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Mendocino County Today: Friday, March 10, 2017

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JUDGE ANN MOORMAN has granted a mistrial in Lovely Lindsay Peak's drunk driving case. Why, we don't officially yet know, but the dismissal seems to be related to the prosecutor's failure to disclose evidence. The case had gone to the jury, the jury had sent notice a verdict had been reached — guilty — and then promptly sent home when Judge Moorman declared a mistrial. No word from the DA if public defender Lovely Lindsay will be re-tried. The jurors had sent back a quick, unanimous verdict.



Dateline Ukiah — The Hon. Ann Moorman granted a last minute defense motion, declaring a mistrial in the public defender’s DUI sensational trial. As the jurors filed in, after a mere two hours of deliberation, with two unanimous guilty verdicts, the judge bade the jury foreman hold her peace – not breathe a word of the verdict, because her Honor was ruling it a mistrial, verdict moot, thank you so very much for your time and patience through this grueling ordeal. The story is developing as we report it, and more details will follow. But it had primarily to do with a report DA David Eyster released to defense counsel Peter Johnson about Matthew Kirsten, a senior staffer at the Department of Justice laboratory in Eureka switching blood samples out of sequence back in 2012. Due to the time honored governmental policy of promoting fuckups to get ‘em out of harm’s way, Mr. Kirsten advanced to the supervisorial stratosphere at the Department of Justice: The motion, according to DA Eyster – whom this reporter spoke with around the close of business on Thursday after the mistrial was declared – seemed to think Judge Moorman granted the motion because of a failure to not only supply the information about the mix-up with the blood samples, but to provide Defense with the original letter of acknowledgement of the blunder, if it was one, from DOJ. Eyster’s opinion was that Her Honor — whose opinions he worships — could have handled it differently. He suggested she could have asked the verdict first (in case it was not guilty) and then (if it were guilty) gone ahead and ruled on the defense motion for mistrial. The DA already knew the verdict, so maybe the judge did, too. I had to be told.

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REMINDER: Daylight Saving Time begins Sunday, March 12 — spring forward!

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On Monday, February 27, 2017 Mendocino Undersheriff Randy Johnson sent out a letter to pot growers who have applied for permits to grow pot under the County’s as-yet unfinished cultivation rules saying:

“Enclosed with this letter is a permit issued to you under the exemption to the 25 plant per parcel limitation and certain other limitations provided for in Chapter 9.31 Title 9 of the Mendocino County Code Entitled “Medical Marijuana Cultivation Regulation.” This permit is issued pursuant to Section 9.31. 10 of Chapter 9.31 with an expiration date of December 31, 2016. Chapter 9.3 provides that permits are subject to annual renewal, but neither this nor any other Chapter 9.3 permit will be renewed for the reasons stated below.

The County is currently in the process of developing Medical Cannabis Cultivation Regulations (MCCR) that will supersede Chapter 9.31. Current projections are that the MCCR will be adopted in March and that applications will be available in May, The County was previously required to stop accepting applications for the Chapter 9.31 permit program pursuant to a Settlement agreement that resolved a legal challenge to the adoption of the 9.31 permit program. Accordingly, the County lacks clear authority to issue additional permits or permit renewals and lawful cannabis cultivation pursuant to Chapter 9.31 is currently limited to 25 plants.

Although permits issued pursuant to Chapter 9.3 l will not be renewed, your permit application entitles you to priority processing for MCCR permits once MCCR is adopted and the County is able to resume issuing permits.

The following information is provided based on current direction of the Board of Supervisors (BOS) and is subject to change pending final adoption of the MCCR. The BOS has directed that MCCR permits will be issued by the Agricultural Commissioner. The BOS has directed that Submission and acceptance of a completed application that complies with the application requirements of MCCR will allow permit applicants to lawfully engage in cultivation Subject to subsequent permit issuance or denial by the Agricultural Commissioner. This provision will allow for lawful cultivation while permit applications are being processed. If a permit application is denied, in whole or in part, the applicant will be required to comply with the decision of the Agricultural Commissioner,

At this time the Office of The Sheriff-Coroner is not issuing Medical Marijuana Zip ties. However, please continue to comply with all cannabis cultivation guidelines. All cannabis cultivators are required to comply with the current Chapter 9.31 Ordinance and all other applicable state and local laws, including possible enrollment and compliance with regulations of the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board.

Thank you for your participation in the 2016 Chapter 9.3 permit program.”

The letter was signed by Undersheriff Johnson but he later said he did not write it himself, and no one so far as claimed authorship. Essentially it tells permittees that their 9.31 permits will not be renewed, and that zip-ties are no longer being sold or issued.

Theoretically, permit holders and growers should be able to apply for permits under the county’s proposed medical cannabis cultivation ordinance — but not until it passes. (It’s in final form and is up for more discussion at the Board’s March 21 meeting). So for now growers are in limbo as the growing season approaches but the County says it “lacks clear authority” to issue new permits. So for now the previous limit of 25 plants applies. Commercial growers who want to go legit don’t think they can make any money with only 25 plants.

Johnson ducked responsibility for the letter saying, “What it says on the permit is to some extent irrelevant… I didn’t write the letter, I was just instructed to send it out.”

So what are growers with more than 25 plants supposed to do?

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Last Tuesday a Mr. Roger Wheeler made what was probably the most pointed remarks about the situation to the Board of Supervisors during public expression:

Wheeler: I got this little letter from the Sheriff's office. It's not really anything I didn't expect. But given the way things have gone the last year under your direction, Supervisor at McCowen, we are further behind than we were. You seem to like getting business done behind closed doors. You make promises you don't keep. You have really broken the trust that the Sheriff’s office had started to build. It was a fragile trust but Randy Johnson and Dan Knapp and all the people I contacted in the Sheriff's office did a great job. I can't help but think that they are kind of caught in the middle here. I think that's probably an accurate assessment. I understand — and I have this on good information from a third party person — that about 350 permits were issued last year. Do the math on that. And there is an estimate that an equal number was shut out due to the deal you made behind closed doors with the Black-Tailed Deer Association [which had sued to force the County to comply with California Environmental rules before issuing any cultivation permit program; the County then put a moratorium on new permits under a settlement agreement]. You do the math on that, The Sheriff's office took in about $1.3 million just on that alone — applications and the zip ties that they sold as a result of that. Figure that out. There’s probably another 350 who were blocked out. Do you think the Sheriff's office needs another $1.3 million in their pocket right now? Last week they said they couldn't make budget. Well, I think they probably could. I'm holding you responsible for that [pointing to Supervisor McCowen]. When the committee was formed, all you guys [i.e., Supervisors], not you Mr. Hamburg, I wish he was able to speak and be involved in this issue, he is the only reasonable voice on this whole board. I think he's a good representative of what's going on in this county.”

Board Chair John McCowen seeing Wheeler’s three minutes were up: “Please conclude.”

Wheeler: “I would like to see you [McCowen] removed from the committee. Put someone in there that's a little more open-minded.”

McCowen: “There is no committee. Thank you. We're going to the next speaker.”

Wheeler: “You did have a committee.”

McCowen: “Your time is up sir.”

Wheeler: “Thank you.”

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McCowen, a few minutes later, responding not just to Wheeler, said:

“We all know that that letter went out. And we knew there was going to be a gap between the 2016 program and the program currently under development that we hope to adopt as soon as we reasonably can. We are under legal scrutiny. We do have to follow CEQA [environmental rules]. That has inevitably made the process more drawn out. I understand everyone's concern. I think we all do. I also am reasonably confident that the Sheriff understands the situation and will have respect for the fact that people who are doing everything they can to be legally compliant are not the highest priority for law enforcement. But that's going to be between you and law enforcement. Again, we are doing the best we can to get a permit regulation in place. We are not going to have a debate here.”

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THE BABE-I-FICATION of Carmel Angelo. Not to be too much of an oinker about it, but I didn't recognize County CEO Angelo when I sat down to watch the Supe's meeting the other day. The old girl looks mondo boffo!

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March 12, 2017, 4pm-5pm

Sports historian and longtime Westport resident [and one-time Supervisorial candidate and County Road crew supervisor] Steve Cardullo will speak on “Sunday Baseball in Fort Bragg.” His talk will cover the history of baseball and its movement westward after the Civil War, the development of Sunday Baseball and some of the standout players on the Fort Bragg Loggers team. Come early for best seating. Presented in conjunction with the current Museum exhibit, "Fun and Games: Mendocino at Play," now through March 27 at The Kelley House Museum: Members $5, Public: $7. For more information:

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JOSHUA ADMIRE turned himself into the jail on January 6th, as per his agreement with the court for a violation of his probation. It was 4:30 in the afternoon and Deputy Christian Denton had just arrived from the North Coast with prisoner sent over from the Ten Mile Court to serve a sentence. As Deputy Denton was unloading his prisoner, the Corrections Officer, checking Admire in, opened the door to the Frisking Parlor (officially called Intake Room, where they do the strip searches) and, holding up a small bag, called out to Denton saying, “Hey, I got something for you!”

Corrections Officer Siderakus had just found a forty-sack (a dose of meth that typically sells for two twenty-dollar bills, approximately 0.50 -.75 grams) on Mr. Admire. Denton postponed getting his prisoner booked in to deal with charging Admire with a new felony, smuggling drugs into the jail.

Mr. Admire’s lawyer, Lewis Finch of the Office of the Alternate Public Defender, asked Deputy Denton, “Did you speak to my client?”

Denton: “I did. He was very upset, as I recall, when I advised him it was a felony offense to smuggle controlled substances into the jail.”

Finch: “He was upset because he didn’t know he had it on him, wasn’t he?”

Denton: “That’s what he said, yes.”

Finch: “Where on his person was it found?”

Denton: “In his wallet.”

Finch: “But isn’t that one of the first things he provided to the jailers?”

Denton: “What? He didn’t provide anything. He was put up against the wall and searched.”

Finch: “Were you there?”

Denton: “No.”

Finch: “So you don’t know where I the wallet it was found?”

Denton: “It doesn’t matter to me.”

Finch: “The first thing you did was have him put his hands on the wall?”

Denton: “I wasn’t even there. I was transporting another prisoner.”

Finch: “So you, uh… you didn’t see the search, then?”

Denton: “I did not.”

Finch: “I have no further questions, but the charge does require knowledge and I think it’s fairly apparent my client didn’t know the baggie was in his wallet and, …well, I’ll submit it on that.’

Judge Cindee Mayfield was convinced it was suspicious enough to hold Admire to answer – let a jury decide, that is, or cop a plea.

Finch’s boss, Alternate Defender Doug Rhoades – a widely experienced defense attorney and a mine of anecdotes told the bailiff (within my hearing) that he once had a client who got caught in the strip search with a bag of dope he’d apparently mistaken for a suppository.

Rhoades: “First words out of his mouth, I kid you not, was how did that get there?”

Half an hour later in a different courtroom a defendant had admitted to violating his probation by tweaking on meth, turning in a dirty urine specimen, and having a counterfeit $100 bill in his wallet. The defendant (I missed his name, shame on me) said he didn’t know the bill was counterfeit – and he looked like a man who had half a mind to look up whoever foisted it on him.

Our Priceless Mr. Rhoades had another anecdote, to be sure. He’d gone to his bank and withdrawn five $100 bills and taken them to another financial institution where one of ‘em was detected as counterfeit.

Rhoades said he returned it to the first bank and was told, “Sorry, you should have not accepted it.”

Then, just this morning, I saw a defendant take out his wallet and give five $100 bills to his lawyer to give to the DA’s Office. I could only wonder if the DA has a way of checking these things – I know I sure don’t!

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by Rex Gressett

The Georgia Pacific mill site is once again in play. 320 acres of the most beautiful coastal acreage in California or actually in the world has once again merited the attention of City Hall.

In a new plan put forward by the city manager after secret consultations with the Coastal Commission and the State Department of Toxic Substances Control, the city of Fort Bragg is being led with gracious hands to accept the ruminations and planning of the city manager to take care of it for us, that she does not feel in her kind heart we have the wit to take for ourselves.

She is going to do this mill site thing for us. Indeed she has been busy doing it, talking and dealmaking with the Coastal Commission and the DTSC.

She has lined it all up. Her plan is a very simple one. After fifteen years of blundering inaction and false starts, City Hall has decided that it is easier and more beneficial to all to simply slice the mill site up piecemeal and sell it to her friends and political allies.

The whole vision thing was just way too much. If the city manager prevails in her new proposal visitors to the coastal trail will have a commercial brewery to savor along with the antiquated rusting and leaking sewage treatment plant as they walk the bluffs. Linda’s pals will be given a chance to move their operations on to incomparable ocean front acreage. Generations will shake their heads and wonder how they did it. Good work, Linda.

To make her buddies happy Linda must do violence to the spirit and letter of the planning process so far. This is exactly the kind of thing at which she excels.

Quoting from their own LCP (local coastal permit) application: the intent of this policy was to require a comprehensive planning process for the use of the GP mill site that “discouraged piecemeal development.” Well, that is out. Selling big chunks of the site to her associates is exactly her plan.

Existing planning goes on to require — that future development pays for itself in terms of city services — and results in a comprehensive infrastructure plan — well that’s out too. Nothing in the Ruffing proposal addresses sewer or water investment. Nothing in it looks to the needs of the city for infrastructure investment that the mill site development would be bringing to any other city in California if it were on the desks of their city managers instead of the desk of our city manager. Linda has a keen sense of who she works for and it is not you.

The depth and brashness of this new maneuver tells us a few things about the reality of political life in Fort Bragg. First lesson: we cannot depend on anyone else.

The Coastal Commission, the DTSC, the agencies that are tasked with protecting the interests of the community and ensuring that the voice of the people is heard in the planning process have been organized by Linda Ruffing and with each other behind the scenes to cooperate in upending the planning process as it exists and the intention of the law. When Linda Ruffing whistled they all came like trained dogs. The next lesson will be that if you walk into their open meetings, which will no doubt be complete with charts and graphs and explanatory rhetoric and think that they are going to listen to anything the public says you have clearly not been paying attention for the last 15 years. They will produce dog and pony show expositions. They will demonstrate the skill of attentive listening as citizens line up for three minutes each at a microphone. None of it will make any difference. The issues have already been settled. They will hold the meetings to make sure they have been held. Their meetings don’t mean anything unless you insist that they do.

What has been settled is significant. The ambitious specific plan of the 2012 period has been scuttled. The old application for a LCP (local coastal permit) which had passed into history at the time of Jery Melo is to be resurrected instead with the stated intention of making the road smooth for a few local businesses some with connections at city hall, to relocate out onto the mill site itself. Park Schmark. the investor in water and sewer infrastructure which the city desperately needs and which could very reasonably be expected to come with any development of the mill site, is cast aside without comment as unneeded. We will get by.

City Hall is accustomed to limping by with long term unfunded liabilities.

In Fort Bragg they are invisible because they are so enormous.

I am sorry to be so angry with DTSC. They are at least not lying to us. But that they should be orchestrated so seamlessly into an obvious campaign on the part of the city manager to effect a crude and publicly offensive policy is just painful. The Coastal Commission is equally guilty of conducting the substantive part of important negotiations behind the backs of the people of the city and then having the effrontery to present the whitewashing of private interest sucking up to public power as a matter of routine policy.

From the agenda —

City Council and Planning Commission agreed that the best course of action is to proceed with preparation of an LCP amendment —”

“…(Coastal) Commission staff has indicated that this LCP amendment would be processed as a minor amendment —.”

What is more concerning is that the City Council was lined up for it also.

Lindy Peters who has shown such energy as mayor and openness to input and ideas was utterly without scruple. His assurances at the Feb. 13 surprise meeting that no direction was to be given at this info only meeting, seemed to be sincere but he forgot them by the end of the meeting. Out of that surprise meeting came not only a boatload of direction but a specific well thought out final result all contrived without any messy public involvement at all. Everybody knew it and apparently they had all signed on as well before the meeting. They know what they want for you. Trust them. You really have no choice. Bernie Norvel was either remarkably open minded on very short notice or was already on board pulling for the local interest even if it means capitulation to failure and a free cookie to some friends of City Hall. The whole council seemed ok with the surprise LCP strategy, even I guess if it means they screw up the greatest public trust in California. At least someone is providing leadership. Too bad it’s the wrong person.

–Rex Gressett

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THE TRUE ATHEISTS are spraying Round-Up on God's splendid Spring green, and why not at least wait until the grasses begin to brown to kick off 2017's local chemical wine warfare?

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THE BOTANICAL GARDENS, one of Fort Bragg's many amenities, is giving a class on the propagation and care of rhododendrens. Too hot in Boonville for rhodos, although I've seen them do well in the redwoods of west hills. But every time I see mention of Fort Bragg's city flower, I think of the late Vern Piver, an ace rhodo gardener, and Fort Bragg mayor in perpetuity.

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BLACKBIRD FARMS manages to regularly annoy everyone. The year-round wilderness camp deep in the hills west of Philo busses in "at-risk youth," housing the risky youth in flimsy, non-code yurts. As Blackbird's application to expand their ridge-top facility to nearly 300 transients of the paying type, they outrage their neighbors by tearing up the access roads and, now, firing guns in barrage-like volleys at the northwest edge of their property, spooking the horses next door. Ordinarily, guns and "at-risk" youth don't mix, but Blackbird seems exempt from the rules applied to the rest of us.

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A CALLER said Thursday that he knows for a fact that ICE is working in Mendocino County, and has already picked off for deportation several people with heavy criminal backgrounds.

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BETH BOSK of New Settler Interview called Tuesday. The intrepid Ms. B is interviewing the gifted defense attorney, Omar Figueroa who's presently defending the famous Bear Lincoln who is charged with operating a large-scale marijuana grow on and around his Covelo property. Beth wanted to hear my part of the Lincoln saga that saw me put in jail for refusing to turn over the original of a letter that Bear had sent the AVA while he was in the County Jail awaiting charges that he'd shot and killed deputy Bob Davis.

THE LETTER, reprinted below, was type-written, meaning Bear could not have written it from the jail because inmates did not have access to typewriters. He'd apparently either dictated it to his attorney Phil deJong or sent it to deJong who typed it and sent it on to the AVA. We printed it and, as the poet said, "went on living."


[January 17, 1996]


On the night of April 14, 1995, on top of "Little Valley Ridge" is a night I'll never forget. It was a night that I lost one of my best friends, Leonard Acorn Peters.

He was a man who was respectful of everyone, he was very easy to get along with. He was a non-violent man, well-loved and respected among the Indian community on the "Round Valley Reservation." He loved the hills in Hull's Valley where he lived with his wife, Cyndi and his children.

He was happy living the simple life with the family he loved very much.

April 14th was a dark dark night, it was very hard to see anything. On top of Little Valley Ridge the Mendocino County Sheriff's Department laid in wait, and ambushed and murdered our brother Acorn. He broke no laws, he had no warrants for his arrest, there was no roadblock, no lights, no warning, only darkness, and then a blaze of gunfire. Acorn died quickly, I believe he was dead before he hit the ground. The M-16s were still going off even after he was down, there sounded like five or six weapons going off all at the same time.

I believe that the Sheriff's Department was only interested in getting a body count. I believe it was their plan to kill as many Indians as they could.

After the shooting was over and it was still very dark, no one could see 20 feet in front of themselves. It is my opinion that the police fired approximately 200 to 250 rounds of ammunition, and there was definitely more than just one M-16.

We the native people on the "Round Valley Indian Reservation" are a sovereign nation, or at least on paper anyway. What the Mendocino County Sheriff's Department did on the night of April 14th, to any other sovereign nation would be considered an act of war!

"Shoot to Kill," Bear Lincoln was the order of the day. Don't give him no chances; blow him away, guilty or innocent, he must die. So "shoot to kill," was the order of the day in Mendocino County, with a $100,000 bounty for my scalp, just to make the hunt more interesting.

So I must send a warning to all my Indian brothers to be wise and be strong, because your lives are in danger in northern California.

Especially in Mendocino County, Sheriff Tuso has declared war on the whole Indian population. They could not catch me in the hills and execute me like they wanted. But they will settle for someone else for now, they still want their revenge, and they still want their body count of Indians!

Signed: Pissed off, but still a "Peaceful Organic Vegetable Farmer"

Bear Lincoln


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BUT THEN-DA Susan Massini, demanded the original of the letter. She claimed it had "evidentiary value." Which it obviously didn't, but Sue had popped me before and, at the time, she was besieged by Ukiah-area Republican yobbos to put me away permanently. The late great Carl Shapiro defended me, his argument going all the way to the State Supreme Court where one judge, Stanley Mosk, saw it our way. But Mosk was outnumbered by Reagan appointees and off I went to an iso cell. The DA had weenied out of the high profile Lincoln case, handing it off to an overwhelmed young guy named Aaron Williams to face off Tony Serra's SF-based team. Williams' prosecution was incoherent, Serra told a good, clear story that may or may not have been true, and Bear was acquitted.

THE UPSHOT of the Lincoln story for me was I spent a couple of weeks in an iso cell out on Low Gap Road catching up on my reading. Martin Cruz Smith arranged for his publisher to send me enough books to keep me occupied for a week, and just when I was running out of his consignment, a very kind jailer, with me beginning to go 5150 for lack of brain food, led me into the dank of the mattress room where there was a pile of old paperbacks, from which I extracted a battered copy of John O'Hara's short stories. I was on the last story when I was called back into court for a hearing and Dave Nelson, later Judge Dave Nelson, got Judge Luther to say, essentially, "What the hell. You can go now."

APPENDED is a story I wrote from inside at the time:

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by Bruce Anderson (circa 1996)

Perhaps the greatest difficulty I've faced since the steel door slammed shut on me twelve days ago is the quick retrofit I had to do on my palate. I'm sure I haven't forced down a bowl of oatmeal since the winter of '48. And Rice Crispies? Even as a child I felt foolish leaning in to the bowl to distinguish one sound from another. Too many crackles, not enough pops. Cream of Wheat? As a budding liberal, and thanks to the books of the late great John R. Tunis, I'd slam a bowl of the stuff because there was a black guy on the box.

I'm in an iso cell, which is a euphemism for the hole, or solitary confinement as they called it in the old days in movieland. I'd say it's about ten feet long and maybe six feet-across. If you want to get the feeling for what it's like... If you've ever been in a stall at a CalTrans rest stop off Highway 101 or I-5, that's the exact feeling. The walls are concrete cinder blocks. They're an odd sort of pumpkin-color — that's as close as I can come to describing it — the color of the pumpkin you get in a can if you've left the can open for four days or so. Only a CalTrans color coordinator could create such a demoralizing hue. It's one of worst colors I've ever seen, worse than anything the military could imagine.


The floor is cement. There is a little built-in metal desk, a built-in metal chair. There's a metal commode/sink. The commode is visible from the hallway. On the ceiling there are four fluorescent lights that aren't turned off until 11 PM, then turned on again at 5 AM. But the lights are never really off because there's a very strong light in the hallway. The bed is a steel rack with a very thin, plastic-covered mattress. It's taken me five or six days to adjust my sinewy, steel-hewn body into the contours of this rack. It's a lot like sleeping on the floor, really.

There is some kind of a tin mirror on the wall, but at my age I seldom take any pleasure in looking in it. I have the face I deserve, as they say.

Now on to the physical accommodations here...

I'm locked behind a big metal door with a slot in it through which my meals are shoved. The phone, which is on a little trolley, is also shoved through from the outside. There isn't easy access to the phone because it depends on who else may be using it, and you have to flag down a guard to get him to roll it over to your door. Then they have to stick the phone through the slot. Contrary to Sheriff's spokesman Capt. Beryl Murray's comment in the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat, there is not easy access to this tenuous link to the outside world. In the same piece, Murray said that I, like all other inmates, could "peruse the library." ("Peruse" may have been reporter Mike Geniella's term.) I was especially taken with that term, peruse. As if other jailhouse bibliophiles and I could casually stroll over and ramble through the stacks after which Captain Murray might join me for a special lunch of an oatmeal souffle, specially prepared by Chef Five-to-Life.

Captain Murray is also telling the media that I'm "being treated just like all the other inmates." Which is true in the sense that I don't get any special treatment — nobody does in here. What Murray leaves out is the more basic fact that not only am I in jail, I am being punished in jail by being kept in isolation. Almost all other inmates are only imprisoned. If, say Mike Geniella of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, owned by the mighty New York Times, was in my position, I'm certain he would be housed in Sheriff Tuso's office, get his meals shipped in from the Broiler Steak House, be drinking Fetzer's best stuff with Tuso himself tucking him in at night.

The "library" consists of a dank, dark little room with 50 or so ragged paperbacks tossed in a heap in one corner. That's the library that I was able to "peruse" the other night, out of which I managed to extract Dr. Zhivago and the Collected Stories of John O'Hara, which should keep me going for another few days.

The jail seems to be bibliophobic. You can't get hardbound books in here. Apparently what had happened was that people were buying books at local bookstores and plastering acid on certain pages and then informing inmates that on page 853 of The Brothers Karamazov they could find 15 hits of acid. Books — only paperback books, at that — now have to come directly from publishers.

I can't do much writing and re-writing because I wear my pencil down, and I'm finished.

I have absolutely no contact with other inmates. I have only fleeting contact with the guards, all of whom are friendly and as professional as our UPS delivery men.

There are six cells here holding my comrades in isolation. I can't see to the end of the halls but the other occupants are a transient group who come and go. Several have already been moved out to mental hospitals. It's of course quite cruel to confine a mentally ill person to an isolation cell but some of these guys are so crazy there's no other safe place in the jail to house them. Several friendly faces have popped up in the opaque window opposite mine, like the larger fish at the San Francisco Aquarium. We wave to each other like one captive fish flapping fins at another captive fish.

One fellow I was able to exchange a few words with lives under a bridge in Willits. He claims his sister falsely turned him in for stealing her prescription pills. Yet he's a happy guy, or pretends to be.

What's odd about this side of the jail — and I've experienced both sides — is the prevalent vibe which is quite merry. If the public thinks people here are overcome by remorse for their crimes, alleged and actual, they're wrong. It's encouraging in a way, because objectively I'm sure the situations of most of the people in here are not cause for joyous optimism. But the inmates seem almost jolly in the circumstances.

As does the staff.

The Mendocino County Jail is not a difficult place, not at all cruel place. It's a lot like the military: The rules can be arbitrary, and the staff can be arbitrary. But it in no way approaches anything cruel and inhumane. My tough guy friends, guys who have done a lot of time in all kinds of facilities call Mendo "lightweight."

What is cruel and inhumane, if you're looking for cruelty and inhumanity, is the absolute lack of art and the absolute absence of any effort to improve the lives of people in here. There's no reason why we couldn't have a Bartoli aria wafting down these hideous hallways in the morning, rather than the strident voice telling everybody to get up over a loudspeaker. You could have flowers on the tables where people eat. You could have art on the walls.

Are you telling me the authorities of this County don't believe in the redemptive powers of art?

In fact, if you put a bad seascape on the walls of my cell, and some really bad shag rug on the floor, it would not be unlike a Motel 6 room. Except this room is a little more expensive; it costs the taxpayers $55 a day to keep me here, while Motel 6 is around $33 a day.

The usual scratched-in prayers for race war and other random hostilities are scratched into my cell's walls, along with declarations of undying love for several Debbie's, a Tanya, two Kristal's, and one Theresa.

The food is quite good; much improved from when I was here in 1989. We had a wonderful spaghetti the other night, nearly the equal of my wife's. And we had a quite good barbecued chicken. The lunch soups are excellent, wonderful actually, as good as any you get on the outs.

I do have one complaint about the food: There's something very suspicious about the luncheon meat. It's too thick, too moist, too vividly liverish, too corporeal. The first time it was served I found myself thinking, "This isn't baloney: three days ago, this was a Mormon!"

Breakfast is at 5 AM. Lunch seems to be around 10:30 in the morning. I say seems to be because in isolation one loses track of time. And dinner is about 4.

Most days I get about 30 minutes outside in "the yard." I'm by myself the whole time, except for a guard, who has to stand there while I try to do a few chin-ups and walk around what is essentially a big metal cage, maybe 50-60 feet long, 12 feet across. I pace that for a while. The only view I have, other than the jail of course, is across the trees and into the Ukiah Golf Course. On some mornings it's a temptation to stay in my cell and be spared the sight of golfers waddling around the links.

For the first five days I guess I was having caffeine withdrawal. This was combined with the recirculated air and the smells from chemicals they use to clean the floor, which I think is primarily Clorox, which shouldn't be particularly toxic. For five days I felt like I had a very bad hangover, and I could only conclude that it came from not having the gallons of strong coffee I usually drink. Since I came in at the wrong time of the week for "commissary day" — an opportunity to buy a few necessities from the prison store — I was finally able to get a little bag of instant coffee. Now I drink two or three cups of that made with tap water, which never gets hotter than lukewarm.

Things seem to work in twos in here. Every two days I get a shower. Like most people, I look forward to showers. They're held in public view out by the booking desk. It's a very humiliating experience. You're trying to balance your little soap and undress and wash up while people are walking by. The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office is a coed operation. It's humiliating to think that an unfortunate female correctional officer may take home the image of the porcelain orbs of my luminous buttocks looming up in the booking office like a new moon over the Mendocino Headlands.

One night I was awakened about 11:30 and asked if I wanted to take a shower? I said, "No!" I've had three showers in here so far, and I guess I'm going to earn some more.

Today, Friday the 31st, is my anniversary date. That's seven days in. I don't have another hearing until next week.

By refusing to hand over the letter and by sitting here in a sensory deprivation unit for a year, the only regret I have is that the Deerwood People are getting their revenge knowing that I'm here. So the sooner I get out, the more revenge they're denied. I'm of course prepared to stay in here until Christmas if necessary.

For four days the only thing I had to write with was a tiny pinochle-type pencil, which was made in Sri Lanka, of all places. And the blanket that warms me at night was made in Peru.

The man next door is apparently a legendary figure here, because the young guys who come to shove my meals through my slot always call him by name, which I believe is something like "Bracket." He's very crazy. He bangs his head on the wall and shouts out curses at random. He obviously should not be in an isolation cell. He has since been moved to Atascadero or another mental facility.

The pill-snatcher, the jolly little guy across the way whose face occasionally appears in the window, is covered with tattoos. He woke up last Friday, popped up in his window, and asked me if it was Monday.

I've seen several people from Boonville in here. I won't mention any names, but Boonville and Anderson Valley are, I'm proud to say, contributing their quota to the Mendocino County jail population. We may have exceeded our quota at the present time.

The jail is organized quite well. When one inmate leaves one of these isolation cells, three young guys doing county time pounce on it to do a team-clean. One guy cleans the toilet bowl, another guy sweeps, another guy removes miscellaneous items.

I was amused by some of the newspaper stories on my situation. There was one front page head in the Press-Democrat which said, "Anderson Jailed." The assumption seems to be that "Anderson" is known to all without any identification needed. In a few more weeks Anderson will become like Madonna — just one word.

As it happens, I can look out the window of my cell into the television room of what is called B-tank, where Bear Lincoln is held. We're able to exchange jolly waves. One night an inmate in the B-unit maneuvered the television set — they were watching an NBA playoff game — so that I could see it in my cell. I thought that was very kind of him, even though I had no interest in the game.

The medical cart is pushed around by a man and a woman, both of whom are in white coats. I suppose we ought to conclude that they have some kind of medical training. My sole request was for a laxative. Although edible, the food in here is pretty starchy. As I approach geezerhood, I am concerned that I stay regular, at least physically, if not mentally.

The Modern Library edition of War and Peace that I had in court last Friday was turned down by the jailhouse bibliophobes. I brought it with me hoping to at last read it, but they said I couldn't have hard-bound books. Although logically, of course, I'm unlikely to be doing acid in my isolation cell. In fact, why anyone would want to do any drug in a jail is beyond me. Maybe a little beer would be nice, maybe a little primo. But a hallucinogen? This isn't a place where you would want to be on acid.

The TVs in the adjacent wings are on most of the time. But they're not on as much as they used to be. On the county side, they used to be on all day. Over here, they're regulated to a certain extent. The other night I was trying to see what kind of stuff the guys were watching in B-tank. They watched sports, of course, and one morning, about 9 AM, a guy was flipping the dial and came to what looked like KQED, where a woman was doing aerobic exercises. A couple of voices yelled out, "Leave it! Leave it!" So they watched her do about 90 seconds of aerobics, then moved on to, I don't know, Love Boat re-runs or something.

That's another thing; not to be too Calvinistic about it, but it seems that while you have people incarcerated all of whom, I'm sure, could stand some intellectual fortification — I certainly can, everybody I know can — it seems that it wouldn't be too difficult or expensive to replace television programming with tapes — educational tapes of all kinds, the better forms of drama. People would like that. The assumption seems to be that the typical inmate has no aspirations for higher art, or art at all, which is untrue.

At the risk of sounding macho, this place would have to be a lot tougher to drive me into the legal embrace of prosecutor Williams or Judge Luther. It's not a tough place. I get the feeling — I certainly had the feeling the other day from the prosecutor, who seems to me unusually cynical for a young man — that it's come down to some contest between Luther and the prosecutor of "Who's Tougher?" I think, in fact, I'm tougher. I'm sure that remark will keep me in here until at least Christmas. Maybe I am tougher. It's clear to anyone who looks at this case with reasonable dispassion that I'm being kept in jail vindictively, punitively, and arbitrarily. I've complied with the law and turned over the letter. They've declared that the letter is invalid, as if they would know that. So we're in metaphysical territory now, friends. And I'm not very good at metaphysics. How they'll validate this letter — WHICH IS THE LETTER and has no material effect on the case — I don't know. But I suspect they're going to validate it, with me sitting in here for a long time.

I don't want to name everybody because I'm afraid of leaving people out. But it was nice to hear from so many people. People like Charmian Blattner. I was especially appreciative of Beth Bosk's piece this week in the AVA. The AVA looks at least 10% better with my absence. I think Rob's a better editor. Everybody's stuff was very good. It was a very interesting issue. Rusty & Flo Norvell, Judi Bari, Jean DuVigneaud, Linda B., Thomas Neece, Kevin Davenport, Dave Nelson (who's been brilliant and bold with his statements to the corporate media), Joe Lee, and everyone else. And Ann Johnston's Onion Rings at the Philo Cafe. So keep those cards and letters coming in, folks! It's nice to hear from so many people. It's surprising to hear from some of them, and I thank them all.

Disclaimer: I wasn't able to rewrite this piece from jail which may account for a rough patch here and there. Then again, maybe it's just me.

* * *

LITTLE DOG SAYS, “I was impressed to see Riley Lemons running with the front group of high school baseball players as they worked out in front of our place after school yesterday. She’s as tough and as fast as the boys and I hear she plays pretty good second base.”

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Mendocino County

Route 1 (57.4/57.9) – PG&E has been granted a Caltrans Encroachment Permit for utility repairs near Pearl Drive on Wednesday, March 15. One-way traffic control will be in effect from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Motorists should anticipate 5-minute delays. LC#P1AA

Route 1 (103.4/105.0) – Emergency slide removal near Leggett will continue. A full road closure is in effect 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Motorists should seek an alternate route. LC#C1VA

Route 101 (4.5/5.0) – Routine maintenance near Frog Woman Rock will continue. Northbound traffic will be restricted to one lane 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Motorists should anticipate minor traffic slowdowns. LC#M101GA

Route 101 (16.5) – PG&E has been granted a Caltrans Encroachment Permit for utility repairs near Henry Station Road on Thursday, March 16. One-way traffic control will be in effect from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Motorists should anticipate 5-minute delays. LC#P101GA

Route 101 (42.3) – Emergency slide repairs on the westbound Route 20 to southbound Route 101 connector ramp will continue. Intermittent ramp closures will be in effect from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Motorists should anticipate 10-minute delays. LC#C101CD

Route 101 (103.8/105.4) – Emergency slide removal near Piercy will continue. Traffic will be reduced to one lane in both directions 24 hours per day, seven days per week. Motorists should anticipate minor traffic slowdowns. LC#C101AD

Route 162 (0.0/25.0) – Emergency storm damage repairs from the junction of Routes 101/162 to 1.8 miles west of Pookiny will continue. One-way traffic control will be in effect from 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays. Motorists should anticipate 10-minute delays. LC#C162JA

Route 162 (16.2) – Emergency storm damage repairs near The Middle Way will continue. One-way traffic control with temporary stop signs will be in effect 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Motorists should anticipate 5-minute delays. LC#C162JA

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On March 8, 2017 at approximately 8:05 a.m., Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies received a radio call for service for an incident of domestic violence at a residence in the 46000 block of Bill Owens Road in Point Arena. Upon arrival, Deputies contacted a 39 year-old male and Annette Donovan, 20, of Point Arena. Deputies determined that both subjects were involved in a dating relationship and resided together. Deputies learned the male and Donovan were engaged in a verbal argument that escalated when she physically assaulted the male by striking him in the head with her hands and feet. The male sustained minor visible injury as a result of the assault. Deputies arrested Donovan for felony domestic violence battery and transported her to the Mendocino County Jail where she was booked and to be held in lieu of $25,000 bail.

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by Glenda Anderson

A Mendocino County girl was arrested Wednesday for allegedly bringing pot-laced brownies to her middle school, where another teen ate them and had to be hospitalized.

Mendocino County Sheriff’s authorities said deputies went to Eagle Peak Middle School in Redwood Valley at 11:30 a.m. in response to a call that a 14-year-old student was under the influence of marijuana. During an investigation, they learned a 13-year-old girl had brought the marijuana brownies to school.

The suspect, of Redwood Valley, was booked into the Mendocino County juvenile hall on suspicion of furnishing marijuana, according to the Sheriff’s Office. The other girl, a Ukiah resident, was taken to Ukiah Valley Medical Center for treatment.

(Santa Rosa Press Democrat)

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CATCH OF THE DAY, March 9, 2017

Andersen, Anderson, Bray, Carr

CONNOR ANDERSEN, Gill, Colorado/Ukiah. Pot cultivation.

KORY ANDERSON, Ukiah. Failure to appear.

JAMES BRAY JR., Fort Bragg. Drunk in public, under influence, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

CLEVELAND CARR JR., Ukiah. Domestic battery.

Chenier, DeWolf, Gibney, Haber

JEFFREY CHENIER, Ukiah. Paraphernalia, community supervision violation.

HEATHER DEWOLF, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)

RANDY GIBNEY, Fort Bragg. Domestic assault, failure to appear, probation revocation.

RUSSELL HABER, Gualala. Probation revocation.

Lopes, Pickett, Secher

ANTHONY LOPES SR., Willits. Drunk in public, threatening the life of a government official, probation revocation.

JASON PICKETT, Willits. Domestic battery, paraphernalia.


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by Robert Hunziker

Trump is the first president to take on America the Beautiful. He’s at war with America. This is not new news. Yet, it is worthy of further discussion.

Trump’s anti-establishmentarian credentials flaunted during the campaign to woo voters fed up with America’s decline, except for filthy rich, has lost its shine. He’s an establishment creature, not anti-establishment, in the neoliberal sense of supply-side economics, force-feeding the upper class so they’ll drop crumbs down below to the vast Middle/Poor Class, a new socio-economic class in America, the newest, largest class, supplanting the vast middle class of the 1950s-60s-70s.

Now that Trump has hoodwinked America’s Middle/Poor Class voters, he has turned his attention to a much larger issue, the destruction of America the Beautiful. With the exception of perfectly groomed golf courses, Trump hates environmental protectionism. He’s out to get it.

According to the Ocean Conservancy, as of March 5th: “Over the weekend, we learned that the Trump administration plans to gut NOAA’s budget by nearly $1 billion. These budget cuts aren’t just ‘trimming the fat’ they’re cutting straight to the bone.” Thus cutting back crucial communication between the health of the planet and the public, as satellite data, climate research, and coastal management are thrown into jeopardy.

Twenty-four hours earlier, massive cuts to the EPA were announced. Before the era of the EPA, magazines like Time ran stories about Cleveland’s Cuyahoga River on fire. It was 1969 and the Cuyahoga River was declared a fire hazard because of its oil-slickened feculent, grimy surface. It caught fire 13 times and thus served as a real life-real time sub-natural lobby for creation of the EPA in 1970 and then passage of the Clean Water Act in 1972. Today, the Cuyahoga is clean.

Metaphorically, the EPA is “Mr. Clean” America.

The Potomac, Lake Erie, cesspools, Chesapeake Bay, and Hudson River to name a few carried disease, filth, and reprehensible odors, a legacy of industry without restrictions within recent lifetimes.

Today, the EPA estimates that one-half of the country’s rivers and streams are “impaired waters,” which means no swimming, no fishing. The EPA’s 40-years remains a work-in-progress.

In the 1970s, downtown LA was a haze as smog smeared the entire city. Once again the EPA, aka Mr. Clean, saved the day, putting teeth into the Clean Air Act in the late 1970s, adding regulatory weight to mandate reduction of polluting cars, factories, mills, and utilities. Nobody else stood up to the chemical plants or steel mills or auto manufactures declaring: “We can’t breathe.” Back then America flirted with dystopia, hanging in the balance, until EPA stood up to polluters. Imagine the dystopian mess if the EPA never existed, no mandates, no regulations, no singular force with regulatory authority to monitor and enforce clean air. After all, back then it grew worse and worse until forced to clean up.

EPA made America great as the country was headed for darkness. Further to the point, the EPA’s record, in the face of horrendous industrial damage, is downright remarkable: “The EPA has facts to back it up. Since 1970, the agency has reduced the six most common air pollutants by more than 50 percent, reduced air toxins from large industrial sources by almost 70 percent, and eliminated the use of ozone-depleting chemicals And this progress was accomplished even as the country’s GDP tripled, energy consumption increased by 50 percent, and vehicle use nearly doubled” (Source: Andrew Small, Before the EPA, Our Cities Looked Like This, Climate Desk, Grist, March 4, 2017). No agency, nobody else has such a strong record of achievement.

Mr. Trump is horribly ill informed. He should increase the EPA’s budget, maybe double. The EPA saved America and made America Great! He will not remake America Great again without a strong, viable EPA. Rather, he’ll fall on his own sword if he implements deep cuts.

Additionally, the EPA was singularly instrumental in saving Americans $362 billion on utility bills since 1992 in partnership with the Dept. of Energy’s Energy Star Program, promoting creation of efficient product development. That’s amazing and worthy of tripling the EPA budget, not cutting back. It’s precisely programs like Energy Star that make America great!

It is still early, maybe too early to fully understand what Trump’s administration will do, but early indicators are not positive, as anticipated by Richard L. Revesz, Lawrence King Professor of Law and dean emeritus, New York University School of Law: “President Donald Trump and newly confirmed EPA administrator Scott Pruitt appear poised to make sweeping environmental policy changes. But strong environmental regulations remain widely popular. Perhaps as a result, the Trump administration may take a subtle approach in attacking environmental rules. Pruitt and other administration officials appear interested in rewriting guidelines for regulatory analysis and they could cook the books so that environmental protections appear to have few or no benefits and exaggerated costs. The results would be sinister…” (Source: Richard L. Revesz, A Subtle Attack on the Environment, US News March 2, 2017).

A sinister attack on America the Beautiful is the likeliest course of action, easily accomplished, behind the scenes, a deathtrap for so much that is held so dear, presupposed, like breathable air and noncombustible waterways.

Making America Beautiful is what the EPA is all about, and it has earned its spurs. Demonizing its wonderful legacy will cast a very long very dark shadow.

(Courtesy,; Robert Hunziker lives in Los Angeles and can be reached at

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* * *


SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The California Highway Patrol (CHP) announced it has completed its investigation into the violent incident involving more than 300 people on June 26, 2016 at the State Capitol. CHP has forwarded the results of the investigation to the Sacramento County District Attorney for potential prosecutions.

The incident began when a group of approximately two dozen people from “The Traditionalist Workers Party” obtained a permit to hold a rally in the west area of Capitol Park. Other groups present that day—and numbering in the hundreds—did not have a permit and were there to prevent the permitted rally. The non-permitted groups confronted the permitted group, leading to violence, which resulted in 14 reported injuries and thousands of dollars in property damage on Capitol grounds.

After an eight-month investigation, the CHP’s 2,000-page investigative report along with hours of video footage from many sources has been delivered to the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office for consideration of 514 misdemeanor and 68 felony charges involving 106 individuals. The charges range from unlawful assembly to assault with a deadly weapon.

“As a result of our investigation, which included conducting hundreds of interviews and reviewing many hours of video evidence, we are asking the Sacramento County District Attorney to bring charges ranging from unlawful assembly to assault with a deadly weapon,” said CHP Captain Daniel Lamm, Commander of Capitol Protection Section. “Our role is to protect free speech, but not when that speech involves violence.”

Investigators faced several challenges throughout the investigation. Many of those involved in the June 2016 incident had attempted to disguise their identities and did not cooperate with investigators.

For questions about potential criminal charges arising from this incident, please contact the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office.

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Historical Theater Once Again Graces County Stages

Step back in time and experience life in Mendocino County during the 19th century through story and song. This year’s Museum Road Show tells the true stories of the Frolic shipwreck, and the birth of the lumber industry; schooners and stagecoach lines; the truth about the Mendocino Indian “Wars”; Grace Hudson, her paintings, and her love for the Pomo; and the scandalous and comical tale of the Cattle King of Round Valley and the Fraud Queen of Spiritualism! 6 performances take place throughout the county during the month of April. Advance tickets are $18 Adults; $14 Seniors & Students. For more information visit

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Mendocino County Museum Road Show Spotlights Our Past

Willits, CA: This April 2017, the Mendocino County Museum’s Road Show returns to five venues with all new material - seven actors will portray more than 50 characters accompanied by a brand new Road Show band! For three triumphant years - 2014, 2015 and 2016 - the Museum Road Show has played to packed houses across the county, bringing our history to life through stories and song.

Drawing solely on transcribed archives of recorded oral histories and other primary source materials, audiences vividly experience true local stories brought to life in an amazing ensemble presentation of sound, image, and virtuoso acting. To further illustrate and enrich these great stories, Artistic Director and Production Designer Linda Pack has chosen a cavalcade of extraordinary vintage photographs of our county’s history - forming the backdrop upon which the incredible tales will unfold.

This year’s stories include the pivotal Frolic shipwreck, and the birth of the lumber industry; schooners and stagecoach lines - the only way in the early days to transport goods or people; the truth about the Mendocino Indian “Wars”; Grace Hudson, her paintings, and her love for the Pomo; and the scandalous and comical tale of the Cattle King of Round Valley and the Fraud Queen of Spiritualism.

In addition to Artistic Director Linda Pack, the Museum Road Show cast is made up of six renowned local actors, including: Dramaturge Kate Magruder, actor, director, writer and founder of Ukiah Players Theatre (UPT); Stage Director Ricci Dedola, a Mendocino-based actor and director; actor Nichole Phillips, who just enjoyed her directing debut with The Importance of Being Earnest at UPT; teacher and founder of Willits Shakespeare Company Billy Hetherington; Ukiah-based actor Tony Rakes, frequently featured on the UPT stage; and Fort Bragg’s own mayor, Lindy Peters!

This year’s band, Poonkinney Antique, has come together specifically for the Museum Road Show. Erin Brazill, Joey Goforth and Ryan Kroll play original and traditional folk songs, with a sound combining fiery gypsy jazz and sweet, pure bluegrass. Deeply committed to our county’s history and to telling our stories, past & present, Poonkinney Antique is a group of gifted and hardworking local musicians.

The Museum Road Show will play for three weekends in April at the following venues: Opening night Friday, April 7, 7:30 pm at Willits High School; Saturday, April 8, 7:30 pm at Arena Theater in Point Arena; Saturday, April 15, 2:00 pm and 7:30 pm at Mendocino College Center Theatre in Ukiah; Friday, April 21, 7:30 pm at Anderson Valley Grange in Philo; and closing night on Saturday, April 22, 7:30 pm at Cotton Auditorium in Fort Bragg. Doors open half an hour early for guests to find their seats and enjoy pre-show music.

Advance tickets are $18 for Adults, $14 for Seniors (65 & over) and Youth (20 & under). At the door ticket prices are $20 Adults, $15 Seniors/Youth.

All tickets are available online through, by calling the Museum at (707) 459-2736, or by visiting the Mendocino County Museum at 400 East Commercial Street in Willits during open hours, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday. Tickets for individual shows can also be purchased at specific outlets in the cities of the performance venues: Mendocino Book Company (Ukiah), Arena Market & Café (Point Arena), Harvest Market (Fort Bragg), and Boont Berry Farm (Boonville). Advance purchase is strongly recommended.

The 2017 Museum Road Show is generously supported by Broadcast Partner KZYX and local businesses, including: Braggadoon, Ingel-Haven Ranch/Magruder Meats, North Coast Brewing Company, Mendocino College Foundation, Savings Bank of Mendocino County, Mendocino Traveler’s Guide, The Book Juggler, Emandal-A Farm on a River, Harvest Market, Handley Cellars, Gowan’s Oak Tree, Frey Vineyards, Mendocino Book Company, Lia Patterson RE/MAX Full Spectrum, Room to Bloom Preschool & Infant Center, Brewery Gulch Inn, Arena Market, Mariposa Market, Django’s Rough Bar & Café, Down Home Foods, KOZT, Mendocino Coast Model Railroad & Historical Society, Albion Doors & Windows, Bolliver’s Fine Food & Confections, Sparetime Supply, DripWorks, Shanachie Pub, Redwood Roofers and Ukiah Brewing Company.

* * *


On Thu, Mar 9, 2017 at 12:49 PM, Meg Courtney <> wrote:


I am currently the President of the Board of Directors at KZYX & Z. Members should have received, or will receive soon, the Board Election Packet.

I am recommending incumbent Jenness Hartley who has served KZYX very well for 3 years, and is now running for the AT LARGE seat.

I strongly discourage voting for John Sakowicz who, as a former board member, has done an enormous amount of damage to our station though he purports to be some kind of savior.


Meg Courtney

* * *

Mary Massey of Mendocino Wrote:


In your writing against a volunteer who is willing to serve, (as your current board members drop off during their tenure), you should be very careful and specific as to how Mr. Sakowicz has "done an enormous amount of damage to our station though he purports to be some kind of savior."

Factually, most of the regular programmers and staff have identified Mr. Coate as "the savior" through many postings. And yet, in Monday's board meeting, the current treasurer came unprepared for discussion and without handouts for the people who came to the meeting. It is still unclear as to how much debt was incurred from the previous staff paying themselves. Mr. Peterson's well thought-out presentation caught you all flat-footed and you know it.

BTW, this Announce list is not for your personal bias or agenda. So, I have copied the Discussion List to move any comments or follow up discussion to the appropriate communications vehicle.


Mary Massey, Mendocino

* * *

Beth Bosk Commented:

Re: KZYX Board Election

During the KZYX/Z board meeting in Fort Bragg, Monday night, board chair Meg Courtney casually mentioned her brain hasn't been working very well (for more than a month) ever since her recent joint surgery, attributing her befuddlement to the meds she was put on.

You can watch the entire meeting on

Most notorious was the unnecessarilly officious treatment of Scott Peterson by acting chair Holly Madrigal (who after inviting him to make his presentation following the first Agendized item) cut off Scott's cogent flip board presentation mid-stream instructing him that he could continue his (obviously) almost finished exhibit during the un-agendized Items Public Input period at the end of the meeting.

Scott Peterson's presentation, advertised well enough in advance, should have been given the courtesy of an Agenda Item.

It was more concise and to the point than anything presented by any board member, AND certainly more so than the tunnel-visioned report by the not-so-new-anymore General Manager, still using the "newness" excuse.

Oh! And Marco was so gallantly Marco. Twice or thrice. You don't want to miss that. Thanks Mendocino TV. —beth bosk

* * *

David Alden wrote: Can't think of a single reason why sitting on the board, as president or otherwise, somehow constrains one's first amendment rights.

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MARCO MCCLEAN: KZYX unfair to workers! (was) KZYX Board Election

The main thing to remember is that KZYX is unfair to workers. As long as the local airpeople are not being paid, the management should not be paid. Other radio station managers understand this. In commercial radio it's against the law to not pay airpeople. In noncommercial, educational band radio, office tasks are so simple that, for example, over at KNYO, and at KMEC, the managers accomplish them all — all the office jobs — in a lazy afternoon per month. When Bob Woelfel was managing KMFB, if for some reason there wasn't enough money on payday, he always paid the airpeople before he paid himself.

Anyone who tells you that there's no money to pay the airpeople is turning a blind eye to the fact that MCPB pays a tiny handful of people in the office a quarter of a million dollars a year, and so is nearly constantly in dire straits for money and requires airpeople, who I repeat are not being paid, to beg, on the air, for the money to pay management, and to play and read what amount to advertisements for fundraising events to pay management, and in return the management shows up at board meetings to congratulate everyone on a job well done. Well done, little people. You have done well. Now we're going back inside to eat steak and manage foreign affairs and do complicated managey stuff, and thank you so much for all your hard work shoveling out the royal stables and digging potatoes in the fields. I don't know if you've ever seen the movie The Boxtrolls, but the political of the city in that film is very similar to the way KZYX is run.

Just the general manager is paid $60,000 a year. That's the equivalent of 1200 yearly $50 memberships — over half of the total membership. All the money members pay, and even more, goes straight into the personal bank accounts of the people in the office, who, except for maybe the repair guy, are entirely superfluous to radio. If everyone in the office just stayed home for couple of weeks, nobody listening to KZYX would notice they were gone. The automation would still switch in and out of NPR and other distant shows, and would play recorded promos and station IDs, the way it does all night every night when no-one's there. The airpeople would still show up and do their shows. The radio station exists as a platform for radio people to do radio. And it's so cheap to keep a radio station on the air. Honestly: once you have the equipment in place and permission to switch it on, it's practically free. A 4,000 watt FM transmitter costs 60 cents an hour to run. It doesn't matter how many people use it, it costs the same. That and a studio-to-transmitter link and a couple of 30-watt translator stations and a few mixing boards and some room lights and phone lines and internet and tower fees and music publisher fees, and rent on studio space; all together, if you bought of all that as a person, costs just a little more than paying that single rock-reliable untiring person the minimum wage 24/7.

And MCPB, the corporation that was granted, for free, the priceless right to operate on three frequencies in Mendocino County, somehow pissed away almost $600,000 just last year alone, while they begged and begged for ever more money. They are that stupid, and that bad at managing a radio station.

So when Meg Courtney, chairman of these fools, vilifies a specific candidate for the board she sits on and recommends against him, anyone with a brain in his head should blow a bronx cheer in her direction. If anybody is bad for KZYX, it is she. Oh, and also Stuart Campbell, the Grima Wormtongue in the works.

Marco McClean

* * *

ED NOTE: Maybe the new guy will make a difference, but any incumbent on an obviously incompetent board like KZYX's should be voted down. I speak here as a member who dwells forever in audio hope.

* * *


Dear Editor:

In reviewing the proposed health bill which is being promoted by President Trump and the GOP it is always wise to step back and compare it what other countries are doing on universal health care. Currently about 60 countries now have a comprehensive health plan for their citizens. Of the industrialized countries only the United States does not have a single payer universal health plan. A good comparison would be with Germany which has had a universal health plan since the 1880s or about 130 years. Their level of medical care is excellent and medical costs represent about 8% of GDP. In the United States medical expenses represent 15% of GDP and our health system is a mess and will continue so if we go forward with the GOP plan. One measure of the effectiveness of a health system is the infant mortality rate (birth to one year) which for the US is the highest among the industrial countries. One of the reasons is poor uninsured women often do not see a doctor during pregnancy. Another health problem which is becoming critical is the overall health of Americans. Obesity is reaching an epidemic stage as a result of poor eating habits and the lack of exercise and represents a costly burden for our health system. There is an increasing percentage of obese people who are developing diabetes 2 and other aliments associated with obesity. President Trump is a good example. At his height and weight and eating habits he is obese stage 2. A prime candidate for a stroke or heart attack and diabetes 2. The countries with the most effective single payment systems have built off an existing system. In the United States that would be Social Security in which almost all Americans participate. But then that would be "socialism" and that is a naughty word. Instead we probably will go forward with the GOP health bill and throw 15 to 20 million people under the bus and health costs will still represent a goodly portion of our GNP.

In peace and love,

Jim Updegraff




  1. Lazarus March 10, 2017

    Nice read bubba, you must have been in with my fam your first stint…we got no tats in the fam, locally…
    As always.

  2. Alice Chouteau March 10, 2017

    Thanks for an excellent report on this awful plan for the mill site property. Hopefully, they can be stopped in time.

    • james marmon March 11, 2017

      Going, going, gone!

      Brian Stretch, Northern District of California

      Brian was appointed to the position of United States Attorney March 30, 2016. Prior to his current position, Brian served as the First Assistant United States Attorney.

      ‘Marijuana superstore’ wins legal battle over medical pot shops in California

      “The government on Tuesday withdrew its forfeiture action intended to close down Harborside Health Center. The dismissal releases the dispensary from a tug of war between local and federal authorities over medical marijuana.

      Steve DeAngelo, Harborside’s executive director, hailed the move as a signal of “the beginning of the end of federal prohibition”.

      Abraham Simmons, a spokesman for US attorney Brian Stretch in San Francisco, confirmed that the government dismissed its legal action seeking to close Harborside. Nonetheless, he added that his office would “continue to exercise its discretion in deciding where and how to enforce the Controlled Substances Act”.

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