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Mendocino County Today: November 11, 2012

UPDATE. A head-on crash south of Leggett killed a 70-year-old Fairfield man and sent his wife and the other driver to local hospitals Thursday afternoon, according to the California Highway Patrol. The driver who died at the scene was identified Friday as Robert Leroy Crosby, of Fairfield, who was driving a gray Ford Taurus with his wife, Karen Crosby, in the passenger's seat. They were headed north on Highway 101 about a mile south of Leggett when a white Toyota Corolla headed south crossed the two sets of double-yellow lines and two feet of asphalt strip separating the lanes and hit the driver's side of the Ford, according to the CHP. “The road was really icy and it was hailing, so the road was extremely slick,” Garberville Area CHP spokesman officer Matt Harvey said. “She lost control.” The Toyota's driver, identified Friday as Heather Anne Parker, 62, of Hydesville, was taken by ground ambulance to Howard Memorial Hospital in Willits with moderate injuries, according to the CHP. Her condition was unknown Friday. Robert Crosby was pronounced dead at the scene. His wife was taken by ground ambulance to Jerold Phelps Hospital in Garberville with moderate injuries, and has since been released, according to Harvey. The CHP does not believe excessive speed, alcohol or drugs were factors in the collision, Harvey said.

COMMENT OF THE DAY from 'tra' Lost Coast Outpost: “Colorado and Washington state voters did the right thing, in both cases their new laws seem like a significant step in the right direction. I hope California, and other states, follow suit in 2014 or 2016. Hopefully here in CA we can do even better, and avoid some of the weaknesses in the CO and WA laws (for example, they allow any adult to grow six plants, but only allow them to possess a maximum of one ounce of bud at any given time…which makes no sense). Meanwhile, here in cannabis country, sooner or later, one way or the other, we're going to have to adjust to the fact that more and more of the out-of-state customers who are currently buying our farm products at a premium price, are going to have more options for sourcing their product more locally, and with less risk. The sooner we start adjusting to this coming reality, the better. It seems likely that we'll have at least a few more years of large amounts of cash flowing into our region from the cannabis trade. If enough of those who are making a good living at this today reinvest enough of their profits into other profitable endeavors that bring income into the county and don't rely on the cannabis industry, the transition could be relatively smooth, though of course still not entirely painless. In the long run, there is no reason why Humboldt County, and the North Coast in general, should not be able to flourish with a diverse mix of industries, built on a foundation of sustainable agriculture and forestry, tourism, fishing, aquaculture, manufacturing, internet-based businesses, and including all manner of service-providers, artists, artisans and all the rest. Those who are here for the long haul — not just the get-rich-quickers with a Hurwitz-like exit plan of “just take the money and run” — would be well advised to increase the amount of investment they put into other promising local economic endeavors, rather than putting all their emphasis on increasing the size of their current cash crop to make up for falling prices. The latter is a strategy for short-term individual gain that may have worked well for the last few years, and may even continue to work for a few more years, but the former is a strategy for long-term prosperity for both individuals and for the community as a whole. All eggs, one basket, bad idea.”

AND “NOT A NATIVE” responds: “What in God's name would ever lead anyone to believe that pot growers, as a group, have the knowledge, business acumen, information, or ability, to wisely invest money in anything other than illegal pot growing? That's as ludicrous as believing that because Romney made a fortune in financial arbitrage he has the ability to manage the nation's finances and economy. Well, he doesn't and pot growers don't either. The best successful pot growers could do is place their money with someone who does know. But they don't even have the talent to select a skilled and honest money manager. What you'll get is a bunch of harebrained schemes that all lose money because they're a pot grower's idea of what people want. And the only thing they know about people is that they want pot. Most ‘businesses’ pot growers start don't make money, they only launder illegal profits.”

HOPE FOR THIRD PARTIES? On November 6, the Liberty Union Party of Vermont polled 13.4% for Secretary of State, its best statewide showing ever in its 42-year history. It has been on the ballot in all Vermont elections continuously starting in 1970. This year, its nominee for Secretary of State, Mary Alice Herbert, was the only candidate on the ballot against the incumbent Secretary of State, James C. Condos. The party’s previous best showing for a statewide office had been 10.3%, for Treasurer, in 1978. The only parties in any state, other than the Democratic and Republican Parties, who have been on the ballot continuously for a longer period are the New York Conservative Party (starting in 1962), and the American Independent Party of California (starting in 1968). The Liberty Union Party usually chooses a presidential nominee from among the various presidential candidates of parties of the left. Its presidential nominees have been: 1972 Benjamin Spock (Peoples Party); 1976 no nominee; 1980 David McReynolds (Socialist Party); 1984 Dennis Serrette (New Alliance Party); 1988 Willa Kenoyer (Socialist Party); 1992 Lenora Fulani (New Alliance Party); 1996 Mary Cal Hollis (Socialist Party); 2000 David McReynolds (Socialist Party); 2004 John Parker (Workers World Party); 2008 Brian Moore (Socialist Party); 2012 Stewart Alexander (Socialist Party). The party was barred from the ballot for President in 2012 because of a new law that requires qualified minor parties to submit their presidential nominee no later than June, whereas qualified parties that nominate by primary have until September to make their choice. Because Liberty Union polled over 5% for a statewide race in 2012, it now has “major party” status again, and its own primary. It had last had that status after the 2006 election.

REGISTRAR OF VOTERS Susan Ranochak announced Thursday morning that her office was sitting on 17,795 vote-by-mail ballots, including 1,029 provisional ballots. Only 18,577 votes were counted on election night, barely more than half of the total votes cast. Approximately 1,608 of the ballots are from the City of Fort Bragg, which represents double the 805 ballots counted on election night. In Willits, the outstanding ballots number about 836, almost as many as the 860 tallied so far. And in Point Arena, there are another 95 uncounted ballots, while only 88 were counted election night. Under state law the Registrar's Office has 28 days to certify the election and produce the final results, thereby leaving voters and candidates alike to twist in the wind for several more weeks.

THE SWITCH to vote-by-mail ballots and the elimination of most polling places means that the mail in ballots are usually pretty representative of the electorate as a whole. Therefore, although only about half the Willits ballots were counted on election night, and only a third in Fort Bragg, the City Council results in those cities are not expected to change. But with so many ballots still to be counted, and the results not even close to being final, it is somewhat unseemly for the putative winners to claim victory, and understandable if the apparent losers hope for a reversal. None of this happened when people had to apply to vote absentee and most people voted in a voting booth at their neighborhood polling place. All ballots were accounted for by the poll workers, driven over the hill to Ukiah, and efficiently counted — with final results usually available before midnight. And with a series of updates so voters and candidates could see the trends. Now we get “final” results that aren't final, in one fell swoop at nearly 2am and have to wait another four weeks until someone gets around to counting the other half of the ballots to find out if anything changed.

THE CITY COUNCIL results in Willits and Fort Bragg may not change, but in Point Arena, with three open seats, only seven votes currently separate the third and fourth place finishers. And other seats remain up for grabs, like the Point Arena Treasurer's office, where recalled Mayor Lauren Sinnott was the only candidate on the ballot, but was being challenged by Caitlin Riehl, running as a write-in candidate. The election night tally showed 33 votes for Ms. Sinnott and 39 for “write-in,” but it remains to be seen how many of the write-in votes were for Ms. Riehl, as opposed to Mickey Mouse, the perennial favorite of write-in voters. And how many people correctly spelled Ms. Riehl's name?

Sinnot & Supervisor Dan Hamburg

THE THOUGHT of Ms. Sinnott, aka the “Art Goddess,” serving as Treasurer was apparently too much for the recallers to take. The Treasurer is called upon to make monthly reports to the Council and while Ms. Sinnott made it clear that she would act in a support role to the Council, she also noted the fiscal oversight function of the treasurer and the ability to see the big picture and provide fiscal analysis of the impacts of policy decisions. Ms. Sinnott also expressed a sincere wish to “move forward and leave the bad feeling of past events behind us,” a sentiment apparently not shared by the recallers. If the name Caitlin Riehl sounds familiar, it is probably because she was one of the recallers, along with her husband, Brian Riehl, who was elected to the Council, but chose not to run for re-election this time around.

WHY SO MANY uncounted ballots on election night? Lots of people mail their ballots at the last minute, or drop them off at a polling place or at the elections office in Ukiah. And although the registrar has said they process everything that comes in prior to election day, given the extra large volume in a presidential election year, and the desire to save money by not hiring enough people to keep up, the result is a big uncounted pile of ballots sitting around waiting to be counted. And several candidates and lots of voters waiting for the results and wondering: whatever happened to election day? To register a complaint, call the Registrar of Voters Office at 463-4371, or try (800) 992-5441, and when prompted, enter 4370, 4371 or 4372.

KEEP THE FAIRGROUNDS OPEN! Laura Baynham writes: “Yes it is true! Our Fairgrounds are at risk of closing. Locked gates, no access to the baseball field and football field. Buildings deteriorating and NO FAIR! Who is going to pay for and maintain the emergency fire water tank? It is inevitable, unless there is a new way of doing business. The Fair has had no state funding for two years and is running on reserves, which are being depleted. Come to the annual members meeting of the Fair Association and become a member. Yes it is a little known fact that the Mendocino Fair Grounds is operated by a 501c3, the Anderson Valley Apple Show. Membership is limited to residents who reside within the school district boundaries of Anderson Valley and Cloverdale. It has a Board of six members, elected by the membership at the annual meeting. To be a voting member you have to have been a member for two (?) years. BUT members and energy and creative thinking are needed NOW! The way to be a member is to 1) come to the annual membership meeting this coming Monday evening November 12, at 7PM at the Fairgrounds dining room. It is a potluck, your willingness to participate is more important than the food, but if you would like to bring something, salad is always welcome. 2) if you can't make the meeting, stop by the Fairgrounds office and ask to sign the “book.” Yes there is a membership book that has signatures back to the … maybe the 30s, be careful the pages are frail. It is a rite of passage into the culture of Anderson Valley to sign the book, kind of like dodging the swinging dead chicken as you enter into the Grange membership. The usual agenda for the Annual Members meeting is a budget report, a fair report, election of two board positions. But come and ask questions, get an idea of what is happening. Current projects that need energy are looking for some help to use the grant search database that the fair bought a subscription to for locating grants that support both captial and operational projects at the Fair. There might be some great agricultural/food/event/education grants out there. Yes, we have always thought that the Fair and the grounds/buildings would always be a part of our community, but if we grind down to $0 in reserve, it will be very hard to get it open again. See you there! Laura Baynham, 972-2326 if you have questions, or 895-3249 at the house. The meeting is this Monday evening at 7pm in the Dining Hall at the Fairgrounds.

OCCUPY Mendocino invites you to attend an open Town Hall meeting to Stop Illegal Foreclosure in California. Moderator CJ Holmes will address the crisis of foreclosure in California and what can be done to stop this criminal taking which is making citizens homeless by stealing their homes. CJ will share the current information about the successful actions being taken in other parts of the United States to stop illegal foreclosure. The Mendocino County Registrar of Deeds as well as other elected officials will be present. Please visit CJ's website at or call 937-2377 for more information. Town Hall Meeting — Friday, 16 November Methodist Church – 360 North Cory St. — Fort Bragg 6pm.

STEVE TALBOT WRITES: Friends, My sister Margaret's wonderful book, “The Entertainer,” about our Dad (actor Lyle Talbot), Hollywood and our family was published this week. She starts a national book tour today. Here she is being interviewed on NPR about it. If you are free, please join us at one of her readings next week in the Bay Area.

The Green Arcade, San Francisco, 1680 Market Street, Wednesday, November 14th, 7pm. (Featuring wine and tasty treats)

Books Inc., Berkeley, 1760 Fourth Street, Thursday, November 15th, 7 p.m.

Book Passage, Corte Madera, 51 Tamal Vista Boulevard, Friday, November 16th, 7pm.

Advance Praise for The Entertainer: “New Yorker staff writer Margaret Talbot debuts with an affectionate biography of her father, stage, screen and TV actor Lyle Talbot. Mingling memoir and relevant social and cultural history, the author shows how her father’s career in many ways paralleled the changes in the 20th-century entertainment industry… A thorough, lovingly researched paean to a father and a way of life.”—Kirkus. “What a wonderful, loving, beautifully researched and touching story this is! Lyle Talbot lived a charmed life—a player's life—from the final days of vaudeville to the golden years of American television. Somehow through it all (the glamour, the hardship, the stardom, the rejection and the many transformations of modernity) he comported himself with a dignity that feels very much out of time to a contemporary reader. His daughter's tender yet clear-headed remembrance of him is a gift and a treasure—and a top-notch documentation of Hollywood history, besides.”—Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat Pray Love.

Marg will also be appearing in LA next Saturday at 4pm, Nov. 17 at Book Soup, 8818 Sunset, West Hollywood. 

One Comment

  1. chewsome November 12, 2012

    RE: ‘tra’ Lost Coast Outpost and “NOT A NATIVE” on cannabis pot growing and federal money.

    Perhaps the joke of the mystery as to why Matt Cohen and Doug Fine are so vehemently suppressing the messenger behind the green curtain, who discovered that a blatant lengthy help wanted classified ad was placed by Northstone Organics, in the Ukiah Daily Journal a week before widely publicized federal bust of Northstone’s processing and central cultivation facility, is that both of Matt and Doug actually wanted the eradication for the publicity it would bring to their true agenda of non drug tainted financial success.

    Doug had been writing a book on Matt’s project, from the start of seed germination to distribution with the collective dispensary contribution sales, so Doug wasn’t making drug money, but would be keenly interested in the myth perpetuated by the factual omission in Doug’s book, echoing the media myth commentary from around the nation, of reporters who did not find the published classified ad smoking gun.

    For perhaps a year’s time, Matt had been doing extensive public interviews, with video segments appearing repeatedly on national television programs. Rumors persist Matt was probably paid $10K each for some of the interviews which were televised, as that supposedly was the sum offered by several media video crews to another Mendocino dispensary operator who chose to remain unpublicized.

    Matt’s money is clearly not drug related as it is clean from the televised presentations, and thus he remains a free and clear martyr of the medical cannabis movement.

    So there is a certain irony, in that Matt now represents the medical marijuana Emerald Growers Association which supports the new AB 2284 (Chesbro) Irrigation bill, which if implemented by any County Board of Supervisors in California, after the first of the year 2013, which would allow a peace officer to stop all vehicles for inspection, which are visibly transporting irrigation pipe over any unpaved road, public or private, if LE has a legal right to be on that road.

    The rational of the Emerald Growers Association, appears to be that their water sources are legitimate, so they don’t mind diminished civil rights for others transporting supplies who could be doing it for illegal growing, because their own growing is legal.

    But are not the EGA members, in a sense, ducks in the same pot of soup under certain threats of illegality, except of course for the legit media stars, Doug and Matt, so why would any of them support traffic stops for investigating movement of water pipe on unpaved roads that are not on public nor timber resource lands? Is it like no honor among thieves? Did Matt and Doug sure pulled a fast one on this, and hoodwinked almost everyone, lock, stock, and barrel?

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