Off The Record

by AVA News Service, June 13, 2013

HAMBURG CLAIMS DAMAGES FROM THE COUNTY Dan Hamburg's Claim Against Mendocino County [Attorney Barry Vogel's Letterhead] May 28, 2013 To: Thomas Parker, Mendocino County Counsel Re: Claim Against Mendocino County. Failure to issue a death certificate and burial permit for Carrie J. Hamburg, aka Carol Jean Hamberg who died on March 5, 2013. Dear Mr. Parker, I represent Daniel E. Hamburg, the widower of Carol Jean Hamburg, aka Carol Jean Hamburg who died on March 5, 2013, and the executor of her estate filed as Mendocino County Superior Court Case SC UK CVPB 13260080. Based on the continuing refusal and failure of Mendocino County to issue a burial permit for and a death certificate certifying the fact that Carrie J. Hamburg, aka Carol Jean Hamburg, is deceased and buried, this claim is hereby made pursuant to government code Section 910. The fact that she is buried on private real property does not negate the fact that she is deceased. A death certificate and burial permit should therefore be issued. The present amount of this claim exceeds $10,000 for the legal fees incurred to date by the claimant. The amount of this claim will continue to accrue until resolution and may result in an unlimited civil action. All correspondence regarding this matter is to be sent to me at the above address. Yours very truly, Barry Vogel, Esq.

CARRIE HAMBURG'S RESTLESS BONES. There are legal ways to get home burials done. They are costly but Supervisor Hamburg, a wealthy man, certainly had the $30,000-plus to establish a family burial site on his 46 acres.

THE SUPERVISOR and his late wife also could have made a public issue of home burials several years ago, or certainly before Mrs. Hamburg died when she made her last wishes known, wishes emphasizing her desire to be buried at her home, no matter what the laws said. She'd been battling cancer for some time before her death, which was not unanticipated.

JUDGE LECHOWICK signed off on Jay Baker's desire to be buried next door to his True Value Hardware store in downtown Gualala. Dan Hamburg has no friends among this County's abundant judges, sitting or retired? None of his lib judge pals would give him the necessary permission?

HAMBURG could also have introduced a local ordinance permitting home burials. That ordinance would be helpful to lots of families, not just him. Yes, home burials are illegal in California, but this is the county that took on the federal government over marijuana policy. Who among the present supervisors would oppose a reasonable home burial ordinance?

BUT THAT'S NOT what happened. The Hamburgs decided that somehow they should be above the rules, that they should be permitted to violate the law because, well, because they are who they are. Now what we're going to get is a prolonged legal wrangle that's going to cost our broke county a lot of money it doesn't have.

LADIES AND GERMS, introducing Miss Kelsey Pierce, 19, of Ukiah, 5'4" and 118 pounds, busted for allegedly busting her Sig Other in his undoubtedly deserving chops. Because her bail is set at $25,000 rather than the usual $10,000 Miss Pierce must have struck Lover Man while she was holding something, maybe an electronic gizmo, maybe a whoopee cushion.

Whatever, and call us old school, but what kind of shameless wimp-twit would call the police on this fairest bloom of the Ukiah Valley? Wouldn't a self-respecting man cry out in delight, "Again, Miss Pierce! Hit me again! Slay me even, but I'm at your feet forever." Instead, this guy calls the cops.

RAILROADIES at the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors last week; HumCo Board Opts for Richard Marks Over RR Favorite Dan Hauser. The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 to appoint Humboldt Bay Harbor District Commissioner Richard Marks as one of its two representatives on the board the North Coast Railroad Authority. Supervisors Sundberg, Bass and Lovelace voted for Marks; Supervisors Bohn and Fennell voted for former State Assemblyman Dan Hauser, who wrote the legislation that created the beleaguered state-owned rail line back in the late 1980s. It was a close vote, and a somewhat contentious one. The train believers showed out at the meeting to carry the banner for Hauser, who is a true believer in the train. Marks’ railroad faith was questionable, given that he serves on the Harbor District, which has not embraced the iron horse’s glorious return to the shores of Humboldt Bay with sufficient zeal. Hauser, they argued, had the Sacramento connections required to breathe life into the moribund and line-wrecked train, which hasn’t made a trip to Humboldt County in 15 years. The liberal/lefty contingency, meanwhile, came to sing the praises of Marks, as did his fellow Harbor District Commissioners. They saluted his support of trail projects and his realism in relation to train issues. Board Chair Ryan Sundberg cast the last and deciding vote on the issue. Saying that he had a hard time making up his mind — and, in fact, had not yet made up his mind — he equivocated for several moments as he had the floor, eventually deciding on Marks on the argument that the NCRA and the Harbor District needed closer ties. Humboldt County’s other representative on the NCRA is Supervisor Estelle Fennell. She and Bohn, who joined her in supporting Hauser, expressed admiration and liking for Marks, and signaled that they would not be too disappointed if the vote went his way. Arcata City Councilmember Alex Stillman was recently appointed to the board to represent city governments along the railroad’s right-of-way. — Hank Sims (Courtesy,

RURAL AMERICA IS DYING OUT as a combination of young people leaving their home towns to work in the city and a fall in birth rates has forced the population to plummet, official data shows. While the rural population has risen and fallen along with the economy before, the rate it has fallen between 2010 to 2012 has accelerated, the US Census Bureau figures show. And, for the first time, the number of babies born in these communities has not been enough to balance the number of people moving away. John Cromartie, a geographer with the US Department of Agriculture’s Resource and Rural Economics Division, told the Financial Times the exodus of younger residents had left many rural areas with a population “aging in place.” As people in their 20s and 30s left to start families in urban areas, the birth rates of rural America has declined significantly. It is not clear if the decline is permanent, but much of rural America — which makes up 15% of the population across 72% of the country's land area — faces significant population decline. It has been nearly 100 years since those living in rural America, defined as open country and settlements with fewer than 2,500 residents, outnumbered those in urban areas. As young adults move away, and populations decline, there is less demand for businesses and teachers, which reduces available services and, in turn, deters families from moving back. Rural communities are not the only areas dying out. Researchers noted that “exurban areas” which had seen an increase for decades on the outskirts of cities, have also started to decline for the first time. Although the decline was small, it appears considerable after 2004 to 2006, when these areas grew by about 500,000. Urban areas and cities are seen as offering better opportunities to young families. Not all rural areas are suffering however. North Dakota, which is experiencing an oil boom, and other states with access to energy sources, have had a growth in population. The mid-west, and parts of the industrial northeast have had the biggest population decline, which could impact the economy as well as the politics of those states. With their appeal to urban voters it is a trend that is benefiting the Democrats. It is also easier to organize and encourage people to go out and vote in urban parts of the US. At the end of last year Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack warned America's 51 million farmers, ranchers and rural residents that they were in danger of losing their voice in Washington. “Rural America, with a shrinking population, is becoming less and less relevant to the politics of this country, and we better recognize that, and we had better begin to reverse it,” he said. More than 80% of lawmakers do not represent rural areas, according to USA Today. Mr. Vilsack added that despite a strong agricultural economy poverty rates remained 17% higher than in metropolitan areas. “You are competing against the world now and opportunities everywhere. Young people have all of these opportunities,” he warned the rural groups. Communities supplying renewable fuel sources, such as Storm Lake, Iowa, are seeing growth, however. The effect the population shift has on politics is increased further as the decline of white rural voters is relative to the growing minority, such as Hispanics. This shift has led to political issues such as immigration reform being pushed. Mr. Cromartie said further analysis was needed, but previous studies suggested rural America was aging faster than the rest of the nation. In 2009 data for the first half of the decade showed, for example, those aged 65 and over accounted for 15% of the rural population, but 12% of the population nationally. (Courtesy, the Daily Mail of London)

JEFF COSTELLO WRITES: Hillary — seriously? My friends in Portland lived in Morocco for some time. While they were there, H. Clinton came for some kind of “diplomatic mission.” They brought in two jumbo jets, one for her and one for her vehicles. They did not trust Moroccan limos, apparently. While she was in the country, her security apparatus was so huge and overbearing that most of the country was shut down, paralyzed during the entire visit. Everyone was pissed off, even my otherwise PC friend who was trapped in a US consulate, not allowed to leave. Oh why oh why do they hate us?

UNCONFIRMED, but it seems that the new County Courthouse is back on track. Funding for the indefensible project has been on again, off again, but is on again for now.

ASIDE from its mega-eyesore dimensions, and I say this sight unseen but on the basis of the now abandoned Willits Courthouse, the new structure will house only judges and their immediate ancillary staff. Everyone else conveniently now housed in the existing Courthouse will stay where they are, and these people include the DA and the court clerks. Since only their majesties will enjoy their new quarters, everyone else involved in the court process will have to hump their files two long blocks up and down Perkins.

AND IT'S A CORRUPTED project out of the box, with the well-connected buying up the properties adjoining the proposed new Courthouse where it may be located on the south side of Perkins Street near the old railroad depot. The vultures, who of course include lawyers, hope to lease back office space to the County at the usual inflated rents the County pays.

THE RUBES pushing the thing cite the big shot architectural firm doing the design, as if the big boys won't simply go to Plan Draw Neo-Totalitarian for the usual glass and steel high rise security bunker. We won't get a building that will lift Ukiah's spirits, set the whole County's heart singing at its splendor; we'll get a version of the Willits monstrosity, a structure so hideous you can feel your life force flee just walking past it.

ANOTHER ARGUMENT for the new Courthouse emphasized by the rubes is handicapped access. “O the poor dears. They have such a terrible time getting up to the courtrooms upstairs.” As if lifting a wheelchair-bound person up to the third floor of the present building is completely beyond all known engineering abilities.

THEY ALSO CITE “security.” The catch of the day, plus the occasional wild man, is shuffled from the County Jail van across a few feet of sidewalk and on into the Courthouse. The catch of the day is brought in in cuffs and belly and ankle chains, the occasional tough guy in cuffs and chains accompanied by three or four jailers. Years ago a killer's mother tried to hand her son a gun as he was being hustled into the Courthouse off the public sidewalk. She was unsuccessful. That's it. That one close call. But the judges have pointed at it ever since.

WHAT THE JUDGES haven't pointed out but have pointedly ignored, is the plain fact that a lot of the shuffling of inmates from the Jail to the Courthouse and back again is totally unnecessary if the judges would hold most of the preliminary stuff out at the Jail itself, thus saving the time and transportation expense of shuffling people back and forth.

THE PRESENT COURTHOUSE is perfectly, well, imperfectly, suitable for processing low-income Americans in and out of jail. No need for a new process center.

ON MAY 31, 2013, at 1am the Sheriff's Office was advised that a 16-year-old female had been attacked by an unknown male adult while walking to a relative’s residence on Concow Boulevard in Covelo. A Sheriff's Detective responded to the Ukiah Valley Medical Center where he interviewed the victim and collected physical evidence. The victim informed the Detective that she had been walking across a field near Concow Boulevard at approximately 10pm the day before, May 30, 2013, when she was attacked. The victim stated the suspect grabbed her by the hair and forced her to the ground. The victim fought off the suspect and ran to the safety of a relative's residence. The victim sustained minor injuries during the struggle which were treated while she was at the hospital. The victim described the suspect as being an older Native American male adult who was possibly bald. Sheriff's Deputies searched the area where the reported assault took place but were unable to locate the suspect. Anyone having information regarding this case is asked to call the Sheriff's Office Tip-Line at 707-234-2100.

CRIME OF THE WEEK: Shawn Lane, 24, of Sacramento, is accused of multiple felonies for holding three Fort Bragg men hostage in their apartment. During his occupation of the dwelling, Lane repeatedly hit the men — one of them a 65-year-old — with a stick and a metal thermos. To emphasize his menace to his hostages, Lane dramatically killed the family cat as the men apparently looked on. Lane's connection to his three captives is not known, but he does have a prior for elder abuse in the Sacramento area. The murdered cat was found buried a block from the home where the men were held hostage for at least three days.

THE FAMILY OF FIVE MONTH OLD INFANT Emerald Herriot has taken the first formal steps in their wrongful death lawsuit against the County of Mendocino by filing a claim against the County. County employees named in the claim are: Chuck Dunbar, Teresa Baumeister, John Melnicoe, Sue Norcross and Rita Hurley of the Mendocino County Department of Social Services.

BACKGROUND: Wilson ‘Josh’ Tubbs is currently facing charges of child abuse causing death for allegedly beating the five month old infant girl who was placed in his care by Mendocino County, even though he had at least one drug-related arrest. Tubbs is accused of causing 49 or more bruises, two skull fractures, multiple hemorraghes and severe inter-cranial bleeding after baby Emerald was taken from her mother by Mendocino County Child Welfare Services staff back on June 28 of last year. The family alleges that Mendocino County was negligent in placing the baby in a home which included a known drug abuser. The wrongful death suit that will follow the criminal case will take some time to reach court, probably after the Tubbs trial is over.

THE FEDERAL lawsuit filed by the Willits Environmental Center, the Sierra Club, the Center for Biological Diversity and the Environmental Protection Information Center against Caltrans and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers opposing the current Willits bypass has been postponed until June 21. Natch, their judicial majesties gave no reason for the delay.

COMMENT OF THE WEEK: “I've thought about the place of sports (baseball for me) in the scheme of things. Sometimes when some tragedy happens, people involved in sports will say, ‘It reminds you what is really important — it puts the game in perspective.’ And that's true, but there is an implication that bothers me — that the games are not very important. Why then am I investing so much time in following them? My answer ultimately has to do with Maslow's hierarchy of needs. With our basic needs taken care of, we are free to pursue ‘higher’ things. So while a baseball game is less important than a life and death situation, it is also something that fulfills our higher level needs. It is a beautiful thing when we have the security and leisure to pursue baseball. Life at its best is the creation and enjoyment of activities such as this, and we should appreciate our ability to do so.” — Stephen Schmid

THEY'RE BACK, if they ever left: Miss Jacqueline 'Pixie' Audet, 23, and Miss Audet's love interest and road dog, Mr. Don Jordan. Pixie and Don were drunk in Fort Bragg where, Deputy Riboli reported, they were also camped illegally.

EVERYONE IS INVITED to celebrate all Fathers and Grandfathers at a Benefit for South Coast Senior Center's Meals On Wheels Program, on Father's Day, Sunday, June 16th at the VFW Hall, 24000 So. Highway 1, Point Arena, just north of Pt. Arena. The party starts at 12 noon. Entertainment will be provided by FAST COMPANY and DJ SISTER YASMIN, so shine up your dancin' shoes! Enjoy delicious barbecued chicken and tri tip prepared by Bob Shimon, home made pies and other desserts, and beer and wine. There will be a silent auction, raffle and more. Lots of fun for the whole family! All ages welcome. Information at: 707-882-2137. See you there!! (— Yasmin Solomon)

ERIC LAMBERG, 51, of Hermosa Beach, was last seen 11 days ago in Laytonville where he spent two days in a motel. From Laytonville, Lamberg made his way to Fort Bragg, then headed back east on Sherwood Road, a long, rough stretch of dirt road until the pavement resumes near the Sherwood Rez not far from Willits. Lamberg's van was found in a ditch on Sherwood where bloodhounds picked up the missing man's scent walking from his van both east and west. Deep Sherwood Road is honeycombed with side roads and its hillsides are covered in thick brush that has grown up after the clearcuts of the 1990s. The region is, of course, prime dope-growing territory. Lamberg is a big guy at 6'5" and about 220 pounds. His wife says he also suffers from a bipolar condition that can leave him confused. The Lambergs had been on their way to Southern Oregon when Lamberg disappeared. Bloodhounds picked up the scent of where his van was found abandoned in a ditch along a rugged stretch of Sherwood Road, Mendocino County Sheriff's Capt. Greg Van Patten said. The dogs tracked the scent heading eastward along Sherwood Road, a rugged mostly dirt road that winds through the forest between Willits and Fort Bragg. But the dogs also picked up his scent heading west from the van toward Fort Bragg, suggesting Lamberg may have walked in one direction, then turned around and headed in the other, Van Patten said. “There doesn't seem to be any signs he went into the forest,” Van Patten said. Lamberg had been suffering from bipolar disorder and was driving to Oregon where he hoped to seek treatment, said his wife, Samantha Lamberg. After Lamberg spent several days in Fort Bragg, his silver 2004 Honda Odyssey broke down May 26 near Leggett and was towed to Laytonville. He seemed anxious over the phone when he told his wife about the problems with the van but then seemed more relaxed after he checked into Laytonville's Budget Inn, Samantha Lamberg said. He checked out May 28. His wife called authorities May 29 after she hadn't heard from him. The Sheriff's Office issued an alert for the van and monitored his cellphone and credit cards, but found no trace of the man, Van Patten said.

CAN'T WE JUST SHOOT THIS GUY? On June 4, 2013 at about 9:30am Deputies from the Mendocino County Sherriff’s Office were detailed to the Round Valley Preschool regarding a child abuse investigation. Deputies arrived along with workers from Child Protective Services and contacted a 5-year-old child. This child had distinct bruising on her face in the shape of a hand and fingers. When asked what had happened the child advised that her father, Gulmaro Maciel, 35, of Covelo, had become angry with her and had hit her in the face. Deputies contacted the child’s mother regarding the incident. Deputies learned from the mother that the child had been asked to get her father a soda the previous day. The father became angry after the child delivered the wrong type of soda and began slapping the child across the face several times. Deputies also learned Maciel had also physically assaulted the mother on the same day because of relationship disagreements. Deputies established probable case for an arrest and attempted to locate Maciel. Deputies located Maciel and arrested him for Child abuse, and Domestic Violence battery. Maciel was booked into the Mendocino County Jail on the listed charges and was to be held on $50,000 bail. (Sheriff’s Department Press Release)

MENDOCINO COUNTY IS PREPARING to spend much more on capital improvements next year after several years of letting things go for austerity reasons. According to CEO Carmel Angelo’s introduction to next year’s budget, “In the 2012-2013 budget, the County was only able to allocate $105,000 toward the County’s multi- million dollar list of Capital Improvement needs. This recommended budget proposes $1,316,036 be applied to our Capital Improvement Plan to begin to address the priorities identified by the General Services Agency and the Board of Supervisors. Many of these projects are long overdue, especially considering that major investment in capital maintenance and improvements ceased in 2006.

ACCORDING TO General Services Manager Kristin McMenomey: “The following have been identified as unmet General Fund Capital facility needs: “There are several County facilities that are in critical condition as it pertains to the roofs. The condition of these roofs are the result of many factors, including end of life as well as deferring maintenance resulting in increased damage from normal wear and tear. The following County facilities have been identified as the top priority for roof replacement within the next five years at a minimum: County Administration Center, Low Gap Road, Ukiah $3 million; County Museum, Willits $350k; Ukiah Public Health and Mental Health Facility $1 million. Sheriff Training Center, Low Gap Road, Ukiah $300k; Yokayo Center (Social Services), State Street, Ukiah $700k; Ukiah Veterans Administration Building and Shed $25k; Willits Integrated Services Center (WISC), Willits $400k. These roofing projects are estimated to cost approximately $6,000,000 over the next five years. GSA anticipates scheduling prioritized roofing projects beginning in FY 13/14.”

IN ADDITION: “County’s Property System — Since 1995, the County of Mendocino has used property system software acquired for ‘at no cost’ from Sutter County. The property system is used to send and track property tax bills, maintain information regarding parcels, record current and historical property assessments, log unsecured assets for billing, and many other functions. The property system is necessary for the collection of well over 100 million dollars of tax revenue per year. The County’s current software system, titled the ‘Mendocino County Property System,’ is obsolete; it features a system code base/language that dates back to the 1970s, and represents a significant risk of catastrophic failure. The property system was created by a County development support staff which no longer exists within the County system. The County has no available staffing resources to utilize, no dedicated vendor maintaining the system, no user documentation and we have extremely limited developer documentation. Recent County staffing retirements and relocations has left the property system without support resources. Soliciting staff to support this outdated system and technology would not be effective or efficient. Currently, County GSA/IS staff expends a great deal of resources attempting to address the performance shortcomings of the current software and continually experiences issues with providing adequate support. Due to the risks involved with maintaining the current software system, coupled with the costs associated with maintaining its platform, it is recommended that the Board of Supervisors authorize staff to begin a review and analysis associated with the replacement of the Mendocino County Property System. The project is estimated to cost up to $1,000,000 with an annual maintenance cost of $100,000. This project is anticipated to be rolled out during FY 14/15.”

THERE’S ALSO AN UNANSWERED QUESTION about the $900k budgeted for retiree healthcare in the context of Obamacare which may or may not cover some or all of it.

AT THEIR MAY 21 meeting the Board of Supervisors had an agenda item entitled: “Discussion and Possible Action Regarding Intergovernmental Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the County of Mendocino, Ukiah Valley Fire District, and the Pinoleville Pomo Nation Concerning Mitigation for Off Reservation Impacts Resulting from the Tribe’s Casino and Hotel Project.”

AGENDA SUMMARY: “The Board of Supervisors Ad-Hoc Committee has met and discussed with the Pinoleville Pomo Nation and other interested parties the anticipated offsite impacts of the proposed casino and other related facilities to be constructed at 2150 North State Street, Ukiah, California. The proposed MOU represents the tentative agreements agreed to by the interested parties. It is requested that the Board of Supervisors review and approve the proposed MOU.”

IN THIS CASE, the “mitigation” is: Cash. After several people spoke to the item, both enthusiastically pro and mildly con, the Board had a short discussion of the agreement which has been worked on for several years since the Pinoleville Pomo tribe first proposed building another casino/hotel north of Ukiah right of Highway 101:

HAMBURG: “The state approved this arrangement which kind of trumps the county. I know that for myself I have a lot of sympathy with the arguments being made by Ms. Lockhart and Ms. McGee regarding the suitability of the site for a casino given the traffic impacts and the proliferation of casinos all over inland Mendocino County. I just can't imagine another casino could possibly be profitable in this area. It seems like everybody's just -- every casino kind of cannibalizes every other casino. I just don't know where all the gamblers are. It's a sad commentary on our overall society. This is no criticism whatsoever of Native Americans and trying to get money out of these. But it's really a sad commentary that this is the -- what we call economic development in Mendocino County is more and more and more casinos encouraging more and more and more gambling and all the things that go along with gambling problems in our society. The only other thing that I want to make specific reference to is Recital B where it says the county recognizes the tribe as a federally recognized Indian tribe recognized… that's three recognized in one sentence, that's pretty tricky English. But anyway, the next sentence, the tribe owns lands within the boundaries of which constitutes the original rancheria land. Now if ever there was a sentence that was built for obfuscation that's it. I have no idea what that sentence means. And I did pass English. So I don't know what, I don't know why anything has to be written in such a confusing manner, but I'm sure there are some lawyer somewhere who was paid $300 an hour to craft that sentence.”

MCCOWEN: “That may have been one of the true beneficiaries of the agreement.”

HAMBURG: “I totally agree.”

MCCOWEN: “But I would point out, and I agree the language is not a model of clarity, but that is the part of the recitals and it's really not the heart of the agreement.”

HAMBURG: “I know. I know. I know.”

MCCOWEN: “But I think it may refer to the fact that the tribe does own land within the boundaries of the original rancheria land and once this parcel is purchased, and it's my understanding that there is currently some sort of lease-option agreement, but once the tribe knows they are ready to proceed I'm sure they would finalize that purchase and these lands within the boundaries of the original rancheria land will be owned by the tribe. But that certainly could have been stated with greater clarity.”

HAMBURG: “In English, maybe? In English would have been good.”

PINCHES: “Obviously what happened in the early 60s when they built the freeway out there that separated if not legally, it separated that piece of property physically from the Pinoleville lands. Then that probably led them to sell it and whatnot, but it physically separated that from the tribal lands. But I'm totally supportive of what the tribe wants to do. Frankly, I think that casino and hotel will do great there for the simple reason that it will be the only gambling facility that's actually right on 101 Highway. I think that's really smart. In my opinion.”

HAMBURG: “What about Coyote Valley? It's not on 101?”

PINCHES: “You can't really see the casino from 101. It's there, but you don't see the physical building. It makes a big difference in attracting people that are going through the area. The biggest problem as they move forward is that casino project in Rohnert Park. Otherwise, you'd get a straight shot between here and the Bay Area. So that's what your investors are going to have to look at. But that's not the issue we're talking about. I'm totally supportive of this. You talk about developer fees, do you realize that we are asking the tribe under this agreement to put up front $600,000 a year, actually more than that, it's over $700,000. But $600,000 of that is going to be on an annual basis. So I guess if this project moves forward the tribe is going to completely bear their fair share to Mendocino County. If I was a tribal member and was committing myself to this I would be a little reluctant although I guess when you run the numbers the investors seem to think that this will all work. But paying this $600,000, basically that's money up front before you can even start operations.”

HAMBURG: “It just tells you how lucrative gambling is, John.”

PINCHES: “Well, I guess so. Anyway, I think the county is getting its fair share for the services that we are going to provide. You look at the $200,000 to pay the sheriff annually, that doesn't guarantee that the sheriff even has to show up for a call. It's just says you're going to pay the sheriff's office. We don't ask that from anybody else that's building a store or anything. We don't ask for a developer fee from anybody else. But the tribe seems to be in agreement to move forward. So if this moves forward it looks like it's going to be a good deal for everybody except for the person who needs to gamble.”

THE BOARD then voted 4-1 to approve the Memorandum of Agreement with the Pinoleville tribe, 4-1, Hamburg dissenting.

FRED GARDNER WRTES: The picture of the dreadlocked yid on your front page reminded me of an old New York joke: “What has two legs and sleeps with cats?” “Mrs. Katz?” “Wrong, Mrs. Shapiro.”

THE REFFING in basketball and umpiring in baseball is so bad that sometimes I just turn off the tube. Friday night Giants pitcher Mark Affeldt had a 2-1 count, threw a strike that got called a ball, walked the batter and then Goldschmidt homered. I don't usually go for technological fixes, but for calling balls and strikes…

FIREWOOD PERMIT SALES SUSPENDED on Jackson Demonstration State Forest Fort Bragg– California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) Mendocino Unit is suspending firewood permit sales on Jackson Demonstration State Forest (JDSF), due to the very high demand for permits and a limited supply of available downed wood. Firewood areas will remain open to those with valid permits until the wood supply is gone, September 15th, or the first significant rain which ever occurs first. Information regarding the firewood program is available at the CAL FIRE Fort Bragg office located at, 802 North Main Street, Fort Bragg, CA (707) 964-5674. Office hours are 8-12 & 1-5 Monday through Friday.

A DRAMATIC AGREEMENT HAS BEEN REACHED between the Coast Hospital Employees Union and Coast Hospital which is estimated to save the Hospital $1.85 million. The agreement which was approved by almost 90% of the Hospital’s employees last week, eliminates vacation accrual cash-outs; puts a hold on step increases or bonuses after July 1, 2013, eliminates the 3% salary increase which had been scheduled for July 1, 2013 and cuts the pay of everyone including management across the board by 5% effectively returning pay rates 2011 rates. The Hospital also agrees to withdraw its application to the bankruptcy court regarding voiding the employee contract and leaves all other provisions of that contract in place, including healthcare benefits and pensions, as well as benefits for part-time employees all of which were very important to the union members. Other aspects of the Hospital’s bankruptcy filing remain in place, although that process continues to slog along at a snail’s pace. One of the main objectives of the agreement was to give the Hospital a positive bump to the Hospital’s short-term cash flow to provide some wiggle room in negotiating with other creditors.

THERE IS STILL NO DISCUSSION of the expensive contracts between the doctors and the Hospital, although there has been speculation that perhaps at least some of the doctors would switch from Hospital affiliation to Coast Clinic affiliation which might save the Hospital a significant amount of overhead and provide an alternative funding for the doctors and specialists which has been difficult for the Hospital to cover under current billing arrangements. But such a change would require time and bureaucratic thrashing and is not expected to change the financial picture in the short term.

TWO BOARD SEATS are up for election in November and it will be interesting to see if the bankruptcy situation becomes an issue and who comes forward to run. Long-time observers think that the time might be right to propose an increase in the Hospital District's parcel tax which hasn't increased since the District was formed in 1975. The last time a parcel tax increase was proposed was back in the late 1990s during time that the very unpopular and corrupt Bryan Ballard was Hospital CEO. The public was rightly skeptical of giving more money to that corrupt Hospital management team. But now Ballard is gone and the employees have already taken a cut and the argument for a parcel tax increase is much stronger.

THE MENDOCINO COUNTY REPUBLICAN CENTRAL COMMITTEE will meet Saturday, June 15, 2013, 10:00 AM – 12:00 Noon at the Moura Senior Housing, 400 South Street, Fort Bragg, CA 95437. For further information contact: Stan Anderson, 707-321-2592.

KENT STATE TRUTH TRIBUNAL'S statement addressed to the United States on May 30, 2013 in KSTT's first consult related to our submission to the United Nations, Human Rights Committee, culminating in UN HQ Geneva, Switzerland in October 2013.  “Good afternoon, I am Laurel Krause for the Kent State Truth Tribunal and my sister Allison Krause was shot dead by U.S. military bullets at Kent State University on May 4, 1970 as she protested the announcement of the Cambodian Invasion in the Vietnam War long ago in America.   With regard to Allison’s death, and the three other American students killed on May 4, 1970, there has never been a credible, impartial, independent investigation into the May 4th Kent State Massacre. In 1979 at the end of our courtroom quest for Allison’s justice we received $15,000 and a statement of regret from the United States government.  40 years later in 2010, new audio evidence was discovered in a tape recording, analyzed by internationally-respected forensic evidence expert Stuart Allen. It is now three years later and the U.S. federal government continues to refuse to acknowledge or examine the new evidence yet over these past three years we have demanded that the Kent State Strubbe tape be examined … to no avail.  While Kent State human rights issues are not explicitly mentioned in the list of issues, they are covered by a number of general questions raised by the Committee, especially under Right to Life, Obligation to Conduct Independent, Thorough and Credible Investigations into Excessive Use of Force and Firearms by Police/Military, and Right to Effective Remedy. The Human Rights Committee is likely to bring up the human rights related to Kent State as an example of the United States’ failure to meet ICCPR obligations during the U.S. review in October. If any U.S. government personnel or group wishes to learn more about the Kent State Massacre and the new evidence, including and since in 2010, I am happy to provide that to you. I will also be submitting a shadow report to the Committee. Thank you.”

LAUREL KRAUSE WRITES: “Just now while watching Oliver Stone's 05/04/13 magnificent Kent State speech, I was hoping you'd like share Oliver Stone on Kent State with AVA readership. Watch Oliver Stone on May 4, 2013 at Kent State University on the May 4th Kent State Massacre, starts at 23."

MARY MOORE WRITES: “The Bohemian Grove Action Network will NOT be planning an organized protest this July out at Bohemian Grove. I had earlier sent out the ‘Squeaky Wheels’ protest (re: sequester cuts led by those in wheelchairs and walkers) and we got plenty of encouraging feedback but when it came to getting folks affected by the cuts (in so many areas) no one showed up to the meetings to do the actual work. It's disappointing but we also got a late start and realize everyone is in overwhelm so we understand — kind of. There are still some from our group who will make an appearance out there on either July 13 or July 20, the first two Saturdays of the encampment, and I can put you in touch with them. Thanks to all those who did lend actual support and good wishes. I'm turning 78 in July and most everyone in our core group is on the aging train. It is truly time for the next generation to take on the important task of connecting the corporate, financial, governmental and military elite that gather in our backyard every summer. There is now a movie in the works and some of us are still working on a book exposing what we already have on the Lakeside Talks at the Grove (one of the main focuses of our work over the years). The latest membership list is from 2010 and new research is always needed. We now have a website and have just started a Facebook page. As you already know we are not conspiracy hounds and have been fighting them off for several years. Reality is truly scary enough — no need to invent or embellish. I can be reached at 707 874 2248 if you need more details but for this year at least there WILL BE NO organized protest in July at Bohemian Grove. Thanks, Mary.”

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