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Off the Record

ANNE MOLGAARD of the cigarette tax-funded First Five umbrella Do-Good organization, got off a completely unfounded memo earlier this week that has everyone who's seen it shaking their heads. “Dear Commissioners: I hesitate to tell you this because things can so easily get blown out of proportion, but thought you should know. During the budget hearings last week, I commented twice about the need to protect children whose parents are abusing drugs. Stacey Cryer, HHSA Director, stated that over 150 parents of minor children are on the waiting list for drug and alcohol counseling services. Some parents do access the Family Drug Dependency Court, but at least 150 of them cannot – usually because they self-identify and are not considered serious enough cases (exactly the parents we want to help now before their abuse becomes worse). I, and Commissioner Pauli, suggested using some public safety funds in order to draw down federal medi-cal match funding.

When pressed by Supervisor McCowen about where I would look for these funds, I replied that since children are the overlooked victim in our system, I would look to public safety funding that accounts for 54% of the General Fund and to Asset Forfeiture dollars, since how that funding is spent is not published. What ensued was most unexpected. At the next break, the audience left the chambers and went into the hallway. Here is the note I wrote immediately following: “[Sheriff Allman] Tom in a raised voice said that if I said one more barb about the Sheriff’s Office he’d be coming after me. Said that he hadn’t come after me yet but nobody has ever talked about him at the board and that he’s ‘this close now’ (putting his thumb and forefinger together). Lord knows that I am not easily intimidated, but a strong man with guns and starched uniform in my face was indeed very intimidating.” A few people in the hallway heard it, but I do not see any benefit at this time to discuss this publicly. On the off-chance that the Sheriff meant that he would “take on” FIRST 5, I wanted you to know about it. Perhaps he just meant he would take me on personally, in which case my law-abiding nature will serve me well. Anne.”

SHERIFF ALLMAN neither threatened nor even implied harm to this clearly unhinged woman who doesn't seem to understand that Asset Forfeiture money is, by law, earmarked for law enforcement. The Sheriff said Tuesday morning that he'd had a brief conversation with Molgaard during which he reminded her that his door is always open to her or anyone else who feels in need of budget clarification. “I certainly did not threaten her,” the Sheriff said of his encounter, and why would he, especially in a public context like a supervisor's meeting? Anybody who knows the guy knows he's not the kind of man who throws his weight around.

SUPERVISOR McCOWEN was kind enough to give us his opinion of the Molgaard contretemps: “It strikes me as ridiculous to think that Anne Molgaard would feel personally threatened by anyone. I think she can hold her own in any situation. It is not true that the asset forfeiture guidelines are 'not published.' I do not know if asset forfeiture could be used for drug counseling for the delinquent parents of at risk youth, but I will check. Mr. Van Sant also sent me an email a few days ago pleading for more funds to provide drug counseling, citing the facts of individual case histories to illustrate the need. Every department is caught in the same bind of decreasing funding and increasing need. As for using 'public safety funds,' there is no such identified category. The Sheriff, DA, Public Defender, Alt. Defender, Probation, Juvenile Hall, etc. are contending for funding like everyone else. I am sure that those departments take at least 54% of the General Fund, but it has always been that way, and that is pretty standard for counties and cities across the land. The tension between funding for the Sheriff's Office and everything else has been an ongoing subtext of the budget process for the last year and a half, at least, with everyone from the library to every branch of social services defining themselves as public safety. I will concede that they are all integral to holding together the remnant shreds of social fabric that define a civilized community, but they are not the same as a deputy on your doorstep when you need one. In the midst of a drug or psychosis-induced crisis would you rather have Keith Squires and Craig Walker respond, or Anne Molgaard?”

LISA GOT HER SULCATAS back. The three giant desert tortoises have returned to their Fort Bragg home near the Botanical Gardens. Lisa, of course, is Lisa Chiapero of the National Reptile Foundation. She and Marty Moilanen drove to the County Animal Shelter in Ukiah last week to retrieve the animals and are now busily at work on the required new quarters for them. Lisa suspects that Sheriff Allman played a large role in the return and, she says, she's working overtime to uphold her end of the bargain which, readers will recall, stipulated that Lisa had to tidy things up at her Coast four acres. The tortoises were removed from Lisa's custody when Animal Control officials, backed by renowned herpetologist Dr. Frye, declared that no desert tortoise should live north of the equator, a declaration that would exclude numerous land tortoises known to reside in the cool-ish Redwood Empire.

BURIED IN MONDAY'S Ukiah Daily Journal was news of great interest to Mendocino County's numerous Giants fans: Miss Dallas Renee Lillie of Ukiah has announced her engagement to marry Mathew Adam Latos, ace pitcher for the San Diego Padres.

MAN BEATER of the week honors go to Miss Rebecca Ruth Bean of Kelseyville, 31, 5'8” and 120 pounds. Miss Bean is accused of roughing up her boy friend in Willits.

LAST WEEK'S STORY on Willits' real estate excitement said Marge Handley had run for Assembly against Wes Chesbro. Nope. Marge had run against Virginia Strom-Martin, Chesbro in female political form.

JERRY BROWN says the funniest thing he's ever said and immediately starts issuing apologies. Brown, responding to Meg Whitman's claim that he raised taxes when he was governor the first time replied, “.....I did not have taxes with this state,” a take-off, of course, on Clinton's famous lie that he hadn't boffed Monica Lewinsky. Now he's falling all over himself apologizing to Clinton!

AS PREDICTED HERE a few weeks ago, Darryl Cherney is getting another 15 minutes of the fleeting fame he lives for. Cherney and the Bari Cult have gone to court to prevent the FBI from destroying remnants of the pipe bomb that blew up Cherney and Judi Bari back in 1990. Cherney and his cynical lawyers, pardon the redundancy, claim the frags might contain crucial DNA. What Cherney and his legal eagles don't say is that there's existing DNA which they themselves, taking advantage of their convenient relationship with the FBI, had tested years ago. Those results were posted on-line by Cherney and the Cult and remain posted on the AVA's website. They came from the Lord's Avenger Letter written by the person who made the bomb. The only mystery remaining in the case is Why Haven't The Feds Wrapped It Up? All they would have to do is subpoena the DNA from about a dozen of the most likely perps, match it against the known DNA results from the Lord's Avenger Letter, and the so-called mystery would be over. Now we have all kinds of locals popping off on the case who know absolutely nothing about it beyond what they read in last week's SF Chronicle where, to what I would imagine amounted to his orgasmic delight, this photo of Cherney appeared on the front page. Among the know nothing Popoffskis we were startled to find on DA candidate David Eyster's Facebook page, of all places, were former Mendo Sheriff Tim Shea and miscellaneous others who mostly said, “Judi Bari was carrying the bomb,” the consensus opinion of law enforcement at the time. Yo! Stupeedos! Do some reading. At least get a few facts before you pop off. I could go on, but will spare you. Those few of you truly interested in what amounts to a breathtaking national fraud are invited to visit for the key arguments. You are also urged to visit the several hagiographic websites maintained by the Bari Cult. Compare what you find there with our stuff, and I defy anyone, including the Cult's jive lawyers, to argue with us.

WRITING on his Facebook page last week DA Candidate David Eyster pretty much agreed with us: “Prediction: The current DA's ‘order’ to the auditor/controller to dock the pay of Supervisor Smith will be determined to be without legal authority of law by the Sonoma County Counsel's office. A court order is required to do this, something any DA should know. Thus, it remains important to elect a DA who understands the law and whose judgment is reliable.” Amen, bro.

SIAMESE TWINS walk into a pub in Canada and park themselves on a barstool. One of them says to the bartender, “Don't mind us; we're joined at the hip. I'm John, he's Jim. Two Molson Canadian beers, draft please.” The bartender, feeling slightly awkward, tries to make polite conversation while pouring the beers. “Been on holiday yet, lads?” “Off to England next month,” says John. “We go to England every year, rent a car and drive for miles, don't we, Jim?” Jim agrees. “Ah, England!” says the bartender. “Wonderful country – the history, the beer, the culture…” “Nah, we don't go for all that British crap,” says John. “Hamburgers and Molsons beer, that's us, eh Jim?” “So why keep going to England?” asks the bartender. “It's the only chance Jim gets to drive.”

DA MEREDITH LINTOTT announced last week there she was not going to prosecute Potter Valley Rancher Guiness McFadden on animal abuse charges for putting down his aging wild burro. Why a prosecution of McFadden had ever been considered in the first place is simply more evidence of disarray in the DA's office. According to a plea deal McFadden will still have to do community service, pay a $1,000 fine (donation to a donkey rescue organization) and write a letter of apology for shooting the elderly beast and taking responsibility for its neglected condition. McFadden was reported to authorities when a PG&E worker spotted what he assumed was a neglected animal. In fact, McFadden had adopted the burro 35 years ago through a BLM program. McFadden was advised by the deputy responding to the complaint to put the animal out of its misery which, apparently, McFadden was only able to accomplish after many shots. The little beast had enjoyed a long life of ease at McFadden's ranch before McFadden mercifully ended its old age misery.

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