Mendocino County Today: January 25, 2012

by Bruce Anderson, January 24, 2012

COUNTY COUNSEL Nadel announced late Monday that the County employees bumblingly represented by SEIU have voted in favor of the proposed Tentative Agreement as have the Supervisors:

• A 10% permanent general wage reduction effective the first full pay period after formal approval by the Board

• A labor management committee which will meet the second Thursday of every month.

• The term of the agreement will be until June 30, 2013.

• There will be an increase in annual Personal Leave hours from 24 to 30.

• All previously signed Tentative Agreements (TA's) will be adopted.

• All PERB charges will be withdrawn with prejudice.

• The Union agrees to the County's new tier of retirement for new hires whenever this is adopted. The deal will be formally approved on February 14th.

STATE PARKS officials have packaged Hendy Woods with four other state parks in Mendocino County to put them out to bid for operation by private parties. Hendy Woods, Russian Gulch State Park, Westport Union Landing, and Standish-Hickey (near the Humboldt County line), and Austin Creek State Park in Sonoma County were identified as up for grabs. State Parks officials deny that this is an effort to privatize the parks, but in the next breath say the deals would only be for five years. Private concessionaires would be required to share 3% of their profits with the state. A local nonprofit would be required to put 100% of the proceeds back into the park. Level playing field? Not quite.

THE DEAL was set to be approved by the State Public Works Board last Thursday but has been held up to address "outstanding concerns." The biggest outstanding concerns are that local groups were blindsided by the proposal, which is stacked against them and, natch, favors outside corporate interests. The local non-profits, relying on shoestring budgets and volunteers, are struggling to come up with a plan to operate the parks, but such a venture by people with no experience running a large scale enterprise like Hendy Woods requires time and planning.

ACCORDING to the Sheriff's Department, Oxycontin, Oxycodone, Vicodin and Norco "are the most abused polypharmacy (the mixing of many drugs in one prescription) drugs we have in the county right now. Each is running about $10 a milligram."  We've heard from various sources for several years that certain physicians are writing scrips for people they know are dope heads.

SOMEWHAT SURPRISINGLY, candidate Jared Huffman was denied the endorsement of the state Democratic Party regional delegates who met last Saturday in Santa Rosa. With 50% approval being necessary to endorse, Huffman got only 48% to a strong 37% for upstart Norman Solomon, 12% for Marin County Supervisor Susan Adams and 1% for San Rafael businesswoman and political neophyte Stacy Lawson. The lack of an endorsement from local party insiders is a clear victory for Solomon, given that Huffman has the endorsement of Congressman Cork Top, Assemblyman Wes "I'm Looking Into It and I'm Very Concerned" Chesbro, and a long list of current and former corporate bag men and women. (The noble exception being Sonoma County Lynne Woolsey, the only progressive Democrat from this area to hold office at the higher levels since Clem Miller back in the early 1960s. We don't know who she's supporting.) For the last 20 years or so a handful of Democratic Party insiders have met behind closed doors to anoint the next hack or hackette to occupy the local power slots at four times the pay of the average working citizen of the district. You know we live in turbulent times when even the relentless party nuzzlebums of the Democratic Central Committees can't agree on a candidate.

ALISA COLBERG, 18, a gang-affiliated Fort Bragg woman who describes herself as Fort Bragg’s “dominant female” — move over Kendall Smith — was seriously injured last January in a hatchet attack by 22-year-old MariCruz Alvarez-Carrillo during a gang fight near the CV Starr Aquatic Center. Ms. Alvarez-Carrillo, 22, the mother of a child about a year old, lives at 215 Minnesota Avenue, Fort Bragg. She was found guilty of three counts of assault with a deadly weapon last week but not guilty of gang affiliation. (Huh?) Alvarez-Carrillo will be sentenced on February 24th. Also last week, Fort Bragg police had great difficulty arresting a 17-year-old gang-banger at 215 Minnesota. That address is the site of much gang-related violence. One of the arresting officers suffered a fractured wrist in the struggle to take the delinquent into custody.

THE GOVERNOR’S BUDGET speech last Wednesday morning bodes ill for state schools. The gov is basically holding the schools hostage pending the outcome of his ballot initiative to raise taxes. If the measure fails, schools could see funding cuts of 10 percent or more. First to go in Mendocino County will be school buses. Mendocino has already eliminated student transport.

THE ROBES want a new Taj Mahal

With parking and portraits in the hall

Of  Their Honors of yore—

In a real eyesore

Which in the first temblor will fall.

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