Off the Record (Aug. 23, 2017)

by AVA News Service, August 23, 2017

WAS RUFFING PUSHED or did she jump? I'm guessing the Fort Bragg City Manager was pushed then, assured of a soft landing onto a cash-stuffed mattress, jumped. It would have gone like this: "Look, Linda, if you'll leave voluntarily we'll bump your pay up so you'll make almost as much retired as you made on the job." So she jumped and the Council announced it as a voluntary act, voting 5-0 to "accept" Ruffing's resignation, although her days were numbered ever since the last election selected three councilmen determined to move on without her.

THE AGREEMENT TO LEAVE promises to pay Ms. R until January 12th, 2018 whether or not she stays on the job through the first two weeks of January. She also gets a three percent pay increase effective back to July 23 and a one-time bonus of five percent of her base pay (without benefits), which was $143,375 in 2016. She will also receive six months severance pay. In other words, a deal non-publicly employed Americans can only dream of. And Fort Bragg can’t afford.

WHAT HAPPENED IN FB, I think, and I’m writing from 50 miles away in Boonville although I closely follow Fort Bragg events because it's my favorite place in all the Redwood Empire, is this: a smart woman got hired to run the place, found herself with a cringing, dithering city council, and she said to herself, "These people are paying me a lot of money to take care of business, but if I wait for these fools to do anything the whole show will go down the tubes." But Ruffing proceeded to take the town at least part way down the tubes as her mommy-mesmerized councilmen rubber-stamped a series of bad, fiscally irresponsible, she set in motion.

ONE of those very bad decisions was to bring in a triple-dipping retired cop from LA as chief over the solid local guy, John Naulty. (I saw that one of FB's idiot libs claimed that the people complaining about the LA guy were “racists” because the LA cop is Hispanic!)

RUFFING’S supporters, a fuzz-brained collection of oppressively PC women, reinforced by a few capon-ized men of the drawstring pants type, claimed that Ruffing’s detractors were not only racist-sexist-dog pigs, they were driven by nostalgia for former FB police chief Scott Mayberry. (I think Mayberry was a fine chief, and I think Naulty would have also been a fine chief. And the guy presently occupying the Chief’s seat is doing a good job, although lots of people wish he would be tougher on the bums and the gang punks.)

MY MEMORY of the Scott Mayberry matter is that after the shooting death of his long-time friend Deputy Ricky Del Fiorentino he needed some time off, which is understandable because he and Naulty had shot and killed the marauding Oregon tweeker who'd murdered Del Fiorentino that awful day. Ruffing demanded that Mayberry be cleared by a City-selected psychiatrist (probably some friend of hers) before returning to the job, while Mayberry insisted he was fine.  He then resigned and went to work for the DA's office while Ruffing proceeded to shaft local guy Naulty for the chief's job, bringing in a retired cop from Los Angeles who would be beholden to her.

THE SALE of the Old Coast Hotel to the irresponsible management of Hospitality House was the second Ruffing-driven blunder, and a blunder Fort Bragg's commercial center will be damaged by for a long time.

IN A LAUGHABLY one-sided report by Dan Young on KZYX last Thursday, Young asserted that more than twenty Ruffing supporters had turned out to speak for her at Monday night's meeting of the Fort Bragg City Council, not mentioning that two people spoke in favor of her removal and not mentioning that Ruffing's supporters were tipped off that her job was on the line and showed up in unimpressive numbers. Twenty is hardly an overwhelming vote of support.

THEN REPORTER YOUNG (a new name to us) turned the mike over to Ruffing who was gosh golly bewildered that she was somehow being blamed for recent controversies. She sounded like someone who'd just happened on an accident scene, although she was behind the wheel of the bus that collided with the Coast Hotel.

RUFFING'S SUPPORTERS are making it all sound as if Ruffing is a martyr to "old Fort Bragg," their code for "backwards-yearning rightwingers.” The reasoning of the righteous ones assumes this: Opponents of Old Fort Bragg is in the way of us, the people who feed the hungry and the poor; we are the people who applaud the appointment of an Hispanic police chief; we are the people who represent the good and the true, The People who voted Hillary!

I THINK FORT BRAGG PEOPLE, old and new, simply saw that their town had been hijacked by cash and carry "liberals,” and set about reclaiming their city council. The recent council election was an overdue revolt to put sensible people back in charge.

A READER WRITES: “More to the Ruffing story than meets the eye. I think she and Councilman Dave Turner, having realized their efforts to bolster the local economy had failed, turned to the grant getting machine she set up… She admitted (boasted?) of having garnered “tens of millions in grants, most of which went to setting up homeless services,” but “the city was not responsible for the homeless.” That was in 1/20/16, quoted in the Fort Bragg Advocate. Meanwhile, the Turner crew approved fast food chain eateries that competed with local biz, like a Taco Bell with all the Mexican cafes already competing, and a chain Discount Grocery as anchor store in a proposed mall. This store would certainly have hurt the locally owned small groceries, and malls are closing all over the country — not smart. The city retained 7% of each grant, CBDG grants only awarded to towns struggling economically. So there are many here who feel really economic prosperity for Fort Bragg was not their goal. Hiring Lizarraga instead of more qualified local hero Naulty, was to bolster the liberal Democratic thrust of the council, and protect their interest in profiting off the homeless services industry because Naulty was a traditional law enforcement officer, where Lizz worries a lot about being proactive might infringe on the civil rights of the transients. And Samantha Zutler, pricey SF lawyer, was hired instead of a local attorney because she too had a civil rights background, and was ready to defend Turner against a recall effort in Measure U, etc. I believe most of their supporters are liberal Dems easily swayed by Turner’s superior “moral compass.” The opinions and concerns of the majority of residents were ignored. The police changed from cops on the beat looking out for problems, to a force that only responded to citizens complaints, and then with a slap on the wrist. Turner 's Flo Beds website even boasted that “helping the homeless was a cornerstone of his terms as mayor.” Prosperity was reserved for the Turners’ family, Ruffing, and their approved supporters. I know many who, needing a biz permit from the city, felt protesting any of this was out of the question…”

ATTORNEY LINDSAY PEAK has resigned her post as a misdemeanor lawyer at the Office of the Public defender, as of last Friday afternoon, according to the DA's Office. The OPD has no truck with the AVA, and Ms. Peak herself has been especially standoffish toward America's Last Newspaper, even though we were more than fair to her in our coverage of her recent DUI trial. That trial ended in a mistrial, but the DA's Office has refiled, and the case is set to go forward next week; and so the timing of her resignation is perhaps an indication of Ms. Peak's prospects for acquittal. (Bruce McEwen)

THIS MORNING'S ‘ALL THINGS CONSIDERED,’ as usual considered little of any substance, and delivered all of it in highly annoying, chirpy voices with bursts of hysterical laughter at remarks that don't warrant a smile let alone full hyena choruses.

ONE OF NPR's happy talkers hosted a lame discussion about race. One of the race experts was a black guy, the other apparently a “highly evolved” white woman,, as she might be described by the arbiters of appropriateness, Fort Bragg branch.

SEVERAL EARNEST WHITE PEOPLE called in to describe their adventures in racism; most of what they described were simple gaffes by naive but well-meaning palefaces. One young woman did say her parents had virtually disowned her for attending a Black Lives Matter rally, but the rest of the discussion consisted of stuff of no real consequence, like one woman who said she was mortified by another white woman's remark to a black man in a play audience that he looked liked the black actor on the stage. I can understand a black person being irritated by a remark like that with its implication that all black people look alike, but "mortification"? At the end of the discussion, the bubblehead hosting the race talk burbled something like, "Well, whatever you do, don't bring this subject up over Christmas dinner." Like, you shouldn't challenge errant opinion wherever?

MY FAMILY is lockstep lib, but there are still arguments at holiday gatherings, especially over the Democratic Party. Elements of my family were very unhappy with me for voting Green instead of Hillary. I've voted third party all of my life for third parties except way back when I was a kid and still feeling my way I voted for Kennedy. On the Trump election,  my in-house critics shared the national lib assumption that Hillary "with all her faults" was "still better than Trump." I argued that she and the Democrats, in their present incarnation, are worse, much worse than Trump, then an unknown factor, in office hamstrung by his own impulsive wackiness.

WITH all the race talk in the air I prefer to point out that race relations are millions of times better than when I was a kid, circa 1957, when genuinely loyal and affectionate intra-race relations were rare-to-non-existent but now there are millions of them now. It took the integration of the armed forces and the wonderful world of sports to begin to break down the lynch mob racism prevalent up through the 1950s. To my diminished mind, the fundamental problem in this country is and has been the economic inequality that puts people at each other's throats. Take that one down and everything else will work out.

JEEZ, BRUCE, if NPR irritates you so much why do you listen to it? I listen because it's the only station I can get when I'm on my early morning hikes. If there was an alternative I'd be there, believe me. Why can't NPR deliver their conservative liberalism without all that hysterical laughter at everything, and the transparently faked emotion of their hosts and news readers? The happy-happy burble-gush voices of these people is insufferable. Are the libs who make up the NPR listening base so enfeebled they need burble-gush to kick their day off?

DEBBIE SILVA NOTES: “A recent Rachel Maddow show began by telling about a July 1984 armored car heist by white supremacist that happened outside of Ukiah!

THE BRINKS ROBBERY MS. SILVA and Rachel Maddow refer to occurred on Highway 20 just north of Ukiah, and it was indeed the work of neo-nazis led by Robert Mathews, a lapsed Mormon who'd begun his career in rightwing extremism at age 11 when he joined the John Birch Society. (If the Mormons had instead handed the kid the Communist Manifesto, he would have grown up to be, ah, Starhawk?) One of Boonville's resident deputies at the time, Dennis Miller, was backed up in what he thought was a traffic accident on Highway 20, but it was Mathews and ten or so other rightwing commandos who'd stopped a Brinks truck in the middle of the road by pulling a pick-up in front of it, out of which  a man with an automatic rifle then leaped onto the hood of the Brinks truck, spraying gunfire at the unreinforced windshield. The two Brinks workers, both young black men, having survived the gunfire uninjured, surrendered the cash amounting to $3.6 million. The money first was driven to Lake Mendocino where it was loaded into another vehicle; the robbers then drove it west to the dependably vacant Armstrong State Park where they spent the night. The money was split among them and, with the exception of uber-fanatic Mathews, the gang went on careless spending sprees that alerted law enforcement that a bunch of guys who had no money suddenly had lots and lots. Mathews himself shot it out with the FBI on Whidby Island, Washington, dying in the burning house he was barricaded in of smoke inhalation and gunshots.

YOUNG MARINES were instructed "Charge a gun, run from a knife." When I was young and dumb I wondered at the likelihood of a situation where that choice would be the only choice. Now that I'm old and dumb I was still shocked by the above photo from the Charlotesville riot, which translated for me that we're not far from guns at these confrontations.The fat boy wielding the knife certainly looks like he's prepared to carve some lib, and without a gun it wouldn't be wise to challenge him. I'm sure there were people in the crowd carrying guns, and they were probably the people among the nazis, not that our side can be said not to number people eager for ultra-vi. I had friends back in the sixties, liberal jocks and recreational bar fighters, who turned out for demonstrations simply for the chance of pounding a nazi or a heckler. (A small group of uniformed nazis always showed up at all the large-scale Bay Area demos, and were carted off by the cops when they attacked peaceful demonstrators. My comrades always hustled up to where the fights were hoping to get a few punches in, but I don't think they ever did.) Looking at photos of the anti-fascists who closed down the Berkeley speech of that repulsive Yapadapalapodis or whatever his name is, they looked big, strong and agile, which is surprising in the context of NorCal Lib, as a group not known to be ready for or prone to physical combat.

LOTS OF MEN these days seem unable to make the distinction between tough and vicious. Since the Marine Corps is the sub-theme here today, and as a kid just out of high school, I got my first mass experience with tough guys, very tough guys, at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, where I and everyone else got beat up on a daily basis for 15 straight weeks. Well, not beat up, but punched, choked, hit on the side of the head with rifles, kicked, and generally treated with unrelenting brutality.  And in between we’d fight each other. I’d grown up playing sports so the physical part of the training wasn't much different than late summer high school football practice, although with the Marines football practice went on all day and deep into every night. I did not like standing at attention while a maniac yelled insults in my face as he rhythmically swung his fist into my stomach or rapped my forehead with his knuckles until a goose egg appeared. (They called that one the “knowledge knock.”) But the toughest of all the Marine tough guys were the half-dozen non-come Marines in charge of what was called "the bad ass platoon." The bad asses were wild recruits who fought the drill instructors, fought other recruits, fought everybody. They were not amenable to military discipline, or any other kind of discipline, it seemed. They got assigned to the bad ass platoon as the Marines last try at salvaging them to fit in with the how-to-kill program. The men in charge of the bad ass platoon were so bad no ordinary bad ass kid was near a match for them, although, and this was pre-weight training, the bad ass honchos looked like ordinary Marines. I heard that they dared the bad ass recruits to fight them, which meant they passed their work days in hand to hand combat with 18 and 19 year olds. And never lost. I have no idea how successful the bad ass platoon was at taming the wild boys, but whenever I saw the wild ones marching past they looked just like the rest of us cannon fodder.


1) THE PARKER SISTERS. In 1851, Elizabeth Parker, a free black child in Chester County, Pennsylvania, a free state bordering slave state Maryland, was kidnapped from the white farm family she was merely semi-enslaved by, and bundled off to a Baltimore slave pen. Two weeks later, her teenage sister, Rachel, was abducted from another Chester County farm and eventually wound up in New Orleans, which she said she preferred to the farm drudgery of her free life in Pennsylvania. Emboldened by Fugitive Slave Act, white slave hunters would raid into Chester County where they were often resisted and even fought by Quaker farmers, the Parker sisters were among their victims but eventually made their way back to Chester County. The Parker Sisters is one more interesting account of our consistently savage history, antebellum America in this one.

2) LAWRENCE In ARABIA by Scott Anderson, brother of Jon Lee Anderson, the fine New Yorker writer. All most of us know about this odd genius is derived from the movie saga, Lawrence of Arabia, which I recall only as repeated scenes of Bedouins, led by a white Englishman, riding around the desert on horses and camels blowing stuff up. The fascinating story of why Lawrence was in Arabia and what he did there brings clarity to both Lawrence's personality and the complicated pre-World War One politics of the Middle East, which we live with and they die of today. Among his formidable gifts, Lawrence was a natural but untrained military wizard, linguist, possessed almost super-human physical stamina, and was fearless and ferocious — all in a 120 pound package arrayed on a couple inches over five feet. (The book's sub-title sums up both the Lawrence period and today — "War, Deceit, Imperial Folly, and the Making of the Modern Middle East.".)

3) THE GENERAL VS. THE PRESIDENT: MACARTHUR & TRUMAN AT THE BRINK by H.W. Brands. The megalomaniacal MacArthur won Korea then lost half of it when, out of what he seemed to believe was his own infallibility, he ignored intelligence reports that the Chinese were massed and poised to attack at the Yalu. MacArthur was certain they wouldn't. They did. And China entered the "U.N. Police Action," with nearly disastrous results for US and our Korean allies. (The clearest history of the Korean War I've read is David Halberstam's The Coldest Winter: America and the Korean War.) The General vs The President concerns itself with the great struggle by Truman to retain civilian control over the military. To do that, Truman, in a highly controversial move that nearly cost him his presidency, removed MacArthur from his Far East command and propelled the popular general all the way into retirement. Hero of two world wars, MacArthur was one of the most revered persons in the world when Truman took him on. However, the great general was better viewed at a distance. When he made a tentative run for president himself, Americans were put off by his superciliously arrogant personality and, as he'd promised in his famous Old Soldiers Never Die speech to Congress, MacArthur soon faded away. Genral Eisenhower had the gift of the common touch. Wildly popular with ordinary Americans, Ike was easily elected to two terms.

PAMELA MARKHAM has finally been terminated from her position as Chief Probation Officer (CPO) of Mendocino County. The AVA has learned that the Presiding Judge of the Superior Court issued a termination letter to Markham several weeks ago. (Markham had been on paid administrative leave since last March, some five months ago.) In typical Mendo fashion, there was no public announcement  by either the robed ones or the County. Official Mendo likes to bury their mistakes. High level employees are often put on "Administrative Leave" at full pay and benefits where they languish for months and months at taxpayer expense. When the case is finally resolved, the offending official is quietly sent down the road, usually with a handsome settlement.

THE AVA BROKE THE STORY as "Scandal of the Week" back on April 12 after receiving a credible letter of in-house sexual hijinks from a Probation Department employee.

THE STORY has generated dozens of on-line comments with many people commenting using their real names, another rarity in an environment where people fear retaliation for speaking their true opinions. Ms. Markham and one of her subordinates had been openly carrying on an affair, despite both being married to other people at the time, and allegations of favoritism were rampant.

IRONICALLY, MARKHAM WAS BROUGHT IN to clean up a department suffering from the “good old boy” environment typical of many male-dominated workplaces. Her immediate predecessors, Buck Ganter and Jim Brown, were following in the footsteps of their predecessors by presiding over a department where a locker room mentality prevailed and favoritism was the norm. And the surest pathway to promotion seemed to go through the Ukiah Men's Golf Club where previous CPOs and their top echelon were regulars.

BUT INSTEAD of shutting down the good old boy environment and the locker room atmosphere, Markham doubled down by openly flirting and quickly choosing her favorites. And Number One on the favorites list was the Juvenile Hall Supervisor and a golfing buddy of the previous CPOs. By all accounts, Markham and the Juvy Hall Supervisor were soon spending hours at a time behind locked doors during working hours. But apparently the County thinks it is perfectly okay for supervisors to boff line staff as long as there is no favoritism involved. Yeah, right!

SEVERAL MONTHS AGO MARKHAM was put on leave with full pay and benefits while an investigation ensued. The Chief Probation Officer is appointed by the Presiding Judge, but is a County employee. So the County has to pay the considerable costs of the paid leave and the investigation. The online comments leave little doubt about the outcome of the investigation. But over the intervening months, the local judges had a stable of lawyers second guessing the County. The timid judges and their timid lawyers determined another investigation must be done. This is big part of the quarter of a million dollars the Board of Supes pays every years to SF-based Liebert, Cassidy, Whitmore for work the half-dozen lawyers in the County Counsel’s office are seemingly incapable of doing.

MARKHAM, who is (was?) married to a Lake County lawyer, immediately lawyered up once the allegations started flying, which probably explains the timidity of the judges. The cost of Markham’s lengthy paid Admin Leave with full benefits and the cost of the needlessly drawn out and expensive multiple investigations are all borne by the County taxpayers. Likewise for any payoff Markham received or that she might receive from a lawsuit. The only real questions now are if she was paid to leave and how much?

(FOR ALL THEIR self-alleged concern about saving a few “taxpayer dollars” by outsourcing emergency dispatch and inland ambulance services to a giant Dutch ambulance outfit, Supervisors Croskey, Hamburg and Brown never so much as asked a question about the huge outside lawyer bill or the costly extended admin leave associated with the Markham Affair.)

WHO’S UP NEXT for the Chief Probation Officer position? Kevin Kelley, based solely on tenure, has been appointed as the Interim for the intervening months since March, but it will be up to the robed ones to name a permanent CPO, not the County.

THE FOLLOWING LETTERS from Fort Bragg resident, Carole White, neatly serves as the subtext for Fort Bragg's civic turmoil. Ms. White, in these private communiques, describes her political opponents as the equivalent of the Charlottesville nazis! Anybody for the removal of city manager Ruffing is, ipso facto, a Klansman. But this is how the righteous ones think, all the while claiming the political high ground. Anyone outside, much less opposed to, the Turner-Ruffing Axis, is a latent fascist, a Deplorable.  Here it is, folks, liberal bigotry in full flower:

From: Carole White

Subject: Linda Ruffing contract negotiation

August 14, 2017

Dave [Turner. councilman, former mayor],

I am forwarding you my letter to Lindy. I expect the same from you. It is time to speak up and defend against the kind of institutional and insidious misogyny, racism, bigotry that is rampant in our town. I realize you are somewhat of a lone ranger now. But since you are not seeking reelection, I urge you to use this next year to pushback against delusional and stupid thinking and action. I appreciate your testimony at the planning committee meeting. That and more is what we need from you. If you need support to back you up, you just need to ask us. Many are counting on you to take a stand and to lead the rest of us to back you up. If the Norvell camp can do this, so can we. Thank you for your service to our community,

Carole "Be the change you wish to see in the world." --Gandhi

MS. WHITE writes to Lindy [Peters, FB mayor]

I have observed the local development and political scene here for 40 years. I remember the debacle of the North Cliff Hotel perpetrated by the good old boys at the time. I remember the Glass Beach subdivision, the unsolved arson fires, Redwood Summer, etc. and I remember when we started having the occasional women on the council and Linda Ruffing took on the city manager position, there was finally a slightly better ratio of representation and things started to improve. Under Linda's experience and leadership, many great things have happened in our town in spite of the closure of the mill, the financial and housing prices, etc., none of which were her doing. I certainly do not think Gary Milliman would have done better. You and I do not always agree by any means. That has also been true of Linda Ruffing and Marie Jones, in their positions at City Hall. However, I respect our various differences of opinion in addition to the contributions we all make to our community. Having said that, you know as well as I, that there is a faction intent on a continued poisonous tirade and vendetta against Linda and Marie and while we are at it, Samantha Zutler. And we both know that this vendetta started at the hands of ex- chief of police, Mayberry and his followers. I do not know the man personally and had no reason to dislike him. But whether his behavior at the end of the job was due to the trauma of officer Rick Del Fiorentino's killing, or not, it was cowardly, disrespectful and inflammatory for him to have someone else publicly resign for him at a City Council meeting. Instead of either pursuing his claims of wrongdoing or resigning in a respectful manner like most people, he chose to actively drag us all through a horrible and unsettling period in our town. I am so glad that he is no longer on active police duty. It appears a result of his rage at having a woman superior, namely Linda Ruffing, that we have come to where we are today. I hold him personally responsible for the rampant misogyny that has been unleashed at all of the smart and strong women who have been leading our town, heading up boards and committees and contributing to the health, justice and diversity here. However, he did not get us here all by himself. Your new council members were elected in part to continue the witchhunt and take down anyone and anything that may have contributed to the deep resentments that he sparked by his action. Regardless of whether there is any actual merit to the opinions held by that group. If I thought that people really were interested in uncovering truth and sorting fact from fiction, I might feel differently. But my experience over the last three years informs me that is not the case. People want to hang on to their opinions in spite of overwhelming facts. Climate change being a global example. Hospitality Center a local one. From an ethical and possibly legal standpoint, the action by Bernie Norvell to pull the city manager contract from the consent calendar at the last City Council meeting, having been placed there after contract deliberations, is very suspect. Procedurally acceptable, maybe. But it would not have been on the consent calendar if there had been a dispute during negotiations unresolved. There is absolutely no legitimate reason for not continuing Linda’s contract. And I think you know that. The vendetta covertly has already taken our excellent city attorney, Samantha Zutler. And now the move is to eliminate Linda.

Exacting vengeance against a woman who has performed her job exceptionally well under very difficult economic conditions and social unrest is blatant misogyny. Charlottesville is right here, Lindy. Do not allow those people to take over our town, or our ability to work together as a community will be set back by decades. It is very close already, and we need to fight to maintain reason. Difference of opinion is one thing. Allowing delusional thinking to infect every governing body is sure suicide and antithetical to a functioning democracy.

As mayor, you have an enormous responsibility to lead our city government. Or not. You will be as complicit as the others if you do not figure out how to stop this so we can move forward with the business at hand. I urge you to stand up and defend Linda and negotiate her contract in good faith. She deserves respect and gratitude, not petty bullying and aspersion. We need her. You and I both know that the difficulty in finding any employees, let alone exceptional ones, is cataclysmic at this time. Becky Walker, FBUSD, may have stated that they are "interning local residents without credentials" because they will stay here, but that is somewhat disingenuous. It is actually because there is a dearth of qualified teachers, let alone experienced ones, and none are flocking here for the low wages, high cost of living and lack of housing. I imagine Linda could do much better elsewhere in both salary and treatment. But this is her community too. And good luck to Fort Bragg in finding candidates (let alone someone to take the job) who have her talent, experience and commitment. Even in the best of times.

Respectfully, Carole White, Fort Bragg

SUPES COMPLAIN to Fish & Wildlife about over-zealous and heavy-handed pot enforcement on small pot gardens.

From the Supes letter: “…the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors is concerned that recent activities by California Department of Fish & Wildlife may prove counterproductive to our efforts to bring cannabis cultivators into a regulated system. Environmentally damaging practices and illegal water diversion, whatever the intended purpose, must be stopped. But we question the necessity and advisability of heavy handed summary eradication of small scale cultivation operations that are in the permit process. We are very concerned that actions of this type will have a chilling effect on the willingness of cultivators to apply for permits.”

BASED ON recent pot reg discussions at the Supes Chambers in Ukiah, a few basically minor changes are being proposed for adoption on Tuesday. The proposed pot reg changes would:

Redefine “youth oriented facility”

Redefine and relax setback requirements

Allow two permits per parcel under certain conditions.

Removes third party inspection requirements.

Extends deadline for proof of prior cultivation submission.

Allows for removal of dead, dying or diseased trees and revises other tree treatment requirements.

“…Provide specific clarity that violations related to the cultivation Permit will be included in the compliance plan, while violations not directly related to the cultivation Permit will be addressed separately.”

BUT NOTHING about disability access and bathroom requirements for greenhouses, drying sheds, etc. Nor anything about implementation of “overlay zones” which would allow a local neighborhood to permit (or not permit) pot growing in areas where it’s prohibited (or permitted).


I have lived in this county [Humboldt] since 1952 and things always change. I lived in Petrolia when the water was clear and we could fish in the river. My family was threatened periodically because we were Okies and didn’t belong here. I watched my father more than once fly into the house and grab our only rifle because someone objected to our existence. I heard the weapon cock and the old man say get out of your car and die or turnaround and live. Every one turned around.

I have neighbors most of whom have small indoor operations and sometimes their motors require ear plugs and their exhaust requires air filters. I am not happy about that but they probably aren’t happy about some of the stuff I do.

I realized one of them was night prowling on my property and examining my stuff. I found an opportunity to tell him how I had to shoot foxes and raccoons at night to protect my chickens and that my eyesight was getting bad so I used just my hearing to shoot, you know, like brush shots for deer. He hasn’t been around at night, according to my infra-red cameras since I told him that. So, he’s not as stupid as I thought.

The young ones showing up every day however, do concern me. They are arrogant and believe that might makes right and that it’s their time and they are going to become millionaires, not knowing those slots are already allocated to people a whole lot smarter than them. The big grows right now are the criminals trying to take money out before they are closed down by regs and the state. Some will make it out with their money, some will not even make it out with their lives.

Mourn for the past and prepare for the economic collapse. Find other ways to make a living cause this one is going away. If you are local, join with your neighbors and form mutual assistance associations. Help one another out. Let others know your concerns and figure out how to protect yourselves. Learn from the Vietnamese about how they got the biggest government to get out. Use these techniques on the uncaring and the greedy. There are thousands of ways to get even rather than get mad and getting even works. And these little victories can turn into big victories. I am an optimist and I have many tools in my arsenal. You can do it too. Be careful and live well.

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