- Breezy Freezy
- High Winds
- Water Drop
- Mendo PSPS
- 1129 Cases
- Homeless Hotel
- Beach Steps
- Not Legislators
- Early Logging
- Lady Hemp
- Train Trestle
- Female Supervisors
- Mission Street
- Ed Notes
- Point Arena Pier
- Women Recommend
- Yesterday's Catch
- Two Friends
- Family Snorkelling
- Abeles Propositions
- Deep State
- Market Drop
- Found Object
A VERY DRY AIR MASS will linger over the area through Tuesday. Strong and gusty offshore winds will persist through Monday morning, with extremely dry conditions persisting all day Monday. Even though winds are expected to diminish for most areas Monday afternoon, the dry airmass combined with locally windy conditions will result in critical fire weather conditions Monday night through Tuesday. Frost and freezing temperatures are also expected for many interior valleys and coastal areas early Monday morning, and possibly Tuesday morning as well. (NWS)
LAST NIGHT: Very strong to extreme winds and exceptionally low humidity did materialize, despite an initial delay. A peak Bay Area gust of 89mph (with fairly widespread gusts above 50-60 mph), and peak Sierra Nevada gusts well over 100mph, were recorded. (Daniel Swain)
HIGH WINDS BUFFET SONOMA COUNTY AS 23,000 PG&E CUSTOMERS LEFT WITHOUT POWER
In anticipation of dangerous weather conditions starting Sunday night, PG&E cut power to more than 23,000 Sonoma County customers as part of a preemptive power shut-off to reduce the risk of its power lines igniting a wildfire during the strongest windstorm during this brutal fire season.
By nightfall, winds in the North Bay whipped to over 80 mph at Mount St. Helena high in the Mayacamas Mountains, and humidity levels had dropped to single digits down in Santa Rosa, marking the most extreme fire weather conditions yet for an area that already has endured a historic fire season with Walbridge and Glass infernos, respectively, in August and September.
MESSAGE FROM MENDOCINO COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE & MENDOCINO COUNTY OFFICE OF EMERGENCY SERVICES
The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office and the Mendocino County Office of Emergency Services coordinated with local PG&E representatives early Sunday morning (10-25-20) and participated in a statewide coordination call at 9:00 AM in reference to the PSPS event planned for 10-25-2020 as early as 12:00 PM in Mendocino County.
Currently, PG&E projects under 1,000 customers will be impacted in Mendocino County and that restoration is estimated take place on Tuesday, 10-27-2020. PG&E is working diligently to minimize the number of customers impacted while still providing safety.
The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office and the Mendocino County Office of Emergency Services will continue to monitor the situation closely and provide verified/accurate information to the public as it becomes available in a timely manner.
Please follow the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Nixle, Press Release Subscription) to get the most accurate and timely updated information as it becomes available.
We ask the community to rely on these informational platforms at this time as opposed to calling our Public Safety Dispatch Center, which will distract dispatchers from primary dispatching duties. This request is being made with public safety and officer safety in mind.
We encourage PG&E customers to continue monitoring https://pgealerts.alerts.pge.com/outages/map/ in order to determine what impacts the PSPS might have on their homes or businesses.
We encourage those serviced by the City of Ukiah to visit https://www.cityofukiah.com/psps/
Additional preparedness info can be found at https://www.pge.com/en_US/residential/outages/public-safety-power-shuttoff/prepare/prepare-for-psps.page
The following is a list of locations of where PG&E has established Community Resource Centers (CRCs) for public use during this PSPS event in Mendocino County:
PG&E currently plans to support the following CRCs.
Potter Valley, Bible Church, 10151 Main Street
Willits Community Center, 111 E. Commercial St
THREE MORE COVID CASES in Mendocino County on Saturday, bringing total to 1129. Only 42 in isolation and one in hospital.
BEST WESTERN PURCHASE PRESENTS ISSUES
Mendocino County has now decided to go ahead and buy the Best Western hotel on South Orchard Avenue to use it as transitional housing for the homeless. They will spend a little more than $10 million for it and the county will lose the property and TOT taxes the building used to bring in, as well as the 50 or so rooms for tourists. Why we are getting rid of tourism rooms at a time when the city of Ukiah is trying to lure another new hotel to town is beyond us.
We understand that the County took advantage of this situation as it got $9 million from the state for homeless housing which must be directed to refurbishing motels, hotels and apartment buildings. The money could not have been used to actually build some housing, which, ironically, would likely have been cheaper.
The other reason the County feels this particular motel is a good site is that it is next door to Redwood Community Services, which runs many of the county’s programs for the homeless and needy among us, but the idea that the homeless can simply walk across the parking lot for service at RCS is laughable. If you want services from RCS you need to fill out an application (on what computer we’re not sure) and submit it to them. We’re pretty sure RCS will not be inviting homeless from the Best Western motel to come on by for some coffee and advice.
Speaking of coffee, the Best Western site is also not anywhere near a place where these seriously low income people can shop or eat. No supermarkets, no soup kitchen, nothing.
We are also concerned that this housing plan brings together varied types of homeless, from families, to single men, people with serous medical conditions, seriously mentally ill and others. We think this is a recipe for problems and a plan that Dr. Robert Marbut in his advice to the county on homelessness recommended against. Mixing children into any shelter program with single adults “is very harmful to the future development of the children, and presents many unnecessary risks and liabilities to the service-providing agencies,” Marbut said.
Now that the county has decided to move forward with this project, we believe it must go public with a complete plan for operating this project, providing 24/7 security around it, how the residents will get the services they need and how they will protect the children living there.
And, perhaps it would be nice to know how they plan to replace the taxes they will lose in wiping this motel off the map.
(K.C. Meadows, Editor, Ukiah Daily Journal. Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)
ASSIGNMENT: UKIAH - WHO ELECTED US TO PASS STATE LAWS?
by Tommy Wayne Kramer
Can you think of a job you can apply for, accept, then not perform the required tasks and get neither fired nor blamed? I can.
I know a line of employment in which applicants can promise to work hard and produce bold, innovative solutions, yet once they get the job proceed to do nothing.
It’s called the California Legislature, and it’s where elected representatives go to avoid doing what they promised to do when they ran for office.
It’s where doing nothing has turned into a job description. It’s where people hired to solve the knotty issues Californians face decline the assignment and refuse to do the work they solemnly swore to do.
How else do we explain the bewildering booklet of ballot propositions citizens are regularly asked to muddle through in order to reach informed, intelligent decisions? Isn’t that the job of Jairhead Huffman? Isn’t that what Big Jim Wood is supposed to be doing?
When did our representatives cease to represent us and instead punt on the toughest issues, leaving bus drivers, roofers, teachers, welfare recipients, journalists, welders and plumbers to do their work?
When did it become our job to figure out tax policies and parole guidelines? When did we agree to sit at a kitchen table on a Thursday night after working eight hours in order to go through pages of paragraphs involving billions of dollars to decide complicated kidney dialysis regulations?
Isn’t it reasonable to expect our elected representatives to discuss these issues amongst themselves, lobbyists and interest groups during the 40 hours per week we pay them? Is it too much to ask that they apply due diligence in sorting out the conflicting, complicated problems the 21st century presents?
But Jim Wood is content to issue an occasional press release describing how he once again took on Big Tobacco. Jairhead roams the Redwood Empire boasting of his vision for community, working together for a better tomorrow, and his dream of a great big Rail Trail pathway from here to the North Pole. Then it’s back to the limousine to resume the hard work of not legislating.
Meanwhile, you sit at that kitchen table reading citizen initiatives on the upcoming ballot. You’re required to translate opaque and crafty language from mischievous lawyers who produce dense paragraphs in which a No vote means you want your taxes tripled, and a Yes vote means you demand highway tax dollars to not be spent on highway construction.
You get voter information via maudlin TV commercials showing puppies being shipped to China to have sex with Wuhan bats, then ground into fast food meat patties unless you vote Yes on a school funding measure. Sad music plays. Jane Fonda narrates.
You need advice. You need information. You need a drink.
Failing all those, you need elected representatives to do their jobs.
Not taking a knee
That rarity of rarities is currently in bloom across Ukiah: American flags suddenly displayed on porches and in windows of local Democrats. No one knows what causes this twice-a-decade eruption of patriotic fever, but like the dogwood trees on Jones Street it is a wondrous thing to behold.
It’s worth a stroll around town, but hurry. Their flags won’t be out on Pearl Harbor Day, July 4th, Flag Day, Veteran’s Day or Sept. 11.
Cuba, workers’ paradise, chapter 78
A young man blistering his way through the 2020 playoffs and known as The Cuban Rocket when he starred for Pinar del Rio, is now with the Tampa Bay Rays. By the time you read this he’ll be deep into the World Series.
In a recent NY Times feature story, hot new outfielder Randy Arozarena told of making $4 (four dollars) per month as a rookie in Cuba, which was more than his mother was earning at the same time. When he became one of that country’s biggest stars, said Arozarena, he was bringing down a lofty $38 per month. He escaped to Mexico, then to the U.S.A.
My calculations suggest Mr. Arozarena is now paid approximately $38 per minute whether playing baseball, eating or sleeping; minimum wage for MLB players is $600,000 per eight month season. Plus benefits. I wonder if mom was thrown in prison to punish her fugitive son.
Let me make clear it’s neither rain nor sleet nor snow causing the near-comical delays in routine mail deliveries around town, but something’s gone haywire.
Delivery is late and unpredictable. If my mail arrives before 3 p.m. I assume it’s yesterday’s. I think I’ll write my congressman:
“Dear Jairhead… “
(Tom Hine understands Huffman is in Congress and Wood is a State Assemblyman. But they both represent Mendocino County or at least are supposed to. TWK watches from the sidelines.)
SUPES OK HEMP RULE DESPITE OPPOSITION
by Jim Shields
The Board of Supervisors approved a controversial Hemp Ordinance, discussed in some detail in this space two weeks ago, by a 3-to-2 vote at their Tuesday, Oct. 20 meeting.
It’s actually a 2-year pilot program with a cap of five hemp permits per year, but pot farmers fear that, among other things, pollen from male hemp will cross-pollinate with female ganja plants, thus damaging or destroying their crops by “going to seed.”
Although the Board was inundated with written objections and public comments opposed to the ordinance, only John Haschak and Ted Williams, of the 3rd and 5th Districts respectively, were moved by their arguments. Supes John McCowen, Carre Brown, and Dan Gjerde backed the proposed Hemp Ordinance.
In an attempt to alleviate fears of pot farmers that male pollen would travel from hemp cultivation sites to cannabis cultivation sites, where it would cross-pollinate with female cannabis plants, Ag Commissioner Jim Donnelly said the Ordinance would mandate the implementation of the strictest best management practices, including:
• Pollen from male hemp plants is prohibited pursuant to the ordinance.
• Cultivators should conduct regular inspections of the planting to ensure no male Industrial Hemp plants are growing outdoors. If a male hemp plant is found, the cultivator must remove the male plant from the planting area and destroy it so that no male plant material is present in the growing area.
• After hemp plants pass five to six weeks of growth and flowering has initiated, Mendocino County Agricultural Inspectors shall inspect the plantings weekly for presence of male plants. The Department of Agriculture will develop an inspection protocol to examine the cultivation and detect male industrial hemp plants.
Donnelly explained that the inspections do not entail checking entire fields but are random selections of small areas, which is the standard methodology for agricultural inspections.
When Donnelly was asked by Supe Williams if he could “guarantee” that all of these measures would succeed in protecting commercial pot from male hemp cross-contamination, Donnelly replied, “I can’t give guarantees of anything. Other counties are telling me they aren’t having any issues. I think Lake County is having some issues because they just let hemp go without restrictions, but our county is being very careful with the restrictions.”
Both Williams and Haschak indicated they would prefer delaying action on implementing the Hemp Ordinance until another county has proven that hemp and pot can co-exist successfully, at which point “we can copy them,” Williams said.
The ordinance calls for fees to offset the various costs of the hemp cultivation program. Proposed fees are intended to come before the Board later this year.
When I spoke to my resident experts on hemp farming, they were less than impressed with the County’s due diligence surrounding a number of issues, including inspection protocols. They believe the whole program is probably headed toward failure. Isn’t that surprising?
Here’s what they say on inspection.
There are two main kinds of hemp in an economic sense: industrial and medicinal.
Industrial hemp is used to make a variety of commercial and industrial products, including rope, textiles, clothing, shoes, food, paper, bioplastics, insulation, and biofuel.
Medicinal hemp is a variant of the plant Cannabis Sativa L (the same plant that produces medical marijuana). It is described as containing very low amounts of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (more commonly known as THC). This THC threshold provides the biggest differentiation between hemp and marijuana.
The Hempsters explained that the growing methods for medicinal hemp and industrial hemp are entirely different. Medical hemp is grown the same as regular pot, in stand-alone areas of single plants. Industrial hemp is usually grown the same way as field crops such as wheat, oats, alfalfa, etc. It’s not separated by rows with in-between spacing in the rows as is the case with corn. I have some familiarity with the subject since I was raised in both Illinois and California because my family owned land and homes in both states. We grew corn, soybeans, oats, and wheat on our Illinois farmland. There were also small remnants of old hemp fields left over from WWII, but I never paid much attention to them until I was a teenager in the late ‘60s and kids thought you could smoke the stuff. We all found out hemp was not pot, absolutely no high at all.
Anyway, hemp experts point out that due to the different growing methods for industrial hemp versus medicinal hemp, the former is nearly impossible to inspect for male plants because one acre of hemp would contain on average 400,000 tightly compressed plants, while the latter is super easy because they’re isolated single plantings.
So I guess if everyone grew medicinal hemp there would be little if any inspection problems, but just the opposite with industrial hemp. Interestingly enough, the Ag Commish told the Supes he would most likely need to hire extra personnel just to inspect and administer the five proposed permits to be issued for the two-year pilot program. Sound familiar?
La Niña Winter On The Way
I’m something of a semi-pro weatherman since my paper, the Mendocino County Observer, is an official recorder and keeper of weather records.
I’ve been saying since February (and the weekly U.S. Drought Monitor reports confirms it), we are in a severe drought.
Here in Mendocino County the drought has split the county almost exactly in half with the eastern area designated as “Extreme Drought,” while the west is in the “Severe Drought” category.
Interestingly enough, SoCal is in pretty good shape with the Coastal Area being drought-free, while the interior to the Eastern Sierras is classified in a range from “Abnormally Dry” to “Moderate Drought.”
Over the past 20 years, California has had three stretches of short-term drought: 2000-2003, 2007-2009 and 2012 to 2016. Former Gov. Jerry Brown declared the 2012-2016 drought over when reservoirs, lakes, and rivers filled after a series of huge storms and above average rainfall in 2017.
But a recent study concludes that we may have been wrong in our assessment of the duration of droughts. Some experts now argue that some droughts should be measured in decades not years. So it looks more like the three individual droughts starting in 2000, when viewed in the larger scale, are really just one long drought interrupted by several years of wet weather. Interesting theory.
Regardless of how one measures the length of droughts, Felicia Marcus, former chairwoman of the State Water Resources Control Board, says that California needs to accelerate reforms that came out of that drought. Those include building more off-stream reservoirs to capture water in wet years, expanding conservation programs like paying people to replace lawns with water-efficient landscaping, recycling more wastewater for irrigation and other uses, capturing storm water, and other solutions. Because even when it seems like a drought may be over, it will return, she said.
“We’ve already had the wakeup call of the century in our drought, and this study is just more evidence of the fact that we need to light a fire under our efforts,” Marcus said. “We are living in something of a dreamworld. Modern California — our economy, agriculture and our ecosystems — are built around water. This is just one more alert that business as usual just won’t cut it. How many reminders do we need?”
Anyway, this winter is for sure a La Niña event according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which should mean a cold and stormier winter than normal for Northern California and up through Western Oregon and Washington while the southern tier stays drier, with warmer than average temperatures.
It’s gearing up with Mendocino County being the dividing line in California, where everything south of us (and probably including us) should be dry and a mild winter.
All right, there you have it, winter weather is now known to all, make your plans accordingly.
(Jim Shields is the Mendocino County Observer’s editor and publisher, and is also the long-time district manager of the Laytonville County Water District. Listen to his radio program “This and That” every Saturday at 12 noon on KPFN 105.1 FM, also streamed live: http://www.kpfn.org)
POST BY MO MULHEREN, a highly debatable history of Mendo's female supervisors:
Against the backdrop of the natural resources issues of their time, let’s meet these five women who stepped into the arena of local power and public service, who toughed out policy decisions of lasting impact on the families and communities they represented.
Marilyn Butcher, 1st District, 1983—1992
The same year Sally Ride became the fated first American woman to launch into space, Butcher made local history as the first woman launched into public service as an appointee. The following year, she made local history again as the first woman elected to the board of supervisors. A proponent of private property rights, Butcher lost her bid for a third term after a vitriolic campaign between pro-growth and no-growth citizens, some of the latter enraged by her support for housing developments and a Walmart store in Ukiah.
A longtime friend called Butcher “a walking ice-breaker.” An extrovert and former TWA stewardess on the first transcontinental flights in the days when the job was glamorous, Butcher traveled the world before settling down in 1962 on a pear farm in the Ukiah Valley with her high-school sweetheart and husband, Gene. Her mother was a suffragette. Soon after Butcher settled in Ukiah, she embraced Republican causes and campaigns that led to her board appointment.
During her first term, the conservative board approved, according to a news account, the conversion of 13,000 acres of agriculture, timber and range land for development, much of it for hundreds of new homes and apartments in inland Mendocino County.
But the board shifted left during her second term when the environmental movement was swelling. In Mendocino County, Georgia Pacific and other timber companies had shaved the county’s hillsides of their forests at an alarming rate, which inspired the historic Redwood Summer of 1990 when thousands of protestors—desperate to save remaining patches of old-growth forests—spiked trees and blocked logging machinery. Butcher feared violence. She wanted the board to pass a proposed urgency ordinance that would regulate the size and composition of handles used for protest signs so they couldn’t be used as weapons. The ordinance did not pass.
As planning progressed for the giant protest, Butcher found herself at odds with new board member Liz Henry (Henry’s daughter joined the protest). In an effort to calm her colleagues’ mounting alarm, Henry organized a meeting between protestors, loggers, and the county board. At the meeting, according to news coverage, protest leader Judi Bari listed how organizers would ensure the protests remained peaceful, but then she reminded timber owners and loggers of their “lynch mob mentality” and said anonymous threats against her could have been made by someone in the meeting. Butcher rose, threw up her hands, and with the county sheriff stormed out. She later returned.
At the time, the county budget was severely stressed, a victim of the national recession caused by the savings and loan bank crisis and a lull in construction as a result of overbuilding. Plus, California’s Prop 13 had impacted property taxes that funded county services.
Butcher beat cancer before and during her board service but died of it at age 75. John Mayfield, a friend and former county supervisor who got her involved in politics, delivered her eulogy at a standing-room-only service.
Liz Henry, 4th District, 1989—1996
Of all the female supervisors—perhaps any supervisor—Henry endured exceptionally grueling election campaigns during her two terms. The Exxon Valdez oil spill had invigorated the environmental movement, and Henry, dubbed an environmentalist, was local timber industry’s public enemy #1. Her first campaign was “brutal,” she said after it was over, with “bridges burned.” Her re-election campaign ran into headwinds created by generous timber industry support for her opponent, and she won in a recount by three votes. Then a group led by four Fort Bragg women tied to the timber industry launched a recall against her.
It was a time of timber harvest reform, and the large companies wanted none of it. On the heels of Redwood Summer, Henry, Butcher and the rest of the board unanimously approved a resolution to “stop resource depletion and gradually maximize forest productivity.” They appointed a Forest Advisory Committee to come up with harvest rules that would nudge the industry toward sustainability. But under intense industry pressure, when it came time to approve the new rules, the board no longer had the votes. It wasn’t until Henry’s second term and a revised board of supervisors that new forestry rules were approved.
Of the recall, Henry declared in a news account, “I consider that intimidation…I’m not going to let this bother me.”
Henry’s early childhood holds clues to why she never buckled. Known as Latvia Liz, as a child she fled the Holocaust and with her family settled in Crescent City, California, imbued with an unwavering respect for American freedoms. The widow of a state forester, she worked in social services in Ukiah, remarried, and was executive director of the Fort Bragg Senior Center when she ran for supervisor.
Her profession and background were suited to other volatile issues she faced on the board: illegal immigrants accused of taking scarce jobs during the recession and federal welfare reform of which she said, “They think they can legislate away poverty.”
Patti Campbell, 4th District, 1997—2004
A graduate of Fort Bragg High School and College of the Redwoods, Campbell joined the board the same year that millions worldwide mourned the deaths of Princess Diana and Mother Theresa. A Harris poll that year found that less than 10% of Americans had used the “world wide web” to access information, and Google search hadn’t yet been created.
Elected during a period of relative fiscal and political calm, the former Fort Bragg mayor and city councilor nonetheless was accused by environmentalists and her re-election campaign opponent for being too much of a collaborator.
“I’m a realist, I’m not superwoman,” she replied in a news account. “It’s not just me, it’s us working together. That’s my style.” Raised between two brothers, she said it helped her hold her own on the board. “You have to be a people person to do this job,” she said.
Forestry became more sustainable during her term. Mendocino Redwood Company bought much of Mendocino County’s timberlands in 1998 and by the end of 2000 most of it was Forest Stewardship Council certified. Conservation groups sued the state to slow unsustainable corporate logging of publicly-owned Jackson State Forest.
The bad news was the commercial fishing industry. With increasing state and federal regulation, commercial fishermen were calling it quits, and Noyo Harbor found itself having to manage abandoned boats. Campbell wanted to renew the industry, but she wouldn’t support a grading ordinance to prevent erosion from choking salmon-bearing rivers.
With recovering forestlands and more vineyards than ever before, Campbell and the board welcomed a wave of income from tourism.
Medical pot was legalized in 1996 when Campbell was campaigning for office, and it was as if someone had thrown a switch and brought the underground industry into full light of day. After that, Mendocino County had a flourishing and lucrative cash crop that was quasi-legal. By Campbell’s second term, pot was reputedly the county’s largest industry, but no one knew for sure. The county’s agricultural commissioner had included its estimated value in the annual crop report of 1980, but its inclusion caused an enormous outcry from the board of supervisors. The commissioner said the $90 million estimate needed to be included in the report because even back then the underground crop was valued second only to timber. But without accounting to back up his estimate and sentiment against him, he stepped down from the job. Instead, in an effort to corral and quantify the crop, the board developed a personal use ordinance that voters passed in 2000. Called Measure G, it allowed 25 plants per site.
The issues most associated with Campbell’s terms were manmade, the political hot potatoes of garbage and coast cellphone service. The board endured excruciating neighborhood opposition to two sites it floated for an inland garbage transfer station. The board finally settled on Taylor Drive at the south end of Ukiah. On the coast, Cellular One wanted to bring cellphone service to the tourist town of Mendocino, but the town was dead set against it. Cellular One sued the county, and the board finally approved installation of a tower in the chimney of an historic Mendocino building.
Kendall Smith, 4th District, 2005—2012
Smith entered the whirlwind of public service the same year that Hurricane Katrina decimated New Orleans with 174 mph winds. Considered liberal, she was a long-time coast employee of the county Department of Public Health who subsequently served six years as district representative for Congressman Mike Thompson before her run for a seat on the board.
Her terms were defined by two natural resource issues: sustainability of timber and fishing industries and marijuana as the county’s dominant industry. Also, she and the board made a major shift in county governance from a Chief Administrative Officer to a Chief Executive Officer. Every decision during her years on the board was weighted by the devastating impact of the 2008 recession.
The fishing industry took giant steps toward sustainability during Smith’s terms, though it was agonizing. In 2008, the federal government nearly sank it by closing commercial salmon fishing for two years. Quotas and other restrictions followed. Then the state placed parts of the county’s richest fishing grounds into marine protected areas. Smith worked closely with outraged fishery groups, trying to balance their needs with environmental protections that would ensure commercial fishing could endure. “Quite a bit of learning and study goes into that to really understand what those various perspectives are,” she said.
A new community model of timber harvesting was being floated as well. “It went from ‘take as much as you can’ to how to have that become a sustainable economy,” with a holistic model that considers wildlife corridors, the role of tan oak trees, and the interface with fishing, she said.
Smith joined the board of the local Redwood Forest Foundation soon after she took office. The foundation’s 50,000-acre Usal forest sells carbon credits and sustainably harvests trees. “The whole issue of carbon sequestration has become a new economic factor in timber management,” Smith said.
Tempering the turn toward sustainability of the county’s traditional natural resources was the marijuana industry. Now a monoculture valued at $1.5 billion in a 2008 San Francisco Chronicle article, it had become the economic engine of the county. But there were serious downsides. Citizens complained about smell, deteriorating neighborhoods, shootouts, and pot wealth that did not benefit their communities. They demanded regulation. Before the state legalized pot in 2016, Smith and the board began a confusing series of regulations that, at one point, allowed 99 plants with zip ties. The ties could be purchased from the sheriff after an inspection.
The economic collapse “made decision-making very difficult,” said Smith. “When you have economic impacts such as the 2008 recession or the current pandemic, these things are going to challenge the strengths and resiliency of local government.”
Smith took flak for not joining county employees in taking a 10% pay cut, but she defended her decision. “The board of supervisors is the only group of employees that has received no raises over the past three years,” she said. “If I had received the same raises that other elected officials have, even with the 10% pay cut I would be making more than I am now.” Her response was met with jeers.
A silver lining was that voters taxed themselves to permanently rescue the county library system.
Carre Brown, 1st District, 2009—2020
A rancher, Brown joined Smith on the board as the housing bubble burst and the country—and county—were thrown into recession. The fifth generation descendant of a pioneering family whose patriarch helped found the Savings Bank of Mendocino County and was shot and killed by robbers while delivering a payroll via stagecoach, she was nicknamed Farmer Brown.
The nickname referred to Mendocino County’s traditional agriculture though, not the new one—marijuana. During her tenure, it was legalized and spread through the county’s forests and ranchlands at an unprecedented rate. By her third term, the value of the marijuana cash crop reportedly had far outstripped all other local industries combined by multiples. Citizen complaints continued unabated. Brown supported state legalization but said large commercial grows “are out of control” and have caused “serious public health and safety issues and environmental damage.”
When running for her third term, she said marijuana and groundwater would be her priorities.
But back-to-back natural disasters, exacerbated by climate change, grabbed center stage throughout her terms. On the heels of the recession came historic drought followed by wildfire that devastated Brown’s district of Redwood and Potter Valleys, followed by other wildfires and utility power shutoffs.
“When I look back at my terms of office, it’s been quite a journey,” said Brown of the past 12 years.
Two natural disasters forced her into emergency leadership. Brown was losing sleep because Brooktrails and Willits had just weeks of water left, so she convened a meeting of water managers and then persuaded the supervisors to declare a county drought emergency. “Boy did that turn into something,” she said. Brown made national and international news, and the county gained more than $6 million in drought resiliency funding.
She jumped to action again in 2017 when the deadly Redwood Valley Complex fire ignited across the irrigation ditch behind her ranch and decimated her district. “Our communities and our land are worth saving,” she said as she joined a host of federal, state, county and volunteer helpers to manage the crisis.
She safeguarded the Potter Valley Project that supplies electricity and water to her district as well as communities to the southern county line and beyond. “It’s an economic engine that runs year-round for our county. It’s not seasonal like tourism,” she said.
Brown noted the enormous amount of reading required to prep for every board meeting. “I have always felt that if you do not study then you are not doing your job,” said Brown.
ED NOTE: Where’s Georgeanne Croskey?
PLEASE ask the governor to calm down, and while you're writing to him, ask him to appear less frequently on television. Talk about over-exposed. So here's Nanny Newsom with how to do Thanksgiving: “Must be held outside; Guests may use bathrm inside if sanitized (Like who does the certifying?); Masks on while not eating; Singing strongly discouraged (Group song? At Thanksgiving?) Max of two hours together; 6 feet mandated in all directions b/twn all at table & otherwise.
PG&E is a privately-owned “public utility” that should have been publicly-owned at inception given our dependence on it, so here we are this weekend with much of NorCal going dark to spare PG&E's private shareholders liability if PG&E's haphazardly maintained lines spark off another killer fire.
BORAT 2 is consistently funny even with his usual detours into gross vulgarity mixed in with the inspired stuff. Maria Bakalova, an heretofore unknown Bulgarian actress plucked from obscurity by Borat/Cohen, is wonderful as Borat's daughter in the funniest performance you'll ever see by an actress.
EVERYONE'S TALKING ABOUT the Borat 2 scene with Rudy Giuliani, a painfully memorable bit of grotesquerie that made me (and millions of others) wonder how Borat and his daughter penetrated Giuliani's inner sanctum, and will wonder indefinitely if Giuliani indeed hoped to penetrate Borat's "daughter," as he appeared poised to do as she posed as a bimbo reporter and they retreated together to a bedroom of the big shot's suite, Giuliani delivering an overly familiar dirty old man's pat to the actress's lower back.
GIULIANI: “The Borat video is a complete fabrication. I was tucking in my shirt after taking off the recording equipment. At no time before, during, or after the interview was I ever inappropriate. If Sacha Baron Cohen implies otherwise he is a stone-cold liar.”
COHEN: “I would say that if the President’s lawyer found what he did there appropriate behavior, then heaven knows what he’s done with other female journalists in hotel rooms. I just urge everyone to watch the movie. It is what it is. He did what he did. And make your own mind up. It was pretty clear to us.”
I'D SAY COHEN is more correct. I don't know about you boys but I've never had to lie down on a bed to tuck my shirt in, and do it with both hands down to the lower-pills area of my anatomy.
WOMEN FOR MO, MADGE, GLENN…
Maureen “Mo” Mulheren has been endorsed by the Mendocino Women’s Political Coalition. Mo has become an exemplary leader in our community. We have been impressed by Mo's leadership on the Ukiah City Council and her ability to communicate effectively and consistently with her constituents.
Mo takes time to volunteer in the community and engage with her constituents at regular coffee meetings and on social media. We are impressed with her role in creating transparency and engagement with her Ukiah constituents as well as gaining the respect of regional leaders through her service on regional boards and commissions.
Last year when she served as Mayor, the meetings were run efficiently and smoothly. As the only woman on the City Council for the last five years, she has shown us that she can more than hold her own in any setting.
Born and raised in Ukiah, she has deep roots in the community and is proud to be raising her family here. Protecting their future and ensuring their quality of life motivates her to advocate for the region’s economic well-being and natural resources. As an entrepreneur and local business owner, she understands the challenges our community faces and will use her deep community involvement and relationships to address the most pressing economic, housing, and healthcare issues.
The goal of the Mendocino Women’s Political Coalition is to increase women’s participation in the political process and to identify, recruit, train and support pro-choice women for election and appointment to public office.
Madge Strong has been endorsed by the Mendocino Women’s Political Coalition.
Madge Strong is an incumbent, having served on Willits City Council for the past eight years. Her past experience in a State planning agency and as a professional land use & economic consultant has made her especially well-qualified to help Willits meet its budget, economic and land use challenges ahead.
She will continue to advocate for forward-thinking policies, with priorities for increasing housing, supporting our local economy, and reducing our City’s environmental footprint. Recognizing the limits of our staff and budget, she is a practical leader who listens to and seeks input from the diverse Willits community.
The goal of the Mendocino Women’s Political Coalition is to increase women’s participation in the political process and to identify, recruit, train and support pro-choice women for election and appointment to public office.
Glenn McCourty has been endorsed by the Mendocino Women’s Political Coalition.
Glenn McGourty is a farmer, applied scientist, and educator dedicated to a more prosperous and sustainable Mendocino County. Glenn’s professional and volunteer projects benefit our communities and have been marked by his leadership, ingenuity, and evidence-based decision making. Glenn and his wife Jan live in a restored farmhouse on 16 acres of orchard, vineyard, and riparian woodland along the Russian River. They love the rural community and scenic beauty of Mendocino County, where they raised 3 children, and Spirit Canyon Ranch, where they grow walnuts, olives, and wine grapes organically.
Glenn has spent most of his life in public service as a University of California academic researcher and educator - helping the people who farm, ranch, garden, and are stewards of the land in Mendocino County to better understand its complex ecology.
Serving on the boards of numerous local, state and national organizations, he has learned the incredible power government can have in making people’s lives better.
The goal of the Mendocino Women’s Political Coalition is to increase women’s participation in the political process and to identify, recruit, train and support pro-choice women for election and appointment to public office.
Val Muchowski, Chair
Mendocino Women’s Political Coalition
CATCH OF THE DAY, October 25, 2020
ROGER ALCALA, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation.
CHARLES DAVIS, Ukiah. Failure to appear.
JENNIFER GARCIA, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
THOMAS HANNAH, Ukiah. Grand theft, appropriation of lost property without trying to return it.
KIMBERLEE LEBLANC, Chico/Ukiah. DUI.
ANTONIO MUNOZ, Redwood Valley. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
TIMOTHY OLSON, Inverness/Ukiah. DUI, suspended license.
TWO UKIAH HIGH CLASSMATES
by Malcolm Macdonald
A couple weeks back I shared a “why I am voting” opinion from a man I coached and taught when he was a teen in the 1980s. As something of a counterpoint, let's take a look at information and opinion shared with me by two people I went to high school with in Ukiah lo these many decades ago. One of them attended many of the same junior high classes with me at the old Pomolita Junior High School on Dora Street. Anyone else remember being in Mrs. Inscho's English and History classes? There were a handful or two or three of Pomolita and Ukiahi alumni who went on to attend UC Davis at more or less the same time with me.
One of those fellow Davis graduates is adept at spotting interesting, intriguing, and usually timely things that are out there for all to read on the internet, but most of us miss or skip over for a variety of reasons. When this fellow alumnus from decades gone by shares something I have learned to pay attention.
Avid readers may recognize this relatively brief Wall Street Journal critique of Facebook: “In August, a Buzzfeed exposé detailed how one Facebook employee was allegedly fired after collecting evidence of the company giving preferential treatment to right-wing pages. Internal company documents leaked to NBC also showed that Facebook relaxed its fact-checking standards for conservative news outlets and personalities, including Breitbart and former Fox News stooges Diamond and Silk, so that they wouldn’t be penalized for spreading misinformation.
“And so Facebook continues to miss the bar when it comes to content moderation on its platform, stymieing coverage from legitimate outlets while simultaneously failing to keep dangerous conspiracy theories and misinformation from running amok...”
The second reference to a classmate from Ukiah derives from my high school golf teammate Paul Weyland. Paul graduated two years behind myself and my fellow UC Davis alumna referenced above. Golf was serious business in Ukiah. Teammates like Paul, Mark Sparso, Verl Steppe, Mike Gulyash, Bo Strong, Dave Kucz and others played the sport as close to 365 days a year as weather allowed. Bo along with his older and younger brothers received college scholarships based on their golf playing abilities. Mark, Verl, Mike, and I went on to win a junior college championship.
Paul Weyland's post college career led him into a long stint as a federal agent, often working in an undercover capacity. Though he has been retired from such endeavors for some time it's probably best not to reveal too much detail about Paul's undercover efforts. The fact that guns were often involved should tell you enough. Anyone who ever watched Paul ram a three foot, steeply downhill putt into the back of the cup against an archrival Napa High golfer knows his fearlessness. I should add for full disclosure, having been his playing partner when I was a high school senior and he was a sophomore, and having witnessed one of those “ram job” three foot downhill putts pop out of the cup and trickle four feet or more farther downhill, I chided Paul on more than one occasion for being foolish. In hindsight I'd have to say that sometimes it takes a combination of a little foolishness and a lot of fearlessness to survive figuratively on the golf course and as an undercover agent.
Paul retired from that life to become a teaching golf professional in Idaho. More specifically, Paul can be described as a performance coach for golf. He does this in Boise. Retired undercover agent, golf pro as second career, doesn't really sound like someone who would publicly post the following:
“Since 2019 the FBI has designated conspiracy theories like QAnon and Pizzagate a serious domestic-terrorist threat to our country. In addition, the FBI and Homeland Security have designated hate groups, neo-nazis and white supremacists as domestic terrorist groups that currently pose a greater threat to our country than any foreign terrorists.
“Recently the FBI in cooperation with local and state law enforcement in Michigan indicted at least 14 people belonging to these white supremacy, anti government, para-military, fascist groups on federal and state charges who were planning and training to kidnap and kill the governors of Michigan and Virginia. Luckily the great people of the FBI working undercover and using informants were able to thwart their plan and make arrests.
“Yet we have a President who retweets these conspiracy theories from QAnon and will not clearly and specifically denounce white supremacists and these dangerous extremist groups, because they all clearly support him. He continues to criticize governors, even calling for the Governor of Michigan to be “Locked Up.” This rhetoric is encouraging this type of behavior from these extremists, and he is encouraging domestic terrorism in the US.
“As a former Federal Agent I find this disgusting, appalling, and unacceptable on every level. No matter who is doing this Democratic, Republican, or independent, the people of this country need to fix it at the polls and go vote now.
“People who support these groups and agree with their ideology are not American. They are psycho maniacs. I hope none of you on my social media accounts believe in QAnon or support extremists. If you do, unfriend me now, because you are not my friend, and I want no association with you.”
Given that Paul lives and works in Idaho there may be a business backlash for making this statement publicly. I asked Paul if he'd mind having his words republished here. His response, “I'd be honored.”
Anyone interested in what Paul is all about should check out paulweylandgolf.com and scroll down to the “About Paul Weyland” video and watch it all the way through to the end to understand the person, his character, and his sense of humor. Watch and listen all the way to the “Romeo, it's a gust from the gods,” line and you'll get a bit of the flavor of what he was like as a teenager and the man he is today. You may end up wanting to revisit the film Tin Cup as well.
(To find out more about the author, consult malcolmmacdonaldoutlawford.com.)
BOB ABELES' PICKS
Here are my selections for the 2020 CA ballot propositions:
14 -NO- Once upon a time I was a dewey-eyed youth who saw this type of spending as a good thing. No more. My experience has taught me that this type of bond measure is simply a scheme to put public money into the hands of private business. If stem cell research is as promising as I believe it is, private businesses should be able and willing to fund the research themselves. After all, under our crapolicious health care system they stand to reap obscene profits.
15 -YES- I believe that it is right and proper to close the loophole in 13 that allows commercial property owners to pay far less than their share.
16 -NO- It’s difficult to see how 16 makes any practical difference one way or the other.
17 -YES- It is the right thing to do. Once someone has served their sentence, their punishment should end. Otherwise, how would redemption be possible?
18 -NO- Silly and unwieldy.
19 -NO- Looks like more gravy for the wealthy. NO.
20 -NO- The old “hit them harder” ploy, not buying it.
21 -NO- This isn’t the housing solution we’ve been looking for.
22 -NO NO NO NO- Not having anything polite to say about Uber and their attempt to legislate their business plan, I’ll just say it again: NO!
23 -YES- If you’ve ever seen the inside of one of these dialysis shitholes you’ll immediately understand why oversight is badly needed.
24 -YES- The more privacy protection, the better.
25 -YES- Stick it to the bail bondsmen and all the other fine folk who profit from pre-trial incarceration.
Thanks for reading, and please get out there and Vote Like Your Life Depended on It.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
So long as half the country thinks that the Democratic Party provides a valid and valuable public service, Deep State actors who act on behalf of monied interests have the political cover they need.
So, no worries for Hillary, Comey, Brennan, Clapper and their ilk, they stand straight and tall, real marines all of them, because in the estimation of the fools that vote status quo they are the best of the best of the best, patriots one and all, fighting for what’s just and right, in defense of Democracy and the Constitution of the United States of America.
What a joke. It’s hard to believe that so many people are so delusional, especially racial minorities – the most stalwart Democrat voters – who really think the Democrats act in the interest of the downtrodden when the opposite is true. How long will it take before these people see what’s right under their noses?
I was just reading some of Orwell’s stuff on the nature of British society, and in certain passages he refers to monied interests and to permanent members of the governing bureaucracy and the military who he sez would rebel if real economic and democratic reforms were enacted, in other words the Deep State, such as it existed at the time. And what we’ve seen is that very same rebellion in the United States at the election of Donald Trump by that very same class of people that Orwell was talking about.
Why so? Not that Trump threatened to reform governing institutions, but rather he threatened existing economic and trade and investment arrangements, that is, he spoke in favor of the interests of the American working class, those formerly employed in that huge swathe of America that used to be home to vast industrial operations that have been moved to China and Mexico and other places to the great detriment of those millions of American workers.
Of course Trump also spoke in favor of America’s interest generally, something not done in polite and enlightened society where talk of national interest is regarded as retrograde, redolent of past times when gays and Blacks were persecuted and moms were under the thumb of abusive and authoritarian husbands.
See, depictions as in Leave it to Beaver and Ozzie and Harriet you see were made-for-TV propaganda designed to distract from the oppressive reality of everyday life. This is according to a certain set of academics and ideologues.
But I was there and I saw up close when Dad had a job and Mom could depend on him and could stay home and take care of us. And there were many, many millions just like me. Were things better for most of us back then? You bet they were. Have things gone to shit since then? You bet they have. And the Democrats were NO less guilty in what took place than their political counterparts.
GROWING CONCERNS ABOUT STIMULUS AND THE CORONAVIRUS
The market has fallen to session lows with the S&P 500 now down 1.6%. Ten of its 11 sectors are down more than 1.0%, including four that are down over 2.0%.
Last week, there was hope that a stimulus deal was nearing completion but that optimism has been almost eradicated after it was reported that talks remain deadlocked. Both sides are reportedly accusing each other of moving the goal posts, and NEC Director Kudlow recently said that many parts of House Speaker Pelosi's plan are still unacceptable to the White House.
To make matters worse for the market, the U.S. tallied a record high in daily coronavirus cases over the weekend, which is threatening more lockdowns in regional hotspots. Highly-populated counties in Illinois, for example, have been under renewed business restrictions since last week.
Despite arguments made from fiscal conservatives that the economy can't sustain more debt, many businesses and households could definitely benefit from short-term help, as many Fed officials have clearly said for many weeks and months. That could have long-term net benefits.
— Briefing.com (Monday morning)