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Mendocino County Today: Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016

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NEARLY CONTINUOUS RAIN FOR THE NEXT WEEK OR SO. Upwards of two inches fell Sunday through Tuesday followed by a short break Wednesday and early Thursday. This will be followed by a string of more than a week of mostly rainy days well into next week with several more inches and temps hovering between the 50s and the 60s and winds not exceeding 15mph. Perfect umbrella weather.


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by Justine Frederiksen

Nearly a year after a judge suggested the city of Ukiah seek mediation instead of a receiver for the Palace Hotel, city officials announced that no agreement has been reached with the building’s owner, Eladia Laines.

Therefore, the city has again petitioned the Mendocino County Superior Court to appoint a receiver to take over the process of rehabilitation from Laines. If a receiver is ultimately hired, Laines would retain ownership of the structure at 272 N. State St., which has remained vacant since she bought it at a tax auction with her former business partners in 1990.

Interior of Palace Hotel, pre-rehab
Interior of Palace Hotel, pre-rehab

After inspecting the building in May of 2011, and finding it in violation of several public safety codes, city staff recommended to the Ukiah City Council that it be declared a public nuisance, a step that would allow the Public Works Department to take control of its rehabilitation.

PalaceRedTagAfter previous councils postponed a vote on that recommendation for nearly four years while hearing regular updates from Laines, a City Council with three new members eventually voted to take the next step in early 2015.

The city then filed a petition in July of 2015, to have a receiver be appointed. When a hearing was held last November, however, visiting Judge Leslie C. Nichols strongly recommended that the city instead try to reach an agreement with Laines outside of the courtroom.

Retired out of Santa Clara County, Nichols sits in on certain cases when an out-of-county judge is requested. In this case, Laines had requested a change of venue, but agreed to instead have an out-of-county judge hear the case.

While mediation was under way, City Attorney David Rapport said that Laines had offered the city at least one settlement proposal, and at one point both sides had at least verbally agreed “to a potential path suggested by the city,” but at the time he was still waiting for both parties to sign the agreement.

On Tuesday, city staff announced that the mediation had ended and another hearing before Nichols has been scheduled for Jan. 3, 2017. A trial, expected to last three days, has also been scheduled for June 5 (2017).

(Courtesy, The Ukiah Daily Journal)

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Mendocino will have to be content with yet another second place finish in the NCL III as they lost 3-0 in Boonville (25-16, 25-23 & 25-15) Tuesday evening. The Mendocino JVs, however, won their last match of the year tonight 2-0 (25-20 & 25-23). Next up, Potter Valley varsity comes to Mendocino Thursday (5pm) for "SENIORS Night." The playoff seeding for Division 6 will be Sunday morning.

(Courtesy, MendocinoSportsPlus)

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To the Editor:

Yes on Measure AF

Dear Mendocino Cannabis Farmers, Medicine Makers & Providers,

First of all, thank you. Thank you. Thank you for keeping our economically depleted county going for all of these years. Thank you for all of the money you bring into local businesses. Thank you for providing local jobs, jobs that pay a living wage. Thank you for providing our medicine. Thank you for doing all of this while carrying the burden of prohibition on your shoulders.

I am writing to offer you an invitation. To transition. To grow a small business. To become civically engaged. To leave prohibition behind. To protect your hard won heritage.

Last year the state passed MCRSA, the Medical Cannabis Regulation & Safety Act. State law now says that cannabis is an agricultural product, and that you have a right to commercially cultivate and earn an honest living doing so. Counties surrounding us have moved forward and joined the regulated cannabis market.

I’m not suggesting this will be easy, or even successful at first. Launching a business is expensive and very hard work. Launching a business with onerous regulation and high tax rates even harder perhaps. But I do suggest you think about what it would feel like to reintegrate. To pay local taxes that will help your community. To belong to trade associations openly as a grower or manufacturer of cannabis. To not have to worry about law enforcement, or child protective services. To have a brand. To celebrate your life’s work openly. To leave your business to your children.

Regulation is here. MCRSA is law. The North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board says that if you are cultivating 2,000 sq ft or more of cannabis, that you are mandated to register with their Cannabis Cultivation Waste Discharge Regulatory Program. The Adult Use of Marijuana Act is on the state ballot. Prohibition is coming to an end.

The thing is, if you want to join the regulated market and get those new licenses from the state, you have to get county permits first. Community stakeholders worked hard with the County Board of Supervisors over this past year to come up with local permits, but to say that the process is complicated is an understatement. Our community’s work educating government about the cannabis industry has been going on for years. This very complicated process continues on. County government’s draft ordinance, which is only for cannabis cultivation & nursery operations is currently under environmental review. We don’t know when this review will be complete. We also don’t know if the resulting ordinance will be subject to lawsuits just like the Urgency Ordinance we saw this summer.

So, what to do? Vote yes on Measure AF. Written by and for the people of Mendocino County, based off of state law, Measure AF is a local voter initiative to regulate commercial cannabis activity. ALL commercial cannabis activity. It offers permits for; cultivation, nursery, processing, manufacture, transportation, distribution, lab testing & dispensaries. The very same licenses that state is offering. You cannot get state permits WITHOUT a county permit.

AF goes into effect immediately after it is passed into law by the voters of Mendocino County. Voter initiatives are way less vulnerable to lawsuits, so AF offers us a better chance at regulatory stability. Measure AF is the best shot we have at getting county permits in a timely fashion, so we can join surrounding cities and counties in moving forward with regulation and participation in a vigorous statewide market. This is our time.

Regulation is the path to legalization. We as a county can take this first step together. Vote yes on Measure AF.

Genine Coleman, Cannabis Educator, Comptche

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Measure AF – Economics 101

We are all familiar with the story of the goose that laid a golden egg each day and the greedy farmer who killed it and cut it open to get all the gold that surely must be inside. He found only ordinary goose workings and his future gold was no more.

We are all familiar with the Yes on AF claims that the measure will heal the sick, protect the environment, and spread wealth throughout the county. Likewise, No on AF demonstrates that there are no environmental protections, the tax language is unworkable, and impacts to county land use function are a real train wreck.

But where is the economic discussion? This is my personal view, as a native of Mendocino county, as a former Supervisor, as Chair of the county tourism promotion for eight years, and as a businessman.

The Emerald Triangle, (Humboldt, Mendocino and Sonoma counties) is a major marijuana supply area for the United States. It derives its economic force from the national black market status of the Federal listing of marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug.

Humboldt and Sonoma counties have embraced expansion into large-scale production zones, resulting in gigantic environmental degradation and fragmentation of resource lands. They already eclipse Mendocino county and will widen that gap, no matter what Mendocino county does. Measure AF will set our feet on that same path.

The Yes on AF folks clearly want to join the Green Rush, the Green Tsunami, in pursuit of the almighty dollar. Is that a good marketing strategy? What will set Mendocino County apart and brand our product as something superior with a secure market niche?

The answer lies with you, the voters with the interest to protect our economic future, our environment.

Our reputation as a Green county is a prime reason why our organic wines enjoy success, why tourists visit, and people choose to live here. Parducci’s carbon neutral winery and Measure H, the GMO ordinance, are indicative of where our preferences lie. Shouldn’t marijuana production align itself with that philosophy?

The mom and pop small growers are the backbone of our reputation. They generally do a good job in producing a good product in an environmentally friendly fashion. Our market niche is clearly that of the small growers, who know their craft, talk to their plants, trim with care and do no harm. And I think our customers agree.

Measure AF would destroy that dynamic, inviting money-motivated outsiders to fragment our lands and take advantage of the weakest regulations in the United States, putting the smaller farmers out of the running overnight. Organized outside interests are increasingly present and already operate in our backyards, ignoring regulation efforts as they always have. Why pour gasoline on that particular fire?

We should not hastily swallow the Yes on AF argument that we must hurry up and adopt their proposal simply because our neighbors are ahead of us and big growers will exit the county if we don’t. I say, let ‘em go, if that is their inclination.

Unlike the sweeping changes that Measure AF would enact, affecting every citizen in our county without public review, the Supervisors plod on, following the open legal process that will control production, protect our environment, and generate tax revenue in a functional manner.

Our best path forward, one that protects the small growers, protects our environment, and separates our philosophical and economic priorities from Humboldt and Sonoma counties, is to defeat Measure AF at the polls and allow the county to craft reasonable regulation in cooperation with you, the citizens who will be expected to follow those rules.

Hal Wagenet, Willits

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The Mendocino County Food Policy Council voted at its October meeting to oppose Measure AF. The Mendocino County Food Policy Council’s mission is to promote a fair and sustainable local food system through research, collaboration and collective advocacy. One of our main purposes is to advocate for local polices that facilitate increased local healthy food production, processing, sales and consumption. After reviewing the proposed language of Measure AF, the Council felt that Measure AF would have significant impacts on the uses of land, water, and local regulations; therefore creating impacts to current and future local food producers as well as food production land and resources.

As a collaborative body of Food Systems stakeholders, the Food Policy Council feels that Measure AF circumvents the established mechanisms for public input on proposed regulations, zoning, and taxes normally conducted through our County’s ordinance processes. With so many possible unknown consequences of cannabis legalization, we feel that the most participatory vehicle for local policy development should remain with the County Board of Supervisors and its offices. This process allows for input from our food producers on striking the proper balance between cannabis producers and other agricultural uses in determining how Mendocino County utilizes our land and water resources. Measure AF allows for limited input, and only allows for amendments after June 1st, 2018. While the County’s regulations may be imperfect and their consequences unknown, we support the continued public development, refinement, and future amendments of this process and oppose Measure AF. For further information about the Mendocino County Food Policy Council, visit:

Mendocino County Food Policy Council

Jessica May, Coordinator

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COMMENT FROM Kaye Handley, candidate for Coast Hospital Board: "Our hospital's combined % of MediCare/MediCal revenues is about 80%. This is not unusual for rural hospitals who face aging populations. There are examples of similar hospitals who have been successful in generating small operating profits and enough cash flow to maintain their facilities and equipment in top condition. Our hospital can be eligible for additional federal reimbursement funds for Med-Cal patients if we change to private or non-profit ownership. I also believe there a some cost saving initiatives we can consider. I'd like to see the board move forward to explore the potential change in ownership structure and also reach out to selected other rural hospitals in northern Cal. to discuss any of their approaches which could be applied to MCDH. Based on prior discussions I've had with three other administrators I believe we can do better with our existing payor mix."

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On Oct. 21, 2016 at approximately 1:14 PM Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Deputies responded to Howard Memorial Hospital (Willits) to investigate a reported incident of child endangerment. During the investigation, Deputies learned Daniel Turner, 37, of Willits had physically assaulted his 15 year-old daughter during an argument the previous evening. This assault resulted in a minor injury. Turner was ultimately arrested for child endangerment and booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $25,000 bail

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On Oct,. 22, 2016 at approximately 7:00 PM, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to contact Jason Lusk, 33, of Gualala, who was believed to be in the possession of a stolen firearm at a residence in the 38000 block of South Highway 1 in Gualala, California. Deputies were unable to locate Lusk at the location and began looking for him in the Gualala area. On 10-22-2016 at approximately 7:40 PM, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies located Lusk’s vehicle in a remote area of Gualala River Road. When Deputies approached the vehicle, they illuminated the vehicle with their spotlights and immediately heard a subject flee from the location into the dense vegetation. After searching the area, Deputies were unable to locate the subject. On 10-22-2016 at approximately 10:20 PM, a Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputy returned to the area attempting to locate Lusk. As the Deputy approached and illuminated the vehicle with his flashlight, the Deputy observed Lusk sitting in the driver’s seat of the vehicle. Lusk immediately and without warning jumped out of the vehicle, raised a shotgun into a firing position and aimed it at the Deputy. The Deputy, who had already drawn his weapon, directed Lusk to drop the shotgun. Lusk hesitated briefly but then complied with the Deputy's verbal directions. Lusk was taken into custody without further incident. It was determined Lusk displayed symptoms of being under the influence of a central nervous system stimulant and the shotgun was found to be in a loaded condition. The Deputy was unable to determine if the firearm was stolen at the time and it is under further investigation. Lusk was arrested for Assault with a Firearm on a Peace Officer and Under the influence of a controlled substance while in possession of a loaded firearm and booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $50,000 bail.

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by Justine Frederiksen

The city has two new wells that could produce about 2,000 gallons a minute if needed, the Ukiah City Council learned at its last meeting.

“And anyone in the water business knows that is an incredible resource for the city,” said Sean White, the city’s director of water and sewer, addressing the board at its Oct. 19 meeting.

White was asking the council to approve an order of completion for the two wells: the first being No. 9, a completely new well just northwest of the Orchard Avenue Bridge, and the second being a replacement for No. 4 on Lorraine Street.

The project was launched in March of this year with an expected cost of about $702,000, but White said “four things were changed during the course of construction” that increased the price to $789,109.

Some of the changes included more test pumping of the wells than had been anticipated, and that was due to unacceptable levels of manganese being present in the initial pumps.

“But I’m happy to report that all of those issues resolved themselves quite nicely,” said White, explaining that the higher levels of manganese in both wells appeared to be a result of the drilling process itself, and the latest tests revealed a non-detectable level of manganese. “The wells ended up having beautiful water.”

White said No. 9 could produce 700 gallons a minute and the replacement for No. 4 “came out even better. It has always been a good producer. It could yield 1,300 gallons a minute, so we basically have 2,000 gallons per minute from these two wells.”

When Council member Doug Crane asked if the intention was to actually “pump them that hard,” White said “no, we are not going to pump them that hard.”

When Mayor Steve Scalmanini asked how long the wells were expected to last, White said perhaps a century.

“Both of these casings are pretty much top-of-the-line ... and should last way longer than I do, and probably longer than my tortoise, as well, and she’s supposed to last about 100 years,” said White, adding that longevity was one of the reasons why materials were upgraded in the process of completing the wells. “You only get one chance to put those in.”

The council then voted unanimously to accept the order of completion for the two wells.

(Courtesy, The Ukiah Daily Journal)

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CATCH OF THE DAY, October 26, 2016

Brumley, Chism, Craft
Brumley, Chism, Craft

JOHN BRUMLEY, Covelo. Domestic battery.

KYLE CHISM, Ojai/Ukiah. DUI.

JESSICA CRAFT, Fort Bragg. Meth possession for sale.

Faber, Gassaway, Glover
Faber, Gassaway, Glover

SCOTT FABER, Ukiah. Controlled substance, community supervision violation.

REBECCA GASSAWAY, Ukiah. Drunk in public, paraphernalia.

LORRIE GLOVER, Fort Bragg. DUI causing injury, child endangerment, resisting.

Norton, Raymond, Rodriguez
Norton, Raymond, Rodriguez

JESSICA NORTON, Willits. False impersonation of another.

TREVOR RAYMOND, Willits. Domestic assault, kidnapping, false imprisonment.

ZIOMARA RODRIGUEZ, Ukiah. Burglary, burglary tools, receiving stolen property, conspiracy.

Schmid, Segura-Jimenez, Southwick, Stredwick
Schmid, Segura-Jimenez, Southwick, Stredwick

NICHOLAS SCHMID, Ukiah. Domestic assault.

JORGE SEGURA-JIMENEZ, Ukiah. Meth sale failure to appear.

CLAYTON SOUTHWICK, Willits. Burglary.

JOSHUA STREDWICK, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

Tilley, Vela, Wright
Tilley, Vela, Wright

JASON TILLEY, Willits. Probation revocation.

PABLO VELA, Laytonville. Pot sales.

ANDREA WRIGHT, Ukiah. Drunk in public.

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To the Editor,

Roll Over Beethoven.

With all due respect to Bob Dylan, his Nobel Prize for literature should have been awarded to the legendary rock'n'roll pioneer, Chuck Berry, rock's first great songwriter, whose body of work stands today as arguably the best in rock'n'roll.

His literate and clearly enunciated story-songs of automobiles, high school, and rock'n'roll in the 50's began to shape the music that was to follow with practically every important rock band of the next two decades building on his foundations.

No one encapsulated the concerns of U.S. teenagers in song like he did. Teachers and parents were authority figures, rock'n'roll music the means of escape. Everything stemmed from these simple assumptions

Berry approached rock'n'roll from the opposite side of the racial divide, but unlike Elvis, he wrote all his own songs which explains his huge influence on the white groups of the sixties.

His attention to vocabulary is a quality that made Berry's songs so different from those of the country and blues singers who preceded him. More than the music, Berry agonizes over the way his lyrics fit together, their ability to stand on their own as literature separate from the music, and their precise and clear delivery.


Robert Christgau, music editor of the Village Voice in the 70s, said: "Chuck Berry is the greatest rock lyricist this side of Bob Dylan, and sometimes I prefer him to Dylan. Both communicate an abundance of childlike delight in linguistic discovery that page poets are supposed to convey and too often don't, but Berry's most ambitious lyrics, unlike Dylan's, never seem pretentious or forced. True, his language is ersatz and barbaric, full of mispronounced foreignisms and advertising coinages, but so was Whitman's. Like Whitman, Berry is excessive because he is totally immersed in America — the America of Melville and the Edsel, burlesque and installment-plan funerals, pemmican, and pomade. Unlike Whitman, though, he doesn't quite permit you to take him seriously. It would be perverse to argue that Berry's songs are in themselves as rich as, say, 'Remembrance of Things Past'. Their richness is rather a function of their active relationship with an audience.. Where Proust wrote about a dying subculture from a cork-lined room, Berry helped give life to a fun subculture which is what adolescent revolt had to be about — inebriated affluence versus the hangover of the work ethic. It was the only practicable value in the Peter Pan utopia of the American dream."

Chuck Berry, the rock'n'roll pioneer, was also an American visionary whose 1956 hit, "Roll Over Beethoven," celebrated the emergence of American classical music: "Roll over Beethoven, tell Tschaikovsky the news… dig them rhythm and blues."

His 1957 adolescent complaint song, "School Day," was a direct action prophecy of the Free Speech movement: "Close your books, get out of your seats / down the hall and into the streets."

Bob Dylan should magnanimously return the Nobel Prize and urge the judges to award it to Chuck Berry. Chuck is 90 years old, Bob is only 75.


Don Morris, Cranktown/Willits

PS. "I'm a millionaire, but I cut the grass. It's like a person. A blade is a blade: when it's cut in half it dies, for sure. But the half that isn't cut springs back to life."

— Chuck Berry “American Visionary" (Rolling Stone, 9/2/2010)

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Religious displays in library

I just asked Jennifer Duran at the Rincon Valley Library to remove the overtly religious symbols from a Day of the Dead display which she agreed to do. Ms. Duran characterized the display as an altar which in this case is a christian religious display. Duran told me this type of display is also at other branch libraries.

Such promotion of a certain religion is both a federal First Amendment violation as well constituting violations of certain sections of the California Constitution which forbid state government entities from giving preference to or promotion of certain religions.

I believe you are constitutionally obligated to remove these religious endorsements from throughout the library system, both the overtly christian and the altars.

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On October 26, 2016, Ken Anton (L, Elk) filed an official complaint with the California Secretary of State Investigative Services in Sacramento regarding the Trinity County Elections Office failure to print Mr. Anton’s 250‐word State Assembly candidate statement in the Trinity County voter guide. Earlier, Shanna S. White (Trinity County Clerk/Recorder/Assessor and head of the Trinity County Elections Office) denied receiving ANY package or materials from Mr. Anton. However, a United States Postal Service investigation requested by Mr. Anton this week concluded that Mr. Anton is correct: his materials were delivered to the custody of Trinity County Elections under the USPS Priority Mail Express guaranteed service in August 2016. Mr. Anton is concerned that Ms. White’s actions, whether negligent or intentional, affect not only the people of Trinity County, but also the people of the four other counties within Assembly District 2. As such, Mr. Anton wanted to share this important news with the remainder of the district. (Assembly District 2 includes Del Norte, Trinity, Humboldt, Mendocino and the northern portion of Sonoma County.)

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I have just returned to the midwest, USA, after spending a month in Europe. Most of my travel was Bavarian Germany and the Austrian border area. (in other words – the “midwest” of Europe)

I’ve come home with additional, perspective on the plight of the US and its citizenry. Especially regarding the failures of leadership, and the ever growing obstacles to maintaining peak-finance, peak consumption etc.

To me it seems that most people think the US could right itself as a country and evolve into a world leader of techno-change for good and sustainable futures. We just can’t seem to get the “right people.”

The comments from Europeans suggest we are just a bunch of fuck-heads – and Donald Trump is proof enough.

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“I GIVE THAT LADY Hilary my respect that she stayed with Bill and kept her family together, I don’t think I would have that kind of fortitude, there were some stories of the same ilk in regard to John G. He use to tell me he needed a ‘steel dick’ to service all the women government and media put him with. At the end of the day it was ‘me’ he came home to.”

— Mrs. John Gotti

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This isn't really news. After all, I tried to warn my many friends in the cycling community—-yes, that's a joke——about this problem way back in 2005. Like the radically flawed method the city had of counting cycling accidents, we didn't learn about this issue on Streetsblog or from the Bicycle Coalition. Both ignored it. For that matter, you didn't learn about either issue from the Chronicle, the Examiner, the Bay Guardian, or the SF Weekly:


The Truth About Bikes, Butts and Genitals: How Cycling Can Impact Your Sex Life

by Carrie Weisman

If you ever thought the damage caused by riding a bike was limited to a sore behind, there’s some bad news for you. According to a study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, spending too much time on a bicycle doesn’t just make your genital area sore, it can actually desensitize the whole zone.

For years, there’s been talk of the ways in which the sport affects men's reproductive organs. Cycling requires men to place a significant amount of weight on the perineum (the area between the scrotum and anus). Experts say that pressure can cause pain or numbness — and in some cases impact the individual’s ability to achieve an erection. "The earliest warning sign is numbness or tingling," Irwin Goldstein, director of San Diego Sexual Medicine, told WebMD.

Athletes aren’t the only ones affected. In 2008, Steven M. Schrader, a scientist at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, uncovered the risk facing bike police officers. According to Schrader, the average officer assigned to bike duty spends around 24 hours a week on his bicycle. Officers reported experiencing a level of genital numbness as well as increasing incidents of erectile dysfunction. A 2009 CDC report holds that over 40,000 workers in public safety occupations ride bicycles as part of their job.

In 2006, researchers decided it was time to shift their attention onto women. After comparing a group of female cyclists to a group of female runners, researchers were able to confirm that cycling can cause the same kinds of problems in women as it does in men. “There is an association between bicycling and decreased genital sensation in competitive women bicyclists,” they wrote.

In 2012, researchers decided to take another crack at the subject, but this time they were looking at the bike itself. After inviting a group of 48 female cyclists who each cycled a minimum of 10 miles per week into the lab, researchers realized that part of the problem circled back to where the handlebars were set in relation to the saddle.

The lower the handlebars, the more pressure was placed on the genital area. The more pressure the area was under, the less sensation the women experienced. But while adjusting the bike set-up is one obvious solution, it goes against a standard of competitive racing: positioning the handlebars lower than the saddle for the sake of speed. Other bike-based exercise regimens require people to adopt the same setup.

Some experts, like Schrader, suggest cyclists start using a bike saddle without a protruding nose, also known as a “no-nose saddle.” According to WebMD, the seats are designed to redistribute the weight to "the sit bones of the buttocks." In his article "Cutting Off the Nose to Save the Penis," Schrader writes, “Studies have shown that no-nose saddles result in significantly less restriction in penile blood flow compared to traditional saddles.”

There are other ways to protect your privates, like wearing padded shorts, adjusting your posture and changing into loose clothing after spending time on the bike. Some cyclists apply anti-chafing cream to avoid chafing and soreness as well.

Fortunately, the issues that can come out of biking are often temporary and almost always reversible. So long as you acknowledge any issues that may arise and take appropriate measures to correct them, cycling shouldn’t kill your sex life.

(Courtesy, District5Diary)

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(John Redding in Italics)

On 10/26/2016 8:44 PM, John Redding wrote:

Hey Marco,

Curious that you attribute the information to me, when it is in fact the editorial opinion of the Wall Street Journal. What's that about?

It's about that you posted the information as if you were proud of it and so vouched for it, and now it's about your adopting the childish conversational techniques of your idols in Faux News.

You know what happens when hell freezes—you consider another person's opinion.

Yeah, try it sometime, John. Try considering an opinion that you haven't already swallowed.

You talk like a predator trying to decide how much of the prey to carve up.

No, it's the other way around. That's what you're doing, and you're projecting your methods and attitude on others, and you look around and see it everywhere and attribute it to everyone but yourself. That's what projecting means. And it's not just something you're doing now; you do it all the time.

You really shouldn't want all of the producers to leave the state, those that pay for gov't services that you consume. Oh, Marco, it's sad to see you blinded by your prejudices.

Objectively, rich people can be described more as parasites than as producers. (The teachers you deride are infinitely more productive than, say, the single extended family that rules the WalMart empire, and so by itself sends more jobs overseas, hoards and makes useless more wealth, and sucks up more government assistance (by underpaying workers and cynically throwing them on the mercy of assistance programs). All rich people are on more government assistance than I am, and have greater advantages and have guaranteed smoother sailing (and most have had these advantages since birth), even though our country is supposedly built on the idea that all men are created equal. Teachers are producers. Carpenters and plumbers and scientists and farmers are producers. Hedge-fund operators and oil corporations and military contracting corporations and weapons manufacturing magnates and real-estate speculators and banking CEOs and for-profit health insurance companies and beneficiaries of private prisons are parasites. Donald Trump is not a producer. My preschool teacher was a producer.

If you like being sad, John, contemplate how I and everyone here can see through you and your tired tricks.

Here's something that might enlighten you a little: read just the first chapter of Edward Bellamy's Looking Backward. Written in 1887, it's a look backward, hence the term, at 1887 from the then-distant future of the year 2000, which Bellamy has turned out to be fabulously over-optimistic about.

— Marco McClean

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by Dan Bacher

Has the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation become a rogue agency within the Department of Interior? It’s beginning to look like that, based on recent Inspector General reports documenting the loss of millions of taxpayer dollars through Reclamation mismanagement in the Klamath Basin and Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.

On the heels of an Inspector General (IG) audit finding that Reclamation has “wasted” $32.2 million in illegal payments to Klamath Basin irrigators, a new federal report reveals that the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has cost taxpayers millions of dollars by failing to collect moneys owed by Klamath Basin irrigators for nearly a decade in a $20 million-plus project to reduce harm to federally listed fish caused by the Klamath Project’s main diversion canal, the “ A Canal.”

The audits have spurred calls by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) and other groups to hold individual Reclamation officials accountable and to reform the embattled agency.

The latest audit by the Office of Inspector General (IG) for the Department of Interior, dated September 27, 2016 but released this month, concludes that Reclamation never collected “repayment of millions of dollars of costs incurred to design, construct, and operate and maintain new head gates and fish screens” within the vast Klamath Project.

These gates and screens are intended to keep federally protected fish “in the river and out of the Klamath project irrigation canals,” according to the IG report.

The report from Michael P. Colombo, Western Regional Manager for Audits, Inspections and Evaluations, made the following recommendations to David Murillo, MId-Pacific Regional Director, Bureau of Reclamation:

We recommend that USBR:

  1. Identify USBR’s total costs to design and construct the A-Canal head gates and fish screens;
  2. Identify USBR’s total cost to operate and maintain the A-Canal head gates and fish screens from 2003 to 2011;
  3. Promptly notify the Klamath Irrigation District of its obligation to repay the cost to design, construct, and operate and maintain the A-Canal head gates and fish screens and the total amount that must be repaid, as determined by USBR in Recommendations 1 and 2; and
  4. Negotiate and establish a repayment contract with the Klamath Irrigation District to secure timely repayment of USBR’s cost to design, construct, and operate and maintain the A-Canal head gates and fish screens, as determined by USBR in Recommendations 1 and 2.

Colombo asked Murillo to provide a written response to this report within 30 days.

Jim McCarthy, Communications Director & Southern Oregon Program Manager for WaterWatch, commented on the significance of the IG’s report.

“Under the terms of a 1954 contract for these facilities between the feds and the locals, those costs should have been absorbed by irrigators. Indeed, according to the letter, Reclamation was advised by the Office of the Solicitor in 2009 that recovering these costs would be the appropriate action,” said McCarthy.

“Instead, Reclamation apparently did nothing to recover this considerable expenditure as advised. According to the IG’s letter, Reclamation hoped this debt could be swept under the rug in the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement (KBRA), which finally expired in 2015,” said McCarthy.

In another audit report dated October 11, 2016, the IG found that Reclamation improperly diverted $32 million in federal funds intended for drought contingency planning and helping endangered coho salmon and sucker populations to a Klamath irrigator’s group over several years.

“We found that USBR did not have the legal authority to enter into the cooperative agreement, resulting in $32.2 million in wasted funds spent by KWAPA (Klamath Water and Power Agency )under the agreement,” wrote Mary L. Kendall, Deputy Inspector General for the Office of Inspector General, in the audit report.

The report found that the program had done little to help endangered coho salmon, Lost River suckers and shortnose suckers, as it was intended to do.

The Klamath Water and Power Agency was a water and power authority in Klamath Falls, Oregon that received water from federal water projects in northern California and southern Oregon. KWAPA was forced to close its doors on March 31, 2006 due to “disorganization” and complaints filed by PEER.

You can read my piece on that report here:

Reclamation has not yet responded to the IG audit regarding head gates and fish screens, but it disputes the IG report on the $32 million wasted on irrigator subsidies and “refuses to change its practices or recoup moneys illegally spent,” PEER said.

“Reclamation maintains that the reimbursement program has been an important tool in dealing with water issues in an over-allocated basin,” the Bureau claimed in a written statement.

Interior appears to to be disarray as these scandals unfold. This intra-agency dispute regarding the misspent $32 million has been referred to Interior’s Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget for resolution. “But that post has been vacant since 2014,” PEER points out.

Meanwhile, Kristen Sarri, the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, departed Interior on October 24 for her new position as President and CEO with the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. “Interior Secretary Sally Jewell has delegated her authority to respond to a related probe by the U.S. Office of Special Counsel to the Commissioner of Reclamation,” according to PEER.

“It looks like the Interior Secretary is letting the inmates run the asylum,” stated PEER Senior Counsel Paula Dinerstein. “If the current Secretary will not impose adult supervision, we will urge that her successor commit to implementing obviously overdue reforms of the Bureau of Reclamation as a condition of confirmation.”

Dinerstein’s organization is representing Reclamation employees who are blowing the whistle on what she says are “illegal and environmentally tone-deaf actions by the agency.”

Dinerstein said “other shoes are also expected to drop” on Reclamation. These include a pending IG audit of how Reclamation is allowing the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) to illegally siphon off over $60 million in funds that are supposed to benefit fish and wildlife to instead prepare the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Governor Jerry Brown's controversial Delta Tunnels plan, a project that will principally benefit corporate agribusiness interests and Southern California water agencies.

Whistleblower complaints funneled through PEER also prompted this pending investigation.

That PEER complaint charges that:

  • Those funds, over $60 million, are earmarked for fish habitat improvements under the authority of the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act. However, they are instead being expended on work that “will harm critical habitat for at least five endangered and threatened fish species. Out of millions spent not a dime went to habitat improvements;”
  • The state double-billed for work it supposedly already did with an earlier $50 million grant;
  • And the state collected all of the federal funds when the agreement was executed, in violation of a 50/50 matching requirement.

The Delta Tunnels project, now called the California WaterFix by state and federal officials, is deeply connected to the Klamath River watershed. The two 35-mile long tunnels under the Delta would hasten the extinction of Central Valley steelhead, Sacramento River winter-run Chinook salmon, Delta and longfin smelt, green sturgeon and other fish species.

The project would also imperil the salmon and steelhead populations on the Trinity and Klamath rivers, a fishery that for thousands of years has played an integral part in the culture, religion and food supply of the Yurok, Karuk and Hoopa Valley Tribes.

You can read my piece on the “Tunnelsgate” scandal here:

“The unmistakable pattern in all these investigations is that Reclamation is ripping off fish and wildlife assistance to further reward already heavily subsidized irrigators, often for activities to the detriment of fish and wildlife,” concluded Dinerstein. “Both taxpayers and the environment are utterly ill-served by current Reclamation policies and leaders. Fundamental change in Reclamation is imperative.”

To fully understand the Delta Tunnels plan, you also need to recognize the deep connection between the privately funded Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative to create so-called “marine protected areas” in California and the California WaterFix, formerly called the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP). In spite of some superficial differences, the two processes are united by their leadership, funding, greenwashing goals, racism and denial of tribal rights, junk science and numerous conflicts of interest.

To read my report, Deep Regulatory Capture Exposed: The Links Between Delta Tunnels Plan & MLPA Initiative, go to:;

Read the latest audit report

Look at audit report on Reclamation illegal irrigator subsidies

See related Special Counsel probe

Note ongoing audit on Reclamation’s improper Delta Tunnel payments

View departure of last remaining senior Interior Policy, Management and Budget official

* * *


Happy Halloween

(Oct. 31 — All Souls Day)

(Nov. 1 — All Saints Day)

Life is short. Death may last longer than we think, as we make the transit to the next lifetime. Why? Because the dharma masters tell us that we must pass through three bardos after death and into one of as many as six realms upon our rebirth.

We all wonder what happens when we die. It's the universal question. Here's what the afterlife may look like.


Stage one of the Bardo (called the "Chikai" Bardo), the bardo of dying, begins at death and extends from half a day to four days. This is the period of time necessary for the departed to realize that they have dropped the body. The consciousness of the departed has an ecstatic experience of the primary "Clear White Light" at the death moment. Everyone gets at least a fleeting glimpse of the light. The more spiritually developed see it longer, and are able to go beyond it to a higher level of reality. The average person, however, drops into the lesser state of the secondary "clear light."

In stage two (called the "Chonyid" Bardo), the bardo of Luminous Mind, the departed encounters the hallucinations resulting from the karma created during life. Unless highly developed, the individual will feel that they are still in the body. The departed then encounters various apparitions, the "peaceful" and "wrathful" deities, that are actually personifications of human feelings and that, to successfully achieve nirvana, the deceased must encounter unflinchingly. Only the most evolved individuals can skip the bardo experience altogether and transit directly into a paradise realm. Stage three (called the "Sidpa" Bardo), the bardo of rebirth, is the process of reincarnation.

The Tibetan account of the first bardo after death shows striking parallels with the near-death experiences of people who have died, experienced themselves floating out of their bodies, having what appears to be real afterlife events, and then being revived.

The second bardo is an experience with divine entities which parallels near-death accounts where a person experiences visions of heaven, hell, and judgment. Scholars have also been interested in the parallels between the psychedelic and psychotic states, and experiences of "astral projection."

The third bardo involving the reincarnation of a person's karmic energy by choosing and entering a new body to be born agrees with many near-death accounts that affirm reincarnation.

The purpose behind the Buddhist bardo states after death is to provide the dying an opportunity to become enlightened and attain Buddha-hood, or if enlightenment is not attained, to secure a favorable rebirth. As it is with Buddhism, the goal to be attained during near-death experiences is to become one with the Clear Light of Ultimate Reality. Experiencers have described this as a "merging" process and "becoming one with the Light." This loss of ego and at-one-ment aspect involved in near-death experiences and the Buddhist bardo journey are identical.

The most remarkable correlation between Buddhism and near-death accounts is the encounter with a divine light. Buddhists refer to this light as the "Clear White Light" and the Tibetan Book of the Dead's description of it is remarkably similar to the Being of light in near-death experiences. Buddhists believe this light to be the light from all the enlightened ones which is indistinguishable from true essence of everyone. As it is with Buddhism, near-death experiences have described this light in the same way. For example, Mellen-Thomas Benedict saw the light change into various personalities such as Jesus and Buddha. Other experiencers affirm the light to be everyone and everything. Encounters with beings of light and darkness described in near-death experiences can be found in the "peaceful" and "wrathful" deities encountered in the Buddhist afterlife. At some point in the bardo states, many of the karmic essences of individuals feel a desire, a "pull", to return to the physical world. This phenomenon also appears in many near-death accounts when the individual is given a choice to stay or return and this choice results in the individual returning from the near-death condition. Also, as it is with Buddhism, near-death experiences support the concept of reincarnation.

The number of days (forty-nine) given in the Tibetan Book of the Dead is likely symbolic, although the Tibetans themselves, like all people who are strict religionists, interpret it literally.

The comparison between the Tibetan and Egyptian Books of the Dead, Taoism, and Kabbalistic conceptions, also reveals similarities. All of them with the exception of Tibetan Buddhism view the soul as composition of elemental components that separates after death; each component entering into its own world. Tibetan Buddhism describes an aspect of the human personality passing through a number of different afterlife bardo experiences.


In traditional Buddhist cosmology the rebirth, also called reincarnation or metempsychosis, can be in any of six realms. These are called the Gati in cycles of re-becoming, Bhavachakra. The six realms of rebirth include three good realms – Deva (heavenly, god), Asura (demigod), Manusya (human); and three evil realms – Tiryak (animals), Preta (ghosts), and Naraka (hellish). The realm of rebirth is conditioned by the karma (deeds, intent) of current and previous lives; good karmas will yield a happier rebirth into good realm, bad karmas is believed to produce rebirth which is more unhappy and evil .

The release from this endless cycle of rebirths, rebecoming, and repeating death again and again is called nirvana (nibbana) or enlightenment in Buddhism, and achievement of nirvana is the ultimate goal of Buddhist teaching. However, much of traditional Buddhist practice has been centered on gaining merit and merit transfer, whereby an individual gains rebirth for oneself or one's family members in the good realms, and avoids rebirth in the evil realms.


Three bardos. Six realms. Three bardos after death and any one of six realms upon rebirth — multiplied by many, many individual lifetimes. It's a long, strange trip to enlightenment.

We race through time. We race through destiny.

We are running through lifetimes.

And what happens when we are between lifetimes? Trapped for a while between heaven and earth? Or between earth and hell? Trapped in the spirit world? The bardos?

Do we also run there?

Does the running ever stop?

I'm reminded of a few lines by the late Jim Morrison:

Not to touch the earth

Not to see the sun

Nothing left to do but run run run

Let's run

Let's run

–John Sakowicz, Ukiah



  1. Craig Stehr October 27, 2016

    Warm Trade Winds

    Warm trade winds
    Blow through O’ahu
    Relaxing @ Waikiki Beach
    Another incredible sunset

    Craig Louis Stehr

  2. Lazarus October 27, 2016

    I am voting NO on all things MaryJane. The Mendo way seems to work pretty well. It finances some of the County and Cities government, it feeds Mendocino County’s business, made some millionaires, but more importantly it’s exclusively Mendo. The Mendo weed is known of all over the world, ask around if you travel.
    MJ is the Mendo economy, if they bring in all this new paper work, corporate slick folk, gold digger entrepreneurs, etc. many of the locals will get screwed.
    Vote NO on all things marijuana, keep the carpetbaggers and slick talkers out.
    As always,

    • james marmon October 27, 2016

      Paper: Ukiah Daily Journal (CA)

      Title: Ballots won’t be counted at polls

      Date: September 19, 2007

      “The only thing we’re not doing this time that we’ve done before is with this election we decided not to deploy any AccuVote voting machines,” said Katrina Bartolomie, assistant registrar of voters. “There’s a two-person overnight rule (for the counting of votes,) so we felt if we didn’t deploy any of the machines they wouldn’t be questioned, we wouldn’t be questioned and we thought it would be smoother. We didn’t want to affect anything for February’s election.”

  3. Alice Chouteau October 27, 2016

    My vite goes to Chuck…may he duck-walk forever!

  4. Rick Weddle October 27, 2016

    re: legalizing cannabis…
    So, all the towns, counties, states that have outlawed it for years, and all the lying individuals, and the big, fake-ass apparatus to bad-mouth marijuana and falsely jack up its ‘threat’ level, imprisoning uncounted thousands, ruining their lives and their families’ lives, are now licking their bloody chops at the prospect of a slice of yummy Revenoo from legalizing it??! Wait just a God Damned minute, here, you snake-brained bloodsuckers! Until you have freed ALL the ones you packed away for ‘cultural’ reasons in MJ trials, for revenge, or unseemly grooming, or whatever jive excuse was used to railroad ’em, you don’t get a fucking DIME of benefit from legalizing the Herb. You get to sit and watch, and if you have any vestigial sense whatever, you might offer a long and loud apology for lying in the first place (and the 2d place, and the….)

  5. liz Haapanen October 27, 2016

    Orb Alert in the Palace Hotel Photo.

  6. liz Haapanen October 27, 2016

    Thanks, John Sakowicz, for the cliff notes to Buddhist thoughts on death. Timely.

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