Mendocino County Today: Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016
by AVA News Service, September 17, 2016
BECKMAN PRINTING SAYS GOODBYE
When Ricky Jardstrom quit his job, he got something extra, a finely rendered, calligraphic denunciation he won’t soon forget.
Jardstrom, a man in his early fifties, had worked for Beckman Printing, Fort Bragg, for 15 years. His uncle had owned the thriving little business prior to a youngish couple, Jeremy and Aspen Logan, buying the enterprise in January of 2015.
“I think in 15 years I was late for work only one time,” the insulted Jardstrom says. “There was one job I was late getting done because my kid was sick. They always told me, ‘Where else can you work when your kid’s sick?’ But in the end that’s what they used against me.”
Meaning, it seems, the Logans wanted Jardstrom out for whatever reason.
Jardstrom says when his uncle owned the shop he could bring his daughter to work. But when the business changed hands this lenient children-on-the job site policy ended. Jardstrom had had trouble finding a reliable babysitter, and for a while could only work a couple of hours a day, and right about there relations between employer and employee soured until they were so rancid they were soon all sitting across from each other in a hearing room.
The Logans and the aggrieved Jardstrom, after a labor hearing, settled on 410 dollars for Jardstrom’s exit and, normally, that would have been the end of it.
But not long after Jardstrom was staring at his highly personalized goodbye.
Someone on the Beckman end of the dispute couldn’t resist a parting shot, writing on that check: “Good Riddance, You Wretched Cunt.”
Which would disturb anyone, and which is a very peculiar, not to say an incriminating, thing to do.
“I am not wretched and I am not a cunt and to me thats just bad business and just rude and being a bully,” Jardstrom says in his literalist denial of the vile characterization of his personality.
When I contacted the Beckman’s for their side of things, I got back a cheery e-mail from Aspen Logan:
“Hi Bruce, After discussing with our lawyer, we've been advised we're unable discuss matters pertaining to former employees. Aspen.”
WE'LL BE ANALYZING the state ballot propositions a coupla at a time, with the entire list of our recommendations ready for you, dear reader, to calibrate your votes accordingly. As most of you know, the reason there are so many initiatives is our legislators don't legislate much. We'll keep it brief, but if our critiques aren't brief enough, you can safely vote NO on everything without going too far wrong.
Prop. 64. Dope. Unlike Proposition 19 back in the day, the prior state initiative to legalize marijuana, the new pot initiative allows cities and counties to add their own regs, taxes, or even bans, on marijuana businesses, as is the statewide case now with medical marijuana. Prop 64 would permit local governments to ban outdoor cultivation. And 64 would leave it to employers to prohibit marijuana use during the workday. Prop 19 would have allowed workers to light up on breaks and lunch hours.
What Prop. 64 does:
Legalizes marijuana use for adults 21 and older.
Requires licensing for cultivation and sale.
Establishes state excise tax of 15% on retail sales, and cultivation taxes of $9.25 per ounce of flowers and $2.75 per ounce of leaves. Standard sales taxes also would apply.
Creates packaging, labeling, advertising and marketing standards.
Allows local governments to impose additional regulations and taxes on marijuana.
Provides resentencing consideration for prior marijuana convictions.
Leaves intact the medical marijuana system created by Prop. 215 in 1996.
SUPES SAY NO ON AF
(On the Board of Supervisors Agenda for Tuesday, September 20, 2016)
Discussion and Possible Action Regarding a Request from the “No on Measure AF Committee” that the Board Endorse a “No” Vote on Measure AF, also known as the “Heritage Act” (Sponsor - Supervisor McCowen)
Discussion: The “No on Measure AF Committee” has requested that the Board endorse a “No” vote on Measure AF. Measure AF, also known as the “Heritage Act” would repeal County Code Chapter 9.31, the Medical Marijuana Cultivation Regulation, and replace it with a new Chapter 6.22 “Lawful Cannabis Permits”. Measure AF also amends the County Zoning Code to add a new Chapter 20.162 (inland) and Chapter 20154 (coastal) to allow marijuana cultivation, manufacturing, testing, distribution, transportation, deliveries, and dispensaries.
The Board of Supervisors has approved a draft cultivation ordinance that is currently undergoing public review and comment, including review by the Planning Commission prior to final Board consideration and possible adoption. The Board has also placed Measure AI, a marijuana business tax, on the November 8 ballot, along with Measure AJ, an advisory measure that asks the voters to give direction on how a majority of the proceeds of Measure AI should be spent.
Because Measure AF is a citizen initiative, it is not required to undergo the normal process of environmental and community review. There will be no formal agency or public comment; no public hearings; and no opportunity to identify or mitigate significant impacts. If it is enacted, Measure AF will repeal existing marijuana regulations and render moot the draft cultivation ordinance currently under review. If Measure AF receives more votes, it will also invalidate Measure AI, the marijuana business tax.
Measure AF eliminates or reduces a number of setbacks that have been law in Mendocino County since 2010; allows increased cultivation in virtually every zoning district; and opens the door to a dramatic increase in the number of cultivators. Measure AF was written to insure that local permits will be available for the full range of State license types that will become available in 2018, but does so by bypassing the normal review process.
The Board of Supervisors, County staff, and numerous stakeholders (including many form the cannabis community) have invested countless hours in developing draft regulations that balance the needs of the cannabis industry with the needs of local communities and the environment. The Board of Supervisors is respectfully requested to endorse a “No” on Measure AF position so that the public process currently underway can continue.
* * *
THE OTHER SIDE:
SUPES TO DENY MRC’S DEMAND FOR RETURN OF FIRE TAXES from Albion-Little River Fire Department
Agenda Item Title: Denial of Claim from Mendocino Redwood Company, LLC for a Refund of Property Taxes
Recommended Action/Motion: Deny claim from Mendocino Redwood Company, LLC for a refund of property taxes.
Previous Board/Board Committee Actions:
A claim presented to the County of Mendocino on December 8, 2015 for the first installment of the tax levied against the subject property was rejected by the Board of Supervisors on May 3, 2016.
Summary of Request: Mendocino Redwood Company, LLC (“MRC”) paid the second installment of the Albion-Little River Fire Protection District (“District”) Special Parcel Tax (Measure M) that was levied against its commercial timberland for FY 2015-16 under protest. On April 4, 2016, they filed a second claim with the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors pursuant to Revenue and Taxation Code sections 5096 and 5097 claiming that the tax is illegal, because the property assessed is not within the jurisdiction of the Albion-Little River Fire Protection District. They are requesting an additional refund of $9,384.18. The claim needs to be acted upon by October 4, 2016.
Although this is an assessment appeals claim, it goes before the Board of Supervisors and not the Assessment Appeals Board, because the claim is not questioning the amount of the assessment, but is instead based on the allegation that the assessment is illegal.
MRC filed a Complaint in the Mendocino County Superior Court on May 9, 2016, but failed to name the District, an indispensable party. A Demurrer was filed by the County and MRC filed a First Amended Complaint. A Demurrer was filed again by the County. Although the Complaint includes this second installment, it still needs to be administratively denied.
WHO’S OUT THERE?
The Report on the Homeless Point In Time Count of January 2016
THE BUCKHORN, Boonville
CATCH OF THE DAY, September 16, 2016
Maji, Neeley, Petersen, Sanchez
MIKEN MAJI, Little River. Suspended license, probation revocation.
SHERRIE NEELEY (Frequent Flyer), Ukiah. Probation revocation.
MARLIN PETERSEN, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
JOSE SANCHEZ, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. DUI.
Shealor, Underwood, White
AUSTIN SHEALOR, Ukiah. DUI-drugs.
ROY UNDERWOOD, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.
XAVIER WHITE, Ukiah. Pot possession for sale, no license, probation revocation.
INSIDE THE 'PROTEST CITY' Where Native Americans And Eco-Activists Have Camped For Five Months In A Bid To Block New $4Billion Pipeline
Tribal flags, horses, tents, hand-built shelters and teepees dominate one of the biggest, newest communities in North Dakota, where Native Americans and eco-activists have camped for five months in a bid to block a new $4billion oil pipeline.
The sprawling gathering has a new school for dozens of children and an organized system to deliver water and meals to the hundreds, sometimes thousands, of people from tribes across North America who have joined the Standing Rock Sioux in their legal fight against the Dakota Access pipeline.
'This is better than where most people came from,' said 34-year-old Vandee Kahlsa.
The Santa Fe, New Mexico, resident, who is Osage and Cherokee, has been at the camp for more than a month.
She joins Standing Rock Sioux members who have been here since April, people from other tribes and non-tribal members from as far away as Asia and Europe who have vowed to stay as long as it takes to block the four-state, $3.8billion pipeline.
Though the Dallas-based pipeline company says it intends to finish the project, protesters have some hope: three federal agencies are reviewing their construction-permitting process, temporarily blocking work on a small section not too far from the encampment site and asking Energy Transfer Partners to temporarily stop work on a 40-mile span.
There have been concerns for years among the leaders of North Dakota's five American Indian reservations about 'the increasing number of environmental incidents' in western North Dakota's oil patch and protests over this pipeline have been raging ever since it was announced in 2014.
'I'm pretty sure by winter there will be some buildings up,' said Jonathon Edwards, 36, a member of the Standing Rock tribe who lives in South Dakota and has been here since April 1, when snow was on the ground.
He added: 'People who came here came here to stay.'
The encampment has averaged about 4,000 people recently, he estimated - making it larger than nearly all of North Dakota's 357 towns.
It has been called the largest gathering of Native Americans in a century, and the first time all seven bands of Sioux have come together since General George Custer's ill-fated 1876 expedition at the Battle of Little Big Horn.
Andrew Dennis, 42, called the encampment 'creative chaos' that somehow seems to work. The California man arrived last week with supplies and food to donate.
Anchoring the camp is the Defenders of Water School, which uses two old army tents and a teepee as classrooms.
Melaine Stoneman, a Lakota Sioux from the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, said it has been a unique learning experience for her five-year-old son, Wigmuke, which means rainbow in English.
Teacher Teresa Dzieglewicz said classes have averaged about 45 students in recent days. The 32-year-old St Louis resident planned to be at the encampment for a few days, but has since put her graduate school studies at Southern Illinois University on hold.
'I'm lucky and honored to be part of this,' said Dzieglewicz, who taught elementary-school children for three years, including on reservations in South Dakota.
The encampment is on US Army Corps of Engineers land, but some believe rightful ownership belongs to the Standing Rock Sioux, who had made their home there for centuries and whose adjacent 2.3million-acre reservation straddles the North and South Dakota border.
'The atmosphere feels like a celebration of cultural reawakening,' said JR American Horse, a military veteran who lives on the reservation.
He said: 'This is a good thing that people have come together.'
He and his tribal brethren help with trash pickup and water-hauling. The camp produces several tons of trash weekly and uses several hundred gallons of water daily.
'We keep busy,' Dewey Plenty Chief, 49, said.
Nearby, mountains of food, clothing and other supplies are stacked on pallets, donations that have been shipped in from around the world, said Ron Martel, a volunteer who lives on the Standing Rock Reservation.
Volunteers like Lois Bull, a member of North Dakota's oil-rich Three Affiliated Tribes, cook for the encampment's residents.
'I wanted to do something to help out and this is that something,' the retired 50-year-old from Grand Forks said while rolling breakfast burritos.
Moose meat from Maine, salmon from southeast Alaska and bison tongue harvested from a herd in the Dakotas was on the menu, said Judah Horowitz, a 27-year-old real estate project manager from Brooklyn, New York, who has been here for the past several days.
'In New York, people think water comes from bottles and meat comes wrapped in plastic,' he said.
Edwards, the Standing Rock tribe member who's been there since April serves another important function: he is a paramedic, treating everything from kids' skinned knees to respiratory problems for older protesters. Several other health care professionals have volunteered in the past few months, too.
He worries about the onset of winter and hopes more permanent structures can be built, though it's unclear where those structures would be located.
But most of all, Edwards said, this gathering will be remembered as a historic event that brought indigenous and water protection issues to the forefront.
'When this pipeline is stopped, and it will be,' he said, 'we're going to have to thank the pipeline company for all of this.'
(Associated Press and Harvey Day, Daily Mail OnLine)
NORTH DAKOTA VS. AMY GOODMAN:
Journalism Is Not A Crime
by Amy Goodman And Denis Moynihan
We will fight this charge. Freedom of the press is essential to the functioning of a democratic society. North Dakota, muzzle the dogs, not the press.
Last week, an arrest warrant was issued under the header “North Dakota versus Amy Goodman.” The charge was for criminal trespass. The actual crime? Journalism. We went to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation to cover the growing opposition to the Dakota Access pipeline.
Global attention has become focused on the struggle since Labor Day weekend, after pipeline guards unleashed attack dogs and pepper spray on Native American protesters. On that Saturday, at least six bulldozers were carving up the land along the pipeline route, where archeological and sacred sites had been discovered by the tribe. The Dakota Access pipeline company obtained the locations of these sites just the day before, in a court filing made by the tribe. Many feel that the company razed the area, destroying the sites, before an injunction could be issued to study them. Scores of people, mostly Native American, raced to the scene, demanding the bulldozers leave. The guards pepper-sprayed, punched and tackled the land defenders. Attack dogs were unleashed, biting at least six people and one horse.
We were there, filming the guards’ violence. When we released our video of the standoff, it went viral, attracting more than 13 million views on Facebook alone. CNN, CBS, MSNBC and scores of outlets around the world broadcast our footage of one of the attack dogs with blood dripping from its nose and mouth.
WATCH: Dakota Access Pipeline Security Agents Attack Protesters With Dogs and Mace
Five days after the attack, North Dakota issued the arrest warrant. North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation Special Agent Lindsey Wohl, referencing the “Democracy Now!” video report in a sworn affidavit, states, “Amy Goodman can be seen on the video identifying herself and interviewing protestors about their involvement in the protest.” Precisely the point: doing the constitutionally protected work of a reporter.
“Charging a journalist with criminal trespassing for covering an important environmental story of significant public interest is a direct threat to freedom of the press and is absolutely unacceptable in the country of the First Amendment,” said Delphine Halgand, U.S. director of the global press freedom watchdog group Reporters Without Borders. Carlos Lauria of the Committee to Protect Journalists added: “This arrest warrant is a transparent attempt to intimidate reporters from covering protests of significant public interest. Authorities in North Dakota should stop embarrassing themselves, drop the charges against Amy Goodman and ensure that all reporters are free to do their jobs.”
Steve Andrist, executive director of the North Dakota Newspaper Association, told The Bismarck Tribune, “It’s regrettable that authorities chose to charge a reporter who was just doing her job,” adding that it “creates the impression that the authorities were attempting to silence a journalist and prevent her from telling an important story.”
This is a story that is critical to the fate of the planet. It’s about climate change, and indigenous rights versus corporate and government power.
The arrest warrant was issued on the same day that North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple called out the National Guard in preparation for a court decision due out the next day. On Friday, the judge ruled against the tribe, allowing construction to continue. Fifteen minutes later, in an unprecedented move, the departments of Justice, the Interior and the Army issued a joint letter announcing that permission to build the pipeline on land controlled by the Army Corps of Engineers would be denied until after “formal, government-to-government consultations” with impacted tribes about “the protection of tribal lands, resources and treaty rights.” Construction and nonviolent blockades continue along nonfederal lands, despite the government’s request that Dakota Access halt construction voluntarily.
Many have said that journalism is the first draft of history. In the past 20 years, a hallmark of the “Democracy Now!” news hour has been our coverage of movements, because movements make history. The standoff at Standing Rock is a historic gathering of thousands of people from over 200 tribes from the U.S., Canada and Latin America who call themselves “protectors, not protesters.” It marks the largest unification of tribes in decades.
To date, none of the pipeline security guards have been charged, despite being clearly shown in the video assaulting protesters with dogs and pepper spray. Now, the North Dakota Private Investigation and Security Board is investigating the pipeline security guards’ use of force and their use of dogs.
In the meantime, we will fight this charge. Freedom of the press is essential to the functioning of a democratic society. North Dakota, muzzle the dogs, not the press.
Colleagues Mostly Fail to Rally for Amy Goodman, Threatened With Jail for Journalism
When Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman (9/4/16) asked security guards at the Dakota Access Pipeline construction project why they were using pepper spray and dogs to attack Native American protesters, the guards soon backed off, taking their mace and attack dogs with them. It was a dramatic lesson in how journalism can defend the rights of citizens.
The state of North Dakota had a response to this kind of journalism: It issued a warrant for Goodman’s arrest, charging her with criminal trespassing. This is an extraordinary action; Jack McDonald, a lawyer for the North Dakota Newspaper Association and for the Bismarck Tribune, told the Tribune that in 40 years of doing media law in the state he’s never heard of a reporter being charged with trespassing (9/15/16).
So how did reporters respond to one of their own being threatened with arrest for doing her job? Mostly, they ignored it. The story was covered locally, in the Bismarck Tribune (9/15/16), and internationally, in the British Guardian (9/12/16) and a mention in the Toronto Star (9/13/16). The Committee to Protect Journalists (9/12/16) and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s Representative on Freedom of the Media (9/14/16) put out statements calling on the state to drop the charges.
But most national corporate media outlets — the ones who complain about not getting a seat on a candidate’s plane — breathed not a word on North Dakota’s assault on the press’s ability to cover a major story of the moment. (The internet-based Salon—9/12/16—and Mashable—9/11/16—deserve credit as exceptions.) Elite media coverage of a million issues makes clear that they don’t mind taking sides. It’s a real shame they won’t take the side of the right to do journalism when and where it matters.
COLIN POWELL ON HILLARY:
“I’d prefer not to vote for her, although she is a friend I respect. A 70-year person with a long track record, unbridled ambition, greedy, not transformational, with a husband still dicking bimbos at home (according to NYP).” NYP: New York Post.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Consolidation and monopoly in any sector should be of concern to everyone. But the fact that the large agribusiness conglomerates specialise in a globalised, industrial-scale, chemical-intensive model of farming that is adversely affecting what we eat should have us very concerned.
— Colin Todhunter
DONALD TRUMP continues to blame an IRS audit for the failure to release his tax returns, though Mini-Donald later spilled the beans that releasing “a 12,000-page tax return that would create… financial auditors out of every person in the country asking questions that would detract from his main message..” (That is 12,000 pages of exploited loopholes and few charitable contributions resulting in little taxes actually paid.) The press is too lazy and shiftless to ask that Trump release previous returns from 2012, 2002, 1992, or any other decade.
— Jeffrey St. Clair, CounterPunch.org
DOCUMENTS REVEAL JERRY BROWN'S DELTA TUNNELS WOULD NEED $6.5 BILLION TAXPAYER SUBSIDY
by Dan Bacher
Proponents of the giant Delta Tunnels claim that the project’s cost will be covered by the beneficiaries, but newly-released documents reveal that project proponents could put the federal and state taxpayers on the hook for $6.5 billion in subsidies for the controversial water diversion proposal.
Documents unveiled in a recent Public Records Act request from the California Department of Water Resources (DWR), delivered to Restore the Delta (RTD), show that the state’s most recent cost benefit analysis calls for a $4.6 billion federal taxpayer subsidy for the project to cover expenses for Central Valley Project (CVP) water users and additional subsidies, $1.9 billion, to be paid for by California taxpayers.
The document release is likely to further increase opposition to Governor Jerry Brown's “legacy” project to build two 40-foot-high tunnels under the California Delta to export northern California water from the Sacramento River 35 miles south for export by San Joaquin Valley agribusiness interests and Southern California water agencies.
Restore the Delta said the California WaterFix will require a taxpayer subsidy totaling $6.5, based on a draft economic analysis for the California WaterFix project authored by Dr. David Sunding of the Brattle Group in Fall 2015.
In a memo reviewing the Brattle Group's analysis of CA WaterFix, Dr. Jeffrey Michael, Director of the Center for Business and Policy Research at the University of the Pacific, said, “Clearly, this huge subsidy is in stark contrast to ten years of public statements that all construction and mitigation costs would be paid by water users.”
The WaterFix, “passes a cost-benefit test in aggregate,” but when the results are disaggregated by urban and agricultural uses, the report finds “benefits fall short of allocated costs for most agricultural water users,” Dr. Michael's review discovered.
“Because costs exceed benefits for agricultural users, the report actually finds that the tunnels are not economically feasible as this requires benefits to exceed allocated costs for all users. Thus, much of the rest of the report attempts to rationalize public subsidies to lower the costs for agricultural contractors,” noted Dr. Michael.
Even more troubling in the Brattle Group’s draft economic analysis, “is the assumption that water yields (the difference in export water delivery with and without the tunnels) are four times higher than in official WaterFix documents including its RDEIR/SDEIS and petition to the State Water Resources Control Board," according to RTD.
“As we have suspected, the economic planning for the tunnels is forecasting a water yield far higher than what proponents are telling the State Water Resources Control Board at hearings on permits for the project,” said Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of Restore the Delta, after DWR released the documents. “Because drought is the new normal, the only way for CA WaterFix to deliver four times more water within the calculated difference is to deplete the Bay-Delta estuary and the upstream watersheds.”
Barrigan-Parrilla said additional emails in the PRA request show that the next version of the economic analysis “will contain only aggregated economic results, meaning the public version of the report will cover up all the negative results about the project not penciling out for agricultural users, even with a subsidy.”
You can read the PRA documents here.
Nancy VogeI, spokesman for the California Natural Resources Agency, claimed the “draft economic analysis” that DWR released to RTD is “outdated and incomplete.”
“The state has not concluded that WaterFix requires federal funding to be feasible. The project remains based on the premise that its beneficiaries will pay and a full financing plan will be made available when complete,” said Vogel.
Californians for Water Security, the group promoting the tunnels, echoed Vogel’s contention that the California WaterFix analysis was “outdated and incomplete.”
“Once again, Restore the Delta is distorting reality in an attempt to stop one of the most necessary projects in our state’s history,” said Robin Swanson, on behalf of Californians for Water Security. “They released a year old, draft analysis that is incomplete and doesn’t account for the latest thinking on the financing of this project.”
“Even so, the draft report clearly states that ‘the project would provide significant indirect and public benefits to Californians, even those who do not directly consume Delta water supplies.' “The report also says that ‘WaterFix easily passes a benefit cost comparison in aggregate,’” Swanson claimed.
Barrigan-Parrilla countered the responses from Vogel and Swanson regarding Dr. Sunding’s analysis, noting that “the bottom line is this is the most complete draft of the cost benefit analysis and the released emails show how the state was going to revive this draft to put it in the best public light.”
“Nowhere in the mails released by DWR has anybody raised an objection to the need for the federal funding. What you do find in the emails is how the tunnels proponents say they are going to hide the big gap between the costs and benefits of agribusiness in obligated funds,” said Barrigan-Parrilla.
That’s not all. “In addition to providing no evaluation of the economic harm that will be inflicted on Delta communities, it is clear CA WaterFix planners have no qualms about Californians paying for the project through higher water rates, property taxes, and state and federal income taxes — all for the benefit of big agricultural growers on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley, and special interest water districts, like Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. Southern Californians and Silicon Valley water ratepayers should be very concerned as they will end up subsidizing big agriculture four different ways,” concluded Barrigan-Parrilla.
In addition, Barrigan-Parrilla said the federal Central Valley Project (CVP) water contractors who are pushing the Delta tunnels project include the San Luis Delta Mendota Water Authority and their member Westlands Water District. In July, Fitch Ratings upgraded Westlands credit rating from “Negative Watch” to “Negative.”
A broad coalition of fishing groups, Tribes, conservation organizations, environmental justice groups, businesses, family farmers, Delta residents and elected officials opposes the construction of the Delta Tunnels because it constitute the most environmentally destructive public works project in California history. The construction of the tunnels would hasten the extinction of Central Valley steelhead, Sacramento River winter-run Chinook salmon, Delta and longfin smelt, green sturgeon and other fish species, as well as imperiling the salmon and steelhead populations on the Trinity and Klamath rivers.
As was the case also in the equally controversial Marine Life Protection Act Initiative that Governor Brown "completed” in December 2012, the Governor's and his backers are again apparently at it again trying to "fix the books” and manipulate the data to forge ahead with their neo-liberal “environmental” agenda, For more information about the deep links between the Delta Tunnels Plan and the MLPA Initiative, go to: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2016/7/2/1544573/-Deep-Regulatory-Capture-Exposed-The-Links-Between-Delta-Tunnels-Plan-MLPA-Initiative
CLOVERDALE PREPARES FOR NEW COMMUNITY HUB
Known as Thyme Square, the 5-acre downtown site next to the Citrus Fairgrounds is poised to be one of Cloverdale’s biggest developments. Cloverdale advances plan for downtown health center, skate park, police station
by Clark Mason
A prominent piece of downtown property in Cloverdale that’s sat empty for years could serve as the site for three pressing community needs — a new police station, a youth skate park and a bigger health clinic. The City Council this week approved a conceptual plan for the 5 acres south of the Citrus Fairgrounds that includes all those elements, along with retail and office space. “This is probably one of the biggest projects that Cloverdale has ever faced,” said Mayor Mary Anne Brigham. The site is one of the first things motorists see when they get off Highway 101 at the downtown exit. Councilwoman Carol Russell called it “a once-in-a-lifetime piece of property. We’ve got to do this right.” The city bought the land, known as Thyme Square, seven years ago from a struggling developer whose plans for a supermarket, retail space and housing fell through.
The council lists development of the site as one of its top goals and now has given tentative approval for several facets of it to go forward, including Alexander Valley Healthcare’s plan to build a $16 million “wellness center” there. The only primary care provider between Healdsburg and Ukiah, Alexander Valley Healthcare has outgrown its current location and is likely to be the first building constructed on the Thyme Square lot. A police station could follow, depending on whether grant funding comes through for the roughly $13 million, 16,000-square-foot building intended to replace the current cramped, antiquated station with seismic safety issues. And skate park boosters are excited that after many years of trying to find a spot, there finally appears to be widespread support for having it at Thyme Square. A group of children and their parents took turns at this week’s meeting urging the City Council to approve the park, saying kids have few places other than parking lots to skate, or must go to skate parks in Healdsburg, Ukiah or Santa Rosa. “It’s in the plan. Hopefully everything’s going to work out to everyone’s satisfaction,” Brigham told skate park boosters. Shawn Bovee, a planning commissioner and prime proponent for a skate park, said one preliminary cost estimate to build it was $220,000, not including land cost.
Raising the needed funds could be a challenge, but “folks in Cloverdale have been after a skate park for damn near 20 years,” he said. “I’m pretty determined one way or another to get us a skate park.” As far as any shopping opportunities, 25,000 square feet is set aside for a two-story combined retail office building. City Manager Paul Cayler said it is not enough space for a major retailer, but a boutique hotel might be acceptable. At one point, city officials were planning for low- and moderate-income housing as a component of Thyme Square. But now they are eyeing more affordable housing at “Cherry Creek Village,” a transitional housing site that was formerly a motel, located farther south along Cloverdale Boulevard. Because the city used state redevelopment and housing funds to buy Thyme Square, any sale proceeds of the land for other purposes has to be reinvested in affordable housing. A separate project is under construction adjacent to Thyme Square, Cloverdale Family Apartments, a 32-unit affordable project by Corporation for Better Housing. It could be awhile before any dirt gets moved on the Thyme Square site, but the medical center appears to have the best chance of breaking ground the soonest. Alexander Valley Healthcare CEO Deborah Howell said the plans call for a three-story, 38,000-square-foot building that will include primary care, alternative wellness programs, dental and oral health care, as well as a demonstration kitchen. The organization has enough money to buy the land, and a federal subsidy to build a small portion of the project, but still needs to secure additional grants to make the project a reality. “We’re looking at maybe two, two-and-a-half years before we have a finished building with a best-case scenario.” Howell said. Alexander Valley Healthcare has been in Cloverdale since 1994 and steadily grown, serving patients on Medicare and Medi-Cal, private insurance and the uninsured. The number of patients has grown by 20 percent in the past two years, Howell said, with the health center now tallying more than 28,000 patient visits per year. “It’s pretty crowded,” she said of the current location, adding there is no room to hire more physicians or staff to accommodate the increasing patient load.
(Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
ASHRAM, HERE I COME
Am going to Amma's ashram in San Ramon, CA tomorrow to perform karma yoga and meet the ashram administrator. It is my wish to live there, because there is nothing satisfying that I am able to find in the larger world, and I need to seriously go in a spiritual direction now, and just keep going! I pray that this works out and that it leads ever spiritually onward. Thank you very much for your friendship, and I am sorry if ever my behavior, particularly networking emails, were bothersome.
Stay in touch, Craig Stehr
THIS IS ALL I ASK
by Gordon Jenkins
As I approach the prime of my life,
I find I have the time of my life
Learning to enjoy at my leisure all the simple pleasures
And so I happily concede
That this is all I ask, this is all I need
Beautiful girls, walk a little slower when you walk by me
Lingering sunsets, stay a little longer with the lonely sea
Children everywhere, when you shoot at bad men, shoot at me
Take me to that strange, enchanted land grown-ups seldom understand
Wandering rainbows, leave a bit of color for my heart to own
Stars in the sky, make my wish come true before the night has flown
And let the music play as long as there's a song to sing
And I will stay younger than Spring
SEPTEMBER 21, 2016 BOARD OF RETIREMENT MEETING AGENDA
The agenda and supporting documents have been posted to our website.
Please access by using the following link: