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Mendocino County Today: Friday, April 21, 2017

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Athena Fausset and Catrina Johnson are believed to have left the Ukiah Boys & Girls Club around 5 pm today [Thursday]. Athena was last seen wearing a blue pullover hoodie, black leggings and black slip on shoes. Catrina was last seen wearing a grey zipup hoodie, dark blue jeans and a light color blouse. If you have seen these girls or have any information on their whereabouts, please call Mendocino County Dispatch Center immediately at (707) 463-4086.

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UPDATE [Friday morning]:

Two missing Ukiah girls were found early Friday within a short distance of where they were last seen, a Mendocino County sheriff’s spokesman said. Athena Fausset and Catrina Johnson, both 12, were spotted at 6:30 a.m. walking along a road near Grace Hudson Elementary, Capt. Greg Van Patten said. The girls were reported missing Thursday night after leaving the nearby Ukiah Valley Boys and Girls Club. Their disappearance was part of a planned runaway, Van Patten said.

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by Mark Scaramella

When Williams Communications first proposed to bury miles of "wholesale" fiber optic cable under two of Mendo's rural County roads back in 2000, Governor Gray Davis's PUC over-ruled the state Attorney General who had strongly recommended that such major cable installation projects require an Environmental Impact Report. The Attorney General wrote a convincing explanation for why an EIR was legally required: the work was over the San Andreas fault, Northcoast soils are inherently unstable, improper precautions or methods might result in major road slippage, etc.

The PUC's heedless decision to waive the EIR meant that relatively cashless Mendolanders near the proposed trenching would have to come up with the big bucks to challenge the PUC's ruling in favor of Williams Communications, one more decision in favor of a private entity achieved, as it turned out, at public expense.

So there was no challenge to the trenching, and no EIR.

But Williams still needed encroachment permits from Caltrans and the Mendo Board of Supervisors before they could dig. Caltrans approved the Highway One and Highway 253 permits on the condition that the cable be "undergrounded" — a more costly method than simple trenching that meant using a horizontally-drilled underground tube-like hole for the cable.

Caltrans and many locals knew that a four-foot trench in Mendo's coastal rural roads would permanently ruin them and greatly increase the cost of future maintenance. But Mendo's Supervisors let Williams go ahead and trench Mountain View Road and Fish Rock Road when Williams' lawyer stoutly "guaranteed" that the roads could and would be restored to "the same or better condition" upon completion. A token permit fee was paid. But, in fact, stretches of both roads were permanently destabilized.

Mendo's clueless supervisors at the time — Michael Delbar, Richard Shoemaker, Tom Lucier, Patricia Campbell, and David Colfax — approved the Williams permit over the warnings and objections of a small group of Anderson Valley and Coastal residents. (If Cowboy Johnny Pinches had been on the Board things might have been different…)

Permit in hand, Williams proceeded to dig their trench, although it was never clear who was doing the actual work since much of the heavy trenching equipment was rented — a sure sign that Williams was not only paying too much, but that the work wasn't particularly well planned or supervised.

Several large ranches whose lands bordered the road didn't particularly like the idea of their road being wrecked, but they didn't complain because they got some money from Williams for various forms of temporary neighboring land access rights.

After months of local traffic snarls, the gaping trenches were covered up and the pavement patched, but the roads still look rough and wrinkled to the mostly local drivers on the road — hardly "as good or better," as had been promised.

A County-commissioned study — prepared in response to citizen pressure in hopes of getting Williams to improve the patch job — released back in 2002, confirmed residents' predictions that the roadbed had been irreparably damaged. The two compacted six-foot wide slabs of soil created by the trench started moving toward the trench when it was first dug, and it continues to move inward toward the weakened area of the filled-in trench, even after compaction and refill.

The study, by Chico-based Chec Engineering, specialists in this kind of road damage, says that the roadbed has suffered "significant structural damage."

According to the study, the only way to partially mitigate the damage is to substantially increase the pavement thickness and hope it holds it together — an expensive proposition.

But the problem went deeper. In late 2002, Williams Communications' parent company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. It seems the cable communications industry stuck way more cable in the ground than anybody wanted back before the 2000 went dot.bust. (Mendo County, by the way, got no cable access, no nothing from this destructive project.)

Using the new engineering study documenting the obvious and already known, Mendocino County asked the bankrupt Williams to do something about the road damage the Mendo Supervisors allowed them to do. Williams' bankruptcy notice insisted that their day-to-day cable operations wouldn’t be affected by the bankruptcy filing. But Williams simultaneously tried to get creditors to accept their nearly worthless stock — not an optimistic sign.

Theoretically Mendo had some leverage over Williams because all that they actually installed in the trench was an empty conduit. There's not even a cable down there to show for all the trouble! So at the time there was the possibility that Williams would have to get another permit to install the actual cable, a permit that could have imposed improvement conditions.

But Williams Communications, the telecom company itself, was later sold to a vulture capitalist by parent company Williams Communications Group, which itself was bailed out of bankruptcy by Warren Buffett on condition that it stick to energy pipelines and not telecommunications. And Williams Communications never applied for the second permit.

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As best we recall, Mendo eventually got a small cash settlement out of Williams in bankruptcy court, but nothing was done about the physical damage to Mountain View Road. Periodically, the Independent Coast Observer runs pictures of segments of Mountain View Road on the Coast side showing wrinkled asphalt and other road damage that usually gets smoothed or patched by County road crews who probably don’t even know the history of how that trench got there or realize that there’s nothing in the trench except an empty conduit.

THE UGLY PAVED OVER TRENCH is still visible in the middle of Mountain View Road as seen in this recent Google Streetview pic.

LAST WEEK, we heard that Mountain View Road had to be closed (again) because another chunk of the road had collapsed, making passage by low clearance vehicles difficult and dangerous. We await a more detailed report of the nature of this winter’s damage, but given the history, Mountain View Road will continue to collapse and be patched until it collapses so much in one section or another that it is beyond local repair capacity.

COUNTY TRANSPO DIRECTOR Howard Deshield is pretty creative though. Maybe he can get some FEMA storm damage money and finance some improvements to Mountain View Road before the next storm hits.

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A missing teenager and the high-school teacher accused of kidnapping her have been found alive in northern California, over 2,000 miles from the Tennessee town where they disappeared. The couple was located after a tip that they were living in a cabin at the Black Bear "collective" near Cecilville, Siskiyou County.

Tad Cummins, 50, is believed to have run off with Elizabeth Thomas, 15, on March 13. Thomas was one of Cummins’s students at her Maury County, Tennessee school, where he had been suspended for “inappropriate relations” with her. Two weeks later, Thomas disappeared and Cummins was charged with aggravated kidnapping and sexual contact with a minor.

Late Wednesday night, authorities received a tip from a local man who believed to have spotted Cummins and Thomas, investigators said Thursday.

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by Filipa Ioannou & David Downs

They’re coming from across the Bay Area and California with one thing in mind — celebrating marijuana.

Thousands poured into San Francisco’s first-ever, fully permitted cannabis celebration in Golden Gate Park on Thursday. The day April 20 — or 4/20 for short — doubles as counter-culture slang for the time of day to smoke pot.

For decades, hoards of visitors have descended on a single meadow in the east end of the park to honor their favorite intoxicant and celebrate pot culture. But this year’s April 20 was different. It’s the first such stoner holiday since California fully legalized cannabis for adults 21 and over and the first time city leaders allowed a group of sponsors to obtain a permit to hold the event in the park.

At Hippie Hill around noontime, a small cloud of smoke hovered over a happily toking group in beanies and hoodies waiting in a line to enter the park, while those inside lounged under sunny skies on blankets and folding chairs. Food trucks parked outside, and park rangers and fire officials stood by monitoring the crowd.

The new ban on unpermitted vendors didn’t stop anyone from hawking everything from edibles to empanadas.

In past years, the unpermitted event created a host of problems, including traffic snarls, tons of litter and public safety issues like robberies and fights. This year, organizers hoped things will be different. The San Francisco Police Department was on-hand to close streets as needed while event organizers shelled out tens of thousands of dollars for fencing, security, concessions and park maintenance.

A cadre of sponsors led by Alex Aquino, the owner of Haight Street business Black Scale, footed the bill for the permit and the event organization.

Supervisor London Breed said in a statement Wednesday that, “Love it or hate it, the culturally historic ‘4/20 festival’ is not going away, and it has a significant impact on our city, on our district, and on our parks. ... This is still not a city-sponsored or city-approved event. But with this new partnership, and a well-oiled plan among city agencies, we hope this year will be cleaner and safer for all.”

With about 3,000 people in attendance by early afternoon, according to park officials, no major problems had been reported.

The event’s new, more structured format met with mixed reviews.

“This year it’s kinda different,” said Chris Fame, 24. “It’s cool I guess. Somebody’s gonna’ make some money. It’s a done deal now.”

The cultural signifier 4/20 first emerged out of a group of Marin County high school students in the ‘70s, who used the then-secret code number to coordinate after-school smoke sessions. The jam band Grateful Dead adopted and spread the 4/20 code throughout their national touring circuit and devoted fan base, and by the ‘90s, 4/20 had seeped into the mainstream where it’s embedded itself deeper and deeper.

Marijuana remains federally illegal, although in recent polls, 60 percent of the U.S. population supports legalizing it. Nowadays, online room renters and prospective roommates use the phrase “4/20-friendly” to advertise their tolerance of the drug by guests, renters or roommates. National food brands capitalize on the phrase to sell munchies. And tens of thousands of people continue to flock to Golden Gate Park’s so-called “Hippie Hill,” despite the city’s resistance to legitimizing the gathering.

Last year, police made eight arrests, and a man wearing brass knuckles robbed two teens. In 2015, an assailant smashed a bottle on a park ranger’s head, and two groups of men violently robbed attendees. Police arrested five that year. In 2014, police arrested 11.

This year, the event is fenced off like a traditional festival, and no one under 18 is allowed in through the four gates to Sharon Meadow. A host of items are prohibited, including glass bottles, folding chairs, tents and large coolers. Also banned are unpermitted commercial sales and booths of any kind. Shuttles will be on-demand to transport revelers back to the Civic Center beginning at 5 p.m. Organizers posted an event map and rules.

Residents can report non-emergency issues with the event to two special police hotlines at 415-242-3060 and 415-242-3061.

California legalized cannabis for adults 21 and over on Nov. 8. Adults 21 and over may lawfully posses up to an ounce of cannabis flowers, or eight grams of pot extracts as well as give up to an ounce of bud to other adults 21 and older. They are also allowed to cultivate up to six plants. Sales of recreational pot in stores will begin after Jan. 1, 2018.

The Trump administration’s new Attorney General Jeff Sessions has said that “good people don’t smoke marijuana,” and White House spokesperson Sean Spicer has said that citizens can expect “increased enforcement” of federal marijuana laws under President Trump.

But for decades, the federal government has stated that it focuses enforcement on large-scale interstate drug traffickers and not individuals engaged in personal pot activity.

(The San Francisco Chronicle)

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Town Hall Meeting - April 25 at 6:00 pm Anderson Valley High School Cafeteria, 18200 Mountain View Rd in Boonville

Share your opinions about how our schools can meet the needs of local students during this open forum discussion.



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LITTLE DOG SAYS, “A Boonville lady asked me, ‘Is this place a nursery or a newspaper office?’ I told her, ‘They told me it's a test, that people can look at the whole panorama and draw their own conclusions.’ Myself? I see nothing but confusion.”

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On Sunday, April 16th, a rock slide six miles north of Leggett in northern Mendocino County forced the closure of Highway 101. The California Department of Transportation (CalTrans) has not provided an update on when Highway 101 may re-open, but at this time it is estimated to remain closed through the weekend.

Several local roads have been utilized as detours around the slide and the heavy traffic and wet weather have caused rapid deterioration in the road conditions, multiple traffic accidents, and stuck vehicles. This is a reminder to the traveling public that Bell Springs Road is not an alternate route for the Highway 101 closure between Piercy and Leggett. Bell Springs Road is closed to through traffic, and only open to local necessary and essential traffic. Law enforcement officials will request proof/explanation of your need to be in the area (i.e. driver’s license, bill with address, work order for the area, etc.).

In addition, the following roads are not alternate routes for the Highway 101 closure and could be closed to through traffic if necessary to maintain functionality for essential services to local residents: Usal Road (Whitehorn area), Briceland Thorn Road (Whitehorn area), Mina Road (Covelo), Zenia Bluff Road (Covelo), or Hoagland Road (Covelo).

Until Highway 101 is sufficiently cleared, officials on scene will make the final decision regarding who may travel on Bell Springs Road. The current recommended alternative route is Highway 36, Highway 299, Highway 20, and Interstate 5 to avoid the closure. Please check with CalTrans for additional updates or alternate routes. Road Conditions: ( or 1-800-427-7623 (ROAD)

Carmel J. Angelo, Mendocino County Chief Executive Officer

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(A Reader Writes: The underlying problem is that many homeless addicts do not want to stop using. They get enough support money, disability, free food, clothing, etc to buy alcohol and drugs without any effort.)

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I live at the corner of Needles and Diarrhea. OK, those aren’t the real names of the streets in my SoMa/Mission neighborhood, but if our thoroughfares were christened after the things most prevalent on them, there’d be a Syringe Street, Poop Place and Smashed Window Way.

I’ve lived in the area for five years now, and while needles, feces and broken car windows have always been common, the past year or so has seen a major spike. Well, at least the needles and the broken windows. The poop is as constant as the Northern Star. That’s because we have an immensely concentrated amount of homeless encampments, and while the authorities shift them around every couple weeks, this does nothing to alleviate any of the actual issues.

Needles are so common that yesterday I saw a woman casually talking with a syringe tucked behind her ear, as if it was a cigarette or a pencil.

So why is there suddenly a spike in used needles littering our streets? There’s a few reasons. The first is that, for a number of years, we had a near epidemic of doctors overprescribing highly addictive opioids, like OxyContin. While the authorities have cracked down on people’s abilities to get their hands on these drugs, they didn’t take to treating these peoples’ addictions with the same gusto. Many of them turned to street drugs, like heroin, to get their fix.

Happening simultaneously, the legalization of marijuana in many states has taken a major bite out of the profits of drug cartels, so they’ve turned to flooding our streets with cheap heroin and meth instead. Think about that for a second: Simply legalizing weed had the ability to do what decades of the “War on Drugs” wasn’t able to do. Isn’t it time to start the process of at least decriminalizing hard drugs?

This perfect storm of suddenly having a bunch of opioid addicts without a supply, and market flooded with cheap heroin, has caused a smack epidemic on our streets. At the moment, heroin use is at a 20-year high, and junk-related deaths have grown five-fold since the year 2000. Those of you constantly yammering on about how “the market will regulate itself” should probably just go fuck yourselves.

The obvious question is: How do we fix this?

On a grand scale, we need to shift the national conversation to treating addiction and mental illness like diseases, not just poor decisions. But that’s not going to happen while Donny is in office. Luckily, there are things that can be done on a local level.

The first step is honestly tackling homelessness. It’s hard enough to get clean when you have a home; imagine how difficult it is when you live in a tent. I’d like to implore the billionaires who made their fortunes off this city, while seeing poor and middle-class people flounder, to use their wealth to end homelessness. Recently, Marc Benioff and some other billionaires became involved in a private-public partnership to end family homelessness in San Francisco. Let’s take it a step further and have them end it completely.

But while we’re holding our breath for that, we can start getting more services to the people in the encampments. They need 24-hour bathroom access, and at these bathrooms, they need needle receptacles. We can also attach needle receptacles to trashcans in the surrounding areas. On top of this, we should bulk up our Homeless Outreach Teams. This, and similar programs, should be given more money and resources to battle disease and malnourishment at the encampments, while providing more needle exchange opportunities as well as Narcan, the drug that reverses opioid overdoses. The HOT teams are already doing great work, but if we want to see any changes, we need to support them as much as possible. This could even include creating a mobile addiction treatment unit of sorts that visits the encampments.

We live in one of the finest cities in the world, not a Charles Dickens novel. Let’s start acting like it and get our houseless neighbors the help they need.

Stuart Schuffman, aka Broke-Ass Stuart, is a travel writer, TV host and poet. Follow him at Broke-Ass City runs Thursdays in the San Francisco Examiner.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, April 20, 2017

Brackett, Dutra, Ferrell

WILLIAM BRACKETT JR., Potter Valley. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, criminal threats.

JODI DUTRA, Ukiah. Controlled substance, vandalism, escape, prior strike, prison prior, failure to appear.

LEE FERRELL, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public, resisting.

Goodiron, Guillen, Linares

PERCY GOODIRON, Redwood Valley. Drunk in public.

NARANJO GUILLEN, Santa Rosa/Ukiha. Vehicle theft.

HILARIO LINARES JR., Covelo. Vehicle theft.

Maxfield, Neagle, Peterson

JUSTIN MAXFIELD, Willits. Under influence, probation revocation.

RICHARD NEAGLE, Willits. Drunk in public.

ERIC PETERSON, Covelo. Vehicle theft, false ID.

Rodarte, Rozek, Rulo

DESIREA RODARTE, Fort Bragg. Paraphernalia, resisting, probation revocation.

ZACHARIA ROZEK, Redwood Valley. Failure to appear, probation revocation. (Frequent Flyer)

VICTORIA RULO, Ukiah. Domestic assault, assault with deadly weapon not a gun.

Strauss, Valley, Walker

JOHN STRAUSS, Fort Bragg. Failure to appear.

PHILIP VALLEY SR., Ukiah. DUI, under influene, pot sales, suspended license, probation revocation.

WILLIAM WALKER, Willits. Suspended license, failure to appear.

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PRESIDENTIAL BRANDING: Trump and the Cult of Celebrity

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Explore the Science and Benefit of Solar Energy this Saturday at Noyo Food Forest's 11th Annual Earth Day Event.

On Earth Day, Saturday April 22, from 1-2pm, the public is invited to a drop-in presentation to learn about the science and benefit of solar energy. Bruce Erickson, electrical contractor and owner of Mendocino Solar Service, will explain how solar energy works and why solar energy benefits consumers, our society, and the environment.

This interactive, informative and eye opening talk will include a look at photos of local solar installations, and time for Q&A.

Featured in the Climate Literacy Teach-In at the 11th Annual Noyo Food Forest Earth Day, the talk will be held in a conference room near the entrance to Noyo Food Forest.

Directions to the talk will be posted at the Earth Day event. There is no fee for the talk, and no registration is needed.

More information from Mendocino Solar Service at 707-937-1701. Or find the event on our Facebook page.

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Route 1 (59.7) PG&E has been granted a Caltrans Encroachment Permit for tree trimming near Hare Creek Monday and Tuesday, April 24 and 25.  One-way traffic control will be in effect from 9 a.m. to noon. Motorists should anticipate 5-minute delays. LC#P1AA

Route 1 (61.6/61.7) Caltrans will perform routine maintenance from Laurel Avenue to Fir Avenue on Wednesday, April 26.  One-way traffic control will be in effect from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Motorists should anticipate 10-minute delays. LC#S1DA

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 20 (17.3/15.9) Caltrans will perform routine maintenance near Road 200A on Monday and Tuesday, April 24 and 25.  One-way traffic control will be in effect from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Motorists should anticipate 10-minute delays. LC#S20AA

Route 20 (35.6/37.3) - Bridge deck repairs at the East Fork Russian River Bridge will continue. One-way traffic control will be in effect overnight from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., weekdays. Motorists should anticipate 25-minute delays. LC#C20WA

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 (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 (85.9/86.1) - Emergency slide removal near Hermitage Vista Point will continue. Northbound traffic will be reduced to one lane 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays. Motorists should anticipate minor traffic slowdowns. LC#C101LD

Route 101 (97.1) - Emergency slide removal near the Dora Creek Bridge will continue. The highway is fully closed until further notice. Motorists should seek an alternate route. LC#C101KD

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 128 (36.6/41.3) - Roadway repairs from Fish Rock Road to Yorkville will continue.  One-way traffic control will be in effect from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.  Motorists should anticipate 5-minute delays.  LC#C128KA

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

Route 175 (4.0/9.9) - Emergency storm damage repairs from Buckman Drive to the Lake/Mendocino County line will continue. One-way traffic control will be in effect from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. 7 days per week.  Motorists should anticipate 10-minute delays at each location.  LC#M175AA

Route 253 (0.0/17.2) Emergency roadway repairs from Booneville to Ukiah will continue.  One-way traffic control will be in effect from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays. Motorists should anticipate 10-minute delays. LC#C253EA

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Whitesboro (Albion) Grange Sunday Pancake Breakfast

Whitesboro Grange remains a solid and unchanged community organization.   Please join us for our traditional 4th Sunday pancake breakfast on Sunday, April 23rd. Breakfast includes orange juice, pancakes with maple and homemade berry syrups, ham, eggs your way, and coffee, tea or hot cocoa. The public and visitors are invited to join neighbors and community for a hearty pancake breakfast. Adults $8, ages 6-12 half price, children under 6 eat FREE. Breakfast is served from 8 to 11:30 a.m. Thanks to your appetites, Whitesboro Grange is able to support local farmers, families in need, the Albion-Little River Fire Department, Project Sanctuary, Redwood Coast Senior Center, 4-H, Hospitality House, Veterans, food banks and other community service organizations.  Whitesboro Grange is located 1.5 miles east on Navarro Ridge Road. Watch for signs just south of the Albion Bridge. Spring wildflowers are in full bloom, enjoy the ride.

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The cable news channels began changing the dynamic. The Internet finished the job. Demagoguery, half-truths and lies are the order of the day…Unfiltered, un-alloyed bullshit is rampant on the internet, and is offered in prodigious volume, without restraint nor responsibility. Fifty years ago, the unwashed could not readily vent their spleen, nor display their ignorance…there were gate-keepers…letters to the editor were censored. The “Internets” have made opinions powerful…right or wrong. It panders to the lowest common denominator. Cat is out of the bag…die has been cast, Genie out of the bottle…. Yes, the ten pounds of shit in a nine pound bag is flaming at our doorstep…stomping on it will provide perhaps a bit of satisfaction, but will not change the vile train wreck that is the information media.

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Photo by Susie de Castro

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From Thursday’s NY Times:

A special on Friday night on Showtime — the title uses a vulgarity; we’ll just call it “Burn”["Burn Motherfucker, burn!"] — does a somewhat better job, but its main strength is to underscore the history leading up to 1992. The film, by Sacha Jenkins, doesn’t even get to the King video and verdict until almost an hour in, using that time to trace the history of racism and oppression by the Los Angeles Police Department back to the Watts riot of 1965 and beyond.

“The legacy of 1965 is that it brought to a close the optimism of the civil rights movement,” Darnell Hunt, the UCLA scholar, explains onscreen. Patience was no longer the watchword; violence became a way to express dissatisfaction with the sluggish pace of change…

Rob Anderson's comment:

When the 1965 Watts riots happened, I was in federal prison in Lompoc for refusing to report for military service. I asked a black inmate from LA what he thought about it. His response: "I hope they burn that motherfucker down!"

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A ‘Red Team’ Exercise Would Strengthen Climate Science. Put the ‘consensus’ to a test, and improve public understanding, through an open, adversarial process.

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The 15th annual ukiaHaiku Festival will take place on Sunday, April 30 at the Ukiah Civic Center, 300 Seminary Avenue. Winning poets will read their poems at 2 p.m.; a reception and refreshments will be at 3 p.m. A booklet with the winning haiku will be on sale. The poets will read haiku from nine contest categories, two in Spanish, encompassing poets of all ages.  Haiku are poems that express the very essence of simplicity, elegance, and depth. A haiku causes a vivid image or experience to arise in the reader within the context of three brief lines. To learn more about this ancient Japanese art form that has adapted so well to the modern world, and to read winning haiku from previous years, visit



  1. Jim Updegraff April 21, 2017

    MLB for those who are fans:

    Giants: day off

    A’s 9 Texas l – game was a rout, Texas had only 3 hits. Good pitching by both the starer and the bull pen – record is now 8 – 8.

  2. james marmon April 21, 2017

    Why didn’t the AVA/CNN report on this story?

    Mendocino County Family and Children Services in ‘crisis’ 4/19/17

    “Mendocino County has the highest rates of children in foster care in the state, according to more than one survey, like one from 2015 by That study estimates a rate of 12.3 per 1,000 of the county’s children in foster care, higher than Los Angeles County’s rate, 7.6.”


    James Marmon MSW
    Former Social Worker V
    Mendocino County Family and Children’s Services.

    • james marmon April 21, 2017

      A lot the issues will be resolved with proper training in the use of Structured Decision-Making (SDM) Tools. Put responsibility back on the social workers for decision making. It appears that UC Davis is stepping in to provide that training.

      Finally and end to the “Mendocino Model” better know as the “Mendocino Way”.

        • james marmon April 21, 2017

          Just to slap myself on the back, I was right about social workers responding to phone calls and not using to SDM Hotline Tool to guide their decision making. A lot of kids were interviewed and/or removed from their parents unlawfully and unnecessarily. The problem with this is that then the social workers engage in the practice of vilifying the parents to justify their unlawful actions.

          “The Hotline Tool was completed for every referral; however, one-half were completed timely. This suggests the tool was completed after a decision had been made.”

          -UC Davis Northern Academy-

          Mendocino FCS Org Assessment.pdf

  3. BB Grace April 21, 2017

    re: We Continue; Because we are Patrons, outsiders call Grangers for the name of our halls.

    wiki: Whitesboro was an unincorporated community in Mendocino County, California.[1] It was located 1 mile (1.6 km) south-southeast of Albion,[2] at an elevation of 39 feet (12 m).[1]

    The name was bestowed in 1876 after L. E. White, the major owner of the Salmon Creek Mill Company.[2] A post office operated at Whitesboro from 1881 to 1899. Almost no trace of the former sawmill town remains as of 2010, but there is still a functioning Whitesboro Grange hall located on nearby Navarro Ridge Road.[2]….wiki

    People who think about going to a Whitesboro Grange breakfast should be warned: WHITESBORO SERVES GMO! BOTCOTT GMO Whitesboro!!!!!!!

    I should know, I serve GMO breakfasts at Whitesboro, well our berry syrup isn’t GMO, but it’s made by old women who’ve been making it the same way from berry shrub walls dividing properties before 1876. It will turn your teeth purple, which is a sure give away you’ve had breakfast at GMO Whitesboro. I think we should start calling the place GMO Whitesboro, eh?

    WARNING WHITESBORO SERVES GMO, forget the syrup, I know people say it’s the best in the world. FORGET IT! Who needs to make that long drive? Wild flowers! Bah! The whole county is bloomed in wild flowers. You’ve seen one wild flower you’ve seen them all, and if you haven’t there’s plenty of other places to go, much shorter drive. The road to the hall got hit pretty hard by the past storms taking down a number of the old cypress trees along the road.. and those aren’t wildflowers blooming all over the grounds, rather bulbs planted long before a new settler ever heard the name Whitesboro.

    GMO Whitesboro GMO breakfasts are BORING, another reason to skip this place. Who cares whose bull is banging so and so’s cow? Is dealing with bears, fox, lions, maimed/ wounded herds/flocks, barns, coops, or how to build a better fence or road, or how to compare food crops conversation that entices the appetite? Come on. Worthless!!

    GMO Whitesboro Grangers smell bad, really bad. It doesn’t matter if they soak, wash the hair, shower and put on clean clothes.. the fertilizer runs in their blood, which is contaminated by the GMOs they serve. GMO pancakes, all you can eat, and man do those people eat.. they think it’s a pancake eating contest with their syrupy purple teeth, “more pancakes please”. Can you believe this? I’m going to set these folks straight this week and make sure they KNOW for a FACT that’s GMO they are asking for “Please”. One tablespoon of butter per bite. Really. Don’t bother coming to GMO Whitesboro to see for yourself, not worth it.

    GMO Whitesboro has NO MUSIC. They have a Grange Women’s Association where great, great, great, GREAT grandmothers offer the same dumb stuff their great great GREAT grandmothers made, and home made cookies (I’m sure are POISION with GMO). Skip it!

    Save yourself from a BORING, SMELLY, GMO pancake breakfast at Whitesboro. Not worth the time, gas or $8.00 even if it is all you can eat. BOYCOTT GMO Whitesboro!

    • George Hollister April 21, 2017

      Here BBGrace, have a cup of coffee.

      • BB Grace April 21, 2017

        Thank you Mr. Hollister.

        Since you offered, I’ll expect you @ 7:30 am Sunday 23 April Whitesboro Grange Hall; We’ll buy you breakfasts and you can pour coffee. I could use the help, especially dealing with the lumberjacks as a couple of them need to be intravenously hooked up to coffee pots. I never saw men gulp hot coffee so fast, well except the fisherman. They seem to have a thing for lot’s of hot coffee on demand. I’m sure you understand and would be a perfect server. See you at the GMO Whitesboro Grange Hall 7:30 am, 23 April.

      • Bill Pilgrim April 21, 2017

        Please make it DECAF!

  4. Jim Updegraff April 21, 2017

    Arkansas just executed one of the prisoners on death row after the Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal. All the good Christians on the Court and in Arkansas approved this state sanction killing (or should it be state sanctioned murder). clearly, these good Christians have no concept of the teachings of Jesus.

  5. Randy Burke April 21, 2017

    Major, that is a great story. I recall after moving to Mendo county in 2001 the interest in resolving the issues you remind the reader of. What I find interesting is that there has been no mention of a performance bond or a maintenance bond. There may have been both of these in place, I am not sure. But had they been activated, the bonding companies would have ended upon the financial hook to make the installation whole to county/state specs. Thanks for the great update, and don’t be surprised when you see how that road is doing after this last winter.

    • Mark Scaramella April 21, 2017

      For more of the grisly details of this fiasco check out this court filing from 2006 when Mendo tried to get some money out of what was left of Williams. It focuses mainly on whather the permit was a “contract” but still gives some interesting background. (And if you can figure out what the conclusion was — other than Mendo gets nothing — you’re a better reader than I am.)

      • Randy Burke April 22, 2017

        Wow, quite a read. As for 20/20 hindsight, the county ends up holding the bag on a set of circumstances that probably seemed right at the time the encroachment permit was issued….but with no financial mechanism for enforcement, or room for restorative reprisal for the condition of the road. I have not worked in administering many public works jobs, but in the ones where I have, a contract was issued by the agency which had the interest in having some kind of work done. This is not the case, as the county was not directing the interest in having the work done….Got it. But somewhere, somehow a bond, even if considered to be purchased by the county may have relieved the subsequent burden on the county with implications as to the current road conditions and possible related structural failures. Don’t really know how that would work, but the permit in the future should be with held until the county is indemnified from all future costs due to apparent future determined failures or latent defects created by the entity doing the work. Oh well, if you go up there on Mountain View Road, take tire chains, 4 wheel drive, winch and a chain saw. Thanks for the very detailed reply

        • Mark Scaramella April 23, 2017

          Yes. I agree about the bonding and indemnification and so on. That would have been better. But that’s after-the-fact. If the County had simply followed Caltrans’ lead and required horizontal drilling (as several locals urged at the time), instead of taking the $157k permit fee and the empty promises of a slick attorney, all the damage would have been avoided and Mountain View Road wouldn’t be much worse than 253 now. It doesn’t take an engineer to understand that a large trench down the middle of a mountainous rural road is going to do permanent damage no matter how good the closure and follow up is. .

  6. George Hollister April 21, 2017

    On line comment of the day:

    “The cable news channels began changing the dynamic. The Internet finished the job. Demagoguery, half-truths and lies are the order of the day…”

    Really, we are returning to a version of media we had 150+ years ago when we had many newspapers, and many of the newspapers were connected directly to a political party. A lot of what was in those papers was political BS, or at best a smear of a political opponent. The country evolved, most of those papers went out of business, some were bought up by conglomerates. We ended up with 3 TV news channels, all with the same view point and delivery. There was AP, and UPI. Fox took advantage of the limited view point, and made money. The AVA has as well, though I don’t know if the AVA makes that much money. (The owner seems to live a frivolous life style in the monied parts of the Bay Area, so maybe they do.)

    Sixty years ago my father emphasized that I had to learn to read in order to be knowledgeable, and that I should not believe everything I read. Seems to me that basic wisdom still applies.

    • Harvey Reading April 21, 2017

      AP wasn’t always all that great (The Brass Check by Upton Sinclair). Otherwise, I find myself pretty much in agreement with you, and your dad, though I’m in no position to comment on the inner workings of the Anderson Valley Advertiser. It meets my needs, especially as a way of blowing off steam and of keeping up with rural California thoughts and attitudes.

  7. BB Grace April 21, 2017

    OMG! The deplorable vlogs have been reporting for months, it seems, that Obama was busted in the Caribbean with massive amounts of coke he got stuck with after HRC lost and has been globe trotting with his super wealthy friends while the US is working to get a hold on him to have him extradited and arrested. I’m not way into the story as it’s a little like the picture of Angelo the other day, luxury resort living the ultra good life, cocktails and what have you, O in bathing suits, and having fun. Boring for me, but O fans would LOVE it.

    So along comes this announcement that Obama is going to be appearing in Chicago:
    After months of quiet travel, Obama to speak in Chicago
    CNN-4 hours ago

    Well, that announcement should take care of the O on the go with his blow “fake news” eh? Not so fast! I watched the Melenchon launch a 3D hologram campaign simultaneously in Lyon and Paris. The hologram begins at about 17 mins, but I think some might really enjoy the show, I mean campaign rally, from the start. It’s a sea of red and black, fists proud and high, with communists waving communist flags and shouting “Resistance!” As only the liberal of the liberal French can do. Will O be coming to Chicago as a hologram?

    O isn’t backing Melenchon the communist BTW, he went for Macron, which isn’t going to sit well with all those O folks at antifa International, and why I think O’s appearance will be 3D Chicago. Good time to create a Tres Chicago Deep Dish Pie? Let’s see.

  8. Debra Keipp April 24, 2017

    Shoemaker! Hmmmmphh! Figures. We have him in Point Arena now as City Manager, as you well know.

    ‘Sat on PA City Council at the time Williams Communication laid cable on Mountain View – after it had just recently been resurfaced before Williams interrupted what integrity was left to the road.

    Also reported to the AVA that:

    Williams simultaneously sold stock on MILES OF CABLE LAID IN RURAL AREAS WHICH DID NOT HAVE TO BE CONNECTED TO SICCUM, it clearly read on their website. T1,T3 connections for the City of Point Arena remained non-existent, not to include the schools who held the only T-connect here in town, even with all that cable buried and the Cable Plant right in our back yards… still, no high speed internet in PA.

    When I complained about it to the AVA, Bruce suggested I get an axe and hook it up myself, suggesting, “Raw cable is laid right there on the corner of Eureka Hill. It’s not very deep and only a few inches round…”

    I invited Renne Innis to show up at one Planning Commission meeting to comment on the state of receiving HSpeed internet for the citizenry of Point Arena and he told us to wait it out, because by the time we got a connection to the cable line, satellite would be the new wave of the connected future, and it would be cheaper, too. He also identified the problems with Williams Communication being a transfer company in the midst of the fiberoptic cable connection fiasco/stock holder share sales.

    So, we waited…

    From then – pre-2002, on… until Further Reach showed up in Point Arena some fifteen to twenty years later(!), with a Google grant through DeNovo Group, to finally connect all that cable, which owner Ben-David says he’s using now to connect Point Arena.

    “AT&T Point Arena Cable Station”, by he way, is not the name on the side of the building which clearly reads: “Manchester Cable Station”, for some dual reason.

    Same-same with Point Arena Mountain Beaver, originally discovered in Manchester at the time of the diatomaceous earth spill when installing the cable plant, and the little critters were found dead outside their cliff holes – in Manchester – not Point Arena.

    Getting back to Mountain View, one logger told me he pays about $20,000/year in road tax, and it goes into Mendo Co. General Fund – not back into the roads used by loggers, such as Mountain View.

    Here’s the intro article from the IC-Zero in Gualala about Further Reach finally hooking up Point Arena:

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