SHOWERS OFF AND ON THROUGH TUESDAY, decreasing Tuesday night, clearing Wednesday and into the weekend. Highs in the 60s, lows in the 40s. Occasional gusty winds. (National Weather Service, Eureka)
CONTRADICTION & COMPLICATED CHOICES AT COAST HOSPITAL
by Malcolm Macdonald
Turbulent times continue at Mendocino Coast Hospital (MCDH). During a Monday, April 1st special meeting the hospital's board of directors approved the hiring of Wayne Allen as interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Allen has served the hospital in this capacity before, including for an extended period while the hospital was in bankruptcy.
The MCDH Board actually interviewed two candidates at the mostly closed session gathering. Nancy Schmid, the current risk manager at MCDH who also served, not so long ago, as a hospital CEO in Healdsburg, interviewed first. That interview took up 45 minutes or more before Allen's visit with the board consumed a similar length of time. During the interview process the board was joined by MCDH's chief human resource officer, Dan Camp. After the interviews were concluded the board met for another half hour before rendering their decision in favor of Allen. After that announcement multiple board members commended both applicants for their input during the interview sessions.
The vote to approve the hiring of Allen was on a 4-0 count. John Redding (Finance Committee Chair) abstained, stating, "The whole process has been flawed from the start."
This comes on top of Redding's five minute speech at the conclusion of the Finance Committee meeting in the last week of March. In that session he criticized his fellow board members, saying, “Maybe affiliation [with another hospital group, such as Adventist Health] is a good thing, It looks better to me now than it did before, not because the Adventists offer better, more professional management. I don't think that's the case. I think we have a great team here [he presumably meant Chief Financial Officer Mike Ellis and other MCDH administrative managers]… but they [Adventist] would provide professional governance, which I don't think we have here.”
Redding added, “I'm sorry to have to say that so early into this, but this board does not meet my standards of professionalism.”
He concluded that finance meeting by stating, “I like my colleagues. I know that they intend well. They do intend well, they are likable people, but good intentions don't translate into good actions. So, I needed to get that off my chest because I think the biggest problem facing the hospital right now is the board that I sit on.”
Two days later at the monthly board meeting, Redding did not repeat those remarks, but there was a lengthy and somewhat testy exchange between Redding and Planning Committee chair Jessica Grinberg. The Planning chair proposed combining the two standing committees (Finance and Planning) into one special board meeting. Redding, in essence, wasn't having it. Eventually, holdover board member Steve Lund proposed a compromise that amounted to the Finance and Planning chairs talking to each other before any changes to either committee meetings occurs. The item was thus informally tabled, but the animus between Redding and the other three new members of the board (Grinberg, Amy McColley, and board president Karen Arnold) was in the air. It must be said, however, that the latter three and Lund maintain a calmer, less petulant public demeanor.
A bit later in that March 28 meeting an agenda item, “Interim CEO Agreement,” sparked criticism from Redding. That CEO agreement was a contract with Wayne Allen. It was on the agenda despite the fact that not all the board members had been able to talk to Allen. Since Mr. Redding has attended all the MCDH Board meetings during his tenure, one must assume that any other board members' conversations with Mr. Allen were done outside of official hospital meetings. Redding stated, “One of the things I did not like was having a chance to ask Mr. Allen, 'What is your plan for this hospital? What are your goals? How are you going to fix this hospital?' I did not get the chance, I don't know if anyone did?”
That agenda item and the discussion around it assumed Wayne Allen to be the only candidate for the interim CEO position. During the discussion, board members other than Redding (Arnold and Grinberg) used words like “presume” to describe Allen's ascension to the interim CEO post. Yet, lo and behold, at the public meeting on April 1, there was Ms. Schmid as a second candidate. Whatever convoluted events took place between Thursday night and Monday, one can only imagine. The public was not apprised of any of this as the Monday meeting commenced.
Best guess speculation would make you think that Ms. Schmid had interest in the position prior to that weekend. Any guesses as to how or why her interest and/or application was overlooked would be mere speculation as well, but the incident does provide back up for Mr. Redding's concerns about the process.
So we are left with Wayne Allen as interim CEO, with the Coast Hospital Board promising that a search continues for a permanent CEO. Previously, Allen served as interim CEO at Coast Hospital from 2006 – 2008 and from 2012 through much of 2014. After leaving Coast Hospital, Allen served shorter interim CEO postings at Colusa, where the hospital was on the verge of closing when he arrived. The institution did fail and area medical needs are served now by a physician-run institution and Adventist Health clinics. Allen was also interim CEO at a Coalinga hospital in similarly dire financial straits to Colusa when he first came on the scene. It closed shortly thereafter, entered bankruptcy, and may follow the Colusa pattern with a facility headed by doctors. Lesser known is Allen's CEO tenure at Nye Regional Medical Center in Tonopah, Nevada in 2015. Nye was the only medical facility in roughly a hundred mile radius, serving two different counties. This was another failing financial situation, the hospital having filed for bankruptcy two years prior.
Coast Hospital is not in bankruptcy any more and its financial picture seems a bit better than the institutions in Tonopah, Colusa, or Coalinga, but it is still out of compliance in two of the three financial categories its overseer, Cal Mortgage, measures. Our local hospital only operates on its own due to a waiver granted by Cal Mortgage. It will need another waiver to continue operating independently from July 1 through the end of 2019. At the March 28 meeting, John Redding stated that he, board president Arnold, and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Mike Ellis had recently met with Cal Mortgage officials and that those officials seemed to maintain a positive attitude toward MCDH.
One of the factors that prompted Cal Mortgage to grant MCDH a waiver to operate on their own, without Cal Mortgage stepping in to manage the facility, was the influx of new parcel tax money as a result of last year's passage of Measure C.
However, there's a relatively overlooked fly in that ointment: The largest landowners in the hospital district are corporate timber companies, such as Mendocino Redwood Company, Lyme Timber Company, and others. Those companies own many, many different parcels of land each throughout the coast hospital district. The parcel tax charges $144 per parcel. In the case of Mendocino Redwood Co. (MRC), the largest landholder in the district, that would total out to about $90,000 per year payable to MCDH. Do you think they want to pay that? Let's stick our necks out and surmise that they do not.
Measure C's language offers something of an out if parcels are contiguous to each other. The property that I am trustee of benefits from this clause in Measure C, allowing me to pay less for multiple parcels that I live on, but which touch each other. The timber companies appear to want to invoke that same clause, consolidating the properties they own that touch each other. By so doing, a company like MRC could reduce its parcel tax from approximately $90,000 per year to somewhere in the neighborhood of $10,000 annually.
Of course, there's a catch. Measure C's language only allows that exemption for contiguous parcels for properties “used solely for owner-occupied, single family residential purposes.”
The owners of these corporate timber lands do not live on their properties within the coast hospital's boundaries. This writer has been asking CFO Mike Ellis about the corporate timberland taxation issue since I learned near the first of the year (2019) that MRC was looking at ways to get out from under the $90,000 per year parcel tax charge. My first question came at a January 10 board meeting. Ellis's response then was something along the lines that the matter was in the hands of the county and legal counsel. In January, I checked with folks in the county assessor's office as well as the planning department. Their response was that any decision on corporate timber lands and the Measure C parcel tax was really in the hands of MCDH administration. A planning department official said I should check with the tax collector's office.
I did just that. As late as a few days ago, the response from the tax collector's office was pretty much, “We don't decide who pays taxes, we collect taxes.”
A relatively lengthy conversation the next day with a seasoned member of the assessor's office told a similar tale. That office fully expects MCDH to make the decision on how much the timber companies pay on the parcel tax.
At the March 28 board meeting CFO Ellis gave what could charitably be described as an abbreviated explanation about the timberland situation. Unless one was well versed in the matter, his words might have been interpreted as muddying the waters rather than clarifying the issue. He also stuck pretty close to the refrain used since January, “We're seeking legal counsel and working with the county closely.”
Apparently, the second half of that statement isn’t and hasn't been true. It is perplexing to try and understand why CFO Ellis or a board member (like long time member Steve Lund) don't come right out with the truth on this matter. That truth being: at some point rather soon this MCDH Board of Directors is going to have to decide between sticking to the wording of Measure C, under which the corporate timber land parcels could not be consolidated because the property owners (such as the Fisher family in the case of Mendocino Redwood Co.) don't reside on their timber lands, or the MCDH Board will capitulate to the possibility of being sued by entities like the Fisher family (owners of The Gap, Inc, the Oakland Athletics, and other companies). In that capitulation scenario, regular, single parcel taxpayers (and voters) are going to wonder why they are paying full price per parcel and the timber companies are getting 80% or 90% tax breaks.
Giving the large timber companies a tax break, in addition to shoving it to single parcel taxpayers, will mean lost revenue to the district, revenue that rises into six figures. At present it is unclear how well the new members of the MCDH Board understand this choice that is chugging toward them.
Only holdover board member Steve Lund seemed to grasp the issue on March 28. He said, “We have the contiguous parcel language that those of us that worked on the measure understand very clearly then this more complex concept that Mike [Ellis] just described came out and the reason we're seeking legal counsel is to be able to bring a decision, fundamentally, to the board to make regarding how these larger landowners should be handled under the context of Measure C language in order to avoid potential litigation. So, we'll see what our counsel recommends in terms of what they think is the best way forward for the board on this issue…”
In the context of this article Lund's comment makes sense, but given nothing resembling a clear explanation by Ellis or anyone else on the board Lund's words appeared to pretty much fall on deaf ears. Only board member McColley offered up brief questions on the timing, not the heart, of the matter.
Lund went on to say that he thought the decision would be made in April or May and that it would be based on “[T]he best chance of not encouraging an adversarial relationship with certain landowners if possible, and there are trade-offs, it's complicated. Like everything else we do.”
The “certain landowners” undoubtedly means the large timber companies. “Not encouraging an adversarial relationship” sounds pretty close to a capitulation to those big timber companies.
The MCDH Board is in a darned if you do, darned if you don't position on the corporate timber lands issue. If they hold to the language of Measure C and force the corporate timber companies to pay up (don't expect corporations like MRC to give in to what's best for the area's hospital when $80,000 a year is on the line), a lawsuit with one or more of those entities may ensue. That sort of lawsuit could be as expensive, or more than the money gained from collecting the parcel tax. On the other hand, if the hospital board gives in to the threat of a lawsuit from the timber companies and allows those companies to consolidate their parcels, the board would then appear to be acting in violation of Measure C's own language. That violation could be seen as so severe that it invalidates the parcel tax measure. The mess, financial and otherwise, that would put the hospital in is almost unimaginable. Almost.
PHILO SEX CULT?
Rip-off Sex Cult at Shenoa?
Is This "Orgasmic Meditation" Business Really Just A Prostitution Sex Cult In Disguise?
Founded in San Francisco (of course), the company is trying to make a business out of selling better orgasms to potential marks/customers, focusing mostly on emotionally walled-off women, while allowing nerdy men to finger women (in exchange for a price). And they're not just selling videos or brochures — they're selling interactive classes, where participants are encouraged to learn by doing. But the company's former members, including 16 of them profiled by Bloomberg, highlight the dark side of what some are calling a cult: expensive classes, preying on emotionally vulnerable people and being shunned by group members after leaving.
THE SEARCH CONTINUES for Troy Wigington of Eureka, California. Troy was 43 years when he was reported missing on December 14, 2018. Wigington is described as a white male, 6’3”, 230 lbs., brown hair with goatee, and green eyes. He was last seen wearing a green jacket, blue jeans, and black shoes. Troy is a father, husband, brother and dear friend to many in the Eureka community. He was employed as a surgical technician at St. Joseph Hospital for the last three years. Troy was a loving father and highly respected by his coworkers and friends.
Due to discrepancies in Troy’s whereabouts and time of disappearance the family suspects foul play. The family, as you can imagine is devastated.
The immediate family does not live in the Eureka area and is asking for your assistance in providing any information that may lead to finding Troy.
A recent search was conducted in the Eureka area and findings are being turned over to the local authorities for further examination.
Family and friends are currently raising funds for a Reward. The official announcement will be released soon. Anyone with information on Troy’s whereabouts is asked to call either Detective Bise at 707 441-4109, Case #18-008435 or to the Anonymous Tip Line at Nor-Cal Alliance 530-378-4491.
UKIAH SHELTER PETS OF THE WEEK
Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly, and Harrison gotta have fun! Harrison is a high-flying, jolly dog! He's a sweetheart with a wonderful personality, and sees everything through rose-colored doggie glasses. Harrison was adopted back in 2018, but he's back at the shelter looking for an ACTIVE family where he can join in all the fun! Harrison is a 1 year old, neutered, male, mixed breed dog. He weighs a svelte 42 pounds, and he is READY to trot out the shelter door with you TODAY.
As we approach kitten season. it's important to remember our senior cats-- like Thelma. Thelma is an 8 year old, spayed, female, black and white short hair cat. Thelma is a quiet and easy-going gal. She's happy hanging out with people getting pets or being on her own and doing her own thing. There are lots of benefits when adopting an older cat-- i.e. less training requirements and more cat naps! The Ukiah Animal Shelter is located at 298 Plant Road in Ukiah; adoption hours are Tuesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday from 10 am to 4:30 pm and Wednesday from 10 am to 6:30 pm.
To see photos and bios of the shelter's adoptable animals, and the shelter's programs, services and events, please visit us online at http://www.mendoanimalshelter.com/
For more information about adoptions please call 707-467-6453.
READER RESPONSE to "news" that Visit Mendocino has a new office in Ukiah:
Seriously? "Find Your Happy" sounds more like a slogan for a lobotomy clinic in a dystopian sci-fi. … or a strip club. We need to promote tourism in the county since thousands of growers with absolutely no employable skills won't be throwing their money carelessly around anymore. People aren't going to drive so many hours for a dilapidated train that crawls a few miles into the woods and crawls back, an old railway that homeless people live on, and wine that takes an extra hour and half to get to. Fishing, hunting, winter kayaking, and biking - I can see that. But the real beauty of Mendocino is in all the private land. We should be promoting private getaways and rural resorts (for rich recovering junkies and silicon valley nerds searching for their inner raccoon).
CHIEF JOSEPH, with Alice Fletcher, 1890.
VAPERS VAPING VAPED
To the Editor:
Driving down Low Gap recently I observed 4 or 5 high school age boys sitting around a picnic table shooting the breeze. Minding their own business and bothering no one, they were just making memories like we all did. Difference was that over them hung a huge cloud of smoke (vapor) from an e-cigarette being passed around.
This is the latest nicotine delivery system being touted as a healthy alternative to smoking and quickly hooking our kids to life-long addiction. Curtis Driscoll’s excellent March 22 article that showcased students cleaning up after smokers on “Kick Butts Day”, quoted the Surgeon General’s report that e-cigarettes are now the most commonly used tobacco product used by kids. It’s called Vaping.
While only sold legally to those over 21 the most popular vaping flavors include Gummi Bear, Banana Nut Bread, Cotton Candy, Pink Spot, Black Mamba and Frozen Lime Drop. There’s even a flavor called Unicorn Puke. You can’t make this stuff up. Any doubt that the target is kids?
Smoking rates are declining as vaping sales soar. To that end, in Dec. 2018, tobacco giant Altria (Phillip Morris, Marlboro, Skoal and others) bought a 35 percent share of San Francisco based Juul, the nation’s largest e-cigarette maker, for 12.8 Billion. Big tobacco wants this market.
The Tobacco Control staff of our County Health Department is preparing a uniform Retail Tobacco License policy that will better prevent tobacco sales to minors and ban the sale of flavored vaping oils in Mendocino county. When presented to city and county elected leaders please voice your support of this life-saving effort.
Volunteer American Cancer Society,
Mendocino County Tobacco Prevention Coalition
THE CASPAR INN - OH, THE MEMORIES
Amidst Financial Trouble, The Owner Of The Historic Caspar Inn Tries To Save The Coast’s Last Roadhouse.
THE CHAOS COMMITTEE
by Rex Gressett
Fort Bragg’s CVRA (California Voting Rights Act) ad hoc committee met in the ground floor conference room in Fort Bragg City Hall last Wednesday afternoon to discuss Fort Bragg's edge-of-the-abyss settlement with attorney Jacob Patterson.
If you came in late, Patterson's legally supported suit claimed that Fort Bragg's Hispanic voters were undemocratically denied proportional voting rights. The law was on Patterson's side, the City settled with him to save even more money trying to defend itself.
The meeting was a Marx Brothers movie. If someone had thrown a pie it would have been perfect. Out of control discussion ping-ponged around the conference table and random off the street observers crowded into the conference room to make their various cases for their various perspectives.
Tess Albin Smith, newbie councilperson and the CVRA committee chair appointed by Mayor Lee in a questionable intervention in committee independence and ratified in her “supervisory” capacity by an illegal/Brown Act violation email vote with no discussion, showed no capacity to bring the meandering, intermittently hostile, consistently irrational, discussion under any kind of control.
Apparently, she had no interest in doing so.
Roberts Rules of Order was discarded in favor of food fight protocols. So far it's full speed ahead for ranked choice voting, no discussion needed, wanted or permitted.
If the people of the City of Fort Bragg could see these meetings, it would be at least an embarrassment.
The CVRA Committee meeting is supposed to be examining an existential threat to the City's electoral process. Almost everyone agrees that CVRA will radically degrade the electoral process. The committee should be a discussion of the most precious rights of local democracy and self-representation. Instead of a serious discussion, the CVRA committee has been hijacked. The only subject permitted for discussion at the committee is ranked choice voting.
Never heard of it? You will.
It’s a Rube Goldberg system for scrambling the intention of the electorate, destroying competitive ideologically driven elections and sliding the unelectable into office.
Mr. Scott Menzies feels strongly that the new voting system would ensure his election. He is laying the groundwork for his elected future by changing the system. Fair is fair.
Tess Ablin Smith has signed on to the Menzies plan and is aggressively railroading the committee into capitulation. Who pulls these pirates' strings? Why is Tess Albin Smith bending every rule, pulling every trick and backing to the hilt a voting plan calculated to provide an electoral advantage to a member of the CVRA committee?
One answer it might be because it’s the easiest thing to do.
The City does not have either the courage or the money to do anything else.
If the City of Fort Bragg declines to cave in to the CVRA, they will have to fight the state in court. Over 100 California cities have defended their constitutional right to free and open elections. Every city has lost.
Fighting will cost millions.
Fort Bragg has recently halved their legal reserve fund in an all-out effort to keep the city out of a spiral of deficit financing. We now have $70 thousand in the reserve for any legal battle. Any random lawyer can sue Fort Bragg at any moment and bankrupt the city. No exaggeration. Menzies ranked choice voting plan will not protect us from the CVRA, but it might be adopted anyway.
Ranked choice voting destroys free elections through the back door and makes it look like our trusted representatives are doing something. Anything.
Tess Albin-Smith formally asked the City Council to write a letter of support to the California Legislature to allow ranked-choice voting as an option. She made her request at the last City Council meeting. The following Wednesday the committee voted to have her do it.
Scott Menzies is openly advocating for his own political interest. He is counting on the behind the scenes confusion and the 'all in' commitment of Tess Albin Smith to pull it off for him.
Our newest councilperson is out of ideas and willing to back the Menzies proposal as a cheap and easy default. She is distorting the committee purpose, stifling debate limiting discussion and bulldozing the legal rules.
That’s the story so far.
I have filed a request to the city to make the CVRA committee meetings appear on the city web site and channel 3.
This is a circus you have to see to believe."
CATCH OF THE DAY, April 6, 2019
TYLER BILLY, Hopland. DUI-alcohol&drugs, suspended license, no license, probation revocation.
ROBERT BROCKWAY III, Albion. Felon-addict with firearm, conealed weapon in vehicle with prior conviction, short barreled rifle, county parole violation.
JESSE GERMAINE, Albion. Domestic abuse, witness intimidation, probation revocation.
PABLO GONZALEZ, Ukiah. DUI-alcohol&drugs.
JESSE GORDON, Sacramento/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
CAMERON HAMMOND, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
STEPHANIE LYLE, Ukiah. Protective order violation, probation revocation.
JESSICA OSBORN, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
ROBERT PAUL, Eureka/Ukiah. Vehicle theft, controlled substance, leaded cane or similar, parole violation, evasion, paraphernalia.
WECO POPKES, Fort Bragg. Domestic abuse.
ROMAN RAY, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
JENNA TARANGO, Orland/Ukiah. Probation revocation.
MARK WOLK, Ukiah. Stolen property, getting credit with another’s ID, probation revocation.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
The “Creepy Joe Biden” is emblematic of where we stand as a nation among nations. One watches the videos of the little girls squirming and shrinking from Biden’s gropes; this happening under the very eyes of parents, politicians themselves who say nothing. One sees it replicated on a daily basis; all are squirming and shrinking from America’s overreach. Touching and fondling a person that hasn’t invited it, especially a child, was, and is never ok. Biden did it openly, because he could. He flaunted his power — check the image of him nuzzling the girlfriend as 2 Hell’s Angels look on and fume impotently. We are in Louis Quatorze’s court at Versailles where the elites all vie for crumbs; the Maxine’s, the Lindsey Graham’s, the Muellers play off each other unaware and uninterested in the repercussions of their actions to the country. As for the king, he is similarly occupied in the court’s dynamics and is manipulated at will. We await our Louis 16th and his Antoinette who will bring an end to this sorry charade of power.
Research Skills 101 For Teens
Every Second and Fourth Tuesday of the month from 3:30-4:30pm
The Mendocino County Library, Ukiah Branch is hosting Research Skills 101 workshops, a new program, which empowers young adults to investigate reliable sources and detect false information. In the age of accessibility, one must be equipped on how to process legitimate facts, versus well stated opinions. Our interactive lessons will include how to spot bias, forming a research question, what is a database, advance Google search, and so much more. These skills will save them time and hardship with any major assignment. We invite children ages 12+ to come in. Chromebooks and snacks will be provided.
For more information, please contact the Mendocino County Cultural Services Agency at 707-463-4490.
More events: www.mendolibrary.org
HOMELESS 8-YEAR-OLD NEW YORK CHESS CHAMPION
“…a prime example of a fast-growing sub-genre of unintentionally horrifying stories that are meant to uplift…”
MENTAL HEALTH DIALOG
James Marmon: 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.”
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 SpecialistSacramento, Placer, and Lake County.
Mark Scaramella: This, of course, assumes that Jan McGourty and her colleagues have anything more than a financial or academic interest in mitigating anything. I see 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.
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
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 (mendocinocounty.org/home/showdocument?id=27593 http://mendocinocounty.org/home/showdocument?id=27593). 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,
PS. Of course, there is always the speculation that they are not pretending. Sigh.
THIS TINY HOUSE was 3D-printed and built in less than 48 hours
NATURE'S DREAM HOUSE CONCERT April 28th 3 PM in Redwood Valley
Nature’s Dream House Concert
3 pm, Sun. April 28, 2019
Jini Reynolds’ House, 3551 Road B, R.V.
With Paul McCandless, George Husaruk, Yanahay Hooper, Bill Taylor, and Jaye Alison Moscariello
Music inspired by the natural world and love. Most by Bill Taylor, some by Paul McCandless and Priscilla Rowe, with plenty of great solos.
$20 tickets at Mendocino Book Company or from the performers.
Only 30 will be sold! Refreshments served. CD’s for sale & signed.
www.touchtheearthmusic.com, 707-272-1688, 485-0823
IT’S GREAT that we've got a compassionate conservative, but to me, that sounds like a Volvo with a gun rack.”
— Robin Williams
HAMILTON & HISTORY
by Ishmael Reed
I didn’t intend to inspire a minor news cycle in early January, when I staged a reading of my script “The Haunting of Lin Manual Miranda” in New York, and became the de facto voice of dissent for Miranda’s ultra-popular musical “Hamilton.”
My real purpose for the trip was to attend the screening of “Personal Problems,” a film that Steve Cannon, Walter Cotton and I produced in 1980. Then came the government shutdown, and the postponement of the showing. To make use of my time, I decided to round up some of the actors who had appeared in my 2017 play, “Life Among the Aryans,” to read from the “Miranda” script, which is built around the historical fact that Alexander Hamilton was not an abolitionist. He had slaves. He was not an innocent man against the great sin of slavery. Of course, the title and content drew some attention from the New York critical community.
There were reviews of the reading, many critical of my criticism, in the New York Times, the New Yorker, the New York Observer, Billboard, Current Affairs and the Paris Review. The reading inspired an intelligent debate, led by Joy Behar, on “The View,” while I was mocked on NPR’s nerdy “Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me.”
Part of the negative response was derived from the surprise that I had not seen “Hamilton.”
I hadn’t, but I read Miranda’s book and even quoted from it in my script — the part in the show where Hamilton argues against treating blacks as property. Wrong. Hamilton considered blacks as private property and also accused the British of “stealing negroes from their owners.”
“Hamilton” fans didn’t want to hear it and left their venom in the comments section under stories by the New York Times and Broadway World. One of them wrote that I was better off here, in the U.S., than in Africa. I had a great time in Africa. Not once was I spied upon while shopping in a store.
But, to satisfy my critics, I recently attended a performance of “Hamilton: The Revolution” at the Orpheum in San Francisco. It is a bad jingoistic history salvaged by the brilliant performance of a multicultural cast — there was more diversity on stage than in the audience.
Sometimes, what was happening onstage was overwhelmed by a noisy bass line, and so I had more of an access to the lyrics by reading them than listening to them. I thought that the dancing was smart, though I recognized some moves from “A Chorus Line.” This might be because choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler admires the work of Michael Bennett. Though the musical is billed as a hip-hop show, the hip-hop moves were kept at a minimum.
For eye candy, “Hamilton” is the tops. The set and costumes were dazzling and seemed historically accurate. Broadway knows how to put on a show. Miranda’s songwriting abilities are hyped, however. He’s no Cole Porter or Billy Strayhorn. OK, date me.
I winced for two hours as slave traffickers and owners like Hamilton, George Washington and members of Gen. Schuyler’s family were portrayed as abolitionists. They weren’t. They were cruel to their slaves. Archaeologists found the remains of their slaves and concluded that they were subjected to “back-breaking” work and suffered from malnutrition.
Elizabeth, Hamilton’s wife, helped her mother manage the slaves. Runaways like a black woman named Diana, who appears in my play, were punished, possibly murdered.
And where were these Schuyler women, party girls, when their father sold a whole family for $200? And what was their, and Elizabeth’s fiance Hamilton’s, position when Gen. Schuyler and his friends decided that any slave found a mile from his Albany plantation be shot?
Though thousands of poor, white women battled the idea of slavery, wealthy white women like the Schuylers were complicit and, according to historian Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers, even bought slaves for themselves.
But critics who haven’t seen my play and argue that I am critical of Miranda are wrong. I see Miranda as a victim of state historians. I call them historians of white history, like Jon Meacham who told a “Morning Joe” audience that slavery in America lasted 90 years and then corrected himself. To 100 years. A reminder: 2019 is the 400th anniversary of slaves arriving in Virginia. Meacham also has some kind words to say about Andrew Jackson, the Eichmann of Native American policy.
I can understand where Miranda found himself intellectually. Jesse James, the famed outlaw of 1800s America who was glorified in dozens of films, was one of my childhood heroes. Later I learned that he was a member of a Confederate guerrilla gang, Quantrill’s Raiders. His brother Frank was one of those who entered Lawrence, Kansas, and murdered 200 men. Their crime? Echoing Hamilton’s complaint against the British: stealing blacks.
Though “Hamilton” has received a rapturous reception in the United States, Miranda was picketed by students in Puerto Rico. One student accused him of glorifying an oppressor and suggested that he do a musical about Harriet Tubman.
A full production of my play, “The Haunting of Lin-Manuel Miranda,” beginning May 23 at the Nuyorican Poets Café in New York, and directed by the award-winning Rome Neal, will not only present voices that are missing from “Hamilton: The Revolution” — Native Americans, slaves and white indentured servants — but also expose an upheaval that is happening in the American Historical Establishment as women, blacks, Native American and Latinx have their say.
(Ishmael Reed: ‘Hamilton’ is a bad jingoistic history, but nce eye candy, SF Chronicle)
AND PERCHANCE TO DREAM
My history with the AVA and its esteemed and passionate editor goes back for thirty years. It is complicated, but Mr. Anderson has published almost all of my essays since I began writing about teaching thirty years ago. A dozen larger essays were reprinted as Learning Curve ( still available on Amazon. Hint, hint. For this I am grateful.
At my urging, yesterday evening a friend from Texas submitted an essay called 'Closing of Tornillo'; the essay she wrote is moving. It is direct. It requires less editing than mine could usually use. It is well written. And it is totally in line with Mr. Anderson's politics. And it wasn't published. Maybe tomorrow. What would help here would be some guidelines. Some submission schedule. We all want the AVA to remain the best shit-kicking rag in America, and probably the world. So some compact guidelines for submissions would also help. A lot.
I am grateful for the daily exposure. The feedback has been steady and it has been enormous. And it has been from all over the world. An agent recently offered to handle my work. I didn't respond. I already have a publisher. We are all trying to improve even further, to deserve this voice. To widen the audience. And, Mr. Anderson, thank you. I am not complaining. But we all want to improve. Please help. Eh?
A CATEGORY OF EMERGENCY known as an Intentional Mass Casualty Event is now considered a public-health crisis. In recent years, deadly attacks have occurred at schools, offices, concerts, sporting events, shopping malls, and houses of worship. They have involved guns, knives, trucks, and improvised explosive devices. In March, a gunman killed fifty people at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Much attention has been given to the rising frequency of mass shootings in the United States, but equally alarming is their worsening severity. In the attack at Columbine High School, which occurred in 1999, thirteen people were killed and twenty-four were injured. In the 2017 massacre at a music festival in Las Vegas, fifty-eight people were killed and eight hundred and fifty-one were injured. The arsenal of the Las Vegas perpetrator included the AR-15 assault rifle, a weapon that has been used in many rampages. (In fact, he had fourteen of them with him.) Bullets shot from an AR-15 travel at an extremely high velocity; the force of the ammunition can shatter the bones in a human arm merely by grazing it. Last year, Richard Carmona, a former U.S. Surgeon General, said, “More and more, the injuries we’re seeing in the civilian world look like combat casualties.” After the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Florida—seventeen killed, seventeen injured—a trauma surgeon opened up a victim to find at least one organ in “shreds,” with “nothing left to repair.”
For victims whose injuries are serious but survivable, rapid treatment is essential. A person can bleed to death in as little as five to eight minutes. Traditionally, during an active-shooter event, paramedics held back until law enforcement secured the area, then rushed in to treat the wounded and evacuate them to hospitals. That approach changed after Columbine. During that event, rescuers, unable to determine if the killers were dead or hiding, didn’t reach some victims for hours. In a second-floor science lab, teachers and students were stranded with a coach, Dave Sanders, who had been shot once in the neck and once in the back. Two Eagle Scouts applied pressure to his wounds, and someone else put a sign in a window—“1 bleeding to death.” Sanders died at the scene; it’s unclear whether he would have survived with quicker or different treatment.
The Las Vegas shooter positioned himself in a sniper’s nest—a hotel window overlooking the festival—and sprayed the crowd with bullets. In this case, it was impossible to stage an orderly transition from a security phase to a medical phase: victims arrived at hospitals in Ubers and pickup trucks, or in the arms of loved ones and strangers.
As public shootings became commonplace, doctors started paying more attention to them. One such doctor was Lenworth Jacobs, the head trauma surgeon at Hartford Hospital, in Connecticut. He’d grown up in Jamaica, where his father was a doctor; when Jacobs was about seven, he and his dad came across an injured bicyclist by the side of the road, and the sight of his father urgently helping a stranger left a lasting impression. Jacobs told me that trauma surgery appealed to him because each case contains a “beginning, middle, and end.” A patient presents with a problem— “a gunshot wound, a stabbing” —which is then resolved, one way or another. When Jacobs wasn’t operating, he devised protocols that would help increase survival rates in the Emergency Department. At Hartford, he founded Life Star, the first helicopter-ambulance service in Connecticut.
On December 14, 2012, a deranged young man with a semi-automatic rifle and two handguns entered Sandy Hook Elementary School, in Newtown, Connecticut, an hour away from Hartford Hospital. The hospital is a Level 1 trauma center, a designation that signifies the highest level of care. As news of the shooter reached Jacobs, he prepared to send medevac choppers to Newtown, but was soon advised to stand down. “You hear ‘Everybody’s dead’—and that makes no sense,” he told me. “Then you hear ‘It’s children’—and that makes no sense.”
Twenty first graders had been killed, along with six administrators and teachers. Jacobs wondered whether the shocking number of casualties was related to the local emergency response, or to the nature of the gunshot injuries, or both. He reviewed the autopsy reports, and, although he had successfully operated on patients with unimaginable physical trauma, he was nevertheless unprepared for what he saw. Many of the children had been shot multiple times, at close range. The reports, he said, were “overwhelming.”
The victims at Sandy Hook likely died instantly, but Jacobs, unable to “go back to business as usual,” kept thinking about what could be done to reduce casualties in the future. There was not even a second to waste in such incidents: the wounded had to be treated immediately, at the scene.
Jacobs was a regent of the American College of Surgeons, an organization with some 80,000 members worldwide. At an A.C.S. meeting soon after Sandy Hook, he urged his colleagues to focus on mitigating losses in Intentional Mass Casualty Events. “Obviously, prevention is the way to go,” he said. “But, once something has happened, how can we increase survival?”
— Paige Williams (The New Yorker)
LOOK MA, A STUMP SPEECH!
MEMO OF THE AIR: "Do not let a girl who decorates her buttocks deceive you by wily coaxing, for she is after your granary." -Hesiod
The recording of last night's (2019-04-05) KNYO Fort Bragg and KMEC Ukiah busy-ish Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show is available by one or two clicks, depending on whether you want to listen to it now or download it and keep it for later and, speaking of which, it's right here:
Besides that, also at http://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com you can find a fresh batch of dozens of links to not necessarily radio-useful but nonetheless worthwhile educational items I set aside for you while gathering the show together.
Physics of scale, Fermi's paradox, paleo diet.
End-of-life regretful Gojira.
And flying. The second video is better, to me. Darker, faster, more joyously vertiginous and dreamlike. And he flies the drone through and then down inside a desert waterfall. Downward and upward spirals. Slaloming low among dry washes. Threading the needle of a rock arch. I know some of it is digitally sped up, but even so, what amazing piloting skills and what an amazing machine.
Marco McClean, firstname.lastname@example.org,
COMMITTEE CHAIRS RAUL GRIJALVA AND JARED HUFFMAN REQUEST DOCUMENTS ON BERNHARDT'S TIES WITH WESTLANDS
by Dan Bacher
A day after the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted 14-6 to move the nomination of Acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt to a floor vote, Natural Resources Committee Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Water, Oceans, & Wildlife Subcommittee Chair Rep. Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) today launched a new inquiry seeking documents associated with Bernhardt and California’s powerful Westlands Water District, a former client of Bernhardt’s.
"Serious questions have been raised in filings with the Inspector General and the Office of Government Ethics regarding the conflicts between his work as a lobbyist and lawyer for the irrigation district and now as a top official in the Trump administration," according to a press release from Grijalva and Huffman.
The inquiry comes in the wake of new details released by the New York Times yesterday revealing that Bernhardt had continued to associate with the water district at least until his deputy secretary nomination on April 28, 2017. Within four months of his confirmation as Interior Deputy Secretary, Bernhardt pushed for a decision that would be beneficial for his former client.
“A 2017 invoice indicates that David Bernhardt, President Trump’s choice to lead the Interior Department, continued to lobby for a major client several months after he filed official papers saying that he had ended his lobbying activities,” said Times reporter Coral Davenport.
“The bill for Mr. Bernhardt’s services, dated March 2017 and labeled ‘Federal Lobbying,’ shows, along with other documents, Mr. Bernhardt working closely with the Westlands Water District as late as April 2017, the month Mr. Trump nominated him to his current job, deputy interior secretary. In November 2016, Mr. Bernhardt had filed legal notice with the federal government formally ending his status as lobbyist,” Davenport wrote.
In the letter sent today to the Westlands Water District, Reps. Huffman and Grijalva wrote:
“Serious questions have been raised regarding the potential conflicts between his [Bernhardt’s] work as a top official at the Department of the Interior (DOI) and his previous work as a lobbyist and lawyer with Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck representing the Westlands Water District. These potential conflicts have been described in national news reports and in numerous complaints filed with the Inspector General and Office of Government Ethics. It is essential that the Congress and the American people have a full and complete record of the relationship between Mr. Bernhardt and Westlands so these questions can be answered, and potential conflicts of interest can be addressed.”
The letter requests all documents associated with David Bernhardt and his work relating to his former water district client, "including his work to weaken Endangered Species Act protections and to pursue funding for the raising of Shasta Dam over the objections of the State of California."
You can see the full text of the letter here.
Fishermen, Tribes, conservationists and environmental justice advocates are strongly opposing Bernhardt's nomination.
"The vote by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to move the nomination of Bernhardt to a floor vote is a real disappointment," said Noah Oppenheim, Executive Director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations (PCFFA). "Bernhardt is one of the most compromised appointees yet of the entire Trump administration and fishermen are going to pay for his advancement."
In response to my email to the Westlands Water District asking for their comments on the letter sent by Representatives Grijalva and Huffman seeking documents associated with David Bernhardt and the Westlands Water District, I received the following response.
"Thank you for reaching out to me. The District has not received the letter and until it is received, the District cannot comment," wrote Diana C. Giraldo, Public Affairs Representative, Westlands Water District.
In related news, Rep. Huffman (D-San Rafael) yesterday introduced legislation in the House to strengthen conflict-of-interest standards for political appointees in the executive branch, closing loopholes and elevating into federal law ethics standards that are currently up to the President to determine and enforce.
Huffman said the bill builds on H.R. 1, "House Democrats’ sweeping democracy reform legislation to end the culture of corruption in Washington" that passed the House in March, and "responds to the news that Acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt continued to work as a lobbyist for the Westlands Water District for several months after he claimed to have stopped lobbying."
“Acting Secretary of Interior David Bernhardt, President Trump’s nominee to be the most powerful regulator overseeing federal lands and waters, is a poster child for the corruption of the Trump administration,” said Rep. Huffman. “Congress must hold the executive branch accountable, and the law should not allow a walking conflict of interest like David Bernhardt to participate in the same agency decisions that he was recently paid to influence as a lobbyist. The Executive Appointee Ethics Improvement Act will shine a light on the troubling conflicts in the administration, stop the revolving door, and help ensure political appointees can’t use their public role for their own private financial gain.”
The latest revelations about Bernhardt’s enormous conflicts of interest take place at a critical time for Central Valley salmon, Delta smelt and other San Francisco Bay Delta fish populations. For the first time ever, a fish survey that the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) conducts every autumn turned up zero Delta smelt throughout the monitoring sites in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta in September, October, November and December 2018.
The smelt, a 2 to 3 inch fish listed under both federal and state Endangered Species Acts that was once the most abundant fish in the Delta, is found only in the Delta estuary. It is regarded as an indicator species, a fish that demonstrates the health of the entire Delta ecosystem. For more information, go to: www.dailykos.com/…
To take action to oppose Bernhardt’s nomination, go here: actionnetwork.org/