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Mendocino County Today: Monday, Nov. 19, 2018

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AFTER A LONG DELAY, widespread significant rainfall, perhaps up to several inches, will arrive Tuesday night on the Northcoast and periods of rain will continue through the end of the week. This rain will be mostly beneficial, but the threat of debris flows around new burn scars will be closely monitored as the event draws nearer. Cool temps and poor air quality will prevail until then.

(National Weather Service, Eureka)

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Wonder if Highway 128 will be closed from upcoming rain?

The "Sacred Cow" sandbar is firmly in place at the mouth of the Navarro River - and the long-range forecast today shows rain from Tuesday night through Friday. Which, of course, means the Navarro River water will rise and be blocked by the sandbar - which will flood Highway 128 just east of the Highway 1 bridge.

It was two years ago TODAY MSP posted:

"yes - Highway 128 is still closed @ 7:30 am Thursday, blockaded by Caltrans 68 hours & counting...

The Navarro River keeps rising as of 7:30 am and CalTrans still has CA-128 closed - it’s been shut down since Monday 11:13 am - 68 hours from our count. And there is no estimate for it to open. The river is at 4.15’ - 'flood level' is 23-feet - but thanks to the persistence of the sandbar, for the second time in recent memory, a section of highway just east of the Navarro Highway 1 bridge is underwater and motorists are left to their own resources to find a way around the blockade. There is no signage directing drivers to a detour and GPS devices are useless at the roadblock due to the lack of any cell/satellite coverage. Recent high tides and large surf seem to have added to the height of the sandbar. We think Caltrans is hoping the storm Friday will breach the sandbar - something that could be done with four guys with a shovel in about an hour."

Current Status Of River

A look at the upstream USGS Navarro River gauge Saturday @ 12:15 pm found the level at 1.25'. It had a discharge rate (the amount of water headed toward the sandbar) of 6.49 cubic feet of water per second - or 48 gallons per second, 2,880 gallons per minute, 172,800 gallons per hors.

NWS Long-Range Forecast Next Week

Tuesday: Mostly sunny, with highs mostly in the upper 50's.

Tuesday Night: Rain likely. Mostly cloudy, with lows mostly in the upper 40's.

Wednesday: Rain. Mostly cloudy, with highs mostly in the middle 50's.

Wednesday Night: Rain. Mostly cloudy, with lows mainly in the middle 40's.

Thanksgiving Day: Rain. Mostly cloudy, with highs mainly in the middle 50's.

Thursday Night: Rain. Mostly cloudy, with lows mostly in the upper 40's.

Friday: Rain. Mostly cloudy, with highs mainly in the middle 50's.

(Via msp)

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CAMP FIRE UPDATES (Monday morning)

151,000 acres, 66% containment. Confirmed fatalities has risen to 77. The numbers of structures damaged and destroyed have also swelled:

Single Residences Destroyed: 11,713
Multiple Residences Destroyed: 277
Commercial Destroyed: 472
Other Minor Structures Destroyed: 3,388

Single Residences Damaged: 380
Commercial Damaged: 96

"Fire activity ranged from minimal to moderate overnight throughout various areas of the fire perimeter as firefighters continued to strengthen and improve control lines. Crews will continue implementing containment lines, patrol for heat in the interior, and mitigate hazards in the fire area. Search & Rescue crews as well as the multiple California US&R resources will use their specialized human and canine skills to assist the Butte County Sheriff in the search for missing victims." (Calfire)

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ACCORDING to reliable sources, plural, 5th District supervisor Dan Hamburg has suffered a nervous breakdown, hence his absence at two successive meetings of the supervisors.

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TODAY (SUNDAY) is the 40th anniversary of the Jonestown mass murders. Mendocino County — specifically Redwood Valley — was Jones's capital accumulation site where he milked a series of barebones care homes, staffed by free labor from his church, to get the money to move to San Francisco and bigger things. Jones and his tiny congregation of Indianans were so broke when they got to Mendocino County, Jones himself took a teaching job at the Anderson Valley Elementary School for two years. Then, lickety-split, he was foreman of the Mendocino County Grand Jury (good luck finding a copy of that year's report, '75, I think) and ingratiating himself and his followers with everyone from the local libs to the John Birch Society.

I HAVE A CLEAR MEMORY of driving back from Sacramento the very day of Jonestown. My missus and I had gone to Sacto for a half-marathon foot race. (I raced while she bored.) On the way back to Boonville a radio bulletin said a woman named Sharon Linda Amos and several of her children had been found dead in a People's Temple clearinghouse in Georgetown, Guyana. The news bulletin said authorities feared a much larger tragedy at Jonestown in the wild Guyana interior was likely. I knew Amos and regarded her as a minor crackpot affiliated with some church in Redwood Valley that she was always going on about. A sad sack utterly without the slightest sense of irony who always wore an overcoat even in the summer months, Amos was responsible for a foster kid placed with me. The kid rightly ran up a tree whenever he saw her coming. I didn't have that option. She once told me about being invited to "Come on in" while the boy's father was in bed with a blow-up sex doll. I laughed. She looked askance.

KNOWING MS. AMOS a little I wasn't surprised that she killed herself. I was definitely surprised when I learned that she'd cut all her children's throats and then her own. No wonder the maniacal Jones put her in charge of screening visitors to his jungle paradise. Meanwhile, back in Mendo, everyone who'd been duped by the amphetamine-fueled psycho ran for cover. The city libs went silent. Jones' Mendo dupes at least had the pastoral excuse of rural bumpkin-ism. Jones had the Welfare Department riddled with his zomboids, which is how he got his congregation on various forms of public aid, and our very own Tim Stoen, Jones's consiglieri, was County Counsel.

BUT JONES, in San Francisco, seduced far more sophisticated personages than he ever encountered in the Mendocino County Courthouse, including Herb Caen where Jones's good works were regularly cited in Caen’s columns and Jones was described as "soft-spoken, modest, publicity shy." George Moscone and Harvey Milk attended Temple services. Governor Jerry Brown wanted to attend but a scheduling mix-up kept him away. Brown called to apologize and praised the good work Peoples Temple was doing. Willie Brown was a Jones partisan. Rosalind Carter. Name a Big Lib and there they were in the front pew.

IT'S EASY, cheap really, to doom the libs for getting sucked in by the glib psychopath. After all, Jones talked a good soft socialist game of the non-threatening type, unlike the fire breathing rads loose in the Bay Area at the time, and he always turned out his big church to get these people elected. (My late friend Warren Hinckle told me it was common knowledge among City cops that Jones was pimping his more attractive parishioners to City big shots.)

ALL THROUGH the 1970s lesser psychos roamed Mendocino County. It was that kind of place, that kind of unsettled time, for sure, and aberrant behavior prevailed among people you wouldn't now suspect as once having been all the way off the rails.

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On November 16th, 2018, at about 11:30 am, Mendocino County Sheriff's deputies were requested to respond to Hopland for the reported discovery of a suspected "credit card skimmer" (scanning device) inside a gas station pump. The deputy met with a Mendocino County Agriculture Department representative who had responded following a report regarding potential identify theft stemming from a purchase of gas from that specific gas station. The identify theft victim identified unauthorized charges to their credit card account following their use of the card at the gas station and suspected their credit card information and pin were stolen. The deputy along with the Mendocino County Agriculture Weights and Measures representative then proceeded to investigate all the gas pumps at the location. In total, five of eight pumps were identified as having the locking mechanisms defeated indicating someone had accessed the interior components of the gas pump. Only four gas pumps were identified with scanning devices. All four (4) scanning devices were removed and collected as evidence in this investigation. Based on the number of devices located at the first gas station a check of the other gas station in town was conducted. The completed inspection revealed three (3) additional scanning devices bringing the total number of scanning devices to seven (7). There are unconfirmed reports multiple victims have been affected by these devices. If you believe you are the victim of identity theft or fraud stemming from your purchase at a local gas station please contact your financial institution and local law enforcement agency to document the loss. Based on the location of the devices recovered they were not readily recognizable and would not be visible to the consumer during the transaction. However, consumers should always consider inspecting any credit or debit card machine for loose or cleaner than usual parts indicating someone has tampered with the device. Additionally, inspect locking mechanisms located on gas pump panels which contain the card reader and pin pad. Evidence of forced entry at the identified gas station pumps was present and readily apparent after closer inspection. Anyone with information concerning the unauthorized access and installation of the recovered credit card scanning devices from Hopland is asked to contact the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office tip-line at 707-234-2100

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Bought Gas In Hopland Lately? - 7 Credit Card Skimmers Found There!

If anyone has purchased fuel in Hopland lately, check your credit card for illegal charges, the S.O. found seven well concealed credit card skimmers in fuel pumps at more than one gas station in town. I was just passing through Hopland and almost bought fuel, so glad I didn't. Please remember to look closely at any credit card taking devices, fuel pumps and ATM's, for concealed credit card skimmers. If one does a search for "credit card skimmer warning signs" or some such, there are several websites that have photos of what you should look for. But some skimmers are so tiny now, they are nearly impossible to identify. Criminals are taking advantage of the confusion of people due to the wildfires, beware of other types of scams that will be popping up as well, not just credit card skimmers. Every disaster brings the dirt-balls out of the woodwork to scam innocents.

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Georgeanne Croskey, our lame duck Third District Supervisor, recently received a warm and costly sendoff from county taxpayers in the form of an all-expenses paid trip to Washington DC, where she learned lots of important cool stuff about running local government operations. Ms. Croskey will be able to share all this with her new friends and neighbors in Dayton, Ohio, where she long ago notified the county she’d be heading when her term ended, which is now.

Cost to citizens? A lot. Benefit to citizens? Zero, but who cares?

Tommy Wayne Kramer


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VISIBILITY Sunday morning on 101 from San Rafael to Petaluma was only about three car lengths from a combination of fog and smoke. Everyone was wayyyyy slowed down. Reminded me of an encounter years ago on the Ukiah Road where, returning from Ukiah about 11pm in a thick fog I drove around a bend in the road and there was a woman on foot walking in front of a car as guide dog for the man driving. The smog on 101 this morning was almost as thick.

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HED from Sunday's Ukiah Daily Journal: "Ukiah Planning Commission OKs Panda Express." Ukiah seems only a couple of franchises away from the full fast food monte. Dunkin' Donuts and Carl's Jr and we're there!

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MARBUT REDUX: The Santa Rosa City Council, according to the PD, is poised to fire Bob Aaronson, the City's police auditor. Aaronson's sin? He reported that the City’s homeless strategies have failed. Substitute Ukiah (and Mendocino County) for Santa Rosa and the same report could be applied here. Aaronson's “core observation,” was that “what we have done thus far to address the challenge of homelessness has not made an appreciable dent in the problem.” The Rose City's city council launched into full denial mode, and now Aaronson's job is imperiled.

SOME OF YOU will recall that our Mendo supervisors paid a fellow named Marbut $60,000 to suggest ways to address Mendo's homelessness. Which Marbut did, and a viable plan it was, too, but ever since ignored by the five bots who commissioned it. The Supes claim they already offer a "continuum of care" provided by in-house helping pros, meaning the undiminished numbers of lost souls we see shuffling up and down State Street are merely figments of our imaginations.

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WE'VE BEEN COMPLAINING about Glen Ricard's kindling pile at the south end of Boonville for many years, yowling on and on about how it was once home to six separate small businesses, including the fledgling Anderson Valley Health Center prior to its present incarnation as Taj Ma Medico. That once thriving little hive of mostly free enterprise at the corner of Haehl Street and 128 wound down and down and finally collapsed. Enter Ricard who, as I recall, bought the property from Fred Ottoboni. Ricard submitted a viable plan for a whole new structure with several apartments on a second floor, shop space below. And this is the part we didn't know, and I'm taking this opportunity to apologize to the old buzzard, er, Mendocino property investor. We didn't know that Planning and Building demanded that Ricard install an elevator to reach his proposed second floor! An elevator for a minor project in Boonville? How about an escalator for Philo? A helipad for the Navarro Store? A ski lift for Yorkville? And that was the end of Ricard's plans for a major improvement for SoBo, and the rambling, abandoned structure has lain a'mouldering ever since.

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THE CONSENSUS opinion here at Boonville's beloved weekly re the proposed water and sewage project is that we think it all depends on how much these services will cost individual property owners per month. Anything over $50 bucks for both is going to be a hard sell because rates over that will be onerous for many of us. The money in this community is up in the hills, not on the valley floor.

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On November 15, 2018 at about 8:23 PM Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to a domestic disturbance in the 1400 block of South State Street in Ukiah. Upon their arrival Deputies contacted a 29 year old adult female who had visible injures. Deputies learned Miguel Leon-Alvarado, 33, of Ukiah, was in an argument with the adult female (the pair had a romantic relationship) and another relative.

During the argument, Leon-Alvarado attempted to prevent the adult female from calling the police by reaching into her vehicle and grabbing her phone. A struggle ensued and the adult female was struck in the face causing a visible injury to her upper lip and nose. The fight continued and all the parties fell to the ground where the adult female sustained a visible injury to her left knee. Leon-Alvarado then left the location prior to law enforcement arriving. A Be-On-The-Look-Out (BOLO) was issued for Leon Alvarado. On 11-17-2018 Sheriff's Deputies located Leon-Alvarado in the 2100 block of South State Street in Ukiah. Leon-Alvarado was arrested for Domestic Violence Battery without incident and was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $15,000 bail.

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On 11-01-2018 at approximately 2:30 p.m., Mendocino County Sheriff Deputies received a call for service of a burglary to a residence in the 43000 block of Little River Airport Road in Little River. Deputies contacted the reporting person and learned that the suspect, Michele Williamson, 45, of Fort Bragg, removed her 87-year-old grandmother from an assisted living facility in Fort Bragg on 10-29-2018.

Williamson then drove her grandmother to the grandmother's unoccupied residence in the 43000 block of Little River Airport Road at the apparent request of the grandmother. Williamson did not have access nor was Williamson permitted to be on the property. After arriving, Williamson forced entry inside the residence and stole numerous items of jewelry having an approximate estimated value of $20,000. The grandmother was said to have a diminished mental capacity and was not able to care for herself. The grandmother required medical assistance sometime shortly after arriving at the residence and was transported by ambulance to the Mendocino Coast District Hospital. On 11-02-2018 at approximately 11:35 a.m., Deputies contacted Williamson in the 700 block of South Franklin Street in Fort Bragg. During that contact, Deputies learned where the stolen property was being concealed. Deputies later responded to and recovered the majority of the stolen property at a residence in the 23600 block of North Highway 1 in Fort Bragg. Williamson was ultimately arrested for Grand Theft from Building, Theft from Elder by Caretaker and Possession of Stolen Property and transported to the Mendocino County Jail where she was booked to be held in lieu of $25,000 bail.

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LITTLE DOG SAYS, “Still no air filter on my Ig. ‘Tough it out, LD.’ That's all I get from these people. Worse, they say stuff like, ‘You hear Skrag and Alice complaining about smoke?’ Comparing me to total non-contributors is the final insult!”

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by Jim Shields

Let’s see, the state Elections Office has 4.5 million ballots still to count, while Mendocino County has 16,000 to tally. Which elections office do you think will finish first?

If the past is any indication of what to expect now, then Mendocino County residents will most likely learn local results well after state tallies are finalized. The reason for slo-mo ballot counting in our county is primarily due to the Elections Office not hiring extra help to do the job. That was one of the findings of an investigative report by the Ukiah Daily Journal following the November 2016 election.

Yet as simple as the solution to this long-standing problem is, it has yet to be implemented. The unanswered question is, Why?

Anyway, according to a statement issued by Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder Susan Ranochak, “as with every other election, there are ballots left to be processed as part of the official canvass. Mendocino County has 16,730 Vote By Mail ballots to process, and 1,011 Provisional ballots to review and process. Of the outstanding ballots left to count: the 3rd Supervisor District has 3,288; and the 5th Supervisor District has 3,210 ballots to process and count. The City of Ukiah has 2,900; The City of Willits has 776; and the City of Fort Bragg has 1,300 ballots left to process and count. Per State law, we have 30 days to complete the canvass. The Statement of Vote, which breaks down results by precinct, will be available at that time.”

The actual election day results had 15,819 votes cast and counted. So there are now nearly an additional 18,000 votes to be processed. That leaves a number of races undecided at this juncture, including the 3rd District Supervisor election where John Haschak has a 346-vote lead over John Pinches.

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As I write this the death count in the Butte County Camp Fire stands at 64 but is climbing.

Just 24 hours after the conflagration started, heavy smoke had already drifted to the North Coast and Bay Area.

After its fourth day it was declared to be the most destructive in state history.

In a break with its past practice, Pacific Gas & Electric Co. informed state officials one of its power lines in Butte County failed at about the time the fire erupted in hills around the small town of Pulga.

The PG&E self-report to the California Public Utilities Commission stated that a 115-kilovolt line fell on Pulga Road in Butte County, on Thursday, Nov. 8; at about 6:15 a.m Cal Fire had already determined that Pulga Road was the Camp Fire ignition point.

So while the cause of the fire appears to be known at this time, other factors and consequences are not so precise.

For example, a new law will allow PG&E and other utilities to recover an unknown amount of liability costs from wildfires because utilities could issue so-called “rate recovery bonds” that PG&E’s customers would be responsible for repaying through a “wildfire surcharge” on their monthly bills. Keep in mind that nobody will know how much the surcharge is until the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) determines just how much liability will be charged to the state’s electrical utilities. There’s a complex process that includes something called a “bankruptcy stress test,” to determine if a utility’s liability crosses the bankruptcy threshhold, if so, any costs beyond that theoretical point would be passed on to ratepayers. Also the term length of the bonds will affect the amount of the surcharge.

Another issue to be considered is that of home owner property insurance.

According to both state and insurance industry estimates, the Camp Fire in Northern California and the Woolsey Fire in suburban Los Angeles, are expected to cost the state, insurers and homeowners over $19 billion.

According to the insurance credit rating agency A.M. Best, insurance companies in California lost nearly $16 billion last year, four times their losses in 2016.

Fire insurance was already an issue in California before the most recent blazes started. Premiums are already rising for homeowners in areas of high risk of wildfires, and some companies are refusing to renew policies for people in these areas. This practice is known as red-lining.

Almost half of California has an elevated risk for fires, with 15.5 million people living in critical areas according to the U.S. Climate Prediction.

Recently, Moneywatch reported that, “California’s most vulnerable homes aren’t located in cities. Instead, they’re found in areas defined as ‘wildlife-urban interface’” – built just close enough to woodlands so that a spark from a tree can set a whole town on fire. A report from State Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones’ office shows that 25 percent of housing is in ‘high or very high risk’ areas in almost half of the state’s counties. ‘You can see why wildfires are now an everyday threat to life and property for Californians,’ Jones said in a statement. And insurers see it too, Jones said. By using sophisticated computer models that include climate projections to determine if some areas of the state are at too high a risk, insurers can then decline to write, or renew policies there, according to Jones. They may also write policies without fire coverage …”

Clearly there’s a problem and it appears to be growing with each of these massive, historically destructive wildfires. The people of California have already been told they will be footing the bill on bailing out electrical utilities that have caused most of these fires.

Now insurance companies are gouging and/or denying many of these same folks from obtaining insurance coverage for losses of homes and property due to wildfires. Isn’t it time that somebody bails out these people?

(Jim Shields is the Mendocino County Observer’s editor and publisher, and is also the long-time district manager of the Laytonville County Water District. Listen to his radio program “This and That” every Saturday at 12 noon on KPFN 105.1 FM, also streamed live:

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CATCH OF THE DAY, November 18, 2018

Demuri, Cornejo, Hernandez, Idarius

GIOVANNI DEMURI, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.

JOSE CORNEJO, Ukiah. Burglary, probation revocation.

ARON HERNANDEZ, Little River. Burglary, vandalism, controlled substance, failure to appear.

BODHI IDARIUS, Talmage. Domestic abuse, protective order violation, damaging power/communications lines.

Leon-Alvarado, Mather, Nelson-Dean, Orozco

MIGUEL LEON-ALVARADO. Ukiah. Domestic abuse.

SCOTT MATHER, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

JOSHUA NELSON-DEAN, Ukiah. Parole violation.

BRANDON OROZCO, Upper Lake/Ukiah. Probation revocation.

Paton-Thompson, Perdue, Retzloff

ETHAN PATON-THOMPSON, Canyon/Ukiah. DUI-drugs&alcohol.

JOEANN PERDUE, Ukiah. Domestic battery.

WILLIAM RETZLOFF, Redwood Valley. Probation revocation.

Shields, Simpson, Stanton

JOHNNY SHIELDS, Ukiah. Controlled substance, failure to appear, probation revocation.

DAVID SIMPSON, Ukiah. Failure to appear.

KELLY STANTON, Ukiah. Concealed dirk-dagger, disobeying court order, probation revocation.

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AT LAST, A DEMOCRAT: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted Sunday, "Amazon is a billion-dollar company. The idea that it will receive hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks at a time when our subway is crumbling and our communities need MORE investment, not less, is extremely concerning to residents here."

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Hope all is well with America's Last Newspaper and her ever-vigilant, courageous, incisive, loyal, and ingenious crew. I'll mail a check for the Two Bits tomorrow, Monday, gladly for the on-line sub. And what a deal. Thanks, again, AVA, for the decades of faithful community service and participation, under some of Humans' History's most bizarre circumstances. We're so grateful to still be able to take Readers' parts, and benefit from the info and humor in the little Newspaper that Can, and Does. America's alleged Founding Fathers — however horrific their personal Elitism — began our Supreme Law with the three little words, "We, the People...," about as all-inclusive as it gets, so far, in the Self-Evident Rights Department. The Constitution goes on, after stating the Sole Lawful Authority of People in those first three words, to anticipate some of the means and mechanisms to secure those Rights and meet those Rights' self-evident Obligations… like the little 9th Amendment. And like freely outspoken newspapers with a full set of facts and American Revolutionary teeth, and not at all bashful about using 'em. Where pens like yours hold forth is where the swords fail; maybe not every time, but whenever Piracy in High Places — or asleep behind the door in the Mayor's Office — is thwarted, there's always a little cadre of deliberate Journalists right in there, down in the gravel, the whole time. What's the main reason ANYONE in North America can still successfully Read Between the Lies? Unlikely little miracles here and there, like you guys. Cheers!

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Coy Brown’s letter in the PD recently regarding undergrounding power lines really resonated with me (“Putting wires underground,” Wednesday). He cites many good reasons to underground power lines. It is my impression that if a fair feasibility study were done, in the long term, undergrounding would be highly justified. In the short term, probably not. That seems to be an inherent problem with many decisions. No long view. Quarterly profits are so often the main drivers.

I, too, am a firefighter of over 23 years, and I also am a landscape architect, so I am quite aware of not only the significant hazards overhead power lines pose but also the visual blight they create. Many years ago, I lead a field trip to Highway 12 in the Valley of the Moon with a number of Japanese transportation officials who were interested in California’s scenic highway program. The first thing they noticed was the power lines and poles. They couldn’t understand why they weren’t underground.

An objective feasibility study for undergrounding power lines, especially in high-risk areas, would probably recommend undergrounding even on a financial basis (taking the long view, that is).

Joe Lieber


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I DON’T THINK it’s a huge stretch to suggest that Donald Trump could only get elected in a country that thinks comic books are important.

— Bill Maher

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Unfortunately, even sending a top official to jail will not solve the deteriorating financial situation in the US from the Federal government down to recent college graduates burdened with huge amounts of student loan debt. To me, the Russia investigations and Hillary’s misdeeds are mere side shows to the growing national debt, growing unfunded government employee pension liabilities and inadequate savings for retirement by many older Americans. I have never been the US Holocaust Museum in DC but I have read enough books and watched enough movies and documentaries to know that when conditions for average Americans deteriorate sufficiently, they will be looking for a strong man to fix things.

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New York’s Democratic kingpins Andrew Cuomo and Bill de Blasio are getting hit from right, left and center for showering Amazon with some $3 billion in subsidies. The corporate welfare is even more outrageous when juxtaposed with New York City’s dilapidated public housing that the Governor and mayor have long neglected.

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Re “Delay, Deny, Deflect: How Facebook Leaders Leaned Out in Crisis” (New York Times, front page, Nov. 15):

Perhaps we should add “Destroy” to the alliteration. Did we expect a generation of younger corporate owners and investors, having made their money so large and fast, to somehow live up to the values expressed in their TED Talking enthusiasms?

For all their world-changing identification, they are reproducing the social destruction so perfected by their corporate elders — that is, to brand themselves as do-gooders while working feverishly to prevent policy changes that would restrict, in any way, their ability to mine profits from ventures that are in direct conflict with their acclaimed values.

As long as corporate culture embraces growth through profit as the ultimate criterion for success, and our politicians take a share of the winnings as the price of their support, we will continue down this slide.

Facebook, Google, Amazon — they are merely the most recent players in the big Monopoly game that is our financial culture, and I thank the journalists who have been tracking their double-dealing. At least we know who the players are in the game of destruction.

Liane Collins

San Francisco

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TRUMP’S A BUFFOON, but what’s the corporate media’s excuse? In its non-stop coverage of the California wildfires, the national news networks have mentioned climate change in less than 4 percent of the total coverage. — Jeffrey St. Clair

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(Click to enlarge)

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I guess we can relax now. The President has been to California. This is what he said in Butte County [This from the Chico Enterprise-Record. Chico, Butte County's biggest city, population around 100,000, is 14 miles from Paradise, about a 20-minute drive.]:

"Asked if the fire had changed his mind on climate change, Trump said: 'No, no,' Trump said. 'I have a strong opinion. I want a great climate. I think we’re going to have that and I think we’re going to have forests that are really safe.'”

Comforting, our President! I don't know what all the wailing is about.

Incidentally, today's Enterprise-Record puts the missing-person count at 1,011.

We spend more on armies & navies than the rest of the world put together. Since the very-rich need the constant income from this constant military spending (and isn't it also America's most lucrative export market?), maybe we should make our tanks and bombers dual-purpose so they can be used in fire-fighting and storm protection and repair as well as for destructive purposes. Our Defense-Department designers and engineers are damn clever with this sort of thing.

Below: Juanita and Wayne McLish relax after their Paradise, California home burns down. Fall colors are spectacular in Paradise.

(Mitch Clogg)

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"But in all the history of the world you, the people, have never had a voice in declaring war, and strange as it certainly appears, no war by any nation in any age has ever been declared by the people.”

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She came from Providence, the one in Rhode Island

Where the old world shadows hang, heavy in the air

She packed her hopes and dreams, like a refugee

Just as her father came, across the sea


She heard about a place, people were smilin'

They spoke about the red man's way, how they loved the land

And they came from everywhere, to the Great Divide

Seeking a place to stand, or a place to hide


Down in the crowded bars, out for a good time

Can't wait to tell you all, what it's like up there

And they called it paradise, I don't know why

Somebody laid the mountains low, while the town got high


Then the chilly winds blew down, across the desert

Through the canyons of the coast, to the Malibu

Where the pretty people play, hungry for power

To light their neon way, and give them things to do


Some rich men came and raped the land, nobody caught 'em

Put up a bunch of ugly boxes, and Jesus people bought 'em

And they called it paradise, the place to be

They watched the hazy sun, sinking in the sea


You can leave it all behind, and sail to Lahaina

Just like the missionaries did, so many years ago

They even brought a neon sign, "Jesus is coming"

Brought the white man's burden down, brought the white man's reign


Who will provide the grand design? what is yours and what is mine?

'Cause there is no more new frontier, we have got to make it here

We satisfy our endless needs, and justify our bloody deeds

In the name of destiny, and in the name of God


And you can see them there, on Sunday morning

Stand up and sing about, what it's like up there

They call it paradise, I don't know why

You call some place paradise, kiss it goodbye

—Don Henley

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How many times have I said before about the dangers in our midst created by the environmentalists and the lack of support for people who know better about fire protection? No more grazing of livestock. Roads abandoned. The Forest Service abandoned roads and you can't drive on them anymore. Locked gates. How do they expect people who can't move to fight fires? How do they expect people to realize they need fire protection when the god damn environmentalists shut everything down? It's a shame! People don’t understand what these bastards are doing to this country!

California voters voted down the gas repeal tax! How dumb was that? How stupid can people be!

Now we have Gavin Newsom — eight more years of Jerry Brown. I hope you people love it. I hope you suffer and sweat and scream and moan. You’ve got Newsom for eight more years. I'm happy because he's our governor and you people are going to get what you deserve.

God bless Donald Trump.

Jerry Philbrick


PS. I can't imagine the sorrow of the people who have lost all their homes and loved ones. Imagine the tragedy of losing everything you've got and you are sixty or seventy years old and have nothing to live for. Imagine all the animals that died. Maybe a few more of the cities where the idiots in Southern California live need to burn so they’ll realize how to vote for competent people to run this country.

PPS. A bunch of liberal know-it-alls have moved up here from the Bay Area. They buy a piece of property, lock it up, no livestock, let grass and brush grow up to the door or the house wall while they squeeze toe-jam out from between their toes, smoke marijuana, thinking how great it is to be free — you wait and see what happens in the next few years or sooner. If a fire ever started near Philo or Navarro with a brisk wind blowing Anderson Valley would be a big pile of ashes. If people around here don't get wise to the fact that they are sitting on a time bomb, then let it happen. I'm sorry for them. And I'm sorry for the locals who have to put up with all these idiots — and I mean flaming dogshit crazy idiots! -- who come up from the Bay Area, including the wine people! Including the vineyards!

* * *

* * *


I have asked everyone to pray to God so that I receive adequate social living circumstances in Washington, D.C., which would allow me to continue being active on the peace & justice and radical environmental frontlines. I have given up on networking to get a situation in Washington, D.C. because it just doesn't happen, no matter what. Therefore, I am spending all of my time in Hawaii right now watching the mind. I am spending all of my time watching thoughts. I don't want to be attached to the miserable spectacle which postmodern America has become. I am biding my time in Hawaii, and am willing to leave here if I receive solidarity. At the moment, I am receiving nothing, in spite of having been to Washington, D.C. 14 times since performing service work there in July of 1991 with Catholic Worker. It is incomprehensible to me that I am not being valued, having as I do, a significant record for activism and also creatively writing about it. Again, I don't fully know what the hell is the matter with postmodern America. I think that my entire situation is weirder than fuck, and I am only interested in not being attached to any of it. Maybe I figured something out at last! What do you think?

Craig Louis Stehr




  1. Craig Stehr November 19, 2018

    ADDENDUM: Please know that I have received several replies from the Washington, D.C. region on Sunday. I’m not kidding, they all agree with me, that it is a failure on the part of the D.C. political left wing scene that solidarity is scarce, and also, several longtime radicals have agreed to pray that this changes! I didn’t actually believe that anyone would do that. However, if God sets me up with a living base, I will leave Hawaii for the Washington, D.C. peace & justice and eco-radical frontlines. I guess we’ll see what’s up around the next bend in the road shortly. Meanwhile, I change rooms today at the Plumeria alternative hostel. Purchased a folding table for the room, which will accommodate a literary surge. Stay tuned. Consider this a win-win situation. ;-)

    • Mike November 19, 2018

      The activism dynamic seems strong only on one big front at the moment, the Resistance to Trump which consists of a range of sane folks from traditional conservatives, moderates, liberals.

      Aside from that, we have the lone wolf dynamic dominant today. A young man from Ohio, for example, tried to revive the former and successful Operation Right to Know and even though loads of folks are jazzed by the subject matter addressed by that op, no one seems willing to network with him on that despite strong public support from us old leaders of that. (And, also despite the fact the NY Times over the last year and a half has published this old stock photo of one of our demonstrations several times, when publishing on their new interest re: ufos.)

      What I have noticed is activism happening from lone wolf platforms on you tube and blogs.

      I may register next spring as a lobbyist focusing on educational briefings but I will need at least 2 or 3 others to help with conducting my survey. I don’t really expect that help to manifest.

      Instead I now expect some big shocks to our system with hard lessons learned as the outcome.

      That will be a fruitful time for sharing the vividly refreshing joy of sahaj samadhi. A spontaneously arising activism will also surface when we become acutely aware again of the feature of existence the Buddha called “dependent origination”.

      • Craig Stehr November 19, 2018

        Excellent response! Thank you very much. ;-)

      • james marmon November 19, 2018

        Mike, you need to watch Fox News or read the Wall Street Journal because only there you will learn about all the good things God Emperor Trump is doing. Even the “Never Trumper” George Hollister is impressed but he will never admit it.

        James Marmon MSW
        Personal Growth Consultant

        ‘don’t just go through it, grow through it’

        • james marmon November 19, 2018

          Mr. Hollister is probably going to hate Trump more than ever when Trump makes him get rid of all the dead trees on his timberland and then rake all of it. Back in the good ole days we used to use brush rakes attached to our caterpillar blades to clean up around healthy standing trees. Everything was pushed up into piles and then burned off the following winter, smart forest management.

          James Marmon (aka Jim Woolley)
          Woolley Logging
          Ukiah, Ca.

          • james marmon November 19, 2018

            ‘Make America Rake Again’

          • Andy Caffrey November 19, 2018

            Right, Jim. And now we have global warming and collapsing ice sheets from that burning of forests and devastation to our forestland carbon sinks.

            • james marmon November 19, 2018

              Gov. Jerry Brown Quietly Admits Trump Was Right, Eases California Logging Rules

              5 hours ago

              “California Gov. Jerry Brown appears to have quietly admitted President Donald Trump’s suggestion about improving California forestry was correct and is now urging state lawmakers to loosen restrictive logging regulations put in place to appease environmentalists.”

              “Gov. Jerry Brown is proposing broad new changes to California’s logging rules that would allow landowners to cut larger trees and build temporary roads without obtaining a permit as a way to thin more forests across the state,”

              “This is a big change from two weeks ago, when Gov. Jerry Brown balked at President Donald Trump’s suggestion that poor forestry and poor forest management might be to blame for the massive wildfires that ripped through northern and southern California earlier this month, claiming dozens of lives and tens of thousands of acres.”


          • George Hollister November 19, 2018

            The problem I have had with bulldozing and brush raking is it encourages blue blossom, and it moves dirt. High impact. If there is French broom seed present in the soil, it makes that much worse. While using the blade has it’s place, it can be problematic as well. Rotting and burning do basically the same thing, they both oxidize the wood. I use the rotting method, mostly. This increases soil moisture capacity, and productivity, and can discourage brush growth. Fire risk must be addressed with what I do, but it must be dealt with when you use the blade as well. Regardless of what is done, high fire risk conditions will develop. Periodic, sometimes annual, landscape management is required to decrease fire risk.

            High fire risk is associated with fine fuels, not heavy fuels. Fine fuels are grass and brush, not whole trees, or snags. Trump opened his mouth about something he knows nothing about, which he does almost daily. We wrongly call this lying. Jerry Brown is no better by blaming “climate change” for the results of people living in the middle of a landscape that’s like gasoline.

          • George Hollister November 19, 2018

            Where I am, there are better ways to deal with slash piles than burning. Slash piles don’t necessarily pose a fire risk either. If you have ever tried to burn a pile that has laid around through a winter, you know what I mean. They get wet and stay wet. If these piles are placed on the North side of a redwood clump, where they will be in the shade, they stay even wetter. The moisture in these North side of a redwood clump piles, then provides an opportunity for redwood roots to move in and take advantage of the water. As the pile rots, the roots move into the pile. When an area is logged again, there is an opportunity to add more slash to the pile to replace what has rotted away. Works good. I have seen areas completely transformed with the proper placement of rotting slash. I call them rot piles, and the slash a resource. Adding urea can help, too. Avoid burning, unless absolutely necessary.

            These rot piles also serve as habitat for critters, almost the same as with rotting logs, or “heavy woody debris”. So if one were to dig into these rot piles there would be found insects, arachnids, rodents, reptiles, and amphibians. Everything I have ever found in a rotting redwood log, I have found in these rot piles.

            • james marmon November 19, 2018

              true, we’ve done it both ways, burn piles or slash piles, both work.

  2. michael turner November 19, 2018

    When did Georgeanne Croskey go on her pricey junket? She served only eight months. Was appointed back around May, announced she was selling her vet practice and wouldn’t run for reelection in August. Yet somehow managed to squeeze that in to her busy schedule.

  3. Jim Armstrong November 19, 2018

    “HED from Sunday’s Ukiah Daily Journal: “Ukiah Planning Commission OKs Panda Express.” Ukiah seems only a couple of franchises away from the full fast food monte. Dunkin’ Donuts and Carl’s Jr and we’re there!”

    Where ever could we put a Carl’s Jr. in Ukiah?

    • Mark Scaramella November 19, 2018

      We could privatize the lunch cafeteria at the Admin Center — if the roof doesn’t leak.

  4. james marmon November 19, 2018

    According to a Reason Foundation study, another flaw in forest management is a systematic reduction in timber removal. This began in 1990 when the spotted owl was listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. In response, the Forest Service placed restrictions on timber harvests. Additionally, President Bill Clinton introduced a rule that restricted the construction of new roads on 49 million acres of national forest. This limited the ability of the Forest Service from thinning trees. In 1993, 1,797,574 acres of wildlands burned, but in 2017 this number jumped to 10,026,086 acres.

    When trees are too close together, they fight for resources. Many of the trees are weakened and become more susceptible to disease and insect infestation. These conditions turn entire forests into tinder boxes. A 2017 report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) states that 129 million trees have died in California’s forests since 2010. The USDA report agrees with Trump — California’s forests suffer from neglect and mismanagement.

    James Marmon (aka Jim Woolley)

  5. james marmon November 19, 2018


    He should contact me, I could help him. Camille Schraeder may lock him up forever if he is on her bad side. Just ask Tom Woodhouse.

    James Marmon MSW
    Former Mental Health Specialist
    Sacramento, Placer, and Lake Counties

    • james marmon November 19, 2018

      Tom made the mistake of asking about the privatized mental health spending, he should have never gone down that rabbit hole. Good thing his wife stepped up in court and became his conservator, that saved him from having to spend the rest of his life in the booby hatch.

      Where’s the money Camille?

      James Marmon MSW

      • Lazarus November 19, 2018

        I’m sure your readers would awkwardly welcome more details on this troublesome event. The comparison is equally troubling considering the circumstances of that similar situation.
        As always,

        • james marmon November 19, 2018

          In wake of conservatorship hearing, some clarity on Woodhouse absence

          “WILLITS, 11/23/16 — As of today, Wednesday Nov. 23, there has been no word from the family of Mendocino County Third District Supervisor Tom Woodhouse, or his lawyer, concerning his status on the board. On Friday morning, Nov. 18, Woodhouse was placed in conservatorship, and his wife, Carlyn Woodhouse, was appointed as conservator.”

          If she had not stepped up “Lying Bryan Lowery” would have been appointed his conservator. a close friend, and former co-worker (trinity) employee of Camille Schraeder (RCS).

          Mendo’s Mental Health Blues

          “Supervisor Tom Woodhouse also seems to be mildly skeptical about the existing contracts, and Supervisors Hamburg and Brown, based on the above exchange, are clearly in agreement that the contracts should go out to bid again.”

        • George Hollister November 19, 2018

          My guess is, only a guess. well intentioned attempts to put a round peg in a square hole. Dan fortunately in retiring soon. Good luck buddy.

        • Mike November 20, 2018

          Without knowing what is going on, I wouldn’t take this leap with James in imagining some sort of conspiracy or comparative to Tom Woodhouse case.

          Dan made alot of big decisions, like divorcing Lauren, selling his property here with children still tied to the land, etc. and without me injecting judgement into all that I will just say all that seems like stressful stuff altogether.

          All I know is that there are folks who are concerned they dont know where he is or how he is doing.

          So, hopefully someone can give us some info, hopefully suggestive of recovery.

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