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Mendocino County Today: Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017

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by Rex Gressett

Friday Morning bright and early at 8:30 am there were 13 people in attendance at the Annual City Planning Workshop at Town Hall. Nine of them worked for the city. The preponderance of chiefs in comparison to the paucity of Indians inspired the city administration to dispense with the formal arrangement of tables and put the chairs in a circle. It looked much better. They had donuts but no coffee. (The coffee famine continues.)

When I came upon the circle of sitters in Town Hall I feared for a moment that the arrangement was in deference to some kind of tripe about consensus. But there wasn’t any and none was suggested, so it was all right.

No matter how you arrange the chairs, having nine talkers and three listeners was a little Kafkaesque. Lame Duck City Manager Linda Ruffing herself launched the whirlwind discussion with an upbeat update on the mill site. It was hard to avoid the impression that this was the city administration talking to itself. The meeting was not on line. Questions were fired into the discussion but the discussion did not need them. Marie Jones was right in there backing Linda up. Somebody asked the big question and Marie plunged in.

Was the Georgia Pacific mill site going to be subdivided before our very eyes, with the northern 53 acres sold off to the Skunk train? How would that particular earthquake affect the decades long city planning process? Specifically was the city going to be left holding the bag on the dioxin saturated wet land system, while the developers did their big project right next to it? Was the final cleanup scheduled to begin this week really the last cleanup? — the final cleanup?

Rumor aggressively inspired last week by the remarks of Skunk train proprietor Mike Hart had gradually focused on the Interstate Commerce Termination Act of 1995. This broad resolution of railroad issues was reputed to give great latitude to railroad compliance with local zoning law. Mike Hart was running with what he had, including diagrams and maps and plans of magnitude including rail lines along the coast, housing developments and a big hotel. He did not seem to be at all worried about, or even aware of zoning. It was less clear that Georgia-Pacific/Koch Brothers was running alongside of him. Or maybe they were. Had GP just jilted its buddies at the Fort Bragg Development Department and gone rogue with the railroad? Hart was surefire. Our city development guru intoned that there were different legal opinions about the interpretation of the Act and that, anyway, the Skunk was not a railroad since it did not go anywhere except to their collapsed tunnel half way to Willits.

After the AVA broke the Skunk train story, the Development Director had been in contact with GP “officially,” and although it did appear that GP and the Skunk had been talking without her knowledge for a long time, she wasn’t worried; they “had not even come to terms,” she scoffed.

George Reinhardt inserted the observation that there could well be cross litigation settlements between the railroad and GP. The Development Department and the city administration don’t think or don’t want to think that the Skunk project on the mill site is a matter of concern to the people of the city, but the AVA will continue to dig.

After that bracing series of jolts, the circle of support rumbled merrily along as department after department sang happy songs we have all heard before. This was another public expression of the established city narrative. They were just recounting their adventures. Lt. Gilchrest of the Fort Bragg police (“Chuckles”) thought I was a little rough in my quest for clarity. He believes that allowing liars to lie is only courteous. He is probably right in the case of the workshop. This was a presentation, not a discussion. The top city directors use it as an opportunity to clarify and celebrate points already made.

Since we were kind of rounding out how great things were, Linda Ruffing took a moment to wildly enthuse that the toxic clean up process run by the State’s Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) is both finished and immaculate. Most people in the city don’t agree. Ms. Ruffing took this little opportunity of the Community Planning Workshop platform to underline her assertion. We have done so many great things she beamed, but biggest of all the cleanup is almost finished.

People should be glad to hear that. We thought that the city had struggled through 15 years of bungling ineptitude, failed proposals, missed goals and expensive planning. I remember when they hauled tons of dirt off and then had to bring it all back and bury it on the site. When DTSC came to town they had to tell the truth to some carefully defined degree. The city administration is not similarly conscientious. The scientists of doom from DTSC were careful to say that the bad news is not limited to Pond 8. The premier state agency dedicated to cleaning up toxic pollution admitted fairly brazenly that whatever happens to Pond 8, for the rest of the wetlands, their preference would be to leave the ponds just a little bit toxic in perpetuity. They suggested we put up signs.

Listening to the City Council and the city administration, you would think that everything is pretty much taken care of — Pond 8 is the only hang-up. The city council is pushing back in behind the scenes negotiations with DTSC and Pond 8 figures in them prominently. The department has been prevented so far, from shutting down the whole game by the issuance of a “no further action letter.” The council is putting quiet pressure on them not to issue that letter and holding its own, but our councilmen will eventually compromise. Probably without advance notice to you.

DTSC wants the agreement of the Fort Bragg City Council but the letter that sends all the players home, is issued on the sole responsibility of our blue ribbon state department. They don’t really need the City Council to sign on. Public acceptance is just one of the criteria they look at when making a final decision on whether to proceed. So is cost. Screwing us is an option.

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THIS FALLS under the general hed of tightening the editorial reins. Occasional contributor Scott Peterson spends a lot of time on-line browsing the paperwork of local non-profits, especially those he has a personal beef with. I find some of his research, and the conclusions he draws, plausible. Often, though, I don't find his work credible or, in the case of Coast Hospital, partially credible in his indictment of its overpaid, under-competent management, totally off about everything else.

I WASN'T AWARE he was calling people up as if he were assigned by me. He isn't. We post some of his stuff, some we don't. I don't publish anything I don't think I can defend except for, of course, letters-to-the-editor, which are obviously the individual writer's opinion.

RECENTLY, I told Peterson that I thought the long indictment of Project Sanctuary he'd sent me seemed way, way off, besides which I respect and support the work they do, which I've experienced first hand in several cases. We all know, or should know, that there are "men" out there who assault women and terrorize their children. Without Project Sanctuary, many abused women would be unable to escape their abusers, and the children of these awful relationships would often not have a safe place to stay while the courts sort matters out.

CALIFORNIA'S NON-PROFITS are notoriously unmonitored by the state. It's not hard to find phony non-profits in this state. By honing in on one it's easy to find holes in their paperwork. But most are legitimate, and the paperwork errors are, typically, errors, not lies or efforts to commit larceny.

THE FOLLOWING is from the long-time Project Sanctuary staffer, Dina Polkinghorne:

"Be advised that I will no longer make myself available to you [Scott Peterson] for questions with your so-called "media inquiry." You dishonestly represented yourself as a journalist working on a sanctioned article on behalf of the AVA. In addition, you referred to our agency as "Project Skanktuary" in public, in writing, a further reflection of your lack of any actual journalistic bonafides or any earnest discussion on gender issues. By copy to Bruce. If you want to talk about anything involving PS, I am at your disposal."

I READ Peterson's entire article, and didn't find a single thing that I thought supported his indictment of PS. Judge Faulder sits on the board of directors, and there's no evidence whatsoever that Project Sanctuary is not doing what it says it's doing. Changing staff classifications is probably necessary simply to save money, and the guy doing the books? It probably takes him about the hour Peterson suggests he's overpaid and under-qualified to do. All of Peterson's findings add up to nothing other than a libel of an organization doing valuable work. He replied below. Interested persons can draw their own conclusions:

I’m not opposed to Project Sanctuary, per se. Its Articles of Incorporation make perfect sense and so do its bylaws: Project Sanctuary is a shelter for battered women and their children. I’ve got no problem with that. It’s chartered to offer counseling. Providing legal services was amended out in 1986. Now look at its latest grant application: MFTs and LCSWs have been replaced with peer counselors at $20 an hour. The accountant there has no state license and gets $275 an hour. Legal services are provided there now too. But nobody with a law degree or SBN appears on its organizational chart. So there are actually two Project Sanctuaries. One as it was intended — a shelter for battered women and children. And the one it’s become — a shelter for the unscrupulous. Read the paperwork, Bruce. If I’m wrong about any of this, please tell me where so I can correct my article.

Sincerely, Scott M. Peterson Mendocino

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ON TUESDAY Ag Commissioner Diane Curry told the Supervisors that 21 pot cultivation applications are now approved and 17 have been officially denied, apparently because the applicants wanted to grow in an area not zoned for pot cultivation. “There are still a few with open complaints,” Curry said. “A few” are ready to be permitted, waiting for the applicant to come in and sign the application.

CURRY then told the Board that Fish & Wildlife wardens had raided and “abated” an applicant on Highway 20 west of Willits a couple of weeks ago. Curry said she spoke to the Fish & Wildlife Director who told Curry that “he understood we had denied the application, but that’s not true.” The raid was conducted based on an allegation of illegal water diversion. “Staff was out there and working with them,” said Curry. “It was another surprise as to why that applicant was targeted.”

SEVERAL BOARD MEMBERS bemoaned the raid and wondered why F&W wouldn’t at least check with Mendo to verify the permit application status. Apparently, after the last raid, the Board had thought that F&W had promised to check with Mendo before any further raids. (It’s possible that some F&W wardens are still worried that checking with Mendo might lead to the target being tipped off and harvesting the plants before the Wardens arrive.)

CODE ENFORCEMENT CHIEF, Trent Taylor, said that as far as he knows Fish & Wildlife raids are based on calls to the state’s anonymous Cal-Tip line, so that growers with annoyed neighbors are more likely to be raided than totally illegal outback growers who are far from any neighbors.

COMMISSIONER CURRY noted that as far as she knows only three of the 734 pot cultivation applicants have suffered Fish & Wildlife raids — “which is not terrible,” she added.

TRENT TAYLOR told the board that most of the several hundred complaints his office has dealt with so far involve small growers, only about a third of which are permit applicants. He also said that some growers appeared to be stalling when asked about violations, saying they were thinking about applying but hadn’t got around to it yet, when in fact they just wanted enough time to bring in their crops this year and get legal next year, if then.

SUPERVISOR McCOWEN requested that if someone is clearly stalling he hopes that there would be a “robust response.” But so far the only “robust responses” seem to be the random Fish & Wildlife raids.

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SUPERVISORS Carre Brown and Dan Hamburg refused to volunteer to be considered for the ad hoc committee on combining Ukiah and County dispatch to save some money for both agencies. Readers may recall that Sonoma County-based Coastal Valley EMS, the agency that the Board has blindly turned emergency services over to lock-stock&barrel, tried to push through a dispatch RFP and privatization schedule until Supervisor Gjerde got back from vacation and convinced Supervisor Georgeanne Croskey that putting Calfire’s local Dispatch operation out to bid was a bad idea. So Croskey changed her earlier vote for the RFP and joined Gjerde and McCowen in postponing the Dispatch RFP indefinitely. But Hamburg and Brown, citing a version of staff-right-or-wrong, steadfastly refused to reconsider — even when faced with a phalanx of local firefighters and cops who explained in detail why privatizing Dispatch was a very bad idea.

IN EXPLAINING this week why she had no interest in saving the County and the City of Ukiah some dispatch money by consolidation, Brown specifically referred to last week’s 3-2 vote to hold off on the Dispatch RFP, adding that she was sure Supervisor Hamburg felt the same way. “Thank you, Supervisor Brown,” replied Hamburg, indicating his solidarity with Brown’s nonsensical and petty refusal. In the end Supervisors McCowen and Croskey were appointed to the dispatch ad hoc committee, but not until Brown and Hamburg had reminded the other three Supes that they had no intention of participating in the “cooperative” manner they always talk about.

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AFTER SOME bureaucratic gibberish about “compensable factors” and some mild discomfort at even having to discuss huge raises for the Ag Commissioner, the Chief Probation Officer, the Human Resources Director (who had one of her own employees promoting the raises, even though the Human Resources Department should remain neutral on such things), and the Planning & Building Director, Supervisor Carre Brown, dependable supporter of whatever staff wants to do, moved to approve the raises. Supervisor Hamburg quickly seconded the motion. After Supervisor McCowen made an ominous “I’m going to predict that we are going to hear from some other department heads and elected officals on this,” the Board voted 4-1 to approve the huge raises which amount to about $100k per year for the four overpaid bureaucrats with only Supervisor Dan Gjerde dissenting. At no time did they discuss whether these people deserved raises or whether the budget impact had been calculated. PS. We agree with McCowen that it won’t be long before big raises are proposed and similarly rubberstamped for the County’s two dozen or so other top officials.)

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LITTLE DOG SAYS, “I don't like ragging on my own species, but boy do we have some dumb dogs in this neighborhood! Twice yesterday they all went off at once, barking like crazy. A guy walks by and says, ‘Take cover, Little Dog. Earthquake on the way.’ I said, ‘More like a dumbquake if you ask me’."

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I also love the smell of MJ growing and I think the plants are beautiful but I do not smoke it. In the last place I lived with other seniors we had a small grower living next to our small complex. Two of my neighbors back windows faced the grow and both of those neighbors (78 years old) had serious allergies to the smoke and had to keep their windows closed all the time. In another place I lived we had outdoor connecting small patios. One evening my neighbors had a small party and there was a lot of MJ smoke coming over the fence. I like the smell so stayed outside for a little bit. When I went inside to use my computer I thought I was losing my mind because I had a contact high but did not know it. It was very scary until I figured out what happened. My grandchildren could have been out there. I would much rather smell MJ than cigarettes, or a lot of other intrusive smells outside but I do worry about the contact high when people smoke it.

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On 10-02-2017 at approximately 10:25 a.m., Mendocino County Sheriff Deputies received a call for service for a domestic related argument at a residence located within the 14000 block of Prairie Way in Mendocino. Upon their arrival, deputies contacted the female victim and suspect Kyle McNamara, 35, of Mendocino. During that contact deputies determined both the victim and suspect were married and reside together. Deputies also observed the victim had visible injuries to her face. Deputies determined the injuries were the direct result of the suspect physically assaulting the victim. Deputies arrested the suspect for inflicting corporal injury to a spouse and transported him to the Mendocino County Jail where he was booked and held in lieu of $25,000 bail.

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On 09-28-2017 at about 9:28 P.M. Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office contacted a 27 year old adult female at her home regarding a violation of a protective order. It was reported that the adult female's ex-boyfriend, Robert Valadez, 29, of Ukiah, had been harassing and stalking her for the past month. The adult female had received several unwanted and threatening text messages from Valadez over the past month. Valadez also repeatedly showed up at her residence uninvited and on 09-28-2017 had been observed following her to a local business. Deputies learned Valadez had been served with a Mendocino County Superior Court criminal protective order which directed him not to harass, follow or threaten the adult female. On 09-28-2017 at about 10:53 PM Deputies contacted Valadez at his residence and was arrested for Stalking, Criminal Threats, and Violation of a Protective Order. Valadez was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $50,000 bail.

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On 09-29-2017 at approximately 12:38 P.M., Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office received information regarding a subject that had numerous felony warrants for his arrest and was living on Biggar Lane in Covelo. The subject was identified as William Goodwin, 64, of Covelo, who had two confirmed felony warrants issued by the Mendocino County Superior Court in 2014. The charges on the warrants were for possession of marijuana for sale and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, each with a $275,000.00 bail. Deputies responded to a residence in the 300 block of Biggar Lane in Covelo where they contacted and arrested Goodwin without incident for the felony warrants. Goodwin was subsequently booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of a combined bail of $550,000 for the two warrants.

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On 09-29-2017 at approximately 3:24 AM Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to a domestic violence incident that occurred at a residence in the 10000 block of West Road in Redwood Valley. Upon arrival Deputies determined an adult female had been physically assaulted by her cohabitant boyfriend, Zachary Brown, 38, of Redwood Valley, during an argument. During the argument Brown head butted the female’s head two times, pushed her numerous times and grabbed the female and physically forced her out of the residence. The female attempted to use her cellular phone to call 911 however Brown snatched the phone from her grasp. Deputies observed injuries consistent with the reported assault. Deputies also learned Brown was on Mendocino County Probation for a prior domestic violence incident. Deputies searched the area for Brown however they were unable to locate him at the residence that morning. On 09-29-2017 at about 10:16 PM Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies observed Brown driving a vehicle at the intersection of Airport Park Boulevard and Talmage Road in Ukiah. Deputies conducted a traffic stop and arrested him at the location for Felony Domestic Violence Battery, Violation of Probation, and Damage/Destroy wireless communication device. Brown was booked into the Mendocino County Jail and was to be held without bail due to violation of his probation.

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Letter to the Editor

Every one of us is touched by mental illness in some form or another regardless of whether we realize it or not. NAMI Mendocino feels that Measure B is such an important issue that we as a community must take the lead now as it has become painfully obvious that if we do not (state and federal mental health funding is dwindling) we will find ourselves in a catastrophic financial situation of monies being wasted by not having the needed facilities at hand.

Too many of our emergency room beds are occupied, sometimes for days, by men and women with a mental illness or suffering from addiction. Early treatment of mental illness and drug addiction breaks the cycle of the revolving door in and out of hospitals, in and out of jail, and reduces costs to taxpayers. The earlier one receives the proper care, as with any disease, the better the prognosis.

Measure B tax dollars will stay in Mendocino County. Tough legal restrictions ensure they cannot be diverted by state or federal officials. An independent Taxpayer Oversight Committee will review annual audits to ensure that all Measure B funds are spent appropriately.

Voting YES on Measure B will improve the quality of life for everyone in Mendocino County by making mental health services available to traumatized veterans, the homeless and our residents who need them. Thereby allowing us, their loved ones, friends and community to also function better and be more productive in our respective occupations, families and community.


NAMI Mendocino County Board of Directors, Donna Moschetti, Chair

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On Wednesday, October 11, 2017, a panel of experts will discuss mental health issues relative to Measure B from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Fine Arts Building at the Redwood Empire Fairgrounds. Speakers at the October 11 forum will be Sheriff Tom Allman, Dr. Marvin Trotter, and Camille Shraeder of RQMC. In addition, Manzanita peer specialists Raven Price, Paula Redding, and Maxx Cauley will also be speaking. These three latter individuals are all presenters or facilitators in various NAMI Mendocino programs. A question and answer session will follow the presentation.

Mental illness affects one in five individuals each year, according to Mental Health America (MHA), the nation’s leading community-based nonprofit dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness and to promoting the overall mental health of all Americans. Of those individuals living with mental illness, more than 50% are untreated due to lack of services and access to care. Consequently a disproportionate number of those suffering from mental illness become subject to incarceration. Nowhere is this more true than in Mendocino County.

Measure B is a local initiative to bring more access and care to individuals suffering from mental illness home to Mendocino County. Currently there are no local beds or facilities for those in crisis or requiring stabilization. The impact on our emergency rooms and the cost of sending people out of county is tremendous. The small sales tax collected by passing Measure B will be charged not only to Mendocino county residents, but to all visitors who come to enjoy the beauty of this special place. The accumulated financial resource will be used to create local facilities to allow quicker stabilization and access to local treatment where clients have a familiar support system.

The challenges of mental health are complex, and illnesses affecting the brain are not the result of personal weakness, a character defect or poor upbringing. Furthermore, recovery is not simply a matter of will and self-discipline. Providing mental health services to those in need can be challenging because too often prejudice and stigma hamper the development of mental health policies, and there are very few resources to address these issues. Many residents of Mendocino County can attest to the tragedy of this lack of services.

All people interested in understanding Measure B in particular, and hoping to advance Mendocino County out of the darkness of limited mental health services to the light of a caring, supportive community in general, are invited to attend. This forum is supported by NAMI Mendocino.

For more information call 468-8632.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, October 3, 2017

Dewitt, Fenty, Freeman, Lewis

KENNETH DEWITT JR., Ukiah. Failure to appear.

KEVIN FENTY, Huntington Beach/Ukiah. DUI causing bodily injury.

VIRGIL FREEMAN, Ukiah. Fugitive from justice.

VERONICA LEWIS, Fort Bragg. DUI, suspended license, probation revocation.

Mallett, McNamara, Peak

BRADLEY MALLETT, Laytonville. Honey oil extraction, pot possession for sale, felon/addict with firearm, armed in commission of felony, prior strike.

KYLE MCNAMARA, Mendocino. Domestic abuse.

MATTHEW PEAK, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.

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The Puerto Rico disaster is the perfect chance for a self-indulgent virtue-signaling sneer-fest. No matter if the rescue-relief operation is a model of timeliness and efficiency, the Democrat-Prog media and pundit mouthpieces will portray it as a model of racist neglect.

But don’t look for unbiased and impartial anywhere because if the relief efforts were a Katrina-style botch, bullhorns on the Republican side of the spectrum would be busy minimizing and deflecting. So what’s actually going on in Puerto Rico?

I can see the film footage of the damage. But as to rescue-relief I have no idea. I listened to the accounts of the San Juan mayor and right away it all sounded like partisan bullshit, like a down and dirty politico with ambition for higher office grinding out her factional bona fides. Same with pretty much every account I’ve heard, spun by spinners and informationally useless.

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Jeff Costello

Within a month of my 18th birthday, the draft notice arrived in the mail. It was 1964 and I knew nothing of Vietnam, but had no intention of going into the army. Besides not being soldier material, I had other plans. The end result of ongoing family matters was repossession of the house I'd lived in for the past dozen years. I was now homeless in a small New England town, but consumed with the idea of going on the road with my rock and roll band. After spending a night sitting/sleeping on a gas station toilet and sneaking into a friend's car and sleeping in the back seat, I got hired to play guitar backing a country singer named George Avak, a former quick-draw artist who had taught TV cowboy actors in Hollywood how to draw their guns. He was known in some circles as the The Fastest Gun Alive. He was a decent singer and had a steady gig on Sunday nights at the Hotel Worthy. Avak drove a white Cadillac convertible with Texas longhorns for a hood ornament. His license plate said "Avak."

The Hotel was in the sleazy part of Unionville, Connecticut, which is saying something. Unionville was the sleazy end of Farmington, famous for Miss Porter's school for daughters of the rich, where Jacqueline Bouvier had learned correct and proper mannerisms suitable for the wife of a President. Unionville, literally the other side of the tracks, was quite another matter. In high school terms of the day, Farmington was where the "preps" lived, and Unionville was the province of the "greasers." The hotel was occupied mostly by old drunks, but had a "ballroom" where people could go drink and dance to country music, served up on weekends by George Avak. This would not have been tolerated in proper Farmington. I had scored high on my school tests, and was placed in college preparatory courses. Hence the term "preps."

The others in these classes turned out for me to be the wrong people, who lived on the Farmington end of town and dressed in the collegiate style, blue blazers and khaki pants, and Bass Weejun penny loafers. 16 years old and already devoted conformists. They found me "interesting" in a perverted sort of way. Kids who dressed and behaved like me weren't "supposed" to be smart. Or smart-assed, a tendency my father had warned me against. After lucking into the gig with Avak, I was able to rent a room upstairs in the Hotel Worthy for eight dollars a week. The common bathroom at the end of the hall was tolerable. The old drunks were fairly benign and spent much of their time downstairs in the bar, playing 3-card gin for fifty cents a hand. I was the only young down-and-outer in town except for Bob, the singer in my road band-to-be. One or two nights a week he would throw a pebble at my window, the signal that he needed a place to sleep. I would open the window and Bob would climb up over the porch roof. Luckily the bed in my room was a double, so we could both sleep in it. This is about the closest I ever came to knowing what it was like to have a sibling.

Eventually we were able to glue the band together, rehearsing in the basement of the bass player's house. Bob somehow got himself a car and we were off "on the road" to Glens Falls New York, where we were booked into a rough-and-tumble joint called the Northway Inn, where we had the privilege of room and board - one big room with several beds, no hot water and a freezer full of hamburgers, which we ate every day with abundant amounts of ketchup and wonder bread. A modest beginning for sure, but it was away from Unionville and the start, to some small and very modest extent, of a professional career in music.

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Last weekend for "California's Wild Edge" exhibit

by Roberta Werdinger

Grace Hudson Museum's upcoming First Friday evening, on October 6th from 5 to 8 p.m., will host a remarkable convergence of events. Letterpress printer Meredith Hudson-Redfield will offer a workshop to kick off "Mendocino County Celebrates American Craft Week" in which participants can design and create a print using foam blocks. As on all First Fridays, admission and programs, including instruction and supplies for the printmaking workshop, are free. The Museum is also taking part in a city-wide Rail Trail Celebration, featuring a People's Promenade at the site of Ukiah's new walking and biking trail adjacent to the downtown railroad tracks.

Additionally, this is the last weekend to view the Museum’s current exhibit, "California's Wild Edge: The Coast in Poetry, Prints, and History," a display of woodblock prints of the California coast by noted Marin County artist Tom Killion paired with the poetry and prose of venerable ecologist and writer Gary Snyder and others. The exhibit closes on October 8.

Ukiah native Meredith Hudson-Redfield (no relation to Grace Hudson) studied printmaking in the Bay Area with a focus upon letterpress and book arts. She has since relocated back to Ukiah where she runs a letterpress business and teaches printing and bookmaking. In the workshop, people will carve letters (backwards!) and/or images into foam blocks, which are then covered with ink and pressed onto paper to make a print. (This is a similar process, although done with wood blocks instead of foam blocks, that Tom Killion employed to create his stunning images for "California's Wild Edge.") The workshop will take place inside the Museum; those interested are encouraged to join by or before 7:30.

The Rail Trail Celebration is a community-wide event designed to bring attention to an underused resource, the west side of the old Northwestern Pacific Railway tracks running, unseen to many, through the heart of Ukiah, north-south between Clara and Gobbi Streets. The trail is currently undergoing development, having completed Phase One of a projected three-phase conversion to a pedestrian and biking trail. The celebration is slated to take place from 5 to 7 p.m., mostly between Perkins and Gobbi. A People's Promenade is planned, with music, theater, flash mobs, craftspeople, displays from several community groups--and, it is fair to predict, spontaneous audience participation. A good place to start might be the old Rail Depot at 309 E. Perkins (across the street from Hospital Drive), now headquarters of the Arts Council of Mendocino County, which will be displaying an exhibit on present and future plans for the Rail Trail.

This will also be the inaugural night for the opening of a new path connecting the Grace Hudson Museum with the Rail Trail. The trailhead can be accessed via the parking lot on the southeast side of the Museum's grounds.

To round off the evening, the Museum will be open until 8 p.m. so visitors can catch "California's Wild Edge: The Coast in Poetry, Prints, and History" as it begins its final weekend. This popular exhibit is based on the book of the same name Killion co-authored with Gary Snyder, exploring the history and culture of the California coast. Killion's woodblock prints that are on exhibit, rooted in place and awash with colors, are a fitting tribute to one of the most magnificent seascapes on earth, and are complemented with panels of poetry by Robinson Jeffers, Jane Hirshfield, and other California poets.

The Grace Hudson Museum is at 431 S. Main St. in Ukiah. The Museum is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 4:30 p.m. For more information please go to or call (707) 467-2836.

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Mendocino County Youth Project is announcing their 2017 Art Contest and Gallery Event, for students of Mendocino County. The event will take place on Friday November 3rd with the First Friday Art Walk of Ukiah.

Fifty percent of youth art sales is paid directly back to the youth artist, and the other half going to the Jim Levine Legacy Scholarship Fund.

Application packets have been sent to Mendocino County Schools, you may also contact the MCYP office at or 707-463-4915 to request an application packet or gather more information. Adult art submission is also accepted as 100% donation and is tax deductible.

Jade Morgan, 707-463-4915,

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Donald Trump attempted to focus the nation’s ire on anti-racist black athletes in the National Football League. He attempted to demonize them on the highest possible stage, calling for them to lose their jobs. His transparent aim was to find a bogeyman in order to distract people from a cascade of scandal and failed legislation, and his administration’s disastrous response to the suffering in Puerto Rico. Well, the results are in, and here is what this idiotic effort has produced.

First and foremost, it has provoked death threats aimed at numerous NFL players, an unconscionable result that falls right on this president’s shoulders. One Trump supporter with a massive Twitter following even linked the horrific Las Vegas shooting to “the same mentality” as these players (forgive me that I don’t link to it.)

Second, despite Trump’s smirking line that “this is not about race,” numerous players and black coaches have also been showered with endless racial invective across social media. But despite a fusillade of abuse, and NFL owners working overtime to change the meaning of these protests to anything other than what they actually were, something remarkable has happened.

Even though these brave athletes have been called anti-US, anti-military, and anti–apple pie, public opinion has shifted in their favor. According to a USA Today poll—and I am still stunned reading these results—“Most Americans say the protests by NFL players during the National Anthem are appropriate, a USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll finds, and they say, by overwhelming margins, that President Trump’s heated criticism of them are not.”

The numbers to back that up—in these draining, dark times—are cause for hope. By a margin of 51 percent to 42 percent, people say the players’ protests are “appropriate.”

Sixty-eight percent of respondents say that Trump’s call for games to be boycotted and players to be fired are in contrast “inappropriate.” That includes one-third of Republicans. There is a racial divide, but 44 percent of white people support the protests and, again, in these times where Trump and his media echo chamber are exerting all their will to distract, divide, and destroy, I’ll take it.

In addition, there is another poll, this one produced by Seton Hall Sports, that shows that 84 percent of respondents support the players’ right to protest, with only 16 percent saying players should be required to stand for the anthem.

This represents a striking shift towards the players side since Trump’s comments. In 2016, when Colin Kaepernick and a select few players were taking a knee, 72 percent of Americans said that they thought Kaepernick’s behavior was unpatriotic. Another 61 percent said that they did not “support the stance Colin Kaepernick is taking and his decision not to stand during the national anthem.”

What are the conclusions we can draw from these numbers? The first and most obvious is that Donald Trump is poison. He’s a profane bully whose ugliness pushed people into supporting the players and their right to protest, even if the reasons for the protest have received less attention from the moment Trump jumped into the fray.

The second conclusion is that solidarity matters. Seeing almost 200 players take part in protests altered how people consumed these acts. The protests may have been met with boos in some stadiums, but if you’ve ever been to an NFL game, you know that the typical in stadium fan represents a very narrow slice of this country: wealthy enough to afford tickets, parking, and 10-dollar beers, as well as overwhelmingly white (and the copious booze doesn’t help). Solidarity and struggle change public opinion. It’s always been that way, and it will always be that way. We forget that because we think social-media platforms like Twitter are public opinion when they represent profoundly distorted windows, warped by professional trolls, bots, and most of all, those with the time and emotional energy to spend all day on Twitter.

Lastly, the entrance of Trump also turned this into a referendum on whether the president should be able to squelch dissent and curse out those with whom he disagrees. It’s heartening that most people say no to this. It’s also miles from the original point of these protests: that we desperately need police reform in this country. The fact that police shootings are up in 2017 has not made a dent in this conversation. Refocusing attention on this fact is the urgent task by everyone on the field and off. This is about Tamir Rice, not Donald Trump. The more it’s about Trump, no matter what the poll numbers say, the more we stand to lose.

* * *


Fall Crafting with Acorns: First Friday Art Walk & Book Sale

Friday, October 6th 5-7:30pm

Robots & Rockets: A STEM Learning Workshop for Kids and Teens. Saturday, October 7th 2-4pm

Teen Storytime Pajama Jam & Pillow-Making

Friday the 13th of October 4:30-7pm

Read aloud from your favorite stories. Pajama Cosplay encouraged. Don't worry about being embarrassed - the Library will be closed to the public at 5 pm. Bring a flashlight for ghost stories!

Teen Read-a-Thon

Saturday, October 14th


Knock $1 off your fines for every hour you read at the Library!

For a full list of events, check out our website,

* * *


Eternal Witness

Here's proof that it is possible to actually live in perfection, right in the midst of postmodernism's craziness. After getting my seasonal flu shot at Kaiser Permanente in Mission Bay, and then fueling up with a Chipotle sofritas burrito, took a bus ride to St. Mary's Cathedral and spent the entire afternoon sitting in silence in front of the Blessed Sacrament, to the left of the main altar. At 4:30 p.m., took a bus back to downtown San Francisco, and attended Mass at St. Patrick's Catholic Church, and received Holy Communion. Went to the Mechanics Institute Library to send out this important message. We are all the "eternal witness" only, which ends attachment to postmodernism's stupidity and insanity. That's the good news!

Craig Louis Stehr
San Francisco


Please Don't Invite Me for Alcoholic Revelry Anymore

Following a splendid afternoon attending a joyful Mass at St. Patrick's Catholic Church, featuring a post-mass benediction with monstrance, plus a censer full of the richest incense lovingly waved at pictures of the Blessed Mother, I am moving on from the consumption of alcoholic beverages because I no longer wish to take on all of the aspects of the drinking activity. In other words, it's NOT worth it to me anymore. It just dulls the spiritual bliss. Therefore, I am sending this notice out to all of my closer associations. For the record, I had a terrific evening at Foley's Irish House in San Francisco Saturday night. Beer and scotch whiskey have been good to me. Nothing bad ever happened as a result of partying since high school... No fights, no arrests, no accidents, a few hangovers but who cares? It's been a good ride! But it's over. It's my call. Never was an alcoholic, and pity those who are. They ought to stop drinking. I do look forward to continued socializing. I'll have a lemonade with a twist of lime, and dinner. What are you cooking? ;-)))))


  1. Lazarus October 4, 2017

    One needs to look no further than the piece above about County employee raises. The disconnect from the real working people is remarkable…
    This may be a stretch but…
    If Measure B fails it’s supporters and others need to look no further then the Board of Supervisors and the ” bureaucratic gibberish” they put out routinely to the voting public. Why would anyone trust them with anything meaningful…?
    As always,

  2. james marmon October 4, 2017


    I would love to attend the mental health forum but what do you think my chances would be getting out of town without being arrested and/or placed in a locked facility somewhere several hours away. I’m sure my presence would create quite a stir among stakeholders and HHSA staff? lol.

    James Marmon MSW
    Personal Growth Consultant

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

  3. Scott Peterson October 4, 2017

    Re: Project Skanktuary

    Ms. Polkinghorne’s literacy certainly doesn’t speak well of the battered women’s shelter she’s paid handsomely to manage. All of my inquiries were by email. None of them said I was working on a ‘sanctioned article on behalf of the AVA.’ See for yourself:

    As you can see, Polkinghorne wouldn’t answer the simplest of questions. Like why has Project Sanctuary’s caseload nearly tripled over the last ten years when domestic violence reports in Mendocino County have declined by thirty percent? Instead, she wanted to speak with me ‘by phone’ — which is _always_ the kiss of death for accountability.

    Joe Wagner’s ‘Fort Bragg Wellness’ Facebook page is where I posted the Project Skank-tuary article. It was one of several inviting a discussion about domestic violence and gender bias in Mendocino County. Polkinghorne was invited to participate there, but she refused. Check it out:

    My first article on the subject there was a poll asking if any of the 495 members had ever known of any families that Project Sanctuary had reunified. Nobody reported any. I did get several reports of anti-male gender bias. Joe Wagner’s was one of them. Another just popped up this morning.

    There’s nothing wrong with Project Sanctuary, per se. But it’s a nonprofit like many others that’s been exploited by unscrupulous people. I’m not calling Polkinghorne a liar. But if — in her role as a $60,000 a year administrator there — she can’t read, she’s not going to help Project Sanctuary with much of anything.


    Scott M. Peterson

  4. Kathy October 4, 2017

    I applaud Supervisor Gjerde for his NO vote on department head raises (outside the bargaining unit negotiation process!) But it is curios he seconded Carre Brown’s motion to approve… motions die when they lack a second.

    I guess the CEO must be feeling comfortable with the county’s ability to cover our unfunded pension problem. Wait – isn’t she close to retirement too?

    • mr. wendal October 4, 2017

      I echo your applause. Thank you, Supervisor Gjerde for your sensible vote. The salary increases will grow the pension “problem” and it will continue to grow alarmingly.

      The same thing is happening in Fort Bragg. The general fund is shrinking. Sales tax revenues have been flat for 10 years. Yet salaries at the top have increased while those same positions now have assistants added in recent years and the departments are understaffed at the bottom. At the budget workshop this year, the city manager stated that the issue keeping her awake at night (before her retirement) is the CalPERS permium change. This is unfunded liability. Premiums in 17/18 fiscal year are $868,000. They will begin to increase at a steep rate and in 7 years they will be about $2,120,000. That’s a 144% (1.25 mil) increase!

      Fort Bragg doesn’t have a large budget. What does the city council propose to do to offset this raise in premiums? Who knows. I’m not aware of any public discussion to tackle the city’s looming biggest fiscal problem. The residents are not wealthy enough to shoulder the burden without spiraling into destitution. Planning needs to happen now as it will affect all services. Why is this not a hot topic of discussion? Next year’s premium will be larger than this year’s and the budget is bare bones already, except for personnel. Where will the additional money be found for next year’s premium? Does anyone want to take a guess or propose a solution? How about rolling back management salaries (and benefits) and letting the assistants go as a first step? It’s going to take some harsh steps to keep the city out of bankruptcy due to lack of planning ahead. I hope the city council is up to the challenge.

      • mr. wendal October 5, 2017

        The property belongs to GP so I’m not sure how the city can generate revenue from it. Do you have more details about this to share?

  5. james marmon October 4, 2017

    Two of my most favorite people are celebrating their birthday’s today

    The Major (Mark Scaramella) and my big brother Steven Marmon, both Army vets I believe.

    Happy birthday boys

    • Mark Scaramella October 4, 2017

      Thanks, but sorry James, USAF. Entry Date: November 23, 1967. Separated April Fool’s Day, 1977.

      • james marmon October 4, 2017

        That’s alright, my daughter was USAF Intelligence. Stationed in Misawa Japan for four years keeping an eye on the little bastard in North Korea.

  6. Jim Updegraff October 4, 2017

    On Line Comment of the Day: The only b—s–t are your comments about the media. You sound like one of Trump’s stooges.

  7. Eric Sunswheat October 4, 2017

    NAMI Mendocino supports: “The challenges of mental health are complex, and illnesses affecting the brain are not the result of personal weakness, a character defect or poor upbringing. Furthermore, recovery is not simply a matter of will and self-discipline.”

    Excuse me! ‘NAMI Mendocino supporters support’, omits the use of the word ‘MAY’. In example:

    ‘The challenges of mental health are complex, and illnesses affecting the brain MAY not BE the result of personal weakness, a character defect or poor upbringing.

    * – AND – *


    In post aside, Mendocino extreme terrain marginal hill dwellers out there near wits end and wild land interface, consider to avoid the ‘mental health’ persecution maintenance sales tax impact, with an analysis towards purchasing a 2018 Subaru Crosstrek Limited, before possible ‘mental’ sales tax surcharge goes into effect, brought to you by perhaps compliant voters.

    • james marmon October 4, 2017

      Bruce Anderson and NAMI (Sonya Nesch) Exposed as Front Group For Big Pharma

      The US based Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) which has been posing as a grassroots organization representing the mentally ill has been exposed as a well funded mouthpiece for Big Pharma.

      They pretend to be “advocates” but they fight against human rights for the mentally ill.

      They Fight against informed consent to treatment your rights and my rights.

      The scheming and sordid nature of Big Pharma in its immoral pursuit of profit at any price through the sale of drugs is really quite disgusting.

      The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) will not help if you are abused behind the locked doors of psychiatry or chose to refuse medication.

      NAMI is big pharma , look it up ! (In my opinion)

  8. sohumlily October 4, 2017

    “In 2009, the New York Times published an article called ‘Drug Makers Are Advocacy Group’s Biggest Donors’. Earlier that same year, Senator Charles E. Grassley sent inquiries out to a number of so-called ‘disease and advocacy’ organizations — NAMI just one among them — requesting the disclosure of any ties to drug and device makers. Previously (and subsequently), NAMI had done its best to keep such fundraising details relatively private, but they did respond to this ask.

    In fact, Grassley’s inquiry (and the resultant New York Times exposé) led us to learn that NAMI received about three quarters of their donated dollars from the pharmaceutical industry. Three quarters. (That’s about 23 million between 2006 and 2008.) Now, it’s worth noting that this wasn’t the first time this sort of information had been released. In fact, ten years prior, Mother Jones had obtained similar details and included them in an article titled ‘An influential mental health nonprofit finds its ‘grassroots’ watered by pharmaceutical millions.’ But apparently Mother Jones wasn’t mainstream enough — nor the 11.72 million from 18 drugs firms between 1996 and mid-1999 quite shocking enough — to elicit the sort of move to action that the Times piece did.”

    “So, in case you didn’t know, there are many other ways for money to exchange hands beyond direct donations. And they don’t require such pesky things as public listings of who’s contributed what to whom. For example, a while back, another former NAMI president, James McNulty, reportedly received thousands from Pfizer and other drug makers for his participation in various events. Consider this excerpt of allegations found in a whistleblower lawsuit (per former Pfizer drug rep, Mark Westlock) as reported by CBS News in 2009:

    During the time he was president of NAMI, James McNulty received thousands of dollars for regularly speaking on behalf of Pfizer and other drug makers at various company sponsored events. In an arrangement ethicists say is highly irregular, McNulty would process the “grants” through NAMI Rhode Island. In order to reduce paperwork, according to McNulty, the drug maker would then give NAMI Rhode Island a check and NAMI Rhode Island would in turn give McNulty a check. At no time did McNulty disclose to the audiences at his various speaking engagements, or to NAMI’s membership, that he was being paid to speak by drug makers.

    But these are merely allegations, right? Well, in case you’re interested, this turned out to be a part of the largest criminal and civil health care fraud action ever brought by the United States Department of Justice, and resulted in a $2.3 Billion dollar settlement, with $102 million divided between the various informants involved (Westlock just one among them).”

    excerpts from article by Sera Davidow on the MiA site


    Rumor has it that the LV shooter was on SSRIs and Valium. The usual scenario for mass shootings~

    Oh and this tidbit:
    Pharmaceutical giants who produce drugs like Zoloft, Prozac and Paxil spend around $2.4 billion dollars a year on direct-to-consumer television advertising every year. By running negative stories about prescription drugs, networks risk losing tens of millions of dollars in ad revenue, which is undoubtedly one of the primary reasons why the connection is habitually downplayed or ignored entirely.

  9. chuck dunbar October 4, 2017

    Thanks, Bruce, for your strong support of Project Sanctuary, an often unsung local provider of services to sexual assault and domestic violence victims/survivors. During my years at CPS on the coast, from 1986 to 2013, we focused a lot attention and services on families involved in domestic violence incidents. It had become common knowledge during the 1980’s that exposure to domestic violence was harmful to children—that it was a form of child abuse. CPS began to see these issues as an area of focus and intervention. (Though when I first started as a CPS social worker, domestic violence was typically not an issue that CPS intervened in, which surprised me as a newcomer to the work. Advocacy groups like Project Sanctuary, and the CARE Project, which preceded PS on the coast, helped educate all of society, as well as the justice system and CPS, to the need for effective intervention to reduce the harm caused by domestic violence.)

    At CPS, we worked closely with Project Sanctuary staff and had a generally good relationship with this agency, though at times we differed in our approaches toward helping families. PS worked from an empowerment model focused on supporting clients’ desires. CPS often took, as we had to, a more directive stance, insisting at times that clients take certain steps (obtaining a restraining order, agreeing to have the offending spouse leave the home for the protection of children, etc.). We referred many clients to PS services, and clients often reported–and showed–that they had learned and grown from their experiences in services. Part of this learning was understanding more clearly their role as a parent to protect themselves and their children from domestic violence.

    I vividly recall many of my CPS experiences with domestic violence. One that comes to mind followed the removal of 2 young children from their parents’ home due to serious violence. The next day, as I visited the foster home to see the children, the 4 year old boy’s first comment to me (I had not met him before) was this: “My mommy hits my daddy, and my daddy hits my mommy.”

    As to reunification of families affected by violence: Most of these families had multiple problems—poverty, poor communication skills, drug abuse, mental illness, few supports, etc. Domestic violence was usually just one factor among many. As I recall some of the Juvenile Court cases we initiated over the years, at least the ones in which domestic violence was a major factor, a few families were reunited, but many were not. They often were families so badly damaged, so disabled, that the parents had no ability to stay together, caring adequately for them, their spouse and their children, over the long haul.

    Finally, I’ll give a shout-out to one peer counselor who works in the PS Fort Bragg office and has served in this work for many years. Carol Grass is a caring, intelligent, stalwart counselor who has continued in this hard work through many changes in her agency and office. I have great respect for her. So kudos to Project Sanctuary and to staff like Carol. We are fortunate to have these services. They make our communities safer and stronger.

    • james marmon October 4, 2017

      A bunch of bullshit Chuck, stop lying to yourself and everyone else. Project Sanctuary does noting to heal a family and keep them together. In fact, if a mother attempts to work things out with her husband, she will be reported to CPS and kicked out of the program. Back in the late 80’s, or early 90’s I remember when Joy Tressel was director of Project Sanctuary and attempted to provide couples counseling and was just about ran out of town. Men haters and male feminists like yourself consider “all” alleged male DV perpetrators as unredeemable and you are wrong, very wrong. Not all cases are the same.

      James Marmon MSW

      and stop kissing ass, its embarrassing.

      • james marmon October 4, 2017

        A #TrulyHuman Perspective: Keeping the “Human” in Victim AND Perpetrator

        When a friend cries “domestic violence” all sorts of reactions are unleashed within our communities. Some of support, most of incredulity, others of condemnation–as in “how dare you accuse my friend.”

        The guttural force of our collective reactions is telling of the dehumanizing nature of the charges. To us, “victim” or “perpetrator” are categories that live somewhere else “over there;” they don’t describe wholesome subjects but partial objects; caricatures of human interactions that on the one hand prescribe the perpetrator to be a monster with nothing redeemable about them, and conversely require complete innocence of the victim as a condition to qualify for the privilege of our charity.

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