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Mendocino County Today: Saturday, July 21, 2018

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ON THURSDAY, MR. SCHNAUBELT got his long-delayed permit to convert the old icehouse in Noyo Harbor to a distillery/tasting room, but not without the uniquely Mendo-bizarro. Last month the permit was held up because County Planning staff had decided not to let Mr. Schnaubelt designate a couple of parking spaces in a vacant lot next door as parking spaces for his business. So on Thursday, Schnaubelt proposed that four spaces be allotted inside the building for employee parking. Everybody was happy with that approach. (The building is quite large; using some of it as parking probably won’t discombobulate the Schnaubelts' distilling of quality vodka completely, but it’s the kind of arbitrary nitpicking that makes Mendocino County a notoriously difficult place to do business.)

Mr. Schnaubelt’s planning consultant-rep, Ms. Blair Foster, suggested that the County consider giving a little more parking flexibility to the Planning Director in the future, especially in the oddly laid out Harbor area. Accordingly, Planning Commissioner Marilyn Ogle asked when we might expect such flexibility.

(Click to enlarge)

Senior Planner Julia Acker (daughter of Elk's chronophagic Charlie Acker) went to great lengths to not answer the question. (Keep in mind that applying for a variance costs the applicant money and time, whereas “flexibility” wouldn’t cost the applicant anything.)

Then it was time to take the vote to approve the permit with the inside parking. At the last minute Ms. Foster reminded the Commission that Mr. Schnaubelt wanted to sell “complementary” items in the tasting room, but the permit language said “complimentary,” implying that he could only give stuff away. And here came Mendo. (“Deputy County Counsel” is Matt Kiedrowsky.)

THE BEST MS. OGLE could get out of Ms. Acker was, “I will take a note.”

FINALLY, Mr. Schnaubelt got his permit unanimously approved, albeit two months late and having to give up a corner of his building for indoor parking. He can now proceed with the major rehab he originally planned, but whether he’ll be open for business this year is now in doubt.

WITH THIS LEVEL OF IGNORANCE and incompetence on a straightforward project like Schnaubelt’s, one must wonder how anything gets done in Mendo. If this simple project has to endure Kafka-esqu processes and requirements, what would someone wanting to propose a more complicated project encounter?

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Socorro Sierra, 34, of Healdsburg; Felix Fernando Carreon, 43, of Santa Rosa; and Climmie Smith-Hill, 30, of Santa Rosa accused of killing Jose Martinez.

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NEXT WEDNESDAY’S MEETING of the Measure B Mental Health Facilities Advisory Committee is finally planning to discuss a formal response to the Willits City Council Resolution calling for assurances that the City’s rules and regs will be followed when the Old Howard Hospital is remodeled into the County’s new Psychiatric Health Facility, “Response to City of Willits from Committee; With Discussion and Possible Action. Member McGourty”

There’s also going to be a discussion of the feasibility of adequately staffing the facility: “Psychiatric Health Facility (PHF), Cost Analysis, Staffing, Can we afford one and Can We Sustain One; With Discussion and Possible Action. Members Mertle & Miller,”

ONE WOULD HOPE that they will discuss the size and level of care of the facility, and not just vague generalities about hiring and paying people. Since the County doesn’t send that many people out of County to paid facilities that much, the question will be how much more capacity and what type should it be to temporarily house some of the patients who do not meet the 5150 criteria but need time to stabilize and be re-integrated. It’s very possible that they don’t need to rehab the whole hospital, which would mean there’s be more money available for the distributed facilities that everybody says would be a better bang for the buck.

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Petit Teton Monthly Farm Report - June 2018

I'm titling this one Pito and the Peas.

Our now six months new puppy now one and a half years old, is a real lover and goof. We also suspect he's something of a vegetarian, although to our dismay, it's been proven that he'll happily kill and eat chicken. (He is, after all, at least part German Shepard.) He kills but does not eat gophers and mice. Every night after we close up the farm to visitors we go in the hot tub to unwind both mind and body. We bring a beer to share, a bag of chips and what's left of the shelling peas harvested from our fields. After eating the peas from the shells, we toss the shells into the dirt under the two hazelnut trees planted next to the tub as a wind and sun block. (We never throw the beer bottle there!) Both ChiChi and Pito hang around the tub, especially on the hot evenings we've been having lately. A month or so ago, at the beginning of shelling pea season, we noticed that Pito was scrabbling under the trees for something and soon discovered that he was eating the discarded shells! Lately, tired of scrabbling, and going to the source, smart dog that he is, he does more than hang around waiting for the toss - he rests his head and one paw on the rim of the tub, watching intently as we eat the peas from the shells, then very politely accepts the proffered shells and, chewing very deliberately, devours them. What a goof.

The above picture, minus the three canners, is what was going on in the kitchen during one day last week. Cam pickling cucumbers with dill, Allie jamming marionberry and Nikki jarring kimchi. Sounds like the name of the PT band! Yesterday the band produced 144 jars - marionberry jam, Santa Rosa plum jam, plum BBQ sauce, beet marmalade and fennel pickles. We all slept well.

Happy summer, Nikki and Steve

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Two Attempted Robbers Heading Out Of Town On The Southbound Bus For San Quentin

The final two of three would-be robbers who attempted a marijuana and money rip-off in Laytonville just before Thanksgiving 2017 were sentenced to state prison on Thursday morning and will be heading south to San Quentin in a few days.

Dwan Raysean Porter-Walker, age 21, of Oakland, received a state prison sentence on Thursday morning of 15 years, 10 months. Defendant Porter-Walker stands convicted by plea of attempted robbery in the first degree in concert with others, residential burglary of an occupied home, and having personally used a firearm in the commission of the attempted robbery and burglary.

This defendant was identified as the gunman who pistol-whipped the then 62-year victim in an attempt to get her to disclose where any money and marijuana might be found. Despite the onslaught against her, the victim fought back and was able to summons help from a nearby home which caused the robbery to be thwarted when the thieves gave failed chase to the neighbors and then fled the scene.

At the time of the Laytonville crimes, defendant Porter-Walker was on felony probation out of the Alameda County Superior Court for grand theft - person, a felony that had been reduced from an original robbery charge.

Porter-Walker, Richardson, Walker

Johnny Lee Walker III, age 40, of Oakland, was also sentenced to state prison on Thursday morning for a term of 15 months, 4 months. Defendant Walker stands convicted by plea of attempted robbery in the first degree in concert with others and residential burglary of an occupied home. He also admitted having been convicted of a prior Strike offense, as well as having suffered a prior violent felony conviction.

The evidence identified defendant Walker as the person who picked up and drove the other two to the victim's home. He then served as the look-out and get-away driver. Before the instant crimes, defendant Walker has suffered at least three prior robbery convictions – one in federal court and two in California state courts.

Because the crimes for which each defendant stands convicted are deemed violent crimes, sentencing credits each defendant may attempt to earn in state prison are limited to no more than 15% of their respective overall sentence.

Both of these defendants had earlier accepted the DA’s final settlement offer at the last possible moment by entering the guilty pleas and admissions on March 26th as outlined above. The 26th was the morning that jury selection was scheduled to begin. After the prosecutor announced his witnesses were present and he was ready to begin the trial, each defendant experienced cold feet, choosing to avoid trial by pleading guilty to avoid additional convictions by jury that likely would have lead to significantly more time in prison.

Thereafter, further experiencing separate cases of “buyer’s remorse,” both have spent the last three months claiming to want to withdraw their guilty pleas and go back to having a jury trial. New attorneys were appointed for each defendant to objectively evaluate and discuss with each the merits of a motion to withdraw. Each of the new attorneys announced Thursday morning that such a motion was not in the long-term best interests of his client. With that hurdle out of the way, the Court proceeded to impose the state prison sentences as were previously agreed to by the parties in March.

(District Attorney Press Release)


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LITTLE DOG SAYS, “Pretty sure Skrag's into drugs, probably crank. All day yesterday, hot as it was, he was rolling around out in the parking lot like — and I'm going literary on you here — like a cat on a hot tin roof. Next time I see Deputy Walker I'm reporting him. I'm responsible for this place, and I'll be darned if I'm going to tolerate a doped up cat like him.”

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I know that hundreds (and more) of my friends have asked for the lip sync challenge. It may take a couple weeks because we are very, very busy. I’m happy that other agencies have accepted the challenge, and that law enforcement officers are being seen for what we are: humans who do good work, but have fun when we have time. The challenge has been received, but please understand that our highest priority is delivering quality public safety to our county. We have several major investigations occurring right now and we simply do not have the time. Thanks for understanding, and thanks to the first responders who are doing their jobs, 24/7.


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Yes! I was here early enough that I had to do various things - firewood, auto and truck mechanics, carpentry, even pulled green chain at Branscomb Mill to fill in the gaps. Always had some plants well hidden to supplement the income. Was weirded out to see my new friends grow huge plots in the sun while they paid others to build their houses and barns, do their electrical systems and fix their parade of new trucks. We took pride in our own self-reliance and loved getting our hands dirty. Weed money allowed us to buy our own land in paradise - a disappearing possibility in modern America - and we were quite happy with simple country living, not baller-style extravagances. I’m okay with the whole greenrush thing crashing down. Sorry to see the worst offenders get permits to mega-grow and act like our betters. It is upside-down. But I’m grateful for a cheap cold beer and a swimming hole on a hot day. Glad to see some others accept our new low-brow reality and get back to the roots. Hope we can simply remain and survive.

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Senate Bill 1029, which passed the Senate in May and is now pending in the Assembly, is the latest incarnation of a rather shameful boondoggle that has cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars over the last three decades and has achieved exactly nothing – another train to nowhere.

For seven decades, a rail line connected the remote North Coast of California to the San Francisco Bay Area.

In its heyday, the Northwestern Pacific Railroad, carried logs, lumber and passengers. But the track was extremely expensive to maintain because of the region’s unsettled geology and heavy winter rains, and improvements to Highway 101 eventually made it obsolete.

After decades of disuse and much lobbying by regional economic and political interests, the rail line was reactivated in 1989, at least on paper, with the Legislature’s creation of the North Coast Railroad Authority.

The NCRA actually ran a few trains for a few years until federal rail safety officials shut down service in the 1990s because of track deterioration. It then became a paper railroad that existed primarily to extract handouts from state and federal governments to finance its administrative and political superstructure.

Gov. Pete Wilson refused to provide additional state financing after the shutdown. But in 2000, after the NCRA’s political enablers cranked up a fundraising drive that generated about $60,000 for then-Gov. Gray Davis’ campaign treasury, Davis allocated $60 million in so-called “congestion relief” funds for the railroad.

Some of the $60 million was designated to repay half of a $12 million federal loan that the local congressman, Mike Thompson, had obtained for the NCRA. Thompson later arranged for the loan to be forgiven.

All of the taxpayer funding was based on assurances that the rail line could operate again, but with one exception in recent years – some very limited freight service in Sonoma County – it hasn’t. The authority’s officials told the California Transportation Commission last year that the agency had never been financially self-sufficient and has crushing debts.

This year, it proposed still another plan to regain solvency, including a tourist train around Humboldt Bay, but the transportation commission said it was too sketchy to warrant support and suggested that the Legislature revisit its 1989 decision to create the NCRA.

Senate Bill 1029, carried by Sen. Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg, would do that, finally dissolving the NCRA, which should never have been created in the first place. It would transfer its property closest to San Francisco Bay to the Sonoma-Marin Rail Transit District for local transportation use and other rights-of-way to the Great Redwood Trail Agency for conversion into hiking trails.

Finally, therefore, one embarrassing boondoggle may be given a merciful death. But how about that bullet train to nowhere?

(Dan Walters, Sacramento Bee)

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by Ryan Burns

The North Coast Railroad Authority is running on fumes.

The public agency, which was created by the Legislature almost 30 years ago, though never given a source of public funding, has racked up more than $8 million in debt, including about $2 million in attorneys’ fees owed to sought by local environmental groups Friends of the Eel River and Californians for Alternatives to Toxics. (A seven-year legal battle reached its apparent conclusion in May when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the NCRA’s latest appeal.)

The state now considers the NCRA a high-risk agency, meaning it’s no longer eligible for government grants and loans. Its finances, to quote State Senator Mike McGuire, are “a hot mess.” They’re in about as bad shape as the NCRA’s own rail line between Humboldt Bay and Willits, a stretch that hasn’t been operational for two decades now and that the agency finally admitted — belatedly and begrudgingly — probably never will be.

Earlier this year McGuire introduced Senate Bill 1029, The Great Redwood Trail Act, a landmark bill that would dissolve the beleaguered NCRA and divide its 312-mile right-of-way into two segments. Management of the southern section — from Willits south through Sonoma County — would be transferred over to the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) while management of the northern section — from Willits north, up to and around Humboldt Bay — would be transferred over to the Great Redwood Trail Agency.

The goal for this newly created state agency would then be to railbank the line (possibly excluding the stretch around Humboldt Bay to preserve the possibility, however remote, of a freight or excursion train) and develop a recreational trail system that stretches all the way from Humboldt Bay down to San Francisco Bay.

“The Great Redwood Trail will rival any trail system on the planet,” McGuire boasted in a phone conversation on Monday. “Nowhere else on Earth will a hiker be able to navigate through such spectacular scenery as the redwoods, Eel River Canyon, wine country and Humboldt Bay. This will be a significant driver for the North Coast economy.”

Of course, the bill hasn’t passed yet. It cleared a major hurdle in May with unanimous passage in the Senate, and late last month it was amended and passed out of an Assembly committee. Still, in order to become law SB 1029 must clear both houses of the Legislature before the current term ends on Aug. 31 and then get a signature from Gov. Jerry Brown before the end of September.

Meanwhile, the NCRA appears to be on its last legs.

“The biggest challenge we have,” McGuire said, “is the NCRA’s suffocating debt.”

The agency is expected to completely run out of money by late fall; McGuire said state attorneys and the governor’s office are busy trying to figure out what happens if the NCRA really does go bankrupt before its assets can be transferred to other agencies. There’s not much precedent for a state agency going belly-up.

NCRA Executive Director Mitch Stogner insists that won’t happen. “The NCRA will keep its doors open, pay its bills and honor its commitments until such time as the McGuire bill takes effect,” he told the Outpost.

That remains to be seen, though everyone — including the agency’s fiercest critics — seems to agree that bankruptcy would be a disaster.

“Here’s the bottom line,” McGuire said. “No one will benefit if the NCRA goes off the fiscal cliff.”

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In a phone conversation late last week, Stogner sounded exasperated and defensive. He was annoyed by a recent opinion piece from columnist Dan Walters, (above), a longtime critic of the NCRA who worked at the Eureka Times-Standard before heading to the Sacramento Bee. In his latest piece, for the San Jose Mercury News, Walters describes the NCRA as a “shameful boondoggle that has cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars over the last three decades and has achieved exactly nothing.”

Stogner also feels resentful toward the Outpost‘s own Hank Sims, who once called the NCRA “the most corrupt arm of government currently operating in Humboldt County.”

What these and other critics have consistently failed to appreciate, Stogner said, is that the NCRA was effectively set up to fail. In 1989 the Legislature passed two bills — one to create the agency and another to fund it. Then-Governor George Deukmejian signed the first one and vetoed the second.

“People want to skirt around that,” Stogner said. “It’s the flaw on the front end, the nasty little flaw … that no one wants to confront.”

From Stogner’s perspective, the state has continued to be inexplicably stingy and antagonistic toward the NCRA, with just one exception: $60 million in Traffic Congestion Relief Program funding awarded to the agency in 2006 to rehabilitate 62 miles of track on the southern end of the NCRA’s right-of-way. (The agency’s freight operator, Northwest Pacific Railroad, or NWP Co., now runs a small train between Napa and Windsor a couple times a week.) Even that grant wound up costing the agency money because the funds were restricted to rehabbing the line and couldn’t be used to pay rent or the electric bill or hire staff, Stogner said.

As for the rest of the NCRA’s line — from Windsor north — the agency has seen “nothing but slings and arrows from the state,” Stogner said. Former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger twice vetoed funding bills that had made it through the Legislature, and both CalTrans and the California Transportation Commission (CTC) have repeatedly denied funding requests.

“The enemy here is the state of California, not the NCRA,” Stogner said. He feels the agency’s nine-member, all-volunteer board of directors, in particular, has unfairly borne the brunt of criticism over the years. “The only mistake from the volunteers at the NCRA is that they didn’t just walk away and say, ‘You take care of this.’”

Critics, however, say there have been plenty of other mistakes, not least of which was the 100-year lease awarded to NWP Co in 2006. One of the agency’s own former volunteer directors, Bernie Meyers, lambasted this agreement, saying the terms were negotiated “via back-room dealings … that violated public disclosure law.” Meyers also noted that the terms of the lease don’t require NWP Co. to pay the NCRA a single dime until the company earns $5 million in net profits in a single year — something that, to date, has never happened.

Richard Marks, one of two Humboldt County representatives on the NCRA Board of Directors, said NWP Co. hasn’t even shown up to report for at least the past five NCRA board meetings. McGuire’s bill has caused some animosity between the NCRA and SMART, Marks said, and he speculated that NWP Co. is now negotiating with the latter agency only.

Other NCRA critics say that in its desperate quest to secure public funding the agency has routinely been dishonest and unrealistic, forestalling trail development while trying to sell off public assets. Most recently the agency tried to sell 1.78 acres in Cloverdale that it had declared “excess property,” but SMART and CalTrans submitted a letter to the state protesting the plan, and the California Transportation Commission halted the sale.

And then there’s the lawsuit from Friends of the Eel River and Californians for Alternatives to Toxics. In defending itself in court the NCRA, a state agency, contradicted its own prior statements by arguing that it shouldn’t be required to follow state environmental laws.

Stogner said the agency’s small staff and volunteer board, which is comprised of elected representatives from Humboldt, Mendocino, Sonoma and Marin counties, have only ever tried to preserve the rail corridor. And for all his bitterness toward the state, Stogner is surprisingly supportive of the bill that might dissolve the NCRA entirely.

“I do want to make one thing clear,” he said. “Thanks to McGuire, the state may finally be ready to commit state resources to this historic rail corridor. That’s good for everybody on the North Coast. He’s finally taking this very difficult issue and raising the curtain on it in Sacramento.”

The latest version of McGuire’s bill calls for the creation of the Great Redwood Trail Program Fund and would require “certain moneys” be deposited into it.

Noting that stakeholders need to learn from past mistakes, McGuire said he’s focused on developing a master plan to determine how much it will cost to build and maintain the trail system. That process will require surveys of private property boundaries. “We believe there are over 1,500 properties along the proposed Great Redwood Trail,” McGuire said. “We need to determine where they start and end.”

While McGuire admitted he doesn’t yet know where all the funding for this ambitious project will come from, his office has been approached by nonprofit agencies interested in investing in the master plan.

Before any of that can happen, of course, the bill must get passed into law. And considering the current state of the NCRA, McGuire said, “Time is of the essence.”


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Accepting a one-time, take-it-or-leave-it offer from the Mendocino County District Attorney, a 23-year-old mother entered a guilty plea on Thursday to felony child endangerment.

Defendant Alexandrea Raven Scott, age 23, of Trinidad in Humboldt County also admitted a special sentencing enhancement alleging that abuse of her 18-month old son was a proximate cause of the child's death.


A no contest plea to a felony charge is the same for all purposes as a guilty plea under current state law.

To accept this disposition and avoid a possible murder conviction, Scott was also required to stipulate to an aggravated sentence of 10 years in state prison and to waive all local jail credits.

Because felony child endangerment — even abuse causing death — has not been characterized by the Legislature as crimes of violence, the defendant is eligible to earn time credits in prison of up to 50% of her overall sentence. Moreover, it is expected that voter-approved Proposition 57 will further shorten the time the defendant must serve in prison, mandating her release on community supervision after she has served only three years.

"This was a death that should not have happened; I expect that it has left an unfillable hole in the lives of the child's father, as well as the paternal and maternal sides of the extended families," said DA David Eyster, the prosecutor handling the case.

"If nothing else, I hope the stipulated prison time will send a message that those who abuse children should expect to be treated like the serious criminals that they are. In this case, it remains difficult to believe that a parent would leave her child alone for hours on end strapped into a car seat in a closed vehicle — all night into the following afternoon. How is it possible that the child's mother did not safeguard her infant, failed to provide him necessary food and hydration for double digit hours, and allowed him to die a lonely, excruciating death in a hot car while she was literally yards away "partying" in a house with strangers? This sort of abuse is well-deserving of hard time in state prison," said Eyster.

Following the court's acceptance of her change of plea, Scott's matter was referred to the Adult Probation Department for a social study and the preparation of a prison packet. The information developed by probation travels with the defendant to the Department of Corrections to help the prison authorities perform intake, classification, and facility assignment.

The 10-year prison sentence will be formally imposed by Superior Court Judge John Behnke at 9 a.m. Aug. 15 in Department H of the Mendocino County Superior Court in Ukiah. Any individual interested in the concluding proceedings or this defendant is welcome to attend that sentencing hearing.

The law enforcement agency that handled the underlying criminal investigation of the child's death and submitted the crime reports and findings that allowed the DA to pursue today's conviction was the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office.

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They grind down four inches, then oil the voided area and then the asphalt machine adds 5 inches of pavement and the rollers compact it to 4 inches — or so we were told. Granite Construction is the company doing the paving. They also did the absolute WORST (squiggly) centerline striping in the history of road paving - did they do it with a bicycle towing a guy lying down on a cart with a paintbrush ?


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MTA Opens New Bus Stop at Costco on Monday, July 23

Mendocino Transit Authority and the City of Ukiah have installed a new bus stop at the new Costco store in Ukiah, and it will open to riders on Monday, July 23. It is located with bicycle parking on the north side of the store across from the Fowler auto dealership. The new stop serves coast riders on the Route #75 bus and local Ukiah riders on the northbound Route #9 bus. A carousel for shopping carts is located at the stop so that customers can load from cart to bus. Check bus schedules starting July 23 at the MTA website, Or call (800) 696-4682. Mendocino Transit Authority provides safe, low-cost and convenient public bus service throughout Mendocino County.

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Planning Commission meeting Agenda for August 2, 2018, is posted on the department website at:

Please contact staff with any questions.

Victoria Davis, Commission Services Supervisor, 707-234-6664

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TO JONATHAN MIDDLEBROOK, secretary, Mendocino County Public Broadcasting Corporation (KZYX):

I'm just checking in to make sure you did as I asked and inserted the text of my eight-minute address to the board into the minutes of the July 16 meeting and then put it in the KZYX public inspection file. I'll expect to find it there next time I visit.

I read a three-minute version at the board meeting, and even so was cut off before I finished. You people act as though it's an inconvenience and a nuisance to deal with the public at all, and that's very sleazy of you. The three frequencies that MCPB squats on are a natural resource that belongs to everyone. Broadcast radio frequencies don't belong to any corporation; you're granted temporary use of them, that's all, and all dealings regarding them should be out in the open and be discussed in public. Keep that in mind. The way you have always done it, the only time the public can interact with the board is during board meetings, and restricting comments to barely enough time to blow one's nose is an insult. You refuse to put the board meetings on the air, and you refuse to engage in dialog on sensitive subjects, and in any case three minutes is not anywhere near enough. Your sour time-monitor guy growling at the old Native American woman who went thirty seconds over time, "So you don't want to play by the rules, eh!" when another person offered to give up her time so the woman could finish a sentence, is typical of your bad attitude as a board.

Transparency is a serious issue. I also want all the information that's come up in what Jeffrey Parker called in his report the "collaborative process" of the CPB audit so far. It's more than two months into the process; there must be something. Email it to me at your earliest convenience. Don't procrastinate about this. Putting little things off just means they don't get done. The public has a right to know now, not to be kept out for more months (or years) until you've cooked it into a positive message about yourselves. You don't have to even read it; just collect up all the related emails and files and send them. No-one has any right to keep secrets about this. There is no expectation of privacy.

Oh, right, other information I want is the exact nature of Stuart Campbell's current function at the station, in detail. I've heard him described as the Darth Vader of MCPB. I've seen and heard of him tiptoeing around behind the scenes, whispering in the ears of boardmembers and passing secret messages (or instructions?) to the moderator of election forums, and then yez all glace rather deferentially to him, and sheepishly, too, so I rather think of him as Grima Wormtongue. Anyway, shine a light there. And of course give all this information also to your crack news team so they can read it on the air, because that's definitely news.

I hope Jeffrey Parker is enjoying the paddleball toy I gave him. I imagine he might be getting bored during those long forty-dollars-an-hour hours with his feet up on the desk, watching a bee on the window, and I remember how energized Mel Brooks looked playing paddleball in the governor's chambers in Blazing Saddles — you know: "We gotta save our phony-baloney jobs, gentlemen!" and when I saw the toy in the dollar store it just clicked; I knew who needed one of those.

Marco McClean

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Brunch on Sunday July 29th will be extra special due to new, live music in the garden. The San Francisco-based, six-piece funk rock/jazz band, Night Animals, will be playing starting around 11 or 12. "Live performance is the pinnacle of Night Animal's music, combined with a love of improvisation. Seductive vocals, serpentine horn lines, hypnotic rhythms, and hook-laden guitar licks all conspire to put you under their spell." So, hear some new music and kick back with one of our famous Bloody Marys or our Summer Key Lime cocktail, over brunch.

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Betsy Cawn Of Lake County Writes:

The latest Lake County Grand Jury Report (2017-18) describes the impacts of local government “mishandling” of responsibilities for recovering the costs of debris cleanup following the 2015 Valley Fire, which was conducted by the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle), “a branch of the California Environmental Protection Agency that oversees the state’s waste management, recycling, and waste reduction programs.”

As the County “did not have in effect an executed contract with CalRecycle during or after the structural debris removal” process, the County did not have means of “requiring CalRecycle to provide documentation of its charges” or “assuring that CalRecycle responded to property owners’ emails questioning the charges.”

In order to qualify for the state-provided debris cleanup, property owners were required by the County to authorize “Right of Entry” access to their properties, with the explanation that the owners would only be charged the amount covered in their insurance policies (for cleanup). Months of wrangling with county and state agencies over the amounts charged to the individual property owners, then being dunned by the County Administration to fork over their insurance-covered compensation (if they had any) under dispute between owners and insurers because of CalRecycle contractor damages and unexplained charges for unauthorized debris removal.

And then, of course, the County opted to carry out the insurance collection process “internally,” eschewing the option of using the federal monies available (“a minimum of $300,000”) or awarding a contract to professionals for the work. But the County “did not . . . create a duty statement or scope of work for the person responsible for collecting insurance proceeds” . . . and, “[o]nly in December, 2017, were procedures formally created by Administration.”

“Although the residential debris removal was completed by March 2016, CalRecycle did not submit its bills to the County until June 2017, and has never submitted any documentation to support the amount of the bills” — leaving individual property owners to fight with both the County (over hastily issued “INVOICES” for insurance compensation collection) and CalRecycle, plus the insurers’ refusals to assist in specifying what policy coverage included.

“When the specific amount owed is unknown, thereby excluding external collections, how the County will force owners to pay is unclear.” (Conversely, “Property owners affected by the [2016] Clayton Fire, who have received proceeds for debris removal that they want to pay to the County, now are unable to do so for lack of a dedicated database created to document/track such payments for the Clayton Fire.”)

“Part of the reason for the delay in collecting insurance proceeds was linked to the prolonged delay in issuing building permits by the Department of Community Development, as insurers often retained rebuilding payments until a permit was issued.”

The general lack of County preparedness for handling the aftermath of large-scale wildfire disasters reflects the County’s years of ignoring requirements to develop management capacities clearly defined in federal legislation (the Robert T. Stafford Act, and the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000). Reporting of revenues and expenditures for County operations, including its acquisition of multiple funding sources for “rebuilding” support and distribution of “recovery” assistance monies — via third party agencies and organizations — is nowhere to be found.

Progress is hampered as well by the escalating costs of reconstruction, and the restoration of critical water supply infrastructure in the mountainous terrain of small “subdivisions” ensconced in the Cobb Mountain communities, an answer for which was collaboratively achieved by the merging of small private and county water systems with the Cobb Area Water District. State funds and long-term property owner reimbursement of low-interest “loans” to provide distribution systems adequate to meet new state fire prevention requirements have only recently been sanctioned by the Local Agency Formation Commission’s approval of the new “county water district” consolidation project.

Over-shadowing the catastrophes in Lake County, the 2017 “Northbay” fires in Sonoma County are receiving the kind of attention to failed communication systems, water infrastructure, emergency response planning, and — coming soon to a neighborhood near you — the post-cleanup phase of “long-term recovery” will reveal a multitude of the same problems with insurance coverage (already the hue and cry of Mouthpiece Mike, Sonoma County officials, and the flock of disaster assistance organizations responding to the smell of blood and “donations” funneled through County-designated counting houses).

Mendocino’s pre-existing community support agencies, better preparedness for post-disaster response service demands, and fierce independence of many rural residents may indeed “mitigate” the kinds of misfortunes and missteps that are slowly coming to light because of the scale of Sonoma County’s losses and errors. But Mendocino County residents should take swift action to assess the capacities of County services (Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services, Public Health, Environmental Health, Planning & Building, Public Works, Public Services, and Administration) and collectively address their local needs for minimizing the impacts of wildfire disasters — and opportunities to improve their chances of survival.

Among the many recent results of our three-year-long “recovery” efforts is the introduction of “Fire Wise Communities” — a model of coordination and preparation that affords designated participating community groups the ability to apply for local grants and other funding sources to “mitigate” anticipated fates defined in the “Local Hazard Mitigation Plan,” which requires not only federal and state approval but also the imprimatur of CalFire, to ensure that known hazards are specified in great detail (not the broad-brush approach heretofore endorsed by County approvals).

Mendocino County’s Emergency Operations Plan, long available on the County’s website and inclusive of maps delineating critical facilities (bridges, transmission lines, roads, and other health and safety facilities essential to survival and restoration of acceptable living conditions), is miles ahead of Lake County’s still obtuse disclosures of public information needed by residents to prepare themselves — the demand for which is reflected in the constant exhortations to be “ready” for mass evacuations and the like by federal and state agencies — who are still stymied by our ineffective County Administration, Office of Emergency Services, and the ever elusive Disaster Council.

A good place to start is by reviewing your community’s “Area Plan” (an adjunct element of the County’s General Plan). Updating that plan to include critical infrastructure priorities and fundable projects is an action that can be taken by local “municipal advisory councils” (typically formed as a precursor to incorporation, but also well used by small communities to simply address local health and safety needs). A great example of this useful (and state-regulations-defined) model for community organizing can be seen in the Cobb Area Council (, which included in its formative resolution (approved by the Board of Supervisors in June 2016 — a rapid community response if ever there was one) the intention to update its 1989 Cobb Area Plan to rebuild with contemporary upgrades to prevent and mitigate future fire impacts.

The time to consider the possibilities (and assuredly anticipated probabilities) of local wildfire disasters — not just firefighting emergency response demands) is always NOW. Disaster preparedness, especially for disabled people (estimated to be generally 50% of the population, by the California Emergency Management Agency, Office of “Access & Functional Needs”) and resources for immediate personal assistance (not just the obligatory quick-turn American Red Cross shelter operations), as a focus for community prioritization of small local planning efforts, will reveal many opportunities for citizens to take action, and to assess the local government capacities on which all of us depend.

As we have clearly seen, the burden of survival, recovery (both short and long term), and reconstruction of our homes, neighborhoods, and communities, cannot be borne by county governmental agencies with internally limited understanding of their responsibilities. Fortunately, we can also count on the AVA to provide a forum for discussion and consideration of our shared issues and experiences.

And you can let us know how it’s going west of the Cow, by joining us on the air Sunday afternoons on KPFZ (88.1 fm). Since November 2015, KPFZ — following its 24/7 coverage of the Valley Fire — our long-term recovery and disaster preparedness programs explore the prismatic array of ongoing community, local government, and regional efforts.

And Lake County’s “share” of the “Northbay Fires” (centered in the City of Clearlake, which became the lead agency in its immediate aftermath — NOT the County of Lake) lacks entirely any post-disaster assistance information. As our regional companions in combatting wildfire destruction in similar terrain and with equally limited local resources, we wish you all the best, and urge you to understand the “lessons” we keep hearing about from officials who claim to have our best interests at heart.


* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, July 20, 2018

Arnold, Chapman, Charles, Hightower

JUSTIN TIME ARNOLD, Willits. Assault, battery, probation revocation.

SCOTT CHAPMAN, Fort Bragg. Domestic battery, failure to appear.

DUNCAN CHARLES, Calpella. Probation revocation.

BRANDON HIGHTOWER, Livermore/Ukiah. Suspended license.

Hornlein, Jimenez-Sifuentes, Jones, Lopez-Ramirez

GARRICK HORNLEIN, Fort Bragg. Burglary, nunchucks, ammo possession by prohibited person, felon-addict with firearm, probation revocation.

JULIO JIMENEZ-SIFUENTES, Covelo. Domestic battery.

JESSE JONES, Covelo. Loaded firearm, failure to appear.

LUIS LOPEZ-RAMIREZ, Prossect, Washington/Ukiah. Fugitive from justice.

Moore, Piceno, Rodarte

PATRICIA MOORE, Ukiah. DUI, probation revocation.

SOPHIA PICENO, Hopland. Disobeying court order.

DESIREA RODARTE, Fort Bragg. Concealed dirk-dagger, probation revocation.

Rodgers, Shealor, Simmons

JESSE RODGERS, Ukiah. Parole violation.

AUSTIN SHEALOR, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

WESLEY SIMMONS, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

Stevens, Stone, Young

JOSEPH STEVENS, Mendocino. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

JOSHUA STONE, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.

TRACEY YOUNG, Berkeley/Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

* * *

U.S. SENATE VOTES TO LEGALIZE HEMP After Decades-Long Ban Under Marijuana Prohibition

by Tom Angell

The non-psychoactive cannabis cousin of marijuana would finally become legal to grow in the United States under a bill overwhelmingly approved by the Senate.

The wide-ranging agriculture and food policy legislation known as the Farm Bill, passed by a vote of 86 - 11 on Thursday, contains provisions to legalize the cultivation, processing and sale of industrial hemp.

The move, championed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), would also make hemp plants eligible for crop insurance.

"Consumers across America buy hundreds of millions in retail products every year that contain hemp," McConnell said in a floor speech on Thursday. "But due to outdated federal regulations that do not sufficiently distinguish this industrial crop from its illicit cousin, American farmers have been mostly unable to meet that demand themselves. It's left consumers with little choice but to buy imported hemp products from foreign-produced hemp."

McConnell also took to the Senate floor on Tuesday and Wednesday to tout the bill's hemp legalization provisions in separate speeches.

In April, the GOP leader introduced standalone legislation to legalize hemp, the Hemp Farming Act, the provisions of which were included in the larger Farm Bill when it was unveiled earlier this month.

The Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry approved the bill by a vote of 20-1 two weeks ago.

During that committee markup, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), one of Congress's most ardent opponents of marijuana law reform, threatened to pursue serious changes to the bill's hemp provisions on the floor. Namely, he wanted to remove the legalization of derivatives of the cannabis plant, such as cannabidiol (CBD), which is used by many people for medical purposes. But Grassley never ended up filing a floor amendment, allowing hemp supporters to avoid a contentious debate and potentially devastating changes to the bill.

Hemp legalization enjoys broad bipartisan support.

“Legalizing hemp nationwide ends decades of bad policymaking and opens up untold economic opportunity for farmers in Oregon and across the country,” Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) said upon passage of the Farm Bill on Thursday. “Our bipartisan legislation will spur economic growth in rural communities by creating much-needed red, white and blue jobs that pay well. I’m proud to have worked with my colleagues to get the bipartisan Hemp Farming Act through the Senate. Today marks a long-overdue, huge step forward for American-grown hemp.”


* * *



In a few short months, the general election will take place. Among the various positions up for election is state superintendent of public instruction. The position is currently held by Tom Torlakson, a run-of-the-mill politician. During his tenure, he has called for increased federal funding, greater support for low-socioeconomic students and their respective families, increased STEM programs and other equally important issues.

However, Torlakson, like many other state officials at his level, has done little in terms of substantially improving our education system. Local superintendents are playing power games with unions and teachers, subsequently impacting — read compromising — our students. Special education is being gutted from the inside out under the false pretense of inclusion.

We don’t need another talking head tethered to the whims of neoliberalism. We need a strong advocate who views teachers as public intellectuals, who views schools as environments that engender social agency and self-actualization, who understands and values the rich diversity and identities of our students and who truly understands that a free, appropriate public education is more than a mandate — it’s a civil right.

S.A. Pamatmat


* * *


2019 Lighthouse Lecture Series Call for Presenters

We are currently getting our 2019 Lighthouse Lecture Series program put together and are looking for people interested in presenting lectures on topics related to our area, the Lighthouse, native flora and fauna, area history, nautical subjects, environment, conservation, coastal personalities or any other subject you think would draw visitors to the Lighthouse for the lecture.

There’s no deadline. The Lighthouse lecture series is always the third Saturday of the month after the lighthouse closes. January, 2019 to December, 2019.

Please contact the Point Arena Lighthouse Event Coordinator Kitty Wolfe at or 707-882-2133 for more information or to suggest a topic.

* * *


There is something new about it. Trump slow dancing with Putin and grabbing his ass may not be new, that’s true. What is new is an issue that transcends the actors.

I come from a different time. Once upon a time there was a land where from sea to sea it was expected that your national leader would treat another national leader with hospitality and respect at a summit. Regardless of any international strains the purpose of a summit is not to start a war and insult.

Apparently that land is long gone between our seas. Our video game addled citizens expected Trump to punch Putin or something worse. Here take that, BOOM. Here is one for your trolls, POW! SLAM WHAM!

Opening a can of whoop-ass is an American value but showing respect for foreign leaders is a universal value. A value our moral center has lost.

* * *


Costco, Target, Trader Joe's? — Can someone please explain to me what these stores have that can’t be gotten here w/o the expenditure of fossil fuels to drive over the hill to shop in triple digit temps? I shop exclusively in Fort Bragg, almost all organic groceries at Down Home, Harvest or Farmer’s Market; get my hardware stuff at one of the 5 hardware stores between here & Mendo; pet supplies at the 2 feed stores; my drugs at Mendocino Coast Pharmacy and my biodiesel fuel for my car is delivered; clothes and other stuff I can get at any one of the 3 major thrift stores. Big corporate box stores do not help support our local community and weaken our democracy and right to self-determination.

* * *

WHY THOSE who know better still stick with Trump: the top 1% of wage-earners (those earning more than $607K) will pay $111 billion less in federal taxes this year than if the tax laws remained unchanged since 2000, more than the bottom 60% saved.

— Jeffrey St. Clair

* * *

THIS WEEK TEMPERATURES were 20 degrees higher than normal in Finland, Norway and Sweden, shattering all-time records. The mercury neared 90°F on the edges of the Arctic Circle, sparking wildfires in the tundra. Presumably not all of this warming was driven by the hot air released at the recent Hoedown in Helsinki…

+ Global temperatures in June 2018 were 5th hottest on record…

The latest weather phenomenon to afflict the great plains is “flash droughts,” sudden periods of intense heat, low humidity and low rainfall capable of killing of wheat, soy beans and corn plantations. Last summer eastern Montana and the Dakotas were hit hard by such flash droughts for the third time in the last five years. Farmers are praying for rain this year, but are they asking the bigger question? Hell no. They’d rather pack up all their shit, shoot their dogs and take a long ride in their Dodge Ram trucks to Bakersfield than admit it’s climate change.

— Jeffrey St. Clair

* * *


Mendocino County to Hold Cannabis Overlay Zones Community Meetings

Mendocino County has engaged Michael Baker International to amend the County’s cannabis regulations to establish two types of overlay zones: areas with modified cannabis cultivation regulations to allow operators to enjoy more flexible cannabis regulations and development standards (Opt-In Zones), and areas where new commercial cannabis cultivation would be prohibited and existing permitted commercial cultivation would sunset (Opt-Out Zones). The Board of Supervisors has reviewed a framework of regulations related to the overlay zones and directed Michael Baker to meet with community members that could be affected by proposed overlay zones.

Public meetings will be held within the following communities:

Covelo Opt-In Overlay Zone - Thursday, July 26th, 10:00 to Noon
Round Valley Public Library, 23925 Howard St, Covelo, CA 95428

Mitchell Creek Opt-In Overlay Zone - Thursday, July 26th, 5:00 to 7:00 PM
Caspar Community Center, South Room, 15051 Caspar Road, Caspar CA 95420

Laytonville and South Leggett Opt-In Overlay Zones - Friday, July 27th, 10:00 to Noon
Long Valley Garden Club, 375 Harwood Road, Laytonville, CA 95454

Deerwood and Woody Glen Opt-Out Zones - Friday, July 27th, 5:00 to 7:00 PM
County Administration Center, Board Chambers, 501 Low Gap Road, Ukiah, CA 95482

Michael Baker and County staff will discuss the purpose and intent of the overlay zones and the boundaries of the proposed Opt-In Zones and Opt-Out Zones. Community members are encouraged to learn more about these proposed overlay zones and to provide input on both the proposed regulations and the boundaries of the proposed overlay zones. The Board of Supervisors is seeking input from affected community members to help guide their discussions and decisions regarding these proposed regulations.

Overviews of the proposed regulations (Framework documents) and the boundaries of the proposed overlay zones are available for public review at Public comments can be submitted electronically in advance of each meeting by emailing For more information regarding the meeting, please contact the Mendocino County Executive Office at (707) 463-4441.

* * *

THEM LYING FROGS...Glowing Cabernet?

Researchers from the University of Bordeaux Centre d'Études Nucléaires de Bordeaux-Gradignan (CNRS) in France tested California wine from before and after the Fukushima disaster and found there was double the amount of cesium-137 in its Cabernet Sauvignon after the 2011 tsunami caused the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactors to leak.

* * *


That full-page ad in the Chronicle last week (below in italics) annoyed progressives in the Bay Area, who showed unintentionally yet again how clueless they are about homelessness and the associated squalor on city streets.

Starting with the SF Weekly, which has a long history of cluelessness on a number of issues, including Islam, the bicycle fantasy, City Hall, and graffiti/tagging vandalism, to mention a few.

And, like the Chronicle, the Examiner, and the Bay Guardian, the SF Weekly failed to write anything about that UC study on San Francisco's flawed system for counting serious cycling injuries even though it routinely trumpets its pro-bike policies.

That's how The City That Knows How speaks truth to power, except when it agrees with power by censoring an important story.

In the SF Weekly, Peter Lawrence Kane furiously denounces the woman who placed the ad in the Chronicle, suggesting she's a racist, though the race of the apparently deranged man isn't mentioned, accuses her of calling for "a counter-revolution," of holding "brazenly fascist" notions, and of wanting "unbridled capitalism at its cruelest."

Kane even wondered if the ad was a "parody." He rants indignantly about the state of the world:

We live in a world where concerned citizen-racists call the cops on people of color for selling water or using coupons, and now we have Neiman-Marcus patrons taking out full-page ads in newspapers because they had a run-in with a weird person.

There's no indication that the guy was black, and he was more than simply "a werid person." He was apparently deranged and was fooling around with scissors behind her back.

Carol Denney in the Berkeley Daily Planet calls the woman

someone consumed by the fear of what a nearby young man might do, claiming her quality of life was seriously compromised while having a sandwich at the Fresh Market Cafe at Neiman Marcus on Geary Street while seeing someone "acting silent" and holding a pair of scissors.

What the woman described is a clearly deranged man fiddling with a pair of scissors behind her back, which would have upset even someone who didn't have enough money to place a $30,000 ad in the Chronicle.

More from Denney:

The young man described in the ad didn't make noise, didn't commit any theft, didn't break any law. We can be assured of this because no one takes out a $30,090.00 full page ad to tell a story of the horror of having to share public space with others and leaves out such detail if they really want to make their point…

This speaks volumes about the progressive view of the ongoing crisis of homelessness and all-around squalor on city streets (Berkeley of course has a similar crisis).

We're supposed to "share public space" with deranged people, who may/may not be homeless. Maybe he was one of those people who shoot up on city streets I mentioned the other day.

Regardless of this guy's status, whether he was homeless or not—or "unhoused," as progs might say—his behavior was disturbing and unacceptable, whether in a high-end venue like Neiman-Marcus or in a Subway on Market Street.

The question now is. What do we do about it? In an ideal world—my ideal world, anyhow—the deranged guy in Neiman-Marcus would have been detained by city cops and thoroughly checked out to learn whether he was a threat to others and himself. Is that "fascism"?

Kane on homelessness:

It’s also much too large for the city to tackle on its own. As SF Weekly has analyzed in the past, much of the blame can be pinned on the Reagan Administration.

We're surely beyond playing the blame game. The Reagan administration was more than 30 years ago. The question is what do we do about it now. The city has been and must continue to "tackle" homelessness on its streets as best it can regardless of how "large" the problem is.

Robert Gammon on Twitter:

The SF Chronicle ran a full-page ad today that bashes homeless people with obvious mental health issues. And if that were not bad enough, it was paid by an anonymous donor that calls her group, Fed Up Populace Campaign—a shady org that doesn't have a website. Ugh.

She doesn't even have a website! How can we take her seriously?

I've been blogging about the homeless issue in San Francisco since 2004. What was obvious even then is that progressives were utterly clueless about the issue, and many still are. They're just poor people who may, you understand, have some emotional issues.

That's a half-truth. Yes, being poor is not a crime, but living on city streets is unacceptable. Shooting up on city streets is unacceptable. Being demented on city streets is unacceptable.

See also Oh Gavin, you're such a bitch! and Progressive ideology in SF: Basic principles.


…as if stepping over used syringes and filth in Maiden Lane wasn't bad enough…

Recently, I went into the Fresh Market Cafe at Neiman Marcus on Geary St. to have a sandwich. I was seated at a table with my back to the food counter. Over my right shoulder and behind me I noticed a youngish homeless man acting silent, strange, and trying to peer over the food counter. It struck me how out of context this was and thinking to myself how did he get here, deep into the cafe?

Feeling uneasy after a few minutes and thinking of a purse snatching, I got up to get my purse and move my table. I turned around and saw this homeless person wielding a large pair of SCISSORS that he was opening and closing erratically, previously behind my back! Horrified, I yelled to the waitress and hurried to the other side of the restaurant. While waiting patiently for security, this psychotic homeless person took a glass of water and walked out of the door onto Geary St. wielding the scissors.

The San Francisco city fathers and those who should be held accountable for our public safety have for years let us all down by catering to the lowest common denominator. We, the tax-paying, responsible contributing members of society have had our quality of life as San Franciscans seriously compromised, dangerously so.

Sit with your backs to the wall, fellow citizens.


Anonymous disgusted female San Francisco resident (for now)

*Neiman Marcus management were as horrified as I was. They are in no way to blame.


Mayor Newsom tried to hold a public meeting on homelessness while being mocked by a "progressive"

(Rob Anderson, District5Diary)

* * *


MCOE Extends Enrollment Deadline for Medical Assistant Training and Dental Assistant Training Programs

The Mendocino County Office of Education has extended its application deadline to Friday, July 27 for its Medical Assistant Training and Dental Assistant Training Programs. Applications are available online at or at the MCOE Ukiah Office located at 2240 Old River Road. The Medical Assistant Program is a comprehensive eight-month training course that prepares people to work as medical assistants. The next course runs from August 23, 2018 through June 6, 2019 and includes medical terminology/abbreviations, anatomy and physiology, medical law, medical/coding and billing, electronic medical records, appointment scheduling, rooming patients/vital signs, EKGs, blood glucose monitoring, urine testing, pharmacology, injections, and assisting the medical provider. The Dental Assistant Program is a comprehensive four-month course taught by Sherry Rease


that prepares people to work in a dental office. The course runs from August 27, 2018 through December 20, 2018. Prerequisites for both programs include being 18 years of age at time of extern placement; proof of high school diploma, CHSPE or GED; typing skills; a completed physical examination form; two negative TB tests; Hepatitis B Series; and a clean criminal background check and drug screening. It is helpful to have previous academic and work experience in the medical field. For more information, call (707) 467-5123.

* * *


Subject: City Council Meeting July 24, 2018


The main item on the agenda:

A. Second Reading and Adoption of Ordinance 233 Amending the Hours of Operation for Cannabis Retailers (

* * *

INSIDE WIKILEAKS: Working with the Publisher that Changed the World

"WikiLeaks is rather unique from many standpoints. As a media organization publishing exclusively secret or otherwise restricted documents on 'invisible powers,' such as intelligence agencies, which citizens do not normally perceive as directly relevant to their lives, there is little doubt that WikiLeaks has the full force of the State against it. It is probably the only Western media organization to have been under continuous investigation by the U.S. authorities – and probably others — since 2010, and it is definitely the only one whose editor is arbitrarily detained in the heart of Europe."

* * *


by James Kunstler

“For more than a decade, Russia has meddled in elections around the world, supported brutal dictators and invaded sovereign nations — all to the detriment of United States interests.”

The New York Times

The Resistance sure got a case of the vapors this week over Mr. Trump’s failure to throttle America’s arch-enemy, the murderous thug V. Putin of Russia, onstage in Helsinki, as any genuine Marvel Comix hero is expected to do when facing consummate evil. Instead, the Golden Golem of Greatness voiced some doubts about the veracity of our “intelligence community” — as the shape-shifting Moloch of black ops likes to call itself, as if it were a kindly service organization in Mr. Rogers neighborhood, collecting dimes for victims of childhood cancer.

If I may be frank, the US Intel community looks like a much bigger threat to American life and values than anything Mr. Putin is doing, for instance his alleged “meddling” in US elections. This word, meddling, absolutely pervades the captive Resistance news outlets these days. It has a thrilling vagueness about it, intimating all kinds of dark deeds without specifying anything, as consorting with Satan once did in our history. The reason: the only specific acts associated with this meddling include the disclosure of incriminating emails among the Democratic National Committee leadership, and a tiny gang of Facebook trolls making sport of profoundly idiotic and dysfunctional American electoral politics.

The brief against Russia also contains vague accusations of “aggression.” It is hard to discern what is meant by that — though it apparently warms the heart of American war hawks and their paymasters in the warfare industries. They allege that Russia “stole” Crimea from Ukraine. Consider: Crimea had been a province of Russia since the 1700s. Ukraine itself was a province of the USSR when Nikita Khrushchev put Crimea under Ukraine’s administrative control in 1956, a relationship which became obviously problematic after the breakup of the soviet mega-state in 1990 — and became even more of a problem when the US State Department and our CIA stage-managed a coup against the Russia-leaning Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych in 2014. Crimea is the site of Russia’s only warm water naval bases. Do you suppose that even an experience American CIA analyst might understand that Russia would under no circumstances give up those assets? Please, grow up.

Does anyone remember the explicit promise that the US Government gave the transitional leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, that NATO would not expand into the countries of eastern Europe formerly under soviet control? NATO now includes the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia, Albania, Croatia, and Montenegro. Is anyone aware that NATO has been staging war games on Russia’s border the past several years? Do you suppose this might be disturbing to the Russians, who lost at least 20 million dead when Germany crossed that border in 1941?

As to the thug-and-murderer charge against V. Putin, has any news org actually published a list of his alleged victims? It’s very likely, of course, that Mr. Putin has had some of his political enemies killed. I wouldn’t take the “con” side of that argument. But I’d be interested in seeing an authoritative list, if the intel community has one (and why wouldn’t they?). I imagine it doesn’t exceed two dozen individuals. How many innocent bystanders did President Obama kill during the drone attack spree of his second term, when our rockets blew up wedding parties and sandwich shops in faraway lands. In 2016, The Atlantic published this:

One campaign, Operation Haymaker, took place in northeastern Afghanistan. Between January 2012 and February 2013, The Intercept reported, “U.S. special operations airstrikes killed more than 200 people. Of those, only 35 were the intended targets. During one five-month period of the operation, according to the documents, nearly 90 percent of the people killed in airstrikes were not the intended targets.”

I suppose the excuse is that none of this was personal — as V. Putin’s alleged murders were. No, it wasn’t personal. It was worse than that. It was a bunch of military video-game jocks sitting around an air-conditioned bunker eating hot pockets and slurping slurpees while snuffing out lives by remote control twelve-thousand miles away. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were high-fiving each other with every hit, too.

As for “hacking” of elections, do you suppose for a minute that we do not have hundreds, or perhaps thousands, of computer techies at our many sprawling NSA facilities around the country working around the clock to penetrate foreign computer defenses absolutely everywhere, among friend and foe alike? And that we are not trying to influence the outcomes of their political struggles in our favor? Go a step further: do you suppose those US “intel community” hackers are not also collecting information about American citizens, including yourself?

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



  1. John Sakowicz July 21, 2018

    The possibility that Alexandrea Raven Scot could serve as little as three years of a ten year prison sentence for the murder of her child, seems like a gross miscarriage of justice.

    As a condition of parole, she should be sterilized. Lax parole supervision will undoubtedly lead to more pregnancies, more babies, and more murders.

    Alexandrea Raven Scot had no pre‐existing psychiatric disorder, as is the case with most homicidal parents. She just wanted to party — get high and get laid — as her poor 18-month old son baked in the back seat of a locked car with the windows rolled up on a hot summer day.

    Ms. Scot is beyond the identification of risk and effective intervention strategies of any parole officer…lax or not. She should not be allowed to get pregnant again.

    Pathological filicide is a crime beyond diagnosis.

    • Eric Sunswheat July 21, 2018

      Good to know that John may have intimate knowledge of the circumstances of this court case, in that the negligent Mom was not slipped quantities of substances, or otherwise did pass out from deprived sleep or exhaustion due to circumstances beyond her control, which distracted or knocked her out for hours with strangers. I assume that John is entirely balanced in judgement, that the court and district attorney office, made some error in not requiring a stipulation of forced sterilization, as part and parcel of settling the case. Perhaps get some sleep, and then think about your contribution to the public discussion, or consider to bring back public hangings.

    • George Hollister July 21, 2018

      “As a condition of parole, she should be sterilized.”

      I don’t agree with JS very often.

      • james marmon July 21, 2018

        Pursuant Welfare and Institution Code 300 (f) any future child or children she should give birth too may be immediately removed from her care based on risk alone.

        WIC 300.
        A child who comes within any of the following descriptions is within the jurisdiction of the juvenile court which may adjudge that person to be a dependent child of the court:

        (f) The child’s parent or guardian caused the death of another child through abuse or neglect.

        Pursuant Welfare and Institution Code 361.5 (b) (4) at the Disposition Hearing the Social Worker can recommend to the court that no reunification services be ordered for Ms. Alexandrea Raven Scott and any newborn moving forward.

        WIC 361.5

        (b) Reunification services need not be provided to a parent or guardian described in this subdivision when the court finds, by clear and convincing evidence, any of the following:

        4) That the parent or guardian of the child has caused the death of another child through abuse or neglect.

        There’s no need for sterilization.

        James Marmon MSW
        Former Social Worker V
        Del Norte and Mendocino Counties

      • Harvey Reading July 21, 2018

        So should libertaryans.

  2. pete swendner July 21, 2018


  3. Harvey Reading July 21, 2018


    Aint the first time Granite screwed up. They seem to have a permanent “in” with CalTrans that began when I was a kid, or before.

  4. Harvey Reading July 21, 2018



  5. John Sakowicz July 21, 2018

    When I worked for the MCSO, time and time again I saw pregnant women who were active meth addicts getting booked in the county jail. They would give birth to their babies while they were still in jail — all of them born with development disabilities, serious neurological impairment, and often epilepsy. The babies would be immediately put up for adoption or placed in foster care. All of these unfortunate children were condemned to a lifetime of suffering by their addict mothers.

    Eventually these abusive mothers would have served their time and get released from jail, only to return pregnant again and using meth again…more severely and permanently harmed children.

    Babies born to meth-addicted mothers are asocial, incapable of bonding, suffer from tremors, are at an high risk of birth defects, and can cry for 24 hours without stopping. They always show a stress-response. Other issues can arise such as prematurity, clefting, cardiac anomalies, and even death of the unborn baby.

    Tell me: What is the answer?

    Of the strongest forms of love is that of a mother’s love for her children. Meth teas apart the biological and physiological bond between mother and child, and makes the need to get high paramount above even the need to protect one’s own child. We’ve all heard of the “mother bear” philosophy, where a mother can somehow summon unworldly strength in order to protect a child in danger; many times putting her own safety or needs aside in order to save her child. Women that use meth while pregnant lose the ability to see beyond their absolute need to get high…and make no mistake about it, that need is absolute.

    So I repeat, tell me: What is the answer?

    • Harvey Reading July 21, 2018

      Get the kids as far away from their blood relatives as possible. Giving them to grandparents is self-defeating. They’re the ones who raised a drug addict after all. Why give them another chance to fail at child rearing?

      • james marmon July 21, 2018

        The mother and child we’re talking about here are Native American, the baby died on tribal land. Tribal lawyers and ICWA representatives would jump right in the middle of all this talk. This mother already had 2 children removed from her and they were placed with her parents, the grandparents, the same environment she was raised in. I can’t begin to tell you how much I was opposed to returning kids to some of these native families, but it happens anyway because Child Welfare Agencies and Court’s kowtow to the tribes, especially in Mendocino County where CEO Angelo would offer her body and sex favors in exchanged for more Casino money. The county and the tribes are continuously in negotiations of some type.

        “National survey results indicate that substance abuse rates are consistently higher among American Indian/Alaska Natives than other racial groups. The 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) shows that 12.3 percent of American Indians were current users of illicit drugs, compared with 9.5 percent of whites, 8.8 percent of Hispanics, and 10.5 percent of African Americans. The rate of binge drinking among American Indians was 23.5 percent, and the rate of tobacco use was 40.1 percent.”

        The injustice of the Indian Child Welfare Act.

        “If there is ever a contest for the law with the most grossly misleading title, the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 should be a prime candidate, because the last thing this act protects is the welfare of Indian children.”

        James Marmon MSW

        • Harvey Reading July 21, 2018

          I have no problem with leaving the natives alone, not subject to state law, if they are on reservation land. Off the reservation, federal and state laws both apply.

          I honestly wish the Indians had beaten back us scum Europeans, but they did not have a chance against us armed dumb-okie white trash. So, we have to live with what we have inherited, and honor whatever treaties are left and still in effect. Here in broomstick cowboy country, as in the so-called golden state, folks like to blame the tribes for every white problem that exists. I am hopeful that natives will survive and once again inhabitant these lands, called the United States, after our arrogant, wasteful, and bloodthirsty rule ends. And that appears not far off.

          Thank you, James, for the references. My mother was a county, then state, social worker from the mid 60s to the late 70s.

    • George Hollister July 21, 2018

      One of my out of state relatives is a meth user and gave birth in prison while serving on a meth related charge. The father of the baby was unknown. She was given custody of the child when she was released to a life of welfare subsidized drug use. The result for the child is exactly what one would expect. What is wrong with this picture? There were so many opportunities for a judge to intervene and do the right thing. But, instead a judge, or judges continually made the wrong decisions. At this point, it’s too late.

      My view, at least, pay the young women to be sterilized.

      • james marmon July 21, 2018

        You and Harv are sounding pretty much a lot alike, wanting to sterilize everyone and all. Harv’s hatred for mankind is pretty much common knowledge, but I’m surprised by your response George.

        My daughter gave birth to a pos-tox meth baby and I immediately kidnapped them from both Del-Norte and Lake county CPS (both former employers) and with the help of her probation officer we placed them in a drug treatment facility “together” for one year. Eight years later both of them are doing great. My daughter owns and operates her own beauty salon (no welfare), and my granddaughter is thriving in school and at home (no special needs).

        The treatment facility costs bankrupted me, but it was the best money I’ve ever spent.

        James Marmon

        • Harvey Reading July 21, 2018

          How many similar situations around the country ended tragically, James?

          There is far more to hate about humans than there is to love or admire. Happily, they won’t be here much longer. I feel sorry for the natives, and hope some survive, but not the disgusting Eurotrash

        • George Hollister July 21, 2018

          Being in favor of birth control, knowing when people are unable to take responsibility, and doing what is obviously necessary to prevent tragedy is not hating humanity. It used to be society acted on these things. Now we treat indigents as if they are responsible people. We see the results.

          • james marmon July 22, 2018

            Back to the future, wow George, another purpose for the old Howard Memorial Hospital to be administered by Camille Schraeder.

            Constructing Eden: Eugenics in California from Soil to Science

            “The small town of Ukiah, California was once home to the Mendocino State Hospital for the Insane. The hospital itself sat among lush forests painted against a backdrop of picturesque mountains, but within its walled gardens, 113 men and 51 women were sterilized without consent up to the year 1939. Though these figures are much lower in number than other institutions such as the Patton (1,693) and Stockton (1,455) State Hospitals, the Mendocino State Hospital is emblematic of the eugenic landscape of California between 1909 and 1979. Among forests and rolling hills you could be committed six times for fleeing home in a “nude condition” because your husband “drank and bought lottery tickets” with such frequency that you “would go without meat for days at a time.” You might not officially be diagnosed for twenty years despite being subjected to repeated intelligence and venereal disease exams. Eventually, because you had been classified as “unfit,” “asocial,” or “promiscuous,” you might even be sterilized without consent.”


  6. Eric Sunswheat July 21, 2018

    Bring back mothers rights to euthanize malformed babies within a few days of birth, and thus show some compassion for humanity and the carrying capacity of planet Earth, before the undersea thawing methane burp triggers extreme survival despair.

    • Harvey Reading July 21, 2018

      Too little, to late.

  7. james marmon July 21, 2018

    Here we go again

    Lake County CA Sheriff’s Department

    A wildfire is being fought On Adobe Creek Road , south of Wigt Way. All residents on Adobe Creek Road and Wigt Way



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