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Mendocino County Today: Friday, March 30, 2018

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by Phuong Le & Tom James

Woodland, Wash. — The two women and their six adopted children traveled to festivals and events, offering free hugs and promoting unity, friends said. They raised animals and grew vegetables and last year moved onto a piece of land in rural southwest Washington, a dream of theirs.

The Hart Tribe, as they were known, also took spontaneous road trips to hike or camp, and friends believe they may have been on one of those adventures when their SUV plunged off a scenic California highway.

"We know that an entire family vanished and perished during this tragedy," said Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman on Wednesday as he appealed for help retracing where the family had been before the vehicle was found Monday.

Friends described married couple Jennifer and Sarah Hart as loving, inspiring parents who promoted social justice and exposed their "remarkable children" to art, music and nature. But neighbors said they saw signs that caused them to worry about how the homeschooled children were being cared for.

The California Highway Patrol has not determined why the vehicle went off an ocean overlook on a rugged part of coastline. A specialized team of accident investigators was trying to figure that out, Allman said.

"We have no evidence and no reason to believe that this was an intentional act," he said, adding that the scene was confusing because "there were no skid marks, there were no brake marks" at the roadside turnout where the vehicle went over.

Authorities believe six children were in the vehicle with their parents, though three siblings haven't been found.

The 100-foot (31-meter) drop killed both women, both 39, and their children Markis Hart, 19; Jeremiah Hart, 14; and Abigail Hart, 14. Hannah Hart, 16; Devonte Hart, 15; and Sierra Hart, 12, have not been found.

"This is a tragic accident of a magnitude that cannot be measured," said Zippy Lomax, a photographer who knew the Harts.

"They were really radiant, warm, adventurous inspiring people. They were always on some grand adventure, and the kids were living this life that was kind of like this dream," Lomax told The Associated Press. "The family was this very self-supporting unit that was impossible to miss. When they showed up to an event, they made an impression. They shattered a lot of norms and they did not shy away from controversy or adversity."

The Harts, who went to events such as rallies for presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, often showed up in matching T-shirts.

The family gained attention after Devonte Hart was photographed during a 2014 protest in Portland, Oregon, over a grand jury's decision not to indict a police officer in the shooting of a black man in Ferguson, Missouri. The boy, holding a "Free Hugs" sign, stood crying. A Portland officer saw his sign and asked if he could have a hug, and an emotional Hart embraced him in a picture that was widely shared.

The Harts moved to Woodland, Washington, a small city outside Portland, Oregon, in the spring of last year, partly overwhelmed by the media coverage. The multi-racial family also received death threats, Ribner said.

The family had a recent visit from state child protective services, Clark County sheriff's Sgt. Brent Waddell told AP.

Next-door neighbors Bruce and Dana DeKalb said they called child services Friday because they were concerned about Devonte Hart, who they said had been coming over to their house in the past week asking for food.

Dana DeKalb said the boy told her his parents "weren't feeding them" and were "punishing them by withholding food." He came over almost every day for a week, and asked her to leave food in a box by the fence for him, she said.

Washington state child protective services opened an investigation Friday and tried to make contact with the family three times since Friday, but weren't able to reach them, said Norah West, a spokeswoman with the state Department of Social and Health Services. The agency had no prior history with the family, she said.

The DeKalbs also recounted that three months after the family moved into the home on 2 acres with a fenced pasture in May 2017, one of the girls rang their doorbell at 1:30 a.m.

She "was at our door in a blanket saying we needed to protect her," Bruce DeKalb said. "She said that they were abusing her."

In 2011, Sarah Hart pleaded guilty to a domestic assault charge in Minnesota. Her plea led to the dismissal of a charge of malicious punishment of a child, online court records say.

Max Ribner, who has known the family since 2012, said allegations from neighbors don't square with what he knows about the Harts.

"They are beautiful examples of opening arms to strangers, helping youth, supporting racial equality," Ribner, who lives in Portland, told the AP. "They brought so much joy to the world. They represented a legacy of love."

Bill Groener, 67, was a next-door neighbor of the Harts when they lived in West Linn, Oregon, and said the kids stayed indoors most of the time. He said the family didn't eat sugar, raised their own vegetables, had animals and went on camping trips.

"There was enough positive there to kind of counteract the feeling that something maybe wasn't quite right," Groener said.

(Associated Press)

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Marcus Mazza, an engineer and reconstruction expert with Pennsylvania-based Robson Forensic, said on Thursday that the SUV was required to have a 'black box' that records accident data. The recorder would show the car's speed and use of the brakes, according to Mazza. It could help investigators determine the cause of the crash given there were no skid marks or signs the driver braked in the moments before they went over the cliff.

'There are a lot of unknowns on this,' Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman said on Thursday. 'Several of the questions that have been asked today will never be answered.'

To reach the cliff edge at the lookout, the women would have had to have driven off the Pacific Highway and traversed 75ft of rugged dirt road. It is not known yet if they came to a stop at the edge before falling over.

'I can tell you it was a very confusing scene because there were no skid marks, there were no brake marks, there was no indication of why this vehicle traversed approximately over 75ft of a dirt pull out and went into the pacific ocean,' Sheriff Allman said. 'We have no reason to believe, we have no evidence, that this was an intentional act. Certainly people are wondering what caused this. If this was an intentional act, I truly believe we are going to come to that conclusion.'

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EXCLUSIVE: How lesbian mother who plunged off Pacific Highway admitted  she 'let anger get out of control' after six-year-old daughter told teacher she had ‘owies’ on her tummy and her back after her mommy hit her

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ROLLOVER REPORTED IN NAVARRO OFF HWY 128 across from the Navarro Store.

At 4:02 pm, a first responder said there were “two patients with moderate injuries.” Two ground ambulances, as well as CalFire and the AV Fire Department were on the scene and air ambulance CalStar 4 was also dispatched. At 4:08 pm, CalStar 4 said they were two minutes from the landing zone. CHP inquired if the driver had been drinking. The first responders said the answer was “unknown.” CalStar 4 transported a patient from the landing zone @ 4:40 pm. Witnesses at the scene said the car was driven by a man with two older women passengers who were the “two patients with moderate injuries.” The long curve at the Navarro Store too frequently lures westbound drivers into rates of speed too fast to negotiate it, and these speeding vehicles careen off the road and into the redwoods lining the store's parking lot. Vehicles have even careened into the deck of the store.

Navarro Store (click to enlarge)

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Anderson Valley Community Farm

Anderson Valley Community Farmis adapting to the fact that there is no Boonville Winter Market, and will probably be no summer Boonville Farmer’s Market.(!) These markets have been an inconsistent but very enjoyable part of our farm business because we love connecting with our local community.  We look forward to future local market opportunities being developed that we can take part in.

An item of damage control: we made a lot of vegetable plant starts to sell at the local markets that are no more, so instead we are announcing a Plant Sale series to provide an opportunity for local gardeners to get starts for the season.

April Sunday Plant Sales: At the farm, 2 blocks from downtown Boonville on all of the Sundays in April, 10 AM-4 PM. The plant starts will be on tables at the front of the farm, starting this Sunday, April 2.  Our selection of plant starts will increase as the month goes on, many plants are not yet sized for sale.

Directions to the farm: From 128 in downtown Boonville turn on Lambert Lane at the Boonville Hotel, proceed 2 blocks until road END, dirt begins, take the “private” bridge immediately on the right.  The farm is the second driveway on the right immediately across the bridge. 18500 Lambert Lane, Boonville, 95415.  Contact Tim by phone to purchase plant starts at another time: (831)332-5131.

We will also have a market stand with plant starts, frozen meat, soap, olive oil, etc. at the Goat Fest.

We are still excitedly adding members to our 2018 CSA membership programs.  Check out our website for details and please consider joining in our farm and food!  Some members have been coming to pick up meat orders of frozen lamb and pork and get eggs, but the farm has still been mostly quiet. We will start harvesting veggies for our Member’s-Only Farm Stand in mid-April and plan to start filling weekly veggie boxes in early May.  Hope you all enjoy the warmth and sunshine, and I hope to see you soon!

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Petit Teton Farm

Petit Teton welcomes shoppers to the farm any day of the week. If you contact us beforehand we'll be happy to have your list ready to go when you come by.  We presently have fresh or frozen squab, most cuts of beef, and in pork there is bacon, sausage, chops, osso bucco, Boston butt, roasts and bones.  There are also plenty of eggs.  Included in our array of canned jams, soups, pickles, and sauces are fresh sauerkraut, kimchi and bread and butter pickles.  Herbs, cilantro and thyme, are available as well as kale, collard and chard.  The baby artichokes are just coming on.  We are an easy 4 miles from the downtown Boonville metropolis and are a lovely place to visit.  The phone is 684.4146 and the email is  See you soon.

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5th District Supervisor Candidates' Night

Who will get your vote  in the 5th District Supervisor Candidates' race in the June 5, 2018 election?  Arthur Juhl, David Roderick, Alan Rodier, Chris Skyhawk, or Ted Williams?  Anderson Valley Grange will host a candidates' forum on Monday April 9th at 7:00 p.m. with all five candidates.  The doors will open at 6:30.  This is your chance to come see and hear the candidates describe their qualifications, respond to pre-set questions, and answer questions from the audience.

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On Monday, March 26th at approximately 4:28 PM, Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to a reported gunshot victim who had been transported to the Redwood Coast Medical Services facility located in Gualala.  Responding deputies learned that there had been an altercation between neighbors in the 35000 block of South Highway 1 in Anchor Bay, which resulted in one subject being shot by the other. As the investigation continued, it was learned that during a dispute the two persons, Paul Palestrini 62 years of age, and Harry Miller 69 years of age, both of Anchor Bay, were in a physical altercation, during which, Miller shot Palestrini in the torso and Palestrini struck Miller with a shovel.  The dispute was apparently over an easement on a shared driveway.  Both subjects received significant injuries and both were subsequently transported, via air ambulances, to a Sonoma County hospital where they are listed in stable condition. At this time the investigation is ongoing and it has not been determined if there was a primary aggressor of the incident.



During this investigation, it was determined that the suspect, Harry William Miller, a 69 year old white male from Anchor Bay, produced a firearm during a dispute over easement access, and shot the victim, Paul Palestrini, a 62 year old white male from Anchor Bay, without provocation. After shooting the victim, the suspect attempted to shoot the wife of the victim, Desiree Palestrini, a 32 year old white female from Anchor Bay.

Desiree & Paul Palestrini

Paul Palestrini suffered a life threatening gunshot wound and was flown to an out of county hospital where he remains in critical condition at this time.  Miller, after shooting the victim, suffered severe injuries as well from the victim defending his own life. Miller was flown to an out of county hospital.

On 03/29/18 Miller was released from the hospital and surrendered himself to the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office where he was booked in the Mendocino County for two counts of attempted murder, and an enhancement of personal use of a firearm, causing great bodily injury. Miller's bail is set at $750,000.  Any persons with information about this incident are encouraged to contact the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Communications Center at 707-463-4086 or call the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office tip line at 707-234-2100.

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A READER COMMENTS: “I'd like to know what that guy eats! He's married to a 32 year old babe. He gets shot, then beats the hell out of the guy who shot him. Way to go Mr. Palestrini!”

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UKIAH, Wed., March 28. — A Mendocino County Superior Court jury returned from its deliberations early this afternoon to announce guilty verdicts against a drug-impaired motorist.


Troy Alan Morgan, age 43, of Smith River, was found guilty of unlawfully driving a motor vehicle under the influence of oxycodone, a misdemeanor. He was also found guilty of the unlawful possession of oxycodone without a prescription, also a misdemeanor.

The prosecutor who presented the People's case to the jury was Deputy District Attorney Melissa Weems. The law enforcement agencies who investigated the underlying crimes were the California Highway Patrol and the California Department of Justice Toxicology Laboratory. The judge who presided over the three-day trial was Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Keith Faulder.

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ODDLY PAINFUL meeting of the Coast Democrats last night (Wednesday) at the Harbor Lite in Fort Bragg. With active Democrat and candidate for 5th District supervisor, Chris Skyhawk, looking on, the Coast Demos endorsed Ted Williams, who wasn't present, for what is supposed to be a non-partisan job. Also odd was Fort Bragg middle school principal, Lura Vieira's ringing endorsement of Brian Barrett, not present, for Superintendent of Schools without so much as an intro for Anderson Valley's candidate, Michelle Hutchins, who was present. Val Muchowski grabbed the mike to introduce Ms. Hutchins.

ALL YOU NEED to know about Barrett is that his election is supported by former superintendent, Paul Tichinin, the Rain Man of public ed. These two intellectuals once teamed up to publicly deem "niggardly" as a foul ethnic insult. If you ever wonder why Our Nation's Future can't read, take a look at who's in charge of Our Nation's schools.

IF YOU asked any ten residents of the County to identify the Mendocino County Office of Education, if you got one correct answer you'd be doing well. Few people outside education circles know what it does, which is basically credentials checks and payroll — nothing the individual school districts of the County couldn't do cheaper. In the early days of Mendocino County, teachers were hired out of Ukiah and dispatched to outback schools, which the teachers reached by horseback. Since then, this redundant apparatus, rather like the mafia, has glommed on to state and federal funding, taking a nice cut for itself, before channeling the remaining money to the individual school districts of the County.

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CHAOS in Point Arena schools? At Point Arena High School, apparently. A caller tells us that drug use (cocaine) is rampant among students, the school has lost three teachers lately, one to drug use on the job, another in reaction to homophobic insults, the third to "lemme outta here-ism." PA is having a hard time even finding substitute teachers at better than a hundred bucks a day for babysitting duties.

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SPEAKING of Our Nation's Future, how to educate 'em is a question that comes up more and more often, especially given that the large majority of ONF's graduate after twelve years of edu-seat time without knowing how to read at better than a pre-literate level, can't write at all and are unable to perform the simplest mathematical calculation. Reinstate vocational programs and combine them with apprenticeships to people who know how to do stuff.

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LOW COST HOUSING, how to, is a staple at candidate forums, but so far Third District candidate John Pinches is the only candidate to suggest trailer parks, and not only suggest them but suggest where one might be sited just north of Willits where CalTrans appropriated a vast swathe for dirt for the Willits Bypass. Candidates, at least some of them, do suggest a loosening of density standards and a generally more reasonable application of building and planning regs.

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Jack Locey, the Sonoma County Drinking Water engineer who’s working on the plans for a Water system in downtown Boonville, spent a half-day on March 13 looking for well testing or well sites.  Locey expects to finish the well assessments by the end of May. Several additional small areas just outside the downtown Boonville Highway 128 corridor are being considered for addition to the sewer “service area,” including the homes on Lambert Lane. The AV Health Clinic has expressed interest in hooking up to the sewer project as well which would mean extending the service area past the high school. David Coleman, the Sewer engineer who is an associated of Locey, will do site visits to the potential additions the week after Easter. The next Boonville Planners meeting to discuss the Sewer project is tentatively scheduled for April 16th pending date confirmation by Mr. Coleman.

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LITTLE DOG SAYS, "Giants season starts tonight. These people are big time front runners. They gave up early last year. Not me. I'm with them no matter what. BTW, Skrag says he's more into the A's, probably just to annoy me.”

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by Mark Scaramella

Mendo’s New Pot Program Manager Kelly Overton appeared before the Supes Tuesday. Overton was accompanied by a sidekick from the Ag Department, Chevon Holmes, who introduced herself as “interim program administrator for the cannabis program,” adding that she was “delighted to be here!” “Here” apparently being the Supes Chambers, not necessarily Overton’s newly created pot permit office under County CEO Carmel Angelo.

Overton, Holmes (Laytonville attorney Paul Hansen looks on from the gallery)

It looks like Overton is starting to gain a fuller appreciation for how difficult it is to navigate the pot permit application process, both at the County level and with multiple state agencies.

After updating the Board with some slightly better processing statistics, Mr. Overton announced that he will be conducting another "soft launch" of a new and updated “CMCP” (which went unexplained — County of Mendocino Cannibis Program?) page on the county's website by the end of March.

Also "printed instruction and information sheets for submitting ‘Phase One’ are being developed for distribution at events and community meeting places.”

Overton plans to remind applicants of information they need to provide for their application to be properly processed.

"The new application packet may not be smaller,” cautioned Overton, “but it will be more user friendly, more clear and concise.”

Further, the new webpage “is not an easier way, but a clearer way" for how to get a pot permit.

Overton is of course planning more meetings, and more working groups, he’s assembled notebooks, writing e-mails, making phone calls, and, "We are writing down the problems people are having to which there does not seem to be an answer out there."

One sticking point seems to have something to do with a 120 day processing time limit.

"If we have not issued a permit within 120 days of the applicant submitting it to us,” said Overton, “it tends to be kind of a roadblock or Catch-22 where maybe our permit, if they don't have it within 120 days they can't proceed somewhere else. So we are looking for a solution to that.”

Supervisor McCowen replied, “I believe this Board has given direction multiple times that in order to get a permit from Mendocino County if you are required to enroll with the state water board you would enroll with them. If you are required to apply to Fish and Wildlife you would apply to them. If you are receiving a permit issued by Mendocino County it may be contingent on a final action by the Water Board or Fish and Wildlife because as we know they can take even longer than we do to issue a permit. So that's my very strong recollection. We have essentially said enroll with the Water Board, apply to Fish and Wildlife, but if everything else on our checklist is in order we will issue a county permit.”

McCowen seems to want to make sure that if an applicant has a complaint they should take it somewhere else, at least Mendo has done what it can.

Board Chair Dan Hamburg asked, “What happens if a person has the county permit and then they confront a state agency and the agency says, This permit is not valid?”

McCowen: “Our permit would be valid. If they don't get a state permit then we have to revoke ours.”

Overton: “We issue a receipt when there is an application. Once they apply with Fish and Wildlife we have 120 days to issue them a permit from us. But we are not issuing a permit within that 120 days, so that is where we've got a roadblock.”

Holmes tried to clarify: “We should probably unpack this into two different avenues. I think we might be talking about two different things. On the one hand we have a situation where your temporary state license is only valid for 120 days which means when that 120 days expires your next move as a cultivator would be to apply for an annual license. To be eligible for an annual license you need your local permit. So that's where we are talking about a sort of roadblock. If we don't finish the process of issuing the permit within 120 days and a cultivator has already earned the temporary state license they might not have the piece of paper they need after the 120 days to get a state annual license. On the other hand —”

McCowen: “I'm saying we are not going to be the cause of them not having the right piece of paper. If they have complied with our requirements we will issue them a permit, a local permit, even if the Water Board or Fish and Wildlife has not acted. This may be an example of where the Agriculture Department was reading a requirement into this that the board [of Supervisors] was not imposing. I don't want people to have to wait for the state to act. If they satisfied our requirements, which are you will enroll with the Water Board and you will apply to Fish and Wildlife, we are good.”

Holmes: “One of the issues we have come up with is what is meant by ‘enrolled’ with Fish and Wildlife? An applicant submits the notification to Fish and Wildlife but just because you've turned it in that does not mean they have accepted it. They could reject your notification and it would literally be like it never happened. So sometimes the applicants have to go back and forth with Fish and Wildlife before Fish and Wildlife will literally accept their application. That can take some time because they have not presented Fish and Wildlife with enough information. So if the board is giving staff direction to only accept that they submitted, and not confirmed that Fish and Wildlife has accepted— you know? We were operating under the assumption that you want to make sure that they are in that Fish and Wildlife program, not just to accept a document that could be a forgery or something that somebody made up that said they had submitted to Fish and Wildlife.”

McCowen: “Board direction seems to be confirmed that if they have submitted the proper documents to Fish and Wildlife and the Water Board that's good for us. So they could show us I would think proof that they had submitted the appropriate materials to them. And I'm willing to let that one go unless there is some —”

Hamburg: “I think what's she’s saying is that Fish and Wildlife will accept—”

McCowen: “I'm willing to let — I don't know how that works. Maybe we have some information from Fish and Wildlife.”

Another young woman from the CEO’s office who did not introduce herself responded, “For the Department of Food and Agriculture, the statute requires they have to have local authorization. We do have flexibility as to what we consider ‘local authorization.’ Based on prior Board direction what we have been doing is we consider as long we do have an accepted application with the county and you are working proactively on your permitting status when the state contacts us and says this applicant has applied for a state license, we reply back that we have an application for this person and they are in process. While they are in the process we consider them in good standing and they can move forward with the state and we will tell the Department of Food and Agriculture we will contact them if this permit is ultimately denied.”

McCowen: “I'm saying that Board direction is to go a bit beyond that and we are prepared to issue you a permit if you've made the proper applications to the state.”

Deputy CEO: “While they have a temporary license for 120 days then they are required to apply for an annual, but we can be flexible on local authorization. For an annual license as long as they are in the process, then if we did not issue it we would contact them [state Food and Agriculture] and say this person did not receive a permit, you have to revoke the state license. We will have some flexibility in terms of when they apply for the state license.”

Chair Dan Hamburg cut off the conversation at this point saying that they were getting too much into policy issues which should be agendized for separate discussion.

Meanwhile, despite all the County level improvements and reorganization, it’s still pretty much pot confusion as usual.

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Appointment Of Harinder Grewal As Agricultural Commissioner For The County Of Mendocino

The Mendocino County of Board of Supervisors is pleased to announce the appointment of Harinder Grewal as Agricultural Commissioner for the County of Mendocino. Mr. Grewal possesses two Masters degrees in both Agriculture Economics and Business Administration, as well as a doctorate in Agriculture Economics. He joins the County of Mendocino after previously serving in the Stanislaus County Department of Agriculture for 15 years.

Supervisor Dan Hamburg, representing the 5th District and current Board Chair, commented on Mr. Grewal’s appointment, "Mr. Grewal's extensive background with Stanislaus County's Agriculture Department will serve our farming community well. Holding a doctorate in Agricultural Economics and a Master's in Business Administration, Mr. Grewal is an experienced communicator who will strengthen our County's Agriculture Department."

Commenting on his appointment, Mr. Grewal stated: “Agriculture is my passion. I strongly believe in promoting and protecting Agriculture, as it is vital to the local economy. I’m committed to providing exemplary customer service, strengthening the department’s public relations and helping the growers, industry and stakeholders in the agricultural community.”

Carre Brown, 1st District Supervisor stated “I am very pleased that Mr. Grewal will be joining the County of Mendocino as our Agricultural Commissioner. I fully believe that he is up to the task of managing our varied interests in the agricultural community.”

For more information, please contact the Mendocino County Executive Office at (707) 463-4441.

Carmel J. Angelo

Chief Executive Officer

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Mr. Grewal appears to be an interesting and highly qualified candidate who recently ran for Assembly in Stanislaus County while an ag official there. He has also been an official at a Sikh temple in Stanislaus County.


Candidate for 12th District Assembly seat entangled in Sikh temple dispute:

Candidate info:

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CATCH OF THE DAY, March 29, 2018

Clanton, Elkin, Ferguson

JOSEPH CLANTON, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.

BILLY ELKIN JR., Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

KELSEY FERGUSON, Ukiah. Suspended license.

Golyer, Jensen, Johnson, Kirkland

PAUL GOLYER, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.

JEREMY JENSEN, Redwood Valley. Probation revocation.

EDWARD JOHNSON, Ukiah. Probation revocation. (Frequent Flyer)

BARRY KIRKLAND, Willits. Failure to appear.

Miller, Ruiz, Smith, Wolfe

HARRY MILLER, Anchor Bay. Attempted murder, use of firearm during commission of felony.

BARAQUEL RUIZ, Ukiah. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, probation revocation.

RANDY SMITH, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. DUI.

KENNETH WOLFE, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

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THERE'S NOTHING scientific about breaking off a willow branch and walking over ground with it looking for a stream of water underground. It's hit or miss. I've heard them say, "Dig here," and when the shaft had been sunk a couple of hundred feet, there wasn't a drop of water on the drill. You might just as well roll high dice for water as to walk over the ground with a willow branch. Sure a willow branch will dip sometimes, and other times it will rise up too. If I was going to sink a well, I wouldn't try to divine water with a piece of willow limb. I'd roll high dice for it before I'd make a fool out of myself doing that.

— Erskine Caldwell, God's Little Acre

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Looking for something exciting to do with your extra time? How about volunteering at B Bryan Preserve in Point Arena? We are always looking for dedicated individuals to help out on a consistent basis. Our volunteers are an integral part of the daily care of the animals and operations at the preserve. Thanks to the time and dedication given by our volunteers, the animals lives are more enriched. Animal Care Volunteers work alongside a keeper, assisting with the daily animal care which includes cleaning of exhibits, preparing diets, raking, hosing, making enrichment items and more. If dirty work with animals is not your thing, we can also use volunteers to drive for our twice daily tours, grant search and writing, marketing, etc. If you have a desire to contribute, we probably have a job for you. Volunteers must be 16 or older with a valid driver's license. Three shifts available: 9 am — 1:00 pm, 2:00 pm — 6:00 pm or all day. We ask for a minimum 4 shifts a month on a consistent basis so that you are able to recognize the animals and them get used to you. Volunteers must be able to follow directions and adhere to rules, lift 25 lbs. and read procedures and protocols. Safety is our first priority for both volunteers and animals. Once you are able to follow direction, show that you are safety conscience and pass various tasks you may be able to get involved with animal training, veterinary procedures and animal observation research. Ready to commit?  Contact Judy at if you have any other questions and we can sign you up for an interview.

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“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” historian George Santayana said.

President Donald Trump’s declared “new” war on opioids isn’t surprising because he has demonstrated he has no grasp of history.

I started as a career prosecutor in Sonoma County in 1974 during a “war on drugs” that continued on during the Reagan years. It has always been easy for a politician to raise the cry for harsh sentences for “big pushers,” but the death penalty?

Speaking from personal experience, Trump hasn’t a clue about how difficult and costly death penalty cases are to prosecute.

They really should be reserved for the likes of a Richard Allen Davis. But then he is really not serious about it anyway.

Relying on the criminal justice system to address public health problems such as drug addiction has proven exorbitant, ineffective and often counterproductive.

And who will lead this “new” war on drugs? The president apparently has already forgotten how he has humiliated Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the chief law enforcement officer of the country, who would lead the “war.” He also smeared the FBI, the agency that would help investigate these so-called “big pushers.”

Greg Jacobs


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The thing that will hurt the women’s movement the most is when they emulate men in their MOs. I personally worked both sides of the gender gap, as a engineer for 11 years, and an RN for 17 years. I have news for you guys, on a level playing field, gals are going to kick your butts. Why? Because as a group, they talk to each other and communicate. They believe in cooperation rather than confrontation. In today’s world, this is magic. In a more natural world, men’s physical strength puts them at an advantage. This is no longer necessary.

Trump is old school male dominant, Playboy inspired, individual that like so many of us males have had to learn new rules of the road relative to females. And by the way, the rules of the road are totally nebulous, one person believes in certain limits while another allows “liberties” much broader. In the Power world, schlock lawyers prey on folks with this conundrum. Men need to learn to “ask” rather than dominate. I note that all the incidents being brought up by the schlock lawyers are old news, more than 10 years old. Ex post facto says you cannot judge someone for a law or rule that did not exist when the event actually occurred. Maybe the decks need to be cleared here and a new world order put in place. In the meantime, let’s get to work getting this country back in order. And right now, that is Trump!

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Heather Knight in the Chronicle the other day:

...Here’s one little idea for throwing that rare breed — children living in San Francisco — a bone. Stop charging them $14 for a round-trip cable car ride. The fares for those charming symbols of San Francisco that climb halfway to the stars, as Tony Bennett so famously crooned, have blasted through the stratosphere. And unlike the rest of Muni’s public transportation system, there aren’t discounts for kids ages 5 to 18. Or transfers to get you back for free within 90 minutes.

That means that if a family of four wants to ride the cable cars, it’ll cost them $7 each way. Per person. Yes, to ride the cable cars from Powell and Market Streets to Fisherman’s Wharf and back just because it’s fun for kids and a quaint part of our city’s history will set that family back $56...

(Rob Anderson, District5Diary)

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THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF SUFFERING per year in the natural world is beyond all decent contemplation. During the minute that it takes me to compose this sentence, thousands of animals are being eaten alive, many others are running for their lives, whimpering with fear, others are slowly being devoured from within by rasping parasites, thousands of all kinds are dying of starvation, thirst, and disease. It must be so. If there ever is a time of plenty, this very fact will automatically lead to an increase in the population until the natural state of starvation and misery is restored. In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won't find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.

― Richard Dawkins, River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life

* * *


by Manuel Vicent (translated by Louis S. Bedrock)

The Eye of God in the Basilica of Santa Maria la Mayor in Rome. (Getty Images)

When we learned the use of reason, the children of my generation learned that we had no escape.  An eye of God, inside of a triangle, like a kind of drone that sees everything,  would be watching us day and night from then on.  Besides this inspection from the heights, in case there remains any dark zone, at our side will always be an angel meticulously taking notes of all our actions, including the most secret.

We were told that one day all the tombs would open and in the Valley of Jehoshaphat before the golden gate of Jerusalem all of humanity, having been resurrected, would crowd together to be judged.  One has to imagine this overwhelming scene which is worthy of a movie made by Cecil B. DeMile.

At a given moment, a thunderous voice would pronounce your first and last names demanding your presence in the witness stand of the Supreme Judge.  Then, an angel would appear with an open book in which are written all of your sins, which would then be aired publicly to the entire world before the verdict of condemnation.

This macabre fairy tale has acquired a contemporary reality in a modern form.  The divine eye that sees everything is called Big Data and the angel/spy is that cell phone one carries in the pocket next to one’s genitals.  Today one lives with the sensation that there is someone who knows everything about you and that an exhaustive amount of information about your pratfalls, deceptions, and betrayals, which you have been leaving behind throughout your life, will be used against you.

If you’re a politician, you must know that everything you’ve tried to hide, in the worst moment possible, will be on the desk of your worst enemy.  If you’re a moralist that goes around giving lessons you’re not safe from being exposed either.

The peremptory trial will occur before the networks that will emit a verdict of guilty before the trial is even held.  Those of my generation have been warned since we were children.

* * *

“I hate it when they whisper about me like that!”

* * *




  1. Marco McClean March 30, 2018

    Of all the people in all of Mendocino County Today, Harinder Grewal has the most Dickensian name.

  2. Lazarus March 30, 2018

    “LOW COST HOUSING, how to, is a staple at candidate forums, but so far Third District candidate John Pinches is the only candidate to suggest trailer parks”.

    Seems I’ve seen this movie before. Wasn’t there something about building the bypass on the railroad right of way near Willits? And then there was that water pipeline from Camp Wente to Willits? And then there was all those second access/escape plans for Brooktrails…all presented by Pinches, all killed by the BOS or equivalent, and all ended up on the scrape heap of bullshit.
    “Kind of makes you wonder…don’t it”
    As always,

    • Bruce Anderson March 30, 2018

      No. All good ideas. Pinches couldn’t even get a second when he suggested re-negotiating the Mendo-SoCo water deal, and who’s fault is that? Pinches?

      • Lazarus March 30, 2018

        I believe the point is, all the good ideas/intentions are just that. He’s never had much support from the BOS, and I remember in his first term he promised a second escape route from Brooktrials, and that was nearly 20 years ago…

        Who’s fault is it? It’s our fault for putting the same self serving assholes in elected office time after time…but then there’s.. Sheriff…unopposed, DA…same, Carrie Brown…? Nobody wants or can do these jobs, so the usual suspects get them by default.
        Pinches could win in June…regardless of the field, if not likely in the Fall…
        As always,

  3. james marmon March 30, 2018


    “It is not clear what either woman did for a living.”

    Long and short answer: they collected “Adoption Assistance” and a whole bunch of other money made available to people wanting to get into this business. These kids were considered “special needs children” qualifying them for big money.

    “Adoption Assistance, also known as adoption subsidies, provides financial help and services for children with physical, mental and developmental disabilities and their adoptive parents.”

    I have to chuckle about how the left leaning press and our local cult leader Sheriff Allman are trying their best to spin this terrible tragedy, they want it so bad to be an accident rather than to look at the obvious, murder/suicide. These folks were known as “social warriors” and these kids made them look “hollier than thou.” If this couple’s child abuse and neglect allegations were to be found true they had a lot to lose, money, prestige, and possibly their freedom.

    In the world they knew they were considered saints, two pretty white lesbian Berine Sanders supporters with the last name of Hart adopting black disabled children who were former victims of child abuse and neglect. That’s the picture they want us to see, not some of the ugliness that really exists in this business. My heart goes out to the biological parents who lost custody of these children to these monsters, who will never ever see them again. At least they didn’t kill them.

    James Marmon MSW
    Former Adoption Social Worker
    Families United Foster Care and Adoption Agency
    Lakeport, Ca.

    • james marmon March 30, 2018

      Some of you more dedicated AVA readers will recall that I have been a long time proponent of tracking adopted children and monitoring their care.

      The Harts adopted the children from southeast Texas in 2006 and 2009. We know that they have lived in at least 3 other states since then, Minnesota, Oregon, and Washington.

      Children retain eligibility for adoption assistance across state lines. The adoption assistance agreement parents have with a child’s adoption assistance state is valid in all states and the child’s maintenance payment will continue even if the family moves. However, an interstate move or placement can affect the other adoption assistance benefits a child receives and will affect Medicaid.

      It would be interesting if the Harts applied for Medicaid In Washington, I highly doubt it though based on what they told the neighbors about how Hannah Hart had lost her teeth in an accident and didn’t want them fixed.

      “Hannah Hart came to her neighbors’ door last summer, sometime around 1:30 a.m., wearing a blanket covered in brambles, saying she was running away.

      She was missing her two front teeth and was severely undersized for a girl of 15 or 16.

      She explained to her neighbors of about three months, Bruce and Dana DeKalb, of Woodland, Washington, that she was being abused at home, and wanted a ride to Seattle.

      She wanted to know, Bruce DeKalb says now, “Could we save her?”

      James Marmon MSW
      Former Child Welfare Social Worker
      Del Norte/Lake Counties

      • james marmon March 30, 2018

        Oops, should be Del Norte/Mendocino Counties. I worked for Lake County Mental Health as a Mental Health Specialist for 3 years and then Families United Foster Care Adoption Agency (a private company in Lakeport) for another year before I moved along to my next assignment which was actually short stint with Redwood Children’s Services (RCS) in Lakeport, after that, 5 years at Del Norte CPS followed by another 5 years in Mendocino.

        I don’t want to confuse anyone, sorry

        James Marmon MSW

  4. james marmon March 30, 2018


    “Just take their damn money and give them a permit. If our local requirements don’t match the state’s requirements for an annual license then that’s everyone else’s fault, not ours”

    -Judge McCowan

  5. John Kriege March 30, 2018

    Re: Wine and Cheese
    Can’t find an Association of Mendocino Wineries on the web, with or without Program Manager Jay Eldee. Someone setting up an April Fools joke?

  6. Jim Updegraff March 30, 2018

    Opening day: Both the Giants and the A’s won their games. However, both managers need to be concerned about their teams overall performance.
    Giants: won 1-0 with good pitching – both their starter and relief pitchers but could only score 1 run – a HR by Panik. If they are going to win games their hitters need to start hitting.
    A’s: won 6-5 Typical game with marginal pitching but scored enough runs to win. Khris Davis was the hitter of the day with 4 RBI – HR and a single. Olson had a HR.In 11th inning Semien’s single beat the Angels with the winning RBI.
    The A’s can get the runs but can their pitching staff do their job.

    • james marmon March 30, 2018

      1-0 games are so boring, the A’s know how to please their fans even if they lose.

      Go A’s

    • George Hollister March 30, 2018

      I said if the Dodgers lose this game it would be an embarrassment, particularly if Kershaw got the loss. They did, and he did.

  7. james marmon March 30, 2018

    More on Thelma and Louise

    From a professional standpoint I have long noted that lesbians receive very little scrutiny from social workers and/or adoption investigators, mostly because they’ll scream discrimination in a New York minute, which in most cases, just an allegation could destroy your career. Gay men are an entirely different story however, they’re seen as being more deviant by nature, even by lesbian standards. In the social work field, lesbians are treated as the highest form of life on earth. Therefore they get a free pass. The two lesbians that have Kimberly Ortwein’s children comes to mind as an example, the last we heard they took them to Montana.

    How Mendocino County Stole Four Children From Their Mother

    James Marmon MSW
    Former Adoption and Child Welfare Social Worker.

  8. Zeke Krahlin March 30, 2018

    Louis S. Bedrock:

    Thank you for another excellent translation of a most thought provoking essay. I propose we start using god as an acronym for Great Omnipotent Database, a.k.a. GOD.

    • Betsy Cawn March 31, 2018

      Beautiful work, so happy to see your imprint gracing these virtual pages again, Mr. Bedrock. Indeed, “. . . a most thought provoking essay,” deeply solacing in this era of tweets and posts and bloviating bullhorns of what passes for political debate these days.

  9. james marmon March 30, 2018

    You will never see anyone on this side of the cow crying over spilled milk (mental illness), we just lock their asses up in jail where they belong. Mental illness is not an excuse to kill anyone in Lake County, especially your mom and dad.

    Authorities: Thursday morning stabbing victims are suspect’s parents

    LAKEPORT, Calif. – The Lake County Sheriff’s Office said that a Lakeport man is under investigation for fatally stabbing his father and also injuring his mother early Thursday morning.

    Steven Michael Fredericks, 48, was taken into custody not long after deputies arrived at the scene, as Lake County News has reported.

    Lt. Corey Paulich told Lake County News that the two victims are Steven Fredericks’ parents, David Mackenzie Fredericks, 72, and Judy Ann Fredericks, 71.

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