Mendocino County Today: Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018

* * *

JERRY COX HAS DIED

Hello Everyone,

We wanted to let you know that last night at 5:20pm, Jerry passed away. He had told us earlier that he was ready. It seemed as if his body wouldn't let him. We sang to him for about an hour from 3-4pm, and he fell asleep. A group of people from their church came around 4:30pm and we started doing the rosary in Spanish....Almost at the end of the rosary, he stopped breathing. It was beautiful. The group continued to finish the rosary while my mom, sister and I gathered around him. We will let you know about funeral arrangements as soon as we have them.

Funeral to be held next Friday, Feb. 2 at Resurrection Parish in Santa Rosa, Irish Wake to follow! We will let you know exact date/time of Celebration of Life, hopefully the following Sunday in Boonville.

Thanks,

Cox Family

Rebekah, Mary Anne & Kathy

Thank you all.

* * *

Patricia Beverley of Prineville, Oregon (formerly Anderson Valley) writes:

(Since we probably won't make it to Santa Rosa or Boonville, (darn), here's a little tidbit for the Irish Wake...)

I remember awakening, sort of, after ER admission; sore, scared, disoriented— Who’s this?

A Protestant Pastor?

“You’ve been spared. Do you want to tell me about it?”

“Yes, I was scared, not spared. Who asked YOU? In my church God speaks all languages, since Vatican II, so I don’t need you to pave the way!!”

I related the above to Jerry, and he mildly mentioned that he’s had some experience with near-miss counselling.

“Anytime you want to talk, Trisha, I’m here.”

Just what I needed — no Eternal Rewards cash-in, huh? Just how to get by, one day at a time. I felt like I was sitting on bedrock.

Love you, Pater Familias Jerry. Go with God.

* * *

Steve Sparks’ 2009 interview with Jerry Cox:

avalleylife.wordpress.com/category/list-of-interviews/jerry-cox/

* * *

CHRISTA JO ANN MINOR

Christa was born July 11, 1970 in Anaheim, California and passed away on Friday, January 19, 2018. She was a high school graduate and worked as a C.N.A. Christa resided in Boonville for the past seven years. She was very proud of her daughter and will be remembered for her big heart and honesty. Christa is survived by her daughter, Nataile Feinblum, mother, Shirly E. Harris, sisters Tracy A. Sparkman and Trisha L. Greenwood, brothers Albert A. Minor, Scott W. Harris and Brett Harris, her best friend Clementina Guerrero and by Pukka Shell Minor her dog and faithful companion. She was preceded in death by her father Albert A. Minor. Eversole Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.

* * *

SANITATION DISTRICT & UKIAH LAWSUIT: BLEEDING CONTINUES

Predictably, that short, January 17, deadline that the City of Ukiah gave to the Ukiah Sanitation District Board which might have allowed the city to save some money by refinancing a sewer district upgrade with lower interest rates was busted with no agreement. In the Ukiah Daily Journal earlier this week, Justine Frederiksen reported that San District Board Vice Chair Andrea Reed, one of the three newly seated San District board members who ran on a platform of settling the suit, still thinks they might settle the dispute soon. But, added Reed through Frederiksen, “while there is a lot of tension and emotional baggage on both sides of the lawsuit, she does believe that ultimately, deep down, ‘everyone wants to stop the bleeding’.” And for the first time in a long while we’ve seen the current level of “bleeding,” i.e., lawyer costs. The San District has spent about $5 million and the City of Ukiah around $1 mil. But the suit/bleeding continues on its own inertia with depositions going on now and expected to continue for who knows how much more time.

Frederiksen: “Reed said it is still possible that interest rates will not be raised, and that her board was not able to reach a consensus on the request ‘because there was just too much information to absorb. Plus, it hinged on paperwork that wasn’t even finalized yet’.”

Complicating matters further, if that’s even possible at this point, the San District is being managed by a man named Joe Tait who was hired with great fanfare a few months ago based on his substantial credentials. But not long after he was hired (on a contract, not employee basis) he was “terminated,” i.e., given six months notice to finish up and leave. So at the moment Mr. Tait is a short-timer (unless something changes again in this twisted tale) while the San District with its mostly pro-settlement board tries to figure out a way to get a settlement before too many more millions are wasted on lawyers.

The San District originally claimed the City of Ukiah owed them something like $30 million for decades of misallocations of ratepayer payments but such claims are usually inflated so they’d probably be lucky to get half of that in a settlement. Minus attorney fees.

To get a flavor of the intensity of the discussion we can look at an email from another newly seated San District Board member to San District General Manager Joe Tait back on January 2 when the San District was trying to arrange settlement talks. The email, from the formidable Julie Bawcom, obtained by Ukiah contractor Lee Howard under the Public Records Act, was blunt:

“Let me be perfectly clear. This [Tait’s reasons for delaying a special meeting to discuss a settlement] is all bullshit as far as I am concerned. We need a special meeting because there is a lot of money on the line if we can not settle this lawsuit by Jan. 17 and refinance the Bonds. I don’t care if you or the chair don’t believe this is of grave importance or if the city is not telling us the truth about what’s at stake. Our ratepayers sent a clear message to this board when we won in a landslide eleciton. They want the lawsuit ended and ended fast and if we dink around with all this bullshit not meeting until the second week in January I will go ballistic in the next regular scheduled meeting and heads are going to roll. I hope I have made myself clear, nothing personal, I know you are only the messenger. Please schedule the meeting and fast for tomorrow even if we meet at midnight, I don’t care. Let’s meet and soon!!!!!!!!!! — Julie”

* * *

ED NOTES


YOU NEVER KNOW what might set someone off. We received this letter yesterday from Karl and Darci Berger:

“To Whom It May Concern:

I was doing some research and came across the excerpt from "Outlaw Ford". What interests me the most are the comments made by the writer about Bald Hill. You do realize Bald Hill is private property and there are cameras on the property. The owners of the property do not want people trespassing and will take necessary measures if uninvited guests are identified on the property. And clearly whomever it is was up there recently and ignored the "no trespassing" signs and the two locked gates. Please advise as to why your publication would be encouraging people to visit such property that has been private for many many years. Thank you....”

Malcolm Macdonald, author of the nifty novel, replied today:

Concerning the comment about Bald Hill: Though some of the novel OUTLAW FORD takes place in Mendocino County, the book does not mention Bald Hill. The writer may be referencing one of my articles/columns mentioning Bald Hill as the burial spot of Dutch Fred Heldt. I have been to the burial site, but many years back and after asking permission. I do not believe the writing encouraged people to trespass, simply mentioned the general location as north of Fort Bragg.

— Malcolm Macdonald


WE POSTED an item yesterday called: THE MARINE CORPS’S A-CHANGIN’ that described a transgendered Marine. James Marmon, the sage of Lake County, immediately commented, "Gays and transgenders have always been in the Marine Corp, nothing new here. Just ask my brother Steve Marmon !"

WHEN I was a Marine fighting the battles of Noon Chow back in '57, I don't remember anyone claiming minority sexual status. I do remember boot camp drill instructors, none of whom seemed to be Nation readers, insulting us California boys as "queers sent to sabotage my Marine Corps." Even as a dumb kid I thought that was pretty funny. Funnier yet was the same guy, totally beside himself and grasping for insults, denounced us as "syphlitic misfucks." And a year or so later, a frustrated sarge demanded, "You want to be Alvis (Elvis) Presley?" Elvis was just coming on, and to this guy anybody who liked the music was a major weirdo. But gays and transgenders? Invisible and, in the latter instance, unheard of.


FOR THE 6TH TIME, BARRY BONDS has not convinced enough Hall of Fame voters to make it into baseball's best of the best museum.

Good, I say. I don't think any of the steroid stars should get into the Hall even with an asterisk. Bonds was a great player without resorting to chemicals, but with chemicals..? Bye, bye baby about every third at bat. Mark McGuire, by way of contrast, was an average ballplayer who zoomed to home run king on the juice. A lot of ordinary athletes in all sports were suddenly supermen. (And women)

A LOT of people say, "Well, gee, how about Mickey Mantle and those guys from the 50s and the 60s with their greenies (amphetamines)?

Speed doesn't make you faster or stronger or help you see better. Steroids does all three, and if a baseball player's eyesight improves to where a 95-mile-an-hour fastball looks like a basketball coming at you, the guy on steroids is no longer a normal athlete. He's cheating. I think the enhanced performances of Bonds, Canseco, McGuire, and the rest of them helped wreck the game.


LOVED THIS PASSAGE from a PD story on the first day of recreational pot sales in Santa Rosa: "Garcia spent just under $100 on cannabis flowers, a strain called chocolope from a batch grown outside in Mendocino County, which he hoped would be energizing for a day playing his favorite video game, Battlefield 1."


STEVE WYNN? Vegas casino magnate? Sexual harasser? I can't believe it. Who's next, the Pope? Is there no end to these shocks? Every day, more disillusionment. Where will it end?

Wynn & Trump

THE FBI? As politically pure as fresh fallen snow? In copious and irrefutable detail, corrupt from the day the agency was founded by the legendary closet case, J. Edgar Hoover who stayed in office all those years blackmailing other closet cases, among his many other vics. Hoover famously hounded Martin Luther King as he distributed sex tapes of MLK being fruitful and multiplying. Even I, harmless liberal, doofus division, managed to acquire an FBI jacket simply based on my allegedly radical associations. Why, Ms. Poppins, would you believe the FBI was active right here in Mendocino County in the 1990 period? Ace sleuths that they are, the feds managed to immediately eliminate Judi Bari's ex-husband from the suspect pool when Bari was blown up in Oakland with hubbykins' car bomb. Heck, the ex was only a guy with a history of cult-left violence and bombs back to 1966! Why the heck would the FBI look at him? Of course they had to close the Bari case when "no one would talk to us." Hell, cops routinely halt investigations when crooks won't talk to them. Everyone knows that.


HELLO, HISTORY? GET ME RE-WRITE!

Mendocino County hires museum curator

Karen Mattson brings years of experience and a profound passion for history and community to the Mendocino County Museum curator position

By Aura Whittaker

The museum was in need of serious organization and deep cleaning, according to county officials.

With a face familiar to many, Karen Mattson has made the switch from Willits Branch Library technician to Mendocino County Museum curator this month.

When museum Director Alison Glassey took an unexplained leave of absence in late June of last year followed by retirement, county officials began taking a closer look at museum staffing, finances and programming.

Once they realized three out of five full-time positions were empty, they immediately decided the museum needed a curator first and foremost. The county had asked Glassey to hire a curator a long time ago but it never happened.

Mendocino County Library Director Karen Horner and County Deputy Chief Executive Officer Janelle Rau have been working to make sure the museum operates as usual since Glassey submitted her resignation in August 2017. Horner said she and Rau agreed that a curator was critical to the recovery of the museum because of the “very shocking” state it had fallen into over the years.

“I was asked to help oversee the museum right now,” said Horner, regarding her involvement. “We knew that a museum needed to have a museum curator. Someone with experience and knowledge and professionalism, and that’s what was lacking here and the state of the museum showed it. It was bad.”

After narrowing down the 27 curator applications, Horner said Mattson was the obvious choice because she was “by far the best and most qualified,” and she dazzled the interview panel with her experience working in museums and knowledge about the smallest details.

“(Mattson’s) experience at the Placer County museums is exactly what is needed here... Placer County has a lot more museums than we do and what she’s done there is amazing, so for us to have even a snippet of it here would be fantastic... Karen was just overly qualified... What she did at the Willits Library was transforming... We are excited,” said Horner.

Mattson said she was thrilled when she heard the museum was hiring a curator and jumped at the chance to once again work in a world of history and community. She said she has had a passion for all things art since she was a child and went on to graduate with a bachelor of fine arts degree from Chico State.

During Mattson’s college years she worked in a museum, starting with an internship and ending up as the collections manager after just five years. From there, she worked in an art gallery in Sacramento but soon realized she preferred the non-commercial aspect of a museum.

In Placer County, Mattson landed a position working with the curator of collections for the six local museums and research center located throughout the county. She eventually became the curator of education and was in charge of the county’s living history program, which primarily catered to children and schools. During that time, she also developed and implemented a new Gold Rush-themed program for fourth-graders in the area.

“Her experience, and ideas and creativity, is what the museum needs. And not only that but having the collection background and understanding the collection, and knowing how museum space should be utilized,” said Horner.

“The museum suffered from neglect and there was understaffing. There wasn’t proper care of things so it’s just getting all of the foundation in order and cleaned up and organized and structured... It has drastically improved so much in the short time (Mattson has) been here.”

Mattson said she is looking forward to developing programs that reflect Mendocino County’s “incredibly unique and interesting history,” but she has a lot of behind-the-scenes work to do first.

“I’m focusing on bringing everything up to a quality museum standard first and foremost,” said Mattson. “There are some basic things that need to happen. We need to implement our pest management program. We need to get our humidity and temperature readings recorded on a regular basis.

“And everything needs deep cleaning and organizing, and we need to do an inventory of our collection... There are a lot of basic things that we need to do to get our ducks in a row... When we get there, because we will get there, I’m hoping to create a really solid foundation so that maybe we will have more staff, we will have a team and then we can start planning what exhibits, what programs are going to best serve our community... Then we can therefore set priorities about what we want to go after and go after it.”

Mattson said another goal she plans to work on is recruiting and organizing volunteers to serve alongside museum staff. She stressed that she appreciates what has been done by the small group of volunteers who have helped keep the museum afloat because they “have done an excellent job” targeting specific areas and she “can’t say enough about them.” Mattson said the improvements to be made do not focus on what the current volunteers have done because “we just want to add to it.”

Horner agreed, saying that the current staff members and volunteers have made a huge difference. She said “It just can’t be overstated enough... What they did to maintain the collection and organize is just amazing.” Horner said the museum should and will have more staff including an archivist, a collections manager, programs specialists and others.

“You usually operate with a bare minimum staff but you rely on this huge community of volunteers and we would love to have more,” said Horner. “And the museum is so cool and there’s so many great things to do at the museum... We will probably find a spot for anyone who wants to volunteer... Unfortunately our little Mendocino County Museum kind of got stuck in a rut and we just want to make it awesome and better... We live in such a beautiful, fabulous county. We don’t want to leave to do stuff. We just want to stay here to do stuff. ”

Mattson said she feels volunteering should be an “opportunity for personal growth” and she wants to give volunteers a chance to learn about history and “give them something to think about or learn a new skill.” She would like to see volunteering as a “service to the community as well” and hopes to partner with schools and teachers and other community groups to create mutually beneficial programs.

“There are so many ways the museum can serve the community and I’m interested in all the ways and bolstering all the ways and identifying it and making sure people understand that the museum is here to serve. It’s not just a place that needs you to visit once in a while. We are here for you, for teachers, for people who want to learn about the county... We should be serving in all those ways...” said Mattson.

“Not only do we want to serve Willits, but we are the Mendocino County Museum, so we want to create a destination-worthy field trip for people to come from the coast, from Ukiah, from the little places around here, Laytonville, Covelo... This should be the place that people are looking for, because it’s cool and fun and when they come here there should be different things to see than when they were here last time.”

However, before the museum can become the shining light it was meant to be, Mattson and the museum staff have a long list of items to conquer. High on the list, according to Mattson, is obtaining a freezer that “will allow us to care for our collection better and treat textiles that need to be treated.”

She said the building has already been sealed to keep pests out, which was a previous problem that needed immediate attention. Mattson said staff is also working on “top to bottom cleaning” in every room and rearranging storage to get it up off the floor. Another major challenge has been sorting and organizing past exhibits and event supplies, as well as chucking garbage left behind.

“It’s such a cool space, there’s so much potential, and it is a county museum. The library is right next door... We can partner with schools, we can partner with cities, the art center... The potential is almost limitless...” said Horner. “It just needs to be organized and stored properly. Once this gets taken care of then we can go forward with all the great programs and ideas... It’s all going up from here. It’s all going forward. This time next year we will be talking programs.”

* * *

COUPLA THINGS HERE: First, now that I've seen Karen Mattson’s bona fides that include quite a lot hands-on museum experience, especially for a young person, her appointment as curator at the Mendocino County Museum seems reasonable.

WHAT IS NOT REASONABLE is this untrue statement in the presser announcing Ms. Mattson's appointment. Aura Whittaker, a new name to us, writing for The Willits News: “…When museum director Alison Glassey took an unexplained leave of absence in late June of last year followed by retirement, county officials began taking a closer look at museum staffing, finances and programming. Once they realized three out of five full-time positions were empty, they immediately decided the museum needed a curator first and foremost. The county had asked Glassey to hire a curator a long time ago but it never happened…"

GLASSEY was fired when the County CEO's office found that the money the County had been directing to Glassey was instead funding archivists Russ and Sylvia Bartley. Ms. Mattson is quoted by Ms. Whittaker as saying that the Museum is in very bad shape. If it is, it's not the fault of the Bartleys who kept the collections safe and orderly for years in the absence of a curator.


BLAHUT'S FAMOUS

Blahut

Message from Michael Blahut: "You put me on front page and the reporter didn't speak to me about it. I guess you just want to make money off me for your rag." (You were in custody, dude.)

CALL From Stan Miklose of Down Home Foods, Fort Bragg: "Blahut came in and bought the last 25 papers I had of the Jan 17 edition. Can you send replacements?"

ANOTHER CALL from Blahut: "Do you have any papers left? I want to send them to my friends and family. I was on your front page."

The terror of the drive-thru didn’t complain to us, but said he wanted to come by and pick up the papers. He was driving to Boonville from Mendocino. The Major was just leaving for Ukiah, so he told Blahut he'd leave a few papers on the deck. "When I got back they were gone. There was no money left for them. We're here to serve.”

https://www.theava.com/archives/78047

* * *

LITTLE DOG SAYS, “I made the mistake of commenting to Skrag that people traveling with dogs use our driveway as a dumping ground. He says, ‘So, what else is new? Dogs are slobs. Nobody has to clean up after me because I clean up after myself. We all do’!"

* * *

JEB BUSH COMES TO CALIFORNIA

by Marilyn Davin

Jeb Bush was in town lecturing last week. Remember him during the Republican presidential debates? The guy on the left with the hip rimless glasses and the perpetually stunned look on his face? At first blush his appearance at my local downtown theatre was a miracle; he must’ve figured some way to tack 50 points onto his IQ from back then. Here was a coulda-been American president person in the flesh who spoke in complete sentences without a grammatical error. He listened respectfully to his questioner and actually answered his questions. He didn’t wave his fists, jut his chin out like a nasty cartoon character, or insult anyone, present or not. He didn’t call anyone a racist or a rapist, bad-mouth anybody’s facelift or announce axing anyone else from his Cabinet. He was articulate and dignified. And it was clear he can almost certainly both read and write. By comparison, Jeb was a breath of fresh ocean breeze.

But…unfortunately…as the shock of his being not-Trump passed and his words sunk in, I began to wonder if Jeb had decamped from Florida and moved to Wisconsin or something. How he rhapsodized about his seaside state! The soaring education improvements! The charter schools! Unfettered school choice had magically transformed Florida into a place filled with happy, productive, un-narcotized, high-achieving students. And to boot there is a chicken in every pot! According to Jeb, Florida has finally become that shining city on the hill every conservative Republican has crowed about since the Great Communicator Ronald Reagan, a beacon of what every state could become with a little conservative elbow grease.

Where does Jeb get this stuff?

When I got home it didn’t take much searching to learn that the great State of Florida, which did indeed show a modest uptick in education a few years back (later downgraded because that uptick was based on stated policy changes instead of anything to do with student knowledge or academic performance), is now #28 in the US line-up, with #1 being first, of course. And all of Jeb’s talk about how the Floridian spirit of entrepreneurship has created great gains in the economy made it clear he hasn’t been to Miami-Dade County lately, where the United Way of Florida revealed last year that, while the rich are of course getting richer, a whopping 58% of residents can’t pay their basic bills.

So I guess looking and sounding more presidential than Trump, however low the bar, just isn’t enough to make a decent president. As he droned on soothingly I remembered part of why he was such a bad candidate. Midway through his lecture an inadequately flavored vanilla tidal wave rose, possibly from the east off the Florida coast, and engulfed the vast theatre space. Not this again! Jeb was invoking 1950s America, that mythical Shangri-la old white conservative Americans love to longingly talk about. All we need to do to fix the country is to get everybody to cheerfully pitch in for the country’s cities and towns. Who needs the government? (He actually said that.) He cited Sandy Hook as an example of how residents stepped up to the plate to take in foster kids displaced by the school massacre there (glossing over the fact that Sandy Hook kids are products of a small upscale, lily-white Connecticut suburb rather than a filthy crack house filled with neglectful and frequently violent adults). Ask the 11% of the American population that was black back then in the 50s how great the ‘50s were for them. Or for mothers whose husbands died, became disabled, or simply left them. Or for the Americans to the left of white-bread Republicans of the day who were tarred and feathered as commies. The ’50s indeed.

So I guess the message here is that you need more wisdom and vision than being relatively well educated and seemingly presidential to be an effective president, though Jeb would be good at presidential foreign visits, where he could be reliably counted upon to not say anything rude or look puzzled at different forms of tradition and dress.

Sorry, Jeb, we don’t need the 50s back. We need a real government to help shore up and heal the social and economic disasters, here and overseas, put in motion by your brother and other establishment leaders from both parties. Distributing 75% of the nation’s wealth among the 75% of Americans in the middle would be a good start, so would reversing the rapid downhill slide of our educational and social systems. Think of those kids you talk about so much about. How’s about those family values?

* * *

ROBIN ARRIVES EARLY

(Click to enlarge)

(Photo by Judy Valadao)

* * *

THE COMING END OF NORTH COAST CANNABIS CULTURE

Rain falls on pot tourism and on the pot growers’ parade

by Jonah Raskin

No, it’s not the end of cannabis in California. Not yet. Farmers and gardeners will be able to grow and harvest their own plants, if the weed isn’t for sale. From now on, however, the bulk of cannabis in the state will probably belong lock, stock, and barrel to the giant cannabis corporations, many of them located in the Central Valley, some operated by former counterculture types. That outcome seems likely unless the California Growers Association (CGA), the largest statewide organization of marijuana cultivators, prevails in its lawsuit against Sacramento. Tai Olesky — who was born in Humboldt and who grew up in Sonoma County — serves on the CGA, along with 50 or so other Californians from around the state. Olesky sounded an alarm only days after the CGA filed a lawsuit on January 23, 2018. “The original understanding, when Prop 64 passed, was that there was to be a limit on big, commercial grows,” Olesky told me. “The regulations released last November didn’t include a cap on the size of an operation. Nor were caps in place when recreational sales began the first of this year. We had to sue to protect the industry."

Olesky thinks that if Sacramento doesn’t change its game plan, the fall-out will be disastrous, not only for small and medium sized growers in Mendocino and Humboldt, but for the whole region. “If the state doesn’t create limits on big grows the impacts will be catastrophic,” he said. “The whole North Coast economy will suffer and a whole culture will be lost.”

“What are people going to do?” he asked. “Go back to logging and fishing. Marijuana is all that's left.”

When Olesky looks at legal cannabis in Oregon, he sees a market that’s already saturated, though the state is still giving out licenses to cultivators. “They care about taxes, not about the growers who will be bankrupt,” he said. When he looks at Sonoma County, he sees much the same picture. The city of Santa Rosa, he points out, has been issuing licenses, not because it cares about cannabis patients, cannabis medicine and small growers, but because “it’s a money grab, with exorbitant fees and taxes.”

As a citizen who leans toward the libertarian viewpoint, Olesky doesn’t think that taxes and fees are the answers to the cannabis conundrum, though he’s not sure where to turn for solutions. “The whole cannabis issue will end up in the courts,” he said. "Meanwhile, there’s a race to the bottom. People in the industry are eating each other up.”

At the age of 41, and after a lifetime in and around cannabis in northern California, he says that almost everyone he knows is involved in the business on some level. "Not to have protections for small growers is a real travesty of what voters wanted when they approved Prop 64,” he said.

For years, Olesky owned and operated Mosaic, an up-scale restaurant in Forestville, until the market crashed in 2008 and he lost 50% of his business. Now, he makes and sells organic soils in bulk to marijuana growers and to owners and managers of vineyards and orchards. "Biologic Crop Solutions” is the name of the business. The website says, "Grow More, Go Green, and Pay Less with liquid biological amendments and high-quality organic materials. We also offer consultative services and client-specific programs for landscape, agriculture, and horticulture.”

Olesky isn’t ready to close his shop. “I don’t think I’ll suffer economically if and when the small growers go under,” he said. “The big growers want organic soil for their plants. I think I’m in good shape.”

He added, “I’m not normally outspoken about politics. But fuck it! Now’s not the time to bury your head in the sand. The people who have been in this culture for decades, need to get a break before the whole industry is swallowed up by the Wal-Mart’s and the Amazon’s of the world.”

(Jonah Raskin is the author of Marijuanaland: Dispatches from an American War.)

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, January 26, 2018

Annnis, Byrne, Cook, Lawson

DOUGLAS ANNIS, Talmage. Assault with firearm, false imprisonment.

KYLE BYRNE, Ukiah. Burglary, receiving stolen property.

THOMAS COOK, Ukiah. Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, failure to appear.

BRANDON LAWSON, Willits. Probation revocation.

Maynard, Michael, Norton

ANDREW MAYNARD, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

HEATHER MICHAEL, Ukiah. Failure to appear.

JUSTIN NORTON, Willits. Domestic battery.

Osborn, Pelkey, Rossavick

JESSICA OSBORN, Ukiah. DUI.

MICHAEL PELKEY, Fort Bragg. Under influence, probation revocation.

JOHN ROSSAVICK, Roseville/Potter Valley. DUI.

Ruczak, Steele, Wolfe

SAMUEL RUCZAK, Fort Bragg. Criminal threats, vandalism, suspended license, probation revocation.

EDWARD STEELE, Ukiah. Paraphernalia, resisting, county parole violation, community supervision violation.

SHAWN WOLFE, Cloverdale/Hopland. DUI-alcohol-drugs.

* * *

INSTEAD OF A TUNNEL...

Editor:

Gov. Jerry Brown in his last year in office has a reality check on his water bond measure passed in 2014. How does he get at least one tunnel started, as this has his name on it 100 percent?

The water bond measure included money for local municipalities to build out recycled water systems. Instead of a tunnel taking fresh water down to Southern and Central California, how about California building a recycled water system from Sacramento to Bakersfield, primarily for farmers?

With today’s technology, recycled water is getting closer to fresh water. Imagine this system decreasing the demand for fresh water by up to 25 percent. And potentially being used for farm animals as well.

Recycled water is used on golf courses throughout California, so why not extend it to farming communities in the Central Valley? Farmers would be drought protected, and it would decrease the need for well water, which depletes underground aquifers.

Fresh water would still be transported to Central and Southern California, as is happening today. But demand for fresh water in the future could be substantially decreased with a central recycled system built with Brown’s water bonds.

Andrew Smith

Santa Rosa

* * *

THE REALLY, REALLY BIG ONE

When the 2011 earthquake and tsunami struck Tohoku, Japan, Chris Goldfinger was two hundred miles away, in the city of Kashiwa, at an international meeting on seismology. As the shaking started, everyone in the room began to laugh. Earthquakes are common in Japan — that one was the third of the week — and the participants were, after all, at a seismology conference. Then everyone in the room checked the time.

newyorker.com/magazine/2015/07/20/the-really-big-one

* * *

THE UMBRELLA

by Manuel Vicent, translated by Louis S. Bedrock

At night, in the train, the traveler turned his gaze towards the window pane and was able to observe, outside the coach, a figure whose face was identical to his and who was traveling at the same speed. He had made the mistake of believing that it was merely his own image reflected in the dark mirror of the night.

After thinking about it for a while, he arrived at the conviction that the figure could be the split-off other half of himself, who had been following him forever, everywhere since his early childhood and that at this time had managed to catch up with him so they together could continue the journey to the end of the night.

Maybe the traveler was unaware of it, but that dark image contained, like the negative of a photograph, all the dreams that he couldn’t fulfill; all the pleasures he had renounced; all the opportunities he didn’t know how to take advantage of; everything he could have done but did not do; everything he had attempted to hide: the resignations, the mistakes, the failures that had led him to become a coward without any interests.

In the depths of the mirror of the night, he saw a little boy jumping around happily in the grass, and later — as an adolescent, bicycling to the beach in the sun, and then, as a young man, trying to discover the source of beauty within the rugged forest of Dante.

That vision obliged him to wonder,

—And what if…? Any ordinary act means that each day changes the trajectory of one’s life. And what if…?

Suddenly, the traveler remembered that umbrella. And if it hadn’t rained that autumn afternoon? The traveler realized that nothing would be the same if on that autumn afternoon he had not had to return to the bar to pick up his umbrella, which he had forgotten. In that bar, he crossed paths with the woman who was now waiting for him at the train station — his ultimate destination

—How was your trip? —she asked him.

—Oh, I ran into a guy I hadn’t seen since we were kids—some poor son of a bitch —answered the traveler.

* * *

WINGNUTS OF THE WEEK

(Click to enlarge)

* * *

ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY

Allow me relate a little experience I had with econ 101 professor back in the early 80’s.

I was in econ 101 (macro economics) and taking second year calculus in the same semester. In calc we were studying what happens to equations when the input values go to infinity or just get really, really big. Being the curious engineering nerd I am, I applied calc theories to the growth equations in econ and quickly determined that to meet “normal” growth rates of 5 to 7% (remember this was 1981) we would be mining more tons coal and pumping more tons of oil than the earth weighs within about 100 years. The econ professor threw me out of his office when I brought this up with him.

That day I learned that economics has little foundation in reality and any time a business school muckity-muck or economist says something like “it will adjust” they really have no idea what’s going to happen. My experience in the 38 years since then tells me to hold onto my ass because it’s not going to be pretty.

* * *

"OBLIGATORY WYOMING SNAPSHOT"

(Click to enlarge)

(Photo by Harvey Reading)

* * *

LOOK FOR RATE CUTS IN YOUR AUTO/HOMEOWNER’S INSURANCE COMING SOON

by Ralph Nader

In falsely bragging about the alleged benefits to the middle class from the tax law enacted by the Republicans last month, the Trumpsters neglected to give high visibility to the state regulators who must require utility and insurance companies to pass savings from the tax cuts on to their consumers.

While some regulated utility companies (gas, electric and telephone) did announce that they would be reducing rates for consumers, others seem to be waiting for state regulators to push them. The insurance companies in particular seem to be in need of a nudge.

The indefatigable actuary and consumer advocate for the Consumer Federation of America, J. Robert Hunter is pleased to provide the necessary push. In his usual tightly argued style, he has sent letters to every state insurance commissioner, as well as those officials representing the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Hunter calculates that insurance rates that you, the consumer, are paying, should be reduced by about 5%, “without including the impact of investment income due to lower taxes on that income. So it could be more than 5%.”

Hunter continues: “On a property-casualty industry wide basis, the windfall to insurers from the tax changes are massive. 5% of the $ 539 billion in premiums collected is over $25 billion. For longer-tailed lines, like medical professional liability, the increase in investment income on reserves and surplus will be much greater than average because of the reduction in tax rates.”

Taking no chances, Hunter asks the mostly passive state insurance regulators two questions that resolve any possible ambiguities about what you the policyholder-consumers are owed:

  1. “What is your evaluation of the recent changes in tax laws on insurer profitability by line and what is the basis for your conclusions? “
  2. “What actions are you taking in the next month to cause insurers to reduce rates to reflect the windfall from tax changes and to ensure rates return to not excessive levels?”

Over $25 billion in savings coming back to consumers’ proverbial pocketbooks is not chump change. You can surely use it, and it belongs to you under existing law.

If you call or email your state insurance commissioner and ask “where’s my money?”, you’ll get a pretty good idea of how fast and decisive your commissioner is likely to be. California’s elected Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones has already acted to assure these reductions in rates.

Further questions may be directed to Mr. Hunter’s organization here. He’ll want to hear about any responses, or lack of responses, from your commissioner’s office. These commissioners, and every insurance company, know Bob Hunter very well. This consumer champion has been a leading consumer watchdog for over forty years. He has saved consumers billions of dollars in auto, homeowner and other property-casualty policies with his testimony before legislatures, especially defending the civil justice system from erosion, his expert witness role in successful litigation, and his many public reports revealing insurance industry abuses.

In the pantheon of ‘one person making a difference,’ J. Robert Hunter deserves top billing. He exposes the intricacies of this often needlessly complex business and the maneuvers that the companies use, to evade, avoid and obscure their shenanigans. Bob has also successfully challenged insurance industry legislative proposals, greased by campaign contributions.

In 1988 during our regulatory victory over the resistant property-casualty insurance industry, with the enactment of Prop 103 by California voters, we received regular pro-bono advice from Bob Hunter. Since then, California has moved from being one of the highest auto insurance priced states to one of the lowest ones. Actuary Hunter estimates savings to California Motorists of over $100 billion.

He’s done all this work with a marvelous sense of humor, a pleasant personality in acrimonious venues, and he manages, as a vocation, to be a peace mediator of African tribal conflicts.

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

* * *

CASHING IN ON 9/11 took many forms. In 2004 Giuliani Partners signed up Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, which was concerned about the popularity of drug re-importation. American pharmaceutical companies sold their product at much lower prices in Canada and Europe, where national price controls were in effect. The big profits came in the United States, where Congress had vigilantly guarded the drug manufacturers’ right to charge what the market would bear. But American senior citizens had begun taking bus trips to Canada to buy their medication, and, in a far more ominous development for the drug companies, members of Congress were talking about making it legal to import cheaper prescription drugs from across the border. PhRMA wanted Giuliani Partners to prepare a report on the safety of these practices.

The report found re-importation to be a bad and dangerous thing. “As the nation tightens its borders against possible future terrorist attacks, it risks undermining security and safety by opening them to non-FDA approved prescription drugs,” the Giuliani study concluded. Giuliani himself testified before two Senate committees. When the public was invited to take its turn to testify before a federal task force studying drug importation, one of the first speakers was Kerik, who raised the possibility that terrorists could send weapons of biological warfare across the border disguised as prescription drugs.

— Wayne Barrett and Dan Collins

* * *

TWO TANOAK TALKS IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

Feb 8 @ HSU and Feb 11 @ Grace Hudson Museum

Dear friends of tanoak,

I wanted to let you know that I will be giving two tanoak talks in northern California (see attached poster for the talk in Arcata on Feb 8th). The second talk is in Ukiah at the Grace Hudson Museum and Sun House on Sunday, Feb 11 at 2 pm. Please help spread the word and I hope I see you soon.

Frederica Bowcutt ph.d. | botanist | the evergreen state college | 2700 evergreen parkway nw, Olympia, WA 98505 | (360) 867-6744

* * *

WHEN I WAS GROWING UP in Britain in the 1950s and 1960s, Paul Robeson was much in evidence, on records, on the radio, on television. His name was haloed with the sort of respect accorded to few performers. The astonishing voice that, like the Mississippi in the most famous number in his repertory, just kept rolling along, seemed to carry within it an inherent sense of truth. There was no artifice; there were no vocal tricks; nothing came between the listener and the song. It commanded effortless attention; perfectly focused, it came from a very deep place, not just in the larynx, but in the experience of what it is to be human. In this, Robeson resembled the English contralto Kathleen Ferrier: both seemed less trained musicians than natural phenomena.

The spirituals Robeson had been instrumental in discovering for a wider audience were not simply communal songs of love and life and death but the urgent cries of a captive people yearning for a better, a juster life. These songs, rooted in the past, expressed a present reality in the lives of twentieth-century American black people, citizens of the most powerful nation on earth but oppressed and routinely humiliated on a daily basis. When Robeson sang the refrain of “Go Down Moses”—“Let my people go!” — it had nothing to do with consolation or comfort: it was an urgent demand. And in the Britain in which I grew up, he was deeply admired for it. For us, he was the noble representative, the beau idéal, of his race: physically magnificent, finely spoken, fiercely intelligent, charismatic but not at all threatening.

At some point in the 1960s, he faded from our view. Disgusted with America’s failure to address his passionate demands for his people, he had gone to Moscow, endorsing the Soviet regime. Meanwhile, a new generation of black militants, fierce demagogues, had become prominent, and suddenly Robeson seemed very old-fashioned. There were no more television reruns of his most famous movies, Sanders of the River (1935) and The Proud Valley (1940); his music was rarely heard. When news of his death came in 1976, there was surprise that he was still alive. And now, it is hard to find anyone under fifty who has the slightest idea who he is, or what he was, which is astonishing — as a singer, of course, and, especially in Proud Valley, as an actor, his work is of the highest order. But his significance as an emblematic figure is even greater, crucial to an understanding of the American twentieth century.

— Simon Callow

* * *

HAPPY LANDINGS

by James Kunstler

The blow-off orgy in the stock markets is supposedly America’s consolation prize for what many regard as the electoral bad acid trip of the Trump presidency. Sorry to tell you, it’s just another hallucination, something you’re going to have to come down from. Happy landings!

While the markets have roared parabolically up, in Technicolor, with sugar-on-top, that ole rascal, Reality, is working some hoodoo in the other rings of this psychedelic circus: namely the dollar and the bond market. The idiots on NPR’s Marketplace and the Cable TV financial shows haven’t noticed the dollar tanking the past several months or the interest rates creeping up in the bond markets. Well, isn’t that the point of living as if anything goes and nothing matters, the mantra of the age?

Alas, things are connected and consequences await. It would be rich if a flash crash ripped the Dow, S & P, and the Nasdaq to shreds twenty minutes after the Golden Golem of Greatness finished schooling the weenies of Davos on the bigly wonderfulness of his year in office. In fact, it would be a crowning comic moment in human history. I can imagine Trump surrounded by the fawning Beta Boys of Banking as the news comes in. Poof! Suddenly, he is alone in the antechamber backstage, nothing left of his admirers but the lingering scent of aftershave. The world has changed. The dream is over. In the mirror he sees something that looks dimly like Herbert Hoover in a polka-dot clown suit, with funny orange wig….

A financial smash-up is really the only thing that will break the awful spell this country is in: the belief that everyday life can go on when nothing really adds up. It seems to me that the moment is close at hand. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin told the Davos crowd that the US has “a weak dollar” policy. Is that so? Just as his department is getting ready to borrow another $1.2 trillion to cover government operations in the year to come. I’m sure the world wants nothing more than to buy bucket-loads of sovereign bonds backed by a falling currency — at the same time that the Treasury’s partner-in-crime, the Federal Reserve, is getting ready to dump an additional $600 billion bonds on the market out of its over-stuffed balance sheet. I’d sooner try to sell snow-cones in a polar bomb-cyclone.

When folks don’t want to buy bonds, the interest rates naturally have to go higher. The problem with that is your country’s treasury has to pay the bond-holders more money, but the only thing that has allowed the Treasury to keep borrowing lo these recent decades is the long-term drop of interest rates to the near-zero range. And the Fed’s timid 25-basis-point hikes in the overnight Fed Fund rate have not moved the needle quite far enough so far. But with benchmark ten-year bond rate nosing upward like a mole under the garden toward the 3.00 percent mark, something is going to give.

How long do you think the equity indexes will levitate once the bond market implodes? What vaporizes with it is a lot of the collateral backing up the unprecedented margin (extra borrowed money) that this rickety tower of financial Babel is tottering on. A black hole is opening up in some sub-basement of a tower on Wall Street, and it will suck the remaining value from this asset-stripped nation into the vacuum of history like so much silage.

Thus will begin the harsh era of America screwing its head back on and commencing the salvage operation. We’ll stop ricocheting from hashtag to hashtag and entertain a few coherent thoughts, such as, “…Gee, it turns out you really can’t get something for nothing….” That’s an important thought to have when you turn around and suddenly discover you’ve got nothing left.

(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page: https://www.patreon.com/JamesHowardKunstler)

* * *

BOOMING ECONOMY?

* * *

“If men were equally at risk from this condition — if they knew their bellies might swell as if they were suffering from end-stage cirrhosis; that they would have to go nearly a year without a stiff drink, a cigarette, or even an aspirin; that they would be subject to fainting spells and unable to fight their way onto commuter trains — then I am sure that pregnancy would be classified as a sexually transmitted disease and abortions would be no more controversial than emergency appendectomies.”

— Barbara Ehrenreich

* * *

“I don’t think he’d stop at anything…”

* * *

MAKE A DONATION TO CRC in honor of your Valentine

Remember your loved ones on Valentine's Day! For a $20 donation to Cancer Resource Centers of Mendocino County we will personalize this card with your inscription and mail to the address you provide. Inside left panel reads: A donation was made in your honor to the Cancer Resource Centers of Mendocino County. Just call our Coast office, 937-3833 or e-mail info@crcmendocino.org. Cards are also available for purchase in our Inland and Coast offices through February 14. (Valentine Card artwork created by Ian Watson, student artist at Willits High School.)

* * *

MEMO OF THE AIR: Good Night Radio on KNYO and KMEC tonight!

On 1/26/2018 4:36 PM, liz@mcn.org wrote: Dear Listers, Eek. My PC monitor is flashing death signs. I fear it will soon go totally dark. Can anyone can spare me one ASAP, please? Nothing fancy needed. In Mendo area. Thanks, Liz

* * *

Get another one, sure, for a spare, Liz, but before you give up on yours, wiggle the video cable and the power cable and push them home on both ends. Most of the time that's all that's wrong; it's just a skin of oxide that grows where metal touches in the connectors. Wiggling a connector and pushing it in firmly solves that for another few months.

* * *

IN OTHER NEWS: Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio on KNYO and KMEC tonight!

The deadline to email your writing to be read on MOTA is always about 5 or 6pm the night of the show, no matter where I'm doing the show from. So as of this writing you have some time to get that together for tonight. Just paste your poem or essay of kvetch or sale item or whatever into the body text of an email, check that it's going to me and not to the whole group, unless that's what you want, and press send.

Tonight I'm doing the show by live remote from Juanita's place, not from Franklin Street. So if you want to talk in person about your project or read aloud your own writing, or bring your instrument(s) and/or fellow instrumentalists and play a short set, or try out your stand-up act, you can drop by 325 N. Franklin, next door to the Tip Top bar, after 9pm and just wade in. Head for the lighted room at the back and clear your throat or clap your hands or something, /next week, First Friday, Feb. the 2nd./ Because I'm not there tonight. Tonight I'm in my flannel pyjamas and lucky fluffy two-tone bathrobe at the typing table next to the bed. I might not even take a shower first. See if you can hear the difference.

Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio: Every Friday, 9pm to about 4am on 107.7fm KNYO-LP Fort Bragg, and 105.1fm KMEC-LP Ukiah. And also there and anywhere else via http://knyo.org or if that doesn't work for you try http://TuneIn.com and look up KNYO-LP.

And also you can have /your own whole show/ on KNYO and never have to depend on me at all, though I'm happy to help you get started: Contact Bob Young: bobb@poetworld.net and introduce yourself; you'll be on the schedule with Speed-Force speed, confounding your Anti-Flash nemesis, and won't /that/ be a thrill? As we have learned, the Anti-Flash is never gone. You can outrun him and punch him to death, you can throw him into the heart of a nuclear explosion, you can persuade Grod the superintelligent telepathic gorilla to erase his memory and render him moot, and there are still an infinite number of Anti-Flashes in parallel universes to deal with later, like the one on Earth X, the Nazi Earth, that also has the Nazi Supergirl and the Nazi Arrow. So, constant vigilance.

--Marco McClean

* * *

BIG OIL PRAISES GOVERNOR JERRY BROWN'S FINAL STATE OF THE STATE ADDRESS

by Dan Bacher

Amidst predictably fawning media coverage, California Governor Jerry Brown delivered his sixteenth and final State of the State address at the State Capitol in Sacramento on January 25.

Brown proclaimed that the "bolder path is still our way forward" on climate change, cap-and-trade and infrastructure investment, including the implementation of the water bond of 2014 and the construction of his Delta Tunnels, and an array of other issues.

He said the renewal of his cap-and-trade program on a bipartisan basis was “a major achievement and will ensure that we will have substantial sums to invest in communities all across the state -- both urban and agricultural.”

“The goal is to make our neighborhoods and farms healthier, our vehicles cleaner -- zero emission the sooner the better -- and all our technologies increasingly lowering their carbon output. To meet our ambitious goals, we will need five million zero-emission vehicles on the road by 2030. Think of all the jobs that will create and how much cleaner our air will be,” said Brown.

A statement from Catherine Reheis-Boyd, the President of the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), praising the Governor's State of the State address pretty much summarizes the oil industry's deep partnership with Jerry Brown since he began his fourth term as Governor In January 2011 and their strong support of his controversial carbon trading program.

In fact, documents leaked to the media in 2017 revealed that Brown’s highly touted cap-and-trade bill, AB 398, was based on a WSPA and Chevron wish list.

Reheis-Boyd, who also served as the Chair of the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative Blue Ribbon Task Force to create so-called “marine protected areas” in Southern California, proclaimed:

“Throughout Governor Brown’s historic years leading our state, he has worked to ensure California sets ambitious standards in climate change policy. As our state’s leading energy producers, we we continue to work with him, future Governors and our state’s leaders to me California’s climate change goals.

Despite hundreds of millions in state rebates and investments, even the Governor noted today that zero emission vehicles, like electric cars, represent a very small percentage of the vehicles on the road today. Of the nearly 26 million passenger cars in California, only 300,000 are zero emission vehicles.

Our members will continue to provide the reliable and affordable fuel that powers our state and the vehicles that Californians choose every day for their families and small businesses.”

While Brown has continually portrayed himself as a world “climate leader” fighting Trump’s anti-environmental policies, he has actually gone out of his way to please the oil and gas industries. He and his causes received over $9.8 million from oil companies, gas companies and utilities since he began running for his third term as Governor in 2009.

Jerry Brown has already done what Trump would like to do; expand offshore oil drilling. Brown's regulators have expanded offshore drilling by 17 percent in state waters under existing leases, approving 238 new wells between 2012 and 2016.

And that’s just one of the Governor’s anti--environmental policies:

- He has expanded fracking and other oil extraction techniques onshore.

- He pressured the Trump adminIstration to grant three major oil fields in Kern County exemptions from the Safe Drinking Water Act.

- His regulators have overseen the irrigation of crops with oil waste water.

- He signed the green light for fracking bill, an already bad bill that was made even worse when it was gutted by the oil industry, in September 2013.

- He has overseen water export policies that have led winter-run and spring-run Chinook salmon, Delta and long fin smelt, green sturgeon and other fish species to the edge of extinction.

And the list of his anti-environmental policies goes on, and on, and on...

After Brown delivered his State of the State address, a victim of urban oil drilling in Los Angeles joined health professionals and members from the Oil Money Out Campaign, a coalition of environmental, advocacy and political groups, at a press conference on the north steps of the state capitol delivering 80,000 petitions to Governor Brown calling for oil money out of California politics.

Gabriela Garcia, whose family lives near LA’s oil wells, doesn't share Reheis-Boyd’s rosy assessment of Jerry Brown’s “leadership” on climate. She shared her personal experience and health problems that resulted within her family and community, due to living in close proximity of urban oil drilling.

“I’ve watched my community suffer enough. It is a human right to breathe clean air, no matter where you live, and I shouldn't have to tell my children, we can’t walk to the park today because the air in our neighborhood will make us sick,” said Garcia, a long time Los Angeles resident and member of People Not Pozos(People not Wells).

In 2015, the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) report, mandated by SB 4, the state’s fracking law, determined that fracking and urban drilling are dangerous for California, according to David Braun, director of Rootskeeper and Oil Money Out. The report urged mandatory human health buffer zones around all oil operations to protect public health; currently there are none in California like there are in Colorado, Texas and other states.

“To date, none of the scientific recommendations have been implemented, leaving communities and individuals vulnerable to impacts,” said Braun.

"What's the point of doing studies, and then not implement the recommendations?" Braun emphasized. "Thanks to independent state scientists, we know oil drilling, which utilizes extremely dangerous chemical agents, is toxic for our water, air and communities. Sadly, the fact that theBrown administration has not made better efforts to enact mandated scientific protections seriously calls intoquestion his environmental leadership, not to mention his legacy."

Brown also used his speech to promote his Delta Tunnels, also known as the California WaterFix, considered by opponents to be the most environmentally destructive and unjust public works project in recent California history.

In his address, Brown claimed, "We are also restoring the Sacramento and San Joaquin watersheds to protect water supplies and improve California's iconic salmon runs.”

"Finally, we have the California Waterfix, a long studied and carefully designed project to modernize our broken water system,” he stated. “I am convinced that it will conserve water, protect the fish and the habitat in the Delta and ensure the delivery of badly needed water to the millions of people who depend on California's aqueducts. Local water districts -- in both the North and South -- are providing the leadership and the financing because they know it is vital for their communities, and for the whole state. That is true, and that is the reason why I have persisted.”

Delta Tunnels opponents weren’t impressed. They noted that Brown defended his persistence on the project, but dodged the “burning question” on the minds of the press, environmental groups, Northern California tribes, commercial and recreational fishermen, and environmental justice communities: “will the tunnels scale down to a smaller one tunnel project, or stay the course of two tunnels that are built in phases?”

“Tunnels opponents are convinced that neither solution will save CA WaterFix from failure, and will deal a devastating blow to the health of the ailing San Francisco Bay-Delta estuary,” said Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Executive Director of Restore the Delta (RTD).

She said that in his State of the State address, Governor Jerry Brown focused on fighting climate change and preparing for natural disasters noting, “We can’t fight nature; we have to learn to get along with it.”

“That is why the Delta tunnels are such a bad idea,” she said. “One or two 35-mile pipes to divert the Sacramento River from the San Francisco Bay-Delta estuary is not a plan to get along with nature,” she stated.

“We agree with Governor Brown’s comments about climate change science, planning, and response. This is the most important government work that should be done. However, Delta tunnels that will have less and less water in them with declining watersheds are not a sustainable water management solution to meet our climate change challenges,” she explained.

Barrigan-Parrilla said she disagrees with the Governor’s beliefs that the CA WaterFix will “conserve water and protect fish,” pointing out that the EIR for WaterFix demonstrates that imperiled fish like Delta smelt and salmon do worse with the tunnels.

“Moreover, how are the tunnels going to be used to conserve water when water will have to be continuously delivered to repay $17 billion worth of bonds, plus interest, and operations?” she asked.

Since it’s Brown’s final year in office, he still has the chance to do the right thing on a number of environmental issues, including stopping the expansion of fracking and offshore oil drilling that appears to be so dear to his “green” heart.

"Jerry Brown has refused to start turning off the oil spigot as donations and lobbying dollars continue to flowfrom Big Oil,” said Liza Tucker, Consumer Advocate for Consumer Watchdog. “It’s time for his actions to match his words decrying the existential threat of climate change. Politicians should say no to money from Big Oil and Brown should say no to any new permits for Big Oil drilling and other infrastructure.”

Here’s my article listing 10 concrete actions that Governor Brown can take to become a real green governor, as well as other measures a coalition of consumer, environmental justice and conservation groups have proposed: www.counterpunch.org/…

For more information on Governor Brown and his environmental policies, see: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/sites/default/files/2017-09/how_green_is_brown.pdf

The transcript of Brown’s State of the State address is available here: www.gov.ca.gov/...

* * *

LIBRARY EVENTS

Virtual Reality Days

First Come, First Served Days:

  • Weds, Jan. 10th: 2-4pm
  • Sat, Jan. 27th: 1-4pm
  • Weds, Feb. 7th: 2-4pm
  • Sat, Feb. 24th: 1-4pm

Virtual Reality Reservations

(Reserve a 30 minute session in advance):

  • Fri, Jan. 12th: 2:30-4:30pm
  • Fri, Feb. 9th: 2:30-4:30pm

The Mendocino County Library, Ukiah Branch is hosting Virtual Reality Days, a new 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.

First Come, First Served Days: The Oculus Rift will be open to Mendocino County Library cardholders on a first come, first served basis for 20 minute increments per person (dates/times listed above). 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.

Virtual Reality Reservations: Call 707-463-4490 to reserve a 30 minute session in advance, (available dates/times listed above). Ages 13+ only. Parental permission required for teens 13-17. All adult participants, or legal guardians of teens ages 13-17, must sign a liability waiver and have a Mendocino County Library card.

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.

* * *

Bitcoin: What’s It All About?

On Thursday, January 25th at 6 pm, Mendocino County Library, Ukiah Branch is hosting Bitcoin: What’s it all about?

Bitcoin has taken the world by storm recently. Don’t know what it is? It is a cryptocurrency and worldwide payment system. Want to learn more? Come and join us for a conversation.

This event is sponsored by the Ukiah Valley Public Library and hosted by Justin Rhinehart. Contact us at 707-463-4490 with questions.

 

25 Responses to "Mendocino County Today: Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018"

  1. George Hollister   January 27, 2018 at 6:31 am

    Jonah Raskin:

    “the bulk of cannabis in the state will probably belong lock, stock, and barrel to the giant cannabis corporations, many of them located in the Central Valley”

    At this point, no Central Valley counties have approved the commercial growing or processing of cannabis. It is banned. The counties in the state that have approved growing, processing, and sales are Humboldt, Mendocino, Lake(I think), Sonoma, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, and Monterey. Monterey is best positioned, because of their green house capacity. Of course the price setting, de-criminalized black market is everywhere.

    Reply
    • james marmon   January 27, 2018 at 6:48 am

      RE: Lake (I think)

      Currently, only medicinal cannabis cultivation is permitted in the County of Lake, as specified in Article 72 (as amended by the Revision Ordinance on 10/24/17) of the Lake County Zoning Ordinance. However, the County of Lake is working on developing a replacement ordinance to allow commercial cannabis cultivation.

      County begins series of cannabis workshops

      “The County of Lake Board of Supervisors’ workshop on Jan. 17 went over a draft for various regulations and restrictions for Article 72 in regards to the growing of cannabis within the county now that marijuana has become legal in the State of California.”

      http://www.record-bee.com/article/NQ/20170117/NEWS/170119898

      Reply
  2. Lazarus   January 27, 2018 at 8:40 am

    “The people who have been in this culture for decades, need to get a break before the whole industry is swallowed up by the Wal-Mart’s and the Amazon’s of the world.”

    Need a break…? Really” I know guys who have made more money in a year then regular working people made in 20.
    Then there’s the income tax thing. The growers who started early on never paid a cent of income tax on the weed. Sure some set up store fronts, fake business, etc. to get past the not filing issues, but even with that they likely paid a fraction of what was really owed.
    Look, I do not care who does what with marijuana, but don’t whine to me about the poor growers getting screwed by the government, etc. when those same poor growers have been screwing the same government for decades.
    If you want to stay in the game, get a license/permit, those things could be worth a lot of money in the months and years to come.
    As always,
    Laz

    Reply
    • james marmon   January 27, 2018 at 10:12 am

      Laz, here are the minutes from the Behavioral Health Advisory Board’s December meeting. Thought you might find them interesting, Item #11 (Mental Health Facility)

      https://www.mendocinocounty.org/home/showdocument?id=18073

      Reply
      • james marmon   January 27, 2018 at 10:49 am

        Orchard Ave. Facility

        “The crisis stabilization unit will be able to hold clients for up to 72 hours to evaluate their needs, while the residential facility will provide up to 30 days of intensive trauma-informed wraparound services for patients who suffer from significant mental health barriers, preventing them from living safely in the community.”

        -UDJ Nov 21, 2017

        Its the same thing as a PHF Unit except that it is going to be unlocked. Some will still need to go to a locked unit, but that number will be extremely small percentage wise.

        With one of these facilities in each of the 3 cities, a locked facility shouldn’t even be discussed. The expense of such facility would not be fiscally prudent due to staffing and operational costs .

        We could take in clients from other counties but that would be hypercritical of our primary purpose for building such a facility in the first place, that being not having to send our clients out of County treatment.

        Oh, its okay if other Counties do it, right?

        The AVA thinks so.

        James Marmon MSW

        Reply
      • james marmon   January 27, 2018 at 11:12 am

        I just can’t figure out how Camille is going to treat adults who are experiencing acute symptoms of mental illness and require immediate 24-hour supervised crisis intervention in the Crisis Stabilization Unit without locks.

        I don’t think she knows what she’s doing.

        5 Levels of Care – Locked and Unlocked Psych Facilities

        1.Acute Inpatient Psych – This is the highest level of care. When a patient is put on a 5150 for danger to others, danger to self, or gravely disabled, they are taken to a hospital for evaluation and treatment. Depending on their mental state, they may be there for more than 72 hours to ensure stabilization. Once they are stabilized, they are discharged to a lower level of care.

        2. Sub-Acute – A sub-acute level of care is a locked facility. It is one step below an acute setting. These individuals are on a conservatorship where someone else is calling the shots, which can be the Public Guardian (PG) or a family member. Their length of stay depends on their behavior. They must be med compliant, participate in group, and not require solitary confinement, or be a problem on the unit.

        3. An Institute for the Mentally Ill (IMD) – An IMD is also a locked facility for patients that are higher functioning than a sub-acute level, but still require a locked setting. Again, the PG or family member acts as the conservator, and the patients length of stay is determined by their mental stability and improvement.

        4. Enriched Board and Care – This is an open setting. Similar to a board and care, an enriched board and care is not locked. Patients have more liberties, and are not necessarily conserved. An enriched board and care is for higher functioning individuals that don’t require an IMD, but still need more intense treatment than a regular board and care.

        5. Regular Board and Care – This is an open setting. The patient is higher functioning than a patient at an enriched board and care, has more freedom and less intense treatment.

        https://blogs.psychcentral.com/manic-depression/2013/04/29/5-levels-of-care-locked-and-unlocked-psych-facilities/

        Reply
      • Lazarus   January 27, 2018 at 11:41 am

        Very interesting…and what does a resident shrink cost…3 to 4 hundred thou a year. Where’s the money?
        Doesn’t Ukiah and the Coast want their collective shares too…makes no sense, and I suspect the thousand signatures is another Handley lie…she has no shame…
        Thanks James
        As always,
        Laz

        Reply
      • james marmon   January 27, 2018 at 12:01 pm

        The Nevada County Crisis Stabilization Unit model that the Mendocino County Behavioral Health Advisory Board is all giddy about is only a 23 hour and 59 minute facility, not a 72 hour hold facility. Any mental health expert like myself know that most people in crisis stabilized within the first 24 hours.

        New Crisis Stabilization Unit Fills Need for Local Patients

        “The CSU is a 24-hour program that provides emergency psychiatric care in a warm, welcoming environment for individuals experiencing a mental health crisis. The 4-bed CSU provides more in-depth treatment to individuals while behavioral health crisis workers determine if they need to be transferred to a psychiatric hospital or can respond to outpatient services. Overall, the quality of mental health services is increased and fewer individuals will need to be transferred to out of county psychiatric hospitals. ..”

        https://knco.com/new-crisis-stabilization-unit-fills-need-for-local-patients/

        Reply
        • james marmon   January 27, 2018 at 1:11 pm

          I initially got confused by the Ukiah Daily Journal article in November where Camille said it would be a 72 hour hold facility, that is why I thought they were opening PHF Unit on Orchard. She has probably discovered her ignorance since then, anyone held over 24 hours will have to be released or transfered to a locked Psychiatric Hospital Facility. Once in the PHF they can only be held for only 72 hours until the Court gets involved, that means lawyers.

          3 Crisis Stabilization Units will drastically decrease the need for out of County placement, so why spend 11 million plus on the proposed locked Bruce Anderson Behavioral Health (BABH) Center facility?

          Maybe the Behavioral Health Advisory Board (BHAB) isn’t as retarded as I first thought? I’ve always been in favor of Crisis Stabilization Units.

          If they’re pushing for the old Howard Memorial too, then they are retarded, and corrupted as well.

          Reply
          • james marmon   January 27, 2018 at 1:31 pm

            If non-profit Camille’s (RCS) Crisis Stabilization Unit is successful in decreasing hospitalizations it will save for-profit Camille (RQMC) millions of dollars. Everyone will praise for-profit Camille for all the services that non-profit Camille is providing, what a sham. Non-profit Camille is buying the property, probably leveraging money from-for-profit Camille.

            Jesus F..king Christ people, WAKE-UP!

            Where’s the money Camille?

          • james marmon   January 27, 2018 at 1:45 pm

            the 5+ million in Grant money that non-profit Camille is receiving will cover the loan from for-profit Camille.

            Anyone confused yet, well you should be, that’s their plan.

            Its a shell game and RQMC is a shell Company.

            shell com·pa·ny
            ˈSHel ˌkəmp(ə)nē/

            noun: shell company; plural noun: shell companies

            “an inactive company used as a vehicle for various financial maneuvers or kept dormant for future use in some other capacity.”

          • james marmon   January 27, 2018 at 2:17 pm

            In fact, for every Measure B dollar spent, for-profit Camille will pocket two.

          • james marmon   January 27, 2018 at 4:13 pm

            When Ortner had his ASO contract with the county he was losing money every time he placed someone in one of his out of County facilities, The cost came out of his ASO profit margin and he lost bed space that he could have billed other counties for on the other end.

            While the Children’s System of Care had already an established infrastructure, the Adult System of Care had none. Carmel took over the old PHF Unit for office space after she ran the Adult System of Care into the dirt.

            That is why Ortner was going to lease the Old Howard Memorial Hospital, so he didn’t have to send them to Yuba City. Too bad the Measure B conspirators disrupted that plan,”tarred and feathered him” and then ran him out of town on a rail.

            Good Grief!

          • james marmon   January 27, 2018 at 4:28 pm

            From the AVA Archives

            WHAT WILL HAPPEN to the old Howard Memorial Hospital in Willits?

            “The conversation naturally shifted to mental health and the community desire to have some type of local inpatient services available. The facility may have some potential for this use. There are many factors that would need to be taken into consideration to implement this type of project. The intention would not be for the County to either directly provide the services or be the purchaser of the facility. Conversations continue and have revolved around what we see as prospective ideas for the use of this property and to facilitate additional discussions with prospective providers of mental health services through 24 hour care facilities.”

            “THE INTENTION would not be for the County to either directly provide the services or be the purchaser of the facility…”

            “HMMM. Do we smell another big Ortner Management Group Mental Health contract upgrade? Ortner’s guy in Mendo, Mental Health Director Tom Pinizzotto, is conveniently well-placed to add Willits to Ortner’s lucrative Mendo empire.”

            https://www.theava.com/archives/41166

          • james marmon   January 27, 2018 at 5:03 pm

            If I may refresh everyone’s memory, we hated Ortner because he wasn’t locking up enough mentally ill people, not the other way around. Sonya Nesch, Allman, the AVA, and the ER Doctors were all going nuts because too many people (Frequent Flyers) were left on the streets and not sheltered in some sort of facility. Ortner was in the process of leasing the Old Howard Memorial when he got sick and tired of all the bullshit and accusations and told everyone to f..k off.

            Not to mention that he didn’t have any files on Mendo clients, because of the great flood or 2014, when pipes broke and destroyed hundreds of mental health records at the Dora Street facility.

          • Mark Scaramella   January 27, 2018 at 5:21 pm

            Not to argue, Mr. Marmon, but there were other reasons to dump Ortner besides not locking enough people up. Not responding to ERs in a timely manner, then releasing people who should not have been released, for one. High admin costs… No reporting (same as now though). We were against privatization from the outset. No effort was made to reform the Mental Health department and their rejected bills; CEO Angelo wanted rid of it and they hired Pinnizotto to privatize it and he did. The County’s hair-splitting reply to the Grand Jury’s Conflict of Interest report showed that Ortner wouldn’t have received the contract if one of the evaluators (probably Pinnizotto) hadn’t given the one other bidder a 0, making sure Ortner got the three-year contract.

          • james marmon   January 27, 2018 at 5:44 pm

            I don’t think Camille has done any better, but instead of criticizing her, everyone wants to help her. The ER’s are still burdened with mentally ill clients, and because we lost all of Ortner’s facilities Schraeder has fewer options to place her clients, so she is also releasing them back on the streets as well. I think Hamburg asked Director Miller last month at the BHAB meeting why Willow Glen isn’t taking our clients anymore, she didn’t answer, at least it wasn’t in the minutes.

            Its just a different tone about Camille’s Incompetence, probably because Sonya Nesch isn’t feeding you a false narrative anymore.

            The Mr. P/OMG deal may have had the appearance of a conflict, but Mendocino County got the best end of the deal, not Ortner.

            Because of our ASO model, no new facility will save Mendo taxpayers a dollar, only for-profit Camille will reap the benefits, she won’t have to pay for out of County placement anymore.

          • james marmon   January 27, 2018 at 5:56 pm

            In fact, I think things got much worse after Ortner, but no one is complaining about RQMC.

          • james marmon   January 27, 2018 at 6:04 pm

            In fact, she won’t have to pay for any placement at all anymore, Measure B funds will take care of those costs.

    • George Hollister   January 27, 2018 at 1:10 pm

      Olesky speaks of politics. The political reality is cannabis growers are at the political bottom. Every government agency is poised to tax, regulate, or punish with impunity. Understandable, but never good.

      Reply
  3. Harvey Reading   January 27, 2018 at 6:55 pm

    Mark, just what is it about privatization that makes it so attractive to elected officials?

    Our commissars went to private EMS a year or two ago. And they have cut garbage services to the extent that private outfits have moved in. Both actions cost people more money. One of those often unnecessary and not always quicker air ambulance rides can put a person in the poorhouse.

    Here, even the commissars’ expensive consultant told people at public meetings,with the commissars in attendance, that privatization was a foregone conclusion among the elected ones. He advised against it. He also was skeptical of air ambulance services for the reasons listed preceding.

    I suspect there were good reasons why peasant uprisings were often accompanied by firing squad shootings or guillotining of government leaders. Such actions may be more commendable than condemnable in my opinion.

    Reply
    • Lazarus   January 27, 2018 at 8:10 pm

      I agree Harvey, myself and others I know have long been predicting an uprising akin to a civil war. Obviously not a war between states but perhaps a refusal in mass to pay. A refusal to pay any participatory income, property and other taxes levied by the government. If enough people participated and held the line the government would be woefully inadequate to put us all in prison; but this said, getting 5 people to agree to do anything is a challenge, let alone tens of millions…

      I was lurking around when Ortner and Tommy P were fleecing the county. If I remember correctly Hamburg and McCowen, who happened to sit on some mental health committee or board, were at first against the firings, and skeptical about the corruption. When the truth became obvious to everyone, but them…, they reluctantly caved…
      As always,
      Laz

      Reply
      • james marmon   January 28, 2018 at 11:24 am

        Hamburg also accused Sonya Nesch of sabotaging OMG from day one (on video). But because OMG treated Hamburg’s son who was an adult, and for whom Hamburg was not financially responsible for, one of our local fringe media outlets spun a story that Hamburg somehow received financial gain from OMG.

        Reply
    • Mark Scaramella   January 27, 2018 at 10:07 pm

      Right-wingers who like privatization tend to think it saves money. It doesn’t. Never has. (Although it sometimes shifts some costs to look like money is “saved.”) Have you noticed all the “savings” from privatizing all those formerly military services, for example? (Laundry, food, housing, etc.) There were none.
      So, the reason has more to do with the “requirers” (i.e., officials who want stuff done, but don’t want to do it or see that it’s done, and generally have no idea what it takes to do it) wanting nothing more to do with the people who do the work involved.
      There can be some marginal savings at first when the initial bids are sort of competitive, but once the contractor is entrenched, the costs start going up because the officials lose options and the costs soon exceed whatever it may have cost to provide the service in-house, and, like with Camille Schrader in Mendo, officials are so thankful that she has taken the management load off their overpaid selves, they generally give the contractor whatever they want in non-competitive add-on/follow-on work via change orders and new work that may be proposed by the contractor.
      Note that in Mendo, there was never even any actual cost analysis comparing the in-house cost with the contracted cost. And in general even if one is done, it’s based on skewed numbers hoked up by the prospective bidder(s) or officials have already decided to privatize.
      Sometimes, officials privatize because government featherbedders have raised the cost to unsustainable levels and they privatize before reforming or managing the service. It’s just easier when costs seem to be higher than comparable services elsewhere.
      Over the years I’ve been directly and indirectly involved in many privatization proposals on both contractor and government sides. On hindsight, there was never any real good reason to privatize. But people like me are seen as annoying, obstrunctionist turds in the punchbowl to the officials (some of whom, like Dick Cheney or Tom Pinnizotto have ties to the contractor who stands to get the work) who want to farm out the service.
      I could go on, but that’s enough.

      Reply
      • Harvey Reading   January 28, 2018 at 8:53 am

        Thank you. Incidentally, Mr. Cheney’s daughter is now our glorious representative in the House of Representatives, elected by the usual landslide. My conclusion is that the right is far less bright than we’re led to believe. Then again, so are we lefties, I guess…

        Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.