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MCT: Saturday, November 23, 2019

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At a November 22nd meeting of the Mendocino Coast Healthcare District's Board of Directors it took about two hours to come to a foregone conclusion. The Directors eventually voted 4-1 in favor of a resolution to affiliate with Stone Point Health, a subsidiary of Adventist Health. A second resolution, by the same vote (Director Amy McColley dissenting in each case), sent the affiliation agreement on to the county clerk to place it on the ballot in March for a simple up or down vote.

The ballot wording will be similar to the following:

"With no additional taxes to the taxpayers and to assure continuing emergency medical services, acute hospital inpatient services and outpatient services, with substantial investments by non-profit Stone Point Health to meet the needs of Mendocino Coast residents, shall the Mendocino Coast Health Care District enter into a lease agreement of Mendocino Coast District Hospital for up to thirty (30) years at fair market value to Stone Point Health, per terms approved by Resolution 2019-17 adopted November 22, 2019? YES ____ NO ____"

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Clear cool days, cold nights with highs in the 60s and lows in the 40s through Monday. Chance of rain on Tuesday and into Wednesday, Thursday (Thanksgiving) and Friday accompanied by colder temps only into the 40s and low 50s during the day and down in the 30s overnight with snow likely in the hills. The National Weather Service doesn’t provide estimated rainfall accumulations, but accoding to other sources it’s not likely to exceed an inch for this first rain of the 2019/2020 winter season.

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by Mark Scaramella

Everyone involved knows that the new Psychiatric Health Facility and the Crisis Stabilization Unit to be funded by the millions of local sales tax dollars are going to be built on the vacant lot next door to Camille Schrader’s operation on Orchard Street.

Why do we have to go through years of expensive planning and delay for what is obviously a done deal?

Because Mendo can’t do anything without going through every conceivable costly hoop they can think of in a false concept of “the public process.” And even more laughably, "transparency."

And so it was that last Tuesday the latest chapter in that farcical process unfolded when the Supervisors were presented with a long-delayed yet somehow urgent proposal to hand over $3.3 million to a Sacramento architiectural consultant called Nacht & Lewis to evaluate and design the PHF, CSU and the third component, a Crisis Residential Treatment facility (CRT).

The presentation was typical of CEO Angelo’s most controversial projects: wait for as long as possible, arrange some kind of gold-plated, highly proper and grotesquely overpriced package — remember how the CEO once compared the process to building a $50,000 kitchen? — and then tell the Supes that even though she and her staff took months to get to this nebulous point, there’s now a deadline and gosh we’re running late.

Board Chair Carre Brown said as much, noting that she’s heard lots of complaints — particularly from the Grand Jury — about how the Measure B Mental Health Facilities project hasn’t done much and is moving so slowly to fruition. This convenient observation from Mrs. Brown played right into CEO Angelo’s hands.

To ramp up the pressure even more, Angelo and her staff told the Board that they risked losing about $500k in unrelated state Mental Health Grant funds if they didn’t submit some kind of plan to have a Crisis Stabilization Unit in place by October of 2021.

This far off, irrelevant threat was all Supervisor John Haschak, already a dependable study in credulity, needed to go along with the rush-job Angelo and her staff presented.

The consultant confirmed the pre-destined Orchard Street site by saying that they only planned to look at it and Old Howard Hospital in Willits during the “feasability study” portion of their $3.3 million contract. However, Willits is on record saying that if the County was going to consider Old Howard, they’d have to comply with all of Willits’s city planning and construction codes. Moreover, several Willits residents have openly opposed the idea of a mental health facility in downtown Willits at the old hospital.

Ukiah, on the other hand, has no objections and is likely to welcome the project since the Orchard Street property already has Camille Schrader’s existing service facility next door and it is not in the downtown or a residential neighborhood. (Everything and anything distressing to West Side Ukiah is placed on State Street or east of State Street.)

So at this point there’s no real need for a “feasability study,” is there? Ukiah will accept; Willits will resist, ergo: Ukiah/Orchard Street is “feasible.”

When the subject of the surprisingly large $3.3 mil feasibility/design contract came before the Supes on Tuesday, Supervisor John McCowen’s first reaction was, “I think it would be prudent to hear from the full [Measure B] committee on that.” — i.e., whether this $3.3 million proposal was what the Measure B committee had in mind.

But after CEO Angelo cannily pointed out that the next Measure B meeting won’t be until mid-December and the item wouldn’t come back to the Board until January — Oh the delays! (Never mind that the CEO and her staff can take months bringing the contract to the Board, no problem. But now, it’s suddenly urgent.)

So we assume the $3.3 million will go on the slo-mo Measure B Committee’s December agenda — with the pressure on them that the Supes already approved the $3.3 million kitchen, er. psych facilities.

Supervisors Dan Gjerde and Ted Williams tried to inject a little rationality to the discussion:

Gjerde: “If we are only looking at three residential homes as crisis residential treatment, any architect in Mendocino County could do that. We don't need a specialist and this should not be part of the overall project. If we need a specialist for the PHF unit and the CSU perhaps, then the process that was used makes sense. But we do not need to spend $375,000 to remodel three homes.”

Williams: “I think there is a structural problem here between the Measure B committee, the executive office doing some of the tasks, and the supervisors being at arm’s length from this process. It's another train wreck. Nobody wants to be holding the bag for this. We all want the services and we are all thankful that it's funded and there's public money available to solve these problems. But this is an area where we really need a strategic plan. The idea of losing potential funds because we delay this, doesn't appeal to any of us either. But I think that comes out of not having a strategic plan. Maybe that's what we need to look at before we start looking at a specific contract. We should talk about what the process is and make sure we all agree on who the parties are and the flow. The fact that this has come to us without going through the Measure B committee and that Measure B committee members are not here to voice opinions should raise some concern. At the same time that we collaborate with the cities, we should collaborate with the hospitals. I spoke to Adventist hospital. They have interest in the CSU even at the Coast Hospital which may become theirs to operate in the spring. They seem like an important partner to be at the table. Not having their input and not having them at the oversight committee meeting is another red flag.

Chair Carre Brown: “The biggest criticism I hear is that nothing is getting done, nothing is moving forward and that is all over the county and that's the people who are actually financing this through sales tax and they want to see something moving [no matter how stupid or expensive]. We used the term ‘contingent,’ for the CRT and I think we need to go forward.”

Williams: "Do you see a way to separate that from this $3.3 million? I would like to see the CRT [Crisis Residential Treatment] go forward today. Purchasing structures sounds great. Supervisor Gjerde is right that any architect in this county can design a remodel. This does seem inflated.”

Supervisor McCowen then suggested approving the $3.3 million contract "contingent upon approval by the Measure B committee."

Williams: “I don't think I'm comfortable approving $3.3 million without understanding the services, if we can afford those services, deciding the scope with the cities and the hospital — there are too many unknowns here.”

McCowen: “I don't necessarily disagree, that's what we would hope would come out of the feasibility study. But this package is before us. We are not sure if this is in line with what the Measure B committee had in mind when they said go out for an RFP. So that's the basic question we want to hear back from them on.”

Williams: “I'm not against the plan. I would like more detail. For example, what services will take place in the structures and can we afford those services? And what funds will be left for the coast? If the Measure B oversight committee comes back and says they have support for this and we ask what is left on the table for the coast and the answer is nothing, then no, I don't support it. There are too many unknowns.”

Supervisor John Haschak: “People want some action. We've been at this for a long time. Obviously it doesn't sit well with us as the Board of Supervisors looking at this process and having it not go back to the Measure B and come up with a recommendation to us. But we have to recognize that a lot of people put a lot of work into this and this is hopefully the best we can do at this point. We won't know some of that information until the feasibility study is done and all that. So I guess I support a motion contingent upon approval of the Measure B committee to proceed with this.”

Supervisor Williams tried suggesting that the Measure B committee convene a special meeting this week. But he was told by the CEO that that couldn't happen. “If we're talking about expediency,” said Williams. “We don't need to wait until January, we just need the Measure B committee to come back with some answers.”

Gjerde: “I think these figures are just way too high! I don't think we should be contemplating $375,000 in architectural fees for remodeling three houses. I don't think we should be contemplating $500,000 for “predesign conceptual services” and I don't think we should be contemplating $2.2 million for actual design of approximately 20,000 square feet of commercial buildings. I would only support going back to Measure B with the concept of up to $300,000 for design services. And leave it at that. Because we don't have to have specialty architectural services to redesign three houses. That could be a separate architectural firm locally sourced for a lot less money. Then, after we've had the conceptual planning done, we can decide if we need a new RFP for the architectural services which would be Phase 3.”

Gjerde also noted that if you apply standard multipliers to a $3.3 million design — in the range of 7% to 15% — you end up with a construction cost that’s more than Measure B can probably afford. (7% translates to $47 million; 15% translates to $22 million)

Brown then asked CEO Angelo: “When we go through these processes we do evaluate cost?”

Angelo: “Yes.”

Brown: “The evaluation committee is still coming forward with this?”

Angelo: “Yes.”

Brown: “So I'm assuming they have looked at the scope of work?”

Angelo then issued her ultimatum: “The evaluation committee has looked at this scope of work and we did have mental health input initially and the evaluation committee has agreed on this. So that's that. On this. We came to you this way because of the timeframe and this is a government process and if this board was not comfortable voting this up then you could do the recommendation that you just did which is contingent upon a majority of the Measure B committee. I appreciate Supervisor Gjerde’s comments and his recommendation on how to move forward. To do that, we would be going back to the drawing board and scratching all of this, scratching this particular contractor who could apply for another RFP.”

Williams: “I'm not against this plan. I just want to see the other half of the plan. I want to see that we can actually staff and operate the facility we're talking about building. And hearing that the $3.3 million is not capped is a great concern to me. What happens when we spend this money and work through the process and we run over? We build the facility and find that we can't staff it, the personnel are not available here, or we can afford them? That doesn't leave us in a good position. I want to see a strategic plan. We are doing this but there are other components we need to work out. If we can't fit this within the Measure B budget then we would have to come back and revisit this plan and scale it down.”

Haschak: “The whole problem with Measure B is we don't know if we are going to have the money to staff it eventually. But the idea was and always has been to build these buildings with a certain amount of the money and then with the other part that would go on afterwards and that's where the staffing is going to come from whether we can find qualified persons who want to come to Mendocino County and work. That's always been a big question mark. But to build the buildings, I'm willing to go along with this proposal at this point.”

McCowen: “To take the time to develop a strategic plan which we actually got an outline of that via the Kemper report over a year ago, to do more in the way of a strategic plan would just further delay the process. Would questions of staffing levels and sustainability be part of the Phase 1 feasibility?”

Nicely outfitted Nacht & Lewis rep: “We would work with the county and [County Mental Health Director] Jeanine Miller and her staff to determine the staffing levels for the facilities and review other facilities. We do have a mental health expert on our team to assist with that process.”

Williams: “I'm stunned that we are talking about spending $3.3 million of public money essentially as a blank check with no assurance that we won't have overruns without a financial plan, not even a one-page document about what it will cost to staff these facilities. So I can't support this even though I want to. I have the same pressure from my constituents that this has been too long a process — why isn't the county moving? Here's the opportunity to move. Etc. But I can't do it because there are too many red flags and I think what will happen is we are going to spend the money up to $3.3 million and then talk about going over that and then running into, Where do we hire the people? It reminds me of the CV Starr Center [The Fort Bragg Rec Facility which was built without much regard for round the clock staffing and continues to suffer from that]. We need a plan with a binder and a financial statement that gives us some theoretical picture before we get started.”

The Board voted 3-2 to approve CEO Angelo’s rail-roaded, gold-plated kitchen approach — “contingent on Measure B committee approval.”

Will the Measure B committee get on board Angelo’s train and vote to approve what the Supes already approved?

Will Gjerde or Williams stick to their principles and appear before the Measure B committee in December and attempt to derail Angelo’s gold-plated train?

Whatever happens, history tells us that the Measure B Commitee and the CEO and the Supes will pick the most expensive and therefore slowest option available, albeit with some grumbling from a few malcontents.

The only real question is whether Camille Schrader’s company will still be around to staff whatever may be built.

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Following the Press Release from the Fort Bragg Police Department detailing the circumstances of an incident on November 19, 2019 involving a threat at Fort Bragg High School, Mayor William V. Lee issues the following statement:

I’d like to thank our school staff and our police department for their quick work ensuring that the scene was safe at the High School and the surrounding neighborhood. Following the protocols in place for handling criminal threats on a school campus kept our students, teachers and staff members from possible harm.

Our great police officers, acting very quickly, apprehended the suspect and placed him under arrest. I appreciate our police department’s dedication and law enforcement expertise in these times of increased threats to our community.

I respect Principal Bruce Triplett, our District Superintendent Becky Walker, and her staff for keeping our kids safe and implementing the school’s policies and action plans. Keeping our children safe and our community safe is one of our most important responsibilities and duties.

To view the PD’s press release, visit the City’s Website Press-Releases and click on the release for 2019-11-19.

Questions regarding this information should be directed to Mayor William V. Lee, at (707) 961- 2823 ext. 149.

(Fort Bragg City Presser)

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On November 19, 2019 at approximately 7:06 p.m., Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies received a radio call for service regarding a firearm being brandished at a residence in the 19000 block of Olsen Lane in Fort Bragg. Deputies responded to the 18000 block of North Highway 1 where they contacted the 50 year-old African American male victim of Fort Bragg. Deputies initiated an investigation into the incident after learning the victim went to a residence in the 19000 block of Olsen Lane with the intent to collect personal property. After the victim arrived he was confronted by two people identified as Connie Braga, 60, of Fort Bragg, and Alan Garibay, 40, of Janesville, Wisconsin. Garibay, who deputies later learned was prohibited from possessing firearms, pointed a semi-automatic pistol at the victim and threaten to kill him. Fearing for his safety, the victim fled the location on a bicycle. After fleeing the location, and while traveling within the 18000 block of North Highway 1, the victim was approached by a vehicle, which had its exterior lighting turned off. The vehicle stopped behind the victim and a person identified as Christopher Braga exited the vehicle. Christopher Braga, 28, of Fort Bragg, approached the victim with a firearm in hand and told the victim he would kill him.

Connie Braga, Alan Garibay, Christopher Braga

Christopher Braga then struck the victim in the head several times with the firearm before leaving the location. Deputies observed the victim sustained minor injuries to his head. Deputies responded to the residence in the 19000 block of Olsen Lane to further investigate the incident and contacted suspects Connie Braga, Alan Garibay, and Christopher Braga at the location. During that contact deputies developed further probable cause to prepare an affidavit in support of a search warrant for firearms at the location. During the service of that search warrant, deputies located two pistols with ammunition, a billyclub, and approximately 24.4-grams of suspected cocaine and other paraphernalia related to drug sales. At the conclusion of the investigation, deputies developed sufficient probable cause to arrest all three suspects. All three suspects were arrested and transported to the Mendocino County Jail where they were booked on the following charges.

Christopher Braga was booked on charges of Assault with a Firearm, Criminal Threats, Armed with Firearm in Commission of Felony, Possession of a Narcotic for Sale, and Possession of a Firearm while in Possession of Narcotics. He is being held in lieu of $60,000 bail.

Alan Garibay was booked on charges of Assault with a Firearm, Criminal Threats, Armed with Firearm in Commission of Felony, Possession of Firearm by Prohibited Person, and Possession of Ammunition by Prohibited Perso]. He is being held in lieu of $55,000 bail.

Connie Braga was booked on charges of Accessory to a Felony and Possession of a Billy Club. She is being held in lieu of $30,000 bail.

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Kelley House Walking Tours Holiday Schedule

It's that time to remind you and your holiday guests of the Kelley House Walking Tour schedule for the Holidays.

Take a stroll with our Docents to learn about the many wonders of our Village and pick up bits of Mendocino history to share. It's a great few hours for some outdoor family fun. The tour is an appreciated $10 donation per person.

Thanksgiving Day, November 28, 11AM-4PM

Friday, November 29, 11AM-4PM

Christmas Day December 25 through New Years Day January 1, 11AM -4PM

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Last Days Maritime Exhibit

The Maritime Exhibit at the Kelley House Museum ends on Saturday. Museum hours: 11 to 3 pm. Tools and equipment of Mariners sailing our coast 100 years ago.

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WHERE WAS I the day Kennedy was assassinated? You'll be sorry you asked. I'd graduated from college at San Francisco State after three-plus years bouncing around from City College to Cal Poly to SF State in pursuit of a meaningless diploma during which I learned nothing in class but lots outside. I was a cross between an aspiring beatnik and lumpen-commie, an eager participant in the first Bay Area civil rights demos while hitchhiking up and down Highway One, with stops at Big Sur where I worked for a couple of weeks at New Camaldoli, now a Catholic retreat center, then an order of Benedictine hermit monks. I briefly considered becoming a Catholic, but as you can see my career trajectory was hard to discern.

I HAD NO IDEA what I was doing beyond a determination not to do what the culture thought I should do. I was broke with zero prospects. So I converted my objectively worthless diploma into a temp job as a junior high teacher. No exaggeration: The principal, or whatever he was, who hired me at San Luis Obispo Junior High School practically embraced me, he was that desperate for someone, anyone, to take the job. "I don't care what you do, just keep 'em in the room and out of the halls." Keep them from "roaming" the halls, he added. I soon learned from the little hormonal horrors themselves that I was something like the fifth sap in a month to take them on.

THERE were six classes organized as ability groups, at least that was the theory. I thought several of the 14-year-olds in the dummy class were smarter than any of the alleged gifted in the smart kid's class, and it was clear, from a "parents night," that the true organizational principle was social class. No parents showed up for parents nights except the parents of the two alleged gifted groups. Whatever the basis for the classification of this batch of our nation's future, they were all accustomed to a lack of classroom order. Their regular teacher, an older woman close to retirement, had completely wigged out, locking herself in the classroom with a fifth of whiskey and stripping down to her underwear as the "kids" cheered her on. The fire department had had to break down the door to haul the poor thing away.

I WAS ON MY OWN. There was zero supervision. In my two weeks as lion tamer no one checked to see what I was doing in the way of pedagogy, which was little more than six hours of mutual story telling with me as the lead entertainer. I recall the student stories — mostly of family pathology and their odd experiences in the world outside — as a harbinger of the mass estrangement coming up.

IT WAS a Friday morning about 11 when a disembodied voice over the intercom informed us that the president had been shot and we should all go home. It was only 9:30. I was even happier than the young scholars to get the rest of the day off — and away from them — but had no idea Kennedy had been killed until I got back to my tenement room downtown. As a wobbly liberal, I liked Kennedy and was surprised anyone would want to kill him. A friend of mine was overheard saying, "So what?" winning himself an interview with the FBI as a likely subversive. Which he was, but he remained unconfined. People took Kennedy's death very hard.

TWO DAYS LATER, as I and most of the country stared at black and white television screens, Oswald, who'd declared he was a "patsy," not the killer, was shot and killed by Jack Ruby in the basement of the Dallas police station. That event seemed to me more shocking than the murder of Kennedy.

A LOT of people think the country veered off the rails with Vietnam, the assassinations of '68, hippies, and the rest of the improbable years of the later 1960's. I think Kennedy was the turning point because, in its way, it reminded Americans, after the bland social serenity of the 50's, that much was not as it seemed.

THE SCHOOL BOSS begged me to come back. He said I'd done a great job, that I had a wonderful future as a junior high school teacher. I told him I was leaving for Big Sur to become a monk.

(Bruce Anderson)

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by Byron Spooner

November 22 — That I didn’t know what was going on wasn’t so odd; I’d been in my usual state of disengagement with my teacher, Miss Kitchen—‘Old Iron Tits’ my friend Glenn called her—when they made the announcement. Miss Kitchen always told Mother I lived in a dream world. I had to stop daydreaming and buckle down; stop doodling and take notes; read the assignment instead of whatever struck my fancy. That Mother went to all the parent-teacher conferences by herself didn’t keep both Mother and my old man from constantly trying to impress upon me the importance of grades and paying attention and getting into college and all that. Instead, I daydreamed of freak shows and drew dragsters in my loose leaf a la Ed ‘Big Daddy’ Roth, all huge slicks and immense bloodshot eyeballs.

They called it daydreaming but that wasn’t exactly right; I was mostly just bored. I’d been openly ignoring Miss Kitchen all morning as she droned on and on in the background of my consciousness, something about the Erie Canal, listening with half an ear as she repeated the same stuff endlessly, trying to cram all this crap into us. Most if it seemed like stuff I somehow knew already. The whole classroom was bored—Miss Kitchen included—except a handful of girls and a couple of boys who were even bigger losers than Glenn and me, who sat in the front row.

The leader of the front row was Debbie Traill, the chief New Frontierswoman of the entire fifth grade, all gung-ho, squeaky-clean and determined to be the first woman astronaut or the next Joan Baez or something. Three months into the school year, Debbie was the recognized best student in the class, the girl’s chin-up school-record-holder, kickball team captain and a shining brown-noser for the ages. The Traills lived out on Allthorp Way, in a neighborhood everyone called the Heights, which featured semicircular driveways and columns next to the grand entryways. Glenn and I rode our bikes out there often. We were just rubbernecking; we never stopped for fear the cops would run us off or something.

Glenn and I snickered at each other across the room when the voice of Mr. Massa, our new principal, came over the PA to make the announcement. My Old Man considered Massa 'an idiot of the first water.' I figured Massa was announcing the usual idiocy—someone had parked his bike in front of a fire door again or maybe the volleyball that had gone missing had been found under Mr. Rappaport’s Corvair, none the worse for wear.

Instead, he sent us home.

I’d been so busy fooling around with Glenn that my other friend Robin had to explain what had happened to me as we walked home.

The president had been shot.

“Is he dead?” I said.

“Probably. I don’t think they’d send us home if he was only wounded,” she said in the annoyed tone she’d developed just for use on me.

On TV guys who were only wounded got up and went right back at it all the time, so I guessed she was right.

“What’re we supposed to do about it?” I said.

“Nothing,” she said.

“Then why’re they sending us home?”

“I don’t know,” she said, same tone.

When we got home Mother and Robin’s mother, who usually hardly ever spoke to each other, and a bunch of the other neighbors, were standing out on the sidewalk talking among themselves despite the chill in the air. I could tell by the way they were standing they were talking about important things. Some of them looked as though they’d been crying. Some still were. There was a sense that they were all stunned to one degree or another; all trying to comprehend what had just happened. Mother’s best friend Mrs. Kaplan from down the street was bawling, covering her face with her handkerchief. She’d lost it when she saw the announcement that had interrupted her program—the moment Cronkite peeled off his glasses and looked into the camera, tears in his eyes—and hadn’t been able to regain her composure since. Eccentric old Mrs. Greenhouse, who had painted her whole house purple and lavender, had her arm around her shoulders, trying to comfort her.

Even crazy Mrs. Hammersmith came out and hovered at the fringe of the little group, worrying a lacey timeworn hankie. Mrs. Hammersmith never left her house. Her husband had disappeared one Saturday afternoon and never returned. She still ran up and down the street crying and calling him sometimes, though less so than before. Her kids had moved away long ago.

"Far away," my old man would always say.

Old Lady Hammerhead, as we kids called her, would periodically call the police and ask them to chase the demons out of her upstairs hall while she would stand at the foot of the stairs and catch them in her apron. They would come, two or three, lights flashing the way she liked it, and act out her charade, returning calm and order to the neighborhood. The neighborhood kids avoided her house on Halloween but she made popcorn balls every year nonetheless. She hung them in the trees for the birds once the day had passed.

Mother checked on her once week or so and would pick up stuff she had run out of for her over at Foodtown. Mother had heard somewhere that Mrs. Hammersmith liked Sugar Pops and brought her a box or two every time she saw them on sale.

My old man was still in the city at work or looking for work, or, more likely, sitting in a bar somewhere.

“He’s on his way home right now,” Mother said as if to reassure everyone, “everyone in the city’s heard about it, probably before us. He called.”

Mother was even talking to Mrs. Borkovski from across the street. She never talked to any of the Borkovskis, except to berate Mrs. Borkovski about the latest crap her kids had gotten up to.

The Borkovskis were horrible bullies; a tribe of enormous shaggy lummoxes. Especially psycho was the youngest one, Robert, a lumbering kid whom every twelve-year-old on the block was terrified of. My old man said Leakey had found a ten-million-year-old fossil ape that was the spitting image of Borkovski. He was dumb as a drunken ox. He’d been left back three times and now inhabited the entire back row of Miss Kitchen’s classroom. Rumor had it they’d lived in Secaucus before discovering bipedalism and moving to Oritani.

Grandpa Elgin used to say, “If God was going to give the world an enema; Secaucus is where he’d stick the hose.” Which was about as bawdy as he ever got.

Mr. Borkovski worked in the city, like my old man, but instead of the Seagram’s building, he worked in the sewer.

“Like Ed Norton,” every smart ass on the block felt compelled to point out.

Except my old man.

“Listen, he’s making a living, doing what he has to do to support his family, give him a break,” he said.

The city had over the years, through attrition, replaced everyone who did Mr. Borkovski’s job. He was the last of breed; when he finally retired; there would no one left doing his job but dogs. All breeds. When the other kids in neighborhood heard about this—apparently Robert had let it slip in some moment of weakness—well, you can just imagine.

“No wonder he’s such a horrible bully,” my mother said.

“The little shit,” my old man said.

My standing instructions were to go in the house immediately if I saw any of the Borkovski clan out wandering around. This time, obviously, was different.

“My mother says Kennedy was a bad man and I’m glad he’s dead,” Carrie Flowers, another twelve-year-old who lived couple blocks away, said as she went past.

“No matter what you think of the man, you should never wish anyone dead,” Mother corrected her, taking her by the arm and detaining her for a second.

“That’s not what my mother says,” she spat. Her parents were the only people in the neighborhood who were more conservative than my parents.

“They’re not quite Nazi sympathizers, but damn near,” was how Robin’s father described them.

“Well, go home and ask her how she feels about it now, I’ll bet you get a different answer,” Mother said, letting go of her with a little admonitory shake.

“He was a baaad man,” she taunted over her shoulder as she headed for home.

Mrs. Borkovski bent over nearly double so she could look Carrie right in the face as she went by.

“Git outta heah, ya snotty little twat,” she snarled, bluffing a step in the girl’s direction and raising her right as if to deliver a backhand.

Mother shook her head in Carrie’s direction—Kids— and went back to talking with Mrs. Borkovski as if Robin and I weren’t there. Mrs. Fugarini, who hated the Borkovskis—‘Those darned galoots’—more than anyone else in the neighborhood came over and joined in.

“Poor Jackie,” she wailed, “and those poor, poor children.” She clutched her rosary beads to her bosom.

I tried to come up with a joke, something to lighten things up a little, but I couldn’t get anything that seemed to work. If my old man had been there he’d have come up with something and you could bet it would have been funny.

The weekend passed with the whole family in front of the TV, watching a series of events each more astounding and unimaginable than its predecessor. Mother never once yelled at us to turn the damned thing off. Life had stopped all over the country, said the reports, some people went to church Sunday but mostly everyone else—“The sane ones,” My old man called them— stayed indoors.

My parents’ friends Eva and Garnett were over, watching with us. Garnett was my old man’s business partner. They were ‘practically family.’

It turned out Eva had voted for Kennedy. Which came as news to my old man. He looked at her as if he was reconsidering the whole arrangement; business, social.

“I liked Kennedy,” she said brightly, as if he had just left the room, “So handsome and dashing. Nixon reminded me of my sister’s husband, I never liked the guy.”

“He’s is a shifty bastard,” Garnett said.

“Which one?” My old man asked with a laugh.

“Really both, though I was talking about my brother-in-law. I voted for Nixon, I didn’t care how shifty he was.”

My old man said, “This whole family’s been Republican, going all the way back, it’s part of our breeding. My grandparents and my folks all voted against Roosevelt despite his promise to end Prohibition.

“In those days one didn’t discuss religion or politics in polite company, instead one assumed general agreement and left it at that. One would never invite a Democrat to any respectable function anyway. ‘Democrats are Democrats’ my grandmother used to say, ‘the same way rattlesnakes are rattlesnakes. They den up together every fall to wait out the winter. That’s the time to properly deal with them—with a can of gas and a box of kitchen matches,’” he said, laughing.

Garnett laughed too, “They do den up.”

Eva squirmed in her seat, “Ooooh, all this talk of snakes is making my skin crawl,” she said with a shudder.

Mother was about to put lunch on the kitchen table. She was warming some pastrami in a double boiler and making sandwiches from a loaf of supermarket rye bread. We kids milled around in anticipation, smelling the meat as it warmed.

In the living room, my old man erupted “Oh, my God, they’ve shot him!”

We all tumbled back into the living room and reassembled around the grainy black-and-white image of the man named Oswald doubling over, over and over again. A few minutes later Robin came running in to tell us she’d seen Oswald get shot on the TV in her parents’ room. She was so obsessed with the whole thing they’d sent her upstairs so they could watch it in peace. It was comforting in some way to know Julie’s family, whom I considered ‘normal’ compared to my own, was watching the same thing we were.

“It was disgusting,” she said, “The most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen.”

I told her we’d already seen it.

Mother didn’t have to invite Robin to stay for lunch; she just stayed.

“My mother buys our pastrami at Ratner’s,” Robin told her, “She says it’s leaner than the crap from Foodtown.”

“Well, we’re having the crap from Foodtown today. You’re welcome to some as long as you don’t feel it will compromise your high standards.”

We all ate around the cocktail table, something none of us could ever remember doing before. My old man liked to call it the ‘cocktail table’ instead of the ‘coffee table’ like the entire rest of the world. He said it sounded classier.

We watched all day Saturday and on into Sunday. Periodically Davey would play Mozart’s Requiem until my old man told him to give it a rest. At some point Robin wandered home, we didn’t notice when. We didn’t want to miss anything, even though they kept showing the same stuff over and over again: The President lying in state with a quiet orderly line filing slowly past; boots, backwards in the stirrups of a black horse; the boy, saluting.

I always thought people didn’t die until they wanted to. I figured Kennedy knew he was going to get shot when he went to Dallas and just figured there wasn’t anything anyone could do, so what the hell.

On Tuesday, after the funeral, Mother sat us in the living room. We were in our coats and mittens against the November weather, all ready to head off to school. My old man had left for the city twenty minutes earlier. We looked at each other; this was only the latest strange thing that had happened over an extremely strange weekend.

“Now, I want you kids to be careful for the next few days. I know you’ve heard a lot of things around the house, especially from your father, about what’s been going on. I want you all to remember—not everyone agrees with your father and the things he says. I want you to be careful what you say for the next few weeks. It would probably be better to say nothing than to say the wrong thing. I’m just saying take it easy, let people mourn and get over this. All right? Understand?”

We sat there glumly, getting hot and sweating in our heavy clothes.

“All right, give mommy a kiss.”

* * *

* * *


Cannabis Tax Rates

The public is urged to call a department’s office number in advance to confirm the availability of services. Please visit the County’s website at for departmental contact information.

Proposition 64, as approved by the voters, requires a 15% excise tax on the gross receipts of cannabis sales. That 15% excise tax rate remains unchanged.

When implementing the proposition, the legislature moved the incidence of the tax from the retailer to the distributor, requiring the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) to determine the average markup rate to ensure that the tax paid is equal to 15% of the gross receipts as required by law. The purpose of the markup is to compute the Average Market Price and have the actual tax match the 15% gross receipts rate approved by voters.

After analyzing thousands of transactions in the state’s Track and Trace system, CDTFA analysts have determined that the required markup rate for the period beginning January 1, 2020, is 80%.

Here is an example of how the markup calculation works when the actual sales data shows that the average markup between wholesale and retail prices is 80%.

A cannabis retailer purchases cannabis from a distributor for $50. The distributor will calculate the 15% cannabis excise tax due from the retailer as follows:

Retailer’s wholesale cost $50.00

Mark-up ($50 x 80%) + $40.00

Average Market Price $90.00

15% excise tax (Average Market Price x 0.15)

Excise tax due $13.50

The distributor will collect $13.50 in cannabis excise tax from the cannabis retailer and remit that tax payment to the state.

If the 15% excise tax were on the retail sale, as provided for in Proposition 64, the 15% tax on a $90 sale would be $13.50, equal to the tax due under the markup method.

The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) administers California’s sales and use, fuel, tobacco, alcohol, and cannabis taxes, as well as a variety of other taxes and fees that fund specific state programs. CDTFA-administered programs account for over $70 billion annually which in turn supports local essential services such as transportation, public safety and health, libraries, schools, social services, and natural resource management programs through the distribution of tax dollars going directly to local communities.

California Department of Tax and Fee Administration • 450 N Street, Sacramento, CA 95814 • 1-800-400-7115


* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, November 22, 2019

Penrod, Braga, Campbell

KELIE ADAMS-PENROD, Caspar. Domestic abuse, controlled substance, probation revocation.

CONNIE BRAGA, Fort Bragg. Aiding a wanted felon, saps or similar weapons.

ROBERT CAMPBELL, Ukiah. Parole violation.

Ewing, Garibay, Gonzalez

JESSICA EWING, Philo. Failure to appear, probation revocation.

ALAN GARIBAY, Fort Bragg. Assault with firearm, felon-addict with firearm, armed with firearm in commission of felony, ammo possession by prohibited person, criminal threats.

SERJIO GONZALEZ, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

Husary, Jacobs, Larvie, Little

ALFRED HUSARY, Potter Valley. Domestic abuse.

THOMAS JACOBS, Fort Bragg. Contributing, disobeying court order.

ALDEN LARVIE, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

JOSEPH LITTLE, Ukiah. Vandalism.

Mattson, Perry, Sanders

CHERYL MATTSON, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

VONNA PERRY, Ukiah. DUI, suspended license (for DUI).

ROBERT SANDERS, Lakeport/Fort Bragg. Failure to appear.

* * *


by James Kunstler

Finally, you’re left with that image of Adam Schiff sitting stock straight in the big chair with pursed lips and eyes bugged out, as in a very certain species of lunacy heretofore only seen in Canis latrans of Cartoon-land when, say, he has overrun the cliff’s edge clutching an anvil to his bosom. What was he thinking when he hatched this latest quixotic chapter in the ignominious crusade to reverse the 2016 election?

That he’d never get caught? On Wednesday he witlessly gave away the game on nationwide TV, telling the witness, heroic Col. Vindman, to not state which intel agency (of 23!) employed the one still-unnamed person he blabbed to about the epic Phone Call to Ukraine — because it would reveal the name of the “Whistleblower.” How could that be? Both Mr. Schiff and Col. Vindman claimed to not know the identity of the “WB”? If so, it would be logically impossible to reveal the “Whistleblower” by just naming an agency with thousands of little worker bees. Of course, he walked right into the trap set by minority member, Mr. Ratcliffe of Texas. Who doesn’t get that Col. Vindman knows exactly who the “Whistleblower” is because he was the “Whistleblower’s” accomplice? And Mr. Schiff knows, too.

If the Senate majority poohbahs were wise, they would warmly welcome a trial based on articles of impeachment, which would, of course, feature no artificial limits on the witness list, nor on questions that might be asked. The list might start with the UkraineGate “Whistleblower.” Among the many untruths uttered by Adam Schiff was the nonexistent law that gave that shadowy figure a right to anonymity. And besides, in any trial based on due process, the accused has an absolute right to face his accuser.

Oddly, a month ago Mr. Schiff was avid to stick his “Whistleblower” in the witness chair, and perhaps not with a black hood over his head. Then it was discovered that the “Whistleblower” had been consorting at least with Mr. Schiff’s staff members before blowing his fabled whistle, and that they had likely assisted in the assembly of his complaint, and in connecting him to the right lawyers in the Great Blue Okefenokee backwaters of DC lawyerdom, and, naturally, nobody from sea to shining sea over age nine who had paid attention to these antics believed that Mr. Schiff could not know who this “Whistleblower” was. Likewise, the brave Col. Vindman. Both of them deserve some time in a senate witness chair, and Mr. Schiff especially is due some sort of penalty for subjecting the country to his three years of dishonorable, seditious shenanigans — beginning with expulsion from the House and perhaps proceeding to a trial of his very own.

These UkraineGate hearings of the past two weeks raised some additional questions that have not otherwise been aired much in the public arena, chiefly, exactly how much does the US government seek to control the affairs of Ukraine? And how did we become the superintendent of this partially failed state? The parade of State Department diplomats in charge of this-and-that suggests that Ukraine is virtually an occupied territory. Do we realistically suppose that, in the natural course of things, we can shield Ukraine forever from the influence of its neighbor (and former sovereign), Russia?

It is also astounding to see media shills like Rachel Maddow still carrying on hysterically about Russia. She must have cried “Russia” twenty-seven times in the ten minutes of her act I caught on Thursday night. She’s far exceeded even the paranoid raptures of the John Birch Society a half century ago when they were screaming about communists in every broom closet of America. This incessant war-cry can’t be good for the country.

Now we’ve turned the corner into that enchanted season known as “the holidays” and a multi-dimensional showdown after three years of perfidious nonsense looms over the turkeys and silver bells and holy pageantry like a freak winter hurricane out in the dark ocean barreling landward. I am sincerely wondering how the public will process the storm of indictments coming down at the cabal of government employees who devised the RussiaGate persecution at the same time the Senate prepares to go to a trial that will humiliate and possibly annihilate the Democratic Party. No political faction in history has begged so persuasively to be put to death, or deserved it more.

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

* * *

* * *


* * *



Several weeks ago, I wrote a letter suggesting patience with PG&E as it updates their equipment. I was a fool — worse, an idiot. Within a week we had a public safety power shutoff, and during that power shutoff the disastrous Kincade fire exploded. Evidence is suggesting it may have ignited from power lines that PG&E didn’t deactivate.

When is a public safety power shutoff not a public safety power shutoff? When they don’t shut off all the power.

We endure these power outages because they are supposed to keep us safe. That didn’t happen with the last power shutoff. Rather, it seems, PG&E’s equipment may have ignited another inferno. How much of this are we supposed to endure? I hope the California Public Utilities Commission is going to step up to the plate. I don’t know how many more times we can go through this.

V.E. Long


* * *

* * *

CSPAN CALLER: "Howdy. I just want to apologize first & foremost for all the morons on the calls earlier, especially from Alabama. Secondly, I just want to say impeach the fucker. Have a great day!"

CSPAN HOST: "That's it for phone calls right now."

* * *


From Beyond Nuclear --

Screw Nevada, New Mexico, and Texas?! U.S. House Energy & Commerce Committee approves dangerously bad nuke waste bill

H.R. 2699, the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 2019, was passed by the U.S. House Energy & Commerce Committee on Wed., Nov. 20, by voice vote. That is, there is no roll call record as to how each U.S. Representative voted. Voice votes are usually applied only to non-controversial matters, such as naming a post office. This dangerously bad high-level radioactive waste legislation should be among the most controversial bills Congress addresses. H.R. 2699 aims to open one or more dumps in the Southwest -- so-called consolidated interim storage facilities (CISFs), targeted at New Mexico and/or Texas, as well as a permanent burial dump at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, on Western Shoshone Indian land. If any one of these dumps open, large-scale shipments of high-risk irradiated nuclear fuel, by road, rail, and/or waterway, would travel through most states, past the homes of millions of Americans.

Considering their targeting for the nuke waste dumps, this bill could be called the Screw Nevada, New Mexico, and Texas bill. But when it comes to the high-risk transportation impacts, we all live in Nevada, New Mexico, and Texas! See the self-congratulatory press release by the U.S. House Energy & Commerce Committee chairman, Frank Pallone Jr. (Democrat-New Jersey), here:

What can you do? Contact your U.S. Representative, and urge opposition to this dangerously bad bill, H.R. 2699! You can also contact both your U.S. Senators. Urge them to oppose H.R. 2699, and its Senate companion bill.

More information:

* * *


On October 30, 2017, as thousands of Sonoma County homes smoldered in ruins from the Tubbs Fire, Darius Anderson established the nonprofit Rebuild North Bay Foundation. Anderson is a longtime lobbyist for Pacific Gas and Electric Corporation and owner of the Press Democrat.

* * *

* * *


I am waiting for some reporter to ask him what is the square root of 64 divided by 2 times 10.

To which the President would surely respond: “Well, sir, there are two possible answers depending on where the brackets are placed, and you have failed to provide that information.

One answer is 40 if we assume the problem is stated as (Sq root of 64/2)*10.

And the other answer is .4 assuming the problem is stated as Sq root of 64/(2*10)

Which did you have in mind?”

* * *


To the Editor (of the SF Chronicle):

Regarding “Election takeaway: a mayor without coattails” (John Diaz, Nov. 10): Once again, thanks to ranked-choice voting, the second most popular candidate has won an election. Chesa Boudin, who according to political analyst David Latterman had “zero chance” of beating Suzy Loftus in a runoff, is now our City District Attorney.

An amazing result considering Boudin secured a little more than a third of the first place votes. “It would be the highest-profile, clear example of (ranked-choice voting) not delivering the results the city intended to occur,” said Latterman.

Isn’t it time to eliminate ranked-choice voting so the most popular candidate can actually win the election?

Now we have a district attorney who has vowed to limit, if not eliminate, prosecution for the type of street crimes that San Franciscans are up in arms about. Another item on Boudin’s agenda is to do away with gang enhancements. No wonder the San Francisco Police Officers Association spent more than $600,000 in an effort to defeat Boudin. Thanks to ranked-choice voting, they failed.

Kenneth Jones

San Francisco

Loftus, Boudin

Rob Anderson comments:

Yes, the Ranked Choice Voting system also gave us Mayor London Breed, who was elected by a minority last year to finish Ed Lee's term.

If Boudin and Loftus had to campaign against each other in a run-off election, Boudin's political agenda could have been thoroughly debated. That kind of issue-based run-off election can't happen under the flawed RCV system, a bogus good government reform brought to us by city progressives.

John Diaz at the SF Chronicle got it right on the RCV system:

Boudin’s victory should cause the city to rethink the system, which was pushed hardest in 2002 by progressives who no doubt were dreaming of such a result in a city in which they are outnumbered in at-large elections. “It would be the highest-profile, clear example of (ranked-choice voting) not delivering the results the city intended to occur,” Latterman said before the outcome was decided. He was proved right.

* * *

* * *


All County offices will be closed November 28-29, 2019, December 25, 2019, and January 1, 2020. The following offices will be closed to the public on the additional days identified below:

* * *

* * *


I have cut down a few trees. Made me sad and I’d rather have not but they were a danger to my house, being near and rooted in unstable land. Cutting trees in a wood is an education. You think, “Well, this one has to go,” then you become aware of the next one back. And the next one, the next. At some point you make the choice that here is where it stops.

For some people, where it stops is where there is no money to be made by going further. That turns out to be the edge of their ownership. For others, it’s not one for any reason. For me, it was “it’s possible but not likely to kill me if the top breaks off. ” All different values.

Living in a world of food banks, AFDC, Section 8 housing, emergency rooms, etc, even while not automatic in every situation, has made us forget that a hundred fifty years ago people died — their children died — their parents died — when work was not there. For all the complaining that goes on about how “Society” owes the “unfortunate” now, then a child abandoned by their parents could starve or end up adopted as child labor or simply get sick and die. The children or old people who did survive, did so in large part because they had family who were willing to work and work hard to take care of them.

So it’s easy to get all nasty judgy over the destruction of these woods that were so magnificent but there were people mostly working from dawn to dusk in great danger because it kept their families alive. It was never so easy for humans as it is right now and look where it has ended up so far — drug addiction, begging, determined oblivion. And stupid, stupid, stupid. People are like trees that way — take care of one and the next one one pops into view. Only trees are so much more appealing and useful.

* * *



  1. John Sakowicz November 23, 2019

    I submit the tedious and expensive process for building the new Psychiatric Health Facility and the Crisis Stabilization Unit on Orchard Street as Exhibit A for the people’s inspection as evidence of what exactly is wrong with Mendocino County.

    The chain of custody for this exhibit is simple: County CEO to Camille Schrader to the Measure B Committee and back again to the County CEO. Repeat indefinitely. It’s an endless loop.

    John Sakowicz, Candidate Mendocino County 1st District Supervisor

    • James Marmon November 23, 2019


      A lot of people think RQMC and RCS are the same company, in a way they are, Camille for-profit and Camille non-profit. RQMC is just a shell company used to rip off tax payers, and that’s Mendo’s mental health provider in a nutshell.

      shell game
      /ˈSHel ˌɡām/

      a game involving sleight of hand, in which three inverted cups or nutshells are moved about, and contestants must spot which is the one with a pea or other object underneath.

      a deceptive and evasive action or ploy, especially a political one.
      plural noun: shell games

      James Marmon MSW

    • James Marmon November 23, 2019

      Rumor has it, from a reliable source, the Schraeders have already secretly opened a Crisis Residential Treatment facility (CRT). It’s in a regular home. Very hush hush. They should have done this 2 years ago. Most likely that home will be one of the three houses that get a nice facelift.

      James Marmon MSW

    • James Marmon November 23, 2019

      “The Board voted 3-2 to approve CEO Angelo’s rail-roaded, gold-plated kitchen approach — “contingent on Measure B committee approval.””

      It’s supposed to be the other way around. No wonder Angelo suggested that the Measure B committee go dark for a couple of months.


    • Lazarus November 23, 2019

      Another excellent piece on Measure B by Mark Scaramella.

      After watching the latest BoS on YT, I came away with, to get 500k, they spend 3.3mil. on uncertainty…

      As always,

      • James Marmon November 23, 2019

        It’s called “stepping over a dollar to pick up a dime”.

  2. Susie de Castro November 23, 2019


    No longer saying: “a seat at the table” to mean participation.

    • Harvey Reading November 23, 2019

      “A seat at the table,” generally meant every special interest got equal representation (much like the U.S. senate), including the public interest, which, by its numbers, should have gotten the lion’s share of the seats. It is a duplicitous and misleading term, one that conservatives love. It’s part of why we are in the mess we are in.

  3. Lazarus November 23, 2019


    Prelims to the infamous, “Boat Races”…

    As always,

  4. John Robert November 23, 2019

    Clearly the CEO Angelo thinking soon to be departed time to pad her nest with future potential contacts, contracts, ties and power brokering.

    That we’ve three numbskulls on our county board of supervisors who 1) know this play. 2) really are numbskulls. 3) want to join in or were already enlisted in this desperate jive hustle, sais it all.




    • James Marmon November 23, 2019

      What about John Haschak? he appears to be a team player too. “Go along to get along” John.

      James Marmon MSW
      Former Social Worker V
      Mendocino County Family and Children’s Services.

      • Lazarus November 23, 2019

        I was surprised by John Haschak. He was widely known around the schools, teachers, etc. in Willits as a hard-ass.
        I wrongly thought he might be a good fit with Ted Williams. So far he has drunk the Koolaid, served up supremely by Madame CEO.

        As always,

        • Stephen Rosenthal November 23, 2019

          Although I liked Pinches, I felt his time had come and gone and a new voice was needed. Haschak has been a major disappointment; a lot of superfluous out of County (and State) trips on the County dime and not much else. His support for the latest Measure B expenditures is troubling. It’s almost as if the basis for his vote was we’ve got the money and we’d better spend it. Just another in the long list of reasons why I’ll never understand why people continue to vote to tax themselves. I guess if Mo becomes the 2nd District Supervisor we’ve got weekly reports of ribbon cutting ceremonies, coffee klatches, etc., to look forward to. And the 1st District, oh my. McGourty appears to be nothing more than a Brown clone with a County Admin connection (his wife), Sako is a conundrum with a lot of baggage and some good ideas but something about him seems disingenuous, and my only thought about the other guy is “Who?”. Mendo would be a lot better place if we had four other Supervisors like Ted Williams. But I don’t see that happening with the heretofore announced candidates, although Peters has potential if for no other reason than Rex Gressett hates him. Of course if Gjerde develops a backbone…

  5. Steve Heilig November 23, 2019

    Does Jerry Philbrick write Kunstler’s stuff now, or vice-versa?

    • George Hollister November 23, 2019

      My advice is to ignore the media show. To watch it only feeds it. There are relevant things in all our lives, in our homes, and in our communities that need attention. Hard to believe, but there are relevant things going on in Washington, as well, buried on page 3, if there, and not on TV.

      There is an immigration bill with bi-partisan support in the House, and has getting bi-partisan support in the Senate. At trade agreement with China is likely, in my opinion, to happen. There is a shift to states taking responsibility, away from the central government. There is an unstoppable withdrawal of American involvement in foreign conflicts that started 10 years ago, and is accelerating. The Nationals won the World Series.

      • Harvey Reading November 23, 2019

        Having “bipartisan” support means it undoubtedly will be a POS bill, given the offal, from “both” wings of the ruling party, that is congress. Same for anything else those lying, wealth-serving, conservative scum undertake.

        The print media is just as bad as on-screen media. Look at the coverage of the bloody coup in Bolivia for a current example, or that given to the so-far-unsuccessful U.S.-sponsored coup in Venezuela. The U.S. news media suck, period. They are not to be trusted. They pass on whatever their wealthy masters tell them to pass on. That has always been true in freedomlandia, except in conservative mythology, and primary and secondary schoolrooms.

    • Louis Bedrock November 23, 2019

      What part of Kunstler’s comments don’t you understand?

      One can hate Trump and also, simultaneously, hate charlatans like Schiff and Pelosi. And one can be appalled when the psychopath Hillary Clinton, (“We came, we saw, he died. Ha, ha ,ha.) accuses Jill Stein and Tulsi Gabbard of being Russian agents.

      I was very young when the original Red Baiting show was presented by McCarthy and Cohn and the U.S. House Committee On Un-American Activities. How lucky we are that they’ve decided to run a sequel!

      As Shakespeare once wrote of the Democrats and Republicans, “A plague on both your houses.”

      • Stephen Rosenthal November 23, 2019

        I agree. Kunstler writes a lot of truths that make lib-lab (film-flam?) Democrats very uncomfortable. And that’s why the Dems are doomed to once again self-destruct.

  6. Craig Stehr November 23, 2019

    The depth and solidity of substance in the world is similar to the distance and substantiality of things seen in a mirror. This truth is not realised in life because the body of the observer is itself involved in this reflected appearance called the world.

    – Swami Krishnananda

    • Brian Wood November 23, 2019

      Nobody ever came back from the dead to tells us anything. People make stuff up that sounds good to them, but it’s just talk. Swami Krishnananda and the rest of them aren’t any better at predicting what ultimate reality is than an ant on a log. (Which sounds good to me).

      • Louis Bedrock November 23, 2019

        Thank you Brian. I couldn’t agree more strongly.

        Christian nonsense derived from Platonic nonsense.

        Plato believed that everything on earth was an imperfect copy of pure forms that existed in heaven. Paul was influenced by this concept.

        For example, in 2 Corinthians12.2-4, The nutcase from Tarsus says a man(possibly Paul himself) “was taken up s far as the third heaven” where Paradise was located.

        Paul of Tarsus was a delusional sociopath,
        I don’t know whether Stehr really believes this garbage or just incorporates it into his begging-for-money grift.

        • Brian Wood November 23, 2019

          I don’t know either. but I’m inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt. Lots of people believe in a higher authority of some kind, partly because it’s more comfortable, but also probably largely out of habit and an unwillingness to challange their own thoughts. Even when one rejects the faith of their cultural roots some turn instead to a faith from an exotic culture, as I assume Craig has done. Eastern spirituality just seems hipper to the boomers. All faiths stress their ancient roots which is a strong appeal to authority. But followers have it backward in my opinion – it’s those who bury their heads in the fuzzy spiritual sand who experience a world of illusion.

          • Professor Cosmos November 23, 2019

            November 21 2019

            Now, some basic tools:

            ~~~~~The 14th century body of texts by Karma Lingpa known in the west as the Tibetan Book of the Dead (and, actually “The Great Liberation by Hearing in the Intermediate States”) includes one text that is a Dzogchen (or Atiyoga) vehicle-based “direct introduction”.

            [Reference Note: Chapter 4, “introduction to Awareness: Natural Liberation through Naked Perception”; THE TIBETAN BOOK OF THE DEAD, “first complete translation”, 2005 Penguin Books, copyrights by the various contemporary figures identified (i.e., minus Karma Lingpa and Padmasambhava); since these writings are supposedly based on initiations initially by the 8th Century figure Padmasambha, it is said to be “by Padmasambhava” and revealed by the “Terton” (i.e. treasure revealer) Karma Lingpa; translated by Gyurme Dorje; edited by Graham Coleman and Thupten Jinpa; introductory commentary by His Holiness The Dalai Lama.]

            This text is simply an introduction to the actual nature of “intrinsic awareness”.

            It opens up by noting that the intrinsic radiance, lucidity, luminous clarity, and bare awareness of our basic nature (or, as phrased here, “nature of mind”) is typically “not recognized” by most everyone even though it is continuously ever-present, seamlessly threaded with every unfolding experience and aspect of existence.

            In the next short subsection of the “Introduction to Awareness….”, the point is made that “samsara” (illusion and entranced bondage to the round of birth, death, and rebirth) and “nirvana” (the condition of being awake and liberated) are “inseparable” in the full realization of our non-dual nature. So, the 8 vehicles preceding Dzogchen are described here, and all are noted to reinforce dualistic notions through their strategic efforts via the approaches of renunciation, purification, and transformation.

            Then, the text identifies many of the “names” for the enlightened condition, just before offering the “three considerations” that serve as the method for directly recognizing the non-dual and enlightened base (for all!).

            Rather than paraphrase the content of the “direct introduction”, I will quote the full short section that translator Gyurme Dorje entitled “Three Considerations”:

            “The following is the introduction [to the means of experiencing] this [single] nature of mind

            Through the application of three considerations:

            [First recognize that] past thoughts are traceless, clear, and empty,

            [Second recognize that] future thoughts are unproduced and fresh,

            Abd [third, recognize that] the present moment abides naturally and unconstructed.

            When this ordinary, momentary consciousness is examined nakedly (and directly) by oneself,

            Upon examination, it is radiant awareness,

            Which is free from from the presence of an observer,

            Manifestly stark and clear,

            Completely empty and uncreated in all respects,

            Lucid, without duality of radiance and emptiness,

            Not permanent, for it is lacking inherent existence in all respects,

            Not a mere nothingness, for it is radiant and clear,

            Not a single entity, for it is clearly perceptible as a multiplicity,

            Yet not existing inherently as a multiplicity, for it is indivisible and of a single savour [my note: savour = taste].

            This intrinsic awareness, which is not extraneously derived,

            Is itself the genuine introduction to the abiding nature of [all] things……”

            [Reference Note: pages 41-42 The First Complete Translation of The Tibetan Book of the Dead, Penguin Books, 2005]

            ~~~~~This text was a product of the Kaulism Tantrics, who clearly highlighted an approach to realization of the ultimate condition of non-dual Consciousness (Shiva) through a vibrant engagement with the Goddess-Shakti. This text from the 7th Century is the Vijnana-Bhairava Tantra and consists of an instructive dialogue between Shiva (here “Bhairava”) and the Goddess.

            This text was first made available to the English speaking/reading world by the writer Paul Reps who in the early 1950s studied under Swami Laksmanjoo when Laksmanjoo was beginning to work on translating the text into English. Reps then wrote, and published in 1952, in the first edition of Zen Flesh, Zen Bones, a version of the Bhairava Tantra in a section of the book (“Centering”) otherwise devoted to Zen. Reps mistakenly represented this text as 4000 years old (it’s 1400 years old) and as the basis for Zen! By the time Laksmanjoo’s translation effort is complete, through the efforts of Jaideva Singh, these mistakes are not repeated (Singh correctly notes the age of this text). By the late 60s or early 70s I have read the Reps version. His book was very popular, liberally stocked on bookstore shelves everywhere.

            In the late nineties I came across a very poetic and fluid version of this text by Lorin Roche. That beautiful piece of work, along with Jaideva Singh’s and Paul Rep’s version helped inform my understanding of this text. I also studied Daniel Oldier’s version, which was translated into English from his French. So, I will use the above versions when describing the content and doing my own free rendering of specific verses. I will do a few comparisons of verses from the various versions so the reader can see the different styles.

            The Bhairava Tantra is presenting practices that are known as “limited means”, or “anava-upaya”. This is the fourth of basic types of practice offered in the Kashmir Shaivism tradition, as laid out in the 9th Century “Shiva Sutras” presented by Vasugupta from the Kashmir Valley. The categories of “means” to realization are:

            (1) No means or “anupaya” (upaya is translated as “means”). Without any effort whatsoever, and spontaneously, a person realizes their essential nature (as non-dual Consciousness and Its primary Energy manifesting as everything) merely upon hearing the teaching or, in other words, receiving transmission from the Guru.

            (2) “Shambu’s means”, or Shambhava-upaya. Shiva was also known as “Shambu”. This category of practice also involves, like number one, the element of “grace”, or the spontaneous recognition and realization of non dual Shiva-Shakti, but in a more limited way than anupaya or non means. Here the practice simply entails stilling the chatter of the mind and in that stillness there may be the dawning spontaneously an awareness of “Shiva-Consciousness”.

            (3) Shakta-upaya. For the person finding it difficult for the mind to come to rest, it’s suggested that the person adopt a focus on, and a pondering of, “higher” concepts that counter those already fixed in place in a person’s mind.

            (4) Limited means or anava-upaya. A whole array of practices are available as options in this category, including the use of mantras, breathing practices, concentration, and meditation. The rise of the primal Energy current or Shakti up a central channel corresponding to the spinal line into the “crown” of the head is a key practice in this category.

            The Vijjnana-Bhairava Tantra is a dialogue between Bharaiva (or “Shiva”) and Bharaivi (the “Goddess” or “Shakti”). The Goddess begins (in the first ten verses) with her questions to Shiva regarding his most essential Nature and whether that can be recognized through the various manifestations and concepts highlighted by teachers and texts, or showcased via rituals.

            Beginning with verse 11, Shiva responds by saying “no”. The teachings about him (i.e. his essential nature) are insubstantial and illusory. But, useful for people heavily caught up in illusion and conditioned living. The stories and the rituals and all the practices are not “it”, but can serve to bring people to a place of greater capacity for realization of one’s essential nature. Another way to put it would be that one is made more open to the spontaneous grace of realizing one’s true and fullest nature.

            Verses 14 through 16 note the radical non dual Nature of our essemce, which Lorin Roche translates this way:

            “I am beyond measure. I cannot be calculated. I am beyond space and time.
            I am beyond ancient and beyond the future. There are no directions to me.
            I am always here.
            I am the embrace
            Of your most intimate experience.
            Though I am beyond the intellect,
            I am not beyond your daring.
            I am the nourishing state of fullness
            That is the essence of soul.
            You belong to me, and I am yours.
            My nature is spotless, completely uncontaminated. I am not covered up, not even by a billion galaxies. So who is there to worship and adore?
            There is no one to appease.”

            [Reference Note: the brief excerpts of Lorin Roche’s translation are from The Radiance Sutras authored by Lorin Roche, published by Sounds True, copyright 2014; the brief excerpts of the English version of Daniel Oldier’s translations and Jaideva Singh’s are from online resources.]

            And, to demonstrate here (with these three verses) the variation in translation styles (as promised earlier), here is Jaideva Singh’s version:

            “[If the shakti–or energy– aspect] of Bhairava does not reveal His essential nature, then what is His shakti aspect by knowing which one may have an idea of His paravasth (the highest state).

            Bhairava now describes the (transcendent) aspect of the Supreme in these three verses].

            Paravastha (the highest state) of Bhairava is free of all notions pertaining to direction, time(, nor can that be particularized by some definite space or designation . In verity that can neither be indicated nor described in words 1.14

            [Then is it impossible to have any experience of her? Bhairava anticipates this question and answers that in the following verse].

            One can be aware of that only when one is completely free of al thought-constructs. One can have an experience of that bliss in his own inmost self (when one is completely rid of the ego, and is established in the plenitude of the divine I- consciousness).

            That state of Bhairava which is fuIl of the bliss of non-difference from the entire universe is alone Bhairavl or Shakti of Bhairava. 15

            That should, in verity, be known as His essential nature, immaculate and inclusive of the entire universe. Such being the state of the highest Reality, who can be the object of worship, who is to be satisfied with worship.16.”

            And, finally, this version of these verses are the English translation by Jeanric Meller of Daniel Oldier’s French translation (and includes with the last line a rendering also of verse 17):

            “ Mystical ecstasy isn’t subject to dualistic thought, it is completely free from any notion of location, space or time. This truth can only be touched by experience. It can only be reached by those entirely freed from duality and ego, and firmly, fully established in the consciousness of the Self. This state of Bhairava is filled with the pure bliss of unity between tantrika and the universe. Only this state is the Shakti. In the reality of one’s own nature thus recognized, containing the entire universe, one reaches the highest sphere. Who then could be worshipped? Who then could be fulfilled by this worship? Only this condition recognized as supreme is the great Goddess.”

            The next three verses (17-19) emphasize the seamless “not-two” nature of the always existing Shiva/Goddess union. The point is that they are not two separate things made into one thing. Lorin Roche’s version of verses 18 and 19 clearly conveys this key point to understand, directly and in one’s own experience:

            “Heat and fire are not two things.
            These are just verbal distinctions.[18] The Goddess and the One who hold Her Are one and the same.
            We are inseparable’
            The way to me is through Her.”

            The Goddess in verses 22 and 23 voices an ardent interest in the instruction related to Shiva’s statement (in verse 21, a repeat of point made at end of 19) that the essential nature of Shiva can be realized through a vibrant engagement with the Goddess (Shakti, or the all pervasive Energy of the Cosmos).

            So, with verse 24, Shiva begins to share instructions on 112 ways of meditating through a focus on the expressive energy states available to all beings, beginning with one’s breathing and the flow of the related life force. Verses 24 through 135, out of the total 162 in this tantra, are ways anyone can practice in using the “laboratory” of their own body and energy to realize directly in one’s awareness and feeling the primary Heart of All.

            Below is a detailed description of the first 18 of these 112 focal points for meditation, verses 24 through 42. After that, there’s a wide range of options for a practitioner, of which a sampling will be noted.

            Verses 24 through 27 direct the focus of feeling and awareness to the breath, and the gaps between inhaling and exhaling, as a preface to a focusing on the related flow of the life force or energy.

            In feeling the spacious quiet alertness between breaths, awareness of our most essential nature can become acutely clear. Here, in this gap, no sense of “I” and “other” is felt or seen (as noted in verse 27).

            With verse 28, focusing of awareness and feeling is on the ascending movement of the life force along a central axis corresponding to the spine. This movement of energy through increasingly subtler energy centers along this axis culminates in the crown of the head with the experience of the radiant and spacious energy of the “Goddess” and the realization and recognition of the centerless Consciousness unaffected by all movements. This latter realization is of “Shiva”.

            The rhythmic movement of the breath remains as a felt focus, in feeling with awareness the ascending movement of energy up the central axis and into the crown of the head and beyond.

            With verse 31, an additional focal point is introduced: the “third eye” region in the forehead. This focus deep behind a point between the eyebrows onto the “eye of light” (as Lorin Roche translated it) grows into feeling and perceiving a brightening of energy and light from the third eye focal point which then expands upward in feeling and awareness into the crown and beyond.

            The next verse (#32) shifts the focus to the play of all five senses, pictured as like five colored circles of a peacock feather. This focusing entails a further deepening of feeling and awareness of this unfolding and colorful display of the senses, to the point of realizing the insubstantial, “empty”, and spacious underlying nature and condition of the senses.

            Verse 33 suggests that whatever one’s point of focus, give in to it completely, and to the point of recognizing the insubstantial spaciousness of that chosen focal point. That focal point could literally be anything at all, chosen from whatever is grabbing one’s attention in any given moment.

            Verse 34 points to the space inside our cranium, where with eyes closed one sees and feels the spaciousness of our essential nature.

            Verse 35 returns the focus back on the central channel and the very thin (“like a stem of a lotus”) channel (“nadi”) for the life force current. Here it is suggested to meditate on this channel’s “empty”, spacious, insubstantial but electrifying nature. There maybe, as a result, a dawning recognition of the divine condition at the heart of everything.

            With verse 36, a focal point for awareness and attention is established by using fingers and thumb to close the sensory “opening” of the eyes and ears, and, enabled by this closing, seeing a point of light dawn at the third eye region. Surrendering awareness and feeling at this point of light, (1) “the yogi is established in the highest (spiritual) state” (Jaideval Singh’s translation), or (2) “an orgasm of light” [then] “breaks out” (as Lorin Roche put it). The English version of Daniel Oldier states that merging at that “bindu” (i.e. a concentrated point, in this case of the light at the third eye) brings about a recognition and experience of “the infinite space between [the] eyebrows”. Paul Reps noted in his version that practicing this focus (the 12th of 112 shared in this text), “a space between your eyes becomes all inclusive”.

            With the verses so far, the central focal points of the breath, vital life force energy, the anatomy of the central channel, third eye area, and the crown have been introduced.

            There has been also a description of the concentrative focusing on internal light, sprouting and expanding from the third eye focal point upward into the crown, and beyond. Verse 37 takes the reader to a place of blissful absorption in radiant clear light. These practices, and identification of the subtle anatomy involved, were described in early Upanishads. (See Chapter Two on Advaita Vedanta.) And, widely elaborately upon in the medieval Yoga Upanishads and in Saivite and Vajrayana “tantras” or texts.

            Verses 38 through 42 also describe an essential focal point present in earlier and later works: sound. First (in verse 38), there is a focusing inwardly on internal sounds which over time become more refined and bring awareness and feeling to realization of the source of these internal currents of sound. (The ears are plugged here.) Sounds reportedly heard include heavier grosser sounds at first, with continued inward focusing on the internal sound “current” eventually evoking more subtler sounds like flutes and bees buzzing. The empty spacious silence, full of awareness and the feeling of being, is the subtlest condition of “Shiva”, and the space out of which all sounds (external and internal) emerge, manifest and play, and then disappear or dissolve.

            Verse 39 suggests slowly intoning the primal sound “OM”, deeply entering that sound, and as it fades away, feeling the silent space afterwards.

            With verse 40, the same feeling exercise in awareness is recommended with the emergence and disappearance of any syllable or vowel or consonant heard or voiced.

            Verse 41 suggests using music for the same focusing practice.

            Verse 42 has the reader taking a letter and pronouncing it while picturing and feeling it radiantly impacting the body with the sound, and then coming to realize the “void” (the Shiva condition) that is the basis for all of that.

            The many more ways of focal points for meditation described further are wide ranging, including feeling and picturing one’s own body becoming on fire, spreading from the feet and consuming the body completely. And, the same for the whole world.

            Verses 68 through 70 entail not the picturing of a fiery consumption of the body in the above way, but instead an embrace of the bodies sexual energies, either with partner or alone when inspired by memory of being with a partner. This brings about a similar feeling and awareness of limited and contracted identification and solidity melting away, the basis for all of existence realized in that state.

            As verse 140 notes notes, any single one of these ways can suffice for a practice, opening up the door to a graceful realization of “Shiva” that enables a passing on and sharing of the primal energy (“Shakti”) of the Goddess.

            ~~~~~~~~~~Today’s students and practitioners of Buddhist teachings and

            PS: more to come for the superficially informed commentators…note: no higher power to worship or appease exists: you are IT

            • Harvey Reading November 23, 2019

              Anything in the story about elementary particles? Like who created them? And if an answer is given, then who or what created their precursors, ad infinitum? Or does it give a clear definition of what is infinity, something beyond human comprehension, much as we pretend otherwise? Who created the god figures? My answer to the last: human imagination and ignorance of natural phenomena.

              Superstition declines as knowledge increases.

              • Louis Bedrock November 23, 2019

                Excellent points, Harv.

                Religion predates philosophy and science. It was a primitive attempt to explain the world by people who knew nothing of atoms, molecules, cells, genes, DNA, microbes, the Copernican universe, or the Law of Conservation of Energy and Matter.

                These barbarians conceived of spirits, ghosts, angels, bogeymen, and gods to explain all phenomena.

                Religion is an anachronism, but still inspires gullible people to caress beads, wail in front of wailing walls, and to utter and mutter magic incantations: Hail Mary, full of grace…

                Or to believe ancient mystical texts and accept the existence of flying saucers.

                • Professor Cosmos November 23, 2019

                  OMG, after reading the points criticizing my repost from 2 meditation texts, i see the critical reviews are based on the critics having not read that and are lazily projecting what they think is there….

                  Now, i dont think this is of course akin to Matthew 7:6, as the pearl casters are a Tibetan and a Kashmiri, not me, lol:

                  Don’t give that which is holy to the dogs, neither throw your pearls before the pigs, lest perhaps they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.

          • Brian Wood November 23, 2019

            Dude, way too complicated.

        • Louis Bedrock November 23, 2019

          Sign on my front door:

          “If the purpose of your visit is religious–to tell us of your god’s love for us, or to convince us that we need Jesus to be our personal savior, please do not knock or ring our doorbell.

          Instead, bow your head and pray as sincerely and as intently as possible for this door to disappear.  When it does, feel free to come on in; we will definitely want to hear what you have to say.”

      • Louis Bedrock November 23, 2019

        Thank you, Brian.
        I could not agree more strongly.

        It’s Christian nonsense derived from Platonic nonsense: with some outmoded Ptolemaic astronomy on top.

        Plato believed that everything on earth was an imperfect copy of pure forms that existed in heaven. Paul was influenced by this concept.

        For example, in 2 Corinthians12.2-4, The nutcase from Tarsus says a man (possibly Paul himself) “was taken up s far as the third heaven” where Paradise was located.

        Paul of Tarsus was a delusional sociopath,

        I don’t know whether Stehr really believes this garbage or just incorporates into his begging-for-money grift.

      • Louis Bedrock November 23, 2019


        This is complicated too but a little more accessible than the Professor’s mumbo-jumbo.

        It’s from one of my favorite poems, “Sunday Morning” by Wallace Stevens.

        I hope it doesn’t bore you:

        “Why should she give her bounty to the dead?
        What is divinity if it can come
        Only in silent shadows and in dreams?
        Shall she not find in comforts of the sun,
        In pungent fruit and bright, green wings, or else
        In any balm or beauty of the earth,
        Things to be cherished like the thought of heaven?
        Divinity must live within herself:
        Passions of rain, or moods in falling snow;
        Grievings in loneliness, or unsubdued
        Elations when the forest blooms; gusty
        Emotions on wet roads on autumn nights;
        All pleasures and all pains, remembering
        The bough of summer and the winter branch.
        These are the measures destined for her soul.”

        • Brian Wood November 23, 2019

          I like that very much.

  7. chuck dunbar November 23, 2019

    Yes, fine piece–again–by Mark Scaramella on Measure B. It gives us such a sharp, clear picture of County function at its worst–a bureaucracy that at the top works slowly, incompetently and just does not get the job done for the people in the real world out in the streets. Carmel Angelo needs to move on, and that the BOS does not act on this and make it happen is wrong and shameful. Good for Supervisors Williams and Gjerde for voting no and speaking out. I’d love to hear Sheriff Allman’s reaction to this proposal.

    Excellent work by the AVA on this one!

    • Lazarus November 23, 2019

      ” I’d love to hear Sheriff Allman’s reaction to this proposal.”

      When I watched the BoS youtube there was no sign of the Sheriff. I would suspect he was on the Adhoc that reviewed the $3,333.000.00 contract, he seems to be everywhere else Measure B. I also suspect he went for it, much like everything else they’ve spent the people’s money on.

      As always,

  8. James Marmon November 23, 2019


    So let me get this straight. Ortner (OMG) was in the process of leasing all or part of the ole Howard and had been awarded a $500,000 grant for a CRT, while Sonya Nesch, Ace Barash, and a biased media collaborated together to run them out of town.

    Here we are, four and half years later.

    James Marmon MSW

    • Harvey Reading November 23, 2019

      I just opened my home after taking a stroll with Diamond.

    • Lazarus November 23, 2019

      Where did you get that Ortner and ole Howard stuff? and do you have any more?

      • James Marmon November 24, 2019

        Interest remains in utilizing old Howard Hospital as mental health facility

        May 25, 2015

        “Willits >> Mendocino County mental health contractors Ortner Management Group and Redwood Quality Management Co. have shown interest in possibly utilizing the old Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital in Willits, when the building becomes available, according to an update at the county Mental Health Advisory Board meeting Wednesday in Covelo.

        “OMG is thinking of doing a 16-bed inpatient facility in part of the hospital,” said Margie Handley, MHAB member and president of the hospital’s Foundation Board. Although that is still not definitive, according to Handley, the facility isn’t projected to be available until December, since the hospital has yet to move into its new 74,000 square-foot building on Marcela Drive.”

        Discussions continue for using currrent HMH for future mental health care

        May 27, 2015

        “OMG (Ortner) is thinking of doing a 16-bed inpatient facility in part of the hospital,” said Margie Handley, new MHAB member and president of the Frank R. Howard Foundation, which owns the building. Ortner has expressed interest in using the south side of the former hospital, with Redwood possibly taking the northern half.

      • James Marmon November 24, 2019

        Mental health center at old hospital site?

        Thursday, October 23, 2014

        Ortner Management Group has officially signaled its “serious intent” to finalize negotiations to lease parts of the old Howard Hospital building for a mental health rehabilitation or crisis residential center. The proposed center would open in summer or fall of 2015. The news comes from Margie Handley, Frank R. Howard Foundation president, and brings Willits one step closer to becoming the home of Mendocino County’s only licensed mental health rehabilitation or crisis residential center. The idea for such a center first surfaced in 2010 as a possibility for the building.

        • Lazarus November 24, 2019


          Thanks for the memories, well done.

          As always,

          • James Marmon November 24, 2019

            Yeah a lot of folks accused Ortner of wanting to send people out of county to one of his facilities when he wanted to do the opposite. He knew that no matter what treatment he gave them when they came home there was nothing here for them. Prior to his contract, Nurse Ratched had completely dismantled the Adult system of care so he had to start from scratch. I tried to stand up for him to no avail, but anyway who was I ?

            James Marmon MSW
            Former Mental Health Specialist
            Sacramento, Placer, and Lake Counties.

          • James Marmon November 24, 2019

            I’m glad Ortner told the County, his competitor Adventist Health, and the AVA to all F**K OFF.


          • James Marmon November 24, 2019

            Allman flooding the Emergency Rooms didn’t help matters out either.

            • Lazarus November 24, 2019

              I was around then, barely. It’s bizarre to think of all that has not happened, let alone happened; Thank you James.

              As always,

    • James Marmon November 24, 2019


      I’m sure Jan McGourty will vote yes to this money grab if she wants her husband to get that job working for CEO Angelo. Donna Moschetti will vote yes as well because she’s the new chairperson for RCS’s Board of Directors. Can anyone spell “conflict of interest”.

      Go to the bottom

      • James Marmon November 24, 2019

        The rest of the committee outside of an angry contractor, a retired delusional therapist, and a City of Ukiah employee all work for CEO Angelo.

  9. Harvey Reading November 23, 2019


    Photo depicting what Trump aficionados consider modern auto racing.

  10. Dick Whetstone November 23, 2019

    On November 22, 1963, I was in the Navy and a student at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey. My comment at the time was “Oh, so someone finally nailed the bastard” (a meant to be facetious remark that was not popular with my fellows), having become very unenamored with Kennedy after closely following the Cuban Missile Crisis the year before on the radio in my college dorm room. I then retired to my off campus apartment in Carmel and drank for the next 3 days, missing all the subsequent events. After being given a Top Secret security clearance, I spent the next couple of years in the Orient watching the country go down the tubes in Vietnam.

  11. James Marmon November 23, 2019


    I bet no one knows more about shell companies than John Sakowicz.


    • Harvey Reading November 23, 2019

      Is that anything like MD 20-20?

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