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Mendocino County Today: May 13, 2012


THIS JUST IN from Ms. Audet, presently cooling her troubled heels in the Mendocino County Jail on a drunk in public charge: “Dear People of Concern and Interest, God Bless you all! We all live our lives according to what we've learned and picked up throughout it all. For me I have a kinda rebellious manner; with the only wish to live off the land and my group of close friends and family, outside of this too populated and corrupt system. If I could share anything of importance to anyone it would be about love and goodness through the Christ and Great Spirit or whatever you may believe in; it is the love and forgiveness that we've been given that I'm proud to know in myself and proud to see it throughout this community. I've lived here for the winter and living here and experiencing the good and the bad is what I needed to learn and keep myself strong to continue on in my life as I leave and continue on in my journey that God has given me. Many people help me out every day with money or food or even concern. Thank you. I can't offer the same, but I would love to give you encouragement. I encourage everyone throughout the good and bad. Everything happens for reasons in life and I pray for you to learn and get stronger through these things. Don't let the world break you down. Thank you Great Spirit for another day to be with you. — Jacqueline Audet (Pixie), Mendocino County Jail, Ukiah”

GOVERNOR BROWN SAID SATURDAY the state is looking at a $17 billion deficit. The Governor has made a career of talking left, acting right and, true to form, his initiative goes heavy on ordinary Californians, light on the rich.

BROWN SAYS if voters don’t approve his November tax initiative he would take revenge on the children of the state, aka schools, higher education and social services.

THE GOVERNOR CLAIMS he can raise $9 billion by a “temporary” quarter-cent increase of the state's sales tax and by imposing a tiny tax on incomes of $250,000 or more.

A SECOND initiative led by wealthy LA attorney Molly Munger is a little more fair. It would raise income taxes on a sliding scale for everyone.

IF BOTH INITIATIVES fail or, as expected, are combined into one and still fail, Brown says it would mean the K-12 school year would be cut by several weeks and college tuition fees would be again raised. Public schools, including the state university system, would be cut nearly $5 billion if the tax plans fail. And there would be reduced funding for courts.

WHICH COULD be a good thing for Mendocino County if it puts an end to the palatial new County Courthouse our eight judges and a magistrate yearn for but is fiscally nuts and aesthetically and practically undesired by anybody but them. The state deficit might also result in a whack to the overlarge Mendo judicial contingent itself, which would be another desirable local outcome of cuts to the state’s judicial budget. But Brown’s proposals are mostly bad for everyone except, of course, the One Percent, in whose interests America is run.

OPPONENTS of an expanded rock quarry on the Ridgewood Grade between Ukiah and Willits off Highway 101 have filed suit to prevent it from operating.

THE LAWSUIT brought by neighbors of the quarry maintains that the environmental impact report for the project, approved by the Board of Supervisors last month, is inadequate and that a county zoning change to allow asphalt plants at existing quarries on rangeland is illegal. Opponents contend the expansion would create noise, water and air pollution and create traffic hazards. They say an expanded quarry operation and asphalt batch plant proposal is inconsistent with the County’s General Plan.

AL KUBANIS, attorney for accused Redwood Valley killer Billy Norbury, said last week he’s having trouble getting Norbury’s files from the Public Defender’s office. Norbury, 33, is accused of shooting to death Jamal Andrews, 30, also of Redwood Valley, the night of January 21st. The case has attracted widespread attention because, many friends of the popular Andrews allege, the murder was committed out of Norbury’s racist rage. DA Eyster says there is no evidence that race was a factor in the shooting which, it is believed, arose out of a drug dispute.

NORBURY was initially represented by Public Defender Linda Thompson, whose slovenly record keeping and poor trial preparation is widely assumed in the County Courthouse. Judge Behnke has had to order Thompson to turn over Norbury’s files to private attorney Kubanis.


THOMPSON REPLIED to the judge’s order with this whopper: “I just want to make it very clear on the record that this is the first time a private attorney who is substituted in ... has indicated that there was a question about whether everything was present in the record.”

NO IT ISN’T. In 2010 Thompson had to be ordered to hand over the files belonging to defendant Glen Sunkett, and later in the year, ordered again to turn files over to Sunkett’s new attorney, David Eyster just before Eyster became District Attorney. Sunkett was eventually convicted of a brutal Fort Bragg home invasion, but while Thompson functioned as his attorney he complained that he was basically unrepresented, and that when Thompson finally gave him his files so he could briefly represent himself, “She just threw them all over the place in a cardboard box,” Sunkett said. “I never did get everything.”

THE POSTAL SERVICE has announced that rural post offices, of which there are many in Mendocino County, will see their hours of operation cut two to six hours a day. When these changes will go into effect has not been revealed. The farflung rural communities of Mendocino County are certain to be dramatically (and negatively) affected, as they double as informal community meeting centers.

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