Press "Enter" to skip to content

MCT: Sunday, July 28, 2019

* * *

ANOTHER HOT DAY SUNDAY with highs again into the 100s inland. Then a ten-plus degree drop for the rest of the week. Coast highs hovering around 70.

THE SMOKE SEEN ON THE COAST and drifting inland is from a large southern Oregon fire near Grants Pass.

* * *


The dog days of summer are upon us! Full adoption fees waived! The adoption fees for canine guests who've been at the shelter for more than 30 days are currently being waived. (Mendocino County residents will need to purchase a $25 dog license.)

Stop by the Ukiah or Fort Bragg Animal Shelters, look at all of our available dogs and speak directly with our Adoption Coordinators if you happen to find that special dog. You can see all of our adoptable dogs at

* * *

* * *


In a highly emotional court hearing Friday, a judge sentenced a former Santa Rosa Junior College coach to 15 years to life for a fatal DUI crash on Lakeville Highway.

* * *


I WASN'T SURPRISED, but I was certainly saddened to begin the globally-warmed Saturday with an account of Logo Tevaseu being sentenced in Santa Rosa to 15-to-life for his DUI that resulted in the death of a promising young woman. I've known Logo since he was a kid, and have always been fond of him. He married an Anderson Valley girl with whom he has two children, and he went from Anderson Valley where he was a dominant athlete — to say the least — to play at SRJC and then on to Division One football at TCU. Not quite tall enough to play in the NFL, Logo became an assistant coach at SRJC. Then he picked up a DUI when he crashed his car in downtown Santa Rosa, strike one, and then his second in the horrendous collision that killed one person and injured five others. Knowing Logo, I also know his remorse is genuine and will always burden him, but his sentence is not excessive given his criminal irresponsibility.

THE ME TOO MOVEMENT was long overdue, but one guy brought down didn't really have it coming. Jane Mayer, in the current New Yorker, makes it clearer than clear that Franken's accuser was an implausible person to do the accusing, that the real dirty work was done by the rightwing nexus that pounces whenever they can harm a Democrat. I hasten, nay sprint, to deny I was or am a Democrat or Franken fan, but fair is fair and he wasn't treated fairly and was non-personed within a few days. No surprise that the Democrat "leadership" didn't hesitate to throw the guy under the Limbaugh-Hannity bus.

RE THE NEW YORKER. For years now I've assumed about one in three issues is really good, too many weeks, if the reader is lucky, one issue will be chock full of good stuff. (The ava, ahem, is consistently readable, I'd say, bringing all my objectivity to that eval.) Besides the Mayer piece on Franken's martyrdom, the July 29th edition contains "The Assassin Next Door — an L.A. Childhood and James Earl Ray," a tenuous but interesting memory by a guy who grew up in the same neighborhood Ray, a transient criminal from his teen years on, passed through. Also, for Melville people, a fascinating history called, "Ahab at Home," an account of the author's odd personal life. Ditto for "The hard life and glorious work of Natalia Ginzburg" by Joan Acocella. The down pages? An unreadable short story by Salman Rushdie — I find all his fiction unreadable, but he recently managed an interesting account for The New Yorker of his life in hiding from the Grand Ayatollah's fatwa. Skipping past Rushdie's fiction, there's the worst poem I've read since I read a John Ashbury in The New Yorker. I defy anybody within reading distance to defend Jorie Graham's "Prayer Found Under Floorboard." (Shoulda left it there, Jorie.)

EVEN A NORMALLY sagacious ava reader recently described Ms. Cortez and her three insurgent Democrat allies as "radical left." Back when words still had meaning, "far left" were the Bolsheviks. A determined little fellow named Lenin added a new wrinkle to Marxism which, boiled down, was himself and his adherents as the vanguard of the revolution and run the country on behalf of working people, working people being too goddam dumb and irresponsible to run things themselves. But what happened was the vanguardists were simply another ruling class, driving around in limos and enjoying the houses and summer houses of the aristocrats they'd murdered and banished.

THE VANGUARDISTS also murdered the Mensheviks (liberals), who comprised the liberal-left. The Mensheviks believed people would peacefully opt for socialism in a mixed capitalist-social welfare context if given the choice. So, class, we have "far left" with the Bolsheviks wherein the state owns everything right down to the neighborhood barbershop, and the lib-left with the Mensheviks who create a mixed capitalist-social welfare state and nobody gets killed making it.

OUR CAPITALIST COUNTRY basically consists of four political groupings: The far right, more accurately called fascists anywhere else, and which always includes most of the Big Money, as it did with Hitler, as it does with Trump, although in the US some of it is liberal, at least until it's threatened. Second, you have country club Republicans of the small business type who are mildly liberal on social issues so long as they're left alone to make money, they go with the fascists in the crunch. Third, there are the lib-labs of the type who think Democrats will make things better but are so comfortable inside the bubble themselves they are clinically delusional. Locally, the lib-labs are people who think our reps — Huffman, McGuire, Wood — are "progressive." Finally, there is the lib-left, no farther left than Bernie and Liz and the four young women who the Trumpers and Fox News consider the "far left." Much of the Northcoast electorate is lib-lab-ish but to the left of Pelosi-Huffman wing of the Democratic Party. Bottom line: we're absolutely politically screwed at the state and national level, maybe a third of the way down the road to fascism.

THERE is no far left in America. It died in 1955 along with the old Moscow-oriented Communist Party USA. There were a few dwarf Lenins around in the 1960s but they generated even less enthusiasm than the Moonies and the Manson Family, and a hell of a lot less enthusiasm than sex, drugs and rock and roll. There is no "far left" in America. Bernie, Liz and the four young women constantly vilified by the hard right and Pelosi-Huffman "liberals" are no more threatening than Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal. They are liberal reformers, not revolutionaries

* * *

* * *

RESPONDING TO OUR ITEM about the as yet uncounted pot permit applicants who have apparently given up on their applications (and about the overly-hopeful Planning Director’s insistence that more analysis and streamlining is called for), Fifth District Supervisor Ted Williams wrote:

“ ‘WILLIAMS seems to have given up too.’ — Williams has not given up, but yelling at the Planning Director isn’t a solution. Our ordinance has problems, including lack of discretionary process for staff to make common sense decisions. A good handful of applicants don’t respond. Have they given up? Can they not afford follow through? Was the application just insurance against enforcement action? Who knows. In many cases the State is a block. I’m doing everything I can outside of the board chambers to understand the specifics of the situation and find to remedy. The problem isn’t Brent.”

TO WHICH WE REPLIED: “Fair enough. But I never said Mr. Schultz was the problem. Nor did I advocate yelling at the Planning Director. Clearly it’s bigger than the Planning Director who has bigger things on his plate than pot. But he has a tendency to gloss over things and hope a lot without even offering deadlines for when things will happen, or at least when things ought to happen or an explanation thereof. One of these days he’ll have to stop claiming that he’s new and still diving deep into the problem, and take more specific responsibility for what he says he’s gonna do. A supervisor shouldn’t have to try to figure it out, staff should be able to reliably pinpoint the specifics. This has already gone on way too long and Msrs. Shultz and Connell have had plenty of time to “understand the specifics” while the County subsidizes the pot program. With the recent uptick in pot prices along with the difficulty of getting legal, I suspect the permit/black market scales are shifting and permit applications will be abandoned and new ones (which we never see reported, btw — is anybody still applying?) will drop off even more.”

SUPERVISOR WILLIAMS THEN PROVIDED one of the clearest assessments of the pot permit situation we’ve seen so far:

“Cheap labor, land and energy are critical ingredients for cannabis cultivation viability in a regulated market. We have none of the above. This was a place to hide cultivation and enforcement operations were a powerful subsidy in maintaining product price. Objectively, if the success metric for our cannabis program is transition of black market to regulated market, we failed. Proof of prior cultivation for eligibilty, F1 occupancy for trimming pot, delays, lost paperwork, changing processes, tax on what could have been produced, demolition permits for seasonal hoop houses, a state model rigged to benefit large corporations — many farms will not survive the transition. Now what? Some have argued that our craft flower will maintain a premium, but in talking to cultivators about performing a double blind test of Mendocino’s best against “the Walmart of weed” from Santa Barbara, it’s my impression we’d be unable to differentiate. The Mendocino allure might hold some value, especially if we promote county of origin, but does this translate to enough dollars to maintain viability? Cultivators in our prohibitionist model of limited crop size must maintain $x per lb to sustain operations. In a state-wide market with interstate commerce on the horizon, our production limits will not influence price as we become a rounding error. What happens when the market price is 1/2 x? As cultivators leave, cash flow will continue to evaporate county-wide, property values in some areas will decline, leaving the county with less revenue. Some black market cultivators with awareness of the trajectory have decided to ride it out until the end rather than spend potentially hundreds of thousands to jump through hoops. Farms that survive the shake up against the odds will do so with business acuity. Our goal should be to stop the bleeding of county funds, adjust policy to be competitive with other counties, prevent government intrusion of farms beyond what is necessary to protect property rights and the environment and perhaps work with industry to promote our county’s brand.”

* * *

* * *


The California Policy Center recently published a comprehensive and well-reasoned report on homelessness and the “Homeless Industrial Complex” in California by Edward Ring. Toward the end of the piece Ring says that the first step in any “solution” to the homeless problem is: “Pick Up the Trash: With Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and other cities already facing the imminent threat of a breakout disease epidemic, this measure comes before all others. It ought to be easy, America’s cities in the second half of the 20th century were not inundated with tons of uncollected trash on the streets.”

A recent Ukiah High School grad named Luca Szabo has apparently taken this advice to heart. Along with several fellow students and recent grads, Szabo’s Senior Project to pick up trash from Ukiah area homeless camps has morphed into a collaboration with the Sonoma County based Clean River Alliance to provide trash bags, shelter and service info, trash pick-up and disposal at Ukiah area homeless assistance facilities. Szabo made a polished and articulate presentation to the Supervisors last Tuesday, describing how his program has matured and how he hopes to slowly grow it so that the inevitable trash from homeless people and their camps is bagged and picked up in a timely manner. The core of the idea is to involve the homeless themselves in managing their own trash.

It’s an all-volunteer program which hands out trash bags at local shelters and services and picks them up after they’re full at specific locations and on a specific schedule. Although it’s still early, the modest, very-low-cost program seems to be working to reduce trash accumulation and perhaps reduce disease rates in the Ukiah area. It is modeled after the similarly successful and longer-term Clean River Alliance program in Sonoma County.


No sooner had the young and energetic Mr. Szabo completed his presentation than Supervisor John McCowen — who makes it a personal priority to keep homeless people and their camps away from the Russian River — said that the program was “enabling” the camps that he’s trying to eliminate. McCowen said that picking up the trash just helps homeless people stay near the riverbanks where they trespass, defecate and sometimes abandon their camps, particularly during winter rains when abandoned camp junk gets washed into the river — and that simple trash pickup won’t make a dent in those larger problems, and may encourage the camps.

McCowen was followed by some Ukiah area farmers who echoed McCowen’s complaint decrying the many problems that the homeless create on their farmland near the riverbank.

Ukiah Police Chief Justin Wyatt and Mendocino Sheriff Tom Allman, while grudgingly acknowledging that the program might help, expressed similar concerns about trespassing — particularly on vineyard land. They wanted Mr. Szabo and crew to work more closely with law enforcement.

As valid as the gripes about the homeless from McCowen, the farmers and the cops may be, attributing the litany of them to Mr. Szabo seems badly misplaced.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars go to “helping” the homeless in Mendocino County every year — albeit to people who haven’t even begun to implement the Marbut report on local homelessness they were ordered to implement more than a year ago — but nobody ever accuses them of “enabling” the homeless or of encouraging trespassing or vineyard defecation or the rest.

If there are problems with Mr. Szabo’s trash pick-up program or if they are in fact connected to riverside homeless camps, deal with them as they arise. But why pile on the a kid who’s got a practical, low-cost idea to make a dent in the trash problem — including trash that may be diverted from riverbank areas?

PS. As Bruce McEwen noted to me recently, you can find trash — especially bigger pieces of trash like used carpet, old mattresses, appliances, etc. — dumped illegally all over Ukiah. Dump fees are expensive. And some NON-homeless people are irresponsible with their trash. But the trash from non-homeless sources is frequently blamed on the homeless and simply left to Ukiah businesses, offices, residents, cops and to deal with as best they can.

* * *

* * *



Cheapest healthcare in town.

Thirteen days with Willits Adventist Hospital starting March 3, 2019. Infection in foot which required surgery.

Hospital charged: $?

Medicare paid: $53,000.

Added charges: $418, $150, $215, $227, $257, $632, $227, $208, $132, $297, $146, $180, $107, $335, $116, $255, $290, $150, $43, $271, $271, $99, $1100 (surgery), $119, $126, $126.

For those charges Medicare paid (respectively): $65, $58, $83, $69, $37, $60, $69, $46, $29, $8, $10, $55, $3, $9, $9, $7, $65, $58, $10, $32, $32, $7, $204 (surgery), $10, $50, $50.

Ralph Bostrom


PS. Watch for “Hat-checks’ Adventures at the County Seat.”

* * *


Greetings AVA,

There must be a law or principle that says: The more you say the same thing over and over again the less anyone listens to or cares about what you have to say.

Ashley Jones


* * *

* * *

THE BIKE CAPER, Debra Keipp writes:

Went out of town this weekend. Sunday night after my return, I noticed that my bike was missing from the spot where I keep it at the boxcars, unlocked, cuz it's been sitting there for months and no one's bothered it. I use it to putt around town. I bought it from the Farm Chix when they closed. It's about 20 years old, but no hand brakes or hand gears - it's all in the foot pedals. Surfer's cruiser. Love it, as bikes go. Simple.

So, I printed up posters and plastered town, saying that I haven't looked at the security footage yet, so I was giving the person(s) who took it time to redeem themselves by returning it before I looked at security vid.

I drove over to the Fairgrounds. I asked them to see if they knew where it was. Asked them to let me know if they see the bike. That was Monday morning. Didn't accuse them of taking it.

Long about 1 pm same day (Monday) Jody comes pounding on my door when I was with a client and said she found two bikes at the Fairgounds behind a locked gate(!). Odd, that, but right on the nose, I was, going to the f-grounds.

I got a phone call also from another guy missing his bike, who saw my posters, and asked me to let him know if his bike also shows up. Another bike was stolen from a homeless man who had painted his bike hot pinkish orange - even the tires. Ugly, but he thought no one would steal it painted like that. Wrong! Altogether, 3 bikes missing.

When Jody showed me my bike, the pink/orange bike was right there with it! Got two bikes returned. All that was wrong with mine was a flat tire in the back. Otherwise, in good shape.

So this morning, Friday, I come to work, and there sits a third bike, - I suppose belonging to the guy who saw my notices posted and called me to see about his stolen bike, too. I'll call him today to see if it's his.

* * *


Check out this fantastic sandwich at Lemons’ Market Deli.

(Via MendocinoSportsPlus)

* * *


The Inland Mendocino Democratic Club will hold our next meeting Thursday, August 8th at 5:30 pm at Yokayo Bowling Alley, 1401 North State Street, Ukiah, CA 95482. Let’s all join together to make our county an oasis of Justice and Peace. Together, in coalition, we can take progressive action and protect our county from the conservative nightmare. Come lend a hand. All are welcome.

See us on Facebook and at

* * *

* * *


In a special board meeting on Wednesday evening, the Mendocino-Lake Community College board of trustees unanimously voted to appoint Eileen Cichocki as Interim Superintendent/President, Mendocino College announced. Cichocki will officially begin her new role on Aug. 3.

She was selected after a formal internal application process, and her appointment comes as a result of the recent resignation of President Dr. Arturo Reyes, who will be moving on to assume the role of Superintendent/President for Rio Hondo College in Southern California beginning Aug. 5.


“Ms. Cichocki has the institutional knowledge to shepherd Mendocino College through the upcoming accreditation process and so much more. Given that Ms. Cichocki has been a part of the Mendocino College family for the past decade and a half, she is a natural fit to bridge this institution during a critical time of transition. Ms. Cichocki is someone that is well respected by her peers, staff, and the greater college community. As a product of the community college system, Ms. Cichocki is always mindful of the single reason we exist, our students,” stated board of trustees President Robert Jason Pinoli.

Cichocki has over 25 years of experience working in the California Community College system. She has been an employee of Mendocino College for 15 years. Since 2014, she has served as the college’s Assistant Superintendent/Vice President of Administrative Services and previously as the Director of Fiscal Services. Before coming to Mendocino College, Cichocki worked for 11 years at Santa Rosa Junior College. She holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA), a Bachelor’s Degree (BA) in Environmental Studies with an emphasis in city planning, and an Associate’s Degree (AA) in General Education.

Both her MBA and BA were awarded by Sonoma State University, while Santa Rosa Junior College conferred her AA. She is a longtime member of both the Association of Chief Business Officials (ACBO) and the Association of California Community College Administrators (ACCCA).

“I am honored to be selected to serve in this interim capacity to provide leadership while the college selects its next Superintendent/President. There are many important initiatives underway at the college, such as the accreditation reaffirmation process and implementation of the Chancellor’s Vision for Success, which includes a new Student-Centered Funding Formula and Guided Pathways for students. I am excited to partner with the students, faculty, staff, managers, the board of trustees and community members to ensure Mendocino College continues to excel and move forward during this time of transition,” stated Cichocki.

The Mendocino College Ukiah campus is located at 1000 Hensley Creek Road.

* * *

* * *


Congratulations to Sonoma County (Mendocino County, too.)


Congratulations to Sonoma County for commemorating the lunar landing anniversary — by making our roads look just like the moon’s surface.

Neil Ehrlich


* * *

* * *

HOWARD HERSHIPS WRITES: RE: United States Supreme Court Docket Kenny Rogers v California

This case is so crazy that prosecutor Tim Stoen believed that he did not have to comply with the People's Motion made by Deputy DA Newman that Rogers’ defense attorney Masuda had to account for the $128,500.00 advance retainer paid to Masuda. Stoen further believed that the Court did not have to appoint legal counsel for Rogers.

* * *


Beltran, Brimmer, Cambrano-Montejo, Castaneda

JOSE BELTRAN, Ukiah. Suspended license (for DUI), refusing alcohol test, probation revocation.

JACOB BRIMMER, Glendale, Arizona/Willits. Shoplifting, appropriation of another’s property without trying to return it, paraphernalia.

JOSE CAMBRANO-MONTEJO, Fort Bragg. DUI, domestic battery.

JOHNNY CASTANEDA, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

Crouch, Diaz, Frey, Galindo

ERIC CROUCH, Ukiah. Under influence, parole violation.

OMAR DIAZ, Ukiah. Honey oil extraction.

THOMAS FREY, Ukiah. Disobeying court order.

THOMAS GALINDO JR., Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent flyer.)

Gonzalez, Keys, Malone

SERGIO GONZALEZ, Ukiah. Resisting, probation revocation.

RONALD KEYS, Ukiah. Concealed dirk-dagger, probation revocation.

KRYSTAL MALONE, Fort Bragg. Resisting, probation revocation.

Mangrum, Morehead, Osborn

CHRISTOPHER MANGRUM, Willits. Offenses while on bail, probation revocation.

CHRISTOPHER MOREHEAD, Fort Bragg. Grand theft, probation revocation.

JESSICA OSBORN, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

Padrone-Esquivel, Reynolds, Roelse

ALVARO PADRONE-ESQUIVEL, Comptche. Assault weapon, cultivation of more than six pot plants.

LORIE REYNOLDS, Fort Bragg.* Grand theft, embezzlement, conspiracy.

PETER ROELSE, Eureka/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, camping in Ukiah, probation revocation.

Sanchez, Taylor, Wooten

ROY SANCHEZ, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

NICOLE TAYLOR, Laytonville. DUI, under influence, probation revocation.

DAVID WOOTEN, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, paraphernalia, probation revocation.

(*Lorie Reynolds is listed on as the General Manager of the Seabird Lodge in Fort Bragg.)

* * *


The statehouse in Montana wanted a picture of Custer’s last stand. The rep told the artist they wanted a picture of what Custer’s last thoughts were. When the picture was done, the two met again and the picture was revealed. The rep said, “What the heck is this?”

The picture was in three parts. The first was a cow with a halo over its head, the second was a picture of the Devil on his throne, and the third was a picture of a bunch of Indians peacefully picking cotton on their reservation.

The artist said just what you ordered. His last thoughts were, “Holy Cow! Where the hell did all these cotton pickin’ Indians come from?”

This is what Trump must feel like with these parasites in DC continuously trying to overwhelm him.

Who gets to say enough is enough?

* * *

* * *


"But Democrats complaining about Russian interference have always seemed like 'sore losers.' Instead of grappling with the very serious reasons why working-class people of all races are disillusioned with the Democratic party, prominent figures focus on litigating the various ways in which they were robbed of their rightful prize. In many ways, the Democratic obsession with the Mueller investigation was symptomatic of a party that has lost touch with the real concerns of working people. People are upset because they’re drowning in debt, their rent is too damn high, they can’t afford their health insurance and they are working crappy jobs."

Nathan Robinson

* * *

* * *


To the Editor:

The Anderson Valley Advertiser reports: "Those big pot raids in the North Mendocino County over the past two weeks are certain to help pot prices. Local growers tell me they expect $1500 a pound this season, a huge rebound from the rock bottom prices of last year. We used to joke that pot raids functioned as a price support program, with the cops busting enough grow operations to keep prices lucratively attractive to farmers. Legalization having failed in Mendocino County because of its ridiculous and absurd complexity, lots of growers are choosing to stay illegal."

The Press Democrat Reports: "Marijuana raids in Mendocino County mark renewed targeting of illegal operations."

See link below:

To Which I Say: Mendocino County continues to lose market share -- and its leadership position as the producer of the world's finest cannabis -- to more enlightened counties, like Santa Barbara County and Santa Cruz County. They tax on the back end. Meanwhile, Mendocino County front loads its fees and taxes. The cost of entry is too high for lots of small farmers in Mendocino County.

Supervisor McCowen will be voted out next year. Supervisor Brown is retiring. It's my fervent hope that Mendocino County will then reform its oppressive cannabis permitting and licensing ordinances.

All of us want to be legal. Really, we do!

John Sakowicz


* * *



  1. Harvey Reading July 28, 2019

    Found Object

    CIA squad leaving scene after placing charges.

    • Lazarus July 28, 2019

      So much for, “smoke’m if you got’m”.
      As always,

  2. John Sakowicz July 28, 2019

    God bless Supervisor Williams for his clear understanding of the serious problems facing the county’s cannabis farmers.

    I will add the following…

    The real problem in rural counties are the zoning laws and building codes. For Mendocino County to survive in a very competitive cannabis industry in California, we need to treat cannabis like any other crop, like wine grapes, when it comes to zoning laws and building codes. With bold changes, we could survive legalization. Keep in mind that state laws favor big commercial growers. We’re small growers here in Mendocino County, by comparison.

    Keep in mind, too, that good-intentioned growers have existed on even small parcels without complaints from neighbors for many years. We want to be good neighbors.

    Mendocino needs to have a well-thought out Ag plan for cannabis. The fees the county collects are more or less reasonable except for the crazy renewal fees, and process fees.

    The renewal needs to be simple and we should be able to file for renewal online. It’s a digital world, Supervisors!

    — John Sakowicz

  3. mendoblather July 28, 2019

    Sakowicz says: “The real problem in rural counties are the zoning laws and building codes. For Mendocino County to survive in a very competitive cannabis industry in California, we need to treat cannabis like any other crop, like wine grapes, when it comes to zoning laws and building codes.”

    Apparently Mr. Sakowicz has never had to endure the noise of a 24/7 generator running below his window.

    • Mark Scaramella July 28, 2019

      Does the “right to farm” nuisance exemption apply to pot growers like it does to booze producers?

      • Eric Sunswheat July 28, 2019

        With the savings from digital filing fees, growers should be able silently to operate banks of Tesla PowerWalls, backed up by hillsides of solar panels, and nary a night light attracted moth in sight of those grow lights.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *