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Mendocino County Today: January 16, 2013


MAN BEATER OF THE WEEK: Repeat offender, Veronica Moreno of Ukiah.

Ms. Moreno has smacked Mr. Moreno before, and now she's gone and done it again.

Yo! Dude! Don't you know by now that when Veronica puts her eyebrows on you should go walk the dog or something?


FOR THE FIRST TIME since the crash of 2008, Anderson Valley's property taxes, in terms of total take, have declined. At last week's Community Services District Budget Committee meeting, CSD General Manager Joy Andrews reported that property tax revenues were down by about 2% (around $4,000). Lucy Simonson, a staffer at the County Auditor's office, confirmed that the reduction was primarily from lower property values, meaning less money for the CSD. Fortunately, this year, fire strike team revenues from the Valley's engines and crews summoned to beat back last summer's conflagrations, helped make up for the property tax reduction.


TUESDAY HEADLINES from the consistently stupeedo Santa Rosa Press Democrat: “Authorities: Man's body found in trunk of car near SSU 'suspicious'.” I'd say so unless, of course, the guy crawled into the trunk and killed himself. Then there was this one: “Accused Santa Rosa con man gets 10 years in deal.” If you get 10 years for swindling people you are no longer an accused con man, you are a con man.


MENDOCINO COUNTY'S CEO, Carmel Angelo, will be the featured guest speaker at the February 7, 2013 meeting of the Anderson Valley Unity Club, which will be held in the dining room at the Boonville Fairgrounds at noon. Ms. Angelo will speak on “The state of county government in present and future.” For $10 per person, attendees will get a nice turkey lunch with stuffing, ham, mashed potatoes, salad and various desserts provided by the hostesses. Payment must be received by January 23, 2013. (No refunds after January 27, 2013.) To sign up, write to the Anderson Valley Unity Club, c/o Joanie Clark, P.O. Box 394, Philo CA 95466. If you prefer to pass on lunch and just want to hear the CEO, show up at 1pm and you'll get coffee and cookies and Carmel. Info at 895-2847.


JUST as a reader demands, “Why are you guys always raggin' on KZYX?” I think the adverb we want here is 'periodically' ragging on KZYX, not always. When the subject comes up, as it did with Shiela Dawn's report on the meeting of KZYX's somnolent board of management-selected directors last week, this is what we say: “We don't listen much except for Women's Voices every Monday night which we find endlessly endless. Our main beef is the absence of local news and the scant opportunity the public has to call in. We also think management is aggressively rude and incompetent, the board of directors the usual rubber stamp Mendo-ninnies, and the station generally does not resemble public radio in any known sense, a fact borne out by its steadily declining membership. The music is swell, though, and some of the talk shows are also swell. (Jeff Blankfort every other week represents the only learning op the station offers on a regular basis.) But there's no LOCAL talk about LOCAL issues except for Norman de Vall's occasional shows (and the infrequent local shows from Sakowicz). We think Paul Lambert, the news guy, does ok with the few minutes allotted to him, but overall KZYX is a typical Mendolib operation — tediously pious, terrified of offending local authority and mostly uninteresting. If you had a couple of smart people running the place we might have something, but that's unlikely to happen because of the way the thing is structured and, let's face it, there's always the obstacle to smart and lively management presented by the suffocating demographic one always finds clustered at public entities, especially in Mendocino County. (See KMUD out of Garberville and KQED and KALW in San Francisco on how to do public radio.)


ON JANUARY 13, 2013, at about 10:40pm, the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office received a report from a person in Manchester, California that they were receiving numerous threatening messages, via text and internet, from a person with whom they had a prior dating relationship. Deputies contacted the victim and learned the suspect, Giancarlo Ward, 23, of Santa Rosa, had recently been released from custody after serving a sentence for a conviction of domestic violence battery against the victim. Deputies learned there was a domestic violence protective court order in place prohibiting Ward from contacting the victim. Deputies additionally discovered that Ward was also on probation as a result of the domestic violence battery conviction. Deputies reviewed the very specific threatening messages and established that Ward was sending them from a residence in Santa Rosa, California. Assistance was requested of the Santa Rosa Police Department in locating and arresting Ward. On 01.14.13 at approximately 0030 hours Santa Rosa Police Department Officers located and arrested Ward without incident and ultimately released him to Mendocino County Deputy Sheriffs who transported Ward to the Mendocino County Jail for violations of 422 PC, 273.6 PC and 1203.2 PC. Ward was to be held on a no bail status upon being booked into the Mendocino County Jail. (Sheriff’s Department Press Release)

ON JANUARY 14 at 11:57pm Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to a residence located in the 16000 block of Franklin Road in Fort Bragg for a reported domestic violence incident. Upon arrival, they contacted the victim who stated he was involved in an argument with his girlfriend, Maureen Ann Austin, 50, of Fort Bragg, after the couple had been consuming alcoholic beverages together. The victim stated that during the argument, Austin bit him on his face causing an injury that was witnessed by the Deputies. Austin was arrested for domestic violence battery and transported to the Mendocino County Jail where she was to be held in lieu of $25,000.00 bail. (Sheriff’s Department Press Release)



Real world update:
Why does the US government give a damn about what's going on in Mali?

A quick look at Wiki tables of proven oil and gas reserves explains a lot about their prominent military positions overseas. And what leverage points they can exploit to improve them.

Just looking at the top 20 on each list, the countries fall into several predictable categories:

1) Countries that are too big or politically-awkward to mess with like China and Russia

2) The US itself

3) Client states like Australia, Canada, and Saudi Arabia

4) States currently occupied by the U.S., or next door to occupied states, like Iraq and many of “the Stans” in central Asia (Turkmenistan being #3 on the gas list)

5) States that the U.S. government is trying like hell to drum up opposition to, like Iran (very high on both lists, btw)

6) Or very near Mali! (where the U.S. doesn't have a lot of regional influence)

Ding, ding, ding!! If you guessed that our “democracy spreading” was really geopolitical positioning for the last remaining large proven reserves of oil and gas on Earth, then you win the prize!

Curiously, Mali is nowhere to be found on these lists, much less in the top 20. Perhaps that's because more Americans, like many of you, are starting to question the reasons why we are spending so much money, that we don't actually have, on benevolent democracy spreading when the domestic economy is going to hell in a handbasket.

Hey, look! Mali has ZERO oil or gas and we're helping THEM! [I mean, positioning ourselves near Algeria, Nigeria, Libya,...hey look, it's an automatic weapon in John Birch's hands!]

Rant off.

Tripp out.


FROM THE CALIFORNIA HIGHWAY PATROL: On Monday, January 14, 2013, at approximately 7:12pm, 51 year old Kelli Elizabeth McFarland of Eureka was driving her 1967 Chevrolet pickup on northbound US-101 north of the city of Willits CA. As Mcfarland entered a left hand curve north of Reynolds Highway at an undetermined speed, she lost control of her vehicle, which ran off the road, struck several trees and overturned. The pickup eventually came to rest on its roof. Mcfarland was ejected from her vehicle and died at the scene. Evidence at the scene indicates Mcfarland was not wearing her seatbelt.


GEOGRAPHER INVESTIGATES Marijuana Price Distribution

Humboldt State geographer Monica Stephens presents “Data Shadows of the Underground Economy,” in the latest installment of the Humboldt Interdisciplinary Institute for Marijuana Research speaker series. The talk takes place on Tuesday, January 29, in the Native Forum (Behavioral and Social Sciences Building, Rm. 162) from 5:30 to 7 p.m. In her talk, Stephens will discuss the distribution of marijuana prices in various regions and the value of volunteered geographic information with studies that could not be conducted otherwise. At the site’s organizers request that volunteers contribute the prices paid for marijuana and the location of purchase. “This site, along with statistical measures used to model the price, demonstrates that within the U.S. there is a geography to marijuana pricing characterized by lower prices in states with medical marijuana programs and higher prices farther from such areas,” says Stephens. Stephens will also discuss the project as a recent study in the field of volunteered geographic information. VGI refers to map users adding geographic information to an existing base map.
Monica Stephens lectures in the Geography Department at Humboldt State University. Her research focuses on social and geographic inequalities in online content. Stephens blogs at and has published maps in Wired Magazine, The Guardian, CNN, Gizmodo, The Atlantic, The Atlantic Cities, the BBC, Slate, the Huffington Post, and elsewhere. For more information about the speakers series contact Josh Meisel, HIIMR Co-Director, at (707) 826-4446 or ## Jarad Petroske -- Marketing & Communications Humboldt State University


Anderson Xavier Lafrenz (aka Ax), a precociously pious lad from Boonville and San Francisco, during a recent visit to an Oakland church.



  1. John Sakowicz January 17, 2013

    Apropos of the above comment that KZYX needs more programming which focuses on local news, issues, and personalities, I agree.

    That said, Kendall Smith, the recently retired member of the Mendocino County BOS, who had previously served as the local constituent services representative for Congressman Mike Thompson, will be my guest on Friday, January 25 @ 9 AM.

    Kendall is my only guest for our 60-minute show. We’ll take listener calls during the second half of our show.

    Also, my 30 -minute interview with Congressman Jared Huffman, which aired on my last show, Friday, January 11, will be edited and posted to my blog on I also consider this interview to be a “local” show.

    Incidentally, we were honored to do the interview with Huffman. I’ve been told this Huffman’s first live interview since being sworn-in on January 8. (He gave interviews to the newspapers in the district immediately following his swearing-in ceremony.)

    Indeed, listeners are interested. In addition to listening to the live broadcast, we archive some shows.

    My archived interview with then-candidates Huffman and Dan Roberts has already been downloaded 725 times.


  2. Mark Scaramella January 17, 2013

    I hesitate to argue about this because it’s clearly pointless because KZYX will never address the basic problem, having been set up to be unaccountable to anyone but somnabulent NPR and music listeners who are the station’s primary membership demographic. KZYX management even paid someone to keep the public (i.e., Sheila Dawn Tracy) at bay at their last public meeting. At least Mr. Sakowicz is willing to respond to comments and he does have an occasional local guest. But his response is so lame that it hardly qualifies as a response.
    A real public radio station would, as a minimum, have:
    A daily morning show on local issues and events with an informed guest and live call-ins.
    Frequent debates on matters and issues of public interest with live call-ins.
    Many more hours (with many more public officials as guests) devoted to real local/County public affairs, not bland topics like meditation, wellness, psychobabble, the Democratic Party platform, canned pre-recorded liberals, NPR, Ukiah Daily Journal headlines, solar system battery maintenance, stale air, wild oatmeal, lunch, vegetables, smartmeters, computer problems, and hour after hour of mindless music.
    KZYX puts out 168 hours of “programming” each week. Of that, about about 77 hours (46%) is canned national news/talk shows, 63 hours (38%) is filler/music, leaving 28 hours a week (17%). Only three or four of those 28 hours (3% of total air time) (Blankfort/LeClaire, Sakowicz, Lambert) can even be loosely described as “public affairs.” And of those three or four hours a week you’d be lucky to get one hour of local material, and even less than that of call-ins on local subjects.
    Then we have Mr. Sakowicz here saying that free political campaign ads for Mr. Huffman qualify as “local public affairs.”
    Mathematically, less than 1% of KZYX air time is devoted to local public affairs. Yet KZYX still has the unmitigated gall to call itself “Mendocino County Public Broadcasting.”

  3. John Sakowicz January 17, 2013

    I agree with the above, Mark, except for the provocative comment about “free political ads”.

    Folks want to hear from their Congressman, as the 725 downloads of the Huffman-Roberts debate would attest.

    Again, that was a debate, not an ad.

    Also, out last interview with Huffman is no more of an “ad” as the January 25 interview will be an “ad” for Kendall Smith.

    Finally, I’m trying like the Dickens to schedule at least a few minutes with Congressman Mike Thompson and recently retired Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey. I think listeners want to hear from each as they move on in each their own respective ways.

    We’ll get our newest member of the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors, Dan Gjerde, on our show soon. MCERA Pension Administrator, Rich White, is also on my to-do list.

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