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MCT: Wednesday, March 13, 2019

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DRY WEATHER is expected to prevail through the weekend. Mornings will continue to be cool, however daytime highs will start to increase above normal for the weekend. The warmer and dry weather may last into Monday, before the next chance for rain arrives Tuesday or Wednesday of next week. (National Weather Service)

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The brother of a Mendocino County man who died while being restrained at the jail has settled a wrongful death lawsuit for $5 million in an agreement that requires two law enforcement agencies provide new training procedures for handling people in crisis.


Steven Neuroth, 55, of Ukiah died after his June 11, 2014 arrest when he was being held face-down on the ground, with his hands handcuffed and ankles shackled, by law enforcement officers in a sobering cell at the Mendocino County Jail as a medical staff member watched.

Before the death, the arresting officer from the Willits Police Department is shown in a jail video joking about Neuroth, who was described by his family’s lawyer as a schizophrenic man in psychiatric crisis, and laughing about his fear of snakes with a vocational nurse there to evaluate his wellbeing.

“Walk up there and say ‘Ah, snakes!’ Funniest thing you’ve ever seen,” said Officer Kevin Leef, who is now a sergeant.

“Should’ve let him get hit by a car,” said Jennifer Caudillo, the vocational nurse.

Later in the video, Neuroth briefly resists being put into a sobering cell, and they take the handcuffed man to the ground, punch him and pull his shackled legs back. After several minutes pass, with Neuroth calling out for help, he goes limp. Neuroth is taken to the hospital, where he is pronounced dead.

His brother, James Neuroth, 57, of Laytonville sued the county, the Willits Police Department and California Forensic Medical Group, which provided medical services at the jail.

The official Mendocino County coroner report states Neuroth died from “methamphetamine toxicity associated with violent struggle” and noted that “any contributory role of restraint asphyxia (was) unascertainable.”

But the lawsuit by Neuroth’s brother contends he died from compression asphyxia when deputies restrained him, putting pressure onto his back and ignoring his pleas for help, said attorney Michael Haddad.

“Sometimes people have to be restrained in the jail, but the reason why the Sheriff’s Department is going to train all of their employees about compression asphyxia is because that manner of restraint killed Steven,” Haddad said.

The Mendocino County Jail has since ended its contract with California Forensic Medical Group, which provides medical services in jails throughout California, and now has a contract with Alabama-based NaphCare, according to Sheriff Tom Allman. The change was made because NaphCare has more registered nurses on its staff, who have a higher level of training than most of the staff from the California Forensic Medical Group, Allman said.

As part of the settlement, deputies in the field and the jail as well as Willits police will receive crisis intervention training. Willits police are also deploying body-worn cameras for its officers and requiring they use them, according to Haddad.

Allman said he had already begun to institute improvements to mental health services in the jail before the settlement. Jail staff are spending more time appraising arrestees brought to the jail to evaluate mental health conditions and determine “whether or not we’re going to accept the inmate from the arresting agency,” he said.

“This death was very unfortunate,” Allman said. “Given the level of illegal substance found in his blood certainly one could assume that was a contribution to this unfortunate situation.”

Willits Police Chief Scott Warnock didn’t respond to a message seeking comment.

According to the terms of the settlement, Mendocino County and its insurer have agreed to pay $3 million to James Neuroth. California Forensic Medical Group will pay $1.5 million and the city of Willits will pay $500,000.

(Julie Johnson, Santa Rosa Press Democrat)

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The sheriff office posted Monday: “The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office and the Mendocino County Search and Rescue Team will be working again in the Covelo area this week on the Khadijah Britton case. 

We will be draining a pond on lands belonging to the Round Valley Indian Tribes. The pond is in close proximity to where Khadijah Britton was last seen and in recent searches, several search dogs showed interest in the pond. 

If you have any information that could help us in our investigation please call (707) 234-2100 or We Tip at 1-800 732-7463.”

Update on our progress on draining the pond in the Covelo area as part of the ongoing investigation on Khadijah Britton. The pond is almost completely drained and we'll be getting the trained Search and Rescue K9s in soon.

Nothing has been found as of the end of the day Tuesday.

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CEO CARMEL ANGELO shocked the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday with a surprise mention — not in her CEO report — that the County’s pot permit program was about $2.4 million (!) in the red. The CEO said the figure is based on preliminary numbers to be finalized at the “mid-year” (?) budget review on March 26 only three months after the “mid-year.” She also said that the Probation Department was running about $1.6 million over budget (despite the budget nicks made in Probation last year). (The Sheriff’s overtime budget is also being grossly overrun, and that’s just three obvious big ticket budget problems.) 

THE BOARD and the CEO blamed everyone but themselves — the state, the growers, the changing landscape, staff turnover (that the CEO and the Board caused), and so on, although supervisors Williams and Haschak inherited the mess with their recent election. We have pointed out all three of these overruns before, so it's no surprise on our end and it shouldn't surprise Ms. Angelo and the two hold-over supervisors, McCowen and Brown since each has been discussed well before now. 

NOT DISCUSSED, however, was why it took so long to discover such a huge deficit in the pot permit program. Recall that when the Probation Department was way over budget last year, the CEO didn’t know about it until Lake County sent her a note saying that they didn’t want to continue to pay Mendo’s exorbitant day-rates for probationers. The CEO was caught by surprise. 

AND NOW there’s a much bigger deficit — one which has been obvious to even the most casual observers for months. The bloated and basically unmanaged pot permit program staffing, complete with shiny new vehicles for inspectors and compliance officers with no hope of cost recovery from the outset because actual issuances of pot permits was, of course way off because of the burdensome process, a process a majority of growers are ignoring and the rest struggling with. (Mark Scaramella) 

NOT TO BE TOO judgmental here, but Mendo is a good example of people running government who do not spend public money as cautiously as they do their own. County bureaucracy is bloated and overpaid at the top while line worker vacancies go unfilled (putting lots more work on existing employees), the same workers who have been promised raises they are obviously not going to get. As is becoming clearer by the month.

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Cottonwood Springs Sunset: Near South Entrance of Joshua Tree N.P., CA

(Photo by Jay Lee)

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TRUMP, expert on all matters, said he knew why the planes crashed in Ethiopia and Indonesia: “Airplanes are becoming far too complex to fly. Pilots are no longer needed, but rather computer scientists from MIT. I see it all the time in many products. Always seeking to go one unnecessary step further, when often old and simpler is far better. Split second decisions needed, and the complexity creates danger. All of this for great cost yet very little gain. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want Albert Einstein to be my pilot. I want great flying professionals that are allowed to easily and quickly take control of a plane!”

AS A GUY who can barely figure out how to use the remote for his TV set, I think Orange Man makes a valid point here. Lots of stuff is over-engineered, sadistically over-engineered for us older folks.

TODAY'S MEETING of the Supervisors was viewed at any one time by a max of 28 persons, and they dropped off as soon as the pension fund "discussion" ended. From there on an average of 18 people were watching their local government in action. The live audience seemed confined to a few stalwart pot soldiers who inevitably thank the Supervisors and staff "for all your hard work." In doing what? Complicating your lives unto bankruptcy?

I'LL BET if you asked the next twenty people walking past the County Courthouse to define anti-Semitism they'd be at a loss. Call me Mr. Optimism but it's my impression that anti-Semitism is hardly prevalent anymore, thanks to the public schools. Used to be you had to be able to read well enough to master the crank lit to persuade yourself that Jews rule the world via a kind of secret cabal. They control the money, they're smarter than everyone else, they own show biz and the media, and so on. Jews are influential in show biz and media but hardly dominate it, and as for smarter than everyone else? If that's true, how do you account for the Jews of Mendocino County? Mr. Optimism also thinks it's obvious that race relations are actually quite good considering the 1950's where I come from. Any town or city of any size anywhere in America, even Ukiah, and you now find an actual prevalence of genuinely affectionate and loyal inter-racial friendships, not to mention marriages.

WE KEEP INMATE phone calls to a minimum because if we didn't we couldn't pay the phone bill we barely pay now. But today, when a guy tried to call I'd asked to call, the automated shakedown artists who run a lot of inmate "services" demanded that I sign up for a pre-paid package via a credit card. Natch, this outfit takes an extortionate whack of each call. Not that ripping off inmates and their families for phone calls is anything new, but now the call recipient has no option but to sign up for their usurious services. Used to be you could simply agree to accept the call. No more.

THE CLOVERDALE FIGHT CLUB SCANDAL is interesting, doubly interesting because the police say a high school teacher refereed the fights in his classroom! The AVA theory to keen teen troubles in our wacky and probably doomed country thinks the troubles arise out of the separation of adolescents into their own sub-species, a separation that leads to all kinds of neurotic behavior in them and us. Ever notice the diff between kids in the public school system and home schooled kids? The home schooled kids are much less estranged from adults, much more mature, much more natural and wholesomely integrated. Not in all cases, of course, but so long as the home schooling parents are more or less sane the home schooled are likely to be much more together than children moving through the public systems. 

CASE IN POINT, which I've invoked for years now: I'm at a Boonville High School basketball game. The home towners take the court for warm-ups to a high decibel ditty about bitches, bawds and bloodshed. So I, Mr. Concerned Parent, approach the principal to complain about the general inappropriateness of the "music." The principal says, "But the kids like it." There you are, damn near the whole teen vs. everyone else prob in one short statement: "But the kids like it."

WINDY as it was Tuesday I remember March as the month we flew kites, way back in a different time. We did everything by seasons, football, basketball, baseball and flew, or attempted to fly, dime store kites. We paid a quarter for an assemble yourself, skein of tissue paper and slivers of balsa wood. The spool of string was separate, another dime maybe. Talk about planned obsolescence! These things, assuming you even got it up in the air, lasted, at best, one flight. The fun was in the trying. But every March every kid in the neighborhood bought one of these kites, or a bunch of kites over the length of kite-flying time.

THE MAJOR RECALLS a kindly Japanese neighbor who seemed to enjoy recovering the neighborhood kites when they inevitably drifted into the trees on Cowper Street, Palo Alto. If the man was outside, which he was most of the daytime working in his impressive garden, and saw that one of our kites had drifted into the trees he'd laugh and immediately start climbing, soon descending with the tangled, sometimes reparable mass. “I don’t recall him ever being unable to retrieve one of our kites,” said the Major, “either the standard diamond shaped or the ‘box’ kites. But I do recall a few that we lost when he wasn’t around. After a few of those losses my brother and I decided to move our kite flying to the baseball diamond down at the high school where we could tie multiple spools of string together and let them go really, really high.” 

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On March 7, 2019 Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office were called to investigate a burglary at a residence in Westport. Upon arrival Deputies learned the residence had been burglarized while the homeowners were away in November 2018. Several personal items were taken which was in excess of $300 in value. The incident was captured on a camera surveillance system. The homeowners were able to provide Deputies with photographs of a male subject who committed the burglary. The identity of the male subject in the photographs was unknown until March 10, 2019 when investigating Deputies identified the suspect as being Barry Kulmann, 57, of Westport. 


This identification was made with the assistance of the public during dissemination of the surveillance system photographs during follow up investigations. Deputies located Kulmann in Westport at a convenience store on March 10, 2019 and he was arrested for felony residential burglary. A search was conducted of Kulmann’s vehicle and an item of stolen property from the burglary was recovered. Kulmann was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $50,000 bail. 

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Letter to the Editor:

“When I was a child I thought like a child, I acted as a child. But when I became a man I put childish things away…"

Hello! I'm writing to you about SB 1437 and how it may allow me a second chance. As of January 28, 2019, I filed for SB 1437 relief. If you recall I was an alleged co-conspirator in the July 2011 Bushay Campground shooting that caused the death of Joseph Litteral and almost killed Brandon Hackett. I originally was charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder, attempted robbery, attempted kidnapping, gun enhancements, and allegedly using a baseball bat. 

A jury convicted me of first-degree murder, attempted murder and the gun enhancements as an alleged co-conspirator. But I was found not guilty of the attempted kidnapping, my alleged bat use. I was sentenced in late July 2012 to prison for 3-to-life. 

In June 2015 my appeal was conditionally reversed and District Attorney David Eyster was told to retry me on the first-degree murder or I would be resentenced to second-degree murder otherwise. After a year of District Attorney Eyster claiming he would retry me, he decided instead to let me be resentenced to second-degree murder instead and I was resentenced to 2-to-life. 

Then in June 2018 my appeal was limitedly remanded for records to be added to my case for an eventual SB 261 hearing (youthful offender) causing me to return to the Low Gap motel in early January 2019. While here on that I caused to be filed and endorsed an SB 1437 petition on January 23, 2019 at 3:06 PM. Since then by January 31, 2019 judge Ann Mormon made a prima fascie ruling meaning on the face of it I qualify. 

Now on March 18, 2019 at 9 AM there will be a status and scheduling conference to set timelines and court dates for District Attorney Eyster and Public Defender Aaron briefings followed by a hearing where the district attorney has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that I do not qualify. If he does not I am to be resentenced or have my charges vacated. 

So like Mr. Tai Abreu and many other California prisoners, I too may get a second chance at life! If I were to get that chance I know it would be the best choice made. I have matured a lot and now have my head and priorities straight! I'm going to go to college to obtain a bachelor’s degree in information technology and then an associate of arts in business management with the intent to open a small computer building and repair shop. I want to get my license for once and a car and apartment. I want to marry and take care of my family. Going to prison was a life-changing experience that I intend to use for the better! I miss sunrises, sunsets, swimming and so much more of freedom's little pleasures.

The things I've seen in prison (murder, rape, brutal assaults by inmates and abuses and excessive force and misuse of force and cruel and unusual punishment committed by the California Department of Corrections correctional officers are appalling and is not a world I wish to spend my life in. I would not wish such a world on anybody. I myself have been permanently injured (L5 partial defect, now it's L5 and S1 bulging discs with neuropathy in my legs) due to the misuse and excessive force used by the Department of Corrections correctional officers. 

I would rather be free and taking care of my mother and trying to be part of my seven-year-old daughter's life and being a productive citizen!

Thornton (2013 booking)

I invite any and all news outlets (newspapers, television or Internet) and feel free to come and see and talk to me if you are interested and also most of all on March 18, 2019 at 9 AM in Courtroom G come on down and observe the proceedings as my case unfolds.

Simon Thornton, A#524

Mendocino County Jail, 951 Low Gap Road Ukiah, CA 95482-3797

PS. The Case is People v. Thornton, # SCUK CRCR-18259

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Code Enforcement Action News Release

Subject: Non-permitted structures, structure conversion and grading 

Post Date: 03/12/2019 10:20 AM

Code Enforcement Action News Release

Date: 3/8/19

Location: 4300 Block of Old River Road, Talmage, CA

Subject: Non-permitted structures, structure conversion and grading 

Information: Since early 2017 the Code Enforcement Division has received more than 30 complaints regarding a residence in the 4300 Block of Old River Road, Talmage, CA. 

The complaints were for illegal cannabis cultivation, conversion of structures without permits, tree removal, grading without permits and the construction of new structures without permits. 

Over the last two years Code Enforcement Officers conducted numerous inspections of the property and issued notice of violations for all regulatory building and grading violations on the property. The property owner would make minor efforts to correct some violations, including removing the non-permitted cannabis only to place the cannabis back on the property, usually within weeks of removal. This resulted in Law Enforcement eradicating the cannabis at least twice within the last two years. 

The property owner failed to correct the building and grading violations called out in the notice of violations and was subsequently issued progressive administrative citations which resulted in penalties owed in excess of $200,000.00. In the Fall of 2018 the County then initiated judicial action in the Mendocino County Superior Court against the property owner to seek injunctions to correct the many violations on the property and for judgement for the administrative penalties owed. 

On March 8, 2019, the County obtained a court judgment for the code enforcement action against a property owner for violating the County’s building regulations. The judgment included an award of $223,600.00 to the County for unpaid administrative penalties, and three injunctions, restraining the property owner from continued maintenance of the property in violation of the law and ordering the owner to take all actions necessary to abate the conditions causing the violations. 

If the property owner does not comply with the Court’s Orders, the County will seek further remedy from the Court to enforce those orders. 

The Code Enforcement Division receives all Cannabis and General Code Violation complaints in the unincorporated areas of the County. Complaints can be made in person at our offices or by visiting our website at: to file an online complaint. Cannabis specific complaints can also be filed by calling the Cannabis Complaint Hotline at: (844) 421-WEED(9333).

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THE CALIFORNIA HIGHWAY PATROL has identified 38-year-old Patrick Herbstritt of Laytonville as the person killed as the result of a collision on Highway 101 on Monday. More details in the CHP release below:


On March 11, 2019, at approximately 1151 hours, Herbstritt, with two juvenile passengers, was driving a 1998 Saturn Sedan southbound on US-101, north of Shimmins Ridge Road. Francisco Rodriguez was driving a 2011 Freightliner towing an unloaded flatbed trailer northbound on US-101, north of Shimmins Ridge Road. For reasons still under investigation, the driver of the Saturn lost control of his vehicle, which traveled across the northbound lanes and collided with the guardrail on the east side of US-101. The Saturn continued into the path of the Freightliner and both vehicles collided within the northbound lanes. The driver of Saturn was pronounced deceased at the scene and both juvenile passengers sustained major injuries. The driver of the Freightliner and his passengers did not sustain any injuries.

(photo courtesy

The cause of this collision remains under investigation by the California Highway Patrol.

The California Highway Patrol responded and assumed incident command. Personnel from Cal-Fire, Willits Fire, Brooktrails Volunteer Fire Cal-Trans, and City Ambulance assisted with the scene. Mendocino County Coroner’s Office responded to the scene.

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An interview with board members Lauren Keating and Stephanie Gold.

AVA: Why do we need a village when we live in villages from Yorkville to Navarro?

Lauren: We’re using the term “village” because there is a nation-wide Village movement, and we’re adapting that concept to our own community. As for why we need a village when we live in such a great place, it's still easy to feel isolated. We like our independence and will continue to like our independence. But not everybody who wants to be totally independent at 30 or 40 can continue to be completely self-sufficient when they get to be 60 or 70 and realize that getting support from others can be a good thing.

Stephanie: We have people setting up their own support networks. Maybe they’re going to have a knee replacement, so they call their organizer friend and that friend calls other friends who will bring them to the doctor and so forth. So you have a support network being reinvented, over and over again, in small pockets of our local population. But if you have one-stop shopping for support it would all be set up so when you need help, there would be one person to organize it all from the volunteer support base.

Lauren: We are really good at the big things that happen here, such as if someone's house burns down or someone falls out of a tree. When people are terminally ill their friends pull together. We are good at that. We are not as good when the situation requires ongoing help over a longer period of time or when the individual is isolated and doesn’t have an extensive support network. Also, people tend to be private and they don't want to ask for help, and they don't know who to ask for help if they need it. It's also hard on caregivers. I’ve watched people just not get help. Aging is long-term. I was talking to my father recently and he has a pretty strong support system because he grew up in the place he's still living, but almost everyone he knows has passed on. My sisters are around so there is support for him. What I hope will happen in the AV Village is that we will continue to meet new people and bring them into our circle of friends, into our 60s and 70s and 80s. My hope is that people will be brought together in the Village, and it won't be quite as lonely to be 85 because you’ll have met people in the last five years and you will go on to meet more people who can help as the years pass.

AVA: So the Anderson Valley Village will connect people who are otherwise alone?

Stephanie: Yes, and there will be assistance for little things that are not crises, too. How do I send a photo to a friend on my phone, or a text message? Some high school students have volunteered to be a technical crew to help people with their tech questions. There are many levels of volunteer services that bring people together while making the daily experience of life a little smoother. Lots of things can be an obstacle in a day when you get older. When that obstacle comes, whether it's leaves in your gutter or a light bulb that is too high to change, those kinds of things can cause people to leave their long-time home sooner than they would like to. They’d prefer to be here but there are those things that can be rough on your own.

AVA: Some people may think they have an informal help network but might not be available when they need it.

Lauren: Yes, and some people are resistant to asking for help as well. You can do it in big situations when you break your leg or something. But trouble changing a light bulb? You don’t want to bother someone. We need to create a culture where it's okay to ask someone. You’ve been contributing and when you need someone, help will be there. So it's okay to ask for help, that's the culture we would like to create. Many of the people who are creating the Village don't have family here and are looking at setting this in place for their own lives. They may have had a family here in the past but kids tend to move.

AVA: I know people who are stuck away in the hills, by choice, but they are definitely alone because they want to be, but the Anderson Valley Village, as they age in place, and want to remain in place, would be a godsend to them to live out their lives where they feel most comfortable.

Lauren: Most villages occur in a small geographic area. In cities, the villages may be confined to finite neighborhoods. We recognize it might be a challenge to cover the whole valley, but that’s our intention. Realistically, the farther out you live, the more remote you might be from some services. We plan to use neighborhood clusters so people on Deer Meadow, for instance, who want to be a part of this, can be supported by other people up there. Some people have specified that they want to volunteer mostly in their neighborhood, like the Navarro area or Yorkville.

Stephanie: If, for instance, you need medication from Ukiah, a Village member can pick it up for you. It's not that difficult to swing by and drop it off, and that can be a big help for someone.

Lauren: We may have to have a staging area where stuff can be dropped off and taken by someone else to the patient. It depends on how much people are willing to volunteer to do. We also hope to be developing a list of people who will be paid providers and we would be the gathering point for information to see who's available for what days. But we want to be clear that we are not vetting anyone or hiring them. We will just give you names and you hire them and you have to be careful about that. We would be the link between local people who are helping and members who want service providers.

AVA: So you will have a roster of people who are willing to do different things under certain conditions. There are several women who do in-home care, right?

Stephanie: A bunch of local people just took a course in the AV adult school to prepare them to give in-home care. That will become more and more of a need. They are not fully certified service providers--if you need a professional, you can go with that. But if you need someone to help around the house and be with you if there's an emergency then you can have a more affordable option than a fully certified in-home person. We are working on developing a resource list of all types of people and services, but it’s not all set up yet.

AVA: Do you expect to be calling up prospective members to recruit them?

Stephanie: We expect to visit the Unity Club and ICW and such and we've talked to people who work on the ambulance who could be good emissaries for us.

Lauren: The Health Center knows about us and I think they will steer people our way. I don't expect to do cold calls on people. We are letting people come to us.

BA: I happen to know a few people who should sign up.

Lauren: We all do. We also hope to be in touch with the children of people who might need assistance. Of course, that can be a problem at times. The children might want their relative to be safe elsewhere, but the elder may want to stay here. An older person can assure their children that this local support system is in place and that they are okay to stay here and the children don't have to move them. People sometimes get picked up and moved as they get old to a place they are uncomfortable in. If the children know their parents are safe and have a support system and understand the level of safety and that someone can be checking in every day, the children would feel that their parents or relatives are okay. But it's not the same as being in an assisted living place. So far the people coming to our meetings are looking at the future and don't have an immediate need. A few people are close to needing help and they laugh about being close to that but they are not asking for services yet. I think that we'll probably start slow. We may not get people right away who have serious needs. 

Stephanie: We have talked about how we can work with the Senior Center and support each other. We would like to be complementary. We had a social gathering with the two Boards and we want to continue that. We needed to launch and establish ourselves and then meet with the Senior Center and see how best we can support each other without duplication.

Lauren: We don’t want to tell them what they should do. What we are trying to do is much broader than what the Senior Center does. Our coordinator, Anica Williams, happens to be the sister-in-law Renee Wyant, who is now the director of the Senior Center. I think they will work well together. We’ve done some outreach and some people may still wonder, Why aren't you just part of the Senior Center? We’re just helping in a different way and we really hope to work with them.

AVA: Will your coordinator have an office?

Lauren: Not yet. If you are offering let us know. Maybe later. We don't have much money at this point. Donated space would be appreciated.

Stephanie: The fees go for the coordinator, a part-time coordinator who can respond to questions and needs of the members. She will be the contact person. She’ll have the information about the volunteers and the services. She can do that from anywhere, like her home. We have hired Anica, who lives out on Greenwood Road. She's very warm and lively and well-organized and great to have on board. We’re working on a website, too. The template was developed by Helpful Villages, for Villages across the country who doing the same sort of thing. Our brochure answers FAQs and provides the contact info, and the brochure is also available at Lauren’s and at the Health Center. 

Lauren: The baby boomer generation is reaching old age and we are realizing that we want to do this the way we want to do it.

Stephanie: It's another option as you age, not an option for aging. The only option to that is not aging. (Laughs) You’d like to make different options available besides traditional extended family homes and the nursing homes that were the options available for my parents.

AVA: There are a lot of people living alone in Anderson Valley who can benefit from the Anderson Valley Village.

Lauren: Yes, we also hope to benefit the whole valley. For instance, we want to encourage people to develop emergency response plans because the people who tend to die in these disasters are older people living alone. They may not have gotten the emergency notices or couldn't get out by themselves. We are starting on that at our March Sunday gathering with Sheriff Allman and Boonville Fire Chief, Andres Avila. We will see what other neighborhoods are doing and maybe come up with a template for our neighborhoods. We’ve had a pretty good turnout for these meetings. We’ve had a lot of people interested in volunteering. I have applications available at my restaurant as well as the health center. There is a short volunteer training having to do with the responsibility of being in someone’s home. There’s driving requirements that include a clean record and insurance, if you plan on driving people. That’s not required if you’re just doing errands. Volunteers can determine their time and hours and what jobs they’d like to take on. Anyone can be a volunteer. We hope to attract all ages because different generations working with each other is always good.

Stephanie: Some volunteers have said they would be happy to be a companion to someone on a doctor's visit. They could help someone with what the doctor says and write it down and organize it. That could be very helpful. It will be interesting to see what people have to offer as volunteers. And then to see what people ask for.

AVA: Do you have any idea about how many people you’re talking about in the Valley?

Stephanie: According to the clinic, about 20% of their clients are 65 or older so that gives a little bit of the sense of the age demographic of the valley.

AVA: I would have guessed higher. 

Stephanie: The AV Village is for people who are 50 or older, so that’s a larger group. There is a core group that has been interested and coming to meetings, but word is getting out and spreading. Sometimes it’s just a friend suggesting something to another friend about joining and recommending it to their friends. Word of mouth. 

AVA: Spanish language outreach?

Lauren: Maybe at some point. Hispanics tend to have close families. But certainly our brochure should be translated into Spanish. We’ve had plenty to do to get things set up so far. The Board meets monthly and we still have a lot to work on. 

Stephanie: So far we have a volunteer handbook, a membership handbook, a membership application, a volunteer application and a paid service provider application. Lots of paperwork creation!

Lauren: The Village is not just for people in need of services right now, it's about creating a community that is somewhat about services, but is also about keeping people connected and independent as we age. 

Stephanie: We have found that a lot of the members also want to be volunteers and sign up for both. It's better to help than to need help, they say. It works both ways. There's a healthy balance.


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CATCH OF THE DAY, March 12, 2019

Abshire, Alvarez, Bennett, Cardenas

CHRISTOPHER ABSHIRE, Redwood Valley. Failure to appear.

JORGE ALVAREZ, Ukiah. Disobeying court order.

JOSHUA BENNETT, Fort Bragg. Controlled substance, county parole violation, probation revocation.

ESTEBAN CARDENAS, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

Chi, Cooke, Giusti

ALFREDO CHI, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, resisting, probation revocation.

SAVANNAH COOKE, Fort Bragg. Domestic battery.

DAVID GIUSTI, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent flyer.)

Gonzalez, Harnett, Hernandez

FRANCISCO GONZALEZ, Ukiah. Controlled substance, controlled substance for sale, transportation, county parole violation, probation revocation.

JESSE HARNETT, Ukiah. Vandalism.

MARCOS HERNANDEZ, Larkfield/Ukiah. Probation revocation.

Lowe, Maynard, Roycroft

JAMES LOWE, Ukiah. Failure to appear.

ANDREW MAYNARD, Fort Bragg. Failure to appear. (Frequent flyer.)

TREVOR ROYCROFT, Fort Bragg. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun. 

Simpson, Singleton, Whipple

STEVEN SIMPSON, Ukiah. Renting a vehicle to someone with a interlock device restriction, suspended license, county parole violation.

SHANE SINGLETON, Willits. Disobeying court order.

KENNETH WHIPPLE, Covelo. Domestic abuse, probation revocation.

* * *


As a gigantic great white shark threatens a summer beach town like the best kind of slasher movie, we keep buying the popcorn and screaming. We can see what the actors can't. And we need to be entertained. No matter how much the price of a ticket, the theater and the theater chain, and all the investors on the theater chain (who may never see the shark) need more money, or they, like the boat captain, will be killed uniquely, as we munch out last bag of $7 popcorn. Munching the kernels and butter and maybe salt at the bottom, we find our car. Everything looks normal. Nothing is happening. And all looks normal, all the way home. 

But we, of course, are normal too. The new normal. Altered by what we have seen and what we have experienced. Until the next slasher or the next phlegmy slime is first seen. Maybe before our first bag of popcorn. The new normal. Writing this. And then, probably back to Facebook for a moment, and then to send this on to the AVA still somehow, I think, off the internet. I am so very confused. A couple of days ago a street person with a gun was discovered roaming the hospital where my Thursday appointment is. With Jordan. Needless to say, neither of us is likely to be armed. This used to seem safe. The new normal. I am confused. 

"I keep in my bookcase a cautionary book, ‘They Dared Speak Out’ written by US senators and congressmen who all lost their positions after rebuking Israel for its mistreatment of Palestinians or daring to suggest that Israel had far too much influence in the US. Journalists learn this first commandment very early. Criticize, or even question, Israel at your own peril. Until recently, we journalists were not even allowed to write there was an ‘Israel lobby.’ It was widely considered Washington’s most powerful lobby group but, until lately, mentioning its name was seriously verboten." 

(Bruce Brady)

* * *

“I mean, it’s not like I said ‘feckless’.”

* * *


Driven by the high costs of higher education and the absurdly high cost of living in California, a recent survey revealed a stunning figure: Nearly 20% of Community College students in America's most populous state are homeless. Whether they're sleeping in their cars, or crashing on couches, or are among the growing number of California's "unsheltered" homeless, some 19% responded to a survey of community college students saying they either didn't have a place to live, or were simply crashing or living in their vehicles.

* * *

* * *


Boeing 737 used to be the safest plane in the sky by far. Somebody’s head is going to roll for this. That’s the # 1 rule in business, never turn a winner into a loser. I heard it’s some anti – stall software that was put on because the engines were moved further inboard and aerodynamically that was causing problems, or could cause problems. Sheesh it makes me wonder if we’ll ever be able to produce self-driving cars. How can the software take charge and then dive the plane straight into the ground. I used to work on jet engines and I can tell you this current lot of jet engines is the most problematic I have ever seen. Trent 1000 had all kinds of problems, the P&W geared turbofan the same. I’ve hear the CFM56 had some turbine issues too, so even the great GE Aircraft Engines is being humbled this go around. Gas turbine technology is maxed out. They’re squeezing too much blood out of that turnip now.

* * *

* * *


Thousands of New Millionaires Are About to Eat San Francisco Alive

* * *

* * *



Insurance spreads the cost of unexpected expenses to be shared with others. Obamacare is insurance; someday it may help you.

Before insurance was available, if your barn burned down, your neighbors would help you build a new barn. That was cooperative insurance.

The bell curve tells us some people are born smarter than others, and generally they earn more money. Some can afford to pay for any health care necessary and don’t even need health insurance. They still carry insurance for many other things.

Everyone should have health coverage to cover everything — ears, eyes and any and all health-related problems. Not just those who were born rich or at the top of the bell curve.

The Republican Party fought Social Security and most benefits that help the 99 percent, and it has done whatever it can to sabotage Social Security and Obamacare. Probably because they have to pay more taxes.

So taxes went up because of Obamacare; consider it a charitable contribution that may help you someday.

Most developed countries already have better health and retirement benefits for the population. Why shouldn’t we?

Lynn Riepenhoff

Santa Rosa

* * *

* * *


* * *


Vancouver, Washington – The Pacific Fishery Management Council adopted three alternative season structures for 2019 ocean salmon fisheries off of Washington, Oregon and California today for public review. The Council will make a final decision on salmon seasons at its meeting in Rohnert Park, California, on April 11-15. Detailed information about season starting dates, areas open, and catch limits for all three alternatives are available on the Council’s website at 

“Although some forecasts are up over last year, this year’s salmon runs are still challenging for ocean fishermen and managers,” said Council Executive Director Chuck Tracy. “In the north, conservation requirements for Fraser River (Canada) and other natural coho runs, as well as lower Columbia River natural tule fall Chinook, will constrain fisheries*. In the south, we need to protect Sacramento River fall and winter Chinook, as well as California Coastal Chinook.”

California and Southern Oregon (south of Cape Falcon)

Fisheries south of Cape Falcon are limited by the need to reduce catch of Oregon Coast natural coho, California coastal Chinook, Sacramento River fall Chinook, and Sacramento River winter Chinook. Klamath River fall Chinook and Sacramento River fall Chinook contribute significantly to ocean harvest, and currently remain categorized as overfished. Both stocks are projected to meet their spawning escapement objectives under this year’s management alternatives.

Sport season alternatives

Chinook fishing in the Tillamook, Newport, and Coos Bay areas all open March 15 and run continuously through October 31.

Oregon ocean recreational alternatives include mark-selective coho fishing seasons starting in late June and running through mid-August or September in the area south of Cape Falcon. Quotas range from 80,000 to 105,000 marked coho (compared to 35,000 in 2018). In addition, non-mark-selective fisheries are proposed for the area between Cape Falcon and Humbug Mountain in September, with quotas of 8,000 to 10,000 coho (compared to last year’s 3,500).

All alternatives include proposed fisheries from late May through late August/early September in the Klamath Management Zone in both California and Oregon. 

Ocean sport fishing below Horse Mountain, California will see increased opportunity compared to last year due to some improved forecasts. Alternatives for 2019 fisheries were structured to target spawning escapements in excess of what is required under the Salmon Fishery Management Plan in an effort to rebuild Sacramento River and Klamath River fall Chinook.

Commercial season alternatives

Commercial season alternatives south of Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain are constrained this year to protect Sacramento and California coastal Chinook. Chinook salmon seasons are open late April or May through October, with closed periods in May through August. 

The commercial alternatives in both the California and Oregon sectors of the Klamath Management Zone are provided primarily by a range of monthly Chinook quotas between June and August, with some additional time for the Oregon sector in May.

The alternatives for commercial seasons south of the Klamath Management Zone vary considerably, with constraints primarily intended to protect Sacramento River fall Chinook and California Coastal Chinook. In general, the commercial alternatives in these management areas (Fort Bragg, San Francisco, and Monterey) provide similar or increased levels of opportunity compared to last year.

* * *

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY: 1%er Edition

Who’s Been Charged in the College Admissions Cheating Scandal? Here’s the Full List

* * *

ANYONE who’s paid close and intellectually honest attention to the Russiagate circus has known since the beginning that Trump was never going to be impeached for a treasonous conspiracy with the Russian government, despite the endless fantasies inflicted upon the blinkered Maddow muppets day after day after day for over two years now. Back in 2017 I said that “Mueller will continue finding evidence of corruption throughout his investigation, since corruption is to DC insiders as water is to fish, but he will not find evidence of collusion to win the 2016 election that will lead to Trump’s impeachment,” because it was obvious to anyone who knew anything. And that has proven to be the case with uninterrupted consistency. It is right and appropriate that those few voices on the left who’ve been sharply critical of Russiagate from the beginning are now taking some time to gloat at and mock its peddlers with increasing scorn. The centrists who chose to spend more than two years forcing everyone’s energy into this blatant psyop which escalated a cold war against a nuclear superpower were wrong, and the leftists who objected to it were right. Trump’s term is more than halfway over, and Russiagaters chose to suck all the oxygen out of the room for this brainless, fruitless, worthless endeavor instead of allowing space for progressive reform and for criticism of Trump’s actual pernicious policies from the left. And they did it on purpose. 

— Caitlin Johnstone 

* * *

* * *


Revolutionary Everyday Life

Following a morning of exchanging messages in regard to "Flying in the Face of Evil Insanity", I did manage to get outside for awhile. Took a Washington D.C. Metro train ride to Columbia Heights, and found a side street restaurant serving crab cake eggs benedict. And then, on to the Coffy Coffee House for a cup o' joe and an almond croissant, listening to the catchy tune "I Fought the Power". Almost danced out the door! Returned to the Metro station and took the train to the Fort Totten stop, to walk around a bit, having never been there, and knowing that there are eco-anarchists living in the neighborhood. As far as I can tell, there is no fort near the train station, and there is nothing named Totten there either. Meandered through an apartment complex called "Art Place", but saw no evidence of any artists. Maybe they are inside due to the winter temperatures. Expecting them to emerge with their easels and paint supplies soon. Spring is a wonderful season for watercolors. Walked down the hill to the main thoroughfare. Then walked up a hill towards what appeared to be a commercial district. Ventured into a Walmart with no "greeters", and zig zagged through the aisles to find the rest room. Left Walmart. Walked up Riggs Street and made a left at the corner, which took me past the police station on the way back to the Washington D.C. Metro station. Got off at the Chinatown stop to purchase a ginseng-root-in-the-bottle energy drink at that Chinese gift shop across the street from Fado Irish Bar, (which has a huge banner up inviting everyone to come in and celebrate on Saint Patrick's Day). Drank down the energy drink, and dropped by Walgreen's for energy bars and energy drinks to take back to the DC-Hostelling International on 11th & K Streets. Sitting in the dining room typing this up now. Not identified with the body. Not identified with the mind. Identified with the Spiritual Absolute! I cannot tell you how much I am enjoying having returned to the District of Columbia to intervene in history, thus continuing to be a part of the frontline advocating radical environmental solutions, and standing for peace and justice on the planet earth. Tomorrow, I may drop by a museum or two on the Smithsonian Mall. Or perhaps I'll just nap by the Lincoln Memorial, waiting for the cherry blossom trees to bloom. 

Craig Louis Stehr

Washington, D.C. USA


* * *


To the Editor:

Regarding the Colorado Supreme Court's mere censure of former appellate court judge, Laurie Booras, the disgraced judge got off easy. 

Instead of merely accepting her resignation, the Colorado Supreme Court should have formally "removed" Booras for cause. As things now stand with a simple resignation, Booras is rewarded for her racism with generous monthly retirement checks from Colorado PERA.

Being removed from the bench for cause would have made Booras ineligible as a PERA member. She would have received a lump sum distribution of her contributions instead of monthly defined benefits checks for the rest of her life. 

The moral of this story?

For judges and other political insiders, crime pays.

John Sakowicz


ED NOTE: Really, John, it's not like you've brought down the Grand Kleagle. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you met the judge on-line while you were married. She makes a couple of lightweight impolitic characterizations of colleagues during your lovey dovey relationship which you then caddishly reveal in a snitch complaint to the Colorado authorities. I'd say between the two of you you are the far more villainous.


  1. John Sakowicz March 13, 2019

    Dear AVA:

    Say what you will, Laurie Booras was a racist. She had no business being a senior jurist. Remember, I knew Booras for more than ten years. Over those ten years, I heard all manner of comments from Booras that were outrageously racist, sexist, and homophobic.

    Her emails to me were hardly representative of Booras’s bias.

    Remember, too, that Booras was suspended for nine months before she resigned under pressure from the Commission on Judicial Discipline.

    This was by far the most exhaustive investigation by the Colorado Supreme Court into one of their own in Colorado history. Only the Commission’s findings mattered to the Court. Only the facts mattered. And the Commission had an army of investigators and attorneys.

    I was hardly a factor.

    — John Sakowicz

    • Eric Sunswheat March 13, 2019

      ——> Don’t mind the AVA. Without blinking, and with no apology when the truth was just reported in PD, the AVA newspaper in the past perpetuated the myth from the Sheriff and District Attorney, in the coverup jailhouse death of Steve Neuroth, with Editor Anderson going as far as far as writing previously that he watched the entire death video.

      With complicity prior to first court ordered Neuroth video release, Sheriff and District Attorney handily won re-elections to office, benefitting in a coverup of their dereliction of duty.

      ——> Perhaps the tar that sticks Sako, in your situation now being red herring-ed by the AVA, is that you maintained some sort of long term relationship or association long after you knew them to be unethical professional.

      Possibly and more than likely, you had a momentary lapse in judgement due to a mid life crisis in the original nexus. Then you became caught or trapped in a situation of false promises or blackmail that prolonged the involvement. We may never know, as is your right.

      However, you have risen above adverse situations in the past, with successful politics. As long as you are an advocate for Potter Valley Irrigation District to remain summer wet, you may go far in a successful quest to become County Supervisor. Onward!

  2. Harvey Reading March 13, 2019

    Re: Graffiti cartoon:

    That is GREAT!

  3. Harvey Reading March 13, 2019

    Re: Caitlin Johnstone:

    DUH. Who’da thunk?

  4. Pat Kittle March 13, 2019

    Trump’s budget first & foremost is a budget for Israel lobby war criminals.

    Don’t count on Bernie to get that specific.

  5. james marmon March 13, 2019


    Socialists talk big about screwing the rich, but the rest of us will be picking up the tab.

    James Marmon MSW

    • Harvey Reading March 13, 2019

      So, you are wealthy. You must be if you think that you’ll be one of those picking up the tab, as you put it, for socialism. In the first place, there is no tab; just payback for those wealthy scum who got rich on the backs of underpaid workers with no benefits. Actually, you needn’t worry about it at all, anyway, because the species will be gone much sooner than anyone thinks, thanks to anthropogenic global heating and extreme overpopulation.

      Once we’re gone the earth will become a paradise for living things, including now-devastated forests, once more. Maybe a truly intelligent and clever top species will evolve, too … provided the sun doesn’t run out of hydrogen fuel before that happens. Humans never were destined to last long. They were too stupid and too easily willing to be herded by those whose authoritarianism manifests itself in the desire to lead more than to follow.

      By the way, James, I offer you the following unsolicited recommendation for reading. There’s a recent novel out now, by a Richard Powers. Its title is The Overstory. It is fascinating. It is also a sort of historical novel as well. And, it has several psychologists as characters. I think you’ll especially like that, since someone with a Master of Social Work degree is almost a psychologist after all. There are plenty of other very interesting characters as well along with a very interesting writing style. I do believe that you will find it enjoyable

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