Mendocino County Today: Friday, Sept. 16, 2016
by AVA News Service, September 16, 2016
THE BRIEF snatches of KZYX conversation I heard Tuesday morning about the present state of mental health services in the county seemed comprehensive. As far as it went. But I’m going to assume that Dr. Trotter, Aaron ‘Cobb’ Martin and an Adventist mental health woman psychiatrist whose name I didn’t get probably didn’t bring up the issues that most concern me.
AS SOME of us are aware, the County privatized the care part of our mental health services a few years ago, handing somewhere between $10 and $12 million for each of three years to a private mental health contractor based in Yuba City named Ortner. If this guy was building your house, your very large house for this kind of money, but failed to buy so much as a two-by-four, you would have called the cops and he would have been arrested for fraud. Essentially, that’s what happened here; Ortner took the money and came up with almost zero in practical services. As any businessman can tell you, you make a better profit by providing as little as possible, and this Ortner character is strictly a bottom line guy. If you were nuts, do you want a bottom line guy in charge of you, or do you want a genuinely Nice Person in charge of you while you’re out of it?
SO THE COUNTY finally canceled its contract with Ortner after most inland doctors and the Sheriff publicly complained and handed it to another private party, this one based in Ukiah called Redwood Community Services (aka Redwood Quality Management Company). It’s a mom and pop business run by Camille Schraeder and her husband. The contract — which now covers both adults and children’s mental health services — is worth many annual millions.
I DON’T think mental health services should be privatized. I predict that the people who are really off the rails will continue to be sent out of town to Ortner or Ortner-like facilities that cost upwards of $800 a day. Maybe the Schraeders have a lock-up facility with the required staffing to keep the seriously deranged in the county, but I am unaware that they do. Like Ortner, they will cherry pick their funding units and minimize the help for people who can’t bring in money. Count on it.
WHICH IS WHY I support Sheriff Allman’s proposed in-county psych unit. Which is also why I worry that the Sheriff’s proposal will be resisted by the county — the Supes are already whining objections to Allman’s plan; well, they whined then backed off, but Schraeder’s contract is already-in-hand and Sheriff Allman’s initiative hasn’t even been voted on yet. His psych unit will be in direct competition with Schraeder’s operation (unless the County figures out a way to get Schraeder and Company to staff it which will still pose privatized services problems). Schraeder has a big head start, but the Sheriff’s in-county psych unit is what we specifically need here.
NOT TO BE too much of a simpleton about it, but what are we really talking about when we talk about the volatile mentally ill, few of whom get better in the highly expensive hands of the array of credentialed psych people who, for the most part, simply zonk them with incapacitating drugs or drug them just enough to zombo-ize them into a semblance of normal life, normal having become an infinitely elastic term. A lot of crazy people, many of them temporarily insane from street drugs, don’t need much more than a comfortable room, locked from the outside, while the dope wears off. And a sympathetic person who will listen to them even if they have to be confined for a time. And that confinement should occur in comfortable circumstances, defined here as Not A Jail Cell or an austere room like a jail cell — not your dentist’s waiting room, for example.
THE WHOLE MENTAL HEALTH picture lacks clarity which is automatic when the blah-blah people are put in charge of it. And everyone rolls over for the blah-blah people who long ago talked the government into funding them at a very high rate of pay. Excuse me for going completely primitive on you here, but we all know people we’d trust with our affairs if we’re in crisis, few of whom have credentials beyond maybe a high school diploma. Based on my life experience lo these many years, I’ve known very few doctors and zero psychiatric doctors who I’d trust not to kick my dog while I was on thorazine.
BOTTOM LINE: Caring for the mentally ill is a collective social responsibility. The mentally ill should not be made funding units for private businesses. Vote Yes on the Sheriff’s plan.
JONAH RASKIN WRITES: I did not include in my story about Sheriff Allman and mental illness my own experiences. I thought it would detract from the information I wanted to provide. But I would like to add here that 12 years ago in a funk and deeply depressed and on medication that did make my situation worse, not better, I went to Langley Porter, the psychiatric hospital in San Francisco because I had heard good things about it. The staff put me on a gurney in the emergency room. I was there from about 8:30 am to 8:30 p.m. and listened to the screams of wounded men and women. When a doctor or nurse or social worker came to talk to me I said repeatedly that I was depressed and wanted to be admitted to Langley Porter. Nothing happened until a therapist whose name I have forgotten approached and said “Jonah, the only way you will be admitted is if you say you are a danger to yourself and to others.” The next time a doctor came around I told him what I had been told to say. I related this story to Sheriff Allman who replied, “You knew the password.” Indeed I did. I was admitted. I spent five days as an in-patient and five days as an out-patient. My health plan would not pay for any more days. In Langley Porter the doctors changed my medication; with Remeron I was able to sleep at night. I had only been getting 3-4 hours each night. I was in one-on-one therapy with psychiatrists. I was in group therapy and I was in workshops. I met many wonderful, supportive people, patients and doctors and health professionals. It was one of the best learning experiences in my life. I am glad I spent that time in Langley Porter. I have had some ups and downs since then, but no depression like the depression I experienced before I went into the hospital. I wrote and published an article about my depression and many people read it and contacted me wanting me to help them, which I could not really do since I am not a doctor or a therapist. I would repeat what Sheriff Allman said to me: “Everyone has a mental illness story” and “mental illness is not a crime.” It helps to get the subject into the open and to share experiences. Thanks for listening and thinking and being a part of the conversation
* * *
* * *
INTERESTING BACKGROUND from the County Grand Jury back in 2000-2001 in the aftermath of the closure of the PHF unit, a version of which Sheriff’s Allman’s Initiative would re-institute.
SUPERVISORS TO HOLD JOINT PUBLIC HEARING with the Fort Bragg City Council at 10:00 a.m. on September 19, 2016, in Fort Bragg, CA Regarding the Central Coast Transfer Station
On September 19, 2016, the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors will be meeting for a regularly scheduled meeting at Fort Bragg Town Hall, located on the corner of Main and Laurel Streets at 363 North Main Street, Fort Bragg, California. The Board of Supervisors will be convening their meeting at 9:00 a.m. and will immediately adjourn the public portion of the meeting to conduct Closed Session business. The Board anticipates reconvening in Open Session at approximately 10:00 a.m. for the joint public hearing with the Fort Bragg City Council.
The joint public hearing will including discussion and consideration of resolutions certifying the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Central Coast Transfer Station Project, adopting Findings of Fact, adopting a Mitigation Monitoring Program, and approving the implementation of the project.
The Central Coast Transfer Station project would replace the existing solid waste transfer and disposal system for the Central Coast region of Mendocino County with a new commercial transfer station facility to be designed, constructed and operated on State Route (SR) 20. The facility would be publicly-owned, and would allow for direct haul of solid waste to a destination landfill, thereby increasing the efficiency and environmental soundness of solid waste management on the coast. The project also involves acquisition of the project site under AB 384 (Public Resources Code Sec. 4659) which authorizes a multi-party land swap whereby ownership of the project site would be transferred from CalFire to the County or City; the City and County would grant the State Department of Parks & Recreation (DPR) a conservation easement over their entire 60-acre Caspar site adjacent to Russian Gulch State Park and grant DPR an option to take title to 35 acres of the site; and CalFire would take ownership of a 12-acre portion of Russian Gulch State Park from DPR that is separated from the rest of the park by County Road (CR) 409.
The Board of Supervisors and City Council will also jointly discuss and consider the first amendment to the Caspar Joint Powers Agreement (JPA), as the Caspar Transfer Station is necessary to accommodate commercial solid waste collection trucks and allow long-haul direct transfer to a destination landfill. Pursuant to the JPA, siting and development of a project for an expanded facility, either at the Caspar property or another site, is necessary to implement the expansion. In order for the expansion to take place, the first amendment to the JPA is necessary to stipulate how the County and City will cooperate in development and operation of the Transfer Station.
At the conclusion of the Joint meeting, the Board of Supervisors will continue with their regular Board business, including receiving an update from County staff regarding animal care and shelter services on the Coast.
The public is welcome and invited to attend all Board meetings. For more information, please contact the Mendocino County Executive Office at (707) 463-4441, or visit the website at: http://www.co.mendocino.ca.us/bos/index.html. The full agenda and supporting material will be available online after Thursday, September 15, 2016.
Carmel J. Angelo
Chief Executive Officer
* * *
THE FIX IS IN. This $5 million project has been in the works for years. A majority of the Fort Bragg City Council is already for it as is the entire Board of Supervisors. Fort Bragg already has a perfectly serviceable transfer station at Pudding Creek. A new transfer station off Highway 20 would be redundant and environmentally destructive.
A CALLER reminded me that County Clerk Sue Ranochak is an elected official, therefore beyond the Supervisor's supervision. Yes, she is elected independently but the Supervisors retain the power of the purse and can otherwise pressure her to conduct election counts in a way that encourages citizen oversight, not discourages it. And they can call for timely vote counts without exactly ordering her.
SOINILA GETS SIX YEARS FOR DUI DEATH
by Glenda Anderson
A Redwood Valley man was sentenced Wednesday to 72 months in prison for causing a deadly vehicle crash in February that killed a Ukiah man and seriously injured his wife, according to the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office.
Jared Soinila, 41, had earlier pleaded guilty to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, driving under the influence of alcohol causing injury and inflicting great bodily injury, according to a posting on the district attorney’s Facebook page.
Juan Juan died as a result of the crash on Vichy Springs Road. Juana Juan suffered serious injuries. According to the CHP, Soinila was intoxicated when he crossed into the oncoming traffic lane and crashed into the Juans’ Volvo sedan.
Soinila will serve at least 85 percent of his 72-month sentence because of the finding he caused great bodily injury to Juana Juan, the district attorney’s office reported. The charges also carry two strikes.
(Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
UKIAH VALLEY RIVER, CREEK CLEANUP planned Saturday
by Justine Frederiksen
Every piece of litter can cause big problems, even the tiny ones.
“Cigarette butts are a great example,” said Deborah Edelman, project manager for the Mendocino County Resource Conservation District. “They are small, so they look like food to wildlife, but they provide no nutrients.
“They are also full of toxic chemicals, which leech into the water even if they aren’t eaten. So they are small, but they pack a big punch,” continued Edelman, standing under the Lake Mendocino Drive bridge Wednesday morning to point out the far-reaching impacts litter has on local waterways such as the Russian River.
All trash, even if it’s not as close as this to the Russian River, affects local waterways when it enters storm drains and travels directly into nearby creeks. Photo by Chris Pugh-Ukiah Daily Journal
She chose this spot, she said, because it stood out when she walked along the river to prepare for Saturday’s cleanup day, which will have volunteers combing the river, Orr Creek and other sensitive areas for trash.
“Some areas were really clean, which is great,” she said. “The plastic bag ban has really helped. We’re seeing a lot less trash since that passed.”
However, areas under bridges are usually still bad, she said, because it’s where people like to congregate. Sometimes to camp, as evidenced by the tent floating in the water, or sometimes just to eat and drink.
“And they often leave trash behind,” she said, pointing to plastic food containers tucked up against the bridge support. “And even though these are far away from the bank, they are light, so eventually they’ll get blown down into the water.”
And it’s in the water that plastic and Styrofoam can really wreak havoc, she said, pointing to a pile of packing peanuts that will look like food to many creatures.
“And then they don’t get digested, so the birds’ stomachs get full of plastic or Styrofoam and they aren’t eating the things that do give them nutrients, like fish,” said Edelman.
The pieces that don’t get eaten then might eventually float into the Pacific Ocean and join the floating mass of trash called the Great Pacific Garbage patch, one of many vortexes made up mostly of pieces of plastic that are too small to be scooped up.
To prevent as much litter as possible from causing such environmental damage, the MCRCD is hosting a cleanup day this Saturday, Sept. 17, in conjunction with the Coastal Cleanup Day.
In the past the event was organized by Linda Sanders and the Friends of Gibson Creek, but Edelman said she and her co-worker Joe Scriven decided to take the reins this year, though they are still partnering with groups such as the Friends of Gibson Creek, Mendocino County Solid Waste Management Authority and the city of Ukiah to host the event.
Volunteers will be meeting at three spots at 9 a.m. Saturday: the Orr Creek Bridge in Ukiah between Brush and Ford streets; McCarthy’s Bar and Grill in Redwood Valley and at the intersection of Highways 175 and 101 in Hopland.
While all sections will be walkable, Edelman said there are some deep pools along some of the stretches, so participants should come prepared to wade through water, along uneven rocks or through thick shrubs on the banks.
Volunteers should bring work gloves, sturdy closed-toe shoes or boots, and a water bottle. A hat, backpack, sunscreen, long pants, and a walking stick are also recommended.
For anyone who can’t join the volunteers Saturday, Edelman said it is just as important to pick up trash around town and in your neighborhoods.
“All that trash ends up in the storm drains and goes directly, without being filtered, into the creeks and the river,” said Edelman. “So you can make a huge difference picking up trash wherever it is.”
For more information about the Ukiah or Redwood Valley groups, contact Edelman at 462-3664, ext. 106, or firstname.lastname@example.org. For the Hopland group, contact Ken Johnson at 570-9226 or email@example.com.
Directions to each starting point can be found at www.mcrcd.org.
(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal
THE FARRER BUILDING, Boonville
CATCH OF THE DAY, September 15, 2016
Cannon, Graham, Hughes, Kidd
WILLIAM CANNON, Ukiah. Parole violation.
JOHN GRAHAM, Willits. Suspended license, failure to pay.
BRYAN HUGHES, Fort Bragg. Resisting.
JARED KIDD (Frequent Flyer), Ukiah. Drunk in public, probation revocation.
Luna, Owen, Phillips
JEREMIAH LUNA, Ukiah. Drunk in public.
MEGAN OWEN, Flint, Michigan/Ukiah. Second degree robbery.
JUSTIN PHILLIPS, Willits. Domestic assault.
Tupper, Walrath, Williams, Zamudio-Rodriguez
NATHAN TUPPER, Fort Bragg. Protective order violation, probation revocation.
MERRILL WALRATH, Ukiah. Obtaining credit with another’s ID, suspended license, failure to appear, probation revocation.
WILLIAM WILLIAMS JR., Willits. Probation revocation.
MIGUEL ZAMUDIO-RODRIGUEZ, Lucerne/Ukiah. Habitual traffic offender with suspended license, failure to appear.
I SAW HILLARY once working a rope line for more than an hour, a Secret Service man holding her firmly by the hips as she leaned over the rope and reached into the mass of arms and hands reaching out to her. She had learned the art of encountering the crowd and making it look personal. It was not glamorous work, more like picking fruit, and it took the sort of discipline your mother instills in you: those people waited to see you so by gosh you can treat them right.
So it’s no surprise she pushed herself to the point of collapse the other day. What’s odd is the perspective, expressed in several stories, that her determination to keep going reveals a “lack of transparency” — that she should’ve announced she had pneumonia and gone home and crawled into bed.
I’ve never gone fishing with her, which is how you really get to know someone, but I did sit next to her at dinner once, one of those stiff dinners that is nobody’s idea of a wild good time, the conversation tends to be stilted, everybody’s beat, you worry about spilling soup down your shirtfront.
She being First Lady led the way and she being a Wellesley girl, the way led upward. We talked about my infant daughter and schools and about Justice Blackmun, and I said how inspiring it was to sit and watch the Court in session, and she laughed and said, “I don’t think it’d be a good idea for me to show up in a courtroom where a member of my family might be a defendant.” A succinct and witty retort. And she turned and bestowed her attention on Speaker Dennis Hastert, who was sitting to her right. She focused on him and even made him chuckle a few times. I was impressed by her smarts, even more by her discipline.
I don’t have that discipline. Most people don’t. Politics didn’t appeal to me back in my youth. So I walked dark rainy streets imagining the great novel I wouldn’t write and was still trying to be cool and indifferent well into my thirties, when other people were making a difference in the world.
Hillary didn’t have a prolonged adolescence and fiction was not her ambition. She doesn’t do dreaminess. What some people see as a relentless quest for power strikes me as the good habits of a serious Methodist. Be steady. Don’t give up. It’s not about you. Work, for the night is coming.
The woman who does not conceal her own intelligence is a fine American tradition, going back to Anne Bradstreet and Harriet Beecher Stowe and my ancestor Prudence Crandall, but none has been subjected to the steady hectoring that Mrs. Clinton has.
She is the first major-party nominee to be pictured in prison stripes by the opposition. She is the first cabinet officer ever to be held personally responsible for her own email server, something ordinarily delegated to anonymous nerds in I.T.
The fact that terrorists attacked an American compound in Libya under cover of darkness when Secretary Clinton presumably got some sleep has been held against her, as if she personally was in command of the defense of the compound, a walkie-talkie in her hand, calling in air strikes...
Someday historians will get this right and look back at the steady pitter-pat of scandals that turned out to be nothing, nada, zero and ixnay and will conclude that, almost a century after women’s suffrage, almost 50 years after Richard Nixon signed Title IX into law, a woman was required to run for office wearing concrete shoes. Check back fifty years from now and if I’m wrong, go ahead and dance on my grave.
— Garrison Keillor
FOR A FIVE-YEAR-OLD
A snail is climbing up the window-sill
into your room, after a night of rain.
You call me in to see and I explain
that it would be unkind to leave it there:
it might crawl to the floor; we must take care
that no one squashes it. You understand,
and carry it outside, with careful hand,
to eat a daffodil.
I see, then, that a kind of faith prevails:
your gentleness is moulded still by words
from me, who have trapped mice and shot wild birds,
from me, who drowned your kittens, who betrayed
your closest relatives and who purveyed
the harshest kind of truth to many another,
But that is how things are: I am your mother,
And we are kind to snails.
— Fleur Adcock
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Remember I said I don’t vote? I lied. I will vote under certain circumstances. For example, if an Elegant, Beautiful, Intelligent, Well-Spoken Woman ran — I’d vote for her. Even if she campaigned on the pledge to extinct the Human Race. Why? Because it sure as hell beats the other options. If we’re Dead Meat anyway, I want the aforementioned at the helm giving Press Conferences every hour on the hour telling me everything’s gonna be alright, yet knowing it’s not going to be. Someone like Ivanka Trump. I watched & listened to her speak in Pennsylvania last night and I was flabbergasted. Floored. How did The Donald’s sperm ever conceive such a wonderfully pleasant person? If I wasn’t married, I’d marry her, and yes, of course, I’d shave for the occasion and I’d promise not to be so grouchy all the time.
Ivanka For President!!!
Make America Beg For It Again
A NEW YORK TIMES AND CBS NEWS POLL shows a tightening race between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton. Less than two months before the general election, Clinton is supported by about 46 percent of likely voters, while Trump has the support of 44 percent. When considering all registered voters, Trump has only 41 percent, with Clinton holding the support of 46 percent. When the poll is extended to include the Libertarian and Green Party candidates, however, Clinton and Trump hold 42 percent each. Libertarian Gary Johnson measures 8 percent. Green Party candidate Jill Stein has the support of only 4 percent. Neither Clinton nor Trump, according to the poll, has successfully won over their base. According to the poll, even of those who say they will vote for one of the two, nearly half say they just don’t want the other major party candidate to win or that they have “reservations” about their chosen nominee.
CRACKPOTS EVERYWHERE YOU LOOK THIS ELECTION.
What about the Green Party? From Spiked (Greens: The party of paranoia): .
…The Green Party’s nominee, Jill Stein, has already courted controversy for her statements on vaccination. Although she now claims to support it, she has often, in the past, pandered to the conspiracy theories of the anti-vaccination movement. She has floated the idea that the Food and Drug Administration and the Center for Disease Control, which approve vaccines, are not to be trusted, because they are institutions ‘where corporate influence and the pharmaceutical industry has a lot of influence’. The implication being that evil drug companies are out to poison children. Stein also thinks that wifi signals are potentially harmful, and has suggested restricting wifi in schools. Yet when it comes to conspiratorial paranoia, Stein’s vice-presidential pick, Ajamu Baraka, takes the tinfoil crown. Baraka seems to have spent years floating around the US conspiracy theory and ‘truther’ scene, regularly appearing on oddball websites and radio shows. Just this year, Baraka contributed an essay to a book entitled Another French False Flag?: Bloody Tracks from Paris to San Bernardino. Baraka’s essay, it should be noted, did not allege that the Paris attacks were a state conspiracy. But many of the other essays did. The book is replete with outlandish conspiracy theories concerning the Paris attacks, and includes contributions from outright anti-Semites like Ken O’Keefe. Baraka himself seems to find a conspiracy in nearly every news event. He has claimed that the 2014 murder of three Israeli teenagers by Hamas was a ‘false flag’ attack. He has also suggested that the reason prosecutors are pushing for racist mass shooter Dylann Roof to be sentenced to death is to bolster African-American support for the death penalty. And he thinks the kidnapping of hundreds of schoolgirls in Chibok, Nigeria by Boko Haram was a conspiracy by the powers that be…
Colin Kaepernick, being a citizen of the United States, has every right to protest for any cause that he chooses. I just wish he had the intellect to understand that showing disrespect for our country’s flag is the wrong way to do it. The flag stands for so many things, including the sacrifices of the many who died defending the freedom that it represents. It also stands for the opportunities afforded to all Americans who choose to make the most of their talents and aspirations, just as Kaepernick did.
The San Francisco 49ers should be ashamed of themselves for permitting and thereby condoning Kaepernick’s sickening behavior. Turning their heads the other way and allowing him to do it in a 49ers uniform means that they condone the act, and that is wrong.
I, as one among many, will turn off the 49ers and burn my Kaepernick jersey (if I had one) until both come to their senses and realize the harm they are doing to our country and its flag.
Ken Ramsey, Pleasanton
NEW STATE WATER PLAN may force tighter conservation restrictions
PROPERTY TAX POSTPONEMENT PROGRAM for Seniors is Back
The California State Controller's Property Tax Postponement Program is available again, after being suspended by the Legislature in 2009. The program allows homeowners who are at least 62, or who are blind, or have a disability to defer current-year property taxes on their primary place of residence if they meet certain criteria, including 40 percent equity in the home and an annual household income of $35,500 or less. The filing period is October 1, 2016 through February 10, 2017, and applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. Funding is limited for the program, and the interest rate for taxes postponed is 7 percent per year. Applications and information are available online at http://www.sco.ca.gov/ardtax_prop_tax_postponement.html or by calling (800) 952-5661. This announcement is brought to you by Community Care's Senior Information & Assistance Program, a free service for older adults in Lake & Mendocino Counties, funded largely through our local Area Agency on Aging. To learn more about local resources for those 60 and older, call 468-5132 or toll-free 1-800-510-2020, or visit www.SeniorResourceDirectory.org
Community Resources Specialist
Senior Information & Assistance Program
Community Care, Ukiah
Phone (707) 468-5132