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Mendocino County Today: Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2023

Sunny | Yorkville Social | Gary Miller | Hospital Strategy | Cubbison Interview | Dave's Blues | Busy Carrie | School Names | Worst Garden | Ed Notes | Mendocino Afterglow | Yesterday's Catch | Asian Hell | Bosa Staredown | Janis Joplin | Cancel Burning | All Alone | Tree House | Crow Poem | Bonnie 77 | End-Stage Logging | Crowned Queen | Arrogant Stupidity | World Contracted | Dollar Flow | No Party | Poor People | Access Journalism | Moderate Drinking | Ukraine | Deek

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DRY and near normal conditions are expected into the weekend, with temperatures trending a bit warmer during the weekend. (NWS)

STEPHEN DUNLAP (Fort Bragg): A cooler 51F under clear skies this Tuesday morning on the coast. Mostly clear skies with some patchy fog this week. Temps might rise a little over the weekend.

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(click to enlarge)

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Gary Michael Miller, 78 of Boonville, died in Ukiah on Thursday August 24, 2023 following a long decline.

Born September 11, 1945 in Hollywood, CA, Gary was a talented athlete in his youth, excelling in baseball and track.

He was the father of Nora Keating, former husband of Lauren Keating and longtime waiter extraordinaire at Lauren’s Restaurant in Boonville. His skill at his job, generous hospitality and dapper style of dress were appreciated by many. Gary particularly loved teachers and often provided them with complimentary drinks at the restaurant (unbeknownst to Lauren!)

His was a life with its share of struggles, but also its share of humor, intelligence, and generosity of spirit. Rest in peace.

Gary Miller (photo provided by Burt Cohen, Keith Richards and Rolling Stone Magazine)

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Jade Tippett Writes: “Had a conversation over the weekend with Mendocino Coast Health Care District Vice-President Paul Katzeff, in which Katzeff advocated closing what is now Adventist Health Mendocino Coast Hospital as a strategy for preserving the character of the Mendocino Coast. It gets worse. According to Katzeff, the climate crisis will result in an influx of “millionaires” on the coast who will drive the local people out. According to Katzeff, closing the hospital would make the Mendocino Coast less attractive to rich people, preserving the existing character of the Coast. When I pointed out that closing the hospital would make expendable people on the Coast who could least afford it, and result in unnecessary deaths of people who need immediate surgical intervention in trauma cases, Katzeff suggested that 100 unnecessary deaths — his number! — would be an acceptable cost to preventing people from being driven out by an influx of the rich. I pointed out that even if they were driven out, they would still be alive. A point he conceded. My final response to Katzeff was that we have a moral responsibility to not make other people's lives expendable.

”On reflection, my first reaction to Katzeff's assertion was to simply be stunned. Closing the hospital to preserve the Coastal community seems so contradictory that it borders on lunacy. Given Katzeff's faith and given the history of the Shoah, I am still horrified that he would advocate for — and put an “acceptable” number on — the unnecessary deaths that would be caused by his proposal. In hindsight, I now understand Katzeff's harassment and demands that I stop performing the duties of Treasurer while I was on the Board: paying bills, filing reports, investigating and reporting to the Board the financial complexities the District is facing, etc. Katzeff clearly wanted — still wants? — the District to collapse and the hospital to follow.”

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by Mike Geniella

Chamise Cubbison, Mendocino County’s embattled chief accounting officer, typically shies from public posturing, choosing only to appear at Board of Supervisors meetings to formally defend her office’s functions.

Chamise Cubbison

Cubbison, however, shed her public reticence over the Labor Day weekend, and during a rare interview accused some county supervisors of playing backroom politics, and failing to place their demands for updated fiscal information on a CEO office staffed with several more budget analysts than Auditor-Controller has.

Cubbison said the reality is that “county departments are asked to provide the CEO quarterly annual projections, which likely provides most of information they seek. That information is not shared with our office, but rather with the CEO, who determines what information goes to the board.”

Cubbison said some board members are deliberately trying to create a perception of chaos surrounding delayed financial reports from a newly combined office of Auditor-Controller/Treasurer-Tax Collector to further their quest to create a county Department of Finance under the county supervisors’ oversight rather than other elected officials.

Cubbison described the enforced merger in late 2021 as an “impulsive’ act by the county board. She accused her board critics, led by Supervisors Ted Williams and Glenn McCourty, of continuing to demand ongoing financial updates from her newly combined office knowing that it does not have the “staff or software configuration in place to produce” them.

She said board members are “unable or unwilling to understand the expected differences” between the county’s budget based financial system, and the county’s annual, comprehensive financial report, which is prepared according to accepted accounting principles.

Cubbison said it is difficult to assess the County’s true financial status, including the actual amount of discretionary general reserves available, until her understaffed office can get caught up from a calamitous forced merger by the Board of Supervisors of the Auditor-Controller and Treasurer-Tax Collector offices.

Cubbison said she believes updated reports soon to be complete will show there is only about $10 million available in the County’s general reserve in the face of a $421 million budget for the current fiscal year.

“There should be concern because that’s nothing really,” said Cubbison.

Now a newly announced state Controller’s Office review of her office’s handling of delayed annual financial statements has sparked more clamor from supervisor Williams who pronounced that it was exactly what the board needs. “Oh, it’s the best news,” Williams declared in an on-line news story published Saturday.

State Controller Malia Cohen confirmed the new review after the County board voted unanimously to seek the state audit. Williams and other supervisors claim the lack of up to date reporting from the County office had created a ‘fiscal crisis.’

Leadership of the County’s largest labor union have joined in, contending that negotiations for a new contract are being hampered because of the delayed financial reports.

“It’s turned into kind of a circular firing squad, with everybody pointing fingers at each other,” union leader Julie Beardsley told KZYX news reporter Sarah Reith in a story published Saturday. 

Cubbison said the focus on her office is unfair, and that there are many factors involved in the complicated state of County finance reporting.

Her rare interview over the long Labor Day weekend underscored the deepening divide between the veteran County finance employee and board members. It reflects the continuing fallout from County Supervisors’ decision to consolidate the Auditor-Controller/Treasurer-Tax Collector into one.

Veteran County finance officials, including former County Treasurer Shari Schapmire, Auditor Lloyd Weer, the Mendocino County Farm Bureau, and others warned the board a sudden consolidation would disrupt the flow of financial reporting on the local level, and to state and federal agencies. The short staffing and exodus of senior employees in both offices exacerbated the situation.

“What has happened, and where we are now was predicted,” said Cubbison.

Cubbison said Sunday she welcomes the state Controller’s newly announced audit of the County’s financial reporting systems despite the distractions that come with it. State Controller Malia Cohen officially confirmed on Friday the new audit although Cubbison said it has been ongoing since Aug. 11.

“We already are cooperating with the state auditors. We have nothing to fear,” said Cubbison.

Cubbison said she is confident that any impartial outside review will lead to public recognition that it is political meddling by some supervisors who are trying to justify their quest to create a new county Department of Finance controlled by them.

Current strife between the board and the County’s employee union because of contentious new contract talks also is exacerbating the confusing state of County finances, said Cubbison. Labor leaders representing more than 700 County employees are threatening a strike if the County board doesn’t agree to cost of living wage increases this year.

Despite the board’s constant public criticism of her office, Cubbison said “No examples of incorrect or incomplete reporting to the state have been brought to the attention of the Auditor-Controller Treasurer-Tax Collector.”

In fact, said Cubbison, the County’s financial reports that are delivered to the state are reviewed regularly, and that the County office has been cited for ‘Excellence in Financial Reporting’ every year since moving to its current model.

Last year, the Standard & Poor Global Rating Service raised the County’s credit rating, citing its “improved financial position, supported by enhanced financial management policies and practices.”

Since then, however, Supervisors Williams and McGourty keep complaining they can’t get up-to-date financial information to make critical decisions, including pay and benefit talks with County employees.

Williams gleefully called the new state review the “best news,” in a published weekend news story. He declared, “We’ve been begging for an audit for quite some time. There’s a lot of open questions about the County’s record keeping, and inability to report. Taxpayers deserve to know how their money is being spent, and I’m here to help support the state in any way possible.”

Cubbison said Williams’ contentions are bunk.

She said what is really at issue is the board’s apparent lack of understanding of how County financial reporting works.

Cubbison asked why Williams and other supervisors aren’t relying on the seven current budget analysts in the CEO’s office for the information they seek, rather than adding to an already crushing workload in her depleted office.

So far, complaining supervisors have yet to provide examples of reports they seek from any other County in the state despite their insistence her office compile the information they seek.

“Why doesn’t the board ask for the information they seek from their own Chief Executive Officer?,” asked Cubbison.

She said the CEO Darcie Antle has several budget analysts on staff, who are receiving quarterly projections from County departments, which contain budget-related information the supervisors seek.

“That information is not provided to the Auditor-Controller/Treasurer-Tax Collector but rather to the CEO who determines what information is shared with the board,” said Cubbison.

Cubbison said the CEO’s Office has access to the County’s financial system.

“It would likely assist the CEO in providing the best service to the board and the County if her staff learned more about the finances and had a better understanding of the financial reports of the County,” Cubbison asserted.

On her level, Cubbison said reports for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2022, have been delayed due to several reasons but chief among them is the “impulsive consolidation” of the two central County finance offices.

Cubbison said the board acted “with no consultation with the elected officials or the staff of the involved departments, and in spite of opposition from current incumbents, staff, community organizations, and members of the public.”

The repercussions from the board’s rash move lingers, said Cubbison.

Cubbison said the departure of veteran employees and early retirement of the former Auditor-Controller and Treasurer-Tax Collector who opposed the move, along with other key senior employees, “left the remaining offices critically short staffed in the highest positions during already trying times due to lasting impacts from ongoing (Covid) pandemic, finance and property tax system upgrades, and implementations of new government accounting standards."

The fallout is delaying required reporting to state and federal regulators, and the still pending 2022 fiscal year financial report.

Much has been made about a recent public records act request by Moody’s financial rating service for delayed financial reports, raising the possibility in some board members’ minds that the County’s rating is at stake.

Cubbison said in her follow up call with the chief Moody analyst involved, he acknowledged that wording cited in a widely distributed email among County officials had “incorrectly created a heightened sense of concern.”

“I reiterated what had previously been communicated to Moody’s, which was that the County does not prepare draft financial statements and that the County’s outside auditors were presently working to wrap up their audit of the period in question.”

In fact, said Cubbison, she expects to be able to provide the County’s financial report to the rating agency by next week.

“Even with the ongoing 2022 financial audit, a 7-year state controller’s property tax audit, a 4-year state controller’s court revenue audit, and a still pending close to the 2023 fiscal year,” Cubbison said her office is diligently working with the new state audit about the office’s internal controls.

“We are swamped with outside interference, but we are doing our jobs,” said Cubbison.

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Dear Editor,

Hi from Carrie Shattuck, 1st District Supervisor Candidate. These are the events/meetings I attended in July and August. I am a concerned citizen learning, following and speaking up about the direction of our County., 707-489-5178 

  • July 1 Participated in the Black Bart Parade
  • July 3 Meeting by Zoom with County Counsel and Risk Management
  • July 6 Attended launch of Feather Alert
  • July 11 Board of Supervisor meeting
  • July 13 Russian River Water Forum meeting
  • July 15 Volunteered at the Redwood Valley Calpella BBQ fundraiser
  • July 19 Mendocino County Retirement Board meeting; Senior Center Board meeting; Hopland Municipal Advisory Council (HMAC)
  • July 20 Redwood Valley Calpella Water District meeting
  • July 25 Board of Supervisor (BOS) meeting
  • July 26 Behavioral Health meeting
  • July 28 Tour of C&S Waste Solutions facility
  • August 7 LAFCO (Local Area Formation Commission) meeting; Concerned Citizens meeting
  • August 9 RVMAC (Redwood Valley Municipal Advisory Council) meeting
  • August 10 Mendocino County Farm Bureau meeting; Visit Mendocino Board meeting
  • August 14 Mendocino Council of Governments (MCOG) meeting
  • August 16 Mendocino County Retirement Board meeting; HMAC (Hopland Municipal Advisory Council)
  • August 20 Tour of Potter Valley Project with People of Water
  • August 21 Continuum of Care-Homelessness meeting
  • August 22 Meet & Greet at Campaign Headquarters
  • August 26 CRPA (California Rifle Pistol Assoc.) meeting
  • August 28 GGC (General Government Committee) meeting
  • August 29 BOS meeting
  • August 30 Ukiah Valley Basin Groundwater Sustainability Agency; Community Resilience Meeting-Ukiah
  • August 31 Community Resilience Meeting-Redwood Valley

I also call County Departments to ask questions and get information about various programs and updates. Recently I spoke to Janine Miller at Behavioral Health, Becky Emery with Social Services, Rena Ford with the Mental Health Services Agency. I called the City of Ukiah to find out about the recent Appeal that was filed on the new car wash on Talmage. It was filed by a private citizen, Eric Crane, and will be heard at the City Council meeting on Sept. 20th 6:15pm.

Carrie Shattuck


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ANN SIRI: My worst garden ever!!! Weather was wrong all the way. Mid summer it killed all the honey bees. The bumblers had to big a job to get everything done. Then the voles absolutely took over. But, what did o.k. is happening all at once. Day before yesterday bush to jar blue berry huckleberry jam 10 jars. Yesterday, 20 jars prunes and 20 jars of prune jam tree to jar, and 7 jars of apple sauce. Today one small job in the shop, fire wood, and cook down pears for pear sauce. Oh, don't forget the horses some where in there. Getting tired all ready. This is going to be a big work week as well as canning.

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BACK a quarter century there was still something of an environmental movement, and although its Northcoast manifestation was deeply flawed, a few people pointed out that great crimes were being committed against the natural world, Mendo branch, too. No more, and even then the dominant voices tended heavily to lunacy.

GLEN MARTIN put his finger right on the prob in the Earth First! period, say 1980-2000. “It’s hard to tell the good from the bad in this conflict. Even if you accept the environmentalists’ point of view, the people nominally in the wrong usually seem good-humored, competent and reasonable — working men trained in the dangerous and demanding trade of hauling logs off the mountainside.

“And the people viewed as ‘right’ often come across as dogmatic, self-indulgent, dilettantish and bizarre in taste and habits.

“Certainly the average American doesn’t want to see old-growth redwood forests razed. But that same American would probably feel a stronger bond with a Humboldt County logger — a man who pays his taxes, has a couple of beers during Monday night football and spends his weekends fishing — than a vegan Earth First!er huffing a bong-load of Emerald Triangle skunkweed while dancing around a bonfire.” (SF Chronicle, December 6th, 1998.)

A KID who stopped by the AVA after a Headwaters rally years ago summed up her couple of weeks at a Humboldt County Earth First! base camp this way: “The people in charge were even crazier than my parents.” Which is why the movement didn't grow, which is why it never attracted the intelligent young, which is why on the Northcoast it worked almost entirely to the advantage of the extractive corporations it purported to oppose.”

THE NORTHCOAST WATER CONTROL BOARD is self-allegedly zeroing in on vineyards and vineyard runoff to do extensive testing and monitoring. 

MAYBE the board can get out of its Santa Rosa office to eyeball the dying, fish-free rivers and streams of the Northcoast, starting with the Navarro here in the Anderson Valley, again an enslimed turgidity hostile to human and aquatic life. 

WHY? In a word, vineyards, chemical runoff therefrom. Pinot killed our frogs! Some of my fellow nostalgics will recall the millions of tiny frogs frolicking after the first big rains on paved surfaces the length of the Anderson Valley. But each rainy season there were fewer, and now there are none. In fact, if you want to see a frog anywhere in The Valley you've got to hike deep into the hills where their remnant populations are hunkered down. 

THE VINEYARDS spray literal tons of herbicides and pesticides on their grapes to produce a superfluous product. Let me know the next time you see someone at Safeway buying a $40 bottle of Blood of Michoacan. 

IT'S FAIR to mention that there are a few wineries that are honestly organic — Frey and here in Anderson Valley, Handley Cellars, and a few others, but mostly in Mendo we get industrial processes wed to Better Living Through Chemicals. According to the latest (2021) Mendo Crop report, about 29% of the 17,100 acres of grapes in the County are “organic.” (But even the organic growers are allowed to say that tons and tons of mold-prevention sulfur dust is “organic.”)

ADAM GASKA, a Redwood Valley farmer and candidate for 1st District supervisor:

"Wine grapes don’t generally need much in the way of fertilizer, especially nitrogen. Phosphorus and potassium don’t easily leach but can be carried into waterways with eroding soils. Septic tanks are definitely a source of nutrient runoff, especially if they are not maintained. Sediment from roads make a contribution.

Temperature change is also a factor. The warmer it is, the more algae grows. Insufficient riparian barriers contributes by letting in more light.

Ideally we would develop a Total Maximum Daily Load for waterways, do testing at differing points on the mainstem for sediment, nutrient, temperatures, turbidity. When we find a problem area, go upstream to find the offender(s) and fix the problem through mitigation."

AS A GUY who tuned out at Sinatra, all I know about Ms. Swift is that she’s very generous, treats people well, and her staff is very fond of her. I’ve never heard her music, but affection for her seems real and for all the good reasons. As for Metallica, the only clip I ever heard of them struck me as a bunch of yodeling drunks beating on tin garbage cans with feral cats trapped in the cans.

Flag Football Ukiah

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September 4, 1990 - The Mendocino Art Center's Landscape Exhibition, which had been running for the past month in the Nichols Gallery, came to a close. Juried by artist Mary Case Dekker, the exhibition recognized artists who brought fresh perspectives and innovative ideas to the traditional genre of landscape art.

Charles Stevenson and Matt Leach won first place in the landscape competition held during the exhibit. Dekker, clearly captivated by their ambitious and thought-provoking piece, gasped, "Oh, yes!" upon seeing it.

Jacqueline Davidson described this creative work for the Beacon, “A most unusual and provocative concept of the Mendocino landscape is “Mendocino Afterglow" by Charles Stevenson and Matt Leach. The work is a large three-paneled screen depicting the village bathed in late afternoon sun as seen through a multi-paned window. The window frame is grey-shadowed against the light, but a closer look reveals the headlands at nightfall on its surface. All this is painted very forthrightly in acrylics applied flat and matte. The clear definition of site and the ambiguity of time (is it day or night?) and place (are we in looking out or out looking in?) is mystifying and intriguing.”

Artists Matt Leach and Charles Stevenson standing in front of their piece, "Mendocino Afterglow." The pair won the Mendocino Art Center's landscape competition with their collaborative work, “a three-piece panel (three hollow core doors hinged together) study of Mendocino Village seen from the south, across the bay, through the panes of windows in the doors.” (Photographer: Deirdre Lamb)

"Mendocino Afterglow" wasn't the only noteworthy artwork on display during the exhibition. Olga Osipoff from San Francisco received second place for her hauntingly surrealistic piece, "Ocean Beach." Davidson’s description: “It is dusk and the scene is shrouded in gloom. There are several figures on the beach but they seem not to be interacting. It is a moment frozen in time.”

Third place went to Judith Brown from Albion for "The Bog's River." Honorable mentions were awarded to Elk’s Stephen Garner for "Friends in the Fog" and Guerneville’s Thomas Houston for "Untitled" (large tree).

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Mendocino Artists: An Endangered Species 

by Bill Brazill

An homage to Mendocino artists. Mendocino High School photography teacher Bill Brazill invited his students to profile 22 local artists, including Larry Fuentes, Olaf Palm, and Hilda Pertha. A black-and-white photo of each artist is accompanied by a brief biography, and a single color photo showcasing their art. $19.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, Monday, September 4, 2023

Baezpuc, Camargo, Chavan, Degurse

JOAQUIN BAEZPUC, Kent/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

ANTONIO CAMARGO, Ukiah. Kidnapping, false imprisonment.

DESIREE CHAVAN, Willits. Probation violation.

JERRY DEGURSE, Willits. Burglary, paraphernalia, suspended license for DUI, failure to appear, smuggling controlled substance into jail. 

Fuller, Ramirez, Rios, Sotille

GERALD FULLER, Ukiah. Causing a fire of property, vehicle tampering, vandalism.

JESUS RAMIREZ-GALAN, Los Angeles/Ukiah. DUI-alcohol&drugs, marijuana for sale.

MATTHEW RIOS, Victorville/Ukiah. DUI.

NICHOLE SOTILLE-KONEVITCH, Failure to appear, probation revocation.

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JONAH RASKIN: The Asian Art Museum in SF has an exhibit on Asian Hell which seems to differ from European/Christian hell. For one thing in some Asian religions there are helpers who come to the aid of people condemned to hell. I don't know of any such helpers in Christianity. I especially like the shadow puppet from Java. Here he is. I think he's male but I am not positive. I recommend the exhibit. It took me into another world, another time and place.

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by Michael Silver

Nick Bosa and the San Francisco 49ers are engaged in a staredown, albeit a silent one, and as Sunday’s season opener in Pittsburgh approaches, I have some advice for the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

Don’t even think about blinking.

Bosa, heading into the fifth year of his rookie contract, has been holding out for a new deal befitting of his status and leverage.

His status — as a relentlessly driven 25-year-old playing football’s second most-important position, coming off a monster season in which he eclipsed his peers — is supreme.

His leverage? Also supreme.

The 49ers don’t want this smoke. Typically, given the relative brevity of their careers and the vagaries of a collectively bargained system that often seems stacked against them, NFL players struggle in such situations. Bosa’s an outlier: Right now, his bosses need him more than he needs them. That’s because the Niners, coming off two NFC Championship Game appearances and led by an ensemble of well-worn stars, are squarely in win-now mode.

This is not a mystery. It’s what general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan have said is the rationale behind their current roster model. The reason they drafted Trey Lance and later pivoted to Brock Purdy was because they believed a quarterback on a rookie contract would allow them to retain their most important players with premium deals.

Nick Bosa

Bosa is their most important veteran. He’s playing out a deal — artificially deflated, as per the terms of the 2011 CBA that instituted a rookie wage scale — that doesn’t come close to reflecting his value. He’s irreplaceable, and any game the Niners needlessly play without him in 2023 is a disservice to Trent Williams, Deebo Samuel, George Kittle, Kyle Juszczyk, Fred Warner, Arik Armstead and the other well-compensated players who desperately crave a ring and don’t have time to mess around.

It’s possible, in theory, that Bosa is being unreasonable in his demands. It’s more likely that the 49ers, like all NFL teams, are holding firm on their stance because they believe that once it’s time to play games that count, the player will cave.

In fairness, we don’t know exactly what’s happening, or anything close to it. Lynch repeatedly has said that he and Bosa’s agent, Brian Ayrault, have agreed not to discuss details of the negotiation publicly. To their credit, they haven’t — there have been no credible reports, anonymously sourced or otherwise, about what sticking points are preventing a deal from getting done.

We can make a pretty good guess about what one of those issues might be. Hint: It starts with “st,” and it rhymes with “sacks.”

Yes, Bosa wants fat stacks, perhaps fatter than those received by Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald, whose $31.7 million annual salary makes him the league’s highest-paid non-quarterback. If the two sides are fighting merely over a number, they should be able to bridge that divide, especially with Sunday’s kickoff looming.

I suspect that something else could be at play. Specifically, the 49ers’ structuring of contracts — typically including “exercisable option bonuses” that give management until April 1 in a given year to decide if that season’s salary (or a portion thereof) will be fully guaranteed for skill, injury and cap.

Such a device affords the team the ability to peruse the free-agent market for potential replacements before deciding to commit, creating a scenario in which the Niners can release a player well into free agency, when most teams have used up the bulk of their budgets. This was a central issue in Kittle’s staredown with the Niners three years ago, with the tight end ultimately earning a major concession (pushing back each season’s guarantee trigger by an entire year) and landing a five-year, $75 million extension in mid-August.

Would Bosa be willing to miss games over this issue? He should be, because he has the Niners in a tough spot. Without him, they aren’t nearly as formidable. Sure, they added potent ex-Philadelphia defensive tackle Javon Hargrave to a defense that ranked first in the league in 2022, but their edge play beyond Bosa doesn’t look promising.

If Bosa’s not there, the Niners’ starters likely would be Drake Jackson, a 2022 second-round pick coming off a disappointing rookie season, and Clelin Ferrell, a maligned Mike Mayock selection (the Raiders took him fourth overall in 2019) who has 10 career sacks — 8.5 fewer than Bosa had last season. Lynch and Shanahan thought so little of their backups, Kerry Hyder and Austin Bryant, that they were released before last Tuesday’s roster cutdown before being re-signed.

And for those who believe the Niners’ defense won’t endure a big drop-off without Bosa, may I direct you to game video from 2020. Bosa tore his ACL in Week 2 of that season. The Niners, coming off a Super Bowl appearance, went 6-10. That wasn’t all because of Bosa’s absence, but their defense was far less imposing, and it translated to a lost season.

Whatever the remaining issues, the 49ers need to solve them ASAP. If they think Nick will cave, they might have misread his hand.

Remember that Bosa’s big brother, Joey, also represented by Ayrault, successfully stared down the Chargers — twice — during his career. Drafted third overall in 2016, the elder Bosa, locked in a seemingly stupid dispute over offset language, didn’t blink, ultimately signing in late August after securing a larger signing bonus. Four years later, he scored a five-year, $135 million extension that made him the league’s highest-paid defensive player minutes before the deadline to report for training camp.

This is the obligatory paragraph in which I must address the salary cap — the accounting contrivance that causes so many fans to hyperventilate. Yes, there’s a cap. Yes, it’s impossible to pay everyone big money all the time without somewhat of a reckoning down the road. Beyond that, the cap is a myth. It’s an excuse teams use for not paying players they don’t want to pay, and it can be easily finessed and manipulated. Teams trying to win now don’t let the cap stop them from going after it.

Oh, and for you amateur mathematicians: When Bosa signs his new deal, based on the anticipated structure, the Niners’ 2023 cap number will go down.

What needs to go down — immediately — is (to borrow from noted San Franciscans Robert Hunter and Jerry Garcia) this deal. That’s on the Niners, if they’re serious about trying to win in 2023 and beyond.

Sure, they can keep staring down Bosa, hope that he’ll flinch and remind him that they could “control” him via the franchise tag through 2025. That’s under the presumption that he’ll stay silent.

All Bosa has to do is request a trade — or even have someone report that he requested a trade — and this will escalate in a way that does not benefit the team. This is how Samuel ended up getting his current deal last offseason.

And if the Niners, even under that type of pressure, still won’t pay Bosa? There are 31 other teams who’d at least strongly consider making them a trade offer for the ability to hand him those fat stacks.

If Lynch and Shanahan and owner Jed York are sincere about going all-in and trying to maximize this ever-shrinking window, they need to do what it takes to get this contract done, and they need to do it yesterday.

Otherwise, they’re doing it wrong.

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DENIS ROUSE: Good morning. When I lived in Bieber, when we had to go to Reno once in a while, we'd take the southward loop through the vast lonely expanse of the Black Rock Desert, but we avoided it if the Burning Man thing was going on, because the traffic from every direction was madness. Once, in its aftermath, we went to breakfast in Cedarville, a beautiful little ranch town in Surprise Valley as remote as the moon, where the waitress said, “Jesus, those people are like fucking animals, they came in here before we had a chance to clear and clean tables and started eating leftovers on dirty plates.” Who was the French philosopher who said true hell is too many other people? Seventy thousand of them stuck in the mud? My plea to the BLM and the nice people making a fortune by promoting this onslaught on some of the last natural beauty left in the West: Cancel the goddamn thing! Happy Labor Day.

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WE ARE ALL ALONE, born alone, die alone, and—in spite of True Romance magazines—we shall all someday look back on our lives and see that, in spite of our company, we were alone the whole way. I do not say lonely—at least, not all the time—but essentially, and finally, alone. This is what makes your self-respect so important, and I don't see how you can respect yourself if you must look in the hearts and minds of others for your happiness.

— Hunter S. Thompson

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LOTS of us rustics pay close attention to crows. The following poem from the current New Yorker is the best crow poem I've read, although the crow genre isn't all that crowded (sic):


In Japan, in Seattle, In Indonesia—there they were—
each one loud and hungry,
crossing a field, or sitting
above the traffic, or dropping

to the lawn of some temple to sun itself
or walk about on strong legs,
like a landlord. I think
they don’t envy anyone or anything—

not the tiger, not the emperor,
not even the philosopher.
Why should they?
The wind is their friend, the least tree is home.

Nor is melody, they have discovered, necessary.
Nor have they delicate palates;
without hesitation they will eat
anything you can think of—

corn, mice, old hamburgers—
swallowing with such hollering and gusto
no one can tell whether it’s a brag
or a prayer of deepest thanks. At sunrise, when I walk out,

I see them in trees, or on ledges of buildings,
as cheerful as saints, or thieves of the small job
who have been, one more night, successful—
and like all successes, it turns my thoughts to myself.

Should I have led a more simple life?
Have my ambitions been worthy?
Has the wind, for years, been talking to me as well?
Somewhere, among all my thoughts, there is a narrow path.

It’s attractive, but who could follow it?
Slowly the full morning
draws over us its mysterious and lovely equation.
Then, in the branches poling from their dark center,

ever more flexible and bright,
sparks from the sun are bursting and melting on the birds’ wings,
as, indifferent and comfortable,
they lounge, they squabble in the vast, rose-colored light.

— Mary Oliver

* * *

Bonnie Raitt, New Orleans, 1977

* * *


by Ellen Taylor

Recently, AI (Artificial Intelligence), with its access to the entire web library, was asked to make a short film creating a probable encounter between humans and the first aliens to cross the universe to visit. In the resulting plot, as humans prepare to receive them, the US and Russia go to war over which will be the first to greet the aliens. Missiles fly. The aliens, disgusted, turn on their heel and depart, with the remark that Earth is not ready for cosmic engagement, they’ll try again in a few thousand years when a new civilization appears.


Clearly AI was not hopeful about our chances of avoiding suicide by war. And, if its alien visitors had waited a minute longer, their conclusions would have been reconfirmed. Global ecocide too is on target to take us out and, to the aliens, we would be looking even less fit for an introduction to the advanced civilizations of the universe.

What is wrong with humans? AI has not yet answered that question. But the advancing climate catastrophe has freaked out scientists. At the world’s largest scientific gathering, the American Geophysical Union, last December, the cry was “Out of the lab and Into the streets!” Frustrated scientists proposed a strike, claiming that the science-society contract is broken, and they were simply “throwing indisputable facts and studies into the bottomless pit of public inertia and apathy.” They proposed declaring:

“We therefore call for a halt to further IPCC [International Panel on Climate Change] assessments. We call for a moratorium on climate change research until governments are willing to fulfill their responsibilities in good faith and urgently mobilize coordinated action from local to global levels”.

Governments pay no attention. The Biden administration continues to block the lawsuit (Juliana vs. US) of another terrified contingent, children, whose future is being destroyed, with the assertion that there is “no Constitutional guarantee to a stable climate system”.

The relentless removal of the planet’s forests is one of the issues which keep scientists up at night. As the author John Perlin (“A Forest Journey”) demonstrated, ”the scientific world now sees the entire tree: leaves, trunk, roots and the understory-as a mighty geochemical agent, that has drastically changed the landscape and the atmosphere for the betterment of all living things.” These tree systems made the planet livable. Forest fixation of carbon made the atmosphere breathable. Tree roots controlled erosion and created soils, which not only fed animal life, but sequestered an additional 25% of our C02 production. Trees generate 40% of the planet’s rainfall. (

Timber companies employ fear of fire to frighten people into giving up their trees. Now, armed with that argument, plus the attraction of a cheap subsidized alternative to meet their carbon-neutrality commitments, governments are engaging the biomass industry to assault the world’s forests. 

It is incomprehensibly self-destructive behaviors like this which so appall our putative alien visitors, not to mention the scientific community. Unique among “clean energy” alternatives forest biomass combustion actually increases global warming, since it shrinks its own generator. Biomass is not “renewable” in a realistic timeframe. It takes many years for a sapling to sequester the carbon required for machinery to chop down a mature tree. As fuel, biomass releases 1 ½ times more greenhouse gas than coal per unit energy, and many times greater particulate pollution.

Removing biomass doesn’t decrease fire danger. In “Ecological Applications”, an Oregon State University publication, a definitive study reported that “daily fire weather is the most important predictor of fire severity followed by….topography. Estimates of pre-forest-fire biomass were not an important predictor of fire severity.” 

On the other hand, trees slow deadly wind speeds, cool the ground, and retain moisture. In catastrophic fires, the role of litter is negligible.

The woody-biomass industry is driven by profit. This turns the hunt for “feedstock” into another extractive industry, and once the infrastructure in place, demand will become unstoppable.

It is end-stage logging.

Addressing fire danger has nothing to do with profit. As an existential risk for our communities, fire danger must be seriously addressed by science, with attention to successful techniques developed long ago by first nations. As Bill Moomaw of Yale University suggests: “The most effective thing that we can do is to allow trees that are already planted, that are already growing, to continue growing to reach their full ecological potential, to store carbon, and develop a forest that has its full complement of environmental services. Cutting trees to burn them is not a way to get there.”

* * *

* * *


I like how people who have never studied science beyond high school think they know more than people who devoted their whole life to it. We have entered the era of arrogant stupidity, no need to present a theory, then spend years researching and then proving your theory as true. In the modern era a YouTuber, who has spent no time researching and proving their theory as true, says it and people will believe it. Apparently scientists are nothing more than pawns of every government in the world to lie to and fool the people for a middle to middle upper class salary.

* * *


at the small end of an illness
there was a picture
probably Japanese
which filled my eye

an idiotic picture
except it was all I recognized
the wall lived for me in that picture
I clung to it as a fly

— William Carlos Williams

* * *

* * *


by James Kunstler

“The word misinformation literally just means being wrong, and disinformation is lying. That’s all they mean. There’s no extra meaning to them. And so, misinformation is entirely subjective. It’s literally an opinion.” — Michael Schellenberger

If you are shocked and bewildered that totalitarian tyranny creeps through our country without opposition, the reason is simple: there is no official opposition. The capture of government looks nearly complete by a party that lusts to punish its citizens for the pleasure of watching them suffer, while it steals everything they’ve worked for and forecloses their future. At least half the country objects to this. Where is a party that stands for them?

In the natural order of the American system, a Republican Party would have stepped up to check the wretched excesses of a Democratic Party bent on breaking everything that has allowed people to thrive in this land: property law, economic liberty, free speech, now even your physical health. This Labor Day Monday is the last moment in this epic political psychodrama that the Republican Party has an excuse to kick back and do nothing about the parade of insults flung in the nation’s face by persons who believe in nothing, and who will stop at nothing.

These insults lately include especially the perversion of law to harass and hinder political opponents, the prosecution of a foreign war by proxy in a corner of the world where America has no explicable national interest, the deliberate failure to defend the country’s borders against hordes of invaders, the rigging of elections with ballot fraud and hackable machines, the censorship of information of all kinds, and the weaponization of public health authority against the people. These are all campaigns carried out by the Democratic Party.

This fall season will be a dreadful time of testing whether the country can endure any more of this. Congress is back in session this week. Congress is the only place in the federal government where an opposition party has the authority to direct events. Mr. Comer who chairs the House Oversight Committee has assembled enough evidence of bribery and treason for Speaker Kevin McCarthy to commence an impeachment inquiry right away into the conduct of President “Joe Biden.”

I’ve used quotation marks around Mr. Biden’s name since he ascended magically to this office in 2021 because it is obvious that he is only pretending to run the executive branch, and has been since day one on January 20, 2021. His March 5, 2020, Super Tuesday victories, after a drubbing in the Iowa Caucuses (4th place) and New Hampshire primary (5th place), had an odor of supernatural contrivance. His campaign from “the basement” was a joke, and it’s still entirely possible, despite three years of massive gaslighting, that his victory in the 2020 election was a fraud.

I believe the reason “Joe Biden” was installed in the White House was to allow Barack Obama to run the executive branch and all its agencies in secret from his headquarters across town in the DC Kalorama district, and the reason he is allowed to do this is because the Democratic Party has committed so many crimes against the country that a tremendous effort had to be made to cover them up, or else scores of figures in high places could have been subject to investigation and prosecution, including Mr. Obama.

It’s also possible that an impeachment inquiry in the House will lead to evidence of Mr. Obama’s role in the Biden family’s bribery adventures abroad, including the participation in one way or another of high diplomatic officials under Mr. Obama such as US Ambassadors to Ukraine Jeffrey Pyatt and Marie Yovanovitch — as well as their nefarious roles in the first impeachment of Donald Trump. Expect former Secretary of State John Kerry to surface in that mix, too. His stepson, Christopher Heinz was in business for a time with Hunter Biden and Devon Archer during the Burisma caper.

You might hear a lot about the coming fiscal year 2024 spending crisis again starting this week. It must be resolved by the end of the month or the government supposedly runs out of money to pay for all the things that government wastes our money on, from underwriting drag-queen story hours to paying the pensions of retired Ukrainian government officials. Wouldn’t that actually be a fine opportunity for some vigorous de-funding of government activities, such as the DOJ’s special prosecutor operation, Homeland Security’s censorship office, every dollar apportioned to Ukraine, the FBI’s continuing Jan 6 witch-hunt, the Department of Health and Human Services Covid-19 hoodoo, and probably a hundred other trespasses against the public’s sense of decency and good faith?

Or else, isn’t the country ripe for a new party that actually represents the interests of the country? More than a year remains before the 2024 election — if it is even allowed to happen. We can’t go on with no party opposed to the degeneration and destruction of the thing known as the USA. Take this final day-off of the summer to think about that. And think about the emblematic frozen face of Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell, a human deer-in-the-headlights waiting to collide with an implacable force. You are that force.


* * *

* * *

MODERN WESTERN NATIONAL SECURITY JOURNALISM is mostly just writing what a government official tells you to write and then calling it a “scoop” which you got from a nameless “source” in the government.

One of the many, many problems with this system of news reporting is that it gives the government a tremendous amount of leverage over mass media outlets, because if The New York Times or CNN don’t write what a government agency or official wants them to write, they can lose access to that “source” and all the “scoops” that come with it. If The New York Times started doing actual journalism and closely scrutinizing the US intelligence cartel for example, the CIA could just decide that NYT is now off limits and all the insider “scoops” go to different outlets instead. The New York Times would then immediately lose prominence while someone else gains it, and they’d lose all the clicks and subscriptions they were getting from being a consistent source of breaking news on that front.

Which is why that never happens. A symbiotic relationship has been created in which news outlets benefit from powerful sources and powerful sources benefit from uncritical news reporting. The news outlets report what they’re told to report in order to keep their steady supply of “scoops”, and in exchange they get all the money and prestige that goes with it. The government gets uncritical regurgitation of talking points which serve the information interests of the western empire in that moment.

This is access journalism at its most pernicious. Access journalism is destructive enough when it’s a prominent official refusing to give interviews to unsympathetic reporters, but once you’ve got entire government agencies driving the entire news media information sphere by determining who does and does not receive “scoops” on foreign conflicts and international affairs, you’ve got a system of straight up state propaganda.

What is the effective difference between this system and one in which the state owns the media and tells it what to report? In essence, there is no difference.

— Caitlin Johnstone

* * *

DRINKING CAUSES DRINKING. Heavy drinking causes heavy drinking. Light drinking causes light drinking. 

The reason to moderate is to avoid having to quit, thus losing a pleasure that’s been with us forever. 

We don’t have much freedom in this life and it is self-cruelty to lose a piece of what we have because we are unable to control our craving.

In drinking, as in everything else, the path is the way. What you get in life is what you organize for yourself every day. 

There is an ocean of available wisdom from Lao-tzu to Jung to Rilke. It’s there in a preposterous quantity. If you drink way too much it will kill you and the souls of those around you. 

If you moderate you can have a nice life.

— Jim Harrison

* * *


Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Turkey's leader Tayyip Erdogan in Sochi amid efforts to bring Moscow back into the critical Black Sea grain deal, but no major breakthroughs came from the meeting.

The talks came hours after Moscow attacked Ukraine's Danube River ports for the second straight night.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has dismissed Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov, saying the ministry needs "new approaches" as the war enters its 19th month. Rustem Umerov is set to take over.

Ukraine says it is consolidating battlefield gains as officials push back on claims the counteroffensive is moving too slowly.

* * *


  1. Kirk Vodopals September 5, 2023

    The online comment of the day really hits home with all the comments about the “poisoning” of the Navarro River watershed by (only) vineyards. Don’t need to mention weed plantations, leaky septic systems or decades of people just dumping their garbage in riparian areas.
    The Navarro, like most American watersheds, has legions of non-profits, governmental and non-governmental organizations stewing around trying to fix the problems. There is even a Navarro River Watershed Group supported by the Mendocino County Resource Conservation District.
    Most of these organizations are now focused more on water quantity than quality. But my suggestion is to engage them, particularly those organizations and people that are subsidized by your tax dollars. You might find many of your questions answered already. Or you might find new approaches to an existing undiscovered issue.
    Or, like the online comment of the day, you might prefer to just sit there and point fingers without having the slightest clue about that which you speak of.
    There are thousands of struggling watersheds all over the North Coast that don’t have vineyards.

    • gordon van zee September 5, 2023

      To Kirk-You nailed it!

      • Kirk Vodopals September 5, 2023

        Thanks! An even better suggestion is to grab some plastic bottles and catch the first flush this Fall in all the ditches and small drainages that you might be concerned about and take them to Alpha Labs. If you need funding, just ask the Water Board or RCD for some of the thousands of dollars of grant funding they are sitting on. They LOVE “citizen scientists”!

  2. Marshall Newman September 5, 2023

    Ann Siri – agree; very tough garden year. Here in western San Francisco, my lemon cucumber died quickly. First crop of broccoli did well, but the second crop died in a mini-heat wave. Beets produced adequately, but not so carrots. The cherry tomato harvest has been anemic. Saving grace has been lettuce; spotted jaguar and pomegranate crunch produced copiously. Even my wildflowers look woebegone, though a patch of California poppies attracted lots of bumblebees.

  3. Lee Edmundson September 5, 2023

    I have spoken with Paul Katzeff — who I have known for some 40 years — about his idea to close the Coast hospital. His idea includes the prospect of transitioning to ‘stabilization and transfer’ facilities being established throughout the district to provide immediate health care to locals. I have never heard him say that he supports the closing of the central hospital which, according to Jade Tippett’s telling, Katzeff now espouses. This notion — if true — is preposterous. Akin to “we’re destroying this village in order to save it”. In my estimation the hospital Board needs to commit to retrofitting the existing hospital to meet seismic standards and perhaps down-sizing it some, but committing to keeping it open and functioning. The hospital Board needs to focus on hospital needs, not on some other grand-scale demographic/sociological objective of keeping the incoming millionaires at bay. They are already here. As they have been for years, decades. Take a good long look around. See?

    As for Cubbison’s interview: I could not agree with her more. The Board of Supervisors’ (BoS) consolidation of the offices was a half-baked, half-cocked impulse that should have enjoyed public hearings and a white paper report. It was an enthusiastically premature and poorly thought out notion that would (and should) have died in the light of thorough public debate. Pity. Now that we’ve been stuck with it…

    I have advised Supervisor Ted Williams the BoS should rescind the consolidation, as well as eliminating the office of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), and reinstate the office of the Chief Accounting Officer (CAO). I have also advised him the BoS needs to reclaim the office of the Secretary of the Board, which former CEO Angelo looted from the BoS offices during her Mussolini style consolidation of executive power. Whether any of these measures will be adopted remains to be seen. Watch this space.
    Labor Day was very peaceful. Thankfully.

    • Ernie Branscomb September 5, 2023

      Who was it that said “We get the government we deserve”?

      • Stephen Rosenthal September 5, 2023

        Mark Twain

        • Stephen Rosenthal September 5, 2023

          Out of curiosity I did a follow-up google search and confirmed in Bartlett’s. Seems that Mark Twain, among others, used that quote which is initially attributed to Joseph de Maistre, a French philosopher in the 18th century. I remember reading it in one of Twain’s novels or short stories and it stuck with me through the years. However, knowing the nature of government, it wouldn’t surprise me if there was a similar passage in the Bible, or among the writings of the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans.

    • Ted Williams September 5, 2023


      It’s not a hospital board. It’s a healthcare district board, which today is simply a poorly funded landlord.

      “‘stabilization and transfer’ facilities being established throughout the district”

      Does stabilization include imaging, lab, pharmacy, emergency room, … essentially what you have in Fort Bragg sans the revenue-generating outpatient services? How would you fund it if not another tax? Hospitals survive on surgeries and procedures. The long-term fate of the hospital in Fort Bragg depends on how many elect to have surgery at the facility. Secondarily, the payer mix. Healthcare is a reflection of the economy.

      “eliminating the office of the Chief Executive Officer ”

      An executive director at the top of an organization serves several critical functions that contribute to the effective functioning and success of the organization. I don’t see how eliminating the executive provides for the public good.

      • jetfuel September 5, 2023

        Exactly, Ted!
        You have zero credibility in “effective functioning” nor any “success” that your Board of Supervisors can point to.

        On and on your little fires go…Covid, Pot, Hack n Squirt, Water, EMS, consolidation of offices, COLA strike….

        Fortunately the corrupt Caramel Angelo stepped down before legal could get on her.

        Currently you are part of a sad display of Trickle Down Dysfunction.

        There is a County wide Vote of No Confidence in the current Board of Supervisors and the CEO as well as the office of County Council.

        We need to rid our local government of ineptitude and corruption.
        You are not part of the solution therefore you must be part of the problem.

        Start by making and example and follow Gjerdys lead, step down and take Mo with you.

      • Lee Edmundson September 5, 2023

        Eliminating the CEO office and replacing it with a Chief Accounting Officer would kill two birds with one move. Most importantly, it would replace the responsibility for decision making back onto the BoS. Secondly, it would lend oversight of finances — not the current adversity between BoS and Cubbison’s (rashly consolidated) office(s).

        Is it stubbornness or willful ignorance that prevents you from seeing efficacy of these suggested remedies?

        • Eric Sunswheat September 5, 2023

          Unfortunately newly elected first time members of the current County of Mendocino Board of Supervisors, go to Sacramento for orientation of their job responsibilities and oversight duties. Once back, this shallow education may build their egos, and at first impression, mold them vulnerable to be ‘wined and dined’ by local ‘deep pockets’ monied interests, who they may feel beholden to.
          The old school way was to have first time new Supervisors orientation locally in an agenda Board workshop. This gave an opportunity to rub shoulders with constituents of historical lessons learned at the grass roots County level perspective, and gain insight not available in Sacramento on political undercurrents.
          —> CAO County Administrative Officer.

    • Jacob September 5, 2023

      I would caution anyone taking anything Jade says about the hospital or health care district seriously based on what, IMO, was a grossly negligent tenure as board treasurer. This seems like someone trying to distract from his own issues that led him to resign from his position as treasurer and the board itself. I mean, someone who transfered a significant amount of money out of the district’s bank accounts in some scheme to get it back at a higher amount through a program that the district wasn’t even eligible to participate in and which may never be returned to the district is not someone with sound judgment… How are they going to afford to retrofit the hospital if they gave away some of the money to do so?

    • Eric Sunswheat September 5, 2023

      RE: BoS needs to reclaim the office of the Secretary of the Board. — Lee Edmundson
      —>. Correction. office of the Clerk of the Board, which is now held by current County Executive Officer (CEO).

      —> Ted Williams. SEPTEMBER 2, 2023
      The five Supervisors submit agenda summaries. The board Chair and Clerk of the Board author the agenda. I see the text the same time the public gains awareness, at publication, typically the Thursday before the Tuesday meeting. No more than two supervisors collaborate on the text of any single agenda item.

      —> Brown Act multiple years procedural irregularities?
      …Gjerde also said that CEO Darcie Antle failed to follow standard agenda procedures: “I do think it’s unfortunate, because I have a standing request with the CEO that before any budget-cutting items come to the Board, that the CEO personally meet with each of the five supervisors, which is what a city manager would do, and make sure that there are at least three votes.

      —> Now that the hyperbole smoke blowing over County finances and department consolidation is clearing, the ‘elephant in the room’ question that may be looming, is whether the confusion was part and parcel of a deliberate pattern to run out the statute of limitations, on the awarding of improper ‘sweet heart’ contracts in the past by outgoing CEO Carmel Angelo with insufficient oversight.
      This could be involving millions of dollars of County funds, involving ‘serial meeting’ rigged Consent Calendar approval, that each flawed contract under CEO Angelo might have constituted a Brown Act open meeting law violation (which times out) if procedurally known at the time of vote.
      A continuing pattern of misappropriation could rise to the level of malfeasance or worse actionable misbehavior. Perhaps the next ‘audit’ of Mendocino County Board of Supervisors, would be with a local or state impaneled Grand Jury, by a charging agency if so directed by the local District Attorney or State Attorney General office. Mendocino County budget may be at stake.

  4. Adam Gaska September 5, 2023

    Hopefully the audit and the State can help get Mendocino County on the right track straightening out our finances. The board, the Auditor-Controller-Treasurer-Tax Collector, the Assessor, the Executive Office need to work together instead of wasting resources fighting and blaming each other. Retooling the elected office into a Department of Finance with an appointed head that could be recruited for is years away and the situation needs to be addressed now.

    • Bruce Anderson September 5, 2023

      Yup. The adversarial stance taken by Williams has created nothing but bad feeling. Ms. Cubbison is smart and hardworking but has been handed those two ill advised consolidations of different functions which she is valiantly working to reconcile. I can’t remember a more groundless vilification of a Mendo public administrator by a board of supervisors.

    • Call It As I See It September 5, 2023

      You can blame Bowtie Ted for the line in the sand attitude between BOS and Ms. Cubbison.
      He runs to the press to publicly shame her, you see it here on this comment page daily.
      He alone has created this division.

      If you are serious about your run for office, I offer you some advice,
      1- Find out who put D.A. Eyster up to voicing opposition to naming Cubbison Interim Auditor.
      2- Ask Williams for proof on issues of three sets of books and what financial reports he has asked for.
      3- Why does CEO Antle never get asked the same questions they ask Cubbison?
      4- Why is the Assessor 2 years behind on reporting updated values of property? After all this is the first combined office over 20 years ago that has failed. You think this would important since money is an issue. Bowtie thinks this office is running efficiently and never complains about Ms. Bartolomei.
      5- If Bowtie’s Director of Finance is not political, give the exact reasons why it benefits the voters. Simply, why take the decision away from voters when predecessors and informed members of the public were against combining offices.

    • peter boudoures September 5, 2023

      I know you partially answered this but is the state concerned with how much money is spent in any particular area? I don’t imagine them spending more than a few hundred thousand looking at Mendocino county, and i doubt their job is to give financial advise.

      • Eric Sunswheat September 5, 2023

        RE: is the state concerned with how much money is spent in any particular area? I don’t imagine them spending more than a few hundred thousand looking at Mendocino… — Peter Boudoures

        —>. Heresay on MCT blog is that County including Special Districts, keeps 30 percent of assessed property tax, with remainder going to the State. If the County is two years behind in increased assessed value billing, and assessments are for improvements during past four years, anything previous could be lost coin for the State.
        County has past binding contracts, including social services, on receipt of State grant pass thru funding, that required documentation of performance which County may not have thru its Contractors, thus County liability is on hook for millions or ten million in payback. California is motivated. Mendocino County will not be forgotten.

    • Stephen Rosenthal September 5, 2023

      The only thing that needs a Federal and/or State investigation is the current BOS. Follow the money – especially the under-the-table kind.

      • Jim Shields September 5, 2023

        Outstanding report by Mike Geniella on the current fiscal mess that is of Mendocino County’s own making. Once again, County officials have created a problem where there was none, and in the process tied the most convenient fall guy — actually gal — to the whipping post. The 18-month slander campaign mounted against Treasurer-Tax Collector/Auditor-Controller Chamise Cubbison, is as unfair as it is unseemly, and casts a shadow across the landscape of local governing in Mendocino County.
        So now there will be a state audit soon underway in addition to the ongoing but incomplete annual federal audit. Great the more audits the better since the public has been informed that the County keeps three sets of books and no on knows how much money is in the bank.
        But we also need another process to occur that should have happened prior to the December 2021 consolidation of the Treasurer-Tax Collector and Auditor-Controller offices. It’s something that yours truly and two Supervisors have recommended take place for some time. Here’s the most recent request found in a response I made to Supe Ted Williams:
        As I’ve suggested, as well as Supe Haschak and I believe Supe Gjerde also, the Board should call in former officials responsible for fiscal matters (Treasurer-Tax Collector, Auditor-Controller, Assessor, CEO) and interview/question and, hopefully, learn from them how they did their jobs. This is critical information the BOS admits it is lacking. This process would include but is not limited to such things as assessments of their responsibilities and how they performed their duties, how they exercised fiscal oversight and the identification of internal financial controls, systems that were utilized (manual vs. electronic/software, etc.), staffing levels (classifications and job descriptions) narrative descriptions of interdepartmental and third-party (ex.: outside, independent audit) working relationships detailing scope of work and information disclosed and received. Since no one has explanations or answers to what caused the ongoing, untenable fiscal mess the county is in, you need to conduct an inquiry and start finding answers to all of the current unknowns prior to launching a substantially, momentous alteration to your organizational structure with this idea of a Department of Finance. By the way, if the Board does decide to hold an inquiry, it won’t be necessary for former officials to attend in-person. That’s the beauty of zoom meetings.”
        Here’s a short list of former County finance-related officials who should be called into a public hearing to share their information and insights on how they did their jobs over the years:
        Shari Schapmire, Treasurer-Tax Collector
        Lloyd Weer, Auditor-Controller
        Meredith Ford, Auditor-Controller
        Dennis Huey, Auditor-Controller
        Tim Knudson, Treasurer-Tax Collector
        Carmel Angelo, CEO
        Jim Anderson, CAO
        It would also be interesting to find out what they think about the wholesale replacement of the current fiscal organization with the proposed creation of a Department of Finance.

  5. Ernie Branscomb September 5, 2023

    BACK a quarter century…
    Timber environmentalists.

    “The people in charge were even crazier than my parents.” Which is why the movement didn’t grow, which is why it never attracted the intelligent young, which is why on the Northcoast it worked almost entirely to the advantage of the extractive corporations it purported to oppose.”

    There is a theory that the timber companies secretly funded “Earth First”. The theory was the timber companies looked good in comparison. Much to their benefit.

    • Bruce Anderson September 5, 2023

      Agree totally. Harry Merlo et al were not dummies, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we learn some day that the opposition to the corporate cash-in of Northcoast forests was in fact funded by Merlo and Co. who couldn’t have asked for a more convenient set of “enemies.” Some of us will recall the Big Timber-funded Yellow Ribbon campaign of 1990 devised by the huge PR firm Hill and Knowlton. It essentially pitted Northcoast blue collar families against the “hippies.” It was pretty effective.

    • peter boudoures September 5, 2023

      NCRM will take all profit from a small harvest plan. Foresters should be required to own and care for land before charging to give advice.
      How is lop and scatter below a power line going to help reduce fire fuel?

  6. Emily Strachan September 5, 2023

    “Flag Football in Ukiah” Why?

    • Bruce Anderson September 5, 2023

      A childishly sexist provocation to see if the Appropriate Police were on the alert.

      • Lazarus September 5, 2023

        Thoughtful reply to a loaded question.
        Be well,

        • Emily Strachan September 5, 2023

          It was a loaded post.

      • Emily Strachan September 5, 2023

        No – just a woman your age who is disappointed in the publication’s childish male eye. Tits and ass do nothing for me – but whatever works for you – it’s your paper – go for it boy.

        • Eric Sunswheat September 5, 2023

          Guess again, what do you not see? No tits and ass in that picture for a male heterosexual eye. The costumes defy convention, and the humans appear muscular, stocky, and perhaps either gay or of indigenous long hair men, or are hormonal transsexual folks in a stretch, but nothing to add to my photo collection in lieu of true love. And being a picture from Ukiah? Haha! Too early for April Fools joke. What a hoot, you go girl.

        • Bruce Anderson September 5, 2023

          On the other hand, the photo might be considered a celebration of the female form, sports division.

          • David September 5, 2023

            But maybe show us some dudes, Man.

    • Gary Smith September 6, 2023

      I don’t see any flags. I think it’s some other sport.

  7. Lazarus September 5, 2023

    RE: “Paul Katzeff advocated closing what is now Adventist Health Mendocino Coast Hospital as a strategy for preserving the character of the Mendocino Coast.”
    Jade Tippet

    I was recently in Fort Bragg and asked a business person, “How is Fort Bragg doing.”
    The answer was complex, but what rang in my ears was the state of medical care on the Coast.

    The long-established business owner said, “We have 3rd World medical care here.” The individual continued that she discouraged friends, a retiring couple from moving to the Coast. “There are few in-home services, few doctors, dental is limited, and the hospital sucks. And Veterinarian issues.”
    “A Sick person goes to Ukiah or Willits for any significant medical issue.” The person concluded.

    So I guess the reply to Katzeff would be, “Do you want 3rd World Medical treatment or nothing? Personally, I would take my chances, if necessary, with the 3rd World. This Katzeff should not be telling anyone anything…
    Be Well,

  8. Me September 9, 2023

    If Mendocino County Health and Human Services Agency can be dismantled, so can the Auditor-Tax Collector office.
    How many times do we have to go through this consolidation mess? No one ever learns.

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