Cold Wind | 19 Cases/1 Death | Nuclear Fire | Vaccine Clinic | AV Schools | Couple Arrested | Adele Pruitt | Auggie Heeser | Reopen BOS | Mathias Brinzing | JDSF Purpose | Jimbo Limbo | Ed Notes | Vasili Arkhipov | Tough Choice | Yeltsin Resigned | Vacancy Fine | Swimsuit Arrest | Putin Blowback | Princess Konocti | 6 For 2 | Marijuana Mobile | Patterson Sentenced | Debt Paid | Dry Vegetation | Home Alone | Cross-Eyed Bull | Catrider | TOT Rot | Hegelian Dialectic | Mendo Roads | Yesterday's Catch | Seizing Yachts | Misery Whip | Rasputin Predicts | Honor Lenin | PA Campers | Just Cause | Working Dogs
RAIN AND SNOW SHOWERS spread across northwestern California this afternoon as another low moves overhead, bringing blustery NW winds as well through this evening. Cooler air with this system will linger over the area this weekend, bringing colder overnight temperatures. (NWS)
YESTERDAY'S RAINFALL (past 24 hours): Boonville 0.22"- Yorkville 0.16" - Hopland 0.15" - Ukiah 0.11"- Willits 0.10" - Laytonville 0.07" - Leggett 0.04" - Covelo 0.03"
19 NEW COVID CASES and another death reported in Mendocino County yesterday afternoon.
WORSE BY THE HOUR: The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine, the largest of its kind in Europe, was on fire early on Friday after an attack by Russian troops, the mayor of the nearby town of Energodar said. There has been fierce fighting between local forces and Russian troops, Dmytro Orlov said in an online post, adding that there had been casualties without giving details. Earlier, Ukrainian authorities reported Russian troops were stepping up efforts to seize the plant and had entered the town with tanks. “As a result of continuous enemy shelling of buildings and units of the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is on fire,” Orlov said on his Telegram channel, citing what he called a threat to world security. (AP)
FIRE AT ZAPORIZHZHIA POWER PLANT DOUSED AS ZELENSKY WARNS OF ‘NUCLEAR DISASTER’
Ukraine's state emergency service said on Friday that fire has been put out near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.
U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said on Thursday the reactors at Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station "are protected by robust containment structures and reactors are being safely shut down".
JUST IN FROM SUPERINTENDENT SIMSON
All Pooled Samples From Wednesday Are Negative
I am happy to report that all pooled samples from the Wednesday testing are negative district-wide.
On another note, I want to thank both bargaining units for their collaboration and support, as we are working through our contract reopeners and trying hard to “get to yes.” So grateful to your negotiating teams.
And on a very last note, I love seeing girls softball and boys baseball at play. Thank you Arthur for your work and to Matt and Amy for being there for the kids.
Anderson Valley Unified School District
A MENDOCINO COUNTY WOMAN AND MALE COMPANION ARRESTED WITH MULTIPLE FIREARMS IN MEXICO
Pair suspected in the disappearance of another American
Mexican police pulled over 25-year-old Mendocino County woman, Natalia Baigorri, and 32-year-old Arizona man, Devan Young, as they were driving on a highway near Tulum this last Saturday, February 26.
The traffic stop would result in the pair being taken into custody after police located two 9mm Glocks, a .22 caliber rifle, multiple rounds of ammunition, and the passport of an American.
A Mexican television network Noticieros Televisa reported the couple is thought to be linked to “a string of criminal incidents in the country and also connected to the disappearance of an American individual.”…
LONGTIME UKIAH ART CONSERVATOR, TEACHER, DIES AT 99
by Nashelly Chavez
Adele Pruitt, an accomplished Ukiah fine art conservator known for her decades-long career as an art teacher, died late last month. She was 99.
Pruitt, who grew up in Oakland and moved to Ukiah in 1969 after her husband’s death, was found dead in her home Feb. 20 by an acquaintance who helped her with chores, Pruitt’s friends said. A cause of death has not yet been determined.
Pruitt became a fixture in the local arts community after owning the Renaissance Gallery shop near downtown Ukiah for 32 years. She shifted her focus to art restoration two decades ago, when she opened Pruitt’s Fine Art Restoration.
She ran the business up until the time of her death.
Pruitt was remembered as a knowledgeable instructor who gave straightforward feedback without judgment.
Days before she died, she had met with a core group of Ukiah-area artists who have taken classes from her for several years, said Redwood Valley resident Jeanette Bylund, one of the students in the class.
That final class ran as it always had, Bylund said.
“We knew it was going to happen, but you’re never ready for when it does,” Bylund said. said of Pruitt’s passing. “We’re all shocked.”
Priutt’s lifelong interest in art began when she was a child, she said in an interview with The Press Democrat in December.
Pruitt’s father worked as an architect and her paternal grandmother was an artist. Her mother was an illustrator for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in San Francisco, Pruitt said. At-home art projects were common activity for Pruitt and her two sisters and brother, she said.
After deciding to make art her vocation, she graduated from San Francisco State University in 1945 with a bachelor’s degree in art and a teaching credential, Pruitt said.
She then started teaching art at schools throughout the East Bay and in 1961 earned her master’s degree in education from the University of the Pacific, which allowed her to teach adults.
Pruitt continued her studies after moving to Ukiah. She enrolled in the Academy of Professional Art Conservation and Science in Sonoma and was trained in art restoration. She then began offering classes to the public on the topic out of the Renaissance Gallery to supplement her income.
Her willingness to teach others about the field outside of a formal, institutional setting was rare and drew students from throughout the U.S. and outside the country, said Jayed Scotti. He first met Pruitt about 30 years ago as a client at Renaissance Gallery, though he eventually became an informal apprentice in exchange for art, Scotti said.
He enjoyed Pruitt’s company, as well as learning about art conservation, he said.
“We were kind of like art doctors,” Scotti said of the art restoration work. “The goal was to make (the restoration) invisible.”
Pruitt held her last art show at the Medium Art Gallery in Ukiah a month before her death. The retrospective included about 40 pieces, mostly paintings, said Chris Pugh, the vice president of the Deep Valley Arts Collective, which runs the gallery.
Some of the artwork was from as early as the 1940s, when Pruitt was still a novice, he said.
About 100 people attended the show’s opening night on Jan. 7. Pruitt was joined by relatives who traveled to Ukiah from out of town, as well as many of her students, Pugh said.
“In the work you could definitely see trends and patterns throughout the years, styles that she was into,” Pugh said, adding that portraits and landscapes were common.
Pruitt’s relatives could not be reached for comment about her passing.
Jeanette Carson, a Ukiah artists who met Pruitt four decades ago, said she would miss hearing Pruitt’s stories during her twice-weekly art class. Carson first learned oil painting from Pruitt 15 years ago, and described her former teacher as self-assured.
“Up to the very end, if you asked her about color or anything, she’d tell you what to mix,” Carson said. “She was very sure of her advice. She just knew things.”
A memorial service for Pruitt is planned at the Grace Hudson Museum in Ukiah April 10 at 1 p.m.
(courtesy The Press Democrat)
ON-LINE COMMENTS re Mendo supervisors not returning to in-person meetings:
 Local government offices are here to serve the public. Our community was willing to put up with all the lock downs to get through the emergency but now as this pandemic becomes endemic it is time to reopen all government business as it was before covid. Please remember all the other essential businesses that never shut down to in person business during the height of this emergency. If they could stay open during the height of the danger then certainly the rest should now be able to safely get back to business as normal.
 It’s WAY over due! Not only should the BOS be physically present for ALL meetings but the offices should also be opened! A locked door does not prevent Covid. County employees are public servants and they can not properly serve the public with locked doors.
 Classic Mendoshitshow County Board and CEO. Out of touch with reality. Living in the real world families struggle to pay their bills and can’t afford to feed their kids. These guys sit at home and collect their nearly $100,000 paychecks virtually having their food delivered to the door. Carmel Angelo making more than Newsom. Yall should be ashamed of yourselves. Get your butts back to work. Ugh. The circular conversations that go on and on for years about the same subject never ending. Not really cost effective. They need to be able to walk and chew gum at the same time. Unfortunately that is not the case. Never heard of Gjerde. But his clownish carbon footprint reduction comments have me praying that Tommy Lee Jones pays me a visit real quick.
FOR 70 YEARS, A MENDOCINO FOREST HAS BEEN USED TO PROMOTE LOGGING. Is it time to change its mission?
by Mary Callahan
Even in the fading light of dusk, a 200-foot-tall redwood known as the “Mama Tree” is an exalted presence.
Her imposing height and girth show she’s been on earth far longer than anyone who might find comfort in her shade.
Near her base, a downed log serves as an altar, displaying stones, a seashell, pictures, a pink crystal triangle and a bird’s lost feather — talismans left by visitors who travel along a well-used trail nearby.
In Mama Tree’s branches, 65 feet above ground, a tented wooden platform occupied by a variety of committed protesters last year is vacant, waiting, a long banner hanging just below it.
“Save and Protect Jackson State,” it says. “The Forest of the People.”
For more than a year, this spot in the sprawling Jackson Demonstration State Forest has become a rallying point in an intensifying battle over the future of the nearly 50,000-acre expanse of public land, an area nearly twice as large as the city of San Francisco.
The forest, which extends east from the central Mendocino Coast about 100 miles northwest of Santa Rosa, was set aside seven decades ago to extol the virtues of responsible logging.
Now, however, activists say it’s time to rethink its purpose. Each massive redwood that is cut down can no longer absorb and store carbon from the atmosphere and becomes one less weapon in the battle against climate change.…
A READER WRITES:
Here's some local talent, James Pellegrine, known as one of the best, fattest, surfers in the world at nearly 400 pounds. There is no competitive surfing class for Jimbo, as he's known, but he catches the eye of the surf media as such an anomaly. For some years now he has been based out of Kauai and Bali. He's quite talented for his size and girth, here pictured at Bali's famous Padang Padang - considered a pretty heavy and shallow wave.
What's the connection? I dunno, but he shows up in the Mendo Booking logs every few years, most recently on 2/12/22. I think this is the third time I've seen him in the logs now.
As of late things haven't gone so well for him so I'm not sure how surfing will continue as he lost an arm in a car accident in Kauai that was rumored a DUI but he ended up beating the rap. Hope he is well.
By the way, what ever happened to McEwen and Washburn? I know McEwen got married so Im guessing he moved off. Washburn, well, he was great in the early few years with some gritty tales and tribulations of addiction, but as time went on I felt his writing transitioned to a more fictional and grasping nature, and I suspect that is why he is now absent of the column. Please advise Dear Sir.
PS- I sure miss rants from Jerry Philbrick.
PPS- I really miss rants from Jerry Philbrick.
PPPS- Never got to meet him. Shoulda invited Jerry for a drink at the Beacon and ordered him a Vitamin V ala Herb Caan!
THE COAST DEMOCRATS ASK, “Can Progressive Politics Prevail In Mendocino?”
SHORT ANSWER: NO.
LONG ANSWER: NEVER HAVE
LONGER ANSWER: As one of these tiresome guys who asks people to define their terms, what do conservative Democrats mean by “progressive”? There are a lot of people on the Northcoast walking around thinking good thoughts, but defining “progressive” as enacted in public policy and elected to office to agitate for progressive policies, NO. (cf Mendocino County)
Example: When a bona fide progressive, Norm Soloman, ran in a primary against conservative, machine Democrat Jared Huffman in 2012, Norm was not quite able to get enough votes to get into a runoff against Huffman, garnering, as I recall, just short of the only Republican candidate. (The primary was for a run-off between the top two vote-getters. Huffman got just 37.5%. Republican Dan Roberts got 15% and Solomon got 14.9%, just 173 votes short of what would have put him into a run-off with the other Democrat. The “stoner candidates” with absolutely no chance of winning — John Lewallen, Dr. Courtney, and Andy Caffrery — got almost 7,000 votes collectively, most of which would have gone to Solomon if they hadn’t thrown their bongs into the ring, allowing the electorate a real choice between a ho-hum Demo and a real progressive with a record to back it up.) I'd say roughly ten percent of the Northcoast electorate could accurately be described as “progressive,” fewer in Mendocino County. But if you count the Solomon and Stoner votes from 2012 the percentage would be closer to 20%.
THE ONLY SUPERVISOR who took the County budget seriously was Johnny Pinches, and he was the only supervisor in recent history who truly guarded the public purse. He certainly would have opposed this constant delegating of simple legal cases to expensive Frisco lawyers. The sorely put upon taxpayers of this county fund at least 8, maybe ten lawyers in the County Counsel's office; what do these people do all day? A wrongful termination beef is brain surgery gone wrong? You need to pay someone $300-$400 an hour to represent the county in cases where the CEO's tantruming winds up in court? Any hack with a law degree ought to be able to handle 99 percent of cases arising out of Mendocino County.
PINCHES annotated the entire County budget, carefully marking every questionable expenditure, and carried that sucker — the size of a city phone book — around with him. Now? The five supervisors, at their every zoom, sign off on big amounts of public money for often nebulous purposes, or no defensible purpose at all, and do a lot of it via the automatic yes of their consent calendar CEO. Angelo has herself made straight up gifts of public funds, flagrantly when she hired her San Diego pal, Dr. Doohan, to be Mendocino County's invisible, un-tasked assistant health officer. 15 hours a week for a year for a hundred grand! And there's no evidence Doohan put in any hours.
THE SUPERVISORS themselves are obviously wayyyyyyyyyy overpaid. $84,000 a year plus a lush array of benefits, and this in a county where the average annual wage is $30,000 and half the county is on one kind of low-income aid or another. Two zoom meetings a month? Peg Supe salaries to the average annual take of Mendo people, I say!
SEE THEM WHILE they're a' blooming, Doug Johnson's field of daffodils at Doug's Pepperwood Pottery, Navarro. As the proud owner of a Johnson original vase, I'm saving up to buy another one, and list Doug as one more talented individual in a valley chock full of the gifted.
UKRAINE, TODAY, an opinion from Boonville's Global Affairs desk: Within the next few days, Putin will be removed from office by patriotic elements of his armed forces who realize the invasion of Ukraine is not only catastrophic for the Ukraine, it's collapsing the Russian economy. Ukraine has already won but at terrible cost, and the longer Ukraine can resist as Putin indiscriminately levels their cities, the more likely Putin is to be removed than feed his conscripts into Ukraine street fighting. BTW, the “left's” stupid demos for NATO to cease its nuclear surround of Russia ignores the obvious fact that NATO is not the aggressor. Yes, NATO should have been disbanded years ago. Hell, even Orange Man wondered why the U.S. was funding much of it as an arm of the post-Yeltsin neo-Cold War. The prob right now is to get Putin out before he goes to the nukes, not NATO, presuming his generals would go along with the ultimate crime against humanity. Some people will recall it was a courageous Russian sub commander, Vasili Arkhipov, who didn't launch his nukes during the Bay of Pigs. Prediction: Putin is out by next Friday.
THE MAN WHO SAVED THE WORLD
Vasili Aleksandrovich Arkhipov was a Soviet Navy officer credited with preventing a Soviet nuclear strike (and, potentially, all-out nuclear war) during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Such an attack likely would have caused a major global thermonuclear response. As flotilla chief of staff and second-in-command of the diesel powered submarine B-59, Arkhipov refused to authorize the captain's use of nuclear torpedoes against the United States Navy, a decision requiring the agreement of all three senior officers aboard.…
VLADIMIR PUTIN BECAME ACTING PRESIDENT when Boris Yeltsin resigned unexpectedly on New Year’s Eve 1999. Documents published in 2020 include the transcripts of Clinton’s call to Yeltsin that evening, and to the new president Putin the next morning. Yeltsin explains to Clinton in their phone call “now I’ve given him [Putin] three months, three months according to the constitution, to work as [acting] president, and people will get used to him for these three months. I am sure that he will be elected….” (National Security Archive)
BARBARA ORTEGA OF FORT BRAGG: Love the idea of a long term vacancy fine, as I have 3 houses on my street that have sat empty for YEARS. These are middle class homes right outside of town. I'd even be happy to see squatters move in at this point.
1922 CHICAGO ARREST FOR INDECENT SWIM SUITS
WHILE UKRAINE IS UNDER ASSAULT, PUTIN FACES UNEXPECTEDLY SHARP DOMESTIC BLOWBACK
How Russia's war in Ukraine came back to bite Putin at home
By Alexander Smith
The currency is nosediving, the market is in panic, and frantic residents are trying to withdraw savings from increasingly barren ATMs. Meanwhile, anti-war protesters are joined by members of the billionaire elite who have broken rank against their embattled president. There are questions about the country’s capacity to survive the crisis — and what it may do next in desperation.
This is not Ukraine under siege, but rather the blowback for its invader, Russia.
When President Vladimir Putin launched his war on Ukraine, few predicted the conflict would have such immediate consequences for the Kremlin and the Russian people.
Not only has it drawn the anticipated barrage of Western sanctions, it has also unleashed boycotts of Russian sponsors by Western businesses, countries’ closing their airspace to Russian planes and international sports and entertainment events’ freezing out Moscow's competitors.
Almost overnight Russia has become a pariah.
The ruble, its currency, hit record lows after it lost 40 percent of its value Monday. And shares plummeted so dramatically that the Moscow Exchange stock market ceased trading for three days straight. There is even a chance Russia could default on its debt for the first time since 1998, the Institute of International Finance, a banking lobby group, has warned.
In Moscow, there were telltale signs that Putin’s assault was harming his own people. Lines snaked outside ATMs as people tried to withdraw dollars to prevent their savings’ diminishing. And there was disruption on the subway as contactless payments systems went offline and more people resorted to old-fashioned paper tickets that they had not used in years.
“Things are becoming more expensive already,” said Marina Vinogradova, 39, a musician living in Moscow who was having a coffee in one of the city’s malls this week. “Everyone is scared. We don’t know what’s going to happen.”
She said her husband was among those unable to withdraw dollars. A friend’s house purchase fell through because savings no longer had the same value as just weeks earlier, she added.
And after the U.S. and Europe agreed to cut off Russian banks from the crucial SWIFT system, which handles international bank payments, some Moscow hotels requested that customers settle bills early in case their credit card systems no longer worked.
It is hard to get an accurate sense of the weight of public opinion in Russia as a result of Putin's yearslong crackdown on dissent. But even in a county that routinely stifles political opposition and free speech and where the media is dominated by state-run Kremlin mouthpiece TV stations, signs of disquiet are clear.
A survey by the radio station Echo Moscow found that even in this information-restrictive environment, more than a fifth of Russians said they were against the war. On Tuesday, the station was taken off the air for being too critical of the Kremlin, its editor told The Associated Press. The office of Russia's prosecutor general accused it of spreading "false information" about the conflict.
Protests are even further curtailed right now under the guise of Covid-19 safety. But even so, countless thousands of people across the country have protested the invasion. Of those, almost 6,500 people have been arrested since Thursday, according to the Moscow-based independent human rights group OVD-Info.
It is undeniable that there is real opposition to Putin's invasion. A Change.org petition started by the veteran human rights campaigner Lev Ponomarev had topped 1.1 million signatures by early Wednesday.
In an attempt to control the narrative, state-run TV has downplayed the war as a minor “operation” confined to Ukraine’s Russian-speaking east. And the government’s communications regulator said it is limiting access to Facebook, accusing the platform of “censoring” Russian media.
Nevertheless, opposition has reverberated into the upper echelons of Russian society: Russian celebrities and public figures have denounced the war; Elena Kovalskaya, the director of a state-run theater in Moscow, quit her job because she did not want to continue receiving a salary from a "killer" like Putin; and Garage, a prominent contemporary art museum in Moscow, said it was closing until "the human and political tragedy" in Ukraine was stopped.
But perhaps even more surprising is the intervention by several Russian oligarchs — billionaires who got rich in the carve-up of the Russian state in the early 1990s, many of whom have links to Putin.
Mikhail Fridman, a co-founder of Russia's Alfa-Bank, who, according to Forbes, is worth almost $13 billion, was one of those sanctioned this week by the European Union, which described him as "a top Russian financier and enabler of Putin’s inner circle."
Fridman, who was born in Ukraine and has denied the allegations as "defamatory," moved Monday to distance himself from Putin's war. In an open letter to staff members, he said that "war can never be the answer" and that "this crisis will cost lives and damage two nations who have been brothers for hundreds of years."
The message from the West has been clear: The days of Russian oligarchs’ orbiting Putin and criticizing the West — while mooring their yachts in Monaco, partying in London and Paris and educating their children at elite Western schools — are over.
In his State of the Union address Tuesday, U.S. President Joe Biden warned the oligarchs, "We are coming for your ill-begotten gains."
All of that contrasts with the mood before the invasion, when former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, now a top security official, dismissed the West's "woeful sanctions" as "political impotence."
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov acknowledged Wednesday that "the Russian economy is now experiencing a serious blow" but maintained that "there is a margin of safety. We will stand on our feet."
He told reporters that "support for Putin’s actions is very high" and that "this gives strength to the president."
In reality, Putin faces pressure at home and abroad. With the invasion going slower than expected, he has ramped up his bombing against Ukrainian civilians and threatened the West with nuclear war — which could engulf many of Russia's 144 million people, too.
“F--- Putin, f--- the war,” one man, age 31, said in Moscow this week.
“We are really afraid that he can start a nuclear war,” he said, declining to give his name because of fear of reprisals by Russia’s security services. “I think he can because he’s crazy.”
SIX FOR TWO
Warmest spiritual greetings, Following my discharge from Adventist Hospital in Ukiah, California with a heart pacemaker surgically implanted, went to a Motel 6 for two nights. A bed opened up at Building Bridges winter shelter, so I am now safely indoors with a social services staff being supportive of my developing a plan for housing.
It probably doesn't surprise anybody that I'd rather be fully on the front lines of peace & justice, which includes radical environmentalism, beginning with being back in Washington, D.C. at the moment, but this is how it is at present. Where I am is a long way from where some of us were at Occupy D.C. Regardless, everything changes. So don't forget me! I gotta survive for now, but I will be back with you frontlining at the proper time. Stay in touch. ☺
Craig Louis Stehr, firstname.lastname@example.org
RILEY’S DRUGS & GUNS
On Saturday, February 19, 2022 at approximately 11:47 AM, UPD dispatched received a call reporting a male in a vehicle in the area of E. Gobbi St. and Waugh Ln. who appeared to be selling marijuana. The caller provided a description of the vehicle. A UPD officer arrived in the area and observed a vehicle, that matched the description provided by the caller, exiting the parking lot onto Waugh Lane. The officer observed an equipment violation on the vehicle. The vehicle drove onto Waugh Ln., and then made an abrupt turn into an apartment complex’s parking lot. The officer conducted an enforcement stop on the vehicle and contacted the three occupants. The driver was identified as Mathew James Riley and the other occupants were minors. The officer observed marijuana and marijuana paraphernalia inside the vehicle and within reach of the two minors.
Riley denied the behaviors reported by the caller, but admitted ownership of the marijuana and knowledge that the other occupants were minors. Riley and the other occupants were removed from the vehicle without incident and the officer’s investigation continued. A subsequent search of the vehicle and several backpacks within the vehicle resulted in the officer locating the following contraband:
A semi-automatic 9mm handgun that was loaded, had a high capacity magazine and the serial numbers were obliterated.
Three approximately 1-pound bags of marijuana
Approximately 77.5 grams of Cocaine (approximately 774 dosage units)
65 Alprazolam prescription pills (controlled substance)
20 individually baggies containing MDMA “molly”
Another baggie containing 1 gram of Cocaine
18 vials of CBD
A concealed, loaded 9mm polymer 80 Glock style handgun (ghost gun), loaded with 30 rounds of ammunition.
A concealed, loaded 9mm 80 Glock style handgun (ghost gun), loaded with 34 rounds of ammunition, with a threaded barrel.
The two polymer 80 handguns met the requirements to be classified as assault weapon.
Items of paraphernalia that were consistent with sales of controlled substances.
Riley was placed under arrest for the above-mentioned violations without incident. The two minors were released at the scene to their parents. Riley was booked at the MCSO Jail where is being held on $50,00 bail.
KNIFE WIELDER GETS EIGHT YEARS
Defendant Gabriel Jon Patterson, age 49, generally of the Ukiah area, was sentenced to state prison for 96 months Tuesday morning in the Mendocino County Superior Court.
On November 22, 2021, a restaurant owner and his cook were walking and talking just after 8 o’clock in the morning enroute to preparing to open the owner’s downtown Ukiah restaurant for that day’s business.
As these businessmen walked together through the parking lot at the southeast corner of State and Perkins Street, an apparent transient with a shopping cart suddenly pulled a knife from his belongings and lunged towards the unsuspecting men for no apparent reason.
Fortunately, two armed DA investigators were standing close by, just inside the doorway of the Child Support Enforcement offices at that location.
When the investigators saw the defendant pull the knife and begin towards the two men in a threatening and dangerous manner, they rushed out of the building, drew and pointed their firearms at the defendant, ordered him to drop his Bowie-style knife and to get down on the ground, where he was thereafter arrested.
The defendant was charged with two counts of felonious assault with a knife, as well as a prior Strike conviction.
That prior Strike conviction was entered in the juvenile division of the Mendocino County Superior Court in 1990 when the defendant was 17-years-old. He was convicted of voluntary manslaughter, a crime in which he stabbed another youth to death in February 1990.
The defendant was sentenced in that 1990 case to the California Youth Authority for 11 years in May 1990, was received by the CYA in June 1990, was paroled in August 1993, and was discharged from parole supervision in December 1994, an outcome far less than the 11 year sentence that had been imposed.
The defendant also had an additional Strike conviction out of the state of Kansas in 1996, but the DA exercised his discretion to not charge that second Strike (which would have placed the defendant at risk of receiving a sentence of 25 years to life) in exchange for an early acceptance of criminal responsibility by the defendant prior to the preliminary hearing.
The defendant’s admission to the single Strike, however, doubled the court-imposed four-year base sentence for the two offenses to an overall sentence of eight years.
Additionally, because the defendant’s sentence was enhanced by that single Strike, the credits towards early release he may attempt to earn while housed at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation are limited by the voter-modified Three Strikes law to no more than 20% of the overall sentence.
The law enforcement agency that developed the evidence supporting today’s sentence was primarily the District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigations, with timely assistance from the Ukiah Police Department.
The attorney who handled this case from charging through sentencing was District Attorney David Eyster.
Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Carly Dolan presided over Tuesday morning’s sentencing hearing.
UKIAH VALLEY FIRE AUTHORITY - ‘THINGS ARE ALREADY DRY AND BURNING’
Residents advised to be ‘very careful’ when burning excess vegetation
by Justine Frederiksen
An escaped burn pile Monday morning showed just how dry much of the vegetation is in the Ukiah Valley, where local firefighters are already on alert for fire season in the first week of March.
“It was burning pretty good,” UVFA Battalion Chief Eric Singleton said of a vegetation fire on Sanford Ranch Road that began as a four-by-four foot pile when it was first reported the morning of Feb. 28, but which quickly grew to a 200-foot-by-40-foot fire in the creek bed by the time crews arrived.
Singleton said crews were able to “quickly stop forward progress” of the fire, but how well the vegetation burned definitely has them concerned about the months and months of fire season ahead.
“Everyone needs to be extremely careful,” he said, explaining that while it can certainly help to have people burning vegetation now that could provide ladder fuels for fires that spark later this summer, it is very important that the burning be done as safely as possible.
“Our biggest concern is that the burn piles are attended at all times,” he said, adding that every fire should have someone watching out who can either help contain it, or at least quickly call for firefighters to respond, because “the sooner we get there, the better.”
The day after Monday’s escaped burn pile, Singleton said crews responded to more burn piles near Mendocino College that were filling the sky above the valley with smoke late Tuesday morning.
“And those turned out to be under control, there were just a lot of them, and they were sending up a lot of smoke,” said Singleton. So much smoke, in fact, that crews were concerned and headed out there to investigate without being called first. “We’re definitely keeping an eye out.”
While the fires near Mendocino College did not turn out to be a problem, Singleton pointed to a fire sparked Tuesday afternoon in Sonoma County as more proof of how dry the region is already. Called the Alpine Fire, that blaze near the Russian River burned about seven acres of vegetation above Monte Rio before forward progress was reportedly stopped.
While waiting for the next fire in their jurisdiction, Singleton said UVFA crews have been getting their legs and lungs ready to climb steep hills by hiking the trails at Low Gap Park to “gear up for Wildland fire season.”
(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)
A LOAD OF BULL
by Mark Scaramella
No, no. It’s not what you probably think.
This is a story told by my father about an experience he had while he was in college at UC Davis in the first half of the 20th Century.
It was 1928 and my grandfather, Carlo Scaramella, a Coast dairyman at the time, had made arrangements with Professor Mead, head of the UC Davis Dairy Industry Department, to participate in an experiment based on Professor Mead’s odd theory that cross-eyed bulls produced cows which produced more milk. The experiment required a fairly controlled environment where the milk production of the female offspring of a cross-eyed bull could be accurately compared to the average cow of an ordinary dairy herd. Professor Mead loaned various specially-bred cross-eyed bulls to as many dairymen in Northern California as he could to enlarge the sample size in an attempt to validate his theory.
The experiment involved shipping a prize cross-eyed bull from the UC Davis herd to my grandfather’s dairy ranch in Manchester. At the time, my father was at the time a UC Davis student, so he was the obvious choice to get the bull from Davis to Manchester. My father’s expenses would be paid by the University and there would be no stud fees.
The cross-eyed bull was a prize-winning Jersey weighing about 1700 pounds. The next time my father went home for a vacation he would drive their ranch truck, a 1920 vintage Day-Elder flatbed with magneto lights, back to UC Davis and use it to transport the bull. The truck ran good but was starting to show its age.
The trip began one late fall morning by loading a large crate onto the flatbed along with a several bales of loose hay. Although jersey bulls are known in the dairy trade as comparatively feisty and rambunctious, the seemingly tame and docile bull was herded and prodded up a ramp and into the crate where it was loosely roped to the cage walls to keep the bull near the center of the crate. The crate was roped shut and roped to the flatbed. It was as secure as they could make it.
It was immediately obvious to my father that the big bull made the aging truck somewhat top-heavy. He realized that if the bull got too far over to one side it might tip over the truck, even with the ropes tied to keep the bull in the center of the wooden cage, he’d have to drive very carefully, hoping not to disturb the animal. Herb Sprague, my father’s friend and fellow UC Davis student from the Mendocino Coast, had offered to accompany my father for the trip, so he hopped in and off they went.
The first leg of the trip from Davis to the Coast was more or less uneventful — except for the flat tire. Although, putting on the spare wasn’t much of a problem for the two young men, it took over an hour and a half what with unloading the bull and re-loading him which threw them off their schedule. It also reminded them, if they needed reminding, that the truck was unstable with a live bull in a crate on the flatbed.
They had hoped to make reach Manchester before nightfall. Now that was in doubt.
The route my father chose was through Napa County and Sonoma County and over to the Coast at Jenner because at that time the roads to the Coast through Mendocino County were, shall we say, “unimproved,” (i.e., dirt or gravel) besides being steep and very twisty. He didn’t think those more direct roads would be stable or flat enough to take a 1700-pound bull on the back of a small flatbed.
The flat tire and the slower speeds they needed to keep from jostling the bull too much delayed their arrival in Jenner however, and it became obvious that they had no chance to get to Manchester in the daytime.
Anyone familiar with Highway 1 knows that one of the most interesting sections of it is the well known “Jenner Grade,” a series of steep switchbacks that take you from the mouth of the Russian River up to the Coast headlands. They’re tricky now. In 1928 they were… Well, slow-going.
Miraculously, they made it up the switchbacks, although they had to go much slower than they expected 1. to maintain stability, and 2. because the truck wouldn’t make it up the steep slopes in any gear but first — another major time setback.
It was getting dark. The fog was coming in, thick and patchy. And the truck’s old variable magneto lights, which depended on the truck’s speed to operate, weren’t providing much light.
In the 1920s, Highway 1 along the Coast was much steeper and curvier than it is today. There were a number of bridges to get over the various rivers and creeks that flow into the Pacific, but to keep them easier and cheaper to build, bridges were built further inland where the river channels were narrower. So following the rough coastline required many swings into gulches where there were not only more severe and steep u-turns and s-turns, but whatever little moonlight there was was obstructed by the steep hill walls surrounding the gulch. It also made the distance traveled that much farther.
The combined effect of the various visibility restrictions meant that for several long sections of Highway 1 Herb had to get out of the truck with an old-fashioned box flashlight and guide my father along the road at a walking pace.
Unsurprisingly, the bull seemed to be acting antsy and impatient, making more noise and pulling on his ropes.
Oh, and need I mention that many stretches of the narrow strip of Highway 1 are cut into the steep sheer cliffs of the Coastal headlands? For miles at a time there’s no shoulder and you can stand on the edge of the road and look right down at the rock-and-driftwood-cluttered beach 100-200 feet or more below.
This wasn’t exactly what my father had bargained for when he signed on to Professor Mead’s cock-eyed experiment.
They slowly and carefully made their way north through the remote outposts of Fort Ross, Salt Point, Horseshoe Cove, Rocky Point, Fisherman Bay, Black Point, etc., and finally made it to Gualala a little before midnight where they gassed up and stayed overnight in the famous Gualala Hotel. The bull was assisted out of the crate and into a small corral that a friendly Gualalian kindly offered up for the night. The next morning they re-loaded the bull and finished the trip up to Manchester without further incident.
My father told this story in a matter-of-fact manner, as if it was just one small part of an otherwise uninteresting cross-eyed cow experiment. As far as I could tell, the difficulties they encountered were just routine problems to be solved along the way. He never felt like there was much real danger. Obviously, times were different then.
But I’m still convinced that the trip was anything but routine.
As I thought about this story later, I realized that, because they were driving north, they did have the lucky advantage of being able to drive on the inside side of the road, providing a few feet of buffer between their northbound lane and the steep coastal bluffs.
My father didn’t know how the experiment came out and I never got around to asking him how the bull got back to UC Davis.
HEATHER MEYER: Mendocino County's Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) was sold to voters as a way to tax rich tourists who lodge in luxury hotels. Unfortunately the TOT applies to all temporary lodging accommodations including Camp Grounds! Hundreds of the poorest people in the county are now paying a 10% annual increase in rent due to the TOT! We represent some of the least financially stable members of society. New or single parents and people who are elderly and or disabled have no choice but to live in trailers in Camp Grounds. Renting in town or anywhere else is simply too expensive. The TOT is putting us at risk for further housing insecurity or loss. Not only is it taxing us money that we don't have; it is taxing Camp Grounds that are struggling to provide water, power, and sewer to hundreds of poor people who would be homeless otherwise. Taxing the low income housing providers and the low income people is exasperating the housing crisis! The county inspectors forbid Camp Ground residents from having: fences, any outdoor structures (however small); including: greenhouses, compost piles or chicken coops. We can't even have a tool shed or a small overhang (to cover a refrigerator that will not fit inside of a tiny trailer). We must live like transients in order to obey code enforcement rules that are bureaucratic overreaches which have nothing to do with safety. So with all these restrictions; why am I paying a TOT? Which means my already high space rent has gone up to almost $800/month? The TOT will equal $840 out of my hole filled pocket per year; and I can't even have a laying hen to help feed my poor overtaxed family! Democratic Socialists: your laws punish the poor; not empower us. Your taxes need to reflect what you preach: tax the rich.
A READER COMPLAINS: Something needs to be done about our roads in Mendocino. The weekly patching is just making them so bumpy and unpleasant to drive on. Same with the little county roads. It’s embarrassing a tourist destination like ours can’t even have smooth roads. They are caving in in multiple areas around town. Why doesn’t the town of Mendocino get to have our roads paved correctly. The chip sealing every 20 years, isn’t cutting it!
CATCH OF THE DAY, March 3, 2022
ILLEANA AMRULL, Ukiah. Robbery, probation revocation.
ETHAN BECKER, Laytonville. Probation revocation.
EMMY FINE, Fort Bragg. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
MASON HARRIS, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
ARTEMIO ORTEGA-REYES, Redwood Valley. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, contempt of court, probation revocation.
KEVIN SHAW, Ukiah. Battery, controlled substance, ex-felon with tear gas, failure to appear, probation revocation.
JOHN SULLIVAN, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE, Ukiah. Killing, maiming or abusing animals. (Frequent flyer.)
KENNETH TORRES, Willits. DUI-alcohol&drugs, under influence, controlled substance, paraphernalia, probation violation.
ROSE TURNER, Gualala. Domestic battery, probation revocation.
PORFIRIO VIZCAINO-BAUTISTA, Covelo. Domestic battery, child endangerment.
SCOTTY WILLIS, Ukiah. Trespassing, resisting, failure to appear. (Frequent flyer.)
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY: So the West has started seizing assets of the Russian “oligarchs”. Already several 100+ million dollar yachts have been seized. I would imagine the western “billionaires” (don’t call them oligarchs) are salivating in anticipation for when these assets will be auctioned and they can scoop ’em on the cheap. Oil at $250 a barrel? Do ya think Billionaires (don’t call them oligarchs) give a shit. Perhaps they should all be scrapped in the interest of combating climate change. Well we all know that ain’t gonna happen.
GRIGORI RASPUTIN predicted his death by a noble's hands - which actually happened a month after the prediction. Not only did he predict his death, but also the fate of the royal family and Russia as a whole. He also predicted that if Russia were to fall, the Tsar's entire family would be murdered "within two years."
“I HONOR LENIN as a man who completely sacrificed himself and devoted all his energy to the realization of social justice. I do not consider his methods practical, but one thing is certain: men of his type are the guardians and restorers of humanity.”
— Albert Einstein
NOT ALL THE TREASURES OF THE WORLD, so far as I believe, could have induced me to support an offensive war, for I think it murder; but if a thief breaks into my house, burns and destroys my property, and kills or threatens to kill me, or those that are in it, and to “bind me in all cases whatsoever” to his absolute will, as King George has done, am I to suffer it? What signifies it to me, whether he who does it is a king or a common man; my countryman or not my countryman; whether it be done by an individual villain, or an army of them? If we reason to the root of things we shall find no difference; neither can any just cause be assigned why we should punish in the one case and pardon in the other. Let them call me rebel and welcome, I feel no concern from it; but I should suffer the misery of devils, were I to make a whore of my soul by swearing allegiance to one whose character is that of a sottish, stupid, stubborn, worthless, brutish man. I conceive likewise a horrid idea in receiving mercy from a being, who at the last day shall be shrieking to the rocks and mountains to cover him, and fleeing with terror from the orphan, the widow, and the slain of America.
— Thomas Paine, The Crisis