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Mendocino County Today: Thursday, May 13, 2021

Warm Inland | 15 New Cases | Possible Murder | Major Injuries | Belligerent Nation | Hawk Housing | Sherwood Driver | Need Food | Mama Tree | Flea Market | Secret Investigations | Zumba AV | Water Storage | Big River | Ed Notes | Mendocino Timber | Stolen Jeep | Giant Redwood | Yesterday's Catch | Hoarding | Cliche Words | Log Train | Groundwater Meeting | Mom Bucket | Water Use | Cat Chat | Going Down | Israel/Palestine | Gluten Free | Orange Disease | Wistful Snoopy | Ed Harriman | Boonville Gym | My Mother | Mental Health

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VERY WARM INLAND TEMPERATURES will continue through today, with a gradual cool-down into early next week. Coastal areas will remain seasonable with late night and morning low clouds and patchy fog each day. Isolated thunderstorms are possible over Trinity County Friday afternoon and evening. Light rain is also possible across Del Norte County late on Tuesday in Wednesday. Otherwise, little if any rainfall is expected for the next week. (NWS)

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15 NEW COVID CASES reported in Mendocino County yesterday afternoon.

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BREAKING: Late Wednesday night more than half a dozen police vehicles raced through downtown Boonville heading toward the Coast. Choppy scanner traffic mentioned a possible murder on Philo-Greenwood Road shortly thereafter. Then a request for medical transport. 

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JUST IN: Hamas offered truce last night via the Russian foreign ministry, requesting ceasefire on a 'mutual basis' after they launched more than 1,000 rockets since Monday, killing seven Israeli civilians. But Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed his troops are committed to a long operation which is bound to 'increase in force' despite outcry from the UN as the Palestinian death toll continues to climb - 67 people have been killed, including more than a dozen children. 'The campaign is still far from over,' a cabinet minister told Israeli news site Ynet last night. 'Whatever we don't do now, we will have to do in six months or a year from now.' Plans for a ground invasion were being drafted for Israeli Defence Force Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kohavi for approval later on Thursday, according to the Jerusalem Post. If they get his sign off, the plans will be passed on to Netanyahu and his cabinet. 'This will not end in the next few days,' the cabinet minister added. 'Israel will not stop and has no interest in stopping. It is all moving in the right direction. We will act until they admit that opening fire was a mistake, just as Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah did after the Second Lebanon War in 2006.'

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Chris Skyhawk: I S O new home

Hello friends- 

I am writing in the hope of some help with my housing situation. I know this is a bit long, but… as many of you know, I have been living at Cypress Apartments in Fort Bragg for the last 9 months, still recovering from my June/2018 stroke. I am on the wait list for the new housing that is being constructed nearby. Although this has been a good living space, I am looking for a change. What I am looking for…..preferably staying in Fort Bragg as it is very convenient, there is the senior bus, and I was recently gifted a battery-operated scooter which grants me a lot of freedom, however staying in town is not essential just preferable, as I have always met my transportation needs.

My mobility is good and I now walk inside just fine w/o cane or walking stick, so I have no insurmountable access issues. Many of you know I have 12 year old twin daughters Inyo and Kiara. Their mother and I are recently, cooperatively divorced and they spend one afternoon/week with me. They are completely delightful and respectful young people.

I have some $$ to pay for rent, and I am a considerate roommate in a shared space. In spite of my stroke I remain vigorously involved in the affairs of the community, having returned to the KZYX airwaves, helping organize environmental actions, and I started a children’s youtube channel. I Thank you for reading this to the end. Please repost and share along whatever networks you think might be useful. If you know of anything contact me at or 707-409-4789.

Thank you!!

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THE DRIVER WHO REPORTEDLY FLED THE SCENE of a crash that killed a Fort Bragg man last week on Sherwood Road in Brooktrails has been identified, the California Highway Patrol reported.

According to the CHP, Aaron L. Manning, 26, of Willits, “voluntarily contacted law enforcement” the afternoon of the crash and provided a statement to officers, who are reportedly still investigating the collision that killed Paul W. Brown, 41. As of Monday morning, Manning had not been arrested.

According to the CHP, Brown was walking on the shoulder of Sherwood Road in Brooktrails around 1:40 a.m. May 7 when he was struck by a vehicle described as a 2019 silver Hyundai Accent that was heading westbound.

For reasons that are still being investigated, the Hyundai crossed over into the eastbound lane near Birch Terrace and struck Brown as he walked near the roadway. The driver fled the scene, and Brown died from his injuries.

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(Benna Kolinski)

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Families for the Forest

Please join with the families that are gathering in the woods to support the redwood forest!

Families are gathering at the Mama Tree Treesit every Saturday from 12noon to 3pm. On May 15th the plan is to bring art supplies to add messages supporting the trees to the forest. All are welcome to come learn more about all the proposals for the future of this woods and enjoy the beauty of the forest. PASS THE WORD! 

Here's what Chris Skyhawk wrote about last weeks gathering:

“Saturday May 8 at the JDSF tree sit in east Caspar that has been dubbed “mama tree” a group of children surrounded by parents and supportive community gathered at the tree sit to express concerns for their local forest and the health of their planet - the children also met with tree sitters “Bugs” and “Walker” and exchanged supportive ideas and learned from the occupants just what it is like to live in a tree. This was a small but historically significant event reflective of the growing community that is gathering around mama tree, the health of our public forest and the health of our planet. Stay tuned community!”

Directions: The Mama Tree Trees is in Caspar. It is 3 miles exactly from Highway 1, approximately 10 minutes driving, probably a few more minutes on your first visit. From Highway 1 go East on Fern Creek Road (at the duck pond) and turn right at the first chance, Caspar Orchard Road. This heads South and turns into a dirt road, at the kiosk there is a parking lot, stay right, it turns into logging road 500. Go 1.2 miles to the path to the mama Tree. There is a stick with oranges ribbons on the left. The path to the tree sit is on the right. It is 3 miles total from Highway 1, look for the sign on a tree on the right side of the road that says “Earth Allies.” There is some space to park on the side of the road. 


Anna Marie Stenberg <>

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WHY DOES MENDO need upwards of $150k to do an average of 10 highly secretive “personnel investigations” a year? 

THE COUNTY COUNSEL’S OFFICE has put out a request for proposals (RFP 013-21) from various private investigators seeking “investigation services for personnel-related matters. The purpose of the RFP is to obtain investigation services to assist County Counsel in a variety of contexts. Matters requiring investigation may include personnel matters, pending litigation, and other topics. The investigator will interview witnesses, review documents, locate and identify relevant evidence, and prepare written reports.” … “investigators work under the direction of counsel. Basic familiarity with rules of evidence, common torts, and employment law is desirable.”

Contractors are also expected to be prepared to testify in court.

The RFP Deadline was April 27. The winning Private Detective(s) selection is expected Tuesday, May 18. As far as we can tell the Supervisors have not been asked to authorize this activity or significant expenditure.

“…contractor acknowledges that the investigations and interviews undertaken under this agreement may reflect the thoughts and impressions of counsel or otherwise contain privileged and/or confidential information. Contractor agrees to keep all information obtained in connection with the performance of this agreement confidential and not publish, disclose or otherwise reveal such information without prior consent of the county, except as required by law.”

During the bidding process prospective vendors asked a few questions about the job. The answers to those questions are more interesting than the basic RFP. 

In the posted Q&A we learn that Mendo currently contracts with:

Kevan Kurt & Associates, P.C. (An insurance investigator based in Santa Rosa)

Bob Nishiyama Investigations Services (Former DEA agent and former Director of Mendo’s Drug Task Force)

Whitestar Group, Inc. (An expensive Bay Area-based investigation and security firm)

Jonah S. Walsh (a Ukiah attorney)

and, Cline Investigations, LLC (Former Mendo Sheriff’s investigator Kevin Cline)

On its website, Whitestar Group provides the following picture as an example of its services (or clients?):

Also, the County says it pays between $50 and $100 per hour with an average cost per investigation of about $17k. Further, “It is possible that the contract could include investigations concerning law enforcement personnel, but only a small minority of cases might fall into that category.” And, “Surveillance investigations are not contemplated at this time.” (Our emphasis) “Total payment to any one vendor is not expected to exceed $25,000 in any one year.”

WHY MULTIPLE CONTRACTS? “The County is seeking to contract with multiple firms to have flexibility to address schedule conflicts, conflicts of interest, etc.”

WHAT DO WE MAKE OF THIS? First, we note that these investigations are separate from and in addition to ordinary human resources personnel background and reference checks. We also note that in higher profile cases where Mendo has been sued by former employees, the County has used the much more expensive and cozy long time contract with the SF Law Firm of Cassidy, Liebert and Whitmore to do their “secret” investigations. 

SO WHAT KINDS of investigations does that leave that might occur ten times a year involving weeks worth of investigation each? On the one hand, it’s possible that these might involve workplace allegations of harassment or theft or other possible crimes and such. But if that was the case, why does Mendo have to go outside for those investigations? (Never mind, we know the answer: Because Mendo can; Mendo has the money. If money was tight these investigations, if they were done at all, would be done in-house where they can be kept even more secret. Or if the County wanted to keep a crime under the radar because it might indicate bad oversight, just tell the person to resign or face charges.) 

ON THE OTHER HAND, there’s a good chance that some of these secret “investigations” are for senior employees who are perceived to be presenting some kind of potential problem for CEO Angelo or her staff, and the CEO wants some dirt dug up on them (via her consigliere, County Counsel Christian Curtis).

AS USUAL, despite the County’s constant references to transparency, these kinds of “personnel matters” are quite secret — until somebody sues. (Nobody dares complain prior to being fired for fear of not getting a good reference, not getting severance pay, being seen as critical in some way, not having any money to pursue a claim, etc.) And then, if somebody does sue, we usually only hear one side of the story. 

TRANSPARENT MENDO never responds in public except to say, “We can’t comment, it’s a personnel matter,” or in one legal brief or another, “The plaintiff doesn’t have a case.”

THEN, after the smoke clears, years and hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees later, a settlement is quietly reached complete with confidentiality clauses.

(Mark Scaramella)

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RANDY BURKE WRITES: There is one water storage project in Gualala that is shovel ready and is being helped by Supervisor Williams and the Mendocino Rural Conservation District, and followed in depth by Deputy CEO Steve Dunicliff. Hats off to these guys, and perhaps some more in depth research to what these entities provide is in order.

MARK SCARAMELLA REPLIES: We just checked the County’s PG&E settlement projects list again and there’s nothing about any Gualala water projects on that particular list. Nor are we aware of any shovel ready Mendo projects having been submitted to the state for funding. Better get ’em in soon before the money’s gone.

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Big River, 1900

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MEDIA NOTE: The Press Democrat's story on the plane retrieval from Lake Mendocino was single-sourced — Justine Frederickson's story in the Ukiah Daily Journal. At least the Journal got credit:

THE WHINING we hear from some County administrators that us meanie faces at the ava are “too hard” on them always comes with a lack of specifics, which isn't surprising, because much of government, at all levels, is pretty much isolated from criticism, thanks to a mostly tame local media. But we need a lot more reporting like this from HumCo's Lost Coast Outpost, and its ace reporter, Ryan Burns:

TODAY in SUPES: Board Agrees to Spend Another Half-Million Dollars Trying to Fix Its Ongoing Fiscal Shitshow:


Dear Brookside Families,

At the end of our 2nd through 5th grade recess period today, an adult came up to the fence, remained outside of the fence and play area on The Alameda and began to speak to a small group of students. Staff supervisors immediately guided students away from the fence to begin their return to classrooms. As staff were walking to the fence to speak with the adult, they observed that a police officer was speaking with the adult. Police spoke to him for a short period of time and he left the area. Brookside staff followed safety protocols for any adults who approach students. Occasionally, we need to remind neighbors to not speak to students through the fence. If you have any questions about this incident or our safety protocols, please reach out via email.


Judith Barry-Gougeon

Brookside Elementary School, San Anselmo

AS IT HAPPENS, I'm a Brookside Family via my two grandchildren. The school is two blocks south of my weekend suburban sepulchre. There is a facebook-like presence for the area called Next Door on which everything from garage sales to “suspicious persons” are posted. “Suspicious persons are few, and the police seem to be about three minutes away when, as in the incident above, the police appeared almost immediately as the school and surrounding neighborhood apparently went on full perv alert. I'm reminded of an episode in my old Frisco neighborhood near Spring Lake where a male bird watcher was confronted by an angry posse of young mommies who claimed he was taking photographs of their children — man, camera, children's playground. In the San Anselmo incident described above by the hyper-vigilant school lady, it seems safe to conclude that the man chatting with the children was not a perv or he would have been detained by the responding officer. Bottom line? Social relations in this country are poisonous. Chomos? Registered sex offenders? Virtually unknown sixty years ago.

ALL THE EXCITED MEDIA talk about this fire season will surely ignite the pyros, a dozen or so of whom are already on the Sheriff's watch list. Additionally, local police departments have their own fire bug watch lists, Ukiah's PD for sure where bums — the homeless, if you prefer — have set fires in retaliation for their camps being broken up. Only yesterday a voluntarily homeless guy torched the Noyo bluffs in Fort Bragg. The upside of that incident? He was observed by other house-less people who turned him in.

KNOWN FORT BRAGG TRANSIENT Lee Rupert Arrested on Suspicion of Arson for Lighting Last Evening’s Noyo Bluff Vegetation Fire

Lee Rupert

WATER, WATER… Not everywhere, for sure, but there sure are a lot of people hauling water and it's only May. Many of these haulers are unlicensed, some of them are stealing water from municipal sources. Others pump out of battered creeks.

HOW FAR out of control is the Green Rush in Round Valley? I was shown a night time cell phone photo of just one neighborhood of Covelo taken from a hillside. If I hadn't known what I was looking at I'd have thought it was an area of San Francisco. But there they were, acres of illuminated hoop houses, a vast campground of bad boys from virtually every state in the union and more than a few foreign countries.


I don’t know why the four Supervisors who support Phase 3 don’t come clean. Everyone knows the County thinks doing business with Big Tobacco, or Flow Kana, or whoever’s like them, is easier than dealing with many of the small growers.

Imagine, County dope inspectors driving miles on lonely dirt roads, entering through locked gates. In some cases, chained and trained guard dogs growling and lurching at anything that moves. Sketchy individuals, vibing the county’s dope inspectors. The county can’t pay enough for any sane person to do that job.

On the other hand, with Phase 3 the County believes there will be clean-cut, buttoned-down facilities.

The well dressed employees will meet the county officials with a cup of coffee or a cold drink.

The check or cash will be waiting, with a firm handshake and a smile. Automatic gates will open as the county car drives up or down the paved driveway.

Sorry to say, but in most cases, the small grower’s days are numbered. It may take a few years, but Big Dope is coming. In fact, it’s already here.

THE GROWING GAME, an on-line comment: 

The whole Growing Game has been a cat and mouse shit happens with the cops scenario from the very beginning in the 70s.

You take your chances and see what happens. In the modern era of illegal growing you have the added factor of permitted growers jumping thru hoops to survive who are not so happy to see their illegal grower neighbors getting away with harvests with no permits. It’s enough to piss anyone off. The upshot is some illegal people get turned in. They also could have gotten turned in by neighbors that were just tired of their antics or the cops could have detected them all on their own.

It’s all part of the triangle growing game now, it is what it is. To cry about every bust, no matter how egregious, as an outright injustice is wacky. And so what if a permitted grower turned them in, it’s the chance they took growing illegally.

Shit happens.

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Mendocino Timber

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ON FRIDAY, MAY 7, 2021 at approximately 10:30 AM, UPD Officers were dispatched to 1170 S. State St. (Redwood Ford) in regards to a stolen vehicle report. Officers contacted the owner of the vehicle, who advised them a Jeep Patriot was missing from the lot. The owner advised no one had permission to have the vehicle and it had last been seen parked at that location on May 5th. A stolen vehicle report was taken and a BOLO for the stolen vehicle was issued. 

On Saturday, May 8, 2021 at approximately 9:18 AM, a UPD Officer was on patrol in the parking lot located at 1155 Airport Park Blvd. (Wal-Mart) and observed a vehicle that matched the description of the stolen Jeep, in the north portion of the parking lot. The Officer suspected this was the stolen vehicle, but was unable to read the license plate on the vehicle, as it was bent in half so the characters were not visible. The Officer approached the vehicle and saw it was occupied by a male. As the Officer approached, he could view the license plate and verified it was in fact the stolen Jeep. The Officer requested additional UPD Officers respond to the location and began giving the male occupant of the Jeep verbal commands. 

Other UPD Officers arrived at the location to assist. The male occupant, who was later identified as William Thomas Vaughan failed to follow the Officers’ verbal commands to exit the vehicle. Eventually, Vaughn exited the vehicle and fled on foot through the parking lot. Officers gave chase and Vaughan continued to ignore lawful commands from the pursuing Officers. After a brief foot pursuit, Vaughn was taken into custody without injury to him or the Officers. 

Vaughan was found to be on probation for prior misdemeanor violations and terms of his probation included “obey all laws” and “search waiver”. The Jeep was found to have one of its windows broken and there were shards of broken glass inside the vehicle. A search of the vehicle was conducted and several tools commonly used to gain entry into vehicles were located (466 PC). These included a window punch and lock pick tools. A used methamphetamine smoking pipe was also located within the vehicle. It was verified these items did not belong to the owner of the vehicle. Based on the terms of Vaughan’s probation and his possession of these items, it was determined he was in violation of his probation terms. 

William Vaughan

Vaughan was arrested for the aforementioned violations and was booked at the MCSO Jail. Vaughn’s bail was set at zero, pursuant to the COVID-19 bail schedule and was later released that night. 

The vehicle was returned to the owner at the scene. 

(Ukiah Police Department presser)

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Giant Redwood, 1930s

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CATCH OF THE DAY, May 12, 2021

Briggs, Brown, Galindo

MARTIN BRIGGS, Willits. Failure to appear.

DUSTIN BROWN, Chico/Willits. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, obtaining money on false pretenses, offenses while on bail.

THOMAS GALINDO, Ukiah. Petty theft with priors, failure to appear, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

Laiwa, Mize, Olecik, Rodriguez

SHYLA LAIWA, Covelo. Kidnapping, robbery, burglary, toiuching of intimate parts of another against their will, false imprisonment, witness intimidation, conspiracy.

JONNIE MIZE, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

ERIC OLECIK, Redwood Valley. Protective order violation.

MARCOS RODRIGUEZ-TURNER, Ukiah. Domestic battery, protective order violation, probation revocation.

Rupe, Rupert, Sanchez, Sanderson

MATTHEW RUPE, Willits. Pot sales-transportation.

LEE RUPERT, Fort Bragg. Arson.

ROY SANCHEZ, Ukiah. Parole violation.

JAMES SANDERSON, Fort Bragg. Failure to appear.

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This stuff is more common in spoken speech, but I'm seeing it more often in writing.

Single word cliches are used by writers who seem to be clumsily channeling their grade school English teachers.

“Depart” is much worse than “leave,” since it means the same and has twice as many syllables.

“Garner” is worse than “get” for the same reason.

“Globe” might have been a good variation on “world” when the world was much younger, but that's no longer true.

“Decade” is slightly worse than ten years, since it means the same as those two one syllable common words.

“Upon” is worse than plain old “on,” since it has a different meaning.

“Vibrant” is a favorite single word cliche among planners and those writing on planning issues.

No, changing our language won't really make us safer in city traffic.

“Excited” is not the best word when you're only pleased about something.

See also, Avoid these cliches like the plague and Semantics and the homeless.

Rob Anderson, District 5 Diary

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Big River Log Train

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Date: 05/26/2021 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

The Ukiah Valley Basin Groundwater Sustainability Agency (UVBGSA) will be holding a public meeting to discuss the Integrated Water Model and results from the scenarios that were run as well as providing a timeline for the distribution and review of the Groundwater Sustainability Plan which will provide a roadmap for the Ukiah Valley Basin to reach groundwater sustainability in 2042.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic, we will be hosting this public meeting over Zoom. 

Please email if you have any issue joining the meeting.

Topic: UVBGSA Public Meeting

Time: May 26, 2021 06:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 842 5824 1722

Dial by your location: +1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose)

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I’m glad to see water use getting press this year. However, it is long past the time that we can look at some years as drought years and other years not. California has a long history of uneven rain. Every year we need to embrace changes in behavior, new water-efficient technology and prepare for shorter, more intense rain events by capturing the rain in the soil instead of letting it flow quickly into gutters, creeks and the ocean.

Water use needs to be looked at in a bigger way. It’s discouraging to read that Sebastopol is considering a 10% reduction goal because “the city’s water supply comes from groundwater aquifers that have held steady for years.” You sometimes hear this from well water users too.

All the water is connected. Remember you might have enough at the moment, but if other sources and neighbors don’t, you will be affected eventually. All people need access to a safe, affordable and stable supply of water with enough for recreation, farming and wildlife. For that to happen, water conservation needs to be a daily practice, from small home use all the way to larger-scale planning.

Heidi Fantacone


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There's something happening here
But what it is ain't exactly clear
There's a man with a gun over there
Telling me I got to beware

I think it's time we stop
Children, what's that sound?
Everybody look, what's going down?

There's battle lines being drawn
Nobody's right if everybody's wrong
Young people speaking their minds
Getting so much resistance from behind

It's time we stop
Hey, what's that sound?
Everybody look, what's going down?

What a field day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and they carrying signs
Mostly say, "Hooray for our side"

It's time we stop
Hey, what's that sound?
Everybody look, what's going down?

Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you're always afraid
Step out of line, the men come and take you away

We better stop
Hey, what's that sound?
Everybody look, what's going down?

— Stephen Stills

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WE CANNOT JUST CONDEMN ROCKETS fired by Hamas and ignore Israel's state-sanctioned police violence against Palestinians — including unlawful evictions, violent attacks on protestors, and the murder of Palestinian children. 

—Rep. Mark Pocan (Democrat)

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Is Liz Cheney the last sane Republican?

She’s the most outspoken one, but I’m sure there are many sensible Republicans (no, not entirely an oxymoron) who agree that Trump is batshit crazy and an inveterate liar.

But they remain scared that the Fat Elvis Phase still has a bit of juice in it, and they don’t want to be primaried out of their careers. So the party has gone full tilt anti-fact, anti-science, anti-election, anti-worker, and anti-truth.

The scary thing is that there are still 40% of the populace who will vote for these people because of Orange Man. Amazing stuff. 8 November 2022 will be a watershed, I feel.

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ED HARRIMAN, 1943-2021

by Thomas Jones

Ed Harriman, who has died at the age of 77, wrote half a dozen pieces for the London Review between 2004 and 2007, reporting on the waste and corruption that followed the US-led invasion of Iraq. An award-winning documentary film-maker as well as a print journalist, who had worked for Granada TV’s World in Action during the 1980s and Channel 4’s Dispatches since 1991, he went to the Middle East in 2003 to make Secrets of the Iraq War for ITV. His previous films included investigations of ethnic cleansing in Bosnia, of the mismanagement of nuclear waste by both the US and Russia, the handover of Hong Kong, and new houses in Britain built on contaminated land.

Born in New York, Harriman moved to London in 1965. He studied for a doctorate in sociology at the LSE and also spent a number of months as a construction worker excavating the Victoria Line at Oxford Circus; he was an active protester against the war in Vietnam. His transatlantic perspective helped him see both the US and the UK with a sharper eye. His book Hack: Home Truths About Foreign News, published by Zed Books in 1987, gave a first-person account of his experiences as a journalist on five continents, and was clear-sighted about the short cuts that hacks are often required to take, by circumstance or the demands of the organisations they work for. It was a theme he continued in his first piece for the LRB, in April 2004, a review of A Time of Our Choosing: America’s War in Iraq by Todd Purdom of the New York Times:

Few Western journalists saw much of the war in Iraq. Some were corralled in US central command headquarters in Qatar and dependent on Brigadier-General Vincent Brooks’s daily news briefings, some were stuck in Baghdad hotels under the protective wing of Saddam’s information minister, Muhammad al-Sahhaf, some were embedded with the coalition forces: they were all in different ways in the dark. News organisations did their best to pull together their teams’ reports, but they delude themselves and their readers and viewers if they think they were reporting the full story.

Purdom’s book devoted several chapters to the so-called ‘Thunder Run’, the advance towards Baghdad of the 2nd Brigade of the 3rd Infantry Division on 5 April, but ‘there isn’t a word about what happened at al-Hilla’ a few days earlier, when dozens of Iraqis, including children, were killed by US cluster munitions.

For his subsequent pieces, Harriman went in search of the story not only on the ground in Iraq but also in the financial reports of the US General Accountability Office and other agencies. Everywhere he looked, he found evidence of graft on a grand scale:

An Iraqi hospital administrator told me that, as he was about to sign a contract, the American army officer representing the Coalition Provisional Authority had crossed out the original price and doubled it. The Iraqi protested that the original price was enough. The American officer explained that the increase (more than $1 million) was his retirement package ...

Millions of dollars in cash went missing from the Iraqi Central Bank. Between $11 million and $26 million worth of Iraqi property sequestered by the CPA was unaccounted for. The payroll was padded with hundreds of ghost employees. Millions of dollars were paid to contractors for phantom work.

It was a case of rapacious order emerging from the chaos unleashed by the invasion. In 2007, in his last piece in the LRB, Harriman wrote:

The most recent quarterly report to Congress of the US Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (Sigir), released in late July, found that almost all the American money set aside to rebuild Iraq – more than $21 billion appropriated by Congress four years ago – has been spent. So too has some $20 billion of the Iraqis’ own money handed out by Paul Bremer, Bush’s proconsul in Baghdad during the first year of the occupation. Much of the money was used to pay for American goods and services and never reached Iraq. Much of the rest disappeared and has never been properly accounted for.

(London Review of Books)

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Boonville Gym

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DID MY MOTHER PLAY BRIDGE? Bake pies in the kitchen, and perhaps drink too much of the cooking sherry? On the contrary, she was a flapper very like her coeval, Talullah Bankhead. (Faulkner went to his grave believing that coeval meant evil at the same time as.) In appearance she was a composite of Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. She never baked a pie, but she did drink, in the course of a lifetime, the equivalent of the Chesapeake Bay in vodka.

— Gore Vidal

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THIS IS MY PLEA to Ted Williams aka legistlative representative for Mendocino County, about the case illegal activity sent on January 10, 2020. He wrote the following reply and never heard from him again sent a following email with more documents on Jan 20th 

On Fri, Jan 10, 2020, 3:52 PM Ted Williams <> wrote:

Read it. Give me some time to digest.

Nemo Vier <> 

01/10/20 2:45 PM

I am writing this to all that will take the time to read my story. It's long but very detailed with facts..the outline I choose was based on the laws I've researched on my own ( forgive me if I list them incorrectly) and comparison to my families experience with Fort Bragg, CA.

I also note my most heartfelt truths comparison to my upbringing in all facts and no opinion. I have had decades to come to terms with my childhood and now years to succumb and overcome to CWS.

Please Read For Change


Lauren Schmidt

1045 s state st

Ukiah ca 95482

707 510-6901

To whom it may concern:

According to the mental health service act of Mendocino county annual report update for 2019,that was established in 1990, Health and human services has the procedural guide to what services are available to mental health clients in this county. Medi-CAL insurance sends out updates when things are added to it. Every agency that offers these services legally is bound to this report.

The health and human services agency is an umbrella of many agencies specifically now focusing on Child welfare service CPS or CWS. Branches of HHS are bound by even more rules Called the Welfare and institutions code aka WIC. Child welfare services branch of HHS is bound by WIC codes and has its own Adoption Assistance and child welfare Safe family act of 1997 namely ASFA.

According to the California constitution codes article xx sec 3: for every public employee of state county, city, and county district and authority including any department, division, bureau, board commission and agency is bound by an “oath of affirmation”; wherein they “solemnly swear to support and defend the constitution’.

Most importantly under title 2 of the Americans with disabilities act section 504; “child welfare agencies and courts must make changes in policies, practices and ways to accommodate needs for disability. In the mental health services act parts 5000-5952; part 5510 note(2) “ persons with mental illness are vulnerable to abuse, neglect and unreasonable and unlawful deprivation of rights.

Posted in the CWS (child welfare services) office lobby in Ukiah are copies of CWS “communication policy” and “vision statement” which state ideas so radical and ethical pragmatic And all-inclusive that it paints the intentions of the agency as actually wanting to help families, it’s almost believable.

In the Welfare and institutions code it states “it is the intent of the legislature that this section NOT disrupt the family unnecessarily or intrude inappropriately into family life, prohibit the use of reasonable methods of parental discipline, or prescribe a particular method of parenting. The legislature further declares that a physical disability such as blindness or deafness, is no bar to the raising of happy and well-adjusted children.” (Amended by stats. 2015 ch.303, sec 566.)

The Welfare And institution code article 6 -dependent children jurisdiction [300-304.7] part. 300: a child not to be found detained solely due to lack of a emergency shelter for family.

ASFA states their must be reasonable efforts for reunification on the part of CWS and notes Discriminatory separation of parents from children can result in long-term negative results to parent and child and any case of discrimination against parents/caregivers due to disability isn’t acceptable.

In WIC dependent children jurisdiction part (c): emotional damage, CWS is bound to prove it ..”as evidence by severe anxiety, depression withdrawal, or untoward aggressive behavior towards self or others.” And in part 361.5 and 366.26 (c);1 it details all the grounds for loss of parental rights.

There is a constitutional right to discuss case before court with attorneys and attest testimony and the WIC right for parent to get all possible accommodations for reunification.

The facts of what has happened to my family have violated all the above national rights, state laws, local policies And insurance procedures. The fact of this case is their Is none of the previous mentioned “rules of conduct and behavior’ for Fort Bragg ca, the social worker acts on their accord without knowledge of laws or care of consequences.

Discrimination and aptly “audism” ( the discrimination of Deaf people) in Fort Bragg is unregulated uneducated and very ignorant of any diplomatic accommodating ways of dealing and assessing people with circumstantial individual needs.

Ignoring and disregarding laws and rights with a very “brush under the rug’ attitude gives Fort Bragg Agencies and services a taint of ignorance that paints over not addressing accommodations and a “ignore it till it goes away’ outlook when addressing cases that our too severe of needs that they don’t figure out how to refer out.

The complete lawlessness and “grapevine network’ of word of mouth quick unjustified judgements creates a community that stigmatizes and outcasts anything they don’t understand.

By only giving referrals to places CWS has alliances with and have contracts with they always get paid. Having “Severity “ of mental health services needs means that your a patient with more traumatic experience that has caused ptsd in more then a few occasions and your not a bad person or bad parent for the experiences, and finally knowing that your assessed in this manner and finding services that meet your needs should not be like pulling teeth.

CWS refusal of access to better services and or withholding of vital information for low income housing and mental health referrals in the county including out of town resources; created a snowball of tragic events that almost lead to me loosing my life to depression suicide.

It did result in us finding (word of mouth) the only housing possible after the critical start of community wide breakdown of our family stability in July 2018 we persevered and became “poster child’ homeless shelter couple and finally on our 90 day mark found a for rent trailer moving in Nov 2018, yet it wasn’t sufficient enough for the electrical box went out in May 2019 and burned the whole trailer down to the ground. And now after 28 months of hardship and struggling residentally I’ve come to find CWS has a special CDC housing voucher specifically for Family Reunification that my husband qualified for the entire time in Family maintenance.

Having this case throughout our residential challenges has tested our resilience to the point of unnecessary self motivation and drive for a better future, after 28 months or more of CPS, I’ve learned to NOT ever ask for help, to not ever rely or trust anyone and that no one is going to bend over backwards to take care of me, so I have to take care of myself.

This case has to win the circumstances legal delay award. Illegally detained from home in July 2017 and delay of court calendar is frantic chaotic and months apart at a time. We have had our first judge go on vacation , a steadfast lawyer that won our son back to dad twice go on maternity leave I had three lawyers so far, we retired our initial social worker and got a new one and even have had several social worker assistants bounced in and out of our case. Practically NO ONE IN OUR CASE is on the same page and communication with ANYONE INCLUDING LAWYERS has been so spotty indirect and not caring how long it takes to not communicate. All while my family is separated and suffering apart.

Our son although being given back to care of dad twice already has spent 1 1/2 years in foster care towns apart from us, and now is spending his most critical time of social development aka 4th grade with my mom. I moved away from her abuse, county’s away for justified reasonings. I’ve gone blue in the face complaining about her relentless interference and my child and teen abuse and now cps is supporting and encouraging her to adopt him and pay her 1000$ a month to have through foster agency.

 Medically and subconsciously my mother isn’t a good person. She raised me with no work drive from her never working, no motivation to ever be a functional adult in society and most importantly has had every ailment I wouldnt ever want my son to witness. As a young child the instilled ptsd of her scarring my subconscious with abuses she endured as a very young child changed me forever in a traumatic way.I had horrible coping skills that were taught by her from me to always cover the hard feelings with drugs or dissociation wether self medicating or not and her passed down goal of life is being able to have a man to pay bills and pay her salon visits. And of course having the red carpet pulled out for her at any emergency room she can. Selfish Morals and priority’s so far from the reality of the hardness of life that her dis-eases have become a career for her. Medication, sympathy, empathy, fantasy bubble.

It was exactly that age from 8-12 yrs old that as a child I was subjected to more abuse then any other time in my life, neglect and suppression and sheltered isolation and no social interaction and already adopting labels of diagnosis’s that I was too young to consider in the first place, yet I still have these disabilities since that age. My son is in that stage of development now.

Our son is so traumatized from this affair with lawless CPS that he doesn’t understand the discrimination and ruthlessness of The malicious attack on our family. He did really good and was nurtured from his foster family before And when CPS took him illegally again this last time he begged with his last breath to please not go to grandmas.

He saw so many cops waiting for him this last detention; he asked dad “if I run away (to not Be taken away) will they taser me dad?” He fears authorities like police and all social workers from displacement and abuse of power from them. He hates this separation from dad so much he acted bad to grandma so he could get to leave once he got their this last summer and now is getting the first hand suppression treatment from my mom I know oh so well. The stomping of my sons voice and ability to have confidence and function as a well rounded human is devastating heartbreaking and downright the most evil thing I've ever come across. He is confined to his room at grandmas house and doesn’t leave. His zest for life is dwindling as is my husbands, they have beaten us all to the core.

Our family has been broken down and separated, by CPS physiological warfare and breakdown to try to build us up and label us into a catagory of unstable uneducated unreformed weak people. By forcing us all individually to have physch evaluations with the CPS contracted physch dr, whom is trained to evaluate negatively and without findings to give CPS any fuel they need for a falsified court fire.

Our family is emotional and sensitive, all of us wear our feelings on our sleeves and are never afraid to tell the truth to someone. Deaf culture raised my son with a more open outlook on communication and his early social development has been pillared in deaf culture practices as well. He loves everything And lately whilst in the abusive environment he’s changed. He is clamming up and regressing in confidence and is pretty much locked up in his room alone all day. Our family had over ambition and zealousness and excitement for living on the coast, and although beautiful Fort Bragg has ripped us apart. Chewed up and Spit out we never had a chance.

Furthermore, what the hell are we still doing fighting this never ending battle for the detention of my son to be lifted? The policies and procedures of the laws were broken and lack of any preparation with no sufficient evidence to justify years in detention, then why is the case being postponed again. And again and again. Frankly I am scared for any other family that has interaction with this lawless agency in Fort Bragg and the social workers that run it. We will never be the same again.

This is the most depressing place we have ever had as a family, always having each other before this case and now courts being postpone again in 2019. My son will still be waiting a county away from his dad, unknown to any progress in the case getting stomped to the earth by not having genuine good people to show him love. He’s never understood why this case has happened in the first place and to this day still doesn’t comprehend why it’s continued.

My son was taken at 7 years old half the size he is today, they are not expediting this process so he’s forced to develop alike to the people around him, Subconsciously picking up habits both healthy and not healthy and never accessing any truthful to facts from voices of reason.

My mother isn’t capable of critical thinking at all, when I presented her with a life threatening situation I was in from her husband she decided to defend him over her own daughter’s safety And dealt with me by dropping me off at age 17, bags of belongings now homeless in front of my high school. Thank god I met my husband soon after and have had 14 years of struggling resilent life together since and made A miricle our son Elijah Vier. These characteristics of abuse don’t die, it’s force of habit and all my mom knows, now my son is being abused like I was and I’ll have to take a really really really long time to reverse this physiological damage to my son. We all have traumatic PTSD and our son has been genetically modified since as well with vaccinations in the start of case without our consent. And changed his diet from non gmo to having his first happy meal in foster care. Changing us completely yet we still are an amazing family when we are allowed to be.

We’re all scarred, scared and totally beat up from trying to advocate for ourselves. The violations of laws are so extensive and specific targeted for us that It’s extremely hard not to take personal.

We are finally out of Fort Bragg and getting access to services we never knew existed from self referrals after I took the time to study the Mhsa annual report update and find the services we needed.

 In conclusion writing this letter is intended to inform the powers that be of the violations and lawlessness of the city of Fort Bragg. If no one is informed of their disregard for the law then it will never be addressed. Whomever is reading this now hopefully has the authority and title enough to report the city of Fort Bragg’s insane rule breaking or at least can publicize our story and help the truth be brought to light that discrimination of disability is prevailing in the coast and unregulated to the point of almost killing people and sucking souls up in the process.

Thanks for reading.

From the parent whom already lost parental right to only son by not having medication in time; now heartbroken and devastated completely.


I am a client of rqmc I am a mental health severe ptsd needs patient non violent and a mom former ihss caregiver 8 yrs and also a homesteader entrepreneur in fort Bragg last 6 years and local community art business owner in Sonoma county previous to that.

In Sonoma county 14 years ago I began a mental health crisis journey that lead to more trials and cocktails of meds that I as at risk of homeless vunerablity high woman could access in a small county then the best service for mental health treatment for my catagory of client was c.o.t.s In petaluma the committee on the shelterless and my partner and I were there when Mary issacks homeless shelter was just beginning and I mean we were the first round of clients who palbared Mary issacks funeral for the board members in house and forefront runners of treatment services that should be modeled nationwide, locally here in Mendocino county it’s a different story.

 I just was talking with sage wolf about this the other day the RCS building bridges runs a “wet’; faculty as in Mary issacks was “dry’ meaning that the clients drug tested upon admittance. She serves the underserved here in Mendocino county aka Ukiah home less who do have drug problems and need basic care like free just “gold plated’ donated building with appearance of prestige upon looking from the outside ; has public showers and a laundry facility that serves the public homeless, staffing and security are a completely joke.

The level of education that’s required for these positions and dedication and unique client care rules policy’s and models are not there. What happens when client A is too drunk or what happens when client B gets his stuff stolen from? When numerous things go unattended such as the ability for rcs building bridges facility to serve food to the public, when loophole for that is one person going to the food bank to pick up for themselves and donate food to the facility.

Ok that’s just one branch of repurcutions and consequences of underdeveloped planning on anyone responsible making and managing it in the first place.

I see we are talking about another “appearance only care model approaching—watch out folks your getting a palace to look at for 3.3 million now

 Line it with gold on the outside of the building for the consitiuite people see we paid a ton to accommodate to the homeless population in Ukiah, were doing fine but don’t dare be a community auditor daresay a “gorden Ramsey” undercover approach and open the doors to use the services listed in “ costly color advertisement and brochures’ in the insurance medic-cal patient rights and service provider books and what’s listed on the marketing hmis numbers for the county, the gold plated fiscal numbers are just as overlooked as the gold plated buildings, and now personally I am fed up and sueing MANZENITA services for maltreatment personal injury civil federal and also ada laws broken as well as procedures in processes that have everything to do with unplanned mental health agency maintenance and planning of execution of individualized accomadating and timely patient care from family’s to individuals to homeless to crisis patients are being pushed under the rug like myself to succumb to beautiful paperwork of insurance value of gold for their fiscal numbers and funding aka the patient case plan that model of paperwork through out all mental health agency in fort Bragg and Ukiah that outlines the insurance covered treatment we SHOULD be getting from all these supposedly connected agencies listed on our plan that work together to ensure our health.

 Rqmc, RCS all county buildings, and in fort Bragg burtiz family conflict of interest run and MANZENITA, mchs, hospitality house , hospitality center to name a few under my belt of experience In Mendocino county and not one person lives up to these insurance claims to fame they sell on brochures’ and by making these gold plated empty staffed and underplanned buildings.

 Btw our crisis team RCS and the umbrella of that fiasco I am saving the biggest lawsuit for last yet it seems it’s the most pertinent to mention that the team of “crisis’ here on the coast and in Ukiah have given me such quality care that I attempted suicide in oct 2018 and also have multiple unlay 51/50 holds with even no follow through after a attempted suicide I gave up on quality therapists in Mendocino county.

Having this demand letter to MANZENITA be not addressed in the correct manner down to the correct handed up process it should should show the seriousness that this county doesn’t take it’s mental health clients seriously enough or care-ful-ly enough to proceed with another gold lined outside appearance gathering place of unrequited hope for a future better then the current underserved care model that has no end or planning to end in sight.

I also have a management and marketing certificate from srjc and have looked at the models here for crisis are ghostly and full of ego, in a place that needs experience and lacks even an accessable ADA county coordinator and disabilty legal services are slim to none.

Blah to 3.3 to another ghost building that continues to kill clients or pick and choose who to give services to and who not, understaffed and underplanned and not management or office and client rules and protocol.

 I propose we put that 3.3 million into a care team managment mental health services that somewhere has modeled actually working with homeless clients instead, oh and one more thing to Mr Williams I sent you a Letter regarding this before I got snowballed by MANZENITA and you said you would get back to me..I believe that was dec. ,2019 . Now I am on settlement with MANZENITA and reqruiting medi-cal patient advocate to tell everyone behind closed doors to do there jobs correctly and help make up for time they didn’t. MANZENITA aka rqmc will not be able to accommodate to this complaint just as much as RCS is not able to reprogram itself and all its staff and training as well as rqmc isn’t gunna get anything better then telephych med management for mental health.

Even Adventist doesn't have proper outreach crisis team the c.o.m.p.a.s.s. team whom I used right in beginning is a joke as well for actual services for mental health. They don’t have the care model either. How is that 3.3 gunna all that or the thousands of underserved homeless from here to the coast on a crisis basis.

by Lauren Vier


  1. Craig Stehr May 13, 2021

    As the global situation on planet earth continues getting more dangerous and more insane, let’s appreciate a response that actually works. That response is called “yoga”. Yoga is the utilization of one’s own innate will power to first gather the externally directed mind, and then, reverse the mental current and anchor it within, at the heart chakra. In other words, take care of the inside, and what is outside is, well, outside. ;-))

    Craig Louis Stehr
    Snail Mail: P.O. Box 938, Redwood Valley, CA 95470
    No Phone

  2. Rye N Flint May 13, 2021

    RE: Dispatches from Mama Tree

    A must listen from a local favorite:

    Suzanne Simard – Dispatches from The Mother Tree Project

    A report on the underground networks in the forest Suzanne Simard is Professor of Forest Ecology in the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Forestry. In spite of her status in academia, rigorous research and love and respect from her students it took over 30 years for her ideas to break through.
    Ferris Jabr writes in the New York Times Magazine: “By analyzing the DNA in root tips and tracing the movement of molecules through underground conduits, Simard has discovered that fungal threads link nearly every tree in a forest — even trees of different species. Carbon, water, nutrients, alarm signals and hormones can pass from tree to tree through these subterranean circuits…
    Resources tend to flow from the oldest and biggest trees [ . . . ]

  3. Rye N Flint May 13, 2021

    RE: Ancient Timber Harvest Plans

    Saving Redwoods in Northern California – Pomo Indian Perspective

    A call for support went out early in 2021. Logging was to begin in a coast redwood forest in Mendocino County on the Pacific ocean that many of us believed was protected since it is owned by the State of California. The State purchased almost 50,000 acres from a bankrupt logging company in 1949. The Jackson Demonstration State Forest, located between the city of Willits inland and Fort Bragg on the coast, is managed by CalFire, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
    Research showed quickly that CalFire, except for a short pause, never stopped logging the land of their second growth coast redwoods. But now, in the age of climate change and devastating forest fires, their timber harvest plans [ . . . ]

  4. Rye N Flint May 13, 2021

    RE: Wildfire season

    Tribes from California to Australia are Fighting Wildfire with Fire

    For over 100 years, it has been illegal for Indigenous tribes in California to practice traditional burning to prevent catastrophic wildfires. Now, the Karuk Tribe in Humboldt and Siskiyou counties is bringing fire back.
    Julia Muldavin’s 11 minute film is entitled: This California Tribe Is Fighting Wildfires With Fire. Karuk spokespeople include Herman Albers, and Chook Chook Hillman, Karuk Department of Natural Resources. The film was posted on YouTube in October 2019.
    Sadly the message and cultural fire practice did not spread fast enough to lessen the catastrophic impact of the 2020 record-setting California wildfire season. It burned 4 1/4 million Acres.
    In an extraordinary case of symmetry that shows that cultural intentional burning is a shared practice among indigenous peoples – the [ . . . ]

  5. Rye N Flint May 13, 2021

    RE: raise the damn dam

    State Senator Mike McGuire stated that the state legislature is moving forward on a several billion dollar drought relief package, which would include $1 billion in grants to help ratepayers and utilities pay off back bills and $500 million to help smaller low income communities develop enhanced drinking water supplies, among other things (read the full list below). Huffman also said that he is optimistic that studies on raising the Coyote Valley Dam will move forward — and that the cost-benefit rubric previously used to assess such projects has changed.

    • Eric Sunswheat May 13, 2021

      Sonoma County’s lion share of Lake Mendocino water, which partially serves Northern Marin, has a projected reduced availability when Russian River endangered species require less river flow.

      With the proposed raising of Coyote Dam to help protect endangered species, additionally a pipeline may be constructed adjacent to the Great Redwood Trail being built for multiple uses.

      -> May 10, 2021
      A bicycle sharing program that will feature a fleet of 300 electric bikes across Marin and Sonoma and counties is on track for an early 2022 rollout, transportation officials said…

      “This program is really being set up as a transit corridor program to fill that gap of first- and last-mile transportation,” McDonald said.

      McDonald said planners are working to identify where the bike share stations will be situated. They will be concentrated near the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit stations and key employment areas…

      The bikes can be reserved through a phone app linked to the Clipper Card, which is used on SMART, Marin Transit, Golden Gate Transit and other Bay Area municipal transit systems.

      -> February 05, 2018
      ‘We are obsessed with cars here. It frustrates me — so inefficient,’ he said. ‘Electric bikes are the future of urban transportation, not electric cars.’ New Wheel sells about a bike a day.

      In Germany, 1.5 million electric bikes sold in 2017, said Thurber, who attended a bike show there. ‘Angela Merkel (chancellor) was there,’ he said. In Europe and Asia, more electric bikes are sold than cars, he said, and Switzerland alone sells more than the entire U.S. market.

      For those who have never tried riding a bike with electric boost, it feels as if every pedal stroke is assisted with an invisible hand that smoothly propels bike and rider toward destination.

      • Rye N Flint May 13, 2021

        Where’s my electric light rail train in Mendo?

  6. Stephen Rosenthal May 13, 2021

    “bail was set at zero, pursuant to the COVID-19 bail schedule and was later released that night.”

    Isn’t it time to end this insane policy and keep these sons of bitches locked up?

    • Rye N Flint May 13, 2021

      Tomorrow’s headline:

      Tweeker zombies on the loose in the streets of Mendo County…

  7. chuck dunbar May 13, 2021

    County Investigations and Money Wasted (Mark Scaramella today in MCT on “personnel investigations”)

    Speaking as a former CPS supervisor for the County for 18 plus years: One of the adverse effects of a focus on formal investigations (which have their place in serious matters, but are over-used in the County workplace) was/is that mediation and counseling services to help staff and small units overcome and resolve differences were rarely, if ever, used by management. So, even if a costly, legalistic investigation ensued, staff members with conflicts often still worked together, or had frequent contact. Their human differences/problems had not been addressed and discussed, with the necessary apologies or new agreements made to work together amicably. You know—the kind of human engagement, led by a skilled, compassionate mediator, that truly makes a difference and brings folks together for a common purpose. So, perhaps legal issues had been addressed, and maybe a reprimand or punishment was pronounced, but the real human issues involved were generally ignored, a truly stupid way of running the workplace.

    As I worked with the County over the years, this issue—one must call it a dysfunction—got worse and worse, and our work suffered because of it. But, once in awhile I had a decent supervisor who possessed common sense and who was able, within a small unit, to do some smart, effective interventions with staff in conflict that actually made things better. Bless their hearts.

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