THE MENDOCINO Major Crimes Task Force, led by the legendary Peter Hoyle, was busy in Point Arena this week. Seems that someone with the initials P.R., living on Schooner Gulch Road South of Point Arena, had either dispatched or received a hunk of dope or dope-related cash by Fed Ex, still one of the most convenient delivery systems for marijuana from the Mendocino Coast. On the hunt for the mysterious “P.R.”, Hoyle and his commandos rushed up Schooner Gulch Road, first arriving at Pete Rose’s property. (Mr. Rose is not the famous ballplayer.) The Fed Ex package wasn’t Pete’s, but Hoyle nevertheless confiscated Pete's computer, records and miscellaneous other pieces of Rose's property.
ROSE has been tossed before, big time. Thanks to intervention by the Innocence Project, Rose was released from prison some years ago after DNA proved he was not guilty of the rape he'd been falsely convicted of. Rose was well compensated for the 8 years taken from him by the false accusation and bought himself a place on Schooner Gulch. Rose may be in for another cash payout if the invasion of his home was unwarranted.
WHEN HOYLE didn’t find what he wanted at Pete Rose’s place, and working his way through the P.R.s in the neighborhood, Hoyle and Company moved on to Peter Reimuller’s home deeper in Schooner Gulch where Hoyle again came up empty.
ABOUT HERE Point Arenans were remembering the infamous Mendo raid on Billy Hay's Point Arena ranch some years ago that made Hay rich. In that one, a Mendo-led posse ran into Hay's house early one morning yelling the usual TV-derived obscenities and waving guns at the Hay family. The cops proceeded to keep Mom, Pop and the Hay kids in handcuffs and pj's all day while they ransacked the premises. No dope, no dope-related cash. Hay sued and won $8 million tax dollars.
FINDING NADA at Reimuller's place, Hoyle proceeded on to carpenter and boar hunter extraordinaire, Bob Nobles’ property. There’s nothing PR about Bob’s name – not one “P”; not one “R”, unless you call him Robert. And Nobles was clean.
FOG EATERS are still grumbling about a Hoyle-led raid on a rental home on Port Road in Point Arena in March 2012. In that one, the tenants of a guy previously busted for growing at that address were jacked up simply because of the owner's bust. The owner, (who wants to remain nameless because he says, “The DA still has my left nut in a vice until I’m off probation the end of 2013.”)… This guy had moved out and rented the place to a couple of guys from Hawaii who liked to surf. The home was only a hop, skip and jump from the waves at Arena Cove. The surfer dudes were rarely home and paid their rent on time.
SO HERE COMES HOYLE and his Task Force along with a couple of Fish and Game wardens. Guns drawn, the dope hunters asked for the owner of the home who, of course, wasn't there because he'd rented the place to the surfers. “Where’s (the owner), I have a warrant for his arrest. Hoyle demanded. The surfer dude explained that the owner didn’t live there under their lease, and so on and a safe on the premises was empty.
THE HOMEOWNER: “So I called my lawyer, and he called Tom Allman, DA Eyster… who all said there was NO warrant for my arrest. My lawyer tells them they have a cop over on the coast saying they have a warrant out for my arrest. We want to find out what’s going on. It ended with the Task Force pulling the few plants the renters had growing, and went home without any arrests or confiscations. The renters had posted the medical marijuana script documentation but it was ignored by the federally-funded Task Force who tossed the place. My renters moved because they were told by Hoyle of the Task Force to 'leave here and never come back again'. So that’s what they did. They went back to Hawaii.” ( – Debra Keipp reporting)
THE COUNTY IS POISED to privatize its mental health services. Today (Tuesday the 21st) the Supervisors will hire a pair of contractors to provide mental health services for the mentally ill among Mendocino County's children and adults. Redwood Management Company will get $8.8 million annually to provide children's mental health services, and Ortner Management Group (OMG!) will get $6.7 million to handle adult mental cases.The contracts would cover the 2013-14 fiscal year "with five additional renewals through 2019," according to the staff report. Adults younger than 21 will get emergency services "24/7 Access Centers ... inland and on the coast." "PERSONS with a psychiatric or addiction disorder may not show visible signs of injury or illness; they often suffer extreme waiting times when competing for the attention of emergency room staff treating other critically ill patients or waiting for a bed," according to the OMG contract. OMG assures us that they will provide an "access center" from where they will dispatch patients to North Valley Behavioral Health, Saint Helena Hospital, Woodland Memorial Hospital, Aurora Behavioral Healthcare and Marin General Hospital, "where stays could last three to seven days." The Sequoia Psychiatric Treatment Center, a locked facility in Yuba City, would provide rehabilitation services as "an alternative to some inpatient admissions ... a court-ordered placement site for persons incompetent to stand trial, a short-term placement for difficult to place clients and a moderate-term placement for clients with persistent behavioral problems," according to the contract with OMG.
TWENTY-FOUR HOUR, intensive residential care would be available to clients "who are low functioning, difficult to place or have mild to moderate behavioral problems," and would aim to "prepare clients for personal responsibility and a return to community-based living," the contract states. Stays could last three to 12 months. Community living centers will be established in Ukiah and Fort Bragg where mental health patients could stay from one to six months.
THIS IS A HECKUVA lot of money for "services" that are basically stop-gap, but Mendocino County or any other place hasn't been able to provide long-term care for the dependent mentally ill, relying for years on the County Jail to house the severe cases. What to do with the increasing numbers of crazy people roaming the land should be resolved at the state and federal levels of government, but it is now the responsibility of individual counties. How long can Mendocino County afford to pay out annual millions to temporarily house a growing population of permanently crippled individuals? ========================================================
HAL TITEN, 79, of Redwood Valley, was arrested Monday for failing to register as a sex offender. We've long considered Titen emblematic of public education in Mendocino County, then and now. A long time administrator with the County Office of Education, Titen, back in 1999, had relocated video equipment from the County's education headquarters at Talmage to the back room of a bar he operated on North State Street, Ukiah, where Titen used the educational equipment to make pornographic films starring underage Ukiah girls, an enterprise that proved even a little too much for the authorities of the time and Titen was arrested and packed off to the state pen. Another MCOE crook, Jack Ward, also did some County time for helping himself to tax-funded property from the educational efforts he allegedly supervised. MCOE, at the time, was a nest of thieves and incompetents, among them Paul Tichinin, presently functioning as the County's Superintendent of Schools. Tichinin, and the rest of the gang at Talmage, naturally claimed they had no idea what their pal Titen was up to, and Tichinin not only went on to become tuti di capo of the entire redundant apparatus, distinguishing himself a few years ago with a public attack on a teacher's rep as a racist for describing Ukiah High School's administration as niggardly during union negotiations. These characters set the edu-tone for all of Mendocino County where versions of them preside over all of our individual school districts.
SAVE OUR LITTLE LAKE VALLEY reports Tuesday from the Willits Bypass Project: CalTrans contractors were prepared to install wick drains today in the wetlands meadow designated as the northern interchange area of the Bypass. The installation was previously delayed because the machinery is so big that Caltrans had trouble transporting it to the Bypass construction site.
WHEN CALTRANS ARRIVED this morning, two Little Lake Valley defenders had locked themselves in metal lockboxes to the wick drain augur, halting all work in the area beginning just before seven a.m. Wick drains are poles that are engineered to wick water out of the ground. CalTrans plans to install an estimated 55,000 of them at an average depth of eighty feet to drain portions of the Little Lake Valley wetlands. The wetlands have already been cleared of vegetation and graded. (see pictures below, photos by Steve Eberhard and Recon)
NEITHER CALTRANS’ CONTRACTOR, FlatIron (a subsidiary of one of the world’s largest construction firms, HOCHTIEF of Germany) nor the California Highway Patrol knew how to handle the situation. All work in the area, including ongoing grading activities, stopped when the CHP arrived.
MENDOCINO COUNTY SHERIFF arrived to negotiate with the two individuals in lockboxes. In exchange for FlatIron’s agreeing to call off wick draining and other work for the day, the protesters agreed to be taken to Mendocino County jail to be cited and released.
CLOSE TO 11am, after stopping work for nearly four hours, courageously and with great discomfort by putting their bodies on the line, the two protestors allowed themselves to be removed by the CHP. All in all, it was a great victory for the Valley! The protestors were drawing attention to the violence and absurdity of there being 55,000 wickdrains 80 feet deep plummeted into Little Lake (the ecological feature of the valley after which it is named), as well as to Caltrans’ many permit and legal violations that continue to go unenforced by regulating agencies. To see some examples of these violations, read the SOLLV Legal Team’s letter to California Department of Fish and Wildlife. AS OF 1:30
THIS AFTERNOON, there were only a handful of construction workers on the scene. Earlier in the day, there had been roughly two dozen who were standing on the outskirts of the area, many of them alternately watching the lockdown and pacing about. CHP COSTS FOR POLICING THE BYPASS are approaching one million dollars.
PURE MENDOCINO: Saturday, August 24, 2013. A benefit for the Cancer Resource Centers of Mendocino County. Join us for the 9th Annual Organic Dining and Wine Tasting at Dark Horse Vineyard in Ukiah. It's the perfect blend of the bounty of Mendocino County and organic farmers and producers in the cool shadows of giant firs, with beautiful hilltop views of the valley. Enjoy this unique celebration, the premier organic food and wine adventure in the known world. Silent Auction: 5:00 - 8:30 pm. Biodynamic Farm Tour: 4:00 pm. Learn the basics of biodynamic farming and see first-hand the diversity of this family farm. Tours led by the Dolan family. ($25 per person, limited availability, RSVP required). Farm to Table Dinner: 6:00 pm. Chef Olan Cox and friends will showcase the finest organically grown produce, meats and wine in Mendocino County. Meet folks who grew and gathered the food, raised the animals, and made the wine and beer that contribute to this farm-to-table experience. Live Music: 7:30 - 10:00 pm. $135 per person - reservations required. Make reservations online at www.puremendocino.org or call us at (707) 937-3833.