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MCT: Friday, March 5, 2019

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RAIN FRIDAY, up to a quarter of an inch, decreasing Friday night. Scattered showers continue on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, decreasing Tuesday, with clearing Tuesday night. A break in the light rain on Wednesday will be followed by more light showers next Thursday and Friday. Daytime temps in the low- to mid-60s, lows overnight in the 40s. Light winds. (via National Weather Service)

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by Mark Scaramella

After more than a year of pussyfooting around, Sheriff Allman seems to have accepted the idea that to get the Psychiatric Health Facility that he originally envisioned, energetically promoted and sold via “Measure B” for “the specific purpose of funding improved services, treatment and facilities for persons with mental health conditions,” he needs to also include a Crisis Residential Treatment (CST) facility and a Crisis Stabilization Unit (CSU) in the facilities package to get it approved by the County’s huge mental health apparatus, senior members of which dominate the Measure B Advisory Committee.

To that now perhaps chimerical end, at the Measure B Advisory Committee’s March 27 meeting, the Sheriff made it as clear as he could to his fellow committee members that they need to focus on those facilities first by doing a long overdue “feasibility study” to develop and rank facility options for those three categories of service.

Allman: "Measure B is intended to improve mental health services. The presentation by the Mental Health Director is appreciated but there are many things there which to my understanding Measure B is not the intent of. Crisis residential and crisis stabilization and a psychiatric health facility are the three major aspects of Measure B as well as the training. I don’t want our group to be sidetracked by the very important responsibilities of the Behavioral Health Advisory Board because we are apples and oranges. The Advisory Boards deals with its own mental health services which is something they need and they make a difference. I've been to their meetings and they make a difference. But to be quite blunt, 75% of our funds are for brick-and-mortar plans for the county to improve services and provide a facility where services can be provided, allowing emergency rooms to be emptied out and police to be back on the street. I say that at every meeting. I appreciate the input about mental health services but the main focus of our activity is crisis residential and crisis stabilization and a psychiatric health facility and training. I understand that 25% will go to supplement and not supplant existing mental health services. I guess I'm just voicing my frustration. I don't want us to get tangled up in what the Behavioral Health Board does. They work closely with the Department of Mental Health to work on the services that the Department of Mental Health provides. But I just want us to get focused on what the intention is: to keep people in our county and provide services and improve the mental health quality of life."

Several members of the Measure B Committee thought that they should form an hoc committee to review and rank the Kemper report recommendations as they were “encouraged” to do by the Board of Supervisors last month.

Allman disagreed: “I think that setting up an ad hoc committee to deal with the financial feasibility of providing services is well outside the bounds of Measure B. Measure B is to provide brick-and-mortar locations in our county where we can provide services. It is well within the realm of the Behavioral Health Board and the Board of Supervisors while looking at the financial aspects to provide those services working with the director of Mental Health and saying that this is the right way to go. Otherwise, Measure B [committee] will never make a decision on brick-and-mortar. If we are trying to do everybody else's job, everybody else is going to do our job as well. We have a very specific role in the county to improve the quality of life for mental health patients and their families. And right now our focus, our goal should be working with the Board of Supervisors on zeroing in on locations where services can be provided, where 50 years from now services will still be provided. It may be a different server, it may be in the county, who knows? We are trying to put our finger into many other people’s pies which are none of our business.”

Behavioral Health Board Chair Jan McGourty pointed out that the Board of Supervisors “encouraged” the committee to look at the Kemper report recommendations.

Allman: “That is not our job.”

McGourty: “But they said it was.”

Allman: “They are not our boss. They are the Board of Supervisors. They are not the boss of this committee! They can tell us they want us to swim in the lake and I'm not going to swim in the lake.”

McGourty: “But we are an advisory board, we can't —”

Allman: “You’re right! We are not their boss and they are not our boss. But for them to recommend or suggest that we review and approve everything in the Kemper report before they do it, then I will tell each one of them individually: They Are Mis-Take-En. [Allman allotted one syllable per Supervisor.] Because that is not their role. Their roles is to run the County as the Board of Supervisors and the Behavioral Health board carries a lot of weight… I don't care what the Board of Supervisors tells me what to do on this. Measure B was passed by the voters for the purpose of brick-and-mortar and improving services and it has nothing to do with whether Medi-Cal or Medicare is going to fund the Department of Mental Health adequately [for services] in what we build. We need services like a genuine, responsible county should have. We need buildings where we can provide those services."

McGourty: “There were words in there about where he [Kemper] recommended that there be a strategic plan prepared; isn't that something that our board [the Measure B committee] should be concerned with?”

Allman: “Please don't put words in my mouth, Ms. McGourty. That's not what I said. I'm saying that our primary responsibility is to provide direction and a very good recommendation to the Board of Supervisors for building mental health facilities to improve the quality of life or our patients and citizens. Please don't put words in my mouth, I won't put words in your mouth.”

McGourty: “I was asking a question.”

Alllman: “Well, your question was making an assumption which was a wrong assumption. If I sound frustrated it's because a lot of people in this room on this side of the table from the podium [the McGourty side] are not willing to make a decision! It is time! We are in the 14th or 15th meeting of this committee and we still can't hang our hat on any decision that was made! I hope we are not proud of where we are.”

Committee member and County CEO Carmel Angelo said her office is moving ahead on hiring a Measure B project manager. But, she added, “This is a major project. Think of all the people that come in and all the people you have involved in something like a $50,000 kitchen. We are talking some $30 some million dollars; we are talking three services, one building, two buildings, three buildings — who knows? Under normal circumstances I think we should hire three or four people whether they are contractors or consultants or county staff or whatever. But we are not doing that we are doing as low-budget as we can. We want to use as much of this money for services and that's the right thing to do. However, when you ask about time frames and who's going to do the work and how this is going to get done, we need one person to start this process. My office can start drafting the RFP and members of this committee can be very good advisors to us as well as our staff. But the process itself, once we get that person as a project manager he or she will begin to do the process of helping us develop the RFP, release the RFP, get the RFP back, hire consultants who will actually do the feasibility study and then we will work with them and then that will be brought back to the Measure B committee then the Measure B committee will make a recommendation to the Board of Supervisors and based on that information we will go to the Board of Supervisors and lo and behold we will have the decision.”

So to summarize:

As far as we can tell, they’ll take a month or two to hire a project manager who will then take a few months to prepare an RFP to hire someone(s) to perform some feasibility studies on an as yet incomplete set of locations and facilities, and then the RFP will have to undergo several months of review by the Measure B committee and then the project manager will release the RFP and some people will bid to perform the feasibility studies on each location and option and somehow one of the bidders will be picked and then they will take a few months to prepare the “feasibility” of the options to the Measure B committee who will then take a few months to talk the options to death and debate whether they should all be in the same place or in separate facilities.

And lo and behold we still will NOT have a decision, contrary to CEO Angelo’s bold but contradictory prediction.

And the Sheriff will get even more frustrated than he already is.

Which leaves us with the real question: Which will happen first?

a) A contract will be let to build something with Measure B funds or,

b) Sheriff Allman will retire, or

c) A meteor takes us all out.

PS. Sheriff Allman was in the minority when the group voted to go ahead and form an ad hoc committee to review the Kemper report recommendations and report back. The Sheriff thought that if they were to form an ad hoc committee at all it should focus on the three facilities he now supports, not waste time on what the Mental health apparatus may or may not want to fund.

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by Raquel Maria Dillon

A federal judge in San Francisco ruled Tuesday that if PG&E doesn't meet aggressive goals aimed at preventing future wildfires, the utility won't be able to pay dividends to shareholders after it emerges from bankruptcy proceedings.

At a probation hearing related to the utility’s deadly 2010 gas pipeline explosion in San Bruno, Judge William Alsup said the embattled utility hasn't done enough to prevent wildfires through tree trimming and other maintenance work — even while its shareholders made millions.

“PG&E pumped out $4.5 billion in dividends and let the tree budget wither,” Alsup said.

But the judge declined to impose more sweeping changes that he’d earlier floated, including requiring PG&E to inspect its entire electrical grid. Lawyers for PG&E said that would take years to complete and be prohibitively expensive.

PG&E remains on probation for the 2010 pipeline explosion, which killed eight people and leveled a San Bruno neighborhood. State fire investigators also blamed PG&E for 18 of the more than 170 wildfires that swept Northern California in October 2017. And the utility has acknowledged that its equipment likely started the 2018 Camp Fire in Butte County, which destroyed nearly 14,000 homes in the town of Paradise and killed 85 people.

While the probation is related to PG&E’s gas infrastructure, Alsup intervened following those fires.

On Tuesday, the judge also directed a federal monitor to conduct random inspections of the tree-trimming program.

“I’m not cutting you any slack,” Alsup said. “If PG&E hasn’t cut the right trees, we’re going to have a hearing to get to the bottom of that.”

PG&E’s lawyers said that might be unrealistic.

“There’s a lot of trees out there, and we don’t have eyes on all of them,” said PG&E attorney Reid Schar.

“That’s a problem of your own making,” Alsup said, cutting him off. “A lot of money went to dividends that should’ve gone to your trees. Get square with the people of California, who depend on you to do the job safely.”

The judge postponed any decision on a plan to require the utility to de-energize power lines during high winds, explaining that he wants to see what the California Public Utilities Commission — which regulates PG&E — decides on the issue.

“The prudent thing to do when you’re uncertain is to turn the power off,” he said. “When the public complains that everything in the refrigerator is bad and the ice cream melted, then you could blame the judge. I’m willing to take the heat.”

Steve Campora, an attorney who represented victims of the pipeline blast, said he was pleased that Alsup confirmed that he was the one who would decide if PG&E violated the terms of its probation, not the CPUC, as PG&E had wanted.

“He kept the violation of probation in his ballpark and didn't transfer it over to the CPUC,” Campora said. “And he said no, no, no, this judge will decide whether you're in violation of the law, which is a good thing.”


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If you are already involved in food production or have an idea for a local food enterprise in Anderson Valley and need a financial boost, let us know! We are offering small loans, up to $2,000, with zero interest (a small service fee will apply) to help start or improve your project. The loan process is simple. Just email to receive details and the application.


Natural Products of Boonville has a variety of ‘Natural Seed Potatoes’ for planting. Locally grown with organic materials and methods, but not certified. $6/lb., ‘baby’ size seed prices vary.

For the adventurous gardeners we have True Potato Seed balls from open pollinated Bora Valley potatoes grown at the Senior Center Community Garden @ $2 each. Also a few Oca roots in 4 varieties, price based on size.

Contact Geoffrey re availability

‘AV Foodshed: supporting local food production and consumption since 2004!’

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Authorities suspect an unlicensed Eureka man was intoxicated by drugs and alcohol when he drove a silver Chevy SUV over double yellow lines on Highway 101 Wednesday in Mendocino County, causing the car to collide into a vehicle headed the opposite direction and seriously injuring himself and two others, authorities said.

Both directions off the North Coast thoroughfare were shut for hours as investigation and cleanup of the wreck proceeded.

The collision happened after 11 a.m. as Carroll Johnson, 65, was driving his SUV north over the green bridge, which spans the Russian River about 2 miles south of Hopland. Amber Young, 30, a resident of the Humboldt County town of McKinleyville, was a passenger in Johnson’s vehicle, a CHP news release said.

His Chevy crossed into the opposite lane of traffic, hitting a blue Ford Mustang driven by 24-year-old Eureka resident Kip Ford, the CHP said. Jennifer Ramirez, 19, of Fortuna in Humboldt County, was also in the vehicle.

“The driver of the Ford attempted to avoid a collision but the front right of the Chevy collided with the front right of the Ford,” the news release said. “Occupants of the Chevy required extrication.”

First responders pulled Johnson and Young from the SUV, found dangling over the bridge’s railing and catching fire as crews worked to get them out of the vehicle. Johnson was transported by helicopter with major injuries to the Queen of the Valley Hospital, initially reported by authorities as Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital. Young, who was also seriously injured, was airlifted to the Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital.

Ford, the driver of the Mustang, had minor injuries and was sent to the Adventist Health Ukiah Valley hospital, formerly the Ukiah Valley Medical Center. Ramirez went to the Santa Rosa Memorial hospital to be treated for major wounds, authorities said.

Johnson was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of both drugs and alcohol and driving with a suspended or revoked license, CHP Officer Olegario Marin said.

Highway 101 was closed to drivers in both directions for more than two hours as Caltrans crews, CHP and about a dozen firefighters from various agencies responded to the collision.

(Nashelly Chavez, The Santa Rosa Press Democrat.)

ON LINE COMMENT (from “The driver of the silver Chevy has been driving on a suspended license for more than a year and has more than two dui’s AND has been arrested for driving without a license more than once, possibly while intoxicated! What’s wrong with our system that allows someone like this to continue driving?! This is not speculation! His arrests are on record at the county courthouse.”

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by Michelle Hutchins, Superintendent

A child was recently diagnosed with measles in Santa Clara. Given how contagious this virus is, a confirmed case in Santa Clara caused some alarm here in Mendocino County. The diseases that vaccines prevent can be devastating, even deadly. Before the measles vaccine, thousands of American children lost their hearing and/or had to live with neurological problems as a result of measles.

When there is no imminent threat of a vaccine-preventable disease anywhere near us, the issue of whether or not to vaccinate can be academic, but when potentially devastating diseases are close to home, and some parents are choosing not to vaccinate their children, we all become alarmed.

The arguments against vaccines are many, and they are persuasive with a small minority of people, enough people to endanger the whole community. They include the fear of serious side effects, including the much-debunked belief that vaccines cause autism, and the fear that vaccines contain harmful ingredients. Others argue that drug companies are in cahoots with the Food and Drug Administration and/or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and cannot be trusted, and that the diseases prevented by vaccines are either extinguished or not very harmful. Finally, some take a more philosophical approach, arguing that the government shouldn’t be involved in their medical choices, especially if they hold a religious belief against such intervention

Here are the facts. Vaccines save 2.5 million children from preventable diseases every year, according to United Nations’ partner Shot@Life. The CDC estimates that in the twenty years between 1994 and 2014, vaccines saved 732,000 American children from dying and 322 million from becoming ill. The measles vaccine alone has decreased childhood deaths by 74 percent.

Does this mean vaccines are perfect? No. But adverse reactions are extremely rare. According to Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Chief Medical Correspondent for CNN and practicing neurosurgeon, "You are 100 times more likely to be struck by lightning than to have a serious allergic reaction to the vaccine that protects you against measles.”

The measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine is 97 percent effective, which means only 30 out of every 1000 people who are vaccinated will not be fully protected. However, if everyone is vaccinated, everyone benefits from "herd immunity." Those 30 people are unlikely to come into contact with the virus, so they are safe, too. According to Mendocino County Public Health Officer Dr. Gary Pace, to reach herd immunity for measles, approximately 93 percent of people must be vaccinated.

Vaccines are typically either free or simply the cost of a co-pay, and they can save a lot of misery and money down the line. Initial measles symptoms include a high fever, cough, runny nose, and red, watery eyes or “pink eye” (conjunctivitis). Three days later, small white spots appear in the mouth. A few days after that, a rash with flat red spots on the face at the hairline develops and spreads downward to the neck, trunk, arms, legs and feet. It’s miserable, and potentially deadly for some. When children get the measles, they need a caregiver to stay home with them. That can mean missed paychecks. And if things go poorly, a trip to the emergency room isn’t cheap.

Be sure you are making decisions about your health and the health of your children based on fact, not fiction. Don’t let dramatic social media posts and anecdotal stories prevent you from safeguarding your family. The argument that someone gets a vaccine and then gets some medical condition does not mean the vaccine caused it.

Do your homework. Make the decision that’s best for your family. I hope you choose to vaccinate.

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Edward Hopper (1882-1967) Nyack, NY

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by Katie Dowd

More details about the tragic deaths of the Hart family, who were apparently intentionally driven off a Mendocino cliff by one of the mothers, have emerged at a coroner's inquest.

The inquest is being held in Willits, Calif., regarding the deaths of the six adopted Hart siblings, Markis, 19, Hannah, 16, Devonte, 15, Jeremiah, 14, Abigail, 14, and Sierra, 12, and their parents, Jennifer and Sarah. Investigators are operating with the belief that Jennifer intentionally drove their GMC Yukon off the coastal highway near Fort Bragg in March 2018. But with all occupants of the vehicle now dead, an inquest has been called to determine the cause of death (accidental, a murder-suicide or undetermined) for each person.

On Thursday, testimony heard by the jury of eight men and six women included data pulled from the Yukon's Garmin GPS and Google searches made by Sarah Hart.

California Highway Patrol Officer Jay Slates testified the GPS data indicated the family stopped at a Walmart, where Jennifer Hart purchased Walmart's generic brand of Benadryl, both in liquid and pill forms. Toxicology reports indicate Sarah, who was not the driver, had at least 42 doses of the medication in her system before the crash.

The children also had anywhere from nine to 19 doses of the generic Benadryl in their bodies, according to toxicology reports.

Those reports also indicated Jennifer had a blood alcohol level of .102; the legal limit is .08. Slates testified that would be the equivalent of five beers.

In addition, a series of disturbing Google searches was presented at the inquest. Slates testified investigators found a series of searches on Sarah's phone including "can 500 mgs of Benadryl kill a 120-pound woman?" and "is death by drowning relatively painless?"

She also searched no-kill shelters for dogs, perhaps indicating she was planning on dropping off the family dogs at a shelter before the couple's plan went into action.

According to Oregonian reporter Molly Young, who attended the inquest, two case investigators concluded Jennifer and Sarah Hart planned to commit suicide together and murder their children in the process.

The jury will now deliberate on cause of death for each individual.



Sheriff-Coroner Thomas D. Allman announces that a Coroner’s Jury has reached a finding in the Hart Family Incident which originated on March 26, 2018. The finding of the jury was that the deaths were as follows:

  • Jennifer Hart - Suicide
  • Sarah Hart - Suicide
  • Markis Hart - At the hands of another person, other than by accident
  • Hannah Hart - At the hands of another person, other than by accident
  • Devonte Hart - At the hands of another person, other than by accident
  • Jeremiah Hart - At the hands of another person, other than by accident
  • Abigail Hart - At the hands of another person, other than by accident
  • Ciera Hart - At the hands of another person, other than by accident

The Coroner’s Jury reached a verdict after hearing the testimony of witnesses called by the hearing officer, Matthew P. Guichard.

A Coroner’s Inquest, which Sheriff-Coroner Allman convened on April 3, 2019 was a public hearing, during which a jury ruled on the manner of the family’s death. Jury members were able to choose from the following four options when making their finding:

  • Accident
  • Suicide
  • Natural Causes
  • At the hands of another person, other than by accident

As a result of the Jury's findings, Sheriff Allman will be recording the manner of death on each death certificate as follows:

  • Jennifer Hart - Suicide
  • Sarah Hart - Suicide
  • Markis Hart - Homicide
  • Hannah Hart - Homicide
  • Devonte Hart - Homicide
  • Jeremiah Hart - Homicide
  • Abigail Hart - Homicide
  • Ciera Hart - Homicide

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On March 29, 2019 at approximately 4:30 PM, a check forgery case was reported to the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office by an employee of Harvest Market at Mendosa's located in Mendocino. Deputies responded and learned the business suffered a loss of more than $350.00 on 03-23-2019, due to the passing of a fraudulent check. The business provided Deputies with information to assist in the investigation. An adult female, identified as Frankie Lemus-Cortez, 21, of Fort Bragg, was identified as the suspect in this investigation.

Deputies were aware that Lemus-Cortez was on active Mendocino County Probation. The following morning at approximately 9:20 AM, Deputies responded to an address in the 400 block of South Street, in the City of Fort Bragg, in an attempt to contact Lemus-Cortez. Upon Arrival, Lemus-Cortez was positively identified and was observed within the residence. Lemus-Cortez refused to answer the door and demanded that Deputies leave the location. Deputies ultimately forced entry into the residence and took Lemus-Cortez into custody, without further incident. Lemus-Cortez was arrested for Forgery-Check Fraud, Resisting Arrest], and Violation of Probation. Lemus-Cortez was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where she was to be held in lieu of $20,000 bail.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, April 4, 2019

Barry, Byer, Fallis, Frederickson

WILLIAM BARRY, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent flyer.)

DAVID BYER, Willits. Disobeying court order.

AMBROSE FALLIS, Covelo. Paraphernalia, probation revocation.

HANNA FREDERICKSON, Willits. Honey oil extraction, pot possession for sale, failure to appear.

Griffith, Knapp, Swearinger, Wright

DANIEL GRIFFITH, Eureka. Probation revocation.

VERNON KNAPP, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent flyer.)

FELIX SWEARINGER, Covelo. Felon addict with firearm, county parole violation, prison prior, probation revocation.

ANDREA WRIGHT, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

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SURELY IT’S GOOD that we are rapidly heading towards zero-tolerance for sexual harassment and “unwanted body contact” in general. It’s a question of how widely we conceptualize, define and challenge it.

My Japanese wife was uncomfortable when, while visiting Spain some years ago, our exchange-student son’s home mother embraced and kissed her, as is the routine automatic greeting in Madrid. Very different ideas about acceptable body contact pertain in different cultures. Italian-Americans hug more than Scandinavian-Americans. There are different degrees of reserve and respect for private space.

“Inappropriate behavior” includes everything from statements that make someone uncomfortable to rape. Unwanted kisses of the Trump variety, or even his pussy-grabbing, fall somewhere into this spectrum. But head-kissing?

If it were protracted, and wet… yes. That would be, among other things, gross. But I doubt Biden did that. He did something arguably strange and obviously unwelcome (thus inappropriate). And I’ll be happy if this causes him to drop out of the Democratic race, maybe noting woefully that these times (with their added demands for political correctness) have passed him by. I’d like to see Sanders get the nomination, which his current strength suggests he can do—if MSNBC and CNN don’t do him in, arguing (as they already do) that it’s impossible for a socialist to win in the U.S., and that a “socialist” candidate will hand the election to Trump.

I just hope that Sanders, a physically more reserved person than Biden, has no head-kisses hanging in his closet.

— Gary Leupp

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I think people are beginning to “step into the light” and “out of the shadows” of the bullshit and see what is really becoming real. The rich get richer while the rest of us can maybe wash their sports cars. Most city people I know who voted for “legalization” - against my advice - are now wishing they did not. The retail prices have not dropped at the high-priced dispensaries. And they will not. Small growers are being wiped out of their savings. Bigger growers are blowing it up while they can and selling out the back door. The Biggest investors are still lurking in the shadows, waiting for the carnage to reach a crescendo when they can buy out permitted farms for nickels on the dollars. But the only way for the state to maintain their “good players” market will be an all-out attack on unpermitted growers. And they will need to bring it to small mom n pops. For now and here they are relying on Humboldt County Planning Department to do that dirty work. It is only driving up the prices and making the risk more worth it (price almost doubled back up since last year)! They will also need to enlist National Guard and other police agents. They will sell it as “going after the bad players. The cartels and terribly destructive black-market…pesticide spraying..etc etc”. But I think the people of CA will see reports of small family scenes getting destroyed. It will shock them. And I think it will be Gavin Newsom’s Waterloo. He does not know what he’s up against. He will be known as the guy who destroyed families to establish corporate domination. And that stain will never leave him. He wants to be President? He is walking a very thin line. It is important that we expose this scandalous behavior of the state. To all our friends all over the state. Right now we have no voice - not in any of the corporate dominated media. But the realization is dawning all over the state. The real war for freeing the herb is just beginning. CAMP was a preliminary. This is the real fight. And these assholes have no idea what they are doing…or who we are. After all…it is a flower that your grandma could grow in her own backyard! Good luck controlling that ha ha!!

[2] There’s a substantial chunk of the world’s population that lives day-in and day-out where that distance is the one between their front-door and the open sewer two steps away in the middle of a mud path. And accounts of what it is to live in that situation are just clicks away on the web and, ironically enough, maybe even as close as mom and pop that came over from the old country.

But for who-knows-what reason, the anti-vaxxers, and the assorted others of their ilk, are determined to be oblivious and apparently want a replay of the days before Edward Jenner. I suspect that it’s a pose, one designed to get applause from their peers, maybe from an internet audience, but a pose based on the supposition that nothing bad will happen, that while a disease like polio or typhus exists in some fantastical realm, it surely has no reality in their own.

But, regardless of the fantasy worlds existing in people’s minds, microbes infect and kill.

As far as civilization goes, and the behavioral fetters that go with it, we saw what happened one short life-time ago when those restraints dropped away.

[3] Plagues have plagued us for a long time, there was the plague of Justinian in the sixth century which then came and went for centuries. And there were recurrent plagues in ancient times which scythed down tens of millions inside the Roman Empire and probably all over Eurasia.

Y Pestis gets regularly blamed. No doubt it was one of the microbes given that its DNA has been found in mass graves of people who died during one or another of the outbreaks. So one hazard, as JHK sez, is if there’s a flourishing of rats and other rodents that carry the disease.

But let’s not discount other sources, for example, smallpox was an ancient killer that did away with millions, and hemorrhagic fevers too way back when. So gotta be careful of shit-disturbing natural habitats where there’s reservoirs of lethal, easily transmissible maladies like ebola.

And who can forget poultry farms or pig farms or chickens in alleyways or backyards.

The point is this, you can maybe control what goes on in your own country, you know, like your own backyard, or in domestic farms full of tainted wheat and soybean, or pig and chicken farms. Or in tent-cities in San Fran or LA if politicians can give the LGBTQ-sanctuary city posturing a rest and devote a few minutes to public health problems.

But you cannot tell other countries what to do, like China or Vietnam or India or Brazil or Mexico. They won’t listen.

This is the point of international borders, to blunt the spread of contagion be it financial or economic or biological. Are borders leaky? Sure, they can be, given the ubiquity of jet travel and especially the imperative of corporate profits.

But you can shut airports down and ports too and border crossings. You can if you try, you can if you want to, if you’re serious about saving the lives of your own countrymen.

But, given the bought-and-paid-for shits at the tip of the pyramid, whose every priority has nothing to do with the national interest and general welfare, don’t expect anything much from them. They’ll think of every excuse under the sun to FIRST make sure that nothing impedes the bottom lines of their paymasters even if it kills the people they’re mandated to serve, ie you and me.

Just watch, they’ll use words like “contained”, they’ll trot out guys to explain that there’s nothing to be afraid of, so go shopping, that there’s no scientific evidence that supports the notion that this bug, whatever it is, whose nature is as yet unknown, is easily transmissible, or lethal, maybe outside those with compromised immune systems, or the elderly, or the sick, or the young. In short, they’ll underplay the risks, they’ll act all imposing and confident and superior, and they’ll overplay what they actually know, and they’ll do it all to avoid a “panic”. But their real agenda is their corporate paymasters.

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NORMAN ROCKWELL at Barnsdale Park

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I'M 87 YEARS OLD. I only eat so I can smoke and stay alive. The only fear I have is how long consciousness is gonna hang on after my body goes. I just hope there's nothing. Like there was before I was born. I'm not really into religion, they're all macrocosms of the ego. When man began to think he was a separate person with a separate soul, it created a violent situation.

The void, the concept of nothingness, is terrifying to most people on the planet. And I get anxiety attacks myself. I know the fear of that void. You have to learn to die before you die. You give up, surrender to the void, to nothingness.

Anybody else you've interviewed bring these things up? Hang on, I gotta take this call… Hey, brother. That's great, man. Yeah, I'm being interviewed… We're talking about nothing. I've got him well-steeped in nothing right now. He's stopped asking questions.

— Harry Dean Stanton, ‘Appreciation of Nothing’

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Even as the United States government continues to push for the use of more chemically-intensive and corporate-dominated farming methods such as GMOs and monoculture-based crops, the United Nations is once against sounding the alarm about the urgent need to return to (and develop) a more sustainable, natural and organic system.

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HUMPHREY BOGART’S LIFTS, worn during his scenes with Ingrid Bergman in “Casablanca”.

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TULSA, 1921

After the black leaders retreated to Greenwood, throngs of whites—the crowd around the courthouse had by now grown to perhaps ten thousand—began to scour the city’s gun shops for weapons. Scouring turned to looting, and after pillaging every downtown weapons store, the mob turned as if as a single man toward Tulsa’s African-American district. Meanwhile, the city’s police chief was urgently calling the governor to request National Guard troops be sent immediately by special trains, this even as Greenwood began to be swamped by a flood of armed marauders. Greenwood’s agony would last through the night and into the following morning. As though it were Gettysburg, black men positioned themselves to defend each building and each block, Greenwood’s guardians desperately trying to save their homes and businesses and community. But these African-American men soon found themselves under massive attack, even being strafed by the machine gun of an airplane buzzing over the district’s residential streets. The whites attacking Greenwood far outnumbered the community’s defenders. Enraged whites shot at any black person they saw, woman or girl, man or boy, it made little difference. Blacks trying to escape burning buildings were shot, sometimes even being thrown back into the flames of their homes. Black corpses were tied to car bumpers and dragged through the city. White rioters turned back fire trucks, and those few police officers who arrived on the scene acted more as rioters themselves than as law enforcement officials. Uncounted numbers of black corpses were later found dumped in the Arkansas River, where they floated downstream under the blistering Oklahoma sun, rotting carcasses missed only by grieving families and friends. All told, twenty-five thousand whites had rampaged through Greenwood, supremely defiant of the law and determined simply to kill as many African-Americans as possible; many of these rioters were Klansmen. Estimates from research conducted almost seven decades later by the Tulsa Race Riot Commission indicated that some three hundred Tulsans died, perhaps 90 percent of them black; the precise number is unknowable because of the sheer disruption the riot caused to Greenwood and its people. Property damage was also staggering: twelve hundred buildings were burned, many of them looted before being set ablaze; black Tulsans afterward saw white people in the city’s streets wearing familiar clothing and jewelry. Tulsa’s African-Americans were never reimbursed on their insurance claims, the companies refusing to pay because of antiriot clauses in the policies. Nor did the city of Tulsa ever pay a penny to a single black citizen.

Jerrold M. Packard

American Nightmare: The History of Jim Crow

* * *


The great news never stops. This time in the face of what I mistakenly snookered myself into something requiring emergency action and nothing was required. That's the first of the good news. The next is that I am once again mistaken. In my weak defense, was trying to be a good father. At least there's that.

The next is that an old friend from Leggett and her husband whom I've never met are coming for a visit tomorrow. He is black and teaches African dance. Perhaps a new friend. And a renewal of old.

The third -- it's hard to keep track -- is that my incessant worry is unnecessary. My kids are fine. They have saved my life. Our love is mutual. None of them, so far as I know, is into illegal drugs. None of them is in trouble with the law. None of them is a Christian. I have even spoken to their mother. We talked pleasantly for an hour. Thought of the idea of a family pot luck picnic later this summer. My family is every one of my friends. You are all welcome. I still read Rolling Stone. Listen to Neil Young and Santana. See them live.

I am eating a yogurt. I get my groceries delivered. I have a Rolling Stone on the floor that I have had for a month. One Laytonville student is moving to Tasmania. Another moved to Croatia some time ago. Friends, a Laytonville student and her dad who was the head of his maintenance and his wife are in Machu Piccu. I can say anything here. Just turn around and thing of something. It gets better and better. And I can stop whenever I want. Like here. I love you. Eh? This could go on until even I am bored, and I don't do boredom. Thank you. I bow…

(Bruce Brady)

* * *

* * *

ON SATURDAY, May 29, 2015, the electrifying sounds of taiko drumming, contrasted with the soothing sounds of chanting in Japanese, Spanish, and English, filled the air space in front of the Dilley Detention Center in Frio County, 75 miles from the border. The Resistance Choir brought their best protest songs and invited the audience to join in. The occasion was a peaceful protest led by the Coalition of WWII Japanese American internment camp survivors, some of the 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry who were forced into relocation and incarceration in concentration camps during WWII. The Japanese internment camps are now considered one of the most atrocious violations of American civil rights in the 20th century.

This protest was held with the purpose of exposing the injustice at the Dilley Detention Center and to hold the US government accountable due to the same civil rights violations, and for physical and mental abuse imposed on asylum seekers. With a history of misuse of power and mistreatment of inmates, Dilley Detention Center has been a focus of ongoing immigration debate across the nation. Dilley Detention Center’s “residents” are women and children from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, who have committed no crimes and are awaiting asylum hearings. They are primarily requesting asylum not to save their own lives, but to save their children.

Many of the mothers believe their children, who are facing sexual abuse, rape, violence and murder in their native countries, would be safer in the United States. The horror stories about Dilley Detention Center match the stories about other detention centers in the US, mainly that of the “Hielera” also called the “Ice Box” where they are taken first. In a refrigerated building, the asylum seekers sleep on a concrete floor or sit on concrete benches under mylar blankets. Families are kept for up to 5 days and sometimes a full week. After the Hielera, they go to the “Pierra” or “dog house” where they are put in chain link cages resembling dog kennels. CoreCivic, a for-profit company which owns several private prisons, built this facility in 2014 and it houses up to 2,400 beds. This event focused on speakers who were concentration camp survivors and their families who told about the thousands of American and Latin American families of Japanese descent who were incarcerated in US government prison camps without having due process during World War II. The emphasized that the human rights violations occurring at the Dilley Detention Center are the same human rights violations that they and their ancestors endured. Interest and support from all over the world poured in for this event, which resulted in over 25,000 origami cranes, each with a personal message of hope and encouragement from school children in Japan, US citizens on the West coast, and prisoners at San Quinten.

The brightly colored origami cranes were placed as ribbons on the wire chain link fence in front of the prison complex, camouflaging the dull, dreary and eerie facade of a concentration camp that does not belong in this country or this century.

Lynn Silver

* * *

* * *


by Dan Bacher

Felix Smith, a Save the American River Association board member and the former U.S. Fish and Wildlife biologist who exposed the Kesterson Wildlife Refuge selenium contamination scandal in 1982-83, has just sent a letter to the Bureau of Reclamation regarding his concerns about the operations of Folsom Dam and Reservoir for this summer and fall months.

“My concern is the amount of pre-spawning mortality of the Chinook salmon run that has occurred over the years of 2001 through 2017,” says Smith. “In my opinion, a pre-spawning mortality of more than 5 to 7 percent is uncalled for. An extra effort must be made to reduce such mortality.“

Smith says the Bureau should “prioritize the protection and propagation of Chinook salmon and steelhead. Lets try to reduce the pre-spawning mortality of the Chinook salmon run.”

He says a review of Chinook salmon spawning escapement data for the American River since 2001 shows pre-spawning mortality of 10 percent (2008) to 67 percent in (2001). The lowest per-spawning mortality occurred in 2009 at 4 percent and 6 percent in 2011, “years of very modest runs.”

To ensure that there is less pre-spawning mortality and salmon can spawn in favorable water conditions, Smith urges Reclamation to make an effort to get 59 to 60 DF by mid October and to remain at or below such temperature. He also says the stream flow should be in the range of 1900 to 2400 cfs.

As soon as Smith gets a response to his letter, I will post it here. It would be tragic to see the potential for a robust salmon spawning season on the American this year, due to the heavy Sierra Nevada snowpack, to be diminished due to high spawning mortalities.

We don’t want to see again the 67% mortality that occurred in 2001, a record year for returning American River Chinook salmon, due to low, warm water releases by Reclamation from Nimbus Dam.

The American River is a big contributor to ocean recreational and commercial salmon fisheries. Nimbus Hatchery fall Chinook salmon last year contributed 16 percent of the fish caught in the recreational ocean fishery and 16 percent of the fish landed in the commercial ocean salmon fishery, according to CDFW data.

In 2018, California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) scientists estimated that a total of 27,302 salmon, including 17,352 adults and 9,951 jacks and jills (two-year-olds), returned to the American River to spawn. This was 36 percent of the total escapement on the Sacramento River watershed. A total of 21,091, or 39 percent, were natural spawners, while 6,212, or 28 percent, were taken into the hatchery.

Here is Smith’s April 3 letter to Ernest A. Conant, Regional Director of the Mid Pacific Region - Bureau of Reclamation and a former lawyer for agribusiness billionaires Stewart and Lynda Resnick, the Kern Water Bank and the Westlands Water District:

Dear Mr. Conant:

This year has been a very good water year. As of March 1, the forecast of runoff for the American River Basin is 3,710,000 acre feet. The month of April with additional snow and rain, the runoff for the American River Basin should be greater.

Irrigated agriculture will benefit. Ground water recharge will benefit. Dry land farming should benefit. The water quality of the Delta should improve as high water cleansed the Delta, especially the south Delta. Hydro power will benefit. All reservoirs are nearly full or full to benefit their beneficiaries.

How does the Bureau of Reclamation plan to operate Folsom Reservoir this summer and fall months to improve conditions to benefit Chinook salmon and steelhead of the American River?

As a suggestion, the Bureau should prioritize the protection and propagation of Chinook salmon and steelhead. Lets try to reduce the pre-spawning mortality of the Chinook salmon run. A review of Chinook salmon spawning escapement data for the American River since 2001 shows pre-spawning mortality of 10 percent (2008) to 67 percent in (2001). The lowest per-spawning mortality occurred in 2009 at 4 percent and 6 percent in 2011, years of very modest runs.

The Bureau seems to wave off mortalities of 12 to 20 percent as normal. Pre-spawning mortality in the range of more than 5 percent is uncalled for and unacceptable. The heaviest mortality occurs during the early portion of the spawning season and gradually decreases.

Therefore let’s make an effort to get 59 to 60 DF by mid October and to remain at or below such temperature. Stream flow should be in the range of 1900 to 2400 cfs. This should reduce the holdover time for adults and encourage spawning to reduce mortality. The earlier the adults spawn the sooner young can move out on winter freshets.

I and the Save the American River Association, the fishing and environmental communities has been waiting for such improvement since the 1992 passage of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act.


Felix E. Smith

Carmichael, CA


  1. George Hollister April 5, 2019

    Good for Tom Allman. We more of his kind.

    • George Hollister April 5, 2019

      Correction: We need more of his kind.

      • Stephen Rosenthal April 5, 2019

        I agree. Unfortunately he’s a minority of one, at least in Mendocino County. Although I do like what I’ve seen thus far from Supervisor Williams.

        • james marmon April 5, 2019

          You guys have changed my mind, we do need a locked facility, and fast.

          • George Hollister April 5, 2019

            LOL. James it’s good to see you have a sense of humor.

  2. George Hollister April 5, 2019

    Much talk about measles. Mumps is worse, and the older one gets, the worse it is.

    If you are an adult, and your parents failed to get you vaccinated, high tail your butt to the nearest medical provider and get your shot. “I am not worried, there is little chance I’ll get mumps”? You have a life time.

  3. james marmon April 5, 2019

    PHF, CRT, CSU are all crisis facilities. Allman’s “build it and they will come” mentality is square on. Lock them in. Bill their insurer. Kick them out. None of them address long term care like the board and cares where 90% Mental-cino’s out of County clients are currently placed.

    “If you’re just going to do crisis, then you’re just going to do crisis”

    -Lee Kemper and Associates

    James Marmon MSW
    Former Mental Health Specialist
    Sacramento, Placer, and Lake Counties

    (also author of “Beyond brick-and-mortar” and “Where’s the money Camille?”)

    • james marmon April 5, 2019

      The other 10 percent of out of County placements are in State Hospitals or IMD’s (Institute for Mental Disorders) As far as I know, Mental-cino County has no plans to build either.

  4. james marmon April 5, 2019

    The reason why Allman and his followers refuse to study the Kemper Report is because it lays out a plan that would mitigate the need for a lock facility and is much more humane that the lock en up mentality. Jan McGourty and the Behavioral Health Advisory Board members have studied the report and see the whole picture because they really understand more about state of Mental-cino’s mental health system than the entire Measure B committee combined, excluding Jan and Donna who have basically been silenced by the overbearing Tom Allman and Carmel Angelo.

    Mendocino County Behavioral Health System Program Gap Analysis & Recommendations for Allocation of Measure B Revenues

    “Over the next five years we believe the primary principle that should drive Measure B policy-making is a commitment to developing a comprehensive mental health services continuum in Mendocino County that provides a broad range of services and supports that remediate mental health conditions at the earliest possible time and reduce the need for inpatient psychiatric utilization. With this principle, we believe Mendocino County can both set a goal of reducing the need for inpatient psychiatric care, while simultaneously assuring that inpatient psychiatric care is available in the County when needed. Further, we believe a goal of a 50% reduction in the use of inpatient psychiatric care within five years, by FY 2022-23, is a responsible goal. This would reduce daily hospital utilization from 15.1 persons per day to a more sustainable 7.6 persons per day.”

    -Lee Kemper

    By the way, 15.1 is not the number of persons being placed in hospitals each day, it represents the average amount of persons in hospitals on any given day. The actual amount of persons actually being placed in hospitals each day is a lot less that 1 a day, more like 2 or 3 a week. Hospitals hold folks from anywhere from 3 to 14 days before they are released, most of them back to our streets or placed in a board of care somewhere else out of the county.

    James Marmon MSW
    Former Mental Health Specialist
    Sacramento, Placer, and Lake County.

    • Mark Scaramella April 5, 2019

      This, of course, assumes that Jan McGourty and her colleagues have anything more than a financial or academic interest in mitigating anything. I so no evidence that any of them do, especially since nobody ever asks for any reports of how many people are actually helped in a tangible, accountable manner. I doubt Sheriff Allman would come out and say it, but he’s seen how little good Mendo’s McGourty & Co have done (while he tactically praises them for “making a difference” — an invisible difference, unfortunately) and he knows that they will never tangibly mitigate the need for a locked facility. And you, Mr. Marmon, of all people, should know that too. So we can argue about the size of the PHF, I suppose, in vague hope that mitigation is realized, but, at minimum, I’d say the County needs at least eight beds and those eight beds will allow families to monitor and contact their “locked up” relatives which is by itself an improvement over the present 5150 process.

      • james marmon April 5, 2019

        I agree with most of your comment Mr. Scaramella, so far only you and me are brave enough to put our lives on the line and ask for some real numbers. I am concerned that most of the measure b service money is going to end up supplanting funds for services that are not being provided by the ASO Schraeder pursuant her current contract, but should be. I think Jan is worried about that as well and that’s what she’s trying to get to. There is no legitimate day treatment center along with a whole array of other missing services that Camille doesn’t seem to be able to provide or doesn’t no how to. If it is a funding problem, we need to see financial records. We give her 20 million a year and we have no idea what for or what we get back in return. Hospitalizations seen to be going up, not down, are patients getting better or worse? As a real social worker trained to set treatment goals with measurable outcomes Mental-cino County completely drives me crazy. Evaluating program effectiveness decreases vulnerability to stakeholders and funders who want to know whether a program represents money well spent. Our top cop “All-man” doesn’t seem to care if the County or Schraeder rips off the Measure B account as long as he gets his locked facility and shooting range (aka Training Center). Jan McGourty is 100% right, she just needs to come out and say the words, “where’s the money Camille?” I’ll have her back all the way if she decides to.

        James Marmon MSW
        Personal Growth Consultant

        • james marmon April 5, 2019

          What Sheriff Tom refuses to accept.

          “Kemper Consulting Group was hired by Mendocino County to:

           Conduct an assessment of behavioral health facility and service needs in Mendocino County and identify current service needs in the County due to gaps in the continuums of care; and, identify projected service needs in five (5) years based upon current and anticipated needs; and,

           Present key policy and financing decisions that need to be made by the Board of Supervisors to effectuate effective and sustainable use of the Measure B revenues over time.”

          • james marmon April 6, 2019

            At the last meeting when Jan tried to bring the above up for discussion Allman cut her short and told her it wasn’t the committee’s job. He’s right, its the Board of Supervisor’s job and they don’t want anything to do with the truth. Any discussion of Services would bring up too many questions, a “rabbit hole” nobody want’s to go down. Just think about it, what if somebody wanted to know if a particular service is already supposed to be paid for with Mental Health Services Act money under the ASO Schraeder Contract? Jan knows the answer, she’s not as stupid as this publication likes to imply. If questions like that are not asked then most likely measure b money will be used to supplant that service, not supplement it. “What we don’t know won’t hurt us.” Schraeder could just say “I only have 10 dollars to spend on that service, I need Measure B’s help.”

            Where’s the money Camille?

            James Marmon MSW

            • james marmon April 6, 2019

              I’d like to know who will benefit most from a PHF unit here in Mental-cino County. Will it create a big savings for the County or the Schraeder’s for-profit shell company, RQMC? We already know that Allman believes his Agency will benefit financially if he could transfer some of his prisoners over to a Measure B facility.

              Its all about the money

              James Marmon

              • james marmon April 6, 2019

                I’m sure the story will be that the savings from the PHF, CRT, CSU will allow her to provide the other missing services, but she is in the business to make a profit isn’t she?. She would not be a good business person if she didn’t take advantage of the situation. And besides, the other services are already in the County’s Mental Health Service Act 3 year plan, already paid for, just not being delivered.

                James Marmon MSW

      • Lazarus April 5, 2019

        After watching the youtube of the last meeting. I’m very concerned about the status of this Measure B bunch and their ability to execute their task responsibly. Two no shows for whatever reason. Then skipping a meeting for May, the obvious frustration that has surfaced from the sheriff, who consider Measure B his dictate… The coast wanting a facility yet the rep from the coast laughs at the wants, and I’m sure there’s more lurking just waiting for their piece of all that money.
        At this pace, help for the mentals will be years away, if ever…
        As always,

      • Betsy Cawn April 6, 2019

        The fact that no actual performance numbers are provided to evaluate the alternatives for stages/types of care or restraint facilities is the very nut to crack.

        It is the responsibility of the County Board of Supervisors to demand that their Board-established “Mental Health Advisory Board” produce the information required by Welfare & Institutions Code §5604 et sequentia.

        The MHAB must, in turn, receive utilization reports from the county Department responsible for managing Medi-Cal (federal/state) and Mental Health Services Act (state) funding, necessary to evaluate both the performance of current practices and the needs for improvements such as appropriate facilities and operations based on specific information.

        Since every fart and hiccup of the MH department staff is accounted for as “billable” or general fund transaction, overseen by a state-licensed manager of the department’s fiscal system, there is NO reason those numbers cannot be produced by the County Administration’s department budget analyst (remember Mr. Flora?) responsible for the county’s budget unit.

        Likewise, the Sheriff’s Office data on facility requirements of statutorily defined functions, again performed by compensated staff at all levels, is acquirable through reporting on activities of the department of the county.

        I can only conclude that the State allows this system to prevail because it is undesirable to reveal the accurate information, and the County’s internecine administration collaborates with the Board of Supervisors’ playing dumb* (and keeping mum) about the state mandated oversight responsibility of the MHAB.

        I think Allman is a meat-and-potatoes kind of guy, works within an equally shielded agency tasked with restraining uncontrollable people in these dark ages (of modern mental health “care” providers perpetuating the myths of mystification as both pimps and promoters of contracted “services”).

        On our side of the Cow, finding the local MHAB, Behavioral Health Department, County Administration, and Board of Supervisors unable or unwilling to comply with California Welfare & Institutions Code §5604, I attempted to use the state-mandated “Issue Resolution Process” to request that the state Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission investigate the absence of statutorily-mandated processes in order to:

        “. . . Identify critical issues related to the performance of a county mental health program” [W&IC §5845(d)(7)] and, “. . . when appropriate, make a finding pursuant to §5655 that a county’s performance is failing in a substantive manner.”

        That was back in late 2017, when I launched a campaign of correspondence with the local and state authorities beginning with filing an “Issue Resolution Process” request in accordance with the Lake County Mental Health instructions:

        Ultimately reaching the highlest level available to a mere citizen (correspondence with the state’s Department of Health Care Services’ MHOAC liaison to Lake County), and filing a formal complaint with the Lake County Grand Jury, there has been utter and complete silence in response.

        Mendocino County Behavioral Health Department’s version of the Issue Resolution Process is found on your county website ( I believe that your local Mental Health Advisory Board is responsible for addressing the system “failures” that are visible on the streets of Ukiah and Ft. Bragg, but I guess that’s asking too much. And I’m guessing that’s why Carmel and her cronies are in charge and nobody knows nuttin.’

        Good on’ya, Mr. Scaramella, for grinding through the ponderously blithering “process” to reify the long-recognized Measure B Committee’s erectile disfunction disorder.

        Shaking my head in Upper Lake, as usual,

        Betsy Cawn

        *Of course, there is always the speculation that they are not pretending. Sigh.

  5. Lazarus April 5, 2019

    I fear the sheriff and others would turn ole Howard into a State hospital if they could. I suspect they’re still plotting a coup of sorts to turn the table to their side.
    Nearly 100 years old, a seismic issue in the front yard, closed because it was unsafe and too expensive to fix. In the middle of town, near 3 schools and residential neighborhoods. It’s a stupid idea…
    Tear it down, build “Condos for Christ”, hire the rev Jimmy Joey Jeeter and daddy Merl Jeeter to promote it…Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman…
    As always,

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