Off the Record (Aug. 22, 2018)

WE HAVE an anon letter scorching Coast Hospital from, purportedly, a former traveling nurse alleging the rude arrogance of some doctors and specific allegations that one doctor opens and closes doors by kicking them and a fat doc who sprays the entire staff bathroom: "He's so obese he can't urinate completely in the toilet in the operating room. The end result is the 30 to 40 milliliters that end up on the floor is walked in and then spread all through the OR office, hallways and operating rooms…" The complaint goes on to name names in convincing detail.

IF IT WAS SIGNED, we'd publish the indictment whole, but it isn't signed and, I'm sure you'll agree, that if you're going to smack people by name you've also got to step up with your name.

IT'S HARDLY NEWS that Coast Hospital is deeply, perhaps fatally, in debt, a debt deeper by the day with, a nurse tells us, a record 41 traveling personnel presently employed at a lot more money than resident employees would cost, an imbalance likely to continue given the scarce availability of affordable housing.

ON THE SUBJECT of shelter, especially on the Mendocino Coast, the many otherwise permanent rental units gone over to Air B&B have intensified the housing shortage. And the neo-prevalence of haute bourgeoisie Sotheby for sale signs on even ordinary houses means the whole area is going upscale, pricing out working people like nurses, hence Coast Hospital’s reliance on temps and only dithering from County leadership on the issue…

PHYSICIAN CONTROL THYSELF. Dr. Ben Meyer is one of the Ukiah Adventist Hospital's top coronary guys, but it's a wonder he didn't suffer one himself Sunday in a Potter Valley set-to involving a horse, friends, a gun and deputies.

The professional classes do pick up a DUI here and there, but an old-fashioned cowboy ruckus? We'll be following this one.

MENDOCINO COUNTY Assistant Public Defender Christiane Marie Hipps was herself axed at 5 o’clock two Monday afternoons ago, a day after she’d axed Chelsie Abramson. It was the County's Human Resources (Personnel) wielding the chop-chopper that took out Hipps. Formerly of the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office, Hipps has been acting as caretaker of our Public Defender’s Office since the retirement of long-time Public Defender Linda Thompson. No one is saying why Hipps was shown the door, but when it became public Tuesday morning, the comment most often heard was, “What took so long?” Expect the defense side of the courthouse equation to be in turmoil for the near future – but is that really anything new?

MATT FINNIGAN, Public Attorney’s Union counsel, may be contacted for a comment on the case of Chelsie Abramson (she met with him today). Ms. Abramson, as noted above, was fired by Assistant Public Defender Christiane "Chris" Hipps on Friday last and then Ms. Hibbs herself was fired by the County's Personnel Office, these days called Human Resources, which has a rather Soylent Green-ish ring to it although we're probably a decade away from full surplus-human-to-fast food conversion mode. The smart and capable Shannon Cox is now in charge of the Public Defender’s office. She's currently a Deputy County Counsel lawyer, and with not only a work-history as a career-long prosecutor, she's the spouse of a former local cop, currently an investigator for the District Attorney in Lake County. The turmoil in the PD's office is positively bracing, but we expect Ms. Cox to quickly restore order. (Bruce McEwen)

POLITICAL COURAGE being so rare these days, and virtually unknown in Mendocino County, the Fort Bragg City Council's unanimous 5-0 vote to resist district voting under threat of an expensive lawsuit deserves a prolonged standing ovation. Supposedly backed by a secret committee of the righteous alleging that Mexican-Americans are not proportionally represented by FB's City Council, an unemployed attorney named Jacob Patterson said he will sue if Fort Bragg doesn't go to district elections. But the fearsome FB City Council has declared, “Bring it on, punk!”

AS A FB READER PUTS IT, "How many are in this invisible committee? Would we be surprised when/if we ever find out? I doubt it. If something is important enough for a person/committee to try and change something as important as voting you would think they would be proud to let others know who they are. Thank you to all the Council members for making a move to protect our voting rights. Thank you to Ruben Alcala who is running for Council for speaking out on this issue. I think Fort Bragg can accomplish a lot of people stick together for what is best for our community as a whole. I have never been more proud of our Council than I was last night."

HERE’S BRENT! The Mendocino County of Board of Supervisors got off a presser last week about…. “We are pleased to announce the appointment of Brent Schultz as Planning and Building Services Director for Mendocino County. Mr. Schultz joins the County after serving as the Housing and Municipal Services Director for the City of Ontario since 2013. Mr. Schultz has a Public Administration Degree from California State University of Fullerton and a Masters of Business Administration from Chapman University. In his free time, he enjoys being with his family, traveling, or flying his airplane….”

DAN HAMBURG, the 5th District’s phantom supervisor and a man always prepared to dish up a big helping of pure smarm, commented, “Mr. Schultz brings 30 years of municipal government experience in housing, redevelopment and planning. He is enthusiastic to step into a County leadership role and has a commitment to streamlining regulatory processes that will serve our County well in the coming years.”

A READER COMMENTS on the sorry state of Lake Mendocino: "Even without the uptick in vandalism, the place is a trash heap. Broken glass everywhere along the shore and parking lots- garbage thrown everywhere, dog poo all over. It is disgusting. It is embarrassing to take out of town friends there. It could be a lot better, but it's not. Seems like folks just don't care. Sad!"

AND ANOTHER READER COMMENTS on what pot legalization has done to the Emerald Triangle:

Well, a bunch of fools voted for a scam “legalization” that gave our #1 economic engine away to corporations. This resulted in our county receiving somewhere around $420 million LESS each year and more as the years proceed. Nobody has enough money to make it. The reality is just starting to hit home. Depression, anxiety, stresses are rising and people are getting desperate. People are unable to pay debts and now they will never be able to pay these debts. Because of a hyper-inflated greenrush running unchecked for over a decade we attracted many drug-addicted, alcoholic and mentally unstable people to our community. Now they have no way of sustaining their habits. I’m surprised it’s not worse than it is. But I am pretty sure we are only seeing the beginning. It will get much worse. Many people think their permits will save them. But the writing is on the wall and very few will survive. The permitted farms will be crushed and sold for dimes on the dollar in the next few grueling years. Expect domestic violence rates to rise, broken families and lots of thievery, assaults, murders and vigilante action in response. Congratulations go out to the proponents of “legalization” for wanting our community to be “safe” and “legitimate” by becoming “compliant” and therefore “real farmers.”

CANDIDATES for Fort Bragg City Council (for 3 seats): Lindy Peters (only incumbent), Ruben Alcala (Retail Manager), Tess Albin-Smith (Forester/Musician/Bookkeeper), Dana Jess (General Contractor/Employer), Bobby Burns (Handyman/Appliance Repair), Jessica Morsell-Haye (Business Owner/Mom), Mary Rose Kaczorowski (no occupation listed but known to people on the coast as “Redwood Mary”).

UKIAH CITY COUNCIL (for 3 seats): Jim Brown (incumbent), Maureen Mulheren (incumbent), Chon Travis (Musician/Entrepreneur), Edward Haynes (Veterinarian), Matt Froneberger (no occupation listed).

WILLITS CITY COUNCIL (for 2 seats): Larry Stranske (incumbent), Greta Kanne (Small Business Owner), Jeremy Hershman (Teaching Assistant)

COAST HOSPITAL (for 3 long-term seats): Kevin Miller (Ophthalmologist), John Redding (Chief Executive Officer), Jade Tippett (Retired Educator), Amy Beth McColley (Nurse/Compliance Officer), Coast Hospital (for 1 short-term seat): Karen Arnold (Human Resources Manager), Rex Gressett (Writer).

COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD (for 3 seats): Donald Cruser (incumbent), Mary Misseldine (incumbent), Tarney Sheldon (Credentialed Teacher) (Replacing a seat formerly held by Camille Schraeder who is not re-running).

THOMAS BENDINELLI, 30, of Sebastopol was killed Friday night when, for unknown reasons, his Toyota pick-up plunged off Sheperd Lane, a narrow, precipitous dirt road south and west of Ukiah, accessed from the Boonville-Ukiah Road. Bendinelli's truck plummeted some 350 feet down off the road, fatally hurling the young man from his vehicle. Area residents, who include 5th District supervisor Dan Hamburg, were alerted to the accident early Saturday morning by a persistently barking dog. The CHP said the investigation into the terrible episode is ongoing.

BLACKKKLANSMAN is a bad movie, insulting and cliche-ridden with a script that reads like it was written by the Democratic National Committee. It's deftly reviewed elsewhere in this week's paper, but what is already evident in the reviews is how queasy it makes the libs. So far they're either faking enthusiasm for it or most egregiously in The New Yorker, are spinelessly non-committal, and to think that The New Yorker is where the great Pauline Kael never feared calling a bad movie a bad movie. See it for yourself and judge. Smart friends raved about it to me prior to my ticket purchase and, having never previously been steered wrong by them, I sat through it because the thing is minimally watchable, unlike a lot of highly praised junk movies out there which, within minutes of seating yourself you're muttering, "I'm just going to write off the price of my ticket and get the hell out before I start throwing stuff at the screen." By minimally watchable I mean enough happens, just barely, to keep you kinda interested, and some of the acting is ok but the whole way you're hit over the head with serial statements of the obvious. A much better film that forthrightly makes an honest and at the same time artful statement about white racism is "Get Out," by the same guy who funded BlacKkKlansman. But watching the seemingly endless clips from "coming attractions" — all five aimed at the moron market, which seems larger than ever — it's clear that movies are so extremely dumbed down anymore there’s gotta be someone on-screen telling you what to think so you won’t miss the point.

REPORTER, the book. When people are comforted by government lies, trafficking the truth becomes hellishly difficult. Disclosing damning facts is especially tricky when editors en masse lose their spines. These are some of the takeaways from legendary Seymour Hersh’s riveting new memoir, Reporter. Highly recommended personal account of Hersh’s life by the truly great reporter. Should be required reading in journalism schools and at the irremediable Santa Rosa Press Democrat where it’s way too late for instruction but not too late for that cringing crew to see how it’s done. Or should be done.


I understand your pessimism and rage at people for letting themselves get played, not just for a little while, but for decades. You know the story, multitudes listening to the race and identity horse-shit, the tranny washroom baloney and those on the other side of the political ledger smilingly accepting their destitution as “good, proud, patriotic” Americans because this is what a – cough – free and unfettered market dictates.

Yet it does appear that Kansas isn’t buying the usual Republican bull-shit anymore as the election of Trump shows, the election of Ocasio-Cortez on the Democratic side may show some unloosening of the mental shackles there.

And you also have the example of history. It took a long time but the Czar and his family really did get stuck down a mine shaft, the Chinese, Cubans, Koreans, Vietnamese Cambodians really did up-end their ruling regimes for better or worse. And, further back in time, the French really did a number on their own ruling aristocracy.

Hope isn’t all lost IMO. As you say, it’s going to get interesting sooner rather than later.

4 Responses to "Off the Record (Aug. 22, 2018)"

  1. Joe Hansem   August 22, 2018 at 10:29 am

    Hipps was able to be summarily axed due to her still being in her probationary period. Her most recent position before Mendo was with the Ventura PD. Here she developed a reputation as an erratic, unstable person causing at least one other person to file a grievance against her. The situation with Chelsie was aggravated by the allegation that she physically grabbed her during the encounter where she was terminated. This resulted in a delegation of four PDs going to HR as this was considered the last straw by them.

    The folks at HR, who brought Hipps in in the first place, do not inspire much confidence as they have eliminated both Rhoades and Cole-Wilson, to say nothing of the worthy Eric Rennert, from condideration, not even giving them the courtesy of an interview. Instead they will go out of county as they did with Hipps and previously with Jeff Thoma, a hack who was cut from the same cloth as she.

  2. SN   August 30, 2018 at 7:28 am

    Yep. Christiane Hipps. Dumpster Fire. Has severe personality flaws. Will travel.

  3. SN   September 8, 2018 at 9:24 am

    A Lexis/Nexis search turns up a nasty case this loon filed against other siblings over her deceased Mother’s estate. Doesn’t pay lawyers, follow directions and engages in reckless and risky litigation with victory being pyrrhic. What a poisonous hag and horrible human being. Good luck with your job hunt and good fxxxing riddance!

  4. SomeDude   June 15, 2019 at 12:32 pm

    “Dr. Ben Meyer is one of the Ukiah Adventist Hospital’s top coronary guys” Yeah okay, What’s Adventist Hospital’s Mortality rate 100%? He was the worst Doctor I’ve ever worked with.


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