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MCT: Monday, January 21, 2019

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MASTER PHOTOGRAPHER JUDY VALADAO WRITES: The sky was cloudy and even rainy at times but I did manage to get a few shots.

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FOR A WHILE THERE, CEO Carmel Angelo was issuing CEO reports with each Board meeting. A few months ago she found even those mostly info-free collections of press-releases and highly selective statements of the obvious too much work and started doing them something like once a month. (Coincidentally, about the time the Board gave her that big robo-raise spread out over four years. Hmmm?) We assume that was because even as uninformative and vague as they were, they occasionally mentioned things that Angelo expected to happen — someday. (There were very few specific dates and even those were routinely not met.) So one good way to avoid being held accountable for doing what she said she was going to do was for the CEO to simply cut back on her written reports.

THE OTHER RECENTLY IMPLEMENTED TRICK was about a year ago when the CEO stopped including her CEO report in the Board packet. This meant it wasn’t issued the minimum three days before the Board meeting like the Brown Act requires for Board packets when the Supes (and the public) might have a chance to review it in advance, but appeared instead on the day of the meeting. That way there was no practical way for the Board or the public to digest the CEO's whatevers and ask proper follow-up questions. (Not that they did much anyway, but still…)

TAKE, for example, these two items from CEO Angelo’s last report back in December: “Since the Board presentation on October 16, 2018, California’s Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA) has provided additional feedback and requested new information in order to approve Mendocino County’s RFP for an Exclusive Operating Area (EOA) for ambulance services. The County is working with CVEMSA and EMSA to provide this additional information with the goal of releasing the EOA RFP as early as possible in the new year.”

NOTICE the use of “as early as possible in the new year” to avoid committing to doing anything about this long-delayed project. Of course, the five ciphers, er, Supervisors, (last year) did not pin her down and now two of those five ciphers are gone. Will the two new board members follow up “as early as possible in the new year”?

LAST MONTH’S CEO REPORT also said: “Departments continue to evolve in the completion of the Monthly Metric Dashboard reports. As this is a new request from the departments, it is requiring some additional education and development of the form to meet the desired goal of monthly reporting.”

ACTUALLY, it’s not “a new request” at all. Even the CEO herself mentioned it in her first announcement of her “leadership team’s” formation back in 2017. You don’t need a “form” to report on budgets and actuals by department with a few notes of explanation. Also, notice the sly use of “completion” and “evolve.” We don’t need completion, we only need the first department to do whatever lame-ass data assemblage Angelo may mean by “Monthly Metric Dashboard reports.” (If it’s like the grossly overhyped “opengov” software package, CEO Angelo might as well save us all the trouble and continue not reporting on anything at all.) Obviously, “the desired goal of monthly reporting” is not “desired” much, because it can wait for months and months as it “evolves” and inches ever so slowly to “completion” whenever that may be, if ever.

DURING HIS MAIDEN VOYAGE as Supervisor on January 8, Supervisor John Haschak rightly — almost boldly in the Mendo context — pulled several high-dollar items from the consent calendar, saying that high dollar items should not be on the consent calendar. And last year Supervisor John McCowen told the CEO that he “frowned on” retroactive items appearing on the consent calendar, especially when they appeared without explanation.

CEO Angelo and staff (particularly HHSA Directors Ann Molgaard and Tammy Moss Chandler) assured the Supervisors that retroactive items would not only be minimized, but explained. (Retroactive items that require board approval are items that proceed without board approval and pretty much obviate the whole point of getting Board approval, especially high dollar retroactive items, even if they’re non-controversial.)


Supes Agenda 1/21/2019, Consent Calendar item 4g: “Approval of Retroactive Agreement with North Coast Opportunities Inc. in the Amount of $143,734 to Provide Outreach and Education to Children and Seniors Through the Walk Bike Mendocino Program Under the Office of Traffic Safety Grant to Improve Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety from October 1, 2018 through September 30, 2019.”

Previously: “Ongoing since 2009, last action on November 6, 2018, Item No. 4(j), approval of OTS grant.”

The item is another of those highly redundant grants duplicating instruction already conducted in most local school districts described in the agenda packet as: “North Coast Opportunities Inc. will work with school age children, their parents, and seniors throughout Mendocino County to provide services that improve pedestrian and bicycle safety.…” blah blah etc. etc. blah. … “Education [sic] will focus on the health benefits of walking and biking, and show that those benefits far exceed the risks when pedestrians and bicyclists employ safe traffic engagement strategies.”

AGAIN: $144,000 to “educate” kids on the how to walk and ride bikes safely! $144,000 for that! And the grant should go to MCOE and local school districts to supplement their existing programs, NOT to NCO which is the least efficient way to go about the “education” whatever good it may do.

BY WAY of (non-)explanation, the item concludes: “HHSA received the grant award from OTS on September 29, 2018 with a grant start date identified as October 1, 2018. The agreement between Mendocino County HHSA and North Coast Opportunities Inc. was drafted shortly after receipt of grant award, and immediately routed through the County approval process.”

IMMEDIATELY? Then why are they only getting to it now, in mid-January? (Oh wait, I forgot: to Official Mendo “immediately” means whenever we get around to it.)

SO OFF GOES NCO wasting a perfectly good $144,000 “educating” “school-age children” by providing “services” for months before the item appears before the Supes for “approval.” (Connected unemployables, friends of the public cash dispensers, get the money to teach kids what they already know.) What if the Supes wanted the money to go to MCOE where it should go instead of to NCO? Oops! Too late, staff already “routed” it to NCO, no need to run it by those pesky Supervisors (or the public).

YES, YES, it’s all just the usual bureaucracy and nothing to be upset about. Except that’s the point: The Supes specifically “frown on” retroactive items and have asked for these things to be excluded from the Consent Calendar, and staff agreed — and yet here they are, as if the Supervisors don’t matter. If the Supes allow staff to flout them on simple items like this, how much will staff get away with on the more questionable items?

(Mark Scaramella)

ED NOTE: THE UKIAH-BASED non-profit axis, has for years benefitted from large hunks of public cash funneled to it through the Supervisors. On the face of it, $144,000 to teach children what they know is preposterous. And to route that handout to your pals in do-nothing groups like NCO, borders on the criminal. The Supervisors have been so weak for so many years, the incestuous non-profit sector, lots of them social pals, insultingly assume the hopefully re-invigorated board with Haschack and Williams will be the big fat patsies recent boards have been. We hope Williams, Haschak, McCowen, and Gjerde will slam dunk this outrageous palsy-walsyism.

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by Jim Shields

Last week’s column on PG&E’s pending bankruptcy closes the book on a piece I wrote a year and half ago where I warned to be on the lookout for the twin “Bs”:  Bailout and Bankruptcy.

Both became realities when Gov. Brown and the state legislature rammed through a ratepayer-backed bailout plan where the utility would be allowed to issue special bonds to pay off billions of dollars of uninsured costs stemming from the catastrophic 2017 Wine Country Wildfires. That was the beginning of the end.

The end came a few days ago when with PG&E’s announcement it intends to file for bankruptcy by the end of this month.

Aside from billions of dollars of new liability arising from the deadly Camp Fire conflagration that was apparently started by another failure of PG&E’s equipment, the straw that broke the camel’s back was a federal judge’s proposed order on Jan. 8 informing PG&E that he plans to order the company to inspect and fire-proof its 106,000 mile system of transmission lines because of evidence that its equipment was responsible for igniting the deadly infernos in the Wine Country fires and this fall’s Camp Fire. He referred to PG&E’s “history of falsification of inspection reports.”

He further told the giant utility that the proposed order could include a requirement that PG&E “fix any other condition anywhere in its grid similar to any condition that contributed to any previous wildfires.”

On Jan. 14, PG&E announced its intention to seek protection under a Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization plan citing at least $30 billion in wildfire liabilities while carrying only $1.4 billion in wildfire insurance coverage. According to industry analysts, PG&E’s stock prices have plunged by 75 percent.

The timing of the bankruptcy announcement is interesting given that CEO Geisha Williams tendered her resignation the day before.

Even more interesting is the fact that following Federal Judge William Alsup’s Jan. 8 directive to PG&E of his intended order, three executives responsible for the day-to-day operations of the corporation’s electrical distribution system, submitted their resignations.  Coupled with Williams quitting, the trio’s unexpected exit has left the electrical monopoly rudderless in the most troubled seas of its existence.

Although Geisha Williams’ hiring in March of 2017 was heralded as a milestone — the Cuban-born executive was the first ever Latina CEO of a Fortune 500 company — I believe she was brought aboard for another reason.

She is one of the few corporate types who has been in the forefront of espousing the reality of global warming, climate change, and most recently endorsing former-Governor Jerry Brown’s clarion call that these prodigiously destructive wildfires are the “new normal” of our times.

She most likely was hired, in part anyway, to put a “green face” on the non-descript PG&E organizational chart. It was also smart politics given Brown’s status as a world-recognized proponent of climate change warming, oft-cited as a major contributing factor to the new norm of wildfires.

All of this meshed quite nicely in Sacramento in 2017-18 when the state legislature, following Brown’s lead, expedited historic legislation bailing out PG&E with the aforementioned conscripted ratepayer backing of the wildfire liability bonds.

You could say, the entire state capitol rolled over like a Gold Rush mining camp madam for a utility that was rewarded for its bad behavior that included a decade-long foot dragging concerning its legal obligation to keep accurate maps of the location of its power lines in high risk fire areas, and according to Judge Alsup “a history of falsification of inspection reports.”

Well, we’ll see what happens. But most likely any developments are not going to be positive for California taxpayers in general, and PG&E’s ratepayers specifically. You know the old saying, “a nod is as good as a wink to a blind horse.” And you know who the blind horse is — it’s not PG&E.

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

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A READER SUBMITS: Best women’s march photo

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“Local Cannabis Industry Struggles to Take Off.”

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Last week a shorthanded Ukiah City Council voted to declare a shelter emergency in order to have a say in how some of the $4.9 million coming to the county for homeless projects is spent and to be able to get some of it spent on things in the city limits.

That makes sense.

But we have questions.

We are told that the homeless emergency winter shelter that is gearing up to become a permanent day shelter is having cost over-runs and will need more money. Actually, the city staff described it as “significant” cost over-runs, but does not say what that means other than the building they chose has a lot of problems.

Here’s the other thing: The homeless funds coming from the state require cities to declare an emergency if they want to get any funding out of the “Continuum of Care” committees setup in the county where the state sends the funds. Those emergency declarations have to be based on the county’s “Point In Time” count of homeless. That’s the count done every year by homeless advocates which has been pretty thoroughly debunked in many quarters not the least of which in the Marbut Report, by Robert Marbut, who came to the county to study our homeless problem and said the Point In Time count was pure bosh.

It says a lot about the accuracy of the counts that state funding is dependent on them. Of course they are likely then to be inflated.

Our interest was also piqued last week to hear city staff saying that it was important that people representing housing be part of the Continuum of Care discussions. You think?

Also, as long as we’re spending significantly more on the Redwood Community Services project, why isn’t it being considered as a year-round shelter? Weren’t we told last year that because of a court ruling, only cities with permanent shelters can get away with diverting the traveling homeless with their wheeled camping sites?

But there’s some good news here.

We’re told that the new state regs around delivering money for homeless services now require cities and counties to sign off on what the homeless advocates are suggesting.

Also, in this latest round of funding, Project Sanctuary will get to add a second bathroom to the tiny facility they have now, where battered families (mostly women and children) seek shelter.

That is an organization that has proven itself to be a critical part of the safety net in our county and which deserves our support with whatever funding comes along.

(K.C. Meadows, Editor, Ukiah Daily Journal. Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal.)

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On 01-17-2019 at about 12:05 AM, Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies responded to a report of shooting in the area in the 100 block of Concow Boulevard in Covelo. When Deputies arrived they contacted a 68 year-old female who advised she had observed an SUV pull into her driveway and then heard a gunshot outside her residence.

Jessica Durazo, 24, of Covelo, entered the female's house holding a pump action shotgun. Durazo said she was going to "kill" one of the female's family members who was sitting in the living room. Durazo then pumped the action of the shotgun, at which time the female told Durazo to get out of her house because she was calling 911. Durazo left the house breaking windows on a vehicle parked in the driveway. The female was in fear for her life and the life of her family member, who had left the residence prior to the Deputies arrival because she was afraid Durazo was going to kill her. The Deputies conducted further investigation and located expended shell casings from a small caliber firearm outside of the female's residence. Deputies located Durazo at a residence in the 76000 block of Main Street in Covelo. During the contact two firearms were seized, which corroborated information the Deputies collected at the scene. Deputies also located ammunition matching the casing located at the female's residence. Deputies learned Durazo was on summary probation out of Mendocino County and had an outstanding warrant for her arrest for violation of probation. Durazo was placed under arrest without incident. Durazo was transported to the Mendocino County Jail where she was to be booked on charges of Negligent Discharge of a Firearm, Criminal Threats, Violation of Probation, Burglary, Armed in commission of a Felony, Elder Abuse and Brandishing a weapon firearm). Durazo was to be held in lieu of $87,500 bail.


Any persons with information concerning this investigation are encouraged to contact the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office by calling the Sheriff's Office Tip-Line at (707) 234-2100 or the WE-TIP anonymous crime reporting hotline at 800-732-7463.

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I was pleased and interested to read Larry Livermore’s “Does Marijuana Make You Stupid?" I almost always found his newspaper from Laytonville in the 80s and 90s to be a good read. I have no doubt that the movie "Murder Mountain" gives vivid proof of the violence of prohibition.

However, in our view herb was a great facilitator in the emergence of the hipneck culture. In the late 60s and early 70s the new settlers (hippies) were quite outrageous and offended many (but not all) of the locals. The smoke soon drifted to the home boys and girls. Almost all of them were mellowed out through its effects and soon embraced the beautiful countercultural vibrations, the friendly women and men, and later the economic rewards.

Herb in the 70s to a certain extent fueled the anti-Vietnam war effort and helped make land payments and gave our bare-bones local economy a much-needed lift. Weed was a merry good news kind of high that seemed to make music and poetry more profound, sex more enjoyable, and life better in all ways. Some of our leading doctors, teachers and "thinkers" agreed.

Alan ‘Captain ‘Fathom’ Graham


PS for Ruth Weiss: "Nana Bertha"

I asked her, "Give me wisdom words." She turned around, a nod, a knowing glance, and said, "Child, you are young. I am old. So take heed and learn this lesson well. Learn not to tolerate people but to love them. Guard others as alone you would guard yourself. For a rich life comes only when you are the giver of gladness to others."

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Hello to Everyone at the AVA,

I don't know who the current editor is but I remember Bruce Anderson as the editor when I last had a description. Whatever the case may be, I'm writing to request a complimentary subscription. I have no family or relatives alive to assist me in here. But I do have a lot of postage stamps which I would be glad to send you to cover mailing costs or even the cost of the subscription. If you can work with me on that level I would greatly appreciate it. That's all I have as a means of money. I have read the AVA for years off and on in the past and it really is one of the best and I love it and I miss it. I also write short articles about the prison system as viewed from the inside and I try to show what really goes on in here, not the usual mainstream lies and misconceptions that is the norm. I have several articles ready if you might be interested in them for possible publication.

Thank you for your time and understanding. My current situation is that I expect to be released in August of 2020.


Daniel Holmes #BG1158


California Substance Abuse & Treatment Facility/State Prison at Corcoran

P.O. Box 5244

Corcoran, CA 93212

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We are happy to see 2018 in the rear-view mirror, not that it looks any better that way, but it is smaller, slightly faded and rain spattered which may make it less significant.   We are also happy watching the rain not just spatter but soak everything in our valley, and we were thrilled to have to turn over our full to the brim 5" rain gauge after two days of downpour and for the fifth time this season.  It is a joy and a relief to see green hills and to listen to the tree frogs chorusing again. Of course we're aware that the political evils have not been expunged and that this year will be painful.   But we are catching a scent of change in the air - a whiff of hope is wafting over us and we are hoping some sanity will also, eventually. Best wishes for this year and take care of yourselves and others.

Nikki Auschnitt and Steve Kreig

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I was saddened — but not surprised — to read “Monarch butterflies’ drop stuns scientists” in a recent Chronicle story. My husband and I used to look forward to visiting Pacific Grove each winter just to see this beautiful species of butterfly but noticed a steep decline in their numbers during our last trip a year ago.

This news story should be read by anyone who claims that climate change is a hoax and that it isn’t impacting our planet in ways both big and small, since higher carbon dioxide emissions have adversely affected the milkweed that the monarch caterpillars feed on to survive. More and more species are on the brink of extinction because of global warming caused by man-made activities. Someday, humans might also become a casualty of this crisis.

Agatha Abernathy

Palo Alto

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In response to Senator Kamala Harris’s aide resigning after disclosure of a $400k payout from the state to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit, I’m still wondering why we, the taxpayers, continue to be held responsible for these payments? Mr. Wallace should have shelled out that $400k from his own bank account. “We the people” are not the harasser’s or abuser’s piggybank.

Judith Kernan

San Francisco

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by Spike McGinness

Gualala Community Services District (GCSD) is a special sewer district located in the southern section of Mendocino County. GCSD's goal is to protect public health and the environment by providing a safe and effective wastewater collection system, treatment, and water reclamation.

In 1986 the State Water Resources Control Board and the County of Mendocino approved the formation of the Gualala Community Services District (GCSD). In 1993 The GCSD Wastewater Treatment Facility was completed. GCSD receives its wastewater from the town of Gualala and the North portion of Sea Ranch. The treated wastewater is used for irrigation on the Sea Ranch Golf Links. Because the water is used for irrigation it must be treated to the highest possible standards. GCSD treats and disinfects its wastewater to a tertiary level. This level of treatment ensures public safety and meets all required standards set forth by the State Water Resources Control Board. 

The collection system here in Gualala is not a traditional collection system. Each resident has a septic tank, but there are no leech lines. Instead of having a leech field the effluent side of the septic tank is equipped with a pump that pumps the gray water from the septic tank to the collection systems main lines. From there the water travels through various lift stations and eventually travels to the Wastewater Treatment Plant where the water is treated to a tertiary standard, which meets Title 22 requirements. The water is then used as irrigation on the Sea Ranch Golf Links.

But it has not performed to expectations. Leadership of Gualala Community Services District (GCSD), through its Board of Directors, several wastewater district managers and staff have in the past thwarted an optimal operational system that until only recently has been the order of the day.

My experience and observations of this Wastewater Reclamation District began back around 2003. There was an entrepreneurial promoter in Gualala who decided as one of his community goals, would be to challenge the GCSD political scheme. Many locals have forgotten over time what Marshall Sayegh tried to do in attempting to cause the GCSD board to be a legally operating District of the people located within the GCSD boundaries.

In a community GCSD board meeting held in the Sundstrom mall conducted by Board Chair, Ted Adshade, Mr. Sayegh protested the meeting within Brown Act requisites as the meeting was in an upstairs loft without handicap access. The meeting was well attended by the District’s constituents. Board chair Adshade began the meeting with a gesture of transparency by turning on a tape recorder, the old-style kind with a tape that could be turned over for further recording following completion of the first side.

Throughout the meeting, Mr. Sayegh protested the handicap card accessibility issue and was ignored throughout the meeting. The GCSD agenda was to address the issue of expansion through zones 3 and 4 of a 4-zone operational area.

There was some kind of straw poll survey mailed out by GCSD and constructed by Adshade and District Manager, Greg Girard which brought about all sorts of protests from the folks to be affected by this expansion: “I just spent $80,000 installing a new septic system and now you want me to pay $20-30,000 to hook up to your sewer? Are you kidding?”  One of the attendees stated, “if you come on my land, watch out for buckshot.” At the end of 30 minutes of discussion, the tape recorder made a snapping noise at which time Mr. Adshade removed the tape and turned it over to the fresh side. When that tape side was done the tape popped out of the recorder and Adshade said “Meeting adjourned, there’s a Warrior’s game on tonight.” To which a Robert Juengling (a major proponent of the district’s formation in the first place) inquired “you haven’t addressed the comments at this meeting; can’t you extend the meeting a bit further?” He was ignored, while Adshade picked up and left.

The whole affair of the mailed-out survey conducted by Adshade and Girard was not done with public input or transparency and was poorly constructed and appeared to be a “shove down the throats” possibility of the populace of a poorly represented folks within the District who were still on septic systems. 

The Independent Coast Observer attempted to cover the situation, but due to poorly communicated and conflicting informational efforts by The District Board and its general manager, coupled along with really non-understandable reporting by Julie Verran of The Independent Coast Observer, the outrage continued.

The survey was reportedly sent to all constituents within Zones 3 and 4. And if memory serves me right it consisted of a couple of questions related to the buy in of such an improvement for “say $20,000 or $30,000”, without any actual reference to septic system failures, nor public mention of a feasibility study of the area by Winsler and Kelly; a study that lacked crucial data over the public health need due to septic system failures in Zones 3 and 4; rather the report addressed real septic system failure data of the downtown area which in reality had been corrected with the formation of the District and the subsequent construction of a sewer collection and wastewater treatment facility located just across the Gualala River in Sonoma County.

The other complaint by Mr. Sayegh was that the board Chair was Ted Adshade, a board member was his wife, and their daughter, Bonnie Adshade had become district secretary working for the general manager. Mr. Sayegh created a website that I think was called the “Royal Flush” wherein he would post the egregious behaviors of the District day by day. The claim of obvious Brown act violations ran rampant throughout the site. Unless you were involved in operations of wastewater treatment, or had a stake in the atrocities being conducted, or was an acquaintance of Mr. Sayegh, you would not have much need for the website. Still, the District ran about conducting its apparent non-transparent business.

Around 2005, District Manager Girard decided that the District was not being paid enough by the Sea Ranch golf course for the tertiary treatment phase of the District’s wastewater treatment. The tertiary treatment of the wastewater was necessary to allow by state permit to discharge the treated grey water effluent onto the golf course for irrigation purposes. Mr. Girard reportedly acted unilaterally and disconnected service to the golf course, an action that volumetrically backed up the supply side of wastewater from the north section of the Sea Ranch, while filling the storage ponds to capacity at the District’s wastewater treatment facility.

This in effect presented a problem for the State Regional Water Quality Control Board and the Department of Health Services. Mr. Girard reportedly did not respond to the Golf Course’s request, and the lawsuit card was dealt by both the Golf Course, and reverse suit was compiled by GCSD. Meanwhile the storage ponds of Sea Ranch North and GCSD were filling to capacity. The word of the day was lawsuit, but nobody really understood what was at stake with district manager operator autonomy and an ineffectual communication of the GCSD board to its constituents.

Marshall Sayegh’s website, the Royal Flush became inundated with comment and site visits. Meanwhile Kat Kuhlman of the Regional Water Quality Control Board issued a “cease and desist” order to the GCSD district manager. The order went pretty much ignored for about a week, and then by some behind the scenes action by Mr. Sayegh, the system was reconnected, and the Golf Course was now again receiving treated wastewater.

But it did not end there. The time and money spent with lawyers and threats of lawsuits increased. The Golf Course needed to pay for the actual tertiary phase treatment costs but even the Golf Course was ineffectual in initiating or being a part of productive conversation. Adshade was no help either. He was reported to put his trust in Girard’s operational actions but bore no brunt of the actual violations. Instead, he reportedly came down with dementia and was replaced by a newcomer GCSD board chair, Pat Bailey.

(In Part 2, The continuation of what I call “after Adshade.”)

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CATCH OF THE DAY, January 20, 2019

Asfour, Berry, Bodwin, Cruz-Salazar

FERAS ASFOUR, Ukiah. Failure to appear.

DOUGLAS BERRY, Laytonville. DUI.

IVY BODWIN, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.


Morales, North, O'Sullivan, Rios

GASPAR GOMEZ, Little River. (Booked on January 15, but no charges or booking photo as yet.)

THERESA MORALES, Ukiah. Domestic battery.

BRIAN NORTH, Eureka/Ukiah. Criminal threats.


SESARIO RIOS IV, Hopland. Attempted murder, controlled substance, community supervision violation, county parole violation, probation revocation.

Shannon, Sublet, Vessey

SEAN SHANNON, Redwood Valley. DUI, parole violation.

DANIEL SUBLET, Talmage. DUI, misdemeanor hit&run with property damage, controlled substance without prescription.

COURTNEY VESSEY, Lakeport/Ukiah. Grand theft-auto, controlled substance.

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If you don’t have one of those blue / orange / green yard signs advertising your love for everyone no matter where they’re from, then you’re not allowed to be a virtuous member of Ukiah’s enlightened class.  The signs are a big multi-lingual showoff for people needing  peer approval.

The yard sign conformity club wants you to think that, no matter where someone is from, and regardless of their criminal history or if they’re carrying communicable diseases, the welcome mat is out.  Here, say the signs, our Vacancy light is always lit.

Be my neighbor. Pretty please be my neighbor!

My favorite example:

Over on Highland Avenue you can’t miss one of those signs proudly facing the street.  Except it’s behind an eight-foot high chain link fence topped by triple strands of barbed wire.

How do you say “Buenas Dias y Amor Amor Amor” in Iranian?

— Tommy Wayne Kramer, Ukiah Daily Journal

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Mendocino shoemaker Jason Clapp will demonstrate the age-old art of making shoes, Sunday afternoon, February 10 from 4-5PM. Accompanied by colleague and mentor Paul Schulman, Jason will demonstrate traditional shoemaking techniques. The cobblers will describe their method of creating custom cut-to-fit footwear and offer tips and tricks for maintaining a healthy relationship between your feet and footwear. Some of the common repair services are new soles and heels, rip and seam repairs, stretching and therapeutic alterations. Shoe spa service including deep cleaning, conditioning, and polishing with natural shoe care products. Mendocino Shoeworks is located at 45040 Albion Street, just down the block from the Kelley House Museum, and offers traditional cobbler shop services. Jason blends new world technologies with old world craftsmanship to create a repair system for modern footwear and the needs of today’s human beings.

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Re: the futility of the Women’s March – in the mid-eighties, many of the female underlings in the “high tech” industry were roused to mewl and whisper about the obnoxious practices of their blustering or brutish male bosses, but when confronted with the fact that in that very year women spent over $7BILLION dollars on makeup and frillery that could be put to use for political action, these women decided I was a traitor to their cause (as a rare female manager in our business, noticeably unimproved in appearance by the standards of the day). The Equal Rights [Constitutional] Amendment failed because women didn’t have the guts to strike — at home and in the office — and found it more satisfying to pay for glossy magazines featuring “feminists” endlessly vilifying masculine dictatorship of modern culture, for fame and fortune.

I don’t disagree with their disgruntlement, just the wishy-washy whining and diversion of precious resources to “her-oic” hedonism and self-proclaimed success stories (a female CEO at Hewlett-Packard, Vice-Presidential candidate — remember her? — a Supreme Court judge, like “wow”?), while blue-collar workers of both genders do the heavy lifting and generally get screwed by the “owners.”

On the other hand, I do not regret having spent the better part of 10 years “protesting” the “war” (American raids on valuably exploitable resources overseas) in Southeast Asia, as the breakdown of the then-established political royalty unfolded, ultimately defrocking Nixon, but costing us the lives of some great men and women along the way.

The fruits of successful American protest at home have not been lost, some gains have been made, some have not. My love for Cassius Clay and the Reverend Martin Luther King gives me courage every day to serve in good faith the cause of human rights.

Remember the student protest in Berkeley, which led to the so-called “free speech movement”? These followed on the heels of UC refuseniks who defied the Regents’ demand that they sign a “loyalty oath” or lose their jobs. Those were the people who put their money where their mouth is.

There are more ways to go on strike than people generally realize; usually what’s needed is a very clear mission and consistent, relentless repetition of the primary message: I’ll go with Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib’s — get that motherfucker out of there.

Live it up, Jerry.

(Betsy Cawn)

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QUICK. Can I tell a story fast? There was this deer. Surely and I called him Deerdeer. We came upon him walking in the evening. He approached! This is not what deer do. He lifted one impossibly dainty foot and moved it a couple of inches forward, then the next. I spoke, very softly. He approached. Surely was not enthusiastic about this. I was amazed.

It seemed his attention was on Surely, and he was merely wary of me. It’s hard to tell exactly where a deer is looking, in the evening light, their eyes being on the side of their narrow face, and you can’t see the pupil in that big, dark orb, but I had the feeling Surely was Deerdeer’s object of interest, not me. And he came on.

I say (“he”) because I imagined his behavior was more typical of testosterone than estrogen, but I couldn’t see his undercarriage to see what was or wasn’t there. It wasn’t till a couple of years later that he confirmed his gender with a couple of antler-nubs.

Our meetings were frequent for a short time, then less, then absent for a while. They were always on a wooded trail on the north side of Little Lake Road until the time we met him on the south side, approaching slowly as always. I took pictures of him, a young deer, past fawnhood, not yet full-grown. (In the dark, when you shine a light at them, their eyes glow white.)

My conjecture, admittedly anthropomorphic (how could it not be?), was that when I brought Surely here from the animal shelter, he got off on the unleashed freedom and chased things. Quick learner, he got it immediately that cats were not acceptable chasees. Deer, though, and ravens on the ground, he chased the hell out of them. I guessed maybe Deedeer as a baby had been chased by him a time or three, and he bore a special animus for Surely. That doesn’t make his boldness any less rare, but it explains maybe why Surely was chicken about this. When we met Deerdeer, Surely got behind me 15 or 20 feet back there.

These encounters happened too often to be a fluke. The last time—last year—was the most dramatic. I have sort of a way with animals, but my soft-talking to Deerdeer didn’t seem to warm his heart.

It had been a longish while, and then he was there. Samo samo—Deerdeer wary of me but approaching anyway, Surely unsure about this whole love fest, keeping a few dog-and-deer lengths away, keeping me, as usual, between.

This time, I turned my back on Deerdeer, not knowing what the eye-contact-or-no-eye-contact protocol is with deer. I turned my back and sat down in front of him, with Surely to my front. In other words, I was still between them. Occasionally I cranked my head to the right so I could just glimpse Deerdeer. He was still picking his way toward me. He got very close to my back, six feet or less—less, I think, because I had the sense I could swivel and touch him. Instead, I showed him my back and kept making soft, friendly talk.

He lunged at me. He came within a couple of feet and set the brakes on his tiny hooves. There was enough force in the lunge that his front hooves slid an inch on the dirt-and-gravel road, making a small but sort of violent sound.

Since it was his decision to stop and not puncture me (did he have antlers by then? I can’t remember, but I think yes). I wasn’t scared, but I sure as hell was surprised. What’s with this animal?!

That was months ago. I haven’t seen him. There’s no punchline to this story except maybe this: One day there was a deer like Deedeer with a couple of fawns in tow. It was a buck with a couple of still-young fawns. A buck?! It had antlers. It looked like Deedeer, but that’s like saying this sowbug looks like another one I saw. Not a helluva lot of variety in the local deer costume (though I once came across a whole herd of albinos), but this daddy deer was the right age, and I imagined he favored Deerdeer. He was not overly spooked by this man and dog, just strolled the fawns leisurely away. I'll find a picture of Deerdeer and post it.

Anybody else have an experience like this? The End.

(Mitch Clogg)

* * *

* * *


Coastal Storytellers - seeking speakers!

Coastal Storytellers is scheduled to have another event on January 30th but is currently short of enough speakers to hold the event. If you or someone you know may have a story to share on the theme of "the best bad idea" please send an email to These events are done as a fundraiser for the Community Center of Mendocino and their After School Enrichment Program and rely on volunteer storytellers to hold successful events. We would greatly appreciate more volunteers to share! The event is Wednesday, January 30th 6:30-8:30pm at CCM.

* * *


The Kelley House Museum will provide a docent-led walking tour of Historic Mendocino tomorrow on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday, January 21.

Meet before 11 a.m. on the museum's Albion Street porch. Cost is $10. The tour is suitable for all ages and lasts about 90 minutes. Discover a Mendocino you never knew!

Visit the new winter exhibit, "Form & Function of Fashion: The Way We Wore," after the tour. The museum is open from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. and exhibit admission is by suggested donation of $5.

For more information, please visit


* * *

I WANT A MAN IN MY LIFE but not in my house.

— Joy Behars

* * *


Getting Junior to soccer practice can demand as much careful planning as an air and sea attack on Guadalcanal. Doctor's visits, grocery shopping, and trips to the mall are similar, regular challenges, especially with multiple kids. Different ages, different teams and times and places.

Many who search for whatever self-esteem may inhere in these time-eaters act like they pay their rent on the planet this way. I'm busier than you, so I'm obviously a better person than you. Looked at in the plain light of a Sunday morning from Eugene, this bares an ugly truth. This behavior is killing our 'civilization', and it is killing us.

Notoriously, this incessant need for busyness makes scarce the still spaces. It is likely a driver, so to speak, of our need for wilderness. It can make a day at the beach or on a mountain trail like a visit to Chartres. Conversely, it can make an afternoon at Breezeway Mall seem like a sojourn in hell.

It seems that we are not well and we know it. Our music, our graphic art, and our literature make it hard to avoid dark conclusions. Once, it seems like a long while ago, our world made a kind of sense that it no longer makes. When you went to the mall or the school or the place where you worked, you didn't get shot or maimed. When the president told you that this or that simply had to be done, you might question his politics, or even his choice, but usually you believed him. You might disagree with his followers, but at least you could hold a reasonable conversation. Back in the day.

(Bruce Brady)

* * *

“WE ARE ALWAYS LOOKING FOR NEW PLAYERS. Send us a message or come out to practice Tuesday and Thursday 6:00 pm at the softball fields in Ukiah.” (MendoRugby)

* * *


The Dancing Skeleton

Sitting quietly in a guest room following another sumptuous Saturday night Plumeria Alternative Hostel BBQ, ever more satisfying with contributions tonight of ribs, chicken, links, an assortment of cheeses (particularly manchego from Spain), and Sapporo black lager beer, please know that I am ready and eager to leave Honolulu to be a part of a spiritual working group focused on "intervening in history", particularly in Washington, D.C. in response to this confusion that comprises the present American political leadership; and that includes equally the Republican and Democratic political parties. If you want to do anything at all, please contact me. Other than just living mechanically until death, what would you do in this world if you knew that you could not fail? Isn't it time to get the fuck off the couch, punch your hobnail boot through the television, and liberate all sentient beings from this clueless stupidity on the planet earth? We await the arrival of the Super Blood Wolf Moon tonight. Cast a sacred circle and work your magic. We are the people that we have been waiting for. SURPRISE!!!

Craig Louis Stehr

Honolulu, Hawaii


* * *

* * *


by Ralph Nader

Many Senate Democrats are throwing in the towel on the nomination of William Barr for Trump’s Attorney General (a prospect assured by Senate minority leader, Chuck Schumer, declaring his personal vote against Barr). Let’s ask why?

One would think that Senate Democrats would be appalled at Barr’s long-time unyielding conduct and writings asserting that the President can start any wars he wants even if Congress votes against it! An example of this is the constitutionally undeclared criminal invasion of Iraq by George W. Bush. Barr was also George H.W. Bush’s Attorney General and has been a long-time defender of executive branch lawlessness.

One would think that Barr’s insupportable drive for more corporate prisons and more mass incarceration would upset these Senators.

One would think that Barr’s view of the separation of powers, which has meant separating Congress from its constitutional powers and handing them over to the “unitary presidency,” would alarm these Senators. (Didn’t James Madison believe that Congress would jealously guard its authority vis-à-vis any new emergence of a modern King George III?)

One would think that Barr’s inflexible position giving Presidents—including the embattled Donald Trump—effective immunities for obstructing justice and from blocking ongoing investigations, including limitless pardons even of himself and his family, would infuriate the Democrats.

One would think that this champion of corporate immunities—otherwise known as the deregulation of EPA, FDA, FTC, and OSHA—would anger Senate Democrats who tell their voters that such agencies are protecting our health and safety.

Needless to say, Barr’s legal positions are distinctly minority ones among legal scholars and practitioners, especially his fanatical argument, The New York Times points out, that “Congress has no authority in the area of foreign affairs.”

Barr’s view of the President as King ignores the clear meaning of article II, section 3 of the Constitution that obliges the president to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” Barr and other right-wing ideologues defend the actions of Trump’s outspoken deregulators, exercising complete discretion to shut down law enforcement, not to mention the present government shut-down. The Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee spent much time on what Barr would do regarding the Mueller investigation. Barr tried to disarm them by saying that Mueller was a great friend going back many years in the federal government and that he would certainly let Mueller complete his investigation and report. Big deal!

Would he make the report public, as supported by the overwhelming majority of Americans, and as urged by Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa? Would he censor parts of it? Backed into a corner by Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Barr admitted the Mueller Report would be treated like any other “prosecutive memo” with its full text kept secret. Really?

There is no broad presidential power of executive privilege to withhold information from Congressional Committees—subject to conditions of confidentiality—according to many constitutional law scholars who differ from Barr.

Keeping the Mueller report secret cannot stop a Congressional Committee from issuing a subpoena to Barr and Mueller to testify and leave the entire report in the Committee’s hands. If Mueller resists Barr’s opposition and appears as a witness, this conflict may end up in federal courts.

There is much more in Barr’s secretive, corporatist, anti-consumer, labor, and environmental record to get the Senate Democrats’ dander up and throw down the gauntlet. But, no, they prefer to be polite and in so doing let the American people down. Please note the comment from the ranking Democrat on the Committee, California Senator Dianne Feinstein, during a break in the hearing: She said the hearing was “going very well” and expected Barr to be easily confirmed by the full Senate.

See why I’ve called the Republican and Democratic parties an inbred duopoly? Expect the further decay of a Department of Injustice, shielding a chronically lawless President and turning the rule of law on its head.

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


  1. George Hollister January 21, 2019

    My guess is Mitch Clogg’s Deerdeer was raised by someone from the time he was a fawn. Likely bottle fed. He may have had a relationship with a dog as a result.

  2. George Hollister January 21, 2019

    “ED NOTE: THE UKIAH-BASED non-profit axis, has for years benefitted from large hunks of public cash funneled to it through the Supervisors. On the face of it, $144,000 to teach children what they know is preposterous.”

    How much of the $144,000 was money being paid directly from Mendocino County taxpayers? Not much? None? Where did the money come from, then? Was there an administrator’s fee collected by the county? Does anyone know, or care?

    I know the answer to the last question. But what the hey. Mendocino County Supervisors have bigger fish to fry engaging in tribal warfare. We like it that way, and can’t wait for the fun to begin. This budget stuff is too boring.

    • George Hollister January 21, 2019

      Another seemingly relevant question that is never asked, who provides oversight to ensure the $144,000 is effectively spent? The county approved the expenditure, the county should then be providing the oversight. I know that’s not what happens, but it is what should happen. If the county is not providing oversight, then what is the point of going through the approval of expenditure process? There is no point.

    • Mark Scaramella January 21, 2019

      As the agenda item says, it’s an OTS grant, state Office of Traffic Safety. Another grant-driven “agency” that simply funnels fed money to state and local governments for “safety” stuff because it’s there, and not much more. NCO gets it because they got it in the past, no other reason. No thought is given to any of it. It’s all on auto-pilot like most grants. Most of Official Mendo thinks that their job is to dole out money and be done with it. They actually think that handing over upwards of $30 mil to Schrader et al with no reporting or feedback is what they’re there for. That’s why they think the OpenGov software is so great: it shows that they spent the money. To them, spending it is the end of it. Whether it does anything like what it’s intended for is totally irrelevant. That’s why the “consent calendar” approach is so entrenched. The feds and the state give it to us, we pass it along, what’s to discuss? Next!

      From the OTS website:
      “The California Highway Safety Program is a partnership effort between the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and California. OTS is designated by the Governor to receive federal traffic safety funds for coordinating California’s highway safety programs. Each year OTS develops a Highway Safety Plan (HSP) identifying the key highway safety problems in the state and the most effective countermeasures to address them. OTS then solicits proposals statewide to address the identified problems and allocates funds to state and local governmental agencies to implement traffic safety programs and grants.”

      • james marmon January 21, 2019

        “They actually think that handing over upwards of $30 mil to Schrader et al with no reporting or feedback is what they’re there for. That’s why they think the OpenGov software is so great: it shows that they spent the money.”

        According to the principle of the Five Ws, a report can only be considered complete if it answers these questions starting with an interrogative word:

        Who is it about?
        What happened?
        When did it take place?
        Where did it take place?
        Why did it happen?

        You can add a sixth question “how”

        Where’s the money Camille?

        James Marmon MSW

        • Bruce McEwen January 21, 2019

          You are out of your depth, James.

          Here’s an example:

          George Edwards’ oldest girl rode a pig home yesterday.

          Who? George Edwards’ oldest girl.

          What? Rode a pig.

          Where? Home.

          When? Yesterday.

          Those are the facts. How she rode the pig and why are both matters of conjecture, speculation and opinion, but a fool will always be a-teaching, and will never be a-learning.

          Try to remember that and forget your 5 Ws.

          • Harvey Reading January 22, 2019

            That’s also just about what we were taught in 4th grade as a mnemonic for remembering how to spell the word geography! They substituted “old grandfather” for “oldest girl”. Gotta remember, it was Calaveras County …

            • Bruce McEwen January 22, 2019

              Yes, I remember it well, and so we might conjecture that the Who in question (in my instance an older girl), was riding the pig home from school; and we might speculate that she missed the bus, as to the question of Why; and we might ask the neighbors, as Lazarus always does, what was the “word on the street” to which we might get further opinions, such as she always was a nasty girl, just the kind to consort with pigs, and that she missed the bus because she had to stay after school and write ‘geography’ 100 times on the blackboard; or that she was seen with something in her hand, maybe a magic wand, in one opinion, with which she charmed the pig, the evil witch, suggesting the answer as to How she was able to ride a pig; or that she held a riding crop, and had trained the pig to ride with it, according to another know-it-all — but all of this is outside the realm of facts, as noted above, and this is where many people get all confused in reading a news report, because everything that follows the lead sentence, in this instance (and a great many more), is opinion, whether it comes from eye-witnesses — people often see the same thing differently — or expert witnesses (who are paid to espouse a certain view-point), or malicious stuck-up jerks who always looked down on the Edwardses and especially disliked their oldest girl, or Lazarus and his street-wise ciphers, or just plain fools, or cruel louts who would like to see a girl (or a sheriff) burnt at the stake.

      • George Hollister January 21, 2019

        OK, so it’s not our money. And if their is no requirement to oversee how those funds are spend, then why even bother putting it on the agenda? For many reasons, I think there’s too much of this sort of money coming from above, but why futilely pound one’s head into a brick wall with concern about it? It’s a fight with the politically connected hogs at the public trough. Good luck.

        The question should be, will this create a problem for Mendocino County? There is money from above that is creating problems, like money for the homeless. I don’t see wasting money on teaching how to ride a bicycle safely fits in that category.

        At some point the money from above to feed the hogs will run out, and this sort of spending will temporarily end. When that point arrives, life will be interesting. There will be much crying, and finger pointing.

        • Mark Scaramella January 21, 2019

          “…why even bother putting it on the agenda?”
          You’re not a very good reader, are you, George? You’re so busy philosophizicating and opinionizating on what will happen “at some point” and how “there’s too much of this sort of money” and the (sigh) futility of it all, that you didn’t notice where the money was coming from in the original item, nor the answer to your second question either? Oh well. I give up then. I can’t help you. Hopefully the Supes are better readers than you are.

          • George Hollister January 22, 2019

            Mark, we’re mostly saying the same thing. My point is if this money from above merely flows threw, and no one cares to see how it’s spent, then why bother? The source of the money obviously doesn’t care either. Is there a county in America that handles matters differently? It is a sad situation, but what is anyone going to do about it? Really. We are looking at a fundamental problem with big central government planning. And yes, this money will eventually run out. James Kunstler will be right at some point. The $144,000 could be better spent by redoing a 15 minute film that was in schools 50 years ago on bicycle safety.

            I would focus on how this money effects Mendocino County.

            • George Hollister January 22, 2019

              Something else that is worth noting on a positive note: When the money runs out it won’t mean the end. When we look at the totality of money wasted, we can also see we can fund government services for much less, and do a better job of it, locally. It has been done before, and we were better for it.

  3. Harvey Reading January 21, 2019

    I wonder how badly Pigs, Goats, and Elephants will screw over pensions for their workers under the cover of bankruptcy … excepting high-level executives, of course. California state government should take over and run P.G.&E; that should have happened decades ago.

    Kaputalism is nothing but a rigged con game, directed by the wealthy with the sole goal of increasing their wealth and power. Only the ignorant and the wealthy support it.

    • George Hollister January 21, 2019

      PG&E is a regulated public utility, which means it’s a de facto government agency already. The State of California took over PG&E long ago. True, PG&E can go through bankruptcy, and as an official agency of the State, it can’t. But regardless of what form the blob takes, rate/tax payers will be footing the bill. And the problems that PG&E has now will be exactly the same, regardless. I am not sure an agency of the state can be sued, either. Arguing about whether PG&E should be “taken over by the State”, or not is like the argument about whether we should build a wall or not. It is an argument that is a waste of time engaging in, unless one just likes to argue.

      • Harvey Reading January 21, 2019

        PUC has been pandering to the whims of the mostly private interests it is supposed to regulate for decades now. PG&E is NOT a de facto government agency. It never has been. It is a poorly managed private entity supposedly subject to regulations made by PUC.

        Socializing a public utility is not comparable to building a ridiculous wall, one that, if built, will do no good, and plenty of bad, socially and environmentally. It isn’t like it socializing utilities is something new (SMUD in Sacramento County, for instance). It is something that works and something that is overdue for ALL private power companies, as well as for every other private business in the country as far as I am concerned — including, perhaps especially, those overrated “mom and pops”, whom I learned to despise growing up in a rural county in your state.

        • George Hollister January 21, 2019

          Happy Harv, so what do we do if a government take over of all private business makes matters worse? It has been tried, I am sure you know. More than a couple of times. What do we do with mom and pop who say, no way?

          • Harvey Reading January 22, 2019

            Sanctimonious George: Put ’em to work at a Costco-like distribution center.

            Anything that is tried may fail. That’s the risk. As long as it gets rid of kaputalism with its snotty, class-conscious “mom and pops”, I’ll take it over the current mess, that works only for the benefit of the greedy wealthy. That thought scares the pants off you, doesn’t it? Why? Because it might work and then you would no longer be a lord of the land? That would actually be part of the improvement …

            By the way, real socialism, or communism for that matter, has never really been tried, no matter the propaganda peddled by our always-lying media. Castro’s Cuba probably came closest to actually being socialist … and they keep hanging in there, even with the kaputalist monster to west constantly breathing fire on them.

  4. John Sakowicz January 21, 2019

    Forget the County CEO’s report. It ain’t gonna happen, if Angelo doesn’t want it to happen….the Board of Supervisors notwithstanding.

    If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: County CEO Carmel “Boss” Angelo doesn’t work for the Board of Supervisors. They work for her.

  5. Jeff DeVilbiss January 21, 2019

    Back up Gulch 4 off Cottoneva Creek I saw a deer with horns and a small fawn. The fawn was sharply nuzzeling between the legs of the apparent Buck?????????????????????????????????

    • Harvey Reading January 22, 2019

      What’s the monster gonna do? Use prison labor? This country needs a border wall about as much as it needs Trump. Hang in there, Pelosi. NO COMPROMISES.

      • james marmon January 22, 2019

        “What’s the monster gonna do? Use prison labor?”

        Exactly Mr. Reading

        Trump: Hire America Also Means Helping Former Inmates Get Work

        “When we talk about our national program to hire American, this must include helping millions of former inmates get back into the workforce as gainfully employed citizens,” the president said. “At the heart of our prison reform agenda is expanding prison work and the programs so that inmates can reenter society with the skills to get a job.”

      • james marmon January 22, 2019

        Hiring White and Black criminals can’t be worse than hiring Brown ones who break the law by entering the USA illegally and bring drugs, rape, human trafficking into our community.

  6. james marmon January 21, 2019

    I’m not against all local grape growers especially my step-sister, Karen Woolley-Stratman, who is one of the family members and owners of The Poor Family Ranch in Hopland, they are dry farmers. Her half brother is John Poor Jr. who currently runs the ranch.

    The Poor Ranch, Hopland

    “All of their vines are on St. George rootstock. They report that this rootstock will “seek the water.” The Carignane is now the oldest vineyard (1942). The original vineyards were not on rootstock, but though the first wave of phylloxera missed them, the second wave hit in the early 1940s. The vine spacing is 9×9 or 9×11. They want enough space between the vines so that they can disc in both directions. Some vineyards are planted in diamonds, some in squares. They use no irrigation when planting, just put the plant in a hole and cover it. It takes about 5 years to get a crop after planting this way.

    The Poors have no sprinkler system or fans for frost protection, so they use the technique of pruning twice to trick the vine. Frost is only a problem in the spring, as the plant starts to bud. They leave sizeable pieces of cane as they prune and then cut back again. If it freezes, only the ends freeze and they can cut it off. The vines are head pruned; there are no trellises or wires.”

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