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Off the Record (August 10, 2022)

Al Krauss

CAROL BRODSKY: Very sad to report the passing of Al Krauss. He was in renal failure, flagged for a bit and a fall several days ago took him to the Summerlands. So much to say. The father of my firstborn, the irascible patriarch of our overly-extended family, as Steve used to call our tribe. A creative. An eccentric, in the true style. Fluent in French, and the longer the English word, the more he liked using it. A radical. A worshipper of the word, of reading, of books and keyboards - both computer and piano. So much a part of my ordinary, regular life for so many decades it will be hard to fathom life without him popping in, unannounced, critiquing my writing, railing about mostly, but not always, the conservative side of politics and inviting himself for dinner, by saying he wasn’t really inviting himself for dinner. 

Called “Sufi Al” by his friends in the Sufi community, he never totally bought in, but he had deep respect for deep thought - de Chardin, Proust, Jung, and Sam Lewis, who was a western Sufi teacher back in the day. He subscribed to The Sun and read every issue. A bonafide Back to the Lander. An early supporter of Mariposa School and other “alternative” schools before that. He drove all our kid’s teachers nuts- because he cared so profoundly about education, being a Dartmouth graduate and all. As I have said before, I have been the luckiest person in the world of love on this planet, and though we were only a couple for 3 years, we remained parents and life friends for the duration. “Sleep loose,” Al - as he used to tell the children.

A VERY NICE EVENT IS BACK!

August 20 & 21 is when the 39th Annual Blackberry Festival will take place at the grounds in downtown Covelo.

Fun for the whole family this event includes arts & craft booths, Mendocino wine tasting and live music both days. On Sunday a car and motorcycle show will take place.

Saturday 10am to 6pm. 

Sunday 10am to 5pm.

Admission is free. 

No pets allowed.

After a two year absence, the Round Valley Blackberry Festival committee is busy planning the 39th festival. We are excited to once again bring the community and surrounding areas together for two days of music, food and arts & crafts on Aug. 20th & 21st. I have attached a listing for your events calendar as well as a copy of this year’s poster which we would appreciate you including in your publication. This is a not for profit event sponsored by the Friends of the Round Valley Public Library. 

Sharon Durall

Round Valley Blackberry Festival Committee

NOT THAT our Superior Court judges would ever condescend to address us rabble (except when they’re up for election), but their silence re the new county courthouse nobody wants is simply shameful. And don’t blame their silence on the State Judicial Council as if that collection of legal time servers is the Holy Koran, as if locals are powerless. If local judges came out against the new courthouse nobody wants, their shotcallers in Sacramento would have to reconsider.

BUT THEN MAYBE their honors think the preliminary design is “real purty” where “we’ll get our own parking spaces with a private elevator so we don’t have to trudge up and down the stairs like the rest of you suckers, and just across the street we’ll have our court coordinator fetch us Big Macs! 

WHAT WE HAVE in our Superior Court is 9 lawyers with lifetime, highly paid sinecures who have no visible regard for the communities they allegedly serve (cf the blithe destruction of local justice courts as the judges wonder why fewer and fewer people turn up for jury duty.) And Mendo being Mendo with its lawyers comprising one big cringing club who wouldn’t dare run against an incumbent, the magnificent 9 are not only impervious to public opinion, they’re clearly contemptuous of it because a new County Courthouse makes no sense, as it leaves all the ancillary court services in the present County Courthouse three long blocks away. The new County Courthouse is only for the comfort and convenience of the 9 judges and the Marin County lady who runs interference for them.

CHATTING with a friend today, he commented, “No wonder so many people turn to Trump. The average citizen looks around and all he sees is closed clubs. Look at Mendo. A raping cop gets the all-time plea deal; the Supervisors make three times the average Mendo salary for two meetings a month while the local government they supervise is an ongoing mess. And you have dope addicts and crazy people taking over all the public spaces in Ukiah; the schools are so bad they’re an inch away from being taken over by the state; we’re getting a new eyesore of a County Courthouse shoved down our throats; people are getting eaten alive by inflation while we fund an endless war in Ukraine, and on and on.”

A 36-YEAR-OLD LAKE COUNTY MAN was holding a hammer, a rock and a garden tool similar to a pickaxe when a Sonoma County sheriff’s deputy fatally shot him two Fridays ago. The victim, identified as David Pelaez-Chavez of Lower Lake, was standing 10 to 15 feet away from two sheriff’s deputies when he was shot shortly about 10 a.m. in a rural area east of Healdsburg. 

THE MENDO Sheriff’s Department, same week, subdued an armed Willits man in much more difficult circumstances. The Willits man was armed with three handguns and a rifle and had fought a Mendo Sergeant, at one point grabbing the Sergeant’s gun. The man was subdued with no injuries to anyone. 

WHEN our unclothed emperor tottered out the other night to squint at his teleprompter and slur his way through an announcement that the 9-11 mastermind had been sliced up by a flying mixmaster in Kabul, he couldn't get his inflections going, so the news lacked the triumphal emphasis of the night Obama, a media master, told us the Navy Seals had killed Osama. Biden seems weaker and less able with each public appearance, and if you need any more evidence that the lib media are an extension of the bankrupt Democratic Party, here it is in their ongoing pretense that Biden is capable. 

TWK PUTS IT PERFECTLY:

“We watch him during a rare moment when he’s given permission to address the public without wearing a muzzle and we say ‘Yup, he’s clicking long just fine, lookin’ good and making perfect sense. He’s our man’

There’s a Youtube video of Joe trying to describe ‘America in just one word.’ So he swallows a hiccup into the microphone while sneezing and then coughs up a hairball and looks around to see if maybe he said anything. 

Yup. Got it. 

Friends, we’d be alarmed at degeneration of this magnitude in a grandparent or elderly neighbor. In a President it ought to scare even corrupt politicians into action. But the man is so obviously a mere puppet that no one cares if he wets the bed, can’t count backward from 20 and doesn’t know Kamala Harris from Joe Camel.

Instead the media tell us the Emperor is sharply attired, looks great and is leading the parade in grand and magnificent style. But the media is liars and Joe is incompetent. 

Well, at least he doesn’t tweet too much.”

PROBABLY twenty years ago I took a call from a young man who said he was a Native American law student at the University of California's Hastings College of Law. He said he'd read in the Boonville weekly that Hasting's had touched off the State of California's paid massacres of Indians throughout the Eel River Basin, getting his friends in the state legislature to make sure the men who'd committed the murders of men, women and children got paid. “Is that true?” the kid asked, “I've never heard that before.” I consoled the law student with the information that when I was a kid my grade school history book said slavery had been a good deal for black people, what with free room and board and all.

YUP, I said, the Golden State's first state supreme court, with Hastings sitting as El Supremo, authorized a fellow named Jarboe to organize a “militia” to do the job of total extermination of every Indian they could find everywhere in the Eel River drainage. Which Jarboe did for an entire year, chiseling on his reimbursements but finally settling with his Sacramento paymasters before going on to become Ukiah's first badged lawman.

AT THE TIME of Hastings and Jarboe — the middle of the 19th century —Mendocino County was considered too primitive to manage its own affairs which, objectively, one could plausibly argue also applies to the county's anarchistic population 172 years later. In 1850, Mendo had to be administered out of Santa Rosa, insofar as its vastness and sparse collection of white settlers could be managed at all. 

MENDO'S pioneers independently murdered many Indians because with the arrival of white settlers and their small herds of cows, the Native American ecology was instantly destroyed, leaving the NA's starving and attempting to stay alive by rustling settler cattle. That's the short version but, of course, the first white settlers didn't leave much of a record. (Earlier in the 19th century, Spanish kidnappers had raided Mendocino County for children they sold as slaves in the more settled areas of the state and, as we know, the missions at San Rafael and Sonoma dispatched Spanish soldiers to Mendocino County to capture Indians to both save their souls and for free labor.)

AS THEY can be depended on to do, the jackals of the faculty lounges and their media stenographers, recently began to publicize Hastings' true history, making it seem as if that information had originated with them and not in the books and unread scholarship of researchers as far back as within Hastings' life time. Those confirming papers are sequestered at, of all places, a federal archive in San Bruno.

THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA named its law school after Hastings because he'd bequeathed the school the equivalent of a million dollars. Incidentally, the old boy lived mostly in Benicia, not Mendo where he'd merely maintained an absentee horse ranch at Eden Valley, which is hidden way in the outback between Willits and Covelo. Hastings' horse ranch was managed by a 6'6” psychopath called Texan Boy Hall. In retaliation for Texan Boy's many crimes against them, the Indians of Eden Valley killed Hastings' prize stallion, hence Hastings campaign to murder all of them in retaliation. 

SO, AT LAST, comes the announcement that Hastings' infamous name will be removed from the law school as of January 2023. Naturally, the expressed wishes of interior Mendo tribal councils that the school memorialize their murdered ancestors with an Indian name was waved away as “too obscure, too difficult for contemporary tongues to pronounce.”

A YUKI committee had proposed the university adopt a Yuki language word as its name: Powen’om, of indigenous origin meaning “one people,” but the name change committee weasel-lipped their way around Powen'om by claiming they couldn't do it because, like, you see, well.... “divisions over what to name the school among Indians over the name....” blah blah and etc. And as usual blame the Indians. 

ACCORDING to the Continuum of Care data at Mendo’s neatly contradictory handupnothandout.com website, there are 2,508 homeless citizens wandering our rural paradise. Most of them are white, most are between the ages of 25-54, 358 are more than 62 years old, 442 are children, 900 of the women have been the victims of domestic violence, 182 are veterans.

THESE STATS are wildly inflated, and derive from the bi-annual “point in time” counts, the process by which teams of early morning volunteers drive around Willits, Fort Bragg and Ukiah tabulating people they assume are homeless.

HARD TO BELIEVE, but the government reimburses California counties millions of annual dollars on evidence of homelessness thus obtained. Much of the reimbursed tax money funds the Ukiah-based “Continuum of Care,” 31 agencies (at last county) allegedly caring for the casualties of America's crumbling society.

IN 2018 THE COUNTY paid a fellow named Robert Marbut $60,000 to advise County supervisors on strategies for reducing the growing number of free range drunks, dope heads, crazy people, and menacing undesirables, all of them lumped into the one category of “homeless.” This population occupies the public areas and surrounding underbrush of our three major towns, except for Willits, because Willits is light, very light, on free stuff. Marbut concluded that there were in living fact about 200 or so homeless in the Ukiah area, 100 in Fort Bragg and less than 10 in the Willits area.

MARBUT found 40% of the homeless were native to the County, 23% were “somewhat homegrown,” and 38% were “out of town individuals,” aka “north-south travelers.”

MARBUT recommended that homeless services focus on the small number of chronically homeless people who have some connection to Mendocino County.

BECAUSE individual homeless people have a “better chance of recovery” in their hometowns, Marbut suggested that professional mooches, or travelers as they’re sometimes euphemized, should be given a sandwich or two and then helped to return to where they came from, not shunted toward long-term housing in Mendocino County and otherwise encouraged to stay here. Marbut said that “more often than not, the travelers came here because of services being provided.”

THE SUPERVISORS shelved Marbut's report in the wake of the “continuum of care” axis convening a hurry-up mass meeting that denounced Marbut's suggestions as “cruel,” not one of them in the continuum seemingly aware that their self-interest was fully visible through their see-through “compassion.”

IN A RECENT FACEBOOK VIDEO, Supervisor Maureen Mulheren, says it’s a “myth” that Mendo’s homeless came to Mendo for freebies, free meals, cold weather rooms in Ukiah's tweeker motels, readily available dope, easy panhandled booze. Ms. Mulheren, bless her all her days for her many volunteer hours of community clean-up, but the Marbut breakdown concludes that upwards of 40% of the ”homeless” are “travelers” who landed in Mendo for whatever “services” they may get.

YOU CAN SPEND a lot of time poring over the Continuum of Care’s statistics and walk away confused by their exaggerated numbers about how many people they “help.” Like the Mental Health “data dashboards,” the reader is left with a pile of out-of-context figures, color-coded and charted and percentage-ized by the people whose jobs depend on the numbers they’re generating. In other areas of American life this is called fraud, but Mendo isn't exactly known for public policy clarity.

THE “Continuum” people have never made an attempt to explain the large disparity between their numbers — more than 2500 house-less —and Marbut’s fewer than 300 unsheltered.

And that’s probably why Supervisor Mulheren and her friends at the Continuum (31 “helping” agencies) prefer to ignore the Marbut report and choose instead to insist that their pile of meaningless “data” demonstrates that they’re “helping.”

(I GET to Ukiah once a week most weeks. In a couple of hours I invariably see a half dozen or so people who, in 1950, would have been humanely confined to a state hospital. But there they are, shuffling aimlessly up and down State Street, people who are clearly unable or unwilling to care for themselves. Despite all the “care” money annually lavished on Mendocino County there are, as Marbut confirmed, a couple of hundred people whose dysfunction destroys the quality of life for many people, especially the vulnerable, in Ukiah and Fort Bragg.)

IT WOULD BE HELPFUL if Supervisor Mulheren, who says she has more first-hand experience with the Ukiah area homeless than her Board colleagues via her well-meaning trash-pickup projects, would explain the data gaps and why they can’t do more to address that 60% of the Ukiah area 200 who have Mendo connections. If Marbut is right (and we believe he is based on anecdotal reports, crisis van contacts and sheriff’s log info), the chronic homeless, many of whom appear regularly in the Sheriff’s Log, should be a manageable number; getting those “frequent flyers” off the streets would do a lot more for them and improve the credibility of the helpers and the Measure B mental health/substance abuse overlap population. (Mark Scaramella contributed to these paragraphs)

Gormley Statue

IS PENIS the first thing occurring to you when you look at the photo above? Students at the Imperial College in London have complained to college authorities that this pile of steel girders represents an erect penis which, seems to me, would only occur to people with penises on the brain. The artist, Sir Anthony Gormley, says his eyesore of a sculpture is called “Alert,” and is intended to portray “a human squatting.” I don't see either one, but then I've always agreed with Soviet Premier Kruschev who famously denounced a Russian abstract as “dog shit.” Well, not all modern art, of course. I'm not that big a philistine, but this kind of Richard Serra stuff? Gormley, though, described his pile of metal this way: “Through the conversion of anatomy into an architectural construction I want to re-assess the relation between body and space. Balancing on the balls of the feet while squatting on its haunches and surveying the world around it, the attitude of this sculpture is alive, alert and awake.” Hah! 

LOOKS WHO'S TALKING. Dick Cheney, ring leader of the most destructive presidency in American history, says in a campaign ad for his mostly lamentable daughter, that Trump is the worst ever. “In our nation's 246 year history there has never been an individual who is a greater threat to our Republic than Donald Trump.”

THE PRESS DEMOCRAT functions as press agent for the Northcoast's wine industry, as does the paper's favorite congressman, Mike Thompson. In a recent story by Bill Swindell, Swindell tells us that the House of Representatives has passed a bill that would allocate $5 million more to research on the effects of smoke taint on wine grapes. Swindell doesn't tell us who introduced the would-be legislation, but it originated with Thompson, of course, and doubly of course House Speaker Nancy “China” Pelosi, will sign off on it. Both Thompson and Pelosi are in the wine business.

GOVERNOR ENABLER, aka Gavin Newsom, is primed to sign a new bill that will allow more state-run drug-taking sites to pop up in Los Angeles, Oakland and San Francisco. Newsom seems unaware that Frisco's new DA is trying to shut down the first attempt at the scheme after watching it turn into a squalid, crime-ridden addict camp.

QUALIFIED STATE BALLOT PROPS for November

According to Ballotpedia, the following propositions have so far qualified for the 2022 November ballot in California:

#1 Provides a state constitutional right to reproductive freedom, including the right to an abortion.

#26 Legalizes sports betting at American Indian gaming casinos and licensed racetracks in California.

#27 Legalizes mobile sports betting and dedicates revenue to the California Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support Account and the Tribal Economic Development Account

#28 Requires funding for K-12 art and music education.

#29 Enacts staffing requirements, reporting requirements, ownership disclosure, and closing requirements for chronic dialysis clinics.

#30 Increases the tax on personal income above $2 million by 1.75% and dedicates revenue to zero emission vehicle projects and wildfire prevention programs.

#31 Upholds the ban on flavored tobacco sales.

NOT SURE if Bill Maher is a comedian or a pundit, a comic pundit, I guess to satisfy the classification need I seem to have. The other day, a comment of his got big media play: ”The real epidemic is obesity, and that we don't talk about. We are at a different place with [obesity] than we were even five years ago. Five years ago, it at least was thought to be a good thing to try to lose weight, right? Now, that's what they shame… when you're the bad person because you lost weight, and it's just seen as a different way of living. There's no judgment to it.”

MAHER SAID 78 percent of all covid hospitalizations and deaths were of fat people, which is news to me if true, but the numbers of the obese aren't news because you can hardly miss them. They're everywhere. At CostCo last week I estimated about half the people I saw were obese, a bunch of them morbidly obese.

I TEND to portly myself, so I'm not about to castigate the millions who succumb to lives of gluttony and sloth in a society that makes surrender so easy. I pity them, though, because with a minimum of self-discipline they could live longer and live much less painfully than they do.

DR. ANDERSON'S REGIMEN is pegged to at least one hour a day of vigorous exercise, in his case walking and push-ups. An hour of sustained movement of any kind will keep you reasonably fit while eating anything in reasonable amounts and excluding the purely negative food value items that comprise most of the food stuffs on sale at Safeway. 

I KICK OFF the day with granola and fruit, and not the granola sold in boxes by Kellogg Inc — the bulk granola you can get at Boont Berry in Boonville or the Co-op in Ukiah. Lunch is whatever the little woman has packed for me, dinner the same, all of it generously supplemented by blueberry muffins from Mosswood in Boonville and scones from the General Store, also in Boonville. And the classic donuts at the Redwood Drive-In. Temptation everywhere! The key, though, is movement. I've known a lot of fat people who were reasonably cardio-fit simply because they moved every day, moved religiously, with a view to staying alive and out of the hospital.

GARRISON KEILLOR was brought low by lechery, as I recall. Never was a fan. I thought his obvious self-regard was too much, and delivered in that Look At Me voice was way, way too much, right up there in too muchness with the absolutely intolerable, Scott Simon of NPR as the ultimate hollow man audibly fakes emotion every Saturday as he frauds his way through the mawk swamps of his NPR morning.

I DID LIKE Keillor's daily poem, liked some of his non-Woebegone writing and, as a guy of the same generational Sell By age as me, his comment cited here this morning resonated with me. “It was a good time, my time. Back in the country I grew up in, namely this one, men didn’t go into schools and shoot little kids, we never imagined such a thing, and what’s the reason? Fewer psychiatric medications? Fewer therapists? No. If drugstores sold licorice-flavored cyanide in drinking glasses, we’d see more of that. I plan to expire before the Supremes decide the Second Amendment guarantees the right to carry knapsacks of dynamite aboard airliners. Why should we give up our rights on the Jetway?…”

YES, there has certainly been some social slippage. The daily deluge of spectacular atrocities still shocks us old timers because so much of it, from the prevalent mayhem to the everyday debauchery of “entertainment” and social media, was unthinkable when us oldies were young.

ON LINE COMMENTS OF THE WEEK

[1] We have a new winner in the Woke Olympics.

I received a business email from Canada. It was “normal” in all respects.

Except, at the end of the email after the signature block, this statement appears:

“I respectfully acknowledge that I work at 220 Yonge Street, within land that is the ancestral territory of the Anishinaabe, The Wendat, and the Haudenosaunee peoples, and from 1805, the Treaty of the Lands of the Mississaugas.”

[2] Go ahead China, start WWIII over the death of Nancy Pelosi. That would be one for the history books. Maybe they could hold her hostage and we could work out a real deal with the Chicoms and the Ruskies over her and Britney Griner as a package deal. Pelosi is certainly no Nancy Reagan, nor is she akin to Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Here’s hoping she lives it up and enjoys her stay in splendor as a visitor of distinction. May the rocket's red glare light the path of the runway as her jet departs!

[3] “Alex Jones Concedes Sandy Hook Attack Was ‘100% Real’”

I have to admit that I love this headline. The lying, bullying blowhard Jones gets put in his place in a court of law, after all these years and all the money he’s made by spewing vile lies about Sandy Hook. The courts are proving to be our last refuge in conspiracy world (as in Trump’s false claims about the election, shot-down in so many courtrooms around the nation). Facts matter and lies are exposed in such settings.

Here’s a brief excerpt from the reporting of this trial and Jones’ admissions:

“Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones testified Wednesday that he now understands it was irresponsible of him to declare the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre a hoax and that he now believes it was ‘100% real.’

Speaking a day after the parents of a 6-year-old boy who was killed in the 2012 attack testified about the suffering, death threats and harassment they’ve endured because of what Jones has trumpeted on his media platforms, the Infowars host told a Texas courtroom that he definitely thinks the attack happened.” (Politico, 8-3-22) — Chuck Dunbar

[4] Why aren’t they going veggie? Why for that matter are doctors not being brave / honest enough to look a fifty-year-old executive fattie in the face and say “If you keep eating meat, it’s going to kill you. Probably give you a heart attack, before the end of the year. You’ve already got high blood pressure from all the stress of your lifestyle, your exercise is limited to riding around in a golf cart and swinging clubs, your family has all had heart problems – especially the men”?

Never happen.

One of those entertaining YouTube doctors, discussing diet, mentioned that a convention of heart specialists, held in a southern city, was being sponsored by [paid for by] – wait for it! – a cattlemen’s association. You can’t do better than that. 

I try my best never to show it but meat frightens me, both in the way it is come by and from my knowledge of what is in it / what it does to the human organism. I stopped eating it in 1968 and never looked back.

Now seafood, on the other hand, is my big cheat. A student invites me out for sushi (smoking with one hand while he pops down chunks with the other) and I declare, staring at the lovely item, “Maguro! You are a vegetable!”

(I’m not being serious. I eat fish maybe half a dozen times a year.) 

Not that seafood is that much “safer” than mystery meat. I would like to share it with you, but I cannot find the link to a website detailing how the curious protagonists ordered high-priced sushi from a ‘Frisco restaurant. Once they ran a geiger counter over it they lost their appetite for Japanese food. Much of the fish was quite radioactive.

This was not long after the disaster at Fukushima, “Happy Island”.

2 Comments

  1. Mo Mulheren August 11, 2022

    IN A RECENT FACEBOOK VIDEO, Supervisor Maureen Mulheren, says it’s a “myth” that Mendo’s homeless came to Mendo for freebies, free meals, cold weather rooms in Ukiah’s tweeker motels, readily available dope, easy panhandled booze. Ms. Mulheren, bless her all her days for her many volunteer hours of community clean-up, but the Marbut breakdown concludes that upwards of 40% of the ”homeless” are “travelers” who landed in Mendo for whatever “services” they may get.

    M – *Marbut’s report was issued in 2017. I am getting my information from the Building Bridges reporting to the City of Ukiah Planning Commission on whom they are serving which reports that 83% of the people receiving services are deeply rooted in Mendocino County. As well as speaking to the Homeless Outreach Teams that are serving today’s homeless on the streets in the Ukiah area (currently, 2022). Frankly being born and raised here I recognize many of the people on the streets from school and of course as I’m working to keep our creeks clean I’m talking to folks about where they’ve come from but in my every day life I run across people that are homeless for various reasons or have conversations with service providers. One of the outcomes of Marbut’s reports was to have all of our service providers steering in the same direction and providing a robust data collection system which we now have. Marbut’s study was pretty anecdotal, the people that are providing the services have been forthcoming with the information that they have. We still have people traveling through I’m sure, and I have heard that they are the ones that utilize the Public Safety services the most but I think we are going to get to that in a minute. *

    YOU CAN SPEND a lot of time poring over the Continuum of Care’s statistics and walk away confused by their exaggerated numbers about how many people they “help.” Like the Mental Health “data dashboards,” the reader is left with a pile of out-of-context figures, color-coded and charted and percentage-ized by the people whose jobs depend on the numbers they’re generating. In other areas of American life this is called fraud, but Mendo isn’t exactly known for public policy clarity.

    THE “Continuum” people have never made an attempt to explain the large disparity between their numbers — more than 2500 house-less —and Marbut’s fewer than 300 unsheltered.

    M – *The data includes everyone that accesses services, some of those statistics include CDC vouchers, Hotel Vouchers, Emergency Shelters Inland and on the Coast, Transitional Housing Case Management etc. The number does look large when you are looking at all of the people that receive some type of homeless/housing service in Mendocino County but that isn’t the same as what Marbut “counted”. Even the Point in Time Counts (in every community not just Mendo) are constantly challenged because its not exactly scientific. Organizing everyone in a data base and accounting for the services they were provided seems like a much more data driven way to provide outcomes of homelessness. *

    And that’s probably why Supervisor Mulheren and her friends at the Continuum (31 “helping” agencies) prefer to ignore the Marbut report and choose instead to insist that their pile of meaningless “data” demonstrates that they’re “helping.”

    M – * I don’t think Marbuts report was ignored at all, actually I sat in on some of the Strategic Plan Planning meetings and know it was actively involved in their work process. I wasn’t on the BOS when it was adopted but as a Councilmember I saw that the Service Providers were taking and incorporating that feedback in to the Strategic Plan. The role out of the Strategic Plan happened during SIP so there weren’t many community meetings but at least one of the Stakeholders on the current COC Strategic Plan Update Committee is willing to participate in community meetings so we can talk about where we were and where we can go from here. Their next meeting should be in September and if I don’t have a meeting already scheduled I will plan on attending. *

    (I GET to Ukiah once a week most weeks. In a couple of hours I invariably see a half dozen or so people who, in 1950, would have been humanely confined to a state hospital. But there they are, shuffling aimlessly up and down State Street, people who are clearly unable or unwilling to care for themselves. Despite all the “care” money annually lavished on Mendocino County there are, as Marbut confirmed, a couple of hundred people whose dysfunction destroys the quality of life for many people, especially the vulnerable, in Ukiah and Fort Bragg.)

    IT WOULD BE HELPFUL if Supervisor Mulheren, who says she has more first-hand experience with the Ukiah area homeless than her Board colleagues via her well-meaning trash-pickup projects, would explain the data gaps and why they can’t do more to address that 60% of the Ukiah area 200 who have Mendo connections. If Marbut is right (and we believe he is based on anecdotal reports, crisis van contacts and sheriff’s log info), the chronic homeless, many of whom appear regularly in the Sheriff’s Log, should be a manageable number; getting those “frequent flyers” off the streets would do a lot more for them and improve the credibility of the helpers and the Measure B mental health/substance abuse overlap population. (Mark Scaramella contributed to these paragraphs)

    M – * I would say there are many things that are different since the Marbut report in 2017. First and foremost we have a functioning Continuum of Care, a homeless strategic plan and we have all of our service providers using the HMIS system. During COVID fortunately there were funds to get our families, Veterans and vulnerable elderly in to some type of housing. We have several different outreach teams including the County, Adventist Health and MCAVHN that are out weekly and trying to actively engage homeless individuals in services. We have also had a lot of housing come online including Live Oak on Orchard, Senior Housing on Oak, Crisis Residential Treatment on Gobbi and Orr Creek Commons I on Brush Street. RCS and RCHDC just housed 18 individuals at Orr Creek Commons II and Cupples Construction has started phase 2 of Live Oak. The Crisis Residential Treatment Center is open, RCS is adding the MHRC so there are more opportunities to get people off of our streets. The RCS building on Orchard would house the Mental Health Rehabilitation Center, according to a recent news article this would provide “time-limited, secure, transitional housing and intensive Rehabilitation and Medication Support services to Medi-Cal beneficiaries who are 18 years or older and require placement in an adult residential setting. Residents of the MHRC are persons who have serious mental health symptoms and impairments and need 24-hour support and assistance while regaining their ability to safely function on their own. This housing and treatment resource is a critical part of the Mendocino County Continuum of Care that is currently missing in the local efforts to address mental health needs and homelessness.” The County is moving forward with utilizing Measure B funds to build the PHF on Whitmore Lane which will serve severely mentally ill with either MediCal or private insurance. Our service providers have housing navigators and are working with landlords and motel owners to be able to house those that are ready to follow through with services, you can see the success of that with the current data on the Hand Up Not Hand Out Mendo website. If you look at the number of units that have come online we can see that we are able to get people a roof over their heads and off the streets. Again, can you believe its been 5 years since the Marbut report happened? Now that we have a Strategic Plan (which again happened at the beginning of Covid) and its being updated, next committee meeting should be in September we can take a “real” look at our numbers. I think you’re right, we are down to those “frequent flyers”. The people we have on the streets now (at least in Ukiah, estimated to be a few dozen) are not “ready” to access services whether that be because of their current substance use challenges or other barriers that they are not willing to work with the outreach team or service providers on. We’ve come a long way in Ukiah we have an encampment disbandment template, a way to dispose of trash and better communication between service providers but at the end of the day it’s not illegal to be homeless and we will always have some level of people that aren’t able to maintain themselves well enough to stay in housing so how do we minimize the impact to Mendocino County business owners and continue to offer services to those that are ready to use them? That’s what we need to handle next and I’m open to suggestions, what can we do within social services, public safety and the corrections system to ensure success of the individuals that find themselves homeless and the businesses that are impacted. We know that there are many laws in the State of California that have worked to decriminalize addiction and homelessness so what are we legally capable of? I think reducing trash, raising awareness that camping near waterways is illegal and about not using fire during fire season are good starts, but what’s next. These conversations need to be ongoing but I think even more importantly that we are strategizing for tomorrow and looking upstream 5-10 years from now and what are we doing to prevent drug addiction, to help youth mental health and to continue to find ways to bring additional housing online for everyone. This isn’t really a bullet point conversation there is so much to it. I think that the Marbut report served its purpose in bringing awareness to the service providers about the frustrations being expressed by the community and helped them form an alliance that can work on a clear path, but I don’t think that data from 5 years ago from a not very scientific study provides us an accurate measurement of where we are.

  2. Marmon August 11, 2022

    You’re so full of bullshit Mo. I grew up in Ukiah, walked to school unaccompanied at the age of 5. You, the Shraeders, and westside liberals are the worst thing that ever happened to my hometown.

    James

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