No outrage. All white paper talk.

+ Trump goes the full-Mussolini on police policy. Calls for imposing stop-and-frisk in Chicago.

+ Call the NRA! Trump just said the police should seize guns…from blacks and Hispanics.

+ Trump claims cops “scared to do their job.” How then to explain 854 people shot by cops this year?

+ Hillary has one of her best moments denouncing the private prison system that took root after passage of Bubba’s Crime Bill of 1994. Whoops.

+ Trump shamelessly attacks HRC on super-predator comment. This from the man who led the witch-hunt against the kids wrongly convicted in Central Park jogger case.

+ Trump flubs chance to nail Syd Blumenthal on inculcating the racist myth of Obama’s birth with incoherent mumbo jumbo.

+ Commercial interruption from Hillary, who took a few moments to plug her unreadable book, Stronger Together, which, at last report, had sold fewer than 2,500 copies.

+ Breaking News From Trump: “Palm Beach, Florida is a TOUGH community.” Stop-and-frisk on the 17th green?

+ HRC’s Axis of Evil: China-Russia-Iran.

+ Trump: “We don’t know Russia hacked into the DNC. It could have been some 400-pound guy sitting on a bed somewhere. But we do know that the emails showed how your people sabotaged Bernie Sanders.”

+ Hillary licks her lips and begins reciting her body count in the Middle East. Vows to take Al-Baghdadi’s head. Assassination politics.

+ It’s hard to see how HRC wins the debate over the exact date of when Trump announced his opposition to the Iraq war that she supported in Clinton time and Bush time, continued to prosecute as Sec of State and now wants to escalate as president.

+ Trump doubles down on looting Middle East oil. No one mentions that this is a de facto war crime.

+ Trump crumples on his opposition to NATO. Corrupting influence of the 200 generals and admirals that have endorsed his campaign.

+ Trump reaches for water glass. Big gulp. Rubio moment?

+ Bibi Netanyahu, America’s real Sec. of State, frontally embraced by both Clinton and Trump.

+ Trump quotes GW Bush: “We can’t be policemen of the world.” Rah, rah! Look how that turned out.

+ Ron Jacobs emails this assessment: “Donald Trump is a hog who has no problem killing the other pigs at the trough and then eating them. Hillary seemed to prove that she has at least some qualms about this particular form of gluttony.”

+ Five minutes after the debate, Michael Moore launched this Tweet: “Fellow Bernie voters — admit it, there’s nothing she’s said we disagree with. In fact, she’s adopted his positions!” Caveat: Moore confessed his sexual attraction to Hillary in his book Downsize This! Love is blind. (And, in Moore’s case, deaf and dumb.)

+ If this was a fight, Trump probably would have won on points as the aggressor. But he probably missed twice as many punches as he landed. Hillary was flat-footed most of the night, defending failed policies, offering little more than policy papers. As a debate it probably ends as a draw.

The night in summary, Hillary didn’t knock down Donald & Donald didn’t prove his hands were bigger than Hillary’s. The oh-so-dangerous dangerous Jill Stein (a civil disobedience recidivist) got dragged off campus, Lester Holt didn’t get shot by the secret service and good old Gary Johnson probably had the best night of all, smoking a bowl without that crusty Bill Weld in the room to chill the mood. As for the country, it loses when either of these two becomes president.

(Jeffrey St. Clair is editor of CounterPunch. His new book is Killing Trayvons: an Anthology of American Violence (with JoAnn Wypijewski and Kevin Alexander Gray). He can be reached at: Courtesy,

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SUPERVISOR DAN HAMBURG and Former Mental Health Board member Nancy Sutherland were on KZYX Tuesday morning to argue against the Sheriff’s half-cent sales tax measure. Led by Sheriff Allman, the initiative called “Revive Mental Health Services” which will be on the November ballot. Host Sherry Quinn seemed unprepared to host the show because she let the two critics ramble on about a lot of stuff that is either 1. Irrelevant or 2. Already addressed.

IN A NUTSHELL (sic), there is an expanding population of disturbed persons in Mendocino County but no place to sequester them while they regain themselves. Presently, and for years now, the police have had to not only arrest disturbed persons but house them at the County Jail in lieu of a more therapeutic venue. Additionally, there are more and more people driven temporarily crazy under the influence of drugs and a population of drop-fall drunks the police must cope with and who, inevitably, wind up at the County Jail. Mendocino County needs a site, or several sites strategically placed around our far flung county that is apart from the County Jail but where this growing population of troubled people can be held and, hopefully, restored to their senses. The alternative is a version of what we have now — high minded strategies with no practical follow-up. The Sheriff has taken the initiative here in the absence of any concrete initiative from any other sector of local government, especially its board of supervisors and its present apparatus of mental health personnel whose services range from nebulous to invisible.

THE ISSUE here is business as usual versus Measure AG’s new facilities. Business as usual means people who need to be hospitalized for any kind of mental health treatment go out of county for upwards of $1000 a day. With a local facility, of whatever configuration, not only will most of those costs be saved, but the people will be treated somewhere in Mendocino County where their family and other support services are already located.

IT TURNS OUT that the “arguments” that Hamburg and Sutherland raised were effectively addressed back in July when the Board of Supervisors decided 4-1 (Hamburg dissenting) to endorse Measure AG on the simple grounds that Mendocino County needs a local mental health facility.

HAMBURG for his part urged voters to read the — highly skewed — “Beacon Report” several times. But he never mentioned the text of Measure AG which, if Hamburg had read it, he went to great lengths to avoid citing it. Specifically, it says nothing about what the proposed facility would look like, how many, where, or how many beds. Yet Hamburg repeatedly insisted on the Tuesday interview show that somewhere between 16 and 40 (!) beds would be required by AG, when it does no such thing.

MS QUINN should have pointed to the history and the actual text of Measure AG. All the vague discussion of staffing problems, service funding shortfalls, jail limitations, existing programs, working together, the new management crew at County mental health, etc. exist now and will continue to exist whether or not AG passes. And the Hamburg/Sutherland/Beacon argument about the number of beds and possible costs to the County is based on a preposterous assumption that AG is not affordable.

FROM OUR COVERAGE of the July 18 Board of Supervisors discussion of Measure AG...

“BASED ON THE ANALYSIS provided by Mendocino County HHSA, the projected annual cost for staffing and operating a 16-bed psychiatric facility in Mendocino County would be $6,703,095…”

SO BEGINS the fiscal analysis done by County CEO Carmel Angelo’s chief budget staffer Alan ‘The Kid’ Flora who was asked to do the analysis in preparation for a 500-word ballot statement to accompany Sheriff Tom Allman’s Mental Health Facilities measure which will be on the November ballot. Flora did a fairly detailed analysis of revenues and estimated expenditures and concluded that the facility would cost almost $5 million more than current revenues would cover. This conclusion prompted a lengthy but fundamentally misplaced follow-up discussion which saw Sheriff Allman to accurately describe Flora’s analysis as “a good 50% analysis,” and as a “worst case scenario.”

ALLMAN was probably referring to the revenue side (50%) of Flora’s analysis, which correctly summed up the County’s existing revenue streams aimed at mental health services.

BUT FLORA AND ANGELO’S expense side of the analysis, the other 50% that Allman was presumably talking about, was, in a word, preposterous:

“As described in the methodology section above, this projection is based upon the following: 1) required staffing for such facilities (type of personnel and number) under state regulation; use of county personnel; average statewide cost of such personnel in California; and, the standard Mendocino County overhead rate. Because the facility is a 24-hour facility, the projection must include staffing for a 24-hour period. This calls for a total of 33 required staff to operate the facility, which includes one (1) Physician/Psychiatrist, and one (1) on-call Psychiatrist; one (1) Psychologist; one (1) Clinical Social Worker; ten (10) Registered Nurses; ten (10) Mental Health Clinicians; ten (10) Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVN); and, three administrative staff. For comparison, the Humboldt County Department of Health Services reported estimated actual operating costs for Humboldt County’s 16-bed acute inpatient psychiatric facility, Sempervirons, were $6.2 million in FY 2015-16.”

SHERIFF ALLMAN tried to explain that there was no reason to project that the facility would have 16 beds and multi-million dollar deficits for staffing the facility. He said the Supes might instead ask: How could we spend the $27 million the County now spends annually on mental health with this new facility in the mix? “This measure will not cause a deficit,” insisted Allman, “the commission [the one proposed to oversee the project if approved by ballot] will figure this out. We will tailor the project to the existing funds.”

TAMMY MOSS-CHANDLER, the County’s newly hired HHSA director, cagily avoided taking a position on the issue but did point out that the $27 million includes almost $10 million of children’s mental health services expended separately from Allman’s initiative and means that the correct annual mental health budget at issue is more like $17 million (and a lot of that is spent on administration).

ALLMAN PUT THE BOARD on the defensive by adding that it seemed to him that “The purpose of this presentation is to generate a negative perception of a project like this.”

BUT IN FACT it was more about assuming staffing levels that will simply never happen. Where is the County going to find ten Registered Nurses; ten Mental Health Clinicians; and ten Licensed Vocational Nurses?

ALLMAN told the Board that the County had made three big mistakes in the last few decades: Giving away most of the Lake Mendocino water to Sonoma County (Major Scaramella’s Uncle Joe Scaramella was the only Supervisor at the time to vote against that short-sighed decision); the selling of the Talmage State Hospital to the Buddhists for around $250k (another one that Joe Scaramella adamantly opposed, although at the time he was a retired Supervisor), and the closing of the Psychiatric Hospital Facility (PHF/”Puff”) unit in 1999. “We can’t correct #1 or #2,” said Allman, “but we can fix the PHF error.”

ALLMAN also said it was unfair to assume that the staff would all be county employees with all their perks, noting that local hospitals and non-profits don’t do it like that. And, Allman noted, the “analysis” didn’t factor in how many beds could be rented out to neighboring counties like Lake County.

ALLMAN insisted that the Flora/CEO analysis was deeply flawed because it didn’t make any attempt to figure out a way to staff the facility with existing funds. “The assumptions made are not true,” said Allman. “I’ve been working with the CEO on this, but our disagreements are based on some board members who have philosophical differences with this. We cannot be comfortable with what we have. None of you have a better solution, but you say this is wrong. You better rethink this. People want this, but three Supervisors have supported [don't] this” — a reference to Supervisors Hamburg, McCowen and Gjerde who refused to sign the petition that Allman and his group circulated to get the measure on the ballot, citing their worry about how much it would cost the County’s general fund.

THE BOARD and the CEO conceded that there may be “alternative models” which might be less expensive but, conveniently, those “alternative models” were not described, much less costed out. So the Board and the CEO stood behind their totally unrealistic gold-plated staffing model which makes the Sheriff’s initiative look like a budget buster. Then they charged staff with coming up with a way to say it was a budget buster in 500 words that could be put on the ballot.

REMEMBER, the Sheriff’s initiative says nothing about how many beds or staffing — the County’s assumptions of size and staffing levels and skill requirements are not achievable under any “alternate model” and the reference to the cost of the $6.2 million Humboldt County 16-bed facility does not say how the Humboldt facility is staffed nor if Mendocino County even needs a 16 bed facility staffed 24 hours a day with 36 expensive professional County employee staffers.

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HERE’S THE FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS page from the revivementalhealthservices website.

FAQs about the Initiative and Mental Illness in Mendocino County:

Q. Who is behind the Initiative?

A. A community group of local health care professionals, members of law enforcement, and people with family experience of mental health issues, under the leadership of Sheriff Tom Allman.

Q. The Initiative will pay for new facilities., but where will the money come from to pay for the staffing and operation of the new facilities?

A. The new facilities will provide clinical services that are reimbursable by Medicare, Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act, and private insurance. Clinical services can be sustainable, even profitable.

Q. Where will the new facilities be located?

A. There is no money to build facilities yet, so this is still under discussion. Serious consideration has been given to converting the old Howard Hospital in Willits for use as a mental health facility, but this is just one possibility.

Q. Who will operate the new facility?

A. This is also yet to be decided, but most likely it will be a combined team of professionals from the county Behavioral Health and Recovery Services Agency, and professionals employed by agencies contracted by the County.

Q. Will people in the inpatient facility just be treated with drugs?

A. No. The new facility will provide a range of conventional and alternative treatments that customize best practices for our community

Q. Do we really need new mental health facilities in Mendocino County?

A. Yes. The suicide rate in Mendocino County is twice as high as the California average. We have a very high rate of excessive alcohol use, and other drugs are problems for many of us. During 2015, more than 35 people per month were hospitalized for to the county.

More Information on our Website:

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An Initiative To Add A Temporary Half-Cent Sales Tax To Fund Facilities In Mendocino County To Assist In The Diagnosis And Treatment Of Mental Health And Drug Dependency The purpose of this initiative is revitalizing Mental Health Services throughout Mendocino County.

The purpose is to initiate a temporary (5 year) ½ cent sales tax in all parts of Mendocino County to develop facilities in Mendocino County to assist in the diagnosis and treatment of Mental Illness and addiction recovery. The initiative includes a portion of the funds to develop and maintain a training facility to be used by mental health professionals, public safety professionals and citizens to better serve the citizens in Mendocino County.

This initiative impresses upon the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors that the treatment of mentally ill citizens is a priority, and that this priority should be reflected in the staffing and budgeting of Mental Health Services. These sales tax proceeds, and any interest or penalties collected that relate to this tax, shall be deposited into a special fund of the county treasury and used exclusively for the planning, preparation, development, furnishing and maintenance of county-designated facilities that will provide mental health services.

No funds may be used for other incidental but necessary purposes, including the staffing of such facility. 10% of the funds shall be used for the purpose of establishing and maintaining a public safety/mental health training facility which will be used for training first responders and mental health professionals in proper and modern mental health methods of treatment techniques.

These funds shall be deposited into a special fund of the county treasury and used exclusively for the planning, preparation, development, furnishing and maintenance of county-designated facilities that will provide education and training services for Public Safety employees, Mental Health professionals and citizens. No funds may be used for other incidental but necessary purposes, including the staffing of such facility.

The funds approved for the revitalization of these services shall be reviewed (Prior to expenditure) by a politically independent oversight committee. This committee shall be comprised of a citizen selected by each member of the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors, a Member of the Behavioral Health Advisory Board, The Mental Health Director or his/her representative, The Elected County Auditor or his/her Representative, The Mendocino County CEO or his/her Representative and the Sheriff or his/her Representative. The final member of the 11 person oversight committee shall be a representative of a Mendocino Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

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Inani Schroedinger Writes: A week or two ago KZYX did a story on ballot observation efforts in Mendocino county during primaries. I was leading that observation effort for the first 10 days. Both myself and the observers mentioned in your report were/are part of a volunteer organization "ballots for Bernie". My own account is that we have a model election process in this county. I completely refute all efforts to impugn the character of Susan Ranochak and Katrina Bartolomie. So far as I can tell, these ladies take their job very seriously and make all possible efforts to execute their duties with the highest degree of integrity and efficacy. Unfortunately, some members of our group have a very suspicious and hostile nature. Of course we were not allowed unfettered access to the ballots... Susan is entrusted to protect them, that is part of her job. However, Alashanee Akin and her contingent perceived every single boundary as some kind of effort to obscure a hidden agenda on the part of the elections staff. Before she arrived I had built up a cordial rapport with our election officials and was treated to in-depth explanation and demonstration to all aspect of the process. After Aleshanee and her crew began projecting their suspicions upon the elections, the observation conditions became less favorable. I tried to approach Aleshanee about her behavior and the influence it was having upon what we were trying to do, she and her friend were unreceptive and I succeeded only in making myself their enemy. Aleshanee made several outlandish and false allegations during time we were observing. She claimed she consistanty saw ballots tallied 11:1 in favor of Bernie Sanders... I was there when the mail-in ballots were being processed and I can tell you without equivocation that there is no semblance of truth to that assessment. She sat right next to me while this was happening, and we were both surprised that there were as many votes for HRC as there were... but oh yes, they were actually there. The only county where Bernie got more votes than us was Humboldt... yet still Aleshanee and her crew think that our votes in mendo were somehow stolen/manipulated? Even though our candidate won by a landslide here....? The leadership of our group told us right from the beginning that it was our job to observe processnot to count votes, something Susan re-iterated to us. Aleshanee felt compelled to attempt to keep her own tally anyway, and I observed her on several occasions ignoring votes for HRC. In fact, she claimed that the folks counting the ballots (arthritic old grandmas in their 70's) were intentionally revealing HRC votes to us to send us some kind of "message". She actually said that! On the second day of observation (for her, not me) she brought a hidden recording device with her unbeknownst to myself or election officials... for what reason? I cannot imagine. The regs we were given stated quite clearly that Susan is entitled to decide what equipment we bring to the observation area and what activity is disruptive to her ability to accomplish the vote count. Aleshanee and her friends were very condescending towards the election staff and would mutter passive aggressive derogatory comments whenever they were out of earshot. It was my deep desire to just recuse myself of the leadership position, surrender to Aleshanee and let Karma take it's course. However, since she has felt inclined to spread her ridiculous slander, I am left with no choice but to speak out against her account in defense of our election staff. I am available for interview if you would like more details.

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A GUY SAUNTERS UP to Bruce McEwen in court today and sneers, "Hope you get it right this time," adding a few insults. In this case, McEwen got it right the first time. Or, if he didn't, why didn't this guy write in his version of the events McEwen reported on? Or phoned in his version? Because McEwen got it right, and this guy knows it. People being people, it's simpler for critics to denounce the writer who, after all, saw the same events the critic saw, and the writer and everyone else familiar with the crime know that the accused did everything she's accused of.

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Mendocino TV's will broadcast live a Mendocino Coast District Hospital Candidates Forum on Wednesday, September 28 at 6:00 -7:30 PM on The event will be hosted by Marianne McGee, and the format will give each candidate an opportunity to introduce themselves and then respond to questions relevant to governing the Mendocino Coast Healthcare District.A unique aspect is that we do offer people a chance to call in on (707) 964-0101 with their own questions or submit them via an on-line chat app as they watch the live broadcast. Since we often have critical video clips that are relevant to the subject, we post them on the web page for the event prior to the event. The upcoming forum has just such a video. In this clip we find Sean Hogan lamenting the fact that he has been attempting to convey to the rest of the Board just how broken their financial software has been since its purchase 10 years ago. Specifically the past administrations decided to forgo purchasing the Executive Support System module. This module gives the financial department the ability to break down expenses on a department by department basis. We, at Mendocino TV believe this is the most important piece of information we have recorded since we have been recording the hospital’s board meetings. Prior to watching the Candidates Forum on Wednesday we sincerely urge everyone to watch this short clip which explains where so much of the confusion and chaos in the past few years has come from. We are astonished that a 55 million dollar budget has been administered while steering the hospital through its recent bankruptcy, in effect, BLIND. In addition to the live broadcast, our event will be available for people to view on

and Channel 3 throughout the election season.


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* * *

PROPS 52, 53, 54

PROP 52. VOTE NO. The state Democrats have teamed up with the more mercenary hospitals (Adventist in Ukiah and Willits, for handy instance) and hospital administrators that would require a two-thirds vote in the legislature to change how the state funds Medi-Cal. Prop 52 is opposed by hospital unions and people who watchdog Medi-Cal funding on behalf of ordinary people. The watchdogs say that, if passed, millions of public dollars will bypass sick people to create a state health-care bureaucracy.

PROP 53. Yes. More or less fiscal conservatives are for this one, which would require that voters approve any bond that puts the state over the $2 billion in public-infrastructure bonds that are already out there. And which, added to all the other bond debt out there that will never be re-paid. But everything is falling apart — roads, bridges, what's left of railroads — because Democrats live in fear of the oligarchy and don't dare tax them to pay their fair share of the common load. Governor Brown, the state's Chamber of Commerce and, natch, developers, are opposed to 53. Vote YES because endless bonds are not a sensible long-term way of paying for basic amenities in lieu of a fair system of taxation, which we do not have because of people like Jerry Brown. Bonds are basically loans issued, mostly by big banks, who make double what the bond is worth from ordinary taxpayers.

PROP 54. Vote Yes. Ever hear of "gut-and-amend"? Our noble legislators sneak bills through at the last minute with all kinds of giveaways to bad interests. Proposition 54 would mandate that the content of bills be published 72-hours prior to the vote. Everyone is for this across the board, except for, guess who? California Democrats.

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Winery mergers expected to continue on North Coast

Top executives at E&J Gallo Winery and Jackson Family Wines are expecting more deals as the premium segment of the wine market continues its strong growth.

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On 09-26-2016, beginning at about 2:30 PM, Thomas Anderson, 61, of Fort Bragg began calling the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office emergency 911 telephone line from his residence in the 16000 block of Mitchell Creek Drive, Fort Bragg, yelling obscenities and making threatening and derogatory statements toward the dispatchers. The dispatchers attempted to establish what assistance Anderson needed, but their queries were met with hostility and shouts. Deputies were dispatched to Anderson's residence to attempt to determine what, if any, assistance he needed. When deputies arrived they saw Anderson standing in the residence and he appeared to be talking on the telephone. As deputies walked up to the front door, Anderson looked at them then retreated out of sight into another room. Deputies knocked on the doors, shouted requests for Anderson to speak with them, and telephoned the residence for approximately 40 minutes. Anderson would not respond, though he would occasionally call 911 and continue his tirade. The deputies subsequently left, and Anderson ceased calling 911.


At about 5:00 PM Anderson walked onto his porch and was seen shooting several rounds from a handgun down his driveway toward Mitchell Creek Drive, a county road in a residential neighborhood. The neighbor who witnessed this behavior called 911. A deputy who was in the area handling an unrelated matter also heard the shots. The immediate neighborhood was evacuated and due to Anderson's previous threats and behavior the Mendocino County SWAT Team was requested to take Anderson into custody so that a search warrant could be served at his residence. When the SWAT team arrived Anderson was located and taken into custody without incident. During the service of the search warrant a handgun, rifle, and shotgun along with ammunition (both live and empty cases) were located in the residence and found to be under Anderson's control. Anderson, who is prohibited by law from possessing firearms or ammunition due to past criminal convictions, was lodged at the Mendocino County Jail for Discharge a Firearm in a Grossly Negligent Manner, Possession of Firearm by Prohibited Person, and Possession of Ammunition by Prohibited Person. Bail was set at $25,000.

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On September 23, 2016 at approximately 2:59 p.m., Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies received a call for service for a victim of a stabbing that occurred in the 39000 block of South Highway 1 in Gualala, Ca. Prior to Deputies arriving on scene, the 38-year old male victim had been transported to the Redwood Coast Medical Services clinic and then transported by air ambulance to the Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital for medical treatment. Deputies arrived in the Gualala area at approximately 4:00 p.m. to investigate the incident. During the course of their investigation, Deputies identified the suspect as 35-year old Nelson Cook of Gualala and learned that Cook and the victim were engaged in a heated argument. The argument escalated to a point where Cook stabbed the victim in the abdomen with a knife. While Deputies were searching for Cook, California Department of Fish and Game Wardens assisting in the search located Cook in the immediate area. Deputies made contact with Cook and ultimately placed him under arrest. Cook was transported to the Mendocino County Jail where he was booked for committing an assault with a deadly weapon. Cook is being held in lieu of bail set at $30,000.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, September 27, 2016

Anderson, Boyd, Hale, Keyser
Anderson, Boyd, Hale, Keyser

THOMAS ANDERSON, Fort Bragg. Grossly negligent discharge of firearm, ex-felon with firearm, prohibited person with ammo.

SKYLER BOYD, Mendocino. Drunk in public, fugitive from justice, resisting.

TAMMY HALE, Covelo. Perjury, controlled substance, under influence.

CHRISTOPHER KEYSER, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

Pick, Rodgers, Zazueta
Pick, Rodgers, Zazueta

PENNY PICK, Garberville. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, suspended license, unlawful display of registration.

JESSE RODGERS, Ukiah. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, parole revocation.


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Dear Editor:

Thank you for reprinting the MMMAB letter on the ballot fight between AF & AI, so readers can see for themselves what you are criticizing. We have become a dissident voice within the Heritage Campaign, regarding policies & strategies that are best suited to further the cannabis community's goals & interests.

MMMAB is recommending No! on AI, the Cannabis Tax Initiative, and Yes! on AF, the Mendocino Heritage Initiative, contrary to the Heritage Campaign's message to vote Yes on Both.

Both can't win in Winner Take All. If AI gets the most votes, it will win and void the relevant tax sections in AF in their entirety, and leave us with a new cannabis crime-a misdemeanor for 'any' violation of the cannabis tax code.


Any person violating any of the provisions of this Chapter shall be deemed guilty of a Misdemeanor and shall be punishable therefore. BOS Cannabis Tax Initiative.

The BOS has created a new cannabis crime for tax violations, "deeming" them criminal misdemeanors instead of civil infractions, with punishments of jail or fines or both.

Having done our research, MMMAB has uncovered a trend of prohibitionist public officials in the state, who are adding the "any violation is deemed a misdemeanor" clause to their new cannabis tax measures, as an ingenious new way to extend cannabis prohibition in perpetuity, just when it looks like it's ending.

NORML Atty Richard Rosen confirms that this is also happening in Monterey County which enacted regulations for commercial and personal cannabis cultivation.

"Section 7.95.140 for personal cultivation provides 'any violation of the regulations is a misdemeanor', while 'no proof of knowledge, intent or other mental state is required to establish a violation.'...Similar provisions are included in regulations for commercial grows. A county tax ordinance is on the ballot this Nov. I believe this also includes provisions making all violations misdemeanors."

"These regulations are recriminalizing actions that the state has decriminalized. The provision for personal grows removes the requirement of mental state and creates a criminal offense that is more onerous than anything in the CA penal code or Health & Safety code. All state criminal regulations require proof of knowledge and general criminal intent. This is outrageous public policy and I hope we can show it is unconstitutional as well."

This misdemeanor bomb in Measure AI's Cannabis Tax Act is reason in itself to vote No!! For this reason, a Yes vote for AI is a vote to subject the cannabis community to a new misdemeanor crime and the prospect of cultivation recriminalization instead of regulation. This is a ruse to trap well meaning growers who want to be legal into a situation they may not realize awaits them.

So MMMAB recommends No on AI's new cannabis misdemeanor and Yes on AF to save the family farm and our future as equal citizens.

Pebbles Trippet, Paula Deeter, Ralf Laguna

Mendocino Medical Marijuana Advisory Board~MMMAB

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Just checked in @ The Plumeria...

Am in a wonderful mid-size room on the upper level, on the laptop...have everything that is required. It's nice here on O'ahu...cooler now...what an amazing place to be! OMed on the outbreath the entire 4 1/2 hour flight on comfy United Airlines. "Sattwic" doesn't even begin to describe this. Having showered, now going next door to Safeway to stock up on juices for the refrigerator. I must be dreaming.

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Dear Jazz Fans,

Here is where you can see us this week:

Thursday, Sept. 29 - Acoustic Jazz at the Willits Outdoor Farmers Market_*

Aaron Bellomo (guitar) and Dorian May (percussion and winds)

Bud Snyder City Park (across from City Hall on E. Commercial St.)

Willits, CA.

Friday, Sept. 30th - Sequoia Room at the North Coast Brewing Co.

Francis Vanek (sax) and Joanie Rose (vocals) with the Dorian May Trio

6-9 pm in the Sequoia Room

North Coast Brewing Co.

444 North Main St. Fort Bragg 964-3400

Saturday Oct 1- Taste of the North Coast at Gualala Arts Center

This is an upscale dinner fundraiser to raise money for the Gualala

Rotary Club Scholarship and Service Foundation.

Music by the Dorian May Trio during cocktail hour from 5:00-6:15pm,

dinner and auction until 9pm,Tickets $125

Saturday Oct 1- 215 Main in Point Arena

Sharon Garner (vocals), Dorian May (piano), Dorothea May (bass) & Gabe

Yáñez (drums)

7:30-10:30 pm, $8.00 cover

215 Main Wine Bar, Point Arena,

As always, thanks for supporting live jazz and music. For more info, please visit us on Facebook

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Not to worry

Not to worry about the selection…oops, I mean the “election”. Hillary will be the first woman president because that’s what the powers that be want. The bankers, the military industrial complex, the oil companies, even the Koch bros, and the media. In other words, the 1%. They and the “democratic” party proved with the massive voter fraud during the primaries, that they are quite capable of stealing all the votes they need to get their way. (How soon we forget) So Hillary will be coronated and life will go on for the benefit of that 1% with more wars and less freedom, security and opportunity for the rest of us. Oh, we may have a few crumbs thrown our way, but anyone that expects significant improvement in naive. In the end, it will be the climate that gets us. I’m voting for Jill Stein because I know it doesn’t matter and at least I’ll have a clear conscience when the US makes war with Russia, more blacks are murdered, more innocents lose their homes, and the environment is destroyed.

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MSP learned a group calling themselves the "Albion Trash Ninjas" took it upon themselves to retrieve the "bobbing bags of trash" MSP reported about in the Navarro River. We believe they did it with kayaks. MSP noted some of the trash bags had drifted west of the Navarro bridge Monday. A report to MSP from the river late Monday afternoon said,"Seven big bags. I'm trying to get the pictures. Albion Trash Ninjas at work!" They added, it "Looks like camper trash. Food and junk, no paper or addresses. A Navarro Park Ranger took it for us" when they brought it to shore.

We anxiously await the photos!

(Courtesy, MendocinoSportsPlus)

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WILLOWS, Calif.; September 27, 2016 - For Immediate Release - The U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management are in the early stages of developing a management plan for the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument (BSMNM) and invite the public to participate in Community Conversations about the Monument. The conversations are an opportunity for the public to express what is important to them about the management of the BSMNM. There was a great turnout at the first Community Conversation that was held in Upper Lake. Attendees commented that the meeting was important and they were glad they had participated. The next Community Conversation will be held Wednesday, September 28 at the Community Center in Winters, Calif. from 5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. The Community Center is located at 201 Railroad Ave. The third Community Conversation will occur Tuesday, October 4 at the Holiday Inn Express in Willows, Calif. The meeting room is at 545 N. Humboldt Ave. and will also run from 5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. The BSMNM was established in July 2015 to preserve the objects of scientific and historic interest on the lands of the Berryessa Snow Mountain area. The 330,000-acre area is bounded on the north by the Snow Mountain Wilderness and on the south by Berryessa Mountain in north-central California. Approximately 197,000 acres are administered by US Forest Service and 133,000 acres by the BLM. We hope you will join us at a Community Conversation. For more information please here,

Punky Moore
Public Affairs Officer

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What a state!  We allowed/tolerated the closing of our State mental hospitals; we voted down single payer health care; we voted down GMO labeling; we voted down legalized marijuana.  We can rely on the voters. Both major party candidates have been approved by the voters.  Do any of you posters honestly believe your posts on the announce list will do anything more than assuage your conscience that you are doing something to correct the situation?

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October 24, 2016 is the last day for electors to register in order to vote in the November 8, 2016 PRESIDENTIAL GENERAL Election, according to Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder Susan M. Ranochak.

The Registrar of Voters office is located in Room #1020 of the County Administration Building located at 501 Low Gap Road, Ukiah.

Voters who have moved and/or changed their name must re-register. To register or re-register to vote, you may come into the Registrar of Voters office. If you are unable to come to the office, you may call 234- 6819 and a voter registration card will be mailed to you, or you can register online at: Registration forms are also available at the most City Halls, Libraries and Post Offices.

To be eligible to register, you must be a citizen of the United States, a resident of California, 18 years of age or older as of the day of the next election, and you must NOT be in prison or on parole for the conviction of a felony.

Voters are required to provide their residence address or location, a mailing address (if it’s not the same as their residence address) (personal mail boxes, or post office boxes are not considered a residence address) driver’s license or state ID and/or the last four digits of their social security number. All voter registration cards must be signed. When we receive a voter registration form, if these requirements are not met, we must contact the voter to obtain the information. Please include contact information, either a phone number or an email address.

The November election is a “General Election”, party ballots are not issued, everyone will have the same candidates for the State and Federal offices on the ballot – there is no reason to change your party affiliation to vote for a certain candidate for this election.

Ms. Ranochak encourages you to call the Registrar of Voters office at 234-6819 should you have any questions or are in doubt about your registration status.

(County Clerk Press Release)

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Hi Community,

The Cancer Resource Centers of Mendocino County is looking for someone who is willing to donate their strength and a pick up truck to deliver a cord of wood to a community member who is undergoing chemotherapy. The wood is located in Little River and needs to be delivered to cancer patient’s home on Pudding Creek Road in Fort Bragg. (It would be wonderful if a few people were willing to help with this task and the wood also could be stacked.) Please contact me for further information. Thank you!

Rita Martinez
Cancer Resource Centers of Mendocino County
P.O. Box 50
Mendocino, CA 95460
707.937.3833 (phone)
707.313.0013 (fax)

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We believe that the best way to reach common ground on complex and sometimes controversial issues is to go to the forest and see the issue or concern first-hand. Our policy is to take any interested people out on the land to review any concerns or observations they would like to share and review. If you are interested in seeing a part of our operations or our forest, please contact us here on Facebook, through our contact form, or at 707-463-5113.

— MRC Press Release

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Fort Bragg– California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) Mendocino Unit is preparing for the Fall season at Jackson Demonstration State Forest (JDSF) by announcing scheduled closures of seasonal campgrounds, trails and firewood areas.

Campground Closure: The seasonal closure of JDSF Camp One, Dunlap and Horse Camp campgrounds are scheduled for Monday, October 3, 2016. Big River campground will remain open until which time it is deemed necessary to close.

Trail Closure: Beginning October 15, the “Trestle Trail” between Camp 8 and JDSF Road 1070 will be closed to mushroom gathering and other recreational activities. This trail is closed (October-May) as a precautionary measure in an attempt to slow the spread of Phytophthora ramorum, the invasive pathogen that causes Sudden Oak Death.

Firewood Area Closure: The designated areas for firewood cutting will also close on Monday, October 3, 2016, or prior to the first significant rain, whichever occurs first. After the closure, all firewood cutting on the Forest is prohibited until otherwise noticed.

Information regarding camping and other recreational activities such as mushroom gathering on JDSF is available at the CAL FIRE Fort Bragg office located at 802 North Main Street, Fort Bragg, CA or by calling (707) 964-5674 during the following hours: Monday through Friday from 8-12 & 1-5. Our website is:

Multiple uses of JDSF for a wide variety of activities that benefit the public, the economy and natural resources are what our demonstration forests are all about.

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An Outdoor Tasting Adventure!

November 5 event lineup includes top chefs, acclaimed wineries & breweries, mushrooms, music and more!

WILLITS, CA — On Saturday, November 5, 12-5 pm, Mendocino County Museum’s Mushroom, Wine and Beer Camp will welcome its first campers! An outdoor tasting adventure awaits for those 21 and up * amidst the majestic backdrop of Wente Scout Reservation just 7 miles east of Willits, tucked away amidst Douglas firs and golden meadows surrounding an 80-acre lake. With a mushroom-themed culinary competition among top local chefs, mushroom walks, wine, beer and cider tastings, classic day camp activities, music, and more, the Mushroom, Wine and Beer Camp is the flagship event for the annual Mushroom, Wine and Beer Festival. The event attracts locals and visitors alike eager to enjoy Mendocino County’s unparalled beauty and learn about its rich mushroom traditions, and raises important funds for the Museum. The adventure begins upon arrival, via bus or car, at Wente Scout Reservation. Join a professional judging panel in tasting the best wine, beer and mushroom fare in Mendocino County with the option to vote for the “People’s Choice” award in each category * though deciding will be difficult when the competitor list includes such notable chefs as David LaMonica of Mendocino’s Café Beaujolais, Julia Conway of Assaggiare Mendocino, Nicholas Petti and Mendocino College’s Culinary Institute, Good Earth Kitchen, Nikos Gyro Shop, Rolands Bakery & Bistro and many other enticing entrants. Tres Bien Creamery and Shamrock Artisan Goat Cheese will offer their handmade local cheeses to complement the pours of Bite Hard Cider and wines from vineyards such as Bonterra, Navarro, Barra of Mendocino & Girasole, Handley Cellars, Bink Wines, Greenwood Ridge, Knez Winery and Signal Ridge. In the afternoon, after a barbecue of smoked organic meats and mushrooms, follow local expert Eric Schramm of Mendocino Mushrooms as he leads his renowned mushroom discovery walks; take a class in food and wine pairing or nature painting, or get a henna tattoo! Compete for prizes with games such as bingo, trivia, Grid Beam building contests (a Maker Faire favorite!), minute-to-win-it games, a classic pie-eating contest, and more! Campfires and s’mores will close the day before campers board the bus back to the Museum at 5:00 pm. For tickets and a continuously updated list of participants please visit . For more information, email or call 707-459-2736. All proceeds from the Mushroom, Wine and Beer Camp benefit the Mendocino County Museum and help the Museum continue its work of collecting, conserving, presenting, and celebrating the stories and lives of the places and people of Mendocino County. Learn more about local history and the Mendocino County Museum’s temporary, permanent, and upcoming exhibits at or visit the Museum in Willits.

Paloma Patterson, M.A.
Mendocino County Museum

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Dear Interested Parties,

The October 6, 2016 Planning Commission Agenda has been posted to the department website at:

Please contact staff if you have any questions. Thank you.

Adrienne Thompson
Commission Services Supervisor
Mendocino County Planning & Building Services
860 North Bush Street, Ukiah, CA 95482

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by Dan Bacher

The California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) announced on September 23 that it has opened an investigation into the California Democratic Party in response to a report by a prominent consumer group claiming that the party acted as a “laundry machine” to funnel donations from oil, energy and utility companies to Brown’s 2014 election campaign.

In her letter to the Santa Monica-based Consumer Watchdog, Galena West, Chief of the FPPC’s Enforcement Division, said the division “will investigate the California Democratic Party for alleged violations of the Political Reform Act’s campaign reporting provisions resulting from information contained in your sworn complaint (Brown’s Dirty Hands Report.)”

She said the FPPC will not not be opening an investigation into “the other persons,” including Governor Brown, identified in the complaint at this time.

West said Consumer Watchdog will next receive notification upon final disposition of the case, but didn't provide any time frame for the case’s disposition.

“However, please be advised that at this time we have not made any determination about the validity of the allegations you have made or about the culpability, if any of the persons you identify in your complaint,” she said.

After receiving the FPPC letter, Jamie Court, president of Consumer Watchdog, said, “We are pleased that the FPPC has launched an investigation into the troubling pattern of contributions to the California Democratic Party by oil, utility and energy companies uncovered in ‘Brown’s Dirty Hands.’”

“The Party and members of the Administration who worked for it have a lot of questions to answer. Political parties shouldn’t be used as laundry machines for money from unpopular companies or for campaign contributions in excess of candidate-permitted limits,” he stated.

Consumer Watchdog released Brown’s Dirty Hands on August 10, 2016, at a time when Brown faces increasing criticism from environmental, consumer and public interest groups regarding administration policies they say favor oil companies, energy companies and utilities over fish, water, people and the environment.

The report tabulated donations totaling $9.8 million dollars to Jerry Brown’s campaigns, causes, and initiatives, and to the California Democratic Party since he ran for Governor from 26 energy companies with business before the state, according to Court. The companies included the state’s three major investor-owned utilities, as well as Occidental, Chevron, and NRG.

“An exhaustive review of campaign records, publicly-released emails and other documents at, court filings, and media reports, showed that Brown personally intervened in regulatory decisions favoring the energy industry, and points to Brown and his operatives having used the Democratic Party as a political slush fund to receive contributions from unpopular energy companies in amounts greater than permitted to his candidate committee,” Court said.

The report alleges that energy companies donated $4.4 million to the Democratic Party, and the Democratic Party gave $4.7 million to Brown’s re-election between 2011 and 2014. Consumer Watchdog submitted its report to the FPPC as a sworn complaint.

“The timing of energy industry donations around important legislation and key pro-industry amendments, as well as key regulatory decisions in which Brown personally intervened, raises troubling questions about whether quid pro quos are routine for this administration,” said consumer advocate Liza Tucker, author of the report. “While Brown paints himself as a foe of fossil fuels, his Administration promoted reckless oil drilling, burning dirty natural gas to make electricity, and used old hands from industry and government, placed in key regulatory positions, to protect the fossil fuel-reliant energy industry.”

In response to my request for a comment on the FPPC probe, Deborah Hoffman, Governor Brown’s Deputy Press Secretary replied, “Thanks for reaching out. Questions are best directed to the party being investigated. As noted in the response letter, the FPPC ‘will not be opening an investigation regarding the other persons identified’ in the complaint. I don't expect we’ll be commenting.’”

Brown spokesman Evan Westrup told the San Diego Union Tribune on August 10, in response to the report, “The governor’s leadership on climate is unmatched. These claims are downright cuckoo.” (

Michael Soller, a spokeperson for the Democratic Party, said in the Sacramento Bee on September 24, “ “We received the letter, we’re aware of it and we’ve been fully cooperating with the FPPC.” However, he declined to comment any further on the investigation.

State law limits the amount that individuals, businesses and committees can contribute to political candidates. In the 2014 election cycle, a single donor was limited to $54,400 for a candidate for governor, according to Tucker.

However, donors can give unlimited amounts of money to political parties. During the 2014 cycle, parties were allowed to give up to $34,000 from each donor to a candidate per year.

In one of many examples of the alleged use of the party as a “laundry machine” for political contributions to Brown cited in the report, Chevron donated $135,000 to the California Democratic Party on the same day lawmakers exempted a common method of well stimulation from legislation meant to regulate fracking, according to Tucker.

After the legislation, Senate Bill 4, passed with an amendment dropping a moratorium on fracking permits, Occidental gave $100,000 to one of Brown’s favorite causes, the Oakland Military Institute. Brown signed the gutted bill on September 20, in spite of strong opposition by a broad coalition of conservation, environmental justice, tribal and consumer organizations.

Chevron then donated a total of $350,000 to the Democratic Party on December 23, 2013. Seven days later, the Democratic Party donated $300,000 to Brown for Governor 2014. On the same day Chevron donated the maximum to Brown’s campaign, $54,400.

“Less than two months later, Brown came out publicly to oppose a proposed oil severance tax,” said Tucker. “The weakened fracking bill also helped Brown aide Nancy McFadden, who held up to $100,000 in Linn Energy that would acquire Berry Petroleum and its 3,000 California fracking wells.”

Following an ethics complaint filed by Consumer Watchdog against McFadden, the FPPC on March 24 opened an investigation into her failure to report the dates and times of stock sales in PG&E, her former employer.

The FPPC said there was “insufficient evidence” to pursue an investigation into whether McFadden violated other conflict of interest laws. However, the agency said it would look into the “apparent failure of Ms. McFadden to disclose the status of her stock ownership in Pacific Gas and Electric.”

Tucker said she was pleased that the FPPC was continuing their investigation into McFadden. “It’s a very good sign that the investigation is still open,” she said.

In the report, Tucker said the timing of certain donations “coincided with legislative or regulatory action on behalf of these companies.” Among the examples detailed in the report are the following:

  • “Southern California Edison donated $130,000 to the California Democratic Party, its largest contribution up until that time, on the same day PUC President Michael Peevey cut a secret deal with an SCE executive in Warsaw, Poland to make ratepayers cover 70 percent of the $4.7 billion cost to close the fatally flawed San Onofre nuclear plant. Brown backed the dirty deal, telling Edison’s CEO personally, according to an email from the CEO uncovered by the Public Records Act, that he was willing to tell the media on the day of the plant’s shuttering that the company was acting responsibly and focused on the right things. Three days prior to SCE’s announcement that it would close San Onofre permanently, the company donated $25,000 to the California Democratic Party.
  • Emails from PG&E’s top lobbyist Brian Cherry to his boss claim that Brown personally intervened with a PUC Commissioner to persuade him to approve a natural gas-fired power plant called Oakley for the utility. In a January 1, 2013 email, Cherry described a New Year’s Eve dinner with Peevey where Peevey reminded him “how he and Governor Brown used every ounce of persuasion to get [Commissioner Mark] Ferron to change his mind and vote for Oakley…Jerry’s direct plea was decisive.” PG&E donated $20,000 to the California Democratic Party the day after the PUC voted for the project. An appeals court would later strike down the decision because PG&E had not proved its necessity.
  • While PG&E’s lobbyist and then-PUC President Michael Peevey fed names to Brown’s executive secretary, former PG&E vice president Nancy McFadden, to appoint the critical swing-vote PUC commissioner who would cast pro-utility votes, PG&E donated $75,000 to the California Democratic Party. The same day that Brown appointed ex-banker Mark Ferron to the commission, PG&E donated another $41,500. The appointment lifted the value of PG&E’s stock and the PG&E stock held by McFadden and valued as high as $1 million.

For the FPPC letter announcing the investigation, go here:

To read Brown’s Dirty Hands, go here:

For a video on the report, go here:…

As this FPPC investigation proceeds, the big corporate money behind Governor Jerry Brown's controversial environmental policies is facing increasing scrutiny from public trust advocates. November 4 will be the second anniversary of the passage of Proposition 1, Governor Jerry Brown’s controversial water bond, a measure that fishing groups, California Indian Tribes, grassroots conservation groups and environmental justice advocates opposed because they considered it to be a water grab for corporate agribusiness and Big Money interests.

Proponents of Proposition 1 contributed a total of $21,820,691 and spent a total of $19,538,153 on the successful campaign. The contributors are a who’s who of Big Money interests in California, including corporate agribusiness groups, billionaires, timber barons, Big Oil. the tobacco industry and the California Chamber of Commerce. They provide a quick snapshot of the corporate interests behind the questionable environmental policies of Brown. For more information, go to:

Background: Brown’s real environmental legacy exposed

While Jerry Brown often receives fawning coverage from the mainstream media when he appears at climate conferences in California and across the globe, his policies on fish, wildlife, water and the environment are among the most destructive of any governor in recent California history.

The Governor’s “legacy project,” the Delta Tunnels/California Water Fix, poses a huge threat to the ecosystems of the Sacramento, San Joaquin, Klamath and Trinity river systems. The project is based on the untenable premise that taking more water out of a river before it reaches the estuary will somehow “restore” the San Francisco Bay Delta and its precious fish and wildlife species.

Unfortunately, the California WaterFix is not the only environmentally devastating policy promoted by Governor Jerry Brown. Brown is promoting the expansion of fracking and extreme oil extraction methods in California and is overseeing water policies that are driving winter run-Chinook salmon, Delta and longfin smelt and other species closer and closer to extinction.

As if those examples of Brown’s tainted environmental legacy weren’t bad enough, Brown has promoted carbon trading and REDD policies that pose an enormous threat to Indigenous Peoples around the globe; has done nothing to stop clearcutting of forests by Sierra-Pacific and other timber companies; presided over record water exports from the Delta in 2011; and oversaw massive fish kills of Sacramento splittail and other species in 2011.

Jerry Brown also oversaw the “completion” of so-called “marine protected areas” under the privately funded Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative, overseen by a Big Oil lobbyist and other corporate interests, in December 2012. These faux “Yosemites of the Sea” fail to protect the ocean from oil drilling, fracking, pollution, corporate aquaculture and all human impacts on the ocean other than sustainable fishing and gathering.

Brown spouts “green” rhetoric when he flies off to climate conferences and issues proclamations about John Muir Day and Earth Day, but his actions and policies regarding fish, water and the environment should be challenged by all of those who care about the future of California and the West Coast.

For more information about the real environmental record of Governor JerryBrown, go to:


  1. james marmon September 28, 2016

    “IN A NUTSHELL (sic), there is an expanding population of disturbed persons in Mendocino County but no place to sequester them while they regain themselves.”

    I say, put a fence around the whole County. Security guards at north, south. and east entrances. The Coast Guard can patrol the shoreline so that no one escapes by sea.

    James Marmon MSW

  2. Eric Sunswheat September 28, 2016

    Ranochak/ County Clerk Press Release wrote:
    The November election is a “General Election”, party ballots are not issued, everyone will have the same candidates for the State and Federal offices on the ballot – there is no reason to change your party affiliation to vote for a certain candidate for this election.

    RESPONSE: Ms. Ranochak continues with her bait and switch.

    Huh, there is ‘no reason’, to NOT change your party affiliation, if you are uncomfortable with the designation, as many people had switched party affiliation in Mendocino County for recent Primary election, to specifically vote for their candidate of choice, more often than not, it was to Democratic Party and Bernie Sanders.

    Previously Ranochak testified before the Board of Supervisors, that the ballot counting process election observers for the Primary, were there for the results of Bernie Sanders, who prevailed in County of Mendocino by a large margin.

    Ranochak made no mention of the almost squeaky close race for judge between Faulder and Pekin, a contest with accounting results which could have been contentious.

    State election observation law was allegedly not complied with, which could have been contested with in some fashion, if Pekin had not so quickly given up and conceded, apparently satisfied with the favorable publicity he had received for his law practice.

  3. Bill Pilgrim September 28, 2016

    re: The POTUS election. If I may reword a comment by Frank Zappa: “Politics is the entertainment division of the military-industrial-complex.”

    • BB Grace September 28, 2016

      Since Zappa, it’s now the global nuclear military industrial complex.

      The Neocons have returned to the Plantation Party under Clinton who represents the UN Agenda 2030, which Trump opposes. It’s that clear cut for les deplorables.

      Stein and Johnson are also globalists but won’t support Clinton because wiping Israel off the map for Islam and Arab supremacy (Moabs are not Palestinians – Egyptians like Arafat are not Palestinains except in the collective imagination of anti-semites, including Favians) who contine to blame Jews that are Palestinians in the name of anti-Zionism (The Brittish Double Cross).

  4. Jim Updegraff September 28, 2016

    For those who might care I will be leaving early tomorrow on a trip to Mass, Maine, and VT to visit family and friends – will not take my lap top with me – I do not want to be bothered by the internet. Will return late October 12th.

    Watched a little of the debate. The only people stupider than Deadbeat Donnie are those that vote for him; It looked like he was having difficulty standing for the full 90 minutes which is no surprise. At 6 ft 2″ and 275 lbs he is obese stage 2. He is a prime candidate for a stroke or a heart attack. I wonder if he knew Dr. Oz was a Muslim?
    Just as well Stein got kicked out – probably was going to make a fool out of herself- what a joke the Green Party is.

  5. james marmon September 28, 2016

    Someone once said, “all politics are local.” Well I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. Which Presidential candidate is going to be best for us locally? We’re sending a lot of timber up to Eureka which is being shipped to China and being milled into lumber there. Millions of board feet each day is being put on barges destined to the far east.

    Now the Fisher Family whose timber holdings are in both Humboldt and Mendocino Counties have huge investments in China. Profits from their sales to China are staying in China, they are not coming back to the States. Taxes on that money is keeping it out, just as Trump claims.

    One of my first jobs as a young man was working at a lumber mill in Cloverdale, at the Preston Bridge. At that time there was about 20 different family owned sawmills in and around Cloverdale. Then came the Koch Brothers (LP and GP) who bought out all the local small family sawmills and timber holdings and shut them down. When they got all they wanted from our community they sold their remaining mills and holdings to MRC and HRC (Mendocino Redwood Products) which is owned by the Fisher Family (The Gap) who continues to harvest 3rd and 4th growth generation Redwoods.

    My question is, why aren’t we milling our own logs and selling the lumber to China so that the profits stay here? The answer of course is NAFTA, no rocket scientist needed. Trump wants to bring that money back to the States and stop the corporations owned by the likes of the Fishers from hoarding all that money in overseas bank accounts and investments.

    I miss the smell of sawdust, lets bring those mills back to the community and put some people to work. I think Trump offers the best solutions for our community. The trees are going to be cut anyway, lets create real local jobs, not more social programs for service providers. The Clintons offer nothing but more social programs (Welfare, Child Welfare, and Mental Health) and nothing to prevent the need for such social programs (jobs).

    In a few years only large corporations will be growing marijuana, mom and pop operations will be regulated out. Operation of cooperation’s marijuana farms will provide jobs for more Mexican immigrant farm workers, not for our local young men and women. Mark my word, pot will only be allowed to grown in agricultural zones so that the County can better regulate it and squeeze every sent they can out of it.

    Let’s make Mendocino County great again, before all our dreams literally go puff, “up in smoke.”

    James Marmon MSW

    A few Port Workers and Timber Companies (MRC and HRC) are the only ones benefiting from sending our unmanufactured timber to China, lets spread the wealth again, vote Trump.

    Growing China log export market buoying Humboldt County timber and harbor activities

  6. Jim Updegraff September 28, 2016

    James,of course, you realize the cutting of forests is one of the contributing factors to global warming. Trump is a racist, religious bigot and a misogynist. If you support Trump may we assume you support these views,

  7. Eric Sunswheat September 28, 2016

    Mr. Marmon wrote: “My question is, why aren’t we milling our own logs and selling the lumber to China so that the profits stay here? The answer of course is NAFTA, no rocket scientist needed.”

    RESPONSE: Don’t quit your day job just yet. NAFTA is not involved, with across Pacific trade. Also no profit in it, as China is often buying better logs elsewhere. China usually builds with concrete and steel.

    What China calls ‘old Redwood’, is different species including teak for furniture, globally. They also buy construction pallet log material from north of here. China is buying eastern USA hardwoods, and shipping finished product back for sale to US as cabinets, etc.

    MRC has often historically been selling milled Redwood lumber to US retail through Home Depot. Most of it is no longer tight grain old growth which gave rot resistance. Tan oak kill spray activists would have more info.

  8. james marmon September 28, 2016

    Money Does Grow on Trees as U.S. Forest Product Exports Set Record

    “The United States’ top exports to China – hardwood lumber and softwood logs – accounted for nearly three-quarters of all U.S. forest product exports in FY 2014. While hardwood lumber has always been a top U.S. export to China, exports to China began to surge in 2009, realizing 100-percent annual growth. In FY 2014, the United States exported more than $1 billion in hardwood lumber to China. While the majority of this growth is due to increased volume, prices have also risen steadily (about 40 percent over the last five years).”

  9. malcolmlorne September 28, 2016

    Concerning Mr. Marmon’s comments on the Koch brothers: Koch Industries, Inc. acquired Georgia-Pacific in 2005, after its largest mill in Mendocino County had already shut down.
    Malcolm Macdonald

  10. james marmon September 29, 2016

    You’re right Malcolm, I caught that right after I posted my comment. I was hoping no one else caught it, lol. I should have just said LP and GP. Thanks for setting the record straight, I hope that the Koch Brothers don’t send their lawyers after me. The closing of that GP mill devastated Fort Bragg. A old friend of mine worked there for over 25 years and is now one of the County’s homeless and AVA frequent flyers. China came out on the winning end anyway, that’s all that matters.

    The moral of the story is, “don’t just believe what James Marmon says, research it.”

  11. james marmon September 30, 2016

    Not only do I think we should rewrite NAFTA/GATT, I think we should open up more logging in our national forests. All that timber would have to be milled in America. Laws prevent logs from national forests from being exported whole. They will have to be milled here before being exported to China as lumber. It might hurt MRC but it would eventually put a lot a people back to work in lumber mills. There’s a lot of benefits in logging national forests then just economics alone, such as fire suppression. Screw these large private corporations and their control of the timber industry.

    Make America Great again.

    House OKs more logging in national forests, including in California

    • james marmon September 30, 2016

      I’m not your ordinary everyday social worker, there’s nothing normal about me.

      It probably would be no surprise to discover my second favorite book and movie is another Ken Kesey creation, “Sometimes a Great Notion.” My father John Woolley was a gyppo logger, I was setting chokers and bumping knots by the age of ten, so were my brothers Steve, Bill, and Dan. Sometimes all four of us set behind dad, we would team up to get the job done. I suppose dad would be arrested and jailed for doing that these days.

      “Sometimes a Great Notion is Ken Kesey’s second novel, published in 1964. While One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1962) is arguably more famous, many critics consider Sometimes a Great Notion Kesey’s magnum opus.[1] The story involves an Oregon family of gyppo loggers who cut and procure trees for a local mill in opposition to striking, unionized workers.

      Kesey took the title from the song “Goodnight, Irene”, popularized by Lead Belly.

      Sometimes I lives in the country
      Sometimes I lives in town
      Sometimes I take a great notion
      To jump into the river an’ drown”

      James Marmon MSW

  12. Mike October 9, 2016

    Very happy to see the defense of the county clerk by one of the observers, a bernie supporter.

    She noted the key thing, which i would characterize myself as an example of the combustibility of hostility and imagination.

    I was an election observer for the ballot opening and counting in the hot point arena election.

    Susan, Katrina very friendly, accommodating, and straight arrow, completely professional.

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