Mendocino County Today: July 17, 2013
by AVA News Service, July 16, 2013
A CALLER noticed a full pallet of ammonium phosphate at Friedman Brothers, Ukiah, with a note attached that said, “Special Order, Mateel Community Center.” Why would the Mateel want golf course (and/or bomb making) chemicals? We called the Mateel to find out if they'd ordered it, and if they had, why. Sports stadiums use this stuff to green up their grass, but it's bad mojo, as Ashley, the pleasant young woman who answered the phone at the Mateel agreed. “It's like gnarly stuff,” Ashley said, before assuring me that she'd call the Mateel's plant manager, Johnny, and get back to me. She didn't. Yet. And probably won't. But we've learned that the Mateel is using this "gnarly" brew to make the grass green in the concert bowl smack on the battered Eel River, just in time for their revived Reggae on the River. Years ago we complained that the Mateel, cynosure of everything good and organically pure in a poisoned America, had made its front door out of rare and mostly extinct hardwoods. But using this stuff anywhere near the Eel borders on criminal irresponsibility.
MENDOCINO COAST TELEVISION has been forced to cease operations. It was an important, sometimes pivotal, public media for many years, bringing public meetings into the livingrooms of Coast residents in the Fort Bragg-Mendocino area plus a wide range of cultural offerings. The station's directors have announced that Coast Television lost a lawsuit filed by the Footlighters little theater group on whose premises Coast TV was located. Without a home and in hock to lawyers, there was no option other than to go dark.post
ODD CONTRETEMPS during public comment on non-agenda items at this morning's (Tuesday, July 16th) Supervisor's meeting, when John Sakowicz rose to, ah, expand upon the City of Ukiah's overly effusive goodbyes for Mari Rodin and Gordon Elton. Supervisor McCowen objected to Sako's remarks a couple of sentences in and Board Chair Hamburg told Sako to sit down.
SUPERVISOR PINCHES said it was unprecedented in his ten years on the Board of Supervisors that any member of the public had been censored for any reason, or for speaking on any topic, during the public comments part of the Board meeting for non-agenda items.
HAMBURG then asked his buddy and tax paid gofer, County Counsel Tom Parker, for a legal opinion. Parker duly opined that Sako could indeed be silenced if he wasn't speaking on County business. But the City of Ukiah's finances are directly related to County business; the City is presently suing the County over the collection and distribution of taxes by the County Auditor.
THANKING PARKER for the legal opinion he knew he'd get, Hamburg informed Sako he was “out of order” and told him to sit down.
MOST PLACES, censoring or silencing the public, much less the press, raises fundamental constitutional issues. Among other things, it's a violation of the Brown Act. Sako is both a member of the public and a media guy via his reporting on financial matters for KZYX. He's done some excellent reporting on the deteriorating finances of the City of Ukiah on his “All About The Money” program for the County's public radio station.
THE CITY OF UKIAH has been running a $1 million budget deficit for the last two years. The City of Ukiah has not adjusted to the realities of Redevelopment money going away. If the City files for bankruptcy, then it's a County problem, too.
IF UKIAH hasn't put away the money into an enterprise fund to close the Vichy Springs landfill — it stopped accepting refuse in 2001, and sits in an earthquake zone and in a watershed area; and it may soon incur big fines and penalties by California's environmental regulatory agencies, i.e. CalRecyle — then the County may have to bail out the City. EPA issues, for example, particularity water pollution issues, could supersede city jurisdiction.
AND UKIAH may soon default on the bonds used to pay for a $56.5 million sewer plant. The credit rating agency, S&P, downgraded these bonds by two steps last year. What happens at the County level if the City defaults on these bonds.
NORTH COAST HONOR FLIGHT
In 2004, a World War II Memorial was dedicated in Washington, DC. It is a stunning tribute to our men and women in the armed services. Unfortunately, most of our World War II veterans have never had the opportunity to see what was erected in their honor. The youngest of our WWII veteran is 87. The mission of Honor Flight is to transport America's veterans to Washington, D.C. to visit the memorials at no cost, with current priority to WWII Veterans. Subsequent to the World War II Veterans, efforts then focus on Korean War Veterans followed by Vietnam War Veterans, honoring them both in a similar manner. Guardians, whose travel expenses are not paid for, accompany each Veteran to ensure safe travel. The program sweeps the nation but with the help of the Humboldt County Chapter and Gregg Gardiner this amazing program is coming to Mendocino County through the South Ukiah Rotary. We need to find these WWII veterans, If you are a WWII veteran or you know of a WWII veteran who resides in Mendocino County and is able to travel and has yet to see the memorial please contact 462-3555. Or visit www.southukiahrotary.org for an application. For the October 2013 trip we have room for 50 World War II and Korean War veterans and 35 guardians. The guardians pay their own way, and the cost to them is $1,000. If you would like to be a guardian please call or submit an application. Tom Brokaw had it right when he entitled his recent book “The Greatest Generation”. Never has so much been asked for by any one generation in our history. Any sized contribution can be made payable to North Coast Honor Flight and dropped off at Umpqua Bank in Ukiah, CA
NINTH ANNUAL PURE MENDOCINO
Ukiah, CA – The Cancer Resource Centers of Mendocino County (CRCMC) are gearing up for the ninth annual Pure Mendocino event. The organic, locally sourced dinner will be held Saturday, August 24 at Paul Dolan’s biodynamic Dark Horse Ranch located on Old River Road. The event features an opening reception with wine tasting and a silent auction at 5 pm, a farm-to-table dinner at 6:00 pm, and live music from 7:30 – 10 pm. A limited number of pre-sold tickets will also be available for the biodynamic farm tour before the event at 4 pm. Pure Mendocino is the biggest fundraiser of the year for CRCMC and according to Executive Director Sara O’Donnell, “One hundred percent of all funds raised for the Cancer Resource Centers are used to provide ongoing services at no cost to those facing cancer in Mendocino County.” Chef Olan Cox of Mendough’s Catering and Wood Fired Catering will lead a team of chefs to prepare this year’s meal, and silent auction items feature vacation rentals (at local B&Bs and in Tahoe), picnics at local wineries, handcrafted furniture, yoga lessons, and more. After dinner, dance the night away to live music by blues legend Rick Estrin and the Nightcats. Estrin serves up fresh and modern original blues injected with a solid dose of gritty roadhouse rock ‘n’ roll. The Nightcats include jaw-dropping guitarist Chris “Kid” Andersen, singing drummer J. Hansen, and dynamic multi-instrumentalist Lorenzo Farrell (electric and acoustic bass, organ and piano). CRCMC provides cancer support services to patients and their families free of charge, including help with navigating our complicated medical system, assistance with deciding which treatment is right for each individual, preparing for medical appointments, attending and recording medical appointments, and offering a lending library full of excellent resources. CRCMC also offers support groups. For more information, visit crcmendocino.org. To date, major sponsors of Pure Mendocino include Frey Vineyards, Dark Horse Farming Company, Fetzer Vineyards, Golden Vineyards, Westport Hotel, Ukiah Valley Medical Center, and more. Tickets are $135 each and must be purchased in advance—they’re available online at puremendocino.org or at the CRCMC Offices (inland at 590 S. Dora St, Ukiah or on the coast at 45040 Calpella St, Mendocino). For more information call 937-3833 or 467-3828.