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- Yesterday's Catch
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- Golden Gate
- Voter Info
MARGARET PAUL WRITES:
Below is Coast Hospital CFO Mike Ellis’s response to my lack of transparency concerns and my response.
The issue of MCDH’s lack of transparency is very troublesome. One can’t help but wonder what the administration is hiding. A month ago, I requested the following under the Freedom of Information Act: the names of the companies supplying MCDH with temporary/traveling staff and the Form 1023 which was filed 8 years ago with the IRS by the hospital to apply for 501(c)(3) status.
This is what CFO Mike Ellis emailed me: a list of over 800 vendors with no specificity as to which vendors were supplying temporary/traveling staff. According to one hospital insider, MCDH employs up to 147 temporary employees at any given time. Mike Ellis states that there are currently 30, with variations from month to month. Without providing the information I requested, there is no way to further investigate the traveling staff issue.
The Form 1023 was an unsigned draft, as Mike Ellis explained, because the original was nowhere to be found. I was most interested in “Compensation and Other Financial Arrangements with Your Officers, Directors, Trustees, Employees, and Independent Contractors.” The two pages of financial data had no information about “Compensation and Other Financial Arrangements…” Once again, I found the 17 page unsigned Form 1023 draft (pages 13,14, and 15 are missing) contained absolutely no useful information in addition to leaving approximately two thirds of the Yes/No boxes unchecked. When I contacted the IRS to request a copy of the signed Form 1023, they told me I had to be a board member or member of the hospital’s administration to get it.
It appears our hospital is intentionally withholding the information needed to provide an accurate picture of its financial dealings. The response to my Freedom of Information request was a joke.
I’m looking forward to seeing Redding, Grinberg and Arnold elected in November to form a majority and turn things around.
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Dear Ms. Paul,
We are not trying to hide anything and are not intentionally withholding information; in fact we have been more than forthcoming in our attempts to honor your multitude of requests. Your original request was not for the names of the companies supplying MCDH with temporary/traveling staff, it was actually for all vendors of Mendocino Coast District Hospital. We believed that providing you with a list of all vendors fulfilled both these requests. Several staff hours were expended collecting this data.
The individual you refer to as a hospital insider is misinformed. We have a total of 34 contracted/traveling staff members as of today. That number does fluctuate depending on what staff is necessary in keeping the hospital services available to the community.
We have not been able to locate the IRS Form 1023 Application for Recognition of Exemption as filed with the IRS in year 2009. In the many hours looking for this, all we could find was the draft version. We have requested our completed and signed Form 1023 from the IRS and the IRS may take several months to complete this request. When we receive the filed IRS Form 1023 we will expedite its delivery to you. Remember that this was an application where the hospital satisfied the IRS requirements such that the IRS approved that application shortly after it was filed.
Please know that information requests require valuable staff time, and different requests require different levels of staff involvement. With the demands on our staff in keeping our hospital operating and the limited dollars to do this, MCDH in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act will begin to charge for all time spent fulfilling requests like this. Payments will be requested in advance of the work and requests may take up to 10 business days to complete.
Thank you for your understanding,
Mike Ellis, CFO Mendocino Coast District Hospital
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To: Mike Ellis, Chief Financial Officer, Mendocino Coast District Hospital
Your response to my issue regarding the hospital’s lack of transparency merely heightened my concerns. Instead of addressing my specific problems with the IRS Form 1023 “draft” you sent me, you devoted most of your communiqué to the manhours and expense of finding the document, which was unsuccessful. The unsigned “draft” you sent me was missing the section “Executive Compensation and Financial Arrangements…”. In this section of the application, the words, “See Attachment” appeared in two places. There were no attachments provided. The majority of the Yes/No boxes on the 17 page document weren’t checked. Three pages of the “draft” were missing. In an attempt to locate a copy of the original, signed Form 1023, I contacted Jeanette Lodwig, the hospital authorized representative listed under Primary Contact. When I called the Seattle foundation she worked for, I found out she was no longer there and no one could give me any information as to how I could reach her or provide a copy of the signed Form 1023 filed by MCDH. I was equally unsuccessful with the IRS…they only release information to Board members or hospital administrators. This is a total and complete stonewall!!!
In a normal situation, producing a requested form should have been a routine matter, taking only minutes. After all, we live in an electronic age and it should all be a click away. My guess is that the “draft” was manufactured after the fact which accounts for the time it took to produce it. It’s impossible for me to understand why such an important document as the Form 1023 could not be found. Merely stating that the 501(c)(3) status had been granted is woefully insufficient. The final insult was your statement that there would be a charge, payable in advance, for future information requests, based on estimated man hours it would require.
One of the meanings of transparency is “easily understood.”
Not even close.
Community Health Care Advocate
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PS. Reminder: The MCDH Finance Committee meets today at 4pm and the Planning Committee meets at 5pm today in the Redwood Room at the hospital.
The monthly MCDH Board of Directors meeting is Thursday, September 27, at 6pm, in the Redwood Room at the hospital. The Hardin v MCDH case is on the agenda. As I understand it, the court date is set for October 25. Since all of the motions to dismiss were denied, it will go forward.
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Candidate Forum for Mendocino Coast Health Care District Board of Directors on Oct. 1
The League of Women Voters - Mendocino County has announced that a Candidate Forum for the Mendocino Coast Health Care District Board of Directors will be held at the Redwood Coast Senior Center, 490 North Harold Street, Fort Bragg, CA on Monday, October 1, 2018, from 6:00 p.m. — 8:00 p.m. All candidates have been invited and have agreed to participate. Each candidate will be given up to two minutes for an opening statement, followed by the candidates answering written questions from the audience. There will be a one minute response time for each answer. At the end of the forum, each candidate will have up to two minutes for a closing statement. Candidates may remain after the forum to answer any questions people may have. Please note that this is NOT a debate. The League of Women Voters neither supports nor opposes candidates or parties for any public office, but one of their missions is voter education, hence their sponsorship of this candidate forum. This event is open to the public; a League member will be the moderator. If you have any questions, please contact The League of Women Voters - Mendocino County at 707-937-4952.
CELEBRATING THE HISTORIC ALBION RIVER BRIDGE
The Albion River Bridge is California's last remaining timber trestle state highway bridge. It was recently listed in the National Register of Historic Places and in the California Register of Historic Resources. To celebrate this honor there will be a photo exhibit at the Albion Post Office until September 28. Everyone is invited. Come enjoy vintage images of the Albion mills, the stages of construction of the historic Albion River Bridge, and modern aerial photos. For years, Caltrans has proposed demolishing the Albion River Bridge and replacing it with a new concrete bridge. However this is being opposed by many Mendocino Coast residents who want to preserve the bridge because of its iconic beauty and historic uniqueness.
For more information please visit: facebook.com/savethealbionbridge/
and the Albion CommunityAdvisory Board (ACAB) web site: albioncab.wordpress.com/about/
and albioncab.wordpress.com/ for the ideas that the Albion Bridge Stewards, a working group of ACAB contributed.
To contact us, please e-mail <email@example.com>
For information from Caltrans, please visit: dot.ca.gov/dist1/d1projects/albion/
The Albion Post Office is open from 8am to 12 noon and 12:30pm to 4:30pm Monday through Friday; closed Saturday and Sunday.
RYAN STEARNS stopped by late Monday afternoon to flesh out an episode occurring the afternoon of Monday, September 17th involving himself and 2nd District supervisor, John McCowen. Mr. Stearns had just returned to Boonville from Ukiah on the MTA bus. He frequently makes the commute from Anderson Valley to Ukiah and, after completing his Ukiah errands, often waits out the two or three hours for the return trip to Boonville while enjoying the Russian River where a homeless population has made their home. McCowen spends many hours cleaning up the areas around the Russian River. "I sympathize with McCowen in lots of ways," Stearns said, "but that day under the Perkins Street Bridge McCowen pulled a taser on me, not pepper spray like he said." Stearns explained that McCowen had been yelling at someone across the river, "a person who didn't need to be harassed," when Stearns approached the supervisor to ask, "Is everything ok?" McCowen whirled to face Stearns and pulled a taser. "We were about four feet from each other. I thought I was going to have to throw my bike at him to keep him away," Stearns remembers. "I thought for sure he was going to tase me." Stearns, in the style of many young people, is just scruffy enough to pass for a homeless person himself, but he's insistent that McCowen's claim that he pulled pepper spray on Stearns is untrue. "It was a stun gun," Stearns says. Stearns, following the confrontation, went on-line to research the difference between a taser and a pepper spray. "It was definitely a taser that McCowen had." Thinking about it for a couple of days, Stearns called the Sheriff's Office to report the incident. "There's a big difference between a stun gun and pepper spray," Stearns maintains, "and McCowen shouldn't be down there hassling people all the time, although some people camping down there deserve to be hassled." Most people would agree that the potential harm from a stun gun, aka taser, is certainly greater than harm dispensed from a container of pepper spray. "I tried to explain to McCowen that I was not there to trash the river, and that I agreed with him that the people who do trash the river don't belong there." Stearns added that he, too, has hauled bags of trash from the river banks, but said he doesn't think a weaponized supervisor should be patrolling the Perkins Street Bridge area where people, homeless or not, have the legal right to enjoy the river.
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I'M ABANDONING MY DUMB IDEA to organize a small school football team from the county's outback schools where the sport has been abandoned, which is all of them except Point Arena, and even there football is a faded 8-man game. It would take the school managers at least a hundred in-services and thousands of donuts to consider doing a collective small school football team. Even a simple permission for outback kids to join the 11-man teams in Fort Bragg and Ukiah is probably impossible. I also note the truculent denunciations of my original proposal by people hostile to football, and I say to them, What about the fat guys? The otherwise non-athletic kids who fill the linemen positions? What other sport is there for them, huh? Baseball? Maybe first base or catcher. Basketball? Impossible. Soccer? Totally out for fat kids. Track and field? A strong fat kid could shot put, and that's it. All sports at all levels are dominated by the lithe, the highly mobile, foot speed, hand-eye coordination.
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ON THE SUBJECT of gridiron glory, two kids out of Fort Bragg are starting at Santa Rosa JC, both of them having gone from small school football to very tough competition indeed at the college level among and against athletes who will go on to play at Division One colleges. Kaylor Sullivan, quarterback, and Lucas Triplett, a wide receiver at SRJC and team captain, are more than holding their own at the college level.
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THE WILLITS NEWS apparently can't tell hippies from Rotarians. Somebody pointed this out on Facebook, and yes it’s on the website too. A huge photo of Willits and Ukiah Rotarians at Ridgewood Ranch (see the Seabiscuit statue?) at the “Claws for a Cause” event earlier this month, accompanying TWN’s story about the hippies’ International Peace Day event at the Rec Grove in Willits on Saturday: “It truly was a day of peace in Mendocino County….” Apparently nobody at the Willits News these days knows the difference between the Rec Grove and Ridgewood Ranch … or the difference between hippies and Rotarians. Doubt that Rotarians will be much amused. Hope it shows up as art somewhere.
Here’s the link: willitsnews.com/2018/09/24/a-day-of-peace/
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ORANGE MAN'S opening remarks at the United Nations today drew laughter from world leaders apparently prepared for a braggadocio address. Trump claimed in remarks that were written for him that “in less than two years my administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country.” As if reading the speech for the first time, Trump added a, “so true,” leading to laughter from international leaders. He smiled, taking the derision in stride, and said, “I didn't expect that reaction but that's OK,” before moving on with the extraordinary progress he says he's blessed us with in the U.S. of A.
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THE MIGHTY AVA recommends these three candidates for the Coast Hospital Board — Karen Arnold, Jessica Grinberg, John Redding. If Coast can be saved as the great little community-owned hospital it has been for many years, this trio will go a long way to saving it.
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MEET THE CANDIDATES AT ST. ANTHONY'S Event: Meet John Redding, Jessica Grinberg and Karen Arnold; Where: St. Anthony's Hall, 10700 Lansing, Mendocino; When: October 9, from 7-8:30
The upcoming election will give the community a chance to vote on candidates for the MCDH Board of Directors. Community members are invited to meet MCDH Board candidates John Redding, Jessica Grinberg and Karen Arnold. Each will share his/her qualifications and why they are running, followed by a Q&A.
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THIS HEADLINE from Tuesday morning's Press Democrat: "Residents of fire-ravaged Journey’s End mobile home park await positivity." A rain storm of smiley faces?
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AT LAST a counterattack by wholesomeness:
Anderson Valley Girl Scouts is getting started again! Art, STEM, outdoors, leadership, and more. Come learn more!
Registration and Parent Information Meeting
Junta de registración y información para padres
Wednesday, September 26
Miercoles, 26 de Septiembre
Between 4:30 to 5:30 pm in room 10 at the Elementary
At least one parent must attend with girls. We are seeking parent leaders and volunteers for Brownies and Daisies age groups (k-3).
email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or for more info.
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PEBBLES TRIPPETT has a point: The marijuana legalization process has proceeded without the pot brigades. Whether or not the long-time growers and pioneer puffers like Pebs would have added clarity to the Mendo confusion is debatable, but the process Mendo’s non-stoners (presumably) came up with is impossible, hence the ongoing failure of the program.
TOP OF THE MARK, 1950s
IT WASN’T LOST on County employees (or MendocinoSportsPlus!) that the Supervisors and top officials gave themselves big raises with minimal analysis recently last January while dithering for months and months about the pay of most of their line workers. After raising their own pay to about $84k a year plus generous benefits a few months ago, most of the staff has barely recovered their pre-2009 recession levels.
THE SUPES — seen here Tuesday along with the Human Resources lady on the left who droned on at Stepford length about the various ways of calculating employee salaries — seemed very happy with themselves for even considering pay raises for their line workers. Of course, the Board took no action on Tuesday, choosing instead to postpone the inevitable pay and benefit raises as long as possible because this year’s budget is way out of balance and delaying worker pay raises until next year will help them kick the can down the road and push the ballooning budget problem onto next year’s Board.
EMPLOYEE LINDA PITMAN provided the best visual while she made her statement about her stagnant pay, showing a Ukiah Daily Journal headline from January that she had laminated and saved for just this moment.
WE’LL HAVE MORE on Tuesday’s Supes meeting later this week. But these visuals provide a nice summary of the prevailing attitudes on the pay disconnect between the officials and their disgruntled staff.
QUIZ TONIGHT! Yes, it’s the 4th Thursday of the month and that means the General Knowledge and Trivia Quiz will take place at Lauren’s Restaurant in Boonville starting at 7pm prompt. You know it makes sense.
Cheers, Steve Sparks, Quiz Master
(The next Quiz this will be on the 2nd Thursday of October - the 11th.)
CATCH OF THE DAY, September 25, 2018
ANDREW BARR, Fremont/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
NATHAN BEVENS, Willits. DUI, suspended license (for DUI), resisting.
ERIN BRANYAN, Concord/Ukiah. Suspended license (for DUI), probation revocation.
JEREMY BROWN, Vallejo/Ukiah. Probation revocation.
GIOVANNI DEMURI, Fort Bragg. DUI, probation revocation.
NOE ESPITIA, Lakeport/Ukiah. Probation revocation.
JESUS MACIAS, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
ANAISEL MARIN, Ukiah. DUI, taking vehicle without owner’s consent, misdemeanor hit&run with property damage, willful cruelty to child with possible injury or death.
LINDEN MULLINS, Fort Bragg. DUI causing bodily injury.
RAMIRO OJEDA-GARCIA, Ukiah. DUI, suspended license (for DUI), probation revocation.
XOCHE WRIGHT, Ukiah. Under influence, fugitive from justice, probation revocation.
WILD MUSHROOM DINNER IN CASPAR
Nov. 10, 3rd Wild Mushroom Dinner & Marketplace, Caspar Community Center, tickets only online at: MendocinoCoastMushroomClub.org
“It was a long time ago — are you sure you haven’t confused us with someone who cares?”
HIT & RUN THEATER WORKSHOPS
Dear Mendocino Community Members,
On Wednesday, October 10 Hit & Run Theater begins a series of 4 Improvisation workshops running Wednesdays, October 10, 17, and October 24 at the Mendocino Community Center, culminating in a “Workshop Show” for the public on Thursday, November 1. The workshops take place from 6:30 to 8:30pm at the Community Center of Mendocino, 998 School St., Mendocino, CA 95460. Hit and run’s newest workshop series is open to all interested students. The course will include basic improvisational games and acting exercises. No previous theatrical experience is required and mature teens are welcome as well as adults & seniors. The price is $15 for each Wednesday evening workshop. What a deal! To register or for further information, please email Doug Nunn (email@example.com)
Call either Doug Nunn at 937-0360 or Ken Krauss at 937-5110 or write Doug on Facebook. We look forward to having a few laughs and enjoying some evenings together.
All the best,
Back in high school, my friend and I drank vodka and orange juice for the first time, then went to a high school basketball game. We both spent the game getting sick in the boy’s room by the gym. I remember sitting on the sink, sick, and feeling it break off the wall, then getting drenched in water as I sat there on the floor amid the broken pieces.
It happened. I have no idea the date that it happened. But it happened, believe me. And believe that, if questioned by the media, both my friend and I would deny that it happened. But it did. Now, if we were questioned by the FBI, both of us would tell the truth, and within hours, the FBI could pinpoint the date that happened back in 1974. And I’ve never told this story before.
Believe Christine Blasey Ford. It happened to her, too. Let the FBI do its job. Then decide on Brett Kavanaugh’s suitability to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court for the next 35-plus years after he talks to the FBI.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Please, please, please explain how any investigative body can confirm or disprove Mrs. Ford’s claims – that she was sexually assaulted at an unknown time, in an unknown place, in a room with three people present – one of whom denies it ever happened, the other who states he has no recollection of any such event – The Federal Bureau of Clairvoyance, perhaps?
LITTLE DOG SAYS, “So I asked Skrag if he's got his shots up to date. ‘Me?’ he asks. ‘You're the one with the STD.’ I'm so tired of that mangy deadbeat.”
KAVANAUGH gave a speech a few years back at his alma mater Georgetown Preparatory School in which, to great laughter, he said, “What happens at Georgetown Prep stays at Georgetown Prep. That’s been a good thing for all of us, I think.”
It’s interesting — and further evidence of something fishy — that when Judge Kavanaugh submitted that speech to the Senate Judiciary Committee he edited out that material. Some senator should ask Kavanaugh why he did that.
In the psychological literature, sexual assault is right up there with war-related memories when it comes to traumatic events that have an amazing hold on a person throughout their life, especially those who are young, inexperienced and unprepared for some rude event that suddenly hits you hard out of the blue. So it shouldn’t surprise anyone, or seem at all fabricated for political purposes, that a female (or a male abused by, let’s say, a priest) would hold onto a memory like this and, after 36 years, be compelled to speak out when the drunk boy who she felt made a fumbling attempt to rape her was nominated for the United States Supreme Court. I know that would really stick in my craw. I also know why, if Dr. Blasey’s story is true, the two boys might not be able to remember the event and want to change the subject. To gild the lilly, Judge Kavanaugh was nominated by a president who is on record as gloating over the grabbing of woman by the “pussy”.
— John Grant
ON ANY REPRESENTATION OF THE EARTH, a map, a globe, the odd-shaped enclosures are man-made things called “nations.” Almost universally they are remnants of history, the products of war, migration, climate, accident, upheavals of various kinds. The map of Africa was wholly imposed by outsiders from Europe and the Middle East. And the Middle East itself lives uneasily within boundaries largely imposed by Europeans in the Twentieth Century.
The United States of America went from a plural collective noun--united states--to a singular one--the United States--by forceful intention. Among nations, we alone made ourselves a new nation, consciously, willfully, deliberately and intentionally, with blood and brains. We are exceptional in that way. We are a nation that created itself in the name of goodness, a thing unprecedented in human affairs. It’s for this reason, not the wealth in our counting houses, not the strength of our arms, not the attractions of rock-and-roll or American movies, that the world watches us as closely and steadfastly as it does. Perhaps we are, from time to time, the City on the Hill we like to claim we are, but always we are the exemplar, the model our founders hoped would eventually become the standard of the world.
In my lifetime, after the super-nova of our decisive participation in World War Two, our trajectory has sloped hideously and agonizingly downward. The protections the founding fathers hoped would keep venality—that inevitable human curse—within bounds have been rounded off, beaten soft, shredded and soiled over decades and centuries to enable the misshapen thing we are now, neither avatar nor hero, villain nor champion, neither democracy nor plutocracy. We are a great thing, greatly diminished.
But look! Today we are better! Today, wrongs that are older than humankind itself, that reach back before history to our primate heritage, have been addressed in the United States of America—nowhere else—and the world watches with fixed attention. Today the disadvantage of male over female because of difference in size, difference in design and function, difference in glandular production that ensures more strength and aggressiveness, on average, to males, this most ancient of unfairnesses, got crucial redress in the courts and public places of America, and the world sees it.
I am proud. America’s rogue president, the malevolent Joker made flesh, got laughed at before the world, in the great hall of the United Nations, and America’s former “Dad,” the once-beloved comedian who fattened for years on his nation’s love for him while he pressed his ugly defects on women and girls by the score, today did the walk of shame before his accusers, his victims and the society he exploited and soiled.
And, meanwhile, another abuser of power, privilege, gender and womankind, a man who presumes to a seat among the arbiters of justice in this country, is tasting it himself, and it is bitter.
I am proud. I am ebullient. How far can this wildfire burn? How many of the men in executive suites, in policing organizations, in the halls of government, business, military, medicine and law, of philosophy and academia, men who have sneered at restraint and complaint, arrogant and unrepentant men—how many of those are sneering today?
And the whole world watches. Many unfinished stories are at climax today in a spectacular convergence, and how far might this go? Could this be the blood the Tree of Liberty famously demands for refreshment?
I am of my species, gender and history. What crimes I have not perpetrated myself I have benefited from as a white American male. My small efforts to recognize, acknowledge and compensate femaledom for the inequities it has suffered have been inconsequential and unavailing. Today, in the glare of world scrutiny, an American president who disrespects women and common decency, who explicitly favors "chaos," felt the sting of the world's contempt.
And today American women seized the day, and nothing will ever again be the same.
THREATENED SPRING-RUN CHINOOK SALMON ARE SPARSE THIS YEAR
The rare spring-run chinook salmon is rarer than usual this year, according to counts in the three streams that support the bulk of the wild fish left in the Sacramento River system.
NEW BOOK FESTIVAL AT THE ROUND VALLEY PUBLIC LIBRARY
Visit the Round Valley Public Library’s New Book Festival for the opportunity to check out copies of brand new library books!
The Mendocino County Library features a New Book Festival twice every year to provide the latest new books to our patrons and even books that you may have on hold through our Tri-County library system. The Festival will feature books for all ages including chapter books and graphic novels for kids, bestsellers, audiobooks and more.
Along with the hottest titles at the New Book Festival, the library will have kids music by Cotton Dandee, crafts, snacks and fun giveaways. A fabulous book bag will be available for every library patron who checks out material with their card. Don’t have a card? Just bring in your ID and fill out an application to receive a card so that you can enjoy all that the library has to offer.
Mark your calendar for Saturday, October 6th from 1-4 PM to celebrate reading at the New Book Festival at the Round Valley Public Library!
GOLDEN GATE IN THE 40S
(Ben Theobald, San Francisco Remembered)
LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS - MENDOCINO COUNTY OCTOBER MEETING
The League of Women Voters - Mendocino County will hold its October meeting on Tuesday, October 9, at the Caspar Community Center from 10am to noon. The program will present Pros & Cons for all the state ballot measures, plus Measure H (Fort Bragg). This is always a popular presentation and is timed just as county residents will have sample ballots in hand. (Vote-by-Mail voters may also have received their actual ballots.) Attendees are encouraged to bring along their sample ballots for making any desired notes. Coffee is offered at 9:30, with the program beginning at 10. This program will be repeated on Tuesday evening, 6pm to 8pm, also at the Caspar Community Center. For more information, call 937-4952.
Pat Dunbar, Publicity, firstname.lastname@example.org