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MCT: Sunday, January 13, 2019

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A FIRE this afternoon destroyed Fort Bragg’s Chapel by the Sea Mortuary. Judy Valadao sent these photos of Fort Bragg firefighters fighting the flames:

“Thank you, Fort Bragg Fire Department. Yes, I focused more on the Firefighters than I did the fire. We all knew Chapel by the Sea was on fire but how many paid attention to what our Firemen/women were doing? This town is very lucky to have this Department."

Additional unattributed pics:

“Chapel by the Sea funeral home is widely considered to be the most beautiful funeral home in Mendocino County since 1893.” — Chapel By The Sea Mortuary website


Today Julie and Pillie lost everything.  Julie is the Manager and Director
of Chapel by the Sea Funeral Home  in Fort Bragg CA and lived in the
apartment above the Chapel.  Tragically the Chapel caught fire, and Julie
and Pillie (Boston Terrier) suffered the loss of their home. Julie's
kitties, canaries, and  fish were also taken by the fire.

Julie is a kind and gentle soul, who has been there to help many people
deal with the loss of their loved ones passing here on the coast.  It is
my hope that our community can return some of that compassion to her.

Unfortunately, Julie did not have renter's insurance in place as she had
just moved into the apartment a week ago.  She is not one to ask for help,
but greatly needs it.  She has only the clothes on he back and her dog.

Please help us give Julie and Pillie a new start.

There is a GoFundme account set up for Julie at:

Cash or Check donations can also be left at the Fort Bragg DMV.


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by Justine Frederiksen

A healthy crowd gathered under trees and umbrellas in front of the Mendocino County Courthouse Friday morning for a foreclosure sale of the Palace Hotel, but none of them placed a bid to buy the building.

“Going once, going twice, OK,” said the woman running the auction for the new owner of the building, Total Lender Solutions of San Diego, who declined to give her name. Since no one stepped forward with a cashier’s check for about $982,000, she said that the bank now owns the building instead of Eladia Laines, who bought it in 1990 for $115,000 at a tax sale.

“This is the largest crowd I’ve ever seen for one of these sales,” said the auctioneer, who lives in Lake County and said she did not know the history of the building, which many huddled in the rain and cold said they still hoped could be revived.

“We had pitchforks and torches in our trucks in case an unqualified buyer placed the winning bid,” said Rick Rader, who said he has lived in Ukiah since 1979 and has fond memories of the Palace Hotel in its heyday, when the historical building was full of parties, not rotting wood. “We want someone to buy the building who has the best interest of Ukiah in mind, and will spend some time here.”

Palace Hotel

“She’s a majestic old lady,” said Ukiah City Council member Jim Brown, who before the auction said he was still holding out hope that there was an investor who could save the building rather than tear it down, though one such investor who was hastily running numbers in his head as he stood on the wet steps said the math did not look promising for either scenario.

“When I buy property, I want to get at least 5 percent on my investment immediately,” said Ashok Khosla, who lives in Little River and owns many commercial buildings in the Bay Area. Guessing that it would cost about $10 million to build a new building (leaving out the cost of demolition), Khosla said he did not think he could charge high enough rent in downtown Ukiah to make the investment worthwhile. (And an investor who didn’t want to tear it down would face similar numbers, as the cost for seismic repairs alone are estimated to be as much as $6 million.)

“We have had a lot of interest, but there are still a lot of unknowns,” said Todd Schapmire Jr. of W Real Estate in Ukiah, who said he has shown the building to “many people” since it was put on the market last summer by receiver Mark Adams. Adams was appointed to take control of the building by the Mendocino County Superior Court two years ago after the city declared it a public nuisance due to code violations, and he said he will remain receiver despite the ownership change.

“And my job is still the same,” said Schapmire, who took a call from a potential buyer about a minute before the auction was expected to start. “I am still optimistic about the future of Ukiah, and the Palace Hotel is one of the linchpins that future rests on. And this building, the courthouse, is the other.”

Schapmire said now that the Palace Hotel has changed ownership, all “23 or so clouds on the title have been cleared, so hopefully that will make it more attractive to buyers. And this here is drumming up interest, which is what you want when you’re trying to sell a building.”

As for the cost of repairs, Adams said he hired a tax credit consultant who believes that the property would qualify for two tax credits – the Historic Tax Credit and the New Markets Tax Credit – that together could “account for several millions dollars worth of capital, so that is going to solve the seismic retrofit problem, and hopefully clears the biggest log jam in the deal.”

(courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)

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STORM CLOUDS off Mendocino Coast (photos by Dick Whetstone)

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Meet Sammie--a blue-eyed beauty with lovely kennel manners. Sammie is calm and quiet, easy to leash and walk. During her photo shoot, we gave Sammie a good brushing, and she was very compliant. Sammie is not a hugger, and has an independent quality, but she enjoys the company of people, and came and sat down next to us after sniffing around the play yard. We really enjoyed spending time with this wonderful Husky. Sammie is a 1 year old, spayed female who weighs 48 pounds, and she is ready to trot out the door with you ASAP. For more about Sammie, visit her webpage:

LeeLee is a 4 year old, spayed, female cat with beautiful tortoiseshell markings.  She has a very outgoing personality and is eager to meet new people. LeeLee enjoys attention and getting rubbed around her ears. This charming cat would be ideal for a family with children and guardians who want to lavish their new pet with lots of attention.

During our month-long January Dog Adoption Event, all dogs over the age of 4 months have reduced adoption fees. The Ukiah Animal Shelter is located at 298 Plant Road in Ukiah, and adoption hours are Tuesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday from 10 am to 4:30 pm and Wednesday from 10 am to 6:30 pm.  To see photos and bios of the shelter's adoptable animals, please visit us online at:

For more information about adoptions please call 707-467-6453.

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"On December 18 my sister and I were on our way home to the coast after picking up our dad at Santa Rosa Airport for Christmas. We suddenly came upon a small landslide that fell across Hwy 128, just before the bridge that goes to Elk

It was dark and I couldn’t avoid hitting a rock (about a foot in diameter) from the slide. 

We came upon it suddenly. I couldn’t swerve right onto the slide and I couldn’t swerve left into oncoming traffic so over the rock we went.

It appeared everything was fine until the left front tire started shaking. I drove slowly until I found a safe place to turn out - just before Navarro Ridge Road. The tire was totally flat. 

Shortly, a California Highway Patrol officer (Travis Haury) pulled up behind us to help. He began changing the flat tire for the small doughnut-type tire that came with my car.

The lug nuts were tight so he was jumping up and down on the lug wrench and building up a quite a sweat. When he finished changing the tire and we told him how we had to run over the rock because of the slide, he said “oh, I just came from there - we cleared the rock and the slide - everything’s OK now.” 

After getting a new tire, dad and I went to the CA Highway Patrol office in Fort Bragg with a thank you card for Travis (with a long note of profuse thanks) signed by my sister, my dad, and myself. My dad wanted to talk specifically to Travis’s boss to tell him what a great guy he was for changing the tire and for being an all-around good person. Travis wasn’t there but his boss, Cheyenne Quesada, was. 

Cheyenne said he wasn’t surprised at all that Travis would stop and change the tire. He receives lots of good reports about Travis being a help to people.

Dad said that often people bitch and complain about police, highway patrol, etc. but we wanted to go right to Travis’s boss and say how much we appreciated his assistance. Cheyenne took notes so he could bring our story up at the next CHP meeting. 

Many thanks to our California Highway Patrol and especially to Travis Haury."

Marcie Schorg, Fort Bragg

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THAT ADDRESS to the nation last week saw a languid Trump say he was waiting for the Democrats "to come to the table." Trump said criminals and drugs were pouring over the border, that a wall would stop them if the candy asses would just get out of the way. Then Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, representing just as many gated communities as Republicans, and looking like they'd been cryonically frozen, took turns robotically denouncing Trump. You'd think all concerned could at least fake urgency given that much of the national government is on an open-ended fiasco and criminals and drugs continue to pour over the border, which they don't but pick your side of the argument or both sides for all that the facts count for anything.

AT THIS POINT, with the polls claiming 71% of US believing "the game is rigged," and about a third of the country supporting Trump no matter what he says or does, and a majority of Democrats estranged from the party's leadership, the drugs probably can't pour over the border fast enough to staunch the despair. And while the uncredentialed criminals pouring over the border pick up enough English to become efficient criminals in their new habitat, our native born criminals have to pick up the criminal slack all by themselves. Count this American as an American who believes that our criminals are up to the job!


The Colorado Supreme Court upheld my allegations. — John Sakowicz

JOHN SAKOWICZ was in the national and the global news Saturday for the rather caddish exposure of an influential girlfriend as a "racist" for insulting a couple of snowflake colleagues in private e-mails to Sako. The girlfriend, a Colorado judge acquired when Sako seems to have been married to a Mendo woman, has been forced to resign her undoubtedly highly lucrative judicial sinecure. Sako claims he was "stalked" by Her Honor and divorced by his wife when she learned of his romantic wanderings.

THEIR OPENING DAY performances as new Mendo supervisors have rightly encouraged supporters of Ted Williams and John Haschak, not that eyewitnesses much exceeded the usual ten to twenty youtube viewers or that the crowd that witnessed their swearing in stuck around to see how they would actually do. But both of them pitched right in with pertinent contributions, startling those of us accustomed to seeing the five sleepwalkers simply sign off on whatever the CEO puts in front of them, no questions asked. We also usually get heaps of mawk of the "You're doing a great job" applied to this or that overpaid incompetent and wholly self-serving garbled  "updates" from this or that bureaucrat who ought to be forced to truly account for his or her performances. A commenter predicted that the two new supes would soon be "bitch-slapped" into line by CEO Angelo. I predict the two will rouse  Gjerde and McCowen from their long non-participatory maternal fear of Angelo to at last have a fully functioning board of supervisors for the first time since… maybe ever.

FROM THE SANTA ROSA PRESS DEMOCRAT: "Dear Reader, As a perk for being a subscriber we want to help you start off your weekend with a smile. Here's a selection of recent good news to brighten your day. Enjoy! Thanks for reading."

FROM THE AVA: "Dear Reader. As a perk for being a reader, we advise that you prepare for social collapse. Please stockpile rice, potable water, guns and ammo. Have a day for yourself."

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The U.C. California Naturalist Program returns to Mendocino in March 2019. This 10-week course combines a science curriculum with guest lecturers, field trips and project-based learning to explore the unique ecology and natural history of inland Mendocino County. 

“This class is for anyone who wants to know more about the place we live,” says Jennifer Riddell, the lead course instructor and local biologist.  “It’s an amazingly diverse area, with a rich natural and human history.  We start by learning about the rocks and geological processes that form the foundation of our area, and move up through hydrology, plants, animals, and the human activities that have shaped our home.  I love teaching this class, and look forward to each spring with the naturalists.”

Here in Mendocino County, we are intimately connected to nature, and our ecosystems statewide provide a home to over 40 million people. Our natural home directly influences our water quality, air quality, food production, and ultimately our health. We are responsible for maintenance, but California’s ecosystems don’t come with a user’s manual. A program of the UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the California Naturalist Program is designed for adults including teachers, docents, land stewards, natural resource professionals, and nature enthusiasts wanting to develop a sense of place and participate in service learning and stewardship of natural resources. California Naturalist has close ties with Mendocino County, as its director, Dr. Adina Merenlender, is a resident of Ukiah. The certification course has spread far beyond our community and is now offered at over 45 locations statewide.

The Inland Mendocino course started in 2014 and now has over 130 certified California Naturalists graduates sharing their skills and knowledge with community non-profits and outdoor education organizations. One of the key aspects of the program is the Capstone project, an 8 hour volunteer service project that all participants complete. These projects frequently take place in conjunction with a natural resource agency or organization. Many naturalists continue this relationship with the organization as a volunteer following the course. 5,793 hours of volunteer time has been offered by graduates of the local program to community organizations in Mendocino since the course began.

One organization benefitting from these volunteer hours is the Redwood Valley Outdoor Education Project (RVOEP), a community-supported environmental education program of the Ukiah Unified School District. Maureen Taylor, director of RVOEP said “I greatly appreciate the California Naturalist program for inspiring people to become stewards of their local natural places. These people are my neighbors and community members, and now that I have taken the course, they are my friends. They came from a wide variety of professions and learned together from knowledgeable, enthusiastic teachers. The California Naturalist program offers a rich curriculum, fun field trips, and wonderful learning experiences to the participants, who in turn volunteer their time to enhance a natural area. RVOEP has benefitted from the efforts of these volunteers in a variety of ways including a pollinator garden, upgrading of the compost area and bringing new energy and care to our land. This greatly benefits our RVOEP students as well, who are the next stewards of the planet.”

The class will take place at UC Cooperative Extension Offices in Ukiah on Wednesday evenings from March 13 –May 18 2019, 6-8:30pm. Five Saturday field trips will be held at the UC ANR Hopland Research and Extension Center and surrounding areas, including one overnight. 

More information can be found online at Early bird registration ($390) ends January 31. The final registration deadline is March 14. The class is expected to fill with a waitlist. A limited number of need-based scholarships, up to $100, are available. Four quarter units of general academic credit are available for a fee upon completing course requirements.

For more information about the course contact Hannah Bird, (707) 744-1424, Ext. 105,

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An 81-year-old local veteran is in desperate need of a room for rent anywhere within a 20 mile radius of Fort Bragg. He is very sweet, considerate and tidy gentleman. His only companion is a small 12-year-old dog named Rosie who is very well behaved. His rent is always guaranteed because of his veterans voucher and can afford up to $1000 a month rent. He is great company and would make a great companion for the right person. Whether it is a temporary or permanent situation anything would suffice for now. He is on a waiting list for other permanent housing. Thank you, Megan 707.364.9828

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by Malcolm Gladwell

A few years ago, the National Academy of Medicine convened a panel of 16 leading medical experts to analyze the scientific literature on cannabis. The report they prepared, which came out in January of 2017, runs to 468 pages. It contains no bombshells or surprises, which perhaps explains why it went largely unnoticed. It simply stated, over and over again, that a drug North Americans have become enthusiastic about remains a mystery.

For example, smoking pot is widely supposed to diminish the nausea associated with chemotherapy. But, the panel pointed out, “there are no good-quality randomized trials investigating this option.” We have evidence for marijuana as a treatment for pain, but “very little is known about the efficacy, dose, routes of administration, or side effects of commonly used and commercially available cannabis products in the United States.” The caveats continue. Is it good for epilepsy? “Insufficient evidence.” Tourette’s syndrome? Limited evidence. A.L.S., Huntington’s, and Parkinson’s? Insufficient evidence. Irritable-bowel syndrome? Insufficient evidence. Dementia and glaucoma? Probably not. Anxiety? Maybe. Depression? Probably not.

Then come Chapters 5 through 13, the heart of the report, which concern marijuana’s potential risks. The haze of uncertainty continues. Does the use of cannabis increase the likelihood of fatal car accidents? Yes. By how much? Unclear. Does it affect motivation and cognition? Hard to say, but probably. Does it affect employment prospects? Probably. Will it impair academic achievement? Limited evidence. This goes on for pages.

We need proper studies, the panel concluded, on the health effects of cannabis on children and teen-agers and pregnant women and breast-feeding mothers and “older populations” and “heavy cannabis users”; in other words, on everyone except the college student who smokes a joint once a month. The panel also called for investigation into “the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties of cannabis, modes of delivery, different concentrations, in various populations, including the dose-response relationships of cannabis and THC or other cannabinoids.”

Figuring out the “dose-response relationship” of a new compound is something a pharmaceutical company does from the start of trials in human subjects, as it prepares a new drug application for the F.D.A. Too little of a powerful drug means that it won’t work. Too much means that it might do more harm than good. The amount of active ingredient in a pill and the metabolic path that the ingredient takes after it enters your body—these are things that drugmakers will have painstakingly mapped out before the product comes on the market, with a tractor-trailer full of supporting documentation.

With marijuana, apparently, we’re still waiting for this information. It’s hard to study a substance that until very recently has been almost universally illegal. And the few studies we do have were done mostly in the 1980s and 1990s, when cannabis was not nearly as potent as it is now. Because of recent developments in plant breeding and growing techniques, the typical concentration of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, has gone from the low single digits to more than 20%—from a swig of near-beer to a tequila shot.

(courtesy, The New Yorker)

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by Ryan Burns

Over the past year and change, Shane Anderson’s award-winning Eel River documentary A River’s Last Chance has toured the world, screening at more than 20 film festivals, airing on five PBS stations, and being shown in school classrooms. 

The movie’s North Coast premier, held at the Eureka Theater about a year ago, attracted close to 800 people.

The hour-long documentary, which Anderson describes as “a cautionary tale rooted in repeated cycles of booms and busts,” is now available online through Amazon Prime (free if you’re a Prime member) and Vimeo On Demand (to rent for $3.99). 

In voice-over narration at the beginning of the film, which features stunning cinematography throughout, Anderson describes his fascination with the Eel and its painful history of resource extraction, from the systemic logging of ancient redwoods in its basin to the extraction of its native salmon populations and diversion of its waters to irrigate wine grapes and marijuana farms.

While the river has been left “a shadow of its former self,” the film also covers the Eel’s inspiring comeback story. The river “is now one of the best hopes for wild salmon recovery on the West Coast, with one of the last genetic races free from hatchery influence,” Anderson says in the film.

He tells the Outpost that he’s hoping to do more projects in this part of the country. Until then, check out the trailer at, or click one of their links to access the full movie.



(1) Wow. Cannabis sure gets scapegoated when you look at first the logging from the forties through sixties and second the diversion to the Russian River that dwarfs all diversion for cannabis.

Without the sediments in the rivers and creeks there would be no problems with fish even with cannabis or any other light water use.

And it is light water use historically.

Obviously you can’t plant forever but without all the gravel in the hydrology it wouldn’t make a difference.

Thanks loggers.

Also the total acreage of cannabis is dwarfed by Russian River diversion.

The only thing that will help is less drought and more rain.

Point is without less drought and more rain unplugging every water user in the watershed won’t make a dime’s difference.

(2) Cannabis diverts water from the low-order streams that are most critical to the food chain and rearing areas at the most critical time of the year. Lake Pillsbury stores water from peak flow periods. 

Cannabis roads are a worse impact than logging roads because of poor construction and maintenance, and continuous use, in contrast to the highly regulated and irregularly used logging roads. Cannabis pollutes streams with sediment, fertilizer runoff, and pesticides. Take some responsibility, Your Grooviness.

(3) Solid film. Well done. Two thumbs up. Bravo! Bravo! Bravo!

The genocide perpetrated against the Native Americans on the North Coast was even touched upon, which was wonderful, and I'm sure educational. That's an issue that still needs to be dealt with, although inroads have been made.

One thing not really touched upon after the collapse of Big Lumber are the many lumber workers, from mills to the woods to the logging trucks ~ and all the businesses that relied on them (gas stations, grocery stores, many other stores, etc.) who no longer had jobs. Could find no jobs. Did not have the money to move away. The devastation to many individuals and families will probably never be known.

So much heartache that could not be touched upon. Foreclosures. Job losses. Family breakups. This is a human cost often overlooked.

And then there is environmental damage not shown, and so much more. Damage I still see from growing up in the small community I still call home. However, there's only so much time, and they did a great job. Some beautiful photography and video, too.

With regard to another point not mentioned in the film: I still do not understand why the federal and state governments did not initiate projects like the one done on Bull Creek after the 1964 flood, without which, some of Bull Creek's most-magnificent stands of redwoods would have been threatened if not obliterated in subsequent floods, including the stand that is reachable, even in most winter months, by walking through Rockefeller Forest, wading the creek, and walking up the bank to a beautiful grove. You can then ascend to a bluff that overlooks magnificent redwoods and redwood sorrel. Been there many times since high school. While most of the rip-rap was upstream, when I was in high school, it was just plain old boulders. No ferns. No moss. No alder. No other trees. No shade. A virtual wasteland. And this was years after the 1964 flood that did most of the damage.

It would have been, and could be, a jobs project on a massive scale. Think of it. A WPA for The Redwood Empire. Think of all the streams, creeks and river tributaries, not to mention old skid roads, logging roads, etc. that could be rehabilitated, even now.

Yes, it would take billions, but it would still employ a lot of workers, still young enough without good-paying jobs and/or their sons and daughters who have little hope of solid-paying jobs in the wasteland of Humboldt's "eco-tourism" economy. And, it would last multiple decades. Many decades.

Now, we have an exponential increase in pot agriculture in a forested region that is having an environmental impact that may rival, in some ways that of logging (sans cutting down ancient redwoods, clear-cutting to extreme, Maxxam's greed, etc). I mean, come on! There is even light pollution from grows never seen before in SoHum. That wasn't even mentioned in the film.

I say: Tear down the dams, and to hell with the wine industry. Too bad for Santa Rosa and the region. Let them innovate. The water has always belonged in the Eel. Perhaps they could do as the Israelis did: desalinate. The coast is nearby.

One thing also not mentioned: Those dams, logging, over-fishing, etc. helped lead to the devastation of all the little inns, motels, hotels, stores, campsites, etc. that used to dot the Eel River. Sadly, I doubt the tourism industry that once prospered along the Eel will return in our lifetime.

Another thing: the railroad damage and the rail gear left in and along the river. It must be removed.

All this costs money. That's obvious.

Well, if we can lie about bringing democracy by gunpoint to Afghanistan (not) for nearly 20 years, wage an illegal war in Iraq, illegally occupy Syria's sovereign land, wage "battles" (war) in many parts of Africa and bomb how many nations in the name of democracy and freedom (uh, huh) over the past 20 years, don't you think the American taxpayers can pay for rehabbing The Redwood Empire and put Americans to work ~ not to mention the huge environmental gains that would result? The region is filled with environmentalists and other experts who could get the ball rolling. All that is needed is the political will on the state and federal levels, but can state and federal representatives rise to the occasion?

I sincerely doubt it.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, January 12, 2019

Bryan, Cartwright, Delgadillo-Vicencio

JANET BRYAN, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

BRUCE CARTWRIGHT JR., Willits. Taking vehicle without owner’s consent.

LUIS DELGADILLO-VICENCIO, Calpella. Domestic battery.

Johnson, Maxfield, Maynard, Piceno

DAVID JOHNSON SR., Ukiah. Parole violation. (Frequent Flyer)

JUSTIN MAXFIELD, Willits. Failure to appear, probation revocation. (Frequent Flyer)

ANDREW MAYNARD, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent Flyer)

SOPHIA PICENO, Ukiah. Trespassing.

Prickett, Scarioni, Simpson, Voris

CONSTANCE PRICKETT, Calpella. Probation revocation.

ROXANNE SCARIONI, Willits. Second degree burglary.

STEVEN SIMPSON, Ukiah. Community supervision violation.

MICHAEL VORIS, Sacramento/Ukiah. Probation revocation.

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Canada actively recruits highly trained and skilled individuals that they need, and they actively discourage anyone from emigrating who can’t take care of themselves or is a risk for ending up on welfare.

For example, if you are an accredited physician and especially if you are willing to live and work in the Northern parts of Canada, you will quickly find yourself in the company of an immigration concierge who will fill out your paperwork and escort you through the system. You will have your residency papers in a year or less.

You can also get a work permit at the border if you have a job offer from a Canadian employer. Present the letter at the border, and you get a work permit. Lose your job, and you must leave the country – unless you can get residency papers. 

The residency process is very long and costly. If you are not a top-list immigrant, your best chance to get a residency permit is to hire an immigration representative. The application paperwork has a steep learning curve and lots of requirements that are documented in obscure places. The online directions lead you to believe you can just fill in the blanks. Don’t believe it – you will not succeed without hiring professionals.

The practical effect of all this is that you will be in limbo in Canada for 3 to 10 years. If you can remain legally employed for that amount of time, chances are you can be a successful legal resident, and you will get your papers eventually. If you can’t, or you lose your job, they will run you out of the country.

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THERE WAS THE TRUTH OF VIRGINITY and the truth of passion, the truth of wealth and of poverty, of thrift and of profligacy, of carelessness and abandon. Hundreds and hundreds were the truths and they were all beautiful. And then the people came along…It was the truths that made the people grotesques. The old man had quite an elaborate theory concerning the matter. It was his notion that the moment one of the people took one of the truths to himself, called it his truth, and tried to live his life by it, he became a grotesque and the truth he embraced became a falsehood.

— Sherwood Anderson

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To be honest, I’m not entirely sure. She has an easy, open demeanor, fun-loving smile, stunning good looks, and an ability to make arguments few others are brave enough to make. She’s manifestly sincere, charismatic, and, despite her occasional factual overreaches, engaging the issues that really matter. She can dance! She once went by “Sandy.” 

And when conservatives like me — or even Ann Coulter — are revisiting the question of tax redistribution in a society that is being torn apart by late capitalism, she makes a kind of sense. 

She is still a little wet behind the ears, and will doubtless mature in office, but her energy, good humor and, yes, charm are integral to her appeal. They help her persuade people of her arguments. 

There’s a reason some Republicans are owning themselves with their AOC obsession: They can recognize a deadly talent when they see it…

Andrew Sullivan, New York magazine

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by Ralph Nader

When Herb Kelleher, the joyous, fun-loving Founder and retired CEO of Southwest Airlines soared past permissible flight levels for passenger aircraft on his way to heaven last week, the accolades in the exuberant obituaries were also sky-high.

Listen to former American Airlines CEO Bob Crandall: “He was a man of great imagination. He was a man of diligence. He paid careful attention to the details. And he was a man of integrity. I think we will look back on Herb Kelleher as an example of the kind of people who ought to be our leaders.”

Herb (everyone called him Herb), was much more than a super-successful creator of a low-fare, no-frills, high-pay, unionized, constantly profitable airline (since 1973) that never laid off any workers, with consistently high customer-approval ratings, and the most solid financial stability in a boom-bust, managed industry. In overturning the stagnant, brusque ways of the industry, he challenged his industry, with four Boeing 737s in 1971 flying between Dallas, San Antonio, and Houston, and overcame a cartel-like industry. After beating back numerous lawsuits by other airlines trying to stop his fledging enterprise – he rewrote the book on management for a large company.

For starters, he put employees, not consumers, first. That seemed not effective to me at first. But then came his explanation. You treat employees well in all ways, occupationally and personally, they’ll treat airline passengers well and safely, which makes the airline prosper for the shareholders. He did all three, having fun along the way. More than a few of his pilots, attendants, and other staff became—as workers/shareholders— millionaires.

Making money was not his first personal priority – making work pleasurable and exciting and giving employees discretion to bring the best from themselves – not playing rigidly by rule books – save him the most professional gratification.

After a while it probably did not surprise him that his wealth grew and grew to an estimated $2.5 billion.

His way of doing business, motivating people, and relieving their anxieties should invite many diverse living memorials in his memory. It is easy to think of many ways to recognize business practices that could be established in his same joyously productive fashion.

I’ve made no secret that Southwest is my favorite domestic airline. There is no second. When I step from the jet way onto the plane, I invariably say to the flight attendants and pilots – “the best airline in America” often adding that it reflects the pioneering ways of Herb Kelleher.

Once I called him to say that he is such a critical asset to the airline that shareholders should pass a resolution demanding that he stop his five-pack-a day smoking habit.

His successor CEO Gary Kelly captured the full breadth of Kelleher’s life-long contributions. Kelly said: “His legacy extends far beyond our industry and far beyond the world of entrepreneurship. He inspired people; he motivated people; he challenged people – and he kept us laughing all the way.”

Born in Camden, New Jersey in 1931, young Herb worked in a soup factory where his father labored, later calling it his best education (including his time at Wesleyan and New York University Law School). Because it taught him how to interact with and understand all kinds of people and “how to produce results, not just paper.”

He attributed to his mother an outstanding influence. In one of his many writings, he described why: “She had a very democratic view of life. She had enormously wide interests in politics and business, so it was very educational in that respect, just talking with her. We’d sit up and talk to two, three, and four o’clock in the morning when I was quite young about how you should behave, the goals that you should have, the ethics you should follow, how business worked, how politics can join with business.”

When you fly Southwest and order refreshments, the flight attendant brings you the drink and a napkin emblazoned with the airline’s motto:

“In a world full of No

We’re a plane full of Yes.”

To make such an expectation a reality, Kelleher put in place a recruiting priority that placed “temperament” above talent and skill. He would say “we could change skill levels through training. We can’t change attitude.”

Southwest ate the lunches of their stodgy competitors by doing business differently: no first class seats, no seat assignment, leg room, lower fares, fast turnaround for its efficiently used aircraft (a record breaking 15 minutes), a great safety record, no fees for changing reservations or checking two bags, using less congested, near-to-cities airports (eg. Chicago, Dallas), flying only one class of airplane— the Boeing 737—to reduce maintenance and training costs and avoiding the “hub and spoke” inconvenience for travelers. Southwest engaged in fuel hedging that locked in prices and then won the bet saving hundreds of millions of dollars over their competitors, when fuel prices soared. It also, until recently, answered the phones immediately with a human being. Its global mileage-reward program rejects termination dates. It is now the nation’s largest domestic airlines conveying 120 million passengers last year to over 100 destinations.

“We market ourselves on the personality and spirit of ourselves,” he told an interviewer. Which is why some flight attendants love to tell jokes during the pre-take-off announcements which gets passengers to either chuckle or roll their eyes in mirth.

Kelleher was a many splendored human being. He and his wife, Joan Negley, raised a family of four children. He had a robust, quirky side to him, riding motorcycles, and engaging in amusing stunts that have become legendary in both family and company history.

With his 58,000 productive employees, Kelleher, in the words of Robert Mann, an airline industry analyst, “literally brought air travel to the masses on a scale that was unimaginable.” Small wonder that he immediately approved my suggestion that Southwest’s mantra should be – “We do not imitate!”

His self-deprecation was consistently funny. One sample: “Because I am unable to perform competently any meaningful function at Southwest, our employees [they were also shareholders] let me be C.E.O.”

No one has been able to imitate Kelleher’s super-successful management philosophy, his hands-on behavior and authenticity. They may install cut-rate fares, but unfortunately for the people, Kelleher stands as one of a kind.

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

* * *


US President's key pledge will have 'severe environmental consequences,' experts warn

* * *


Mendocino County Superior Court Judge David Riemenschneider is retiring as of March 31, 2019. Appointed by Governor Jerry Brown in May 2012, Judge Riemenschneider began his judicial career presiding in Family Court and then became the Presiding Judge of the Juvenile Court in 2016 where he will continue to serve until his retirement date. Judge Riemenschneider is also a member of the Court’s Judicial Executive Committee and will continue to serve in that capacity until he officially retires. 

Judge Riemenschneider joined the bench in 2012, filling the vacancy that occurred when Judge Jonathan Lehan retired. Judge Riemenschneider earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Stanford University and his Juris Doctorate from Northeastern University School of Law. His first job out of law school, from 1978 to 1984, was as staff attorney for the Georgia Legal Services Program. In 1984, Judge Riemenschneider relocated to Mendocino County and began a civil practice, focusing primarily on family law. Originally he partnered with David Nelson, prior to Nelson’s appointment to the bench in 2003. Judge Riemenschneider continued to serve clients as a solo practitioner until his appointment to the bench. 

When asked about his judicial career and impending retirement, Judge Riemenschneider said, “I am extremely fortunate to have served as a judge in the Mendocino County Superior Court for the past 6 ½ years. For me, this position has been rewarding, challenging, and satisfying. I hope that I have accomplished my primary goal of treating the parties who have come before me fairly, reasonably, and intelligently. Although a part of me is sorry to now be retiring, I am looking forward to being able to do all those things that we have all dreamt of doing during our many decades of working. Having recently turned 70, I’m now ready for retirement.” 

Presiding Judge Ann Moorman reflected on Judge Riemenschneider’s career on the bench, particularly his time in his current assignment, presiding over a case-load focused on Mendocino County’s most vulnerable children and youth: “He handles some of the most challenging cases we see in the court, working with families struggling to provide safe and healthy environments for their children and with at-risk youth. He cares about every participant and works hard to achieve positive outcomes. He is a great colleague and a tremendous asset to our bench. We will miss the depth of his knowledge, his wit, and his dedication to the job. Our small bench requires a high degree of teamwork and collaboration. I have always been able to count on Judge Riemenschneider to pick up a laboring oar when we have been shorthanded or when caseloads have spiked. On behalf of all the judges, we wish him the very best as he begins this next chapter.” 

Judge Riemenschneider and his wife, retired attorney Sandra Applegate, plan to travel and enjoy their three children and five grandchildren. They plan to remain in the Ukiah area. 

For more information contact: 

Kim Turner, Court Executive Officer, 100 N. State Street, Room 303, Ukiah, CA 95482, (707) 463-4664 

* * *



PG&E is not at fault for these recent fires.

It's the environmentalists who have closed down almost everything in California — no trees, no logging, no grazing, no farming, no construction. They have crippled every industry in California. The fires are so hot because the environmentalists would not let the people in the agencies reduce the fuels. Jerry Brown is responsible for that. And his administration. Jerry Brown wouldn't let them clear out under the power lines.

The environmentalists have been in control for the last 20 years because of our weakling presidents and stupid Jerry Brown for 16 years. And Schwarzenegger before him and his wife, the biggest environmentalist in the world.

If we had a major earthquake, like 1906 or in the 30s, a lot of people will be in trouble. They don't know anything about history. It's scary to realize how dumb people are. The people who came to this country in the early days made a lot of sacrifices to make this a country. But liberal teachers are teaching our kids nothing about history; they just teach them to hate America. What will happen to people who are sick and need medicine? No power, no water, no food, looting, terrible road conditions, trees falling down, flooding, bridges out. There won't be any way to get around. It's not if, it's when. 

The liberal Democrats who disagree with the border wall are doing all they can to stop it. All they want is open borders. I hope they all roast in hell. I hope the silent majority turns on you bastards and grinds you into the dirt where you belong.

The president should declare martial law and all the cities with a crime rate over 3% should be taken over. Get rid of the dope dealers and murderers once and for all. The president should just send in the troops and clean them up. And liberals who don't like it should be arrested and sent to a leper colony island as far away from the real people as possible. Especially Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi.

The men who talk about President Trump the way they do are not really men. They are eunuchs. They are born without testicles. Real men like President Trump and appreciate what he is doing! Before he's through everything will be the way it should be. So all you eunuchs out there who talk bad about President Trump should start wearing shawls so nobody can see who you are.

God bless Donald Trump, MAGA.

Jerry Philbrick


* * *

A SCRUPULOUS WRITER, in every sentence that he writes, will ask himself at least four questions, thus: What am I trying to say? What words will express it? What image or idiom will make it clearer? Is this image fresh enough to have an effect? And he will probably ask himself two more: Could I put it more shortly? Have I said anything that is avoidably ugly?

— George Orwell

* * *


by Dan Bacher

For the first time ever, a fish survey that the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) conducts every autumn turned up zero Delta smelt throughout the monitoring sites in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta in September, October, November and December 2018.

The Delta smelt (Hypomesus transpacificus), a 2 to 3 inch native fish listed under both federal and state Endangered Species Acts, is found only in the Delta estuary. It is regarded as an indicator species, a fish that demonstrates the health of the entire Delta ecosystem.

Once the most abundant fish in the entire estuary, the population has collapsed to the point where not one fish was found in the 2018 Fall Midwater Trawl survey. The 2018 abundance index (0), a relative measure of abundance, is the lowest in FMWT history.

“No Delta Smelt were collected from any station during our survey months of September- December,” wrote James White, environmental scientist for the CDFW’s Bay Delta Region.

This is not the only survey of Delta smelt populations that the CDFW conducts — and the other assessments have found smelt, although in alarmingly low numbers.

“While this survey did not catch any Delta Smelt, it does not mean they are not present. Spring Kodiak Trawl (SKT) survey caught 5 Delta Smelt in December,” White noted.

White also said another survey, the Enhanced Delta Smelt Monitoring (EDSM) survey, caught 13 Delta Smelt during December. ( ncAGbVD1eD7Lrjg).

While decades of water exports and environmental degradation under previous governors and federal administrations have brought the smelt, once the most abundant fish in the Delta, to the edge of extinction, Governor Jerry Brown and his administration did nothing to reverse the trend, according to fishermen and environmentalists,

Bruce Herbold, USEPA scientist, retired, remarked on social media, “For most of my career a large focus has been on an annual native fish of the San Francisco Estuary, the Delta Smelt.”

“The main way we know how well we are doing in protecting the unique fishes of California is by the abundance of pre-spawning adult smelt in a thorough sampling program that has gone on since 1967 — at about 100 stations they haul nets for about 10 minutes for each month from Sept-Dec.,” he said.

“The 2012-2017 drought was hard on them,” said Herbold. “2018 is the first time they have caught none.”

Before this fall, the 2017 abundance index (2) was lowest in FMWT history. Only 2 Delta smelt were collected at index stations in the survey during the fall of 2017.

The Delta smelt is not the only fish not found during the fall 2018 survey. The CDFW didn’t observe any Sacramento splittail, a native minnow species that was formerly listed under the Endangered Species Act until Bush administration delisted the species and the Obama administration agreed with the delisting, in the 2018 fall survey either.

The striped bass, a popular gamefish that migrates from the ocean, San Francisco Bay and Delta into the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers every spring to spawn, also showed an alarming drop in abundance during the survey.

The 2018 abundance index (42) for striped bass was the lowest in FMWT history, slightly less than the previous low value (43) in 2010. Thirty-one age-0 striped bass were collected at index stations, noted White.

The longfin smelt, a cousin of the Delta smelt, isn’t faring very well either in the estuary. “The 2018 abundance index (52) was the 5th lowest value in FMWT history, a 63% reduction from the previous year. Thirty-one Longfin Smelt were collected at index stations,” said White.

The number of threadfin shad, an introduced forage fish species, continued to decline. The 2018 abundance index (198) was the 4th lowest in survey history, a 32% reduction from the previous year. The CDFW found 150 threadfin shad at index stations.

The abundance of American shad in the trawl is also disappointing. The 2018 abundance index (1064) was the 21st lowest value on record, a 66% reduction from the previous year. Seven-hundred and two American shad were collected at index stations.

The January 2 memo summarizing the Fall Midwater Trawl results is available here:…

The link to the Fall Midwater Trawl monthly abundance indices is available here:…

Bill Jennings, Executive Director of the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance (CSPA), commented on the disastrous decline of Delta smelt and other fish species in the Fall Midwater Trawl.

“The abundance of both Delta smelt and striped bass is the lowest in the trawl’s history,” said Jennings.  “Longfin is the fifth lowest, threadfin shad is the fourth lowest, American shad is a 66 percent reduction from the previous year and the splittail is zero. This is a very comprehensive trawl and the results were a disaster for Delta fisheries.”

“Not only is the Delta smelt on the brink of extinction but there are several species lined up behind it,” noted Jennings. “Governor Brown’s legacy is likely to be several extinctions of fish that flourished in this estuary for millennia.”

“We know what fish need. Fish prosper when they have adequate flows and quality water. They suffer when they don’t. The question is how do we get them to survive on less water of poorer quality than they evolved with for thousands of years. The answer appears to be they can’t,” Jennings concluded.

Dr. Jonathan Rosenfield, the Lead Scientist for The Bay Institute, emphasized in a tweet that Delta smelt are “not extinct,” since other sampling programs still catching them.

“Extinction is not imminent (if agencies take action),” he noted. “‘Flexible”, ‘adaptive’ implementation of the ESA (Endangered Species Act) has not worked. It’s time to enforce protections.”

Scientists don’t have any easy answer for the precipitous decline of Delta smelt over the past couple of years, particularly in 2017, a record water year when biologists would have expected a rebound.

“The answer is that we really don’t know,” said Dr. Peter B Moyle, Distinguished Professor, Emeritus, at the Department of Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology, Center for Watershed Sciences, UC Davis, in December 2017.  “The best explanation I can think of is that numbers are so low that an increase (or decrease) in the index would not be detectable with the FMT sampling.”

“Another is that there was so much water last winter (2017) that  smelt were more dispersed than usual and had a hard time finding mates; this would keep numbers low. When numbers are as low, as they clearly are for smelt, random factors in sampling, in distribution, in spawning success etc can make a big difference to the total population or the index,” said Moyle.

“Note that Delta smelt are still abundant enough in places so that focused sampling can find them. For example, Tien-Chieh Hung had no problem collecting a 100 smelt in one day for his smelt culture program,” he noted.

A number of factors have resulted in the decline of Delta smelt and the other pelagic species, including increases in toxics and invasive species, but no factor has helped precipitate the collapse of Delta fish species more than the export of big quantities of water to agribusiness and Southern California water agencies from the state and federal pumping facilities in the South Delta over the past 50 years, according to fish advocates.

The record total for water exports, including water diverted by the Contra Costa Canal and North Bay Aqueduct, was 6,633,000 acre-feet in 2011 under the Brown administration. That was 163,000 acre-feet more than the previous record of 6,470,000 acre-feet set in 2005 under the Schwarzenegger administration, according to DWR data.

Found only in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, the Delta smelt mainly inhabits the freshwater-saltwater mixing zone of the estuary, except during its spawning season. That’s when it migrates upstream to freshwater following winter “first flush” flow events, around March to May.

The smelt is very susceptible to changes in the environmental conditions of its habitat due to its one-year lifecycle and relatively low fecundity. Because of this, the fish is regarded as an “indicator species” that demonstrates the health of the Delta, the largest estuary on the West Coast of the Americas.

Background from CDFW: The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has conducted the Fall Midwater Trawl Survey (FMWT) to index the fall abundance of pelagic fishes nearly annually since1967. FMWT equipment and methods have remained consistent since the survey’sinception, which allows the indices to be compared across time. These relative abundance indices are not intended to approximate population sizes. However, we expect that our indices reflect general patterns in population change.

The FMWT conducts monthly surveys from September through December. The annual abundance index is the sum of the September through December monthly survey indices. During each monthly survey, one 12-minute oblique midwater trawl tow is conducted at each of 100 index stations used for index calculation and at an additional 22 non-index stations that provide enhanced distribution information.

The 2018 sampling season completed on December 18. Field crews successfully conducted tows at all index and non-index stations during the first three survey months. Two non-index stations in Cache Slough (stations 713 and 721) were not sampled in December due to heavy vegetation damaging sampling gear.

* * *



Any talk of the state or any other public agency taking over PG&E is insanity. Look at Caltrans, look at SMART, look at the bullet train, look at the Department of Motor Vehicles, look at almost any government-run agency, and all you see is inefficiency, poor service and huge budgets. Please, anything but public sector.

Wayne Diggs


* * *

BETSY CAWN: No comment necessary


  1. Craig Stehr January 13, 2019

    It is time to create a magical working group to respond to the decline of planetary and social situations due to the materialistic consumer culture. Particularly, taking this to Washington, D.C. for direct action is the only possible effective response to the hopeless stupidity that defines present day America. If this interests you, feel free to contact me at:

    • Mike January 13, 2019

      Probably have a group like that. In fact, they have been quite active in interesting outreach. Zimbabwe. 1994. The message given to elementary school kids one day on the perimeter of a playground: we are misapplying technology and really messing up the planet, which draws a lot of folks due to atypically high richness in resources.

      After Trump leaves….soon…we wont have trouble forgetting him.

      It is going to be a very interesting 2019 in wash DC, likely a fulfillment of my goals for our white house demonstration in July 1993, the day after the 4th of July fireworks over the mall.

      They are not saviors or demons.

      But, like Harry Reid reports, they have increased their incursions onto nuke missile bases, the most recent one reported by him happening early 2018.

      The NY Times is taking lead on breaking open finally this story which is something 45% of us already assume is the case: we got visitors.

      Mr Magoo is stirring awake.

  2. George Hollister January 13, 2019

    The only thing wrong with the Eel River Watershed is our conception of it as benign and tranquil. The reality is a dynamic combination of an unstable, actively eroding geology; coupled with periodic atmospheric rivers dumping monsoon levels of rain. This reality makes anything people have ever done there insignificant.

    So, give it a rest folks. Loggers, dam builders, pot growers, railroaders, highway and bridge builders, ranchers, miners, etc. (Have I left anybody out?) are no more than a barnacle on the back of this whale. For those concerned about it, it is best to, first, stay out of the way. The scatterings of wreckage from human endeavors in this watershed are not examples of a human assault on the watershed, but quite the opposite.

    • Harvey Reading January 13, 2019

      Dream on, George.

    • Bruce Anderson January 13, 2019

      How do any judges get appointed? If you swapped out bartenders, the sober ones, for, say, the Ukiah Superior Court, would the bartenders be any less fair? Judges get appointed by how they’re viewed by the reigning political party, which in California means various shades of lib-lab. Regarding Judge Booras’s “racism,” I don’t think a couple of careless private remarks make a “racist,” although I much prefer to see defense attorneys on the bench than former prosecutors.

    • Bruce Anderson January 13, 2019

      I thought the documentary on the battered Eel River was fascinating, a real learning experience for me. I agree, George, that the Eel has been hammered by a series of heedless, man-made disasters, but the film makes it clear that the new, much tougher logging rules, and the commitment by the new owners of timber tracts to guard the Eel from damage, plus the truly commendable efforts by restoration groups, and a generally more enlightened awareness of the central importance of healthy rivers all combined to briefly bring back the salmon. Then the Green Rush onslaught set all this back with its draining of the summer time watershed. The legalization of the stupid-making drug and the ensuing corporate-advantaged licensing rules mean the summer time Eel will continue to be drained by the unlicensed marauders given new life by marijuana corporatization. How? By selling dope cheaper than the corporate pot newcomers can sell it. The insatiable American Stoner market just might well spell doom for the Eel River watershed. The only fault I can find with the film is that it’s probably too optimistic.

      • George Hollister January 13, 2019

        Sorry, my point was the Eel is not battered, it just is the way it is. Restoration will last until the next 1964 flood. The dams are still there, because they exist on the periphery. The dams also provide summer flows, that would not be there otherwise.

        I am not an advocate for the pot industry, but what I hear rhymes with what I have heard about everyone else, mostly haplessly, trying to make the Eel into something other than what it is; a large piece of the Earth’s crust on a rapid mass journey to the sea. All the Kings horses, and all the Kings men are not going to change that.

        • Harvey Reading January 14, 2019

          I cannot help wondering to what degree prior poor logging practices contributed to the devastation caused by that flood in 1964 …

  3. John Sakowicz January 13, 2019

    Dear AVA:

    My personal relationship with Colorado Appellate Judge Laurie Booras aside, I am wondering about the bigger questions raised by the findings of the Colorado Commission on Judicial Discipline and Booras’s forced resignation — much bigger than either me or Booras.

    First, how did Booras’s admitted racism escaped notice since she was first appointed to the bench in 2007, and then retained by voters in 2012? Indeed, how?

    Let me remind you, Latinos account for 21.5 % of Colorado’s population, and Native Americans account for 1.6 %.

    Second, how did Booras get appointed in the first place? Who nominated her? Who vetted her? Booras had no judicial experience. None. Not district court. Not county court.

    Before getting appointed to the Colorado Court of Appeals — the state’s second highest court — Booras had never heard a single case as a judge. Never. Not one. Not a traffic ticket case. Not a barking dog case.

    Third, Booras had bragged to me many times over the years that she had been a tough and uncompromising prosecutor, before joining the Colorado Attorney General’s Office, where she had been tough and uncompromising again in fighting prison inmates seeking habeas corpus relief for serious constitutional violations.

    So my final question is this: How does Booras’s harsh resume suggest a judicial temperament? How? How does it suggest fairness? Compassion? Open-mindedness, sensitivity, courtesy, patience, freedom from bias, and commitment to equal justice?

    Is legal scholarship the only criteria for appointment to the Colorado Appellate Court?

    How did Booras slip through the cracks?

    John Sakowicz

  4. james marmon January 13, 2019


    “Judge Riemenschneider and his wife, retired attorney Sandra Applegate,”

    Great news for families, Riemenschneider relied on his wife’s knowledge of Dependency Court and continued her reign of terror from the bench. Sandra was County Counsel for CPS cases for over 20 years, her husband had no experience when he was appointed judge. He leaned heavily on his wife’s experience.

    I helped a client force him recuse himself from a case because his wife earlier in the case withheld exculpatory evidence, along with her supervisor, now Judge, Jeanine Nadel, CEO Carmel Angelo, HHSA Director Stacy Cryer. I had reported to them that Bryan Lowery was forcing me to exclude important exculpatory evidence in a court filing which would have vindicated the mother. Their reaction was to place me on administrative leave and move to terminate me.

    Later on in Riemenschneider’s court the mother and I were finally able to enter into record the documentation of Lowery’s conduct and his wife’s corrupt behavior. I presented evidence of emails I had sent all of the above warning them that Lowery was duping the court and hiding a doctor’s report.

    They all knew before it went to court and did not step in to correct Lowery

    James Marmon MSW
    Former Social Worker V
    Mendocino County Family and Children’s Services.

  5. Mike January 13, 2019

    It might be a good idea for Jerry to deliver his messages via a youtube channel. The comedic impact would be greatly enhanced! He would then perhaps approach the stature of the former Colbert Report!

    Speaking of comedic riffs: anything new from Norman Solomon, playing the dreary role of dark robed missionary to deliver his laughter provoking material?

  6. John Sakowicz January 13, 2019


    You’re right. The Booras story has gone international. The AP wire carried it. The NY Post. So did the Daily Mail in the UK. And a lot of other media (print, electronic, and digital).

    For example, see:

    It should be an international story. Booras’s racism wasn’t causal, in my opinion. Keep in mind that I knew her for over ten years. Booras was a lot of things. Arrogant. Snarky. Hard. Mean as a junkyard dog.

    And all of that is fine, I guess, if you’re a prosecutor. But she wasn’t. Booras was a judge. An appellate court judge.

    However “judicial temperament” is defined, Booras wasn’t it.

    How she got nominated and confirmed comes down to politics, pure and simple.

    What our country needs is judicial reform. We make gods out of judges. It’s wrong.

    — John

  7. chuck dunbar January 13, 2019

    Two short comments:

    Thanks for the Ralph Nader piece on a fine leader/employer, Herb Kelleher, who truly cared about Southwest staff. What an inspiring story– it’s a shame such leaders are so rare in American these days. If they were more common, it would go a long way toward making America great again.

    A rascal idea, Mr. Editor, the placing of Orwell’s thoughts on the ideals of “A Scrupulous Writer,” right after Jerry P.’s latest letter. Made me smile….

    • George Hollister January 13, 2019

      “it’s a shame such leaders are so rare in American these days.”

      It’s really not that rare, and Herb Kelleher’s management style will out compete where ever it’s implemented in the private economy. In the military it’s necessary to treat people like replaceable anybodies. There’s a good reason for that. The result is the dysfunction that we have seen in the military historically. The alternatives are worse.

      It appears to me that this military management style has overflowed into other parts of government, large corporations, and business schools. My suggestion is to keep an open mind about everything that is taught in business school. I know many small business owners who put their employees first, and are successful for it. Steve Jobs, and Bill Gates started small, and got big by putting value in their employees. They were also college dropouts, which is probably why.

    • Brian Wood January 13, 2019

      “A rascal idea, Mr. Editor, the placing of Orwell’s thoughts on the ideals of “A Scrupulous Writer,” right after Jerry P.’s latest letter.”

      Orwell’s advice applies anywhere. Jerry P is a Rorschach test for AVA readers.

  8. chuck dunbar January 13, 2019

    James, a question for you on that Juvenile Court case that you have recounded here several times over the years: I recall thinking, as I read your very detailed account of it several years ago, that– if your alleged facts were true, and were the whole story– CPS supervisory staff had committed a great wrong. Not reporting the entire circumstances of a case, even it some of the evidence was exculpatory, to the Juvenile Court, would be an egregious and unfair act.

    Perhaps I am not remembering it all, but why did you not contact the mother’s counsel, and ask that attorney to subpoena you to testify at either the detention hearing of the jurisdiction hearing? It seems that would have been the right thing to do if CPS was not acting properly and if your feedback was not being heeded, and you had been removed from the case with no ability to write a report to the Court.. Anyway, that is my question.

    • james marmon January 13, 2019

      I told the mother’s attorney, Mom didn’t understand what was going on or knew that the exculpatory evidence even existed. Those court appointed attorneys are pieces of shit. He convinced his client to submit on the report. It wasn’t until several months later after I was terminated that I gave her copies and informed her of what they did.

      Like most the children CPS preys on, their mother was not educated and her first language was Spanish. Her children were biracial, fair skinned, and system wanted them. Later on in the case, the attorney for some reason apologized and gave me the scoop on the Judge being married to Applegate and gave me the statute to have him recuse himself.

  9. michael turner January 13, 2019

    The Brickhead Chronicles have turned into a sad spectacle – watching a man choke to death on his own bile.

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