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MCT: Thursday, January 31, 2019

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HIGH PRESSURE WILL BRING ONE MORE DRY DAY to the area today. Friday and into the weekend a weather system will bring rain and mountain snow to the area. Snow levels will fall through the weekend and into early next week. High pressure is expected to bring dry weather back to the area by mid week.

STRONG SOUTHERLY WINDS EXPECTED FRIDAY NIGHT AND SATURDAY. A compact storm will approach Cape Mendocino from the southwest on Friday, resulting in strong southeast winds for the higher elevations and coastal headlands. The storm will meander about offshore on Saturday and the threat for strong winds will continue.

—National Weather Service

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EVA HOLCOMB

Eva Lorraine Holcomb, 84, the heart of the Anderson Valley, passed away on Sunday, January 27th due to natural causes in her home in Boonville. She moved on in the presence of her grandson John, her daughter Palma and her husband of 64 years Bill Holcomb.

Born in Elk in 1933, Eva moved to Navarro with her family at the age of 4. Her maiden name is Pardini with a large extended family that has lived in the Valley for many generations. Eva was a flower of the valley, always in bloom, always sharing her beauty with every member of the community. A loving mother and wife, she and her husband Bill built a home together, ran a business together, and raised a family together. They are the American Love story, and she leaves behind a legacy of endless compassion for every creature that found comfort in her presence.

She is survived by her husband Bill, brothers Robert and Donald Pardini, her sister Lorraine Castagnetto, her son Billy Holcomb, her daughter Palma Toohey, her four grandchildren John, Benn, Rebekah and Sarah Toohey, and her two great-grandchildren Brandon and Bradley Toohey. Amongst Eva's survivors are also the children of Sarah Toohey, Eva's great grand children, Gabriel Suddeth, and Nathaniel and Aoibhne Morey. She is also survived by the community she helped define in her 84 beautiful years, the only place she would ever call home. She is reuniting with her brother Dale, and all the members of our community we have lost in these last few precious years.

Catholic services will be held at the June Hall at the Mendocino County Fairgrounds on February 8th at 10am followed by graveside services at Evergreen Cemetery and a celebration of life at the Apple Hall at the fairgrounds. Our hearts are broken, but overflowing, and we hope to share all that love together in remembrance of our dear Eva.

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RENT GOUGING

Letter to the Editor:

One of the biggest highlights for over a year in 2018 affecting the lives of 500 low income people (over 10% of the population in Willits) was rent stabilization for Wagonwheel mobilehome park; after predatory rich investors purchased the park and raised the lot rent by a whopping 22 percent (an increase of $110 a month).

After months of meetings rent stabilization was put on the agenda, but on June 27, 2018 city council refused to pass it; forcing people to try to sell their homes or lose them due to excessive rent increases. Their excuse: “It would cost the city too much.”

Nothing could be further from the truth, as rent stabilization ordinances are paid for by residents of the park, who would much rather pay $10 a month (which equals to $1,400 a month for the city to pay to push paperwork) than another $110 a month increase!! All of this information was given to every city council member, as 100 other cities in California have passed rent stabilization for their mobile home parks, including Ukiah! There are more reasons to pass rent stabilization than NOT.

Another reason is that mobile home parks in Willits WERE the only affordable housing that is NOT government subsidized. It appears that Willits is now in violation of federal laws to help their citizens.

Strange. The City Council was on our side until the new city manager came on board. Bob Perrault was on the side of the people not politics. So sad for the low income people who make up our work force in Willits — not rich people, people who work in our local fast food industry, Safeway, Grocery Outlet, etc. What happens to our ever-shrinking population in Willits when the work force is gone?

Cheryl Abney

Willits

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AL CAN DO IT

Handy-All-Guy now living in Casper area…

Every time I move it disrupts my working for a living mode. Now that I moved and now settled once again I got the itch to work. Some may remember me as the weedwhacker guy or as a good carpenter or just a good all around handyman. I'm quite a handyman with plenty of skills and tools to do the work I know how to do. Hopefully I will get work rolling again soon, I was also thinking possibly punching a clock doing something, even if it’s pushing a broom or swinging a mop or cleaning toilets, raking leaves, cleaning rain gutters, or whatever needs to be done. 707-409-4147

Thank You… Al Nunez

My phone reception where I live now is iffy so it may take a day or two to get back to you unless you text me, sorry.

Alfred Nunez, allymotocat@gmail.com

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THAT SCANDAL that began boiling up in Willits a couple of weeks ago was in court Wednesday (yesterday). It involves two sons of Willits High School principal, Michael Colvig, 44. The Colvig boys allegedly took sexual liberties with two girls during a drunken teen "party." When one of the girls reported the episodes to the two boys’ father, Michael Colvig, a legally mandated reporter, is said to have replied something like, "I'm responding to this as a parent, not as a principal; I'm putting them on restriction, getting them counseling" and so on.

THE PRINCIPAL'S FAILURE to act on behalf of the violated girls, got him in serious trouble, so serious he was charged and was to appear in Superior Court to try to explain away a pair of misdemeanor charges for failing to report "child abuse." Rape, though, if rape is what occurred, is a lot more serious than a technical "failure to report child abuse."

ON WEDNESDAY morning Colvig appeared in court although the disposition of his case has not been announced by the DA: “The Willits Unified School District takes students safety as our highest priority. Principal Colvig has been placed on administrative leave based on two pending charges that were filed for failure to report child abuse or neglect. The District is closely monitoring the situation. Marian Lohne has been appointed as the acting principal during his leave.”

JUST IN: Colvig pled not guilty, and the matter is set for trial on April 22.

CLARIFICATION: Only one son, the youngest, was involved. Two girls, two separate incidents.

Congressman Huffman chats with Willits Unified School District Trustee Christopher Neary, Willits High School principal Michael Colvig and Superintendent Mark Westerburg. (Courtesy, the Willits News)

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THE CHP is investigating a hit-and-run that killed 68 year old Stuart May, a resident of Covelo. May was found dead Monday evening near his damaged Huffy bicycle on Highway 162 north and east of the town. The CHP is asking for help in finding the person responsible for May's death. Anyone with information that may help the California Highway Patrol reconstruct May's activity up until his death should call the Sheriff’s office at 707-463-4086 or the CHP at 707-923-2155.

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JURY HANGS ON RAMOS GUN POSSESSION CHARGE

UKIAH, Tuesday, January 29. -- A Mendocino County Superior Court jury returned from its deliberations Tuesday afternoon to announce it would be unable to reach a unanimous verdict (hung jury) on the felony charge it had been asked to decide. Given the jury was hopelessly deadlocked, a mistrial was declared. Defendant Todd Refino Ramos, age 47, of Redwood Valley, is charged with being a convicted felon in unlawful possession of a firearm, a felony.

Ramos

When polled, it was determined that the jury was split 9 for guilt to 3. After the jury was thanked and excused, the judge continued the matter to February 8th to set a re-trial before a new jury. The prosecutor who presented the case against Ramos to the jury was Deputy District Attorney Elizabeth Norman. The investigating law enforcement agencies were the former Coyote Valley Tribal Police Department and the Ukiah Police Department. Mendocino County Superior Court Judge John Behnke continues to preside over this criminal matter.


ms NOTES: This is an odd report. Surely there’s more to this than a simple gun possession charge. The guy’s obviously a dangerous hot-head. (See below from 2015.) Why wasn’t he charged with felony probation violation? Why just the gun possession charge? And then, if the charges were somehow narrowed down to gun possession, how could there be a hung jury? Gun possession by prohibited person/felon should have been a slam-dunk. There must be an interesting backstory here.


(From Nov. 18, 2015):

RAMOS’S RAMPAGE

On November 15, 2015 at about 8:50 AM Mendocino County Sheriffs Deputies were dispatched to contact an adult female at a local hospital to investigate a reported domestic violence incident. Upon arrival, Deputies learned a 38 year-old adult female was visiting with Todd Ramos, 44, of Redwood Valley at his residence earlier in the morning when an argument erupted between the pair. The argument escalated and Ramos grabbed the adult female and threw her across the room causing her to fall to the floor of the residence where she sustained injuries to her shoulder, chest area and a knee. Deputies observed a visible injury to one of her knees consistent with a physical assault. During the contact Deputies learned the pair were engaged in a dating relationship. Deputies subsequently contacted Ramos at his residence located in the 100 block of Campbell Drive in Redwood Valley. Ramos was arrested for felony domestic violence battery. Ramos was determined to be on Mendocino County Court Probation for an unrelated incident and he was also arrested for violating the terms of his probation. Ramos was booked into the Mendocino County Jail for Infliction of injury to spouse or cohabitant and Violation of Probation where he was to be held in lieu of $30,000 bail.

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FORMER COAST HOSPITAL OFFICE MANAGER CINDY RICHARDS WRITES (regarding the firing of Coast Hospital CEO Bob Edwards):

Absolutely necessary and long overdue! During my 11 years as the Business Office Manager, MCDH went through 6 CEOs and 8 CFOs. In my experience after the ‘not-so-good’ ones leave there’s a renewed sense of hope and belief by the optimistic staff that things will improve. After you’ve worked through a few of these changeovers you’ll understand the amount of effort necessary to stay optimistic when there’s so many unknowns on the horizon. I’ve always been a ‘half-full’ kinda gal and chose to anticipate positive changes amongst the many hours of hard work integrating a new Administration. The Board of Directors and Administrations that kept the communication channels open (through employee forums, manager and staff meetings, etc.) during these times did so much towards improving employee morale and rallying them for the hard work and repetitiveness of starting over with new policies, justifying your position/department/budget, etc. What exciting times for the hospital staff and community! Newly seated MCDH BOD: Thank you for your time, energy and efforts, you’re greatly appreciated! I only wish I was there to experience these challenges with you.

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BOONVILLE FIRE EXTINGUISHER CHECK RESCHEDULED.

Get your fire extinguishers inspected and serviced at the firehouse in Boonville, Friday, February 15 at 14281 Hwy 128. Extinguishers will also be available for purchase. Service by Ukiah Oxygen Supply from 9am to 2pm. Service fees begin at $15. A limited supply of fire extinguishers will be for sale from $50 to $120. More info: 895-2020.

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FORMER INTERIM COUNTY AG COMMISSIONER DIANE CURRY WRITES:

I don’t understand why the Board of Supervisors keeps asking the same old question about speeding up the cannabis permitting process. If the Board members would take the opportunity to read the state laws regarding cannabis permitting, they would understand that the process is complicated. Unfortunately, the cultivators in resource lands are required to comply with Fish and Wildlife requirements, which can cost many thousands of dollars, not to mention that Fish and Wildlife has specific rules just for cannabis production.

When the State representatives proposed legislation for cannabis, they didn’t bring all the agencies together and come up with a complete well thought out plan.

As for the late crop reports: When I took the Interim Agricultural Commissioner position, I had no idea that my work life and personal life would be consumed by cannabis. The CEO’s office was micromanaging my Department, because Ms. Angelo “is an all knowing magical being from another planet, able to run the county all by herself.” It was a total train wreck. The crop report is about agriculture in the county and according to the State cannabis rules, cannabis is not agriculture. California State Department of Agriculture dictates what is allowed to be reported in the crop report and as of now cannabis is still not allowed to be reported. That doesn’t mean that the counties couldn’t produce a separate report, but getting accurate data will be a challenge.

The Department of Agriculture is still suffering the effects of executive office micro managing. What used to be a warm and welcoming office has now become a cold bureaucratic institution, with no laughing, singing, or whistling allowed. Asking why is not allowed, either.

One last comment. I was not fired from the county, but forcefully shoved into retirement.

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WONDER WHO THIS ONE IS WIRED FOR?

Health & Human Services Agency Deputy Director of Mental Health Clinical Services

$71,822–$87,277 annually.

Directs, coordinates and supervises systems of care; develops and creates resources to improve mental health services to target population; collaborates with other social service agencies to maximize service. Requires Master's degree in social work, or related field (or a Bachelor's degree, when also possessing a Psychiatric Registered Nurse certification); and, five years of experience in a mental health or clinical setting providing direct services, with at least two years in a management or supervisory capacity. Licenses and Certifications: LMFT (or) LCSW (or) LP (or) PRN.

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ED NOTES

COUPLA ONLY IN MENDO ITEMS, both from the MCN chatline: The first said, "Rainbird looking for Blood Root." Me too. I remembered Blood Root's break through "Penis Soak," as un-ironically reported by Beth Bosk in New Settler Interview, a bird's nest-looking concoction advertised to restore exhausted male organs. Add water and presto! no more viagra. I've always wanted to see the sales figures on that one, but I don't suppose they're available.

THE SECOND ITEM I found rather alarming. It was from Anna Marie Stenberg reporting on the hospitalized coast poet ruth weiss: "Rough night and bumpy day. Lots of advocating for ruth to get her off the meds she was reacting too (she was hallucinating) and finally get her on the schedule for the feeding tube tomorrow at 2pm. It's been a week since she has had nutrition and she can't get stronger if she doesn't get good nutrition. Garnish is helping us get some organic ensure type product for her feeding tube. So tomorrow I will convince the hospital to use our healthy alternative. She did get up and walk today. Yeah ruth! She can do this. Prayers and healing energy please."

A SEMINAL BEATNIK now well into her 80's, ruth weiss apparently doesn't have family, or family near by. Or family concerned for her welfare. Enter Stenberg and Garnish, the salad and the dressing you might say, who are busily advising hospital staff on the patient's treatment. If ruth got up and walked on her own, as Stenberg reports, it would seem that the care she's been receiving prior to Stenberg's and Garnish's dietary intervention had already put the old girl on the road to recovery. I hope hospital staff is extra-vigilant here.

AS A RESIDENT of Mendocino County it's hard to avoid regular contact with crackpots, and twice as difficult if you're in the newspaper business. But there are crackpots and then there are dangerous crackpots, and among the dangerous crackpots are the anti-vaxxers. Needless to say there's a large Mendo community of them. With outbreaks of measles in various areas of the country where nests of anti-vaxxers are large enough to imperil everyone's children, the bad news hasn't seemed to have persuaded these menaces to community health to re-think their unsupported opinions. We can only hope measles don't re-occur here. And to think they were, pre-internet, wiped out in America.


HOW TO WATCH the Super Bowl. Tune in the last ten minutes. If it's a game, you can spare yourself the rest of it, especially the painfully ghastly half-time show.

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JUST AS OMINOUS as the visible rot is the internal decay. Among all social classes there is a loss of faith in the government, widespread frustration, a sense of stagnation and entrapment, bitterness over unfulfilled expectations and promises, and a merging of fact and fiction so that civil and political discourse is no longer rooted in reality. The nation’s isolation by its traditional allies and its inability, especially in the face of environmental catastrophe, to articulate rational and visionary policies have shattered the mystique that is vital to power. “A society becomes totalitarian when its structure becomes flagrantly artificial,” George Orwell wrote. “That is when its ruling class has lost its function but succeeds in clinging to power by force or fraud.” Our elites have exhausted fraud. Force is all they have left.” — Chris Hedges

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ANDERSON VALLEY COMMUNITY SERVICES DISTRICT held a Boonville Planners meeting about the potential drinking water and sewer system infrastructure upgrades. The project is estimated to cost around $17 million, but the timing is right with almost all of the cost expected to be paid for by the State.

(Facebook post by Fifth District Supervisor Ted Williams)

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FEDERAL JUDGE BLASTS PG&E

A U.S. judge berated Pacific Gas & Electric Co. on Wednesday, accusing the nation's largest utility of enriching shareholders instead of clearing trees that can fall on its power lines and start fires and making "excuses" to avoid turning off electricity when fire risk is high.

Judge William Alsup in San Francisco did not immediately order PG&E to take any of the dramatic measures he has proposed to try to stop more wildfires.

Judge Alsup

But he warned that he was not ruling out at least some new requirements on the company if it did not come up with a plan to "solve" the problem of catastrophic wildfires in California.

"To my mind, there's a very clear-cut pattern here: that PG&E is starting these fires," Alsup said. "What do we do? Does the judge just turn a blind eye and say, 'PG&E continue your business as usual. Kill more people by starting more fires.'"

Alsup is overseeing a criminal conviction against PG&E on pipeline safety charges stemming from a 2010 gas line explosion in the San Francisco Bay Area that killed eight people and destroyed 38 homes.

He proposed earlier this month as part of PG&E's probation that it remove or trim all trees that could fall onto its power lines in high-wind conditions and shut off power when fire is a risk regardless of the inconvenience to customers or loss of profit. Alsup said his goal was to prevent PG&E equipment from causing any wildfires during the 2019 fire season.

PG&E shot back in a court filing last week that the judge's proposals would endanger lives and could cost as much as $150 billion to implement.

Kevin Orsini, an attorney for the company, said PG&E shared the judge's concerns about wildfire and was working to reduce risk. But there weren't enough qualified tree trimmers, and shutting off power would have "repercussions that affect the community," he said.

Power cutoffs impact first responders, critical medical care and phone service and are potentially fatal, the utility said in its court filing.

"PG&E is facing a fundamental problem. The state is facing a fundamental problem," Orsini said.

Attorneys for wildfire victims, California regulators and the U.S. Department of Justice also spoke at Wednesday's hearing.

Alsup was also critical of the California Public Utilities Commission, accusing it of working slowly and using former PG&E employees. The judge later apologized for those comments but still questioned how so many fires broke out under the CPUC's watch.

An attorney with the CPUC, Christine Hammond, said she couldn't comment on fires that were still under investigation. But she said wildfires in California were an incredible challenge that involved factors such as climate change.

The utility's return to a U.S. courtroom came a day after it declared bankruptcy in the face of billions of dollars in potential liability from wildfires in California in 2017 and 2018.

Alsup only briefly mentioned the bankruptcy case during Wednesday's hearing. Filing for bankruptcy generally does not put criminal proceedings on hold, so PG&E's Chapter 11 reorganization may not allow it to avoid any orders issued by Alsup.

The judge found separately that PG&E violated its probation for failing to notify probation officials that a prosecutor's office had opened a full investigation into the utility's role in a 2017 California wildfire. Alsup said he would set a sentencing date later.

Kate Dyer, another attorney for PG&E, said the company had communicated with probation officials and didn't hear until recently that it had not met their expectations.

Alsup said he would wait to see a wildfire mitigation plan PG&E was scheduled to submit to the CPUC on Feb. 6 before deciding what, if any, additional requirements to order.

PG&E is facing hundreds of lawsuits from victims of wildfires in 2017 and 2018, including the nation's deadliest wildfire in a century.

That blaze in November killed at least 86 people and destroyed 15,000 homes in and around the Northern California town of Paradise. The cause is still under investigation, but suspicion fell on PG&E after it reported power line problems nearby around the time the fire broke out.

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WASHINGTON MEASLES OUTBREAK:

Humboldt County’s Public Health Officer on our Troubling Local Conditions, and What the County is Doing to Prepare for the Worst

by Hank Sims

A woman with measles, c. 1908. Photo: Wikimedia.

In the last few days, there has been an outbreak of measles in the Washington state just across the line from Portland, Oregon. As of this writing, 35 confirmed cases of the deadly and extraordinarily virulent disease have been confirmed, and several more patients are currently suspected of having contracted it. Washington’s governor has declared a state of emergency.

All but eradicated from the United States thanks to comprehensive vaccination programs, measles is still endemic in other parts of the world, and once in a while it hitches a ride to our country via international travel. Unfortunately, it can quickly establish itself again in communities where vaccination rates are low — such as certain segments of Humboldt County.

Dr. Donald Baird, Humboldt County Public Health Officer.

You should immunize your children. Measles is an incredibly savage disease that still kills more than a hundred thousand people a year, most of them small kids. People who are not killed by the disease may still develop serious, lifelong complications. The measles virus is transmitted by air very easily, and people are contagious several days before they show any symptoms.

Vancouver, Washington — the epicenter of the current outbreak — is only a seven-hour drive away from Humboldt. Like Humboldt, it has a large enough contingent of parents opposed to vaccination on religious or pseudoscientific grounds to make such an outbreak viable.

Earlier today, Dr. Donald Baird — a family practitioner and the current public health officer for the county of Humboldt — spoke with KHUM’s Lyndsey Battle about the low rates of vaccination among certain Humboldt County communities, and why that could provide fertile ground for the virus if it arrives here.

Also covered: What the county is doing to keep watch for measles, and what you should be looking for if you’re the parent of a child at risk.

Listen to the full conversation: theava.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/DrBaird.mp3

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BURN IT RIGHT

To the Editor:

With the first rains each fall, come the fragrant scent of the first burn piles. But due to our geology, and as the winter weather patterns set in, the heavy smoke of burn piles and wood stoves becomes a daily fact of life.

With the ever-increasing threat of wildfires, burn piles are a necessity; but do they have to create such a presence? In fact there is a way of creating and firing burn piles that not only can reduce the oppressive smoke (and its commensurate health effects) while also helping to reduce carbon in our atmosphere!

Because trees and plants pull carbon from the air to create their physical structures, if we can burn the material we harvest from them, without consuming that carbon, then spreading that carbon into our soils, we are sequestering or storing that carbon. In doing so, we are effectively removing carbon from the atmosphere and helping to slow climate change. This approach, one that results in biochar, is one of the leading candidates being studied by scientists for climate change remediation.

Biochar is a form of charcoal that is almost entirely carbon and is a valuable product, highly beneficial to our soils. Biochar is produced when plant material is burned in the absence of oxygen. While commercially this is done in specialized furnaces, there is a way of creating burn piles that perform nearly as well, while substantially reducing harmful smoke throughout our valley.

Does this take more work? Only slightly, and the resultant black chunks (biochar) are amazingly beneficial in your garden, fields or forest.

Basically, when gathering your material for your burn piles, you are going to create alternating 4-5 foot square ‘rafts’. Laying material down in one orientation until you have a 4-5’ width, then start the next layer with the material perpendicular. Continue creating layers until you have a 4-5’ high pile. Lastly, place a mass of dry kindling-like material on the very top. When you light the pile, you will be lighting it on the very top, and as it burns you will be using a hose to spray out any fire that starts lower down.

What you are doing is a form of ‘gassification,’ which is a process of heating material to the point it releases its volatile organics (VOCs), thus fueling the fire. In other words, the mass of kindling at the top heats up the next layer below, driving out volatiles that fuel the fire. Since these volatiles are directly fueling the fire, their smoky emissions are directly consumed. A properly built burn pile will actually roar with tall orange flames but little smoke. And if you listen closely you will hear this wonderful sound like a cross between rain drops and tinkling bells – the sound of bean sized pieces of biochar falling to the bottom of the burn pile. The fire burns fast, typically 15 to 20 minutes; but be careful, you do not want coals at the bottom (spray them out) as that is when the carbon starts being consumed.

When the fire is complete (remember, you are spraying down any coals), you will have a pile of roughly bean-sized jet black biochar with very little of the gray ash normally found after a burn pile. Spray this down completely until no more steam rises, then let it sit for a day or so. You can then shovel the biochar directly into buckets to broadcast on the soils in your garden, etc.

The weight of that biochar in those buckets is carbon you have effectively removed from the atmosphere. And the reduction or elimination of burn pile smoke has benefited everyone’s lung health!

[Note, the technique described above was developed by Dr. Tom Reed, which he refers to as the “Pyrolysis Pyramid” method. For more information, look on the internet for “Biochar from Brush Piles” by Kelpie Wilson]

Brian Corzilius

Willits

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CATCH OF THE DAY, January 30, 2019

Alvarez, Davis, Fristoe

TRAVIS ALVAREZ, Ukiah. Grand theft-bicycles, probation revocation.

KEVIN DAVIS, Ukiah. Domestic battery.

DANIELLE FRISTOE, Willits. Domestic abuse.

Linker, McKenzie, Pineda

SUZANNE LINKER, Branscomb. Controlled substance for sale.

ALEXIS MCKENZIE, Willits. Domestic battery.

MIGUEL PINEDA, Ukiah. DUI, trespassing, unauthorized entry into dwelling without owner’s consent.

Sanders, Smilgys, Spady

RHONDA SANDERS, Fort Bragg. Disobeying court order, failure to appear, probation revocation.

NICHOLES SMILGYS, Willits DUI-alcohol&drugs.

STEVEN SPADY, Spokane/Ukiah. DUI with priors, blood-alcohol over 0.15.

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HISTORIAN BERATES BILLIONAIRES at Davos over tax avoidance. Industry had to “stop talking about philanthropy and start talking about taxes,” he said, and cited the high tax regime of 1950s America as an example to disprove arguments by businesspeople at Davos such as Michael Dell that economies with high personal taxation could not succeed. “That’s it,” he says. “Taxes, taxes, taxes. All the rest is bullshit in my opinion.”

theguardian.com/business/2019/jan/30/historian-berates-billionaires-at-davos-over-tax-avoidance

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COFFEE WITH KAFKA

Common sense, as it is known, calls for care when sitting for coffee with Kafka. One approaches with delicacy the news of the day. So much does it overwhelm any smalltalk that one is unsure where to look, what to call forth. But it really doesn't matter, or doesn't matter much.

Kafka was forty when he died, of tuberculosis, I think. He was not, by most accounts, a happy man. Picturing him wearing a goofy birthday hat and blowing out candles is impossible, unless you're maybe Tom Waites. The past drove him mad but turned it into writing that shined and lasted. Trapped like a fly in amber, he watched it descend, watched himself descend, one supposes.

He was living in a world that subjected him to baroque rules and obscure punishments for things he was unaware he had done. It was, profoundly, the only world he knew, and the more that he struggled only sank him deeper.

This is a person most folks would not choose for a coffee mate. But here in the heart of an otherwise mild winter, he seems just right for me. I surely don't mean this as complaining, exactly, but Kafkaesque pretty well describes mine. My life as I knew it crashed into an REI tent I was firmly (and repeatedly) warned not to pee in at the Hog Farm while befriended by hippies my coffee mate could not have imagined in a thousand years of imagining. The crash was serious enough to put me in the hospital after nearly killing me. So the coffee tastes like a fine prize this morning, something won.

In a few minutes I will turn on the news, full, doubtless, of Donald and his doings. And I will, as all of us, do my best to adjust and refuse to see it as a mad machine gone so berserk that there is no resistance possible. Donald must be made aware of us out here trying to forget and failing. And waiting. Waiting. Waiting. Sipping coffee with Franz.

(Bruce Brady)

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THE CONFORMITY OF AMERICAN JOURNALISM is going to be one of the nails in its coffin. All American journalists write in the same style, and there is a kind of sickness among a lot of Western correspondents in that they have this dreadful reliance on their own governments.

— Robert Fisk

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HELP

Paid Work Thursday! The Music Festival needs help tomorrow at 1pm in Fort Bragg. It involves lifting and moving boxes that weigh apx. 30 lbs. and will be for 2-3 hours or more. If you are interested, please call the Festival office at (707) 937-4041.

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SALUD!

Based on its support of employee Larry Aguirre’s work with the National Guard Reserve, MCHC Health Centers received recognition as a “Patriotic Employer.” Aguirre is a physician assistant at Little Lake Health Center in Willits as well as a captain for the 297th Area Support Medical Company of the Army National Guard. From November 23 through December 6, Aguirre served as the National Guard medical officer in charge (OIC) at the Chico Airport Base Camp about 20 miles west of Paradise, where wildfires decimated the city.

Aguirre (right) with deployed team

Aguirre said, “The Patriot Award recognizes organizations that employ Reserve soldiers, even though it can be a hardship when the soldiers are suddenly called up for duty. I really appreciate the support of my family, patients, and the staff at MCHC who feel the burden of my absence. I hope it is some consolation for them to know that my Army duties not only allow me to provide medical treatment to soldiers (and civilians in the event of disaster), but also allow me to train soldiers who may find themselves in harm’s way and need to render aid to save the life of an injured comrade.”

Aguirre noted that it is especially difficult for Mendocino County healthcare organizations to lose a medical provider to military service on short notice because Mendocino County is a medically underserved area. He said, “When our community is down one provider, it takes a lot of extra work ”not only for my colleagues but also for the support staff who have to reassign patients and make sure everyone is cared for.”

Almost half of the United States Armed Forces includes members from the Guard and Reserve. Without the support of employers who allow Reserve members to leave their regular jobs to serve, it would be difficult for the Guard to help in times of need.

Aguirre is not the only military Reservist at MCHC. Dentist Kevin Paige also serves as a Major in the Army Reserves. Being from a military family, Paige said he wanted to serve his country, but he did not want to relocate his family every few years. By serving in the Reserve, he was able to accomplish his goal.

He said, “I looked to the Reserves, which allows greater stability for my family, whilst still providing me the opportunity to serve my country. In the Reserves, I can help prepare those who put their lives on the line and/or dedicate their lives to safeguarding the liberties of our country as a whole. The last thing a soldier needs to worry about is an abscessed tooth, and I happen to have the skill set to prevent that.”

Aguirre, Paige

According to the Army, the Guard and Reserve members serve voluntarily in an honorable and vital profession. They train to respond to their community and their country in times of need and they deserve the support of every segment of our society.

MCHC CEO Carole Press said MCHC embraces the opportunity to support employees who balance their work, family and service to country. “These values are in line with our organizational values,” she said.

The service that inspired Aguirre to nominate MCHC for the Patriotic Employer recognition occurred when he served as the medical OIC during the Camp Fire in Paradise last fall. In addition to treating firefighters, the 297th Area Support Medical Company treated civilians in the shelters, taking care of injuries and illnesses that would have otherwise required visits to the over-taxed emergency departments in the area. By staffing the shelters, the National Guard was also able to offer some continuity of care to those with chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and congestive heart failure, or help those who had lost their prescriptions. Aguirre said, “Sometimes, the best medicine was simply for us to listen and provide what comfort we could to those who had lost nearly everything.”

MCHC Health Centers is a local, non-profit, federally qualified health center offering medical, dental and behavioral health care to people in Lake and Mendocino Counties.

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ALL UP FOR THE KICK-OFF!

There is an alternative to Superbowl Sunday. Horn From The Heart, The Paul Butterfield Story will screen one time only 4PM this Sunday February 3 at Coast Cinemas. Presented by Mendocino Film Festival, Coast Cinemas and The Coast- KOZT, this screening benefits the Film Festival. Tickets at Coast Cinemas or click through online at kozt.com

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1952 - Tommy's Joynt - Geary at Van Ness - Originally, a Victorian apartment building with a grocery store on the ground level. Here is how Tommy's looked early in the 1950s. At some point, the upper floors were removed and only the ground level remains. There are photos of the original red building in the restaurant today.

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IRRIGATION TIPS

Review of recent irrigation fallacies I've encountered

After decades of landscape/irrigation work, I thought I had seen everything. But the past year has been full of surprises. Would you believe someone turning a rototiller loose on underground tubing? Well, that one almost decided me to have clients write down what they thought I said.

Anyway, here are some thoughts: 1. You will not find a good electronic timer locally. You will find plenty of ORBIT timers made in China. In a ranking 1 to 10, they would come in somewhere around 6. If you want to find modern professional grade timers, you have to seek them from DripWorks in Willits or Wyatt Irrigation in Ukiah. Hunter is the main source of good timers. Please note that battery-operated timers are inherently unreliable. 2. The same local dearth goes for valves, although you will be able to find some Rainbird anti-siphon valves. If someone wants to put them in a hole in the ground, fire them before they do. 3. Some people apparently value "Crews" of workers more than quality work & materials. There was a study from 1966 that showed the best programmers were about 10 times as effective as the worst. The same is true in "crews". If the boss or foreperson is not constantly present, you will receive the lowest level of performance. In any case the only time "crews" are needed is on roofing jobs. 4. Many landscapers and many plumbers like to do irrigation, but most have little idea how to proceed. I have seen few irrigation installations not full of mistakes.

If anyone would like to discuss any of this, I'd be glad to talk to anyone. My phone is 707.472.6164. I also accept texts. Yours truly,

Gerry York

Fort Bragg

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* * *

GEORGE CARLIN: THEY OWN EVERYTHING.

“Forget the politicians. The politicians are put there to give you the idea you have freedom of choice. You don't. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land, they own and control the corporations that've long since bought and paid for, the senate, the congress, the state houses, the city halls, they got the judges in their back pocket, and they own all the big media companies so they control just about all of the news and the information you get to hear. They got you by the balls. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying to get what they want. Well, we know what they want. They want more for themselves and less for everybody else. But I'll tell you what they don't want. They don't want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don't want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking. They're not interested in that. That doesn't help them.”

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PROPAGANDA’S FIRST AND WORST VICTIM is the propagandist himself. When you invent a thing you want to convince people of, when you polish it and shape it until you consider it plausible, when you repeat it endlessly, you will begin to believe it yourself. Con artists are routinely said to be their own most earnest believers.

The biggest generator of propaganda is the U.S. government, the U.S. Government Publishing Office (“Government Printing Office” no more).

Not counting commercial advertising, which is commonly understood to be in the interest of sales, not truth, propaganda always claims to be true & reliable, without any intention of actually ensuring those qualities. Our late entry to World War 1 came with a giant propaganda campaign, squarely aimed at the myriads of citizens who didn’t want any part of that mess. President Woodrow Wilson created the Committee on Public Information to convince us to join the war he had previously opposed. Over 116,000 yankees died there, and another 200,000 came home damaged.

Remember the Gulf War? That was George H.W. Bush’s attack on Iraq—Desert Storm. That attack followed reports of Iraqi soldiers committing atrocities, prominently including the murder of newborns, in Kuwait hospitals. A heart-rending eyewitness, a 15-year-old Kuwaiti girl named Nayirah wept as she described these crimes to a congressional committee (and to the media, the indispensable pipeline, billboard, Google and megaphone for propaganda). Her brave and moving testimony was utterly false. It was fabricated by the Hill & Knowlton PR firm in New York and all over the world. Hyper-“viral” before that term was conscripted for Internet reference. She lied so tearfully in October 1990, and everybody bought it. It flew around the world’s news outlets, inflaming the public about stolen incubators and premature infants left to suffocate on hospital floors, all false, all the brainchild of Hill & Knowlton, the go-to PR firm if your name is Satan. Nayirah, the weeping teenager who said she watched the fate of Iraqi babies, did no such thing. She was in Washington, Nayirah al-Sabah, sophisticated daughter of Kuwait’s ambassador, superb liar.

By the time this lie was exposed, more than a year had passed, and the evil of Iraq’s army was a matter of common belief. Even Amnesty International was among H&K’s gullible victims. The media did not at first challenge the horror stories H&K cooked up, and the U.S., with allied help, showered bombs on the deserts of southern Iraq, producing the unforgettable “Highways of Death,” those miles of burnt vehicles and charred corpses.

Now Venezuela. America’s president, smarting from humiliation handed him by November’s Blue-Wavelet election and Nancy Pelosi’s defiance, is interfering with Venezuela’s current, contested Maduro regime—interfering militarily, yet again, with an elected government.

Don’t go any further than “socialist.” The enemies of American capitalism, like critics of Vladimir Putin, must die. We do not let socialism into the Western Hemisphere. At least we didn’t. Fidel Castro adopted socialism and shoved it down our throat for decades. We no sooner murder the socialists in one Latin country when they pop up in another. The media are generally convinced that Maduro, anointed by the late Hugo Chavez, is a dunce like Chavez and is driving his oil-rich country to further ruin.

This looks like a job for H&K. We must be persuaded that Nicolás Maduro, president and leader of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, lies in waiting under our beds, that it’s an emergency and that even as flawed a commander-in-chief as Donald Trump must be rallied behind when our borders are under attack a mere, terrifying 2,797 miles from Venezuela’s nearest spot.

While you gobble the disinformation about Maduro and his predecessor, remember that we have a security apparatus deeply devoted to keeping Latin America safe for American business, which we often call “democracy.” The CIA is masterful at finding the pressure points—in any society anywhere—that when pressed quickly screw up everything in ways profitable to one percent of us.

(Mitch Clogg)

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A PRAYING MANTIS trapped in Amber, approximately 12 Million Years Old.

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CHICKEN BONES & TOM-TOMS

Shamanism 101 - Shamanism and Ancestral Connection Saturday February 2nd 12 pm - 2 pm Mendocino Center for Spiritual Living's Gathering Place In the Company Store 303 N. Main Street Fort Bragg Doors open at 11 45 am and close at 12 pm Suggested donation 5 - 15 In this 2 hour discussion we'll explore shamanic approaches to working with Ancestors, contemporary Shamanism in relation to cultural appropriation and more before we embark on a drum journey for Ancestral connection.

Heather O'Connell theyewtree@gmail.com

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DEAR LOYAL SUPPORTER:

This is HUGE. Democrats have become incredibly UNHINGED in the past couple of months. They claim they want border security, and they claim they care about your safety, but they have done ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to prove that. They won’t even meet at the White House to negotiate! The Democrat way is very simple: complain, obstruct, do nothing to help America, and then ask for your vote 2 years later. NO MORE! Liberal Mega Donors are already maxing out to the Democrats, so I’m calling on my best supporters to help us CRUSH our goal and start 2019 off strong. With our FIRST end-of-month deadline of 2019 in just ONE DAY, please make a contribution of $5 and it will be TRIPLE-MATCHED. We cannot sit back and wait for 2020, we have to start off 2019 stronger than ever before. Please make a contribution of $5 and it will be TRIPLE-MATCHED.

Thank you,

Donald J. Trump, President of the United States

contact@action.gop.com

12 Comments

  1. Eric Sunswheat February 1, 2019

    Thank you for the vaccine safety question cover up, as a counter point to irrationality of thoughtless do gooder mantra.

    RE: But I do not consider “anti-vaxxers” to be nut jobs. It is legitimate to demand that all drugs that are injected into new born infants and small children are vigorously tested for safety. A lawsuit was just won by Robert Kennedy and Consent Action Network against the US government (Health & Human Services) for not filing ANY safety reports on new and existing vaccines for the past 30 years: https://www.aimintegrativemedicine.com/aim-integrative-medicine-blog/why-kennedy-sued-the-government-over-vaccine-safety-won
    Tell me why parents should just trust the government and for profit pharmaceutical companies on this one?

    “MCT: Thursday, January 31, 2019”

    Alethea Patton
    January 31, 2019 at 6:33 am Comment

  2. John Robert January 31, 2019

    Willits is such a special place. We are giving them grace because we’ve got our new downtown bypass. Those residents need to get in line and vote into fruition things that are good and helpful for the whole of the Highway 101 corridor, including the Mendocino County effort, to be productive.

    Rent stabilization is required for the folks who clean and fix, serve our community.

    A Mental Health repair and holding facility is a fine use for the Howard Mem.Hos.grounds. Could do gates at each end of the valley or a private security company on the grounds. Cut the fat.

    Vote JOHN R. COST Jr.
    Fourth District Supervisor.

    • Lazarus January 31, 2019

      Could you expand please, with the exception of insulting Willits… I need more details if, in reality, you are a candidate for the BoS.
      As always,
      Laz

  3. james marmon January 31, 2019

    Butte County should have contacted Lake Co. before passing the law allowing people to live on their burned out properties. 1.7 billion dollars is something no county wants to walk away from

    Residents in Camp Fire burn area may be forced to leave homes again or risk losing $1.7 billion in funding

    PARADISE — Previously passed laws in Butte County and the Town of Paradise allowing Camp Fire victims to live on property with burned debris may jeopardize $1.7 billion in federal funding for debris removal, according to a letter from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

    “Allowing residents to place temporary housing units/RVs/similar housing structures may impact the justification for (private property debris removal) related activities and federal reimbursement of PPDR costs,” wrote Samaniego in the letter, “as the FEMA approved justification for the reimbursement of PPDR costs is based on State and County’s identified need to ‘eliminate immediate threats to life, public health, and safety.’”

    https://www.paradisepost.com/2019/01/30/residents-may-be-forced-to-leave-homes-again-or-risk-losing-1-7-billion-in-funding/?fbclid=IwAR0y5N6Vsgeoj7zvn9FfGoS8DtPPuIYOTo5L-dr50CY52-qlF0NH6pfrnCw

  4. Kathy January 31, 2019

    I wonder if Federal Judge Alsup understands the monsterous costs and technical difficulties of undergrounding transmission (not distribution) lines, as he has suggested. Does he understand that the ratepayers will also bear the costs of his proposed upgrades? Additionally, none of his recent comments address the critical need to fix the current legal concept of inverse condemnation in the Utility industry in Ca. The judge’s comments also do not address the need to remedy local building and planning decisions that concern wildland interfaces for housing, as well as adequate traffic evacuation routes. IMO, we need to get back to a regulated industry that may not earn more than 11% profit, and we certainly need to get back to a corporate responsibility to safety rather than a corporate mgmt strategy driven by budget.

  5. michael turner January 31, 2019

    A pediatrician friend told me this story. His first job out of training was in Navajo country in the 1980’s. He asked an older doctor who had been there for decades what was the biggest change in the years she had been there. Her answer was succinct: “no more measles”.

  6. Bruce Anderson January 31, 2019

    Skepticism is one thing, the assumption that children should not be vaccinated because Kennedy and other dubious persons claim that Big Pharma and government have colluded to deliberately imperil the young is quite another. Vaccination has spared much human misery for the past 150 years. The anti-vaxxers should be ashamed that there has been a re-occurrence of measles.

    • George Hollister January 31, 2019

      Bruce, you’re right. People need to exercise good judgement. Kennedy is no more an expert on vaccines than Gore is an expert on climate. A big mistake people make is taking statistical correlations as proof of cause an effect. A single statistical correlation is nothing more than the basis for a hypothesis that needs to be tested. What has happened, time and time again, is alarms are raised about some statistical correlation that makes the front page of a newspaper. When the correlation is tested, scientifically, and demonstrated to be false, that story ends up at the bottom of page 3.

    • George Hollister January 31, 2019

      From a non-humanitarian view, vaccinations have the potential of weakening the gene pool. The survivors of childhood disease should have a tendency to have stronger genes that can resist those diseases. With vaccines, we never know who those with strong genes are. As a society, being fully vaccinated, for a long time we could end up like American Indians with little genetic resistance to the diseases we are vaccinated for. If some event in history would suddenly make vaccines unavailable, for a long period of time, there might be a big die off, similar to what happened to the Indians. Just an inhuman thought. A Spartan might say, “Don’t vaccinate. Let God decide if they die or survive. We are stronger for it.”

    • Alethea Patton February 1, 2019

      These responses to my comment dismissed the link I sited and shifted the focus to measles. The point I was making is that the government and pharmaceutical companies have not been performing their officially mandated safety procedures and have made it nearly impossible for parents of children who have harmed by vaccinations to seek redress. Why would they do that? Because they can’t afford it? There is increasing evidence that Gardasil (the vaccination for Chlamydia) statistically does more harm than the disease that it purports to protect against. This is not a black and white issue and I expect a more nuanced, discriminating consideration from the editors of the AVA.

  7. Alethea Patton January 31, 2019

    I do not consider myself an “anti-vaxxer”. Both of my children were fully vaccinated as recommended by our pediatrician. But I do not consider “anti-vaxxers” to be nut jobs. It is legitimate to demand that all drugs that are injected into new born infants and small children are vigorously tested for safety. A lawsuit was just won by Robert Kennedy and Consent Action Network against the US government (Health & Human Services) for not filing ANY safety reports on new and existing vaccines for the past 30 years: https://www.aimintegrativemedicine.com/aim-integrative-medicine-blog/why-kennedy-sued-the-government-over-vaccine-safety-won
    Tell me why parents should just trust the government and for profit pharmaceutical companies on this one? Shouldn’t vaccines injected into new born infants have to go through the most rigorous testing before coming to market? Dismissing legitimate concerns by denigrating “anti-vaxxers” does not serve society and will continue to sow distrust.

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