Mendocino County Today: Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018
by AVA News Service, February 17, 2018
QUESTIONS FOR PROSPECTIVE SUPERVISORS, 3RD AND 5TH DISTRICTS
1. Do you think the County’s mental health money is being effectively spent? (around $28 million at last estimate)
2. If you had monarchical authority, what would you do to create genuinely low cost housing?
3. What is your opinion of the recent moratorium on vacation home rentals?
4. Your opinion of the locally proposed changes to Class K.
5. What do you think of the current marijuana regulation program?
6. Do you agree with CEO Angelo’s decision to separate Mendocino County from Coastal Valley EMS?
7. What is your opinion of the leadership provided by CEO Angelo’s “Leadership Team”?
8. How many Board meetings have you attended in the last year? Watched any on YouTube?
9. Do you agree with the Board’s recent decision to raise their pay to $84,000 plus benefits? Should the three retiring supervisors have voted on the raise?
10. Do you think the County needs to spend some $50,000 to hire an outside consultant for a needs assessment before proceeding with Measure B’s mental health facilities program?
11. What specific benefits do the children of Mendocino County derive from the First 5 program? Would you support spending most of the annual $1 million on childcare vouchers instead of on Ukiah staffers?
12. Who would you appoint to the Planning Commission?
13. What is the single biggest environmental problem faced by the County?
14. Do you support the current level of water diversion from the Eel River to mostly irrigate vineyards in Potter Valley?
15. Do you think the County’s recently organized Ground Water Sustainability Committee is dominated by wine-grape interests?
16. What is the first project or program you would look into if elected?
(Ed Note: Readers are welcome to suggest additional questions which we will submit to the current crop of Supervisorial candidates in the next few weeks.)
STAFF LIST PLEASE, KZYX
Dear Mr. Parker:
As a candidate for your board of directors, I'm requesting a list of staff and their compensation.
Attached: "Suspicions Confirmed" by Larry Minson
Subject: CPB regulations
Dear Mr. Anderson:
I was a board member at KZYX for about 9 months last year. Unable to persuade the rest of the board to comply with the rules, regulations and laws, and under advice from an attorney, I resigned rather than be an accomplice to what was going on.
I was told by the election committee and later by the board itself, that the primary duty of the board was to raise money. This is not correct. The board is charged with overseeing the finances and keeping the operation transparent and is the direct supervisor of the general manager. I was denied access to the books as well as to posting articles on the website, even though the articles were puff pieces about programmers and the like.
This was punishment for trying to do my job.
I uncovered that the station is paying $200+ per month on a 6 year lease for a copy machine, including about 15 cents a copy for each copy made.
The station only prints, on average, about 100 copies a month, all in black and white, due more to election mailings than internal documents. I was told that the employees like to make a lot of personal, color photographs and the GM, Jeffrey Parker, was quite happy with this arrangement. He told me that I should travel to Philo to attend weekly employee meetings, find out what the employees wanted, and do their bidding. A really good, brand new black and white laser copier can be had for the cost of 2 months lease, plus we would own it. After the 6 years are up, the leased copier will still be good to use, but the station must return it to the dealer at that time.
I learned that one full time employee was literally doing nothing, but the GM told me to ignore that because this employee was probably going to retire in a few years. Stuart Campbell was the treasurer and kept all the finances secret from the board. He presented the board with the fact that his wife was surreptitiously hired as a full time employee in a secret process that usurped the board's duties and violated all kinds of stuff. Then, he "resigned" from the board, as required, but continued to attend private board meetings and may also still be running the finances.
The current board president, Jenness Hartley, who was handpicked by her predecessor without discussion, is a party to this secrecy and refused to even raise these issues at board meetings.
The board is the laziest, most irresponsible board I have ever seen. They are all too busy being important and beautiful people to perform their duties and don't even know what those duties are. Stuart Campbell has been running a constant tab on a line of credit that costs the station $11,000 in interest every year. He takes the CPB grant money to pay down the line of credit, then there are insufficient operating funds which makes him run up a new tab. He could easily cut that out, live within a generous budget, and save the station a lot of money, but he says that he needs the line of credit in case emergency funds are required. However, if that were to happen, we should have a zero balance owing rather than being maxed out, and no repairs have ever cost anywhere near the $11,000 he is throwing down the toilet.
Attached is a copy of our Corporation for Public Broadcasting agreement. We are in gross violation of said document and the penalties are so severe that the station would immediately go dark. I also have a written copy of the KZYX bylaws, which the board is also in gross violation of. If you want a copy of the bylaws, let me know and I'll send them to you.
I hope this has been helpful.
ROBBERY SUSPECT’S BEHAVIOR ERRATIC
Questions raised about how law enforcement handled Center before shootout
by Nick Rahaim
Nine days before armed robbery suspect Dawn Elika Center was shot dead by three Mendocino County sheriff’s deputies alongside Highway 101, she delivered a dead skunk to the manager of the Ukiah Walmart.
Mendocino County District Attorney David Eyster, whose office is leading an investigation into Tuesday’s shooting, declined to provide any information from that inquiry or new details on the circumstances leading up to Center’s death.
But people who encountered Center in her final days have come forward to recount incidents of bizarre and erratic behavior on the part of the 48-year-old Redwood Valley resident. Some have raised questions about whether local law enforcement let that reported behavior escalate until it became dangerous and ultimately, deadly.
In the latest story to emerge, Lynette Guenther, Walmart manager in Ukiah, said Center delivered a dead skunk wrapped in five plastic bags to the store on Feb. 4 along with a hand-written note addressed to Guenther.
The note said “Lynette, with love. Anonymous.”
“I didn’t know who she was or why she targeted me,” Guenther said. “But a sane person doesn’t deliver a dead skunk.”
Guenther said she called the Ukiah police and an officer responded but said delivering a skunk was not a crime so it wasn’t an issue for law enforcement.
“Clearly she was off her rocker but (the police) turned a blind eye and didn’t deal with it,” she said. “This could have been all avoided. How many lives were put in danger?”
Ukiah police Capt. Justin Wyatt said his department did respond to the incident and were still investigating possible crimes. Wyatt was unsure if his department had followed up with Center before she was shot and killed Tuesday.
Delivering a dead skunk “seems like it would be a crime or some kind of violation,” he said, but would not provide further comment because the case has yet to be closed.
On the day she died, Center took a black 2015 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for a test drive at Thurston Auto Plaza in Ukiah Tuesday morning. Other than driving too fast she acted normal, said general sales manager Trevor Thurston.
But when Center was denied financing she put a handgun to the chest of a salesman about 9:25 a.m.and demanded the keys to the $45,000 sports car, Thurston said.
Center then fled at speeds topping 100 mph on Highway 101 north but crashed into a ditch after law enforcement dropped spike strips in front of her north of Willits, according to Thurston, who was given information not released to the public.
When Center exited the car she confronted deputies and Willits police while holding a handgun and was shot dead, the Sheriff’s Office said in a statement the day of the shooting.
The following day the Sheriff’s Office announced that three deputies had fired upon Center. The deputies involved had 30 years, 11 years and four years of service with the agency and have been placed on paid leave.
Since that time the Sheriff’s Office has refused to release any additional information, including the names of the deputies, the number of shots fired or say if Center fired on deputies before she was gunned down on Highway 101 in view of motorists.
Sheriff Tom Allman said his office would not provide comment or additional information until the investigation is complete. Repeated inquiries from the press were “wasting people’s time,” he said.
In an earlier public statement on Facebook this week Allman, who is running for re-election this year, said the law enforcement officers involved “protected innocent motorists who were witnessing a very dangerous, and ultimately deadly, situation.”
He added that he hoped the county’s recently approved sales tax to support mental health services would decrease such “situations.” No details were provided this week by authorities on the woman’s previous contacts with law enforcement or mental health. In an email on Friday, Eyster, who was first elected in 2010 and is running for his third term in office this year, said he would not comment on the case or provide any additional details, including public information withheld by the Sheriff’s Office.
Eyster touted a “proven track record of publicly issuing a comprehensive final report on officer-involved shootings” and said “all unanswered questions will likely be answered when that report is eventually released.”
Outside of Tuesday’s shooting, the office has investigated a total of two officer-involved shootings in Eyster’s tenure, according to Mike Geniella, a spokesman for the office. The lone report available from those cases covers the 2011 shooting death of double murder suspect Aaron Bassler after a weekslong manhunt. The other case involves the death of a 23-year-old woman fatally shot in her Ukiah motel room Dec. 21 after an armed standoff between law enforcement and her husband. A report from Eyster’s office remains under wraps as the husband’s criminal case progresses.
Before Center took the Camaro ZL1 at gunpoint she had shopped around for similar cars.
Center went to Platinum Chevrolet in Santa Rosa on Sunday and attempted to purchase a 2018 Chevrolet Camaro SS but didn’t qualify for a loan, said sales manager Gerry Meoto.
She showed up to the dealership in a aged Ford pickup towing a trailer loaded with cows said Joe Herrera, a salesman at Platinum Chevrolet. She cursed frequently during the visit and was the most conspicuous customer of the day, he said.
“She was a real rootin’tootin’ Calamity Jane,” he said.
The animals she brought to the dealership were alive and appeared to be in good condition, he said.
(courtesy The Press Democrat)
MEHTLAN VERDICT: NOT GUILTY (of motel vandalism).
Ukiah, Thurs., February 15. -- A Mendocino County Superior Court jury returned from its deliberations this afternoon to announce it was acquitting a defendant of having vandalized a local motel in a value greater than $400. The evidence presented at trial included that the defendant, among other damage, literally tore a window and its entire framing out of the wall in the Ukiah motel room where he was staying.
Eric Wayne Mehtlan, age 40 of Ukiah, had been charged with felony vandalism and misdemeanor resisting arrest, along with a separate matter involving his having violated his parole.
Outside the presence of the jury the defendant plead no contest to the resisting arrest charge, as well as admitted having violated his parole, to strategically keep that information from the jury during the course of the trial.
When defendant Mehtlan elected to testify on his own behalf, it was disclosed to the jury through the questioning of his counsel that he had suffered "three" prior felony convictions. The Court earlier granted a defense motion disallowing the prosecutor from also impeaching the defendant during cross-examination with one of the defendant's prior convictions for burglary in the first degree (residential), as well as the defendant's prior felony conviction for being an accessory to the 1996 murder of Larry Long, said information being deemed too prejudicial for the jury to hear and consider. Overall, Mehtlan has five prior felony convictions, four of which are Strikes under California's voter-modified Three Strikes laws.
Once the jury was thanked and excused, the defendant was sentenced to 135 days in the county jail for the parole violation (meaning no additional time beyond the 68 days awarded for time already served), and an additional 60 days for the resisting arrest conviction, which equates to 30 days (all sentences these days require that only half the sentence imposed be actually served). Mehtlan was awarded 21 days for time already served against the 30, meaning defendant Mehtlan will be released back into the community in less than nine days.
The prosecutor who presented the People's evidence at trial was Deputy District Attorney Luke Oakley. The investigating law enforcement agencies were the Ukiah Police Department, the State Parole Office, and the District Attorney's own investigators. The judge who presided over the three day trial was the Honorable John Behnke.
(District Attorney Press Release)
VOTER REGISTRATION THIS SATURDAY AT PAY N' TAKE & JUNE ELECTION INFORMATION
Voter registration this Saturday, February 17th from 8:30AM until noon at the Pay N' Take at The Gualala Community Center in Gualala & june 5, 2018 election information:
You are eligible to register to vote if you are a U.S. Citizen, a California Resident and you will be 18 years old by Tuesday, June 5, 2018.
Voter Registration forms are in English and in Spanish. Please bring your Drivers License, Social Security Card, OR your California ID Card.
You must re-register if you have moved, changed your name, or wish to change your party.
The June 5, 2018 election is very important. We will vote for Governor, Lt. Governor, Secretary Of State, Supervisor of Public Education, US Senator, Board of Equalization, Controller and Insurance Commissioner. We will also vote for Assembly District, US Congress, and State Senator.
In Mendocino County we will vote for: Supervisor in the 3rd and 5th Districts, District Attorney, Sheriff, Treasure/Tax Collector, Auditor Controller, and Assessor/Clerk Recorder.
This will be an Open Primary election. You can be registered as any party and we will all get the same ballot. If you want to register as an independent, you must check "Decline To State" on the Voter Registration Form. There is no Independent Party in California. The American Independent Party is a very far-right political party that nominated George Wallace for President. It will not make you an "independent" in California!
This is a very important election, so register to vote now! And then please vote on june 5th!
Protect and Respect your Precious Right to vote.
Information at sos.ca.gov
Yasmin Solomon" <email@example.com>
HUNKER DOWN, UKIAH
Our city is under attack. By whom do you ask? It sure seems that the city “staff” is trying their best to take our once proud city down the tube. The constant idea to take the heart of downtown and turn it into one lane each way is obscene! I cannot find one person who can imagine this thought. Immediately the question comes up, where would people get an idea like this?! Strong sources report that insane thoughts like this come from the continued program of sending “staff” off on junkets called conferences. They must come back with an idea whether good or bad. We are seeing more bad ideas. I would have to guess these are the same shining stars who came up with spending a million (yes $1,000,000) on the cement stamping for the crosswalks at State Street and Perkins. Have you noticed how nice these look? And where is that $1,000,000 piece of equipment? My best guess is, it is outside gathering a fine coat of rust.
Suggestion: stop all “staff” going to conferences immediately. Spend that money in 2018 and beyond on fixing pot holes! Last year out of frustration with some smoke and mirrors there was a new tax here in the city. Money to be used for the long ignored roads. Road conditions should have had their due cut from those local tax dollars. Where did those funds go? And these new tax dollars? Been a year. Have you driven on any streets that have been improved?
If you ask me this sure looks like 1984 all over again! 1984? Sure that’s when California got sold a bill of goods, passed the lottery and got money for our schools! Schools will be better equipped to bring better education for our kids. Who could not want to help the kids?! Have you checked lately on California schools? Ranking #48 — California schools. Sure glad those dollars got sent to the schools, or they might rank #49, or even #50!
LITTLE DOG SAYS, “Just sayin', but if that psycho Florida kid owned a dog, especially a nice dog like me, he wouldn't have gone off like that. Psycho Kid had nobody outside his crazy self and the internet.”
FBI ADMITS IT FAILED TO INVESTIGATE NIKOLAS CRUZ TIPOFF
On 5 January, a tipster who was close to Cruz called the FBI and provided information about Cruz’s guns, desire to kill people, erratic behavior and disturbing social media posts. The FBI says the caller expressed concerns Cruz could attack a school.
KATY TAHJA RETIRES
After 27 years of attending to the needs of readers at Gallery Bookshop Katy Tahja is retiring on February 24 and an informal reception will take place for her from noon to 2 p.m.
While the event will take place in the Jarvis Nichols building at Main & Kasten streets the bookshop was a much smaller entity decades ago. One of her first bookshop memories was working as a school library consultant in 1989 using the resources of Bookwinkle’s Children’s Books on the corner of Albion & Kasten. When the Loma Prieta earthquake occurred she was doing research there and remembers shopkeepers gathering in the street listening to a car radio for news from the Bay Area.
Bookwinkle’s was a children’s wonderland of books and Tahja’s background as a librarian and a teacher let her fit right in when she joined the staff in 1990. As so many workers in town did she had two jobs. Mornings were spent in the Mendocino Middle School Library from 1988 to 2007 and afternoons in the bookshop. She is proud that many young people she had in her school library went on in later years to be bookshop employees.
There used to be a tree on the corner of Kasten & Albion and when Tahja’s daughter Fern was a school child waiting for mom to get off work she’d climb up into the tree and make bird noises trying to get tourists to look up into the tree. As her kids grew up there were the times she would sit on the curb with the store closed waiting for the kid who said “I promise I’ll be there with the car Mom…” to actually show up.
Over the years Katy Tahja worked with more than 60 co-workers, two great bosses (Tony Miksak & Christie Olson Day) and two shop cats, Collette and the Great Catsby. She saw the enterprise grow from two small storefronts to an expansion into Main Street in 1993. As she leaves the store is expanding again with a wall coming down and books moving into the space that used to be the Courtyard shop. Tahja loves having seen a generation of Mendocino kids grow up to be readers and now bring their children in to buy books.
Some of her favorite memories are the kinds of things anyone who has worked in town for decades might remember. Somehow Alphonso’s music shop west on Main Street had the ability to broadcast classical music over the phone lines and you could hear the same background music all over town. Main Street merchants would call side street shopkeepers with “Sunset Alerts” when a particularly great sunset was worth a walk to the corner to check it out.
At Christmas bed & breakfast owners would show up with a plate of cookies to thank the bookshop for referrals. In recent years the Great Catsby has been returned to the bookshop by merchants on Main Street who found the cat visiting their place at closing time. Tahja says during the Mendocino Music Festival the shop would open all its doors and let the music drifting across the street from the headlands fill the building.
Over the years there have been disruptions of a major fire up- stairs, a new foundation under the 1871 building, days without power during winter storms and they just kept selling books. Tahja is proud of the Book Angels program she helped establish putting books into the hands of needy kids at Christmas. Working for so long she has seen some of the recipients grow to adulthood and come in to buy a book as a Book Angel because they remember how much it meant to them that a stranger would buy you a book.
Not that many people find themselves being a “Living History” for a workplace but Katy Tahja has been at the bookshop for 27 of its 53 year existence. She is quick to point out there are many other senior employees that can now answer those questions and today there is Google for answers. When Tahja began “Books in Print” was indeed a book you referred to, and then it became microfilm. Remember microfilm? Audio books were books on cassette tape.
Katy Tahja bids goodbye to her friends in town but she is not going far. She will fill in and be doing odd jobs occasionally at Gallery Bookshop and docenting at the Kelley House Museum. Tahja is in the midst of writing a 150-year history of Mendocino County and is a local history columnist with the Anderson Valley Advertiser newspaper. A trip to Ireland in May to see her ancestors’ homeland is planned and August will bring her seventh trip to Burning Man. The view out the window of the bookshop across the headlands to the surf she’ll miss but the endless hours spent driving 15 miles up and down Comptche Ukiah Road she won’t miss at all.
PUDDING CREEK BEACH
(Click to enlarge)
(Photo by Judy Valadao)
WOODLANDS WILDLIFE ON RATS, MICE AND HUMANE EXCLUSION SERVICE
First--don't use poisons, the rat or mouse staggers out into the world and is eaten by an owl (or your pet) which then dies. An owl can catch more rodents in one night than we can kill in a month. Sonoma Wildlife has a humane exclusion service that will at least tell you how to humanely evict them if they can't come up here to do it. They charge to come here, but all the income goes to wildlife rescue, they don't use poisons, and they don't kill the animals (which may or may not be significant to you at his point). They're happy to share information and tell you how to get rid of things though you may want to hire the local exterminator to do the clean up and repair the damage.
Note: It requires special vacuum filter and industrial mask equipment to clean up the mess, so you really don't want to send just anyone up there with a vacuum. Rats and rodents in our area are known to carry Hanta virus which is shed in their feces (droppings) and becomes air-borne when you vacuum or sweep them. It can be fatal in humans. You need to wear special industrial masks AND use special equipment or run the possibility of contaminating your entire house with this airborne virus. Call Sonoma Wildlife's Humane Exclusion program, and visit their web site for more info and help. They will also tell you how to keep more of their kind from returning as there might be an attractive access they are finding that perhaps you aren't aware of.
Be sure to ask when you are booking with any company to see if they provide humane evictions and do not kill the intruder or use poisons. Woodlands Wildlife has an exclusion chart that shows all the places on your house that might serve as access points for rodents. Email me: Woodlands Wildlife and I can send you a cc by return email.
That's: scwildliferescue.org/a-wildlife-exclusion-service.html Or just: scwildliferescue.org
Ronnie James <firstname.lastname@example.org>
THE SWINGIN BOONVILLE BIG BAND RIDES AGAIN!
The Swingin Boonville Big Band (Yeehaa! fireworks, drumrolls), formed in the year 2000 as an Anderson Valley Adult Ed. class, will return to Laurens Cafe in Boonville on Saturday February 17th. This is the 18th annual show at Laurens, and the band considers it sort of home base since its first public appearance was given there. The band currently is 20 musicians strong. The band plays mostly classic hits from the Great American Song Book. Singing sensation Sharon Garner will headline the show. Break out your dancin shoes and join in the fun. The show starts at 9:00 PM and runs to 11:00 PM. Admiussion is $10.00 and all proceeds benefit A.V. Adult Ed. Music. The Dance floor at Lauren's is bigger than one would expect after they clear out the tables and the floor itself is smooth and good for dancing.
CATCH OF THE DAY, February 15, 2018
Beard, Gonzalez-Carbajal, Goodwin, Koroma
NOAH BEARD, Mendocino. Domestic abuse.
JULIO GONZALEZ-CARBAJAL, Fort Bragg. Domestic battery and abuse.
KELLY GOODWIN, Laytonville. Felon in possession of firearm, prior strike.
MICHAEL KOROMA JR., Ukiah. DUI, probation revocation.
Monroe, Plascencia-Barajas, Preap, Seale
MICHAEL MONROE, San Pablo/Ukiah. Probation revocation.
MIGUEL PLASCENCIA-BARAJAS, Ukiah. Failure to appear.
MONY PREAP, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. Failure to appear.
ERIC SEALE, Fort Bragg. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
by Frederick Wilmot-Smith
The oceans are awash with plastic. According to one study from 2015, 90% of seabirds have it in their gut. Another study indicates that a third of the fish caught in UK waters have it in theirs. Unless something changes, it is estimated that by 2050 there will be a greater weight of plastic in the seas than fish. The British secretary of state for the environment, Michael Gove, watching Blue Planet 2 and moved by images of, among other things, a turtle caught in plastic, tweeted that “the imperative to do more to tackle plastic in our oceans is clear.”
What should be done? New laws could be passed. But that will help only if they are obeyed. Although there are laws governing air quality in the UK and elsewhere, the National Audit Office has found that 85% of air-quality zones breach legal limits. Laws don’t enforce themselves. When they are broken, ensuring compliance will require an individual or an institution to bring legal proceedings. Since environmental illegality tends to affect large numbers of people incrementally and in ways that can be difficult to ascertain, often no individual has a particular incentive to bring a claim. That’s why the Environmental Protection Agency in the US is dedicated partly to the enforcement of environmental laws. It is, though, subject to political influence: under Trump, its budget has been cut by 30%, and it has gone after only 40% of the civil penalties the Obama administration sought in the corresponding period.
In the past, when the EPA failed in its duties, private litigation was brought to secure compliance. When Ronald Reagan appointed Anne Gorsuch (mother of the newest Supreme Court justice, Neil Gorsuch) to head the EPA, he asked if she was willing to “bring it to its knees.” She slashed its budget and, as the New York Times put it, “sabotaged the agency’s enforcement effort.” In response, James Thornton, a crusading lawyer, brought private actions to hold polluters to account. In 1982, while the EPA brought 14 cases against industries under the Clean Water Act, Thornton brought sixty. One of his suits was against a meat-packing company, Gwaltney, which had been pumping fecal coliform, Kjeldahl nitrogen and chlorine into a river. The pollution ended up in the Chesapeake Bay. Thornton showed that the pollution was illegal and that Gwaltney had wilfully ignored its obligations. They were fined more than a million dollars. (Gwaltney challenged the award, with some success, before the US Supreme Court. One of its lawyers was John G. Roberts Jr., now the chief justice.) Another polluter, Bethlehem Steel, was dumping 40 pounds of cyanide per day into the Chesapeake Bay. Thornton forced it to pay $1 million to charity. (Bethlehem’s illegal dumping had saved the company $36 million.)
So far as we know, the Earth has witnessed five mass extinctions, four of them caused by climate change bound up with the accumulation of greenhouse gases. (The other one, which did in the dinosaurs, was probably caused by an asteroid.) Two hundred and fifty million years ago, the Permian-Triassic extinction began when large volcanic eruptions in Siberia caused the Earth to warm by roughly five degrees. More than 80 per cent of Earth’s species were annihilated in the aftermath.
The median prediction of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, seen by many as a conservative estimate, is that the planet will have warmed by four degrees by the end of this century.
“Property that is common to the greatest number of owners receives the least attention,” Aristotle wrote in the Politics, because “they think less of it on the ground that someone else is thinking about it.” It has been easy enough until now to let the European Union (and ClientEarth) think about environmental law for us. Once the UK leaves the EU, it will be down to England itself to pay more attention to our common property and the laws that govern it.
BIG METH BUST IN HUMCO
From the Humboldt County Drug Task Force:
On February 15, 2018, the Humboldt County Drug Task Force with assistance from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, Eureka Police Department, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Bureau of Land Management, United States Forest Service and the California Department of Justice served six Humboldt County Superior Court search warrants.
The search warrants were related to an ongoing investigation into a narcotics trafficking and distribution operation being conducted in the Eureka/Arcata area. As a result of the warrants approximately five pounds of suspected methamphetamine, a butane extraction lab, approximately 12 grams of suspected cocaine, 2 grams of suspected heroin, 7 vicodin, 54 xanax, 14 hydrocodone, and 13 clonazepam were seized. Along with this was evidence of sales including scales, packaging material and prepackaged narcotics. Additionally, Agents seized three semi-automatic pistols that were illegally possessed.
Six individuals were arrested in connection with this investigation.
26 year old Vicente Lopez-Garcia was arrested and booked for possession of a controlled substance for sale, possession of a narcotic for sale and maintaining a residence for the purposes of distributing controlled substances.
52 year old Vicente Lopez-Moreno was arrested and booked for possession of a controlled substance for sale and maintaining a residence for the purposes of distributing controlled substances.
25 year old Isis Maldonado-Salinas was arrested and booked for possession of a controlled substance for sale and maintaining a residence for the purposes of distributing controlled substances.
23 year old Alexis Juarez-Pompa was arrested and booked for manufacturing concentrated cannabis using a volatile solvent without a license, and maintaining a residence for the purposes of distributing a controlled substance.
25 year old Yesenia Hernandez-Pulido was arrested and booked for manufacturing concentrated cannabis using a volatile substance without a license.
29 year old Christian Castillo was arrested and booked for possession of a narcotic for sale and possession of a firearm while in possession of a narcotic.
This investigation is ongoing and future arrests are anticipated. Anyone with information related to this investigation or other narcotics related crimes are encouraged to call the Humboldt County Drug Task Force at 707-444-8095 or the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Tip Line at 707-268-2539.
Top Row: Maldonado-Salinas, Lopez-Moreno, Juarez-Pompa; Bottom Row: Lopez-Garcia, Hernandez-Pulido, Castillo. Photo: Humboldt County Drug Task Force
RECOVERY TOWN HALL
Rebuilding Mendocino County Strong
The regularly scheduled Community Meeting for Wednesday, February 21 has been rescheduled for Thursday, February 22. Federal, state, and county leaders will all come together for a Recovery & Rebuilding Town Hall in Mendocino County on Thursday, February 22 at 6:30 p.m.
The Town Hall will be an opportunity for residents to receive updated information on debris removal operations, there will be a briefing on the partial rebuild of the Redwood Valley County Water District, residents will be provided all the information they need to rebuild their homes and there will be an update on local services and programs available for fire survivors.
When: Thursday 22, 2018 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Where: Eagle Peak Middle School Cafeteria, 8601 West Rd, Redwood Valley CA 95470
Agencies attending: Congressman Huffman, Senator McGuire, Mendocino County Planning and Building Services, Mendocino County Department of Transportation, Mendocino County Environmental Health, Redwood Valley Water District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Cal OES, FEMA
Live Online: This meeting will be streamed live on the Mendocino County YouTube Channel.
For more information please contact the Executive Office at (707) 463-4441.
MENDOCINO COAST HOSPITAL FOUNDATION DONATES $218,000 FOR NEW AMBULANCE
Michelle Roberts, Executive Director of the Mendocino Coast Hospital Foundation, presented a check for $218,000 to Mendocino Coast District Hospital (MCDH) for the purchase of a new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Ambulance. The new ambulance replaces an 11 year old vehicle that had traveled well over 200,000 miles and had reached the end of its useful life.
“It is difficult to switch from one ambulance type to another. The new ambulance is very similar to our other ambulance, allowing our caregivers to be more efficient and effective. This will ensure that we will be able to quickly respond to medical emergencies for many years to come,” commented David Beak, Director of MCDH Ambulance Service.
The Foundation maintains an Ambulance and Emergency Services fund for the purchase of vehicles and emergency equipment necessary to respond to emergencies throughout the healthcare district. Funded through community donations, the “911” raffle, and by contributions from the Mendocino Coast Ambulance Support (MCAS), the Ambulance and Emergency Services fund has purchased the last four ambulances in the fleet.
“The purchase of this ambulance ensures that we will have a reliable vehicle to provide much needed EMS service throughout our area. We can’t thank our Foundation and the Mendocino Coast Ambulance Support Fund enough for all of their contributions to support the hospital and help us make a positive difference in the health of our community members,” said Bob Edwards, MCDH CEO.
The Mendocino Coast Healthcare District serves residents and visitors to our coastal area, from inland to Comptche, south past Elk and north past Westport. The Foundation raises funds for MCDH in a variety of ways, and these funds are used to reimburse the hospital for purchases of needed equipment. For more information about the Foundation, visit www.mchfoundation.org or call 707-961-4671.
HOW MANY MORE?
When children die in war, people use the euphemism “collateral damage.” What do they call it when children are slaughtered in peacetime? What slippery language is employed to slide past the horror of children gunned down in their own school?
And how can this be used as an argument for more guns? Are we that feeble-minded that we can thus be lulled? Are we that spineless that we can pretend there is no way to address this horror?
As many others have asked, how many dead children is it going to take before the citizens of this nation rise up and say, no more.
AGITPROP IS NOT NEWS
by James Kunstler
Forget about sharks. In their Valentine’s Day editorial: Why Does Trump Ignore Top Officials’ Warnings on Russia?, The New York Times jumped several blue whales (all the ones left on earth), a cruise ship, a subtropical archipelago, a giant vortex of plastic bottles, and the Sport’s Illustrated swimsuit shoot. The lede said:
The phalanx of intelligence chiefs who testified on Capitol Hill delivered a chilling message: Not only did Russia interfere in the 2016 election, it is already meddling in the 2018 election by using a digital strategy to exacerbate the country’s political and social divisions.
Hmmm…. After almost two years of relentless public paranoia about Russia and US elections, don’t you suppose these Ruskie gremlins would find some other way to make mischief in our world — maybe meddle in the NHL playoffs, or hack WalMart’s bookkeeping department, or covertly switch out the real Dwayne Johnson with a robot? I kind of completely and absolutely doubt that they’ll bother with our elections.
Let’s face it, the United States is doing a stellar job of destroying itself with bad ideas, foolish ideologies, and pervasive self-deceit. If I was running the Russian intel services, I’d just pay to send a few Nebraska county commissioners to Disneyland — that would keep our seventeen US intel agencies busy until kingdom come trying to figure out the angle. And it would be cheaper than spending a hundred grand to fuck with Facebook.
Actually the Times’s editorial seems to have CIA/NSA fingerprints all over it, or at least Deep State paw prints. By stating that the Russians are already “meddling” in 2018 elections that haven’t happened yet, aren’t our own security agencies setting up the public to lose faith in the electoral process and fight over election results? Oh, by the way, the Times presented no evidence whatsoever that this alleged “meddling” is taking place. They just assert it, as if it were already adjudicated.
But then they take it another step, making the case that because Mr. Trump does not go along with the Russian Meddling story, he is obstructing efforts to prevent Russian interference in the elections that haven’t happened yet, and is therefore by implication guilty of treason. A fine piece of casuistry.
The longer this fantasy about Russia continues from the Left side of the political transect, the deeper the nation sinks into a dangerous collective psychosis. After all this time, the only known instances of American political figures “colluding” with Russians involve the shenanigans between the DNC, the Hillary Clinton campaign, and US intel services including the FBI and CIA, in paying for the “Steele Dossier” and the activities of the Fusion GPS company that claimed Russia hacked Hillary’s and John Podesta’s email.
There is now a ton of evidence about all this monkey business, and no sign (yet) that Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller may be taking a good hard look at it, not to mention the professional misconduct of a half dozen senior FBI, NSA, and CIA officials, especially former CIA chief John Brennan, who has now morphed into a CNN “analyst,” taking an active role in what amounts to a psy-ops campaign to shove the public toward war.
The “resistance” may think it is getting some mileage out of this interminable narrative, but its arrant inconsistencies only undermine faith in all our political institutions, and that is really playing with fire. We are already choking this polity to death by endlessly litigating the past, insuring that the country doesn’t have the time or the fortitude to deal with much more important quandaries of the present — especially a financial system that is speeding into the most colossal train wreck in history. That will de-rail Mr. Trump soon enough, and then all the rest of us will have enough to do to keep our lives together or to refashion them in some way that will work in a very different economy.
PS: Readers may wonder why I did not devote this space to the school shooting in Parkland, Florida. It is exactly what you get in a society that wants to erase behavioral boundaries. It is especially dangerous where adolescent boys are concerned. The country has a gigantic boundary problem. We have also created perfect conditions — between the anomie of suburbia and the dreariness of our school systems — to induce explosions of violent despair. That’s why these things happen. Until we change these conditions, expect ever more of it.
(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page: https://www.patreon.com/JamesHowardKunstler)
SHERNOFF, BIDART & ECHEVERRIA, Wide-Ranging Lawyers for the People
by Ralph Nader
I first heard about William M. Shernoff in the mid-nineteen seventies when he was pioneering a field of law known as insurance bad faith litigation. That ‘bad faith’ occurs is when insurance companies deny legitimate claims or try to use deceptive fine print clauses to escape policy coverage. He was starting to collect both compensation for his clients and large punitive damages when the evidence showed insurance companies were imposing these abuses on many thousands of their customers.
One day I called Attorney Shernoff and said that if he would match my $25,000 donation, we could start the National Insurance Consumer Organization (NICO) headed by the former Federal Insurance Commissioner, J. Robert Hunter, the pro-consumer actuary who served under both Presidents Ford and Carter.
NICO’s Bob Hunter thereafter became the single greatest advocate for consumers against the insurance giants that they have ever encountered. He knew their fraudulent complexities, translated those complexities into plain English, and brought his expertise and pleasing personality to legislatures, courtrooms, and agencies in all fifty states. During the mid-eighties he visited all the states in a little over one year, rebutting the savage industry attack on wrongfully injured persons’ right to have their day in court. The insurance lobbyists have never seen such a whirlwind for justice who defeated them time and time again.
Bill Shernoff was instrumental in putting Bob Hunter, a force of nature, in motion. But this low-key attorney from Claremont, California was just getting underway. He blazed the trail for rejected insurance consumers and became a feared private regulator of insurers denying claims by winning cases before judges and juries. He won multimillion dollar verdicts for a roofer whose disability payments were cut off, for a Samoan government involving hurricane damage, and for a paraplegic Marine whose insurance company rejected his physician on the medical necessity of his 109-day hospital stay. He secured a bad faith settlement on behalf of Northridge, California earthquake victims and even a $50 million settlement in 1981 for Southern California Physicians over a malpractice insurance policy that overcharged on premiums.
Not wanting to be a lone ranger, Shernoff went around the country conducting seminars training attorneys to bring insurance bad faith lawsuits. It became a movement of sort, filling in for the notoriously weak state regulation of insurance.
But, Shernoff was interested in more than representing specific aggrieved clients. He was an educational leader who furthered consumer education by writing, lecturing, and appearing in mass media. Besides co-authoring a legal textbook on his specialty, he wrote books like, How to Make Insurance Companies Pay Your Claim: And What to Do If They Don’t, Payment Refused, and Fight Back and Win: How to Get HMOs and Health Insurance to Pay Up.
One day he called me up and said he wanted to start a Consumer Law Clinic at his alma mater—the University of Wisconsin Law School. The Clinic is in its twenty-seventh year and has trained scores of students in consumer advocacy law. Its students represent real clients fighting unfair debt collection, repossession, home improvement fraud, credit fraud, and other unscrupulous business practices. There are also William Shernoff Health and Consumer Law Fellowships to work for health care reform.
This small law firm of Shernoff, Bidart, and Echeverria welcome their responsibilities as “officers of the court” as well as their broader duties to build institutions of justice that provide powerless people ever more access to justice. They are major contributors to Consumer Watchdog, a leading California advocacy association, and to Public Justice, a large public-interest, non-profit law firm. They are also major contributors to the American Museum of Tort Law, which as a volunteer, I established as an educational institution dedicated to informing the public about the law of wrongful injuries.
Whenever there are insurance industry-indentured legislators — state or federal — pressing for cruel laws to stifle wronged Americans from their day in court or before regulatory agencies, chances are this firm is there either in person or with donations to fight them or over-rule them with statewide referendums. One victory was Prop. 103 in California that regulated the property/casualty insurance companies thirty years ago, which saved California consumers over $100 billion since that voter revolt.
Of course, there are still many obstacles to the exercise of consumer rights and remedies, such as the Federal ERISA pension law’s massive preemption of tort claims. But if there were more firms doing what Shernoff’s firm does, millions of people would be receiving judicial or regulatory justice for their costly injuries or illnesses.
My best guess is that not more than 25 plaintiff personal injury firms are sharing, training and helping to build consumer protection institutions either in their state or nationally. However, proportionate to their relative size, few of them have packed the continual wallop of Shernoff’s law firm.
How does Shernoff, Bidart, and Echeverria do it? For starters, they have the right sensitive and generous values that are necessary for the work. Moreover, they recognize that they have to be both attorneys for clients and lawyers for the broader institutional advances of justice so that more people can use the laws meant for them.
How do they get underway? They make calls and above all return calls—a practice over ninety percent of their peers have not deigned to do when citizen groups want to initiate ways and means for a more just rule of law, as if people matter first.
Around the country plaintiff lawyers vary in their resolve to push back the corporate predators who want to repeal the American Revolution and its subsequent Bill of Rights for the people, especially the Constitution’s Seventh Amendment securing the right of trial by jury. For instance, the repeated failure of the major Texas trial lawyers to ward off the tort “deformers” contrasts with efforts by their counterparts in New York to hold the fort in Albany.
Years ago Dr. Sidney Wolfe of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group published the popular, widely used book, “Worst Pills, Best Pills.” All these drugs were licensed by the Food and Drug Administration, but some had bad side effects and others were much safer. Maybe it is time to have a list of the “Worst Lawyers, Best Lawyers.” All of these lawyers would be licensed to practice, but widely differ in their commitment to defend, preserve, and expand the civil justice system, under relentless attack by the corporate lobbies, that they and their forebears built.
(Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!)
FIFTY YEARS AGO
Where is the Movement today?
DON HO AT THE ROYAL HAWAIIAN
Awoke early in Honolulu, headed out for coffee and a scone to get the day in motion. Later, attended Catholic Mass at Sts. Peter & Paul receiving Holy Communion. A large lunch at the Foodland hot food bar featuring Mardi Gras specialties early afternoon was followed by purchasing necessary items for an indoor tea station (created because a small corner table was cast off and left in front of my room's door in the #11 shared-pod at The Plumeria Alternative Hostel), in which use has been made of a gold kimono silk scrap for the top cloth, and then a Japanese iron incense holder and aloeswood sticks, and on the lower level are tea and cups and a heat infuser and a strainer and finally a gallon of spring water nearby. WOW! HAVE A CUP OF TEA!! Type tapping away at the Honolulu Public Library here and now, which is always fleeting this here and now, which is alright because none of us are the body and none of us are the mind. We are pure spirit on the move, like winter clouds which cannot be affixed, but float about freely.
Check out the unique blog: craiglstehr.blogspot.com
Craig Louis Stehr
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Boundary problems, the ennui of living in suburbia, crappy high schools? The problem is much more fundamental than that. It’s that so many people in our country (and the world) are spiritually destitute. To paraphrase Dostoevsky, people without God have permission to do anything. Boundary problems are merely a symptom.
BIG OIL HAS PUMPED $170 MILLION INTO CALIFORNIA CAMPAIGNS SINCE 2001
by Dan Bacher
The Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), the most powerful corporate lobbying group in California, and its members have contributed $170 million to California political campaigns since 2001, according to a new data analysis from the Berkeley-based, nonpartisan watchdog MapLight.
WSPA is the trade association for oil industry interests in the western states of Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. WSPA members include multinational oil corporations such as Chevron, ExxonMobil, BP, Valero, and the Plains All American Pipeline Company, the corporation responsible for the Refugio Beach Oil Spill of 2017.
WSPA and its members have contributed more than $112 million to ballot measure campaigns, $8 million to state candidates, and $50 million to other California political action committees and party committees, according to the MapLight analysis of data from the California Secretary of State.
"Chevron tops the list of political donors from WSPA's membership, contributing $89 million overall since 2001, the first year in which online data is available," Maplight reported. "Aera Energy has contributed the second most at roughly $40 million, and Valero is third at $13 million.
The report documents all of the California legislators who have received campaign contributions from the oil industry since 2001.
State Sen. Jean Fuller, the Kern County Republican from Senate District 16 who has served as the Legislature's most fervent advocate for Big Oil, received the most oil industry contributions of any legislator: $88,890.
Sen. Cathleen Galgiani, a Democrat from Senate District 5, received the second largest amount of oil industry contributions, $83,350.
Assemlymember Rudy Salas Jr., a Democrat from Assembly District 32, received the third largest amount of Big Oil money: $79,850.
The top ten recipients of WSPA member money in the California Legislature are listed below:
(1) Jean Fuller, Republican, Senate District 16, $88,890
(2) Cathleen Galgiani, Senate District 5, Democrat $83,350
(3) Rudy Salas Jr., Assembly District 32, Democrat, $79,850
(4) Raul Bocanega, Assembly District 39, Democrat, $76,300
(5) Adam C. Gray, Assembly District 21, Democrat, $72,600
(6) Jim Cooper, Assembly District 9, Democrat, $71,650
(7) Sebastian M. Ridley-Thomas, Assembly District 54, Democrat, $70,800
(8) Chad Mays, Assembly District 42, Republican, $63,700
(9) Mike Gipson, Assembly District 64, Democrat, $62,650
(10) James L. Frazier Jr., Assembly District 11, Democrat, $58,176
While the amount of money legislators have received from WSPA members is alarming, they pale in comparison to the $9.8 million from oil companies, gas companies, and utilities that self-styled "climate leader" Gov. Jerry Brown has received since he ran for his third term as governor, according to Consumer Watchdog.
In addition to pouring millions into campaigns, WSPA "augments its political influence with a massive lobbying presence in Sacramento," topping the list of lobbyist spending in California in the third quarter of 2017, according to Maplight.
Big Oil dominated three out of the four top spots of expenditures by all lobbying organizations in 2017, according to documents from the California Secretary of State's Office.
Outspending all of its competition, Chevron placed first with $8.2 million, and the WSPA placed second $6.2 million. Tesoro Refining and Marketing Company finished fourth with $3.2 million.
That's a total of $17.6 million dumped into lobbying by the three top oil industry lobbying organizations alone. That figure exceeds the $14.6 million expended by all 16 oil lobby organizations in 2016.
Big Oil has become so powerful in California, in spite of the state's "green" image, that every bill except one opposed by the oil industry has failed to make it out of the legislature over the past three years.
PLANNING COMMISSION AGENDA FOR 3-1-18
Planning Commission meeting Agenda for March 1, 2018, is posted on the department website at:
Please contact staff with any questions.
Commission Services Supervisor
MEMO OF THE AIR: GOOD NIGHT RADIO:
Every Friday, 9pm to about 4am on 107.7fm KNYO-LP Fort Bragg, and 105.1fm KMEC-LP Ukiah. And also there and anywhere else via http://knyo.org or if that doesn't work for you try http://TuneIn.com and look up KNYO-LP
I'll be in Fort Bragg for tonight's show. If you want to talk about your project or read aloud your writing in person, or bring your instrument(s) and/or fellow instrumentalists and play a short set, or invent an entirely new thing to do with radio that no-one has ever thought of before, you can drop by 325 N. Franklin, next door to the Tip Top bar after 9pm and just wander in. Head for the lighted room at the back and you're shiny.
If you like to speak with proper swears, or if it just comes out that way because you're a free spirit or a manic pixie or the president of the United States, wait till 10pm, because otherwise it agitates the weasels. The Cordwainer Smith psychic planetary defense weasels. I've explained about them before; I'm not going through all that again. Let them sleep.
A lot of Serbo-Croatian music for musical breaks tonight. And Russian vaudeville. Accordionical cover tune artistry of the talented and provocative Persiflette. A choir of Chinese old folks belting out a Lady Gaga medley (you've heard these people before; they're great), Australian cut-and-paste master Pogo's latest percussive/melodic assemblage, Desi Arnaz from his pre-Lucy lounge career (Latin yodeling), Leo Fuld, The Sabras...
The deadline to email your writing to be read on MOTA is always about 5 or 6pm the night of the show, no matter where I'm doing the show from. So as of this writing you have /hours/ to get that together for tonight, and it only takes a minute. Just paste your poem or essay or kvetch or sale item or event notice or whatever into the body of an email, check that it's going to me and not to the whole group, unless that's what you want, and press /send/ boldly with your favorite send finger, or really any finger you have left after The Incident, which I'm sorry about but, you know, genetically engineered weasels are still weasels, and without them where would we be? Enslaved to alien overlords, that's where, and insultingly forced to worship at the altar of strange and terrible and sneering tawdry plaster-and-poster-paint gods who do /nothing/ to help a sportsball team win, nor to stop a tornado or an earthquake or grow back a limb (or a finger) nor revise time and bring lost loved ones back from the grave, and who have the stink of the pit and the sense of humor of a box of hammers.
Besides that, you can have /your own whole regular radio show/ on KNYO. Contact Bob Young: email@example.com and introduce yourself; you'll be on the schedule just like /that/!
-- Marco McClean