Press "Enter" to skip to content

MCT: Tuesday, April 9, 2019

* * *

SHOWERS WILL COME TO AN END this morning, as northwest winds bring a drier and cooler airmass into the region. Next weak system will approach the area Thursday spreading light rain back across the area with additional chances of precipitation this weekend. (National Weather Service)

MARCH was another wet month with 7.3" coming down in Boonville and 10.1" in Yorkville. Since October 2018, Boonville has received almost four feet of rain, while Yorkville has surpassed five feet.

THIS IS A SPRING FOR THE RECORD BOOKS – and it has turned Mendocino County into a truly verdant wonderland! Green inland valleys in bloom, cascading waterfalls, and huge waves along the coast. Everything is stunning!

(Visit Mendocino County)

* * *


by Anne Fashauer

It never occurred to me as I sat in the little “gas station” office of North Country Real Estate from the fall of 2010 until the fall of 2016, as I watched Tim Mullins purchase and renovate the Live Oak Building starting in 2013, as the building was rented and businesses started to open, that one day I would own that building and the property it sits upon. On Friday afternoon, April 5th, 2019, that is what happened.

I watched a lot of the renovation, from the outside at least, from my perch there in the old gas station office. It was amazing and wonderful. Mr. Mullins and his contractor, Kirt Morse, did a truly beautiful job. I walked the property while in escrow with Mr. Morse and it was interesting to find out that the only items in the main building that is still original are the beams. In fact, I have no memory of being in the building or on the property in the past other than when “Sewing Suzanne” was living in the house and I needed some hemming done by her.

I didn’t think too much about the property when it first came on the market. I had been thinking that it would be nice for my husband to have somewhere closer than Windsor to store his wine, but that was about it. Then at some point I looked at the property again, from an investment standpoint, and I realized that the numbers could work. Unfortunately for me by that time the property was in escrow with another party.

At the very end of 2018 the property fell out of escrow and, after consulting some trusted advisors and friends, I decided to make an offer. It was literally two days before the end of the year. We went back and forth a bit but I was able to get an offer accepted and we opened escrow. I had hoped it would be done in a couple of months; my lender had other ideas. I must thank Mr. Mullins and Ms. Mullins for their patience throughout.

The more I visited the property, the more I loved it. I could see quite a bit of potential - and a lot of work. The main building and the home had been renovated, but the remainder of the property was still in disrepair. I want to move my office there eventually, but there needs to be a bit of clean up and refurbishment before that can happen. I’m going to start small, with a little building that can be quickly brought up to par, then work on the larger building. The rear of the property is beautiful but a bit overgrown and in need of some landscape organization. I have tenants for the spaces lined up and that helps a lot.

I’ll keep you posted as progress is made and when North Country Real Estate moves from the iconic caboose to the Live Oak property. Some time later this year we’ll have an official open house. In the meantime, Bee Hunter Wines is in there and is happy to have you in to try their wines.

* * *

A $50,000 KITCHEN? Re-reading my notes from the March 27 Measure B Advisory Committee meeting, I couldn’t help but focus on the metaphor that CEO Carmel Angelo used to try explain how complicated the process is for building whatever mental health service facilities Measure B may (or may not) ever fund. CEO Angelo blithely remarked, “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.” Ms. Angelo said this as if everybody has a $50,000 kitchen and therefore everybody would appreciate how she’s moving forward (so far) with just one project manager when in fact there should be an entire team of managers and consultants and planners and designers and architects, just like she presumably had with her $50,000 kitchen.

THIS MENTALITY infects Mendo’s entire political and official culture: The assumption that bureaucracy, at any cost and however long it takes, is Mendo’s top priority and whatever that bureaucracy takes and whatever it ends up recommending is what Mendo will try to do, no matter how expensive. If Sheriff Allman and the rest of the well-meaning people who supported Measure B had had any idea that this was the way their dream would be pursued, we’d probably not have supported it.

(Mark Scaramella)

* * *

SCIENCE FAIR! We recently got a huge press release about all the “young scientists” who participated in Mendo’s annual Science Fair. The list was unbelievably long, creating just a teensy bit of suspicion about what kinds of science projects made the cut. According to Mendo’s County Office of Education’s oh-so detailed handbook, the participants are supposed to apply the “scientific method” to their projects. (It also promises sample subjects for projects, but provides none.)

SOME of the science projects were worthy and certainly qualify as science projects: “Lipids and Latex-How Common Lipids Affect the Elasticity of Medical Grade Latex.” Another was, “What are Some Methods for making Buildings Safer in an Earthquake.” And, “Impact Of Mixing Engine Oil.” And, “The Effects of Wildfire Ash on Soil Nutrient Levels.” Not bad at all.

BUT there were also, “Fizz Fun,” “Developing Virtue,” “To Eat or Not to Eat,” “Tweaking Texts to Help Dyslexics,” and our favorite this year, “Dancing Fish,” in which a local fourth grader, “got fish to dance while testing which genre of music excited the fish the most.” The kid was awarded “third place in his category.” (We wonder what kind of project was fourth?)

IS ANYONE REVIEWING THESE PROPOSED PROJECTS? Can’t someone ask these kids to pick science projects that are at least marginally “scientific.”

A FEW YEARS AGO when we judged a local science fair, a couple of sixth grade soccer players set up an “experiment” where they threw a soccer ball at a wall at different angles. At first we thought, Oh, ok. Geometry. Angles. Friction on different surfaces…” But then one of the Mexican kids said, “So we threw the ball at different angles and Jose here kept track of how many people watched when we threw it straight against the wall versus how many people watched when we threw it at an angle.” The team of young scientists concluded that it didn’t make any difference. They had a large cardboard display with titles and photos and counts of observers and I was supposed to grade the project on how well they presented it, not on whether it had any basic merit.

ANOTHER TEAM of young scientists wanted to determine if ice in an ice tray in the fridge froze faster if was colder when first put in the freezer. They did a grand total of two “experiments” — one with warm water from the tap and one with cold water from the tap. Apparently, they opened the freezer up periodically to see if the water had frozen and concluded that they couldn't tell which froze faster. Nobody asked about thermometers. Nobody knew what temperature they were starting with or how different they were. Nobody asked whether opening the door time and again had any effect. They got a Bronze Ribbon.

(Mark Scaramella)

* * *


Bookmobile in Navarro (via MendocinoSportsPlus)

* * *


IN NEWS from west of us, a new route over the Garcia River where it floods every winter is being contemplated by the multiple agencies who contemplate even the slightest re-route of roads and highways. And the Independent Coast Observer, the South Coast’s premier weekly newspaper out of Gualala, is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a new bright blue masthead.

BOBBY'S MAD DASH. Friday afternoon (April 5), Boonville’s rustic peace was interrupted by a noisy high speed car chase barreling through Boonville a little before 3pm. It all began when a sharp-eyed deputy near Big Box Row in Ukiah spotted a Dodge Dakota with a license plate affixed to it that belonged to a recreational vehicle, not a pick-up truck. The stolen vehicle's sole occupant was later identified as Robert Joseph Paul, 32, of Eureka.

The deputy attempted to stop the fleeing Paul, who roared off down 101 at speeds approaching 100 mph, veering from 101 at the Boonville turnoff and flooring it up and over 253, on the way crossing double yellow lines, swerving into the oncoming lane, passing cars on roulette curves that fortunately contained no eastbound vehicles. Paul careened through Boonville at an estimated 80 miles an hour, stomping the accelerator towards Philo at 95 miles per hour then west on the Philo-Greenwood Road where, just after Signal Ridge Road, Paul inexplicably pulled over and surrendered without further incident. No surprise that a felony amount of methamphetamine was found in Paul’s stolen truck. As a parolee, Paul was booked into the County Jail on numerous charges where he awaits the southbound prison bus for San Quentin.

PHILO’S ORGASM CENTER — yes, you read that right — understandably gets a lot of attention in the great world outside. Sex sells, as we’re constantly reminded, and the group that bought the old Shenoa property on the Navarro not far from Lemons Market, is certainly getting its share of publicity, most recently from an on-line business news site called ZeroHedge. ZeroHedge speculates that the Philo “orgasmic meditation” business is merely a front for high end prostitution. “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.

PG&E'S NEW BOSS will make $6 million a year, an announcement we got this week along with the news of the latest additions to the — cough-cough — public utility's Yes board of directors, all of them plucked from other corporate board rooms and the higher rungs of academe. We also learned that PG&E paid out a couple of billion in shareholder dividends just before last summer's fires, as always putting private interests ahead of tree-trimming and other safety measures.

* * *

WINDOWS ON THE WORLD is a new film written by a pair of Anderson Valley High School grads, Robert and Zack Anderson. It is just now making the film festival rounds. Robert Anderson writes: “Everyone say Boonville! Method Fest Film Festival went well in Beverly Hills. We won three awards; ‘best screenplay’ (myself and Zack), ‘best supporting actor’ (Edward James Olmos), ‘best director’ Michael Olmos. There was also a presentation of a special award for ‘Generational Cinematic Excellence’ given to Edward and Michael by Mexico’s legendary actor, Eugenio Derbez. Julia Brock, Anderson Valley High School grad came with two of her film student friends. Other cast present included Ryan Guzman, Chealsea Gilligan, Glynn Turman, Richard Cabral, Julie Carman. The only other part time Boonville resident I was hoping to see was Rene Auberjonois who has a part in the movie. Packed house of about 450 people.

See the picture below: actress Chelsea Gilligan on my left, Julia on my right, Michael Olmos below, Edward James Olmos far left…Julia’s two friends in the middle.

Yours for finding an audience.

PS. And we are supposed to play the Mendocino Film Festival.”

* * *

THE FOLLOWING responses came back from women replying to our question: Is Joe Biden a Creep?

[1] I thought he was totally creepy during the Anita Hill stuff (especially with his new hair plugs).

[2] Someone got an awful lot of photos of his Roman hands and Russian fingers. Perhaps he's just a very touchy feely type guy. I don't care for the guy, but it's very easy to take a perfectly innocent photo and put a caption on it that completely changes the meaning of the photo. Given that there are so many videos actually capturing his touchy actions I do think he's a creep. Makes one wonder what on earth he does behind closed doors if he does this in public? He isn't breaking any law that I know of…with the exception of my Dad's law when I was a little girl… Don't touch my daughter. One would have to ask what do the parents of these little girls think of the videos? There may be a perfectly acceptable explanation but it doesn't change my mind… he's a creep.

[3] Good lord! No! I knew men like him in my early years. He’s just exuberantly positive. That woman who got upset because he kissed the back of her head! Give me a break! This Me Too thing has gone off the rails.

[4] I lean toward no. I think there still needs to be space in this world for "Uncle Joes" that are a bit too goofy and friendly; not all touches are sexual; some people are just too affectionate and physical. We're not robots. Usually the most "creepy" men are completely silent and don't approach you at all.

[5] YES! Obviously.

[6] Not sure of about that, but am sure he's a fool. He's too old and too baggage ridden to be running. The old should be advising not running. Same goes for Bernie. My fav is Buttigieg - the "intellectual" (sorry about the dirty word) that some philosopher (was it Socrates or Plato or ?) said societies should have as their rulers. We've been reduced to being happy if he/she can read and speak in full sentences. Buttigieg is waaay more than that and he's young, one of the many who will be destroyed soon by our present way of life, so he has skin in the game.

[7] Ha! You mean with the whole touchy feely stuff? I saw him in person when we lived in DC. I like Uncle Joe. No creepy vibe for me.

[8] All men are creeps, so what else is new. But Biden's so arrogant he creeps on national television!

[9] The Biden hullabaloo is a perfect example of how we're not thinking about things in clear, nuanced ways. If ever there was a topic bristling with pitfalls and ripe for such fuzzy thinking, it is, of course, the infinitely complex relations between men and women, which includes centuries of repression and exploitation but also "liberation."

We're witnessing what I call "broad-stroke payback" (BSP) for historical wrongs. Understandable, but not particularly defendable.

An example: the O.J. verdict. The spontaneous eruption of joy among many black people when the verdict was announced, even though plenty of them knew quite well he was guilty, was the purest BSP, for a couple of centuries' worth of extrajudicial lynchings, burnings, and so forth.

When "offenders" like Al Franken, Garrison Keillor (though it was kind of a relief to be rid of him, wasn't it? Kidding, kidding) and now Joe Biden are caught in the MeToo juggernaught, which, ideally, would be addressing genuinely criminal acts like pussy-grabbing, drugging and raping, groping on the street or the subway, and so on, we're seeing BSP carried to a level of near-hysteria. And it seriously muddies the waters of what is a genuine and egregious problem. Women fought for a long time to break free of the old "virtue and purity" bondage, which cast women as delicate, sexless creatures with no lusty desires and no sexual initiative. This overreaction to essentially harmless incidents of contact — Biden smelling what's-her-name's hair — recasts women as frail, prudish flowers. Places like Saudi Arabia segregate the sexes and forbid touching. Do we really want to emulate that fucked-up society in any way? Do we want some form of Sharia Law? Do we want to set back the sexual liberation of both women and men? What happened to sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll? Yes, some men need to rewire their attitudes, and learn the difference between flirtation and assault, but so do women. To put Biden on even the same spectrum as Bill Cosby is lunacy. Especially with president Pussy-Grabber in the WH.

In the particular case of Biden, it would be far better to take him to task for his smirking, condescending, old-time male chauvinist piggish treatment of Anita Hill, which, among other things, helped give us Clarence Thomas.

[10] Yes, I do think Biden is creepy. But not a pussy grabber.

BIDEN'S DEFENSE: "I Tried to make a human connection, but I will be more mindful and respectful of people's personal space. I want to talk about gestures of support and encouragement that I've made to some women and some men and I've made them uncomfortable. I always try to be in my career, always tried to make a human connection. That's my responsibility, I think. I shake hands, I hug people. I grab men and women by the shoulders and say you can do this, whether they're women, men, young, old. It's the way I've always been and tried to show that I care about them and I'm listening."

* * *

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).

* * *

THE STATE BAR'S annual disciplinary list contains no cited attorneys from Mendocino County, four from Lake County.

And the winners are:

  • Herb Gura of Clearlake: Cease and Desist Notice sent March 29, 2019
  • Susan Deborah Feeney of Lakeport suspended for failing to perform legal services with competence
  • William Joseph Ward, 66, of Kelseyville, suspended
  • Thomas Melvin Swihart of Hidden Valley Lake disbarred

* * *


by Bob Dempel

Press Democrat wine columnist Dan Berger wrote an excellent article about a group of winery people who get together irregularly to just have a good time. I don’t know how many years they have been meeting. Years ago, Annie Vercelli, daughter of Joe Vercelli, asked me to transport her father to one of the meetings. I readily accepted and had a great time. Joe was considered the godfather of the wine business having owned a pre-probition winery, worked at Italian Swiss Colony and finished up his lifetime at what is now Coppola. Joe and his daughter taught Italian Cooking at Santa Rosa Junior College until his death. Dan’s article named some of the people who attended the lunch. I have had the opportunity over my 65 years in the industry to know, work for, or consult to or just been friends to most of the people named in Dan’s article. The only part of Dan’s article that I disagree with is what Dan perceives as the average age of the attendees. Most of the named were not even born when I started in the wine grape business.

An almost identical group for grape growers was also started many years ago. The Fulton 500 started with just four grape growers. The late Tom Feeney, successful insurance man and grower. Henry Bisordi, grape grower in Fulton, and the patriarch of Bisordi Lane. Henry is also the lifetime president of the Fulton 500. He has a baseball cap inscribed to prove it. The late Warren G. Dutton, apple and grape grower from Sebastopol. Warren’s lifetime achievements are too numerous to list, and Al Cameron a member of the Cameron family in Fulton, Al is still a grape grower, retiring from trucking, poultry, and vineyard supply business, He started selling firewood on the corner of River and Fulton Road years ago and turned it into to vineyard supply retail outlet.

Those four men went to lunch one day. They had a good time and vowed to meet again in a month. The next month Al Cameron hosted the lunch in his backyard. About twenty growers were treated to BBQ chicken. I cannot remember the following sequences. All I know is that some 20 or 30 years later the Fulton 500 still meets for lunch. The last lunch was just held at the Vine Hill Druids hall in downtown Trenton. Randy cooked corn beef and cabbage.

Over the last years the Fulton 500 has been hosted by a list that includes Bud Chenoweth at his fantastic redwood grove, the Dutton ranch famous for hosting almost continuous benefit meals, Dane Petersen’s ranch just below Warm Springs Dam, the late Joe Martin’s undescrible beautiful lake house as well as his St Francis Winery, and Trione Winery in Geyserville.

There are no by-laws, minutes, bank account or any other written record of the Fulton 500. We have a banner and a trophy. We have also supported a members child who sold an animal at the Junior Livestock auction at the Sonoma County Fair. The next meeting we would eat very well.

What we do have are around 75 men who get together to discuss the wine-grape climate. Occasionally at the lunch someone will tell a joke. It is a gentleman’s affair, not by restriction, but by feeling that men need to talk to men once in a while. The cost for lunch is a few dollars and a bottle of wine. I invited Dan to the last lunch but he had other commitments.

* * *

LITTLE HOOVER COMMISSION REPORT #225, January 2015: “Promises Still to Excerpted from the Commission Chairman, Pedro Nava, letter of transmittal to the Governor and Members of the Legislature, January 27, 2015:

Clearly, the Mental Health Services Act has promises still to keep. Backers in 2004 promised voters their support would “keep people off the streets, out of the hospital and out of jail,’ as well as increase access to programs and services to help people “make the move from tax user to taxpayer.’ They also promised a skeptical voting public strict state oversight. The results on all fronts, even if actually being accomplished, cannot be convincingly demonstrated. The Commission heard no testimony that the act has not worked, but even initiative backers, along with the Commission, believe the state must streamline its bureaucracy and collect the necessary data to tell the story. The Commission respectfully submits these findings and recommendations regarding improved implementation of the Mental Health Services Act and is prepared to help you take on this challenge.”

Keep: A Decade of the Mental Health Services Act”

See especially the chapters titled “Strengthening Oversight” (Page 15) [“Challenges from the Start: Multiple Bureaucries, a Confusion of Oversight” and “Governing the MHSA Today: Oversight Challenges Persist”] and “Improving Transparency and Accountability” (Page 29) [“Critical Questions Remain Unanswered”].

Appendix B (Page 55) provides a summary: “Timeline: The Shaping of California’s Mental Health Systems” from the 1950s to 2013, and a grand total of 131 “Notes,” ending with this coda:

“Democracy itself is a process of change, and satisfaction and complacency are enemies of good government.”

Governor Edmund G. “Pat” Brown, addressing the inaugural meeting of the Little Hoover Commission, April 24, 1962, Sacramento, California

As for the Measure B Committee, see this handy list of “Community Services and Supports Priority Indicators”:

Read ’em and weep. Over here on this side of the Cow, our Public Health Department is conducting yet another “health needs assessment” to feed an announced (first time ever in Lake County, according to the PHD director) “health improvement plan.” The Department is planning a series of “town hall” meetings to “listen to the voice of the public,” which no one has done so far in response to endless “town halls," “surveys," “focus groups” and public commentary received during our Board of Supervisors hearings over the years.

Our Mental/Behavioral Health Department hasn’t revealed any information to the public about levels of service, costs and outcomes EVER, as far as I can tell. And our Board of Supervisors goes along with the direction of our $15M+ annual BHD budget without any sign of accountability. I hear that people are, as Mr. Marmon says, afeared for their lives, not to mention their sanity. The only “hope” we have is that the Grand Jury will continue to provide challenging reports elucidating the roles and responsibilities called for in state statutes, regardless of the spiteful responses from the Supervisors for the last two years. Heaven help you if you need help before your situation becomes so dire that your next stop is the hoosegow.

SMH in Upper Lake,

Betsy Cawn

* * *

* * *


by Tomás Aragón, Grant Colfax, and Steve Heilig

A decade ago, “e-cigs” were barely on the public health radar, but were rapidly spreading as a new practice and industry. Advertising was everywhere, touting e-cigs as a “revolutionary” new tool endorsed by doctors for quitting tobacco smoking. Use among all ages, but especially young people, was rising fast. Researchers and health authorities were largely caught off-guard. Wholly unregulated, e-cigarettes were in the “Wild West” of health policy, with a great need to catch up.

Much of this scenario was disturbing to longtime local anti-tobacco advocates, as we did not know the real risks of e-cigarettes. But hoping to catch up and head off disaster, we pushed for preventive policies to regulate vaping products like tobacco - with restrictions on sales, marketing, and public use, for example. In 2011, the SFMMS and SFDPH and San Francisco Health Commission adopted such policies, and CMA joined soon after at our urging. More recently, SF adopted a historic ban on all flavored tobacco products, which are a primary attraction to youth, and this policy is being promulgated in Marin now.

All of this is vehemently fought by the vaping and tobacco industries, but efforts continue. In March, San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera and Supervisor Shamann Walton announced “joint steps to curb the epidemic of youth e-cigarette use, which has erased more than a decade’s worth of progress in reducing youth tobacco consumption.” Walton introduced ground-breaking legislation at the Board of Supervisors "that would prohibit the sale in San Francisco of any e-cigarette that has not undergone FDA review. Under this legislation, any e-cigarette that is required to have, but has not received, FDA pre-market review could not be sold at a store in San Francisco or bought online and shipped to a San Francisco address until the FDA completes its review and allows the products to be sold.”

Understanding the public health rationale for banning electronic nicotine delivery systems can be confusing. According to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, there is “conclusive evidence that completely substituting e-cigarettes for combustible tobacco cigarettes reduces users’ exposure to numerous toxicants and carcinogens present in combustible tobacco cigarettes.” The tobacco industry argues that e-cigarettes are good because they provide adult smokers with a “safer alternative” to combustible cigarettes, and for some a path to smoking cessation. However, this is only part of the story. The nicotine industry takes a market growth view: e-cigarettes support their strategy to increase the total number of persons addicted to nicotine products regardless of delivery system. Youth are targeted because early exposure greatly increases the risk of addiction.

Here is what we know from research. First, because of its perceived “safety” e-cigarettes entice new usera to experiment and become addicted to nicotine. From 2011 to 2018, e-cigarette use among middle and high school students exploded 13-fold from 280,000 to 3.6 million. Second, once addicted, e-cigaretteusers are likely to move to combustible cigarettes. Third, e-cigarette use among conventional smokers keeps them addicted to nicotine, and they end up using both. Fourth, for most users, e-cigarettes are not effective for smoking cessation compared with other more established interventions. Fifth, vaping has multiple negative impacts on users' health. And sixth, secondhand vapors from vaping also have adverse health impacts. Before the introduction of e-cigarettes, we made tremendous strides in reducing tobacco product consumption. In California the prevalence of smoking was approaching 10%, and some experts believed that eliminating tobacco smoking was attainable. Instead, e-cigarettes may reverse this trend.

In public health we focus on optimizing the protection and promotion of health of populations and communities. Sometimes this means making trade-offs with individual rights. Long experience on many fronts have shown that strong majorities of Americans support such restrictions in the name of health. The case of vaping is one where admittedly the health sector was caught by surprise, but we are catching, up, and San Francisco and Marin are helping to lead the way.

(Tomás J. Aragán, MD, Dr.PH is Health Officer, City & County of San Francisco; Grant Colfax, MD, is Director of Health, San Francisco Department of Public Health, and a native of the Anderson Valley; Steve Heilig, MPH is director of public health for the SFMMS, past co-chair of the San Francisco Tobacco-Free Coalition, and a veteran AVA contributing writer.)

* * *

* * *


UKIAH, Monday - A Mendocino County Superior Court jury deliberated for a little more than sixty minutes Monday (without taking a lunch break) before returning a guilty verdict against Susan Mary Miller, a defendant accused of being an accessory to felonies committed by her husband.

Miller, age 68, now of Santa Rosa (formerly of the Anchor Bay/Gualala area of the Mendocino south coast), was found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of being an accessory to felonies committed by her husband in March 2018. The defendant was convicted at the felony level of criminal culpability.

An accessory, also sometimes referred to as an accessory after the fact, is a person who, knowing a perpetrator has committed one or more felonies, aids that perpetrator and does so with the intent that he escape arrest, conviction, and/or punishment.

After the perpetrator (the defendant's husband) shot the neighbor and tried to shoot the neighbor's wife (because they were spreading a small pile of gravel on a shared dirt road), defendant Susan Miller tried to cover up her husband's crimes by providing law enforcement a fabricated account blaming the gunshot victim as having attacked first.

As the investigation continued, it was determined that defendant Susan Miller was in fact filming the entire situation at the time of the shooting, a fact she did not share with the investigators. She instead deleted the inculpatory video, evidence that clearly showed her husband pulling out a concealed handgun from his pants pocket and firing almost point blank into the male neighbor and firing at the female neighbor without provocation.

When the defendant's camera was finally located and seized by search warrant, it was given to the District Attorney's Bureau of Investigations. Using specialized tools and technology, the deleted file was discovered and recovered, a video which played a key role in last week's presentation of evidence.

After the jury was excused post-verdict, the defendant was referred to the Adult Probation Department for a background study and sentencing recommendation. The defendant was ordered back to court on June 5 for sentencing. Anyone interested in this case, the victims, or this defendant are welcome to attend that sentencing hearing.

The prosecutor who presented the People's evidence and argued the case to the jury was District Attorney David Eyster. The investigating law enforcement agencies were the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office, the Santa Rosa Police Department, and the District Attorney's own investigators.

Mendocino County Superior Court Judge John Behnke presided over the five-day trial. He will also be the sentencing judge on June 5.

(District Attorney Press Release)


* * *

CHINESE FARM WORKERS picking olives, Los Angeles County, CA, ca. 1900.

(Paul Ayers)

* * *


James Marmon Writes: RE: Mental Health Crisis Intervention Issues And Stupid Cops:

Behavioral Health System Gap Analysis & Recommendations

“For the current mental health continuum of care, we find the continuum is missing key services that are essential to reducing the need for inpatient psychiatric care, including but not limited to Crisis Residential Treatment, day treatment, and a robust array of community-based wellness and support services. We also find the growing level of crisis mental health assessments is placing increasing strain on local hospital Emergency Departments that serve as the primary locations for patient assessment and hold pending a determination of their psychiatric needs. Further, we find that Mendocino County’s use of out-of-county inpatient psychiatric care is growing at an accelerated pace, due in large part to a lack of alternative treatment options in the County. Between FY 2016-17 and FY 2017-18, the average daily number of persons in inpatient psychiatric care increased from 11.7 to 15.1 – an increase of 29%.”

-Lee Kemper and Associates

MARK SCARAMELLA REPLIES: Has it escaped everyone that the only person in this entire multi-million dollar exercise who even ATTEMPTED to quantify the number of inpatients and the apparent disturbing trend was the consultant who wasn’t even charged with doing that? Mr. Kemper was charged with making facilities recommendations which he properly thought needed some sizing data so he extracted these numbers from various insider sources that are not commonly reported. And then, when the local mental health “professionals” saw the numbers and the upward trend which they did not argue and which should be addressed with or without Measure B, what did they do to curb the “growing level of crisis mental health assessments” which is “placing a strain on local hospital Emergency Departments”? Did they start keeping track of the average daily number of persons in inpatient psychiatric care? Did they ask what would constitute a “robust array of community-based wellness and support services”? No. They did: ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. And now we’re supposed to believe that they will magically become concerned about these upstream prevention services when a CRT/CSU/PHF is built?

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, April 8, 2019

Avants, Elgin, Franklin, Garcia

JAMES AVANTS, Albion. Under influence, disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation.

ERIC ELGIN, Covelo. DUI, hit&run with property damage.

LOREN FRANKLIN, Nice/Ukiah. Failure to appear.

DANIEL GARCIA III, Ukiah. Failure to appear.

Kavanaugh, Martinez-Garcia, Rivera

PETE KAVANAUGH, Hopland. Vehicle tampering, witness intimidation, criminal threats, county parole violation.

MARTIN MARTINEZ-GARCIA, Willits. Child endangerment, resisting.

BURTON RIVERA, Redwood Valley. DUI.

* * *

THE EMERGING CALL-OUT CULTURE in the U.S., Canada and elsewhere in the West bears more than a few similarities to China’s Cultural Revolution, in which writers, artists, doctors, scholars and other professionals were publicly denounced and forced by mobs to engage in ritual self-criticism. The goal is not to persuade or debate; it is to humiliate the target and intimidate everyone else. The ultimate objective is to destroy independent thought.

—Anastasia Lim

* * *


Honoring J. David Colfax Of Mendocino County

Hon. Mike Thompson of California

in the house of representatives

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Mr. Thompson of California. Madam Speaker, I rise today to commemorate the civic accomplishments and dedicated public service of J. David Colfax who has served on the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors for the past 12 years.

As supervisor, educator and exemplary citizen his service has benefitted the ruggedly beautiful Mendocino County in northern California where he has lived with his wife Micki since 1973. He has served on many boards, committees and organizations including the Mendocino County Office of Education, First 5 Mendocino, the Economic Development and Finance Corporation, the North Coast Railroad Authority, the Criminal Justice Board Standing committee and the Local Agency Formation Committee.

David and Micki raised four sons whom they homeschooled on their Shining Moon ranch, where they built their own house and raised award winning goats. Their children went on to such universities as Harvard and Yale and all are working in professions that give back to others. David and Micki authored the book Home Schooling for Excellence which continues to inspire. And they wrote Hard Times in Paradise about their transition from their urban lives in the eastern United States to their rural ranch outside of Boonville not far from the Pacific Ocean.

During his three terms as a Mendocino County Supervisor, David has represented his geographically diverse district that ranges from the coast to 4,000-foot ridges to valleys and includes at least five watersheds. He has won the support of constituents who are entrepreneurs, fishermen and women, winemakers, brewmasters and mavericks of many persuasions. With a college professor style and animated discourse, David Colfax has served with passion and dedication.

Madam Speaker and colleagues, David Colfax has earned the admiration and respect of his peers, his community and his family. He is a friend and colleague whose legacy and contributions are long lasting in Mendocino County. For these reasons, it is appropriate that we honor J. David Colfax.

* * *



Headlines about Joe Biden: How is it that the press keeps feeding us such infantile babble? I know gossip sells, but how about rising above this addiction to nothing news and informing us about more important matters? And, at the same time, expanding our horizons with more pertinent news.

Marianne Thompson

Santa Rosa

* * *


* * *


by Norman Solomon

What Barbara Lee did on the House floor three days after 9/11 -- speaking prophetic words and casting the only vote against a green light for endless war -- remains the bravest wise action in Congress during this century. The contrast was jolting last week when her vote enabled the House Budget Committee to approve a bill with a $17 billion increase in military spending for next year and another such increase for 2021.

Because of the boost to the military, three progressive Democrats on the committee voted against the budget bill: Pramila Jayapal, Ro Khanna and Ilhan Omar. “This is a key philosophical moment for our party,” Khanna said. The second-term congressman told the committee: “We cannot be against endless wars and then fund those wars.”

But, in effect, Barbara Lee voted to fund those wars -- plus vast quantities of new weaponry and waste. If she had joined with Jayapal, Khanna and Omar in voting no, the committee would have deadlocked with an 18-18 tie, blocking the bill. (Many deficit-hawk Republicans voted against the bill because it raises the caps on non-military and military spending.)

After the committee vote on April 3, I requested a statement from Congresswoman Lee. “I voted to advance a bill out of committee that sets budget caps for the next two fiscal years,” she said. “To be clear: I do not support the Pentagon spending levels in the bill and voted for an amendment offered by my colleague Rep. Khanna to freeze Pentagon spending at FY2019 levels. Unfortunately, the Khanna amendment failed.”

Lee’s statement added: “I have a long record of fighting to cut bloated Pentagon spending, audit the Pentagon and repeal the 2001 Authorization [for] Use of Military Force. I will continue to fight for these efforts, and to increase domestic discretionary spending as the budget and appropriations process moves forward.”

Certainly, Barbara Lee has been a stalwart opponent of endless war. Her tireless efforts to undo the AUMF have most recently included the introduction in mid-February of a bill titled “Repeal of the Authorization for Use of Military Force” (H.R. 1274).

Yet there’s no getting around the fact that Lee’s vote in committee last week made it possible for a budget bill that further bloats the Pentagon’s spending to reach the House floor. The vote there is expected on Tuesday or Wednesday. (If you agree with most Americans that military spending should be cut instead of raised, you can quickly email your representative about it here.)

This is not the first time in recent years that Lee has succumbed to party-line militarism. Her notable anti-diplomacy tweet in July 2017 from the official “Rep. Barbara Lee” Twitter account -- denouncing President Trump for meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin -- remains posted to this day. Yet her pivotal Budget Committee vote a few days ago is Congresswoman Lee’s most tangible and disappointing assist to the military-industrial complex.

Barbara Lee’s sincerity and commitment to peace are beyond question. But it’s all too easy for lawmakers to be unduly influenced by party leadership on Capitol Hill, where conformity is vital for the warfare state. Only pressure from the grassroots has the potential to overcome the business as usual in official Washington.

When progressives in Congress go wrong, we must be willing to say so -- clearly, publicly and emphatically. With her decisive vote to enable an increase in military spending, Barbara Lee was wrong.

(Norman Solomon is cofounder and national coordinator of He is the author of a dozen books including "War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death." Solomon is executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy.)

* * *

PASSENGERS WATCHING COIN-OPERATED TVs at a Greyhound bus station, Los Angeles. (1969)

* * *

RESEARCHERS USE SOCIAL MEDIA to understand wildland fire evacuation patterns

* * *

THE WARRIORS GAMBLE THEIR SOUL as they swap Oakland for San Francisco

What’s more, the story of the Warriors is inextricably linked to Oakland’s racial and political fabric at a key moment in post-civil rights USA, not to mention in the NBA’s evolution as a league, both on the court (Nellieball!) and off it, from a niche league with a primarily African American fanbase to what it is now: the most dynamic league in America, led by Curry, a superstar whose mere physical appearance – light skin, boyish smile – reflects for many black NBA fans the gradual whitening of the league and the erosion of the game’s inner-city roots. And nothing – nothing – drives that feeling home for the city of Oakland like their Warriors leaving for upscale, IPO-inflated, impenetrably expensive, lily-white San Francisco.

* * *


How do account for the neuroticism and dishonesty that gripped America’s – cough – thinking classes?

Firstly, they’re above all convinced of their superior intellect. But, if they’re so damn smart, how is it possible that Trump won the election?

Well, yes, that’s obvious, Hillary didn’t lose. And, if she did lose then Trump cheated; the Russians put Trump over the top.

See, there was a conspiracy between the Russians and the Trump camp to um, do something, somehow. Fake news from Russian media outlets they say. And Russian hacking that exposed the truth of how the Democratic Party apparatus actively worked for Hillary and against Bernie.

But there was no conspiracy sayeth the patron saint of prosecutorial probity. And Facebook sez that the Russians spent paltry amounts on facebook ads. And twitter similarly testified as to the insignificant smattering of tweets from Russian sources compared to the daily deluge.

And at least four guys, William Binney among them, said that there was no hack of DNC servers, rather the download of emails was an inside job, done by means of a handheld device. Oh, and the FBI never got their mitts on said DNC servers to do a proper investigation.

Given all this stuff – losing an unloseable election, justifying the loss via accusations of criminality and treason that, as it turned out after a two year investigation, had no basis in fact – if you were one of the – cough – thinking class, you’d be neurotic too. You’d be exhibiting signs of hysteria, phobia, OCD, depression…

It’s what happens when collective self-image – in this case of competence, moral superiority, social superiority, intellectual superiority, being forever the cool kid – runs aground on the shoals of reality which suddenly reveal they’re not so smart, so cool, so superior.

* * *


* * *


April 7, 2019 by Laurel Krause

Delighted to announce the Kent State Truth Tribunal’s United Nations submission has been included in the ‘List of Issues’ before the U.N. Human Rights Committee and will be considered at the United Nations U.S. 5th periodic review. This will be the second time Kent State massacre issues are heard before the United Nations.

For the United States 5th periodic review, the human rights issues of the May 4, 1970 Kent State massacre relate to state acts to restrict the right to protest (topic 14) and concerns for limiting excessive use of force by law enforcement (under freedom of assembly and association, topic 25). READ the U.S. ‘List of Issues’ related to the ICCPR Treaty:

The United States has one year to respond to the U.N. List of Issues for the U.S. 5th periodic review yet the U.S. has historically taken its sweet time in complying with standard procedures. The U.S. 4th periodic review was supposed to convene in Geneva in October 2013 yet had to be postponed to March 2014 due to the U.S. government shutdown.

This photo is from the Kent State Truth Tribunal’s first visit to the United Nations in 2014 for the U.S. 4th periodic review with Jamil Dakwar and Laurel Krause.

Image by Emilia Bolin Ransom 2014

Peace and healing,

"Flowers are better than bullets” ~ Allison Krause

Laurel Krause, Fort Bragg

* * *

“This is our last week to argue about politics before we’re all obsessed with ‘Game of Thrones’.”

* * *

FORMER PRESIDENT OBAMA, a left-progressive before he became President and a multi-millionaire, says he’s worried about progressives in the Democratic Party becoming too focused on “purity.” “One of the things I do worry about sometimes among progressives in the United States, maybe it's true here as well, is a certain kind of rigidity where we say, ‘Uh, I’m sorry, this is how it’s going to be,’ and then we start sometimes creating what’s called a ‘circular firing squad,’ where you start shooting at your allies because one of them is straying from purity on the issues. You have to recognize that the way we’ve structured democracy requires you to take into account people who don’t agree with you, and that by definition means you’re not going to get 100 percent of what you want,” Obama said.

* * *

JANIS JOPLIN with her Porsche at SF Palace of Fine Arts 1960’s (Not a Mercedes-Benz?)

(Photo by Jim Marshall, San Francisco Remembered)

* * *


[1] Few things infuriate me, but one of them is seeing a polio-crippled child here in Indonesia. My God, during the Suharto era the message was carried on all electronic media and in the press and the imam blared it out from the mosque and the community health services were reminding mothers over and over to get their child immunized against polio.

‘I forgot’ the mother mumbles.

Not good enough, lady, not at all.

Those who were around in the 1950s can remember the mass panic: swimming pools closed, all kinds of theories in the air, people in iron lungs.

We won’t even get into tetanus, smallpox or rabies.

This is when my inner SS Colonel rears up and attempts to impose his will. It’s not going to be just nuts like me, either: when the food / health / environment / security situation gets real grim just watch how promptly folks will embrace a totalitarian regime.

[2] What happened to the California drought? What’s a comin’? Answer: same as what come before.

Not only is there the problem of the existing army of homeless that has no hope in hell and the coming army from south of the border that also has no hope in hell, carrying who knows what diseases, but also American anti-vaxxers that never saw the aftermath of a polio outbreak and wrecked kids in wheelchairs and leg-braces.

We haven’t seen the likes of diphtheria in these parts for a long while but, given the stout resistance to the idea of immunization, maybe we’ll make a re-acquaintance.

And there’s measles. They say that in its hey-day it killed more kids than polio. I had that shitty disease when I was a little kid before they had a vaccine and all I remember is being sick as a dog for about ten days during which I would gladly have expired. Nothing noble about not immunizing the ankle-biters and nothing smart about it.

But, in the end, failure to deal with reality usually ends with reality dealing with failure. Nobody cancelled natural selection as a force in human affairs. Anti-vaxxers say their stance comes from a position of knowledge. Hokay, we’ll see.

[3] The trouble with anti-vaxxers is that they destroy carefully fostered herd immunity – they can kill other people, not just their own children.

There are tiny numbers of children who genuinely can’t be vaccinated because of pre-existing conditions – the ‘herd’ can cope with them if their numbers are not added to by healthy children with dozy parents, and THEY utterly depend on the herd immunity that other more fortunate children give them.

Apparently it takes around a 95% vaccination rate to be safe – there’s no further safety margin against the selfish idiots. Since they tend to spend vast amounts of time scouring the internet for anti-scientific drivel, how come they manage to miss all the articles about current measles epidemics in anti-vaxxer strongholds?

* * *


photography by Edward Sheriff Curtis

* * *


by James Kunstler

How might we account for the strange melding of neuroticism and dishonesty that has gripped America’s thinking class since the ascent of Donald Trump as an epically reviled figurehead on our ship of state? It all seems to come down to shame and failure.

There is, for instance, the failure of America’s leading economic viziers to arrest the collapse of the middle class — and with it, the disintegration of families — that more than anything produced the 2016 election result.

What is a bigger emergency: the destruction of all those towns, cities, and lives in flyover-land, or the S&P stock index going down twenty points?

The choice made by the “experts” the past ten years is obvious: pump the financial markets at all costs by using dishonest policy interventions which they are smart enough to know will eventually blow up the banking system. They did it to preserve their reputations long enough to retire out of their jobs. The trouble is that the damage is now so extreme that when the time comes for them to apologize it will not be enough. They will lose their freedom and perhaps their heads.

The neuroticism and dishonesty is exactly what turned two of this country’s most sacred and noble endeavors, higher education and medicine, into disgraceful rackets. Sunday night, CBS 60 Minutes covered both bases in their lead story about how the NYU medical school recently declared its program tuition-free. This great triumph was due to an enormous cash gift from one of the founders of the Home Depot company, billionaire Ken Langone. Nowhere in the broadcast did CBS raise the question as to how the cost of a degree became so outrageous in the first place. Or how Mr. Langone made his fortune by putting every local hardware store in America out of business, which enabled him to capture the annual incomes of ten thousand small business owners and their employees. NYU’s grand gesture is just a way to paper over the shame of the University executives’ role in the college loan racket that may destroy countless lives.

Neuroticism and shame is what drives identity politics with all its weird ritual persecutions and punishments. It was the thinking class that led the civil rights campaign of the 1960s. Here we are fifty years later with dozens of ruined cities, failed public school systems, and prisons stuffed with black men way out of proportion to their actual demographic in the general population (nationally 37 percent versus 13 percent). In California, it’s 29 percent while only 6 percent of the state’s male residents are African American. The favored narrative of the thinking class says that the high incarceration rate is due to unfair application of drug laws for relatively minor offenses, especially being caught holding weed.

Okay, marijuana has been legal in California for several years now. Has that altered the statistics? I guess we’ll find out soon. Is there another explanation? Perhaps disproportionate bad behavior of other kinds: assault, robbery, murder? Perhaps the result of government policies engineered by the thinking class to promote single-parent households with no fathers present for three generations now?

After all this time and all the evidence of how pernicious this condition is, why is there no debate about it? Why is the thinking class so dishonest about the most ruinous ingredient in everyday public schooling: bad behavior, violence, and constant classroom disruption? The thinking classes must be ashamed and appalled by all this, since it appears to contradict all the mighty efforts made to uplift the black underclass. And so what was the most notable response? The Obama Department of Education directed school districts to stop suspending and disciplining black kids who behaved badly because it looked bad, and that policy is still in place. How’s that working out?

The latest appeal among the thinking class to remedy these otherwise intractable and embarrassing problems is the panacea of reparations for the descendants of slaves. Of course, the money spent on social services the past half-century, if simply distributed as cash, would have made every African American a millionaire. Personally, I can’t imagine a worse way of ginning up racial animosity across America to the breaking point than these proposed reparations. We will surely hear more about this in the long slog to the 2020 elections, and it will only make the USA look more insane to the rest of the world.

The thinking class’s position on both legal and illegal immigration is possibly even more cynical — because they surely know how dishonest it is, even through the fog of self-deception. Last week California’s attorney general Xavier Becerra proposed that illegal immigration be decriminalized. Surprisingly, nobody laughed at this extraordinary exercise in casuistry. Meanwhile, the state slides into hopeless insolvency, squalor, and chaos — a reminder that people don’t necessary get what they expect, but rather what they deserve.

RussiaGate, of course, has been the most acute locus of neurotic dishonesty across this land the past two years. The primary information organs of the thinking class — The New York Times, The WashPo, CNN, MSNBC — have not only omitted to apologize for the dangerous hysteria they knowingly propagated, but they persist in supporting the matrix of fantasies at all costs in what must now be seen as a hopeless attempt to preserve their reputations and perhaps even their livelihoods. The repudiation of this nonsense by chief inquisitor Robert Mueller could not be more absolute, even if he was compelled by reality against his own wishes and instincts to do it. And now, what avenue will all this diseased animus of the thinking class go down in its destructive, shame-fueled frenzy to justify itself?

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

* * *


SB 37 would base the floor on a corporation’s tax bill on the disparity between how much its CEO makes and how much the median employee makes.

* * *

* * *


I had one of the absolutely wonderful dreams I have ever had last night. I was with three other people. I have no idea who they were. It wasn't at all threatening. We were in my Mustang convertible. Mountainous wilderness. The top was down and I was in the back seat. We were clambering up a steep and rocky dirt road trying to get back to Eugene. Off to the right (my 4runner would have been in compound low) the most beautiful mountain lion I have ever seen was stalking three grazing deer on a close by sidehill. It is the second catamount I have ever seen in the wild. The lion saw us. Froze. Began to approach. We didn't make eye contact. I woke up. I am probably the happiest that I've ever been. Writing this.

It is fascinating, and a mystery, to think of all the things and people which seem to have vanished from consciousness, gone the way of the Edsel. School shootings? U-tube executions? Clean air? Honest politicians? Anyone not forced to who reads James Baldwin? Moby Dick? The Odyssey? Riding in a convertible without worrying about being eaten? For most of us, we haven't and they're gone, never thought of. Mountain lions are beginning to be seen in the suburbs. Cats disappear. Makes taking a walk a new experience. Being here now. A mountain lion can be mistaken for an eagle, a scream. What that tuna would have done if it could have made a sound when the fish eagle suddenly grabbed it in it's claws. Say thank you and how while you're eating your tuna sandwich. And have a nice walk.

We can dream. Could the secret service really protect the orange one if someone sent in a drone? Could security somehow prevent an attack on a major league game? Whatever happened to whist? The controversy over Islamic veils? The status of women in the Middle East? Cocaine in soft drinks? Orange baseballs? Charley Finley?

I remember. The clock is relentless. You remember. This makes what we remember of our lives. Being here. I am about to make breakfast. Scrambled eggs (maybe poached). Maybe fried. Have you ever swallowed an egg raw? Imagined what the first person to look at an oyster and think that it might taste good? Suck milk from a cow? Imagine being attacked by a lion? What dreams! And thank you. I bow. And I wonder what sort of eggs I'll make.

(Bruce Brady)

* * *

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MERLE HAGGARD! Born April 6, 1937 in Oildale, California. Photo: Norman Seeff, 1981.

* * *

A FLORIDA MAN with tattoos covering his entire face was arrested Friday in connection with a decades-old cold case murder. Randy Petersilge, who's 51, was indicted by a grand jury in January on one count of first-degree murder in connection with the death of Simon Clarke, 41, at a construction site in New Port Richey near the Gulf of Mexico in November 2001. Clarke, a father of two, who had moved to the US from the UK, worked in property rentals and was found beaten to death by co-workers.

* * *


  1. Judy April 9, 2019

    “Find Your Happy”
    As a former employee of the train you speak of in your comment I can tell you that people do drive for hours to ride the train. Not only do they drive but many come from Germany, Switzerland,England and many other areas to ride the train. The little train you speak of brings thousands of tourists to the coast each year.
    These people stay in motels and eat in the restaurants on the coast. I would suggest that you get your facts straight by talking with the motel and restaurant owners to find out how many of their guests are in Fort Bragg to ride the train.
    If you like the train or not the fact is, it is a major tourist attraction in Fort Bragg.

    • Lazarus April 9, 2019

      I hope you’re right. There have been rumors since the Skunk Train got screwed out of “Ole Remco”, which they had fingered for a repair shop and tourist attraction in Willits, that the Skunk Train could be shuttering it’s Willits depot, and leaving town, that would be unfortunate. The Skunk Train is about all Willits has to attract the out of towners.
      I have read here and elsewhere they are or may be developing a major venue in Fort Bragg, I wish them well. What happened in Willits with the Ole Remco deal was criminal in the minds of many locals…
      As always,

  2. George Dorner April 9, 2019

    That nasty Mr. Kemp actually presented the mental health professionals with hard data. How confusing! Real numbers. Actual facts. It confuses the hell out of them.

  3. John Sakowicz April 9, 2019

    To the Editor:

    Joanna Van Vleck is a real trip. And she’s right at home here in Mendocino County.

    Years ago, Van Vleck, who calls herself a “social media marketing genius:, was sued as the founder and president of The Trunk Club, which was featured on NBC’s “Today’s Show”. Apparently, Van Vleck made numerous fraudulent claims about the company to investors.

    Van Vleck committed securities fraud by misrepresenting the company’s existing ownership when she was soliciting investment capital and also misstated the company’s financial health.

    Van Vleck also inflated revenues by treating business loans as income and not liabilities, and also failed to disclose total liabilities.

    That was back in 2008-2009.

    Next, Joanna Van Vleck reinvented herself as someone who discovered the “clitoris in a woman’s throat” and went on to announce that “America’s oral sex drought is over!”.

    She produced and marketed an instructional video to demonstrate her new approach to the classic blow job.

    Yup you read right. I’m not making this up..

    Here’s an article about her in Playboy Magazine:

    Then, Joanna Van Vleck started a string of failed businesses including, Get Goddess and

    Get Goddess sounds like an escort service.

    And billed itself as a “visual search engine for products women want, like jewelry, handbags, shoes, and watches.”

    Is this what women want? Really? I thought women wanted things like equal opportunity and equal pay for equal work.

    And now?

    And now, Joanna Van Vleck resurfaces yet again in another incarnation as the founder and president of OneTaste — what Bloomberg News calls either a cult or a New Age prostitution scam.

    And to think, OneTaste is right here in our very own backyard in Philo.

    OneTaste bought the old Shenoa property on the Navarro River, not far from Lemons Market. That’s where Van Vleck runs her new con, taking thousands of dollars from the sexually dysfunctional and the emotionally broken for weekend workshops.

    Right now I’m trying to remember that AVA chestnut…something like “Mendo is where losers come to reinvent themselves, and every day history starts all over again.”

    Something like that.

    John Sakowicz, Ukiah CA

    • Kathy April 9, 2019

      Hilarious that YOU would be throwing stones John, considering YOUR recent storylines

      • John Sakowicz April 9, 2019

        My storylines?

        Earlier this year, I got a racist judge kicked off an appellate court, Kathy. It made international news, and resulted in real reforms as to how judges are nominated and vetted.

        What else?

        Last month, I got lined up to apply for one of the first cannabis cultivation permits in New Jersey after I bought a farm in Frenchtown. Unfortunately, the legislature postponed the vote until the next budget hearings in three months.

        Also last month I had lunch with James Gorman, Chairman and CEO of Morgan Stanley at the Council on Foreign Relations,

        Last week, I interviewed former NATO Commander General Wesley Clark, U.S. Army (retired) on my show at KMUD. Earlier, we had dinner at the Yale Club. We discussed his initiative, “Renew America Together”.

        My next guest at KMUD will be either multibillionaire Roger McNamee, author of “Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe” or former U.S. Ambassador to Russia, William Burns, author of “The Back Channel”. I met McNamee at the Council on Foreign Relations. I met Burns at the Carnegie Corporation.

        And next month, one of my twin daughters is getting married in Manhattan Beach.

        Each of my seven children — five daughters and two sons — is a successful, contributing member of society. For example, my oldest daughter just published a paper in a leading genetics journal. My sons sail with the U.S. Military Sealift Command and graduated from the elite Strategic Sealift Officer Program (SSOP).

        What have you done with your life, Kathy? Grand jury work, you say?

        Well, our county grand jury investigations are weak and irrelevant, if they’re not suppressed before they even get to the investigative stage.

        Read almost any edition of the AVA. County government is a bloated bureaucracy without performance metrics or even meaningful monthly reporting to the Board of Supervisors.

        County government?

        Inefficient. Wasteful. Run by a privileged few in the executive office. As Exhibit A, I hold up the County’s cannabis permit program. It’s a joke. All the growers I know are being driven out of the business, moving to another county, or they’re going back to outlaw grow operations. As Exhibit B, I hold up Measure B. The Sheriff is ready to pull his hair out. Nothing gets done. Just talk, talk, talk. Lots of meetings and memos. Meetings and memos. Meanwhile, the county’s seriously mentally ill patients end up in jail. Or worse. They suffer in the streets and sleep under bridges.

        I could go on, but maybe you can look into it. You’re the investigator. Do something with your life, Kathy.


        • George Hollister April 9, 2019

          John, please.

          • John Sakowicz April 9, 2019

            George, I’m sick of small minds, snarky types, piss ants who snipe at targets much bigger than themselves. Really sick of them.

            I’ve known this “Kathy” in a context where she could have made a difference, but didn’t.

  4. james marmon April 9, 2019


    The Board of Supervisors don’t care how the Mental Health money is being spent, they’re more concerned as to where it is spent. As long as it is being circulated throughout the local economy, that is all that matters. If you notice, the only issue getting anyone’s interest is the money being spent out of county for out of county placements. With the exception of the MHAB and NAMI nobody cares about the folks who are suffering. Sheriff Allman thinks his version of a PHF could bring in outside money to the County, we could sell beds to other counties if we don’t have enough crazy people of our own that meet 5150 criteria, which we wouldn’t if other services are provided.

    Where’s the money Camille?

    James Marmon MSW

  5. james marmon April 9, 2019


    I have a hard time respecting Dr. Miller, the Mental Health Director, but I understand her plight. She attends just about every MHAB meeting but has to keep her mouth shut or risk losing her job. You would think she would be a powerful force on the Measure B committee, but instead, her boss Nurse Ratched (Angelo) is in full control. Ms. Miller’s knowledge of how things should work and/or how the money is being wasted doesn’t matter. She just sits in those meetings with the look of fear in her eyes. Her career could be destroyed with just a snap of the finger by Ratched. Thank god Alan “the kid” Flora landed on his feet, he’s doing a great job here in Clearlake. I’m sure Miller would do fine somewhere else if she could get out of there unscathed.

    James Marmon MSW

  6. james marmon April 9, 2019

    Remember, we only have an average of 15 psychiatric hospitalizations on any given day, that includes those in State Hospitals and IMD’s. About 85 percent of all out of County placements are in Board and Cares, am I starting to sound like a broken record? You guys are pretty thick skulled.

    James Marmon MSW
    Former LPS Conservatorship Case Manager
    Lake County Mental Health

  7. james marmon April 9, 2019

    Behavioral Health System Gap Analysis & Recommendation

    Mental Health Service Utilization

    “Because Mendocino County does not have inpatient psychiatric beds at any general acute care hospital in the County, or at a Psychiatric Health Facility in the County, all inpatient psychiatric placements were made out-of-county, as shown in Table 6. A comparison of data on inpatient psychiatric hospitalizations for both fiscal years (Tables 7 and 8 on following page) shows that not only are more unique individuals being placed into inpatient psychiatric care and there are more placements, but that a smaller proportion of high need patients is driving utilization. In FY 2016-17, 19% of patients (82) had two or more episodes of care and utilized 44% (1,878) of total hospital days. In FY 2017-18, 18% of patients (68) had two or more episodes of care and utilized 46% (1,906) of total hospital days.” (Page 18)

    -Lee Kemper and Associates

    [General Acute Care Hospitals are State Hospitals or Institutes of Mental Disorders (IMD’s)

    Great job Camille, keep those numbers rising.
    James Marmon MSW

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *