Mendocino County Today: February 12, 2012

by AVA News Service, February 11, 2012

A FORT BRAGG woman was arguing with her husband, the assumption was and is, just before 8am Friday morning when he called the cops for help. When the cops appeared, the 23-year-old woman jumped into her aged GMC Jimmy and drove it full speed into a room at the nearby Tradewinds Motel. “The room was absolutely destroyed,” said Sgt. Brandon Lee of the Fort Bragg Police Department. “The bed was mutilated, the plumbing was ripped out of the walls and water was spraying everywhere. If anyone had been in there, they would have been killed.” Sgt. Lee said the car went almost completely through the other side of the room before it stopped. The unhinged young woman scrambled out of the car and out of the room “through a busted window,” only to be promptly arrested and detained for mental health observation. Sgt. Lee said the car was “wiped out” and the hotel likely suffered about $50,000 in damage. Apparently the more violent half of a well-known FB street couple, the young woman may have destroyed a Tradewinds unit, but the real question is: Does he still love her?

THE ARMY CORPS of Engineers has been granted more than $3 million in additional funds for habitat restoration in Dry Creek (Sonoma County) and to do work alleged to be in the survival interests of Russian River coho. In 2008, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) issued a ponderous document called the “Russian River Biological Opinion,” one of those things that employs a hundred people to come up with the obvious — fish need water. The “Opinion” was directed to the Sonoma County Water Agency (Water Agency), which owns most of the water in Lake Mendocino, and the Army Corps, both partners for the Russian River Project including Lakes Sonoma and Mendocino. A biological opinion is a determination made by a federal agency to help restore and protect threatened or endangered species, and the NMFS “found that Warm Springs and Coyote Valley Dams and related water supply activities are likely to jeopardize the continued existence of coho salmon and steelhead and adversely modify their critical habitats.” I should say. No water, no fish.

MENDOCINO Superior Court judges Richard Henderson and Clay Brennan are unopposed for re-election, which is too bad because both should be challenged if for no other reason than to compel them to explain their suspicious disposition of certain cases. Henderson recently announced he would “re-visit” sentencing of a man whose best friend died in a Hopland drunk driving episode. That man just happened to hire as his attorney a well-connected San Diego lawyer who just happens to sit on the state judicial committee responsible for funding the new County courthouse in Ukiah. Coincidence? Brennan, who now presides over Ten Mile Court in Fort Bragg, was sitting as presiding judge in Willits when the matter of Clint Smith, a Willits teacher who’d been sleeping with a 15-year-old student of his, came before him. In similar cases, local men typically get packed off to the state pen for 3-5 and are required to register as sex offenders for the rest of their priapic lives. But Smith, in a grotesque sentencing procedure before a courtroom packed with Willits big shots (a self-cancelling phrase, of course, but still….) and leaders of the local Mormon church, was given a few months in the County Jail and not required to register as a sex offender. Superior court judges serve six-year terms and are paid $180,000 a year plus an array of perks not enjoyed by most Americans.

GOVERNOR BROWN has signed SB 81, the bill that restores funding for rural school buses. SB 81 replaces the $248 million cut to the Home-to-School Transportation program made by Governor Brown, with a smaller, more equitable reduction across all school districts in California. As a budget bill, SB 81 will go into effect immediately.

TO THE BENCH young Brennan did trudge

Smith’s perversions he didn’t begrudge

Smith showed no repentence

Yet he got a light sentence

Might as well let Humbert Humbert be judge.


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