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Off the Record (September 29, 2023)

WE HAVE BEEN UNABLE to confirm a rumor that the FBI is looking into the County’s tax assessment and/or tax collector office(s). As we have pointed out before, there  are staffing and backlog problems in both offices and some work is probably not getting done in a timely manner. We have heard anecdotal reports of people who have bought homes recently but have not had their assessments increased or received a bill. Coast realtor Dierdre Lamb tried to tell an uncomprehending Board of Supervisors about the problem two weeks ago at the Supe’s Mendocino Village meeting, but the board seemed unable to absorb Lamb’s point, saying only that they’ve added some appraisers in the Assessor’s office, which was not what Ms. Lamb was talking about; she was talking about tax bills not being forthcoming from the Tax Collector’s office. First District Supervisor candidate Adam Gaska told the board in July that there are wealthy property owners in the inland zones who have not had their assessments raised or their (new or added) buildings put on the tax rolls or who have simply not been billed for taxes due or past due. First District Supervisor candidate Carrie Shattuck has told the Board that she can’t get a copy of the tax defaulted properties that ought to be sold for taxes due. As we have said several times, the entire subject deserves an investigation, but unless somebody is defrauding the County or getting special non-assessment or non-collection treatment we doubt that the FBI would get involved. Perhaps the state’s Board of Equalization would be interested in unpaid property taxes. We have also heard that the state auditor is conducting an audit of the County’s finances so it’s possible that the rumor mill has turned that into an FBI investigation or perhaps the audit is focusing on tax assessments and collections. — Mark Scaramella

A FORMER COUNTY EMPLOYEE WRITES: “Under CEO Angelo’s reign, many employees participated in leadership trainings. Many of them at County expense. Most were really good. But none of us were allowed to use that knowledge to realistically change things for the better. Some of us tried within our spheres of influence and we had some great successes. But when the top leader, the creator and sustainer of the bad, abusive culture continued her wicked ways….well any attempts for positive change were met with making yourself a target and most targets were shot and buried, never to be heard of again. There is a very long list of victims over the years. And no one in charge cares. Business as usual. There are more souls to use, discourage and toss. Next!”

Mark Scaramella Replies:

Thanks. I meant to mention that regarding Ms. Johnson’s statement that they “share” information from the anniversary and exit interviews with department heads and the CEO/Board. Obviously, no one is going to say anything negative if their remarks are going to be “shared” with this management crew. Even the “exit” interviews are unlikely to be critical since nobody wants to jeopardize their future job references. 

I WANDERED AROUND Santa Rosa's upgraded Catholic premises after an insultingly stupid memorial service presided over by an idiot priest who talked about everything except the deceased — “Oh yeah, I ran track for Saint Ignatius.” After the pusillanimous papist finally stopped talking about himself, I made my way from the auditorium into the adjacent church where I watched a guy crawl, sobbing, to the altar. Now there's a man who takes his religion seriously, I thought. I wondered what he was atoning for, what great sins had he committed for him to throw his supplicating self at the feet of the bloody Christ on the cross?

A FRIEND just returned from a Buddhist “retreat,” emerging with two expensively rendered pamphlets titled, ‘Quotes,’ but not revealing quotes from whom, and all the quotes maybe a stutter step ahead of Basic Fortune Cookie. “Eventually you need to learn to see pleasure and pain as equally interesting. This is the real challenge: to rise above pleasure and pain, success and failure.” Etc.

TRANSLATION: There's no diff between an ice cold beer on a hot day and a kick in the nuts.

A LOCAL WARNS: “Be careful out there. It is that time of year when we are all getting our firewood in. I have reached the point in life where I just can’t cut, haul and split my firewood. After doing it for 45 years the body just can't handle it anymore. I ordered wood from a well-known local who has been delivering firewood for years. I ordered 5 cords and he was Johnny-on-the-spot with the first load which he said was 3 cords. I paid him and we discussed at length exactly how much was a cord which is 128 cubic feet of wood. I paid him before stacking the wood. While awaiting the other 3 cords and when it was all nicely stacked, it turned out to be only 1-1/2 cords. Called him to let him know. A few days later he brought another load. I figured that was to make up the initial 3 cords. I accepted the load and paid him in advance for the outstanding 2 cords. When the second load was stacked along with the first load I ended up with a total of exactly 3 cords. I called to inquire about the other 2 cords but got no response. I tried texting, calling and email several times and no response. I have tried unsuccessfully for over 2 months to either bring me the wood I had paid for or to refund my money. I have had no response from him at this time after multiple attempts. I am not going to name the individual at this time. If there is no response with either wood or a refund in the near future, I WILL post his name. Hopefully he will see this post and make things right. Just be careful. A cord of wood is a stack 4 x 4 x 8 feet, or 128 cubic feet. There is a tolerance of 10% for the gaps between the wood which is stacked. Just because someone dumps a load of wood out of his truck and/or trailer and says it is a cord, you never really know until it is stacked.”

A READER RECOMMENDS, ‘MY LIFE’ by Golda Meir: I think it would be impossible to have a discussion, or an informed opinion, about the Israel/Palestine issue (issue? Ongoing tragedy is more like it) without having read this remarkable woman's wonderful book. What's clear throughout 460 pages of clear, beautiful writing is her heart was as big as her brain, and had she lived longer, and been more in control of events, reality over there might have been a lot better than it is currently. Urge you, if you haven't, to give it a read. I have a feeling Martha Gellhorn read it, and there we have at least some understanding why she felt the way she did on the subject. 

ANOTHER SODDEN THOUGHT: If the Eel is made dam free in the presumed interest of fish, will the fish return given the factors of deteriorated ocean conditions and streamside polluters? But right here I'll relate my hoary anecdote about seeing a good-sized fish thrashing in a cool, late summer pool at the headwaters of Jimmy Creek six miles east of Boonville, as I assumed that piscine marvel had somehow made it all the way up there from a year or two in the ocean. It began thrashing only at our approach. If that fish, with all the odds stacked against its survival, can somehow find its way up Jimmy Creek from the sea, maybe the Navarro isn't as dead as it seems to be.

THE RECONQUESTA. Years back, during the political turbulence of what seems now to have been the last mass push-back by the political left against the built-in crimes of capitalism, a friend of mine, Victor Martinez, was a principal in a movement to re-take California as a lost province of Mexico, returning the golden state to its rightful owners. Vic was a little hazy on how exactly he and his comrades could bring off their grand dream, but that agitation was prior to the arrival of millions of Mexicans who have since made their permanent homes here to the huge benefit of their adopted country. (Mendocino County would come to a screeching economic halt without Mexicans.) But apart from some occasional displays of Mexico's flag, not a nationalistic word about taking the state back, as in, “Hey! There's millions of us here. Let's take this sucker back from the gabachos and run it right!”

MAZIE MALONE on the Great Redwood Trail section in Ukiah:

“The Great Redwood Trail… No its really not scenic or enticing just convenient…

What strikes me in this article is the judgement on the family walking along the path, in their “obesity” and nerve to buy snacks. Lol.

I mean at least ya didn’t see some things I have seen along the trail. Bloody trash from the hospital; People shooting up in the bushes; The guy on a nice spring evening in the field with his privates in his hand pleasuring himself as families were walking by. Homeless people hiding out, some very lost and scared. And a bunch of nice people going for a walk. People screaming at voices in their head. Police do patrol it now and then, but I think that’s mostly when they are looking for someone.”

JUST IN FROM PEBS TRIPPET: I've returned from stem cell treatments in Mexico and was told to give it a few weeks to allow everything to kick in. We found more health problems beyond COPD/emphysema in my individual case, such as spinal column misalignment, which they are also treating. I believe stem cell therapy is on the cutting edge of bona fide holistic care and knowledge. If it remains affordable and up to date in terms of current findings, it could become a leading wave of the future. In keeping with the philosophy of “do no harm,” stem cell therapy will not hurt you, since it is taking cells from your own body to treat you holistically or umbilical stem cells from C-section after birth that would otherwise be thrown away. I feel I'm in good hands. My breathing ability has improved, energy and clarity are returning. I'm satisfied with the personal treatment I received under a conscientious staff of nurses and doctors in charge of the multi-faceted process, including hyperbaric oxygen treatment, light therapy, deep vigorous massage and continuous IVs with massive supplements which stem cells are added to. My doctor is a lung specialist with a regenerative medicine degree. I met two co-owners/investors, the medical director and his son, on board for 8 years. They interviewed me as an elder patient and offered any future elders a further discount below normal costs. Their generosity shows we developed good relations. Laura Costa was key to the team effort and will help create future shuttles to make it happen.

I CORRESPONDED with an Oregon kid who got thirty years for setting fire to a row of new cars. They had him on video with a gas can jogging down the line, splashing the fuel on shiny new climate changers, after which he flicked his Bic. I guess you could say he was the tip of the save-the-planet spear. I told him I admired his spirit, but unless thousands of climate activists are willing to risk serious prison time the planet is goners, and we’re doomed as a species. 

ABOUT THE SAME TIME, more than a decade ago, a band of serious eco-warriors burned down a particularly destructive ski resort being built in Colorado, only to be denounced by the much more numerous foundation-supported, bureaucratic, Democrat-approved, cash and carry enviros, including Betty Ball, formerly a Mendo enviro then operating a tame, Mendo-style environment center out of Golden. There must be thousands of serious young people aware of the ultimate stakes involved who are mulling over direct action to stop the rolling ecocide…

BUT if you're a young, agile eco-warrior aware that your heirs and assignees will inherit eco and social chaos if you don't risk serious felonies, be careful with whom you commence your direct action. Best to stick with people you can absolutely trust not to rat you out.

A BUFFOON-ISH character named Barry Clausen earned a handsome living for nearly ten years by claiming he'd “infiltrated” the menacing terrorist group known as Earth First! Clausen ignited a mini-scare in the wine industry when he alerted the jive juice moguls that Earth First! had vineyards in its line of fire. 

THE WINE INDUSTRY'S blustery Jess Jackson of the Kendall-Jackson booze empire, went on red alert, demanding that Earth First! be stopped before they got into the vines. 

BUT IT WAS ALL a false alarm — doubly, triply false, because (a) Clausen had misread a line in the Earth First! Journal which merely pointed out that Kendall-Jackson had denuded several ridges near Santa Barbara of its old oak and every other living thing to plant grapevines and wasn’t it a shame, and (b) to “infiltrate” Earth First! one simply walks up to a campfire anywhere in Mendo or HumCo and presents oneself, although acceptance is hastened if you're togged out as a rag bag, and (c) Earth First! was not a violent organization. Even in its salad days ten years ago, EF! presented no threat whatsoever to anything except, perhaps, linear thought processes.

HOW can I get a Fort Bragg Forever placard? The mighty ava enjoys highway frontage in Boonville, and we're all the way on board for retaining Fort Bragg as Fort Bragg. It's all a false alarm anyway. The Name Change people are few in number and lazy, too lazy to collect the signatures to put the issue on the ballot. They're a sad little group of virtue signalers at their pathetic neediest. This time next year they won’t even be a trivia question. 

HEADLINE from this morning's Press Democrat: “Alert tells Mendocino County to brace for 4.7 earthquake, but it was only 3.5. “ Excuse me, but what's the point of scaring the shit out of people in the middle of the night to give them a laughable second for an earthquake they won't feel and won't even rouse the cat? Myself, I'd much prefer being hurled from bed and up against my bedroom wall than having the equivalent of no warning. 

THE FBI HAD SO MANY paid informants among the rioters on Jan. 6 that it lost track of the number and had to do an audit to determine exactly how many “Confidential Human Sources” run by different FBI field offices were present. At least one informant was communicating with his FBI handler as he entered the Capitol, according to Steven D’Antuono, formerly in charge of the bureau’s Washington field office. Attorney General Garland testified today that he didn't know if there were any. 

…Former Capitol Hill Police Chief Steven Sund has said that, in addition to the paid informants, the FBI had at least 18 undercover agents in the crowd plus an estimated 20 from the Department of Homeland Security. (Miranda Devine, New York Post)

AS THE AVA POINTED OUT at the time of the January 6 lunkhead affair, the FBI was undoubtedly present in significant numbers, and it wouldn't surprise me if a few of them were yelling, “Hang Mike Pence.”

JAMELLE BOUIE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES, a Democrat house organ: “The Idea That Biden Should Just Give Up Political Power Is Preposterous.” You don’t say as you assume, Mr. Hack, that the visibly senile Biden is exercising power now. 

BIDEN is going to run again, as is Trump, of course. Pretty cynical of the Demo shot callers to shove Biden out there again, but then what choice do they have? The NYT thinks Biden is viable, and vis a vis Trump he probably is, even if he’s embalmed and wired for sound. This election just might be The Final Absurdity that shoves the whole show into anarchy.

DON'T TELL Mr. Bouie, but it's obvious to most people in our doomed land that Biden hasn't exercised political power for years. Who is exercising power at the moment is not known, but it isn't the president. Even Obama described Biden as a "fuck up" he had to keep an eye on lest he fuck up.

MAZIE MALONE NAILS IT: ....Even though a parent and school can intervene the illness remains throughout life, so episodes of psychosis must be addressed in the immediacy of the condition. There are billions of dollars allocated to service providers for mental illness treatment so money is not the issue. The root issue is the law, you cannot force treatment or hospitalization, and because of that everyone is at a loss to do anything effective. So they all sit in their corner doing their job thinking others are doing theirs and nothing is accomplished.

JACOB PATTERSON seems to have caused the exit of another capable Fort Bragg City manager. Peggy Ducey has resigned, as had Tabatha Miller before her. Patterson, a non-practicing attorney who lives with his mom, seems to get odd kicks out of burdening the City with frivolous legal requests which, of course, he doesn't act on. He's obviously harassing the City without caring that he has cost the City thousands of dollars in staff time. And there also seems to be a sexist motive at work in Patterson's harassment, in that only women bear the brunt of his constant attentions, and the departures of successive female city managers are assumed to be to a large degree due to Patterson's constant recreational demands on their time. (Please excuse my resort to the blunderbuss term “sexist.” I try to stay away from the caw, caw, cawing terms of the professionally aggrieved.)

JACOB PATTERSON REPLIES: Fort Bragg & Patterson (me)

A couple of corrections are in order. First, Peggy Ducey might have resigned but she was not a “capable” city manager, IMO. Second, her resignation was not in response to me, or at least not to me alone; she alienated many members of the community and we are better off without her in charge. Third, I am not sure where this false narrative came from regarding my living situation. I don’t live with my mother, I live in a house by myself that is owned by my family and I rent it from them. That is true for a lot of people on the Coast who are fortunate enough to be able to find rental housing, which is in short supply.

MIKE GENIELLA: This Mendocino County factoid popped up today, noting my paternal grandmother's birthday. She was born in Coyote Valley actually. The family home was adjacent to the old Cleveland Mill at the north end of what is now Lake Mendocino. Her parents, John F. Burns and Sophia Knox Burns, arrived in Mendocino County in 1857 with other family members. My great-grandfather's half-brother was Shird (Sheridan) Burris of the Potter Valley clan. After Sophia Knox Burns, a native of Maine who died in 1870 at age 42, was buried in the Potter Valley Cemetery, John Burns and his youngest children including my grandmother moved onto Southern California. At age 20, Sarah Ann Burns met and married my grandfather, John Geniella, in Los Angeles. He was 20 years her senior. Their last child, my father, was born when John Geniella was age 63.

A LIFE BAN, PLEASE. The slobs who brawled in the bleachers during the 49ers-Giants game on Thursday night face both police charges and a ban from Levi's Stadium. Video footage spread widely on social media showed at least two minutes-long fights. One involved six men and women, two of whom were pushed to the stairs as other people kicked and punched them. In another section of the stands, six men and women are shown throwing punches and tossing each other over seats. “Levi’s Stadium and the Santa Clara Police Department remain unwaveringly committed to stadium security and work collaboratively to create a safe environment for all fans,” The Niner and the Santa Clara police subsequently promised in a joint statement.

MOST FANS hate these drunken idiots. Candlestick, at both baseball and football games, used to be a kind of open air mosh pit, especially the left field bleachers at Giants games, everywhere during Niner games. Nothing new for Frisco. 

FIRST NINER GAME I attended at the old Kezar Stadium on the eastern edge of Golden Gate Park, circa 1948, marked my first exposure to, uh, unseemly adult behavior, all male in those days. At Kezar, the Niners had to cover the player's entrances with heavy wire covers to protect them from thrown bottles and other heavy projectiles. NFL players said Frisco fans were the worst of any fans in the country. The Giants these days run a tight ship. I've seen staffers eject people who were simply passed out in their seats, and shouted obscenities also gets the boor a quick heave-ho.

OF COURSE given the radical increase in feral citizens, large-scale sports venues have an uphill battle to maintain at least a basic standard of civility, but sports have always, all the way back to the Roman Coliseum brought out the worst in spectators.

FROM MONICA HUETTL’S September Redwood Valley Municipal Advisory Committee report: 

“…there have been quite a few cases of cannabis enforcement officers who have developed cancer. Sheriff Kendall questions whether working to abate these toxic grow sites have caused these cancers in law enforcement personnel. He is working with the Department of Health and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to combat those who bring in chemicals…”


The sign on Bloody Run Creek, mile marker 7.13 on Hwy 162, has been missing for years. I worked with CalTrans to get the signage up again. This is a historical site that must not be forgotten.


[1] Back in the old days when peak oil was a more popular topic I’d share my concerns and views about what happens when the oil runs out. I discovered to my dismay that most people didn’t have the capacity to grasp such a concept. They’d get angry and think I was some weird leftist greenie weenie. The idea that we’d collectively be stupid enough to base an entire civilization on a non-renewable resource was something that simply could not compute in their minds. My guess is that when resource depletion ends our way of life they’ll be blaming their distress on the evil people out there that somehow took their oil away from them. People think the planet is a giant oil filled candy bar with that creamy nougat of endless oil in the center of it. Somehow evil men have taken their candy away.

[2] Jeans are not really that comfy.

Training pants are comfy.

That is why Dopey Fetterman wears them.

Stretchy–easy to get in and out of.

I can’t conceive of why they had to change the whole Senate dress code for this damaged person. Just make one exception for him, and others who are similarly damaged.

That way we would immediately know who considers him- or herself to be mantally sub-par. Whoops, mentally.

But I guess “mantally” also works, in the context.

Truth via typo. An old idea of mine.

[3] Senator Fetterman reported to the senate today in shorts and a camp shirt. A billowy camp shirt.

He looks like the guy that would spend his time in the curtained off section in the old video rental stores.

He was presiding, so it meant he sat in the big chair. I swear he had a Big Gulp in the newly attached jumbo cup holder.

In other bizzaroland news, the American Ukrainian defense dept. spokestranny, the one who wears a blond Karen wig, was suspended for making unapproved threats of extrajudicial murder.

This is what happens when the entire planet is on drugs and you’re the sober one.

The lunacy is relentless

The standards are nonexistent

You can make this shit up, and make up even more!

[4] Does anyone really care what Russell Brand did 10 years ago, with the unnamed women?

Or was it just an excuse for the Blob to cancel, excoriate, and prosecute him?

It pisses me off beyond reason that we are supposed to be shocked!, shocked! and outraged that Russell Brand may have forced himself on a few women, over a decade ago, while the same Blob insists that men can force themselves into women’s spaces, and any woman who expresses outrage is herself cancelled, excoriated, and attacked.

Witness William (called Lia) Thomas, who forced himself into the women’s locker room, exposed himself to multiple unwilling women, and then stole their swimming championship.

Unlike with Russell Brand, we are ordered to applaud him and call him “courageous.”

And we are forced to call him a “her,” or at least, the entire media complies with that decree.

The MeToo narrative is trumped by the Trans agenda.

NAOMI KLEIN ON RUSSELL BRAND, who has been accused of sexually assaulting multiple women, including a 16-year-old girl: “Of course, Russell Brand’s followers deny the allegations. He has groomed an audience to deny/disbelieve everything they see and hear, which is very different from healthy skepticism. This knee-jerk denialism is precisely why people with plenty of skeletons in the closet love conspiracy culture: they have a built-in defense against accountability. It’s all a conspiracy, always. I have met Brand, been on his show (years ago). It took a hell of a lot of courage for these women to come forward. They have all my solidarity.” (via Jeffrey St. Clair, CounterPunch)

[5] After all is said and done, and talked about ad nauseum, the facts are:

1-America is dead; it no longer exists, just look around.

2-the us$ is in the process of dying (one $ in 1970 is now worth less than one CENT)

3-The uscorp no longer has a reliable and sufficient supply of energy to run itself.

4-most of the world hates the uscorp and will do what it can to jab it in any way

5-what was once our country is now a soup of people who hate each other

6-all of our historical institutions and values have been destroyed and/or degraded.

7-the national debt will never be paid back and everyone, but amerikans, knows it.

Plan: buy all the gold, silver, ammo, storable food you can get; obtain a water source that you can control; bring family, friends and neighbors together, learn to pray to your G_d (not money) if you don’t know how. CW2 is approaching rapidly.

[6] I can clearly see Zelensky suddenly evacuating Kiev in a Boeing C-47 Globemaster with his family and a few close associates, dufflebags stuffed with cash loaded into the cargo bay, landing at Miami airport to a hero’s welcome, greeted by VP Harris, US Senators, Hollywood celebrities, and military brass, then driven by motorcade to his well-appointed mansion on Miami Beach, where he gets down to the serious business of hobnobbing with international arms dealers, Cartel chiefs, mafioso kingpins, hedge fund billionaires, movie producers, and secretive Bit Coin operators.

By that time Ukraine will be a smoking ruin and an immense graveyard, and the USA will be wondering WTF happened to the $250 billion it sent over since Feb, 2022.

[7] THE SAMOAN SOLUTION: Having sold everything from souvenirs to dogs or beer at Kezar, Candlestick, Oakland Coliseum, Stanford Stadium and the Cow Palace, I believe the best Peace Keepers bar none were a security group of Samoans who worked special concerts, wrestling, and roller derby at the Cow Palace.

These guys dealt with any fighting in a very ugly way and it worked.

Prior to a Giants game, I worked a Rolling Stone concert at the Cow Palace the night before where the Samoan security group was not present. The same security group that worked the Stones worked the Giants game the next day. These guys were covered with bite marks all over their arms in having to deal with tons of Stones fans rushing the stage.

Trust me, the Samoans would not tolerate bites of any kind. (An on-line comment re unruly Niner fans.)

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