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Mendocino County Today: Monday, Oct. 17, 2016

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It's raining; it's pouring.

The old man is snoring.

He went to bed and bumped his head,

And didn’t wake up the next morning.

It's raining; it's pouring.

The old woman is snoring.

She went to bed and bumped her head,

And she couldn't get up in the morning.

It's raining; it's pouring.

The old man is snoring.

He went to bed and bumped his head,

And he couldn't get up in the morning.

It's raining; it's pouring.

The old woman is snoring.

She went to bed and bumped her head,

And she couldn't get up in the morning.

It's raining; it's pouring.

The old children are snoring.

They went to bed and bumped their heads,

And they couldn't get up in the morning.

(— Mother Goose)

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(not including Sunday afternoon)


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FORT BRAGG CITY COUNCIL: Bernie Norvell and Will Lee. Insurgent candidates rightly unhappy with the present direction of the town, Norvell and Lee will be level-headed councilmen in the tradition of Cimolino and Peters.

POINT ARENA CITY COUNCIL: We think Ignacio is a good choice, as are Anna Dobbins and Barbara Burkey. We've made it clear that we think $50,000 for a part-time city manager for 449 people (less than 200 voters) is fiscally nuts, and would vote out anybody, except perhaps Ignacio unless he said the acts of contrition, who thought it was wise. But, there's no indication that any of the present council or the would-be council people think anything is amiss at PA's big spending on its little government.

UKIAH CITY COUNCIL: Crane has long been a voice of sanity on a council dominated by loons until very recently. He's running unopposed because Ukiah seems to understand he's consistently looked out for the wider interests of the town. Scalmanini, a lockstep lib of the dumbest, least imaginative type, seems to have wandered in off Highway 101 ("Is this Arcata? Where am I?") and was promptly appointed to Ukiah government, one more example of our observation that total strangers often wind up in elected government in the County. Scalmanini is now mayor of a town that pays its city manager a quarter of a mil a year to "manage" 16,000 people. Scalmanini and friends have so far kept CostCo out of Ukiah although everyone except them wants it.

ALLEN CARTER is Ukiah's town treasurer. He's running unopposed. He apparently thinks Ukiah is a Swiss watch of civic functioning or we would have heard from him "Yo! Al! I think the money has disappeared, and the guy who says he's the mayor is hitchhiking south on 101."

WILLITS CITY COUNCIL: We think Madge Strong has been a consistent voice of reason, and we think former Willits Police Chief, Gerardo Gonzalez would make a sound councilman. Bruce Burton is a tad too reactionary for our tastes but we think he's correct on dope issues. Jolly Holly Madrigal is a pleasant person but rather too much of a lockstep lib on a range of issues, especially pot.

COAST HOSPITAL BOARD: Fine little community hospital going broke because of years of bad management. We think Kaye Handley will be an independent voice, but we will defer to Malcolm Macdonald on this one. Malcolm?


I'm planning to write (later this week) about the candidate forum the LWV held in Fort Bragg Friday night, but here's my short answer:

Tanya Smart for the two year term

Kaye Handley and Steve Lund for the four year terms

Handley is a no nonsense recent retiree from the financial world (MBA) many years working with indebted organizations. She has asked tough questions while a member of MCDHl Finance Committee the last year.

Lund is a retired school superintendent (which might immediately disqualify him in some minds) who has ramrodded the passage of two bond measures during his superintendency in Fort Bragg.

Smart is the spouse of the last remaining full time obstetrician on the coast and a college instructor in her own right. She has been attending Board and committee meetings throughout this year, asking needed questions about where the hospital is going.

Fuller explanation about the reasons not to vote for some of the other candidates in the article on the candidates forum.

MENDO REC & PARK DISTRICT: Lee Edmundson? Nice guy, although that would be argued by some, and a loyal Mendolib footman. In lieu of Hillary herself on Park and Rec, this middle of the road extremist is the next best thing. So, you say, you pop off regularly on all the Coast stuff but you don't know John Huff and Kirk Marshall? We follow the Hospital board, and we watch the Fort Bragg City Council on tv. The last time the Rec board caught our attention it was that cockamamie notion to build a golf course on GP land out on Highway 20. Are there any issues with Coast Park and Rec?

CITY OF UKIAH, SALES TAX INCREASE. Ukiah needs money because (1) the crazy people on the city council spent money on crazy stuff which, of course, is what happens when crazy people get themselves elected. And the city manager makes a quarter mil a year, which is absolutely certifiable. Impose some discipline on your wacky government, Ukiah! Don't just keep on bumping the sales tax every time the drones at city hall give themselves more money. Vote NO on this one.

CITY OF UKIAH sales tax increase, if passed, should go exclusively to for street repairs. YES. If it's passed.

CITY OF FORT BRAGG bed tax increase. NO. Fort Bragg, like all Mendocino County's little towns, has been captured by loose-to-incompetent city councils who pay their managers (and their manager's pals on the city payrolls) far too much money. Fort Bragg has made a series of bad spending decisions. Boosting the bed tax basically makes it harder for the few businesses that make money for the city. NO.

SHOULD FORT BRAGG use the bed tax bump to spend half the money to market Fort Bragg, enhance Coast trail "security," establish a Marine Sciences center, support tourism, and "benefit the community," and maybe even fix up the town's athletic fields? These are the priorities as established by the present city council majority. Note that the most important comes last. More people, including the town's thriving youth sports, in FB than would benefit from promoting tourism, whatever is meant by tourist promotion. (Paying people to sip wine in San Francisco with travel writers?) Is the Coast Trail somehow insecure? I wouldn't boost the town's bed tax to pay for any of this except guaranteed sports field maintenance, and that spending is clearly not a priority here.

POINT ARENA wants to do the same as Fort Bragg, boost its bed tax to do promos and fund its 4th of July celebration, with a few begrudged bucks maybe possibly if there's any money left over, maintain the Pier and the area around the Pier. PA pays its part-time city manager $50,000 a year. The City can't be trusted to spend wisely. A bed tax on the few rooms it has for rent to pay for firecrackers and an ad in the Chron's travel section? NO.

POINT ARENA MARIJUANA TAX. Whatever tax might be generated by selling dope inside the city limits would go to the same vague (except for Pier maintenance) promotionals as PA's proposed hike in the bed tax. There's no evidence whatsoever that the County's million bucks brings anybody to any area of Mendocino County. People come here because they know it's beautiful (once you get past Ukiah and Willits). Everyone knows we're here. There's no need to advertise. The County's promo people are close to the city governments of the county. It's all an inside game, and a silly, expensive one at that. Marijuana tax revenue is a pipe dream. (sic) NO.

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Letter to the Editor:

Mendocino County receives $27 million dollars annually to provide Mental Health Services. With passage of Measures AG and AH, this money will be spent in our County instead of being sent to other counties. The money will be spent on services in our own Psychiatric Health Facility, Crisis Residential Treatment Center and Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center. The money will pay for services provided by people who live here.

We want excellent integrated treatment that includes both medical and complementary. This combination can be a magnet for mental health professionals to want to work here. We want Mendocino College to offer the Psych Tech Program that will provide workers we need now and in the future.

Measures AG and AH will provide the facilities for Mental Health Services that will be paid for with the $27 million dollars of state and federal money we receive each year. Right now, much of that money is sent to other counties for inadequate services and some of it seems to just disappear into County coffers named Special, Reserve, Contingency and more. Having the Mental Health Facilities we need with the 11-member Oversight Committee scrutinizing expenditures, will help stop the current bleed of millions of dollars of mental health patient money.

Sonya Nesch, Author

Advocating for Someone with a Mental Illness


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Bud Rawles, a one-time resident of Anderson Valley, passed away in Texas on June 27, 2016 where he had lived since 1973. Bud's parents were Beryl and Maud Rawles and his paternal grandparents were Joseph William and Hetty Vestal Rawles, a very old-time family of Anderson Valley.

Bud Rawles is survived by his loving wife Jolene, sons Robert and Kelly all of Buckholts, Texas, and his daughter Lori Miller of Austin, Texas. Bud was born December 30, 1931 and was in hospice at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Temple, Texas. Bud was a Bahl Kimmie.

(Bill Brazil, Mendocino)

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by Julie Johnson

Top 10 California counties for gun sales (2001-2015)

  1. Shasta County: Average gun sales per 100,000 people: 6,460. Long guns: 3,831 Handguns: 2,629. Long guns by percent: 59% Population: 178,592
  2. Colusa County: Average gun sales per 100,000 people: 5,919. Long guns: 4,684 Handguns: 1,235. Long guns by percent: 79% Population: 21,948
  3. Lassen County: Average gun sales per 100,000 people: 3,763. Long guns: 2,257 Handguns: 1,506. Long guns by percent: 60% Population: 30,780
  4. Humboldt County: Average gun sales per 100,000 people: 3,750. Long guns: 2,383 Handguns: 1,367. Long guns by percent: 64% Population: 135,116
  5. Placer County: Average gun sales per 100,000 people: 3,693. Long guns: 2,125 Handguns: 1,568. Long guns by percent: 58% Population: 373,796
  6. Butte County: Average gun sales per 100,000 people: 3,453. Long guns: 2,083 Handguns: 1,370. Long guns by percent: 60% Population: 222,090
  7. Mendocino County: Average gun sales per 100,000 people: 3,382. Long guns: 1,957 Handguns: 1,425. Long guns by percent: 58% Population: 88,378
  8. Tuolumne County: Average gun sales per 100,000 people: 3,241. Long guns: 1,990 Handguns: 1,251. Long guns by percent: 61% Population: 54,900
  9. Inyo County: Average gun sales per 100,000 people: 3,205. Long guns: 2,118 Handguns: 1,091. Long guns by percent: 66% Population: 18,650
  10. Sacramento County: Average gun sales per 100,000 people: 3,196. Long guns: 1,070 Handguns: 2,126. Long guns by percent: 33% Population: 1,495,297

Source: California Department of Justice

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Napa County: Average gun sales per 100,000 people: 1,894. Long guns: 1,132 Handguns: 762. Long guns by percent: 60% Population: 142,028

Lake County: Average gun sales per 100,000 people: 1,696. Long guns: 902 Handguns: 793. Long guns by percent: 53% Population: 64,306

Sonoma County: Average gun sales per 100,000 people: 1,551. Long guns: 942 Handguns: 609. Long guns by percent: 61% Population: 501,959

Source: California Department of Justice

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PEOPLE BUY GUNS MORE FREQUENTLY in Mendocino County than nearly any other part of California, according to data released last week by the California Department of Justice.

The county ranked seventh in gun sales, per person, among California’s 58 counties, according to a report that examined the types of guns people purchase and where they buy them.

About 34 guns were sold per 1,000 people each year since 2001 in the forested and rugged North Coast county. Only six counties — all rural and located in Northern California — registered higher rates of gun sales. Shasta County topped the list, with about 65 guns sold annually per 1,000 people during the period.

About 16 guns were sold per 1,000 people in Sonoma County each year, which ranked 35th statewide.

“In any kind of rural area where law enforcement could be an hour away, you’re going to see a strong increase in gun ownership,” Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman said.

Since 2007, guns have been flying off the shelves across the state, soaring 240% following a decade-long plateau, according to the state data. Experts say gun sales rise when lawmakers introduce legislation to restrict weapons and ammunition, during Democratic presidential administrations and after mass shootings.

Firearms sales jumped after the June 12 mass shooting that killed 49 people and injured at least 50 at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Background checks of people trying to buy guns climbed 40 percent in June and July of this year compared to last year, according to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

The state figures, published through the Attorney General’s Office “Open Justice” data program, are like sales receipts. They don’t reflect how many guns are owned by residents of a county. The guns are registered, but gun owners are not.

While gun sales per capita are higher in Mendocino County, far more guns are sold in Sonoma County, which has nearly six times the population as Mendocino.

Each day, an average of 13 handguns and nine rifles or shotguns were sold in Sonoma County since 2001. About eight guns total were sold each day in Mendocino and Napa counties, with about 60% being rifles and shotguns.

At Pacific Outfitters in Ukiah, “our most popular gun is anything small and concealable,” said Chris Ostrom, whose family opened its first outdoor recreation shop in Eureka in 1968.

“The conceal-carry market here is huge,” Ostrom said.

Also popular are semi-automatic assault rifles like the AR-15, Ostrom said. Often touted as the most popular gun in the country, the AR-15 is easy enough that “My grandpa that’s 88 years old and my daughter that’s 9 years old, both can shoot it,” he said.

California’s gun laws are strict and more regulations taking effect in January will further clamp down on the assault rifle market, he said. Ostrom said Californians can buy fewer than 10 percent of the kinds of handguns available elsewhere because of its laws.

Ammo Plus, located on North State Street in Ukiah, recently stopped selling guns after 15 years because of “too much paperwork,” store clerk Jesus Padilla said.

California’s surge in gun sales comes amid a decades long drop in violent crime, although violent crime rose 10 percent between 2014 and last year. In contrast, aggravated assaults and robberies decreased in Mendocino County.

“We haven’t seen an increase in gun crimes, we haven’t seen an increase in gun thefts or any type of gun violence,” Allman said.

Allman said he didn’t think the prevalence of marijuana in Mendocino County played a role in his county’s strong gun sales.

“You’re always going to have people buying guns for several reasons, mainly hunting and home protection,” Allman said.

Mendocino County is a prime hunting destination and regularly ranks among the top five counties in the state for large game, such as wild boar and bear. Ostrom said the bear take is high in a county where deer hunting and logging are popular.

Other gun facts provided by the state Attorney General’s Office “OpenJustice” data program:

Sacramento, San Bernardino, Ventura and Riverside counties disproportionately contributed to the growth of gun sales in California.

The most popular gun makers were Smith & Wesson, Glock and Ruger, in terms of guns sold in 2015.

Less than 2% of recorded gun transactions take place at gun shows in California.

Sales of long guns (rifles and shotguns) increased 75% in the two years prior to 2014, when a new law required new record-keeping standards for these types of guns.

More than one million guns are expected to be sold in California this year.

View the data at

(The Santa Rosa Press Democrat)

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On Oct. 13, 2016 at approximately 6:03 P.M., Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were contacted by fugitive recovery agents regarding a subject named Joshua Thomas, 33, of Covelo, with multiple warrants for his arrest. The fugitive recovery agents had been searching for Thomas in the Covelo area because he had multiple warrants issued for his arrest in Mendocino County and San Luis Obispo County. Deputies learned that Thomas was being transported by ambulance to Howard Memorial Hospital and the fugitive recovery agents were following the ambulance. Deputies responded to the Howard Memorial Hospital Emergency Room where they contacted Thomas who was identified by his license photograph. Sheriff's Office dispatch confirmed Thomas had two active felony arrest warrants from Mendocino County for Providing False Identification Assault with a Deadly Weapon. Sheriff's Office dispatch confirmed Thomas had two active misdemeanor warrants from the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office for multiple drug charges and failure to appear. Deputies placed Thomas under arrest without incident for the aforementioned warrants. Thomas was subsequently booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $120,000 bail for the Mendocino County felony warrants and $15,000 bail for both of the San Luis Obispo County warrants.

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On Oct. 14, 2016 at approximately 12:30 P.M., Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies received a call for service regarding criminal threats occurring at a residence in the 32000 block of North Harbor Drive in Fort Bragg. Deputies responded to another location in Fort Bragg where they contacted an adult female. During their contact with the 57-year old adult female, Deputies learned she and Kurtis Hawkins, 60, of Fort Bragg, were cohabitating partners and both had just been involved in a verbal argument at their residence. During that argument Hawkins told the adult female he would shoot it out with law enforcement officers if she called 9-1-1. The adult female subsequently left the location and contacted law enforcement. Hawkins also left the residence to an unknown location. At approximately 4:00 P.M. Deputies arrived at the adult female's residence after she called 9-1-1 to report that Hawkins returned to the location. Deputies continued their investigation into the incident and learned Hawkins had vandalized personal property belonging to the adult female upon his return to the residence. It was also learned that an incident took place prior to 10-14-2016 where Hawkins pointed a pistol at the adult female and made statements that placed her in fear for her life. During their contact with Hawkins, he made threats of violence towards the Deputies and refused to follow simple directions. Hawkins was ultimately arrested for assaulting the adult female with a firearm making criminal threats towards her, vandalizing her property, and attempting to deter law enforcement officers through threat of violence. Hawkins was transported to the Mendocino County Jail after being served with an emergency protective order granted by a judge. At approximately 9:30 P.M., Deputies were dispatched to contact the adult female regarding a violation of the emergency protective order. Deputies determined Hawkins violated the emergency protective order after he arrived at the Mendocino County Jail. As a result, Hawkins was additionally booked on violation of a protective order and he was to be held in lieu of $200,000 bail.

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On Oct. 15, 2016 at approximately 9:30 A.M., Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to a possible domestic disturbance in the 24000 block of Mendocino Pass Road in Covelo. While investigating the possible domestic disturbance, which was unfounded, Deputies discovered Angela Furia, 42, of Covelo, had three active warrants for her arrest. Two of these warrants were out of Mendocino County and the third was out of Sonoma County. All three warrants were for failure to appear, with one of the Mendocino County warrants being a felony warrant and the other two warrants being misdemeanor warrants. Furia was arrested on all three warrants and booked into the Mendocino County Jail where she was to be held in lieu of $190,000 bail.

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A READER NOTES: "I'm not sure if you have heard of the guy stationing himself on Highway One taking pictures of everyone driving by. He takes both still pictures and movies. His name is Craig Johnston and his website claims he is based in Mendocino, but he seems to be from Colorado. He's got a business as described at his website taking photos of people driving up and down Highway One. He probably doesn't know that a lot of people around here, particularly at this time of year, don't like strangers taking pictures of them and their transportation.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, October 16, 2016

Alejandres-Bravo, Bass, Buttrey
Alejandres-Bravo, Bass, Buttrey

JOSE ALEJANDRES-BRAVO, Willits. Probation revocation.

BRANDON BASS, Ukiah. Drunk in public.

KENNETH BUTTREY, Willits. Failure to appear.

Campos, Cantaroni, Escareno
Campos, Cantaroni, Escareno

GABRIEL CAMPOS, Ukiah. Probation revocation, resisting.

LAURA CANTARONI, Ukiah. Cutting down, destroying, injuring any kind of wood or timber, probation revocation.

MARCOS ESCARENO, Manchester. Parole/Probation revocation.

Furia, Hanover, Harpe
Furia, Hanover, Harpe

ANGELA FURIA, Covelo. Protective order violation, failure to appear.

THOMAS HANOVER JR. Ukiah. Domestic battery, contempt of court.

JEFFREY HARPE, Ukiah. Drunk in public.

Hawkins, Hensley, Nieto
Hawkins, Hensley, Nieto

KURTIS HAWKINS, Fort Bragg. Assaut with firearm, criminal threats, vandalism, resisting, protective order violation.

CHARLES HENSLEY, Ukiah. Drunk in public, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

RAMON NIETO, Willits. Probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

Pratt, Reynoso, Rodriguez
Pratt, Reynoso, Rodriguez

JEREMY PRATT, Wasilla/Hopland. Drunk in public.

NOE REYNOSO, Ukiah. Drunk in public.

RICHARD RODRIGUEZ, Lower Lake/Ukiah. Vehicle theft, misdemeanor hit&run, personal use of firearm.

Sanchez, Venturi, Wood
Sanchez, Venturi, Wood

SAMUEL SANCHEZ, Ukiah. Drunk in public, petty theft, mandatory supervision sentence. (Frequent flyer.)

JOSEPH VENTURI, Ukiah. County parole & community supervision violation.

TROY WOOD, Willits. Community supervision violation.

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99% of local government operations are conducted out of the public’s view; the 1% we can see is carefully orchestrated and obviously scripted by administrative insiders and impervious elected officials (with extra-special “special immunities” and full time attorneys to protect them).

Examples of the flagrant misuse of government authority are highlighted frequently in AVA reportage of various city and county government operations in Mendocino County, which have proven to be impervious to public opinion — no matter how well reasoned or generously crafted — because the authorities technically “comply” with Government Code 54950-54963 (“the Brown Act”).

Under the Brown Act, you are entitled to attend any meeting for which fixed agendas are “posted” in “public” places a certain number of days or hours ahead of the scheduled event. (The agency determines the appropriate posting location, which is up to you to find.)

You are entitled to address the governing body of the agency according to the agency’s rules for complying with the Brown Act (requiring the opportunity for the public to “comment”). Sometimes, during the "public comment period" on an agenda item, you may be allowed to ask questions; but there is no requirement of the agency to answer questions accurately or truthfully. (Individuals who trouble themselves to learn the subject matter in order to ask intelligent questions are commonly derogated in the time-tested method of “ad hominem” argumentation, obviating the necessity to answer in the first place.)

You are entitled to request copies of available documents through state Public Records Act and federal Freedom of Information Act procedures if local agencies are unwilling to provide them voluntarily. (The easiest way to minimize the information available is not to produce it in the first place, or refer to an information source that is unavailable to the public.)

You are also entitled to seek appointment to “boards, committees, and commissions” created by the governmental agencies, required by Government Code 54970-54974 (the "Maddy Act”).

[In Sonoma County (

Mendocino County (

and even in Calaveras County (

This is easily accomplished on line. Lake County is inexplicably unwilling to provide this access to the public, thus adding another layer of complexity to any effort to “participate” in local policy matters.]

Exponentially compounding that complexity of the public’s "right to know" is the standard practice of hiring private non-profit corporations to implement publicly-funded government services.

Private non-profit corporations are not required to “show you the money” as long as their legally-appointed board of directors approve the spending of public dollars. (Questions of accountability for public funds threaten the authority of these boards of directors and their cosseted administrative employees; even attempting to look for minutes of the meetings can upset some organizations, so watch your step.) And who appoints those board members? The governmental agencies that hire them.

Non-profit private corporations cannot be held accountable for service delivery practices that are conducted under the contracted authority of the governmental agency that hires them. In the case of federally-funded public benefit programs managed by local agencies, only the funding source has the authority and responsibility to ensure program compliance, and multiple layers of agency administration processes add to the opacity of publicly-funded management results (i.e., “what you see is what you get”).

When "what you get" is dependent on social status and unquestioning obiesance, what you get is the product of cynically self-interested power brokers. Just look at the County of Lake.

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It’s “October in the Railroad Earth,” a novella of life in the city. Here’s a snippet:

“There was a little alley in San Francisco back of the Southern Pacific station at Third and Townsend in redbrick of drowsy lazy afternoons with everybody at work in offices in the air you feel the impending rush of their commuter frenzy as soon they’ll be charging en masse from Market and Sansome buildings on foot and in buses and all well dressed thru workingman Frisco of Walkup?? truck drivers and even the poor grime-bemarked Third Street of lost bums even Negroes as hopeless and long left East and meanings of responsibility and try and now all they do is stand there spitting in the broken glass sometimes fifty in one afternoon at Third and Howard and here’s all those Millbrae and San Carlos neat-necktied producers and commuters of America and Steel civilization rushing by with San Francisco Chronicles and green Call-Bulletins and not even enough time to be disdainful they’ve got to catch 130, 132, 134, 136 all the way up to 146 till the time of evening supper in homes of the railroad earth when high in the sky the magic stars ride above the following hotshot freight trains — it’s all in California…”

— Jack Kerouac

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I wrote yesterday about “Locker-Room Banter”. Unwarranted physical contact is never OK. I have spent years around the coffee table in both Fire and Police houses. In the early years, circa ’70-’80’s there were no women. Everything was fair game. No subjects were off the table. Except someones cooking! Them’s fightin’ words! Not right or wrong but that was the way it was. Females have infiltrated the ranks and let me tell you from experience they like to dish it out (Super Nasty) but can’t take it. Call a man a fatass and he will blow it off or face ridicule. Grow a skin for cryin’ out loud. Call a female a fatass and she takes it to heart. TFB. I have had females give me hugs at work or a neck message and promptly told them to knock it off. Just like there is no crying in baseball there is no hugging at the Firehouse. Maybe later at the clubhouse when I saved your ass but that is acceptable. A lady on a plane can most certainly ask to change seats if she feels uncomfortable. The plane is packed with people. Is no one watching?

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HERE I WOULD LIKE TO SAY A WORD for the spectacular illusions under which American voters once were able to operate. You used to be able to like your guy — to admire your candidate and imagine unknown virtues he no doubt possessed that would be revealed in time, in books. Those illusions were beautiful. They gave clean energy to the engine of our politics. You can’t have illusions anymore. That souring, which is based on knowledge and observation as opposed to mere cynicism, is painful to witness and bear. The other day a conservative intellectual declared to her fellow writers and thinkers: “I’m for the venal idiot who won’t mechanize government against all I hold dear.” That’s some bumper sticker, isn’t it? And who has illusions about Mrs. Clinton? No one.

— Peggy Noonan

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Hola Editor:

Another year of good news and cheer, please. (Renewal enclosed.)

Oh my heart goes pit-a-pat in anticipation of the tales of snappish pit bulls and their half-eaten audience. Oh, the tasteful portraits of the mauled and stricken. The wrath of the trust fund elites and the whines of the preterite thralls who always factor in for a vote against something — and always the hope of that full frontal nude shot of Supervisor Smith.


Ignacio Hephalumpe

Bellingham, Washington

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Dear Editor,

I taught science in Novato for 37 years. Before I was a teacher I was a member of the Navy submarine service. Early in 1959, Russia stated that they were coming into West Berlin and the United States and its allies were to be out by May 30.

The response by the United States was to secretly send the submarines out into the North Atlantic to protect our ships from Russian submarines if Russia was going to attack.

On May 28 the sub I was on, the Grenadier, encountered a Russian sub. We follow the Russian sub and after an underwater chase, it surfaced. We discovered it was carrying missiles. This was new information to the intelligence community of the United States. As a result of this, many things were changed to make this country safer.

Had the Russians known of our secret mission, lives would have been at risk, particularly if they were going to attack. President Eisenhower was made aware of this event at the time it was happening.

When we got back to port we were given a bad time for keeping the President up walking the floor. I wanted to tell my parents that they were not the only ones I kept up, but the mission was secret so they never knew. In 1998 part of this story came out in a book called "Blind Man's Bluff."

I write this to encourage our leaders in Washington to keep secrets secret.

Tom Page


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I am working with KZYX and hopefully other business to bring fiberoptic broadband to our valley. If anyone has an interest in this please contact me via and mention fiberoptics Broadband.

As you may know, cellular is not serving our community uniformly and ATT is doing a terrible job of maintaining its wired system with a clear attempt to give it up.

Wired connections still are crucial to rural communication and as Tokyo during the Fukushima disaster proved, wired phones saved the day as it could of in New York during Sandy storm. Folks should be advised to keep there wired phones if nothing else for emergencies or incoming calls.

The redundancy of this very stable wired system is crucial. ATT seems to think we all want wireless systems. What they don't seem to want to understand is in our geographic/forested areas, cellular is not uniform and does not operate! Only recently did they improve their single Fiber optic line towards redundancy. As you may recall they left the North Coast and entire county in a terrible limbo when all emergency and broadband lines crashed. Thankfully some of the alternative broadband providers do not use ATT as a source.

Readers should be advised that broadband does not mean wireless, it means literally a broader band of fast internet. There is a non ATT level three line in the valley that we can tap.

This opportunity to tell the CPUC how terrible our broadband and phone system is, is very important.

Take the time to do the survey. Perhaps the utility biased CPUC will do something for us, who they are supposed to protect and serve as we pay them. Sadly the CPUC is appointed by the Governor and with the quick removal of the compromised chair Peavy, it is clear that the governor is doing a terrible job of monitoring the CPUC and elected officer would better serve us.

Let me provide an example of the scam. We waited to talk to a Judge who was overseeing the Smartmeter transition. That was at least 8 years ago and nothing happened per hours of citizen response. Then Chair Peavy simply sat on it, so that we got charged for "meter readings" if we opted out. Folks with significant impacts per Smartmeters, could live in dense locations where opting out was impossible (i.e. Apartments etc.)

There is a clear violation of lobbying CPUC members and junkets that should be stopped.

The San Bruno gas line explosion clearly underscores the lack of attention the CPUC is making towards PG&E as is the Smartmeter debacle which by the way is not operating in many locations in our valley which means those of us who opted out have paid for meter reading for others with smartmeters. Currently PG&E guesses one month (very poorly sending our rates in higher tiers) and then corrects the next, perhaps forgetting they overcharged us last month. Folks doing automatic payments are being taken for an expensive ride.

Please readers go to

And fill out the forms. Let's let the CPUC know about ATT's crappy combined broadband and phone service that forces many to use alternate cell phones when their home system crashes.


Greg Krouse


PS. This is from Trish Steel of the Mendocino Broadband Alliance.

Hi everyone,

The CPUC is providing an opportunity to hear directly from residents in Mendocino about telephone and broadband issues - through an online 8-question survey. The timing is good too, as we have had our first rain. So, if you are having phone issues or if you have had phone/internet issues in the past, for SURE go fill out this survey. If you want to comment on how the widespread outages of 2014 and 2015 affected you, or if you know where leaning poles, hanging wires, or other facility issues that affect safety/reliability are occurring...this is the place as well.

Personal information (names, addresses, phone numbers) will be protected/redacted when the results are posted, so your privacy will be maintained. Please share this survey however you can, on your Facebook page, twitter, email, and with people that you know who have had phone issues (and there are a lot of them). I don’t know how long this survey will be open, so don’t wait! I’ve never seen the CPUC do anything like this, (and believe me — this is a heck of a lot easier than an official filing), so let’s take full advantage of this opportunity. They are examining phone issues in this proceeding and are prepared to act, so the more information they have the better decisions they can make. Thank-you!

PS: Don't forget the AT&T presentation coming up at our Board of Supervisors on Nov. 1st at 10 am on their CAFII funding areas and update on their resiliency plan..

Trish Steel


Find us on Facebook!

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We have two flawed candidates for president of the United States. One is an evident self-serving liar and the other an apparent unapologetic misogynist. One would do her utmost to concentrate as much power as possible within the federal government, siphoning resources from individuals and the private sector to fuel government control of the economy and all individuals’ lives.

The other offers hope of decentralized control of both the economy and society, energizing individual and private-sector initiative to improve the wealth and strength of the country and American citizens of all ethnicities and genders. The choice is crucial. Which path will you take?

Phil Page, San Francisco

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Some 10,000 dogs are shot by police officers every year. What happened to pepper spray?

by Pete Dexter & Jeff Nale

A few quick stories:

In June of last year in a blue-collar suburb of Columbus, Ohio, called Whitehall, a policeman named Jonathan Thomas was walking back to his car after investigating a hit-and-run.

A voice called out from a house in the neighborhood, saying that a woman had cut herself. Thomas walked toward the house and a dog slipped out the front door—40 pounds or so, a mixed breed. Officer Thomas said later that he felt personally threatened, which, as in jurisdictions all over the country, is all the criteria necessary to shoot.

Thomas shot, missed the dog, and hit Ava Ellis instead. Ava was 4 years old at the time, and the bullet shattered her thigh. Her mother held her while they waited for the ambulance, and Ava asked if she was going to die.

Am I going to die? How would you like hearing that question from your own 4-year-old? How would you like hearing that question and not knowing the answer?

The little girl has since gone through several surgeries, which rang up more than a quarter of a million dollars in medical expenses as well as a settlement of $800,000 or so—which city officials paid, before a jury might have potentially imposed a figure more in line with damage that goes well beyond medical bills. Which is to say, you do not just shoot a 4-year-old with a big-bore pistol and declare it’s all over because she regains use of the leg.

The Columbus Police Department had no comment when contacted, and almost 16 months later, the matter is still unsettled; Officer Thomas has not been charged, according to the Columbus Dispatch.

Here is the shooting from the police perspective, offered by Jason Pappas, president of the local Fraternal Order of Police: “This is an unfortunate incident but the officer was within his right to use force to subdue that dog. The dog was presenting a threat to the officer and he was within his right to discharge his firearm.”

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On Feb. 13, 2016, New York Police Department Officer Ruben Cuesta answered a domestic-violence call at an apartment building in the Bronx. Hearing the noise outside, a woman named Yvonne Rosado opened the door to see what kind of noise it was. Her dog, Spike, squirmed out, sniffing the floor, wagging his tail.

Cuesta looked at the animal for perhaps five seconds—a security camera captured the incident on video—and took out his pistol. Rosado began to scream. “Friendly! He’s friendly,” and Spike continued to sniff the floor and wag his tail. He was still wagging his tail when Officer Cuesta shot him in the head.

Cuesta was reportedly sent to a hospital with ringing ears, and the case went to NYPD’s Force Investigation Division, subject to a review board, subject to easing out of public view if and when the New York Daily News finally lets go.

Cuesta was likely told he had what’s called tinnitus—ear-ringing, in layman’s terms—from shooting a dog that was sniffing around on its own stairwell, wagging its tail. Which, by the way, is called being a dog.

The NYPD did not respond to a request for comment on this story, but their Citizen Complaint Review Board recently concluded that Cuesta — who remains on active duty — had abused his authority, and recommended he be retrained.

* * *

A man named Brandon Carpenter and his puppy, Arzy, a 14-month-old mix of Labrador retriever, golden retriever and Newfoundland, hit the town of Sulphur, Louisiana, a western suburb of Lake Charles, in 2014. Brandon and a friend, 21-year-old Logan Laliberte, were on the road from Maine—traveling musicians.

A heavy rainstorm came in suddenly, as rainstorms do in that part of the country, and they saw an open-backed box truck parked in a lot near the local newspaper. They all climbed in—Brandon, Logan, and Arzy—to wait out the storm, and according to Carpenter, they all went to sleep.

Enter some solid citizen who called the police, and soon Officer Brian Thierbach arrived and made the arrest. Brandon tied Arzy to a nearby fence, and the musicians were handcuffed while the officer searched the back of the truck. At one point, according to a newspaper employee who’d seen the police cruiser pull up outside, Thierbach was even petting the puppy for a moment.

Moments later, Thierback turned around and shot the dog—who was still tied to the fence—and then threw its body into a garbage bag. Thierback claimed later that he was nipped on the heel by the puppy, but the newspaper employee said no such thing occurred. Carpenter alleges that Officer Thierbach smirked during the encounter.

Following public uproar Sulphur Chief Lewis Coats said that the officer violated procedure and policy regarding use of force and conduct, and that Thierbach had resigned. Chief Coats added, "The actions of Officer Thierbach did not represent what I expect from the officers of the Sulphur Police Department. Those of us who serve as law enforcement officers do so with the responsibility of serving and protecting the community as professionals."

In the end Thierback pleaded no contest to misdemeanor animal cruelty and was sentenced by David Ritchie of the 14th District of the Court of Louisiana, who said: “I didn’t hear Mr. Carpenter admit he’d done anything wrong. Just because it was raining doesn’t mean he can trespass.”

The judge added that he’d had police training in the military and was taught you never know what to expect.

Still, the cop had pleaded and Judge Ritchie—judges are elected in Louisiana—had to do something. Perhaps he weighed the local sentiment around traveling musicians versus those around local police, before blowing the former cop a kiss —a $250 fine, a short stint with community service, and a year’s probation.

* * *

The U.S. Department of Justice says police officers shoot about 10,000 dogs a year. This when there is not a dog among 50 who won’t run or back off from pepper spray. We don’t pretend to know how many of the shootings are as shameless or reckless as the ones mentioned here, but it’s obvious that as a bottom line you shouldn’t be allowed to kill a dog because you feel “threatened,” which is now the standard.

There are people, after all, who are afraid of all dogs, and some of them are cops.

More to the point, there are also people who don’t value any kind of life but their own kind, and some of them are cops, too. And those are the last people in the world who ought to be cops.

(Courtesy, The Daily Beast)

* * *


On October 11, 2016, the United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit, dealt a devastating blow to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The Court ruled that the structure of the CFPB is unconstitutional. The Court did, however, reject the idea of shutting down the CFPB.


House Republicans hailed the decision as "good for democracy, economic freedom, due process and the Constitution." In truth, the decision speaks to why it has been so hard to bring real reforms to Wall Street, the Dodd-Frank Act notwithstanding.

Our guest is investigative journalist, Arun Gupta.

Gupta has dealt with the CFPB for his story in The Nation about the regulation of inmate debit cards and the prepaid card industry.


The story revealed how important financial regulation is and why the CFPB must be allowed to have a strong hand, and the resources that the CFPB needs to regulate a financial industry that builds many of its products on predatory products and services.

Listen at KMEC Radio on Monday, October 17, at 1 pm at 105.1 FM in Ukiah, CA. We also stream live from the web at All shows are archived and available as podcasts.

John Sakowicz and Sid Cooperrider are our hosts.


  1. Lazarus October 17, 2016

    “Jolly Holly Madrigal is a pleasant person but rather too much of a lockstep lib on a range of issues, especially pot.”

    Ahhh…..unless something has changed, unbeknownst to me, I thought Ms. Madrigal had elected not to be a candidate for Willits City Council this time around. That said with the events in the 3rd District as of late, perhaps she is in communique with the Gov. and studying up for something else?
    As always,

  2. Bruce Anderson October 17, 2016

    Yup. Jolly Holly is not a candidate. (She was still listed as one on the County election sheet.

  3. Jim Armstrong October 17, 2016

    I think weather station CA-MD-9 needs a new rain gauge.

  4. Rick Weddle October 17, 2016

    re: the value of ‘leaders’ and ‘secrecy’ in a democratic republic…

    There’s not any. Free People don’t need leaders and will take some trouble to avoid ’em. And a public servant who engages in any secrecy whatever needs to be dismissed quick, no pension, no secret service protection, no nothing but indictments. A functioning democratic republic (unlike this present stack of disasters) hires and swears into service a set of menials charged with certain chores. The Constitution does a pretty thorough job describing a Lawful arrangement,…again, diametrically unlike the current rotting, exploding edifice.

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