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Mendocino County Today: Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Wet Week | Wildflower Show | Ely Spangler | History Day | Biker Impaled | Oyster Serenade | Palace Sale | Warm Line | Tourism Survey | Headlands Video | Macdonald Book | Suspect Apprehended | City Bookstore | Ed Notes | Ukiah! | Ukraine | Expensive Fillup | Chronic Homeless | George Bettencourt | Dissolution Question | Hauling Ties | Courthouse Discussion | Yesterday's Catch | Ukraine Benefit | Pioneer Saloon | Get Out | Loathsome Joe | Not Optimistic | Postal Stagecoach | Supporting Students | Ox Shoeing | Garberville | Republicans | Electric Rates | Dem Future | Wash Hands | Tango Show | Lazy Striper | Bad Capitalism | Caspar Steamer | Ukrainesequences | Li'l Tractor | Retirement Plan

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FROST ADVISORY remains in effect until 9 am this morning.

RAIN SHOWERS with small hail and mountain snow will continue through today. Cool and unsettled weather will continue through the week with occasional periods of steadier precipitation and snow levels gradually rising. (NWS)

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It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Ely Mathew Spangler. Ely passed on his 49th birthday on March 30, 2022. He left this world peacefully with his son, Travis Spangler and soulmate Deanna Ancona Spangler by his side.

Ely was born at home on the Bailey Ranch/Log Cabin Ranch, March 30, 1973 to Donna Bishop and Jeff Spangler. He went to school most of his life in Point Arena with a few years in Anderson Valley. Ely was known by friends and family as having a heart of gold. He was a good man and he lived a fulfilling life. He loved all things outdoors from hunting an fishing to dirtbike riding and mushroom hunting.

He leaves behind his three sons Ryan Spangler, Levi Spangler, Travis Spangler, granddaughter Cali Spangler, two brothers Jason Spangler, Jake Barnes, two sisters Becky Bishop, Avie Spangler and 13 nieces and nephews.

Soulmates can be found in many ways. Ely was given the opportunity to marry his. They created a life together and even though their marriage didn’t work, their friendship never faltered. He was blessed to have Deanna by his side to care for him and love him until his very last breath.

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A MARIN COUNTY MAN DIED at a Mendocino National Forest campground on Sunday after he was thrown from a dirt bike and impaled by a branch, authorities said. The Lake County Sheriff’s Coroner’s Office identified the man as Rex Brian Powell, 68, of San Rafael. The incident happened while Powell was dirt biking with his son in an area designated for off-highway vehicles near the Middle Creek Campground in Lake County, according to California Highway Patrol Officer Piers Pritt. 

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by Mike Geniella

A court order issued a week ago has paved the way for completion of a sale of the landmark Palace Hotel in downtown Ukiah.

Paru and Jitu Ishwar, an Ukiah Valley couple who own franchises in four local motel/hotel operations and are engaged in city and county tourism promotion programs presently control the venerable Ukiah landmark.

Court documents show the Ishwars through their Twin Investments LLC successfully bid $972,084 in 2019 for the 16,000-square-foot hotel and State Street property, which included covering unpaid receivership fees and money advanced to the court appointed receiver to prepare documentation for the sale. Until now, clear title to the property was tied up in receivership issues.

Deputy City Manager Shannon Riley said the City Council will be publicly briefed on the Palace status, and the Ishwars’ plans “within two weeks.”

Superior Court Judge Ann Moorman on April 6 signed an order dissolving the court-appointed receivership that has controlled the Palace’s fate since January 2017. Moorman acted after a settlement was reached among the Ishwars, court receiver Mark Adams of Santa Monica, and the city of Ukiah to allow the sale of the Palace to be completed.

“Twin Investments has entered into, and the court has approved a Letter of Intent to negotiate a (final) purchase and sale agreement,” according to the settlement terms. The Ishwars will be provided “a nine-month due diligence period to develop plans and financing for rehabilitation of the Palace in accordance with a development agreement between the buyers and the City.” 

Deputy City Manager Shannon Riley said the City Council will be briefed publicly on the details ‘within two weeks” about the plans including a buyer for the property.

The Palace Hotel fronts State Street in the downtown core and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A three-story brick portion was constructed in 1891, and an adjoining 20-room was built in the 1920s. For years it was the center of social life in Ukiah. It enjoyed a brief revival in the 1980s after a ‘cosmetic’ renovation before closing for good. 

The Palace fell into such disrepair that it was declared a dangerous building and public nuisance in 2011 but even then, the out-of-town property owner refused to voluntarily abate the conditions. Finally in 2015, the city petitioned to wrest control of the building from the owner and have the structure placed under court receivership, a move formally granted by the court in 2017. 

Since then, efforts to sell the structure have been ongoing. by the court receiver have been ongoing.

Todd Schapmire, a real estate agent, said the issues over his five years of involvement have been ‘very complex.’ 

Schapmire said during his time overseeing sale of the property he realized that the highest and best use was an upscale historic hotel operation in a downtown showing a revival in restaurants and specialty shops. 

“I know that years ago there was a lot of talk about demolishing the Palace but in my five years I never met anyone who was interested in the property advocating that,” he said.

There are a host of issues surrounding a possible rehabilitation of the Palace, and available parking is among them. But it is now believed valet parking services, and the availability of city parking after hours is seen as addressing parking related issues if the hotel is reopened.

Deputy City Manager Riley said the recently completed $7 million street improvement project in the downtown area has spurred development interest. Old water and sewer lines have been replaced, and new landscaping, sidewalks and streetlights have been installed.

“We saw the streetscape project as a municipal investment, and we think it will lead to more projects like the Palace possibility,” said Riley.

The Palace seemingly got a new lease on life after an investigation in 2017 determined that it was not cost effective to demolish the structure over possible rehabilitation. It raised hope that the decaying structure could be restored in some fashion.

Mark Adams, the court appointed receiver, at the time said it was probably not feasible to repair the building all at one. He said then he believed a portion could be developed and turned into a revenue-generating venture while the rest of the Palace waited for rehabilitation. At the time, Adams suggested the 20,000-square-foot first floor of the Palace could be developed into a boutique hotel, restaurant, bar, and retail shops. 

In 2017, Adams won approval to spend $438,000 on the building to protect it from further deterioration including a fire alarm system, a temporary roof, ceiling supports, preliminary seismic retrofitting and asbestos evaluation. Tons of interior debris and attempts at securing the building had been made by then owner Eladia Laines, a Marin County real estate agent. Multiple efforts by Laines to keep the Palace from deteriorating further failed, and the city finally acted to wrest control of the landmark structure. She and other associates had bought the building in 1990 at a bankruptcy sale for $115,000.

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FORT BRAGG Resident Perspective Survey

Take the Survey! In partnership with Visit Mendocino County, we are sharing a Resident Perspective Survey to gain insights into your thoughts on tourism within the County. The survey is from the Travel Analytics Group (TAG) who will be gathering data for statistical purposes only. All responses are completely anonymous and will remain confidential. This 6-minute survey must be completed by Monday, April 18th. Please be assured that no one will call you or contact you in any way beyond this survey. To begin, click on the following link:

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The Noyo Headlands Group of the Grass Roots Institute is seeking a fly-over video of the Noyo Headlands, former G-P Mill Site, to use in videos and presentations to the California Coastal Commission and other agencies. Would require written authorization from the person doing the filming for its use.

Noyo Headlands

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MALCOLM MACDONALD: Ever consider trading your crying baby for a set of car tires? Probably not, but one Fort Bragg couple did back in the 1920s. How it transpired and what happened to the so-called “Tire Baby” is one of 22 tales recounted in my new book, Mendocino History Exposed.

Mendocino History Exposed is now available at two bookstores in Fort Bragg: The Bookstore at 137 E. Laurel St. 707-964-6559 and Windsong at 324 N. Main St. 707-964-2050.

Of course, you can always try Gallery Bookshop in Mendocino. 707-937-2665. Try out their easy to maneuver website:

Ever let your horse shoot a weapon? Well, amid the description of the Frost-Coates feud in chapter eight of Mendocino History Exposed, you will find the true events of the shooting horse which I fictionalized to some degree in the novel Outlaw Ford.

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A Rhode Island man wanted for the murder of a Kneeland woman has been arrested in Santa Cruz.


Austin Michael Medeiros, age 27, was taken into custody by the Santa Cruz Harbor Patrol on April 10, 2022, at approximately 4 p.m. for reportedly attempting to steal a boat. Medeiros was transferred into the custody of the Santa Cruz Police Department (SCPD). During a search of Medeiros incident to arrest, SCPD officers reportedly located a loaded stolen firearm and approximately 29.3 grams of psychedelic mushrooms in Medeiros’ possession.

Medeiros is currently being held in the Santa Cruz County Jail on fresh charges of grand theft (PC 487(A)), carrying a loaded stolen firearm (PC 25850(C)(2)) and possession/transportation of a controlled substance (HS 11391). He is pending extradition to Humboldt County on warrant charges of murder (PC 187(A)), evading a peace officer (VC 2800.2(A)), assault (PC 240), battery (PC 242) and possession of a controlled substance (HS 11377(A)). His bail has been set at $1 million.

Anyone with information about this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at (707) 445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at (707) 268-2539.

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BIRD & BECKETT a great city bookstore at 653 Chenery in SF where the AVA is also sold. “We sell books and we edify the community with 25-30 music and literary events every single month. Give us your support, and we'll pay you back in spades!”

Bird & Beckett Books

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ACCORDING to the Curry Coastal Pilot out of Brookings, Oregon, Gary Milliman has been elected vice president of the Oregon Municipal Judges Association.

THE POINT of this soporific info of no conceivable interest to anyone except the subject and whatever loved ones he may have? None, really, except that Milliman, as Fort Bragg City Manager during that victimized town's criminal interlude in the late 80s and early 90s when several city councilmen were on the take and the crooks doing the taking burned the town's heart out in one night of flagrant arson they were never prosecuted for. Milliman saw nothing, heard nothing but got the hell out when it all became a little too flagrant.

THE MILLIMANS of the world always seem to land on their feet, like Milliman did when he turned up just over the California-Oregon border at the unsuspecting little seaside town of Brookings as city manager, from which perch, as sightless Lady Justice double blindfolded herself at the horror she knew without seeing, Milliman went on to become a municipal judge, presiding over muni courts along the southern Oregon coast. 

SPEAKING of the oblivious, we get this from 3rd District supervisor, John Haschak: 

“The board of supervisors will again be open to the public starting on April 15th. I am very happy that we can get back to in-person democracy and that the pandemic is under control. When we re-open, the meetings will be hybrid [Haschak's emphasis], meaning the chambers will be open in person and accessible by zoom. Since our county is so big, it is a real advantage to offer people the choice of attending in person or zoom in to the meeting and make public comments from the comfort of their homes.”

IN FACT, in-person attendees will be shunted into a side room where they will watch the zoomed proceedings until they're called to appear, live, before their majesties. 

ZOOMING in from “the comfort” of our homes is convenient for some, but both these innovations work against democratic procedures and have cost taxpayers many thousands of dollars in a pointless re-model.

HOW MANY APRILS has this incompetent gardener brought his geraniums out of his greenhouse and into the weather too early? Too many, as a frigid high wind blew out of the north all day Monday, Tuesday leaving a light coat of frost on everything new, budding, green, and exposed. Slipping back into my thermals and winter jacket, I hauled my ancient bones out at dusk Monday to cover the geraniums — I stick to plants I can't kill — but even the humble geranium needs basic protection. 90 last Thursday, 33 Tuesday dawn, frost fans roaring.

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UKRAINE, April 11, 2022

France says it is expelling six Russians suspected of working as spies under diplomatic cover in Paris, after the French intelligence services uncovered a clandestine operation.

Russian-backed rebel forces say they will “intensify” their battle against Ukrainian troops in the country’s east.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says tens of thousands of Ukrainians have likely been killed in Russia’s assault on Mariupol.

Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer becomes first European leader to hold in-person talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin since Moscow launched its invasion.

Foreign minister Sergey Lavrov says Russia will not pause its offensive for, or during, any further talks with Ukraine.

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While I applaud the efforts municipal, county and state officials are making to address the seemingly intractable problem of homelessness, I believe that providing housing, while important, is only a Band-Aid in dealing with the chronically homeless population.

Those who are chronically homeless are often mentally compromised or drug addicted, and housing them doesn’t address the underlying cause of their homelessness. The state abandoned its responsibility to address this problem by failing to create treatment facilities in all population centers for long-term care and treatment or revising the Lanterman, Petris, Short Act, which makes involuntary commitment for such individuals difficult.

When the Lanterman, Petris, Short Act took effect in 1972, the understanding was that regional facilities would be funded by the state to replace previously existing state mental hospitals, found unsuitable for the times. That never happened. And in recent years the elimination of criminal sanctions for drug violations, which provided drug courts the means to force addicts into treatment or risk jail, took away that option, and now addicts are in growing numbers on our streets.

We need to rethink these options if we are to make any impact on this problem.

Sal Rosano

Santa Rosa

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Dr. George Bettencourt, Dental Surgeon, 1922

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The Mendocino Coast Health Care District exists so that members of the public can have a say in the future of health care on the coast. However, there appears to be an effort underway to dissolve the district and hand your future and your taxpayer money over to a distant Board of Supervisors.

Individuals who have proposed an ad hoc committee for exploring this option are the Fort Bragg Mayor Bernie Norvell, Supervisor Ted Williams and reporter Malcolm Macdonald.

Dissolution could occur if the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCo), either on its own or as the result of a petition from the Health Care District Board of Directors itself. Dissolution could be justified on the basis that the district no longer serves a meaningful purpose. That last part would be quite a stretch since the district plays a vital role in overseeing the Lease Agreement with Adventist, providing funding for maintenance and repairs, and setting aside money for a new facility that meets earthquake requirements by 2030. Other than that, not much, right?

This is where a warning is needed. A vote by the public is not required!

There are seven members on LAFCo. Two are Supervisors; presumably they would recuse themselves (see below). Of the remaining five, only one member lives in the district, specifically Point Arena. Simply put, the coastal area is not well represented.

After dissolution, Mendocino County would be named the successor agency and would seize the district’s land, hospital, bank accounts including cash assets equal to $10M today ($25M by 2029), and revenue streams including a property tax, the parcel tax and the Lease Payment by Adventist Health.

The Board of Supervisors, including three who do not live on the coast, would then be in a position to determine the future of your health care. Given their cozy relationship, the Board of Supervisors would likely accede to the wishes of Adventist Health.

Norvell, Williams and Macdonald have appeared at the District’s Board meetings voicing their support for this dissolution.

AVA reporter Malcolm Macdonald is more than playing his part. He has flooded Board members with information on dissolution and written opinion pieces suggesting dissolution is the only viable option to maintain a hospital on the coast. His dishonest criticism of the District’s Board can now be seen in a new light – discredit the Board as a whole and make the case for dissolution.

How sad that Macdonald thinks so little of the people in this coastal community that he cannot envision a better Board come December. That the only solution to the Board’s current difficulties is to dissolve the district and have it managed by what he perceives as the superior talent inland. When has that ever been to the benefit of the coast?

If you are alarmed by this behind the scenes maneuvering to leave you out of future health care decisions, now is the time to express your opposition to Mayor Norvell and Supervisor Williams.

John Redding, Serves on the Board of Directors for the Mendocino County Health Care District

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Like many of you, I follow the Mendocino Coast Health Care District closely for no other reason than the simple fact that it is just that, the place where decisions can be made that may impact our healthcare.

At a February 24th Health Care District meeting, Chair Amy McColley appointed Directors Jessica Grinberg and Norman deVall to research the idea of dissolution. I was interested, so I followed up with an email to Director deVall on March 29th. On March 30th, Mr. deVall told me that the District’s exploratory committee had not yet met. At the District Board’s March 31st meeting, I asked Chair McColley to direct their committee to join Councilmember Lindy Peters and myself in an effort to objectively research the idea, put together a possible resolution, formulate a list of answers to the inevitable questions, and compile a corresponding list of pros and cons. Chair McColley agreed and gave that direction.

The mission of this group is to organize all the information surrounding dissolution and present it clearly to the District. The plan is not for this group to follow any sort of preconceived notion or collective opinion on the subject of dissolution. My hope is that the District will accept, and contemplate, the information without bias. The primary mission expressed on the District’s website is: “To ensure the continuity of essential healthcare for the coastal communities.”

Please do not see this as an indictment of the current District Board. See this as a positive move in a forward-thinking direction.

Only together can we make our coastal community a place where we can all feel safe and secure. The City and Health Care District representatives can and will report out on our activity to their respective Council and Board. The community will have ample opportunity, via district-wide meetings, to express their opinions.

In the meantime, please email any questions you believe pertinent to the subject of dissolution to:

Bernie Norvell

Mayor City of Fort Bragg

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Hauling Ties to Comptche Railhead

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THE LEVEL OF OBLIVIOUSNESS in Mendocino County about seemingly important issues like the wasteful new judges-only Ukiah courthouse was deepened last week after a couple of on-line outfits posted Mike Geniella’s recent rundown of the courthouse project and its renewed construction plans.

In response, a Fort Bragg resident started off with a decent summary on the Fifth District facebook page:

Hi Ted [Supervisor Williams]- “We are seriously opposed to building a new courthouse in Ukiah. The old one can be updated at a fraction of the cost, keep the stores there alive, and keep the historical integrity of the downtown intact.”

But the Facebook responses ranged from ill-informed, fanciful, goofy or way off the subject, to completely nuts:

1) Never happen in our county.

2) Build the new courthouse, tear down the part of the old courthouse built in the 70s. Take the older historical part of the courthouse and convert it into a new main library. Build a park where the torn down part on State Street and put a fence around it. Attract families who then go to the library, play in the park, eat at the restaurants, and shop in the stores. Picture it transformed into a beautiful new library and community center!

3) I was thinking condos but your idea is better.

4) Tear down that eyesore Palace, and put up a Stuko highrise.

5) Great's being rehabbed and will live again.

6) To me it would seem that a new courthouse meant the population has doubled and since this population in Mendocino is stable for the next 10 years with no real increasing in big housing, we don't need any more Chambers it would seem.

7) I hear Steven Spielberg wants to put in a natural history Museum with holograms at the Ukiah courthouse and bus in school kids from all over the country to see it.

(Mark Scaramella)

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CATCH OF THE DAY, April 11, 2022

Flores, Hammond, D.Hernandez, M.Hernandeez

JOSE FLORES-CASTRO, Fort Bragg. Pot possession, sale, transport, probation revocation.

KYLE HAMMOND, Ukiah. Robbery, domestic battery, protective order violation.

DAVID HERNANDEZ, Placerville/Ukiah. DUI-alcohol&drugs.

MARIAH HERANDEZ, Ukiah. Grand theft.

Pablos, Walker, Zambrano, Zavala

PEDRO PABLOS, Willits. DUI, evasion.

KATELYN WALKER, Willits. Loaded firearm in public, failure to appear.

ISRAEL ZAMBRANO, Ukiah. Domestic battery.


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Ukraine is on my Brain: Please help me mobilize/organize for this gathering of support for those under siege. I am at the cafe daily from 9 or 10 in the mornings weekdays until evening. I am also on FB and email at Asking for donations of food, wine, art and other silent auction items.

Please contact me to participate and to indicate best days to arrange meeting in person, at the cafe in the morning say around ten until we get busy around noon for a cozy group or if we need more space and time we can meet at Flow which is closed Tuesday/Wednesday. I will make the call depending on your responses. We will have a temporary stage and sound system in place and encourage those of you who'd like to play to the crowd for our benefit to reach out so we can schedule (would especially like to hear from Baltic/Roma/Klezmer bands/musicians).

The Date is May 1st, the Place is Rotary Park in Mendocino.

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Portugee Frank and wife, Mary, owners of the Pioneer Saloon, Comptche Road

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I enjoyed living at the beach in SoCal in an artist community where I didn’t have to do anything other than occasionally open up my gallery to the public.

It was great living in a tourist hotspot. It was wonderful having 6 independent breweries within a 15 minute walk. I very much enjoyed having Uber & Lyft and not having to own a car. I loved that I had dozens of fancy restaurants to choose from. 

I also loved that my neighbors were the people you see on TV every day. I enjoyed dating actresses, models, dancers, news anchors, and all those tourists having their “all girl” getaway. It was paradise.

I gave every bit of that up to live in a rural area in the Rust Belt. No more Uber & Lyft. No more fancy restaurants. No models to date. Instead, I spend time with my chainsaw and wood chipper. Instead, I use my rototiller, hoe, and rake. Instead, I prep for myself and my neighbors (though they don’t know it). 

Berlin in the 1920’s was the most decadent place on Earth much like California is today. Anyone that got themselves out of Berlin by 1933 never regretted having done so.

Get out at any cost.

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JEFF BLANKFORT: Hunter Biden's messages about “the big guy” have defied the Democrats' attempts to bury them and are likely to bury Loathsome Joe's chances for re-election as will what are sure to be his clumsy attempts to deny them for which I can only applaud, given his sordid career and his ongoing efforts to sabotage any agreement to bring an end to the Ukraine war that his Russian counterpart can agree to.

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PUTIN PLUNGING ON: After meeting with Vladimir Putin in Moscow to present him “with the facts,” Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer said he’s “not particularly optimistic” about the future of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. “The offensive is being prepared with determination,” Nehammer said Monday, CNN reports. “It was also clear and recognizable that the Russian president still has confidence.” The discussions were the Russian president’s first in-person meeting with an EU leader since the start of the war. Nehammer said ahead of the meeting that Austria had a “clear position on the Russian war of aggression,” and would be calling for humanitarian measures, including a ceasefire, and the investigation of reported war crimes. Nehammer also met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv on Saturday, after Zelensky was visited by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. 

— Daily Beast

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The Willits-Fort Bragg Stagecoach

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by Superintendent Michelle Hutchins

They say necessity is the mother of invention. Well, the pandemic gave us a whole new set of necessities to consider, so at the Mendocino County Office of Education (MCOE), we’ve been busy making changes to better meet the evolving needs of Mendocino County schools and students.

Most people don’t really understand the role of county offices of education. Basically, we are responsible for two main functions: regulatory oversight and technical assistance for local schools and districts. We also provide some direct student instruction.

Our 185 employees work with 12 public school districts serving more than 12,000 TK-12 students, plus an additional 15 charter and private schools serving 1,500 students. In addition, we offer adult training and credentialing for dental assistants, medical assistants, and phlebotomists. 

To do our work as efficiently and effectively as possible, we recently developed a strategic plan to guide our organization into the future. During this process, we identified the need to restructure our organization into four main divisions: The Office of the County Superintendent, Business Services, Administrative Services, and Educational Services. 

The Office of the County Superintendent 

As the Mendocino County Superintendent of Schools, I am a constitutional officer of the State of California. The Office of the County Superintendent is responsible for agency-wide oversight, including County Board of Education coordination, community relations, championing the needs of Mendocino County schools at the State level, and interpreting State and local policy to ensure local schools are compliant with numerous and constantly evolving regulations. 

Educational Services Division

Our Educational Services Division, led by Kim Kern, provides leadership and support to school districts to assure high-quality planning, curriculum development, instructional delivery, student assessment, academic coaching, and professional development. The departments that make up this division are Continuous Improvement, Early Learning and Care, Alternative Education, and Special Education. 

This division supports many of Mendocino County’s most vulnerable students with direct services for students who experience complex disabilities, as well as adjudicated and incarcerated students served through court and community schools. Many districts find it cost-effective to partner with MCOE to help these students achieve personal and academic success.

One of the issues the pandemic highlighted is the persistent and overlapping barriers some students face when striving for academic achievement. Our rural county includes large populations of people who have been historically and structurally excluded from access to services and a wide range of educational opportunities. For example, many Native American students, students experiencing homelessness, students in foster care, students whose family income falls below federal poverty thresholds, and English language learners need extra support inside and outside of the classroom to thrive. MCOE provides leadership, resources, services, and programs to improve the educational experience and outcomes for all Mendocino County students.

Business Services Division

The Business Services Division provides fiscal support and oversight for school districts. Many of the financial services MCOE provides are required by law, including budget review and approval, attendance accounting, financial reporting, and resolution of audit findings. We also provide financial training, software, retirement reporting, and vendor payments. Finally, we offer schools cost-saving group purchasing programs and general assistance with maintenance and operations of facilities. 

I’m excited to announce that we just welcomed a dynamo of a leader to serve as the Assistant Superintendent of Business Services: Merilyn Tiriboyi. Merilyn comes to us from Woodland, California, where she was the government industry accounting manager for the County of Yolo Department of Financial Services. Her goal is to ensure the agency’s fiscal solvency while “bringing joy to our work.” In our short time working together, I can tell you she is definitely succeeding on both accounts. Merilyn and the entire Business Services team provide the financial information schools need to make sound business decisions.

Administrative Services Division

Finally, our Administrative Services Division, led by Becky Jeffries, includes Human Resources, Risk Management, and Technology. This division manages employee recruitment and benefits, policy development and enforcement, American Disabilities Act compliance, emergency preparedness, technology support, and more. Becky’s goal is to assure that MCOE employees have the training and tools they need to professionally thrive and effectively support our districts and schools.

Here at MCOE, we believe our reorganization will support equitable and fiscally responsible service provision and resource management so schools can offer a wide range of educational opportunities for all Mendocino County students. 

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Blacksmith Shoeing Ox, 1890

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(1) “Glorifying Garberville”?

Well, you can polish a turd, but it remains a turd…

First, bulldoze the veterans building, the burned out churches and the crappy old “hospital”, pave the streets, make the bums move, and stop allowing people to live permanently in motorhomes and vans in the street…

You might want to clean up the dog-shit, and, paint WAY more than the “trash-cans”, which you all couldn’t seem to empty last year…

Garberville is far, far past “cleaning up”… Enforcing building codes and existing laws relating to housing could go a long way…

Close down the 24/7/365 drug supermarkets currently operating in the motels, build some decent and modern housing, somewhere, pass some laws, hire some cops, incorporate your ugly-ass town, and force hospital administrators to live in the district!

There is no “there” there, it’s just a place to buy and sell drugs, squat in substandard housing, and the County is intent on putting up trailers and calling them “County Offices”, in places with no parking or even decent egress!

Garberville needs a blockade at each freeway off-ramp to protect the public from the dangers of Garberville! Either put up an Orange Plastic Fence around the whole town and collect a “gate-fee” to enter, or just build a new town, up South of Phillipsville, and have a big Truck-Stop, McDonalds, Wal-Mart and a Liquor-Barn/Marijuana World Theme-Park/Water Park and just give up on living there…

In 5 years, there will be no Garberville at all, JPH will have been closed due to “molds” and ‘sinking” that have existed for as long as I can remember, and, the rest will have be scraped off with a D-14 and burned.

Garberville. Yuck. Painting the Garbagecans in Garbageville…

It’s a great place to start?

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(2) I for one, really enjoy Garberville. The local hiking, beautiful swimming spots, and unique shops are the backdrop to the real gem – the amazing community.

Every area has their struggles, we are not immune to that. IMO our biggest hurdles are lack of services because we are unincorporated so all of our tax revenue goes north.

People are wanting to improve our area with art and I applaud them for it.

Regardless of the hurdles, I wouldn’t trade our community for anything; a beautiful area with beautiful people.

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California electricity rates are increasing far faster than the rest of the country. Last year, electricity prices rose 1.7 times faster than the rest of the county, and residential prices jumped 2.7 times faster. These increases are terrible news for residents who want to swap their combustion engine vehicles for electric ones.

"It's a huge problem," said Severin Borenstein, director of the Energy Institute at UC Berkeley's graduate business school. He said if people who embraced EVs begin to "tell their neighbors about their catastrophic electric bills" after charging up at home, "that's gonna be a huge problem."

Mark Toney, executive director of the Utility Reform Network, recently told attendees at a conference that "if you want people to make big investments in electrification, there needs to be some kind of a payoff for them... And the payoff has got to be that we make electricity rates look very affordable by comparison to the alternatives," Toney said.

(Zero Hedge)

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Despite conventional wisdom, the party is not doomed in November’s midterm elections. The economy, Covid-19, the invasion of Ukraine, and the January 6 insurrection are all wild cards.

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UCCA PRESENTS LOS TANGUEROS DEL OESTE, Sunday, April 24, 2:00 at Mendocino College Center Theatre

Passionate and Sensuous Tango Music and Dance Greetings! Passionate, exciting, sensuous--Ukiah Community Concerts presents Los Tangueros del Oeste for an afternoon delight of Argentine nuevo tango on Sunday, April 24, 2:00 PM at the Mendocino College Center Theatre. Sascha Jacobsen and his stellar ensemble of musicians will be joined by world champion tango dancers Maxi Copello and Raquel Makow. 

About Los Tangueros Del Oeste

Translated as The Tango Troupe of the West, Los Tangueros del Oeste is the latest project by bassist/composer Sascha Jacobsen. He draws on his love of Argentine Tango music and dance with elements of Flamenco, Electronica and Jazz. With five generations of musicians in his lineage leading back to the Moscow Opera, Sasha Jacobsen has delighted UCCA audiences with his other groups, the Musical Art Quintet and Trio Garufa. Sascha has put together a musical team that echoes Astor Piazzolla’s Nuevo Tango sound but introduces modern elements of flamenco, jazz, and electronica. Master Musicians: 

  • Sascha Jacobsen, composer and cellist
  • Pablo Estigarribia, Argentine pianist
  • Charles Gorczynski on bandoneon, the quintessential tango instrument
  • Daniel Riera on analog synthesizer, flute, and sound design/beats 
  • Ishtar Hernandez, Puerto Rican violinist
  • Carlos Caminos, Venezuelan guitarist 

Covid Protocols

Proof of vaccination will be required at the door. Per Mendocino College new protocols: There are no seating limitations. Masking is optional but recommended inside the theatre. Tickets are available for purchase at Mendocino Book Company in Ukiah, Mazahar in Willits, and online at Single tickets are $30 in advance, and $35 at the door. Full-time students may reserve a free ticket by calling (707) 463-2738 and providing your name, phone number and email address. Doors open at 1:30 

For questions or further information, call Susanna on the UCCA line at 707-463-2738. Mark your calendar for our final concert of the 2021-2022 season: May 15, Le Vent du Nord, animated folk music from Quebec at Mendocino College Center Theatre, 2:00 PM. 

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SADLY, when belief in economic and political systems is reduced to religion, and maxims grounded in realities that have long stopped being real, becomes the mantra of people who say the words but don't apprehend their consequences, it is little surprise that we end up with a society like the one we live in today.

In "True Capitalism";

- Monopoly is bad, and demonstrates the wheels have already come off the cart,

- Concentration of wealth is equally bad and demonstrates exactly the same cart, sans wheels,

- The only workable state, is one where the vast majority of people have a natural abundance and freedom to move easily between classes,

- Productive Human Enterprise, is the sole determinant of wealth and success,

- Barriers to enter markets are low, and opportunity high,

- State Governance and Business are truly separate,

- Competition is essential and diversity is necessary.

As we've seen with the erosion and virtual elimination of all these things, it's easy to trace the line directly to the worst problems we face today as a society.

Our Founding Fathers had a huge distrust for governments (having endured a nasty monarchy) and the worst in human nature, resulting in a clever set of political structures designed to prevent the concentration of power, or tyranny by the few over the many. Whoever the few might be. Sadly they only implemented these checks and balances on the obvious engine of human governance "The State". It never occurred to them that the economy might be the source of their future social domination, and worse, with the advent of information as a commodity, that the control and manipulation of people's perceptions, beliefs, and personal information would foment the destruction of society as we knew it in a race to mine human consciousness itself.

That is THE failure of sane social boundaries that lies at the heart of all our existential problems.

The existence of billionaires (and coming soon to an economy near you... Trillionaires!), is only a bellwether of the coming political, economic, environmental, and social failures to be confronted, if we don't address this suicidal design on humanity. If we are to continue as a viable species, we need to address our worst primate instincts, and holster them with extreme prejudice.

— Marie Tobias

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Steamer Samoa off Caspar, 1920

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by James Kunstler

Have you stopped to ask yourself: what exactly are the USA’s interests in Ukraine? The answer: just about none whatsoever if you discount all the effort and capital expended there the past decade to make it a problem for our designated hobgoblin, Russia. During these eight years, since the Maidan “revolution,” Ukraine was an ATM for “Joe Biden’s” family, an inconvenient embarrassment for the US State Department, which has not been able to cover it up.

In fact, their first attempt to do so — the seditious maneuvers leading to Trump impeachment no. 1 — only shined a light onto the dishonest activities of US Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch and her State Department colleagues, in collusion with George Soros’s Atlantic Council, to conceal their involvement in Ukraine’s corrupt political affairs. This gang included agent provocateur’s rotating in-and-out of government such as Jake Sullivan and Anthony Blinken, now the two top foreign policy officers in “Joe Biden’s” government (National Security Advisor and Secretary of State).

Donald Trump enabled more mischief by sending what he proudly called “lethal aid” in the form of Stinger missiles and other arms to Ukraine in a foolish attempt to out-hawk his predecessor, Mr. Obama, whose main weapon against Ukraine was Vice-president Biden and his grifting family. Poor Mr. Trump apparently had to do something to prove that he was not “Putin’s puppet,” and that something was to give Ukraine tacit permission to bombard the breakaway Donbas region on Russia’s border. Was that supposed to not have consequences?

Throughout all this, NATO has acted as a conduit for arming and training a 400,000-troop Ukrainian army, a violation of several formal agreements between Russia and the West. NATO, otherwise, does not have the will, or even the means, to engage militarily with Russia. And America, at the head of NATO, has so far refrained from starting World War Three by way of sending US troops or war-planes into Ukraine. So, Russia has gone about the plodding business of neutralizing Ukraine’s trouble-seeking military and rearranging the map so that Ukraine won’t be able to act as a proxy antagonist in America’s ill-conceived campaign to destroy Mr. Putin and his country.

The operation will probably end this month. My guess is that Mr. Zelensky will be allowed to remain president of what remains on the map, minus Donbas and the region along the Black Sea coast from Mariupol to Odessa. Mr. Zelensky will not have a functioning military to make trouble with. Other patches of Western Ukraine may be distributed among Poland, Moldova, Romania, and Hungary, leaving a large rump of Ukraine between Lvov and the Dnieper River devoted mostly to the growing of wheat. A stable, agricultural Ukraine will be a benefit to a hungry world, while it will no longer be in a position to launch hostilities or be of much use as a money-laundering facility. In short, with some luck, Ukraine will cease to be a threat to world peace.

Ukraine may have been “Joe Biden’s” last opportunity to screw things up on the world scene. As the military conflict resolves, Ukraine can’t be used by the White House as a shield to divert America’s attention from the political cancer of Biden family corruption, and the systemic illness of the nation’s institutions. Merrick Garland may not be able to contain the open case against Hunter Biden to mere rinky-dink tax violations — and if he tries to limit the US Attorneys in charge of the case, he will be setting himself up for an obstruction of justice rap some months from now. The laptop is out now, too many people have copies of the hard drive, and some are working diligently to make the mess of it more easily searchable. So, expect much more to come.

It won’t be easy for the Democratic Party to get rid of “Joe Biden.” Nobody can feature Kamala Harris in the oval office, and were she to somehow gracefully remove herself from the scene, next-in-line would be Nancy Pelosi who, in addition to being long-in-the-tooth, seems to be literally drunk half the time in her public appearances. And behind her: Patrick Leahy, Senate President Pro Tem, who is nearly as senile and incoherent as “Joe Biden.”

Lots of other spooky things are churning meanwhile in the zeitgeist. Overnight, with his blundering sanctions, “Joe Biden” killed the little credibility left in the shreds of Bretton Woods and gave a green light for Russia to start a world-wide move to gold-backed currencies. That could easily turn the current US dollar inflation from an annualized 8 percent to a runaway hyperinflation, where prices double in weeks or days. It’s becoming ever clearer that special counsel John Durham means business and many a swamp creature must be quivering in its burrow awaiting indictment. The controversy over the 2020 election will prove to be not as over as many have hoped and imagined. And we await developments on the after-effects of all those vaxxes and boosters carried out all over Western Civ. These dangerous currents amount to a huge riptide in global events that will carry many people and whole societies out to sea.

(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)

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Does this tractor make my butt look big?

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Now! Like, right now. Here! Like, right here. 

Warmest spiritual greetings, On a blustery afternoon at the Building Bridges homeless shelter in sunny Ukiah, California, the garbage is all taken out, the recycling is separated, with a truckful of redeemable items scheduled to go to Willits in order to bring in money for treats 'n snacks for everyone here.

Meanwhile, am identifying with that which is prior to consciousness, and not with the body nor the mind. Chanting the Mahamantram continuously, regardless of the ever-changing mundane situation. As the ancient holy Vedantic scriptures teach, the real you is not affected by anything at all. The entire crazy postmodern theater of the absurd has nothing whatsoever to do with one's true nature, or Atmic glow, or Soul, etcetera. The solution to the problem is to give up attachment to the play of consciousness, and be free.

This is the time for spiritual warriorship. This is the time for destruction of the demonic in the darkest phase of Kali Yuga. I've still got to get two dental appointments, (as the social security money builds up in the checking account), and then am available to go where I need to go and do what I need to do. Crucial places are Washington, D.C. for obvious reasons, the United Nations in NYC, and places of international gatherings focusing on global climate destabilization, plus everywhere else that a powerful spiritual response needs to be applied. This is my retirement plan. What is yours?

Go here:

Craig Louis Stehr


  1. John Sakowicz April 12, 2022

    MCOE has 185 employees? Dear Lord!

  2. Lee Edmundson April 12, 2022

    I am reluctant to chime in on the plight of the Mendocino Coast Health Care District (MCHCD) Board’s current affairs, but it behooves me to point out that long before considering dissolution of the Board, other issues regarding their dysfunction might be (should be) addressed. They are, in no particular order:
    1) Adopt the Roberts Rules of Order with which to conduct their meetings;
    2) Have the Secretary of the Board actually record and post meeting minutes;
    3) Consolidate their two (2) websites into a coherent one (1);
    4) Hire an Administrative Assistant to conduct the day-to-day necessities of the Board;
    5) Hire a mediator/ ombudsman to teach them the proper functions of a Board and Board Members in accordance with the Brown Act;
    6) Begin conducting their meetings in person, perhaps with Zoom augmentation.
    7) Resolve forthwith the New Hospital/Retrofit the Existing Facility question.

    MCHCD’s current Board suffers from 1) An ingrained lack of professional discipline and, 2) An excess of personalities.

    This is not rocket science, folks. Adventist Health is on record they aren’t interested in contributing a single nickle towards the building of a new facility. That should have brought the notion of building a new hospital to a dead-stop. Retrofitting the existing facility is the only remaining option available. Let’s get with it, huh?

    As for the attorney/check signing brouhaha, this is the action of petulant children. Time for adults here. MCHCD should act accordingly. Please. Beginning Now.

    I would not entrust a single penny of MCHCD’s money to the County government. No way. CEO Angelo departs touting a 20 Million Dollar Reserve after which we learn of a 12 Million Dollar shortfall. What gives in this County?

    F Up after F Up after F Up. I doubt the Supervisors could do better than the MCHCD in disposing of its monies. I fear the County would raid the hen house, so to speak.

    Williams, MacDonald and Norvell ought to quit this futile exercise immediately. None of them are on the MCHCD Board. None of them are qualified to make an objective assessment of the situation. Each of them (perhaps) has a hidden agenda.

    Let the MCHCD clean up its own act. ASAP.

    Dissolving the Board should not be an option.

    Just saying…

    • George Hollister April 12, 2022

      Hear, hear.

      • Marmon April 12, 2022

        a double hear, hear


  3. Kirk Vodopals April 12, 2022

    Re: Garberville… That place is tolerable on a wet winters day, somewhat like Ukiah, but come summer, it’s a boiling cesspool. One way I always rate communities is based on access to a clean public toilet that hasn’t been destroyed by the transient drug addicts. Garberville fails miserably in that category.

  4. Chuck Dunbar Post author | April 12, 2022



    Welcome, Citizens!

    We’ll just stick you in
    The fine Marmon Room.
    Please be comfy and quiet—
    Watch our meeting by Zoom.

    Don’t break-out in hives,
    Pray, don’t worry or fret.
    Sit patiently on your rears,
    Then 3 minutes live you’ll get!

    We want very badly
    To hear your valued views.
    We know you’ve got
    Vital, important news.

    And now we must move on
    To the really critical stuff.
    But—bless you, citizen—
    Thanks a bunch for your guff!

    — old codger citizen

  5. Betsy Cawn April 12, 2022

    I wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Edmundson’s critique of the MCHD board of directors, which is crucial to the ongoing health of the hospital itself (see the 2014 Municipal Service Review:, and the tremendous error it would be to have the county government in charge. In the main, locally self-funded special districts are the strongest forms of customer-based organizational structure, and recruiting for their decision-making bodies should be considered a significant duty of their investors (including the owners of properties within the district jurisdictional boundaries). [I would be curious to know whether the recommendations for strengthening the MCHD board of directors were followed and whether the desired improvements resulted — certainly the recent reports of management disarray leading to Mr. Edmundson’s suggestions indicate that LAFCo should provide an update to their eight year old MSR.]

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