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MCT: Saturday, March 30, 2019

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SKYROCKETING FEES AND WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT MENDO MANAGEMENT

by Mark Scaramella

At last Tuesday's mid-year budget presentation the Supes reviewed five contending "budget priorities," one of which was: "Board of Supervisors directive to prepare a report on how Planning and Building service fees are developed. (Discuss with Board of Supervisors during 2019 budget presentation.)

As soon as he saw it, Supervisor Ted Williams immediately jumped in:

"I love this item because I've heard a lot about these recently. Especially where Flynn Creek Circus was charged four times what the fee was a few years back. I think part of the problem is when you don't increase fees for a decade and finally make the adjustment it’s sticker shock. So I kind of shrugged it off as that being the case. Later I came to understand that they [Flynn Creek Circus] take out these permits all throughout the state and ours is the highest of any county. And that kind of struck me as maybe that one is out of line. I know we have a fee hearing coming up, but I think being more transparent with the public even if there is some expense in developing a document that explains why they [the fees] are what they are and what work is behind the scenes that comprises that fee. This has also come up in discussions with West Company. A lot of their clients find that it's a long process. I walked through a store recently which took almost 11 months to get a permit for a retail operation. It was about the wrong number of feet for this location, or about you need a use permit or you don't need a use permit. But there was also an element of the aggregate of all the fees kind of putting the small business under before they even open shop. If you can kind of distill this into an action item I think we should have a guide that talks about why the fees are what they are and how to best work with the system and make it efficient and maybe work with the applicants to be more efficient with staff time so we can lower the fees long-term."

SUPERVISOR Dan Gjerde suggested lower fees for smaller houses to make them more affordable, adding, "I think building fees in Mendocino County — to build a house, just the permit fees are not really excessive. But the Flynn Creek example is sort of startling to see a one-time event, even if it's a recurring event, a special event, I don't understand the logic in having a fee one third of which is the media or records retention. It's not like it's a house that you’re going to buy and you want to look at the records for what did the inspectors say about this house I'm buying. It's an event that takes place and then disappears. So I think we ought to think about how to present to the Board the fees that we see because when we did approve the building permit increase fee increases I don't think we saw how it was actually rolled out for a small event like that. I think we saw elements of the fees but I don't think we had it brought together as a real-world example about how the fee increases impact the public. I think we ought to have a more thoughtful discussion by the board and by staff on how these fees all coalesce and hit the public because when we are doing multiple fee increases all at once the net is greater than what was presented to the board."

WHAT’S GOING ON HERE is mass unaccountability. Whether it’s the self-awarded pay raises for top officials or the permit fees. If you turn everything over to staff and ask them how much they think they should be paid in salary or how much they can pad a permit process to make it look like it’s a lot of work — without even any risk of pointed questions being asked about it, you get this kind of out of control ballooning cost of everything Mendo. If Mr. Williams or Mr. Gjerde applied for a permit themselves they’d discover that not only do the departments exaggerate how much time something takes, but they add steps that are not necessary, take longer creating delays, and jack up the cost. Then they apply their ridiculously high salary and benefit rates to those already jacked-up hours and add in overhead and management costs and — presto! — $6,000 for a home permit, $1,000 for a septic permit, $2,000 for “records retention,” $300 for “management review,” etc., etc. Then the Auditor comes along and says, Oh yes, those hours and those rates and that overhead is the “actual cost.”

IT'S ALL a kind of low intensity war on the people County government is supposed to be serving. No wonder small businesses and ordinary homeowners are having trouble getting going. (And the same thing’s happening to pot permits, btw.)

AT A MINIMUM, the Board should require Planning and Building (or one of the CEO’s several seriously underworked and overpaid “Deputy CEOs”) to compare Mendo’s permit costs to HumCo and Lake County and maybe one or two other small counties. But they won’t do that because that would require work and — gasp! — criticism of staff! It's much easier to just politely talk about it now and then with no follow-up, nothing done and letting it get worse.


THREE years ago we bought a large empty lot in downtown Boonville. The simple process of hauling in a couple of modulars was ridiculously complicated and expensive, with contradictory advice a constant. We even felt it necessary to hire an "expediter" with experience "dealing with these people." The process was expedited but remained nightmarish. After paying for a (county-required) septic system engineer (producing his own separate $1,000 “report”), we also had to pay an Environmental Health permit fee which resulted in nothing more than a young woman staffer driving over in a nice new truck, looking at a couple of lids in the ground (not opening them, of course) for a few minutes in a process that the County called “final inspection.”

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LYLE TUTTLE

Lyle Tuttle, proud resident of Ukiah, passed away peacefully on March 26th at the age of 87. Lyle had recently celebrated the seventieth anniversary of his world renowned tattoo career that began in the city of San Francisco in 1948.

Lyle settled in Mendocino County as a young boy with his beloved parents Howard and Opal around 1936 from Iowa. His wanderlust brought him to San Francisco in 1946 where getting his first tattoo launched what would be a tremendous historical career. He became a legendary emissary for the practice of Tattooing as he was tattooed and tattooed others across seven continents and diverse cultures. He was a veteran of the Korean War, a recognized Samoan Matai chief, and is said to have done more for the evolution of Tattooing, and popularizing women getting tattoos than any other figure in history. He soared to greater fame after being featured on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine in 1970 and then became an iconic figure of The Summer of Love culture and movements. He was, and will always be revered, for his boundless creativity in Tattooing and his teaching and furthering of good tattoo practices across the globe. Since 1960 his long running Tattoo shops and his vibrant and witty personality have helped make him a San Francisco Icon. Lyle was also a highly talented metalsmith, speaker, tattoo machine builder, historian and he amassed the largest collection known of Tattoo Art and History. He is survived by his daughter Suzanne Tuttle and his wife Judy Tuttle. Lyle famously said "A friend is just someone you haven't met yet", and he was an adored and greatly respected friend to countless people of all ages around the world. A celebration of life service for Lyle Tuttle will be held this Saturday, March 30th at Eversole Mortuary in Ukiah at 2pm.


ATTENTION SUPERVISORS: The Tuttle Collection belongs in Mendocino County, specifically our languishing County Museum, where it would certainly be likely to draw many thousands of visitors, and not only the armies of the inked. Haschak! Pick up this ball and run with it before we lose the collection to one or another of the many entities sure to be after it. If the Tuttle heirs want money (within reason), pay it because it can be recouped through visitors.

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HELP FOR JOE

To the Editor:

I am writing today to ask for your help. On March 12, 2019 a local EMT was in a horrible traffic collision in Lake County. Joe Stanisloo has been active in Mendocino County EMS for the last several years both as a volunteer and paid employee. Joe began his career as a volunteer with the Redwood Valley Calpella Fire Department and has most recently worked as an EMT at Medstar. Joe sustained major injuries and is currently in an out of county hospital for an undetermined amount of time. Joe has had three surgeries and has a very long recovery ahead of him. Joe recently bought his first home and has a small child, he can use all the help that he can get. A gofundme account has been established by Theresa Gowan of Medstar, it is titled “Let’s Help Joe.”

Also, on April 2,2019 Slam Dunk Pizza will be hosting a fundraiser for Joe. The event will include a silent auction, a raffle, and 25% of all sales will be donated directly to Joe.

Megan Turner Brown

Redwood Valley

facebook.com/events/slam-dunk-pizza/pizza-for-joe-stanisloo-fundraiser/782137032154387/

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LAST TUESDAY, after CEO Angelo’s staff explained how they calculated the $2.5 million deficit in the County’s cannabis permit program during its first three years, Supervisor Ted Williams asked, "When do we project break even?"

After an awkward moment, Board Chair Carre Brown broke the silence with her usual nervous giggle. CEO Angelo finally said, “I'll take a try at that question. … That was like, you could hear a pin drop." After more laughter at the preposterousness of the idea that the pot program would ever break even, CEO Angelo continued, "I don't think honestly as staff that we are looking at when we will break even. What we know is this figure does not include — and this was actually pointed out by supervisor McCowen — I don't think this includes any additional tax that we will bring in. Our Treasurer is thinking that we still have $3 million out there. There is no provision for the minimum tax in this calculation. So if by chance we actually get $2.5 million then we would break even. But at this point I don't know — while Ms. Schapmire (Treasurer-Tax Collector) is projecting $3 million that we could bring in, we just have to wait and see. We are hoping that we can work with the staff with come up with some great ideas as to how we can create efficiencies within this program and really looking at trying to reduce staff time so I think there is a lot of work that still needs to be done and it is a new program so we don't have a time frame. We won't know until we actually get the sales tax from Ms. Schapmire and that could bring us closer to being in the black."

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GUILT BY ASSOCIATION?

Sonoma County Ag Commissioner Linegar talks about the promise and the perils of Hemp

by Jonah Raskin

Tony Linegar, the former Mendocino Agricultural Commissioner, is in his eighth year as Sonoma County Ag Commissioner. Not surprisingly, he’s not fading quietly into the sunset, not with yet another controversial crop on the horizon.

“Solving the challenge of how hemp can fit into the agricultural landscape will be a balancing act with many opposing interests,” he says. “It’s a worthy cause if it creates opportunity for local farmers. Hopefully we can come out of the process with the opportunity intact!”

Linegar has a tough row to hoe. He knows he does, and knows, too, that his tough row goes with the territory. As the Ag Commissioner, he aims to protect and to preserve farming and ranching, including the cultivation of grapes, apples, pears, and all kinds of vegetables.

Diverse ag is one of his mantras. His job is increasingly difficult in a county like many others that, more and more every year, is paved over. Rich soils are buried beneath roads, housing developments and shopping malls.

Now, with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, which President Trump signed into law last December, there’s the opportunity to grow a crop here that human beings have been growing for thousands of years, and has been used for food, clothing and building materials, too.

George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew it. Their contemporary, Thomas Paine, who helped jump-start the American Revolution, saw hemp growing wild in the Thirteen Colonies and concluded that it would ensure that Americans would always be free, and never under a foreign domination.

“Hemp is an amazing plant botanically speaking,” Linegar says. “Like soy, its seed contains a complete protein.” He explains that hemp, cannabis’s kissing cousin, has many uses, “for clothing and textiles, and that it also offers the possibility to create new kinds of plastics that would be biodegradable, as well as new building materials like hempcrete.”

In fact, hemp might help to save an overheated planet.

What it won’t do, is enable anyone to get high, no matter how much is ingested, though lawmakers have long been leery about it because it grows and looks like cannabis, which is illegal by federal law.

Hemp was prohibited in 1937, at the same time that cannabis was prohibited. Ever since then, it has been guilty by association.

Hemp belongs to the cannabis family, though unlike the commercial cannabis that’s cultivated in Sonoma County, and in all 50 California counties, it’s not rich in THC, the psychoactive ingredient that has made the cannabis plant extremely valuable.

Hemp does have CBD, which seems to have medicinal benefits. Local dispensaries carry CBD tinctures and rubs; insomniacs use it for sleep, the anxious use it to relieve anxiety.

“I’ve taken a deep dive into the hemp world,” Linegar says. “I know that the only way that you can distinguish a field of hemp grown for CBD from a field of cannabis with THC, is to take samples of the female plants from both, bring them to a laboratory and have them tested.”

Linegar added that if it’s commercial hemp, it can’t have more than .3% THC, hardly dangerous.

To date, 13 California counties have enacted moratoriums on hemp. Linegar would like Sonoma to do the same. Indeed, he wants the county to approve an urgency ordinance enacting a moratorium on hemp.

It’s not that Linegar is dead set against the cultivation of commercial hemp. As the Ag Commissioner, he would like hemp to join the list of crops that are grown and harvested here, in part because because hemp would bring diversity to fields and farms. It would also pay well.

If ag is to survive in Sonoma, Mendocino and Humboldt, it will have to have products that bring a big financial return per acre. Hemp could be one of them.

“In Colorado an acre of hemp produced for CBD brings in about $60,000 per acre,” Linegar says. “An acre here of the most highly sought after grapes might bring in five to six tons an acre and sell for $5,000 a ton, at the high end. You do the math.”

Not surprisingly, some financially strapped farmers are chomping at the bit.

“We have already had numerous inquiries at the Department of Agriculture from conventional farmers who want to grow hemp,” Linegar says.

He has not given anyone a green light. Curiously, or perhaps not, while he wants agriculture to survive and thrive in Sonoma, he isn’t sure that allowing farmers to grow hemp right now is the best way to ensure its commercial success.

Hemp offers a bit of a “conundrum,” to borrow the term that Lingear uses to describe the situation.

“There are pros and cons on all sides,” he says.

As Linegar sees it, there are at least three good reasons to place a moratorium on hemp.

First, because Sacramento has not yet issued final regulations about hemp cultivation, though they are expected soon.

“We don’t want to put the cart before the horse,” he says. Second, there seems to be a loophole in state law that allows

for the cultivation of hemp for research purposes without registering with a county agricultural commissioner or be tested for THC.

“That loophole could be exploited,” Linegar says. “It has been the impetus for most of the county moratoriums in effect in California.”

The exception could become the rule.

Third, male hemp plants have the potential to pollinate female Cannabis plants. That pollination would produce seeds and make Cannabis a less valuable cash crop.

“Hemp pollen can move from 3 to 30 miles,” Linegar explains. “In Oregon, the proximity of hemp to Cannabis is already a problem. If we have both crops here, hemp farmers growing male plants would have to be at a safe distance from female Cannabis plants. We don't want incompatible land use.”

He added, “first and foremost we owe considerations to people who have been diligently pursuing legal status by complying with the rigorous local and state regulations for licensing. Having passed an ordinance that allows for Cannabis cultivation in late 2016, I believe the county has an obligation to protect their interests.”

In some ways, Linegar would like Sonoma County to stay away from rules and regulations about hemp, and to wait until Sacramento creates boundaries. As he knows all too well, opening up the issue of regulating hemp cultivation might mean that the state environmental law will require that the county “go down the same rabbit hole that it went down with Cannabis.”

That could be disastrous. Linegar expects that some of the same people in Sonoma County and elsewhere, who have opposed Cannabis, would also oppose hemp. For one thing, it would smell. For another, if mistaken for Cannabis, it could present similar concerns around public safety.

“I am prepared to tell the supervisors that we have to maintain the ability of Sonoma County farmers to go on farming,” Linegar says. “I understand that Cannabis is prohibited in areas zoned RR and AR. I can accept that, but places that are zoned LIA, LEA and DA, have to be maintained and defended for farming and ranching. I draw the line there. The primary use for that land is agricultural, not residential.”

He adds, “We have had a huge influx of people from urban areas who don’t understand agriculture and don’t appreciate or respect that they are moving into areas zoned for agriculture. We can’t cow-tow to them.”

Linegar keeps coming back to the topic of CBD. Indeed, he wonders what consumer products with CBD the FDA will allow on the marketplace. “Of course,” he says, “The horse is already out of the stable.”

He points out that, “There are all kinds of CBD products out there already that consumers purchase and use. Enforcing restraints has been non existent.”

Linegar would like California to compete with Kentucky, which is a major producer of hemp now that the tobacco industry has, to a large extent, tanked. Farmers there are freaked.

“Mitch McConnell was the tip of the spear for incorporating hemp into the 2018 Farm Bill,” Linegar says.

He isn’t boastful about his politicking abilities, but he might provide the tip of the spear here. After all, he likes a good fight. The cultivation of hemp, he hopes, might reopen, over time, the whole issue of cannabis and persuade those who have been opposed to it to reconsider their opposition.

“Unfortunately there’s guilt by association,” he says. “The way Cannabis has been over regulated has the ability to color the way hemp is regulated and that would not be in the best interests of our farmers.”

(Jonah Raskin is the author of Marijuanaland: Dispatches from an American War.)

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BURGLARS AS GHOULS

The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office has responded to several forcible burglaries at a residence located in the 2900 bock of Old River Road in Ukiah. The owner of the residence is an elderly person who has temporarily moved to an assisted living facility in Ukiah. During the recent burglaries the main house and outbuildings have been forced open with the entire house being ransacked and vandalized. Due to this situation, the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office has been conducting surveillance at the residence… At approximately 10:50 AM on March 28, 2019, Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were alerted of a burglary at the residence. The Suspects were located and they tried to elude contact by Deputies by abandoning their car partially in the roadway in the 300 block of Vichy Hills Road as Deputies were in the process of coordinating a traffic stop of their vehicle. The suspects were found hiding in nearby brush where they fled after abandoning their car. Items in the car were located and identified as being stolen from inside the house on Old River Road as well as items that had been stolen from the shop/garage of the house on Old River Road. The suspects were identified as being Alexandra Marie Long, 32, of Ukiah, and Daniel Michael Fox, 32, of Ukiah.

Both were arrested and booked in the Mendocino County Jail for burglary, residential burglary, and for violations of probation as both were found to be on Summary Probation in Mendocino County. Both were to be held at the Mendocino County Jail in lieu of $55,000 bail. This investigation is ongoing and any persons with information about this or other burglaries is encouraged to contact the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Tip-Line by calling 707-234-2100 or the We-Tip anonymous crime reporting hotline at 800-732-7463.

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ZOELLNER’S DNA ON KNIFE USED TO KILL HER SON, SAYS MOTHER OF DAVID JOSIAH LAWSON IN OPEN LETTER

"My son is not the only murder victim whose case has been buried and swept under the rug in Humboldt County, California."

kymkemp.com/2019/03/28/zoellners-dna-on-knife-used-to-kill-her-son-says-mother-of-david-josiah-lawson-in-open-letter/

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KEEP SCOTT DAM

Editor:

Every year for the past 35, our family has looked forward to our annual camping trip at Lake Pillsbury. This lake is a hidden jewel in the Mendocino National Forest.

I now see many environmental groups want to remove Scott Dam (“Scott Dam’s fate debated,” Press Democrat, March 17). I was shocked!

They are citing environmental damage to endangered species. Your article sounded ominous, so I did a quick Google search.

In 1964, the Christmas storm flooded the entire Eel River drainage and washed half a mountain into the river, destroying the fish habitat (The Press Democrat covered that story). The fishery has never recovered. It was not the dam that did the damage. The dam maintains water flow year round to help the fish.

There are not 230 miles of fish habitat upstream from the dam. Maybe 30? There is a waterfall in Marble Canyon/Bloody Rock Trail, 5 miles up the Eel from the lake. Impassable for the fish. Rice Fork is not suitable for salmon and steelhead except in a small area.

For Rep. Jared Huffman to limit his advisory board to environmental lawyers indicates he’s only concerned with getting re-elected (taking the safe road), not finding solutions to a controversial, sensitive problem that would benefit all involved.

Bob Seyms

Santa Rosa

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CITY COUNCIL SETS NEW PRIORITIES

Fort Bragg City Councilmembers spent most of the day on Wednesday, March 27th developing new priorities for the City. The final policy-level goals grew out of a visioning exercise that focused on what each Councilmember wanted Fort Bragg to be in the year 2050.

Key themes that formed the foundation for Council priorities emerged from that exercise:

  • Jobs/Industry
  • Infrastructure
  • Housing
  • Quality of Life

Interwoven into every aspect of the day was the desire that Fort Bragg commit to local self-sufficiency and healthy ecosystems in our environment and throughout our organizations, including City government.

Those strengths are an essential part of the history of Fort Bragg and are integral to a prosperous future.

Mayor Will Lee described the full day workshop as an amazing demonstration of teamwork and collaboration between the elected City Council members and our City Manager.

'We all share the same enthusiasm and dedication to improving the quality of life for the people of Fort Bragg,' said Mayor Lee. 'Our shared goals of a prosperous economy, improved infrastructure, increased housing and jobs made this Council retreat a successful planning event.'

City staff will develop the Council’s twelve policy level goals into a more detailed work plan with milestones and specific actions plans.

The City Manager and Council agreed that this plan will be a working document with regular check-ups between staff and Council to create accountability on both sides for accomplishing the goals.

The work plan will be presented to the Council for final review and adoption at a future City Council meeting."

(Fort Bragg City Council Press Release)

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1940s LAPD GANGSTER SQUAD

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IN ODD REBUKE, Governor’s Office Rejects All North Coast Nominees for Coastal Commission, Calls for New List of Candidates

by Ryan Burns

Eureka City Councilmember Natalie Arroyo and Arcata Mayor Brett Watson both got a phone call yesterday from Governor Gavin Newsom’s office. A staffer informed each of them that despite being nominated by their colleagues and endorsed by a wide range of local residents and organizations, including the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors and the Mayors City Select Committee, they would not be the governor’s appointee to the North Coast representative seat on the California Coastal Commission.

Neither will longtime Fort Bragg City Councilmember Lindy Peters, who had garnered widespread support in Mendocino County, or Crescent City Mayor Blake Inscore, who had also thrown his hat in the ring.

The governor’s office rejected all four of the nominees that emerged from the North District (comprised of Del Norte, Humboldt and Mendocino counties) from the official process, through which elected officials earned nominations for the seat that’s been vacated by former Humboldt County Supervisor Ryan Sundberg.

Arroyo and Watson both said they were told that the governor will now issue a new call for nominees, and neither was given much of an explanation for the rejection.

“It’s disappointing and surprising,” said Arroyo, who had traveled to Sacramento for an in-person interview.

“It seems fairly unprecedented from what I’ve heard from other people,” Watson said. “Everybody I’ve talked to about this was very surprised.”

The Outpost contacted the governor’s office this morning and requested more information but did not hear back before the time of this post’s publication.

“It would be nice to get a better understanding of what specifically they’re looking for if they didn’t find it in those who applied,” Watson said, noting that he considered Arroyo very well-qualified for the position and has heard good things about Peters.

Arroyo, who was recently named the 2019 Woman of the Year by state Assemblymember Jim Wood, earned endorsements from the Humboldt Del Norte Central Labor Council, the Operators Engineers Local 3, the Surfrider Foundation and a consortium of environmental groups as well as former Humboldt County Supervisor Bonnie Neely and a number of local community members.

Watson also earned a slate of endorsements, garnering letters of support from the cities of Rio Dell, Blue Lake and Fortuna, among others.

It’s not at all clear who else might emerge from a second round of nominations, nor whether Newsom may be recruiting nominees. Third District Humboldt County Supervisor Mike Wilson considered pursuing the seat during the first go-round but ultimately decided to hold off because he considered both Arroyo and Watson well qualified.

An emailed request for comment from each member of the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors has yet be be answered.

“I’m very interested to see how this evolves,” Arroyo said. The Coastal Commission meets monthly at locations up and down the state, making policy decisions for land in the state’s coastal zone and enforcing the California Coastal Act. Commissioners aren’t paid a salary, though they’re given a $100-per-diem stipend for meeting days.

Arroyo said it would have been time-consuming but she was hoping for the appointment nonetheless. After yesterday’s phone call from the governor’s office, she said, “Initially I was relieved, and now I must admit I’m kinda pissed. A mix of both!”

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CATCH OF THE DAY, March 29, 2019

Carlson, Couthren, Johnson

MICHAEL CARLSON, Covelo. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

STEVE COUTHREN, Ukiah. Disobeying court order.

ELENA JOHNSON, Laytonville. Resisting.

Langley, Leach, Lopez

MICHAEL LANGLEY, Ukiah. Public urination, disobeying court order, probation revocation.

MATTHEW LEACH, Portland/Willits. Stolen vehicle.

CHRISTOPHER LOPEZ, Ukiah. Domestic abuse, probation revocation.

Marston, Moynahan, Nelson

STUART MARSTON, Ukiah. Domestic abuse.

SEAN MOYNAHAN, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

TONY NELSON, Ukiah. Failure to appear.

Pollock, Still, Ward

HEATHER POLLOCK, Ukiah. DUI-drugs&alcohol.

AARON STILL, Willits. Probation revocation.

GIANCARLO WARD, Rohnert Park/Ukiah. Burglary.

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WOKESTER’S NIGHTMARE

by James Kunstler

The tides are shifting. Something’s in the wind. And it’s not just the fecund vapors of spring. The political soap opera of RussiaGate ended like a fart in a windstorm last weekend, leaving Mr. Mueller’s cheerleaders de-witched, bothered, and bewildered. And then a crude attempt was made to cram the Jussie Smollett case down Chicago’s memory hole. These two unrelated hoaxes emanating out of Wokester Land may signal something momentous: the end of the era when anything goes and nothing matters.

Welcome to the new era of consequences! All of a sudden, a whole lot of people who have been punking the public-at-large will have to answer for their behavior. Despite the fog of misdirection blowing out of The New York Times, The WashPo, CNN, and MSNBC, it’s become obvious that the RussiaGate hoax was kicked off by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and a cabal of Obama appointees in several executive agencies. The evidence is public, fully documented, and overwhelming that the so-called Steele Dossier was the sole animating instrument in both the 2016 pre-election effort to incriminate the Golden Golem of Greatness, and the Mueller Investigation launched post-election to cover-up those same political misdeeds of the Clinton campaign, the FBI, the Department of Justice, the CIA, NSA, and State Department.

It’s also very likely that Robert Mueller learned that the Steele Dossier was a fraud in the summer of 2017, if not shortly after his appointment in May of that year, and yet he dragged out his investigation for almost two years in order to defame and antagonize Mr. Trump — and deflect attention from the ugly truth of the matter. It is certain Mr. Mueller knew that the Steele Dossier was purchased by Glenn Simpson’s Fusion GPS political “research” company, which was simultaneously in the paid employ of Mrs. Clinton and the Russian political lobbying agency Prevezon (as reported by Sean Davis in The Federalist). If the FBI brass did not bring that to Mr. Mueller’s attention right away, then either their incompetence is epic or they are criminally liable for concealing the hoax.

There is your essential collusion, and a lot of participants are going down because of it. Mr. Mueller himself should be summoned to a grand jury to answer for his deceitful inquisition, his abuse of FISA warrants, and the malicious prosecutions of General Michael Flynn and Trump campaign supernumerary George Papadopoulos. This story is far from over and it is now moving in the opposite direction. Former CIA Director John Brennan is going down for chaperoning the Steele Dossier through congress, the FBI, and the news media. And many others will follow. It will go very hard on the claque of lunatics like Rep. Adam Schiff and MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow as the painful consequences unspool. The Democratic presidential hopefuls will have to run shrieking from this giant hairball, but it will roll over them anyway and possibly even flatten their party.

In another instance of justice miscarried, charges in the Jussie Smollett racial attack hoax were dismissed in a hasty, unannounced motion by the assistant to Cook County Prosecutor Kim Foxx, who had pretended to recuse herself from the case, but actually did not follow the proper procedure for doing it. Ms. Foxx has apparently been consorting with members of Jussie Smollett’s family and with Michele Obama’s former chief of staff, Tina Tchen, a Chicago political operator. It’s easy to imagine what they were bargaining about: the fear that Mr. Smollett would have a very hard time serving any sort of prison sentence, given his celebrity status, his sexual orientation, and the laughable idiocy of his crime. It was probably a reasonable fear — but not a viable excuse for summarily dropping the case. The further excuse that he had already paid the price by hanging out in Jessie Jackson’s Operation Push headquarters for two days is also a joke, of course.

The Chicago police chief and mayor objected loudly, as did the Illinois Prosecutors Bar Association, which declared the move was “abnormal and unfamiliar to those who practice law in criminal courthouses across the State.” An understatement for sure. What’s next for Jussie? The City of Chicago will tote up the cost of investigating his stupid prank and haul him into civil court to compel him to pay for it.

Further and greater consequences will emanate from the Smollett hoax. Despite former Vice-president Joe Biden’s recent lamentations over the wickedness of “white man’s culture,” many Americans will show a renewed interest in that hoary old system devised by white folks called Anglo-American law, which includes such niceties as due process. The Jussie Smollett scam may be the end of many intersectional culture heroes getting a free pass on their bad behavior. Won’t that be refreshing?

(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)

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ALMOST FRINGE FESTIVAL in Point Arena on April 13th celebrates the arts with music, a craft fair, activities for kids, good food and special events up and down Main Street from 11am to 6pm.

Kersten Tanner

Point Arena

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PHOOKED, an on-line comment

Can you honestly say Trump is any worse than the last twenty Presidents they all had their idiosyncrasies and he fits the narrative of todays generation. Let’s face it everyone is addicted to cell phones and Kardashian unreality t.v., the housewives of who cares where being nasty and abusive towards each other, or the sluts and douchebags of New Jersey shore! These shows are exposes of how to not act towards each other on display are petty, rude and nasty people. Civility is at an all time low and people barely know how to carry on a civil conversation anymore.

I watch people who can’t even walk down the street without being obsessed with their damn smart phone at the peril of walking into cars, tripping over potholes and running into signs.

America has lost it’s collective mind and signs of mental illness abound all over the landscape now for proof look at the TDS afflicted among us. We are true and totally phooked!

* * *

I KNOW OF SMART, progressive-leaning journalists who politically oppose Donald Trump, but who feel like strangers in their own newsrooms, afraid to speak out against this mob psychosis. When I meet old colleagues, we have to feel each other out cautiously, until with relief we realize: Thank God, you’re not one of them — not one of the pod people from “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” that might point at me and scream. I would hear their tales of the lunacy in their journalistic operations, shake my head in concern, wish them the best. And then I’d go back to my job in the emergency department, taking care of people with heart attacks and strokes and broken bones.

Matt Bivens, MD

https://blog.usejournal.com/russiagate-the-great-tragic-comedy-of-modern-journalism-fd2a451aaa25

* * *

1930s PREDICTION

* * *

RHODODENDRONS AT NURSERY AT MCBG

The Nursery at Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens has more than 60 varieties of Rhododendron in stock - - purples, pinks, reds, corals, whites, yellows and more, plus some fragrant varieties! They are full of buds ready to burst into spring color.

Full list: gardenbythesea.org/visit/retail-nursery/

* * *

WOMEN

by Manuel Vicent (translated by Louis S. Bedrock)

The Sunday morning in the church of the village of Fionia in Denmark, the woman wearing a cassock, surplice, and vestment exuded a radiance from the altar. Some formally dressed country people, an open bible in their hands, sang psalms of the prophets while the priestess operated the instruments of her sacred office with perfect mastery. The woman celebrated the mass, imparted the word, gave communion and the final blessing to the humble heads of all the faithful, men and women.

On one hand, nothing earthshaking. Since 1948, the Protestant Church of Denmark has opened access to priesthood to women and they now hold this office with a dignity that connects with the vestal virgins of the Vikings. The woman is a natural medium since all of us have come into this world through her body.

Nevertheless, the Catholic hierarchy has not managed to free itself from its deep neurosis towards women—to the extreme that it has eradicated the sexuality of the mother of God. Feminism struggles against the insuperable wall of machismo of the Catholic Church, which is still nourished by the cultural patriarchy of the Old Testament; in turn, the repression of sexuality through celibacy has converted the Catholic priesthood into a sewer of pedophilia.

A mafioso law of silence protects ecclesiastic delinquents that, without excluding cardinals, bishops, and abbots, have behaved like predatory wolves with thousands of children during decades before the tightly enforced silence of the faithful.

This infamy will not change one iota while the Catholic Church refuses to accept that sex is a healthy, natural impulse under all classes of pants and skirts. The Church will only recover its vitality when its temples are filled with priestesses. Surely that Danish vestal virgin paid for her theological studies by doing elegant striptease performances in a party room.

Some nuns observe and take pictures of a panel with the image of several Popes.

* * *

GORDON BLACK ALERTS US:

Not a duty, but if you can do 14 minutes of the young Brit, Paul Joseph Watson, on Infowars (PJW has his own niche), here’s a salient critique of modern culture at “a dead end” in movies, literature…. He argues that it has become “algorithm compliant.” Certainly not so with the AVA.

ED NOTE: But otherwise….

* * *

AN AWKWARD KISS CHANGED HOW I SAW JOE BIDEN

thecut.com/2019/03/an-awkward-kiss-changed-how-i-saw-joe-biden.html

The day of the 2014 rally, speakers gathered and took photos before going on stage. Flores (right) is pictured with Longoria and Biden before the uncomfortable encounter.

* * *

SEA RISE? (An on-line comment): As a forty year avid surfer I can tell you the Pacific waters as far south as Imperial beach and as far north as Santa Cruz, California, have not raised 1 inch. The low tides get just as low and the king tides get just as high as they ever did. Not to say the oceans don’t rise and lower but the rate at which they do takes thousands of years and as they do mankind has always picked up and moved with it. Same as it ever was… Same as it ever was…

* * *

THE WARRIORS’ INCREASINGLY WEALTHY WHITE FAN BASE is probably mostly used to interacting with half-dumb white guys who read shit on the internet that lines up with their preconceived notions about privilege and gender and all that shit.

Joe Lacob and the Warriors’ organization’s ideal fan is less concerned with the fringe-signaling of washed-up centers they sign to shore up their playoff rotation, and more concerned with how nice the TVs are in the team’s new Chase Center Skyboxes, located in the heart of San Francisco (instead of stinky ol’ Oakland).

In this Andrew Bogut really is the perfect signing for a Warriors team that is looking to abandon their longtime home and embrace their role as the basketball team for Tech’s Wealthy Elites. He’s rich, privileged, half-informed, driven to distraction by algorithmic content delivery, and totally convinced he deserves it and no one else does. Poetic, really.

Corbin Smith, The Daily Beast

* * *

SOME MUELLER REPORT! He didn’t demand an interview with Trump and he didn’t make any legal recommendations, leaving it up to Trump acolyte AG William Barr while spending $25 million. Massive distraction. Need to get back to Trump’s destruction of health and safety laws now. — Ralph Nader

* * *

“While I appreciate that you’ve turned your book report in early, ‘It’s about war and peace’ doesn’t cut it.”

* * *

SPRING CONCERT DINNER

From: "Jodi Tzovarras" ads@rcscenter.org

Please join us at Sal’s Bistro, Redwood Coast Senior Center for dinner before going to the symphony. Dinner served from 5-7

Entre — BBQ Ribs or Fresh Stuffed Sole. Dinner comes with Baked Potato, Green beans, Dinner salad and a complementary Beverage. Dessert is New York Cheese cake with Strawberry drizzle.

Advanced tickets $25 At the door $30.

490 N Harold St. Fort Bragg,

964-0443 for more information

Jodi Tzovarras

Event / Volunteer Coordinator / Food Service Administrator

Redwood Coast Seniors Inc.,

490 N. Harrold Street, Fort Bragg, CA. 95437

* * *

LOOKING FOR LAUGHTER?

Then grab a ticket to see the hilarious farce THEY DON'T PAY? WE WON'T PAY!, now playing on the Mendocino Theatre Company stage! This classic political comedy by one of Italy's most beloved playwrights will have you laughing out loud!

For tickets, go to :http://mendocinotheatre.org/single-tickets/ or phone 707-937-4477.

Watch the video trailer HERE https://youtu.be/BfjrFqJ2cUY.

FRIDAY SPECIAL! Buy a ticket to tonight's performance (3/29 only) and bring your friend for free. Just five 2-for-1 tickets available…call the box office for details!

* * *

MEMO OF THE AIR: Good Night Radio, 9pm tonight (Friday, March 29) on KNYO Fort Bragg (and KMEC Ukiah), live from 325 N. Franklin, next door to the Tip Top bar.

Deadline to email your writing to be read on the air tonight is 6pm or so. If you're not done by then, just send it when it's ready and I'll read it next week. Or call and read it on the air yourself: 962-3022. Or visit, if you're in town. Waltz right in. Bring your musical instruments, sob story, blasphemous tattoo, magical power to show off, whatever.

I expect Willow Lorli Arthur, a fellow fan of the late impresario of comical superstition, Antonia Lamb, is likely to return and demonstrate reading Tarot cards and other implements of magical augury. If so, that'll be very early in the show, and I'd like to try using the phone for that, too. In case you'd like your fortune told for free by a woman whose emails actually appear from the future and so stay at the very top of the stack, I found out. And yet Willow claims, and I have no reason to doubt her in this, that she has no knowledge of how she herself accomplishes it.

Speaking of reading, of course I already have the usual vast folder of little bits of whatever I've been reading all week: astounding science, political nauseata, tangy snark, tidbits of sometimes life-saving lore on literally thousands of subjects, et al.

Tell your friends about Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio, every Friday, 9pm to 5am on 107.7fm KNYO-LP Fort Bragg, and 105.1fm KMEC-LP Ukiah. Also there and anywhere else via http://knyo.org

A few amusements for while you wait for tonight:

How we get steel balls. Adjust the speed to your own taste.

Grooveless engineering.

And suspiciously bold, Romanian-accented claims for this design. No sonic boom? Hmm. Still, pretty cool.

https://newatlas.com/adifo-flying-saucer-romanian/58999/

Marco McClean, memo@mcn.org, https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com

* * *

* * *

ENWRAPPED IN THE DIGITAL WORLD

I spent something like seven hours yesterday on the phone mostly listening to the elevator music they provide to let you know the line's not gone dead. Although it's hard to know which is worse. All the people I talked to were as good as I am at making small talk with strangers. Helpful and friendly. I was trying to get help in being able to hear baseball again. It probably wasn't there because the season hadn't begun. It was opening day. So if I had just waited, it would have been there. I can't believe that I was this stupid, but I have authoritatively faced that fact before. It put me in the hospital. Nearly killed me.

It also brought me to understand how much I owe my kids. They saved my life. They brought me close. They showed me their love. And I love them for it. They have given me my life back. I love my life. I bow to them. I inhale. I can tell them anything. And I tell them the truth. From the bottom of my remanufactured heart, I love them. And I tell them.

Somehow, these pre-dawn revelations lead me to imagine all the little non-digital rituals people all over the world perform to get the Great Spirit on their side. God's pocket, and all. Whatever they do. Make the sort of fine furniture that is bought by museums. Build boats. Learn to flyfish. Ride a Harley. Write without playing the endless loop. Why does anybody keep reading this? Have they nothing better to do?

Geezer questions, no doubt. But I am pretty sure that by 4:07 I will be back from the pharmacy. In time for the A's and the Angels. Probably hearing from my daughter. Thinking of her sister, exploring Barcelona. Possibly hearing from my son. He is learning to flyfish. I love them all. Deeply. My life. Baseball is back, and I love it. Being a geezer. I love it.

(Bruce Brady)

7 Comments

  1. Harvey Reading March 30, 2019

    “IN ODD REBUKE, Governor’s Office Rejects All North Coast Nominees for Coastal Commission, Calls for New List of Candidates”

    Maybe the governor figured that it’s best not to have representation on the commission from areas with populations that have demonstrated a complete inability for self governance.

    • George Hollister March 30, 2019

      Like San Francisco?

      • Harvey Reading March 30, 2019

        They’re doin’ better than y’all are, particularly given the population size. Mendocino, and the north coast in general really oughta be ashamed of themselves.

  2. Harvey Reading March 30, 2019

    “…all 50 California counties…”

    What happened to the other 8 counties?

  3. Harvey Reading March 30, 2019

    Look where Biden’s right hand is placed. What a scumball, but a typical democrat. I see why they love him so much, even as they trash Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar. Get ready for another Trump term folks. And don’t worry. The Nanny Goat and Schemer will continue to “lead” you.

    Look on the bright side, anthropogenic global warming may well do us all in long before that second term ends. An appropriate end for a dead-end, authoritarian species … one so dumb that a very few, very vicious wealthy folks sucker the rest of us into doing exactly what they want us to do. Good riddance, and about time, too, before we spread and infect the whole universe.

  4. Harvey Reading March 30, 2019

    I’m not addicted to cell phones, nor do I watch TV. WTF is a Kardashian? Sounds like some religious cult.

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