Mendocino County Today: Monday, Jan. 15, 2018

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SOME WET AND COOL ON THE WAY, according to the National Weather Service, "Dry through this morning. Rain will move into the area this afternoon. A brief dry break Tuesday through Wednesday morning, then wet weather will return and continue through rest of the week. It will also be turning much cooler for the second half of the week."

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DEBRIS REMOVAL WORK that had been suspended in the middle of last week in the wake of a contract dispute filed by an Army Corps of Engineers contractor from Florida was resumed on Friday after California state Emergency Services officials stepped in to fill the contract gap. In an impressively creative move not typical of state agencies, California’s Office of Emergency Services authorized a new agreement Friday with the Burlingame-based company ECC to advance the debris removal program in the affected counties without delay. As we suggested last week when the suspension was announced, the award was made under the broad emergency/disaster declaration for the four counties, Sonoma, Napa, Lake and Mendocino. With the resumption of work, the removal effort is now expected to be finished in late February or early March. State officials stepped in on the presumption that the feds will eventually reimburse them after the contract dispute is resolved. No details about the basis for the dispute have been made available so far.

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FROM TOMMY WAYNE KRAMER’S must-read column in the Sunday Ukiah Daily Journal:

“A $500 reward should be offered to anyone who thinks Mendocino County supervisors deserve the $24,000 raise they just voted themselves. The supes themselves know they didn’t earn the money. Following the trend of government employees enriching themselves at public expense, they simply stole a raise from taxpayers who had no say. Shameful? Yes. Surprising? I wish. It would have been unthinkable 40 years ago, when county employees thought of themselves as public servants. Today government work is an easy path to getting rich.

“A friend of mine occasionally visits the home of a county supervisor. My friend says this: “It’s usually in the middle of the day and (the supervisor) is always sitting around watching TV in a bathrobe. Working? I don’t think so.” This is the dedicated effort that nets a supervisor $86,000 a year plus lifetime benefits? Don’t forget: You pay county pensions, but can’t afford one for yourself.

“Remember: Shop Local: At the annual Christmas party the City of Ukiah held for itself, the caterer hired was from… Sonoma County. When they toasted one another with French Champagne I wonder if anyone voiced thanks to Mendocino County taxpayers.”

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SPEAKING OF SCAMS, it couldn’t be more obvious that Warren Galletti conspired — sorry, no other word to describe it — with his pals on the Point Arena school board to install Galletti in PA’s superintendent’s position without advertising the job, without even the fig leaf of a public process. The deed was done in private session but clearly pre-arranged. The board emerged from closed session and announced that Galletti was the man. His job in his home town of Point Arena secure, Galletti then announced he was resigning from his job as Superintendent of County schools, a job with no job description because it’s a job without work. One brave fog belt soul voted against the deal.

POINT ARENA will pay Galletti $145,000 a year plus perks and regular annual salary increments. At the County Office in Ukiah he made $132,000 annually plus a free car and gas to ease his commute from PA to his non-job in Ukiah.

EVEN by Mendo’s sleazy standards of unaccountable public employment, the Galletti affair stinks. The public’s business is supposed to be conducted in public. It’s the law, even in Mendocino County. Both the DA and the Grand Jury ought to have a look at it.

FORTY-FOUR (44) PEOPLE at the County Office of Education make more than $70,000 a year (as of 2016). The County School Board gets paid to attend meetings and gets free medical care, too. This way their loyalty to whomever happens to occupy the top job is assured. Heck, it’s for the kids.

SOME OF OUR favorite MCOE job titles (with base pay as of 2016):

  • Debra Courtney, Director I-Internal Business, $109,924.02
  • Denise Keller, Behavior Specialist, $105,450.00
  • Antonio Lopez, Administrator On Special Assignment-IRPA, $106,397.52
  • Lech Slocinski, Teacher-CTE Commercial Photography, $72,145.50
  • Maryjean Makela, Teacher-CTE Food Service/Career Pathways Coach, $71,909.05
  • Stephen Hahm, School Climate & Transformation Coach, $68,553.27

COME ON, HAHM. Pick up your game. Responsibility for climate and transformation is worth at least 70k.

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LAURIE HARRIS, the Willits School Trustee who was arrested in October on pot cultivation charges was sentenced last week to two years of probation and 100 hours of community service after pleading no contest to a misdemeanor pot possession charge. Reporting in last week’s Willits Weekly, reporter Dan McKee said that Harris’s original arrest followed a raid at her East Hill Road home in which deputies seized 37 pot plants, three pounds of processed pot, some concentrated pot and a digital scale. Harris said the pot was for medical purposes, but the raid team insisted it was commercial. Under the probation terms Harris waived her search warrant rights, and agreed to pay “full restitution” to the Sheriff’s office for the cost of the raid and plant eradication, plus she agreed to not smoke pot recreationally, only medicinally under a doctor’s order. McKee concluded, “Harris resigned from the WUSD board of trustees on December 6 after reading a prepared statement critical of both Superintendent of [Willits] Schools Mark Westerburg and her colleagues on the board."

WHAT REALLY seems to have happened in the Harris case is this: For whatever reason the Willits school board and admin wanted Harris off the school board. On the school board with Mrs. Harris was Mrs. Croskey, whose husband is a cop with the Mendo Sheriff's Department. Of course the subsequent raid on Mrs. Harris could have been the devil weed commandos simply doing their jobs…

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SO FAR, FIVE PEOPLE have filed candidacy papers to replace outgoing Third District Supervisor Georgeanne Croskey. In addition to the three we were already aware of — Former Third District Supervisor John Pinches, elementary school Spanish teacher John Haschak, and recreational political candidate Pamela Elizondo, we now have Round Valley School Board member and “emergency support staffer" for Redwood Community Services Tony Tucker has filed and Willits blacksmith Brian Kunka.

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LITTLE DOG SAYS, "Nothing against Eskimos, but does an igloo make sense in Boonville?"

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To the Editor:

I believe the MTA bus service must be the worst bus service in California. A few weeks ago my husband was taken from the nursing home to a doctor’s office on Hospital Drive. We were left off on the north side of the building close to the doctor’s office. After we were done our aide called the MTA to be picked up. We were told it would be 45 minutes. So we waited by the bus pick up place and no one came. I called the MTA and was told they had been there and no one was there and it would be another 45 minutes or I could call the senior bus. I called the senior bus and he was there in five minutes.

I told the man what had happened and he said that he checks the other entrance if that happens to him. Guess the MTA drivers don’t think to do that.

Now on Saturday I had called to have my husband picked up at noon to be brought to the house. We again waited almost an hour for the bus and were told when I called to see what was happening that they only had one bus running.

The plan was for the bus to pick him up at the house at four to return him to the nursing home. Guess what! That didn’t happen either. I called and was told they were running behind and at ten to five I called and got the answering machine. The bus stops running at five.

So my family had to get their dad into a car and put the wheelchair in the trunk to get him back to the nursing home. Not very convenient.

MTA has a number of huge buses that seem to have few riders. Why can’t they instead have four smaller buses and for heaven’s sake have more than one to run on weekends and holidays. The bus service in Ukiah is pretty lame. The senior bus does not run on Wednesday or weekends. MTA is not dependable and on weekends only runs on Saturday til five and not on Sunday. I guess the message is stay well and drive your own car.

Donna Van Wyke, Ukiah

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CATCH OF THE DAY, January 14, 2018

Camp, Duncan, Hensley

DANIEL CAMP, Camarillo//Caspar. DUI.


CHARLES HENSLEY, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent flyer.)

Koski, Lee, Marek

AARON KOSKI, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent flyer.)

JAMES LEE JR., Ukiah. Domestic abuse, assault with deadly weapon not a gun.

ROBERT MAREK JR., Ukiah. Concealed weapon, loaded firearm in public, altering firearm ID, probation revocation.

Martin, McCarthy, Paniagua-Hernandez, Pepper

NATHEN MARTIN, Willits. Under influence, paraphernalia, probation revocation.

BRIAN MCCARTHY, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation.

MIGUEL PANIAGUA-HERNANDEZ, Ukiah. DUI, suspended license for DUI.

ANTHONY PEPPER, San Francisco/Ukiah. Community Supervision violation.

Perez, Sims, Tellez-Morales, Torres



CARLOS TELLEZ-MORALES, Ukiah. Domestic battery, no license.

BRIAN TORRES, Calpella. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

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Medicine on the Mendocino Coast: Say "Ahh..." opens today at the Kelley House! New exhibit will run through March 12th, 2018. Museum hours: Fri, Sat, Sun and Mon 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Pictured here, on the right, Dr. Homer Wolfe, employed as doctor for the Albion Lumber Company. Thank you to all members who attended last night's preview reception!

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The Zapatista Solidarity Coalition is honored to host the West Coast tour of the Indigenous Governing Council of the National Indigenous Congress. Their campaign to elect an indigenous woman to be President of Mexico is shaking up the Mexican political landscape! Come learn how grassroots organization from below is threatening to upset a brutal, corrupt political system that condemns half of all Mexicans to a life of hardship and poverty. The event will be held on January 15, 2018, 2:30 pm at the Sol Collective, 2574 21st St., Sacramento.

For more information: or 916 224-4400

CIG flier for 1-15-18

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Wow, raids on 98 7-Eleven stores in 17 states netted 21 arrests (“ICE targets county 7-Elevens,” Thursday, Santa Rosa Press Democrat). That’s a pretty poor use of resources.

My suggestion to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency: Target all of Donald Trump’s US hotels, country clubs and golf course properties. That would be a much lower number of targets and is likely to result in a bonanza of undocumented workers who are mowing lawns, washing dishes, making beds and scrubbing toilets at less than minimum wage.

Why am I not holding my breath?

Astrod Harper

Santa Rosa

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The fact that Arches and Canyonlands national monuments would later become national parks was of little comfort to Abbey, who in Desert Solitaire bemoans what he termed the “industrial tourism” that revolves around the automobile.

Compared to Abbey’s fierce opposition to modern capitalism, Bernie Sanders comes off as comparatively milquetoast. Above all, Abbey was an opponent of “that cloud on my horizon” he defined as progress. This wasn’t Luddism so much as a deep need to preserve a small portion of America as wilderness, kept forever free from development, beginning with precisely those areas of southern Utah attacked by Trump and Zinke.

Desert Solitaire was published four years after the Wilderness Act was signed into law. Even as the United States’ economy boomed, in 1964 Congress sanctified areas where “the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.” Abbey fought to preserve such land for the rest of his life.

“Wilderness complements and completes civilization,” he wrote in the 1980s. “I might say that the existence of wilderness is a compliment to civilization. Any society that feels itself too poor to afford the preservation of wilderness is not worthy of the name of civilization.”

As Trump and Zinke reclaim for extractive industry much of the land that had been protected through the Antiquities Act by Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, Abbey’s spirit infuses the opposition. More than a few dog-eared and well-thumbed paperback copies of his book were probably in the backpacks of the thousands protesting Trump on Dec. 4, when he arrived in Salt Lake City to announce his land grab.

But Abbey, who died in 1989, wouldn’t be surprised by Trump and Zinke’s attitudes. He’d instantly spot them as more of the know-nothing exploiters he’d always railed against. It also wouldn’t surprise him that drilling in the Alaska National Wilderness Refuge was the price the GOP paid to secure Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s vote for tax reform. Having called the cattlemen whose herds graze on public land “welfare queens,” he’d appreciate being vindicated by Cliven Bundy, recently on trial in Nevada for crimes that began with his refusal to pay his federal grazing fees.

He’d probably also say, “What else did you expect?” after learning that so many tourists in cars are entering Arches, Grand Teton, Bryce and Zion national parks that buses and reservation systems have begun or are in the works. And I think he’d be saddened that, 50 years after the publication of Desert Solitaire, the assault on public lands — our lands — remains such a fact of American life.

(High Country News)

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It’s tiresome to keep saying it but the fundamental problem is simply far far too many people on the planet. This hugely exacerbates all of the global dilemmas, climate change, wars, immigration, etc. Can’t be mentioned though it’s now racist, exclusionary and in bad taste. We are well beyond earth’s carrying capacity and growing, the bill is coming due with exponentially increasing velocity and we fuss and fret about nonsense. If the US among others had spent an infinitesimal fraction on carpet bombing with contraceptives rather than our endless foreign wars, oh well we are about to find out the impossibility of sustained ignorance.

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Somewhere, Away From It All

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This A.O. Carpenter photo of Ukiah’s fish hatchery was made into postcards during the fish hatchery’s heyday about the turn of the 20th century. The image shows some damage to the glass plate negative’s edges. According to a Daily Journal article from 2001, the fish hatchery was built by Northwestern Pacific Railroad on land owned by the city of Ukiah at Gibson Creek as an excursion destination for train travelers. It was completed in May 1897. The hatchery was torn down in the 1930s. For many years, the site where the fish hatchery once stood was a favorite hiking spot for local residents, and was accessible from the west end of Standley Street, but in 1987 the property surrounding the city’s hatchery site was sold, and is now privately owned.

(Photo courtesy of Robert J. Lee Collection)

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JANUARY 20, 1968: More than 60 anti-war demonstrators were in jail today after battling riot police outside the Fairmont Hotel where Secretary of State Dean Rusk spoke last night. Hundreds of demonstrators hurled stones, bottles and blood-filled balloons during the two-hour demonstration outside the elegant hotel in the city’s exclusive Nob Hill area. The balloons, filled with animal blood, spattered police, guests and reporters. A number of persons — including seven policemen — were injured in scuffles. Following a pre-arranged plan, 50 specially trained police closed in with clubs and the demonstrators retreated along the sidewalk and lawn of the nearby Pacific Union Club. After the demonstrators regrouped, police again drove forward and swept the crowd down the sharply sloping streets. Several protesters found refuge in the nearby Grace Cathedral.

(SF Chronicle)

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"ICE FISHING HOLE -- a Minimalist's Dream Come True"

(Click to enlarge)

(Photo by Harvey Reading)

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All of you who donated to Woodlands Wildlife were notified that 15% of your donation went to help rebuild the Fawn Rescue pens and shelters located in Sonoma County. Both facilities who work with Woodlands Wildlife burned to the ground in the recent fires. We do not have the special licenses required to rescue and rehab fawns, and we do not get enough fawns to raise them in a herd as is necessary if they are to be released back to the wild afraid of dogs and people. Fawn Rescue is trying to get up and running by the April fawn season (when all this year's fawns will be born) and need help with the funding. They have raised 60% of the $8400 necessary to build one of the shelters and the 8' fencing required to keep the fawns safe until they are released. If anyone in List Serve Land would like to support their efforts directly, I encourage you to send a check to: Fire Relief Fund-Fawn Workgroup, at Fawn Rescue, PO Box 1622, Sonoma, CA 95476 (or go to their website to use PayPal). I can personally vouch for their excellent work in rescuing fawns and economic honesty.

Ronnie James, Woodlands Wildlife.

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Saturday morning’s alert, in regard to a possible incoming missile attack aimed at Honolulu, was the most extreme example of postmodern absurdity possible. I awoke around 9 a.m. and logged onto the Washington Post online, to discover that the alert had already been declared to be an error. It was reported to me by The Plumeria Alternative Hostel management team, that I had just missed witnessing the local residents of Honolulu behaving like lunatics. People in a panic, stocking up on essentials like island rum and spam, racing around to find a gas station, or else heading for emergency shelters on foot if they couldn’t get out of the central area. And then forty minutes later, the announcement was made that it was all an error.

I calmly went over to the Safeway on Beretania Street, and purchased a whole lot of quality items for our rockin’ good Saturday night BBQ. We socialized with abandon, glad not to have been vaporized.


Craig Stehr


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by Fred Gardner

The New York Times has published an op-ed piece by historian David Parsons about the coffeehouses started near US bases during the War in Vietnam. Parsons had interviewed me and I must have been the source of the details he got wrong. (He got the big picture right.) His piece is indented below, with my comments...


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