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Off the Record (May 11, 2022)

The David V. Neily cold case. Lisa Neily writes: 

My father’s remains were found off Branscomb Road, May 7, 2020. They were identified in Oct 2021. Which already put us behind to file a wrongful death lawsuit. I found out Nov 11, 2021 from one of my older half-brothers. Then I called the Mendocino County Sheriffs, for more details.

The Press Release the Sheriffs sent out has discrepancies (see below).

May 7, 2022 is my deadline to file a wrongful death lawsuit but I can't find a lawyer to help me. I've been declined by three law firms. I would even be happy to have his case files subpoenaed. But I can't find a lawyer or even an investigative reporter. A few PIs said they would help but charge 10,000-25,000.

A lot of this info you already know. He went missing in 2006. Last seen by Ron Baumeister (now deceased) on James DeNoyer’s Westport property.

But at that time the Sheriffs (Det. Crabb) emailed me and said “I am not going to make any attempts at contacting the property owner, James DeNoyer. From past experience with him, I know he will not cooperate the least bit.”

Then his case or Cavanaugh's will never be solved!

Yet, DeNoyer, owned the property our dad was last seen in 2006. And where his two vehicles & his dog “Justice” were found by my brother Ryan.

As you know, DeNoyer is the nephew of Donald Cavanaugh who went missing in 2005. There is a connection. And there is a reason the Sheriffs refuse to go after DeNoyer, who now lives in Placer County. Two missing men (one deceased), same POI = serial killer!

This has been a nightmare with MCSD since dad went missing. So many questions are not answered, still. If we didn't have the last name of someone to interview, they wouldn't interview. All the neighbors to interview live off one street from DeNoyer. What about knocking on each door?!?! They kept asking us the same questions over and over. I also want MCSD to be investigated, because I am not the only family with a case they have botched or wanted to cover up for whatever reason.

And the other families are willing to help me. I also have others who know what DeNoyer is capable of, including my brother Ryan. If only they would have listened to him. Because I think it's much bigger!

I can prove via emails, missing person report, press release about remains, dental records, when DNA (from Ryan & I) was donated, coroner's report etc. that the MCSD is not on the up & up. Because info. and dates don’t match up.


1. The Missing Person Report was filed by my brother Ryan (I have a copy) on May 24, 2006. Press Release about dad's remains being identified says the Missing Person Report was filed on July 24, 2006. Shouldn't those dates match? But "24" is the same?

2. A Search Warrant was executed on Westport property, July 26, 2006. Dad's two vehicles, my brother located, (not the Sheriffs), were towed away. Ryan located dad's dog "Justice" there too. If the Press Release is correct, that's two days after the Missing Person Report filed?!?! Dates don't match up.

3. I've asked several times over the years for an inventory of both cars and have never been given one. His vehicles were released to our oldest half-brother. Another botch up.

4. Press Release says remains were located 3.5 miles Westport property. NOT true. It is 10 miles. I have the coordinates from the coroner's report.

5. It's more believable dad would walk 3.5 miles than 10 miles. Which is what the Sheriffs want everyone to believe.

6. DeNoyer also had a pasture of horses in Branscomb (another connection). Branscomb Rd. is where dad's remains were located, according to the Press Release. Maybe Cavanaugh's body is there too!

7. Remains located May 7, 2020 but not identified until Oct 2021? Why did it take so long when the Sheriffs had dental records July 25, 2006 (I have a copy). Why weren't they requested closer to the date of the Missing Person Report May 24, 2006? DNA from Ryan & I were entered in CODIS 2008. Why didn't they ask my two half-brothers for DNA when they visited the Sheriffs in 2006?

8. Dad wasn't last seen in Albion. That is where he lived. He was last seen by Ron Baumeister on DeNoyer's Westport property. Who lied to my brother about where dad was. But now Baumeister is deceased.

9. Sheriffs promised me a copy of the Press Release but I never got it before it was mass distributed to media outlets.

They won’t talk to me because I’m not the eldest sibling. That has been their excuse from day one. I’m trying to find out what happened to dad? Get attention on his case that is still open.

But cannot trust the Sheriffs. Because he didn’t just walk off, especially without his dog.

My theory is he was shot on the Westport property because gunshots were heard by neighbors. Then he was moved to Branscomb Rd. Because when they searched DeNoyer's property in 2006, they claim nothing was indicated by the cadaver dogs. Was a metal detector used? And because dad would never just walk off 10 miles (the correct distance) and leave his dog!

Ryan also took care of his horses in Westport and worked for DeNoyer in construction on a retreat for John Gray of "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus". Gray testified in the horse abuse trial of DeNoyer. He only got a slap on the hand in the horse abuse trial. And his brother bought back some of the horses. And my brother Ryan, was never called to testify. Another botch up!

I have dad’s ashes from my oldest half-brother. But I’m not convinced they are his. I wanted his remains to be tested from a different lab for a second opinion (to confirm no signs of trauma) but because of the law his remains got cremated because our oldest half-brother chose to, without giving all the siblings a say. Yet the Sheriffs will only listen to him. His ashes can still be tested for DNA, then paternity.

MCSD only talk to the eldest but Ryan & I were the closest to dad. I even have the pink slips to his cars (which were released to the eldest by the Sheriffs), letters he wrote to me over the years, cards, drawings he gave to me, a 1950 Pontiac Sedan Delivery (a gift to me), some of his personal belongings, because he knew they would be safe with me.

Again, sorry this is so long. I am just desperate for help. Even if I can't file a wrongful death lawsuit (because of the deadline), we want JUSTICE, like the name of dad's dog. And to get attention on his still, unsolved cold case.

SUPERVISOR WILLIAMS: A recent news story about the county touched on chambers, “But almost $370,000 was spent to remodel the Board of Supervisors chambers.”

Remodel makes it sound cosmetic as if the chairs were not comfortable enough. Actually, the upgrades included the cameras, audio system, computers, and layout changes necessary to perform hybrid meetings. I'm pleased by these changes because it allows greater public participation, especially for people who don't live near the county seat. Just after opening, we enjoyed important public input from Gualala. I've always felt angst over the lack of equity in requiring people to drive three hours round trip to speak three minutes, and with the county's climate commitments, it's even more pressing to mitigate that 130-mile round trip drive. Other changes include improved ventilation/filtering and re-positioning staff so that the public can see their faces when they present. These changes benefit board meetings but also Planning Commission and the various other uses. The room isn't any more luxurious or decorative, but instead, it allows for better public participation.

ED NOTE: In fact, it was a pointless and expensive remodel out of covid relief funds not authorized for it and sheets of plastic everywhere in the room do not enhance public participation.

IRV SUTLEY NOTES that Nathan Bedford Forrest is going to be disinterred and dumped offshore as Osama bin Laden was. Quoting the zealots responsible: "Nathan Bedford Forrest was a traitor to the United States. The Confederate criminals killed far more American service personnel during the Civil War than the number of people slaughtered by Osama Bin Laden's attack on the Twin Towers. Forest committed domestic terrorism with his formation of the Ku Klux Klan and it's racist post war suppression of the rights of Black Americans.

When Forrest's body is disinterred from the Memphis cemetery, the corpse ought to be taken aboard a US Naval vessel and deep-sixed in exactly the same manner as Bin Laden was disposed of."

THING IS, Forrest died a liberal, died lamenting his racism and his racist history. Of course the merciless ones, preening their righteousness, don't read anything that might contradict their ignorant views.

IRV: "Reminds one of the political correctness in Fort Bragg over Braxton Bragg. Today's P.C. mini mob at Noyo Harbor seems to ignore Bragg's military assignment there was to protect the Indian peoples from bands of savage marauding white occupiers some of whom collected bounties for desecrating the remains of the indigenous."

TRYING MY DARNDEST here to look at in-county healthcare dispassionately, but would anybody miss the Adventist octopus if its three-hospital monopoly disappeared? It's clear that people who can get outta here if they have serious medical problems do get out of here for either Santa Rosa or UCSF in San Francisco. People with not-so-serious medical probs get them resolved at their local clinic, and every area of the county has one. All the county's clinics are mini-hospitals anyway, lacking only the after-hours emergency service. Couple more doctors at each clinic and bye-bye Adventists.

Steven Helm

STEVEN HELM, 75, of Fort Bragg, was arrested and charged with molesting a ten-year-old grandchild. He died in his sleep Sunday morning (May 1st) in the Mendocino County Jail. On-line comments from Kym Kemp's website present a range of views. Sheriff Kendall told the ava that his department couldn't find any molestation history for Helm prior to the current charges.

(1) “It’s important to note that the crimes Helm stood accused of were never tried in a court of law, nor will they be due to his death”. He could be innocent!

(2) He could be. Doesn’t matter if the chances of that are low, or that he “looks guilty.” There is no faster way to ruin someone’s life than to throw such an accusation his way, and it has happened plenty. Because of this, the accused must be assumed innocent until proven guilty.

It even seems not quite right that there is no trial after his death, because it would really be the only way to exonerate him, clear his name, and punish his accusers (somehow) if he weren’t guilty.

Not to say he was innocent. Just that it’s possible. But now, the last thing ever known about him will be this charge and the accompanying assumption of guilt.

(3) I had an old friend accused of molesting his daughter. It took a couple years for the true story to shake out but it was his crazy mean ex trying to get full custody. Poor guy! At least he did not get convicted on bullshit and thrown in prison!! The ex was never charged with lying but she should have been….Then I knew a guy from old-time Dead tour that never got convicted but it came out years later he WAS molesting a couple children as they grew up. That sicko is now in Hawaii being “free” …

Anyways it’s a terrible crime that sometimes gets accused of innocent guys. Not saying this guy is just saying it happens. It might be the worst false accusation possible…or implied, or hinted at…because most of us want pedophiles to die

(4) Exactly. I think most of us have stories similar to the first one you mentioned. One of them I knew happened before the internet, so the guy and wife got to move to a new town and probably nobody ever knew what he had been accused of or why they had to leave. (Think I might know about the one you speak of, unless this happens more than even we think: the woman came to my neck of the woods with two kids, telling the story of the abusive ex, and everyone believed her because we didn’t know any of the players. But just recently someone told me that where she came from, everyone knew SHE was the liar.)

(5) This whole write up [by Matt LaFever] gave me chills. Part cosmic justice, part mystery. He will never be tried. No one but him and the child will ever know the truth. An entire region glad. A timely death. A public servant who reminds us of a higher power. And we will never know anything else about it .

I'LL KEEP his name out of it, but a long-time ava guy, deceased, had REACH insurance, the medical helicopter most people living in our far flung outback regard as necessary for medical emergencies. Our friend, in his last hours, got airlifted from Covelo to Willits, then on to the med center at St. Helena for heart surgery. And then he died.

COUPLE weeks later pro forma condolences arrive in the mail from REACH, amidst the so sorry messages from REACH is a bill for $88,000. But since our friend was paid up but had never used it, and paid up for his family, too, because he wanted everyone close to him covered, his son called REACH. “Maybe you sent us this bill in error because you didn't realize my father had insurance.” The REACH person says, “What we do is we send this bill in case there's any other insurance we can bill.”

OUR FRIEND had no other insurance but his family now fears that the medical ghouls will slap a creditor's lien on dad's modest estate. The son says, “Anyone paying for REACH insurance should know what they're paying for.” The family has also received a bill for dad's four days in ICU at St. Helena for $680,000 at $170,000 a day, plus separate bills from the anesthesiologist and everyone else who got a piece of the dying man before he was finally beyond the REACH of the most backwards, extortionate, dysfunctional medical system in the world.

CHARLIE ACKER, the sage of Elk, is touting a woman called Reinette Senum for governor. Senum is an anti-vaxxer and anti-masker with pronounced tin foil hat tendencies. She’s a mega-megalomaniac, who describes herself as a “fierce planetary advocate” and often cites crackpot theories like electro-magnetic hazards to people out of tin foil.

UC HASTING COLLEGE OF LAW, an on-line comment:

“What was done to the California Indians was appalling by any standards. Even at the time it was controversial. Hastings was guilty of genocide. However, given my generally low opinion of lawyers, somehow it seems appropriate that a law school would be named for an appalling person. Actually, didn’t Hastings name it after himself?”

HASTINGS bequeathed a million dollars to the University of California, a lot of money in 1900 when Hastings died. In gratitude, UC named its school of law after him. As the mighty AVA has pointed out for many years, and may, ahem, have actually ignited the movement to get Hastings' name off the law school because Hastings, via his ranch foreman, not only murdered the native inhabitants of Eden Valley (southeast of Willits not far from Covelo) to establish a horse farm, he got state funding to hire white killers to finish off all the Indians in eastern Mendocino County. 

THE GREAT MAN HIMSELF lived mostly in Benicia while he functioned as Chief Justice of California's Supreme Court, delegating management of his horse operation to a 6'7" psychopath called Texan Boy Hall.

THE STORY GOES that Indians killed Hastings’ prize breeder stallion in retaliation for Hastings cheating them out of compensation for carrying his household furnishings from the Mendocino Coast over ancient trails roughly following what is now the Branscomb Road and down through Long Valley (Laytonville) on to Eden Valley. 

HASTINGS subsequently used his legal influence to get the California legislature to fund Jarboe's Rangers who were paid to murder, wholesale, all the Native Americans in the Eel River watershed. Jarboe, after a year of state-sponsored murder, became Ukiah's first lawman. All of this happened prior to Mendocino County becoming a legally sanctioned jurisdiction and was administered, more or less, out of Sonoma County.

IT’S EASY TO OVERLOOK the occasionally interesting footnotes that the District Attorney adds to his “Jury Outcomes” webpage.

We got a tip that the latest one attached to the Robert Brockway murder trial scheduled for this week was worth a look, and sure 'nuff:

DA: “For two consecutive weeks, the Superior Court did not check-in a pool of potential jurors sufficient to complete jury section and impanel a sworn jury to hear the evidence. As a result, a mistrial occurred and the defendant’s trial will now occur in July. It is hoped that this delay will allow the Superior Court to summons a greater number of potential witnesses so this two-phase trial can move forward.”

This footnote concerns the trial of Robert Brockway of Albion, charged with the murder of 60-year old Jimmie Mooneyham with some kind of medieval broadsword back in October of 2020.

It turns out that the court sent out jury summonses to 450 people, but only 45 showed up and more than half of those 45 claimed hardship.

In another case scheduled to start next week, that of former Ukiah Police Sergeant Kevin Murray charged with sexual and drug misconduct, the exact same jury problem was reported: 450 called, 45 showed up. The exact same? Seems awfully coincidental. Or confusion in the jury admin office?

A good bit of effort goes into preparing for trial, what with prosecution and defense witnesses and cops and family members and victims and even prospective jurors only to have the trial canceled for lack of enough qualified people to hear the case. In the Brockway matter, many of the people called to testify had to make the drive from the Coast to Ukiah, and all for naught. 

This is the first time in recent history that we know of missing jurors resulting in a mistrial. In the distant past there were occasions where County Courthouse passersby were grabbed off the street, so to speak, and pressed into service as jurors.

We’re not the only ones wondering if enough effort is being made to bring enough jurors in to trial. After all, it’s our civic duty and judges can issue mild threats and even fines for ignoring a jury summons (if that’s what happens; there are other reasons too, of course).

For 2022, the Presiding Judge in Ukiah is Jeanine Nadel. Nadel replaced Ann Moorman, and we don’t know if the court's executive officer is still Kim Turner, a Marin County resident. But we doubt this problem would occur under the Moorman/Turner administration.

We’ll keep a closer eye on the DA’s webpage to see if the Case of the Missing Jurors persists.

(Mark Scaramella)

EVEN THE LIB POLLS show a massive 66% of Americans disapprove of Biden's economic regime while only 23% see conditions as “somewhat good.” But lib media continue to pretend that Biden is fully capable of functioning as president, his obvious incapacity noted and fully exploited by Vlad the Terrible.

SPEAKING OF VLAD, he apparently isn't as nuts as his foreign minister, Lavrov, who declared last week that Hitler was Jewish and that the Jews themselves caused the Holocaust. Vlad has formally apologized for Lavrov's 5150 remarks as he continues razing the entire Ukraine with thousands of its citizens as collateral damage.

SUPERVISOR WILLIAMS: “I love Mendocino County. I value decorum, civility, and thoughtfulness. There are no gimmicks or shortcuts for strengthening county government. We must rely on hard work and collaboration.”

DECORUM implies civility, and of course is key to the passive-aggressive majority dominant in the 5th District who have zero knowledge of Williams' shabby performance as supervisor, but will return him for another four years. 

HOWEVER, even a cursory check of the supervisor's record in office demonstrates not thoughtfulness but a slavish Yes vote for whatever the County CEO has put in front of him and three of his four colleagues. And for all his brandishing of civility and decorum as his guiding principles, his crummy piling on, at CEO Angelo's signal, of the false charge, without apology, that exiting Supervisor McCowen is a thief, is simply more evidence that this guy, in his desire to please CEO Angelo's personal beef with McCowen (and lots of other people), gave McCowen a gratuitous kick while he was down. McCowen did not steal County property. The office stuff he took was his.

AS FOR 5TH DISTRICT SUPERVISOR, we think incumbent Williams deserves to be unseated based on his four years as an automatic YES vote for whatever irresponsible scheme the departed CEO put in front of him. Williams is opposed by John Redding.

REDDING is opposed by people who say he has been a divisive and irresponsible member of the Coast Hospital District Board. “Divisive,” in the Mendo context, is often a kind of back door praise for a person outside the flabby cash and carry liberalism that dominates public life in the county. Redding is certainly outside that lethal limo lib consensus and is being damned for a lot of reasons having nothing to do with the job of supervisor, a theoretically non-partisan office whose focus is supposed to be Mendocino County. Redding is damned, for instance, by the NPR-brained Fifth District libs, for being a registered Republican (Gasp!), the first since the late, great Ted Galletti of Elk. How would Redding be as a supervisor? On this particular board of supervisors? Therapeutic. 

I’VE INVITED Major Mark Scaramella, USAF ret., to itemize the reasons Ted Williams should not be returned as 5th District supervisor. Major! Front and center!

“Thank you, Mr. Anderson, for inviting me, the only person, as you know, in the County who thoroughly covers the Supervisors. Herewith, I list the major failures and screw-ups of these Supervisors, particularly Williams. In no particular order:

(1)Failure to deal with non-reimbursable mental health and drug-addled residents as Measure B called for, choosing instead to overpay for the Whitmore Lane demolition and rebuild for more much than a new facility would cost.

(2) Picking a pointless and costly fight with the Sheriff over computer independence and liability for ordinary budget overruns.

(3) Failure to enforce Measure V to reduce standing dead tree fire hazards/”nuisance,” even with a County Counsel’s formal opinion two years ago that Mendocino Redwoods was clearly not exempt from nuisance laws.

(4) Failure to revise the pot ordinance with a two-acre limit after their latest use-permit proposal was withdrawn in the face of a pending local initiative, leaving the County and well-meaning applicants in permanent limbo.

(5) Failure to plan or budget for their ill-considered consolidated Chief Financial Officer office despite voting it into existence with no plan or analysis.

(6)Failure to convene their Public Safety Advisory Board despite its incorporation in County Code more than a year ago.

(7) Failure to follow advisory Measure AG which was supposed to allocate the majority of pot tax revenues to Mental Health, Roads, Emergency Services and enforcement. In fact, nobody has even asked for a tally of those revenues for purposes of proper allocation.

(8) Failure to set up permanent emergency operations center so that disasters can be responded to quickly.

(9) Failure to develop a single project to submit for grant funding to mitigate drought.

(10) Failure to provide promised paramedic subsidy to local ambulance services.

(11) Wasting about $80k on a “strategic plan” that a large percentage of their own employees described as “a waste of time” while saying they are operating on an “austerity budget.” (Can people without a clue adopt a plan, strategic or otherwise?)

(12) Failure to set up a re-established water agency in a timely manner despite drought emergency — $330k consultant will only deliver a “work plan” by August after which no one has any idea what will happen or when or how much more it will cost or what authority it will have.

(13) Failure to impose water restrictions or gaging requirements on local water agencies.

(14) Failure to set up a budget line item for Sheriff’s overtime so that overtime can be managed and planned for as incidents occur, instead threatening the Sheriff with personal liability for overtime.

(15) Failure to provide monthly departmental budget and status reports to the Board and public.

(16) Wasting $4 million on a Crisis Residential Treatment Center, spending $5 million to build the equivalent of a $1 million four-bedroom house.

(17) Failure to staff positions which the Board itself says are revenue generating positions both general fund-funded and grant funded.

(18) Failure to codify a Mendo version of Sonoma County’s vacation rental restrictions to ease housing shortage for locals.

(19) Failure to require permit status reporting to see if permits are taking unreasonably long to process.

(20) Failure to consolidate Mendo’s five dispatch operations into two — Police and Fire/Ambulance — while keeping nine redundant dispatch positions on the night shift when fewer calls come in.

(21) Wasting almost $400k on an unnecessary Board chamber “remodel.”

(22) Failure to plan for the significant impact of the new courthouse on affected county offices: District Attorney, Public Defender, Probation, Sheriff.

WE'VE REVISED upwards our opinion of 3rd District Supervisor Haschak. He seems to have belatedly understood that it's not only ok but crucial to challenge the more egregious missteps of County administration. Haschak is the only supervisor who even seems to be paying attention. 

NORTH COAST OPPORTUNITIES (NCO) is largely successful at administration of multi-million dollar benefits to low-income residents through delivery of case-managed assistance programs and especially the delivery of “head start” services, all of which is unimpeachable. It's my personal experience over here in Lake County, as an advocate for senior citizens and the institutions that support them that I encountered the jiggery-pokery first. Subsequently I watched at close hand their juggling of the books during the Valley Fire's “long-term recovery” process, and successive years of providing very little to Lake County citizens except the funneling service of handing out state dollars, again through “case management.”

A fellow watchdog with equal objections to the claims made by NCO is the manager of one of several agencies which refused to have any truck with their “leadership” in the later recovery efforts from 2016 and 2017. The city of Clearlake itself rejected the NCO offer to lead the long-term recovery from the 2017 fire. 

And now, they have embedded themselves firmly in the deployment of 2022 programs serving the Lake County Board of Supervisors' display of “efforts” to support disaster preparedness (our Tuesday afternoon spectacle was a grand tour, put on just for the bedazzlement of the public). 

NCO's successful Lake County projects in that category are as fantastical as Redwood Quality Management/Redwood Community Services “services” in Mendo. But they have the magic of county government “blessings” enshrouding their contracted services which so far amount to fairs and handouts and bringing in AmeriCorps youngsters to invigorate public displays of information products. 

These are all paid for by the sources of “free money” (taxpayers) with nary a performance report beyond the unquestionable claims of the reports from oh-so-enthusiastic staff, always with the reservation that “if the anticipated funds” don't arrive, the deadlines for delivery of the expected work will be delayed. And then? (Betsy Cawn)

A READER WRITES: Lately I have taken to floating into City Lights bookshop in San Francisco to pick up a few back copies of the Anderson Valley Advertiser. I am told they are not allowed to charge for the paper! Therefore, I have decided to re-up my subscription. These are strange days in San Francisco! (Aren't they always?) I am pondering an article about my daily walk down to my "orifice" from home which skirts the fentanyl drug scene which is probably the worst thing I've seen in my 40 years here as a "downtowner." Maybe I will make a contribution to your hallowed pages.

HOW MANY TIMES have you heard a Democratic politician say, “I’m personally opposed to abortion, but…” You never hear a Republican say, “I’m personally in favor of abortion, but…” This duplicitous construction applies to a range of issues. From climate change to student loans to single-payer, Democrats habitually distance themselves from the animating issues of their base, while the Republicans embrace the agenda of their most militant wing. Which is one big reason why we are where we are. — Jeff St. Clair

LIFE IN THE CITY: He looked like just any other shaggy-haired nondescript hitchhiker, standing there on Van Ness Avenue, except that he was carrying an expensive Mark Cross attache case and inside the case was $55,000 in cash, mainly one hundred dollar bills.

How would anybody notice? Well, a few minutes earlier he had gone to a nearby bank to change three of the hundred dollar bills into smaller denominations, carelessly allowing the teller to see what the case contained. Bug-eyed, the teller immediately called the police. The police called in the Feds. The kid was detained on a vague charge: "Under investigation for possible possession of counterfeit money."

The $55,000 may have originated in narcotics sales because the young man immediately summoned Attorney Michael Stepanian, one of San Francisco's famous "dope lawyers." "There is no way you can hold the boy or the money," argued Stepanian and shortly after the young man was released. A few minutes later he was back on Van Ness again hitchhiking — but this time the load in his Mark Cross attache was considerably lighter.

The feds had taken out $16,000 for income tax. And of course there was Stepanian's fee.

Later, the lawyer met the young man's father, the vice president of a large corporation, and asked, "How do you feel about all this?" "Well," replied the father dryly, "he began smoking pot when he was 15 and now he's 23. I hardly expected that he might become a claims adjuster." Herb Caen, 1976

FOR THE PERFECT PITCH OF ANTI-PLANNING, put the City of Ukiah in partnership with the County of Mendocino and we are getting a new County Courthouse three long blocks east of the present County Courthouse which will house only judges and their courtrooms and staff. All the other offices housed in the present County Courthouse will, like, uh, have to make do. 

THE SIX or so acres adjacent to the new County Courthouse at the old Ukiah depot are privately owned and will be privately developed to house the DA, the Court Clerk and the rest of offices presently housed in the existing Courthouse, meaning the taxpayers of County of Mendo will be paying top lease-dollar for office space privately owned by one or two most fortunate Ukiah old boys.

THE PRESENT COURTHOUSE? The City of Ukiah's Shannon Riley, as usual speaking for Ukiah's phantom city manager, the perpetually unavailable Sage Sangiacomo, refers vaguely to a tenuous plan to bulldoze the present Courthouse for a park.

THIS IS ALL a very bad deal for both Ukiah and County taxpayers who will be leasing private space for crucial public functions like the DA, in perpetuity. And while the judges are securely housed in their judges-only new eyesore of a building at Perkins and Macdonald's, existing Courthouse personnel like the DA will be bustling up and down the three long blocks from the existing Courthouse to the new one and back again — all day every work day in all kinds of weather and traffic.

ROUNDING out this mother of all planning fiascos, the new Courthouse will rise on land now owned by the chimerical Great Redwood Trail, formerly known as the North Coast Rail Authority but now owned by the Great Redwood Trail, aka the Democratic Party of the Northcoast, with former Congressman Doug Bosco magically the defunct railroad's and imaginary Trail's sole creditor.

STEERING the project on behalf of the judges, the sole beneficiaries of the new Courthouse, is their court manager, Kim Turner, a Marin County woman who is on her way to retirement, and will be long gone before the disastrous consequences of this breathtaking fraud on the people of Mendocino County is realized.

ALL-IN-ALL, typical Mendo, government branch — no planning whatsoever as local officials simply roll over for the State Judicial Council (funded out of the extortionate fines charged every-day citizens) to build a new County Courthouse housing only one local function, judges.

JOAN VIVALDO REPORTS on the seemingly endless matter of Doug Stone, formerly of Redwood Valley, formerly a Mendo firefighter, formerly arrested but not yet tried for burglarizing many homes along Black Bart Trail, Redwood Valley: 

“I went to the Mendo court hearing on Friday, 5/6/2022, which was to confirm the 6/20/2022 date of Doug Stone’s Preliminary Examination. Mr. Stone and his new attorney, a gent with a fine, white mustache, appeared shoulder-to-shoulder via ZOOM on the courtroom TV screen. Although the ZOOM sound was not clear, and my hearing has dimmed, it seemed the attorney was whinging about media coverage. The Judge responded that THAT MEDIA was known for opinion. The defense attorney then asked to change the date of the PX to a week before or a week after 6/20/2022, but settled for 6/20/2022. To conclude, Ms. Larsen for the People reported that Mr. Stone had gone into the Fire Department of a town in Arizona and asked for a master key to the gates of that town. Alarmed, the Fire Department alerted Mendo authorities. Ms. Larsen suggested that this information be added to the new attorney’s discovery. More than that, it is now known that Mr. Stone has written a manifesto; details were not disclosed.”


JUDGE CARLY DOLAN is hearing the Stone matter, and why doesn’t she earn her excessive salary and move this case along?

A READER WRITES: I know money is tight for newspapers and there are fewer revenue streams. We would however appreciate it if you would consider not publishing the “Happy Easter” poem by Robert Forest as it is anti-semitic. Free speech is important but expressing yourself in a way that promotes anti-semitism (“sin-a-gogues”?) is harmful to our dear Jewish brothers and sisters. Thank you for your consideration.

ED REPLY: I didn’t get that reference as anti-Semitic, but now that you mention it… 

FORMER Ukiah Police sergeant Kevin Murray is accused of being a sort of one-man, badged crime wave. Although Murray has pled not guilty, if ever an accused person deserves a change of venue, it’s this guy. He’s been pilloried in this area ever since he was charged. Adding to the pre-trial prejudice against the accused is Ukiah’s pay out of $250,000 to a woman forthrightly described as a “prostitute” for a sordid encounter at Ukiah’s Super 8 Motel in November of 2020, during which the woman said Murray forced her into a joyless coupling, not that there’s anything joyful about even a chaste encounter at a Super 8. So, why the big payday prior to Murray’s trial? (Prostitutes in Ukiah?)

SHANNON RILEY is Ukiah’s “Assistant City Manager.” In the pre-women’s movement days of the 1960s she is the “chick up front” for Ukiah’s perhaps mythical city manager, Sage Sangiacomo. Ms. Riley is shoved up front whenever Ukiah has some real bad news to announce, as in the Murray case payout. (Why Ukiah needs two city managers to “manage” a town of 16,000 is a question for the town’s duped voters.) 

SO MS. RILEY and Ukiah Police Chief Noble Waidelich got together to announce that the quarter mil payout as that a “conditional settlement has been reached pending approval.” Waidelich took it even further, saying the proposed settlement “admits no liability for the City or its employees” and that Murray “was separated from his employment for his off-duty activities.”

“OFF DUTY ACTIVITIES.” Gotta love the Chief’s gift for euphemism. But what it means is the deal is a pre-emptive payout to prevent the fallen angel from getting a lot more out of Ukiah’s insurance carriers. But it also presumes that Murray, who hasn’t yet had his day in court, is guilty as charged. 

“CHICKS UP FRONT,” as some of us direct action vets of the late 60s will recall, was the false assumption that by placing women in the front rank of a demo the cops wouldn’t club them to get at us male-type individuals. Let’s say it didn’t work and leave it at that. The “chicks” got the fungo bats, too. By the middle to late 1970s, police departments started to lose a lot of brutality suits, hence, in places like Mendocino County and certainly in most urban police departments, beating the crap out of unresisting demonstrators pretty much ceased.

BALLOTS are in the mail as of Monday, May 9th. We hope Anderson Valley voters will approve the facilities bond Measure M, which will fund badly needed school repairs. We also hope Michelle Hutchins will be returned for another four years as Superintendent of the Mendocino County Office of Education despite the constant, unfounded claims that she was missing in action during the covid emergency. There’s also a truly whacked personal vilification of Hutchins led by a handful of Boonville mean girls who have apparently dedicated their defective lives to the destruction of Hutchins, by far the most effective and the most fiscally responsible superintendent that office has seen in 60 years. No surprise that former Superintendent Paul Tichinin, a silent veteran of the days the office was an ongoing criminal enterprise, is leading the charge against Hutchins. Tichinin, and the under-performing, over-staffed Ukiah schools administrative apparatus, hogged edu-funds under Tichinin, which is why Ukiah put up Ms. Glentzer as the candidate certain to return Tichinin-ism to the County Office of Education. 

FELIPE ALOU, the former Giants manager, had a saying: When the man is better than the player, you’ve really got something.

“As great a player, he’s an even better man,” said former GM Brian Sabean, relaying Alou’s wisdom in a recent interview with the Bay Area News Group.

Before reading further, you already know who he is talking about.

You know because Saturday was the day the Giants celebrated that man, Buster Posey, in an hour-long pregame ceremony. But you would also know from countless conversations with former teammates, coaches and competitors.

After all, few other players could have generated the lovefest that took place Saturday at Oracle Park.


[1] ADVOCATE HEADLINE: ‘Fort Bragg City Council selects company for Grocery Outlet environmental report’:

So sad that our City Council is willfully opening themselves up for embarrassment by selecting and approving the "suspicious" De Novo Planning Group to manage the EIR for the controversial Grocery Outlet project in Fort Bragg. Thanks to the Advocate News for their good reporting on this. 

The De Novo Group had already started work with Best Development before being selected which implies that De Novo is already bought and paid for by the developer and was not truly selected by the City. This "pre-selection work" also lowered their cost estimate when the they sent their proposal to the City as they had already completed some work vs. the other two groups that had applied for the job. How is this legal and fair?

Furthermore, De Novo and Best are reportedly planning to use the old traffic and biological studies and reports from the MND 1.5 years ago, for the EIR, to save time and money. The entire point of conducting this EIR was for the project to undergo an independent and unbiased review that would include new and comprehensive studies on project impacts to traffic and the environment. 

So what we seem to have is a sham of an EIR being conducted that the City Council knowingly signed off on which is going to unnecessarily open them up to legal challenges for not doing their job to hold this shady developer accountable to the CEQA process. It looks like they are afraid of doing the right thing and we have to wonder why that is...

[2] HOW MENDO IS SPENDING THE COVID RELIEF 17 MIL, two on-line comments:

(a) A portion of that money was given to each county with the intention of compensating the county’s essential workers who are ALSO TAX PAYERS and who kept the county going throughout the pandemic as “Essential Workers.” Every single other county recognized this and with integrity compensated their “Essential workers.” NOT Mendocino County. Mendocino County steals from the employees and steals from the taxpayers and gives to themselves. They remodel a room that they haven’t stepped foot in for over two years. They spend $35,000 for extra security metal detectors at their building when other county employees are working at unsafe locations surrounded by people that are homeless, mentally ill, drug addicted, and violent and carrying weapons. Let’s not forget the murder that just happened in the Social Services parking lot a month ago. The murder suspect had approached and threatened dozens of county employees over the several months he was living in his vehicle in the parking lot.

The BOS thinks nothing of the employees who run this county and PAY taxes in this county. Instead they search for non-issues to allocate the money to because they think county workers are the least deserving residents in this county. They have no problem taking the money from the people by raising taxes and the cost of everything including employees medical insurance but they’re still hiring at minimum wage. What a joke! In-N-Out Burger is literally paying more to their employees than several dozen starting positions at Mendocino County. The union has been taking polls and researching the housing crisis and homelessness among County workers for the past two years. That should give you an idea of how underpaid workers are. They complain about not being able to keep employees but they can’t seem to figure out why. They focus on replacing people but they don’t care about keeping good people.

(b) Agreed absolutely 100%. The other counties gave it to their essential workers. Also made payments to their public. Those other counties did not think about it twice. They didn’t even blink an eye — the checks were cut immediately. Mendocino County needs to have a strategic plan, an outside consultant, several independent audits and 75 Board of Supervisors meetings before they can decide to disburse it. And approval from the interim acting CEO. At that point there will be $1 left squandered away in the typical “administrative cost excuse fashion.” The other counties did not hold on to it, they disbursed it. How much of the PG&;E money has actually made it back out to the community? LOL LOL LOL. More of the same. It hasn’t earned the name Mendoshitshow County for nothing! 

[3] "Good grief - still waiting for the honest journalist who will print the actual names and description of the laws they are so against and feel threatened by. Both FL and AL laws are for the protection of parental rights and authority to care for their children; it's not about disenfranchising anyone. If anyone should be upset, it's parents with children in the CA public school system where the children are forced to attend gender identity indoctrination and the parents are unable to opt out - CA Education Code Section 51932(b).

Florida HB 241: Parents bill of rights

The bill provides that the state, its political subdivisions, any other governmental entity, or other institution may not infringe upon the fundamental rights of a parent to direct the upbringing, education, health care, and mental health of a minor child. If those entities infringe upon a parent’s fundamental right, they must demonstrate that the action is reasonable and necessary to achieve a compelling state interest, and the action must be narrowly tailored and not otherwise served by less restrictive means.

Alabama SB 184: Alabama Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act

Public health, minors, biological male or female, sexual state, practices to alter or affirm minor's sexual identity or perception such as prescribing puberty blocking medication or surgeries, prohibited, exceptions, nurses and school personnel not to withhold information from parents, violations a Class C felony."

[4] The elite? As the Proles slog thru the mud on the side of the road, trudging to the bus stop to wait for one of their stinking buses filled up with vagrants and the mentally ill, the State Climate Commissar will be blowing by in his Lucid Air EV sedan, Deluxe Model $209,000, feeling smug and self-satisfied, ready to run down any Prole that gets in his way.

[5] The smoking craters littering the landscape include my own city self-labeled the finest city in the world part of which now look like skid row in Los Angeles or the war zone areas in Ukraine. Filthy trash everywhere, fecal matter all over the ground and sprayed on buildings and reeking of urine. Bidenvilles popping up on the bridges not under them now. I watched a middle aged lady yelling at a street post the other day. As I walked by I asked if she was winning the argument and I will be damned but she stopped looked at me confused and said ” I don’t know” and for just a moment I could see a hint of sanity. Then she turned around and double her effort to win against her personal windmill. I can’t just blame Democrats as Republicans have not done anything and there are just too many people now to go down and hand out water or sandwiches. In fact it has grown rather dangerous to wander around some of these shantyvilles. Several are now epicenters of theft, rape and even murder. For the first time in my life I have little hope about what is coming.

[6] The world is so crazy, all you can do is sit back and enjoy the show while everything implodes (or explodes if Putin has his way). In times like these it is good to remember that all things are temporary and transitory, and this too shall pass.

[7] I went thru Blythe (Blight) CA. back in mid-March and needed air in a tire. Went to 3 air stations and all were broken/dismantled. Finally went to a Goodyear tire which took care of me. I asked about the broken air stations around town. Methheads dismantle them for scrap and just for fun. If you have been in Blythe, you know what I mean about that place.

[8] THE HOMELESS, an on-line comment: 

My family supports and works with our local shelters and programs in Yuba-Sutter counties, this is our 12th year. Here are the challenges we have learned: 1. Some have permanent damage to their ability to work or “start a normal life.” Many caused by choices made— fact remains, they need help. 2. NIMBYism- present everywhere, everyone wants a solution, but one that is fast, out of sight and out of mind- just not reality with the manifold issues. 3. The flow of fentanyl coming over our borders (that is not an anti-immigration comment, it is reality and has nothing to do with immigrants) is accelerating the homeless crisis since it leads to physical, emotional and cognizant damage, and causes a spike in crime. 4. There is no one-size fits all solution, and allocating more money is not the only solution, it needs the compassionate and common-sense support and work of us, the citizens.

[9] 1995, that’s about the year Biden was struck with multiple aneurisms and needed brain surgery to keep him alive, which may explain the condition we see him in today. Not that I take any pleasure in it, I think it’s a tragedy and a travesty he was put up for office, any office.

[10] Well, there’s genocide and economic collapse and possibly very serious or even catastrophic food shortages, but, you know, it’s worse than that. 

We’ve become a people who are coarse and vulgar and ignorant, whose self-seeking knows no bounds. It seems like it should be unnecessary to mention the saturation with filthy music, filthy books and movies, casual addiction to porn…and on and on and on. But as a matter of fact it is necessary to mention it, since no one seems to notice or care. 

This is the real loss–and not a likely shortage of Hot Pockets or heating fuel. This is the real tragedy. It seems inevitable that a people who are this far gone should suffer annihilation, like the Cities of the Plain or an inundation on the order of the Great Flood. 

This doesn’t happen because of some sort of Angry God. It happens because the people who are thus afflicted have committed suicide; their physical death is the natural outcome of their spiritual death–the loss of their humanity. 

The important thing is not so much whether we can save ourselves from all these advancing material evils, but whether we’re worth saving.

One Comment

  1. George Dorner May 11, 2022

    I have major respect for the major, but he missed the biggest failure of all. The Stupes have failed to make the CEO actually work for them by failing to insist on the budgeting information needed to run this county. By their failure to guide and discipline her (if necessary), they have surrendered their authority to her. So the biggest failure is that the Stupes work for the CEO, instead of the other way around.

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