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Mendocino County Today: Monday, April 30, 2018

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by Malcolm Macdonald

At the April 26th Mendocino Coast District Hospital (MCDH) Board of Directors meeting, the District's legal counsel was directed to draft a resolution that would remove Dr. Lucas Campos from his seat on the board. Campos has missed many board and Finance Committee meetings dating back to 2017. In addition questions have been raised about the precise whereabouts of his legal residence. There are several on record, from a seldom used apartment in Fort Bragg to San Francisco to a Chico medical business to a Santa Rosa location listed with the state medical board. Campos appears to have already lost his seat as chair of the hospital's finance committee. Dr. Peter Glusker has chaired recent meetings and will continue to do so. Dr. Kevin Miller will fill the finance vacancy created by Campos' vacancy.

If Campos is removed from his seat on the board before the end of June then the remaining members will ask those interested in the position to apply and be interviewed. The four other board members will then select a person to serve until the November election. Of course, that person is free to run for the seat. If the June deadline is not met then the person appointed by the board serves the rest of Campos' term until the November, 2020 election.

A timely removal of Campos would set the stage for four of the five seats on the MCDH Board to be up for grabs in the November, 2018 election. Only Board President Steve Lund will have remaining time left on his term (two more years). Board members Peter Glusker and Kitty Bruning have expressed their desire to step down after completing their four year terms. Both were elected for the first time in November, 2014. Dr. Kevin Miller has not yet made clear whether or not he will seek re-election.

The MCDH Board also announced that in closed session they had agreed to extend Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Bob Edwards' contract through April of 2022. There's some mixed messaging going on here. The language attached to Measure C, which would add $144 per year per parcel to your tax bill, contains the statement that the healthcare district “will not use any of said proceeds for administrator's salaries, benefits or pensions.”

The clear message at the time the parcel tax measure was authored referred to the negative public view of the hospital's top two administrators since 2015: CEO Edwards and now former Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Wade Sturgeon, who served from September, 2015 to November, 2017, when he was allowed to resign. It is hard to believe that the closed session vote to extend Edwards' contract into 2022 was a unanimous one. It would be reasonable to guess that Dr. Glusker opposed it, leaving Board President Lund and members Bruning and Miller as the culprits.

During the April 26th meeting, Edwards went out of his way to criticize former interim CFO John Parigi. Edwards opened the castigation of Parigi's brief three month tenure by claiming that Parigi was not even an “interim” CFO. According to Edwards Parigi was merely a consultant. Later in the CEO's rant he stated that Parigi had caused under staffing in the Finance Department by firing the revenue cycle director. The problematic inherent contradiction: consultants at MCDH don't have firing power; however, Bob Edwards wants to have it both ways, Mr. Parigi wasn't the interim CFO, just a consultant, but a lowly consultant who fired the revenue cycle director. Mr. Edwards lives in an alternate reality in which he'd be perfectly suited for national political office.

A further contradiction to Edwards' initial statement that John Parigi wasn't the interim CFO at the hospital can be seen in the board agenda for the meeting at which Mr. Parigi was interviewed. The job was identified as “Interim CFO.” Here's a reminder, the board agendas at MCDH are the product of the Board President and the CEO (Edwards). In other words Bob Edwards doesn't tell the truth. He contradicts himself from one bogus point to the next.

Edwards made some other claims regarding things Mr. Parigi said regarding negotiations with Meditec, the potential provider of a unified electronic health record system, and a finance company. At best, Edwards' allegations regarding Parigi on these matters may boil down to a he said/he said situation. As of press time this writer was attempting to make contact with those involved to nail down just which “he said” is accurate.

Readers judging Edwards casting stones at others may want to recall that Edwards is the CEO who has had multiple workplace harassment complaints made against him. He has directly fired or forced out numerous hospital employees, especially at or near the manager level. At least one manager left MCDH on stress leave two or three times, returning in between, before deciding to take a similar job elsewhere.

When Edwards is not just out and out making things up, he is prone to gross exaggeration. In his “CEO Report” at the April 26th meeting, he extolled the improvements in “patient experience” at MCDH and stated that the hospital had advanced from a two star rating to three stars.

It is true that a recent Medicare study, under the heading “Hospital Compare,” did give the local hospital three stars. What he didn't tell that evening's audience, or the public in general, is that the same study gives Howard Hospital, in Willits, thirty-one miles away, four out of a possible five stars. Santa Rosa Memorial also achieved a four star rating. That same government study gives patient ratings in eleven different categories. In all eleven categories Howard Hospital had a higher rating than MCDH. In all but one of the eleven categories, MCDH scored below the national average.

The Board President at MCDH, Steve Lund, goes right along with Edwards and his prevarications, as do fellow board members Bruning and Miller. Edwards claimed he had been advocating for a unified electronic health record (EHR) system since he first arrived at MCDH in the spring of 2015. The record does not support such a claim. The inability to grasp what was wrong in regard to coding, billing, and charging failures was a part of the shady financial dealings that former CFO Wade Sturgeon got caught up in, and Edwards condoned, which led to the current federal lawsuit that is hanging over the hospital, Edwards, Lund, and Sturgeon. Those ridiculous financial failures had nothing to do with a three month interim CFO, but listening to Edwards last Thursday, April 26th, one might get the impression that Mr. Parigi was behind everything wrong at the hospital and Edwards was the lone knight fighting for right and justice.

All this, again, leads us to the parcel tax, Measure C, on the June ballot. This CEO and a majority of the hospital's board are asking voters to support a $144 per year tax for an institution that has failed to collect millions of dollars every year in legitimate charges. Now they want you to give them a loan from taxpayers' pockets. This is comparable to someone you know, who owns a business but does not make all the customers pay at the checkout counter, not out of favoritism, but simple neglect in collecting legit charges. Next, imagine that someone asking you for a loan to make up for their losses. Giving such a loan would be very little different than giving an addictive gambler more money in Vegas. MCDH needs to show that it can collect a much higher percentage of their legitimate charges before it asks for any sort of handout from the voters and taxpayers.

Top off that failure to collect millions upon millions every year for many years with a CEO and a board majority with their heads buried so deep in the sands of mutual enabling that they can't see the stark realities staring them in the face.

All the Beatles had to sell you was the word, love. All this feeble crew helming MCDH has to sell voters is fear: Fear that the OB (obstetrics) Department might close (of course, Edwards was the first to publicly back that idea, years before the parcel tax reached the ballot), fear that the emergency room (ER) might close, fear that the hospital itself may shut down. Edwards and Lund are counting on those conscious or subconscious fears to sway you at the ballot box. Fear is the lowest form of propaganda, and what they are selling is lower than the weary hooves on a hobbled horse placed oh so obviously behind a rickety cart. No one with good sense loans their, or their neighbor's, hard earned money to a business that for years has gone out of its way to misplace and lose the money its hard working employees have earned. What you do is demand that the business managers, its leaders, demonstrate that they can actually collect the money their workers have rightfully earned. If that day comes, and miracles do happen, lo and behold, all those missed millions might add up to a sum that shows the business didn't need a loan at all, just some proper management.

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Long-time Mendocino area resident and noted composer, Jay Sydeman turns 90 on Tuesday May 8th. To mark this once-in-a-lifetime occasion, Sydeman, on piano, with The Forgettables (John Mynatt, saxophone, Maryellen Mynatt, drums, Cynthia Gair, bass) will be jamming jazz standards from the ’30s on up. The free mini-concert at Preston Hall (2:30 P.M.) is Jay’s way of sharing his “excessive longevity” with celebratory fun.

Jay continues to work in his studio cataloging and refining his body of work. Sydeman’s biographer, Jeanne Duncan, is creating an audio book of interviews and recordings reflecting Sydeman’s staggering output of over 1,000 compositions (beginning in 1950) including sonatas, chamber, orchestral, choral and much more. Stay tuned!

(Maria Goodwin)

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LITTLE DOG SAYS, “I've still got Skrag's kids. He denies paternity, won't even talk about it, and here we are. And here I go to the Deadbeat Dad's office. They'll get him to pay up.”

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To the Editor:

Dear Senator McGuire:

A few years ago in a letter to the Ukiah Daily Journal I mentioned the idea of converting the rail line north of Willits to a trail. I know this has long been on the minds of others too.

I am more than pleased that you are working on this, and I hope that it happens sooner than later. I hope that it can include a well conceived bicycle component. Besides regular bicycle touring, a self propelled “Redwood Run” race would be a great thing.

That said, preventing accidents between hikers and bikers would have to be a paramount concern on the trail north of Willits. Getting first aid in such isolated areas will always be challenging.

There will need to be a lodging/services component along the trail north of Willits. This could include campgrounds, hostels, or perhaps even B&Bs as well as suppliers of food and drink. While for the cyclist in great shape the trip could be done in a day, most would want more time, hikers would of course take longer, and some of both types of travelers would undoubtedly want stop somewhere for a few days. The Emandal Resort at Hearst on the Eel comes to mind as well as the various state parks to the west and the KOA north of Cloverdale.

The bicycle component could also be greatly enhanced by improving a connecting route to the bay area south of Willits. If the improvements below were added to what currently exists this route could become a popular destination on its own as well as the entry route to the spectacular Eel River canyon trail, and encourage visitors to the whole area.

  • Build a bike trail along the rail line between Cloverdale and Hopland, or alternately one along the 101 freeway, though the latter would be much less attractive for cyclists.
  • Build a bicycle bridge across the east fork of the Russian River so as to connect Redemeyer Road and Eastside Calpella Road. This would allow cyclists to proceed north from Hopland on the east side of the Russian River and then up towards the Tomki pass north of Redwood Valley
  • Improve Tomki Road north of the pass near the junction with Cave creek road to its junction with Canyon Road east of Willits to eliminate the need to ford the creek and to improve the surface so it could be used by road bikes as well as mountain bikes.
  • Sign the route from Hopland to Willits to alert motorists to watch for cyclists

With these four improvements, and a trail including services along the way north of Willits to Eureka, we will see a large number of new visitors to our area. Besides whatever dollars they spend, a side benefit will be increased attention on visiting the Mendocino/Humboldt area, which will be a boost for our economy that will endure. In the face of economic uncertainty caused by the ever changing cannabis situation, tourism is a sure thing we need to expand in creative ways. Your bold move to begin the rails to trails conversion is the most important step!

Michael Toivonen

Redwood Valley

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by Matt Stevens

After Jennifer Hart drunkenly drove an SUV straight off a 100-foot cliff on the Northern California coast late last month, taking her life and those of her wife and their adopted children, at least two searches began.

One was for the bodies; another was for answers. How, those who knew the Harts wondered, could a family that looked so happy and normal in photos have hidden such a dark life from public view?

Dozens of pages of reports released this week by child-welfare officials offer some clues. Taken together they paint a portrait of a pair of mothers — one dictatorial and eccentric, the other constantly working and seldom home — who doled out cruel punishments and withheld food from their six children.

In the Hart household, any act of insubordination could be severely punished. The children knew this all too well.

“They are like trained robots,” one worried caller told authorities, according to the newly released documents, which describe the family’s dynamics.

“We called them like little soldiers,” one former neighbor said of the children.

In the weeks since the crash, searchers have fanned out along the Pacific coastline looking for the bodies. They have found those of the parents — Jennifer and Sarah Hart, both 38 — and four of their six children: Markis, 19; Jeremiah, 14; Abigail, 14; and Ciera, 12. But the bodies of Devonte Hart, 15, and Hannah Hart, 16, are still missing, and the children are feared dead.

Capt. Greg Van Patten, a spokesman for the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, said Friday that the office had no additional updates and was operating “under the theory and the belief that the whole family was together” at the time of the crash.

The documents released this week show that child-welfare officials in Minnesota, Oregon and Washington state — three states where the Harts lived during the past seven years — knew of reported abuse, but, in one case, apparently stepped aside after completing their assessment; could not gather enough evidence to corroborate the claims of neglect in another; and, in a third case, learned of the allegations too late.

“We believe the release of these records may help avoid future tragedies,” Caroline Burnell of the Oregon Department of Human Services said in a letter accompanying the documents.

The department, she wrote, “continues to strive to improve.”

Minnesota: A Spanking, and a Confrontation Over Food

Human services officials in Oregon became aware of the Hart family’s history in 2013. An anonymous person had reported that the children appeared malnourished, and so officials contacted child-welfare officials in Minnesota, where the family had lived for years, to get more information on their background.

Minnesota Child Welfare said it had received six troubling reports of abuse or neglect — two of which it deemed to be credible.

In a 2010 case, one of the parents was found to have physically harmed Abigail, causing bruising all over her body. The dispute had been over a penny: The parents discovered one in Abigail’s pocket and accused her of lying about how she got it. A spanking ensued, which Sarah Hart said “got out of control,” according to the documents. The couple agreed to in-home therapy, counseling and other “skill building activities” as a remedy, the documents said.

The New York Times previously reported that Sarah Hart was convicted of misdemeanor domestic assault in Minnesota around the same time. A criminal complaint says that Hart admitted to spanking one of her children, identified as A.H.

In a 2011 episode, Hannah told a school nurse that she had not eaten. Jennifer Hart then became angry and shoved a banana and nuts into the child’s mouth. When confronted about the incident, Sarah Hart argued that Hannah was “playing the food card” and should just be given water.

Eventually, a child-welfare worker reported that the children’s school stopped calling the Harts because officials feared that the children would be punished. The Harts eventually pulled the children out of school, began to home-school them and later moved.

The problem, one Minnesota welfare worker noted, according to documents, was that Jennifer and Sarah Hart “look normal.”

In a telephone interview Wednesday, a woman who lived across the street from the Harts in Alexandria, Minnesota, described the parents as “real friendly girls.”

Still, the neighbor, Lorraine Fealy, 71, said she did not know their children well because the parents “didn’t let them out of the house very often.” When they did, the children were “very highly disciplined,” Fealy said.

“They’d all come down the steps single file and walk out in the yard single file,” she said.

The children’s behavior bothered her, she added, because “it wasn’t like normal kids.”

Oregon: Children Forced to Lie in Bed for Hours Over a Pizza Dispute

Having been made aware of allegations against the Harts, child-welfare officials and police in Oregon began their own investigation in 2013. After interviewing each family member, they found that Jennifer — the more domineering of the couple — would travel with the children to music festivals several weeks a year, that Sarah was a retail manager at a Kohl’s and that the family received about $2,000 a month in adoption assistance.

Investigators also interviewed at least two women who knew the family, and they painted a disturbing portrait of the Harts’ home life. They told investigators that the children had to raise their hands before speaking, got in trouble for laughing at the dinner table and in one instance were prohibited from saying “happy birthday” to one of the children, Markis, on his birthday.

In another episode, one of the women told investigators, Jennifer stayed with the children at her home. They ordered pizza, but Jennifer would allow her children to have only a small piece. The next morning, though, the pizza was gone — and Jennifer was irate, according to the documents. She told the woman that none of the children would be eating breakfast because nobody had admitted to having eaten the pizza. The woman said Jennifer then forced all the children to lie on their bed for about five hours as punishment.

Still, officials with child protective services ultimately said that they were “unable to determine” if the women were guilty of neglect, according to the documents. They also said they could not identify a “safety threat.”

Washington: An Attempt to Contact the Harts, Then a Crash

Public records indicate that the Harts had moved to Washington state by 2017. But it was not until March 23 of this year that someone called the Department of Social and Health Services.

The woman who called said that six months earlier, Hannah had jumped out of a second-story window at 1:30 a.m. and bolted inside the woman’s home, asking to be hidden. Hannah told the woman’s husband that she had been whipped with belts and that her mothers were racists, and begged the woman not to force her to return home.

More recently, the woman said Devonte — who was famously photographed hugging a police sergeant during a 2014 demonstration — had been coming to their house two or three times each day, asking for food, and begging the woman not to tell his mother about the requests. Devonte told the caller that his parents punished him by taking meals away. He also claimed that he and his siblings were being hidden from view and that they were “sometimes” abused, according to the department’s intake report.

Case notes also document each time that investigators tried to reach the Harts face to face in the hours and days after filing the report.

On March 23, the day the intake report was created, an investigator saw a large brown SUV turn into the Harts’ driveway, but no one answered the door when the investigator knocked. A deputy returned March 26 — but no one appeared to be home. And when an investigator went back the next morning, there was still no answer.

Later on March 27, the department got some news. It would not need to make any more visits. The family had been in a car crash in California, the case notes say, and all eight of its members were presumed dead.

(New York Times)

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THERE ARE LOTS of free range drug addicts roaming the County, some of them badly in need of prolonged time outs. But state law says counties can hospitalize people for 72 hours against their will only if they pose a danger to themselves, or others, or are unable to feed themselves. A county, in the form of a medical doctor, can ask a judge for a 14-day extension of that 72-hour hold, and then repeat the process every 30 days. Lots of drug and/or disturbed persons need longer stays in a medical timeout room. There is pending legislation via Scott Wiener, a state senator out of San Francisco, a city under siege by unconfined mental cases, that would qualify severe drug addiction as grounds for conservatorship, a step in the right direction for sure, but given the magnitude of the problem only a state and federal investment in mental health facilities will get the most egregious cases into long-term rehab. And for lots of people out there? They're so far gone they are unlikely to ever again function competently.

FORMER SHERIFF TONY CRAVER, now a resident of that state sanctuary for retired cops known as Idaho, used to say that at any one time the Mendo County Jail was home to a good percentage of people who, left to their own destructive devices, would die, hence the pending psychiatric wing at the County Jail complex. As old line convicts used to say, "Man you weren't arrested, you were rescued!"

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EVER WATCH a movie or documentary that so repulsed you you wanted to turn it off but was also so mesmerizing you couldn't? Try "Holy Hell," a film about a psychopathic homosexual whose zombo-ized followers tardily figure out their guru's primary interest is in the young men he recruits with promises of perpetual happy happy happy! This cult, the Buddhafields, makes the Rajneeshees seem rational, but the damage done to the emotionally vulnerable young people who join up is considerable. Remember Chairman Mao's description of the Chinese people as a billion blank slates on whose uncluttered minds the Great Helmsman said he could write whatever political goal he wanted? We seem to have produced millions of equivalently defenseless blank slates right here in Liberty Land. The mystery is why these nutball groups flourish; how is it that people become so emotionally estranged that they turn themselves totally over to evil little monsters like Michel Rostand? Of course the cult-brained are not unknown in Mendocino County, as most of us know, but I can't think of any current groupings as awful as the Buddhafield group, still flourishing, we learn from the film, in Hawaii.

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ONE OF THE ONLY religious-type epiphanies I've experienced occurred when I was 15 in the defiantly non-mystic context of Funston Field in the Marina, San Francisco. In the 1950s through the middle 1960s, hundreds of NorCal men and, in my case, boys, played baseball year-round. Only severe rains could stop weekend ball games. I played with an under-starred high school all star team under the auspices of Fisherman's Grotto Number 9. (We once played a weekend series in Fort Bragg, circa 1956-57, I forget which year, during Paul Bunyan Days, at the old FB diamond where Safeway is now. I remember Fort Bragg as being very, very good with a bunch of ex-pros who, I later learned, were recruited and given jobs at the mill, and I remember one of their players threatening to beat up one of our adolescent loudmouths. "I don't care if he's a kid, he's got a big mouth," the Fort Bragg ballplayer had threatened. (Even hint at assault on a deserving teenager these days and you'd be good for a year in the County Jail.) Where were we? O yes. My epiphany. It came in the form of a major league pitcher named Marino Pieretti, a native San Franciscan who made it to the Bigs years before the leagues expanded to include today's Double-A ballplayers.

As a kid, I'd already seen some hard throwers but I'd never seen a curve ball like Pieretti threw me and, to this day, am mystified that he bothered. I imagined him saying to himself, "I'll show this punk what the standard is." But his fastball was plenty enough. So, like a true rookie-rube-punk, I fell backwards all the way on my arse to elude what I thought for sure was coming at my head as it broke down and clean over the outside of the plate for a third strike. I still remember it, and I remember thinking to myself, "Jeez, this game is tougher than I thought it was."

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THE MAJOR RECALLS accidentally signing up for “Group Games II” at Fresno State in his sophmore year. “We were required to take at least one Phys Ed class each semester. The only one that fit my schedule was something called ‘Group Games II.’ All the other similar ‘classes’ listed on the big sign-up board were called ‘Group Games I.’ I was a varsity tennis player at the time but this was the off-season semester for tennis. I went out to the big athletic field at the appointed time and discovered that I had accidently signed up for Varsity baseball in the off-season. The rules prohibited calling it ‘Baseball’ for some reason. At that time, 1963 I think, it was toward the end of the coaching career of Fresno State’s legendary head baseball coach Pete Beiden. Beiden was considered a master college baseball coach with a national reputation, accumulating an amazing 600 wins in 21 seasons at Fresno State from 1948 to 1969. Fresno State’s baseball park is named after him.

(Click to enlarge)

Beiden’s wife Alice was one of my mother’s primary bridge partners and the Beidens occasionally visited our home on the outskirts of Fresno State to play bridge. So Coach Beiden knew me slightly. When I walked up to the dugout Beiden was dumbfounded. ‘What are you doing here? You don’t play baseball, do you?’ ‘No coach,’ I replied, ‘I thought this was Group Games II.’ ‘It is,’ barked Beiden, ‘and it’s supposed to be for ballplayers only.’ ‘Well, I play tennis. I played some catcher in little league though,’ I said. ‘Okay,’ replied Beiden, ‘you can try back-up bullpen catcher.’ I wandered over to the bullpen area where some real ballplayers were warming up. They gave me some beat-up old-fashioned catcher’s gear and a mitt and I squatted down to what I thought would be some casual catching. The first pitch from one of the pitchers was a fastball right by my head. I barely saw it. Somehow I caught the next one and it hurt my palm so much I screamed in pain. I’d guess they were throwing 85 mph fastballs. The next one hurt too, and the next one. Hearing my screaming, Coach Beiden wandered over and asked the pitcher to throw me some slower curveballs. I missed the first one completely. I had no idea where the ball was going. I missed a couple more before Beiden said, ‘You can’t play ball. This obviously won’t work.’ ‘I never saw anything like those pitches in little league, coach,’ I replied. ‘Tell you what,’ Beiden grumbled, turning and pointing at a big green wall across the field. ‘Take your racquet and go practice against that wall for an hour and a half for each class and if I can see you doing that every day I’ll give you an A for Group Games II.’ I agreed and spent that semester’s worth of ‘Group Games II’ banging a yellow ball against a wall three times a week for about an hour and a half. I ended up with a much better backhand by the end of the semester.”

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WALKING THROUGH FAIRFAX the other afternoon I was not surprised to see a couple of young-ish women, neo-hippies, dancing on top of a rainbow painted truck to what sounded like a Grateful Dead tune. They said they were raising money for the Hopi Indians. I seriously doubted charitable intentions, and walked on. There are more un-reconstructed hippies in Fairfax than there are in all of Mendocino County. Sure, you see a Smithsonian-quality flower child here and there in Mendo, but in Fairfax they're all over, living, walking proof of my Hippie Diaspora Theory. Which is as follows: In the period '68-72, lots of hippies lit out for the country or, as the mass longhair flight from the ciy is since described, headed Back to the Land. At the time of this diaspora, the Bay Area was awash in hard drugs, street crime, terminally bad vibes, and so totally unlike the rainbow dreams that inspired the Summer of Love (and new varieties of sexually transmitted disease), hippies headed north, with a whole bunch settling just across the bridge in West Marin, especially Fairfax. Some continued north to West Sonoma County, the even more intrepid journeyed on to Mendocino and Humboldt counties. The hippies most traumatized by their urban adventures, and the truly intrepid, kept on north until they plunked themselves down in the snows of Trinity County. Fairfax, though, is the sole remaining community-community in Marin. It still has bars, live music, a bunch of cheap restaurants, a vital local government, and enough citizens concerned to keep the town as is, and for that commitment thank the goddess for hippies. Without them the town would be like the rest of Marin — doctors, dentists, lawyers, medium-size money. No community.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, April 29, 2018

Ceja-Lopez, Esquivel, Fernandez-Rodriguez

JOSE CEJA-LOPEZ, Ukiah. Domestic abuse, protective order violation, offenses while on bail, probation revocation.

ORLANDO ESQUIVEL JR., Covelo. Vehicle owner allowing a firearm to be fired from a vehicle, conspiracy.

TOMAS FERNANDEZ-RODRIGUEZ, Boonville. DUI, probation revocation.

Lindauer, McAlister, Parker

MICHAEL LINDAUER, Santa Rosa/Boonville. Burglary tools, stolen property, falsely impersonating someone else.

VIOLET MCALISTER, Ukiah. Petty theft, probation revocation.

AARON PARKER, Covelo. DUI causing bodily injury, discharge of firearm in grossly negligent manner.

Piceno, Poe, Rosas

SOPHIA PICENO, Talmage. Battery.

CHRISTOPHER POE, Burney/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

JOSE ROSAS, Boonville. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, resisting.

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Jerry Philbrick’s letter in last week’s paper is a marvel of poetic license and poor gunmanship.

He has an already dead guy watching his wife and daughters being abused. He quite wrongly assumes showing a pistol will saves lives as if thugs and criminals weren’t armed as well.

“Think how many lives an empty gun could save from criminals and bad people.” Only a complete fool would pull out an empty gun in a life or death situation. An empty gun is worse than useless.

How long we’ve all had to listen to these brainwashed NRA types ranting and raving about Liberals taking their guns away, too long. Ted Kennedy and Obama and on and on and on are coming for your guns! Stock up on ammo, they’ll be here any day now! This silly mantra is about as likely as a virgin birth or the Second Coming.

The theory that our inept government is afraid of some supposed dangerous citizen militia is absurd. Remember Ruby Ridge, Pine Ridge, and Waco. All of us and all of our firearms pose no threat whatever to the military or the militarized agencies of law enforcement. It’s unfortunate that the gun culture is dominated by the self serving, self aggrandizing, delusional paranoid propaganda of the NRA.

Somehow it continually escapes the notice of these wanna-be defenders of liberty that America has already been subdued, robbed and put on the road to ruin. Pacification has been very successful thanks to the modern tools of mind control. Nonstop propaganda from government, Pentagon, Hollywood and Madison Ave have, after 70 years of relentless bashing, created a nation of docile servile conformists.

The persistent fantasies of all too many gun owner extremists bear no more resemblance to reality any more than any and all religious fanaticism does. Mob hysteria has never created a better world or lasting revolution.

If the gun nuts are so concerned about protecting themselves and their loved ones perhaps they should shoot their TVs and the hate spewing radios. Perhaps they should concern themselves with self development through education and good nutrition. Maybe a look outside their little club of racist, bigoted, sexist white slobs would lead to a less violent and sick society. But of course this is going too far for a nation of scapegoating cowards who’ve been led to elevate ignorance to the level of virtue.

Keep your guns loaded or locked away and remember that fear is the ultimate biological weapon.

Ross Dendy


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Any of you who were helping get the word out about the Access to Capital event on Thursday, May 17th...due to a just discovered hole in the roof of the Lyme conference room site in Fort Bragg, Heather has moved it to another downtown building - the old Masonic bldg. - Cinder's Productions at 428 N. Main St., Fort Bragg. The Ukiah site is still Grace Hudson Museum. I've attached new flyers. Help distributing this is very appreciated!


Diann Simmons
Program Director
Economic Development & Financing Corp.
A 501(c)3 Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI)
175 E. Church St., Ukiah CA 95482
707.234.5705; cell: 707.489.4663
A2CFlyer -new location

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Dan Walters of CALmatters recently wrote that the California Public Employees Retirement System — the nation’s largest pension trust fund — has immense gaps called “unfunded liabilities,” which are assets it will need to meet its obligations to retirees.

In times past, shortfalls have been helped by “contributions” from public agencies. This is no longer financially feasible. Walters went on to report this will mean slashing spending for vital police and fire services.

Cities are forced pay 50 cents into CalPERS for every dollar of police officers’ salaries. And that’s nothing compared to the 75 or 80 cents estimated to be required within a few years, as Walters wrote. Even school districts are doubling their mandatory payments to the California State Teachers Retirement System in hopes of easing the burden.

In a major face-off between both parties recently CalPERS told Gov. Jerry Brown and legislators that they must include $6.3 billion in the 2018-19 state budget to cover state employee pensions, making it one of the budget’s largest single items.

J.L. Robley

Santa Rosa

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Single Payer (England) — Digressing slightly, when my mother had the stroke that killed her, it took her 10 days to die. She spent those 10 days – at no upfront cost to either herself or her children, since it was paid for through the taxes we willingly pay – in the Stroke Unit of a nice, new hospital in a small town on the other side of the country from me.

Here it is, for context…

The staff in the hospital couldn’t have been kinder. They provided me with a comfortable reclining chair which converted pretty much to a bed, so that I was able to spend every night and most of every day right beside her, until she died.

They discussed her situation with my brothers and me and left the DNR decision up to us, should anything happen that might be temporarily treated. They showed us the scans of her brain, demonstrating the effects of a serious haemorrhagic stroke, and explained that her brain had suffered too much damage for her to be able to survive long term, let alone to ever function again.

We agreed on the DNR status. I made sure they gave her enough morphine for her not to be in pain for those final 10 days. She never regained consciousness, so she never saw the daffodils all along her window ledge that I’d brought in from her garden, but it was nice to smell a bit of her garden in her room for the last couple of days of her life.

There was a wall in this Stroke Unit covered in greetings cards sent by well-wishers who had so much appreciated the care they or their relatives had received. The staff couldn’t have been kinder or more caring.

They weren’t ‘the state.’

* * *


[1] A cruise ship is scheduled to dock in Humboldt and I`m rather intrigued by what the purpose of this is and what the tourists are planning on doing. What is there to do in Eureka and nearby? Last week I drove through Eureka enroute to McKinleyville to look at a machine. Eureka and the general area look about as attractive as yesterday`s vomit and from the main highway, there were plenty of degenerates and drug types visible to the West. This was around noon and I can only imagine what creeps out at night.

So what is planned for the cruise ship tourists? Is there such a thing as a slumming tour? If the planners are wise, they will provide plenty of security, preferably large, strong young men armed with truncheons.

[2] The best I can think of is offering tour buses to the closest beaches, redwoods, Ferndale?

[3] The library and a stroll along third street, perhaps? I really only see Eureka offering that type of tourism.

The real question is whether or not rooms on the ship will be broken into and looted while it’s in port.

* * *

SINCE THE LATE 1970s, income and wealth disparities have once again grown dramatically. In 2017, the richest 10% of Americans owned 77% of the nation's wealth, a higher proportion even then in the Gilded Age. Today, the 20 richest Americans have more wealth between them than the bottom half of the US population — some 152 million people. In 1979, CEOs of America's most successful businesses earned, on average, about 30 times as much as their workers. By 2013, they earned almost 300 times as much. And in the 30 year period from 1979-2008, the top 10% of Americans received 100% of the benefits from growth in income, while the incomes of the bottom 90% fell.

These differences in income and wealth have infected our political system in many ways. Politicians are more dependent than ever on campaign contributions. There are forced to spend much of every day seeking donations from wealthy supporters and therefore have to be more attentive to the interests of those big donors than of ordinary constituents. Businesses have devoted ever greater resources to lobbying for which they vastly outspend consumer advocacy groups. The Chamber of Commerce’s lobbying budget for 2012, for example, was $207 million, while the lobbying budget of Public Citizen, the leading consumer watchdog group, was just $3 million. And as for the poor making it into Congress, the median net worth of members in 2013 was more than $1 million while the median net worth of American households was just $56,335.

These developments corrode people's trust in the political system and even in each other. "Similarity enhances trust, reciprocity and understanding between people," says author Ganesh Sitaraman in in his recent book "The Crisis Of The Middle Class Constitution: Why Economic Inequality Threatens Our Republic." By the same token, inequality prompts "an erosion of trust as people become more dissimilar, interact less, and begin to see themselves as different from others in society. In political terms, the elites soon begin to believe they are more capable of governing society. This kind of thinking is inherently at odds with republican government which is rooted directly in the right of the people to govern themselves."

As the gap between rich and poor widens, the political system becomes vulnerable to the sort of class conflict that now divides us. And those divisions, Sitaraman contends, undermine the very possibility of a constitutional democracy.

There can be little question that we are a deeply divided society. But what can be done about it? Here Sitaraman is less clear. He does not propose any adjustment in our constitutional structure, but instead advances a series of familiar policy prescriptions for supporting the middle class and making the economy — and thus the polity — less dominated by concentrations of wealth. He favors aggressive antitrust enforcement and regulation of private businesses that serve the general public. He calls for dedicating more public resources to education, still the best means of building the middle class. And he favors strengthening labor unions as they have historically played a critical part in extending the benefits of the economy to a wider swath of the public.

These are all sensible and laudable goals, but at the moment it is difficult to see how we might achieve them. Sitaraman predicts that it will take a coalition of "new populists" and Republican "progressive conservatives," but does not specify who these groups are, much less give a reason to believe that they will lead us in a positive direction. Populism and the Republicans thus far have given us only Donald Trump.

— David Cole, (New York Review of Books)

* * *


MOTA show no. 1047: Warranty void if product escapes.

The recording of last night's (2018-04-27) KNYO Fort Bragg and KMEC Ukiah Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show is available by one or two clicks, depending on whether you want to listen to it now or download it and keep it for later and, speaking of which, it's right here:

In Other News: Also at you'll find a fresh batch of links to not necessarily radio-useful but nonetheless worthwhile items I set aside for you while putting the show together, such as:

Cool vehicles of the future.

Little rusty dioramas.

A Finland island.

She’s not having it. Somebody will, someday. Keep your pecker up, fella.

And a web toy to play the rings of Saturn.

Marco McClean

* * *

REPUBLICANS are easy to make fun of. It's like shooting fish in a Chris Christie. But I also want to make fun of Democrats. Democrats are harder to make fun of because you guys don't do anything. People think you might flip the House and Senate this November, but you guys always find a way to mess it up. You're somehow going to lose by 12 points to a guy named Jeff Pedophile Nazi Doctor. Oh, he's a doctor?

— Michelle Wolf, at White House correspondents dinner

* * *

IF I HAD THE POWER to revive just one lost term from antiquity to describe our current president, it would be the Latin adjective temerarius, a word that brings with it the perfect blend of ill-advised recklessness, smug self-absorption, and not giving a damn about who gets hurt. Oh how I wish we had that word right now!

— Kirk Freudenburg



  1. james marmon April 30, 2018


    As long as these folks are provided access to food, clothing, and shelter from the helping community like Plowshares, RCS, and the tent and sleeping bag people, it is going to be hard to conserve drunks/addicts or keep them conserved very long.

    “Senate Bill 1045 establishes a five-year pilot program that authorizes San Francisco and Los Angeles Counties to opt-in to creating a new conservatorship focused on chronically homeless individuals who suffer from mental health and substance abuse issues, and who cannot care for themselves. SB 1045 now moves to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

    The conservatorship, which would require supportive housing with wraparound services, would end after a year. During that year, the conservatee could petition for a hearing on their status once a month, which would allow them the opportunity to be released from the conservatorship prior to the full year.”

    James Marmon MSW
    Former LPS Conservatorship Case Manager
    Lake County

  2. james marmon April 30, 2018


    The sad sad truth.

    The Harts were able to get away with what the did because the were Lesbians, considered untouchable in today’s social environment. Social workers either align with them or are scared to death of them. Scrutinizing lesbians could cost you your job and/or reputation.

    James Marmon MSW

  3. mr. wendal April 30, 2018


    I was surprised when Mr. Lund announced that the contract with Mr. Edwards to continue as CEO was extended for another 4 years. That doesn’t bode well for the future of the hospital. A 2-year contract would make more sense if the majority of the board felt that they absolutely had to keep him. I hope that people will watch the board meetings, or listen to them while doing other things, before casting their votes on Measure C. The parcel tax will not guarantee that our hospital will remain open but that’s what so many people who support it are saying. And many are unaware that we are currently paying a property tax. Ask supporters how they will finance the seismic retrofit or new building without yet another property tax added.

    The bizarre, unprofessional rant, complete with 2 pages of notes, by CEO Edwards was an indication of why he should not be in his position. He began by stating that Mr. Parigi was not the CFO but “a consultant performing the duties of an Interim CFO.” Prior board minutes show that he was the “Interim CFO” and that was the title that Mr. Edwards and the board members used until Mr. Edwards claimed that he was not at the April 26 meeting. It might be the comment about a lack of intellectual capacity that Mr. Parigi purportedly made that is the reason for the rant. It’s unfortunate that Mr. Edwards so enthusiastically supported the previous CFO, Mr. Sturgeon, who was allowed to decimate the finance department before he was asked to leave. I hope we got lucky with Mr. Ellis, the new CFO.

  4. Bruce Anderson April 30, 2018


  5. Betsy Cawn May 1, 2018

    Inarticulate rage doesn’t help readers understand the importance (if there is any) of your declaration of intent to cancel your subscription to the NYT. Previous airings of strong sentiment on this sensationalized tragedy are not easy to find in past comments (unless you provide the archive number), and one has to care a lot about this particular story in the first place to wonder what you’re going on about. If that’s “learning and copying the Pros,” we’re in for a long summer, fellas.

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