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MCT: Saturday, August 24, 2019

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HOT. A week of near hundred-degree days in inland Mendocino County beginning Saturday. Temps will abate a bit on Thursday. Light winds. Cooler on the coast. Little to no precipitation is expected, although a few dry thunderstorms will be possible late Wednesday and Thursday.

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On Wednesday, August 7, Mendocino County Sheriff's deputies were asked to respond to a reported shooting which had occurred at about 10:30 pm that evening in the 14400 block of Highway 128 in downtown Boonville.

The call was initially reported to CHP Ukiah Dispatch and upon arrival, CHP Officers determined the jurisdiction as being the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies met with CHP officers who advised they had located evidence directly related to the reported shooting in the parking lot of the location.

Deputies spoke to the victim who reported a silver Ford Mustang had followed him to a store in Boonville where he observed the suspects inside the store. The victim was in fear for his safety based on the vehicle following him and he waited for the suspects to leave before continuing on his travels.

Upon entering the roadway, the victim reported the same suspect vehicle began to follow him for a second time.

The victim then parked in a well-lit area in the 14400 block of Highway 128 in hopes the vehicle would continue. It did not, and instead parked next to the victim a short distance away.

After waiting a short period of time, while the victim was seated in his vehicle, the suspect vehicle sped up and began to pass the victim's parked vehicle. As the suspect vehicle passed, the victim reported a single gunshot was heard and the rear window of his vehicle had evidence of a bullet passing through which was later determined to have narrowly missed striking the victim's head. The victim contacted 911 and reported the incident.

At the time of the initial investigation, the only information provided was a generic 2013-2014 silver Ford Mustang. A check of surveillance footage was done and two suspects were tentatively identified as Marshall Stillday, age 19 of Hopland and Alfredo Asher Knight age 18 of Hopland.

Stillday, Knight

Both suspects were known to law enforcement as being associated with a Criminal Street Gang. The investigation continued with MCSO Deputies actively looking for the vehicle and suspects.

On Saturday, August 17, a Mendocino County Sheriffs deputy, while on routine patrol, conducted a traffic enforcement stop on a vehicle which contained five subjects (MCSO Case #2019-24614). Two of those subjects were identified as Knight and Stillday.

During a search of the vehicle, a loaded pistol was recovered. Four suspects were initially arrested and following a review by the Mendocino County District Attorney the other two subjects were released without formal charges.

Knight and Stillday were arrested for Criminal Street Gang Member Carrying a Loaded Firearm, Carrying a Loaded Handgun not Registered to Possessor, Conspiracy, and Participation in a Criminal Street Gang; Stillday was also arrested for a violation of his summary probation.

Based on the arrest of Stillday and Knight, a search warrant was authored for a residence in Hopland connected to the suspects.

During the execution of the search warrant, a firearm was recovered which matched the caliber of firearm believed to be the weapon used in the August 7th shooting in Boonville.

Additionally, a silver 2013 Ford Mustang was located at the residence matching the suspect vehicle reported by the victim and witnesses.

Following additional investigations on Tuesday, August 20th, Knight and Stillday (who remained in Mendocino County Jail custody) were arrested Attempted Murder; Conspiracy; Participation in a Criminal Street Gang; Armed in the Commission of a Felonyand Criminal Street Gang Member Carrying a Loaded Firearm.

Alfredo Asher Knight remains in Mendocino County Jail custody in lieu of two separate bails ($25,000 and $300,000).

Marshall Leland Stillday remains in Mendocino County Jail custody in lieu of two separate bails ($30,000 and $300,000).

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(photo by Harvey Reading)

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Wind & Water: The Nautical Collection of Norman de Vall.

A new exhibit showcasing the nautical collection of coast resident Norman de Vall is opening at the Kelley House Museum in Mendocino. August 30th through November 4th, you can see antique coastal charts dating back to the 1700s, sextants old and new, a large brass compass from a sailing ship, taffrail logs that were pulled behind the ship to calculate its speed, a caulking mallet and irons, and other navigational implements needed to travel upon the seas in the age of sail. Members Preview Party Aug. 29 at 4:30PM. New memberships available at the door. 707/937-5791 or for more information.

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JOHN GOMEZ OF WILLITS ASKS: The county says this neighborhood amenity on Boy Scout Road, Willits, has got to go. Why? Ask Mendo's Department of Transportation. They claim the book exchange is in the way, presents some sort of hazard.

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I am responding to your invitation to express our feelings about our beloved and essential Coast hospital. I am a registered nurse. I worked on Station 2 (the medical-surgical unit) for 38 years.

I hate to see our community hospital go the way of so much of America, being bought and sold by corporate interests. But if that is our fate, then there are a few things we should be insist upon.

What do I think are essential services to provide our community? The ambulance, the emergency room, the ICU, basic general surgery services, and orthopedics. Of course, you can't have all that without lab, radiology. Everything else is nice to have, but we can do without all those other services like nuclear medicine, some CAT scan, MRI, mammo specialties, even obstetrics. Those are expensive departments to provide and with that in mind I believe a department by department analysis must be done to determine which department makes money and which is a drain on the bottom line. That seems to me just basic math. If Station 2 is underutilized as an acute care unit, then perhaps those beds should be converted to swing bed-rehab-hospice uses.

Now on to Adventist. Why are they interested in a community hospital that is in the red deeply? Control of medical care within the county, that's obvious to me. And they will reap the benefits as a for-profit entity. I have heard glowing reports about how well they treat their staff, how satisfied their patients are with all the care they provide. I don't doubt any of that. But there is always an ulterior motive in business: what's in it for me? How will I profit?

I was a shop steward for 35 years. During that time we improved and maintain employee's health and welfare benefits, their retirement plan, they're paid time off, and if I read the newspaper articles correctly if there is an Adventist "take over," everything would be status quo for three months — and then what? Reduction in salary and benefits is a real possibility -- anything to help the bottom line.

So I am skeptical. Can't help it. We are dealing with corporate America. Maybe Adventist is our salvation. If so, we need to insist upon a contract of five years, no more, and let them prove they are capable of giving us what we need, not only patient-wise but employee-wise. If they can do that then the voters can decide if the Coast Hospital will become the Coast Adventist Health Care System or some such other moniker.

Whatever happens, we need a healthcare facility that gives us basic services. Not everyone who lives in this healthcare district is a tourist. Many of us are locals, long-time residents. We love living here and we deserve a hospital and a walk-in clinic that meets our needs. Will Adventist honor those needs?

Whatever happens I have to admit that I am very saddened at these turns of events. Healthcare in the 1980s was so different, so much more humane and patient-centric. Now it's all about profit. I love my 38 years at Coast Hospital. It was my family. Corporate America didn't seem to have us in a stranglehold as they do now.

Long live Coast hospital!

Louise Marianna, RN


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A TRUCK LOADED with thousands of copies of Roget's Thesaurus crashed yesterday losing its entire load.

Witnesses were stunned, startled, aghast, taken aback, stupefied, confused, shocked, rattled, paralysed, dazed, bewildered, mixed up, surprised, awed, dumbfounded, nonplussed, flabbergasted, astounded, amazed, confounded, astonished, overwhelmed, horrified, numbed, speechless, and perplexed.

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Whitesboro Grange Pancake Breakfast This Sunday! We're flippin' those flapjacks again this Sunday (August 25) when Whitesboro Grange hosts their monthly All You Can Eat Traditional Pancake breakfast from 8AM to 11:30AM. Start the day out right with a hearty meal that includes orange juice, pancakes, ham, eggs YOUR way, and coffee, tea, hot cocoa or milk. Not only that but we offer an added bonus of friendly and welcoming wait staff, greeters and volunteer cooks who are happy to see you! PLUS where else can you get such a great meal for only $8 for adults, $4 for children 6-12, and FREE for children under 6. Grange proceeds are used to support local families in need as well as other community service organizations such as the Albion-Little River Volunteer Fire Department, Project Sanctuary, Redwood Coast Senior Center, 4-H, Hospitality House, Veterans, and food banks. Located one mile south of Albion, turn on Navarro Ridge Road and head east for 1-1/2 miles. Turn at the Whitesboro Grange sign.

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NOTICE OF INTENT to provide updates on the Navarro Ridge Safety Project, Navarro Ridge Drainage Project, and the Albion River Bridge Rehabilitation/Replacement Project and Salmon Creek Bridge Replacement

What Is Being Planned

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will provide status updates on the following projects in the vicinity of Albion, CA.

Navarro Ridge Safety

This project proposes to improve the safety of State Route (SR) 1 from 1.5 miles north of the junction of SR 128 and SR 1 to 0.1 mile south of Navarro Ridge Road, in Mendocino County, near Albion. The project was initiated by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) District 1 Traffic Safety Office in response to a high incidence of run-off-road collisions.

Navarro Ridge Drainage

This project proposes to improve the drainage system south of Navarro Ridge Road at postmile (PM) 42.33, in Mendocino County near Albion at Navarro Ridge Road. The project sponsor, California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) District 1 Maintenance Hydraulics, initiated this project in December 2014 to protect the integrity of the highway embankment.

Albion River Bridge Rehabilitation/Replacement Project and Salmon Creek Bridge Replacement

These projects propose to improve the function, the geometrics and the seismic and structural integrity for both structures to ensure uninterrupted traffic movement in the event of a collision or emergency incident, seismic event, or other catastrophic failure; and to provide safe access for pedestrians and bicyclists across the bridge.

A public meeting is scheduled for September 19, 2019 at the Albion Elementary School, 30400 Albion Ridge Road, Albion, California from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Contact Information

Please submit your written comments to Bonnie Kuhn, Public Information Officer at Caltrans, District 1, 1656 Union Street, Eureka CA 95501. Comments may also be submitted via e-mail to All comments must be received by September 19, 2019. For more information about this project, please contact Frank Demling, Project Manager, at (707) 445-6554.

Special Accommodations

For individuals with sensory disabilities, this document can be made available in Braille, large print, audiocassette, or computer disc. To obtain a copy in one of these alternate formats, please contact Caltrans, Attn: Cari Williams, North Region Environmental-District 1, 1656 Union Street, Eureka, CA 95501; (707) 441-5647 Voice, or use the California Relay Service TTY number, 711 or 1-800-735-2929.

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Open Letter to AVA readers,

A couple of months ago I called Mr. Anderson and posited the scenario of a return to the 12 page format at a newsstand price of $2. Mr. Anderson laughed and allowed as to how the thought had occurred to them, but the reality of current printing and postal costs are problematic and that print newspapers are getting hard to produce. This may be a "tilting at windmills" proposal, but I'm making it regardless.

I am enclosing $60 with this letter and promising to continue purchasing the paper at my local vendor in Laytonville. I am that committed to a print version of the AVA. I encourage folks of similar feelings to follow my action. This publication is worth it. I'm not going to genuflect before the masthead, but I can confidently state that I am never the same person I was after having read an issue, and that is an inexpensive experience indeed. Throw these folks some money and keep the AVA doing what they do best: shining a light on the vermin who exploit us.


A Collective of One


PS. I despise Scott Simon, love Lulu.

PPS. I’d love 12 pages but would gladly accept the status quo, i.e. newsprint and eight pages.

PPPS. Feel free to spend the 60 bucks on a decent bottle of booze. Cheers.

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Anderson, Biggie, Bowman



KAYLA BOWMAN, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, resisting.

Carlson, Crumpler, Dennet, Estrada

MICHAEL CARLSON, Covelo. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

GREGORY CRUMPLER, Ukiah. Controlled substance for sale, criminal threats.


RICKEY ESTRADA IV, Redwood Valley. Controlled substance.

Estrada-Hernandez, Faber, Fischer


SCOTT FABER, Ukiah. Stolen property, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

TIMOTHY FISCHER, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

Foster, Garcia, Garner

ANGEL FOSTER, Redwood Valley. Grand theft.

RICARDO GARCIA, Controlled substance, concealed dirk-dagger, parole violation.

JUSTIN GARNER, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

Greene, Guzman, Halvorsen

KATHLEEN GREENE, Ukiah. Under influence, controlled substance, contempt of court.

EFREN GUZMAN, Rodeo/Ukiah. Probation revocation.

NICHOLAS HALVORSEN, Fort Bragg. Robbery, shoplifting, petty theft, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

Langenderfer, Munoz, Olsen, Owens

VANCE LANGENDERFER, Laytonville. Elder abuse.

ORLANDO MUNOZ, Ukiah. Robbery, under influence, probation revocation.

MICHAEL OLSEN, Ukiah. DUI, no license, probation revocation.

WILLIAM OWENS, Ukiah. Battery, under influence, probation revocation.

Pate, Piver, Seigler

DONALD PATE, Clearlake/Ukiah. Parole violation.

MARK PIVER, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

CHRISTINE SEIGLER, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent flyer.)

Torres-Felix, Valencia, Valentin

MATEO TORRES-FELIX, Ukiah. Pot cultivation, controlled substance for sale, controlled substance while armed with loaded firearm, resisting.

DREVEN VALENCIA, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, contempt of court.

RONALD VALENTINE, Ukiah. Trespassing, resisting, battery on peace officer. (Frequent flyer.)

Vargas-Duran, Wolk, Zurita-Paz

DANIEL VARGAS-DURAN, Willits. Robbery, domestic abuse, domestic battery, destruction of communications device, failure to register as controlled substance offender, probation revocation.

MARK WOLK, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

MARCELINO ZURITA-PAZ, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

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by James Kunstler

In these horse latitudes of late summer, with the seas becalmed and the riggings a’creak, the Resistance’s ship-of-the-line (a.k.a. the Democratic Party) drifts ever further out of sight of land. Even so, a few of its crew members have jumped ship: New York’s mayor, stowaway Bill de Blasio, may have been shoved overboard. Former Colorado Gov. Hickenlooper walked the plank clutching the lifebuoy of a sure-thing senate seat. Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee went mad drinking seawater and dove in after hallucinating a school of beckoning mermaids. Months from now, the accursed vessel may be discovered mysteriously deserted, prompting tales of mutiny and cannibalism, like the brigantine Mary Celeste of legend.

That’s how lost and far out the Party looks more than a year from the general election.

Back on dry land, the resourceful Golden Golem of Greatness made another flanking maneuver around the Resistance’s left, disarming the so-called Flores Rule from 1994 that underlay the racket of using children to evade the immigration laws. Now the kids can remain with their parents awaiting deportation, which is the natural consequence of sneaking across the border illegally. The Resistance cannot grok the reality that federal law actually applies in cases of border-jumping. Shrieks of “racism” rise from coastal yoga studios and cappuccino bars. Uncle Sam is racist through and through, from his run-down boot-heels to his chin-whiskers.

The New York Times, America’s journal of double-plus good-think, is proving this week with its “1619 Project,” that the NBA is actually the legitimate governing body of this land, contrary to the racist document purporting to be the “constitution.” How many three-pointers could that roly-poly little math freak, Ben Franklin, shoot? Don’t you understand that the Civil War was fought over the attempt by damnable whites to suppress basketball, The Times imputes. Can’t anybody play The Star-Spangled Banner blues anymore in its original form as a field holler, before that cad Francis Scott Key stole it and quashed all the flatted notes?

Elizabeth Warren set the stage for anointing herself America’s Race Hustler-in-Chief by addressing the niggling matter of her former claim to be a Cherokee Indian, since disproven by a DNA test. There was loose talk, you see, that she used the Cherokee ruse to bamboozle her overseers on the Harvard Plantation, where she got to work in the Big House known as the Harvard Law School based on her “diversity” bona fides — a “minority hire!” The claim was so transparently idiotic and dishonest that she was desperate to walk it back as delicately as possible, in order to keep up with the race hustling of her fellow pols chasing the nomination. A rain dance was arranged in the aptly-named heartland town of Sioux City.

“Like anyone who’s being honest with themselves, I know that I have made mistakes,” said Ms. Warren, who was met with a standing ovation when she took the stage [The Times reported]. “I am sorry for harm I have caused. I have listened and I have learned a lot, and I am grateful for the many conversations that we’ve had together.”

Was a more disingenuous political statement ever contrived? A bundle of devious platitudinous promises of the sort that white people always offered the indigenous folk at a thousand crooked treaty councils? It would have been a little more satisfying, perhaps, if Ms. Warren had specified the mistakes made, e.g. I was falsely claiming a racial identity for career advancement. Now that’s an apology! “Listening and learning?” I dunno… sounds a little like groveling and pandering. Anyone can choke down a few bites of humble pie but please don’t make me eat that shit sandwich!

The Democratic contest may be peaking way too early. And Joe Biden hasn’t even had a chance to claim he is the out-of-wedlock grandson of W.C. Handy. There are indications that the political center is already a little tired of the Everything-Is-Racist trope that the party ran up the flagpole this summer. For The New York Times, it became the publicly acknowledged official editorial slant when newsroom chief Dean Baquet announced that the paper needed a replacement for the shredded gonfalon of RussiaGate.

That move by Mr. Baquet has more than a little quality of whistling past the graveyard. When the summer is over, ill winds will be blowing the SS Resistance close to the Reefs of Durham and Barr, when many of the ship’s officers — Ensigns Brannen, Clapper, Comey, Lynch, McCabe, and many others, perhaps even Admiral Obama — start perp-walking around the deck. What a mighty embarrassment that will be. The cry that “mistakes were made” won’t salvage the party’s reputation as it founders and sinks. Glug glug.

(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)

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THE SÉANCE SCENE from the 1922 Fritz Lang film Dr Mabuse, The Gambler ("Dr. Mabuse, der Spieler").

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I THINK IT’S INEVITABLE that you don’t get truth-tellers [among Democrats]. I want the American people to stop believing everything they hear and to ask more questions, to become more skeptical. I think it’s the one reason a guy like Donald Trump won. They understood where he was coming from. That Trump is just a blowhard. They laughed at him. They knew Trump doesn’t know what he’s talking about. But Trump wasn’t the same old big smile and a lot of good words. The Democrats have been going around saying, “We’re for the people, we’re for the little guy.” And all they do is run to Wall Street for money. And the one guy that didn’t, Sanders, was sabotaged by the Democratic National Committee.

— Seymour Hersh

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To the Editor:

I still remember the day in 2015 when bobcat trapping was banned in California. Like many other animal advocates, I assumed that the trapping ban would mean that these small, elusive cats would finally be protected. But I was wrong. Hundreds of bobcats are still slaughtered each year by trophy hunters for nothing more than their pelts or some other macabre display.

Bobcats already face threats from habitat loss and wildfires and need protection from the cruel sport of trophy hunting. Thankfully, Assembly Bill 1254 would put a stop to this unnecessary carnage by putting a moratorium on trophy hunting of bobcats.

Since bobcats regulate their own populations, there’s no need to kill these small wild cats, and with support from the vast majority of Californians to enact such a moratorium, passage of this bill should be a no-brainer. The CA Department of Fish and Wildlife doesn’t currently know how many bobcats there are in the state, and AB 1254 would require them to gather this and other basic scientific knowledge before allowing any kind of hunting to resume.

Senator McGuire is a friend to animals and will soon be voting on this compassionate legislation. Please contact him at (916) 651-4002 and urge him to vote YES on AB 1254.

Carol Misseldine


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Ten years ago, the internet salesmen sold us that the future of data storage was going to be the cloud, that we were going to go paperless and cashless. Just use your cards.

The reality is if you put something on line or work it on your PC, you better figure that it is open to the public. If you put it in the cloud, figure it is public knowledge eventually.

Confidential information will need to go back to paper. The Hi tech snobs will fight it, but a few lawsuits over confidential materials will stop it.

There is no cure for cyber insecurity, someone will eventually hack into it. Maybe when Target gets hacked enough, they will stop putting customer information on their data base, or Capital One. Yes, the facilitators will be clobbered by their users.

Seriously, I wonder with all the cyber problems if the computer has actually saved us any money in the workplace.

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Point Arena City Council Agenda August 27, 2019

Regular Session ~ 6:00 p.m.

City Hall ~ 451 School Street

(Relevant excerpt only)

A) Fee Increase for Garbage and Recycling Collection

Recommended Action: Discuss proposed Solid Waste Collection Fee Schedule Effective October 1, 2019

B) Approval of Final Agreement Between the City of Point Arena and the Mendocino County Sheriff for the Provision of Law Enforcement Services

Recommended Action: Approve Agreement

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Mass Shootings Committed By Antifa Is Zero

"Since the Saturday demonstration, the Proud Boys have announced that they will be back every month until the City of Portland suppresses the antifa movement, whom they call domestic terrorists. The impudence is striking. The Proud Boys are threatening violence to achieve political change. That is the textbook definition of terrorism. Moreover, even before Charlottesville, domestic terrorism had emerged as a danger from the right — that is, from the very people now demanding that the government crush their enemies so that they can own the streets. Consider a very partial list of horrendous crimes motivated by right-wing racism, misogyny, and anti-Semitism: a mass killing at an African American church in Charleston, South Carolina; pipe bombs sent to public figures who oppose Donald Trump; a massacre at a Pittsburgh synagogue; and 20 people — mostly Latino — gunned down at an El Paso Walmart. Meanwhile, some antifa protesters have worn masks or armor, or have shouted down speakers; some beat up the conservative journalist Andy Ngo at a demonstration earlier this year; some have thrown milkshakes, and some have threatened violence or physically fought at right-wing rallies. But the number of mass shootings committed by people identified with antifa is zero, and so is the number of lives taken."

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“The Burning Man people took all our ketamine, so we’ll have to settle for this herbal crap.”

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NEXT! Appointment Of Dr. Noemi Doohan As Interim Public Health Officer For Mendocino County

The Mendocino County of Board of Supervisors is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Noemi Doohan as Interim Public Health Officer. Dr. Doohan joins Mendocino County with over 15 years of experience in the medical field. Dr. Doohan will join a team of seasoned local physicians who will continue to oversee core public health needs during this time of transition. Dr. Doohan has been a health and human services partner in the work she has led with Adventist Health Ukiah Valley’s Street Medicine Program, Family Medicine Residency Program and the initial funding and implementation of the Safe Haven Clinic project.

The County is also pleased to announce Dr. Karen Smith will be contracting with the county to further support development of local public health services in Mendocino County. Dr. Smith was previously appointed by former Governor Jerry Brown in 2015 to serve as the State Public Health Officer and has a long history of County Public Health leadership, most recently serving as Health Officer and Public Health Director for Napa County. She has expertise across all aspects of governmental public health, including emergency medical services and development of a Local EMS Agency.

Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) Director Tammy Moss Chandler and Dr. Smith will be working closely to support Dr. Doohan’s new role as Interim Public Health Officer. HHSA expects to open a recruitment for a permanent Health Officer later this fall.

HHSA Director Tammy Moss Chandler, commented on Dr. Doohan’s appointment, "We are fortunate that Dr. Doohan is joining our solid group of physicians who support our core services and I look forward in working with both Dr. Doohan and Dr. Smith on the transition of Public Health leadership in Mendocino County."

Commenting on her appointment, Dr. Doohan stated, “I look forward to serving as the County’s Interim Public Health Officer supporting our County during this critical time and helping prepare for the future.”

For more information, please contact the Mendocino County Executive Office at (707) 463-4441.

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Mr. Philbrick:

In a recent letter to the editor I mention your sorry ass and you make me an enemy? You forget I knew you back when you was a gyppo logger and propagandist for the timber pirates. You were one of those canaries claiming clearcutting baby redwoods as if they were Georgia pulp pines equaled a “sustained yield” forever while slandering “tree huggers” and Earth Firsters. I remember you claiming spotted owls were nesting all over the place and that environmental regs were just another part of a vast communist plot to shrink your personal profit margins. If you wish to help the poor, says you, feed us profiteers. As was just done in your Lord Trump’s “landmark Republican” tax bill that—presto—eliminated the 20% of American children who regularly go hungry. If you doubt my word, look around Greater Comptche and you’ll find some of them easy enough. They’ll tell you about all the good Trump’s “tax reform” has done them. As will the children seeking asylum now stuffed into Trump’s gulag being run for profit and “protection” ($700 per head per day, it’s been reported).

Well I worked a bunch of logging shows in the ‘70s and 80’s, either slinging steel, chasing on landings, felling timber or hook tending yarder—the last two meaning I spent a good part of my time working alone and away from the action—and I never saw a single spotted owl. I also remember all of the promises made by you good old company boys and what we got in the end: somewhere between zero and nothing.

You’d think you’d’ve learned something by now but you’re too vain. Now, like your holy savior Trump, you’re still at the crap table doubling down even though you ran out of chips so long ago that everybody’s gone and the table’s covered with spider webs. With your weekly demented hate speech and endless calls for fratricide in the name of Guns, God, Gold and Glory, if you had any sense left you’d be watching after your own shriveled soul. As Jesus tried but failed to tell you, evil is as evil does.

Pat Patterson

Prineville, Oregon

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I Need a Coherent Response Very Soon

I'm not certain how to exactly put this, but I have received several responses to my request for a guest visit to the San Francisco bay area which were not even remotely coherent. I need to be invited to stay for a few days, which would include in the message an address which I would go to upon deboarding the bus from Garberville in Humboldt county. Aside from the fact that I was fully active in the San Francisco bay area in areas of peace & justice and radical environmentalism, we had a better than average good social relationship for decades. Therefore, I am having a great deal of difficulty understanding why I am NOT receiving any coherent cooperation now for a visit. I could take the bus down on Saturday, if I have a place to go to. I ask that telephone messages be left with Andy Caffrey at (707) 923-2114. P.S. I will not be accepting invitations to take late night bus trips from the east bay anywhere, because I was not advised in the body of the email where precisely the destination was; in other words, I cannot agree to this because I was not advised where we would be going! Secondly, I am not interested in a transvestite march beginning at People's Park to Revolution Books to make an anti-Marxist statement. Thirdly, I cannot meet with anyone to discuss the details of my visit over coffee, unless you drive to Garberville, and then we could meet at Flavors and talk it over.

Craig Louis Stehr


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What You Need to Know

by Judy Lin

Pacific Gas and Electric’s customers were warned about the cost of massive wildfires that it may have sparked. Even before California’s largest utility filed bankruptcy proceedings at the start of the year, lawyers, policymakers and consumer advocates all cautioned that the company’s liabilities in those fires would, one way or another, hit the pocketbooks of its 16 million customers.

So how much could consumers throughout northern and central California be facing in higher costs?

We don’t have a full picture yet. We do know PG&E is seeking double-digit rate increases to help reduce the risk of future fires. But there isn’t agreement yet on how much the company will be held financially responsible for the deadly and destructive wildfires in 2017 and 2018. And we don’t know how much of that liability might be passed on.

Just recently, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Dennis Montali ruled that a jury can decide whether the utility is liable in the Tubbs Fire in Sonoma County, even though investigators pinned the source on private electrical equipment, not PG&E (more on this later).

One thing is sure: Consumers will shoulder a big share of any liabilities. Here’s what we know so far about how much PG&E’s rates could go up.

How much does PG&E charge?

PG&E’s customers are already paying some of the highest electricity rates in the state, if not the country. The utility’s average rate is 20.06cents per kilowatt hour, compared with an average 16.06 cents statewide and 10.48 cents nationally.

But interestingly, those higher rates are offset by California’s higher efficiency. The state’s average monthly consumption is about 300 kilowatt hours less than the U.S. average, with California’s average monthly electricity bill at $101.49 compared to $111.67 nationwide.

The average residential PG&E customer pays $113.64 a month for electricity and $52.30 for gas, or about $165.94 a month, according to the company.

How much have PG&E’s rates already risen?

In the past decade, the utility’s rates have been going up faster than inflation. According to the Public Advocates Office, residential rates have risen 31% between 2009 and 2019 — higher than the consumer price index of 19%.

But PG&E isn’t alone. While Southern California Edison rates largely appear to keep track with inflation at 18%, San Diego Gas & Electric’s have jumped 51% in the past decade. That’s partly because SDG&E’s customers have been installing solar panels at a higher rate, which distorts the average cost because each customer appears to be consuming less electricity.

How much more will customers’ costs go up?

Based on what we know, the average residential PG&E customer could pay nearly $300 more a year in the next three years, or a 15% increase in their monthly bills. This is because the utility is asking permission from state regulators — separately from the bankruptcy proceedings — to increase its revenue in two ways. Most, but not all, of the new revenue would be passed to consumers.

First, PG&E has asked for a three-year increase totaling $2 billion.That would include a 12.4% jump next year, a 4.7% increase the year after that and a 4.8% hike in 2022. That’s nearly a 22% rise. PG&E says much of the extra money is needed for fire-safety improvementssuch as more fire-resistant poles, covered power lines, new weather stations and high-definition field cameras.

In this scenario, for the average PG&E residential customer using both electricity and gas, the current bill of $165.94 a month would go up to $186.24 in three years.

On top of that, PG&E wants to raise the guaranteed rate of return for capital investments that it gets under California law from 10.25% to 12%. It had sought a return as high as 16% in April. PG&E is arguing that it needs to offer investors bigger profits to offset the financial risks of liability in major wildfires.

This request would add an additional $4.12 a month to the average residential bill. Combined, the increases would be $293 a year.

Can this really happen?

Yes, but it depends on state regulators. The California Public Utilities Commission will need to approve both rate increases, and PG&E may not get everything it wants. Already the commission, which oversees investor-owned utilities, is hearing an earful from residents in Santa Rosa and Fresno overwhelmingly opposed to paying more.

The commission is expected to announce a decision next year.

What’s going on with the bankruptcy?

The bankruptcy case is proceeding in court in the meantime, but key issues have yet to be resolved. Perhaps the biggest unknown is how much PG&E will be on the hook for past wildfires. PG&E initially stated it could face as much as $30 billion in potential damages from a series of catastrophic wildfires in Northern California in 2017 and 2018. The utility has since lowered that estimate to $17.9 billion.

While the utility has all but accepted liability in the Camp Fire that leveled the northern California town of Paradise, it has been trying to minimize liability in the Tubbs Fire, citing a Cal Fire investigation that blamed private electrical equipment. But the bankruptcy judge ruledthat victims can pursue a jury trial.

Fire victims argue that PG&E is at least partly to blame. They’re eager to show jurors a winery’s surveillance video they say is the moment when high-voltage PG&E lines exploded first, near the private power system. Rex Frazier, president of the Personal Insurance Federation of California, which represents insurance companies, said a jury could award victims up to $10 billion.

Is there a deadline for the bankruptcy proceedings?

Yes. Under a new law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, PG&E will need to have an exit plan resolved by June 30, 2020, in order to tap special funds for future wildfire damages. PG&E is expected to present a draft of its plan in court next month.

Consumer advocates worry that PG&E may also try to stick customers with damages from past fires — the debt that drove them into bankruptcy. “PG&E wouldn’t be PG&E if they weren’t always looking for a bailout,” says Mindy Spatt, a spokeswoman for The Utility Reform Network, a consumer advocacy organization.

Is there a bailout?

TBD. Assemblyman Chad Mayes, a Republican from Yucca Valley, has proposed allowing PG&E to sell $20 billion in bonds to pay off past wildfire liabilities. Mayes says PG&E shareholders, not customers or taxpayers, would shoulder the debt. PG&E created a website to tout the plan.

But a group of bondholders led by Paul Singer, a significant contributor to the Republican Party, has mounted a challenge for control of PG&E. The group has teamed with agriculture and food-processing customers — major commercial customers — to warn that consumers and taxpayers would in fact pay more. Its website is here.

It’s unclear if lawmakers will take up the additional legislation before they adjourn in three weeks.


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  1. James Marmon August 24, 2019

    Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump
    31 min. ago

    “When I looked up to the sky and jokingly said “I am the chosen one,” at a press conference two days ago, referring to taking on Trade with China, little did I realize that the media would claim that I had a “Messiah complex.” They knew I was kidding, being sarcastic, and just….

    ….having fun. I was smiling as I looked up and around. The MANY reporters with me were smiling also. They knew the TRUTH…And yet when I saw the reporting, CNN, MSNBC and other Fake News outlets covered it as serious news & me thinking of myself as the Messiah. No more trust!”

    • Harvey Reading August 24, 2019

      Proving once again that your president is an incoherent ass. But then, so is Biden.

  2. Cotdbigun August 24, 2019

    Love Mendocino

    Regarding online comment #2 Jeffrey Epstein didn’t commit one single mass shooting either!

    I need to be invited to a nice place in Hawaii for a while, beachfront property preferred. I’ll be arriving by plane. Also a daily allowance will get you a spiritual thx.

    • James Marmon August 24, 2019

      China is America’s greatest threat.

      “In the United States Code, the IEEPA is Title 50, §§1701–1707. The IEEPA authorizes the president to declare the existence of an “unusual and extraordinary threat… to the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States” that originates “in whole or substantial part outside the United States.” It further authorizes the president, after such a declaration, to block transactions and freeze assets to deal with the threat. In the event of an actual attack on the United States, the president can also confiscate property connected with a country, group, or person that aided in the attack.”

  3. Harvey Reading August 24, 2019

    Kids look just as goofy as adults in suits, especially with hats. Sinatra was no exception.

  4. Harvey Reading August 24, 2019

    “The average residential PG&E customer pays $113.64 a month for electricity and $52.30 for gas, or about $165.94 a month, according to the company.”

    Those monster houses y’all love so much cost a lot of money to operate.

    Here in central Wyoming I pay about $80 to $120 a month for gas during the two or three coldest months of the year (far colder here than in CA), and only a service charge ($16/month) during warmer months. The electric bill varies between about $35 and $45 per month all year, in the summer it goes up a little because of the AC compressor/condenser, and it goes up a little in the winter for the central heating air circulation fan. The stove/oven is electric, and the gas furnace is rated at 95 percent efficiency. Hardly any incandescent fixtures, and no damned led lights … yet. I’m hoping my supply of compact fluorescent replacement bulbs outlasts me.

    How come you people don’t demand that the state take over ownership and operation of your “public” utilities?

    • Bruce Anderson August 24, 2019

      A few noble souls have been agitating for truly publicly-owned power for years, some of them even sitting on the jive Public Utilities Commission. Personal note, which I’ll keep at less than Sunswheatian length: Just the other day I got a call from a lawyer in Cleveland who said I owed PG&E $1300 for my previous Boonville address. I thought the call, and an e-mail, were scams and ignored them. Turns out the Cleveland collection shyster was correct, at least in representing PG&E’s claim that I owe the money. I thought PG&E simply shut down power the next time a captive customer applied for new service, which I did three years ago when I moved three-quarters of a mile down the street. But PG&E signed me right up at my new address, no problemo. Then, suddenly, a bill for a lot of money. As one of millions of Americans who doesn’t have 1300 bucks for emergencies, and I consider paying PG&E such a low priority emergency I will only pay them in increments of ten bucks or so a month, if I pay them at all, which I will probably have to do because my Missus…. well, she’s a much more….. well, she tends to take corporate thieves at their word. A second consideration here is PG&E’s recent policy of murdering whole neighborhoods of their customers, all of whom were presumably not in arears, and them there’s their even more recent policy of cutting off power to whole areas of neighborhoods to avoid, the mammoth monopoly claims, the murders of even more of their customers. I guess I’d better pay up.

      • Harvey Reading August 24, 2019

        I sometimes wonder if people in this country will belatedly awaken to the fact that neoliberal democrats care no more for the well-being of common folk than do republicans after slavery is formally reimplemented here once again. It will probably be enacted by unanimous vote in congress, with no skin-color discrimination, and with supreme court acquiescence in the name of “original intent” of our glorious founders. Or will they welcome it with preconditioned happiness, with no concern over political affiliation? The scary thing is, I may live long enough to get the answer, and I am having no success at all in developing any superhuman powers of resistance.

  5. Craig Stehr August 24, 2019

    Am in Pinole, CA as a guest of Robert Eggplant. Have napped and enjoyed coffee. Now that’s coherence! We’re going to Live Oak Park for the 50th anniversary of the Berkeley Free Clinic, and then later will work a show at Gilman Street. No plans beyond this. Nobody knows. ;-)

  6. Harvey Reading August 24, 2019

    “A lot of the people who voted for Mr. Trump no doubt bought his explanation of his personal ‘success’ because it fits what they have been told about how the world works. ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) and the Chamber of Commerce have been selling this bullshit at the state and local level for five decades or more.”

  7. michael turner August 26, 2019

    Just what we need: a Public Health Officer who doesn’t like to work.

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