Press "Enter" to skip to content

Mendocino County Today: Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018

* * *


by Mark Scaramella

Supervisor John McCowen opened Tuesday’s discussion of the local ambulance services with a worrying anecdote:

“I was told that last Friday we had a period of time in Ukiah Valley, Redwood Valley where there were no additional ambulances available, that every available ambulance was on-call. It had been a bit of a touchy situation for a bit of a time. The person informing me of this who was monitoring the radio traffic thought that dispatch did an excellent job. It appears that no one needing service had a delay of more than perhaps a few minutes in an ambulance getting there from what would have happened under absolutely optimum conditions. They also said we were very lucky. They also told me that the City of Ukiah put one of their ambulances online. I see an affirmative from the audience that that was true. I guess we have some gaps in the present system even in an area where we are arguably the best served by numbers of ambulances and availability. … One ambulance company decided, Well, we are going to down staff a unit and a half, I think was the number. So apparently they are able to arbitrarily staff up or staff down. When they staffed down then it was up to the remaining providers to try to cover the bases if necessary. So we apparently don't have a sustainable system here locally, let alone what's being described for some of the outlying areas.”


Brian Cleaver, head of Coastal Valley EMS in Santa Rosa agreed:

“Yes, we did in fact run to Level 0 which is in the inland corridor ambulances were all busy on call assignments. We were able to help support the system by bringing an ambulance out of Fort Bragg as backfill and then the Ukiah city ambulance also stepped up. So no calls were delayed and no calls were missed, but that's the kind of coordination that's necessary particularly in this environment. With a competitive environment, what we have always cautioned is that the two providers have an abundance of resources until they choke each other out and it begins to cause the system to collapse.”

But instead of dealing with the near-collapse of ambulance services in the Ukiah area, the rest of the Supervisors discussion was a confusing ramble about how to finance the administration and oversight of the increasingly fragile system, not how to improve the actual service.

Ambulance services in Mendocino County are a patchwork of small, independent, underfunded, autonomous operations, some government, some private, with strong local support but very fragile financing which only works through the dedicated efforts of local fire departments, Calfire dispatch, a few professional paramedics and a dwindling roster of dedicated volunteers.

This fragile arrangement was further disrupted a few years ago when Verihealth/Falck Ambulance Corporation started responding to calls in Ukiah Valley at the same time that the long established private company MedStar was responding. Before long this competition for Ukiah Valley ambulance calls produced a proposal to develop an exclusive operating area in the 101 corridor so that things could return to one ambulance service provider which would respond to all the calls, including the more lucrative inter-facility calls, thus providing some measure of financial stability the “winning” service under increasingly difficult state standards.

The first Request for Proposals (RFP) for covering the exclusive area prepared by Sonoma County-based Coastal Valleys EMS Authority (CVEMSA) a couple of years ago included putting emergency dispatch services out for bid. Including dispatch in the RFP would have effectively prevented MedStar, the aforementioned local Ukiah ambulance service, from even bidding and probably handed the “exclusive” contract over to VeriHealth/Falck because they have no dispatch service arm.

After first agreeing to include dispatch services in the RFP, the Board of Supervisors reversed itself last year when Coast Supervisor Dan Gjerde returned from vacation and they voted (by a 3-2 vote, Hamburg & Brown dissenting) to remove dispatch from the RFP and continue using Callfire dispatch services which all the local agencies were happy with and which should never have been in there in the first place.

Then CEO Angelo decided earlier this year that because Coastal Valley was not much help during the 2017 Redwood Valley/Potter Valley firestorms, Mendocino County should separate itself from Coastal Valley and create its own local emergency management services authority (LEMSA). (Coastal Valley says they would have helped if their contract had included funding to pay for the help.)

The trouble with the CEO'S idea was that here is nothing in place in Mendocino County to assume Coastal Valley’s rather complicated bureaucratic role; current estimates indicate that it would cost $600,000 a year or more for specialized medical administration oversight staffing.

The entire situation leaves local emergency services organizations in a barely workable limbo with no idea where large parts of their funding will come from, how they will continue to staff volunteer shifts with dwindling volunteers, and what level of service can be provided.

Just last month, Verihealth/Falck up and pulled two ambulances out of Ukiah and relocated them to Alameda County and Petaluma because, apparently, it made more economic sense than leaving them in the Ukiah area competing for calls with MedStar, creating the tense situation described by McCowen.

At the end of Tuesday’s discussion, the supervisors seemed stumped as to how to proceed, choosing only to authorize the creation of the three, so far unfunded, local positions, but with no deadlines, no financing, and the very real possibility of reversing course again and renewing the contract with Coastal Valleys, perhaps supplemented with additional money to cover as yet undefined additional services that CEO Angelo says were lacking during the October 2017 fires.

Meanwhile, if you find yourself needing an ambulance, especially in the Ukiah area, don’t be surprised if it takes longer and the ambulance that finally arrives says “Mendocino Coast District Hospital” on the side.

* * *

HIGH PRESSURE will result in dry and warm afternoons and cool nights through the weekend across the interior. Meanwhile, persistent low clouds and cool temperatures are expected for the coast. A couple of weak fronts will attempt to bring light rain to the area around mid next week. (National Weather Service)

* * *

(Click to enlarge)

* * *


To the Editor:

I endorse John Haschak for Third District Supervisor. He understands the needs of this community and the best path forward. I have served over 30 years as an elected representative on the Brooktrails Township board of directors. During this time I was present for most key meetings on the proposed Second Access Road project. The following describes a case in which Mr. Haschak’s opponent John Pinches failed to serve the interests of the Sherwood Road community.

Over the last several decades, Brooktrails directors helped to create many required planning documents, including a Brooktrails Specific Plan at great cost, to facilitate a second access roadway. The Sherwood corridor today supports the fourth largest community in Mendocino County. The new Willits bypass averages 5,000 to 7,000 trips per day, while the Sherwood Road corridor generates about 10,000 trips a day. There is no dirt road alternative that can provide a rapid evacuation for the size of this community-- that is a fact, not an opinion.

Ms. Branscomb’s recent letter supporting candidate Pinches shows she was sadly misinformed by him about how a Sherwood Boulevard District could operate, falsely claiming that the full project cost would fall to locals. Actually, such a district would provide a local contribution for short- and long-term roadway needs, leveraging county, state and federal transportation funds for Sherwood corridor projects.

As Mr. Pinches stated at a recent debate in Willits, "we must put up real money” to achieve any local priorities. But his only solution for the second access project, to hope "we get lucky and get a federal grant,” contradicts his own statement.

Candidate Pinches spoke about priorities during that debate, yet he displayed his true priorities in 2013 when he killed the Brooktrails second access project. He failed to support it at the point of a funding commitment decision for $3.5 million of state and federal funding in the Regional Transportation Improvement Program.

As Third District Supervisor, Mr. Pinches recommended to the Board of Supervisors to pull this project, ranked number two in the Mendocino Council of Governments’ list and sponsored by the County. On his recommendation, both the Supervisors and MCOG Board abandoned the project, allowing the $3.5 million to be redistributed almost entirely to three of the Cities for their local projects. Public health and safety batted last that day.

No further funding has been forthcoming for this needed project, thanks to former Supervisor Pinches, who cost us five years of delay. The final direction of the Board of Supervisors in 2013 was “to not continue project development until a reliable source of funding “was identified,” according to the Transportation Director. MCOG had to follow the Supervisors’ direction and is now waiting for a local share from the Sherwood community to demonstrate local support for this critical project.

John Haschak has demonstrated a constructive approach to this and many other complex issues a County Supervisor must face. He is everywhere and has shown a big ear and a studious ability to gather and process current information. Mr. Haschak is a lifelong learner and will not get stuck in the sands of the past, but instead will help to move us all to a better day. My wife Janet and I enthusiastically endorse John Haschak for Supervisor.

Tony Orth


* * *

LITTLE DOG SAYS, “Skrag's such a bringdown. He sees my MegaMillion ticket and says, ‘I hope Trump wins MegaMil and PowerBall! Do the math, do the odds, you dummy!’"

* * *


Another reason this election for a new MCDH Board is Directors is so important.

You will find at this link, the total compensation for every employee of MCDH. Top heavy, to put it mildly.

I highly recommend Jessica Grinberg, John Redding and Karen Arnold.  If elected, our hospital will move in the direction of financial sustainability and become, once again, a community hospital.

Margaret Paul, Fort Bragg

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, October 19, 2018

Asfour, Castro-Gonzalez, Chadwick, Halvorsen

FERAS ASFOUR, Talmage. Pot possession for sale, paraphernalia, disobeying a court order.

JOSE CASTRO-GONZALEZ, Ukiah. DUI, reckless driving, no license.

CLAYTON CHADWICK, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.

NICHOLAS HALVORSEN, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation. (Frequent Flyer)

Jourdain, Little, Ott

JOSEPH JOURDAIN, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.

JOSEPH LITTLE, Fort Bragg. Concealed dirk-dagger, trespassing/refusing to leave, county parole violation.

GREGORY OTT, Domestic abuse, controlled substance, probation revocation.

Phillips, Preciado, Valdez


ARTURO PRECIADO, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. Failure to appear.

JOHNNY VALDEZ, Lakeport/Ukiah. Failure to appear.

* * *


by James Kunstler

The loyal opposition is the party out-of-power in a polity that stands divided into two factions — assuming the polity can still function as such, which, apparently, it no longer can. Historically in the USA, this used to allow for the tempered regulation of changing conditions during 200 years of a rapidly evolving techno-industrial economy that pumps out more goodies year after year while the population grows and grows.

Much of America, political leaders especially, assume that this arc of growing goodies and more people will just keep trending up forever. They are just plain mistaken about that. Rather, the whole industrialized, wired-up world is rolling over into the greatest contraction ever witnessed. The only thing that’s postponed the recognition of this reality is the profligate borrowing of money, or shall we say “money” — data entries that pretend to represent secure wealth. This amounts to borrowing from the future to pay for how you live today. Of course, the act of borrowing is based on the supposition that there will enough future productive activity to allow you to pay back your borrowings with interest. This is obviously not the case now, in the face of epochal contraction, especially of affordable energy to keep things running hot.

Thus, the US has decided to get through the approaching winter by setting its house on fire. The two political parties alternately in charge of things are driving around the burning house, stopping at intervals to run Chinese Fire Drills. We call these “elections.” Both parties pretend that the burning house is not a problem. Mr. Trump, aka the Golden Golem of Greatness, has taken “ownership” of the rising temperature in the burning house. “Hey, at least you’re not freezing now.” He and his party have been piling all the furniture inside the house on the fire, to keep the heat up, rather heedless that flames are starting to shoot out of the attic.

The other party has no quibble with burning down the house. In fact, this has been the Democratic Party’s sovereign remedy for problems since the War in Vietnam, when it was explicit policy to burn down villages in order to save them. Seemed to work, until it didn’t — and then we just tried to forget about the whole sorry exercise. It still haunts them, though. So these days they’ve decided to destroy the culture that abided inside the burning house. They’re taking down the draperies and collecting all the clothing and tchotchkes and framed photographs of loved ones, and piling them on top of the burning furniture, doing their bit to keep the heat up.

You might infer from all this that no matter whatever else the Republican and Democratic parties might do now is not going to prevent the house from burning down. In a month, or six months, or eighteen months, they will be left standing stunned in the ashes. How’d this happen!?! Even the clown cars they were riding around in will be smoldering wrecks. And then the rest of the people of this land can sift through ruins, seeking a few trinkets or useful tools with some remaining value. These people will be entitled to call themselves “survivors.” And they will act like survivors should act: by earnestly assessing how the house happened to burn down, and using what few assets and resources they still have at hand to shelter-in-place, while they draw up plans for a more sensible house.

If there was a true loyal opposition in this land, they would have called the fire department long ago. But they were too busy texting out their contrived grievances and sending cute Instagrams of each other in pussy hats to friends and allies while the flames of the burning house reflected off the screens of their iPhones. The vaunted technology did not save the day. It only stole their attention.

If it happens that the Democrats lose the midterm elections a few weeks ahead, they will jump up and down and holler that the elections were stolen from them, that somebody meddled and colluded to deprive them of victory, and that will amount to throwing just enough gasoline on the still-burning house for one final glorious burst of heat and flame before the rafters crash through the floor. Welcome to the Long Emergency.

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

* * *



I live in an area where PG&E didn’t shut down power last weekend, and I feel lucky as my sister uses a nebulizer twice a day (“Blackout challenges,” Tuesday). I have another sister in Windsor who is on oxygen and can’t breathe without it. When we read that the power was being shut off, we were in a panic for my sister in Windsor.

The paper did mention that if someone used medical equipment, they would get an automated call. If the message wasn’t replied to, there would be a personal call, and if the person didn’t respond, a PG&E truck would arrive at their location. No mention was made of what the PG&E truck would do. No instruction was given on how they could survive 24 hours without power. Luckily, the power in Windsor stayed on.

I live in the unincorporated area of Santa Rosa, and my power wasn’t shut off even though some trees on my street are growing through the wires. Many city trucks come through my area and see this, but I guess it isn’t their department to take care of it.

Will this happen again when the winter storms come?

Margaret Dubkoff

Santa Rosa

* * *


We at the Friends of The San Francisco Public Library are holding our annual Big Book Sale at the end of this month, one of the nation’s largest book sales with over 500,000 used books, LPs, and other assorted media. We are looking for individuals who are interested in joining our team of general contractors that will be setting up and taking down this event over a period of twelve days from Oct. 25 through Nov. 5th. This includes loading 26-foot trucks with pallets of books at our donation center/warehouse in San Francisco and driving them across town to The Fort Mason Center where we will be unloading them with forklifts and distributing them via pallet jacks as we set up and maintain the event. Breaking down boxes and stacking empty pallets is also included in the set of duties contractors will need to accomplish. The hourly rate of pay is 15 dollars an hour. Each contractor can expect 8-10 eight hour days with two days off over the 12 day period. A clean driving record is mandatory for the position and we will require a print out of one’s DMV record in order to be hired. Forklift certification is also essential. If you or someone you know is interested in this position you can contact our warehouse manager, Andrew, via e-mail at or call and leave a message at 415-522-8606. We at The Friends would love to have you on our team for this very special event so don’t hesitate to reach out! Thank you very much and have a great day!

- Friends of The San Francisco Public Library

* * *


I’m sure more than a few have noticed the ironic dichotomy in this individualistic behavior. Whether biker, hipster, or tattooed barista the same group identity and conformance takes over.

I get a laugh out of Hell’s Angels types – that’s right, I’m talking to you biker dude. They are all about being an individual from the larger society so long as one wears the appropriate leathers and vest, rides the appropriate Harley, and parties in the sanctioned behaviors. Ya, real lone wolf individual there.

You could be the meanest, toughest drug dealin’ outlaw but don’t dare show up in a polo shirt riding a Honda – or driving an Aztec.

Same phenomena, same outcomes. Rinse and repeat.

* * *

* * *


[1] Harvard Law School proudly boasted that Elizabeth Warren was their first faculty “woman of color.” Really, what color might that be? White, off-white, lily white, pink? The woman has shown no remorse for appropriating another people’s identity much less stealing their affirmative action job slot. But isn’t this the pattern with left-wingers? They sit atop their high moral horse named “Self-delusion” while practicing all manner of theft, deceit, and hypocrisy.

[2] Lie awatha.

[3] Exactly, she with the million dollar wigwam beside the shining big sea waters. Cheer up Liz, maybe you can still get a casino license as a tribe of one. Trump didn’t need to send her a smallpox blanket; she managed to do herself in.

* * *



It is almost time for our annual holiday event — Festival of Lights — but this year we are adding a little Halloween fun to our calendar as well. Below are details about Pumpkin Night. We really want to fill the Gardens with glowing pumpkins and provide a safe, fun, and family friendly event.

PUMPKIN NIGHT at the Gardens, Saturday, October 27, 2018, 4:00PM to 7:00PM (Regular Gardens admission applies)

Come dressed in your Halloween best and light up the night at Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens with some creatively carved gourds and painted pumpkins. Vote for your favorite pumpkins, enjoy spooky games, trick-or-treating, haunting music by DJ Nutrishious, and fall treats.  To enter your carved or designed pumpkin in the contest, simply complete an entry form and deliver your creation(s) to the Gardens between 11:00AM and 3:00PM on Saturday, October 27. Entry forms are available at The Garden Store and on the Gardens’ website. Prizes will be awarded in four categories: Adult (age 18 and up), Teen (ages 13-17), Juniors (ages 7-12), Kid (ages 6 and under).  For more details and entry forms please visit

* * *

* * *


The list of vacancies, due to term expirations and/or resignations, for County Boards and Commissions has been updated. A list of all new and existing vacancies is available on the County Website at: Please contact the Clerk of the Board office at (707) 463-4441 if you have any questions regarding this message.

* * *

photo by Susie de Castro (click to enlarge)

* * *


City Of Point Arena To Conduct Sewer Smoke Tests

The City of Point Arena Sewer Department will be cleaning and smoke testing the sewer collection system this year. Smoke testing will occur Wednesday October 24 and Thursday October 25.

This project is being done in an effort to limit the cost of sewage treatment plant expansions that will be necessary over the next few years. The sewer trunk lines and mains will be jetted clean, so the problems won't be hidden by debris and silt. This operation will be started at School Street and will work south through town. When the cleaning of the system is complete, smoke testing will begin.

The smoke testing will start at the north end of town working south. The smoke testing is an integral part of this maintenance program aimed at reducing rainwater and ground water infiltrating the sewers. The smoke will escape through cracks, breaks, storm water tie-ins such as rain leaders, and uncapped clean-outs.

The smoke is not toxic and will not harm anyone. However, occasionally smoke will come out of drains in houses that are not piped properly. If this happens at your house or business, it is advised you contact the building inspector and a plumber to fix problem as soon as possible.  If the smoke gets in your house, so will sewer gases which could be toxic or explosive if the right conditions exist.

If there are questions about this project or process, please call (707) 353-0062.  Asking the crew as they perform the cleaning and testing will only slow the process and prolong the project.

Daniel Lee, Chief Plant Operator

* * *

* * *


To the Editor:

Since Judge Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court, I've been thinking a lot about Christine Blasey Ford. What was that circus all about? What was it all about, really? I'm still disturbed by what I now see as an attack on our democracy and as a blatant exploitation of the #MeToo Movement. Let me explain.

It's human nature to create simple narratives that make sense of complex situations.

It's human nature to create comfortable narratives that make sense of uncomfortable situations.

It's human nature to see the world in absolutes...absolute right vs. absolute wrong, absolute guilt vs. absolute innocence.


It's human nature to absolve ourselves of having to do the hard work -- the real work -- that involves letting go of our need to cast a villain and a hero.

It's human nature to absolve ourselves of having to do the hard work -- the real work -- that acknowledges our own role in our own tragedies.

It's human nature to absolve ourselves of having to do the hard work -- the real work -- that our alleged abusers aren’t always "monsters" and we aren't always "victims".

In other words, it human nature to lie to ourselves.

Blasey Ford was almost certainly assaulted or traumatized at some point in her life by a man -- most women have been. Blasey Ford's mistake was in weaponizing the #MeToo Movement. She politicized sex abuse.

Blasey Ford cast herself as a cartoon caricature of a "victim" before a national audience -- croaky voice, scrunchy face, and all -- for the sole reason of bringing down Judge Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to U.S. Supreme Court.

Big mistake. It was a very big mistake. Blasey Ford was not a victim. She was an actress. She was a well-rehearsed actress.

Blasey Ford was not weak. Her resolve to destroy Kavanaugh was scary.

Blasey Ford did not make herself vulnerable. She was as tough as nails, and as calculating as the team of high-priced lawyers, public relations people, shills, and advisers with whom she choose to surround herself.

“When a woman tells the truth she is creating the possibility -- the space -- for more truth to be told around her,” the feminist poet and essayist (and one of my teachers), Adrienne Rich once wrote. Yes, I agree. I couldn't agree more. But the opposite is also true. In weaponizing the #MeToo Movement, Blasey Ford devalued the truth of real survivors of real sex abuse.

I did not support Kavanaugh's nomination. But I am the father of five daughters and feel they were hurt by those political strategists who did everything and anything to stop Kavanaugh. The credibility of women, in general, and sex abuse survivors, in particular, was badly hurt by Blasey Ford.

John Sakowicz


* * *

“This pumpkin spice craze has been good to us, my noble steed.”

* * *


At its October 2018 meeting in Fresno yesterday, the California Fish and Game Commission (Commission) took action on a number of issues affecting California’s natural resources. The following are just a few items of interest from the meeting.

The Commission voted unanimously to adopt the vision statement for co-management among the Commission, California tribes and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW). The vision statement was a recommendation forwarded to the Commission from the Tribal Committee, which met Tuesday.

In partnership with the California Waterfowl Association, the Commission also recognized six newly inducted members of the California Waterfowler’s Hall of Fame: Dr. Mickey E. Heitmeyer, Jeff Kerry, Peter Ottesen, Thomas Quinn, Mark Gregory Steidlmayer and Peter Stent. Former executive director of the Commission, John Carlson, Jr. who is currently the president of the California Waterfowl Association, made the presentation.

The Commission approved a 90-day extension of the emergency regulations for recreational take of purple sea urchin that increased the bag limit from 35 individuals to 20 gallons in Sonoma and Mendocino counties.

The Commission also authorized publication of a notice of intent to amend regulations for recreational take of purple sea urchin under a regular rulemaking, to increase bag limits to 40 gallons in Sonoma and Mendocino counties, and also to potentially apply these regulations in Humboldt and Del Norte counties. The Commission will take action on this proposal at its February meeting in Sacramento.

The Commission took action to adopt regulations to limit incidental take of crabs other than the genus cancer. The action will subject box and king crabs to a 25 lb. possession and landing limit, and sheep crab to a 95,000 lb. annual total allowable catch.

In support of a collaboration among CDFW, the California Ocean Protection Council, and academic partners, the Commission adopted a marine protected area monitoring action plan that, for the first time, provides a statewide approach to monitoring California’s marine protected area network. The action plan incorporates novel scientific approaches and offers important prioritization of long-term monitoring and evaluation metrics.

Commission President Eric Sklar, Commission Vice President Anthony Williams and Commissioners Jacque Hostler-Carmesin and Peter Silva were present. Commissioner Russell Burns was absent.

The full Commission video and audio minutes, supporting information and a schedule of upcoming meetings are available at An archived video will also be available in coming days.

The California Fish and Game Commission was the first wildlife conservation agency in the United States, predating even the U.S. Commission of Fish and Fisheries. There is often confusion about the distinction between the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and the Commission. In the most basic terms, CDFW implements and enforces the regulations set by the Commission, as well as provides biological data and expertise to inform the Commission’s decision-making process.

* * *

* * *


by Ralph Nader

Corporatist candidates like to talk up values without getting specific and without drawing attention to how their voting records put the interests of big financial backers against the interest of most voters. This election season is no exception, from Florida to Texas to California to Ohio to Wisconsin. In 2004, I wrote the following article for the Louisville Courier-Journal comparing Kentucky values to the starkly opposing record and behavior of Senator Mitch McConnell.

All current candidates for elective office who stand for “we the people” and believe that big corporations should be our servants, not our masters, may find this list of values applicable in their states. Corporatist opponents’ voting records, positions, and their campaign contributors’ interests can be clearly compared with civic values and any other values voters and candidates wish to highlight. This kind of comparison can only help to turn out larger numbers of voters who want to elect candidates who will champion consumer, worker, children, and small taxpayer causes.

From my travels throughout Kentucky, starting with the late ‘60s campaign for coal miners’ health and safety laws, I’ve observed that Kentuckians would like their politicians to be driven by Kentucky values. This election season, voters must be wondering: How has Sen. Mitch McConnell lived up to key Bluegrass State commitments?

Rewarding hard work

Kentuckians don’t want handouts — they believe in working for a living. That’s why they believe in a fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work.

Mitch McConnell is worth more than $27 million, but has blocked efforts to prevent the minimum wage from seriously eroding due to inflation. He would rather allow McDonald’s and Walmart have taxpayers, through the earned income tax credit, pay for their workers’ public assistance than raise their minimum wages to meet workers’ basic needs.

Honoring your elders

Many Kentuckians follow the Fifth Commandment: Honor thy father and thy mother. They believe our elders, after a lifetime of work, deserve a decent living standard.

Mitch McConnell dishonors our fathers and mothers when he says that the government should cut funding for Social Security and Medicare, programs that give Kentucky elders, who paid into these safety nets, much-deserved security in their golden years.


Kentuckians want politicians to have the same practical problem-solving spirit that they and their neighbors exhibit in daily life.

Mitch McConnell has called himself a “Proud Guardian of Gridlock” in Washington and, as the Washington Post wrote, has “raised the art of obstructionism to new levels.”

Respecting women

Kentucky women have made sure that respect and equality for women is a pillar of Kentucky culture.

Mitch McConnell has shown where he stands on disrespecting women: He has voted against helping mothers take leave for sick children, domestic violence victims seeking justice, and working women seeking fair pay.

Being forthright

Kentuckians don’t like politicians talking behind their back — saying one thing to them in public and another in closed rooms full of fat cats.

Mitch McConnell does just that, meeting privately with the multi-billionaire Koch brothers and promising even more Senate opposition to raising the minimum wage, extending unemployment benefits and helping students pay for college.


Kentuckians believe people should be held responsible for how they treat others. They believe corporations should be held responsible for the harm they cause to their workers.

Mitch McConnell has helped roll back safety measures that hold corporations responsible for worker safety. At the urging of business groups, he helped pass a resolution declaring that Clinton administration safety rules protecting against repetitive-stress injuries “shall have no force or effect.” The United Mine Workers of America’s legislative director Bill Banig said McConnell has “not done anything to help us with mine safety.”

Love thy neighbor

Kentuckians don’t want their neighbors in hard times dying because they’re struggling to make ends meet. That why they don’t want their neighbors subjected to “pay or die” health care, whether it is because of the staggering prices of drugs, operations, emergency treatments or health insurance.

Mitch McConnell stands opposed to the most efficient health care system, single payer, or full Medicare for all: everybody in, nobody out, with free choice of doctor and hospital. He even campaigned vigorously against Kynect, which has helped hundreds of thousands of Kentuckians sign up for health care.

No one being above the law

Kentuckians do not believe anyone should be above the law. They want Wall Street crooks who crashed our economy and were bailed out by taxpayers to be prosecuted and put in jail.

Mitch McConnell is an avid Wall Street protector in Congress while he takes campaign cash from Wall Street bosses who he works to keep above the law. He has pledged to “go after” Dodd-Frank financial protections and has been a vocal opponent to the law-enforcing Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Wall Street was the No. 1 contributor to McConnell’s campaign committee from 2009-14.

Defending the Constitution

Kentuckians defend the Constitution and especially believe in its first phrase: We the People. They believe that corporations are supposed to be our servants, not our masters.

Mitch McConnell has said that the “worst day” of his political life was when Congress passed the bipartisan McCain-Feingold campaign finance reforms aimed at limiting corporate influence on governance. He proudly told a group of billionaires that the Citizens United decision allowing floods of corporate money into elections was a victory for “open discourse.”


Kentuckians love the commonwealth and the nation. They honor our soldiers and the fallen for their loyalty to America.

Mitch McConnell has allied with disloyal, unpatriotic corporations who are abandoning America. He voted against laws that would help stop outsourcing and voted for tax breaks that perversely reward corporations for shipping American jobs overseas.

McConnell also voted in 2003 to defeat an amendment to provide $1 billion in life-saving body armor for the National Guard in Iraq and later in 2005 voted against an amendment to provide $213 million for more protective Humvees from roadside bombs in Iraq.

As Kentuckians head to the polls this November, I hope they keep these facts in mind about how McConnell has opposed these longstanding Kentucky values.

Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate and the author of “Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State.”

(Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!)

* * *

* * *


Tonight, Friday, 9pm to 5am, I'm reading Memo of the Air by live remote  from Juanita's apartment, /not/ from the back room of the KNYO  performance space at 325 N. Franklin, next door to the Tip Top bar, so  make plans to show-and-tell there /next/ week, October 26, when I'll be  there for you.

Deadline to get your writing on the air tonight is around 7pm. If you're  still working on it then, just email it when you're done and I'll read  it on the show next time. Or save it and come in and read it yourself in  person next week (or sing and dance or otherwise express it), see above.

Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio: Every Friday, 9pm to 5am on 107.7fm  KNYO-LP Fort Bragg, and 105.1fm KMEC-LP Ukiah. And also there and  anywhere else via and click on Listen Live.

Also you can always go to and hear  last week's show, and shows before that, and read and watch and fiddle  with all sorts of other quirkily educational materials. By Saturday  night, tonight's show becomes last week's show, so if you wait till  Saturday night to look you'll find that too. It'll be right on top.

Meanwhile, weirdly fascinating fashion photos.

Nathan Mills' classical guitar arrangement of the Doctor Who theme.

And a web music service ad banned for being too scary. No blood, no  violence, no strobe lights, no boobs nor suggestive innuendo nor ethnic  slurs nor swears, just too scary. Go on, you know you want to.

Marco McClean,

* * *


(We have been updating these recommendations almost on a daily basis. Below please find our final-finals.)

"It is regrettable too that the level of collective deliberation and debate at election time is so abysmally low, especially at the national level; and also that, in more cases than not, our elections are competitive in theory only. Thanks to gerrymandering and the many other ways that the duopoly party system has succeeded in institutionalizing itself, many, perhaps most, electoral outcomes can be confidently predicted in advance." —Andrew Levine

The Northcoast is gerrymandered for conservative Democrats, hence Huffman, Wood and McGuire, a trio of seat warmers of little distinction and less accomplishment, their expensive mailers notwithstanding. McGuire boasts the Redwood Trail which, count on it, will never become reality. Wood voted against the state’s version of single payer. Huffman went for the Hillary-Schumer-Pelosi Axis over Northcoast Democrat's strong support for Bernie. All three are to the political right of the majority of Northcoast Democrats and have been imposed on us by corporate-funded Demo Central. The AVA recommends No on all three of them. It has been at least fifty years since Democrats represented working people, and Republicans sure as hell don’t represent working people, leaving millions of us with One Two-Headed Party running errands for the wealthy.


Gavin Newsom: This guy’s going to be president so get used to him. He has demonstrated some political courage, at least when he was confined to San Francisco, successfully defeating Frisco’s insane policy of handing drug addicts and drunks nearly $400 a month. Cash. Of course the care part of Newsom’s Care Not Cash never materialized and the streets of Baghdad by the Bay have never been as squalid as they are today, a sad fact brought to us by party-line Democrats. Newsom’s for the truly insane high speed train project and is about the same as Jerry Brown on all other state issues. The glib, fast-talking Gav will be more of the same as he preps for the White House.

John Cox: A conservative Catholic — against abortion and the death penalty but for medical marijuana and tolerant of gay concerns — Cox opposes Trump who has nonetheless endorsed him. Not as insane on the issues as most Republicans, but no match for Newsom with his piles of money from Big Democrat who will crush the upstart papist.

Vote 3rd party for Governor.

Lieutenant Governor: A purely ceremonial post contested by a pair of interchangeable hack Democrats. Who cares?

Secretary of State: Padilla is a machine Demo but narrowly preferable to Republican Meuser. Padilla.

State Controller: It seems like Betty Yee has been in office forever. And she has in one capacity or another. A long time member of the San Francisco Democrat machine, Yee, a career officeholder, had "served" on the State Board of Equalization at a fancy salary prior to her election as State Controller. If you're as estranged from the Democrats as we are, vote for the other person (Konstantinos Roditis) as a No vote on Democrats.

State Treasurer: Fiona Ma has not distinguished herself as a SF supervisor but, as a CPA she’s at least qualified for this job, as is her CPA Republican opponent. No real diff between the two. Ma by a nose.

Attorney General: We’re for Becerra because mercy tends to be more likely with a Democrat than it is with a Republican retired judge like Bailey. Becerra.

Insurance CommissionerPoizner over Lara because Poizner is registered Independent and is more likely to be independent of the rapacious industry that preys on all of us.

State Board of Equalization: Party Democrat off the San Francisco Board of Supervisors versus a Republican realtor. No choice.

United States Senator: De Leon will be a marginal improvement over Diane Feinstein. De Leon.

2nd District Representative: Incumbent Huffman vs. Dale Mensing, Republican grocery store clerk out of Garberville. Mensing!

State Senator: Veronica Jacobi vs. incumbent Mike McGuire. Jacobi has real credentials as an engineer and a business owner. Jacobi. McGuire, voted for SB 901 that protects PG&E while shifting more costs to ratepayers and wildfire victims, relieving the power monopoly of the consequences of its negligence and generally weakening environmental protections into the non-bargain. McGuire abstained on limiting open carry, and on giving farmworkers the same rights on overtime pay as other workers and preventing deportation of immigrants for minor drug offenses. He voted to weaken requirements to reduce methane pollution (84 times more potent than carbon dioxide).

State Assembly: Matt Heath is a Republican who cites fatherhood as a reason for voting for him. Dude! Anybody can do it. It qualifies you for nothing, but incumbent Wood? Vote for Dad. Heath for Assembly.

Vote NO on all the incumbent judges, especially the hacks functioning as appellate judges. Speaking from sad personal experience with both the state and the appellate courts, both of which, in twisted, illogical, childlike reasoning ruled against me in two beefs I made the expensive error of pursuing beyond the Mendocino County courts, I can tell you that you might as well flip a coin as appeal to this sad gang of mostly Democrat-appointed, life, sinecure holders who have the arrogance of revealing nothing of themselves on the ballot, appearing thereon for mere re-anointment. Vote No on all of them.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction: Anyone in full possession knows that the public schools need to be totally re-structured, having become an immovable blob of entrenched interests that prepares no child for life in a crumbling society, especially the children of the large majority of parents. Most of you will have noted that the wealthy abandoned the public schools years ago, a clear case of the rats leaving a ship they knew had sunk. Of the two guys running for Superintendent? Thurmond seems more in touch with the entropic morass schools have become. Thurmond.


Third District: Haschak v. Pinches

Fifth District: Williams v. No one

Pinches for Third District Supe because he's frugal, creative, truly independent, although Haschak, improved lately as a candidate, seems to be tardily more familiar with the issues. He did well in the recent debate with Pinches in Willits. And we certainly agree with Haschak’s opposition to the recent pay raises for the County’s bigwigs as they prioritize themselves over the County’s line workers, and not for the first time. Pinches suggests the raises are somehow legally mandated, but Haschak has roared back, “Show me the law.” Haschak’s major downside is his financial support from outside Democrats of the large type, including endorsements by the Demo machine that controls the Northcoast — Wood, McGuire, Huffman et al. County admin desperately wants Haschak because they see him as another Yes vote for continued featherbedding and mutual congratulation sessions in lieu of the public's business. Sensible people will vote Pinches.

Williams for 5th District Supervisor, although so far it's unclear why he wants the job, employing “job” in its loosest sense, at least the way the incumbents are doing it. There’s a cavernous disconnect between what the present County leadership says it’s doing and, objectively, actual results. The bi-monthly meetings are festivals of delusion, Potemkin-like affairs heavy on managerial self-congratulation that do not coincide with reality, kinda like meds time in an asylum. Candidates Haschak and Williams, if they think there isn’t massive dysfunction at the top, if they think the present functioning of the supervisors is acceptable, will be more of the same. Pinches has always been about getting ‘er done and unafraid to buck the management which, in theory, works for the elected supervisors.

Fort Bragg City Council: Lindy Peters, Ruben Alcala, Tess Albin-Smith, Bobby Burns, Jessica Morsell-Haye, Mary Rose Kaczorowkski, (Three seats up) Incumbents Cimolino and Turner are not running. We like Alcala,  Albin-Smith and Lindy.

Point Arena City Council: Incumbent Barbara Burkey is the only candidate running for two seats. We think she can easily fill both of them for a town that seems to exist solely to fund a couple of expensive part-time managers.

Ukiah City Council: Jim Brown and Maureen Mulheren (incumbents) with Chon Travis, Ed Haynes, Matt Froneberger and Juan Orozco running for three seats. Incumbent Kevin Doble is not running.

Travis is certainly the most exciting council candidate in some time but, having been busted by the Ukiah PD for meth possession in 2011 (which he claimed was planted on him), excitement isn't enough to doggedly sort out the business of running Ukiah. Haynes and Orozco for sure; Haynes especially will be an asset for good government on a weak and fiscally irresponsible council, second in general dereliction only to the County Board of Supervisors. Orozco is the only candidate for Prop 10 (rent control) while Brown and Mulheren opposed it as interference with private property, but had no prob giving CostCo about $6 million in infrastructure freebies. Mr. O has also argued for sensible garbage rates for one-can pick-ups who shouldn’t pay the same high rates as Ukiahans who generate much more detritus. Ukiah is not a wealthy community. Orozco would be a voice for citizens currently not represented.

Willits City Council: Incumbent Larry Stranske, Greta Kanne and Jeremy Hershman are running for two seats. Incumbent Ron Orenstein is not running. We support Kanne based on input from people we consider grounded. Stranske definitely deserves re-election. Willits’ city government seems to cook along competently enough given the dearth of complaints about it.

Coast Hospital Board: Incumbent Kevin Miller, John Redding, Jade Tippett, Amy Beth McColley, and Jessica Grindberg are running for 3 long term seats (Incumbents Kitty Bruning, and Peter Glusker are not running). Also, Karen Arnold and Rex Gressett are running for incumbent Tom Birdsell’s short term seat (appointed incumbent).

People we trust, including Dr. Glusker who is retiring from the board, recommend Arnold, Redding and Grinberg. No, we don’t care if Redding’s a Catholic and generally conservative. We're of course partial to our ace Coast Correspondent, R. Gressett, but want him to focus on his journalo-responsibilities.

Coast Parks & Rec: Bob Bushansky (incumbent) is the only candidate running for three seats. He’s the guy who says Mendo Public Radio’s opaque budget is not only perfectly balanced, it’s perfectly understandable. Which it isn’t. Bushansky, natch, is the KZYX board’s treasurer. He’s probably just right for Parks & Rec.

County School Board: Incumbents Don Cruser and Mary Misseldine, plus Tarney Sheldon are running for three seats. Incumbent Camille Schraeder is not running.

Fait accompli. The three candidates are the winners of this cozy little paid sinecure that oversees an invisible agency. We only hope the County School Board will not join the gutless wonders already working to undermine newly elected superintendent, Michelle Hutchins. She ought to at least be given a chance to do the job without fending off ghosts, especially in the context of MCOE, an entity presided over by howling incompetents for many years.

Mendo College Board, 3 seats up. Incumbents Ed Haynes and Janet Chaniot are not running. Ed Nickerman, Camille Schraeder, Donald Burgess, Patrick Webb, Giny Chandler, Xochilt Martinez, John Pegan, Larry Lang and Jerry Eaton are running for three seats. We thought Nickerman was dead, an assumption which is a measure of the college's invisibility, and we have no idea of the issues involved here, if any. Also: Robert Pinoli Jr., incumbent is running against William Daniel for one short-term seat. Pinoli is an Anderson Valley homeboy so we’ve got to go with him, but William “Bill” Daniels, unlike the other candidates, has posted campaign signs, meaning he really wants the job. We hope to find out why. Nickerman for sure, while the ubiquitous Schraeder, we should think, would do well to concentrate on running her privatized County mental health system, presently dysfunctional under her management.

A READER NOTES re candidate Lang: “This guy was the theater tech staff person, one of the highest paid classified positions at the college. He was an inch away from impossible to work with and finally after years of complaints from outside and inside the institution, he was fired. He then got his union to help him sue the college, a move that cost tax payers lots of moola. And eventually, he won a settlement. This is not a surprising event at the college, it was the way the well-paid higher-ups dealt with problematic employees. Instead of doing their job and conducting actual evaluations, the problematic person was paid off to just go away.”

Local Measures

Fort Bragg Measure H - Shall the measure to enact a three-eighths (3/8th) of a cent general purpose transactions and use tax to provide the City with an estimated $623,000 per year for a limited period of fifteen years be adopted? YES

Willits Measure I - To fund general municipal expenses such as police, fire, roads and recreation, shall the City of Willits tax cannabis (marijuana) businesses at annual rates not to exceed $10 per canopy square foot for cultivation (adjustable for inflation), 6% of gross receipts for retail cannabis businesses, and 4% for all other cannabis businesses; which is expected to generate an estimated $250,000 to $400,000 annually and will be levied until repealed by the voters or the City Council? YES.(About time the stoners coughed up.)

Statewide Ballot Measures

Proposition 1 — Authorizes Bonds to Fund Specified Housing Assistance Programs. Legislative Statute. YES. With many Americans now sleeping in their cars and on the streets, it’s past time for an effective federal housing programs of the New Deal type, but some money at the state level is better than no adequate money at all levels.

Proposition 2 — Authorizes Bonds to Fund Existing Housing Program for Individuals with Mental Illness. Legislative Statute. YES, although we desperately need to re-institute state hospitals. The pure numbers of people driven insane by our present social-political order need more than bandaids.

Proposition 3 — Authorizes Bonds to Fund Projects for Water Supply and Quality, Watershed, Fish, Wildlife, Water Conveyance, and Groundwater Sustainability and Storage. Initiative Statute. YES. Water quality and quantity is deteriorating faster than it can be intelligently managed, but Prop 3 is a step forward but its downside is cheap water for water-profligate corporate farms. This one contains the good and the bad.

Proposition 4 — Authorizes Bonds Funding Construction at Hospitals Providing Children’s Health Care. Initiative Statute. YES 

Proposition 5 — Changes Requirements for Certain Property Owners to Transfer their Property Tax Base to Replacement Property. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute. NO. Pedaled by the real estate industry under the guise of breaks for empty nesters left rattling around in big houses who, if 5 passes, get a tax break on a smaller place. The prob is while real estate sales would undoubtedly increase as people downsize, property tax incomes to local jurisdictions would fall, not that we’re happy with the management of our property taxes here in Mendocino County. This prop would do nothing to ease the housing shortage as its funders, the real estate combines, suggest.

Proposition 6 — Eliminates Certain Road Repair and Transportation Funding. Requires Certain Fuel Taxes and Vehicle Fees be Approved by The Electorate. Initiative Constitutional Amendment. NO. Not a good time to roll back the gas tax with infrastructure crumbling throughout the state.

Proposition 7 — Conforms California Daylight Saving Time to Federal Law. Allows Legislature to Change Daylight Saving Time Period. Legislative Statute. YES

Proposition 8 — Regulates Amounts Outpatient Kidney Dialysis Clinics Charge for Dialysis Treatment. Initiative Statute. YES. Years ago, I accompanied a friend to one of these blood-washing joints in Santa Rosa. My friend had been blackballed from several for complaining about conditions which, in the place I saw, were demonstrably poor. Syndicates of greedy doctors own these most lucrative businesses which, in the advanced countries of the world, are part of single-payer medical systems where they rightly belong. Imagine your kidneys owned by faceless collections of medical exploiters, and that’s what we presently have. Don't let them dump responsibility for their most expensive and/or troublesome patients onto emergency rooms. is.

Proposition 9 (On July 18, 2018, Proposition 9 was removed from the ballot by order of the California Supreme Court. It was the Divide California into thirds initiative.)

Proposition 10 — Expands Local Governments’ Authority to Enact Rent Control on Residential Property. Initiative Statute. YES. Doesn’t go nearly far enough and, in the spine-free political context of elected Mendo, unlikely to be initiated on the "progressive" Northcoast.

Proposition 11 — Requires Private-Sector Emergency Ambulance Employees to Remain On-Call During Work Breaks. Eliminates Certain Employer Liability. Initiative Statute. NO. Corporate-owned ambulance services are behind this one as a way to chisel free work out of first responders. From a paramedic in SF who works for American Medical Response, a giant company: “AMR was very much involved in writing the language of the proposition; employees do not trust AMR and have ongoing battles with them. They propose to no longer give breaks so employees can be available during entire shift, but that is already in place.  Employees don’t get breaks and they are fine with that.  I have seen this as in:  ambulance finishes with a patient (i.e., dropping them off at hospital) and ambulance stops at a deli to buy sandwiches, l person in rig, l in deli – a call comes in and they immediately leave to attend to it, leaving deli without their food.  Stores know this and usually put it aside in case they can return.  Not a big deal, it’s all part of being on call for entire shift. I mean, think about it, when you are on an ambulance shift, you HAVE to be available the entire time, that’s it. Supposedly this prop claims to give better mental health services to employees, but AMR is NOT trusted by its own employees. I believe this prop is another example of how propositions are written to elicit a certain vote, something we’re all familiar with.” And John Huff says, "Regardless of which way you vote on Prop 11, your ambulance service will not be affected locally… but Private ambulance companies in high call volume areas like City Ambulance in Eureka , AMR in the Bay Area and Sacramento, and Rural/Metro in Southern California have done a phenomenal job portraying their employees, the EMTs and Paramedics that come to your house when you call 911, as being greedy. A yes vote changes labor laws to allow private ambulance companies to legally not compensate employees for missed breaks the current labor laws guarantees.  A no vote keeps the current status where employees get an extra 1/2 hour of compensation for missed breaks during a shift. It’s not about taking a break and never has been, it’s about getting compensated for the missed breaks. Publicly funded EMS providers like fire departments, hospital based, and 3rd party service EMS providers already have language and policies to compensate their employees for missed breaks. Prop 11 is corporate, for-profit EMS, funded to the tune of $21 million in an effort to get out of already pending class action labor lawsuits. It’s a ploy to use legislation to get out of a lawsuit. AMR knows they’re going to lose."

Proposition 12 — Establishes New Standards for Confinement of Specified Farm Animals; Bans Sale of Noncomplying Products. Initiative Statute. YES. Seems common health sense to us unless you’re indifferent to the chicken on your plate spending its short life getting shot up with chemicals in a cage so small the thing can’t even turn around. And then you eat the thing.



  1. George Hollister October 20, 2018

    Hard to believe that this is the second time I have agreed with John Sakowicz, specifically his comments about human nature. I won’t be sanctimonious about it, or I’d be a hypocrite. But Mendocino County is ground zero, and those realities of human nature are on full display, everyday, in the AVA. (Hey, that rhymes.)

    • Harvey Reading October 20, 2018

      Hard to believe? From my reading of the comments and other written matter here (bits and bytes, perhaps?), during the time I have subscribed, I some time ago concluded that you two are, at heart, birds of a feather. The main differences are that he expresses himself more clearly, often in pleasing verse, and doesn’t make the mistake of writing down complete whoppers, whoppers, that when challenged, trap him inside boxes, out of which he tries mightily to extricate himself, never successfully.

      You just have a really fine day in Comptche, old boy. Y’all hear? Enjoy your McKinley fantasies, too.

  2. Jim Armstrong October 20, 2018

    New camera or new cameraperson for the Catch of the Day?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *