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Off the Record (Oct. 26, 2022)

SHERIFF KENDALL told the Redwood Valley Municipal Advisory Group last month that “Overdoses are through the roof.” And indeed they are. 

As Gary Levenson Palmer posted on facebook recently: “Fentanyl overdose deaths in California soared 45% between 2020 and 2021, new data showed. But it wasn't just big cities such as Los Angeles and San Francisco bearing the brunt of the crisis. In 2021, rural Mendocino and Lake counties both had per capita fentanyl death rates higher than that of San Francisco. Shasta County saw its number of fentanyl deaths jump nearly 600% in two years. Jill Phillips, a nurse in that county, said fentanyl had ‘completely replaced’ heroin on the streets.”

A California consulting outfit called “KFF” reported recently that the “age-adjusted overdose death rate in the US per 100,000 in 2020 was about 28 and in California it was about 22 per 100,000. 

Mendo’s Behavioral Health Director Dr. Jenine Miller told the Supervisors last week that 75 people in Mendocino County died from drug overdose in 2021, not including intentional suicides. That’s much higher than the state rate and converts to a rate in Mendocino County of 83 overdose deaths per 100,000. 

“That is really, really terrible,” Supervisor Glenn McGourty remarked, adding with his usual penetrating insight that he thinks the number “points to the need for treatment.” But he didn’t ask what was being done to address that need.

Mendo is far from any new substance abuse treatment, however. As the Grand Jury recently pointed out, Mendo hasn’t spent a nickel of Measure B money on substance abuse treatment as specifically called for by the Measure. In fact, the Supervisors argued that whatever they’re doing “indirectly” — they have no idea what — counted as substance abuse treatment under Measure B. 

From the text of Measure B: “For a period of five (5) years a maximum of 75% of the revenue deposited into the Mental Health Treatment Fund may be used for facilities, with not less than 25% dedicated to services and treatment.”

Actually, for a period of five (5) years since Measure B was voted in by a large margin back in 2017, a whopping 0% of Measure B revenue has been “dedicated to,” much less spent on, services and treatment.

Not to worry though, after the Grand Jury reminder, the Measure B committee and the Supervisors have belatedly decided to put out an RFP for up to $3 million under Measure B for some kind of substance abuse treatment. Trouble is, most of the Measure B money is either spent or pre-allocated to grotesquely overpriced construction projects like the $5 million crisis residential treatment four-bedroom house which should not have cost over $1 million) which serves a whole six people on average and the now being planned Psychiatric Health Facility (PHF) estimated to open (maybe) in 2025 at a cost of at least $20.5 million. Nobody knows how much will be left for substance abuse treatment, whatever that may be whenever that may be, if anyone (besides Camille Schraeder perhaps) bids for any of the services, if ever. 

As far as we know the only “treatment” being offered to drug addicts who overdose in Mendocino County is the Narcan jabber that local law enforcement officers and ambulances carry. (Mark Scaramella)

OBAMA: “Sometimes Democrats are buzzkills. Sometimes people just want to not feel as if they are walking on eggshells, and they want some acknowledgment that life is messy and that all of us, at any given moment, can say things the wrong way, make mistakes. I used to get into trouble whenever, as you guys know well, whenever I got a little too professorial and, you know, started … when I was behind the podium as opposed to when I was in a crowd, there were times where I'd get, you know, sound like I was giving a bunch of policy gobbledygook.”

SOMETIMES? The very word “Democrat” is instant chloroform, and if it precedes names like Biden, Schumer, McGuire, Huffman — any of them, really — it’s like having body parts chopped off with an ax, one per name. Republicans are merely unthinkable. 

MAYBE the despair induced by the “leadership” is caused by their ubiquity, their over-exposure. They're impossible to avoid, as is the preposterous media assumption that they're plausible, “Biden? He’s obviously on it, the top of his game. How could you possibly think otherwise?” Having Biden and the rest of them shoved in one's face every time one ventures into Media Land, is like being trapped in a nuthouse. 

REMEMBER that Stanford (?) experiment where a sane guy was inserted into a psycho ward? All the nuts knew he didn't belong there, but the staff, including psychiatrists, assumed that he must be crazy because he'd been formally admitted. “Hey, really, let me outta here. I'm not nuts, the people running this place are.” 

BIDEN’S appearances only inspire dread because we all know that he's not only out of it, he's sleep-walking us to serial disasters, maybe even the final absurdity of nuclear annihilation. Obama assessed him accurately: “Don't underestimate Joe's ability to screw things up.”

ON THE SUBJECT of accurate assessments, Ron DeSantis is on record as saying “Trump is fucking nuts” and a “moron” who has “no business” running for President again. DeSantis would attack his competence “head-on” if they are 2024 rivals, ex-staffers claim.

BIDEN says he’s running for re-election. Trump vs. Biden, can anyone even imagine that horror?

JOAN VIVALDO REPORTING: “On October 4th, the scheduled date of the arraignment of Doug Stone, the Black Bart Trail Burglar, I drove to Ukiah. Caltrans had decided to resurface North 101 near Santa Rosa at peak commute time, so I entered the courtroom late. I looked around Courtroom H, and saw Mr. Mike Clough, Defense Attorney, Mr. Doug Stone, Defendant, and Ms. Heidi Larsen, Deputy DA. Doug gave me a chipper spread-fingered wave, which I returned, thinking it was an odd gesture for a man about to be charged with multiple felonies. 

The Court called the Stone case, and Attorney Clough entered a Not Guilty plea for his client. He maundered on to say that motions had been/may be/will be filed. After determining that Mr. Stone wished to waive his right to quick action, Judge Carly Dolan allowed an extension until November 15th, when the date for a jury trial will be set. Messrs. Clough and Stone immediately left the courtroom. 

As is the custom of the Stone contingent, perp, attorney and victim went to Schat’s coffee shop after the court proceedings, where people assemble in the ordering/pickup area. As I ordered a bran muffin and coffee, I was very near Mr. Clough. He volunteered that he would have bought my coffee, but better to wait until the case was settled. I was also within arm’s length of Doug Stone. The up-close view of Mr. Stone allowed me to see that he is actually a good looking guy. Bright blue eyes, trim, well groomed, well dressed, well mannered. The Mendo mug shot is a crime in itself.”


THE STONE MATTER is typical of the Superior Court's casual functioning. This case is two years old! And on it rumbles with yet another judge, Dolan, slagging it off another month. 

YOU KNOW you're hearing a rhetorical Hail Mary whenever someone rolls out Hitler to make a point. Or a nut. Or a nut-dummy. Former Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, neo-Republican, compared President Biden to Adolf Hitler at a rally in New Hampshire this week, claiming that the two men appear to share a “mindset” about how to lead a country.

BIDEN AS HITLER? If it's possible to insult The Fuhrer, comparing him to the doddering incompetent inexorably slo-walking us the globe's Final Solution, this is it. Tulsi fits right in with her new affiliation.

JASON GODEKE is a candidate for the Fort Bragg City Council who's garnered quite a bit of support for a first-time candidate. Mr. G, 55, is married. He returned to his home town of Fort Bragg in 2017 to teach art at Fort Bragg Jr. High School. (His finely wrought murals grace downtown FB.) He says he's running because he “loves this special place and wants to help it grow and thrive.”

AT TUESDAY'S meeting of the Supervisors, near the end of a long, confused riff on the eternal subject of the County's hopelessly unworkable marijuana regulation, County Counsel Christian Curtis, master of circumlocution, conceded, “Excuse me for talking in circles.” Nobody had noticed, of course. I wonder if Curtis had kept rambling on how long it would have taken someone to notice. “Gee, I think County Counsel has wigged out. Is there a medical professional in the house?”

A READER WRITES: “Rumor control: I heard my friend Bobby Miller was abandoned in San Francisco. You might know Bobby as the person in Fort Bragg who pushed a stroller also known as Stomper; he would get stuck and stomp.

The police chief bragged on how they had reunited Bobby with his family and we're sending him back home. Bobby did not want to go home. He liked Fort Bragg. Bobby was somehow persuaded to get on the bus to drive into San Francisco. Once there he would have to wait six hours for his next bus ride. Bobby never made it to the next bus ride. A six hour wait is a long time for a person like Bobby who can easily become sidetracked. For the life of me, I cannot figure out why the police did not drive them directly to San Francisco. Bobby is now stranded in the city, a very dangerous place for a person like Bobby.

I recently read in the newspaper how another police department, I think it was San Rafael, drove to the city to drop off a homeless person. It was caught on video. I guess Fort Bragg thought they could do the same thing, drop my friend off and be done with him. If they are so passionate about homeless persons, why not drive him directly to San Francisco and put him on the bus yourself?

When I went to the police headquarters to inquire about this they told me the person who started the program quit after being yelled at by a supervisor and that they would have someone contact me. No one ever called me back. Therefore, I am writing to you to find out what's going on and if this rumor is true. 

I also heard the replacement is an ex-felon. I didn't think the police could hire someone with a criminal history record.

We have so many persons in need. Look at your frequent flyer arrests, like Rita, the old lady north of town, and so many more. I guess they can't send them out of town so they don't know how to deal with them.

This is such a shame. This program was really shaping up to be something to “Bragg” about.

I am remaining anonymous. I do not want the cops after me for bringing this information up to you. Good luck on your investigative research.”

MY INVESTIGATIVE RESEARCH reveals the following: Mr. Miller was not “abandoned” in San Francisco. He was supposed to continue on to his home in Ohio, but self-abandoned his trip in SF.

THE PERSON referred to as a “felon” is not a felon but did once suffer a minor misdemeanor the record of which has been expunged. 

FORT BRAGG has gone way, way above and beyond with Mr. Miller, aka The Stomper, who has since returned to Fort Bragg after a huge investment in travel-prep by Fort Bragg's crisis team to reunite him with his mother in Ohio. Implying that he has been “dumped” by FB as we saw in the San Rafael case is not true. 

FORT BRAGG'S crisis team did everything possible to prepare Mr. Miller for his bus trip halfway across the country. He was given a night in a motel so he could shower, he was given a haircut, new clothes, enough packaged food to get him all the way home, and a precise itinerary shared with his mom who was eager for her son's return. 

BUT MR. MILLER got off the bus in San Francisco, was arrested in Marin for an undisclosed reason and, as mentioned, has since made his way back to Fort Bragg. You might say he represents a sort of Banquo's Ghost for Fort Bragg, as the crisis people gear up for another go at reunification of mother and son.

THE CURRENT PLAN is to fly mom out here to personally retrieve her wayward son, mother and son being on board with this latest plan because it is now clear that Mr. Miller is incapable of making the trip home by himself.

FORT BRAGG'S effectiveness in working with troubled persons to keep them functioning without involving the police and referrals to expensive mental health services, or jail, spares everyone much expense, psychic and fiscal.

I THINK any fair-minded person familiar with the Miller case would have to concede that Fort Bragg not only has done everything possible to get this one guy back to his home state of Ohio, but the town's three outreach persons have spared all of us much expense, psychic and fiscal, in direct intervention with people who would otherwise be jailed or consigned to expensive out-of-the-area psych programs.

A READER WRITES: “There is a problem in the tax assessor's office. I bought my house in Ukiah not long ago, and I just got my tax bill and it is underbilled by $5,000 because the assessment valuation hasn't been updated. People are going to get supplemental bills once someone figures this out and those taxpayers are going to be upset. This is a mess. I know you support Chamise, but they need to get some big guns into that office to fix this....' They need to hire a consultant and fix the valuations and the supplemental tax rolls. The board of supes is too inept to do it and I don't think Chamise knows what to do. They need to get a consultant in there ASAP. People are going to get tax bills that are multiple thousands past due.”

MS REPLIES: Chamise Cubbison is the Auditor-Controller-Tax Collector Treasure, not the Assessor. The Assessor Clerk-Recorder is Katrina Bartolomie. Both offices were consolidated by fiat, not planning, and the Supes deserve blame for consolidating the Auditor-Treasurer without pre-planning and abruptly against the advice of the officials involved. The property tax/assessment problem has come up in passing at previous Board meetings, but nothing came of it besides some hand-wringing and complaints about chronic understaffing. Part of this stems from the ongoing problems with the County’s conversion to a new property tax system which continues to present data incompatibility problems (apparently in other Counties as well). They’ve been working with the software vendor but progress is slow and piecemeal at best. Personally, I don’t blame Ms. Cubbison or Ms. Bartolomie. The Supervisors and the CEO should acknowledge the seriousness of the problem and devote more resources to the problem, and, yes, perhaps a consultant. But frankly, even with that, I don’t think they’re going to fix the problems for this year’s tax bills and they should just come out and say that so the public at least has some understanding of what’s going on. And then set up a tiger team to speed up the conversion where possible. Will that happen? History says it won’t.

STEVEN HIGGS ASKS, “Is Humanity Destined to Self-Destruct?“ Seems so, but don't blame us. We're at the mercy of humanity's shot callers, and unconsulted.

ON THE SUBJECT of humanity's shelf-life, my first thought when I saw the photos of those two young women throwing soup at a Van Gogh to protest humanity's looming death, I thought they were wayyyyyy outtaline. But reading on I was relieved that the painting was covered with a protective layer of plastic, so my next thought was the efficacy of a protest that merely outrages people to the extent most people say, “Well, hell, go ahead with global destruction.” 

INTELLECTUALLY, the protesters are correct. More stuff for more people forever has arrived us at Survival Junction — keep on and the planet dies, get off dino juice and live on.

I WATCHED a sad doc the other night about a genius-level kid named Tyler Johnson who probably killed himself as an on-the-lam exile in Corsica. He'd been associated with ELF, the Earth Liberation Front, when he torched a whole car lot of Hummers, certainly a right-on thing to do, but also major felony time if you get caught. And he was quickly identified as the perp. (Every so-called terrorist group in the country is loaded with FBI snitches.) In this one young man existed the basic argument: How to effectively stop the destroyers before it's too late.

DIGGING DEEP for a tsk-tsk type of moral condemnation, all I could come up with is, “Gosh.” A sincere gosh, though, because I'm simply at a loss to understand why that dramatic re-enactment of the Jeff Dahmer saga on Netflix is Netflix's most watched show going on a month now. I managed the first couple of minutes as I wondered at my own ghoulish curiosity, but that was enough for me as the film begins with the cannibal's neighbor popping out of her apartment to ask, “Excuse me, Jeff. But there's that smell again.” Dahmer assures her he'll step up his housekeeping as the very next scene presents him at a bar zeroing in on his next victim. I'm sure the Dahmer film is well done, etc; after all, we live in the mayhem capitol of the world where there's no shortage of the real thing… But Gosh!


[1] When has a good and righteous person ever had to resort to fear and threats and dehumanizing others in order to lead properly? That would be NEVER. And it will always be… never.

If someone is using fear and shaming and Cancelling tactics to conduct their business then They have telegraphed their toxicity and intent of bad purpose for all to see.

Once our political and social and business and educational and religious institutions became corrupted… then that meant that anyone within those organization was or became corrupted as well. You have to be and stay corrupt in order to be part of that group or They will quickly drive you out.

Groucho once said that he did not want to become a part of any group that would have him as a member.

Want to know if you are personally on the right path? No one wants you part of their group.

And you can be thankful to High Heaven for that.

[2] The issue the legal mom-n-pops have is not being able to sell directly from the grow to the customer. If the state and county would get the fuck outta their way with needing the other bullshit permits and allow them to market their product to the customer they’d kick the shit outta corporate cannabis. The corporations knew this and the best way to stomp out your competition is to control the supply chain, which they do. Just one teensy-weensy issue, lol, the above mentioned logic has been the dominant weed supply chain force for the past 50+ years. It’s what happens when the government declares war against its very own people. It’s our plant, it will always be our plant! The traditional market dominates the cannabis industry and it is not gonna change for the next 20 years easily.

Rosin will never be a high revenue generating product. Most users get to a point they stop using because the euphoric effect diminishes with frequent usage. As far as your worldly view of the market it has existed for many decades and the Emerald Triangle growers are the best in the world and the world knows this. Nobody does it better, nobody!

[3] Rape and incest, which is also rape, account for less than 1% of abortions. Abortions are 99% an after the fact birth control method resulting from consensual sex. Sex education has been around since I was in elementary school in the 50's. The overwhelming majority of 14 yr olds know pregnancy may result from having sex. Consensual sexual intercourse is, as Bruce Mellon suggest, a deliberate act by two people. Mr., Mellon is also correct that the government has no business controlling a women's body. The issue with abortion is that it is the act of taking another human's life and we have laws covering those situations. Unfortunately, we have created a permissive society where the respect and sanctity for a human life is secondary to immediate gratification and pleasures.

[4] DOPE, an on-line comment: “The Black market grows in Mendo are extremely scary, and nobody knows who is out there, in Covelo, and the vast backcountry, which is as dangerous and well-armed as Sinaloa or Alderpoint…

Cleaning up the problem, is not something the Sheriff will accomplish, during his tenure, and a major military exercise along with deep cover black-ops wouldn’t even put it all out of business…

200,000 plants and 30 tons of flower is a microscopic amount, compared to the total tonnage produced by Mendo growers, and represents about 60 seconds production of just Lake, Mendo, Humboldt and Trinity…

Black Market eradication programs will prove to be a bigger waste of resources than prohibition, and the entire amount taxed may not be enough…

You are not a significant force of law enforcement, Matt, but thanks for your update and opinions…

Somebody, at the State Level, is being paid to ignore the whole thing…

Market forces and simple economics, along with over-production almost everywhere, will eventually take the toll, but by then, there will be other drugs to sell and other substances to waste everyone’s money, trying to control…

There is no answer except to legalize all drugs, hand them out for nominal fees, and get the criminals out of all of it!

When there’s no money in it, it will clean itself up.

[5] So here I am at Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut. My wife and I went out to eat at a restaurant there, called The Sugar Factory. It’s actually a nice place with good food. When I looked at the menu, I saw a veggie burger. Looked good, but it cost $20. I thought, $20 for a fucking burger? I wanted to get up and leave, but my wife said, “We can afford it. We’re away for a few days to have a good time. Life is short. Enjoy yourself.” The result was that we ate there, and the meal was delicious. When we walked out, I grumbled about a $20 burger. Something about a $20 burger bugged me. I’m not cheap, but a burger is a basic meal that almost everybody eats. How many people could afford that price? 

This got me to thinking about the near future. It’s a clear sign that bad things are about to happen. Pretty soon, relatively speaking, people in America are going to starve. I already knew it, but tonight it was brought into focus, and it scared me. The restaurant was new, flashy, and loud, and it’s obviously designed for young people. But it’s not an upscale place with high prices. What’s going to happen is that a McDonald burger will cost at least $20. All I can say to people is prepare for a food crisis. Learn a little about nutrition – you need adequate calories or you’ll waste away. You need protein and fats, too. Study up on it if you haven’t yet. The 2022 crop is turning out to be a disaster, but we’re still eating food grown in 2021, so I think the starving will begin in earnest next summer. Of course, food prices are very high, but the food is there. But next summer… Mass starvation will solve many problems and issues for us. A well fed person has many problems and issues. A starving person has only one problem. All the other problems, phobias etc. and all the personal soap opera drama will fade away into total irrelevance.

(6) Trumpers back their orange deity regardless of what he said or has done. Their support is based on the hidden boxes he checks for them whether that be racism, religious fanaticism, classism, or whatever they feel that by supporting him they get a leg up they don’t have to work for. To maintain their thin veil of expected privileges while stopping others from advancing. It’s not a method of self-improvement. It’s self-stagnation and creating a quality of life gap between themselves and others as a way to feel superior. They spout all sorts of debunked garbage and off the wall claims as a way to keep their bigotry concealed. 

[7] THE GREAT REDWOOD TRAIL, AN ON-LINE COMMENT: There are so many things the McGuire cartel has not thought of. But to be sure he got Doug Bosco millions of our tax payer money with the NWPco buyout and now he has the Coastal Conservancy (Bosco is the Chairman) to conduct millions in “planning.” Nothing to see her folks just move along… When the planning is complete they will probably find out it can’t be done with the lawsuits that are lining up. But McGuire won’t be asking Bosco for our money back.

MS ADDS: As chair of the Coastal Conservancy, Bosco is in a key position to steer McGuire’s planning money to friendly planning and consulting cohorts mostly in Sacramento. We certainly won’t be privy to the bidding and contracting process. I’d bet that he is now in the process of arranging some complicated legal arrangement that will make sure that some of the planning grant money ends up coming back to him somehow.

[8] KIDS TODAY. I’m 55 y/o and remember a “bomb threat” being phoned in to what was then (roughly 43 yrs ago) known as Rio Dell Elementary School. I was in 6th grade. I remember thinking that it had to be some kid who was absent from school & bored at home that day. Much to my surprise, it was an adult who perpetrated the scare. 

Now, I’m a grandmother. I never would’ve considered doing anything like that – not even as a child! My parents would’ve kicked my butt … AFTER my teacher, the principal, and God only knows who else had their turn at me. 

As a society, we’ve become incredibly lackadaisical. When did making terroristic threats, starting fires, hoarding weapons, Stealing from anyone & everyone, injuring peers, etc. become “No big deal”?

I’m not saying we should beat our children or assault them just because they are kids, but something has got to change! My parents didn’t abuse me in any way, but I knew there was a line I didn’t dare cross with them. There were lines I also observed in any social interaction. If I broke the rules, I faced the music. Our youth today need a healthy fear of God – so to speak. I believe that and simple respect would go a long way toward slowing the downward momentum we are facing as a country. At least, it’s a place to start. 

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