WHAT TO DO ABOUT WOODHOUSE. We wrote last week that the Woodhouse family's attorney, Chris Neary of Willits, seems to be implying that someone, possibly the County, is poised to take action against Woodhouse. But the only action against the troubled Third District supervisor that could be taken is one on behalf of his wife. County officials have made it clear that they are staying out of the issue.
HOLD IT RIGHT THERE, in mid-poise. The DA's office could seek Woodhouse's removal based on possible criminal actions related to his blow-outs at home involving wife, family and sheriff's deputies. He had to be tasered, he pushed and shoved deputies, and bit one. His wife was endangered, according to reports. Our understanding is that DA could seek an 'adjudication' before a grand jury, which could lead to his removal if necessary.
IT’S CLEAR, though, that the Woodhouse family and their attorney, Chris Neary, are trying to work out the Supervisor’s exit from office in a way that provides them with some, perhaps much, cash-money.
SUPERVISOR WOODHOUSE remains confined to a Sacramento area mental health facility. His wife, Carlyn, retains the power to resign his elected position on the Board of Supervisors, but has not yet done so. She also retains total control over his finances, including the right to file or settle claims on his behalf. According to a Press Democrat article on Monday, the troubled supervisor has "improved significantly," and might be released in time for his next court hearing set for December 1.
WILLITS ATTORNEY Chris Neary claims that the family is negotiating with the County before making any decision to resign. Neary says that Woodhouse "was obviously stressed out by the job." So the real issue for the Woodhouse family is economic.
COUNTY CEO Carmel Angelo says, "The County does not have the ability to negotiate a settlement for Supervisor Woodhouse's resignation." Angelo notes that Woodhouse can apply for Workers Compensation or Disability for any job-related health issues but notes that these are lengthy processes that are not subject to negotiation. What may be subject to negotiation are the pending criminal charges against Woodhouse for domestic assault and resisting arrest. But those are within the purview of the District Attorney and not directly related to employment claims against the county.
WOODHOUSE remains on the County's payroll with full salary and benefits while the family tries to negotiate a settlement and the Third District remains without representation. The family seems to be betting on the willingness of the County to resolve an increasingly untenable situation. The announcement that Woodhouse might soon be released (and presumably ready to resume his duties) may be intended as additional pressure to make a deal.
UNLESS the family does the right thing or the county yields, Woodhouse could serve out the remaining two years of his term without attending another Board meeting. The only other option would be a citizen-initiated recall election which would give Third District voters the opportunity to remove a supervisor who increasingly seems incapable of fulfilling the duties of his office. And unlike a resignation (which allows the governor to appoint a replacement), a recall would give the voters the right to select a successor.
SINCE THE DA has charges pending against Woodhouse for one, two or three separate domestic assaults, plus resisting and/or assault on police officers, which could be charged as felonies, perhaps the best resolution would be for the DA to offer to drop charges if Woodhouse resigns, or takes deferred judgment after some reasonably proportionate restitution. That way the ongoing costs to the County and the awkward prosecution would be avoided and Woodhouse would have no criminal record associated with his psychotic breaks. Then the Governor could appoint a replacement, at least providing the Third District with some representation for the remainder of Woodhouse's term.
LAST MONDAY at 11:20am, the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Dispatch began receiving calls of a “shooting in the area” of the 200 block of East Perkins Street, Ukiah, about a half-mile from the County Courthouse.
THE VICTIM WAS BLACK. The shooter was white. After the first shot the victim dropped to his knees and held up his hands. The fatal shots were then fired.
ONE OF THE EMERGENCY calls was placed by Steven Ryan, 62. Ryan said he’d just shot someone in self-defense.
OFFICERS from the Ukiah Police Department and the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Department and emergency services people were soon on-scene at 220 East Perkins where they found 20-year-old DeShaun Davis dead of gun shot wounds, plural, in the driveway.
THE PROPERTY belongs to a local vineyard and contains several rental houses and apartments. Ryan lives in one of the units, most of which are occupied by immigrant Mexican families.
RYAN was soon placed under arrest after telling detectives that he'd gotten into an argument with Davis who Ryan had discovered rummaging through a trash bin and had ordered off the property. Ryan said Davis had approached him in a menacing fashion when he shot Davis in self-defense with a large caliber handgun.
DETECTIVES quickly concluded that the shooting did not seem to “meet the criteria” for a “justified or self-defense” shooting.
RYAN was arrested and booked into the Mendocino County Jail on an open charge of murder. His bail was set at $500,000. An autopsy will determine the number of shots fired into Davis.
BRUCE McEWEN WRITES: "Murder suspect Steven Ryan was arraigned Wednesday morning in Judge David Nelson’s court on Murder One with a Special Allegation that he discharged a Springfield Arms XD .45 in the 220 block of East Perkins Street, killing Deshawn Christopher Davis, 20, on November 21st at around 11:20 a.m.
MR. RYAN said he was on a military pension. Public Defender Linda Thompson was appointed as Ryan's interim attorney. Ms. Thompson was given a copy of the complaint and asked Judge Nelson to put the matter over until December 1st at 9:00am for further arraignment and entry of plea, perhaps to allow time for Mr. Ryan to arrange his finances so that he can find another attorney.
BAIL was increased to $1 million by Judge Nelson. After speaking with Ryan, Thompson said she would argue for a bail reduction on Dec. 1st as well.
PUBLIC DEFENDER THOMPSON then conferred with Veteran Outreach Legal Representative Will Van Zant, and Ryan was escorted back to the county jail.
THE AVA'S Ukiah Bureau is only a few blocks away from the scene of this shooting, and I clearly heard the shots. Strange though it may seem, I often hear shots fired in and around the downtown area. Sure, I could be mistaken as to some of the loud pops, but I’ve been around guns all my life and even did a stint as Editor of Guns Magazine.
I'M PRETTY SURE I heard three-four, maybe five .45 ACP rounds fired in rapid (semi-auto) succession at about the same time and coming from the same location as indicated in the police press release.
IT'S NOT the first time I’ve heard killing shots fired in Mendocino County. I was at the Hospitality House when a man was shot dead a few blocks away in Fort Bragg — a story you may recall that gained nationwide publicity and even made Oprah’s show.
AS TO this guy’s story, we’ll have to wait for his trial to get it all; he has a right to a prelim within 10 days of his arraignment — Dec. 1st — but defense lawyers don’t always show their hand at that time, unless there’s enough evidence to get the charges dropped.
A UKIAH READER WRITES: The victim of Monday's shooting on the East Perkins St. vineyard property near Ukiah was a young black man named DeShaun Christopher Davis. Steven Ryan, age 62, who lived in a rental house on the property, claimed self defense but was arrested on first degree murder charges. Davis, age 20, was apparently "dumpster diving" when he was accosted by Ryan who ordered him off the property. Preliminary reports indicate that the shooter and the victim were walking towards each other when Mr. Ryan opened fire. Investigating officers concluded that the shooting did not meet the criteria for a legitimate claim of self defense. Ryan, who said he is retired on a military pension, is being held on $1 million dollars bail and is due back in court on December 1st for arraignment. Ryan is being represented by Public Defender Linda Thompson which means his chances of prevailing in court or reaching a favorable plea bargain are almost nonexistent. Was the shooting racially motivated? Without getting inside the shooter's head, it is almost impossible to say. There are a half dozen or so houses on the property that once served as farmworker housing but are now used as rental housing. Ryan is believed to be the only non-Hispanic resident, which seems to be an indicator that he is not overtly prejudiced. But were words exchanged that pushed Ryan over the edge? If so, as one on-line commenter suggested, it may have been a "mad as hell and not gonna take it anymore" situation. But did Ryan reasonably fear for his life when he pulled the trigger? If not, he will likely have a long time to think about it. Especially with Thompson as his defense attorney.
JIM ARMSTRONG of Potter Valley tells us that DeShaun Davis, the young black man shot and killed on Monday by Steve Ryan, was at some point part of the troubled Mendocino College football program. Davis, 20, was listed on the football roster as 6-1 and 245 pounds. He had family in this area. As a high school student, he attended Lower Lake High School and before that Cape Fear High School in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Davis had one arrest for resisting, and that was in April of this year and occurred in the big box store area of Ukiah. From all we can learn, which isn't much at this point, Davis was not criminally oriented and was popular in Ukiah, where he lived with relatives. He was not homeless as stated in the Press Democrat. His FaceBook page says he was a "sawyer" (saw operator) a timber industry position he may have been interested in but was not known to have held.
A READER passes along FaceBook celebrations of Doctor Peter Keegan’s second wedding celebration. I recognized several of the names, mostly Ukiah-area libs, who knew Keegan’s first wife of 30 years, Susan Keegan. Even in the county where you are whatever you say you are, and history starts all over again every morning, one would think these people might, just might, honor Susan’s memory by keeping silent at the murderous doctor’s new relationship rather than gushing about it as if Susan had never lived. Every cop in the county, and all Susan’s real friends, know that Dr. Keegan bludgeoned Susan to death.
THIS GUY leaves a message on the ava’s nut screener warning me that if I don’t take down his photo from a 2015 Catch of the Day line-up, “I’ll be seeking legal counsel.” He manages to sound pompous and silly and threatening all at once. Name sounds familiar before I realize he’s the son of a pompous, silly Elk man, thus assumes himself local royalty. Catch of the Day comes straight from the Sheriff’s Department. Your beef is with them, not us. Anyway, People don’t call up the object of their wrath and threaten to sue, they first get their lawyer to dash off a demand letter threatening to sue if this or that isn’t retracted. I’ve got a whole draw full of those, three from one lawyer, Jared Carter, alone. Carter knew there were no grounds for legal action but his client, a supervisor, probably felt good about hiring him to bat out the letter, which turned out to be an occasion for more merriment at his client’s expense. Truth to tell, over the many years, I have promptly apologized for errors, but I’ve always welcomed lawyer letters. Threats don’t work here. Go ahead, sue.
THE AVA endorsed Jill Stein, the Green candidate for president. That was a reluctant vote, to be sure, because the Greens are, and always have been, an adjunct of the Democrats. Stein’s recount move, endorsed by Hillary, is simply further evidence that the Greens aren’t a viable party from the left going forward. (Going forward? Madre de dios! I’m starting to sound like Wolf Blitzer.) But we’ve come to a sad pass when there isn’t even a protest candidate you can feel good about endorsing. I thought about Gloria La Riva of the neo-Stalinist Answer Coalition, a coalition consisting of her and her consort, Becker. I don’t have a problem with communists, but I have a big prob with communists who talk and write like robots. And think thoughts like North Korea good, America bad. If you went about consciously trying NOT to appeal to Americans, the Answer Coalition is the political party for you.
THE GREEN PARTY of Mendocino County? Check with the Democrats. Historically, whenever there’s even the hint of political movement to the left of Supervisor Hamburg, here they come, the Democrats as Greens. “Progressives” in Mendocino County? Immediately, I think of the Manson Girls at 80.
ALL THIS HYSTERIA about “fascism” from grieving Hillary supporters flies in the face of contemporary realities. Orange Man and his supporters aren’t coherent enough to bring on a police state. In fact, major police departments have already announced rounding up illegals is not their job, that they won’t do it. And only snobs think enough Americans, natural born anarchists, would go for fascism in the first place, but then liberals have a very low opinion of all people unlike themselves. My ownself, I think the whole show is about to be overwhelmed by events, beginning with fiscal events, and from there it’s going to be a rough ride indeed.
SO FAR, Trump has been gracious, accommodating even. Not as gracious as his predecessor, but who is likely to as elegant and as cool as Obama? When he first took office when Democrats were in the Congressional majority, Obama had an opportunity to do some good things, but he wasn’t strong enough, tough enough to do them, apparently deluding himself that the other side was amenable to reason. I’ve never seen the guy as a hateful person, but lots of people manage to paint Obama as Beelzebub himself.
COUPLA DAYS ago, C.W. Nevius, the Chron columnist, described the liberals now dominant in San Francisco politics as "progressives,” and even went so very, very far to refer the "far left" in San Francisco.
I COULDN'T RESIST writing to him: "Describing the SF supervisors as ‘progressives’ ignores the political history of the city, which includes, among others, a long history of real progressives like Harry Bridges and the ILWU, a viable communist party, (which called itself ‘progressive,’ a socialist labor movement so widely supported they brought off a city-wide general strike in 1934. Until the middle 1970s, SF was teeming with radicals. Aaron Peskin, in any realistic political taxonomy, is simply a liberal, a good one. The rest of that dim crew presently functioning as supervisors are conservative liberals, or lifestyle liberals."
I IDENTIFIED MYSELF as a "periodic resident of San Francisco since 1941," although I wasn't a more of less conscious resident until the middle 1950s. I remember the Haight before hippies, the Castro before gay, the Fillmore when it was black, the Clement area when it was heavily Russian. Those, ladies and gentlemen, are my Frisco credentials.
NEVIUS WROTE BACK: "Yep. We often hear from people who say the moderate liberals have appropriated the progressive title. My son, who worked in DC for years, said he was amazed at what was called a progressive in SF. Thanks for the kind words about the column. On to the next thing. :) CWN"
CHUCK missed the point. I bring it up because media often describes liberals as "leftists" and "progressives" when mostly the libs referred to are barely even liberals. Canada has a political party called the Conservative Liberals. That's the box the national Democrats belong in, the same box much of MendoLib belongs in, although MendoLib routinely call themselves, "progressives," a term which, right up until about 1960 described the remnant Communist Party USA.
JUDGE RICHARD HENDERSON has announced that he will be retiring effective December 31 from the Superior Court. Judge Henderson was first elected in 2000 to a six year term and had been twice reelected without opposition. His work on the Court was fairly well divided between civil and criminal assignments. He presided over complex civil cases involving the California Environmental Quality Act, timber harvest plans, personal injury and contract disputes, and criminal cases from drunk driving to homicides. He served as presiding judge for two years, and also served in the Willits branch court shortly before that court was consolidated with the Ukiah court.
CANNA-CLAUS NOT COMING TO TOWN: Eureka Man Busted on Ohio Freeway With 71 Pounds of Xmas-Wrapped Weed, Extracts
From the Ohio State Highway Patrol:
A California man is facing felony drug charges after Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers seized 71 pounds of marijuana, worth approximately $330,000, following a traffic stop in Wood County.
On November 21, 2016, at 10:16 a.m., troopers stopped a rented 2016 Ford Expedition, with Washington State license plate registration, for following too closely on Interstate 80, near milepost 71. Troopers observed criminal indicators and a Patrol drug-sniffing canine alerted to the vehicle. A probable cause search revealed 10 gift wrapped boxes containing approximately 71 pounds of marijuana, 360 THC pills and a pound of hash wax oil.
The driver, Daniel A. Yates, 31, of Eureka, Calf, was incarcerated in the Wood County Jail and charged with possession and trafficking in drugs, both second-degree felonies.
If convicted, he could face up to 16 years in prison and up to a $30,000 fine.
A READER COMMENTS: Black Asphalt also has served as a social hub for a new brand of highway interdictors, a group that one Desert Snow official has called “a brotherhood.” Among other things, the site hosts an annual competition to honor police who seize the most contraband and cash on the highways. As part of the contest, Desert Snow encouraged state and local patrol officers to post seizure data along with photos of themselves with stacks of currency and drugs. Some of the photos appear in a rousing hard-rock video that the Guthrie, Okla.-based Desert Snow uses to promote its training courses.
Annual winners receive Desert Snow’s top honorific: Royal Knight. The next Royal Knight will be named at a national conference hosted in Virginia Beach next year in collaboration with Virginia State Police.
In just one five-year stretch, Desert Snow-trained officers reported taking $427 million during highway encounters, according to company officials. A Post analysis found the training has helped fuel a rise in cash seizures in the Justice Department’s main asset forfeiture program.
A BOONVILLE GUY told me a long time ago that his dope mule was an old guy in a Winnebago, complete with golf clubs and a Good Sam sticker. That guy also made a couple trips a year to buy cheaper prescription drugs in Mexico for local Seniors.
CASTRO was, natch, much admired by young lefties when I was a young lefty. As an old lefty I was always more drawn to a much more libertarian socialism than the Leninist reign Castro operated, I think he could have loosened the reins long before his brother finally let neighborhood barbers make a few private capitalistic bucks and allowed estranged Cubans to visit relatives. But I still admire the initial revolution he pulled off, didn't much admire what it became.
WAY BACK, as a starving student, I lived in a grungy San Francisco rooming house on Scott Street near Hayes. A beautiful building but stuffed with oddballs when I rented a room there for fifty bucks a month. It's a fancy inn these days. One roomie, "John," hurled himself down the stairs every night, occasionally battering himself severely enough to have to make a trip to the emergency room. We all shared a squalid upstairs kitchen where we kept our food in a common refrigerator. John, who was mute to where I thought maybe he was clinically silent, would down a bowl of Wheaties then throw himself back downstairs to his room. I was quite alarmed the first time I saw him do it, and a little more alarmed when a fellow tenant assured me, "He just does that for attention." He got mine but always refused post-plummet assistance.
MY NEIGHBOR in an adjoining room was Henry Cohen. Henry, a longshoreman and a communist, told me he'd fought with Castro in Cuba. Whenever I met him in the hallway, or outside on the street, he'd invariably say, "The problem with you, kid, is you're uneducated," a state of being I was acutely aware of. But Henry didn't mean educated in the usual sense; he meant unacquainted with Marxism, which he promoted as zealously as any Jehovah's Witness promotes the apocalypse.
HENRY was one of these "You looking at me, punk?" tough guys. He was always getting in beefs on the street with random belligerents. And he was always smacking his lips at strange women and saying stuff like, "Hey, baby, wanna come home with me?" Some did, which I still find astounding.
AFTER A FEW harrowing street adventures with Henry I avoided him whenever I could. But I always wondered if he'd fought in Cuba. I later learned there were Americans who had, the most famous of whom was William Morgan whose fascinating bio can be found in book form. (The Castro brothers were present when they killed Morgan as an alleged CIA agent, which he probably was.) But how could a crazy little tough guy like Henry have gotten himself from the US into Castro's revolutionary army? I wonder still.
THE LOCAL Castro angle: The old Spanish penal custom was to tattoo the hands of career criminals. That way Latin American police could tell at a glance who they were dealing with. In 1980, Castro gulled Jimmy Carter into accepting into the US "any Cuban who wanted to leave." Carter welcomed these freedom seekers to Miami as American cops watched a parade of dangerous psychos get off the boats from Havana. One of those tattooed bad boys made his way all the way to Ukiah were he stabbed his girl friend to death in broad daylight on South State Street.
VARIOUS MEMBERS of my family have gone to Cuba as tourists, a couple of them when you had to go through Canada to get there. I'd always wanted to see Hemingway's house until I learned only recently I can visit it on-line, which spares me the airplane experience, but on-line is hardly the same as being there.
SARAH BODNAR & TIM BLAKE were Jane Futcher's guests on the most recent Cannabis Hour on KZYX. Blake was the driving force behind ballot Measure AF (aka the Heritage Initiative) and Bodnar was the paid campaign manager. They were on the show to provide an election update and for Blake to promo the 13th annual Emerald Cup which will be held at the Santa Rosa fairgrounds Dec. 10 & 11.
BODNAR ANNOUNCED that Yes on AF has started an "Election Watch" to ensure that every ballot is counted. Measure AF currently trails almost 2-1 but Bodnar insists the measure still has a chance. But Bodnar seems apprehensive that yes on AF ballots will be tossed in the recycle bin unless they have observers present. Which is a replay of the June primary when a small cadre of Bernie supporters dogged the elections office to make sure all the Bernie votes were counted.
CREDIBLE CLAIMS of vote rigging are non-existent in Mendocino County. But the delayed vote count (with the official winners announced weeks after election day) lends itself to groundless speculation about the election process. The Board of Supervisors and Assessor/Clerk/Recorder Sue Ranochak (who also serves as Elections Officer) could solve the problem by hiring extra help to process the mail in ballots that arrive before election day and reopening a few polling places.
RANOCHAK could also help allay suspicion by releasing daily or weekly updates on the vote tally instead of maintaining a code of silence until the final vote is reported. Which means there are no updates from election night until weeks after the election. Because only 32% of the votes were counted on election day, Measure AF has a mathematical chance of winning. But because AF is trailing almost 2-1, there is simply no realistic chance that it will pass.
FUTCHER DIPLOMATICALLY NOTED AF appears to be failing and asked Blake to explain why, assuming the election night returns are confirmed by the final vote count.
TIM BLAKE: "Well, uh, that's a challenging. uh question. But I think in the simplest way, uh, I think that the, uh, the language could have been vetted out and a few sentences like, uh, ya know, its an amendability clause for the zoning, but it has to be in the spirit of the language, and that, that gave 'em a little fear, to ya know the city governments and the county government. And we could have, we could have just changed that to it's amendable at the Supervisor's discretion. We could have changed one sentence and gotten rid of a lot of things. I think if we'd changed 4 or 5 things that Sarah woulda had a much better opportunity to win this.
"I THINK, uh, the other part of it is that we were going up, a well, against a well-oiled political machine with Mike Sweeney and John McGowan (sic) and, uh, ya know, Hal Wagenet and the rest of 'em. These guys are, ya know, polished. They've been doin' this for a long time, and they had a big jump on us. And, uh, I think that didn't, didn't help either, but umm, I think at the end of the day that, uh, they really confused the citizens with this (sic) environmental issues and some of the zoning issues and once you've cast that, that, that bit of doubt in peoples minds its really hard to change that.
"BUT WHAT WE HAVE here is something very similar to what 64 and MRSA is. People gonna realize that, uh, ya know we've now given the supervisors the, uh, mandate to go and restrict many aspects of growing. I don't think people understand that most of the land in this county is TPZ, which is timber production. And that's gonna be severely restricted, uh, under the guidance of John, and the direction he wants to go. And I've talked to several people just in the last days, who are now realizing that their TPZ is gonna be very limited. And most likely in cultivation, and so there, there's gonna be challenges. But we're gonna go back to the drawing board.
"THE GOOD THING is that what we did, and Sarah did a great job on, was that, uh, we, got John and the rest of the supervisors to realize that they need, uh, they need to provide us with all the different forms of licensing. You know, edibles, topicals, manufacturing, distribution. They need to give us a comprehensive cultivation plan. They' were looking over the CEQA and the, uh, environmental reviews have possibly been tied up into the cultivation season next year and John McGowan (sic) has promised, uh. this county, and the people of it, that he would have all that in place by the springtime, That all the licenses would be addressed and we'd have everything that we need. So I think that no matter what, the initiative pushed, uh, the Supervisors out of a place of saying that they can be complacent and not really address the critical needs of this county and now they're really doing that. So I think it was a win even if, even if we lost on the ballots, it’s a win for what we accomplished for this county. So I'm, I'm really proud of what we did."
FUTCHER ASKED BODNAR if she had anything to add.
SARAH BODNAR: "I think that everything that Tim said is true and I would add a couple of more factors. I think one of the most impactful, um, things that happened during this campaign was very unfortunate which was painting this initiative as a greed based, profit driven, self-interested campaign by the pot growers to take over this county. Which could not be further from the truth. And I think that was really, uh, effective at raising a lot of suspicion and kind of shutting down the conversation about cannabis regulation for many voters. And I think that in the past, you know, we've seen a lot of controversial cannabis policy including Prop 64 really divide, uh, many members of the cannabis community and people come down on all different sides of it.
BUT THE HEART of AF was a desire to bring the industry out of the shadows and into a permitting structure that could work within our local environment as well as help move the county forward and be an engine for economic development. Ya know, what we wanted was not to take over the county. What we wanted was permits. And that has been consistent for more than the past year but we spent many months working with the Board of Supervisors begging them to move the permit process forward and encountering a lot of obstacles and the spirit of collaboration has always been there and remained. So this kind of polarized, uh, perception that was painted of these greedy growers who just wanna write their own rules and take over the county is so inaccurate and so damaging at having a real dialogue and discourse about the most significant thing that has ever happened within the cannabis industry which is shifting from prohibition and the criminal era to a regulated era and a lot of that stays for all of us. And we - I think, uh, Tim is right that this campaign has won and succeeded on many levels and that we have successfully created a dialogue with a lot of community members.
"WE WERE ALSO up against a pretty nasty opposition campaign that was really trying to suppress that dialogue, So now the work that we have to do, regardless of the outcome of AF, is keep the conversation open. Because implementation of any regulatory policy at a local level is going to continue to include the voices of many stakeholders - those within the cannabis community and outside of it. We have to work together. We need to work together. And the way to do that is by respecting each other and continuing to realize that everybody has something to offer to the economic future of our county. And that the more, the more conducive we can be to bringing more cultivators and small businesses and manufacturing, processing, transportation, distribution into compliance means the greater benefit to all members of the community and our physical environment and the future of the, the county itself and being able to solve the problems here through taxation and reinvesting, ya know, the, the money that comes from cannabis, cannabis into the real needs in our community."
WELL OILED POLITICAL MACHINE? In Mendocino County? The closest thing locally is the loose affiliation of Coast and Inland Lib, each comprised of a dozen or so lockstep libs. Like their national counterparts, they are more consumed with such weighty questions as whether or not to bring gluten free pizza to the potluck than about doing anything to benefit the 75% of the American workforce that is struggling for basic survival.
THE NO ON AF committee, as noted here previously, was an odd couple assortment of people who agreed only that AF was deeply flawed. But they all had years of local political campaign experience and made more effective use of their campaign dollars. Unlike No on AF, which was an all volunteer organization, the proponents of AF invested heavily in an inexperienced campaign manager who paid herself and her friends for routine campaign tasks. The pot growers funding the campaign were apparently too busy tending their crops to lend a hand. Or maybe they realized AF wasn't really written for the small grower.
BLAKE AT LEAST acknowledges that AF could have been better written. Changing a few things probably would have made the race closer, but the voters are clearly not ready to let the growers write their own rules. The failure of AF is a setback for growers who were pushing Mendocino County to follow the path of Humboldt County which appears to be banking on legalized marijuana as the economic savior of the local economy. But the supposed economic gain for Humboldt has come with a heavy impact to the environment as the once dense forests are increasingly dotted with newly created clearings devoted to large scale commercial cannabis production.
THE MENDOCINO COUNTY draft cannabis regulations will be presented to the County Planning Commission Dec. 1 at 3:00 p.m. which indicates staff does not think it is an issue that merits much discussion. The presentation is billed as information only with the Planning Commission scheduled to take action on the draft regs on Dec. 15, before shipping the issue back to the Board of Supes for final action. Emboldened by the defeat of AF, it can be expected that the environmental groups and some of the regulatory agencies will be pushing for greater restrictions on where and when the love drug can be produced and in what quantities.