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Mendocino County Today: Saturday, March 31, 2018

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THE INCREASINGLY DYSFUNCTIONAL Ukiah Valley Sanitation District Board took another step backward on Wednesday when Board Chair Theresa McNerlin accused fellow Board member Julie Bawcom of violating the Brown Act.

McNerlin put the following item on the Board’s special meeting agenda: “Discussion and possible action: Brown Act Violations by Board.”

There was only one “violation” alleged and it happened to be by McNerlin’s nemesis on the Board, the formidable and blunt Julie Bawcom. Apparently, Ms. Bawcom, irked by the Board’s footdragging on hiring a new District Manager, had drafted a manager's job description and emailed it to fellow Board members causing Ms. McNerlin to claim that a digital age provision of the Brown Act, which prohibits “serial meetings” via email, had been violated.

Bawcom, left; McNerlin, right (Click to enlarge)

But as far as we can tell, a serial meeting does not occur unless a director is on the receiving end of the email replies. Just sending out an FYI to fellow Board members in advance of a meeting is permissable “provided the communication is not a direct or indirect action leading to a concurrence of the other directors as to the subject matter of the communication.”

Ms. McNerlin was willing to let the issue go with a generic warning and reminder that Directors should refamiliarize themselves with the Brown Act, and Ms. Bawcom seemed willing to let it go too.

Until an identified man in the audience rose to the podium to defend Ms. Bawcom, pointing out that just sending an email is not a violation of the Brown Act.

This precipitated an unfortunately petty extended head-of-a-pin argument about the tone of other emails and recitations of Brown Act government code which does not need detailed coverage here.

After things settled down a bit, Ms. Bawcom explained that she was frustrated that she couldn’t get the job description item on the agenda because Ms. McNerlin wasn’t responding to prior requests. Ms. McNerlin replied that she expected the “governance committee” (Bawcom and Director Andrea Reed) to forumally present the draft job description to the Board, not just send it out by one director via email.

The District has been without a full time Manager for months now in the wake of the on-again-off-again semi-employment of Joe Tait who has been hired, fired, hired and fired and then brought back at an exorbitant hourly rate while keeping his severance pay even though he only worked for a few months and was overpaid for the severance to boot. So Ms. Bawcom’s annoyance at the foot dragging by the rest of her board seems justified.

Ms. Bawcom also volunteered to re-calculate the district’s sewer rates herself at no charge to the District, also annoying Chair McNerlin who thinks that Directors should not meddle in district/staff operations. Trouble is, the recalculations are also late and a deadline looms and Ms. Bawcom, a professional geologist who knows her numbers, was simply trying to get the work done in the absence of staff.

After more petty back and forth about who’s supposed to do what when, and after wasting almost an hour on trying to squelch Ms. Bawcom, the Board simply set the issue aside and moved on to the next items on the agenda.

Which we haven’t had time to review yet and will cover in a subsequent post.

(Mark Scaramella)

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To the Editor:

Since I won’t be attending the UVSD meeting to discuss Joe Tait, I’m sending you my comments via this. I am convinced that this hire from the beginning was a critical mistake. With the benefit now of hindsight it glares with embarrassing mistakes by a board that either received bad legal advice or was doomed by its own naiveté.

Not protecting the ratepayers from extravagances such as paying Tait from doorstep 700 miles away to Ukiah is a prime example. Passage of a contract allowing him to fleece us out of a quarter of a million dollars in nine months is laughable. If these facts were only public.

Although this happened with a previous inept board, the same insensitivity to community and fiduciary responsibilities is now infecting the current board. With the exceptions of Julie Bawcom and Andrea Reed, you have clearly disrespected district ratepayers and their votes, and frankly all the members of the general Ukiah community. I agree with Ms. Bawcom that Tait should not be allowed another dime of ratepayer money; anything else would be a sad continuance of your disregard for our fiscal welfare.

Since the treatment plant is operated by city employees it only makes sense to allow the city to act in the UVSD’s behalf with management support until a more intelligent hiring of a UVSD district manager can be accomplished. You cannot tell me that there is not someone closer to our community who can be hired under stringent controls to be the district manager. Tait with his soft touch has done enough damage.

If you as a management board cannot do better than you’ve done so far, I believe you should be dissolved in the best interest of those you pretend to serve. Your squandering of our reserves to settle an outdated vendetta is nothing short of criminal malfeasance; and coupled with this financially disastrous attempt at hiring one simple person proves to me you as a board responsible for anything should cease to exist.

Don Crawford, UVSD Ratepayer


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Ex-Neighbor Describes 'Surreal' Contact With Family In Fatal Mendocino Coast Crash

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.

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Search Continues For Three Children Missing Since Mendocino Coast Crash That Killed Family

CHP aircraft will return to the skies over the northern Mendocino Coast today to continue the search for three Washington state children missing since their family SUV plunged over the side of a cliff and into the rising surf below, killing their parents and three siblings early this week.

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Albion Bridge Stewards

Monitoring by the Albion Bridge Stewards — local concerned citizens organized to protect, preserve, and restore the historic Albion River Bridge along Highway 1 – has revealed that Caltrans this month failed to carry out its publicly noticed project to “restore” the beach dune by the historic Albion River Bridge “to pre-excavation conditions that occurred on October 31, 2017.”

Since the 19th Century, this dune, bolstered by a succession of berms, protected first the former Albion Mill and, after 1944, the footings of Albion River Bridge timber towers, from inundation. Until last year, a dense mat of iceplant covered the berm and dune, and cascaded down seaward face of the berm.

Last October 31, Caltrans — during what it billed as an “archeological investigation” -- stripped away the stabilizing plants, cut away the berm face, and excavated parts of the berm, overlain by beach and dune sand, between the bridge and Albion Cove, without first obtaining either a coastal permit or a grading permit.

The Albion Bridge Stewards immediately requested Caltrans and the Coastal Commission, which is in part funded by Caltrans, to promptly restore that damage to avoid further erosion. Caltrans admitted it had been wrong to proceed without a permit, but made no effort to remediate the damage.

To long-time Albion residents, it came as no surprise that wave run-up from the ocean, wave spray, onshore winds, rain, and hail combined would accelerate erosion of the area that Caltrans had cleared and graded.

Finally, after almost three months, in late January, the Albion Bridge Stewards noticed that Caltrans had posted public notices, that “a permit application for development on this site is pending” to “restore the beach dune under the Albion River bridge.” The posted notice further stated that the “purpose of the proposed project is to restore the beach dune to pre-excavation conditions that occurred on October 31, 2017.”

In an unusual move, over the protests of the Albion Bridge Stewards and local residents, a few days later the Coastal Commission excused Caltrans from getting a Coastal Development Permit to undertake the work adjacent to the public beach and the Albion Flats campground.

On March 15, 2018 – four and a half months after inflicting the damage and five weeks after getting the formal go-ahead from the Coastal Commission, Caltrans finally had workers on site, but not “to restore the beach dune to pre-excavation conditions,” as promised.

Instead, under Caltrans’ direction, the workers mixed dead plant material that had been ripped out in October with sand taken from other parts of the site, and dumped it — without any restoration or soils plan — on the disturbed and eroded site, inserted iceplant plugs (Hottentot fig), and strewed what was left over helter-skelter.

Already, the Caltrans “restoration” area has again begun to erode, plants on the seaward slope have tumbled to the beach, and on the sand berm – lowered by as much as two feet in some locations – the iceplant that were not dead, are struggling to hang on.

“We commend the workers for their valiant efforts on a cold, rainy day to do what they could with rakes, shovels, and wheelbarrows,” said Albion Bridge Steward Annemarie Weibel, “but Caltrans set the crew up to an impossible task that neither restored the berm and dune, nor assured its stability and integrity. The workers, the historic Albion River Bridge and other protected coastal resources, and the taxpayers that fund Caltrans all deserve much better.”

The attached photographs illustrate these observations.

(Click to enlarge)

Dense mat of iceplant covered this are before October 31, 2017. The area impacted by Caltrans on October 31. 2017 is shown with green vegetation that extends to the back beach above and slightly to the left of the relic Albion Mill wharf post. (February, 2013 photograph by Rita Crane)

(Click to enlarge)

Seaward face of the berm-dune after Caltrans removal of overhanging stabilizing vegetation and facial berm and dune materials.

(Click to enlarge)

Completed Caltrans berm-dune restoration as seen from the back beach, looking landward. March 22, 2018.

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LITTLE DOG SAYS, “Skrag called me a ‘natural born groupie’ today just because I mentioned that I saw Sheriff Allman on tv today. ‘Hey! Tom and I go way back. You're just jealous you don't know any celebs.’ Skrag comes back with, ‘Oh yeah? Next you're going to be telling me you're famous, and I know that's a lie’."

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THE CHP REPORTED a "passenger vehicle fire at the Anderson Valley Elementary School, in the lower field" about noon today (Friday).

Superintendent Hutchins rounds out the incident: "A school van used by maintenance caught fire. The cause is under investigation. It is suspected to be an electrical malfunction in the vehicle. No students were on site as the school is on spring break. Irony is that maintenance was working on the school's fire suppression system."

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Fire-Scarred BHO Lab Operator Sent To State Prison.

A man who blew himself up in 2014 operating a clandestine butane honey oil lab in a backyard shed on Luce Avenue in Ukiah was sentenced today in the Mendocino County Superior Court to state prison.


Joshua John Corrigan, age 38, of Oakdale, was sentenced this afternoon by Superior Court Judge Cindee Mayfield to 84 months in state prison.

Based on his no contest pleas entered last month, Corrigan stands convicted of unlawfully causing a fire of inhabited property, unlawfully manufacturing concentrated cannabis by chemical extraction (in this case also known as BHO, or butane honey oil) while armed with a firearm, and the unlawful possession of an assault rifle, all as felonies.

Following the pronouncement of sentence, Corrigan was remanded into custody to be transported by the Sheriff to the Department of Corrections to begin serving his state prison sentence.

The prosecutor handling this matter has been District Attorney David Eyster. The investigating law enforcement agencies were the Ukiah Police Department and the Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force.

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THE FOLLOWING are the Press Democrat's lede stories Friday morning, any one of which would have rattled the sedate rural precincts of the Northcoast for weeks in 1955, the year Stephanie Bryan, 14, was kidnapped in Oakland by an accounting student at Berkeley named Burton Abbott. The girl was eventually found dead in Trinity County. This terrible event was headline news for months in the Bay Area newspapers. Today, it would be page three the next day:

The suspect in the double homicide of a couple on a Jenner beach in 2004 has not been charged but remains jailed, accused of shooting his brother to death.

In sudden move, Sonoma Cider shuts down in Healdsburg

Armed robbery suspect arrested emerging from Lake County motel

Attempted murder charges over Anchor Bay shooting

Passover comes early for Petaluma preschool

California judge: Coffee needs cancer warnings

Robledo winery owner celebrates 50 years in Sonoma County

Naked suspect dies after struggle during arrest at Sonoma mobile home park

Press Democrat wins national award for coverage of October wildfires

Lake County man suspected of stabbing dad to death, injuring mom

I BRING IT UP to make the obvious point that the great unraveling has picked up much velocity since 1955, but we almost never, even in the more cerebral journals, lay the blame for crime, and all other expressions of aberrant behavior, where it belongs, which is, in my simpleminded opinion, the nature of American capitalism. It drives people criminally insane.

WITH ULTRA-VI increasing daily, the cops are like attendants in a mass, open air psycho ward. Three police shootings in just the past couple of weeks, two of them in San Francisco, one of them in Sacramento, have inspired the usual lib-conservative opinion split. The libs generally think all three were avoidable, the conservatives say all three victims caused their own deaths.

JESUS DUARTE was shot and killed by San Francisco police when he emerged from the trunk of the car driven by a young couple who had earlier committed a street robbery. The police were yelling at Duarte in Spanish to climb out of the trunk when they shot him. A gun was recovered from the trunk of the car. From all the accounts I could find there are no further details.

A FEW DAYS ago, a young man of Middle Eastern descent named Jehad Eid was shot in a barber shop deep in the Mission District of San Francisco. His family had called police to say Eid had a gun and had been threatening them. When police confronted him in the barber shop an exchange of gun fire ensued, and Eid was killed.

THE SACRAMENTO shooting of Stephon Clark has become a national story whose partisans say, or at least imply, that Clark's death was a police murder. Clark had been breaking into cars when the police arrived to confront him in his grandmother's backyard. Police say in the un-illuminated yard the cell phone in Clark's hand was assumed to be a gun and they shot him numerous times, killing him.

FAMILIES AND FRIENDS of all three young victims claim that all three are racially-based murders by police who are quicker to deploy lethal force against black and brown people than they are white people. I would say in each circumstance a white person would probably also have been shot.

ACCORDING to the most recent census data, there are nearly 160 million more white people in America than there are black people. White people make up roughly 62 percent of the U.S. population but only about 49 percent of those who are killed by police officers. Black people, however, account for 24 percent of those fatally shot and killed by the police despite being just 13 percent of the U.S. population which means black Americans are 2.5 times as likely as white Americans to be shot and killed by police officers.

THE TERM "TECHNO-NARCISSIST" means the fantasists who think the self-described geniuses of Silicon Valley should quit lollygagging around and invent a non-lethal device for police. In lieu of such a device, and given the givens of late capitalism, and the early capitalism that enslaved black people to hasten the capital accumulation stage of development, police shootings of black people at a higher rate than white people are unlikely to subside.

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It’s time to start thinking about participating in the County Fair Parade in Boonville on Sunday September 16 this year. If you have a group of friends or just one person, it all adds to the fun!

There are lots of categories to enter in the parade and you can win prize money, trophies and ribbons for some of them. I know a lot of you out there have always wanted to strut your stuff through town or show off that fabulous float you have been thinking about making for years, or just advertise your business and let people know you are here.

The staging area is at the high school parking lot where they give you a number and the parade starts at 12 noon. From there you head to Highway 128 to the first review area in front of the fairgrounds and then to the second one at the grandstands, and if you make it to the gate they’ll stamp your hand for a free day at the fair so everybody is a winner!

If you haven’t been in the parade before, you can pick up entry forms a month before the county fair starts. They are due a few days before the fair opens to the public, leaving time for those last-minute procrastinators who always do things at the last minute. So now is the time to start thinking about something wild and off the chain; you can dress up your favorite cow, goat, bird, dog, or giraffe if you’ve got one this year and parade thru town. We are all looking forward to seeing it and your friends and family in Boonville this year!

(The Fair Boosters)

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CATCH OF THE DAY, March 30, 2018

Acosta, Briceno, Carver

RICO ACOSTA, Sacramento. Battery, conspiracy, probation revocation.

ALVARO BRICENO, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation.

CHAD CARVER, Willits. Probation revocation.

Corrigan, Daniels, Green

JOSHUA CORRIGAN, Oakdale/Ukiah. Recklessly causing a fire of inhabited structure or property, recklessly causing a fire to structural (sic) or forestland, pot possession for sale, armed with firearm in commission of felony, honey oil extraction, possession of assault weapon.

KELLI DANIELS, Willits. Domestic battery.

WILLIAM GREEN, Calpella. Domestic battery, smoking or injecting device, suspended license.

Jones, Lawrence, Omler

BRINTON JONES, Redwood Valley. DUI, willful cruelty to child with possible injury or death.

DEBORAH LAWRENCE, Ukiah. Petty theft, false report of crime, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

TERRY OMLER, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

Parker, Roman-Alvarez, Way

MICHAEL PARKER, Ukiah. Controlled substance, smuggling controlled substances or liquor into jail, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

JOSE ROMAN-ALVAREZ, Willits. DUI, suspended license.


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by James Kunstler

It hasn’t been a great month for America’s electric car fantasy. Elon Musk’s Tesla company — the symbolic beating heart of the fantasy — is whirling around the drain with its share price plummeting 22%, its bonds downgraded by Moody’s to junk status, a failure to produce its “affordable” ($36,000 — Ha!) Model 3 at commercial scale, a massive recall of earlier S Model sedans for a steering defect, and the spectacular fiery crash in Silicon Valley last week of an X model that may have been operating in automatic mode (the authorities can’t determine that based on what’s left), and which killed the driver.

Oh, and an experimental self-driving Uber car (Volvo brand) ran over and killed a lady crossing the street with her bicycle in Tempe, Arizona, two weeks ago. Don’t blame Elon for that.

There’s a lot to like about electric cars, of course, if, say, you’re a Google executive floating through life in a techno-narcissism bubble, or a Hollywood actor with wooly grandiose notions of saving the planet while simultaneously signaling your wealth and your “green” virtue cred. Teslas supposedly handle beautifully, ride very quietly, have great low-end power, and decent range of over 200 miles. The engine has something like twenty moving parts, is very long-lasting, and is easy to repair or change out if necessary.

Are they actually “green and clean?” Bwaahaaaaa….! Are you kidding? First, there’s the energy embedded in producing the car: mining and smelting the ores, manufacturing the plastics, running the assembly line, etc. That embedded energy amounts to about 22% of the energy consumed by the car over a ten-year lifetime. Then there’s the cost of actually powering the car day-by-day. The electricity around the USA is produced mostly by burning coal, natural gas, or by nuclear fission, all of which produce harmful emissions or byproducts. But the illusion that the power just comes out of a plug in the wall (for just pennies a day!) is a powerful one for the credulous public. The cherry-on-top is the fantasy that before much longer all that electric power will come from “renewables,” solar and wind, and we can leave the whole fossil fuel mess behind us. We say that to ourselves as a sort of prayer, and it has exactly that value.

There are at least a couple of other holes in the story, big-picture wise. One is that electric mass motoring — switching out the whole liquid fuel fleet for an all-electric fleet — won’t pencil out economically. We probably started the project forty years too late to even be able to test it at scale, because economic events are now moving so quickly in the direction of global austerity that the putative middle-class customer base for electric cars will barely exist in the near future. Americans especially nowadays are so financially stressed that they can’t qualify for car loans — and that is mainly how cars are bought in this land. The industry has strained mightily to bend the rules so that these days it’s even possible to get a seven-year loan for a used car whose collateral value will dissipate long before the loan is paid back. Hard to see how they can take that much further.

The usual answer for that is that you won’t need to own a car because the nation will be served by self-driving electric Uber-style cars-on-demand, which will supposedly require far fewer cars in all. That really doesn’t answer some big questions, such as: how might commuting work in our big metroplex cities? Even if you posit multiple occupancy vehicles, it still represents a whole lot of car trips. Oh, you say, everybody will just work from home. Really? I don’t think so — though I wouldn’t rule out an end to corporate organization of work as we’ve known it, and if that happens, we will be a nation of farmers and artisans again, that is, a World Made By Hand. Also consider, if the car companies only need to make and sell a fraction of the vehicles they sell now, the whole industry will collapse.

Another hole in the story is the universal assumption that the USA must remain a land of mandatory car dependency, hostage to the fiasco of our suburban infrastructure. I understand why we’re attached to it. We spent most of the 20th century building all that shit, and squandered most of our wealth on it. It’s comfortably familiar, even if it’s actually a miserable environment for everyday life. But none of those monetary and psychological investments negate the fact that suburbia has outlived its limited and rather perverse usefulness.

We’re so far from having any intelligent public debate about these issues that the events now spooling out will completely blindside the nation.

(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)

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When I was a young teenager I saw a TV program about American’s “love affair” with the automobile. I was so upset and scarred by the idea that I grew up to be quite the opposite. For me transportation was always something that took me from where I was to someplace I had to go to accomplish something. I was never entertained or soothed by motion of transportation in any way. If I happen to discuss this with people, most of them look at me like I was a leper, and even come out and say that there is something wrong with me. Out here in Hunterdon County New Jersey, many, especially those who have too much income to waste, collect cars like Saudis collect harem girls. One fellow on top of a mountain across the river even had to build a huge Butler building to house his herd of “collectible” and expensive toys. I hear he has been forced to sell them all because of the bad economy, but there are plenty more of these people, mostly men, that simply MUST have as many as possible. I cannot understand the disease or explain it other than the possibility that advertising works and the misconception that he who dies with the most toys wins. Whatever the cause, in the end Americans spend far too much time, at least IMHO, driving around like demented, angry fools going from place to place, from event to event, accomplishing nothing other than making a lot of rich men a lot richer. Perhaps that is the true reason. Between their driving and texting needs, if it all craps out, I seriously doubt that many of them will be able to survive a World Made By Hand. A World Made By Thumbs perhaps, but most of them lack the necessary skills, talents, and motivation to be very useful in any way. Sorry.

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“Did you read the terms and conditions before deleting Facebook?”

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Closure of the commercial rock crab fishery north of the Sonoma/Mendocino County line to the California/Oregon border shall remain in effect until the Director of OEHHA, in consultation with the Director of CDPH, determines that domoic acid levels no longer pose a significant risk to public health and recommends the fishery be opened. CDFW will continue to coordinate with and the fishing community, CDPH and OEHHA to test domoic acid levels in rock crab within the closure area of the coast. Domoic acid is a potent neurotoxin that can accumulate in shellfish, other invertebrates and sometimes fish. It causes illness and sometimes death in a variety of birds and marine mammals that consume affected organisms. At low levels, domoic acid exposure can cause nausea, diarrhea and dizziness in humans. At higher levels, it can cause persistent short-term memory loss, seizures and can in some cases be fatal.

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I have one. It needs all its foam rubber parts replaced, though; they're all corroded away to the nub with the passage of time. I can't get rid of it because it's a gift. Juanita got it for me like 25 years ago; I have to keep it. She'll ask about it one day and I'd better not have lost it nor sold it for a mess of pottage.

But, Alan, you ask about whether an inversion swing can help you with your back problem, and I have to say: watch out. I used it in the early nineties to help with back pain and ended up trapped like a rat in a trap, hanging upside down unable to move from the blinding pain, in my newspaper office late at night. I honestly thought I was gonna die there, in sight of but not in reach of the phone.

The back doctor told me later, never use anything like that if you're already in pain. And certainly ask your real doctor first; don't count on advice from people on the listserv who, as I read daily, claim to restore female fertility and dispel cancer by sacred massage and cure depression in a horse with homeopathic crystal perfume oil. This is your real body we're talking about here; all of your important plumbing and wiring is in there. If you can afford to see a real doctor who graduated in real medicine from a real medical school, that's where to get informed.

IN OTHER NEWS: I'll be in Fort Bragg for tonight's MOTA radio show. If you want to talk about your project, or play your new song, or show-and-tell about the chemtrail you caught in your hankie, you can drop by 325 N. Franklin, next door to the Tip Top bar after 9pm and just wander in. Head for the lighted room at the back and you're safe and warm and on the air. The deadline to email writing to be read on MOTA is always about 5 or 6pm the night of the show. So you've got a little while to get that together for tonight. Just paste your poem or essay or kvetch or sale item or event notice or really whatever into the body of an email, check that it's going to and not to the whole group, unless that's what you want, and press send.

Besides that, you can have your own whole regular real radio show of your own style and devising on KNYO. Contact Bob Young: and introduce yourself; he'll fix you up.

Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio: Every Friday, 9pm to 4 or 5am on 107.7fm KNYO-LP Fort Bragg, and 105.1fm KMEC-LP Ukiah*. And also there and anywhere else via or and if none of that works for you try and look up KNYO-LP.

(*There's a personnel/tech issue slowly but surely being resolved over at KMEC. Like last week and the week before, they might not pick up my show until after midnight tonight, in progress. But KNYO, for sure, from 9pm until I conk out.)

Marco McClean

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Spring has Sprung!

Signs of spring are everywhere you look. At the Cancer Resource Centers, spring is for planning. Our board, staff, volunteers and community members held a productive strategic planning retreat early this month, and of course we are busy planning our annual fundraisers. We hope you will make plans to join us for one or more of the events below. -- Karen Oslund, Executive Director

Avenues to Wellness Speaker Series

Tuesday, April 3 in Willits

Avenues to Wellness is a program of the Frank R. Howard Foundation in Willits, dedicated to facilitating community wellness. Karen Oslund, Executive Director of the Cancer Resource Centers of Mendocino County, will be the featured speaker on Tuesday, April 3 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Willits Center for the Arts, 71 E. Commercial St.

Her talk, "Coping with Cancer: Help is Available," will cover what services are available free of charge to anyone facing cancer in Mendocino County, how to reduce cancer risk through healthy lifestyle changes and recommended cancer screenings. Free to the public, all are welcome. Call 456-9676 for more information.

Big River Walk and Paddle--Picking up the Pace!

Online registration continues for the Big River Walk and Paddle 2018, which is May 19 at Big River State Park, 9 a.m. Participants can register and download pledge sheets online at

Walkers and paddlers may also register the morning of the event. Plan to arrive by 8:45 if you need to register on-site. Registration fee is $25 adults, $10 teens, and children are free. There are prizes for top pledge gatherers as well as the biggest team of walkers. Defy cancer! Support the Cancer Resource Centers of Mendocino County.

Goldeneye Winemaker Dinner June 16 Reservations are now being accepted for this very special event. For more information, see our website at –

or phone our Coast office for more information or to reserve tickets: 937-3833.

Pure Mendocino: August 25, 2018 Our 14th Annual Pure Mendocino celebration of organic and Biodynamic farming will take place August 25, 2018, from 5 to 10 p.m. at Paul Dolan's Dark Horse Vineyard in Ukiah. Please save the date and watch for invitations and sponsorship opportunities soon.

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by Ralph Nader

John Bolton’s career of pushing for bombing countries like Iran and North Korea, and his having played an active role in the Bush/Cheney regime’s criminal war of aggression that destroyed Iraq, makes him a clear and present danger to our country and world peace. He is about to become Donald Trump’s personal national security advisor with a staff of 400 right next to the White House. He must be stopped!

For Bolton, the Constitution, federal law, the Geneva Conventions, and other international laws are pieces of paper to be thrown away with unctuous contempt. This outlaw – the shame of Yale Law School — should have been cast away as a pariah if not prosecuted and imprisoned. A bully to his subordinates in the government and known as “kiss-ass” to his superiors, Bolton is aggressive, relentless, and consistently wrong, when not prevaricatory.

Under Secretary of State Colin Powell, during the imperial Bush/Cheney presidency, Bolton told the media that Fidel Castro was developing chemical and biological weapons. False. Secretary Powell, who believes Bolton is impetuous and dangerous, overrode his in-house liar and corrected the record. While in Cuba with a group, I heard Fidel Castro say he feared Bolton’s words were a precursor to a U.S. attack until Bolton’s remarks were dismissed by his superiors.

There is a remarkable liberal/conservative dislike and fright about Bolton having Trump’s ear daily. Especially since Trump is susceptible to adopting the positions of the last person who reaches him. The added danger is that Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis has privately told people that he, like many who have experienced Bolton in government, cannot work with him. So does that mean that Trump will have to choose between the restraining hand of General Mattis and the recklessness of the draft-avoiding torture advocate John Bolton?

Will Republicans, who refused to confirm Bolton as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in 2005, assume some responsibility for opposing this sociopath? They could easily pass a joint resolution of Congress demanding withdrawal of the appointment by Trump.

There are many vigorous critics of Bolton’s career and subsequent belligerent stances. Just last month Bolton wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal demanding the bombing of North Korea. His juvenile, lethal positions avoid considering the consequences, responses, backlash and danger to our country’s own safety. He likes to bet on the world — a Dr. Strangelove on steroids.

A lengthy New York Times editorial (March 23, 2018) declares, “Yes, John Bolton Really is that Dangerous.” It begins: “There are few people more likely than Mr. Bolton to lead the country into war.” Especially since Trump – mired in domestic scandals, investigations, and personal lawsuits — may wish to wag the dog and start wider, distracting, armed hostilities abroad.

The American Conservative magazine is stirring that segment of the political spectrum with Gareth Porter’s article, “The Untold Story of John Bolton’s Campaign for War with Iran.” Trump didn’t like General McMaster’s (Trump’s outgoing National Security Advisor) counsel that the U.S. remain in the Iran nuclear accord and not isolate itself from other major country signatories who say Iran is complying with its terms.

Then there is Bolton’s bigotry against Arabs and Muslims and his alliance with Pamela Geller — the notorious Islamophobe. The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) has elaborated on Bolton’s outrageous falsehoods against Arabs and Muslims (the “other anti-semitism” in the words of James Zogby in 1994 at a conference in Israel).

How does such a deep hatred in the White House connect to Trump’s repeated declaration that he allegedly seeks a peace agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians?

Republican constitutional law analyst, Bruce Fein, presents a strong case that the powerful position of national security advisor to the President must be confirmed by the Senate. In which case, Bolton would be gone.

Fein argues: “The Appointments Clause of the Constitution militates against the National Security Advisor aberration. It makes Senate confirmation of ‘officers of the United States’ the rule. But Congress may by statute create exceptions for ‘inferior officers.’ But it has not done so for the Advisor — even assuming the office qualifies as ‘inferior’.”

The other obstacles to Bolton’s assuming his position is that it will take the FBI many weeks to decide whether he can receive a top security clearance. At age 69, Bolton has a long trail of entanglements and intrigues in and out of government, not to mention his tantrums — some involving female public servants.

Fein recounts Bolton’s “unmasking the names of Americans whose conversation has been intercepted by the National Security Agency under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).” He still defends the catastrophic invasion and occupation of Iraq (for more information see Madea Benjamin’s “10 Reasons to Fear John Bolton“).

How does such a madman like Bolton keep coming back? Two reasons stand out. First, the more aggressive parts of the military-industrial complex, bolstered by the neocons, see him as a useful tool — for bigger military budgets and empire. Second, he is a staunch collaborator with the Israel lobby’s support of Israel’s militaristic, increasingly autocratic regime that regularly works against a two-state solution (The majority of American Jews support a two-state solution).

If President Trump gives Bolton a waiver while he works without a security clearance, as he has done, under wide condemnation, for his family and a few others already, the political firestorm may be enough, with other factors, to cause Trump to have Bolton bolt the White House with only his Trump-irritating walrus mustache intact.

In the immediate meantime, members of congress and aroused citizens must use their influence to block or evict John Bolton from our White House.

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



  1. George Hollister March 31, 2018

    Albion Bridge Stewards

    To me, an interesting aspect of the subject berm-dune, to the West of the Albion Bridge, is the large presence of what appears to be redwood sawdust left over from the Albion Mill. I noticed this about 20 years ago. That sawdust is pretty old. The Albion mill operated without a burner, for only a short time in it’s initial years. As the saying goes, there has been a lot of water under the bridge since then. Apparently, from what I have heard, up until about the 1950s, there was a problem with the saw dust catching fire. MM might have some further comment on this.

    • Annemarie Weibel March 31, 2018

      Thank you George for your insight. Albion Bridge Stewards have been learning about various aspects of the historic Albion River Bridge. We also heard about the saw dust catching fire. In fact, you can still see burnt logs that are embedded in the berm-dune.

      I would like to know more about the “water under the bridge”. You also indicate that MM might have some further comment on this. Who is MM?
      Thank you very much.

      • George Hollister March 31, 2018

        MM is Malcom MacDonald. Though I have been acquainted with him for many years, I misspell his name more than I get it right.

        • Annemarie Weibel March 31, 2018

          Thank you George.

  2. George Hollister March 31, 2018

    “I BRING IT UP to make the obvious point that the great unraveling has picked up much velocity since 1955, but we almost never, even in the more cerebral journals, lay the blame for crime, and all other expressions of aberrant behavior, where it belongs, which is, in my simpleminded opinion, the nature of American capitalism. It drives people criminally insane.”

    Come on Bruce, there needs to be some further explanation. American capitalism has been around since America’s inception. It is possible to blame the prosperity of America’s capitalism that has put almost all Americans out of touch with the basics of survival. It is also possible to blame the hedonism that emerged in the post WW2 era, and was fully expressed in the 1960s. We continue to live with that today. Maybe we can blame the well intended but ill advised policies of FDR, that resulted in a break down of families and communities.

    I have faith in my political narratives just as much as anyone does, but there is usually more to the reality of things. What will kill us off is excessive debt. But my political narrative is that we will have enough spirit of personal responsibility left that America will survive, though the leadership will not come from Coastal California counties..

    • Bruce Anderson March 31, 2018

      FDR saved capitalism from itself. The oligarchy has tried to undo FDR’s programs ever since, and is succeeding.

      • George Hollister March 31, 2018

        That is hard argument to make. Inherent to capitalism is failure. The Great Depression was not new in the world of failure. What FDR did was make government an economic institution, into itself, in the business of “saving” people. The government saving people business has evolved to what we see on our streets and prisons. There is a lot of money to be made, and no incentive to really save anybody. Of course that money is mostly debt.

        The private-public oligarchy does not give a twit, beyond the opportunity to make money from the save people business. It used to be, locals paid, and there was inherent accountability.

        • Bruce McEwen March 31, 2018

          George, you remind me so much of my Uncle Ken, who left me this maxim to cherish until my dying day: “Don’t ever get old, Bruce.”

          • George Hollister March 31, 2018

            LOL. Yeah, but I am younger than you, old man. There are basic truths, most recorded in myth, that are timeless. There was a time we were all taught those truths, for good reason. Not any more. You and I can see the result.

  3. Betsy Cawn March 31, 2018

    When the “chair” of a body controls the agenda content and conduct of deliberations, but blocks members from introducing jurisdictionally-prescribed matters for consideration and action, the “chair” is acting inappropriately.

    An individual board member who attempts to initiate discussion of issues that the “chair” does not recognize as necessary (best case scenario) or willfully prevents from inclusion (worst case) is always tempting fate by taking personal responsibility for defying the presiding officer’s petty power play — which is sometimes necessary in order to introduce reasoning so that the body may take necessary corrective action.

    The independent special district board’s internal failures, and the agency’s abuse of powers (causing public funds to be blatantly wasted and perpetuating the conflict with the city, but adding nothing to the benefits of public health and safety management funded by the ratepayers, taxpayers, and supporting citizenry) should be short-circuited by some kind of intervention — how long can we continue to flush money down the drain, while alleged “leadership” behaves like petulant pre-adolescent drama queens?

  4. Betsy Cawn March 31, 2018

    Over the course of a decade and a half, I have witnessed this power play deployed in the County of Lake, both of its incorporated cities, and numerous “advisory boards, committees, and commissions” created by the legislative bodies, which are required to follow the Ralph M. Brown act

    A friend of mine was elected to the Lakeport City Council, and when she asked how to get an item on their agenda, the City Clerk AND the City Attorney both told her that she would have to get “approval” from at least two other Council members — to prevent “redundancy” or “repetition” of items/topics/issues that had been previously addressed. (Whereas, the Assistant Clerk of the Board (of Supervisors) answer to that question was simply, to place something on the BoS agenda you submit the request to the Clerk of the Board, period. The City’s Clerk and Attorney were quickly corrected, thanks to County Counsel’s helpful word of advice.)

    Now, if the Clerk of the Board (Chief Administrative Officer, over here) wants to keep an item off the agenda, I’m sure the non-public conversation with the board’s chair would not be considered to be a violation of the Brown Act, but still affords plenty of opportunity for stultification of the affronting party. Especially, if the stultifiers are ethically and intellectually bankrupt. Regardless of Brown Act prohibitions, it’s blatantly obvious that the Lake County Board of Supervisors’ agenda is developed “privately” — in non-public conferences including no one knows how many (or which) Supervisors, staff, and responsible parties — and their appointed boards, committees, and commissions are given little oversight to prevent distortions of public policy and procedure, with approval of their preferred members and cohesive club-house mentality.

    My guess is that Ms. McNerlin’s inexperience and sense of self-importance override the principles to which the District should be held by LAFCo. Speaking of which, where the hell has the Mendo LAFCo been all these years on this nasty piece of business? Frank McMichael appears to have bailed without having resolved any of these years-long rate-payer/tax-payer, “government efficiency” issues.

    Kudos to Ms. Bawcom. We could use the likes of her over on this side of the Cow.

    • Betsy Cawn March 31, 2018

      And, of course, we could use the level of reporting that Mark Scaramella brings to the table — even the Ukiah Daily Journal seems to be intellectually active (most recent example being the recordation and on-line “publishing” of the presentation by Dr. Marbut on the County’s “homelessness” study and findings).

      We do, of course, have the Lake County News online (non-controversial subjects only), and the Lake County Record-Bee’s simulacrum of reportage, but nothing like what the AVA provides, all week long. Thanks again, Major.

    • George Hollister March 31, 2018

      Julie Bawcom will be a person to watch. No BS, and a willingness to be assertive when necessary. We need more like her.

  5. Bill Pilgrim March 31, 2018


    Remember standing in checkout lines several years ago and thumbing through the TIME magazine, or LIFE, or NEWSWEEK special editions titled: GREATEST CRIMES OF THE 20TH CENTURY.?
    The crimes featured were always murders, or kidnappings, or robberies, or other acts of intrigue and violence.
    The greatest crime of the 20th century was the systematic dismantling and destruction of efficient, wide-ranging public transit systems throughout the country by a tripartite cabal of oil companies, auto manufacturers, and tire companies.
    Nearly every degraded and frustrating aspect of today’s poor quality of life can in some way be connected to that crime.

  6. Eric Sunswheat March 31, 2018

    RE: ‘I BRING IT UP to make the obvious point that the great unraveling has picked up much velocity since 1955, but we almost never, even in the more cerebral journals, lay the blame for crime, and all other expressions of aberrant behavior, where it belongs, which is, in my simpleminded opinion, the nature of American capitalism. It drives people criminally insane.’

    Charity is not a gift. Gift-giving implies reciprocity, an ongoing relationship. When requital is impossible, the act of giving remains outside mutual ties and charity becomes yet another manifestation of class structure, a sterile one-way act upholding the status quo.

    Vacuuming up all the profits thanks to a weak labor movement, lower taxes, and tax havens (thanks, lobbyists and loathsome politicians!), the global elite then turn around and remake the world in their own image with charitable donations that speak more of mean-spiritedness than generosity. Postmodern versions of nineteenth-century charity aim to keep wealth and power in a few hands, mocking our desire for greater income equality.

    Daniel Raventós and Julie Wark argue for an unconditional universal basic income above the poverty line and paid for by progressive taxation to both eradicate poverty and empower recipients—the result being the human right of material existence. The burning issue is not charity but justice.
    Ralph Nader Radio Hour
    Saturday, March 31, 2018 5:00 am

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