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Mendocino County Today: Monday, May 7, 2018

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Fort Bragg City Clerk June Lemos apologized Friday for comments she posted on a satirical website amid a contentious debate over the small Mendocino coast town’s voting system.

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2018 is here! Get your grow on! Remarkable cannabis property in beautiful Anderson Valley. Permitted last season, easily qualify for 2018 permit. Drilled well, public electric, 9000g water storage, raised beds with developed soil and enough room for 250-400 plants, hoop house for light dep, 2 bedroom worker housing, and more. Property could pay for itself in one year. Planting season is almost here, get it now to plant and grow!

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THE 16TH ANNUAL "Anderson Valley Open Studios Tour," and can it be 16 years already? An abundance of talent in the Anderson Valley, isn't there? And here are 14 artists, all of them known to us as our friends and neighbors, opening their homes to us and to total strangers over the long Memorial Day Weekend (May 26-28) where we can view, and even buy, an array of life-enhancing art. We count our blessings.

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JULIO JOEL PEREZ WRITES: "Two years in a row my daughter, Ahilmar Iliana Pérez, has been cheated in the Boontling Classic Run. I am furious. She is six years old and trains herself for this race all year long and pushes herself to compete in the category of nine-and-under girls to win the first prize in the ears of all whom attend. At this year's race, she beat her last year's time by two minutes, pulling in at 32 minutes 9 seconds, but this year they gave the first place to a runner who came in at 37 minutes. My daughter was in tears for the second time, but I can assure you she will not run a race where she is cheated from her prize again. This is not fair to anyone who works hard to tell herself she can do it and then to be cheated. I am her father and I will always see that my daughter gets what she works for. I hope this goes public, Ahilmar Iliana Pérez came in at 32 minutes and 09 seconds — FIRST PLACE!!!"

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A DISABLED VETERAN, Mr. Brian Johnson of Willits, has filed a claim against Mendocino County based on what Mr. Johnson says was bad advice from the Public Defender's office. According to a mention in a recent Willits Weekly farmers market report, Mr. Johnson suffers from service-related traumatic brain injury. Booking records show that Mr. Johnson was arrested on April 14, 2017 for a single charge of "resisting arrest."


IN HIS CLAIM Mr. Johnson says that on April 14, 2017, the Mendocino County Public Defender and an assistant "negligently advised me to enter a no contest plea to two charges, a misdemeanor violation and a probation violation and terms thereof. The Public Defender negligently represented me in court and advised and negotiated a bad plea bargain and failed to advise me of or investigate as to the defense of said charges."

JOHNSON says that his subsequent injuries, damages or losses were "loss of liberty, suffering the terms and conditions of the plea bargain, pain and suffering, loss of present and future entitlements, expenses related to mitigation, loss of present wages and past, and the bad plea-bargain itself, and negligent legal advice and representation.”

HE IS CLAIMING an unlimited amount over $10,000. Mr. Johnson says that Ukiah police officers Wells and Oliver plus other unknown officers, and an unnamed Mendocino County Public Defender and assistant are responsible for the damages he suffered.

MR. J also includes a request to be allowed to file his claim late (more than six months after the incident) because of his disability, which he says he can document as needed and "because applicant is still on probation in connection with the facts of the attached claim.”

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LITTLE DOG SAYS, “I was waiting for someone to ask me because I know my biology, but nooooooooo, nobody asks me. A lady from the Coast takes one look and says, ‘That there is yer Eichium." And everybody claps. I spotted it as soon as it popped up as a kid.”

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WE HAVE ALREADY mentioned that that on Tuesday the County plans to give the Kemper consulting group an additional $40k to do a Needs Assessment for the Measure B mental health facilities committee. The $40k will be added to an existing $25k contract with Kemper, which the County’s Health and Human Services Agency had previously entered into.

BUT MORE INTERESTING than the Needs Assessment news is what the County had previously contracted for with Kemper, apparently unbeknownst to County CEO Carmel Angelo who wasn’t aware of Kemper’s existing $25k contract when the Needs Assessment first came up at the Measure B Committee meeting.

ACCORDING to the contract being amended for the Needs Assessment, Kemper is contracted to “assist the Health and Human Services Agency and the Executive Office with the implementation of the recommendations included in the Kemper Consulting Group’s earlier ‘Review of Mendocino County’s Administrative Service Organization (ASO) Model for the Delivery of Mental Health Services’.”

THE ORIGINAL agreement with Kemper was set to expire next month, in June of 2018. With the Needs Assessment add-on, it is being extended to June 30, 2019. So it’s possible (but not likely now with the amended contract) that we might see Kemper’s opinion of the Redwood Quality Management Company’s handling of the mental health contract in a month or two.

AMONG the recommendations in Kemper’s original 2016 report which lead to the replacement of Ortner Management Group with Redwood Quality Management Company was a strong recommendation for a formal system of reporting and accountability. Since that has obviously not happened, it will be interesting to see if Kemper finds any fault with Camille Schrader’s services or the oversight thereof, and if there’s any chance that the services will be put out to competitive bid when the contract expires, as it should be, or, as is more likely, just renewed and extended with Schrader, the whole murky deal sliding by without comment on the Supe's consent calendar.

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I’m wondering what Agenda Item 5c is all about at Tuesday’s BoS meeting. I’ve attempted downloading their link to the presentation but it will not come up. I’m willing to bet that it is about awarding ASO RQMC another Adult Mental Health contract without it ever being put out to bid, an RFP as required by law.

“5c) Discussion and Possible Action Regarding Presentation on the Current Provision of Mental Health Services in Mendocino County (Sponsor: Health and Human Services Agency).”

This one will sneak by too, regular Carmel Angelo bullshit. The BoS are painting themselves into a corner where they will be forced to sign off on any amount the Schraeders want them to agree to, now and in all future years to come.

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THIS LEGAL NAME CHANGE AD appears in the May 4th edition of the Independent Coast Observer: "Petitioner Pamela Renee Markham for change of name to Pamela Renee Heston." Married at the time to a Lake County lawyer who has since been elevated to the Lake County Superior Court, Mrs. Markham was working as Mendocino County's chief probation officer when she began a torrid office romance, so torrid it was apparently consummated on her office desk during work hours. These in-house boffs apparently upset workplace functioning. There were complaints, and an absurdly lengthy and costly legal process commenced overseen, kind of, by the Superior Court until, finally, Mrs. Markham was fired.

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OVERHEARD at PeeWee baseball (5-6 year olds): "Coach, can I go home. I'm not having any fun." All the little guys want to wear the catcher's gear, which they call "armor." Must be the Star Wars influence.

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ENCOUNTERS. I'm in the checkout line at Sprout's, a San Rafael market specializing in fresh produce. My cart contains a package of licorice. (I'm a three sticks a day man.) A voice from behind me says, "Licorice isn't good for you." I think for a minute on how to reply to this busybody. I turn to see a mildly obese woman of 70 or so, a person whose visual presents the very picture of unfitness. "Not if you eat the whole package at one time," I say, assuming she won't laugh. Sure enough, she says, "That's even worse."

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SITTING IN MY CAR in front of Safeway while my wife re-supplies us with more negative food value items, a street person pulling a medium-size dog on a rope approaches. Her Giant's cap is pulled so far down over her head she has to peer up at me, and I'm seated. I assume I'm in the presence of a tweaker. She's maybe 50, maybe 20. Hard to tell with drug people. "Can you help me with some food for my dog?" she asks. As I pull a dollar from my pocket, an emaciated claw simultaneously reaches through my window and snatches the bill. She grabbed the money so fast I'm a little startled. "Dog food is expensive, sir. Can you spare maybe another dollar?" I'm tapped out today, I tell her, which I am, having already been hit up by two other mendicants. Marin has a reputation as an island of privilege, but the legions of the lost are plentiful enough here, too. She walks off. "Thank you," I say to her back, as I wonder how it went so terribly wrong with her that she is the way she is.

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A BATTLE IS RAGING between the Boonville superintendent of schools, a woman, and a female posse of Elementary School staffers who don't approve of her for, it seems to me, purely subjective reasons. I know men aren't supposed to make this observation, but I'm an old man way past caring what the Appropriate Police think. Ready? Women often find it difficult to work for women. Most would prefer a male boss, at least that's the answer I got from women to my recent, hurry-up survey.

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(Photo by Marshall Newman)

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Why does every Albion-Little River Fire Protection District Board Director and Firefighter during Chris Skyhawk’s term of service as President, find it difficult to endorse him and his overreaching claims?

I have served with him, have personal knowledge of these matters, and want to correct the record with matters of fact after distortions presented in a January 4th, 2018 Mendocino Beacon article, in numerous public meetings, his website, and now an automated phone call received a couple of days ago by a non-native English speaker.

  • In a Facebook post, Chris states he served for 4 years. His term ran closer to two and a half years and he had numerous absences, even during his 7 month term as Chairman.
  • Skyhawk credits himself with the acquisition of new apparatus for the community, the lion’s share of which work was undertaken and completed by our current chairman, Michael Issel. Chris was largely uninvolved.
  • Instead of “co-sponsoring” Measure V, Skyhawk consistently acted to obstruct this safety initiative, blocking a “hack and squirt” Ordinance at the Board level. Ironically, impeding this Ordinance resulted in bringing it to a county-wide measure via a ballot initiative, where it passed overwhelmingly in a manageable form, declaring intentionally killed and left standing trees a public nuisance.
  • Skyhawk was minimally involved in the long overdue Measure M to raise funds for continuation of day-to-day fire operations. When Skyhawk filed improperly, the County refused the Ordinance. Another 6 months passed before it could be voted upon.
  • Chris claims he established Critical Incident Stress Debriefing for Firefighters, bringing the protocol to ALRFPD. In fact it was Jeffrey T. Mitchell, Ph.D. who developed it in 1974, and it is used as a matter of course by Fire Districts everywhere. (Years before Skyhawk, I personally used the CISD support model when I served as a Firefighter.)
  • Skyhawk claims he was central in re-establishing inter-agency and community relationships. The rebuilding of relationships were well underway after the 2011 reorganization, long before he joined the Board. On the other hand, financial compliance integration was achieved after Skyhawk’s abrupt resignation, for which “financial stability” he now takes credit.

Skyhawk is friendly and presents himself well, but he shouldn’t be taking credit for other people’s work. A Board is composed of a body of people, each one contributing what they can, where they can. During his term on the Fire Department, it is my opinion that much of the forward momentum of the Board came to a standstill – progress resuming only after his departure. Citing difficulties working with Chris, one Board member stepped down and another threatened to do so in a three page letter; indeed, when Skyhawk was asked to step up to his position as Chair, that’s when he stepped down.

I’ve been biting my tongue with these inaccurate claims and yet find I feel, reluctantly, that it is simply necessary to correct the record.

Scott Roat


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by Jim Shields

It was just last summer that CAL FIRE’s Unit Resource Manager Craig Pederson, who oversees the state’s forest practice program in the county, spoke at a Board Of Supervisors’ meeting on the lack of enforcement regarding tree removal associated with marijuana cultivation.

“CAL FIRE was satisfied with the final ordinance language which clearly prohibited tree removal” for grow sites, Pederson said.

But, he stated, “In practice we find that not to be the case as conversion of timberland to cultivate marijuana has continued.”

He pointed out that ‘the number of issues and potential CAL FIRE law enforcement cases are escalating …”

He told the Supes, “CAL FIRE encourages the county to promptly and consistently enforce the cultivation ordinance. The ordinance must be enforced by the county …” He reminded the Supes that the ordinance created a “zero tolerance for tree removal. It doesn’t allow a single tree to be removed for cultivation purposes.”

The bottom line for CAL FIRE is they are not happy that they are being forced by the “escalating” tree removal activities of growers to do the enforcement duties that are actually the county’s responsibilities.

Next, Angela Liebenberg, of Fish & Wildlife (DFW), made a series of succinct but no nonsense recommendations to the Board.

  • The county needs “robust enforcement” of its ordinance;
  • Additional county enforcement staff is needed ASAP;
  • Cultivators with prior F&W violations should not be allowed to apply for permits;
  • State law requires cultivators when circumstances warrant to apply for streamside alteration permits; and
  • The county’s CEQA document “may not be sufficient.”

Both agencies were putting the county on notice there are potential legal problems looming on the horizon if they didn’t start enforcing their marijuana ordinance.

This Wednesday, May 2, CAL FIRE issued a warning on the tree removal issue once again. Here’s the public statement they issued:

As Mendocino County continues to have weather that is favorable for tree cutting, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) would like to remind the public of necessary harvest documents within its authority.

  • Are you permanently removing any commercial tree species?
  • Are you selling or trading any commercial timber, firewood, or other solid wood forest products?

If the answer is “yes” to either or both questions, a landowner is required to submit appropriate harvest documents to CAL FIRE before tree cutting. This also applies to tree cutting on land affected by the October 2017 Redwood Fire.

A consulting Registered Professional Forester can assist you with selecting the necessary harvest documents for your specific situation. A Licensed Timber Operator is required to conduct such tree cutting.

Ironically, on the same day of the CAL FIRE illegal tree removal warning, a bill in the state legislature addressing that issue cleared its first committee in the state Senate.

The proposed law is sponsored by Sen. Mike McGuire, who I commend for tackling this big problem, because our own Board of Supervisors have run away and hid on it.

According to McGuire’s office, the proposed legislation that extends the length of time CalFire investigators and local District Attorneys can prosecute rogue cannabis grows passed its first Senate committee. This legislation is critical to protect pristine California forestland from illegal clearing during timber to cannabis conversions, destroying watersheds and polluting drinking water supplies and killing wildlife. The bear-like mammal, the Fisher, is close to extension due to the practices of rogue cannabis growers.

Illegal timberland conversion to cannabis violations have jumped over 200 percent since the passage of the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA) in 2015, rising from 30 in 2015 to 99 in 2017 and over the last 20 years, thousands of acres of California forestland have been illegally converted.

This sharp increase in Forest Practice Act violations from illegal conversions of timberland for cannabis cultivation operations has restricted the ability of CalFire investigators to pursue rogue cannabis grows. To make matters worse, the current statute of limitations makes it extremely difficult for CalFire investigators to become aware of a potential violation, investigate it, prepare a report, and then refer the matter to a District Attorney or the Attorney General’s Office so that a civil action can be filed in time.

SB 1453 extends the statute of limitations for illegal conversions of timberland to agricultural uses from one year to three years, upon the discovery of the illegal clearing which is a critical change that will assist in prosecuting these offenses.

“These illegal conversions are polluting our pristine watersheds, threatening our drinking water supplies, killing wildlife and ushering in near irreversible harm to California’s beloved forests,” McGuire said. “SB 1453 will give CalFire investigators and prosecutors the time they need to successfully throw the book at these rogue growers who are destroying our forests and it provides authorities time to address these terrible acts.”

SB 1453 is modeled after previous action by the legislature, which has already created a three-year statute of limitations for other similar violations, such as violations of a Fish and Wildlife streambed alteration permit, which often occur in conjunction with violations of the Forest Practice Act & Rules.

The bill is supported by a broad coalition including California District Attorneys Association, Sierra Club, Save the Redwoods, The Nature Conservancy, and many others. SB 1453 passed Tuesday afternoon in the Senate Judiciary Committee with a bi-partisan vote.

It’s now time for our MIA BOS to get on board and not only support this bill, but also start enforcing their own ordinance which prohibits the removal of a single tree for the purposes of marijuana cultivation.

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Shawna Jeavons For 3rd District Supervisor

We think it is time for the North County to be represented on the Board of Supervisors by a young, energetic local woman with good ideas that can take the county into the future. There are a lot of candidates in this race and with one exception they are all newbies to this office. While we have endorsed John Pinches in previous elections, he promised he did not want to run for the permanent place if appointed to the seat vacated by Tom Woodhouse and we think it’s time to give someone new a chance to improve our county’s government.

Shawna Jeavons is a home grown candidate who has a clear vision of a future in the North County where local citizens drive the conversation, young entrepreneurs get our economy going, housing is created for all kinds of living arrangements and incomes, and we take advantage of the beauty and clean environment as a staple of good living and an invitation to increase tourism.

Ms. Jeavons has dreams for her community but she is not a dreamer. She knows her community well and as a local teacher she is invested in our future generations and the need to make sure opportunities exist for them to stay and flourish in their home towns. The Board of Supervisors needs someone representing the North County and the county as a whole who we think will bring fresh ideas to the board chambers and who will not be side-tracked by “it’s always been done this way” thinking.

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David Roderick For 5th District Supervisors

This supervisor district is one of the most diverse in the county and wide ranging in its geography. We think David Roderick is someone who can bring common sense ideas to the table while appreciating the county’s potential. Roderick believes the county should make sure all its employees are capable and work hard and then pay them well for that.

He believes that our housing crisis demands action on rezoning areas for increased density and giving help to developers who build the kind of housing we need. He rightly would leave Class K housing alone and leave that important option open for increasing our housing stock.

Mr. Roderick also has a good idea about fixing our roads. He would have the county bring in a portable asphalt plant that would move from place to place providing raw materials for our roads, avoiding the expense of transporting the asphalt and the controversy over placing a full sized permanent plant in anyone’s back yard.

Mr. Roderick was instrumental in getting county fire departments more money from the county for emergency services and will continue to make that a priority.

He also sees a future where the county works more closely with the community college and other educational outlets to push skills in the trades and give our young people a chance at goods jobs waiting here at home.

We think Mr. Roderick will be able to cut through red tape and get the county moving on solutions again.

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Brian Barrett For Superintendent Of County Schools

We think the county schools office needs someone like Brian Barrett who sees the county office from the viewpoint of a large school district which performs many of the tasks the Mendocino County Office of Education provides as well.

As a former assistant superintendent and current principal for Ukiah Unified, Mr. Barrett is well placed to know where MCOE is duplicating services and where its methods work and don’t work.

We have long been critical of the county office for its profligacy and we think Mr. Barrett has the knowledge of the local schools arena to be able to discern value versus waste and make sure the county office’s tendency to spend millions on overpaid middle managers is reined in.

Mr. Barrett, we believe, has the experience in education to steer MCOE in its role as help-meet to teachers and students in the tiny rural districts and make sure that all teachers get the help they need to improve their skills.

We believe he will maintain a good working relationship with other superintendents and school staffs while doing MCOE’s primary job of making sure local school budgets are in the black.

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Dirk Larson For County Assessor-Clerk-Recorder

Dirk Larson’s 24 years in the Assessor’s office and his expertise in agricultural, ranch, and timber lands as well as commercial and residential properties means he knows how important keeping our property tax rolls up to date are in making sure this county has the revenue to continue operating. And while no one likes to think about taxes, we believe Mr. Larson means it when he says he believes interaction with the assessor ought to be a fair and open process, made easy for the property owner.

But that is just part of the job. Mr. Larson has some excellent ideas for improving things in the elections office, a place where for years citizens’ ballots go to linger for weeks after local elections. The current clerk’s office management staff have done nothing to make participating, observing or tallying our elections one bit easier or quicker and do not deserve another chance.

Mr. Larson has specific ideas, including getting the mail ballots in hand before Election Day counted by Election Day by moving the counting out of the tiny space at the clerk’s office and into a larger area that can be easily secured. Then add more people to do the counting. The larger area would also mean observers would be better accommodated and would not have to stand in a hallway trying to observe on remote TV screens or through a door window. He would also make sure that there would be regular updates on the count so voters will know how it’s going in the days after the election.

We know that elections are generally more on people’s minds than assessing, but both offices are important and Larson’s experience on the revenue side will keep our property rolls healthy while his imperative on getting our elections operating more smoothly is the kind of common sense we have not seen out of the clerk’s office for a long time.

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by Daniel Mintz

A majority of Humboldt County’s Board of Supervisors supports a ballot initiative to limit early prison releases but capacity issues could interfere with the initiative’s goals.

The backlash against propositions 47 and 57 and AB 109, which reclassify some non-violent felonies as misdemeanors, runs strong in the county.

Responding to it, most supervisors voted last month to support the Reducing Crime and Keeping California Safe Act of 2018 ballot measure. Now in a signature-gathering phase, the initiative has been described as a means of amending the unpopular crime re-classifications and theft value thresholds that now distinguish misdemeanors from felonies.

Following up on those issues at their May 1 meeting, Humboldt County supervisors heard a presentation on bills in the state legislature that also seek to amend the ways that existing laws deal with repeat offenders and the scale of thefts.

But Interim Chief Probation Officer Shaun Brenneman suggested that it’s impractical to make changes that trigger longer jail and prison stays because of capacity issues.

“Today, the Humboldt County jail is over-capacity – today – and prison is still at 131% capacity,” he said. “So regardless of how we re-classify offenses, we’re still going to have to do this triage about who do we want to keep in our facilities and what kinds of offenses make the most sense.”

Most county jail inmates are awaiting trial, Brenneman continued, and the minority of inmates who have been sentenced will be the ones who get “early kicks” if new felony offenders are booked.

“There’s not a really great solution for it at this point and re-classifying offenses really doesn’t solve the jail (space) availability problem,” he said.

Alternatives to incarceration are being implemented, including for felony offenses.

Humboldt County District Attorney Maggie Fleming said that re-classifying certain crimes as felonies will in some cases trigger probation conditions like participation in drug abuse treatment or the Sheriff’s Work Alternative Program, not incarceration.

“That’s something I would like the public to know – the difference between misdemeanor and felony doesn’t necessarily mean that now somebody’s actually going to do jail time,” she continued.

In a presentation, Sean Quincy of the County Administrative Office said the legislative bills have very low odds of success, as Governor Jerry Brown doesn’t support what’s considered a “piecemeal” approach to the changes being sought.

The Board’s support of the ballot measure will continue despite the doubts about its practicality.

“Being the victim of numerous crimes, any time we can put a tool in the tool belt for Maggie to prosecute and (Brenneman) to hopefully rehabilitate afterwards, I think we’re going to follow that,” said Supervisor Rex Bohn. “With 47, 57 and AB 109, I’m going to have a hard time ever being convinced that they’re positive for a rural county.”

Supervisor Mike Wilson was the only supervisor who had voted against supporting the ballot measure. He had asked for more information on the legislative approaches and he noted that analysis of financial and other implications of the ballot measure is still lacking.

“That makes me nervous about what we want to promote,” Wilson said.

Supervisors heard Quincy’s presentation and discussed it but took no action.

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What do WMD & Housing Crisis have in common? They’re both propaganda chants encouraging harmful public action we regret after the fact. In 2001, our government and media told us nonstop we needed a war because Saddam Hussein had Weapons of Mass Destruction when he did not. In Ukiah today, we hear a relentless “housing crisis” mantra pushing us to abandon our agricultural greenbelt.

Let’s debunk the speculator manipulated housing crisis myths while wondering about the process for the Lovers Lane farm land paving project.

On the day of this writing, we counted 48 Ukiah valley homes for sale (at Dick Selzer’s own site) where they stay listed an average of sixty days. So where’s the housing crisis for new doctors, lawyers, dentists, hospital, school, & county administrators? Even these comfy professionals considering jobs here want first to rent so they can determine how likable Ukiah is. Already there’s a “for sale” sign on nearly every Ukiah street and given an average westside age of 65 plus, there’ll be more for sale soon. Above all to note - the only Ukiah housing crisis is the lack of rentals for all income levels.

Why are high paid public administrators shilling for a private out of town developer seeking to pave Lovers Lane vineyards with a 1950’s style subdivision of tract homes starting at $400,000? (The developer will claim he seeks to offer them at a lower price, but without price controls we know his homes will hit the market at whatever it will bear.) At every public meeting for this proposed sprawl onto farmland, top bracket reps from hospital, school district, city and county have stepped forward to endorse this environmentally absurd subdivision. Why are these bureaucrats, funded with our taxes, chanting the speculator provided talking points?

If this Lovers Lane sprawl is approved it will be a precedent setting death knell for the Ukiah Valley Area Plan which took ten years and a million tax dollars to enact as the law of the land. Our UVAP designates Lovers Lane vineyards “AG,” thereby providing Ukiah a greenbelt or urban limit line. If a “crisis” can be manufactured by the local economic elite today to eliminate this designation, it can be used again and again to pave ever more of our valley’s vital agricultural soil.

As noted, we do have a crisis in rental housing. But there’s plenty of land for new rentals and Windsor style condos in our infrastructure ready urban zones. We’ve got roughly seventy vacant acres in the Brush Street Triangle (between Kohl’s & Raley’s), then fifty acres properly zoned for housing south of the airport, and another forty acres spread throughout the City.

Still, let’s clarify that new private market rate construction will not provide housing affordable to our struggling working class families, seniors, and poor. That has never happened and will never happen in an environmentally attractive valley like ours. Maybe in Barstow or Bakersfield new construction can stabilize home prices for five or ten years, but not here. Only through housing subsidies, rent control, and other mandates can any attractive community provide affordable shelter.

Endless growth is unsustainable. Every valley has a population holding capacity. Seemingly unaware of this reality, some Ukiah officials simultaneously support urban infill densification and the proposed tract home sprawl at Lovers Lane. If that project is approved, not only will the UVAP be a goner, so too the quality of life that brought us here. Quality of life and beauty attract many Americans to visit Europe and New England where urban sprawl is nearly nonexistent. Do we care that endless population growth guarantees ugly, unhealthy sprawl onto farmland and adjacent woodlands?

Do Ukiahans grasp the impact of 1000 new traffic trips daily at the State Street/Lovers Lane truck stop with overflow onto Despina feeding Ukiah High School at Low Gap Road? Will the Environmental Impact Report on this farmland paving project recognize that the gridlock it guarantees cannot be mitigated?

Top County officials, contrary to legal requirements for a fair, transparent planning process, have taken sides and promoted this project with invitation only backroom efforts to overwhelm subdivision opponents.

Several County Supervisors have refused to meet with Ukiahans concerned about this project. What’s up with that for elected representatives?

One County Supervisor was elected in a hotly contested 2008 race. He won on a platform to preserve Lovers Lane vineyards in agriculture. This position, in agreement with a unanimous Ukiah City Council, might well have been the deciding factor in that contest. Court rulings clearly support an elected official’s right to vote as pledged during the campaign.

Phil Baldwin


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CATCH OF THE DAY, May 6, 2018

Babcock, Campbell, Dennison

TAMARA BABCOCK, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

NICHOLAS CAMPBELL, Arcata/Leggett. DUI-alcohol-drugs, paraphernalia.

CLORISSA DENNISON, Ukiah. Burglary tools, controlled substance, paraphernalia, false ID, probation revocation.

Ellingwood, Elliott, Gonzalez

EMERY ELLINGWOOD, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, resisting. (Frequent Flyer)

ALICIA ELLIOTT, Covelo. Domestic battery, under influence, paraphernalia, criminal threats, resisting.

BRANDON GONZALEZ, Fort Bragg. Domestic battery.

Hernandez-Ramirez, Hildebrand, Loutsis

GABRIEL HERNANDEZ-RAMIREZ, Petaluma/Ukiah. DUI, false information to peace officer, probation revocation.


ALEXANDER LOUTSIS, Willits. Domestic battery.

McCoy, Meng, Piceno

ELLEN MCCOY, Arcata/Leggett. Under influence, paraphernalia, evidence destruction, resisting.

JOSHUA MENG, Ukiah. DUI, suspended license, probation revocation.

SOPHIA PICENO, Talmage. Burglary, vandalism.

Schafer, Schoenahl, Starnes

BELINDA SCHAFER, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alochol, battery on peace officer, failure to appear, probation revocation.

ROGER SCHOENAHL, Ukiah. Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alochol. (Frequent Flyer)

KEVIN STARNES, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alochol.

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On a recent trip to Arizona, I saw two traffic signs I wish California had. The signs are mounted on a pole on the left side of the road. The first is bright red, showing the outline of a bicycle. Below the bike, it says “WRONG WAY.” The other sign says, “RIDE WITH TRAFFIC.”

California’s Vehicle Code, which bicyclists must obey, so requires. Not a driving day goes by when I don’t see at least two or three bicyclists cruising along the wrong way in a bike lane. When I’m making a turn, my task is complicated by these risk-takers, since I must look left for oncoming cars and then look right and then back to the left, then back to the right, and so on. If I don’t see the bike coming at me from the wrong way at twice the walking pace of a pedestrian, I’m liable to pull out into their path.

The Arizona signs might not impress scofflaw bicyclists, but I’d like to try. Let’s get these signs out there.

Gary Devine

Santa Rosa

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"Europeans make fun of dumb people. Americans elect them to high office."

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YOU’D THINK every once in a while the cops would shoot a white kid just to make it look good. You’d think they’d look at their dead nigga calendar and go, “Oh my god, we’re up to 16. We gotta shoot a white kid quick.” “Which one?” “Ah, the first one you see singing Cardi B.” Honestly, I wanna live in a world with real equality. I want to live in a world where an equal amount of white kids are shot every month. An equal world. I wanna see white mothers on TV cryin’, standin’ next to Al Sharpton, talkin’ about “We need justice for Chad! We need justice for Chad! He was just coming home from racquetball practice!”

— Chris Rock

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I tried to start a conversation with a schoolteacher I work with last week asking her if she thought that the Democrats were going to put up a good candidate next time round. It would really be nice I think to have a good candidate, or perhaps even two, one on either side, right? Oh. no, she did not want to talk about it, not at all. Nobody seems to want to talk about it, at least none that I can find. I am starting to believe that people just do not have a clue and they simply wait to be told who it is they should want once the powers behind the scenes give it up. Choosing between R or D is much easier than having to actually research the facts, not that there ever ARE any. So considering that she outright bought the DNC, it would seem logical that HRC will be giving it another shot, right?

* * *

* * *


On Wednesday, May 9, 2018 at the Mendocino County Museum

What does a woodblock printing by Toshi Yoshida, a friendship quilt made by Dorcas Aid Society Members in Covelo, and a puppet made by Art and Revolution in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of Judi Bari and Deryl Cherny’s car bombing have in common? These rarely seen art pieces have a historical significance to Mendocino county and they are just a few of the arts and crafts that will be unveiled in the Art Remembered-45 Years at the Mendocino County Museum exhibit opening on May 9, 2018.

Over the years, the Museum has been a champion of the arts through partnerships, collecting, and commissions. It has also been instrumental in publishing several books through the Mendocino County Museum Grassroots History Publication which are still available for sale in our gift store.

According to Curator Karen Mattson, “It is the intent of the exhibit to inspire reflection and to generate enthusiasm for the future of the museum.” She invites visitors to share their vision and ideas for the museum at a cooperative arts table located adjacent to the exhibit.

The Museum is located at 400 East Commercial Street in Willits, and is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10:00am to 4:30pm. Admission: Adults $4; Students $1; and Children under 6 Free. For more information on upcoming events relating to this exhibit, visit mendocinocounty/government/ or call (707) 459-2736.

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Empty Words and Empty Guns

Jerry Philbrick’s letter in last weeks 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 save 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 phantasies of all too many gun owner extremists bear no 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


PS. Space X My Ass!

In last week’s AVA Ted Williams made a statement about Space X that shows a very shallow if not down right star struck understanding of the truth about the carpet bagger Elon Musk.

And I quote "There are circumstances where private industry can outperform public agencies Space X is a great example” And who do suppose rendered all the public agencies inept and corrupt?

Elon Musk is a charlatan and a public treasury thief. Tesla is a green wash elitist cult of where the batteries come from deniers are narcissist hoodwinked fools. Elon’s in the same degenerate club as Trump!

Calling Space X a private industry when it and Tesla wouldn’t even exist without massive subsidies from tax payers, is misleading at best. And what’s so great about some meaningless space travel phantasy while the human race continues to show no respect for it’s own home. I hope Elon and a bunch of his billionaire asshole friends do blast off for Mars, and never return.

If Musk is an innovator then I suppose that Chevy was “the heart beat of America”. Someone had better call a priest.

So Ted. Show me one area in modern history where the rabid disease of privatization has done anything but socialize all the cost and risk all the while privatizing the profits, best of luck with that!

* * *

MAY 10, 1968: Golden Gate Park was described as an evil jungle where mothers and children venture at their peril. The description came at a Recreation and Park Commission meeting and was coupled with repeated demands that the park be supplied with increased police protection. More than 50 persons ... jammed into the tiny meeting room to hear the park described as a place where: Open acts of sexual relations — both between heterosexuals and homosexuals — are commonplace. Women are in constant danger of being beaten up and having their purses stolen. Packs of hungry dogs range through the park stealing food from the hands of small children. Blossoms are stripped from plants by hippies. “Women and children may not safely venture into this jungle at any hour of the day or night,” attorney Edward E. Heavey declared to tumultuous applause. Two weeks ago, he told the commission, “a lewd, lascivious, depraved sex maniac “ exposed himself to a fourth grade teacher and her class of young children. When the teacher complained to a mounted policeman, Heavey said, the officer shrugged helplessly and said the park has “50 cases a day like that.”

— Jerry Carroll (SF Chronicle)

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Finally! - The first ever music festival that proves that you CAN be clean, sober and still have a rockin’ good time. Just 2 hours north of San Francisco at the Mendocino County Fairgrounds in Boonville, Clean & Sober Music Fest is sure to be a weekend full of music, comedy, friends, family and fellowship. Many may recall, the inaugural event was cancelled as a result of the tragic wildfires of last October. This year, the festival has been expanded to a two-day event - June 9th & 10th. A wonderful way to spend the weekend with good friends old & new, while celebrating the community of sobriety with others who have been on the same journey. All ages are welcome and there is plenty of space available for tent or RV camping, so make a weekend of it - get your tickets now at Eventbrite.

We are proud to welcome back some of our original performers, as well as some new ones. Many of whom are also on the program. The 2018 entertainers include:

  • Tommy Odetto [just added]
  • Comedian Michael Pritchard
  • Stefanie Keys Band
  • The Cole Tate Band
  • Kevin Griffin & Laughing Buddha
  • Deep Blue Jam
  • Clean Sweep
  • The Real Sarahs

Your help and support are needed to make this premiere event a huge success! All of our clean and sober friends, please come together and support your neighbors including musicians, artists, spiritual groups and recovering folks of all ages and walks of life!

With your help we'll make this First Annual Clean & Sober Music Fest an event to remember by ordering your tickets today!




Tickets at Eventbrite

Email questions:

A PDF of the Event Flyer and Press Release can be downloaded HERE

Just Added - Tommy Odetto! A fifth-generation resident of Marin County, Odetto feels blessed to spread the power of music through Rock and Roll.

Michael Pritchard Comedian and motivational speaker worked with Robin Williams among many others - Michael brings humor and insight to recovery.

Stefanie Keys Band Indie-rock guitarist based in Northern California - while touring she’s been developing a Southern Rock/Soul flavor of her own.

The Cole Tate Band Really fun, long time Bay Area headliner - rockin’ Americana with flavors of Blues, R&B and Country.

Lorin Rowan & Kirk Casey’s Deep Blue Jam Mandolin based Americana / Rock / Reggae / Jazz / Bluzegrass / Jam Band.

Kevin Griffin & Laughing Buddha Musician, Buddhist author, teacher, and leader in the mindful recovery movement, Kevin joins us for meditation practice & talk, and promises to rock it too!

Clean Sweep Very well-seasoned musicians with an unbeatable groove of funk, blues, r&b & jazz!

The Real Sarahs, Mendocino’s sweethearts — a trio all named Sarah — enjoy the magic created by voices in harmony, acoustic instruments, and the energetic connection between artists and audience.



  1. james marmon May 7, 2018


    Poor old Emery or as he likes to call himself “Big E” is an old family friend. He’s been at this every since he lost his job when the mill closed down in Fort Bragg, the one and only job he ever had. He receives a check from GP’s retirement fund but it isn’t that much because he opted for early retirement when the mill actually closed.

    Saws Fall Silent as Fort Bragg Faces Loss of Its Lumber Mill

    Culture: Impending closure will transform life in small coastal town, which derived its identity from Georgia-Pacific.

    “A long, solitary whistle sounded as the last log went to mill. The piercing shift-change whistles used to be so clockwork, people all over town used them to tell time. Now fewer than 100 workers remain, most just a few years from retirement, to close down the mill.”

    I’ve tried to help Big E over here at my house in Clearlake, but he’s pretty fried at this point, I couldn’t get him sober. He does pretty good when he’s in jail, cleans up pretty good, but as soon as he’s out of jail he goes back hanging out with the homeless who he refers to as his friends. A few years ago he had an apartment in Ukiah but lost it because he kept bringing in homeless and getting drunk with them and ended up causing all kinds of hell. They beat him half way to death one night and stole all his money. Women always get to him as well, he’s an easy mark, I can’t count the times he’s called my brother and asked him to loan him money because he gave some woman his credit card to go buy some beer and she disappeared. Along with Charles Hensley, Emery too has a story, born and raised in Fort Bragg, spent his adult life working at the mill while paying taxes, only to be discarded as trash.

    When GP closed the mill, not only did Fort Bragg lose their identity so did “Big E”. Both of them are all F**ked Up.

    James Marmon MSW

    • james marmon May 7, 2018

      P.S. Big E is also a frequent flyer here in Lake County, MCT subscribers miss out on half of his incarcerations.

  2. Arthur Juhl May 7, 2018

    My short comment for the day is why are we paying for a needs assessment for Measure B? We have a director that earns a lot of money so she should be able to know what is needed, or why pay her! We have to stop wasting money on issues that our county people should solve, or get qualified people that can! Accountibilty has been the issue in my campaign. If one does not pay attention the waste will continue until the county is really broke! Arthur E. Juhl, candidate for the 5th district Supervisor. I

  3. Bill Pilgrim May 7, 2018

    RE: May 10, 1968, Golden Gate Park.

    Could also be describing the annual gathering of elites at the Bohemian Grove.

  4. james marmon May 7, 2018


    I finally downloaded Mental Health’s presentation to the BoS for tomorrow’s meeting. They don’t actually point to rubber stamping a new ASO contract with RQMC without the fair bidding process but their presentation is leading up to that.

    As I also suspected, the presentation is all about what the Schraeder’s subcontractor “non-profit RCS’ and other subcontractors are doing but nothing about what Schraeder’s for-profit ASO RQMC is actually doing for approximately 20 million a year. Most the services that are being provided by the sub-contractors are Medicaid reimbursable or paid for through other sources, so how much of the ASO funding is really going to profit?

    RQMC provides no direct services themselves, changing Administrative Service Organizations (ASO) shouldn’t effect service delivery unless RCS and their other subcontractors refuse to subcontract for anyone else but RQMC.

    Where’s the money Camille?

    James Marmon MSW

    divide the number of person’s served by 20 million and you will see how much it cost the taxpayers for administration per client

    • james marmon May 7, 2018

      As far as most the adult services, RQMC is still using the same subcontractors that Ortner utilized. The only exception is that RCS has subcontracted crisis duties where OMG provided those service themselves, and did not subcontract them out.

    • james marmon May 7, 2018

      Oh they are recommending that we go another 2 years out with out a RFP going out to bid.

      Clarify Contract Expectations

      Recommendation regarding Next Request for Qualifications:

      -Publish RFP in November, 2019
      -Begin services July 1, 2020

      James Marmon MSW

    • Lazarus May 7, 2018

      I heard a rumor that the City Manager is going to address the Howard Foundation/ Howard Memorial Hospital situation at the next City Council meeting, 5/9/18, 6:30pm.
      If this is true it should be very interesting after the Measure B Committee meeting dustup.
      As always,

  5. Bruce McEwen May 7, 2018

    The terrific article in yesterday’s MCT on crows and ravens and the depredations they cause on other species of birds, raiding the nests, eating the fledglings – and I’ve seen it, too – wull, anywho, it got me to thinking about how something ought rightly to be done about it rather than bellyache and try to fix blame, and as the Bible tells us we have a duty to take dominion over the animals and by this I think we are commanded to impose our own wonderful justice system on the animal kingdom, and see to it that they act morally and responsibly toward one another, and to this end I’ve fashioned a rough framework for doing so, by first, taking aside four or five rookie (pardon the pun) deputies from the sheriff’s office and training them to police the ravens and crows, and respond to reports of said rooks when citizens see them pillaging another bird’s nest, to have special tazers developed for the purpose of bringing the culprits down, and the old probation office on Standley Street can easily be converted into a rookery wherein to detain any captured offenders, until one of the many superfluous judges we now are burdened with can hear each case, which would in turn give some of our extra public defenders and deputy prosecutors something constructive to do with their idle hours, and then after both sides of the case has been heard a just sentence would be imposed and the offending rook sent to do a stint in jail, as it were, at the rookery, followed by a term of probation, which, incidentally, would provide more good-paying county jobs as rook probation officers, not to mention a staff to run and maintain the rookery… so, that’s my bright idea and if anyone thinks of anything better let he or she submit it for equal consideration, but please spare me the easy-sleazy carping about how my plan lacks this or that consideration, and all the sour cavils we are seeing shoveled all over the sheriff’s plan for dealing with the crazy people on the streets at the old Howard Hospital, because if you can’t come up with a more constructive approach than pooh-poohing somebody else’s ideas, then please be quiet. Thank you.

    • Randy Burke May 7, 2018

      Right on Bruce….BTW would measure B apply to the rooksters?

      • Lazarus May 7, 2018

        I will continue to voice my opinions until I am thrown out…!
        As always,

      • Bruce McEwen May 7, 2018

        Only those that a competent ave psych vet had evaluated and determined to be certifiable, and perhaps a wing (unavoidable pun) at Howard Hosp. could accommodate some of the really crazy birds… but your question is delectably apt, for it opens up a whole new field of potential contracts for various pet hospitals, which could profit in the same way U.V.M.C. does every time somebody gets arrested and has to get medical clearance at the hospital (at exorbitant E-Room prices) before being booked into the jail — a part of the overall scheme which has led to “frequent flyers” being called — affectionately, I hasten to add — “funding units” for a great many contractors (besides the hospital), involved in providing “services” to the incarcerated; and, wull, why stop at H. sapiens? when there’s so many other critters we could classify under the same cognomen and bill the county for their welfare and upkeep at my proposed rookery, or any number of facilities, such as converting the dog pound into a similar sort of ur, uh, but I fear we’ve wandered off into a deeper sociological mire than I intended…

        • Betsy Cawn May 8, 2018

          The analogy is rich, bring it on! As my Mother would respond to the question, “what’s a metaphor?” — “To keep cows in.” Nicely done, Mr. McEwan.

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