- Stop Thief
- Shutoff Weekend
- Ten Years
- Pickup Line
- Public Utility
- Firetruck Fundraiser
- Kincade Fire
- Shots Fired
- RCMS Cash
- Norma Jean
- Mitchell Murders
- Fir Train
- Typical Surplus
- FB Safeway
- Yesterday's Catch
- RussiaGate Investigation
- Assange Persecution
- Facebook Disinformation
- Silly Nitwits
- End Deficit
- Ocean Symposium
- Phantom Budget
- Found Object
JUST IN: It is reported there was some excitement to be observed at the Ukiah Safeway Thursday evening. Startled shoppers saw the District Attorney yelling at a shoplifter to drop stolen goods, as the shoplifter fled the store. Perhaps pining for his younger more athletic years, the DA gave foot chase while also calling for police assistance on his cell phone. The Ukiah police quickly found the thief hunkered down with the stolen food in an alcove behind the Ukiah Daily Journal offices. The man, Elias Emmanuel English, age 21, a Ukiah transient, ended his “excellent adventure” as a county charge at the Sheriff’s Low Gap hotel.
SUPERVISOR WILLIAMS 9AM SATURDAY: "I anticipate most of Mendocino County being subject to loss of electricity between Saturday evening and late Monday as part of a planned shut down and wind storm damage. Add a couple of days for PG&E to restore in phases and we’re probably looking at back to normal on Wednesday. Plan for the worst — stock up on supplies and be alert. (Incidentally, I responded to a report of flames on a 60kv line in Little River last night. Report any sighting via 911 even if intermittent. Treat all down wires as energized and keep a safe distance.)"
UPDATE: PG&E PUBLIC SAFETY POWER SHUTOFF Scheduled for October 26, 2019 through October 28, 2019
Posted: 10/25/2019 6:31 PM
The County of Mendocino has been notified by Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) that power is expected be turned off in our area due to red flag fire hazard conditions. At this time the majority of Mendocino County will be affected. Impacted communities include, but are not limited to: Albion, Annapolis, Boonville, Branscomb, Calpella, Covelo, Cloverdale, Cummings, Dos Rios, Elk, Fort Bragg, Gualala, Harris, Hopland, Laytonville, Leggett, Littler River, Manchester, Philo, Piercy, Point Arena, Potter Valley, Redwood Valley, Rockport, Talmage, Ukiah, Westport, Willits and Yorkville. PG&E estimates that approximately 39,000 customers in Mendocino County will lose power. This information continues to evolve and could change prior to the scheduled event. More information will be available on PG&E’s website www.pge.com later this evening.
De-energization will be initiated by PG&E the afternoon of Saturday, October 26. The event is estimated to continue through the early morning of Monday, October 28. De-energization will begin in the northernmost areas, moving south. Mendocino County will release updated information on Saturday, October 26. Re-energization time periods have not been confirmed by PG&E.
Residents should be prepared with food, water, and any other necessary supplies for this potential extended outage. Residents can visit the County of Mendocino’s website www.mendocinocounty.org/psps and PG&E’s website www.pge.com for power outage information, preparedness tips, lists of markets, grocery stores and fueling stations that may be open during the outage in your area.
For more information, please contact the Executive Office at 707-463-4441.
ALERT SENT OUT BY THE COUNTY OF HUMBOLDT:
PG&E ADVISES THAT ALL CUSTOMERS IN Humboldt County will lose power early afternoon, Saturday, October 26, 2019, due to a Public Safety Power Shutoff. Extreme fire weather conditions affecting portions of Humboldt County and surrounding counties will cause dangerous conditions for power transmission lines. Please prepare for an outage up to 4 days. 9 1 1 should only be used for life threatening emergencies. The Sheriff’s Office will issue more information when P G & E provides outage or restoration time estimates. Please check on family and neighbors with medical needs. You can get further information at PGE.com. You can also call 211 for information. We will also send out Humboldt Alerts with updated information.
AS ANOTHER power shut down looms for Saturday, the Anderson Valley receives contradictory information. Are we off or are we spared? Depending on the source, we're both.
ACCORDING TO PG&E'S PRESSER of late Friday afternoon, the Mendo communities going dark "between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. tomorrow and lasting until mid-day Monday," include Albion, Annapolis, Boonville, Branscomb, Calpella, Covelo, Cloverdale, Cummings, Dos Rios, Elk, Fort Bragg, Gualala, Harris, Hopland, Laytonville, Leggett, Little River, Manchester, Philo, Piercy, Point Arena, Potter Valley, Redwood Valley, Rockport, Talmage, Ukiah, Westport, Willits and Yorkville.
PG&E says it is expecting a wind event of "historic" proportions starting Saturday, with wind speeds in some areas of 45-60 mph and gusts up to 70 mph. PG&E's stock is on its way to becoming worthless as it plummeted again Friday. Already in bankruptcy for causing the disastrous NorCal of two years ago, it appears as if it was a PG&E failure at the Geysers that ignited the Kincade catastrophe.
THE GEYSERS, history of: For ten thousand years prior to the arrival of the noble pioneers, the original people enjoyed the Geyser's soothing mineral waters without attempting to monetize them. In the late 19th century into the early 20th, the site was a hot springs retreat for the city's well-to-do. Circa late 1960's into the early 70s, as a friend puts it, "hippie swarms had infested it and it had devolved into filth and decay." Then came PG&E and minor earthquakes and major fires.
GOVERNOR NEWSOM'S fulminations about PG&E's sins are impressively thunderous, but we'll see if he and the state legislature follow up with their threats to make the giant for-profit monopoly a truly public-public utility.
AMONG the many illustrious sons of the Anderson Valley, count Claude Brinegar, who served as Nixon’s Transportation Secretary until Nixon resigned. President Ford asked Brinegar to stay on but he refused. He was the only Democrat in Nixon’s cabinet. The Secretary's roots went deep in the Anderson Valley through generations of Junes' and Rawles'.
PG&E’s Boonville Notice the afternoon of October 24, 2019: “Due to gusty winds and dry conditions, combined with a heightened fire risk, PG&E may need to turn off power for public safety at this address in the next 36 to 48 hours. As we continue to monitor conditions, please prepare for outages that could last longer than 48 hours.”
PG&E might at least spare us the line "for your safety" when even third graders know the shutdown is to protect their shareholders. The shutdowns are costing everyday citizens many more millions than large scale fires. The only good thing coming out of all this is that the company's shareholders are taking a perhaps fatal beating.
PS. Bay area news outlets are reporting that the Big Tech boys and girls in Silicon Valley are so pissed off at PG&E for their “unreliable distribution system” that will shut down Big Tech along with the rest of us that Big Tech is talking about developing their own power sources or moving out of state.
TEN MORE YEARS
PG&E is claiming it may require 10 years to fix its system so the public safety power shutoffs can come to an end. It is more than inconvenient — more than just no TV or internet, no heat or air conditioning, no cooking in our house. We can’t easily plan to keep food cold, let alone frozen. An easy $200 loss. Standby power costs thousands. This is a huge incentive to leave California. Should one utility provider destroy quality of life in California for a decade?
TAKE IT PUBLIC
Once again, PG&E exposed its customers to a dangerous situation. If this had been an actual emergency, the community would have worked together and weathered it with our strong Sonoma spirit. Rather, we were driven to frantic gas lines and unnecessary grocery store hysteria and economic and personal disruption.
This latest utility debacle should have been handled with a little more thought, planning and grace. Even the linemen who came by to inspect our electric lines prior to reconnection were perplexed as to why this was handled the way it was.
Once again customers have been played for fools. Yes, emergencies happen and we need to be prepared, but this was an inexcusable display of mismanagement. This lack of care is what we get when our only option is a privately owned monopoly.
How about a publicly owned utility? It works in other locations, why not here? Let the public come up with a positive alternative. We need to develop a fair solution that spreads the responsibility and, yes, burdens and gains. We need to unite to resolve this ever-troubling dilemma for our county and state.
PG&E doesn’t have to prove again and again that it shouldn’t be the only player in this game. Maybe it’s time to take our power back.
THE KINCADE FIRE in the Geyserville area is now reported to be up to 23,700 with still only 5% containment. “At least” 49 structures (21 homes/28 outbuildings) burned, more evacations ordered. And significant winds are expected in the area Saturday through Monday which will pose grave challenges to firefighters and threaten more homes and property, although most of the burn area so far is “rough rural terrain.”
ANDERSON VALLEY FIRE CHIEF ANDRES AVILA REPORTS:
Anderson Valley sent out Captain Ben Glaus, Lieutenant Moy Perez, and firefighter Josh Mathias on board wildland engine 7471 but they were not assigned to the Kincade Fire. We were initially called out around 2 am on Thursday morning for interagency assignment but were cancelled because Mendocino County was going to consolidate Mendocino County engines with some Humboldt resources to create a task force. We were asked later in the morning around 9:30 am to recommit to the assignment as a formal strike team with other Mendocino units but were assigned to CalFire station coverage in Mendocino County. With the high risk forecast on the immediate horizon I anticipate that the engine will be out until mid next week — unless another large incident occurs.
PS. Yes, it looks like Boonville is possibly going to get shut down on this go round. This time our generator at the Boonville Station will be fully operational!
KINCADE FIRE SENDS PG&E STOCK REELING; COULD GO TO ZERO, ANALYST WARNS
Pacific Gas and Electric stock tanked Friday following the news that company equipment on a transmission tower malfunctioned near the origin of the Kincade Fire in Sonoma County. Shares fell more than 30 percent to $5.00 on worries that potential liabilities from the fire could wipe out investors and scuttle company efforts to emerge from bankruptcy. The stock was selling at nearly $50 a share about a year ago. Citi analyst Praful Mehta said earlier this month that there was a 75% probability PG&E stock would fall to zero. He renewed the call Friday, saying "shareholders are worried — and should be," Bloomberg reported.
On 10-10-2019 at 12:54 PM Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to a reported drunk pedestrian in the 6000 block of Central Avenue in Redwood Valley, California.
While searching for this reported pedestrian, Deputies subsequently contacted an adult male in the general vicinity (7000 block of Uva Drive).
During that contact an Officer Involve Shooting occurred.
On 10-25-2019 Sheriff Thomas Allman released the patrol vehicle dash-camera video of the incident in compliance with California Senate Bill 748.
The video can be viewed at the following links:
twitter https://twitter.com/MendoSheriff/status/1187921839667978241 (first minute only)
facebook https://www.facebook.com/MendocinoSheriff/videos/555756905233902/ front page of website has link to YouTube
(Mendocino County Sheriff's Office - Press Release)
SETTLEMENTS & AFFILIATIONS
by Malcolm Macdonald
On Sunday, September 22, parties representing both sides of the federal lawsuit Hardin v. Mendocino Coast District Hospital (MCDH), Bob Edwards (former MCDH Chief Executive Officer), Wade Sturgeon (former MCDH Chief Financial Officer), and Steve Lund (former President of MCDH's Board of Directors and current board member) attended a mediation in the San Diego area. At the conclusion of that ten hour session, the mediator drafted a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the parties settling the lawsuit that had been ongoing for more than two years. Readers can examine the AVA online archives, dating back to at least January, 2017, to find the origins of the allegations of harassment and questionable billing practices brought by then Chief Human Resources Officer Ellen Hardin against MCDH, its top two administrators and the leader of the board of directors. Many other AVA articles subsequent to the beginning of 2017 also reference the Hardin case.
The amount of the settlement, though blacked out in court filings, is presumed to be in the neighborhood between $2.5 and $3 million dollars, with the most precise educated guess placed at $2.6 million. According to a recent filing made by Hardin's attorney, Paragraph 3. of the Sept. 22 MOU states, “The Settlement Sum will be paid by check made payable to 'Ellen Hardin and the Trust Account of the Law Office of Twila S. White.' Appropriate IRS Forms 1099 shall be issued. Plaintiff reserves the option to structure all or a portion of the settlement proceeds into an annuity.”
At this point, the parties are squabbling about whether or not the payment will be made in one lump sum (MCDH's desired method) or doled out in smaller increments, presumably to make Ms. Hardin's tax hit less substantial. Other than that, the lawsuit is a done deal.
When a court case that has begun from extreme adversarial positions reaches a mutually agreed upon settlement, observers are still tempted to ask, “So, who won?” Having been a negotiator for a nascent then fledgling union for several years in the 1980s and 1990s it is tempting to go off on a tangent about “Interest-Based Bargaining” (IBB) vs. “position-based bargaining, but let's leave that to anyone interested in more progressive methods of negotiation investigating those worthwhile topics on their own time.
The Hardin case result might best be called a win-lose-win situation. Receiving more than $2.5 million in a settlement ostensibly makes the former MCDH human resource officer the victor. Obviously, those forced to pay out must be labeled the losers.
However, let's look at Paragraph 1. of the MOU: “MCDH and/or its insurer, BETA Healthcare Group, a California joint powers agreement (hereinafter 'BETA') shall pay to Plaintiff the sum of __.” [presumably an amount near $2.6 million]
BETA is covering the coast hospital's losses in this matter up to about $4 million. That means that MCDH is not going to incur an actual monetary loss from its financially stressed coffers other than a possible insurance rate increase in the future.
The next question that may be on some readers' minds: Will this impact the potential affiliation with Adventist Health if the haggling over how Hardin's money is paid out lingers too long? The short answer: another type of mediator will decide whether the Hardin payment comes in one lump sum or not will occur before the year is out.
This takes us to another sticky situation that at this point is more supposition than actual hard fact. At recent town hall forums in which MCDH interim CEO Wayne Allen, Chief of Staff, Dr. William Miller, and board member John Redding have laid out what affiliation with Adventist Health (AH) will look like, there has been talk about a possible roll back of the public vote on affiliation to June, 2020. Up until this past week, the March 3, 2020 election day had been all but cast in stone for a public yea or nay on affiliation.
In addition to hints about the affiliation vote being pushed back to a later date, CEO Allen also has brought up the possibility of MCDH entering into a management contract with Adventist Health during the period leading up to a public vote on the matter. That would require approval of the MCDH Board of Directors then AH would send in its own team to essentially run the day to day operations of the coast hospital. One might think of it as a sort of exhibition season representing part of what AH is capable of providing after affiliation becomes official.
Of course, an AH management team would likely make some quick and potentially painful payroll cuts. In addition, rumor on the street would have it that the first thing to go at an AH run coast hospital would be the labor and delivery department. For those revving up indignation (righteous or otherwise) at that prospect, MCDH plans a November public forum on the future of labor and delivery on the coast. Precise date, time, and setting of such meeting is yet to be determined.
In the meantime, we can wait and see whether or not the voters of the Mendocino Coast Healthcare District have their say in March or later. Remember that the affiliation deal would first have to be approved by a truncated (three member) MCDH Board of Directors. To be clear about when a special election would occur, the June election mentioned at the affiliation forum is not an option. California election law has changed as of the first of the year in accordance with switching the Presidential primary to March. The first Tuesday after the first Monday in April is available for a special election as is a similar Tuesday in November, 2020. Making a rough guess, the cost to taxpayers of the Mendocino Coast Healthcare District for such a special election could be upwards of fifty to sixty thousand dollars. Of course, Adventist Health might be persuaded to foot that bill. A mail-in ballot procedure would be available in May, 2020, presumably at a reduced rate of expense.
The rumored reasoning behind a delay in the public vote involves hesitancy on the part of AH due to uncertainties created by their operational agreement with St. Joseph's Health to integrate clinical services. That agreement made more than a year and a half ago is still under review by the state attorney general's office for possible antitrust issues.
Where there is one rumor, you can pretty much count on a counter balancing alternative. That has the Adventists still full steam ahead in their desire to make affiliation with MCDH happen as soon as possible.
Full disclosure: This writer has the price of a decaf mocha riding on the outcome of whether or not the public vote occurs in March or later. So come and get me coppers, for betting not on the outcome of an election, but when said election takes place. Perhaps this is one of the signs of the apocalypse or a sign that I need a gamblers anonymous meeting.
FROM SUPERVISOR WILLIAMS:
Some have warned that Redwood Coast Medical Services might run out of cash within short time. This is frightening. National and state policy are creating hard times in Mendocino County.
Correcting the record on RCMS
By Doric Jemison-Ball
(Doric Jemison-Ball is the chief executive officer of Redwood Coast Medical Services.)
I would like to thank the ICO reporter W.W. Keller for his informative article about Redwood Coast Medical Services’ current financial difficulties. However, I would like to clarify a few inadvertent miscommunications in the article so as not to confuse the readers:
While RCMS did have cash reserves of $2 million at one point in the past, our cash on hand has deteriorated significantly over the last few years. As that deterioration accelerated in the last year, regrettably management and the board were slow in acting to what they continued to believe was a series of temporary setbacks.
The reduction in visits is across all payer types: Medicare, Medi-Cal, private insurance and self-pay. The $440,000 that was repaid to DHCS over the past 18 months was the result of an overpayment to RCMS by DHCS due to miscommunication between DHCS and RCMS over a rate change made by RCMS in July 2019. As a result, there is an additional $169K to be repaid for fiscal year 2017-18 and a similar amount for fiscal year 2018-19. After that, as the rate is now correct, there should be no additional amount due for this fiscal year which started July 1, 2019, or in the future.
RCMS does have some cash reserves available, however, nowhere near $1 million. If current financial trends continue (which we hope and expect will not be the case), we could run out of unrestricted cash within the next few months. While we do have the ability to borrow temporarily from a $600,000 hospice restricted fund in an emergency, that is a step we would very much prefer to avoid.
We do also have assets that we may be able to borrow against to some extent, although our losses may make obtaining additional credit difficult.
Therefore, to get through the current financial crisis, we will need both additional revenue from operations and immediate help from the community.
THIS YOUNG LADY working in a Van Nuys, CA factory in 1944 would soon become a movie star by the name of 'Marilyn Monroe'.
ATTENTION, MATT LeFEVER of COLD CASE MENDOCINO
Reference: Mendocino County Sheriff's Case #04-3899
Charles Roy "Buzzy" Mitchell (father)
Date of birth: 15 August 1938, per findagrave website, http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=107943106
Although the MCSO refers to him as a white male, the elder Mitchell was Native American. He was 5 feet 10 inches tall, 180 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes.
Noland Jay "No No" Noland (son)
Date of birth: 29 May 1970
Once again, the MCSO uses the descriptor "white male" for a Native American. Noland was 6 feet 3 inches tall, weighed 380 pounds, and had black hair and brown eyes.
Prior legal record: On 29 September 1991, deputies responding to a call from Mill Creek Road in the Cow Mountain Off Road Recreation Area on the Mendocino/Lake County line arrested Noland on a warrant. Ukiah Daily Journal, 30 September 1991.https://www.newspapers.com/image/8885567/. Note: I was unable to determine the charge or disposition of the case.
Both Mitchells were active in local Native American affairs. In 2004, Charles was becoming involved in Pomo tribal politics, now that he had retired from working in a lumber mill. The internal politics of the Coyote Valley Band of Pomos, who ran a casino on their rancheria some miles north of Ukiah, interested him. Nor was he the only Mitchell involved with an Indian casino. After son Noland belatedly completed Mendocino College at age 29, he went to work for Sho-Ka-Wah Casino, east of Hopland on Route 175. He was the Drop Supervisor there for two years before his murder according to his Ukiah Daily Journal obituary of 4 November 2004, http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/uk….aspx?n=noland-jay-mitchell-no-no&pid=2784044.
A digression here: Indian casinos just pump money. There are also other businesses associated with casinos--mini-marts, entertainment, gas station, cheap cigarettes. Considerable sums of cash are in flux, up for grabs for whoever is in control. In recent years, the infighting over tribal funds has led to everything from mass disenrollments from tribes to assaults, shootouts, and arson. Unfortunately, murder would not be much of an escalation.
Let me continue then. In September 2004, the Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer, and Historian of the Coyote Valley Band were removed from office by a general council vote. Ukiah Daily Journal, 28 December 2004, https://www.newspapers.com/image/8719045/. It is likely that Charles Roy Mitchell was interested in running for one of these offices.
On 31 October 2004, the MItchells were known to be alive. On 1 November 2004, Noland did not show up for work. A coworker drove to the Noland home in the 900 block Orr Springs Road. He found Noland dead by obvious homicide; he appeared to have been shot in his sleep. This seems to indicate that Noland was indoors.
At 1:15 PM, deputies were dispatched to the Mitchell place. When they cleared the premises, they found the elder Mitchell. He had been beaten to death alongside their home. Mendocino County Sheriff's Office website, http://www.mendocinosheriff.com/missing/coldcases.html; America's Most Wanted website, http://amwfans.com/thread/1683/unknown-charles-noland-mitchell-california.
A look at the map shows that the Mitchell home was located next to another local rancheria, that of the Pinoleville Band of Pomos. If the motive for the murders was tribal politics, here's a potential source of assassins within easy walking distance of the Mitchell home.
On 16 November 2004, Shodakai Casino and Mitchell family members put up a $15,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the Mitchell murderer(s). This report says both Mitchells were shot. Ukiah Daily Journal, 16 November 2004,
Information concerning this active homicide case may be called in to the MCSO Tipline at 707-234-2100. Their Investigative Services Bureau may be emailed to email@example.com.The Sheriff's Office can also be reached at 951 Low Gap Road, Ukiah,CA 95482.
ON LINE COMMENTS
Throughout the above sources runs a slant toward Charles Roy Mitchell's involvement in tribal politics as being the motive for the slayings. Indeed, I found a considerable fund of Internet articles concerning the Coyote Band's politics. I glanced into this stash of information just enough to realize it will take considerable analysis to make sense. One thing I did note, though: Pinoleville Rancheria addresses given for tribal members in court filings.
In the above scenario, with Charles as the target, Noland seems to be considered a collateral victim. I found no sign that anyone considered Noland instead of Charles as the target, and the latter the collateral victim.
Consider this. As money accumulates at a casino table, some of it is removed from the table and dropped into a locked safe called a Drop Box. In fact, money from throughout the casino probably all goes in the same box. Contents of the Drop Box are eventually moved to a secure area in the casino to be counted, banked, budgeted, whatever. Obviously, the Drop Box is a rich target for boodlers. And Noland was the Drop Box Supervisor. Plenty of room for ill will there. As Cyndi Lauper sings, "Money changes everything.."
Here's another reason to wonder whether Noland was the actual target. If the assassin found Noland asleep in bed, and Noland was not the intended victim, why then was he shot? The hitman could have tiptoed away from Noland, found Charles, shot him, and fled unseen before Noland aroused himself. Instead, the murderer’s shot at Noland seems to have attracted Roy into the final fray afterwards.
(AVA November 10, 2004 about a week after the murders)
THE MURDER of Charles “Buzzy” Mitchell, 66, and his son Noland “No-No” Mitchell, 34, members of the Coyote Valley Reservation at their rural Ukiah-area home remain a mystery with few clues or leads. The murders are believed to have occurred on Sunday, October 31 or early Monday, November 1. Although members of the Coyote Valley tribe, the two men lived in a somewhat isolated area near the end of a long dirt road outside the Pinoleville Reservation when they were killed. (Tribal membership itself can be contentious in the area and tribal membership can depend on some very arcane family histories and whether or not you can prove a relationship to a politically oriented tribal council/chairman with old, sometimes inconclusive documentation.) The two men were found dead about 1pm on Monday by a friend. The existing tension among families and factions at Coyote Valley has increased over recent weeks since the Tribal Council, chaired by Priscilla Hunter, was ousted by the feds while an investigation of the Casino’s financies is completed. Since the elder Mitchell is said to have been considering a run for the new Coyote Valley Council, rumors are floating that the elder Mitchell may have known something somebody didn’t want him talking about, or that somebody may have thought he knew something. Of course, other motivations are just as possible. The younger Mitchell worked at the Hopland Casino (another source of complaints about how money is handled and dispersed to tribal members) and failed to show up for his graveyard shift there. Both men were said to be popular, friendly individuals with no known enemies. Buzzy Mitchell was a retired lumber mill worker. Residents of the area are reported to be fearful of additional attacks in the wake of the murders, and even nervous about investigators coming to their homes. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office investigation is continuing, anyone with information about the killings is requested to call 463-4111.
(AVA, November 24, 2004, a few weeks after the murders)
MEDIA COVERAGE of the Mitchell murders near the Pinoleville Rancheria has fallen off somewhat lately — compared to, say, the tragic murder of the two (white) Napa girls that went national last week. The Mitchell murder investigation is ongoing and leads are being pursued. Last week’s announcement of a $15,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible has produced some leads which are being checked. Noland “No-No” Mitchell and his father Charles “Buzzy” Mitchell, popular members of the Coyote Valley Band of Pomos (not the Pinoleville Band), were found shot on November 1, 2004, at their Orr Springs Road residence. Noland Mitchell was found shot in his bed (he never made it to his job at the Hopland Casino) and Buzzy was apparently beaten and shot outside, perhaps having come across the killer(s) as they escaped or because of a call for assistance from Noland before he was shot. Most nearby tribal members are nervous about the killings and hope that the case will be actively pursued. The Sheriff’s Office says that it is and that all the usual steps are being taken — phone record checks, door to door witness searches on Orr Springs Road, etc. Detective Alvarado at the Sheriff’s Department is the lead detective on the case. Anyone with information should call Detective Alvarado or his boss, Lt. Kurt Smallcomb, at 463-4111. (Confidentiality requests will be honored.)
A SINGLE OREGON FIR cut in sections for transportation, (1910 postcard)
BACK TO YOU, BETSY
You may recall during the BOS meeting that both Supervisor McCowen and CEO Angelo stated that there is a $5 million budget surplus projected this year AND TYPICALLY, there is a budget surplus at year's end. They seem rather proud of this fact.
If that's the case, how could the county's communications infrastructure (as presented on Tuesday) be in such dire straights? Also, how is it that the roads are in such poor shape----and, that news is bad for the County's Pension Fund? This surplus money reportedly passes through the General Fund. How is it used; and, how is it that a budget surplus exists when the communications infrastructure is a hairsbreadth away from going silent?
It should be noted that CEO Angelo was promoted to her current position back in 2010. And yet, there is no meaningful Year-to-Date budget reporting by Ms. Angelo during regular BOS meetings. It now stands that this could be, might be provided soon by IT. Really?! It's about NINE YEARS OVERDUE.
PS. As you county execs cash your next paychecks, think about the IHSS workers who are making minimum wage with no health benefits. That $5 mil could go along way to help them out. Just saying.
MEMO OF THE WEEK
CATCH OF THE DAY, OCTOBER 25, 2019
ROBERT CAMPBELL, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, parole violation. (Frequent flyer.)
VINCENT GALVAN, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent flyer.)
COLE ICKES, Fort Bragg. Failure to appear.
PHILLIP IDICA, Ukiah. Under influence, controlled substance paraphernalia.
VLADIMIR LEBEDYANDKIY, San Francisco/Ukiah. DUI.
TIMOTHY MCCOSKER, Ukiah. Trespassing, failure to appear, probation revocation.
SHELBY SLOAN, Lakeport/Ukiah. Probation revocation.
MICHAEL SMITH, Willits. Community supervision violation.
JARRETT STERGIOU, Fortuna/Hopland. Suspended license.
JASON WINEGAR, Mendocino. Offensive language in public likely to provoke violation reaction, interfering with business.
THE SOUND OF SHOES DROPPING IN THE NIGHT
by James Kunstler
It was interesting to watch the Cable News divas go incandescent under the glare of their own gaslight late yesterday when they received the unpleasant news that the Barr & Durham “review” of RussiaGate had been officially upgraded to a “criminal investigation.” Rachel Maddow’s trademark pouty-face got a workout as she strained to imagine “…what the thing is that Durham might be looking into.” Yes, that’s a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma, all right… with a sputtering fuse sticking out of it. Welcome to the Wile E. Coyote Lookalike Club, Rache. You’ll have a lot of competition when the Sunday morning news-chat shows rev up.
Minutes later, the answer dawned on her: “It [the thing] follows the wildest conspiracy theories from Fox News!” You’d think that someone who invested two-plus years of her life in the Mueller report, which blew up in her pouty-face last spring, might have felt a twinge of journalistic curiosity as to the sum-and-substance of the thing. But no, she just hauled on-screen RussiaGate intriguer David Laufman, a former DOJ lawyer who ran the agency’s CounterIntel and Export Control desk during the RussiaGate years, and also helped oversee the botched Hillary Clinton private email server probe.
“They have this theory,” Rachel said, “that maybe Russia didn’t interfere in the election….”
“It’s preposterous,” said Mr. Laufman, all lawyered up and ready to draw a number and take a seat for his own grand jury testimony. (Note: Mr. Laufman was also deeply involved in the Brett Kavanaugh fiasco as lawyer to Christine Blasey Ford’s BFF, former FBI agent Monica McLean.)
Over in the locked ward of CNN, Andy Cooper and Jeff Toobin attempted to digest the criminal investigation news as if someone had ordered in a platter of shit sandwiches for the green room just before air-time. Toobin pretended to not know exactly who the mysterious Joseph Mifsud was, and struggled to even pronounce his name: “…Mifsood? Misfood…? You mean the Italian professor?” No Jeff, the guy employed by several “friendly” foreign intelligence agencies, and the CIA, to sandbag Trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos, and failed. I guess when you’re at the beating heart of TV news, you don’t have to actually follow any of the stories reported outside your range of thought and experience.
Next Andy hauled onscreen former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (now a paid CNN “contributor”) to finesse a distinction between the “overall investigation of the Russian interference” and “the counterintelligence investigation that was launched by the FBI.” Consider that Mr. Clapper was right in the middle between the CIA and the FBI. Since he is known to be a friend of Mr. Comey’s and a not-friend of Mr. Brennan’s one can easily see which way Mr. Clapper is tilting. One can also see the circular firing squad that this is a setup for. And, of course, Mr. Clapper himself will be a subject in Mr. Durham’s criminal case proceedings. I predict October will be the last month that Mr. Clapper draws a CNN paycheck — as he hunkers down with his attorneys awaiting the subpoena with his name on it.
The New York Times story on this turn of events Friday morning is a lame attempt to rescue former FBI Director Jim Comey by pinning the blame for RussiaGate on the CIA, shoving CIA John Brennan under the bus. The Times report says: “Mr. Durham has also asked whether C.I.A. officials might have somehow tricked the F.B.I. into opening the Russia investigation.” There’s the next narrative for you. Expect to hear this incessantly well into 2020: “We wuz tricked!”
I wonder if there is any way to hold the errand boys-and-girls in the news media accountable for their roles as handmaidens in what will be eventually known as a seditious coup to overthrow a president. We do enjoy freedom of the press in this land, but I can see how these birds merit charges as unindicted co-conspirators in the affair. One wonders if the various boards of directors of the newspaper and cable news outfits might seek to salvage their self-respect by firing the executives who allowed it to happen. If anything might be salutary in the outcome of this hot mess, it would be a return to respectability of the news media.
As for impeachment, ringmaster Rep. Adam Schiff is surely steaming straight into his own historic Joe McCarthy moment when somebody of incontestable standing denounces him as a fraud and a scoundrel… and the mysterious workings of nonlinear behavior tips the political mob past a criticality threshold, shifting the weight of consensus out of darkness and madness. It has happened before in history. Two centuries before Joe McCarthy, the French national assembly suddenly turned on the Jacobins Robespierre and St. Just after their orgy of beheading 17,000 enemies. The two were quickly dispatched themselves to the awe of their beloved guillotine and the Jacobin faction was not heard of again — until recently in America, where it first infected the Universities and then sickened the polity at large almost unto death.
(Support Kuntler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)
A READER WRITES:
I need to let go of all of the drama.
Yeah, I know this does not apply to everybody, but back in 2001 and around 2006, the power went out in Gualala. Generators? What are those?, so having frozen water bottles in the freezer, I sent those to the fridge, we lived by candlelight, and flashlight (Costco batteries are cheap), and we played scrabble with a fire in the stove. We cooked stew on the stove, and we survived very well, remembering an old cowboy’s statement: “You know why they won’t be able to survive in the bay area is that they don’t know how to salt pork.” Well pork ain’t the prime, but we lived 7 days back in those days quite well, and we cut our driving and Costco shopping down too. Its time whether you are a PG&E customer or not, whether you a Costco shopper or not, you need to cut down on consumerism. You do not need to shop all the time, but as an addict will tell you, You won’t change until you hit BOTTOM. That bottom reflects upon us all as we are all in this together, one and all. Go peacefully, my brothers and sisters. We are virtually screwed.
ONLY COWARDS AND SADISTS SUPPORT THE PERSECUTION OF ASSANGE
It is obvious that the US government is destroying Assange to signal to journalists the consequences of publishing information. It is therefore also obvious that any journalist who fails to use whatever platform they have to speak out against Assange’s persecution has no intention of ever publishing anything that the US government doesn’t want published. Their silence on or support for what is being done to this man can and should be taken as an admission that they are nothing other than state propagandists. State propagandists, sycophants, and cowards.
WHAT ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ EXPOSED ABOUT MARK ZUCKERBERG AND FACEBOOK HEADING INTO 2020
Facebook isn’t only tolerating disinformation in political advertisements, it’s facilitating it
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
I hope I’m just seeing things, maybe like some PTSD flashback, but this all reminds of the near past when the Mueller investigation was meandering into nowhere. Remember? At the time, according to the Establishment Pundit Class that was making such a good living out of deploring Trump, bombshell revelations were dropping daily, the walls were closing in, every damn week we’d reached a turning point, and the end was near. And Trump was at the end of his rope, he really was, and indictments were nigh.
And what came out of it? The ruin of Mike Flynn, and a Manafort here and a Papodopolous there. What did all this prove? Nothing, not collusion, nor a bought and paid for election, not remotely a corruption of American democracy by dastardly foreigners. No, if you want to sniff out electoral malfeasance, look to corporate and oligarch money right under your nose.
I hope all that doesn’t happen again, another descent into silliness. I say silliness because the word “silly” has the right connotation, without the grandiosity of the term “madness”.
No, the perps in that two year excursion into unreality were ridiculous, and sloppy, without the intellectual audacity, nor the depths of lunacy, of a Hitler or a Stalin or a Mao. This wasn’t a “night of the long knives” a la 1934 with a veneer of legality and due process, this was a go nowhere and accomplish nothing that cost 40 million and wasted two years.
Nope, they weren’t “mad”, the Muellers and Comeys and Brennans were pedestrian, showing neither inspiration nor creativity nor guts, nothing like that shown when the two Kennedy bros got shot for the temerity of thinking they had a place in the corridors of power.
If there was anything world-class it was incompetence, a plethora of richly funded and exorbitantly manned governmental organizations dedicated to the overthrow of Trump, failing and falling most ignominiously on their faces.
So, please, not again. I implore the Barrs and Durhams to earn their pay and do a proper job of things this time. If this is meant as a “get even”, then get even. Do it up right. If you mean to abuse power then abuse it. If you mean to scare the bejeesus out of those plotting sedition, then bare your teeth. If you mean to inflict ruin, then inflict it. Impress us with your ferocity, not like those boneless, directionless nitwits of that lamentable Mueller era. Do it right or don’t even start.
There is an Ocean Symposium coming up October 25-26. We will have several marine scientists speaking individually and on a panel answering audience questions. Check out the event website, it has more information about the schedule of events and speakers: www.marinelifeadvocates.org
This event is being sponsored by the Environmental Studies course at Mendocino High School, called SONAR. The event is free to attend but we would much appreciate donations. Students will be raising money at the event to invite a guest speaker to campus from the Indigenous Environmental Network, to speak about how to address climate change. Please help us fund this opportunity for our school. Please come and invite a friend to this event!
Schedule in brief
Friday at 6pm
At Matheson Theatre in Mendocino:
45096 Cahto St, Mendocino, CA 95460
Hear from Michael Stocker about ocean noise pollution and its damaging effects on wildlife, followed by a screening of the 60-minute film Sonic Sea produced by Natural Resources Defense Council. The film is excellent and Michael will elaborate on the content.
Saturday 10am to 4pm
At Matheson Theatre in Mendocino:
45096 Cahto St, Mendocino, CA 95460
There will be a series of marine scientists speaking on a variety of pressing ocean issues including sound pollution, climate change, many marine species and so much more. The last panel of the day will be local citizen scientists, ocean activists and enthusiasts including the Noyo Science Center discussing a variety of local ocean issues.
At Noyo Science Center Downtown Discovery Center
338 N Main St, Fort Bragg, CA 95437
Meet and Greet with the scientists.
Scientists found more than 1,000 species ranging from microscopic mites to large spiders in 50 houses.
MENDOCINO COUNTY'S PHANTOM BUDGET SURPLUS
I was astonished at Tuesday's, October 22, Board of Supervisors meeting to hear Supervisor John McCowen giddily announce that, indeed, the county was not on "the verge of bankruptcy", because the county had a heretofore undisclosed "surplus" of $5 million.
A $5 million surplus!
On January 8, 2019, at its first meeting of the new year, the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors heard a presentation and report from Department of Transportation Director Howard Dashiell. The report stated that the 2016 Statewide Needs Assessment listed Mendocino County roads as having $602 million in unmet pavement needs.
And this last weekend, I spoke with Dr. James Wilbanks, administrator of the Mendocino County Employee Retirement Association (MCERA) who confirmed that MCERA has a monthly negative cash flow of $600,000-$700,000, and an unfunded pension liability of $210 million.
Add to these enormous off-the-books liabilities another thing that we heard at Tuesday's meeting. We heard that our county's emergency communications network is at the end of its service life, has already failed numerous times, and needs to be replaced.
I fail to share Supervisor McCowen's giddy optimism.
This is to say nothing about the accounting devices -- and magical thinking -- that resulted in the so-called $5 million surplus.
Accounting devices that artificially reduce the measured fiscal deficit can be analyzed as transactions involving unrecognized assets and liabilities. Different accounting systems recognize different sets of assets and liabilities, and are thus vulnerable to different sets of devices. Some devices can be revealed by moving progressively from cash accounting to modified accrual accounting to full accrual accounting. Revealing all would require the publication of extended fiscal accounts in which all future cash flows give rise to assets or liabilities.
Because the County CEO keeps much of the county's finances opaque, the use of accounting devices is entirely possible.
As a hopeful future Supervisor, one of my first tasks will be to get a handle on future deficits going forward in my term, 2020-2024.
Deficit devices, unlike changes in policy, reduce any given year’s deficit only at the expense of future ones. And the use of deficit devices can be revealed if governments also produce good fiscal forecasts -- and I'm not aware that Mendocino County makes fiscal forecasts.
If elected Supervisor, I will suggest an approach to getting a handle on our county's fiscal reality.
It starts by defining the deficit as the decline in the county’s net worth and then shows how deficit devices can be analyzed as transactions involving assets and liabilities that are not recognized on the government’s balance sheet.
For example, county government does not include liabilities such as $602 million in unmet pavement need and the $210 million unfunded pension liability.
Also, how do all the collective bargaining agreements that the county just signed impact a fiscal forecast going forward?
It would seem, then, that accounting devices can be prevented by ensuring that all assets and liabilities are recognized on the balance sheet.
The algebra of fiscal transparency is a tricky thing. As a Supervisor, my job will be to be to figure out if our county uses accounting devices, how the accounting devices work, and how to reveal them.
John Sakowicz, Candidate, 1st District Supervisor