Mendocino County Today: Friday, Oct. 13, 2017

* * *

6:30PM, October 13, 2017
Ukiah High School "Cafetorium"
1000 Low Gap Road, Ukiah

We plan to have a Spanish Speaking interpreter at this community meeting.

This meeting will also be broadcast live at the Willits Community Center, 111 East Commercial St, Willits. Agency representatives will be available to answer questions at both locations.

Cooperating Agencies: Lake County; Lake County Sheriff’s Office; CAL OES; California Highway Patrol; CALTRANS; California Dept. of Corrections and Rehabilitation; American Red Cross; PG&E; United States Forest Service; California National Guard; National Weather Service; California Conservation Corps

* * *


Last Updated: October 13, 2017 8:50 am

Date/Time Started: October 08, 2017 10:36 pm

Administrative Unit: CAL FIRE Mendocino Unit

County: Mendocino County

Location: North of Hwy 20, west of Mendocino National Forest, south of Black Bart

Acres Burned - Containment: 34,000 acres - 10% contained

Evacuations: 10/13/17 at 7:00 AM: See the latest Incident Update for current evacuations and road closures.
On 10/13/17 at 6:30 PM Community Meeting at Ukiah High School “Cafetorium", Ukiah.

Cause: Under Investigation

Cooperating Agencies: Mendocino County; Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office; Lake County; Lake County Sheriff’s Office; CAL OES; California Highway Patrol; CALTRANS; California Dept. of Corrections and Rehabilitation; American Red Cross; PG&E; United States Forest Service; California National Guard; National Weather Service; California Conservation Corps

Long/Lat: -123.16635/39.24873

Conditions: Damage Inspection Teams have completed damage inspections for the Sulphur Incident and are continuing to survey for damaged and destroyed structures throughout the Redwood Fire. Firefighters utilized favorable weather conditions to their advantage today, across both fires, towards achieving containment and providing structure defense, however, the fire continues to burn in multiple directions threatening numerous communities and infrastructure. Steep inaccessible terrain coupled with critical fuel moistures and northwest winds will provide challenges for crews working on the fire. 34,000 acres have burned in the Redwood Fire, 10% contained. 2,500 acres have burned in the Sulphur Fire, 55% contained. There have been 8 fatalities and approximately 8000 people have evacuated throughout the incident. We ask the public to exercise caution and remember to be prepared to evacuate when asked. To learn more about wildfire preparedness visit

10/13/17 at 7:00 AM: See the latest Incident Update for current evacuations and road closures.

Phone Numbers (707) 467-6428 (Fire Information Line)

* * *


Good lord is right. So far Willits has been lucky. No phones, no internet for several days is pretty damn scary. I had car radio, and that’s all. Radios were sold out in Willits early Monday morning. We drove around a lot listening to the radio and looking at fire vantage points on Monday and Tuesday. I have not driven south, I have not seen the devastation in Redwood Valley, except in videos/photos.

CalFire said Thursday Redwood fire end towards Willits is “holding very well and looking very good.” They keep saying the winds blowing from the north is good for Willits and bad for Potter Valley. Still worried about winds tomorrow night. So good to hear lots of bombers yesterday and today!

I am listening to the afternoon press conference right now, and Allman is saying he flew the fire this morning and, this isn’t a quote, but he said the devastation was worse than even he thought, and the current numbers of structures burned are going to go up significantly, as will the numbers of fatalities.

Do you know Mendocino County YouTube channel is archiving all the press conferences? Here:

Also, here's a really good interactive "aggregation" fire map from the National Interagency Fire Center that's updated every 4 to 6 hours. This link should take you right to the Mendocino Lake Complex Fire area:

Well, PG&E came and turned on the gas here just a while ago – PG&E turned off the gas to Redwood Valley for obvious reasons and apparently we’re on the same pipe, so we got turned off, too – so I’m going to cook myself some dinner. Keep your fingers crossed for us, but again, so far, Willits and greater Willits is mostly OK.

* * *


Sheriff Allman: Urges people to go to Red Cross website and register they’re safety. Local call-in info service number: 707/467-6428 (ten lines); please call with questions about a person, address or animal. All will be forwarded and will be responded to as time permits. Trying to be cautious wherever possible. Lots of Calfire firebreaks. #3 in priority in state, out of 10. Still arrests for looting, running roadblocks, and “trying to run over a deputy.” County and courts are up and running. Staying open. Including animal control. Problems with deputies should be directed to Sheriff himself. Exchanges with deputies are being recorded.

County CEO Carmel Angelo: All County offices are open. Shelters at Ukiah High, Willits, Hopland. At half capacity now. Air quality is poor. N-95 masks are being offered at Frank Zeek School for pickup. Drive-though. 500 today. Another tomorrow at 9:30 at Willits Library.

Calfire rep report on Redwood Fire Complex: Active firefighting, making progress, mitigating hazards all around boundaries. Weather was unprecedented. Much fire spread over 32,000 acres and still growing.

Allman describes hundreds of “refugees” from the fires. Insurance companies are offering immediate cash help. County staff is assembling info for insurance contacts. Will announce when ready.

Supervisor John McCowen: FEMA in county, assessing damage, working on assistance. 1-800-621-3362. “Fairly rapid assistance depending on assessments.” Lots of disasters limits FEMA staff coverage. NCO accepts applications at 467-3210 for emergency assistance for Lake and Mendo. Ukiah Playhouse on Low Gap across from high school accepts non-perishable food and water. Brown and Croskey were mandatorily evacuated.

Allman: For home damage assessments he hopes to meet with citizens by Friday to give a photo of location on request, good or bad news. Still have trees burning on some roadways. Still unsafe in fire areas.

PG&E rep in Willits: 200 gas customers re-lit, hope to have rest re-lit by Friday.

Allman: Access to fire areas still limited. Emergency only. Some sections are easier to access than others. But houses far off roadway will be last assessed.

Calfire: 1,000 structures threatened. 250 Single family homes destroyed: 90 outbuildings. Number going up as teams go in.

Allman: Reports of price gouging so far unfounded. If it occurs it will be dealt with.

Calfire: Many areas still dangerous, power lines down, burning trees down.

Alllman: Repopulation of neighborhoods is a top priority. But public safety takes precedence.

* * *

N95 MASKS AVAILABLE for Residents with Respiratory Issues

* * *


I’m very offended by the now deleted statement about Mendocino county regarding the redwood complex fire. If you ‘misspoke’ like your news station is saying you did, which you clearly didn’t.
It should come from YOU with a huge apology. Since you haven’t commented on your disgusting post, we see who you really are!! We will continue to stay strong and rely on Facebook for our news coverage. #pissed #staystrongnorcal

Paulson’s “ratings” on Facebook plummeted from “5” to “2” on Facebook in 24 hours as irate Mendo County residents flamed him.


* * *

KAI LOGAN SHEPHERD, 14, died as he and his parents and older sister attempted to outrun Mendocino County’s Redwood Valley fire Monday. His body was found in the driveway, his aunt Mindi Ramos said online.

The boy was among the 6 killed in that fire. He and his family were in the northern end of the valley when the blaze raced down the hill that morning. His sister and parents suffered severe burns and remain hospitalized.

“The life they knew is gone. Kai Logan is gone,” Ramos wrote on the fundraising site, “Our hearts are broken.”

Authorities said the family apparently left their home in two vehicles and were headed out a dirt road on a remote section of West Road when the flames arrived. The four apparently left the vehicles and ran. Kai appeared to have headed back toward their home and was found a little apart from his family.

(Randi Rossman, Press Democrat)

* * *

MESSAGE FROM WILLITS to Kym Kemp of Redheaded Blackbelt:

I live in Willits. Trying to find information about these fires has been an extremely frustrating lesson in futility. The phone (cell and landline) and internet service was shut off/cut off just a few hours after the fires began Monday morning. We don’t have t.v. so we relied on the radio, scanning constantly through the stations, ALL playing music, devoting minimal, if any time to covering the fires in our own and neighboring counties. Here we are Day Four, ready to evacuate. cell phone service is working, able to visit your site, and just wanted to say thank you for the invaluable information you provide. I have never posted a comment before, here or on any site. My gratitude to you compels it. Bless your beautiful heart.

* * *

LOTS of people in Redwood Valley and Potter Valley are wondering why their fire departments didn't set off their sirens at the onset of the disaster rather than rely, basically, on people finding out however they might that they could die if they didn't get out. Everyone hears sirens, and no one can mistake sirens that scream on and on and on for anything but a life-threatening, community-wide emergency.

* * *

HISTORIC ARTIFACTS have been removed for safekeeping from the Mission San Francisco Solano in downtown Sonoma, as evacuations were ordered late Wednesday only a mile from the Mission. The mission, built in 1823, houses religious icons, relics, statues, a candelabra and a famed series of watercolor paintings of the mission by Norwegian artist Chris Jorgensen, known as the Jorgensen Watercolors.

* * *

THE CAUSES of all the fires remain under investigation. Janet Upton, deputy director of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, said investigators were examining whether power lines falling down or electrical transformers exploding Sunday night may have sparked some of them. It's still too early to know how much money, and the number of resources, have so far been applied to the catastrophe. The exact number of firefighters assigned to NorCal is also not known, but hundreds of firefighters from as far away as San Diego are on the lines, as are all the local state prison fire crews whose front line labor has been crucial in saving many homes.

* * *

AS FIRES burned across the North Bay late Sunday, Sonoma County considered sending a mass alert to cell phones in the region to warn of the rapidly spreading flames. But county officials decided against it, worried that widespread panic would obstruct firefighters.

WHAT has been clear from the outset of the disaster is how precarious the grid is. And how confused authorities are in coping without a working communications system. PG&E goes down and a chaos of rumor and misinformation ensues. For years, municipal entities have worked on disaster plans, but seemed to have prepared for disasters other than massive fires.

* * *



The old rotary telephone and copper landline have been so necessary during the power outage that we had for two days. Cellphones couldn’t be charged and internet service was spotty, but the rotary phone worked. We still could keep in touch with family.

The only issue was that some businesses only have “push one” options. Luckily, a person will eventually answer a telephone call to PG&E.

I would like to see landlines and old rotary telephones remain viable for years to come.

Marci Jenkins

Santa Rosa

* * *


Gloria (Friberg) Ross, age 82 passed away August 26, 2017 at St. Helena Hospital, Napa Valley, in Deer Park, CA, after a car accident.

Born November 20, 1934 in Fort Bragg to Ruben and Lizzy Friberg, she grew up on the family (Valenti) ranch on Greenwood Road. She attended Anderson Valley High School, graduating class of 1952 and then went on to San Jose State University where she graduated with a degree in teaching and nutrition. She met and married Robert ‘Bob’ Rhoades and held several jobs while Bob worked and traveled for PG&E. They had two children, Jennie and Steven, who were her world.

She returned to the family ranch after her marriage ended and began work at AV High School as the Librarian and Home Economics teacher. She then started the Food Service Program where she taught many students to cook and prepare meals for over 30 years before retiring.

She was a devout Catholic and an active member of both the Elk and Philo Catholic Church communities. She ran the annual St. Patrick’s Day Dinner for over 50 years for the Elk Church and dedicated her time to fundraising and events including the many barn sales and the annual Crab Feed to help to earn funds for the new Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church.

In 1976 she married the love of her life, James ‘Jimmy’ Ross and settled in Boonville. She will be especially remembered for her wonderful cooking, kind giving nature, and big heart. She was a devoted mother, grandmother (Grammie), and great-grandmother.

She is survived by her loving husband Jimmy, daughter Jennie Moore, her husband Doyle; son Steven Rhoads, his wife Terri; her grandchildren Andrea Moore, Justin Rhoades, his wife Belma; Nicholas Rhoades, his wife Megan; great-grandchildren Natalie, Anthony and Carter, and countless nieces, nephews and friends.

Her memorial services will be held on Saturday, November 21, 2017 at 11am at the Boonville Fairgrounds followed by a potluck.

* * *

LITTLE DOG SAYS, “Skrag jumped in my face this morning to say he was headed out to help fight fires. I told him the last thing firefighters needed was a nutty cat running around. Frankly, I think he was faking it, but just to be sure, I sat on him until he calmed down.”

* * *

I WAS RECENTLY FORTUNATE to have been included in a small-group tour of The Wild Gardens project at the Grace Hudson Museum, Ukiah. Led by the infinitely informed Sherri Smith Ferri, the Museum's charming and patient director, I was thoroughly disabused of cynical preconceptions. I've had some harsh things to say about the Museum, specifically its exclusion of all mention of the true early history of Mendocino County. Not to dwell on it, but we were ground zero for the state-compensated massacre of our native populations, initiated by, of all people, California's first state supreme court justice, Serranus Hastings. (Boalt, of Boalt Hall, was nearly as murderous as Hastings, if not in fact certainly in intention. Depending on your opinion of the legal profession, both law schools may or may not be "appropriately" named.)

IMAGINE MENDO'S Edenic setting prior to the first white-native interface. Then imagine, say, the 600 or so residents of San Quentin's Death Row being handed guns and told, "Boys, head to Mendocino County where you can do whatever you want." Our noble pioneers, as celebrated at the Hudson and other local museums, arrived after Hasting's site prep, and if they disapproved, not much in the historical record says they did.

MURDEROUS CAVEATS ASIDE, I like the Grace Hudson and make a point of going to see the exhibits whenever they change. Simply driving by the Wild Gardens I'd assumed it was aimed at bum-proofing the Museum itself, the new fence being installed to keep Ukiah's outdoors leisure class, drink and drug subset, from annexing the Museum itself.

I WAS WRONG. The Wild Gardens are a kind of mini-re-creation of the plant and wildlife that pre-slaughter native populations lived from. With Smith-Ferri explaining what we were looking at, I fully realized for the first time how ingenious the first people were, inspiring the follow-up marvel of how they managed what was their edible landscape without harming it. Knowing this stuff from books is one thing, seeing it is the real instruction. The Project is still being planted, but when it grows up and out and fully complete, it will provide an essential ongoing lesson of what life was like over the thousands of years preceding State Street.

* * *

I SAID I thought HBO's new series, "The Deuce," got off to an unencouraging first episode, as in, "Why am I watching this?" I'd looked forward to it, especially given that the same people who gave us the brilliant "The Wire" were writing and producing "The Deuce."

A READER RESPONDED: "Give The Deuce another try....its not easy to watch. It’s damn depressing, and that 70's looking film stock does not help; it puts me on edge. But Simon and Pelecanos write slowly, and like the Wire, they introduce a lot of characters all at once, and then flesh out everyone's story arc until things kinda coalesce. For me, any new show by David Simon is guaranteed to disappoint because I am always comparing it to The Wire, which I think is the best series ever. I don’t love The Deuce, but it just got interesting, in Episode 5 or 6."

* * *


Josh Edelson says he was walking the fire-ravaged grounds of Paradise Ridge Winery with the owner when he noticed a large plastic container, about three-feet-by-three-feet in size, that had once held wine and was completely melted.

"I saw a pool of wine and it was flowing lightly down the hill and as I got close to it, I noticed that it was bubbling," Edelson says. "At first I didn't understand it, but then it dawned on me that the ground was hot and the wine was boiling with all that stuff smoldering around it."

Paradise Ridge is among more than a dozen wineries that have been confirmed as significantly damaged in the series of fires blazing across Northern California's Wine Country.

Paradise Ridge posted a message on Facebook on Oct. 9 in response to the fires: "All the Byck family and Paradise Ridge team is safe — our hearts go out to all who have lost their homes and businesses. We are strong and will rebuild."

* * *


Teaching Students in a Way They Want to Learn

by Michelle Hutchins, Superintendent of Anderson Valley Unified School District

This is the first column in a new, monthly series to share news and views about education in Anderson Valley.

When I was a kid, there was “book learning” and “real learning.” Information I learned about through someone else’s experiences was interesting and could be valuable, but information I learned through my own experiences hit me in a much deeper place. It stuck with me. I understood it better.

In school, we have traditionally offered a lot of book learning, because it was the way teachers knew how to impart information. These days, however, education is changing. We’re working hard to incorporate more hands-on learning into the classroom. Some subjects are tailor-made for experimentation and experiential learning. For others, it’s more difficult.

Science has always been a great place for hands-on learning. From the earliest elementary grades, science teachers can share a hypothesis and allow students to test it. Either it’s true or it isn’t, and the students can prove it. Once they’ve gone through the steps in an experiment, they have a better understanding about how something works—why the hypothesis is or isn’t true.

Our goal, now, is to expand this type of learning to other subjects. It isn’t always easy or obvious, but when we get it right, students are far more engaged in learning. Our job, as educators, is to point out the possibilities and help students discover information for themselves. If students make a mistake or get derailed, our job is to redirect them and to help them understand that setbacks are part of the learning process and should be celebrated because they build grit.

As recently as 20 years ago, memorization was a much bigger part of curriculum than it is now. Since many people walk around with super computers in their pockets (cell phones), memorizing data isn’t as important as it once was, and it certainly isn’t as important as knowing how to use information. We’ve gone from asking students what they know to asking them what they can do with what they know. It’s helpful to know the times tables. It’s even more important to understand the concept of multiplication and when to use it.

Unfortunately, we’re falling behind other countries when it comes to this shift. The Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) is a worldwide exam administered every three years that measures 15-year-olds in 72 countries. With more than half a million students taking the test worldwide, average scores in 2015 showed the U.S. ranking 40th in math, below the international average, and 25th in both reading and science. With the educational resources we have in our country, I know we can do better.

Part of the challenge we face is that educational standards are part of a big bureaucracy, and big bureaucracies don’t pivot well. However, they can change with effort and perseverance.

In Anderson Valley, one of the ways we’re engaging students is by giving them more opportunities to do project-based work and then showcase it. On October 19 from 3:30-6:00, we’re hosting Pumpkin Pi, an evening where students can share their work with parents and the public. The event will include a Pi recitation contest, music and disc jockeying, slideshows, and TurtleLogo coding demonstrations. Attendees can enjoy $2 tacos while viewing projects in Agri-science, Art, Biology, Chemistry, Culinary Arts, Earth Science, English, Floriculture, Junior High History, Music Production, Photography, Physics, Science 7, STEM, and Video Production.

The teachers organizing the event include Anderson Valley High School Principal Jim Snyder; Kim Jenderseck, Science; Donna Pierson Pugh, Grant Administrator; David Ballentine, Industrial Arts; Mitch Mendoza, Video; and Nadia Berrigan, Art and Computers. All students are invited to participate.

Because we have small class sizes in Anderson Valley, our teachers really get to know our students. Our principals know every student, not just the students with discipline problems (like at bigger schools). Teachers can personalize the learning experience, allowing students some choice in how they learn various subjects. Maybe a history teacher can encourage a student who loves playing guitar to explore how musicians were hired and by whom at a given point in history. What were the social norms: were musicians revered or considered outcasts? Maybe an English Language Arts teacher can point out the way language evolves by looking through a social media lens.

Engaging students on subjects of interest to them and providing hands-on learning opportunities can help engage students so they can be successful now and in the future.

* * *

COMMENTING ON THE AVA’S website, reader/contributor Mike Koepf said on Wednesday in regard to my recent Supervisors report entitled “Supes Working Diligently (?)”:

Mark Scaramella is one of few people awake to the obvious: our county bureaucracy is ripping us off, and our board of supervisors are too dumb to care.

ALL FEEDBACK IS WELCOME, of course. And I wouldn’t argue with the “ripping us off,” claim (except to say that Mendo is hardly unique in that respect). But “too dumb to care”?

TINY ANECDOTE: At a recent Anderson Valley Community Services Budget Committee meeting we were told that since July when the Ambulance Service became part of the fire department that we have received only about $550 in revenue from Medicare bills; and no other revenues. But in that same time period expenses of almost $20k have accumulated for salaries, volunteer shift coverage stipends and maintenance.

THE CSD got an initial $26.5k from the old Ambulance Account at the time of the transfer which is now down to about $6k as expenses continue. We were told that tens of thousands more money would be coming in from the old Ambulance service memberships account “soon,” which will bump up the revenue side, but expenses will continue. There have been 11 billable ambulance calls over the period in question which are billed — to Medicare, Medic-Cal, insurance or individuals — at well over $20k, but which probably won’t be paid at anywhere near that amount. In other words there’s a large and growing gap between expenses and revenues along with a significant delay in receipts.

THE CSD knew this in theory when they merged the Ambulance with the Fire Department, so some kind of funding gap is not a surprise. But it’s a problem which needs to be carefully focused on and tracked, especially in the early months of implementation.

WHEN YOURS TRULY noted that it seems like there are several things that affect the AV ambulance budget that are out of the District’s control — call volume, reimbursement rates, statewide rules and regs, etc. — and asked for more detailed tracking of expenses and receipts, I was first met with, “Are you suggesting we stop responding to calls?”

OF COURSE NOT. (That was a dumb question.) But if the ambulance goes into deficit, we might face some tough decisions, I replied. Then I was told that it was too early to worry because the money will start coming in; it’ll just take some time. Then I was told that it would be a lot of work to develop a tracking chart showing expenses against revenue.

I CONTINUED TO ARGUE that we need to get a better handle on the built-in budget gap. Finally, the committee agreed to do a full fiscal year to date budget report instead of just a snapshot of the current month. Which is better. But I could not get much other agreement other than it will be brought to the attention of the full CSD Board.

MY FELLOW COMMITTEE members are not “dumb.” And they certainly care about the ambulance service. But they just can’t bring themselves to seriously push for better tracking and reporting even though they agree it’s needed.

THE SUPERVISORS seem to be much the same. They are not “dumb,” and they do “care.” But they are so overcome by the possibility that they might be pushing too hard or asking for better work or — gasp! — criticizing their staff, that they can’t find the basic will to even bring up — and stay on top of — obvious problems.

AT LEAST FOUR of our Supervisors are, to various degrees, smart enough to know that a number of things need improvement and status reporting would help a lot. I’ve spoken to several of them and I know they are at least B students. But they don’t do anything about it. And as long as they don’t, the problems fester and the “ripping us off” continues. We don’t need smarter officials, we need officials (like John Pinches, for example) who are willing to complain, to criticize, to seem “negative,” to push harder on basic issues, to not be intimidated by staff — not to spend hours and hours hashing out detailed rules on safe and tame discussions about, say, where and how much pot can be grown, who went to what meeting, whether Supervisor X or Supervisor Y seconded the motion, or whether buildings need sprinklers.

(Mark Scaramella)

* * *

A READER WRITES: I agree with Edward Abbey’s “Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul.” I have been reading about the damage of the California fires and wondering if there’s anything that one can do beside wringing one’s hands. I hate the Red Cross and won’t give them a nickel. Are there any organizations that you could recommend to which one could contribute with the assurance that the money will help the victims?”

ED NOTE: We think a good place would be our local fire department and/or the non-profit volunteer firefighters association. They have eight local volunteer firefighters at the "Redwood" fire now (on one engine and two tenders) and they can always use some support. You can also designate precisely what you want it to go to in an accompanying note like: "Supplies for firefighters," or "Fuel for engines," etc. and they will apply it accordingly.

For either organization the best mailing address is PO Box 398 Boonville CA 95415. You can address it to AV Fire Department, or AV Firefighters Association.

PS. As far as victim assistance goes, The Salvation Army is a better charity than the Red Cross. But we don’t have a specific local Salvation Army address for cash donations and we don’t have any direct experience with them.

It looks like Redwood Credit Union is accepting and distributing funds County by County.

The Mendocino Community Foundation has also set up a donation arrangement for Mendocino County:

Both of these organizations are on the up-and-up. And see below for further options.

* * *


We were on our way to rehearsal and a tree beyond our capacity to move (even with my tractor) blocks the road. So we are postponing the concert/singalong/dancealong we were looking forward to offering tomorrow, October 13th at Willits Center for the Arts. Tentatively it will be in 2 weeks at that location with exact date and time to be determined. As soon as we have it set, we will send an annoucement.

In the meantime, the Disaster Fund at Community Foundation of Mendocino County ( is in need. If you donate, you can tell us (honor system) at the door to our music event.

Below is the text of a message they sent Thursday morning October 12th, for those wanting to give or those in need, and also some useful information.

Thanks and sorry for the change.

Bill Taylor and Jaye Alison Moscariello

Dear Friends,

As of this morning the Redwood/Potter Fires (Mendocino Lake Complex) have burned 32,000 acres in Redwood Valley and Potter Valley and is 5% contained. There have been 6 fatalities and approximately 8,000 people have evacuated throughout the incident. 1,000 structures are threatened and 250 single family residences destroyed.

The Community Foundation of Mendocino County has mobilized its Disaster Fund for Mendocino County to collect tax-deductible contributions of any amount. Approximately $74,000 has been donated to the Disaster Fund as of today. $24,000 of this was contributed by Harvest Market ($14,000 from customers and $10,000 from the Harvest Market corporation). $20,000 was contributed directly by the Community Foundation of Mendocino County.

Donations are also being accepted at the Community Foundation office in Ukiah or at branches of the Savings Bank of Mendocino County. The Ukiah Food Co-op, Community First Bank, or Mendocino Coast Chamber are also accepting donations for the Disaster Fund.

The Foundation will provide immediate response grants to North Coast Opportunities, Inc. (NCO). Due to fires in Lake County over the past three years, NCO has developed a fair, efficient, and transparent process to distribute needed relief funds to individuals and families affected by the fires. We are grateful that they have a system in place to ensure our community members will get the help they need.

Individuals wishing to receive assistance from the Disaster Fund should contact NCO (707-467-3236) and leave a message. Additionally, the County of Mendocino says that residents can also call 211 for more information on shelters, referrals for food, and general fire updates.

We will share more information as it becomes available on our website page (

Bill Taylor, Redwood Valley

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, October 12, 2017

Ammerman, Azbill, Hammers

MORGAN AMMERMAN, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

ANDREW AZBILL, Lucerne/Calpella. Domestic abuse.

SHAVONNE HAMMERS, Nice/Calpella. Domestic abuse.

Kutch, McOsker, Parker

MARTHA KUTCH, Fort Bragg. Filing false report of emergency, probation revocation.

REMO MCOSKER, Ukiah. Probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

MICHAEL PARKER, Ukiah. Concealed dirk-dagger, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

Salazar, Samano, Webb

MELINA SALAZAR, Fort Bragg. Taking vehicle without owner’s consent.

JUAN SAMANO, Ukiah. Domestic battery.

JIMMIE WEBB, Redwood Valley. Resisting.

* * *


We live in a dangerous time. People are angry, violent and more prone to engage in conduct that a generation ago would have been considered immoral and unethical if not illegal. Point in fact is aggressive and even reckless driving. More and more I see drivers refusing to follow traffic rules by tailgating, refusing to dim their high beam headlights, passing on the right, driving 20-30 mph over the speed limit, running red lights and driving vehicles with non-standard equipment. I see this more frequently with white male drivers behind the wheel of 6 ton behemoths that cost as much as some homes.

Not long ago a woman was traveling on one of our interstate highways on her way home with 3 children in the car. A driver in a large “decked out” pickup decided she was not going fast enough and began to tailgate her. Frustrated because she would not speed up the driver tried to pass and clipped her bumper putting her car into a spin at 75 mph. The car spun around and ran off the road striking a tree and killing two of the occupants. The driver of the truck did not stop. He was pursued by other drivers but sped up to over 100 mph and was never caught.

Its not just driving. It is everything we do. More and more we refuse to be civil, polite and compassionate to each other. We deserve whatever is coming.

* * *

What you are describing is conservatism in rural areas. I believe this was what the movie “The Blob” was about. In rural conservative areas, there is a clique that determines your place. Once you are part of this clique, you get to do this too. People who are liberal are ostrasized and attacked until they leave. The Blob rises up against them and police follow you all the time. Your car insurance lapses mysteriously. People call the police on you for anything. You’re overcharged for everything and all the work is substandard. There’s nothing you can do. The courts are part of the blob. But in the context of the blob, life makes sense. That is the damn hell of it all. These people want to live like this. That is why I never agree when I hear liberals describe conservative people as good people. They are not. Conservatives are all Nazi, some on the surface, some underneath. But make no mistake. They are all Nazis. They are so myopic an anus is their idea of heaven.

* * *


* * *



* * *


We will also be donating food to the Pennyroyal Kitchen for firefighters and evacuees

Blue Meadow Farm Gleaning

Sat, October 14, 8:30-1:00

Corner of Hwy 128 & Holmes Ranch Rd (17.45 m marker)

707 895 2071

* * *


Service to Sonoma County Airport is Restored

Mendocino Transit Authority (MTA) is offering free public bus transportation service on its Willits and Ukiah routes. The free fares are offered through Saturday. Fares are still being charged for Route 65 buses from Ukiah to Santa Rosa.

Bus service has been restored to Sonoma County airport from Ukiah and Mendocino coast communities, upon request. From Ukiah, buses leave Ukiah’s Pear Tree Shopping Center at 9:20 a.m. and 12:20 p.m. Monday through Saturday and can accommodate large suitcases.

Free travel includes MTA’s door-to-door Dial-A-Ride service in Willits and Ukiah. For free pick-up and delivery to your destination, call (707) 462-1422 ext. 2.

All MTA buses are running on normal schedules with the following exception:

MTA is stopping in Redwood Valley only at the West Road stop at highway 101 to pick up and unload passengers.

Check for service updates on the MTA website at Or call (707) 462-1422 or 1 (800) 696-4682.

Mendocino Transit Authority provides safe and convenient public bus service throughout Mendocino County.

* * *


Letter to the Editor,

I have considered Sheriff Tom Allman’s arguments in favor of Measure B and I have read with interest John Dickerson’s letter explaining why he will vote “No” on Measure B. I, too, will vote “No” on Measure B for the reasons Mr. Dickerson expressed and additional ones. Essentially my reasons are as follows:

We can’t afford this measure.

With over $100,000,000 of unfunded liability to the retirement system, and with the County unable to repair and maintain its road or provide essential permit review processes, among other essential government services, it makes no sense to take on another multi-million dollar set of obligations. There are from 80 to 90,000 residents of this County and the average income of a family of four is around $48,000. These facts do not provide a reasonable basis for the County to take on the financial obligations imposed by Measure B. It is important to understand what those obligations are. They are not simple:

Section 5.180.040 Specific Purposes ...

Provide for assistance in the diagnosis, treatment and recovery of mental illness and addiction by developing:

a psychiatric facility and other behavioral health facilities; and 2) a regional behavioral health training facility to be used by behavioral health professionals, public safety and other first responders.

Provide for the necessary infrastructure to support and stabilize individuals with behavioral health conditions, including addiction and neurological disorders.

In other words, the County will fund, build and run a facility for diagnosis, treatment and recovery of not only mental illness, but also addiction, that serves not only Mendocino County but also the region. We can’t afford that.

Enactment of Measure B will be unfair to not only the poor residents who will have to pay higher tax on everything they buy, but also to at least two additional groups of Mendocino County businesses or residents.

Retailers who sell fairly expensive items and who will lose customers who will drive to an adjoining County to purchase an expensive item in order to avoid paying additional sales tax;

Residents who depend upon timely performance of essential governmental services – i.e., those who want their roads fixed, want their building permit applications reviewed and approved in a timely manner and the “cannabis” industry applicants who want to make major investments and comply with the law in order to lawfully participate in and prosper from a new industry the voters have approved.

Everyone knows we have the worst roads in the State, and that routine applications for permits cannot be approved in a timely fashion. It is simply unfair to deny funds for these and other required governmental functions in order to keep funding a massively unfunded retirement program and to now undertake to construct and run a new and complicated facility/service for the mentally ill and the addicted.

It is by no means clear that this facility can be successfully built, staffed, and run. I have unlimited respect for Tom Allman, he is a great Sheriff. But this new facility can’t be run by the Sheriff. It will require a highly qualified technical staff to provide psychiatric care and care for addicts. So far we have seen no numbers – either of people or the dollar amounts that will be required for this staffing. How many people are required; are these people available in Mendocino County; how much will building and staffing the facility cost; and will a staff come here? What we do know is that if the facility is staffed by County employees, as a bill now in the legislature would require, this will impose a large new burden on our already broke retirement system. We also know that the hospital now has a difficult time finding doctors and highly qualified technicians. It is reasonable to assume that these problems will beset this facility as well.

I firmly agree with what I assume to be the sentiments of a vast majority of this County, namely that the mentally ill and the addicted have to be taken care in a humane manner. I also believe that that treatment is not now being provided anywhere in the state. However, this is a state wide, if not national, problem; and it is unreasonable for one of the poorest counties in the state to impose upon itself the burden of trying to fund a solution for this region of the state.

Jared G. Carter


* * *


by Ralph Nader

Back in the nineteen seventies, there was a best-seller, widely read in the business community, called Winning Through Intimidation. Barack Obama should pick up a copy, because that is what Donald Trump may be doing to him. Obama stays mostly silent as the belligerent Trump rolls back or destroys the legacies of Obama’s eight years in office. The mere thought of tangling with the Trumpster’s foul, prevaricatory, sneering tweets offends Obama’s own sense of civil discourse between politicians.

Given the present crises, this revulsion is just another form of self-indulgence by the former, self-described community organizer, Senator and President. There is no other political leader, in our celebrity culture, as well known or so high in the polls. Consequently Obama owes a different attitude and level of engagement to the American people.

In a previous column, I described some of these engagements, none of which involve a twitter fight with Trump. They provide focal points for Americans to rally around agendas and opposition to the politics of anxiety, dread and fear generated by the unstable occupant of the White House. That is, a way to respond to Trump’s raging tantrums, fact-impairment, loss of self-control and ego-centric vanities.

Mr. Obama could, for example, work to strengthen civic groups and help substantially to create new organizations to address urgent needs (such as averting wars); he could back opposition to Trump’s destructive policies that are running America into the ground while shielding Wall Street and the dictatorial corporate supremacists whose toadies Trump has put into high government positions.

Obama is a big draw and can raise hundreds of millions of dollars faster than most. Furthermore, he has the unique ability to fill the void the mass media is desperately looking to fill by serving as a counterweight to Trump. Hillary, hawking her latest book, doesn’t fit the bill here.

Instead, Obama, besides raising funds for his presidential library (about $1 billion), is getting press primarily for being paid $400,000 or more per speech before Wall Street and other big business audiences. Most recently, the New York Times located him in Sao Paulo, Brazil, speaking generalities to businesspeople who were charged from $1,500 to $2,400 to hear him say essentially nothing of note. The speech title was grandly cheerleading: “Change the World? Yes, You Can”—a nod to his unofficial 2008 campaign slogan, “Yes We Can.”

Obama’s spokesman would not say how much Obama gets to keep of the approximate $2 million generated by this event, which was sponsored by the Spanish bank Santander and Brazilian media conglomerates. The paying attendees were attracted to his celebrity status and didn’t care about the sizable tab probably picked up by their companies. One attendee was quoted by the Times as saying, “It was a bit disappointing. I don’t feel like he said anything new.”

There is plenty to be said in the US that is both new and significant by Obama. However, apart from a few words here and there on bigotry and immigration, Obama has preferred to bounce between high-priced lecture gigs and wealthy watering holes where he is a guest of the super-rich, and to work on his book, for which he is receiving over $30 million. Michelle Obama is receiving many millions of dollars for her book and has also been attending celebrity-filled gatherings. When asked at one such event, whom she would most like to be if she had another career, she answered, Beyoncé.

Meanwhile, down at the grassroots level, where people live, work and raise their families, tens of millions are without living wages or health insurance. Underemployment and people dropping out of the labor market in frustration over their rejected skills, mask what is in reality a deceptively low unemployment rate, and yet poverty indicators are everywhere. Under Trump, families will be exposed to more hazards in the workplace, the environment and the marketplace, and they will face rip-offs by companies that have been liberated from regulatory law and order.

The list of protective programs and responsible business laws destroyed by Trump’s wrecking crew of a cabinet grows longer every week.

It isn’t as if Barack Obama doesn’t realize what he is doing and what is happening to him in this self-enriching bubble he has shaped, post Presidency. He can’t seem to help himself, and going to nearly 500 fat-cat political fund-raisers outside Washington, D.C. as President didn’t help to change or expand his chosen circle.

In his best-selling 2006 book, The Audacity of Hope, then Senator Obama admitted: “I found myself spending time with people of means—law firm partners and investment bankers, hedge fund managers and venture capitalists. As a rule, they were smart, interesting people. But they reflected, almost uniformly, the perspectives of their class: the top 1 percent of the income scale.”

Classic Obama: Say the right thing and the people won’t mind so much when your words don’t match your deeds.

Think of your millions of supporters, Mr. Obama. They want you to regularly stand up for them and fight the Trump-led assault on our weakening democracy.

(Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!)

* * *


Heather Knight revisited the Mirkarimi fiasco in Wednesday’s Chronicle (Former SF Sheriff Mirkarimi, wife recall the bad old days):

After all, The Chronicle documented the saga’s many twists and turns in a way Mirkarimi made clear he found unfair. Mirkarimi, always a loner at City Hall, alienated much of the city, particularly women, by initially dismissing the domestic violence incident as “a private matter, a family matter.” After that, he never found his footing and seemed to blame everybody else for his troubles.

This is untrue, though Mirkarimi may have been a "loner" in City Hall, which is irrelevant to this incident. I wrote here [district5diary] about the domestic abuse charges issue against him more than 20 times, as the whole bogus case against Mirkarimi unfolded. That fight with his wife should have been treated as "a private matter." Instead, City Hall and the media hounded Mirkarimi for months and nearly destroyed his young family.

Nor do I recall Mirkarimi blaming "everybody else"---or anybody else, for that matter, though he rightly deplored the extraordinary campaign against him and, in effect, his family.

The Chronicle was leading the media mob against Mirkarimi from the beginning, especially Knight's colleague C.W. Nevius, who wrote a bunch of anti-Mirkarimi columns. Only the conservative Debra Saunders was consistently on task (herehere, and here), though Knight herself wrote a good column on the issue early on.

More from Knight:

Surprisingly, Lopez and Mirkarimi are friendly with District Attorney George Gascón and his wife, Fabiola Kramsky. The district attorney charged Mirkarimi with the crime, but the men made amends after their wives starred in “The Vagina Monologues” together. Gascón and Kramsky attended a baby shower for Lopez and Mirkarimi a few months ago.

Yes, that is surprising, since Gascon was particularly obnoxious leading the "progressive" City Hall mob against Mirkarimi. It's a tribute to Mirkarimi and his wife's generosity of spirit to be willing to overlook how Gascon mishandled the case.

(Rob Anderson, District5Diary)

* * *


Keep OMing on the Outbreath!

The supreme strategy in these times of overwhelming social confusion and aggravated political derangement is for all of the jivanmuktas (jiva means spark, or soul, or spirit, and mukta means free, in Sanskrit) to silently chant OM on the outbreath.  When the attention is needed for action, do everything fully, and then return to silently chanting OM on the outbreath.  This is a guaranteed, time tested, proven method developed by the Indian rishis, which may be further researched in the Yajur Veda, and also in the associated Taittiriya Upanishad.  This yoga practice unifies everybody with the Omkar, or the primordial spiritual current which energizes this universe.  The practice does not in any way conflict with any religion or spiritual path whatsoever.  It is safe and positive only.

Craig Louis Stehr



25 Responses to "Mendocino County Today: Friday, Oct. 13, 2017"

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.