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MCT: Friday, April 12, 2019

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A FEW PATCHES OF DRIZZLE remain around the coast this morning but will give way to dry and pleasant conditions for the remainder of the day. Saturday will start off dry before the next chance for light rain returns in the afternoon. Additional chances for light rain will continue into early next week before another period of drier conditions return for the middle of next week. (National Weather Service)

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by Malcolm Macdonald

Mendocino Coast District Hospital (MCDH) Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Mike Ellis has tendered his resignation. In a memo addressed to interim MCDH Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Wayne Allen, dated April 10, Ellis stated he planned to complete a draft budget for the coming fiscal year before his final day of work at the hospital on May 10, 2019.

Whether Ellis's departure has anything to do with the arrival of Allen on scene would be pure conjecture. It seems more likely that Ellis found what appeared to him to be greener pastures. When he first came to MCDH a year ago, Ellis was heard to say that he always packs light.

The unexpected resignation of MCDH's CFO came less than a day before Allen sent out this communication: “The Board of Directors of Mendocino Coast District Hospital has determined that the timing is appropriate to seek options regarding a potential lease or sale. The Board is committed to finding the right lease partner or buyer. The attached RFP [Request For Proposal] will provide a structure to evaluate responding organizations. The RFP has been sent to five health care entities.”

Those five entities are most likely Adventist Health, Sutter Health, Dignity Health (formerly Catholic Healthcare West), St Joseph Health, and a physician owned operation similar to the one that now provides medical care in Colusa. Readers may remember that Wayne Allen was hired as an interim CEO at Colusa Regional Medical Center shortly before its 2016 bankruptcy and closing.

Adventist Health, which has shown the most public interest in affiliating with MCDH, has the closest geographic tie with its facilities in Willits and Ukiah. It also maintains seventeen other hospitals in California and two senior living centers in the state.

Sutter Health consists of eight physician foundations, two dozen acute care hospitals, as well as cancer centers, regional home health and hospice organizations, long-term care centers, and research institutes within northern California. The nearest Sutter hospitals are in Santa Rosa and Novato.

Dignity Health is headquartered in The City. It is the official healthcare provider for the San Francisco Giants, if that means anything to you. Dignity runs dozens of hospitals in California, including Saint Francis Memorial in San Francisco, St. Elizabeth Community Hospital in Red Bluff and Mercy Medical Center in Redding.

St. Joseph Health runs Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital and St. Joseph Hospital in Eureka. One year ago Adventist Health and St. Joseph Health agreed to partner in order to integrate clinical activities and services through a new joint operating company. That partnership extends across clinics and facilities in Humboldt, Mendocino, Sonoma, Lake, Napa and Solano counties. The partnership is subject to regulatory review that is apparently still ongoing.

The Adventist affiliation remains the most intriguing for this reason, Howard Hospital in Willits is still privately owned by its foundation. Therefore the possibility of partnering only with Howard could be an intriguing one.

In this time of financial troubles for MCDH, one can see why time is of the essence in regard to a potential affiliation with a more solvent hospital or group of hospitals. However, Allen sent out the RFP without board approval, meaning there has been no formal board meeting since he was hired on April 1st. An action of this magnitude certainly merits public input, a full MCDH Board meeting with notice, and a public vote by the board members to go forward.

If the RFP was circulated to only some members of the MCDH Board of Directors that creates a problem of governance. If it was circulated among all, or even more than two, we may be into Brown Act violation territory. At this point the public is in the dark as to the precise genesis of the RFP. Was it strictly a Wayne Allen product? Is the RFP the work of one or more board members? Was legal counsel consulted before sending it? All of these, and more, are legitimate questions the public would have a right to ask at a public meeting of the MCDH Board before the RFP was send forth.

Looking back at the recent MCDH Board meetings, the topic of affiliation was broached publicly at the February 28th board meeting under an information agenda item. As part of that, Jason Wells, Adventist CEO for Ukiah Valley Medical Center and Howard Hospital made a relatively brief pitch before the board and the public. Later in that meeting, MCDH Board Vice-President Jessica Grinberg formed an ad hoc committee to look into the matter. Fellow board member Amy McColley was named that evening as another member of the ad hoc group. The March 28th board meeting contained no action concerning affiliation, but on April 11th, interim CEO Allen sent out the RFP with this language included, “After careful thought and deliberation, the Board of Directors of MCDH (the “Board”) has determined that the timing is appropriate to seek options regarding a potential lease or sale. The Board is committed to finding the right lease partner or buyer to ensure that exceptional local healthcare continues to be delivered on the Mendocino Coast and the surrounding area.”

One has to wonder where and when the MCDH Board exhibited that careful thought and deliberation.

The RFP continues with the following statement followed by nine bullet points, “In considering proposals, the Board is interested in identifying a partner having the following nine characteristics:

  1. A commitment to the continued provision of quality healthcare services to the residents of the Mendocino Coast and the surrounding area.
  2. A strategic vision for the future of MCDH.
  3. A demonstrated culture of quality and accountability.
  4. A proven track record of operational success to ensure the ongoing vitality of MCDH, as a stable and professionally rewarding organization for its employees and medical staff.
  5. Sufficient capital to allow MCDH to maintain high-quality care for its patients and improve its physical facilities.
  6. A system reputation that will add value to MCDH’s existing brand and reputation within our community and among physicians, consumers, and insurance plans.
  7. Capabilities, facilities, clinical integration, leadership, and strategies necessary to be well positioned for success in an era of healthcare reform.
  8. A commitment to transparency in dealing with all its constituencies.
  9. A demonstrated history of following through on its promises and commitments.”

The deadline Mr. Allen has imposed on any interested organizations is May 10, 2019. Coincidentally, that will be CFO Mike Ellis's final day on the job.

Reactions from long time observers of the MCDH situation ran the gamut from very positive to “Sorry to see this.”

Affiliation is the most likely way forward for the coast hospital. Nevertheless, given that liens on the hospital's assets may run as high as two to one against, that MCDH has not met two of the three bond covenants Cal Mortgage requires for months on end, that the institution only continues to run on its own with assistance from a Cal Mortgage waiver, any stable institution is going to take a long hard look at the coast hospital before sending out a financial lifeboat.

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AN AV PERSON POSTS: "Ted Williams, I am hoping you can come up and see Signal Ridge Road for yourself- it is REALLY dangerous. The road crew did some work on the first section of dirt road a few days ago, and it is somewhat better. But we have no idea when they will get to the section above Panorama Way. It has been bad for several months. There is a virtual LAKE about 1/4 mile past Panorama, that takes up more than half the road, and it is quite deep, and very dangerous. A neighbor who lives near it told me that he has nearly been creamed going around it a couple of times, because it is on a sharp turn. A couple of other neighbors filled in some other potholes near that part, but that was obviously a stop-gap measure, and is barely holding. I have been asked by several different neighbors to have you take a look, and hopefully get some action on it. Thank you so much!!"

AND TED PROMPTLY says he'll have a look. (How many years has it been since the 5th District has had real representation?)

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Mendocino County, CA – In response to Executive Order N-05-19, CAL FIRE identified high priority fuels reduction projects in the 45-Day Report to Governor Gavin Newsom. Two of the projects listed are located here in Mendocino County, the Ukiah Fuels Reduction and the Willits Fuel Reduction. These projects and other measures are to begin immediately to protect over 200 of California’s most wildfire-vulnerable communities and put the state on a path toward long-term wildfire prevention and forest health.

The Ukiah Fuels Reduction Project will focus on roadside vegetation clearance, creating fire control lines on ridges, and creating shaded fuel breaks in areas surrounding Ukiah. The goal of this project is to increase public safety by improving roads with difficult ingress/egress, reducing the number of fire starts, and decreasing the size and intensity of fires.

The 26,541 acre Ukiah Fuels Reduction Project protects approximately 39,195 residences in the Ukiah area. The project will include areas South of Lake Mendocino, the communities of El Dorado, Vichy Springs, Talmage, the Western Ukiah hills, the Turtle Creek drainage, Ukiah Valley and the base of Cow Mountain.

The 11,965 acre Willits Fuels Reduction Project protects approximately 13,120 residences in the Willits area. The project will encompass the communities of Brooktrails, Pine Mountain, and the greater Willits area.

The Willits Fuels Reduction Project will focus on roadside vegetation clearance, creating fire control lines, and creating shaded fuel breaks in the hills surrounding the Willits valley. The goal of this project is to increase public safety by improving roads with difficult ingress/egress, reducing the number of fire starts, and decreasing the size and intensity of fires. Clearing the vegetation from the main roadway, as well as other roads in the community will create a safer evacuation route for residents. Strengthening the roadways in this area will also allow the roadways to act as primary, secondary, and tertiary control lines in the event of a major wildfire.

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TWA AD 1957

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ACCORDING TO A RECENT Press Democrat report, Sonoma County is considering cutting staff by up to 136 employees to balance next year’s budget. As is typical of the PD's cryptic reports on Sonoma County affairs, it’s not clear how many of the 136 cuts are actual employees and how many are funded but vacant positions that were in the process of being filled.

THE PD also said that Sonoma County currently has 358 vacancies and is attempting to fill only 143 of them. The “tentative” reduction may not materialize, however, because “the county’s revenue picture could improve by June” because, according to SoCo’s CEO, “Nearly half of the $12 million shortfall is due to $5.9 million in property tax revenue the county hopes will ultimately be added to the state budget.”

THIS WAS MONEY that the state, supposedly “had previously granted to Sonoma County to make up for property tax losses related to destruction from the 2017 wildfires. The other half of the shortfall is reportedly due to inflation and the prospect of pay raises for county employees who are now in contract negotiations.”

THE POINT FOR MENDO? Mendo hasn’t begun to look at next year’s “tentative budget” beyond noting that as of the end of last December ten departments were significantly over budget with no discussion of why or whether that’s a problem or what, if anything, should be done about it.

AND MENDO'S sales tax revenues as of the end-of-December were half of what they should have been for that point in the fiscal year. And the pot program is about $2.5 million in the red. And Juvenile Hall is still way more expensive than comparable neighboring counties. And the mid-year budget report didn’t even mention whether the state will compensate Mendo for property tax loss as a result of the 2017 Redwood Complex fires. And the Board is planning to spend millions of dollars on capital improvements like a huge new software system and new roofs. And the Board still hasn’t received their long-overdue salary survey for line employees which will surely say that employees should get a raise which, if history is any guide, will be upwards of 10% over three years, plus possible bonuses.

MENDO presently has almost 300 “funded” but vacant positions, some of which are in the very slow process of being filled (many of those are not general fund positions), but not one word has been said about what impact such vacancies have on work or workloads for existing employees. (One wonders if Official Mendo even cares about workloads, backlogs, stress, productivity, etc. since so many positions are vacant and yet no one seems concerned about the vacancies. It’s as if whatever “work” Mendo does, especially in the soft-office jobs, has nothing to do with authorized staffing levels.)

ON THE OTHER HAND, the unfilled vacancies may offset some of the red ink. And Mendo might realize some grudging unbudgeted, unestimated revenues from the “minimum” tax they’re demanding from their few licensed pot growers who must pay a minimum tax even if they didn't grow or sell pot.

SO HERE’S SONOMA COUNTY addressing serious budget shortfalls in next year’s budget yet Mendo is only two months from next fiscal year and Mendo’s crack team of well-paid Supervisors and department heads and CEO staffers hasn’t even begun to address these and many other obvious problems in next year’s budget and their most recent data was already three months old when they looked at it last month.

(Mark Scaramella)

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EYES ONLY, ANDERSON VALLEY: School board meetings take place in a kind of sensory deprivation tank — large space, bright lights, blank walls, poor acoustics, hemorrhoid seating, in an overall ambience of a police state interrogation room. During the school day this uninviting room serves as a cafeteria. Of course most of us Americans received our haphazard indoctrinations in comparably excruciating ambiances and by now several generations of us have long been accustomed to physical and visual discomfort in any enterprise associated with public education. And to think that prior to World War Two school campuses, including Boonville's, were erected with great care with first priority going for their appearances and comforts. Then, The Fall, as best represented by Ukiah High School's windowless, neo-factory design, all of it site-prep for education, job, jail, death. Every school in the country of any size is now a matter of architectural form following an essentially authoritarian function.

BE ALL this as it objectively is, Tuesday night's meeting of the Anderson Valley School Board, previously limping along with a minimum quorum, albeit a sensible quorum of Saiorse Byrne, Elizabeth Jensen and Dick Browning reinforced by the equivalently sensible interim Superintendent, Michael Wayrch, is now reinforced by a fourth trustee, Kristin San Miguel, who was interviewed and seated on the spot, all in a swoosh, Tuesday night, duly sworn to protect the Boonville schools from "all enemies foreign and domestic." (It's the old state loyalty oath from the commie-hunting 1950's grabbed whole to apply to 2019 school trustees.) We now have four trustees; is there a fifth volunteer for this thankless task?

THE MOST interesting school business takes place in closed session, this one convening at 6pm, open session at 7. Closed session included discussion of "public employee discipline, dismissal, release." It was not revealed in open session who got the ax, nor is it likely to be revealed unless that person comes to our office and tells us the nature of his or her fatal sin. If it truly is a fatal sin, and over the years there have been some scorchers, the sinner will shuffle off into eternal edu-anonymity. Also in closed session, and confirmed in open session, the board agreed to hire Celeste Echeverria as full-time high school office assistant, along with a discussion of "labor negotiations," the province of trustee Browning, himself a former school administrator.

LIKE MANY school districts, Anderson Valley is facing a budget deficit of roughly half a million out of annual expenditures of roughly seven million, 80 to 85% of which goes to staff pay and benefits. The district also faces the loss of long-time key employees, including high school principal Jim Snyder and occasional fill-in principal Robert Pinoli; at the elementary school, Linnea Totten and Mitch Mendosa are gallantly taking early retirement to spare the possible layoffs of younger colleagues.

KIRA BRENNAN offered a spirited and timely pitch for physical education which, as she pointed out, is especially crucial in these sedentary times as more and more children succumb to bad food and no exercise to such a degree that childhood obesity now joins our nation's many rolling catastrophes. The editor of this publication asked the board to move board meetings back into high school library where meetings were held for many years, only resorting to the uninviting cafeteria for those exciting occasions when this or that school staffer is under fire.

THE SENIOR CLASS'S Senior Trip for a jaunt to Los Angeles was approved. The class will stay in Tustin and tour Universal Studios. They've raised almost ten thousand dollars for the trip, which they estimate will cost them nearly that amount.

TRACY ANDERSON, Elementary School principal, presented a comprehensive plan that seemed to cover every possible emergency, of which there are many in these troubled times.

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A WOULD-BE GROWER COMMENTS: "I’m in over $35k at this point just for fees and vampires. $36k/year to rent the parcel for the last three. Trying to get a 5000sqft permit. I’ve been told my project is “pretty straightforward” in comparison to many others. Starting with a few hundred dollars to my name in the beginning of 2016, I’ve thrown everything I’ve got at it. Russet mites nearly wiped me out in 2017. Since I started, I’ve been more or less paycheck to paycheck, just covering my costs of living and expenses. I just need about $7k more to pay some asshole to write a report that allows me to do about $400 of work to two old culverts (which work fine, but are undersized). My permit expires next week, and my consultant is leaving me hanging out to dry because I’m $1400 short on payment.

Meanwhile my retired landlord, who owns the property outright, blows through $3k a month like Kleenex tissue bitching about how her life is so tough."

SUPERVISOR McCOWEN, the person primarily responsible for this County's confused marijuana permitting program, said at Tuesday's rambling meeting of the Supervisors, that despite criticism of it it's making progress. His remarks will come as news to people like this poster:

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Cannabis Cultivation Annual Permit Renewal Process

Post Date: 04/10/2019 5:07 PM

Effective Monday April 15, 2019 the Cannabis Division of the Mendocino County Department of Planning and Building Services will accept applications for renewals of annual cannabis cultivation permits. The Cannabis Division will not be making appointments for annual permit application reviews.

All Cannabis Cultivation Renewal Permit applications will be submitted through the cannabis drop box located in the main lobby area of Planning and Building Services at 860 North Bush Street, Ukiah, CA, 95482.

Eligibility to renew your cultivation permit first requires an updated status from the Mendocino County Department of Planning and Building regarding your compliance plan, if applicable. If your cultivation permit was issued with restrictions, identified in the Compliance Plan, a complete application for each and every County permit that is required to clear the violations listed in the Compliance Plan must be submitted before the Cannabis Division will accept a renewal application for cultivation. Applicants who fail to comply with the Compliance Plan are not eligible to renew until they do so.

All application submission packets must be placed in an 8 ½ X 11 inch manila envelope labeled with the date of submission, applicant name, phone number, mailing address and cultivation site address.

For All Renewal Applications:

All renewal inquires require submission of the following completed forms:

  • Cultivation Permit Application
  • Cultivation and Operations Plan
  • Building Structure List
  • Site plan
  • Live Scan fingerprint form
  • Property Owner Consent form

Please update your contact information. Notices will be sent to emails and mailing addresses provided in your application.

Applicants are also required to submit updated information regarding statuses of permits and licenses including but not limited to those issued by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board (NCRWQB) and the California State Water Board. Any additional information required for complete applications should be submitted with the annual application.

  • Lake or Streambed Alteration Agreement
  • Water Board permits
  • Business organizational documents
  • Seller’s Permit
  • Well permit
  • Well completion report

Should you have any questions, please contact the Cannabis Division at 860 North Bush Street, Ukiah, CA 95482 or 707-234-6650.

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May 4th and 5th, more than 300 flowers, grasses, and tree branches will be identified and on display at the Boonville Fairgrounds (June Building). The plants most beneficial to bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds will be the focus of plants-on-sale this year. Lots of information will be provided, including which plants and trees host caterpillars that help songbirds feed their young!

Plant talks will be given by naturalists; attendees are welcome to bring in plants for experts to identify.

Some of Susan's botanical art pieces will be on site, and for sale -- two pieces will be offered on raffle!

Come join us in celebrating spring and all the lovely plants and wildflowers from our Valley!

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THE FORT BRAGG POLICE DEPARTMENT wishes to inform the merchants, citizens, and visitors of Fort Bragg, that enforcement of the 2 hour parking limit in the downtown business district will be starting on April 17, 2019.

Motorists utilizing parking spaces on City streets in the downtown areas of Fort Bragg from Oak Street north to Pine Street, and Main Street east to McPherson Street, are reminded that on-street parking is limited to 2 hours from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Sundays and Holidays are exempt from enforcement.

The Fort Bragg Police Department is welcoming back Parking Enforcement Attendant, Valerie Thornton. She will be touring the downtown areas, chalking tires and issuing parking citations when necessary. So say hello to Valerie, before she says hello to you. Parking violation penalties for the 2 hour parking zones designated by signage are $45.00. Merchants are asked to remind their employees that the City has free off-street parking available in various locations in downtown Fort Bragg if needed.

Any questions or concerns regarding the enforcement of the 2 hour parking regulations, or alternative parking locations should be directed to the Fort Bragg Police Department at 707-961-2800.

(Fort Bragg Police Dept Presser)

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“Planning Tomorrow, Enjoying Today!”

Sunday, April 24 at Lauren’s Restaurant in downtown Boonville, 4-5:30pm. Refreshments provided.

Blue Zones…

Exploring why people who live in them enjoy such long and healthy lives.

AV Village will hold their monthly Sunday afternoon gathering this coming Sunday, April 24, complete with snacks and beverages.

After social time, the topic under discussion will be "Blue Zones". I'm attaching our poster for further information.

You can also pick up an application for Volunteering, Membership, or to be a Paid Provider for the AV Village. However, this event on Sunday is open to the public, with no obligation to AV Village at all.

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Looking for a change…

I have now been living in the Fort Bragg area 1 year 4-months surviving myself self employed providing handyman work for those in need of my services. Hoping to find someone that can use a guy like me around to help out when needed to do maintenance work of sort around the property and house. I have tools and plenty of skills to get most done. I'm 60 years old and not getting any younger, wondering about that song forever young :-) oh well. I'm trying to slow down some so I don't totally wreck my body from the work I keep exposing myself into doing to survive and to be able to rent a place to live. I have not been paying into the system that will help me when I reach that retirement age and it worries me, my bad. I don't have any real immediate family or friends that I can really turn to if and when I may need that kind of help. I am clean and quiet when not doing at home and I don't have no pets or anyone to bring along, and I don't do no drugs or alcohol. I do have hobby work I do when at home, restoring stuff or creating something nice and my hobby work is real. My hobby work consists of sandblasting painting welding fabricating out of metal wood or plastic, mechanizing fixing building on a small to medium scale that my heart desires.

Help me Help You… 707-409-4147

Alfred Nunez,

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“I DOWNSIZED my life to one large suitcase, and I’ve been traveling non-stop for seven years. Everyone’s happy. My ex-wife got the real estate. And I got my peace.”

(Montevideo, Uruguay)

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Over the last month, the Humboldt County Coroner’s Office has seen two fentanyl overdose deaths. Based on toxicology reports, both individuals appear to have been using heroin laced with fentanyl. It’s unknown if the individuals knew about the presence of the fentanyl at the time of use. While these types of overdose deaths have been increasing across the country, these are the first fentanyl drug-related deaths recorded by the Humboldt County Coroner’s Office in several years.

(MENDO? None yet reported although there are plenty of Oxy-dependent people, enough that emergency services carries Narcan to revive overdosed users. AV Fire Department/Ambulance reports that they have not used any Narcan or epinephrine since they started carrying it last year.)

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NORTH COAST GRAPE CROP HITS RECORD with $2 billion harvest.

Farmworkers picked an all-time high 588,864 tons of grapes — a 26% increase from 2017 — from vineyards in Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino and Lake counties during harvest, which started in August and ended in November.

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The ordinance did not specify that 75% of Measure B funds had to go for Brick and Mortar. Fake News folks. That’s why Kemper designed the gap analysis and recommendations the way he did. The sheriff is spreading a false narrative. I’d be alright with 50/50 only if we made sure we weren't supplanting funds for services that ASO Schraeder is already being paid for but not delivering. Keep your eye on the ball folks.

Ordinance Of The County Of Mendocno, State Of California, Adding Chapter 5.180 To The Mendocino County Code Entitled The “Mental Health Treatment Act” Adopting A County Transactions (Sales) And Use Tax For The Specific Purpose Of Funding Improved Services, Treatment And Facilities For Persons With Mental Health Conditions

“For a period of five (5) years a “maximum” of 75% of the revenue deposited into the Mental Health Treatment Fund may be used for facilities, “with not less than” 25% dedicated to services and treatment; thereafter 100% of all revenue deposited into the Mental Health Treatment Fund shall be used for ongoing operations, services and treatment.”

Proposed Measure B Strategic Financing Plan

“To effectuate program development, it is recommended the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors approve a 10-Year Measure B Strategic Financing Plan to guide current and future use of Measure B revenues. The Financing Plan proposed in this section is designed to address the key shortcomings of the current mental health and SUDT continuums of care that Kemper Consulting Group has identified through its assessment of service gaps and future needs. The proposed Measure B Strategic Financing Plan that follows would address the following priority areas of need for mental health and substance use disorder services:

  1. Create an in-county residential treatment alternative to inpatient psychiatric care by funding construction of a Crisis Residential Treatment facility (land already purchased, plans approved, construction pending financing);
  2. Create a centralized system for mental health crisis assessment and intervention through annual dedicated operational funding for a Crisis Stabilization Unit (construction included as part of Crisis Residential Treatment facility), along with Medi-Cal and other reimbursements;
  3. Create in-county inpatient psychiatric treatment capacity by funding construction of Psychiatric Health Facility (pending RFP process); operations to be funded from existing revenue sources, including Realignment and Medi-Cal;
  4. Reach more persons with mental illness through expansion of programs and supports in communities across Mendocino County, based on a plan to be developed by BHRS. Such plan would consider all of the following: expansion of mobile outreach; expansion of wellness programs to include more robust array of services (medication management, employment services, other supports); expanded monitoring of clients engaged with the mental health system through greater intensity support services; one-on-one consumer and family support programs; and, day treatment and/or partial hospital programs.
  5. Reach more persons with substance use disorders through expansion of programs and supports in communities across Mendocino County, based on a plan to be developed by BHRS.
  6. Expand the reach of Full Service Partnerships to more seriously mentally ill people by dedicated annual funding (pending proposal from BHRS);
  7. Expand in-county Supportive Housing opportunities for mentally ill persons, including homeless mentally ill and individuals under conservatorship, by creating a Supportive Housing Pool for alternative housing support uses, such as construction, match for state/federal financing opportunities, rental subsidies and vouchers (pending proposal from BHRS and the county housing authority);
  8. Create a Prudent Reserve that is carried forward into Years 6-10 of the initiative, when the rate of sales tax collection drops from 1/2-cent to 1/8-cent and annual revenues drop from roughly $7.5 million to $2.0 million.”

(page 44. Behavioral Health System Gap Analysis & Recommendations )

James Marmon MSW

Former Mental Health Specialist

Sacramento, Placer, and Lake Counties

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CATCH OF THE DAY, April 11, 2019

Bland, Buckmaster, Chavez-Tapia, Faber

TRACI BLAND, Covelo. Failure to appear.

MARVIN BUCKMASTER, Fort Bragg. DUI causing bodily injury.

OMAR CHAVEZ-TAPIA, Ukiah. Suspended license.

SCOTT FABER, Ukiah. Paraphernalia, probation revocation.

Fard, Klein, Lowe

MEHDAD FARD, Santa Rosa/Mendocino. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

SARA KLEIN, Redway/Ukiah. Burglary, taking vehicle without owner’s consent, controlled substance, suspended license (for DUI).

JAMES LOWE, Ukiah. Petty theft, failure to appear.

McCoy, Pineda, Smith, Stanton

ANTHONY MCCOY, Ukiah. Controlled substance, unlawful display of registration, suspended license, no license, probation revocation.


DAVID SMITH, Kingston, New York/Ukiah. Domestic abuse, robbery.

KELLY STANTON, Ukiah. Disobeying court order.

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PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE Elizabeth Warren has released her 2018 tax returns, revealing that she and her husband made more than $900,000 last year. That total included $176,280 from her Senate pay and $324,687 from her books. Warren's husband, a Harvard Law School professor, paid $230,965 in taxes. This is the 11th year that Warren has released her returns. The disclosure comes after a number of Democratic hopefuls have released their financial information. “There’s a crisis of faith in government—and that’s because the American people think the government works for the wealthy and well-connected, not for them,” Warren said. “And they’re right. I’ve put out eleven years of my tax returns because no one should ever have to guess who their elected officials are working for. Doing this should be law.”

OUR FEARLESS northcoast reps, all of them interchangeable corporate Democrats — Huffman, Mcguire and Wood — are in no danger of spending nights under freeways but certainly are committed to the wealthier residents of their district.

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LUNCH BREAK at Douglas Aircraft in Long Beach, October, 1942. Photo Alfred Palmer.

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AT A HOUSE COMMITTEE hearing Tuesday on “The Need for Leadership to Combat Climate Change and Protect National Security,” the Kentucky Republican, Congressman Thomas Massie, thought he could own former secretary of state John Kerry. Kerry is an expert on climate change who helped broker the Paris climate accord and recently criticized president Trump for proposing to set up a task force that seeks to counter the scientific consensus on climate change. Massie calls advocates of climate action “alarmists” and believes that the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide is “plant food.”

The transcript of the literally unbelievable exchange follows:

Massie: Sec. Kerry, I want to read part of your statement back to you: “Instead of convening a kangaroo court, the president might want to talk with the educated adults he once trusted his top national security positions.” It sounds like you’re questioning the credentials of the president’s advisers, currently. But I think we should question your credentials today. Isn’t it true you have a science degree from Yale?

Kerry: Bachelor of arts degree.

Massie: Is it a political science degree?

Kerry: Yes, political science.

Massie: So how do you get a bachelor of arts, in a science?

Kerry: Well it’s a liberal arts education and degree. It’s a bachelor…

Massie: OK. So it’s not really science. So I think it’s somewhat appropriate that someone with a pseudo-science degree is here pushing pseudo-science in front of our committee today.

Kerry: Are you serious?! I mean this is really a serious happening here?

Massie: You know what? It is serious. You’re calling the president’s Cabinet a “kangaroo court.” Is that serious?

Kerry: I’m not calling his Cabinet a kangaroo court, I’m calling this committee that he’s putting together a kangaroo committee.

Massie: Are you saying it doesn’t have educated adults now?

Kerry: I don’t know who it has yet because it’s secret.

Massie: Well you said it in your testimony.

Kerry: Why would he have to have a secret analysis of climate change?

Massie: Let’s get back to the science of it.

Kerry: But it’s not science, you’re not quoting science!

Massie: Well, You’re the science expert. You have the political science degree.

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EVIDENCE SHOWED the 59-year-old brother-in-law was shot to death after he began cutting grass on a piece of Alabama property owned by 75-year-old Joseph Huffman's family.

Huffman argued he shot the man in self-defense. But a taped interview shows that Huffman appeared to say he “whacked” the other man for being on his land.

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WikiLeaks founder is found guilty of breaching bail by Westminster magistrates

Police have forcibly removed the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, from the Ecuadorian embassy in London and arrested him, after the Ecuadorian government withdrew asylum.

Appearing before Westminster magistrates, Assange was found guilty of breaching bail and was told he would face a jail sentence of up to 12 months when he is sentenced at crown court.

The 47-year-old had been taken into police custody for failing to surrender to bail and on a US extradition warrant, after Metropolitan police officers were invited into the Knightsbridge embassy. He had taken refuge there for almost seven years to avoid extradition to Sweden, where authorities wanted to question him as part of a sexual assault investigation.

He was being held on Thursday on a warrant issued by Westminster magistrates court on 29 June 2012, when he failed to surrender to the court.

Earlier, footage showed a bearded Assange shouting and gesticulating as he was carried out in handcuffs by plainclothes officers and put in a police van shortly after 10am.

Assange had refused to leave the embassy, claiming he would be extradited to the US for questioning over the activities of WikiLeaks.

Scotland Yard said: “The MPS [Metropolitan Police Service] has a duty to execute the warrant, on behalf of Westminster magistrates court, and was invited into the embassy by the ambassador following the Ecuadorian government’s withdrawal of asylum.”

Speaking to parliament, Theresa May thanked the Met and the Ecuadorian government and said: “This goes to show that in the United Kingdom no one is above the law.”

The Home Office confirmed that the US request for Assange’s extradition was for an alleged “computer-related offence”. A Home Office spokesperson said: “We can confirm that Julian Assange was arrested in relation to a provisional extradition request from the United States of America. He is accused in the United States of America of computer-related offences.”

The US justice department said Assange had been charged there over an alleged conspiracy “to break a password to a classified US government computer”.

Sweden’s chief prosecutor, Ingrid Isgren, said in a statement that the arrest was “news to us”, and she and colleagues were following developments. A preliminary investigation can be resumed in Sweden as long as the suspected crime is not subject to the statute of limitation, she added. In this case, the suspected crime would be subject to statue of limitations in mid-August 2020.

The president of Ecuador, Lenín Moreno, said on Twitter: “In a sovereign decision Ecuador withdrew the asylum status to Julian Assange after his repeated violations to international conventions and daily-life protocols.”

WikiLeaks said the Ecuadorian government had acted illegally in terminating Assange’s political asylum “in violation of international law”.

Outside the Ecuadorian embassy reporters were interviewing an Assange supporter wearing a placard reading “free Julian Assange” around his neck.

Kyle Farren, 22, from Knightsbridge, said: “I think I might have arrived just as he was taken. He was taken at about 10.30am.

“When I arrived there were three vans all parked out here and there was a semi-circle of police around the entrance, and a policewoman asked me to move on.”

A police van filled with officers that was outside the embassy left soon after the Guardian arrived. Across the road several dozen broadcast news journalists set up their cameras and lights. Farren remained outside the building, manning a shrine to the publisher and taking interviews with reporters from around the world.

Another Assange supporter, who witnessed the arrest, said: “There were at least six men dragging Julian out and more uniformed police standing by. Julian was talking but he was bundled into a van. He looked dazed.

“He hasn’t seen daylight in over six years so to bring him out into bright sunshine was really cruel. We feared this would happen over the weekend, probably in the middle of the night, so this is truly shocking.”

An arrest warrant was issued for Assange in 2010 for two separate allegations – one of rape and one of molestation – after he visited Sweden for a speaking trip. He launched a legal battle against extradition to Sweden but when that failed entered the Ecuadorian embassy in Hans Crescent and requested political asylum.

Elisabeth Massi Fritz, a lawyer for one of the two women who accused Assange, welcomed the arrest. “My client and I have just received the news that Assange has been arrested. That what we have been waiting and hoping for for almost seven years has now happened is clearly a shock to my client. We will do everything we can to ensure that the prosectors resume the Swedish preliminary investigation so that Assange can be extradited to Sweden and prosecuted for rape.”

Assange’s arrest comes one day after WikiLeaks accused the Ecuadorian government of an “extensive spying operation” against him, during which they claimed meetings with lawyers and a doctor inside the embassy over the past year were secretly filmed.

The arrest was welcomed by the British foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, who tweeted: “Julian Assange is no hero and no one is above the law. He has hidden from the truth for years. Thank you Ecuador and President Lenín Moreno for your cooperation with the Foreign Office to ensure Assange faces justice.”

Though the Ecuadorian government was sympathetic at the time Assange sought refuge, a change of government in 2017 has resulted in a toughening of its stance.

Hunt said Moreno “took a courageous decision which has meant we’ve been able to resolve the situation today”.

“We’re not making any judgment about Julian Assange’s innocence or guilt – that is for the courts to decide – but what is not acceptable is for someone to escape facing justice and he’s been trying to do that for a very long time.”

The home secretary, Sajid Javid, tweeted: “Nearly seven years after entering the Ecuadorian embassy, I can confirm Julian Assange is now in police custody and rightly facing justice in the UK.” He added: “No one is above the law.”

The Europe and Americas minister, Sir Alan Duncan, said: “It is absolutely right that Assange will face justice in the proper way in the UK. It is for the courts to decide what happens next.” He said the arrest followed extensive dialogue between the UK and Ecuador.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow hoped Assange’s rights would not be violated.

Britain has guaranteed to Ecuador that Assange would not be extradited to a country where he could face the death penalty. Moreno said in an video posted on Twitter following the arrest: “In line with our strong commitment to human rights and international law, I requested Great Britain to guarantee that Mr Assange would not be extradited to a country where he could face torture or the death penalty. The British government has confirmed it in writing, in accordance with its own rules.”

Assange supporters reported increased police activity at the embassy last weekend. Two armed officers went into the building on Saturday and people taking part in a vigil said teams of plainclothes officers were outside the embassy throughout the weekend.

"THE WHOLE IDEA BEHIND WIKILEAKS is to take the same technologies that allow the NSA, Google, etc, to turn you into a source of data, and turn it against them to make you more opaque and them more transparent.

This is why he's paying a price"


Once the documents and videos provided by Manning to Assange and WikiLeaks were published and disseminated by news organizations such as The New York Times and The Guardian, the press callously, and foolishly, turned on Assange. News organizations that had run WikiLeaks material over several days soon served as conduits in a black propaganda campaign to discredit Assange and WikiLeaks.

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Saturday, April 13

10:00am to 2:00pm

Calling all nature lovers; looks like we might have some dry weather for this Saturday’s BioBlitz!

Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens is hosting our very first event of this kind and we invite you to explore and help document our unique biodiversity. Team up with expert guides who will lead discovery groups focused on wildlife, cultivated plants, native plants, and more. The goal is to learn more about our natural surroundings and identify as many species as possible. Join us in a celebration and scientific survey of the plants and animals living at the Gardens. Bring the whole family (activities and fun for all ages) for a day of discovery.

Regular Gardens admission (free for members of the Gardens) is required to attend this event and may be paid upon arrival the day of the event at the Gardens' entrance. This event is free for educational groups (must sign up in advance by registering online or by calling 707-964-4352 x 19).

More details and

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Local friends and fans, here is some happy news! Nina Gerber and Chris Webster are returning to the Mendocino Coast on Sunday, May 5. This concert is hosted by Community Center of Mendocino to benefit the lovely facility that offers after-school programs as well as many community events and classes.

Chris Webster and Nina Gerber have been performing in our area for many years, from Little River Inn to Caspar Community Center, in Point Arena at the Arena Theater and with Duo Quartet at Kate Wolf Music Festival. Chris Webster’s career began nearly two decades ago as a teen-aged lead singer for one of California's best-known regional acts (Mumbo Gumbo). She boasts a successful resume highlighted by four solo releases (Drive, Now Playing, Something in the Water, My Name is Christine) and one amazing traditional Bluegrass/Americana recording (The Webster's 10,000 Miles) with her sister Cassie and renowned guitarist Scott Nygaard. With astonishing power and passion, her voice reaches magical heights, yet effortlessly turns on a dime to deliver gut wrenching torch songs and gentle ballads.

Expressing through her hands, rather than to gain attention, it is this integrity which makes Nina Gerber’s expressions worth intent listening. Nina has performed and/or recorded with: Karla Bonoff, Peter Rowan, Nanci Griffith, Greg Brown, Mollie O'Brien, Laurie Lewis, and many others. "Nina's guitar style is wide and brave. She uses each of her guitars as if it's the one she was born to play. Acoustic or electric, she sounds beautiful, smoky, precise, and full of the licks you love to hear."

Be sure to make your plans for Sunday, May 5 to include the blend of talent you will experience and enjoy with Chris Webster and Nina Gerber. Doors open at 7pm with wine and snacks and concert starting at 7:30pm. Tickets are $20 general admission, $25 for reserved seating. Purchase tickets here or by contacting Pattie at 937-1732, Watch some videos on YouTube at and there’s more information at

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“Rosé is coming.”

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THE CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE (CDFW), the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) are hosting several cannabis permitting workshops in May and June.

“These free events are designed to help cultivators through the state licensing process,” said James Rosauer, CDFW Cannabis Program Supervisor. “Participants can ask specific project questions and meet staff face to face. There is no better time to get help with a state cultivator license.”

CDFA will provide an overview of the state’s cannabis cultivation licensing program and review the requirements for a cannabis farming license. CDFW will cover Lake and Streambed Alteration agreements and how to limit environmental impacts. SWRCB will review policy and permitting, and other important information. Computers will be available for applicants to apply for water permits. Other agencies may include CAL FIRE, the Department of Pesticide Regulation, the Franchise Tax Board among city and county representatives.

These free workshops are ideal for new and existing cannabis cultivators, and those interested in the topic. Attendees will have time to talk with state agency staff about individual projects after the presentations.

The free workshops are scheduled on the following dates and times.

Thursday, May 9

  • 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (presentations begin at 10:30 a.m.)
  • Arts and Community Building
  • 10400 Heather Avenue
  • California City

Tuesday, May 14

  • 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (presentations begin at 10:30 a.m.)
  • Mateel Community Center
  • 59 Rusk Lane
  • Redway

Thursday, May 16

  • 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (presentations begin at 10:30 a.m.)
  • County Library Community Room
  • 995 Palm Street
  • San Luis Obispo

Tuesday, June 25

  • 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (presentations begin at 10:30 a.m.)
  • Natural Resources Building – First floor auditorium
  • 1416 Ninth Street
  • Sacramento

All state agencies encourage cannabis cultivators to obtain all necessary state licenses and county permits, as well as implement best management practices to reduce environmental impacts. Following these recommendations can help cultivators avoid common pitfalls that may lead to enforcement actions.

To learn more about CDFW’s role in cannabis cultivation, please visit or email

To report environmental crimes or a black market grow, please call the CalTIP hotline at (888) 334-2258 or text “CALTIP” followed by a space and the desired message, to 847411 (tip411).

(Press release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife)

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I don’t think there’s anything unreasonable in demanding that people either have paperwork proving vaccination or are vaccinated at the border if they wish to enter your country for whatever reason. Or indeed accept a period of quarantine (in decent conditions). We oblige people to do that with their pets, for goodness’ sake.

I hitch-hiked to Tunisia in the 70s and got all my vaccinations before I left home. On our arrival back in Marseille we all had to queue to have our papers checked as there had been a cholera outbreak in Tunisia while we were there.

In addition to the European holidaymakers on the boat, there were large numbers of Tunisian workers returning to France after their annual break home. Being students travelling on a shoestring, we were on the budget deck with the Tunisian workers and not on the top deck with the holidaymakers.

The only racism in evidence was that the Marseille authorities shunted my friend and me directly to the front of the long queue to have our papers checked because we were European. It was embarrassing.

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It's fun, it's family-friendly, it's outside, it's good for you, and it's for a GREAT cause! It's May 18.

(Cancer Resource Centers of Mendocino County)

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As I climbed out of bed an hour ago, I laughed for the first time today. Since then, I have laughed seven more times. Not only that, but none of them would have sounded to anyone like a scream. The first time, I think it was probably caused by the sheer joy of being able to do it. The next was because I suddenly knew what I would soon be recounting in writing.

Then I finished the last of Carol's curry and topped it off with butterscotch pudding. And then I watched the next episode of another internet time-waster: Six Feet Under [Amazon Prime]. And then I laughed the rest of the times. I have just suppressed another, as I notice that I am writing this. Who the fuck cares?

It is probably the most stupendously yeasty and joyous way to begin the day. It is possibly topped by laughing while coming, which I have also done.

Twice. Once at dawn.

There is no better way to begin the day. Might as well greet the day with open arms and curry than heating a cold bowl of chili and watching basketball reruns. It is therapeutic. It is optimistic. It keeps stress at bay. Lowers blood pressure. Moved one to forgive.

It's been twenty years since I last wrote a poem. Maybe today. There are kippers in my cupboard. Two new cheap pens. But I am running low on paper. I can't write poetry on this thing. If I'm successful, you'll see it here.

(Bruce Brady)

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MARK ROTHKO, Untitled (Green on Blue), 1968


  1. Eric Sunswheat April 12, 2019

    RE: Former statistician County of Mendocino Supervisor J. David Colfax and Dan Hamburg.

    ——>. Good write up flash from the past, in the AVA MCT blog a few days ago describing Supervisor David Colfax’s former political support coalition, along with a current unrelated article co-authored by his son Grant, a highly regarded big bucks mental health director in San Francisco. Funny thing David commented a number of years after leaving elected office, while pumping gas for his car in Ukiah, that he was never once ask for his opinion or his expertise or to serve in any capacity, by County officials or administration, after retiring from public service.

    BTW, former outpatient County Supervisor Dan Hamburg may be Mendocino’s last True Green, periodically spotted on the 101 in past two months, tooling along in single occupancy drive, at the actual speed limit in his late model silver Honda Accord, between Ukiah and Sonoma County points south. He’s the guy with a furtive glance sideways at passing motorists, who then buries his head away, LOL.

  2. mr. wendal April 12, 2019


    Thank you, Mr. Macdonald. What a bombshell, indeed. Too bad about Mr. Ellis. I’d love to know his candid thoughts about the future of the hospital.

    Very odd about the RFP. Affiliation with another group is probably our only path to survival but the process might ruin our chances. I hope someone on the board will speak up and let us know if Mr. Allen sent it out without direction from them.

  3. Harvey Reading April 12, 2019

    “AT A HOUSE COMMITTEE hearing Tuesday on ‘The Need for Leadership to Combat Climate Change and Protect National Security,’”

    When will people here stop using military terminology when discussing and conceiving solutions to every problem? It’s a big problem. Get real, and get rid of the military mindset. And no more “strategic” plans. Every such “plan” I’ve seen was pure hokum.

    • Harvey Reading April 12, 2019

      “Mission statements”, too …

      The military is the most wasteful government function ever. Emulating it is pure stupidity.

  4. james marmon April 12, 2019


    Last week I heard Carmel Angelo talk about a 38 million dollar project, she also said that there was not going to be much money left over after that project. Apparently, she has her eye on a combination PHF, CRT, and CSU at one of 3 sites, ole Howard, Orchard, and Dora. She needs to clarify her statement, does she know something that nobody else knows? I want to know why the County paid Lee Kemper $60,000.00 for his work if it is going to be completely ignored? Is throwing money at a single project and effective and sustainable use of the Measure B revenues over time? Is she just going to ignore other gaps in the continuums of care? Ignoring other facility options such as working with local hospitals just “don’t make much sense” to me.

    Behavioral Health System Gap Analysis & Recommendations

    “Mendocino County’s Measure B, the “Mental Health Treatment Act,” was approved by County voters on November 7, 2017. Over the first five (5) years, Measure B will generate roughly $38 million for behavioral health facility construction and ongoing operations, services and treatment. Kemper Consulting Group was hired by Mendocino County to:

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

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

  5. Harvey Reading April 12, 2019

    !@#$%^ Bernie.


    “+ In the hours since Assange’s arrest, Bernard Sanders has tweeted about his legion of volunteers, his organizing parties, the Trump tax cuts, Stop & Shop, the floods in Iowa, health care, the nurses strikes in New York and his own history as a civil rights campaigner. I started out holding my breath waiting for him to mumble even a vague word about how the arrest and indictment of Assange poises a grave threat to first amendment rights. But by late Thursday night there was still nothing and I had almost exhausted the supplemental oxygen I’d stockpiled for my assault on K2.+

  6. james marmon April 12, 2019


    Lee Kemper in his 2016 report made some recommendations to the Board of Supervisors about the accountability of the ASO system and County BHRS/MH. ASO Schraeder just took over ASO Ortner’s contract, even used the same sub-contractors Ortner set up, such as Manzanita House, and Hospitality House. The contract used by RQMC now for adult mental health care is almost exactly the same contract the County and Ortner entered into.

    “If nothing changes, then nothing changes”

    Review of Mendocino County’s Administrative Service Organization (ASO) Model for the Delivery of Mental Health Services (February 5, 2016)

    “We recommend the County Executive direct BHRS/MH to prepare and present quarterly “Financial Summary Reports” that provide summary financing, budgeting, expenditure, and service delivery information on all aspects of the Mental Health Delivery System – both ASOs and county delivered services. In the first of these reports, BHRS/MH should provide a description and outline of the overall structure of financing and budgeting for ASO delivered services and county-staff delivered services.

    Further, we recommend the County Executive direct BHRS/MH to make a recommendation on when an independent financial audit of both ASOs will be conducted and for which time periods.”

    -Lee Kemper and Associates

  7. james marmon April 12, 2019

    What enviro-mentals (socialists/communists) don’t want you to know.

    Climate Solutions » Technology Solutions
    Carbon Capture


    -Carbon capture, use, and storage technologies can capture more than 90 percent of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from power plants and industrial facilities.

    -Captured carbon dioxide can be put to productive use in enhanced oil recovery and the manufacture of fuels, building materials, and more, or be stored in underground geologic formations.

    -Almost two dozen commercial-scale carbon capture projects are operating around the world with 22 more in development.

    -Carbon capture can achieve 14 percent of the global greenhouse gas emissions reductions needed by 2050 and is viewed as the only practical way to achieve deep decarbonization in the industrial sector.

    Policy Support for Carbon Capture

    “There is strong bipartisan support to accelerate carbon capture deployment. In February 2018, Congress extended and expanded key financial incentives for investment in several advanced low-carbon technologies. The two-year budget package included the FUTURE Act, sponsored by Senators Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.). The legislation reforms and extends a federal tax credit to boost carbon capture, known as Section 45Q. The FUTURE Act also allows for the first time use of the tax credit for capture of carbon monoxide from industrial facilities like steel mills, direct air capture of CO2 from the atmosphere, and for the conversion of captured carbon into useful products.”

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