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Mendocino County Today: March 14, 2012

LEONARD CIRINO has died. Leonard, the well-known Albion poet, had suffered from cancer, and passed away two weeks ago in Springfield, Oregon where he'd lived for the past ten years.

THE FATAL 2010 shooting of Shane Michael Hutchins by Deputy Jason Cox was “objectively reasonable,” District Attorney David Eyster announced Monday. Hutchins, 32, was being sought for a six-month crime spree that included rape, assault, kidnapping, burglary, and auto theft in Mendocino, Lake and Kern counties. Hutchins had spent most of his adult life in prison. He was shot by Cox in Fort Bragg when, trapped at the back door of the home where he'd been hiding, Hutchins, according to Cox, had reached into his waistband as if for a weapon, at which point Cox shot him. Hutchins turned out not to be armed, but police had been advised that he'd told family and friends that he would not be returned to prison and probably was armed.

A USEFUL PROTEST convened at the Mendocino County Administration Building Monday morning reminded homeowners to scrutinize their deeds of trust for “falsified and fraudulent filings by banks,” in the words of Susan Nutter, one of the demonstrators quoted in a Ukiah Daily Journal story on the protest. It isn't as well known as it should be, but many foreclosures have been based on flawed or falsified documents.

GOLDILOCKS, the update. And not a particularly encouraging update, truth be told as it always must. Several callers said they'd seen Miss Audet in the Fort Bragg-Cleone area and in Mendocino. Informed that the Boonville newspaper was both curious and concerned about her, Miss Audet declined the offer of a loaned cell phone to ring us up. Which doesn't surprise us because her affairs are absolutely none of our business, and only the public's business when she is arrested. And she's been arrested for varieties of drunk in public an awful lot for a person her age, which is only 22. She was jailed in Mendocino County for the first time when she was 19. She's living awfully hard for a kid. One caller said Miss Audet was now living with a “dirtbag” on Babcock Lane, Fort Bragg, which at least gets her out of the rain but is unlikely to help her in any other way, and may further imperil her. The dirtbag certainly looks like a dirtbag, but who can tell anymore what a person is really like from appearances, what with the whole country looking like a costume ball of the joyless type. Maybe Mr. Bag, even if he looks like a cannibal, took the girl in out of some residual humanitarian instinct, but my advice to you Miss Audet is run don't walk from Babcock Lane. From the many calls we've received about Miss Audet it's encouraging that we aren't the only people uneasy about her well-being.

A PHOTO OF SHERIFF ALLMAN appeared on the cover of the Sunday Chron's Insight section. A wanted poster of the late Aaron Bassler was prominent in the photo's forefront. Inside, was a lengthy discussion of Laura's Law, which would provide community-based, assisted outpatient treatment for the most volatile individuals loose at any one time in a county jurisdiction. Agitation for Mendocino County to adopt Laura's Law began with the Bassler affair, and has since spread to the Bay Area where a schizophrenic young man recently beat a senior citizen to death with garden planter in the senior's driveway. The kid had been dangerously off for years but, like Bassler, there was nothing for him in the way of help. But the problem with Laura's Law, as we see it, is that it leaves out the basic reality that seriously disturbed persons, as we used to understand in this country, have to first be sequestered in lock-up facilities before they can even begin to be re-tooled. If, they can be re-tooled. Simply making it the law that a crazy person must report for therapy will not work. Which is why Sheriff Allman, and sheriffs everywhere in the land, must devote a good part of their jails to caring for the mentally ill, and the cops will be the first to say that jails are not a good place for disturbed people. At some point, this state will have to revive the state hospital system. The old state hospital at Talmage was always available to local patients, and what a boon it would be to Mendocino County today if it still existed. The old assumption was that persons unable or unwilling to care for themselves were compelled to a state hospital facility. What happened to that one?

SPEAKING OF MENTAL ILLNESS, the Mendocino County Republican Central Committee will meet next Wednesday, March 21st, 7-9pm at the Moura Senior Complex, 400 South Street, Fort Bragg. Info at (707) 321-2592.

THE ‘RIVER VIEWS’ column that many of you have been reading for years will no longer be published in The Mendocino Beacon. As of March 14, 2012 it will appear in the Anderson Valley Advertiser. An explanation about the move will be contained within the first column in the Anderson Valley Advertiser. Subscription information for the Anderson Valley Advertiser can be obtained at: ava@pacific.net. Or by using the ‘subscribe’ button on this website’s main page. You can also call them at 707-895-3016. If you decide to subscribe let them know you are a River Views reader. Thanks and a happy Spring forward to you all, MalcolmMacdonaldOutlawFord.com — Malcolm MacDonald / River Views

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