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Mendocino County Today: July 9, 2012

PREDICTABLY, Wes Chesbro, Noreen Evans and Jared Huffman, have voted to fund, at the expense of public education and the immediately needy, the bullet train, mother of all boondoggles. The bullet train is Democratic Party-sponsored pork for their labor constituents. If a speedy train ever runs from Frisco to LA, most of us will be dead when the tickets go on sale.

SENATOR JOE SIMITIAN of Palo Alto was one of only four Democrats who voted no, even though he supports the long-term “vision” for a bullet train. “This is the wrong plan in the wrong place at the wrong time,” he said. Which it is, especially given that the Governor is starving education and the needy to pay for it. Not to mention local government.

IN SUNDAY MORNING’S CHRONICLE there was an op-ed by Democrat herd bull, Willie Brown, Brown who, in his usual inelegant prose, denounces critics of the $3.4 billion project as being so “into instant gratification” that we should consider the services of “a hooker.” I guess that kind of instant grat is the only kind Brown can think of.

THE MULTI-BILLION BULLET TRAIN is a grander version of the Democrat's eternal promise of restoration of rail service between Marin and Eureka, which also serves as a jobs program for the party's better connected former office holders and their aides.

IF, SAY, it was still 1950 when Americans included people who could do large-scale projects, high speed trains would be a good idea. They're still a good idea, but we'd have to hire China to get them done as fast and as correctly as they've accomplished their high speed train system. The Japanese, of course, and much of Europe, has had viable, high speed train service for years. The bullet train, and the even more conceptually preposterous Central Subway project for San Francisco that will keep North Beach to CalTrain torn up years, will cost billions and probably never be fully realized, even if they attract the kind of rider volume their advocates predict for twenty years from whenever the thing kicks off with Governor Brown wielding a gold-painted shovel as he grins one of his patented death's head grins for the media.


SCOTT MERRIMAN, former resident of Anderson Valley, has filed two claims against Mendocino County totaling $750 million in damages. (The County's annual budget is about $230 million, most of which is legally required to be spent for specific purposes.) Mr. Merriman’s first claim is for $500 million:

CLAIM NO. 1: “Date of Loss: November 6, 2011. Time of Loss: 1:30 PM. Location of Loss: Community of Anderson Valley at large including greater Mendocino County including all businesses and public places that the Boonville newspaper are sent.

Description of the incident/accident which caused you to make this claim: Claimant makes historic claim of character assassination against the Mendocino County Sheriffs Department for outrageous false entry in Sheriff’s Log in the Anderson Valley Advertiser which falsely reported that the claimant was making 20 phone calls a day about a conspiracy against him to the Sheriff's department and was being harassed and that Deputy Craig Walker would be sent out to claimant’s residence.

What specific injury, damages or other losses did you concur? Due to gossip problem which can be severe in Boonville, claimant claims ruination of reputation and now won't go out into public. Claimant is a professional musician and claims heightened damages.

Amount claimed: $500 million. Claimant now demands the arrest of Sheriff Tom Allman and Craig Walker to be urgent.

Names of county employee(s) whom you allege caused your injury, damage or loss, if known: Tom Allman is fully responsible, claimant claims felony fraud crime committed. Claimant claims the Mendocino County Sheriff's Department has unlawful vendetta against him including theft of license, false tickets, gunfire, slander, character assassination.

Signed: Scott B. Merriman on March 18, 2012.”

CLAIM No. 2: Date of Loss: November 1, 2011. Time of Loss: 5 PM. Location of loss: Lemons Market in Philo, California, at 8851 Highway 128 across from Indian Park residence of Craig Walker.

Description of incident/accident which caused you to make this claim: On November 1, claimant makes legal claim against the County of Mendocino for criminal slander that the county employee, Craig Walker, did utter against the claimant in a public place in plain clothes stating to be involved in the business of the county, Walker stating that he would follow the claimant home and arrest him for intoxication. Then it is alleged that Walker made a slander against claimant’s family name then did gunfire at his residence.

What specific injury, damages or other losses did you incur? Severe damage to claimant’s reputation. Claimant frequented the store since youth and had matrimonial intentions with one of the women in the store but no longer goes there, damaged social life badly.

Amount claimed: $250 million. Claimant claims the Mendocino County Sheriff's Department has an unlawful vendetta against him.

Names of county employee(s) whom you allege caused your injury, damage or loss, if known: Craig in his plain clothes and Craig Walker in his official capacity as a deputy. Notices and communications with regard to this claim will be complained on regular tort statute or to be amended as advised by counsel.

Signed Scott B. Merriman, March 18, 2012.

THE COUNTY’S MENTAL HEALTH BOARD has recommended that Laura’s Law not be implemented in Mendocino County, instead preferring that a “Mental Health Court” be established, an extremely unlikely outcome given the lack of funding for programs.

HIGHLIGHTS of the Mental Health Board’s Letter to the Supervisors: “Re: Laura's Law. On June 27, 2012 we held a special meeting of the mental health board to consider AB 1421, 'Laura’s Law.' Presentations were made by the Mental Health Director, Tom Pinizotto, and Public Defender Linda Thompson. The technical and financial considerations and advantages and disadvantages were reviewed. The Mental Health Board voted (six yeas and one abstention) to advise the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors to consider alternative options to Laura's Law and recommend the development of a program such as a Mental Health Court, expansion of full service partnerships and continue the utilization of conservatorships. We recognize that difficult cases of the past have developed when all departments of the county have not collaborated together to get the appropriate care for the one in need. The mental health staff, law enforcement and courts need to listen to family and significant others in making decisions. Integration requires that primary care, Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention, mental health, law enforcement and the judge at times all work in concert to bring about good care, safety and recovery. Provision of more assistance by a mental health specialist with a small case load can save money in the long run when everyday help reduces jail and inpatient days. A system such as mental health court where all of these departments of the county will cooperate will do the job. Respectfully, Guy Grenny, Ph.D, Mental Health Board Chair”

Attached: “Advantages of implementing AB 1421 (Laura’s Law): 1. Provides an additional treatment resource for the community. 2. Allows family members to request service and may help noncompliant person in obtaining and engaging in treatment. 3. AB 1421 clients benefit from a higher staff to client ratio. 4. Provides treatment before an individual becomes gravely disabled or does harm to self or others.

“Disadvantages: 1. Lack of funding. 2. Offers only limited new tools. 3. Limits personal choice. 4. Civil liberty concerns. (Many clients are opposed to AB 1421 because of civil liberty concerns as are some client and patient rights organizations citing “choice, not coercion.” Involuntary mental health treatment is a sensitive topic that has long been debated in the mental health field. Opponents of AB 1421 argue that current provisions of the Lanterman-Petris-Short (LPS) Act rightfully uphold an individual's freedom and preserve an individual's rights to manage his or her healthcare. Under LPS treatments may not be provided voluntarily unless is proven that the individual is gravely disabled or is considered a danger to themselves or others.) 5. May not provide the type of enhanced treatment or avoidance of negative impact of mental illness that proponents hope for. 6. The effectiveness of voluntary outpatient care vs involuntary outpatient care is an open issue.”

THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS is scheduled to discuss possible implementation of Laura's Law and the Mental Health Board's disapproving memo along with a substantial amount of public input this Tuesday, June 10. Given the level of interest in the subject in the aftermath of the double murders of Matt Coleman and Jere Melo by a mentally disturbed Aaron Bassler last September, the discussion should be a wowser.

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