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Mendocino County Today: Friday, March 3, 2017

* * *

THE COUNTY ROAD CREW deserves major kudos for their all-out emergency work on Peachland Road, which re-opened to careful traffic Wednesday a little after 4pm. As one resident of the Upper Peachland marveled, "They worked on it this week and it is now open to cars and light trucks. Very grateful! Nothing big/heavy, though. No dump trucks, propane trucks, etc. This is an emergency fix and they will work on it further in July. Suzi and Dean Carol have been instrumental in keeping this in front of the County's Department of Transportation. I believe a request for FEMA funds is in the works and a FEMA rep has come out to assess what a permanent fix will involve.

"Even before the slide the road was disintegrating in other areas, some sections have more potholes than drivable road. I normally don’t mind the drive but it has become pretty bone-jarring and is hard on us and our cars."

* * *

Peachland Road is now open, per WT Johnson of MCDofT. The road was open to light vehicle and light traffic traffic around 4:15 p.m., Wednesday afternoon. Please exercise caution when driving through the repair area, as it is a 'temporary' fix. County equipment and personnel will be on the road as additional repair work continues on Peachland; the area above the 'big dip,' culvert work, and general ongoing roadwork. The 'pot holes' will be around for a bit but are on calendar for repair work at a later date.

In closing, WT Johnson has asked me to send a shout out to all of you for your cooperation and support while undergoing the closure and road work on Peachland Road. This gave WT and his crew the opportunity to move through the arduous task of performing repair work in a timely manner to get Peachland reopened as soon as possible. Thank you from WT.

We want to send a special thank you to WT and his crew for making the Peachland repair job, a priority and for being the stellar individual who kept a lot of concerned citizens 'in the loop' with regular updates and such diplomacy! Thanks, WT.

* * *

BLACKBIRD diesels on! Here's Blackbird's current search for a diesel mechanic. Got to love the emphasis – especially with a current use permit for 26 guests and 10 staff – on heavy equipment.

* * *


Predictably, Tamara Gedik, the "rogue employee" as referred to by Supervisor Gjerde, is sitting up in Arcata with nothing to do except pick apart the Mendocino Town Plan (the eternal Mendocino Town Plan) update over imagined imperfections. The MTP is a status quo plan that strengthens protection for the historic character of Mendocino (or at least the historic character of the buildings). If this is typical of how the Coastal Commission operates it is a great argument for removing any control of local issues from them.

* * *

Dear Mendocino County Board of Supervisors Chair John McCowen

Re: Mendocino Town Plan Update LCPA Amendment

It has come to my attention that during a discussion about the Mendocino Town Plan Update Local Coastal Program Amendment ("LCPA") at the February 14, 2017 Board of Supervisors meeting, certain negative remarks were made about Coastal Commission staff. Rather than rely on news reports, we have viewed the County’s archived video recording of that meeting. Regrettably, information provided to the board in that meeting was characterized in a way that created a misunderstanding about Coastal Commission staff actions since the Coastal Commission's initial October 2016 hearing on the LCD any.

During the February 14 meeting, County staff reported to the Board that they had drafted a letter in response to "565 pages of correspondents" received from Coastal Commission staff regarding suggested modifications to the LCPA. The "565 pages of correspondence" was mischaracterized. When asked by one supervisor whether the 565 pages included the Coastal Commission staff report, County staff responded, "This is Coastal Commission staff’s initial correspondence on suggested mods, that sort of thing. So the staff report has not yet been generated — this is an initial exchange of communication."

The board expressed surprise that Coastal Commission staff would send 565 pages of correspondence when the issues have not changed since the October Commission meeting. This exchange led to accusations of Coastal Commission staff impeding completion of the review of the LCPA by-inundating County staff with comments. The fact is that the Coastal Commission staff has not sent any correspondence to the County regarding the substance of the LCPA since the Coastal Commission staff published its written staff recommendation on the LCPA in September 2016. We therefore surmise that the 565 pages referred to by County staff are the September 2016 Coastal Commission staff report and accompanying appendices. The Coastal Commission staff is now waiting to receive the County's response to that staff report and the comments provided by the Coastal Commission at the October 2016 hearing on the LCPA.

We do not believe there is any evidence to suggest a Coastal Commission staff analyst was in any way trying to obstruct the process or delay approval of the LCPA. Again, we have been patiently awaiting the County's response to the September 2016 staff report and the October 216 Commission hearing on the LCPA. I would further note that Commission staff reports and staff work products are prepared under the close supervision of Coastal Commission management. Moving forward, I encourage the County to please contact me about this or any other concerns relating to Coastal Commission employees before the comments are expressed in a public hearing.

The Coastal Commission staff has very much appreciated working with your staff in the review and completion of the LCPA and we look forward to final Coastal Commission action in June 2017. The successful update of the Mendocino Town Plan will be a tremendous accomplishment for the County and an important milestone for California's Coastal Program.

Sincerely, Allison Detmer, Deputy Director, California Coastal Commission, San Francisco

* * *

Adolf Hitler presenting Theodor Morell, his personal physician, with the Knight’s Cross of the War Merit Cross at his headquarters, 1944

THE FAT GUY with Hitler (above) is the original Dr. Feelgood. Norman Ohler, a German journalist, novelist, and filmmaker, was intrigued when a disc jockey in Berlin told him that the Third Reich was riddled with drugs and suggested that somebody should make a film about it. Ohler began to study the subject, thinking at first to write a novel, but then decided not to treat it as fiction, even though he lacked historical training. After his research in German and American archives had progressed, Ohler approached one of the leading German historians of the Nazi era, the late Hans Mommsen. Mommsen was impressed by his findings and became his unofficial supervisor.

At the core of Ohler’s book lie the fundamental paradox and shameless hypocrisy of Nazism. Its ideology demanded purity of body, blood, and mind. Adolf Hitler was portrayed as a vegetarian teetotaler who would allow nothing to corrupt him. Drugs were depicted as part of a Jewish plot to poison and weaken the nation—Jews were said to “play a supreme part” in the international drug trade—and yet nobody became more dependent on cocktails of drugs than Hitler, and no armed forces did more to enhance their troops’ performance than the Wehrmacht did by using a version of methamphetamine. Although Ohler’s book does not fundamentally change the history of the Third Reich, it is an account that makes us look at this densely studied period rather differently.

Blitzed: Drugs in the Third Reich

by Norman Ohler, translated from the German by Shaun Whiteside

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 292 pp., $28.00

* * *

LITTLE DOG SAYS, “All this talk about Blackbird Farms and their camping resort got me to thinking about asking the boss to make me my own yurt. Then he could claim to be educating me and get paid for it while I camp out in luxury in the backyard. And that would pay for my yurt! Pretty neat, huh?”

* * *


Interviewed by Mark Scaramella

AVA: How much prostitution have you encountered in your duties?

Massey: I've only run across a few cases. I don't think it's that widespread. But there is some occurring in the hotels and motels around Ukiah. The Ukiah Police Department has certainly gone on a few prostitution calls in motels in Ukiah. It seems to be increasing but it's not that much so far.

AVA: Is there a drug connection?

Massey: Certainly sometimes young ladies will offer their bodies for drugs. It's not difficult for a young woman to get drugs for her body. They can maneuver through the town, stay in hotels, stay in people's homes, trailers… If they have a drug habit, they can get drugs for sex. Not uncommon.

AVA: Who is the scariest or most dangerous guy you've ever dealt with as a cop?

Massey: There's not one particular scary person that stands out. But there are certainly scary moments with certain people and their behavior. If you know the person suffers from mental instability then you have to be careful with them. People who are under the influence of methamphetamine or PCP — they can be angry or volatile. You don't know what they are going to do. Sometimes just touching them can set them off. Or they will overreact to an officer's direction. In those cases, you have to call somebody. If you have to get physical with somebody you need back up. Some of them are pretty strong -- even a little guy can be very strong if you try to handle them alone without assistance. Experience tells you when you need to call for assistance.

AVA: If you call, do you generally GET assistance?

Massey: If you say the magic words, respond code 3, people will respond to your location. Code 3 means emergency in progress. You have to use that judiciously because when an officer responds Code 3 he may be speeding, running lights, there is a potential for traffic accidents and so forth.

AVA: Have you patroled Covelo very much?

Massey: Not that much. I’ve gone on a number of calls, yes. But not in any residential patrol capacity. Covelo is certainly unique. It can get explosive on calls there on a moment’s notice. It takes a special person to work at any length of time in Covelo. It's not easy. Nobody should work there alone. There should always be two or more on duty. Drugs and alcohol are big problems there. I've had days there where I stopped 10 people and eight of them were under the influence of methamphetamine. In one shift. On top of that, the locals know the area very well and if you don't know the area, it can get dangerous pretty fast, not knowing where you’re going. Officers need to be have experience dealing with people. Being a resident deputy there is a completely different mindset than covering a shift or going on call. If you are a resident deputy you have to be careful not to create an impression that you are hostile to the locals. You have to know when to talk and when not to talk. And learn how to wheel and deal with the locals. The closest backup is an hour or more a way. So sometimes when you have to decide to take someone to jail or not the remotest is a factor. If you're alone, probably will use more citations and reports rather than trying to tussle with someone alone. That's not a good idea in general, but in Covelo it's more dangerous.

AVA: I’ve noticed that sometimes people in Covelo are not very clear or articulate when they are trying to describe a situation, or they can be drunk or on drugs. Or were at the time they witnessed something…

Massey: It can be a complicated trying to solve any kind of crime out there. Difficult to pin things down. Sometimes it's difficult to even figure out who lives in a house. Or who owns the house. Sometimes a house will belong to a whole family or family group or the whole reservation! It gets very confusing. Who owns vehicles? Whose marijuana plants are those? A guy once told me that he lived in the house he was in because his great grandfather used to live in it, but now the whole tribe owns the land and the house. You can get drawn into these old quarrels and disputes over whose land and property is whose. It's hard to figure out. And then sometimes people will complain about the Sheriff's Office because action has not been taken. Sometimes it’s a civil matter and it's hard to figure out who's responsible. Trespassing alone can be difficult to figure out. Sometimes we suggest the complaining party obtain a court order that can be enforced, clearly stating certain things and ownership and so forth. That gives us something to work with. Of course, we are frequently blamed for not solving problems, we are called worthless and not helpful. All you can do is shake your head. It’s just very complicated. Things can seem tranquil and peaceful on the surface, and then the next thing you know things explode. Gunfire. Shouting. Running. If you don't know who's who you can make a serious mistake without even realizing it. So again, experience and backup are very important.

AVA: Has the incentive pay program worked out very well?

Massey: It helped for a while but but now there is no one working there full time from the Sheriff's Office.

* * *


To the Editor,

The Orr Springs Road closure is having a huge impact on reservations and revenues at Orr Hot Springs Resort, which is located at 13201 Orr Springs Road, several miles beyond the sinkhole at milepost 39.20. The road closure impacts local employment and will soon impact on County taxes. I'll explain.

Although I am a weekend employee of Orr Hot Springs Resort -- and love Orr Hot Springs and would work here for nothing (I love the place that much!) -- as a disclaimer, I must be crystal clear that I am not writing on behalf of anyone at the Orr Hot Springs Resort. I am writing this letter as a private citizen only.

In short, and as might be expected, the road closure is very bad news for Orr Hot Springs What was formerly a 25-minute trip by car from Route 101, North State Street exit to Orr Hot Springs Resort, is now easily a two-hour trip for local residents on alternative, often difficult, routes.

For Bay Area guests, the news is even worse. THe principal route is now a long and arduous trip. Guests from the Bay Area must take the Rt. 128 exit on Rt. 101 in Cloverdale, drive through Yorkville, then Boonville, drive past Navarro, take Flynn Creek Road, drive to Comptche-Ukiah Road, and finally drive to Orr Hot Springs Resort.

The current Comptche-Ukiah Road conditions remind me of those road conditions on Orr Springs Road -- only worse.

The Comptche-Ukiah Road is well off the beaten path, and road conditions are dangerous in places, with huge potholes and rock slides, due to the recent flooding. Pothole damage to tires and vehicles is not uncommon. Folks not familiar with the Comptche-Ukiah Road, and driving too fast, have complained of tire damage, wheel rim damage, wear to shocks and struts, suspension damage (including broken components), and steering system misalignment.

Bottom line? Alternative routes to Orr are long and slow.

Hence, as you might expect, Orr Hot Springs Resort has experienced a drop in reservations, especially during the week, and that translates as a loss of revenue to Orr. Ultimately the loss of revenue means a loss of tax revenue for Mendocino County. I'll explain.

Orr Hot Springs Resort had approximately $2.1 million in revenue in 2016.

In 2016, Orr paid something like $65,869 in Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT), and $6,624 in Business Improvement District (BID), which doesn't seem like much, however Orr only pays tax on the "motel" portion of the room rent, which is $90.00 per room/yurt, or $160.00 per Cottage. It does not pay TOT or BID on the soaking fee portion of its rates.

The big thing to keep in mind is that Orr grossed $2.1 million, which is money flowing into the county from primarily outside sources (tourism).

Then, there are Orr's property taxes.

According to the County Tax Assessor's website at , the Orr property is valued at $2.4 million, which I think is about $24,000 in property taxes. I'm not sure what the business is valued at, and what the taxes for that are.

Also very importantly, Orr Hot Springs Resort is an employer. Orr provides about 1,100 hours of work every 2 weeks (28,600 hours/year), for residents of Mendocino County, with a minimum starting wage of $15.00/hr. The average hourly wage is higher -- easily over $20.00/hr.

A drop in reservations means that Orr must cut hours for some workers.

Finally, the owner of Orr Hot Springs Resort gives generously to local charities. In 2016, Orr made $20,000 in cash donations. My own public affairs show at the Mendocino Environmental Center and KMEC Radio received a $1,000 gift. At the recent gala on Valentine's Day weekend to benefit the Mendocino County AIDS/Viral Hepatitis Network (MCAVHN), Orr Hot Springs Resort bought three tables. Orr Hot Springs Resort also makes $10,000 to $20,000 in in-kind donations in Mendocino County annually.

Orr Hot Springs Resorts a good neighbor. Now is the time to help Orr Hot Springs Resort. The Bailey bridge must be deployed as soon as possible.

I am encouraged by efforts made by Director of Transpiration, Howard Dashiell. On February 22, he issued an RFP for assistance in deploying the County's 150-foot Bailey bridge. The RFP was subject to Caltran's Emergency Repair System and their Emergency Bid Procedures. On February 24, Director Dashiell held a bidders conference.

I, along with many other County residents, look forward to a progress report on the Bailey bridge deployment.

Again, I emphasize that I write this letter as a private citizen only. I love Orr Hot Springs Resort. They are good neighbors. And they are responsible stewards of a sacred, environmentally fragile place which local Pomo Indians starting visiting hundreds of years ago, if not longer.

Pomo Native Americans regularly passed through this vibrant spot on trading expeditions and on annual treks to the Mendocino coast. Unfriendly tribes agreed to co-exist peacefully while stopping at the hot springs.

In the late 1800s, “Orr Hot Sulphur Springs” became a resting spot on the Ukiah-Mendocino stagecoach line. It developed into a popular resort for city-dwellers who came seeking health and wellness. The mineral waters were heralded as bringing great relief to arthritis and rheumatism, and to blood, kidney and liver disorders.

Visitors come today for the deep peace they find at Orr Hot Springs. I tell my friends that at Orr you can "hear the silence".

Thank you.

John Sakowicz


* * *

DESIGNATIONS, aka ‘Talk To Me Of Mendocino’

(MCN Listserve)


Ever since I moved here in 1970, everyone from Elk to Westport when they said "The Village" was referring to Mendocino. "Town" was either Fort Bragg or Point Arena. Just like in the Bay Area, whenever anyone mentioned "The City," they meant San Francisco not Oakland, San Jose or any other metropolitan community thereabouts. People who insist on calling a town should look up the word 'town.' Even though Governor Reagan (remember him?) legally erased townships and villages from the official list of potential partial incorporations. (Now we're "unincorporated communities.")So, now, if you don't mind, I will keep the tradition alive and continue to refer to Mendocino as The Village.B of good cheer.


* * *

Walt McKeown:

In Europe, a town has a market whereas a village does not. According to that, Mendosa's makes Mendocino a town. Albion and Elk are smaller towns with smaller markets. Hmmm?


* * *

Norman de Vall:

Until two years ago coastal tidal books showed Mendocino as Mendocino City. The Coastal Commission and the Board of Supervisors refer to Mendocino as a: Town. The use of the term: “Village” was brought to Mendocino by several small businesses. Why change a name known worldwide? Elk would never call itself a "village."

* * *

S.R. Kelley:

"village" is term used by "Newbies".

* * *

Erif Thunen:

A search on shows the phrase "Mendocino village" being used as early as 1907.

* * *

Jim Heid:

As far as I'm concerned, Fort Bragg is a town, Mendocino is a village, and Albion is a hamlet. Considerations?

* * *


Albion is a nation.

* * *

Norman de Vall

Until two years ago coastal tidal books showed Mendocino as Mendocino City. The Coastal Commission and the Board of Supervisors refer to Mendocino as a: Town. The use of the term: “Village” was brought to Mendocino by several small businesses. Why change a name known worldwide? Elk would never call itself a “village”.

* * *

Jan DeSipio:

It'll always be town to me....— 40 year resident

* * *

Marco McClean

Talk to Me of Mendocino is one of my favorite songs ever. Every one of the dozens of versions of it that different singers recorded always makes me cry. Here's Kate and Anna McGarrigle singing it to an empty room after their friend Lena died in 1990:

In other news, I'll be doing my radio show by live remote from Juanita's house tomorrow night (Friday, March 3), not in the performance space in Fort Bragg. So if you were planning to come by and perform or talk about your project or show and tell, or whatever, please make it next week (March 10). You don't have to call first or anything. Just come to 325 N. Franklin, next door to the Tip Top bar, any time after 9pm (on a night when I'm there- March 10, for example), walk in, head for the lighted room at the back and get my attention. I'll put you right on the air.* If you've written something and you'll trust me to read it properly, email it to me and I'll read it on the very next show. (I don't use email while I'm doing the show, so the deadline's usually around 5 or 6pm Friday night.)

And if you're tired of depending on other people to switch you on and off and twiddle knobs for you, you can have your own regular airtime to do a radio show of your own devising. Email Bob Young ( ) and tell him you want to do radio. He'll meet you at the broadcast booth, show you how to use the equipment, and put you on the schedule. It's easy and fun.

*Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio, 9pm-4am on 107.7fm KNYO-LP Fort Bragg, including midnight to 3am 105.1fm on KMEC-LP Ukiah. If you're out of radio range, you can listen via (and choose Listen Live) or (and search for KNYO-LP). And if you're not a night person, wait a day, go to and get the recording. Or just go there and read; it's a compendium of virtually endless educational infotainment.

Marco McClean

* * *

UNDERCOVER REPORTERS Uncover Crimes in the Banking Industry

by Jonah Raskin

The tellers at my branch of Citibank take my money and smile politely. “Will there be anything else, Mr. Raskin?” they ask.

“No,” I say politely. I’m out of there as fast as I can, usually with the feeling that I have left a den of thieves.

Most of my suspicions about banks and bankers were confirmed when I read The Fix by two investigative journalists, Liam Vaughan and Gavin Finch who might be described as the Woodward and Bernstein of the 21st Century. Their book is subtitled “How Bankers Lied, Cheat and Colluded to Rig the World’s Most Important Number.”

That sums it up nicely. Unlike their predecessors at The Washington Post, who “followed the money,” Vaughan and Finch, who work at Bloomberg and Business Week, followed the London Interbank Offered Rate or “Libor” for short.

A Greek banker named Minos Zombanakis, now 90-years-old, invented Libor years ago, and then watched in alarm as upstart traders more than half-his-age hijacked it and used it to rig financial markets and reap millions. Zombanakis’s original idea was to facilitate the orderly operation of financial markets by creating a fixed interest rate for bankers who wanted to borrow from one another.

Zombanakis is a character in this book, as is Tom Hayes, one of the new breed of traders, who tried to outsmart the market, but who went to jail after he was arrested and found guilty of fraud. He was the scapegoat, the fall guy. The big bankers got away with millions if not billions.

“I think Hayes was so focused on making money for his employer and himself that he opted to ignore the moral and legal implications of what he was doing,” Liam Vaughan told me. Vaughan is the one who does the talking. Finch is the silent partner.

The Fix gets technical and complicated; after all global financial markets these days are awfully complicated in part to keep ordinary people in the dark. Still, The Fix makes for riveting reading because of colorful characters like Hayes, who might have appealed to Charles Dickens in mid-19th century London, which is still one of the centers of the world’s banking industry.

“The City of London, which serves as the backdrop to our book, has an air of Dickens,” Vaughan told me. “The author of The Pickwick Papers would probably recognize the back-alleys, boozers, working class brokers and grasping senior executives we write about.”

In 2013, Vaughan’s and Finch’s articles about systematic fraud in the financial world sparked investigations that resulted in $10 billion in fines for banks like JPMorgan and Barclays. The Fix recounts the nuts and bolts as well as the melodrama and the romance of the story they uncovered and then revealed to the world. Vaughan and Finch still work as investigative journalists, which explains in part why there is almost nothing about them in their book.

“We're definitely very conscious about keeping information about us to a minimum due to the nature of our work,” Vaughan said. While they were working on their book they read the classics in the genre, including everything by Michael Lewis, the author of Moneyball, Panic and Flash Boys. They’re not yet in Lewis’s league, but give them time. The Fix is their first book and probably not their last.

“At times we were both challenged, but having an ally all through the process far outweighed the problems we faced,” Vaughan said. “We’re still friends which suggests we did something right.” If they made enemies along the way among traders and bankers, that’s probably because their articles offered the right stuff at the right time. If you’re a trader, a broker, or a bank customer who doesn’t like thieves, The Fix could be the right book for you.

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, March 2, 2017

Bailey, Barajas-Alvarez, Burleigh

SKYLER BAILEY, Willits. Probation revocation.

ALICIA BARAJAS-ALVAREZ, Redwood Valley. Domestic assault.

MARK BURLEIGH, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

Dodd, Ellis

JAMES DODD, Willits. Grand theft.

KIRK ELLIS, Willits. Probation revocation.

Giusti, Offerall, Peck

DAVID GIUSTI, Fort Bragg. Misdemeanor warrant.

JACOB OFFERALL, Dos Rios. Probation revocation.

JOHN PECK, Willits. Fugitie from justice.

Siegfried, Smith, Wells

MARC SIEGFRIED, Sausalito/Ukiah. Pot possession for sale, pot cultivation.

RAYMOND SMITH, Willits. Probation revocation.

JESSE WELLS, Laytonville*. Murder, attempted murder, first degree robbery, burglary.

* (One of the several suspects involved in the murder of Laytonville pot grower Jeffrey Settler.)

* * *


“It’s a Small World, after all! It’s a Small World, after all! It’s a Small World, after all! It’s a Small, Small World….”

Well, Trump announced his first budget proposal this morning.

And just as we expected, he’s seeking a massive $54 billion increase in defense spending this year. That’s nearly a 10% increase over existing levels.

“This budget will be a public-safety and national-security budget,” Trump announced this morning. He said a “historic increase in defense spending” was essential to “start winning wars again.” The big players like Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Boeing should do well in this environment. But the real gains will come from the smaller defense contractors developing promising new technologies.

This is where the true investment opportunities lie…

On the outskirts of Washington you’ll find an endless string of shiny office buildings. Every one of them has defense contractors. Here you’ll find the smallest, most nimble, forward-leaning, cutting-edge defense technology contractors. You’ve never heard of 90% of these companies, many of which are public.

These small firms will benefit most from the new wave of defense spending. They’ll either expand or be bought out by the big guys. A huge defense contractor like Northrop Grumman, for example, might buy out a small, bleeding-edge tech firm in order to acquire their new tech and outcompete, say, Boeing.

So whether it’s finding a new public company with great growth prospects or one that will probably be bought out by a major, the opportunities are endless…

* * *


How does it work in a


Is it a contact sport

where you score points

when you cross

the end zone?

Or a striptease

where you take off one

item of clothing after another,

little by little.

Or could it be

a three-ring circus,

with clowns in a

big tent, followed by

a high wire act,

a circus master who cracks the

whip, the crowd

spellbound, eating


Didn’t the ancient

Romans roll out

similar rewards for the lowly

while the empire rotted

from the inside out and the

senators in togas watched while

barbarians came down from

the forests of the North,

brought an end to

imperial power and

sowed the seeds

for something called democracy?

— Jonah Raskin, 28 November 2016

* * *


EUREKA — Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty announced today that Matt Brady has been appointed to the position of District 1 Director, effective immediately. Interim District 1 Director Tim Craggs will return to Sacramento after serving for five months to bridge the gap between former District Director Charlie Fielder's retirement last fall and Matt's appointment.

Matt is a 25-year employee with Caltrans, a certified Project Management Professional, and a California licensed Professional Engineer. After graduating from Santa Clara University in 1991 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering, Matt began his career with Caltrans in Orange County (Caltrans District 12). After three years in District 12, Matt spent six years with Structure Design in Sacramento.

Matt was promoted to Senior Transportation Engineer in 2000, serving as a California Transportation Commission Liaison with Transportation Programming, also in Sacramento. In late 2001, Matt moved to District 1 to become a Project Manager and in 2004 he was promoted to District 1's Deputy District Director of Program and Project Management.

Matt has delivered many high profile projects such as the Willits Bypass, Ten Mile River Bridge, Confusion Hill Realignment, Alton Interchange, and Mad River Bridges. He has also taken on special assignments including a 15 month rotation as the Deputy District Director of Maintenance & Operations in District 1, and as the Division Chief for the Headquarters Division of Engineering Services.

* * *


New Chief of Public Information for Caltrans District 1

As of March 2, 2017, I have been appointed to be the Chief of Public Information for Caltrans District 1. I will continue to handle most Lake and Mendocino County issues until a new public information officer can be hired to fill my previous position, but be sure to call me at my new phone number, 707-445-6444.

I look forward to developing stronger working relationships between my office and the media, as well as tribal governments and federal, state, and local agencies.

Thank you,

Phil Frisbie, Jr.
Chief of Public Information
Public Information Officer for Lake and Mendocino Counties
Web Content Administrator Caltrans District 1 707-445-6444

* * *


A roach

came struttin

across my bedroom


like it was beyond


or was

some sexy-lookin


and if I hadn’t

snuffed it,

left it


I know it would’ve

come right up

and gave me


— John Raven



  1. OlHighlander March 3, 2017

    From Peachland wagon trails. showing there age, Mennonite Men white beards of same face, to a sexy looking cockroach, for I have lost my taste.
    Grab your shovel and fill a hole..
    Die your hair you all look the same and OLD..
    Dead Junkies don’t Shine ON Farms..
    Truth be told.
    The Mennonites of the High and the Low, much respect you deserve, butt know one will know..
    Old and New Welcome..
    But allways be aware there is a buzzard in the air..
    Little and Fuzzy but always buzzy….Troll…
    But Not Yet White Little Mennonite…
    Respect your neighbor, just don’t act like it..


  2. Rick Weddle March 3, 2017

    re: ‘…hearing the silence…in the deep peace of Orr Springs…’
    Oh, Christ. Are you toying with irony, here? Please say you are, Mr. Sack. The ‘displacement’ of First Nations folks from their hot springs, and subsequent occupation by we who just happened by there, is a fine illustration of the Deep Definition of the roman word ‘civilization;’ it’s what one gets, and what we never tire of celebrating, after the smoke clears, the dust settles, and the blood soaks into the dirt. Does anyone alive now have any idea what the place was called, its first name, before it was invaded, stolen, and renamed by us undocumented aliens? In the midst of your reveries there, if you can’t get a hint of the clatter and shriek of genocide, you’re not listening with your ‘third ear.’

  3. Bruce Anderson March 3, 2017

    Years ago Orr Springs was recommended in all the travel guides, including Triple A’s. None of the guides mentioned that the facility was “clothing optional.” One night, a disoriented family, small children in tow, from somewhere in the Midwest appeared seeking the rustic accommodations they’d read about, only to be met at the door by an irate naked man who screamed at them, “Can’t you see I’m wearing my quiet beads?”

    • George Hollister March 3, 2017

      My mother worked there as a cook in the late 1960s. Clothes were required, back then. Alfred Weger, and his wife operated the place. Some people came there to spend the summer. Some for a week or a weekend, some to hunt. It was a different time. I remember seeing many lampreys in the river. Some were 3 feet long. I guess they were there to spawn.

  4. John Sakowicz March 3, 2017

    Here’s what appears on Orr’s home page now. It’s the first thing you see…

    Relax Detach Unwind
    Orr Hot Springs is a small, tranquil, clothing optional resort settled deep in the rolling hills of the Mendocino Coastal Range. Situated on a beautiful country road between the towns of Mendocino and Ukiah, the springs flourish on 27 acres at the headwaters of Big River.

    Check it out:

  5. chuck dunbar March 3, 2017

    Thanks, AVA and Mark Scaramella, for the continuing series of in-depth interviews with Deputy Orell Massey of MCSO. It’s good for us average citizens to hear clearly spoken, honest talk about the everyday challenges faced by our law enforcement officers. And it’s also good for us to hear what it’s truly like for a black deputy to work in our county. Deputy Massey’s feedback about the racism he’s faced over the years makes his service here even more admirable.
    Years ago when I was a CPS supervisor , I attended a seminar on methamphetamine, taught by a lieutenant from one of the Sonoma County police departments, In an interesting aside, the lieutenant spoke of officers who begin police work and remain in this duty for a long time. He noted that at the 7-8 year mark, a good officer comes to perform police work as an “art form.” He meant, I think, that the field experiences over the years, and the learning and refinement of the work that take place over the years, mold an officer into someone who uses his whole being—his intellect, training, experience, grit, wisdom and humanity, in performing this hard and dangerous work. (In my years at CPS, I saw social workers who stayed in the work for this amount of time come to exhibit a similar evolution of skill and professionalism.)

    Clearly, Deputy Massey is a deputy who has performed his work in such a manner. Law enforcement is public service work that the vast majority of us could not do. We owe Deputy Massey great thanks for his service. Your interviews with him are surely a part of that gratitude.

    • Mark Scaramella March 3, 2017

      When I first met the Deputy and exchanged war stories (i.e., experiences in the military) with him back in the late 90s, I said to myself, There’s a man with an inherently interesting story: Born/raised in South Carolina, career Marine, law enforcement in fairly white Mendo… Took a while waiting for him to decide to go on the record, but that’s the benefit of sticking around a place for a while. One of these days we’ll have to re-run our report of when he was unfairly denied promotion to sergeant…

  6. malcolmlorne March 3, 2017

    You can take it or leave it from a member of a family native to the County of Mendocino and its coast since the 1800s, Mendocino is either a town or, in 19th and early 20th century parlance, Mendocino City. Yes, there are occasional historical uses of the term “village” in reference to this town, but they are just that, rare occurrences. Those who insist on the term “the village” to identify the town of Mendocino are engaging in nothing more or less than pretentious affectation. Such nomenclature, if continued beyond a half dozen usages, qualifies the user, under a seldom read subset of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM – Fifth Edition – see annotations by Professors Gomes, Fraga, and Mendosa,),or in technical psychiatric lingo, language abuser, to one thousand, eight hundred fifty-three mandatory visits to the Ford Family Clinic twelve-step-program for purveyors of pretentious affectations.
    Malcolm Macdonald

    • George Hollister March 3, 2017


    • Bruce McEwen March 3, 2017

      Curious bit of nomenclature, but isn’t Boonville, along with Yorkville, Garberville, Laytonville and Susanville more appropriately villages in their inception? Why else the suffix?

      And why not call ’em Boonvillians or Garbervillagers?

      Now, the good burghers of Healdsburg, are never called Healdburgians (like Gulliver’s Brobdingnagians) are they?

      And what about the soon-perhaps-to-be designated Hamburg Hill on Shepherds Lane?

      Mendo’s own Avon on Trent?

      Village, berg, city, town?

      No-no: Mendosinnians is the only collective regional appellation I can possibly condone — !

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