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Mendocino County Today: April 20, 2013


In response to Ms. Cooney's gripping drama

That Kemgas allegedly inflected her with such trauma

So as not to burden you busy readers

Like keeping up with the exploits of our government leaders

It's plain and really quite simple

As a chin sporting a handsome dimple:

We tried to make it clear from the very start

A customer cannot use our tank for eleven years only as garden art

To comply with her signed agreement she would not budge

Because she felt she was in the right we said "tell it to the judge"

When all was said and done the gavel fell

Kemgas won the case with nothing else to tell

Not so with Ms. Cooney

She painted a picture of Kemgas as harsh and loony

By having Bruce Anderson as a longtime friend she could continue her pout

Using AVA as her personal fiat front-page tout

If one doesn't care for our wares or what our company requires

One can easily choose from a plethora of other suppliers

From a locally-owned family business of three score and seventeen

This event is the likes with which we have never seen

Many we leave you with a very short tory

There are always two sides to each story

With all due respect

We're poets and don't know its

Charles Russell II

Kemppe Liquid Gas Corp, dba Kemgas

"Propane, fresh and green daily from Mother Earth"

"Your propane company by choice"

ED NOTE: To read what provoked this amusing piece of poetry go to Mendocino County Today for April 14 (scroll about halfway down the posting to the report by Eleanor Cooney).



MARTIN REIGN KATZ, 24, lately of Willits, has pleaded guilty to a single felony count of “threatening or forcibly resisting four California Highway Patrol officers.” He was released from custody Wednesday on his own recognizance with a strict felony condition of probation until he's due back in court at the end of May for sentencing.

THREE misdemeanor charges, Mendo DA Eyster said, were folded into the single felony allegation against the tree sitter. Katz had been in custody since April 2nd when he was pulled from his tree-sit protest by three CHP officers. At some point in that struggle, Katz dumped a bag of feces on one or more of the officers trying to extract him from his pine-top nest. A fourth officer fired several “bean bag” rounds at Katz to help subdue him. “This sends a message to Mr. Katz,” DA Eyster said Wednesday, “and to other people who claim to be non-violent protesters. Mr. Katz crossed a very bright line.”

NO CHARGES have been filed against any of the several other persons serially arrested during the Bypass protests. Katz's bail had been set at $60,000 until Eyster, apparently after checking with the CHP officers who'd grappled with Katz in his pine tree aerie that the partial disposition of the Katz matter was acceptable to them, worked out a felony probation release for Katz with Judge Ann Moorman. Katz was freed by Moorman on Wednesday pending a probation report and a formal sentencing on May 29th. Between now and his sentencing, Katz is prohibited from appearing within a hundred yards of Bypass construction.


DEFENDANTS In Intoxicated Toddler Case Back In Ukiah Court

A Philo mother accused of child endangerment after her 2-year-old son was brought to Ukiah Valley Medical Center with methamphetamine and a life-threatening amount of alcohol in his system was in Mendocino County Superior Court Thursday in her ongoing case.

Samantha Delvalle, 22, and Raymond Mabery, 21, who was also at her home when sheriff's deputies arrived, face charges of child endangerment, being under the influence of a controlled substance and possessing drug paraphernalia.

Delvalle and Mabery were in court Thursday morning for a preliminary hearing, but Ukiah attorney Justin Petersen, who represents Mabery in the matter, said he needed more time to obtain from the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office an audio CD and review it with his client.

Deputy District Attorney Shannon Cox said she had sent Petersen the disc, along with a disc containing pictures, but Petersen said in the midst of another trial he couldn't find the audio CD and would work on getting another copy from the DA's Office.

Delvalle's attorney estimated previously that the preliminary hearing might take a minimum of two hours. A preliminary hearing is the district attorney's chance to show the court enough evidence to bind the defendant over for trial.

The pair is due back in court May 7 to confirm their May 29 preliminary hearing date.

The charges they face stem from an incident when Delvalle's 2-year-old son was picked up from her house by his grandmother. The woman noticed the child was sick, and took him to Ukiah Valley Medical Center when she smelled alcohol in his vomit, the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office reported previously.

Deputies responded to the hospital to investigate the child abuse report, and then went to Delvalle's home, where she and Mabery appeared to be under the influence of a controlled substance, according to the MCSO.

Deputies found alcoholic beverage containers and a methamphetamine pipe where the toddler could reach them, the MCSO reported.

— Tiffany Revelle (Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)


Genevieve Alexander
Genevieve Alexander

GENEVIEVE KATHRYN ALEXANDER, 30, of Fort Bragg, has been missing since 3:30pm, April 4, when she walked away from her residence at Pomo RV and Campground, located south of Fort Bragg. Following tips, deputies, the Coast Guard and a Search and Rescue team have searched the bluffs, beaches and ocean in the area of Sunset Way, Belinda Point, Schoefer Lane and Pacific Way, to no avail. “During the search it was learned that a resident who lived adjacent to the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens (18220 N. Highway 1) had contacted a person trespassing on their property on April 4 at 4pm,” a Sheriff's report said, noting the trespasser matched Alexander's description. A Sheriff's Search and Rescue bloodhound followed a scent down a trail to the water near the Botanical Gardens.

“While conducting a search of the beach, a pair of pants was found floating in the ocean a short distance out,” the report said. “When the pants were recovered, they were identified as being the pants Alexander was wearing at the time of her disappearance.” She was also wearing a maroon fleece jacket.

Alexander is 5'6” tall, 115 lbs., with brown hair, blue eyes. Anyone with any information relating to Alexander's disappearance or whereabouts is urged to call the Fort Bragg Sheriff's Office at (707) 961-2421, the Sheriff's dispatch center, (707) 463-4086, or 911. More information can be found on Facebook at Genevieve Alexander Missing, or at


A READER WRITES: Just thought I'd let you know that the “Need for Speed” crew paid several hundred dollars ($500) to my place of work just for letting them park a couple of vans there for a few hours. I bet they paid a whole lot more to our neighbors each side, on one side, the little sport cars went zipping in and out their drive way all day long, after their runs down the highway, as did all kinds of other film crew vehicles, fake cop cars, etc. There is no way any customers could have fit in there on the day of shooting. The place on the other side of us also had vehicles going in and out all day, plus: the two helicopters were stationed there. This was all very fun to me, and the few customers who made it into our place. The choppers took off many times, hovered over us, and zoomed down to the road, where they dogged the adorable cars- one was the camera, the other a fake cop chopper- and, man, did they fly low and close together! As they went towards the cars, their blades were the same height as the willow tree at the end of the drive! That is LOW! It was also fun to watch the cars zoom back and forth down the road. I know they're really Corvette engines on a custom chassie with fiberglass shells to make them look like the fancy cars- but they are REALLY cute! Like sculptures. My co-worker found it all pretty boring, but I was most entertained!

On a completely different note…RE interest payments. I remember in 1978, I was refinancing my house in Oakland for $40,000. At the bank signing papers, I was looking through the huge stack, and saw this paragraph about interest, and that it would amount to $260,000. I tensely asked the woman helping me, “What's that!??” and she said, “Oh, don't look at that! That just gets you upset! It's ok, that's just how it is, don't worry about it!” and so I didn't. These things are all done on trust! A normal person can never understand them…and that's just the way they like it- so that after everybody's all trusting, they screwed millions of people out of their homes…

And here's another thing that baffles me, and sort of disgusts me, Re an article you printed last week- that people would think it's great when housing prices are high. Yeah, it's great for real estate agents and people who don't want their homes anymore. But it's rotten for people who actually want to live in these places. You don't just have to pay your high down payment when you first acquire your house, you get huge mortgage payments, and property taxes to match! Why is this good? Another thing I think is unfair, is this bidding war thing on houses. How about setting the price you want, and the first people who want your house and qualify get it? It's stressful enough buying a house, adding the bidding war really exacerbates it. When we sold our house in Oakland, we accepted the first offer we got (obviously after making sure they qualified.) It's pretty sad that so many people are not satisfied anymore with making a living, they have to make a killing.



COUNTY CEO Carmel Angelo included some remarks on the economic aspects of the filming of portions of the car-chase movie “Need For Speed” in Mendocino County:

“CEO REPORT, April 9, 2013: “Need for Speed Filming: Dreamworks Pictures has begun filming for their motion picture ‘Need for Speed’ within the County’s borders. The production will mostly be focused within and around Anderson Valley, with encroachment permits recently being granted by CalTrans for filming near Mountain View Road and Lighthouse Road today, April 9, and tomorrow, April 10. Upcoming encroachment permits are likely to be granted for extended filming needs the company may require for the film. The County is happy to host this event, as it is estimated to bring in more than $1 Million in revenue, in addition to providing funding for the Boonville Apple Fair this year. The Executive Office hopes to continue bolstering a positive working relationship with the movie industry to bring repeat filming opportunities here locally that can provide jobs and economic growth.”

PREVIOUSLY, Need For Speed representatives have speculated that they planned to spend $3 million to perhaps even $6 million in Mendocino County. Supervisor Hamburg, defending the filming project against minor criticisms and the Board’s failure to even hold a hearing on the permit, has publicly stated that the movie would bring in $3 million to the County and people should just shut up and get with the economic development program. We’ve done our own back-of-the-envelope calculations, pointing out that most of the money the Film Production Company was spending was on their own production costs, not on local employment, lodging or food — although there certainly was some money spent locally.

AFTER HEARING CEO Angelo’s report, we were pleased to hear that Supervisor Hamburg and the County intend to do an assessment of the film project’s economic benefit to Mendocino County.

HAMBURG: “I wanted to pick up on again with the Need For Speed issue. I think a lot of people out there are curious about how much revenue is actually going to be derived by the county. There’s all sorts of numbers out there that are really not backed by facts. I've thrown around a few numbers myself and I regret that I've done that. But I think, or I know that there will be a report made to the County at the conclusion of the filming, some kind of economic impact report to try to track how much revenue actually did come into the county. It's a hard thing to do because there are so many little transactions and things that happen that have economic impact but are not easy to quantify. But I think it is important that after we do have a major film like this made in Mendocino County that we have an idea of what the benefit is for the obvious costs that are involved for individuals. I just want to say that the feedback that I've gotten from constituents in the Fifth District which is where the filming is happening have been I would say overwhelmingly positive although there certainly are people who have been inconvenienced and who let me know that.”

NO DEADLINE for the Need For Speed Economic Impact Report was mentioned.


SUPERVISOR JOHN PINCHES gave a short report on construction in the Third District: “The Willits Bypass project is moving forward it seems to me without a hitch. I don't see any protesters out there this week, or at least as of this morning when I came by. Also, the brand-new Willits Hospital is getting well under way. If you ever go by their you can see the construction is going up. And also the college expansion project. So there's a lot of construction work going on in the spring and summer in the Third District.”


SUPERVISOR JOHN McCOWEN reported on the status of the Mental Health Court implementation that began in the aftermath of the Aaron Bassler case in the fall of 2011. Some people had advocated that the County implement Laura’s Law, a “court coercion” form of steering mentally ill people into treatment but which the Board decided was too expensive to implement and which wouldn’t help very many of Mendoland’s sizable number of persons with mental handicaps, whether they be genetic or drug-induced. Instead, McCowen and the rest of the Board chose to see if some kind of Mental Health Court could be introduced without the large cost or legal mandates of Laura’s Law.

McCOWEN: “With regard to what most participants call Mental Health Court or what the Judge Moormon more modestly calls the Thursday 11am Calendar, we have had referrals to that calendar. There have been I think two court hearings so far. So we do have participants. It's a modest beginning. It is moving forward. The larger group involved in planning for this continues to meet. It's really very exciting that we actually have people participating in the program now — with of course the cooperation not only of Judge Moorman, but District Attorney Eyster, Public Defender Thompson, the Probation office, and Mental Health. So that's good news.”

BUT THEY OBVIOUSLY have a long way to go because by the County’s own public health report, Mendocino County has more than it’s share of possible candidates for Mental Health Court.


SUPERVISOR HAMBURG also reported on a recent trip he took to the South Coast as the feds are expanding the size amount of government-protected acres of the Stornetta lands at the mouth of the Garcia via taxpayer acquisition with significant taxpayer funds going to the Stornetta family themselves.

HAMBURG: “On the 29th I was in Point Arena and former supervisor Kendall Smith was there as well, in addition to Congressman Huffman. This was a dedication for the next portion of the Stornetta lands. Amazingly in Point Arena there was just a gorgeous, gorgeous day. There had been an electrical outage earlier in the day and the schools were closed so they got a bevy of schoolchildren out there on the bluffs. It was a very beautiful day. I think the real question about the Stornetta lands out there is whether use by human beings is going to do more damage than the use by cattle over the last century. Because if you look at the way that land has been preserved while it has been used by the livestock industry, it's absolutely gorgeous. I think the concern is whether human beings will treat it as well as the cows did all those years.”

SUPERVISOR CARRE BROWN: “I'd like to add to that that the Stornetta family was very good stewards of the land. They were cattle ranchers, and sheep, and they also do the sweet peas and they plant peas and what have you. I know that Millie [Stornetta] who passed away just before the lands really changed [into government control], she was very concerned because the family used to protect that coastline. They would open so many days a year to local abalone hunters; it wasn't a greater public but they really preserved those lands and we should give a tribute to them for doing such.”

PINCHES: That's the bigger issue, and there's a big movement for running all of our livestock grazing off our public lands and they are doing a pretty good job of that and it's a real question now that if we replace it with people we are not going to take near as good care of it.”

HAMBURG: “It's a real concern. It sounds kind of funny at first, but I don't think it's funny any more. It's real.”

PINCHES: “We are preserving ourselves right out of business in this county.”

HAMBURG: “We've heard that speech before.”



By Jeff Costello

To live outside the law you must be honest. — Bob Dylan

I love a good man outside the law, just as much as I hate a bad man inside the law. — Woody Guthrie

Send lawyers, guns and money, the shit has hit the fan. — Warren Zevon

* * *

We hear an awful lot of the phrase “law abiding people” these days, usually from the mouths of the NRA and kindred gun advocates. This and “second amendment rights” are their big buzzwords. Never mind that these are often right wing “anti-government” folks who nonetheless regard the second amendment as sacred because they think it supports their beliefs. Guns are a religion, it seems, with every bit as much attendant self-righteousness as any other. As if legal compliance indicates less likelihood of someone going off on a shooting spree, as if outside-the-law people are by default crazy, stupid and irresponsible.

I’ve never known many gun people. But one, who identified himself as a hunter who always ate what he killed, came by with a couple of dead squirrels one night. No deer that day. We had to eat them with him lest his pride be injured (another issue there, but...), and the tree rodents were pretty unpleasant eating. There are times when I could make a pretty good case for being vegetarian. Billy the hunter did not have a license, and I’ve no idea where or how he got his weapons. But despite his questionable taste in food, he was an honest man and as good as his word.

Is it true that living outside the law requires honesty? I’d say yes, but that means really living outside the law, not straying from it occasionally for convenience. And is it true therefore, that a law-abiding person does not need to be honest? Is it not a fact that legal processes and protection can and often do cover many large and small-scale sins, crimes, iniquities? It would seem so. In fact, the more I hear the phrase “law-abiding so-and-so” trumpeted, the less inclined I am to trust or believe whoever is tooting the horn.

Is there, for instance, any honest advertising? I’d say not much. But pretty much anything goes when one is chasing profit, and fudging a detail, or a little exaggeration here or there is just poetic license, right?

One area where utter compliance with the law is necessary, is operation of a motor vehicle. Is mandatory insurance a scam, a ripoff, a clear collusion of industry and politicians? Of course it is. Unless you can manage with public transportation, the DMV and more to the point the CHP, have you by the throat. What are licensing and insurance fees but payoffs in a protection racket? A crime when anyone else does it. But I make my payoffs, in the same spirit that I’d pay off Al Capone or my uncle Frank or the Corleones. CHP or Mafia? They’re all packing heat, but the Mafia’s reputation for restraint in the matter of gunplay is far better than that of the police.

We do the best we can with what we’ve got.


  1. James Marmon April 20, 2013

    I wrote my master’s thesis on drug and mental health courts and have knowledge of their effectiveness. I also worked as the Mendocino County Juvenile Drug Court Substance Abuse Counselor from 1998 through 1999. Drug and Mental Health Courts do work, but they only work for a selected few, those who have already committed a crime.

    Laura’s Law work for those before they commit a crime.

  2. April 20, 2013

    I mentioned this a week or two ago, but it would be less frightening if I thought you guys made up the quotes from our Supervisors.
    Grammar, syntax and coherence just don’t seem to be part of the requirements.
    It could make a laugh-out-loud bestseller:
    “The Supes Verbatim.”

    Jim Armstrong

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