You Read It Here First, Monday 16 January

by AVA News Service, January 15, 2012

Welcome to Mendocino County Today, a new AVA blog. From this morning forward, in this space, we'll be posting daily bulletins on breaking stories specific to or affecting Mendocino County.

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VERN PIVER, Fort Bragg's unofficial mayor, is at UCSF recovering from surgery. He is doing well, and doctors are optimistic that he'll make a full recovery. The popular Piver is 78 and is widely considered among the best athletes ever to have come out of Mendocino County.

NORCAL football fans are rejoicing that San Francisco Forty Niners will meet the New York Giants next Sunday at Candlestick. If the Giants had lost to Green Bay, the Niners would have to play in Green Bay. Sunday's game may, we all hope, see the Niners go to the Super Bowl.

TELEMARKETING CROOKS are cold-calling Mendo residents to solicit donations for the Mendocino County Sheriff's Department. The Sheriff's Department says these solicitations are bogus.

WITH THE FEDS threatening to sue, Mendocino County will "reconsider" its medical marijuana licensing programs, unofficially called "the zip tie program." The Supes will discuss ways to amend the County's existing ordinance to get the feds off their backs.

SECOND DISTRICT Supervisor John McCowen has been elected Board chair. 5th District Supe Hamburg, vice-chair.

UKIAH'S DOWNTOWN Post Office has closed. Efforts to keep the graceful, pre-War structure open all failed. Locals are worried that the WPA mural in the lobby, painted by Ben Cunningham, may disappear, as did the old Black Bart painting disappeared from the Palace Hotel.

A PAIR OF BROWN COUNTY TEXAS cops flew to Ukiah last Tuesday to escort Chris Diaz, medical marijuana martyr, back to Texas where Diaz faces 5-99 years in state prison for possession of a quarter ounce pot product and additional charges of bail jumping.

YOU MUST KNOW by now that Branches Restaurant in Ukiah has closed. The upscale (by Ukiah standards) eatery employed 65 people.

WAL-MART UKIAH is inviting supporters of its plan to expand to a 24-hour megastore to a free meal. Expect to be fed as long as you show up to mau-mau the Ukiah City Council. “WE NEED YOU! Please join us Wednesday, January 18, at 6pm to voice your support for the Walmart expansion plan. This hearing is our first opportunity to show the Ukiah City Council that the community wants this expansion! To demonstrate our great community support, we need all of our supporters in attendance. We’ll be hosting a dinner for supporters beginning at 5pm on the night of the hearing. To RSVP or get more details, email us at info@ukiahcan.org or call us at 707/703-4978. www.UkiahCAN.org."

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