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Mendocino County Today: November 5, 2012

THE SUPES meet at 9am this Tuesday to consider:

1. an ad-hoc committee to research the idea of changing the rules and regulations for county veterans' buildings and make recommendations to the board.

2. A program that would allow property owners to assess themselves on their property taxes for the cost of energy-efficient and water-saving improvements, such as solar panels, low-flow toilets, double-paned windows, weather stripping, rain-collection systems, caulking or even Energy STAR appliances.

3. At 1:30pm, the board will hear an update on the North Coast Marine Protected Area monitoring planning from the MPA (marine protected area) Monitoring Enterprise, a program of the California Ocean Science Trust.

4. A “memorandum of agreement” between the US Forest Service, the federal Bureau of Land Management and the County of Mendocino to “enhance mutual communication” for five years, with a possible five-year renewal period. Sheriff Tom Allman, 3rd District Supervisor John Pinches and 1st District Supervisor Carre Brown are bringing the proposal to the board. Translation: Basic cooperation to get dope grows out of the forest, or at least keep them to a minimum.

5. A bunch of related consent calendar items having to do with modifications to the Caspar Landfill's ongoing beat-back of leachate.


MANBEATER OF THE WEEK: Esperanza Alfaro, who apparently gave her insignificant other what we are sure was a well deserved tap, appears in the October 20 Sheriff’s Booking Log as the veritable picture of innocence. Ms. Alfaro has a clearly indignant look on her face, as if to say: “I can't believe the punk called the cops on me for that!” We can't believe it either, Esperanza, and think a young lady of such obvious promise should not waste more time on a cad who would call the cops on the woman he claims to love.

VETERANS AT WAR? The Board of Supes agenda for Tuesday, November 6, contains a cryptic recommendation from the Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) recommending that the Board appoint an ad hoc committee to review changes to the usage policy and fee structure for the County-owned veteran's buildings. There is absolutely no background information included with the recommendation, but the AVA has learned that this stems from a dispute which surfaced last year between traditional veteran's groups like the American Legion and the Veteran's of Foreign Wars on one side and the upstart Veteran's for Peace on the other.

LAST YEAR THE LOCAL CHAPTER of Veteran's for Peace sought permission to hold a Vets for Peace conference at the Veteran's hall in Ukiah. The six County owned veteran's halls scattered around the County are managed by local committees drawn from the local veterans groups. As we understand it, the committee in Ukiah told the Vets for Peace to go pound sand. The Vets for Peace complained to the Board of Supes, asking for equal treatment, fees and access. The HHSA Director added that the usage policies and governance structure for the vet's halls were inconsistent and unclear and in need of updating. The Board punted by granting usage for the Vets for Peace conference at a reduced rate and directing staff to work with the different vets groups and return with a revised policy.

THE LOCAL VETERANS GROUPS were encouraged to work out their differences, but to no avail. Now, over a year later, the issue is back before the Board of Supes. The traditional veterans groups say the Vets for Peace are not really a veterans group because they allow membership to non-veterans. And of course they question the patriotism of the Vets for Peace.  It is unfortunate that veterans who served their country honorably (more honorably, for sure, than the aging armchair warriors and morally corrupt politicians who sent them off to war in the first place) can't agree that they are entitled to equal rights to use the local vets halls. We understand that veterans groups in other counties are able to work out the details without a lot of animosity and unnecessary drama. And does anyone think the Mendo Board of Supes will make a better decision than the vets themselves could, if they were only willing to sit down with each other and work it out?

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