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Mendocino County Today: Friday, July 28, 2023

Near Normal | Eel Bridge | Correction | Groundwater Plan | Night Out | Support FFA | She Shot | Class Idea | Westport Beach | Cannabis Department | Vanilla Leaf | Arrest Thyself | Blackbear Sentenced | Bill Zacha | Not Impressed | Caspar Roses | Shattuck Observations | Toney Archive | Boonville Eateries | Water Tower | Housing Request | School Fundraisers | Brothel Plaque | Midget Wrestling | Ed Notes | Old Mendocino | Yesterday's Catch | American Pickers | Peter Kropotkin | Deep Cleaning | Purdy Throws | Keep Calm | Quentin Plans | Maryvale Billboard | Water Subsidy | Ocean Currents | Making Music | Prone Trombone | Hansen Case | Jake LaMotta | Biden Implosion | Outrage Wheel | Ukraine | Dying | Remember Korea | Dog Soldiers

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EXPECT DRY AND NEAR NORMAL CONDITIONS to persist for the next several days across northwestern California. Coastal clouds and patchy fog are expected to develop to at least some degree each morning and smoke originating in Oregon may produce some haze at times. (NWS)

STEPHEN DUNLAP (Fort Bragg): A cooler 48F with clear skies this Friday morning on the coast. Mostly clear skies into next week it looks like. The fog looms nearby waiting to visit though.

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Hearst Bridge over Eel River (Jeff Goll)

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Dear Editor,

Edmundson (not Edumdson, as misprinted in your July 19, 2023 [print] edition), was Williams Campaign Manager in 2018, not 2020.


Lee Edmundson

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On behalf of the Ukiah Valley Basin Groundwater Sustainability Agency (referred to herein as the UVBGSA), in accordance with California Water Code Section 10727.8, the UVGBA hereby provides notice to the cities and counties within the geographic area covered by the Ukiah Valley Groundwater Basin of its intent to adopt a Groundwater Sustainability Plan (referred to herein as the GSP) no earlier than 90-days upon your receipt of this notice. Considerations to adopt this document shall occur as part of public hearings to be held by the UVBGSA. Once adopted, the GSP will govern sustainable groundwater management actions within the Ukiah Valley Groundwater Basin.…

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Dear Anderson Valley Community,

Nothing is more impressive than having a student in FFA dress uniform show up to say a super polite “hello” and hand you his/her Redwood Empire Fair presentation letter of the animals under their care to show for the auction.  Our students have been all over handing out their letters to generate support. If you can…show your support.

These students have been working all summer ensuring the care and feeding of their animals. Beth Swehla camps out with the kids and parents for the whole fair experience.

If you make any tax donations in the year, consider an add on for a kid or two or all. I personally  pledge $50 bucks for each kid that shows in FFA every year and that goes directly back to them for their hard work and determination.  You can do it at the fair at the add on table or contact for more specifics on the process especially if you are interested in a meat purchase of a whole animal.  A small donation for one or multiple kids means pride and validation in the arena.

Despite being from a tiny district, our KIDS HOLD THEIR OWN WHEN IT COMES TO THE JUDGES’ prizes due to their expert mentorship and work ethic.    If you are able, SHOW UP, CLAP AND HOLLER LOUDLY WHEN THEY SHOW, and if you are able, support their entry with an add on.  Being a kid and showing an animal in an arena packed with big district supporters is HARD, but our kids do it!

Shout outs to our showing students (if you haven’t watched that process, make sure you get there and see it.  Pressure and SKILL involved and it is fascinating):

Congratulations to our showing students:

  • Guadalupe Arias-Pena–Meat pen of rabbits
  • Allen Ford–Meat pen of rabbits
  • Nayely L. Garibay Espinoza–Meat pen of chickens
  • Samantha Espinoza–Meat goat
  • Neveah Padilla–Meat pen of rabbits
  • Damian Eligio–Meat goat
  • Jose Alvarez–Meat pen of chickens
  • Stuart  Spacek showing a goat but as an Independent not with FFA.

The link for signing up to be a buyer:

I hope to see you at the auction to cheer on our kids:

Congratulations to the students and Ms. Swehla.

Sincerely yours,

Louise Simson, Superintendent

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On 07/25/2023 at 6:47 P.M., Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to the area of Masonite Industrial Road in regard to a victim of a gunshot wound. The victim/reporting party advised he had accidentally discharged a handgun, causing a bullet wound to his shoulder.

Mandy Vanarsdale

On arrival, Deputies contacted an adult male and observed a single gunshot wound to his shoulder. The adult male's girlfriend was on scene and the Deputies identified her as Mandy Leann Vanarsdale, 47, of Ukiah. 

The Deputies secured the firearm and initiated an investigation. 

The adult male and Vanarsdale claimed the adult male accidentally shot himself while cleaning the handgun. Medical personnel from the Ukiah Valley Fire Authority and Medstar arrived on scene. After their initial assessment, it was determined the adult male was to be transported to a hospital in a neighboring County via air ambulance to be treated for his injury.

The Deputies collected evidence at the scene and interviewed Vanarsdale. Through their investigation, the Deputies developed probable cause to believe Vanarsdale and the adult male were in an argument. During the argument, Vanarsdale armed herself with the handgun and shot the adult male in the shoulder area. Vanarsdale was arrested on scene and was transported to the Mendocino County Correctional Facility where she was booked for Felony Attempted Murder. Vanarsdale was to be held in lieu of $250,000 bail.

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Possible Class idea: I (Anica) was thinking that a basic home maintenance class would be interesting for folks. Like preventative maintenance, how to change a light fixture, unclog a drain, install a new door knob, etc. (details to be arranged). Since these may not be skills that we already have and it can be tricky to find an available handyperson - I thought this would be helpful…

But we need a Teacher and Students - Would you be interested in taking such a class or teaching it (or do you know someone who would)? Let me know. This is what the adult school said: "IF we can find a teacher, we could try offering it as a community class. Participants would need to pay enough money to pay the instructor and some minor overhead, but it is an option. If you or anyone you know can think of someone who can teach it, we would then proceed with designing a class and figuring out how many hours, sessions, etc. it would take, what the teacher would get paid, and then how much it would cost participants to take it."


Mendocino College Fall Semester starts Monday Aug 21st

Check out the classes being offered through the Anderson Valley branch of the Mendocino College: they include writing, Yoga and Chorale for Older Adults and much more. Classes for older adults are only $12, see screenshots below and search the class schedule and under Location select: Boonville/ Anderson Valley.

Contact: (707) 468-3000 or the AV Adult School: (707) 895-2953

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Westport Beach (Jeff Goll)

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The Mendocino Cannabis Department is pleased to announce the resumption of operations at 860 N. Bush Street, Ukiah, by September 1, 2023. Interim Cannabis Director Steve Dunnicliff made this announcement recently, highlighting the department's commitment to providing efficient services.

The Cannabis Department had moved to the Willits Justice Center to accommodate growing staffing needs, and to ensure space was available for contract planners assisting with a backlog of applications. These contract planners are now working successfully off-site, and do not rely on County office space. In addition to a better utilization of physical space, benefits from moving the Cannabis Department include opportunities to collaborate with Planning & Building Services through partnerships to assist with workload. These partnerships may include support for routine administrative tasks and site inspections.

The Board of Supervisors has been actively engaged in streamlining cannabis regulations within the Mendocino County Code, approving a streamlined cannabis regulation ordinance on May 23, 2023, and approving a contract for a programmatic environmental impact report (EIR). The State of California has agreed to be the lead agency for site-specific environmental reviews after the completion of the EIR. Additionally, the State granted an additional year for the transition of provisional licenses to annual licenses.

Throughout this period, the Cannabis Department has made significant progress in supporting the Cannabis Program. Expanded service counter hours now ensure accessibility to the public from Monday to Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Accela permitting software is also now functioning, and permit applications are being successfully processed through to license issuance. As the backlog of applications is addressed over the next year, the Department’s primary workload will shift from issuing licenses to processing license renewals.

Mendocino Cannabis Department Senior Planner Matt Goines stated, “We are excited to continue serving the community and look forward to strengthening our relationships with stakeholders. The Mendocino Cannabis Department is committed to providing a transparent, efficient, and supportive environment for all involved.”

For enhanced communication and timely updates, interested individuals are encouraged to sign up for Mendocino County Canna-Notes via the following link:

This notification system will keep you informed about important developments and opportunities in the cannabis industry.

(Mendo Cannabis Presser)

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Vanilla Leaf Achlys triphylla (photo mk)

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UKIAH COUPLE ARRESTED with $25k and three pounds of weed.

On Wednesday, July 26, 2023 at approximately 2200 hours, a Ukiah Police Officer was monitoring traffic for violations in a construction zone near 437 North State St. The officer observed a white Chevrolet Suburban fail to stop at a stop sign located at North State St. and Norton St. 

The officer got behind the vehicle and attempted to conduct a traffic enforcement stop on the vehicle for the observed traffic violation. As the officer activated overhead emergency lights, the vehicle immediately began to recklessly speed away at a high rate of speed eastbound on Clara Ave., nearly colliding with parked vehicles on Clara, and crossing over lanes of traffic. The officer initiated a vehicle pursuit on the vehicle. 

During the pursuit, the vehicle attempted to turn southbound on North Orchard Ave. from Clara Ave., when the driver lost control of the vehicle and was involved in a traffic collision that ended on the east sidewalk of North Orchard Ave. directly in front of Kohl’s (437 North Orchard Ave.). The traffic collision caused damage to Kohl’s property, major damage to the vehicle, and ultimately disabled the vehicle causing it to come to a stop. 

The officer along with assisting MCSO Deputies and CHP Officers were able to safely take the driver and passenger into custody. 

Driver Monique Martinez (37-year-old female from Woodland, California) was arrested for Evading with willful wanton and disregard for safety, Conspiracy and Possession of Marijuana for Sale.

Passenger: Serxhio Nokaj (27-year-old male from King of Prussia, Pennsylvania) was arrested for Conspiracy and Possession of Marijuana for Sale.

During the investigation, a search of the vehicle was conducted and $25,000 dollars in cash along with 3 pounds of marijuana was discovered. 

After concluding the investigation on scene, both individuals were arrested for the above-listed charges and were transported to the Mendocino County Jail for incarceration. 

The Ukiah Police Department would like to thank MCSO and CHP for their assistance with this investigation. 

As always, our mission at UPD is to make Ukiah as safe a place as possible. If you would like to know more about crime in your neighborhood, you can sign up for telephone, cell phone, and email notifications by clicking the Nixle button on our website.

ED NOTE: $25,000? A pot biz revival?

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CONVICTED MURDERER DINO BLACKBEAR LINCOLN, age 36, formerly of Covelo, was sentenced Thursday morning in the Mendocino County Superior Court to 76 years to life in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.


Defendant Lincoln’s life sentence flows from the unprovoked shooting death of 25-year-old Kenneth Whipple in September 2021.

As background, just before midnight on September 15, 2021, Lincoln and a female cousin left the Buckhorn Bar in Covelo, where they had been drinking into the night. After standing outside of the bar for a short time, the two walked southbound on the sidewalk adjacent to Hwy. 162 towards Greeley Street. 

During this time, three vehicles passed the two pedestrians driving south. After passing Greeley Street, the three vehicles all made U-turns and then parked together facing north on the southeast comer of Hwy. 162 and Greeley Street. The headlights of all three vehicles remained on, providing some lighting in an otherwise dark environment. 

After defendant Lincoln and his cousin reached Greeley Street, Lincoln pulled out a firearm and fired five rounds in the direction of where the three vehicles had parked, which was across the intersection and catty-corner from his location. 

As the defendant fired in the direction of the vehicles, a business surveillance camera caught the victim – standing outside of one of the vehicles talking to others – suddenly fall backwards. It was determined by the evidence and ultimately the jury that Mr. Whipple had been shot dead by defendant Lincoln. 

Lincoln was a two-time convicted felon before the murder – both prior convictions being Strikes within the meaning of California’s modified Three Strikes Law -- who was prohibited by law from possessing any firearm. He had just been released from parole supervision 43 days prior to this murder. 

The law enforcement agencies that developed the evidence underlying the defendant’s convictions were the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, the Department of Justice forensic laboratory, the Round Valley Tribal Police Department, and the District Attorney’s own Bureau of Investigations. 

Assistant DA Dale P. Trigg was the trial prosecutor and represented the People at Thursday’s sentencing hearing.

Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Keith Faulder presided over the trial and handed down the aforementioned sentence Thursday morning.

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Bill Zacha, 1993 (photo by Dierdre Lamb)

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LINDA BAILEY: I watched the first portion of Tuesday’s BOS meeting and was astounded at the contempt shown to employees, elected and appointed county officials, the public, the voters and the spirit of the Brown Act. All blamed on the very long agenda.

If the BOS met four times a month, as it traditionally did, such long agendas would not be necessary.

The stated purpose of the Brown Act is to enable the public to see and hear its officials conduct public business.

Gov. Sec. 54950. In enacting this chapter, the Legislature finds and declares that the public commissions, boards and councils and the other public agencies in this State exist to aid in the conduct of the people’s business. It is the intent of the law that their actions be taken openly and that their deliberations be conducted openly.

The people of this State do not yield their sovereignty to the agencies which serve them. The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know. The people insist on remaining informed so that they may retain control over the instruments they have created.

N.B. “Deliberations” Cutting off officials, including a Supervisor, from participating in a policy discussion and then assigning to ad hoc committees, which aren’t open to the public, is a blatant violation of that purpose. Emailing the BOS the remainder of their comments is not an adequate substitution, particularly, as Ted Williams admits, the contents will not be available to the public for a month.

What happened to the practice of having staff, even if they are elected, sit at the table when BOS actions affecting their department are on the agenda?

Clearly, the goal of some supervisors is control. They don’t trust the voters to choose department heads. Have they forgotten they are elected by those voters. The BOS past performance does not inspire my confidence that this would result in improved service to the public.

I repeat my request that items on the Consent Calendar be written in plain and simple English, thereby enabling the public to easily determine if the issue is one they would like to discuss with their elected officials.

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French Roses, Casper (Jeff Goll)

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Dear Editor,

This Board of Supervisors (BOS) never ceases to amaze me. They complain about not getting reports and figures, yet, at the recent Tuesday meeting they limited Department Heads/Elected Officials from giving them updates and cut them off. Supervisor Mulheren stated that the "public" was limited to 3 minutes, as usual, yet she applied it to Department Heads/Elected Officials as well.

Why is there not an ongoing agenda item for the Department Heads/Elected Officials to give important Department updates? Some Departments/Officials give sporadic updates in the Public Comment portion of the Agenda, which in my opinion, is very unprofessional and reflects poorly on the BOS.

Supervisor Williams continually complains about not having current figures yet there is no set time to receive these updates, in the public forum, on a regular basis. This shows the severe lack of communication and transparency of the BOS.

Do they REALLY want to hear from EVERY department? Are they ready to hear the amount of dysfunction of all the departments? Shouldn't departments that have no department head, but are being filled in by the CEO's office or others, be front and center at every BOS meeting so that extra attention could be focused and a plan made for how to proceed with filling the positions and the status of how well it is functioning?

I had someone I know, that previously worked for the County Human Resources (HR) Department, as well as in Sonoma County, look at the 2022-2023 Grand Jury Report, Accountability at the County, link here, and give me feedback. They stated the County has "major culture problems", "unethical ways of candidate selection-they value ease/quickness of training over quality". "The attitudes and ways employees disrespect their bosses is crazy (especially compared to stricter/more polished counties like Sonoma/Napa). Bad and lazy work gets "rewarded" — they make good employees do the hardest/most work to get quality work and avoid dealing with problem employees". 

Regarding the HR Director: "Managers in HR were always saying they would never take the job because it's too stressful/too much pressure. They'd step up if they were 2 or less years from retirement because of the retirement bump (pay) by not too much time under the stress. I think it plays into the culture problem countywide- meaning, the job is too stressful because there are too many problems and it's a lot of confrontation with other department heads and the BOS, etc". 

Regarding employee surveys: "That is a very odd way to do employee evaluations for sure. I've never heard of one where you only write comments for the best and worst ratings. Very ineffective. As if they don't really care about the eval or the employee performance, but more of just a task the managers have to complete and put behind them".

Currently, Cherie Johnson, Asst. Deputy CEO, is covering the HR Director position, along with Union negotiations and her numerous job descriptions in the CEO’s office.

I had a meeting with County Counsel and Risk management recently about how much the County spends on outside lawyers for wrongful terminations/employee litigation. The County uses its General Liability policy for these suits/litigation, which has a deductable of $150,000 per occurance. The cost of this insurance policy for this budget year is $3,169,900.00. Increasing significantly from previous years, this cost is spread out among all Departments, whether they had a claim or not.

2022-23 Estimate $2,521,700.00

2021-22 Actual $1,899,757.59

2020-21 Actual $1,448,682.37

These totals are just the policy premium/cost itself, not including deductables. This year's estimated deductible is $320,000. (This line item Judgement/Damages does include Road Claims, such as damaged vehicles, etc.). 

In the 2020-21 Actuals of Judgement/Damages the amount was $612,801.83. These claims are costing the County excessive amounts of money that could be used elsewhere. Not having a consistent Director of HR that could address issues as they arise is definitely contributing to these high claims and costs.

There needs to be some accountability on the BOS part for the continued lack of oversight, direction and communication with ALL County departments.

They should implement the inclusion of all departments, at least monthly, in the BOS meetings. If the BOS is always "left holding the bag" then why not hear and get feedback from the very departments that they continually blame? Implement some changes, think outside the "crushed box" that is our County Government.

There is a recent report that was conducted with direction from the BOS by Neural Profit Engines to examine the factors underlying Mendocino County's subpar economic growth over the past decade. The Google Capstone Project:

Mendocino County Poverty-The Result of Government Spending? 

Link here:

It highlights that Mendocino County is one of the poorest Counties in the United States and states "government spending plays a much larger role in Mendocino's economy than in the State as a whole and across the United States. Please look it over.

I would love to hear feedback from the community about what services and industry they would like to see in our County. What does the future look like for you and your family in our County? Are you planning on leaving the County, if so why?

What type of legacy is the current BOS leaving for our County?

I encourage the People of our County to speak up at the BOS meetings. Have your voice heard. It takes all of us to make our County a better place to live, work and leave a better future for the next generation.


Carrie Shattuck, Ukiah

Candidate for First District Supervisor


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Recently I posted that Ms. Cline was a registered Lobbyist with the State. Her response was that she is not currently and the State/Cal Access inofrmation was behind. Here is her current 2023-2024 Form 604 filed December 29, 2022. Ms. Cline writes about transparency at the County yet is not being transparent herself. 

Carrie Shattuck



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Have you seen our exhibit of historic Mendocino County maps?

Stop by our research room and see a selection of historic Mendocino County maps from our collection. Some of the maps currently on exhibit include a plat map of the Yokayo Rancho from 1866, and a 50" x 60" Official Map of Mendocino County from 1890!

The Toney Archive Lobby is open Thursday - Saturday from 1-4pm.

Stop by and shop in our local history store!

The Historical Society has a new local history store in the Toney Archive lobby. We have tons of books on Mendocino County history and a whole section of deaccessioned rare and out-of-print local history books that we have duplicates of.

We also have T-shirts and wine glasses with our logo! Interested in Researching in the Toney Archive lobby?

New resources and collection items will be added overtime as the Historical Society continues to catalog and digitize our collection, but here is what is available right now.

Reference Collection items: A variety of local history books; compiled research on historic buildings in Ukiah; Mendocino County directories; a selection of Mendocino County journal publications and yearbooks; compiled resources on county government; compiled historic obituaries; compiled research on Mendocino County cemeteries; complied resources on Ukiah city government.

Special Collections digitized and available:

The Historical Society of Mendocino County Newsletters and Journals, Mendocino County tax assessment rolls (1870s-1925 so far); Mendocino County delinquent tax assessment rolls (1870s-1920 so far); Mendocino County Great Registers(1860s-1912); Ukiah fire insurance maps (1888-1950); a portion of our historic Mendocino County newspapers.

The rest of our collection (not yet catalogued) can be accessed by setting up a research appointment with staff.

Coming Soon! An online database of our special collection items that we have been able to catalog so far!

We've been working on completing our Mendocino County High School Yearbook collection. Take a look at Point Arena High School from 1977.

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CHERISSA JOHNSON: Just wanted to give a review on Offspring Wood Fire Pizza in Boonville (Offspring at the Farrer Building). If you haven’t given them a try, I highly recommend them. My favorite is the Carbonara (I get mine without the egg yolk), the Smoky Tomato Frior di Latte Mozzarella adding chorizo. The ingredients are always super fresh, everyone is so nice and welcoming. They even remember our order when my husband comes in. 

Also, if you haven’t tried Lauren’s at the Buckhorns truffle fries, go check them out as well. On Tuesday they also have Taco Tuesday with a 3 Taco special and beer for $10.00. It was really good, everyone was very nice!

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ANNE BENNETT of Sheep Dung Estate in Boonville writes: Thank you for referring Willits watercolorist Marian Scherf to me. What a pleasure! I found what appears to be the same water tower behind the Live Oak Building and sent her fotos. From underneath it looks like it was once white. Her painting is lovely!

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Hi, everyone. I'm going to make one more request for now. I'd like to be able to stay in Ukiah. As some of you know I've been wanting to have a rescue for many years. Or to help others with theirs. Also to foster, TNR, transport, hospice. I've been volunteering with the kitties for seven years.

As some of you also know I'm a cancer patient (with a few other health issues) on benefits needing a soft spot to land. I'm on low income waiting house lists, on a voucher list, seeking someone to room with, who either already has a place or we get one together.

My goal is to get a manufactured home. I have a friend that's the project manager for Baughn & Cameron here in Ukiah. I've found the house I want. One day I'll be back to being support staff for developmentally challenged adults. My credit will keep building. If I could also save on rent, then I'd eventually be able to get a home loan.

I thought I would see if there's anyone (especially in Ukiah since I'm still going through maintenance & have eight other appts coming up) that is involved in rescue & needs help. Who would comp the rent or make it really low if I will help with their animals. Who will also accept my four ESAs (two kitties & two senior Chi mixes). I will also chip in some for expenses. Please DM me if you or someone you know has anything available. Thanks & please share.

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Proceeds from the dinners will be donated to the scholarship fund at Boont Tribe Community School.

This summer Boont Tribe Community School will be hosting a monthly farm-to-table charity dinner series. Proceeds from the dinners will be donated to the scholarship fund at Boont Tribe Community School. Our school has complete curricular freedom, designing lessons that meet each child’s needs. Our classrooms offer caring individual attention to each of our students, but our tuition-funded school can be a financial burden to some of our beloved families.

The meals will be prepared by Chef Scott Baird, with donated local bounty from the coast to the shallowest end of the valley. Dinner will be served at twilight at a long family style table. The four-course feasts will be at either the Win Win Ranch in Philo or Stoney Bottom in Boonville.

Dates: June 10th, July 15th, August 19th, September 16th & October 21st

Seating will be limited to 20 very lucky guests.

Local wines will be served throughout the dinner.

$80 per person

Contact Seasha for tickets: 707-533-5094

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A READER WRITES: Took this pic a few years ago, while traveling. 

I love road side attractions and it was on the list. The plaque honored the ladies of the night during the gold rush. However, it disappeared and was returned in 2021 due to a to a town controversy.

I guess way back in the gold rush days they trafficked women. Some say the town flourished with every brothel that opened. Anyway, the ladies of the night have been honored in Ukiah, Ca

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[1] Hello Phil and Bruce, I have been asked to moderate the debate between you two and it is my pleasure to do so. I would like to introduce myself to you, Bruce. I have lived on the coast for 18 years and have been a volunteer in many organizations including the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, the Ft. Bragg Friends of the Library, and the League of Women Voters.

The attachment outlines the format you two have already agreed upon. I have added several statements to clarify the civility and respect that you two have also agreed to show each other.

Please return this email with a statement that you have reviewed the ground rules and agree to abide by them. I look forward to the debate!

Regards, Jane Person

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[2] Civility Ground Rules for the Debate

1. Adhere to the format agreed upon regarding time constraints and order of speaking:

a. Proponent (Phil), 10 minutes

b. Opponent (Bruce) 10 minutes

c. Phil, 5 minute rebuttal

d. Bruce, 5 minute rebuttal

e. Questions from audience, 30 minutes, with 3 minutes to answer each question. Each debater can respond to any question directed to the the other debater.

f. Bruce, 5 minutes to sum up

g. Phil, 5 minutes to sum up

2. No interruptions, name calling

3. No personal attacks or demeaning comments I _____(Bruce Anderson/ Philip Zwerling) agree to treat my debate opponent with civility and respect and to observe the ground rules outlined above.

As moderator, Jane will introduce the speakers, review the format and mention numbers 2 and 3. Jane will ask the audience to be respectful to the speakers and to the opinions they express. She will also ask them to hold their applause and comments until the Q and A period. 


Good gawd, Ms. Person, quite a series of implied insults aimed at the owner of Boonville's beloved weekly. As if! As if I'm going to cloud up and storm all over the little professor!

I agree. You need it notarized?

Will I be arrested if I deviate from the prof's ground rules?

PS. When and where is this epic event?

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By far the most interesting person ever to call the bland precincts of Gualala his home, Hanneman flamed out live on KWAN, the radio station he owned on Mendo's remote South Coast, issuing daily denunciations of his many enemies every afternoon, by far the most interesting audio in the history of the county which, otherwise, and ever after, has been a steady aural diet of cowboy yodels, adolescent love yarps, banjo plucks, and KZYX, the county’s pseudo-public radio station, which supplements its hundreds of hours of music with the White House press releases called NPR and maybe three hours a week of local talk consisting of puff ball exchanges with local bureaucrats.

BUT Hanneman broke the mold when he was arrested back in April of '98 in a show biz chopper raid on his Sea Ranch home complete with a platoon of camo buddies armed with automatic rifles.

Hanneman then used his radio station to denounce the raid and the raiders and their informants, which he said was based on the wishful thinking of former employees of his. 

NOT LONG BEFORE the raid on Hanneman, Sheriff Tim Shea's commandos carried out a chopper raid south of Point Arena that cost county taxpayers several million dollars. On information provided by a jailed drug addict, the camo buddies swooped down on Point Arena’s Bill Hay, holding Hay, his wife, and the then-little Hays at gunpoint, screaming the obligatory “Get on the ground, motherfuckers” at the innocent and terrified Hay family before the raid team realized they’d raided the wrong address. That little exercise in gross incompetence made Hay a multi-millionaire and Mendocino County the laughingstock of the land for fifteen minutes or so. 

Hanneman’s experience with local law enforcement’s airborne motherfucker special was a kind of reprise of the Hay affair. It, too, was based entirely on rumor.

HANNEMAN owned the cable tv franchise for a hunk of south Mendoland running east into Anderson Valley. He was in bankruptcy proceedings here and in Arizona where he owned another cable franchise. Hanneman also founded KWAN. He ran his mini-media empire out of Gualala but lived in Sea Ranch where the big raid took place, which supposedly discovered property stolen from South Coast construction sites, and also was aimed at stanching the South Coast’s crank flow, and was even more vaguely in search of pornographic films starring underage actresses. Nothing more than a couple hundred bucks worth of disputed construction equipment could be tied to the South Coast media man, hence Hanneman’s “I'm Mad As Hell” afternoon presentations every work day from 4 to 6pm. Hanneman was later convicted of drug crimes.

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TAKING IT TO THE AIR by Eric Brazil (SF Chronicle, May 24, 1998)

1998-05-24 04:00:00 PDT GUALALA, MENDOCINO COUNTY -- GUALALA, Mendocino County – 

At 4:05 p.m., business in this coastal village slows as radios are tuned to 100.5 FM, where the G-Man is venting again. What is this guy going to say next? Where can he take it after two weeks of blistering his enemies by name as sluts, snitches, drug dealers, thieves, sexual miscreants, "tweaky little losers," and fascists?

Stay tuned.

Gerhard Jacobus "Jerry" Hanneman, Ph.D., aka the G-Man, has his back to the wall: His company is bankrupt and owes millions, and he's facing trial for burglary and receiving stolen property. But he's not going down without a big, noisy, messy fight.

"It's the only damn platform I have," said Hanneman, 54, principal owner of Wander Telecommunications, which includes Gualala's KWAN and several small cable TV systems in California, Nevada and Arizona. "I'm not going to roll over for some weak piece of garbage."

Gerhard Hanneman, aka the G-Man, raises clenched fists during his fiery two-hour broadcast at KWAN Radio in Gualala.

Gualala (pop. 585) is divided over Hanneman's on-the-air venting at the people he blames for his arrest and for his financial difficulties. "We just feel that the stuff he's ranting about is inappropriate and hurtful to the community," said Steve May, manager of the Surf Supermarket. Surf's owner pulled its KWAN advertising after Hanneman's first vitriolic, name-calling broadcast.

"Our community is not about what this guy is saying," said Christina Peterson, owner of Rumors, a Gualala hair and skin salon.

"I don't agree with what he's saying, but he's got the right to say it," said Marshall Sayegh, who operates an Internet service and - like Hanneman - sees what's going on as a civil rights issue. "If they can do it to him, they can do it to me. He may have a lousy cable system, but he's not a burglar."

A first edition of "Support Your Local G-Man" T-shirts sold out at $20 each three minutes after Hanneman announced their availability between screeds and records on his show.

"I don't know whether to drop our ads or keep 'em," said bemused realtor Lenny Balter. "Everyone's listening. But it's getting old. What I can't figure is: If he's millions in debt, why should he be stealing $2,000 worth of tools?"

"We've only got a few hundred people in town, and there's not a lot to do but watch the waves hit the rocks, so every now and then we have to have something exciting. This is it," said Sid Waterman, who designs and manufactures the fuel pumps used on every Indianapolis 500 race car and most of the nation's sprint cars and dragsters.

The Bust

Hanneman was arrested on the morning of April 21 at his Sea Ranch house in a raid by a Sonoma County SWAT team and other elements of a 30-member task force that also included Mendocino County sheriff's deputies and California Youth Authority officers. Wander corporate offices and storage sites were searched, along with the home of Hanneman's girlfriend Sunny Edwards, 33, who also was arrested.

The Mendocino County sheriff's office said the raid recovered an estimated $18,000 worth of construction equipment stolen in January. The raiders also confiscated a dozen XXX-rated videotapes, but did not find a porno film involving local girls that Hanneman is widely rumored to have made, but which he denies making.

Hanneman insists that the raid, which included air cover by two helicopters, was the acting out of a fantasy that "there is a big criminal enterprise going on here" involving drugs, money laundering and pornography as well as burglary. "It's patent nonsense," he said. "I built a good company, and this crap is going to take it all away."

$13 Million In Loans

Hanneman blames his troubles on the man from whom he is accused of stealing, ex-employee Jason Anderson, and on Finova Capital Corp. of Phoenix, Ariz. - Wander's principal creditor among some 400. Finova has loaned Wander more than $13 million, according to court records. A trustee has been appointed by the Bankruptcy Court in Santa Rosa to manage Wander's affairs.

Anderson was motivated to finger him by greed, envy and revenge, said Hanneman, who has called his accuser "a little thief," "a fruitcake" and "a low life" - and other choice epithets on the air. Finova, he says, has plotted to take over his business and is the real power behind "the frame-up."

Examiner efforts to reach Anderson were unsuccessful, but in an on-air colloquy with Hanneman Thursday, he denied Hanneman's assertions. The G-Man was unapologetic.

Hanneman also uses his broadcasts to denounce Mendocino County District Attorney Susan Massini - "the dumb-ass DA in Ukiah," he calls her - for venturing to prosecute him.

Seen As Malevolent

Hanneman's protestations of injured innocence do not go down well with many Gualalans, who regard him as malevolent.

Wally Eskew, director of special events at Sea Ranch, whose wife has been the target of several Hanneman screeds, said the broadcasts are distressing. But as a practical matter, he said, "I don't know what I can do about it. I just want the thing to stop. . . . Fortunately, my wife has been out of town for a month."

Hanneman "is an arrogant man, demeaning to women," said Selena Sauer, a skin care specialist who worked for him at KWAN for one contentious year. "He can't believe this is happening to him. He believes he's untouchable. . . . But this time I think he realizes he's in over his head. He's pitted people against each other and he's hurt a lot of people. We're a small community, and we don't need that."

Roger Warnock, composing room foreman at the weekly Independent Coast Observer, said, "I felt something was wrong" when his daughter Sunny Edwards took up with Hanneman, and the raid and the subsequent arrests confirmed his fears.

A Rat In The Toilet

The house Warnock had let her live in allegedly was being used to store stolen property, and "there was a dead rat in the toilet," he said. "I never saw so much stuff in my life. I still love her, but I can't take this."

Others, declining to be quoted by name, say that Hanneman's practice of employing the hard-to-hire - ex-convicts and troubled youngsters - gives him unusual power over what they do, with unsettling results for the community.

It's that kind of speculative accusation, Hanneman says, that has brought him grief. He's been arrested on the basis of "16 pages of rumors," he said on Wednesday's broadcast.

Hanneman, who received his Ph.D. in communications from Michigan State University in 1970, is a specialist in communications policy and research who speaks fluent Dutch and passable Farsi. He has taught at USC's Annenberg School for Communication and served several years on the advisory board for the University of San Francisco's telecommunications program.

Expressions Of Support

More than 100 people have called him at KWAN praising his on-the-air candor, Hanneman said, concluding that an equivalent response to a San Francisco station "would have been a quarter of a million calls."

Hanneman bought the Sea Ranch cable TV system in 1984 and put KWAN radio on the air in 1993. "It took five years to get the license, because the FCC didn't think there was a town here," he said.

The radio station covers the coast from Irish Beach to Bodega Bay. The cable system reaches east into Boonville.

"It's the worst," said Anderson Valley Advertiser Bruce Anderson, who is no relation to Jason Anderson. "It cuts out in the fourth quarter of 49ers games."

The FCC has been given tapes of Hanneman's most strident broadcasts, but he doesn't anticipate trouble from that quarter.

"A lot of what I say is hyperbole to get 'em to pay attention to what's going on. . . . This is satire," said Hanneman, who sprinkles his accusations against named targets with disclaimers.

"Everything I am saying I can prove. I am dying to be sued," he said. "If this had been 10 years ago, they wouldn't have sued him, they'd have shot him," said Wally Eskew.

Hanneman and Edwards will be arraigned June 15 at 1:30 p.m. in the Ten Mile Justice Court in Fort Bragg.

Gualalans think Hanneman is winding down, now that he's got his grievances off his chest.

Besides, said Joel Rogers, who works for the local water company, "this is a small town, and once you've gone through a week of it you've just about used up all your material."

Don't bet on it. "I've got a lot more material," Hanneman said.

* * *

MENDOCINO circa 1930

This image, taken almost a century ago, shows Ukiah Street near the intersection with Kasten Street, Mendocino, looking east. (Gift of Dolly Efishoff)

In the photo, two calves belonging to the Paoli family stand on Ukiah Street in front of the Paoli Hotel, which is just out of sight on the right side of the photo. Raffaelo Paoli and his wife, Emelia, purchased this hotel in 1919 and operated it until about 1941. From 1946 to 1982, their son Miles ran Paoli TV & Hi-Fi Radio Shop from this building. Following Miles’ death, his niece, Dolly Efishoff of Fort Bragg, sold the property to Al Weaver of Greenwood, who renovated the old hotel to restore it to its original appearance and convert the interior to shops and offices. Today, Mendo Pack & Ship is located on the first floor of the former hotel building.

The first Odd Fellows Hall, built in 1878 and located on the southwest corner of Ukiah and Kasten Streets, can be seen on the right side of these photos. When the first photo was taken, the Ancient Order of Foresters owned the hall. In 1964, Warren Zimmer remodeled the historic building and operated a gallery and frame shop on the property. Today, the first Odd Fellows Hall is the home of Highlight Gallery.

The Heeser Water Tower, on the southeast corner of the intersection, can be seen to the left and just behind the hall. Built about 1900, this two-tank tower provided water to the Heeser property (now the Mendocino Hotel Garden Suites) and to the Beacon Building. A fierce storm blew the water tower down in 1974, and a replica was reconstructed on the same site in 1983. The tanks on this tower still hold water.

The large portico on the front of the second Odd Fellows Hall can be seen on the left side of the earlier photo. All of the lumber used in the 1894 construction of this two-story building was sawn at the Mendocino Lumber Company mill, except for the flooring which was made of vertical-grain white pine shipped from Oregon. By the 1950s, the hall was badly deteriorated, and the front portion was demolished. The remaining structure (not seen in these photos) was repaired and is used for shops and apartments today.

Looking east on Ukiah Street in the photo, the Beacon Building is next on the left. Built about 1872 to house the Bank of Mendocino, it was enlarged in 1877 when William Heeser began publishing the Mendocino Beacon. The Beacon maintained an office here until 2000, when the reporters and clerical staff moved to the Fort Bragg office of the Advocate-News. Today, the building houses Partners Gallery, massage studios, a Pilates center, and offices.

In the background on the left stands the Masonic Hall with its iconic statue, “Father Time and the Maiden.” It was constructed by Eric Jensen Albertson between 1866 and 1872 to provide meeting space for the Mendocino Masonic Lodge No. 179. Albertson, a Mason and local lumber mill employee, also carved the statue from one redwood log. In 1976, the building was sold to the Savings Bank of Mendocino County, with the Masonic Lodge retaining the right to use the second-floor meeting hall. SBMC opened downstairs in October of 1977.

If you would like to learn more about Mendocino’s historic structures, the Kelley House archives are open for research appointments Wednesday through Friday from 12:00 to 4:00 pm. To make an appointment, write to

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, Thursday, July 27, 2023

Amrull, Bolton, Gutierrez, Martinez

ILEANA AMRULL, Ukiah. Public urination, failure to appear.

JOHN BOLTON IV, Willits. Disorderly conduct-under influence, probation revocation.

SILVINO GUTIERREZ-ROBLES, Covelo. Controlled substance for sale, parpaphernalia, failure to appear, probation revocation.

MONIQUE MARTINEZ, Woodland/Ukiah. Pot possession for sale, conspiracy, evasion.

Nokaj, Rasche, Wolfe

SERXHIO NOKAJ, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania/Ukiah. Pot possession for sale, conspiracy.

LIAM RASCHE, Arcata/Ukiah. DUI-alcohol&drugs.

JONATHAN WOLFE, Redwood Valley. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, county parole violation.

* * *


American Pickers Come to California!

Good morning,

Hope you are having a wonderful day! My name is Meredith and I am a Producer with American Pickers (on the History Channel). I am reaching out today because we are planning to return to California this September and would love to see if your Publication would be willing to help us get the word out to collectors in your area? We're looking for leads throughout the state, specifically interesting characters with fascinating items! The way we find people and collections for our show is through spreading the word far and wide so that people know we’re coming to town.

We at American Pickers are still taking the pandemic very seriously and will follow all guidelines and protocols for safe filming outlined by the state. However, we are incredibly excited to continue connecting with the many collectors in the area to discuss their years of picking!

Attached is a press release, a flyer, and some photos that you are welcome to share with your community, individuals, social media, etc. We also have Facebook: @GOTAPICK; you can share our Facebook post by clicking here. Keep in mind, we are looking for different, unusual, and unique items - something we’ve never seen before with an extraordinary story!

Collectors interested in being considered for the show should reach out to us by phone at (646) 493-2184 or email at

Be sure to have them include their full name, city/state, contact information, and a brief description of their collection. Also, please note that the Pickers only pick private collections, so NO stores, malls, flea markets, museums, auctions, businesses, or anything open to the public.

Thank you so much for your time!

Meredith Ball, Producer, American Pickers

* * *

* * *


Warmest Spiritual Greetings

Awoke at the Building Bridges Homeless Resource Center in sunny Ukiah, California to partake in “deep cleaning day”, today being the last Thursday of the month. Walked south on State Street, arriving in time for the Plowshares Peace & Justice Center free public meal, and afterwards boarded an air conditioned MTA bus, deboarding at the Ukiah Public Library. Presently seated in front of computer #5 tap, tap tapping away. I am available on the planet earth for radical environmental direct action, general peace and justice activism, and anything else which is reflective of the enlightened spiritual condition. Please assist me in moving on from the homeless shelter to perform my next highest good, and at the appropriate time, let us all go back to Godhead. Thank you very much. OM OM OM OM OM

Craig Louis Stehr

* * *


by Eric Branch

At 10:34 a.m. Thursday, 179 days after he suffered a torn elbow ligament in the NFC Championship Game, Brock Purdy threw a football in a public setting for the first time since he lobbed a one-yard completion to tight end George Kittle in a 31-7 loss to the Eagles.

The San Francisco 49ers quarterback threw that gritted-teeth pass with a shredded ulnar collateral ligament. On Thursday morning, with a UCL that was repaired less than five months ago, Purdy’s initial passes were captured by a host of photographers and iPhone-holding reporters as he went through individual drills in his first practice of training camp.

The initial takeaway: Purdy’s post-surgery throws mirrored his pre-injury tosses.

That certainly came as a relief to the several hundred fans in attendance, but it wasn’t a surprise. General manager John Lynch said Tuesday that Purdy was medically cleared to practice after the 49ers were able to gauge the velocity on his throws.

“I know the data says no,” Lynch said when asked if Purdy’s throws had lost steam. “They have the GPS wearables these guys all wear these days and it’s good.”

(SF Chronicle)

* * *

* * *

CAN SAN QUENTIN BECOME LIKE A ‘COLLEGE CAMPUS’? Here’s What Inmates Think Of Newsom’s Plan

by Joe Garofoli

Since Gov. Gavin Newsom announced in March his plan to transform San Quentin from a maximum security prison into what he envisions as “the nation’s most innovative rehabilitation facility,” an unusual feeling has permeated California’s oldest prison: hope. 

But inmates say that hope is tempered by a more common feeling inside the 171-year-old penitentiary: skepticism that this reform attempt will be any different from previous versions. 

Nothing has been done yet physically to the Marin County prison with the panoramic views of San Francisco Bay. The governor’s San Quentin Transformation Advisory Council has only met three times since Newsom’s announcement, with two more meetings scheduled in August. They are slated to present a set of recommendations to the Legislature and Newsom in December to create “the California model.” 

For now, however, hope is in a plan that has yet to be written. 

But at least there’s some money to get started. The new state budget includes $380 million to start making over San Quentin. 

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, Newsom’s lead adviser on the project, said Wednesday during a tour of San Quentin that he is hopeful changes can begin happening by Newsom’s ambitious — very ambitious by the pace building happens in California — 2025 deadline. 

“The culture change is about halfway complete,” said Steinberg, who is the liaison between the advisory council and Newsom. “To truly transform San Quentin into a rehabilitation facility will take a lot of work.” 

But measuring culture is an inexact science to say the least. Steve Brooks, who has been an inmate there since 2016 said, “there’s hope and there’s skepticism” since Newsom announced the plan to transition San Quentin into something more humane.

The hope, Brooks said, “comes from the people on the ground who are buying into it. They want it to happen. The skepticism comes from people on the ground who have seen a lot of reform plans come and go.”

Brooks said that “the politics needs to shift on this.” America’s centuries-long form of incarceration “didn’t happen overnight.” 

Two groups need to buy into changing San Quentin, Brooks and other inmates told me during Wednesday’s two-hour tour: the blue (inmates) and the green (the facility’s staff guards.)

“And they both got to buy into it,” inmate Juan Haines, 66, told me. “Both.”

No amount of money or political will can transform San Quentin unless guards are retrained and follow through on that retraining. The recent past is ugly.

In March, a federal judge said California prison officials punished an inmate who led the fight to reduce the amount of solitary confinement in the system. U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken of Oakland said prison officials concocted evidence against the inmate that kept him in an isolation cell for nearly six years.

In another ruling in January, a court ordered California prisons to install cameras — and demand guards wear body cameras — as a protection against abuse of disabled prisoners. In one incident cited by the court, a guard refused to help a prisoner lift a heavy mail package. After the inmate threatened to file a complaint, the court said that “the officer pepper-sprayed the (inmate) in the face, hit him in the face with the pepper-spray canister, and then kicked him.”

Ron Broomfield, who has been San Quentin’s warden since 2020, said he is on board with changing how guards behave. Guards are already receiving some new retraining at pilot programs at a handful of California’s prisons. 

“Our staff will rise to the expectation that we set for them,” Broomfield said Wednesday, standing near Steinberg outside the prison. 

Inmate Tommy Wickerd has seen some small signs from guards that things are changing. But he longs for a day where, “you’ll see (a guard) and he’ll say, ‘Hey Tommy, how’s it going today?’ instead of just walking past you. It makes you feel human.” 

The most visible piece of change at San Quentin will likely be in what is now an empty 81,000 square-foot warehouse where inmates used to make furniture for state office buildings. Broomfield envisions it — with the help of the $380 million from the state — transforming into a “college campus” where San Quentin’s popular technology and media programs could expand. The wait list to get in some of those programs can be a year long. The best part about many of them is that they have shown to reduce recidivism rates, prison officials said. 

Broomfield would love to see a “coffee shop here” where correctional officers can sit down with inmates. 

That vision may be a while off.

But it brings up another huge question that Newsom’s advisory council will have to take on. How many people should be housed at San Quentin? Right now there are about 4,000. Steinberg declined to put a number on what the best size of the facility should be. 

Haines, who has been incarcerated nearly half of his life, has an idea: “I’d hire a bunch of welders. And they’d take out half of the bunks” in the two-bunk cells. He said he would feel much better if he had his own cell.

Others have different ideas about how to transform the space. Inside San Quentin’s video production room, a handful of inmates showed off some short films they had made, including a poignant one on how much visitations mean to inmates. One filmmaker said they were working on a 20-minute documentary. Steinberg asked what they could do if they had more space and better facilities to work in. 

“We would go Hollywood,” cracked DeAnde Brumfield, a San Quentin inmate for four years.

That’s hope talking. The question now is whether Newsom’s advisory panel — along with The Blue and The Green — can translate that hope into reality. And whether they can do it by that very ambitious 2025 deadline.

(SF Chronicle)

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* * *


by Jesse Vad

The state is sending millions to farmers throughout the San Joaquin Valley to keep water in the ground. 

The money, paid through the LandFlex program, goes to groundwater sustainability agencies (GSAs) and then directly to farmers, paying them for every acre foot they don’t pump.

On July 24, the Department of Water Resources announced awards to the Lower Tule River and Pixley GSAs of $7.7 million and $5 million, respectively, and $4 million to the Westlands Water District GSA.

This is the second round of LandFlex funding. In February, DWR recommended awards of $9.3 million to Madera County GSA, $7 million to Greater Kaweah GSA and $7 million to Eastern Tule GSA.

The LandFlex program has now depleted its funding and it’s unclear if more will be forthcoming.

LandFlex is separate from the Multibenefit Land Repurposing Program, run by the Department of Conservation. That program aims to find other uses for farmland in order to reduce pumping. In June, three valley groundwater agencies including Westlands, Turlock and agencies in the Merced subbasin, received $35 million in grants from the Multibenefit program.

Unlike other incentive programs, LandFlex is more of an immediate drought relief solution for at-risk drinking water wells and vulnerable communities, said Teji Sandhu, DWR’s LandFlex program manager. 

The program requires all participating landowners to fallow their crops for a year. The state pays farmers up to $350 per acre foot of water saved during that time. 

After that, there is a permanent elimination of all groundwater overdraft, meaning landowners in the program can only pump the allotted sustainable amount in their area. Farmers in this stage are paid $1,000 per acre foot of overdraft eliminated. 

Lastly, the program will pay anywhere from $250-$2,800 per acre of land that is transitioned to more sustainable uses such as less water intensive crops. 

LandFlex could save anywhere from 100,000-200,000 acre feet of water, said Sandhu. 

As the name suggests, the program is flexible, she added. 

“We were able to kind of turn some of this program, not only as a drought tool, but as a flood tool,” said Sandhu. “We opened up the program to make sure these guys could recharge, especially floodwaters.” 

For Pixley and Lower Tule, the land targeted was nearby scattered domestic wells, said Eric Limas, general manager for both districts. Those clusters of domestic wells scored higher on DWR’s assessments, he said. 

“The domestic wells that are scattered out and about are drilled pretty shallow and those are the ones that are more susceptible to going dry,” said Limas. “We’re glad to see the state investing in this program because it eliminates overdraft sooner and protects those domestic wells.”

Landowners are in the process of signing contracts and should receive money 45 days later, said Aubrey Bettencourt, CEO of the Almond Alliance which is a contracted technical assistance provider for LandFlex. 

In the Westlands GSA, 8 landowners are moving forward in the program. That’s out of 75 who qualified initially, said Bettencourt. 

Westlands added additional criteria for DWR to assess. Subsidence-prone areas were also considered in the process since Westlands has many areas that have sunk significantly due to overpumping. 

The program focuses not only on protecting domestic wells, but moving landowners to compliance with the state’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), which aims to bring groundwater basins into balance by 2040.

LandFlex will, “bear hug SGMA, create that certainty and create that financial backing that allows the farmer to see themselves into a post SGMA world,” said Bettencourt.

Farmers in the San Joaquin Valley have relied more heavily on groundwater as surface water supplies from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta have dwindled for environmental needs and after multiple years of prolonged drought. 

As a result, aquifer levels plummeted causing shallow domestic and community wells to go dry throughout the San Joaquin Valley. The effects have lingered, with more than 1,000 wells going dry in the valley even during this very wet year.


* * *

A simplified illustration of the global “conveyor belt” of ocean currents that transport heat around Earth. Red shows surface currents, and blue shows deep currents. Deep water forms where the sea surface is the densest. The background color shows sea-surface density. Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio (Background)

* * *

MUSIC, a few on-line comments:

1. 60-70 percent of the greatest songs you have ever heard were reworked in the studio by producers or were (re)written at least in part by guys paid to do nothing but write hit songs.

The music industry hasn’t been a place for musicians for many, many years.

2. I’ll listen to 2 hour interviews by producer Butch Vig discussing Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins recording sessions, for instance.

Some artists are weaker and less independent than others. Sinead mostly excelled at covering others' songs. I don’t like the original stuff much. Elton John headlined his career without ever writing a word of lyrics.

Many talented artists write much of their own stuff and have a guiding hand in production also.

Someone like Bryan Ferry does a lot of covers but has a unique sound and is heavily involved in the production.

And, although I appreciate all the artistic possibilities of recorded music, the whole scene is probably pretty played out now. Good times, maybe. Would a return to exclusively live and acoustic music be unwelcome?

3. I’ve done a fair amount of studio work as a gitarrist in various bands over the past 20 years.

I generally know what goes into making a record.

At the top level (mainstream), I’d wager that less than 30% of artists even write their own material anymore. Then of course, everything is autotuned and refined to a point that the live performances also need a range of digital enhancements to produce an album-worthy performance.

Things are much better in the indie world, but producers, and the engineers involved in mastering still add quite a bit to the finished product.

4. I think the “singer-songwriter” thing was a relatively short-lived phenomenon.

Most great vocal artists/performers have sung songs written by others. But they put their own stamp on them. Their art is interpretation.

Carole King wrote You’ve Got a Friend. But a lot of people think James Taylor wrote it.

5. Most of the world’s great music has never been made into a record. It is played on small stages in dive bars, at local parks, and on the street.

It is not overproduced, not always perfectly in time, not autotuned, and not written using formulas developed to produce music that makes as much money as possible.

* * *

(via Steve Derwinski)

* * *


U.S. Supreme Court case helps California regulate social media

by Karl Manheim 

Proponents of social media regulation in California and elsewhere recently received important support from an unlikely place: a U.S. Supreme Court decision on immigration law. United States v. Hansen involved the prosecution of a fraudster who tricked migrants into believing that he could arrange legal residency for them in the United States. The court rebuffed the assertion that applying an immigration statute criminalizing the encouragement of migrants to illegally enter or reside in the U.S. would unconstitutionally abridge freedom of speech.

By doing so, the court reaffirmed the longstanding view that speech encouraging the commission of a crime is not protected speech. This means the decision provides further authority for ongoing legislative efforts to regulate social media platforms, even as companies attempt to avoid accountability for harms they cause by invoking the First Amendment.

Courts and state legislatures across the country are currently reviewing the liability of social media giants such as Meta, YouTube and TikTok for the damage they have caused to children and other users. These efforts have focused on the use of artificial intelligence-driven recommendations that concentrate and target vulnerable groups with harmful content in the pursuit of profits.

One law proposed in New Jersey would prohibit social media platforms from using certain practices or features that cause children to become addicted to the platform, with penalties up to $250,000. A California bill would go further, prohibiting the use of any “design, algorithm, or feature” that causes a child to hurt themself or others, or become addicted to the platform. Congress is also considering taking action, for what it’s worth.

Social media companies have mounted a vigorous campaign to convince state legislatures, Congress and the courts that this type of regulation violates the Constitution. Undoubtedly much of what appears on social media is protected by the First Amendment. But the platforms advance a vision of the First Amendment that would provide them with almost absolute immunity.

They deserve no such treatment. As we have argued before, the outputs from AI-driven algorithms do not constitute protected speech and can be properly regulated. Certain algorithmic tools used by social media are benign and may often be socially beneficial such as AI-based moderation engines that identify and remove hateful and otherwise offensive content.

But the outputs of AI-based recommendation engines that select and push masses of targeted content can lead to addiction and other harmful effects. The urge to regulate this aspect is justified — and the First Amendment does not limit government’s protective powers. There is no human speaker behind the output of an AI algorithm.

Nor is there any intent to communicate (AI has no intent). A recommendation algorithm mostly reflects back personal data. Even if we worked backward through the algorithm to examine the platform’s intent, it’s not to communicate. Instead, platforms seek to maximize ad-generated revenue through “user engagement.”

The Hansen case is demonstrably different from the usual context of social media regulation. Yet the Supreme Court restated long-established First Amendment doctrine that counters the absolutist view asserted by the social media giants.

The use of human language does not constitute protected speech. The ruling upheld state control of speech that encourages or induces illegal acts. AI-driven recommendations can encourage or induce users to become addicted to content that cumulatively inflicts harm. If social media enjoys absolute First Amendment protection, as the platforms seemingly claim, the next step is for AI to have such rights as well. In that case, all bets are off.

(Karl Manheim is an emeritus professor and Jeffery Atik is a law professor at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. They have taught artificial intelligence law since 2018. They wrote this commentary for CalMatters.)

* * *

JAKE LAMOTTA (The Raging Bull) was an American professional boxer. 

He was born in Manhattan, New York, U.S. on July 10, 1922. LaMotta made his professional boxing debut at the age of 18, on March 3, 1941. He was a middleweight world champion. He died on September 19, 2017 at the age of 95 years. LaMotta was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame (IBHOF) in 1990.

In a professional boxing career spanning 13 years and one month, Jake LaMotta fought 106 times with 83 wins, 19 losses, and 4 draws. By his last professional fight on April 14, 1954, LaMotta's record stood at 83-19-4 (30 KO wins, 4 KO losses).

Some of LaMotta's best fights and notable victories include wins over four Hall-of-Famers (Marcel Cerdan, Holman Williams, Fritzie Zivic, and Sugar Ray Robinson), Laurent Dauthuille, Chuck Hunter, Dick Wagner, Tiberio Mitri, George Costner, and Bob Satterfield.

* * *


by Michael Goodwin

The spectacular collapse of the sweetheart deal of the century isn’t just bad news for Hunter Biden.

His father’s political prospects will also suffer a major hit.

Who says there is no justice in Washington?

The corrupt plea bargain deal never should have been made in the first place.

It would have allowed the son to avoid jail time for serious crimes after a probe that whistleblower testimony shows was obstructed to protect the president and his family.

Had the deal been finalized, it would have let the president put the son’s legal troubles behind him by declaring it to be a settled matter.

It would have been a false claim in any event, but thankfully, he now won’t be able to make it at all.

Credit goes to Delaware federal Judge Maryellen Noreika for questioning the terms and revealing the discrepancies that led to the collapse.

Indeed, now that the son’s troubles are far from settled and could even be expanding, the president faces a different and more dangerous landscape.

The surprising statement by prosecutors to Noreika that the probe continues raises the potential for more revelations about Hunter’s misconduct.

Biden’s plea deal fell apart at the last minute in court after Judge Maryellen Noreika questioned the terms.William J. Hennessy

And that in turn could give Republicans more ammunition to tie the president to the family’s sordid influence-peddling schemes.

They are getting closer by the day, and with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) already talking about an impeachment inquiry, the political winds are suddenly shifting against the president.

He doesn’t have much room for error.

In fact, I believe the collapse of the plea bargain, if it holds, makes it more likely Joe Biden will not seek a second term.

For one thing, the media effort to pretend Hunter Biden’s legal troubles were minor has been shattered.

Widespread coverage of the dramatic court scene will mean more voters will be aware not only of the son’s vast misconduct, but also of the way the Department of Justice and FBI abused their powers to protect the first family.

Polls likely will show growing public concern and suspicions about the case, a process that could continue for weeks or months.

The stench of government favoritism would inevitably take a toll on a candidate who portrays himself as a champion of the middle class.

For another thing, the president is a frail, fading man whose policies have been widely rejected by the public.

More than half of his own party has been telling pollsters for months they don’t want him to run again.

The sentiment is especially strong among young voters, whose turnout in large numbers is essential for Democrats nationally.

Hunter Biden’s courtroom drama could be a disaster for President Biden’s re-election campaign, according to Post columnist Michael Goodwin.AP Photo/Susan Walsh

The idea that a stumbling, mumbling Biden, who is 80 now, could serve as commander-in-chief until he’s 86 is preposterous and always was.

But he insisted he wanted to run and party leaders didn’t have the courage to tell him it was time to go away.

They also didn’t have a viable alternative, so they went along with Biden’s argument that, as long as Donald Trump was the GOP nominee, Biden could score four more years and deliver a Dem congressional majority.

Inherent in the argument is that Biden could step aside at any time in a second term and pass the baton to Vice President Kamala Harris.

Prosecutors admitted in court that Hunter Biden could still face additional charges related to him allegedly not registering as a foreign agent in his overseas business dealings.aquan Stimpson / CNP for NY Post

But that idea has also faded along with Harris’ poor performance and sinking popularity.

There is hardly a soul in America who believes she is ready to be president, and that makes her far less useful as a running mate in what is likely to be a close election.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has stepped into the party’s void and is making a valiant effort to stir his family embers, but he’s a wild card who is having trouble hitting 20% support.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom is clearly eager to join the race, but presumably will run only if Biden doesn’t.

Others will likely jump in, too, if Biden exits the contest.

Time is not on the Dems’ side for all this to shake out, so expect to see signs of panic among activists and leaders as the political significance of the Hunter Biden developments sink in.

Trump, despite his vast legal problems, remains the GOP front-runner, but there are serious doubts about his electability.

Now the same can be said of Biden, making the race for the White House a race for the bottom of the barrel.

* * *

* * *


Russian President Vladimir Putin says “hostilities have intensified significantly” in southeastern Ukraine but Kyiv’s push in the Zaporizhia region “wasn’t successful”.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warns that a “handful of donations to some countries” won’t resolve food supply issues after Moscow broke off a wartime grain export agreement. Earlier, at a Russia-Africa summit in St Petersburg, Putin promised free grain to six African nations.

Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin, who led a rebellion in Russia last month, has been seen on the sidelines of the forum, according to several reports.

* * *

Is an art, like everything else.
I do it exceptionally well.

I do it so it feels like hell.
I do it so it feels real.
I guess you could say I've a call.

— Sylvia Plath, Lady Lazarus

* * *



“Our nation honors her sons and daughters who answered the call to defend a country they never knew and a people they never met” — inscribed on the Korean War Memorial in Washington. Thursday is the 70th anniversary of the signing of the truce that ended the fighting but left the country in a state of war. A ceremony will be held at the memorial on Thursday, which I will be attending. Give a thought if you will to the Korean families torn apart, first by the split up of the country thanks to the Russians, then by the invasion of South Korea by North Korea in 1950.

John Henson


* * *


Of all the typical Plains tribes, the Cheyenne were most distinguished for warlike qualities. Few in number, they overcame or held in check most of the peoples who opposed them, and when the westward movement of European civilization began, they made more trouble than all the rest combined. In short, they were preeminently warriors among peoples whose trade was war.

As in other Plains tribes, the warriors of the Cheyenne were organized into societies or orders. These societies were fraternal, military, and semi-religious organizations with special privileges, duties, and dress, usually tracing their origin to some mythical culture hero or medicine man. Each society had its own songs and secret ritual and exacted certain observances and standards of its members.

Of these organizations, none played such a part in the history of the Plains as the “Dog Soldiers” of the Cheyenne.


  1. George Hollister July 28, 2023

    In the Hunter Biden case, the real trial is of the Justice Department, and not Hunter Biden, or the President. The two tiered system of justice at the DOJ goes back to before 2016. I have to assume the Attorney General, Merrick. Garland, is clueless, or he is in a lot of trouble.

    We need a president without an axe to grind, and a brain to clean house. Neither front running presidential candidate fits that bill.

    • Whyte Owen July 28, 2023

      Gretchen Whittmer or Russ Feingold would fit that bill for the Dems. Whom might the Repubs find without an ax but with a brain?

      • George Hollister July 28, 2023

        Of those running, Ron Santis. Of everyone, running, and not running, Bill Barr.

      • Stephen Rosenthal July 28, 2023

        I like Gretchen Whittmer a lot! Very smart, very tough and not part of the D.C. miasma. We need a woman to lead this nation out of its ongoing degradation and she fits the role perfectly.

  2. Marmon July 28, 2023

    “If the BOS met four times a month, as it traditionally did, such long agendas would not be necessary.”

    -Linda Bailey

    Lake County’s BOS meets on 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Tuesday of each month (excluding holiday weeks).


    • Ted Williams July 28, 2023

      I’m available every day of the year to meet, so I don’t really have a preference, but looking at the cost of meetings, it’s better to have fewer, longer meetings. By cost, I mean staff time, in dollars and productivity.

  3. Rye N Flint July 28, 2023

    RE: Like I said…

    Why even file a grand jury investigation, when their recommendations get mostly ignored?

    and… Again… How did that Kirstin Nevendal “appointee” work out? Why did the BOS fly the position to other candidates if they had already selected their candidate? Because Like I stated to Ted Williams, the other major problem in Mendocino county is the bad hiring practices. and I also said that I am not the only one that feels that way. It is well know among county employees how crooked the hiring process has become.

    Seems like they thought it could work the same way for their selection of Mr. M.

    “look at the 2022-2023 Grand Jury Report, Accountability at the County, link here, and give me feedback. They stated the County has “major culture problems”, “unethical ways of candidate selection-they value ease/quickness of training over quality”. “The attitudes and ways employees disrespect their bosses is crazy (especially compared to stricter/more polished counties like Sonoma/Napa). Bad and lazy work gets “rewarded” — they make good employees do the hardest/most work to get quality work and avoid dealing with problem employees”. “

    • Marmon July 28, 2023

      “Bad and lazy work gets “rewarded” — they make good employees do the hardest/most work to get quality work and avoid dealing with problem employees”.

      It’s been that way forever, especially at CPS. 10% of the employees do 90% of the work, and management is okay with that.


    • Marmon July 28, 2023

      I blame their “Grow our own Social Workers” hiring policy. What can you expect to get out of someone who probably only received a high school diploma and/or taking classes at the Community College. I don’t know what they’re going to do now that the State will not waive their staffing requirements moving forward. The State requires that 50% of the Social Workers are MSW’s


        • Marmon July 28, 2023

          The County needs to go back to Merit Services System in regards to hiring at Social Services. When Carmel dumped MSS she totally messed up. Management did not like bringing in trained, experienced Master level social workers like myself because we “didn’t understand the Mendocino County way”. I can’t even recall how many times I was told, that’s not the way we do it here”, but it was a lot. Until the County decides that the “Mendocino Way” is the problem, nothing will improve.


          • Marmon July 28, 2023

            Even though I was born and raised in Mendocino County, I thank God I wasn’t a Mendocino County “grow our own Social Worker”. I worked in numerous counties such as Sacramento, Placer, Lake, and Del Norte Counties before transferring through MSS back to my hometown of Ukiah. I took a look around me to see which the wind blow.

    • Ted Williams July 28, 2023

      “the other major problem in Mendocino county is the bad hiring practices”

      We agree. Some of the best applicants are turned away. Some of the best applicants will have other jobs by the time the county responds months later. Some applicants who do make it through cost the county beyond belief. I’ve sponsored at least two items to begin modernizing hiring. County government is a composite of hard-working, true public servants mixed with outdated and inefficient processes of the past century.

      We need market wages, but it can’t happen without market performance.

      • George Hollister July 28, 2023

        The county work environment is toxic. The first thing to do is recognize the problem, and the role the BOS has played in fostering that, for a quite while. Few departments have gone unscathed. Improving hiring practices begins with hiring qualified department heads, capable of dealing with the toxic work environment problem, and support them. Just firing under “performing employees”, that a toxic work environment inherently attracts, doesn’t fix the problem.

        • Ted Williams July 28, 2023

          point for George

      • Rye N Flint July 28, 2023

        I agree that the hiring process is flawed. I have a Degree in Soil Science, and have to have select classes approved by CA State Department of Public health to even qualify for the position of EHS1. It took 4 months for Mendo County to hire me. And when I was hired, most everyone in Planning and Building starting positions (aka Planner 1) was paid more than me by thousands of dollars per year, and some didn’t even have college degrees. That’s not how you make qualified workers feel valued. I did a survey of surrounding counties. We have one of the lowest paid Environmental Health Departments, only slightly above Trinity and Lake Counties, which were the 2 lowest. Yet, I saw PnB flourshing with long term planners that were happy to stick around and take higher management positions. I wonder why certain departments were rewarded and functioned smoothly compared to others? Priorities from above? (see other post below)

        • Ted Williams July 28, 2023

          There is nothing strategic about below market wages. I’m with George on it not being all about money. Culture and working conditions are also critical.

  4. Rye N Flint July 28, 2023

    RE: Acknowledgement

    Ted never admitted that I was right about Mendo being to late in their “support” of the cannabis industry. Only after the BOS blew it so hard the State had to step in to help, did they realize that the tax base was leaving the county and they would have to do a CEQA review that everyone told them to do in the first place. Oh, preserving the well known cannabis legacy was too expensive. Aug 8th, 2022 they finally started to promote this well know legacy. To summarize my statement again, “Too little, too late”. Still having debates about exclusion zones when they should be talking about how to promote cannabis tourism.

    I still have some hope, as rumor has it a Sonoma County Cannabis company has bought the Solar Living Center in Hopland. Well Halelu- Jah!

    • Ted Williams July 28, 2023

      The historical value of cannabis was based on the risk of incarceration. The war on drugs was a subsidy. California voters ended the subsidy in 2016. The county blundered by assuming it could empire build based on cannabis taxes, factoring in the pre-legalization value. Long term, in a legal market, marginal revenue-marginal cost will apply.

      Some small boutique cultivators will find a niche and do well, but many will struggle against the price war as supply exceeds demand. Interstate commerce will open markets, but long term, the high cost of energy, labor, land and water combined with onerous regulation will give the benefit to other states.

      I’m not against cultivation, but I find it ludicrous as a long term road-paving solution. Tax and regulate any other ag business with these set of rules and …

      • peter boudoures July 28, 2023

        Exactly. Should have been treated as any other crop. Thanks for voting against another exclusion zone. I purchased ag land in lake county after consulting with the county and being given the go ahead to cultivate 4 acres of outdoor on the 40 acres parcel. The next week the bos voted and passed an exclusion zone around highland springs road. Tucked my tail and took off after the sheriff stopped by for a visit. Back to good old mendo.

      • Rye N Flint July 28, 2023

        What year was medical cannabis made legal (prop 215)?

        What year was all cannabis made legal (prop 64)?

        The County blundered by continuing arcane code enforcement actions to generate revenue, mainly for the Planning and Building department, And focusing on cannabis growers, following tips from NIMBY neighbors. Illegal fence jumping and trespassing was still going on until 2020. Yet I bet your code enforcement officers still haven’t been required to take a basic inspector training or test for building code knowledge. Just a bunch of angry pitbulls sent to siphon money from cannabis growers.

        MY OPINION is that the State and local government saw cannabis legalization as a big giant honeypot of money that every agency tried to reach their bear paws into, like Whinny the poo bear, all the honey was quickly drained and too many paws blocked the entrance to the honey pot, so it couldn’t be refilled. If you are into the whole metaphor thing. The overwhelming permit fees from so many departments stifled the desire to become permitted grows, so then you still had all these “illegal” grows that you could continue to generate PnB funds with. They saw the train wreck coming and did nothing to stop it. In fact I remember something about a 10% rule getting crammed down everyone’s throat in direct opposition to the voices of the voters. Opposite of helpful to the existing legacy growers in this county. Many people left for those reasons. Hence the new drop in county revenue that many are posting about on these forums.

        • Ted Williams July 28, 2023

          Some from the cannabis community fought against discretionary use permits. This was actually the key differentiator because a use permit meets site-specific CEQA as required for a STATE license. Number two in “what destroyed the cannabis industry in Mendocino County?” is the cultivator-argued ministerial permit. Number one, legalization.

      • peter boudoures July 28, 2023

        PO BOX 213
        PHILO, CA 95466
        Subject: Notice of Application De-Prioritization
        On May 17, 2022, the County of Mendocino Board of Supervisors directed staff to prioritize the processing of applications that have active the Department of Cannabis Control licenses and have paid any associated local cannabis business tax.
        This notice is to inform you that the application you submitted to the County of Mendocino Cannabis Department has been de-prioritized. Your de-prioritized application will not be assigned to staff for review until all of the following issues, which are identified with a red X, have been remedied:
        Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) – Active State License
        For questions regarding your DCC license or a pending application please contact:
        To submit a license application to DCC for review, please visit:
        County of Mendocino Treasurer Tax Collector (TTC) – Local Commercial Cannabis Business Tax Status
        Per the delinquent tax roll provided by the TTC, you have failed to pay commercial cannabis business taxes for the following year(s):
        ☐ 2018 ☐ 2019 ☐ 2020 X 2021
        X MCD staff were unable to verify that there is an active state license or a pending

        Kinda hard to find a niche when you’ve had a state license since 2019 but mendo can’t find it.


  5. Marshall Newman July 28, 2023

    Jane Person. The writer and – later – the editor get the last word. Always.

    End of discussion.

    Now please get over it.

  6. Rye N Flint July 28, 2023

    Re: Lobbyists

    Lobbying is nothing more than legalized bribery. Why does money count as “Free speech”? Free Speech is a right of individual persons, not a corporation or group of people that have far more power and money than an individual. All this corrupt system does is clog the ears of our supposed public servants at best, and create a drive for politicians to get elected for the pay grade at worst.

    Can we stop this corruption of our representatives on Government?

  7. Rye N Flint July 28, 2023

    Wait… What? So they don’t need all that space, because instead of hiring local workers, they hired out-of-county contractors? They moved the dept to Willits because they needed space for “contract planners” that they now say are working off-site. I thought they were county employees in the WiIlits Cannabis dept. Transparency? huh?

    “The Mendocino Cannabis Department is pleased to announce the resumption of operations at 860 N. Bush Street, Ukiah, by September 1, 2023. Interim Cannabis Director Steve Dunnicliff made this announcement recently, highlighting the department’s commitment to providing efficient services. The Cannabis Department had moved to the Willits Justice Center to accommodate growing staffing needs, and to ensure space was available for contract planners assisting with a backlog of applications. These contract planners are now working successfully off-site, and do not rely on County office space.”

    • Ted Williams July 28, 2023

      There wasn’t a local labor pool of qualified planners.

      The county is focused on reducing office space.

      • Rye N Flint July 28, 2023

        And we are supposed to believe there are no local qualified cannabis planners?

        • Ted Williams July 28, 2023

          For a one-time project, to perform site-specific CEQA review, hiring planners to work for less than they can make in private industry, while avoid conflicts of interest, outside contract made more sense. With the State’s cooperation on reworking the environmental review for legacy, fewer personnel in the department will be needed in the long term.

          • Rye N Flint July 29, 2023

            So do you want to “treat it like any other Ag crop” or “treat it as a planning issue”? I’m confused now.

            • Adam Gaska July 29, 2023

              Conversions to Ag production require site analysis and are subject to planning requirements. It’s a big reason that the permitting is taking a long time. In most cases, it would be easier for growers to move out of the hills onto land already permitted for agriculture. There would still be an analysis but most of the requirements would be met and the boxes checked. In most cases, getting a parcel out in the bushes up to compliance won’t be economically feasible.

              • Rye N Flint July 29, 2023

                I’m waiting for them hill farmers to “come in from out in the cold”. As a soil scientist, I would love to see it treated as an agriculture crop. Because it is… A planning system could be modeled after the cut flower industry, which it closely resembles.

                An interesting note about cannabis, is that is does have 2 forms. Hemp fiber and THC flowers. Historically, in it’s native growing region of India, the best hemp fiber has been grown in fertile flat river valleys, (hence Ganja is named after the Ganges River), and THC flower has been grown in the Kush Mountains. Very similar to wine, wine growers realized that the highest quality wine was made from vines that were slightly stressed by growing in thin calcium rich soils in the hills, but mass production lower quality wine is grown in river valleys. There’s our old conundrum again. Quality VS Quantity. It is an equation ever present in the cannabis industry. How is Salinas valley and Santa Barbara liking their massive greenhouse grows now? I hear they are having serious quality control issues, to no one’s surprise. Maybe little Mendo does still stand a chance against the big boys. Food, fiber, and fuel for thought.

  8. Disappointed July 28, 2023

    “The attitudes and ways employees disrespect their bosses is crazy (especially compared to stricter/more polished counties like Sonoma/Napa). Bad and lazy work gets “rewarded” — they make good employees do the hardest/most work to get quality work and avoid dealing with problem employees”.

    And this is why some public members do not support raises. Employees who disrespect their bosses and create an atmosphere of fear so they can continue not doing what they were hired to do and collect their pay while making everyone else miserable. BS. And management that allows this to happen, not supporting their supervisors, well its a s%&* show. The county is broken, has been since 2008 maybe longer, but it certainly got super bad under Angelo. Good employees get used up and tossed aside as the bad ones are favored and promoted. The county would be truly sunk if all those abused employees got a class action lawsuit going.

    But nothing will change, never does, we never learn, we keep electing the wrong people, the right people are smart enough to not run and the public largely ignores what is going on which is the plan any way. Depressing.

    • Ted Williams July 28, 2023

      “Good employees get used up and tossed aside as the bad ones are favored and promoted.”


    • chuck dunbar July 28, 2023

      Disappointed, I believe you assert wrongly that it was “Employees who disrespect(ed) their bosses and create(d) an atmosphere of fear” among County staff. My experience, at least in Child Welfare Services at the County, was the reverse. It was generally bosses with power who disrespected committed and hard-working line staff and thus “created “an atmosphere of fear” among staff. It was not every boss, but it was too many of them, especially at the higher levels. You are right that it became “super bad under Angelo.” But it was caused by a general sense that leadership could treat line staff badly during her reign. This was reinforced by County Counsel and Human Resources, in my view. There was a nasty power dynamic that undermined County services during her time in power. It is good she is gone.

      • Ted Williams July 28, 2023

        Chuck, it’s probably both. With over a thousand employees, you’ll find unfortunate dynamics in all directions.

        The other day, Lee Edmundson voiced disappointment that none of us are digging deep enough. Personnel matters are confidential. I can discuss in the abstract, but I can’t speak specifics without risking public money.

        We have a CEO who is taking this head on. She’s been supported by her board. The cleanup will take time, but I see it progressing at a swift pace.

        • chuck dunbar July 28, 2023

          Ted, the power dynamic lies with those who have more power, and that is clearly management staff. I find it hard to believe that underlings have much power over those management staff above them, especially in our county. The vast majority of misuse of power dynamics by staff toward other staff flows downward. Yes, personnel matters are confidential, but from my experience as a social worker supervisor and an SEIU member and steward, those with advanced rank were the ones abusing their authority and maltreating lower level staff.

          • Ted Williams July 28, 2023

            My cell is 707 937 3500.

            I follow up on all complaints. There are power dynamics and bad management in all organizations of this size. It’s a matter of how we address.

  9. Rye N Flint July 28, 2023

    I would love to hear feedback from the community about what services and industry they would like to see in our County. – Solar Farms, bike trails, hiking trailheads, (Tourism like Bend, OR and Boulder,CO), cannabis tours, and a plastic or lithium recycling facility.

    What does the future look like for you and your family in our County? – Bleak. 2 adults with Full time jobs, expensive housing, no amphitheater, no University for our child to attend, lots of tweakers and thieves, and retiree care service industries.

    Are you planning on leaving the County, if so why? Yes, because Sonoma county pays way more for the same position. AND… Mendocino county wants you to work 3 people’s jobs for 70% of the pay.

    What type of legacy is the current BOS leaving for our County? Total lack of transparency and understaffed departments unable to perform their duties.

    • Ted Williams July 28, 2023

      If you have a better option, you should take it. That’s how markets work. Don’t do 3 jobs for 70% of the pay.

      House prices are not set by local government, but are the result of building regulation (state), labor, materials and interest rates. The county’s influence is in supply/demand of land. It’s not clear the population wants growth. People want housing for their friends in need, but they tend to not want development, at least not where they live. There is no action the county board of supervisors can take to immediately lower housing costs. We can’t tax most of the people to provide housing for most of the people.

      March 1, 2022:

      June 20, 2023:

      “Total lack of transparency and understaffed departments unable to perform their duties.”

      I’ll argue 1170 employees (plus extra help) is not understaffed.

      • Rye N Flint July 28, 2023

        1- I never said housing prices were set by local government, nor did I imply that they are. I was simply answering Carrie Shattuck’s questions at the end of her “Dear Editor” post. Everyone knows that property values had become overinflated due to the illegal cannabis industry. This is why we wanted local government to ban water trucks, because they allowed relatively useless properties to be overvalued as “good remote underground grows” that were also damaging to the environment and the local roads (public and private).

        2- “It’s not clear the population wants growth.” Yes I know. That is why I keep suggesting we never got a university here. This also why I posted 3 links to information on “smart growth” instead of the stupid policy of “No growth” based on unclear assumptions.

        3- “I’ll argue 1170 employees (plus extra help) is not understaffed.”
        Well, I wasn’t arguing about how many people were staffed. I was stating the large amount of vacancies and closed positions that the Union filed charges over starting a year ago. Have you already forgotten?

        • Ted Williams July 28, 2023

          1) Banning water trucks to regulate real estate prices is government overreach. Cannabis cultivation is a form of agriculture. Agriculture experiences boom and bust cycles. Legalization was a catalyst for a commodity cannabis bust and an opportunity for players with product differentiation. The mistake was in treating it differently than other ag.

          2) With a warming climate (Phoenix hitting 118 degrees), its foreseeable Mendocino County will be inundated with migrating climate refugees in the decades to come. Either the county plans for smart growth or we’ll be told the plan.

          3) What’s the actual impact of “unfair labor practice charges”? There’s a theory that the county is hiding money by keeping positions on the books that are unlikely to be filled. Reality check, if these positions were actually filled, the county wouldn’t have funds to make the respective payroll. The high percentage of unfilled positions doesn’t mean the county is understaffed. It means the process of creating a position is so bureaucratic that department heads have asked to keep positions open just in case. It’s not the best practice, I’ve asked for most of these to be closed out, but it’s also just an irrelevant label.

          PS, if money is hidden, would you help us find it?

          • Rye N Flint July 28, 2023

            more conjecture and assumption on the part of our public “servant”

            Supposed Govt overreach from supposed situations, from a govt official.

            • Ted Williams July 28, 2023

              July 18, 2023 board communication:

              Dear Community Allies,

              All the work you have done, all the fighting we have endured has finally paid off. I have just had my first experience with the revamped Cannabis Department and I am singing their praises!!! Hallelujah!!!. I specifically am grateful for Senior Planner Matt Goines. He has an exceptional attitude and powerful problem solving skills!! Finally, we have a person who can take the lead and is smart and clear enough to secure the future of our small farmers. You have all created a perfect formula for success. For years now the Cannabis department has been a scary, unfriendly, negative, punitive, neglectful, unorganized, and divisive hand of government in our county bureaucracy system. For years all of us have complained about the pain we constantly endure not being able to get our local permit and the unnecessary hoops and extra work and money we have had to pay to try and make it through the gauntlet.

              Well, let me tell you what people!! A new day has dawn!! I feel safe, I feel heard, I feel cared about, and most importantly, my problem was solved!!! There is a new energy in town and it actually wants us to succeed. I feel hopeful for our future for all our cannabis farmers to now get a local license and become a small legal craft cannabis farmer. Now possibly we can create a branding for our excellence together. We are Mendocino Grown and we stand for integrity and quality. It makes sense that our local government loves us and wants us to make money to pay our taxes and help create the abundant atmosphere we once had here.

              I am also humming up some happy tunes for our contract agency. Matt was also interested in my feedback. Wow, incredible!

              The magic is real and alive in Mendocino County!! We turned it around together and thank you all who helped us make this a healthy community resource relationship. Let’s show the world what we really have now!! The best cannabis on the planet!! Go Craft or go home!!! We have THE best story of a little county that could if you ask me. It shows all the best parts of loving your land and people and water and our sweet small but mighty ways.

              Good Work Team Mendo!!

              Traci Pellar

    • Carrie Shattuck July 28, 2023

      Thank you for your feedback! Great ideas. Regarding the recycling facility, I did a tour today of the C&S Waste Solutions facility. They are doing a great job, glass is recycled in this state but unfortunately, we are still shipping our plastic (and paper) recycling to Asia. It’s unfortunate with all of California’s environmental regulations that one could probably not be built, yet we polute other countries as well as ship it across the planet and back.

      Another peeve of mine is that we still have landfills. Why not incinerate it and use it for electricity like Alaska? California has regulated itself right out of business.

      Sorry to hear we may lose more residents and a future generation due to the lack of growth in our County.

      • Ted Williams July 28, 2023

        All good points on so-called “recycling”.

  10. Bob A. July 28, 2023

    Ted: “I’ll argue 1170 employees (plus extra help) is not understaffed.”

    Me: “Alex, I’ll take vacuous arguments for $500.”

    • Ted Williams July 28, 2023

      p → q

      • Bob A. July 28, 2023

        OK, you’ve stated a conditional implication as in “if it’s p then it must be q“, but what are your p and q?

        All kidding aside, you’ve written that you have an argument that at 1170 employees the county is not understaffed. Could you break down for us the sufficiently staffed departments and give your reasons why?

        • Ted Williams July 28, 2023

          The County has ~$10M greater annual expenses than revenue. Non-labor expenses are utility bills and asphalt. Labor is actually THE big line item.

          Our job is not to hire according to desire, but rather, scope according to means, public safety first.

          If the county revenue is fully allocated, essentially for labor, we’re fully staffed. If wages are too low, we’ve cut the pie to many ways.

          • Bob A. July 28, 2023

            So, if I am parsing your response correctly, what you really meant to say is, “regardless of whether or not staffing levels are sufficient, we cannot afford to increase them let alone maintain them at current levels.” Am I understanding you?

            • Ted Williams July 28, 2023

              The county can afford about 900 market rate positions.

              It has 1170 today.

              Some want us to hire another few hundred. That’s a fine desire, but we can afford 900 market rate positions.

              Some want raises to market. That’s a good idea. We can afford that at about 900 positions.

              • Carrie Shattuck July 28, 2023

                Without an HR Director we will continue in the current cycle. The County MAY be able to function with less employees IF they have proper management and direction, which is non-existent at the present. So what’s the plan there?

                • Ted Williams July 28, 2023

                  “Without an HR Director we will continue in the current cycle.”

                  How so? What would an HR director do exactly to remedy the 1170 vs 900 situation?

                  • Carrie Shattuck July 28, 2023

                    My comment ended up farther down in the comments.

              • Bob A. July 28, 2023

                Is there a breakdown of headcount by department that the public can access? How about budgeted headcount vs. actual? Salary ranges by job role? Do you have access to this data? Could you share it?

                Trying to search the county website for budget information returns the ubiquitous 404.

                I could wax sarcastic, but the dysfunction of our county government and its consequences have killed any scintilla of pleasure I might have experienced.

  11. Rye N Flint July 28, 2023

    WOW! There is a city in Pennsylvania called “King of Prussia”?

    • Dick Whetstone July 28, 2023

      My family moved into the first housing development in King of Prussia in 1952 when it was nothing but a post office and a 200 year old inn at a crossroads near Valley Forge. It was farmers fields as far as I could see. Within a couple of years, they built the Pennsylvania Turnpike through our back yard and connected it to the Schuylkill Expressway to downtown Philadelphia. It didn’t take too long to pave the area over and build the worlds largest (at the time) mall.

      • Rye N Flint July 29, 2023

        That’s one way to deal with a bypass… ;)

  12. Exasperated Maxine July 28, 2023

    Bruce, has the comment section been hijacked?

    • Ted Williams July 28, 2023

      politically commandeered

      • Exasperated Maxine July 28, 2023

        Proud of that, are we?

      • Stephen Rosenthal July 28, 2023


  13. Carrie Shattuck July 28, 2023

    As the HR Director job description states, on the County’s website, for Duties and Essential job functions (1 of 18): “Carry out supervisory/managerial responsibility in accordance with policies, procedures, and applicable laws including: interviewing, hiring and training, planning, assigning and directing work; establishing deadlines; appraising performance; rewarding and disciplining employees; addressing complaints and resolving problems.

    These are vital functions for an employer with 1,170 employees.

    It’s concerning that you are not aware of how important a healthy HR department is.

    • Ted Williams July 28, 2023

      The line item tasks are vital, but I’m not convinced the HR Director role is the best structure to achieve results.

      While HR directors play a crucial role in managing human resources at a strategic level within organizations, they might lack the specific domain knowledge required to effectively interview, hire, train, establish deadlines, and appraise performance.

      Public Health (as an example, since I just got off the phone with Dr Coren) encompasses a diverse array of specialties, such as epidemiology, health education, policy analysis, and environmental health, each with its unique demands and qualifications. Hiring decisions for specialized roles might benefit from involving subject matter experts who possess a deep understanding of the skills and expertise needed. Additionally, training and performance appraisal programs should be tailored to the specific requirements of various public health positions to ensure the highest level of efficiency and effectiveness. While HR directors bring essential general expertise to the table, collaborating with domain experts can optimize the overall recruitment, development, and evaluation processes for public health employees. The same goes for other departments. The lack of HR director isn’t great, but I expect many of these functions to be performed by department heads.

      • Carrie Shattuck July 29, 2023

        True, but what if the department head is the problem, who deals with that? Department heads are not being evaluated by employees. The department head issues are ending up at the BOS instead of at the HR Director. This is causing the decades of dysfunction with County employees work ethic, satisfaction and retention. Knowledge that is vital in departments, such as the Treasurer/Tax Collector office, leave because there is no one to turn to with their issues. How can you fix the culture of the County without someone to do it? It’s a huge problem that keeps being ignored.

        • Carrie Shattuck July 29, 2023

          Ignored again….

  14. Jim Armstrong July 28, 2023

    68 comments and counting. Whew.
    Still tickets available for Taylor Swift for today and tomorrow. About $1000 each +/-.

  15. Sarah Kennedy Owen July 28, 2023

    I hate to sound like a broken record, but Mendocino County does have a university, two actually, Mendocino College offers a BA through Sonoma State, and Dharma Realm Buddhist University is an accredited university that offers master’s degrees as well. We in Mendo also have access to Dominican College, which offers teaching credentials and other postgraduate degrees locally. I received my teaching certificate through Dominican. Mendocino College is a beautifully appointed campus with lots of opportunities. DRBU is also a completely upgraded facility on extensively landscaped grounds, beautiful buildings and a protective atmosphere. Professors are academically prepared to teach up to a master’s degree, and there are many programs that offer extracurricular opportunities for students. Mendocino County may be a poor county but we have many, many blessings.

    • Ted Williams July 28, 2023

      Mendocino College has a good program. Both of my kids attended before transferring to UCB. The professors and delivery methods were outstanding.

    • Rye N Flint July 29, 2023

      Sorry I had no idea you could get a BA from Mendo college. But it sounds like you are saying it’s extremely limited and technically is an extension of Sonoma state University. Can you imagine all the parents that would love to visit their kids at a university in Wine and Weed country and spend money here? Notice I said University?

      Words have definitions for a reason.

      College: “In 1907, the California State Legislature, seeing a benefit to society in education beyond high school but realizing the load could not be carried by existing colleges, authorized the state’s high schools to create “junior colleges” to offer what were termed “postgraduate courses of study” similar to the courses offered in just the first two years of university studies.[5]”

      University: “The California State University (Cal State or CSU) is a public university system in California, and the largest public university system in the world. Established in 1960 as part of the California Master Plan for Higher Education, the CSU system has its roots in the California State Normal Schools that were chartered in 1857.[5] It holds the distinction of being the leading producer of bachelor’s degrees in the country,[5] with over 110,000 graduates each year. Additionally, the CSU system contributes to the state’s economy by sustaining more than 209,000 jobs.”

  16. Suzy July 29, 2023

    Kudos to Supervisor Williams for responding to constituents directly. Wouldn’t it be great if all 5 supervisors were as willing and able to provide answers and correct inaccurate assumptions and statements promulgated by this bitchfest ‘newspaper’

    • Rye N Flint July 29, 2023

      Fanning those flames… and doing a great job at it…

    • Bruce Anderson July 29, 2023

      Madam, please. If it weren’t for this ‘bitchfest’ newspaper Mendo would exist in total darkness.

      • Rye N Flint July 29, 2023


  17. Karen Bowers August 2, 2023

    Healthy exchanges are worth reading.

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