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Mendocino County Today: November 17, 2012

Korbel, Lee

ACCORDING to an announcement signed “Beacon Staff” or “Advocate Staff,” depending on which of the interchangeable papers you were reading, Connie Korbel is retiring as editor of the two weeklies and former editor Kate Lee is coming out of retirement to take Korbel's place. Before she was appointed to babysit the Beacon-Advocate where the editor's function is to ensure that nothing is printed that will disturb the children (in other communities known as adult readers), Ms. Korbel was editor of the Mendocino Art Center’s newsletter where no mention of the controversies raging among the chipmunk painters ever, if she could help it, got before the pesky public. As a reporter for the Advocate, one of Ms. Korbel’s beats was Coast Hospital where she faithfully regurgitated everything the Hospital's profligate former administrator, Bryan Ballard, handed her. Ballard was eventually fired, but not before he did lasting fiscal damage to the institution. Both the Beacon and the Advocate are owned by the Media News Group chain which also owns The Willits News and the Ukiah Daily Journal, both of which serve their communities with incomparably better newspapers.

THE BIG COAST DRUG BUST first reported here Tuesday has prompted the usual anon shots at the AVA for “lying” and for being “irresponsible.” I know it's difficult for many victims of the local schools to make even the most basic distinctions, but an error is not a lie. A lie is a deliberate fabrication. And error is a mistake, inadvertent. I got one name wrong and one relationship wrong based on the information I had. Within minutes of receiving the information that one name and one relationship was incorrect, I made the on-line change. Unfortunately, the print version of the AVA had already been printed. I will apologize to the person incorrectly named in next week's print edition. A newspaper is a newssssssssss paper, get it? Newssssssss papers go with the information they have and hope it is without error. The most annoying call about this particular lawyer came from an idiot lawyer named Jeff Wozniak. He said the person I had listed among the bustees was the wife of one of the men arrested and was irresponsible for making the mistake. Mr. Wozniak, presumably, is without error. But he was just doing his job as a lawyer, which is to bluster for his clients.

ALL OF THIS SAID, like most people I don't like the way the feds operate in Mendocino County, and I certainly don't approve of the way they've handled this particular raid, swooping down on long-time residents and, without so much as a press release, hustling them off to prison in the Bay Area. It's all too much like CIA “renditions” of alleged terrorists.

THE UNEASY MARRIAGE of Willits' Frank R. Howard Foundation and the Adventist hospital octopus has Willits worried that maybe their marriage wasn't a good idea. Wednesday night, the Willits City Council voted unanimously, reported the Willits News Linda Williams, “to work collaboratively with local hospital staff to maintain the historical financial and medical success of Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital.” Local medical staff, and Foundation members, are apprehensive that the Adventists are rapidly developing a “corporate,” top-down management scheme that leaves the locals out of the decision-making process as the locals erect a new hospital. The Adventists didn't condescend to attend the packed house meeting. There is also apprehension that the Adventists' for-profit chain is eying Coast Hospital in Fort Bragg.

NORMAN HALLAM, 79, passed away Monday, Nov. 12th. He served the Mendocino County Library system for nearly 30 years. Mr. Hallam was the Head Librarian when the Ukiah Library was relocated to its current site in the early 1970s. Mr. Hallam was also an active member of Rotary and at the United Methodist Church since 1970. Mr. Hallam was preceded in death by his wife, Shirley Hallam and niece Terri Calkins (nee Halvorson). He is survived by his sister, Sidney Hallam (Dick Barnum), sister-in-law Sandra Halvorson (Roger Gabriel), nephews Mark Halvorson (Ann), and Glen Halvorson, Cory Brown (Debbie) and Chris Brown. His family is grateful for his amazing kindness and warm humor. A memorial service will be held at the United Methodist Church at 270 N. Pine Street Sunday, Nov. 18 at 2:30pm.

COMMENT OF THE DAY: “Is this the lousiest recovery of all time? Check it out: The number of people currently on food stamps in the US is at a record-high of 47.1 million. That’s more than twice as many recipients than in 2007 when the crisis began. And the percent of Americans living below the poverty line has skyrocketed, too. It’s gone from 12.3% in 2006 to 16.1% today. According to the Census Bureau, nearly 50 million people in America are now living below the poverty line. In other words, if you’re poor in America your numbers are growing and things are getting worse. Some recovery, eh?” (Mike Whitney)

AWARENESS GAP Means Only 25 Percent of Americans with HIV are Receiving Effective Treatment. By Dr. Sam Ho.

21 years ago, on Nov. 7, 1991, America was jolted with the news that basketball legend Magic Johnson had contracted HIV and would immediately retire from the sport. Almost immediately, Johnson began taking the antiretroviral drug AZT, and his health quickly improved. Just three months later, Johnson returned to basketball to play in the 1992 All-Star Game, where his performance earned him the MVP award. Johnson's fans and supporters were delighted by his triumphant return. And through Johnson's experience, mainstream America began to understand that HIV infection was no longer an automatic death sentence, but a largely treatable, chronic condition. We are fortunate that during the past two decades there has been great progress in the treatment and care of people living with HIV and AIDS. With early detection and increasingly effective treatments, Johnson's story is now just one of many high-profile examples of how people can manage their HIV and live long, productive lives. But while proper treatment for people with HIV has become much more available and effective, only 25% of Americans with HIV are receiving it. At the same time, people born after AIDS first emerged in 1981 are now most at risk of becoming infected with HIV. This sad fact highlights how important awareness and education is as we mark World AIDS Day Dec. 1. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), HIV infection rates are increasing for Americans between 13 and 30, and most of the new HIV infections reported in this country involve people under 30. It is so important to ensure that all people – especially young people – are aware and educated about HIV/AIDS prevention and the availability of effective treatments. Let World AIDS Day remind us that about 56,000 Americans become infected with HIV each year, according to the CDC, and that more than 14,000 Americans with AIDS die each year. The CDC estimates that nearly 1.2 million Americans are living with HIV, and that about one in five don’t know they have the virus. Regularly testing people of most at risk for HIV — and then providing antiretroviral drugs for HIV/AIDS patients — dramatically reduces the number of new infections. Preventing HIV is not complicated. If you’re sexually active, get tested. Don’t use IV drugs or share needles. Abstain or practice safer sex. With preventive care, patients and their health care providers can fight and manage this disease and slow its spread. As was the case with Magic Johnson and other courageous Americans 20 years ago, we can’t allow today’s more effective treatments to make us complacent or ambivalent, or to lessen our resolve to find a cure and an AIDS-free generation. To learn more or to find a place near you to get tested, visit (Dr. Sam Ho, MD, is the chief medical officer for UnitedHealthcare.)

MYFS ANNOUNCES their 4th Art Show Sale/Award Benefit. MYFS Transitional Living Program for Homeless Youth.  December 7, 2012, First Fridays Event, 5:30 to 8pm,  203 S. State Street, Adjacent to the Art Center Ukiah, Downtown. Art Show Sales, Awards to Young Mendocino Artists, and first annual Cookie Throw-Down. Our MFYS December event is a celebration, full of cookies, joy and awesome art, in honor of our young people and our community, and in grateful appreciation of the creative generosity of Mendocino Youth. On December 7, we invite everyone to visit the gallery space at 203 S. State Street, admire and buy the art from our community’s young artists, participate in our first annual Cookie Throw-Down contest between the MCYP staff bakers, and meet our new executive director, Kate C Gaston. Prizes for our youth artists are works of art in themselves, created by Esther Siegel. Youth artists will receive 50% of any sale of their work, donating the remaining 50% to the Transitional Living Program. Proceeds and donations from this year’s event will fund an evening parent mentor program to help with dinner, bedtime and book time schedules and calming activities, facilitating positive parent-child bonding and healthy nutrition. MCYP has supported healthy development of children, youth, adults, and families for 40 years, throughout Mendocino’s schools, towns, and rural communities. Providing counseling services, mental health, outreach and education, crisis response, and transitional living programs, we bring families together, and create hope and opportunities for our youths’ journey to adulthood. Randi Sanchez-Mellus, Press Assistant, 707-463-4915,


MINDY KITTAY, Mendocino County’s New County Librarian, To Come Aboard On December 9th. The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors recently announced the unanimous appointment of Mindy Kittay as the new Mendocino County Librarian/Director. Ms. Kittay comes to Mendocino County from the Rangeview Library District in Thornton, Colorado, where she was the Finance Director for the Anythink Library District, which was awarded the National Medal for Museum and Library Service in 2010. Ms. Kittay earned her Masters in Library Science from the University of North Texas, and a BS in Business Administration from Regis University. She brings to Mendocino County a wealth of experience and creative ideas to serve the diverse needs and interests of our Mendocino County constituents. Ms. Kittay is known for her contribution in transforming a failing library system in Colorado into a library success story, which was the featured cover story for Library Journal and the LA Times. “The Board of Supervisors is pleased to welcome Mindy Kittay, who rose to the top from a strong field of candidates, as our next County librarian. Mindy comes from a well respected and award winning library district known for its customer service and innovation. We join with the Library Advisory Board, our dedicated staff, and our volunteers in welcoming Mindy to our community, and we look forward to improved and innovative library services countywide,” stated Board Chair John McCowen. Added Kittay, “I am delighted to join the Mendocino County community and am eager to explore the beauty of Mendocino County. I look forward to developing community relationships to foster creativity and innovation in serving our patrons and leading our libraries into the 21st century.” Ms. Kittay will begin her new assignment on December 9, 2012. — Carmel J. Angelo, Chief Executive Officer

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