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MCT: Tuesday, January 15, 2019

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DECENT SIZED STORMS HEADED TOWARD MENDO

From the Mendocino County Office of Emergency Services:

The NWS is forecasting that two storms will cross through the region with the first happening tonight through Wednesday morning and the second occurring Wednesday afternoon through Thursday evening; the second storm is forecast to be stronger than the first. 

According to the NWS "The heaviest rain and strongest winds will occur around Wednesday afternoon and evening. Possible local flooding in urban areas, small streams, and possibly near the Mendocino and Carr Fire burn scars. This extended period of rainfall could cause some rivers to rise to near monitor stage on Thursday. Large waves of 20 to 25 ft at 17 seconds with breakers of 25 to 30 feet are possible Thursday which could impact crab fishing, and impact harbor entrances."

Impacts

  • Winds may bring down tree branches with local power outages
  • Brief urban & small stream flooding possible
  • Significant rises on main-stem rivers
  • Risk of debris flows on burn scars 
  • Large surf & minor coastal flooding possible, which may impact harbor entrances
  • Periods of heavy snow for Scott Mountain Summit; just wet roads over other mountain passes

Tonight through Tuesday night

  • Light to moderate rain and mountain snow
  • Snow levels 4,000 to 5,000 feet, lowest in Trinity county
  • 0.5 to 1.5 inches of rain with locally up to 2 inches (see graphic)
  • South to southeast winds of 10 to 20 mph with local gusts to 40 mph
  • Strongest on mountain ridges

Wednesday and Thursday

  • Gusty south to southeast winds on the ridges and exposed coastal areas Wednesday afternoon & evening
  • Peak gusts of 40 to 50 mph coastal headlands. 50 to 70 mph over mountain ridges
  • Rainfall amounts 1 to 3 inches with locally higher amounts
  • Heaviest rain & localized flooding Wednesday afternoon/evening
  • Snow levels rising to 5,000 to 6,000 feet Wednesday/Wednesday night
  • Snow levels falling to around 4,500 feet on Thursday

Large surf on Thursday

  • Breakers of 25 to 30 feet possible
  • Harbor entrances may be impacted
  • Minor coastal flooding possible Thursday with large surf & high tides

Summary 

Weaker low pressure passing through will bring some rain and high elevation snow to the area Tonight through Tuesday night. Substantial snowfall is possible by Tuesday afternoon and evening over Scott Mountain Summit on Highway 3, otherwise no significant impacts are expected. A strong storm system will bring heavier rain and stronger winds Wednesday into Thursday. The heaviest rain and strongest winds will occur around Wednesday afternoon and evening. Possible local flooding in urban areas, small streams, and possibly near the Mendocino and Carr Fire burn scars. This extended period of rainfall could cause some rivers to rise to near monitor stage on Thursday. Large waves of 20 to 25 ft at 17 seconds with breakers of 25 to 30 feet are possible Thursday which could impact crab fishing, and impact harbor entrances.

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THE THIRD structure fire in three weeks occurred in the Anderson Valley today (Monday). It destroyed the Livingston home on Redwood Ridge, west of Boonville off Mountain View Road. The Livingstons have been displaced but are not unhoused. Two weeks ago at Nash Mill, a fire destroyed a barn, and last week a house fire near Hendy Woods near Philo damaged a home, but to what extent is not yet known. A November fire destroyed the Greenwood Road home of Ken and Joanadel Hurst. 

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COAST HOSPITAL: UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT

by Malcolm Macdonald

The Mendocino Coast Hospital District held their December Board of Directors meeting on January 10th. If that seems puzzling, strap in for further confusion.

One of the first pieces of business for the hospital board was electing new officers. With four new board members one wondered for a second who might take charge. The answer came swiftly, Amy McColley, former hospital employee, spoke first and most often, nominating Karen Arnold, human resources officer at Mendocino Coast Clinics, to be President of the Board of Directors. Jessica Grinberg seconded and the motion passed on a four to one vote, John Redding dissenting. McColley continued to speak first, nominating Grinberg to the Vice-Presidential position, Redding for board treasurer, and holdover board member Steve Lund as secretary. All of these motions passed by five to nothing votes. Arnold took over the gavel and standing committee posts were doled out: Redding and Lund to Finance, Grinberg and McColley to Planning.

Before the new officers were installed, the board listened to comments from the public. Chief among those was John Allison, a fairly fervent supporter of the hospital and three year member of the Finance Committee before shifting to the Planning Committee in 2017. In his verbal remarks and in a letter addressed to each of the five hospital board members, Allison focused on the most recent independent auditor's report and the more recent financial statements of Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Mike Ellis.

Mr. Allison noted, “During the past three years the operating performance of MCDH [Mendocino Coast District Hospital] is continuing to deteriorate… with an operating loss of $2.4 million for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2018. The current [debt] ratio (current assets divided by current liabilities) and the net current assets at the end of each fiscal year have continued to trend downward. Unless those trends are reversed fairly soon, MCDH may very well be unable to borrow the money needed to rebuild or retrofit its facilities to comply with the 2030 seismic standards at affordable rates.”

Allison also compared the 2018 fiscal year operating loss of $2.4 million to the operating loss of $1.1 million for 2017 and the $2.1 million profit of fiscal year 2016. His letter pointed out that the $2.4 million loss last year is about three-quarters of a million dollars more than the new annual parcel tax revenue.

Page three of that independent auditor's report tells us the Hospital's net position decreased by 7.6% in fiscal year 2017 then decreased another 13.8% last year. Page four details the ever decreasing ratio of assets to liabilities from 1.2 in 2016 to 1.1 in 2017 to 0.9 for the 2018 fiscal year. The 0.9 ratio means that at the end of the most recent fiscal year MCDH had more liabilities than assets (a 1.0 ratio being the break-even point).

That 1.0 current ratio is one of three barometers in measuring the viability of MCDH's bond covenants. The days worth of cash on hand (from all sources) is a second measure and the hospital's debt service coverage ratio is the third. To meet its bond covenants MCDH must maintain 30 days worth of cash, have a current ratio of liabilities to assets of 1.0, and keep its debt service coverage ratio (net operating income divided by total debt service) above 1.25. As of the latest known numbers at the end of November, 2018, MCDH has 40.3 days cash on hand, a current ratio of 1.0, right at the break even amount, and a debt service coverage ratio of -1.41. That's negative 1.41 as opposed to a required positive 1.25 ratio.

Required by whom?, you might well ask. In MCDH's case, it's the entity that holds the bag for guaranteeing the Hospital’s debt. That entity is Cal-Mortgage, a State agency, which owns about 60% of MCDH's overall debt. Because of those break even and negative covenants Cal-Mortgage has the right to step in and take over financial management of Coast Hospital. MCDH's CFO, Mike Ellis, has been granted a waiver to allow the hospital to go on governing itself for the time being. The most likely tipping point in favor of the granting of the waiver was passage of a parcel tax by the voters last June.

The parcel tax made it onto the January 10th board agenda in two places. First, in a closed session item identified only by this statement, “Anticipated litigation pertaining to Measure C Parcel Tax.” Secondly, a “New Business” item entitled, “Parcel tax and specific action recommended by legal counsel on the treatment of the subject lumber harvest property owners.”

What this boils down to is information the voters weren't given in the run-up to the election on the parcel tax. The hospital, through the CFO and/or the CEO, has been negotiating with large timberland owners like Mendocino Redwood Company (MRC) to “consolidate” their numerous pieces of property into much smaller geographically connected parcels. Other than the government, MRC is the largest landowner in the county. Within the coastal hospital district it possesses about 600 (possibly more) parcels, as noted in the assessor's books. Six hundred or so parcels would roughly equal a $90,000 annual tax payment to MCDH. Through consolidation MRC hopes to reduce the number of parcels counted against it to around seventy, thus lowering their yearly hospital tax to about $10,000.

This concept of consolidation for MRC and other large landowners was presented to the new MCDH Board in the softest of smooth talking sells by a consultant (from Eastshore Consulting) initially hired by the hospital in conjunction with the endeavor to pass the parcel tax measure. However, with comments from the audience, including yours truly, addressing the complexities of the consolidation efforts and its potential for inequity when compared to the single parcel taxpayer, the new Board refused to go along with a swift passage of the consolidation plan that would largely benefit only corporate landowners.

At this point it may be instructive to return to the actual text of the Measure C parcel tax. The opening paragraph of the measure makes clear the rate for a single parcel: $144 per year. Later Measure C defines the key word, “For purposes for the healthcare parcel tax, the term ‘Parcel’ means any parcel of land which lies wholly or partially within the boundaries of the Mendocino Coast Health Care District, that receives a separate tax bill for ad valorem property taxes from the Mendocino County Assessor/Tax Collector, as applicable. All property that is otherwise exempt from or upon which are levied no ad valorem property taxes in any year shall also be exempt from the healthcare parcel tax in such year. [Those exemptions largely apply to non-profit organizations.]

“For purposes of this healthcare parcel tax, any such ‘Parcels’ which are (i) contiguous, and (ii) used solely for owner-occupied, single-family residential purposes, and (iii) held under identical ownership may, by submitting to the District an application of the owners thereof by June 15 of any year, be treated as a single ‘parcel’ for purposes of the levy of the healthcare parcel tax.”

The second paragraph may prove to be the most instructive. This writer qualifies under the (i), (ii), and (iii) of that paragraph as a contiguous landowner who resides at the property being assessed. Their are 80 or more other such landowners within the hospital district. It would appear that corporate landowners are “consolidating” their dozens and, in cases like MRC, hundreds of parcels into far fewer contiguous parcels in an attempt to reduce their tax bill as much as 90%, as in the case of MRC. However, the wording of that paragraph granting a reduction to contiguous parcels states that beside being contiguous these must be used solely for “owner-occupied, single-family residential purposes.”

The Fisher family who own MRC as well as Humboldt Redwood Company and GAP Inc. do not possess this vast swath of Mendocino County timberland for single-family residential purposes, nor do the other corporate timberland owners within the coast hospital district.

In other matters, MCDH will receive approximately $36,000 from Summit Pain Alliance as a result of litigation. The hospital will soon have its first medical director, Dr. William Miller. It is hoped that his presence, work ethic, and leadership will, among other things, encourage more patients to stick with MCDH for their medical needs rather than travel over the hill or south to the Bay Area for such services.

A full performance review for CEO Bob Edwards was scheduled, but due to an hour and a half closed session and a two and a half hour public meeting much of the review was postponed. The CEO performance review will be revisited at a special session of the board on January 24th. Though these affairs are mostly held in closed session, the public can come to the opening or closing of the meeting to provide input.

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(Photo by Arno Gassen)

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JOE MUNSON PART III: DRUGS IN SAN FRANCISCO

As told to Jonah Raskin

Back in the 1980s in San Francisco, I was a horrible drunk. To support my alcoholism, I sold cocaine. It was pink Peruvian flake. I got it in big fucking blocks for $18,000 a kilo and broke it down unto manageable chunks. One of the places where I hung out was the Ye Rose and Thistle, a bar on California that was known as “The Nose and Bindle” because of all the coke that was going in and out of that place. At 7 or 8 p.m. I’d show up and supply all the people, including the women who worked for Jenny Craig—the weight-loss place—with grams of coke. By 10 p.m. I was wasted and most of the money I had made off the coke had gone to the bartender.

I also delivered cocaine around the city. I had a Honda 360, a street bike and would ride it to North Beach and go to the strip clubs and bars. I knew everyone. I’d also go to Hamburger Mary’s on Castro and hang out with Mary who was a huge bull dyke. She bought coke and supplied it to the dishwashers and the bus boys. I’d go to a steak house on Nob Hill, trade cocaine for food and eat a two-pound filet mignon. Another place I went to was the “QT” Bar on Polk Street, where a friend of mine named Charlie worked. He was a muscle-bound Mexican gay guy and the head bartender who took care of coke for all the others.

My Honda 360 was good vehicle for fast escapes; I could go up one-way streets against the flow of traffic. I got away a couple of times from the “po po” – that’s homeboy Oakland shit for cops. By then I was also selling marijuana, which I got from a rich gay guy who lived on Twin Peaks. Trevet Vermillion was his name; he’s dead now. I’d buy a quarter of a pound of weed for $800 and sell dime bags, which were a gram each for $15. Sutter and Polk was my corner, outside a Mongolian BBQ place. I’d hide bags all over the place —like in a safe place on the curb and around the tires of a parked car that wasn’t going anywhere fast. So I never had a lot of weed on me at any one time.

The cops would show up twice a week and tell me to grab the wall. If I had two to three bags they’d leave me alone. If I had ten to fifteen, they bust me and charge me with possession and intent to sell. I was arrested fifty times — no exaggeration. The cops all knew me. They say, “Munson, why don’t you get a real job.” Sometimes they’d let me dump the weed and not bust me. Other times I’d spend the night in jail and be ORed the next day and then show up later in court. Every time the case would be dismissed. They had bigger fish to fry than me with my dime bags. 

This was when coke and crack were an epidemic and then also the whole AIDS/HIV thing hit San Francisco and guys began to use marijuana for medical reasons.

One of my favorite people was a great big hooker who was called “So Much.” I’d called her “Too Much.” She’d say “I’ll sit on your little white ass and crush you like a bug.” Every time I’d see her I’d ask, “You got my money?” She’d say, “You got my weed?” I met her every Friday night for three years at Whiz Burger on Valencia. She always bought an ounce for $250, northern California bud, the best around.

Trevet, the gay guy up on Twin Peaks, would go to Mendo once a week and buy pounds and then I’d buy one half or one quarter of a pound from him, break it down and sell it on the street.

I’d pay him in $10s and $5s, the cash I got from the kids. Trevet complained about the small denominations so the next time I went to the bank and got $800 in singles, gave it to him and said, “Shut the fuck up.” He said, “I get the point, but in the future try to bring me $20s.” I did try. At about that time I met my future wife, Ako; she was really unhappy with my drinking and drugs and was going to leave me and go back to Japan where she was born and raised. I realized I would lose the best thing I ever had. I stopped drinking; I got off coke. 

We were married, got a Labrador puppy we named “Mellow Yellow,” and walked three to four hours a day in Golden Gate Park. The walks with Ako and the puppy replaced the bars and the drugs. I got a job in construction and told Ako that I wanted to become a marijuana grower. Trevet’s prices had gone up and I couldn’t afford to buy from him. I complained. He said, “What are you gonna do, grow your own?” A light bulb went on in my head. “Fuck yeah,” I said.

“So Joe, is all this true?” I asked when he came to the end of this account of his San Francisco days. “Yes, hypothetically,” he said.  

(Jonah Raskin is the author of Marijuanaland: Dispatches from an American War.)

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NIGHT LIGHT OF THE NORTH COAST: WATCHING THE WORLD GO ‘ROUND

by David Wilson

On the California north coast in the thick of winter the skies are often obscured, and a fleeting glimpse of the stars may be all one receives in an evening. One such winter night my son, my brother and I took a trip out to Moonstone beach to observe the world turn. We stood between two planes: the solid, glossy sand beneath our feet and the blanket of clouds sliding across the sky above. Forming a great wedge, the two surfaces met at the horizon in front of us and opened like a gigantic hinge. A tear in the clouds revealed behind them the vast cavern of space in which we float.

As we stood and watched we got the sense that the world turns very slowly indeed; we didn’t perceive any evidence of it turning at all, in fact. One needs time to observe the motion of the Moon and stars, and instead the clouds were moving in swiftly, eating up the little sky we could see. The crescent moon hanging in front of us was quickly engulfed.

The slope at Moonstone Beach is wonderfully gradual. When the tide is out as it was that night, the occasional far off wave will send a low sheet of water unfurling slowly across the sand to deposit a fresh coat of gloss. A cobble texture created in an earlier tide made little islands in the receding water, breaking the reflections of the bright night sky with almost metallic crispness.

The photograph shows the scene brighter than it was to our eyes. Because the camera gathered light for many seconds, and its sensor’s ISO was dialed up fairly high, it was able to pick up more light than we could see. Looking at the image that the camera captured I get the sense that we were standing on a plate of wet, textured iron. We were on the outer hull of spaceship Earth, hurtling headlong through space.

Watching the world turn with my son and brother at Moonstone beach, Humboldt County, California. January 11, 2019.

We paused at Moonstone beach in a moment of reflection to watch the world go ‘round. It turns out you need more than a moment. The crescent moon, just visible here through the thin clouds, was soon completely hidden as the thickening cover slid across the sky. Humboldt County, California. January 11, 2019.

To keep abreast of David Wilson’s most current photography or peer into its past, follow him on Instagram at @david_wilson_mfx or his website mindscapefx.com, where you can also contact him, but which Wilson says he updates less frequently.

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FLYNN!

Editor,

To Flynn Washburne: We forgive you, we support you, we stand behind you, we love you!

A long-time reader

Mendocino

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RALPH’S GOT IT!

Editor,

I was in the doctor’s office catching up on the December 26, 2018 issue of the mighty AVA. The paper was folded in half on page 2 and the letter to the editor began, "Mr. Arnold from Fort Bragg is a stupid SOB," and I knew without having to look any further that that letter’s author was Jerry Philbrick of Comptche. I turned the page and sure enough there it was: "God Bless Donald Trump!"

Lower on Page 3 of the Letters to the Editor section was a letter from DJ Sister Yasmin complaining that someone was blocking her phone calls. I’ve subscribed to the AVA for damn near close to two decades and every time the words are "DJ Sister Yasmin" are printed it’ her whining that someone is ignoring her phone calls. Damn, girl, get over it! Move on!

And while we're at it, can I plead to the Absolute God Above to just God Bless Donald Trump and get over that too?

Page 4 in the Valley People section brought a wave of sadness as the downfall of the printed word was discussed. It's true. When people see me reading a newspaper they always feel the need to interrupt my reading by giving me their unsolicited opinions on why someone would still read a newspaper. I've begun to read in hiding just so I don't have to hear it. Do I interrupt you while you stare at your phone and make some pithy comment? I applaud your efforts Bruce Anderson and Mark Scaramella.

Still waiting for the doctor (lots of pretty girls rolling in files of something as we all wait endlessly. Pharmacy reps?) and now thoroughly depressed, I decided to cheer myself up by imagining Jerry Philbrick and DJ Sister Yasmin falling in love, getting married and having a baby! Donald Trump would be Jerry's best man and every attendee’s cellphone would be confiscated prior to entering the chapel and DJ sister Yasmin's phone number would be unblocked on every single phone so she could now freely call everyone! Soon enough baby is on the way. Then the doctor's assistant broke my reverie finally pulling me in for the doc to tell me I'll probably live in chronic pain for the rest of my life because I, you know, work for a living, bringing me full circle to your Eugene Debs quote on Page 6 about Debs’ opposition to men who do nothing who are paid millions while those of us who work with our hands and backs receive mockery and a pittance.

I just finished reading Bram Stoker's Dracula and with Dr. Van Helsing’s help out heroes learned that garlic and a little golden crucifix kept the nasty Count and his undead underlings away.

So let me try my own crucifix on Jerry Philbrick of Comptche in hopes of keeping him from calling me an SOB in your paper: RALPH COON OF LOS ANGELES SAYS FOR GOD TO BLESS DONALD TRUMP! Seriously God, stop whatever it is you're doing and BLESS DONALD TRUMP RIGHT NOW!

There, that should keep Jerry safely at bay.

Kind regards, Ralph Coon

Los Angeles

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ALBION IN THE 70s

AVA,

The sun is shining. Early spring. We are moving from Mendo to Albion. In a ditch we spot a raving hippie. Without a second thought we scoop him up (before the cops will). He turns out to be one Neel Miller. Neel was an ex-Marine turned violent antiwar protester and future IWW and Earth First militant, ex-football star and actor. He proved to be a valuable fellow worker and critical friend. Neel was installed at a campsite close to Tami and Captain Fathom.

Neel and Fathom proceeded to Canyon, a town just east of Berkeley where the now late and great Barry Smith dwells. Smith was a student of Bucky Fuller who invented the geodesic dome. We bought many sheets of the very best marine grade quality plywood, miscellaneous hardware, tools and perhaps an extra hand or two. Off we went to the bus landing. Tammi-Diane who now proved to be an excellent carpenter, builder and fish cook is a great help in assembling the dome and creating a room for Raven, a bedroom for us, and great nautical feasts.

Somehow, perhaps using the "labor self-help program" Neel acquired an Alaskan portable mill and an old Mac chainsaw to drive it. With Fathom’s feeble assistance he made redwood slabs out of the fallen redwoods left on the ground from previous logging operations around Albion nation. The slabs made a handsome deck for the dome. Tami-Diane made plastic windows. Fathom killed fish. Raven started a kindergarten at the Whale school at Table Mountain with our own Bo Landers. Helen Jacobs was her teacher. Life goes on. Bo wanted to form an artist community. He was a fine builder. He, along with Ron Facer and perhaps others built an excellent sauna and hot shower. He fixed up the main house which during the 30s had been the Albion primary school. The main house served as both Bo and Margie's family apartment and next a main dining room where we shared food and tall tales. Bo recruited an interesting group of worker artists to build his community.

Jack Lynch (now deceased) a dropout business executive, office manager and drunk. Alan Jacobs, Dobie, Pal Joey, Smiling Bob Bugs, Music Makers Jim Noyes (now gone), Alan Toffer (also dead), Tommy Rainbow, David Alba, Patterson Kelsey, all deceased.

We can't really remember when they all arrived and at whose invitation. We remember our old pal from UC Berkeley, Ben Finkelstein, who could fix any rolling stock and make fine wood products. Gary Moraga, a current leader of the "family," author of “Mendocino Rust” along with Beth Bosk. Gary, a Vietnam veteran and IWW Earth first man. A guy who made great photos, gardens, milled wood and remains top of the class.

Michael Green (now gone) excelled at marketing flowers. Bo’s girlfriend Sam fell in love and married Neel Miller. Neel and Sam Miller produced many children including the college football star Theron Miller, an NFL type powerhouse who later became a coach of the Mendocino footballers and a father and grandfather of present Millers.

The beautiful Carol Ann Darlene O'Brien, husband OB, Jerry the pirate, beautiful Betty, Michael Brother and his fabulous mate Bella. A future Mendocino building inspector Ed Petrowski (now alas also departed). The most able Fred Abelman and divine Bobbi. So many of the fabulous characters passed through Bo’s. Several years down the line, maybe around 1973 or so, Bo broke up with Margie. The "family" could not be controlled. He left leaving the community to take over the land payment, taxes and upkeep. Eventually, after a messy court settlement, sale of land to Bill Shandell who selectively logged and resold to the community. We became Spring Grove and have lived on happy and not so happy to this day, January, 2019.

More details, observations, characters and events to follow.

Alan Captain Fathom Graham

Albion

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(Photo by Frank Hartzell)

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MISSING PERSON? Where's Chris Brennan. Haven't heard from in some time. Chris told me once that if he suddenly disappeared… He lives out on Bell Springs Road not far from Murder Mountain, your basic dangerous neighborhood.

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THE AREA IS CALLED THE "EMERALD TRIANGLE," the epicenter of the American pot industry, encompassing Humboldt, Trinity and Mendocino counties, a few hundred miles north of San Francisco. And right in the middle of that triangle is a place that's come to be known as "Murder Mountain."

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STRONG HEADWINDS

Dear Editor/Publisher,

I'm submitting this letter in response to the article, Whispers of Doom, published on January 12, 2019. The headwinds currently facing MCDH are strong and continue to be unnecessarily stoked by a small number of toxic community members.

Fact: 80% of all patients who receive services from MCDH don't pay the cost of care.

Fact: MCDH's new board members, in addition to a number of local scriveners, are trying to use good old "traditional analysis" rather than "system thinking" to solve a complex long-term fiscal problem that contains multiple lurking variables. The healthcare system is completely broken in the United States and will not be fixed using traditional analysis.

The two major lurking variables, neither of which are mentioned in "Doom," in the equation to solving MCDH's complex fiscal problems include the final outcome and resolution of the PERB fact-finding process with the union (UFCW 8), and MCDH's implementation of a new electronic health record system (EHR). Both of these items are "in-process" and until there is final resolution and implementation, the financial affect to MCDH can't be measured.

Making false accusations of the CEO, trying to use the CEO as a scapegoat, and actively spreading inflammatory inaccurate information about MCDH won't solve the current fiscal situation.

Using systems thinking going forward will allow MCDH management, and new board members, to look for other solutions rather than wasting resources on an approach that has been demonstrated to be counterproductive.

Sincerely,

Vanlee F. Waters

Mendocino Coast District Hospital

vwaters@mcdh.net 707-961-4961

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ANDREAS ALVARADO, the older man noted by many for his distinctive military gait as he passed through Boonville on his daily errands, suffered a bad fall over Thanksgiving, which became a pneumonia that has kept him hospitalized ever since. A gifted gardener, Andreas had lately worked for Lauren at Lauren’s Restaurant and in the gardens of Airport Estates. He is presently recuperating at the Lakeport post-acute facility.

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OUR FIRST POP UP CHORUS at Lauren's. We're hoping this becomes a regular event, but now that we have the time, place, leader/teachers and song, we need the singers. You don't need to read music or have a great voice, you just need to commit to a bit of time on Wednesday evening (1/16) and I promise wonderful things can happen. We're learning and singing Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah.

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FLYNN’S GOFUNDME PAGE

To the AVA readership at large, and fans of the Stoney Lonesome and Flynn Washburne in particular:

I am going back to rehab — rather a longer term and more serious place than the cuddle party passing for treatment here, to accommodate the robust and persuasive monkey astride my aft parts trying to kill me. 

I have established a GoFundMe page trying to raise $1000 to handle some debt and bills while I am gone, and while I hate to beg, I’m asking for your help, in whatever amount you feel comfortable with, and I thank you in advance for your assistance. 

https://www.gofundme.com/les-bail-out-the-dummy

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CATCH OF THE DAY, January 14, 2019

Barry, Bates, Byer, Fleming

WILLIAM BARRY, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent flyer.)

JAY BATES, Eureka/Ukiah. Parole violation.

DAVID BYER, Willits. Controlled substance, concealed dirk-dagger, probation revocation.

FRED FLEMING, Albion. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation.

Hernandez, Hoaglin, Martinez

VINCENT HERNANDEZ JR., Ukiah. DUI with priors.

TROY HOAGLIN, Laytonville. Parole violation.

JORGE MARTINEZ, Ukiah. Prison prior, probation revocation.

Newberry, Rivera, Vincent

BRYAN NEWBERRY, Willits. Battery with serious injury, elder abuse with great bodily harm or death, probation revocation.

ANGELA RIVERA, Willits. DUI, paraphernalia.

JESSE VINCENT, Willits. Protective order violation.

Warner, Williams, Yanez-Chavez

MALISSA WARNER, Ukiah. Parole violation.

BRIAN WILLIAMS, Ukiah. Controlled substance, trespassing, probation revocation.

ROGELIO YANEZ-CHAVEZ, Fort Bragg. DUI.

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HUNTING FOR GOLEM

by James Kunstler

As another president once remarked in a different context — LBJ speaking to a hanger full of grunts in Vietnam — “go on out there, boys, and nail that coonskin to the wall!” That was around the time the war was looking like a lost cause, with 1000 soldiers a month coming home in a box and even the Rotarians of Keokuk, Iowa, starting to doubt the official story of what exactly we thought we were doing over there. It was also, arguably, around the time America stopped being, ahem, “great” and commenced the long, nauseating slide into idiocracy and collapse.

The news media has taken LBJ’s place in today’s Wile E. Coyote phase of our history, cheerleading the congressional hunt for the glittering golden scalp of You-Know-Who in the White House. They got all revved up on Friday in a New York Times front-page salvo with the headline: F.B.I. Opened Inquiry Into Whether Trump Was Secretly Working on Behalf of Russia. The purpose of this blast was to establish the high and grave seriousness of Robert Mueller’s Russia Collusion investigation, because otherwise the yarn has completely shed its credibility. Note: it was around paragraph nine in the story that the team of three Times reporters inserted the sentence that said, “No evidence has emerged publicly that Mr. Trump was secretly in contact with or took direction from Russian government officials.” The idea, you see, was to simply drag the teetering narrative back onstage to titillate the paper’s Creative Classnik readership who desperately want to nail that Golden Golem of Greatness to the wall, scalp, paunch, tiny hands, and all.

The CBS 60 Minutes Show took its turn Sunday night with a puff piece on Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland), incoming chairman of the House oversight Committee, which, CBS interlocutor Steve Kroft delighted in pointing out, “can investigate any [old] thing.” And so, Rep. Cummings will be the ringmaster of this new “Greatest Show on Earth,” aimed at climaxing in an orgasmic impeachment operation. Mr. Kroft could hardly contain his glee onscreen.

The facts say something a bit different about the actual reality-based Russia Collusion case, namely, that it’s been a two-year smokescreen to cover the collective ass of a rogue leadership in the Department of Justice and its step-child, the FBI, who deliberately and repeatedly broke the law in dishonestly pursuing a way to annul the 2016 election result. It also reflects darkly on the Obama White House and its participation in all this huggermugger. Wads of information around this matter also came out in the past week — which you can be sure the news media would not touch — including congressional testimony from last July with former FBI lawyer, Lisa Page, revealing that the traffic controller for the so-called Steele Dossier was one John Carlin, Assistant Attorney General at the time, and formerly then-FBI Director Robert Mueller’s chief-of-staff. Ms. Page herself characterized Mr. Carlin as “a political appointee.” Was he Mr. Mueller’s clean-up man?

What was there to clean up? For one thing, that the Steele Dossier was never properly verified when it was used as a predicate to commence spying operations against Mr. Trump and people who had worked for him in the campaign and afterwards. In fact, it was revealed last week that a file exists proving that the FBI didn’t follow verification procedures before the Dossier was submitted to the FISA courts for warrants to surveil the Trumpistas. Mr. Carlin’s role was also to coordinate the Hillary email investigation with then-AG Loretta Lynch and Barack Obama’s White House. He resigned shortly after then-NSA Director Michael S. Rogers was alerted that the FBI was abusing the NSA data-base to spy on Trump (as reported by Jeff Carlson at Themarketswork.com.)

The purpose of the Russia Collusion narrative was to buy time for Mr. Mueller to come up with an obstruction of justice case on Mr. Trump, which was becoming increasingly difficult to do, and still apparently hasn’t been accomplished. Meanwhile, the actual malfeasance evidence against Mr. Mueller, Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein, and a long cast of characters mounts steadily and raises the question of when the spotlight will be turned on them, and who will throw the switch.

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

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DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION ON LOCAL RADIO STATION

THE TIDE, 100.5 FM

Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s 90th birthday (born January 15, 1929), on Thursday, January 24th at 8:00 pm on THE TIDE, 100.5 FM, with your host, DJ Sister Yasmin. This program will honor Dr. King's life, legacy and his dedication to equal rights and justice for all people worldwide. Enjoy elevating music of the Civil Rights Movement and MLK's relevant and meaningful words which speak to our common humanity grounded in the human and economic rights of all people everywhere, messages which resonate and inspire us in our challenging world of today. Let's celebrate Dr. King's vision of world peace with love and justice for all.

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

For more information: 707-884-4703, or sisteryasmin@hotmail.com.

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‘HOAR-FROSTY PARK’

(Photo by Harvey Reading)

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ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY

I have recently been spending a lot of time at home alone, which is unusual for me.’

To pass the time, I’ve also been watching some movies, which is also unusual for me.

One of the films I watched was Spotlight, which was about the Boston Globe’s work uncovering the sex abuse coverup in the Catholic Church.

It was a sad film for me, because I saw it more about the way “journalism” used to be, and still could and should be, more than being about that particular story.

The film was set in 2002.

We still had newspapers and reporters that cared about investigating.

I’m looking at 9/11/2001 as the point where things started to turn.

By the time we couldn’t find bin Laden in Afghanistan, because “he’s in a cave”, the media were pretty much all in with the narrative.

Look at their behavior when it was decided to once again invade Iraq, just in case.

They were all, “yippee, look at me, I’m embedded with the troops!”

Hillary and John Kerry were also in favor.

We still insist on seeing some of this as “Republican” behavior though.

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JOBBED!

Editor:

Corporate mischief—

Despite record corporate profits, working Americans need help.

Wells Fargo became the poster child for corporate greed by creating false accounts, while PG&E lobbied to have ratepayers cover its losses.

Big Tobacco knew that nicotine was addictive and smoking caused cancer but lied to Congress. The Ford Pinto was “unsafe at any speed” because it could explode when rear-ended.

Exxon knew that fossil fuels cause climate change but hid the evidence, funded deniers and tried to lower mileage standards.

Three Mile Island, the Exxon Valdez, Love Canal and the Deepwater Horizon weren’t natural disasters.

Our for-profit health care costs twice as much as in other countries. We pay more for the same medicines, and Big Pharma flooded the market with opioids that are killing Americans.

Instead of investing, corporate America used its tax cuts to increase dividends and buy back stock.

After taxpayers bailed out General Motors, it decided to move production to Mexico and lay off 14,000 employees.

Tech giants and social media platforms sold our data and ignored threats to our political system and social fabric.

Based on this history, we need major reforms to rein in megacorporations and address income inequality, universal health care and climate change.

Tony White,

Santa Rosa

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COMANCHE CHIEF QUANAH PARKER and his wife Tonasa, 1892.

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PG&E BANKRUPTCY / CONT'D

PG&E Corp (PCG.N) is in discussions with investment banks about a multibillion-dollar financing package to help navigate bankruptcy proceedings, a sign that Chapter 11 filing preparations are intensifying in the wake of potentially staggering liabilities from deadly wildfires, sources said on Sunday. (Reuters)

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-pg-e-us-bankruptcy-exclusive/exclusive-pge-talking-to-banks-on-multibillion-dollar-bankruptcy-financing-sources-idUSKCN1P70PY

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"ALL IS VERY MURKY at the moment, but I would venture to guess that most people in the US are too distracted, too stressed and too preoccupied with their own vices and obsessions to pay much attention to the political realm. Of the ones who do pay attention, a fair number of them seem clued in to the fact that the US is not a democracy at all but an elites-only sandbox in which transnational corporate and oligarchic interests build and knock down each others’ sandcastles. The fact that what amounts to palace intrigue—the fracas between the White House, the two houses of Congress and a ghoulish grand inquisitor named Mueller—has taken center stage is uncannily reminiscent of various earlier political collapses, such as the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire, or of the fall and the consequent beheading of Louis XVI. The fact that Trump, like the Ottoman worthies, stocks his harem with East European women, lends an eerie touch. That said, most people in the US seem blind to the nature of their overlords in a way that the French, with their Gilettes Jaunes movement (just as an example) are definitely not."

— Dmitry Orlov

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SYMPHONY OF THE REDWOODS Welcomes Return of Violin Virtuoso for Upcoming Winter Concerts 

January 9, 2019 – Russian-American violinist Yevgeny Kutik, known for his “dark-hued tone and razor-sharp technique” (The New York Times), will return to Mendocino County to perform Beethoven’s Violin Concerto with the Symphony of the Redwoods. Led by Music Director Allan Pollack, the program also includes Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 1. The concerts will take place on Saturday, February 2 at 7:30pm and Sunday, February 3 at 2pm at Cotton Auditorium in Fort Bragg. 

The original premiere of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in 1806 was not successful, possibly because the violinist was forced to sight-read the piece during the performance. Consequently, the piece was un-played for nearly 40 years. Now, it is one of the best-known violin concertos in the repertoire. “It is a wonderful privilege and honor to be able to perform and study this great work, and to build upon the legendary performance tradition of this piece,” said Kutik. 

Kutik made his Mendocino County debut in 2015, at age 25, when he performed Bruch’s Violin Concerto #1 in G minor with the Symphony of the Redwoods. He received immediate standing ovations from the audience following each performance. “It's a beautiful and awesome place to visit,” he said of his experiences in the area. “I find that being surrounded by such natural splendor helps inspire the musical process.” 

All Symphony of the Redwoods concerts will be at Cotton Auditorium, 500 N. Harold St, Fort Bragg. Season tickets are available now for $55. Advance single concert tickets are available for $22 online at symphonyoftheredwoods.org, at Harvest Market in Fort Bragg and Out of This World in Mendocino. Tickets at the door are $25. Attendees ages 18 and under are always free. For more information, contact 707-946-0898 or symphony@mcn.org. For more information about our featured soloist, visit www.yevgenykutik.com. 

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BE THERE

De Grassi & Moreland

All ages are welcome for an evening of music featuring Grammy-nominated guitarist Alex De Grassi and folk singer-songwriter Gwyneth Moreland, on January 26th at 7:30p.m. at Abalone Hall in the Little River Inn. This performance is a benefit for the Montessori Del Mar Community School reduced tuition program. Montessori Del Mar Community School's mission is to provide a safe, nurturing, and stimulating Montessori environment where children develop their natural joy of learning and become engaged citizens of the world. Doors open at 6:45 p.m., there will be a no-host bar, bake sale and silent auction. Tickets for the performance are available at Gallery Bookshop in Mendocino or online at:

https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4026467

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THE HAZARD OF ‘LIVE’ REPORTING - REPORTER ATTACKED IN CHICO!

Here is the statement from KRCR: 

“As many of you know, our reporter Meaghan Mackey was attacked while doing a Facebook live at the scene of a mass overdose in Chico tonight. Meaghan is very shaken up but is okay. We are thankful law enforcement was right there and handled the situation quickly. 

We appreciate the kind words so many of you have offered Meaghan tonight.”

OMG! Did anyone else just see this KRCR reporter get attacked live? She was about to cover the massive fentanyl laced drug overdose in Chico when this happened…

UPDATE: The reporter is OK.

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ON LINE COMMENTS OF THE WEEK

[1] I live in a rural valley that used to have a small grocery store, two small banks and a credit union, liquor store, etc. The local hotel beer parlor should have been condemned 40 years ago, and now seems to survive renting rooms for out of town loggers. (The banks and credit union are now homes, so is one of the old churches.

About 5 miles away there is a very small campground grocery store where you can by basics, liquor, smokes, etc and the prices aren’t too bad. There is also a gas station, cafe, and pub at the highway junction.

The banks and credit union disappeared 35 years ago, store 10 years ago, and the local brick mall has been empty as long as I can remember. (That’s where the store used to be).

Because of this reduction people actually drive less. The nearest town/small city is 50 miles away. People shop every two weeks and take a list. There are no sudden jaunts to pick some item up, you either have stuff, borrow from a neighbour, or do without. We are more resilient and mindful. There is a local market for those who produce excess vegetables or sell crafts. People have freezers and buy stuff on sale. Impulse buying is mostly eliminated. I have lived here full time for only the last 15 years, but hunted and fished here for the last 45. My best friend grew up here and just 50 years ago it would take 4-6 hours to drive to town on logging roads. School clothes were ordered from Sears every summer to arrive by September. Supplies usually came in by boat and the local store would carry a tab. 

Nowadays, many of our purchases are made online. The mail lady and Post Mistress are personal friends and freely leave stuff on the porch when we are away. They advise me when my son, (who works away), has a package and will often drop it off at my house when they know he is working. On one hand it is a return to a simpler past, yet on the other hand it offers the best of now; high speed internet, reliable transportation options, speedy mail delivery, and reliable hydro electricity that isn’t a generator, etc. People team up and carpool for town runs ofetn.

No one needs a local K Mart or Sears. They think they do, but it really doesn’t matter. The folks that move here and miss impulse shopping and drive everywhere lifestyles usually move away within two years. Those that stay prefer it this way. When I visit my daughter who lives in a town I am amazed how much chasing they do. They always run out of stuff requiring a quick run to the store. Their lives are far more wasteful in both time and resource consumption. Goodbye Sears and K Mart. Their passing is nothing to lament.


[2] So-called “bargoon shopping” is built on an economic model which took years and a lot of money and legislation and international treaty-making to put into place, but which at its core is utterly un-workable, the proof of which you see day-in and day-out in places like K-Mart and the ones we see ourselves.

It’s not a figment of the imagination, the rise of Donald Trump had its roots in the destitution of the middle of the American land-mass, no matter the insistence of the idiocracy in their ivy-covered buildings that Trump was propelled by boogie-men in the heads of uneducated ignoramuses at the voting booth. We’ve seen it a thousand times in rags like Foreign Affairs and Atlantic and New Yorker and the NY Times, that there’s no reality to the gripes but if there IS some, then it’s all down to stubborn resistance to enlightenment and education, fear of change, xenophobia and all the other psychiatric maladies said to reside in the American hinterland.

The chief malady however is the one in the collective psyche of the Manhattan-Washington Axis, the adherence to the misbegotten idea that there’s such a thing as a free lunch, the bill for which can be inflicted on people somewhere else, who somehow won’t notice, or are just too dumb to figure it out. But, of course, this is plain dishonesty at play here, and dishonesty doesn’t comport with Reality, Reality being Mother Nature’s husband, who bats in the clean-up position.

Dishonesty isn’t better when the deception is one of self-deception, Mother Nature imposes itself no matter that the consensus among the ruling class is that the delusions are real. They’re not. Load the bases with baloney and nonsense and you’re not helping yourself, quite the opposite, Reality drives in the runs and woe betide if the fallacies make it round to home plate.

And what we’re seeing are the runs being batted in with the fall of Sears and the rise of this preposterous gig economy and internet-based business models like uber and airbnb, all grounded in economic desperation. Better if you don’t watch. It’s too discomfiting. Do something useful and if you can’t, put your head between your legs and kiss your ass good-bye, then at least you’ll have accomplished something. Flea markets may be a big feature of the emerging retail world. We have two in the county where you can buy almost anything. Most merchandise is used, but many stalls are stocked with new items. Stall rents are dirt cheap compared to commercial space, And no one pays royalties to a national franchise org.

5 Comments

  1. Whyte Owen January 15, 2019

    “Empire of the Summer Moon” by S.C. Gwynne is a compelling history of the Comanche nation with Quanah as the pivotal character. Much myth-busting in there.

    • George Hollister January 16, 2019

      The Comanches were about as ruthless at Indians got. Their territory was from Mexico to Kansas. It took small pox to do them in. Our very own Jedediah Smith was killed by Comanches.

      The Comanche story, and even more so, the Quanah Parker story are fodder for myth and legend. That is the way it is. There is a lesson from ancient myth, of which the Bible is included. Great people become mythical people. There is much truth in the myth, even though it is not always factual. The myth serves to embellish the truth. In the case of the Comanches, and Quanta Parker, so be it.

  2. james marmon January 15, 2019

    James Kunstler hits another home run, great stuff

    James Marmon MSW

  3. George Hollister January 15, 2019

    There are many interesting stories from the Old West, and the Quanah Parker story is one of them. There is never any satisfaction of knowing enough about this one.

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