Mendocino County Today: Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017

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NOT SINCE the arrests of two administrators from the Mendo County Office of Education, has a school official appeared in the Sheriff's Log. And none other than DA Eyster himself appeared in court to make sure Laurie Harris, a member of the Willits School Board, was memorialized in the booking log's Catch of the Day.

Harris

WE THINK MS. HARRIS'S ritual humiliation for minor cultivation is a clear case of retribution for reasons unrelated to production of the love drug. The chronology of recent Harris-related events began when she was arrested for an outstanding warrant on her misdemeanor citation a year earlier after she appeared at the County Courthouse to ask for the return of $2,000 seized when her property was raided in November of 2016 by COMMET — County of Mendocino Marijuana Eradication Team. COMMET carried off 37 pot plants, three pounds of bud, and items described vaguely as "equipment," equipment presumably used in the cultivation and/or sale of marijuana. The bust, by Mendocino County standards, was suspiciously small given the number of much larger, much more environmentally destructive grows in every area of the county.

THE RECORD shows that deputies Andrade and Smith of the Sheriff's Department informed Peter Hoyle, also a periodic member of COMMET, that they could see "12-foot tall marijuana plants" thriving to the rear of the Harris property. Deputies concluded that the Harris's garden contained 25 plants more than the 12 allowed by Ms. Harris's medical recommendation. Hoyle went to Judge Henderson for a warrant for the police to enter the Harris property. (Note here that Henderson took months to issue the warrant the DA needed to raid the law offices of Rosen and Vogel for evidence Rosen had relating to the murder investigation of Peter Keegan.)

THE DEPUTIES said they hauled of 558 pounds of Mendo Mellow from the Harris homestead, which included the gross weight of the 12-footers under cultivation. The 558 figure is a typical inflation by pot raiders that makes it seem to the gullible sectors of the public that a major grow has been shut down.

THE COUNTY'S pot rules from the time says individual "patients" who were cultivating marijuana in the county on or before January 1st, 2016, and who possessed a valid doctor's recommendation, may be granted an exemption from the amount of plants they can grow, provided they apply for and obtain a permit from the Sheriff's Office. Which I believe, Mrs. Harris did.

MENDO LEGAL LIMITS are infinitely elastic. Medical pot grown with a permit was, at the time, 99, but the Supervisors, steadily adding to the confusion over the rules, were constantly amending them. Willits city law, however, says more than six plants is "a public nuisance."

AND, WHATEVER THE RULES, DA Eyster decides who will be criminally prosecuted and who won't. Why Mrs. Harris was run through a marijuana conviction process seems arbitrary in the extreme, given the realities of the exploding Mendo cultivation scene.

IT JUST HAPPENS that Ms. Harris, a matronly 54, is not popular with her school board colleagues, one of whose members at the time was Supervisor-appointee Georgeanne Crosky, whose husband is a detective with the Sheriff's Department. Another member of the Willits School Board is Chris Neary, DA Eyster's campaign manager. The Willits media was conveniently tipped off prior to the raid on the Harris property that the raid was poised to occur. Since the only people who knew that were cops, is it too much of a stretch that the media tip came from one of them? And which cop would have any interest at all in Willits School Board politics?

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KORTH HITS THORPE FROM THE NORTH

[click to enlarge]
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ED DESK

THIS PARA leapt from Scott Peterson's lengthy blast at management of Coast Hospital:

As soon as the Fort Bragg Hospital closes, a rousing cheer will be go up on the Mendocino Coast. Not from ‘Nice People’ like Charlene McAllister, Kate Rohr and Buzz Graham. Nor from highly paid administrators like Bob Edwards and Wade Sturgeon. The people cheering will be regular folk. All of them happy to be rid of that giant pork barrel once and for all.

I WON'T BE CHEERING. I'll be lamenting that another community-owned hospital, rare in the age of privatization, will be gone and our only medical Mendo option will be for-profit hospitals owned by a vegetarian cult organized by the Adventists. Besides which, from my own observation, and from the experience of my disabled sister, Coast Hospital has provided a level of care the Rockefeller family probably doesn't get. Incompetence at the managerial level and all, I think the loss of Coast Hospital would be one more local tragedy. If it can hang on until we get single-payer, Coast will continue to provide the best hospital care available in this area.

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A READER NOTES:

Thanks for putting it in print, that our liberal Democrats like Turner are using the cloak of being nicer than the rest of us to make corrupt deals and screw up Fort Bragg. Simon Smith is a transgender munchkin who has attended meetings in both personas, making first comments during input period as a male, returning later in quite a Mae West gown for another comment. He/she, or is it 'they'?, is popular with the small coteries of Turnerites.

MS. SMITH'S presentations are reminiscent of Tom Cahill's exciting appearances before the Fort Bragg City Council back in the day. Tom would approach the mike carrying a teddy bear under one arm, a ten-foot staff, decorated in Sioux warrior colors, under the other. He'd alternate these props as he spoke, brandishing the teddy bear when he was speaking softly, shouting and waving his war stick at the points he felt needed emphasizing.

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LETTER READ AT MCDH BOARD MEETING:

Dear MCDH Board, CEO Bob Edwards and CFO Wade Sturgeon,

Friends of the Hospital continues to meet several times a month to discuss the challenges the Hospital faces and to generate community solutions. As we move forward we have identified five steps that the Hospital can take immediately to increase public support. Implementation of these steps is critical should the Hospital wish to pass a parcel tax or a bond. Even if the Board decides to not go for a tax, these steps can still be utilized to create good faith with the community and strengthen public relations. Without acknowledging and acting upon these questions and solutions, the Hospital faces a real challenge in passing a parcel tax, regardless of what any community group can achieve through campaigning.

Use the upcoming survey to really listen to voters.

We have been reaching out to community members and we know the integral question for determining what the community is willing to give is: “What would it take for you to support a parcel tax?” It is this question that is going to give the Board the information needed to get a successful 2/3 vote. On the parcel tax time frame presented at the 9/23 Board meeting, the item “More Detailed Voter Opinion Survey Is Drafted” is listed for “early November,” with “Voter Opinion Survey Is Executed” to follow in “mid-November to early December.” Friends of the Hospital requests to participate in the creation and review of this survey before it is executed.

In addition, we urge the Administration and Board to not conduct just a phone survey but to have Internet as well as paper options available so the largest number of people possible can be surveyed. The survey should be administered to every business in the district along with individual citizens in order to gauge the views of the business community. Is the presence of the Hospital important to their business? Do they have suggestions with how to raise needed funds outside of a parcel tax? Non-profit organizations should also be surveyed as to the importance the Hospital has in their operations.

Along with this, is the absolute necessity that an anonymous, paper survey be conducted of all Hospital staff. We know that investment by the hospital personnel is critical to the success of this venture.

Put a parcel tax in context for voters.

The Administration and Board must be prepared to answer the question, “What does asking for a parcel tax now in the face of enormous future needs accomplish?” How does a parcel tax campaign focused on deliverables advance the vision, narrative and fulfillment of the hospital as one of the most important community institutions? How does the parcel tax help promote the idea that the health of the entire community is ensured by the health of full-service, locally controlled hospital?

Commit to improving the ER experience.

The ER is the gateway to the Hospital. Public perception of the ER affects attitudes towards the rest of the Hospital and can make or break acquiring potential clients. The Board and Administration need to create and make public a plan for improving patient outcomes in the ER.

How can the Hospital make sure that everyone leaving the ER is given a chance to comment on their experience in a variety of ways and feel insured that those comments will be assessed and acted upon? How can the Hospital improve management of staff in the ER to mitigate the poor public perception of doctors hired through EmCare? We understand that there is currently a peer-review committee that oversees ER staff, but it is not adequate and management must form new and more stringent methods to assure quality of care and accountability to the public.

Personally listen to the Public.

The Board and Administration must allow for more public input in meetings, especially meetings that are intended to “sell” the idea of a parcel tax. Meetings must be conducted up and down the Coast, including all points of the district and at least half of the time must be devoted to listening sessions as they are to presentation. There is no way to change a potential no-vote to a yes-vote if a voter feels their story has not been heard. Voters are more likely convinced through their experience of being listened to that the Hospital is willing to work with the community to improve care. The Board and Administration must be willing and able to field questions about the community’s lack of faith in the Hospital based on quality of care and mistrust in the current Administration and Board.

Share a convincing strategic vision.

The Administration and Board have to make a strategic plan, including a timeline, available to the public. At the 9/7 meeting with Friends of the Hospital, it was unclear if such a plan exists and responses by CEO Edwards were met with jaw-drops and gasps. Steve Lund indicated the Hospital does have a plan, but it is not yet effectively sharing it with the public. The 9/23 Board Retreat failed to materialize this plan again. This has to change immediately. What you have presented as strategic initiatives are useful, but are primarily operational, short term, and managerial in scope. A true Strategic Plan develops objectives that originate from the mission and values of the organization and must involve community stakeholder input and discussion. If such development was done as part of the public meetings described in your outline, it could ensure greater support for the Hospital.        The community will not support a tax for a business that has no clear method forward. This plan should be the jewel of the parcel tax presentation, laying out explicitly what the Hospital plans to do with the money collected from the parcel tax, and what we plan to do regardless of a tax to increase revenue, to cut costs, improve patient care, create better outcomes, generate positive employee morale, recruit talented staff, and truly be the Hospital our generous and committed community deserves.

We never received feedback on the document we shared with Steve Lund and Bob Edwards at the meeting on September 7th. This document asked twenty specific questions in six subheadings that are needed to improve community relations and move forward with a parcel tax campaign. We ask that you respond to it and this letter. We are invested in the Hospital and we are going to continue to fight for it to be the best it can be.

Sincerely,

Friends of the Hospital

Fort Bragg

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LITTLE DOG SAYS, “All I did was point out that the feng shui at this place was off, wayyyyy off, and now these people are calling me 'Feng' and 'Fortune Cookie.' Even that bum Skrag's laughing at me. He tells me yesterday, ‘Feng, old boy, so long as they put the feedbag on who cares what Feng does to Shui’."

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FREE SPEECH

by Marilyn Davin

Last week I grabbed my cell phone, pen, and a notebook and trudged up University Avenue to the Berkeley campus’s west entrance. I was there to check out the kick-off day for Berkeley’s Freedom Speech Week.

Free Speech Kick Off

 

I counseled myself as I wound up to the center of campus to resist falling victim to geezerhood and a bunch of pious generalizations about how much better demonstrations were when I arrived on campus back in 1970. Though the most famous events of the 1964-65 Free Speech Movement were long over by that year, there was still plenty going on with protests against the Vietnam War and racial and gender equality. And though I rarely hold grudges I’m still pissed off about the afternoon I was pepper-gassed from a helicopter as I was innocently walking to my English Lit Don Quixote class. Thank you Ronald Reagan, you were as lousy a governor as you were a president.

Sproul Plaza. Because of all the police barriers I couldn't get up higher for a decent establishing shot (not that there was much to see).

Anyway, as I approached the steps of Sproul Hall from the backside to the north, the first thing that hit me was the silence. I could even hear birds twittering away in the trees. Dozens of very substantial-looking barriers prevented the “demonstrators” from walking into the campus from the street. By my reckoning, the police outnumbered the “protestors” by conservatively at least five to one. There were campus police from Berkeley and other campuses, CHP officers, City of Berkeley officers and police from other cities. Streets around the campus were all blocked off, creating gridlock and lots of angry drivers who were re-routed to other streets. Sproul Hall Square was a sea of riot helmets. The police stood around, obviously bored, no doubt wondering why they were there in their “all dressed up with nowhere to go” mode.

I would be surprised if even a hundred participants were on hand that afternoon for the much-ballyhooed kick-off. A few people held up signs either supporting or dissing Trump. A few more signs mostly read that freedom of speech is either a good thing, or a bad thing if you don’t agree with the speaker. It was hard to get close to the sign-holders what with the thick ring of reporters pressing into them, all trying to salvage something from the non-story story. I was hoping to meet a real-life anarchist to ask about overall philosophy and the nature of his or her cause, but there wasn’t a black-masked person wielding a baseball bat or a flame thrower anywhere in sight – just a bunch of hip-looking, prosperous young people wandering around enjoying the warm late September afternoon.

Trump supporters posing for reporters

The silence was only a symptom of what was really missing. There was virtually no emotion, let alone any passion. If football fans were this disengaged and laid back, it would be the demise of the game. How can you demonstrate if you’re not excited about anything? Adding insult to injury, it must be said, was that the non-event happened in Sproul Plaza, near the Mario Savio steps. Nobody at this demonstration was shouting into a bullhorn and calling upon students to throw their bodies on the gears of the Machine.

Maybe things will heat up again. Maybe the anarchists are at this moment drawing up plans to run through Sather Gate again, setting fires and breaking windows in the student union. Maybe I’ll get the chance to talk with some of them, to ask them what they believe and how burning down the campus furthers their beliefs. Revolution in and of itself is not a cause. Is there any doubt about what Americans believed when they fought their colonial masters? What they believed during the enormous sacrifices abroad and at home during WWll?

Looking back, there was of course, plenty of tear gas, arrests, and even some deaths at the marches I joined way back in 1970. But to this day I can tell you the purpose of each and every one of them: ending the war, enshrining racial equality in U.S. law, changing laws that treated women as second-class citizens. It felt like we were changing the world.

By the time I walked off campus the police were folding up the barriers and leaving, too. I walked down Telegraph Avenue and bought an exotic six-dollar tea at a trendy new tea shop. The place was packed, standing room only. Demonstrating is thirsty work.

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END OF LIFE PLANNING: On Sunday, October 8 at 4pm, the AV Village group has invited Maggie Watson, author of “A Graceful Farewell: Putting Your Affairs in Order” to discuss positive ways to prepare for the end of your life, regarding to finances, health, and after death in a mini-workshop format. The presentation will be held at the AV Senior Center, 14470 Highway 128, Boonville. Ms. Watson is a private fiduciary. “Using her book, Ms. Watson will touch on the areas of one’s life that should be organized and information that should be made locatable to support and assist loved ones and caregivers. The promise of this book is that it will give you peace of mind.” The book will be for sale, but the workshop is free and everyone is welcome.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, September 30, 2017

Alvarez, Cordova, Espinoza

TRAVIS ALVAREZ, Ukiah. Petty theft, conspiracy.

RICKY CORDOVA, Talmage. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

SERGIO ESPINOZA, Ceres/Ukiah. Petty theft, conspiracy.

Furline, Goodwin, Humphrey

CODY FURLINE, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

WILLIAM GOODWIN, Covelo. Felon in possession of firearm, possession of ammo by prohibited person.

TRAVIS ‘THE HUMP’ HUMPHREY, Talmage. Failure to appear. (Frequent flyer.)

Isenhart, Oresco, Palacios

JIMMIE ISENHART, Ukiah. Failure to appear.

AARON ORESCO, Redwood Valley. Willful cruelty to child with possible injury or death, under influence, controlled substance, paraphernalia, suspended license.

JOHN PALACIOS, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

Roelse, Schoenahl, Sossaman

PETER ROELSE, Eureka/Ukiah. Trespassing/refusing to leave property of another not open to public.

ROGER SCHOENAHL, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

BOBBY SOSSAMAN, Willits. Probation revocation.

Trudeau, Valadez, Walker

JAMIE TRUDEAU, Fort Bragg. Community supervision violation.

ROBERT VALADEZ, Ukiah. Stalking in violation of restraining order, criminal threats to commit crime resulting in death or great bodily injury, protective order violation.

WILLIAM WALKER, Willits. Failure to appear.

Whipple, White, Wilson

CHARLES WHIPPLE, Covelo. Community supervision violation.

CARLOS WHITE, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, felon-addict with firearm, switchblade in vehicle, under influence, offenses while on bail, probation revocation.

JENNA WILSON, Fort Bragg. Failure to appear.

Dragonheart, nee Turner

BEAR GANDALF DRAGONHEART, Laytonville. Domestic battery, assault with deadly weapon not a gun, pot cultivation, pot possession for sale, possession of ammo by prohibited person, prior strike conviction.

Real Name: Paul Campbell Turner. “Bear Gandalf Orion Dragonheart” was charged with some altercation involving his girlfriend at a pot pharm on Bell Springs Road a few months ago. He was due in court on Thursday and when he showed up Deputy Jeff Andrade was there to slap the cuffs on him, and reveal his true name, Paul Turner, a two-strike felon out of Arizona with convictions of kidnapping and an armed robbery which was plea-bargained down to a first degree burglary. I wrote a few paragraphs about Gandalf earlier (see below), but he’s quite tall and has a fabulous head of hair, like Gandalf (Ian McKellan) in the Peter Jackson movie “Lord of the Rings.” His lawyers are Michael Shambrook and William Conwell of Lake County.  Paul aka Gandalf is due in court Monday morning for arraignment on his Thursday arrest which may have included giving a false name to a cop. (—Bruce McEwen)

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EARLIER (June, 2017)

Bear Gandalf Orion Dragonheart was scheduled for a preliminary hearing on a charge of assault with a deadly weapon, not a gun – and, well, with a name like that you would hardly expect him to use so pedestrian an instrument as a gun – but Mr. Dragonheart’s lawyer, Michael Shambrook asked for more time for his private investigator, Mike Hermann, to look into the matter more thoroughly, and the prelim was reset for June 29th in Department H.

Gandalf of course was the imposing wizard in JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, and Mr. Dragonheart bears a strong resemblance to the character played by Ian McKellen in the stupendously fabulous Peter Jackson movies of the same title as the widely read trilogy by Tolkien. Another spin off of Tolkien’s epic high-fantasy has been the Dungeons and Dragons game, of which there is a group of enthusiasts who meet regularly at Sword & Board, 225 North State Street – just across from the old Palace Hotel, in Ukiah.

I haven’t played the game in eons, but it involves role-playing, and alter-egos, and things like cloaking devices, magic spells, wizardry and derring-do. One chooses an identity, with a name like Gandalf, or Orion, or Bear, or Dragonheart – and it looks like in this case, a devotee of the popular board game has gone to the trouble to have his name legally changed to maintain the fantasy in everyday life at his – dare we guess? – pot pharm on Bell Springs Road, where the incident allegedly took place.

Private Investigator Mike Hermann is seeking witnesses, probably trimmigrants, and they can be hard to track down, and even harder coax into to voluntarily coming forward to testify, so another date was set for June 22nd, to advise the court on the progress of the investigation.

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DO NOT GO GENTLE INTO THAT GOOD NIGHT

by Dylan Thomas

Dylan Thomas

Do not go gentle into that good night,

Old age should burn and rave at close of day;

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,

Because their words had forked no lightning they

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright

Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,

And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight

Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,

Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

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LAWSUIT TARGETS PENSION BENEFITS

SoCo Officials accused of conflict of interest in approving increases in 2003

by Paul Payne

A new lawsuit seeks to roll back generous pension benefits granted to Sonoma County government employees more than a decade ago that are blamed for spiraling debt and eating away at funding for basic services.

The suit filed by retired Santa Rosa attorney George Luke accuses elected officials and other county leaders of conflict of interest for approving increases in 2003 that benefited them directly and of failing to disclose long-term pension costs to taxpayers, now estimated at more than $99 million a year for the county.

It asks Sonoma County Superior Court Judge Rene Chouteau to declare the increases “illegal” and prohibit the county from making payments to fund them. It names as defendants the Board of Supervisors, the county administrator, the auditor-controller-treasurer tax collector, the human resources director and the Sonoma County Employees’ Retirement Association and its chief administrator.

“When everyone who is supposed to represent the interest of the taxpayer has their hand in his pocket, his only recourse is to seek the protection of the courts whose solemn duty is to require compliance with the law,” Luke wrote in his suit filed Aug. 28.

The legal challenge — which could affect thousands of current and retired county employees — comes amid continuing controversy statewide about pension benefits granted years ago that have threatened the financial well-being of local governments and strained their ability to pay for things like road repair and the hiring of more sheriff’s deputies.

Earlier this year, Sonoma County annual pension costs were projected to hit $146 million by 2023, a 700 percent increase since 2000. County debt from past pension bonds and long-term unfunded obligations tied to the retirement system total about $778 million, equivalent to 49 percent of the county’s annual budget.

Although reforms have been enacted over the past five years at the state and local level mandating lower benefits for new employees, critics continue to sound alarms over pension costs. A similar case pending before the California Supreme Court that arose in nearby Marin County seeks to overturn the so-called “California Rule” guaranteeing workers get the pension that was in place at the time they were hired. The legal challenge was previously struck down by two lower court judges who deemed it was filed too late or did not include employee unions. They did not rule on the merits.

Supervisors Shirlee Zane and David Rabbitt did not respond to interview requests on Friday and instead issued a joint, written statement.

“While we share the desire for a sustainable pension system, this lawsuit is without merit and a waste of taxpayer dollars given results in Marin cases, public independent analysis of law following 2012 grand jury report, and new separate analysis of counsel,” the statement said. “Efforts to achieve policy changes should really be directed to the state Legislature.”

Luke’s suit targets the way benefits were adopted. It says the Board of Supervisors failed to comply with state law requiring it to conduct an actuarial analysis of the costs of new pension benefits and publish the findings two weeks before any vote. The allegation was raised in a past county grand jury report about procedural mistakes and was formally acknowledged by a new group of elected supervisors in 2012. The suit also accuses the highest paid county officials, including the supervisors and retirement system executives, of failing to recuse themselves from the process and not disclosing any personal gain to the public.

County officials and union leaders at the time agreed on the benefit increases to settle a class-action lawsuit brought by employees in 2002 demanding retroactive pay increases to match those in other counties.

“All of these participants in this settlement stood to make a lot of money,” the suit said. “And the taxpayers were set up to pay the bill.”

County lawyer Michael G. Colantuono rejected the allegations and will seek to have the case dismissed at an early stage.

He said a “rule of necessity” law negates any conflict of interest, allowing public agency managers to work on employee benefits decisions that affect them, essentially “because there’s no one else to do it.”

And he said the county disclosed the costs of the benefits increase prior to the vote. An actuarial analysis conducted by the retirement association was part of the staff report that was circulated in the weeks leading up to adoption, he said.

Further, Colantuono said the suit is barred by the statute of limitations, which he said protects thousands of employees who made career decisions based on expectations of a certain level of salary and benefits.

Luke argues there is no defense based on timing because taxpayer costs are calculated annually.

The county disagrees.

Colantuono said a realistic solution must be statewide because any county that goes it alone will find it difficult to recruit and retain qualified employees who will simply go where the benefits are higher.

“California’s pension problem is a serious issue and it needs serious attention, but this lawsuit is a false promise of an easy fix to a complicated problem,” Colantuono said.

If Luke’s suit is successful, it would be the first in the state. The county could renegotiate contracts but it would likely face lawsuits from employee unions. Jack Buckhorn, executive director of the North Bay Labor Council, said his 70,000 member affiliates including county employees would oppose any changes.

“To go back 14 years and attempt to reopen negotiations that have already been settled in good faith does not seem fair or just,” Buckhorn said. “We would do everything in our power to make sure benefits agreed to were maintained.”

The suit by retired Santa Rosa attorney George Luke accuses the highest-paid county officials, including supervisors such as Shirlee Zane, above, and retirement system executives, of failing to recuse themselves from the process and not disclosing any personal gain to the public.

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ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY

Neither party has either the will or the intellectual horse-power to take on much of anything as both parties succumb to institutional senility, this collective disability manifesting itself as no apparent agenda other than catering to their billionaire paymasters.

And so what do we get? Fluff, on the Democrat side – the nuts ‘n sluts agenda. And also flim-flam, this non-stop Russian hysteria, this time over Russian hacks of state voting systems. Unfortunately, like the multitude of previous Russia-did-this-Russia-did-that stories, this one has no evidence behind it and so dissipates into the disinformation ether as we sit.

Trump said too many iffy things, out of synch with globalist interests. Too much rabble-rousing, too much boat-rocking. And so the collective aim of the political establishment, Democrat and Republican alike, is to bring down the Trump mastodon by suffocating the beast in a tar-pit of non-stop investigations and then flinging one fake-news arrow after the other, hopefully the cumulative wounds quickening the kill.

This isn’t history repeating because history never repeats, it merely rhymes as Twain said. But insofar as this line rhymes with the previous, it’s not tragedy this time around but rather it’s farce. The tragedy comes in the next stanza as the federal government immobilized in its own mire of corruption and incompetence makes it necessary for subnational units to take matters into their own hands. And lest we forget, there’s a proliferation of armed groups in the US – warbands as the Archdruid calls them – that will mount their own campaigns for local power and autonomy.

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HOMELESS—ADDENDUM:

by Louis S. Bedrock

The shabby philosopher of Manhattan’s Upper West Side was a member of a group of homeless one might name “The Moneyed Homeless.” These are people that have money—Social Security, pensions, savings, but who cannot afford to buy a condominium and have not been able to find an apartment in New York City’s shrinking rental market.

I discovered this subset of homeless in the movie theaters of the Museum of Modern Art. I go there to see classic flicks like The Wages of Fear, Children of Paradise, Paison, and Rome: Open City. They have festivals for the films of the German Expressionists and the Russian Social Realists.

I noticed that the half the audience in the MOMA theaters were old people. Often they brought lunches and thermoses of coffee. Many slept through the movies. I learned that many of these were the relatively affluent homeless people: they had incomes; they had post office boxes; they had lockers where they could store their possessions. They could afford memberships in museums, classic movie theaters, and the YMCA or YMHA. During the day, they found shelter from the cold in these places. They could wash themselves or shower, do laundry, and shop for food.

Nights are a problem — especially when it is cold. Many public bathrooms are closed at night. Predators emerged from their lairs. Mean cops chase them off subway cars if they caught them sleeping.

They all said the same thing about NYC’s homeless shelters: They were filthy, dangerous, and to be avoided at all costs.

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I HAVE REPORTED on a number of occasions that according to Federal Reserve studies, more Americans in the 24-34 age group live at home with parents than independently, and that it is those 55 and older who are taking the part time jobs. Why is this? The answer is that part time jobs do not pay enough to support an independent existence, and the Federal Reserve’s decade long zero interest rate policy forces retirees to enter the work force as their retirement savings produce no income. It is not only the manufacturing jobs of the middle class blue collar workers that have been given to foreigners in order to cut labor costs and thus maximize payouts to executives and shareholders, but also tradable professional skill jobs such as software engineering, design, accounting, and IT—jobs that Americans expected to get in order to pay off their student loans.

— Paul Craig Roberts

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TERRORISTS IN OUR MIDST?

Editor,

The following is a list of confiscated weapons from the masked goons known as Antifa: Numerous hunting knives, hatchets, crowbars, brass knuckles, chains, hammers, baseball bats, numerous makeshift clubs, bricks (thrown at police), mace, smoke bombs, homemade slingshots, balloons with hazardous chemicals and improvised weapons such as bicycle locks.

Why aren’t more of these dangerous clowns being prosecuted? When the guns come out inevitably — if only in self-defense — this country is armed to the teeth. The results will not be pretty. Try not to get hit in the crossfire.

Paul Hedges

San Francisco

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CLIMATE NEWS

Dear Editor:

Since my last comments two weeks ago there have numerous new research on various facets of climate change. Some of these reports such as the latest reports on the loss of another huge iceberg breaking from an Antarctic has had a wide circulation. Rather than than discussing these reports I will report on some very important research that did not get much attention. Global methane emissions from agriculture are larger than estimated due to the previous use of out-of-date data carbon emissions generated by livestock, according to a study published in the open access journal 'Carbon Balance'. The research was sponsored by the U.S. National Aeronautics (NASA) Carbon Monitoring System research initiative, researchers from the Joint Global Change Research Institute (JGCRI) found that global livestock methane (CH4) emissions for 2011 are 11% higher than the estimates based on guidelines provided by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2006. This includes an 8.4% increase from livestock digestion and a 36.7% from manure management (CH4) compared to IPCC based estimates. Revised estimates for manure management in the U. S. were 71.8 % higher than IPPC estimates. The study also showed that the total emissions have increased more rapidly in the rapidly developing regions of Asia, Latin America and Africa and less in the US, Canada and Western Europe. It should be noted that methane has about four times the atmospheric warming potential of carbon dioxide. Also, of interest is an attempt by Australian scientists to breed a super coral that can survive the warming oceans. A report on how climate change is affecting the grain crops in Argentina, and a report on the sixth mass extinction of wildlife which also threatens global food supplies. I prefer to keep my comments to one page and perhaps I will comment on these articles next week.

In peace and love,

Jim Updegraff

Sacramento

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CHINESE WISDOM

FRIDAY NIGHT MEMO OF THE AIR

"Never q-tip drunk. There's an old Chinese saying I saw in a movie: If you can still clean your ear with a toothpick, you're not drunk. That's terrifyingly bad advice. Up to that point I had thought the ancient Chinese were smarter than that. But nobody is smart when they're drunk. Everybody who is drunk is a big stupid baby with car keys and a gun."

The recording of last night's (2017-09-29) KNYO Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show is ready to download for free and enjoy at any time of the day or night, via http://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com

Besides that, as usual also there you'll find a fresh batch of links to other interesting and educational goods I collected for you while putting the show together, to add to the wonders and amusements already there, that might not necessarily work on the radio because of being mostly visual. Such as:

Some more aerial footage of Viet Nam. It makes it look like Heaven. Earth is Heaven. Imagine what someone who really suffered through the French and U.S. occupation and war there must think on seeing something like this. The music is Becoming Human by Ryan Taubert. See how far you get into this before you start crying.

https://boingboing.net/2017/09/25/watch-this-mesmerizing-sequel.html

Help Greg Leyh build the world's largest Tesla coil (120 feet high!), and then another one just like it hundreds of feet away, and then shoot them at each other.

https://laughingsquid.com/building-worlds-largest-tesla-coil/

Why do our brains just accept film editing? That's a good question, and here’s a good answer.

https://laughingsquid.com/film-cuts-mimic-human-visual-experience/

And Universe. A 30-minute black-and-white film made in 1960 that’s still the best introduction to love of astronomy there is. It feels exactly like how I felt when I was a little boy visiting the Griffith Observatory. The feeling of space. Every great space film, from 2001: A Space Odyssey on up, borrowed from this. In fact, seeing this was what sparked Stanley Kubrick to make A Space Odyssey in the first place.

https://archive.org/details/TheUniverseNationalFilmBoardOfCanada

Marco McClean
memo@mcn.org
http://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com

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MENTAL HEALTH EXPERT'S OPEN LETTER

rawstory.com/2017/09/trump-and-his-supporters-have-caused-a-devastating-mental-health-crisis-in-america-according-to-psychotherapists/

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TEEN READ WEEK (October 8th – October 14th) with the following events:

Spooky Teen Storytime Pajama Jam & Pillow-Making – Friday, October 13th 4:30-7pm

Teen Read-a-Thon – Saturday, October 14th 10-5 pm

The Ukiah Branch Library will celebrate Teen Read Week (October 8-14, 2017) with special events and programs spotlighting all the great resources and activities available at the library and to encourage teens from around the area to read for their enjoyment. Thousands of libraries, schools and bookstores across the country will hold similar events centered on this year’s theme, “Unleash Your Story!

We invite teens, parents and other concerned community members to participate in special programs and events during Teen Read Week:

On Friday, Oct. 13th, teens are invited to wear their pajamas to the library for a Spooky Teen Storytime Pajama Jam & Pillow-Making between 4:30-7pm. Any treasured childhood stories or ghost stories are welcome. We will also be making special pillows from denim and corduroy.

On Saturday, October 14th, join us for a Teen Read-a-Thon all day between 10-5 pm. Teens can read away their fines – knock $1 off every hour you read at the Library!

Teen Read Week is a time to celebrate reading for fun while encouraging teens to take advantage of reading in all its forms —books, magazines, e-books, audiobooks and more! It is also a great opportunity to encourage teens to become regular library users.

In recent years, many families have had to adapt to make do with less as a result of the economy. Teen Read Week is a great opportunity for teens and their families to learn about all the free services and resources the library offers.  The library also offers a safe and supervised space for adolescents to engage in creative, educational activities with caring adults and mentors.

Moreover, according to Teen Librarian Melissa Carr, strong reading skills are more critical than ever because they translate into better performance at school and better preparedness for careers. This is why it is important to take advantage of Teen Read Week and show teens that reading is a fun and relaxing activity they can do for free.

Parents of teens are also encouraged to celebrate Teen Read Week at home The Ukiah Branch Library offers these ideas:

  • Set aside time each day for the family to read
  • Give books or magazine subscriptions to your teen as a gift or reward
  • Share your favorite book with your teen
  • Go online with your teen to learn about new books or authors by visiting http://tinyurl.com/yalsabookawardslists, or use YALSA’s free Teen Book Finder app
  • Host a book discussion group
  • Build an in-home library (thrift stores and yard sales offer an inexpensive way to do that)
  • Listen to audiobooks on trips
  • Create a cozy reading corner somewhere in your home
  • Use meal time to talk about books that you’re reading
  • Parents and caregivers can be role models by making time to read, too
  • Incorporate reading into teen chores, such as reading a recipe when cooking, reading instructions for how-to projects, reading sales fliers to develop a shopping list, and more

Teen Read Week is a national adolescent literacy initiative created by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association. It is held annually in October, the same week as Columbus Day. For more information, visit www.ala.org/teenread.

For more information – please contact Melissa at the Ukiah Library: 467-6434

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District Teens Leadership Council

Saturday, October 14th

Saturday, November 18th

3 - 4 pm

Teens are invited to join the library’s Teen Leadership Council (TLC). Teen leaders can volunteer & apply for credit toward community service hours while building their résumés. Teens will have a chance to be heard & make a difference in the community.

District Teens Leaders will gain valued skills & experience:

  • Collaborating to design our new teen space
  • Planning & organizing events
  • Recommending books & other materials for library purchase
  • Developing leadership & conflict-resolution skills
  • Contributing to the Ukiah community by expanding teen resources

Come and find out if this is the group for you!

Pizza will be provided.

For more information – please contact Melissa at the Ukiah Library: 467-6434

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STEM Learning Workshop with Rockets & Robots for National 4-H Week

Saturday, October 7th 2-4 pm

Recommended for ages 5+

The Ukiah Branch Library is partnering with 4-H to celebrate National 4-H Week on Saturday, Oct. 7th with a special STEM Learning Workshop: Rockets & Robots.  Kids and teens are invited to make BrushBots and launch rockets at the Library.  4-H Program Representative Linda Edgington will lead the workshop & also be on hand to tell us how to sign up for 4-H!

For more information – please contact Melissa at the Ukiah Library: 467-6434

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GOODBYE LAWS

by Scott M. Peterson

A BIG FAT CHECK showed up in my mailbox the other day. It was from Philanthropic Professionals, Inc. in Billings, Montana for $635. Was it a donation? No. It was a paycheck — for something that Charlene McAllister triggered. That’s my fourth such payday from McAllister. The first two were stock purchases in 1997 & 1998. The third was an undisclosed settlement for breach of fiduciary duty and conspiracy she coughed up in 2009. But the six Benjamins here were the direct result of some bad advice that McAllister was handing out four years ago.

SAKINA BUSH was in a bind back then. Hubby Charles was losing his job at the Fort Bragg Senior Center over the same type of questionable management that McAllister had gotten nailed for. So who do you think offered more bad advice? Charlene McAllister. It came in response to an email inquiry from Mitch Clogg about how McAllister was qualified to give advice. Her response was even more bad advice — that all nonprofit boards needed were ‘good by-laws which are adhered to and good agendas.’ Oh, yeah. And ‘good leaders.’ What McAllister didn’t say is who they should be good to.

THAT EMAIL put a bee in my bonnet. So I went looking for Charlene’s goodness in all the nonprofits she’d been heading up. The trail wasn’t hard to find. It started at the Mendocino Coast Hospital Foundation and another paycheck — to Philanthropic Professionals, Inc. — or PPI. McAllister was the president then. She’d just gotten that job after leaving the board of directors at the Mendocino Coast District Hospital — which is another nonprofit. McAllister left — oddly enough — during a Grand Jury Investigation over a teensy-weensy money problem there.

MCALLISTER NEGLECTED to list PPI’s address on the 2008 Form 990 and Registration Renewal Fee form for that year. Which is classic McAllister. So I had to go looking for it. They’re a small outfit led by a woman named Laura Nelson. She’d been hired by McAllister to run a capital campaign and apply for grants. It was a smashing success for McAllister and the Hospital. McAllister’s so-called foundation raked in $276,312 from the capital campaign. The Hospital got another $558,707 from Nelson’s grant writing. Nelson got paid $71,100 for the capital campaign — but got stiffed by the Hospital for $55,870 over the grant writing. So she stopped working in Mendocino County. And that was pretty much the end of grants and capital campaigns for the Fort Bragg Hospital.

I FELT BAD for Nelson. Especially because she was so darned nice. Nelson felt bad for the Hospital District — which had just gone into bankruptcy — and offered to help. So I contacted then-CEO Wayne Allen to set up a telephone meeting. ‘It was a strange meeting,’ Nelson recalled. ‘I told Wayne he’d better put his man pants on if he wanted to save that hospital.’ After setting up a second meeting, Allen cancelled and referred me to then trustee Tom Birdsell. Who wouldn’t take the meeting ‘on the advice of counsel.’ That was in early 2014.

JOHN J. RUPRECHT was the Fort Bragg hospital’s lawyer then — and still is. He’s been advising the trustees there for a long, long time. In and out of one bankruptcy — and probably into another. Which is weird because according to the State Bar, his specialty isn’t health care law — but real property law. Why on earth Fort Bragg Hospital trustees would rely on somebody like that for advice on health care issues is beyond me. Who knows? Maybe he’s got some kind of angle on the property.

AFTER WASTING so much of Nelson’s time, I offered to help find grant writing work for her elsewhere. It took seven phone calls and four emails to get a deal from Guthrie County Hospital out in Iowa. Smack in the middle of Tornado Alley, Guthrie needed money to replace a backup generator. It was a complete no-brainer for everybody. So Nelson wrote a grant proposal that landed Guthrie County Hospital $63,492 in three months. $6,350 of that went to Nelson. And Nelson sent ten percent of that to me. Not because she had to — but because she wanted to. I don’t know about you. But in my world $635 is a pretty nice tip for ten minutes of work.

THAT PAYCHECK got me thinking about something. How are nonprofits doing here? So I moseyed on over to the National Center for Charitable Statistics to see for myself. Comparing nonprofits in Mendocino County to those in Sonoma County. What I found was absolutely dumbfounding. Sonoma County is home to 1,000 nonprofits. All but two of them report assets. Mendocino County has 700 nonprofits. Over four hundred of them report no assets. That’s right — zero.

IF YOU’VE GOT medical issues, you talk to a doctor. For non-medical issues, it’s an engineer. Better yet if you can find someone’s who’s both. Dr. Kate Rohr fits that description pretty neatly. Plus, she was on the Hospital board here for a while. Rohr encountered the same issues that Nelson and I ran into — bad advice.

BUSINESS MANAGEMENT ROCKSTAR is a complete understatement for what Kate Rohr is. You can see that on her resume. She’s run billion dollar companies like Zimmer Biomet and Johnson & Johnson. Rohr helped to double Zimmer’s revenue over the five years she was there. Johnson & Johnson’s stock price nearly doubled for the five years she was there. She got a BS in engineering at Princeton cum laud. And then got her MS in mechanical engineering from NYU with honors too. And Rohr was just getting started.

ROHR went on to get her M.M.S. in medicine at Rutgers, and then her M.D. at Washington University. This lady has more degrees than a friggin’ thermometer. Oh, yeah — she also served as a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy for seven years. So McAllister should’ve been ecstatic to have somebody like that on the Hospital board. But she wasn’t.

MCALLISTER’S RESUME pales by comparison. You can find it on Linkedin. Education — zero. Honors — zero. She lists membership on two boards currently — the Mendocino Coast Audubon Society and the Mendocino Coast Hospital Foundation. But forgot the nonprofits she cratered — like the Mendocino Coast Health Care District, MRB Research and the Warm Foundation. And the local Audubon Society doesn’t list McAllister as a board member anymore. Good thing too. After she disappeared from their board, revenue went up twenty-fold.

GRAPHIC IMAGES of finances are important in Rohr’s world. All of the companies she’s worked at use them — because they illustrate trends. I’ve used them also for the same purpose. But what about McAllister? In all the nonprofits I’ve seen where she’s been involved, financial graphics are forbidden. That’s right — they’re tabu. Rohr told me how she’d started creating them with the finance committee and presented them at board meetings. But the CEO and CFO — Bob Edwards and Wade Sturgeon — hated them. Why? ‘I don't know,’ Rohr told me. ‘I had to stop presenting them because somebody removed it from the agenda.’ Rohr went on to explain that things that weren’t on the agenda couldn’t be discussed without violating the Brown Act. ‘The only question is who removed it,’ Rohr said. ‘I have no idea who that was.’

THROUGHOUT two interviews and countless emails, Rohr never connected McAllister to that removal. Nor did she see any advice coming directly from McAllister. At the same time she had no explanation of why three other board members sided with Edwards and Sturgeon to stifle the presentation of her data.

ONE EXPLANATION of how that happened came during a recent interview with Dr. Rohr. She doesn’t wave her resume around. At the same time, I expected someone on the board to have asked her for a copy. Did that ever happen? ‘No,’ Rohr told me. ‘It didn’t.’ Of course not. Nobody even thought to do that. Because doing so would’ve brought McAllister’s wrath upon them. And without Rohr’s resume, it leveled the playing field for the ‘good by-laws’ McAllister promoted.

MCALLISTER JOINED a board of directors I served on in 1998. The first thing Charlene asked for was a set of bylaws. The origin of those bylaws was the California State Corporations Code. Chapter and verse — that’s exactly what they were. But that wasn’t good enough for McAllister. So she wanted to change them. The company had an attorney, who tried explaining that origin to her. But McAllister has a rather prominent listening disorder. Her duty — as prescribed by State law — was to act in the best interests of the corporation. McAllister thought her duty was to change the bylaws. Well, that didn’t work out so well for her.

CONFUSION REIGNS in McAllister’s world. Back in 2003, she testified to being a nurse. Five years later, she testified to being a registered nurse. The California Board of Registered Nursing has no such record of that. Nonetheless, that claim had gotten her appointed to the Hospital board in 2000. Something she promptly ran into the ground — with ‘good by-laws’ up the wazoo. First at the Hospital — and then at the Foundation.

UNCLE SAM is pretty clear on the subject. When a nonprofit changes bylaws — any of them — it’s required to file those changes with the IRS and the California State Registry of Charitable Trusts. It’s also required to notify the authorities of any such changes — on the annual filings. McAllister didn’t do that. On July 24, 2006 those bylaws got amended — but the changes were never reported to the State.

THOSE BYLAWS were good to McAllister — but not to the Hospital. Twelve years after joining the Foundation’s board of directors, the Hospital fell into bankruptcy. At the same time, she’d been running her own nonprofit — MRB Research, Inc. Until her ‘life partner’ Ron LeValley went to prison for using it as a money laundry. A big chunk of LeValley’s sentence was repaying $800,000+ in embezzled funds. Something that was certainly available in the Foundation’s investment account. So in 2013 an account just about that size got liquidated without the Foundation’s board even knowing about it.

MEANWHILE, the recipient of McAllister’s ‘good by-laws’ email advice isn't doing so good. That’s the Redwood Coast Seniors, Inc. led by Charles Bush. Look at the State’s record for that fine institution. It’s status is listed as ‘delinquent’ over failing to file the required paperwork. Now look at the date of that status — June 26, 2008. Nearly ten years ago. When McAllister was passing out advice left and right. All of that advice was certainly good to someone — but certainly not to any of the nonprofits Ive seen.

KATE ROHR’S a pretty smart cookie. It’s hard to imagine how somebody like McAllister could’ve bulldozed her — but it happened. So I came out and asked — did Rohr know of any such advice? ‘If others were getting such advice, I am unaware of it,’ Rohr told me. Bingo. That’s what cost McAllister my third — and biggest — paycheck.

PRIVATE SETTLEMENTS are just that — private. The deal I made with McAllister was at the conclusion of a marathon lawsuit. The verdict in that lawsuit was $791,000. One check — and only one check — got cut. And who do you think wrote it? Charlene McAllister’s insurance company. Why? You can assume that ‘good by-laws’ had something to do with that remittance. And they were certainly good to the payee — which was me. But what about Hospital patients? Are McAllister’s bylaws good to them? Dr. Rohr answered that question with graphics.

I’M ON DR. ROHR’S mailing list. So I’d just received her latest batch of graphics. But wanted her take on them, so I set up an interview and recorded it — with her permission. One of the points I made is that the graphics that McAllister’s hospital has banned don’t seem to be any different than the EKGs that hospitals depend on. Was I mistaken? ‘Your point is well taken,’ Rohr said. What I wanted to know was something deeper. In Dr. Rohr’s experience, what if a business banned that kind of information? ‘That never happened,’ she told me. ‘Not ever.’

WE ALSO TALKED about McAllister’s so-called Foundation. And what it actually does for the Hospital. ‘It’s weird,’ Dr. Rohr told me. ‘When I got elected to the board, there was a list of projects the Foundation wanted to fund that the Hospital didn’t even want.’ Huh. Rohr told me that the board revised that list into projects the Hospital needed. And they gave it to the planning committee. On that committee sat trustee Kitty Bruning. ‘That’s where it ended,’ Rohr told me. ‘With the planning committee.’

ALL I NEEDED TO KNOW is what happened to that list. So I emailed Ms. Bruning a question. ‘Dear Ms. Bruning — WTF?’ Kitty — about as useful as tits on a boar — has been ignoring my emails for nigh on two years. So I didn’t expect much of a response. Especially with Winesong! coming up.

ALCOHOLICS AND DRUG ADDICTS just love that annual event. All I needed to know is where Kitty came down on that issue. Was Winesong! good for her? Hubby Jeff is a doctor who lost his license to — wait for it — prescription drug abuse. He’s had that Jones for fifteen years plus. Jeff’s connection is Kitty’s fellow trustee Lucas Campos. A ‘pain management’ doctor who in 2016, took $3,238.94 in kickbacks from Big Pharma to prescribe certain — uh — medications. Yeah. So it’s not what the Hospital needs — it’s what Hubby needs. But I digress.

GUTHRIE COUNTY HOSPITAL feeds from the same trough we do — federal funding. They shun ‘good by-laws’ completely. Why? Because Uncle Sam is watching, folks. It’s the age of information. Grant makers know what ‘good by-laws’ are and who they’re good too. Which is precisely why McAllister’s operation hasnt landed any grants in the last seven years — while Guthrie has. Beginning with the one from PPI. That yours truly got going.

SUPPOSING that McAllister’s operation suddenly came to its senses. And then came to PPI — hat in hand — today. What’d be the outcome? ‘Nothing,’ Nelson told me. ‘Until your hospital gets rid of those ‘good by-laws’ — you’ll get nothing from Uncle Sam. Or anybody else for that matter.’ So what then? ‘Your hospital is going to become a first aid station,’ Nelson said. ‘And that’s the best case scenario.’

STOCKHOLM SYNDROME is a condition that causes hostages to develop a psychological alliance with their captors as a survival strategy during captivity. I’m no psychologist, but I definitely saw signs of that with Dr. Rohr. ‘A hostage’s development of positive feelings toward their captor?’ Check. ‘No previous hostage-captor relationship?’ Check. ‘A refusal by hostages to cooperate with police forces and other government authorities?’ Check. And finally — ‘A hostage’s belief in the humanity of their captor, for the reason that when a victim holds the same values as the aggressor, they cease to be perceived as a threat?’ Bingo.

ROHR’S CAPTOR isn’t a who in this case — but a what. Like many doctors, Kate Rohr is a property owner here. When — and not if — the Fort Bragg hospital closes, property values will take a hit. Why? The Hospital is Fort Bragg’s biggest employer. When 300+ employee paychecks dry up, they’ll pack up and leave. Putting 300 or so properties on the market all at once. That imposes certain economic burdens. Not to renters and working class folks who’d find housing suddenly more affordable. But to one-percenters who’d take a bath on their second homes. That’s an argument I’d heard before from another former board member and doctor, Buzz Graham, M.D.

GRAHAM delivered that argument to me by email. I’d written a piece citing a Harvard study that closing shitty hospitals was better for patients. ‘The fact that the authors of this article concluded with this statement does not make it so,’ Graham wrote. Ah. Dr. Graham concluded with this statement, ‘Many rural hospitals are now the proud owners and operators of their associated clinics. If the hospital closes, the employers for the primary care practitioners are now left unemployed. This could cause a downward spiral of services to the point where nothing is left.’ Translation: closing hospitals is bad for doctors. And by extension, bad for patients. Which’d certainly be true if not for that shiny new hospital at Willits — just forty-five minutes away.

AS SOON AS the Fort Bragg Hospital closes, a rousing cheer will be go up on the Mendocino Coast. Not from ‘Nice People’ like Charlene McAllister, Kate Rohr and Buzz Graham. Nor from highly paid administrators like Bob Edwards and Wade Sturgeon. The people cheering will be regular folk. All of them happy to be rid of that giant pork barrel once and for all.

THOSE WITH ANY DOUBTS about Dr. Rohr’s priorities here ought to read the letter that accompanied her graphics. And the email that brought it to me. The first addressee was the Fort Bragg Advocate — a spineless, but somehow prestigious local newspaper. It also went to reporters at the Anderson Valley Advertiser, Mendocino TV, KOZT and the Coast Observer. Plus dozens of other recipients. In Dr. Rohr's 343 word screed, the word ‘financial’ comes up seven times. The words ‘safety’ and ‘patient’ aren’t mentioned once. And she wasn’t writing that letter as a doctor — she was writing it as a home owner. At 561 Stewart Street in Fort Bragg — a place where she no longer resides.

SHOWBOATS are a dime a dozen in my world. Even more so when they go to ground. That’s exactly what Dr. Rohr seems to have done. After her spectacular boo-hoo press release and two interviews, she went radio silent. Claiming she had bigger fish to fry. Okay. So I blasted an email back to the entire group she’d sent her little announcement out to. Giving her the same chance she gave me — to reconsider her position. Was hiding customary business metrics from a hospital’s patients morally reprehensible or not? Tick-tick-tick.

EVEN ROCKSTARS have limits. That’s certainly the case with Dr. Rohr. As the interview continued, she became noticeably more nervous about being quoted. ‘Please note this is a private conversation and my comments should not be disseminated,’ she told me via email. Uh-huh. So all that toothpaste was going back into the tube. Got it. While my final question has gone — at least for the time being — unanswered.

MCALLISTER’S WEBSITE used to have bylaws on it — but no more. The last ones to appear there were unsigned and dated July 24, 2006. Those bylaws were preceded by a signed version dated December 18, 2001. Neither was filed with Form 990s for 2001 and 2006. The Articles of Incorporation on McAllister’s website today are three pages long — and contain no bylaws. The Articles of Incorporation at the Registry of Charitable Trusts are twenty-four pages long — and contain nineteen pages of bylaws. One of them regarding the — ahem — withdrawal of Hospital Foundation funds.

IT’S A COMMON SENSE provision: ‘Withdrawals from all Corporation bank accounts shall require the signature of any two officers as designated by the Board of Trustees.’ Well — that little detail got changed to read: ‘Withdrawals from all Corporation bank accounts shall require the signature of any two members of the Governing Board as designated by the Governing Board, or of the Executive Director and one designated member of the Governing Board.’ Notice how the words ‘officers’ and ‘trustees’ were taken out. And then replaced with the word ‘members’ — thereby stripping the Foundation of any financial control whatsoever.

TODAY, there are no bylaws at all on McAllister’s website — none. Meaning she can do as she pleases with all the Foundation’s charitable assets. So they weren’t necessarily ‘good by-laws’ at all — but ‘goodbye laws.’

PS: The illustrated version of this article with snarky photo captions and hyperlinks is here: https://tinyurl.com/goodbyelaws

Story Index

 

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