Mendocino County Today: September 27, 2013

by AVA News Service, September 27, 2013

FORT BRAGG MAN MURDERED WEDNESDAY NIGHT IN SAN FRANCISCO.

The following is reported by the Bay Area News Group:

Denver

Denver

“The storied rivalry between the Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers took a violent and deadly turn Wednesday night when a fight between two groups of opposing fans resulted in the stabbing death of a 24-year-old man from Fort Bragg. The fight, which resulted in the death of Dodger's fan Jonathan Denver, started when two groups of people began arguing about the rivalry, San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr said Thursday. Suhr said two people are in custody and police are still searching for two other suspects. Denver attended Wednesday's game between Los Angeles and the Giants at AT&T Park with his father, brother and two others, Suhr said. Denver, who was wearing Dodgers apparel, left the ballpark with his group sometime around the eighth inning and headed to a bar. As Denver and his group walked northbound on Harrison Street near Third Street, about six blocks away from the park, when at about 11:30 p.m. they encountered a group of people, one of whom was wearing a Giants cap, Suhr said. The second group had not attended the Giants game that night, and instead were out at a nightclub. The two groups exchanged words about the Dodgers and Giants rivalry and a fight broke out. The melee eventually broke up. But minutes later the two groups crossed paths again, and a second fight ensued. It was during this encounter that Denver was stabbed. He was rushed to San Francisco General Hospital, where he died from his injuries. Denver was a plumber's apprentice who worked for the past two years for North Coast Plumbing and Heating in Fort Bragg, according to company owner Cas Smith. ‘I don't think he was much of a baseball fan,’ Smith said. ‘He was just down there for a like family reunion.’ Smith said Denver's father is a Dodgers fan. Denver took Wednesday and Thursday off to attend a Giants-Dodgers game with his brother and father, according to Smith. Denver was tall, standing about 6-foot-3, and was ‘very mild-mannered,’ Smith said. But he did recently have a DUI arrest. Denver's booking mug for the DUI arrest shows him wearing a Dodgers T-shirt. The killing comes one night after the San Francisco Giants held the first of three fundraisers for Bryan Stow, the Giants fan who was attacked outside Dodger Stadium in March 2011. Stow, a former paramedic from Santa Cruz, suffered brain damage during the attack following an Opening Day game between the Giants and Dodgers in Los Angeles. The Giants are contributing $10 to the Bryan Stow Fund for every special-event ticket purchased for tonight's game against the Dodgers and Sunday's final game of the season against the San Diego Padres. The Stow family provided a statement this morning following news of the stabbing death of a Dodgers fan. ‘We are saddened by this senseless killing and our thoughts and prayers go out to the victim's family,’ the statement said. The two teams play again tonight at AT&T Park, their last meeting of the 2013 season. San Francisco police will send extra officers to the ballpark for tonight's game, according to Officer Gordon Shyy, a department spokesman. ‘We want people to feel safe coming to AT&T Park,’ Shyy said. ‘There is no room for this type of behavior. The rivalry should stay on the field. We're working with the Giants to make sure nothing spills out’.”

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PERTINENT ON-LINE COMMENT: “Incidents like these aren't about any specific city/rivalry/sport/etc. They're really just about a few violent lowlifes who want any excuse to push someone else down, because that's the only way they know how to feel good about themselves. If it wasn't the Dodgers fan after the game yesterday, it would've been some person ‘eyeing them the wrong way’ at a bar some other day or any other of a million possibilities. The only thing that can really be done about people like this is stepping up public safety measures all around to stop as many altercations and as early as possible.”

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COUNTY PLAYS HARDBALL

Ukiah, California… September 26, 2013

• Union’s Illegal Strike Serves to Further Diminish Employee Morale; Public Services Remain Largely Unaffected

Service Employees International Union (SEIU) 1021 conducted a self-described “unfair labor practices” strike on Tuesday, September 24, 2013. The County is disappointed that SEIU chose to strike rather than continue working through the legal bargaining process. The County believes the strike on Tuesday was an illegal economic strike, and therefore filed an unfair labor practice charge against SEIU on Thursday, September 19 upon learning of the intended strike. The California Public Employment Relations Board is responsible for adjudicating this matter. Under the law, workers have the right to join in a strike action, or to not join a strike action. The County is very supportive of those employees who chose to come to work, facing intimidation and bullying tactics for daring to “cross the picket lines.”

• The Safety Of Constituents, Picketers And Employees, Was First And Foremost During The Illegal Strike.

Sheriff Tom Allman arrived early on the morning of the 24th to the County’s Administration Center and then the Yokayo facilities. On scene, Sheriff Allman was able to help facilitate access to the buildings in addition to securing the right of picketers to express their message. The Sheriff stated that he is “not aware of any traffic or safety laws having been broken by SEIU during their strike on Tuesday.” The Sheriff remained with the Board during its morning and afternoon session in anticipation of an SEIU demonstration directed towards the Board itself. The morning session remained uneventful, however, and the Sheriff’s Office itself remained unimpacted by the strike.

Board Chairman Dan Hamburg stated, “The Board extends its thanks and appreciation to Sheriff Tom Allman and his deputies for their assistance in maintaining an orderly atmosphere during Tuesday’s strike action by SEIU. The Board also commends union members who conducted the work stoppage in a dignified manner.” Hamburg rearranged the Board’s afternoon agenda to accommodate additional public expression after SEIU’s leadership missed the regularly scheduled morning public expression period, choosing instead to appear during a noticed public hearing on a planning matter concerning Caspar.

• The Impact Of The Illegal Strike On Most County Offices And Services Was Minimal.

According to Mendocino County Chief Probation Officer Buck Ganter, “The Ukiah, Fort Bragg, and Willits Probation Offices were all open and operating on Tuesday. All Court obligations were fulfilled and the Juvenile Hall operated normally and was fully staffed.” Chief Ganter expressed his appreciation to all staff who kept the Department open for business and to the Juvenile Hall food services staff for “coming to work and making the safety and care of the kids their priority.”

Health and Human Services Agency Director Stacey Cryer issued a comprehensive strike contingency plan in the lead-up to the action by SEIU. “Our goal was to keep all of the main points of access open with as many services as possible being provided,” Cryer said. “we met these goals with astounding success. I’m really proud of my team.” Cryer went on to cite an extensive list of services provided throughout the County during the strike that included178 clients being served through the Employment and Family Assistance Center, 80 case actions in Child Welfare Services, six fresh walk-ins for Veterans Services, and a healthy litter of nine new puppies being born in the County’s animal shelter (please call 707-463-4427 if you are interested in adopting these strike puppies). “We not only kept the doors to HHSA open, but we continued to provide services.”

Director Cryer was disappointed early Tuesday morning as picketers blocked employee access to HHSA’s Yokayo Complex around 7am. “We had about 100 SEIU employees wanting to work who were being interfered with,” she said, “but as soon as the Ukiah Police Department and Sheriff Allman arrived on scene, the picketers became more orderly and we were able to get the public’s business underway.“

• While The Illegal Strike Had Less Impact Than SEIU Intended, Some Services Were Effectively Closed To The Public On Tuesday.

Among the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) 80 staff members, 49 went on strike, closing down all regularly scheduled operations and forcing the department to focus on emergency calls only. Some SEIU employees remained on the job but noted backlash from those who went on strike. Director of Transportation, Howard Dashiell, stated, “SEIU has been undertaking an aggressive effort to organize this strike in DOT for over six months now, and I don’t think that’s been in the spirit of good faith negotiating at the table… especially considering that the bargaining process began in June.” Dashiell went on to state that, “For months now, they (SEIU) have been appearing at the road yards unannounced – even going to the worksites themselves. It was so disruptive that our Safety Officer eventually had to intervene because the union was disrupting the work of our flaggers while they were on station, which is simply unacceptable and dangerous behavior.” The County’s library system and Fort Bragg planning office rounded out the remaining two offices effectively shut down during the strike, though many employees remained behind to work.

• The County Remains Resolute Despite The Illegal Strike And Its Negative Affect On Morale.

The County has declared impasse in the negotiations with SEIU, and the procedures required to move forward call for a State mediator that can assist the parties in reaching a resolution. The County hopes that the Union will participate in good faith in the mediation process to attempt to resolve the outstanding issues.

Mendocino County has undergone a major financial restructuring in light of the organization’s lack of preparation for the economic recession starting in 2008. The recession adversely impacted the County’s primary source of revenue - the property tax - added over $100 million in employee pension liabilities to the County’s books and nearly brought the County to bankruptcy. “The old way of doing business needed to change.” stated Chief Executive Officer, Carmel J. Angelo. “The County needs to restructure, pay off debt, build stability and realize economic growth before we can look at sustainable pay increases for our employees. Otherwise a pay increase is just another false promise.” Angelo cited the County’s improved credit ratings, improved reserve and debt levels, and renewed interest by investors in the community as signs that the County’s future has an upward trajectory.

“The Board regrets that negotiations toward an extension of the County’s contract with SEIU have proven to be problematic,” stated Board Chairman Dan Hamburg. “The Board remains united, however, in its determination to protect and preserve the fiscal health of the County in highly uncertain economic circumstances.”

Released by: Carmel J. Angelo, Chief Executive Officer

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GOOD FOR HAMBURG. He's taken exactly the right stance. This board of supervisors has inherited years of irresponsible fiscal management that placed the County teetering on the edge of bankruptcy which, if it happened, would cost pensioners their pensions, many workers their jobs. SEIU has not only not negotiated in good faith, they haven't even bothered to learn the facts of the County's true financial position. And another, and undoubted worse, financial crisis coming, the County needs its modest reserve of an estimated $9 million, which, by the way, is more projected than real, to meet its basic obligations when the larger economy again drifts up on the rocks.

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LOS ANGELES SCHOOL'S COCKAMAMIE SCHEME to give all its students iPads has already backfired. The LA Times reports that within a week after getting the Apple tablets, some 300 students hacked their free gizmos so they could surf the net, access social media and so on, bypassing the device's alleged educational benefits. The iPads cost the LA schools a cool billion.

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CORRECTION: IN WEDNESDAY'S PRINT EDITION of the AVA, we incorrectly reported that Michelle Hanes, of the Hanes Ranch, Boonville, had died of a heart attack. Ms. Hanes mother died of a heart attack, not Michelle.

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RITE AID CORPORATION TO PAY MORE THAN $12 MILLION FOR UNLAWFUL DISPOSAL OF HAZARDOUS WASTE

Mendocino County District Attorney David Eyster today announced that the Rite Aid Corporation has been ordered to pay more than $12.3 million to settle a civil lawsuit alleging that some 600 California Rite Aid stores unlawfully handled and disposed of hazardous materials. There are four Rite Aid stores in Mendocino County.

The judgment marks the culmination of a joint environmental protection lawsuit filed in September 2013 in Stockton originally by the district attorneys of Los Angeles, San Joaquin and Riverside counties. Thereafter, two city attorneys and 52 California district attorneys – including Mendocino County’s District Attorney - joined the civil action on behalf of their cities and counties, respectively. San Joaquin County Superior Court Judge Linda L. Lofthus has ordered the Rite Aid Corporation to pay $12,324,000 as part of the settlement of this civil environmental prosecution.

DA Eyster said, “I applaud our environmental investigators and prosecutors working locally and across the state for their ongoing and deep commitment to keeping our communities healthy and for holding violators accountable for crimes against the environment.”

The case originated from an investigation by several local environmental health agencies acting independently in different counties during the fall of 2009. The investigation expanded when prosecutors, investigators and environmental regulators statewide came together to conduct a series of waste inspections at Rite Aid facilities and at landfills throughout California. The inspections revealed that during a six-and-a-half year period Rite Aid transported hazardous waste, disposing of it in local landfills. The hazardous products allegedly discarded included pesticides, bleach, paint, aerosols, automotive products and solvents, pharmaceutical and bio hazardous wastes and other toxic, ignitable and corrosive materials.

Under the final judgment, Rite Aid must pay $10.35 million in civil penalties and costs. Additionally, the Camp Hill, Pennsylvania-based company must fund several environmental projects that further consumer protection and environmental enforcement in California.

Rite Aid is now bound under the terms of a permanent injunction prohibiting the retailer from committing future violations. Pursuant to the settlement, Rite Aid will pay $8,000 in civil penalties to the Mendocino County’s Environmental Health Division and a matching $8,000 in civil penalties to the District Attorney’s Office. The District Attorney’s funds are earmarked for use in the enforcement of consumer protection laws.

Throughout the course of the environmental prosecution, Rite Aid has cooperated with prosecutors and investigators, and has to adopted enhanced policies and procedures designed to eliminate the disposal of hazardous waste products in California. Moving forward, stores will be required to retain their hazardous waste in segregated, labeled containers to minimize the risk of exposure to employees and customers and to ensure that incompatible wastes do not combine to cause dangerous chemical reactions. California Rite Aid stores now work with state-registered haulers to document, collect and properly dispose of hazardous waste produced through damage, spills and returns. Moreover, Rite Aid has implemented a computerized scanning system and other environmental training to manage its waste. (District Attorney's Press Release)

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BANKS

Editor,

The below email was from a very dear Belgian friend of mine who was responding to my wife’s rant regarding banks playing with her hard earned money (and charging her with overdrawn fees) rather than recognizing her funds as solvent for her own use at the same moment they were “good enough” for them to use. Upon my wife’s outcry and threat to coordinate a class action suit, I suggested that she first contact our friend the Sailor (knowing that it might well launch one of his classic diatribes on that pesky little annoyance called banks. Let’s consider my friend’s name The Sailor. His pleasures are in the teaching and the anonymity (cowardice does not run in his veins). While he does love peaceful water sport, his command of water vessels is not of the same level of expertise as his soap box classics. This one is short and sweet.

I thought that his mail was worthy of your still fine weekly (and still my favorite read, in addition to being a big hit with the Sailor). If you think otherwise, I guess I missed the mark, though it changes nothing.

Thanks for being there.

Curt Westley, Atlanta, Georgia

* * *

Aaaaaaaaaaaah, banks.

Grandiose subject. Nothing better than a whining rant to kick energy up to higher levels.

Let us take the subject more seriously than it deserves to be, and both you and I pretend we care about solving it.

Since I am born into banks, even went as far as being engaged to a banker for many stormy years, and still live among the empty suits every day of my life, yes, indeed, the Captain was right; the Sailor is your man. What he was hiding to you is that the subject invariably triggers one of those rants that amuse him in their full ridiculous pomp. I am sure he was secretly hoping for you to be the middleman of a renewed bout of circus. Let us give him this pleasure.

Now, let us be brutally honest here, unlike a lawyer would be, luring you into long and hopeless (to his sole knowledge) legal action draining the monies your bank pretends is in your current accounts while they have already lent out the precious tool of barter to the greedy for the purchase of German machinery and production tools that will be sent to China for the exploitation of the Communist masses. The banking obscurantists helped by the political correctness America is exporting around the world call it Fractional Reserve Banking. Fractional Reserve being the tiny share of your monies they really keep for you, while pretending the whole thing is right there. Seriously and to cut this dramatic side-subject short, if you sue, your chances at winning are very slim. The fine print you signed when opening your account is probably clear enough for you to lose.

It does not change the fact that what they do is monstrously unfair, and that whining is perfectly acceptable under the circumstances! Nobody ever said bankers were in there for social purposes, except when the invariably regular losses need to be covered for the good of the Nation and the Preservation of the capacity of all the Poor to service their Interest and Principal, and hence the Nation. Call it holding each other by the balls and having the bank invariably win the game, they being far more educated than the politicians tipping the balance in their favor. Go find one single politician who understands how banking works. Take your time.

Do not worry, Europe is the same, and has been even worse. Europe put extremism to a halt not so many years ago, as it used to be credit plus two days and debit minus three when I started wiring monies at a young age! Now it is credit plus one day and debit minus one day, probably the only sane law the European Parliament ever passed, and only half-way by the way. I regularly pay debit interest when my account reaches nirvanic amounts filling me with waves of pleasure. To discover that the obscure banking rules treated me as if I were in debt. Pleasure gone fast.

See, I wouldn't have a problem with the whole scheme, if that would make my bank account free of charge, or my loans cheaper, or if I got a real kind smile in exchange and other meaningful toys. It is that sneaky slimy “I care for your life and finances” bullshit that makes me trigger-happy. Let us bluntly say that bankers have devised a scheme, straight out of the Middle Ages, based on a legally enforced Ponzi Scheme enabling governments to promise more than they can pay for, while enriching the bankers, a devilish legally-enforced nightmare of which bank runs are the invariable result, and which we all accept as being the norm. I gasp at the imbecility and docility of the general population.

Oh, Alli, I could write you a book about all the practices of banking, a business that has not been changed since the Age of Pest and Ignorance, just speeded up with IT these days. The suits only give it an air of science and honesty it never had and still hasn't.

But I will spare you the diatribe. Curt is already deafened by my previous supplications to Mammon in a vain attempt at stopping the Circus that is going to trigger blood one day, starting in the emerging markets, and then coming back to hit our shores. India and Indonesia were on the brink recently, and probably the reason your dear Ben took the unexpected decision to keep printing at high pace. See, we need to print enough to cover the 90% of your monies that are immobilized in those machines in China to get back on safer ground.

— The Sailor

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CRAIG & ANDY ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL

Caffrey for Congress

 

Supporting the only US Congressional candidate

Demanding radical reform of policy in

Response to global climate destabilization

Is a sane, necessary choice!

 

Spent my last dollar to help rent the office space

Sleeping on the floor on a camping mat

Need dental work soon

Greeting the few who show up to the events

 

Received $3.10 in donations thus far

Wondering why I am even living in the USA

Where are the other intelligent citizens

When will they come around and join with us

 

Does Southern Humboldt desire to be represented

By a congressman from Marin county

And has anybody understood the absurdity of

Redistricting?

 

Can I get a telephone call at 707-923-2114

Before it really begins to rain here, and

How come the mairijuana growers haven't yet

Supported the “pot candidate” anyway?

 

Can we get some money?

Is this a poem?

Well ya, in America

It is!

— Craig Louis Stehr. 26.IX.2013

Please send money here: Caffrey for Congress. P.O. Box 324/ Redway, CA 95560

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MORE PANELS, LESS HELP

by Malcolm Macdonald

On September 17th, a panel calling itself the Coastal Homelessness and Mental Health Action Group met for the first time in the conference room of the Fort Bragg Police Department. The only form of law enforcement present was Loren Rex from State Parks. Other panelists represented the Mendocino Coast District Hospital; Hospitality House (for the homeless); Redwood Children’s Services (recently contracted through the privatized firm Ortner Management Group to provide mental health services to those age 20 and younger on the coast); the chairman and a board member from the Mendocino County Mental Health Board; 4th District Supervisor Dan Gjerde; the Housing & Economic Development Coordi­nator for the City of Fort Bragg; Susan Holli of the faith-based organization Love in Action. Other volunteers present included Javier Chavez who traveled from Gualala seeking information on how the homeless and houseless in his area might benefit from services offered farther north.

Despite representatives from so many formal bodies, this so-called “action group” does not constitute an official body. It bills itself as a forum that can result in action by participating entities. This unofficial body formerly went by the moniker Interagency Coast Homelessness Action Group (even the acronym, ICHAG, is a mouthful). The obvious name addition involves mental health, but what do they really do?

Jennifer Owen, the representative from Fort Bragg city government, started a roundtable discussion about gaps in services that exist right now. The issue that came up most was the lack of an “11 o’clock court” on the coast. The “11 o’clock court” idea is meant to find alternatives to jail for low level offenders who have been diagnosed as mentally ill. The program was planned more than a year ago and has been implemented, to some degree, in the Ukiah courts; however, District Attorney Eyster has so far failed to get his office on the coast on board. Supervisor Gjerde said that he had spoken with Eyster about the matter a month ago. Eyster’s apparent excuse has been finding the right replacement for the retiring Ten Mile Court Assistant DA, Tim Stoen. An able attorney, Stoen has been on the job for the last year and more. One has to wonder why Eyster couldn’t get the message to Stoen to go ahead with the program long before now. Hopefully, it has nothing to do with the fact that, as a group, the mentally ill are less apt to vote than the average Eyster supporter.

The Mendocino County judges, as a whole, are also culpable in this neglected scenario. The District Attorney and his coast assistants might be likelier to institute new programs if they did not have to spend so much time fighting a rear guard action just to keep the Ten Mile Court open full time. Our county judges’ most recent learned opinion finds that Ten Mile Court should be shut down on its busiest arraignment and trial days during the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving and Christmas. Apparently, Mendocino County’s cluttered cluster of judges didn’t get it when a crowd spilling out onto the street turned up in Fort Bragg one stormy November night last year to protest the previous threatened shut down of the coastal court. Any resident of this county needs to think long and hard before casting a vote for the re-election of any of this black robed band.

Among many issues not discussed during the September 17th gathering was the rumored rift between Ortner Management Group (OMG!) and Hospitality House, which has taken on the role of mental health provider for the Mendocino Coast’s adult population under the privatized umbrella of Ortner (Yes, Virginia, there really is a Mr. Tom Ortner behind the for-profit company). The disagreement apparently stems from Ortner’s plan to stick the Hospitality Center for the cost of unpaid Medi-Cal bills.

There was also no mention of the letters to the editor that have appeared in several Mendocino County news­papers; letters that bring up hard questions such as why the Supervisors awarded the adult mental health services privatization contract to County Mental Health Director Tom Pinizzotto’s former employer, Ortner Management Group instead of Optum health, which has been described as more qualified and more experienced at providing mental health services. The letters also explain the lengths a family member has to go to in order to get mental health care on the coast — or in this county. Almost all the panelists at the September 17th forum are coast dwellers, and if they only read the Mendocino Beacon or Fort Bragg Advocate-News, these letters may have gone unseen. The letters, with tough questions about our mental health services, appeared in the AVA and Media News Group publications in Ukiah and Willits. According to the author, the letters were submitted to the editor of the Media News Group’s Beacon and Advocate-News weeks ago, but to this date remain unpublished.

Ortner Management Group is now approximately 70 days into its contract to provide mental health services to Mendocino County. Meanwhile, a woman took her adult daughter to a Ukiah hospital emergency room in hopes of getting some sort of mental health care for the daugh­ter, whose situation could best be described as at a crisis point. Mother and daughter reportedly remained in the ER for 24 hours before receiving professional help.

Here on the Mendocino Coast, this column has been following a similar pair: 50-something-year-old Carole, who has already been through the Ortner run-around for her 30-something year old son, William. William has been diagnosed with schizo-affective disorder, has thrown himself into traffic more than once, and been arrested several times. (Readers should note last week’s AVA letter to the editor from J. Holden of Ukiah which cites the statistic that 92% of state hospital patients in California only arrive at these institutions after going through our criminal justice system).

William threatens suicide often. Two weeks ago I described how William was finally taken to Ortner’s North Valley Behavioral Health center in Yuba City. While he spent ten days there, William reportedly had to be restrained and medicated during crisis situations that included ripping a phone from the wall and hurling a chair across a room. At the end of ten days, Ortner wanted to send William to the Ford Street Project in Ukiah. Carole objected on the grounds that Ford Street provides help for the homeless and would not be able to give William the professional psychiatric care he needs. So William was shipped to Ortner’s Redwood Creek facility in Willits. Redwood Creek still maintains several elderly residents under its previous incarnation as a board and care unit. So you have mental health patients like William being warehoused along with elderly residents who cannot be removed because they are literally grandfathered in by law.

After one day at Redwood Creek, William walked away and hitchhiked back to his mother’s coastal resi­dence. Carole was able to convince William to return to Redwood Creek and drove him back to Willits the next day (Carole is employed, with other adult children). William stayed at Redwood Creek for another ten days to two weeks before checking himself out and returning to the coast once again. The best case scenario for William would be for him to be legally “conserved” within a locked facility with truly professional psychiatric care on a daily basis, care that might help him get on the road to recovery. Mendocino County’s current mental health system seems oblivious to helping Carole to get this accomplished.

William did attend a family gathering in mid-September without causing major disruption, but mostly his mother sees him these days wandering the streets of Fort Bragg, sometimes walking into traffic (as of September 21st he has not been hit) or standing on street corners talking to himself. One day he screamed to his mother that he was being called by God, that he didn’t know how much longer he could ignore God and stay on this planet.

Carole is incredibly frustrated. She’s at a point where she can’t have William living with her and the rest of the family. She thinks it’s useless to call law enforcement about William. She believes that Ortner will not treat William as a mental health case because he may have tested positive for drug use while at Ortner’s North Valley Behavioral Health center. She has acknowledged that William was probably on drugs when he appeared at the family gathering in mid-September.

Here’s where people like those involved in the Coastal Homelessness and Mental Health Action Group could actually take action. People like William are out there homeless. Some may be high on drugs, but they also are ill, mentally ill. A group that supposedly possesses the combined awareness of the problems of homelessness and mental illness with representatives from so many professional and volunteer organizations should already be aware of cases like William’s, and the dozens of others like him.

The closest anyone at the September 17th meeting came to acknowledging folks like William occurred when Mental Health Board Chair Jim Shaw stated that there are gaps in the services provided for mentally ill adults on the Mendocino Coast. Indeed, there are.

William’s mother, Carole, has addressed a number of emails, dating back to early August, to Tom Pinizzotto, Director of Mendocino County Mental Health, to her supervisor, to members of the County Mental Health Board, to Sheriff Tom Allman and her local police chief. A September email that detailed William’s plight included the following: “WHAT PART OF MENTAL ILLNESS do you people (Mendocino County Mental Health and Ortner) not understand? IF HE COULD MAKE IT ON HIS OWN DONT YOU THINK THAT BY THIRTY YEARS OF AGE HE WOULD HAVE MADE IT BY NOW! Yes I am angry and upset that I must fight so hard and I am sure I AM NOT ALONE in this County.”

Later in that email she wrote that she believes William to be about 15 in his own mind. She goes on to say, “I can tell you he is severely depressed, has PTSD and schizoaffective disorder, is homeless and currently psychotic and suicidal. Because I am NOT a mental health care professional, I can’t do this anymore. He will be out there walking in the road so be careful and try not to hit him.” ¥¥

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LOOKING DEEPLY: SCULPTURE ARTISTS ON DISPLAY AT GRACE HUDSON

Mini-exhibit celebrates American Craft Week

by Roberta Werdinger

On Friday, October 4, from 5 to 8 pm, the Grace Hudson Museum will hold a reception and opening for an exhibit in its foyer of the work of sculpture artists Sara Logan and Suzye Ogawa. The exhibit, like all First Friday events at Grace Hudson, is free to the public and is a celebration of American Craft Week (Oct. 4-13). Both artists reside in the Fort Bragg area and show their work at the Northcoast Artists Gallery. Sarah Logan will be present at the reception to greet visitors and talk about her art. The exhibit will be on display through Oct. 27.

Suzye Ogawa creates miniature metal and fiber sculptures that reflect her upbringing in Los Angeles's Little Tokyo and her rich Japanese American cultural heritage. Largely self-taught, she combines traditional basketry work with metalworking techniques and the "lost wax" casting process. The result is a fascinating combination of hard and soft, traditional and modern, that opens the viewer's eyes to often-overlooked details of design and expression. Ogawa states, "My work is small and I hope invites each viewer into taking the time to step closer and share in my world."

Sarah Logan creates solid ceramic shapes that tweak our perception of the everyday world. Familiar shapes—the frame of a house, a plant holder, a folded shape that could be a human heart or a seashell—are reshaped and restated, appearing just different enough from the objects they suggest to make the viewer pause and look at them again. Logan says, "I use the sculptural vessel as an overture to expressions of time, memory and place, creating intimate objects based on my negotiations through life… Capturing the details of life, and passing on to the viewer a few brief moments, my work leaves a visual record of the forgotten and discarded."

Visitors to this Friday evening opening will also gain free admission to the current offering in the Museum's main gallery. Titled "Milford Zornes: A Painter of Influence," the exhibit is a retrospective of the long career and vast influence of American watercolorist Milford Zornes (1908-2008). The Zornes exhibit closes on Sunday, Oct. 13.

"Mendocino County Celebrates American Craft Week" features special shows, events, and demonstrations honoring the art of handmade craft throughout the county. More information and a list of gallery showings related to American Craft Week is at the Mendocino Arts Council website, www.artsmendocino.org. Event maps are available at the Grace Hudson Museum, the Art Center in Ukiah, the Pot Shop in Philo, and other participating sites. The Grace Hudson Museum is at 431 S. Main St. in Ukiah and is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 am to 4:30 pm and from 12 to 4:30 pm on Sunday. For more information please go to www.gracehudsonmuseum.org or call 467-2836.

One Response to Mendocino County Today: September 27, 2013

  1. Malcolm Macdonald Reply

    September 27, 2013 at 8:55 am

    The first paragraph of the article on mental health meetings should read as follows:
    On September 17th, a panel calling itself the Coastal Homelessness and Mental Health Action Group met for the first time in the conference room of the Fort Bragg Police Department. The only form of law enforcement present was Loren Rex from State Parks. Other panelists represented the Mendocino Coast District Hospital; Hospitality House (for the homeless); Redwood Children’s Services (recently contracted to provide crisis care and mental health services to those age twenty and younger); the chairman and a board member from the Mendocino County Mental Health Board; 4th District Supervisor Dan Gjerde; the Housing & Economic Development Coordinator for the City of Fort Bragg; Susan Holli of the faith-based organization Love in Action. Other volunteers present included Javier Chavez, an employee of Action Network in Gualala, who traveled to Fort Bragg seeking information on how the homeless and houseless in his area might benefit from services offered farther north.

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