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Mendocino County Today: Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017

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A prolonged period of excessive heat is expected late this week through early next week. Afternoon interior temperatures will rise into the upper 90s to triple digits Thursday, reach peak heat Friday and Saturday, and remain above normal through at least Monday. A high risk of heat related illnesses is expected, particularly for population groups that are most sensitive to heat.

(National Weather Service)

(Click to enlarge)

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MOST OF US in and out of the marijuana business yearn for the day it becomes just another Mendo export. As is, especially at this time of year, with the home invaders roaming the hills and the swarms of transients drawn to the Emerald Triangle hoping to cash in on the green rush, and not to mention the prevalence of methamphetamine that fuels harvest time and the bizarre behavior it inspires, Mendo people pray hard for the first rains to wash it all away, or at least send it indoors.

LOTS OF VIOLENCE comes with production of the love drug but there’s even more unpleasantness of the low intensity type. Right here in the wine theme park of the Anderson Valley, we hear the sad story of an elderly widow whose water tank has been repeatedly emptied by the neighboring scum dogs who’ve tapped into it; they’ve also installed a pot garden in an area of her property inaccessible to her. Another older single woman who spends much time in the city battling cancer suffers an illegal grow on her place. Fortunately for the Anderson Valley, we have a resident deputy who takes crime personally and, knowing him, he’s on the case. But everywhere deep in the outback of bucolic Mendocino County one leaves the pavement at one’s peril.

THE COUNTY’S pot rules are an unworkable mess that favor the corporate pot producer who has the time and the money to comply with them. The cops only get to a sliver of the illegal grows out there. In theory, there’s a Code Enforcement Officer (a retired Ukiah cop named Trent Taylor) to whom a put upon non-grower can complain with an assurance of confidentiality. But that process remains mysterious. There are many more people than ever in town for a hoped for, quick cash-in while the enforcers of the rules, under constant revision, are simply overwhelmed.


A local reader with a couple of outlaw guerilla dozer-grows nearby asked us for help reporting the problem. A good question: How do you file a complaint? With the Board of Supervisors saying Tuesday that Code Enforcement Officer Trent Taylor should be involved, we decided to check.

First stop: Google: “Mendocino County Code Enforcement.”


The County’s cannabis complaint page asks for various parcel id info, adding: “Note: In order for Code Enforcement to investigate potential violations, the subject property address and/or parcel number must be correct.”

It also asks the complainer if they want to be notified of the results of the complaint. And “Complaints that constitute potential health and/or safety hazards will be given priority. All other complaints will be investigated as they are received.”

A guerrilla grow with possible armed guards sounds like a “potential health and/or safety hazard.”

There’s also the “Cannabis Compliant Hotline”: 844-421-WEED (9333).

ON ITS FACE, this seems workable for filing complaints. But is action taken besides asking an occasional grower to “self-abate”? County Officialdom needs to ask for a monthly report on the nature of the complaints, how many are “health and safety” related, how many are backlogged, and how they’re handled and how fast. Plus, the Supervisors, who say they’re getting calls and complaints about outlaw grows or unpermitted grow expansions need to carry cards around with them with the code enforcement reporting contact info and names.

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JAMES MARMON WRITES: I couldn’t help but notice that the Board of Supes went into closed session again yesterday to discuss Turner vs. Losak and Mendocino County. This thing is moving right along. Joan Turner is the only deputy County Counsel I have anything good to say about, I enjoyed working with her when I was at Family and Children’s Services, you go girl. A blast from the past:

“JOAN TURNER IS SUING MENDOCINO COUNTY and Interim County Counsel Doug Losak in federal court alleging numerous violations of her constitutional rights. The Supervisors went into closed session at today’s meeting (Monday, December 19th) to mull over the case. Ms. Turner was an attorney in the County Counsel’s office assigned to child welfare cases. When Doug “Midnight Rambler” Losak was appointed acting County Counsel he became Joan Turner’s supervisor. They had a mutual dislike for each other, based at least in part on the Rambler’s late night escapades that resulted in his arrest for speeding down the highway with a bag of dope and an unregistered concealed weapon stuffed under the front seat of his car. (If that’s the worst thing lawyers did after dark Losak would be up for a gold star for deportment.) Losak was aware that Ms. Turner did not approve of his extracurricular activities, and while she was out on leave for one or more medical conditions (hypo alert!) Losak, she alleges, singled her out for retaliation and discrimination based on age, gender and medical condition. Or maybe because she was an unreasonably prudish pain in the ass, a condition not in the law books. Losak’s conduct is alleged to have been so blatantly retaliatory against Ms. Turner that he is being sued as an individual in addition to his official capacity as Mendocino County’s attorney. These kinds of cases typically grind on endlessly until the deep pockets County agrees to settle for a hunk of taxpayer cash.”

—-Mendocino County Today: Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2016

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Dearest Editor,

A situation has come up here in Covelo that just irks the hell outta me.

For a while my family’s life had been smooth-sailing. But all that has been put in a choke-hold, so to speak.

The reason for this is that Eugene Allen Lincoln Jr. (aka Bear) got busted in Little Valley with 8,886 marijuana plants! Bear and my sister Sonya are going to court in Ukiah to answer for those mass amounts of marijuana gardens.

One of the stipulations of Bear’s court dealings involves a ban on smoking weed. This “no smoking weed” clause not only affected him, but in the process the family has to put up with his “loss.” (Like it’s our bleeping fault!)

Dealing with his trying times, Bear has moved into our late mother Lucille’s house, which, upon arriving, he self-righteously claimed as his own.

Through Bear Lincoln’s “reign” over my mom’s house, he won’t allow my sister Tina over to our mom’s house. He banned my niece Deborah from ever going over there again.

And Deb told me that bastard Bear Lincoln doesn’t want me over there either! WTF?

The only time I go over there is to do a little laundry. This psychopath must stay up late at night just thinking of ways to screw over anyone who tries to make life better for themselves!

And get this chickenshit move from Eugene Allen Lincoln Jr.: since his forced abstinance from his addictions, his paranoid and delusional mind is bent on trying to upset my living conditions where I have happily spent the past seven years of my life.

Bear does not have the pull. Bear does not have the power. Bear does not have the authority. Also Bear does not have the right.

So he is just wasting his precious time trying to screw up whatever he thinks I have going for me.

He is a drowning man grasping for straws.

If and when Bear gets out of the pen he will have to deal with any recrimination brought up by his “I am the landlord and your rent is overdue” mentality.

I was wondering just how long it was going to take for Bear to return to his usual shit-faced attitude.

Lately he is driving a dark ash-gray PT Cruiser. Even a first grader can figure that one out!

Just because he has abstained from smoking the stuff, in no way does it mean he has to abstain from “reaping the rewards of the harvest.”

I truly sympathize with Brian Gregory [Bear’s defense attorney]. This good looking man is giving it his best. What more could you ask for? Bear Lincoln screwed up his own life with his insatiable greed. (I guess he didn’t know that greed was one of the seven deadly sins.)

Now with his “woe is me” mentality, his goal is set on singling certain people out and screwing them over! When Bear gets his paws and beady eyes on this letter I’ll be no doubt on the top of his hit list. We’ll see,

As such,

Eric Lincoln, Covelo.

PS. Bear Lincoln ruffled up the wrong tailfeathers this time. So be it.

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by Rex Gressett

I barely got to enjoy the rough dismissal of Fort Bragg city manager Linda Ruffing from her three grand a week job when I learned that the city intends to fill the vital office of city manager by engaging a professional City Manager Employment Agency (yes there is such an exotic animal) to scour California and the world beyond for some distinguished genius who might be induced by piles of cash to come and show us how to run our city. I was told not to worry; no stone would be left unturned. Greatness is out there; we just have to find it. Hiring a professional head hunter is how you do that.

It makes me feel old and tired.

When the founding fathers kicked George III out of his own colonies they did not hire a recruiting agency to find them a more equitable king. They recognized that drop kicking authority meant that they would have to invent anew the means and methods of governing.

When the City Council started to peel away the prevarications and learned the truth of how the town had been run, Linda Ruffing did not last long. The problems that the city has stacked up behind the smiling façade of the City Manager are big damn problems. I have little doubt that the dismissal of Linda Ruffing, although abrupt, worked to her ultimate advantage. Had she simply retired in two years, the truth would have come out anyway. Now she is positioned to leave us a Gordian knot and blame the City Council for their lack of comprehension.

Perhaps a first class employment agency can import a first class manager from somewhere else. (The head hunters are retired city managers, by the way.)

But if the City Council is hoping that anyone at all can simply make the bad go away, they are dreaming

Linda Ruffing hid the truth about the desperate conflict over water with the State Department of Fsh and Wildlife. Nor did she think it worthwhile to mention until the last that the city faces legal bankruptcy in three years as the CALPERS (city and county employees’ pension fund) assessment comes barreling down on us. She made it possible for the development director to plod languidly along in the essential negotiations for the mill site, taking refuge behind the coastal trail that circumvents a dangerous toxic dump. She did nothing to prevent the Department of Toxic substances control from abandoning the city to its fate and leaving us an unusable unsafe “cleaned up” mill. She is implicated in still unresolved $3 million botch-up of the general fund. She has let deficit financing become routine while spinning her administration as financially supersmart as the Fort Bragg Advocate ran interference for her. She stalled and dithered and smiled while the flood waters mounted ever higher.

If the Founding constitutional convention in 1787 had tried to invent a new form of monarchy they would not have created the blueprint for the most successful democratic government in the history of man on earth.

They were concerned to create a framework for government, but they had an inestimable advantage that was also their most formidable challenge. They knew that a revolutionary nation demanded a government by the people. Kings had been tried and found inadequate.

The driving fuel of successful government in Fort Bragg will be an informed electorate.

I don’t know if we have it now. But we will have to get it to survive.

For 20 years the various city councils have hidden their various heads and submerged their various intelligences while the City Manager sang soothing lullabies and kept the difficult stuff in the filing cabinet. Now the council knows in part that they have shot a hole in the bottom of the boat that carried us far and wide across the dreamscape of unreality. No matter how you slice it civic Fort Bragg faces a major headache. The decisions that they make will not be popular. The hard ones never are.

The decisions that Linda Ruffing made always were hugely popular because she only made her decisions public on rare occasions and only when they would be certain not to worry or offend anybody. The City Council can find a new City Manager patsy to blame for rough times and try to remain aloof. They can hope for a genius to some swooping in and make it all better. Or they can level with the city. Take responsibility. Stop meeting like it was a bi-weekly bridge club and get down to the work of dealing with the issues of the city.

The city manager managed us, the city council no longer has her acting as buffer. The first thing that we should expect is candor. Hiring a headhunter does nothing to engage us in the future of our own town. That’s our job.

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WHERE'S GJERDE? Where's our fresh-faced seaside solon, Fourth District Supervisor, the guy who looks like he's still a junior at Fort Bragg High School? Yurp, that's where. Europe. On vacation. Gjerde, the very soul of civic responsibility, tried to time his time away from the continent not to miss meetings, and still has missed only one, the other two missed meetings being hurry-up, off-the-regular schedule affairs.

IN OUR ODD, amnesiatic county where history starts all over again every day, and you are whatever you say you are, and everyone else is in a federal witness protection program, it can't be stated often enough that it was Dan Gjerde, as a Fort Bragg city councilman, who singlehandedly took on the Milliman-Affinito alliance that had diverted much of the town's collective treasure to private interests. How is he as a supervisor? Good and getting better. Except for his support, all the way back to its murky beginnings, the proposed Highway 20 taj trash transfer station which, we hope, is permanently on hold as its author, former Maoist and presumed car bomber, Mike Sweeney, seems to have departed for New Zealand.

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Since I resigned in protest over pension math, thought I would comment on the Pension Math write-up on Monday, August 28. For 6 years I wrestled with the selective reporting of these numbers by MCERA.

MCERA didn’t adopt an “assumed rate of return” of 6.5%. MCERA adopted a net rate of 7% in their April meeting. You can see the recommendation, by the actuary Segal, in the Actuarial Experience Study (April 2017 Meeting materials). Page 13 of this report shows the rate. This was adopted as presented in that meeting.

If you go to the February meeting you will see the 2017 Capital Market Projections by the investment advisor Callan. Page 46 of this report shows an expected gross rate of return averaging 6.4% for the next 10 years. MCERA’s investment and administration expenses are about .5%, so the Investment advisor return should be adjusted down to about 6%.

I have not seen the “7.5% rate of return for the last 14 years”. But I will note that includes two market recoveries and one recession so it would not be a fair period for analysis. I will promise you that MCERA did not realize that rate of return after expenses for that period. Note that period also includes the practice of skimming the good years for other benefits and leaving the bad years for the citizens of the county to fully absorb the losses.

If you look at the latest reliable numbers you will see that MCERA realized a gross rate of return for the last 10 year period of 5.76%. This is in the June 30, 2017 Investment Performance report on the website. If you subtract the expense this would net somewhere in the 5.25% range. This actual number, as is the investment counselor projected number of net 6%, is substantially below the net 7% adopted.

Why would they do this? By keeping the rate artificially high, the initial cost will be low and any shortage must be absorbed by the county. The vested interest board majority will shift the funding expense from themselves to the citizens. It is very hard for a Moral Hazard to resist these temptations.

One does not have to be very smart to realize something is very wrong with this pension math. It has totally wiped out the entire net worth of our county and the debt will continue to get larger with the current funding scheme. It may make sense to borrow for an asset, it does not make sense to continue to borrow for yesterday’s operational expense. The county alone pays about 50 cents per dollar of payroll toward the plan. This is about 10 times more than a normal employer pays. It is hard to believe that with all the funds coming from county and employees, a new dollar never makes it into this deeply underfunded plan. There are absolutely no deposits for current employees; even their contributions go to pay retirees. The plan still needs to sell $9MM or about a third of the expected return to pay current benefits. As I have said before, Charles Ponzi must be applauding from the grave.

As many know I have many advanced degrees in related areas and have been in the professional advice and investment business for over 30 years with nary a complaint. I still work with almost all of my original clients. I say this not to toot my own horn, but because you don’t have that kind of track record by missing many projections. I have never worked harder than I have to fully understand this system. I hope for our county and the employees I am wrong on this one as I do not see an ending that we will want to own.

Ted Stephens, Yorkville

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by Bob Dempel

Nothing is closer to me than my grapes. I live and breathe each and every vine. So when I traveled down the Pinot Noir rows and observed damage I was immediately concerned. In no time I inspected damaged leaves and stems. They were not growing properly. Something was dreadfully wrong. The leaves were misshapen, the growing tips were distorted. I have over 50 years of experience in both the vinicultural and the agricultural field. I started my career working for Ortho Division of Chevron Chemical Company, a wholly owned company by Standard Oil Company of California. In four years I was promoted to the same number of jobs. I hold title to Outstanding Salesman of the year for three consecutive years. A title that has never been passed or even equaled in the past 57 years. I held a senior Pest Control Adviser’s License in the State of California until I let it lapse last year. I have worked for legal teams, insurance companies and certified in California Courts as a witness.

I inspected almost every vine in my prized Pinot Noir Block. Clearly the vines closest to the neighboring railroad track were the most damaged. I surveyed the damage as I have done for years. I rated the damage on a scale of one to four. The most severe damaged being a one and the least being a four and a five would be no visible damage.

After contacting the Sonoma County Agriculture Department and months of my investigating I have reached a conclusion. An out of state company named Alligare was the culprit. They are based in some town called Okiekaloke, Alabama. Alligare had a new untried formula of a weed control chemical they wanted tested in California. There is a process whereby a chemical company can apply to the State EPA and gain approval to apply this new untested weed poison. The need is just to where Alligare can apply this poison. For some unanswered reasons Alligare choose to apply the poison to the berm of the railroad tracks right next to my prized pinot noir grapes. Alligare found some applicator who would apply this poison. The applicator was applying poison in the area and he agreed to stop his sprayer on the railroad tracks on my south border. Mix up a concoction of this new Alligare formula. And just to make sure all of the weeds were killed, the applicator was instructed to include another Alligare material along with four other poison materials. The second Alligare material was not labeled for use in vineyards; in fact the label stated a warning that it not be sprayed close to vineyards.

Never mind the warning, just spray.

Alligare had an approval from the State of California. What could be better? Never mind my prized Pinot Noir grapes. Alligare needed business.

No one in their right mind sprays herbicides next to a budding vineyard. But that is just what the Alligare applicator did. In late March as the vines were just emerging from a long winter’s night sleep they got sprayed upon with an Alligare poison. The wind was blowing at mid-day, right from the west onto my vines. Alligare denied it through their young inexperienced salesman.

The investigation process included the County Agriculture Department to issue to me a demand letter that I have the grapes tested to prove that none of Alligare’s poison was in the grapes before I could harvest. This demand included several pages outlining the process I needed to follow. What it did not say was that the cost of the testing was to be paid by me. Yes, I needed to pay thousands to have my grapes tested. So simple: Alligare sprays, Dempel pays. I thought that I could send a bill to Alligare and they would immediately offer to pay for the cost of testing and the loss of a small portion of the crop right next to the railroad tracks. Wrong again. Not a word from Alligare. Two years passed with not one reply.

Meanwhile the County investigation was moving along at a slow pace. Finally after two years a report was issued. Alligare’s applicator was responsible and charged $4000 fine for the poison to my Pinot Noir Grapes. The insurance company for the applicator had already recognized the applicator’s fault and settled a small portion of my loss along with the freight company. Still no response from Alligare. I attempted to contact the person Alligare uses to receive service for Alligare in California. Alligare is smart. All of my correspondence was returned. I was at a dead end. An out of state company hiding behind a secret company. Return to sender.

I was attracted to an article in the Western Farm Press about a mediation service. This service was available to agriculture producers who had problems with USDA agencies. Now for clarification there are about 29 USDA Agencies. In my opinion way too many. I contacted this mediation service. I had had contact with the Farm Service Agency regarding the TAP program. Through many hours of communication I actually got some relief to replant a vineyard nursery. When it came time to submit additional bills the FSA reneged.

That is where I contacted the mediation service. Farm Service Agency played hard ball at their state office. The mediation service was successful in getting a face to face meeting with the FSA acting director. And I actually got a letter of apology from a UDSA agency. Mind you no additional money, but a letter of apology.

Coming off what I consider a success, I thought the mediation service could help with the unpaid bills from Alligare. Alligare contended I was rude to the receptionist. So to smooth things over I had to write a letter of apology to Alligare. This is the company who is responsible for spraying my grapes. I waited for some time and again asked for payment. Again no response. I have had to pay for all of the required tests of the Alligare Chemicals and they got the apology from me.

Meanwhile, the applicator appealed the decision of the County Agriculture Commissioner. A hearing was held before a commission hearing officer. It lasted all day. The hearing officer upheld the charges against the applicator. The applicator then appealed to the State Director of the EPA. The State director upheld the decision of the County Agricultural Commissioner. Still no word from Sonoma County Agricultural Commissioner Tony Linegar if the applicator has indeed paid the fine. Linegar estimates the costs to the county for the investigation and hearings to be in the tens of thousands of dollars. Of course, Alligare will never pay any of that.

But still Alligare refuses to pay me for the costs I incurred to test my grapes so they could be sold. I am at a dead end. I cannot find Alligare. The mediation service blames me for being rude to the receptionist and Alligare rides off into the sunset scott free.

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Bail - $20,000

Age: 38 years old, Height: 5' 10", Weight: 180 lbs, Hair: Blonde, Eyes: Blue


If you recognize this individual or have information which could lead to their arrest, please contact the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office at (707) 463-4086.

ED NOTE: I’d recognize that blonde hair anywhere.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, August 30, 2017

Betts, Buzzard, Cook, Everidge

KEVIN BETTS, Willits. First degree robbery.

LUKAS BUZZARD, Willits Vehicle theft, paraphernalia.

THOMAS COOK, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.


Johnston, Knolle, Lewis

JESSE JOHNSTON, Fort Bragg. Domestic abuse, criminal threats to commit a crime with intent to terrorize.

JOSEPH KNOLLE, Fort Bragg. Getting credit with someone else’s ID, theft by access card, controlled substance without prescription.

DANA LEWIS, Ukiah. Domestic battery.

Manuel, Marek, Potter

RAMON MANUEL, Ukiah. Protective order violation, probation revocation.

ROBERT MAREK JR., Ukiah. Failure to appear.

JILL POTTER, Willits. Stolen vehicle, tampering with vehicle, false ID to police, disobeying court order.

Ramirez, Sanders, Zubia

ALEXANDER RAMIREZ, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.


WILLIAM ZUBIA, Covelo. Transportaiton of controlled substance, failure to appear.

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And Christ was a leftist who hung out with the transgendered, prostitutes, and people who he convinced to leave their gainful employment … and families … just to hang out with him in his hippy-dippy traveling commune.. Christ was into free stuff … dumpster diving, turning water into wine, feeding multitudes without charging money. I doubt he touched money, like a Digger in that way. He was the original anti-prepper who trusted in existence to provide.

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Kruze Returns To Albion Nation

Richard Frederick Kruze molested young girls for over 30 years in the small town of Albion, Ca. He is not only being released EARLY, but is petitioning to take residence back in Albion. PLEASE HELP!! Write your concerns down in a letter to his parole officer, Desiree Weathers. Please address:

ATTN: Officer Desiree Weathers
798 North State Street,
Ukiah, Ca 95482
or fax
ATTN: Officer Desiree Weathers

ED NOTE: I think Kruze is Kruse.

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DAVID SWANSON On Ten Top Myths Of Charlottesville, Heroes And Patriots, Kmec Radio, Mendocino Environmental Center

Heroes And Patriots Has Posted Its Latest Program With David Swanson. Original Air Date, Monday, August 28, 2017.

Visit Facebook AT:

Heroes and Patriots is a program about national security, intelligence and foreign policy. The show is streamed live each Monday, 1 p.m., P.S.T. on Like us on Facebook and YouTube at Heroes and Patriots, KMEC Radio, Mendocino Environmental Center.

Follow on: Facebook, YouTube and Twitter @heroesandpatri2

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Come learn a few Gentle Yoga techniques from local yoga instructor, Amelia Bernard, to keep calm & de-stress on. This is a series of free yoga classes offered at the Ukiah Library c/o the Summer Learning Program.Space is limited and advance sign-ups are required. Please call 463-4490 to sign-up.

Amelia Bernard is an Ukiah native & licensed yoga instructor who studied with Amy Sullivan.

Happy Labor Day!

Teen Craft Squad meets every Wednesday from 2-5 pm.

Drop in & make something awesome today!

StoryTime returns!

Join us for delightful back-to-back Storytimes:

Wednesdays: Baby Storytime: 10:15 am Bilingual Storytime for Preschoolers: 11 am

Saturdays: Family Storytime, 11 am

Contact Information:

Ukiah Library
105 N. Main St.
Ukiah, CA 95482
(707) 463-4490

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The First Annual Manchester Community Center/Garcia Guild Mega-Sale will take place the weekend of September 9 and 10. This is a community fundraiser for Manchester Community Center on Crispin Lane. All members of the community are welcome to participate. Spots outside are 10 x 10 and only $20 for the two days and you keep all your proceeds from whatever you sell. For indoor Artists and Crafters, the charge is $40 for the two days. Spaces are FREE for Guild members. Anyone can join the Guild for $40. Memberships bought now will be good through 2018 and will allow you a FREE booth.

To reserve a spot, email Lisa Giacomini at or call the Guild at 882-3425 and leave a message. Lisa will return your call.

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NO QUIZ THIS WEEK. Tomorrow is the fifth Thursday of the month so there will be no Quiz taking place at Lauren’s Restaurant. The Quiz continues on its 2nd and 4th Thursday format so we shall resume on Thursday, September 14th.

Hope to see you there.


Steve Sparks / Quiz Master

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Housing Needed

Hello: We're two women in the fine woodworking program looking for housing in Fort Bragg. Preferably a two-bedroom apartment/home for around $1300 or less, or we could split up and look at rooms around $650 or less. We don't have pets and we're non-smokers. If you are able to help, please email

Thank you! -Mattie & Sawyer

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I WOULD NOT WISH TO A DOG or to a snake, to the most low and misfortunate creature of the earth, I would not wish to any of them what I have had to suffer for things that I am not guilty of. But my conviction is that I have suffered for things that I am guilty of. I am suffering because I am a radical and indeed I am a radical; I have suffered because I am an Italian and indeed I am an Italian...if you could execute me two times, and if I could be reborn two other times, I would live again to do what I have done already.

— Bartolomeo Vanzetti, 1927

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by Dan Bacher

On August 28, the Central Basin Water Agency board in Compton voted 5 to 2 to postpone a decision supporting the controversial Delta Tunnels plan, a joint public works project between the Governor Jerry Brown and President Donald Trump administration.

“Citing the many unknowns regarding the rate impacts of the project, estimated to cost $25 billion, the Central Basin board members said they needed more information on how it would affect ratepayers in southeast Los Angeles County,” said Brenna Norton, senior Southern California organizer for Food & Water Watch.

The board plans to meet again in late September about the project that could cost up to $68 billion in total.

This delay provides temporary relief for ratepayers in Lynwood, South Gate, Florence-Graham, Willowbrook, Compton, and Carson,” said Norton. “The Central Basin board recognizes that there are many crucial unanswered questions about who will pay for the Delta Tunnels.”

“It would be a great injustice for low and middle income communities in Los Angeles County to carry the burden for the tunnels, which will raise rates but not provide new water. We look forward to giving the board the data it needs to vote down this wrong-headed scheme," she said.

Twenty local residents and ratepayers showed up to question why the board would raise rates for a project that they believe their customers don’t need, as many cities throughout Los Angeles County are planning to import less water from the Delta, Norton said. Representatives from Restore the Delta, SEIU 721, Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), Sierra Club, and SEIU 721, the largest public employees union in Southern California, urged the board to vote no on the project.

Another seven people, mostly representing big business interests and building trade unions, spoke in support of the agency backing the California Water Fix.

“We made progress today with our Southern California friends by delaying the tunnels vote in southern Los Angeles at the Central Basin Municipal Utility District," said Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Executive Director of Restore the Delta (RTD).

Director Leticia Vasquez, who represents the cities of Lynwood, South Gate, Florence-Graham, Willowbrook and portions of Compton and Carson, received a round of applause from the audience as she told the Board to delay the vote on the Delta Tunnels. Director Vasquez also serves as a representative on the Metropolitan Water District Board of Directors, which is also slated to vote this fall on whether or not to fund the California WaterFix.

The project could raise average household water bills between $7 and $16 per month for over 40 years and up to $200 a month when the project costs reach their peak, according to an independent study.

Then today, August 29, ratepayers opposing the Delta Tunnels attended the Los Angeles City Council's Energy, Climate Change, and Environmental Committee meeting to urge them to oppose the project.

“The Council asked great questions about the Delta Tunnels that remained unanswered and voted to delay approval of the project,” said Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla.

Read their live tweets

On Monday, Restore the Delta submitted a formal letter regarding the risks of the CA WaterFix proposal to the Committee as they consider whether the City of Los Angeles should back the tunnels project.

The comment letter outlined various fiscal, environmental, and supply reliability risks within the project for Los Angeles, and critiques the LA Ratepayer Advocate report produced by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power's Public Accountability Office for not fully addressing the real costs of the Delta tunnels for ratepayers and taxpayers.

"The lack of public transparency, honest financial assessment of the project, and political manipulations by public agencies indicate to us that the Brown Administration is using strong-arm tactics to force the CA WaterFix on ratepayers and taxpayers,” said Barrigan-Parrilla in a statement. “The LA Ratepayer Advocate analysis is woefully incomplete, and serves as another indicator that water management in California is a politically rigged system.”

Background: The California WaterFix, Jerry Brown's 'Legacy' Project

The Delta Tunnels, considered by opponents to be the most environmentally destructive public works project in California history, is undoubtedly the “legacy” project of Governor Jerry Brown.

The Trump and Brown administrations and project proponents claim the tunnels would fulfill the “coequal goals” of water supply reliability and ecosystem restoration, but opponents point out that project would create no new water while hastening the extinction of winter-run Chinook salmon, Central Valley steelhead, Delta and longfin smelt, green sturgeon and other imperiled fish species

The project would also imperil the salmon and steelhead populations on the Trinity and Klamath rivers that have played a central role in the culture, religion and livelihood of the Yurok, Karuk and Hoopa Valley Tribes for thousands of years.

While the media often portrays Brown as a “climate leader” and the “resistance” to President Donald Trump as the Governor jets off to international climate conferences, the reality is much different, according to public trust advocates. In fact, Brown has collaborated with Trump on fast-tracking the construction of the controversial Delta Tunnels and the exemption of California oilfields from the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Over just the past several weeks, the Brown administration has incurred the wrath of environmental justice advocates, conservationists and increasing numbers of Californians by:

Ramrodding Big Oil’s environmentally unjust cap-and-trade bill, AB 398, through the legislature

Approving the reopening of the dangerous SoCalGas natural gas storage facility at Porter Ranch

Green-lighting the flawed EIS/EIR documents permitting the construction of the California WaterFix

Issuing a “take” permit to kill endangered salmon and Delta smelt in the Delta Tunnels.



  1. james marmon August 31, 2017

    A big day today for our local for-profit and non-profit organizations who contract for the County, September 1 is the deadline for all bills to be sent to the Senate and Assembly floors.

    Counties are waging a misleading campaign against this bill. SEIU plans to turn out in force when the bill is heard by the Senate Appropriations Committee today August 31.

    Keep your fingers crossed my friends.

    Speaking of a misleading campaign against this bill, Angelo and Schraeder share their concerns below, lol.

    “AB 1250 Bad News for Mendocino County”

    James Marmon MSW
    Former President SEIU 1021
    Mendocino Chapter

    Myths & Facts About AB 1250

    • james marmon August 31, 2017


      Opinion: SEIU-backed legislation won’t stop counties from working with nonprofits, it will protect consumers

      “SEIU California is sponsoring legislation to ensure that when counties consider outsourcing services, taxpayer dollars result in quality services and quality jobs. These standards — which mirror those already in place for the State of California, school districts, community colleges, and libraries — require open and competitive bidding, demonstrated savings and quality and performance standards.

      The absence of such statewide standards for county contracting means fraudulent and abusive behavior by contractors is an endemic problem.”

  2. LouisBedrock August 31, 2017

    “And Christ was a leftist who hung out with the transgendered, prostitutes, and people who he convinced to leave their gainful employment … and families … just to hang out with him in his hippy-dippy traveling commune.. Christ was into free stuff … dumpster diving, turning water into wine, feeding multitudes without charging money. I doubt he touched money, like a Digger in that way. He was the original anti-prepper who trusted in existence to provide.”

    This infidel has muted his hostility toward all religions, and especially Christianity, out of respect for Jim U., Bill P., and David L, whose beliefs are different from mine, and whom I respect.

    But give me a break.

    • Bruce McEwen August 31, 2017

      It is with the burning tears of shame blurring my vision that I write this letter of contrition and apology to you, Louis Bedrock. That I have offended a man of such austere moral altitude – a Teacher, no less – during a spate of drunken debauchery, leaves me in a state of repugnance at my own meager gifts.

      “Why,” my conscience relentlessly asks in its contortions of remorse, “Why pick on poor old Bedrock? Because he treated you like one of his promising students? What an ingrate you are then! What, did you think you were his equal, silly fool?”

      And in this eternal torment my soul writhes for having not had the wit to sit at your knee, when I had the opportunity, and learn my lessons. For it was you and your colleagues in that exalted calling of Teacher, that raised my children (in the moral sense, while I was out a-tastin’ as the Scotts term it), along with the children of my contemporary peers; and it is to you we owe a debt for the awesome ninja turtles they are today.

      Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll pour out this, my last bottle (I swear) of single malt, and go beg for admission at a local chapter of AA.

      • james marmon August 31, 2017

        Call me, there are alternatives to AA, such as Rational Recovery or SMART. AA meetings often just become another addiction. In Rational Recovery we offer advice on how to deal with AA meeting disorders, but its best not to even get started.

        James Marmon MSW
        Personal Growth Consultant

        ‘don’t just go through it, grow through it’

          • Bruce McEwen August 31, 2017

            Tell ya what, Jimmy. You come down to the bar, buy a round or two, and Bob’s your Uncle Dick — I’ll click on those websites you’ve recommended, bless you. But until then, I refuse to take your crackpot comments seriously.

          • james marmon August 31, 2017

            You do know that I have a degree in Drug and Alcohol Studies to go along with my MSW don’t you? Ask Judge Mayfield, we worked together in 1998 developing Mendocino County Juvenile Drug Court (Passages). I was the program’s first Substance Abuse Counselor/Case Manager. Judge Mayfield allowed me to implement REBT into my curriculum.

            I left Ukiah to finish my MSW studies, ask around the courthouse.


  3. Eric Sunswheat August 31, 2017

    12 step program of AA is attributed to not be effective. This could be a root of the problem.

    • Bruce McEwen August 31, 2017

      There’s an inoculation you can get at Walgreens Drug Store, Eric. It’s for all those things to which you have lost your natural immunity: Concupiscence, Dendro-Philistinism, Acute Grandiloquence, Encephalo-Vacuity, and Chronic Windyvidualitis…*

      But the vaccine you are suffering from is the one most readily available in Our Nation’s Schools, the one administered by the entire Faculty (Our Deacons and Priests of the Classroom, including the High Bishop, the Principle) a kind of mild dose of deadpan dismissal of any kind of faith, in favor of “Science, my boy,” so you may now go through life immune to the infections of your own soul!

      *see your pot doc for prescriptions to cure these and a plethora of other hypochondrias.

    • Lazarus August 31, 2017

      Fear of loss got me…my family and business in particular…and after the nightmare I had with cigarettes, alcohol seemed more manageable for me.
      After the initial cut the cord was over, my issue was the social change that happens when you quit drinking, my supposed friends continued on without me… Most of them, unfortunately, ended up dead around 60 years old.
      I was fortunate to have a supportive family structure to encourage me, but I get it, it’s a powerful drug and it’s tough to kick…straight up! I’ve done it twice, over the past 35 years…
      As always,

      • Bruce McEwen August 31, 2017

        Fear of loss got to Epictitus, too, Laz. But Epictitus was a Stoic, you see, he’d already lost everything, his family, his eminence, his land, and all he had left was his freedom to chose.

        The Emperor said, “I’ll take your head,” and Epictiuts fled, his ship was captured and he was sold as a slave.

        Everything we fear to lose has only been lent to us form our birth, and we knew all along how the deal would end. So if our peers died at 60+ or minus, what end awaits us, sir?

        A cancer ward… an old-folks home near the creek?

        “Consult your innermost predilections,” Don Jaun Matus advised Carlos Casteneada.

        Or read Epictitus, that’s my advice, and I only offer it because you presumed to do as much for my fat ass.

        • LouisBedrock September 1, 2017

          It’s “Epictetus” you pretentious asshole.

  4. Bruce McEwen August 31, 2017

    Mr. Reading, my esteemed critic, appears to be indisposed on this thread. However, he’s so predictable, I dare risk the abominable liberty of commenting on his behalf, w/ neither grace nor gravy.

    A forkful of whole-wheat pie can be hard to swallow when swollen from too much chewing, McQ&; aye, and w/ a close old codger like you hovering over the teapot, Master Reading, there’d be little hope in begging a wee dram on such a bitter cold night…?

    Maybe Baby, just maybe you ought not feed this mushy pablum to a generation raised on a gluten-free diet, just to see if they lap it up the way your St. BB Grace does!


    *A space for you to correct me if I’m wrong… eh?

    • BB Grace August 31, 2017


    • Harvey Reading September 1, 2017

      Blow it out your ass, McEwen, eh, you pompous ass. I’ll believe you quit drinking when there is some evidence, other than your know-it-all, ignorant blabber. Talk is cheap you blowhard would-be intellectual. Read and quote some more of your ancient history and philosophy, so you can drop names to impress people. Sorry, but you don’t impress me. Your writing style also seems nothing but copycatting of others, which is typical for someone who blames his problems on others.

      Your whining is appalling. And your attempts to drag others down to your pathetic level have failed. It’s you who are at rock bottom, not us. You had a G.I. plan that would have helped you through college had you chosen to go to college, and veteran preference points for civil service entry level jobs, but, I suppose, a natural-born “genius” like you never thought of those things, or you stupidly rejected them. You supposedly preferred to ride horses across the plains. That Mr. Bigmouth, was YOUR choice. Live with it. Don’t expect sympathy, or respect, from people who chose to better themselves. I have more respect for my dog than I do for a loser-by-choice like you.

      • LouisBedrock September 1, 2017

        “Your writing style also seems nothing but copycatting of others, …”

        The Hippie-Jesus piece that annoyed me is plagiarized from a second rate comedian named Chris Rush. I think he enjoyed a brief span of fame in the 70s. You can find his hippy Jesus bit on YouTube–as McEwen surely did when he ripped it off.

        Rush wasn’t very clever or amusing either.

        McEwen actually suspects that Isabel Allende has stolen parts of his unpublished–and unfinished, novel.

        He mutters graphically obscure phrases in Scottish dialect and then feels superior because no one understands what he’s talking about.

        He’s not worth your time, Harvey; nor my own.
        He seems to feed on nastiness.
        After all it’s the only way he gets any reaction at all to the crap he writes.

        • Stephen Rosenthal September 1, 2017

          “… wasn’t very clever or amusing either.” — I’ve never met a drunk that was.

          “He’s not worth your time, Harvey; nor my own.” — Nor mine. That’s why I never respond to anything he writes anymore, no matter how absurd it is. To my way of thinking, silence speaks volumes.

          • LouisBedrock September 1, 2017

            You’re right, Stephen. Completely right.
            I’m still angry because I mistook him for a friend.

        • Harvey Reading September 1, 2017

          Good advice, Louis and Stephen. I hope to heed it. My Scotch-Irish temper is not something I am proud of, either in myself or my long-dead father, or his longer-dead father. I have once again let it control me. My apology for doing so to anyone I have offended.

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