THE SLEAZE characteristic of the Tichinin years at the Mendocino County Office of Education seems to have re-established itself with the election of Nicole Glentzer.
MS. DAMARA MOORE is the former legal advisor to the County Office of Education via School and College Legal Services based in Sonoma County. Former Superintendent Michelle Hutchins worked closely with Ms. Moore, which seems to account for the startlingly shabby-unto-actionable treatment meted out to Ms. Moore by the new MCOE Superintendent, Nicole Glentzer, and two of Glentzer's gofers, the agency's new legal advisor, Jennifer Nix, and MCOE's personnel manager, Becky Jeffries.
SCHOOL and College Legal Services is a Joint Powers Agreement to provide legal advice to outback school districts. It's lightly overseen by three county superintendents from Humboldt, Sonoma, Mendocino, as well as County School Board members and other superintendents who use the service.
JENNIFER NIX functions as tutti di capo at this Santa Rosa-based legal seraglio called School and College Legal Services. She is also now legal shot caller at the Mendocino County Office of Education where she has teamed up with Superintendent Glentzer and the County Office's pliable personnel boss, Becky Jeffries, to vilify Ms. Moore. The persecution of Ms. Moore is clearly motivated by a high school-quality vendetta to get everyone who openly supported the failed re-election bid by Superintendent Hutchins.
THAT EMAIL VILIFICATION aimed at Ms. Moore was intended for co-conspirators Nix and Glentzer. It originated with Becky Jeffries, Human Resources chief for the Mendocino County Office of Education. But thanks to the incompetence of Ms. Jeffries — who makes roughly $200,000 a year — the hit piece was also sent to its victim, Ms. Moore.
LAWYER NIX had placed Ms. Moore on administrative leave in obvious direct retaliation for Ms. Moore complaining to the Schools and Colleges Legal Services Governing Board in open session about the irrelevant and highly vindictive effort by Glentzer, Jeffries and Nix to ruin Ms. Moore.
THE QUESTION the County Board of Education might consider asking itself and Superintendent Glentzer is this: Should Glentzer, Jeffries and Nix be permitted to retaliate privately against Ms. Moore for complaining publicly about Nix, Glentzer, Jeffries and Nix to destroy her?
(NOTES: The AVA, years ago, covered the original formation of SCLS via which a glib private attorney out of Santa Rosa managed to parlay his dubious private contracted services to outback school districts into a full-time gig for himself and, now, full time gigs for a whole office full of attorneys representing the interests of, not children, but school boards and school superintendents. Similarly, the Mendo County Office of Education, which does not perform a single task the individual school districts of Mendocino County could not do better and cheaper themselves, blew up into the monster it is today, some 180 persons, about half raking in more than a hundred grand a year in salary and bennies. As late as 1970, the County Office of Education consisted of Superintendent Lou Delsol and a Mrs. Hopper who checked credentials. But under Delsol the office exploded into a variety of “services” under a variety of ethically challenged and low ability persons, two of them shuffled into prison for, in one case edu-funded pornography involving an underage girl, the other for theft of edu-goods. When Terminator Schwarzenegger was governor, he was startled at the enormous sums of state funding that went to county offices of ed, he tried to eliminate them as a redundant drain on state finances. An alarmed statewide edu-blob successfully fought the governor off, arguing, essentially, “We just love kids, and we're totally dedicated to our nation's future. Goddammit Arnold, you can't do this.” The blob prevailed, of course, it being so large that even The Terminator couldn’t bust it up.)
FOUR HORRIFIC MENDO TRAGEDIES remain under investigation. Saturday morning's apparent tandem suicide off the Albion Bridge (April 8th), and the deaths of three people killed in a 6am crash on Highway 101 near Pomo Lane, Ukiah on Thursday, April 4th. Then, a woman in her sixties, hung herself on Easter Sunday off a Willits bridge. Over this past weekend, a 15-year-old Covelo girl was arrested on suspicion that she murdered a 16-year-old Covelo girl named Ruby Sky Montelongo. And this juvenile murder was only two weeks or so after 20-year old Nicholas Whipple was murdered in Covelo.
HOWARD DARROW DID WHAT HE COULD
You likely heard that 2 young women (22 years old) jumped off the Albion bridge at 1 am Saturday, April 8 into the Albion River Campground.
The girls came from Utah with their plan to commit suicide together jumping holding hands. (sigh)
One girl died and the other girl survived (extremely busted up). One fortunate thing is a Willits firefighter, Howard Darrow, who was camping, heard her cry for help and he sat with her and handled the calls for what was needed for this tragic event.
The surviving girl said, “Why am I alive?!” angrily and said, “this world is crazy and dark and I don't want to be here.” (My husband, Roger, helps manage the campground and heard all this first hand)
Everyone at the campground is very grateful for Howard and all the help and support that has been given by the medical emergency people, law enforcement, Chapel by Sea, etc. Mental health people even came to offer free trauma counseling.
And we all say Howard Darrow is a local hero!
Please send thoughts and prayers for healing, hope, love and comfort for the surviving girl and all the girl's family and friends. The shock and grief must be unbearable.
ON LINE COMMENTS sparked by the above tragedy:
(1) Many aspects of the Emerald Triangle’s rural lifestyle lend themselves to suicide risk factors. Those risk factors, as described by the Center for Disease Control, include barriers to health care, social isolation, and high rates of adverse childhood experiences. Added risk factors include a social “safety net” that’s underfunded and understaffed with many staff being inexperienced and under qualified. And despite the pot boom and bust, the north coast has been economically depressed for decades with high poverty rates. All of which combines to put us near the top in numerous categories of negative demographics, not just suicide.
(2) Lack of hope, lack of TRUE help. Throwing a pack of crackers and a bottle of water at a soul who needs much more kindness and empathy is an insult. Our services are basically service less. If it was a DV life that pushed her that far. DV tolerance is tragic. We allow too much to be laid on us as a society and passed down. Emotional hurt is the worst. Alone on Easter with a head and heart of sorrow. This woman/ gramma to feel so lost, to die at the roadway like this is a reality that is NOT ok. We need to do better. “Help” should not have so many barriers, judgments, rules, restrictions and limitations that it is hopeless. RIP mamma. I’m sorry for your pain and loss.
(3) What are you talking about? I don’t know how old you are, but in my cohort (millennials) I have literally lost track of how many of my peers have died of suicide, overdose, liver failure, all deaths of despair in the last few years. Two this week alone. I cannot overstate how fucking depressing it is to only see your friends at funerals.
My partner and I were in the cannabis industry our entire adult lives until 2 years ago. We weren’t rich, but we paid our bills, ate modestly at local restaurants, and shopped locally when we could. Now, we have been in danger of losing our housing nearly every month since we left the industry. We don’t go out. We buy everything off of Amazon. We have almost no connection to the local community anymore.
Both of us have CPTSD, and both of us have struggled with clinical depression since childhood. Par for the course growing up in Mendocino County. I am truly amazed that we survived the last two winters, and that is not an exaggeration in the slightest. Humans aren’t meant to live under the constant threat of homelessness. We would be homeless if it weren’t for an insane amount of luck.
Our friends are dying, on average about one a month it seems, and that’s just people we personally know. I can only imagine how many other non-publicized deaths of despair are occurring every day throughout this county.
THE SUICIDE RATE in the US returned to a near-record high in 2021, reversing two years of decline. Suicide was the 11th leading cause of death in the US, with over 48,000 people taking their own lives. (Three in Mendocino County just last week)
I WAS aware that lots of grandparents, heavy on grandmothers, were raising the children of their feckless offspring, but I didn't know the official statistic claims that more than 2.4 million grandparents across America have stepped in to parent for a second time.
WHEN MY WIFE and I functioned as foster parents, I was frequently in losing arguments with insensate social workers about placement of dependent children they'd bounce from home to home seemingly unaware that children need routine, predictability, the stability in which they can pull themselves together. The system provides the opposite. The most egregious experience I remember was with a ten-year-old black kid from San Francisco named Ronnie Lee, screaming that he wanted his grandmother from the time he burst through the door in a mutual headlock with another kid, both of them throwing punches, rolling all the way into the fireplace. The dithering social worker and I had a helluva time pulling them apart. The representative of the state handed me a beaker of liquid thorazine. “Ronnie needs an eye dropper of this medication whenever he seems over-active.” Which he perpetually was, and constantly demanding his grandmother. I said there was no way I was going to drug the lad, who was beyond anybody and everybody except, apparently, his grandmother. The state, if it paid even cursory attention to its thousands of dependents, would have paid the boy's grandmother to cope with him rather than some white stranger in a far off place called Boonville. Instead, I'm sure they kept Ronnie zonked on thorazine his entire youth, shuffling the boy in and out of juvenile psych wards until the magic age of 18 when he was free to make his way in a world he likely repaid with as much violence as had been done to him.
JENNIFER SMALLWOOD (Point Arena):
Regarding the article: ” Laytonville Emergency Shelter Update”. Point Arena also found itself islanded/on our own during the last big storms. Because of that experience, we have also started the process of coalescing community groups to be better prepared for the next emergency – fire, smoke, power outage, weather events, etc. So far committed to meeting at the Point Arena School district Office (the high school gymnasium is our evacuation center) on May 4th is the superintendent of schools, high school maintenance staff, Fire Safe Point Arena and the Red Cross. Also invited is the Redwood Coast Fire dept., the city manager and mayor of Point Arena, and Mendonoma Health Alliance. If the CalFire station is staffed by then, we’ll invite them too. I believe the list will get longer as we make progress with a plan to supply the center, set up communications and recruit volunteers to run the center. It’s good to know we’re in the good company of the folks in Laytonville. Good luck up there. Keep posting. You have great ideas. Thank you.
JIM SHIELDS OF LAYTONVILLE REPLIES:
You’re definitely on the right track the way you’re getting yourselves organized. The late February North County snowstorm/Highway 101 closure was just the last in a series of last straws where County officials exacerbated problems instead of either:
1) Staying out of the way and allowing locals to solve the problem; or
2) Actually doing their jobs by assisting locals to solve the problem.
I’ve always believed that problems don’t just happen, people make them happen, which is far too often the M.O. here in Mendocino County.
We’d be more than happy to help in any way we can.
Jim Shields, Editor, Mendocino County Observer
ON THE RECOMMENDATION of Denis Rouse, a serious book reader, I found a used copy of “Travels with Myself and Another” by Martha Gellhorn, who is invariably linked with Hemingway to whom she was married for a few years. Nobody's the equal of the master, but it's a cosmic literary insult that Gellhorn's genius is not exactly ignored, but when it is noted it's invariably tied to her ex-husband. Ms. G. was the first internationally famous female war correspondent, her nationally syndicated work beginning with the Spanish Civil War, on through WW Two and concluding with the disaster in Vietnam. “Travels,” I'm ashamed to admit, is the first book by this wonderful writer I've read. It's an acerbic, often funny account of three long overseas adventures, the first one to war-torn China with Hemingway, during the Chinese Civil War. Hemingway, is thinly disguised as “U.C.” The second account is a very long journey through both West and East Africa, both of which were written long before left-fascists of the woke sub-species intimidated so many writers into self-censorship. There's also a fascinating meander through the war-time Caribbean, still unspoiled, where merchant sailors, their ships torpedoed by Nazi submarines, found an idyllic sanctuary on then-remote, unspoiled islands. (We know what's happened to them since, and it isn't idyllic.) I'm going to read the rest of her work after “Travels,” which I found hard to put down, and believe me I seldom have the problem of tearing myself away from most of what I read, but I gulped this book.
MR. ROUSE cited this brilliant passage in “Travels” as one of many: “At the shore, thousands of flamingos lifted off and spread in a coral pink streamer against the sky. The sound of flight was like tearing silk…” The book is chock full of comparably brilliant descriptions.
THE WHOLE FOODS store on Trinity Place at 8th and Market in San Francisco has closed after a year in operation. A spokesperson explained: “We are closing our Trinity location only for the time being. If we feel we can ensure the safety of our team members in the store, we will evaluate a reopening of our Trinity location.” Translation: The free range junkies and psychos in the neighborhood have made it impossible to do business at this location.
SARAH KENNEDY OWEN: Speaking of FBI, another debacle happened right here in Northern California, Santa Rosa to be exact. In 1969, a criminal by the name of Joseph Barboza entered witness protection (was actually, at that time, the first person to be enrolled in that program) and was placed in Santa Rosa. The debacle was that, as an FBI informant, he was actually being protected from prosecution for murder in Boston (Boston again!) while four innocent men (“likely suspects”) rotted in jail for this crime (at their trial, Barboza lied on the stand about their involvement while he himself was the actual murderer). While in Santa Rosa he committed another crime, also involving murder, but got off with a short sentence (paroled in 4 years) thanks to a Boston judge (and former Assistant U.S. Attorney 1965 – 1969) who made a personal appearance at Barboza’s California trial to give him a glowing reference! All of this happened between the mid-60’s and the mid-70’s when James Whitey Bulger was just recovering from his stint in prison and rising in the crime world. The U.S. government was ordered to pay 100 million dollars to the four men (or their families, two of the men died in prison, after 30 years) for the injustice they endured. True story, and a tiresome example of FBI corruption.
However, I do not believe Trump would lift a finger to solve these FBI corruption problems, just as he never lifted a finger to do much of anything besides provide for himself politically while in office.
How many people died because of his inaction/bad advice involving Covid? Clean hands? Hardly.
LOTTSA LIBS are upset that Elon Musk has designated NPR and the New York Times as “state-affiliated media.” Why the upset? I thought even the dimmest libs knew this, just as even the dimmest libs have always understood that Musk, Fox News, News Max etc. are fascist-affiliated media.
THE SUPERVISORS’ ONGOING VILIFICATION of Chamise Cubbison — Treasurer, Tax Collector, Auditor, Controller — is unfair and entirely fact-free. Most readers don't follow the Supervisors, hence the Supes’ convenient and unfounded scapegoating of Ms. Cubbison for fiscal confusion that they themselves have created by (1) signing off on the ill-advised combining of all the functions of Treasurer/Tax Collector and Auditor/Controller into one agency, Supervisor Williams leading the charge to do it just as he now is leading the charge to pin the predictable fiscal confusion on Ms. Cubbison and her under-staffed office, and (2) the fiscal time bombs planted by departed CEO Angelo are now exploding.
IT'S ABSOLUTELY SHAMEFUL that Americans, and plenty of Mendo Americans, have to set up go-fund-me begging bowls to pay for catastrophic illness and accidents. In any of the single payer countries of the world go-fund-me pages aren't necessary when citizens are struck down.
“DOWNTOWN S.F. looks like a zombie apocalypse. People who’ve not been there have no idea,” Elon Musk declared on his Twitter platform the other day.
YEAH, poor old battered Baghdad by the Bay's entire downtown has become an open-air asylum minus the sanctuary that ordinarily accompanies asylum. Herb Caen will be spinning in his grave to see what has become of his cool, gray city. As a mega-lib myself, I think it's time to declare civic martial law to scoop up all the sidewalk dwellers of whatever self-crippling affliction, sort them out according to disability, and house them in Frisco's many vacant buildings for rehab. We can't go on like this, and it's a shame it takes someone like Musk to point out the obvious.
JONAH RASKIN: Abbie Hoffman died 34 years ago. He was 52 years old. I met him in 1970, helped him go underground, roamed around Mexico with him when we were both there in 1975, saw him on and off until he died in 1989. He lived at my place in Sonoma County before he surfaced. Isms were was-ums he would say. The only 'ist' he allowed for himself was artist. His book "Revolution for the Hell of It" is a classic. Abbie was the only person I knew who begged to be in the Weather Underground. They turned him down. He was mostly non-violent; language was his favorite weapon, like when he wrote "FUCK" on his forehead in Chicago in 1968 and was arrested. He gave me many gifts over the years, worked as my unpaid literary agent and secured publishers for my articles and books. The blurb he wrote for my novel about him reads, "Penetrates the mind of the fugitive. An uncannily accurate portrayal of the underground world." A French publishing house translated my bio of Abbie into French and published it a few years ago.
DAVE SVEHLA NOTES:
RE: AVA April 5 Edition- all my years of interest in wine has taught me that stellar California Sparklers don’t exist, and if they DID they’d be unaffordable/ unavailable to you and me. If you MUST, get a bottle of Korbel Brut, as we did on Easter. Calling it “Champagne” involves convolutions but it’s clean enough and $12.99 plus tax.
As to Healdsburg being hemmed in by pricey housing, the legendary Downtown Bakery And Creamery- started by a Chez Panisse Alumnus some 30 years ago- has been sold and already gone to the dogs! Au Revoir! DSS in SF
One of the County's best known persons, Pebs Trippet, was said to be at the Gray Whale Inn in Fort Bragg. But that was a month ago when we heard that she had to leave there. Where did she go and who's looking after her? Pebs is a legend in the marijuana world as a pioneer in the long struggle to lift marijuana from criminal status. In that struggle, the modest, soft-spoken Pebbles, was arrested many times.
THAT YOUNG DOOFUS arrested for posting military secrets to wow a bunch of high school kids reveals a couple of things (1) how un-secret a lot of “classified” material is — who hasn't known that Ukraine is on the ropes militarily (2) and who doesn't know, or at least suspect, that all the world's competing forces know all there is to know about each other. And of course it took a whole FBI SWAT team to arrest the lad.
TRUMP SAID LAST WEEK, that if he's re-elected, he'll get rid of all the “radical marxist prosecutors.” Of which there are exactly none in the United States, but conflating libs with a non-existent left, of which there is also none in the United States, the fascist political right hopes to convince its duped foot soldiers into believing that all the present ills besetting the country are the fault of the political other half, as if the other half is a gang of subversives.
BIDEN'S IRISH ANCESTRY is less genuine than my Scottish ancestry or Mark Scaramella's Italian ancestry, and I have identifiable kin in Scotland and there's a whole village of Scaramellas in Italy. Biden hasn't had an immediate Irish ancestor in 150 years. His trip to his alleged olde country has, of course, been as farcical as it is pointless, one more junket at public expense.
FORT BRAGG'S “CHANGE OUR NAME” group is led by a recently arrived retired college professor named Zwerling. I managed to get on the Change’s email contact list. This morning (last Friday) Prof Zwerling wrote, “Friends, first a reminder that Change Our Name meets this Saturday at 2 p.m. We meet vaccinated, socially distanced, and out-of-doors. Please contact me if you would like to attend…”
I WROTE BACK to ask where the meeting would be.
PROF Z REPLIED: “Yes, Bruce, as long as it is not for publication. We’ll be at 932 Cedar St., Fort Bragg.”
I REPLIED to the professor, “Sorry, but everything's for publication.”
TO WHICH THE PROF REPLIED, “Then please do not attend or send a reporter.”
JEEZ, I have proof of vaccination and I've been socially distanced for much of my adult life, but I'm still not welcome?
SPEAKING OF TRUMP: It was refreshing to read the New Yorker’s sensible description of NY DA Alvin Bragg’s case against Trump in two related items this week. Writer Amy Sorkin noted that Bragg’s case is “the flimsiest” of the cases against Trump, adding that paying off a porn star is not illegal. If, however, it was done to defraud or conceal another crime, it might be a felony. But nobody yet knows what the alleged “fraud” was or what other crime(s) may have been concealed. And Ben McGrath pointed out that Trump’s alleged crimes are “old, if tawdry news. Basically, hush money improperly classified [34 times]. Or, in legalese, ‘The purpose of the payment was to avoid negative attention to the defendant’s campaign by suppressing information about an allegedly sexual encounter between defendant and an adult-film actress’.” (Mark Scaramella)
ON LINE COMMENTS OF THE WEEK
 I think the upshot of the government's meddling in automobile markets & manufacturing is that the super wealthy & politically connected will still have POVs, for example ‘Car of the Year’ Lucid Air, at a cost of about $185,000 per unit. As for the Proles, they’ll be riding on stinking city buses ~ as I mentioned ~ with the crazies & fentanyl addicts. I dare say you’ll be at the bus stop in the pouring rain when the Climate Czar blows by in his shiny new Lucid, splashing mud on you and maybe giving you the finger for being in his way.
 Civil war is not going to happen. The American people are too lazy, stupid and only want to be taken care of.
Nothing happens in politics without it first having been thought out and extensively planned. There is something very dark, evil and sinister going on here. Personally, I believe there is a movement by the Earth-God worshippers and elite mega billionaires to depopulate the planet from the virus that is humanity. They don’t want to save anything or anyone. They want death to all of us.
I am also a Christian and I believe that the second coming of a one Jesus Christ is eminent. What we are witnessing is the overthrow of an evil order that has existed for centuries. It has culminated in power until now and it is on the cusp of an incredible overthrow. Revelation speaks of the fall of the “great beast.” Great and marvelous shall be that fall. We see the great beast. We know who it is. It’s the wealthy elites who now rule and own everything and everyone.
Frightening but glorious days await us. Christ will usher in a new order and a new era of peace and tranquility as the old order of Satanic wickedness, greed, corruption, murder, filth and decay is swept away. I just hope I am here to behold such a time.
 Women love to dance—apparently more than men. I think it is an American cultural thing, that partner dancing, not just jumping around with (usually) very little connection to the music, has become some kind of a no-go zone for American men. Perhaps it is the lack of classes. It is really pathetic. Meantime, a couple that can do the bare minimum of swing or some other partner dance will soon gain an admiring audience!
Latino men love to dance and tend to be pretty good dancers. So of course they have an advantage with gringas. But all-American guys think being able to dance is effete.
I keep telling my great-sons (combo of great-nephew and grandson) to learn to dance, and they will have their choice of girls and they will have a surefire way to make them happy—and themselves, too.
In my town the salsa classes are full—-of women.
 Industrial agriculture could not compete with the small farmer without government subsidies. That’s also why it is illegal or heavily regulated to sell raw milk. Here, it’s legal to sell it if the customer comes to your farm. You can only sell it at farmers’ markets if you have a prearrangement with a customer, which I suspect must be in writing or documented in some way. It is illegal to sell raw milk across the state line, or even to give it away. My daughter used to milk dairy goats, and she could not legally give her dad goat milk, as he lives on the other side of the state line, about 30 miles from here.
It’s legal to sell eggs here too, but Facebook won’t allow you to advertise, or even post, about eggs for sale.
I’m not sure what the state laws are in other states. I think many won’t allow a small farmer to sell meats of any kind.
The reason these laws exist is to make it almost impossible for small farmers to earn a living.
It should also be pretty obvious that there is no way that a head of lettuce that must travel from California to Missouri can be less costly to the consumer than a head of lettuce produced by a local farmer. Massive government subsidies are required in order to under-price the local farmer.
 MARIJUANA, AN EXCHANGE
(a) Is it safe to talk the truth that weed growers and overcrowding the market with oversupply was the real reason that there was a reality check on prices?
(b) Sure it is. It used to be something because it was a little more rare special. And impacted all of our economy so up and down the entire State of California. People didn’t recognize it; they failed to understand that the cash economy was driving everything. If you consider if you kept your scissors busy and your tray full at times you could pull an $800 a day easy if you were so inclined. Everyone benefitted. Single moms were able to send their kids to trade school. Beauty College. 1986-2012 the GLORY YEARS. Many local store owners I’ve had recent conversations with lament that actual cash in the till, cash receipts down by 90% to almost nothing. The trimmigrants, love ’em or hate ’em, also spent big bucks. Go to a local store known to sell supplies now. Used to be on any given day you had to park down the street, the lot was FULL. Now two or three cars it's hopping. Most of the store staff laid off long ago. It's the elephant in the room. Hard to talk about, but that is the reality for so many whether they know it or not. For a lower income person the chance to make some extra cash here and there rapidly spent on spoiling kids, paying bills, buying a li’l comfort was appreciated. Now that is not happening and people have the next struggle. Pray for us all. Sometimes hope is all we truly have.