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Mendocino County Today: Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017

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SUNDAY AFTERNOON'S RAIN left a fairly heavy snow on Boonville's hills, and the final downpour bringing down the curtain on the third storm in a week fell fast and hard.

LITTLE DOG SAYS, “The Boss took me on one of his hikes in the hills Sunday evening while there was still snow on the ground. It was pretty, but kinda steep. I couldn’t get over it.”

YORKVILLE collected nine inches of rain over the six-day stretch, the wettest day being last Wednesday at 3.32 inches. Their season total is now 51.92 inches. During the first 23 days of this month, the High Rollers received 24.88 inches, averaging more than an inch per day!

ALMOST NO RAIN in the forecast for the rest of the week. Chilly overnight temps down near freezing in the morning, 50s in the daytime.

THE NAVARRO RIVER PEAKED Sunday afternoon at a couple of feet above flood stage but has been steadily declining despite maybe half an inch more rain in a few squalls.

HIGHWAY 128 was reopened Monday morning.

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LOCALS LONG AGO NOTED how radically through traffic drops off on Highway 128 when the iron bar is drawn across the road at Flynn Creek, Navarro. Before Caltrans installed that physical barrier the heedless would plow on past the Road Closed sign only to be marooned a few miles later, resulting in costly rescue ops. However and whatever, it seems only courteous, though, for both the County and Caltrans to advise outsiders that they can get to and from the Mendocino Coast via Comptche. I’ve known people who turned around in Boonville when they saw the Road Closed 16 miles ahead sign who then drove over the hill to Ukiah, north to Willits, west to Fort Bragg on 20, which is a much, much longer detour than Comptche.

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THE FOLLOWING REPRESENTS an historic development. Read on to find out why.

(1) Dear KZYX General Manager: I’m writing an article that touches on the records management at KZYX. In particular, I'd like to know more about the decision making process that went into content development for the new website here: Especially when it's compared to the old website here:

It appears that somebody made a decision to remove a number of records including: -- General Manager Reports (7+ years) -- Meeting Minutes (7+ years) -- MCPB Policies & Procedures -- Audited Financial Statements (11 years) -- Form 990s (15 years) -- Registration Renewal Fee Forms (15 years): Would you mind telling the reasoning behind that decision, and who made it? Sincerely, Scott M. Peterson, Mendocino

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(2) Dear Scott, Thank you for your kind inquiry. I’m pretty sure we’ve spoken before. Are you not the Scott Peterson who interviewed me at length by phone on Saturday 27 November, a few days before I took up the general manager job? Since your inquiry is copied to an email that I’d guess is the Anderson Valley Advertiser, I’m assuming you are reporting this story for the AVA; I’d be grateful if you could confirm this. In any case, I’m happy to answer your questions!

First and foremost, please rest assured that no decision was made to omit any content from the old website in the transition to the new one. Planning for the transition was under way before I joined KZYX on 1 December, but the amount of work involved in this transition was prodigious, requiring that substantial time be carved out of our busy schedules to train staff how to manage the site and how to transfer content from an antiquated platform that was very different architecturally and operationally from the new one.

Strategically, we took a decision to carry out the transition ourselves, rather than relying on outside consultants, to ensure that we would develop the capacity in-house to manage and populate the website. In other words, our small staff — already diminished by a maternity leave, a serious medical leave and the departure of one staffer, and also challenged by the recruitment of a new general manager facing his own learning curve — took on a very substantial computer programming project for the benefit of KZYX listeners. The work of getting key staff fully trained and actually carrying out the transition was simply more than we could manage in the limited time before the agreed switchover date, Tuesday 17 January. So not everything was ready on Day One, nor is everything in place today.

We prioritized the most active and important portions of the website: starting with the home page, which captures stories from our KZYX News team and from National Public Radio, and establishes the basic design and navigation logic of the site. This involved a lot of back-end engineering, to ensure that audio clips were ready for on-demand streaming and that pictures and audio synced properly with headlines and text.

Second priority was to prepare basic pages for every radio program that we broadcast, which at last count totaled 96! This was an enormous undertaking, and the basic descriptions are only the start. Next, each programmer will have to be trained by one of our staff to update and manage their pages, which will dramatically improve the quality of information that listeners can obtain about our programming. Likewise, our news team are shifting to a set of powerful production tools that are part of the new website, and this, too, requires time and training. Priority is also being given to heavily visited pages such as Community Calendar.

All of the website work has been done at a time of heavy extra programming and news demands on our diminished staff, particularly news demands relating to the elections and inauguration and the heavy weather hitting our county and affecting our listeners. Needless to say, our highest priority at all times at KZYX is public safety, so on many recent days, we slowed or dropped our work on the website to ensure we kept the broadcasts up and running through some very heavy weather and power outages, and kept our reports fully updated about evacuations, flooding, road closures, accidents, power outages and other public safety issues.

The content items that you have kindly identified as not being present on the site are not unimportant; quite the contrary: they are highly important to our mission of transparently serving our membership and listeners, and duties under our broadcast license. You are mistaken to assume that they were deliberately omitted. Content will be restored over the coming weeks as time permits, although we have no choice but to maintain the high priorities of keeping the station on the air and providing timely public safety reporting. I plan to edit some of the older content for brevity, clarity and readability.

I appreciate that you’ve shown us the courtesy of asking about the changes in the new website. I now ask that you be patient with our staff and volunteer programmers as we work through the deeper reaches of the website to complete the transition, a process that will take weeks. We’ve been mindful to post announcements on the website explaining that it’s very much still a work in process, with a long way to go before we’ll be happy with it. Perhaps not everyone has seen these.

Finally, I’m sure you'll agree that the website already is far more attractive, dynamic, informative and easy to navigate. We are pleased with the preliminary results so far, and are determined to make it better with each passing day.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call or email. Thanks for your support.

Best regards,

Jeff (Jeffrey Parker, General Manager and Executive Director, KZYX, Mendocino County Public Broadcasting)

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(3) Dear Mr. Parker: Scott Peterson isn't writing on assignment for the ava, although he often submits stories to us which we publish. Clearly, you have answered his question here, and you may be amused to know that you are the first GM in the long and troubled history of the organization to have taken the time to answer an inquiry about management. I am much encouraged that you have, and I wish you every success in your historically difficult position. Please don't hesitate to call or write if you need anything from us.

Editor, AVA, Boonville

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I DARESAY that Peterson is the only person in the County who has not only read the KZYX website but read it so carefully he knows that it’s been changed. Parker’s civilized response comes as something of a shock after years of incompetent KZYX management. I’m sending in my membership renewal, not that I listen much or expect much in the way of interesting, lively talk on local issues, but simply as a vote of confidence in the guy.

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(The City of Fort Bragg functions as grant conduit to Hospitality House's proliferating "services" while removing a bench enjoyed by bums and locals alike.)

City Working To Address Impacts Relating To Homelessness

Homelessness is a complex and challenging issue that affects most communities. In Fort Bragg, there are many services and facilities to assist our homeless population. The Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center will provide an update to the City Council on their activities at the February 13 Council meeting. At a meeting on February 15, the Council's Public Safety Committee will discuss the City's role in responding to community impacts relating to homelessness. That meeting will be held at Town Hall at 3 PM. City police officers and other staff expend considerable resources addressing homelessness and we are interested in receiving community input and creative ideas to help guide our actions. For example, our Public Works crew recently removed one of the downtown benches to discourage the congregation of homeless individuals at the corner of Redwood and Franklin streets. Please come to the Public Safety Committee meeting and share your ideas.

(City of Fort Bragg Press Release)

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Original Post: Traffic is currently at a standstill on Highway 101 in Northern Mendocino County as emergency personnel deal with the aftermath of a collision between a semi-truck and pickup.

The collision occurred on a stretch of 101 between Leggett and Laytonville near Camp Winnarainbow. The semi-truck is reportedly overturned.

UPDATE, 2:53 p.m.: All northbound lanes and one of the two southbound lanes are now flowing. The picture above comes to us courtesy LoCO superfriend Malinda Dorsey who tells us she waited two hours for the road to open up.


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EVENT OF THE HEART: SAT., FEB. 11. 5:30-10:30. Ukiah Conference Center

MCAVHN, the Mendocino County AIDS/Viral Hepatitis Network, presents the 30th annual Event of the Heart on Saturday, February 11, 2017 from 5:30-10:30 PM at the Ukiah Valley Conference Center. This event benefits persons affected by HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, those with co-occurring disorders (mental and substance use disorders) and those at risk.

The night includes a “Champagne Reception” by Roederer Estate with music by Majide! Machiko & Paul, followed by a gourmet dinner from Ellery Clark Catering, accompanied by wine from Jaxon Keys and Frey Vineyards.

There will be live (conducted by Sheriff Tom Allman) & silent auctions and dance music by The Johnny Young Band. Tickets are $85 per person in advance. Purchase a table for 8 to 10 guests and receive a $5 discount per person. Tickets can be purchased at the Mendocino Book Company or from MCAVHN at 148 Clara Ave, Ukiah (707) 462-1932. Learn more about MCAVHN at or find us at:

Thank you......we hope to see you there!

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A HUGE NEGATIVE for contemporary demonstrations is the truly awful rhetoric out of the selected (self-selecting in Mendocino County) speakers. Young people turn out in droves for these things only to be force-fed hours of tedium even if they try to pay attention.

YESTERDAY'S march on Washington began with statements of the obvious from Gloria Steinem on through painfully stupid remarks by vulgar "celebrities" like Madonna and other national embarrassments. Any kid who listened to this "leadership" is probably re-considering Trump.

LOCALLY? A reader who attended the Ukiah rally said the first speaker, Estelle Clifton, "was really good and right to the point. After her it was the usual parade of usuals, so a lot of people, like me, drifted off to talk with friends while the whoever they ares droned on."

FORT BRAGG? No idea who spoke out there, but I doubt the rhetoric was any better than Ukiah. (The liveliest, most articulate, funniest, and most pointed local speaker I've seen in years is Rex Gressett of Fort Bragg who comes with a bracing Old Testament look to go with his thundering presentations to the Fort Bragg City Council. Agree with him or not, the guy puts on a great show.)

NOTE TO "ACTIVISTS": Words have meaning. Some people are better at speaking words than others. Yes, Ukiah and Fort Bragg are the rhetorical minor leagues, but where are the major leagues? Frisco's rallies are the same interchangeable collection of self-appointed bores and crackpots, their talking points right outta Democracy Now, but much less coherent. Hell, if a national rally can't manage a single good speaker, how can we possibly expect one in Ukiah?

A READER OBSERVES: “Demonstration speakers. They tend to bore because they mainly screech about the problems, the grievances, the injuries, the threats, and so on. People already know that…which is why they’re at the march to begin with. What’s needed are speakers who can articulate and present an inspiring vision of what societies based on alternative values can become and how we might arrive at them. Many of us are weary of always hearing about and being ‘against.’ Who can address what we are really ‘for’?”

WERE THERE REALLY 2500 people marching in Fort Bragg against Trump provocations, real and imagined? From the film clips I saw there was certainly a large turnout, as there was in cities of all sizes across the country, and cosmically odd considering that Orange Man hasn't done anything yet.

CHECK THAT. Yesterday (Sunday), he knocked off a mortgage interest deduction for people of modest means, a crumb bum thing to do but a harbinger of great economic crimes to come. But, but, but….. But then on Monday he knocked off the TPP, a great move.

HOMEMADE PLACARDS are always proof of genuine political feeling, and say what you will about Orange Man he's already inspired a major burst of creativity: “Build a wall round Trump, I'll pay for it.” “Chin up, fangs out.” “This pussy grabs back.” “Melania! Blink twice if you want us to free you.”

ONE PATHETIC MALE shuffled along in DC with a sign that read, "On behalf of my gender, I'm sorry."

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FATHOM FREED. Perhaps in accordance with President Barrack Obama's commutation of Chelsea Manning, Sheriff Thomas Allman has abbreviated Cap'n Fathom’s stay at the County Jail. The legendary Fathom, aka Alan Graham, the professed bastard son of Mussolini, was released from jail Wednesday and promptly joined the AVA’s Ukiah bureau for whisky and sea stories, his usual foghorn voice tempered by a touch of bronchitis. (Bruce McEwen)

FOR THOSE of you who’ve never enjoyed the Mendo County Jail experience, our jail, like most jails these days, humanely sequesters inmates according to a kind of vulnerability scale. The tough guys — professional criminals, the ultra-violent, gang shlebs etc. — are in one unit where, since all of them are quick to deploy force and violence to get what they want, order prevails. The Catch-of-the-Day drunks, dope heads, bums, and miscellaneous screw-ups and incompetents, are pretty much confined together because they are accurately assessed as harmless. Many of them confirm the old joke that goes, “These people weren’t arrested, they were rescued. Extremely violent and or crazy people are shut away by themselves in isolation cells. The Captain Fathom types, the wacky mostly, have their own unit which, from my experience back in the day, reminded me of Monkey Island at the SF Zoo. The goofy guys, many of whom knew each other from the street as outpatients of various kinds, were a merry lot. They sang songs, whistled, laughed at nothing in particular, told each other jokes, played dominoes and cards, and generally seemed to have a great time. Jail was a safe, orderly place for them. I don’t think Sheriff Allman had Captain Fathom and versions thereof in mind when he tried to get a County mental health facility established, but a lot of these guys need something like their County Jail unit only on a full-time basis.

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A READER'S COMMENT and recommended reading:

Survival Condo — Atlas Missile Silo turned Luxury Condos

Article about the elite survivalists in January 30 New Yorker. I googled the project, and here is the website. This is a very far cry from the mindset of mid-mountain hippies with Class K cabins and a dozen metal trash cans filled with aduki beans.

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Renowned poet Judith Ayn Bernhard (Prisoners of Culture) will read new work (and maybe a few old favorites) at the North Beach Branch of the SF Public Library on Tuesday evening, 1/31 at 6:30 PM. She will share the podium with Romeo Alcala Cruz.

Byron Spooner, Literary Director
Friends of the San Francisco Public Library
1630 17th St., San Francisco, CA 94107
Phone: (415) 810-4974

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MENDO GADFLY John Sakowicz has been selected to serve on the Ukiah Valley Sanitation District's board of directors. Sako was one of four candidates. The District is in a complicated and protracted legal battle with the city of Ukiah over what the Sanitation District says Ukiah owes them for back payments for sewer hookups. The Sanitation District says that Ukiah's accounting department (which does the books for the Sanitation District) has been underpaying the Sanitation District for decades and using the "savings" for nebulous and inappropriate city services. The Sanitation District probably has a point, but figuring out how much the City owes the District (they share the plumbing; federal grants are involved with all the associated strings, etc.) will take a long time with both sides spending lots of money on lawyers. Clearer heads of the type no longer holding official positions in Mendocino County would have split the difference long ago and saved all the legal costs and hassles. If Sako wants to make a difference, he should try to come up with a settlement that his new Sanitation District Board members would like and that gets the City and the District out of court and out of the hands of lawyers.

SAKO WRITES: “On the merits, UVSD’s lawsuit vs. the City of Ukiah is winnable. Both the facts and the law support UVSD (Ukiah Valley Sanitation District). The evidence, although going back many years and a bit esoteric, as it’s based on a lot of forensic accounting, is strong. The case is winnable for the UVSD, but at what cost? That is the question. Personally, I love the idea of a consolidated water and sewer district in the Ukiah Valley. As a start, I think the City should transfer its sewer interests to UVSD. I’ll explain: Cities should primarily be in the business of public safety — police, fire, ambulance and emergency medical services, and inspection and code enforcement — and not in the business of public utilities. I don’t know how it came to pass that Ukiah, a small city of only 17,000 people, became an “empire” of public utilities — electric, water, sewer, plus all of Ukiah’s RDA (redevelopment) projects. Nor should a small city like Ukiah have a payroll of over 300 employees, and be paying its city manager a total compensation package of $251,669 in 2016, with numerous other city employees making more than $200,000 (in total pay and benefits).

(ED NOTE: According to there were 36 people making over $100k as Ukiah employees in 2015, the last year posted. With benefits, that number rose to more than 100 people making over $100k in pay and benefits, and 11 making over $200k in total pay and benefits. All this for a city of fewer than 17,000 people!)

SAKO CONTINUES: “Back in November, the City of Ukiah claimed to be so broke it needed to pass a special tax to fix its potholes, remember? Baloney! Ukiah spends money on the wrong things and does a lot of creative accounting to come up with enough to cover its budget shortfalls, including over-billing the UVSD. Another example of City mismanagement and creative accounting is the old Vichy Springs dump. Closed in 2001, it has yet to be capped and sealed, despite raising the ire of state and federal environmental agencies. Why? Why the delay of 15 years in the environmentally fragile Sulphur Creek watershed area? Why, indeed? Is the money really there in an enterprise fund to fund the cap and seal job? Or does the City play a game of find-the-pea with its various enterprise funds to cover shortfalls in other areas? Ukiah is not a sympathetic defendant. I think a settlement between the UVSD and the City of Ukiah is achievable in mediation, but Ukiah will have to make concessions. In any case, Ukiah should also downsize.

UVSD, for its part, must realize the total burden this lawsuit is putting on the City. Added together, the lost opportunity costs with “purple pipes” and other capital improvements, the lower credit rating, the missed bond refinancing, the litigation costs, and the emotional costs, are crushing for the City of Ukiah. The case is winnable for the UVSD, but at what cost? That is the question for both the City of Ukiah and the UVSD. What is the middle ground? How do we get there? I pray it happens sooner than later. And I hope to be a leader in going forward. John Sakowicz, Ukiah

A READER NOTES: “I don't think Ukiah has 200 employees unless you are counting seasonal workers like lifeguards and summer kid’s programs. There is a lot to criticize about the way the city is run, but the Sanitation District lawsuit is using the money from one group of ratepayers to sue another group of ratepayers. The approx $4 million in attorney fees and any settlement will be paid by the ratepayers. The $4 million for the attorneys is money that will never repair a leaky pipeline, pay for upgrades, or employee salaries. It is money lost forever to the system.”

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by Sheila Dawn Tracy

After a week of high winds and steady rain, warmer temperatures made the trip to Willits on January 9th a bit less treacherous for those who attended the KZYX Board meeting. Of high interest to the 15 attendees who braved the inclement weather was a chance to greet Jeffrey Parker, the man who replaced Interim GM, Diane Hering on December 1st. The meeting's agenda included a vote to approve Parker for the permanent position as station manager.

Board President, Meg Courtney described 2016 as a roller coaster year, having to navigate the ups and downs of finding a replacement for the station's previous GM, Lorraine Dechter who, challenged by multiple staff changes, departed from KZYX in August after seven months. Among her achievements as GM were the strengthening of the news department, the establishment of a news production facility in Ukiah as a first step towards a full broadcasting capability, renewed emphasis on community fundraising events and her advice to the board to adopt rules to guide its meetings.

Parker was selected after the Board's initial choice, Terry Green declined the position due to what Courtney explained as a "failure to come to terms" with him. Parker is from Santa Rosa but spent summers with his grandparents outside the town of Mendocino. His résumé includes experience in journalism with Reuters as well as other news agencies and fifteen years overseas, in part spent fostering health care services both in China and India.

Courtney outlined a number of projects that did not get done due to the Board's preoccupation with finding a long term GM. One was the production of a membership newsletter which has been on the table since 2014. The task was taken on by Director Jane Futcher, a writer, who managed to get a newsletter out in December 2015 about the collaborative effort of the KZYX news team with other news agencies in covering the Lake County fires. Unfortunately, due to website difficulties, the newsletter was not widely distributed. Futcher described subsequent delay due to new software installation and training. Input for text is now being sought from staff, membership and Board members. However, no member of the Board volunteered to guide the project. Director Azzaro commented that a volunteer could be recruited that would not necessitate Board participation. Also planned for 2017 is the updating of the station's policies and procedures, long term strategic planning and an overhaul of the website.

GM Report—Programming

Parker outlined several plans to improve the quality of programming including building a steering committee for a community affairs program focused on strategies for local community and economic development. He also sees the need to adopt a standard protocol for program production to keep up with changes in studio technology. Training programs that include certification will be implemented to ensure a high standard for quality and consistency. He places a high priority on cultivating young news gathering talent and intends to provide a collaborative program in community radio news development that will include local and regional partners such as KMUD, the Willits News, the California Report, Capital Public Radio from Sacramento and VOAD (Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster)—affiliated with North Coast Opportunities, (NCO). Other possible collaborations could include the Coyote Band of Pomo Indians and the Good Farm Fund.

The News team now consists of Sherri Quinn and Jason Morash, the latter recruited from Lake County's print media. Valerie Kim is on maternity leave after the birth of a baby girl. Former road condition and weather announcer, Nina Gerona, has returned to her native state of Colorado. Another program change is the frequency and time change of The Discussion Program which will now be heard weekly on Monday evenings at 7p.m.


The core of Parker's vision for improving station infrastructure is to use emerging technology to upgrade the KZYX&Z signals to be more efficient, redundant and affordable. The need for backup support in operations to provide a depth in expertise of very complex systems has been recognized. A technical operations training program is planned.

During the severe storms of early January, two backup systems failed—the uninterrupted power supply (UPS) and the generator. The former has been replaced and the latter repaired.

Some of the equipment upgrades planned for 2017 include:

* Restoration of broadcast capacity to the Philo production studio

* Installation of a production phone system

* New UPS for the Web Streamer, production and main studios.

* Installation of IT systems to better monitor transmissions at the Laughlin Ridge and Cold Spring towers.

Outreach and Fundraising

The website will be revamped to include breaking news from both the KZYX news team and NPR as well as station information, current programming schedules and fundraising links.

The station will continue to have three major on air pledge drives a year— the upcoming one scheduled for mid February. KZYX 's first online pledge drive, organized by the Nat'l Federation of Community Broadcasters (NFCB), brought in $5700 which earned the station a top three ranking out of forty participating stations and a $300 prize bonus. Committee Reports—Election

Director Middlebrook, though absent due to illness, conveyed the information that thus far, one application has been received for the District 3 seat (Willts, Laytonville area) and one for the At- Large seat (in county or contiguous counties). No applications have been received for the District 4 (Fort Bragg and the coast). Applications must be received by January 30th. Unless at least one seat is contested, there is no requirement for an election vote by members. Contact info: 707 895- 2324 during business hours or kzyx@org.


Due to an influx of Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) funds and income from the Fall Pledge Drive, KZYX has a net income over expenses of $55.6K. The outstanding balance on the line of credit remains at $71.3K and aged payables (program fees and tower rents) are $82.4K. The bank balance is $94.2K which will be used to pay down current bills.

The six month budget revision had to allow for a $30K decrease in projected revenue from the approved July budget. Primary cuts were made in the areas of salaries ($25K), professional services ($2.7K) and auditor approved depreciation deferment ($19K). The revised budget allowed for increases in the areas of banking charges, programming fees and telephone and internet costs for a total of $21K additional expense.

There is uncertainty in regard to the degree of federal funding to be expected under the current Congress. The amount has been decreasing and small stations are planning for the possibility that funding could be eventually eliminated.

Action Item — Approval of Revised Budget

Public Comment - I pointed out that the line item of "other consultants" (the cryptic language in which the station budgets for its news reporters) was missing from the November 2016 income statement. In its place was a figure for staffing, formerly known as Gross Employee Wages. Treasurer Campbell confirmed that the news staff were still independent contractors but their pay was included in the staffing category. I felt it was inappropriate and perhaps illegal to fold them into the staff category as independent contractors are not entitled to the same benefits of health coverage and vacation pay as salaried employees.

It is a little known fact that the News Director was a salaried employee until 2012 when former GM, Coate offered then Director, Brooksher, a proposition he was certain would be refused — a reduction of broadcast time by two thirds with a corresponding demotion to independent contractor status with less pay and no benefits. Even less known is the fact, gleaned from the station's public files that same year, that the FCC had informed Coate that it planned to conduct a random audit of the station's financial records. When Brooksher resigned, the station had less than five full time salaried employees which put it into a category exempt from an FCC audit. Five years later, the hardworking news reporters remain in a second tier limbo which is compounded by the sleight of the pen in playing a shell game of combining two obviously unequal situations into one with the hope that it would go unnoticed. Doing so also denies the public the knowledge of how much the news department costs the station, information the previous GM had freely given. Despite my observation, no member of the Board made a recommendation to amend the revised budget to include the deleted contractor line item. It was approved by unanimous agreement.

Action Item — Approve Jeffrey Parker as permanent Executive Director/General Manager

Public Comment — Several members welcomed Parker as station manager including myself and former Board member, David Hopmann. I felt his experience in working with community groups was an asset.

I objected to the inclusion of Executive Director in the contract as unnecessary as Director Campbell, in the previous Board meeting had stated that the title had no added responsibilities. I informed the Board that I had a copy of the contract that was given to John Coate in which the title was first inserted by then Board President, Hopmann. I thought it unusual that the contract contained no definition of the E. D. title nor any clarification of what parameters the added title entailed. I felt that in the past such looseness of terms had led to assuming power not specified which had the effect of putting past Boards in a compromised position of being a rubber stamp for the GM's decisions rather than fulfill their mandate as elected representatives of the members.

The Board approved Parker as ED/GM by unanimous agreement. CAB Report— Community Advisory Board member, Ellen Saxe felt the CAB could have a more effective relationship with the public, suggesting that consideration be given to having its members refreshed and increased. She stated that recommendations can not be brought to the Board without a vote at a public meeting and that there has not been enough attendance of CAB members at meetings to make that happen. Saxe reported that consistent input from the public emphasized a desire to have more local programs including more local news as well as more two way communication between the listener and the station. She also felt CAB members should be given more respect by the Board, noting that she had first learned of the postponement of the January 2nd meeting through an on air announcement.

Saxe did not include a summary of a CAB meeting held on December 7th in Ukiah which drew seven people including herself and CAB member, Tom Melcher.

Director Middlebrook also attended. The following suggestions are from her notes:

* Advocacy of bilingual apprentice program in collaboration with Mendocino College through a credited course.

* Shows with public officials should be more than one hour to allow for greater public input.

* Create an hour program to be rotated among community members.

* What criteria is used to assess the viability of programs over time?

* Would having a program statute of limitations create more fluidity in programming choices?

* Opposition to having musical 'beds' under weather reports as a public safety issue.

* Have news and weather reports be dated so as to be clear on whether it is current information.

Public Comment — Randy emphasized radio as participatory democracy and wanted more diverse viewpoints and free programs such as WINGS (Women''s Internat'l News Gathering Service). Tim commented that the news had been better in the past when it had more local stories. He added that involvement with the community was a question of whether it was approached passively or aggressively. Wally commented that the county had a lot of sharp people with a feisty lefty hippie viewpoint and wanted balanced programming that reflected alternatives to conservative right wing opinions. Bob Bushansky announced leading a Board Training workshop at the Coast campus of Mendocino College. He, along with Michael Grady and John Allison will teach the skills needed to serve effectively on non profit Boards. The course runs from Feb 6th through May 8th on Monday evenings. I once again read to the Board parts of Section 3 of the Policy Manual that pertains to Board Accountability. "All meetings shall be open to anyone who wishes to attend." Meetings shall be noticed on air and at the main studio at least five days in advance. On Documentation: "Minutes shall be kept of all meetings of the Board and be available to anyone desiring copies" for a nominal fee.

To her credit, Courtney has continued the practice begun in August of attempting to respond to questions and issues raised during public comment. She stated that the reason for not holding open public meetings in 2016 was due to the fact that they all involved personnel discussions.

Courtney has hosted several Committee meetings in the privacy of her home, excluding the public except, of course, her husband, CAB member, Bushansky.

I objected forcefully stating from my experience as a reporter that the correct procedure was to hold a closed session of a public meeting when personnel issues were to be discussed. The meeting ended on an almost comical note with Courtney, her hand poised directly above the friendlier Roberta's Rules of Order with its cover depicting a gavel with the familiar circle and slash line through it, threatening to gavel me. On the other end of the long Board table, Directors Keller and Azzaro urged her on saying "Gavel her", "Do it"!

Sitting in the front row, I pointed to the rulebook and said, "You might as well just throw this book out, if you are not going to follow the rules."

Fortunately, a member of the audience, having served on small Boards, affirmed my account of correct procedure and calm prevailed.

Welcome to KZYX, Jeffrey Parker! The next Board meeting will be held in Fort Bragg on March 6th, "most likely" at the Redwood Coast Senior Center. The rotation schedule for Board meetings for 2017 was announced as follows: Fort Bragg — Anderson Valley — Point Arena — Ukiah — Willits. Meetings occur on the first Monday of every other month unless otherwise specified.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, January 23, 2017

Case, Davis, Langley

LUCAS CASE, Covelo. Probation revocation.

JOSHUA DAVIS, Ukiah. Drunk in public.

MICHAEL LANGLEY, Ukiah. Drunk in public.

Martinez, Pascoe, Venturi, Wilkinson

ISMAEL MARTINEZ, Fort Bragg. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, reckless driving, protective order violation, county parole violation, suspended license.

ROBERT PASCOE, Calpella. DUI-drugs.

JOSEPH VENTURI, Ukiah. Under influence, county parole violation, probation revocation.

ANTHONY WILKINSON SR., Willits. Under influence, controlled substance, paraphernalia.

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by Shepherd Bliss

Welcome to the Start of the Third American Revolution:

(Santa Rosa, California) — The first American Revolution was lead by white men. They defeated the powerful British Empire and gained our independence in the 18th century. The people won.

The second American Revolution, the Civil War, abolished slavery. It was inspired by leaders such as Sojourner Truth and Abraham Lincoln, in the middle of the 19th century. The people won.

During the 20th century, especially its second half, the U.S. became an Empire. It expanded its imperialism, colonization, and wars of domination around the globe, killing millions of people in the process.

What might be described as the possibility of a third American Revolution may have received its opening salvo with women’s marches on Jan. 21, 2017, the day after the 45th president of the U.S. was inaugurated. These marches drew millions of people to over 600 cities around the world to object to the policies of the new president.

“We are in another revolution,” said Grange officer Gary Abreim on the following day at a training for non-violent action outside the small town of Sebastopol, California. “This one is a revolution of the spirit.”

Nearby Santa Rosa’s daily newspaper, the Press Democrat (PD), had a front-page article describing it’s city’s march as “a vibrant political rebellion.” The moderate publication’s headline read “SR Marchers Show Solidarity in Revolt.” A black Muslim woman in D.C. said, “We’re ready for a revolution,” after which “I am a revolutionary” chant went up.

Though there were important liberation movements with the civil rights, women’s, gay, and other struggles during the late 20th and early 21st centuries, especially during the l960s, it was not until this Jan. 21 that millions of people in the U.S. and beyond took to the streets to object to the discriminatory policies of a new president.

This revolution is clearly being spear-headed by what the new, untested president calls “nasty women,” a term these liberators have accepted to describe themselves. Their allies include people of color, immigrants, Muslims, people of diverse sexual and gender identities, the disabled, and others who object to the rise of sexism, racism, homophobia, and other oppressions. Groups such as Black Lives Matter and Planned Parenthood were at the forefront of the marches. describes the marches as “the largest set of protests in US history—a gorgeous showing of our resilience, strength, and solidarity.”

Official estimates were that 150,000 gathered in Chicago, 125,000 in Boston, and 175,000 in Los Angeles. The march in D.C. far outnumbered those participating in the presidential inauguration, perhaps by twice as many people.

5000 People March in Santa Rosa

This revolution, so far, has been non-violent, inclusive, and based on love. The PD reports that Santa Rosa police “Lt. John Snetsinger said the crowd was ‘easily more than 5,000.” He described it as “one of the largest free-speech events we’ve ever had in Santa Rosa.”

The official police report added, “The crowds were very peaceful and well-organized and consisted of people of all ages. There were no disruptive incidents reported.” Many families participated, including parents with strollers and infants in their arms and elders at least into their 90s.

Their adversaries, such as the Klu Klux Klan, have a lot of fire-power, which they have already used to threaten and even kill innocent African Americans, brown-skinned people, and other non-white and non-Christian people.

On the morning of Jan. 21 this reporter listened to Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now Pacifica radio program broadcasting live from the D.C. march, then headed to Santa Rosa, population 160,000.

Among elected officials who spoke were Congressman Jared Huffman, who was one of more than 60 Democratic members of Congress who refused to attend President Trump’s inauguration. Other elected officials marching were State Senator Mike McGuire, Sonoma County Supervisors Lynda Hopkins and Shirlee Zane, Santa Rosa Councilmember Julie Combs, Windsor Mayor Deb Fudge, and Rohnert Park Mayor Jake Mackenzie, Sebastopol Mayor Una Glass, and Sebastopol City Council member Sarah Gurney.

Supervisor Hopkins wrote the following in an email after the march:

“I left the Women's March in Santa Rosa feeling inspired and energized. When I saw photos from friends across the country sharing their images, I actually got teary-eyed. Women, children, and yes, men, were standing up for the things I believe in. All of us were standing up peacefully in support of equality.”

“I got a glimpse that we can be part of a worldwide awakening of progressivism. This movement wasn't just against Trump,” Hopkins continued. “It was FOR shared values. That makes me think of the 1960s -- when the antiwar movement intertwined with the civil rights movement. It's important not just to stand against things, but to find a common thread of values to support. Today, that common thread stretched around the world. As one sign said, ‘It's 2017. I can't believe I still have to protest this shit.’ It's time to move forward -- not backwards. The world is ready.”

“We want our president to know we are not backing down,” Former Rep. Lynn Woolsey told the group in front of City Hall.

Rep. Huffman echoed Barack Obama’s words in his final days as president “that being an American is not about where you’re from, or what you look like, what language you speak, how you worship, who you love. It’s about an ideal that we are all created equal.”

Rep. Huffman put a pink hat with cat ears on, which many of the protestors wore to draw attention to Donald Trump’s nasty comments about women and his abuse of them.

Among the many signs were the following: “No person is illegal,” “Women’s rights are human rights,” “Keep the immigrants, deport Trump,” “Not my president,” and “We the people means all of us,” and “My pussy is not up for grabs.”

"I felt angry as I approached the march,” said Woody Hastings of the Climate Protection Center. “Angry that we still have to hit the streets and protest such backward thinking. As I mingled with the good sisters and brothers and chuckled at the many clever and humorous signs, I started to lighten up and be happy. My sign read: '1920: Women get the vote, 2020: Women get the White House.... PLEASE!!!' and that gives me something very positive to work toward over the next four years."

“It was an emotional day for me,” reported activist Janus Matthes of Wine and Water Watch ( I saw two women clearly in their late 80's, dressed in black and wearing pink hats, one in a walker, one with a cane helping the other. It set the tone for the day and brought tears to my eyes. A small girl dressed in pink lead us in "This little light of mine...I'm going to let it shine.’ It was a day of peace, hope, community and resistance.”

The Women’s March in Washington, D.C.

“We demand to be seen and heard,” was a familiar phrase at both marches. “We refuse to be marginalized, sexualized, and de-humanized. We count,” was said. “We are not silent any more. Together our voice is powerful. This is what democracy looks like. We are here to ignite change.”

The D.C. march had at least twice as many participants as Trump’s inauguration, which had half as many as President Obama’s 2009 inauguration.

“This is an extraordinary day,” observed newly elected California Senator Kamala Harris to the more than one million women and their allies in D.C. “We all should be treated equally,” she noted. “Immigrants represent the heart and soul of this country.” Nearly a dozen other African-American female Congresspersons joined her at the D.C. march.

Senator Tammy Duckworth (D., Ill.), a wounded combat veteran wore her “Don’t f___ with me” jacket. “I didn’t give up literally parts of my body to have the Constitution trampled on … to have them roll back our rights,” she said. Sen. Duckworth lost her right leg near the hip and her left leg below the knee while serving as an Army helicopter pilot in Iraq. “You will not roll back our rights, not as long as we’re here, not as long as we’re breathing.”

African American Van Jones of the San Francisco Bay Area, former member of Pres. Obama’s team made an impassioned plea to “real conservatives” to abide by the Constitution. He advocated “inclusivity,” and made an appeal to everyone “against hate and putting down red-state voters.” Another speaker called for “tender equity for all.”

“We must protect women,” another male speaker declared. “Do not discriminate against women. It is because of women that I am a man.”

One young girl spoke in Spanish: “To the children, I say, don’t be afraid. We are not alone. There are many others on this road. Si, se puede,” a chant which the listeners echoed.

“I march for Mother Earth,” an Indigenous woman from Oklahoma declared. “As the Standing Rock water protectors say, ‘Water is life.’ You will not steal our land. It’s a Standing Rock moment. Indigenous people say no to pipelines and wars for oil.”

It remains to be seen if this was merely a well-organized, highly successful one-day event, or the start of a truly non-violent mass movement.

(Dr. Shepherd Bliss {} is a retired college teacher who has contributed to 24 books and farmed for the last two decades.)

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DIRTY MONEY: Trump and the Kazakh connection

Financial Times of London probe finds evidence a Trump venture has links to alleged laundering network.

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by James Kunstler

If the first forty-eight hours are any measure of the alleged Trumptopia-to-come, the leading man in this national melodrama appears to be meshuga. A more charitable view might be that his behavior does not comport with the job description: president. If he keeps it up, I stick to my call that we will see him removed by extraordinary action within a few months. It might be a lawful continuity-of-government procedure according to the 25th Amendment — various high officials declaring him “incapacited” — or it might be a straight-up old school coup d’état (“You’re fired”).

I believe the trigger for that may be an overwhelming financial crisis in the early second quarter of the year. In, the first case, under Section 4 of the 25th Amendment, it works like this:

Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.

Or else, it will be an orchestrated cabal of military and intelligence officers — not necessarily evil men — who fear for the safety of the nation with the aforesaid meshuganer in the White House, who is summarily arrested, sequestered, and replaced by an “acting president,” pending a call for an extraordinary new election to replace him by democratic means. I’m not promoting this scenario as necessarily desirable, but that’s how I think it will go down. It will be a sad moment in this country’s history, worse than the shock of John Kennedy’s assassination, which happened against the background of an economically stable Republic. History is perverse and life is tragic. And shit happens.

Returning to the first forty-eight hours of the new regime, first the ceremony itself: there was, to my mind, the disturbing sight of Donald Trump, deep in the Capitol in the grim runway leading out onto the inaugural dais. He lumbered along, so conspicuously alone between the praetorian ranks front and back, overcoat open, that long red slash of necktie dangling ominously, with a mad gleam in his eyes like an old bull being led out to a sacrificial altar. His speech to the multitudes was not exactly what had once passed for presidential oratory. It was not an “address.” It was blunt, direct, unadorned, and simple, a warning to the assembled luminaries meant to prepare them for disempowerment. Surely it was received by many as a threat.

Indeed an awful lot of official behavior has to change if this country expects to carry on as a civilized polity, and Trump’s plain statement was at face value consistent with that idea. But the disassembly of such a vast matrix of rackets is unlikely to be managed without generating a lot of dangerous friction. Such a tall order would require, at least, some finesse. Virtually all the powers of the Deep State are arrayed against him, and he can’t resist taunting them, a dangerous game. Despite the show of an orderly transition, a state of war exists between them. Anyway, given Trump’s cabinet appointments, his “swamp draining” campaign looks like one set of rackets is due to be replaced by a new and perhaps worse set.

Trump was correct that the ruins of industry stand like tombstones on the landscape. The reality may be that an industrial economy is a one-shot deal. When it’s gone, it’s over. Even assuming the money exists to rebuild the factories of the 20th century, how would things be produced in them? By robotics or by brawny men paid $15-an-hour? If it’s robotics, who will the customers be? If it’s low-wage workers, how are they going to pay for the cars and washing machines? If the brawny men are paid $40 an hour, how would we sell our cars and washing machines in foreign markets that pay their workers the equivalent of $1.50 an hour. How can American industry stay afloat with no export market? If we don’t let foreign products into the US, how will Americans buy cars that are far more costly to make here than the products we’ve been getting? There’s no indication that Trump and his people have thought through any of this.

Trump can pull out the stops (literally, the regulations) to promote oil production, but he can’t alter the declining energy return on investment that is bringing down the curtain on industrial society. In fact, pumping more oil now at all costs will only hasten the decline of affordable oil. His oft-stated wish to simply “take” the oil from Middle Eastern countries would probably lead to sabotage of their oil infrastructure and the cruel death of millions. He would do better to prepare Americans for the project of de-suburbanizing the nation, but I doubt that the concept has ever entered his mind.

The problems with Obamacare, and so-called health care generally, are burdened with so many layers of arrant racketeering that the system may only be fixable if it is destroyed in its current form — the overgrown centralized hospitals, the overpaid insurance and hospital executives, the sore-beset physicians carrying six-figure college-and-med-school loans, the incomprehensible and extortionate pricing system for care, the cruel and insulting bureaucratic barriers to obtain care, the disgraceful behavior of the pharmaceutical companies, all add up to something no less than a colossal hostage racket, robbing and swindling people at their most vulnerable. So far, nobody has advanced a coherent plan for changing it. Loosing the Department of Justice to prosecute the medical racketeers directly would be a good start. Overcharging and defrauding sick people ought to be a criminal act. But don’t expect that to happen in a culture where anything goes and nothing matters. A financial crisis could be the trigger for ending the massive medical grift machine. Then what? Back to locally organized clinic-scale medicine… if we should be so lucky.

Saturday afternoon, Trump paid a call at CIA headquarters, ostensibly to begin mending fences with what may be his domestic arch-enemies. What did he do? He peeved and pouted about press reports of the lowish attendance at his swearing in. Maximum meshuga. I’m surprised that some veteran of The Company’s Suriname outpost didn’t take him out with a blowgun dart garnished with the toxic secretions of tree frogs.

Do you suppose Trump is going to improve? That was the hope after the election: that he’d take on some POTUS polish. No, what you see is what you get. I can only imagine that what’s going on behind the scenes in various halls of power would make a Matt Damon Bourne movie look like a sensitivity training session — grave professional men and women on all fours with their hair on fire howling into the acoustical ceiling tiles.

Don’t forget that it was the dismal failure of Democratic “progressive” politics that gave us Trump. His infantile lies and foolish tweets were made possible by a mendacious political culture that excuses illegal immigrants as “the undocumented,” refuses to identify radical Islamic terror by name, shuts down free speech on campus, made Michael Brown of Ferguson a secular saint, claims that there’s no biological basis for gender, and allowed Wall Street to pound the American middle class down a rat hole like so much sand.

You think this is the dark night of the national soul? The sun only went down a few minutes ago and it’s a long hard slog to daybreak.

(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page:

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DRAWN BY LOW OPERATING COSTS, generous tax incentives and proximity to the US more than ten major call center firms now operate in El Salvador, employing some 20,000 people. Deportations from the US have fuelled the industry by bringing an influx of English speaking job-seekers. Eddie Anzora was one of 20,000 Salvadorans deported in 2007. Since President Obama took office in 2009, the US has deported 2.7 million people, more than during any previous Administration. 152,000 of them are Salvadoran, and roughly 20% have spent at least five years in the US. They generally speak fluent and idiomatic English — the most crucial requirement for call-enter work. Their next most important quality is their desperation. Deportees are “very loyal,” a recruiter for a call center told the McClatchy News Service, “They know they won’t get another shot.” At one call center I visited, more than half the employees had been deported from the US. Recruiters show up at an isolated hangar of the San Salvador airport to intercept deportees as they get off small jets flown in by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

— Jonathan Blitzer

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Trump’s got guts, you’ve got to give him that. Maybe more guts than brains or good sense, but maybe that’s what it’s going to take to get things back on track for the long haul. Perhaps we should view his election as a form of catharsis. Sometimes catharsis requires actions that are not very fashionable or nuanced. Such as, when you’ve drunk too much and your stomach is churning, you stick your finger down your throat to vomit it up. Not pretty. But it sure works.

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by Dan Bacher

This is a revised transcript of a short speech that I gave at the end of the “Changefest rally” held on the north steps of the State Capitol in Sacramento on January 21. I will post a report on the rally later.

The Western States Petroleum Association is the largest and most powerful corporate lobbying group in the West and California. It has spent more than other lobbying organization in Sacramento in recent years to exert control over the Governor’s Office, regulatory agencies and State Legislature, but its enormous influence appears to be one of California's best-kept secrets.

Big Oil, along with Big Ag, Big Pharma, Big Timber and other corporate interests, dominate politics in California, as well as in Washington, D.C., as evidenced by Donald Trump’s nomination of EXXON CEO Rex Tilleson as Secretary of State, Scott Pruitt as EPA Administrator, and other oil and energy corporation shills to his cabinet.

The Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) is a “non-profit trade association” that represents companies that account for the bulk of petroleum exploration, production, refining, transportation and marketing in the five western states of California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, and Nevada.

WSPA’s membership includes a who’s who oil, energy and pipeline corporations including Aera Energy LLC, Chevron, Californian Resources Corporation (formerly Occidental Petroleum), ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Noble Energy, Inc., Phillips 66, Plains All American, Inc. Shell Oil Products US, Tesoro Refining and Marketing and Valero.

From January 1, 2009 to November 8, 2016, the oil industry spent $112,371,214 on lobbying expenses in California, according to a new report, “The Chevron Way: Polluting California and Degrading Democracy.” The International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) Sydney Office produced the report, in collaboration with a coalition of conservation, consumer and environmental justice groups.

The Western States Petroleum Association led the oil industry lobbying expenses with $49,491,104 during this period, followed by Chevron with $24,035,901 and Phillips 66 with $4,821,144. For more information, go to:

The California Oil Lobby remains the biggest spender in the 2015-16 legislative session, spending an amazing $32.4 million so far. “That’s the equivalent of dropping $50,750 EVERY DAY since January 1, 2015,” reported Stop Fooling California,

WSPA dumped $2.6 million into lobbying legislators and state officials in the seventh quarter, while Next Generation Climate Action spent an unprecedented $7.3 million, almost 3 times the oil industry group’s expenses.

The spending by Steyer’s group helped propel the passage of Senate Bill 32, legislation that reduces greenhouse gas level to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, in spite of strong opposition by the oil industry.

WSPA and Big Oil use their money and power in 5 ways: through (1) lobbying; (2) campaign spending; (3) getting appointed to positions on and influencing regulatory panels; (4) creating Astroturf groups: and (5) working in collaboration with media.

Big Oil and other corporate advocates have dominated appointments to Commissions and regulatory panels in California under Governors Gray Davis, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jerry Brown, ranging from the Department of Conservation, to the California Public Utilities Commission, to the California Energy Commission, to the Marine Life Protection Act Initiative Blue Ribbon Task Force.

In a classic case of the “fox guarding the hen house, Catherine Reheis-Boyd, President of the Western States Petroleum Association, chaired the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative Blue Ribbon Task Forces to create faux “marine protected areas” in Southern California from 2009 to 2012 at the same the oil industry was fracking South Coast ocean waters. Reheis-Boyd also served on the task forces for the Central Coast, North Central Coast, and North Coast from 2004 to 2012.

Reheis-Boyd’s husband, James D. Boyd, sat on on the California Energy Commission from 2002 to 2012, including serving as Vice-Chair of the Commission from 2/2007 to 1/2012.

More recently, the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) in September opened an investigation into the California Democratic Party in response to a report by a prominent consumer group, Consumer Watchdog, claiming that the party acted as a “laundry machine” to funnel donations from oil, energy and utility companies to Brown’s 2014 election campaign. For more information, go to:

There is no doubt that Big Oil and other corporate interests dominate politics in California and Washington — and that we must relentlessly work to get Big Oil out of politics by supporting efforts like the Move to Amend,, and the California Clean Money Campaign,

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by Clancy Sigal

“Quit blaming everybody for your problems. Get out there and do it yourself.”
—Woman in Michigan’s Rust Belt hostile to the Big March

It took almost 30 years of protest to end the Vietnam War starting in 1945 and ending with the last US troops to leave in 1973.

Trump is declaring war on the 66 million American voters who refused to support him. He won’t forgive, ever.

Our war of resistance means:

1/ Counter-sabotage against Trump’s army of destroyers. Not a step back. Harass, nag and hold feet to the fire of your Reps and senator.

2/ After the women return home from their amazing D.C.-and-other-cities march dig in for the hard, hard work of creating a local, focused, disciplined movement – led by women – capable of going beyond protest to TAKE CHARGE.

And, yes, invite pro-life women.

3/ Brutally dismantle the Democratic National Committee that handed the election to Trump. This will traumatize loyal Democrats and Hillary fans. MSNBC is a Democratic megaphone and does us no favors doing CPR on a corpse.

Sorry, Rachel, that means you too.

Once that’s accomplished, we imitate the Tea Party who copied us. Repeat: say “No!” until their ears ring.

And then re-capture education boards, mayorships, mid-term offices, getting the experience to GOVERN and regain Congress in 2018 and the White House in 2020.

What? Wait another four years? If that’s what it takes.

Who among us can or will last it out?

During Vietnam we had some things going for us absent now. Remember?

Firstly, the music (“The Times They Are A-changing”). A rebel doped up counterculture. Some sane Republicans. A Vietnamese enemy refused to surrender. An expanded draft pissed off the young poor and their parents (but not rich chickenhawks like Donald). Ordinary citizens publicly torched themselves as symbolic witness. A loved and hated celebrity Muhammed Ali refused to serve. Exposure of government lies by nosey reporters and fearless insiders like Dan Ellsberg.

Sixties protest, at first small and weak and limited to the Usual Suspects, spread dramatically to include priests, rabbis, business people and dissenting generals. A unified, strong broad front. Most crucially, resistance inside military led to desertions, fragging, demoralization and finally refusal to fight.

With all that going for us, popular support for Lyndon Johnson’s war remained pretty high even when the apparatus was collapsing. Lesson: fight popular opinion.

If we lack some of the stuff the Vietnam generation had, what do we have?


In this particular war men are in a support role. Women lead, persuade – and win.

(Clancy Sigal is a screenwriter and novelist. His latest book is Black Sunset.)

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Thunder 'n Lightning

Spent yesterday at Shiva Temple in Concord, CA enjoying the fire ceremony, abhishekam veneration of the elephant god Sri Vinayagar (Ganesh), Murugan with the vel weapon, who is head of Shiva's army, and of course the battle goddess Durga. Sat quietly off to the side chanting Om Namah Shivaya, awaiting the prasadam feast served downstairs. A lot of children were running around the temple playing, while the priests conducted the various temple activities. A serene, deeply spiritual center of the universe, as the fundraising continues for the envisioned new temple, to be constructed next to the Safeway just north of the Concord BART train station. Chanting Om Namah Shivaya continuously, returned to my place on San Francisco's lower nob hill, and spent the evening watching Shaivite videos on You Tube. Took off the headphones to make some Tulsi tea, and heard the loud rainstorm happening outside, which went on for hours. Found out that it hailed in the Mission and really pelted Bernal Heights, plus lightning hit the twin towers several times. Awoke this morning chanting Om Namah Shivaya. Have a lease here until June 1st. Contact me if you wish to do anything in regard to the Trumpocalypse, and especially insofar as the ecological implosion of Mother Earth is concerned. Stay centered, always shining in one's satchidananda svarupa, and not attached to the global political theater of pain.

Craig Louis Stehr


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Struggling to Raise Children With Emotional & Behavioral Challenges

by Alexis Duckett

As a parent, it is hard to raise a child in this ever changing world especially if that child is in rebellion and with mental health issues. Not only have I been there, but I have been through it twice. This is a true story, my story about one parent’s struggle to save her daughter from herself. Although I have a second child with similar disabilities, my trials and tribulations with my daughter are the focus and purpose of this article.

There was a time when I thought that I was alone; helpless, scared, hopeless. I spent many sleepless nights crying into my pillow. I was lost, confused, hurt, and angry. I felt that I had nowhere to turn, nowhere to go, certainly no other parent was going through this, I was alone and a mess, distraught, tired, I wanted to give up, but I didn’t.

My challenges start with my daughter. She did not have a traditional upbringing, unfortunately. Her biological father was not in the picture and her stepfather, my son’s father, was emotionally, mentally, and physically abusive. I was stuck in a toxic relationship. The man that I married, the man that I was supposed to spend the rest of my life with turned out to be a monster, a bastard. Over the course of six years, he had hurt my kids and I numerous times. I could tell you stories that would make you cringe. We were no strangers to the authorities.

My husband had been arrested for domestic abuse, child abuse, child endangerment, among other charges. He was found guilty, but never served jail time. My children had been subjected to foster homes, staying with relatives in the state we lived in, and also were sent to stay with my parents. I wanted my children not to be subjected to anymore abuse, I would get them back when my husband and I were able to function as a caring, loving husband and wife. We had court proceedings, counseling, my husband was ordered anger management classes and Alcoholics Anonymous (the man enjoyed his beer more than his family.) To no avail, this was ongoing for about four out of my six years of marriage. No matter what I did, no matter what I tried, it was hopeless. I tried begging, pleading, I tried changing myself, I did everything that I could think of to save my family. The situations had actually worsened. It had gotten so bad that the Presiding Judge had stated that if I continued my relationship with him, my children would be removed permanently from my care. After that, I left and this time for good. I’m just so sorry to my children that it took that for me to leave the final time.

At the time I left my marriage, my daughter was twelve, her brother was six. After six months of being on my own and going from day visits with my children to overnights with them, I received full custody of both of my children. Within a few months, I started dating someone who had a good job, came from a good family, and had a good head on his shoulders. That is where the beginning of our family troubles began.

My daughter had started acting out; she was rebellious. She screamed and shouted a lot. She was still only twelve and at the time I felt that no twelve year old is going to tell me how to live my life, who I could and could not date, and what I should or shouldn’t do.

I ended up back in a custody fight with my ex, and to my shock and everyone else’s shock, he was awarded custody of my daughter, who was not his biological child, and I was awarded custody of our son. It seemed very strange that this judge had actually awarded custody to a man who had a rap sheet of child abuse, neglect and child endangerment.

Not long after residing with him, my ex had her committed to a children’s mental facility. I had gotten two separate stories of why this happened; he said she just started acting out, locked herself in the bathroom and destroyed everything. But she said he locked her in the bathroom while she was trying to get out of the bathroom.

After her two week stay at the facility, the same judge awarded custody back to me.

My daughter rebelled against my relationship with this new gentleman I was seeing. We collectively agreed a few months later for her to move in with my mother who lived only a short distance away. After about a year, and my relationship with my new man had solidified, we purchased a house in a nearby town. My daughter had moved back in with us and had enrolled in the local school.

Things were good for a little while, then deteriorated by the time she was a freshman in high school. She was exploding every chance she could get, running wild, disregarded all household rules. She would start fights just to argue, trying to pit me and my boyfriend against each other. Once again, she moved out and moved in with, guess who… The Monster. Well, once again, that did not last long. This time he actually kicked her out and when I went to pick her up, her and all her things were on the front lawn strewn about. Great “father”, huh?

Once I got her home again, things were going a little better, but soon she was drinking, doing drugs, running around town, running away from home, doing whatever she pleased. She was now sixteen.

One day I had gone to my job as a bookkeeper when I received a call from my boyfriend stating that my daughter left a note and was running away, of course I left work in an instant. I called the police, I contacted all of her friends, and through all my efforts, she was found. She had jumped on a train to the southern part of the state where we once lived. She was escorted to the local hospital where I was met by the police and hospital personnel. Being that she was a minor and behaving in a way that indicated a mental disorder, it was required that the legal guardian stay with her until she was released. That time away cost me my job.

One day I had grounded her from her phone. She had a thing where she would stuff her cell phone down her bra, thinking I wouldn’t get it. She fought me. All this transpired in my mother’s home. My mother had called the police, by this time the fight had escalated and we were two rooms down from where we had started. The police had shown up, handcuffed her, and had taken her to the police station. Of course as her mother and her being a minor, I had to follow.

This is where a world exists that I didn’t know existed. The police had informed me that they had called Mobile Response, a 24/7 crisis intervention hotline that specializes in youth and adolescents aged from five to eighteen. The Mobile Crisis Counselor was with us within a few hours. She talked with me and my daughter, and helped us come up with a temporary safe plan. There was no way that I felt that I would be able to take my daughter home and stabilize her for the night. The Counselor had worked the next few hours contacting other agencies and her supervisors to help us. Eventually, my daughter was accepted into the Youth Shelter located within my county. The worker asked me if I would be able to drive her to the shelter, I had flat out told her no, that I didn’t want to take the chance. The police were kind enough to step up and escort her while I followed.

Shortly thereafter, my daughter was released to my home. Once again, things were good for a while, but again she started spiraling out of control. I called the Mobile Crisis Unit and they came out to assess my daughter. Within a week they had started in-home counseling, a six week period where after the in-home counselor would reassess the family and see if further services were needed.

We were approved for further services and entered into a long term program. That specific program offered in-home counseling, in-home behavioral assistance, a Parent Support Partner. It was all called Wrap Around.

There was a team coordinator that came out to the home and did a strengths and needs assessment, which is basically a questionnaire that targets all mental and emotional behaviors among other disabilities in a broad spectrum. Once that is completed, a Child Family Team Meeting is set up. The first meeting consists of the team coordinator, Parent Support Partner (if the parent of the child opts for that service), all household members, any outside close family members or friends that the family wants to be a part of the team, as well as any in home providers, if any at the time. I had a Parent Support Partner. It was an interesting concept, a parent just like me, a parent who has been through it all, a parent who was or is in the system, a parent who has navigated through it and was able to teach other parents how to speak up and advocate for themselves, how to fight for services their family needs.

Soon after my first CFT meeting, I was fighting to save my daughter, to save my family. I was doing everything I possibly could. I was researching non-stop, I was calling different organizations, looking for different ways to help my family. I was learning.

My daughter did have a psychological and psychiatric evaluation. She was in and out of the court system (not every child receiving these services is in the court system). Eventually she was court-ordered to live in a group home as she could not be contained in a home environment.

In the meantime, high school for my daughter was not going very well; she was academically failing. She was a junior at this time and I was fighting tooth and nail with her guidance counselor to set up a meeting to see if she would qualify for testing for an Individualized Educational Program (IEP).

I ran around in circles with him over and over again until I finally contacted the County Head of School Psychology, and wouldn’t you know, the very next day I got my meeting and mysteriously the guidance counselor was no longer there. Not only did I get my meeting, but the appointed board approved my daughter for testing for an IEP to see if she would qualify for services within the school. Her new guidance counselor was awesome, he was so informative and was there every step of the way. And when I say he was there every step of the way, even when she was reassigned to an alternative school, almost an hour away from her home school and was living in a group home, he showed up to every single one of her meetings, without fail. He kept in contact with her current school, my daughter and me. Soon after her IEP was approved and put in place at her school, it ended up that she could not be contained in a regular school district. She went to a high school that housed over 5,000 students. She was a lost number in the crowd to everyone but me and her guidance counselor. He took the initiative and had placed her out of school with implementing home schooling. Before the home schooling was able to start, my daughter was approved to move to a group home.

The adolescents that lived at that home were assigned to the local alternative school. It was a much smaller learning environment with more personal attention. When she started attending the alternative school, we had an IEP meeting at that school to implement her current IEP. Her guidance counselor from her home school attended every meeting and made sure that the alternative school was providing the educational services that my daughter needed. Not only did they meet her educational needs, but my daughter completed four years of high school in eighteen months and graduated with honors. By this time, she was more mentally stable; she had a full time job, a sweet boyfriend and was fulfilling the life of any happy teenager while still living in the group home.

Currently, my daughter is twenty-two years old; she is an office manager at a car insurance company, she has her own apartment and is self-sufficient. She wants to attend college to be a social worker, specializing in trauma and teens. Her own experience will only benefit her as a therapist and will definitely help her relate to the ones that she works with.

That is not the end of my story. Earlier, I had mentioned that I had opted to accept the services of a Parent Support Partner. Monique was assigned to my family. She was quite amazed on how much research and work I did on my own to help my family. The ball was rolling now. She was so impressed she urged me to apply for a position at the organization. This particular organization has a branch in each county and is part of the wrap-around services provided by the state.

I started attending a local support group in my county that was run by the Family Support Organization. I had decided to apply for a Parent Support Partner position. The only requirement: raise a child with mental/emotional challenges and to have been through the system or currently be in the system. I met those requirements.

After an interview and a background check, fingerprinting and so on I was hired. I was now part of an organization that provided peer to peer support from one parent to another. As a Parent Support Partner, I assisted, helped, and supported caregivers that are raising children with emotional and behavioral challenges.

A few years back, I had moved out of New Jersey to Tennessee. After a few more years, I headed to Mendocino County, Anderson Valley to be more specific. Consisting of 5 cities from Yorkville to Comptche, it is just a small strip of wine country in the middle of nowhere, a beautiful place to live.

Lately, I have been looking into resources available in Mendocino County, concentrating on the Anderson Valley community. I have spoken to parents, some community organizations, and school staff. It appears they all have the same opinion: the needs are there, the services would be advantageous, but there is not much offered to families unless they drive to Ukiah or Fort Bragg. One school staff member said that her advice would be to recommend the school counselor or the AVHS Psychologist.

Another school administrator said he would recommend calling 9-1-1 for crisis intervention. He further explained there is an adjudication called 51/50: the person in question would be arrested and held for up to 48 hours until proper services could take over.

To me, that option is not crisis intervention unless the person in question is a threat to themselves or others, and even at that time, hospitalization in a mental health facility would be more appropriate.

The other programs I looked into here in the County are all offered in Fort Bragg or Ukiah. All these services are on a regular Monday thru Friday work schedule, closed weekends and holidays. Unfortunately, crisis can happen at any given time. The different County offices I called had shifted me to another County office, which then directed me somewhere else, then directed back to another agency that I had already contacted.

I was so confused and frustrated after four days and hours trying to find out what help is available in the County, I discovered that a lot of agencies and liaisons in those agencies do not know each other by name, are not linked to direct you to the appropriate services and do not even know what the appropriate services are or might be. If I didn’t already know what I had been trained to do, as a parent I probably would’ve given up.

The only local serviceI had found were therapists assigned to the Anderson Valley area and see their assigned children in school or home. But what about support groups, parenting groups, parenting classes, an array of resources available at parents’ fingertips that could actually direct them, someone to link all the county organizations together and be able to have a referral list, a good one without being jerked around and redirected. I am working within the community and with community persons to possibly create a resource center for parents raising children with emotional and behavioral challenges, even developmentally or intellectually challenged, and drug and alcohol abuse. That’s not all folks, it would also provide help and resources for adults related to troubled young people and might even provide resources for seniors (I know services in Anderson Valley exist for the elders, but it wouldn’t hurt to have information and offer help), and also to non-citizens, where we could service them to be able to receive the proper classes, paperwork, etc. to help them achieve their goals of becoming a US Citizen.

There is so much to do in Anderson Valley. It is up to us as a community to band together and use what we know and our knowledge to successfully implement services and prove to Mendocino County officials that there is a need for resources here.

If you are interested in helping out and becoming a part of this cause, please contact the AVA and leave your contact information. Thank you for your support. Any kind of support is welcome.



  1. james marmon January 24, 2017


    You’re going to get in trouble. You’re exposing the elusion that everything is just great in Mendocino County. They do not accept people speaking out with training and experience from outside of the dome. “Trouble Maker”

    The Mendocino County Youth Project was a grassroots movement but experienced a hostile takeover from professionals who destroyed everyone’s work.

    James Marmon MSW

  2. mr. wendal January 24, 2017


    “For example, our Public Works crew recently removed one of the downtown benches to discourage the congregation of homeless individuals at the corner of Redwood and Franklin streets. Please come to the Public Safety Committee meeting and share your ideas.”

    It should have said “…removed YET ANOTHER one of the downtown benches…” since the city has been removing benches all along rather than dealing with the real problems. It’s an ineffective response to loitering, drinking, littering cigarettes (how can they afford them?!?) and food packaging, and filling the sidewalks with so many things that it’s hard to navigate past them. Removing benches leaves people who need a spot to rest nowhere to sit. It shows a lack of consideration for our elders who are in physical need of a bench downtown. I’d like to know who keeps ordering that benches be removed when it’s proven that it’s not a solution to the behavioral problem. The city wants the transients to move out of sight from the visitors, so watch that area by the kiddy park again.

    The Hospitality Center and Hospitality House should demand better behavior from the transient troublemakers who get fed, showered, and their clothes laundered and asked for nothing in return. MCHC knows who is looking for help and who is looking for a free ride. They give the troublemakers services but won’t refer to them as their clients. The board and staff of the MCHC and the city council members should each take a group of these people, without being particular about who they take, home and let them hang out on their property for a week or two without a break. They will get a sense of the behavior that they’re sending to the benches, parks and library and what the residents and business owners in Fort Bragg are living with daily.

    As long as the city continues to rely on grant money as income, and that money goes to the same organization, the number of problems will continue to rise and Fort Bragg’s standard of living will continue to fall.

  3. james marmon January 24, 2017

    Emergency, everyone needs to rush back up to North Dakota and finish freezing their asses off, our President just signed 5 executive orders regarding pipeline construction in America, everything is a go. One of the orders is that all future pipes used on these projects have to be made in America. Jobs Jobs Jobs.

    James Marmon MSW
    Personal Growth Consultant

    “don’t just go through it, grow through it”

  4. Debra Keipp January 24, 2017

    Be sure and put that Henry Wallace quote in the paper itself – not just the website!

    Henry Wallace of Farm Bureau and Dept. of Ag., fame.



  5. Jim Updegraff January 24, 2017

    Still doing my news search for the day (got a late start) and there are a number of interesting developments which I probably will comment on later in the day, if not, first thing tomorrow.

  6. Jim Updegraff January 24, 2017

    First, a breaking story: President Trump keeps insisting he lost the popular vote because two or 3 million votes were cast my illegal voters. It is quite clear members of his party are very worried by his comment. A few days ago I heard a news person say that the problem is Trump is delusional and he defined delusional as in Websters Unabridged Dictionary – in psychiatry, a false, persistent belief not substantiated by sensory evidence. And this is the man that has the ability to start a nuclear war.

  7. Jim Updegraff January 24, 2017

    Israel just announced it plans to build 2,500 more West Bank settlement homes.The new homes includes homes in Beit El a settlement near Ramallah in which David Friedman the new ambassador to Israel has been involved as well as receiving funding from Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner. This latest illegal move is inviting a new war with Hezbollah.

  8. Jim Updegraff January 24, 2017

    An article in today’s Sacramento Bee written by 2 staff members -“U. s. withdrawal from TPP could hit California hard”. pointed out could hurt w exports, of silicon Valley computer and electronic products; Central Valley farmers and the film and music industries. Also, a renegotiate of the North American Free Trade Agreement probably would mean fewer goods move in and out of California.

    • Harvey Reading January 24, 2017

      The Bee is a paper that consistently carries water for welfare ag interests. I ended my subscription in the early 90s, having had enough of its poor rendition of events with which I was familiar. My reasoning: if they lie on those subjects, they surely are lying on others.

      Don’t worry, California will survive without the abominable, brutal TPP that corporate democraps love and worship. After all, it has been doing just fine all these years without it.

  9. Jim Updegraff January 24, 2017

    As I had commented previously China has moved very aggressively to reach trade agreements with the other members of TPP and also have started to discuss trade agreements with some of the Latin American countries. Harvey, I have little interest in chatter about corporate democraps (whatever ever that means) and rather listen to economists who are experts in the foreign trade area (as are quoted in the article).I must say you sound like Trump when you say accuse a newspaper of telling lies. But then I assume you no doubt voted for Trump.

    • Harvey Reading January 24, 2017

      What a short memory you have. I voted for Ms. Stein, and you, demonstrating your mastery of the conventional wisdom, accused me of having voted for Trump by doing so.

      By the way, the nooze media lies and otherwise slants stories quite frequently, have been from the beginning.

      Economists, your worshiped “experts”, are more like philosophers or religious leaders than like scientists. Each of their schools of thought has its own point of view regarding the ever-elusive reality (truth) that each claims to seek. Each school also knows how to manipulate the numbers to “prove” its own particular conclusions. Their work is more akin to metaphysics than science.

      Sleep well, o wise one.

  10. Alice Chouteau January 24, 2017

    Thanks Mr Wendal, for bringing up important local news. As long as FBPD refuses to enforce the laws, the residents and businesses will continue to suffer. Amazing the City gov removes amenities for the public,instead of dealing with the problem of too many transients for such a small town. Quality of life here has plummeted because of this.

  11. Monique February 17, 2017

    Wow this story sounds so familiar! Not as traumatic as mine but very familiar! good thing “I keep fighting the fight” as 1 of my many attorneys would say. My story has had a happy ending as well but non the less the trauma my family endured is unreal.

    • james marmon February 17, 2017

      You’re awesome Monique, I’m glad you finally read this. I thought of you immediately when I was reading it. Keep up the good fight!


      • Monique February 17, 2017

        Thanks James! They haven’t seen the last of me yet! I have many big dreams and plans with this fight! Thanks for all of your help James. You’re an amazing person and an angel to many

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