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Mendocino County Today: Thursday, Sep. 27, 2018

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ALTHOUGH COUNTY CEO CARMEL ANGELO called it her "CEO Report,” her September 25 “report” contains nothing but filler. There are no “reports” on anything actually going on in official Mendocino County.

In the past we’ve been promised “reports” on real things like Sheriff’s overtime, juvenile hall, the budget, staffing levels, capital improvement projects, etc. But this latest “report” only contains: The oxymoronic “leadership” update concerning “high performance” and “the culture code,” an upcoming presentation by an author of a book called “Turning the Ship Around,” which presumes the Good Ship Mendo is headed toward the melting ice caps, but offers nothing but auto-blather instead of actual rudder pressure.

THERE'S ALSO a “vacancy list” showing that fewer and fewer people are interested in applying for positions on advisory boards, a fact ignored by Angelo and the Supes. Then there’s “Walktober,” “open enrollment,” the cultural services agency’s tiny moves toward consolidation, “suicide prevention” (which I may become interested in if this non-reporting gets any worse), a “pool party” (sic), software upgrades, pending RFPs (which of course does not include the long-delayed Emergency Operating Area ambulance RFP), a new gang-related probation program, routine animal shelter numbers, board meetings (hint: there are fewer and fewer of them — and why not? they don’t do much), and the only thing that comes close to a “report”: the Vineyard Crossing subdivision permit application status.

APPARENTLY the mid-range housing development formerly known as the “Lovers Lane” project on the north end of Ukiah has gone into a sort of zombie status, which reminds us of the infamously failed Garden’s Gate project south of Ukiah, which Official Mendo killed via delays, inaction and the usual incompetence back in the mid-2000s. This latest Vineyard Crossing proposal by a Chico based developer for about 200 mid-priced homes on a former vineyard in Ukiah is about the same size as the Garden’s Gate project. Long-time readers may recall that the mildly controversial Garden’s Gate project got stuck at the gate when the County demanded an “updated” traffic study before they’d approve the permit. There already was a perfectly valid traffic study, mind you, but it was few years old and the County in the person of former Planning Director Ray Hall demanded that it be done over from scratch.

GARDEN'S GATE developer Chris Stone tried his darndest to find a way to get the project done without too much trouble. But despite being promised time and again that a meeting would be held to figure out how to do an “adequate” traffic study, the traffic study dragged on and on until the 2009 Great Recession dropped the bottom out of the housing market with overly restrictive reactive loan requirements. Stone withdrew the application and moved to South America. The property remains in the hands of his fellow investors, undeveloped.

NOW VINEYARD CROSSING appears headed to the same fate. Two “scoping” sessions on the project’s EIR have reportedly addressed “traffic and drainage.” Just like with Garden’s Gate, the mention of the idea of studying “traffic” is Mendo Code for “never gonna happen.”

ACCORDING TO CEO ANGELO’S “REPORT,” “Staff and the EIR consultant are waiting on the applicant to submit revised studies which were previously peer reviewed by the EIR consultant and found to be incomplete, which include traffic, noise, air quality, greenhouse gas analysis and drainage. Once the revised studies are received by the County, they will be forwarded to the EIR consultant and reviewed for adequacy for incorporation into the EIR.”

SO GUILLON, the Chico-based developer who proposed the Vineyard Crossing project, not only has to come up with “complete” traffic information, but “complete” noise, air quality, greenhouse gas info and drainage data. Guillon, who naively thinks that housing projects can somehow get approved, obviously doesn’t know what he’s in for in Mendo.

SUPERVISOR DAN HAMBURG is famous for angrily denouncing his own constituents as “anti-business” and general naysayers (which he repeated time and again, for example, when Anderson Valley residents asked a few pointed questions about a movie production company which wanted to take over a bunch of local roads for a few weeks back in 2013).

BUT THE BIGGEST OBSTACLE to any kind of development in Mendocino County is not locals and their miscellaneous complaints (which the County has shown to be quite capable of ignoring) but its own preciously obstreperous senior staff. Whatever the merits or demerits of the Vineyard Crossing proposal, neither lame duck Supervisor Hamburg nor the rest of Mendo Officialdom gives a rat’s ass. Guillon will be on his own trying, like the stonewalled Mr. Stone, to meet impossibly petty requirements imposed by overpaid, unaccountable people with no deadlines, no money at stake, and no interest in anything but their own rigid rules. (And their own pay and perks, of course.)

(Mark Scaramella)

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MISS MILLET of Fortuna, reported missing earlier this week, has been located unharmed.

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SPORTS TALK comes to KZYX with Jim and Jerry Young beginning Wednesday, October 3rd, 3-4pm, and every Wednesday thereafter. Hum baby! I say fire Bochy, move the 49ers back to Frisco, bulldoze the new Warrior's complex south of Market and keep the Warriors in Oakland, combine Covelo, Laytonville and S South Fork into one football team; ditto for Boonville and Point Arena. Why doesn't the Press Democrat ignore SRJC football and barely does local sports when the great Herb Dower, back in the day, covered high school sports from Leggett to Santa Rosa for the Rose City Daily? Why do the tv sports announcers yell so much? Exaggerated masculinity? (Closet cases?) Does anyone really miss Gary Radnich? Which local newsman once pitched a 13-inning shutout when he was in high school? Should competitive high school boxing be revived?

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Sad to say that the debate between John Haschak and John Pinches in the race for 3rd District Supervisor at Harwood Hall on Sunday, September 23, was sparsely attended. What does this say about voter participation in the democratic process in our little town of Laytonville?

To me, hearing the candidates square off against each other in a live unscripted debate is the absolute best way to get a real sense of not only their positions on the issues, but also of who they are as people. Sunday’s debate between the two Johns did that in spades.

There were eight cosponsoring organizations of the debate: The Mendocino County Observer, KPFN Radio, the Laytonville County Water District, Laytonville Healthy Start, the Mendocino Wildlife Association, the Mendocino Cannabis Industry Association, the Mendocino County Growers Association and the Willits Environmental Center.

The format of the debate was that each sponsoring organization got to ask two question (16 total) and each candidate got to ask two questions of the other candidate. After all those questions, the audience was allowed to submit a few questions. Each candidate received two minutes to answer each question. For me, this format gave too much time to the sponsors and too little for questions from the public; it also did not allow for rebuttals which make debates much more informative and entertaining. I did like the candidates questioning each other though.

Three time former Supervisor, local rancher and Laytonville resident John Pinches is a well known quantity up here in the north county, and he performed right on cue. He continues to throw out outrageous claims like being granted a “water right” means that you own the water that flows through your property (all the waters of California belong to the state), and that wild predators have killed all the sheep down at the Hopland Research Center.

What did surprise me was when Traci Pellar of the Mendocino Wildlife Association asked the candidates if they supported a non-lethal program for wildlife management in the County, Pinches became visibly angry and snapped back at her that ranchers need trappers to kill predators to protect their livestock. It’s reactions like that to constituents that is the problem with our current Board of Supervisors.

Unlike Pinches, John Haschak is a relative unknown here in Laytonville. As a longtime teacher and union organizer from Willits, this is his first time running for public office. Haschak showed remarkable poise for a first time candidate when asked a tough but fair question by Pinches of how he could honestly represent the people of the 3rd District when he is taking money for his campaign from the County’s unionized workers? Haschak passionately stood by his union background and his long history of standing up for hard working people and said he wouldn’t take the 40% raise the Supervisors voted themselves until the lowest paid workers in the county get a 40% raise. That’s how he’d represent the 3^rd District. (Pinches is on record saying he will earn the raise.)

Question after question, Haschak gave thoughtful, clear, knowledgeable answers that articulated an overall vision for Mendocino County moving forward during this difficult period of transition to a legalized cannabis economy. Pinches, on the other hand, tended to ramble on about his past accomplishments as a Supervisor and make promises to deliver more of the same if elected.

Haschak has prepared himself well to take on the responsibilities of public office. Besides his long career as a teacher and his seven years overseeing a $200 million dollar budget as Chair of the California Teachers Association Budget Committee, he has been tirelessly traveling around the 3^rd District for the past year reaching out to people in all walks of life and listening to their stories, concerns and aspirations, building a community consensus on how we can move forward together in these times of economic uncertainty. I know this is true because I’ve seen him at events here in Laytonville many times, and he has always listened to my concerns very carefully and responded respectfully and intelligently. That’s what’s been missing on our Board of Supervisors, someone who listens.

A telling moment in the debate came when Haschak respectfully asked Pinches why he isn’t keeping his promise of not becoming a career politician when he retired from the Board in 2014, and also why he isn’t keeping his promise to support a younger candidate with energy and vision like him? To that, Pinches responded jokingly, “You’d be my second choice.” If I were John Haschak, I’d take that as an endorsement.

Jon Spitz


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McCOWEN & THE HOMELESS, on-line comments:

MIKE J: Started an album yesterday for Russian River Ukiah with Instagram video clips in the comment section of that. The clips shared here yesterday are in Mr. McCowen’s imagined Forbidden Zone (re: trespassing).

I saw three camp sites, one across the river on the east side….and a guy with lots of gear there.

I think in traversing the whole west side of the river and checking conditions with visual documentation might show residents what they are missing out on.

It had been nearly 18 months since I felt ok going down to the river. I used to use the river itself as a hiking trail in the summer! Daytime. And, great for night time cooling walks during the summer.

The two sites I posted clips of yesterday are beautiful and great spots for picnicking and camping! One of them is just feet away from where I was told I would be arrested if I showed up there again. Well… come and get me, LOL!

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JAMES MARMON: You’ll change your tune if McCowen zaps you with his stun gun. LOL. I remember as a kid in the 50’s and 60’s when my grandfather saw a place along a river he liked we would just pull over and camp and fish. But this was the same man who would take me on drives through Talmadge State Hospital and threaten me that this would where I would end up it I didn’t straighten up.

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MIKEJ: There is a quiet man with a red and white tent still at a real nice spot on the river. In the former Forbidden Zone. Looks clean there. Two small clusters of trash in the area above him, near remnants of a safe looking campfire spot away from vegetation and surrounded by dirt in a sheltered from the wind spot. Further south of the bridge I see tree slash piled up at potential river bank access. I just added about 30 pics from the walk I finished moments ago.

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BRUCE McEWEN: Mum’s The Word. Note how quiet Supervisor McCowen has been through all this. Not a word. Sure, self-justification often comes off as a desperate-sounding scurry for cover, and has a tendency to lend credence to the allegations, but even so. Not a peep out of our high-ranking, sumptuously remunerated, elected official – it almost amounts to a kind of royal prerogative, like maybe his majesty finds us not worth the trouble of a response, as though he owes no accountability to a constituency below his contempt, “so much for the nuisances of the rabble,” he seems to be saying, with a piffling gesture, like flicking away a gnat. I keep expecting our CEO Ms. Angelo to concoct some meaningless mouthful of secular pieties and bureaucratic claptrap… but no, no mumbo-jumbo has been forthcoming, no official statement, no opposing takes on the issue, just this Royal silence. PS. County Counsel Kit Elliot could craft some kind of legal basis for Supervisor McCowen – there’s no one better at saying the least with the most words, and she has two lovely lawyers, adorable as puppets, under her immediate fingertips, as well as a brigade, if not a legion, of outside attorneys, who would jump at her beck, given the chance to come and snap up some Mendo Gov. legal fees, which the county sprinkles around like chicken scratch, from my small reading of their doings, of which they don’ t seem to require too much detail in the billing department, and not even a glance of oversight at the expense accounts, is there?

But it is like asking a stone wall for a drop of dew, even the woman who recently confronted the Supes in person was dismissed with the wonderfully neoliberal non-response: “it’s not debatable” — translated: “We have very graciously descended to suffer you to appear in our sight, but will scarcely deign to quibble with such vulgar rabble over the prerogatives of power.”

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Digging Dog Nursery's Fall Dog-Gone Super Plant Sale

October 5, 6, & 7; 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. (Saturday tour at 2:00.)

Browse an abundance of easy-to-grow plants, including many rare beauties, water-wise toughies, and pollinator-friendly selections, at a savings! Enjoy our colorful display borders. Saturday at 2 pm join Deborah Whigham for a guided tour and discover plants that add late season pizzaz, spark winter intrigue, and provide welcome fodder for the birds, plus glean great design ideas and helpful maintenance tips!

For further details and full mail order catalog, go to:

Call the Nursery at (707) 937-1130.

Free admission.

31101 Middle Ridge Rd., Albion CA 95410. (Wheelchair accessible.)

Contact: Deborah Whigham / Digging Dog Nursery (707) 937-1130

Digging Dog's beautiful nursery and border gardens, set amidst the redwood forest on the Mendocino coast, have been featured in The Garden Conservancy’s “Outstanding American Gardens,” “Garden Design Magazine,” "Dreamscapes" by Claire Takacs, "Martha Stewart Living," "House and Garden," "Vista" and other publications.

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Thanks much to all who have been giving input to the question of the future of Mendocino Adventure Ropes Course, negotiating economic, social/cultural, even environmental changes. Staff is building, challenging as it is to coordinate comings and goings, with plenty of room for more folks to get involved in a variety of roles. Lots of possibilities, interesting directions to go. Can you be a link in a network in your locale? Experiential education in the 21st century on the north coast? Second weekend of October, Saturday the 13th, 10am-3pm, looks to be a possible time for anyone available who would like to meet, share, play on an element or two to gather in Leggett.

Please RSVP by Wed, Oct 10:

We can flesh out how to spend the time. General thoughts and input? Please continue e-mailing any input you think pertinent. Thanks!

—Mendocino Adventure Ropes Course, P.O. Box 186, Leggett, CA 95585, (707) 925-6285

MARC Support Community , Advisory Council

Saturday, October 13, 2018


Get involved, Play, Plan for the future

Please RSVP by Wed 10/10

Donations welcome

Closed toe shoes required for participation on elements

Mendocino Adventure Ropes Course

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Please read the “About” page on the history and vitality of this amazing organization. They will be conducting 2-day conferences in Chico and Arcata in mid-October.

An old acquaintance is involved in this; the announcement just arrived. For continued agitation and advocacy in Lake County, I will make contact with the organizers coming to Northern California and support community outreach by Lake County Community Radio (KPFZ 88.1 fm), and other -OADs active in several long-term recovery collaborations, such as thrives on Cobb Mountain.

Will, please come back soon and help us tell the story of the monstrosity of our three years of wildfire catastrophes? Grape growers are nonchalantly wheeling and dealing over smoke-contaminated crop impacts, la di da as ever.

USDA RDA desperados are attempting to lure prized field hands into debt peonage, but having little luck suckering the wiser bracero-era descendants into the “equity investment” snares blithely dandled by the biggest grapegrower in town — Beckstoffer.

While the outback “rural subdivision” is totally fucked; property values nil; older population utterly trapped in unsellable (even if standing) housing tracts and okie gultch folk.

And Lake County Administration has turned to conducting “virtual meetings” (only officials facing a camera in a room barred from non-governmental entities, i.e., the public) broadcast on Facebook. Anti-social media and delusionary “reimaginings” of Lake County through January/February “Visioning Forums,” breach-birthing a Disney-fied* small business promotion scheme flogging the same equine corpse these local potentates swore allegiance to in 2000. Welcome to the 21st Century, now go back where you came from.

Betsy Cawn

Upper Lake


*“When you wish upon a star…”

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CATCH OF THE DAY, September 26, 2018

Adelman, Johnson, Langton, Stone

LESLIE ADELMAN, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

DAVID JOHNSON SR., Ukiah. Parole violation.

JAMES LANGTON, Ukiah. Controlled substance, failure to appear, probation revocation.

ASHTON STONE, Point Arena. Vandalism.

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The U.S. Supreme Court serves to give Americans faith that justice is based on the rule of law and administered impartially. That Brett Kavanaugh chose Fox News, the Fertile Crescent of sexual harassment and right-wing bias, for his PR tour (itself unprecedented) is notable. The interview consisted of softball questions and invitations to cast himself as the victim.

Clearly Kavanaugh arrived with coached talking points, repeated robotically, chief among them being fairness. That took nerve. If fairness was his concern, he should have asked for an FBI investigation or mentioned that his accusers meet prosecutors’ standards of credibility to proceed.

Fairness certainly should include a fair hearing of Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez, as opposed to Republicans going through the motions with a predetermined conclusion. He might have mentioned his history of blackout drinking, yearbook entries, Yale secret society membership, roommates’ questioning of his character and the culture of misogyny at his elite prep school. Clearly Kavanaugh defines fairness as him getting the job.

The Senate confirmation process is a job interview for a lifetime appointment. There is no reasonable doubt standard. Americans deserve a far better nominee than Kavanaugh.

Tom Tepe


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LITTLE DOG SAYS, “I've got just one question for Kavanaugh? Do you have a dog? A real dog? Not a foofoo dog?”

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The Kavanaugh situation has shown what really is behind the curtain: America’s war between the sexes (all 294 of them). It has been a forgone conclusion since the 1960’s. Changing times always raise stress levels, resulting in conflict. As a bonus, trial by media advances the Sexual Revolution II to its ultimate end point, aided by the incredibly dimwitted public. The whole matter seems especially contrived. The plan is working.

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THE SECONDARY EDUCATION DEBAUCHERY depicted in reports of Kavanaugh’s detractors contrast sharply with how I was raised. In Atlanta, I attended a private Catholic high school, but knew well the wantonness of the “elite behavior” of privileged high school kids. Wanting the best for my son, I made it a personal mission to see that he attended private, non-denominational “elite” schools in the US and abroad. But, I prepared him for what was to come in the same way that my parents prepared me.

Blasey and Kavanaugh, through no fault of their own, are the victims of a culture that enshrines laissez-faire absentee parents who mindlessly leave their children behind when they go on their own vacations, pursue their careers, take long business trips, and fraternize with friends at social events, etc.; and, also, these affluent, latch-key-parents shower their ethically and morally unmoored children with cars, cash, contraceptives, and credit cards which, in turn, are used to purchase alcohol, prescription drugs, illegal drugs, and bad companions.

As a high schooler, my parents NEVER left me home alone when they traveled out of town. Moreover, I couldn’t even go to ANY house party—period—without my parents calling and actually speaking to the host parents, and, of course, as a parent I did the same with my son’s “house parties.”

Most African Americans who attend White elite private enclaves of privilege, learn from their responsible parents that they can NEVER do what their White classmates do. And so, most of us in such positions, don’t. I know I certainly didn’t. Moreover, I continued to admonish my son about the realities of his life, even into post university graduation and throughout law school. All the law enforcement racial disparity statistics bear fruit when one bothers to search, thus rendering what I’ve read about from the wild lifestyles of both Blasey Ford and Judge Kavanaugh and others is just beyond my comprehension to ever being in for any reason; however, the documents that I have read are wholly consistent with what I have observed in the conduct and character of offspring of the so-called elite, both in my generation and that of my son.

Smear or not, one thing here is clear: privilege. A certain no-holds-barred-debauched lifestyle is in full view; no wonder the US is in decline if this is to what we entrust leadership and guidance of our society.

There are two double-standards in evidence today in relation to the Democratic Party attack using Blasey as a foil against Kavanaugh:

First, it is clear that every Trump Republican male is now vulnerable to an orchestrated Profumo-styled scandal hit job wherein political enemies will embark on vitriolic crusades of biographical-dumpster-diving seeking to unearth and resurrect all and any rumor, lie, hearsay, and unsubstantiated character flaws without interest in facts or genuine witnesses. In the age of #METOO, sexual allegations without foundation and outside the due process of law could well become the new normal – and now, a new allegation of drunken sexual behavior erupts against Kavanaugh from his college years—except that the new “witness,” herself, admits that she was too drunk to know if what she thinks happened actually did happen. Clearly, we are witnessing a well-orchestrated, pre-meditated political drive-by shooting. I’ve been there and I know exactly what that looks like.

Second, the Democrats, in their desperation to derail a Supreme Court nominee who has been investigated six times and who has dozens of women testifying to his reliability, seem to be oblivious to their own vulnerability to similar attacks. Beginning with the Clintons, both alleged to have engaged in an unsavory relationship with convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, and Joe Biden, now being challenged about videos showing him groping children on stage, there is no end to the number of Democratic “elites” vulnerable to similar attacks.

(What makes them elite is that they do illegal and licentious things and get away, with impunity, year after year while winning the blessing of media and political allies).

I cannot explain the rationale of parents who tolerate, if not encourage, such behavior from their children or who fail to realize that their laxity as parents instills in their children a radical, morally-relativistic judgment system of thought and behavior—sure to create personal and social problems.

Let’s be honest with ourselves: The simple fact is that the children infected with acute “affluenza” come from elite families, and they rarely face any consequences for their immoral, illegal, or unethical behavior. But, you see, that’s where character comes in–should one have to personally face the consequences of ethically- or values-deprived behavior before knowing that such behavior is wrong? This multitude of corruptions of values and ethics on the personal level results in debasement of values and ethics on the societal level.

They’ve always been able to have their “youthful indiscretions” and rarely be hurt by them. I’m arguing that this is the kind of behavior on display that brings us full circle to where we are today with a society that is corrupt at every level, debasing of our humanity in every way, cutthroat politics that mean nothing except to those who win the prizes, and a civilization–if you want to call it that–in tatters.

One thing is for certain: had Blasey Ford exercised her good judgment and said “No” to the invitation to go to a private home with three young boys, she would not have even been in a position to have this happen to her. Even her ability to have a #MeToo moment now, is, in a way, a continuation of her privileged position in society.

Incredibly, there is no #MeToo moment for that multitude of women who do exercise good judgement and who then bear the bruises of assault; and if they’re Black, they don’t even get to “Stand [Their] Ground.”

— Cynthia McKinney

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BERNIE WARD, the self-described “Lion of the Left,” as he was known for years on KGO radio before his 2008 conviction for possession and distribution of child pornography, popped up in a Washington Post story this week on embattled Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Ward recounted his years as a marriage and sex education teacher at Washington’s Georgetown Prep, where his students included both Kavanaugh and sitting Justice Neil Gorsuch. Ward described how an atmosphere of excess pervaded the Jesuit boarding school where he taught in the early 1980s. “The drinking was unbelievable,” Ward told the Post. “It was part of the culture. A parent even bought the keg and threw one of the parties for the kids. They took umbrage when I compared their rooting around with girls to dogs in heat.”

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by Dave Zirin

To reprise an old vaudeville joke, this week has been one of the longest years of our lives. It’s the squirmy dissembling of this clammy, gin-soaked, elitist mediocrity, Judge Brett Kavanaugh. It’s the monstrous Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump, creating indelible stains with their words, spewing the message that the survivors who come forward are just puppets of some kind of liberal plot. It’s the “What high-school boy hasn’t attempted rape?” analysis from Fox News and the evangelical hucksters. It’s those same talking heads that cheer the locking up of immigrant children and racist mass incarceration who all of a sudden have acquired a passion for due process and the presumption of innocence. It’s as journalist Chloe Angyal tweeted: the enraging logic that drunk boys are not to be blamed but drunk girls are.

In this maelstrom of toxicity, I’ve been thinking about the ways that sports—in the time before the #MeToo movement—was the site of the highest-profile, most widely discussed cases of sexual assault. From NFL quarterbacks Ben Roethlisberger and Jameis Winston to the high school football team at Steubenville, Ohio, to the too-many NCAA sexual assault scandals to list, these stories were the backdrops to where rape and rape culture were debated and discussed. We have seen who has and hasn’t escaped justice and who were the bystanders while these assaults occurred.

I’ve also been thinking about the several times in the last five years that I have been asked to speak to male high school and college athletes in largely white, privileged institutions about sexism, consent, and—there is no delicate way to put this—why they shouldn’t rape. I wish I could say the Amy Schumer sketch parodying Friday Night Lights was far from the truth, but it really isn’t. The idea of affirmative consent was foreign to many of them. Most saw also themselves as flabbergasted victims of communities that had prejudged them to be rapists “just because we’re athletes.” They believed that there was some “war on jocks” going on, a barrage of political correctness that was branding them as inherently inclined toward violent sexual assault. They were—to state the obvious—young, frustrated, and persecuted.

When I would ask them if they had ever been at a party where an assault took place, they uniformly would say “no.” When I then would define assault as “taking advantage” of a person who was passed out drunk, then the answer was then “yes,” but always with pushback—always with the caveat—that “their friend” was also drunk and therefore if everyone is drunk, how can it be assault? The idea that they would be more than bystanders, that they would actually intervene if a teammate were assaulting someone passed out, was akin to me suggesting that they travel through hell in a gasoline suit. It was none of their business.

When I asked them for examples of what happens at parties, the stories of binge drinking were beyond anything I remembered from my own days. Instead of kegs and shots of whiskey, I heard stories of “knockout punch”—in which sedatives are mixed with fruit juice and grain alcohol—ladled out generously to all comers. When I asked how that was different than “roofying” a woman, I was told that it’s not the same because the punch bowl was clearly labeled with the word “knockout.” It was normalized that ambulances would come to pump people’s stomachs, stories which were told with laughs and fist bumps. That gave a party its luster.

Despite the above descriptions, the dominant attitude of these athletes wasn’t arrogance or hostility. It was confusion. These encounters made it painfully obvious that we do not teach affirmative consent in this country. It also became crystal clear that on too many sports teams the idea of the “team”—which in so many contexts can be a positive—also possesses the poisonous sorcery to create walls of silence and protect abusers.

In this way sports is a microcosm of our society: of Hollywood, of government, of the Catholic Church, and of the fact that this country elected an admitted sexual assaulter as president.

Brett Kavanaugh is the product of this very triplet: privilege, entitlement, and high-school sports. These are cultures that nurture the very behaviors of which he is accused. That makes the way he’s been shielded for decades all the more obvious and odious. That makes this wind tunnel of controversy he’s endured way past overdue. Whether he becomes a Supreme Court justice or not, making him confront the essence of who he actually is matters. Not so much for his own personal growth, about which I could give a damn. But it creates the conditions for a long overdue reckoning way beyond the cushy confines of Bethesda, Maryland, about who we are, what we’re teaching our sons, and why they should strive to be nothing like Brett Kavanaugh.

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(Photo by John Frediani, ‘San Francisco Remembered’)

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RCRC President's Award Presented to Carmel Angelo

SACRAMENTO, CA — September 25, 2018 — The Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC) announced that Carmel Angelo, Mendocino County Executive Officer, was recognized with the 2018 RCRC President’s Award for her work on behalf of California’s rural counties. Presented during RCRC’s Annual Meeting each September, the RCRC President’s Award was born out of the desire to publicly acknowledge individuals that take the time to go above and beyond their everyday roles to further advance the cause of California’s rural counties. “I am humbled and honored to receive this award from RCRC,” said Ms. Angelo. “Serving Mendocino County and California’s other rural counties is a privilege, and to me there is no greater purpose than public service.” Ms. Angelo was selected for her work in helping advocate and champion a number of public policy issues on behalf of California’s rural counties, including creating a local and regional approach to addressing cannabis cultivation, working to have better deployment of broadband in rural areas, and ensuring access to health care in rural communities. In addition to her role with Mendocino County, Ms. Angelo is extremely active in the California Association of County Executives, sharing her expertise with other members of the county family. “In addition to Ms. Angelo consistently providing RCRC staff and Board Members wise counsel on a number of public policy areas, she is always willing to do the work needed to either pass or defeat legislation that is impactful to California’s rural counties as a whole,” said Greg Norton, RCRC President and CEO. “We’re grateful for her dedication, and are pleased to provide this year’s award to a true champion and advocate for California’s rural communities.”

(The Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC) is a thirty-six member county strong service organization that champions policies on behalf of California’s rural counties. RCRC is dedicated to representing the collective unique interests of its membership, providing legislative and regulatory representation at the State and Federal levels, and providing responsible services for its members to enhance and protect the quality of life in rural California counties. To learn more about RCRC, visit <> and follow @RuralCounties on Twitter.

Rural County Representatives Of California1215 K Street, Suite 1650 Sacramento, Ca 95814 Phone: 916-447-4806 Fax: 916-448-3154 Web: Www.Rcrcnet.Org

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It is really amazing, yet pathetic how little it takes anymore to derail the US government every time it tries to accomplish even the simplest functions. The incompetence and impotence of the American government and the American people has to make you wonder why we have not already crumbled into dust. There is nothing holding them together and everything tearing them apart. It is almost a shame that the movie “The Kingsmen” was fantasy and that there is no real way that some mega bad guy (good guy maybe) could just transmit a signal to every human’s cellphone that would drive them into a murderous rage. That might be a way to get something done.

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October 17, 6-9pm

Our 3rd 2018 'Intro to...' series, which started at Fort Bragg Library in 2016 As always, FREE and open to the public.

Python is wildly popular these days and found in the smallest to largest machines. We’ll cover basics like the print statement, variables, if then-else and for loops. Learn to write and run Python code in your browser. Browser coding means that you can join in without installing software. You'll want to bring your computer for this with Wifi. If you don't have a computer, you can always watch and learn.

For an early look or to verify your browser will work, try it out at

You should not need to create an account or log in. Press the execute button (left side) and "Hello World!" should appear in the result window on the right.

Don't worry, we use plain talk to describe this exciting area! Want to know more? Send us an email!

Mendo Makers

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SOME BOOKS are undeservedly forgotten. None are undeservedly remembered.

--W.H. Auden, 1962; from "Reading"



  1. Craig Stehr September 27, 2018

    One of the really unique aspects of living in Hawaii, is that the population here is not interested in what is taking place on the mainland. And ethnic Hawaiians fly their Hawaiian flag, from the time of the monarchy, or else the British flag. There is zero discussion about any of the daily headline news, particularly as regards anything from Washington, D.C. Nobody here feels at all associated with the entire political soap opera surrounding The Donald, and the supreme court nomination situation is irrelevant, because Hawaii has its own “island living” reality. I mean, you either are part of the Polynesian regional scene or you are somewhere else. That’s the attitude here. The fact that Hawaii is one of the 50 American states is somehow lost on this island population, living thousands of miles away from everything, in the middle of the vast Pacific Ocean. ~Mahalo~

    • Betsy Cawn September 27, 2018

      Same in Lake County; it’s as though the Constitutions (federal and state) don’t really matter — no authority at either level cares about the local government’s abuses of power (and neglect of responsibilities), and the visible “leaders” invent new “roadmaps” to “recovery” of this island of 1950s nostalgia and cultural purity where the only time the public at large engages in expressions of concern is when the cable television services are down. And then, owowowowow, what? When the cell towers are burned or blown out, just yodel.

  2. George Hollister September 27, 2018

    ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY #2 makes the case for federalism. Why not stop bugging each other with the notion that there is a single national view. What we see in Washington is the dysfunctional clash of one view attempting to impose itself on another. It doesn’t work.

    This is about as good a demonstration of the founder’s intent of letting states decide. Being divided is not new. We were just as divided when the nation was formed as we are today, maybe more so.

    • Harvey Reading September 27, 2018

      I believe, George, that you will find little support nationwide for your somewhat veiled separatist notion, your insipid dream of making the country another Scandinavia.

      Oh, you’ll get support from the likes of some of your neighbors in Comptche and a few other right-wing reactionaries (like the militia types and others of the lynch-mob mentality); but the rest of us will NOT stand for it, and we are the majority, whether a bunch of backward, folks in places like Mendocino County like it or not. Even in Mendocino County (dependent on the tax dollars of outsiders for its survival), those sharing your views undoubtedly form a small minority, no matter how many times they may answer their own hare-brained comments. Look at how that nutty notion of the state of Hemings, er Jefferson, has been rejected, since at least the 70s.

      One fine day, people may even awaken enough to write, and confirm with a nationwide simple majority vote, a new supreme law document to replace the outdated, nondemocratic current document written by wealthy slave owners, one that ensures simple majority rule on all issues (no more “supermajority” minority rule), allows for recall, initiative, referendum, and democratic apportionment of congress … with no electoral college.

      You just have a splendid day, now, old fella.

      • George Hollister September 27, 2018

        One fine day, people may even awaken? Where and when? On a distant planet, in another time?

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