Mendocino County Today: Saturday, Aug 27, 2016
by AVA News Service, August 27, 2016
NEIGHBORS COMPLAIN ABOUT FOOTBALL PLAYERS AT HORTENSE STREET HOME IN UKIAH
by K.C. Meadows
A petition complaining about noise, partying, trash and other problems has been drawn up for the Ukiah City Council from neighbors of a Hortense Street home now housing a large group of Mendocino College football players.
The home at 101 S. Hortense, a former senior rest home called Silver Birches and most recently a group foster home, is being rented to about a dozen members of the college football team who are from out of the area.
Neighbors, led by former Ukiah Mayor Fred Schneiter, say the athletes have turned the home into a “frat house.” They complain of parties, loud music, trash strewn about, damage to cars parked in the neighborhood and more. The Ukiah Police have been called “numerous” times, according to Schneiter, and the West Side neighborhood, known for its quiet, tree-lined streets and expensive homes, says it has had enough.
The building’s owner, however, says he thinks the complaints are about race. The majority of the football players he’s renting to are black.
“If these were young white athletes, we wouldn’t be talking about this,” said Robert Gitlin, a Redwood Valley physician.
Schneiter completely disagrees and insists it was never about race. Another neighbor who did not want to be identified said that had the students been white, the neighbors would have been complaining much earlier.
Meanwhile, college authorities are concerned that the outrage in the neighborhood will ultimately reflect on the college. College President Arturo Reyes said that he and the athletic director and coaches have met with the players to impress upon them the need to keep noise down and have provided the home with more garbage cans.
The neighbor petition challenges having a “dormitory” among permitted uses in the single family residential district. It says the former uses as a senior care home and foster care facility were only allowed with city permits.
Gitlin disputes that and says he believes the use is within the city’s zoning laws. Gitlin says he bought the building originally in order to use it as supervised transitional housing for the mentally ill after seeing the revolving door in local emergency rooms for mental health patients. At that time, he said, the city told him he could do it, he got a bank loan and bought the property, and then the neighbors stopped it, insisting it was going to be a drug rehab.
Schneiter still says he believes that was the plan. But he says neighbors agreed to the foster care home with conditions and that arrangement worked out fine. Gitlin says the neighbors were not so agreeable. In May of this year, the foster home moved out and that’s when the football players moved in.
Schneiter says that he immediately loaned the students his lawn mower and other landscaping equipment to clean up the weed-grown yard and overgrown hedges and he said they did a good job. But, he says, then the noise and parties started. As late as 2am one night neighbors would be subjected to foul language and loud music, he says.
Schneiter says the players always seem to have trash piling up in the back of the home and they treat the place like a dormitory. He says the college should be concerned and should take active measures to control the players who, after all, it brings to town. He says he resents the fact that the college seems to want to stay at arm’s length from the situation.
“They (the players) represent the college on the athletic field, but they don’t represent the college in our neighborhood?” he said. Schneiter says that he has been told by city officials that police patrols will be stepped up and that the city is going to get all those involved together to talk about solving the problem.
Shannon Riley, a senior management analyst with the city of Ukiah, stated in an email Thursday that “city staff is aware of the complaints regarding 101 S. Hortense Street and we did receive a petition addressed to the City Council.
“We understand the frustration expressed by neighbors; we take their complaints very seriously and have evaluated and/or responded to them accordingly. One of the concerns was related to whether the use of this building as a ‘dorm’ was appropriate. However, the City Code does not prohibit this type of use for this building.
“There have also been calls to the Police Department regarding excessive noise at the location, but in several cases, it was already quiet when the police arrived onsite,” Riley said, adding that “city staff has been in contact with the building owner and Mendocino College staff and will continue to respond to complaints within the context of our authority.”
Gitlin, however, says his tenants don’t feel safe any more and that they are leaving by mutual consent sometime in September. He says that while the police have been called about noise, no tickets or citations have been issued, yet the calls continue. No neighbor has knocked on the door to ask the young men to keep it down, he says. He strongly believes that the whole effort in the neighborhood is based on the fact that the tenants are black.
Schneiter again disputes Gitlin’s version of events and says that neighbors, including Superior Court Judge Cindee Mayfield, have gone to the door to try to get the students to lower the noise to no avail and that other neighbors have done the same.
“I personally feel it’s racially motivated,” Gitlin said nonetheless. He said, “This group of young athletes need the community to support them.” He said without this kind of housing, young athletes brought into town to play for the college end up four in a room at local motels for months on end.
Reyes agreed that housing for the college’s out-of-town athletes has long been a serious problem in the expensive Ukiah Valley housing market.
(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)
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COUPLA COMMENTS about 101 Hortense, Ukiah, where neighbors are complaining about some twenty young, black football players from Mendocino College. The neighborhood complaints would be the same if the occupants of Jock House were 20 deaf mute football players — late night hijinks, poor housekeeping, unseemly behavior generally. Ordinarily, jock-o's live in closely supervised on-campus dorms. Mendocino College doesn't have dorms, so someone or several someones is paying the owner of the property big rent to house these guys. And the doctor, a blithely demagogic fellow named Gitlin immediately rolls out with the R accusation.
IF THERE'S a less likely group of racist white people than those huddled up on the Westside of Ukiah, name them. These people live in absolute terror of being called racists. And, as KC Meadows points out in her story, the Westsiders would have hit the 9-11 button a lot faster if these guys were white football players.
WHAT WE ALL want to know is — Who's paying Gitlin the $8-9 thousand rent he's believed to be getting for his adventure in slum lord-ism, and why does Mendocino College have to import kids to play football in the first place?
EMERGENCY ON STATE STREET
Social Services Building Totally Flooded
Major Repairs set to start September 6
Significant disruption of welfare services and employees
(August 16, 2016] On August 13, 2016, the Mendocino County Executive Office and the Health and Human Services Agency were notified of a water leak in the County owned Social Services facility at 737 S. State St. (the entire Social Services facility which handles MediCal, Food Stamps and Welfare next door to the Ukiah Coop in South Ukiah.] A faulty pipe cap on a waterline that was being remodeled cracked and flooded around 9000 sq. ft. of the facility. County staff has been working with contractors to perform remediation work, relocate staff, schedule hazardous materials testing and actively plan for the complete restoration of the facility. However, due to the extensive damage and obvious threat to health and safety should the facility be subject to delays in the repair process, the Executive Office and the Health and Human Services Agency [recommended] that the Board of Supervisors declare a local emergency pursuant to PCC 22050. [Government Code] requires an extension of the declaration every 14-days. This will require a special meeting of the Board of Supervisors [on] August 30th to extend the emergency until work can be completed.
The water flow resulted in 1-2 inches of water throughout 9,000 square feet of the facility. Extensive damage to the flooring, walls, carpet, computer equipment, etc. has occurred. The Executive Office/Risk Management Division, in consultation with an outside contractor called ServPro (an agency that specializes in assessing water damage to facilities) has determined the affected area within the facility to be uninhabitable and has subsequently recommended the relocation of staff immediately. County staff has been working to temporarily relocate approximately 30 employees to other work stations within the facility. This temporary staff relocation effort is anticipated to be finalized by [August 17]. These relocations will have a negative impact on eligibility services and will make it more difficult for staff to meet mandated State and Federal deadlines. Although there will be no complete service interruption, loss of interview rooms and work space will mean that the public may face additional wait times and other delays to accessing their benefits.
[Government Code] states: “(In the case of an emergency, a public agency, pursuant to a four-fifths vote of its governing body, may repair or replace a public facility, take any directly related and immediate action required by that emergency, and procure the necessary equipment, services, and supplies for those purposes, without giving notice for bids to let contracts. (2) Before a governing body takes any action pursuant to paragraph (1), it shall make a finding, based on substantial evidence set forth in the minutes of its meeting, that the emergency will not permit a delay resulting from a competitive solicitation for bids, and that the action is necessary to respond to the emergency.” [Government] Code further directs that the Board of Supervisors by a four-fifths vote delegate, by resolution or ordinance, to the appropriate county administrative officer, city manager, chief engineer, or other nonelected agency officer, the authority to order any action pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (a).
[August 30 Agenda Item] — Currently all contents have been removed from the affected area of the facility, carpets and partial wall coverings have been removed and all wet areas have been thoroughly dried. Risk Management staff met with the insurance contract consultant at the site on Wednesday, August 24, 2016 for an initial walkthrough to create a scope of work for restoration construction. Construction work is anticipated to begin as soon as September 6, 2016. Due to extensive damage and threat to health and safety, the Board of Supervisors declared an emergency pursuant to [Government Code]. The Executive Office/Risk Management Division and the Health and Human Services Agency is recommending that the Board reaffirm the local emergency based on the information provided pursuant to PCC 22050. Due to the anticipated attendance of only three supervisors at the special meeting [on August 30], staff requested County Counsel verify the necessary voting threshold. County Counsel has determined that with only three members able to attend this meeting, it will require 4/5ths of the members present (which in this case would be a unanimous vote of the three).
UKIAH ANIMAL SHELTER III
I appreciate that you took the time to go to the Ukiah Animal Shelter and visited with the animals. The current animal care level at the shelter works well for animals that are at the shelter for a few days, a week or two. A few animals get lucky and are in and out. The majority stays much longer. We have a senior dog who has been at the shelter since April of this year and he is by far not the only long timer.
Cats and dogs spend most of their time locked up in a cage with little or zero socialization. The dogs are locked up a minimum of 23 plus hours a day, every day. Because all animals have distinctive personalities they cope or try to cope differently with a prolonged stay at the shelter. Some become withdrawn and depressed. Others grow frustrated and become aggressive toward their neighbors. I have observed dogs jumping and spinning in their kennels incessantly. Some animals become sick from the stress, the inactivity and loneliness.
Our shelter offers nothing for those long timers and some of them become very difficult to adopt or find an appropriate foster home.
What the shelter needs is a management and staff that are animal-centrist and make the well being of the animals their very first priority. That means timely evaluations, timely and proper veterinary services, daily socializing for the dogs in play groups and for the cats, to be frequently rotated into their social room.
And of course continuous outreach to the community to recruit foster homes and qualified adopters. And to establish relationships with a wide variety of animal rescues to move animals thru the shelter and to avoid long term incarceration.
ED REPLY: Short of mandatory pit bull adoption and re-thinking the Shelter's No Kill policy, abandoned pit bulls will continue to pile up at the Shelter. I think it's one more example of a civic problem made irresolvable by a general collapse of social consensus. Used to be unwanted animals were put down. Nobody did high fives at the commonsense dispatch of surplus animals in the "pounds" of yesteryear, but everyone agreed it was the only sensible thing to do.
ON-LINE COMMENT (WAGE SLAVERY)
From: Jason Morse [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Wednesday, August 24, 2016 3:05 PM
To: 'Susan Strom'
Subject: Job Openings for the Announce Listserv
THE FIRST DAY FOR STUDENTS is just around the corner and we still have many critical classified jobs open in the Mendocino Unified School District. Please see the positions that are open below. The open positions include instructional and integrative aides, an assistant teacher at Greenwood Preschool, and a cook. Please take a look and forward this information on to anyone who may be interested in full-time or part-time employment. Submit a classified application which can be found at www.mendocinousd.org, or stop by the District Office at 44141 Little Lake Road, Mendocino, CA 95460, to get an application. All Aide positions below require an AA degree or equivalent or ability to pass the paraprofessional test administered by the school district. All aide positions start at $12.64/hour and are open until filled.
Jason Morse, Superintendent
Mendocino Unified School District, EOE
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HELLO! Pay more money! Pay more money! There are qualified, dedicated people here and school starts without these aides? Hello, school board, superintendent, hello teachers, no fuss being made? Hire immediately by advertising more broadly and paying a living wage. Just that, a living wage! This is actually outrageous and i am so sad to be hearing it this late in the year and in the hiring process. This is like sending the kids to school without a teacher... Hello? One week like this is more than enough. Meanwhile get substitutes for each position even if their pay scale is teachers, get substitutes. I don't even want to talk about legalities at this time. And i know the some of the jobs hours are determined in order to prevent payment of benefits.. Oh, please. This message is to the board and the superintendent and the teachers re acting quickly, decisively and spending the money now to fix this situation. Yes, reserve exists. Yes it can be looked at more later. Yes, are there enough subs available to put bodies in the classroom? Aaaarrgh. 12.64 an hour? The minimum wage is changing to 15 remember? Aaarrrgghh. The integrative aides are legally required. And let's get voluteers into the classrooms temporarily. Why did we not receive this email in May?
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I COMPLETELY AGREE with your sentiment - the work done by teacher’s aides and other staff is worth far more than $12.64/hr. However, here on the coast it is challenging to find an employee that pays much more than that. Nonetheless, this is not a living wage, especially around here. BTW the current minimum wage in California is $10/hr. Legislation was passed in mid March 2016 to increase the state minimum wage to $15, but that increase is being phased in over a period of time. It will increase to $10.50/hr in Jan 2017 and to $11/hr in Jan 2018. The minimum wage will then increase by a dollar each following year until it reaches $15/hr in 2022. Thereafter it will continue to rise each year by 3.5% to account for inflation. Businesses with 25 or fewer employees will get an extra year to raise their wages, so their employees will be paid $15 by 2023. This legislation also gives the governor the ability to temporarily halt the raises under certain economic conditions (there are many state employees who earn hourly wages of far less than $15/hr, so this bill will increase the state payroll budget). Some local municipalities have adopted minimum wage increases that go into affect on a faster time schedule (SF, LA, San Jose, Berkeley…)
Unfortunately, it will be a while before we see $15/hr.
FROM THE HUMBOLDT COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE:
On Sunday, August 21, 2016 at around 12:40 a.m. a California Fish and Wildlife Warden was on patrol on Redwood House Road in Carlotta, when he observed a vehicle and persons engaged in spotlighting deer. The F&W Warden attempted to conduct an enforcement stop on the vehicle when a person who was in the rear of the vehicle opened fire on the Warden. A vehicle pursuit ensued with the suspects crashing the truck off the road. The suspects fled into the woods and disappeared.
The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office took over the investigation along with the District Attorney’s Office. Investigators from the Sheriff’s Office and DA’s Office learned through their investigation that 24 year old Shawn Eugene Hof Jr. was one of the suspects. The Sheriff’s Office has obtained a $500,000 Ramey Warrant for Hof’s arrest.
Shawn Eugene Hof Jr. is described as 5’9’ tall, 150 lbs, with brown hair and brown eyes.
Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.
MENDOCINO COUNTY RANCH UP FOR AUCTION
The ranch features 1,745 acres and a 7,500-square-foot Victorian-style home. Bidding starts at $3 million.
SUNSET & GROWERS
by Bob Dempel
On Wednesday evenings during daylight savings time a local winery offers a late evening opportunity to visit their tasting room and see the sunset. They have a beautiful facility with a covered porch facing the west. Tablecloths cover large round tables for ten people. Shirley and I got there early so we took two chairs facing due west, knowing that some other guests would fill the table. We try to visit this winery at least once during the summer months for the sunset viewing. A modest fee of $10 is charged per person which probably covers the cost of the linens and the music. Food is extra which we purchased at a pop-up vendor. This week it was pizza and a salad. We purchased a glass of sauvignon blanc to share between ourselves.
A nice older couple joined us to our left and then two couples to our right filled out the table of ten. The two couples obviously were great friends and the conversation between them flowed freely. Unfortunately when they sat down no introductions were attempted.
Shirley and I enjoyed the setting of the sun and the gentle breeze. A fog layer could be seen over the town of Sebastopol to the west. I put on my often worn Clo du Bois jacket. Shirley had a nice generic sweater. Constellation, which owns “Clo,” as we in the industry refer to it, are very generous with gifts at their annual grower luncheons. This specific jacket has Clo du Bois printed on it and also the word “Grower.”
As Shirley and I were leaving, one of the men from the four-person party asked me, “Are you are a grower or did you just find that jacket?” Since we had had no conversation with them throughout the dinner, I was somewhat taken back. “No,” I said, “this is my 47th harvest.” With that, the man excitingly stated that 25 years ago he knew someone who worked at Clo. I politely stated that I was not familiar with the name.
However, it raises an important industry question. Just what does the general wine drinking public perceive a grower should look like?
Should I have had on overalls and a straw hat like Augie Sebastiani? Maybe a corncob pipe? Or should I have had on a suit as the late Jay Benoist always wore? Or just jeans and a cotton shirt?
The answer is that grape growers are just like average, ordinary people. Shirley and I live in a subdivision here in Santa Rosa. Growers Henry and Barbara Bisordi live just around the corner. I doubt that any of our neighbors know that we grow grapes.
The problem is that the public has little or no knowledge about growing grapes and the people who grow them. With 2000 grape growers in Sonoma County, the wine drinking public would probably be hard pressed to name one grower. However, they will discuss the merits of a bottle of wine ad nauseam. I think it would be nice if the public knew more about the grower who produced the grape that went into that bottle of wine.
ALEXANDER COCKBURN AND I MET WARREN HINCKLE at a dark bar in Chinatown in the spring of 2001. Warren began ordering mysterious drinks of iridescent colors and names that seemed to derive from the Tibetan Book of the Dead.
“Look,” he said. “You should both come write for the Examiner.” This was once William Randolph Hearst’s flagship paper, which had fallen into the hands of a Chinese family called the Fangs for the princely sum of $100. The Fangs had hired Warren to run the editorial department. “Write about whatever you want. Just keep it under 700 words. As long as I get paid, you’ll get paid.” We agreed. Alex and I each wrote a column a week. The gig went on for a few enjoyable months before coming to a predictable end.
Hinckle drank us both under the table that day and, deal concluded, walked briskly away down Grant Street, as if he’d just spent the afternoon sipping cappuccino.
— Jeffrey St. Clair
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ED NOTE: Hinckle got me in on the Fang deal, too. He told me and Alexander Cockburn to see a young guy named Fang in the temporary Examiner offices above the Warfield Theater on Market Street. Fang greeted us like long lost relatives, although I doubt he had any idea who I was, other than Warren had recommended me and Cockburn as a package deal, kinda like a baseball trade for an MVP (Cockburn) and a minor league knuckleballer with control problems (me). The paper had just moved from its ancient offices down the street, in an overall deal with the Fangs that nobody understood but left the Fangs with a lot of money to throw around. Warren, who'd worked for them, seemed to have a literal blank check and, true to form, he took care of his friends. I got nicely paid for recycling stuff from Boonville's beloved weekly for a few months before the paper's accountants restored order. I still remember the boxes containing the Examiner's invaluable archives of photos and documents, including photos from Jonestown on its last day taken by Examiner staffers. All this stuff was strewn haphazardly up and down the halls, and I still wonder if it was ever properly cared for.
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Sorry to learn that Warren Hinckle is dead. As editor of Scanlan's and then Ramparts magazines, he was an important influence in the early anti-war movement during the US attack on Vietnam. Ramparts also did good, skeptical work on the assassination of President Kennedy (see this and this).
I was surprised to be reminded that Hunter Thompson's 1970 story on the Kentucky Derby was published by Hinckle in Scanlan's, not Ramparts or Rolling Stone.
Randy Shaw writes about how Hinckle was helpful to SRO residents.
A typical Hinckle story in the SF Chronicle: Porn Kings and a lot more...
(Rob Anderson, Courtesy, District5Diary)
WE’VE GOT SIGNAGE IN BOONVILLE
BIG BAND MAESTRO, Bob Ayers, would like to know what happened to the instrument this guy Hunter ripped off. (Mr. Milleher is a former music student of Mr. Ayers.) We're going to ask the Sheriff and the DA.. If anybody out there knows where either the thief or the flugelhorn is, please contact us at 895-3016. Anonymity guaranteed.
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AVA: Feb. 24, 2016:
Two Drunks & A Flugelhorn
by Bruce McEwen
It started as one of those sedate Lawrence Welk nights at the Philo Grange, last May 30th , with the Boonville Big Band Dance Concert in full denture-clacking swing, and it ended in a near-fatal head-on collision at Indian Creek, just up the road.
No one was killed, both drivers were alone, both were driving drunk, very drunk.
Some would say they both got just what they deserved. Or at least a down-payment on what they had coming.
When the case came to court last week one of the drunk drivers, Stephen Hunter, 36, of Ukiah, got another installment on the debt: He was held to answer on a strike offense violation of the vehicle code for willful endangerment causing great bodily injury (a broken femur) to the other drunk driver, Colter Millehrer, 26, of Corvallis, Oregon.
Hunter, limping into court on a cane, was also bound over on a charge of stealing an antique flugelhorn from the Boonville Big Band. Millehrer was not charged, except for the DUI.
Hunter’s frothing lawyer Christopher Brooke, the former District Attorney of Modoc County, claimed his client was the victim of the collision, not Millehrer.
Defense attorney Brooke presented a one-trick pony of a defense, repeatedly accusing the investigator, CHP Officer Brian Hanson, of incompetence, dereliction of duty, and even suggesting that Officer Hanson was lying on the stand.
We had heard that Brooke fled his post as DA in Modoc County because he feared for his life at the hands of Modoc law enforcement. Brooke's performance in Judge Moorman's court last week made it clear he wouldn't be law enforcement's favorite guy.
Officer Hanson calmly absorbed this frontal attack on his character and took the stand to testify that he'd been dispatched to Anderson Valley at 10:36 on the night of May 30th, 2015. When he arrived in Philo a half hour later, Anderson Valley's emergency responders were chewing away with the Jaws of Life to extract Millehrer from his crushed vehicle, and Hunter was being hauled off for an airlift to the trauma center in Chico. Hanson estimated that the vehicles had collided head-on at a closing speed of approximately 100 mph.
God indeed looks after drunks and idiots, and both these drunken idiots survived impact. As did the flugelhorn.
Hunter’s vehicle was in the wrong lane, the westbound lane, even though his vehicle had been eastbound at the moment of impact. And there were no skid marks behind Hunter’s vehicle; whereas there were skid marks (tire friction marks, the officer called them) behind Millehrer’s vehicle. The two smashed vehicles were 17 feet apart, having rebounded that far from the force of the impact! Millehrer’s vehicle was left straddling the center line at a slight angle. A great deal of debris was left on the roadway in the eastbound lane, evidence that it was the “area of impact.”
A CHP Officer in Chico went to the hospital and gave Hunter a field sobriety test. A blood draw revealed his blood alcohol level to be 0.16, twice the legal limit. Hunter told the Chico officer that he’d been on his way to Navarro. If this were true — and Hunter's lawyer, Brooke, insisted it was, adding another gratuitous insult that Officer Hanson was either incompetent or corrupt for not realizing it — then his vehicle had been turned completely around. Also, the accident occurred on the Boonville side of the Grange — not in the direction of Navarro. The alternative explanation would be that Hunter, having been cut off by the bartender at the Grange, was headed to Boonville for more booze.
Meanwhile, back on Highway 128 at the crash scene near Indian Creek, Officer Hanson spoke with Walter Kimmelman of the Boonville Big Band. Mr. Kimmelman said he saw Stephen Hunter making a spectacle of himself from Kimmelman's vantage point on the stage. Kimmelman said that Hunter was “loud, boisterous, and disruptive of the performance.” Kimmelman told the CHP officer that Hunter had been cut off from any more beer or wine, and as the band was packing up, they saw than an instrument case went missing. It was found in Hunter’s wrecked car and identified by Kimmelman as the antique flugelhorn that had been swiped from the Grange hall earlier that evening.
We were not told where 26-year old Colter Millehrer had been doing his drinking, nor how much, but he was undeniably intoxicated and, well, with all the tasting rooms on Highway 128, not to mention the restaurants that serve beer, wine and the hard stuff, it probably doesn’t matter. But Millehrer told the officer that when he crested the hill that drops down to the Indian Creek bridge, he saw headlights in his lane and slammed on his brakes, then attempted to turn right, but it was too late, and — bang! Millehrer had skid marks to back him up.
Defense attorney Brooke, continuing his attack on the CHP's Hanson, established that Officer Hanson had recently been assigned to the Mendocino County Major Crimes Task Force. Deputy DA Joshua Rosenfeld objected to the relevance of the assignment, but Brooke only snickered as though it were obvious that an appointment to the Task Force was equivalent to joining a drug cartel.
Judge Ann Moorman sustained the objection to Brooke's irrelevant slander, much to Brooke’s chagrin.
Brooke: “You didn’t actually see my client’s vehicle moving in the oncoming lane, did you officer Hanson?”
Hanson: “That’s true, I didn’t see it.”
Brooke: “And so the only evidence you have is this statement from this drunk driver, Mr. Millehrer, that he saw my client’s vehicle coming at him when he crested the hill.”
Hanson. “No, that’s not true. There’s other evidence.”
Brooke: “The tire friction marks, yes — but you didn’t match those tire friction marks to the tires on the vehicle, did you Officer Hanson? No, you didn’t. In your incompetence and in your haste to blame this all on my client, you just merely assumed that…”
Rosenfeld: “Your honor, I going to object. This line of questioning is argumentative.”
Brooke: “Isn’t it possible that Mr. Millehrer was in my client’s lane and that he had to swerve into the other lane to avoid the collision — isn’t that possible?”
Hanson: “Anything’s possible, I suppose," Hanson conceded.
True enough, especially in this particular region where a local group recently held a seminar at the Grange “proving” that certain clouds and other airborne phenomena were actually visitors from outer space.
Brooke: “So, it’s just as likely that Mr. Millehrer was in the wrong lane and caused this accident, isn’t it Mr. Hanson — that is, if you were to be truthful about it?”
Rosenfeld: “Again, your honor, I object.”
Brooke: “Let me show you this photograph. See where Vehicle Two [Millehrer’s red SUV] is on the center line?”
Hanson: Yes, I see it.”
Brooke: “Well, if he turned to the right, as he said he did, how did he get over here to the left?”
Hanson: “He didn’t say he turned to the right. He said he attempted to.”
Brooke: “Mr. Millehrer was intoxicated?”
Brooke: “And you arrested him?”
Brooke: “And he said he swerved to the right and you believed him?”
Hanson: “No, that’s not what he said. He said he attempted to turn to the right.”
Brooke: “Couldn’t it have been Vehicle Two that was in the wrong lane?”
Hanson: “No, not according to my investigation.”
Brooke: “And why is that?”
Hanson: “Because Vehicle One [Hunter’s white sedan] took no evasive action, and also by the way the two vehicles came to rest after impact.”
Brooke: “But aren’t there endless possibilities?”
Hanson: “No, not endless.”
Brooke: “Let me rephrase ‘endless’ to ‘several’ possibilities.”
Hanson: “Okay. But it’s still my opinion that they impacted in the eastbound lane.”
Brooke: “What physical evidence do you have for that?”
Hanson: “The totality of the circumstances.”
Brooke went back to the beginning and started all over again. The cliché for repetition is beating a dead horse, but all the motor oil and antifreeze on the roadway didn’t look like blood, and the shattered glass and other debris, as Officer Hanson pointed out, indicated where the impact occurred, despite where the cars came to rest. But Brooke was tireless, and his frustration made him more and more abusive towards the officer.
In closing, Brooke wanted the blood test thrown out because it had gone from Chico to the Department of Justice in Eureka. The sophistry Brooke based this on was beyond a layman like myself, but the motion was nonetheless denied by the judge. Even so, Brooke continued to insist his guy was sober, and the officer was taking the word of a drunk as his only evidence.
Deputy DA Rosenfeld stated the obvious: The evidence all pointed to the fact that Hunter crossed the line and smashed into the oncoming vehicle, despite Mr. Brooke’s “impassioned” insistence to the contrary.
Judge Moorman said, “I’m gonna hold him to answer. Here’s why: The defendant’s car was in the wrong lane and took no evasive action”—
Brooke: “Maybe he went into the other lane as evasive action”—
Moorman ignored the interruption; she’d heard it several times already. “The officer did not compare the tread marks to the tires but they were fresh and it was his opinion that they were made by Vehicle Two. There’s no evidence to support the idea that Hunter was in his lane and moved into the oncoming lane to avoid a collision. And to say there’s no evidence he was impaired is to ignore the blood tests and the statements by Mr. Kimmelman who observed him at the Grange where he was apparently extremely intoxicated and had to be cut off. I’m also going to hold him to answer on the theft of the instrument.”
The Modoc attorney howled that there was no evidence that Hunter had stolen the flugelhorn, but no one was listening, and Brooke's drunken thief of a client was bound over for trial.
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Addendum: From the AVA of June 3, 2015:
Terrible Head-On In Philo Saturday night about 10:30pm near the Madrones when a 1999 Chevy Cavalier crossed the yellow line and collided with a 1998 Subaru. Both parties required extrication from their vehicles by the Jaws of Life operated by the Anderson Valley Volunteers. A 36-year old Ukiah man, Stephen Hunter, identified as the driver of the Chevy Cavalier, was flown via Calstar helicopter to Enlow Hospital in Chico with major injuries including a broken femur. The 26-year old male driver of the Subaru, Colter Millehrer, a resident of Corvallis, Oregon, was transported via ground ambulance to Ukiah Valley Medical Center with major injuries, also including a broken femur. Both drivers were drunk.
The man who caused this accident, Hunter, was lurching drunk at Saturday night's big band concert at the Philo Grange. At least one concertgoer said the guy had lunged off into the night with a band member's trumpet.
CATCH OF THE DAY, August 26, 2016
Barajas-Wooten, Belion, Curtis
DEANNA BARAJAS-WOOTEN, Ukiah. DUI.
ANDREA BELION, Stockton/Ukiah. Domestic assault.
ALEXIS CURTIS, Moline, Illinois/Ukiah. Domestic assault.
DeWolf, Gielow, Howard
HEATHER DEWOLF, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
CHARLES GIELOW III, Willits. Drug sale, controlled substance, paraphernalia, failure to appear, offenses while on bail.
RYAN HOWARD, Hopland. Failure to appear.
Lynch, Myers-Higgins, Parayno
FALON LYNCH, Willits. Probation revocation.
RONALD MYERS-HIGGINS, Davenport, Iowa/Ukiah. DUI.
RUBEN PARAYNO, Lamount, California/Boonville. Pot cultivation, possession for sale, possession of ammo by prohibited person, probation revocation.
Sowers, Winters, Woods
KNOX SOWERS, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.
VANESSA WINTERS, Laytonville. Domestic battery.
BOBBY WOODS, Ukiah. DUI with priors, suspended license, parole revocation, failure to appear.
IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN Making A Murderer, dial it up (Netflix) and watch consecutive frame jobs of the same guy that will shock you to your shoes.
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“Making a Murderer” Lawyer: I Can Prove Innocence
A lawyer for Steven Avery, whose conviction in a 2007 murder trial was the subject of the Netflix documentary "Making a Murderer" says she can prove Avery's innocence. Attorney Kathleen Zellner says the evidence that convicted Avery of murdering photographer Teresa Halbach was staged. Zellner's biggest discovery was that Halbach's car had been seized by police before it appeared on Avery's property. Avery's previous lawyers had contended that the blood found in the vehicle had also been planted by police. Zellner is requesting new forensic tests to determine whether the blood samples had been preserved in vials before they appeared in the car.
Earlier this month, Avery's nephew Brendan Dassey's conviction in the murder case was overturned. Zellner hopes for a similar verdict for Avery. "No guilty person would ever allow such extensive testing to be done," Zellner told Newsweek. "The fact that Mr. Avery has agreed to all this testing is further proof he’s actually innocent of these crimes."
READERS THINK, THINKERS READ
by Ralph Nader
Here are my recommended books to read for the late summer holidays.
1/ The Green Cowboy: An Energetic Life, by S. David Freeman, Authorhouse.
A powerhouse in energy policy and clean energy reform for over thirty years, Freeman ran the Tennessee Valley Authority and other large public utilities over the course of his career. InThe Green Cowboy, he recounts the struggles, setbacks and triumphs of a life driven to provoke change in America’s use of energy. This book is a handbook on bending corporate power toward progressive change.
2/ How the World Breaks: Life in Catastrophe’s Path from the Caribbean to Siberia, by Stan Cox and Paul Cox, The New Press.
This is a world tour of actual disasters where nature’s fury and man’s folly often combine to provoke acts of stunning courage and resilience. Unfortunately, many practices of prevention for a safer future were not deployed post-disaster. A gripping series of accounts by this intrepid father/son team.
3/ Power Wars: Inside Obama’s Post-9/11 Presidency, by Pulitzer Prize winner Charlie Savage, Little, Brown.
The New York Times reporter explains how Barack Obama, “the most lawyerly of American presidents,” contrary to his 2008 campaign promises, in Yale Law professor Bruce Ackerman’s words, “will leave office confirming and extending many of the worst Bush precedents in the conduct of foreign and military affairs.”
4/ Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools, by Diane Ravitch, Alfred A. Knopf.
Ravitch cuts through misguided or profiteering propaganda and, without sugarcoating, shows the value in improving our country’s public schools.
5/ The Hidden Wealth of Nations: The Scourge of Tax Havens, by Gabriel Zucman, University of Chicago Press.
A short, pioneering guide to estimating the trillions of dollars moved to tax havens to evade or avoid paying taxes to the nations from which this expanding mountain of money was made. Mr. Zucman proposes measures to end the party of these giant tax escapes and make tax avoiders and evaders pay their fair share.
6/ Hell is a Very Small Place, edited by Jean Casella, James Ridgeway and Sarah Shourd, The New Press.
Hear the voices of people from solitary confinement. Prisoners call this inhuman space “the hole” and nearly 100,000 people in the U.S. are put in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day. Take the time to read these haunting stories and learn about what formidable advocates are doing to stop this torture one state at a time.
7/ Machines of Loving Grace: The Quest for Common Ground Between Humans and Robots, by John Markoff, Harper Collins.
If you doubt whether the human race, its technological, corporate and political leaders are racing downward into a future that doesn’t need us, read this report by a veteran newsman who avoids horrific conclusions to get you to read what’s already coming.
8/ The Looting Machine: Warlords, Oligarchs, Corporations, Smugglers and the Theft of Africa’s Wealth, by Tom Burgis, Public Affairs.
This bold reporter shows “the network of traders, bankers and corporate raiders who grease the palms of venal local political elites” to turn Africa’s riches into a curse for its poor masses.
9/ The Experimental Society, by Marshall S. Shapo, Transaction Publishers.
This prolific law professor examines the culture and political economy of market and environmental “experiments” on consumers, workers and whole communities. He educates readers on the various responses by the law in managing and disciplining risks. A mind-stretching work that no doubt will intersect uncannily with your daily life.
10/ Lights Out: A Cyberattack, a Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath, by Ted Koppel, Crown Publishing.
The famous newsman writes about “the eventuality of a debilitating cyberattack against our electric power grid.” It is a wakeup call that ends “with the notion that the Internet, among its many, many virtues, is also a weapon of mass destruction.”
11/ GM: Paint it Red: Inside General Motors’ Culture of Failure, by Nicholas Kachman, Mariner Publishing.
This General Motors career chemical engineer has vivified his retirement with this lively memoir of the mega-billion dollar boondoggle that was supposed to deal with the serious air pollution from the auto painting process. An inside story by an insightful writer who still applies what he knows to some of GM’s present day negligence and bureaucratic rigidities, such as Flint, Michigan’s ongoing drinking water tragedy.
12/ Washington, D.C. History for Kids: The Making of a Capital City (With 21 Hands-On Activities), by Richard Panchyk, Chicago Review Press.
I often say that we should strive to become good ancestors. In introducing our children and grandchildren to significant subjects, this book is a valuable and fun resource for developing minds.
13/ And one vintage book (2007) so relevant today is The Elements of Journalism: What Newspeople Should Know and the Public Should Expect, by Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel, Three Rivers Press.
This book should be read by journalists, journalism students, and engaged citizens.
How true it is that readers think and thinkers read.
Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!
ALL THE PEOPLE who work in commercial culture are part of a conspiracy against the average man to get his money. They're not concerned with what effect their products might ultimately have, physically or spiritually. They are always looking for the lowest common denominator, the broadest possible market. They don't care what that might be. If Jesus movies are putting butts in theater seats, they'll make Jesus movies. If ultra-violence appeals to a certain segment of the population, the butchers are happy to provide it for them. Basically, the commercial media culture is a cold, merciless mechanism that is there to feed money to the people who perpetuate it.
Before industrial civilization, local and regional communities made their own music, their own entertainment. The aesthetics were based on tradition and went far back in time — i.e., folklore. But part of the con of mass culture is to make you forget history, to disconnect you from tradition and the past. Sometimes that can be a good thing. Sometimes it can be even be revolutionary. But tradition can also keep culture on an authentic human level, the homespun as opposed to the mass-produced.
Industrial civilization figured out how to manufacture popular culture and sell it back to the people. You have to marvel at the ingenuity of it! The problem is that the longer this buying and selling goes on, the more hollow and bankrupt the culture becomes. It loses its fertility like worn-out ravaged farmland. Eventually the yokels who bought the hype, the pitch, they want in on the game. When there are no more naive hicks left, you have a culture where everybody is conning each other all the time. There are no more earnest "squares" — everybody's hip, everybody's cynical.
— R. Crumb
In 2011 Paul Kingsnorth announced his withdrawal from the environmental movement after twenty years of activism. Environmentalists, he complained in a long article published in Orion magazine, had stopped caring about the environment: “We are environmentalists now in order to promote something called ‘sustainability’,” which means “sustaining human civilization at the comfort level that the world’s rich people — us — feel is their right, without destroying the ‘natural capital’ or the ‘resource base’ that is needed to do so.” According to Kingsnorth, “disillusioned socialists, Trots, Marxists and a ragbag of fellow travelers” had changed the aims and language of the green movement: the worry was no longer about the effects on nature of population growth and consumerism; the environmentalists’ preoccupation was now with “social justice” rather than the protection of the non-human world. “Sustainability” was to be achieved via “carbon solutions” that entailed more environmental destruction: vast “solar arrays” in the deserts; industrial wind power stations in the British uplands. The arguments of the new greens, Kingsnorth claimed, were underwritten by a crude equation: “Destruction minus carbon equals sustainability.”
Kingsnorth’s criticisms weren’t popular with the new greens who called him a reactionary and a Nimby. There was a lot of mudslinging, which is what environmentalists call a quarrel. When he grew sick of that, Kingsnorth decided to go his own way: “I withdraw from the campaigning and the marching, I withdraw from the arguing and the talked up necessity and all of the false assumptions. I withdraw from the words. I am leaving. I am going to go out walking.”
— Nick Richardson
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY TWO
A question for those of scientific bent in the readership;
Issues in Climate change. Climate is ultimately driven by the Sun, the rotation of the Earth, bodies of water and topography. Wind drives the climate, whether it be the Jet Stream, or ground level breeze. Changes in the Wind can produce rain, or draught, depending on the ambient moisture in the air, direction of the wind, speed and duration. There are, of course. other factors, but the mentioned are macrocosms of weather, in general.
The mountains around Josephine County Oregon were denuded of old and secondary forests beginning at the turn of the Century, and continuing until about 1970. In the early 70’s the climate of Josephine County began to change…much less/no rain in the summer months, less rain in the winter. The Climate of the county now mirrors Redding California, with summer temp’s regularly in triple digits…I often thought this was a direct result of topographic change…forests removed, wind patterns changed…bare hills, updrafts generated from increasing heat, etc.
Wind farms. Billions of joules of energy removed from ambient wind…not one word from anyone regarding potential climatological issues from this process. There must be less wind energy downrange from these farms, and I believe no one has studied the short or long range issues regarding down-wind climate. No need to reassert CO2 emission claims, this is a stand-alone issue.
Any comments from the readership?
CANCER & PUBLIC HEALTH
Many of us were shocked to read in the LA Times on 8/25/16, that “Cancer surpasses heart disease as the leading cause of death in California and 21 other states”. The article points out that the cancer epidemic has been steadily growing for decades. What is being done to stop or prevent this epidemic? Is the Government doing anything to protect the Public Health? Public Health is the science of protecting and improving the health of communities through…disease and injury prevention….” (www.cdcfoundation.org). Tragically the US Government spends only 3% of its health budget on Public Health. That is only 3% for prevention and 97% for treatment. Billions go to profits for Insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, hospitals and health professionals. Most of this money is spent on treatment of disease, not for prevention of disease.
The massive profits of Insurance Companies and the health care industry give them vast political power. Wall Street rises and falls with the profits of drug companies. “The political system is sensitive only to the needs of the wealthy - something that is arguably true of the US Congress...” (Scientific American September 2016).
Treating disease makes money, preventing disease does not. It is hard to see how a profit driven society can do anything other than profit from the sickness and disease of its people.
Dr. Nayvin Gordon
(Family Physician in California for 40 years)
Supervisors, Community Partners, and Interested Parties:
The list of vacancies due to term expirations and resignations for County boards and commissions has been updated with new vacancies for the month of September. A complete list of all new and existing vacancies is available on the County website: http://www.co.mendocino.ca.us/bos/Forms.htm. The attached document contains a list of the vacancies that are new this month. Please note: if you are receiving this email and are the coordinator of a board or commission, there is a new vacancy on your board or commission. Please refer to the attached document for further information. Please contact the Executive Office at (707) 463-4441 if you have any questions regarding this message. Thank you.
Mendocino County Board of Supervisors and Executive Office
501 Low Gap Road, Room 1010
Phone: (707) 463-4441
Fax: (707) 463-7237
WHAT WILL THE RUSSIAN RIVER OF THE FUTURE LOOK LIKE?
RECLAMATION RELEASES TRINITY RESERVOIR WATER TO STOP A FISH KILL ON LOWER KLAMATH
by Dan Bacher
Following on the heels of the Yurok Tribe’s discovery of deadly fish disease in lower Klamath River salmon last week, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced on August 24 that it will release additional water from Trinity Reservoir to help protect returning adult fall run Chinook salmon in the Klamath from a disease outbreak.
The water release is designed to stop a fish kill like the one of September 2002, when an estimated 35,000 to 68,000 migrating adult salmon died in the lower Klamath River, due to the outbreak of disease under low, warm water conditions spurred by the Bush administration’s water mismanagement.
The supplemental flows into the Trinity River, the largest tributary of the Klamath, from Lewiston Dam began on August 25 and will extend into late September.
On August 19, Yurok Fisheries crews conducting routine fish disease monitoring found that salmon in the Klamath River on the Yurok Reservation are infected with a potentially deadly disease. Ichthyophthirius multifiliis, commonly known as ich (pronounced “ick”). Ich was the primary pathogen that caused the 2002 fish kill. (fishsniffer.com/...)
On August 2, Reclamation released a Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) for the plan to use water from Trinity Reservoir for the supplemental flows. Supplemental flows have been also released from the reservoir over the past several years in response to the presence of deadly fish disease in lower Klamath salmon facing low, warm water conditions.
“The Draft EA also analyzed using a potential emergency volume, if needed, to avoid a significant die-off of adult salmon. Real-time monitoring and adaptive management will help guide implementation of supplemental flow releases,” according to Shane Hunt of Reclamation in a press release.
Reclamation adjusted releases from Lewiston Dam to target 2,800 cubic feet per second (cfs) in the lower Klamath River starting August 25. To meet this target, the agency increased releases from Lewiston Dam from 450 cfs up to 1,300 cfs before dropping to 450 cfs in late September.
The agency said additional information will be provided if higher peak flows are needed in early-to-mid-September as part of the preventive action.
“Flows from Lewiston could be raised as high as 3,500 cfs for up to five days if real-time monitoring information suggests a need for additional supplemental flows as an emergency response,” Hunt said. “Over the next several weeks, releases could increase as quickly as 250 cfs every two hours, and flow reductions could drop as quickly as 100 cfs every four hours. The public is urged to take all necessary precautions on or near the river while flows are high.”.
The Final EA and Finding of No Significant Impact are available at www.usbr.gov/.... If you encounter problems accessing the documents online, please call 916-978-5100 (TTY 800-877-8339) or email usbr.gov.
A record low fall Chinook salmon run is expected this season as the Klamath River Tribes and fishing groups are engaged in litigation against the federal government and water contractors over their failure to protect the river’s salmon.
On July 29, the Hoopa Valley Tribe filed a lawsuit against the federal government for violations of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) over management actions that have imperiled Coho salmon on the Klamath. (www.dailykos.com/...)
The Tribe filed the litigation against Reclamation and the National Marine Fisheries Service in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Oakland Division, to protect the Coho salmon, listed as an endangered species under the ESA.
“This ESA suit is not the warning of a miner’s canary; it is the tsunami siren alerting North Coast communities of impending environmental catastrophe and cultural devastation for the Hoopa Valley Tribe,” said Ryan Jackson, Chairman of the Hoopa Valley Tribe.
The Hoopa lawsuit is expected to be followed by several other lawsuits. On July 20, the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations (PCFFA), Institute for Fisheries Resources, and Klamath Riverkeeper, represented by Earthjustice, put Reclamation and NMFS on 60-day notice that they could be sued under the federal Endangered Species Act if they fail to “reopen and improve” water management in the Klamath River.
Earthjustice's 60-day notice followed similar notices filed by the Yurok and Karuk Tribes in June, citing a disease infection rate of 90% of sampled juvenile salmon in 2015.