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RAIN SHOWERS with small hail and mountain snow along with brisk winds will continue through Tuesday in the wake of a cold front. Cool and unsettled weather will continue through the week with another storm system passing through around late Wednesday into Thursday. (NWS)
LAST NIGHT'S RAINFALL: Leggett 0.80" - Laytonville 0.48" - Willits 0.44" - Ukiah 0.20" - Covelo 0.19" - Boonville 0.14" - Hopland 0.12" - Yorkville 0.08"
A WILDLAND FIRE BROKE OUT IN THE HARE CREEK CANYON area outside of Fort Bragg about 2pm Sunday afternoon. Initial reports had it that the fire started at a brushy area that was a homeless encampment. Fort Bragg fire department volunteers were on it pretty soon before it spread much.
Windy weather and tricky access complicated the response. By 4pm responders had declared the slow-moving blaze contained. A neighbor reported that there have been fires in this location before.
DEATH IN THE MENDOCINO NATIONAL FOREST
Individual Succumbs To Injuries After Being ‘Impaled With A Stick’
CALIFORNIA BILL AIMS TO REMOVE HOMELESS FROM RIVER PARKWAYS
by Adam Beam
Lawmakers in California want to make it easier to remove homeless people along rivers and other open spaces after the body of a 20-year-old woman was found close to some tents at a popular park near the state's capital city earlier this year.
Emma Roark vanished after taking a walk at about noon on Jan. 27 along the American River Parkway, a 32-mile paved pedestrian trail that runs along the river and connects various parks between Sacramento and Folsom. Millions of people use the parkway each year. But like most vast public spaces, it's become a popular spot for homeless people to camp.
Authorities later found Roark's body in a secluded area not far from some homeless encampments. Investigators then arrested a 37-year-old homeless man and charged him with murder and rape in what the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department described as a “brutal sexual assault and homicide.”
Friday, just a few hundred yards from where Roark's body was found, a trio of Democratic state lawmakers called for the Legislature to pass a bill they say would make it easier for local governments to clear out homeless encampments along parklands and other open spaces.
Local governments already have the power to remove these camps. But state Assemblymember Kevin McCarty said many are afraid to do it after a federal appeals court ruled in 2018 that cities can't enforce anti-camping laws if they don't have enough available beds at homeless shelters to house everyone. That's become a problem in California, where recent estimates suggest about 160,000 people are homeless, the most of any state.
“We need to draw a line in the sand. We certainly have a homeless crisis in our city, but there are certain places you can't camp," said McCarty, who is supporting the bill authored by Democratic Assemblymember Ken Cooley of Rancho Cordova. “Residents (that) don't have the money to go to Yosemite and go to Tahoe every year … they go to the river. But they can't go because it's not safe.”
The camps also aren't safe for the environment. Trash and human waste often end up in the river, and campfires sometimes spread out of control. Last year, there were at least 60 fires along the American River Parkway, including one that destroyed a habitat restoration project, according to Stephen Green, president of Save the American River Association.
The bill, which is scheduled for a public hearing on April 26, would let local governments remove homeless people from “special parklands” — a new category defined as any “parklands, open spaces, and natural preserves that have a heightened risk of damage from wildfire or other significant environmental degradation” because of its “unique and valuable environmental, agricultural, scientific, educational and recreational resources.”
That would include the American River Parkway and other protected river parks in the state, including river trails in San Diego and Los Angeles. In a separate request, lawmakers are also asking to set aside $50 million in the state budget for local governments to spend on “healthier housing options” for people who are camping in regional parks.
The funding would be great, but it isn't nearly enough to help everyone statewide, said Bob Erlenbusch, executive director of the Sacramento Regional Coalition to End Homelessness. He estimates there are about 2,000 people living along the American River alone.
“Where do people go?” he said. “It's just another way to continually criminalize people experiencing homelessness without any real alternatives."
The bill is one of a wave of new proposals across the state aimed at forcing homeless people off the streets. In November, voters in Sacramento will vote on a ballot measure that would make homeless encampments on public property illegal and would force the city to have enough shelter beds for 60% of its homeless population.
Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom has endorsed a plan that could force some homeless people into treatment for drug addiction and mental health disorders.
Many advocates for the homeless oppose these ideas because they would violate people's civil rights. But the political momentum for them has been growing as the state's homeless population becomes more visible along with an increase in reported crimes following a decrease during the pandemic.
“Someone has to be the adult in the room and make adult decisions that hasn't been made until now,” said Assemblymember Jim Cooper, a Democrat from Elk Grove who is also running for Sacramento County sheriff. “It takes courage.”
HELICOPTER FLIES LARGE ‘HOOP’ OVER UKIAH VALLEY TO MEASURE GROUNDWATER BASIN
Data collected to be available in several months
by Justine Fredericksen
The helicopter you may have seen flying over the Ukiah Valley while carrying what looked like a large hoop in recent days is being used to measure the large aquifer that supplies groundwater to many crucial wells in the region, including those relied upon by the city of Ukiah.
According to the California Department of Water Resources, this month was the first time the Airborne Electromagnetic (AEM) method was used to survey the Ukiah Valley groundwater basin, though it has been used in the Sacramento Valley, Salinas Valley and Indian Wells Valley.
DWR staff said the AEM method has been used for decades to map aquifer structures and support groundwater management, both nationally and internationally. Three pilot studies were conducted in California to support the development of the AEM project in the Sacramento Valley in Colusa and Butte county groundwater basins; the Salinas Valley in Paso Robles groundwater basin; and in the Indian Wells Valley groundwater basin. Data collected provided foundational information about the aquifer systems in these areas which has been used to develop or refine the hydrogeological conceptual models for each area.
(courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)
Ukraine’s GDP output will contract by more than 45 percent this year as a result of the Russian invasion, according to a World Bank forecast.
The World Bank also forecast Russia’s GDP output to fall by at least 11 percent as a result of punitive sanctions.
Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer has said he will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Monday.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said Ukraine faces a critical week as Russia prepares for a renewed assault in the east of the country.
Russia threatens legal action if the West forces it to default on its debt.
MENDING FENCES & PROBLEM SOLVING WITH THE SHERIFF
by Jim Shields
I found out a long time ago that problems just don’t happen, people make them happen.
So it’s half-past enough already for the Board of Supervisors to end this 7-month unseemly, unnecessary, and unwarranted legal confrontation with the Sheriff over two non-existent issues that are wasting tax-payer money.
Not to accentuate the shallow narrative created by the recently departed former CEO, Carmel Angelo, but this is a problem she created over the necessary, lawful, and ordinary expenditures by Sheriff Matt Kendall, along with her attempt to wrest control from the Sheriff’s Office of its internal, highly sensitive computer system(s), and transfer the systems to her office.
There are 58 counties in California with each county having a Sheriff’s Office. All 58 Sheriff Offices’ computer systems are managed and controlled independently by each office for security reasons. These systems contain all kinds of sensitive information including operational and tactical plans, ongoing investigations, confidential informants, etc.
The battle over expenditures deals mostly with ordinary and necessary overtime expenditures that exceeded the Sheriff’s original budget. The CEO threatened to invoke an obscure California Government Code provision where a public official who exceeds a departmental budget can in some instances be held personally liable to pay for such overruns. I don’t believe the record establishes whether this arcane law has ever been invoked anywhere at anytime in the state of California. It’s certainly never been even cited in the history of this County until last year.
I’ve been in Mendocino County since Tim Shea was Sheriff, and I can tell you that Shea and every succeeding Sheriff has exceeded their budgets for overtime or other items, and were never threatened with personal liability for the overruns. Those situations were always resolved by the Supes finding the money needed because the causes of the overruns were necessary and unavoidable, as is the case with the current Sheriff.
Skipping the details, because there’s been no resolution to these CEO-caused problems, the taxpayers are now stuck with additional and unnecessary legal expenses because the Sheriff is entitled to outside legal counsel due to the obvious conflicts of the County Counsel’s Office. The Sheriff and the County are now in court litigating who the Sheriff’s outside attorney is going to be.
This is a mess and it must be cleaned up immediately.
As I said, problems just don’t happen, people make them happen.
And now people need to make the problems un-happen.
The Supervisors can make this problem go away overnight.
Their CEO caused this problem, and they need to get themselves out of it by providing the Sheriff with a settlement letter that says the following:
1. The Sheriff’s Office shall maintain full control and autonomy of its computer systems.
2. The Sheriff shall not be held personally liable for budget overruns, as there is no precedent for such action.
* * *
Supes approve plan to Chip Seal Bell Springs, Spy Rock Roads
Folks who live in the Spy Rock Road and Bell Springs roads communities will be glad to know to learn that the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors have approved a plan to chip seal those thoroughfares.
At Tuesday’s BOS meeting (April 5), the Supes unanimously approved a plan to incrementally chip seal the two roads over a 5-year period. The proposed plan is to lay down a solid road base over an approximate 4-year span and then chip seal the roads on the fifth year.
Chip seal is a pavement surface treatment that combines one or more layer(s) of asphalt with one or more layer(s) of fine aggregates. In the United States, Chip seals are typically used on rural roads carrying lower traffic volumes.
The first phase of the plan is to chip seal the first 3 miles on each road starting from Highway 101. On Spyrock Road the project will result in paving from 101 to the Spy Rock School, an area that was chip sealed several years ago and funded by a Mendocino County Air Quality Management District grant.
After the 5-year project is completed, the two roads will be incrementally chip sealed.
The project involves both the 3rd and 4th Supervisor Districts since redistricting relocated a portion of Spy Rock Road and all of Bell Springs into the 4th District represented by Dan Gjerde. Both 3rd District Supe John Haschak and Gjerde enthusiastically supported the chip seal proposal, as did yours truly when asked for a recommendation by Haschak and MDOT Director Howard Dashiell last week. In the past, the County would “dust-off” both roads, a process, in my opinion, that was a waste of time and money. Dust-off is an application of magnesium-chloride formula that is mixed with water and applied with a truck. Because of the drought and an MDOT budget deficit, the Dust-off program was suspended last year. Because too many people drive like maniacs on our gravel roads, the dust-off is quickly dissipated.
* * *
About time to end wildlife “Killing Contests”
As a former hunter I have no problem at all anybody who’s an old-school hunter. What I oppose are exotic trophy hunts and what are what is known as “wildlife killing contests” on public lands.
This week more than 15 members of Congress introduced legislation that would prohibit “organizing, sponsoring, conducting, or participating in wildlife killing contests” on more than 500 million acres of U.S. public lands.
The Prohibit Wildlife Killing Contests Act of 2022, whose introduction was led by Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), would require the Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Forest Service to enact regulations banning wildlife killing contests within a year. Eight states — Arizona, California, Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Vermont, and Washington — have already outlawed these events within their borders.
Wildlife killing contests are organized competitive events in which participants compete for cash or prizes by killing the most, the largest, or sometimes the smallest animals over a certain time period. Each year thousands of important native carnivores and other wildlife — including coyotes, foxes, bobcats, mountain lions, prairie dogs and even wolves — are killed during these competitions.
(Jim Shields is the Mendocino County Observer’s editor and publisher, firstname.lastname@example.org, the long-time district manager of the Laytonville County Water District, and is also chairman of the Laytonville Area Municipal Advisory Council. Listen to his radio program “This and That” every Saturday at noon on KPFN 105.1 FM, also streamed live: http://www.kpfn.org.)
IN HIS WEEKLY COLUMN, Mendocino County Observer Editor Jim Shields writes: “The Supervisors can make this problem go away overnight. Their CEO caused this problem, and they need to get themselves out of it by providing the Sheriff with a settlement letter that says the following: 1. The Sheriff’s Office shall maintain full control and autonomy of its computer systems. 2. The Sheriff shall not be held personally liable for budget overruns, as there is no precedent for such action. Problem solved.”
Shields is right. Something as simple and obvious as that would probably solve the ongoing and costly dispute the CEO and the Supervisors initiated last June, costing both the Sheriff and the County money they say they don’t have.
(We say “they say” because the budget has not yet been fully explained given that CEO Angelo said she left with an overlarge $20 million “reserve” but her successor, Interim CEO (and former Budget Team honcho) Darcie Antle, immediately said there was a $12 million deficit — except her numbers don’t say when those deficits will occur, presumably over several years at least, and she did not propose any immediate cost-cutting measures.)
Anyway, the issue is not how easily this pointless dispute could be solved, but, since it’s so easy, why it came up in the first place and why it has not already been solved.
Court filings show that the computer issue arose when the CEO tried to create a Chief Information Officer position for long-time loyal pal, Deputy CEO Janelle Rau, despite everyone involved knowing that she is not technically qualified for such a job and it’s illegal to include the Sheriff’s info system in a system open to non-law-enforcement personnel.
We don’t know why the hypothetical threat of holding the Sheriff personally responsible for overruns even arose, but we suspect that it stemmed from the former CEO Angelo’s personal dislike of Sheriff Kendall who caught her misrepresenting and undermining several important Sheriff’s issues since he was appointed Sheriff. But we pointed out at that time that the problem is not ordinary budget overruns, but the County’s and the Board’s failure to do monthly budget reporting. We also don’t know why the threat seems to apply only to the Sheriff when the original discussion included all department heads — including County Counsel Curtis who is currently experiencing the largest percentage projected overrun for this fiscal year.
The budget liability dispute would have simply passed into the Board’s weekly memory hole as a passing silliness when it first came up if it weren’t for Supervisors Ted Williams and Dan Gjerde knee-jerkingly falling into the CEO’s trap by idiotically piping up in support of imposing it after then-Assistant CEO Darcie Antle included it on an annual budget slide.
Williams immediately said, “Can we decide today to follow this?”
Gjerde agreed: “If it’s county code, I don't know why it's not being followed already.”
Williams: “Maybe we can give direction that we expect county code to be followed.”
CEO Angelo, clearly prepared on the subject, remarked, “When I started in 2007 [as Health and Human Services Director] this was one of the policies that was explained to me by then interim CEO Al Beltrami. All department heads were very well aware of this policy. This policy has never been enforced. If this board would like me as the executive officer to enforce it, what we would do is, we know when a department, whether it's run by a department head or elected official, as you know when we come back every quarter we can project if the department is going to be over budget.”
Never mind that the CEO has never provided such department by department quarterly budget projections.
Angelo continued: “Let's take the Department of Transportation and say they are going to be $200,000 over budget. I would notify the director at midyear most likely with a written letter that they are projecting a $200,000 overage and attach this policy which everybody is aware of and this makes the department head personally responsible for that $200,000 overage. You can see that it's quite a drastic policy and I understand why it's never been enforced. But if this board wants it enforced we could send it out again and notify the department heads. We could actually have them sign something. The department heads will sign, I don't know about the elected officials. But we could have them sign that they have received the policy and they are aware of it and they understand it and we could attempt to enforce it. That's the best I can say we could do.”
Williams: “I support that. Let's do it.”
Angelo went on and on about an enforcement process, adding, “The Sheriff comes in $1.6 million over. Am I going to send him a bill for $1.6 million? And when he says he won't pay it and he goes public is the board going to say he's going to have to put up $1.6 million? The policy is a bit unrealistic but it's on the books. We need to decide if we are going to go forward with it or amend it in some way.”
Williams: “It's not really a budget if you set a limit and then department heads are able to spent outside of the limit.”
Gjerde: This is the time to do it. It's part of the budget process. People would get advance notice from day one when their budget is approved. It's likely that any department head who sees their department over at the end of the year is going to say, Well, I asked for more money and your budget didn't approve everything. So that will be the argument made. But they certainly will have known what their budget was at budget approval time. It is pretty drastic. But on the other hand management employees and department heads and deputy department heads are paid top dollar — they may not think that but I think they are by Mendocino County standards — and with that comes responsibility. So I don't think it's that drastic in some respects. I think people should be able to manage their budget one way or the other and they need to make choices.”
County Counsel Christian Curtis: “This is not just county policy, it is state law.”
Williams: “It's a mistake to allow these overages. The board is never in a position to say, No, you cannot spend that money. It's already been spent. We need to align with state law.”
CEO Angelo suggested that the question be referred to the General Government standing committee “and a timeline be given to bring a recommendation back.”
They did that. But no timeline was given, of course. And the General Government Committee (Supervisors Maureen Mulheren and Williams) never reported back on the subject. Mulheren later issued a personal statement that it was not the Board’s intention to send any bills to department heads. But 1) none of her colleagues are on record agreeing with her, and 2) that was after the Sheriff had taken the threat personally because of all the pompous rhetoric from Williams and Gjerde.
Remember also that the Sheriff was not on hand at that June of 2021 board meeting when this stupid discussion arose. If he had been we suspect that the issue would have been quashed on the spot.
But now here we are nearly a year later and CEO Angelo is gone, yet this Board still seems unable to solve these pointless problems of their own creation with the kind of simple declaration Shields suggests.
These are the same people who are supposed to lead Mendo through much tougher issues in the times ahead.
PHIL THOMAS: Since an earthquake in Long Beach in 1933, the State of California has increasing dictated the standards to be used for state school construction. The Field Act mandates school construction/remodeling must be approved by the State Office of Architecture. The State Code and School construction laws dictate how much a project will cost. If a district uses State money to complete any job then all the details of the job must be approved and meet State Standards. Example: say you can replace a door and its hardware for $1000. But following the applicable laws/process in a school, it is easily 4x that much. The kicker for the school district is the Prevailing Wage Rule which applies to all school funded work that is not routine. Any construction/remodeling paid with the State money at a school must have the project approved by the State Office of Architecture and be paid at the Prevailing Wage Rates. This causes what you and I might think of as an easy inexpensive project to be more complicated and more expensive. We may not like the laws but we must abide by them (especially if we need the State or Bond money to pay it.)
CAN’T EVEN GET A PEEK AT A HOUSE (reposted for reference)
On the MCN Announce List, I recently read about a fellow who works at Adventist Health, our Fort Bragg hospital, and commutes to Fort Bragg from Manchester because he can’t find housing closer to the hospital. It turns out that fellow is Jonathan, an x-ray technician at the hospital. He explained to me this morning that when a listing becomes available, there are so many people competing for housing now on the coast that it’s difficult for him as a full-time worker to make weekday appointments to view rental units right away.
A READER RESPONDS: I don't know how to get in touch with Laurie York or Jonathan but found this...
Does anyone know a reliable person who wants to rent a small studio apt? Small, attached studio available now. Good for 1 person. Small, well behaved pet OK. Non Smoking $1,300.00/mo plus 1/3 power bill. I can be reached at email@example.com
ED NOTE: Using the standard one-third of gross income, to rent this “small studio apartment” one would need an annual income of about $47k per year.
When it comes to the giant redwood trees being logged on supposed "public property," let's connect some dots.
These very old valuable trees will be made into marketable lumber. Keyword: "valuable." Where does the money go?
The recent fires are a great excuse to log old-growth redwood which is not a fire threat like small trees and brush. The recent fires are a great way to unlock value for a corrupt government and enrich their corporate friends with what were protected assets until now.
Whether it's state land, federal land or county parks, these trees were put aside for future generations.
Sorry kids, insanely rich people need to have some more Andy Warhol artwork.
The formula is: Protected people's trees followed by the fire excuse followed by corrupt government followed by the corporate cash windfall.
PS. The first rule in the Communist manifesto is there shall be no private property. That's exactly what we have. If anybody doesn't believe that just try not paying rent or taxes and find out who really owns your property.
It doesn't matter if you are a joint tenant, a tenant in common, or a sole tenant, the keyword is tenant. Towns like Ukiah are like big chicken coops, only cash is collected not eggs. What a lot of cash too. If you were a crook it would be best to get on the receiving end of this monstrous cash flow and decide how much you get to stuff your pockets with and then use the small remainder to keep up appearances.
Have you noticed you can walk around with your wallet hanging out even at the county fair now? That's because all the pickpockets have figured out this tax flow thing is much easier money.
I was thrilled when Life Spring Chinese foot massage opened up in Fort Bragg near the DMV. I can never get enough foot reflexology and massage.
They are not limited to that, but it's my preventative health ritual.
Leslie and his wife Sarah spend six months in Fort Bragg, and then the winter months in Texas. Very reasonably priced, which I supplement with a tip.
Appointments and some walk-ins when available. 707-734-0279.
TERESE BRENDLEN NEEDS TRAILER SPACE
I'm putting this out into the universe and praying to the gods and goddesses to hear my call in my quest to reside in my trailer or other possibilities on somebody's property who seeks assistance or caretaking:
I am the person you seek to caretake or be a caregiver on your property. I have a network of helpers to accomplish any task. I'm enthusiastic and hope to find paid or I'll pay rent for a healthy, happy and peaceful environment. I have many references and a wealth of knowledge which spans numerous subjects. If you are remotely interested please call Terese at 391-7327 to arrange for a meeting or to discuss it further. Or message me here on Facebook messenger. Thank you in advance for your time and consideration. Make it a great day!
To the Editor:
My husband and I bought 40 acres off the grid in many ago. We built our home, raised our kids and are growing our fruits and veggies on our land. It has been a blessed life and now we are ready to segue into another phase of our lives. I and am excited to be part of a group of founders who are looking to create a better way to live. GreenLeaf Cohousing is a recent venture to establish an affordable, eco-friendly, senior-friendly and kid-friendly Cohousing community. Our vision is to build a supportive village where young people can grow up and elders can gracefully age in place. We invite folks to join us for a virtual open house to learn more. We are having two calls to offer more opportunities for people to join us: one on Monday, April 18, 2022 at 7 p.m. PT and another on Sunday, April 24 at 11 a.m. PT. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for the Zoom link.
The term “cohousing” is a community of homes clustered around shared common spaces and resources, such as a community house for daily dining, and outdoor structures and amenities. A large community garden provides fresh produce for community vegan meals, with an option for residents to enjoy meals of their choice in their own home.
Cohousing is unique in that it is developed, designed, and governed by the people who live there. The “village” design structurally facilitates community engagement and attracts people who want deeper relationships and non-hierarchical decision-making. Households are private and economically autonomous.
We are currently evaluating site options in West Sonoma County and West Mendocino County, CA. Please join us to learn more about GreenLeaf Cohousing, and how you can engage in the visionary community you may want to become part of!
To receive occasional emails about our activities, please go to www.greenleafcohousing.org and sign up. Folks can also email email@example.com for more information.
‘DEFEND AGAINST ALL ENEMIES’: When Nativism and Moral Panic Fueled the Rise of the Ku Klux Klan in Mendocino County
HUMANE SOCIETY FOR INLAND MENDOCINO
Yesterday was a HUGE day for our dog team!
After a big spay and neuter day hosted by the Mendocino County Care-A-Van we had TWENTY-TWO adoptions finalized! Our team worked in over drive to get it all done and we are so glad we get to help find great homes for our dogs and ensure they are fixed and won’t contribute to the homeless pet problem. It’s been a very busy week and thanks in addition to East Hill Veterinary Clinic, Mendocino Coast Humane Society we had almost 50 spay/neuter surgeries done this week alone! We are thrilled to be a part of such an amazing community working hard to save lives! We couldn’t do it without each and every person who supports us in their own ways.
Sunday was Funday and we had lots of dogs and cats who would love to find their happy place. Come visit us from 11-3 and be sure to ask about fostering too!
Apply to foster or adopt at mendohumanesociety.com
707 485 0123
Open Hours (no appointment needed):
9700 Uva Drive, Redwood Valley
GUESS WHO'S BUILDING Mendocino County's new county courthouse? These people: constructiondive.com/news/architecture-firm-shells-out-12m-to-settle-va-dept-bribery-case/425232/
THE NEW COUNTY COURTHOUSE in brief: The elected sector of the NorCal Democratic Party, beginning with and led by Congressman Doug Bosco, took control of the Northwestern Pacific Railroad where they parked Party old boys at lucrative salaries, people like Dan Hauser and Mitch Stogner, promising all the while to get the line going again as it stagnated but remained state-funded by the Democrat-dominated state government.
AS TIME passed and memory faded, helped along by a disinterested media, the Democrats maintained the defunct line's valuable right of way, presently key to the mother of all NorCal scams, The Great Redwood Trail, already recipient of large sums of public money. Along the way Bosco magically became the railroad's creditor, to be paid off out of state funds.
THE SITE for the new county courthouse in Ukiah that no one except its judicial beneficiaries wants is land owned by Guess Who? The Democrat-owned, long defunct but very valuable, rail line. The Democrat-Train-Free Railroad sold the site for the new courthouse that used to be a rail station and yard just off West Perkins to the state's judicial apparatus, and here we are with a political party allegedly existing to serve the unsuspecting public parceling off the rail line between Marin and Eureka that they've somehow become owners of. The new courthouse, incidentally, isn't required to do an EIR because judges' facilities are exempt from the pesky requirements everyone else must abide by.
AND WHAT ABOUT all the public functions housed in the present and perfectly serviceable county courthouse, functions like the DA? He'll have to jog up and down the three long blocks between the present courthouse and the new courthouse near the foot of West Perkins. The promoters of this massive boondoggle vaguely promise privately-owned ancillary buildings will be constructed which will house the displaced DA et al. Assuming private persons invest in surrounding new structures — and why wouldn't they, what with lucrative county-paid leases dangled before their sugar plum eyes? — the new courthouse will go up first, having been declared by the state judges a "priority" project, probably fearing that Mendocino County might wake up to stop it as word slowly gets around that a new county courthouse is underway.
AS PREDICTED by the Boonville weekly when the arrests in the phony case were first announced in 2020, a Michigan jury has acquitted two militia-type yobbos of all charges in a plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. A mistrial was declared in the prosecution of the two alleged leaders.
THE CASES against the big talking camo fantasists was the work of an implanted FBI snitch who, as per ancient history of the world's most over-rated police force founded by a cross-dressing nutcase early in the 20th century, goaded the four dummies into saying they planned to kidnap their bubble-headed governor.
THE FBI has been doing this kind of thing for a hundred years, all the way back to the first wave of American anarchists and socialists whose documented persecution was publicly-funded and led by J. Edgar Cocktail Dress.
MY-MY, WOULDN'T you just know that right here in Mendocino County the FBI was working its undercover magic circa 1990, the Redwood Summer period, operating out of the Mendocino Environment Center conveniently located at 106 West Standley across the street from the County Courthouse and owned by solid citizen, John McCowen. The pretext? Hippie tree huggers were engaged in industrial sabotage, a federal crime.
MY OPINION, of course, but explain how Judi Bari's ex-husband was magically excluded from the primary suspect pool, he being a man with a history of immediate proximity to political violence all the way back to his days as a Stanford undergrad in the 1960s? (And with free office space at the MEC while he gulled the Democrats out of recycling grants he parlayed into a cush County job as the County's trash czar.)
THE BOMB was slipped by Sweeney under the driver's seat of Bari's Subaru while it was parked in front of the MEC. The device was designed to get it down the road out of Mendocino County where our hero had made it. Like his three previous bombs, the Bari bomb did not explode as designed when it went off in Oakland, thus sparing her life but killing her seven years later.)
BY 1990, the FBI was fresh from a crude attempt to frame Earth First! founder, Dave Foreman. An FBI agent by the name of Fain talked an Arizona group of Earth First!ers close to Foreman into taking down a power line out in the desert. “Hey, guys. I'll bring the explosives,” Fain had assured them. Thus duped, the gang that couldn't skeptical straight was arrested and packed off to the federal pen. The FBI never was able to nail the charismatic Foreman, the man they believed was responsible for environmental defense tumult.
WHAT WITH international terrorism and a restive America teeming with Trumpian blowhards fantazing about a revolution with their Orange Oracle eternally at its head, the FBI has been busy framing retarded Arabs and dumbkopfs like the Michigan beer and gun club for the last thirty years.
CATCH OF THE DAY, April 10, 2022
GABINO BASILIO-COLIMA, Lodi/Ukiah. Controlled substance for sale/transportation, paraphernalia, concealed dirk-dagger, suspended license for DUI.
ZACHARY CASO, Los Angeles/Ukiah. Attempt to keep stolen property, pot sales/transportation, taking vehicle withoiut owner’s consent, conspiracy.
BHAKTI DILLENBECK, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent flyer.)
DAVID FREEMAN, Redwood Valley. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, disobeying court order, probation revocation.
FRANK GOMES, Covelo. Pot sales/transportation.
VINCENTE PONTILLOZILE, Willits. Pot sales/transportation, conspiracy.
NO GAME FOR OLD MEN
by Tommy Wayne Kramer
I’d like to say the 2022 baseball season has me all excited, as amped up and thrilled as a front page Ukiah Daily Journal headline like “Women artists at local gallery.” Or golf on TV.
Alas, etc. Instead I will miss as much of the season as possible because after 68 years of faithful service and undying devotion to the Cleveland Indians, I’ve been put on waivers for the purpose of giving me my unconditional release.
If this seems surprising or tragic, it is neither. Cleveland’s baseball corporation has long made it clear I am not part of its customer demographics and that no further relationship with said corporation is desired. The current ownership group is obviously not made up of baseball fans. Its connections with the city and allegiance to its future are conditional. Mine never was.
I grew up with the Cleveland Indians, but there you go, and there I went.
It started when they knocked down the grand old ballpark on the shores of Lake Erie, a stately cathedral called Municipal Stadium, and replaced it with a shiny imitation replica designed to look kinda like an old ballpark.
Cleveland wound up with a ho-hum mallpark stuffed with shopping and dining and drinking venues, all expensive, with an optional baseball game somewhere over there. It looks just like every new park designed to look old, but all lack the magic and nostalgia of Tiger Stadium, Forbes Field, Crosley Field, Comiskey Park or Yankee Stadium. (We’ll concede Candlestick.)
Next the corporation, in hopes of appeasing critics of anything at some point, and everything at another, fired the team mascot. Chief Wahoo was hanged from the upper deck, his teepee burned, his image banned.
And, inevitably, the same twisted weirdies able to work up wild hatred for a cheerful, smiling cartoon emblem would next target the team name. And soon it came to pass that someone decided “Indians” is an offense to those more sensitive than me.
I suppose the ball club could have been renamed the Rocks (R&R Hall of Fame, get it?) or reach back in history to the old Cleveland Blues or Spiders. Or just changed the cartoon image to a smiling gent wearing a turban. But no.
They picked “Guardians” as the new team name, which conjures up nothing so much as adult diapers, the special heavy duty kind with extra layers of moisture absorbency, plus stretch-rite fabric for even the heaviest of loads. Team owners (or, more likely, consultants) next dreamed up a “legend” story for the new name, announcing it honored carved figures on a local bridge that no Clevelander I ever knew, then or now, knew of as “Guardians.”
Anyhoo, I’m delighted that in 2022 The Cleveland Baseball Co., Inc., will be represented by a team with the silliest name, wearing the ugliest uniforms, and the fewest fans in MLB.
So now I’m a diehard, longtime faithful Oakland Athletics fan. It’s not as uneasy a relationship as you might think. The A’s resemble Cleveland teams of the 1960s, ‘70s and ‘80s, run by cheap timid owners afraid to spend money.
The last few weeks we’ve watched Oakland dismantle an absolutely terrific, star-studded team poised to challenge the world, but management traded away All Stars and one of the best pitching rotations in the game in order to save money.
My kind of team! It’s 1975 all over again in Cleveland, when the Indians traded right-hander Jim Kern to Texas. Kern’s comment: “Every time the Indians get someone who knows how to play the game they hurry up and trade him for four guys who can’t.” Sound like the A’s?
Plus, like Cleveland, nobody loves Oakland. The A’s are perennial underdogs even when winning, because everyone’s a Giants fan no matter what. Plus, the A’s Coliseum is the oldest stadium in the league (!) and the target of the same kinds of dumb jokes shot at Municipal Stadium 40 years ago.
So I’m all in for a team that discarded Matt Olsen, Matt Chapman, Sean Manaea, Mark Canha, Starling Marte and who knows who else by the time I finish this paragraph? In their place: Skye Bolt, Seth Brown, Yo’ Mama, Arthur Godfrey, Tony Kemp, Fred Merkle and on bass guitar, please welcome Mr. Jack Bruce!
The MLB season opened this past weekend. I ignored every inch of it, but did keep a date with the Ukiah Wildcats who on Friday night hosted Montgomery High School over at cozy, comfy Anton Stadium.
(TWK gets the credit for these weekly columns, but the hard, sweaty labor comes from the ceaseless toil of author Tom Hine.)
THE POWER OF BIG OIL
Beginning Tuesday, April 19, FRONTLINE examines the fossil fuel industry’s history of casting doubt and delaying action on climate change. This three-part docuseries traces decades of missed opportunities and the ongoing attempts to hold Big Oil to account.
Watch the trailer: pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/the-power-of-big-oil/
CHRIS SKYHAWK: When I ended up in a Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) last year in Chico after the procedure that cleared the potentially fatal blood clot that was in my leg, it was immediately apparent to me that some financial vampires had figured out how to make a profit off this facility. The staff were VERY sweet and I made good friends with several of them, but they were massively over-worked, and the food this placed served — they were clearly not interested in helping people get well. Fortunately for me, I had an old friend who lived in Chico who, a couple times, brought me curried elk meat stew, or they might have poisoned me! Some Vampire was getting massively rich off of the whole operation. There was a woman in the room adjacent to me I called “the screamer.” At any time of a 24 hour period she would just start screaming! Frantically! One of the staff told me she had OD'd on meth. But what was apparent to me was, she was trapped in a permanently psychotic state. At one point I thought I might try to use some of my new found, post NDE shaman powers to see if I could help her. But I found her impenetrable! So the lesson for me was learning to let her be and have the soul lesson she was having. I think we should always be of good heart and help whenever we can. But sometimes the soul just needs to have the lesson it's having.
HUDDLE UP, MENDO!
Indivisible Mendocino next meeting April 21
From: "Christie Olson Day" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Indivisible Mendocino meets via Zoom for our monthly Huddle. Our next meeting is April 21 at 6pm.
Register here: https://bit.ly/3joSG03
The Huddle is a monthly political work group hosted by Indivisible Mendocino.
Our priorities include voting rights, the climate crisis, civil rights, and economic justice. We influence our public officials, work on local issues, create opportunities for citizens to connect with each other, and help elect progressives around the country.
Meetings are open to anyone interested in supporting these activities.
A SOLUTION TO THE POT GLUT
My name is Bill Walter and my wife Hsueh-mei Yang and I own and operate Emerald Healing Humboldt, a permitted legacy cannabis farm in Humboldt County. This letter is our perspective on the devastating crash of California’s cannabis market.
The California cannabis industry has faced a number of challenges in its development, including CAMP raids in the 215 era, heavy taxation at the state and local levels, and discriminatory treatment at the federal level, such as tax code 280E. Coming into legal compliance is lengthy, expensive and frustrating. All of these factors have made participation in the cannabis industry less profitable and more demanding.
As difficult as they are, the taxation and compliance issues didn’t crash the market. The problem is the tremendous oversupply of cannabis. This may seem like stating the obvious, but in our many conversations with people in the industry, it’s surprising how many people are fixated on licensing fees and taxes. And, even those who recognize the oversupply problem don’t necessarily realize the extent of the problem.
Oversupply comes from the vast number of illegal black market grows, and the many permitted multi acre mega-farms that California, and other states, have approved in their rush to generate revenue. Until there are serious steps taken to control the amount of cannabis available, the legal cannabis industry will not return to profitability.
In recent years Southern Oregon has become a haven for illegal cannabis grows. The internet is full of videos showing vast illegal gardens. And it’s not just Oregon, it’s California too. Southern California is inundated with huge illegal grows. It’s on the East coast as well, smuggled from Canada. The links at the bottom of this letter document the degree to which Oregon and California are overrun by illegal cannabis grows, and the East coast by smuggling. It’s shocking reading how bad it really is.
In addition, just the amount of legal cannabis produced in California is estimated to be more than the state can consume. The edhat.com link attached at the end of this letter reports that Santa Barbara County approved another 1,575 acres for cannabis cultivation, in addition to 536 acres of existing permitted area. When Prop 64 was approved a big grow in Humboldt was 50,000 square feet. 1,575 acres is 68,607,000 sf.
With this much cannabis it’s no wonder the prices have crashed. Despite the legal separation between outlaw cannabis and legal cannabis, in reality, there’s a big overlap. The black market hugely affects the legal market since many smokers will buy readily available illegal pot that is much cheaper.
The solution to the problem is simple, at least in theory. 1) Law enforcement needs to get serious about eradicating illegal grows. 2) California and other states need to cap the amount of permitted square footage grown in each state. And 3) The federal government needs to make cannabis commerce 50 state legal and allow sales outside the US.
The California legislature, Department of Cannabis Control, Department of Fish and Wildlife, and law enforcement are all in a position to make a significant difference. State agencies have an incentive to work together and neighboring states do too. Increased law enforcement will help reduce illegal grows, and the State can allocate funding, and show the political will, to help law enforcement accomplish that. DCC can impose square footage caps on licenses approved by the State. DFW plays their part by helping implement and enforce reasonable water usage. Approving water usage for hundred plus acre mega-grows in arid regions of the state, in drought conditions, is not reasonable.
Thank you for reading this letter and considering our proposals. We’re in this together and it’s going to take all of us to keep this industry alive.
Bill Walter and Hsueh-mei Yang
COAST DEMS: RECENT CLUB ACTIVITY
Local Elections June 7, 2022
On April 6 the Club Voted Not to Endorse FOR County Superintendent of Schools
Voted To Endorse Supervisor Ted Williams, 5th District
Supervisor Williams Is Endorsed by Mendocino County Democratic Central Committee & Inland Democratic Club & North Bay Labor Council & SEIU Local 1021
The Democratic Central Committee said of Supervisor Williams:
“The Board of Supervisors interview team is also recommending incumbent Ted Williams for re-election in District 5. Ted is immensely knowledgeable on a wide array of issues facing the county. He is also highly analytical, energetic, transparent, and accessible to all his constituents. He has emphasized the lack of a living wage and affordable housing as linked to most of the difficulties the county faces. He knows how the county works and what is necessary to keep the county solvent in the future. He is a creative thinker whose expertise and determination to find workable solutions that make difficult situations better warrant our support for a second term."