DIRT GATE! The Mendocino County Transit Authority dumped 2,500 yards of contaminated dirt at the Ukiah Fairgrounds, passing it off as “clean fill.” Prediction: MTA’s ineffable manager, Bruce Richard, will deny all knowledge as he assigns blame at the foot of the chain of command, far from himself. Whatever Richard claims, and while he’s claiming it, the dirt will be hauled outtahere beginning Monday. The landfills at Novato and Vacaville will get the fuel-soaked soil, which Outtahere charges about $20 a ton to offload.
RICHARD is building himself a combined new bus barn and admin structure at the MTA bus barns on deep South State Street, Ukiah. The “system” is heavily tax-subsidized and irrelevant to most Mendocino County working people because it doesn’t run to and from Ukiah at normal work hours. For example, the bus departs Boonville after 10am and returns from Ukiah at 4pm, handy for the retired and the local leisure class but inconvenient to the employed. If the bus left the Coast at 6am and Ukiah at 6pm more people would ride. But the MTA, like several other County bureaucracies, especially the school bureaucracies, has itself as its first priority.
A THOUSAND marijuana plants, $30,000, a hundred pounds of processed bud, two guns, and some 60 gro lights were seized Thursday in the 1300 block of Hastings Road, Ukiah, and from another address in Calpella. The usual array of local cops comprised the raid team. They arrested Jedaiah (sic) Black, 36, of Ukiah when he drove up to his Hastings Road business. An associate of Black’s is being sought.
THIS RAID, like many others these days, is a mini-bonanza for Mendocino County as it funds a lot of law enforcement stuff the taxpayers would otherwise be stuck paying for. The confiscated $30,000 cash will go to local law enforcement under DA Eyster’s policy of trading cash and goods seized in drug raids for misdemeanor charges, although the ethics of a DA selling gro lights might need some fancy euphemizing. If the bustee doesn’t want to play tradesies, he can take his chances on a trial where, after much more expense to him in legal fees, he’ll probably lose and pick up a felony in the bargain. Eyster’s way spares the defendant the felony conviction if he pleads out and gives up the money and re-saleable property seized when he was busted, and it spares the taxpayers the expense of all the costs associated with lengthy legal processes.
HIGHWAY 128 near Cloverdale at Cooley Lane was closed Saturday morning about 7:30 a.m. when a huge fir fell across the road, taking live power wires with it. CalTrans said 128 would probably stay closed until midnight. A late-season pounding rain driven by heavy winds brought the tree crashing down.
EILEEN MITRO is the Mendocino County coordinator for the California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act initiative, which needs a half-million valid signatures to qualify for the November ballot. If the initiative passes, foods containing genetically altered ingredients would have to say so on their labels. It almost goes without saying, that the initiative is popular in Mendocino County, and you can find qualifying petitions anywhere My Body, My Temple types gather.
TUNE THIS ONE IN: Sheila Dawn’s nifty little film on foreclosures on Mendocino Coast TV’s channel 3, on Wednesday, April 4th at 7pm. Ms. Dawn’s piece will soon be on-line at mendocoasttv.org.
THE FORT BRAGG Advocate made a “news” item on their website last week by simply posting a link to the Coast Hospital’s website’s agenda page — no fuss, no muss. One of the Hospital policies to be discussed is “Observation Patient.” Really? Live from the emergency room? Then there's “Financial Performance Improvement Plan: Mr. Raymond Hino, CEO.” Which, given the precarious state of Coast Hospital finances, is undoubtedly the heart of the meeting, but you'd never know that from the Advocate’s “news” link. Next week we’re looking forward to a “news” link to the Board minutes — especially the “nothing to report” items as the trustees, fresh blood dripping from their clothes, emerge from closed session.
IT DOESN’T TAKE very much skill
To blame it all on the usual shill
Why all the fuss?
It smelled fine to us!
We’re used to inhaling dirtfill