- B Muddle
- White Deer
- Bill Hargrave
- Picture Postcards
- Ed Notes
- Edwards Out
- Guild Show
- Phone Scam
- Ukiah Institutions
- PV Withdrawal
- Good Mechanic
- Noah Popped
- Road Repair
- Yesterday's Catch
- Art Exhibit
- Ill Winds
- Pinky Control
- Education Killing
- Grid Maintenance
- Robert Burns
- Bernie Again
- Scientific Truth
- Marco Radio
- Engine 197
- Female Conversation
- Tet Story
MEASURE B COMMITTEE PUNTS AGAIN
by Mike A’Dair
By a unanimous vote, members of the Measure B Mental Health Facilities Advsiory Committee on Wednesday approved a wide-ranging and open-ended motion made by County CEO Carmel Angelo and seconded by new committee chair Ace Barash, MD, that: “The Measure B Committee is recommending to the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors that it explore using Measure B funds for the development of a crisis residential facility, a crisis stabilization unit and a 24-hour psychiatric facility. Further, that the board of supervisors direct staff to explore options associated with such a facility, including design/bid/build and potential property or facility location.”
With this vote, the committee shuffled off making a recommendation about the location of the project and what kind of project is to be built with Measure B tax revenues, to the board of supervisors, instead of making any specific recommendation.
As Angelo explained the motion to the committee members, if the supervisors direct Angelo to implement the motion, she would break the proposal down into three components, and send out three separate requests for proposals. Potential bidders could bid on one or more of the components, or could combine components as they saw fit.
Angelo’s motion was an effort on the part of the committee to deal with a long-standing proposal by Redwood Community Services to build and operate a combined crisis access center, crisis stabilization unit, and crisis residential treatment facility on property located at 631 Orchard Avenue in Ukiah.
The proposal has been on the books for years. In July 2015, the Board of Supervisors directed the county’s Behavioral Health and Recovery Services Director Stacey Cryer to accept $500,000 from the state; that move was repeated in March of 2016 and more finely tuned in May of 2017, when the Board of Supervisors approved an agreement between the County Health and Human Services Agency to give $380,000 to Redwood Community Services so it could purchase land to build a crisis residential treatment center. The $380,000 came from the original $500,000 grant from the state.
The Measure B Committee has had a difficult time endorsing the RCS proposal. For several months, the committee was unable to get it on to the agenda. Then last December an agenda item seeming to address the RCS proposal did make it on the agenda; however, the motion that was ultimately made did not match the agenda item.
The troublesome motion was withdrawn and Sheriff Tom Allman, who then was serving as committee chair, told the maker of the motion that it would be on the January agenda.
For the January meeting, the agenda item did appear to reflect the RCS proposal. It stated: “Discussion and possible action including approval of recommendation to the board of supervisors regarding a request for proposal for a biddable design of a combined residential, crisis stabilization and crisis access facility in the Ukiah Valley.”
Various committee members were hesitant to support the motion. Sheriff Allman said that he thought the first item of business ought to be the creation of a psychiatric health facility, or PHF. Fifth District Representative Ross Liberty said that he felt constrained because RCS owned the design for a building that co-located both a crisis stabilization unit and a crisis residential treatment facility.
County Auditor Lloyd Weer said he felt the proposal, as it was worded, limited the county to building only a CSU and a CRT. Weer recommended putting in language that would recommend that the Supervisors also put out a request for proposals for a psychiatric health facility as well.
His suggestion appeared to fall on deaf ears until Health and Human Services Agency Director Tammy Moss Chandler said she thought putting in the PHF language was a good idea. She said she had worked in the past in various cities that combined a PHF with a CSU, a CSU with a CRT, and a CSU with a CRT and a PHF. She thought they were all workable. Angelo amended her motion to include the PHF, and it was approved unanimously.
In other committee business, the committee failed to consider an agenda item submitted by Behavioral Health Recovery Services Advisory Board Chair Jan McGourty and by Third District Representative Jed Diamond, to the effect that the committee ought to review the Kemper Report and adopt the recommendations contained in it.
The McGourty-Diamond proposal immediately led the committee into the quicksand. Diamond agreed with McGourty that the committee should review the Kemper Report; however he wished to add the proviso that the committee should create a subcommittee that would select one agenda item per month, and that the committee would focus on that one item until it came to resolution.
Diamond argued that proceeding in that way would help the committee to be more efficient. “We do need organization and we need some direction,” he said.
Allman said he felt the committee had already reviewed the Kemper Report. McGourty said the committee had not reviewed it in depth and had not adopted the work plan included in the report. “We’ve read it, yes, individually, but we haven’t discussed it in depth, as a committee,” she said.
“We meet two hours a month,” Allman said. “If we were to take the time to review this, it would take 40 hours a month, and I don’t think that everyone on this committee has that kind of time available.”
Third District Supervisor John Haschak, who was briefly present at the meeting, suggested that the committee members should go around the table and say what mental health project was the most important to them. The members did that.
Diamond said he favored building a PHF and a crisis residential treatment facility. Allman said he favored the PHF. Riley said the crisis residential treatment center, followed by a PHF and by a crisis stabilization unit. Mark Mertle said he liked the crisis residential treatment facility, followed by a crisis stabilization unit, followed by the PHF. Donna Moscetti said she favored prevention services, a PHF and after-care. She mentioned that the county needed all three types of services.
Dr. Barash said he liked the Orchard Avenue project. Weer liked the PHF, a crisis residential treatment facility, and a crisis stabilization unit. Ross Liberty’s answer was unintelligible. Angelo said a crisis stabilization unit was the No. 1 item for her, but she cautioned, “If we do not have the support services or staff to run that CSU, that 24-hour facility will fail.”
McGourty said the most important element for her was information. “We might like to find out information about various options so we could make an informed decision,” she said. Jenine Miller said that the crisis stabilization unit was the most important project for her.
After taking stock of each member’s most important mental health item, the committee decided to simply abandon McGourty’s proposal. Without bringing the matter to a vote, the committee moved on to consider the crisis center proposal mentioned above.
BILL HARGRAVE of Rancho Navarro has died. We have no further details, but he had been a resident of Navarro for about ten years, some of those years fairly turbulent. Mike Saner was associated with Hargrave before they fell out, leaving Saner adrift in the area until Saner shot Willie Martinez to death two years ago as Willie sat down to a meal at Fritz Ohm's place. Saner has been confined to the County Jail ever since while the charges against him are weighed and debated by the authorities.
THE PLEASURES OF PICTURE POSTCARDS
by Marshall Newman
I recently visited my neighborhood chain drug store to purchase picture postcards to send to friends. I purchased my previous batch there perhaps two years ago. After searching to no avail, I was informed by the clerk that the store no longer carried picture postcards. Apparently the space devoted to that one rack of postcards proved more lucrative selling something else.
The vanishing picture postcard should not be a surprise. The advent of communicating electronically has decimated communicating by mail and the postcard is one of the victims. For a generation that has never received one, picture postcards must seem completely outmoded.
I have a one word response to such thinking: baloney! In truth, no e-mail or text – even one accompanied by a photograph – offers the pleasures of a good old-fashioned picture postcard.
Begin with the messages. The postcard – picture or plain – is the most public of written communications. The message is there for everyone to see and no postcard is sent anonymously. Only a cretin would send a mean-spirited picture postcard. Since almost all picture postcards are mailed to family and friends, the messages are cordial and informal. They also are brief; only so many words fit in a box roughly three inches square.
Then there are the postcards themselves. Pictures of places visited. Pictures of places lived. Local and national landmarks. Scenic views. Great shots by top photographers. Many are beautiful. Some are meaningful. All are personal.
A fair number also are historic. Picture postcards have been with us for more than a century and offer a window to the past. Indeed, Images of America, a series of local history books, depends on picture postcards for a significant percentage of its illustrations.
Early Anderson Valley picture postcards include the usual subjects: the high school, various lumber mills, Hendy Grove, and local inns and resorts. More unusual subjects also appear, including rowboats on Anderson Creek(!).
Today I am sure at least a couple of local stores and a fair number of wineries in Anderson Valley offer postcards. If they don’t, they should. Back in the 1950s and early 1960s, Italian Swiss Colony Winery in Asti – arguably Sonoma County’s largest tourist destination at the time – provided free postcards to visitors. It even mailed them for free (to be fair, postage was only two or three cents back then). Smart promotion, then and now.
My own quest for picture postcards eventually took me to the internet. It is amazing how many unused vintage and not-so-vintage postcards are available, often at surprisingly reasonable prices. I bought a bunch, because I’ve decided to send multiples to family and friends over the next year.
Which card to which person? It depends. A friend dealing with memory problems received a card depicting Yosemite Valley, one of his favorite places. A family member received one of Monterey, where we vacationed years ago. Another received one of the Mendocino Hotel in Mendocino that probably dated from the early 1960s (the Greyhound bus sign was a clue). My preschool grandniece and grandnephew received one of the Bay Bridge, near where their grandma and grandpa live. The picture on the card probably is less important than the card itself, but it is nice to send one that fits.
The responses have been surprising. One recipient called me to say how much she appreciated the card – our first conversation in months. Another reciprocated with a card showing the town where she lives in Montana. There is something very cool about sending and/or receiving a picture postcard, something that moves people in ways no other communication can.
Do I expect picture postcards to make a huge comeback? No. The best I can hope for is more people sending and receiving them. Picture postcards offer a kind of magic and we need magic now more than ever.
I MET KAMALA HARRIS at a jazz event in San Francisco maybe ten years ago. The Missus and I were gifted the tickets by my nephew, a jazz afficianado. We were seated at a table with among others and of all people, Willie Brown and his Russian girl friend. Brown didn't seem happy to see me. I thought maybe he remembered a night in Mendocino in '85 or so when I was on a bullhorn outside a wine fete at the Mendocino Hotel with a mob of enviros trying my loudest to wreck the party inside the place. The local Democrats, led by a character called Luke Breit, were entertaining Brown, nevermind that he'd just cancelled an attempt by Mendo to locally regulate the aerial application of herbicides. I was seated next to the Russian girl friend. Every time I tried to talk to her she said, "Vat's that you say to me?" and variations on that theme. She and Brown were carping at each other like a pair of high school kids. I'd hope for a chance to argue with Brown but out of deference to Nephew, I didn't. Charlie Musslewhite and his wife Henrietta were seated on my other side, fortunately, because they are always pleasant and fun. Kamala Harris, then San Francisco DA, was going from table to table introducing herself. When she got to us, I mentioned that my cousin worked for her. "He does?" Yes, I said, Jimmy Rowland. "Well, I can tell you I love James Rowland. He's head of my domestic abuse department." I replied that our family suspects that Jimmy is himself a victim of domestic violence, explaining that his wife had thrown him out of their car somewhere deep in the desert down by the Mexican border. Kamala took a closer look at me to assess just what kind of crank she was dealing with and quickly moved on. "Nice meeting you Mr. and Mrs. Anderson." I must say I liked Kamala's vibe, as they say, but the only Democrat I have any enthusiasm for is Ocasio-Cortez. The music that night? Knocked me out. Beautiful.
TELL ME AGAIN that the FBI is not a political police force? The pre-dawn FBI swat team that arrested that windy Trumper, Roger Strone, arrived with the live feed TV trucks, obviously tipped off by the feds that ol' Rog was going to be taken down. So the FBI mounts an armed raid worthy of El Chapo, just in time for breathless commentary by the morning's Chuckle Buddies. Stone, incidentally, sports a tatoo of Nixon on his back. Nixon? Say what you will about Orange Man's gang, they put on a great show.
“CNN recorded video of the raid at Stone’s Fort Lauderdale home, showing FBI agents in combat gear using large weapons and night-vision equipment, running up to the home and banging repeatedly on the door. “FBI open the door!” one shouts. “FBI, warrant!” Stone could then be seen in the doorway in his sleepwear before he was led away, CNN reported.”
That’s what’s on deck, folks, Ninja Stormtroopers armed to the teeth invading the homes of tired old men in their PJ’s. See how they fear us? They are so terrified and such cowards that they have to outdo the Gestapo and take old men out in the night hiding behind body armor and techno-baubles left some old geezer sneeze on them and crush their fragile egos.
Oh its coming and fast. A quickening I would say and people are going to be soiling their tighty whiteys as it unfolds. We have created a monster and it will consume us. It has to, that is what it does.
COAST HOSPITAL BOARD FIRES CEO EDWARDS
by Malcolm Macdonald
At the Thursday, January 24th meeting of the Board of Directors for Mendocino Coast District Hospital, Bob Edwards was removed from his position as Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
In closed session the board voted 3-1 to remove Edwards from his post. One board member abstained from the vote. Logical conjecture would point toward former Board President Steve Lund as the lone dissenting vote. Lund is a co-defendant with Edwards in an ongoing federal lawsuit filed by a former human resources officer at the hospital. The three votes to fire Edwards came from board members elected in November, 2018.
The MCDH Board invoked an “at will” section of Edwards' contract. He will receive a little more than one year's salary as part of that “at will” agreement. Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Mike Ellis will take over CEO duties as well as his own for an interim period during which the Hospital’s Board will search for a successor to fill the position.
Certainly, one of the votes for the dismissal of Edwards came from new board member Amy McColley. Her motivations might be numerous, but we need look back no further than the opening minutes of the January 3rd special board meeting. That meeting that was noticed to dozens of members of the public three days in advance via email from the CEO's office. Board members usually receive the agenda for such meetings several days, if not a week or two, earlier. However, during the Jan. 4rd open session, McColley alleged that CEO Edwards deliberately kept her in the dark about the meeting.
After the meeting McColley stated that she only found out about the meeting because she happened to have seen a fellow board member while shopping. In the open session, Edwards seemed to hem and haw after McColley's statement. He muttered something about a Brown Act violation.
On January 4th, McColley said she found out about the meeting on December 28th. She went on to state, “However, it was scheduled and communicated with the BODs [other members of the Board of Directors] on 12/18. I was never polled on my availability and Bob’s intention was always to exclude me from this [meeting].
“I called BBK [ the hospital's law firm] attorney on 12/28 and finally was told at [1pm on January 3rd] to go to the meeting. No one wanted to acknowledge Bob’s egregious behavior.
“I was sworn in on 12/26 and Gayl [Bob Edwards' administrative assistant] asked me in front of Bob if I was coming up for the meeting on 1/3. He corrected Gayl, [saying] 1/10. Next day, 12/27, Karen [fellow board member Karen Arnold] asked me if I was coming to the 1/3 meeting… I met with Bob on 12/28. He didn’t know how to handle the 'special circumstance' and he thought not inviting me was best.”
At that January 3rd board meeting Edwards made no attempt to deny the gist of McColley's allegation that he had deliberately failed to notice her. Edwards' motivation seemed to lie in the fact that McColley was a long time employee of the hospital who resigned her position at or near the time that a disagreement between then Chief Human Resources Officer Ellen Hardin and hospital administration reached a boiling point. McColley went on to work for hospitals in the Bay Area awhile before returning to Fort Bragg.
Want another reason why Edwards had to go?
In late October a Planning Committee agenda was emailed to several dozen citizens. Amid the background information section of that agenda was a fully charted out survey performed for MCDH by Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS). The survey concerned patients' responses to a number of questions about the service provided by the hospital staff. In general, the HCAHPS survey results showed a fairly significant drop in approval ratings over the first three quarters of 2018 (Jan. through Sept.).
There was nothing in the survey that violated HIPAA privacy rules. It merely contained a series of color coded averages in chart form. However, a couple of days after the release of the survey in the Hospital’s planning committee agenda packet, Edwards sent out an email to the recipients stating, “Please remove and destroy this document.”
That pretty much sums up Bob Edwards' need to control everything around him. He demanded that members of the public destroy the record of a survey taken regarding the care of fellow members of the public. A survey paid for by public tax dollars.
Bob Edwards' tenure as CEO ran three years and nine months. Readers interested in more reasons Edwards had to leave the building can tap into the archives of the online AVA.
Edwards firing is a significant step in the right direction, but this new board of directors is still faced with a hospital teetering on the edge financially, even after the passage of a parcel tax that should bring in an extra $1.7 million annually. MCDH currently has a debt service coverage ratio (net operating income divided by total debt service) of -1.41. That's negative 1.41 as opposed to a required positive 1.25 ratio. The entity that holds the bag for guaranteeing the hospital's debt makes that requirement. That entity is Cal Mortgage (the state-run program that provides credit for healthcare facilities), which owns about 60% of MCDH's overall debt. Because of that negative debt service covenant Cal Mortgage has the right to step in and take over financial management of the Coast Hospital. Right now, if it so chooses.
The passage of the parcel tax last June probably provided the tipping point in favor of Cal Mortgage granting a waiver to allow MCDH to go on governing itself for the time being. This is just one example of why there's much more to be done beyond getting rid of Bob Edwards.
MENDOCINO TV’s coverage of the Coast Hospital District Board meeting on Thursday: mendocinotv.com/2019/01/24/mendocino-coast-district-hospital-special-meeting-january-24-2019/
A READER WRITES: Maybe this painting has already gone the rounds, so to speak. If not, it might grace the AVA, at least on-line. Goya painted it around 1820 in a series about witches, madness and nightmares. It catches those three attributes of Donald Trump nicely.
AV ART GUILD SHOW
Works of fine arts and crafts by members of the Anderson Valley Art Guild are on display at Lauren's Restaurant, Boonville. Now through early March.
A COAST READER WRITES: SCAM ALERT
Phone call claiming to be PG&E about to shut off power because of failure to pay smart meter deposit. $398.28 deposit required, to be refunded in 3 months. Payment accepted at CVS and Rite-Aid express payment kiosks. I am not aware of these kiosks. Fortunately, PG&E confirmed this as a scam. Although it sounds ridiculously obvious in the reading, it sounds very convincing on the phone, as they give you an extension number and a switch over to a “supervisor,” who “apologizes” for this disruption. I wonder what these people think of themselves as they go to sleep at night.
AGRICULTURAL FAMILY LOOKING FOR NEW HOME: We would like to grow flowers, veggies, culinary herbs and other food crops. Rustic/off grid fine. We have pictures of previous gardens. Cabin, cottage, yurt/efficient house with garden/farm space. 707-683-2369
I'VE BEEN ASKED NUMEROUS TIMES, so here it is…
I believe that the top 16-long time, continuously operating businesses inside the City Limits of Ukiah, CA are the following:
(#1) Ukiah Daily Journal, i.e. Dispatch Democrat (1860), Ukiah Republican Press (1876), Redwood Journal (1929), Redwood Journal/Press Dispatch (1949), Ukiah Daily Journal (1954), The Ukiah Daily Journal (2000)
(#02) Eversole Mortuary (1893)
(#03) Bank of America, i.e. Bank of Italy, Bank of Ukiah (1902)
(#04) Savings Bank of Mendocino County (1903)
(#05) Rainbow Ag, i.e. Holz Co. (1922)
(#05) Maple Cafe (1922)
(#06) Safeway (1929)
(#07) JCPenney (1930)
(#08) Redwood Tree Service Station (1936)
(#09) Mac Nab's Men's Wear (1940)
(#10) Crane of Ukiah (Moved to Ukiah, CA in the Mid-1940s - Started in S.F. in 1906)
(#11) Daniel Steel and Machine (1944)
(#12) The Forest Club (1946)
(#13) Ukiah Theatre (1948)
(#14) Triple S Camera (1949)
(#15) Mendocino Optical (1957)
(Please speak up if you can think of a business I missed "inside of the City Limits of Ukiah, CA" ~ Thank You!)
Bank of America was the oldest financial institution, doing business in Ukiah as the Bank of Italy, and later bought the "Bank of Ukiah" that had opened in 1902 - just a tad older than the Savings Bank, but not much.
But I'm not sure if we should still count BofA since they closed their branch in Ukiah. However, BofA is still doing business with their ATM's in Ukiah. So if you count BofA, they're the 2nd oldest continually operating business in Ukiah, CA. The Savings Bank of Mendocino County is #3.
Researched by DJ-Ken Steely "with help from UWBW… Members" for "Ukiah Way Back When…" on Facebook
PG&E SAYS IT WILL ABANDON EFFORTS TO SELL OR RELICENSE EEL RIVER-DIVERTING DAMS AT POTTER VALLEY
From Pacific Gas and Electric:
Today PG&E submitted a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) providing our “Notice of Withdrawal of Notice Of Intent to File License Application and Pre-Application Document” for the Potter Valley Project. As a result, PG&E will expeditiously cease all activities related to the relicensing of the Project. Our decision to cease Project relicensing will also result in the stoppage of our efforts to sell the Project via the Request for Offers (RFO) process.
Although the timing is unclear at this point, we anticipate that PG&E’s action will result in FERC initiating its Orphan Project process. In accordance with the Orphan process, FERC will provide interested parties the opportunity to submit an application for a new Project license. We believe this path will allow interested parties more time to prepare for the acquisition of the Project and the ability to submit a License Application on their own terms rather than assuming PG&E’s current application. If the Orphan process does not result in the issuance of a new Project License, it is expected FERC will order PG&E to prepare and submit a Surrender Application and Decommissioning Plan.
PG&E will continue to own and operate the Project in accordance with the terms and conditions of the current Project license and all laws, rules, and regulations governing the operation of the Project until a new license is issued or the Project is decommissioned. PG&E also intends to support the Orphan process through provision of work products and information developed to date in the relicensing process to those who apply to FERC for a new Project license.
PG&E recognizes that many stakeholders have invested significant effort in the relicensing process and we are very appreciative. We apologize for any challenges or inconvenience this action might cause.
From the Friends of the Eel:
Friends of the Eel River welcomes today’s announcement by PG&E that the utility is withdrawing its formal notice of intent to seek relicensing of the Potter Valley Project (PVP) before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and ceasing its efforts to sell off the two dams and associated diversion works. The two dams and diversion works of the Potter Valley Project divert water from the upper mainstem Eel River to the upper Russian River.
“This is by no means the end of the story,” said FOER Conservation Director Scott Greacen. “But this is the turning point. Removal of at least Scott Dam is now more likely than not.”
In its notice to FERC, PG&E admits that “Potter Valley has long been recognized as uneconomic for PG&E’s ratepayers,” and points to “declining energy markets … increased costs associated with anticipated new license conditions, and challenging financial circumstances …” as reasons to withdraw its relicensing application.
FOER cautions, however, that the full picture of the liabilities associated with the Eel River dams has yet to emerge. “PG&E may be facing financial reality here, but they have yet to come clean either about the potentially disastrous safety situation at Scott Dam, or about the ecological impacts of the dam on Eel River salmon, steelhead, and lamprey,” said David Keller, FOER’s Bay Area director.
For its part, FERC is now likely to move the PVP to its ‘orphan project’ process. While the agency will probably repeat the utility’s apparently unsuccessful effort to find a new buyer for the dams, FOER thinks the ultimate outcome is now likely to be decommissioning and removal of at least Scott Dam.
“The good news here is that the stakeholders’ group convened by Rep. Huffman to address PVP relicensing has already done most of the work to lay out a truly sustainable solution to needs of both the Russian and Eel River watersheds,” said Greacen. “Now it’s time to move forward with an agreement to remove Scott Dam and restore the Eel River’s fisheries.”
JUST ANOTHER SHOUT OUT to Rich Farley for being a great go-to guy for car repair, right here in Anderson Valley. Fixed my Toyota right up, quickly and for a more-than-fair-price.
Also available at Starr these days. cheers!
TWEAKING WHILE ARMED
On 01-24-2019 at approximately 9:50 P.M. a Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputy conducted a traffic stop of a vehicle for a observed traffic violation on Branscomb Road near Cahto Drive in Laytonville. Upon contacting the occupants of the vehicle, the Deputy noted the Driver of the car (Noah Alan Harrison, 27, of Laytonville) appeared to be under the influence of a controlled substance.
The Deputy conducted a search of the vehicle resulting in the located drug paraphernalia (methamphetamine smoking pipe) and a loaded .380 caliber pistol. Harrison was arrested for possession of a loaded firearm while in possession of a controlled substance and possession of a concealed, loaded, firearm without a permit. Harrison was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $35,000 bail.
WAY TO GO, TED
Mr. Matthew Brady
California Department of Transportation
P. O. Box 3700
Eureka, CA 95502-3700
CC: Mike McGuire, State Senator
Jim Wood, Assemblymember
RE: FREQUENT CLOSURE OF STATE ROUTE HIGHWAY 128 IMPACTS TO FLYNN CREEK ROAD
Dear Mr. Brady:
The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has for many years regularly closed State Route Highway 128, between milepost 0.00 and milepost 11.5, just west of Flynn Creek Road, County Road (CR) 135, a County Maintained Road. Closures have resulted from winter flooding of the Navarro River, but in recent years, the unmaintained sandbar at the mouth of the Navarro River has left the roadway closed during the dry season. The additional traffic during these closures – an increase of some 78% during the most recent incident – has severely impacted Flynn Creek Road, a road not constructed for highway volume traffic, especially heavy trucks.
The Mendocino County Department of Transportation (MCDoT) has informed me that our County Maintained Road System was never designed and built to modern standards, but instead “evolved” from legacy roads, a majority originating from old wagon roads that were dirt, later upgraded to gravel surface and then transitioned to asphalt pavement or chip seals surface.
The reason for all this history is to explain why the “basement soil” under these County roads is not built to modern specifications like modern highways. In modern designed and constructed highways, the roads were built on soils that were tested for strength, excavated, and built with sub-base layers of aggregate specified to withstand the modern truck weights allowed on modern highways. Our County roads were not built to such standards and some 5% of the full 9 mile length of Flynn Creek Road, CR 135, has suffered deep base failures from heavy traffic loads due to the regularly diverted highway traffic. MCDoT informs me that repairs will require 1,750 cubic yards of “dig outs” that will cost approximately $1 million. MCDoT advises me that this method of repair is consistent with Caltrans Maintenance Technical Advisory Guide Volume I - Flexible Pavement Preservation 2nd Edition, Chapter 5 specifications.
A recent closure notice from California Department of Transportation included “MOTORISTS ARE ADVISED TO USE AN ALTERNATE ROUTE”. A driver headed to the town of Mendocino would be guided by GPS navigation to use Flynn Creek to Comptche-Ukiah Road, a total distance of 22 miles. While the motorist could detour via other State Highways, the shortest path would be SR 128 to 253 to 101 to 20 to 1 for a total of 102 miles. The vast majority (if not all) motorists will choose the path one-fifth as long.
SR 128 [IN THE CENTRAL CALIFORNIA AREA]
NO TRAFFIC RESTRICTIONS ARE REPORTED FOR THIS AREA
[IN THE NORTHERN CALIFORNIA AREA]
IS CLOSED FROM THE JCT OF SR 1 TO 11.5 MI EAST OF THE JCT OF SR 1 AT NAVARRO RIDGE RD MENDOCINO CO DUE TO FLOODING. MOTORISTS ARE ADVISED TO USE AN ALTERNATE ROUTE
Under Streets & Highways Code (S&H) Section 93:
“The department may construct and maintain detours as may be necessary to facilitate movement of traffic where state highways are closed or obstructed by construction or otherwise. The department may direct traffic onto any other public highway which will serve as a detour, in which case the department, upon the completion of such use, and upon the request of the local agency having jurisdiction over the highway, shall restore the same to its former condition; provided, that the local agency shall reimburse the department for the amount of all betterment to such highway caused by the restoration. The department shall also reimburse the local agency for all reasonable additional expenses incurred by that agency in maintaining said highway during the period of detour if such additional expenses were caused by said detour.”
Mendocino County is scheduled to commit its new Senate Bill 1 Road Maintenance and Repair Account (RMRA) funds for 2020-21 to this and other roads in the area. We should receive $3.51 million RMRA. I request that you work with MCDoT Director Howard N. Dashiell (707-463-4363) on a plan to execute the reimbursement described in S&H Section 93, “The department shall also reimburse the local agency for all reasonable additional expenses incurred by that agency in maintaining said highway during the period of detour if such additional expenses were caused by said detour.” A $1 million reimbursement is in order for dig out repairs so that the County’s modest pavement preservation strategy of treating some segments with cold-in-place recycling combined with chip seal treatment has a chance of enduring the future diversion of highway volume traffic during road closures onto Flynn Creek Road.
Mendocino County Fifth District Supervisor
CATCH OF THE DAY, January 25, 2018
MANUEL AYALA-ORTIZ, Ukiah. Failure to appear.
ZACHARY BRINT, Ukiah. Controlled substance, disobeying court order.
JESSE CASTANEDA, Redwood Valley. Controlled substance for sale, armed while in possession of controlled substance, armed in commission of felony, conspiracy.
DAVID CAMACHO, Ukiah. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, failure to appear.
MATTHEW FAUST, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation.
NOAH HARRISON, Laytonville. Controlled substance, carrying loaded handgun registered to someone else.
EUFEMIO HERNANDEZ, Ukiah. Under influence, controlled substance, paraphernalia.
VAUGHN MITCHELL, Eureka/Ukiah. DUI-drugs&alcohol.
CHRISTOPHER POE-GARCIA, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
PEGGY RAND, Ukiah. Grand theft, probation revocation.
DONOVAN SORENSEN, Redwood Valley. Controlled substance while armed, pot for sale, paraphernalia, stolen property, armed while in possession of controlled substance, armed in commission of felony, conspiracy.
HIGH SCHOOL ART EXHIBIT featured on First Friday, weekend: Grace Hudson's part of Ukiah’s February First Friday Art Walk, Grace Hudson Museum will display a pop-up exhibition featuring landscape paintings by students in Rose Easterbrook's advanced art class at Ukiah High School. This pop-up show coincides with the Museum’s current feature exhibition, "Artful Liaisons: Connecting Painters Grace Carpenter, Edward Espey, and Grafton Tyler Brown." This is a great opportunity to check out the next generation of talent and perhaps discover the next up-and-coming painter.
The Museum will be open from 5 to 8 p.m. on Feb. 1, with light refreshments available; all the exhibit galleries will be open as well. The student art show continues over the weekend during the Museum's regular hours: Saturday, February 2 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sunday, February 3 from 12 to 4:30 p.m.
First Friday is always free at the Museum. The pop-up exhibition is also free on Saturday and Sunday — with donations being welcomed and appreciated.
The Grace Hudson Museum is at 431 S. Main Street in Ukiah. For more information please contact the Museum at 467-2836 or online at
We like, some of us, to take the long view, to imagine like the Puritans that somehow we deserve it. And for those among us who evidently do not really deserve it, well, we have our lives to pamper if possible.
For some of us, life will find us on a sunny beach somewhere, pampering it up. Others work very long hours in the place where no one really ever worked at all to keep our tropical drink topped. In a way, we the pampered must now look after their care.
Our actions, in fact, are the way we manage the river of life and all that. Milking the metaphor here for all it is worth, our concern for them, for some of us becomes the very meaning of our life.
I have a friend who is in, as is said, an early stage of terminal cancer. As she dies, she is regaining much of the beauty of earlier years. This seems spiritually nourishing, and does much, of course, to feed our illusions. But here near the end, there is a terrible surprise. From the inside, her existence is grating, the gears unexpectedly monkeywrenched. None of us expected it to end this way. The stream is not lapping at long foreseen shores. The river of time, it seems -- and to no one's surprise -- has big teeth. And orange hair.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
And speaking of childish, we will not be hearing the State of the Union on its scheduled date this year. Donald has left all the toys with Nancy in the sandbox.
Report on the shutdown
66% of the 800000 say that the shutdown has not affected them at all, another 20% sailed little effect, the rest said significant. Fox poll.
CEO reports are saying that the effect on revenue and profits is small, and will not match the dire forecasts.
My hopes are that these folks find new jobs and never go back to the government for employment. I would not blame them one bit. Shrink the government. Get jobs that matter, do not depend on the Fed for anything, esp. underfunded pensions.
Underfunded pensions! Where is the national debt going to hit us? Right in the future. Withdraw the debt money from the economy the ortized monies from the debt and where will it come from? Pensions! Social Security, public pensions, Medicare will be hit. Why? Because they will have no choice. As usual, watch the place that has abused the debt the most, Chicago and Illinois. I wonder what the response will be when the Dems controlling that rats nest have to cut back on on those folks they have lied to for three generations.
In the end, the people will pay for the Democrat stupidification of the US. In all matters.
IN THE DEEP MID-WINTER
by James Kunstler
Ill winds sweep across the fruited plain in the cruel heart of winter. America can resolve nothing. The state-of-the-union is a kind of hysterical nausea, and the nation hunkers into its crib of toxic diverse identities waiting for history to bitch-slap it back on its feet. History’s big sister, Reality, stands by, witnessing all. Spring… is… coming….
Things break up in spring. Nature unlocks what was frozen. The bodies emerge from the melting ice and ripen. The air is electric and thunderbolts frighten the gathering mobs in the public square, the Walmart parking lot, with rumors of war. The earth shakes and monuments fall. That’s how it’s shaping up for 2019.
Sometimes nations just lose their shit. The complex collapse of American life proceeds as the public and its leaders fail to comprehend the forces in play. What the Federal Reserve actually accomplished with its ten years of extend-and-pretend policy was not an economic “recovery,” but a degenerative disease of the social contract. If you look more closely, you can sense what will be unleashed when the ground thaws.
There will be a reckoning in the financial markets. Something ominous is rumbling over in bonds. No more high-yield for you! Among the victims of a credit freeze in “junk” (high-risk) lending: the shale oil industry. Watch it start to roll over this spring as money becomes unavailable for the exorbitant operations that comprise fracking. The swift collapse of the shale oil industry will shock the country, but it is really just the downside of its improbably rapid and acrobatic rise since 2005 on the false premise that profits don’t matter in a business venture. Only the fall will be even sharper than the rise: a few measly years. And, of course, the bond market represents the supreme untruth of the age: that debts can be racked up forever and never paid back.
Mr. Trump will be left holding a bag so large that observers may mistake him for a Bizarro Santa Claus. But the baggage within will not consist of sugarplums. It is actually stuffed with bankruptcy filings and pink slips. A year from now, there may be no such thing as a hedge fund left on the planet Earth. Or a job opening, unless you’re really good at weeding or picking fruit. Mr. Trump will attempt a rescue, but so did Herbert Hoover, who had a good three years to try this-and-that while the Depression stole over the land like a deadly fungus. The difference, of course, is that Mr. Hoover was acknowledged as a most brilliant mind of his era, and yet Reality had her wicked way with him, anyway.
The Democratic Party should have been tossed into the rubber room two years ago, but it’s still out there shrieking in its straight-jacket of bad faith. Kamala, Liz, and Kirsten will mud-wrestle for dominance, but so far, the only cards they can show are the race-and-gender jokers in the deck. Meanwhile, the government shutdown standoff may not be the “winner” move that Nancy Pelosi thought it would be. Why do you suppose she thought that the voters would only blame the Golden Golem of Greatness? She could be gone as Speaker when we’re back in shirtsleeve weather.
Also in the background: the likely shocking reversal of the long, dreary, RussiaGate affair as about twenty-odd former officials of the FBI, Department of Justice, CIA, State Department, and other dark corners of the Deep State answer charges of sedition in federal court. Many of them are connected, one way or another, to Hillary Clinton, who may be targeted herself. Robert Mueller is also liable to be smacked with a malicious prosecution charge in the matter of General Michael Flynn when he withdraws his guilty plea in March. A significant moment will be when Dean Baquet is fired as editor of The New York Times, after years of running the “newspaper of record” as an exercise in nonstop PMS.
Financial crack-up and RussiaGate reversal will leave both major parties gasping in the mud as the tide goes out. And just in time for the Yellow Vest movement to cross the ocean and bring out the street mobs to slug it out on the National Mall in lovely weather. Finally, a protest you can believe in! By June, it will be clear that the old order is being swept away. The fight over the new order struggling to be born will be even harsher and deadlier. But we may not be as confused about what’s at stake.
(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)
I was in Gualala and read the shocking article in the Press Democrat about Native American students failing in schools. I have lived internationally, and I have friends in Scandinavian countries where the educational system is easily 50 years ahead of American schools.
These learning differences are common knowledge, and special education is provided for them. Our prisons are full of people who were told every day in school that they were stupid.
The American education system is stupid and tragically behind. It is killing children.
PG&E CLAIMS RATES COULD SKYROCKET FIVE-FOLD IF ORDERED TO CLEAR TREES, INSPECT ELECTRICITY SYSTEM
PG&E says it would need 650,000 new workers and spend $150 billion if forced to comply with sweeping federal court order
by George Avalos
PG&E warned in a new court filing that it would have to spend at least $75 billion, hire 650,000 workers — and increase monthly utility bills by a huge amount — if it’s forced to comply with a federal judge’s proposed order for a massive maintenance and inspection effort for its electricity grid.
The warnings by the embattled and cash-strapped utility, which has staggered to the brink of insolvency, were contained in a lengthy response ahead of a hearing in U.S. District Court next week.
Federal Judge William Alsup has signaled he may order PG&E to undertake a thorough inspection of its electricity grid and to launch a wide-ranging vegetation management plan ahead of the upcoming 2019 fire season in Northern California. Alsup is supervising the company’s probation connected with PG&E’s conviction for felonies the company committed before and after a fatal gas explosion in 2010 that killed eight and destroyed a San Bruno neighborhood.
“The resources required to comply with the (judge’s proposed order) do not exist,” PG&E stated in a federal court filing. “PG&E does not have the necessary funds. Were PG&E allowed to pass on the costs, the rate increases would be oppressive.”
PG&E estimated the rate increases in one year would be more than five times current rates in typical utility bills for 16 million Californians.
That means monthly utility bills would average $835 a month, according to the estimates PG&E provided in the court filing.
PG&E monthly bills rose on Jan. 1. Combined electricity and natural gas bills rose to an estimated $167.02 a month for the average residential customer, an increase of 0.7 percent. Electricity bills declined to a new level of about $112.08, a 1.5 percent reduction. Gas bills jumped to $54.94, a 5.1 percent increase.
PG&E faces a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing as soon as next week as it faces a mountain of debts and liabilities — including unknown amounts of payouts to fire victims — in the wake of catastrophic and deadly wildfires that scorched Northern California in 2017 and 2018.
State fire investigators have determined the company’s equipment caused 17 of the infernos in the North Bay Wine Country and nearby regions in 2017. PG&E disclosed that it suffered equipment failures near the point of origin of a fatal blaze in Butte County in 2018.
“PG&E estimates that the cost of full compliance with the order might approach between $75 billion to $150 billion,” the company stated in the court filing.
The utility shouldn’t require anything close to this amount of money to create a much safer electricity grid, said state Sen. Jerry Hill, a Democrat whose district includes parts of Santa Clara and San Mateo counties and contains San Bruno.
“The amount of money PG&E is talking about is really excessive,” Hill said.
(Courtesy, Bay Area News Group)
IT REMAINS ASTONISHING that this anxious, overworked man, struggling to feed a family and navigating always on the brink of political or financial disaster, achieved so much before he died at the age of 37. Not all that he produced was good.
Neal Ascherson on Robert Burns, from the archive.
BERNIE AGAIN TOO
BERNIE SANDERS set to announce he will run for president in 2020, three years after losing the Democratic primary race against Hillary Clinton
NEW: Sanders, an independent and self-described 'democratic socialist,' plans to announce his presidential bid imminently, Yahoo News reports.
A NEW SCIENTIFIC TRUTH does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.
― Max Planck
MEMO OF THE AIR: GOOD NIGHT RADIO FRIDAY NIGHT!
Friday, 9pm to 5am, I'm reading Memo of the Air by live remote from Juanita's apartment, /not/ from the back room of the KNYO performance space at 325 N. Franklin, next door to the Tip Top bar, so alter your plans to instead show-and-tell there Friday next week, Feb. 1, first Friday of February, when I'll be there and not here.
Deadline to get your writing on the air tonight is around 7pm. If you're still working on it after that, just email it whenever you're done and I'll read it on the show next time. Or save it yourself for next time and come in and read it in person, see above.
Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio: Every Friday, 9pm to 5am on 107.7fm KNYO-LP Fort Bragg, and 105.1fm KMEC-LP Ukiah. And also there and anywhere else via http://knyo.org and click on Listen.
Also you can always go to https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com and hear last week's show, and shows before that. By Saturday night, tonight's MOTA magically becomes last week's MOTA, so if you wait till then to look you'll find that too. It'll be right on top. And then of course there's the whole rest of the world underneath that; literal years of yummy vitamin-enriched brain candy under actinic UV to retard spoilage.
Here's something for while you wait for tonight:
The mystery at the bottom of physics.
The Pub. Uncomfortable because accurate.
And the Mansfield Ohio News-Journal noted that it seemed to be "poetic justice that a parrot should be the last surviving public spokesman for the beliefs of Hitler and his ruthless henchmen because the man who would make slaves of people first tries to train them parrot-like to repeat what he tells them."
Marco McClean, email@example.com,
THE RULING ELITES Love How Easily We're Distracted and Turned Against Each Other
The non-elites are mad as hell, but don't know exactly where to direct their anger, because the social and cultural issues the elites have used to co-opt the non-elites are also incredibly effective at keeping the left and right non-elites in a constant state of anger at each other. The Elite's greatest fear is that left and right non-elites realize who their real enemies are, and that their fighting with each other over cultural issues is what the Elites want them to be doing.
I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN ASTOUNDED that women are allowed to enter churches. What possible conversation can they have with God?
FLOWER POWER: A TET STORY FROM HANOI
by George Burchett
When Xuân Dieu street, on which I ride my motorbike every day, turns into a moving garden, I know spring has come and Têt is around the corner. Xe ôms (motorbike taxis) loaded with pots of kumquats, peach blossoms, pomelo trees of various sizes, from average to gigantic, move in both directions. Flower sellers push their baskets of beautifully arranged flowers on their bikes. The area of Tay Ho (West Lake) where I live has many orchards, which grow mostly kumquat trees for Têt. Ha Nội’s Flower Market is also nearby. Add to this the fruit sellers with their seasonal offerings, and throughout the year one is treated to a spectacle for all the senses. But around Têt, it becomes an exotic explosion.
The orchards on Dang Thai Mai are crowded with customers choosing the perfect kumquat tree. They either carry those with them, or have them delivered. One has to admire those xe ôms, carrying several heavy pots with large trees and balancing their way through the busy two-way traffic on the rather narrow Xuân Dieu street.
A few days before Têt, the local car washes get super busy, hosing and polishing cars and motorbikes to make them clean and shiny for the Lunar New Year.
On the eve of Têt, the hustle and bustle reaches its apogee: everybody is out shopping, completing last minute errands, sweeping, hosing, cleaning. It is what one could call the great pre-Têt spring cleanup and buying spree.
Then suddenly, Ha Nội comes to an almost total standstill. Most shops are closed, the streets are quiet and clean. The few cars and motorbikes are shiny and carry families dressed intheir finest. Ha Nội suddenly becomes a model city: like in 20th-century propaganda posters foreign visitors to the capital like to take home as souvenirs. Even 24/7 construction sites shut down for a few days, while the workers return to their home-towns and villages to celebrate Têt with their families.
This is to me the true Têt magic. The cleanliness, peace and quiet of Ha Nội during the Têt celebrations. Most people are in their homes, celebrating the arrival of spring and the Lunar New Year.
Vietnamese friends often ask me: “Aren’t you bored during Têt? Everything is closed, everybody is spending time with family and relatives. Must be hard for a foreigner, with nothing much to do.”
But to me it’s a great time to be in Ha Nội. Many locals and expats leave town during Têt: locals to visit their hometowns or villages; expats to take a break from the usually rather chilly — and often rainy — early spring weather. But why would I want to be on a busy road, bus, train, airport, when I have almost all of Ha Nội to myself in all its Têt glory: a clean, quiet, safe and peaceful city, with minimal traffic.
This new lunar year, the Year of the Earth Pig, we will be sharing the peace of Têt in our neighborhood with a new monumental presence. For the past few months we were witnessing the birth of a new goddess of some kind, a relative, I would think, of the numerous deities of Greek antiquity. She’s about five stories tall and of an imposing physique, strong arms and legs, ample bosom, her robust body wrapped in a tunic, whose folds fly in an imaginary wind. With her bare arms, she supports a palatial high-rise building named after the French Sun King – D’. Le Roi Soleil – on the corner of Xuân Dieu and Dang Thai Mai. She smiles demurely at the world, from her great height and looks into the distance, facing East, towards the rising sun. I’ve observed her creation, from steel and concrete structure to her current and – I presume – finished state.
Although stylistically the new goddess relates to a distant classical western past, she also represents “new” Ha Nội, with its Royal Cities, El Dorados, neo-Versailles and other grandiose developments. If you Google D’. Le Roi Soleil, you’ll see images of a utopian future Ha Nội: green, clean, with wide streets that can accommodate large SUVs and assorted luxury cars – no plebian motorbikes, please! The original Roi Soleil, Louis XIV, would possibly have been impressed – although he may have winced at the gigantism of the sculpture and the faux marble and bronze around her.
And here is my dilemma. I – like most Hanoians – also wish for a cleaner and greener Ha Nội, the Ha Nội of the great Têt spring cleaning. But I also love the hustle-and-bustle of everyday Hanoi, its constant street theatre, its humanity, its textures, its roosters crowing early in the morning, chickens, dogs, cats, birds – including the occasional majestic eagle being taken for a ride around West Lake by his proud owner.
After the brief peace and quiet of Têt, our neighborhood again becomes busier than usual. It’s time to visit the pagodas on West Lake, especially Phủ Tây Hồ, dedicated to Thánh Mẫu, Mother of the Nation. It is an endless procession of motorbikes, cars and buses, bringing thousands of people to the temple. Stalls pop up around the special parking zone set up around the pagoda. People come to pray for good luck, to pay their respects to Thánh Mẫu and other deities and saints, bring them offerings of food and flowers, burn incense and lucky money. It’s part of long series of Têt celebrations around the country. That is how Vietnamese people reconnect with their families, ancestors, ancient heroes, saints, deities and gods. All Vietnamese, young and old, carry in them the culture, traditions, history, values of their country.
Hanoi is not a city of imposing monuments, like other ancient cities. The history of Ha Nội is told on a rather modest, human scale: in pagodas, temples, dinhs (communal houses), in the names of the streets. And it is a living history, not frozen in a distant past or locked within museum walls. In other words, in Hanoi, history is always present, the past is part of the present, traditions and customs are alive in everyday life.
So where does the new gigantic white “goddess” fit?
In the spirit of Têt – the yearly time of renewal – I believe she should be welcomed and accepted into the great Ha Nội collective. And as she is supposed to herald a “cleaner and greener” Ha Nội of the future, perhaps she will inspire the developers of “new” Ha Nội to make their building sites “clean and green”. After all, we – mere mortals – have to put up with the noise, dust, mud, increased traffic and many other inconveniences until their splendid palaces are completed and occupied by their new residents.
Ha Nội is a city of artists and many other creative professions. They can collectively contribute to transforming the hoarding of building sites into works of art, rather than surrender them to graffiti vandals. Wouldn’t that be truly wonderful – and in the best sprit of Ha Nội?
A group of dedicated young Hanoians, under the collective name of Hanoi Art Space, is showing the way, by decorating vandalized electric boxes around Hoàn Kiếm with bright flowers, with support from the Hanoi People’s Committee.
May their initiative inspire others to make Ha Nội clean, green and beautiful in the Year of the Pig. And more and more so thereafter.
On this hopeful note, I wish everyone a happy, healthy and fulfilling New Year!
(George Burchett is an artist who lives in Hanoi.)