Mendocino County Today: Tuesday, March 21, 2017
by AVA News Service, March 21, 2017
INTERMITTENT RAIN SHOWERS CONTINUE over Mendo for the next week, albeit with breaks and periods of light rain. Somewhat heavier rain is expected through Tuesday with up to an inch or so, followed by a break Wednesday afternoon through Thursday. Then maybe another inch on Friday, with light rains into next week. Temps fluctuating between mid-40s overnight and about 60 during cloudy days.
PAUL MCCARTHY WRITES: Gonna have some fun Wednesday. I will argue FOR the mall, Rex is against. My son made the poster, he suggested it should be called "The Geezers at Caeser's," but the location would be wrong...
UKIAH COURTHOUSE MOVING FORWARD
by Justine Frederiksen
Although the state has put the actual construction of a new courthouse in Ukiah on hold, plans to improve the land bought for the building are moving forward.
“The state purchased the property last year, and along with that money was funding for extensions of Hospital Drive and Clay Street, a bridge over Gibson Creek and an additional rail crossing,” Shannon Riley, senior management analyst, told the Ukiah City Council this week, explaining that she and other city staff members have been “active in this process since the beginning because this is an integral component of our downtown, and the streets that will be constructed will be deeded to the city.”
The city’s involvement has included fronting the money for engineering work on the site until the North Coast Railroad Authority completed the sale of the 4.1-acre parcel to the Judicial Council of Courts last year.
Since the proposed work includes extending Clay Street to the east and over the railroad tracks before it can meet up with the new Courthouse Drive (an extension of Hospital Drive to the south), Riley said the city had applied to the California Public Utilities Commission and was granted permission to build a full rail crossing.
However, in an effort to pare down the project as much as possible, Riley told the City Council March 15 that all parties involved — the city, the NCRA and the developer it hired, Guillon, Inc., of Chico — agreed “there is no need to build a full rail crossing at this time when there is no train running through the area in the foreseeable future.”
Riley said the CPUC was “willing to entertain the idea of doing the bare minimum now when there is no train coming, then commit later to doing a full crossing when there is a train,” but it also wanted commitment from an agency willing to pay for such a crossing if it is needed in the future.
Riley said she had that assurance from NCRA, and was requesting that the City Council approve a Memorandum of Understanding to that effect.
City Manager Sage Sangiacomo added that not having an expensive rail crossing with automated arms, which he said would likely be obsolete by the time they were needed, would not compromise pedestrian safety. In fact, Riley added, “not building it with the arms would likely make it more pedestrian-friendly.”
And while the project to improve the site is “a bit behind schedule, the developers are pushing forward and we hope to see some movement on this project very soon,” she said.
Council member Steve Scalmanini said he was less concerned with how Clay Street met with the railroad tracks than how it would intersect with the proposed Courthouse Drive and eventually Leslie Street.
“I was requesting the option for Clay Street to “T” into Courthouse Drive, then for Courthouse Drive to continue south for a ways before intercepting with Leslie Street … to allow for a larger property along Leslie Street, specifically because that was mentioned as a possible location for the Ukiah Natural Foods Co-op,” said Scalmanini. “According to the map, it looks to me like that option has been excluded. I’m surprised, to say the least, and I want to know what’s going on.”
“Nothing has changed,” said Sangiacomo. “We want to preserve the option to put an easement all the way to Leslie Street, and we have developed a level of flexibility with the developers in accordance to what the uses may be.”
“The connection between Leslie Street and Courthouse Drive will be entirely developer-driven,” said Vice-Mayor Kevin Doble. “But we’re on record tonight saying we want to be able to review (the plans) in the future.”
The City Council later unanimously approved amending the agreement with NCRA to include plans for a full rail crossing only if needed in the future.
Before that vote, resident Phil Baldwin said he was concerned about what impact the future plans for the site might have on existing downtown businesses.
“The rumor is we’ve got a Chico-based developer working with NCRA on the development of this project, and my concern is School Street, Church Street and Standley Street businesses and the threat (to them) posed by development in and around the new courthouse,” said Baldwin. “Please find out if staff is meeting with the developer and what they plan to do: is it restaurants and hotels that pose a threat to our existing downtown?”
Sangiacomo said it was “not a secret” that NCRA hired Guillon as a project manager for “full development of the site, and yes, we are engaged with that team for the public infrastructure improvements that need to take place, and also the direction of maintaining our courthouse as close to the downtown as possible.
“That developer is working with NCRA to beneficially use the site, and we will continue to engage with NCRA and the developer for that full, beneficial use of that site,” Sangiacomo continued, adding that items related to the development would continue to be brought to the Planning Commission and the City Council for approval as needed.
When asked to comment on plans for the site, Steve Honeycutt of Guillon said this week that there are no “pending sales, leases or transactions” for the remaining 3.7 acres of what is referred to as the Depot Site.
“Although our commercial real estate folks are also the listing broker for the remaining properties of the Depot Site, it has not yet been timely to market the property until a much higher level of market interest is generated with such activities as completing the street improvements and the court groundbreaking ceremony,” Honeycutt wrote in an email. “We believe it is premature to negotiate with potential buyers, developers or tenants until the time is right. All involved parties, the NCRA, the local judges, the City of Ukiah, and certainly Guillon Inc., are fundamentally agreed on the vision and importance of this site.”
As far as what affect development there would have on existing downtown businesses, Honeycutt added, “Overall, the impact to the main core of downtown Ukiah lies in the relocated functions of the new courthouse, not in the land uses that may develop around it.”
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ONE WOULD THINK that all the fancy money Ukiah pays for its city government, that that government wouldn't have to pay a consultant to decide if a hotel would be good for what's left of the city center.
SO IT’S NO SURPRISE that Ukiah’s city manager, Sage Sangiacomo, half-mil a year in total pay and bennies annually, blandly signs off on the new County Courthouse that will finish off what’s left of Ukiah’s city center.
THIS LOOMING FIASCO moves ahead without (natch) a vote on its desirability and outside all local planning processes, although its the most destructive scheme conceivable since our local judges shoved a new courthouse down Willits' maw, a courthouse soon abandoned, a courthouse now a-moulderin' forever in the center of town.
AN EMPTY COUNTY COURTHOUSE and the empty Palace Hotel, plus empty store fronts when the County Courthouse moves wayyyyyy down the street. Way to go, Ukiah.
THE SUPERVISORS are also complicit in the new County Courthouse scam. There has been near-zero discussion of the scheme at the County level, although a County Courthouse "serves" the entire County, not just Ukiah.
RATHER THAN RE-HASH all the objections to a new County Courthouse, I’m re-posting a press release from former Superior Court judge, David Nelson which, dear reader, I’ve annotated on the off chance anyone cares.
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NELSON: Plans for a new Ukiah courthouse at the old railroad depot site continue to move forward. In cooperation with the state Judicial Council, we will be constructing a modern, secure courthouse with eight courtrooms (for our eight judges and one part-time commissioner) to handle all case types, including criminal, civil, family, traffic, juvenile and probate. Improved security features will include separate hallways for the public, court staff and those in custody, adequately sized holding areas for in custody defendants, secure elevators from holding to the court rooms, and a secure sally port for their entrance and exit by vehicle to/from the jail. The three-story building will also provide adequate space for our 57 staff members as well as basic services including a self-help center, appropriately sized jury assembly and deliberating rooms, a children’s waiting room, family court mediation, and attorney interview/witness waiting rooms.
Ed note: All other ancillary services will remain in the present courthouse, requiring the DA, for instance, to shuttle back and forth from the center of town to the new structure three long blocks to the east. The new courthouse will seriously harm central Ukiah's perennially struggling businesses. The project is "moving forward" despite no one other than the overlarge contingent of Mendocino County judges, nine of them for a population of roughly 90,000 people. The present courthouse is, however imperfectly from the judges' perspective, perfectly serviceable. This same cast of characters insisted on a new Courthouse for Willits which, after a mere two decades of use, is now abandoned. It, as the new structure, was and is a major eyesore.
NELSON: A new courthouse is needed for many reasons. The present courthouse consists of the original courthouse on School Street constructed in 1928 and an addition built in 1949. They are connected by corridors and stairways. The result is a dangerous building that is not functional in many ways. Renovation of the existing courthouse was investigated but the building is in such poor physical condition with severe safety issues, that renovation was deemed impossible.
Ed note: By whom? The new courthouse will cost upwards of $200 million. A portion of that could not have remedied structural deficiencies in the existing courthouse?
NELSON: A primary problem is lack of security. Prisoners are dropped off in a public street outside the courthouse and walked in hand cuffs and chains through public hallways and up the one elevator that is shared with the public. When I was the juvenile court judge, I saw the juvenile offenders, who were by law entitled to a closed confidential hearing, being marched in cuffs and chains through public hallways. Jurors assembling in crowded hallways have violent felons passing through their midst. The mixing of inmate defendants and the public in the hallways of the courthouse is a threat to the safety of the public and court staff. This problem is not fixable by any secure elevator system because there is no sally port for entrance and all the courtrooms are spread out in different corners of the courthouse.
Ed note: Boo-hoo. Over the past 50 years there has been only one security scare, which occurred when a mommy tried to slip her murdering son a handgun as the son was being led into the courthouse. That crude plot was instantly squashed. The judges create their own "security" problems by refusing to do most preliminary hearings and arraignments at the County Jail. It's time consuming and costly to be constantly ferrying prisoners back and forth from Low Gap Road to the center of Ukiah, as is done now.
NELSON: Another problem is a lack of access for disabled persons. The three court rooms in the old part of the building are not accessible to anyone with physical disabilities. There are 15 stair steps between a litigant and the juvenile and traffic courts.
Ed note: Please. Every public building in the country has been retrofitted to accommodate the handicapped.
NELSON: Additionally, the existing courthouse is not safe in an earthquake. When the state took over control of the court facilities in 2003 they surveyed the courts around the state. They determined that our court house was a Level V risk, which meant retrofitting to current earthquake standards was not economically feasible. The recent Napa earthquake and its effect on its historic courthouse adds new meaning to the concern for an earthquake safe court house.
Ed note: No one and no building is safe in a major earthquake, not seen in Ukiah since 1906. Structures can also be retrofitted to make them stronger should a major quake occur.
SOME HISTORICAL BACKGROUND
NELSON: Courthouses and trial court funding used to be the responsibility of each county. Legislation in 1997 transferred responsibility for funding trial courts from the counties to the state. In 2002, the state also took responsibility for trial court facilities such as courthouses. The state Judicial Council studied all of the courthouses in California and prioritized those that were most in need of new facilities. A new Ukiah courthouse was high on that list. SB 1407, authorizing a $5 billion bond to fund critically needed courthouse construction, was signed into law in 2008. The new Ukiah Courthouse was one of the 41 projects to be funded by this bond. This project has no effect on the use of the Ten Mile Courthouse in Fort Bragg.
Ed note: Lawyers are always passing laws that benefit themselves. In fact, it was a legislative (mostly lawyers) swindle that saddled Mendocino County with so many judges. The County was adequately served by so-called lay judges for a hundred years in our justice courts, which most Mendo citizens supported and were happy with. The lawyers passed the law that elevated all of Mendocino County's "lay" judges to superior court status with, of course, the lavish pay and perks they seem to assume as some kind of birthright. If a new courthouse was put on the Mendocino or even the Ukiah ballot it would not pass. It should alarm people that this project is "moving forward" with no public review, even from Ukiah's planning commission and city council.
NELSON: The first step was to determine the best site that met the needs of the project. A Public Advisory Group (PAG) was formed to study possible locations for the courthouse. It included members of the court, the county, the city, our criminal justice partners, the chamber of commerce and the bar association. The group viewed possible sites and used a ranking procedure to determine the preferred site. A site as close to the historic courthouse downtown was a priority and two locations were selected as the top sites—the “library site” and the “depot site.” The library site proved unworkable and the PAG concluded that the depot site was the preferred site.
Ed note: A group of judge-friendly insiders chose one of two sites, and chose the only doable one. This was not a public process in any known sense of public process.
NELSON: Discussions to purchase the four plus acres needed for the courthouse and associated parking were ongoing. The City of Ukiah had made it a high priority to keep the courthouse downtown and was going to participate in its development at the depot site using redevelopment funds. However, when redevelopment funds were terminated statewide, the city was forced to give up its option on the property. Negotiations for purchase resumed between the Judicial Council and the property owner, the North Coast Railroad Authority (NCRA).
Ed note: More insider baseball. The city of Ukiah was using redevelopment funds illegally, and of course, even on a city council dominated by incompetents, Ukiah understood that establishing a new courthouse far from the city center would further harm the city's ongoing effort to maintain a viable city center.
THE LOCATION & COST
NELSON: The new site is three blocks from the old courthouse on Perkins Street. It is on a blighted parcel of land. The city has approval to extend Clay Street across the railroad tracks and into the project site. This will open up the corridor to the Grace Hudson museum and downtown on Clay Street. A bike path along the railroad tracks is being constructed which will connect the courthouse with the north and south ends of town. There will be other parcels available adjoining the courthouse site that would be ideal for offices that could house our county criminal justice partners. The Court is excited to contribute to the improvement of the depot area with the construction of a courthouse which has an estimated total cost of $94 million.
Ed note: The new courthouse will cost twice that, at least. The entire stretch of West Perkins between the freeway and downtown is a ghastly unplanned skein of empty, unsightly structures. To get an idea of what the new courthouse will look like, google Placer County. It will be a glass, steel and concrete abomination akin to the aesthetic visual presented by the neighboring Macdonald's. No offense intended His Honor, but the Democratic Party, of which His Honor is a stalwart, controls the railroad property. Not saying anyone in particular will benefit financially, but the Demos have no other option for it. The adjoining parcels will naturally become quite valuable and, one can be sure, the usual Ukiah sharks will profit mightily from proximity to their new neighbor. The bike paths linking the courthouse to north and south Ukiah are simply laughable. So? The repeat offenders who live along the tracks will benefit but no one else. And now we learn an outfit from Chico, the Athens of the upper Sacramento Valley, is in charge of the project.
NELSON: It is important to note that no General Fund dollars will be used for the construction of the courthouse. Construction will be financed by bonds. These bonds are supported by a revenue stream of court fees, penalties and assessments which were increased in order to ensure that these projects would be paid for from within the court system rather than drawing on the state’s General Fund or local taxes.
Ed note: There's really only one source of funding for public entities — US, brothers and sisters. By raising fines and the rest of the nebulous fees attached to the justice process, which of course hits working people and the destitute particularly hard, we'll get a kind of judicial spa for nine people, complete with underground parking, private elevators, lavish chambers and the rest of the monarchical trappings these pampered, privileged persons seem to think they deserve. This structure has nothing to do with service to the public, everything to do with self-interested convenience and comfort.
NELSON: The courthouse construction process was not immune from state budget cuts. Since 2009, $1.7 billion in court construction funds have been borrowed, swept to the General Fund, or redirected to court operations. Our project was subject to a review by the Courthouse Cost Reduction Subcommittee of the Judicial Council which achieved savings of nearly $24 million by eliminating a courtroom and the basement and reducing the overall size of the property acquired. It also reduced the number of parking spaces available on the parcel.
Ed note: This is a judge's idea of sacrifice and cost-saving.
NELSON: The architect for the project is internationally renowned Skidmore, Owings and Merrill LLP. They have built award winning projects all over the world, including other courthouses in California. If the site is acquired in this fiscal year, the schedule calls for construction to begin in 2017 and completion in 2019. We look forward to the day we will have the new courthouse that our citizens deserve.If you wish to know more about the construction of the New Ukiah Courthouse you can access further information at http://www.courts.ca.gov/facilities-mendocino.htm#tab13965.
Ed note: These people have erected major eyesores all over the country. At a minimum, a local architect might at least come up with a structure we could all be proud of. Instead, we'll get a version of the Willits Courthouse that will only further foul Ukiah, once a very pretty, coherent little country town. A big, ugly building will ensure that Ukiah remains forever a blighted freeway stop with its only redeeming public buildings left over from a better time early in the twentieth century.
LITTLE DOG SAYS, “Now a bicycle! This fitness mania is starting to get me down. What's next, gluten-free dog biscuits?”
THE NEW YORK TIMES of 15 March carried a story called, "Mother Divine, 91, Dies; Took Over Husband's Cult.
Father Divine's "Peace Mission" was a more or less Christian cult that worshipped the old boy as an earthly version of God before and after World War Two into the early 1960s. It was noteworthy for its bi-racial congregation. The cult amassed quite an earthly fortune.
ANY MENTION of cults leads inexorably to Mendocino County, rural home of cult whopper Jim Jones. Picking up from the Times' obit for Mother Divine, “…As years went by, Mother Divine sold off the Peace Mission's holdings and gathered a dwindling number of older adherents around her at Woodmont, where she ruled in sovereign fashion.
"In 1971, her mettle was tested when Jim Jones, a cult leader who borrowed many of his ideas from Father Divine, tried to take over the Peace Mission. With 200 followers who had traveled by bus to Philadelphia from California, he attended a weekly banquet at the Divine Lorraine Hotel.
"After listening to fawning praise offered by his disciples, Jones rose and said, 'Father Divine has conferred his mantle on me. We are from the same celestial plane and are messengers. His spirit has come to rest in my body.
"Mother Divine ordered him and his entourage off the premises. Mr. Jones mounted a six-year campaign of sabotage, on one occasion sending empty buses to spirit away members of the Peace Mission. His efforts came to little. The mass suicide of the Jones cult in Guyana in 1978, and Mr. Jones's death by a gunshot wound to the head at the time, ended the threat."
IN A VIRTUALLY secret big name bicycle event two Saturdays ago, the renowned Lance Armstrong and 275 pro bikers raced from Anderson Valley High School, west up Mountain View Road and on over to Point Arena, then east from Point Arena on to Fish Rock Road and on back to the high school starting point. Armstrong came in second although his time was identical to that of winner, Justin Mauch. Winning time for the 72-mile loop? 3:56:33, which is about what it would take to drive that same route if one were moving right along. Kristen Vetterlein was first among the women competitors. Her time was 4:20. Amazing!
ARMSTRONG commented on Instagram: “Folks, lemme say some things. First, what a beautiful course that was unbelievably hard (9700 feet of climbing). And thank you to Justin Mauch for putting an absolute ass whoopin’ on this old man. Fun suffering with you, kid. Keep it up. Lastly, most people would see this challenge and be like, ‘Who the hell wants to do that?!’ Well, 300 people woke up today and exclaimed, ‘Wedu!’ Congrats to you all.”
CARLOS PEREZ, founder of BikeMonkey, organized the race. He said after he’d cycled Fish Rock he couldn’t get the idea of a bike race over it out of his mind.
ZIPPITY ZOO ZAH!
The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office is pleased to announce that we will resume sales of voluntary zip ties for Medical Marijuana immediately. The zip ties are voluntary and serve the purpose of identifying legal marijuana plants in the field saving Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies time when they encounter these plants. The program was temporarily halted while the Board of Supervisors worked on the new county ordinance. Although that ordinance is not completed it will not affect those growing legitimate medical marijuana for personal use. To purchase voluntary zip ties you must come to the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office stations in Ukiah or Fort Bragg and present a valid medical recommendation and current government photo ID. The cost of the zip ties remains at $25 each. This fee may be discounted by fifty percent (50%) for Medi-Cal, SSI and CMSP recipients, and equivalent income qualified veterans.
(Sheriff’s Office Press Release)
MENDO’S POT REGS READY TO GO
TRAFFIC ROULETTE, COVELO
On March 18, 2017, at about 11:03 PM Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were on routine patrol in Covelo. While in the area of Tabor Lane and Little Lake Way, Deputies stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation. Deputies contacted the driver who was identified as Joseph Hoaglen, 34, of Covelo, at which time a records check was conducted through dispatch for warrants.
Dispatch advised Hoaglen had an outstanding felony warrant for his arrest for several charges: Second Degree Robbery, Use of a firearm in the commission of a felony Felon in possession of a firearm and Failure to Appear on a Felony. Hoaglen was placed under arrest without incident on the warrant and transported to the Mendocino County Jail for booking where he was held without bail.
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TRAFFIC ROULETTE II, COVELO
On March 18, 2017, Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were on routine patrol when they stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation near Highway 162 and Barnes Lane in Covelo. The driver (Jose Mejia, 38, of Covelo) and the passenger (Bridgette Frank, 27, of Covelo) were contacted. A records check of Mejia and Frank were conducted through Sheriff's Office dispatch for outstanding warrants.
Dispatch advised the Deputies that Mejia had three outstanding felony warrants for his arrest and that Frank also had one outstanding felony warrant for her arrest. Both Mejia and Frank were placed under arrest on the warrants and transported to the Mendocino County Jail where they were to be booked (refer to Sheriff's Office online Booking Log for warrant information). Mejia was to be held in lieu of $125,000 bail and Frank was to be held in lieu of $25,000 bail.
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HE ONLY WANTED A MOUNTAIN DEW
On 03-16-2017 at about 1:37 AM Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to a soda vending machine burglary alarm located in front of a business in the 3000 block of North State Street in Ukiah. Deputies arrived at the location within minutes and observed Jeffrey Ashline, 48, of Willits, standing at the vending machine.
When Ashline observed the arrival of the Deputies he started walking away from the location, however he was quickly detained. Deputies conducted an investigation and observed the vending machine had extensive damage to the locking mechanism of the machine. Deputies located a large crowbar and a small portable torch near the vending machine. Damage to the vending machine was estimated to be at or near a $3,000 amount. Ashline was subsequently arrested on the listed violations and booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $15,000 bail.
ANOTHER WIN FOR SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE
Good morning Mr. Sutley,
The poster in question has been taken down. The Sonoma County Library’s policy is to cooperatively comply with all Public Records Act requests and provide the public with access to the government’s records. While the Library is committed to providing access to all of its public records, to the extent such documents are exempt from disclosure pursuant to the various production exemptions set forth in the Public Records Act, including, but not limited to, the attorney-client privilege (Gov’t Code section 6254(K); Gov’t Code section 6276.04; Bus. And Prof. Code section 6068; and Evid. Code section 952 et seq.) Gov’t Code section 6254(c)(personnel, medical or similar files, the disclosure of which would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy); Gov’t code section 6255 (under the facts of the matter, the public interest served by not making the record public clearly outweighs the public interest serviced by disclosure of the record, including deliberative process and security reasons), the Library reserves the right to withhold nondisclosable records or to redact any information that is exempt from disclosure under applicable state and federal law.
The library is in the process of gathering responsive documents, and if any exist, we will produce these to you as soon as possible. We will complete our review no later than the end of the day, Monday, March 20. If there are any responsive, non-exempt documents, we will make them available for your review during the business hours of 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. at the following address: 211 E Street. Santa Rosa, CA 95404. The Library charges 10 cents per page for copies of documents. I will e-mail you by the end of the day, March 20, to let you know if there are any responsive, non-exempt documents and let you know they are available for your inspection.
Very truly yours,
Kiyo Okazaki Public Services Division Manager
707-545-0831 ex. 1536
ELLEN ROSSER wrote:
“…with the latest discoveries, including the experiment a Stanford Ph.D. did on himself by rejuvenating his thymus. It regenerated most of his body...
Marco McClean replied:
I just completed a seven-year course of entirely replacing ninety percent of the cells in my whole body with fresh ones, and I used spaghetti and meatballs. You can eat it -- that's the recommended method; it's what I did -- but also if you're in a hurry to see results, like if it's your 40-year high school reunion and it's important for you to look good right now, you can blend it into a paste and apply it to the underarms and behind the ears, and sleep on aluminum strainers of pesto sauce and Kraft cheese dust. You're right about magical home remedies being many years ahead of what the stodgy traditional medical system knows about. It might be the year 2048 or later before Joe Family Doctor will suggest you use leftover food woven into a contraceptive pessary, for example, but it works now.
DEBRA SILVA WRITES: This is something I had never heard of but apparently it's been going on for years right here in California. While I do not think that it is fair, it allows the wealthy special privileges, I can understand it from a financial standpoint. Counties have a hard time making ends meet in both the jails and on the law enforcement end. It is a way to put more money in the coffers without putting more burden on the tax payers. The convicted pick up the tab and then some for their incarceration, putting the burden of costs directly on them.
If and when Mendo decides to build a new jail, they should consider adding on boutique jail quarters for the well heeled miscreants. Of course these miscreants would have to be from other counties, Mendoites are far too practical to consider spending their cash in this manner. Think of the money that could be generated from the naughty but prosperous citizens of Sonoma, Napa and Marin Counties!
CATCH OF THE DAY, March 20, 2017
Anderson, Arreguin, Baumeister
THOMAS ANDERSON, Fort Bragg. Criminal threats, probation revocation.
FIDEL ARREGUIN, Willits. Domestic assault.
RONALD BAUMEISTER, Ukiah. Probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
Bright, Brunk, Camarillo-Razo
KALIE BRIGHT, Temple, Texas/Ukiah. Fugitive from justice.
JOHN BRUNK, Fort Bragg. Forgery of vehicle registration.
LUIS CAMARILLO-RAZO, Willits. Drunk in public, resisting.
Cass, Davey, Galindo, Garcia
JASON CASS, Eureka/Ukiah. Drunk in public.
COREY DAVEY, Ukiah. Grand theft.
THOMAS GALINDO, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. Drunk in public, vandalism.
ADAN GARCIA, Talmage. Drunk in public.
Hoaglen, Johnson, Munson, Pekley
JOSEPH HOAGLEN, Covelo. Failure to appear.
EDWARD JOHNSON, Ukiah. Controlled substance, failure to appear. (Frequent flyer.)
STEVEN MUNSON, Willits. Protective order violation.
MICHAEL PELKEY, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public, failure to appear.
Pinola, Randolph, Rosales
MICHAEL PINOLA, Santa Rosa/Point Arena. Receiving stolen property, false ID.
JUSTIN RANDOLPH, Willits. Drunk in public, no license.
SELENA ROSALES, Potter Valley. DUI.
Sands, Simpson, Vigil
SAMUEL SANDS, Lakeport/Ukiah. Drunk in public.
STEVEN SIMPSON, Ukiah. Community supervision violation.
LOUIE VIGIL, Redwood Valley. Resisting, probation revocation.
MURPHY’S LAW: FULL SPEED AHEAD
by James Kunstler
You might not know it, given all the ambient noise of the moment, but beyond the torments of news and propaganda there is still something called the nation. It’s more than just a political compact. Until not long ago it was also a culture, an agreed-upon set of values, practices, and customs that amounted to an identity: I’m an American. If you canvassed the crowd in Yankee Stadium one summer afternoon in 1947, I imagine each person would answer that way rather than saying I’m a wounded war veteran, I’m a WASP, I’m an oppressed housewife, I’m a negro, I’m Italian, I’m a Jew, I’m a union member, I’m a communist, I’m queer, I’m a rape victim….
These days, the hardships of history are shattering the nation and our response politically has been to take refuge in a matrix of rackets. Most of these rackets are economic, because it’s the essence of racketeering to extract the greatest benefit possible from the object of your racket at the least cost to the racketeer. In plain English, it’s an organized way of getting something for nothing. The identity politics of our time is another form of racketeering — extracting current maximum benefits on claims of mistreatment, often bygone, specious, or only imagined.
And so one of the truly existential questions of the moment is whether we’ll continue to be a nation, even geographically, and a lot of sentient observers aren’t too sure. Apparently we’re not too sure we even want to be. This is why the campaign slogan of Hillary Clinton, “Stronger Together,” rang so false when the Democratic Party worked so diligently in 2016 to construct separate identity fortifications and then declared culture war on the dwindling majority outside the ramparts. And you’re surprised that Donald Trump won the election?
Trump won by making promises that he’ll never be able to keep under the current circumstances. The main promise was to restore the standard of living enjoyed in bygone decades by former industrial workers and clerks. His promise was based on a misunderstanding of history: the notion that the industrial organization of daily life was a permanent part of the human condition. You could detect by the early 21st century that this was not so anymore. That was exactly why we tried to replace it with an economy of rackets. When there’s nothing left, a lot of people are going to try to get something for nothing, because there’s nothing else to do.
Hence, the financialization of the economy. In the 1950s, finance made up about five percent of the economy. It’s mission then was pretty simple and straightforward: to manage the accumulated wealth of the nation (capital) and then allocate it to those who proposed to generate greater wealth via new productive activities, mostly industrial, ad infinitum. It turned out that ad infinitum doesn’t work in a world of finite resources — but the ride had been so intoxicating that we couldn’t bring ourselves to believe it, and still can’t.
With industry expiring, or moving elsewhere (also temporarily), we inflated finance to nearly 40 percent of the economy. The new financialization was, in effect, setting a matrix of rackets in motion. What had worked as capital management before was allowed to mutate into various forms of swindling and fraud — such as the bundling of dishonestly acquired mortgages into giant bonds and then selling them to pension funds desperate for “yield,” or the orgy of merger and acquisition in health care that turned hospitals into cash registers, or the revenue streams on derivative “plays” that amounted to bets with no possibility of ever being paid off, or the three-card-monte games of interest rate arbitrage played by central banks and their “primary dealer” concubines.
Some of what I’ve listed above may be incomprehensible to the blog reader, and that is because these rackets were crafted to be opaque and recondite. The rackets continue without regulation or prosecution because there is an unstated appreciation in government, and in the corporate board rooms, that it’s all we’ve got left. What remains of the accustomed standard of living in America is supported by wishing and fakery and all that is now coming to a climax as we steam full speed ahead into Murphy’s law: if something can go wrong, it will.
When all of America comes to realize that President Trump doesn’t know what he’s doing, it will make last November’s national nervous breakdown look like a momentary case of the vapors. What can go wrong awaits in markets, banks, currencies, and the immense dark pools of counterparty obligations that amount to black holes where notions of value are sucked out of the universe. There is so much that can go wrong. And then it will. And then maybe that will prompt us back to consider being a nation again.
(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page: https://www.patreon.com/JamesHowardKunstler)
ROBERT B. SILVERS
Editor Of New York Review Of Books, Dies Aged 87
The much-respected literary figure, who helped champion writers from Norman Mailer to Zadie Smith, died after a short illness
Revered New York Review of Books editor Robert B Silvers, who served as founding editor of the magazine for more than 53 years, died on Monday morning.
Silvers, 87, died “after a short illness”, according to a statement from the Review.
The publication he created commissioned the biggest and best writers in the world, ranging from WH Auden, Norman Mailer and Gore Vidal in its very first issue in 1963, to Zadie Smith, JM Coetzee and Vivian Gornick in some of the most recent.
“There were many things that made Bob a brilliant editor,” Review publisher Rea Hederman said via email.
“But one trait of his that I particularly admired was his ability to know which subject outside a contributor’s main interest would particularly interest that contributor. For example he knew that Stephen Jay Gould, the late well-known paleontologist and historian of science, loved baseball. He commissioned Gould to write about a half-dozen pieces on baseball, in addition to his pieces on evolution and other matters of science,” Hederman wrote.
Hederman noted that Silvers had been working as editor until two weeks before his death.
Silvers and a group of his literary peers created the high-brow publication during the newspaper strike of 1963. As he explained in a 2014 interview with the Guardian, they decided to publish whatever they found fascinating without commercial or readership interference:
When we started, our publisher said we should have a survey to find out what readers want. But Barbara [Barbara Epstein worked as co-editor with Silvers until her death in 2006] and I both said, no, we must pick the subjects and writers we believe in; we won’t take dictation. If it’s interesting, people will go on subscribing. If it’s not, they’ll say: to hell with it.
Martin Scorsese directed a 2014 documentary about the New York Review of Books in its 50th year, starring Silvers.
“Robert Silvers was a powerhouse, and right up to the last minute he showed no signs of letting up. His energy seemed limitless, and it was powered by his belief in the power of engaged thought to change the world. With The New York Review of Books, he gave us one of our greatest and most lasting institutions: an arena of free thought. Right now, more than ever, we need the Review,” Scorsese said in a statement.
“And we need Bob’s spirit, the best of which he transmitted to his colleagues and friends and readers. He was my friend, and it’s going to be quite some time before I’ll be able to accept the fact that he’s gone,” added the film director.
Silvers’ former assistants also rose to journalistic acclaim, including AO Scott, the New York Times chief film critic.
The new editor of the Review has yet to be announced.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
In the political sphere, it’s become apparent that we are a single-party state with several factions that squabble amongst themselves over whose cronies get enriched when and how. It’s all crony oligarchy as far as we non-oligarchs are concerned.
The Democrats, since the end of the Vietnam War, have done everything they can to shed themselves of the Left and the lower classes. They don’t contribute corporate money, they don’t throw the right kind of swanky parties, and they can’t get comp tickets to “Hamilton,” so why would anyone waste time with them.
Instead, the Democrats have made much hay with Identity Politics. They’ve drained any and all meaning from the more dangerous and radical notions, of course. Instead, they’ve taken the path of commoditizing everything and everyone, and getting everyone to sort and commoditize themselves, the better to market to and be marketed to. “I’m a black, gay, dyslexic, agoraphobe! Apple has an app for me!”
All Trump did was sell Identity Politics for white people. He tumbled to this idea over 40 years of creating himself as a media personality. He acts like a rich person thinks a poor person thinks a rich person would act, crass and rude and boorish and shallow, but incredibly rich, petty, thin-skinned and impulsive. And his TV and social media audience eats it up.
Trump out Identity-Politicsed Hillary. That’s why the Democrats are so enraged. He stole their trick. Just as the the hatred of Bill Clinton stems from his “triangulation” tactic, in which he stole the entire Republican Party platform and enacted it, and called it “Progressivism.” No wonder the GOP went after him, with rage both rational and irrational.
Both branches of the Corporate War Party know our finance system is collapsing. They’re just looting as fast as they can to get it into convertible form before the collapse is too visible to ignore.
In the meantime, they’re more than happy to distract us with Identity Politics false divisions along lines of race and gender. As long as we focus on how we differ, we won’t notice the things we have in common, which fall along class lines.
As soon as anyone starts talking about Class in America, that’s when it gets serious all of a sudden. Even the Black Panthers were more or less tolerated — black men with military weapons, walking around in American slums! — until they started talking about the common interests they shared with lower class whites. Then they had to be exterminated.
Of course Trump “doesn’t know what he’s doing.” He’s already done the thing he knows how to do. He’s created a persona and sold it. That’s all he’s ever done. He’ll stick around now until he’s cashed that persona in to his satisfaction, and not one second longer. The promises he made were irrational to begin with and not serious; he was just selling his brand.
As for the rest of us, nothing has changed. We still need to have no debt, have tools that work, know our neighbors, have multiple sources of food and water, and love the things and people we have more than having the things and people we think we’d love.
TWO EVENTS at the new Albion School this week for parents of young Children:
The first one is a FREE Music Together demo class this Wednesday, March 22, 4:30 pm at the new Albion School presented by Leslie Kashiwada.
The other event is a Montessori Parent Education workshop this Saturday March 25 from 4-5 pm at the new Albion School presented by Sharon Richardson.
Music Together is an internationally recognized early childhood music program for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, kindergarteners, and the adults who love them. Music Together encompasses songs, rhythm chants, movement & instrument play for families with children from birth through age five.
FREE demo classes Music Together this Wednesday, March 22, 4:30 pm at the new Albion School and Monday, March 27, 3:30 pm at Perfect Circle Taijiquan, 330 N. Franklin, Fort Bragg
Contact 964-6748 or MTMC@mcn.org for more information or to register.
Songs, rhythm chants, movement & instrument play for families with children from birth through age five Spring session 2017 starts Monday, April 3rd and runs 10 consecutive weeks, ending Friday, June 9th. This session features the Maracas Collection with a variety of songs and chants. Get ready to have fun with Frere Jacques, I’m a Bell, Play the Drum, Dancing With Teddy, Wiggle, Jack Be Nimble, William Tell’s Ride, and more!
Montessori Parent Education Saturday March 25 from 4-5 pm at the new Albion School presented by Sharon Richardson
Find out about Montessori philosophy used in the the education of children, the method and curriculum. Interact with Montessori learning materials and an experienced Montessori teacher. View a screening of “Creating a Learning Community,” from Montessori Guide, an resource for Montessori practitioners. See why many local families choose Montessori for their preschool and school aged children. This talk is open to anyone interested in learning more about the Montessori method. There is no childcare provided, this is a gathering for adults only, please.
The new Albion School is at 30400 Albion Ridge Road (3.3 miles from Hwy 1) in Albion RSVP (707)357-3336 firstname.lastname@example.org
PUBLIC OPEN HOUSE FOR ALBION RIVER AND SALMON CREEK BRIDGE PROJECTS
Caltrans will hold an open house/informational meeting on Thursday, March 23, 2017 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Mendocino High School, 10700 Ford Street, in Mendocino. The purpose of the open house/informational meeting is to introduce the environmental consulting firm, ICF, which will be assisting Caltrans in performing environmental studies and prepare the environmental documents for both projects, including a community impact assessment. At the meeting, Caltrans and ICF will provide information about the two bridge projects, and the public will have the opportunity to ask questions and share information about issues, ideas, or concerns. Public participation and engagement is a key aspect in developing the community impact assessment. This meeting will be the first of several community meetings hosted by Caltrans to seek public input, as well as describe the relevant conditions, the potential impacts of the project on the community and its neighborhoods, and share the extent of the identified impacts and potential solutions to best avoid, minimize, or mitigate for any adverse impacts.
COUNTRY SINGER MCKENNA FAITH IN WILLITS
A Benefit in Support of Redwood Community Services
Redwood Community Services (RCS) will be hosting a "Kentucky Derby Day" fundraiser at Ridgewood Ranch, home of the legendary racehorse, Seabiscuit, in Willits. Saturday, May 6, 2017 1 PM - 6 PM. Historic Howard House, Ridgewood Ranch, 16200 N. Hwy 101, Willits, CA (5.5 mi South of Willits, 2 1/2 hrs North of San Francisco on Hwy 101)
Program: The event will kick off with exclusive Derby-themed drinks, hors d’oeuvres and a catered lunch. Activities include a Derby Hat Contest, silent and live auction, bidding booth, live-coverage of "the two most famous minutes in sports", the 143rd Kentucky Derby race. Country music artist, McKenna Faith, will be performing first class, high-energy, boot stomping country music.
Benefit: Event proceeds to go toward a charitable cause: Redwood Community Services. Redwood Community Services, Inc. (RCS) is a non-profit and nonsectarian agency that provides specialized care and services to foster children and their families, and is the largest provider of Foster Care and Children’s Mental Health Services in Lake, Mendocino and Sonoma Counties. rcs4kids.org
The Historic Howard House — Craftsman style ranch house of C.S. Howard, owner of Seabiscuit, built by William Van Arsdale in 1905. Seabiscuit’s life-size memorial bronze statue, restored stud barn listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and Seabiscuit Therapeutic Riding Center is available for viewing. Ridgewood Ranch Still a working ranch, the oak and old growth Redwoods studded 5,000 acre property, is where Seabiscuit recuperated during his 1939 injury in preparation for his blaze-of-glory finish at the 1940 Santa Anita Handicap. His retirement home became a destination for visitors far and wide, with 20 historic buildings remain on the ranch from the Seabiscuit and Howard era. 1,689 acres have been placed in a permanent conservation easement. For more information visit www.seabiscuitheritage.org
This event is by reservation only. General public can reserve tickets in advance by contacting Redwood Community Services for more information or rcskd.eventbrite.com
RCS Kentucky Derby Fundraiser
Event contact: Pamela Mathias, Redwood Community Services, 707-367-4703, email@example.com
FEDERAL SCIENTISTS FIND DELTA TUNNELS PLAN WILL DEVASTATE SALMON
by Dan Bacher
Governor Jerry Brown and administration officials claim that the California WaterFix, a controversial plan to build two 35-mile long tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, is based on “science.”
“The best scientific thinking says California needs the project,” Governor Brown told Dan Morain, Sacramento Bee editorial page editor in a interview in December of 2016. (www.sacbee.com/...)
However, federal scientists strongly disagree with Brown’s claim that “best scientific thinking" supports the construction of the tunnels. In fact, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has released a draft biological opinion documenting the harm the tunnels would cause to salmon, steelhead, Delta and longfin smelt, other fish and wildlife species, and water quality.
An independent peer review panel found the NMFS findings are backed by “comprehensive analyses, new data, and modeling,” according to a statement from the Golden Gate Salmon Association (GGSA). The panel further found NMFS used the “best available science” and produced evidence of “significant adverse impacts” to species and critical habitat, including unacceptable harm to salmon.
The draft biological opinion is available at http://www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov/central_valley/WaterFix/WaterFixPeerReview2BMaterials.html
For the section focusing on the impacts on salmon and other fish species, go to: http://www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov/publications/Central_Valley/CAWaterFix/Peer%20Review%202B/section_188.8.131.52_effectsanalysis_partb_operations_upstream.pdf
Based on new scientific data documenting that the California WaterFix project would worsen water and habitat conditions for migrating Central Valley salmon, GGSS said it opposes the tunnels plan as “currently envisioned.”
“The NMFS science and the peer review both make clear the current twin tunnels proposal will likely drive the salmon to extinction and will harm other wildlife. GGSA has no option but to oppose this project,” said John McManus, GGSA executive director.
Some of the many problems highlighted in the NMFS report are the following:
- The heavy flow through the fish screens at the giant water intakes in the Sacramento River, located just downstream of Sacramento, could impinge the juvenile salmon to the screens where they will perish.
- Those that survive impingement and are stressed or injured will be subject to heavy predation.
- The Sacramento River below the screens will be reduced to a relative trickle. The tiny salmon need strong flows to push them downstream. Without that, more predation and heavy losses will result.
- Lower flows downstream of the intakes will cause more juvenile salmon lost to the interior Delta through the Delta Cross Channel and Georgiana Slough.
- A major decrease of freshwater downstream of the intakes will also highly degrade water quality, resulting in increased contaminants and decreased food sources.
“The models used to gauge the damage to salmon showed a zero percent chance the tunnels would help winter-run Chinook salmon,” noted McManus. “Instead the modeling showed a slow steady decline towards extinction for these salmon if the tunnels are built and operated as currently envisioned.”
NMFS scientists forecast increases in winter run Chinook redd (nest) dewatering (page 78) and spring run Chinook redd (nest) dewatering (page 86) on the Sacramento River if the tunnels are built.
The NMFS report also highlights two upstream issues of concern to anglers and public trust advocates:
- Salmon egg and alevin mortality on the American River under the tunnels project “clearly” results in adverse effects on fall run salmon, the mainstay of the sport and commercial fishing industries.
- Increased loss of federally protected winter and spring run salmon will occur from dewatering of their incubating eggs in upstream river gravels.
“This project will not only destroy the salmon, but it also threatens the jobs of the thousands of people who depend on healthy salmon runs, including fishermen, tackle shops, boat shops, launch ramp operators, marinas, and many others,” said GGSA director Mike Aughney. “It’s time to admit this version of the tunnel idea won’t work. There’s no doubt the status quo is very bad for salmon, but this giant twin tunnels proposal obviously isn’t the answer.”
GGSA secretary Dick Pool added, “The State Water Board’s update of the water quality control plan, including new flow standards to protect salmon, water quality, and the health of the delta, also needs to be completed before any tunnel project can be properly considered and designed.”
The Governor continues to promote his tunnels as recreational, commercial and Tribal fishermen face reduced ocean and inland salmon seasons this year. Pre-season numbers unveiled by Dr. Michael O’Farrell of the National Marine Fisheries Service at a meeting in Santa Rosa on March 1 estimate only 230,700 Sacramento River fall run Chinook adults and 54,200 Klamath River fall run adults will be in the ocean this year.
Both forecasts are lower than those of recent years, with the forecast for Klamath fall run being among the lowest on record. Ocean regulatory management for salmon fisheries on the ocean from Cape Falcon in Oregon to the Mexico-US Border is heavily based on these runs.
The Delta Tunnels will also have a huge detrimental impact on Delta smelt, a state and federally listed endangered species.
“The PA will result in substantial adverse effects by the constriction/reduction in available habitat to delta smelt that support the migration, spawning, transport, and rearing processes that are necessary for reproduction and therefore survival of the species,” the report states. (page 251)
The document also states, “The delta smelt population will be most affected by the constriction and reduction in the quantity and quality of available suitable habitat to rearing juveniles and adult spawners. Their habitat size will be greatly reduced from restricted access in the north, altered flows in the south Delta, and interior Delta movements of the LSZ. The quality of habitat will be further degraded by small changes in salinity, water temperature, water clarity, food supply, Microcystis, and selenium under the PA.” (Page 260)
Delta longfin smelt and other fish species continue to remain at the edge of extinction. The Delta smelt has not yet become extinct, but the numbers of fish collected in the fall 2016 midwater trawl survey conducted by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) remained alarmingly low.
This is in spite of improved precipitation last winter and spring, followed by a very wet fall that should have resulted in much higher numbers of smelt surviving.
The Delta smelt index, a relative measure of abundance, in the latest survey was 8, the second lowest in history. Seven Delta smelt were collected in November — and none were collected in September, October, or December, according to a memo from James White, environmental scientist for the CDFW’s Bay Delta Region, to Scott Wilson, Regional Manager of the Bay Delta Region. (http://www.dfg.ca.gov/delta/data/fmwt/bibliography.asp )
From 1967 through 2015, populations of striped bass, Delta smelt, longfin smelt, American shad, splittail and threadfin shad declined by 99.7, 98.3, 99.9, 97.7, 98.5 and 93.7 percent, respectively, according to Bill Jennings, Executive Director of the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance (CSPA). For more information, read: fishsniffer.com/…
While Governor Jerry Brown and other state officials proclaim that the Delta Tunnels project will “restore” the Delta ecosystem, they revealed their real plans when the administration applied for a permit to kill winter-run Chinook salmon, Central Valley steelhead, Delta and longfin smelt and other endangered species with the project.
On October 7, 2016, California Department of Water Resources (DWR) submitted an “incidental take” application for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) in “compliance” with the California Endangered Species Act (CESA) in order to build the Delta Tunnels, also known as the California WaterFix.
For more information, go to: http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/10/10/1580366/-Brown-administration-applies-for-permit-to-take-endangered-species-killed-by-Delta-Tunnels
The NMFS draft biological opinion confirms and expands upon what previous scientific reviews of the Delta Tunnels project, including a scathing 43-page report by the U.S. EPA in 2014, have already documented - that the project, rather than restore the ecosystem, is likely to further imperil struggling populations of salmon, steelhead and other fish species in Central Valley rivers, the San Francisco Bay-Delta and the ocean.
The Delta Tunnels project is based on the absurd assumption that diverting more water out of a river and estuary will somehow “restore” that river and estuary. It addition to hastening the extinction of Sacramento River Chinook salmon, Central Valley steelhead, Delta and longfin smelt and green sturgeon, the California WaterFix also threatens already imperiled salmon and steelhead populations on the Trinity and Klamath rivers.