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Mendocino County Today: March 23, 2012


THE FOLLOWING notice was sent out to Mendocino County employees today (Thursday) by County CEO Carmel Angelo: “Over the past few months, we have identified some key areas to improve upon. Communication is number one. With that, the Executive Office and HHSA have hired Jendi Coursey of Indigo Studios and Sarah Bodnar of Social Media Sisters to develop a County-wide communication plan. We'll focus on improving transparency, collaboration and effectiveness, both internally (among staff) and externally (with the public). Jendi and Sarah will be reaching out to people at all levels of our organization to learn what's working and what isn't. Please share your thoughts with them. If you have questions about this process, contact Dora Briley at or Kristi Furman at”

SO, THE COUNTY lays off lots of people, reduces everyone’s pay, preaches austerity then, just as 18 months of management-worker rancor subsides, Ms. Angelo hires a couple of insiders to do what? Communicate. Communicate what to whom?

YEARS AGO, when the County was about to buy a complicated computer system “to enhance communications between department heads,” Supervisor Pinches suggested, “If you have something to say to so-and-so, why not just walk down the hallway and say it? And if it’s too far to walk, pick up the telephone.”

NO ONE HAS RESPONDED to our inquiries asking if these are permanent hires, how much their pay will be, or if the supervisors approve the deal?

JARED HUFFMAN, front runner to replace Mike Thompson as the reconfigured Northcoast district’s Congressman, has been endorsed by Barney Frank, long-time gofer for the One Percent, specifically Wall Street and the biggest, crooked-est banks.

RICHARD KRUSE, the freshly convicted Albion child molester, may face additional charges. Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Detective Andrew Porter, speaking to the Ukiah Daily Journal’s Tiffany Revelle, said Wednesday, “We have a number of reports that are inactive. If we get enough information to move forward, we will.” Sheriff's detectives filed a criminal complaint with the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office in 2010 on as many as six additional reports alleging that Kruse had sexually abused “multiple children over the course of several years.” Porter confirmed the other allegations. “I questioned him about between half a dozen and 10 different girls, but we didn't have disclosure for them,” Porter said of his 2010 investigative effort. “But where there's smoke, there's fire.” Porter said he isn't actively pursuing any of the prior reports, but “it's a waiting game right now” to see if others will come forward with enough information to bring further charges against Kruse. The statute of limitations for lewd and lascivious acts with a child is 10 years after the victim's 18th birthday, according to Porter. Kruse was convicted of molesting a 7-year-old girl between August 1st, 2007 and May 30, 2008. The jury did not convict Kruse of a charge that he committed sex acts with a child younger than 10, which could have put him in prison for life.

AFTER THE VERDICT, the primary victim’s stepmother released a statement saying the girl's family is pleased with the outcome. “For over 30 years Rick has sexually abused little innocent girls and used the nice guy disguise to cover the evil and twisted man that he really is,” she wrote. “He had us and many others fooled, that's for sure. We trusted him, and he took advantage of that. I hope the other girls can now find the strength and courage to come forward. With Rick behind bars, they don't have to be afraid anymore. Rick could spend the rest of his life in prison and it wouldn't be enough to pay for the wrong that he has done. At least our daughter will now be able to move forward and heal without the fear of Rick lurking behind her.”

KRUSE will be sentenced on May 25.

MRS. DEBRA KRUSE, 59, was arrested March 15 on suspicion of attempting to dissuade a witness from testifying. She is alleged to have made harassing calls to the mother of Sara Peterson who testified that Kruse molested her more than 30 years ago when she was 6.

Palace Hotel

ANOTHER REPRIEVE for the Palace Hotel. The Ukiah City Council has given the owner of the three-story relic in the center of town another month to do something in the way of rehabbing the structure or at least preventing it from further deterioration. The building’s owner is a Marin County woman named Eladia Laines. Ms. Laines said last month vandals had broken into the boarded hulk to vandalize it. She spoke of female backpackers spotted by unidentified witnesses who said the women had been hacking into the roof to gain access to the interior, implying that it was these mysterious Amazons who’d damaged the premises into their present dilapidated state. It would cost the City of Ukiah an estimated $1 million or more to make basic repairs and install a seismic retrofit, money the City doesn’t have. Laines now claims she has investors who want to revive the Palace, which she said could cost some $7 million.

TRANSPARENCY! Effectiveness! Collaboration!

Efficiency! Education! Communication!

No money! No cash!

Budgets we must slash!

Except for — of course! — Administration.

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