MCT: Saturday, January 5, 2019

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A STRONG WEATHER SYSTEM will bring rain, mountain snow, and gusty winds to the area today. Additional systems are forecast to impact the region through the middle of next week. (National Weather Service)

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CHARGES AGAINST COAST HOSPITAL/CEO PILE UP

by Malcolm Macdonald

On January 3rd Mendocino Coast Hospital held a special board of directors meeting. The agenda for the meeting appeared straight forward: a short open session to gather public input followed by a closed session regarding a lawsuit filed against the hospital and some of its key, past and present, administrators.

Any number of citizens received the agenda notice regarding this meeting via email. However, during the open session, new board member Amy McColley alleged that Chief Executive Officer Bob Edwards deliberately kept her in the dark about the meeting.

After the meeting McColley stated that she only found out about the meeting because she happened to see a fellow board member while shopping. In the open session, Edwards seemed to hem and haw after McColley's statement. He uttered something about a Brown Act violation.

In further communication on January 4th, McColley said she found out about the meeting on December 28th. She went on to state, “However, it was scheduled and communicated with the BODs [other members of the Board of Directors] on 12/18. I was never polled on my availability and Bob’s intention was always to exclude me from this [meeting].

“I called BBK [the hospital's law firm] attorney on 12/28 and finally was told at [1 p.m. on January 3rd] to go to the meeting. No one wanted to acknowledge Bob’s egregious behavior.

“I was sworn in on 12/26 and Gayl [Bob Edwards' administrative assistant] asked me in front of Bob if I was coming up for the meeting on 1/3. He corrected Gayl, [saying] 1/10. Next day, 12/27, Karen [fellow board member Karen Arnold] asked me if I was coming to the 1/3 meeting… I met with Bob on 12/28. He didn’t know how to handle the 'special circumstance' and he thought not inviting me was best.”

Edwards made no attempt to deny the gist of McColley's allegation that he (Edwards) had deliberately failed to notice her about the board meeting. Edwards' motivation seems to lie in the fact that McColley was a long time employee of the hospital who resigned her position at or near the time that a disagreement between then Chief Human Resources Officer Ellen Hardin and hospital administration reached a boiling point. McColley went on to work for hospitals in the Bay Area awhile before returning to Fort Bragg.

During the twenty minute public session at the January 3rd meeting, McColley also called for a performance review of Edwards on the board's next regular meeting agenda. Fellow incoming board member John Redding appeared to second this desire. Current board President Steve Lund indicated that such a matter was already scheduled for the January 10th meeting. Such a matter would be noticed to the public, but held in closed session, with a report out afterward.

After more discussion regarding the timing of agenda noticing for board members and some mild blustering from Edwards about his rights being violated, the hospital board moved to closed session to discuss the case of Hardin v. Mendocino Coast District Hospital, Bob Edwards, Wade Sturgeon, and Steve Lund. The case was filed in federal court during September of 2017. The plaintiff, Ellen Hardin, was the Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) at Mendocino Coast Hospital (MCDH) until early 2017 (the exact date may be in dispute). Wade Sturgeon was the former Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the hospital (until autumn, 2017). Edwards is still MCDH's Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Steve Lund has been the President of the MCDH Board of Directors since late 2016.

Hardin's lawsuit alleged fourteen causes of action against the defendants. The allegations are: (1) violations of California Labor Code sections 98.6 and 1102.5; (2) violation of the California False Claims Act, Cal. Gov’t Code §12653; (3) violation of the federal False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. §3170; (4) violation of the right to free speech under the First Amendment, cognizable through 42 U.S.C. §1983; (5) discrimination based on age and gender, Cal. Gov’t Code §12940(a); (6) associational discrimination, Cal. Gov’t Code §§12940(a), 12926(o); (7) harassment/hostile work environment, Cal. Gov’t Code §12940(j); (8) retaliation (Cal. Gov’t Code §12940(h); (9) failure to prevent harassment, discrimination, and retaliation, Cal. Gov’t Code §12940(k); (10) intentional infliction of emotional distress; (11) negligent infliction of emotional distress; (12) negligent hiring, supervision, and retention; (13) defamation; and (14) a claim under the Private Attorneys General Act, Cal. Labor Code §§2699.et seq.

The fourth, tenth, eleventh, and thirteenth causes of action were asserted against all of the defendants. The seventh was asserted against all Defendants except Lund. All other causes of action were brought only against MCDH.

In court documents released in June, Judge Jon Tigar of the Northern District of California ruled on the defendants' motion to dismiss eight of the causes of action, the second, third, fourth, seventh, tenth, eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth. That motion was granted in part and denied in part.

The motion was granted, with leave to amend for Ms. Hardin, as to the fourth cause of action for violation of the First Amendment as it related to speech on alleged FEHA (Fair Employment Housing Act) violations; the seventh cause of action for violation of California Government Code section 12940(j); the tenth cause of action for intentional infliction of emotional distress, dismissed for Defendants Lund and Sturgeon only; the eleventh cause of action for negligent infliction of emotional distress; the twelfth cause of action for negligent supervision, hiring, and retention; and the thirteenth cause of action for defamation, as to Defendants Lund and Sturgeon only. The Defendants' (MCDH and its then key administrative figures) motion was denied in all other respects.

Judge Tigar denied the defendants' motion to dismiss the causes of action relating to both federal and state false claims law. The core of these two causes revolves around Hardin's allegation that she complained to Edwards about possible Medicare fraud and that she was retaliated against because of raising such questions.

Relating to the intentional infliction of emotional distress, the judge denied Mr. Edwards' attempt to dismiss. Hardin was also allowed a chance to amend her claim of negligent infliction of emotional distress. The defamation allegations were dismissed against Lund and Sturgeon, but would continue against CEO Edwards. In every cause that Defendants won a dismissal, Plaintiff (Ms. Hardin) was granted a chance to amend the allegation. That meant that some or all of the original allegations might eventually be reinstated.

Since that June ruling, Hardin's attorney did amend the dismissed allegations and the MCDH defendants' law firm filed a motion to dismiss that second amended complaint (SAC). On December 4, 2018, Judge Tigar ruled on the latest motion by the defendants (MCDH et al). The results: The judge reinstated Hardin's First Amendment retaliation cause of action; reinstated Hardin's claim of defamation in regard to former CFO Sturgeon; dismissed a defamation claim against MCDH Board President Lund (but the judge did leave room for Hardin to re-amend this allegation); denied the defendants' motion to dismiss Hardin's harassment claim; Hardin's claim of intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED) against Lund was dismissed (but again Judge Tigar granted leave to amend the allegation); Hardin's claim of negligent infliction of emotional distress (NIED) was dismissed without leave to amend; the hospital's attempt to have Hardin's IIED claim against the institution was denied; the NIED claim against the hospital was dismissed with prejudice (meaning it cannot be brought up again); and Hardin's negligent supervision, hiring, and retention cause of action was dismissed.

As of January 3, 2019, the two sides were arguing over a motion to quash subpoenas MCDH et al served on institutions where Hardin worked previously. On Jan. 3rd, U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas Hixson admonished Hardin's attorney about a filing that violated the court's standing order regarding discovery. However, regarding subpoenas MCDH et al served on Hardin's last two employers, Community Regional Medical Center and Antelope Valley Hospital, Judge Hixson “ORDERS [the judge's emphasis] Defendants [MCDH et al] to produce to Hardin the documents produced by Antelope Valley Hospital and Community Regional Medical Center within 30 days so that Hardin may assert any applicable objections.”

Hardin, Edwards, Sturgeon, and Lund are scheduled to be deposed later this month. If you think that puts this case near its conclusion, guess again. The court has recently set up the following timeline: A mediation deadline of April 5, 2019; if mediation fails then “Fact Discovery” will be cut off on July 5th; a deadline for expert disclosures will occur on July 26th, expert rebuttal deadline will be August 16th; expert discovery will be cut off on August 30th; the deadline to file dispositive motions will be September 20th; pretrial conference statements will be due on December 6th; the pretrial conference will be held on December 13th; and if Hardin v. MCDH et al goes to trial, that proceeding will begin January 6, 2020. The estimated length of that trial: fifteen days.

At the open session of the January 3rd MCDH Board meeting this writer asked these four questions regarding the Hardin matter:

[1] What are the hospital's legal fees regarding the Hardin case up to this date?

[2] What costs is the board projecting, in legal fees, for the 2019 calendar year?

[3] What are the projected costs for the hospital, and the taxpayers who support it, during the trial in 2020?

What would be the total cost to the hospital, and taxpayers, if the Hardin case was settled now?

Hopefully, this predominantly new board of directors can make those calculations relatively quickly and let the public know where it stands in this legal battle.

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STORM COMING IN

(Photos by Dick Whetstone)

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PETE BARRA

Pete Dino Barra passed away peacefully to be reunited once again with his wife Bea and son, Dino.

Pete's journey began on April 9, 1928 when he was born to Italian immigrants in his grandparent's home on Central Avenue in Calpella, CA and ended on December 29, 2018 at his family home on East Road in Redwood Valley. Pete lived his 90 years in Mendocino County, leaving only to serve his country in Korea as a U.S. Army Corporal. He returned to the U.S. in 1952, where he met and married Bea Prinselaar. Of their many accomplishments, one of their greatest was purchasing bare land to plant a vineyard and build their dream home on the knoll to raise their three girls. Pete was a hard-working man who learned the trade of growing grapes from his dad, uncles and other old-timers in Redwood Valley. He and his family rarely took a day off, one of which was to bury his brother Calvin who was killed in the service.

He was a progressive farmer, always looking for new and better ways, quick to share innovative ideas and techniques. He was a man "outstanding in his field." Pete was a courageous man. He faced adversity and hardships with unwavering courage and strength. He was an inspiration to all when after losing his leg to cancer, he showed great determination by walking the survivor lap at Relay for Life. And, with much perseverance, he was able to overcome the difficult challenge of climbing back on the tractor again.

Pete was an adventurous man. Although he chose to live in "God's Country," he enjoyed taking family trips that included houseboating on Lake Shasta, skiing in Squaw Valley, discovering family in Italy, returning to Italy for a family reunion, taking the family to Mexico to celebrate Bea's birthplace for her 70th birthday, and many trips to the Lake Pillsbury cabin. In 2006, he realized a long-awaited dream when he and Bea traveled to Iwo Jima to retrace his brother Calvin's footsteps of 1945.

In 2008 he travelled to Paris for his 80th birthday. Pete was undoubtedly a very funny man with a quick wit and charismatic personality. He was often the life of the party. Anyone who knew him likely has a funny story or memory to share. Above all, Pete was a devoted family man. If you could ask him today what his greatest accomplishment was, he would say his family.

Together he and his wife built a beautiful legacy on East Road, which we will always come home to. Pete would be the first to tell you, he was a blessed man.

Pete Barra is survived by his three daughters Lori Barra, Cyndi Woskow (Michael Woskow), Christina White, his grandchildren Peter & Caroline Nicholas, Jesse Woskow, Levi & Cody White, his great granddaughter Ronnie Woskow, his brother Charlie Barra, several nieces, nephews and cousins.

Services will be held Monday, January 7, 2019 at 2:00pm at Eversole Mortuary in Ukiah, CA. Floral arrangements may be made through Rain Forest Fantasy or donations may be made in Pete's honor to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

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A UKIAH VALLEY MARIJUANA FARMER with a hard-won legal permit told us Tuesday that the Savings Bank of Mendocino County had canceled his account, telling the guy to come and get his money out. The bank had somehow become aware that he was legally permitted to farm marijuana. The man tried to explain to the Bank that none of his pot business money was going into or out of the Savings Bank account, but the bank didn't care. They told him they didn't want his business because of his pot permit and canceled him. In essence, the bank he’d done business with for years when he was an ILLEGAL grower didn’t care where the money came from, but once he made it official and legal they dumped him.

WE CHECKED WITH another grower to see how widespread the Savings Bank's arbitrary approach to Mendocino County's primary ag crop producers was: “I have heard of this happening to many growers. Savings Bank closed my account, too. Like your reader, I was not using the account for cannabis transactions. I simply got a letter from the bank saying that they were closing my account, and I needed to take my money out within X number of days. They didn’t tell me why, but when I kept insisting someone explain, eventually a supervisor said, “Do you have a cannabis business?” I said “Yes.” “That is why we are closing your account,” she said. I think she added that growing cannabis is against federal law and they are federally insured. I don’t know how she knew. Many other banks close the accounts of people they discover grow cannabis. Almost every grower I know has had one, often several accounts closed by banks, even if their business is legal under state law, as mine was. It is a MAJOR problem, this lack of banks, for big and little businesses. I think if your cannabis business is held by an LLC or you create some legal entity that is not directly related to to cannabis, you may be able to get around the banking laws. Places like Flow Kana have companies within companies that aren’t directly cannabis-related so they can bank as individuals. The big guys have ways around this problem, but banking is a huge national problem for the industry that keeps the criminal element closer to the cannabis world than anyone would like. … Banking issues have been mentioned at Supervisors meetings, but since the Board doesn’t control fed banking policies, it’s not raised regularly, not like changes needed in the local cannabis ordinance. You will not meet a single grower in this county who has not had trouble with banks closing their accounts. There has been some movement at the state level to create a community bank to get around fed banking regs, in large part because of cannabis industry problems, and a state has a working group has been tasked with trying to come up with a plan, but I haven’t heard anything about it in a while. I think some locals have asked the Board to look into something similar locally, and many have mentioned frustration with banking during public comment, but it’s definitely not at the top of the list of things growers expect the Board to do. The board barely deals with what it does have control over, like amend the regs, much less banking. PS. I just read this in an article on an LA cannabis distributor called Eaze from the BBC: “The biggest issue for him and the other retailers is the finance model now that cannabis selling has moved from a cash economy to credit or debit card purchases. Because cannabis is not legal at a national level in the US, many banks refuse to finance such selling, or drop retailers once they find out what they sell. It has left people like Mr. Siegel playing banking whack-a-mole. ‘We have to change banks every three months. If the state doesn't do something, or something happens at a federal level, we will run out of banks,’ he told the BBC. Despite this, he does see platforms such as Eaze continuing to flourish.”

(Mark Scaramella)

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HAWK ON HIGHWAY 1

(Photo by Judy Valadao)

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A HOME FOR SHERRY

On 1/3/2019 12:23 PM, Samara Mondello Smith wrote:

Living Light Inn is looking for a part time live-in innkeeper extraordinaire ????Computer literate, independent , multitasker, friendly, savvy in all ways customer service, problem solver ✅ Pay depends on experience, Housing Option Available ???? Send resume via email : samara@rawfoodchef.com Call: Samara 707-621-1358


Marco McClean notes:

Sherry Glaser* is a theatrical character, a writer, producer and performer of one-woman shows, she's written and published a valuable, entertaining book of instructions on how to find out if you're crazy and what to do about it. She's amazing, and an asset to the entire area wherever she lives. And now she has to leave here, and she needs a little help. Here's her GoFundMe pitch, which I see has reached its goal of $2000, but that's not much to uproot yourself and find a new place (and job) and pick up and move, and a little more couldn't hurt:

A couple of weeks ago Sherry wrote: "I've been suddenly fired from my job at Living Light in Fort Bragg. I was the Live In Innkeeper and my lodging was tied to my employment so I've lost both. I need a little help from my friends to get a u-haul, relocate and start again. Looks like I'm heading south, leaving my beloved Mendocino after 27 years. I have to move out the first week of January so it's time is of the essence. I understand that there are many in need this holiday season and if you don't have a couple of bucks to spare, just wish me luck and that will get me where I need to go."

https://www.gofundme.com/help-sherry-move-on

*https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sherry_Glaser

The wikipedia article is informative but a little out of date. Here's her website with audio and video clips, and information about her latest book: http://www.sherryglaser.net

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'CALL ME A RADICAL': OCASIO-CORTEZ SUGGESTS 70% TAX RATE FOR ULTRA RICH TO HELP PAY FOR GREEN NEW DEAL

click to view

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A NOTE ABOUT ‘MURDER MOUNTAIN’:

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office has received several inquiries following the recent release of the docudrama ‘Murder Mountain’ on Netflix. In this television show, multiple members of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office were interviewed along with other members of the public.

The original plotline of this series, as presented to the Sheriff’s Office upon consideration of our participation, was to examine the changes in the county as a result of marijuana legalization, highlight the challenges of law enforcement in rural jurisdictions, and present a historic comparison of the county’s “green rush” and timber rushes. At some point during their time in Humboldt County, the producers of ‘Murder Mountain’ decided to change the scope of the series to focus on the ongoing homicide investigation of Garret Rodriguez.

To those of you who have seen this series, please understand that you heard one side of a highly sensationalized story. The Humboldt County’s Sheriff’s Office did not provide this film crew with any pertinent facts or evidence regarding this case because it is an open investigation. As a matter of standard operating procedure, we will not jeopardize the prosecution of a case because of the media pressure or desire to run a story. By relying on unofficial and biased sources, the producers of this series presented information that was not credible nor could be used in a court of law.

While we are unable to address case-specific questions, here is what we can answer for viewers who are left with some questions after watching this incomplete narrative.

HEARSAY AND PROBABLE CAUSE

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office relies on information provided by witnesses and informants every day to author warrants that we serve in Humboldt County. This could be referred to as “hearsay” in court. The Hearsay rule prevents us from presenting out-of-court statements to be brought into court for consideration by a judge or jury. Witnesses have to testify in court and law enforcement cannot provide a jury or a judge information that was provided through a third party or rumor.

We cannot rely on hearsay to successfully prosecute any felony case. We need independent evidence that proves the case beyond a reasonable doubt. Just because we have reasonable suspicion or probable cause does not necessarily mean that we will make an arrest and attempt to persuade the District Attorney to prosecute. If the Sheriff and the District Attorney present limited facts and evidence in a jury trial that does not prove our case beyond a reasonable doubt, a defendant could be found NOT Guilty and then double jeopardy prevents us from bringing the case to trial when and if more evidence is discovered. Thereby making it so that true justice can never happen.

SHERIFF’S OFFICE INVESTIGATION AND FBI INVOLVEMENT

The producers of ‘Murder Mountain” did not accurately report our involvement in the Garret Rodriguez case, nor did it report the FBI involvement. Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office investigators forwarded this case to the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office for review. The District Attorney’s Office determined that it would not file charges at that time due to the lack of evidence.

The FBI is working alongside us on the this case and they attempted to get a case to be reviewed and filed as a Federal case by the United States Attorney out of San Francisco. The United States Attorney also would not file on this case because of the lack of evidence.

SHERIFF’S OFFICE PRESENCE IN THE ALDERPOINT / RANCHO SEQUOIA AREA

The Sheriff’s Office is not deterred from working cases in the Alderpoint / Rancho Sequoia area. Unfortunately, it appears a false message was construed in this documentary by private investigators and members of law enforcement that are not and have not been associated with the Sheriff’s Office. The men and women of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office swore an oath to serve and protect all people. Our deputies often work in a rural areas where backup may be a half hour or more away. Additionally, being in such a rural county, many community members own firearms and legally carry. Our deputies frequently encounter members of the public who are legally and illegally carrying firearms. The presence of firearms, whether legal or illegal, does not deter our deputies from working in that community or neighborhood. Deputies are trained to professionally de-escalate situations in which a suspect may be armed and are equipped with the necessary tools to do so.

One unique quality about the Alderpoint / Rancho Sequoia community, otherwise referred to as “Murder Mountain” by the series, is that many residents do not like deputies in the area asking questions. They often do not want to speak with deputies, even though it may help us to solve a criminal investigation involving one of their acquaintances. This makes investigating crimes and securing witnesses to testify in court very difficult. However, this too does not deter us from conducting investigations in this area.

In specific reference to the Garret Rodriguez case, during the time when Garret Rodriguez was reported missing, the Sheriff’s Office served many search warrants in the Alderpoint / Rancho Sequoia area for illegal cannabis growing operations. We believe that this increased pressure on the community is what caused the vigilantism, because the community wanted the Sheriff’s Office to stop looking for Rodriguez and leave the area.

The Sheriff’s Office continues to serve search warrants in the Alderpoint / Rancho Sequoia area and continually responds to other cases in the community.

DIVERSITY AND THE PROMISE TO SERVE AND PROTECT ALL PEOPLE

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office is made up of a diverse staff, many of which have lived in this county for their entire lives. Additionally, the County of Humboldt is a community made up of many different ethnicities, viewpoints and professions. We are committed to serving all people and do not discriminate when enforcing the law.

We will continue, however, to educate the public about the risks associated with working on illegal cannabis farms in Humboldt County. By nature, some of these farms are associated with missing persons, violent crime- including murder and robbery, sexual assault, human trafficking and narcotics crimes. With legalization, there are many farms that are legitimate farms in Humboldt County. We discourage the public from working on illegal cannabis farms because of the dangers listed above. We highly discourage visitors from out of the area to come here and do so as well. However, the Sheriff’s Office is committed to investigating crimes that do occur on these farms and will do everything in our power to seek justice for victims.

AN INSIGHT INTO HCSO HOMICIDE INVESTIGATIONS

Out of our dedication to transparency, we have compiled the following statistics for all homicides occurring between 2014-2018. (photos attached)

2014

  • Arrest Made 4 (3 convicted, 1 acquitted)
  • Open With Suspects 2
  • Open Without Suspects 2
  • Closed, Determined Self Defense 1
  • Closed Per District Attorney for Review
  • Awaiting DA Review
  • TOTAL: 9

2015

  • Arrest Made 5 (4 convicted, 1 awaiting trial)
  • Open With Suspects
  • Open Without Suspects 1
  • Closed, Determined Self Defense 1
  • Closed Per District Attorney for Review
  • Awaiting DA Review
  • TOTAL: 7

2016

  • Arrest Made 3 (awaiting trial)
  • Open With Suspects 4
  • Open Without Suspects 1
  • Closed, Determined Self Defense 1
  • Closed Per District Attorney for Review 1
  • Awaiting DA Review
  • TOTAL: 10

2017

  • Arrest Made 3 (1 convicted, 1 awaiting trial)
  • Open With Suspects 1
  • Open Without Suspects
  • Closed, Determined Self Defense 1
  • Closed Per District Attorney for Review
  • Awaiting DA Review
  • TOTAL: 5

2018

  • Arrest Made 3 (awaiting trial)
  • Open With Suspects 2
  • Open Without Suspects 1
  • Closed, Determined Self Defense
  • Closed Per District Attorney for Review
  • Awaiting DA Review 1
  • TOTAL: 7

Of course, after a series such as ‘Murder Mountain’, there are still many questions you may have. We will continue to answer those questions as best as we can, however as previously stated, the status of this case being under investigation seriously limits the information we are allowed to disclose. If you were the victim or family of the victim of a serious crime that was under investigation, we’re sure that you would expect the same privacy and professionalism.

Finally, as all things in Hollywood, please know that ‘Murder Mountain’ is a Hollywood manufactured drama based on a true story. It was designed to be sold to Netflix for a profit. The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office was not paid to be part of this series and participated out of our commitment to transparency.

Despite the dark side of our county that this series attempted to portray, if you do not live here, we encourage you to come visit, see the true beauty that Humboldt County has to offer and meet the incredible people that live and work here. For those of you who do not live here, but clearly have a passion for justice and an extensive knowledge of how policing should be done - we encourage you to get up and take action. Go to a police academy near you and join the force, become a community champion and make change in your city or county, advocate for laws or changes in laws that serve to make your community safer, and of course, get to know your local law enforcement and see what you can do to help prevent crime in your neighborhood.

For those of you that do live here, as always, call us if you need us; we’re here to help.

Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office’s Facebook Page


ED NOTE: For a comprehensive backgrounder on Murder Mountain and the Garrett Rodriguez case (which dates back to 2013) see Kym Kemp’s original report at:

https://lostcoastoutpost.com/2013/jul/3/murder-mountain-missing-mans-truck-found/

And in 2014 from San Diego/Ocean Beach:

http://sdnews.com/view/full_story/24323807/article-Mystery-swirls-around-death-of-OB-man-at-Humboldt-pot-farm

In 2012 AVA contributor Daniel Mintz reported on another pot grower missing (now presumed dead) in the same area named Chris Giauque:


ON LINE COMMENTS regarding ‘Murder Mountain’:

[1] I am a Retired Deputy Sheriff. I lived and worked in Humboldt as a Law Enforcement Officer. I worked Marijuana Eradication for many years. This series is the most real, accurate, truthful, and insightful I have seen, to date. The atmosphere in Humboldt Co. Is thick with fear and distrust. The beauty is clouded by out of control crime from marijuana. It is a beautiful County Sheriff but, we need to speak the truth. The whole truth.

More segments please! Interview Retired Officers!


[2] Saw the movie and was shocked how bad things have gotten. Twenty years ago in Humboldt and Mendocino county growers were connected to the community. Now we have green rush people who could care less about the area, nature or locals. My brother used to live behind two locked gates on a private road. The new people never once stopped to talk with the last few locals working or the road or gate. They are there just to make money and the hell with you. He is so happy he sold and got out when property prices were up. Best of luck to the locals that care because you are screwed.

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NOTING THIS CONGRATULATORY COMMENT re Mendo County's vaunted on-line accessibility:

"I wish Humboldt Co put their public information online in ways that didn’t need painful, circular, byzantine searches that constantly route you back to the start without providing anything at all. You’d think they’d want the public to be able to access public information but apparently it’s treated more like a search for the Holy Grail - you know it’s there but you have to pay with blood just for attempting the search,"

MARK SCARAMELLA NOTES: Mendo's site, especially for beginners, is similarly daunting, requiring the blood sacrifice, unfortunately. At on-line Mendo, with a little experience you can get to some "customer"-ish stuff. But useful information either isn't there at all (i.e., budget status by department) or is buried behind layers of jargonized choices. And if you should by chance get to, for instance, the Planning Department's fee schedule… Oh boy, you'll be sorry you did.

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UNPROVOKED STABBING

“A Ukiah man was stabbed at a local park in what appears to be an unprovoked attack, the Ukiah Police Department reported.

According to the UPD, the assault occurred around 2:30 p.m. Dec. 28 in Vinewood Park, located at the north end of both North Pine and Elm streets in Ukiah.

‘The victim was stabbed in the back while he was leaving the park,’ said Sgt. Noble Waidelich, identifying the victim only as a 25-year-old Ukiah man. According to both the victim and witnesses, the stabbing appears to have been unprovoked, he said.

The victim received stab wounds to the abdomen from a weapon Waidelich described as ‘a kitchen knife larger than a steak knife,’ and he was transported to Adventist Health Ukiah Valley for treatment. Waidelich said Thursday he did not know the victim’s current condition, but that his wounds did not appear life-threatening.

‘At first it looked pretty bad, but fortunately none of the wounds involved major organs,’ he said.

When officers arrived, they located the suspect in his residence near the park on Elm Street after witnesses pointed out his location. The knife apparently used in the attack was found inside his home as well.

The suspect was identified as 20-year-old Joshua R. Neese, who was charged with attempted murder and booked into Mendocino County Jail. The bail amount was not reported on the jail’s website.

The suspect declined to provide a statement to police, but Waidelich said there appears to have been no clear motive for the attack, which also does not appear to be gang-related. He said he knew of no prior police contacts with the suspect.”

(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)

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SUPES NOTES

by Mark Scaramella

THE SUPES HAVE CUT THEIR WORKLOAD down to just 25 meetings a year, according to the proposed “master meeting calendar” for 2019 (prepared by CEO Angelo, not the Board btw). This is being done the year following the huge raise they gave themselves last year without any pesky grand jury, pay panel or delay as in prior years. Factor in that the board meetings include a lot of pointless process discussions, consent calendar items, proclamations, canned presentations and pre-packaged recommendations from committees, lots of idle questions that are not answered, no master list of assignments to staff with deadlines… Coincidentally, the board has also trimmed its standing committee workload down to just two, a public safety committee and a general government committee, neither of which meet regularly, and even when meetings are scheduled, they are frequently canceled.

COUPLA questions begged: Why don't the Supes, as an act of solidarity with the marijuana farmers the county's economy depends on withdraw county funds from the Savings Bank? And given their new work loads, why don't the Supervisors cut their pay by at least half?


POT PERMITS STILL STALLED

Speaking of pot, the December progress report shows essentially no improvement in pot permit processing since last report (which also showed little improvement like all the ones before that). And still no accounting of which permits are held up where for how long, as requested by the Board last year.


CONSENT CALENDAR ITEM 4u) on next Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors Agenda is: “Approval of Recommendation from the Mental Health Treatment Act Citizen’s Oversight Committee to Add Two Additional Mobile Outreach Program Services (MOPS) Teams Using Measure B Services Tax Funds (in the amount of $514,600) for Mental Health Preventative Services to the Outlying Areas in Mendocino County; and Recommendation to Establish Measurable Metrics to be Evaluated at Six Month Intervals to Monitor the Effectiveness of the Program and Make Adjustments as Needed.”

THIS CONSENT ITEM is a follow-up to last year’s Measure B Oversight Committee recommendation to increase the number of mental health mobile outreach teams by two from three to five, funded by the Measure B half-cent sales tax. This consent item would be routine and not worthy of comment except that it 1) does not address the pay inequity problem that the Sheriff noted last year: the mental health staffer in the MOPS unit is paid a lot more money for doing essentially the same thing as the non-uniformed law enforcement officer who rides in the same vehicle. And 2) it calls for something that Mendo can’t do: “establish measurable metrics.” The key word here is “establish” which is very different from “provide.” So I guess they’re safe.

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, January 4, 2019

Aldaz-Palmer, Anguiano, Azevedo

MIRIAM ALDAZ-PALMER, Ukiah. Controlled substance for sale, transportation, conspiracy.

BASILIO ANGUIANO, Ukiah. Paraphernalia, probation revocation.

ASHLEY AZEVEDO, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

Beck, Cervera, Esparza

DYLAN BECK, Ukiah. Grand theft, probation revocation. (Frequent Flyer)

MARIELA CERVERA, Fort Bragg. Failure to appear.

MARIO ESPARZA, Covelo. False personation of another, parole violation.

Fillion, Gonzalez, McAlister, Nelson

HAZEL FILLION, Lakeport/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, county parole violation.

BRYAN GONZALEZ, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

VIOLET MCALISTER, Ukiah. Burglary.

CHRISTOPHER NELSON, Mendocino. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

Parisi, Schroeder, Vicich

JEFFERY PARISI, Ukiah. DUI.

AMANDA SCHROEDER, Cloverdale. Disobeying court order.

BRIAN VICICH, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

* * *

AND THE CIRCUS CAME TO TOWN

by James Kunstler

It’s Nancy Pelosi’s smile that gets me…oh, and not in a good way. It’s a smile that is actually the opposite of what a smile is supposed to do: signal good will and good faith. Nancy’s smile is full of malice and bad faith, like the smiles on representations of Shiva-the-Destroyer and Huitzilopochtli, the Aztec sun god who demanded thousands of human hearts to eat, lest he bring on the end of the world.

It’s not exactly the end of the world in Washington D.C., but as the old saying goes: you can see it from there! It’s out on the edge of town like one of those sinister, broken-down circuses from the Ray Bradbury story-bag, with its ragtag cast of motheaten lions, crippled acrobats, a crooked wagon full of heartbroken freaks, and a shadowy ringmaster on a mission from the heart of darkness.

The new Democratic majority congress has convened in the spirit of a religious movement devoted to a single apocalyptic objective: toppling the Golden Golem of Greatness who rules in the House of White Privilege. They’re all revved up for inquisition, looking to apply as many thumbscrews, cattle prods, electrodes, waterboards, and bamboo splinters as necessary in pursuit of rectifying the heresy of the 2016 election.

The simpleton California congressman Brad Sherman (D-30th dist.) couldn’t contain his glee, like a seven-year-old boy about to pull the wings off a fly. As soon as the Democratic majority was sworn in, he filed his articles of impeachment to impress his Wokester San Fernando Valley constituents out for deplorable blood. That was even a bit too much for Madam Speaker who reminded Sherman that some scintilla of a predicate crime was required — but surely would be when Special Counsel Robert Mueller hurls down his tablets of accusation from on high.

As for their quarry, the Golden Golem, a.k.a. D.J. Trump, I’m not convinced that he is a mere hapless yegg waiting to be sliced, diced, and skewered. He’s POTUS, after all, and has access to quite a bit of information and expertise. He’ll shortly have a new Attorney General on board, William Barr, who might just ask the question that has been hanging in the air like a pulsating zeppelin for two years, viz: has Mr. Mueller even paid a casual glance at the shenanigans going on all around him in the department of Justice and the FBI lo these many many months of prosecuting Trump factotums on rinky-dink process charges? And might all that monkey business in politicizing the agencies, and scheming to undo Mr. Trump even turn up as a footnote in that holy grail of the Mueller report awaited so eagerly by the inquisitionists?

It would be just and logical if Mr. Mueller had paid attention to the misconduct of the highest officials in the DOJ and FBI beginning in the winter of 2016, since there is an evidence trail as broad as the DC Beltway right out there in the public record. Maybe Mr. Mueller will surprise many of us and actually include the already-documented misdeeds of his protégé Mr. Comey, Mr. Strzok, Ms. Page, Mr. Rosenstein, Mr. McCabe, Mr. Ohr, Mrs. Ohr, Mr. Brennan, Mr. Clapper, Ms. Lynch, Ms. Yates, and sundry servants of the Obamas and Clintons, involved in the government-sponsored coup attempt. They will eventually have to answer to somebody. I believe that somebody will be Mr. Barr, who will finally have the authority to ignite a counter-inquisition.

It’s important to set these matters aright, if you want to keep the constitution. Under the narcoleptic Jeff Sessions, the institutional rot turned into a possibly fatal gangrene. Did certain parties want to send patsies like Mr. Papadopoulos to prison for a couple weeks, or break, defame, and bankrupt General Flynn under a recklessly malicious prosecution — because that was all that had to show for two years of looking under every rock and rotten log between the Potomac River and the Kremlin? Has Mr. Mueller even noticed the established fact that Hillary Clinton supplied the inquisition with its founding, false documentary evidence?

So, let the circus begin on Capital Hill. Let them kick out the jams, as we used to say back in Woodstock era. Let Nancy Pelosi finish the work that the Democratic Party started with the election of 2016 — its own destruction as a viable political force. Let all the darkness and malice be wrung out of it so the country can return to its senses and start paying attention to things that really matter, backed by institutions that people of good faith can believe in.

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

* * *

“On your first day in Congress you either lobby someone or you get lobbied.”

* * *

SIXTY PERCENTER

Editor,

I’m one of the 60 percent who disapprove of President Donald Trump. I find his presidency abhorrent and, frankly, threatening to all the democratic and human values I hold dear. But 40 percent — his base — approve of him. To me, this is far more disturbing than Trump himself.

How did our country get to such a place? When 4 in 10 (almost half) of us fall in line for this narcissistic, divisive, lying, corrupt, racist, mean and incompetent charlatan, something has gone seriously wrong with America.

We liberals who smugly dismiss Trump’s base and their love of him are making a terribly elitist and myopic mistake.

Rather, we must understand and start addressing what is fundamentally wrong in the underbelly of our country — why so many (too many) are so hurting, so angry and resentful, who feel so left out and left behind and are so hungry for relief that a charismatic demagogue can come along and all too easily win over their minds and souls.

To me, that’s the more worrisome long-term problem.

Rick Childs

Mendocino

* * *

ACCORDING TO THE HIPPIES a revolution was needed to take away from the rich their stolen wealth — unless you were one of the rich yourself. And no wonder then that your really spoiled and silly kids scoffed at schooling and took to evasion, escape and speaking and writing gibberish and all kinds of nonsense through drugs of various kinds and of course fretful homosexuality defiantly marching as if for the liberation of the working class from the deadly iron claws of the military/industrial cartels slowly but surely profiting from the unavoidable destruction of the human race and so on and so forth.

— William Saroyan

* * *

ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY

Our current system is nothing more than a patient on life support. Its days are done and we are living in a dream-like state between the death of one world and the birth of another. There is always blood with birth and so it shall be again. A fact of life that isn’t pleasant, but is certain. After all, no matter how much we convince ourselves it isn’t so, life is war. And in such a greedy and completely untrustworthy system, coupled with a balkanized population comprised of hostile factions, we will never reach any consensus on a path forward. The successful societies of the future will be smaller and homogenous. Complex and multicultural societies, like ours, are all in the process of death as we type.

* * *

THE ARTISTS' COLLECTIVE IN ELK WILL BE FEATURING "OCEAN REFLECTIONS" IN JAN.

The Artists' Collective in Elk will be featuring "Ocean Reflections" in Jan. Participating with 5 other galleries: Partners Gallery, North Coast Artists' Gallery,Glass Fire gallery, The Mendocino Art Center and the Artists Coop of Mendocino. Our shows will focus on the ocean as inspiration and muse, and voice our opposition to re-opening the California coast to oil leasing. All of our 30 members will be participating. The media will include painting, drawing, pastels, photography, jewelry, pottery and clay sculpture, furniture and wood carving, etched and fused glass, leather work, collage, mixed media, knitting, etc. The Elk gallery will have a reception on 2nd Sat., Jan. 12, from 3 to 5 pm. The gallery is open daily, 10 am to 5 pm, and is located at 6031 S. Hwy. 1, between the post office and Queenie's, in Greater Downtown Elk. 877-1128

From hathaway@mcn.org

* * *

ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY #2

Let’s be honest: Unregulated cannabis cultivation provided an opportunity for people who, for a variety of reasons, do not possess the requisite skills (or desire) to succeed in a normal business environment, to earn wages far beyond any opportunity what would otherwise be open to them. Many of these people had more money than sense, and made life choices accordingly.

The industry transformation now underway has raised the competitive bar far beyond the ability or desire of these cultivators to compete, so they are going away, or being further marginalized. While this process is messy and painful, and is impacting economies across Humboldt, there was never going to be a path forward that didn’t include these painful realignments.

* * *

JIMMY CARTER: The United States is an “oligarchy with unlimited political bribery.”

by Jon Schwartz

theintercept.com/2015/07/30/jimmy-carter-u-s-oligarchy-unlimited-political-bribery/

* * *

LA TIMES: Human waste, champagne bottles, even a prom dress: Joshua Tree and Yosemite get trashed as shutdown continues

latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-park-restrictions-20190102-story.html

* * *

CITY SELECTION COMMITTEE MEETING - JANUARY 11, 2019

The City Selection Committee meeting Agenda for January 11, 2019 is attached and the meeting packet is now available on the County website:

mendocinocounty.org/government/board-of-supervisors/agendas-and-minutes/city-selection-committee/-fsiteid-1

Please contact the Executive Office at (707) 463-4441 if you have any questions regarding this message.


DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION REGARDING THE FOLLOWING APPOINTMENTS:

a. One (1) City Representative to Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO); and

One (1) Alternate City Representative to Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO).

b. One (1) City Representative (Aviation Expertise) to Airport Land Use Commission (ALUC)

c. One (1) Fort Bragg, Willits, Point Arena Representative to Sonoma Clean Power (SCP)

* * *

2018 "ARE YOU SERIOUS?" AWARDS

From Saudi Arabia funding Islamophobic attacks on Muslim congresswomen to Israel arming anti-Semitic militias, we look at some of the more fascinating boondoggles from 2018.

* * *

“It’s not the ‘Bird Box’ challenge. I just can’t stand seeing the news anymore.”

* * *

INLAND MENDOCINO DEMOCRATIC CLUB Next Meeting January 10th

The Inland Mendocino Democratic Club will hold our next meeting Thursday, January 10 at 5:30 pm at the Alley Bar and Lounge, Ukiah. Let’s all join together to make our county an oasis of Justice and Peace. Together, in coalition, we can take progressive action and protect our county from the Conservative nightmare. Come lend a hand. All are welcome.

See us on Facebook and at http://inlandmendodems.org

* * *

* * *

SPECIAL POINT ARENA CITY COUNCIL MEETING - JANUARY 8, 2019

Appointment to Fill Vacant City Council Seat

And:

drive.google.com/drive/folders/1VTPrX0r6POYp5tPRJhtmfzLxLgO4IV3c

* * *

YOU MAY DISPOSE OF ME very easily. I am nearly disposed of now. But this question is still to be settled — this Negro question, I mean. The end of that is not yet.

— John Brown, 1859

* * *

* * *

BAYER SHARES JUMP as the company scores a court victory in the run-up to crucial trials over whether recently acquired Monsanto weedkillers can cause cancer.

wsj.com/articles/bayer-shares-jump-after-monsanto-weedkillers-court-ruling-11546613355

* * *

MEMO OF THE AIR: GOOD NIGHT RADIO TONIGHT!

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 alter your plans to instead show-and-tell there Friday /next/ week, Jan. 11.

Deadline to get your writing on the air tonight is around 7pm. If you're still working on it after that, just email it whenever you're done and I'll read it on the show next time. Or save it yourself for next time and come in and read it in person, 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 http://knyo.org and click on Listen.

Also you can always go to https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com and hear last week's show, and shows before that. By Saturday night, tonight's MOTA magically becomes last week's MOTA, so if you wait till then to look you'll find that too. It'll be right on top. And then of course there's the whole rest of the world underneath that; literal /years/ of infojoyment if you really wanta get all bogged down in improving your meat mind and preparing for the Singularity, the Rapture of the Nerds (say nyerds).

Some amusements for while you wait for tonight:

"When you view the firework, don't be the sorry jackass. Be cool. Use the eye protection provided by the responsible venue."

A startling insight into Escher. “It was not all imagination, we must conclude now.”

And I love these happy people. What a band!

Marco McClean, memo@mcn.org,

https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com

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