Off the Record (Feb. 6, 2019)

THAT SCANDAL that began boiling up in Willits a couple of weeks ago was in court last week. It involves the younger son of Willits High School principal, Michael Colvig, 44. The boy allegedly took sexual liberties amounting to sexual assault during a drunken teen "party." When the girl reported the episode to the boy’s father, Michael Colvig, the principal at Willits High School, and legally mandated to investigate child abuse, is said to have replied something like, "I'm responding to this as a parent, not as a principal.”

THE PRINCIPAL'S FAILURE to formally report the allegation has gotten him into serious trouble, so serious he has been criminally charged. Colvig appeared last Wednesday in Superior Court where he entered a Not Guilty plea. Trial has been set for Monday, April 22nd.

THIS ANNOUNCEMENT was issued by the Willits school district: “The Willits Unified School District takes students safety as our highest priority. Principal Colvig has been placed on administrative leave (paid?) 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.”

FORMER COAST HOSPITAL office manager Cindy Richards writes regarding the firing of 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.”

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 breakthrough "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." 

ruth weiss

A SEMINAL BEATNIK now well into her 80s, ruth weiss apparently doesn't have family, or family nearby. 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 remains extra-vigilant here.

THE FRIENDS of ruth weiss have established this website "for updates and to volunteer" care: my.lotsahelpinghands.com/community/help-the-goddess-of-the-beat

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.

OSCAR WILDE, I think, said that the most frightening words in the English language are, "Last night I had this dream…" Last night I had this dream that at Super Bowl half-time Sunday the starting quarterbacks, Tom Brady and Jared Goff, shoved the Mogambo Girls off stage and announced, "We want all you young people of child bearing age to immediately refuse to vaccinate your children. Our government, in league with the pharmaceutical industry, are trying to kill your babies!" Monday morning, anti-vaxxer riots commenced at medical centers throughout the United States, and Tuesday morning newborns from coast to coast had measles and polio.

WEDNESDAY'S PRESS DEMOCRAT asks the crucial question: "Tell us, do you have an interesting tattoo?" again confirming the absence of intelligent life at the Rose City daily.

WILL SOMEONE tell Coast Hospital trustee Jessica Grinberg that she wasn't elected to the board to abstain, which she did on the vote to fire CEO Edwards?

DIANE CURRY, Mendo’s former Ag Commissioner, 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.”

SORRY TO HEAR that Alice Choteau has died. Doug and Alice Choteau were long-time residents of the Mendocino Coast. Doug died in a gun accident at the Choteau home last year. Alice, among her many gifts, was an ace gardener, developing the Choteau place on Airport Road north of Fort Bragg into a kind of rain forest spectacular. 

DEPARTMENT OF UNINTENTIONAL IRONY, this excerpt from a letter to the editor from Louise Ross of Manchester to the Independent Coast Observer: "…High journalism standards to be 'fair and balanced' have certainly never been a consideration. Amazingly, there are people in this community who do not share your blatant progressive/liberal political agenda…"

LOOKED AT OBJECTIVELY, the ICO, is cautiously mainstream liberal (i.e., conservative) in its occasional editorials, and tiptoes even more cautiously around South Coast issues, especially Point Arena's failed schools, bumbling school board, preposterously overpaid superintendent, and so on, to name one example of the paper's prudently prophylactic reporting. But the paper's letter's columns have always been open to dissenting views. Jeez, Louise.

ALSO from the ICO we learn that the Point Arena Cove is being undermined by a combination of killer waves and high tides. The old Cove was wiped out years ago by a tsunami version of the same phenomena and, with the oceans rising as the polar ice caps melt, structural repairs to the oceanside Cove may be futile. In my half-assedly and not particularly informed opinion, solidified by frequent walks to and from the Ballpark along Frisco's Embarcadero, ten years ago high tide waves did not break over the sidewalk. For the last five years they have. The Globe has warmed, the oceans are rising. 

TAI ABREU will be in Judge Cindee Mayfield's court (Courtroom B) on Wednesday, February 6th, 9am (today). In the most grotesque miscarriage of justice I've seen in the Mendocino County courts, Abreu's, by far, is the most egregious. To be fair to the local courts, with only a couple of exceptions, and those occurring among the judges who never should have been elevated to the bench, most convicted persons have had it coming. Abreu had it coming, too, for his role in the death of Donald Perez, lured to Fort Bragg for what Perez thought would be another round of sex with August Stuckey but became the victim of a stoner plot to rob him. (Interested persons can read the whole story at the links at the foot of this paragraph.) Perez wound up duct taped to a tree on the north bank of the Noyo less than a mile from the Fort Bragg Police Department. Three young men — Stuckey, Abreu and Aaron Channel — were subsequently charged with his murder, although Perez's remains were so badly decomposed the county coroner could not establish a certain cause of death. Stuckey and Channel pled out and received versions of second degree murder convictions at 20 years to life. Abreu's public defender, Linda Thompson, talked Abreu, then 19, into taking his non-case to a jury where, after a one-day "trial" where public defender Thompson did nothing but strenuously argue for her client's guilt, Abreu was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. So, what we had was an alleged murder committed by three very young men one of whom, Channel, is already out, Stuckey, the most murderous of the three who claimed Perez had raped him, will eventually get out, while Abreu, who functioned as lookout man up on the road while Channel and Stuckey did whatever they did down by the river, never getting out. Until now. Maybe. Which is why Abreu is back in Mendocino County for his case to be heard again under the new revision of the California Murder Rule. That law has been amended to permit persons only tangentially involved in deliberate killings to get their sentences proportionately adjusted. If Abreu's two confederates were eligible for parole, simple justice should require that Abreu's sentence should also be proportionately adjusted. Abreu has admitted robbing Perez but denies having any part in killing him. (Persons close to the case think it is almost certain that Stuckey plunged a knife into Perez's throat. Stuckey is presently in the process of a state-paid prison sex change, but at the time of this sad event he was still ambiguous about his homosexuality, hence the likelihood that it was he who did the murder.) How all this plays out Wednesday in the County Courthouse, Ukiah, is going to be interesting, certainly. A fair disposition would see the judge sustain the robbery part Abreu played in the Perez crime, vacate the murder charge against him and set him free. Abreu's done 18 hard years in state prison and, off a nearly flawless record inside, and given his considerable natural intelligence, he is unlikely to ever get in trouble again. So far as I'm aware, Abreu is only the second person in the state to test the new law. The first guy to test it has been released from San Quentin. 

Abreu

Background:

Here is the link for the whole story: theava.com/05/1221-perezcase.html

A shorter version: counterpunch.org/2004/05/29/is-l-wop-truly-forever-the-awful-injustice-to-tai-abreu/

And here is a link to another shorter version (scroll down for the items on Tai Abreu): theava.com/04/0526-otr-tai-abreu.html

AMONG THE ADS for cars and beer on CBS’s coverage of the Super Bowl this year, Acreage Holdings, a large US based cannabis company, planned to place an ad for medical marijuana. CBS said no. It would stick to sex and beer.

The company released a statement saying that it doesn’t accept cannabis advertisements.

Substantially over half of US states have some form of legalized access to marijuana.

FLYNN, the update. AVA writer Flynn Washburne has been removed from the county jail and placed in yet another rehab program, this one in Lake County, where he must remain for three months. He says he's finally learned his lesson and expects to be clean upon completing the Lake County program. (Lake County isn’t the first place we’d think of as a meth rehab location, but we’ll defer to the parole officer.) Flynn’s damaged Explorer and whatever belongings were in it are at a tow yard in Sonoma County where charges are accumulating, making it difficult for persons of little means to retrieve them and impossible for a person of no means. Flynn hocked his laptop computer prior to crashing his transportation. Meanwhile, he said, he’ll go back to writing long-hand and sending in copy the old-fashioned way. 

POINT ARENA POT DISPENSARY CALLS IT QUITS

An article in the February 1st Independent Coast Observer by reporter W.W. Keller "explores changes in the cannabis economy of the Emerald triangle." Mr. Keller reports that a former Point Arena marijuana dispensary owner named Nate Boucher said that the county required him to have a costly security guard at his “Green Room” dispensary in Point Arena, which along with other onerous requirements caused him to sell the dispensary to a large Oakland-based marijuana retailer last spring. "Our local bank doesn't have a security guard, why do I need one? It's preposterous," said Boucher. "Most other dispensaries don't have a guard because it's too expensive. But I wanted to run my business according to the letter of the law." Boucher said that he also had to destroy much of existing marijuana inventory that was not tested by the state and that he was required to implement a point-of-sale system that was expensive. Keller also reported that IRS code prohibits cannabis businesses from deducting ordinary business expenses even in states where cannabis is legal causing marijuana sellers to pay much higher business income tax. "Boucher is nevertheless still a booster for legal cannabis," says Keller who then wraps up by pointing out how much money can be made via black market marijuana sold out of state which does not have to comply with the many local and state restrictions on “legal” marijuana business.

LACKING the hard stats, we can't definitely say how many people arrested in Mendocino County are from Mendocino County. We suspect, though, a good number are from somewhere else, perhaps drawn here by the Northcoast's infamous rep as a welcoming drug area. Take this guy, for instance, Mr. Hornlein, age 37, with arrests going back years in his home state of Tennessee before he moved west to sunny San Joaquin. In Tennessee, Heinlein racked up an impressive seven felony arrests, and the same number in San Joaquin, mostly for burglaries, drugs, car theft — drug-related stuff. And now here he is in Fort Bragg for arrest number one — with six to go?

Hornlein

WE’VE BEGUN to research the backgrounds of the Catch of the Day bookings into the County Jail. This guy for another instance….

BHAKTI JNANA DILLENBECK is now living in Fort Bragg where the Fort Bragg Police have to deal with him daily. Residents say he threatens people, menaces the elderly, yells and screams in front of downtown businesses, and is an all-around public nuisance. He is clearly mentally ill but is not being served by Mendocino County’s privatized mental health apparatus, probably because that apparatus can’t figure out a way to monetize him. Turns out Bhakti, born in 1983, is the son of a prominent HumCo up-from-hippie whose family, except for a much put upon sister, refuses to have anything to do with him. 

Bhakti’s father is Winchell Dillenbeck of Eureka. 

Dillenbeck

KERRI COOK of the Mad River Union describes the senior Dillenbeck: “Back in 1985, there was a small group called the Everyman’s Center (which later became the more politically correct EveryONE’s Center), which was mainly a crisis call-in center which provided health information, services and workshops. The name was changed to Community Services of the North Coast in 1988. The idea was always a simple one—to help people in the community through counseling and education. That year, the founders, Winchell Dillenbeck and Charles Riche, drove their quintessential hippie-mobile, (a beat-up, old VW van) from Humboldt to San Francisco (or bust!) to attend a regional conference for agencies that were specifically helping folks with their debt. Thus began the time where credit counseling began to take over all other types of counseling within the agency.”

READING between the lines of all this we think we see a rather common local mental health profile that begins with irresponsible hippie parents of a guy raised around dope who got into dope prematurely as a young kid, emerging as an adult schizophrenic.

RUSH LIMBAUGH, "the dirigible of drivel" in Alexander Cockburn's apt description, made the national news last week when he said that the political right is “scared to death of Kamala Harris.” They probably are given that they tend to be 'fraidy cats anyway, with all kinds of goblins coming at them from all directions and the government intent on disarming them as the liberals kick in their doors to cut their nuts off for compulsory transsexual surgeries. Maybe the biggest diff between normal people and the 'fraidy-cat political right is the same as the basic distinction between the paranoid insane and everyone else — the paranoid can't distinguish between possibilities and probabilities.

THIS RECENT CARTOON from the New Yorker is representative of that mag's smug lib lab political assumptions. 

Caption: “They want Biden’s working-class appeal, Sanders’s populist fervor, Beto’s youthful charisma, Warren’s fierce progressivism, Klobuchar’s calm moderation, Harris’s toughness, Brown’s everyman image, Booker’s media savvy, Gillibrand’s feminist credentials…” 

BIDEN'S WHAT? Any poll of working people is unlikely to confirm this assumption, one manufactured by wishful corporate libs of the Clinton type, and a do-over of the Biden reality, a slave to the corporations and a warmonger all his days. And note here the missing liberal who really is a liberal — Tulsi Gabbard, but a liberal who has dared criticize Israel, meaning a candidate with zero chance of national election. 

“MENDOCINO COUNTY: To the north we have Humboldt County, an untamed wilderness of outlaws, addicts, thieves, fortune tellers and vigilantes in squalid little towns full of filthy transients squatting on sidewalks.

To our south we have Sonoma County, a precious land of sommeliers, celebrity chefs, gentleman ranchers, Lexus dealerships and dog massage parlors in cutesied up towns full of LA tourists sashaying about the sidewalks.

And right over there is Lake County.”

— Tommy Wayne Kramer

ON LINE COMMENTS OF THE WEEK

 [1] Imagine you are at the pearly gates. You get led into the big room where a door leads out to paradise and an elevator goes down but before you go out the door or down the elevator you stand to hear the verdict. Or being a soul your feet float inches above polished marble. You listen. Years I waited for you to do something and you did nothing. I waited for something, anything with a dust mote of meaning from you. Something to show you had found the joyous treasure map I put in your head when I sent you down. Something to show you were not just another brick in the worthless spectre wall. No you don’t get another chance. You were an American. Do you know how many chances an American get as compared to everyone else! You don’t want to go there. I know you did not do anything wrong, I get that. But you did not do any good either and that is what you were supposed to do. Next !

[2] Elizabeth Warren said it best “I’m tired of billionaires freeloading.” Amen to that baby. Trump brags about paying no taxes as “smart.” Freeloader extraordinaire. When income inequality reaches the levels it has, the government has to step in and redistribute. Yes I know you righties seem to think the mere mention of that word makes your eardrums melt into little pools of goo. Take heart. It won’t. All that will happen is that Gates, Bezos and company will have a smaller number next to their name in Forbes. That’s it. That’s the extent of the damage. Hold back your crocodile tears and cry not for Argentina. Taking money from the rich and giving it to the poor is a good thing when income inequality has surpassed the days of kings and queens.

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