Watershed Group Update

Assembly Bill 2121 (“Protecting North Coast Fisheries”) was signed into law in 2004. It called for the State Water Resources Control Board to issue a new draft North Coast Instream Flow Policy. (We discussed the poison pill in the new policy — watershed groups made up of moneyed diverters only — at length in these […]

Will Mendo Ever Again Have Affordable Housing?

Back in 2004 the Ukiah office of Legal Services of Northern California (formerly Redwood Legal) sued Mendocino County because the County’s “Housing Element,” a state-mandated ingredient of county general plans, did not comply with state law. Mendo’s Housing Element wasn’t worth the fancy paper it was written on — the fancy paper known as the […]

What Really Happened To Marvin Noble

Remember the Marvin Noble case? Noble was shot dead by Ukiah Police back in 1998 when he tried to walk back to his Ukiah apartment after the Mendocino Mental Health department dispatched the cops because he wouldn’t take his Haldol. Noble, a 300-plus pound black man, was enrolled in California’s “CONREP” (Conditional Release) program, an […]

The Mendo Pot Chronicles

A cautionary tale, versions of which have happened here, and will continue to happen here. On January 9th of this year, Rex Farrance, 59, a long-time technical editor of PC World Magazine, was murdered in a home invasion robbery. Farrance, at the apparent behest of his son, had a large indoor grow going in his […]

Supervisors Have Ball Removed

THERE ARE TWO conventional schools of thought about why the Supervisors fired their relatively new Chief Executive Officer John Ball last Wednesday in a special closed session. (The Supes themselves have refused to explain the firing on the advice of County Counsel.) The "conservative" view is that Ball was doing a peachy job, but when […]

The Blind Leading the Ophthalmologists: Hospital Mulls $10 Bond (Or Tax)

There were four different official versions of the recent departure of Coast Hospital’s Chief Financial Officer Jacob Lewis. Hospital Business Development Director Heather Paulsen described Lewis’s departure as “taking on a new challenge.” Lewis himself saw his departure as “a growth opportunity.” The Hospital Board called it a voluntary resignation. And several Fort Bragg residents […]

The Staff Runs the Show: Planning Commission Votes To Do Nothing About Esterlina Winery’s Roadside Parking

A suspicious odor of deja vu permeated the Supervisors Chambers in Ukiah last Thursday afternoon when the Mendocino County Planning Commission considered a modification of Esterlina Winery’s Holmes Ranch use permit “to address issues of visitation and off-site parking when on-site parking demand exceeds availability.” Planning department staff had already decided that there was no […]

Supplementary Coast Hospital Board Meeting Notes

At the Hospital Board Meeting on February 9th when the Hospital Resource Council recommendations were discussed (see savethehospital.org), Hospital Board Chair Charlene McAllister noted in passing during the discussion of the $250 San Francisco-based affiliation consultant that the CEO can authorize up to $25k without board approval. What a coincidence that the expensive, non-competitively-bid affiliation […]

OFF THE RECORD: Hospital Footnotes

A FEW FOOTNOTES to Mr. Sanicki’s report on the independent audit presented to the Coast District Hospital Board last week. Four people commissioned the audit — Tom Birdsell, Mike Dell’Ara, Richard Miller and Vince Taylor, aka the Hospital Resource Council. (Others are involved as well.) Birdsell and Dell’Ara are former Bay Area high-tech execs who […]

Alternate Realities at Coast Hospital

There are two dramatically different views of the Mendocino Coast District Hospital’s financial problems. The administration, lead by CEO Bryan Ballard, says that it is operating too many “money losing” programs and that if the District’s residents won’t tax themselves to the tune of $96/parcel to fill the gap, the Hospital will be forced to […]