Off The Record

by AVA News Service, August 13, 2013

WE’VE COMPLAINED for years that California River Watch, vaguely based in Occidental (Sonoma County), is operated as a  shakedown racket by a man named Jack Silver. Silver rifles the reports filed by municipalities with the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control office in Santa Rosa then, based on the information provided, sues the municipalities filing them. (You can google the stuff we’ve written about him over the years, or search this website for the more recent material.)

SILVER IS PRESENTLY going after the City of Willits, and not for the first time and not for the first time on basically the same issue. Like many broke small towns, Willits finds it difficult to maintain its aging infrastructure. It’s not as if Willits is deliberately out of compliance with the Clean Water Act, and it’s not as if anybody is going to get sick because their tap water is running dirty in big rains. Silver will proceed this way: he'll inform Willits that if they send him a nice hunk of dough as attorney fees for his hard work filing the complaint with the feds, a fee he typically puts at between 50 and a hundred thou, he won’t take Willits all the way into court where Willits will have to spend a lot more money defending itself. This character has been doing this up and down NorCal for going on two decades.

LINDA WILLIAMS of the Willits News has an excellent account of Silver vs. Willits in that paper’s August 9th edition. She nicely sums up the action this way: “River Watch requests the court require the city to cease violations now and in the future and to order the city to pay ‘civil penalties per violation/per day for its violations of the CWA’ and to pay River Watch reasonable attorney's fees and costs.” (Our emphasis)

WILLIAMS CONTINUES, “In this filing River Watch claims the city violated its sewer plant permit by having water leak into the sewer collections lines during wet weather. This overloads the sewer system and results in the discharge of raw sewage into gutters, canals, and storm drains connected to adjacent surface waters,” according to the claim document.

IN MAJOR RAINS, disposal systems all over the County overflow, and all over the County there is unwholesome runoff into streams from all manner of sources, but most of those sources don’t carry great big insurance policies that towns and cities carry.

WILLITS, like all the entities sued by Silver, is in the process of making good faith efforts to maintain a fail-safe infrastructure. If they weren’t, Silver wouldn’t have the information to sue them with.

SOLFEST XV is scheduled for Saturday (August 17th) at Real Goods' Solar Living Center in Hopland, noon to midnight. A panel discussion featuring Supervisor Hamburg and Congressman Huffman is one of the event's selling points followed by the usual atonal music and "boogie." The No Dissent Panel Discussion, of which this is merely the latest in years of them, is a Mendocino County specialty, especially among the libs in whom dwells an absolute terror that someone, somehow might deviate from the catechism. I can't even imagine either Huffman or the relentlessly pious 5th District supervisor saying anything of interest on any subject, but I suppose between the two of them an interesting comment is at least a mathematical possibility. There's also  a lot of the expensive eco-gadgetry that Real Goods pedals to upscale consumers with environmental pretensions. Of course if you really want to get off the grid, the go-to guy is Pete and Advance Power at Calpella.

THE COUNTY'S Republican Central Committee will meet Saturday, August 17, 2013, 10:00 AM  – 12:00 Noon at Lumberjacks Restaurant, 1700 S. Main Street, Willits. No, we don't have to sit in the same booth just because there are only four of us in this drug-drenched county of lockstep Billaries! We may be an endangered species and a party dominated by lunatics, but we're still dangerous! For further  information contact: Stan Anderson, 707-321-2592.

THE CITY OF UKIAH'S landfill east of town closed in September of 2001, but rather than seal the dump off as per environmental regulations, the City dithered and dallied for so long — twelve years — that now the County of Mendocino has subjected Ukiah to an "enforcement action." Which really means a lot of back and forth woof-woofing between Ukiah lawyers and the County's hard-hitting County Counsel's office. This is the kind of techno-hassle that should be worked out without involving lawyers, but…

KNOPF has published Coast writer's Carolyn Cooke's latest, a collection of short stories called Amor and Psycho which might be a case study of romance in Mendocino County but is instead a work of art. Ms. Cooke, a resident of Point Arena where amor and psycho are daily occurrences, is a really, really good writer whose terrific non-fiction has appeared, but not often enough, in this very newspaper. The Chron's reviewer wrote Sunday "....Summarized, these stories sound like major downers, yet somehow they manage to be bracing. Cooke writes with humor and great affection for people, and she is unafraid to take on the inexplicable." Which surrounds us, the inexplicable that is, and always is made interesting in the hands of a capable writer, which this person definitely is.  I've got my copy of Amor and Psycho on order.

DANIEL JOSEPH BARRETO, 62, of Sparks, Nevada had been camping near Mendocino with his family when he went out rock fishing in a kayak late last Friday afternoon. When Barreto hadn't returned by 8pm his family reported him missing. His body was found Monday evening in a kelp bed near Albion after his kayak was spotted from the air by a Coast Guard helicopter. A weekend search for Barreto had been hampered by a thick fog.

THE FOLLOWING PRESS RELEASE has been edited by the Anderson Valley Advertiser to reflect local realities: The Mendocino County Office of Education, a 19th century relic that does not do a single thing that couldn’t be done cheaper and better by the individual school districts of Mendocino County, is seeking candidates for a soon-to-be open seat on its board of trustees. The position pays a couple of hundred bucks a month and comes with a lush package of medical fringes not enjoyed by most residents of Mendocino County or, for that matter, most citizens of the United States. Walking around money and free health insurance for “trustees” paid for out of classroom dollars is to ensure "trustee" loyalty to the superintendent and to generally keep up the pretense that he and his agency do something of educational value. MCOE Superintendent Paul Tichinin, one of Mendocino County’s highest paid public officials at roughly $120,000 a year to do a job with no visible duties and only the vaguest responsibilities, announced Wednesday that trustee Diane Zucker, whose term expires this year and also happens to be ava editor Bruce Anderson’s sister-in-law, not that she cares to have that grim fact known, will not be running for re-election. The Widow Zucker has served twice on the board for a total of 13 years, and currently represents Area 2, which is Ukiah, east of which the County Office of Education is located in splendid isolation at Talmage, unvisited, no real function, funded at better than $46 million a year. “Diane has consistently served the county board with enthusiasm and dedication to the students of Mendocino County,” Tichinin said, perhaps surprised that there are such people in public education, but really meaning to say, “She never laughed out loud at me.” Anyone interested in running for Ms. Zucker's seat must file with the County Elections Department by Aug. 14 at 5pm, but must also be of the correct type — a cross between Jim Mastin and Mari Rodin say, although in a pinch a hybrid of Richard Shoemaker and Bruce Richard would do just as well. “We don’t want one a them negative-type people,” the superintendent clarified. Candidates must be at least 18 years old and registered to vote as a Hillary-Obama Democrat, but pot-smoking Republicans will be considered if they wear chinos, Hawaiian shirts, groovy guy pony tails, imitation panamas. Call the elections office at 463-4371 for more information. According to the MCOE, the board is “committed to providing the leadership necessary to meet the educational needs of a multicultural and diverse student population to increase student success,” a statement so resoundingly false that God, if He were paying attention, would instantly strike down the person making it. The board meets the second Monday of each month at 10am when everyone else is at work, real work.

PATROL DEPUTIES in Mendocino County and beyond are unhappy with “realignment,” Governor Brown’s response to a federal mandate to return “non-violent, non-sex, non-serious”state prison inmates to local jails to serve their time. Local cops are concerned “realignment” simply accelerates the “catch and release” approach to law enforcement already prevalent on the Northcoast.

ALTHOUGH MOST senior law enforcement officials both locally and statewide continue to promote “realignment” as a great success, patrol deputies who see the same criminals back on the streets after very short stays in jail, do not agree. “I wonder if the public in general knows about this, or even cares?” one cop recently grumbled.

METHAMPHETAMINE-DRIVEN crime, especially in Humboldt County, is epidemic. Tweekers need to be locked up not only to save themselves, but to keep them from stealing everything they can get their hands on to buy crank. Add the growing low-level crime to Mendocino County's chronic cop under-staffing, with realignment placing more state-quality prisoners in local jails while pushing committed County tweekers out onto the streets.

LIKE MANY LOCALS, I’ve enjoyed the Haul Road north of Fort Bragg for years, an amenity we enjoy courtesy of the padrones of yesterday’s timber industry, and an amenity enjoyed by few other coastal towns between San Diego and the Canadian border. For you readers unfamiliar with Fort Bragg, the Haul Road began as a logging railroad cut straight down the Mendocino Coast from the Fort Bragg mill to a rich source of old growth redwood ten miles north of town. The rail line, installed around the turn of the 20th century, was eventually paved for post-War logging trucks and, I believe, in the early 1970s, was taken over by State Parks and opened to the public for walking and direct access to the Pacific.

BECAUSE most of the Haul Road abuts the ocean, much of it has fallen into the sea, especially the lengths of road north of MacKerricher State Park. State Parks has obtained a $750,000 grant to take out the pavement and related debris in the area of Ward Avenue where the pounding sea has taken out the roadbed. Lots of people want Parks to somehow revamp the collapsed sections to a walking path, which seems impossible-to-futile to this occasional visitor, but doable to many others. What to do about that portion of the Haul Road — 2.7 miles of macadam chunks, will, along with the Mike Sweeney Memorial Transfer Station, was discussed at the Supe’s meeting Tuesday at Town Hall Fort Bragg. Stay tuned.

WHY A NEW ONE? Why not leave the trash transfer station at Caspar? According to a thorough account on a proposed new transfer station off Highway 20 by the excellent Frank Hartzell of the Fort Bragg Advocate News, Tuesday’s (Aug. 13) joint meeting of the Fort Bragg City Council and County Board of Supervisors at Fort Bragg’s Town Hall “may determine the future location of a waste transfer station for the coast.”

MIKE SWEENEY, manager of the Mendocino Solid Waste Management Authority, reveals that Fort Bragg and the County “have been working to develop a site where collection trucks and residents can drop off waste and recyclables to be sorted and packaged for transport.” According to Sweeney via Hartzell, a new trash op on Highway 20 three miles east of Fort Bragg would “reduce long-term costs of waste disposal, increase flexibility for long-haul transfer and reduce truck and traffic emissions.” (The full report is online at MendoRecycle.org.)

ACCORDING to Sweeney's report, retooling Caspar would cost $3.86 million, while ground-up site development and construction at Highway 20 is estimated at $4.79 million.

FOURTH DISTRICT SUPERVISOR Dan Gjerde apparently is for the Highway 20 site. As quoted by Hartzell, Gjerde has said that “…the Highway 20 site, with its central location, would require shorter local truck trips for the garbage hauler, and so it is expected to impose even lower operational costs on coast garbage rates, especially the long-term rates.” In fact, it’s less central for Mendocino and Albion-area residents, and not particularly relevant to Fort Bragg, whose trash is mostly handled by a commercial hauler.

THIS ONE SEEMS to be a done deal. It also seems to us a deal that is not justified by the presumed long-term savings, if any, and we’re not opposed simply because we consider Sweeney a criminal sociopath as the sole suspect in the 1990 car bombing of his ex-wife. (This country is run by criminal sociopaths, as a glance at Wall Street confirms.) No one has ever accused Sweeney of not being capable; heck, he pulled off this major unresolved felony that enriched his two daughters and Darryl Cherney while managing to reinvent himself as Mendo’s lead trash bureaucrat, transitioning seamlessly from Maoist maniac to glib-guy acronym-spouter, a self-reinvention possible only in the unique amnesio-psycho-cannabis ambiance of Mendocino County, where everyone is whatever they say they are and history starts all over again every day.

IRONIES AND CRIMES everywhere one looks in Mendocino County. Every time I see or hear mention of “Town Hall” Fort Bragg, I remember the Fort Bragg fires of 1987 when, in one spectacular night of arsons, well-connected criminals burned down the old Fort Bragg Library, the adjoining Ten Mile Courthouse and the venerable Piedmont Hotel. Today’s Town Hall arose from the ashes of the old library and courthouse. Most places in America criminals who torched a town’s civic center would be arrested and prosecuted. Not here. Never happened, and here we are, floating beneath an officially sanctioned umbrella of major crimes, unpunished, largely forgotten.

THE BOONVILLE CONNECTION: According to Friday’s SF Chronicle, Randy Alana, 56, a registered sex offender and convicted killer, is being questioned about the disappearance of an Oakland woman who worked as an investigator for the federal public defender’s office. The remains of a woman fitting the missing woman’s description have been found near Vacaville, and Alana is under arrest for failing to register as a sex offender.

I ONCE FUNCTIONED as Alana’s foster father, as I also once functioned as David Mason’s foster father. They both lived with my family when we all arrived together in the bucolic Anderson Valley, circa 1970. Mason was subsequently executed at San Quentin for the ice pick murders of old ladies in the East Bay and for knocking off a cellmate. Alana was convicted of murder, rape and also assisted in the killing of a guy in jail.

BEFORE YOU GO all judgmental on me with accusations that I helped create the spectacular adult psycho-sexual maladjustment of the two lads, let me say that when I knew them as 14-year-olds it was well after they’d been deformed by their formative years. The short of it is with these guys, and millions of others on the receiving end of the American class system, intervention comes way too late — take a kid out of a pathological home when he’s 12, and he’s already damaged beyond repair, already has learned to get what he wants by force and violence. He’s unlikely to change until he gets too old and tired for crime. Of course just as many damaged children who spend their youths in bad homes and bouncing around the foster care system don’t grow up to become killers, but none of them, psycho or not, have an easy time of it, and the mass psycho-social context we have going in this country cranks them out by the millions.

ALANA spent about a year in Boonville. As a kid, he had a pronounced aptitude for, and interest in, automobile mechanics. If he’d been left in Boonville instead of “reunified” with his family, a bedraggled punching bag of an immigrant German mother and an alcoholic black father, the boy might have regained some of the fellow feeling that had been beaten out of him as a much younger child. Ditto for David Mason.

THE LAST TIME I picked up a morning paper to be startled by this guy, he was described as an “enforcer” for the prison version of the Black Guerilla Family, I think his affiliation was called. Alana, 6’6” and 260, was awaiting trial on charges that he’d murdered someone in prison when he and another guy stabbed another inmate to death.

HOW DID A GUY like this ever get out? If he’s responsible for the disappearance of Ms. Coke, a former love interest, that question is going to be asked a lot. Alana racked up his murder and rape charges in the early 1980s when he was still young, only a few years out of Boonville. He must have done well enough inside prison, apart from a cellblock murder here and there, to convince a parole board that he would no longer be a roving menace on the outside. But I must say, if he appeared at my front door today to reminisce about the old days in Boonville, he’d have to do it at gunpoint. He was dangerous as a kid, as was the aforementioned Mr. Mason, and both of them got a lot more dangerous as they grew into adulthood.

IN BOONVILLE, circa 1971, I suffered my first interface with the County’s educational establishment, at least its Boonville branch. I’d gone to see the Boonville school superintendent about enrolling Alana in the school’s automotive repair classes. Alana sported a big afro, as was the style among young black people at the time. The school chief said, “Sure he's welcome, but he’s got to get a haircut.” I was nonplussed. The hair issue had already been to the Supreme Court where the ruling had been, “Like, it’s a matter for parents to decide, not school administrators.” But the superintendent, an edu-intellectual of the type still prevalent in the County, explained, “I’ve seen those people hide razor blades up there.” The issue went to the Boonville School Board. They also said no haircut, no automotive repair class. As I tried to explain hair law at the inevitable special school board meeting called to discuss hair length, the mob assembled for the meeting muttered threats and advised me to sit down and shut up. I concluded it wasn’t safe at Boonville High School for the kid so I didn’t pursue his enrollment. Alana, then and now, was quick with his fists; bad things could have happened if, as was likely, the screwball superintendent tried to cut his hair. Soon thereafter, with “family reunification” being the social work theory in vogue in the early 1970s, as was the cockamamie notion that hyper-aggressive delinquents invariably possessed a tell tale “simian crease” on the palms of their hands that made them prone to ultra-vi, the boy went home to Oakland and on into a life of mayhem and incarceration.

ON-LINE STATEMENT OF THE DAY: “After 35 years in education, I find that children who are ‘English only’ often are the least fluent in my classroom. Why? The average child gets eight hours a day of ‘screentime’ — video games, computer TV, Baby Einstein, etc. That means eight hours a day they do not have interactive language with anyone — how can you learn your native language (English or otherwise) if no one talks to you? Watch a parent in the grocery store. Chances are they are on their cellphone, not interacting with their child. Some parents talk to their children in the grocery store — ‘Look, they have bananas! We need some yellow bananas, so let's count…’) The child learns the cadence of the language, the sentence structure and grows up with a profound vocabulary, ready for literacy when they enter school.” … And books? The Rotary Club in Santa Rosa gives each third grader a children's dictionary every year. I cannot tell you how many children cry because it is the first book they have ever been given in their lives! Then they take the dictionary home and read it. How can you expect the complex skill of literacy when many children come from homes without books?”

NOREEN EVANS, state senator out of Santa Rosa, has announced that she will not seek re-election in 2014. She was elected in 2010. Insiders say Evans is interested in a SoCo supervisor position. She's always been interested in money and has been dogged by questions about tax funded jaunts here and there while also drawing a salary from the law firm she worked for prior to and during her stay in the state senate.

THE ANNUAL summer argument between salmon and Central Valley farmers has commenced with the Bureau of Reclamation’s decision last week to release Trinity River water into the lower Klamath River between August 15th and September 21st. The farmers of course want that water, but biologists predict another wholesale salmon die-off if the lower Klamath, already running low, slow and too hot for fish, doesn’t get more water.

THE UKIAH VALLEY Medical Center is a for-profit medical complex owned and operated by the tax-exempt 7th Adventist Church. The Center announced last week that it has eliminated six jobs because, it says, it expects to make less money when Obama Care kicks in. (See the excellent letter in this issue from Mr. Arteaga.)

OF COURSE the Adventists didn't put the layoffs that harshly; their smoothie-woothie spokesman, Nick Bejarano, said the layoffs were “directly and indirectly” related to the Affordable Care Act, and are necessary because hospitals will receive lower reimbursements as part of state and federal payment reforms which, boiled down, seems to amount to less than $40,000.

ACA, aka ObamaCare, section 1886(q) of the amended Social Security Act establishing the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program, requires that payments to hospitals with excess readmissions be reduced.

THE ADVENTISTS have an inland Mendo monopoly; they have to treat everyone, and certain of those everyones are frequent fliers who don't have any money. The Adventists prefer the fully insured, not the 5150s, tweekers, drunks, and the even more plentiful plain old poor people who can't pay $5,000 to get their broken arm put in a cast. (Five thou, I hope, is an exaggeration, but you get the point. We all get the point. My colleague, The Major, just got a bill for $619 for “lab work” dispatched to a San Diego lab by a Ukiah dentist. The actual investigation, called a biopsy, probably took that lab assistant about thirty seconds.)

UNDER OUR PRESENT health care “system,” which can be accurately be called Pay or Die, hospitals naturally prefer fully insured patients — fully insured old geezers who suddenly appear in an emergency room are worth ten times their weight in real gold.

OBAMA CARE, as we know or should know, is an insurance scheme written by, guess who? the insurance companies. If you don't buy one at upwards of $300 a month, the IRS will fine you, and the bare bones job you do get comes with a big deductible.

OBAMA CARE won't work. Working Americans, already maxxed out, don't have upwards of $300 to buy mandatory insurance. And we wonder how ObamaCare can possibly apply to lots of people who do have the money — the off-the-books workers of Mendocino County for instance, a very large segment of our population. There are hundreds of people in this area who haven't filed income tax returns in years, if ever. Nationally? Millions.

HENCE, the mass, last minute propaganda effort by the federal government to get people signed up, which is occurring in a context of most people not knowing anything of the particulars of what's expected of them under Obama Care, or that October 15th kick-off date.

THAT’S A STUNNING field of sunflowers at Saracina Vineyards just north of Hopland, and a welcome sight, occurring as it suddenly does in the industrial-agro sameness of vineyards. I’m told the sunflowers are eventually plowed under to reinvigorate exhausted soil, an encouraging twofer of beauty and utility, you could call it.

WE'RE TRYING to find out who compiled the following stats contained in this press release, but we suspect the Mendocino County Health Department. Yup, suspicions confirmed, the Mendo Health Department, with an assist from the Coast Hospitality Center, the Ukiah Community Center,  something called “Love In Action,” miscellaneous self-interested parties, plus the County's many non-profits clustered on the poor like fruit flies on piles of rotting bananas. The stats were compiled during a one-day count on January 24th. Take these numbers with all the skepticism you can muster, but be it known that the bogus count is worth $1.9 million to all of the above in federal grant money. If the poor weren't this country's last growth industry, and a major Mendocino County employer, you think “Love In Action” would be all huggsies-wuggsies?

THIS IS THE ACCOMPANYING BULLSHIT: “The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors will hear on Monday county staff's annual report on homelessness in the county. The annual report is done in compliance with the Homelessness Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing Act of 2009, to comply with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, to track trends and access funding. The report, based on a homeless census and survey conducted Jan. 24, defines a homeless person as ‘an individual who lacks a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence,’ which include people housed at shelters, at institutions for 90 days or fewer, and those whose ‘primary nighttime residence is a public or private place not meant for human habitation.’ People living in shelters are counted the evening before volunteers gather in the early morning hours to count those living in cars, under bridges and in other places. For the unsheltered count, workers prepare weeks in advance, mapping zones and seeking out homeless encampments. Teams of three meet at 5am on the day of the unsheltered count, and count only people and vehicles with people in them. Volunteers are paid mileage at the county employee rate, and homeless workers are paid $10 per hour. The count, conducted every two years, shows that the numbers of homeless have decreased since 2011, when the count was last done. There were 104 people staying in emergency shelters in 2013, up four from the 2011 count; 71 people in transitional shelters in 2013, up from the 2011 count of 42 people. Overall, the 2013 count showed there were 175 people sheltered, up from 142 in 2011; and 1,169 people unsheltered, down from the 2011 count of 1,314. The 2013 grand total of homeless people in  Mendocino County is 1,344, down from 1,456 in 2011. The report includes the results of one-on-one interviews conducted by homeless workers, who also received $5 per survey. This year, workers interviewed 418 homeless people, according to the report. People who took the survey each received a $5 ‘incentive card.’ The survey showed there are 293 ‘chronically homeless’ individuals in the county, along with 27 families — with 24 of those being unsheltered — and 56 people in chronically homeless families. Of those, 39 individuals and three families are in emergency shelters. Homeless people with chronic substance abuse problems numbered 261 in the surveys, which also showed 230 homeless individuals are severely mentally ill. Of those, 180 substance abusers and 157 mentally ill homeless people are unsheltered. Homeless veterans numbered 63, with 48 of those unsheltered. Homeless victims of domestic violence numbered 59, with 40 of those in emergency shelters and 19 unsheltered. The 2013 ‘Point in Time’ count budget included $2,976 for the coast; $2,472 for the southern, inland portion of the county, and $1,100 for the northern, inland area. The benefit of the Point in Time count is that it meets HUD requirements for $1.9 million in grant funding. The grant is divided into amounts of $133,242 for supporting housing transition; $204,229 for a supportive housing program; $1.4 million for tenant rental assistance and $49,870 for sponsor rental assistance,” whatever that is.

SOLFEST XV is scheduled for Saturday (August 17th) at Real Goods' Solar Living Center in Hopland, noon to midnight. As always, the event will be short on soul unless, of course, your idea of a rully, rully hardhitting event is a panel discussion featuring Supervisor Hamburg and Congressman Huffman, that snooze-aroo and a lot of the expensive eco-gadgetry that Real Goods pedals to upscale consumers with environmental pretensions.

NORM FLUHER of Mendocino's venerable Blair House used to sit on the board of the Mendocino County Lodging Association until he was purged from that august body for asking the un-askable. Mr. Fluher wanted to know where all the money goes and, very soon, it was bye, bye baby for him. His colleagues on the board voted him off the board by a one-vote margin.

THE LODGING ASSOCIATION collects $325k from its members, which is then “matched” by the County, and the entire $650k is then given over to Scott Schneider's “Visit Mendocino County.” Schneider pulls down a nice $90,454 for 35 hours of work a week. What exactly Schneider does during those 35 hours is one of those many ongoing Mendo mysteries, comparable to asking what Paul Tichinin does all day long as the County's superintendent of schools.

HERE'S how Fluher was got. “Board Member Conduct & Disciplinary Action. Pauline [Zamboni] presented the item. A number of Board members support an effort to impose disciplinary action on Norm Fluher, including possible removal from the Board. Letters in support of Norm have been received and some public are in attendance to express such support. Pauline notes that the proposed disciplinary action is based on his noncompliance with MCLA’s current bylaws, one violation in Article 2, ‘Purpose and Mission’ statement, i.e., his actions to disestablish the existing BID; and three violations in Article 4-Item 6, ‘Duties and Responsibilities of Board Members,’ i.e., his actions on more than one occasion being counter to Board policy as set by vote of a majority of members; and his action of giving the appearance of speaking officially for the organization without prior authorization. In addition, his continued actions which could be viewed as being counter to the fiduciary duties and responsibilities expected of a Board member to the organization was also brought into question. Pauline motions that the Board take disciplinary action against Norm by requesting him, in good faith…” And so on, the bloodletting accomplished by “Pauline” on a nicey-nice first-name basis.

BUT WAIT. “Norm does not agree to accept the disciplinary action and the motion is rescinded. Pauline motions Norm be removed from the Board. Jan seconds. Wendy [Roberts] also seconds. Motion Fails with 11 Yes and 4 No (13 Needed to pass).” But Pauline, Jan and Wendy went right to work and soon Norm was outtathere by one vote.

STILL CONFUSED? The inns, bed and breakfasts, motels and so on tax themselves to the tune of $325,000. Then the taxpayers, unbeknownst to most of them, casually drop another $325k to promote Mendo's delights in the great outside world, which is where Schneider comes in to do whatever he does — Frisco wine parties and a couple of big signs near the County line — and somehow the tourists come running. Fluher doesn't think the money is well spent. Neither do we.

THE CITY OF UKIAH'S landfill east of town closed in September of 2001, but rather than seal the dump off as per environmental regulations, the City dithered and dallied for so long — twelve years — that now the County of Mendocino has subjected Ukiah to an "enforcement action." Which really means a lot of back and forth woof-woofing between Ukiah lawyers and the County's hard-hitting County Counsel's office. This is the kind of techno-hassle that should be worked out without involving lawyers, but…

THE FILING DEADLINE for the local November elections is extended to August 14 for those races where an incumbent did not file.

LOCAL RACES TO WATCH: The three Brooktrails incumbents, including Tony Orth, who is currently probably the longest serving board member of any pubic agency in Mendocino County, are faced with a couple of challengers.

THREE Russian River Flood Control District incumbents, who include former County Supervisor Richard Shoemaker, are being challenged by Ukiah Valley Sanitation District General Manager Frank McMichael (who was defeated by Shoemaker for re-election as Second District Supervisor back in 1996. McMichael is calling himself a “water rights advocate.” Shoemaker, of course, is a Shoemaker advocate.

MARY MISSELDINE, a dental hygienist, will replace Diane Zucker on the MCOE board.

SUSAN RUSH is among six candidates for four seats on the Point Arena Unified School District Board.

OVER IN COVELO, tribal member Amanda Britton is challenging the three incumbents who are running for re-election to the Tribal Council.

THREE of the four incumbent Ukiah Unified School District Board members up for re-election, including long time incumbent Kathy James and Glenn McGourty, who are choosing to step aside.

ACCORDING to Monday's Press Democrat story by Paul Payne, 1,511 people were arrested in Mendocino County on felony charges and 835 – or 55.3% — were convicted. Lake County had 365 felony arrests and 171 convictions for a rate of 46.8%. “Mendocino County's assistant district attorney, Paul Sequeira, said felony arrest conviction rates don’t mean much because the standard of proof is higher in court. Many people arrested on felonies are later charged with lesser crimes or dismissed, he said. Sequeira said his office keeps statistics based on the number of complaints filed that shows a conviction rate of 87% in 2012 and 88% in 2011.

ADAM MORALES comments on the banana toss episode last Sunday at AT&T, for which the fan who did it has already apologized. A fan, probably drunk, tossed half a banana at Adam Jones, the Orioles’ All-Star centerfielder. The episode conjured visions of the racist fans who’d throw bananas at black soccer players in Europe, especially Italy. “At the 'stick it would have been a beer but who is going to waste a $10 foofoo micro brew? A free banana from a catering cart is a different story. If there had only been $8 brats left on the cart I doubt anything would have been thrown. I've been going to Giants games since I was a kid in the 70s. This is nothing compared to what you'd see or hear in those days. Nobody took it personally or cried PC tears of protest. The players wouldn't hide behind agents (CAA? Gimmie a break!), they'd turn around and talk right back and at times barely restrain themselves from jumping into the stands to ‘continue the conversation.’ I was excited for the new ballpark and even more so when I went to the preview night for season ticket holders. That excitement was curtailed when I met my new ‘neighbors’ in section 119. A bunch of yuppies on one side who would never pay much attention to the game showing up in the third leaving in the seventh and a rotating group of annoying South Bay folks who worked as bartenders/waitresses in some upscale brew house and could not stay off their cell phones. Don't get me wrong, there were a lot of great true fans there, but the majority of the 30,000 plus new season ticket holders were pretentious, stuck up posers. It's a business — I get it and seeing the Bonds years (’roids or not) and our World Championships has only strengthened my love of my HOME team but I could do without the fans of the last 13 years. If I'm not mistaken centerfield is bleacher town — what's a catering cart even doing there? That should be the land of snuck-in flasks, not catered dinners! Again I get it— it's a business. Well, business is good with 200 plus sellouts in a row. Let's see how many of these ‘fans’ are there next year or the year after if the Giants don't win it all. That'll be the time to throw things.”

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