- Paula & David
- Ed Notes
- KZYX Audit
- Rural Skills
- Little Dog
- Quiz Night
- Big Band
- Jhanna Wanted
- Suspicious Van
- California Solar
- Yesterday's Catch
- Pacific Secession
- MCBG Weekend
- Blackbird Closing
- Writing Class
- Putin's Army
- Predatory Capitalism
- Beware Malware
- Me Best
- NCO Reunion
- City Harasser
THE FOLLOWING WAS POSTED TO THE ANDERSON VALLEY GRANGE #669 FACEBOOK PAGE WEDNESDAY @ 8:30 AM:
"With great sadness, the Anderson Valley Grange would like to inform the community that one of our longest standing members, Paula Kesenheimer, passed away yesterday. The ranch house occupied by Paula and her companion David Norfleet was completely consumed by fire late yesterday afternoon, Paula was inside. David, with the assistance of a friend, attempted to stop the fire, but to no avail. They rescued Paula but she succumbed to her injuries."
"David Norfleet update: David is still in UVMC for observation after having inhaled a lot of smoke. He looks really good, but very tired. If you visit, make it no more than 5 minutes, you do the talking-not him, as he has kind of lost his voice due to the smoke and constant visiting. He is looking like he will be discharged within the next day or two."
A quick Google search turned up this item from the Anderson Valley Advertiser October 20, 2010: "DAVE NORFLEET and Paula Kesenheimer are just back from the State Grange convention in San Jose. Dave, as most of you know, is our Philo Grange master and unsung co-founder of Boonville Beer."
The fire broke out around 6:00 pm Tuesday.
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FROM THE PRESS DEMOCRAT...
ONE SHOCK after another in the Anderson Valley this week. First Christine Lopiccolo runs off the road and dies when her car hits a tree at Navarro. And then last night (Tuesday) Paula Kesenheimer dies in a house fire at her home on Signal Ridge, with her friend and caretaker, David Norfleet, barely escaping the fast-moving blaze and is now in ICU. Paula was perhaps best known for her many years as the curator of art at the annual County Fair in Boonville. David Norfleet was the co-founder of Anderson Valley Brewing, and one of these modest guys who's good at everything he does, although you've got to drag it out of him. You never hear about his pivotal role in local beer, but without him I doubt Boonville Beer would have extended the global reach it since has. The Kesenheimer house, by the way, went back quite far in Valley history, as far back as the turn of the twentieth century, I believe. And poor Christine L. She was a fighter. Her house at Rancho Navarro burned in mysterious circumstances some years ago, but she carried on, making her home in a barely habitable trailer for years, doing the best she could, a single woman without resources doing the best she could.
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TED AND DAVE, the candidates' early years. I don't think the 5th District would go far wrong with either one of them sitting as Supervisor, although I'd bet many people would appreciate a voice independent of the automatic YES to whatever County admin puts in front of him, as per the 5-0 board presently in place. It's as if the present Supervisors are afraid of the people they're supposed to be supervising. Every meeting, certainly the one just past, there was lots to challenge, such as the neo-definition of 'accountability' as expressed by the recipient of an enormous gift of a multi-million dollar public agency, Ms. Schraeder, now the sole proprietor of what used to be called the Welfare Department. Declaring yourself accountable is not the same as being accountable. When someone asks a fiscal question, to be accountable you should give a fiscal answer. In fact, I can't remember anyone in local government being held strictly accountable, as in regular reports on their bureaucracies to the Supervisors. For instance, everyone involved in the Ortner fiasco — the Supervisors' prior, failed adventure in privatization — have not in the least been held "accountable." That debacle cost the taxpayers… how much? No one knows, of course, because no one is accountable. We have no idea how much money Ms. Schraeder is spending on various welfare programs because everyone is afraid to ask. McCowen started to ask, and you could see the hackles begin to rise on the unaccountable, and he backed off.
WHERE WERE WE? O yes. Ted and Dave's early years. I remember Dave as the smartest guy in his graduating class at Boonville High School. I'm not surprised he's done well in the great world outside the Mendo hot house. Ditto for Ted Williams. Williams helped us out years ago during a dispute with MCN, then in its infancy as a wholly subsidized adjunct of Mendocino High School, but primarily benefitting the two private individuals who devised the scheme. Ted, then a young, very young whippersnapper, and a kind of child techno-wizard, helped us mightily by confirming our suspicions about the murky operation. We felt the school subsidy was very unfair to competing local internet services that were also then getting going while MCN had no real overhead, getting free rent, free electricity, phone lines, and free labor in the form of students. As Balzac said, "Behind every great fortune there's a crime." Little fortunes, too, in several public/private hustles we see in unaccountable Mendo.
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IN MY YEARS in Mendo — I'm with the Class of 1970 or, as we're lumped together, the Back to the Landers, aka hippies — elections have been lone wolf affairs, people running for this or that as individuals. But the only way to get the changes we all claim to want — among them low cost housing, for instance, and other socially desirable amenities — is for like-minded people to run as a slate. Three persons can control the Board of Supervisors and other elected boards. Unless a correct-thinking individual can get two other votes, all the Nice Thoughts in the world are just so much rhetoric. For example, when Johnny Pinches wanted a mere discussion of the preposterous (and costly) water deal Mendo made with Sonoma County in 1955 (most of the diverted Eel is owned by SoCo), he couldn't even get a second.
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CALLED UKIAH today to see if I could get the County's clap stats, er, sexually transmitted disease statistics. The two ladies I talked with were quite helpful, and promised they would get them to me. They did say preliminarily that the numbers aren't encouraging.
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ON LINE COMMENT from Peter Lit: "Dr. Barg is correct; the last time the hospital [Coast Hospital] got input from the taxpayers, we got admissions and conference rooms with high ceilings. The past board went along with it. If what is reported is correct, this almost ‘lame duck’ Board just extended the current CEO's employment for another two years even though, under his leadership, we are told that without this infusion of funds, we will lose our hospital. Throwing more money at a dysfunctional operation will not save it any more than electing Donald Trump will drain the swamp. We need new board members."
VERILY, VERILY. It will be a shame to lose Coast, but present management is clearly heading the ship onto the rocks. Still and all, if I were voting in the Coast Hospital District, I'd vote Yes on a bump on the property tax, simply because I think Coast is by far, and over many years, the best hospital in the County and, of course, the only publicly owned, not for profit hospital in the County.
CPB INVESTIGATES KZYX
Anderson Valley Advertiser:
Two attorneys from the Office of Inspector General (OIG) for The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) made field calls to KZYX in Philo to audit our public radio station on April 17 and 18, 2018. This was a very expensive procedure, since they are headquartered in Washington, DC, precipitated by my account of improprieties by the station management, which I observed as a member of the KZYX Board of Directors. Just before returning home, they interviewed me for an hour and a half in a private conference room at the Fort Bragg Public Library. During my interview, they asked that I treat our discussion as confidential until the process is complete, so I won’t go into any details at this time. Within the next month or so, they will make a recommendation to the CPB Board of Directors, and, once the CPB Board makes a decision, it will be posted online, sometime in the next two to five months.
They were non-committal about what the precise outcome might be, but did mention that, at the very least, current management would have to take a course in how to properly and ethically run our CPB affiliate. Since we are the recipient of hundreds of thousands of CPB dollars per year, they have the authority to sanction the station and demand changes in substandard operating procedures. They emphasized that the misconduct must directly involve the CPB and/or CPB funds, which, in my opinion, is not a difficult hurdle to overcome.
For a more detailed explanation of information on CPB’s Office Of Inspector General audit process, please visit https://www.cpb.org/files/oig/reports/Information_on_CPBs_Office_of_Inspector_General_Audit_Process_February_2016.pdf
This document reveals that the CPB has great discretion involving financial matters which it funds, which is virtually all expenditures of our station. Although, in my opinion, they also have the power to demand a return to transparency and a democratic process by withholding funds if our station doesn’t comply, the CPB policy (and perhaps OIG law) apparently precludes them from doing so, if for no other reason than they lack the work force that would be needed to police and monitor all the stations in their vast network.
So, in the best case scenario, we will be able to update and strengthen equipment that will allow vast areas in the county with little or no reception to listen to the station. Also, showering personal friends with made-up jobs via secret hirings, as well as many other wasteful excesses, will no longer be allowed. However, if we want a transparent and democratically run public radio, we will still have to do that ourselves. Of course, if the CPB finds that KZYX has “questioned costs” and “unsupported costs” that result in “a recommendation that funds be put to better use,” this can lead to replacing the current, allegedly criminally negligent KZYX Board of Directors with a newly elected Board that will truly represent the interests of the residents of our county. Then, and only then, we will have a very valuable resource that is accessible to all.
by Marshall Newman
Growing up in Anderson Valley in the late 1950s and 1960s meant learning a few skills, maybe not for everyone, but certainly for my siblings and me. We were living at my parent’s summer camp, El Rancho Navarro. When camp wasn’t in operation – essentially from September through May – it was mostly just us: well off the beaten path with lots of land, buildings, infrastructure and livestock to tend. Our acquisition of essential rural skills was more necessity than choice; we had to have them to live there.
With the help of neighbors and hired hands (my parents were city folk and equally clueless), we learned. I was seven years old when we arrived in Anderson Valley and by the time I was 12 I could handle a horse, milk a cow, drive a pickup, split firewood, prime a pump, prune a fruit tree, fix a fence, sharpen an axe, shoot a rifle and more. In addition to the doing, there was the knowing; knowing when a cow was ready to calve, knowing when pastures were ready for cutting and baling, knowing which woods would keep the wood heater going through the night, etc. To paraphrase an old quote, “Never let your schooling interfere with your education.” My siblings and I received fine – if unorthodox – educations living in our isolated corner of the valley.
Then came adulthood. For me it meant city living. It also meant most of those old skills and that old knowledge went unused. Plus, in city life, the paradigm changed. I no longer had to depend on myself for specific skills and knowledge: I could hire people who had them.
Driving was among the few old skills to remain relevant. Driving on city streets isn’t that different than driving on dirt farm roads, though there are a lot more rules, other vehicles and crazy folks going too fast. On the plus side, getting stuck in mud stops being a concern. However, backing up a pickup to load firewood is a lot different than parallel parking.
One old skill I continue to enjoy is knife sharpening. A pocket knife was and is an indispensable tool in the country. My brother and I typically each carried one when not at school, because having one enabled us to do anything from cut twine from hay bales to tighten screws. Eventually my sharpening skills expanded to include kitchen knives, specifically those in the camp kitchen.
More than 50 years later, I’m still sharpening my pocket knife and kitchen knives. I have moved from a water stone to a set of oil stones, but the technique remains essentially the same. A thin film of water or oil goes on the sharpening stone, the knife is held at approximately a 30-degree angle (that’s for European-style knives: Japanese knives are different) and then slid – moving from heel to tip - across the stone repeatedly, sliding it away and then towards the body to hone both sides of the blade. After initial sharpening with a coarse stone, the process is repeated with a fine stone.
To do it right takes precision and patience; establishing and maintaining the proper angle of knife to stone, sliding the knife deliberately so that the entire blade crosses the stone, giving each side sufficient strokes to gain a centered edge and repeating the process until smooth sharpness is achieved throughout the length of the blade. Rather than scary, I find the task relaxing; focus and repetition push away distractions, and produce results both definite and satisfying.
There are plenty of alternatives today to my old school way of sharpening knives: diamond stones, special jigs, motorized grinding wheels (very wearing on knives), spring-loaded bar sharpers, slide-through slot sharpeners and more. These new toys are enticing, but I will pass. An old skill is like an old friend, reliable, comforting and always available.
QUIZ TODAY! Thursday, May 10th is the 2nd Thursday of the month and therefore, as you are no doubt well aware, that means at 7pm we shall start another General Knowledge and Trivia Quiz at Lauren’s Restaurant in Boonville. English Cricket, Medieval Castles, Churchill’s Speeches, Black 'Pig’s Blood' Pudding, and The Queen’s Corgis are three rounds that we shall not be having this week. But I’m sure there is other stuff we shall ask about that you will be very familiar with. Hope to see you there,
Steve Sparks / The Quiz Master
Big Band @ CCM, in Mendocino, Sat., May 12, 1 pm.
Come to a Free Big Band Concert and Open House this Saturday at the Community Center of Mendocino.
The 20 piece Boonville Big Band led by Maestro Bob Ayres, is featuring many classic jazz and swing gems for a Spring Afternoon of entertainment: Shiny Stockings, Gone With the Wind, Manhattan, Angel Eyes, Jersey Bounce Poor Butterfly, Yardbird Suite and more. Song stylist Sharon Garner is the featured vocalist. The music will be in the air. See you there!
About “The music will be in the air”: There was a time when live music used to be heard around Mendocino Town on a spring day. Mostly played by individuals in courtyards, doorways and alcoves. I understand that music carries, especially Big Band, and probably will be heard by people all over the town. However, If you are nearby, you’ll get to see the band in full and hear some amazing playing up close. Also partake of BBQ and see art exhibits and demonstrations by local kids. Hope to see you there! CCM, 998 School St. (just below Friendship Park).
JHANNA DANEE ELLISON
Robbery First Degree Inhabited Dwelling
Armed with Assault Weapon
Age: 24 years old
Weight: 160 lbs
Heights: 5' 8"
Last known town/city: Willits, CA
If you recognize this individual or have information which could lead to their arrest, please contact the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office at (707) 463-4086
TWEAKER BURGLARS ROUNDED UP
On 05-07-2018 at approximately 12:25 A.M., Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to a residence in the 1400 block of Knob Hill Road in Ukiah. A neighbor was reporting a suspicious white van parked in front of a residence. The neighbor reported a white male adult with gray hair was seen associated with the white van. When Deputies arrived, they determined a burglary had occurred at the residence. Deputies were provided with a good description of the vehicle and that information was forwarded to all local law enforcement. At approximately 5:15 P.M, a Mendocino County Deputy Sheriff observed a white van matching the description, traveling in the 2400 block of North State Street. A traffic stop was conducted on the vehicle resulting in a female driver (Dee Ann Eddy, 47 of Ukiah) and passenger (Audra Dorsey, 47, of Colbert, Washington) being contacted. The Deputy was informed there was a male subject inside the van hiding from contact.
The Deputy gave verbal commands to the male subject for several minutes, however the subject was hiding amongst a large amount of items in the van. Sheriff's Office K-9 "Leo" was deployed and Eric Campbell, 48, of Santa Rosa, was taken into custody after a brief struggle. Once Campbell was secured, a loaded firearm was located where Campbell was hiding from Deputies. Upon further investigation Deputies learned Campbell was wanted on a no bail warrant for a parole violation in Sonoma County. As Deputies continued their investigation, several items of property taken from the residence on Knob Hill Road was located inside the van. Campbell was also in possession of a controlled substance. All three subjects were arrested on charges of Felon Possession loaded firearm, Possession of stolen property, Parole Violation Possession dirk or dagger, Possession controlled substance, Conspiracy, Resisting arrest (as applicable) and ultimately transported to the Mendocino County Jail. Campbell was to be held on a "No Bail" status, Dorsey was to be held in lieu of $15,000 bail and Eddy was to be held in lieu of $50,000 bail.
CALIFORNIA ON WEDNESDAY MOVED TO REQUIRE SOLAR PANELS on all new homes and low-rise apartment buildings starting in 2020.
CATCH OF THE DAY, May 9, 2018
JAMES BRAY JR., Fort Bragg. Domestic battery, probation revocation. (Frequent Flyer)
ERIC BURTON, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation.
BILLY EATON, Failure to register as sex offender, county parole violation. (Frequent Flyer)
JOSE GOMEZ, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
MICHAEL KOROMA JR., Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
JOHN MORRIS, Fort Bragg. Battery.
TIME TO LEAVE
I’ve been a proponent of California secession for years — but only if we were to exit as presently constituted. And I’d encourage Oregon, Washington and Hawaii to go with us.
I’ve come to see the U.S. as an artificial union that pays very little heed to our state, despite our enormous economic clout.
The last time I checked, the least-populated 22 or 23 states have fewer people combined than California. And a total of 44 or 46 senators to our two. And they skew the Electoral College.
Too, many of those states are unnecessarily small. Do we really need two Dakotas? Is there any real difference between Nebraska, Iowa and Kansas? The same goes for Arkansas and Oklahoma.
I don’t think the concept or the viability of our national “union” can be defended any longer. It’s certainly not governable.
My new country of Pacifica would be a formidable entity with a highly diverse population, robust economic dynamism and unmatched tourism appeal. Perhaps most important, its voters — freed from the crippling anachronism of the Electoral College — finally would have a real voice in how their country would be governed.
RHODODENDRONS, YOGA, MUSIC, AND MIMOSAS
Rhododendron Basics Workshop
THIS SATURDAY, May 12
10:00am to 12:00pm
Learn to grow more healthy and vibrant rhododendrons! Our cool coastal climate, acidic soils, and mild winters allow many beautiful cultivars and species to thrive. Dennis McKiver of the American Rhododendron Society’s local chapter will teach proper planting and plant medium, fertilizing, pruning, as well as disease and pest control. Expand your collection by learning to choose the right hybrids and species for your area while touring the Rhododendron Collection (in peak bloom now) at Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens.
Dennis McKiver has been growing and collecting Rhododendrons since 2001. His collection has over 1,000 hybrid and species Rhododendrons.
Class size is limited; SIGN UP NOW! Class cost is $20 for members and Master Gardeners; $30 for non-members (includes Gardens admission for the day). Payment is due upon sign-up. Please note, all workshop fees are non-refundable unless the workshop has been canceled or rescheduled by the Gardens. Sign up by phoning 707-964-4352 ext. 16 or stop by The Garden Store at Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens.
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THIS SUNDAY, Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens will be bursting with blooms and adoration for moms of all kinds. Join Samara Mondello Smith for Vinyasa flow yoga at 10:00AM on the Event Lawn (additional admission required). Rhody’s Garden Cafe will be selling mimosas, paninis, house-made soups, organic salads, ice cream, and more beginning at 11:00AM. As usual, there will be thousands of rhododendrons and vibrant flowers lining more than 4 miles of trails at our 47-acre garden by the sea.
YOGA at 10:00am on the Event Lawn with Samara Mondello Smith Bring your own mat and allow plenty of time to reach the Event Lawn Class fee paid upon entry to the Gardens: $10 for Gardens members; $20 for non-members (includes Gardens admission for the day)
MIMOSAS available at Rhody’s Cafe starting at 11:00am Also serving paninis, house-made soups, organic salads, ice cream, and more! Never an admission fee to dine at Rhody’s Garden Cafe
LIVE MUSIC on the plaza with Aaron Ford playing acoustic guitar
The Mendocino Theatre Company's production of David Harrower's Blackbird, featuring Dan Kozloff as Ray and Emily Batterson as Una, must close this weekend. Theatre-goers are invited to participate in a talkback with the actors, immediately following the Friday, May 11th performance. Joining the discussion will be Lia Holbrook of Project Sanctuary, a local domestic violence and sexual assault crisis response center. Parental guidance advised: This play is not suitable for children under 13. Blackbird plays Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 2pm. For tickets and information, see our website http://mendocinotheatre.org/ or phone 707-937-4477.
Watch the video trailer .
EACH SESSION of the night school creative writing class was jam-packed with frustrated people who wanted to be writers and live Bohemian lives. After about the fourth session I began to wonder if frustration produced bad breath, because halitosis accompanied so many of these unpublished writers...The teacher, who confided to me one night that trying to teach people, with nothing to say how to write it down, was a sad business, had us write stories and little articles and read them aloud and invite criticism.
MARX PREDICTED OUR PRESENT CRISIS – AND POINTS THE WAY OUT
The Communist Manifesto foresaw the predatory and polarised global capitalism of the 21st century.
BECERRA: BEWARE MALWARE
Sacramento, 5/9/18 – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, working with the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), uncovered more than two thousand computers and other electronic devices infected by malicious software (malware). Attorney General Becerra announced today that the California Department of Justice sent letters to communication service providers encouraging companies to inform customers with identified Internet Protocol (IP) addresses that their devices may contain the malware. The finding stems from a cyberattack that occurred in March 2018. Malware attacks involve the installation of unwelcome software without the user’s consent. The impacted devices receive and obey commands from an outside common source.
“We know that once a computer is infected with malware, the malware operators virtually own that device and can do most anything they want. That’s why it is critical that we continue to identify cybercrimes and take action against those who deploy malware,” said Attorney General Becerra. “Today we took steps to identify one of these cyberattacks. We continue to analyze the malware and work to hold the attackers accountable.”
“This type of cyber-attack is a persistent approach for bad actors. Both hackers and organized crime entities use networks of compromised computers or ‘bots’ to transmit malware or to launch attacks to disrupt nearly any computer system, including critical infrastructure and our personal networks,” said CalOES Director Mark Ghilarducci. “The California Cybersecurity Integration Center (Cal-CSIC) is working jointly with the Attorney General’s Office to identify these bad actors and their networks and get them shut down. We must continue preparing for and responding to cyber events with precision, and that requires a proactive approach.”
Malware attacks can lead to an outside source using someone’s device to send spam, steal data, place ransomware programs on computers, turn computer cameras or microphones on, or use the computer to store data.
Attorney General Becerra is committed to containing the spread, operation, and impact of cyberattacks and educating consumers in California about how best to protect themselves from cybercrime.
An example of the letters can be found here.
California Attorney General’s Office
KICK OUT THE JAMS!
NCO TO CELEBRATE 50 Years Of Community Action
Join fellow community members and celebrate 50 years of Community Action at Todd Grove Park on August 25th
Ukiah, CA, [Date] – In honor of their 50 Year Anniversary, North Coast Opportunities, Inc. (NCO) is hosting a family-friendly, class-reunion style picnic from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm on August 25th, 2018. Past and present staff, board members, clients, local officials, and the broader community is encouraged to join NCO at Todd Grove Park for this free, summertime event.
A variety of local vendors will offer fresh food and children’s activities. DJ music will be provided as well as a commemorative NCO photo booth. Local officials will share their appreciation for NCO and the positive impact it’s made within the community. NCO’s History Walk will be a place of exploration to learn how NCO has impacted Lake, Mendocino, and neighboring counties over the past 50 years.
NCO is the community action agency that supports Lake and Mendocino Counties as well as parts of Humboldt, Sonoma, Del Norte, and Solano Counties. This large, open-air, family-style, 50th Anniversary Picnic is an opportunity for all communities served to celebrate NCO’s impact today and into the future.
NCO is one of one thousand community action agencies throughout the nation helping people achieve self-sufficiency. NCO actively seeks new ways to bring resources into the community in the form of grants and partnerships while securing local, state and federal funds. These resources are used to develop and support crucial programs that otherwise would not exist. NCO’s local community action projects are intended to aid those in our community who need it most and allow disadvantaged people to become self-reliant.
NCO identifies community issues by developing community action plans and seeks new ways to successfully implement change. NCO serves thousands of people each year through a diverse range of projects spanning from volunteerism, disaster relief, childcare and development, food-sustainability, nutrition, and food security. NCO encourages staff and volunteers to take part in local projects and strives to provide volunteers with high-quality experiences that fuel further action.
NCO’s goal is to have healthy, vibrant, compassionate, and strong communities. Through community collaboration NCO makes a difference in the lives of the people they serve. The mission of NCO is to demonstrate respect and integrity and treat individuals, including their ideas and expressions, with dignity, honesty, and fairness.
Mark your calendar and join NCO and your fellow community members from Lake, Mendocino, Humboldt, Sonoma, Del Norte and Solano Counties from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm on August 25th at Todd Grove Park. Donations from local sponsors are being accepted. Call 707-467-3200 for more information or visit www.ncoinc.org to learn more.
HI, FORT BRAGG, I'M BACK IN TOWN TO HELP YOU RUN THINGS, EVEN IF YOU TURNED ME DOWN AS CITY ATTORNEY
ED NOTE: Jacob Patterson is a native Fort Bragg man who'd hoped to become Fort Bragg's City Attorney. When he was wisely passed over for the position, he began bombarding the City with the following e-mail demands for this or that irrelevant piece of information, thus confirming the City's wisdom in not hiring him, but legally compelling the already over-burdened City clerk to devote much of her work day to what amounts to harassment from an idle, under-employed lawyer. We begin with his most revelatory communication he dispatched to Fort Bragg while he was vacationing in Greece.
Of course, I can watch from afar and ding them when necessary to keep them from falling back into complacency. One time they tried to pull a fast one and called a special meeting for a controversial design review when the city manager knew I was on vacation in Europe. I still managed to review the staff report and submit comments and objections (including strong allegations of improper CEQA segmentation/piece-mealing) from a boat in Greece! Then I appealed the decision when I got back; I am always on watchdog duty...
* * *
Jacob puts in application and is interviewed for City Attorney position:
From: Jacob Patterson <email@example.com>
Date: September 25, 2017 at 1:22:23 PM PDT
Subject: Interview and tonight's City Council meeting
It was a pleasure meeting you today and I look forward to getting to know each of you as the community tackles the issues facing the Fort Bragg in the coming years. Hopefully, it will be as your City Attorney but rest assured I will remain involved regardless of my role.
As I mentioned, I have refrained from making public comments at Fort Bragg City Council or Planning Commission meetings because a potential city attorney must remain objective and neutral when it comes to policy matters and I do not want to provide any reason for a member of the public to doubt my commitment maintaining this objectivity. However, since tonight's agenda includes several process-related items, which would govern the meeting procedures going forward, I thought I should share my thoughts about one item up for your consideration tonight.
Item 7B concerning potentially adopting Rosenberg's Rules of Order includes a discussion of starting Council discussion with a motion in order to focus Council debate. Based on my experience observing and participating in many city council meetings, and my understanding of Fort Bragg concerns about objectivity and thorough public debate, I believe that starting Council discussion with a motion to focus debate on consideration of that motion would result in increased perceptions or allegations of biased analysis and predetermination rather than the intended objective of improved community relations and increased civility.
This is because the initial motion is likely to be based on the staff recommendation for a particular matter (or a potential minority view among the council-members) rather than the end result of actual deliberation among council-members that reflects the content of the debate itself. If you start Council deliberation with a motion, that sets the framework for the entire discussion and the end result of any decision is heavily influenced by the framework established in the beginning. This remains true even if alternative and substitute motions are available to amend or replace the original motion.
It is important for the public to observe the Council's deliberative process and to see that all sides and options are considered prior to any specific proposal being evaluated. I believe that this is more likely to occur after at least an initial Council discussion where each council-member can present their preliminary thoughts based on the staff presentation and public comments. After deliberating the issue among all council-members, then the Mayor can entertain motions from the rest of the Council. In my opinion, this is the better process because it is more likely to engender trust and confidence in the local decision-making process and reduce perceptions of bias or predetermined decisions.
Other than the timing of motions, I believe Rosenberg's Rules would be a good fit for Fort Bragg.
See you tonight and best regards,
* * *
After Jacob is turned down email to Tabatha Fort Bragg City Manager:
I mentioned the City Attorney RFP process when we met earlier. I should have added that I only responded to it because I happened to be home at the time when the departures of the former City Attorney and City Manager were announced and I was recruited to do so by former council-members. I certainly didn't plan on it and had little interest in the contract as it was structured in the RFP. But due to the required (and illogical) format for the response, the type of arrangement was predetermined. Regardless, It would have been fun to reform from the inside since I don't actually care about what I am working on and appreciate direction to focus my energies on something concrete rather than looking at everything under the sun.
It didn't help that Linda and Samantha participated in the interview because it constrained my ability to pitch an alternate structure that was premised on Samantha and Linda's methods not making a lot of sense, in my opinion, particularly because it also implicated eliminating an existing at-will position that was occupied.
At least you have Russ coming to every meeting so he can always be asked to chime in with an alternate perspective or options. I think that is critical and it is useful for the public to hear him doing so when it isn't something that needs to remain confidential in a memo or closed session. I appreciate meetings where he has been an active participant rather than how Samantha usually didn't do anything during a meeting, and when she did chime in, just appeared to focus on if what Linda proposed was minimally defensible or scolding the council for not protecting staff from disruptive members of the public.
If I structured things, I would have had it be a staff position and combine it with the repackaged Assistant City Manager (the prior version of Admin Services Director) for the basic general counsel role like attending meetings and making sure motions are clear, etc., but contract the remaining legal work out to subject matter experts. The day-to-day management side of things are more interesting and I don't think it makes sense that either role would be full-time for a City this size but I guess most people wouldn't combine public legal and management roles in the same position even though that is common in business.
I also recognize that proposing to create a special role to suit the potentially-interested person is a little presumptuous but I have been precocious, assertive, and occasionally ridiculous since I started talking. My mom loves telling a story of my early use of "actually" as a favorite word and my habit of correcting everything that didn't seem right.
Since my alternate structure didn't happen, you are witness to my current loose cannon activist role that is primarily self-directed or investigating areas of potential concern that other people ask about. Of course, I think prying under local governance rocks is fun; it is like a scavenger hunt for information about process breakdown. The ultimate objectives of both paths are actually the same: better governance and increased trust in the process. One path focuses on prevention and the other on accountability and course correction...
Regardless, I am fine participating from this side even if it will undoubtedly ruffle a lot of feathers along the way and not endear me to some City staff or council-members when their feet are (figuratively) held to the fire. (Or even some of the rest of the public.) I hope at least some people will be able to focus on the overall public good that everyone enjoys when process improvements are made and public trust is strengthened. I am pretty happy about all the reforms I helped bring about in Claremont (Greece) before I headed back here to be closer to family and get involved in the Mill Site process. Most people seemed to see the benefits even if only begrudgingly. I think it helped that I left when we got most everything addressed so the remaining players could relax a bit. I will try to minimize disruption from any reforms since this is my home town and there is no where to hide from angry mobs. ;)
* * *
Jacob starts blasting requests for public documents to June Lemos. June Lemos finally sends an email.
I’ve just responded to your four most recent PRA requests. Looking back in my PRA log, I note that we have received 15 requests from you since September 22, so you are averaging around 6 or 7 requests a month. December is just getting started and I’ve only received one request from you so far, but as I mentioned in an earlier email, I will be out of the office from December 12 through January 1 and unable to respond to PRA requests until my return. I anticipate that you will be filing several more records requests between now and the end of the year if you keep on pace with the last couple of months. City Hall will be working with a skeleton crew during the holidays due to scheduled vacation and time off. Would you consider waiting until after the first of the year to submit any further requests for documents? Of course if there is an urgent need to review records in my absence, Scott Schneider will be filling in for me and can respond to you. However, he and Brenda will also be taking over my other duties while I’m gone and I would like to make it as easy as possible on staff.
Thank you for your kind consideration.
* * *
Jacobs response after the first of the year:
I trust you enjoyed your time off. A new year brings a new request! I would like to review the following five categories of City records concerning the Noyo Center:
1) All emails (on any email address he uses for official City business), letters, or other correspondence to or from Dave Turner concerning the Noyo Center's use or potential ownership of the City-owned land at the Mill Site (e.g., the transfer of public property that is agendized for January meetings).
2) All emails, letters, or other correspondence to or from Dave Turner concerning the Noyo Center dated November 1, 2017 to the present. [This may be largely redundant to category 1.]
3) All emails, letters, or other correspondence between any board member, employee, or agent of the Noyo Center with Lindy Peters concerning the Noyo Center dated November 1. 2017 to the present.
4) All emails, letters, or other correspondence to or from Linda Ruffing concerning the Noyo Center dated November 1, 2017 to the present.
5) All emails, letters, or other correspondence between Linda Ruffing and Elias Henderson concerning the Noyo Center dated on or after when Elias joined the board of the Noyo Center.
"To or from" in all categories only includes correspondence authored by or sent to the named party; it does not include emails that only CC or BCC the named party.
Please exclude any correspondence between me and the named party because I already have it. (I can only think of two such emails with Lindy and Linda.)
* * *
Referring to the people of Fort Bragg in an email talking about rebuilding infrastructure
That won't be inexpensive and is properly factored into the utility rates so I wouldn't worry about a rate-payer action. Most people around here are not sophisticated (or bored) enough to think along those lines anyway.
* * *
Wants City Manager to meet his Mom-even suggests what they do
From: Jacob Patterson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Tuesday, March 13, 2018 1:38 PM
To: Miller, Tabatha; Michelle Roberts
Thanks for the enjoyable chat earlier today. I wanted to connect you to my mom, Michelle Roberts, who is Executive Director of the Mendocino Coast Hospital Foundation (host of Winesong at the botanic gardens each fall). She was not able to meet you last night at the reception but I think you two will get along famously. I suggest you schedule a dinner or drinks to get to know each other. I am sure you could use a break from City business to get to know more locals in a social setting outside of your parade of official meetings.
My mother's personal email address is email@example.com and her cell is (707) 367-2113. Her work contact information firstname.lastname@example.org or (707) 961-4671.
* * *
One of Patterson’s mother’s closest friends, Karen, is the wife of former Council-member Scott Deitz.
Sent: Monday, March 26, 2018 10:17 AM
To: Lemos, June
Subject: Candidate deadlines
What are the candidate deadlines for the November elections? I think you mentioned this during staff comments but I can't find the details in my notes.
* * *
June Lemos asks: “The filing period is July 16 through August 10, 2018, extended to August 15 if no incumbent files. Are you planning to run for Council? — June Lemos, CMC
Patterson replies: Meg Courtney asked my mom if she'd consider running last night at the Coast Democratic Club meeting. She would be a much more sensible candidate than me...
* * *
While setting up an appointment he makes this remark about Fort Bragg:
I do not have any appointments scheduled that week and I should be around unless I am away visiting friends back in civilization—Fort Bragg can be a bit much without trips to the real world.
* * *
And this is how he signed an email after being called Mr. Patterson
—Jacob [not Mr. Patterson, that is too formal for Fort Bragg ;)]
* * *
Seems even the Town Hall chairs had padding added to accommodate Jacob
June asked that I let you know my impressions of the two potential new chairs for Town Hall. I tried them out and they are both an improvement on the existing chairs. Of the two, I prefer the chair with the gray vinyl. It has much better cushions, is a little taller and has a more upright slope to the chair back. The other chair has a greater slope and is a little low for use at the folding tables. Of course, it may be beneficial to have a mix of chair types in case different people have different preferences. Regardless, I put in an informal vote for the gray chairs.
* * *
And sets up an appointment for Council member Norvell to meet his Mom- so who is really thinking of running Mommy or Jacob?
I will ask my mom to call you soon. I think she would be a good addition to the Council. Obviously, I would be able to keep her informed of relevant research and analysis I perform about agenda items but she presents a hybrid between liberal and conservative sensibilities. Concerning social issues, she is a far left Democrat—something I have never been despite being from the Mendocino Coast and gay—but she tends to be more fiscally conservative and distrustful of wasteful practices and a proponent of holding people accountable for failure. Having said that, she I don't agree on most political topics but I think she'd be credible and serious and certainly critical when appropriate. As a bonus, she is a lot nicer and more tactful than I am and would care about being polite and respectful when ridiculous recommendations are presented for decision—I just want to shame people for their ridiculousness, as I expect to be shamed when my ridiculousness rears its ugly head.
Of course, it would be a little awkward if she gets elected to the Council and I am representing people or am personally opposed to Council action but that's family and a small town for you...
* * *
This guy is trying to take over the City without even being employed by them:
From: Jacob Patterson <email@example.com>
Sent: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 8:42 AM
To: Jones, Marie
Subject: Community Development Department Budget
As you work on your departmental budget, I have some cost-cutting suggestions that maintain the current level of services only more efficiently.
Have Tabatha either transfer Joanna to June's department or split her role between CD & the City Clerk's office/admin so each department covers part of the cost. Cross-training her would be beneficial overall as well for flexibility based on variable workload demands of each department.
Exercise the City's 30-day termination right for the Project Management contract with the Color Mill and use that funding to pay for part of the salary of Scott Perkins. I think the City Council should reallocate that money for other more important purposes but since they don't appear to want to do that, paying for Scott to manage the project still fits the Measure AB intent of using the funds for City promotions but it pays for the staff time instead of redundant outside contractors.
I don't want cuts to be the elimination of Scott's position even though Special Projects Manager would have been an obvious choice since it was tailor-made for Jennifer and she left. Tabatha is aware of this and I am afraid she might have the other less competent Scott assume the project manager function instead because of his background from Visit Mendocino. Of course, I think it would be crazy for the City to lose the good Scott and keep the other one.
It is inefficient and redundant to have both Scott and Aspen working on the promotions project and you have to make cuts somewhere. Plus, the project is not working out so well so far, at least that is the word on the street. Visit Mendocino just presented very favorable progress on their almost identical project and that only highlights the lack of City progress. It also begs the question of why we are reinventing the wheel, which leads to...
Instead of going through the RFP process for all promotions project components, it might be easier and less expensive to contract with Visit Mendocino (and their existing project team) to replicate the deliverables but with Fort Bragg-specific content, perhaps leveraging their existing work product and piggy-backing for significant savings but the same end result. I imagine that their contracts probably allow that (e.g., if the work for hire is owned by Visit Mendocino rather than the IP of the contracted team).
Just some thoughts for your consideration.
* * *
So after thinking about your email below, I just can’t leave it lay.
I am wondering what you would have Johanna not work on: maybe she should stop engaging in code enforcement, or processing building permits, or getting the agenda together for planning commission, or noticing neighbors of upcoming hearings, or answering questions at the counter? Why don’t you tell me what she should stop doing because clearly you think that something she is working on is not as important as answering your excessive and harassing records requests?
I have an excellent and even better way of closing the budget deficit. How about if you don’t sue the City?
Marie Jones (Fort Bragg Development Director)
* * *
Jacob's response back to Marie
OK... These are just my opinions, which you are free to ignore. However, I believe they are justified under the circumstances.
Significant cuts have to be made somewhere and your department appears to be overstaffed as a result of you not taking the obvious opportunity of reducing the budget by leaving Jennifer Owen's position unfilled rather than using it as a back-door way to create a likely improper promotion by working around existing job descriptions. All of which could have been accomplished appropriately, in my opinion, had the Council revised the scope of the existing positions prior you making the departmental changes. The City is not living within its means so all departments are likely to need cuts, yours included. Avoiding this uncomfortable reality is not in anyone's best interest even though there is little chance it won't impact some services. The key is prioritizing which services are important. The interests of the voters and taxpayers are paramount (i.e., not having to continue to support a bloated City organization that refuses to accept the reality of its financial situation).
Records requests are a City Clerk function, so why wouldn't that department share the cost of compliance rather than the CD department? Unlike CD, June's department is understaffed and needs the help but the City can hardly afford to hire more headcount so shifting people is a way to accomplish beneficial organizational realignment without having to terminate existing staff as part of budget reductions. (Or at least your staff would be cut, someone else will still have to; I gave you this suggestion because I like your team better as a means to strategically stave off cuts by still reducing department expenses.)
At least two to four positions city-wide are likely going to need to be eliminated in order to fix the City's budget problems and ballooning debt obligations. This will mean some less essential tasks won't be able to be accomplished. Or it will mean that existing people filling positions, who are not being efficient enough with their time, will have to be replaced with people who are more capable of being productive. But that is purely a matter for Tabatha since it is a personnel decision rather than a policy decision of what positions/costs to eliminate.
If you don't like the current budget cuts, wait until I draft local ballot initiatives to repeal existing taxes and fees that should have never been imposed in the first place. The TOT back-door special tax masquerading as a general tax because Measure AB was only advisory is an example of the reason why the people are going to pass the ballot measure to make everything subject to 2/3rds voter approval. California voters rarely fail to expand our approval rights for tax increases, particularly when local governments are so clearly abusing the existing process. We are tired to having our pockets picked by the city staff and elected officials who are supposed to be representing our interests but care more about keeping their jobs or expanding the scope of government beyond what makes sense in order to fund their special interest projects.
As someone who recently joined the elite club of those subject to unfounded harassment campaigns by Rex and his cronies, I strongly suggest you refrain from mis-characterizing legitimate records requests as harassment. They are legitimate investigatory tools, including of suspected inappropriate action on the part of the City. In my experience, responses often uncover evidence of clear violations of applicable legal requirements. Fixing those problems is what I focus on. No one has an interest in not following the law and it is my role to stop the government from doing so, which increases the public good.