LEE REYNOLDS was found dead last week in her room at the Brookside Convalescent Hospital, Ukiah. Lee was a pioneer property owner at the Holmes Ranch and well known inside and outside the Anderson Valley for her nature writing. She'd suffered a series of incapacitating strokes which had led to a recent hospitalization. After a period of recuperation at Valley View Skilled Nursing Center, also in Ukiah, Lee's long-time physician, Mark Apfel of the Anderson Valley Health Center, had returned Lee to Brookside where she had resided for the past three years. Lee appeared to be doing well when she suddenly passed away.
LOST IN TRANSLATION. It'll happen in a bi-ethnic community like ours, and it happened last weekend when impresario Dave Evans of the Navarro Store called Luis of the Estrellas, Boonville's terrific new Mexican band to say, “Luis, there's some gabachos down here who are making hostile noises. I don't want you guys to have any trouble with them, and I've got a legal problem of my own so if it's ok with you we'll get the Estrellas down here another day.” On his end, Luis was worried that publicity for the hastily scheduled event had lagged to where Luis himself doubted many people would show up. Dave and Luis decided to re-schedule. If the gabachos even remembered to show up, deputies Squires and Walker would be there to run them in. And that's where it was left, with nothing more inappropriate, as The Nice People say about everything from mass murder to bad Pinot, than the ethno-hostile mutterings of maybe five unusually primitive tweekers. Dave is certainly no racist, as the rainbow diversity of his annual concerts and color blind employment policies should make obvious. But suddenly, from one end of The Valley to the other, it was as if the Klan had ridden in and crosses were burning on Greenwood Ridge. “Mexicans were unwelcome in Navarro!” Which must have come as news to the many Mexicans who live there. Even the Deepend Dreadnought rolled out with wild reminiscences of Selma, 1965. But it was all a misunderstanding, and not even a big misunderstanding, a tiny one blown into a big one, and a pretty dumb one, too, if you'll excuse me. Race relations in the Anderson Valley remain serene, which may disappoint some of our needier liberals, but we all really do get along here.
SPEAKING OF NAVARRO, Impresario Dave reminds us that he's got the David Nelson Band, complete with Forrest Garcia and other Grateful Dead celebs coming to town the last weekend of May.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Ava Glover whose family and friends gather at the Boonville Hotel this weekend to fete Navarro's grand lady, wife of the late Bobby Glover.
SEVERAL LOCALS have called to rightly compliment the Unity Club's Bev Dutra for spearheading the Club’s Deputy Dog fund-raiser. Last Friday Sheriff Allman appeared at Anderson Valley High School where he was presented with a check for a police dog for Anderson Valley. A Unity Club essay contest on the theme of a Deputy Dog for The Valley elicited convincing words from seventh graders Elvis Gaxiola, Mayte Guerrero, Elena Field, Selena Anguiano and eighth grader Adelina Sanchez. The high school's Omar Ferreyra, best known for his three-sport athletic prowess, single-handedly raised hundreds of dollars for the expensive, highly trained animal.
THE COUNTY HAZMOBILE will appear at the Comptche Firehouse on June 12 from 9am to 1pm where it will accept motor oil, oil filters, paint, solvents, fluorescent bulbs, batteries and other toxic items. The first 15 gallons per donor are free. For more information call 468-9704.
MATT LEMONS, we're all pleased to hear, is rehabbing nicely from the broken leg bones he suffered when he fell 18 feet on the job, and Shirley Hulbert tells me Harold is doing well with a new round of treatment for the cancer he's beaten back.
COACH BEN ANDERSON'S Panther baseball team wound up the season, 7-3, knocking off Potter Valley twice last week and splitting a doubleheader with Laytonville. A more comprehensive report will appear next week.
BRUCE HERING says this week's Grange Groove, Friday at 7:30, celebrates the Taurus' among us, who just happen to include birthday bulls for Rob Goodell, Bruce himself, Jo Mueller, and little Emma Starseed, 11, who seems to have fallen into bad company, which is a joke, literalists, so sit back down. Guest DJ Basin of the Ukiah Kitchenettes will spin the tunes.
COMING UP at Lauren’s downtown Boonville on Saturday, June 5th, 9pm, we’re got the Blushin’ Roulettes, a “folksy twang gang that delivers old-time tunes with a modern twist.”
ERICA LEMONS called to say that last weekend's Home Run Derby, adult division, was won by Willie Housley with the high school's Derrick Soto jacking numerous sky balls clear outtathere. The Derby was a fund-raiser for the Anderson Valley Little League, a successful one, too, coming in with a little over $2000 raised. The Little League's heaviest hitters on the day turned out to be Will Lemons; Cesar Soto; and Jared Johnston. Among the T-Ballers and the teensie weensies who hit off the LL's spiffy batting machine, Caitlin Espinoza; Trent Lopez; and Dominic Huron muscled up the most. Erica wanted special thank yous to Amy and Jerry Yates; Wade Lemons; Deputy Squires; Melanie and Tony Pardini; Shauna Espinoza; and Ben Anderson. Erica herself deserves huge respect for her untiring work shepherding four teams and the more than fifty kids who come to love the greatest sport there is.
YES, there are grumbles, legitimate ones too, that only state-certified contractors can do school work, meaning that auslanders will mostly divvy up the $15.5 school bond money. Unless. Unless, as The Major, a member of the oversight committee, is already promising, “The outside contractors who are approved to do the work sub out every nickel to local people.”
ANDERSON VALLEY has exactly two state-certified school contractors, Jeff Pugh and architect Ron Verdier.
BARBARA GOODELL invites us all to meet Dan Hamburg, candidate for 5th District supervisor. Dan will press the flesh at the Anderson Valley Brewery's tasting room from 5-6:30pm, Thursday, May 20th. Which is tomorrow.
WHILE WE'RE visiting the Brewery, we've learned that its recent sale did not include the land on which the brewery rests. Nor did the sale include the annual Beerfest which, and all thanks to Ken Allen, raises a lot of money for various Valley non-profits.
JESSE SLOTTE and family are living in Bell Valley, which is east of Boonville on the Ukiah Road. The highly decorated soldier is in the process of mustering out of the Army because the terrible injuries he suffered in Iraq do not permit him to return to combat duty. Sgt. Slotte will work in the Slotte Family's logging and road building business.
SUPE'S CANDIDATE Norm de Vall said recently that Hemlock trees might be raised and milled on the old Masonite property north of Ukiah with its product sold as railroad ties. An old logger named Murphy called to point out that hemlock is rare around here and if it were ever used as railroad ties you'd have to triple-soak them in the dread creosote.
DAVID DART, the gifted Navarro crafter of stringed instruments, announces himself with a carved wood sign on 128 that's a minor masterpiece itself. And the fields of daisies at the Jim Ball Winery, Philo, are another head-turner.
COMMENTING on a recent article in the Willits News about the increase in foreclosures in the County but perhaps a bottoming out, local realtor Anne Fashauer writes: “I agree that foreclosures have made up a large part of sales. Willits has been particularly hit by foreclosures, as has Ukiah and Fort Bragg, but I believe Willits is the worst. It sounds like Linda Williams at the Willits News did her homework but I don’t know her sources and I really don’t have any to compare with in any case. She has probably been tracking sales/foreclosures through notices and all sales, not just sales through the Multiple Listing Service. Some properties get bought on the “courthouse steps” and never get listed in the MLS. I certainly hope she is right that things are looking up, that some of the helpful programs from the government are taking effect and so on. I do I agree that sales are up this year over last year — the statistics in the CMAR MLS support this. The one other thing I can say is that these bank-owned properties have helped drive the market down in terms of price, which is good on the one hand — more people can afford to buy a home — but on the other hand, if you own a non-distressed property it can be hard to find a good price that will attract buyers, who are looking for the lowest prices. Still, I have seen properties not at the bottom sell because they were perceived as a good deal — well priced for the value.
FASHAUER adds, regarding Anderson Valley: “We've had very few here in the Valley. I don't know for certain, but most were people borrowing more than they could afford to pay back. I think two were busted for illegal drug sales. I've seen people on the coast who borrowed equity and now want to sell, but the house isn't worth as much any longer and are forced to sell a lot lower than they otherwise would, but have been able to stave off the foreclosure process. We have mostly had a stable population in Anderson Valley that has been here for 30 years or so and most of those properties are paid off. We have had a few sales where people have had to get out quickly and those were priced low enough to do just that.”
THE LIONS CLUB Tri-Tip Barbecue-Fundraiser for the Elderhome will be held on Sunday, May 30, 2010 at the Redwood Grove in the Fairgrounds. Serving starts at 5pm and festivities will continue until about 8pm. Advance purchase tickets are available at Lemons’ Philo Market and All That Good Stuff in Boonville for $13-General Admission and $10 for Seniors & Children under 12. At the door tickets will be $15 for General Admission and $12 for Seniors and Children under 12. The festivities will include a Silent Auction arranged by the Elderhome with an emphasis on local goods and services. Among the items to be auctioned off are: An excursion on the 25-foot boat, aptly named Tranquilo, where winners can bask in the radiant glow of Donna-Pierson Pugh’s smile, and enjoy fascinating repartee or a boring game of chess with her husband Jeff Pugh; Two hours of work from TS Logging’s equally fascinating Bobcat Excavator; Tickets to the Sierra-Nevada World Music Festival; Tickets to a Navarro Store Summer Concert; Yoga Classes; Gift Certificates to local restaurants; locally made knitted items; local pottery, local wines and much, much more! Bring your friends, family and neighbors and enjoy a can’t-lose evening while helping the AV Elderhome.
TOMMY WAYNE KRAMER'S always amusing, always bracingly provocative column in Sunday's Ukiah Daily Journal, this week asked a series of chin-first questions beginning with: “Have you ever visited the Yolla Bolly Wilderness Area? Know anyone who has? Would you go if offered a free trip? For a thousand dollars cash? Do you think anybody in their right mind would go?”
I TRY to get over there for a day hike at least once a year. Whether or not I'm often in my right mind can be debated, but I love the Yollas. For a thousand dollars I'd leave for the Yollas this very minute. I'm happy no one but me and my friends Don and Mary Morris go there, careful as we are to stay on the trails lest we encounter the summer drug cartels. Fort Bragg and Covelo are my favorite towns, and the Yollas? Well, if you really enjoy getting so far away you're beyond even the industrial hum, the Yollas are for you, and they come complete with well-kept trails, two little lakes teeming with trout, the untamed stretches of the Eel, and miles and miles of trees and silence.
DAN MYERS of Philo reminds us: “On Thursday June 3 at 7pm at the Albion School, The Sierra Club Mendocino Group will present the fine documentary video “RIVERS OF A LOST COAST.” This Award winning video which has received wide acclaim. includes previously unseen footage, vintage photos, archival headlines and exclusive interviews, and has received praise in the SF Chronicle and the Seattle Times among others. Bill Lemos will introduce the film and give brief remarks on its relevance for our time and place. Centered on rivers like the Eel, Russian, Gualala, Klamath and Smith, the film depicts legendary anglers using innovative tactics to win Field and Stream contests, fishing the wild tidal rivers of the North Coast and landing fish of such size that the Eel became nationally known as the River of Giants where famous and historic figures came to believe their own eyes and fish the “The World’s Best.” That’s 7pm at the Albion School, three miles up Albion Ridge. Discussion and refreshments will accompany the event. Contact 937-0572.”
THE MELLIFLUOUS GORDY BLACK checks in with a reminder: “All friends of the AVA, and the editors who maintain its engaged and lively writing, are invited to the 35th Anniversary Mendocino Spring Poetry Celebration this Sunday, May 23, at the Hill House in Mendocino, where many of the good poets of our north counties will be reading. There'll be refreshments and fellowship, and in that high room with ample windows we'll enjoy the good weather or bad. Gather at noon to sign up, the reading begins at 1:00. Gather again at 6:00, the evening reading is at 7:00.” Darn! Gordy, wish I got this earlier. I have a baseball poem I want to foist off on a public reading. Please sign me up for the next Celebration.
Off the Record…
THE HEADLINE in Monday's Ukiah paper read: “Grand Jury: Juvenile Hall Repeaters A Problem.” Of course kids who start getting arrested when they're twelve or so tend to go on getting arrested until they're fifty and get too tired to do crime. Young criminals grow into adult criminals. Nobody, except communists, knows what to do about juvenile crime, which of course is caused by economic arrangements which cause millions of young people to grow up in psychotic circumstances. (The people who just looted the country and got away with it were not raised in poverty, again making it clear that the most successful crooks in America are the sanctioned ones. The non-sanctioned ones go to jail.) But even given the growing incidence of poverty, only a small percentage of young people engage in criminal conduct. Repeat adult offenders are much more of a problem, as Sheriff Allman can tell you with each week's adult haul at the Mendocino County Jail heavy on frequent fliers. The frequent fliers are drug and alcohol dependent persons who live on the street. By our count there are about a hundred of them, mostly men, a few women. They're constantly in and out of the system at great cost to taxpayers. Up until the early 1950s, the County operated a farm in the area of Low Gap Road where the County Jail is now. The drunks and incompetents were fast-tracked directly there. The jail was on top of the County Courthouse. Space, as proportionately limited then as it is now, was needed for people who'd done bad things, and were like to psycho-assault others if they weren't confined. Jail space couldn't be spared for people simply unable to function in modern society. They went out to the farm on Low Gap. I suggest the County supervisors revive the County Farm, and I suggest it be located at the still vacant Point Arena Air Force Station, an abandoned village high on the ridge above the fog belt, alpine-peaceful but remote from the temptations. The frequent fliers could garden and raise a few cows up there as they tamed their demons.
DANIEL KEVIN PIERCE and Trenton Ramos, both 18, were arrested a week ago Tuesday for the rape of a 16-year-old Ukiah girl. Pierce had been in lots of trouble as a juvenile, and in and out of juvenile hall. If you knew his whole history as a child you'd undoubtedly find a history of abuse and neglect going back to his infancy. As a kid, I'll bet society — a well paid Mendo-apparat of KZYX subscribers generally collected as “helping professionals” — took in well over a million tax dollars rehabbing Daniel Kevin Pierce, and here he is, their work product, a rapist. If Pierce is lucky he's got a grandmother who will come to see him in jail where he will spend much of his youth. The victim, also a delinquent, had snuck out of her house to meet Pierce and Ramos, meaning her parents or parent were at least trying to protect her from herself. As the three were “socializing,” the chaste term the cops and newspapers use to describe drop-fall drinking and promiscuous drug-taking, the girl said Pierce and Ramos assaulted her.
MENDOCINO COUNTY'S Chief Planner, Frank Lynch and Code Enforcement Officer John Heise, have both been fired for circulating pornography on their work computers. Lynch had worked for the County for 21 years, Heise, 7. They've been tentatively linked to four senior staffers in San Francisco's Planning and Building Department with whom they allegedly exchanged work-time image of the joyless salaciousness that seems to beguile so many millions of our fellow male citizens. Also fired for “inappropriate use of an office computer” during Mendocino County's porn purge two weeks ago was long-time deputy DA Dan McConnell.
ON FRIDAY, May 4th, the Board of Supervisors officially declared May 2010 as National Drug Court Month In Mendocino County. The fact free declaration might sound good to a shut-in or a person who has never seen the drug and drink ravaged portraits comprising the Sheriff's booking log photos. “Drug courts provide the focus and leadership for community-wide, anti-drug systems, bringing together criminal justice, treatment, child welfare, education, tribal affiliations, and other community partners in the fight against drug abuse, child abuse, and criminality.” They “combine intensive judicial supervision, mandatory substance abuse treatment, drug testing, escalating sanctions, and incentives to break the cycle of drug addiction that causes criminal behavior and has negative impacts on individuals, families, and communities.”
ALMOST TOTAL BULLSHIT as all abuse categories flow ever upward, but the proclamation's final claim defies all known reality: “Through their hard work and commitment, the judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, treatment and rehabilitation professionals, law enforcement and corrections personnel, child welfare professionals, researchers and educators, national leaders, community leaders, tribal leaders, and others in Mendocino County dedicated to this initiative have had a profound and positive impact on the lives of the individual participants, their families, and the general community.”
NAMES! I defy anyone to cite a single local, state or national figure who has had “a profound and positive impact” on the lives of the dope heads and juicers.
THE SUPE'S PRESENTATION of the windy proclamation was attended by the three attorneys paid to work in the program and two government-paid therapists, all of whom showed up to swap rehab fantasies. They said the program is absolutely boffo. When Supervisor McCowen asked one of the attorneys what their success rate was, the woman attorney replied that they didn’t have any data, adding, “Anecdotally, though, it's quite successful!” The two local therapists also sang unconvincing supper songs.
THAT’S NOT to say there haven’t been people helped by Drug Court. But the whole show has the slightly rancid smell of the “self-esteem” movement — glopping loads of Moonie-like superlatives and group huggsies among people doing what they're paid to do. The Supervisors, of course, can be depended on to heap praise on well-paid people simply going about their business. It's almost as if the whole country has become a giant Little League Banquet with trophies and proclamations for all.
SUPERVISOR Pinches added a little levity to the otherwise mundane County Lodging Association’s “report” for 2009. The Lodging Association reported not-as-bad as expected tourism/occupancy rates which, as they've said before, “not so bad” is the new “up.” After the 5-0 vote (yes, there was a formal vote to accept the innocuous report), Pinches, whose Third District doesn't get much in the way of upscale “lodging” business, declared, “I'm still lookin' for a motel in Laytonville. I'm gettin' impatient.” (Pssst! Johnny! They all moved to Willits.)
COUNTY CEO Carmel Angelo’s remarks about the next round of layoffs didn't get much attention. Supervisor Pinches asked when the new bad news was going to get to the Board, noting, as if it needed noting, “We're beyond not buying water and paper clips.” Angelo replied that her plan was to present a list of proposed cuts to the Board by department or program before bringing in the final-final layoff list. “We were hoping for more success in other cost cutting measures [i.e., salary and benefit cuts]. So layoffs are all that's left to us.”
COUNTY EMPLOYEES must be tired of taking pay cuts and demotions and workweek reductions and have told management that they might as well go ahead and do the layoffs even if it means that they or some of their fellow workers will be fired. Management’s position seems to be that line employees should sacrifice their pay and benefits for the greater good while management sails on, untouched. Supervisors Colfax and Smith become almost hysterical whenever it's suggested they whack their bloated salaries.
SUPERVISOR PINCHES told the Board that the Mendocino Transit Authority (MTA) was about to start a pilot program where they’d issue travel vouchers to people needing transportation. Qualified drivers could use their private vehicles to get their marooned friends and neighbors to stores and medical appointments under the authority of the MTA. Pinches sees it as a win-win situation for areas where there are not many MTA bus riders. “You wouldn’t need a bus,” explained Pinches. “Drivers would get an MTA voucher for giving people a ride. And two or three riders would be even better. It would avoid the need for expensive buses when there are only two or three people. The MTA will be starting the pilot program right away.” Pinches first brought up the voucher program back in 2008, but it’s only now getting to the “pilot program” stage.
IT WAS A PROLONGED process, but we finally got the complete roster of County residents who have concealed weapon's permits. 1,386 people — one out of every 50 Mendolanders. Permit holders include at least one dead man and an unconfined car bomber, Mike Sweeney, former cult communist, former husband of the late Judi Bari whose life he abbreviated with a pipe bomb. These days, Sweeney functions as Mendocino County's lead garbage bureaucrat, and is undoubtedly the only garbage bureaucrat on the Northcoast who feels the need to carry a gun. Armed and dangerous, for a fact.
REEL SHORT movie reviews, three of them: Harry Brown, a British film starring the always flawless Michael Caine, is being heavily criticized for the vigilantism it celebrates. At the Frisco matinee I attended, Harry Brown had a couple of hat-backwards dudes jumping gleefully out of their chairs as Caine, seeking vengeance for the murder of his chess partner and fellow geezer at the hands of a feral pack of droopy-drawered thugs, methodically hunts down the killers. The aesthetic prob with the thing is the thugs. They're so over-the-top-evil that Gandhi himself would want to personally finish them off. Ignorant of social conditions in England, I'd always assumed our thugs were the most repulsive in the world, but apparently the mother country's criminal element, inspired of course by ours as celebrated in internationally distributed song and screen, can also inspire a generally well-received movie whose hero goes outside of the law to get 'em done. An Australian movie called The Square is another highly praised ultra-vi job that's well-acted but only a few minutes in I was sitting there hoping that everyone in it, including the purported good guy, would kill each other so I could go home. The Australian mokes looked like our mokes who look like English mokes. Slob has apparently gone global. Coming Home is A nice movie filmed in Marin, a true story (lost in the narrative) about twin brothers, baseball players, whose lives are complicated by their alcoholic father. The brothers, one of whom played some professional baseball, are photogenic and smart enough to portray themselves. Ed Harris, is really, really good as Juicer Dad and worth the price of admission all by himself. The brothers, who wrote and raised the money for their movie, and dogged Harris until he agreed to star in it, look and move like athletes. Lots of sports movies are rendered totally implausible by featuring what jocks used to call “motor morons,” uncoordinated people who move like robots in their futile efforts to mimic athletes. There's a very good baseball movie out called Sugar about Latin ballplayers in the US whose star, a supposed pitcher, throws like a girl. Oops. Check that: Girls have learned to throw over the past twenty years. They now throw correctly. Like men. Oops again. Wait, Geraldine! Don't walk off in a sexist huff! Let me clarify. Dialogue with me here. Thanks to the women's movement and the accompanying growth of women's sports, young women, many thousands of them, now throw smoothly, efficiently, the way throws are supposed to be thrown. Only a few men throw like girls, and lots of them wind up in baseball movies. It's a constant irritant in a sports movie to have the star throwing the ball like he's in traction. And it's a constant irritant, and criminally condescending, in any movie to have an actor playing a retarded guy, and even worse when the script has the retarded guy saying stuff that's supposed to be charming but is sooooo calculated that it induces a kind of low-intensity nausea in the viewer. Coming Home is heavy on the “charming” retarded guy, but I liked it overall, and Ed Harris is wonderful as the lost soul of a father.
FROM THE “Never happen in Mendocino County” files: The National Marine Fisheries Services has fined a Healdsburg grape grower $115k for killing endangered salmon by drawing too much water from Felta Creek in Sonoma County over the 2008/2009 frost period. With his wife, Ruth, Eric Stadnick runs Green Pastures Valley Vineyard. Stadnick insisted last week that “We're very green people” and denied that his pumping was the cause of the fish-kill. (Stadnick is a “business instructor” at Santa Rosa Junior College.) The Stadnicks say they’ve drawn water legally from Felta Creek for frost protection of their 14-acre vineyard since the 1970s using “a small seasonal flashboard dam.” The feds at the National Marine Fisheries Service say they warned Stadnick that he was killing fish but he continued pumping anyway. The Stadnicks claim that the feds are ignoring the bigger growers who are doing most of the damage. The Stadnicks fish kill was discovered when downstream neighbors saw hundreds of fish flopping around in a nearly dry section of stream. By the time the feds got hold of the complaint they determined that the Stadnicks had heedlessly diverted a “substantial” amount of water which ended up killing some of the few remaining coho salmon in the Russian River watershed.
FIFTH DISTRICT Supervisor candidate Dan Hamburg came up with a novel, if brief, way to get marijuana into the commercial mainstream at the pot forum in Willits last week. “Marijuana should be a dietary supplement,” suggested Hamburg.
HAMBURG also put his finger on one of the key problems in enforcing John McCowen’s 25 plants per legal parcel limit. (The California Supreme Court recently muddied the pot cultivation legal waters by declaring quantity limits on medical marijuana unconstitutional. But McCowen convinced the two of his fellow Mendo County Supervisors to make growing more than 25 plants per parcel a de facto criminal “nuisance” which Sheriff Allman continues to cite as the only quantitative legal threshold.) But, as Hamburg pointed out, “once you've harvested it, it seems like law enforcement waits until after the harvest to arrest people who they think have too much.”
SUPERVISOR PINCHES ADDED, “Right now, if you cut it down and put all of that in your house you could be arrested,” because there are no rules about how much processed marijuana you can legally possess. “The idea of regulating marijuana on a per parcel basis is a bad idea,” said Pinches. “Transportation and possession limits are not clear.”
ANYONE who thinks there’s any fairness or consistency in any of this should try to get a permit for pot growing under Mendo’s new “cooperatives and collectives” rules. Supposedly, that law will become effective in June — it will be very interesting to see who actually applies for a collective/cooperative license and whether they actually get one.
WAVES & TUNES: Sister Yazzle-Dazzle will be “Groovin' On A Saturday Afternoon, May 29, 2010, from 1-5pm with Pizzas & Cream, presumably not one dish, on Port Road at the Point Arena Pier. “Enjoy,” Yazzle says, “sun, fun, good friends, community and delicious food and drink!” And a couple of hours of “delightful music from all styles DJ’d up for your listening pleasure.” For more information call the pier people 882-1900 or Yaz herself at 884-4703.
DA MEREDITH LINTOTT made an interesting claim at last week’s medical marijuana forum: “Often the medical marijuana defense doesn't come to light until the case is at prelim,” said Lintott. “Defense attorneys delay telling us that the defense is medical or a cooperative. So we don't know until they present it.”
DAVID EYSTER, Lintott’s opponent in the DA’s race replied, “That's why the system is broken. That [determining that there’s a medical defense] has to be done ahead of time. If a defense attorney doesn't present that, it's a problem. But if you have to convince the DA that a guy with an oxygen tank is not faking it, that's a problem too. Cases have to be checked out in advance. Ask Keith Faulder and Mark Kalina [both former prosecutors who now take marijuana defense cases because there’s plenty of them].”
DA LINTOTT said (again) that Eyster is “running as defense attorney who represents pot growers. I can't force defense attorneys to give it [the medical claims, to our office] earlier.”
AND EYSTER replied, “I’m proud to defend people’s individual rights. I have defended a lot of folks who were not guilty.”
BUT THAT begs the question of why it takes so long (if it does) for people to claim that their pot is medical.
DA LINTOTT also claimed at last week’s medical marijuana forum (and DA debate) that she has established a process for asset forfeiture money to be made available to local non-profits engaged in drug and drug crime prevention. But Lintott’s opponent for DA, Dave Eyster, said that transfer process, if there is one, it's pretty much invisible. We've made a few calls to local non-profits and a few have heard about it, one or two actually got some money, but nobody knows much about it or how anyone applies for it. Anderson Valley's local Community Action Coalition staffers knew that it existed but didn't know what was involved to apply. So, in a way, both Lintott and Eyster are correct. But obviously the process should be opened up and clear criteria for awarding it should be publicized so that an entity that meets the “law enforcement purpose” criteria can apply and be fairly evaluated.
LINTOTT SAYS that using asset forfeiture money to pay for the DA’s forfeiture prosecutor, Deputy DA Brian Newman, is technically legal according to court rulings. But Eyster says it’s very bad for anyone in the asset forfeiture business to have their job reliant on asset forfeiture funds because it's a built-in incentive to do as many of them as feasible.
SCENES from the city: The bus was jammed, so jammed the driver, a jolly black guy who'd amused us sardines by singing out the stops from Powell to Larkin, was no longer opening his front door to let on more passengers. At Hyde a nicely dressed woman who looked like a manager of something, a woman unaccustomed to being denied, pounded on the bus door. “Open it, goddammit!” she yelled. The driver shouted back that he couldn't. “I'm full,” he explained. “The rules say no more.” “Don't give me that rules shit,” the woman shouted back. “I know the rules.” The driver said, “I know the rules better than you and you're not getting on.” He drove off. A bunch of us applauded. “I wouldn't let her on an empty bus,” the driver laughed, and more people applauded.