Mendocino County Today: Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016
by AVA News Service, October 26, 2016
MENDOCINO COUNTY is well-represented at the Dakota pipeline protests with perhaps as many as 60 locals making the journey, many of them from the Round Valley Indian Tribes, the Manchester Band of Pomo and individual pale faced sympaticos.
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MENDO STANDS WITH STANDING ROCK
Teach In, Cultural Ceremony and Fundraiser
Sunday, November 6th, 2 to 5pm
Redwood Valley Community Guild
8650 East Road, Redwood Valley
Thousands of people are encamped along the Cannonball River in North Dakota to oppose the massive Dakota Access oil pipeline. Hundreds of tribes and First Nations from across the Americas and the world have joined the struggle to protect the land and water, including several caravans of supporters from Lake and Mendocino Counties. Join us to share information, prayer, ceremony, food, raise funds, as we honor, support and hear stories from local people who have spent time at Standing Rock. Learn more about how you can support this historic struggle. Donations of high quality below-zero sleeping bags, heavy duty overalls of various sizes, wool and down cold weather clothing and below-zero winter boots welcome.
Co-sponsored by the Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians and the Redwood Valley Community Guild. For more information go to Mendo Stands with Standing Rock facebook page.
Jenny Burnstad, 707-895-3243
OF COURSE THEY DO…
WINE INDUSTRY wants greater say in groundwater regulation — An arrangement that would give wine and farming interests an advisory role — and not a voting seat — on groundwater regulation has prompted pushback from agricultural representatives.
MOM WHO ABDUCTED BABY IN SONOMA COUNTY FOUND — INFANT SAFE
by Kimberly Veklerov
The mother who abducted her 7-month-old son and fled authorities was found Tuesday afternoon in a small Northern California town, and the infant appeared to be in good condition, officials said.
Hannah Ashley, 35, took the baby from a crib in his grandmother’s Guerneville home over the weekend, officials said. The grandmother has legal custody of the infant.
Authorities put out an Amber Alert to find the infant because of Ashley’s past run-ins with Child Protective Services and concerns over the baby’s safety, officials said.
Ashley was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping, child stealing and burglary, with bail initially set at $140,000, said Sgt. Spencer Crum, a Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office spokesman.
She and her son were spotted Tuesday just after 3 p.m. by California Highway Patrol officers in Downieville, a town in Sierra County that’s about 100 miles north of Sacramento. The baby was undergoing a medical evaluation.
(The San Francisco Chronicle)
IN 1906 soon after the big earthquake my father’s first saloon washed out from a gully-washer and my mother barely escaped before the building washed away toward the cover. It was just another reason my mother thought that moving to America was a big mistake. My father then built the house that's still standing over there across Highway 1 on the south end of Point Arena. He still thought the saloon business was the way to make some money. So he went into partnership with a young man. But this young man was interested in some girls across the street in the brothel. And he was attracting some business over there, instead of bringing business home. My father never really got anywhere in the saloon business. As a business man my dad just never had it. He was a pretty crude fellow who my daughter Elma said walked around with multiple odors — wine spilled on clothes, garlic, BO, cigar, barnyard, wet dog, bad breath — each of which my daughter Elma could identify when she later bounced on his knee. But my father was also an influential man in his own way. The establishment here on the South Coast used him in connection with problems that came up with the workers or something like that. The workers would go to him because it was clear to them that he did know some things. He did have some schoolin', he could read and write in Italian and English. Many of the immigrants and workers could not. So they would go to him for help. He thought that was fine because he made some business contacts. But unfortunately all you needed to do to get him to make a bad deal was take him down to the cellar and open the spigot on the wine barrel and sit down at the table to visit and endeavor to tell him, by God, he was a smart man. So, scheming adults would take advantage. He would enter into agreements and bargains that would condemn him and his family forever to the short end of the stick. One time he told me, “You eat polenta, not words.” In other words, once you give your word, you're bound. I always felt that way too. Once you give your word, your obliged. If you don't want to commit yourself, don't give the word. If you give the word, then abide by it. That's the way we operated. But he gave the word after drinking wine. He was a good man. But, you'd have to say that he simply liked wine.
— Joe Scaramella, 1995
THE FALL OF A TIMBER BARON
by Eric Schine (1995)
Harry A. Merlo never thought it would end like this. Late one Friday in July, the 70-year-old chief executive of Louisiana-Pacific Corp. was summoned to a meeting of the Portland (Ore.) lumber company's board. Assembled was a somber-looking collection of close friends, including famed test pilot Chuck Yeager and loyal business associates dating back 20 years. The meeting was brief: Directors asked Merlo and his top two lieutenants to resign immediately. "It was a complete surprise to him," says one Merlo associate present. "Harry was devastated."
The boardroom coup marks a stunning reversal for Merlo. As recently as this spring, the still-vigorous CEO was basking in the glow of a seemingly flawless rise from son of poor Italian immigrants to fabulously successful lumber tycoon. In 22 years at the helm, Merlo had made over LP: By relentlessly pushing subordinates to boost production and making risky bets to develop new products, the hard-charging former Marine had built once-modest LP into a $3 billion empire. And thanks to a new process for making wood substitutes that Merlo had pioneered, 1994 income hit a record $347 million.
An admiring board rewarded Merlo generously: His 1994 salary and bonus hit $5 million, even as LP provided him with such perks as use of company jets, a 107-foot yacht to sail the Pacific, and an estate in the tony West Hills section of Portland. Over the years, Merlo also amassed 2 million shares--a 1.8% stake now worth $48 million.
But Harry Merlo's luck was already running out. For years, there had been troubling reports that LP's wood substitute--its most profitable product--was defective when used as exterior siding. But even as warranty claims piled up, the charismatic Merlo calmed his handpicked board with promises of improved production techniques.
STACK OF SUITS. Far more difficult to explain away was news in April that the company was all but certain to be indicted by a federal grand jury in Colorado for environmental violations and fraud involving its manufacturing processes. That has sparked a dozen shareholder lawsuits. At the same time, the stack of homeowner lawsuits alleging flawed siding was growing fatter, while a 1993 lawsuit charging Merlo with sexual harassment had never been resolved.
Meanwhile, increasingly antsy shareholders had sent LP's shares tumbling from an all-time high of 44 in early 1994 to 22 last spring (chart, page 92). Finally, David E. Nelson, a principal with Investment Counselors of Maryland Inc. and one of LP's biggest shareholders, sent Merlo a letter requesting a meeting. But Nelson says Merlo never responded to the letter or to repeated phone calls. Nelson began to draft a letter to the board, but never had a chance to send it. With questions piling up, the board had hastily launched an internal probe. The result: Six weeks after the Colorado indictment came on June 15, Merlo was out of a job, along with his two top aides, James Eisses and Ronald L. Paul.
"WEED" TREES. Merlo declined to speak with BUSINESS WEEK. But friends say he is bitter and feels betrayed. Merlo "lived and breathed" Louisiana-Pacific, says Portland businessman and longtime associate Gerry Pratt. "He still talks about `my company."' The interim CEO, longtime board member and former LP Chief Financial Officer Donald R. Kayser, says the move was wrenching yet unavoidable. Others are harsher. "Exposing the company to such losses and litigation is just inexcusable," says director Bonnie Guiton Hill, who is dean of the University of Virginia's business school. An environmental specialist invited onto the board by Merlo in 1993, Guiton Hill is the only board newcomer, and she spearheaded the investigation.
Trouble first came in 1990, when scores of homeowners in humid Florida began complaining that LP's siding quickly became waterlogged and deteriorated in the rain. Thousands of individual claims were eventually consolidated into three class actions. LP has now settled one suit--agreeing to pay for repairs that could total $30 million--while the other two are pending. Although LP no longer sells siding in Florida, problems were only beginning. The company quietly settled similar charges with the Minnesota Attorney General, while another 10 class actions around the country remain unresolved.
Ironically, Merlo's problems stem from a product that had been his biggest triumph--a cheap plywood substitute known as oriented strand board (OSB). Merlo had vigorously championed OSB, which is made from paper-thin slices of small trees that are glued together with resin, starting in 1980. While other forest-products companies worried about the diminishing supply of big trees from which plywood was cut, Merlo bet that by using "weed" trees that others spurned, LP could create a substitute. The risky move paid off, and OSB became hugely popular. The product, which comes with a 25-year warranty, fueled LP's bottom line for the last decade. By 1994, OSB accounted for 25% of revenues and roughly 35% of profits.
At first, builders used strand board only for floor and roof sheeting. For such applications, it has performed well and been widely copied. But Merlo overreached in 1985 when he decided to market a version of OSB as siding in place of the usual cedar. Just a few years after installation, the material began to deteriorate, according to the spate of class actions and state and federal investigations. Unable to withstand humidity, the siding boards have rotted and cracked. In moist climates, houses have sprouted mushrooms and other fungi. "I can poke my finger through it," says Portland homeowner Steven Eklund. "It's a real mess."
Kayser denies that the siding is flawed, and LP continues to sell it in most states. He says the company will "aggressively fight" the growing litigation while striving to improve quality. "If there is a problem, we'll fix it," he says. "We never claimed to have zero defects."
Still, as the problems were mounting, directors grew increasingly anxious over rising payments for defective products: $5 million in 1993, $10 million in 1994, and $7 million in this year's first half. After years of denial, when Merlo finally admitted that the litigation would hit LP financially this spring, investor support dried up. "All of a sudden, what had not been a material problem became one," says Nelson.
Yet even the news in April of the pending indictment alleging problems at the company's Montrose (Colo.) plant didn't appear to worry Merlo. With typical bravado, he offered to resign. The eight-member board--which, besides Merlo, included three current or former company executives and Merlo's hunting buddy Yeager--insisted he stay. "We refused, and he knew we would," says one director.
But with Guiton Hill increasingly pushing the board to act--and directors' growing fears that they would be liable--that soon changed. With Merlo's consent, the board hired San Francisco law firm LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae to prepare a report on the alleged problems at Montrose. But Guiton Hill also chaired an outside board committee that authorized investigating attorney Charles B. Renfrew to conduct a more far-reaching probe. "The days of rubber-stamping are over," Guiton Hill says. "When problems reach the breaking point, you have to take action."
AUTOCRATIC STYLE. When the grand jury indictment finally came on June 15, the pressure on Merlo mounted. The 56-count charge suggests a company rife uith environmental violations and sorely lacking in quality-control measures. The indictment alleges that plant managers and employees at the Montrose plant tampered with pollution-monitoring devices, at times turning them off completely. The grand jury also charged that Louisiana-Pacific routinely cut corners in manufacturing: It allegedly sold low-grade strand board to contractors, then fraudulently substituted higher-quality samples when industry auditors came to certify the boards were of the quality required for home construction.
LP has pled not guilty to the allegations. Renfrew, a retired federal judge and former federal prosecutor, won't comment on what his investigation turned up. Interim CEO Kayser declines comment, except to say, "We are vigorously defending ourselves." And he insists there is "no linkage" between the charges and Merlo's ouster. Instead, he says, Merlo was ousted because Renfrew's confidential findings revealed "serious problems with management practices and style."
Those findings centered on what company sources say was the increasing damage caused by Merlo's aggressive, autocratic style. Despite the company's rapid growth, former executives describe an entrepreneurial manager who, together with his two top lieutenants, continued to make all key decisions. Merlo pushed relentlessly for ever higher productivity and ever lower costs--and instilled a demanding, performance driven culture. At one Texas plywood plant, for example, a sign on the wall read: "Work, or get your ass kicked." Although success was well-compensated, promotions were rare. "Merlo hates titles and organizational charts," says one former top exec. "He ran Louisiana-Pacific as if it were a small startup." That may have been a virtue early on, but Merlo's refusal to build stronger middle management led to poor controls--especially worrisome when coupled with pressure for better numbers. Says Guiton Hill: "Management was very, very, very thin."
Others defend Merlo as a gifted if abrasive visionary whose downfall was sped by his flamboyant manner. Pratt and others say Merlo had long rankled the insular Portland business community by avoiding the country club set. Says Pratt: "They didn't like his style."
Instead, the perennial bachelor raised eyebrows with his opulent lifestyle: He threw lavish parties at his $900,000 company-owned estate or on the yacht, using LP's private jets to fly in celebrity guests such as tenor Luciano Pavarotti. And friends acknowledge that Merlo was known for hiring stunning women as his assistants; even today, "he never goes anywhere without a tall attractive blonde on his arm," says Portland businessman Edward Pietz. That led to further trouble: In mid-1993, an ex-assistant to LP's CFO filed suit against Merlo for sexual harassment, alleging the company hired top assistants only if they were "young, strikingly attractive, and likely to acquiesce to sexual advances by the CEO." Merlo and the company refuse to comment on the allegations, and the suit is pending.
Kayser says Merlo's lifestyle never interfered with work, and he denies that the harassment charges were a factor in his ouster. Still, within a month of Merlo's leaving, the company planes and yacht went on sale as "underutilized."
Kayser is left with the unenviable task of setting LP back on track. The company recently restated its second-quarter earnings, reducing them by $16 million, to $26.3 million, to build reserves for growing claims and legal expenses. "Our priority is to bring all this litigation to an early closure," he says. Analysts estimate the company's liability could reach $300 million or more.
In the meantime, Kayser has broken LP into smaller units, added extra management, and hired a head of compliance. He hopes to name a new CEO by January. As for Harry Merlo, he has remained mum. Supporters say that with extensive other interests, including stakes in a local semiconductor manufacturer and a software house, he will remain a player in the Portland business scene. And, some locals speculate, he may try to seize back control of "his" company with a hostile tender offer. Just in case Kayser and his newly vigilant board didn't have enough worries.
When Harry Met Trouble
1980 Louisiana-Pacific CEO Harry Merlo launches "oriented strand board," an inexpensive plywood substitute. By 1985, LP markets OSB as exterior house siding, and OSB becomes company's top-selling product.
1990-1994 Thousands of homeowners in Florida complain that LP's siding deteriorates in the humid climate. Three class actions are filed. One has been settled; the others are pending.
1991-92 Minnesota Attorney General sues LP over defective siding. Company settles, agrees to pay for repairs. By yearend LP has paid $22 million to settle OSB claims nationwide.
AUGUST, 1993 An ex-employee sues Merlo, alleging sexual harassment. Merlo and the company refuse to comment, and the suit is pending.
MAY-SEPTEMBER, 1995 With 12 class actions alleging defective OSB siding, LP's liability could hit $300 million. As litigation mounts, LP's board launches internal investigation.
JUNE, 1995 Colorado grand jury indicts LP and two plant managers for environmental violations and fraud involving OSB. With OSB now accounting for 25% of LP's $3 billion sales, the stock tumbles to 22 from all-time high of 44 in 1994.
JULY 3 LP's board announces Merlo's ouster and begins search for replacement.
RAOUL VAN HALL briefly functioned as program director at KZYX. He soon left, as did newly hired station manager, Lorraine Decther. Lorraine isn’t talking, but Raoul had a few discrete observations, prefacing them with a comment that he’s happy with his life in Portland where “I am easily able to support myself, just doing the kind of radio work I truly enjoy, without politics, drama or mismanagement to contend with.”
THE OLD RADIO PRO said he thought he had a viable turnaround plan that “didn’t betray the mission and values of the station,” but the “calcified internal politics” based on personal friendships seemed valued more than professional expertise.”
“THERE ARE MANY talented people there,” Raoul said, “who could benefit from strong leadership and mentorship, but there are also some untalented and toxic people at the station and in the station’s orbit.”
CONCLUDING, Raoul said he hoped “strong, highly experienced leadership with vision” would become the norm at the perennially troubled public radio station. “I hope that's what's in the future for KZYX. The station's volunteers, staff and listeners deserve it.”
LITTLE DOG SAYS, “YOU SAY YOU’RE A PUREBRED? LEMME SEE YOUR PAPERS!”
THE GUALALA PROPERTY at 40495 Old Stage Road has been interesting to watch. It is owned by Joseph Cullen who has been popped several times over the years for possession of drugs. The place is referred to as "The Boat House" as it has a 30 plus-foot sailboat down by two double-wides on a lot not permitted for that kind of crowded occupancy.
SEVERAL YEARS AGO, the owner installed a galvanized sheet metal fence and roped the whole place in so no one could see what was going on. The county, with help from the Sonoma County Sheriff and Mendo deputy Greg Stefani, went in and pulled the fence down and removed abandoned cars and all sorts of hazmat-quality debris at a cost to the county of more than $100,000 with a caveat that the guy clean up the rest of the property and pay his dues.
AIN'T HAPPENING. The tweekers have rebounded, accumulating more junk out in the entry way. What neighbors want to know is how did the county provide for the costs in the original clean up, and why is the situation unchanged?
A RESIDENT of the area wonders, "if it would make a difference in the neighborhood if the shitstorm down there would become long gone. Nobody seems to care, and we have the walking dead around here all the time (the other day one of their inhabitants was 'cleaning the forest floor' while smoking a cigarette). They don't steal from us, but what kind of accounting is due from the county in this rural area? I bet Hamburg is not even aware of the money spent so far to clean up this mess. More and more vehicles with flat tires, bent metal works and broken windows appear on the site. I have not contacted the respectable Tom Allman on it, but you know, I should not have to. Get this shit out of here ASAP!"
(Repost from yesterday with photo)
LADY CARDINAL VOLLEYBALL FACES TOUGH TEST TUESDAY
NCL III League Title On Line Today In Boonville
The Mendocino Cardinal varsity volleyball team faces what, arguably, could be their biggest match of the year - a confrontation with Anderson Valley in Boonville for the NCL III title.
On September 29, AV came to Mendo and the Lady Cards beat them 25-21 in the first set - only to drop the next three sets 25-15, 25-18 & 25-21.
If Mendocino takes today match, and it’s not a stretch to say they will, there will be a “playoff" in Mendocino on Friday to determine playoff seeding.
Be mindful the Anderson Valley team comes into the match riding a 13-match streak. They’re 12-0 in NCL III play with Mendo at 11-1 - they’re only loss was to AV, naturally. AV is 15-7 overall, Mendo is 12-11 so it is critical for Mendocino to defeat AV for playoff seeding - and they’ll have to do it again Friday.
Mendocino is 5-20 in matches against Anderson Valley since 2005 - and it took last season’s team to snap a 15-match losing streak to Anderson Valley when they defeated them 3-2 (at home) November 3. The set scores were:
Mendocino 20 25 22 25 15
AndersVlly 25 19 25 19 13
They were on the wrong end of a 3-2 match score last season when they traveled to Boonville, however.
And Mendocino High Athletic Director announced today the Potter Valley JV volleyball team is no more - so today will be the LAST game for the Mendo JV's. The Varsity will play Potter Valley 5:00 pm Thursday in their last regular season match.
Mendocino will have to be on top of their game to beat Anderson Valley Tuesday. And MSP will be there to record the action.
History Of Mendo vs Anderson Valley
- 09/29/2016 3-1 (L)
- 11/06/2015 3-2 (L)
- 11/03/2015 3-2 (W)
- 10/08/2015 3-2 (L)
- 10/29/2014 3-0 (L)
- 10/02/2014 3-2 (L)
- 10/29/2013 3-1 (L)
- 10/03/2013 3-0 (L)
- 10/23/2012 3-0 (L)
- 09/27/2012 3-0 (L)
- 11/16/2011 3-0 (L)
- 10/24/2011 3-0 (L)
- 09/29/2011 3-0 (L)
- 11/02/2010 3-1 (L)
- 10/08/2010 3-0 (L)
- 11/14/2009 3-0 (L)
- 11/03/2009 3-0 (L)
- 10/09/2009 3-0 (L)
- 11/22/2008 3-2 (W)
- 10/14/2008 3-1 (W)
- 11/08/2007 3-0 (W)
- 10/16/2007 3-1 (W)
- 09/26/2006 3-0 (L)
- 10/20/2005 3-0 (L)
- 09/27/2005 3-0 (L)
PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT, MENDO STYLE
To the Editor:
So, there I was scrolling through Facebook when I came across a sponsored post (advertisement) for employment opportunities at the Mendocino County Youth Project. I was interested so I clicked through and started looking at the various job announcements. First up was the role of Support Counselor, a position that performs “para-professional functions” working overnight 12 hour shifts with youth 18-21, $16.49 — 17.84/hr. with no benefits. OK, youth programs are difficult to fund so low pay is somewhat expected, and from the flyer it seems this is part-time so no benefits is to be expected.
Next up Fort Bragg part-time youth worker. This position works with ages 11-18, again performing “para-professional functions” but also “mental health de-stigmatization, anti-bullying, communication skills, conflict/anger management, refusal skills, goal setting, sex education/pregnancy prevention, teen parenting skills, etc.” All this for $12.06 — 18.55/hr. Again low pay — no benefits. But what are you going to do? We need these services and just simply providing them is a big step.
Third link I checked out was for Therapist. Minimum education: “MA in Counseling or related field, CA BBS licensure as an MFT, LCSW, or Clinical Psychologist, or CA BBS registration as an MFTI or ASW.” This position pays $20.85 — 31.77, that’s roughly $43k-$66k/yr. The low end is not great but it’s not the worst for Mendocino County when you consider the benefits: Health insurance for employee and family, dental, 18 days paid vacation, 2 floaters, 12 days of sick leave, CALPERS retirement. By contrast the high end seems fairly generous $66k/yr. with a defined benefit retirement plan. But hey, these people deal with some real life horrors so maybe this level of compensation is warranted. That being said, traditionally government jobs are lower paying than private sector but that difference is made up with generous benefits, not both.
Now before I tell you about the last job announcement let me just give you a little census data. Mendocino County (2014) has a poverty level of 18.8%; that’s 2.8% above the state average and 3.7% above the national. Remember poverty is defined as an individual living off less than $11,880/yr and a family of 4 under $24,300. As for our county’s median household income that would be $43,290/yr. With these facts in mind I would like to share the part which made me regurgitate into my mouth.
Chief Financial Officer who reports to Executive Director (who I’m guessing makes even more) $65k-$86k/yr. Yes, up to $86k/yr. Crazy thing is it almost exactly 200% of median. If that wasn’t enough it also comes with “Excellent” health insurance plan for self and dependents, CALPERS retirement (defined benefit retirement), 10 paid holidays, 18 days paid vacation, 2 “floater” days, 12 days of sick leave. So if you read that correctly that’s $7,166/mo, a month of days off and another 12 of sick leave to go with the excellent family health plan and a defined retirement plan.
Really? Really? Do I even have to say how disgusted I am? I truly don’t have the words, I’ll let you form your own opinion on this.
I’ll admit I am ignorant on this. Meaning I don’t know how many people this organization employs with exorbitant salaries and incredible benefits. I can tell you that it is obvious that nearly 10% of their $2.2 million operating budget goes to 2 people when you figure total compensation.
One may ask way I care? The answer is that this quasi-government operation is funded by “Medi-Cal, Beacon, school districts, county government, California Emergency Management Agency (CALEMA), private foundations and donations.” As you can see most of those are government organizations which means you and I pay for this financial abomination that benefits the top while starving the bottom all in the name of helping the children — disgusting.
Finally, I want to make sure the employees of the MCYP know I am not attacking them. You do God’s work, thank you! As for the board of this origination — Shame On You!
Patrick Garrett, Ukiah
OBAMA CARE STRIKES AGAIN. People trapped in the Affordable Care Act will see a double-digit hike in 2017, the Obama administration confirmed Monday. Premiums on a standard plan will increase an average 25% in the 39 states covered by the Healthcare.gov site. Healthcare recipients are also facing a drop in available plans, as carriers reduce their role in the federal healthcare plan. Consumers in Alaska, Alabama, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Wyoming will only have one insurance provider to chose from under the 2017 plan. The announcement comes shortly before enrollment opens on November 1. Ted Cruz and other Republicans opposed to the Affordable Care Act have already used the premium hikes in their arguments to repeal the healthcare program.
POLICE SHOOTINGS: THE BODY COUNT
…From 2006 to 2015, California’s count of officer-involved shootings left out at least 439 fatalities, meaning there were at least 1,480 in total, according to the new data.
In the 10-year span, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department didn’t report at least 34 fatal shootings, Fresno police didn’t report at least 24, and Los Angeles police didn’t report at least 21, the study found.
“Nobody has any idea how many police shootings there are,” said Robert Weisberg, a Stanford Law School professor and co-director of the Stanford Criminal Justice Center. “Any scrutiny is good, and if this causes more scrutiny, that’s good, and if it causes any embarrassment, that’s fine.”
The Texas State study said San Francisco police did not report any of their six fatal shootings to the state last year, including the December killing of Mario Woods, which sparked a federal review of the city’s force.
The researchers found two additional cases, in 2008 and 2010, in which a San Francisco police killing did not end up being recorded by the state. There was no indication, they said, that the discrepancies were purposeful...The study reveals the degree to which California is part of an undercounting problem so widespread that two news organizations — the Washington Post and Guardian US — opted to perform their own counts of police killings last year, after figures released by the FBI were discredited as incomplete.
The results marked the first time the American public was given a reasonably full — though still imperfect — picture of officer-involved killings. The Post counted 991 fatal police shootings in the U.S. in 2015 and 189 in California, a number similar to the one calculated by Texas State University.
Scrutiny of such statistics was part of the aftermath of the Aug. 9, 2014, death of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old black man who was shot and killed by a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo.
Since then, a number of video-recorded police killings — including that of [Mario]Woods in San Francisco — have ignited calls for reforms to reduce the bloodshed…
(The San Francisco Chronicle)
MENDO HIGH CLAMPS DOWN ON STUDENT DRIVING
A car driven by a Mendocino High School student was involved in an accident last week - it was towed to the parking lot. Fortunately, no one was injured in the wreck.
Dear Families of the Mendocino High Schools,
Due to numerous complaints from the community regarding students speeding during lunch time, repeated instances of unsafe driving on campus, students with restricted licenses illegally carrying passengers, and a recent accident, student driving will be prohibited between 8:15 am and 3:20 pm (2:30 pm on Wednesdays).
This is a school and community safety issue. We need to take time to reflect and strategize before moving forward. Administration will be meeting with staff, student, parent, and community stakeholders to develop a plan for increasing safety around student driving. Until a collaborative solution can be reached, please respect the importance and urgency of the interim driving restriction.
As soon as the administration and stakeholders arrive at an acceptable agreement, terms of the new policy will be clearly stated and communicated. Until then, this policy is in place until at least November 18.
INTERIM POLICY - Driving Safety (Effective 10/24/2016)
When school is in session, student driving is prohibited between the hours of 8:15 am and 3:20 pm (2:30 pm on Wednesdays). Any student in violation of the no-driving policy will be suspended for defiance and the parent/guardian will be requested to provide alternate transportation or school transportation for one month.
EXCEPTION: Students leaving campus for a school approved reason (i.e. Community Involvement, Work Experience) must keep a letter of permission from school administration in the glove box and present it to any staff member inquiring as to the reason for driving during school hours.
As parents, I appreciate your support in discussing this policy with your child and the reasons for it. This is an issue that is larger than just the school itself. I appreciate your collaboration in helping to make our school and community a safe place.
CATCH OF THE DAY, October 24-25, 2016
Arnas, Cuevas-Perez, Davis, Donahe
JULIAN ARNAS JR., Ukiah. Probation revocation.
JESUS CUEVAS-PEREZ, Ukiah. Meth possession for sale, meth sale, probation revocation.
NINA DAVIS, Ukiah. DUI.
MICHAEL DONAHE, Ukiah. Drunk in pubic, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
Ferry, Gonzalez, Gray
KELLY FERRY, Santa Rosa. Unspecified traffic offense.
MARTIN GONZALEZ, Cochella/Ukiah. Pot possession for sale.
ROBERT GRAY, Ukiah. Paraphernalia.
Hensley, Herrera, Hinton
CHARLES HENSLEY, Ukiah. Drunk in public, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
DENISE HERRERA, Ukiah. Controlled substance.
HEIDI HINTON, Willits. Probation revocation.
Maxfield, Mincitar, Patty, Richards
JUSTIN MAXFIELD, Willits. Under influence, probation revocation.
ROQUE MINCITAR, Ukiah. Pot possession for sale, probation revocation.
FRANKLIN PATTY, Willits. County parole violation, failure to appear.
ANDREW RICHARDS, Ukiah. Domestic battery, false imprisonment.
Riley, Roberts, Rodriguez
EUGENE RILEY, Covelo. Child endangerment, failure to register, fugitive from justice.
CHERRI ROBERTS, Ukiah. Drunk in public.
JOSE RODRIGUEZ, Failure to appear, probation revocation.
Velasquez-Martinez, Villalobos, Wilson
KIMBERLY VELASQUEZ-MARTINEZ, Ukiah. Meth sale.
ALBERTO VILLALOBOS, Ukiah. Meth sale.
JESSICA WILSON, Willits. Probation revocation.
MR. SO-AND-SO, SIR
As time goes by, the more I dislike being called "sir" and "Mr." Not that I ever liked it even as a young man. As a juvenile delinquent who drifted easily into 60's counterculture, the world of suits-and-ties, and men who were called "sir" and "Mr. So-and-So" belonged to a scene of which I was not, and would never be, a part. It always seemed, and still does, that "Sir" and "Mr." are terms of contempt masquerading as respect. A means of keeping one's distance, of keeping the other at a distance.
"We are not going to be friends, Mr. Trump." Even the most insulting anti-Trump articles call him "Mister," while Clinton is referred to as "Hillary." Conclusion: Donald is hated even more than Mrs. Clinton. I won't register to vote. As registered California voter I was called for jury duty three times. None for me, thanks. (Civic duty, patriotic duty... how do these square with our much vaunted and ballyhooed freedom?) If I did register in a new state, I'd vote for Jill Stein. Even though she's a poor speaker and lacks "presidential" charisma, she seems to be a real human being - a liability of the worst kind in any big-time candidate.
The "class" aspect of "Sir" is most evident in the military, "sir" divides authority figures and the grunts, those who give the orders and those who take them. Those who hand out the shit and those who eat it. Where else is "distance," social separation, more prominently maintained and valued? The shop where I had some auto work done is run by a guy who calls the customers "Sir" and I'll bet he was in the service or raised in a "strict father" family, maybe both. He was clearly trained somewhere, sometime.
Then there is the formality aspect... When I wrote my first letter to the AVA in 1988 it began "Dear Mr Anderson." One never knows who one is dealing with, but that was the only time. Formality isn't what it's cracked up to be.
1962 PORT HURON STATEMENT of the Students for a Democratic Society
SHE LAY ON HIS SHOULDER in this ugly room, folded up with almost imperceptible breathing like seagulls settled on the water cock over gentle waves. Looking at her head and body, richer far than her rare fur coat, holding as he did to these skins which enfolded what ruled him, her arms and shoulders, everything, looking down on her face which ever since he had first seen it had been his library, his gallery, his palace, and his wooded fields he began at last to feel content and almost that he owned her. Lying in his arms, her long eyelashes down along her cheeks, her hair tumbled and waved, her hands drifted to rest like white doves drowned on peat water, he marvelled again he should ever dream of leaving her who seemed to him then his reason for living as he made himself breathe with her breathing as he always did when she was in his arms to try and be more with her. It was so luxurious he nodded, perhaps it was also what she put on her hair, very likely it may have been her sleep reaching out over him, but anyway he felt so right he slipped into it too and dropped off on those outspread wings into her sleep with his, like two soft evenings meeting.
— Henry Green
BREAKING THROUGH THE POWER IS EASIER THAN WE THINK
by Ralph Nader
When I was a student at Princeton University I learned from my anthropology studies that the concentration of power in the hands of the few is common to all cultures, societies, nations, tribes, cities, towns, and villages. Even where the thirst for self-governance and democracy is strong (as was the case in New England towns before the American Revolution against King George III) wealthy Tories were there too. In Central and Western Massachusetts, the farmers used the term “the River Gods” to describe the rich merchants using the Connecticut River as a profitable trading route. These days, most people protesting for economic justice use the term “the One Percent” to describe the ultra-small group of people who wield enormous influence over our society today.
There is something about the differences in skill, determination, lineage, avarice, and pure luck that stratifies most people from the rulers who dominate them. In the political realm, the few become dominant because they hoard wealth and are driven to exercise power over others. When a small group of people rules a society the political system is considered an oligarchy; when only money and wealth determine how a society is controlled, the political system is a plutocracy.
From the standpoint of a democratic society, both oligarchy and plutocracy are inherently unjust and corrupt.
Of course there are variations in the degrees of authoritarianism and cruelty that each system exercises over the communities it relies upon for workers and wealth. Scholars have resorted to using phrases like “benign dictatorships” or “wise rulers” or “paternalistic hierarchies—” to describe lighter touches by those few who impose their rule over the many. Thomas Paine simply called them tyrannies. People, families, and communities can only take so much abuse before they rise up to resist. The job of the rulers is always to find that line and provide the lowest level of pay, security, housing, consumer protection, healthcare, and political access for society so that they can extract and hoard the greatest amount of wealth, power, and immunity from justice for themselves. In many ways, the majority of Americans live in a democracy of minimums, while the privileged few enjoy a plutocracy of maximums.
In a plutocracy, commercialism dominates far beyond the realm of economics and business; everything is for sale, and money is power. But in an authentic democracy, there must be commercial-free zones where the power of human rights, citizenship, community, equality, and justice are free from the corrupting influence of money. Our elections and our governments should be such commercial-free zones; our environment, air, and water should never fall under the control of corporations or private owners. Children should not be programmed by a huckstering economy where their vulnerable consciousness becomes the target of relentless corporate marketing and advertising.
American history demonstrates that whenever commerce dominates all aspects of national life, a host of ills and atrocities have not just festered and spread, but become normal — enslavement, land grabs, war, ethnic cleansing, serfdom, child labor, abusive working conditions, corrupt political systems, environmental contamination, and immunity from the law for the privileged few. History also shows that whenever there have been periods when enough of the country organizes and resists, we see movements of people and communities breaking through power. Progress is made. Rights are won. Education and literacy increase. Oppression is diminished. It was in this manner that people of conscience abolished the living nightmare imposed by the laws and whips of white enslavers. The nation moved closer to promises of “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” expressed in the Declaration of Independence. We won more control over our work, our food, our land, our air, and our water. Women secured the right to vote. Civil rights were elevated and enforced. Public schools, improved environments, workplace collective bargaining, and consumer protections did not spontaneously evolve; they were won by people demanding them and breaking through power.
These moments of great progress are expressed in terms of new legislation, regulations, and judicial decisions that directly benefit the life, liberties, and pursuit of happiness of most Americans. From the abolition of slavery to the introduction of seat belts, great social gains have been achieved when people mobilize, organize, and resist the power of the few. The problem is that these liberating periods of humanitarian and civilizational progress are of shorter duration than the relentless commercial counterforces that discourage and disrupt social movements and their networks of support. Some commentators have used the bizarre term “justice fatigue” to describe the pullback that often occurs when communities of resistance are faced with increased surveillance, infiltration, harassment, and arrest. A more accurate term is repression.
Concentrated power in the hands of the few really should matter to you. It matters to you if you are denied fulltime gainful employment or paid poverty wages and there are no unions to defend your interests. It matters to you if you’re denied affordable health care. It matters to you if you’re gouged by the drug industry and your medication is outrageously expensive. It matters to you if it takes a long time to get to and from work due to lack of good public transit or packed highways. It matters to you if you and your children live in impoverished areas and have to breathe dirtier air and drink polluted water and live in housing that is neglected by your landlord. It matters to you if your children are receiving a substandard education in understaffed schools where they are being taught to obey rather than to question, think and imagine, especially in regards to the nature of power.
If you’re a little better off, it matters to you when your home is unfairly threatened with foreclosure. It matters to you when the nation is economically destabilized due to Wall Street’s crimes, and your retirement account evaporates overnight. It matters to you if you can’t pay off your large student loans, or if you can’t get out from under crushing credit-card debt or enormous medical bills due to being under-insured. It matters to you if you are constantly worried about the security of your job, or the costly care of your children and elderly parents.
“We live in a beautiful country,” writes historian Howard Zinn. “But people who have no respect for human life, freedom, or justice have taken it over. It is now up to all of us to take it back.” To better assess what it specifically takes to do just that, it is important to understand how the people profiting from plutocratic forces strategically and regularly dominate old and new circumstances with powerful controlling processes.
(Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us! Excerpted from his new book: Breaking Through Power: It’s Easier Than We Think.)
MENDOCINO ECO ARTISTS FURTHER LAND TRUST’S MISSION IN MENDOCINO COUNTY
The Mendocino Eco Artists are an ideal example of conservation and community values in action. This group of fifteen seasoned artists consistently creates unique works inspired by nature, and sells them at art shows year-round, to benefit local environmental conservation groups.
The recent summer show, “On the Trails” benefitting Mendocino Land Trust, was a great success. The show was hosted by Joan and Jeff Stanford of the Stanford Inn and featured art pieces in many media, illustrating the stunning landscapes and natural beauty of our local area. Janis Porter and Eleanor Harvey each sold two paintings, and Julie Higgins, Deborah Nord, Debra Lennox and Mary-Ellen Campbell each sold a piece too - so eight pieces in total were sold in support of Mendocino Land Trust. The total gift to the Land Trust from a percentage of sales was nearly one thousand dollars!
“It’s just splendid that the Mendocino Eco Artists are willing to use their passion to support the sense of natural heritage for which we all care deeply,” said Ann Cole, Executive Director for the Land Trust, “they paint the very subjects that we work conserve, and it is an awe inspiring partnership that reflects joy in many directions.
It takes a village to deepen the legacy of our land conservation efforts, and we send heartfelt thanks to all of the artists who participated in the show and to Jeff and Joan Stanford for being generous hosts.
Learn more about Mendocino Eco Artists at www.mendocinoecoartists.org. To find out more about the conservation work of Mendocino Land Trust, please visit us at mendocinolandtrust.org and facebook.com/mendocinolandtrust.
People in photo, left to right: Mary-Ellen Campbell, Ann Cole, Janis Porter, Julie Higgins, Debra Lennox, Joan Stanford of Stanford Inn
BUT THE PROBLEM with global warming — and the reason it continues to resist illustration, even as the streets flood and the forests die and the mussels rot on the shores — is that experience is an inadequate guide to what’s going on. The climate operates on a time delay. When carbon dioxide is added to the atmosphere, it takes decades — in a technical sense, millennia — for the earth to equilibrate. This summer’s fish kill was a product of warming that had become inevitable twenty or thirty years ago, and the warming that’s being locked in today won’t be fully felt until today’s toddlers reach middle age. In effect, we are living in the climate of the past, but already we’ve determined the climate’s future.
Global warming’s back-loaded temporality makes all the warnings — from scientists, government agencies, and, especially, journalists — seem hysterical, Cassandra-like — Ototototoi! — even when they are understated. Once feedbacks take over, the climate can change quickly, and it can change radically. At the end of the last ice age, during an event known as meltwater pulse 1A, sea levels rose at the rate of more than a foot a decade. It’s likely that the “floodgates” are already open, and that large sections of Greenland and Antarctica are fated to melt. It’s just the ice in front of us that’s still frozen.
— Elizabeth Kolbert
COMMUNITY RAISES $130,000 For Development Of New Family Medicine Residency Program In Ukiah
Physicians, staff and community leaders left with a sense of excitement after a check presentation in mid-October that raised more than $130,000 in funds to go towards development of the new Family Medicine Residency Program scheduled to start in June 2018, a program that will help to attract family medicine doctors to the area to pursue graduate medical training at Ukiah Valley Medical Center (UVMC).
The community based organization Family Medicine Education for Mendocino County (FMEMC) presented a check in the amount of $45,000, raised by the Rural Health Rocks concert event featuring Michael McDonald earlier this year. Robert Werra, MD, of the Mendo Lake Medical Foundation also announced they would be providing a check in the amount of $20,000 for a grand total of $65,000. Gwen Matthews, President and CEO of Ukiah Valley Medical Center, went on to announce that UVMC would match these amounts, bringing the total funds raised to $130,000.
"It's refreshing to see so many partners coming together to help make the Family Residency Program in Ukiah a reality," says Matthews. She thanked FMEMC and Mendo Lake Medical Foundation for their dedication and support, "Deepest thanks to both organizations for their generous donations and grassroots work they've done for the future of healthcare in Mendocino County."
The Family Medicine Residency Program is part of a long-term solution to bring more highly skilled family medicine doctors to the community. Studies show that 60-80 percent of physicians who undergo training in a geographic area typically stay and practice medicine in the same town after their training is complete.
Matthews reflected on the future of the program, "We are thrilled to be able to offer a curriculum that will challenge residents to be thought leaders in a rapidly changing healthcare environment both in the clinic and hospital setting."
For more information about our local Family Medicine Residency Program, or the Family Medicine Education for Mendocino County organization, please contact Daphne Macneil, President FMEMC at 707.463.2878 or email email@example.com.
Funds raised by the Rural Health Rocks event in April 2016 are presented to UVMC for our local Family Medicine Residency Program. From left to right, Noemi Doohan, MD, PhD; Daphne Macneil, President FMEMC; Mary Anne Landis, Vice President FMEMC; Gwen Matthews, President, CEO UVMC; Aaron Poole, CFO UVMC; and David Weis, COO UVMC.
MENDOCINO NATIONAL FOREST TO OFFER CHRISTMAS TREE PERMITS STARTING NOV. 1ST
Christmas tree permits will be available for purchase at Mendocino National Forest offices starting Tuesday, Nov. 1 and continuing until Friday, Dec. 23, 2016. Permits sell for $10.00 each with a limit of one permit per household. The number of permits is limited and will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Permits are good for this year only and trees can be cut and removed any day of the week through December 24. All offices will be closed on Thanksgiving Day Nov. 24, but will be open on Friday, Nov. 25.
As part of the Every Kid in a Park initiative, all fourth graders are eligible for a free Christmas tree permit upon presenting a valid fourth grade pass. The pass allows free access to federal lands and waters across the country for a full year. To obtain a free Christmas tree permit, the fourth grader must be accompanied by a parent or guardian and present their fourth grade pass or paper voucher. For more information about this initiative and how to obtain a fourth grade pass, please visit www.everykidinapark.gov.
Christmas tree permits will be available at the following:
Mendocino National Forest Supervisor's Office/Grindstone Ranger District Office 825 N. Humboldt Ave., Willows, CA 95988; (530) 934-3316; Hours: Monday – Friday 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Stonyford Work Center 5171 Stonyford-Elk Creek Road, Stonyford, CA, 95979; (530) 963-3128; Hours: Monday – Friday 8 a.m. - 12 p.m., 12:30 - 4:30 p.m.
Covelo Ranger Station 78150 Covelo Road, Covelo, CA 95428; (707) 983-6118; Hours: Monday – Friday 8 a.m. - 12 p.m., 12:30 - 4:30 p.m.
Upper Lake Ranger Station 10025 Elk Mountain Road, Upper Lake, CA 95485; (707) 275-2361; Hours: Monday – Friday 8 a.m.-12 p.m., 1-4:30 p.m.
Paskenta Work Station 13280 Paskenta Road, Paskenta, CA 96074; 530-833-5544; Hours: Saturday, Dec. 3 and Dec. 10 ONLY 9 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Permits may also be available from the following vendors; please call ahead to check:
Sacramento River Discovery Center – Red Bluff; (530) 524-1196; Tuesday – Saturday 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 a.m.
Hi-Way Grocery – Upper Lake; (707) 275-2380; Monday – Saturday 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. Sunday 8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
M&M Feed and Supply – Covelo; (707) 983-6273; Monday – Saturday 8:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.; Sunday 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Keith’s Family Foods – Covelo; (707) 983-6633; Sunday – Saturday 7:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Individuals may also purchase a permit by mail. Mail-in requests received after December 14 will not be filled. The Mail Order Form is posted on the forest website: http://tinyurl.com/h8x4hwd.
Christmas tree cutting in the National Forest is managed as a recreational experience. It is a chance to take the family out into the woods and cut a tree the old-fashioned way. For more information, including tree cutting tips, please see the forest website http://tinyurl.com/h5o8h3h or call 530-934-3316.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
I doubt it will make much difference who is driving the bus now, Hillary or Trump, because the check engine light is flashing and the brakes are shot. I think it is fanciful to suppose that the “right” candidate with a proper understanding of what must be done to actually solve problems will be elected, and if elected, will be allowed to serve that long.
Trump’s candidacy was necessary. He is a fool, but one who points out that system is rigged. After Bernie Sander’s knee-capping, can anyone doubt that? I expect the first violence will be on the floor of the House, with Congress throwing punches like Taiwanese legislators. No more of the phony, “I disagree with my good friend across the aisle”, bullshit, those days are gone. it gets worse after that.
I think it is better for Hillary to be in charge when this happens, because for her, the “Bush did it” meme is unavailable.
DOWN AT THE HOOKILAU
Letter from O'ahu
Warmest spiritual greetings, Please know that I have paid for one more week at The Plumeria Alternative Hostel in Honolulu. The endless stream of networking emails to secure for myself a radical environmental/peace & justice frontline activist opportunity in the New York City~Washington D.C. region has not produced anything substantial. Chrysalis community in Arlington, Virginia responded by saying that they are full up insofar as rooms in the houses are concerned. That was probably my last possibility in regard to securing housing (other than staying in travel hostels). So, I therefore have no idea what I am going to do. Relatively speaking, one could do worse than being on a pacific island with sufficient money, and indeed I am "going with the flow", in a non-interference spiritual sense. More importantly however, I remain interested in the universal paradigm shift happening, in the full realization of an American cultural revolution, and in situating myself where I will most productively intervene in history. Hey, we collectively have a gigantic duty here beyond working on our sun tans and writing poetry. You have until November 8th to join the Earth First! Boycott of this insane 2016 American presidential election! Otherwise, let us all continue wu-wei style (that's "being completely sold out to the Goddess" for you yogis), and my travel agent at Non-Stop Travel here is ready to sell me an airplane ticket anywhere that I choose to go. I ask you, how much more cooperative than this could I possibly be? Love and kisses, Craig
Craig Louis Stehr