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Mendocino County Today: Wednesday, March 8, 2017

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CONSTRUCTION IS UNDERWAY on the temporary bridge over the Orr Springs Road washout.

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GABRIEL RAMON CAMPOS was on for a jury trial this week and just before it started Judge John Behnke asked prosecutor Scott McMenomey what Mr. Campos was looking at in the event he was found guilty of the charges, which were second degree robbery.  Deputy DA McMenomey said that since Campos had two strike-priors, among other convictions, he would be exposed to a aggregate sentence of 35 years to life in State prison. Judge Behnke turned to Mr. Dewan of the Office of the Public Defender, and asked if McMenomey's numbers comported with his own; Mr. Dewan said they did.  The judge turned back to McMenomey and asked if there was any hope of a disposition.  McMenomey said he was reluctant to see Mr. Campos face such a stiff sentence and if he would take the plea deal for four years, he would be satisfied with that.  The judge asked Campos if he understood.  Campos said he did.  Did he wish to avail himself of the offer or go forward with the trial?   Go forward, Campos said, bravely.  Judge Behnke asked if he was sure.  He said he was.  Behnke said, "Okay. But I'm going to give you 10 more minutes to talk this over with your lawyer before I call the jurors up here to start jury selection."  After the 10 minutes were up, Mr. Dewan had prevailed and Campos took the four years instead of the trial.

— Bruce McEwen

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WE ARE DELIGHTED to see the county animal shelter in Ukiah operating so smoothly, and the caring expertise coming from new shelter director Rich Molinari.

The shelter has been through some tough times in recent years and although we generally kept faith that the shelter was basically a good operation, a new director was clearly needed.

Molinari seems to be a take-charge kind of guy and knows his stuff. He talks about cats and dogs with assurance and the knowledge of what it takes to make sure shelter animals are adoptable.

We are not among those who think the shelter must be absolutely a no-kill shelter, but we do think there are animals with borderline – or even not so borderline – behavior problems that can be corrected with patience and training. Molinari and the wonderful volunteers at the shelter have programs in place that will make a big difference in the adoptability for many animals who might otherwise be euthanized.

We are looking forward to the upcoming visit to the shelter by UC Davis animal shelter experts who will have a look around and give the county feedback on things that can be improved. We assume that the county will be supportive in providing funding to the shelter when those suggestions come along.

In the meantime we are happy to see the shelter operating on all cylinders and we urge anyone who would consider working with shelter animals and giving them the love and care they need as they move from orphan to family member to contact the shelter and volunteer.

— KC Meadows (Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)

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Mendocino County Grape/Wine Industry
Top Users of Glyphosate (RoundUp) in 2016

Beckstoffer Vinifera Vineyard [Ukiah] 178 gallons

Bald Eagle Vineyard [Potter Valley] 74 gallons

Beckstoffer Hopland Ranch Vineyard [Hopland] 68 gallons

Beckstoffer Mendocino 101 Vineyard [Ukiah] 67 gallons

Valley Foothills Vineyard [Philo] 64 gallons

Beckstoffer Russian River Vineyard [Ukiah] 53 gallons

Beckstoffer Feliz Creek [Hopland] 48 gallons

Lakeview Vineyards [Hopland] 46 gallons

Madonna Vineyards [Ukiah] 44 gallons

Brutocao Bliss Ranch [Hopland] 39 gallons

Orsi Vineyards [Hopland] 36 gallons

Roederer Clark/Perkins Ranch [Philo] 32 gallons

Haiku Vineyards [Ukiah] 31 gallons

(figures derived from Mendocino County Agriculture Division's Pesticide Use Report for 2016)

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On March 5, 2017 at approximately 8:28 PM Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to investigate a domestic violence disturbance reported to have occurred at a residence in the 12000 block of Eel River Road in Pottery Valley, California.  Deputies contacted Jessica Clayton and an adult male at the residence and noticed they both had minor visible injuries.  Deputies conducted an investigation and learned Clayton and the adult male were living together at the residence in a domestic relationship.  Both subjects had been arguing prior to the Deputies arrival.  The argument escalated and Clayton pushed the adult male causing him to fall and strike his head which resulted in a visible injury.  Clayton was arrested on a charge of domestic violence battery and was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where she was to be held in lieu of $25,000 bail.

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On March 3, 2017 at approximately 4:22 P.M., Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies initiated an investigation into a report that Aaron Rathblott, 46, of Mendocino furnished a controlled substance to two female juveniles, ages 16, and 15. During that investigation, Deputies learned Rathblott had the two female juveniles in his care and custody sometime during November or December of 2016.  Deputies determined Rathblott had furnished the two juveniles with lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) at that time.  The two juveniles ingested the LSD while remaining in the presence and care of Rathblott at his home located in the 8200 block of Outlaw Springs Road in Mendocino, California.

On 03-06-2017 at approximately 8:45 A.M., Deputies contacted Rathblott in the township of Mendocino and arrested him for violation of Health and Safety Section 11353.  Rathblott was also confirmed to be on active misdemeanor probation and additionally charged him with a violation of probation.  Rathblott was transported to the Mendocino County Jail where he was booked and was to be held in lieu of $50,000 bail.

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by Ryan Burns

On Monday, Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives revealed their plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act, aka “Obamacare,” and replace it with a new law that would eliminate many of the ACA’s key elements, including a mandate requiring most Americans to have health insurance as well as the Medicaid expansion that extended coverage to more than 10 million Americans in 31 states.

According to health care leaders on the North Coast, these changes threaten to strip thousands of local residents of their health insurance and increase costs for thousands more.

Late last week, before the Republican plan had been released, Open Door Community Health Centers CEO Dr. Herrmann Spetzler expressed concern about the rhetoric coming out of Washington, D.C.

“There is no less expensive way to provide health care to the uninsured, that I’m aware of, than what the ACA model has right now.” Except, perhaps, a single-payer system, he added. At any rate, he said, “I don’t think you can drop out a mandate that everybody participate and [still] guarantee everybody access to insurance.”

The Republican plan announced Monday would replace the mandate with a system of age-based tax credits for people purchasing insurance on the open market. It would also scrap the requirement for larger employers to offer coverage to full-time employees and strip federal funding from Planned Parenthood clinics. This despite the fact that federal dollars are already prevented from paying for abortions except in cases of rape or incest, or when the life of the mother is endangered. (Congressman Jared Huffman addressed some of the misconceptions about the organization in his latest podcast episode.)

Since the ACA took full effect in California in 2014, nearly 19,000 Humboldt County residents have obtained coverage through Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicaid program, and another 5,570 residents have received subsidized coverage through Covered California, the state’s ACA insurance exchange.

In Humboldt and Mendocino counties, 13.9 percent of the adult population receives health care coverage thanks to the Medicaid expansion, a higher rate than in any other county in the state, where the average is 9.4 percent. Under the Republican proposal put forth this week, many of these locals stand to see reduced federal payments through Medi-Cal, or to lose their insurance altogether.

The ACA has had a dramatic impact on the nonprofit Open Door organization, which has expanded to include 14 access points, from Crescent City to Petrolia. Last year Open Door had roughly 250,000 patient visits from about 55,000 unique individuals, Spetzler said, and Obamacare provided coverage for a huge portion of those visits.

“We used to have 40 percent of our patients had no health care insurance access,” Spetzler said. “Now we have six percent.” All told, 54 percent of Open Door’s patients receive coverage through the ACA.

St. Joseph Hospital President Dr. David O’Brien said the ACA has helped Humboldt County move toward a “population health” model, offering more preventative care — and higher-quality care — as opposed to emergency room visits from people who avoided doctors until their conditions became an emergency.

“The ACA has done some good things for our country and for our patients by expanding the access for a lot of people who had no access to health care,” O’Brien said. “I think everybody has benefited from it, because patients are getting care now when they weren’t getting care before.”

Between 2013 and 2015 the number of uninsured adults in Humboldt County was cut by more than half, from 23,000 to 11,000, according to a report by the U.C. Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education and the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.

The Republican bill does retain some popular Obamacare provisions, including, as the New York Times reports, “the prohibition on denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, the ban on lifetime coverage caps and the rule allowing young people to remain on their parents’ health plans until age 26.”

But Republicans hope to repeal the income-based tax credits that have helped nearly 6,000 Humboldt County residents get insurance through Covered California. They also want to undo the law’s taxes on those with high incomes and the penalty for not having insurance.

O’Brien said repealing the insurance mandate could cause problems. “If insurance companies are only insuring people with medical problems … then the insurance model falls apart,” he said. “You need to have a broad base of patients to spread that risk out.”

Spetzler agreed, noting that Open Door offers care people “absolutely need,” people throughout Humboldt and Del Norte counties and beyond, into Brookings and parts of Mendocino, Trinity and even Siskiyou counties.

“Preventing that access for those populations is not good health care delivery, and it’s also not good economics,” Spetzler said. “Because if you have some kind of a condition that we can take care of for you but we’re not available then it will happen in the emergency room at many times the expense.”

The Republican bill will next be considered by two House committees in hopes of sending it to the Senate before the April 7 spring break. Its outcome there remains uncertain, according to numerous news sources, with Democrats and some Republicans expressing concerns. President Donald Trump has expressed support for the bill.


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Interviewed by Mark Scaramella

AVA: What's your opinion of the current courthouse and the plans to build a new one? Are any real problems being solved by spending all that money on just a new courthouse but no new support facilities?

Massey: From a security aspect, you have rules and guidelines you have to follow when transporting inmates. Some of these people are in there for murder, rape, robbery -- serious crimes. So serious felons are going in and out of the courthouse and are mingling with civilians who are walking in the hallways. Bad things could happen.

AVA: Okay, right. But why can't those problems be mitigated in the current courthouse?

Massey: There are also cracks in the floors, there's probably asbestos in the insulation. It's really old. It requires more and more maintenance. They're really does need to be a new courthouse. There are a variety of other amenities that would make court proceedings run more smoothly. Properly upgrading that old courthouse so that it's more secure and durable would probably cost a large portion of what they are proposing for the new courthouse. The security of the staff and law enforcement personnel is a real issue also. People are vulnerable in the current system there. There are a number of weak spots. There's also all that exposure on School Street as prisoners are entering and exiting the courthouse. People often have to wait there for long periods while people mill around. Anything could happen.

AVA: When Rick Martin was Assistant District Attorney back in the Vroman era he proposed that the court conduct arraignments in the jail to reduce the amount of transport back and forth, maybe on certain days of the week, particularly Monday.

Massey; Holding arraignments in the jail would be an improvement. A judge could come down and deal with most of the misdemeanors on the spot there. The taxpayers pay pretty well for court officials to make the best decisions for the county and protect the community. But when you look at what's going on you have to wonder who's actually making these decisions? Who's in charge of this and why is it set up the way it is? How did it get this ridiculous? I can't go into detail about all the vulnerabilities around the courthouse because that itself would present a security problem. But yes, that would help. We've also tried video arraignment. A public defender is available by video while the inmate sits in front of a camera in the jail. But that doesn't happen very much these days and it doesn't really make a dent in the problem. Also, some people in the jail want to go to the courthouse and face the judge directly.

AVA: Martin said that he had it all set up and all the participants — the DA, public defender, probation, court admin, etc. — agreed except the judges who didn't think the setup was nice enough for them.

Massey: I've never seen a judge at the jail. I've seen attorneys there and those times they do video arraignments with inmates, but never a judge – they are always in the courtroom. I don't know why they couldn't do arraignments in the jail. It makes sense to deal with as many cases there as possible.

AVA: So you don't think remodeling the current courthouse would solve the problem?

Massey: Oh, it probably could help, but I imagine it would cost a lot more than people think because of the condition of the old courthouse. I think the money would be better spent on an actual new courthouse.

AVA: What about all the support services and their offices?

Massey: I don't know if they've looked at other counties with similar problems but you certainly shouldn't have to reinvent the wheel for Mendocino County. There have to have been similar problems in other counties as these courthouses get older and older. They must have solved them reasonably well. They've been talking about building a new courthouse ever since I got here over 20 years ago. It seems to be one of those things that… It’s almost a fantasy that they use to avoid fixing problems at the old courthouse. ‘Oh, yeah. A new courthouse. Just a few more years like this…’

AVA: What about the jail. Pretty bad shape?

Massey: They’ve talked about a new jail over the years also. I was talking to one of the jail maintenance workers recently who has to work on things there every night. I told him that it looked like he was out there at the jail more than the regular correctional staff. He said, ‘There's always something wrong with the jail.’ He said he took one week off for vacation and when he came back there were three more weeks worth of work. He said he was afraid to go on vacation because things would just get worse. And many of those physical plant problems create real hazards in the jail. I wouldn't be surprised if they’ve spent enough money on jail maintenance over the years to make a decent down payment on a new one.

AVA: The subject comes up regularly — some kind of new module, maybe even a new jail. It always seems to be in the future too.

Massey: I've been to a lot of county jails in Northern California in my transport duties. This one is easily the worst. Nobody has a jail in such bad condition as ours. The one over in Yuba City might be almost as bad. But we're probably the worst. It’s very cramped in there. Most of the neighboring counties have much better facilities and things run safer and smoother.

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IN JANUARY of this year County CEO Carmel Angelo told the Supervisors: “One of our goals is metrics. We’d actually like to measure — you know the phrase ‘you can’t manage what you can’t measure.’ And we have that throughout our system. So we’d like to have performance measures and some outcome measures for our departments. Each [leadership] team member committed to focusing on at least one of the identified goals. Members of the County’s Expanded Leadership Team will have an opportunity to become involved as work teams are formed for each goal.”

I.E. WITHOUT METICS — performance and outcome measurements — “you can’t manage” the organization. Ms. Angelo admitted that when it comes to the lack of metrics and associated management, “We have that throughout our system.” I.e., there are no metrics, and therefore no management “throughout our system.”

GUESS HOW MANY TIMES the subject of “metrics” has come up since Ms. Angelo’s bold pronouncement two months ago. If you guess anything but zero, you’re way too high.

MAYBE WE NEED A METRIC on how Ms. Angelo is coming along with her metrics development?

BUT, as we’ve often noted: Metrics — or whatever buzzword you choose to use — simply will never happen, ever. Nobody in official Mendo really wants to know the status of anything because (1.) Except for Howard Deshield and his hard-working County road crews, and the Sheriff’s Department, the rest of the County departments range from fully to mildly dysfunctional. And 2. If the Supes knew about the true state of the SS Mendo they might have to do something about it.

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by Mary Callahan

California fishermen are bracing for the worst salmon season in eight years, one so grim that many will likely sit the season out completely.

Years of drought and unfavorably warm ocean conditions that existed when this year’s potential crop of king salmon was young have reduced the adult population to the lowest level forecast since 2009, when projections were so pathetic both sport and commercial salmon seasons were canceled.

Some hope that abundant winter rainfall and last year’s welcome spring rains will help restore next year’s salmon fishery to something approximating full strength. But until then, “we have one more bad drought hangover year to work through,” said John McManus, executive director of the Golden Gate Salmon Association.

“It looks horrible,” said Bodega Bay fisherman Lorne Edwards, who may skip what would be his third season in a row.

The recreational salmon fishery opens to California sport fisherman on April 1 every year and would normally open to the commercial fleet May 1.

But it will be several weeks yet before the season schedule is set, based on complex modeling and statistical projections aimed at estimating the number of adult salmon waiting in the ocean for the signal to swim upstream and spawn throughout the intensively managed West Coast fishery off California, Oregon and Washington states.

Analysts weigh a host of factors, including the previous year’s landings, the number of adult salmon found dead after spawning and the number of fish set aside for Native American tribes to catch. State and federal biologists consider each distinct natural and hatchery salmon population and their historic distribution in the ocean to determine where and when sport fishers and trollers are allowed to drop their lines in a given year.

The Pacific Fishery Management Council is meeting this week and is expected to formulate three alternative schedules for both sport and commercial salmon fishing within the coming week, McManus said. A final decision would be made between April 6 and 11.

But, already, the commercial fleet — still smarting from consecutive disruptions in both the salmon and Dungeness crab seasons — is anticipating drastic cuts in the salmon season, especially in waters north of Sonoma County.

State and federal biologists this year estimate about 230,700 adult Sacramento River fall run Chinook salmon — which account for the vast majority of king salmon caught offshore from the greater Bay Area and the North Bay — are waiting out in the Pacific. The forecast would have been more dismal had salmon smolt from Northern California hatcheries not been trucked past drought-shriveled tributaries in recent years to aid the species’ survival, McManus said.

Last year’s pre-season forecast was only slightly higher, at 299,600, though that number appears now to have been optimistic, biologists said. The annual forecasts ranged between 634,000 and 819,000 over the five years before that.

The forecast is even worse for salmon runs north of Sonoma County. Analysts expect just 54,200 fall run Chinook from the Klamath River — a record low that equals a mere 28 percent of the 38-year average.

The decimated Klamath run would particularly impact fishermen on the North Coast, where some of those fish turn up, intermingled with Sacramento run Chinook.

(Santa Rosa Press Democrat)

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LITTLE DOG SAYS, “I'll be dogged. Major weed pulling happened here today. I don't do that kind of work, but I sure enjoyed watching the two-footers doing it.”

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THE ETERNAL STRUGGLE TO BEAT BACK THISTLES (the smart money's on the thistles)

Navarro Point thistle-removing Wednesday 10am-noon; volunteers welcome!

You are invited to join us as we remove thistles at Navarro Point on Wednesday, March 8th, from 10am until noon. There's only a 10% chance that there will be rain then. This coastal headland is a stunningly beautiful place to be outside. You can find us in the parking lot on the west side of Highway 1 a half mile south of the Navarro Ridge Road turn-off at 10am. No tools or previous experience are necessary, tho clippers and/or a small spade could help. We hope to see you there this Wednesday at 10am. Contact me if you have questions. Tom, 937-1113,

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Subject: Collection of Winter Storm Initial Damage Estimates

Like many other California Counties the County of Mendocino has been hard struck by winter storms this season. As a result, the County of Mendocino proclaimed a Local Emergency on January 18, 2017 related to storm damage. This proclamation has been extended several times by the County Board of Supervisors.  California Governor Brown declared a State of Emergency on January 23, 2017 for 49 California counties, including Mendocino County. Upon a FEMA recommendation President Trump  declared a Major Disaster Declaration on February 14, 2017.  Currently, the California Governor”s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have made available some Public Assistance funding.  This Public Assistance funding is being made available to state, tribal, and local governments, to help assist with eligible emergency protective measures and repairing/replacing damaged public facilities and infrastructure. At this time, Individual Assistance, which assists individuals, private property owners, and businesses has not been made available.  The Mendocino County Office of Emergency Services (OES) is collecting all Initial Damage Estimates (IDEs) within Mendocino County. All cities, tribes, community services districts, special districts, and local government entities are encouraged to submit their IDEs to Mendocino County OES as soon as possible to be eligible for potential disaster assistance. While there is currently no assistance programs offered to private residents or businesses, both are encouraged to submit IDEs to the Mendocino County OES.  This will aid Mendocino County OES in determining which areas were most affected by the winter storms and could possibly make assistance, such as low interest loans, available to private residents and businesses if economic losses are higher than previously reported. The Initial Damage Estimate (IDE) worksheet can be downloaded from the Mendocino County’s website at by clicking on Initial Damage Estimate (IDE) Worksheet for Winter Storm Damage

( — link.

This worksheet should be submitted to Mendocino County OES as soon as possible at the OES email address listed below.  If agencies, residents or businesses have any questions regarding Initial Damage Estimates they should email the Mendocino County OES at

For more information regarding Public Assistance or Individual Assistance, offered by the State and Federal Governments, please visit:

— Sheriff’s Lieutenant Shannon Barney

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County Of Mendocino Announces Leadership Changes Within The Executive Office And Department Of Planning And Building Services

Mendocino County Chief Executive Officer Carmel J. Angelo announced today that Steve Dunnicliff will be transitioning from his role as the Director of Planning and Building Services and returning to the Executive Office as Deputy Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Dunnicliff will make the transition to the Executive Office on Monday, April 3, 2017.

Mr. Dunnicliff began his County career in 2008, after working in the construction and real estate industries, and has developed a successful track record as part of the County’s leadership team, in his previous positions of Economic Development Coordinator, Deputy CEO, and Planning and Building Director. Chief Executive Officer Carmel J. Angelo stated, “Steve has done a tremendous job as Director, and he assembled a strong management team in the department. They are well positioned to build upon the foundation established by Steve.” CEO Angelo further said, “Steve is an experienced administrator and an asset to the County. I am excited to have Steve returning to the Executive Office, and I believe his experience will be invaluable in addressing the many opportunities and challenges the County is facing”. Mr. Dunnicliff will begin managing the County’s Facilities and Fleet Divisions and working on several sustainable energy initiatives, among a variety of other tasks and assignments.

Mr. Dunnicliff is proud of the progress Planning & Building Services has made over the last five years in implementing the Board of Supervisor’s initiatives to enhance customer service, streamline the permit process, and foster inter-departmental collaboration. A few highlights include the department’s continuing commitment to excellent customer service, “QuickCheck” permit processing, and the creation of an online portal which currently allows the public to view permit processing activity and will soon allow for certain permits to be issued online ( Mr. Dunnicliff stated, “With the leadership of Planning and Building’s management team of Mary Lynn Hunt, Adrienne Thompson, and Michael Lockett, I look forward to seeing the Department’s continued success and innovation. Further, I am extremely excited to have the opportunity to come back to the Executive Office and take on new challenges. CEO Angelo has developed a strong leadership team and I look forward to building upon the relationships I have with the Board of Supervisors, department heads, and community partners in my new role.”

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CATCH OF THE DAY, March 7, 2017

Auman, Bannan, Bray

JEREMY AUMAN, Laytonville. Probation revocation.

SCOTT BANNAN, Leggett. Defrauding innkeeper, interfering with police communications.

JAMES BRAY JR., Fort Bragg. Drunk in public, probation revocation.

Cox, Davey, Herrera, Hughes

COURTNEY COX, Point Arena. Domestic assault.

COREY DAVEY, Ukiah. Drunk in public.

HECTOR HERRERA, Ukiah. Meth possession for sale, sale, conspiracy.

WHITNEY HUGHES, Lolita/Laytonville. Domestic assault.

Jarvis, Maynard, McCoy, Tepale

HOPE JARVIS, Ukiah. Dirk-dagger, petty theft, paraphernalia, failure to appear, probation revocation.

ANDREW MAYNARD, Ukiah. Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)

ANTHONY MCCOY, Ukiah. Under influence.

VICTOR TEPALE, Ukiah. Meth possession for sale, sale, conspiracy.

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by Clancy Sigal

I came of age under the shadow of a Cold War mushroom cloud whose flash you could see from my Sunset Boulevard office all the way over to the Nevada Testing Ground.  Los Angeles was ringed by nuclear tipped Nike missiles programmed for a Soviet first strike. Popular mass magazines like Saturday Evening Post, Colliers and Time were devoted to scary Third World War scenarios, and we all believed them.

This was school children’s ‘duck and cover’ time when classrooms were shown horrific films of blast damage. We grownups didn’t walk around in panic all the time merely assumed as Doris Day sang ‘Que Sera Sera’, what will be will be.

So, for a certain generation, we’re not that keen for another confrontation with Russia that might result in mutual incineration.

The uproar about Putin’s hacking, Jeff Sessions meeting with a spy and who else at what time had cocktails with a Russian is a smokescreen whipped up by both the press (I hate the word media) and Democratic pols to distract us from seeing that the opposition party has no plan. The Trumps send up clouds of obscurity made even murkier by liberalish, high profile reporters who trade “access” for pretending what they hear isn’t bullshit.

Pres. Bannon and his deputy Trump are playing us masterfully.

Most recent example is Trump pretending, to a select crew of suckered big-name journos, that he may or may not amend, reverse or “humanize” his deportations. Oh, does he know how to play us!

In reality Bannon-Trump can’t afford to retreat from their mass roundup of immigrants because it’s the heart, the very keystone, of their agenda. Block or slow down the deportations is to lose “credibility” with the haters who are their base already raising  hell to deport more, more and more.

Unless stopped the racial attack on any of the eleven million “unauthorized” (illegal, undocumented) aliens among us will accelerate. At this moment, all over the country, and here in Los Angeles, the ICEmen are pulling men, women and even children off their jobs, out of schools, from hospitals and courtrooms.

The Obama policy of “catch and release” – keeping mothers and children together – canceled.

DACA – deferred action for child arrivals – shredding.

Our immigration police are drunk on their expanded power to arrest, detain, imprison and in a case here at the San Ysidro check point the murder of an illegal father of five.

Our California school principals now are warning their pupils to carry ID with them at all times and if at risk to have a family plan and power of attorney. Dad drops you off at school and you may never see him again.

The word is out, the ICEman is “unshackled”.

Promotion and bonuses depend on invading “target rich” communities. God help you if you have a DUI or shoplifting offense.  In El Paso a woman is arrested for reporting her rape, in Jackson, Mississippi for making a pro immigrant speech.

Yet, with few exceptions, I scan the press or watch TV news including CNN and MSNBC, and almost nada.  Bill Maher, John Oliver, Colbert – nada. For most anchors, hosts and reporters, the mass roundups aren’t happening. The eleven million vanish as if by magic.

We are normalizing the berserk actions of an immigrant political police in order to join the swine hunt for Moscow spies.

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

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Trump is wandering the WH and his Florida beach house (at our expense) without having a clue about what to do. Today’s missile launches show that North Korea is taunting Trump and Trump has nothing to say. He does not know what to do. Trump has not been capable of forming a government that might know what to do about North Korea which has realized Trump is a paper tiger. To try to distract the public Trump is busy ridiculously lying about Obama wiretapping his hotels, just like Trump lied for five years about Obama not being a US citizen, before finally admitting his five year campaign was one giant lie. Meanwhile, North Korea continues to perfect its nuclear arsenal.

A North Korean military unit tasked with striking US bases in Japan was involved in today’s launch of four ballistic missiles. The missiles, three of which landed within 200 miles of Japan’s coastline in its exclusive economic zone, were fired as part of a drill by North Korea’s Hwasong artillery units. The units were part of “the KPA Strategic Force tasked to strike the bases of the US imperialist aggressor forces in Japan in contingency.”

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WIKILEAKS says it has obtained trove of CIA hacking tools.

The anti-secrecy group says the leak includes nearly 9,000 sensitive files.


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There is a reason that things are so bad. There is a reason that education sucks. And there's a reason it will never ever be fixed. It will never get any better. Forget it. Be happy with what you got. The owners of this country don't want any improvement. I'm talking about the real owners. The big wealthy business interests that control everything and make all the important decisions. Forget the politicians. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. You don't. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land. They control the corporations. They have long since bought and paid for the Senate, the House of Representatives, the statehouses, the city councils. They have the judges in their back pockets. And they own all the big media companies so they control just about all the news and information you get. They’ve got you by the balls. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying — lobbying to get what they want. Well, we know what they want. They want more for themselves and less for everybody else. I'll tell you what they don't want: they don't want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don't want well-informed, well-educated people capable of thinking for themselves. They don't want that. That does not help them. That is against their interest.  They don't want people who are smart who sit around the kitchen table figuring out how bad they are being screwed over by a system that’s been at it for over 30 years. They don't want that. They want obedient workers. Obedient workers. People who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork and just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shitty jobs and lower pay and longer hours and fewer benefits, the end of overtime, the vanishing pensions that disappear the minute you go to collect them. And now they're coming for your Social Security. They want your retirement money. They want it all back so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street. And you know something? They will get it. They will get it all from you sooner or later. Because they own this place. It's a big club. And you ain't in it. You and I are not in the big club. And by the way it's the same big club they use to beat you over the head with all day long when they tell you what to believe. All day long, beating you over the head, telling you what to believe, what to think, what to buy. The table is tilted folks. The game is rigged. But nobody seems to notice. Nobody seems to care. Good honest hard-working people — white-collar, blue collar — doesn't matter what color your collar is. Good honest hard working people continue to buy this stuff. People of modest means continue to elect these rich assholes who don't give a damn about them. They don't care about you. Not at all. Not at all.

— George Carlin

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The only reporters on west coast to get it.

Bond-Graham, Winston

A READER WRITES: When you wrote about Darwin Bond-Graham and Ali Winston winning the Polk Award, you didn’t give credit to the wonderful paper they work for, the East Bay Express, which does a great job covering local, important issues, like the AVA. Here’s the “Editor’s Note” (Nick Miller) from last week’s issue:

Darwin BondGraham, Ali Winston Win Prestigious George Polk Award For East Bay Express Series on Oakland Police Scandal

The reporters join winners from The New York Times, The Washington Post, and more.

Darwin BondGraham and Ali Winston are winners of the 2017 George Polk Award for Local Reporting, for their Express series on the Oakland Police Department sex-crime scandal.

Long Island University announced recipients of the 68th annual awards this evening. The two journalists join reporters from The New York TimesThe Washington PostProPublica, and more as winners in one of 14 categories. Recipients in previous years include Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, Norman Mailer, Seymour Hersh, Glenn Greenwald, and many more.

The New York Times, in a story announcing this year's winners, wrote that BondGraham and Winston "of the East Bay Express in California won for local reporting for exposing a sex scandal within the Oakland Police Department, in which officers not only exploited an underage sex worker but also leaked information about undercover prostitution stings."

Long Island University has given out the awards since 1948, to honor the legacy of former CBS reporter George Polk, who was killed that year while reporting on the Greece Civil War.

Express president Jay Youngdahl congratulated BondGraham and Winston on their prestigious honor. "All of us at the East Bay Express work hard to provide courageous and authentic journalism for our community. To have our paper and our reporters honored validates our mission and our community," he wrote in a statement. "For those who claim that real news is dead, this award shows that investigative reporting, as the Express has been doing since 1978, makes a crucial contribution to life in the East Bay."

Other winners this year include several journalists that investigated President Trump, such as The Washington Post's David A. Fahrenthold, for his investigation of Trump's dubious charitable giving and sexual harassment.

Express staff writer BondGraham and current Investigative Fund fellow Winston are the only Bay Area journalists to receive a George Polk Award this year.

— Nick Miller, Editor, East Bay Express

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A lot of former predominantly white school districts are now almost entirely latino, and truth be told, “underperforming”, i.e., facing state school board sanctions. One time I was sitting in a bar in Sausalito having a beer with a cop and I muttered that I didn’t know if I wanted to send my son to an Asian populated school in San Francisco. He told me that’s exactly where I should send him because Asians emphasize academics. (He also made a strong point of stating don’t drink and drive in those parts; that drunken drivers pay a steep steep price. I assured him that I wasn’t driving that indeed I could walk back to the workshop where I sleep and live, 10 Liberty Shipway in Sausalito at the time–an old WW2 ship building site turned artisan community. He also told me San Francisco cops are pretty low key, they don’t get worked up about much of anything except murder.)

The ugly truth you don’t mention in terms of “urban walkway lifestyle’ is that of gentrification and the tremendous sense of anger and bitterness felt by former African American/Latino residents displaced by young white urban professionals and not a small amount of them liberal.

Many high school districts are now formally lauding multilingualism on high school diplomas. And there is no doubt that speaking more than one language is a huge boost to one’s future economic prospects in the U.S..

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Subject: Broadband Alliance meeting notes 3/3/17

Hi Everyone,

Notes from the last Broadband Alliance meeting are attached.  Read them to catch up on all the exciting news related to the CPUC proceeding, legislation, libraries, county Broadband Goals, and more.  Keep this link handy in case your (or your neighbors) phone goes out -

Only 8 questions!

Mendocino college is also hosting an event coming up on March 29th with the showing of a new documentary film that takes you to the front lines of entrepreneurship in America, capturing an in-the-trenches look at the struggles and triumphs of six recent college graduates who put everything on the line to launch startups in Detroit. Read more about it in the notes, section VII B.


Trish Steel


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Composer, recording artist, & pianist

In Concert at the United Church of Cloverdale

Friday, April 7, 7:30 pm

On Friday, April 7 at 7:30pm, renown pianist Spencer Brewer will play a rare solo concert at the United Church of Cloverdale. Performing in hundreds of concert halls worldwide over his career, this will be a special evening of fun, laughter, all kinds of musical styles with Spencer at his best….alone at the piano.

Spencer is a multi-million record selling composer, pianist, composer, artist and producer, who is on the cutting edge of instrumental music - inspiring audiences worldwide with his piano skills, stories and hauntingly unique melodies. With 17 solo and duet albums currently to his credit, his music is being heard and used the world over daily due to his unique gift for weaving memorable, enchanting melodies within beautifully lush arrangements. His music has been featured in hundreds of TV programs and films across the globe as well as on virtually every airline’s music playlists.

His passion is restoring, buying, selling, tuning and doing virtually anything with the piano. He has worked on over 20,000 pianos in his career. Today with parts from pianos and other instruments, he makes one-of-a-kind ‘found art’ with his wife Esther at their studio, His sculptures are receiving great reviews and have been seen any many galleries and museums throughout California.

Spencer firmly believes in contributing back to his local community of Mendocino County. While donating dozens of private concerts over the years for local non-profit agencies, 26 years ago he started and was the promoter for the highly successful "Sundays in the Park" summer concert series with over 20,000 attendees a summer in Ukiah, CA. He also created the series’ 'Live at the Playhouse', ‘The Professional Pianist Series’,  ‘Happination’, ‘BandSlam in the Plaza’, ‘Acoustic Café’, ‘Sunset at the Cellars’, “Lightening Jam with Kris Kristoffersen’, ‘Rural Health Rocks’ and is a consultant to many performance organizations.

Truly a Renaissance man, Spencer not only contributes his musical talents where he can, he also strives to give back to the community. We are honored to have him perform at United Church.

Sponsored by United Church of Cloverdale, admission is at the door (a sliding scale of $10-$20) with proceeds benefitting the church’s music programs. United Church is located at 439 N Cloverdale Blvd, north of downtown and just south of Cloverdale High School. (For more information, contact the church’s music director, Janice Timm, 894-2039.)



  1. mr. wendal March 8, 2017

    Little Dog for Supervisor! Mr. Hamburg’s ride is up in 2019, giving L.D. plenty of time to prepare for the campaign.

  2. Jim Updegraff March 8, 2017

    Poetic justice: The Trump supporters are suddenly realizing that the proposed GOP healthcare bill could well have an adverse effect on their current health plan.

    • Harvey Reading March 8, 2017

      Well, sir, if the people of this country had any sense at all, they’d have voted Green, given that all the other choices were abhorrent. Jill Stein was on the ballot of nearly every state in the union.

      I recall ol’ mamma Clinton keeping single payer off the table while hubby was reigning. The fact is, Obamacare was little more than a giveaway to insurance companies.

      There are good reasons that about half of those eligible don’t even bother to register to vote, and laziness isn’t one of them. If you can find “poetic justice” as your justification for putting down voters who have been sold out for decades by the right-wing “party” of the Clintons and Obama, then I truly pity you for your ignorance and tackiness.

  3. Jim Updegraff March 8, 2017

    Dearest Harvey: I was talking about the direction Trump was going forward with his health plan. I have little interest in discussing what Clinton would or would not do about health care (or the Green Party for that matter) Yes, we all (with the exception of you) should be pitied for our ignorance and being tacky.I use to think only Jesus walked on water, but now lo and behold you also walk on water.

    • Harvey Reading March 8, 2017

      No, what you were trying to do, in your oh-so-clever way, o wise one, was to rub the noses of those who voted for Trump in what you perceive, in the “poetic” sense of course, to be their own fecal matter.

  4. Jim Updegraff March 8, 2017

    Tuh, tuh, Harvey – time for me to sign off for the night- you sleep tight – be sure to look under the bed to make sure the boggler man is not there.

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