Off the Record

by AVA News Service, September 23, 2010

DEPUTIES HOYLE AND HENDRY, on March 18th of this year, were in pursuit of some Willits oxycontin junkies when they mistakenly busted in on the wrong address. The error is likely to cost Mendo big time. The Willits woman at the mistaken address has hired ace Ukiah attorney Barry Vogel and Brina Latkin to sue the socks off numerous local police agencies. The road to riches for Krissa Arnold-Klein, 21, has begun with a claim against the Mendocino County Major Crimes Task Force, employers of the legendary Hoyle and his Task Force acolyte, Hendry. Ms. Arnold-Klein says Hoyle threw her to the floor, reinjuring her bad wrist. The County will deny the claim then a lawsuit alleging that Ms. Arnold-Klein's Fourth Amendment protections against illegal search and seizure were violated.Among the defendants expect the Task Force, the County of Mendocino, the City of Ukiah and the City of Willits. Not only did the officers have the wrong address, the claim says, but the search warrant was not reviewed by District Attorney Meredith Lintott's office. Vogel said a review of the search warrants on file at the Mendocino County Superior Court Clerk's office reveals that 40 percent of the search warrants between January 1, 2010 and July 23, 2010 were not reviewed by the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office, as required. And, as we know, local superior court judges sign off on these things without, apparently, reading them. If the claim is not settled, for the $350,000 the injured party is asking for, it will be filed in the United States District Court in San Francisco.

MENDOCINO COUNTY is planning to turn over about $255k of increasingly rare tax revenues to the Mendocino County Promotional Alliance as the County's share of its “matching funds” agreement with the Mendocino Lodging Association Business Improvement District. Once the Promotional Alliance gets the full $500k or so, they will spend a good hunk of it on “gateway” signs like the one below which will be put up just north of the Sonoma County line near Cloverdale. The Promotional Alliance has its insatiable talons deep in Mendo’s funding apparatus and they’re not about to let go. The least they could do is give visitors a realistic heads-up of what they can expect behind The Green Curtain. We propose the improved version below:

A POTTER VALLEY READER WRITES: "Potter Valley people have a little different relationship with Lake Mendocino than other inlanders. We see it more often than most, but basically it is water that we are finished with. The watershed for the lake is almost all PV with a little bit from Cold Creek and less than one would expect from the Eel Folks from Redwood Valley on south need to be very concerned about the availability of water from the lake and from the Forks downriver some thought to the dam’s very unlikely failure should lurk. I didn’t go to last week’s meeting, but if this article and the UDJ coverage are accurate, then clarity about the issues remains nonexistent. I could hear the Corps of Engineer boys that brought us New Orleans 2005 in the voice of Mike Dillabough, who said, 'There is the strong suspicion that there is something wrong with the dam.' But 'It’s been reasonably OK for 50 years.' Then he voiced concerns about overtopping! Even if it may be inadequate, the spillway is 765 feet, 20 feet lower than the dam. Then, to make sure this guy is on top of things, he claims the lake is 'currently at 757 feet,' when it was 751. He states he needs 5 million dollars for a study of raising the dam, including looking into its history. Hmmm, didn’t they build it? Last week, a long time ranger at the lake stated she didn’t know why it was higher this year. The Corps resisted raising the level for years. There are issues with water levels, including the loss of public use facilities and of lake-edge trees, which are suffering from the drowning of the their crowns. What there isn’t is proof of significant siltation and leakage, and while the high water should have made this best year ever for boating, the loss of ramp access has (in my observation) made it one of the worst. I am amazed at how this important local resource is still so poorly understood. Raising the dam remains the most expensive and foolish remedy, while common sense seems in short supply. Hopefully the 'All Boards' will recognize this."

FORT BRAGG CITY Councilman Dan Gjerde, a sitting duck in the Fair booth next door to ours, said that Fort Bragg would be glad to have the Caspar garbage transfer station turned over to them at the earliest opportunity, and that as far as Fort Bragg can tell the County would be more than happy to be rid of Caspar, the transfer station. Once it's turned over to Fort Bragg (which could be soon) Fort Bragg would either operate it themselves with their city employees or put it out to bid where the existing back door hauler, Empire Waste or Jerry Ward's Solid Waste of Willits (which now handles the rest of the county’s trash) could bid for it. In the long run, Gjerde said, Fort Bragg has already been planning to move the transfer station to a site further inland off Highway 20 where a suitable parcel of state-owned land is available. At this point, Gjerde said, it’s still only in the planning stage, but Caspar has never been a rational place to operate a busy trash operation.

DAN GJERDE has served as a Fort Bragg City Councilman for 14 years, during which time Fort Bragg and the rest of the Fort Bragg area comprising the 4th District has gone without effective supervisorial representation. Before the egregious Kendall Smith there was the slightly less egregious but just as ineffective Patti Campbell. Where Smith babbles incoherently and devotes much of what's left of whatever mental acuity she might have had to chiseling on her travel reimbursements, Campbell sat silent, perhaps in deep reverie for her days as a Fort Bragg High School cheerleader. Gjerde, as we've often said, would make a fine supervisor and, from there, Congressman. He's smart, conscientious, honest, and how often has Fort Bragg been able to say that about a home grown politician?

IN A RELATED story, the Fort Bragg Advocate News reported last week that Jerry Ward of Solid Waste Willits half-expected that Caspar might be operated separately all along, and that his earlier offer to take over Caspar under contract with Fort Bragg is “still on the table.”

CHRISTINA AANESTAD, well-known local journalist, is taking the reins of community radio station KMEC 105.1 LPFM out of Ukiah. A community block party is planned for September 24, 2010 to kick off the station's new direction with Aanestad as the new general manager. Many remember the energetic Aanestad as the former reporter for the otherwise lethargic public radio station KZYX. Aanestad got her start in radio in college where she hosted a music show. “Then I started listening to talk radio and realized, this is what I want to do. I want to move and empower others,” she said. She has since filed news stories for international audiences. Her work has appeared on National Public Radio, Free Speech Radio News, Radio Netherlands, KQED and other radio programs. Aanestad moved to Mendocino County three years ago to work for KZYX as their news reporter and morning anchor. She was later laid off on the pretext of financial difficulties. Aanestad said that KMEC is incorporating more community talk and environmental programming into its schedule. “Her skills as a journalist are good, but she has even more skills and experience that are valuable to our organization,” said Sandy Turner who sits on the board of directors of the Mendocino Environmental Center. “In the short time she's been working she has developed new underwriting material and processes, enhanced volunteer outreach through a community structure, initiated long and short-term fundraising efforts and is working closely with the volunteer programmers to improve our broadcast quality and content,” said Turner. Formed just under five years ago, KMEC 105.1 is a project of the Mendocino Environmental Center broadcasting throughout the Ukiah Valley. Its license holder is the Mendocino Environmental Center. KMEC will celebrate its new direction with the previously mentioned fundraiser on Friday, September 24 outside the KMEC studios on Stanley Street between State and School streets across from the courthouse. The event starts at 5pm and features live music from the Druid Sisters and Alyra Rose, circus acts, fire dancers and more. For more information on the event, call 468-1660 or visit the website, www.kmecradio.org. — KC Meadows.

DON'T MISS the talented painter Virginia Sharkey's open studio this Saturday and Sunday, 11am to 6pm, at 45090 Cahto, Mendocino, offered as the essential stop on this weekend's Mendocino Art Center's Open Studio Tour.

OF THE MANY communications flowing in endlessly turgid prose from local government bureaucracies, the most irritating are those that come with this footnote: "Is it worth a tree to print me?" I haven't seen one yet that was worth a leaf off a tree let alone a whole tree, besides which trees, like self-serving bullshit, are a renewable resource; if idiot communiqués put a few more loggers to work around here, keep 'em coming.

MAN BEATER of the week honors go to Miss Rebecca Ruth Bean of Kelseyville, 31, 5'8” and 120 pounds. Miss Bean is accused of roughing up her boy friend in Willits.

OUR SECOND MAN BEATER of the week is Miss Veronica Barela, 5'6" and 170. Veronica looks like she could do some damage, but really, guys, still no excuse for calling the cops just because Miss V throws a couple of eyebrows at you.

THE MANCHESTER-POINT ARENA POMOS have begun construction of their casino on the Point Arena side of the rez. The Indians say their ocean view pleasure dome will employ a hundred people, and I defy anyone to think of another casino anywhere in the state, including Lake Tahoe, that will match it in the pure beauty of its site. "I'll see your lake and raise you the Pacific Ocean." The tribe, which boasts 1300 enrolled members and 300 resident at Manchester and Point Arena, hopes eventually to build an accompanying hotel.

THE SOUTH COAST also boasts its first medical marijuana dispensary at Anchor Bay and the fifth in Mendocino County, joining three inland dispensaries near Ukiah (the City of Ukiah bans dispensaries within its city limits) and Herban Legend south of Fort Bragg. Inland stoners, er patients, can find their medicine at Compassionate Heart, off Orr Springs Road; Herbal Alternatives behind Jensen's Truck Stop; and Reflections of Avalon at Talmage. None of these fine establishments, however, offers Creme de Canna, the pot-mixed ice cream for sale at the dispensary in Soquel, near Santa Cruz.

ANNE MOLGAARD, of First Five, writes: "What is the Sheriff apologizing for if Anne was 'lying' about everything?" Because he's a gentleman? Because you seemed to believe he'd threatened you when he hadn't? Wouldn't? Ever? Anne again: "A nicely anti-climatic update — Sheriff Allman gave me a hug at the Chili Cook-Off, apologized and said he'd apologize again the next time we talk alone."

DAVE EYSTER, candidate for DA, has assured our reporter Mark Scaramella, that if elected he will indeed "revisit" the highly suspicious death of Katlyn Long, the young Fort Bragg woman who we, and much of Fort Bragg, suspect was murdered by her former boy friend, Garrett Matson. Meredith Lintott, incumbent DA, has said she doesn't think there's enough evidence to prosecute Matson. To support that claim Ms. Lintott ought to release the entire case file and let us all see what's there. We think there's more than enough to prosecute.

HERE'S HOPING the Covelo schools re-take control of Round Valley Unified from Paul Tichinin's always exploitive, dependably incompetent, Mendocino County Office of Education, none more incompetent than Tichinin himself. A few years ago, MCOE glommed onto Covelo's historically troubled school district and, for more than its share of the annual kick-back from the state, MCOE installed a couple of its Ukiah-based administrators. Now, Covelo wants its schools back, wants its independence from Tichinin and his Talmage-based apparatus, wants to appoint its own administrators, and why shouldn't Covelo get its schools back? Because Tichinin seems to enjoy playing The Great White Father, seems to believe he knows better.

MEANWHILE, the Ukiah Schools just can't seem to puzzle out if it's a conflict of interest if the wives of school board members are also employed by the schools hubbykins supervises. O yea. Better get the lawyers on that one. Of course it's a conflict, although the Boonville schools, and the County Office of Education, have been big piles of nepotistic practices for years, and let's not even dare look at County employment where entire family trees are employed unto the tenth generation. The way we do school hiring here in Boonville is, for the sake of appearances, we occasionally post the job openings, but darned if the "best qualified person" doesn't always turn out to be the mate, the boy friend, the girl friend, the whatever, of the already employed person.

ONE OF AMERICA'S truly great books is Rabbit Boss by Thomas Sanchez, a mesmerizing novel that follows four generations of Washo Indians from the Donner Party into whatever it is we have going now, cannibalism of a fiscal kind, it seems. Rabbit Boss represents the experience of most California Indians, those who survived the first onslaught, that is. Sanchez is staying in Boonville for the next few weeks while he works on his latest novel. He has also written the highly regarded Mile Zero; King Bongo; The Zoot Suit Murders.

BAY AREA book people probably already know that the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library has opened a cafe that accompanies Friends' used book store at Fort Mason, the whole show a fine place to spend an afternoon.

ACCORDING to Willits News reporter Linda Williams, Caltrans refuses to provide costs-to-date information about the nearly defunct Willits Bypass (delayed or killed by last month’s Army Corp of Engineers refusal to issue a wetlands mitigation permit), claiming that it’s too much work or the data goes back to far to be easily retrievable. Typical Caltrans stonewall. And likely to be the kind of non-answer sure to be routinely offered if the project ever goes forward. Williams also notes that “at least $14 million of other funds programmed by the County has already been spent on right of way acquisition.” Caltrans had estimated that about $27 million would be required for land acquisition, a fact which indicates that Caltrans wasn’t as close to being ready to start construction as they said they were. Meanwhile the last $17 million of local-share highway money which was attached to the Bypass project is still held up when it could be spent now on useful safety and traffic upgrades on Highway 101 in and near Willits.

A READER WRITES: Went to the Skins/Dallas game last night. Marj had a spare ticket. 22 seats up on the 45 yard line. Total eardrum-splitting insanity for two hours. 90K beer-fueled maniacs screaming on nearly every play. If I ever go again, will include ear plugs, at least when it's Dallas. And you have to stand almost the whole game, that is if you want to see it. The early show is the mega-acre tailgate party. Thousands of boorish, raving goons ingesting as much alcohol and roasted cholesterol as time allows. They opened the parking lots at noon. Gametime was 8:30pm. We had our mild tailgate sandwich and tea social about 6. Parked next to an SUV, the rear of which was the serving counter for three Dallas fans. They were just about to light off their BBQ grill when we pulled in. I had a bad feeling. Sometimes you just know. The supersized but cheap grill was heavily laden with briquets. The biggest Dallas goon thoroughly soaked them in lighter fluid, then lit off the bonfire. After five minutes, the fire slackened per procedure, but — oh no! — that must mean it isn't working! Quick! Shoot more firewater onto the smoking coals! Instant flash fire, jump back! OK, that's better, now it's flaming again. Three more minutes, fire slackens, repeat emergency power stream of lighter fluid! First, ominous greasy smoking, then new and improved fireball! The two smaller Dallas morons eyed their big chef somewhat doubtfully, but said nothing. He must know what he's doing, he brought a lot of meat. And so, with the coals still mostly black, he lays on the array of chicken, steaks, hot dogs, and Italian sausages. AND THEN SHOOTS ON MORE LIGHTER FLUID! New fireball envelops the fast-degrading animal parts. Eventually, they started eating this stuff. Can't imagine how awful that must have been, though washed down with ample supply of shitty yellow beer. We packed up and headed for the coliseum to watch the bloodshed. Not Your Father's Redskins Experience!"

ANOTHER READER WRITES: "When waiting at the airport is more interesting than a city, you know you are in Eugene, Oregon, the city of curiously ambiguous one-way streets and deadbeat boomers. Eugene, where a guy can run for county supervisor and list his occupation as 'Street Performer' and sponge off the ex-wife of a distinguished local jurist."

THE AVA'S OMNI-TALENTED Fred Sternkopf, kicking and screaming all the way, is now on the internet at: sternkopf-arts.com. Sculpture, Fine Art & Graphics, Dr. Doo Cartoons, Film, Video, and Photography.

ACCORDING TO section 320.5 of the California Penal Code (which covers raffles) “at least 90% of the gross receipts generated from the sale of raffle tickets for any given draw are [to be] used by the eligible organization conducting the raffle to benefit or provide support for beneficial or charitable purposes, or it may use those revenues to benefit another private, nonprofit organization, provided that an organization receiving these funds is itself an eligible organization as defined in subdivision (c).” In other words beneficial or charitable purposes — not political purposes. Another requirement of section 320.5 is “(2) A raffle may not be operated or conducted in any manner over the Internet, nor may raffle tickets be sold, traded, or redeemed over the Internet.” (320.5 does allow otherwise legal raffles to be described and promoted on the internet, but not “conducted.”)

VIOLATIONS of Penal Code section 320.5 are misdemeanors. The DA seems in rather flagrant violation of 320.5

FROM DISTRICT ATTORNEY Meredith Lintott’s campaign website (www.lintott4da.org): “Lintott4DA.org [the website] is raffling off a gift certificate to entitle the winner to a 3 night stay at house #10 Seascape-Little River-Pets allowed. Gift certificate good only on non-holiday or high season nights. Valued at $983.33. Raffle tickets are $5/each, 3/$10; 6/$20; 40/$100. Winner to be drawn on November 2, 2010. … Campaign Raffle. To Pay by Credit Card or Debit Card, please click on the ‘Paypal link’ on Homepage and specify ‘Raffle’ in contact information when paying. We will mail your tickets to you or drop them off at your request. OR alternatively, mail your check to: FRIENDS FOR THE Re-ELECTION OF MEREDITH LINTOTT FOR DISTRICT ATTORNEY 2010. PO Box 705 Ukiah, California 95482. Please specify "Raffle" on Check. You can also call (707) 972-3260 or email meredith@lintott4da.org for other options. Thank you for your donation! Go Lintott!”

WHO WOULD YOU complain to if the bankrupt DA herself is committing an ongoing criminal misdemeanor? (Answer: The State Attorney General — and good luck with that!)

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