- Fire Weather
- Farm Report
- Cannabis Chaos
- Little Dog
- Farm Getaways
- De-fanged Lions
- Frank Concert
- Donald Cried
- Keegan Case
- Dogg Style
- Jail Sniveling
- Measure B
- Yesterday's Catch
- Cannabis Cultivation
- Folk Concert
- Health Radio
- Black Americans
- SAVAK University
- Greenland Slush
- Wealthy Communities
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Warming temperatures and offshore flow will result in periods of critical fire weather early Tuesday morning through early Wednesday morning. Offshore winds are expected to gradually increase through the night Monday, peak Tuesday morning, and persist through Wednesday morning. Temperatures will also increase to well above normal Tuesday afternoon, with low minimum humidity. Poor overnight recoveries are also expected along upper slopes and ridges, particularly Tuesday night. A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity, and warm temperatures can contribute to extreme fire behavior. Any fires that develop will likely spread rapidly. Outdoor burning is not recommended.
(National Weather Service)
YORKVILLE FARM & GARDEN REPORT
It's crunch time on the farm and there's a lot swirling through our heads what with surreal politics, environmental disasters, random weather and just trying to run a business. I'll dive in and start where I left off and see where it goes. We seem to have created an animal sanctuary here. Good food and water brings a host of diners. We love them all (except starlings who come in hordes, aren't native, and drive natives out), but we also love our fruits and veggies which this year are being decimated by birds, mice, gophers, raccoons, possums, turkeys, and rats. The only critter who's been scarce this year is the bobcat. We've bird netted most of our trees (some very large) as the fruit starts to ripen as well as anything we sow or plant until its grown enough to take some punishment.
To finish the last farm report story of the packrat - after taking him to the edge of the property he was back the next day so we trapped him again and took him on a much longer trip - in a car - from which he hasn't returned. We hope he is happy in his new home.
This is a photo of the Night Blooming Cereus plant blooming in the potting shed. The plant's a monster and rather ugly but it's obviously loving the environment of our outdoor shower room which we use every night. And it outdid itself this season with nearly 20 flowers, 15 of which bloomed in one night exuding a heady scent. The flowers open only after dark and for only one night. They are stunning both in beauty and perfume.
Abraham Lincoln believed: "The greatest fine art of the future will be the making of a comfortable living from a small piece of land." I read this somewhere recently. He's absolutely right about the fine art part, but we must not be far enough into the future yet for the comfortable living part! Breaking even is a goal for us but is as yet an unattainable one. The truly comfortable part is to be working and creating with extended family - all our farm workers - and doing something that is completely positive and "real"...creating good food and not wasting anything, designing a beautiful landscape, planting lots of trees, growing a business by meeting people from all over the world face to face and having conversation and making connections, keeping physically active and mentally alert. These are the most important things to us with a world gone berserk and surreal.
Sois prudent (Be careful),
Nikki and Steve
TIME TO GET SERIOUS ABOUT ENFORCEMENT
by Jim Shields
“So what? The sheriff could be hitting one of these a day if he actually did his job. Instead we get these media-posing events to pretend that he is doing something. This entire county is full of crap like this. And the crazy thing is – They are still arriving!! Yeah, it’s getting worse. Enjoy!”
The foregoing comment appeared on social media this past week in response to a Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office raid where 12,000 plants were eradicated, and 33 environmental violations were found ranging from 17 separate streambed alterations and water diversions to trash found in or near streams. The combined task force of cops and state and county resource agencies found fourteen marijuana cultivation sites that were made up of 19 greenhouses and 10 outdoor marijuana grows. They arrested two Florida men who were charged with felony cultivation, possession for sales of marijuana, possession of equipment to chemically synthesize a controlled substance (BHO), and the 33 environmental crimes.
Humboldt County’s marijuana ordinance is considered by all familiar with it to be an exceptionally “grower friendly” set of rules made even friendlier due to lax enforcement.
Water Deeply is an independent media project dedicated to covering water issues and problems in California. As the long-time district manager of the Laytonville County Water District, it’s one of the primary, non-fake sources I rely upon to keep current on state and local water issues. In a recent report, Water Deeply looked at what’s going on in Humboldt County on the weed-water front. Here are some excerpts from that report.
Mikal Jakubal, a Humboldt County resident who has grown marijuana for years at his residence alongside a tributary of the Eel River called Redwood Creek …Jakubal suspects many growers who apply for permits might make the required improvements only temporarily, reverting to less sustainable — and illegal — activities once they are on the books as legal growers.
“There is minimal ability to enforce standards beyond the initial inspection,” he says. “That’s just the reality. If you have hundreds or thousands of growers, all up dirt roads behind locked gates, and [authorities] have to give them advance notice of any site visit, it’ll be super easy to save your stored water, pump out of the creek all summer and then keep your tanks as back-up.”
Scott Greacen, executive director of Friends of the Eel River, is convinced new pot-growing operations, legal or not, will worsen conditions for fish in places.
“How many regulated operators can you have along Redwood Creek and still have coho salmon in it?” says Greacen, referring to the Eel’s south fork tributary alongside which Jakubal, for one, grows his marijuana … Most growers in California operate at small production levels, often on rural mountain homesteads, and often using organic growing methods. But Greacen discounts popular notions that pot is a low-impact crop. “All the talk about how this is a sustainable industry — it just doesn’t add up,” he says.
Greacen says many northern California populations of coho and Chinook salmon and steelhead trout were barely clinging to existence in the years leading up to the drought, and the recent surge in marijuana growing activity has wiped them out. “This is what the process of extinction looks like. It’s really scary.”
But Greacen feels more certain that fish and pot cannot coexist under current circumstances.
“Maybe making Humboldt County the epicenter of legal weed isn’t the best idea if we also want to have salmon in our rivers,” he says.
Down here in Mendocino County, Sheriff Tom Allman for the second time in a couple of months paid a visit to the Board of Supervisors to address them on their pot ordinance.
At a July BOS meeting, Allman appeared to address the Board on his plan to resurrect a county ballot measure on mental health funding. He also took time to tell the Board he was fully aware of what was occurring throughout the county with the proliferation of huge, unpermitted grows.
He emphatically stated, “The free reign of marijuana has to be reeled in … People illegally growing marijuana in Mendocino County seem not to be aware the MCSO is still making them a priority.”
This past Tuesday, he once again admonished the Board: “Please do not continue to say that marijuana is a totally harmless herb that God put on this Earth, and we don’t know why we’re fighting over it. … There has been no punishment for people who have been thumbing their noses at you. They’re no longer thumbing their noses at law enforcement; they’re thumbing their noses at the Board of Supervisors by the nice, calm, easy laws that have been made. And they’re so gentle. And we’re so understanding. But that doesn’t stop the homicides.”
He then went to recite a short litany of marijuana-related crimes, including homicides as recent as last week when a body was found on Covelo Road, and the explosion at a Willits extraction lab that contained $3 million worth of sophisticated equipment.
In a New York Times story published two weeks ago, it took a look at the current ganja scene in Mendocino County, focusing in part on the link between pot and crime:
David Eyster, the Mendocino district attorney, said the surge in the marijuana business had brought with it violent crime, which did not appear to be going away anytime soon.
Among the cases he is handling are a robbery and slashing death of a grower; the murder of a man at a marijuana farm by a co-worker wielding a baseball bat; an armed heist in a remote area by men who posed as law enforcement officers; and a robbery by two men and a juvenile who were invited to a barbecue and then drew guns on their hosts and fled with nine pounds of marijuana.
“The folks in the big cities, they don’t realize that out in the rural areas where the marijuana is being grown, there are people being robbed, kidnapped and in some cases murdered,” Mr. Eyster said.
The violent crime rate in Mendocino County is seven times higher than in Los Angeles County, according to F.B.I. data from 2015.
Other counties — expecially rural, Northern California counties — are experiencing the same problems as Mendocino County.
As I prevously shared with you, Calaveras, which like Mendocino County is rural with a small population, has recently legalized ganja which has led to an explosion of mega-grows mostly from an invasion of outsiders. As pointed out in that earlier column, “Calaveras is an economically depressed county of 45,000 residents, a former mining and timber region, had an established pot growing tradition. And last year, after the devastating Butte Fire scorched vast areas of the county, destroying 860 houses, its Board of Supervisors plotted a comeback by seeking to monetize the thriving local marijuana culture by taxing and licensing for-profit cultivation. The pot explosion has been a challenge for local law enforcement. After the Butte Fire, illicit growers — mostly non-residents — parked battered trailer homes on burned out lots and planted pot farms, many siphoning water from streams and dumping pesticides. Calaveras, however, is poised to become a less pot-friendly place. The Board of Supervisors now is considering reversing course and banning all commercial marijuana farms, complaining that the county’s cannabis business experiment is bringing in unwanted outsiders, rogue growers and environmental degradation.”
Last month, the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office launched an escalated eradication program dubbed “Operation Terminus” in conjunction with five agencies including the California National Guard, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the California State Water Resources Control Board. The initial foray resulted in the arrest of 35 suspects, and the eradication of 27,000 marijuana plants and 25 tons of marijuana. Also seized were were 11 firearms, many of which had serial numbers scratched out, two sets of body armor and a number of assault rifles. Among those arrested were individuals from areas outside Calaveras County, including Sacramento and Santa Rosa to as far away as Staten Island, N.Y. According to the sheriff some of those busted were individuals who had been denied Calaveras County cultivation permits.
Up in Siskiyou County 12 days ago, a state senator whose district includes Siskiyou, sent Gov. Jerry Brown a letter requesting he declare the county to be in a state of emergency. The letter opens with Sen. Ted Gaines explaining his request:
I am writing to urge you to declare a State of Emergency in Siskiyou County to address the public health and public safety consequences resulting from the proliferation of illegal marijuana cultivation in the county.
All laws regarding legal marijuana cultivation are being ignored by individual criminals, crime syndicates and drug cartels, who are treating the public and private lands of Siskiyou County as their own illicit greenhouse, harming citizens, law enforcement personnel, and the agricultural community.
The Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office, despite outstanding leadership, has simply too few officers to effectively police such a vast geographic area on its own and is in desperate need of any and all assistance the state could provide, including deployment of California National Guard personnel to assist them in their mission to stamp out illegal grows.
The illegal grows are also notorious polluters and are doing grave damage to California’s environment, with indiscriminate use of toxic pesticides and rodenticides that are not monitored by California’s regulatory authorities. This unchecked use of dangerous chemicals is corrupting our soil and water, in addition to poisoning animals in and around the illegal grow sites.
According to a local news report, Kelly Huston, the deputy director of the governor’s Officer of Emergency Services, said the agency is reviewing the senator’s request. Huston said there are ways state officials can help even if the governor doesn’t declare an emergency … (Sikiyou County Sheriff Dave) Lopey last month worked with federal officials to arrest two farmers who he says offered him a $1 million bribe to shield their plants and workers from law enforcement scrutiny.
Lured by inexpensive land and privacy, marijuana farmers are flocking to rural counties in Northern California seeking to cash in on growing demand in the state and across the country. Many farmers are squatting illegally on state and federal lands in the region as well. “We need all the help we can get,” Lopey said. “Our quality of life is being impacted negatively.”
Mendocino County officials have been informed their ordinance is meaningless without enforcement.
It’s a message that’s been delievered numerous times by others, including yours truly, the Sheriff, the D.A., and representatives from state resource agencies, including Fish and Wildlife, and CALFIRE.
It can be argued that absent meaningful enforcement, legalization by any name is just chaos.
(Jim Shields is the Mendocino County Observer’s editor and publisher, and is also the long-time district manager of the Laytonville County Water District. Listen to his radio program “This and That” every Saturday at 12 noon on KPFN 105.1 FM, also streamed live: http://www.kpfn.org)
LITTLE DOG SAYS, “Yeah, I took a knee yesterday in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick. I asked Skrag to join me. He gives me this derisive snort and says, "I don't do symbolism," and walks on.”
THE ANDERSON VALLEY, parts of it anyway, are featured in the October edition of Sunset Magazine. The piece, accompanied by color photos in which some of our fairest damsels dominate, is called “Mendocino Farm Getaways.”
THREE LONG-TIME members of the Anderson Valley Lion’s Club have been de-fanged. One was given the bounce, two quit in solidarity with the bounced, all of which has got to be a first for the local service group. Who gets kicked out of the Lion’s Club? Is it even possible?
RAVE REVIEWS from everyone who attended last week’s Grange concert by violin and cello master, Gabriella Frank. I’m kicking myself for missing it, and certainly won’t miss the next one.
IN THE DISCUSSION following the Grange Hall screening of Anderson Valley's own Jesse Wakeman's film "Donald Cried" I sat silent because I didn't feel I had anything to say. While I did watch the movie, because of bad hearing and a somewhat muffled PA system I had heard practically none of the dialog. But I still have something to say.
FIRST would be that I thoroughly enjoyed the movie even though I got little of the funny stuff of which there was obviously plenty throughout because of the constant laughter and titters from the rest of the audience — enough that I suspect the movie might be a comedy. I did find it humorous, though more subtly so. My experience I attribute both to the precision of the acting and a crispness to the screenplay that gave focus to an otherwise for me muted experience. Refreshingly it wasn't a movie packed with undertones of stirring meaning. Rather it was a believable and humorous vignette that had me at times identifying with and cringing at each of the two personality divergent protagonists brought together by the return of one, after many years, to his youthful home town to straighten out the affairs of his just-passed mother. (Actually I find out later it's his grandmother.) Peter was austere and mufflered and needed help as his wallet was lost (Took me a while to figure this out) and his car wouldn't start. He finds this help in an old friend Donald who is still living in the house just across the street from grandma. Donald is socially exorbitant — over the top in every way and probably because of this, deeply in need of a friend. Both characters were utterly believable. Oh what a delightful romp the two had and the surprises that unfold.
MY ONLY CRITICISM might have been found in the name of the movie "Donald Cried" for it set up in me a tension, an expectation (a mutter of dread) that was not fulfilled in the movie itself. But as I write this I realize a quiet pathos blushing Donald's need was present and the tears not shone on camera were silently in his heart as Peter walked into the bus or train terminal that would whisk Donald's (only?) friend away. Low budget certainly but not low quality - missing but not missed was the surreal gloss of a Hollywood production. Written by Mt. View Rd. resident Jesse Wakeman and another Anderson Valley homeboy Kyle Espeleta. Directed by their buddy Kris Avedisian. Jesse played Peter, Kris Donald, Kyle had a cameo part. I apologize to those of you that feel it isn't fair of me to review a movie that I haven't heard. It's just that I found brilliance and bravura in the silence. Available on Netflix. You should watch it. (David Severn)
ACE BOONVILLE GARDENER, Lucille Estes, tells me that peonies do very well in the Anderson Valley. “They just aren’t on offer at local nurseries much,” she says, before reminiscing about two tree peonies she has seen in Boonville, one behind “a vacant little house” in SoBo, the other somewhere on the Johnson Ranch. Lucille, and no surprise here, has a backyard full of this most beautiful flower, a glimpse of which just might put you off dahlias forever, not that both aren’t high on this incompetent gardener’s most preferred list.
I’LL CONFESS to being highly skeptical of plans to create a water and sewer system for Boonville. I just don’t see many property owners cooperating. Me? Whatever, as the young people say. If my neighbors want it, count me in, although my place is blessed with a copious supply of water so utterly without contaminants I burst into song every time I turn on the tap. Sewage disposal? A state-of-the-art commercial system was here when I bought the place. I don’t need a water and sewage system, but… But here comes a spiffy post card embossed with a very cool, R. Crumb-inspired graphic of a water tap on it, and right behind it here’s a return receipt letter with five bucks postage on it, both from our Community Services District, all of it telling me that the systems are the next thing to inevitable.
THE KEEGAN CASE will never get to trial. If there were a real possibility that it would, Keegan's attorney would have (1) sealed the grand jury transcript and (2) never would have allowed Keegan to testify. I certainly agree it's all beyond sad, and Mr. Hansem's surmise that Keegan probably flipped out and struck Mrs. Keegan with murderous force is probably what happened. However, in my experience with Mrs. Keegan, and I think my experience is widely echoed by everyone who knew her, what I saw was a prudent, conventional woman who I have a hard time believing would come home late at night (around 10pm), pop powerful downers and pound down an intoxicating amount of whisky on top of them. That's suicidal behavior, and the only person who has claimed Susan Keegan was suicidal is her husband. I was immediately suspicious at his claim that she was so loaded she fell and hit her head hard enough to kill her. The fatal wound was to the top of her head, and how you fall and hit the top of your head in a drunken swoon would seem to be impossible. (Maybe more experienced drunks than me will confirm my own late night tumbles under the influence, which have never been sudden drop-falls but more like a slow-mo swoon during which I've hit stuff on the way down but not with enough force to do any real harm. Drunks routinely survive car crashes, don't they?) I think it's interesting that Keegan blithely confirms he wrote dope scrips, just as blithely excusing himself as also a likely consumer. There's no evidence Susan Keegan was an oxy addict, or any other kind of addict. No one ever noticed so much as a hint that she was an habitual drunk or pill popper. As the only media in the county to even cover the Keegan case, that sad fact itself testifies to the media vacuum in Mendocino County. Back in the day, when Mike Geniella covered Mendo this thing would have been in front of a jury years ago. PS. A few days after his wife’s death, Keegan hired a criminal defense lawyer, Keith Faulder. If your wife dies in a home accident, you hire a criminal defense attorney?
ONE MORE THING: Keegan claimed to the GJ that "Bruce got his facts wrong." Which facts did Bruce get wrong? We take great pains to get our facts right, and if they aren't right we make corrections as quickly as we can. Try getting a correction into, say, the Chron or the PD; if they print it at all it will be so long after the fact that only the wronged person will remember the context. A reputable critic will say, "This is wrong, and here is the correction." Simply stating, "You got it wrong," is childish but often sufficiently damning in today's intellectual context, where much that is said and written would have embarrassed a sixth grader pre-FaceBook.
CRUZIN’ WITH TONE DOGG
I've been your subscriber nearly 30 years. It's been an interesting and colorful ride, but nothing that prepared me for a diary of days, riding dirty with the Tone Dogg! I gasped at first, then started with numerous small smiles and chuckles at the repeated blasts of IRONY and BLACK HUMOR (I'm talking about the LIFE, not the RACE). That's beyond a vice or a habit; that's a LIFESTYLE CHOICE. By the time I rolled into the second column of the back page, I just busted out laughing. Dogg, you don't get it. ALL YOUR TROUBLES begin and end with you and your lifestyle choices.
That said, I'd LOVE to see the guy submit a monthly report, long or short, but preferably long. Oh, please ask Flynn if he might go through this letter of Dogg's and break down most of the obvious slang. I guess I just don't get around the "in crowd" much these days, and miss the colorful changes in our ever evolving language. Flynn could do fine piece on Dogg's slang and help us old timers out.
Dogg might unknowingly be channeling Hunter S. Thompson's "Gonzo" style of writing, where the writer injects himself into the story he's covering, soon becoming the center of the action while reporting on it. Think of HST's coverage of The Kentucky Derby, running amok on a combo of substances and interacting rather poorly with the public. That sounds like Dogg on the loose at the music festival — and it's all downhill from there.
Thanks again for a damn good read, every week.
THE VOICE OF EXPERIENCE
I just want to clarify some things people say about the Mendocino County Jail. First of all: quit your sniveling. I’ve been in and out of that jail since the 80s and if anyone knows the conditions it is i. Second, when it comes to the COs, you have to give respect to get respect. When there is a serious issue with a CO belive me, Lt. Bednar will take care of it accordiongly and professionally. Third, when it comes to mental health — which I’m not —I see just a bunch of addicts trying to get a fix, clogging up the mental health resources. Yes, they should build a mnetal health facility, but find an effective way to distinguish the addicts from those who need it. Fourth, the food? What the f___, guys? I gain weight every time I go to the Mendocino County Jail.
So last but not least, I say: Jail is what you make of it; yeah, it sucks, but isn’t it supposed to?
AN ON-LINE DISCUSSION OF THE PROPOSED IN-COUNTY PSYCH CENTER:
ED NOTE: The implication that a mental health facility will lead to increased use of psychiatric pharmaceuticals is a stretch beyond reason. To link this much needed facility to the harms associated with psychiatric drugs is unfair, and has nothing to do with the pros or cons of Measure B. But, assuming the place is not dominated by psychiatric hacks whose idea of help is medication unto zomboid status, and assuming that the under-staff isn't a gang of sadists of the Nurse Rachett type, and assuming most staff will be kind and compassionate people, all safe assumptions with Sheriff Allman, vote Yes on Measure B.
* * *
Do tell–what will happen to the unfortunate perps who wind up in this proposed facility? What ‘treatment’ options are there? Do you KNOW? Nope, you haven’t a clue: it’s drugging and only drugging, with a smattering of ineffective CBT ‘group therapy’ for show. Wake the hell up. At least when you go to jail there’s a clear end to one’s confinement. Sentence served, you’re released. Not so with commitment to an inpatient mental facility. If your insurance is lucrative enough to mine for revenue, your diagnosis and treatment plan will be adjusted. If you ever challenge the powerful fake-science DOCTORS on their interpretations and treatment plans, they’ll tell you you’ve got Anosognosia. So much evidence out there of the abuse of emotionally wrought people by the fake ‘science’ known as psychiatry, but you cling to your comfort zone while already troubled people get scapegoated and killed off. Psych drugs KILL. Psych drugs are *causing* distress/suicide/violence. Lots of information out there linking psychiatry and eugenics. Not everyone has a warm, loving family/community to go to when the going gets tough. It is only through the grace of the goddess that any one of you have escaped the “Mental Health” system, because anyone at all can end up with a diagnosis (the DSM5, pathologizing life)…which would then be treated by drugs.
* * *
The credentialed people think drugs are helpful. Myself, I’ve never met a shrink I’d trust to make me a sandwich, let alone shove psychotropics down my gullet. (I’m totally with Dr. Breggin.) The primary benefit of the proposed facility is to the taxpayers. Rather than send psych patients to distant facilities to twiddle their meds, the med twiddling would occur in Mendo at a huge net savings. And of course mental patients would be closer to their families, or what’s left of them.
* * *
“The credentialed people think drugs are helpful.”
Of course they do…guild interests/pharma kickbacks help entrench that erroneous belief. Why the heck would they promote something that would actually *help* people, hey? That would put them outta business~
What you are suggesting is something like voting for the ‘lesser evil’…thus perpetuating the problem and not addressing the causes of distress/dysfunction.
* * *
“There are, apparently, 35 billion reasons why the system refuses to change one iota. The people distributing the wealth from “mentally ill” people aren’t willing to let go of a dime and actually seek to increase that 35b by any means that they can. Their greed and lack of concern for the human species is appalling. If that 35 billion were used to feed, clothe and house people, strengthen communities, etc., those atop of the current “pot o’gold) would lose not only their wealth but the power that comes with it. The system operates from a twisted base where truly preventing outcomes is seen as something to be avoided. The only way to fight this is to quit being good consumers. Quit literally buying into a system that is already too powerful and uses their control to kill people. Help the people in your community however you can. Let people know that “seeking professional help” has hidden consequences. Change yourself and educate yourself so when the moment presents itself (and it will) you can tell people you opinion and back it with facts (Psyche drugs kill and this is why/how). People will get tired of being sick and tired. The facade of “mental health” complex is beginning to face some challenges.”
* * *
I think we should call the proposed mental health tax what it is…It's about getting mental health off the Sheriffs plate, it’s about freeing up space and time in the jail, it about the of warehousing these mentals…they make folks uncomfortable.
And then it’s about those who have existing facilities like the old Howard Memorial Hospital looking to get them money eaters off of their plates…
This mental thing is an inconvenient situation for the political powerful in the county. The tax has NO specifics at all…just give us the money and trust us to do the right thing…
In Willits a few years ago we had a School Bond fandango that ended up costing 5 mil more because the leaders never bothered to read the fine print, hence the new, much needed, science building got cut from the project.
I don’t trust government to do anything they say they are going to do…and in this case, they ain’t even say’n.
* * *
“The tax has NO specifics at all…just give us the money and trust us to do the right thing…”
Well said, we would never consider auditing Camille Schraeder’s operation for that very reason, trust. We trust that her “FOR PROFIT” mental health agency isn’t taking us to the cleaners at 16 million a year. We trust that her program is having positive outcomes without any real data to prove otherwise. We just trust because its the right thing to do, and its only money.
No specifics, but Anderson says they’re coming soon. With just a little more than a month left, will we have time to debate? We’ll have to trust that we will.
“Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.” —Albert Einstein
* * *
Actual practices of county mental/behavioral health departments are obscured by multiple layers of organizational protection, starting with the contracts for outsourced services (typically approved under the consent agenda) by the Board of Supervisors, recommended by the County Administration, on request of the MH/BH Department staff.
Reporting of “performance outcome measures” to the state does not yield greater “transparency” if that same reporting does not reach the local MH/BH advisory board, appointed by the Board of Supervisors.
Several years ago, oversight of the local expenditure plans for implementation of Mental Health Services Act-funded programs was handed back to the local Board of Supervisors, with the exception of the component vaguely named “Innovation.”
Three-year MHSA expenditure plans are crafted by the local MH/BH Department staff, with hands-on participation by the local MH/BH advisory board (unless they are not directly involved, in violation of Welfare & Institutions Code Section 5600, and specifically Section 5604).
The local MH/BH advisory board is charged — by the state — with responsibility for oversight of services delivered under both contracts with the state: one for “traditional” (Medi-Cal billable) services (chiefly concentrated in sequestering out-of-line or off-med problem people, using crisis intervention and psychiatric isolation), the other one for MHSA-funded “community services” like prevention and “early intervention.”
The local MH/BH advisory board is further tasked with informing the county Board of Supervisors of community needs demanding new or different services (i.e., “innovation”) from the MH/BH Department, as well as ineffective department practices or outsourced services.
However, if the county Board of Supervisors provides no staff support for its advisory boards, committees, and commissions, and provides its appointed oversight bodies with inadequate budgetary allowances to accomplish their state-defined missions, no such oversight and advisement ever occurs.
Only the bean counters in the state’s dungeons care whether an individual’s diagnosis — requiring temporary or long-term incarceration and chemical treatment regimens — meets the credibility criteria for reimbursement of local MH/BH Department Medi-Cal claims. Fiscal interpretation of long-past decisions by local MH/BH case or crisis intervention specialists hit the Department budget years after the mistakes have been made, while individuals challenging the prescribed treatment regimen may lose months or years of their lives struggling not just with the internal impairments of mental disturbance, but also with the agency “protecting” them from “harming themselves or others” while segregating them from communities on which they depend — if they have them to begin with.
And the ultimate recourse for misuse of this authority? File a “grievance” with the MH/BH Department’s “Member Services Resolution Officer” — whose job it is to make sure that there are no grievances that rise to the attention of the public. The number and “resolution” of filed grievances is reported quarterly in a minimally noticed, off-site public hearing, the conclusion of which produces a single set of numbers that get passed along to the local MH/BH advisory board. General complaints reported by the Patient’s Rights Advocate to the MH/BHAB are brushed aside, because the Department staff says that individual grievances have been resolved, and the MH/BHAB has no mechanism of its own to address system problems.
Don’t you worry your pretty little head, fair Lily. “Mental Health” is a billion dollar racket that feeds the compliant agency line staff and upper echelon bureaucrats, while making sure that local merchants and good germans are shielded from the dregs of society — and anyone who questions their authority.
CATCH OF THE DAY, September 25, 2017
MITZI BANKSON, Laytonville. DUI, probation revocation.
TIMOTHY CHAPMAN JR., Ukiah. Probation revocation.
KIRSTEN GOEDINGHAUS, Calpella. Petty theft.
TIMOTHY HIATT, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, resisting.
LINDA REMMEL, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
JORDAN SHAW, Talmage. Probation revocation.
CHRISTOPHER WESTBROOK, Willits. DUI-drugs, probation revocation.
CANNABIS CULTIVATING RE-VISITED
by Shepherd Bliss
Sonoma County, California — Readers of this reporter’s August local and national articles on unpermitted cannabis growing expressed both appreciations and appropriate criticisms. Their feedback has made me aware of how complicated this issue is.
I am a patient at Peace in Medicine, a dispensary here in Sebastopol, California, and appreciate its CBD cannabis. It is essential to this 73-years-old person, as it is to other elders and those with a wide variety of health issues for which cannabis is an appropriate plant medicine.
Cannabis can be more healthy than some of the chemical medications to which people get addicted; it is better for one’s health than alcohol. Medications such as opioids can drastically worsen one’s health, create addictions, and even cause death.
“I got my cannabis card not to get stoned, which I am too old to do,” commented businessman Andy Cohen. “I use CBD topicals, as well as tinctures, because of my arthritis and gout. It works better than Tylenol or Ibuprofen. It doesn’t damage my liver or put a hole in my stomach.”
This article seeks to promote dialogue among cannabis growers, users, critics, government officials, and others. Participants in the expanding cannabis business have educated me about some of the complications, especially with respect to applying for permits and how expensive they are.
I support cannabis growing by locals on appropriate sites that do not damage water use by humans, other animals, and plants or harm nature in other ways. Such operations provide good agricultural employment for people. These small farms literally “keep families afloat,” as one cannabis farmer expressed.
Cannabis Growers and Allies Speak Up
I have visited small and medium-size cottage cannabis operations and been informed and impressed by responsible growers. Among the things they said are the following:
“The legalization of marijuana has opened a Pandora’s Box, which will have many unintended consequences.”
“We started growing high CBD medicinal cannabis for my cancer. We could not find it anywhere and realized we needed to grow it ourselves to insure purity and viability for my health. Unfortunately, we will also quit after this year’s harvest because of the severe and expensive regulations of the county. It's heart-breaking that this vital medicine is being capitalized on and forcing intelligent, experienced growers out of the market.”
“I understand your frustration and anger with the recent opportunistic, irresponsible "wildcat" growers you are encountering, but I think it is a mistake to lump them together with people who have devoted their lives to improving marijuana strains and who feel strongly about the benefits it provides.”
“An impediment to getting small growers to apply for permits is that marijuana is still illegal as far as Federal law goes. Long-time small growers fear that by applying for permits they will become sitting ducks when and if the Feds decide to hold raids. Given the current political climate, this is a reasonable fear.”
“Mom and Pop cottage growers are being marginated by corporations.”
Marijuanaland: Dispatches from an American War is a recent book by Jonah Raskin. In a September article in the AVA (Anderson Valley Advertiser), from Mendocino County, he writes the following: “The cannabis story is a story of freedom and incarceration, a rags-to-riches story, as well as a tale about American capitalism, which will capitalize on anything and everything that’s profitable. Weed brings in big bucks.”
Sonoma County--along with the nearby Northern California Mendocino, Humboldt, and Marin counties--are the four largest growers of cannabis in the U.S. We are experiencing what some call the “green rush of capital” and the “corporatization of cannabis.” Multi-national corporations from outside that show little or no respect for the local environment or communities concerns many locals.
A Sept. 10 New York Times article on Mendocino County reports that investors from Russia, China, Jamaica, Mexico, and Bulgaria are involved in marijuana growing there. Seven times more marijuana apparently is exported from California than used by the local market.
An estimated 5,000 cannabis cultivators exist in Sonoma County. That number may expand, since growing cannabis only became legal in 2016. Yet as of Sept. 12 only 115 cannabis applications had been submitted. The Aug. 31 deadline to submit an initial one-page application was extended to Oct. 31, with the complete application due June 1, 2018.
“We want to see more cultivators coming out of the shadows and into the light,” said Supervisor Lynda Hopkins. “The solution is to bring all these growers into compliance,” said cannabis attorney Omar Figueroa. “A crackdown doesn’t work. We don’t need more prohibition. We need regulation.”
Neighbors Complain About Un-permitted Grows
Various people contacted this reporter about incidents similar to the two unpermitted operations here in the Blucher Creek Watershed, which I previously reported that neighbors were able to get shut down. They were environmentally destructive and problematic, especially to families with young children. Our Bloomfield/Lone Pine/Cunningham Neighborhood Association connected other nearby neighbors to the correct code enforcement officer, who got unpermitted cannabis grows removed.
“In our rural residential neighborhood a stop work order was issued last week to the owner of an operation, but the grow and the work toward harvest continues. People are camping on the property in at least one trailer,” said one neighbor.
“There is no septic or legal electrical power or plumbing. The only water source is a man-made seasonal pond that dries up by this time. A non-permitted road was cut through the entire eighty acre parcel up to the top where there are at least six large grow houses, each approximately one thousand square feet in size,” he added.
“We are concerned for our wells and springs with regard to the clear cutting of so many trees and then shoving them off the ungraded dirt road, which will likely turn to sludge as the rains come. Everyone in this once peaceful neighborhood is mindful of our water supply and use; we all work to maintain our shared dirt driveway. We are painfully aware that two of the largest and extremely devastating fires in California history were caused by illegal grow set-ups such as this one in our tiny neighborhood,” he concluded.
Among the positive responses to our interventions to support our rural neighborhood have been the following: “The neighbors’ actions inspire me to rouse from my ‘it's inevitable’ victim attitude toward possibly illegal cannabis operations. Taking action against rule breakers has nothing to do with whether we ourselves are cannabis consumers, or how we feel about the burgeoning pot culture,” wrote Randi Farkas.
“With the legalization of cannabis, it’s important to move towards county policies of accountability on everyone's part, including growers, lawmakers, code enforcement, clearly articulated zoning laws and neighbors not looking the other way, but holding their neighbors accountable. I voted yes to legalize cannabis growing. I did not vote yes to support black-market businesses that suck the life out of our communities,” wrote Roberta Teller.
It is important for governmental agencies and members of our communities to come together to ensure that we continue to enhance our economy, while keeping the integrity of our neighborhoods and environment in tact.
As one successful rural activist said, “Public exposure is what gets the attention of elected officials.”
(Dr. Shepherd Bliss <firstname.lastname@example.org> has farmed for two decades in Sonoma County, has contributed to 24 books and recently retired from college teaching.)
TRACY GRAMMER IN MENDOCINO, OCTOBER 14
Hey all you Tracy Grammer fans - Tracy will be playing for us again here on the coast. It's been a couple years since her last Mendocino Coast concert and she is bringing along all new original tunes! Renowned for her pure voice, deft guitar work, spirited violin playing, and masterful storytelling, Grammer has enjoyed 12 consecutive years as one of folk radio's 50 top-played artists. Come out to Matheson Performing Arts Center on Saturday, October 14, for a solo performance. The doors open at 7:00 for this 7:30 concert, and tickets are $20, available at BrownPaperTickets.com http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3067133). For more information contact Pattie at 937-1732, or email email@example.com. This production is in cooperation with Mendocino High School's Media Program and concessions will be run by a student group.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY UNO
“Taking the knee” is just more virtue signaling. What does it actually accomplish? It gives the impression of something worthwhile without any actual substance. It’s the flip-side of the posturing you see among White campus snowflakes. In those bubbles of narcissism for the absurdly privileged does any of their ululating help any object of their exaggerated concern? Nope, and that’s the point. It’s the easy way out because they’re not willing to help. Incur hardship or expense or inconvenience? You must be joking. All the dirty work is for someone else. Gestures are as far as they’re willing to go. It’s all about “look at me, look at me.” I don’t know why Trump bothers. He’s got bigger problems than the play-acting of concussed multi-millionaire football players and billionaire team bosses.
WHAT THE HEALTH?
KZYX: What The Health Group on Dr. Richard Miller's Radio Show Tomorrow (Tuesday) at 9 AM
Tomorrow morning (Tuesday) the What The Health event planners will be interviewed on Dr. Richard Miller's "Mind, Body, Health and Politics" show at 9 AM on KZYX (90.7 FM and 91.5 FM). If you have time, please tune in. Have a healthy day!
by James Kunstler
There’s a lot to complain about in this deranged republic — if it even still is one — but the burdens of being a multimillionaire football player would not be at the top of my list. Personally, I find it a little peculiar that we have to play the national anthem before any sporting event. All it really shows is how insecure we are as a nation that we have to display our love of country in this obsessive manner. Same with congressmen and their stupid flag lapel pins, or the flag in front of Denny’s chain restaurants. Are eaters of the “lumberjack slam” so disoriented when they leave the place that they need to be reminded what country they’re in? “Oh, look hon, were in the USA after all….”
What burns my ass is seeing baseball players in camo uniforms, as if they were an extension of the US military. What’s up with that? Is San Diego suddenly a theater of war? And why do US soldiers need to wear camo uniforms when shopping for eyeglasses? There used to be a distinction between battle dress and what you wore the rest of the time, even during a world war. And why on earth is it necessary to fly Air Force fighter jets over the stadium before the Super Bowl? Who authorizes the spending for that? Who are we trying to scare?
Of course, this new gale of ill-feeling stirred up by our intemperate president, the Golden Golem of Greatness, is driven by the oceanic currents of racial animus that are drowning the country more ruinously than the recent spate of hurricanes. The #Take the Knee campaign was already there, and getting hotter, even before Mr. Trump chimed in. At least he didn’t issue the usual sort of vapid nostrum about “diversity” and all of us getting along. In his blunt, blundering way, he may force the nation to clarify exactly what the beef is.
Surely it’s not about the woes of professional athletes. They are representing the grievances of a different realm in black America, perhaps the places they came from, the city ghettos or the rural backwaters of Dixieland, or maybe even boring black suburbs like Prince George County, Maryland. And the lingering question, to be equally blunt, is: how much is non-black America keeping black America down?
I say non-black because there are plenty of other ethnic groups in the mix besides the dwindling majority of “white folks.” I daresay there is as much, perhaps more real animus between Asian-Americans and black Americans than between white and black. But Asian-Americans did not enslave black Africans, so they’re off-the-hook for that original sin.
Mostly what Asian newcomers do is demonstrate that it’s possible to succeed economically and educationally in this country even if you start out with a culture and language completely alien to American ways. This is especially noticeable in places of exacting achievement like Silicon Valley. If anything, Asians complain that they do so well in school that the universities have to tamp down their admission numbers to give other ethnic groups a chance.
There seems to be so much psychological displacement in the feelings between black and white America that it is next to impossible to sort out what to do next. White Dem-Progs (formerly “liberals”) appear to be so consumed with anxious consternation over the outcome of the long civil rights struggle that they are ready to commit a sort of hara-kiri to atone for their unforgivable cis-whiteness. To some extent, they have attempted to compensate by campaigning for an ever-growing list of other “marginalized” groups in the hopes of showing some positive results for social change — it’s just easier to get significant numbers of homosexuals into the corporate executive suites than to get blacks in there — but the Dem-Progs are still left with the grinding reality of a large, dysfunctional black underclass. They certainly can’t admit that their own contrived “remedies,” such as subsidizing out-of-wedlock births, has anything to do with it, or the devastating effect of “Multiculturalism” on some sort of unifying common culture based on values that everybody can agree on.
Similarly, black America displaces their oppositionality to whatever remains of a national common culture into the memes of “systemic racism and injustice.” It has evolved insidiously in their own culture since the 1960s, probably (I believe) as a reaction to the anxiety provoked by the civil rights legislation of 1964-65. It’s really about behavior, especially in school. Are you interested in speaking English? Believe me, that would help a lot in this society. Consider this: Ella Fitzgerald was not singing black or white back in the day. She was just singing.
(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page: https://www.patreon.com/JamesHowardKunstler)
SAVAC AT TEMPLE UNIVERSITY
by Louis Bedrock
My first and only tenured position at a university materialized in 1976 when the Director of the ESL Department of Temple University offered me the job. I had graduated Temple with distinction that same year and had been working part time in the ESL department for over a year. I was happy to have at last a full time position which would mean that I didn’t have to juggle three or more part time jobs. I had taught part time at various colleges and universities — including The University of Pennsylvania, since 1972 and I had to supplement my income by working as a taxi driver, a limousine driver, and a clerk at the YMCA — which granted me, in addition to my wages, a free membership, including the use of the pool and the gym and access to the sauna and steam baths.
My full time job would allow me to participate in curriculum design, run the language laboratory, and decide on what textbooks would be used. My schedule required that I teach from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., have lunch between 1 and 2, and spend the rest of the day either in the language lab or at meetings. Most of the time I went home at 4 p.m.; however, occasionally I had to cover evening classes if one of our teachers was absent.
Most of our students in 1976 were from Muslim countries: there were a large group from Saudi Arabia, quite a few students from Libya, a few from the Emirates, Syria, and Algeria, and a small group of Iranians. Of course, there were also a lot of students from Mexico, Central America, and South America; and there were a few others from Europe — mostly Eastern Europe.
Many of our students were graduates of universities in their own countries and needed to learn English to study in American graduate programs. Some already worked in their professions and needed English to keep up with the technology in their fields. Some of the Saudis were army officers. Lech, from Czechoslovakia, was an engineer. There was a philosophy teacher from Turkey and a medical doctor from Poland.
The Algerians were cosmopolitan, highly educated, and popular with Americans as well as with foreign students. They said of themselves:
—The Arabs tell us that we speak Arabic terribly; the French say our French is horrible; in a few months, people will be making fun of our English.
The Saudis were unprepared for the climate of the northeastern United States. They wore lightweight suits and had no overcoats. Winter came early in 1976-1977. Temperatures dipped into the 20s in October. Many Saudis wound up hospitalized with upper respiratory infections.
I became friends with many of the Saudis and Algerians. I was a guest at their houses and even went to visit the local mosques. The Algerians went out with me and my friends to bars and restaurants in Center City. The Saudis were serious Muslims and didn’t drink. They ate only foods that were halãl.
The Iranis seemed rather introverted. The two or three Irani women were very beautiful with their dark eyes and enchanting smiles. The men were quiet and kept to themselves. The two Irani men in my classes, Momar and Mehdi, were very serious students. They were the first to arrive at the language lab and last to leave. I often had to wait until Mehdi or Momar finished the tapes they were listening to before I closed up the lab.
The ESL Department occupied a building that looked like it was once a gym. The bottom floor had a large open space and was used for registration. The language lab occupied a large room on the first floor. Offices and classrooms were on the second floor.
I was on the second floor one day. I had just finished one class and was waiting for the second class to arrive when Mehdi came into the room and shut the door. He was agitated.
—Mr. Bedrock —he said somewhat breathlessly, —there’s a man in a suit asking questions about the Irani students. I think he may be SAVAK.
SAVAK was the secret police of the Shah of Iran. It seemed inconceivable that one of their agents would dare to come into our University and interrogate people about our students from Iran.
—Stay here, Mehdi —I said.
I immediately spotted the man Mehdi was talking about. He was dressed in a business suit and was speaking to a couple of Algerian students who looked uncomfortable. I approached the man, introduced myself, and asked who he was and what he was doing. He said he was from the Iranian embassy and was checking on the welfare of our Iranian students.
I offered to take him to the office of our director, Mr LeMaitre. He refused my offer and excused himself explaining that he had to run because he had an appointment.
I quickly found Guy LeMaitre and told him about the incident. Guy was not pleased. He contacted the Dean and the Chief of Campus Security. Someone from the Dean’s office contacted the Iranian Embassy. The Embassy spokesperson denied any knowledge of the incident and assured the Temple representative that SAVAK doesn’t operate outside of Iran. Mehdi and Momar were not convinced by the Embassy’s explanation. They told me about letters that had been opened both here and in Iran; about visits to their families in Iran by SAVAK agents.
The ESL staff was upset about the incident. Guy called a meeting and warned us to be careful about speaking to strangers — especially if they asked questions about our students.
Momar and Mehdi successfully graduated from Temple’s ESL program. I believe both were accepted into engineering programs at American Universities.
I remembered Mehdi and Momar when the Irani revolution broke out and the Shah was obliged to flee. I was angry when the United States offered sanctuary to the Shah. I would have preferred to see him tried by the people whom his SAVAK agents had terrorized.
GREENLAND’S ENTIRE SURFACE turned to slush for the first time in scientific history this year.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY DOS
If it fits, this may interest you concerning Humboldt and wealth:
It may not surprise you that tiny Trinidad has the wealthiest-per-capita millionaire population in Humboldt. Rich people live there, moved there, and like being there. Who wouldn't? It's got million-dollar ocean views and a small community feel.
What may surprise you is that iconoclastic Ferndale, a far larger population group, is Humboldt's second-wealthiest per capita community. Why is that?
I asked a resident friend that very same question several years back.
"Because our long-standing conservative families have worked their asses off for generations in the dairy industry," he said. "They keep their houses up and they might drive a nice late model truck --maybe-- but otherwise they keep a low profile for themselves. They paid off their herds and land and barns and equipment a long time ago, and we've had 120 years of consistent milk and butter money rolling into the family through good times and bad."
So, yeah, does that mean they inherited their wealth? Maybe, in a sense and in part, with a lot of hard work tossed in.
Nowadays, maybe Garberville or Alderpoint or Willow Creek are the wealthiest communities. In coffee cans, buried out in the back 40.
AV PRINCIPAL IS PAEMST FINALIST
Boonville, CA – In recognition of his teaching, Anderson Valley High School Principal Jim Snyder was named as one of three 2017 California Finalists for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST).
Congress established the PAEMST program in 1983, authorizing the President to recognize up to 108 teachers each year for their excellence teaching K-12 mathematics and science. The PAEMST award is the highest honor the United States government bestows for teaching these subjects at the K-12 level.
According to the PAEMST website, “The award recognizes those teachers who develop and implement a high-quality instructional program that is informed by content knowledge and enhances student learning…Awardees serve as models for their colleagues, inspiration to their communities, and leaders in the improvement of mathematics and science (including computer science) education. The National Science Foundation administers PAEMST on behalf of The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.”
Anderson Valley Unified School District Superintendent Michelle Hutchins was one of the people who wrote a letter of recommendation in support of Synder. She said, “Jim is an amazing teacher. My only hesitation in making him a principal this year is that it pulls him out of the classroom, but I hope and expect this leadership role will allow him to expand his influence and help even more AVUSD students. Congrats to Jim on a well-deserved award!”
Snyder will be presented with his PAEMST certificate and a monetary gift at a state mathematics conference later this year.
James Snyder teaches at Anderson Valley Junior Senior High School in the Anderson Valley Unified School District and has been in the profession for 10 years. He is the Mathematics Department Chair and has taught every level of mathematics from grade seven through
Advanced Placement (AP) calculus. He is the founder and director of the Boonville Space Program that challenges students to build a weather balloons to collect data and imagery from space. In 2015, Snyder was the California State Science Fair Teacher of the Year, Senior Division.
(AV Unified Press Release)