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MCT: Friday, June 5, 2020

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A COLD LOW PRESSURE TROUGH will bring substantially cooler temperatures, blustery onshore winds, a chance of showers, and isolated thunderstorms this weekend. Mainly dry weather and near normal temperatures are expected next week. (NWS)

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After five nights of demonstrations in Santa Rosa, the national movement against police brutality spread to the heart of Sonoma County’s Wine Country, with hundreds of protesters lining Healdsburg’s main thoroughfare in a show of solidarity Thursday night.

A large group of protesters kneel at the Healdsburg police station during a George Floyd protest held Thursday in Healdsburg, Calif., on June 4, 2020. (Photo: Erik Castro/for The Press Democrat)

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Notes from Next Week’s Supervisors Agendas (June 9 & 10)

by Mark Scaramella

MENDO HEALTH OFFICER NOEMI DOOHAN of San Diego is up for another costly extension of her contract: “Discussion and Possible Action Including Approval of Fifth Amendment to Standard Agreement No. PH-19-024 with Noemi Doohan, M.D., Ph.D., Increasing the Amount from $225,000 to $325,000, for County Health Officer Services, Effective When Fully Executed Through December 31, 2020.”

THE CEO REPORT for next week’s Supervisors meeting is much lamer than usual, including large irrelevant swaths of routine county reports and lists such as the position vacancy list (which should be discussed but never is because of high workload and turnover indicators), and this week the CEO has thrown several pages of the Transportation Director’s decent but highly technical road info and updates which is usually separate.

The CEO Report also includes “justifications” for the filling of quite a few new positions, such as: 

Two new staff assistants for the Executive Office have been declared “essential” because, says CEO Angelo: “The Executive Office has been focusing on reorganization. This has created shifts in tasks and staff. Currently there is a need for an additional staff member to work in our front office. Additionally, the COVID-19 event has created substantial more work and many staff members are being assigned tasks related to that event. The Public Health Officer and Deputy Public Health Officer are both working out of the Executive Office and require one FTE staff member to assist them.”

The Supes never question these vague “justifications.” But they’re always careful to worry about how much “work” their own routine inquiries might involve.

The DA says he needs another investigator because: “Position is responsible for conducting criminal and civil investigations related to District Attorney's cases; conduct investigations in Officer Involved Shootings; assist other law enforcement agencies with investigations; assist probation Department with check-in on individuals placed on Post Release Community Supervision; assists in community emergencies.”

We didn’t know the DA’s staffers were now doing work for the Probation Department.

Health & Human Services says they need a new Legal [sic] Secretary because: “Risk of not meeting State and Federal Mandates, risk of overtime and/or assigning duties elsewhere working someone out of class.”

This boilerplate “justification” is used whenever there’s no real reason besides CEO Angelo and her HHSA sycophants want it.

We also noticed the seemingly random mention of an “Emergency Project” that had to be dealt with at the jail: “On June 1, 2020, Facilities staff were called to clear a clogged sewer line in Wing 4 of the County Jail. The auger line hooked an object, and became stuck upon retrieval. The object and the line cannot be retrieved, and the floor must now be cut to expose the sewer line and clear the drain. This work has been declared an emergency to minimize the potential for delays in restoring full functionality at the Jail.”

The CEO doesn’t say how the rotor rooter got stuck, what’s being done to prevent similar future “emergencies,” how much the emergency project cost, nor what the “object” was.

According to the County’s eight (!) person Cannabis staff:

“The County applied for a Cannabis Equity Grant administered by California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz). Mendocino County successfully was awarded $2.2 million in Cannabis Equity Grant funding for the 2020/2021 fiscal year. Equity funding will go toward a program of services for equity eligible applicants such as grants, technical assistance, training, and fee waivers. 10% or approximately $224,000 can and will be used toward the administrative management of the grant by County staff or subcontracted staff as needed. The Cannabis Program plans to recruit a temporary extra help Analyst to assist in the management of the grant, funded by the Equity Grant Program —no general fund will be used.”

As we’ve noted before, the euphemistically titled “Cannabis Equity Grant” is more accurately described as a money laundering process to help fund the grotesquely overlarge cannabis bureaucracies that have sprung up in California’s several cannabis counties. And Offiicial Mendo will end up getting the money to “help” cannabis permit applicants who are not otherwise capable of handling all the complicated pot permit application paperwork (one of the many flaws in the turgidly bureaucratic program was that it assumed that stoners and pot growers with no other “skills” could navigate and complete a gauntlet of bureaucracy that even many lawyers find daunting). The Equity Grant is similar to First Five, where counties get special grant money to “help” parents of young children. In both cases the grant money goes to bloated staff, not permit applicants, not parents. But they always pretend the money is for some alleged “good thing,” when it’s nothing but a featherbedding subsidy for make work staff exercises that don’t help the target much at all.

The Cannabis staffers also say that one of their “Goals/Challenges for FY 2020-2021” will be “Processing 800+ ministerial applications with current staffing levels.”

This of course assumes that the failed cannabis program will be “streamlined” in “Phase 3” to the point of a simple ministerial checklist process — which it should have been in the first place, obviously (see below) — but which has not yet been described or approved. It also assumes that Mendo’s legions of pot growers, having flown the white flag of defeat in their battle with the County’s grotesque pot permit program, will suddenly discover that it’s been magically “streamlined” and will rush to apply — never mind that the County permit fees have not been described or tallied up, nor have the state’s daunting requirements been “streamlined.” Does Mendo have enough residual credibility to magically bring the outlaw pot growers in from the cold black market? After all, the eight cannabis program staffers reported that they have already: “Developed streamlined processes for annual permit renewals turning a multi month process into a 1 day over the counter application.” 

Right on cue there’s an item on Wednesday’s Supervisors agenda that says: “Discussion and Possible Action Including Direction to Staff Regarding the Potential Re-direction of the Cannabis Cultivation Program (Sponsor: Supervisor McCowen).”

Three weeks ago, McCowen signaled that he wanted to do something like this, albeit from the person most responsible for the pot permit mess, three years late. But the agenda item has no attached information. What the Cannabis staff or Supervisor McCowen have in mind remains a mystery, although there’s no doubt that Mendo’s cannabis permit program is long overdue for a major weight reduction. But if they do that, will they cut the corresponding fees? Or will they spend all that new “equity grant” money on themselves?

ANOTHER dubious spending item: “Discussion and Possible Action Including Approval of Retroactive [sic] Agreement with Sonoma County In the Amount of $1,182,221.62 to Provide Emergency Medical Services Administration in Mendocino County, Effective July 1, 2019 Through June 30, 2022.

This SoCo-based emegency serices admin monopoly has apparently decided that the previously approved $300k per year, which was already a huge increase over the earlier $92k per year, now has to be RETROACTIVELY increased to almost $400k per year. The item does not say where the money will come from, but it’ll come out of the general fund which is already stretched thin with new costs and covid-related revenue reductions. Cash-strapped local emergency services outfits are already worried that the money for Coast Valley EMS will be taken out of their budget, not the County’s bloated top staff.

The County is also going to hand over more than $150k of additional funding to Camille Schrader’s Redwood Community Services monopoly, again RETROACTIVELY: “Discussion and Possible Action Including Approval of Retroactive Agreement with Redwood Community Services in the Amount of $152,742 to Provide Services to Individuals and Families in Accordance with Center for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 Guidelines and Create a Program Guide to Homeless Services in Alignment with Mendocino County Homeless Services Continuum of Care’s Strategic Plan, Effective March 1, 2020through December 31, 2020.

Why did they mention the “program guide” as one of the cost items? Wouldn’t it be part of whatever, possibly reimburseable, “services” they provide?

TAKEN AS A WHOLE, along with all the other spendings and businesses as usual with no specific cost reductions in the face of obvious revenue declines, it’s alarming that CEO Angelo and the Supes don’t seem to have even the slightest clue that their funding is in serious jeopardy.

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Welcome to Anderson Valley Village. We are a locally inspired and managed non-profit organization. Our mission is to help older adults remain active, connected, and independent in the place they call home while enhancing the quality of life in our community. See what's new in the valley. 

AV Village Update 

We currently have 55 members and 56 trained volunteers ready to lend a hand, including (thanks to Cozette’s wrangling) some younger volunteers willing to help with shopping, phone calls, tech support, outdoor work, etc. Thank you! 

The Village event committee held a zoom meeting and decided that until we have full clearance from the county we will not be having any in person group meetings. We feel we should be appropriately conservative in how slowly we resume our monthly gatherings. We are going to try a zoom meeting on June 14th regarding the local COVID situation. Anica will be sharing the details in an email about this meeting. Remember you don’t have to use your bandwidth, you can phone into the meeting.

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4 Bar K Ranch still taking orders for local beef (see information below).

Boonville Barn Collective still selling olive oil, chile powders and salts.

Bramble Family Farms still selling olive oil (see information below).

Natural Products of Boonville still has mushrooms and more each week, plus veggie starts 

(707) 684-0182 

or / 

Petit Teton remains open, selling a wide selection of produce, meat, eggs, plant starts, and canned food. Can prepare a grocery bag in advance. (707) 684-4146 or

Yorkville Olive Ranch still selling olive oil.

The Yorkville Olive Ranch has three possible choices for olive oil:

We have the 2018 Extra Virgin Olive Oil available in 375ml or 750ml bottles at $20 and $35.

The 2019 Meyer Lemon infused Tuscan Olive Oil in 375 ml bottles only at $22.

By the end of the weekend I will have put the labels on the 2019 Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and it will be available at $20 for the 375 ml bottle and $35 for the 750 ml bottles. The 2019 EVOO is bright and fresh and quite robust.

Call or e-mail to place an order. The oil can be picked up from my front porch or if I need to go into Boonville, we may be able to arrange for me to drop it off.

The telephone number is (707) 894-0530 or e-mail at

Cash or checks will work.

Velma's Farmstand Open Friday

Velma’s Farmstand at Filigreen Farm will be open this Friday between 1pm-5pm. These are abbreviated hours and will resume to a normal weekend schedule as we progress into the season. Filigreen Farm is offering an array of spring vegetables as well as a limited number of first come, first serve diversified veggie boxes (8-10 items) for $40. We are also offering olive oil, flower bouquets, frozen blueberries, and dried prunes for sale. We can accept cash/card/check. Please respect social distance rules (maximum 3 people in the stand) and wear a mask at all times. 

This week we will be donating 50% of sales to a multidisciplinary, cooperative nonprofit ecosystem rooted in Black ecocultural traditions and textile arts to regenerate custodial landownership, ecological stewardship, and food and fiber economies in the South. 

We will keep the AV Foodshed updated on extended hours in the coming weeks! Please email Annie if you have any questions or if you would like to reserve a box in advance.

Boonville Farmers' Market

Join us at the Boonville Farmers' Market this Friday from 4-6pm in the parking area of Disco Ranch.

Please remember to wear your mask and (not or) maintain a 6' distance from others. I have extra masks if you need one. Last week's market was awesome! It was great to see everyone enjoying themselves but we need to get better at maintaining a 6' distance. I know it's weird but we need to work together to keep our community safe and healthy, and to keep our market open. Please self-manage.

Come enjoy a vibrant array of fresh local goodies!

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Mendocino County: The "free" OptumServe COVID-19 testing in Ukiah has been utilized at only 75% of capacity. We have received notice that Optum could relocate to a different county if the low usage trend continues. Are you kidding me!?!? This would be unfortunate for our reopening effort. We need another thirty people per day. Remote collection does not currently count toward the 134/day. Once it does, I'll encourage it.

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(photo by Ansel Adams)

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by Justine Frederiksen

The city of Ukiah began the process of cleaning out the large homeless encampment just north of the airport along Hastings Avenue this week by posting notices advising the people living there that the area needs to be cleared by Monday, June 8.

Deputy City Manager Shannon Riley said that “preliminary notices” were provided to residents of the camp of the upcoming clean-up, which she told the Ukiah City Council last week is intended to clear the area, designated as a Runway Safety Zone, before paving at the airport is completed.

“Our goal is to get the area completely clean (of all personnel and objects) by the time the airport is able to reopen again,” Riley told the City Council at its last virtual meeting May 27. “The idea is that this is our runway safety area, and there shouldn’t be anything in that area: people, tents, or anything.”

“So the decision has been made to break up the encampment?” asked City Council member Steve Scalmanini after the announcement, asking to see the city’s plan for clearing the camp.

“We did seek guidance from the county, which previously was acting on (the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidance that homeless encampments should not be broken up,” Riley said. “However, when presented with facts about this current encampment’s rate of growth and rate of criminal activity, the Public Health Officer indicated that they would support the decision to break up the encampment.”

“Most of what I’m hearing today is a surprise,” said Scalmanini, adding that the City Council’s homeless ad-hoc committee, which he serves on with City Council member Jim Brown, was not informed of the plan before the meeting. “If you’re making these decisions, and I don’t agree with them, as one of the two people on the committee, then that’s not the way things are supposed to work, as I understand them.

“There’s alleged problems out there that are not documented, that the ad-hoc committee has never seen,” Scalmaini said. “There’s allegedly growth issues; I’ve been counting tents and I’ve gotten the same numbers for months — low 30s. So I can’t corroborate the complaints I hear.”

“We certainly don’t want you to feel that way at all,” said City Manager Sage Sangiacomo. “And the correspondence we sent to the county has been done in full transparency with the council, which reviewed and authorized that correspondence, and we’re certainly trying to operate under the guidance and policies set by the City Council. We’re happy to schedule a meeting to touch base with the ad-hoc to address any outstanding issues.”

When asked Tuesday if a meeting with the ad-hoc committee had been held, Scalmanini said it had not, but that Riley had met with him to discuss the city’s plan for the encampment.

Also during the May 27 meeting, the City Council approved an executive order signed by Sangiacomo for another extension of operations of the emergency homeless center at 1045 S. State St. through Aug. 31.

When asked for the correspondence between city and county officials he referenced during the May 27 meeting, Sangiacomo provided a letter written to the Mendocino County Public Health Office dated May 8.

“We believe that the changing and deteriorating conditions in the camp warrant revisiting the interpretation of the CDC guidance regarding the efficacy of moving homeless encampments while Shelter in Place orders are in effect,” the letter states. “The size of this encampment has grown significantly, as have the calls to public safety, incidents of violence, and complaints of criminal activity and vandalism from the neighboring businesses and property owners.

“The county reports that, as recently as April 7, the population of the camp was 44 but had grown to 54 by April 21 and continues to grow as word spreads that the camp cannot be moved. Far from being a stable group of known individuals, the camp continues to grow in size with a steady influx of new people, which increases the risk of introducing COVID-19 into the camp while also increasing the number who will be exposed if an outbreak occurs,” the letter states.

“While port-a-potties and hand-washing stations have been temporarily located near the encampment, these facilities are inadequate to protect against COVID-19, particularly in inherently unsanitary conditions and amongst individuals who are not practicing social distancing guidelines,” the letter continues. “Additionally, there is an immediate need to perform fire mitigation work on this site, work that cannot safely be done in the presence of people. Further delays in this activity, particularly when the encampment regularly has open fires, presents a significant fire hazard to the entire area.”

Sangicomo also notes that, “A team of city and county staff has developed a plan to clear the encampment in measured steps of outreach that would involve multiple providers offering services, including medical care and other sheltering options.”

“Based on the information in your letter, it appears this camp is steadily increasing in size and is also the source of numerous problems including theft and violence that are impacting neighboring properties as well as individuals residing in the camp,” Health Officer Noemi Doohan wrote in her response. “CDC guidance was intended to be protective of public health and safety, but due to the unstable and increasing population of the camp, deteriorating conditions within the camp, and negative impacts to the neighbors, this no longer appears to be the case. For all of the above reasons, if, in the judgment of the city of Ukiah the negative impacts of removing this camp are less than the negative impacts of allowing it to remain, then I will not object.”

(Courtesy, The Ukiah Daily Journal)

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The approval for a 143’ cell tower needed four affirmative planning commission votes but there were only 4 commissioners at the meeting - three for the tower & one against.

Planning Commission member Scott Perkins made the motion to approve, seconded by Randy Jacobson. They were joined by planning chair Marilyn Ogle.

Opposing the tower was commissioner Alison Pernell.

Absent from the controversial item were one commissioner that recused himself as well as Madelin Holtkamp (absent) & Diana Wiedemann (absent).

But after a 5-minute break, Commissioner Pernell changed her vote noting by doing so the decision could be appealed by opponents to the Board of Supervisors (for $1,650 according to staff).

A vote to reconsider the approval was made to hear Commissoner Pernell’s thoughts (it passed 4-0) then they re-voted by Perkins to approve as amended by staff - the vote was 4-0.

It appeared from discussion, people closest to the tower were for it - those against it lived more than 7 miles away. Since the last hearing on the matter, the county received 31 comments in favor - 7 against. There were 182 public comments on the matter.

The agenda item not approved and will be appealed to the Board of Supervisors was for a:

Major Use Permit to authorize construction and operation of a wireless communication facility consisting of a 143 ft. tall lattice tower with 12 antennae, various appurtenant equipment, ground equipment, generator, and equipment cabinet. Associated improvements include a gravel and paved access route to the site. The proposed lattice tower will be located within a 1,800 sq. ft. fenced compound.

LOCATION: 5.1± miles southeast of City of Willits center, lying on the east side of Manzanita Drive (CR 304C), 0.5± miles east of its intersection with Ridgewood Road (CR 304A) located at 20201 Manzanita Dr., Willits (APN: 105-090-01). SUPERVISORIAL DISTRICT: 3

(via MendocinoSportsPlus)

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(photo by Harvey Reading)

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GOODBYE TEAMWORK! We will miss you and the many many years of memories for Fort Bragg. Vera opened this business in 1978 and used parts from Denis’ and John’s trophies to make trophies for others until she had the stock to build from scratch. Denis and I bought it from grandma in 1989 and trained under grandpa engraving and learned screen-printing from Vera and Nancy; learned customer service from all 3 and loved what we did until 2002 when Nancy bought it from us. Great memories of all teams coming in; tourists buying souvenir shirts; locals designing their own masterpiece t shirts; watching kids grow up and then bring their kids in and all the love shown in those walls I’ll never forget. 

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A FEDERAL LAWSUIT has been filed in San Francisco against the Ukiah Police Department by the eminent SoCo attorney, Izaak Swagger, who specializes in police brutality cases. Swagger is representing a Ukiah man badly injured in an incident in Ukiah in October of 2018. This suit alleges that Officer Murray of the Ukiah PD deployed such force against a man uninvolved in the incident that brought the police to the injured man's apartment that he had to be airlifted to Santa Rosa for treatment. The Ukiah PD subsequently filed assault charges against the injured man, charges dismissed by Superior Court Judge Anne Moorman. A video tape of the incident introduced on behalf of the injured man by Public Defender Mary LeClair was at severe visual odds with the police version of the event. 

THE POLICE FATALLY SHOT nine unarmed blacks and 19 unarmed whites in 2019, according to a Washington Post database, down from 38 and 32, respectively, in 2015. The Post defines “unarmed” broadly to include such cases as a suspect in Newark, N.J., who had a loaded handgun in his car during a police chase. In 2018 there were 7,407 black homicide victims. Assuming a comparable number of victims last year, those nine unarmed black victims of police shootings represent 0.1% of all African-Americans killed in 2019. By contrast, a police officer is 18½ times more likely to be killed by a black male than an unarmed black male is to be killed by a police officer. (WSJ)


Searching for evidence of the car-ferry that I remember riding with my family from Marin to the East Bay, I started looking in Point Richmond, which is on the San Francisco Bay and was the landing point before the Richmond San Rafael Bridge was built. Well, this wasn't it, but it was a clue.

"The Santa Fe Railroad’s transcontinental track terminated in Richmond. From here travelers and cargo were placed on ferries for the final journey across the bay to San Francisco. The service opened with fanfare in 1900, but later in the century, following the opening of the Bay Bridge in 1936, ferry use declined. Santa Fe’s own ferry service ended in 1933, but other operators continued to use the landing as late as 1975 before the service finally died out. A fire in 1984 further contributed to the landing’s current derelict appearance."

My next post will reveal the ferry system I actually used, and many others may remember:

This is where the car ferries landed when traveling from Marin to the East Bay. It's called Castro Point. The photo is from 1955 and the bridge wasn't opened until 1956. I remember what fun it was to drive our car onto the ferry and once underway we could get out of the car and explore the upper passenger deck. Somewhere I have a photo I took of the bridge from our ferry boat that shows a still unbuilt section that reveals a giant gap in the bridge.

MSP ran a clip of a large white woman delivering an emotional speech urging a small group of Fort Bragg liberals to "do the work" of beating back racism. I found her presentation off-putting, and more than slightly unhinged and, in a large sense, untrue. It is not true that police departments are deliberately killing black people as a matter of policy. It is not true that race relations haven't improved radically over the past sixty years. It's not even true that "most" white people are racists. Most white people, like people everywhere, try to do the right thing. Are there white racists in the sense of hating and, as a way of life, try to harm black people? Yes, but they are confined to small, isolated groups. If they weren't small in numbers and isolated they would be in our faces all the time. As is, they're invisible, and not growing in numbers. Are there racist practices? Yes, especially at the institutional level, and that's where the prob is in this country, esp in economic policy. Is there racism in Mendocino County in any obvious, tangible sense? No. 

WHICH REMINDS ME, the racists of yesteryear were a cut above the wuss nazis of today. Veterans of Bay Area civil rights and Vietnam War protests will recall the handful of nazis who always showed up, unsually confining themselves to shouting insults at the marchers. Inevitably, though, a marcher would punch one of them, there'd be a brief brawl, and the cops would haul the nazis away.

LITTLER MENDELSON is a high end Frisco law firm specializing in union-busting, which isn't to say Theodora Lee of Theopolis Vineyards, Yorkville, an attorney with the firm, isn't a nice person who makes good wine, but it was Littler Mendelson who were paid mightily by Roederer to bust up the attempt by Roederer workers to get a tiny pay raise in 1998. Vineyard workers at the French-owned winery, the oldest and among the richest wineries in the world, had struck and subsequently voted to affiliate with the UFW. Mendo's wine mob was shocked, and immediately convened meetings with the silk-suited legal thugs from Littler Mendelson on how to stop workers from organizing. The leaders of the Roederer strike were fired and blackballed, as were any workers suspected of union sympathies. Here’s the whole story from the Chron:

Drinkers Are Supporting Black-Owned Wine Businesses Right Now. Will It Last?

by Esther Mobley

Tuesday was a record-breaking day for Theodora Lee, the owner and winemaker of Theopolis Vineyards. Fifty separate wine orders came in. “I have never received 50 orders in one day,” says Lee, who produces just 800 cases of wine a year from the vineyard she owns in Mendocino County’s Yorkville Highlands.

Lee is scrambling to fill the orders now. In addition to running her winery, she works as an employment lawyer with the firm Littler Mendelson, which has been busier than ever dealing with coronavirus-related employment issues. She also happens to live in Oakland, where protesters have taken to the streets to condemn the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. It’s been a week, she says, where she’s reminded more than ever that “being black in America is a burden.”

She’s grateful for the outpouring of public support for black-owned businesses right now. But as someone who’s used to being the only black woman in the room at wine tastings, Lee is all too aware that this moment could be fleeting. The wine industry has a long way to go if it is to be truly equitable.

Just look at the numbers. “We’re less than one tenth of one percent of winemakers and winery owners,” says Phil Long, owner of Longevity Wines in Livermore. Careers in wine are not often visible in black communities, he says: “I didn’t even know about the wine business when I was going to college.” It was only after moving to the Bay Area and making wine in his garage that Long and his late wife, Debra, started their wine business.

Long is the president of the Association of African American Vintners, of which Lee is also a member. The group’s main goal is education; it sponsors internships and scholarships for aspiring wine professionals. Its goal is to raise awareness of the great wines already being made by black winemakers, Long says, and to create a world where there can be more in the future.

Could this moment become an opportunity to advance that goal? “I do think that it is important to use this time to try to expand the number of blacks in the business,” Lee says.

At the same time, the perception that there aren’t enough black wine professionals can often lead to the perception that there aren’t any ╤ and that’s a problem too. The wine writer Julia Coney recently complained on Instagram of this misperception, and began to list the handles of black wine producers, growers, sommeliers and more. She’s now launched a separate Instagram account, @blackwineprofessionals, which will highlight their work.

Awareness and visibility, Lee says, are important first steps, but the work doesn’t end there. She asks of wine companies: “What have you put in place to support women and minorities? Is your vendor list diverse?” Why, she asks, aren’t more large wine companies supporting the Association of African American Vintners’ scholarship funds, which will ultimately foster a more diverse workforce?

Too often, the most visible black vintners are celebrities, Lee points out. Stars like Dwyane Wade, Gabrielle Union, Snoop Dogg and John Legend all have California wine brands. Is that the only way companies believe they can appeal to black wine drinkers? “Wineries put their names on the bottles to reach out to African American consumers,” she says, “but they’re overlooking the blacks that are in the wine business.”

RECOMMENDED VIEWING/HEARING: Al Sharpton's eulogy at George Floyd's funeral service today. The old demagogue knocked it outta the park. He wasn't explicit, but clearly emphasized that anger isn't a strategy, and it's a strategy that's needed to squeeze justice out of the beast.

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(photo by Ansel Adams)

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This is to the man who entered the Gualala post office this morning, let's call him Howard because it rhymes with what he is, a coward. Without provocation, this man verbally assaulted me using curse words for wearing a mask that causes illness he yelled. The intensity of his anger was a 7 on the Richter scale and he continued to stare me down and yelling using vulgarities all the way to his car. I couldn't understand the magnitude of his anger! But then I realized that I was guilty of standing in a public place while brown, I noticed he didn't yell at the other ladies who had masks on who were walking into the post office and were Caucasian. I've never played the race card before, but if you would have seen how outraged this man was you may have come to the same conclusion. I was a bit frightened to be honest. I would rather become sick wearing a mask with an illness that is curable/treatable then catch a virus that is potentially lethal.

(Via MendocinoSportsPlus)

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CATCH OF THE DAY, June 4, 2020

Alexander, Cobarrubia, Fallis

CHRISTIAN ALEXANDER, El Cerrito/Redwood Valley. Domestic battery.

JAIME COBARRUBIA, Manchester. Criminal threats, protective order violation.

NEGIE FALLIS IV, Covelo. Assault weapon, loaded firearm in public, felon-addict with firearm, stolen loaded firearm, ammo possession by prohibited person, under influence in possession of firearm, county parole violation, probation violation. (Frequent flyer.)

Landry, Madden, McCoy

JACOB LANDRY, Ukiah. Contributing to delinquency of minor, controlled substance, paraphernalia.

ISAAC MADDEN, Ukiah. DUI-alcohol&drugs.


McGary, Nunez, Scott

JESSE MCGARY, Fort Bragg. Contempt of court, protective order violation, probation revocation.

BEAU NUNEZ, Fort Bragg. Domestic battery, kindapping (forcibly or instilling fear, steals, takes, holds details, arrests), false imprisonment, probation revocation.

HANNAH SCOTT, Lakeport/Ukiah. Taking vehicle without owner’s consent, stolen property, suspended license (for DUI), controlled substance.

Terry, Wheatley, Work

BOBBIE TERRY, Ukiah. Domestic battery.

DUSTIN WHEATLEY, Fort Bragg. Fugitive from justice.

MARK WOLK. Ukiah. Controlled substance, failure to appear, probation revocation.

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by Norman Solomon

The nationwide outpouring of protests during the last 10 days has provided a historic moral response to the murder of George Floyd. In one city after another, people braved tear gas, pepper spray, clubs and other weaponry—as well as mass arrests—to nonviolently challenge racist police violence. Those same people were also risking infection with the coronavirus.

Photos from around the country show that a large majority of protesters have been wearing masks, often under very difficult conditions. By doing so, they aren’t only protecting themselves to some extent—they’re also protecting people nearby. As the New York Times just noted, “most experts now agree that if everyone wears a mask, individuals protect one another.”

In other words, wearing a mask is about solidarity.

Unfortunately, some protesters have not worn masks, perhaps unaware that they were putting others at risk. Meanwhile, some police officers have disregarded orders to wear masks.

With latest research indicating that about 35 percent of infected people have no symptoms at all, unwillingness to wear a mask jeopardizes the health of others. That jeopardy is far from evenly distributed. Older people and those with underlying health problems are at higher risk of dying from the coronavirus. African Americans and other people of color are also dying at much higher rates, due to structural racism.

“UC San Francisco epidemiologist Dr. George Rutherford described the protests as a kind of uncontrolled experiment, one that will test what happens when people are wearing masks in an outdoor setting, but yelling and not maintaining their distance,” the Los Angeles Times reported this week. Said Rutherford: “If you have breakdowns in social distancing and don’t have masks on, then you’re deeply in trouble.”

Addressing the chances of exposure to the virus while protesting, California’s Department of Health is urging caution: “Even with adherence to physical distancing, bringing members of different households together to engage in in-person protest carries a higher risk of widespread transmission of COVID-19… In particular, activities like chanting, shouting, singing, and group recitation negate the risk-reduction achieved through six feet of physical distancing. For this reason, people engaging in these activities should wear face coverings at all times.”

Also, if you’re headed to a protest, you might want to consider giving away some masks.

“The virus seems to spread the most when people yell (such as to chant a slogan), sneeze (to expel pepper spray), or cough (after inhaling tear gas),” The Atlantic reported as this week began. “It is transmitted most efficiently in crowds and large gatherings, and research has found that just a few contagious people can infect hundreds of susceptible people around them. The virus can spread especially easily in small, cramped places, such as police vans and jails.”

In Minnesota, the Star-Tribune reported, “state health officials will be encouraging people protesting the death of George Floyd to seek COVID-19 testing—regardless of whether they feel sick—due to the increased risk of the disease spreading at mass gatherings.” The newspaper added that “a key recommendation will be when asymptomatic protesters should seek testing, because the incubation period of the virus following infection is around five days—with a range of two to 14 days.” Testing too early could miss the virus.

Protesting is crucial at a moment like this. But protesting must be done without ignoring the pandemic.

While some hazards probably can’t be avoided at demonstrations, wearing a mask remains vital. The reality that it’s difficult if not impossible to maintain six-foot social distancing at a protest makes wearing a mask all the more important. The life you save may not be your own.

At campaign rallies last fall and winter, Bernie Sanders struck a chord when he asked: “Are you willing to fight for that person who you don’t even know as much as you’re willing to fight for yourself?” It was a powerful statement that resonated deeply and became a viral rallying cry. The ethical core remains. And by speaking out and protesting in the wake of George Floyd’s death, large numbers of people have been answering that question with a resounding Yes.

At the same time, those who wear a mask at protests are making clear that they’re willing to undergo some discomfort to protect people they don’t even know.

There are many things we have no control over as we keep pushing to change the political direction of the United States. Whether we wear a mask isn’t one of them.

(Norman Solomon is co-founder and national coordinator of His books include "War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death" and "Made Love, Got War: Close Encounters with America's Warfare State." He is the founder and executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy.)

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Right now I'm trying to listen to the only news talk radio program, Bay Area or national, that I can tolerate: John Rothmann's weeknight program on KGO AM.

In the five years since I went off psychiatric medications I have lost almost all tolerance for talk radio, be it news or sports talk. I hardly even listen to Coast To Coast AM anymore, the late night radio program where I heard the psychiatrist from New York State, Dr. Peter Breggin, who inspired me to read a few of his books highlighting the dangers of taking psychiatric meds (info which is withheld from the public).

The founder and original host of Coast-To-Coast, Art Bell, coincidentally died two years ago at age 72 of an accidental medication overdose, not psychiatric meds, but I believe prescription medications for COPD.

Sports talk show hosts have changed quite a bit over the last ten years. Most of them now sound to me like overgrown adolescents, some rather innocent yet irritating like "Murph and Mac" of the early morning show on KNBR and others more dark or even a bit sinister like Scott Ferrell, a national host.

The target audience for sports talk is males 18-45 which I know because Gary Radnich (now retired) of KNBR used to openly talk about demographics on his show.

A KNBR host in the past I did like was Ralph Barbieri who was on KNBR from about 1984 to about eight or 10 years ago. He and former NBA player Tom Tolbert used to host KNBR's late afternoon show from the mid-90s until Barbieri was fired from the station several years ago. (I forget exactly when.) KNBR said they fired Barbieri because he was repeatedly arriving to work late. Barbieri said he was fired because of his Parkinson's disease.

After listening to the tone of sports talk get more juvenile the last several years my guess is that KNBR fired Barbieri because they knew an erudite guy like him would have virtually no appeal to the current 18-45 male demographic. Tom Tolbert, a very sharp guy himself, may be too intelligent for a lot of current KNBR listeners but he currently shares the mic with two other hosts on KNBR's weekday late afternoon program.

In the end it's not a tragedy that I don't listen to much talk radio anymore since I can repeatedly watch appearances by Don Rickles on late-night talk shows over the decades on youtube or watch endless reruns of my favorite sitcom Cheers on Netflix.

Keith Bramstedt

San Anselmo

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(photo by Ansel Adams)

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A READER WRITES: Too long for MCT, but a good read:


Idioms have a special power to draw people together in a way that plain speech doesn’t.

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The ruling elites no longer have legitimacy. They have destroyed our capitalist democracy and replaced it with a mafia state. What the Roman philosopher Cicero called a commonwealth, a res publica, a “public thing” or the “property of a people,” has been transformed into an instrument of naked pillage and repression on behalf of a global corporate oligarchy. We are serfs ruled by obscenely rich, omnipotent masters who loot the U.S. Treasury, pay little or no taxes and have perverted the judiciary, the media and the legislative branches of government to strip us of civil liberties and give them the freedom to commit financial fraud and theft.

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(photo by Ansel Adams)

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Dopers in Uniform: The Hidden World of Police on Steroids 

by John Hoberman 

The recorded use of deadly force against unarmed suspects and sustained protest from the Black Lives Matter movement, among others, have ignited a national debate about excessive violence in American policing. Missing from the debate, however, is any discussion of a factor that is almost certainly contributing to the violence--the use of anabolic steroids by police officers. Mounting evidence from a wide range of credible sources suggests that many cops are abusing testosterone and its synthetic derivatives. This drug use is illegal and encourages a "steroidal" policing style based on aggressive behaviors and hulking physiques that diminishes public trust in law enforcement. Dopers in Uniform offers the first assessment of the dimensions and consequences of the felony use of anabolic steroids in major urban police departments.

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Duckweed found!

Thanks to everyone who responded. You’re all awesome! We could fill several aquariums.

Marco here, Dave. I think automatic translation programs should have a function where every once in awhile they ignore what they're supposed to say and just say something like that. You'd say into it: Which way is the bus station? and you'd hold it up to the person, and it would say (in Turkish or Swahili or German or whatever): "Thanks to everyone who responded." And they'd say in their language: What do you mean? or Responded to what? The device would say to you in English: You’re all awesome! 

You'd say: That's sweet of you to say, but I want to find a bus. You know, a bus. And you'd hold it up, and it would say to them: We could fill several aquariums. And when they look puzzled you hold up an imaginary toy bus and thrust it around in the air, going, Brooom! BrooooMM! and say, "Bus." Then you hold your fists up, forearms level, and wiggle the fists alternately up and down... 

Here's something I remember from my youth that primed me to appreciate things like this. It's the second page of Simple Simon from Walt Kelly's book Stepmother

IN OTHER NEWS: I'd like to thank all those who responded with good wishes and helpful advice about my back pain adventure. I'm getting a little better every day. I had a video consultation with my doctor, who prescribed a muscle relaxant and anesthetic pads and told me to keep taking an Aleve every twelve hours. I was out of bed much of the time today. I have exercises to do, lying on the floor. I can take a shower and get my own food, and I can sit at the computer for some time before I have to lie down again and relax and stretch. I'll be doing MOTA on the radio this Friday, and the only problem with it, besides slightly longer music breaks so I can lie down and stretch, will be way too much material to read. The world has been busy. 

I saw an article about how scientists have made an opening into a cave system that's been sealed for five million years and they're finding creatures living in there. The first comment is, "Turn around right now and walk away. 2020 is the wrong year for this, guys." 

Marco McClean,,

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  1. George Hollister June 5, 2020


    At what point is there an epiphany at the AVA that the socialism that is advocated for is the same as the government that is complained about?

    • James Marmon June 5, 2020

      I’ve noticed that the AVA often exhibits schizophrenic behavior.

      James Marmon MSW
      Former Mental Health Specialist

      • George Hollister June 5, 2020

        This might be, or is likely a two way street.

  2. June 5, 2020

    Dear Messrs. Anderson and Scaramella:

    There some misinterpreted information in the mix. In covering the comings and goings of the BoS, you report today (Friday) that, “The DA says he needs another investigator ….”

    Not so. I am not asking for a new investigator position. My long-approved investigator positions are all filled, including the investigator dedicated to work emanating from the coast.

    You also reported that, “We didn’t know the DA’s staffers were now doing work for the Probation Department.”

    No disclosures needed here. You are correct. The DA investigators are not doing work for the Probation Department. They are doing public safety investigations all across Mendocino County under direction of the District Attorney.

    Thank you for the opportunity to clarify. Stay safe.

    DA Dave

  3. Bob Abeles June 5, 2020

    Blind Willie McTell

    Seen the arrow on the doorpost
    Saying, “This land is condemned
    All the way from New Orleans
    To Jerusalem.”
    I traveled through East Texas
    Where many martyrs fell
    And I know no one can sing the blues
    Like Blind Willie McTell

    Well, I heard the hoot owl singing
    As they were taking down the tents
    The stars above the barren trees
    Were his only audience
    Them charcoal gypsy maidens
    Can strut their feathers well
    But nobody can sing the blues
    Like Blind Willie McTell

    See them big plantations burning
    Hear the cracking of the whips
    Smell that sweet magnolia blooming
    (And) see the ghosts of slavery ships
    I can hear them tribes a-moaning
    (I can) hear the undertaker’s bell
    (Yeah), nobody can sing the blues
    Like Blind Willie McTell

    There’s a woman by the river
    With some fine young handsome man
    He’s dressed up like a squire
    Bootlegged whiskey in his hand
    There’s a chain gang on the highway
    I can hear them rebels yell
    And I know no one can sing the blues
    Like Blind Willie McTell

    Well, God is in heaven
    And we all want what’s his
    But power and greed and corruptible seed
    Seem to be all that there is
    I’m gazing out the window
    Of the St. James Hotel
    And I know no one can sing the blues
    Like Blind Willie McTell

    — Bob Dylan

    • chuck dunbar June 5, 2020

      Thanks, Bob, for this one–fits the times.

  4. George Dorner June 5, 2020

    So, is Trump going to insist that Mexico pay for the new wall around the White House?

  5. James Marmon June 5, 2020

    Since former speaker of the house, Paul Ryan, has taken a seat on Fox News’ Board of Directors, the station is becoming more and more liberal. Many of us are now using NewsMax and RT (Russia Today) for reliable news coverage.


    • mendoblather June 5, 2020

      NewMax and RT for “reliable news coverage?” Surely you jest.

      • James Marmon June 5, 2020

        Bill O’Reilly has “No Spin News” on On Newsmax and Larry King has a talk show on RT America, both trusted names in journalism.


        • Harvey Reading June 5, 2020

          That’s a good one, James. LOL.

  6. Lazarus June 5, 2020

    The BoS Agenda?

    Perhaps I missed it, the County agendas are like reading gibberish that’s written in code. Anyway, was there anything concerning the Measure B committee in the agenda, and if not why?
    If I was a Cheese, and if I had watched the last meeting, I would want someone to explain WTF happened at the last meeting and why. If they can’t do any better than that, it’s time to get a new committee, or better yet, give the money back.
    Be well,

    • James Marmon June 5, 2020

      I think Allman was smart by laying it all back into the hands of the BHAB and NAMI representatives for the plan moving forward. I don’t think Meeka and Donna were quite ready for that move. They now have to meet with the board members of those organizations to hammer things out and come back to the committee with recommendations. Allman may be a lot of things but he’s not stupid. That move caused separation and takes some of the power away from Angelo and her group. Allman’s group gains back some momentum.


      • Lazarus June 5, 2020

        There’s no momentum to gain back for anybody. The deal is so far down that dirty road. And remember, the vote was 7 to 4 for the mil, obviously not close.
        Be well,

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