Mendocino County Today: Monday, Sept. 5, 2016

by AVA News Service, September 4, 2016

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WRITING ON THE AVA WEBSITE, 'Lazarus' commented: "District Attorney Eyster has a reputation for dealing severely with the bad guys. So what’s up with the Reynolds situation? No verbal confrontation prior, history of violence, allegedly sucker punched and killed a person…1 mil, reduced to 50k, out on bail? Who is this guy, a relative of the Governor?"

DA EYSTER PROMPTLY REPLIED:

Good morning, Lazarus.

First, the judges set the bail schedule in this county without input from the DA or others. We requested the max bail for the charges filed and the defendant ultimately posted a bond in that amount. Bail is intended to secure attendance in court; not as a veiled form of punishment. Based on the statements and evidence available to us at the time of charging, the charges filed were felony assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury and a sentencing enhancement of actual infliction of GBI. We believe this a state prison case.

2nd, any prosecution is only as viable as the credible evidence available for us to present in court. Lots of people were in the bar or around it when this went down but very few have stepped forward to share what they may have seen or heard that night. Rumors “on the street” are nothing more than just that. The Sheriff’s Office has given out (707) 234-2100 for witnesses to call to share what they saw and heard.

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FROM BOONVILLE, it looks like four of the five candidates for the Fort Bragg City Council are, at a minimum, skeptical of the town's current management. Scott Menzies would seem to be the only candidate blindly supportive of the big issue — conversion of the Old Coast Hotel to an adjunct of an ever-larger homeless operation, which already operates near the town center. Critics of the conversion claim the whole deal was a hurry-up job engineered by the town's un-elected city manager and Mayor Turner. Curtis Bruchler, Will Lee, Bernie Norvell, Rex Gressett. and Scott Menzies are vying for two Council seats vacated by Scott Dietz and Doug Hammerstrom.

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FORMER WILLITS CITY COUNCILMAN, Holly Madrigal, is the publisher of the new quarterly magazine, 'Word of Mouth,“ design and graphics by our very own Torry Douglass with knowledgeable advice from Linda MacElwee, also of Anderson Valley. 'Word of Mouth' focuses on the local small farm movement and can be found at the Ukiah Co-op and other venues whose emphasis is on the locally produced.

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FROM TOMMY WAYNE KRAMER'S essential Sunday column in the Ukiah Daily Journal:

West Side Ukiah: Hotbed of hate, intolerance, racism…

There is a controversy simmering away about the less-than-fastidious housekeeping standards of a group of Mendocino College football players sharing a big two story house on Ukiah’s west side.

I walk by it several times a week and the house and grounds look precisely like the kind of deteriorating dump college kids are famous for not keeping up: aluminum cans at the curb, rubbish piled head-high in the back, a mattress propped up in the front yard for weeks on end, and young guys making far too much noise and ruckus for the sleepy elders in the neighborhood.

The guys seem friendly enough. Sometimes I’m strolling by when they’re out tossing a football back and forth on Hortense Street, and if I raise a hand like a downfield receiver, someone is always happy to fire a nice, tight, 70 mile-an-hour spiral right through my chest.

But a football dormitory is not a good fit with the neighborhood. And the college president, Arturo Reyes, is playing blind, deaf and dumb. As soon as the story emerged he ducked behind a few glib paragraphs about how all college kids contribute to the community and about how proud he is of their efforts and blah blah gurgle gak. What a bozo.

The owner of the house is Robert Gitlin, a doctor who lives a comfortable 20 miles away from the property that enriches him at a tune of $8,000 a month. He instantly labeled any and all criticism from neighbors as racist.

Gitlin understands defending the trash and noise generated at his property is an argument he can’t win. But he thinks if he can switch the subject to Racism in America, it’s an argument he can’t lose.

Making ugly accusations unanchored to either facts or evidence, he labels people he’s never met (a Superior Court judge, a veteran Press-Democrat reporter, Ukiah’s ex-mayor) as racist bigots. Classy guy, Gitlin. (Full disclosure: A few years ago I hurt my back and visited Dr. Gitlin. Once.)

After the trash debate dies out there’s a bigger question. Why do we even have a football program? Mendocino College hires lots of kids from distant time zones to come play football here and I have a few questions for readers:

Have you ever been to a Mendocino College football game? Do you know anyone who has? Can you name the football coach? Can you name a single player on the roster? Can you name anyone who has ever played football at Mendo College?

Can you name the league or conference the team competes in? Have the Mendocino Eagles ever won a championship? How many games did they win last year?

Do you care? Do you think spending a lot of money teaching a few dozen youngsters how to play football is the best use of education dollars?

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ED NOTE: Of the 45-man squad, two guys are from Lakeport, one from Ukiah, one from Willits, and one from Cloverdale. The rest of the team comes from far, far away.

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DR. WILLIAM COURTNEY, a resident of Elk and a prominent marijuana expert, has filed a $1 million claim against Mendocino County for false arrest. The doctor was taken briefly into custory for not appearing in court last January as a witness in a marijuana case that was being defended by Ukiah attorney (and judge-elect) Keith Faulder.

According to the claim filed by attorney E.D. Lerman of Santa Rosa and Ukiah, "On January 27, 2016, the people (the District Attorney) filed a misdemeanor complaint against William Courtney alleging contempt of court in that said defendant then and there willfully disobeyed a lawful subpoena that had been properly and timely served on him, said subpoena commanding the defendant to appear in person in court on December 7, 2015 at 9am as a witness in Mendocino County Superior Court Case Number 14-78508, a felony criminal matter.

"The circumstances giving rise to this claim are as follows: On January 27, 2016, Kevin Bailey [the District Attorney's Chief Investigator] filed a false affidavit in support of the misdemeanor complaint against William Courtney and in support of William Courtney's arrest. The affidavit was false because it omitted the fact that the defense counsel, Keith Faulder, for the defendant in People v. Wood … stated in the record of that case while addressing the subpoena commanding William Courtney to appear in person in court on December 7, 2015 at 9 AM that: "What I've done in this case, as I do in all my cases, is I issued a subpoena for the first day of trial but then tell them that they will be on phone standby until either two or three days afterwards because the first day or two is jury selection and the prosecution's case. So he was told when I issued in the subpoena that I would have expected him to testify on either the 9th or 10th of December."

"Had Kevin Bailey declared that Keith Faulder relieved William Courtney from the December 7, 2015 hearing date stated on the face of the subpoena there would be no cause for William Courtney's arrest. It is believed that Kevin Bailey filed a false affidavit under the supervision of District Attorney David Eyster acting in the capacity of a peace officer.

"William Courtney's claim … is for at least $1 million according to proof … an amount that would place it within the jurisdiction of the Superior Court. The claim is in an amount to be proved later."

Ms. Lerman adds: "Please take note that the amount of this claim will increase in the case that William Courtney is arrested or seized pursuant to any arrest warrant issued in Mendocino County Superior Court Case Number 16-84547-002 and upon his seizure he will also be filing against all parties under [federal law] within the Federal District Court."

LAST TUESDAY, the Supervisors routinely denied Courtney’s claim on their consent calendar.

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STOP HARE CREEK

Here's what a major on line business blog has to say:

One in six American malls are expected to disappear in the next decade. That's scary news for many communities.

Visits to malls declined by 50% between 2010 and 2013, according to real estate research firm Cushman & Wakefield. Analysts expect upcoming data will show an even steeper drop in mall traffic.

Mall closures could have terrifying implications for communities, Howard Davidowitz, chairman of Davidowitz & Associates, a national retail-consulting and investment-banking firm, told Business Insider.

About 15% of malls will disappear in the next decade, according to a study by Green Street Advisors. That means hundreds of malls will close down, potentially affecting thousands and thousands of jobs.

"When a mall closes, it's a blight in the community for a very long time," Davidowitz said in a telephone interview. "Empty stores mean ugly holes where jobs are lost and taxes aren't paid."

While there has been speculation that shuttered department stores will be replaced by new businesses like e-commerce warehouses, medical clinics, and gyms, Davidowitz says it will take a decade for these spaces to be filled.

"The jobs that will be lost will take 10 years to replace," he said. "In the mean time you have people who are out of work, which will hurt the middle class even more."

Malls are typically economic centers that pay high taxes and employ a lot of people. When they shut down, the whole community feels the impact.

Macy's just announced it is closing 100 stores, following similar announcements from Sears and JCPenney.

Fewer "anchor stores" in malls also spells even more trouble for specialty stores like Gap and Abercrombie & Fitch. Many Americans visit a mall intending to go to department stores, then stop in other stores once they're there.

There are numerous reasons for the brick-and-mortar apparel industry's decline.

Americans are increasingly choosing to spend on technology and experiences like vacations, leaving less money for apparel. This has led to a spike in discount retailers like TJ Maxx. When people do shop at traditional full-price retailers, they increasingly prefer to do so online.

Davidowitz says America has too many stores, and more shut-downs are inevitable.

Doug Roycroft, Fort Bragg

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Thank you Douglas for the link to "There's a terrifying mall 'blight' threatening communities across America."

The strip malls (shopping centers) in Fort Bragg aren't anchored by large department stores. Group II has been successful in recruiting low budget stores (Dollar Store for the Boatyard Shopping Center and a Grocery Outlet Bargain Market store that is planned for the Hare Creek mall). By selling cheap junk and cheap and at times outdated food these low budget stores might perform ok during bad economic times.

Research has shown that many of the products sold in these stores are laced with food dyes that may trigger hyperactivity in children, cause allergy-like hypersensitivity reactions, can cause adrenal and kidney malfunctions, other multiple health imbalances, and contain carcinogens.

These stores do impact existing businesses without bringing something different to the coast (something we might need more than cheap junk and cheap food).

Currently both shopping centers (South Franklin shopping center and the Boatyard shopping center) have at least 3 vacancies each. When the Boatyard shopping center was built it caused vacancies at the South Franklin shopping center. Currently there are about 20 empty business spaces in Fort Bragg.

The Hare Creek shopping center would provide about 40 low income service jobs. While the CA minimum wage is $10, minimum wage in Berkeley will be $12.53 by October 2016, in San Francisco it is $13. A cashier at a Grocery Outlet Bargain Market may earn about $9.72 per hour for a part time job with no benefits. In the meanwhile the profits the company makes go sailing out of the county.

If you want to learn more about the planned Hare Creek shopping center please attend the Hare Creek Center Environmental Impact Report public scoping session Monday, September 19, 2016 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Town Hall on Main Street in Fort Bragg. Please come prepared to speak and submit your comments in writing. To be sure of a good seat 5:30 pm arrival is suggested.

The Hare Creek Center is a proposed new shopping center located at the gateway to Fort Bragg (corner of Hwy 1 and Hwy 20) across from the Boatyard shopping center to the west of Hwy 1. It is to be anchored by a Grocery Outlet Bargain Market with 99 parking spaces and access roads.

At the scoping session you will meet the City's Environmental Impact Report (EIR) consultant; learn about the EIR and permitting process and opportunities for public input; identify potential environmental impacts that should be studied in the EIR as well as discuss and suggest project alternatives to be considered in the EIR.

Currently, the Hare Creek Center project is proposed to entail three separate buildings totaling 29,500 sq. ft. The proposed revised project's footprint is somewhat narrower than the project submitted in January of 2015. Concerns expressed by City Council members, the Coastal Commission and others about the partial removal of Todd Point hill sent the project back for revision. This strip mall still impinges on the eastern side of the hill. The new lot line adjustment shows the revised project to be larger (3.92 acres vs. 3.16 acres) and extend further to the south than the previous design.

The public comment period to determine the scope of the EIR will extend through October 19, 2016.

More information:

https://city.fortbragg.com/486/Active-Permit-Applications

https://www.facebook.com/citizensforappropriatecoastallandus

Anne Marie Weibel, Fort Bragg

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YES, WE HAVE NO 'BANANA LADY'

Still no identification on the mysterious "Banana Lady" the Fort Bragg Police would really, really, really like to talk to.

BananaLady

Why ?

One comment posted to a "share" of the MSP post hit the nail on the head as to a possible reason the Fort Bragg Police would like to have a little chat with her. The person guessed: "Passed a fake large bill to pay for a single banana, I bet."

While the odds are she was just blowing through town, if you see her, or know her name, please call Officer Wilder at the Fort Bragg Police Station (707) 813-0502.

(Courtesy, Mendocino Sports Plus)

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PIPE DREAMS

To the Editor:

I just got my first look at the new “MMRSA” document. For those of you who aren’t in the know, the MMRSA is the acronym for Mendocino County’s, Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act, coming as a measure to your county ballot in November. It is 60 pages long, almost a novel, written mostly in legalese, by some very sharp lawyers for the proponents of marijuana cultivation in Mendocino County. It pretty much covers the multitude of hopes and dreams that every upstanding marijuana grower deems necessary to continue raping, pillaging and plundering our county’s natural resources for profit.

The stated purpose of this initiative is for county regulation to permit the cultivation, manufacturing, testing, distribution, transportation, delivery and dispensing of marijuana in the County of Mendocino in the event that the State of California approves the use of marijuana for recreational use.

The problem is they don’t want any county law enforcement to interfere with their continued profit making. They state in bold type, no civil enforcement. They want to elect an oversight committee to enforce violations because they state that “no violations of this law shall be subject to criminal enforcement.”

There is language for county permitting, but no mention of permit fees, only a $300 deposit to be paid to the county for the permitting process. County taxes are be paid on the honor system at 2.5% for medical grows, 5% for commercial grows on gross income to be determined by the grower. It’s all above board you know, and we all know growers are honorable when it comes to paying their taxes.

This ordinance shall be known as the Mendocino County Heritage Act of 2016. They want to make marijuana an agricultural product repealing Mendocino County Code 9.31.0 (Medical Marijuana Cultivation Regulation) thereby circumventing the laws that are in place at present which protect our children and ourselves from the smell, criminal element, trimigrants, unsightly felony fences and all the other pleasant things associated with marijuana cultivation.

It’s time to take a stand, or we can expect that everyone from everywhere will start packing their bags and heading for Mendocino County where they can start growing marijuana next door to your house, your park or your church and there won’t be anything you can do about it. If you don’t like the smell, the extra traffic on your private road, the hills denuded, the streams dried up, the wild life poisoned and shot, too bad, you will no longer have the right to complain or take civil action.

For years most of us have observed firsthand the damage that marijuana cultivation has caused to the land, the water and our natural resources in Mendocino County and yet we continued to accept that the revenue was needed, but it’s never really added that much to our county coffers.

If this measure were to pass it would allow legalized commercial production of marijuana in every residential neighborhood. It would abolish the right to complain about any part of the marijuana growing production you might find offensive because it would be covered under the “Right to Farm Act” which would effectively block any and all nuisance complaints. It would allow cultivation and sales 400 feet closer to our children’s schools, bus stops, churches and our family parks. It would cripple our Sheriff’s Department by replacing it with a civil procedure that would be so weak as to be absolutely ineffective. It would allow an unlimited number of dispensaries in any commercial zoning. It would allow butane processing of marijuana which is dangerous and explosive in industrial zoning.

Marijuana cultivation is not agriculture as most of us know agriculture to be, at present it is grown as medicine, as in “Medical Marijuana” which makes it a drug, pure and simple and should be labeled a drug, treated like a drug and taxed as a drug. We are not going to stop the legalization of marijuana for recreational use that is coming, the barn door is open, Elvis has left the building. What we need to do is allow our elected supervisors and the Marijuana Ad Hoc Committee time to do what they were elected and appointed to do and that is to come up with fair and equitable laws that we can all live with, not circumvent the system for personal profit and gain. We need to vote NO! on this initiative and others like it in November.

Clyde Blundell, Potter Valley

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MY WORST JOB? Pulling butter. In 1966 my father (who then was General Manager of the Danish Creamery Co-op in Fresno) asked me if I wanted to fill in for a couple of weeks while one of the butter pullers was on summer vacation. I was 22, in pretty good shape, and had no idea what a “butter puller” was, even though I’d shadowed my father on a number of creamery visits and tours while growing up.

I HAD WORKED at several other San Joaquin Valley creameries during college vacations and knew that most creamery jobs involved man-handling heavy things like 110 pound bags of non-fat dry milk, giant cans of raw cottage cheese, and crates of a dozen half-gallons of soft ice cream mix for use at soda shops. There were also the giant “sholies,” cardboard boxes with 10 gallon bladders of milk used in restaurants and industrial kitchens. They had no built-in handles and had to be hauled in regular milk crates which they didn’t fit into properly. I had done fine with those tasks. So how hard could pulling butter be?

TURNS OUT, very hard. Butter in those days was made in a giant stainless steel horizontal cylindrical “churn” into which tons of cream and salt were pumped then spun until it turned into butter. After several hours, the churn was then slowly rotated into position over a large long stainless steel vat; then the churn door was opened and the churn was slowly turned until the giant glob of butter fell into the vat with a loud “PLOP.”

THE WHEELED VAT was then pushed over to us six butter pullers where it was raised with hand-operated hydraulic pistons into a slanted waist-high position so that the six butter pullers, standing shoulder to shoulder, and after donning chlorine-washed elbow-length latex gloves, thrust our hands into the thick, cold butter and pulled out handfuls of it and put them into boxes that sat on scales behind us so that each box was filled to 72 pounds.

THE FILLED BOXES were then pushed on to a conveyor belt behind the scales and conveyed to the cold room for storage until it was packaged in various sizes for wholesale or retail sale. Then we got another box and did it again. And again and again until the end of the six-hour shift (the rest of the shift was clean-up and short breaks).

AFTER A DAY OF THIS my arms felt like limp spaghetti. The other butter pullers had been doing it for years and were used to the strenuous effort involved — it was hard to even get your hand into the butter, then harder still to pull out several pounds at a time in handfuls. Of course I had trouble keeping up with the five other experienced butter pullers who often needled me about my butter pulling deficiencies — especially since everybody in the plant knew I was the boss’s college-educated son.

AFTER WORK those first few nights my arms were so worn out that I had trouble even lifting a fork. Two weeks later, by the time the guy I was filling in for came back from vacation, I was starting to get the hang of it — getting stronger and getting better at how to attack the task (how much to grab, proper standing positioning, pacing, etc.). After those two weeks I told my father he’d have to find someone else to fill in for vacationing workers in his creamery. I was not pulling any more butter.

(Mark Scaramella)

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CATCH OF THE DAY, September 4, 2016

Badger, Bock, Cuadra

Badger, Bock, Cuadra

RENEE BADGER, Santa Rosa/Fort Bragg. DUI-drugs.

LALITA BOCK, Ukiah. Petty theft, resisting.

GREGORY CUADRA II, Ukiah. Community supervision violation.

Guevara, Heggood, Lopez-Yocana-Guadarrama

Guevara, Heggood, Lopez-Yocana-Guadarrama

ANGEL GUEVARA, Ukiah. Domestic assault.

SCOTT HEGGOOD, Merritt Island, Florida/Point Arena. Pot cultivation, possession for sale.

ROBERTO LOPEZ-YOCANA-GUADARRAMA, Boonville. Pot cultivation, possession for sale.

McOsker, Parker, Rose

McOsker, Parker, Rose

JEREMIAH MCOSKER, Ukiah. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, vandalism, probation revocation.

MICHAEL PARKER, Ukiah. Protective order violation, probation revocation.

PETER ROSE SR., Point Arena. Pot cultivation, possession for sale, armed with firearm.

Schmid, Thomas, Vaughan

Schmid, Thomas, Vaughan

MARK SCHMID, Willits. DUI.

CHRISTOPHER THOMAS, Ukiah. Dirk-dagger, failure to appear.

WILLIAM VAUGHAN, Potter Valley/Ukiah. Petty theft.

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I WASN’T SURE Jack Davis was going to make it, but after booking a string of flights from his new part-time home in Wales, the town’s legendary political consultant and havoc-wreaker made it to his friend and co-conspirator Warren Hinckle’s funeral.

Jack was one of the first to arrive at the service at St. Peter and Paul’s Church on Washington Square, and one of the last to leave the round of toasts to Hinckle at Gino and Carlo.

When Jack noticed that Gino was charging for the drinks, he went to a nearby bank and came back with a $5,000 cashier’s check that he dropped on bar.

“That’s the way Warren would want it,” he said.

In typical Hinckle style, Warren had no money to cover his burial plot in Colma. So Joe O’Donoghue got together with some fellow Irish builders, and they all pitched in.

With that, Hinckle was laid to rest a few rows up and two graves over from Emperor Norton.

I think he would have liked that.

(Willie Brown)

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LABOR'S GREAT OPPORTUNITY

by Dick Meister

US unions could very well be poised on this Labor Day for growth as great — or greater — than that of their boom days of the 1930s and their formative years at the turn of the century.

Just as then, organizers are targeting immigrant workers, then as now the fastest growing and most abused segment of the workforce.

There are millions of them, more than at any time in history — many here legally, many here illegally as undocumented workers. The immigrants work in virtually every industry, most notably in agriculture, construction and garment manufacturing, in hospitals, hotels and restaurants, meat processing plants and laundries, as janitors in those and a wide variety of other industries, and as domestics, gardeners and child care workers.

Theirs are generally essential but poorly paid jobs with few fringe benefits, often dangerous and often what AFL-CIO official Linda Chavez-Thompson calls “the hottest, stinkiest, dirtiest, lowest paying jobs there are.” What's more, the immigrants' legal rights “are routinely violated.”

Undocumented workers face the worst treatment, but many legal immigrants also aren't treated much better than were the notoriously exploited immigrants in the factories that once dominated the economy.

Thanks to lax enforcement by state and federal authorities, many of the immigrants' employers openly violate the laws guaranteeing workers a minimum wage, the opportunity to vote for union representation and such other basic rights as safe working conditions.

Workers who complain of violations, demand better conditions or support union organizing campaigns risk being fired or otherwise disciplined. The undocumented face the added threat of being reported to the government for deportation to their poverty-stricken countries where work under any conditions is scarce. Most dare not even report employer violence done against them or any other mistreatment, including sexual harassment.

Many workers here legally also dare not complain or demand their legal rights, lest they be replaced by more compliant undocumented workers. Unions nevertheless have begun organizing the immigrant workers, legal and undocumented alike, and so far winning union contracts for thousands of them.

The unions, which now represent less than 11% of the country's non-government workers, have been driven by a great need to expand. Given the steady growth of the workforce, they will have to sign up more than 400,000 new members per year just to keep even.

“Labor made its greatest gains when it organized immigrant workers, and we intend to build on that tradition,” promises John Wilhelm, president of the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union and head of the AFL-CIO's Task Force on Immigration Policy.

Immigrants, in any case, will continue pouring into the country for at least the next few years, primarily from Mexico and Central America. Unions will need to recruit them not only to increase membership numbers and re-energize the labor movement, but also to keep current members from having to compete with masses of highly exploited non-union workers.

New organizing campaigns are only a part of labor's drive to unionize immigrant workers. The AFL-CIO also is putting its considerable political clout behind legislation to grant legal status to more than five million of the immigrants who are here illegally.

For many years the labor federation adamantly opposed illegal immigrants, arguing that they took jobs away from US workers and enabled employers to cut back the workers' pay, benefits and working conditions. It supported the current law calling for sanctions against employers who hire undocumented workers.

But the AFL-CIO came to realize that undocumented immigrants are here to stay and that the rarely enforced sanctions simply allow employers to threaten to disclose to immigration authorities the illegal status of workers demanding better treatment.

The AFL-CIO knows that if the undocumented workers are not unionized, they will continue undercutting other workers, but that unionizing them will be very difficult unless they are granted the legal rights and protections granted others — above all the right to unionize.

It's also clear, as the AFL-CIO notes, that although the undocumented workers hold vital jobs, “pay taxes, support their families and contribute to their communities,” their lack of such rights forces them “to live and work in fear of harassment, deportation and abuse.” They are not even eligible for the unemployment and welfare benefits, health care, education and other public services they help finance.

Corporate employer lobbyists and their congressional allies are attempting to counter the AFL-CIO legislation legalizing the immigrants with bills that would create new “guest worker” programs that would subject them to even greater exploitation than they already suffer. The bills would allow employers to hire as many immigrants as they wished and at pay and under conditions they alone would set. The immigrants could remain in the country only as long as the employer who hired them wanted them here. They could not even change employers.

It would amount to what the AFL-CIO calls “little more than the involuntary servitude that is outlawed in the Constitution.”

Immigrant workers undoubtedly would much prefer the AFL-CIO's approach and, given the chance, eagerly opt for unionization. Labor's challenge, its greatest opportunity for badly needed growth, for revitalization, is to guarantee immigrants that choice.

(Copyright©Dick Meister, a freelance columnist in San Francisco who has covered labor issues for four decades as a reporter, editor and commentator.)

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RICHARD NIXON'S SECRET BATTLE to deport John Lennon: President feared the Beatle's anti-Vietnam campaigning would swing the 1972 election

John Lennon was nearly deported by the US government as it attempted to make the legendary Beatles front-man's life a living hell, a new book has revealed.

Lawyer Leon Wildes, whose book 'John Lennon vs. The U.S.A.' was released last month, said he had never seen “the government so determined to remove anyone from the United States.”

The book written by Wildes, who represented Lennon during an immigration case, explains the Nixon administration's battle to deport Lennon purportedly for an old conviction in the UK for possessing hashish.

But behind the facade of wanting to deport Lennon on the 1968 drug conviction, was the reality that the government feared the musician’s influence on young voters in the 1972 election.

Lennon had tremendous sway with 18- to 20-year-old voters, just after the election age had been lowered.

Federal agents with the FBI feared Lennon was heading to Republican National Convention in Miami that year and warned that “he and wife Yoko Ono would be arrested for 'interstate travel in the furtherance of conspiracy to incite a riot” if they tried to attend.

It is still unclear to this day if Lennon and Ono ever had plans to attend the RNC but they were politically active.

The couple moved from London to the Greenwich Village on a temporary visa after Lennon's drug arrest.

They attended a rally for MC5 band manager John Sinclair, who was serving ten years in prison for selling two marijuana joints.

Lennon performed the song “John Sinclair” for a crowd of 15,000 people and urged them to stay involved.

Sinclair, who had served two years, was released by the end of that week.

And it was this kind of influence that frightened the government.

Sinclair was involved in the White Panther Party and “obtained guns and dynamite to blow up the CIA office in Ann Arbor and laid plans for guerrilla actions in northern Michigan,” according to Wildes.

In light of this, anxious South Carolina senator Strom Thurmond warned US Attorney General John Mitchell, who oversaw the Immigration and Naturalization Service that Lennon's new ally could be dangerous.

Days later Lennon's visa was revoked citing Lennon's previous drug conviction.

Wildes then became Lennon's immigration attorney.

Lennon told Wildes: "Everything in our world — we’re artists, you know — now comes up in the USA."

“It’s like the time of the Impressionist artists, when everything took place in Paris, or in early Rome. It’s all here now. This is where it’s at, and we’d love to be here. We just understand that it can’t be arranged.”

After researching the statute regarding immigration and marijuana Wildes concluded two things: That the US could exclude people who have been convicted of narcotic drug or marijuana possession and that hashish was not either.

Wildes then requested a six-month extension for the couple's visa but was given only one month.

Sol Marks, the INS district director for New York, told Wildes: “These people will never get another extension … Leon, tell them to get out!”

Wildes said after that point “the Nixon administration made life intolerable for John Lennon and Yoko Ono.”

“Alleged phone repairmen came to ‘check’ the Lennons’ telephone but left promptly when ID was requested.

“Two men, stationed just across Bank Street, seemed to be fixing a bike interminably. When John and Yoko got into an automobile, the same two men appeared in a car behind them, making certain the Lennons knew they were being followed,” Wildes wrote.

Lennon began mimicking a woman's voice when he called Wildes in fear the phones were tapped.

The four-year investigation began to tear away at Ono and Lennon's marriage.

Lennon spent 18 drunken months in Los Angeles during this period.

Finally, Lennon was given permission to be a permanent resident and Ono by that time had already won the same status, too.

Nixon had left office and Lennon was free to live in his beloved New York City.

“Throughout his fight to stay in the United States, he felt most welcomed by New Yorkers. Lennon’s four-year battle to remain in our country is testimony to his faith in this American dream,” Wildes writes.

(Daily Mail On-Line)

* * *

ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY

I know we complain and whine a lot around here and don’t take nearly enough time to convey the wonderful things life has to offer, so I want to take this time to do just that.

I’ve been enjoying the last couple of days the best god-damned Honeydew Melon I’ve ever had in my life. I mean it — it is, by far & away, the best damn melon I’ve ever eaten. I now know why it’s called Honeydew — it quite literally tastes like Honey — the Food of the Gods.

Also, if you’ve never tried this, I highly suggest it. Kale is an excellent leafy green loaded with nutrients but it’s difficult to eat, in my opinion. You have to add a lot of seasoning to make it palatable and it can be rather tough & chewy. A remedy for that is to slather it in some Sriracha Sauce, or some Olive Oil and salt & pepper if you prefer, and bake it at 350 degrees until it’s crispy. It is to die for when you use this method — an awesome & nutritious snack with plenty of fiber to keep you regular if you have issues with that.

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WhichRight

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UPCOMING EVENTS AT THE UKIAH LIBRARY.

A PBS/POV Documentary, “Pervert Park”

On Wednesday, September 7th at 5:30 pm, Mendocino County Library, Ukiah Branch is hosting the PBS/POV film, “Pervert Park,” a documentary by Lasse Barkfors & Frida Barkfors.

How can we solve a societal problem if it is too horrifying to discuss? This month Ukiah Library’s ongoing PBS Point of View documentary series shines its lens on sex offenders—the people no one wants in their neighborhood.

In the film you will meet one Florida woman who bought a trailer park that became home for 120 sex offenders, all battling their own demons as they work toward rejoining society.

This film considers how the destructive cycle of sexual abuse and the silence surrounding it can be broken.

The film will be shown in the meeting area, the north east corner, of Ukiah Library at 5:30 pm. An open discussion of the film will follow the screening. As always, snacks and bag dinners are welcome.

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District Teens Leadership Council

Saturday, September 10th — 3 - 4 pm

Teens are invited to join the library’s Teen Leadership Council (TLC). Teen leaders can volunteer & apply for credit toward community service hours while building their résumés. Teens will have a chance to be heard & make a difference in the community.

District Teens Leaders will gain valued skills & experience:

Collaborating to design our new teen space

Planning & organizing events

Recommending books & other materials for library purchase

Developing leadership & conflict-resolution skills

Contributing to the Ukiah community by expanding teen resources

Come and find out if this is the group for you!

Pizza will be provided.

For more information – please contact Melissa at the Ukiah Library: 467-6434 or carrm@co.mendocino.ca.us

More at: www.mendolibrary.org

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THE KZYX LOYALTY OATH

I feel compelled to respond to a post last week from Marco where he revealed an email from the current Program Director at KZYX stating that the organization was not interested in working with him as they were only looking for volunteers who would, in her words, express a "loyalty" to the radio station.

What does that mean?

KZYX is meant to be a community organization that, according to its mission statement, produces programming that is open to "all points of view." In other words, those with different, and opposing, perspectives, should be able to use the station as a communication hub where these differences can be hashed out in an open and transparent manner and the radio station should operate as a common resource shared by all members of the community. The bylaws and policies of the station clearly dictate that differences in opinion concerning station governance and programming decisions should be made in a similarly transparent and democratic fashion.

About 10 years ago, a few entrenched members of the stations hierarchy chose to disregard many of these policies in order to enforce upon the station a "NPR formula" which minimized the influence of members of the community interested in discussing alternative or activist opinions that strayed too far from what I would describe as the "NPR worldview."

As a result, community support for the station plummeted and the stations net worth dropped from $350k to almost zero. The station has lost an average of $3000 a month during that time, despite the fact that the CPB grant increased by nearly 100%. (Though the amount has been reduced over the last two years.)

Those who advocated for a return to the democratic spirit expressed in the stations policies often coincided with their desire to discuss alternatives to the NPRcentric perspectives of those who unilaterally took control of the programming were often simply pushed out over time.

While it seems obvious that many in our community wish to hear more alternative beliefs, and the expression of those beliefs on air would result in more community financial support for the station, those who have taken control of the programming simply accuse those who seek democratic change over hierarchical control of disloyalty to the institution itself.

>From my perspective, those who have taken control of the programming to impose their beliefs, at the expense of the rest of the community, are the ones who act out of disloyalty to the institution, and those of us attempting to democratize the process in order to save the station financially, are the ones loyal to the spirit of community radio with respect for the shared, common resource it is meant to be.

The accusation of "disloyalty" seems to be yet another excuse to silence the voices in our community who believe that the radio station should be open to "all points of view."

Doug McKenty

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Very well-said, Doug.

Indeed, what is "loyalty"?

Blind loyalty: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=blind%20loyalty

And loyalty to whom?

To listeners? To members? To the community? Or to inept, tyrannical management?

I'm thinking about taking Ed Keller's advice and finally filing my grievance over my suspension, so I can nail down this heretofore unwritten policy of a "loyalty oath", and sue the station to undo this policy.

John Sakowicz

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MARCO WRITES:

John Sakowicz wrote:

...I'm thinking about taking Ed Keller's advice and finally filing my grievance over my suspension, so I can nail down this heretofore unwritten policy of a "loyalty oath", and sue the station to undo this policy.

John, it's not unwritten. The reason Sean Donovan banned me from KZYX in the first place, in 1989, was that I refused to sign a written oath to never talk about station business on the air, and then brought Mitch Clogg, who Sean had banned from KZYX probably for the same reason, to my show. I never got a grievance hearing --and who would have been the hearer? Sean Donovan? It was the same with you, John. Who would have conducted your hearing? John Coate? Stuart Campbell? Mary Aigner? Who would conduct it now?

"Talking about station business on the air is grounds for losing your show." I think the airpeople still have to sign something like that. Certainly if an airperson were to so much as /squeak/ about wanting to be paid for his work he'd be canned in a Philo minute.

By the way, here is exactly what Alice Woelfle-Erskine wrote, after I complained of having been treated like a bug and then ignored by the management of KZYX for a quarter of a century, and after I'd asked her who exactly makes the programming decisions now, if not the the program director, as I'd been told there was a "fresh new process for determining programming," and what exactly is that process? The proposal she mentions in the following paragraph was one I brought to the station in person in February of 2012 and emailed like clockwork every four months thereafter. In July of 2016, after Raul van Hall resigned after two months in disgust of the place, fresh program director Alice wrote to me (really, read this aloud to get the full benefit of the treatment):

"The way that programming decisions are currently happening is this: Potential programmers submit a proposal for a show. It is reviewed by a programming committee and that committee decides which shows are approved and when those shows will be aired. You submitted a proposal for a show, which I think sounds very interesting. The programming team has decided not to air it. We currently don't have an opening for a show of your format or length. One thing we consider when discussing programming is the programmer. It is important that the programmers on kzyx are reliable, accommodating, respectful, and committed to serving the station. The aggressive and demanding tone of your correspondence, and the mistrust you have of the operating procedures here at the station are not positive recommendations to you as a potential programmer. We are not motivated to give air time to people who display mistrust and aggression towards the station or its staff."

p.s., John, the chairman of the "new and improved" programming committee she describes is Stuart Campbell who, in one of his last acts as president of the board, appointed the chair of the /manager search committee/, who threw out my detailed offer to manage the station out of the hole it's in and then lied to a boardmember that I hadn't ever applied.

Why would I mistrust Stuart Campbell? Well, in Lord of the Rings terms, why would anyone mistrust Grimer Wormtongue? In A Series of Unfortunate Events terms, what's there to mistrust about Count Olaf?

I repeat: It's not possible for KZYX to cost anywhere near as much as it burns through every year. ($600,000). Either the board and management are phenomenally bad with money, or there's a clever thief among them or with his hooks in them, or both. Lorraine Dechter couldn't change the system there. Nothing has changed there since day one. Terrible, terrible people are in charge and they use bureaucratic chicanery and a cheerleading squad of naive sycophants and old junkyard dogs to keep change from happening.

A radio station is a microphone and a transmitter and federal permission to switch the transmitter on. All of that was taken care of at KZYX before the Berlin Wall fell. If electricity is 15 cents per kilowatt-hour and your transmitter continuously uses 4,000 watts, that's 60 cents per hour. Sure, there are a few fees and rents and phone bills and a few old computers involved, but /$600,000 a year/? almost a third of which comes in a grant from CPB that they just have to play a few NPR shows to collect? and they can't pay the local workers?

--Marco McClean

15 Responses to Mendocino County Today: Monday, Sept. 5, 2016

  1. George Hollister Reply

    September 5, 2016 at 10:07 am

    Pulling Butter:

    “After those two weeks I told my father he’d have to find someone else to fill in for vacationing workers in his creamery. I was not pulling any more butter.”

    Mark, you stayed at your station when everyone was depending on you. Respect was obtained from those you worked next to, and your father was proud. Job well done. Good story.

  2. Alice Chouteau Reply

    September 5, 2016 at 11:15 am

    Thanks Doug Roycrift, for valuable info on malls. The other issue is how damaging a mall is, with chain retail, to smaller, locally owned biz. The Boatyard Center was the. Beginning of shops closing downtown.
    The City needs to study the latest findings on smart urban planning, or this town will never prosper.
    AC

    • George Hollister Reply

      September 5, 2016 at 12:45 pm

      I don’t go to WalMart in Ukiah often, but when I do, I see blue collar friends from the Coast. Why is that?

      I go to the Grocery Outlet in Ukiah often, and when I do, I see people from the Coast from all income levels. Why is that?

      Isn’t it better to have low cost alternatives for people on the Coast that are in Fort Bragg, and not Ukiah? Who benefits from maintaining only high cost retail outlets in Fort Bragg? Would the people making the drive continue to make the drive to Ukiah, if there was a low cost alternative for them in Fort Bragg?

      • Bruce McEwen Reply

        September 5, 2016 at 4:01 pm

        A sour old cynic would suppose, given the evidence, that the “Shop Local” slogan only applies to the wannabies, and the local merchants can shop at CostCo all they want — if not spend a year of your devotion on a glass of plonk in Paris — and come home to sell you, George, the goods he bought at … a discount he won’t share, which brings it back to us loyal homey-types who cheerfully pay a mark-up of $5 on the nickle, and sleep like as sound as a Army goldbrick. Dude, Sweet! Another Ft. B Oddity? My God, you can find all this stuff and 10x more in countless yard sales, roadside flea markets, and storage lot auctions, not to mention the charity department stores, the up-scale worn-label boutiques, alas, the thrifty old rag shops. …the landfills and oceans a steadily choking on all this stuff! Malls? Malls, you say? Gimme more stinking malls!

  3. Jim Updegraff Reply

    September 5, 2016 at 3:37 pm

    Land of the Free: does that include African Americans, Hispanics, Asians and Native Americans?

    • Bruce McEwen Reply

      September 5, 2016 at 4:10 pm

      Of all those demographics, your Native American is the only one who was ever “free” on this continent — and that all went out when the rest of us “found” the place. Like the parolees say around here, “You may be loose, but you ain’t free.”

      • Rick Weddle Reply

        September 5, 2016 at 7:44 pm

        Yeah, man! Whatever their problems, First Nations folks were the free-est People the Europeans had ever laid eyes on. Our Four Fathers were supposed to have been inspired by our European Four Bears, with all the Greek notions of ‘democracy,’ and all that. The ‘Indians’ demonstrated those principles, casually, naturally, on the hoof. There were also 49 delegates from the Iroquois confederation to the Constitutional Convention not likely mentioned in your history books, or in vast portraits in the Mall. There’s lots more American ‘splainin’ to do than in all the history books, so far. Like, the First Nations People were pretty damned free. And then the Settlers settled all that. And, hey! That pattern of national behavior hasn’t slowed, any.

        • Bruce McEwen Reply

          September 5, 2016 at 8:31 pm

          If the Five Iroquois Nations are mentioned in history books &c. Geo., the fact that he turned on ’em and massacred them goes pretty much unrecorded…?

  4. Jim Updegraff Reply

    September 5, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    ps: and Muslims.

  5. Alice Chouteau Reply

    September 5, 2016 at 4:26 pm

    When you shop at a big box store, you support a major corporation that takes approximately 80% of their profits away from the town where you shopped, away from the county… I know prices are high on the coast, have been so for the 40+ years I have lived here. As pointed out in the info on malls, a lot of shopping is now done online, for better or worse. As Bruce pojnted out, flea markets, local thrift stores, online local swaps are all viable alternatives. In Eureka and Arcata, there are popular, long established food co-ops, owned by workers, residents or both. Might be worth a try here.

  6. Rick Weddle Reply

    September 5, 2016 at 8:05 pm

    Comes of your government issue Mobilization mentality. Another blessing of the military/industrial/media cult. Malls are encouraged as ‘development’ with tax structures and other incentives, as a legislative gesture to ‘get things going’ in the economy, produce ‘jobs,’ and all that malarkey. The average mall isn’t even expected to make money for years, if ever, and is given immense tax leeway in the Mean Time. Development, they keep calling it. Sounds good, right? Senators and Congresspersons fall all over each other trying to sign anything that has the word ‘development’ in it. There are mile after mile of new freeways being excavated, rolled and poured all around the SF Bay Area in ‘developing’ zones. That does NOT mean that those areas already ‘developed’ are being, or are going to be ‘maintained.’ There is no adequate ‘budget’ for such menial chores. It’s an emphasis thing. Gawd, it’s like a mini martinet in full Napoleon regalia, hollering ‘Charge!’ over and over at full volume, in The Cave-In. Ridiculous, at the very least.

  7. John Sakowicz Reply

    September 6, 2016 at 2:30 pm

    Marco,

    Excellent letter. Thank you.

    Something needs to happen to flush the truth out into the open at KZYX. You, Doug McKenty, Dennis O’Brien, and Scott Peterson all have raised so many important issues.

    I thought I was on the right track toward getting to the truth by filing my complaint to the FCC two years ago, but John Coate and Mary Aigner hired an expensive Washington D.C.-based law firm that specialized in FCC license renewals to defend themselves and the station.

    Someone now needs to bring a formaal complaint to the CPB.

    I’ll persist in my grievance and possible lawsuit. The station’s policy of a “loyalty oath” is reprehensible.

    The quality of a show’s content, the skill of the show’s host as an interviewer and producer, the ability to attract top guests speaking to important issues, and the demonstrated evidence of attracting and building an audience, should be the only criteria in having a show on the schedule at KZYX.

    Who should have a show on KZYX?

    You, Marco McClean, should have a show…4-5 hours every other week after midnight on KNYO and KMEC in a show that is both informative and entertaining, and 30-plus years doing both radio and newspaper work, including KZYX, is proof enough.

    I should have a show…a weekly show on KMEC on a powerful digital platform that goes out to the Public Radio Exchange and Radio4All, with a Youtube audience of 34,326 (and growing), top guests (including Nobel Prize laureates, Pulitzer Prize recipients, and Emmy Award winners), foundation support (Guggenheim and others), underwriter support (Frey Vineyards, Orr Hot Springs, and others), and nine years experience doing radio, including KZYX, is proof enough.

    Doug McKenty should have a show…years of having up to three different shows at a time on the KZYX schedule, wildly popular with listeners, and a proven fundraiser during Pledge Drives, is proof enough.

    Norman De Vall…retired member of the Board of Supervisors, years doing a popular show on KZYX about county politics, and many years experience in hosting candidates debates, forums on ballot initiatives, and election returns, is proof enough.

    So why don’t we have shows on KZYX?

    None of us is likely to take a loyalty pledge to KZYX management, but, by the same token, none of us have ever used our show as a platform to criticize management. Never. We’re too professional to abuse the privilege of having a show.

    We must continue fighting, Marco. Fight how? Bring a complaint to the CPB. Bring more complaints to the FCC. Bring a class action lawsuit from disenfranchised programmers.

    You get the idea. We must be the leaders. It is on us — you, me, Doug, and Norman — to change the culture at KZYX and bring control of Mendocino public radio back to the public.

    John Sakowicz

    “I was no chief and never had been, but because I had been more deeply wronged than others, this honor was conferred upon me, and I resolved to prove worthy of the trust.”

    Geronimo

  8. John Sakowicz Reply

    September 6, 2016 at 2:41 pm

    Marco,

    The other important agents for change at KZYX are: Dennis O’Brien, who has worked hard to get the station to follow its own by-laws; Scott Peterson, who has worked hard to open the books on the station’s finances; King Collins, who has worked hard to organize the station’s members and give them a voice; and Sheila Dawn Tracy, who has reported truth to power at the station.

    John

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