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Mendocino County Today: Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018

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Julia Acker Krog, Chief Planner for County of Mendocino Planning & Building Department, called a halt to recent activity by Caltrans on the Salmon Creek Bridge, south of the Albion Bridge on State Highway 1. As reported to Mendocino TV by Norbert Dall, Caltrans had proceeded to perform activity related to the geotechnical studies necessary to decide whether the bridge needs replacement. Caltrans had neglected to secure the space under the bridge from the overhead activity, resulting in debris entering the creek below.

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by Rex Gressett

On a fine Fort Bragg autumn morning, the very day of the Mendocino Coast District Hospital Board of Directors candidates forum at the senior center, I swung by the hospital to ask for the budget. I thought it would be simple. In my innocence, I assumed that the hospital would provide any candidate any information they asked for. I tucked the dogs into their comfy space in the back of the truck and walked up to the old building with new eyes. This is also Fort Bragg.

In our little city's rollicking democracy the love of community goes beyond sentiment and I have to say, a little beyond the local patriotism and the sense of participation in local affairs one finds in America generally. Our packed City Hall meetings and our more than a reasonable semi-annual crop of political yard signs are the outward expressions of an intense sense of ownership. It comes from our isolation and it gives us a beloved autonomy. It’s 35 miles of twisting notoriously dangerous road to anywhere else. That doesn't sound like much if you’ve never driven it. We are Fort Bragg. It’s rather a fine thing to feel. Someone said it that night at the forum, we are an island. Two roads in if there is no major weather.

Like every other aspect of our civic infrastructure, the hospital was built for the thriving town that worked at the old lumber mill. The lumber bosses had to make life in the deep woods palatable for a continuing community. The mill was too damn big to depend on transient or short-term labor. It was an ambitious project to harvest the largest redwood rainforest on earth, so they let us build a town. They helped us build it. Rolling back over Highway 20 with your wife in labor, or getting appendicitis in the great green woods was a fine reason to move somewhere else. The hospital was our declaration of physical independence.

Since the closure of the mill, every element of our civic prosperity has been mule-kicked. Hard. When the mill operated the city sold 2 million gallons of water to the people. Now we sell 700,000. The city government has been in a largely undisclosed chronic budget deficit for the last ten years. It was in the extremity of financial distress that the city council achieved the gumption to hire a new City Manager.

Now Fort Bragg is slightly solvent but riding the razor's edge. Paving our alleys has been on the drawing board since the 19th century. Everybody wants it, but we don’t have the cash. The city still gets primary water (in a few instances) through hollowed out redwood trees.

The feds give us money for our nice streets and sidewalks, but a great deal of our infrastructure is shot. Take a look sometime down the storm drains and you can see toilet paper that has escaped from private sewage lines. We can sort of live with all of that, but not without the hospital. Take the hospital away and we are not the independent place we love. MCDH is the ultimate expression of our independence as a city and the most glaring example of our decomposing infrastructure. We don’t have the mill. All we have is their leftover hospital.

Nobody is saying so, but the financial condition of MCDH is terminal.

By 2030 the hospital faces an unfunded mandate to erect a new building. Extensive earthquake damage to hospital buildings at Loma Prieta in 1989, and in Northridge in 1994, gave the State Legislature many sleepless nights, so they laid down a law to require new earthquake-safe hospital structures.

When the state disaster preparedness folks came to Fort Bragg they told us that in the last super major earthquake in Fort Bragg (1700s) the coast, the actual coast, moved 65 feet. Science informs us, we could get an 8.5 any time now. We have to build a new hospital. The state in their wisdom and prudence understood the problem but did not provide any suggestions (or money) as to how California's small towns are to pay for a shiny new hospital.

Does 2030 sound like a long way off? In gentle Fort Bragg, a failing hospital is trying unsuccessfully to pave the parking lot. They’ve been working on that one for a couple of years now.

I went through the glass doors and asked at the front desk for a copy of the budget. I couldn’t get one. The comprehensive budget is outside the need to know for board candidates. The Hospital staff was quite firm and not particularly nice about it. The chief executive officer, Mr. Edwards, had conducted a little seminar for aspirants to the board of directors. At that meeting, he assured us that he was very open to helping us work through the learning curve. In my dismay, I went looking for him. I asked for him at the information central desk and they sent me to his office. I found his locked door and his administrative secretary's office also locked, and ended up back at the desk. By a miracle that helpful person had discovered that Mr. Edwards was on an emergency family leave. The whole process took half an hour.

Questing for information from people who don’t necessarily want to give it to me is what I do. I do it for you. In the end, the financial officer, Mr. Ellis, emerged reluctantly from the labyrinth and told me that I could not get the budget. We discussed this politely and agreed that they would provide it (since they are required to do so by law) if I would file a public information request form. I did. They have 10 days.

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by Malcolm Macdonald

“When pigs fly,” is a centuries old adynaton, insinuating the obvious impossibility of a statement. However, pigs have flown. The first pig to fly was actually a piglet, proving once again that the youth of the world are out front when it comes to innovation. That first flying piglet situated itself in a waste basket that English aviation pioneer John Moore-Brabazon strapped to a wing strut of his biplane for a successful flight on November 4, 1909.

The Pig War, on the other hand or snout, occurred about a half century before the first pig flew.  When Alexander Macpherson (he pronounced it: Mac-fur-son, no capital letters after the “M”) started a sawmill on the Albion River in the 1850s, almost everyone assumed that he owned that mill and the ten thousand or so acres adjacent to it. However, a man named Alexander Grant Dallas actually owned the mill and timber land.

Both Macpherson and Dallas were native to Inverness, Scotland. In the early 1840s Macpherson went to China to work for Jardine, Matheson & Co., with Dallas as his mentor. Jardine, Matheson & Co. made much of its profits through the opium trade from India into China and grew to be such a financial power that founders William Jardine and James Matheson, also Scotsmen, personally influenced the British Parliament to wage “The Opium War” on China in order to loosen trade restrictions. The phrase “Gunboat Diplomacy” originated in reference to the Opium War of 1839-1842. One result of that conflict: the British Empire acquired Hong Kong. Jardine and Matheson were lightly fictionalized by James Clavell in his book Tai-Pan. The term Tai-pan means Great Manager and was first applied to William Jardine.

Macpherson helped manage Jardine, Matheson & Co.’s fleet of nineteen clipper ships as well as hundreds of smaller smuggling vessels for upriver ventures. Besides opium Jardine, Matheson & Co. traded in spices and sugar from the Philippines as well as Chinese tea and silk shipped to England; they sold cargo insurance, charged rental fees for company owned docks and warehouses as well as providing loans to other businessmen.

The Gold Rush brought Macpherson to San Francisco, first to help set up a Jardine, Matheson & Co. headquarters, later to strike out on his own road to wealth in the untapped timber trove of Mendocino County. To do so he needed a large money backer. That's where Alexander Grant Dallas came into the picture. Dallas had risen to be the first non- Jardine or Matheson to become a partner in that family firm, a business that in its time was the financial equivalent of Goldman Sachs and Amazon put together.

By the 1850s Dallas had come to North America as well, but not to settle in San Francisco or the coast of Mendocino County. Alexander Grant Dallas was one of the governor’s of the Hudson Bay Company in British Columbia.

San Juan Island in the eponymous archipelago east of Vancouver Island and northwest of Seattle was known as Belle Vue Island and whether it was part of the Washington Territory of the United States or a possession of the Canadian provinces of the British Empire had been in dispute since the 1855 seizure of thirty-five sheep by a U.S. marshal as payment for neglected back taxes by the Hudson Bay Company, who managed a fishing station and sheep ranch on the island. An 1857 Joint Boundary Commission failed to reconcile matters.

On June 15, 1859, American settler Lyman Cutlar shotgunned a pig allegedly eating its way through his potato patch. The pig’s owner, Charles Griffin, the Hudson Company’s agent on the island requested $100 in damages. Cutlar considered that demand grossly unfair and countered with a $10 offer. Griffin requested that Vancouver’s Governor, Sir James Douglas, bring the matter to trial in a Victoria court.

Douglas asked his son-in-law, Alexander Grant Dallas, and two other Hudson Bay Company officials to intervene. Dallas marched onto Cutlar's front steps and threatened the American. News of Cutlar’s predicament reached Brigadier General William Harney, commander of U.S. forces on the Pacific Coast. Harney ordered Captain George Pickett and a company of fifty men to establish a military post on San Juan in defense of its American settlers. Vancouver Governor Douglas sent the frigate Tribune, with its thirty-one cannons, into Griffin Bay.

Both the Americans and British sent warships into nearby waters, fortified military posts with cannons, then cooler heads prevailed enough that the Pig War settled into a stalemate, continuing unresolved from 1859 to 1872 until an arbitration commission headed by Germany’s Kaiser Wilhelm I decided by a vote of 2-1 that the San Juan Islands belonged to the United States.

Many of the military figures involved in the Pig War went onto historical glory in the Civil War. George Pickett gained notoriety for what has come to be called “Pickett's Charge” on the final day of the battle at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in July, 1863, when so many of his Confederate soldiers were killed or maimed.

A young lieutenant named Henry Martyn Robert built one of the fortifications during the Pig War. He’s better known for creating Robert’s Rules of Order, the authority on parliamentary procedure. Lt. Cmdr. James Alden provided another Albion River connection to the Pig War. Alden’s voice of reason helped prevent an all out shooting war when tensions were highest. He was a direct descendant of John Alden, supposedly the first Mayflower passenger to set foot on Plymouth Rock. John Alden, as readers of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow will recall, became entangled in a love triangle involving his friend, Miles Standish and Priscilla Mullins.

That Miles Standish was the direct ancestor of the Miles Standish who worked as general manager for the Albion Mill Co. and later bought a part ownership of the Albion Lumber Company. Early in the twentieth century Miles Standish and his partner Henry Hickey formed their own timber company. My paternal grandfather, John Macdonald, worked for them as a timber cruiser and mapmaker during their tenures with the Albion Lumber Company and on their own. Standish and Hickey also pioneered giving back timber lands to the public as witnessed by the 1,000 acre Standish and Hickey State Park in northern Mendocino County.

After arriving on San Juan Island the very day of the pig shooting and threatening the pig shooter on his front porch, Alexander Grant Dallas went on to become the Hudson Bay Company’s chief agent in British Columbia. A company man through and through, he even worked against his own father-in-law’s dealings as governor to preserve the company’s land claims. Dallas’ only documented California visit came in the spring of 1857 in San Francisco, though his name is attached to the land claim case won by Macpherson’s Albion Mill company. That court decision took many acres from hard working locals like longtime Mendocino Coast diarist Etta Stevens Pullen and her husband Wilder Pullen.

In the end the pig turned out to be the only fatality of the entire thirteen year conflict. A pictorial history of the Pig War can be found in Mike Vouri’s book, part of the Images of America series.

Printed on the wicker basket, strapped to the wing strut, during the November 4, 1909, flight of Moore-Brabazon's aeroplane were the words, "I am the first pig to fly.”

(Other pig tales/tails at

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What we need in this country is project czars. Remember the contractor guy hired to rebuild the LA freeway after the last big quake? The state told him to get it done, that he had all the authority he needed, that all the usual procedures were waived, and if he finished early he'd get a big bonus. He got 'er done way under schedule because he was given total authority to hire and fire. Ask the next hundred people you see if they think a high speed train from San Francisco to Willits would be a good thing. A hundred to zip they'd say yes. But the slow speed train that got built, called of all things, SMART, runs from San Rafael to the area north of the Santa Rosa Airport, managing to bypass major population centers, thus serving no one on a regular basis. The slow train wouldn't run at all without massive subsidies. It will be a minor miracle if it gets to Cloverdale by 2050. Willits? Never. Hire a contractor with total authority to run a high speed train right up 101, with feeder lines to the Anderson Valley and Fort Bragg. We'd have it shortly, as many European countries, Japan and China have proved.

WHICH BRINGS me to Sheriff Allman and Measure B, a two-thirds tax measure passed easily by Mendo voters to re-establish an in-county psych unit. The old psych unit on Bush in Ukiah collapsed because whenever a "client" nutted up and started throwing stuff, or went for a helping pro's throat, the Ukiah police had to be called to restore order. Every sensibly run psych unit employs a large, strong person to restrain the berserk — restrain, not pummel. As the Sheriff has pointed out, the logical place to put the revived in-county psych unit is the old Willits hospital, now a mouldering empty. A portion of it could be remodeled cheaper than a new building could be erected. But the whole show is bogged down in endless, wheel-spinning meetings and, of course, the entrenched czarinas at the county's privatized mental health agency. That agency manages to spend $27 million or so annual public dollars providing no relief for the handful of crazy people running around untreated in Willits, Fort Bragg and Ukiah. The dangerously mentally ill are still shipped out of county at huge expense where they're sedated with the latest psychotropics and returned to Mendo until they go off again and the cycle repeats itself. We could do that recycling here at much less cost to taxpayers. Since Sheriff Allman got Measure B passed he should be awarded absolute authority to get the unit built. Otherwise it will never happen.

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THE STORY out of Ukiah this week found the early rain catching the homeless shelter unready and the homeless still out in the early rain, concluding with the guidelines about who among the homeless qualifies to get sheltered. Paraphrasing, no shelter if you're drunk, or otherwise loaded, and/or crazy. Which leaves exactly who?

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CAUGHT the first few minutes of Jerry and Jim Young's inaugural sports talk show on KZYX this afternoon (Wednesday) but just as I picked up the phone to call in a couple of provocative opinions the office got busy so, perforce, I'll throw them out here: Volleyball. Of no interest locally except to the parents of the participants, and I say this as a guy who thinks Title 9 was the best thing to happen for young women ever. Beach volleyball is interesting to men because the girls wear bikinis, but even the high level men's volleyball is about as stirring to this sports fan as, say, cricket. I'm sorry to see small high school football ended in Mendocino County, and with it 75 years of tradition in a society everywhere more transient and tradition-free. The bigger picture, it seems to  me, is that against the ever rising tide of candyass-ism young males have fewer venues in which to safely exercise and celebrate their maleness, hence the drop-fall drinking and other unsupervised activities far more dangerous to young men than football. The concussion problem is pretty much confined to the pros where the collisions are much more fearsome than they are ever likely to be at the high school level. I'd like to see boxing restored to high schools, too.

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LIKE A LOT OF LOCALS I wonder at the unsafe speeds of so many log trucks barreling through Boonville, not that they are the only people careening through at unsafe speeds. I spotted this comment on-line that coincided with my suspicions: "With the price of redwood lumber at an all time high, there is a noticeable increase in the logging truck traffic on the roads - it's relentless. Unfortunately, based on the speed at which they are driving, and how many dangerous situations my children and I have encountered while driving as a result, I'm being forced to contemplate this question: are some logging companies still paying their drivers by the load rather than hourly? If so, the rules on this should be changed." My information is that drivers are paid by the load, surely an incentive to hustle out there.

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IT'S ALWAYS REPORTED LIKE THIS: "There’s a new bazillionaire at the top of the Forbes 400 for the first time since 1994. Amazon founder CEO Jeff Bezos has unseated Bill Gates from the spot after a 24-year run—and became the first person to appear in the ranks with a fortune of more than $100 billion. The Bezos fortune jumped by an incredible $78.5 billion since last year. Gates is in second position, ahead of Warren Buffett and Mark Zuckerberg. Much further down the list, Donald Trump has dropped 11 places to No. 259, as his net worth remained the same from last year at $3.1 billion. Investor George Soros lost the most money over the year with his net worth falling to $8.3 billion from $23 billion—because he shifted $18 billion of his fortune to his charitable Open Society Foundations."

AND NEVER followed by the question, Why are these people allowed to accumulate powerful fortunes like this in the first place? Surely half a bil would satisfy most of us. Tax the sumbitches til they scream, I say. Foundations being one more tax dodge, tax hell outta them, too.

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CONTRA COSTA COUNTY detectives said Wednesday that they've closed a cold-case homicide that went unsolved for more than 30 years. Unfortunately, the scumbag who did it is dead. Virginia Vincent was found dead in her Danville apartment by a neighbor Sept. 20, 1985, at the age of 57. Investigators were unable to identify a suspect at the time, but they entered DNA from the scene into a database in 2002 and still no match was found. But last year investigators asked the state Bureau of Forensic Services to use DNA from the crime scene in a "familial search." Investigators used the database to look for a partial match involving a blood relative of the suspect, Joey Lynn Ford. The "mystery" of who bombed Judi Bari  could similarly be puzzled out, even without the confession letter the Press Democrat says it "lost."

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THE GRAND ANNOUNCEMENT: Today every smartphone in America will receive a Presidential Alert – a forthcoming service via Wireless Emergency Alert System that Donald Trump is using in case of national emergency.... And another reason I'm pleased not to own a cellphone. Of course Trump is the emergency, but I agree with the Tin Foil Hat brigades that the technology will inevitably be deployed for less benign reasons. In a year or so we'll get a version of, "Attention American liberals. You are henceforth under house arrest. Do not emerge on pain of death. You lost. Gitchee goo, you bastards."

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(Warning: It’s a big file…—ed)

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On September 30, 2018 at about 10:30 p.m., two young men, aged sixteen and eighteen, arrived at a house in Rio Dell with the intended purpose of purchasing marijuana. However, the transaction did not take place and one of the young men pulled a gun, claiming, “This is the way we do it in Sacramento” and took the five pounds of marijuana that had been offered for sale. The two men fled in a silver Toyota Camry.

The Rio Dell Police Department broadcast this information to the other law enforcement agencies in Humboldt County. Shortly thereafter, two California Highway Patrol officers observed a car that matched the description of the suspect’s vehicle. It was registered out of Sacramento.

They observed that the car was weaving and pulled it over on US 101 near Hooker Creek Road. Inside of the car, they found the five pounds of marijuana; two loaded firearms, both of which had been reported stolen; and approximately $4400 in cash.

The two men were detained until they could be arrested by the Rio Dell Police Department for robbery, possession of a loaded firearm, possession of a concealed firearm, possession of stolen property and possession of marijuana.

Both young men were booked into detention facilities, the sixteen‐year‐old into Juvenile Hall and the eighteen‐year‐old in the Humboldt County Correctional Facility.

(Rio Dell Police Department)

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The Elk Fire Department responded to this incident and said the woman was blocking the intersection of Highway 1 & Hwy 128 but wouldn't respond to repeated requests asking what the problem was.

She eventually headed north on Highway 1 - the vehicle described as a small purple Mazda SUV.

Elk Fire, following the vehicle, said it was headed to Albion at an "extremely slow rate of speed." They requested CHP respond - and a unit assigned.

Another call to dispatch said the vehicle was "now stopped" on Highway 1.

Elk Fire is still behind the vehicle - it stopped @ 10:35 am by Albion - Little River Airport Road and they will try to make a medical evaluation.

Elk Fire said (10:38 am):"She took off on us again - she seems to be in some type of trance and won't respond when questioned. We're in front of her and a State Parks unit is behind her. She is staying in her lane of traffic and we'll see if we can get her stopped."

Now (10:48 am) we have a request to dispatch for the Sheriff to respond for a "failure to yield" to the State Parks vehicle near 40500 Airport - Little River Road. The vehicle plate is CA #7VDA358 - comes back to a 2011 Mazda.

The Elk Fire unit says she stopped in a driveway at the address listed - not far from the intersection of Comptche - Ukiah Road. She is not responsive to commands - an ambulance was requested "Code 2" (no lights/sirens) to the address.

MCDH ambulance #9142 will be responding.

At 11:02 am, State Parks reported the vehicle drove up the driveway and turned around and is pointed out towards the roadway - they will need help as they cannot access the vehicle to place it in "Park."

At 11:08 am, it was reported they gained access to the vehicle and "talked to the lady." They said the ambulance can be canceled and State Parks and the Mendo Sheriff unit remains at the scene. (via MendocinoSportsPlus)

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  • Heirloom, Roma & last Early Girl Tomatoes
  • Corno di Toro, Gypsy, Bell, Pimiento Sweet Peppers
  • Padrons, Poblanos, Jalapenos, Serranos, Anaheim Chilis
  • Eggplant, Zucchini, Patty Pan & Zapallitos Squash
  • Buttercup Squash, Quince, Broccoli Starts
  • Asian Pears, Golden Muscat Grapes, Strawberries
  • Kale, Cucumbers, Garlic, Parsley, Basil
  • Zinnias & very last Sunflowers….

Blue Meadow Farm, 3301 Holmes Ranch Rd, Philo   707-895-2071

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founder of Piercy Fire Department, Charles Kirk?

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LITTLE DOG SAYS, “The neighbor's chickens spend their whole day in my territory. I killed one about a month ago and everyone jumped my bones. The crows are bad enough, now these things.”

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Please vote no on Prop 11. This only hurts the paramedics and EMS workers. It does not affect response time or care. This is big business trying to get away with not paying their workers. Please vote NO on Prop 11. Thanks!

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The Lake County Sheriff’s Office would like to make the public aware of an aggressive and sophisticated phone scam that has been making the rounds throughout the country. Callers claim to be employees of the Apple Company, but are not. The caller will tell people that their Apple account has been breached and attempt to obtain account information from you. They alter the caller ID to make it look like the Apple Company is calling. The Sheriff’s Office urges the public to never share personal or account information unless you are sure you are providing it to a legitimate representative. If you are unsure, you should call the company in question directly.

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THE BOONVILLE QUIZ returns on the Second Thursday of the month: next week on the 11th of October. Guest quizmasters. Meanwhile I urge you to keep calm and carry on. Cheers, Steve Sparks, The Quiz Master

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CATCH OF THE DAY, October 3, 2018

Bewley, Lopes, Maxfield, Overcast

ANTHONY BEWLEY, Potter Valley. Domestic abuse, probation revocation.

ANTHONY LOPES, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation. (Frequent Flyer)

CHARLES MAXFIELD, Ukiah. Pot possession for sale, pot sales, controlled substance, probation revocation.

JENNIFER OVERCAST, Roseville/Redwood Valley. Pot possession for sale, pot sales, controlled substance.

Smith, Stevens, Yanowsky

RAYMOND SMITH, Willits. Probation revocation.

DEAN STEVENS, Ukiah. Parole violation.

JOSHUA YANOWSKY, Elverta/Ukiah. Controlled substances in area where prisoners are kept.

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To those condemning Judge Brett Kavanaugh, I say be careful what you wish for. Any one of us can have untrue accusations directed at us at any time by anybody.

In my case, the professional engineering geologic peer reviews I do of consulting geologists’ reports in support of projects angered some people. That anger resulted in four separate complaints against me being filed with the state board that licenses geologists.

As with Kavanaugh, the accusations against me looked credible. The initial finding by the licensing board’s expert was that I was guilty of three of the four sets of accusations.

However, requesting due process landed me in front of an administrative law judge and the head of the board that licenses geologists. Their findings were that every item, without exception, on a list of accusations as long as my arm (no exaggeration) was without merit.

So let’s give this guy the same presumption of innocence that we would want for ourselves. And if no evidence of wrongdoing is found, let’s let go of this, no matter our gender or political views.

Ray Waldbaum

Santa Rosa

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Cannabis Capitalism: Who Is Making Money In The Marijuana Industry?

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I cannot see a true civil war happening either, even if something like a financial crisis comes along with hyper-inflation and a reduction in the food supply chain. Fringe groups may tend to be violent, but I think the majority of Americans do not have the gumption in them anymore for such a thing.

What will always remain as a real possibility for calamity is the thing that the US government officially fears the most, the “power grid” going down in a big way from either a solar event or an EMP from US or Them. Those of us that have had to get by without electricity for over a week, twice in the last four years, understand that it does not take long for things to go south once the power shuts off. In a serious event, communication is totally lost for the masses which makes it a great event for our own government to initiate in a perfect storm scenario if many other things are going wrong at the same. For those who trust the government to never do such a thing, they should really look into the detailed government plans for Continuation Of Government because the government certainly is concerned with such possibilities. And remember, whether it is a natural event or a man made one, none of us will ever be able to tell anyway so there will be no finger pointing afterwards. Cleaning up the mess that will follow won’t take much work once a few months have gone by without the sparky stuff. Will it ever happen? Who knows. Can it ever happen? Of course it can no matter how far the deniers shove their fool heads up the old bung hole, it certainly can happen. And if it does it will be then that we shall see what people are really capable of doing to one another.

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I was saddened to read the article about the Albion River Bridge lawsuit. How are we to repair our decaying infrastructure when residents oppose such efforts at every turn?

On the other hand, what are residents supposed to do in the face of greater and greater corruption within our governments at the cost of the safety and stability of our society? Who can we trust?

Given the power differential involved, I am inclined to call on all government officials to make the first move and make acting with transparency and integrity a top priority.

I hope we are not too late to avoid falling into complete disarray as the circus that is our current national administration continues to erode standards of behavior throughout the country.

The way these local disputes play out means everything, because it is this decline of good faith that enables destructive populists to seize power.

Alexa Riner

Santa Rosa

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FOR A NUMBER OF REASONS, though, other considerations enter the picture. First, there is the unconscionable conduct of Senate Republicans in refusing to confirm President Barack Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland in 2016. By any measure, Garland was as qualified as — indeed, more qualified than — Kavanaugh. But the Senate Republicans, in order to manipulate the confirmation process in a determined effort to control the future direction of the court, violated every well-established norm in a profoundly dishonest effort to get our nation to this point — a point at which, if Kavanaugh is confirmed, there will be five Justices on the Supreme Court who are more aggressively conservative than any other justice, except Antonin Scalia, who has served on the court in living memory. ...Senate Republicans have used every available device and distortion to create a rock-solid right-wing five-member majority that will vote the straight-up Republican Party line on such fundamental issues as gun control, campaign finance reform, labor unions, abortion, gay rights, affirmative action, gerrymandering, corporate and commercial speech and minority voting rights, without regard to any serious, consistent or principled theory of constitutional interpretation. The confirmation of Kavanaugh would represent the triumphant completion of this strategy and the culmination of the Senate Republicans’ reprehensible treatment of Garland. This should not be permitted to happen. If it does, it will destroy the integrity and credibility of the Supreme Court for decades to come.

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(click to enlarge)

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Gavin Newsom in the NY Times:

“And Mr. Newsom, an opponent of the death penalty, said he had not decided what to do if he is forced to preside over the first execution in more than a decade in a state that has more inmates on death row — over 700 — than any other. In 2016, California passed a proposition forcing the state to resume executions, although there are legal challenges outstanding.

“Would Mr. Newsom sign a death warrant? ‘I’m not prepared to answer the question,’ he said, clearly struggling with the issue. ‘Because I’m not prepared to answer the question. But I am preparing myself to answer the question. And in that preparation comes a lot of soul searching’.”

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Bullshit. Don't hold your breath waiting for Newsom to answer that question. That won't happen as long as he has a chance to become president.

We have a terminally dysfunctional capital punishment system. There are now 744 people on death row, and California has spent $4 billion over the years maintaining the system.

(Rob Anderson, District5Diary)

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We’re less than three days out!

Since we’re hosting a NEW event at a NEW location, we wanted to explain the way our tickets work this year:

Admission to this event is FREE!

(Yes, you can come jam out to Steven Bates between 11:30-2:30 for free!)

Each ticket is $5.

The event is strictly ran using tickets.

-One ticket equals one seafood taste from competitors.

-One ticket equals one beer from North Coast Brewing Company.

-One ticket equals one wine taste from an Anderson Valley/Mendocino Countywinery.

-One ticket equals one American Craft Whiskey Distillery/ Tamar Distillerytaste.

-One ticket equals a stamp to bounce in the bouncy house.

-One ticket equals a photo with the Mendocino Mermaids.

Tickets can be combined to purchase T-shirts/sweatshirts or buy food from the food booth.Cash + cards will only be excepted at the ticket booth. Cash only WILL be accepted at the food booth.You can still buy a bundle of 10 presale tickets at:

Or buy a single $5 ticket at the event!

All proceeds benefit the Mendocino Area Parks Association.

We can’t wait to see you this Saturday between 11a and 4p at the Noyo Headlands Park on W Cypress Street!!

Parking at the 2018 Mendo Seafood Fair

The 2018 Mendocino Ocean + Seafood Fair is being held at Noyo Headlands Park at the end of W Cypress Street in Fort Bragg, CA.(The same location as this last summer’s Coastal Trail Celebration!)

Additional overflow parking will be available from 11-4 at Mendocino College. (1211 Del Mar Dr.)Please park in the parking lot and not in the adjacent field.The MTA trolley shuttle will be picking up and dropping guests off every couple minutes between 11-4.

Please visit this site for a map to Noyo Headlands Park.

We hope to see you there!

Melissa Shaw
Events Coordinator
Mendocino Area Parks Association

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  • Senate Bill 1421: Removes confidentiality requirements for police personnel files in cases involving police shootings, sexual assault and other serious instances of misconduct, such as lying.
  • Assembly Bill 748: Requires the timely release of body-worn camera videos and audio in serious cases.
  • Senate Bill 439: Prohibits incarceration of children age 11 and younger.
  • Senate Bill 1391: Prohibits children under age 16 from being tried as adults.
  • Senate Bill 1393: Gives judges discretion for when to apply a 5-year sentencing enhancement for serious felony convictions.
  • Senate Bill 1050: Provides greater services for people exonerated of crimes.
  • Senate Bill 10: Eliminates California’s cash bail system starting in 2020.
  • Assembly Bill 1793: Requires courts to automatically expunge eligible marijuana-related criminal convictions.
  • Senate Bill 1437: Reduces the liability of accomplices to homicide.

* * *


Mendocino County teachers:

SAN RAMON — Chevron encourages public school teachers in Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake and Mendocino counties to submit classroom projects requesting needed supplies and education materials, student-led project initiatives and student life essentials, including  clothing, personal hygiene products and food. This can also include materials to help rebuild their classrooms. Chevron announced it will donate $100,000 towards local public-school classrooms in  Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake and Mendocino counties to help fund eligible projects —posted on through its Fuel Your School program.

This year, Chevron has made changes to its North Coast Fuel Your School program to better serve this area impacted by the California wildfires given the serious time of need. In an effort to assist in the recovery of the region, Chevron will not base its North Coast program funding on fuel sales in the area.  Instead, Chevron, with the help of local Chevron and Texaco marketers and retailers, will donate the full $100,000 for the program towards eligible projects posted on  Fuel Your School project eligibility requirements will still apply.  “Chevron was founded in California over 100 years ago and has operations across the state,” said Peter Van Alyea, Founder and CEO of Redwood Oil Company, which helps contribute to Chevron’s Fuel Your School program. “So many people have been greatly impacted by this tragedy. It’s important that we do our part to help rebuild and support successful learning opportunities for teachers and students who live in this region.”

The 2018 Fuel Your School project submission period opened on Sept. 30, 2018, at 6 p.m. PDT. Eligible classroom projects will be funded on the same rotating basis, based on the order in which the projects are received and posted on for each eligible school within the relevant cities.  In addition to the donation to help local teachers, Chevron has also donated $500,000 from the Chevron Global Community Fund to the American Red  Cross in support of relief efforts.

Kathy Wylie,  M.S. Ed.,

* * *

HEY POTHEADS, millions of us supported legalization because we didn't want to see you thrown in jail, not because we want to smell your stinkweed everywhere we go. Show some consideration or we might change our minds.

— Larry Livermore

* * *

* * *

THOSE TV ADS against Proposition 8 should be charged with making criminal threats. They basically say, If you vote for this proposition we will close or cut back our private dialysis centers and leave dialysis patients to fend for themselves at already crowded emergency rooms. “Proposition 8 puts patients at risk,” they say. Of course, single payer health care would make such problems moot. And we get the complaint that Prop 8’s mechanism to capping revenues may be flawed. But we’ve also heard a number of complaints over the years about the way those private clinics operate and we’d like to think that Prop 8 would improve care, but asking corporate health outfits to do that tends toward pissing in the wind. Health care finances in America are so convoluted now that it’s hard for any health-care provider, especially those that are well-meaning, to make enough money to stay in business. There are probably better ways to regulate commercial dialysis clinics that Prop 8 targets — if we have to have such clinics at all, and we’re likely to need more dialysis as America’s diet pushes more and more people into diabetic liver disease — and of course the free for all healthcare market now in place, dominated largely in California by just two big dialysis clinic chain corporations, is not a good way provide the service. But threatening to turn patients away…? Criminal.

(Mark Scaramella)



  1. james marmon October 4, 2018


    I understand that the AVA believes Sheriff Allman walks on water but how long do you think things would be held up in court should the City of Willits fight the County over the old HMH project that you guys want?

    It could take years to complete the project and in the meantime all the measure b money would spent on attorney fees and Margie Handley’s contractors.

    Under SB 1953 all hospitals are required to survive earthquakes without collapsing or posing the treat of significant loss of life. The 1994 act further mandated that all existing hospitals be seismically evaluated and retrofitted if needed by 2030 so that they are in substantial compliance with the act.

    The reason we have a new Howard Memorial Hospital is because the old Howard Memorial hospital complex did not meet OSHPD Seismic Compliance and Safety standards and had four SPC-1 ratings and five SPC-2 ratings. SPC-1 are assigned to buildings that may be at risk of collapse during a strong earthquake. An SPC-2 rating is assigned to buildings that do not jeopardize life but may not be repairable or functional after a strong earthquake.

    The Willits Fire Marshal has made it clear to the measure b oversight committee that he will opposed this building if it is not brought up to safety standards.

    I’m glad that groupthink doesn’t exist in that committee anymore. People are talking and taking a good look at every option, should have been done years ago, long before voters went to the polls.

    James Marmon MSW
    Cult De-programmer

    • Lazarus October 4, 2018


      “Since Sheriff Allman got Measure B passed he should be awarded absolute authority to get the unit built.”

      Using that logic one could surmise that the Measure B money belongs to the Sheriff, and with that he should be able to do with it as he pleases.
      Last I looked the voters never gave anybody dictatorial authority. Measure B did set up an advisory committee to avoid precisely what is being advocated here…
      Sounds a little desperate guys…if not illegal.
      As always,

      • Eric Sunswheat October 4, 2018

        AVA editorial bias revealed. (Measure B easily passed) … re-writing history… red herring.

        • Bruce Anderson October 4, 2018

          Two thirds yes vote is history re-written?

    • james marmon October 4, 2018

      The worst earthquake I ever experienced was in 1997 in Willits Ca. It knocked the mobile home I was living in off its blocks and almost crushed me underneath the car I was working on. The ground was rolling like waves on the ocean and water pipes were breaking all around me. Lots of damage in town including at the old Howard Memorial Hospital.

      Aftershocks of the 22 November 1977 earthquake at Willits, California …

      James Marmon
      Willits Earthquake Suvivor

  2. George Hollister October 4, 2018

    “My information is that (log truck) drivers are paid by the load, surely an incentive to hustle out there.”

    The driver is paid by the hour. The truck owner is paid by the load. If the driver is also the owner, then he is getting paid by the load as owner and driver. If trucks are going over the speed limit, call the truck company, or the CHP.

  3. james marmon October 4, 2018

    My brother Steven Marmon and Mark Scaramella are birthday boys today.

    Wish them the best!

  4. Lazarus October 4, 2018

    “Piercy man arrested for allegedly starting fires across northern Mendocino County”

    Check it out…
    As always,

    • james marmon October 4, 2018

      A friend of mine who is a Registered Public Health Nurse for the county witnessed the arson at Shimmins Ridge and was able to give a description of his vehicle and toss dirt on the arson’s plastic container and extinguish it so that it could be used for evidence, she and a neighbor fought the fire from spreading out of control by hand until the fire department arrived. Good job Whitney Snidow.

  5. George Hollister October 4, 2018

    One thing we know for sure about the 3 ft. grasshopper, if it was a Texas grasshopper it would cast a shadow.

  6. Marshall Newman October 4, 2018

    Regarding the FBI’s Brett Kavanaugh investigation, I think we can all agree – even Mr. Waldbaum – that an incomplete or cursory investigation may well not reveal the truth. Considering the stakes involved, this investigation should be as thorough as possible and should be given ample time for completion.

    • james marmon October 4, 2018


    • George Hollister October 4, 2018

      We all don’t agree.

      • George Hollister October 4, 2018

        What the Senate Democrats have just done is give away any higher ground they had over all the negative personal traits overtly expressed by Donald Trump. “We are now all deplorables” is what the WSJ said in an editorial yesterday. And they have never liked Trump. That pretty much nails it.

        • Harvey Reading October 4, 2018

          And if a WSJ editorial says it, it must be true, huh George?

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