Mendocino County Today: Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016

by AVA News Service, September 21, 2016

* * *

WHERE’S WOODHOUSE? The Third District supervisor did not appear at Tuesday’s meeting of the Supervisors. He has now missed three consecutive sessions. Sheriff Allman appeared for Mrs. Woodhouse during Public Expression to say that Supervisor Woodhouse would be back as soon as possible, that he is temporarily incapacitated in some way. We’ve been critical of Woodhouse in a political sense but certainly wish him and his family well.

* * *

MAYOR TURNER of Fort Bragg and his extended family were camping in the woods east of Fort Bragg a few weeks ago. And something alarming happened. Whatever happened is so far, hush-hush. The mayor isn't talking, the police aren't either. But there's an investigation underway and, we must assume that at some point we will know what it was and why we haven't known sooner. What we do know for a fact, and a scant fact it is: someone in the Turner party called 911 for help, and the time of the call was after dark.

* * *

HARE CREEK HEATS UP

by Malcolm Macdonald

The City of Fort Bragg held an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) scoping session Monday, September 19th at Town Hall on the topic of yet another shopping center project near Hare Creek. The result was akin to a college football game between Alabama and Cal, about 48-3 against.

The EIR workshop was designed to gather public input concerning the slightly redesigned proposal put forth on behalf of the owners of the three (+) acre property immediately west of the intersection of Highways 1 and 20.

Two Fort Bragg City Council members, Lindy Peters and Mike Cimolino, were present throughout the two and a half hour meeting, though only Peters made public comment. He asked that the EIR place special emphasis on the following issues related to the project: 1. the potential aesthetic impact; 2. hydrology (water use); 3. the possibility for irreversible long term impacts; 4. and the related topic of overall cumulative impacts.

The proposed Hare Creek shopping center would be anchored by a Grocery Outlet store, approximately 15,000 square feet in size as well as two additional buildings sized at 10,000 and 4,500 square feet, for a total of 29,500 square feet of retail space. Associated developments would include an access road, a parking lot, loading zones, pedestrian improvements, rain water storage tanks, utility connections, drainage improvements, utilities, signage and landscaping. The project differs from a 2014 proposal, heard and denied in early 2015 by the Fort Bragg Planning Commission and City Council, in that the buildings are set twice as far back from the highway, grading of a grassy, man made hill would be minimized, and a road surrounding the project has been dropped.

The meeting was moderated both by Fort Bragg's Community Development Director Marie Jones and Florentina Craciun, an environmental planner employed by Michael Baker International, a firm (see their web site at mbakerintl.com) hired by the City of Fort Bragg to oversee the EIR process for this Hare Creek shopping center project. Craciun emphasized more than once that the fifty or more folks in attendance should refrain from either booing or clapping to avoid intimidation of others, and for the most part the audience complied, but she probably hadn't counted on Rex Gressett and Dave Gurney.

When Gressett stepped to the microphone for one of his three minutes of allotted comment (participants were allowed more or less unlimited turns at the microphone by the end of the evening's festivities), he promptly let out with a statement that the entire meeting was nothing more than illusory theater. Looking at the audience Mr. Gressett went on, “They [apparently city government] are not going to listen to any of you… If we want that property to be saved, we have to save it. Marie Jones ain't gonna do it. She works for the developers. She works for the people who want to desecrate our community.”

At this point Ms. Jones nearly shouted into her microphone, “Alright, Rex. That's enough. He cannot personally assassinate me… I'm done.”

Gressett asked, “What are you going to do, have me arrested?”

Though Ms. Jones appeared to beckon a young Fort Bragg Police Department officer from the back of the room the situation diffused, though not before Gressett asserted, “I say Marie Jones is behind this. I say, she is an absolute menace to the best interests of this community.”

Despite Mr. Gressett's claims about theater, it is too often he who puts on a show. On multiple occasions he has directly accused Jones and City Manager Linda Ruffing of being in cahoots with developers, yet he has to the best of this writer's knowledge never offered up any specific evidence to back up this claim beyond his raised voiced pontifications.

Rex Gressett is what one might call a colorful character, but his inherently contradictory stances on issues (on other, recent occasions he has stated his desire to allow local businesses to be free of all regulation) and passive aggressive public behavior (he wimpishly thanked the police officer for not arresting him then later came back to the public comment microphone with a promise, “To be nice this time.”) more often than not get in the way of civil discussion of the pros and cons of significant issues facing the city of Fort Bragg.

I enjoy Rex's personal brand of theater, but not to the point of accepting unfounded personal attacks as some sort of Gospel according to Saint Gressett. Though Ms. Jones's tone could have been gentler, how could any sane person blame her for finally saying, “Rex, that's enough.”

Mr. Gressett's antics and to a lesser degree the confrontational, not-able-to-take-yes-for-an-answer, style of David Gurney detracted from the tempered remarks of people like oceanographer Leslie Kashiwada. She spoke for a group called Citizens for Appropriate Coastal Land Use (CACLU), which includes educators, scientists, and small business owners. Interested readers can check out their Facebook site, where the group touts bullet points about the EIR process for the proposed Hare Creek shopping center, including: 1. The need to fully assess impacts on environmentally sensitive areas. 2. The project is not consistent with the City’s stated policies, plans, and goals in the Coastal General Plan. 3. It would bring about an increase in urban blight due to its impact on businesses in the central business district (CBD) and other shopping centers (already four vacancies each in the Boatyard Shopping Center and S. Franklin St strip mall, along with approx. fourteen vacancies in CBD). 4. It would bring more franchise businesses to Fort Bragg (already have twelve). The unincorporated areas of Mendocino County just renewed a moratorium on franchise businesses for one year – should Fort Bragg consider such a moratorium? 5. This area used to be a dairy farm. It was rezoned in 1995 to allow for this type of development, with the city hoping to increase its tax base. No consideration was given to the cumulative impact of development on Todd Point or on the gateway to the city. 6. The California Coastal Commission questions the legality of the proposed building site given the numerous requested Lot Line Adjustments over the years. Which LLAs have been approved (need a transparent trail of documentation) and is the current configuration approved?

Many other cogent questions/comments filled the nearly two hours of public input. Those interested in seeing and hearing them all should check out the invaluable Mendocino TV's website (mendocinotv.com) for an opportunity to view the meeting in its entirety. Despite the show put on at Town Hall, written comments by the public pull the greatest weight in this EIR process. Such comments can be directed to Marie Jones, the Community Development Director for the City of Fort Bragg. The comment period for the scoping session ends on September 30th. After the EIR is made public (most likely in January, 2017, a further forty-five day comment period will ensue. Most likely ending around March 1, 2017).

(The author's website is seemingly never ending at: malcolmmacdonaldoutlawford.com.)

* * *

A COAST PERSON paying close attention to the Hare Creek development assesses it this way: Fort Bragg City Manager Linda Ruffing and Community Development Director Marie Jones are aggressively promoting it. Councilmen Hammerstrom and Cimolino are on the semi-secret Hare Creek Center ad-hoc committee that is promoting it. Lindy Peters is making noise about objecting, but ultimately appears to be a property rights guy who will reluctantly approve it. Deitz has recused himself because he's a real estate agent, and controls property near the site. Of course Mayor Dave Turner will vote for it. I don't know about Gjerde, he's as slippery as the rest of the politicos in these parts.

OUR INFORMANT SAYS “It should be noted that City Manager Linda Ruffing felt it necessary to have a uniformed FBPD officer present during the entire EIR "Scoping Session" last night, and she sent the officer over to arrest Rex Gressett when he insulted Marie Jones during public comment. Jones interrupted Gressett, and told him to shut up, as Ruffing sent the officer over. The arrest was averted when members of the audience reminded the officer of Government Code.

“GOVERNMENT CODE SECTION 54950-54963, 54954.3.0 (c) The legislative body of a local agency shall not prohibit public criticism of the policies, procedures, programs, or services of the agency, or of the acts or omissions of the legislative body.”

* * *

JOHN KRIEGE ON THE PROPOSED HARE CREEK CENTER

RE: Hare Creek Center. The Request for Proposals for the EIR included “Economic and Social Effects” in the EIR. But these seems to be missing from the contract that was let. The questions that should have been, and still should be answered:

  1. The staff report to the Planning Commission said there will probably be sales that move from Safeway to Grocery Outlet. Is the effect only a movement of sales? Does this mean that there is no economic benefit from the project, beyond initial construction?
  2. If there is a movement of sales, does that also mean a movement of jobs from Safeway to Grocery Outlet? Are these jobs better or worse for Fort Bragg than those that are lost?
  3. If there is already vacant retail space in Fort Bragg, what is the benefit of the new retail space to Fort Bragg? If existing businesses do move to the new project, what will happen to the spaces they leave?
  4. And if this project does not advance Fort Bragg’s goal to become a tourist destination, does it make sense to approve this project at the gateway to Fort Bragg? In other words, is this the best use of this gateway property?

* * *

DAVID GURNEY COMMENTS: "RE: THE FIX IS IN. Mike Sweeney’s $5 million project. The most disturbing thing about this boondoggle was the chiseling of over 12 acres of our State Park, negotiated by Sweeney and Linda Ruffing for non-eminent domain reasons, for this unneeded and premature project. It sets a very bad precedent for the future of our parks system, and was negotiated by these two corrupt individuals when State Parks was in the midst of its self-created 'culture of corruption'.”

* * *

TRANSFER STATION, strictly an inside deal:  Sweeney is close to Richard Shoemaker, half-time city manager of Point Arena for $50,000 a year, as Point Arena people continue to wonder why the town is broke. Fort Bragg's monarchical city manager, Linda Ruffing, is Shoemaker's girlfriend.

SWEENEY is also tight with Supervisor McCowen. Sweeney enjoyed free office space from McCowen from 1989 through the early 1990s as he hustled recycling grants from Wes Chesbro, long-time Northcoast officeholder who, in between tours in elected office, was a handsomely paid member of the State Garbage Board. Sweeney, helped along by Shoemaker who was then a supervisor, parlayed these grants into a publicly-paid sinecure for himself as Mendocino County's trash czar. Sweeney and Shoemaker had tried to locate a transfer station on the rail line at Calpella where, as I recall, one of them owned an empty parcel of land.

GETTING back to Sweeney's first garbage grants from the Northcoast Democratic Party establishment, with whom Sweeney had ingratiated himself via Shoemaker, his free "office" was located across the street from the County Courthouse in a building owned by McCowen, which also served as the Mendocino Environment Center. Sweeney and his then-wife, Judi Bari, were, one can say, office mates at the MEC, although in their private life they held each other in mutually lethal chokeholds which led to Bari's partial immolation by car bomb in 1990. The Boonville newspaper is convinced that Sweeney, whose history of bombs and generalized violence with left cult groups goes back to the late 1960's, bombed Judi Bari. Of course with Mendocino County suffering a unique pox of mass amnesia, Sweeney has had no trouble re-inventing himself as what passes for respectable citizenship behind the green curtain.

SWEENEY'S Taj-MaTransfer station he wants to spend five mil of your money on off Highway 20 in the supposedly protected Pygmy Forest has been in the works for nearly a decade as Sweeney, always a step ahead, had his gofers like Shoemaker and McCowen in place on various public agencies to get where we are today — a redundant transfer station at Fort Bragg where there's already a transfer station, which will be paid off in increased garbage rates for the Mendocino Coast.

* * *

CHESTNUT STREET CORRIDOR PROJECT UPDATE

The Chestnut Street Corridor Project that will build a new multi-use walking and cycling trail along Chestnut Street was recently and unexpectedly slowed. Bids for construction of the project were opened on September 1, 2016. Only one bid was received, with an amount approximately double the cost estimate. Upon review, staff determined that the bid included unreasonably high prices.

Consequently, all bids were rejected. After further research, it was found that some project requirements could be changed to encourage more competitive bids. These changes were reviewed with the funding agencies to ensure they met grant requirements. The Project will be re-bid, with the new bid opening taking place on October 27, 2016. Assuming a successful low bidder is found, the project can be awarded by November 14, 2016.

Earlier this year, last minute input from Caltrans delayed the spring start of construction. With the need for a re-bid, construction will now take place during the winter of 2016 and 2017. This is not the desired schedule, but funding deadlines require that the project move forward anyway. There will be minimal disturbance to the travel lanes in Chestnut Street. The construction timeline will be adjusted to account for weather.

Utility poles were moved to their final locations in August when a construction window with PG&E and AT&T became available. This should have been followed shortly with the start of the project. Unfortunately, with the need for a re-bid the interim traffic control measures, (the lane shifts around the poles), will need to be in place longer than expected. The City appreciates the public’s patience and especially the extra care taken to travel safely along Chestnut Street while the project is underway. Questions regarding this information should be directed to Tom Varga, Public Works Director, at (707)- 961-2824 x132.

(City of Fort Bragg Press Release)

* * *

NEWS ITEMS from the County CEO’S Office

“JOINT” EFFORT — “Human Resources staff is working closely with Chuck Morse, Agriculture Department Director, to ensure adequate staffing for their unit being established in anticipation of marijuana legalization in November. This joint effort will ensure recruitment and hiring of well qualified applicants for these positions.”

HEALTH HELP (for County employees only) — “Our annual Open Enrollment Fairs for our health plan will be held the first week of November in various locations in Ukiah, Fort Bragg and Willits. There will be County staff and numerous health related vendors on site to answer employee questions and assist with signing up for health plan benefits. This year, the open enrollment period begins on November 1, 2016 and ends on December 2, 2016. More information will be distributed to employees as we get closer to the events.”

WHAT ABOUT DEAD OUTCOMES? — “In August, the Shelter adopted out 39 dogs, transferred 31 to rescues and returned 34 to their owners. The Shelter adopted out 31 cats and transferred 12. There are currently 78 dogs and 155 cats at the shelter (most of these are kittens). … So far through August 2016 our Live Release or Live Outcome Rate is 96% for dogs and 86% for cats, with a combined rate for all species of 91%.”

WHAT’S A “ROVING SHELTER”? (A HIPPIE BUS?) — “The Health and Human Service Agency (HHSA) is working with community partners to support Emergency Winter Shelters both inland and coastal. The Emergency Winter Shelter provides much needed shelter during our most severe inclement weather to vulnerable individuals and families. Historically, these shelters have operated from mid-November through March with some variances due to site and funding availability. The coastal community is again organizing with its faith community to have a roving shelter. Led by Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center and Love in Action, the coast collaborative has indicated they will be requesting funding from the County/HHSA.”

DEDICATED SUPPORT FOR A SHELTER — ITEM: “To support an Emergency Winter Shelter to serve the inland areas, a community collaborative has been initiated which includes: The City of Ukiah, Redwood Community Services, Mendocino County AIDS/Hepatitis Viral Network, Ukiah Valley Medical Center, HHSA and concerned citizens. The collaborative faces many challenges including securing a workable location, adequate funding, engaging a lead operations officer, staffing and engaging in proactive public relations. HHSA is dedicated to developing a long-term sustainable plan for emergency shelters in both the inland and coastal areas. Support efforts on behalf of HHSA include hiring a Program Administrator to focus on identifying funding sources and sustainable plans to address the Emergency Winter Shelter needs for the long term. The Agency plans to have an item before the Board in October to provide an update and request direction on implementation of Board priorities related to homeless issues.”

ARE BUSINESS LICENSES REQUIRED? OR JUST IF CONDUCTING BUSINESS WITH COUNTY? “The Executive Office met with several County departments that issue permits in early August 2016 regarding the County's adherence to the Mendocino County Code δ 6.0 - Business Licenses and Regulations. This meeting focused on the requirement to obtain a license for doing business in Mendocino County. It became clear that there was inconsistency between County departments in administering the code, which states ‘it shall be unlawful for any person to transact any business in the unincorporated territory of Mendocino County for which a license fee is imposed or for which a license is required by this Chapter without possessing a valid and current Mendocino County Business License for such business issued by the Tax Collector.’

“On August 18, 2016, the Executive Office issued a directive to departments to immediately implement procedures that comply with MCC Code Section 6.0 to ensure that any person or business they are engaging with on behalf of the County (i.e. contracts, permits, etc.) possess a valid County of Mendocino business license. Since the issuance of this direction, the Executive Office in coordination with the Treasurer-Tax Collector and County Counsel, has been providing County departments with guidelines for clarity associated with adhering to MCC Code Section 6.0. Additionally, inquiries have been received by the public as to the responsible County agency for enforcement of the Code throughout the County, suggesting that the County’s Code Enforcement program run through Planning and Building Services as a viable option for consideration.

“Although the Treasurer Tax-Collector provides clarification as to requirements, fees, special requirements, and exceptions, the office does not provide resources dedicated to enforcement. The Executive Office will be working on preparing an item on a future Board agenda in order to discuss the issues surrounding business licenses and further enforcement.

“The Code section in question can be viewed by clicking the link below:

https://www2.municode.com/library/ca/mendocino_county/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=MECOCO_TIT6BULIRE

* * *

DRIVING MR. PUMPKIN

* * *

TRUMP HEADQUARTERS IN UKIAH VANDALIZED REPEATEDLY

by Justine Frederiksen

The Trump Headquarters in Ukiah was vandalized at least three times in a 24-hour period, volunteers reported Tuesday.

Mike Carter and his wife, Robin, came to the building at 461 N. State St. Sept. 20 to find that someone had splattered red paint all over the front of the building, something that Mike Carter guessed was supposed to represent blood.

“I call it our Jackson (Pollock),” said Robin Carter, referring to the late artist known for his style of dripping paint onto canvases.

trumphq

Vandals threw red paint onto the headquarters set up by Trump supporters in Ukiah this week and spray painted on the sidewalk. (Justine Frederiksen–Ukiah Daily Journal)

The building was vandalized the day before, as well. Ukiah Police Department officers responded around 10:50 a.m. Sept. 19, when it was reported that words had been written in chalk on the sidewalk.

Mike Carter said those words were washed off, then later someone spray-painted “bigots” in a different spot on the sidewalk.

Carter said the volunteers are not affiliated with the Trump campaign in any official capacity and are not funded by it. He said it is run largely by donations, and that “people will just come in and hand us a check for $100.”

Carter said most of the response has been positive, and that many people driving by the volunteers as they hold up signs will wave or honk.

“On Saturday, we had 335 people wave or honk,” he said, explaining that about 20 to 30 people come into the office each day, which is located right across the street from Black Oak Coffee.

Carter said the red paint will likely remain until after the election, when “we will paint the entire building.”

(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)

* * *

LET A THOUSAND (MEDIA) FLOWERS BLOOM

We are The Mendocino Voice, a new Mendocino County online newspaper covering local news and the cannabis industry. Please excuse any errors, we’re still finishing the site.

https://www.mendovoice.com/

* * *

FORGOTTEN MENDOCINO MENTAL HOSPITAL PATIENTS COMMEMORATE AT MASS GRAVES

‘Remembrance Day’ held for Mendocino, state mental hospital patients

by Glenda Anderson

Below a simple granite headstone in a peaceful section of the Russian River Cemetery in Ukiah lie the remains of hundreds of people, a reminder of a dark, 80-year period during which people confined to the local state mental hospital during life were, after death, buried in unmarked graves, then forgotten.

“Let no person ever be laid to rest without recognition,” the headstone reads in part.

Those people, many confined against their will, are forgotten no more. Their lives were among tens of thousands honored on Monday in “remembrance” day ceremonies being held across the state, including ones at Napa State Hospital and the Sonoma Developmental Center.

It’s the 14th year of such ceremonies, according to Disability Rights California and People First of California, the two advocacy groups sponsoring the events. In 2010, the state Legislature deemed the third Monday in September as the “California Memorial Project Remembrance Day.”

From the mid-1880s to the 1960s, more than 45,000 people died at state mental hospitals and disability centers statewide, according to Disability Rights California. Their remains often were unclaimed by family and many were simply buried on the facilities’ properties, often in unmarked graves.

About 1,600 people died at the Mendocino State Hospital — originally the Mendocino State Asylum for the Insane — located in Talmage, just outside of Ukiah, during that time period. Some 1,200 were cremated and 400 were buried in a mass grave at the Ukiah cemetery, where they were relocated following the hospital’s closure in 1972, according to disability rights advocacy groups and state records. The property now is part of the City of 10,000 Buddhas.

About 4,000 people are buried at the Napa State Hospital, many in a field that, over time, was used for grazing. About 1,400 were buried at the Sonoma Regional Center, according to Pat McConahay, spokeswoman for Disability Rights California.

The Ukiah event was attended by three dozen people, including mental health and disability rights officials and representatives of state and federal lawmakers.

“No one should be thrown away like so much garbage, as though their time on this earth didn’t mean anything,” said Ruth Valenzuela, reading from a statement issued by her boss, Assemblyman Jim Wood, D-Healdsburg. Representatives of Sen. Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg, and U.S. Rep. Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, also attended.

Mendocino State Hospital was established in 1889. Programs offered at the site over time have included treatment for the criminally insane, alcohol and drug abuse rehabilitation, and a psychiatric residency program, according to state archives.

The attendees at Monday’s ceremony included a politically minded vocal group called “The Raging Grannies” of Mendocino, who sang two songs.

“We didn’t walk the way you do

nor did we sound the same

and so they locked us up real tight

and soon forgot our name,”

the lyrics to one of the songs went.

(The Santa Rosa Press Democrat)

* * *

HERE COME THE BULGARIANS

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife arrested six men at four grow sites last week in Southern Humboldt for felony charges relating to the cultivation of marijuana and possession for sales. In addition several were also arrested for possession of a firearm while committing a felony.

Top L-R: Bradley Eugene Nystrom,
 Michael James Ross, and
 Konstantin Bulatovich Apsalyamov Bottom L-R: Bogdan Vasilev Hristov, 
Yordan Dianov Dianov, and
 Anton Kostadinov Skachev

Top L-R: Bradley Eugene Nystrom,
 Michael James Ross, and
 Konstantin Bulatovich Apsalyamov
Bottom L-R: Bogdan Vasilev Hristov, 
Yordan Dianov Dianov, and
 Anton Kostadinov Skachev

The grows eradicated ranged from 300 to a couple of thousand plants, explained Lieutenant DeWayne Little of the Department of Fish and Wildlife. “We chose the sites among many other possibilities for having significant environmental damage whether it be grading, stream obstructions, stream crossing, stream diversion and potential sediment discharge and other forms of pollution,” he said

After what Little characterized as “multiple complaints,” his agency looked into these grows located in the Redwood Creek and Miller Creek watersheds. “We saw significant manipulation of the land in proximity to stream courses along with cultivation sites,” Little said.

“Redwood Creek is a critical watershed,” the lieutenant noted. “It is one of our priority watersheds.” A recent study documented “dead coho salmon and steelhead in China Creek (a tributary to Redwood Creek…), a watershed highly impacted by marijuana-related water diversions.”

Little said that “search warrants were drafted and executed to investigate potential threat to the environment. …[T]he subjects didn’t possess permits from the Waterboard, County or Fish and Wildlife. …The morning of, we double checked with the county to make sure none of these growers had enrolled in the process.”

Fish and Wildlife wants to work with those in the permitting process, Little said. “[E]very effort is made to work with permitting agencies to seek compliance of growers first.”

However, Little said, “We are finding that some growers are using the permitting process as a delaying tactic to continue cultivating and manipulating the land in egregious ways while hoping to get a crop off without law enforcement’s presence.”

This, he said, will not be tolerated by his agency. “If we see significant alteration to the land or diversion of waterways outside the scope of their permit, they are not immune from law enforcement investigation [even if they are in the permitting process.]”

One of the growers arrested last week, Little declined to name him saying the investigation was still ongoing, was allegedly caught red-handed damaging a waterway. “It is hideous what he is doing,” Little said. “We caught him with a dozer operator pushing fill into a creek. He had no permits from anybody and there was going to be a significant amount of runoff.”

Several neighbors, Little said, afterwards told Fish and Wildlife officers that they were glad he had been stopped. “[But] nobody called about this guy… . ”

He urged people to contact his department with concerns about damage being caused in their communities. “If someone calls me and tells me about a serious issue, whether that be a grower or a poacher, I will protect their anonymity,” he stated. “An anonymous phone call to our Caltip program is going to go miles.”

The raids at these four grows will not solve the problems in the Redwood Creek area.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg of addressing the problem in the watershed,” Little said. “Dealing with just four situations is not going to solve the problem of the watershed. [But,] at least it sends the message that we are looking into the problems of the watershed and we may be back in the future.”

(Courtesy, Redheaded Black Belt, KymKemp.com)

* * *

REMEMBER WHEN YOU COULD WALK TO SCHOOL WITHOUT BEING SEXUALLY ASSAULTED?

On September 20, 2016 at 7:45am, the Arcata Police Department received a report of a man, later identified as 28-year-old Dylan Jackson Wilson of Arcata, loitering on a footpath between Baldwin Street and Stromberg Avenue. It was reported that Wilson was seen in possession of a hypodermic needle.

Within minutes of the first call, several 911 calls were placed to the APD reporting an assault and that Wilson was seen running from the area.

Responding officers located Wilson hiding in a nearby backyard where he was taken into custody without further incident.

The subsequent investigation revealed that Wilson grabbed a 12-year-old child while she was walking along the footpath on her way to school. Wilson threw the child to the ground and was on top of her when a parent, who had walked past Wilson moments early, intervened. The parent had stayed in the area because she was suspicious of Wilson.

The child sustained minor physical injuries.

Wilson was booked at the Humboldt County Correctional Facility on the following charges:

Penal Code Section 220(a)(2) – Assault with Intent to Commit Lewd Acts on a Child
Penal Code Section 236 – False Imprisonment

(Arcata Police Press Release)

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, September 20, 2016

Abonce-Gozman, Anderson, Espinoza-Parra, Espinoza-Robles

Abonce-Gozman, Anderson, Espinoza-Parra, Espinoza-Robles

ADOLFO ABONCE-GUZMAN, Willits. Shoplifting, petty theft, probation revocation.

RODNEY ANDERSON, Lower Lake/Ukiah. DUI-drugs, under influence.

GLORIA ESPINOZA-PARRA, Mesa, Arizona/Talmage. Pot cultivation, possession for sale.

MARCOS ESPINOZA-ROBLES, Talmage. Pot cultivation, possession for sale.

Hernandez, Hevey, Lopez, Murray

Hernandez, Hevey, Lopez, Murray

SERGIO HERNANDEZ, Redwood City/Ukiah. Meth sale.

JENNIFER HEVEY, Calpella. Failure to pay, probation revocation.

RYAN LOPEZ, Ukiah. Resisting.

JEFFREY MURRAY, Upper Lake/Ukiah. Failure to pay.

Peters, Plesec, White

Peters, Plesec, White

CHRISTOPHER PETERS, Stockton/Ukiah. Failure to appear.

ELIZABETH PLESEC, Ukiah. Petty theft, conspiracy.

NORMAN WHITE, Potter Valley. Drunk in public, loitering, probation revocation.

* * *

LEGALIZING POT, the latest from SF Chron's Matier & Ross:

Parker pot push: Former Facebook President and Napster co-founder Sean Parker has dropped an additional $4 million in support of Proposition 64, bringing the tech titan’s total for backing recreational marijuana to $7.5 million.

The money arrives just as new polling shows the initiative clearing the 50 percent plus one needed for passage Nov. 8. However, just how big that margin is varies depending on the poll.

A recent USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times survey has Prop. 64 with 58 percent support, while a KPIX-Survey USA poll shows the race much tighter, with backing at 52 percent.

“Proposition 64 funders view marijuana decriminalization as a giant step forward for social justice ... and are committed to ensuring that every voter understands that,” said “yes” campaign spokesman Jason Kinney.

Andrew Acosta, spokesman for law enforcement groups opposing the measure, called Parker’s mega-donation “a desperation move in face of falling poll numbers.”

“Voters are just now focusing on the details of Prop. 64 and are rejecting it,” Acosta said.

The “no” side picked up $400,000 in donations last week.

One of law enforcement’s biggest objections to marijuana legalization is that, unlike for drunken driving, there’s no good test for telling whether a motorist is stoned. Whether crashes and deaths have increased in states that have legalized weed is a matter of fierce debate, but the cops say there’s no point taking chances.

“The other side may have money and momentum,” said Emeryville Police Chief Jennifer Tejada, a Prop. 64 opponent. “But we have common sense.”

* * *

ARTISTS' GALLERY TOUR: Sat. Sept. 24, Grace Hudson

On Saturday, Sept. 24, from 2 to 4 p.m., the Grace Hudson Museum will host an Artists' Gallery Tour, of the current exhibit "Instinct Extinct: The Great Pacific Flyway." Exhibit artists Valerie Constantino and Ann Savageau will discuss their work both as individual artists and as exhibit collaborators. The event is free with Museum admission. Refreshments will be served. The Grace Hudson Museum is at 431 S. Main St. in Ukiah and can be reached at www.gracehudsonmuseum.org or 467-2836.

(Roberta Werdinger)

* * *

ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY

We get together all the time with a black family whose parents came from Haiti. Our next door neighbor gave the first theater lessons to our daughter. There are no such thing as races as Pete Seeger put it so well in his song “All Mixed Up”:

There were no redheaded irishmen before the Vikings landed in Ireland

No Romans had dark curly hair before they brought slaves from Africa

No race on earth is completely pure nor is anyone’s mind and that’s for sure

Wind mixes the dust of every land
 And so does woman and man.

Nuff said!

* * *

I’VE BECOME AN ISOLATIONST, actually. Anything of any seriousness that happens has to happen on a local level. I think we’re seeing the end of empire, the end of globalism. It can’t hold. People will revert: protecting your family, protecting your village. Like the Dark Ages. I honestly believe that. Trump is the perfect person to take us to the apocalypse.

— Yvon Chouinard

* * *

1,000 BOOKS BEFORE KINDERGARTEN

On September 21, 2016 the Mendocino County Library Round Valley Branch is launching 1000 books before kindergarten. 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten Sets Children On The Path To Success . . . One Book At A Time

Round Valley families are invited to join the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program at the Round Valley Public Library in Covelo. The 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program is a nationwide challenge that encourages parents and caregivers to regularly read aloud to their children. By reading just one book a night, families can reach the 1,000-book goal in three years and provide their children essential early literacy skills.

Research shows that the most reliable predictor of school success is being read to during early childhood. Reading to children from an early age can increase vocabulary and prepare children to enter kindergarten with the skills they need to succeed. Most importantly, sharing books with children promotes a lifelong love of books and reading.

The 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program is available to all Round Valley families with children between the ages of birth and five years. Parents must be library cardholders to participate. Registration opens September 21st. For more information, visit the Round Valley Public Library or call the library at 983-6736. The library is open 10 am – 5 pm, Tuesday through Saturday.

Library cards and the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program are free of charge.

* * *

NAKED LADIES

(MCN#1) Then there are those horrible pink lilies that smell like a combination of cheap hair pomade and truck-stop toilet cleaner.

(MCN#2): Are you referring to 'Naked Ladies'? I just had a conversation about them a few weeks ago. Some say how strong their scent is while others can barely (no pun) discern anything. I think I read once that sense of smell depends a lot on which enzymes are present in our systems. Another example: some say that after eating asparagus, their urine has a really strong odor, while others don't notice a difference.

(MCN#1 again): Yep, Naked Ladies, the flowers that trick you into smelling them because they look so purty!

* * *

SF GIANTS: HISTORIC COLLAPSE

http://www.mccoveychronicles.com/2016/9/20/12990676/sf-giants-collapse-slow-gurgling-choking-sounds-death-rattle

* * *

minimumgreed

* * *

YES ON PROP 59:

Since Citizens United we have seen its disastrous effects take hold:

Citizens United has allowed the Koch brothers (owners of Fort Bragg's oceanfront) and their allies to funnel billions of dollars in secret donations, also known as “dark money” into our elections.

Citizens United has paved the way to a new era of corporate spending and special-interest influence through the invention of the “SuperPAC."

21 Responses to Mendocino County Today: Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016

  1. David Gurney Reply

    September 21, 2016 at 8:08 am

    Wanna-be gonzo Granny Malcolm Macdonald is at it again. Wearing his self-promoting “Outlaw Ford” T-shirt to the EIR scoping meeting, and calling it a “show,” this puffed up version of Truman Capote can’t seem to decide whether he’s he’s covering the news, or the next chapter of one of his unread novels.

    First of all, let’s correct a few obvious factual errors and inaccuracies in his reporting. It wasn’t “Lindy Peters and Mike Cimolino… present throughout the two and a half hour meeting.” The other council member (through less than the full two+ hours) was Doug Hammerstrom, not Cimolino. Mr. Macdonald’s description of the project is directly plagiarized from the staff report, and inaccurate – the hill referred to is not “man-made.” Florentina Craciun is not an “environmental planner.” She’s an EIR consultant, who’s job it is, with Michael Baker International, to get EIR’s approved for their clients, in this case the City of Fort Bragg. Jones didn’t “nearly shout” into the microphone – she shouted. Macdonald writes regarding Gressett that he’s “directly accused Jones and City Manager Linda Ruffing of being in cahoots with developers, yet he has to the best of this writer’s knowledge never offered up any specific evidence to back up this claim.” The “best of this writer’s knowledge”? Not convincing, since Macdonald is unable recognize obvious facts staring him clearly in the face. How about doing a little very basic research? Readers deserve more than a weak disclaimer, followed by personal attacks. Jones and Ruffing are directly promoting this project.

    Did Jones “appear to beckon” the officer to arrest Gressett for making public comments, or did she beckon him? Inquiring minds want to know, but in fact it was City Manager Linda Ruffing who gave the nod for the officer to silence Mr. Gressett during his public comment period. Granny Malcolm further asserts: “to a lesser degree the confrontational, not-able-to-take-yes-for-an-answer, style of David Gurney detracted from the tempered remarks of people like oceanographer Leslie Kashiwada” – but does’t back this snarky remark with any facts. Much less did Macdonald bother to listen to anything said during the three or four times I went up to the microphone.

    All in all, readership deserves better than Malcolm Macdonald’s half-baked, inaccurate reporting.

    # # #

  2. james marmon Reply

    September 21, 2016 at 9:25 am

    RE: Supervisor Woodhouse

    If you ask me its the other 4 who are incapacitated. Whatever tragedy Supervisor Woodhouse is experiencing I hope he is having a spiritual breakthrough. As my mentor George Sanders used to say, “don’t just go through it, grow through it.”

    James Marmon MSW

  3. Alice Chouteau Reply

    September 21, 2016 at 10:20 am

    I agreee, MM should be replaced. His sneering condescension re the Fort Bragg public taints his writing. He is basically a supporter of the Turner regime.
    Jones has promoted the mall project, and was paid for it, her MND last time around was flawed and biased. Letters from Ruffing to CDFW when that agency protested the impact the mall’s water needs were arrogant and offensive.
    I believe at a recent meeting, the Mayor tried to have Judy Valadao removed by a cop when she refused to stand down until he answered her questions about the Giving Garden grant funds. Which he has refused to discuss. . I hope she can verify this, and give us the date. I find the police presence at council meetings heavy-handed and inappropriate, as they seem to be there as pitbulla for city gov and ataff, not for public safety. And taxpayers foot the bill, for FBPD, Ruffing, Jones, et al.

    • David Gurney Reply

      September 21, 2016 at 10:46 am

      I agree with the heavy-handed conduct of meetings by the City of FB. It’s always suspect when any agency feels the need for police presence to protect their questionable practices and procedures. This is the second time in a month that the Ruffing/Turney regime has brought in police to illegally defend them. The first was when (ironically) Macdonald tried to bring up a point of order and others objected, when Mayor Dave brazenly skipped over a public comment period that was clearly printed on their Agenda. Ruffing, Hammerstrom and Turner continue to bizarrely defend their outrageously corrupt practice of putting the Consent Calendar at the end of City Council meetings, so that Ruffing can slip through important items with little or no public oversight. These bums need to be ejected from city government.

      • Bruce McEwen Reply

        September 21, 2016 at 1:16 pm

        That first sentence reads like a qualifier got dropped inadvertently — Do you mean you agree with the heavy-handed conduct? Or do you agree with Ms. Chouteau’s complaint about it?

        It’s a caviling point, I suppose, but then so are some of the ones you make in what is an overall persuasive critique of Mr. McDonald’s reports. Your writing has improved so much over the past five years, whereas MacDonald seems stuck in a prose style he’s scarcely able to control; indeed, it seems to come through him more than from him. And while few, if any, of us can be entirely objective on issues relating directly to our lives, like local government and businesses, it must be admitted that you, Mr. Gurney have to be handed credit where it is perhaps overdue.

        Your concern for the quality of reporting the readership deserves comes across as a sincere conviction on your part, and I admit I’m impressed. I suggested to the editorial staff back in ’09 that you were determined to make a writer of yourself, and I do believe you’ve rather handsomely succeeded.

        One note of caution, however, on that burr of anger underlying your tone: Some of your readers are smiling rather satirically when they say your last name …adding a slight emphasis and double r on the first syllable. But anger is a wonderful incentive to public spirited ventures, so you may take it as complimentary. In any case, Congrats!

        • David Gurney Reply

          September 21, 2016 at 4:59 pm

          McSkewem: Thanks for correcting the missing qualifier in my first sentence. I agree with their heavy handed tactics like I agree with North Dakota goons and their attack dogs – at least in how it reveals the true nature of their tactics and position. But your writing back in ’09 had a lot to do with dogs, didn’t it?
          The RAMPARTS scandal? Please tell us more, unless picking off unsuspecting subjects in sordid courthhouse halls and bathrooms is your only metier.

    • George Hollister Reply

      September 21, 2016 at 2:55 pm

      “I agreee, MM should be replaced.”

      Replaced with who? Not like there are writers out there chomping at the bit to do FB news. Malcolm MacDonald/AVA does the best job reporting of FB news anyone has in my memory. Are they perfect? No. Is anyone perfect? No, of course not. But there are opportunities to comment, and be heard.

      The reporting of the hospital board meetings is important and not being done by anyone else. In my mind, MM/AVA are a must read if you want to know what is going on in FB. Do I agree with some of the reporting? Absolutely not. If one has a brain and uses it, that is the way it is.

  4. Jim Updegraff Reply

    September 21, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    Washington Post has alleged Trump paid out of his foundation $258,000 to settle legal problems with his businesses – a clear violation of Federal law. A response a few hours ago from a Trump’s staff member was a bag of hot air and didn’t address the issue. I think we will have to change his name from Deadbeat Donnie to Crooked Deadbeat Donnie.
    Elizabeth Warren along with others has called for a criminal investigation.

    • George Hollister Reply

      September 21, 2016 at 2:58 pm

      So Trump was paying bribes. And Clinton accepts them. Both do it through their foundations. I sense Clinton knows more about how to do this than Trump does.

      • Bruce McEwen Reply

        September 21, 2016 at 3:40 pm

        I won’t contradict your judgment, but if Clinton is the more adept at it, how come Trump has more dough?

  5. Alice Chouteau Reply

    September 21, 2016 at 1:13 pm

    Reply to David Gurney
    if you google the name of our current FBPD Chief, with LAPD corruption scandal, 1980’s, you can learn more about his recorded testimony. His unit was known to work against civilian groups, and to go to any means to obtain info from groups considered left wing. This was a big news at the time, and his unit was disbanded after public hearings.

    • Bruce McEwen Reply

      September 21, 2016 at 3:32 pm

      Goodness, Alice!

      You are a dear old arsonist, and telling David about the RAMPARTS scandal is like giving a firebug a Bic lighter; you know that, don’t you?

      Anybody suspected of trolling this thread for incendiary rewards should be ashamed of themselves and, if convicted, roundly booed!

      Alice, please.

  6. LouisBedrock Reply

    September 21, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    AUGUST 1972 BY ADRIENNE RICH

    Two horses stand in a yellow light
    eating windfall apples under a tree

    as summer tears apart and the milkweeds stagger
    and grasses grow more ragged

    They say there are ions in the sun
    neutralizing magnetic fields on earth

    Some way to explain
    what this week has been, and the one before it!

    If I am flesh sunning on rock
    if I am brain burning in fluorescent light

    if I am dream like a wire with fire
    throbbing along it

    if I am death to man
    I have to know it

    His mind is too simple, I cannot go on
    sharing his nightmares

    My own are becoming clearer, they open
    into prehistory

    which looks like a village lit with blood
    ​where all the fathers are crying: My son is mine!

  7. David Gurney Reply

    September 21, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    And this guy is Fort Bragg’s Police Chief? —> “May 1, 1980 – Fabian Lizarraga, an undercover agent with the LAPD who has infiltrated the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP), helps to instigate a riot at a rally the RCP holds in MacArthur Park. While undercover, Lizarraga slept with an RCP member as a way to get more information from her. He was also present when an RCP member was murdered at Aliso Village housing project by gang members.” https://stoplapdspying.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Timeline-of-LAPD-Spying-Surveillance…..pdf

  8. malcolmlorne Reply

    September 21, 2016 at 6:58 pm

    Come to think about it, Doug Hammerstrom may have been present at the Hare Creek EIR Scoping Session meeting Monday night. However, Mike Cimolino was definitely there as well.
    I am in agreement with both Mr. Gressett and Mr. Gurney in opposition to the proposed Hare Creek shopping center. It is sad that they cannot express themselves at public events in a consistently civil manner. At Monday night’s meeting Mr. Gressett insinuated himself as “the story” in much the same way Mr. Gurney did at a 2015 Fort Bragg Planning Commission meeting. Both of these men have good ideas on a variety of subjects, but their inability to check themselves from too often resorting to ranting and raving at civic events has gone beyond the tolerable level.
    In comparison to Gressett or the 2015 Planning Commission tirade, Dave Gurney was toned down on Monday night; however, he still felt himself free to offer up short interruptive bursts now and then throughout the meeting.
    As far as Ruffing and Marie Jones being in the pockets of developers, I’d be more than happy to print any documented, substantive proof. A quick reminder: conjecture and a string of partially connected half-truths do not equal hard facts.
    As to the police officer, it may be true that Ruffing motioned to him; she was seated behind my position so I did not see her at the time in question. Ms. Jones did make a partial statement indicating the officer might be called forward.
    I don’t think Mr. Gressett should be arrested for exercising his freedom of speech rights, but common sense should have tempered his remarks. This was not the streets of Chicago in August, 1968.
    Anyone who actually knows anything of substance about the last decade of my life is aware that I have gone to bat in fairly serious opposition to the City of Fort Bragg and some of its highest ranking officials. At times I have been highly critical of its city manager, Linda Ruffing. Some readers may be unaware of that, others may choose to ignore it when it suits their particular purposes.
    For full disclosure, approximately thirteen years ago I coached one of Dave Turner’s sons in basketball. I have participated in (possibly two) semester length community college level courses with Linda Ruffing’s son. I speak on the phone once in awhile with Mike Cimolino’s son in regards to insurance matters. I have had several business (car repair) interactions with Curtis Bruchler, current candidate for Fort Bragg City Council. I know City Councilman Lindy Peters on a social level as well as reporting on him as an elected official. I have known Dave Gurney off and on for about eight years.
    Thank you, Dave, for referencing my novel, Outlaw Ford, still available at bookstores throughout Mendocino County. On the back of the Outlaw Ford tee shirt I was proudly wearing is the saying, “Sometimes you have to lie to get at the truth.”
    That’s a statement that could prompt easy, shortsighted response. Those who want to fully understand what it means will have to read far enough into Outlaw Ford to grasp the complete context.
    Malcolm Macdonald

    • David Gurney Reply

      September 21, 2016 at 7:20 pm

      “At Monday night’s meeting Mr. Gressett insinuated himself as “the story” in much the same way Mr. Gurney did at a 2015 Fort Bragg Planning Commission meeting.”
      Wrong. Macdonald fixates on these individuals with his own idiotic interpretation of their behavior as events transpire. Gone, any objective reporting on the issue. Granny Mac makes me and Gresset the “story” when we are not. And worse, he misses the meat, substance and background of what he is supposedly reporting on.

  9. David Gurney Reply

    September 21, 2016 at 7:16 pm

    “At Monday night’s meeting Mr. Gressett insinuated himself as “the story” in much the same way Mr. Gurney did at a 2015 Fort Bragg Planning Commission meeting.”

    Wrong. Macdonald fixates on these individuals with his own idiotic interpretation of their behavior as events transpire. Gone, any objective reporting on the issue. Granny Mac makes me and Gresset the “story” when we are not. And worse, he misses the meat, substance and background of what he is supposedly reporting on.

  10. Judy Valadao Reply

    September 21, 2016 at 7:35 pm

    I believe the “hill” on the property in question is “man made.” Most of it came from the Harvest Market project. If I remember correctly when the dirt was moved across the highway people were furious about it.

    • David Gurney Reply

      September 21, 2016 at 7:43 pm

      Incorrect. We found a USGS survey marker on the top of the hill dating from the 1940’s.

      • David Gurney Reply

        September 21, 2016 at 8:23 pm

        PS – It was Councilmember Mike Cimolino who started the rumor about “dirt” from the Pattons “Harvest Market project” (actually the City of Fort Bragg’s subsidized Boatyard Center project – for the Pattons) being “moved across the highway” to create the significant geological feature of Hare Creek Hill. This story is absolute baloney. Any geologist will tell you so with a glance.

        • Judy Valadao Reply

          September 22, 2016 at 12:38 am

          I heard it from one of the people who fought to keep the property from being annexed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *