Mendocino County Today: Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018

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SHERIFF ALLMAN CALLED Tuesday morning to refute (and resent) the suggestion by Anon Forest that local cops were somehow involved in the theft of marijuana from a local filmmaker.

BACKGROUND:

The original complaint:

Former Undercover Officer Involved In Developing Cannabis Products Accuses Hopland Police Chief Of Theft, Corruption, And Civil Rights Violations

by Kym Kemp

In early February, the Mendocino Sheriff’s Department, District Attorney’s Office, and the Grand Jury received certified letters from a Texas man and former undercover investigator, Zeke Flatten, alleging that three pounds of marijuana were removed illegally from his rental vehicle on December 5 by two men claiming to be federal ATF agents. Flatten alleges that instead, the men were two local law enforcement officers including one that he states he believes “with almost certainty” to have been the then Hopland Tribal Police Chief Steve Hobb. He told us that he also believes he might know the identity of the other officer.

Zeke Flatten is a movie producer who also is involved in what he describes as the “research and product development of cannabis products”–which includes creating a T.V. pilot and a CBD dog treat. In the letters to the three Mendocino departments, Flatten stated,

I have made several attempts since early December (2017) to file a complaint with the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office and the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office accusing law enforcement officials in Mendocino County of criminal activity, but my attempts have gone unanswered.

Flatten lists dates and times of his six calls and one email to various individuals within Mendocino County departments beginning on December 8. He also states he has contacted and been contacted by the FBI. He lists the date and time and name [spelled incorrectly] of one of the agents that he had contact with.

Letter from Zeke Flatten alleging police corruption.

He includes a statement of what he says occurred on December 5. (Read the entire document here.)

In the statement, he alleges he was pulled over by an unmarked police vehicle and three pounds of cannabis were seized by two officers that quickly stopped him, extracted the cannabis without leaving a voucher, and left him without searching his vehicle in “less than 5 minutes.” Flatten said he may have the fingerprints of the two men he alleges took his product on his rental car paperwork that they both handled but, so far, no law enforcement agency has attempted to develop prints and match them with suspects.

Since the letters were received, the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Department has confirmed to us they have begun an investigation into his allegations. In addition, the ATF has confirmed also that they are doing an investigation. Chief Hobb confirmed to us that he had spoken to an FBI agent and that he was leaving his job working for the Hopland Tribal Police. He said he was going to work for another police agency.

Flatten says he is happy that the investigation has begun but wishes that it had started back in December when he made the first call. “If [law enforcement] would have acted earlier, they would have had other ways to get evidence,” Flatten said, suggesting that since Hwy 101 is the only major road between the place where he pulled over and Hopland, that surveillance videos from businesses might have been able to capture the distinctive unmarked vehicle that was used to pull him over as it drove into town. “By law enforcement not reacting sooner, some of the things are gone now,” he stated.

Note: We’ve interviewed Flatten extensively and have a more detailed article available here. Outraged: One Man’s Two Month Quest From the FBI to the ATF to Expose What He Says Are Corrupt Police Officers in Mendocino County

(Courtesy, Redheaded Black Belt/Kymkemp.com)

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“WE TAKE THESE ACCUSATIONS VERY SERIOUSLY,” said Allman, adding that his office has determined that the allegations were incorrect in several respects: The cops involved were part of a Sonoma County “Interdiction Task Force,” not Mendocino County's, not the Hopland police's. The Sheriff said more information about the incident is being collected, and that it would be a “huge mistake” for anybody to think Mendocino County was involved. “We do not condone this kind of activity,” Allman said, “and anybody who stole anything, including marijuana, if that’s what happened, would be arrested. So it’s not true and it’s not fair to think anybody in Mendocino was involved.” The allegations are also under investigation in Sonoma County.

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ROHNERT PARK COPS TOOK FILMMAKER'S POT

(Why they were in Mendocino County remains unknown)

For Immediate Release
Issue Date: 02/13/2018
Time: 2:20 PM
Case Number:  RPK 17-5373
Contact:  Sergeant J. Tatum, 584-2600
Hours Available:  0700-1700
Commander J. Taylor, 584-2600

ROHNERT PARK, CA – During the month of December 2017 members of the Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety conducted a traffic enforcement stop on a white SUV vehicle in the area of the Sonoma/Mendocino County line.

During the traffic stop the officers became suspicious of the driver’s behavior and his cargo. Throughout the cargo and seating area of the SUV the officers noticed several large cardboard boxes that were partially being covered by a blanket. The officers also smelled a very strong odor of cannabis within the vehicle. The driver was questioned about possessing cannabis and told the officers he was driving “samples” for several people he knew.

During the Officers investigation it was determined that the driver was transporting a large amount of processed cannabis bud along with concentrated cannabis outside of the state and federal guidelines for possessing and transporting cannabis. The driver stated he was delivering several one pound “samples” of cannabis to a facility in The Santa Cruz County area. The driver could not produce any type of documentation which showed he was lawfully conducting legal cannabis possession or transportation.

In an attempt to identify the owners of the cannabis the driver possessed, the officers asked several questions of the driver to aid in their investigation of the lawful possession. The driver refused to provide any information regarding how he obtained the cannabis and the legitimate business the cannabis originated from.

The officers explained to the driver that based on their investigation they believed he was involved in illegal black market cannabis and acting unlawfully. Based on the lack of documentation and the driver’s unwillingness to cooperate with the officer’s questions, the processed cannabis was seized and booked into evidence.

During the time of this routine traffic stop no other agencies including the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office or Hopland Tribal Police were involved or assisted with the investigation.

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THE SHERIFF also said he considers it premature to criticize the Measure B oversight committee for lack of organization. Sheriff Allman, of course welcomes feedback, but, he explained, that first meeting criticized in the AVA as unfocused was their first meeting, they had no chairperson, no agenda and were just getting started. Allman still thinks somebody from outside Mendocino County should do a “needs assessment” to avoid any future accusations of insider bias.

FAIR ENOUGH, but the Measure B committee should stick closely to the language of the Measure and focus on facilities and associated objectives, and we think the Measure B oversight people should avoid the tendency to go outside the County for expensive consultants to obtain basic information that should be available from Mendo’s own well-paid Mental Health staff, such as numbers of clients, categories of clients, outside services and costs, existing facilities, etc.

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HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY

(Photo by Judy Valadao)

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ABOUT DOGS

Editor,

I had a great one once. His father was a traveling man, a big friendly shepherd collie mix owned by a well to do neighbor. My cousin had a nondescript little female, smart as a whip. I bred the two dogs and kept the best of the litter and called him Butch. Butch was everything a dog should be and more. He treed three raccoons, he chased deer out of the garden, he kept bobcats away. He was kind to small children and tolerated fools. When I was absent from home one afternoon two children teased a rattlesnake and when it struck Butch thrust himself between and was bitten on the neck. By the time I arrived home he was so swollen that he looked more like a big furry balloon than a dog. He was terribly sick for about a week but survived. When I sold the ranch and moved to Santa Rosa I didn't have the heart to take Butch away from the wild country he had always known and left him there with neighbors who loved and pampered him for the rest of his days.

Lucille Estes

Boonville

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SUPERVISOR CANDIDATES Ted Williams and Chris Skyhawk have erected cyber-sites. Judging from their statements, their positions on the issues — mostly vague in the platitudinous way characteristic of politics in the Fifth District, with the edge, I'd say, going to Williams because he's more remote from the oppressive First Five-KZYX-Youth Project-Non-Profit-Coast Democrat Axis that Skyhawk boasts on his website. I understand that my aversion to the Axis verges on unreason, but I see it as a large part of the problem, the biggest hog in the stream, blocking the genuinely progressive political impulse many of the people of the County share but which has been co-opted for years now by the grant gobblers, the self-interested wrapped in liberal pieties, the blandly conservative (and infuriatingly smug) liberalism that dominates public life in Mendocino County, and finding its finest flowers in corporate drones like Huffman, Wood and McGuire. Skyhawk brags of associations that many of us see as a big part of a comprehensive political problem, which is how to somehow shove public policy away from these hogs in the stream toward genuinely progressive programs.

FIRST-FIVE, for example, is a misappropriation of the money (about a million a year for Mendo) that most people thought would go to good things via a bump in the cigarette tax. Didn't happen. First Five is basically one more jobs program benefitting connected libs. If the money went straight to cash payments to every alleged beneficiary of First Five's self-alleged magnanimity (or child care vouchers for working mothers), the smoke tax money would do specific good.

BOTH SKYHAWK AND WILLIAMS are flying blind. There's no indication from either of them that they know anything at all about the present functioning of the Board of Supervisors.

THE MIGHTY AVA is focused on these two guys because they are likely to find themselves in a runoff for election. We haven't heard much from the more conservative candidates, Juhl and Rodier, but we do know that both of them are attending Supe's meetings and, Juhl especially, with CEO experience himself, unless he's stone dumb, must be at least mildly shocked at the Board's functioning. Juhl, by the way, is a registered Republican. We'll pause here while The Albion Nation recovers themselves. "A what? A Republican? And he's running for our seat?"

NOTE TO LIB CANDIDATES: Cowboy Johnny Pinches, from deep in the Eel River Canyon in the wilds of Laytonville, has always gotten himself elected to the Third District Supe's seat because he sticks entirely to in-County issues, and he has always taken a fresh, independent look at those issues when they reach the Board. He's also the only public official ever to try to re-open negotiations with Sonoma County on the water piled up behind Coyote Dam in Lake Mendocino. As he has often pointed out, Sonoma County's claim on almost all that water should be re-negotiated. (Sonoma County makes annual millions from our water.) And Pinches has always made roads his first priority. Pinches won me forever when his colleagues were poised to invest in an expensive new computer system linking department heads by declaring, "Why? If they have something to say to each other why can't they just walk down the hall and say it?" Exactly. That's the kind of clarity we don't now have on the Board of Supervisors.

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FORMER ANDERSON VALLEY WOMAN.....

Elderly Woman Was Annoyed By Noisy Kids. Her Reaction Got Her Arrested, Authorities Say

by Noel Harris, Sacramento Bee

A elderly woman in Anderson [Sacramento Valley] had had enough of her neighbor’s noisy children, so she fired a gun toward them, authorities report.

Betty Sanders, 84, was arrested Friday night after reportedly shooting in the direction of children, according to the incident report from the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office.

Sanders was allegedly annoyed by three children, ages 8 to 10, who were making too much noise with their motorcycles outside their Dot Lane residence, the Record Searchlight of Redding reports.

Sanders went to complain to Angela Rollins, the mother of the children.

“An argument ensued and Sanders shot one round from a handgun toward Rollins and her family, who were about 20 feet away,” Sgt. Jose Gonzalez of the Sheriff’s Office told People magazine.

No one was hurt.

Rollins “couldn’t see the type of gun but could hear the bullets going over her children’s heads,” the incident report reads.

Sanders was arrested and taken to Shasta County Jail on suspicion of assault with a firearm and child endangerment, the Record Searchlight reported. She was released on $50,000 bail, according to People.

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THE LOCAL ANGLE: Mrs. Sanders and family lived for years in Philo, not far from Clearwater Ranch. I remember her as a pleasant, even-tempered woman, her husband less so. Even-tempered, that is.

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ONE OF OUR MORE ACTIVE SENIORS....

Less Than Lethal Standoff on Highway 101

On Monday, Feb. 12, at an unspecified time, a Ukiah CHP unit was on patrol and stopped a white Ford pick-up for a speed violation going southbound on Highway 101 north of West Road outside of Ukiah. Officer Baker contacted the driver, Dennis Richard Tober, 69, of Laytonville, and advised him the reason for the stop.

Tober

Officer Baker asked Tober for his driver’s license and also asked him to turn off his truck. Tober started his truck and fled the scene. Officer Baker began pursuing Tober southbound on Highway 101. Officer Chitty joined the pursuit and assumed secondary position southbound on Highway 101 at  Calpella. Ukiah dispatch advised that Tober had a .22 caliber revolver and two felony DUI warrants. The pursuit fluctuated in speed from 35 MPH to 75MPH. As the pursuit approached Highway 1 in the southbound lane of 101 north of the Cloverdale overpass, Santa Rosa CHP units deployed a spike strip across the #1 (inside) lane. Tober struck the spike strip which deflated his two front tires. Tober then exited southbound Highway 101 at Dutcher Creek Road and came to a stop on the right shoulder. Santa Rosa CHP units and Ukiah CHP units conducted a felony stop and ordered Tober to exit his truck. After about an hour stand off, Tober exited his truck and immediately put his right hand in his jacket pocket. Repeated commands were given to Tober to pull his right hand out of his pocket. Tober refused to comply, so a Santa Rosa CHP Officer deployed approximately 4 less lethal shotgun rounds. Tober was struck with 3 of those rounds. After Tober was struck by the less lethal shotgun rounds, he still refused to comply and remove his right hand from his jacket pocket and re-entered his truck. Sonoma County Sheriffs negotiators arrived on scene. After lengthy negotiations, Tober finally complied and was taken into custody without further incident. Tober was medically cleared at Ukiah Valley Medical Center and booked into the Mendocino County Jail without further incident.

(CHP Press Release)

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OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING

On 02-13-2018 at 9:25 AM the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office was notified of an armed robbery of a Chevrolet Camaro at Thurston Auto Plaza located at 2800 North State Street in Ukiah, California.  The suspect was described as being a white female adult and the Camaro was last seen traveling at a high rate of speed northbound on Highway 101 towards Calpella.  A short time later a Mendocino County Deputy Sheriff saw the Camaro traveling at a high rate of speed northbound on Highway 101 near the CalFire Howard Forest station a few miles south of the city of Willits.  The Deputy Sheriff attempted a traffic stop of the Camaro and a pursuit ensued at speeds over 100 MPH onto the Highway 101 bypass.  Additional Mendocino County Deputy Sheriffs joined the pursuit with assistance from officers from the Willits Police Department.  A short time later the Camaro crashed along the roadside of Highway 101 at Mile Post Marker 49.10 north of the bypass.  A white female adult exited the Camaro while holding a handgun and subsequently confronted the pursuing Deputy Sheriffs and Officers.  A shooting resulted and the white female adult died at the scene. No Deputy Sheriffs or Officers were injured as a result of the shooting.  Investigators from the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office were summoned to the scene and will be the lead investigative agency.  All media inquiries into the incident or investigation are being directed to the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office.  Highway 101 was closed to both directions of traffic to preserve scene evidence and it was expected to remain closed for several hours.

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SHERIFF ALLMAN ON TUESDAY'S SHOOTING

Today, five local law enforcement officers said good bye to the family and went to work. Just like thousands of peace officers do every day in our great nation. Our five local officers were called to intercept a very dangerous situation and ended up having to defend themselves from deadly force. This is an option that law enforcement officers train for, yet pray that they will never have to perform. All five of our local law enforcement officers are safe, Thank God. They protected innocent motorists who were witnessing a very dangerous, and ultimately deadly, situation.

As Sheriff, I want to publicly tell these law enforcement officers and their families that they are appreciated for helping keep our county safe. I’m very sorry that you were put in this position, yet I am very thankful that you had the skills, equipment, and bravery to defend yourself.

To the hundreds of citizens who have reached out in support, thank you. Thank you for recognizing that these men did, unfortunately, what had to be done.

With the passage of Measure B, I hope and pray that these situations decrease.

Thank you for your service and dedication to the citizens of our county.

Tom Allman, Sheriff

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FROM THE DA

The District Attorney's Office will oversee the investigation into this shooting. There will be no further comment by the DA's Office on any details until that investigation is complete.

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LOST in the flood of comments on our website from the usual suspects were these two revealing remarks on the Settler murder case from women who were obviously close to the situation. They should not go unnoticed, or unheeded because they show that even a decent guy like Settler can easily get wrapped up in very intense relationships around marijuana grows which, when combined with visitors and strangers, can turn deadly when those relationships go sour.

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Comment by “Alix,” Feb. 11, 2018:

You have many facts wrong. Jeff was my best friend, more like my brother. I was there 3 days prior to te murder, and was supposed to be there that night (thankfully Jeff didn’t send me the gas $ I needed to be there).

For one, [Michael] Kane absolutely worked for Jeff, as a caretaker of one of the gardens (there were about 3-5 seperate gardens, with seperate caretakers). He had left the property several months earlier with Zach [Zachary Wuester] (during the middle of the grow, before harvest).

Secondly, Amanda [Weist] was not some innocent girl who was taken advantage of in any way. She amd her boyfriend had a very shaky on and off relationship, and were bound to break up. I felt she was flirting with both MY boyfriend AND Jeff before she broke up with her boyfriend at the time, so it was no surprise to discover she was sleeping with Jeff [Jeffrey Settler] during the murder. Jeff and his partner (mother of his children) had an open relationship. He deeply loved her, and I’m sure Amanda was jealous.

In addition, there was no “kitchen” for anyone to be innocently “making hotdogs” during the murder, as the giant shed with the weed was the same exact area of the propane camping stove (it was a makeshift food prep area).

There are so many things I want to say, and I feel I need to contact the authorities to give a detailed interview, because so much of this is simply false.

Jeff was an amazing person who had finally landed his dream property that year. Anyone involved in the industry knows how expensive and physically demanding the growing industry is. It is not “easy money,” and any grower will tell you that November is the worst month of all; tensions are running so high because you have invested all of your money into the garden, you are likely broke and waiting for your return on investment to come to fruition, and anything that can go wrong (mold, bugs, rot, rain, robbery, busts, etc), can decimate your entire crop for the year. It us literally the “make or break” time of the year. These inexperienced and unprofessional workers had no idea how strapped Jeff was for cash. (He was sitting on the weed, not a pile of money), and was going to pay them as soon as he started to sell it. I know first-hand that Jeff was broke because I would have been there that very day, had he wired me the measley $1700 he owed me for work the last week.

He called me the day before he died, told me how much he loved me, his babies’ momma, and our close friends, and was going to focus on bringing our extended “family” prosperity and work, rather than giving random strangers the opportunity to work for him. He had such a big heart, and would often take traveling kids under his wing (from music festivals or concerts) and give them food, shelter, and jobs. Unfortunately, he extended his open-hearted nature to the wrong crowd, who didn’t know or understand him, and didn’t know the logistics of the industry. (Remember, November is the breaking point month, from “stretched too thin/broke,” to finally getting paid).

Those dirtbags took an extremely brilliant, generous, entrepreneurial father, brother, partner, and friend from this world. They will never amount to half the man he was. I hope they rot in jail and watch the world from behind bars, move on without them.

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Comment from “Ashley,” Feb 13, 2018:

I am his “babies’ mama” Ashley, and I can tell u workers were paid out months earlier when they were let go. They had been invited back to trim when we had some cute Canadian trimmer girls and they were expected to be paid for their trimming last. Amanda is a lame woman, mother and person. I had confided in her something arbitrary and she ran to Jeff and portrayed my words out of context and basically is a snake in the grass as she was also pulling credit card scams allegedly against other young people on tour the summer previous. He was only hooking up with her because she was dumb and easy. I suppose he was too caught up in the harvest to notice her conniving villainous nature. He was in love with me and our beautiful boys and we were planning on going on a nice long vacation in a couple weeks. These horrible lame people left me broke and alone with no husband as we were engaged and more importantly my children without a father. What kind of monsters could do such a thing? Strangly enough the owner said Jeff [Settler] himself went to get the keys to the gate from the property owner early that morning, so he probably let them in to party and crash. I took these people to festivals, let them celebrate my oldest son’s birthday, as well as cooked for them, grocery shopped for them. I miss Jeff and my boys miss their father. I am left without a home or vehicle and in debt to local hardware and dirt businesses. For shame to them all. I just can’t believe Amanda gets out of trouble because mommy is important and has money. So pathetic. And on top of it all I had been allowed to leave my Chevy pick up on the property which was stolen by a man named Howard and sold to someone in town which I am currently looking for to try to reason with as that seems like the right way to handle the situation. What a long strange trip it’s been.

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ED NOTE: Our facts were obtained from police reports and court hearings for the people involved. Your facts are from first-hand knowledge, which we don't have. We hope you've spoken to the DA's investigators.

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BRIDGING THE GAP

Historic Albion River Bridge celebrated in new 3-minute video Laurie York and Carmen Goodyear’s Mendocino Coast Films has just released a new 3-1/2 minute film, "Bridging the Gap," which explores the beauty and craftsmanship of the Albion River Bridge using historic photos, Jim Heid’s recent drone footage and an inspiring soundtrack.

You can view this interesting, entertaining short film at the Albion Community Advisory Board (ACAB) website  and at the Vimeo video page.

The bridge was recently added to The National Register of Historic Places and on The California Register of Historical Resources. But Caltrans would like to demolish this historic treasure and replace it with another concrete bridge, although lots of locals and tourists want to preserve this last wooden trestle bridge on the California coast. You can learn more and support this preservation effort by going to this Albion Bridge Stewards site. A Q&A brochure about the Save the Bridge effort can be read at: albioncab.wordpress.com/2017/11/14/preserving-the-albion-river-bridge-questions-and-answers

Tom Wodetzki" <tw@mcn.org>

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WAITING FOR THE CHINESE

Many people have been contacting the City wanting to know when the middle section of the Coastal Trail will open. We understand your impatience and share it…. The trail will open at the end of March. Here is why….

We are still waiting for property boundary fencing from China. We ordered it in September and it will be here by the end of Feb. Once it arrives it is going to take about three weeks to install.

The restroom is being installed this week: we have been waiting three months on the manufacturer to deliver it.

The Welcome Plaza will be installed in two weeks, as it goes in after the restroom.

Yesterday we did the final hydro seeding.

Benches will be installed in March.

Sorry for the delay, but much work continues and we are getting all the final pieces installed as fast as we can.

–Marie Jones, Fort Bragg City Development Manager

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THE HOSPITALITY HOUSE (Fort Bragg) didn't open the Extreme Weather Shelter Monday as the National Weather Service forecast called for temps to dip to 41F - the "trigger" for opening the shelter is 40F. Of course, if they factored in "wind chill" the temp would have registered in the 30's.

In any case, the temps did plunge into the 30's and the homeless were left to fend for themselves. As you can see from the temps shown below, it was very cold overnight & this morning.

The shelter WILL be open Tuesday night - for the first time this month.

(MendocinoSportsPlus)

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LEAVE CLASS K ALONE

Re: Proposed changes to Class K

Dear Chair Hamburg and Honorable Board Members:

The purpose of this letter is to express my opposition to most of the proposed changes to the Class K ordinance.

I chose to move to Mendocino County because it is a unique place. Mendocino County is not like other counties and that is a good thing. Our county is rural and rugged. Mendocino County has a personality that other counties do not. We are known for being anti-establishment, self-reliant rugged individuals with a keen sense of community. Out of that attitude came the Class K Ordinance. Class K provides the opportunity for the average man or woman to build an affordable house on their property for their family without being hindered by the ever changing technical codes that are difficult for the average person to understand. During my 12 ½ years as a senior inspector for Mendocino County I performed plan review for and inspected hundreds of Class K residences. The Class K homes that I inspected were affordable, well-built, and safe and showed the pride of ownership. The Class K ordinance is part of the fabric that makes our county such a special place.

I have 27 years’ experience working in building departments, including 14 years as a building official. It has been my experience, existing ordinances are modified out of a community need or because of politics. In this case, based on my conversations with county staff, the reason for the proposed changes appears to be politics. Staff has stated to me “If it isn’t broke, why fix it?” There doesn’t appear to be a driving need to change Class K. The question I ask is why is the Board of Supervisors attempting to change the Class K ordinance? If the proposed changes are because of politics, was there a sudden groundswell of requests from the citizens and stakeholders to change Class K? Were there any documented incidents of hazard to the life and safety of those that live in Class K residences? Or are the proposed changes brought about because of the incessant requests from a single source? Please don’t change a time proven valuable tool for owner builders and affordable housing because of a single loud and strident voice.

As a retired inspector and building official and now a code consultant, I am in the unique position to see both sides of this issue. If the Board decides to adopt some or all of the proposed changes, I offer the following suggested alternatives which I believe will have the same practical effect as the proposed changes.

• One acre minimum parcel size for a Class K residence. Support. 

• Class K residences and applicable structures will have to comply with the State Fire Marshal’s Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) ignition resistant construction requirements. Support. A recent county counsel opinion memo makes it clear that the WUI requirements are mandatory for all residences, Class K or California Building Code structures. 

• A minimum of three inspections (foundation, rough in and final) for a Class K residence. Support. The potentially hazardous components of any residential construction project are the plumbing, electrical and heating installations. The proper time to look at these installations is at the “rough in” inspection before insulation and sheetrock are installed. 

• Limit the size of Class K residences to 2,000 sq. ft. in area with a maximum 800 square feet addition(s). Oppose. What difference does it make if someone wants to build a large home under Class K? 

• A concrete perimeter foundation or engineered foundation for Class K residences and two story accessory buildings. Oppose with a suggested alternative. Class K Ordinance section 18.23.330 states that “Pier Foundations, stone masonry footings and foundations, pressure treated lumber, poles, or equivalent foundation materials or designs may be used, provided that the bearing is sufficient for the purpose intended”. Requiring a perimeter concrete foundation will add at least $15,000 to the cost of a modest Class K home. Have there been any documented incidents where an existing Class K house foundation has failed? I am not aware of any. I respectfully suggest that a concrete perimeter foundation only be required on two-story Class K residences and for any residence built on slopes greater than 5:1 

• Fire sprinklers mandatory for Class K residences. Oppose with suggested alternative. The cost of installation of a fire sprinkler system for an owner built single family residence can be up to $10 - $15 per square foot. This cost is increased if the residence water supply is from a spring or if the home is off grid. Fire sprinklers are not designed to put out a fire, only to slow it down so the occupant can exit the building. I suggest that if the Board requires fire sprinklers they only be required where the home is energized by a commercial power source (PG&E or Sonoma Clean Power) and the water source is a well or community water system. For off grid homes and/or those homes that use spring water as a water source; the suggested alternative is to require that the interior walls and ceilings be covered with a minimum of ½ inch gypsum wallboard, an exterior door or emergency egress window per California Residential Code sections R310.2.1 and 310.2.2 is installed in all rooms except kitchens and bathrooms and all interior doors be solid core or 20 minute fire rated. 

Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,

Scott Ward, CBO

(Scott@scottwardcompany.com)

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CATCH OF THE DAY, February 13, 2018

Byrnes, Cox, Fox, Harris

JORDAN BYRNES, Ukiah. DUI.

COURTNEY COX, Cheyenne, Wyoming/Ukiah. Getting credit with someone else’s ID.

JOSHUA FOX, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

JOAN HARRIS, Reno/Ukiah. Controlled substance, paraphernalia.

Ramirez, Ringler, Tober, Worthy

MANUEL RAMIREZ, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, resisting, probation revocation.

CODY RINGLER, Laytonville. Under influence, offenses while on bail, probation revocation.

DENNIS TOBER, Laytonville/Cloverdale. DUI, DUI with priors, evasion, resisting, probation revocation.

DAVID WORTHY, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

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EDGEWATER GALLERY Welcomes Guest Artist Richard Standard

When: March 1 - 31, open daily 10 - 5

Where: 356 N. Main St., Fort Bragg

Richard will be exhibiting recent oil paintings, photography and hand-painted dulcimers. His painting and photography work ranges from Pure Abstract to Fantasy Realism.

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BASIC MANNERS

Editor:

How is it OK for our vice president to go to a foreign country as our representative at the winter Olympics and be rude and dismissive of the sister of North Korea’s dictator?

How is it “treason” when Democrats don’t applaud Donald Trump’s every statement at the State of the Union address, but it’s OK for Mike Pence to refuse to stand and honor the combined North and South Korean athletic teams?

Where he could have taken the high road and been gracious and tried to spread a little goodwill, Pence instead was rude and petulant and added to the negative image North Korea already has of us.

Is this really the image we want to portray to the world? Are there no adults anywhere in D.C. who can put this entire childish administration in a time-out and bring some sanity back to our government?

Annette Flachman

Windsor

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ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY

“…NPR is a major news source for the US thinking class..”

I admit I listen to National Propaganda Radio (and I’m still technically a Democrat) as I get ready for work, it is the most tolerable noise on the radio, but NPR needs to be called out for the shit it purveys. The anti-Russian hysteria boils over at times, the pro-Hillary-anti Trump bogusity, the stories about the first gay Trans-sexual person of color whose gender is unknown from Alabama, it’s all to much sometimes.

I’m destroying NPR from within, I listen, but I don’t donate.

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LITTLE DOG SAYS, “Some people think these guys are like scholarly, being journalists and all. But you know what they watch on tv every night? Crime Watch Daily. I can tell when it's on because they start yelling, "Get 'em, Chris! Good work, Elizabeth! Don't let up, Jason!"

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FOUR ROMANTIC THOUGHTS ON LOVE

(contributed by Louis Bedrock)

1. “L'amour faite passer les temps. Les temps faite passer l'amour.” (French proverb)
“Love makes time pass. Time makes love pass.”

2. “It’s better to have Herpes than to have never loved at all.” (American proverb)

3. “You, your joys and sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules.” (Francis Harry Compton Crick)

4. “Love is nothing but a mixture of sentimentalism and sex.” (William Burroughs)

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BREATHING, HOW TO

Free breathing class for lung & body health, relaxation, reducing stress

If you have ever been to the Mendocino Coast Clinic in Fort Bragg, you are eligible to attend its weekly free breathing classes lead by Dr. Siri Gian Khalsa, held every Thursday from 2 to 3pm in the west-most Clinic building at 205 South Street. Park in the west-most parking lot and enter the north-most of the two west-facing doors, walk past the reception desk on the left and enter the double doors straight ahead into the south conference room. No reservation needed. Please sign in for the class, and if you have any questions, call (707) 961-3492.

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* * *

THE FARCE OF THE ‘OLYMPIC ATHLETES FROM RUSSIA’

by Dave Zirin & Jules Boykoff

This Olympics has introduced the viewing public to the nation of OAR, marked by an out-of-place but familiar five-ringed flag. OAR stands for “Olympic Athletes from Russia,” and this awkward designation along with the Olympic flag is punishment for the doping program used by Russia at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi. But credible evidence of Russian doping should not mask the hypocrisy of the International Olympic Committee — or the unfair nature of where this burden lands.

The International Olympic Committee knew about institutionalized Russian doping as early as July 2013. Yet it willfully turned a blind eye to hard evidence of doping across the Russian sportscape and allowed the Sochi 2014 Games — along with their billions in graft — to proceed apace. With Russia hosting, it was in the IOC’s interest to look the other way, and it was dutiful in that task. Then, just ahead of the 2016 Rio Summer Games, the IOC punted responsibility to the International Sports Federations to determine whether Russian athletes would be allowed to participate. As more evidence rolled in, and the World Anti-Doping Agency — another organization rife with conflicts of interest and bungled efforts — collected proof of endemic doping in Russia, the IOC announced in December 2017 that the country would be banned from the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games.

Then the Olympic honchos attached a massive asterisk to that bold pronouncement, allowing nearly 170 Russian athletes to participate in South Korea — only a handful fewer athletes than the 177 who participated at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. These athletes had to pass a screening process and prove that they were neither a part of what happened in Sochi nor any institutionalized doping mechanism. That nearly 170 athletes passed raises questions on both sides: How widespread was the doping, and how “rigorous” was the screening process? After all, the IOC was tight-lipped about the criteria that would be used to judge Russian athletes, although it immediately issued the “Olympic Athletes from Russia” logo design. The compromise is that we now have “Olympic Athletes from Russia,” but somehow not Russia — a painfully awkward shirttail through the front zipper.

On the ground, it’s even more laughable. While one might think competing under the OAR designation would be the equivalent of adopting the scarlet letter, it has actually just intensified Russian nationalism at these games.

Russian spectators have traveled en masse and in startlingly large numbers to Pyeongchang, showing pride and thumbing their nose at the IOC. While most countries have hospitality houses emblazoned with their name, the Russians have what they are calling a “Sports House” because they — seriously — are not allowed to call it a “Russia House.” But this house has predictably become a nationalism free-for-all, where nesting dolls, photos of Vladimir Putin, and an unlimited supply of Russian hats, scarves, and flags are all on full display. As Tariq Panja reported from South Korea, “Being unable to use the word Russia or the Olympic rings in the facility’s logo appears to be the only restrictions at the house.”

Imagine if the United States were “banned” from the Olympics in a similar way, yet we still had 95 percent of our athletes’ competing without red, white, and blue uniforms and without the Stars and Stripes waving overhead. US tourists would make South Korea look like the Fourth of July at Lee Greenwood’s house, even if the team just took their skates and went home.

That Russia has chosen to compete is also a finger in the eye to the International Olympic Committee’s demand that athletes and coaches embroiled in doping receive lifetime bans. This demand raised eyebrows in Olympic circles, both because of its harshness — it was never made of a US athlete caught doping — and also because it was unlikely to stand up in court. In other words, all bark and no bite. To no one’s surprise, the Court of Arbitration for Sport rejected the IOC’s ambitious sanctions. This allowed the IOC to look tough without alienating a huge Olympic player.

The best way to understand the farcical nature of “OAR” is that it is a tool of collective punishment that, far from punishing Russia, simply fans the flames of nationalism and wedges wider the chasm of international division. At a moment when the IOC is holding itself up as a bridge between North and South Korea — some five-ring toadies are even proclaiming that the IOC should get the Nobel Prize — the OAR farce is a far more cogent display of the IOC’s own history: one that divides before it unites, and that stands in the way of the true internationalism that sports have the power to promote.

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THE MOVIE'S AS BAD AS THE POST IS

aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/post-spielberg-outdated-ode-journalism-180212120555476.html

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HEAR! HEAR!

KZYX: Here's a ten-point plan:

  1. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) should immediately demand the resignations of the current Board of Directors. The CPB should also immediately terminate the current GM and his salaried cronies...the other paid staff at the station.
  2. The CPB should hold new elections that it oversees. The newly elected Board should hire new staff, starting with the GM.
  3. The new Board should strongly consider adopting a new business model, a la KMUD, that mandates real inclusiveness and ensures the integrity of public representation in a truly "public radio station".
  4. The new Board should review all by-laws, policies and procedures, and their enforcement.
  5. Old programmers should be termed out, if they have have hosted shows for ten years or more. Again, no cronyism.
  6. Past IRS Form 990s from the last ten years should be reviewed for accuracy, truthfulness, and completeness.
  7. The new Board should order a complete audit of of the station's financials, especially the inconsistencies among the station's balance sheets, income statements, budgets, tax returns, and so-called "audits".
  8. The new Board should order a review of the banking relationship with the Mendocino Savings Bank.
  9. The new Board should recruit a new Program Advisory Committee and Community Advisory Board that is truly inclusive and truly representative of the public, and that is not stacked with the friends and family of former Board directors, staff,  and programmers...again, no cronyism. This effort should also be overseen by the CPB.
  10. The FCC should be advised of these changes in governance and management.

As a footnote, if KZYX/KZYZ/Mendocino County Public Broadcasting can't be rescued and turned around, and if the Board of Directors, Program Advisory Committee, and Community Advisory Board can't be made to be truly inclusive, and if the station's management and finances can't be made to be truly accountable and transparent, then the station's two FCC licenses, KZYX and KZYZ, should be transferred to other public radio stations in the area, like KMUD or KMEC, or, in the alternative, a new Mendocino County-based public radio station should be incorporated and it should apply to the FCC for these licenses.

Public media is a privilege, not a right. And it is a sacred trust.

The CPB should immediately defund KZYX and KZYZ/Mendocino County Public Broadcasting. The FCC should consider suspending the station's licenses pending a full investigation. I speak as a former member of the Board of Directors and Board Treasurer of the station.

Current GM, Jeffery Parker, is as secretive and autocratic — and arrogant — as former GM, John Coate...who belongs in prison. Public dollars disappear through waste, fraud, and corruption. Conflicts of interest and self-dealing are rife at the station.

Respectfully submitted,

John Sakowicz

MCPB Board of Directors 2013-2016, Board Treasurer, 2013-2014

Host and producer of "The Truth About Money" on KZYX/KZYZ, 2008-2014.

Candidate 1st District, Mendocino County Board of Supervisors

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INTERNATIONAL WILDLIFE FILM FESTIVAL STALKS INTO TOWN

Five-week run to begin in Ukiah

The Redwood Valley Outdoor Education Project (RVOEP) is excited to again host a tour of outstanding films from the International Wildlife Film Festival in Missoula, Montana. Beginning February 23, the film series will run for five consecutive Friday evenings at the Ukiah Civic Center, 300 Seminary Avenue. Doors will open at 6:15 with live music, snacks, and a time to socialize. Films begin screening at 7:00.

Series ticket holders can look forward to seeing extraordinary footage of a wide variety of animals that inhabit ecosystems from the Rocky Mountains and deep forests of North America to African grasslands and the depths of the ocean.

The first film, “Secrets of Our Living Planet: The Magical Forest,” focuses on the inner workings of a living forest. Nature lovers will relish learning how the Canada lynx depends on a caterpillar high up in the canopy and why the giant trees of the northwest are dependent on bears and salmon.

Tickets are available at Mendocino Book Company or at the door. A series ticket for all five nights is $45. Single tickets are a $10 suggested donation for adults and $5 for children. Films are appropriate for older children.

Proceeds from the film festival will benefit the Redwood Valley Outdoor Education Project. The RVOEP is a special program of the Ukiah Unified School District that provides outdoor environmental education programs to over 2,000 students each year on a 45-acre woodland in Redwood Valley.

For more information contact Maureen Taylor, RVOEP Education Coordinator, at 707-489-0227. A full schedule of films and music is available at the RVOEP website: http://rvoep.org/events/.

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BAY AREA FASCISTS CLAIM ANTIFA

‘Assaulted by Antifa’

On August 27, freelance reporter Dave Minsky was on assignment in Berkeley, California, covering a planned white nationalist demonstration and counterprotest. When the white nationalist demonstration was aborted, peaceful antifascist protesters celebrated in Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park. As Minsky — who has written for Reuters, Vice, the Miami New Times and the Santa Barbara News Press — livestreamed the demonstration in the park, one masked protester approached him and tried to grab his phone. As Minsky backed up, he tripped and other masked protesters began beating him while he lay on the ground. "Two, three people started trying to grab my phones out of my hands, grab the camera off my neck," he says. "They were hitting me in the face and kicking me in the face and torso, in the ribs and more people joined in — you know, I think at this point there were four, five, maybe six people." He says he tried to flee the area but a small group of protesters pursued him, shouting that he was a Nazi. One woman hit him in the ribs with a metal monopod. The protesters also took his reporter's notebook, one of his two iPhones, and his DSLR camera lens. Two Oakland police officers eventually escorted Minsky away from the melee and took him to an ambulance. Minsky says he refused medical attention because he does not have health insurance. He later experienced trouble breathing and sharp pains in his chest, possible signs of a broken rib. — Peter Sterne

pressfreedomtracker.us/all-incidents/photographer-dave-minsky-beaten-and-attacked-pipe-protesters-berkeley/

 

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