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Mendocino County Today: Saturday, May 26, 2018

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It is with great sadness that the family of Carolyn Marie Hiatt Hibbeln announces her passing on Wednesday, May 23, 2018, at the age of 58 years. After a 2 ½ year battle with cancer, she passed away peacefully, surrounded by family.

Carolyn will be lovingly remembered by her children, daughter Heather (Tim), son Chris (Brett), her siblings Tammy, Shirley (Chris), Michelle (Brian), Alice (Gale), Charlie, Wayne, nieces, nephews, and extended family and dear friends. She was preceded in death by her husband Michael of 38 years.

Born January 1st 1960 in Santa Rosa, California, she was raised in the quiet town of Boonville. She was president and valedictorian of her graduating class at Anderson Valley High school in 1978. She married her high school sweetheart, Michael, in 1979, and her 2 children were born within 6 years of their union. A banker by profession, she retired in February 2018 after 21 years of dedicated service for River City Bank of Placerville. She was actively involved in her community, and served a term as the president of Soroptimist International of Placerville. She spearheaded the creation of the Helping Hands Program, which provides emergency relief funding to women in crisis.

A California girl at heart, she relocated to Idaho with her family in 1993, where they spent 3 years and made lifelong friends. The family returned to California in 1997 and settled in Placerville, where they spent the last 21 years. A wonderful wife, mother, sister and friend, she spent her free time traveling, gardening, reading, and enjoying life to its fullest with family and friends.

Carolyn was preceded in death by her parents, Kay and Shirley Hiatt, her grandparents Elmer and Ethel Hiatt, and R.E. and Florin Gurley.

Graveside services will be held on June 2, 2018 at Evergreen Cemetery in Boonville, CA, at 1:00 pm. Flowers can be sent to the Eversole Mortuary in Ukiah, California, (707)-462-2206.

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by Rex Gressett

The Department of Toxic Substances Control and Georgia Pacific came to Fort Bragg Thursday night to make the announcement that they were not going to require any further clean up of the toxins at the mill site.

Taylor Champion

Georgia Pacific was powerfully represented not only by our own familiar GP cleanup executive Doug Massingill, but also by Taylor Champion himself. Mr. Champion made himself somewhat famous in Fort Bragg as the first person on any team to ever actually level with the people of the city.  Mr. Champion changed the local political game when his confidential letters to Mayor Lindy Peters were leaked and Mr. Champion inadvertently threw a bomb into the shadowy fortress of the Fort Bragg Development Department.

Thursday night the state Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) did the heavy lifting and Development Director Marie Jones animated by a lively sense of self-interest handled the finale. GP sat quietly among us. They barely spoke. They didn’t have to. I would suppose they celebrated after the meeting.

These ritualistic semi-formal meetings between DTSC and the people of Fort Bragg have been going on for eleven years. The format and the mass of the attendees were weirdly familiar.

Tom Lanphar, Senior Environmental Scientist, Berkeley Regional Office, and principal spokesman for the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, opened it up with his now familiar lament for the extraordinary length, depth and complexity of the mill site project. Perhaps there was no more accurate gauge of the essential failure of the DTSC to protect the city than his despairing, almost existential, sense of failure at the end of a massive investment of his life.

Poor guy. Everyone likes him anyway. All of the regulars at DTSC  are retiring in bummed out resignation after their mandatory 20 years. Looking back at two decades of costly massive effort they must reflect that in the long ago their basic mission was that the toxic pollution would be cleaned up to the highest possible standard. Didn’t happen. In their molecule-counting hearts, they know it. Thursday night, as we quietly hit the wall, the DTSC spokespeople discoursed on the intended use of, or rather uselessness of, the wetlands. With slithering contempt for Fort Bragg's love of this incomparable open space, they told us, and told us again, that no one would want to go down there anyway.

Marie Jones rose from time to time to clarify the City's position. She handled it with her trademark self-assurance. Practically speaking she backed up DTSC and sold the deal. That’s no wetland, she told us in a discursive elaboration. I myself me, she said, actually stood on hard mud right where they are being required to erect a concrete wall in the pond. This is no wetland.

The whole thing is mud and cattails.

Bottom line, the charts and graphs they so delicately and elegantly minimized were a forthright enumeration of the residual lead, arsenic, dioxins and PCBs they are leaving us. The charts compared divergence from residential standards. The sequestering of the area behind a chainlink fence was touched on with exquisite brevity. Reassurance and an ambient drumbeat of safe safe safe smoothed the process. The audience was fundamentally either clueless or transfixed. DTSC insisted it was the only way.

Marie Jones smoothed over whatever friction there might be.   Compared to her, the DTSC spokesgeeks are babies. She pushes us around like a cowpoke moves heifers.

The meeting was a soft declaration that Fort Bragg will for all time be distinguished as possessing a dangerous toxic wasteland spreading in a broad triangle between Highway One and the ocean. The toxic zone will cross the Coastal Trail twice.

DTSC made contrite assurances that although there would be fences, warning signs would not be posted. Conscientious DTSC solicitude for our public safety had once reassured us that we would be warned of contamination with posted signs. That turned out to be a massive PR miscalculation, the DTSC public relations department has thoroughly masticated that issue in considerable bitterness. At length: No signs.

We knew what was coming, or at least the broad and wide social media intelligentsia knew. Presumably, that’s what kept most people home. Something about pearls before swine. The wider Fort Bragg electorate is not the fools they are thought to be.

The few rational observers were a mote in the audience sea of true believers. The process was dominated by the habitual makers of comments (mea culpa mea maxima culpa) and there was a selection of crazies of even more advanced age who come to the meetings because it was that rare venue where they could command attention while comfortably seated. Not one person got mad or offered a fight.

I would go further and say that a majority of the participants in the meeting were clinically mad. I don’t mean angry. The party has been going on for 11 years. No sane person had any reason to expect that this protracted exhibition of agonizing compromise was going anywhere. Predictably, sanity was not everywhere in evidence, not everyone was formally crazy, of course; there were observers only struck dumb by the inevitability of a fixed game. But it was an easy crowd for a shell game. The preponderance of regulars were those so flattered by the imaginary power of their own participation that they didn’t know how to react to a flat out kiss off.

The final announcement of the end of the world has been scheduled without their consent. What could they say?

The “substance” of the DTSC deal they were presenting to us with such meticulous cunning was that it had all been for nothing. What the community naturally wants is a clean site, no fence, a safe beautiful diverse accessible wetland we can enjoy. Duh.

What GP wants is to get out of any further expense.

What DTSC wants in their hearts is elaborately not happening. The process Thursday night was a grand declaration that by trusting the process they give us, after two decades, a $38 million failure. Maybe there's another way. I think there has to be.

"Take some more tea," the March Hare said to Alice, very earnestly.

"I've had nothing yet," Alice replied in an offended tone, "so I can't take more."

"You mean you can't take less," said the Hatter; "it's very easy to take more than nothing."

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In the first results of its investigation into the firestorms that erupted across Northern California last October, Cal Fire said Friday that PG&E allegedly failed to remove or trim trees next to power lines that sparked three wildfires in Butte and Nevada counties last fall.

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DURING HIS REGULAR POT PERMIT PROGRAM update at last Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, Pot Permit Program Manager (aka Pot Czar) Kelly Overton, answering a question from Supervisor Dan Hamburg about permit applications that have been withdrawn, told the Board that about half of the withdrawals were for applicants basically changing their minds for personal reasons or last fall’s fires in Potter and Redwood Valley. But the other half?

Overton: “In the last month or so we have seen —  in one case someone who has a permit literally wanting to to give their permit back. They couldn't sell what they had. So I think there is a concern that the rest of the market is not strong enough and by doing this legally, people are losing money.”

Hamburg: “You mean people are saying to heck with it — I’m going to take my chances on the black market?”

Overton: “I think so. In some cases. And there are also cases where it's just their land has problems as they get into the process and understand for their specific property what might have to happen with water or such. It's just a significant amount of money that they don't have at this point or don't choose to proceed with. It's not a huge number — I mean 4% [37] out of 902 isn't a huge number — but I think we are seeing a little bit of a difference recently.”

Hamburg: “A little bit of a bump up.”

Overton: “Yes. And a concern that maybe the process is so difficult to where a lot of times — before it was just life happens, things happen and people change their minds.”

There may be a small number — perhaps 20 then so far — who apparently have withdrawn their applications because the process was too unwieldy. But those 20 paid fees, paid consultants, applied to the state, filed applications with Fish & Wildlife and the Water Board, etc. At significant cost. And yet they still withdrew, presumably deciding, in Overton’s blunt phrasing, “people are losing money.”

The always level-headed pot program commenter Corinne Powell from Ukiah later told the Board that she favored extending the deadline for applications for “existing grows” another six months.

“We need to be in sync with the state. I think that would encourage the extension of the deadline. From a much larger perspective — and we from the public have commented on this ad nauseum — with the flux in the regulation and some of the indefiniteness, we think, at both county in the state level — we cannot plan appropriately. If we had a little more time to work through some of the issues pertaining to various licenses, like the micro-business licenses where premises may or may not be separated, we have a lot of things to decide before somebody can move forward with any kind of confidence that if I need to put in a new building, do I know what kind of building to put in? There's no sense in putting any investment anywhere until many other issues are resolved. So I support an extension.”

Another stymied pot grower described his own unique problems with trying to participate in the legalized permit program.

“My name is John Phillips. I applied for a permit last year in May. I have since received a partial permit. I have had to relocate. I went ahead and mediated the land, the original site. Basically now I'm shopping around for property which is twice as valuable as it was. It is simply twice its value. Basically all of the property I'm looking at — it's obviously for cultivating therefore the seller knows that and they are just raising the price of the property. What if I wanted to rent? The problem is renting from a property owner, or really anybody, they want percentages of our business. To spend the amount of money that it will take to be compliant to work with the state, a percentage which is usually — they want half, simply half. I just can't — nobody can operate like that. I don’t know a business that can. Starbucks cannot pay half of their profits to rent a location. It's impossible. So that's an issue. If they don't want a percentage, I have been working — even with listing agents, $20,000 a month is not going to work for me. So if you guys do not approve an extension or if you do away with the deadline I would have to put my permit somewhere — my proof of prior cultivation, essentially. Therefore I would have to fill out a new permit. So if I cannot find property cheap enough, I will pretty much lose the opportunity to cultivate because I have already invested everything I have to get what I have. Which is a partial permit. Without a place to grow it’s useless. And as long as property prices and rents are so outrageous I won't be able to do so.”

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To the Editor:

As an inmate of Mendocino County Correctional Facility, I am writing about my experience on my field trip today, May 12. It was presented by the local Rotary Club at the Ukiah Convention Center. The topic was human trafficking and sexual exploitation. This is clearly a big social issue locally. It was suggested that with increased public awareness, empathy for the victims would be increased, bringing the problems to light. In addition, more public awareness would help to support victims’ personal feelings of any quilt, embarrassment, shame along with self-blame could be minimized. Public support would also help to minimize the need for victims to barter in exchange for their fundamental needs.


As a victim of sexual exploitation myself, something that occurred during the presentation reminded me of a childhood memory. My father, a World War II veteran and expert mechanic, taught me how important a spark plug is to the proper function of an engine. Over the past ten years, in and out of jails and institutions, proceeding my father’s death, it is only recently that I do recognize my need for a personal tune-up. This presentation today helped to reignite my own personal spark and to further empower my own personal experiences and voice to help those who are or may become sexual victims. Further, I plan to pursue higher education so that I may even more effectively help those in need.

Dena Darlene Morris

Mendocino County Jail


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Ladies, please note that our June 7th meeting begins at 12:30. Our Spring Luncheon is always a special event, with salads and desserts galore. This year our springy hostess crew will be led by Mary Ann Grzenda, with Cherry Green, Ann Wakeman and Bonni Davi. We will follow the luncheon with the installation of Officers. The 2018 - 2019 slate of Officers is: President – Janet Lombard; co-Vice Presidents - Val Muchowski and Mary Darling; Secretary - Ann Wakeman; and Treasurer - Joanie Clark. Thank you Officers for promising to serve. Congratulations!

The Lending Library will be open during the Summer on Tuesdays from 1:30 to 4:30 and Saturdays from 2:00 to 4:00, whenever the Fairgrounds are not otherwise engaged.

We will be awarding scholarships to deserving Seniors at the High School graduation. Thanks to all who have served as Senior Project judges and those on Scholarship Committees. The class of 2018 is an exemplary group of students who are not only talented but also show a commitment to service to the Community.

We shall see you on Thursday June 7th at 12:30 in the Dining Room at the Fairgrounds for our Spring Luncheon. Bring a salad or dessert for 4-6 people and prepare to be amazed.

Miriam L. Martinez

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LITTLE DOG SAYS, “The boss told me to keep an eye out for a fog belt psycho who's been sending him crank notes. 'LD, bolo for a 4-foot rastafarian, female type.' I told the boss, '"Really? You're afraid of tiny tots?'"

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Dear Editor,

I first met Ted Williams at a candidate forum in Boonville several months ago. I was immediately impressed about what a serious and intelligent young man he is. He is soft spoken and seemed quite well versed about a variety of county issues and concerns. He listened carefully to the questions and suggestions from the audience, gave thoughtful answers and didn’t make unrealistic promises. He is interested in evidence based decision making. He followed up personally by phone about certain issues that we had discussed at the meeting.

I learned that Ted had grown up on the Mendocino Coast and had graduated from Mendocino High School. He has a 23 year career as a software developer, a business that he currently runs, at least partly, by telecommuting from his Mendocino coast home. He has been the Albion Little River Fire Chief since 2011 and co-authored measures M and V, which sought to protect our forests from the effects of herbicide spraying.

Because of Ted’s deep roots here in Mendocino County, he is committed to preserving both our natural environment as well as our unique rural life style. The combination of his youth and his technical background help him understand the steps we need to take so that children growing up here can participate in the economy of the future.

I am very happy to endorse Ted Williams as the next Supervisor from the Fifth District.

Dan Mandelbaum


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High-end dream cabin getaway! Serene ridge-top location on over 43 acres of privacy, views, sunsets and gently sloping hills. Extensively remodeled 1 bd/1 ba home w/ 2 sleeping lofts, walls of windows, hardwood floors & concrete countertops. Custom barn doors, slate shower, luxurious sauna, expansive redwood deck with a hot tub. + modern shipping container with full bath/laundry room & a studio - all in the heart of Anderson Valley, close to town

Shut the front door, a ridge-top luxury cabin on 43 acres just went on the market in Mendocino County for under a million dollars.

The serene mountain getaway features an extensively remodeled one bedroom, one bathroom with two sleeping lofts, walls of windows, hardwood floors, concrete counter-tops, custom barn doors, a slate shower, sauna, expansive redwood deck and hot tub.

If that is not enough, there is a modern shipping container studio with a laundry room and full bath. It needs a little TLC, but can easily be transformed into another small apartment.

The best part of it all ? The land – a Bob Ross worthy landscape of rolling green hills and happy little trees fit for paint and canvas. And with 43 acres to roam, who knows perhaps a larger luxury residence in the near future?

Click through our gallery above to take a spin around this high-end Mendocino County retreat.

16700 Deer Meadows Road, Boonville - $929,000

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FORT BRAGG, Thursday, May 24. -- A Mendocino County Superior Court jury returned to the Ten Mile courtroom from its deliberations late Thursday morning with guilty verdicts against a serial alcohol-impaired driver.

Defendant Devon James Spencer, age 38, of the Fort Bragg area, was found guilty of driving a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol, a misdemeanor, and also guilty of driving a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol .08 or greater, also a misdemeanor. In addition to bad driving, the evidence presented to the jury was the defendant's blood alcohol at the time of the bad driving was .08.

The defense requested that sentencing enhancements alleging prior convictions be bifurcated from the substantive offenses so as to keep the jury from learning of the priors. After the jury was thanked and excused, a court trial was conducted to determine whether the DA's allegations of prior convictions were true. The court found true that the defendant had previously suffered two separate convictions for alcohol-related reckless driving in 2008.

The prosecutor who presented the People's evidence to the jury during the two-day trial was Deputy District Attorney Tim Stoen. The investigating law enforcement agencies were the California Highway Patrol and the Department of Justice crime laboratory in Eureka.

(District Attorney Press Release)

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photo courtesy Kelly House Museum

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DON'T CRY FOR ME, FORT BRAGG, but Mendocino County's port city has taken a pounding lately. First, an unemployed lawyer says he's going to sue the city because Hispanics are electorally unrepresented. The unemployed lawyer would of course deny he's angry for not having been hired as the city attorney and would also deny he is suing because he sees his suit as a quick hundred grand or so. This righteous attorney is white, as are his clandestine supporters. With tiny Fort Bragg broken into electoral sections, the town's "liberals," most of them quite wealthy, will be able to dominate the city council as they disastrously have in the years prior to the reinstatement of Fort Bragg people who have have the town's best interests at heart.

WE THEN LEARN that the state's Toxic's investigators have declared the G-P mill site as poison-free, hence a permanent fence and warning signs around the site's wetlands just in case. The Koch Brothers raise a glass.

AND JACK SILVER says he, too, is poised to sue Fort Bragg, but if Fort Bragg pays him off he'll go away. Fort Bragg has 60 days to cough up. Silver, as he has been doing for years now up and down the Northcoast, has found a technical violation of the Clean Water Act at Fort Bragg's wastewater treatment plant. As he has done in Fortuna, Ukiah, Ferndale and many other municipalities, he combs their Water Quality files for violations — he's never found a deliberate one yet — threatens to sue, the towns pay him to avoid even more expensive litigation and Silver walks away with a quick $25,000 for the time he spent typing up his demand letter. He always sues municipalities because municipalities carry insurance with big deductibles. He hides behind a phony environmental front whose board of directors consist of his relatives and claims to devote a portion of his winning fees to environmental good. Evidence of these donations is, shall we say, scant. These are links to some of the stories the ava has written about Silver's shakedowns:

Turd Watch (2004)

River Watch Sues Willits. Again. (2011)

Mendocino County Today: August 11 (2013)

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I have the perfect recommendation for the location to spend Measure B funds: Out of the AVA, October 25, 2016:

THE GUALALA PROPERTY at 40495 Old Stage Road has been interesting to watch. It is owned by Joseph Cullen who has been popped several times over the years for possession of drugs. The place is referred to as “The Boat House” as it has a 30 plus-foot sailboat down by two double-wides on a lot not permitted for that kind of crowded occupancy.

SEVERAL YEARS AGO, the owner installed a galvanized sheet metal fence and roped the whole place in so no one could see what was going on. The county, with help from the Sonoma County Sheriff and Mendo deputy Greg Stefani, went in and pulled the fence down and removed abandoned cars and all sorts of hazmat-quality debris at a cost to the county of more than $100,000 with a caveat that the guy clean up the rest of the property and pay his dues.

AIN’T HAPPENING. The tweekers have rebounded, accumulating more junk out in the entry way. What neighbors want to know is how did the county provide for the costs in the original clean up, and why is the situation unchanged?

A RESIDENT of the area wonders, “if it would make a difference in the neighborhood if the shitstorm down there would become long gone. Nobody seems to care, and we have the walking dead around here all the time (the other day one of their inhabitants was ‘cleaning the forest floor’ while smoking a cigarette). They don’t steal from us, but what kind of accounting is due from the county in this rural area? I bet Hamburg is not even aware of the money spent so far to clean up this mess. More and more vehicles with flat tires, bent metal works and broken windows appear on the site.

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LICENSE PLATE HOLDER spotted in San Rafael: "You don't believe in Jesus? You will on judgement Day." Odd, isn't it, how delighted the Jesus people seem at the thought of the rest of us stammering out our apologies at the Pearly Gates.

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THE TWO SUPE'S races are too close to call. The 3rd District looks to us like Pinches, Haschak in a run-off with Horger and Jeavons coming on strong. The 5th? We think it's always been Williams and Roderick in a run-off, with Skyhawk a fairly strong third. The lib juggernaut that has elected 5th District supervisors for forty years is split between Williams and The Hawk, but The Hawk's affiliations — Billary Democrats, K-Cult Radio, the County's grasping non-profits — are propelling a preponderance of Coastlib to Williams, although Roderick, falsely dismissed by the more hysterical libs as a Trumpian, is picking up quite a few lib votes to go with support from Farm Bureau types and the Grape people. Mendo's little Deep State, the permanent County bureaucracy, most fears Pinches and Juhl, the only two candidates who see the obvious — major managerial dysfunction.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, May 25, 2018

Arnold, Beck, Borgongo

SHANNON ARNOLD, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct: alcohol, probation revocation. (Frequent Flyer)

DYLAN BECK, Ukiah. Failure to appear, resisting, probation revocation. (Frequent Flyer)

ANITA BORGONGO, Cotati/Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.

Degroot, Ha, King

JENNIFER DEGROOT, Ukiah. Failure to appear. (Frequent Flyer)

LUONG HA, Stockton/Ukiah. Probation revocation.

NICHOLE KING, Ukiah. Fugitive from justice, parole violation.

Lawrence, Lopez, Perry

DEBORAH LAWRENCE, Ukiah. Under influence, controlled substance, probation revocatioin. (Frequent Flyer)

PHILLIP LOPEZ, Ukiah. Parole violation.

JERRON PERRY, Vacaville. Battery on peace officer.

Riley, Tapia-Morales, Wiley

LEWIS RILEY, Redwood Valley. DUI, suspended license for DUI, probation revocation.

LORENZO TAPIA-MORALES, Ukiah. DUI, suspended license for DUI, probation revocation.

TRISTIN WILEY, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

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Reviewed by J. Robert Lennon

My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent, Fourth Estate

Elmet by Fiona Mozley, John Murray, March

A motherless 14-year-old child, unconstrained by society and gender, is being raised by a violent father. Shunned by their community, they live far from others, sustained by hunting and fishing; they pride themselves on their independence, their rejection of modern morality. Their home is roughly built, their clothes unfashionable, but their way of life is stable – until everything changes.

That paragraph describes two very different first novels, one by an American man whose protagonist is a nonconforming young woman; the other by a British woman whose protagonist is a nonconforming young man. The two examine childhood, parenthood and self-determination at a time when true autonomy is rare. The British novel reads like a socialist manifesto: simple workers try to lead honest lives and evil landowners manipulate them; its nuance comes in depictions of the natural environment and its attention to the changing politics of gender and sexuality.

The American book presents itself as psychological realist horror with forays into survivalist fiction and, surprisingly, teen romance. Its successes include rhythmic prose and the memorable heroine. Both indulge in some of the excess that is common to first novels — an eagerness to make themselves understood, a lack of descriptive concision, a structural scruffiness is born, one imagines, of inspiration — but also demonstrate talents that could sustain long careers. Despite their similarities, they are highly distinctive.

My Absolute Darling is set in a semi-wild America we will eventually learn is Mendocino, a tiny town in Northern California surrounded by cliffs and redwood forests. We realize on the very first page that we are in the Weathered Americana school of fiction: an old house, climbing roses and peeling paint; bullet riddled sheet metal and spent shell casings; a pickup truck, flannel, a pair of Levis. (The word Levis appears enough times through the book to raise suspicion of product placement. As in many novels of rural America such brands function as signifiers of authenticity along with exhaustively researched detail about guns, the properties of knife steel and the names of plants.) The genes are worn by Martin, father of the protagonist, Julia, a 14-year-old girl who goes by Turtle.

Martin — intelligent, narcissistic, an autodidact — has shunned the outside world, convinced he is better than everyone in it: stronger, smarter, harder. He has raised a daughter to feel the same. Martin is a day drinker and a heavy consumer of books which he wields as conversational weapons alongside the actual weapons he also perpetually wields. His love for his daughter whom he is forever training to be some kind of survivalist superhero is disturbing. He affectionately calls her Kibble, but — sometimes in the same breath — bitch and cunt; he forces her at knife point to perform feats of strength, agility and marksmanship and every now and again he rapes her.

Turtle is an ideal survivor. She is stern, perspicacious (though failing in school), and inhabits her body preternaturally like a creature of the forest which she kind of is. She knows she's being abused and wants to murder her father; but she also craves his approval and privately berates herself in his voice as in this bout of sexualized self adulation:

"She stoops there, thinking, slit, slit, slit, that unlovely slot lodged between her legs, unfinished by inattention or design, opening into her own peculiarity, its aperture and its sign, and she understands it now; the slit is illiterate — that word undresses her of all that she has knotted and buckled up about herself; she feels collapsed — every bitter, sluggish part of her collapsed and made identical to that horrible clam."

In spite of the abuse and everything she knows it has done to her, Turtle admires Martin above all other people. Every impulse to flee is matched by another to give herself over to his familiar attention.

The balance is interrupted when, during an extended ramble through the woods, Turtle encounters a pair of young men from town, Jacob and Bret. She knows them from school; they know her as that weird girl with the scary dad. They are lost. Turtle agrees to lead them back to town but darkness falls and they end up having to make camp together; in doing so, Turtle amazes them with her wilderness survival acumen. These boys are charming nerds, outlandishly articulate, and through that Turtle gets her first glimpse of what life might be like for a smart kid from a loving home: "The boys talk in a way that is alarming and exciting to her — fantastical, gently celebratory, silly. To Turtle, slow of speech, with her inward and circular mind, their facility for language is dizzying. She feels brilliantly included within that province of things she wants, lit up from within by possibility." Eventually she finds herself drawn further into their orbit and their world of stoner, new-age parents with disposable income. This is the world she has been trained to hate, but she can't because everyone is nice to her and because she's falling in love with Jacob.

Martin senses an imminent betrayal and strives to separate Turtle from her allies who include one of her teachers and Martin's father, her dissipated advocate. Grandpa encourages Turtle to go to a school dance with Jacob then dies suddenly during an argument over it with Martin and instead of holding a funeral Martin and Turtle burn his trailer to the ground. (This effort to immolate the past fails at first — the fire won’t light. But when it does, the resulting explosion nearly kills them both.) Before long, Martin has pulled Turtle out of school and then abruptly disappears.

Everything changes while he's gone. Turtle begins to rely on her friends from town and then one day she and Jacob, absorbed in trying to catch eels on a rocky beach, are caught off guard by a rising tide and end up stranded, broken and battered, on a small island just off the shore. What follows is a Jack Londonesque tale of survival with the twist that deliverance lies barely 100 feet away on the other side of violent waters. The means of Turtle and Jacob's eventual self-rescue echoes cleverly the perpetual nearness of eternal salvation from the prison of her life with her father.

When Martin returns at last he has brought someone with him: a 10-year-old girl called Cayenne whom he picked up during his travels. She is both a rebuke to Turtle’s rebellion and her evident successor. Turtle despises the girl — Cayenne has stolen her father's attention — but she also serves as a mirror in which Turtle is forced at last to confront her own predicament.

There have been so many guns over the mantle in the story that the reader can't help but expect it to climax like Chekhov says it must, times a thousand. It does, before giving way to a hopeful, quiet coda. The ending, a study in contrasts, allows Tallent to show his range, which is alternately lyrical and minimalist, horrific and comic. The book is impressive on the sentence level but its many riffs and filagrees are a distraction from its real achievements: a sensitive yet steadfast portrayal of a hopelessly damaged child.

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Looking at the face of our latest mass murderer — he looks younger than 17 — makes me think it's time for a remake of The Boys of Brazil featuring America's killer kids.

Dimitrios Pagourtzis

And for more reflection on the banality of evil, including a negligent father who makes his guns available to his creepy son.

Jeremy Black

(Rob Anderson, District5Diary)

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by Dan Bacher

Richmond, CA —  Beneath California’s green veneer is a toxic Big Oil underbelly, demonstrated by the fact that California is the nation’s third biggest oil producer  and is home to huge oil refineries, including the Chevron oil refinery in Richmond, that process crude oil drilled in the Amazon and elsewhere. While the New York Times, Rolling Stone and other media often hail Governor Jerry Brown as a “climate hero,” the Brown administration has overseen a massive increase in offshore and onshore drilling in California, including the approval of 238 NEW offshore oil wells in state waters under existing leases off the Southern California coast.

On May 17 in a big show of solidarity, Indigenous leaders from the Ecuadorian Amazon joined Idle No More SF Bay and other Bay Area allies at Chevron's Richmond Refinery to call on California's political leadership to phase out oil and gas production and processing in the state, including its importation of crude oil drilled in the Amazon rainforest, according to a news release from Amazon Watch.

Gloria Ushigua and Manari Ushigua, leaders of the Sapara people, drew attention to the impacts that the fossil fuel economy, including Chevron's key role in causing destruction to people and planet.

"We are all fighting for our survival, to protect our little pieces of land," said Gloria Ushigua Santi, Sapara Nation leader. "I have seen how destructive the fossil fuel industry is for California's own communities. I don't want our land to become polluted, like this land by the refinery.

“We call on California's leadership to move quickly from an unsustainable reliance on a fossil fuel economy to a sustainable one based on renewable energy. Anything less puts the Sapara, the Amazon and other Amazonian indigenous peoples, California communities, and our entire global climate in danger,” said Ushigua Santi.

“The possibility of oil drilling in our territory — something the Ecuadorian government is pushing — could be the end of the Sapara people, and certainly an end to our strong connection with the forest,” said Manari Ushigua Santi, Sapara Nation. "After all, there are few of us, and we have seen the deforestation and cultural destruction already caused by oil drilling in other parts of the Amazon. Now that we know about the link between oil from the Amazon and California refineries, we know that the state government's continued support of the oil industry also puts us and other peoples of the Amazon in danger.”

Chevron wields enormous political influence in the state, since it is one of the biggest contributors in the state to political campaigns every year. Chevron and the Western States Petroleum Association also regularly top the list of spenders on lobbying in Sacramento.

Big Oil dominated three out of the four top spots of expenditures by all lobbying organizations in 2017, according to documents from the California Secretary of State's Office. Outspending all of its competition, Chevron placed first with $8.2 million, and the WSPA placed second $6.2 million. Tesoro Refining and Marketing Company finished fourth with $3.2 million. For more information, go to: <> In addition to Chevron's toxic legacy in Ecuador, the Sapara leaders and allies from Communities for a Better Environment, Green Action, and Bay Area indigenous-led organization Idle No More SF Bay outlined how California's oil and gas extraction and processing is harming communities from the Ecuadorian Amazon to Richmond, California.

“The Sapara Nation of the Ecuadorian Amazon is recognized by UNESCO as an ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity’ because their language and culture are in danger of disappearing,” according to Amazon Watch. “There are about 500 Sapara people still living in their ancestral home, a large territory that is a critical part of the Amazonian ecosystem. However, Sapara territory — and the Sapara themselves — are in serious danger from oil drilling planned for two oil blocks that overlap with approximately 500,000 acres of their ancestral territory.”

The group said Chevron refineries throughout California are the largest purchasers and processors of crude oil imported from the Amazon rainforest, as well as one of the state's biggest overall polluters. A 2017 Amazon Watch report <> demonstrated that half of crude oil exports from the Western Amazon come to California, adding to the toxic impact of the California's fossil fuel production and refining industry.

"Continued oil and gas extraction in California — both on land and offshore — and its imports of Amazon crude is a significant obstacle to doing what science says must be done to prevent the worst outcomes from climate change: keeping fossil fuels in the ground,” said Leila Salazar-López, Amazon Watch Executive Director.

"It's important to be here today because it shows that the very resistance starts in our own backyards,” said Isabella Zizi, Idle No More SF Bay. "It makes a direct connection to what is happening down in the Ecuadorian Amazon with our indigenous brothers and sisters and our relatives down there who are facing the same destruction and harms to their own people and that we can come together and unite and make change together and stand up to Big Oil."

"I'm here today representing Communities for a Better Environment with our ongoing solidarity with Amazon Watch and the advocacy that connects the extractive activities in Ecuador directly to the refining activities in Richmond and the commonalities of not only health impacts but also political corruption,”  stated Andrés Soto, Communities for a Better Environment. "We need to link our resistance because we're dealing with transnational corporations and so we also need to have a transnational resistance."

As a result of the millions that Big Oil has spent on campaign contributions and lobbying in recent years, both onshore and offshore drilling has expanded substantially in California under the Brown administration.

In February 2017, an analysis of Department of Conservation data by the Fracktracker Alliance revealed that Governor Jerry Brown’s oil and gas regulators approved 238 new offshore oil wells in state waters under existing leases off Los Angeles and Ventura counties from 2012 to 2016, an increase of 17 percent. Roughly 171 of them were still active as of a year ago.

In addition, the number of  active onshore oil and gas wells has jumped 23 percent from 53,825 in 2009, the year before Brown was elected Governor, to 66,516 onshore wells at the end of 2016, according to Department of Conservation data.

The number of wells drilled and completed in 2014 alone jumped by 67 percent over 2011 to 6,896 from 4,636 on Governor Brown’s watch. The FracTacker Alliance report is available here: <> More recently, state records <> obtained by the Center for Biological Diversity under the California Public Records Act revealed that corporations drilling for oil and gas off the southern coast of California have violated state regulations at least 381 times since 2015.

“The violations range from major corrosion and other serious safety threats on offshore drilling platforms to a pattern of missing and failed well-integrity tests on four offshore drilling islands owned by the city of Long Beach,” the Center said.

While California officials tout themselves as leaders in “marine protection” and addressing climate change, the reality in the state’s coastal waters, as well as onshore in Kern County, Los Angeles County and elsewhere, is one of fossil fuel extraction expansion and significant violations of environmental laws by the fossil fuel industry.

Take Action - Tell Governor Jerry Brown to commit to no new fossil fuels in California:


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Fort Bragg, CA – May 23, 2018 – Mendocino Coast Hospital Foundation is pleased to announce that thanks to our Winesong 2017 donors who contributed over $190,000, it has funded the purchase of 18 new Hill-Rom VersaCare beds that are improving both patient safety and patient comfort at Mendocino Coast District Hospital (MCDH).  The Medical-Surgical unit received 12 beds, the OB department received 3, and 3 went to the ICU.

Important new comfort and safety features include:

The beds can be easily moved from the normal flat position to an upright, seated positon, allowing the patient to exit the bed as if getting out of a chair.

The beds have built-in scales for obtaining patient weights with minimal disruption to the patient. This is a critical factor in medication dosing and monitoring fluid retention.

The new mattress improves patient comfort and helps in the process of preventing pressure ulcers.

The beds can be lowered to a height of 1½ feet off the ground. This eliminates the need for a step-stool for patients of short stature. This also reduces the risks of employee injuries.

The beds have built-in alarms, which can be set for different areas of the bed. The alarm will immediately notify nursing staff if a patient is attempting to get out of bed without assistance, and is therefore at risk for falling.

The beds include “Break Off” alarms. This is a safety measure to notify nursing staff if the bed’s breaking system has not been set. Therefore greatly reducing the potential fall risk when the patient is entering or exiting the bed.

In addition to improving patient safety and comfort, the beds are easy for staff to move and operate, greatly reducing the possibilities of strains and other work-related injuries.

Emily Anthony, RN, O.C.D ICU nurse, recalled, “After I finished my volunteer shift in First Aid at Winesong, I went over to watch the live auction.  I got so emotional watching as the donations kept coming in, it actually made me cry.  To see the direct connection between donors and the patients that would directly benefit was incredibly powerful.”

MCDH Staff with one of the new ICU beds at MCDH. From left to right: Bob Edwards, CEO MCDH; Michelle Roberts, Executive Director, Mendocino Coast Hospital Foundation; and Kelly Hendricks, RN.

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Pelican needs ride to Santa Rosa

Woodlands Wildlife has a very young pelican who needs a ride to Santa Rosa Bird Rescue today (Friday) or tomorrow (Saturday). Will come in a secure pet-taxi, no dogs, no radio, must go directly to the rescue facility between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. before other errands are taken care of. Contact 707-937-2014 or

This is such a crazy weather year, a large number of pelicans laid eggs and hatched out a bunch of babies who grew up and then suddenly when the migration started, even though they weren't old enough or strong enough to migrate--they did. They're landing, exhausted and starving all along the coast. Few make it as far north as Mendocino, but this is the third one we've had to get to the pelican facility which houses and helps these very specialized birds.

Ronnie James,

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The Texas killer used a shotgun and a revolver, which have been around for 160 years. We didn’t have these killings 160 years ago. We teach kids ABCs, and we expect to get ABCs back. We show them violent movies and video games, and we expect to get kittens and flowers back. Grow up. We have raised a generation of killers.

Mark Swendsen


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Why do they lash out?

I think it has something to do with the iron fist inside a velvet glove. For all the “freedom” kids have today their emotions and lives are very carefully diagnosed and circumscribed.

A kid who did not fit into the academic mold in the past could work a job and drive a hot rod and have status in that world – working towards skills. Rebels without a cause had a parallel world with its own rules and mores that was actually more in line with our evolutionary heritage than the academic world. A fast food worker is at the bottom of the pecking order for those people (not to say it is the bottom for those heading for higher education).

Today they are diagnosed, subjected to “treatment”, and restrained which only raises the pressure in the boiler. I predict it will get much, much worse.

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* * *


by James Kunstler

Picking up a trope conceived months back, the melodrama of US governance is looking more and more like Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, with the FBI as the doomed ship Pequod, R. Mueller as Captain Ahab, and D.J. Trump as the white whale. In the classic book, of course, the wounded whale finally sends the ship to the bottom, crew and all (but one), and swims away to the freedom of the deep blue sea.

Forgive the barrage of movie metaphor, but there’s quite a bit of the 1944 classic Gaslight in here too — and sure, I’m not the first to notice. In that film, the wicked Charles Boyer manipulates his wife, played by Ingrid Bergman, into thinking she’s lost her marbles, in order to cover up his own crimes. That’s how I feel when I turn to The New York Times every morning — for instance, Friday’s edition, with the front-page story Trump Proxies Drop by Briefings on Use of F.B.I. Informant (which headline was actually changed on the landing page to Trump’s Lawyer and Chief of Staff Appear at Briefings on F.B.I.’s Russia Informant).

This mendacious exercise in manufacturing paranoia seeks to divert the public’s attention from the actual matter at hand, which is whether the highest higher-ups in the FBI will hand over documents to congressional committees who demanded them, as they are entitled to do by the constitution. Trump’s lawyers and General Kelly “dropped by” to remind the FBI officials that the president, as chief officer of the executive branch, has instructed the FBI mandarins to comply. In other words, the Newspaper of Record endeavors to distort the record of events. That’s disgraceful enough, but they are also abetting what appears more and more to be a case of mutiny with overtones of sedition.

After many months, the gaslight is losing its mojo and a clearer picture has emerged of just what happened during and after the 2016 election: the FBI, CIA, and the Obama White House colludedand meddled to tilt the outcome and, having failed spectacularly, then labored frantically to cover up their misdeeds with further misdeeds. The real election year crimes for which there is actual evidence point to American officials not Russian gremlins. Having attempted to incriminate Trump at all costs, these tragic figures now scramble to keep their asses out of jail.

I say “tragic” because they — McCabe, Comey, Rosenstein, Strzok, Page, Ohr, et al — probably think they were acting heroically and patriotically to save the country from a monster, and I predict that is exactly how they will throw themselves to the mercy of the jury when they are called to answer for these activities in a court of law.

Of course, they have stained the institutional honor of the FBI and its parent Department of Justice, but it is probably a healthier thing for the US public to maintain an extremely skeptical attitude about what has evolved into a malevolent secret police operation.

The more pressing question is how all this huggermugger gets adjudicated in a timely manner. Congress has the right to impeach agency executives like Rod Rosenstein and remove them from office. That would take a lot of time and ceremony. They can also charge them with contempt-of-congress and jail them until they comply with committee requests for documents. Mr. Trump is entitled to fire the whole lot of the ones who remain. But, finally, all this has to be sorted out in federal court, with referrals made to the very Department of Justice that has been a main actor in this tale.

The most mysterious figure in the cast is the MIA Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, who has become the amazing invisible man. It’s hard to see how his recusal in the Russia matter prevents him from acting in any way whatsoever to clean the DOJ house and restore something like operational norms — e.g. complying with congressional oversight — especially as the Russia matter itself resolves as a completely fabricated dodge. The story is moving very fast now. The Pequod is whirling around in the maelstrom, awaiting the final blow from the white whale’s mighty flukes.

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

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Full-time and PT position available at Gardens

We are looking for a few good people to help us keep the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens humming. Current employment opportunities include Rhody’s Cafe Staff (part-time/seasonal) and Garden Store Manager  (full-time)! Visit for more details.

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Board and Commissions Vacancies

The list of vacancies, due to term expirations and/or resignations, for County Boards and Commissions has been updated. A list of all new and existing vacancies is available on the County Website at: The attached document contains a list of the vacancies that are new.

Two seats: Air Quality District Hearing Board

One seat (District 1): Civil Service Commission

Filing deadline: June 18, 2018 or until filled.

Mendocino County Board of Supervisors and Executive Office501 Low Gap Road, Room 1010tel: (707) 463-4441

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by Ralph Nader

Top military, diplomatic, and political leaders have exposed, warned of, and condemned our runaway, unaudited military budgets for decades, to no avail.  (For many examples, see America’s War Machine: Vested Interests, Endless Conflicts by James McCartney, with Molly Sinclair McCartney.)  They usually come to the same desperate conclusion: that only organized citizens back in their Congressional Districts can make Congress stop this spending spree. Only us, Americans!

From 1953, when President Dwight D. Eisenhower delivered his “Cross of Iron” speech before the Convention of Newspaper Editors, to full-length addresses by President Obama’s Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, the warnings about unrestrained military spending have not been addressed. The military budget—now at about a trillion dollars when you add up all costs—is spiraling out of control and draining the public budgets for rebuilding America’s public infrastructure and services. Now both major parties go along with uncritical rubber-stamping.

Even the strict Pentagon budget of about $700 billion is now over fifty percent of the entire federal government’s operational budget for the other departments and agencies.

President Eisenhower said:

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.”

The oft-repeated phrase of “waste, fraud, and abuse” describing the Pentagon’s contracts with the giant defense industry rarely quantifies the toll of the outrageous waste of taxpayer dollars.  Too many way-over-budget weapons systems that are not needed. Too many nuclear-equipped missiles, submarines, and bombers (referred to as the nuclear triad) are maintained at too-expensive levels.

Former generals, such as Presidents Gerald Ford and George H. W. Bush’s national security advisor Brent Scowcroft, have called for scrapping two of the triad. Doing so would still leave plenty of dispersed, globally destructive power to act as a sufficient nuclear deterrent. But the war machine of Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, Boeing, Raytheon, and other big corporations is forever hungry for more and ever-bigger contracts.  While warmongering neocons and so-called think tanks like the American Enterprise Institute keep looking for enemies to exaggerate, the weapons industry lobbyists swarm over Capitol Hill demanding new military spending. The Trump administration is pushing a new arms race calling for spending at least $1.2 trillion over the next 30 years to allegedly upgrade existing nuclear weapons (see The Project on Government Oversight, “New Documents Raise Questions about Increased Nuclear Spending”).

Former Secretary of Defense Gates made pointed reference to the vastly excessive firepower of our too-many submarines and other delivery systems compared to all other countries in the world combined.

With Trump throwing more money at the DoD, the excessive Pentagon spending Gates described is much worse today. What to do?  Start with requiring a fully and authentically audited military budget, a provision already required by federal law since 1992.

The Pentagon has been in violation of that Congressional directive since 1992 but keeps promising that an audit is coming, to Congress’s Government Accountability Office (GAO).

At a House Armed Services Committee hearing in January, DoD Comptroller David Norquist promised an audit later this year. To illustrate his sincerity, Norquist said his office had already discovered two stunning situations: “The Army found 39 Black Hawk helicopters that had not been properly recorded in its property system. The Air Force identified 478 buildings and structures at 12 installations that were not in its real property system.”

The Comptroller did not go into the fraud and waste minefield that has lost taxpayers trillions of dollars since 1992. Not all this comes from the Pentagon. For years, the DoD has wanted to close dozens of costly, obsolete military bases in the U.S.  Various members of Congress, who view the military budget as a jobs program, have blocked these closures.

There is some light. Fifty-three members of the House of Representatives have signed on to H.R. 3079, which would reduce the budget of the Department (subject to emergency presidential waivers) by one-half of one percent if the Pentagon’s financial statements do not receive an audit OK by the GAO. H.R. 3079 is a stirring in the body politic, however weak the pulse.

Obtain a copy of H.R. 3079 and its named sponsors to see whether your Representative is on board. If not, demand to know why. All of Connecticut’s Representatives have ducked co-sponsoring this bill.

No such bill has been introduced in the Senate.

What more support do they need from the Pentagon than its own specialized audits, the GAO’s famous audits, and a quote from Secretary Gates right in Sec. 3 (10) of H.R. 3079 from a speech given on May 24, 2011:

“The current apparatus for managing people and money across the DOD enterprise is woefully inadequate. The agencies, field activities, joint headquarters, and support staff function of the department operate as a semi-feudal system—an amalgam of fiefdoms without centralized mechanisms to allocate resources, track expenditures and measure results relative to the department’s overall priorities.”

This legislation needs immediate public hearings in Congress. Full annual audits will reveal the costs of Empire. This is your money that could be used in your own community for jobs to repair and upgrade your public transit, roads, bridges, schools, drinking water/sewage systems, and other crumbling infrastructure and facilities.

At a recent gathering focused on auditing the military budget, citizens from 16 Congressional Districts agreed to organize that pressure to make Congress work for us. Stay tuned.

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

* * *


Trump and Kim? It Ain’t Over Till the Fat Leader Sings

* * *

MY OBJECTIVES remain quite reasonable and moderate, but I will not make the facts more palatable. I could say that Israel is using ‘disproportionate force,’ and that would make me a critic of Israel. But I don’t think that expression – or ‘indiscriminate force’ – I don’t think those expressions accurately capture what’s happening. And I’m not going to water down the facts to make it more palatable. If you say they’re using disproportionate force, the implication is that they’re entitled to use proportionate force. If you say they’re using indiscriminate force, the implication is that they have the right to use discriminate force. I don’t think they’re entitled to use any force. I don’t think you have a right to confine people to a concentration camp […] and if you want me, as the son of survivors of concentration camps, to now say that if the Nazi guards had used discriminate and proportionate force then it was okay to keep my father in Auschwitz and my mother in Majdanek – no, I’m not going there. You lose me. I’m not betraying the legacy of my parents in order to make myself palatable. So that puts me outside.

— Norman Finkelstein



  1. Lazarus May 26, 2018

    “Over the past ten years, in and out of jails and institutions, proceeding my father’s death, it is only recently that I do recognize my need for a personal tune-up.” Dena Morris

    I knew her father and remember seeing her as a child. I sincerely hope she can return to the land of the living. Watching her appearances through the police logs I suspected she could soon be in the place of the dead…
    As always,

  2. Arthur Juhl May 26, 2018

    I just read the article that my fellow candidates for the 5th district have it all in the bag! I guess you, the voters do not want to change the way the county spends the budget. The fellows are all Nice guys, but do the Nice guys have the wherewithal to buck the present county system? If you want Nice guys you must give the CEO another raise as $310,000.00 is not enough to do all the work she does. Also drop plans for housing, homelessness and mental health. As no one understands the budget there will be no money for any project especially the Roads! But if you really want CHANGE you will vote for ME, Arthur E. Juhl. I understand the budget and will reduce the outrageous salaries that are paid to people who really do not know what the hell they are doing. And not waste money paying consultants for a job that county employees should be doing. And find out what happened to the funds set aside for our roads the past 20 or so years!
    A crook was caught steeling a million dollars a few years ago, but how long has that been going on? That money was for our roads!
    And who knows more about mental health, having a Uncle messed up from WW1, and a son that I have been taking care of the last 20years? I put my hat in this race because of Measure B, but found the county really needs help getting the financial crisis understood by you, the people! In order to solve the problems of the county one has to know where the money comes from and where it is going! Without that type of knowledge, it is all Puff. Arthur E. Juhl candidate for the 5th district Supervisor

    • George Hollister May 26, 2018

      “In order to solve the problems of the county one has to know where the money comes from and where it is going!”

      Arthur, you are right. Most of the money does not come from the taxpayers of Mendocino County, if it did, we would be doing things in a completely different manor. Most of the money is not our money, so how it is spent is not a real issue.

    • Mark Scaramella May 26, 2018

      Nobody really cares, Mr. Juhl. I’ve been complaining about county mismanagement for literally decades with minimal effect, as is obvious to anyone like you who looks at it with a critical eye. I know that several supervisors and the CEO are aware of these complaints and modest suggestions for improvement — some of them even agree that improvement is necessary — yet nothing is done; they don’t even bring up the subject of routine monthly departmental status reporting. Nor does anyone in the public (until Mr. Juhl’s quixotic run) bring it up. The only conclusion one can draw is that nobody in official Mendo wants to know what’s going on. The Supervisors see their job as simply handing out or rubberstamping the handing out of our cash — what happens after that is irrelevant. Besides, if they knew what the departments were doing (or not doing) with our money, they’d have to do something to change it and they don’t want to — that would require conflict and work. Another lesser factor is the ridiculous deference the Supes pay to their own subordinates — as if it’s bad form to inquire or express doubt, much less complain about their operations. The only people who “understand the budget” are the ones who prepare it for largely self-serving and unaccountable reasons. This is probably why Mr. Juhl’s candidacy is trailing behind the candidates who prefer non-starter ideas to management complaints.

      • George Hollister May 26, 2018

        “The Supervisors see their job as simply handing out or rubberstamping the handing out of our cash — what happens after that is irrelevant.”

        Totally agree. How much money does the county spend on homelessness? And does anyone care about the results of how that money is spent? Does anyone in county government even know what the results are supposed to be, beyond paying people to slowly commit suicide in public? It seems to me the answer is, it is not our money that we are spending, so it is not our problem. Or maybe, we are spending the money the way we are told to, and there is nothing we can do. Both unacceptable answers.

        • Bruce McEwen May 26, 2018

          A fountain of cliches spring to mind on this subject:

          a) There’s nothing quite as satisfying as spending other people’s money — Grandpa McEwen

          b) Free money’s too slippery for my slender fingers to hold on to — Dr. Swift

          c) A politician’s worth is seen in his generosity, yet he must be careful not to spend his own capital — Niccolo Machiavelli

          You chaps can come up with a few more, I’m sure…

            • Bruce McEwen May 26, 2018

              “Those of us who don’t complain are never pitied.”

              * you must gloss or google that one on your own…

              • George Hollister May 26, 2018

                I am not a complainer. Complainers, by the current definition are slaves. Complaining,by it’s inherent nature professes the subordination of the those who complain. But I am argumentative, and was born that way. And like to point out the obvious, like the boy who stated and observed that the Emperor had no clothes. I agree with much of what the AVA has to say, but I argue about how we got here.

                So don’t complain, do something about it. Your future is dependent on it. Jame Austin might have better said, “Slaves are never pitied.” And they aren’t. Those who escape the plantation are respected.

    • Randy Burke May 26, 2018

      Art, I was considering running for the board back in February, but a visit to the Major of the AVA took me a bit aback in that in this county, nobody seems to give a hoot about how their or anyone else’s money is spent. The CEO is curious position and especially in how the CEO can control the folks she is supposed to be working for. Hell, accountability is something I deal with every day, running a water company south of Mendo. And here in Gualala you have a connection moratorium because of exactly the same thing; a water company owner who has pissed off every regulatory agency, including the coastal commission. Ah yes, he holds the required PUC hearings, but everyone is afraid to attend because of the perceived belief of retribution, yet not transparency. Not to be presented as a cliché, but transparency would really help with the deletion of the CEO and Carre Brown. Why would Carre Brown chastise another board member from checking with staff to see “how is it going”. Hierarchies aside (and yes, I am totally familiar with pecking order), The CEO works for the board…and not the other way around. The position needs to be tasked with orders of accountability, and the personal sides of the budget need to be addressed. Low morale, people of staff living in their cars to make the ends meet, and nobody really transfers to Mendo since SEIU dropped the ball on “STAFF” years ago. We need to remember that this is the county of Green Acres, Deliverance, and the home of witness protection. We need to address our lack of accountability first, then go down the line from there. I think the CEO position needs some accountability evaluation, and to put that person in the place of extreme scrutiny. But it takes a spinal backboard to retrieve the patient.

      • Randy Burke May 26, 2018

        I believe that in today’s political climate, this is the county to do the impossible; survive, and celebrate our existence. We have in our budgetary coffers the means by which we can all succeed. Get out of the way bureaucrats, we’re coming through. If not in this election then on into the future. Our board needs to officiate, our staffs need to be healthy in effect and reward, and our CEO needs to back off down the road until that position is only paid about $150,000 per year with per diem and governmental mileage. And that person needs to live in the County FULL TIME. Enough of the travelling Carpet Bagger, once and for all!!!! Just think about it. Got an out of Towner watching over the town crier’s wallet, as well as those of whom he is crying too. Gotta tell you, I would like to go to the CEO’s town and do some crying. Now, there’s my 2 minutes.

  3. james marmon May 26, 2018


    I’ve been watching the Mental Health Treatment Act Citizens’ Oversight Commmittee 5/23/2018 meeting. I have to admit, MBHB Chair Jan McGourty and Behavioral Health Director Jeanine Miller are much more sharper than I have previously given them credit for. It’s nice to see that “Groupthink” within the committee is starting to erode some, and that they are able to express their real views. Jeanine Miller knows exactly what is needed in Mendocino County and needs to speak up more. She can not continue to “go along to get along” because she will certainly be scapegoated when things go wrong. She needs to stand up to Anne Molgaard, Carmel Angelo, and Camille Schraeder and not just be their pawn. Hopefully they won’t take out a restraining order on her.


    ‘do yourself a favor, ask questions, think for yourself, and evolve’

    James Marmon MSW

  4. Michael Allan May 26, 2018

    Tarnish the image of The War Dept and also Jane E. Hoover’s political police?

    Who’s meshugah?

  5. Arthur Juhl May 26, 2018

    Thank you for your responses, that makes me think that there are intelligent folks out there who give a dam! I just hope the voters realize what the situation will be if they vote for my fellow candidates. I have bucked the system most of my life so being a Supervisor is a piece of cake! So I can only hope that the voters know what the hell is going on in their county! Arthur E. Juhl candidate for the 5th district Supervisor

  6. Bruce McEwen May 26, 2018

    “What an insult to a department to have some busybodies supervising their work…”

    Yes, but you don’t understand the notion of the shadow government, dear, the idea that personages like CEO Angelo and her staff actually run the county and that they are serially interfered with in this work buy all these in-coming and out-going elected figureheads.

    And the first thing these Deep State Bureaucrats tell the in-coming politician is that if he will give up his silly ideas for change, they, in turn, will help the constituency comprehend that their candidate is indeed pursuing the ideals in his campaign manifesto.

    I also suggest you read your famous countryman, Jose Saramaggo, winner of the Nobel Prize for literature on this very subject.

    • Bruce McEwen May 26, 2018

      *Then, supposing a supervisor survives a term or two, has gleaned enough flesh, shook enough hands, hugged enough breasts, and smooched enough sick babies, he finally makes it to the top…. Tah…DAH!

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