Mendocino County Today: Friday, Oct. 27, 2017

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ENJOY THE SUN while it lasts. Forecast models looking ahead 10 days show that rain is coming at the end of next week. A low pressure system accompanied by a cold front are expected to drop down from Alaska, bringing cooler temperatures and possibly a couple days of rain beginning November 3. "We're going to be be transitioning into the more of our rainy season," says National Weather Service meteorologist Drew Peterson. "It doesn't look like it's going to be extremely wet at this point, but that could change."

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CALTRANS NOTICE / Friday Utility Work in Boonville:

PG&E has been granted a Caltrans Encroachment Permit for utility work at the Highway 128 intersection with Haehl Street. One-way traffic control will be in effect from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, October 27. Motorists should anticipate 5-minute delays.

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BONNIE'S PROTEST

I would like to inform my community about a business on Main Street in Willits that flat out stole my bike. The owners are Ken and his wife Rose of the Bike Depot. I gave my bike to Ken to sell on commission and when I asked for my money he told me that he spent my 225 dollars to bail out of jail for DUI. This happened four months ago. I do not like fraudulent people or drunk drivers.

I can not go to Ukiah and file a small claims because I work out of town and cannot make a court date.

I have made many calls and left messages that they can pay me in payments even, but no one calls me back. I have gone to the business many times and every time I am told to call his wife Rose as she owns the business. I call her and leave messages that she has never returned.

This Saturday October 28 I will be on Main Street holding a sign about this so that the people of Willits will know. I hear that others have had similar things happen and if anyone cares to join my protest I will bring doughnuts and a few extra signs. My name is Bonnie and I will be there at 10 AM Saturday holding a large sign. We need to keep each other informed so things like this do not happen to others.

The bike shop is on Main Street next to Yokums Body Shop across the street from Mission Pizza and Subway.

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JACKSON-FIVE FOUR SENTENCED: The remainder of the gang of defendants arrested last July for their active involvement in a marijuana robbery on Covelo Road have now each — as of this morning — resolved their cases.

Referred to tongue-in-cheek by some as members of the "Jackson 5," the following four defendants now stand convicted and each will be sentenced to state prison, as follows:

Alejandro Nunez, age 24, of Willits, was convicted by plea on Oct. 11 of robbery in concert of an inhabited dwelling while vicariously armed with an assault rifle. He will be formally sentenced on Nov. 5 to an agreed-upon 12 years in state prison.

Daniel Hernandez Sanchez, age 24, of Covelo, was convicted by plea on Oct. 25 of robbery in concert of an inhabited dwelling while vicariously armed with an assault rifle. He also was convicted in a separate case of assault with a deadly weapon (automobile) and domestic violence causing a traumatic injury. He will be formally sentenced on November 27th to an agreed-upon 14 years in state prison.

Joshua Clayton Hanover, age 29, of Redwood Valley and Covelo, was convicted by plea this morning of robbery in concert of an inhabited dwelling while vicariously armed with an assault rifle. He will be formally sentenced on Dec. 14 to an agreed-upon 12 years in state prison.

Matthew Jay Sturges, age 31, of Willits, was convicted by plea this morning of robbery in concert of an inhabited dwelling while vicariously armed with an assault rifle. He will be formally sentenced on Dec.14 to an agreed-upon 12 years in state prison.

Nunez, Sanchez, Hanover, Sturges

Because of the nature of these convictions, the custody credits each of these defendants may attempt to earn in state prison is limited to no more than 15% of the sentence imposed. Any person interested in these cases or one or more of the named defendants is welcome to attend the various sentencing hearings on the dates noted above. All sentencing hearings will occur in Department H at the Ukiah Courthouse at 9 o'clock in the morning before the Honorable John Behnke, Presiding Judge of the Mendocino County Superior Court.

The prosecutor who has been handling these cases is District Attorney David Eyster. The law enforcement agency responsible for the investigation and arrest of the above defendants is the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office. Investigation continues into locating additional suspects involved in the July crimes.

(District Attorney Press Release)

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LITTLE DOG SAYS, “Skrag's favorite tv show? Cat videos, of course. He sits there yelling stuff at the screen  like, ‘Hubba hubba, baby!’ And, ‘Come on up to Boonville for a good time, honey!’ We got the Harvey Weinstein of the cat world going here, not that I'm surprised he's a degenerate given his general behavior.”

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TRACK & TRACE, THURSDAY, NOV. 2, CANNABIS HOUR, KZYX

The Cannabis Hour, NOV. 2, 9 a.m., KZYX - Track and Trace, with Carmel Angelo, CEO, Mendocino County Track and trace is the cannabis tracking system Mendocino County's licensed cannabis cultivators must use to follow their cannabis crop from seedling to distribution. Mendocino County CEO Carmel Angelo and a representative from SIPCA, the program the county has adopted, will join host Jane Futcher on The Cannabis Hour, explaining how the system works and why it is different from the track and trace system the State of California has adopted. That's Thursday, Nov. 2 at 9 a.m. on KZYX.

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THE MENDOCINO COUNTY LAW LIBRARY has an office in Fort Bragg, Ca. at 700 S. Franklin St. In the court house near the clerk's office.  Free and open to all.  Westlaw, a comprehensive online legal research service, is available as well as CEB Essential Forms, which are downloadable and can be emailed for offsite printing.  The Mendocino County Law Library Homepage, accessible from any computer, is also a valuable legal research tool.  The Law Library's Main Branch is located in Ukiah, Ca. at the Courthouse, 100 N. State St., room 307  For more information call them at 707-463-4201.

(Submitted by the Mendocino County Law Library)

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Navarro Vista (Photo by Susie de Castro)

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SUPES TO ISSUE FIRE RECOVERY RULES

(From the Tuesday, Oct. 31, Supes Agenda)

Item 5(b): Discussion and Possible Adoption of an Urgency Ordinance Prohibiting Price Gouging Following the Redwood Complex Fire — An Urgency Ordinance Of The Mendocino County Board Of Supervisors Prohibiting Price Gouging Following The Redwood Valley Fire

This urgency ordinance is in response to the local emergency created by the Redwood Valley Fire.

The ordinance makes it unlawful for any person to offer for rent or lease a dwelling unit in the unincorporated areas of the County of Mendocino for more than 10% above the dwelling units’ prior housing price, unless such person can prove that the excess is directly attributable to additional costs resulting from the labor or materials used to rent or lease the dwelling unit.  In such instances, only the actual cost increase may be added to the prior housing price.  For purposes of this ordinance, “prior housing price” shall be the rental price for the dwelling unit during the thirty-day period immediately preceding the State of Emergency and housing is defined as any rental housing with an initial lease term of no longer than one year. It also applies to, but is not limited to: food, emergency supplies, emergency cleanup services, goods, storage services, building materials, and construction services.

The penalty for a violation of the ordinance is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in the County jail for a period not to exceed one year, or by a fine of up to twenty thousand dollars ($20,000), or both. This increases the existing State fines by ten thousand dollars ($10,000). Additionally, a violation may be subject to a civil enforcement action as an unlawful business practice and an act of unfair competition which includes penalties of up to five thousand dollars ($5,000) per violation, injunctive relief, and mandatory restitution.

The ordinance contains findings establishing the urgency of the ordinance as required by Government Code section 25131.

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Item 5(c) Discussion and Possible Adoption of Urgency Ordinance Adopting an Administrative Permit Program for the Temporary Use and Occupancy of Trailer Coaches for Use as a Shelter following the Redwood Complex Fire — An Urgency Ordinance Of The Mendocino County Board Of Supervisors Adopting An Administrative Permit Program For The Temporary Use And Occupancy Of Trailer Coaches For Use As A Shelter Following The Redwood Valley Fire

This urgency ordinance creates an administrative permit program for the temporary use and occupancy of trailer coaches within the area governed by the Inland Zoning Code for use as a shelter following the Redwood Valley Fire.  The urgency ordinance creates an administrative permit program that would allow persons who lost their homes to the Redwood Valley Fire, or licensed contractors hired to construct a replacement dwelling unit or accessory buildings, to install, use and occupy trailer coaches on a temporary basis, pursuant to certain requirements.  The ordinance contains findings establishing the urgency of the ordinance as required by Government Code section 25131.

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Item 5(e) Discussion and Possible Action Regarding Updates Associated with Fire Recovery Efforts in Mendocino County — Fire Emergency Board Directives Summary & Update

(which also demonstrates that they could do this for other important, but non-emergency projects, but don’t…)

BoardDirectives1031

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MARCO McCLEAN WRITES: At two minutes after 9pm Thursday night I'm gonna cut Rich Alcott into the KNYO automation. He's in Vermont, and he'll interview by phone the guy who's trying to rename the Williamsburg Bridge to the Sonny Rollins  Bridge.

Just to let you know, this is how: I read about the project, emailed  Rich, he liked the idea, called the guy, stayed open about the time.

I emailed Bob and Jerry at KNYO on Tuesday. Didn't hear back. Called on  Wednesday. Jerry said noon or nine Thursday. Emailed Rich. Rich called the guy. Nine-oh-two p.m.

At a hair after nine I'll address the station on my computer at  Juanita's, press one button. Rich's interview will go on. When he's done and signs off, I'll promo my Friday show and cut out. The (free)  automation program will take over and play from our music library and ID the station until the next live person either starts his show from the storefront or from wherever they do their show from.

And when Biff Rose came a couple of weeks ago— he said he was coming, I  got permission for a time, met him and his entourage, Jerry and I set up  some microphones and they brought some of their own. Flip a switch. On the air. They played music and horsed around for an hour and a half because the next scheduled guy didn't show up, and when they got tired, they played Happy Trails To You and left.

Lanny Cotler is going to call me on my show at 10pm Friday night to talk about radio. I don't have to talk to anybody running the station about that. I get an idea and I do it. It's my show.

And so on and so forth.

That's how a radio station should work. That's how easy it is when it's done right. This is the future, after all. An entire radio station, is  no more complicated than the phone in your pocket anymore.

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TUBBS FIRE SPREAD, HOUR BY HOUR

A look at the spread and devastation of the Tubbs fire, which killed at least 23 people in and around Santa Rosa.

pressdemocrat.com/multimedia/7567543-181/how-santa-rosas-tubbs-fire

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ED NOTES

ERICK O'DONNELL, too briefly of the Ukiah Daily Journal, and a fine reporter, managed to develop a severe drinking jones by age 24. My friend Tom Hine considered O'Donnell "the best young journalist to arrive in Ukiah since Charlie Rappleye." Rappleye went on to big time journalism, and for sure he was good. As was O'Donnell who totally flamed out despite half of Ukiah going to bat for him, lending him money, finding him places to live, which he repaid by showing up drunk for court appearances, much to the shock and chagrin of his many samaritans. O'Donnell racked up so many drunk arrests in his short stay in Ukiah he'd almost achieved frequent flier status. And now he's gone, re-embraced by his family in Arizona and, we hope, freed from alcohol's seductions. The kid reminded me of the young Edgar A. Poe — talent and self-destruction in lethal competition.

Poe, O'Donnell

Recent example of O'Donnell's work: "Planned cannabis mega-facility would be hub for small, independent growers"

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ON A HAPPIER NOTE, the First Lady of Fort Bragg, Betty Piver, stopped by the other day with a gift of a dual-function memorial and fund-raising baseball cap heralding the Vern Piver Holiday Classic Basketball Tournament. It's beaut, a vivid orange inscribed with "Vern Piver Holiday Classic and Vern's fave sign off, "Later," on the back.

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THE SUPE'S DISCUSSION last Tuesday made it clear that an environmental disaster looms in Redwood Valley commencing with the first rains, which will run off hither and thither into feeder creeks of the upper Russian River. I was startled to hear Planning and Building's Nash Gonzales comment that the fire ran so hot it melted fiberglass septic tank covers and some septic lines.

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Neuroth

IT APPEARS the County of Mendocino has settled with the Neuroth family over the death of Steve Neuroth in the County Jail. It may be a large settlement because, in the run-up to his death, the police officer transporting Neuroth, was verbally tormenting the hallucinating young man who was apparently at the paranoid stage of a prolonged drug run. That officer, who was caught on tape in the act of adding to Neuroth's terror, was fired soon after his role in the death was revealed. Neuroth had no criminal history and from all accounts was always employed, always enjoyed a solid reputation as a good worker. Neuroth was not known to be a drug person.

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Flora

THE CURIOUS CASE of Alan 'The Kid' Flora, assistant to County CEO Carmel Angelo is curious indeed. If you came in late, Flora was fired on a recent Friday when he showed up for work. He apparently had no inkling he was about to be axed, and no one in the County's apparatus will reveal what got the guy the heave-ho. It seems to us that if he wasn't fired for cause, simply offed because the regal CEO didn't like him, then it seems time to look at the CEO's job performance. Not that there's any indication the Supervisors are likely to come up with their own board agendas, insist publicly on their independence from the people they theoretically supervise on our theoretical behalf. The slavishness, the serf-like deference before CEO Angelo by the Supes is pathetic. It wouldn't surprise us if they all suddenly began addressing her as Mommy.

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NOT to be too much of a whiner about it, but I just got another property tax bill. The County dings me for $4,764.34 a year for the one acre of Boonville land I own. The place is assessed at $430,746. In 1970, you could have bought all of central Boonville for less than $400,000, but that's the magic of capitalism, which I've never been good at.

I BRING IT UP because when I see the way elected people and their tax-paid minions blithely throw my tax money around, much of it sailing right on by on the Supe's consent agenda, I don't feel like coughing up almost five grand a year to fund these people. And when I see them shaft a smart young guy like Flora without explanation I realize I'm funding some awfully crummy behavior.

THERE IS NOT a single Supervisor who questions frivolous spending. Even in egregious examples like that construction training contract where the contractor clearly performed poorly and went way over the contract amount on the simple unofficial unwritten say-so of the now-former Chief Probation Officer. The Supes should have refused to pay and let the contractor take them to court. But no. Even after Supervisor McCowen who wrote a clear letter explaining that the County should not pay, all four of his colleagues went along with paying it and then the item was suspiciously and quietly buried with no public vote after it was moved to closed session when County Counsel Kit Elliott told the Board that not paying might lead to litigation. John Pinches used to question this kind of thing regularly, and here's hoping he runs for his old seat.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, October 26, 2017

Barajas, Belvin, Blagg, Calvillo

JOEL BARAJAS, Ukiah. Mandatory supervision sentencing.

RODNEY BELVIN, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

ODDIE BLAGG, Fort Bragg. Honey oil manufacturing.

HOMERO CALVILLO, San Jose/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

Cassidy, Foster, Hoffman, Hulbert

AUSTIN CASSIDY, Ukiah. Criminal threats, resisting.

MATTHEW FOSTER, Willits. Probation revocation.

JAMES HOFFMAN, Ukiah. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, probation revocation.

LAUREL HULBERT, Ukiah. Domestic battery.

Kirkland, Pugh, Schwindt

BARRY KIRKLAND, Willits. Smuggling controlled substance or liquor into jail, resisting.

ANNE PUGH, Willits. Domestic abuse.

STIAN SCHWINDT, Willits. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, suspended license, resisting.

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GERARD BAKER, the WSJ editor best known for his obsequious interview of Donald Trump earlier this year, conducted an onstage conversation with the Hollywood mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg during which Katzenberg implausibly claimed to be one of the few executives in Hollywood who never heard about Harvey Weinstein’s sexual history. Baker was incredulous. “How on Earth could powerful people, yourself included, not have known that he was behaving like this?” he asked.

When Katzenberg held firm, Baker wouldn’t let it go: “You say in all your encounters with Mr. Weinstein directly, you’ve never seen behavior like this. But you must have heard about it?

Which leads to the obvious question: Are we really to believe that Baker, as a top Murdoch executive and powerful journalist, never heard about the behavior of Ailes and O’Reilly? The Journal’s offices are in the same building as the Fox News studios. For years, the Journal has even had its own weekly show on Fox News, The Journal Editorial Report. Katzenberg didn’t have the presence of mind, unfortunately, to turn the tables on Baker.

— Frank Rich, New York Magazine

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BURYING POWER LINES HAS A HIGH COST

by David R. Baker

Underground power lines don’t sway in the wind. Tree branches blown sideways by a gale can’t hit them. They don’t sit on wooden poles that can fall down.

They would, in other words, seem to be an ideal way to prevent wildfires in a place like California, which has a history of big blazes sparked by overhead power lines tangling with trees. Investigators are now trying to determine whether that combination triggered the wildfires that tore through the Wine Country this month.

Unfortunately, underground power lines are also very expensive.

And if Pacific Gas and Electric Co., whose overhead lines are facing scrutiny as a possible cause of the North Bay fires, were to bury more of its system, that cost would be borne by the company’s customers. It would not come out of PG&E’s profits. Placing more lines underground could even raise those profits, since under California regulations, utilities make a guaranteed rate of return on the value of all the equipment they own.

“We think it’s so expensive that it’s really not feasible,” said Mark Toney, executive director of The Utility Reform Network watchdog group.

A new underground distribution line across most of PG&E’s territory costs about $1.16 million per mile, according to data filed with state regulators during the utility’s most recent general rate case. That’s more than twice the price of a new overhead line, which costs about $448,800 per mile. Most of the difference comes from the expense of digging a trench for the cable.

Prices rise within cities, where the work is more complex. A 2015 San Francisco report found that recent costs for moving power lines underground in Oakland had averaged $2.8 million per mile, while similar work in San Jose had cost $4.6 million per mile.

And burying highvoltage transmission lines — the kind usually strung from immense steel towers across long distances — can cost as much as $5 million per mile, according to PG&E.

The utility operates more than 134,000 miles of overhead power lines of one voltage or another across Northern and Central California. So while placing power lines underground in areas filled with flammable vegetation may sound sensible, it is far from cheap: It would cost well over $100 billion to do across PG&E’s entire territory.

“Do we want to tear up the whole Oakland hills — a high fire hazard area — to do undergrounding?” asked Michael Picker, president of the California Public Utilities Commission. “There’s never going to be a perfect solution. A lot depends on how much people are willing to spend to approach the next level of safety.”

San Francisco has particularly painful experience with the costs of burying lines.

For 10 years starting in 1996, the city worked with PG&E to place underground 45.8 miles of overhead lines, with the utility estimating a cost of $1 million per mile. Instead, the final price came in at $3.8 million per mile.

California regulations use a formula for allocating some money each year from utility customers’ bills to undergrounding projects in cities that want to bury their power lines. San Francisco’s 10-year project ran so far over budget that it used up all the money that would be available to the city through 2032, according to a city report. That brought undergrounding within the city to a halt.

Price is not the only pitfall.

Repair crews have no trouble spotting a knocked-over power pole or downed line. But when an underground line fails, operators first have to figure out where the problem occurred, without being able to see it — though sensors attached to the power lines can help narrow things down. Then they have to dig.

“You may know it’s within a certain distance, but you don’t know exactly where it is,” said Andrew Phillips, director of transmission studies at the Electric Power Research Institute, a think tank serving the utilities industry. “And fixing it is very expensive, and that means the outage time is a lot longer.”

There’s also the issue of cutting trenches through environmentally sensitive areas. And in more urban settings, workers who don’t know the location of an underground line may dig into it, a problem that plagues natural gas pipelines as well. The power research institute’s office in Charlotte, N.C., recently lost power for an afternoon after someone accidentally hit an underground power cable in the neighborhood, Phillips said.

“Some guy with a backhoe was working on the traffic light, and he dug into the line — and everyone had to go home,” he said.

Most undergrounding takes place in towns and cities, for aesthetic reasons.

Urban streetscapes already contain a maze of infrastructure below the surface — water and sewer pipes, fiber-optic cable — so undergrounding can often be combined with other jobs to minimize the disruption.

PG&E undergrounds about 30 miles of electric lines each year. Other utilities have been more aggressive. San Diego Gas and Electric Co., a far smaller utility, says that 60 percent of its lines are now underground. That even includes small stretches of rural lines running through areas considered particularly prone to wildfires. The city of San Diego also placed a high priority on moving lines underground and set up its own funding system to support the work.

At the current pace, moving all of California’s utility lines underground would take 1,000 years, according to the California Public Utilities Commission.

PG&E has replaced hundreds of toppled or damaged power poles in the North Bay since the Oct. 8 windstorm and the wildfires that followed. It remains unclear whether PG&E’s equipment may have helped start the fires or whether the fires damaged the equipment.

Either way, PG&E does not consider undergrounding a panacea.

“We serve urban areas, and we also serve really rural areas, so where’s the tipping point where undergrounding makes sense?” said PG&E spokesman Keith Stephens. “We want to provide safe and reliable service that’s also affordable. So it’s a balance of those three things.”

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HERE WE GO…

President Trump delayed the release of hundreds of classified documents related to the John F. Kennedy assassination Thursday evening, bowing to pressure from the CIA, FBI and other federal agencies still seeking to keep some final secrets from the 54-year-old investigation.

The president allowed the immediate release of 2,800 records by the National Archives, following a last-minute scramble to meet a 25-year legal deadline. Following lobbying by national security officials, the remaining documents will be reviewed during a 180-day period. In a memo released by the White House, Trump said: “I am ordering today that the veil finally be lifted. At the same time, executive departments and agencies have proposed to me that certain information should continue to be redacted because of national security, law enforcement, and foreign affairs concerns. I have no choice — today — but to accept those redactions rather than allow potentially irreversible harm to our nation’s security. ”

On Thursday evening, the Post was still waiting for any records to be put online. It was unknown how much new information the files contain and how heavily they’ve been redacted by national security officials.

The government was facing an Oct. 26 deadline for disclosing the records, and Trump had tweeted twice that the documents would be made public.

“The long anticipated release of the #JFKFiles will take place tomorrow,” he promised Wednesday. “So interesting!”

(Wall Street Journal)

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CHARLIE SELTZER BENEFIT CONCERT at Ukiah United Methodist Church

Friday, Nov. 17th, 7pm

Join local musician Charlie Seltzer for a one-night-only benefit concert as part of the Methodist Church’s “Ukiah Unplugged” concert series. The concert will be held at the Ukiah United Methodist Church (270 N. Pine St.), Friday, November 17th at 7pm.  For the last twenty years, Charlie’s singing and piano playing have delighted audiences throughout Mendocino County. The November 17th concert will feature songs designed to encourage peace, justice, love, courage and community. The concert will include lots of sing-a-longs led by Charlie and his musical friends.  This concert is co-sponsored by the Methodist Church and the Mendocino Courage Campaign.  Proceeds will benefit the Methodist Church “Building Our Future Fund” and the Community Concert Association. There will also be an opportunity to donate to victims of the recent wildfires.  The Charlie Seltzer Concert is a response to the recent personal losses sustained by our community and the social and environmental challenges that affect us all. Please join us as a way of demonstrating our resilience, good will and commitment to one another.  Tickets are $10 in advance at the Mendocino Book Company in Ukiah or Mazahar in Willits, or $15 at the door.

—Mendocino Courage Campaign

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SHOULD HAVE USED WARNING SYSTEM

Editor:

I find attempts to excuse the county’s failure to use the emergency alert system to be absurd. When will bureaucrats ever take personal responsibility for their lack of judgment? Because the emergency alert system wasn’t used, based on the ludicrous notion that it might cause panic, people died. Once people found out about the fire, they started running anyway. At least then they had a chance.

Why have this system if you aren’t going to use it?

This is a case of profound failure of judgment. I hope the people who made the decision not to use this are prosecuted for criminal negligence.

No number of lawsuits against the county and the people involved in this debacle will bring those loved ones back to life. Someone, please stop trying to excuse inexcusable behavior and take responsibility.

Keith Marcum

Rohnert Park

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FIRE CHRONOLOGY

A chronological analysis of what happened starting the night of Oct. 8, 2017 when a wildfire swept through Potter and Redwood Valleys and brought on some of the worst fire devastation in modern history in this county is under way.

Sheriff Tom Allman said Wednesday that all the 911 calls, and all the communications among fire and other emergency services during the initial response to the fire and following it, are being brought together for one large report. That report is intended to allow state and local experts to look at the conditions under which the fire started, how it swept through neighborhoods so quickly and how effective the response was.

“This fire, at the state level, will be studied for years,” Allman said, adding that while the emergency response did a lot of things right, there will undoubtedly be things to learn from looking at the moment by moment turn of events.

Allman said he thought the report could be available some time in November, and that the county wants to take the time to get all the relevant information into it.

What was eventually dubbed the Mendocino Lake Complex fire by Cal Fire, is said to have been started by sparks from a downed power line in Potter Valley which started a grass fire that spread viciously in unusually high winds. The low humidity at the time made surrounding vegetation dry as tinder.

Eight local residents died in the fire and some 300 homes were destroyed. Thousands of local residents were evacuated. Hundreds of pets and ranch animals were evacuated as well but many also perished in the fire.

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CLAN DYKEN BEAUTY WAY TOUR RETURNS TO UKIAH

2017 marks the 26th Thanksgiving Give Back Trip taken by members of Clan Dyken and their extended family to bring food, supplies, firewood and labor to the Big Mountain/Black Mesa region of the Navajo Reservation.

We can support the Beauty Way tour by coming out to dance to Clan Dyken's life affirming, rebel rock music Thursday, November 9 at 9pm at the Ukiah Brewing Company. 102 So. State St. $10-$20 donation.  Everyone welcome, no one turned away.

Proceeds will benefit both the Beauty Way Tour and local Fire Rehabilitation efforts.

For more information about the ongoing plight of the Dineh people https://supportblackmesa.org/

For more information about Clan Dyken's Beauty Way tour visit http://www.clandyken.com/category/beauty-way/

For more information about Nov. 9 event. 707-895-3243

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ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY

I think we all know the truth about human sexuality, its just that it is inconvenient and unpopular. Sex is binary (ie man and woman). It is Natures way to replicate the species. It is temporary. Men and women lose the ability to do it after a few short years. Everything about Sex goes directly against the personal interests of each person who does it. Likely if not for the blast of endorphins, no one would do it.

Sex is easily hijacked for power plays against the individual. Anyone who tells you differently is probably selling something…

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WESTERN STATES PETROLEUM ASSOCIATION HIRES INTERNATIONAL PUBLIC RELATIONS EXPERT

by Dan Bacher

The Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) on October 23 announced the hiring of international public relations expert Argelia León as the latest addition to their organization, the most powerful lobbying group in California

Argelia León will staff the position of Manager of Strategic Partnerships, where she will “manage growing and maintaining WSPA's affiliations in the five western states including California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, and Nevada,” according to a WSPA news release.

"As we work with our members to protect and grow an industry that drives economic growth and sustains our way of life in the West, it is critical that we retain the best and the brightest talent," said Catherine Reheis-Boyd, WSPA President and former Chair of the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative to create so-called “marine protected areas” in Southern California.

The hiring of León is expected to expand the organization’s power and influence even further than it is now. Showing the enormous power of the oil industry in California despite the state’s “green” image, every bill except one opposed by WSPA has failed to make it out of the state legislature this year and during the 2015-2016 session.

The latest victim of intense lobbying by Big Oil was Senate Bill 188, a bill authored by Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) to prohibit new pipelines or other infrastructure needed to support new federal oil and gas development.

"I'm very excited to bring my experience building coalitions, engaging stakeholders and activating community groups to support the policy initiatives of our association," Argelia León said. "Under Catherine Reheis-Boyd's leadership, WSPA has successfully navigated complex legislative and regulatory challenges, and I look forward to making an impactful contribution to our collective efforts."

"Now home to the largest populations of Latinos and Asian-Americans, and sizable numbers of African-American, millennial, immigrant and LGBT communities, our five-state region represents a unique opportunity to build a coalition of ethnic, community and business organizations that reflects the strength of the petroleum industry's diverse workforce and consumer base," León added. "I'm confident the work I've done in California and Mexico will help accomplish this across our region."

According to WSPA, “Prior to joining WSPA, León served as Vice President at Mercury Public Affairs, working with the government affairs unit, managing public affairs campaigns and coalition building efforts throughout the state, and helping to establish the firm's Mexico City office. She recently returned from Puerto Rico where she managed the political campaign for a gubernatorial candidate in the most recent elections.”

León holds a bachelor of arts degree in political science and journalism.

León joins a large and growing staff that promotes Big Oil’s agenda in the West. On March 27, WSPA announced the hiring of former Assemblyman Henry Perea (D-Fresno) as Senior Vice President, Policy and Strategic Affairs. Perea advises WSPA on public policy and legislative matters in California: www.dailykos.com/...

In addition to Perea and León, the organization this year hired three public relations specialists and an in-house general counsel as the oil industry gears up to further expand its already huge influence and power in California politics.

The Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) bills itself as a “non-profit trade association that represents companies that account for the bulk of petroleum exploration, production, refining, transportation and marketing in the five western states of California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, and Nevada.”

Big Oil is the most powerful lobby in Sacramento and the Western States Petroleum Association is the most powerful lobbying organization. Big Oil spent over $10.8 million in lobbying in the second quarter of 2017 to pass Jerry Brown’s environmentally unjust cap-and-trade bill, AB 398, through the legislature, as well as to lobby against SB 188.

The San Ramon-based Chevron and subsidiaries topped all other lobbyists in the state with $6,153,952 spent, followed by the Sacramento-based WSPA with $2,528,751 and the San Antonio-based Tesoro Refining and Marketing Co. LLC with $2,193.489.

WSPA President Reheis-Boyd chaired the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative Blue Ribbon Task Force to create alleged “marine protected areas” in Southern California from 2009 to 2012. She also served on the task forces to create so-called “marine protected areas on the Central Coast, North Central Coast and North Coast from 2004 to 2012. (www.dfg.ca.gov/...)

These faux “marine protected areas” created under her watch fail to protect the ocean from offshore oil drilling, fracking, oil spills, pollution, military testing and all human impacts other than sustainable fishing and gathering.

Fishing organizations, Tribal leaders, and grassroots environmentalists strongly opposed Reheis-Boyd's leadership role in the privately funded process, while state officials and corporate “environmental” NGO representatives claimed that the process she oversaw was “open, transparent and inclusive,” even though it was anything but.

Background: Big Oil spent $36.1 million lobbying in 2015-16 session

The California Oil Lobby was the biggest spender in the 2015-16 legislative session, spending an amazing $36.1 million on lobbying over the two-year period. Based on the oil industry lobbying over the past two quarters, it looks like the industry may set a new spending record this session.

Big Oil spending last session amounted to $1.5 million per month — nearly $50,000 per day. The $36.1 million surpassed the $34 million spent in the prior session, according to an American Lung Association report. To read the complete report, go to: www.lung.org/ 

WSPA was the top overall oil industry spender during the 2015-16 session, spending $18.7 million. As is normally the case, WSPA ranked #1 among all lobbying spenders last session. In the seventh quarter alone, WSPA dumped $2.6 million into lobbying legislators and state officials.

Chevron, the second overall oil industry spender, spent $7 million in the 2015-16 session. It spent $3 million in 2016 alone, sixth among all lobbyists in the session.

The only bill opposed by the oil industry that made it out of the legislature to be signed by Governor Jerry Brown was Senate Bill 32, legislation that reduces greenhouse gas level to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. The reason for the bill’s passage was because billionaire Tom Steyer’s Next Generation Climate Action spent $7.3 million lobbying for the bill in the seventh quarter of the session.

Since the 2007-08 Session, the oil industry has spent over $146 million in lobbying in California when you include the figures for the first two quarters of 2017.

WSPA and Big Oil use their money and power in 5 ways: through (1) lobbying; (2) campaign spending; (3) creating Astroturf groups: 4) working in collaboration with media; and (5) getting appointed to positions on and influencing regulatory panels.

For more information, go to www.dailykos.com/… 

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FRIDAY, OCT. 27, 7 PM BENEFIT CONCERT REMINDER PLUS SILENT AUCTION

We are hoping to see you listening, singing, and/or dancing at Willits Center for the Arts this Friday October 27th, with Jaye Alison Moscariello and friends, vocals, Bill Taylor, keyboard; George Husaruk, flute; and Yanahay Hooper, bass.  The Laura Nyro tribute with additional songs and music by Bill Taylor and others will have both savory and sweet refreshments, with all donations and proceeds to go to the Community Foundation of Mendocino County for fire relief.  We will be in the Great Room upstairs.  While there, you can see an art exhibit "POLITIC-OH"  by Jaye, and downstairs another art exhibit "Seven Kinds of Wonderful" by 7 women artists.  All of this is at 71 East Commercial Street, next to the Noyo Theater in Willits, 7-10 PM on Friday October 27th.  310-970-4517 for more information.

Bill Taylor

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OBVIOUS NEXT STEP

Going Beyond the Idiot Postmodern Condition

I am looking for others to respond to the idiotic postmodern condition, by taking spiritually based direct action, within (but not confined to) the global peace and justice and radical environmental movements.  This is the obvious enlightened alternative to doing nothing.  Contact me at: craigstehr@inbox.com

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PHYSICIAN OF THE YEAR

WILLITS, CA - House call is unheard of in these modern times in healthcare. And yet, Andrea McCullough, MD, at Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital (HMH), does exactly that; visiting her patients in a nursing home and even calling to check on them on her days off.  These and her efforts to continuously go above and beyond for her patients is what made Dr. McCullough Howard Hospital's 2017 Physician of the Year. Dr. McCullough was one of 19 physicians to be honored by Adventist Health during its Annual Clinical Summit and Physician of the Year Awards in Roseville last month.  Dr. McCullough says her desire to serve others started early. Having spent many summers in her mother's hometown of Santiago, Chile, she saw her aunt, who was a nurse, care for the most vulnerable and sick. And in her mind, she knew, she wanted to make a difference, just like her aunt. Many years later, she says she's proud to have a profession that allows her to feel fulfilled beyond measure. And her patients can feel her passion and dedication to her craft. The board-certified family medicine physician joined HMH in July 2016, caring for patients at Redwood Medical Clinic and already has made such a difference for so many patients in the community.  Patients and staff alike, love her. Shauna de Marquez, practice manager at Redwood Medical Clinic says patients absolutely love Dr. McCullough. "She is not only invested in her patients but also in the clinic staff and its operations. She makes everyone who works with her better."  One patient remarked, "Dr. McCullough is exactly the doctor I've needed and been looking for since I moved to Willits. I find I can be completely honest and candid with her and she never skips a beat or bats an eye!  She sits and listens as well as talks with me about everything.  I like how she is not rushed to get the visit over with because they are on a time limit.  She is personable, friendly, caring and very real. I will be staying with her as a patient for as long as she will have me."  When she's not busy in seeing patients in the clinic, Dr. McCullough also treats patients in the emergency room. It was after 10 years of seeing patients in the ER that she decided to focus on primary care. "I have come across a lot of patients who have not been to their doctor in years because they can't get an appointment. So they show up in the ER instead. Having more primary care in the area will provide patients with better access to preventative care and treatment options that can address symptoms earlier before they get worse."  Asked what she loves most about her job, she says she values connecting with people. "Besides the human interaction, I also love the intellectual challenge. I like trying to find clues, and connecting the dots and finally figuring it out. There's never a dull moment and I love the constant learning process," she shares.  There's one patient that stands out in her mind, a patient she was seeing in a clinic in the slums of Pittsburgh, an elderly man who kept coming back complaining of pain in his arm. She remembers trying her best to help him, referring him to physical therapy and yet, nothing seemed to work. "Finally, something clicked. I decided to ask, 'is there something you want to tell me? Something else that's bothering you?'"  It turned out the patient had been having rectal bleeding but was too embarrassed to talk about it. "Men are interesting. They can come in with a major injury and they'd brush it off. But when it's something so personal such as this, they can get scared and refuse to open up. He was scared to find out what it was so he would rather not talk about it."  Once she figured it out, she sent the patient for testing and they found cancer tumors, which fortunately have not spread. The tumors were removed and the patient was eventually cancer-free and six months later he invited Dr. McCullough to Thanksgiving dinner at his house.  "It's those times that you just feel so grateful you have a job that allows you to change people's lives. All he needed was the courage to tell me and he trusted me enough to tell me so I can help him. I want them to know they can trust me, knowing that I will support them and help them through without judgement."  Jason Wells, HMH CEO says Dr. McCullough exemplifies everything that the hospital is about; patient-centered care and the feeling of family. "Patients come to us during their most vulnerable times. And Dr. McCullough has a way of making any patient comfortable and easing their worries and making them feel important and heard. Howard Hospital is proud and truly blessed to have her on our medical staff."  Dr. McCullough is seeing patients at Redwood Medical Clinic, located in front of the hospital at 3 Marcela Drive, Suite C in Willits. To learn more or to make an appointment, call 707-459-6115.

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HALLOWEEN EVENTS & NATIONAL NOVEL WRITING KICK-OFF AT YOUR UKIAH LIBRARY

We at the Ukiah Library recognize that in a crisis, library books are not the first consideration. If any library materials were damaged/lost during the fires, please notify library staff at your earliest convenience. We will work things out. 707-463-4490.

The Ukiah Library is open, with free access to computers/wifi as well as books, movies, board games, and our regular weekly storytimes/events An afternoon of decorating trick-or-treat bags. All materials will be provided; just bring your spooky, magical, wonderful imaginations! Supplies are limited. This event is family-friendly, free, and open to the public. National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a nonprofit event that encourages kids, teens & and adults to tackle the challenge of writing a novel in November. Launched in 1999, #NaNoWriMo inspires its 300,000+ participants with pep talks, a huge and supportive online community, and a host of web-based writing tools.

Get a head start & join us at the Ukiah Branch Library to kick-off NaNoWriMo on Friday, Oct. 27th from 5-7 pm. Get motivated with plot buddies, brainstorming, creative prompts and word sprint challenges along with door prizes.

Every Saturday in November (except Nov. 11th) from 12-5pm, come write in to our meeting space to write, reflect, engage with other writers in the community, and enjoy FREE COFFEE to stir your creative juices.

We're hosting a Virtual Reality Day, part of a new ongoing program which will make virtual reality available to the public. A new collaboration between the California State Library and Oculus VR, a division of Facebook Inc., has brought virtual reality technology to patrons in nearly half of the library jurisdictions throughout California, including Mendocino County Library. We invite people ages 13+ to come test out our new Oculus Rift system! Get hands on experience and learn what the virtual reality craze is all about. VR experiences include globe-trotting with Google Earth, becoming an astronaut on the International Space Station, traveling to an alien land, or creating a digital work of art.

The Oculus Rift will be open to Mendocino County Library cardholders on a first come, first served basis for 20 minute increments per person. There will be a sign-up sheet the day of the event, so that people can schedule a time slot for themselves. Only one person can use the VR system at a time, but we will have the Rift connected to a TV monitor that will allow others to see the user’s virtual point of view. All adult participants, or legal guardians of teens ages 13-17, must sign a liability waiver and have a Mendocino County Library card. People are able to wear eyeglasses while using the Oculus Rift, though suggested measurements for eyeglasses are 50mm (2 inches) or less in height and 142mm (5.5 inches) or less in width.

The Virtual Reality Experience Project is managed by Califa, a nonprofit, and is supported in part by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered in California by the State Librarian.

We'll have activities and fun for the whole family on Halloween! Cosplay, decorate Eggos waffles, make 80s buttons, play Stranger Things trivia, and Trick or Treat at the Library. 3:30-5:30 pm

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

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

 

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