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Mendocino County Today: May 7, 2013

Burke
Burke

WITH THE NEWS that the first major sport professional athlete has come out as gay you probably don't know there's a local angle to pro hoopster Jason Collins' brave announcement. Back aways there was Glenn Burke, circa late 1970s. It was no secret that Burke was gay, and Burke didn't try to keep it a secret. The Dodgers went so far as to offer him a big pot of money if he would marry a woman. When he said he wouldn't the Dodgers traded him to Oakland where Billy Martin publicly described Burke as a faggot.

SOMEHOW BURKE met Boonville's dashing school superintendent, Gerald DeFreeze, a handsome, athletic man with whom it seemed half the women in The Valley were infatuated. Burke became a frequent Boonville visitor who wowed local kids with his standing stuffs on Gene Waggoner's outdoor basketball court. I don't remember it even occurring to anyone that DeFreeze might be gay, and it was exciting to see Glenn Burke, a famous ballplayer, around town. DeFreeze moved on, got sick from AIDS and died. Burke had a much rougher road that included drug addiction, prison and death from AIDS at an early age.

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A CALLER says he was a visitor to Radical Ridge, which can be found in the hills northwest of Ukiah, where, on his urgent way to an outhouse, he was told only vegans were welcome to deposit. Seems the Radical Ridgers don't want the night soil of meat eaters mixed in with their garden compost.

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CONSIDERING that Mexico has a long history that precedes US, and a history that includes two major revolutions, why the heck Cinco de Mayo? It's such an obscure and historically insignificant event it's as if US celebrated the War of 1812. I suspect the gringos, probably the libs, fixed on Cinco de Mayo because no one, including Mexicans, knows anything about it, but it does have one major — it doesn't celebrate the Mexican Revolution. That celebration might give people the wrong (right) ideas.

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200 ABALONE violation tickets were issued on the Mendocino Coast this past weekend, an indication that people don't know the rules or don’t care if they do know.

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CALIFORNIA'S SUPREME COURT ruled Monday that cities and counties can ban medical marijuana dispensaries, a decision likely to further diminish the network of storefront pot shops and fuel efforts to have the state regulate the industry. In a unanimous opinion, the court held that California's medical marijuana laws — the nation's first and most liberal — neither prevent local governments from using their land-use powers to zone dispensaries out of existence nor grant authorized users convenient access to the drug.

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A READER WRITES: I thoroughly enjoy the daily insights in your Mendocino County Today report online. As a Lake County resident, I caution you to take anything political that the Larsons of LakeCountyNews.com provide with many grains of salt. They have been grinding their axes loudly and brazenly and they are disgustingly one-sided in their coverage of our Sheriff, District Attorney, RIM debacle. Terry Larsen did a great investigative report last week on KPFZ 88.1fm referencing her findings after becoming more aware of all the circumstances. For instance, Robinson Rancheria gave $227,000, all to the District Attorney's Office. They have an agreement which is now invalid as the Rancheria no longer has a federally recognized tribal officer. It hasn't been invalidated though and Tracey Avila, tribal chair, accused of embezzlement, keeps getting her court dates postponed. Yet the District Attorney is moving quickly on prosecuting Indians from Robinson Rancheria who Tracey has disenrolled. Apparently, Robinson did offer money to the Sheriff's office in the last round of grants. What they wanted in exchange was to be cross-deputized and to have access to the databanks. Keep up your necessary work."

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TAKE IT AWAY, DR. TROTTER:

Trotter
Trotter

“In the ‘article’ by TWK and ‘editorial’ by K.C. Meadows, you will find them laying (sic) in a common sewer together (sic) — making repeated personal attacks on decent community members and elected officials. This isn't journalism, it's slander; mean, abusive, negative crap.

I salute all of our distinguished elected officials on the city council, board of supervisors and school board, regardless of their different positions. Because of all their hard work, time and dedication they give to our county's citizens.

We had a wonderful dinner at the Alex Rorabaugh center last month honoring Tom Mason, an attorney who has given thousands of hours and dollars over decades to multiple projects in Ukiah, including court programs at Ukiah High School, Anton Stadium, and the ARC. He spoke eloquently of the importance of community, doing good works, and helping the children in spite of our problems. TWK and KC represent the opposite. You have many fine reporters and articles, like Tiffany Reveille and Carol Brodsky, amongst [sic] others. But just as I would not buy a Mercedes with a dead skunk stapled to the front seat, I will no longer be subscribing to the journal. When the skunks are gone I will happily return. — Marvin Trotter, M.D., Ukiah”

TROTTER'S UNHINGED blast at KC Meadows and Tommy Wayne Kramer seems awfully vague for a man trained in the scientific method. Can he tell us exactly what they said that caused him to go off, or has the doctor lost the ability to  make simple distinctions? If I go into the emergency room with a headache will he treat me for malaria? Maybe the doctor's still angry about the reporting on that big civil judgement he had to pay for leaving drugs around the house that killed a kid. There was also the time the doctor was quoted in the Santa Rosa paper
speculating that a young man who'd died from meningitis had been sharing drugs at a Boonville music festival, a speculation the doctor quickly backed away from since it was totally without foundation in medical fact. Maybe all this has simply made the doctor media-phobic. Then, again, maybe the doc's just lonely. Maybe he thinks by insulting a couple of people that Ukiah's Westside doesn't much care for he'll get invited to more parties. Whatever, as the young people say. Myself, I think this is a physician so far gone he can't heal himself.

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DURING HIS SUPERVISOR’S REPORT at the April 23 Board meeting, Supervisor John McCowen provided an update on the North Coast Railroad Authority on whose Board he sits as Mendocino County’s representative. After some minor interruptions, Supervisor McCowen tried, unsuccessfully, to explain why the Railroad Authority without a railroad doesn’t think they need an Environmental Impact Report to resume railroad operations on the Northcoast.

McCowen: “The North Coast Railroad Association met.”

Pinches: “Is it still a railroad association?”

Board Chair Hamburg: “Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Johnny! Don't you have something to do?”

Pinches: “No. Isn't it a railroad authority?”

McCowen: “I said enough for you to know what it was, didn't I? So we will call it the NCRA.”

Pinches: “Okay.”

Hamburg: “Let's not… Come on.”

McCowen: “I believe you are right, Supervisor. As always. We did meet. Some of you may have heard we did revisit a resolution that was passed by the NCRA in June of 2011 that certified an EIR and approved the project for the resumption of railroad operations from the southern end of the line north to Willits. The NCRA was promptly sued by Friends of the Eel River and Californians for Alternatives to Toxics. That lawsuit has been winding its way through the legal process. The attorneys for the operator of the rail line, Northwestern Pacific Company, presented a letter, essentially a demand to NCRA that said, You didn't need to certify an EIR in order to resume railroad operations. The approval for railroad operations was already accomplished by the lease that NCRA had with NWP Company and also with approvals that were given by other federal agencies. Following a review of that letter NCRA passed a resolution that rescinded — it didn't touch the EIR, but it rescinded those portions of the June 2011 resolution that purported to approve a project for the resumption of rail operations. Again, on the theory that no further action was needed by NCRA to approve a project for the resumption of rail operations. So that no doubt will be the subject of further legal arguments and more will be revealed about what the court system thinks of that argument.”

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AT THAT SAME APRIL 23 MEETING Sheriff Allman explained why the Board needed to act quickly to allow him to buy a “modular” (trailer) left over from the temporary housing provided to the Health and Human Services staffers displaced when a broken water pipe in the Dora Street facility burst a few months ago and left them temporarily assigned to other quarters.

“Over the last several months, as I have mentioned to you previously several times, our jail population is increasing to the point where it is becoming a concern. Certainly officer safety is a primary concern. Secondary to that are the programs that we offer our inmates. In conjunction with AB-109 [prisoner realignment and prison sentences being served at County Jails] our ability to reduce recidivism as well as to fulfill our moral and legal obligations of offering programs to as many eligible inmates as possible. Unfortunately, when our jail was built, it wasn't built with AB-109 in mind. We have two and a half classrooms in the jail strictly for inmate programs. And to be quite honest we are out of room. As everyone in this room knows our Department of Public Health at 1120 South Dora has suffered a huge mess and when the modulars were brought in to replace the mess, we were able to talk to them and examine some classrooms and realize that if we could accelerate the ability to get a classroom when they are done renting to the county at 1120 South Dora if, using inmate services money, we could purchase it and bring it over, we would almost immediately be able to, not double but certainly increase by one half times, the size of our classrooms for inmates. … We are in a situation right now where one of the facilities we are looking at is scheduled to be shipped out on Thursday back to its home in the Sacramento Valley. … We think this is the right building to buy for our inmates right now and in theory we could have it up and running in about two weeks and improving the quality of programs we offer the inmates.”

Mendocino County Jail
Mendocino County Jail

“The finances for this will come from the inmates services fund which we have the money, and we are asking to approve it and we will work with the General Services Agency for maintenance and so forth. We do not intend for this building to be a financial burden on GSA or the County. We are prepared to work with GSA on all necessary costs of maintaining this building. We're not asking you to buy an expensive item and then asking them to maintain it. We understand what is necessary and we are willing to work with GSA on this.”

Sheriff Allman said that the total cost for the trailer would be $33,000 which would include the building and its transportation and set up. “It's a 12x40 modular to be installed on county property, which we are ready for.”

Supervisor Pinches: “That seems a bit high for a used modular. It’s used isn’t it?”

Allman: “It is used. However, last year a new roof was put on and in 2011 a new heating-ventilation and air-conditioning unit was added. The cost includes the transportation and the leveling and the skirting around it and Americans with Disability Act compliance and access. We do not have plumbing; we do not need plumbing because we have restroom and drinking water facilities next door.”

The Board approved the purchase unanimously.

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UKIAH ACTIVISTS to Participate in Day Of Action Against Corporate Personhood, May 10, 2013. Protests Planned Nationwide Against Supreme Court Ruling that Corporations Are People Activists in 50 cities, including Ukiah will be protesting against corporate rule and political corruption on Friday, May 10. This date marks the 127th anniversary of the Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad decision, in which the Supreme Court first ruled that corporations are “persons,” entitled to rights under the US Constitution. As a result of unprecedented campaign spending, Americans are increasingly familiar with a more recent Court decision, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which reaffirmed the 1886 Santa Clara ruling and further expanded corporate ability to buy elections. Ukiah activists, in concert with the national Move to Amend coalition, are seeking to raise awareness that the corporate corruption of the Constitution extends far beyond the 2010 Citizens United decision. It is ludicrous that property should have constitutional rights. On May 10 Move to Amend volunteers will be displaying freeway banners nationwide to draw attention to their call for an amendment to the US Constitution to overrule the Supreme Court and declare that only human beings have constitutional rights. Photo Opportunity on Friday, May 10, 4-6pm in front of the CVS pharmacy near Big Lots at 155 S. Orchard Ave. To learn more about MOVE TO AMEND visit http://www.movetoamend.org

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FROM THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MAY 7, 2013 BOARD PACKET:

Agenda Title: Presentation on the Dedication of a Psychiatric Emergency Room in Honor of Dr. Doug Rosoff, and Mendocino County’s Employee Contributions to Same Psychiatric Emergency Room Through an Optional Payroll Deduction Summary Of Request: Mendocino County was approached by Ukiah Valley Medical Center (UVMC) to consider adding a payroll deduction account for County employees to optionally donate money every pay period to the Rosoff Fund. This fund will go to the official dedication of a psychiatric emergency room in honor of the late Dr. Rosoff. The deduction account will be administered by the Auditor’s Office, and will allow employees to specify how much they would like withdrawn from their pay check (at a minimum of $10) for any number of pay periods the employee specifies (at a minimum number of 4 pay periods). Ukiah Valley Medical Center physician Dr. Marvin Trotter will present on the future psychiatric emergency room and its potential uses. Through the optional employee payroll deduction, the County is currently aiming to reach a $7,000 employee contribution to complete the $25,000 required to rename the room in remembrance of the County’s late Chief Psychiatrist. The payroll deduction fund is a new direction from the County to implement its own “Local Fund for Local Services” account that County employees can optionally donate money through to local charities. The Rosoff Fund is the perfect way to kick off this new direction, as the County strives to honor the memory of a beloved physician within its own ranks who positively influenced the lives of so many. The Local Fund for Local Services payroll deduction account is a concept that will be implemented once the Rosoff fund raises the $7,000. Recommended Action/Motion: Receive the presentation by Dr. Marvin Trotter in dedication of a psychiatric emergency room to honor the memory of Dr. Doug Rosoff, and Mendocino County’s employee contributions to the psychiatric emergency room renaming fund through an optional employee payroll deduction account.

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THE MENDOCINO COUNTY YOUTH PROJECT is recruiting volunteers who enjoy working with youth and supporting their efforts to develop as young adults and leaders. MCYP is seeking adult role models, youth peers and summer interns, and people who are not afraid of messy projects, boisterous people, being challenged and honest conversations. Volunteer training and orientation is held monthly, and the next two sessions are May 30 and June 13, evening hours. A variety of activities and specific event support are eagerly sought by the staff and program participants. Please call 707-463-4915 or email volunteer@mcyp.org for interview and application. MCYP Offices are at 776 South Oak Street, Suite 107, Ukiah.

One Comment

  1. Lorraine May 7, 2013

    I believe this is the TWK column that prompted Dr. Trotter’s letter to editor:

    Assignment: Ukiah – One of a kind
    By Tommy Wayne Kramer, an opinion
    Updated: 03/30/2013 10:34:15 PM PDT

    When you live in Mendocino County you sometimes grow accustomed to the actions and opinions of your fellow citizens and can forget how odd they can be.
    Below, a small sample of local folks and how they help define this area as a place like no other:
    BRUCE ANDERSON
    Editor, Anderson Valley Advertiser
    Only person on the planet who actually believes there’s no fundamental philosophical or political differences between Barack Obama and George W. Bush.
    MARI RODIN
    Ukiah City Council member
    Fell into a sewage pit and upon climbing out announced “I smell terrific!” Those thinking otherwise were accused of being misled by out-of-context newspaper reports.
    DAN HAEHL
    Deputy Public Defender
    Woke up in Heaven one morning and immediately began complaining about the annoying harp music, the ill-fitting angel wings, and that streets paved in gold meant big corporations had made obscene profits.
    KATE MAGRUDER
    Ukiah Players
    Plans to write a major autobiographical work which she will later transform into a stage production she will direct and star in, but first has to finish the press release describing her courage and vision and commitment to the community in undergoing so arduous a project.
    DAVID EYSTER
    Mendocino County District Attorney
    Thus, no one was surprised when he began strolling around the courthouse wearing a crown and an ermine cape.
    MARY ANN LANDIS
    City Council member
    Tells friends she’s excited” with her plans to read a book sometime in the near future. (“And not a picture book either! A big person book!”) If all goes well she’ll try tackling other reading materials, such as council minutes and agendas, and city garbage contracts before signing them.
    PHIL BALDWIN
    City Council member
    Just when you think he’s starting to make sense, the affliction strikes and he blurts out “Terrorism is caused by American policies!” and “End corporate rule!” and “Power to the people!” Wide-eyed, he claps a hand over his mouth and runs from the room.
    TOM ALLMAN
    Mendocino County Sheriff
    Has never met a potential voter he hasn’t met three times before.
    TERI CAPRIOLO
    Wife of TWK
    Friends began calling her the “long-suffering wife” even before her honeymoon was over.
    OWNER / MANAGER
    Any Downtown Ukiah Shop or Business
    “Now let me see if I understand. I give tax money to the city Redevelopment Agency, and the agency uses it to fund development and improvements for Costco to come to town. Then Costco steals away all my customers and I go bankrupt.
    “Whose idea was this anyway?”
    DOUG CRANE
    City Council member
    Cries himself to sleep after every council meeting
    SAGE MOUNTAINFIRE
    Animal Shelter Adoption Coordinator
    Gets giddy thinking she might actually be smarter than some of the abandoned dogs she’s collected.
    JUDY PRUDEN
    City Planning Commissioner
    Sure it’s rewarding telling you what color the government will allow you to paint your garage, but what she really wants is to be able to tell you what brand toothpaste to use.
    BENJ THOMAS
    City Council member
    Everyone understands he’s doing the best he can.

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